By Terry Spear
Oh, sure, I see lots of hands raised to take a trip to see the castles in Scotland, gardens in England, the lush green isle of Ireland, the mountains in Germany, the islands in the Caribbean, but what? No takers on a trip to the Amazon jungle?
At least that’s what I discovered when I asked if anyone where I worked would go with me. To the other places, oh I had lots of baggage handler offers. But only frantic shakes of the head or outright, “no!” was the word of the day for a trip to the Amazon.
Thankfully, Kathleen McKnight wasn’t adverse to going to the jungle. At first, she was on a trip down there for a drug sting operation. Once that proved to be a disaster and a man who appealed on some fairly primal level saves her life, she’s ready to return there to thank him, and try to overcome her reoccurring nightmares.
He’s not actually what he appears to be. A hot hunk, yep. But underneath all of that bronzed skin and toned muscle is a jaguar shifter, a predator of the jungle. Which can be a good thing for Kathleen as she needs a little help. And a bad thing, because she’s really getting hooked on the guy and he’s definitely interested in her. No way in Hades is he going to turn her though.
Sometimes nature has a way of working out like it’s supposed to. Sometimes it needs a little help. And that’s where Connor’s sister comes in. She has the absolute best of intentions for all concerned. Sort of.
But her help can catapult one problematic situation into another, and another, and…well, yes, a whole avalanche of trouble. The thing of it is, Kat already has enough problems all on her own and she’s afraid she’s put Connor and Maya right in the middle of danger.
They’re more worried about getting her home safely.
So really, doesn’t anyone want to go with me to the jungle?
What if you could meet a hunk like Connor who could put wild into the relationship?
Thanks so much to Jesse for having me here today, and one lucky person that answers my question will have a chance to win a copy of SAVAGE HUNGER.US/Canada Addresses Only.
She thought she had headed away from the sounds of a wild cat roaring in the woods. At first she had wanted desperately to see the jaguar because he might lead her to Connor Anderson. She wasn’t so sure now. Not after she had heard the cat roar. He sounded angry… and hungry. For some reason, she associated him with that long-ago jaguar roaming with Connor, but she couldn’t give a rational explanation for the feeling. What if he wasn’t Connor’s jaguar companion? Yet, she just had this gut feeling that the two were together.
First, his cry came from one direction, then another. From everything she had read about jaguars and from the way this one had roared, he was one big cat. But she knew they lived alone, so two of them probably weren’t roaming out here; the roars were just echoing off the jungle foliage or rocky cliffs or something, but she still was in big trouble.
Well, more so than she already had been. She surveyed the greenery surrounding her in every shade and hue of green imaginable to an artist and reminded herself that she was hopelessly lost.
As she maneuvered through the thick vegetation, the broad leaves and tangled vines brushing against her and grasping at her, she hoped she was moving away from where the big cat had been roaring. She hadn’t thought she would be all alone in the jungle, listening to a big cat growl while maybe next on his dinner menu. So much for seeing a jaguar up close and personal. This wasn’t what she’d had in mind.
According to her research on jaguars, research she’d felt compelled to do though she couldn’t say why, they normally slept during the day and hunted during dusk and dawn. If necessary, they would hunt during the day. This one sounded too hungry to wait until nightfall.
Heart pounding, she stopped moving, trying to recall what she had read. Stand still and make noise. Whatever you do, don’t run. Jaguars rarely attacked humans. Unless maybe it was a very old jaguar, and he needed something really easy to catch and eat. It could be old. She couldn’t tell. Its roar was deep and low and, well, grouchy, like an old jaguar, she thought. They didn’t roar like lions or tigers, but more of a deep, throaty cough repeated five or six times that sounded like, “Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh.”
She was afraid that if she ran, she would be just too tempting for a jaguar of any age to ignore.
She heard something moving toward her from behind. The hair at the nape of her neck instantly stood at attention. Her heart was already tripping. She was afraid it was him—the cat with the deep, angry, growly voice. She knew the big cats moved silently through the jungle. She imagined the cat would appear before she would even be prepared to face him. And then what?
Turning slowly, she looked to see who or what it was. An armed man? Or a toothy jaguar?
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USA Today bestselling and an award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval romantic suspense, Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, that are personalized that have found homes all over the world. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses or gardening. Her family has roots in the Highlands of Scotland where her love of all things Scottish came into being. Originally from California, she’s lived in eight states and now resides in the heart of Texas. She is the author of the Heart of the Wolf series and the Heart of the Jaguar series, plus numerous other paranormal romance and historical romance novels. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear .