This month sees the release of WILD CAT, Book 3 of the Shifters Unbound series. Also out is BODYGUARD, a shorter novel (I call it Book 2.5), which came out late in November.
If you’re new to the Shifters Unbound series, here’s some info about it.
I wanted to go beyond the standard shapeshifter / werewolf traditional lore in this series. In my Shifter world, for instance, Shiters have no compulsion to shift at the full moon (although both the Lupines and the Felines feel the need to “go wild,” meaning they want to go for a run in their animal forms, but they can decide). Bear Shifters never feel this compulsion (these guys don’t do anything Felines and Lupines do, and they’re proud of it).
Also, Shifters are born Shifter, they aren’t infected by bites or whathaveyou. You’re either Shifter or you’re not.
The Shifters were bred centuries ago by the Fae, who created half-animal, half-human creatures to be their hunters and fighters. My Shifters, being both smart and ornery, decided to rebel and break free of the Fae.
Shifters come in three species: Felines (wildcats); Lupines (werewolves); and Ursines (bear Shifters). In the wild, these species do not get along at all, and will kill each other on sight.
However . . . about twenty years ago, Shifters found themselves dying out. Their females produced fewer cubs, and many cubs and females died in childbirth. The stress of the industrialized world was taking its toll on the wild Shifters. About the same time, the Shifters were “outed” by a half-Fae, and humans reacted negatively.
In fear of Shifter strength, humans rounded up Shifters, forced them to wear Collars (half-tech, half-magic) that control their “violence,” and make them live in Shiftertowns.
Now that Felines, Lupines, and Bears have to live side-by-side, they grudgingly try to get along. Every Shiftertown has a leader (usually the leader of his clan). This leader has jurisdiction over every Shifter, across clans and across species. It’s a tough job, but the heroes of the Shifters Unbound series can do it.
Shifters allowed themselves to be put in this situation, without fighting, because they realized that by sticking together, and giving up living wild, they will grow stronger and multiply. And then… who knows what can happen?
In the first book of this series, I introduce the Morrisseys--brothers Liam and Sean, their father Dylan, and their nephew Connor (as well as various other Shifters in the Austin, TX, Shiftertown). Liam and his father are the Shiftertown leaders, and Sean is the Guardian of the Shifters.
What is a Guardian? Not a soldier or a guard. Sean carries a sword that sends a dead Shifter to the afterlife (it also turns the body to dust). It’s a lonely job, and Guardians don’t often take mates. Shifters are quite religious, honoring the Father God and Mother Goddess (sun and moon), and follow many pagan Celtic traditions.
The first two books are Pride Mates and Primal Bonds (out now), plus the shorter book, BODYGUARD, about Ronan, a honey of a bear Shifter.
In WILD CAT, Book 3 (coming in January), I move to another Shifter family in Las Vegas: Eric Warden (Shiftertown leader), his sister Cassidy (who has recently lost her mate), and Eric’s son Jace. Police detective Diego Escobar comes up against this family when he arrests Cassidy in all her naked glory after she’s caught trespassing in a construction site. Their first encounter is electric and heats up from there.
This story introduces new Shifter characters, including Shane and Brody, the Bears next door and their mother, Nell (“Mama--she can be one mean grizzly”).
The series will move back and forth between the two Shiftertowns, with characters crossing over in each book as the series and series arc moves forward. Don’t worry, you’ll see the Morrisseys and their friends again!
Not only are there more paperbacks (and ebooks) planned through Berkley, but I’ll be releasing more short novels in the interim, featuring Ellison, Spike, the bears from Wild Cat, and Rebecca from Bodyguard, and others. Lots of stories to tell!
Shifters Unbound, to my delight, has become a bestselling series, hitting the NY Times and USA Today bestseller lists, as well as the Kindle top 100. I hope you enjoy it!
I will be giving away one hardback edition of WILD CAT, Book 3 (signed) to a commenter. Tell me what your favorite Shifter is and enter the drawing!