Recently a fan pointed out that my books revolve around three major things: shifters, aliens, and country boys. At first I laughed, then I got to thinking… and then I got to checking. *grin* And what you know? She was right.
I won’t lie—my first love is paranormal. Or is it science fiction? Okay, okay! It’s both of them, lol. So what drew me to them? There are no easy answers. There’s something about taking a character and making him into something more that appeals to me. Always has. Aliens can have any color skin, eyes, hair, extra body parts—whatever my imagination comes up with. It’s a thrill I can’t explain.
So, my fascination with werecats…. What possessed me to write about normal, everyday house cats? Well, normal is nothing more than an illusion, and my werecats are very grateful for it too! While I love the big and sexy shifters like werewolves, I wanted to do something that revolved around the felines. I’d done a story about a cougar shifter, so I wanted something a little different this time.
I based the series on my cat, Kitty-Kitty, and my love of cats. Thus my version of werecats—but they’re much larger than the normal house housecats. My werecats aren’t as big as werecougars, but they are the size of Savannahs, which are pretty big hybrids. Unlike Savannahs, my werecats don’t have the same coloration.
Did someone say aliens? In my sci-fi books, I’ve created aliens who had tentacles. I wanted these aliens to be a little scary but sexy too. So how do you make tentacles sexy? It wasn’t easy, but trust me, it can be done. ;) I’ve also created aliens with snakelike qualities like slitted pupils and forked tongues.
Other characters ended up being nonshifting, snakelike paranormals who looks human until something happens to bring forth the Vetala side of their nature. The Vetala are also often compared to vampires. I’ve dabbled in fantasy with characters with the ability to breathe underwater who were not mermen, but I’ve also written mermen, lol.
And finally, the oddball of the bunch—my country boys—who tend to show up even in my paranormal and sci-fi books. I don’t write a lot of contemporary, but I’m working on changing that. An upcoming contemporary book has one the main characters as a country boy. Of course. That won’t be out until November, though.
It Takes Two to Tango will be released by Dreamspinner on September 26th. This is Remi’s book, and the third book in the Fur, Fangs, and Felines series.
Can two very different men find the love they need to survive?
Remi Ginn’s an easygoing werecat with a love of snarky T-shirts who would be perfectly happy with a human mate. Is that what the goddess Bast gives him? Of course not. Instead she gifts him with Marshell, a Vetala: a snakelike nonshifter who drinks blood to survive. A man who’s just as toppy as Remi—and even more powerful than the West Falls Clowder’s Alpha and heir apparent.
While Remi decides whether he can handle the fates’ choice, hunters attack Marshell. In an explosion of passion, Remi and Marshell mate and Remi declares Marshell his. Now they have to figure out how to make their relationship work as they dance around each other.
The clowder is in turmoil, and Remi’s acceptance of Marshell rocks the very foundation of the insular group. The consequences will be far-reaching. And if that isn’t problem enough, the situation with the hunters is far from resolved… as the appearance of an Alpha werewolf proves.
I loved my job as a beta. I loved my clowder. I didn’t want to leave if Dolf couldn’t accept Marshell, but I also didn’t what to lose my mate. Mates were a gift from our goddess Bast, and we didn’t turn our backs on such a gift.
“Remi, I think you and Marshell need to talk.” Aidric pushed his food around on his plate too. “Marshell may be powerful. He may even be more powerful than you. But Dolf, has anyone asked him if he’s even interested in leading a group? He can’t challenge you for position since he’s not a werecat. Am I right about that?”
“You’re right,” Alpha Armonty said. “He can’t. But what if he let his power leak around the clowder members? That could erode Dolf’s position as Alpha. Or what if they refused to accept Marshell because of it? Dolf is well liked. Our members could be threatened by Marshell’s power.”
“What if we called a meeting and told the clowder? The Vetala don’t live in groups like us or werewolves, do they?” Brier asked.
“No,” I said. “They don’t. At the most you’ll have a hunting pair. They hunt in twos as a precaution. Other than that they stay to themselves. Janelle and Marshell hunt together, and they lived together after they moved here. Well, until Janelle met Sam and Heller met Lawson. They still hunt together, though.”
“‘Hunt.’ Earlier you called the humans they fed from ‘prey.’ Am I the only one who finds that kind of freaky?” Brier asked.
“We shift. For all we know, they find our shifting kind of freaky,” I spat. Oh yeah, I was beginning to see why Dolf reacted as he did when he told us about Kirk.
“I didn’t mean it as an insult.” Brier held up his hand. “But come on, Remi. You telling me it doesn’t freak you out some? I’m guessing your mate would want to feed from you. I mean, he would, wouldn’t he? Even though you’re not human?”
Shit. He would hit on the one thing I couldn’t answer.
“Okay, I’m going to throw this out there, so don’t yell at me,” Aidric said before I could formulate a response to Brier’s question. “Our clowder is already uneasy since we’ve added two humans—”
Dolf sighed. “This again? Dammit, they are not—”
“Yes, yes, they’re no longer human since they mated two of ours,” Aidric hurriedly added. “But they weren’t born werecats. They grew up with different values and beliefs. Now we’re talking about accepting another paranormal—which we’ve never done in our clowder until Janelle—who’s stronger than our Alpha.”
“It’s a problem,” Brier agreed.
“Look, the man’s my mate,” I snapped, my anger rising. “While I don’t want to leave you guys or my clowder… he’s my mate. Do you get that? I’ve watched how Kirk fought to be accepted. Hell, he still fights. Lawson probably will too. I’ve already heard rumblings about Janelle from some of the older clowder members and—”
“Wait a minute. Rumblings? What are you talking about?” Aidric demanded. “Dolf?”
“After her and Sam’s joining ceremony, the betas and Alpha met at Sam’s house for the welcoming party we always have,” Dolf said, rubbing at his eyes. “A few of the elders’ wives dropped off food—again, as they always do—then left. Janelle had a few words to say about there not being any other women there but her.”
“She referred to us as a ‘good ol’ boys club’ and pointed out there are no women as betas either,” Heller said. “That there are very few women business owners. She asked Lawson if our clowder was stuck in the nineteen twenties.”
Dolf massaged his temples.
“How do you know she said that to Lawson?” Alpha Armonty asked. “Lawson wasn’t at the party after the joining ceremony. It was just those of us with rank.”
“She said that to Lawson after the joining ceremony,” Heller said.
“We’ve never had a woman try for a beta position,” Alpha Armonty added. “That’s why we don’t have one.”
“Do they even know they can?” Heller took a deep breath. “I feel I should add that Lawson considers Janelle and Marshell family. If Mrshell isn’t accepted, Lawson has let me know it’s going to be a problem for him.”
“Now what does that mean?” Dolf demanded.
“He’ll leave the clowder,” Heller said. “He says if the man he considers a brother isn’t good enough for us, then neither is he. If he leaves, then I go with him.”
“So I might end up losing two of my betas?” Dolf slammed his hand on the table. “No, dammit. I won’t. All of you matter too much to me.”
“Janelle is right about the small-minded attitudes, Dolf. That might make some mad, but it’s true. You don’t want to lose us? Then this clowder needs to come out of the nineteen hundreds and join the twenty-first century. I won’t walk away from Marshell.” I sat back in my chair.
Well, looks like I made up my mind what to do about my very powerful, very deadly mate.
M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!
When not writing, she’s on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children.
She was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, runner up in the 2015 Rainbow Awards, and is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
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