When I moved to Chicago, I never expected to write a shifter series set here. But now, it’s hard to imagine the place without them. Edgewater is tiger territory. Lakeview has wolves. The jaguars are in several predominantly Mexican-American neighborhoods. The bears are in former Russian mob territory in Rogers Park. There isn’t any Russian mob territory in Rogers Park? Sure there is. We put it there.
That’s the fun part of writing – we get to create worlds within worlds, sometimes overlaid on the real one we all live in. But this isn’t that much different than reality, after all: the city of Chicago is made up of lots of neighborhoods: Little Italy, Chinatown, Greektown, the west side, Hyde Park, Rogers Park – the list could fill an entire page. And the distinctions aren’t just ethnic, either – Boystown is famous, and Andersonville is filled with the girls. Then there’s Restaurant Row, famous for fooderies; the near west side and its artists’ lofts, and the technology corridor along Elston and incorporating Goose Island. There are even neighborhood maps of Chicago, in case it’s confusing.
When Rachel and I wrote Cat’s Cradle, we knew we’d be telling a story of two cities: the one that we all know and love, and the one that she and I created that sits on top of reality. We studied the neighborhoods, so we’d know where the ocelots have their home base, adjacent to the jaguars’ territory but still separate. We even have a map of these areas so we don’t confuse ourselves.
So, here’s a question for you, Dear Reader:
If you were to put an extra layer of reality on your home town,
what would you put there? Shifters? Cowboys? The fae?
When you’re an ex-Marine tiger shifter, love comes with a high cost – is it too much to pay?
Mitchell Brayden is an ex-Marine tiger shifter looking for love in all the wrong places. When he decides to rescue a young ocelot shifter from a rich, spoiled playboy, he embroils himself in a conflict that goes back generations.
Guadalupe Salazar grew up as a pampered pet of a benevolent patron. After his patron’s untimely death, he stays on with the patron’s son – a self-centered, weak man who got ensnared by the drugs and fast living in the States. One night, it goes too far and Lupe is beaten nearly to death. He is taken to a secret shifter clinic where he meets an unlikely knight in tarnished armor.
Together, Mitch and Lupe confront the playboy and his friends – but will their actions draw the rest of the jaguar familias, not to mention the ocelot clans, into a battle over Lupe’s future? Will the delicate balance of power destroy everything that Mitch’s small band of tiger shifters has built in Chicago?