by Shelly Holt
Shape-shifters have always walked the earth. Shrouded in myth and folklore, hiding in the shadows, watching and waiting. Advances in modern science are now about to reveal them to the world. Kai Tenzin is the self appointed leader of the Pari people. He and his kind evolved from the most reclusive predators on earth. They live and hunt in the most fearsome and rugged terrain known to man, the Himalayas. Kai leaves his small village where the mountains touch the heavens, determined to do anything to protect his people. When he is forced to enlist the aid of the beautiful American scientist Dr. Rae Hales, the last thing he expects to find is a woman who will ensnare his heart and endanger them all. Their action-packed adventure will take them around the world to discover the truth behind the legends and reveal the future of humanity.
Q – Since you are a new to me author, I am hoping to bring you to the light of others! So let's share! Why don't you tell us a little about yourself....Something that we cannot Google about you. Lol!
Shelly Holt – I have a strange talent for making things out of artificial fur. I have made tons of purses and hats. I have no idea where the talent came from, I just do it. I get stopped in stores all the time and asked if I sell them.
Q – Tell us a little about your book?
Shelly Holt – Every culture on the planet has multiple folktales describing shape-shifters. Some of these cultures have been completely isolated from the rest of humanity, yet still have legends of human beings that can change into an animal form. What if there was a scientific reason that caused shape-shifting? What if the shape-shifters themselves had allowed the world to believe their existence was only legend, yet they still existed in the shadows? Tasting Fire is intended to be the first in a series of paranormal romance novels that deals in an intelligent way with the phenomenon of shape-shifting. There is no magic in the world I created, only adventure, passion, spirituality and a lot of sex. Their world could easily be our world.
Q – How much emotion does it take from you to write?
Shelly Holt – Well, a great deal actually. The first emotion was embarrassment. The first love scene I wrote was early in the book, and I had never written anything like it before. I was so self-conscious, I even picked up my cats and put them outside of my office and closed the door while I wrote it. The first love scene I wrote by the way was between Vadim and Rae. It took many, many rewrites before I got it right. By the time I wrote the final one in the book, the embarrassment was gone and the kitties were allowed back in. The family scenes were also quite emotional. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I knew they were powerful scenes because from the first draft to the final galley read though, they made me tear up every time. When I do public readings, I'll have to avoid those scenes because they always make me cry.
Q – What is your favorite part of the book?
Shelly Holt – The epilogue.
Q – You can only pick 3 words for your main characters to describe them. What would they be?
Shelly Holt – Kai Tenzin would be sexy, leader, tense. Rae – beautiful, intelligent, kind.
Q – Which was the hardest character to write and the easiest and why?
Shelly Holt – Kai had the most difficult dialog to write. When he wasn't in the bedroom being the main love attraction, I really had to work hard to make him a fully realized character with depth and emotion outside of his sexual relationship with the heroine. I gave him a few of my own personal traits to make him a more three dimensional character. He doesn't sleep on planes, because I don't sleep on planes. His sense of responsibility for others and anxiety levels comes from me as well. Nawang Wangdu who is Kai's father was the easiest to write. He came to life without hardly any effort from me at all. The actor playing him in my head was the charming and talented James Hong, it was his voice that guided the character development in the theater in my head.
Q – How many books are you shooting for in the series?
Shelly Holt – As many as you would care to buy. The incredibly rich global library of shape-shifting legends from every culture on the planet could easily keep me busy until I'm Nawang's age. That's the beauty of the series, I can go forward or backwards in time. Book two by the way takes place thirty years from now. One thing I am extremely unmovable on is that each book will be about two new lovers. I will not have one hero or heroine taking on a new lover in each and every book. Kai and Rae's story is Tasting Fire. The second book will be about another couple.
Q – What are you currently working on?
Shelly Holt – Book two in the Tasting Fire series, which is still untitled.
Q – What is one thing that you enjoy about writing?
Shelly Holt – The creative aspect of it.
Q – Since we're covering hussies...what was your first impression of your cover?
Shelly Holt – I loved it from the first moment I saw it. Remember, I'm self-published and had full control over my cover. It also made me a little sad, my soon to be 44 year old behind hasn't looked like that in a very long time.
Q - What do you prefer e books or paperbacks?
Shelly Holt – e books!
Q – Is there a genre you would like to write, but are a little apprehensive to try?
Shelly Holt – I would love to write YA and maybe someday I will.
Okay...personal time!!!!Oh yeah, I go there...Hahaha...
Q – If you thought you were safe...Nah..Forgot it..Not a chance! We will start off slow and easy, I promise!
