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Sunday, April 11, 2010


Please welcome author, Kari Thomas. Kari is the author of Under a Shifter's Moon and Her Heart His Soul, both of which were voted Best of 2009. To learn more about Kari, please visit her website.

In honor of April 15th being tax day, we’re asking 15 questions this month


GRACEN: Speaking of taxes, are you’re taxes finished, or do you procrastinate with them? Do you do them yourself or do you have a taxman do them for you?

KARI: Before becoming a full time author, I was a CPA for 20 years. So, I do my own taxes and a few friends too.

GRACEN: As it says, “April showers bring May flowers”. What flowers do you hope to see the first thing in spring?

KARI: My favorite flower is the Gardenia. Next, the Jasmine. I live in Arizona now, so not much of those tropical flowers here. I miss being home in Florida this time of year!

GRACEN: Do you plant your own garden? Why or why not and where is it (are they) located? What type(s) will it (they) be and where is it (are they) located on your property?

KARI: Although we live in the mountains area, with lots of water and no desert, I still cant grow a garden. Ive been tagged as a “Plant and Flower Murderess”! Both parents had the “green thumb” but forgot to pass it on to me…

GRACEN: If you could have a garden, what kind of garden would it be, how big would it be and what would you plant in it?

KARI: FULL of flowers. All kinds!

GRACEN: Have you ever considered getting involved with a local community garden? Why or why not?

KARI: They wouldn’t allow a “Plant and Flower Murderess” in their midst.

GRACEN: For your produce, is the local grocery store just fine, or do you like to hit your local farmer’s market? What is your favorite fruit or vegetable that you like to get?

KARI: Absolutely LOVE the Farmers Market! Im a big strawberry fan. My grandfather used to have one of the biggest strawberry farms in Florida (before I was born and when my mom was a child).

GRACEN: Now, let’s get to your writing, Kari…What is your main genre (erotica, erotic romance, romantic suspense, etc.)? What was the draw for you?

KARI: I love the Paranormal Romance genre. I love the idea that you can let your imagination run wild with all the possibilities. And I love those sexy preternatural heroes!

GRACEN: Besides your main genre we just discussed, what elements do you prefer to use in a story and why those elements over others?

KARI: I use a lot of Romantic Suspense in my stories. I like to have a little bit of suspense along with the main paranormal plot.

GRACEN: Do you prefer red roses or black roses? If so, does that show in your writing? If so, how? If roses aren’t your style, what flowers are? Do they influence your writing? If so, how?

KARI: I LOVE, LOVE purple roses!! And yes, I usually use some type of flower scent somewhere in my stories each time. Using the sense of smell can be very intriguing in certain scenes.

GRACEN: The jury’s still out on this question, so we’re still asking it! - Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one planting the seeds? How do you cultivate those seeds regardless of who plants them?

KARI: My Muse and I have a long “love-hate” relationship. I usually come up with an idea, then let the muse help me write it as I go along. Yep, Im one of those “seat-of-the-pants” authors who cant outline or fully plot a story before writing it.

GRACEN: In your opinion, what author had the most influence on your writing? What about their writing did you find so influential and why?

KARI: I’d have to say Christine Feehan. Although I don’t write in the vampire genre, it was her characters that intrigued me. She has a way of bringing characters to real life, making a reader feel as though you really know them. Her stories are FULL of emotions too. I devour every one of her books, knowing that after Ive finished reading it, I will be emotionally satisfied and yet wanting more. I want to write like that!

GRACEN: While authors can definitely influence us, inspiration can be everywhere for a writer, but specific people, places and events can inspire certain characters, personality traits or things that happen in our stories. In your current story that we’re promoting here today, UNDER A SHIFTER’S MOON, did any one particular person, place or event inspire you? If so who/what was it (were they), how did it/they inspire you and how is this inspiration reflected in your story?

KARI: Both the hero (Lyon) and the heroine (Kitlene) came from a combination of all my past heroes and heroines. I wanted to have a couple that evoked all the emotions a reader looks for. I cant say that any particular place influenced their creation, but I did put a bit of myself into Kitlene. (uh oh, TOO telling!)

GRACEN: Without giving away anything pertinent to the story, tell us about the hero and heroine (s) of your story. What do they look like? How do they meet (or “did” if this is a second book with these same characters)? What are their personalities – Are they comical cut-ups, are they serious or are they a mix of the two? Please give us a little bit of dialogue from the story that can illustrate this. (Not much, but just a few lines and from a different section than the main excerpt – Thanks!)

