Hey everyone! I’m M.A. Church and I’m here to talk about my latest book called Shadows in the Night from Dreamspinner, which will be released July 12th. It’s a paranormal/shifter novel that throws together a modern man, named Chip, and Jason, a Native American who lived in a time when the buffalo roamed across the land we now call America.
Now ask yourself this: What if the Native American history we learned as children isn’t precisely right? Is it possible the history books—books written by the White Man—are nothing more than a combination of a few correct facts and many inaccuracies? Could there be more than what we were taught about this proud group of people?
Jason would tell you that long ago The Great Spirit, who they called Wha-tay, created Mother Earth, an untouched land filled with beauty and life. Then her children, The People, were allowed to inhabit the land. The People settled at The Tree of Life—the soul of Mother Earth. The People believed the universe was bound together by the spirits within all natural life—from plants, animals, humans, water, and even the earth itself.
When a child was born to The People, that child was joined with a spirit, a totem. Could be a land spirit, a water spirit, a plant spirit, or an animal spirit. And once bound, that person had the ability to use the gifts the spirit had.
But Time didn’t stand still and, as it moved forward, it brought with it the White Man, who left in his wake a trail of tears and destruction. Very few of the original People survived—and those who did retained the ability to shift, or use whatever ability their totem spirit had gifted them with.
*grin* And welcome to my world of shifters, lol. J
~A Leap of Faith Novel
When Chip Riley’s beloved granny passes away, she leaves him all her money, her land, and a house that needs some tender love and care. She never mentioned the legacy comes with a Native American shifter who intends to claim Chip as his mate.
Jason Sky has lived since buffalo roamed the land. When his totem spirit, a black cougar, saves a little girl, he doesn’t realize that generations later, her grandson will become his mate, leaving him to take on a modern man with modern ideas. But that’s the least of his problems.
Garon, another shifter with a long-held hatred for Jason, plots to kidnap Chip and lure Jason to his death. Soon Chip finds himself in an untenable position between a rock and a hard place. A leap of faith may be the only way to save himself and the man he’s learned to love.
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Chip sidestepped to the left, moving slowly. Hadn’t he read somewhere not to make eye contact—cats took that as a sign of aggression? Or was that dogs? Did it matter at this point? The cat was bigger than he was and had long, sharp teeth and claws—enough said. Maybe if he could ease around to the back door—
Calmly the creature lifted a paw and cleaned the blood from its muzzle. Eyes trained on Chip, it let out a loud warning yip, then slammed its paw down.
“Son of a….” Chip yelped as he cleared the ground in fright. Once he had his feet planted safely back on Mother Earth—and his heart crammed back into his chest—he glanced at the black cougar. Now it was tending the bite to its haunch. Again, Chip edged toward the back of the house and another loud yip sounded, stopping him in his tracks. But the big cat climbing to its feet made the air in his lungs freeze. With a grace that belied the pain it had to be in, it jumped off the porch.
Feet rooted to the ground, Chip watched as the cougar, rumbling deep in its chest, blocked the path to the back of the house. He risked all and made eye contact. Holding his eyes, the black cougar turned its head, slowly looking at the front door. Cutting its gaze back at him, it huffed out a breath. Chip, mouth hanging open, stared at the big cat.
Oh no, it did not just…!
Chip side-stepped again, and the animal’s tail swished on the ground and again it slammed its paw down. Once more, it yipped at him.
Oh yes, it just did.
“That’s it, I’ve flipped completely out. Heat stroke combined with sheer fright has fried my brain.” Why the hell does it want me to go in the front door? Did I really just think that? Chip flinched as the cat stepped nearer. “Okay! Front door it is. Then a phone call to the local shrink, ’cause I’ve lost my damn mind.”
Chip walked backward; he was not taking his eyes off that wild animal. And damn if it wasn’t following him. At last he reached the porch and had to turn around or trip. Jumping on the porch, he dug in his pocket for his keys. The thump of the big cat landing behind him caused him to go light-headed and made his hand shake. The smell of crushed grass, wild animal, and something more pronounced—a woodsy musk—enveloped him.
“Get the door open, Chip. Now,” he mumbled to himself as he dug his keys out of his front pocket. He stabbed the key at the lock. Why the hell did they make these things so damn small? Didn’t the stupid manufacturers understand that being ordered by a big-assed cat weighing more than him and standing waist high was a fucking tad unnerving? Thank God he hadn’t locked the deadbolt. Just as he slid his key in, a low, vicious growl sounded behind him.
Chip closed his eyes, assaulted by visions of his body torn to bits. Glancing over his shoulder—prepared to look death in the eye—he instead found the big cat staring at the woods. Its ears were laid low, tail twitching madly, and hair bristling. It dawned on Chip the black cougar had its body between him and woods, almost as if it was… guarding him.
Was that other cat out there?
With a hiss, the big cat stepped away from Chip, backed up to one of the pillars, and arched its tail….
“Oh come on. Not with the spraying again!”
The smell of urine flooded the area as the black cougar turned its head and balefully eyed Chip. Looking back at the woods, it let loose a scream that had every hair on Chip’s body standing up. But the answering call made him light-headed.
Something was out there.
A not-so-gentle nudge nearly knocked Chip off his feet but got his attention. The damn animal was herding him indoors. Throwing the door open, he scrambled inside and slammed it shut. He quickly locked the door. When that didn’t make him feel any more secure, he used his keys to lock the deadbolt.
“Oh God, oh God….”
His mind was in an uproar—mainly because he had company. The big cat had trailed him into the house. He’d tried to keep it out, but it just shoved its way inside. Stunned, he watched the black cougar limp across the floor toward the kitchen. Unsure what else to do, Chip stood by the door.
M.A. Church lives in the southern United States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football, racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.
But her most beloved hobby is reading. From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would write a book.
By sheer chance she stumbled across a gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.
Facebook: M.A. Church http://www.facebook.com/pages/MA-Chur…