Thursday, January 16, 2014

Once Upon a Tiger VBT

Book Description:
She’ll never run.

Among the tiger shifters, Alexis Tarasova is regarded as fierce and dangerous, with a reputation that would make even the most daring tiger think twice about challenging her. Female tiger shifters may be rare and the mating run a critical part of their species’s survival, but Alexis is the only female Tracker and will not back down, even at the threat of tiger law. She will not be forced to mate. So when a handful of males band together to force her to participate in the run, Alexis chooses to stand her ground and fight instead.

He's forbidden to run.

Outcast from the tiger shifters after a vicious childhood attack left him mute, Victor Romanov has never taken part in the mate run. He’s never particularly cared, though, since the woman he loves refuses to take a mate. However, when he learns Alexis may be in danger, all bets are off. Nothing will keep him from her side.

Together, they're unmovable.

The chemistry between them burns wickedly hot and forges them into an unbeatable pair. Alexis knows that being with Victor means she will have to break another one of her people’s laws—a move that might push the tigers too far. But, for Victor, she will risk everything, including her life, and do what she thought she’d never do—run.

To Alexis’ surprise, Victor was standing at her door only a few minutes later. She swallowed and tried not to stare. He was magnificent, muscled and lean, with just the right amount of hair covering his human body. The hard cut angles of his face should have made him look harsh but somehow he just looked more compelling. Black eyes, closely cut dark hair, and a sexy half-smile that made her stomach muscles tighten, all combined to send her heartbeat pounding.

She’d never been around Victor when she was in estrous. In fact, since coming to terms with the knowledge that her obsession with him could never lead to a future, she’d made an effort to never spend time alone with him. He was the head security technician at the elders’ compound, so they crossed paths regularly. But she tried making sure there were others around to keep her from doing something stupid.

Unfortunately, she hadn’t always been successful.

She flashed on a recent memory of literally bumping into him in a corridor at the compound when she’d been too deep in thought to notice her surroundings. He’d held her arms while she caught her balance. The contact sent shivers of desire shooting through her body, forcing her to step back as soon as she could, then apologized.

He pulled a notebook from the back pocket of his dark jeans and wrote, You okay?

“Fine. The job I’m heading out on has me…” She shrugged. “It’s a tough one.”

A friend?

“No. Nothing like that.” She made the mistake of looking up to finish and got momentarily caught in the deep darkness of his steady gaze. Her stomach danced in giddy delight even as her heart tightened. Swallowing, she said, “The tiger I’m going after has something wrong with him. He’s started stalking children.”

Human or tiger?



“Exactly.” Dangerous to their people if he were discovered by the humans. Also dangerous for her as her target couldn’t possibly be sane if he was hunting kids.

Has he hurt any yet?

“No. Fortunately. He came close twice, though. I have to find him soon.”
Do you want help?

She straightened. No one offered to help her. Not since she’d taken the Tracker oath. But he looked serious. And beneath the façade he normally wore, she sensed a hard core of intensity only a stupid person would challenge. His silence was intimidating enough, but for the first time, she saw a dangerous edge to him.

And he was offering to help her. The gesture touched her in ways she
wouldn’t have expected. Suddenly, she was aware of just how alone they were and just how desperately she wanted him.

“I’ll be fine.” Even as she said this, her heartbeat quickened and she had trouble speaking above a whisper.

I know. But if you need me, I’m here.

Her pulse pounded loud in her ears as she read. Could he hear it? Did he realize just how much she needed him—just not for the hunt? She found herself staring at his mouth. The urge to lean in and taste him overwhelmed her.

Alexis blinked back the memory and realized she was once again staring at Victor’s mouth. This time, there was no one around to interrupt them and keep her from giving in to the years of wanting. During that previous meeting, a member of his security tech team had required his attention and he’d hurried away, leaving her breathless. She’d brought in the rogue tiger with a little more aggression than she might have normally. And then she’d taken herself off to her retreat here in the mountains to wallow in the frustration of having to resist the only man she wanted.

Now Victor was here. No one between them. And her hormones were making things infinitely worse.

His being naked did not help her control either—which was hanging on by a very tiny, thin thread.

Thanks so much for stopping by. So, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
KS: Thanks so much for having me! I’m never sure where to start when telling a little about me. *g* I’m currently a stay-at-home mom and a full time writer, living in New York with my husband, two sons, and our funny little dog. My oldest son is a handful, super smart, on the autism spectrum, and at an age where he’s starting to throw tantrums again (no one warned me that 5 year olds went through another tantrum phase!). And my youngest is just a year old and he’s a rotten sleeper so mostly I get naps. If I can sleep for three hours in a row, I’m doing good! LOL.

