It’s All About the Animals:
Sanctuaries Provide Great Research
ANIMAL INSTINCTS isn’t the only novel that I’ve written in which animals play an important role in the story.
NEVER CRY WOLF featured wolves. When I got the idea, I looked to see if there was a wolf sanctuary somewhere in the area. I found Wolf Park in neighboring Indiana. Watching the interactions between wolves and their human caretakers gave me lots of ideas about how my “wolfman” hero would interact with the wolves in the wild. The one incident I still remember was a guy stopping a wolf from bullying others in the pack by dousing him in the water trough. The human was the alpha of that pack. The incident made it to the book. To learn more intently about wolves, I participated in a wolf ecology weekend at Treehaven in Wisconsin, where I learned a great deal about wolves, including how to track them in the wild.
An important secondary character in THE SILENT SEA is a dolphin who brings the body of a dead woman to shore, and is the only witness to her murder. I did the research at two facilities in the Florida Keys. I swam with dolphins at Dolphins Plus in Key Largo. I got to see dolphin-human interaction up close and personal, and was part of that interaction myself. I learned that dolphin skin felt a lot like rubber, and that if you touched a dolphin rather than letting it touch you, you’d get scolded by the irritated dolphin. And that while the dolphins were allowed to swim free from the sanctuary, they always came back. They did the same at The Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, a recovery facility for sick or wounded dolphins that were penned in the ocean. They would breach their pen and swim out at night. And in the morning, they would be waiting at the gate for a human handler to let them back in.
TOUCH ME IN THE DARK is set on a wild mustang refuge, and so I stayed on the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota. There, I not only got to view the mustang interactions in person, but I spent time with the man who started the sanctuary, Dayton O. Hyde. Talking with him was invaluable. I learned that wild mustangs rounded up by the BLM and put up for auction didn’t always sell. Mr. Hyde was distressed that they were not released back into the wild, but jailed in pens that were too small for them to move around. His idea was to create a haven where they could spend their last days running wild. To his surprise, once these old, possibly sick mustangs came to the sanctuary, they not only ran, they thrived and lived far longer than he would ever have guessed. Much about my fictional sanctuary is based on the stories he told me.
The holidays from Thanksgiving to the New Year is a time of giving, and I’m hoping that this year, those of you who can will support an animal shelter or sanctuary or zoo, whether it is by volunteering, buying gifts that help the organization or by donation. In addition to the animal havens listed above, here are a couple of places that I support:
PAWS Chicago, with it’s adoption center, spay and neuter clinic, and at the forefront of animal advocacy.
Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the last free zoos in the country.
Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization.
Tell us about your pet or an animal story that will make us smile.
Luc Lazare doesn’t need more complications in his life. And Skye Cross, the intriguing woman able to communicate with animals, is the last thing he wants. Too bad his body disagrees. But he’s trying to save his shapeshifting family from being forced into the battle arena, and that means protecting the shifters responsible for stealing Skye’s brother’s soul. Even as she demands his help, he’ll have to resist the pull of temptation.
Skye’s most recent animal rescue assignment involves saving canines involved in primal battles. Her investigation leads her to Luc, a man whose powers unsettle but intrigue her. Luc lures her into a dark encounter, and realizes that the animals engaging in these battles aren’t dogs at all, they’re wild predators. Skye finds herself caught in a dangerous world she never knew existed while relying on a man she couldn’t possibly trust.
In a world where everything–and nothing–is as it seems, can Luc and Skye find a way to overcome the odds that are destined to keep them apart?
Dark hair whipped around features so rugged they could have been cut from granite. High cheekbones. Broad forehead. Square chin. His eyes appeared silver in the moonlight, and they glowed at me, tightening my stomach and making it hard to breathe.
Trembling, I gasped, “What just happened?”
“You got into something that doesn’t concern you.” Forget about it.
I started. He hadn’t said the last bit out loud. There was something about him so powerful that I almost agreed.
I fought the desire to give in, saying, “I’m not forgetting about anything. Who are you?”
I felt as if he were trying to push the command into my mind.
Glaring at him, I pushed back.
“What are you?” he asked.
“Someone who protects animals.”
His silence told me that wasn’t exactly the explanation he was looking for. My pulse threaded unevenly as he stepped closer. I sensed both threat and something less tangible, something that made my stomach knot and my throat tighten. I’d always had a psychic connection not only with animals, but with my brother. No one else. Not until now. And this guy being able to mess with my mind went beyond any previous experience I’d had.
“Did you have something to do with the fight?” I gasped. “Where did those predators come from? What kind of power do you have over them?” It had to be something supernatural.
He stepped closer, and I sucked in a breath as his power cut through me, speeding my pulse, drying my mouth.
“You need to forget about them, Skye.”
This time he said it aloud. And he used my name.
“How do you know who I am?” I demanded, my heart beating so fast I could feel it bump up against my ribs. “What were you doing here? Who are you?”
Rather than answering my questions, he reached out and slid a palm along my cheek. The touch seared me, reminding me of the time I’d inadvertently touched a live wire. Wanting to move, wanting to run, I stood frozen instead. He was so close, I imagined I could feel the heat of his body as he splayed fingers around the side of my head. My insides trembled and my breasts felt full and tight.
What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I move? Or speak?
You never saw me. You’ll forget about me the moment I disappear.
Every fiber of my being longed to do what he wanted. But something in me, the thing that made me do what I do, was stronger.
“Disappear to where?” I demanded through a parched throat when I finally found my voice. “I have an excellent memory.”
Appearing frustrated that I’d been able to hear the silent command, he dropped his hand. “What are you?” he asked again.
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor has written 95 published novels that have generated more than seven million sales for eight publishers. Her fascination with "dangerous love" has led her to bring a different mix of thrills and chills and romance to each book. ANIMAL INSTINCTS and CRIMSON DUET (2 related holiday novels at a discounted price) are now available at digital retailers.