Thursday, December 12, 2019

Interview - Release Day Blitz Shifter’s Storm by Carol Van Natta


What inspired you to become an author?

Reading stories inspired me to want to tell stories myself. I write the stories I want to read. I became an author because at the time, it seemed to be the logical thing to do. For some reason, no one knocked on my door and asked if I had any ideas for stories or manuscripts in my drawer, so it fell to me to publish the books if I wanted to share them.

Do you write in different genres?

I currently write paranormal romance and space opera romance. I also write in series, because that’s how my muse thinks. Even if I fondly imagine I’m writing a simple short story, my muse is busy in the background, building the world and coming up with multi-book story arcs. With SHIFTER’S STORM, I thought it was a standalone book in the Ice Age Shifters series, but my muse informs me it’s a good place to start a new mini-arc that will take two more books to finish.

If yes, which is your favorite genre to write?

Paranormal romance and space opera romance — I can’t choose between them. And if I someday write a romantic suspense series or a steampunk series, those will become my favorites, too.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

SHIFTER’S STORM starts with the aftermath of a storm. The heroine, Chantal, happens to share her name with a hurricane that caused a lot of damage right before the action begins. So naturally, she’s in for some teasing when she’s on loan to a sheriff’s department that’s helping with damage assessment. The mini-story arc for this book and the next two deals with storms in various forms.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

It depends on the story. Some came first and stayed that way. Some came in the middle of the work in progress and changed several times. One hid from me and my muse until the last possible minute and came from a line in the story. SHIFTER’S STORM arrived in the middle of the outline process for it and the next two books. They have titles, too, but they’re secret.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true-life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

The best thing about being a writer is that every person you meet or experience you have, good or bad, can go into stories. All my stories start with characters. I set them on a collision course with each other, and get them into lots of trouble along the way. Authors are evil that way. For example, in SHIFTER’S STORM, I know how it feels to have an irrational fear of bees and wasps (long story), but I applied that to a character who’s afraid of water. Then I give her a choice of jumping in the ocean or being caught by hunters. Like I said, authors are evil. 😉

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’m going to cheat and say that all my author friends are my mentors, in one way or another. I’m a big believer in the collaboration and alliance business models. Considering some voracious readers go through 7 or 8 books a week, no one author can keep that reader happy. But authors working together can come close. If we help each other, support each other, and appreciate each other, we all have a better chance of success.


What books are in your to-read pile?

My TBR pile is larger than Mount Everest. Lindsay Buroker has a whole new space opera series out that is impatiently waiting for me to have time to binge-read them. My guilty pleasure in paranormal romance is the various Zoe Chant paranormal romance series because the characters are genuinely nice people who deserve to find each other and overcome obstacles to being together. And I just stumbled across Koko Brown’s Something Witchy This Way Comes, the start of what looks to be a hilarious paranormal romance series.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Gladly! In SHIFTER’S STORM, the hero is Dauro de Mar, a prehistoric aquatic sloth shifter. He’s been held captive for a long time in a fairy fantasyland called a demesne. Think of them as little pocket universes where the rules are different from the real world. This short excerpt introduces Dauro and his mini-world.
Dauro de Mar lumbered up onto the bank of the impossible river and snorted forcefully to open his nose and ear flaps. The pretend sun was more than halfway toward the far horizon. He shook up and down to help his fur shed water.
The world shook. Even the distant orchard trees to his left swayed.
What?
Dauro’s giant aquatic sloth form was massive, but not that massive. Certainly not massive enough to shake an entire magical fairy demesne.
The world shook again, longer this time. Water sloshed onto the river’s banks, lapping at his back paws.
When Nessireth, the ancient fairy who created the private fantasyland to house the collection of aquatic exotics she’d captured over the years, went on a rampage, the wind blew heat and the central castle trembled. But she’d died and turned to fairy dust two months ago.
A memory surfaced of feeling something similar a couple of hundred years ago, soon after Nessireth moved the demesne from the high, cold place to a warm island location. The demesne’s anchor had been tugged by a violent real-world storm she’d called a hurricane. After a second one a few years later, she’d used her then-abundant magic to add more anchors. That cured it.
Dauro also remembered a recent comment from Kelvin, the young pygmy hippopotamus shifter who had been Nessireth’s final acquisition. Humans were now living everywhere, and they’d been burning forests and fossils. According to Kelvin, scientists said it changed the climate, and they predicted more hurricanes.
Dauro believed it. Heat and magic were similar—increased energy in a stable spell guaranteed unstable results.
More shaking. The river water surged in a wave, wetting his front paws.
Fairy demesne magic made the circular river flow constantly to provide habitat and feeding grounds for him and the other aquatic shifters and creatures. It hadn’t ever changed… until today.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

I wish! Sadly, the tourist-trap town in southern Wyoming that is secretly a sanctuary to magical creatures of myth, legend, and nightmare is a figment of my imagination. Similarly, all the destinations in my space opera series won’t be built for another millennium.

If I was better organized, I’d set my paranormal romance stories in fun exotic locales, then plan vacations around them so I could write off the trip as a business expense.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

The very talented Amanda Kelsey of Razzle Dazzle Design created the cover for SHIFTER’S STORM, as she did for the rest of the series. I’m in awe of her talent. She’s extra patient with me because my characters tend to be multicultural and funnily enough, there aren’t that many stock photos of prehistoric animals to choose from.

Just for fun 

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

Well, being a shifter, of course. ;-) I’d likely choose to shift into a domestic cat so I could become as spoiled as ours are.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

I’d keep a cat who is also a familiar, to help me work better magic. Of course, the cat would probably use its magic to work the can opener and leave all the doors open, so maybe it would be safer to go with a miniature dragon.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

This will sound really geeky, but I’d spend the day with the remarkable Dr. Lise Meitner, a theoretical physicist who lived from 1878 to 1968. She was passed over for a Nobel prize for nuclear fission in the favor of the man she worked with. She fled Nazi Germany and ended up in the U.K. I’d ask her about her personal life, her work, and her experiences as a brilliant woman in a man’s world.