Before New York and family, way back in the day, I grew up in Las Vegas, got my Bachelors degree in Hawaii working with dolphins, moved to Germany and then Ireland after college, and got my Ph.D. in Dublin Ireland studying deer. My academic background is in animal behavior. I’ve worked with dolphins, deer, snakes and sharks. And by the time I finished my Ph.D., I knew I wanted to spend my life writing rather than pursuing a career in academics. So here I am.

Oh, I met my husband in Ireland. Actually, the story of how we met is going to be published in a charity anthology called Scribbling Women And The Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them edited by Hope Tarr. That’s due for publication in February and all the proceeds go to Women in Need. So I hope readers will check it out. It’s a great book for a great cause. (I’ll have more about this on my website soon.)

How did you get started writing?
KS: I’ve invented stories my whole life. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making things up. I started writing the stories down sometime around the age of ten, I think. I can’t really remember. I was a writer by the time I was in high school, but I didn’t think of myself that way yet. I wrote because I didn’t have any other way to get the stories out, but in high school I was more into acting and my guitar. Writing was just scribbles that kept me from talking to myself in front of other people. *g*
My best friend knew I was a writer, though, and kept encouraging me. Then I had a teacher my first year of college who recognized my leanings, and she also encouraged me. By my second year of college, I considered myself a writer and started figuring out how to submit stories to magazines.

What was the inspiration for your book?
KS: A friend encouraged me to write a short story for an anthology. The anthology was a sexy shapeshifter book, and I love shapeshifters. So I ended up developing the basic idea for the tiger world in that story (called Mate Run). The tigers’ population issues is an idea I got from a problem the Hawaiian monk seals have—low female numbers, too much aggressive male behavior as a result, etc… I took that basic idea and built the tiger world around it. Mate Run got published in the anthology and both my friend and the editor of the anthology encouraged me to write more in that world. So I did.

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
KS: I’d like to write some non-Romance science fiction one of these days. Although, I always seem to fit in at least some level of romantic tension in my stuff, so I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to write a book without it. LOL. But I love science fiction and would enjoy writing something space adventure-y. I even have a few ideas, but most of them are the concepts for a world and not actual plots for books. I can’t really do much with the concepts until I figure out characters and plot!

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
KS: I will read just about anything. I’m not particularly interested in Literary fiction—either writing or reading it. But genre fiction is all good. I used to say I wouldn’t write horror because I scared myself too much when I did and then couldn’t sleep! But as I get older, I do like adding a little old fashioned horror into some of my paranormal worlds (in particular, one series that isn’t published yet will have a hefty touch of classic horror). It’s funny because I’ve always loved paranormal, vampire, and shapeshifter stories, but I can’t watch blood and guts horror films. I will probably never write a straight up horror novel. I do want to sleep again someday.

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
KS: I’m working on book 2 in the Tiger Shifters series, which is scheduled for an end of March/early April release date. I also have the story in the Scribbling Women anthology coming out in February. Then I get to work on editing the third Tiger book (which is a full-length novel). The third book is tentatively scheduled for September. I’m hoping to re-release Mate Run as a stand alone short story in June or early July. So lots planned for the tigers.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?
KS: This changes with time, but right now green and brown are my favorite colors. Oh and purple. I love purple.

Favorite movie?
KS: Impossible to pick as I love so many! I’d probably have to say Die Hard is top of the list, though.

Book that inspired you to become an author?
KS: I think Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern series really set me on the path.

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
KS: Teleportation! Hands down the superpower I want above all others. I love to travel but I am getting where I really hate airports. If I could just get from one place to another whenever I wanted, without all the hassle, I would be so all about that!

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
KS: This is another question I’m never sure how to answer. I would love to meet and chat with Albert Einstein as I think he’d be a bit of fun. So he’d be invited. But then I’d have to switch to fictional and invite Eve Dallas (from JD Robb’s In Death series) and Mina Wentworth from Meljean Brook’s The Iron Duke. Two very interesting women I’d love to chat with. (And if their significant others wanted to come along, well I wouldn’t object.) As I look at this, though, I’m thinking poor Albert might not know what to do with himself at this dinner.

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
KS: There’s a little of me in all my characters. And a lot that’s not me. In the tiger series, I’m probably more like Alexis in my stubborn, “fuck it” attitude. I’m not nearly as skilled as she is, of course, but I am very stubborn. *g*

That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!
KS: Thanks so much for having me! I really enjoyed the interview.

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About the Author:
Kat Simons earned her Ph.D in animal behavior, working with animals as diverse as dolphins and deer. She brought her experience and knowledge of biology to her paranormal romance fiction, where she delights in taking nature and turning it on its ear. After traveling the world, she now lives in New York City with her family. Kat is a stay-at-home mom and a full time writer.


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