A number of things inspired me into writing DAMNED AND DESIRED and the series. I’ve always been interested in Native American folklore, especially the more esoteric side after reading a couple of Lynn V. Andrews books many years ago: MEDINE WOMAN and JAGUAR WOMAN. I also thought the mystical setting of Arizona—the Sonoran Desert (Book 1, DESERT OF THE DAMNED) and the area around Sedona (Book 2, DAMNED AND DESIRED) would enhance the storylines. I combined Native American mysticism with a twist on a Norwegian myth called Eigi Einhamr (not one-skinned) into the plot. The Eigi Einhamr myth says a person can shift into any animal by putting on the animal skin and willing to become that animal.
DAMNED AND DESIRED by Kathy Kulig
Release date: 01/06/10 at Ellora’s Cave
ISBN: 978 14199 24699
Blurb: She’s a demon, he’s a shapeshifting leopard. From their first meeting in the Arizona desert, passion ignites and trouble begins. As a demon, Sakari Lock must harvest lifeforce energy through sexual seductions to sustain her exiled world. But when Sakari meets Brad, she breaks the number one rule of Anartia—Don’t get personal with your quarry.
Physician’s assistant Brad Montag is drawn to Sakari’s lustful advances with a blazing desire he can’t explain, unaware of how dangerous she is. No matter how enticing, she’s a complication he doesn’t need until he can conquer his past and regain control of his shapeshifting abilities. Sex this wicked and good can only lead to disaster.
When immortals from an alternate dimension try to free their exiled world, Brad is caught in the middle of a battle that could destroy not only him, but the land he loves.
Aiming the flashlight around the area, he looked for tracks, footprints—human or animal. He saw both. “They were here.”
“Seen enough?” she asked.
He looked toward another group of rocks. “Let’s check that out.”
“This place doesn’t feel right.”
He didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable or scared but his instincts told him there was something here that needed to be investigated.
“Sakari, what aren’t you telling me?”
She didn’t answer.
“All right. I’m telling you. There’s nothing for you to worry about. I need to change one more time and then I promise we’ll go.”
“Brad, no! It’s not safe.”
Brad threw the pelt over his shoulders defiantly and immediately shifted into the leopard. Something was here and he was going to find out what if she wouldn’t tell him. In animal form, he felt that magnetic pull like he had before. With his senses more keen to the environment, his hackles stood out sensing danger. Could it be an electrical storm in the area? He glanced up at the night sky and saw brilliant stars. Not tonight.
Then he heard a scream and smelled the animal before he heard the yip and snarl of another predator.
Spinning around, he crouched in position ready to lunge at his attacker. Coyote leapt onto him with more forced than he’d expect from a skinny animal. The leopard had to out weigh him by eighty pounds or so.
Claws dug into his shoulders and teeth dug into his foreleg. He yelped in pain then rolled and let his weight force Coyote to release him. He knocked the coyote down with his wide paws. Powerful teeth clamped onto the coyote’s back, but the sly creature wrenched free and pinned him on the ground. jaws tight around his throat. In any moment, his throat would be ripped out.
Brad slipped out of his leopard form and felt the teeth of the Coyote at his throat. Son of a bitch.
“Stop it, Dante!”
Coyote was caught off guard and released his grip, gazing down at him. Brad focused and managed to shift again. With his hind legs, the leopard maneuvered in a position and again rolled on top of Coyote. His assailant was powerful and strong but the leopard had muscle and weight on his side.
“Stop it, now! Both of you!” Sakari cried.
Then the leopard sensed another predator. While he had Coyote pinned on the ground, he heard a shriek and saw the flash of wings. He looked up.
A falcon swooped down, talons extended and knocked him off Coyote.
Scrambling to his feet, Coyote prepared to attack the leopard and as he leapt in the air to do so, the falcon swooped down again and clipped Coyote on the ear with its sharp talons. He yipped and rolled away. The leopard started to attack Coyote, then saw the futility of it as the falcon swiftly circled and aimed for him. He backed off.
Both Coyote and the leopard kept their distance to avoid further attacks by the third adversary and occasionally glanced at the falcon overhead. Finally, the falcon landed between them and Sakari appeared, naked and beautiful, her chest heaving as she attempted to catch her breath. She glared at them with a deep frown as if daring them to start fighting again.
“Are you two finished with your pissing contest?”
Thanks so much, Cerise, for having me be a guest on your blog.