KARI: Lyon is a twin Alpha Jaguar shapeshifter. Serious, sexy, controlling. Kitlene is human though she does carry rare jaguars genes that allow her to have jaguar children. She is vulnerable yet strong. Stubborn. She is one of a few human women left that are like that. The Jaguar Pride has a Degree handed down that says only one Alpha can rule, so Lyon is in competition with his twin brother Bryce. Kitlene also has a rare defect that will cause her to die if she gives birth. So, Lyon is left with the choice of having to marry another woman in order to have a Destined Alpha son, or choose the love of his life: Kitlene. If he chooses her, then her life is forfeit. And there’s nothing that can be done to save her. (Or is there?) And meanwhile, someone Evil is trying to destroy the entire Jaguar Pride. When “they” discover that Kitlene is Lyon’s Truemate, they target her for death.


Better to plunge in now while she could still think straight. “I’m here because we need to talk, Mr. Savage.” There, at least her voice sounded firm enough.

His tawny brows lifted in question. Then that hovering, sexy smile disappeared and his lips thinned into a slight grimace. She had the odd thought that he could be a very hard man when pushed. Great. She was about to do just that.

“There’s a lot to –talk –about, Ms. Skye,” he stated in a low voice edged with anger, but nonetheless ultra-sexy in its tone, “The first, being your explanation on why you purposely ditched your watchers and came all the way here without protection.” His turquoise gaze roamed over her face again. “What was going on in that pretty head of yours? Don’t you realize how foolish and dangerous that was?”

Kitlene blinked in surprise. She couldn’t believe he had the nerve to lecture her before she even had the chance to explain. She straightened her shoulders, a habit she did whenever she was about to get angry. “Those watchers would have stopped us from coming this soon,” she told him, “And this is too important. I couldn’t reach Zachary, and you were the only one I could think of to try and –“

“And what?” he drawled low, “Try to change the Decree?”

“Yes.” There was no sense in denying it. He was already one step ahead of her. How was she going to convince him of her plan?

Lyon slowly shook his head, a nerve in his jaw muscle jumping as he stared at her. She watched in fascination as his eyes raked slowly over her, once again, from head to toes. Usually, she was able to figure out what someone was thinking just by facial expressions or the look in their eyes. It was a small talent that came in handy a lot of times. But now, this enigmatic man was a complete mystery to her –and she really wasn’t sure she wanted to know what he was thinking at that very moment. That look was too –too –sexual.

Or maybe… She had a moment to hope that if his very intense appraisal were any indication, maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to convince him to consent to her as a replacement for Ariel after all.

“You’re right. We really should talk.” He rubbed a hand over his eyes, and that possessive look was back on his face again. It made her heart race alarmingly. “There’s a lot to be discussed. But, you might as well accept the fact that the Decree can’t be changed. There’s too much at stake. Not just yours, or my, future, but the entire Pride’s. I know Zachary explained all that to you.”

“He did.” She had to look away from his piercing gaze for a moment. His expression was keeping her off balanced. “But he didn’t allow for freedom of choice. That’s not right.”

Lyon stared so long at her that she was starting to get that shivery feeling again. This strange attraction to him didn’t bode well. If he didn’t accept her…

“Right or wrong, it’s going to happen.”

GRACEN: The main characters are usually great, but sometimes, secondary and tertiary characters are known to steal the scenes. Who are the secondary/tertiary characters in your story and what do they look like? What’s unique about them? What is their relationship to the hero/heroine? Have any of these gone on to become scene-stealers? If so, who and how did they do it? (Again, please give us a small bit of dialogue to illustrate this – thanks!)

KARI: Ive been told by readers and reviewers that the secondary characters are really great and blend perfectly into the story. There is Mason who is Lyon’s Beta and right hand man. Jade who is Kitlene’s best friend and a physician. There’s Caleb who is Mason’s nephew and the best Jaguar tracker ever, and Ariel who is Kitlene’s niece. Jade and Mason clash a lot –they both have that “I’m-not-giving-an-inch” attitude. Caleb is very protective of Ariel but cant declare his feelings …..because SHE is destined to marry Lyon.


He (Lyon) heard the raised voices before he opened his office door. Mason was angry. He recognized Jade’s voice and knew his Beta wasn’t too happy with what ever she was saying. He shook his head and opened the door.

“Keep your voices down,” he ordered, his own low and deep. “If you wake Kitlene up before she needs to awaken, I’ll have your hides.”

Jade smirked at him, and put her hands on her hips. “You can’t have my hide,” she stated, “I’m not one of your crazy shifters.”

“We’re the crazy ones?” Mason shook his head and snarled at her. “The three of you ditch your watchers and then get yourselves kidnapped and nearly killed, and you think that wasn’t crazy? Woman, you need a reality check. What the hell were you thinking?”


Kitlene held her breath. She had the feeling she knew what Ariel was about to say. She just didn’t know how she felt about it. And that bothered her more than anything.

