Hello maidens! Today we would like to hopefully introduce you to a great paranormal author, J.T. Geissinger. Her NIGHT PROWLER series is not to be missed if you have a thing for shifters. Please help us welcome her to UTC!
Who is J.T. Geissinger? Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a native Angeleno, which is surprisingly rare, and I've lived near the Pacific my entire life. I'm addicted to reading and usually plow through 3-4 books a week, I love movies and junk food and wine, not necessarily in that order. I've been married for a dozen years to my best friend and the love of my life, who I regularly annoy with my tendency to leave all my clothes in whatever spot I happen to have removed them. I'm also an accomplished slob.
Can you please tell us about SHADOW'S EDGE?
Shadow's Edge introduces readers to the Ikati, a tribe of beautiful, savage shape-shifters that live hidden from the everyday world in small colonies across the globe. The first installment is Jenna and Leander's story. Jenna has been raised on the run her entire life. She has some powers she doesn't understand and was always warned by her mother that "If they find you, run." Naturally when Leander appears, offering to answer all her questions about her past, she is curious. But what she finds out shocks her and she is unwittingly drawn into a centuries-old battle between two enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy one another.
Where did the idea of the Ikati come from?
It all started with a stray cat. I own a flower shop located very close to a large feral cat colony, and have adopted three strays (so far) that have wandered in, looking for food. (As anyone who’s ever fed a stray cat before knows, once you feed them, they never leave.) So one day an incredibly sleek, beautiful female cat appears out of the blue, demanding a meal. She looks like a miniature panther, all black with bright yellow/green eyes. I fell in love. I named her Angelina (after the equally slinky/beautiful Ms. Jolie) and adopted her.
This cat has an uncanny ability to disappear. One minute she’s there, looking at you as if she’s just about to say something, the next she’s gone—poof!—as if she was never there at all. It must be a feral cat trick, but it got me to thinking.
I’d written a book (never published) about angels and demons and other supernatural creatures, so I thought shape-shifters might be an interesting thing to try next. And what better shape-shifter than one that can disappear into mist? Like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland, or Dracula, the original shape-shifter who could turn into mist (and a bat). And because I’m one of those crazy cat ladies who will die alone in a one bedroom apartment with dozens and dozens of cats and has never lived without at least one cat since I was five years old, I put the idea of shape-shifting cats into motion.
Two things occurred to me immediately: one, there are a lot of people who hate cats. Two: the Egyptians revered them. Put those two things together and mix in a big bowl, and you’ve got a race of cat shifters worshipped as gods by the ancient Egyptians who’ve had to hide because they’ve since been hunted by humanity. I spiced it up with some historical nuggets about Egypt, the Inquisition, witch hunts, religion, Rome…it goes on, but you get the idea.
Can you tell us a little bit about Morgan and her journey in EDGE OF OBLIVION?
I love Morgan. She is a character very near and dear to my heart because of her struggle for freedom, to live outside the burden of secrecy her tribe requires. She's a rebel and a fighter, and Edge of Oblivion takes her on a journey of redemption that leads her into the heart of ancient Rome with a hot assassin at her side. If she fails in the task she has set before her, Xander will kill her. But in the meantime, love has a way of mucking up everyone's plans...
How would you describe your writing process?
Painful. The first draft, especially. It's like pulling teeth. After that, editing is simple. I like to write early in the morning because my brain is clearer, and currently I'm writing about 2,000 words per day (about manuscript 8 pages) because I'm on a December 1st deadline for the next book in the Night Prowler saga, Rapture's Edge. It typically takes 4-6 months to finish a book, and that includes several re-writes and edits.
If we were to step into your personal library, which books would we find on your keeper shelf?
Best book I've ever read is called Everything Matters by Ron Currie, Jr. I tend to gravitate toward very bleak literary fiction (such as The Dog Stars, The Road, etc.) or very emotionally draining romance with devastating endings (such as The Notebook.) It has to be dark and it has to be dramatic. I'm not one for light, fluffy fiction. Someone usually has to die for me to enjoy it.
