And what, you might ask, is that? It's a "maned wolf," native to South America, and one of the new characters in my Spirit Wild series. Santiago and his mate Sofia are Berserkers, caught up in the illegal trade of predators, currently living in pens at a wild animal refuge in Minnesota. If you click on the image, you should go to a YouTube video that explains what these fascinating creatures are really like--ever since I first saw photos of them, I've wanted to add them
The real star of Dark Captive, however, is Asha, a beautiful snow leopard, also a Berserker, rescued by the Chanku. For those of you new to the series, Berserkers are a subspecies of Chanku shapeshifters who are born as animals and shift to human, unlike the Chanku who start out as human babies who can shift and become animals. The tragedy of the Berserkers is that they are fully sentient and aware that they can shift, but only if they've had the proper nutrients, those grasses from Tibet that the Chanku need to sort of jumpstart the genetic anomaly that powers their shift.
Berserkers were originally bred at the dawn of Chanku history to be the guardians of their people--they are the larger, more powerful fighters who were protectors of the Chanku. I'm still not sure what the role of the maned wolf was as a Berserker in the ancient history of the species, but I'm sure I'll find out in the next book.
And yes, Dark Captive is finally done. I've never taken as long to write one of my books as I have with this one, but I've never had as many interruptions, either! Still, I think you're going to enjoy the story. It's due out in early April, but tonight I'll be sending it to my beta readers and hoping they've got time to give it a good read for typos, etc.
I've been busy reading books for the RWA contest so haven't touched my stack of wonderful stories waiting for me in my TBR pile, but it's not been easy, staring at this fantastic collection and knowing I can't read them until I finish the book I'm writing (check!!) and the final book I'm judging (almost check!!) and then I intend to dive into JAK's PROMISE NOT TO TELL because it's been TAUNTING ME! (as have the others, though not for as long...) But is THAT a collection or what? I can't wait!!
And, to celebrate the fact that the BOOK IS DONE, I'm going to give away ebook copies of the winners' choice of Dark Spirit, Dark Refuge, or Dark Terror. If you need a refersher to figure out which one you'd like the chance to win, just click on the title and it will take you to that book's page.
On that note, I'm going to close for now. I don't get a wine break in the afternoons anymore, nor can I have coffee in the morning. I MISS MY CAFFEINE MORE THAN THE WINE! What does THAT tell you? Unfortunately, my ulcer is back and I'm having to heal up entirely before I can have either of my favorite beverages again. I've become a fan of Celestial Seasonings herbal teas, but they tend to put me to sleep, not wake me up when I want to write...
I hope Spring is beginning to make its appearance. Everything here is blooming and my yard is starting to look really pretty. I've posted a bunch of pictures from the yard on Instagram. You can find me there at katedouglas9383. I'm trying to learn to use the app, though I'm a slow learner when it comes to things on my phone. I have, at least, figured out how to post!
Take care, be safe, and don't forget to enter the contest if you're missing any of those books.