Shifter’s Storm
Ice Age Shifters
Book 5
Carol Van Natta

Genre: Paranormal Romance


Publisher: Chavanch Press

Date of Publication: 12 December 2019
ISBN: 978-1946165176
ASIN: B081NPSFT9

Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 49,000

Cover Artist: Amanda Kelsey,
Razzle Dazzle Design

Tagline: In a dying fairy fantasy land, can two shifters tell if the magic between them is real?

Book Description:

In a dying fairy fantasyland, can two shifters tell if the magic between them is real?

While volunteering for hurricane cleanup, sheriff’s deputy and leopard shifter Chantal Hammond stumbles across two escapees from a fairy fantasyland. Unfortunately, when she tries to help, she ends up trapped. She quickly discovers she's lost in a mini-world of trouble, and more captives need rescuing.

Prehistoric sloth shifter Dauro de Mar and his friends have cruelly been imprisoned in their animal forms for years. His plan to lead the escape is mostly wishful thinking until an intoxicating and magical leopard shifter arrives still in her human form. She's their game changer.

It's going to take Chantal's and Dauro's combined skills, magic, and courage to evade evil hunters and greedy fairies, and get everyone out of this mess. Especially since the fairy fantasyland is disintegrating. Can they fight off danger—and their sizzling attraction—long enough to win their freedom? Or will they be destroyed by the mother of all storms when this magical land dies?

Find out today in Shifter's Storm, another sizzling hot Ice Age Shifters® paranormal romance from USA TODAY bestselling author Carol Van Natta.

Shifter's Storm is a complete story with a happily-ever-after and no cliffhanger, and can be enjoyed without having read the rest of the series.

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Excerpt:

Dauro ya Ketumino da’Nok de Mar lumbered up onto the bank of the impossible river and snorted forcefully to open his nose and ear flaps. The pretend sun was more than halfway toward the far horizon. He shook up and down to help his fur shed water.
The world shook. Even the distant orchard trees to his left swayed.
What?
Dauro’s giant aquatic sloth form was massive, but not that massive. Certainly not massive enough to shake an entire magical fairy demesne.
The world shook again, longer this time. Water sloshed onto the river’s banks, lapping at his back paws.
When Nessireth, the ancient fairy who created the demesne to house her collection of aquatic exotics like him, went on a rampage, the wind blew heat and the central castle trembled. But she’d died and turned to fairy dust two months ago.
A memory surfaced of feeling something similar a couple of hundred years ago, soon after Nessireth moved the demesne from the high, cold place to a warm island location. The demesne’s anchor had been tugged by a violent real-world storm she’d called a hurricane. After a second one a few years later, she’d used her then-abundant magic to add more anchors. That cured it.
Dauro also remembered a recent comment from Kelvin, the young pygmy hippopotamus shifter who had been Nessireth’s final acquisition. Humans were now living everywhere, and they’d been burning forests and fossils. Scientists said it changed the climate and predicted more hurricanes.
Dauro believed it. Heat and magic were similar—increased energy in a stable spell guaranteed unstable results.
More shaking. The river water surged in a wave, wetting his front paws.
Fairy demesne magic made the circular river constantly flowing to provide habitat and feeding grounds for him and the other aquatic shifters and creatures. It hadn’t ever changed… until today.
That brought home to him that he and others needed to get serious about escaping. Nessireth had bragged about spending millennia to construct her demesne, but it was decaying daily without her active magic to maintain it. The false moon wasn’t as round as it used to be, and had a noticeable pink tint. Just last week, the constant breeze had taken to gusting chaotically.
None of the captives knew what would happen if the demesne collapsed with them still inside. Dauro was certain it wouldn’t be good.
His giant sloth liked solitary peace and quiet, but his suppressed human side knew he needed to check on the rest of his friends. Nessireth’s death had given him more freedom than the others. And his limited telepathic skills as a sloth meant he had to visit them himself. Nessireth had forced each of them to remain their animal form, and the demesne would keep them that way forever… as long as the magic held.
As the oldest of Nessireth’s acquisitions, he’d become the sinchi, the temporary champion of the collection. In his opinion, formidable size, war experience, and a talent for magic while in animal form didn’t make him a leader, but he was the best they had.
Before his energy-saving sloth succumbed to the lure of a nap, he plunged back into the water. Digging his strong, clawed toes into the silty bank, he let the water flow over him for a minute while he thought. Downstream was the long way around the river, but wouldn’t tire him out as fast. So far, the magical protein-enriched sea grasses he depended on for food still grew overnight, but for how long?
He shoved off and let the current help him swim toward his friend Sunscar’s territory. The closer he got, the more the magic in the water felt as agitated as the river itself.
And no wonder, because the lake’s wall was breached. Instead of an orderly river running next to a placid pool, the whole area was now a flooded swamp. The demesne’s castle was already repairing the wall, but the water had no natural way to drain back into the lake.
Even worse, the damage had activated the water-based defensive spells, which were fighting with the castle’s defenses. Grab-weed tried to strangle the broken pieces of the wall, as if they were attackers. Two of the animated castle statues tore at the weeds so the wall could heal.

About the Author:


Carol Van Natta is a USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. Series include the Central Galactic Concordance space opera series that starts with Overload Flux and Minder Rising, and the Ice Age Shifters paranormal romance series that starts with Shifter Mate Magic and Shift of Destiny. She shares her Fort Collins, CO home with a resident mad scientist and just the right number of equally mad cats.


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