Which paranormal creature is your favorite and why?
I love vampires but they've been beaten to death so I leave them alone. The tropes are all overwritten. Shape-shifters are fantastic because of the possibilities for creativity. If I could be any paranormal creature I'd probably be one of my shape-shifting panthers who can also turn to mist. Many of them have additional powers such as mind control, invisibility, etc. so that's helpful, too!
What was your favorite scene to write from your latest book and can you share it with our readers?
It's an emotional scene and one that gets me every time I read it because the situation is so hopeless for Morgan and Xander. They know there are no happily-ever-afters for people like them.
She kissed him and rocked beneath him and with her hips coaxed his body to where it wanted to go. He began to thrust, a primal motion disconnected from his will, which wanted him to slow, to be gentle—
Morgan moaned her approval beneath him. His hips took over and he thrust harder.
He heard thunder, he heard rain, he heard the metal headboard smacking against the wall, sending repetitive, hollow clanging through the room. He braced a hand against it, gripped Morgan’s hip in his other hand and lifted her up so only her shoulders were on the bed. So deep, so deep, he didn’t think he could go any deeper—
“I’m going to come again,” she breathed. She gripped his arms, meeting every thrust of his hips with one of her own, staring up at him with those searching eyes that carved a hole into his heart. “Come with me. Come with me, Xander.”
Breathing hard, sweat blooming over his entire body, he let go of the headboard and clasped her hips hard in both hands. He plunged into her again and again, wilder and harder, with every thrust losing himself to her and the storm and the magic they made together, here in the succoring dark.
“Amada mio,” he hissed through clenched teeth, teetering on the edge as a wave of heat surged up his spine. Every muscle in his body flexed. “Eu me comprometo a você.”
She stiffened and cried out, her head tipped back into the pillows. His eyes slid closed and he heard a roar, only dimly aware it had come from him. Pleasure, searing white, rocketed through him and he jerked, emptying himself inside her, surging again and again as his orgasm tore his breath and every coherent thought away. For a blinding moment there was nothing but the two of them, joined as one. It spun on and on, dreamlike, and then—
He collapsed on top of her. Shaking. Panting. Wordless. He buried his face into her neck.
Her arms came around his shoulders. She cradled him, murmured soft things into his hair that he could not comprehend, so great was his agony and his bliss. He drifted on a current of gratitude so pure it was almost sweet.
She had let a monster into the most precious part of her, had reminded him of what it was to feel passion and pleasure and tenderness, had given him a glimpse of things he didn’t deserve.
He wanted to tell her that, wanted to say you have shown me the way back from hell. But there was a terrible pressure in his chest and a stinging in his eyes and a tightness in his throat that threatened to choke him if he opened his mouth.
“It’s all right,” she murmured, knowing him already too well. “We’re safe from the world now, for a little while. We can have this, it doesn’t have to change anything. We can have our night and go back to who we were tomorrow. Just for tonight, we can have that different life we always wanted.”
He stayed silent, while inside he wept.
In a dark underground cell, Morgan Montgomery waits to die. A member of the Ikati, an ancient tribe of shape-shifters, Morgan stands convicted of treason. And Ikati law clearly spells out her fate: death to all who dare betray.
But there is a glimmer of hope. Thanks to her friendship with Jenna, the new queen of the Ikati, Morgan has one last chance to prove her loyalty. She must discover and infiltrate the headquarters of the Expurgari, the Ikati’s ancient enemy, so they can be destroyed once and for all. The catch? She has only a fortnight to complete her mission and will be accompanied by Xander Luna, the tribe's most feared enforcer. If Morgan fails, her life is forfeit. Because Xander is as lethal as he is loyal, and no one—not even this beautiful, passionate renegade—will distract him from his mission. But as the pair races across Europe into the heart of Italy, the attraction blooming between them becomes undeniable. Suddenly more than justice is at stake: so is love.
Sensual, thrilling, and action-packed, Edge of Oblivion will enthrall readers with nail-biting suspense and heart-pounding passion.