Q - What is on your night stand/dresser?
Shelly Holt – My cat, he sleeps up there.
Q – What are you listening to right now?
Shelly Holt - Nothing, I'm one of those writers that must have quiet to write. No music, nothing.
Q - What are you reading right now?
Shelly Holt - Crimson Footprints by Shewanda Pugh, and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by Jack Weatherford.
Q – What is your favorite season and holiday?
Shelly Holt – Fall and Thanksgiving.
Q – What has been your best birthday present ever?
Shelly Holt – Spending it with my loved ones.
Hard and Quick Time! Don't think...Just answer! Okay, before we go this route, I will get us a refill on our drinks...I will be right back..
You know you do..Quickie time...Think fast..
Q – Are you a quickie kind of girl?
Shelly Holt – Never.
Q – Dark or Milk Chocolate?
Shelly Holt – Dark.
Q – Whipped or Melted?
Shelly Holt – Steamed and Frothy!
Q - Straight up or with a twist – sex?
Shelly Holt – With a twist.
Q – What's ur fave drink – in a glass or on him?
Shelly Holt – In a glass.
Q - Spank or Flogger?
Shelly Holt - You know, I didn't write that book, that somebody else's book, and it is on Amazon's best seller's list.
Q – You're not answering the questions!
Shelly Holt - OK.. OK... I'll be good! Spank.
Q – Junk or Health food?
Shelly Holt – Health food.
Q - Ties or Chains
Shelly Holt – Ties.
Q - Leather or Lace?
Shelly Holt – Lace.
Q - Soft or Hard..Bed, where was your mind?
Shelly Holt – Soft.
Q - Control or be controlled?
Shelly Holt – Be controlled.
Q – Hot wax or whipped cream?
Shelly Holt - Whipped cream.
Q - Vampire or Werewolf?
Shelly Holt – Werewolf.
Q - Twitter or Facebook?
Shelly Holt – Facebook.
Q - Pinterest or not?
Shelly Holt - What is that, some kind of kinky acupuncture?
The short ride to Kizhi island was exhilarating on the open hydrofoil. Kai helped Rae off the boat as it docked at the seven mile long island. The tour group followed their guide off the dock and onto the island. They listened intently as the guide in stilted English advised them that the site had become a world heritage site in nineteen-ninety. There were more than eighty pieces of wooden architecture that made up the outdoor museum’s collection. The guide then gestured for the large group to follow him. The tour group was led up to a magnificent structure. The center piece of the collection that was known as The Church of Transfiguration.
Rae felt as if she had stepped right into a storybook. The guide started his official recitation on the history of the structure “the Church of Transfiguration has twenty two onion domes. It was built during the reign of Peter the Great. No nails were used in the construction and it was created by using interconnecting wood pieces only.” Kai stood back taking picture after picture of the breathtaking silver domes. The guide then indicated for them to enter and put his finger over his mouth to indicate silence.
As Kai and Rae walked in they could hear why the guide silenced them. A trio of singers were performing a deeply moving mass. Behind them a gold leaf Russian icon painting glinted in the light that was streaming in through the dusty windows. The effect transported the tour group back in time. They were now in a time before digital cameras, before cell phones, to a time when the Tzars ruled Imperial Russia with an iron fist.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
My name is Shelly Holt and I live in the middle of the harsh and unforgiving Mojave desert. I write my stories looking out of a window that shows sweeping desert views. Outside is a barren and severe landscape, yet inside my head lives a world filled with exotic shape-shifters come to life, pulled from the pages of myth and legend, ready to entice and seduce any reader brave enough to take them on.
It's funny, I never wanted to be a writer! In 7th grade English, we were given an assignment. We were told to write an original poem and turn it in the next day. I was determined to turn in not a good poem, but a great poem. I spent the whole night working on it instead of watching my favorite show, The Waltons. (Hey! it was 1980.) I turned it in the next day. Apparently, I succeeded a little too well and was accused of copying it from a book. (1980 remember, no internet yet). The teacher stated and I quote "this is too good for a seventh grader, where did you copy it from?" Well, I didn't write for 30 years after that. In my 40's, after a life changing move to rural Nevada as a caregiver to my father, I realized I needed a way to earn a little money on the side. I did some research on the internet and read all about a certain little book, about a certain little college student and a handsome billionaire with some ahem! (issues.) I decided after reading that book, I could do that, and Tasting Fire was born. I'll admit it's been strange revisiting a talent buried deep inside for so long, forgotten, but apparently not lost. It's been an important journey and one I am quite thankful for and excited to see where it takes me.
P.S. Mr. Jordan, I really did write that poem!
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