“When Caleb found me I panicked,” Ariel said. “I knew my running was over. I had hoped to stay hidden until after the Shifters Moon then none of this would be necessary anyway. I figured that even if Lyon accepted your proposal, Jade would step in and stop it before the –uh –mating ceremony.”

“My plan, exactly,” Jade muttered.

Ariel ran a shaky hand through her long hair. “If you think Lyon is tough, you haven’t experienced a lecture from Caleb. He threw everything at me. Short of turning me over his knees and giving me the spanking he said I deserved. The short of it is that he made me realize the truth. I was chosen for this. I’m the one destined to unite the Pride by marrying Lyon and giving him the Alpha son. He explained what Grandfather had neglected to tell us. If I give birth to a son bearing the ‘moon and jaguar’ mark, that child is destined to be a great leader in the future. He will turn out to be their very salvation.”


He was fated for another, but created to love her.

Decreed by the Elders, Jaguar Shifters Lyon Savage and his brother must decide Pride rule in a way not seen for centuries. UNDER A SHIFTER’S MOON, a mating can take place with a chosen human to produce a child, and the father of that child will become the one ruling Alpha. Now Lyon must choose the love of his Truemate --- or accept the Decree to save his Pride and secure his future.

Strong and selfless, Kitlene is a rare woman whose blood, like her niece’s, carries something of the Shifter within its DNA. Willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of family, she offers herself to the Alpha Cat whose very presence pulls at her soul --- and whose love brings with it a deadly complication.


“Are you going to stay silent, or are you going to talk to me about this,” Mason spoke up, interrupting his thoughts.

Lyon knew what Mason was referring to. It had been more than obvious when he’d turned all primal and possessive over Kitlene after she’d been wounded. He’d given her his Alpha blood. That alone was tell-all. And now, he had her safely tucked in his bedroom.

“Nothing to say,” Lyon shrugged his shoulders. He and Mason had grown up close as brothers. They’d shared a lot of things over the years. Lyon just wasn’t sure how much of his thoughts and feelings he wanted to share right now. Especially when he hadn’t made a decision yet. “She’s my Truemate.” He didn’t have to say her name, Mason already knew. “But I’m destined to marry Ariel. What am I supposed to say to that?”

Mason rubbed his neck. “I’m sorry, brother. This is one crazy, helluva mess.”

That was an understatement. He had a looming marriage in less than twenty six days, a brother who might or might not be plotting to stop the Ceremonial mating any way he could, a possible war on the horizon, and enemies he didn’t even know where to begin to look for.

And a Truemate, sleeping in his bed.

“You should have put Jade in your room. I can protect Kitlene just as easy.”

“No.” She was staying with him, within seeing distance and reach, at all times. He’d kill anyone who tried to hurt her again.

“It isn’t your smartest decision,” Mason muttered.

Maybe not. But he wasn’t going to let her go. Not until there was no other choice…

“You’re just disgruntled because you have to watch over Jade.”

“Smart ass. That woman is a walking bomb just waiting for an excuse to explode. Don’t blame me if I end up killing her before all this is over with.”

Lyon grinned. “I was going to give you Ariel, but I have a feeling your nephew might have challenged that order.”

Mason frowned darkly at that. “Yeah, I noticed how he was hovering over her so protectively. He said it was because she was so fragile. And he always feels protective of little women. This isn’t good, Lyon. Someone is going to get hurt before this situation is over.”

As long as Kitlene stayed safe, one way or another, it didn’t matter to him who else got hurt. She mattered.

Hell if he knew what he was going to do to keep her completely safe. Even from him.


Please visit Kari's website to learn more about her and her writing...

9 Moonbeams (comments):

Cierra James said...

My favorite characters, Lyon and Kitlene. I love their story. Great interview, Kari.

Cierra James

Amber Polo said...

I love purple roses, too. Who would have guessed?
Keep those shifters shifting.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Nice interview ladies. :-) I'm gonna try for a container garden this year. I also need to pick up your books :-) So, thanks for the reminder with this interview!

katsrus said...

Great interview. Your books sound wonderful. And yes thank for the reminder.

Sue B

Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Kari, thanks so much for joining us today! You sound like my husband doing everyone's taxes. Once upon a looooong time ago, he was an accountant also, so he does taxes for all his family members and most of our close friends! It's like he's back practicing public accounting with all the tax work he does! lol

Thanks again for joining us and I wish you much success with your book!


Anonymous said...

THANKS, Gracen, for having me today, and a BIG THANKS to all stopping by!

I just wanted to add, I have 2 Free Reads listed on my Books page of my site, in case someone would like a sample of my writing.

Hugs ALL!

Angela said...

I didn't even think anyone else knew purple roses existed!

Your books sound really intersting. I like the way these characters sound.


Mary Corrales said...

I love the scent of gardenia. I can't grow them, but the sure smell beautiful. BTW, Love the excerpts!

hotcha12 said...