26 July 2016
Release Day Launch: Bearliest Catch by Bianca D'Arc
About Bearliest Catch: Drew spends his days fishing in the Pacific, far from Grizzly Cove, seeking the peace of the ocean. Jetty lives in the ocean, part of a hunting party of mer folk, in near-constant danger now from the evil creature that roams the deep. When they meet, sparks fly and the ocean comes alive with danger. Can they get her people to safety?
Exclusive Excerpt: “I’d better go and tell the others what you’ve said.” She walked toward the stern of the boat slowly. “Is it safe to swim after a meal like that? I mean, most humans have to wait a bit before they go swimming after eating. How does that work for you?” He looked adorably confused and genuinely curious, so she humored his question. “Once I shift, the mer characteristics win out, so it won’t be a problem.” She sent him a smile as she walked farther away. It was hard to leave him, which surprised her, but she couldn’t stay. She had responsibilities to her people, much as she would have loved to spend the rest of the day with the sexy bear shifter. He followed her, and they both stood at the stern of the boat, his hooks picking up nothing during their meal and continuing to just drift with no action. “If you go a little northwest, you’ll find some big sturgeon and halibut. The fishing is much better in that direction right now,” she offered, hoping to help in some small way. “I might as well give you a solid tip on where to find dinner since you fed me part of your lunch.” She turned to him, laughing lightly. “The tip is appreciated, but you don’t owe me anything, sweetheart.” The breath caught in her throat at his use of the endearment. He also stepped right up to her, not a foot between their bodies as he looked down into her eyes. She almost forgot to breathe. “But…” She didn’t know what she was objecting to as his head drifted lower. Was he going to kiss her? “Ssh,” he soothed her, drawing her under his spell. “If you really want to repay me for the sandwich, all I ask of you is a single kiss.” What? Alarm bells sounded in her mind, but they were drowned out by the nearness of him. She could feel his warmth only inches away from her, and she wanted to snuggle up against him. She’d been so cold for so long… Which was an odd thought for a mer to have. Mer didn’t feel cold. The oceans were their home. So what had gotten into her now? And why was she suddenly so eager to snuggle up to a land dweller? Oh, he was a shifter—they had that in common—but he still lived on land, and she in the sea. Though she could survive very well on dry land too. In fact, she’d spent most of her youth on land, with her family, doing the normal things that humans and shifters did. She’d gone to school, had friends, drove a car, had a job, and even moved in with her boyfriend. But the situation with Dirk was what had driven her into the sea. She refused to go down that path again. Dirk had been human, a little voice inside reminded her. Andrew was a shifter. Maybe things would be different with a shifter. Did she dare try to find out? As his lips touched hers, all thoughts fled in the face of his passion. What started as a simple kiss turned into something much more profound within a single heartbeat. He took her into his embrace, and she did get a chance to snuggle up to his warmth, basking in the feel of his strong arms around her. He kissed her lightly, at first, then gradually deepened the kiss when she made no move to push him away. His tongue danced with hers, showing her new patterns of pleasure even as her knees threatened to give way. He was holding her up, his hands around her waist, supporting her, not imprisoning. And that was the key. He held her firmly, but lightly. She could break free any time she wanted…which was why she stayed.
I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but in my latest book, Bearliest Catch, a wounded-warrior bear shifter gets mixed up with a mermaid. I didn’t intentionally set out to write a mermaid character when I started this series, but I guess the coastal setting and the situation in the fictional world, where there is a demon-like entity in the water, combined to make it reasonable to have at least one of my heroines be a mermaid.
She’s not your typical little mermaid though. I decided if I was going to write mer creatures, I was going to develop their society and roles in it more fully than I’ve seen done before. So my mer females are part of a hunting party. Essentially, they’re protectors of their larger community, and when they run afoul of the danger in the water, they begin to interact with the land-dwelling bear shifters who have just moved into town. Inevitably, sparks ignite between the two as they work together to fight the evil that has beset both the town and the surrounding ocean.
Sometimes, as a writer, stories take you in unexpected directions. I think it’s always exciting when your imagination is posed the big “what if” question and comes up with something that surprises you. And I think, for the most part, readers enjoy that kind of spontaneous leap into new directions too.
While a lot of people who don’t read the genre seem to complain that romance is too formulaic, I don’t agree. Romance goes where you want to take it. Sure, there are some tropes and more or less standard story lines, but we’re not all limited by those things. Many of us routinely bounce into new and exciting places with our stories.
In the Grizzly Cove series, I’ve mixed up the backgrounds of all the characters. The series starts off with three novellas in which the heroines are all human women who had no idea there were shifters in the world until they moved to Grizzly Cove. In the fourth book, which is novel-length, the heroine is a witch. (A good witch.) And then I started introducing mermaids. Where it goes from here, I’m not sure, but you can bet I’ll keep introducing unexpected elements and characters. That way, it keeps the work fresh for both me and, hopefully, for the reader.
The heroes in this series are all bear shifters with different challenges. Even though they’re all bear shifters, not all are grizzlies. I’ve been having fun with different types of bears from different parts of the world to make each hero a little unique. The men also have a military background. They were all part of the same Special Forces unit and are a true band of brothers. Retired from the military now, they were seeking a quiet place to live and maybe find mates, but they didn’t bargain on the evil that’s been hunting them from just off shore.
This paranormal romance series is a mix of adventure, excitement and sexy attraction between the heroes and their ladies. I like to make my books about equal parts romance and adventure and that holds true for this series. As we go along, the stakes get higher and the overall situation in the cove gets more complicated. I hope you enjoy the unexpected twists and turns as they happen when you’re reading, as much as I do when I’m writing them!
About Bianca D’Arc: Bianca D’Arc is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 romance novels. She has twice won EPPIE Awards for her work, along with the Australian Romance Readers Favorite Erotic Romance eBook of 2008 for her first werewolf romance, Lords of the Were. She is a native New Yorker who worked as an executive on Wall Street during the summer of 2001. She changed careers after the tragic attacks of 9/11 and started seriously pursuing publication in 2005. She has a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, a Masters in Library Science, and a Juris Doctor, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She loves her garden and plays the piano, ukulele and guitar.
Connect with Bianca! Website: www.biancadarc.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BiancaDArcAuthor/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/biancadarc
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