Today I am so pleased to welcome TA Moore to Joyfully Jay. TA has come to talk to us about her latest release, Dog Days. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I suppose it is a bit predictable for a Brit to write a book about weather, but there you go! Dog Days is my first shifter novel and I had a blast writing it. I love the characters, obstreperous little sods though they could be when I needed them to behave, and the setting in Durham is one I have a lot of time for. So, welcome to my dystopian Winter Wonderland, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
The old yew had grown crooked on the shoreline, trained by the wind into a crooked bend. Danny woke up under it, peeling one sleep-glued eye open to squint up at the dawn-coloured blur of the world. He reached out on automatic, groping for his glasses.
“Do you really need them?” a sleep-blurred voice growled next to him. Jack’s hand flexed against his stomach. “I’ve never met a wolf that wore glasses.”
“I’m not a wolf,” Danny said.
He scrubbed his hands over his face, stifling a yawn, and started to sit up. Jack rolled over on top of him, lean muscle and heavy bones pinning him down. His face was close enough that even Danny’s crappy eyes could make out the details, the sharply elegant bones under tanned skin and the almost pretty curve of his mouth. He had green eyes, the colour of leaves.
It was like he was the only thing in the world.
“Never met a dog who needed them either,” Jack said.
“Well, you won’t be able to say that again.”
Jack shrugged his acceptance of that and ducked his head, his teeth finding the tender welts he’d sucked into Danny’s throat the night before. Then he rolled off and sat up, tossing Danny’s glasses over to him.
The lens were smudged and damp with dew. Danny wiped them with his thumb — adding smudges but getting rid of the moisture — and put them on. The soft smudges of the world resolved into sharp lines and discrete colours. He glanced over at Jack, watching the other boy pull his t-shirt on.
Black ink marked his skin, ogham in hard lines down his spine and splitting off the hard slats of his ribs. A wolf head was branded under his arm, in the tender skin of his armpit. It was a scar, not ink — and it wasn’t easy to scar one of them. Danny remembered the texture of it under his lips, raised and rough, colder than Jack’s skin.
“Don’t tell me dogs feel the cold too,” Jack snorted. He tossed Danny’s shirt at him and rose easily to his feet. “We should get back.”
Last night had been hard kisses and the scrape of teeth, fingers digging into his arms and hips, heady in the dark. This morning was wet jeans and a sneaker gone missing entirely in the night. Questions itched on the tip of Danny’s tongue. What had that been about? What did it mean today? Were they going to do it again? Did one of them need to say something?
Except they were very human questions, and maybe one day Danny would have a human to ask about them. Right now he was with a wolf, and the old man’s boy didn’t answer a dog’s questions.
They walked along the shore, Danny hopping between hummocks of grass in his bare feet. He was a bit taller than Jack, a few lanky inches, and he caught himself stooping to try and close the distance. The silence started to itch on him after a while, like a flea he couldn’t quite reach, and even the fact it was a bad idea couldn’t make him hold his tongue.
“Never seen you at one of the bonfires before,” he said. “Spoke to a human and everything.”
Jack glanced over his shoulder. “I go to school with them. I speak to them.”
“I’ve never seen it,” Danny snorted. “I heard that Mrs Davies asked you a question in Latin class and you just stared her down.”
That got a snort. Latin was — technically — their first language. The language they’d brought up over the wall with them, the one they told their oldest stories in. Except that was a living language that had adapted to living cheek by vowel with the Picts, borrowed some lexicon from Danish, and had about as much in common with Mrs Davies latin textbooks as Cosmo had with Chaucer.
“It was a stupid question,” Jack said. “Who told you that?”
“Anya, Anya Dubriki,” Danny said. Jack had turned around to walk backwards, too confident to care about his footing. He looked blank. Keeping his eyes down — focused on Jack’s jaw and lips instead of his eyes — Danny waved his hand in the air at shoulder height. “Dark hair, huge glasses, got a stutter. Thinks you’re cute.”
The corner of Jack’s mouth tilted in a smirk. “Sounds like you.”
“I don’t stutter.”
It would have been smooth if Danny had planned it. Instead he caught the words as they left the mouth, the implication a second after that, and tripped over his own feet. He could feel heat scalding his face.
Jack just raised his eyebrows, snorted, and turned to face the way he was walking again.
Danny scrubbed his hands over his face, pushing his glasses up into his forehead. He was an idiot. Just this once, he told himself, shut up. Please?
The world ends not with a bang, but with a downpour. Tornadoes spin through the heart of London, New York cooks in a heat wave that melts tarmac, and Russia freezes under an ever-thickening layer of permafrost. People rally at first—organizing aid drops and evacuating populations—but the weather is only getting worse.
In Durham, mild-mannered academic Danny Fennick has battened down to sit out the storm. He grew up in the Scottish Highlands, so he’s seen harsh winters before. Besides, he has an advantage. He’s a werewolf. Or, to be precise, a weredog. Less impressive, but still useful.
Except the other werewolves don’t believe this is any ordinary winter, and they’re coming down over the Wall to mark their new territory. Including Danny’s ex, Jack—the Crown Prince Pup of the Numitor’s pack—and the prince’s brother, who wants to kill him.
A wolf winter isn’t white. It’s red as blood.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 09/09/2016
TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.
She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.
T.A. has brought a $20 Dreamspinner gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, September 9th at 11:59 pm EST.
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