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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Interviewing author Shae Wynters about A Skinwalker's Legacy

I'm pleased to be able to talk today with Shae Wynters about her interesting new fantasy romance release, A Skinwalker's Legacy. CONTEST ALERT: See bottom of post for details on how to win one of 10 copies Shae is giving away!

Your heroine, Lexia Torrance, has the gift of second sight. Please describe her unique ability. How did she acquire this? Galen Cortes, the guard of the Skinwalker tribe, knows Lexia has immense ability deep inside. Is what he senses more of the same ability or new, hidden talents?

Lexia has a power to 'see' crimes that have happened if she comes upon an object that was there at the time. This is what I called 'second sight'. It's sort of the narrative, paranormal version of 'every object tells a story' mixed with a strong sixth sense that ties into the Skinwalker lore of the story. 

I knew I wanted Lexia to have this ability to set her apart as a paranormal heroine. I also wanted her to work with the local police unit somehow, not exactly as a cop herself but in aiding the detectives and officers she came in contact with. The ability also helped me develop the storyline of a special talisman that would kickstart Lexia's entry into learning about her heritage while developing the mystery storyline and Lexia's dark betrothal. 

Galen Cortes, our sexy hero, does recognize Lexia's talents for second sight but also knows how she has been battling her growing Skinwalker powers. As she is next in the bloodline to rule the Southwest tribe, her shapeshifting abilities--one of her birthrights--are trying to emerge while she attempts to live a normal life. Galen keeps this in mind, along with the shortening time they have together, so he works hard to help her develop them.

One of Galen’s jobs is to teach Lexia the truth about her powers. How does Galen intend to do that?

Galen takes Lexia to a secluded cabin not only for her protection from the murderers she saw in a vision earlier but also to help her concentrate without any distraction. He wants to help her tap into her natural ability and stop being afraid of who she truly is. Part of the way he does this is through meditation but a big part of it is through their sexual tension. Because of her betrothal, they can't be together and yet she must let her feelings go in order to embrace her Skinwalker gifts.

How does Lexia feel about her intended destiny as a betrothed Chieftess?

Lexia is skeptical and highly cautious. She grew up in a world where 'normal' meant the lack of the supernatural and the ability to be like everyone else. Her connection with her people and her family history are revealed in the story as the reader gets to know her so they see where she's coming from when she is reluctant to jump into the role as Chieftess. She begins to develop feelings for Galen and definitely sees him as the one for her. As soon as she finds out the identity of her betrothal, things take a spiral down for the couple and she has to make some heavy decisions and sacrifices. It's then she realizes how much responsibility the role demands.

Briefly describe the magical systems of your world. How do those who are empowered gain their abilities?

In the story, abilities are gained through the genes as soon as they are born. The Skinwalkers live away from humans in their own community with their own customs to bring up a youth through various ceremonies to signal their coming of age. Galen, being a half Skinwalker and half Fae gained his abilities from each parent and we discover a little bit about his family history as well as his powers. There's also a little bit about genetic manipulation which is forbidden among Skinwalkers but is used to gain power. Who is doing it and why is revealed later on in the story.

Skinwalkers have the ability shape shift into different animals (with Lycans being the outcast group) and have heightened senses as well as physical strength. Lexia is a special case and as the story goes along, we get to see just how strong she really is.

A Skinwalker’s Legacy

Lexia Torrance is a young woman with the gift of second sight. Her ability allows the Phoenix Police Department to solve crimes based on the gift of touch. Her latest case leads her to the body of a local man left with the killers' calling card—an emblem burned on the victim's chest in the shape of a sun. She soon finds herself facing five men looking for the necklace with the same emblem…and they are determined to find her as well…

Galen Cortes knows the immense ability deep inside Lexia as well as her destiny to take the throne as Skinwalker Chieftess to the southwest tribe. As a guard of the tribe, Galen has sworn to protect Lexia and teach her the truth about her powers. Despite what his heart feels, he knows a guard isn’t supposed to get too close to a betrothed Chieftess. But his fiery passion may soon override his rational thought.

