Welcome to the world of the Jaguar People, a secret society of shifters protected by a lethal group of assassins who deal with any and all who threaten to reveal their presence to humans. This series sprang from the idea that everyone, even the bravest, scariest warrior is vulnerable in some way. It’s what makes them vulnerable that fascinates and spurs those “what if” questions that lead me to stumble to my computer at all hours of the day and night.
What if an assassin that has pledged his life to protecting the Jaguar People needed to depend on someone whose very existence endangers them, but is also his only chance of truly protecting them?
I’ve never been able to resist a reluctant hero or a heroine who doesn’t realize how strong she is until she’s tested. Throw in a steamy jungle, a forbidden attraction, unrelenting danger and of course some steamy sex and this story had me happily banging away at my keyboard until I could type The End.
After having my rights to the story reverted, I realized that my writing had changed over the years so I’m self-publishing a slightly revised version of the original. Not that much has changed; a little language here and there, a description or two. What's new? My beautiful new cover designed by Lex Valentine of Winterheart Designs!
A desperate shifter, a lethal assassin and a deadly prophecy…
Her only crime was being born. Kira is the key to a secret that the Jaguar Council will kill to keep and their sworn enemy, the Brotherhood will kill to possess. Looking for a place to belong, Kira, a half-human jaguar shifter treks to the Guatemalan jungle, desperate to find a culture she suspects might exist and relief from the desire she’s been afraid to unleash upon any human.
What she finds is danger, death and Sebastian, a lethal Jaguar Assassin who rescues her from the rogues he’s been tracking, only to find that she’s more dangerous. Halflings have been forbidden for centuries and killing her should have been easy but nothing has prepared Sebastian for his visceral need to protect Kira. Caught in a treacherous web of danger and deceit, the lovers battle a growing list of enemies to uncover a secret that might save them both and protect the Jaguar People.
Approximately 62k words
“What is a halfling?”
He clenched his jaw so tightly that she wondered how he managed to say, “You are mixed blood. You are not Jaguar People.”
For one blinding second she almost let the panic overtake her. She hadn’t found her own kind, only another place she didn’t belong. Unease, like dozens of tiny pinpricks, skittered over her, raising the fine hair on the back of her neck. “What do you mean, Jaguar People?”
“There isn’t time to explain. Now, can you swim or would you rather I carried you out of here before Fontaine’s tracker, Diego figures out he’s been following a false trail since dawn?”
“They’re following me?” His anger made more sense now. “You could probably move faster if you changed and just pointed me in the right direction.”
Three angry strides brought him up against her, his gaze dark and glittering. “Actually, they’re following me. I’m guessing that you don’t have the energy to change or the gash in your side would have healed by now. Rescuing you made you my responsibility, so I’m going to ask you one more time. Can–you–swim?”
She’d come over a thousand miles to find others like herself, someone to answer all her questions. He might, once they were safe. It wasn’t as if she had a lot of choices right now.
“I can swim,” she said, then mumbled, “sort of,” under her breath as he turned away and slipped through the waterfall.
Her “sort of” was a very clumsy, fast-as-she-could-manage dog paddle. He was still frowning and rigid with anger when he pulled her, naked, from the water. He yanked up one arm, nearly tipping her over. The poultice was gone but the long pink line along her ribs wasn’t.
She shivered, feeling his strength and his anger as he slid his hands up her arms and flicked away the specks of water. Blood sizzled through her at the touch of his fingers trailing down her arms possessively. As if he didn’t want to give up touching her but at the same time looked as if he might regret it.
He stepped away abruptly, motioning her to follow. With the wind at their backs, the air currents carried his scent—warm earth, human, the musky, familiar hint of jaguar. She wanted them all wrapped around her like a protective mantle. She wanted him pounding into her again, driving away the loneliness. Not even his anger dampened her desire to be held again. She was pitiful.
Half an hour later they reached the tree where she’d left her clothes tucked into the black plastic garbage bag with her other meager possessions. He’d tracked her from here. The knowledge sent a shiver through her and she didn’t honestly know whether it was from excitement or fear.
She quickly dug past two pairs of frayed shorts, a dingy thermal long-sleeved shirt and a small straw doll that she carefully re-wrapped in its threadbare flannel blanket. Finding what she wanted, she pulled the tattered khaki tank top over her head before tugging a pair of loose, army surplus fatigues over her bare hips.
“If it’s not a deep, dark secret, I’d like to know a little bit more about this halfling business.” She was trying to ignore the fact that he was still naked. His smirk told her he wasn’t bothered a bit. “Could you at least tell me where we’re going?”
“Sangre de Luna,” he said, tensing as he sniffed the air.
Before she could ask how much farther Sangre de Luna was, a jaguar’s cry ripped through the jungle. He lost his smirk, reached down and grabbed her bag.
Self-publishing is an exciting new venue for me and I hope you enjoy the new cover and the first book of my Jaguar Assassin’s series. Watch for Book 2, Assassin's Vow, coming in January 2017. Book 1, Assassin’s Kiss is available now at these outlets…
Until next month,