Author: Rita Bay
Published: September 2013
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Word Count: 13,500
Genre: Shape-shifter Paranormal
Content Warning: Adult content
Recommended Age: 18+
Nicholas Lyons, chief physician to the Lyons clan of shape-shifters, has mourned the death of his promised lifemate until a rogue shapeshifter reports having seen her at an exotic animal sale. Accompanied by Marie Lyons who is no stranger to the dark side, her new lifemate Anthony, and the imperious Lady Bat, he embarks on a frantic search for Eve through the dangerous world of exotic animal trafficking.
Eve, whose first memories are of recovering from an injury at an isolated animal refuge, has lived through a succession of owners in a world filled with cages and cruelty. When Eve meets Marie at the exotic animal sale, she begins to have flashes of a different life – a life in which she was something other than feline. Her last sale, however, has landed her as prey to exotic animal hunters and the clock is ticking.
Rita’s journey began on the Gulf Coast. Over the years, she lived and/or traveled in the eastern US and Western Europe. While juggling family and work, she participated in archaeological digs, earned a black belt in Shotokan karate, prospected for gold and crystals, camped across Europe, and volunteered with the American Red Cross Disaster and Education Services. Rita has worked as a registered nurse, educator and school system administrator. She lives with her family on the Gulf Coast, except when she’s in Atlanta, at least for now.
Rita is published in multiple genres with several publishers including paranormal and erotic novellas (Champagne Book Group – Champagne Books and Carnal Passions), historical novels (Siren BookStrand), and contemporary F/M and M/M novellas (Secret Cravings). She posts random bits of historical trivia about western history and culture on Rita Bay’s Blog at ritabay.com.
I'm sorry I waited over a month after this was initially showcased on my blog to finally read this. It was short and more importantly pulled you into the story immediately. Although I could tell that we were in the middle of series, I couldn't put it down after the first page.
The story has two heroines: Eve, the shapeshifter who's trapped in feline form and about to be auctioned off, and Marie, the shapeshifter who is just making her way back to the way of their People, who can sense that Eve is more than just a powerful feline.
After the first few pages, the race is on: Marie has to help her lifemate Tony, the leader of the People, locate Eve, who also happens to be the lifemate of his close friend, Nick. But all of them have to figure out what happened to Eve in the first place, and how her disappearance is connected to her treacherous grandmother Ellen- and the fate of Marie's parents.
I finished this in about two hours, mostly because I couldn't put it down. It wasn't perfect- the dialogued felt a little stilted at times, and the back story of some of the characters could have been fleshed out better for this second book- but overall it was a great read and I can't wait to see the rest of the series.
A Revolution in Fantasy/Scifi by Rita Bay
My first fantasy/sci-fi book was Anne McCaffrey’s Restoree. Written in 1967, it totally changed the perception of women in scifi/fantasy as victims who cowered in corners awaiting rescue by Alpha males. In Restoree, Earth native Sara awakened hanging from a meat hook in a cargo hole of a spaceship, a kidnap victim and a skinned meal for the humanity-eating Mil. Rescued by human natives of Lothar, she is mistaken for Lotharian, “restored,” and put to work in a mental institution. Sara who didn’t suffer from the mental illness common to rescued Lotharians, finds Harlan, the Lotharian ruler, who is drugged and held captive. She rescues him. They fall in love. He is reinstated and they live happily ever after.
Sounds like an innocuous story, but McCaffrey began a revolution with it. While genre romance was focused on bodice-rippers with risqué covers, McCaffrey wrote the Song stories and created the magnificent world of Pern. A world filled with dragons, but also independent women who functioned as equals in worlds filled with danger. I was hooked.
What if the author is writing a scifi/fantasy romance? McCaffrey provides a model. The author must craft deviations from the “normal” that are both believable and entertaining, then weave those deviations into the “normal” world to create a story. Whether the scifi/fantasy characters hide from, coexist with, or attempt to conquer the “normal” characters in the story becomes part of the plot. Although the author doesn’t need to dump an entire alternative universe on the reader, he/she should present a thorough and cohesive picture of the elements of that culture.
The author creating a worldview of his/her own must answer certain questions. For instance, What is our society’s explanation of the world?; Where are we heading? (the future); "What should we do?" (ethics and values); "How should we attain our goals?"; "What is true and false?" (knowledge); and Where did we come from? (origins). The answers to those questions form the basis for an alternative culture/world.
Champagne Book Group published my first paranormal story, Into the Lyons’ Den, a shapeshifter paranormal in which Marie Maxwell, Atlanta's most sought-after event planner, is lured to Anthony Lyons’ isolated estate North Carolina to plan a wedding for 200 guests in 10 day. She is confronted by a mysterious stalker, two thwarted murder attempts, and dark shadows from her shrouded past. In Finding Eve, the second story of The Lyons Tales, Eve, one of the People suffering from amnesia, falls victim to the exotic animal trade. Marie, Anthony, Eve’s future lifemate Nicholas, accompanied by Cynthia Lyons and her security team, must rescue her from rogue hunters and the clock is ticking. The final story, The Alpha’s Prey, is my current work in progress.
Visit my website/blog, http://ritabay.com, for books, blurbs, and excerpts; random bits of historical and cultural trivia that you won’t find anywhere else; and freebies. Comment to enter to win Lyons’ Tales ebooks that I’m giving away each week of our book tour.
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- GRAND PRIZE: One winner will receive 5 surprise fantasy eBooks from Champagne Book Group.
Giveaway is International.