With a murderous Lycan tribe on their tail and only a few hours to spare once Lexia learns her birthright, Galen will only have a day to teach her what those before her learned in a lifetime. Before their time is over, passion will erupt between the guard and his ruler, a fateful battle will dawn between two tribes and a new Chieftess will arise within the nocturnal hours…


Lexia peered up at her reflection again, feeling the heavy sensation subside within her. Her breathing soon slowed down to normal. It would be a while before she could get to bed after that distraction. Sunlight would be rising in a few hours and she debated whether to stay up for the rest of the morning or call in for a day off to spend the rest of it in bed.
With a deep exhale to clear her thoughts, she flipped off the bathroom light and headed back into her bedroom to check the time. Two sharp red glows caught her eye on the opposite end of the room where her work desk sat against the wall.
The jewels on the necklace. Was it glowing before?
It called out to her in that moment just like it had earlier when she found it in the dead man’s living room. It took a lot of coaxing for her to convince Rudy to let her leave with it instead of logging it in for evidence. She told him she needed it to help further identify the perps. The explanation was partly true, considering it may help her if she could learn more about it.
She picked it up and watched the glistening gold metal catch the light of the silver moon outside her window. The ruby jewels appeared like eyes watching her from the comfort of her warm palm. Then she noticed the indentation on the face around the eyes and mouth. It looked slightly rough with grooves like the craters on the moon. Maybe it wasn’t the sun at all? Maybe it was a mixture of both.
Looking at it gave her reassurance for safety. Why did she feel so attached to it although she had never seen it before tonight?
The small jewels brightened into dazzling red shades as a shadow danced cross her window. Lexia’s gaze shot up. She followed the movement near the corner of her eye as her senses shot to full alert.
She reached over to the top drawer of her desk where her spare 9 mm rested—the same one Rudy had given her for protection. If anyone connected to tonight’s murder followed her, they would be plenty sorry after catching a few hot bullets between the shoulder blades. She dropped the necklace in the pocket of her pajama pants then checked the chamber to confirm the ammunition. All full. Good.
She’d never had any problems with intruders in the area. The neighborhood was relatively safe, according to the feedback she’d received before moving in. But if there was anything she learned in her line of work, it was that no one was ever wholly safe.
Shadows crept across the darkened living room windows as she stepped into the hallway. Her heartbeat was so loud she hoped it wouldn’t give her away.
Darkness immediately surrounded her, but it wasn’t the dimness of ordinary shadows.
The dark presence joined a larger group that covered every inch of the front yard. She gripped the gun between sweaty palms. A shadowy figure with broad shoulders stepped in front of the living room window. Blood chilling howls broke through the air as he raised his arm.
Lexia’s eyes widened at the sight of the large gun in his hands. The glass living room window panel exploded from the spray of bullets as she dived to the ground. She hit the wooden floor with a loud thud and curled up until the firing eventually came to a halt.
The man dove through the shattered open window and tumbled onto the ground into a kneeling position. Right away, he raised his large gun in her direction.
Lexia jumped to her feet and scrambled behind her favorite rocking chair recliner. She couldn’t quite make out his face but his massive intimidating impression was all too familiar to her senses.
“Come on, Lexia,” his deep voice was oddly calm yet somewhat enticing. “We just want to talk to you.”
She pressed her back against the rocking chair, propping her elbows up on her bended knees while still gripping the gun in her hand.
“That’s a pretty difficult way to talk with your bullets instead of your mouth,” she called over her shoulder. “I would’ve gladly opened the door to save the destruction of my house.”
“Somehow I doubt that.”
That’s it. Keep him talking. At least until you think of some way to get out of here.
He laughed, the low rumbling reverberated across the room. “The whole house is surrounded, Lexia. Don’t think you can escape.”
She gritted her teeth. The gun handle slowly slipped against her damp palms and she squeezed her grip to hold it tight.
“If it’s one thing I can’t stand,” she said, moving to her side, “it’s someone telling me what I can and can’t do.”
Lexia jumped away from the chair, pointing her gun with one hand while her free hand opened toward the figure. A stream of fire emitted from her fingers, setting the large man ablaze. He screamed, loud and preternatural like a tortured creature in binds. His flaming body fell against the back wall with a loud crash. Lexia made sure to cushion her fall before the cold wood collided against her body.
A shot of pain spiked through her arm and to her side, but the adrenaline pumping through her bloodstream knocked it to the back of her mind.
“What the--” How did I do that?
Her heart raced in her chest as her mind scrambled to think of a way out.
Back door.
Lexia jumped to her feet and sprinted toward the back. She nearly ripped the door off its hinges and tore across the soft, green lawn lining her pool. She was close. So close to being free.

About the Author~

Shae Wynters is the pen name of an award winning, best selling author who has been writing for more than twenty years and has been professionally published for eleven years. A bonafide vampire, fantasy, sensual romance and speculative fiction lover, Shae sometimes meshes all these elements together for a rip roaring story to entertain her spectrum of readers.

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Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, and Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED. She has also authored the Ciel's Legacy series, with fast action mermaid/pirate storylines: TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE and TORTUGA TREASURE.  For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.