Ella: Please join me in welcoming fellow author Lauren Smith. (Applause)
Lauren says…Hi Ella! Thanks for having me on your blog *blushes.
Ella: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Lauren: Well, I’m an attorney by day, writer by night from Oklahoma. I’ve been writing romance for about four years now. I write anything from historical, contemporary, paranormal and science fiction. I was bitten by the travel bug at an early age and have been fortunate to have visited several different countries. My adventures have inspired my stories.
Ella: You’re here today to promote an anthology by several authors to raise money for a charitable cause. Tell us a little bit about that.
Lauren: It is a wonderful cause started by the Diamond State Romance Authors. The Diamond State Romance Authors visited the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge located near Eureka Springs Arkansas where many rescued wild animals live in habitats. The Diamond State Romance Authors were so moved by the refuge and its purpose that they decided to send out a national call for submissions for romantic short stories that focus on wild animals, big cat rescues that would showcase the plight of large wild creatures and their need to have safe homes and/or freedom. The stories range from paranormal to contemporary, including YA so there’s a little bit for everyone in this wonderful collection of stories.
My story found in Volume I of the anthology, is called Archer Falls.
Spotted Pines Refuge worker Samantha Gray gets more than she bargains for when she is rescued by a jaguar in a national park. But there’s more to this jaguar than meets the eye, in fact, he reminds her of the mysterious and wealthy owner of the refuge, Archer Falls. Caught between danger and the pull of Archer’s seductive gaze, Samantha begins to wonder just how her boss is connected to the jaguar that went missing since the night he saved her life.
Here’s an excerpt from Archer Falls:
The black jaguar gave a deep yowl in the woods fringing the edges of Mount Blanc National Park, warning nearby cats. He wanted them to stay away. He was protecting someone. A distant shadow shifted as the jaguar’s cry echoed against the massive rocks along the ravine by the woods. He tensed, stretched his paws and leapt onto the low tree branch. He padded along the limb, stalking the feminine shadow below.
A rogue beam of moonlight cut across his target revealing a woman in her mid-twenties holding a tranquilizer gun. The enticing swish of her chestnut ponytail drew his gaze. He fixated on the movement. An urge to pounce grew stronger.
Foolish woman. The male jaguar yowled again, trying to warn her. If he was in his human form, he’d have called out to stop her. As a human, he was Archer Falls, a rich philanthropist with a passion for big cats. But at the moment, his animal side, the jaguar was in full control. He had to find a way to save this woman and never let her know his secret. He was a shifter.
The woman’s gaze was directed toward the ground, tracking paw prints. At his warning she glanced about, eyes wide with fear. But she turned back to her tracking, determined to find a wild female jaguar, sedate it and take it to a big cat refuge.
After three miles of following her at a discreet distance, he’d become addicted the sway of her hips, the intensity of her gaze as she hunted the female jaguar. But she had no clue about the danger she was in. The female had cubs and would readily attack if the human got too close. He wanted to prevent the woman from getting hurt. Did she think she could handle a fully grown female jaguar with cubs? God, she’d be killed in seconds the instant the female felt threatened.
He leapt to the ground just as the female jaguar emerged from a rock cave ahead.
The woman froze.
Her scent of fear, sharp, almost citrus, drifted back to him along the breeze. He curled his lips and snarled in warning.
The female jaguar tensed, scenting the air.
When the female launched toward the human, Archer sprang forward, propelled by some deep instinct to protect the woman. He skidded to a halt between the female jaguar and the woman, snarling viciously, to get the other cat to back down. The female was too upset to follow instinct and retreat. When she lunged a second time, Archer braced himself for the attack.
Visit Amazon today to buy a book and save a cat!
The collection of adult romance stories can be found here:
The collection of young adult romance stories can be found here:
Romance authors Elle James and Delilah Devlin spear-headed the Wild at Heart project and chose both adult and young adult stories for two volumes of the anthology. A hundred percent of the proceeds from the sales of the books go directly to the refuge in Arkansas to benefit the animals there. I know for me, being a part of this project has been fantastic. I don’t have a ton of extra time between my day job as a lawyer and writing in the evenings and contributing a story to the anthology was a great way of giving back to a cause that I truly believe in.
It’s a win-win for romance readers. You get to buy a book full of great romance stories and every penny goes to help real animals! For anyone interested in learning more about Turpentine Creek, you can visit the refuge’s website at www.turpentinecreek.org.