Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Unwrapping: Paranormal Romance with Shape-Shifters

I know it's supposed to be Wacky Wednesday but since I took a day with 'My Not So Little Rant' last week, I thought we should proceed with our exploration of Paranormal Romance instead. Don't worry, there will be an excerpt or maybe two to enjoy.  ; )


     Throughout the world, there are stories, legends, myths, superstitions - whatever you want to call them - about animals that are able to shift into Human form and vice versa. Real or imaginary?

     The authors of Paranormal Romance have taken that question and developed exciting worlds in which Shape-Shifters and Humans not only collide but fall in love with each other such as in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Series.

     There are as many Shape-Shifters as there are animals, or at least there seems to be as many legends of Shape-Shifters as there are animals.

     North American Indians tell tales of skinwalkers and windigos - creatures that once were man but now turn into animals.  Skinwalkers generally turn into wolves but can become mountain lions and bears as well. Windigos, it's said were created from an evil Human who turned cannibal and now must transform into a great tall beast akin to Bigfoot in order to hunt for Human flesh on which to dine. There are also tales of great birds called Thunderbirds transforming into Human form.
     European countries abound with tales of Humans that transform into creatures to roam the night in search of victims mostly in the forms of wolves and bats. In ancient Greece, the king of the gods, Zeus, was said to shift into animal forms in order to seduce women without Hera knowing about it. It seems she found out anyway.
     In Asia, there are tales of Humans who shift into various animals. Some can shift at will to which ever animal they wish at the time. There are tales of Humans shifting into great snakes from which we might have developed the tales of dragons. There are tales of werefox and transformations into badgers, racoons and dogs.
     In South America, Humans are believed to transform themselves into coyotes, wolves, and jaguars. In Chile, there is a tale of a chonchon shape-shifter who is a witch that transform into a vulture. Not very inviting but certainly scary!

     The imagination can take any one of these tales and expand them to become good, evil, or both. Combine these stories with magic and you've created a whole new world just as some Paranormal Romance writers have so delightfully and successfully done.
      One of my favorites is Pamela Palmer and her creation of the world of the Feral Warriors. Therian warriors who can transform themselves into the animal spirit that shares their soul. They work exhaustedly battling the Mage to keep them from freeing Satanan from the Daemon Blade. Confused, start with DESIRE UNTAMED and keep reading - soon you'll begin to understand and be irretrievably hooked. Her latest release is ECSTASY UNTAMED which tells Hawke's story and how he's recuperating from his ordeal of having been trapped in the Daemon Spirit Trap.
      Here's a small taste of ECSTASY UNTAMED:

      "Hawke!" Lyon tried to hold his friend, but it was too late. Reason had fled Hawke's eyes, replaced with a snarling, spitting anger. "Hold him down!" he ordered even as Hawke lashed out with his claws.
      But as the three men tried to contain the thrashing, violent warrior, Hawke shifted into his animal in a spray of colored lights. As one, they pulled back. "Kkkeeeeer." The red-tailed hawk took off on a wild flight through the dining room, flying at the windows, crashing through the glass.
      Kougar ran for the window. Lyon followed, certain the bird had shredded his wings. But if Hawke had done himself damage, Lyon couldn't tell. The hawk soared above the treetops and disappeared. When the Ferals shifted, they retained their human minds, able to control the animal bodies as they did the human.
      Hawke wouldn't have taken off like that if he'd been in control. Lyon feared his friend was lost to the wildness inside him.
     "I thought he'd be okay once he came to." Tighe took a step toward the window, glass crunching beneath his boot.
      Lyon shook his head, his expression grave. "He's damaged." The question was, just how damaged? He prayed the answer wasn't beyond repair.

     Want more? Get your own copy of ECSTASY UNTAMED by Pamela Palmer!

     Another favorite Paranormal Romance writer who takes us into the world of shape-shifters is Juliana Stone. She is the author of the Jaquar Warrior Series and if you love big cats, then these books are for you.  Her latest release, HIS DARKEST SALVATION tells the story of a world where two people are on the brink of chaos, passion and where vengeance collides …

     After six months in hell, Julian Castille has returned to the world a changed man. No longer the calm, powerful CEO, but a shifter fully embraced by the blood of his clan. Julian has one goal: find the key to the portal that stands between the human realm and unprecedented darkness—and win back the pieces of his soul. The last thing he needs is a distraction like the beautiful, enigmatic Jaden DaCosta.
     Three years ago, a forbidden night of passion left Jaden forever altered: mated to Julian Castille–bound to a man who despises her. But the temptation to trust this darker, more savage—and more captivating—Julian is overwhelming. And as they fight for their immortal souls, their insatiable desire for each other may prove their fatal undoing…

     Double treat today, first you got a taste of Hawke's story and now, I'm going to give you an extra treat and present you with a taste of HIS DARKEST SALVATION:

     Julian bared his teeth. He was on edge, the strange darkness that clung to him rising to the fore. It agitated her cat something fierce and she trembled slightly at the force of it.
     “I mean it,” she said forcefully. “Back off.”
     His hand reached out and inside everything stilled. She heard her heart beating heavily against her chest, felt the pace quicken as warning bells began to explode.
     Her breath hitched and her mouth went dry as his fingers settled over her clan tattoos. She felt them, burning beneath his touch. Another chunk of humiliation to add to her armour of shame.
     “So beautiful,” he whispered harshly.
     Jaden flinched at his tone.
     “So deceptive.”
     She wanted to rip his hand from her flesh but refused to let him know how affected she was by his touch. Instead, she smiled up at him and let her tongue run along her lips.
     “I’m also the best piece of ass you’ll never have again.”
     His breathing changed, slowed, and the air around them stilled. Jaden’s heart leapt crazily and a wave of dizziness circled her brain. She was dancing with the devil and that was always a dangerous game.
     His hand moved up from her neck to grip her jaw. She refused to look away, though the cold glint in his eye left her stomach tight, nauseous. He looked like he wanted to strangle her.
     “You do not want to mess with me.” He smiled, a cold slash of white. “I’m not anything like what you remember.”

     Come on, I know you want more but you're going to have to get your own copy of HIS DARKEST SALVATION by Juliana Stone to finish reading what happens between Julian and Jaden. Purrrrrrr!

     Question: If you could shape-shift into any animal at will, which animal would it be and why?
     Next time - Fallen Angels ... oh don't worry, these are sexy little devils.  : )
     Happy Reading Everyone!


 Juliana asked if I could plug KC Klein's new release here and I am most happy to do so ... always interested in something new and different! To read what she posted about her new book, click here.

Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission: go forward in time to save the world—and His life. Of course, her future self doesn't tell her who he is, just sends her into an abyss and straight into an alien invasion.
He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting Commander of Earth's army and the world's last defense. There's only one way to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy—slice her throat. Except, he didn't anticipate the heat he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman. For a man whose sole focus has been survival, she's more temptation than he can handle. But a world on the brink of destruction leaves no room for love…and time is running out.


KC said...

Thanks Amy for posting my cover. Email me and I will send you a print copy of DARK FUTURE. Thanks so much for playing :)

Amy Valentini said...

KC, You're so very welcome and I hope you'll visit again soon and often. : )