With her penchant for premonitions, Michelle Slade has always had trouble connecting with other people, and a horrific attack five years ago only made her isolation worse. But working to help defenseless animals with her rescue organization, Cats Alive, has given her new purpose and joy in life. When several homeless cats start vanishing into thin air, she’s determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.
Casey Mitchell has always kept his private identity as a were-lynx secret. But he’s drawn to Michelle, and when he begins to help investigate the odd circumstances surrounding the cats’ disappearance, he uncovers a powerful businessman’s diabolic designs on the unassuming woman.
Now both he and Michelle are in grave danger, and their survival depends on trusting each other with secrets better left unspoken. Will these two lonely souls triumph and find true love … or lose everything?
Targeted Age Group:: 18 and older
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Family inspired me to write Secrets. Not the idea of a biologically related group of people who love and support each other. For many of us, that kind of family doesn’t exist. So I wanted to explore different but very successful ways of being in family. I love reading and writing paranormal stories, and how different doesn’t mean less than or unacceptable. I feel that everything in the world is evolving, some more than others, and that opportunties for people to grow and contain more of the complex truth of existance are all around us. The Secrets characters, Michelle Slade, a human, and were-lynx Casey Mitchell, face that element of life, that things are always changing, but a lot of that change comes from within.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I see characters everywhere. I observe different kinds of expressions of being a person and different challenges people face and brainstorm situations that certain characteristics could present in approaching living. For instance, in Secrets, Michelle is a strong young woman with high ideals. But what happens when a very vindictive and powerful man tries to steal her sense of well being, hope, and happiness for no other reason than retribution for a perceived wrong doing? What happens when she is faced with a different kind of individual, so different that he draws into question everything she’s believed about life? Answering these questions requires the creation of characters who can respond in an interesting way.
Casey sat up in bed, the dream he’d been having still alive in his head. He rubbed his hand through his hair. Sweat beaded on his forehead. “Oh, my God.” His heart thudded hard and fast in his chest. He glanced at the clock on his nightstand, sucking in deep breaths of air. Four in the morning. Loneliness heavied his heart.
The dream had been so real, so terrifying. So unusual.
He set his feet on the cold wood floor and sat still on the side of the bed. He took in the room, his room in his house, and sorted through the images in his dream as his body reactions calmed.
He was accustomed to dreaming as his lynx form. Dreams of running through fields with the speed and exhilaration of freedom made frequent nighttime appearances. But this, this dream made him shiver. He dropped his head in his hands and lived through it again.
He saw himself standing in his human form with Michelle in her backyard. Darkness enveloped them comfortably and above a starry, moonless sky contained their moments of shared solitude. He’d brought her warm hand to his lips, the scent of her skin heady and alluring. She’d laughed, delighted when he pretended to take a delicate nibble of her skin.
Casey balled his hands. The moment of togetherness in the dream thundered through him as he revisited what happened next.
He’d lost control. He’d done the unthinkable. He’d shimmered, right in front of Michelle, into his lynx form. Horrified, he’d stood there as his purest self and her screams echoed fiercely against his heart.
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