Today I am so pleased to welcome J.T. Hall to Joyfully Jay. J.T. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Forest of Thorns and Claws. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Hello and welcome to the blog tour for Forest of Thorns and Claws! This M/M shifter (weretiger) romance is a standalone novel set in the rainforests of Indonesia. The book features a lonely veterinarian and wildlife conservationist from the UK, Dr. Donovan McGinnis, who meets a man from the local Sumatran village, Kersen, after rescuing a snared tigress. I hope you’ll read on to learn more about Donovan and Kersen’s adventures.
Also, remember to leave a comment on this post… one lucky winner will get a $15 Riptide gift card!
What drew me to this genre?
I have to admit something. While I’ve been writing gay romance for quite some time, I didn’t think I’d ever write a shifter romance. Not that I had anything against them—I’ve read a few werewolf, tiger, and even a dragon shifter gay romances, and I’ve enjoyed them all. I simply didn’t feel a personal call to write one, especially when there are so many of them these days in the romance world. Also, wolves didn’t inspire me; I’m more of a cat person.
Then I came across an image of two men with two tigers. The image featured a light-skinned bearded man, clearly of European descent with a younger fellow who appeared to be indigent to parts of the world with rainforests. I’m kind of a sucker for opposites attracting…even with the tigers, one was large and ferocious and the other was small and submissive. I found the expressions on the men’s faces intriguing as well, and my little muse started to go crazy, churning out the idea of a foreign wildlife conservationist getting together with a local through an accidental bite. But even that idea wasn’t enough to push me into writing the shifter romance, which is currently one of the most popular tropes in paranormal romance.
It was only after I started researching possible locations that my real passion ignited. The second man in the image obviously wasn’t Russian, so basically that left me with two species of tigers to choose from: Indian subcontinent, or Sumatran. When I started reading about the Sumatran tiger and learned how endangered they truly are, I realized this could be a lot more than a simple romance. I could include the plight of the rainforest and let others know about this majestic animal that needs all the help that humans can give.
In addition, what pulled me into writing this book was the fact that Sumatra has such a turbulent past, particularly in the last 25 years or so. Remember that tsunami back in 2004 that struck Indonesia? Sumatra was hardest hit—over a hundred thousand died, and countless more were left homeless by the natural disaster. To make matters even worse, just prior to the tsunami, the northern province of Aceh had been in a near revolution with political turmoil that had been going on for years. After the disaster, peace talks occurred, leading to a number of political and social changes.
I found this all fascinating, along with the cultural heritages that make up the region. The book required more research than I’ve ever needed to do before writing, but I enjoy the voyage of discovery. What drew me to write this book was a combination of a classic love story between strangers of different cultures along with a serious message about wildlife conservation in a setting that is unique in the world.
So this “shifter romance” is not as simple a tale as it might appear to be on the surface. I’m hoping that readers can enjoy the love story, and then also enjoy the rich landscape that the book explores.
Donovan McGinnis, a veterinarian and conservationist at a research center in Sumatra, is fighting to save the rainforest from poachers and politicians alike. One day he discovers a tigress trapped by a snare, and while treating her injuries, she bites him. He becomes ill with strange symptoms that leave him feverish and dreaming of the jungle and blood.
Kersen and his family are part of the Siluman harimau, a clan of tiger shifters hidden away in a secret village near the rainforest. When Kersen’s sister is caught, he knows he must free her before she infects someone with their magic and reveals their secret.
But Donovan has already been turned, and only time will tell if he can control the tiger within. Kersen must help him, but will the fierce attraction between the pair bring ruin to them all? With the rainforest under threat from outside forces, they may be doomed anyway, unless Kersen and Donovan can find a way to defeat the danger from inside and out.
J.T. Hall has been writing for many years under this name and others, and has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online books. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, her Master’s in education from Argosy University, and works as an independent technical writer for state and federal programs. In her free time, she volunteers for the LGBT community and is active in the leather scene. She has a teenage daughter and a partner of over ten years. They live in sunny Arizona with three adorably cute dogs, three black cats, and a hamster who loves peanuts.
Connect with J.T.:
- Blog: jthallwriting.wordpress.com
- Twitter: @JTHall7
- Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/blog/jthallwriting
To celebrate the release of Forest of Thorns and Claws, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 20, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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