Lily, thank you very much for having me on your blog!
My new novel, a shape-shifter romance called Secret Chemistry released on January 11th, and I’m very excited. I’m especially happy Dreamspinner Press (DSP) accepted my submission. Why?
Well, first of all, the DSP staff is very encouraging and always helpful. Even though editing is a time-consuming work I always appreciate the editors comments, questions and suggestions. For example, I’ve never heard of autonomous body parts (short: ABP) before. What does it mean?
Hands, eyes, or other body parts act autonomously or they seem to wander. I never noticed these things or realized that readers can get very wrong ideas with these wandering body parts. Example: He dropped his eyes becomes He dropped his gaze.
Now, I’m doing my best to avoid these wandering body parts. I’m not always successful but I believe it’s getting much better. Overall, I’ve learned a lot from my editor’s comments and suggestion. Sometimes I wish they wouldn’t find EVERY plot hole but on the other hand I’m glad they do. After all, the end product is so much better.
There’s one other thing I truly LOVE about DSP. They have incredible talented cover artists and they allow the authors a good deal of influence on the cover. I’m a sucker for beautiful covers and have bought books solely because the cover appealed to me. The cover artist for Secret Chemistry is Anne Cain, a woman I adore.
My first idea for the cover went like this: Tim in his wolf form carries Jay in his wolf-fox form. I like the image, as did Anne, but she suggested to try something different because it might not hook adult readers. I had to agree with her—albeit reluctantly. 😉
Anne came up with the idea of Tim in his human form carrying Jay in his pup form. There would be lots of vegetation around them. She wanted to do this in a style similar to what James Jean does on the Fables covers and sent me some links to get an idea. She also sent me the rough sketch for the cover:
After seeing the rough sketch and looking at the links Anne sent me, I was all for it! A week later Anne sent me the finished version of the cover:
Can you guess my reaction to this gorgeous cover? Yep! I ooohed and aaaahed for quite some time, pestered my husband to agree what a beautiful cover it is (he did so readily—good for him!). So, tell me, how do you like the cover?
If you like you are most welcome to participate in the GoodReads giveaway for the paperback version of Secret Chemistry here: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/40767-secret-chemistry
I also brought you an excerpt from Secret Chemistry, Chapter Three. It’s the first time Tim and Jay meet.
Excerpt Secret Chemistry, Chapter Three:
He lost all sense of time as he hunted the other wolf… the other guy. His world narrowed to the scent in front of him.
Sometimes dizziness caused him to stumble a few steps. Whether the dizziness came from exertion or from the scent, Tim didn’t know. He didn’t much care, either. Not even about the battle he had left behind like a coward, not about his parents or siblings. Dimly, he was aware that they’d ventured deep into Bass River State Forest, a place his father sometimes took him and Daniel for canoeing.
Guilt made a quick appearance and would probably be his companion for some time to come, but Tim just couldn’t force himself to care about anything other than the scent, and more specifically about the source of the scent, fleeing from him. The originator of the scent belonged to him and only him. Tim would protect the guy, no matter what it would cost him.
Having acknowledged the owner of the scent was male and that he still intended to do whatever was necessary to keep him safe, Tim pulled up his last reserves and sped up.
Tim quickly closed in on the scent’s carrier. Rounding a tall tree, he almost ran straight into another wolf. Trying to catch his breath, he blinked at the dark-furred wolf who gasped as hard for air as Tim did. He didn’t recognize the wolf, which could only mean she wasn’t a member of his pack.
Tim was confused. The wolf in front of him was grown-up and female. Still, she carried the scent on her. Tim frowned. She carried it on her, but she wasn’t the source. Boldly, he stepped toward her, searching for some hint of the scent’s source. The wolf growled deep in her throat and bared her teeth.
Tim stopped in his forward movement, gauging his chances against the larger wolf. He was strong, but he’d only ever brawled with wolves his age. Taking on an adult wolf could backfire, badly.
While he pondered his chances, a small movement behind the wolf’s forelegs caught his gaze. Tilting his head slightly to one side, he barked. A small head peeked out from behind one foreleg. A small, gray-and-red-furred head with a black snout, black ear tips, black socks, and the brightest blue eyes Tim had ever seen appeared.
Tim reared back in shock. He was face to face with a hybrid pup.
Putting some space between them, Tim just stared silently at that… thing in front of him. The pup nudged its mother’s legs. Hesitantly, she allowed him to sit between her forepaws. The pup directed a soft, questioning yip at the wolf.
The wolf answered the yip, and Tim tried his best to at least get a hint of what they were talking about. Of course, all wolves could converse telepathically, but only if they chose to include you in their conversation. While they were in their wolf form, it was also their only way to communicate.
The older wolf didn’t seem inclined to allow Tim to eavesdrop.
She bored her dark-amber gaze into Tim’s, and he hastily distanced himself a few inches. Tim stuttered, What… what is he? It’s a boy, right?
The mother straightened up, her voice full of pride. Yes, he is. He’s also a hybrid between wolf and fox. He unites the strength of both our breeds. Not that you or your kind would understand that.
Yes, your kind. The one that hates the unknown.
Yes, you do. You’re scared of a sweet, innocent child. Now, please let us go so I can at least rescue one of my children.
The pup started to whine. He got up on his hind paws to angle for his mother’s snout with his forepaws. She obliged and bent down her head. The pup licked her snout fiercely, his tail swishing back and forth. All the while, he emitted soft yips.
Tim was surprised by the effect the affectionate and tender gesture had on him. Tears welled up in his eyes. The desire to help protect the pup—or should it be kit?—skyrocketed so fast and high that Tim shook his head to clear it.
A loud howl echoed through the wood. Immediately all audible signs of wildlife vanished. A shocked silence settled over the wood.
The pup scurried behind his mother’s legs, peeking out from behind them. He trembled visibly, his small chest heaving way too fast and his eyes shining even more brightly. It took Tim a second to recognize tears of absolute terror pooling in those beautiful eyes.
The wolf got up with a terrified look on her face. Tim watched her ears, showing her alertness and that she was ready to dash off any second. His gaze darted from her to the small pup who looked at him in a way Robin sometimes did. It was his you’re going to make this okay, right? face.
Do you need help?
The older wolf turned startled eyes at him. She narrowed them while also nudging the pup’s head behind her legs.
So you can kill him?
The pup gasped, then whimpered. Tim’s heart broke a little bit upon hearing those sounds. He was unsure about a lot of things, but he knew for sure he’d do everything in his power to keep that little buddy safe.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WONDERFULLY TALENTED
CHRIS T. CAT
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks, or crafts.
Buy link for Secret Chemistry:
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE…
THERE’S A GREAT INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS AND REVIEW ON SLASHSESSED – Click HERE
AND ALSO A REVIEW on SLASHESESSED OF SECRET CHEMISTRY — Click HERE