PRIMAL HEAT (The Shadow Shifters #6) by A.C. Arthur-Review and Interview with the Author
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 4, 2015
In the savage world of the Shadow Shifters, desire can be as dangerous as nature itself…
As guard to the most powerful shifter in the human world, Eli Preston is sworn to protect his leader, defend their alliance, and keep his darker instincts in check. But when a beautiful female trainee arouses his jaguar senses, there is no stopping the beast within. He must have her. Even if it jeopardizes the deadliest mission of his life…
When the heat is on—and the claws come out—the heart is the fiercest hunter…
For six years, Nivea has been waiting for Eli to take her in his arms, unleash his animal urges, and claim her as his mate. But once their passion is unleashed—in a reckless moment of pure unbridled lust—nothing can ever be the same. The battle lines are drawn: man versus animal, shifter versus shifter. And Eli must be prepared to fight for his life—and his love—or he will lose Nivea forever…
REVIEW: PRIMAL HEAT is the sixth full length installment in A.C. Arthur’s adult, contemporary SHADOW SHIFTERS paranormal romance series focusing on a breed of feline shifters known as The Shadow Shifters. This is Guardians Eli Preston and Nivea Cannon’s storyline. Because of the developing storyline throughout the series I would suggest new readers to the series start at the beginning for cohesion, history and back story.
Told from several third person perspectives PRIMAL HEAT continues to focus on hunt for the person(s) responsible for threatening to ‘out’ the shifters to the human race. The Shadow Shifters have long hid their supernatural existence; blending into the communities and societies of man but a new species of hybrid is threatening to destroy the peaceful co-existence between man and beast. What ensues is an act of retaliation and revenge against the Shifters by several of their own kind.
Meanwhile, Nivea has known that Eli Preston is her mate but Eli’s history in the jungles of Sierra Leone have left Eli distant, cold and withdrawn. He is a Shadow Shifter Guardian who has come into a secondary power but with it comes memories and the guilt of a time not so long ago. Taking a mate is the last thing Eli wants or needs but it is the touch of a mate that will calm the beast within.
Nivea is a strong, alpha female who isn’t afraid to let Eli know what it is she wants from her mate but Eli continues to refuse to claim the woman that calms his soul. When Nivea’s life is threatened time and again, Eli can’t stop the need to protect and claim the woman with whom he is falling in love. The $ex scenes are intimate, sometimes aggressive, and provocative.
PRIMAL HEAT and thusly the SHADOW SHIFTERS series is an ensemble story with all of the previous storyline couples and characters in secondary and supporting roles. In fact, PRIMAL HEAL follows several developing and existing premises that intersect throughout the story and series.
The world building continues to focus on the Shadow Shifters: their history; their mating; and their struggles to survive. Now that their existence has been revealed their future battles will find them facing off against a different enemy-one that has already started to pass judgment in the face of the unknown.
PRIMAL HEAT is an engaging and character driven storyline with action, suspense, and some disturbing scenarios. The Shadow Shifters face an uncertain future-one filled with the potential for specieism, discrimination, prejudice and the possibility of a disaster on par with ethnic cleansing. Shifters are no longer safe in the world of man; everyone has been targeted now that their secret has been revealed. A.C. Arthur has written a passionate storyline with an all-too familiar historical formula.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy
TRC: Hi AC, and welcome to The Reading Cafe. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
AC: I am a full-time paralegal working for a federal judge, a mother of three, and a wife.
TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?
AC: I’ve been reading since the early days of Sweet Valley High and Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I graduated into adult books with Danielle Steele’s Star. During my sophomore year of high school I won a writing contest and from that moment I figured why not write stories and see if others enjoy them.
TRC: PRIMAL HEAT is your August 2015 release in The Shadow Shifters paranormal, romance series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?
AC: Primal Heat is book #6 in the Shadow Shifters series. It brings to a culmination a war that has been brewing between the Shadow Shifters (a group of feline shapeshifters that originated in the Amazon rainforest) and the Rogues (a renegade group of Shadow Shifters). This is also the story of Eli and Nivea, two guards in the shifter world who are sworn to protect their secret. They’re also falling in love, despite Eli’s resistance. It’s a passionate and action-packed love story.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics) did you encounter writing this particular story?
AC: Not really so much as challenging, but I did take a trip to the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor since the big fight scene takes place there. I also continued with the research I’d done for the previous books into the various big cats of the world—jaguars, cheetahs, white lions, white tigers, cougars—as they all play a part in this last story.
TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series? Have you considered writing any novellas to ‘catch up’ with some of the previous storyline couple?
AC: There are currently 6 full length books in this series and three novellas (which give a look into the new adults of the shifter world). I would love to continue writing books in this series, but I’m not sure if that will happen just yet.
TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?
AC: I think that depends on the characters. When I begin writing I have an idea of where the plot is going and how it will all pan out, but the characters’ actions throughout the story sometimes changes things up a bit. For me, that makes the writing itself unpredictable and hopefully does the same for the readers.
TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?
AC: Yes, absolutely. I believe this because as a reader myself, I’m always drawn to the covers first. They’re like a commercial on the shelf for me. I see something pretty or alluring and I immediately want to know what that book is about.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
AC: I outline each book before I begin writing so that I can clearly see my characters’ conflicts, sexual tension and resolution as it will roll out over the course of the book. But again, once I start writing the characters’ personalities really take the lead and while I have a basic road map for them, I tend to let them drive for the most part.
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?
AC: I think as a writer you have to know these characters as well as you know yourself. If you know them, you will feel what they feel. If you feel what they feel, you’ll be able to convey that on paper and when the reader reads the story they’ll feel it too. It’s very easy to write words, but if you’re not feeling them, they’re just words.
Writing an emotionally charged book can be difficult if the writer isn’t open to these same emotions themselves. We have to believe and feel everything we’ve written if we expect the reader to.
TRC: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, does the style of music influence the storyline direction? Characters?
AC: Yes! I love listening to music while I write. For the fight scenes in this series I listened to lots of Imagine Dragons and Maroon 5. For the love scenes it was Trey Songz and Justin Timberlake. If you listen to Spotify I have playlists titled ‘Shadow Inspirations’ and ‘Shadow Shifter: Damaged Hearts’.
I like watching movie trailers, so when I listen to music while I write it really helps me to see the scene in my mind and sometimes the song lyrics influence the character’s feelings and actions.
TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?
AC: I don’t even have three things. I just try to take one day at a time. That goes for each book I write, just one at a time and whatever happens does. I believe that whatever accomplishments are meant for me, I will have without focusing too much attention on reaching them.
TRC: Have you collaborated with any other authors/writers? If not, have you considered such an enterprise?
AC: No, I have not. I’ve been asked this question a lot and to be truthful that’s the only time that I actually think about it. LOL
TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?
AC: My family. I have a twenty-three year old son, a twenty-one year old daughter, a fifteen year old daughter and my husband. So I feel like I have a good range of opinions for whatever type of story I’m writing. They’re usually pretty good at telling me what’s ridiculous and what has potential.
TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception people have about authors?
AC: That we’re rich! LOL I was just talking about that at my reader appreciation event. There’s a big misconception about how much money authors really make from their books.
TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?
AC: That I would much rather watch old movies than anything current.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
AC: I’m working on a new series titled Wolf Tales and yes, you guessed it, they’re wolf shifters! This will be an even sexier series than the Shadow Shifters, focusing on the psyche of the shifters and what it takes for each of them to really give in to love.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
AC: Thank you so much for this opportunity!
Favorite TV Show
I Love Lucy
Last Movie You Saw
Dark or Milk Chocolate
Secret Celebrity Crush
Last Vacation Destination
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Do you have any pets?
5 angelfish – one that looks just like Gil from Finding Nemo
Last book you read
I re-read books all the time, so the book I just finished for the billionth time was Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts.
Pointing.I hate when people point at me, for any reason. I just don’t like it at all!
TRC: Thank you AC for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success.