Please welcome Jan DeLima back to the blog! Her new book, SUMMER MOON, is out next week, and she kindly answered a few of my questions. Also, courtesy of the author, we’ve got signed copies of CELTIC MOON & SUMMER MOON up for grab, and it’s international, so be sure to hit the widget below the post to enter!
The last time we caught up, you had just released Celtic Moon, and the 2nd novel in the Celtic Wolves series, Summer Moon, will be out soon! Will you tell us more about it and Luc and Rosa?
Absolutely! For those of you who aren’t familiar with my Celtic Wolves Series, you need only imagine a world where the legends of Celtic lore still walk among us in secret. It’s a place where warriors are also wolves and reality isn’t always what it seems. Set in modern day, the stories are a mixture of both urban fantasy and romance, and while each installment has a strong fantasy edge built around Celtic folklore, each one also features a romance with two new main characters.
Summer Moon is Luc and Rosa’s story, and it begins mere days after Celtic Moon ends:
“Three days after her husband’s execution, Rosa Alban became a traitor to the Guardians of her race… She would rather live as a traitor than bear witness to one more act of cruelty in silence.”
Rosa proposes a dangerous offer to Luc, her neighbor to the north, to unite their clans in the impending war against their oppressive leaders. Known as the Beast of Merin, an unwanted son yet loyal brother, Luc is indebted to Rosa for saving Sophie, his brother’s mate. Securing his neighboring territory against the Guardians is crucial for the safety of their people. However, Luc is unprepared for the temptation Rosa brings, a physical need thought buried with Koko, his deceased wife. Carnal desires haunt his soul and feed his guilt. Rosa isn’t the woman Luc expected and may be more than just a powerful ally. But can he allow his heart to open for the one woman who is destined to be his true mate? Because Rosa, having been an unloved wife once, will accept nothing less.
Why did you decide to write about wolves and what kind of research have you done for the series?
At the time I worked in the cataloging department of my library when a book on Celtic artifacts came across my desk. It reviewed findings and theories of Celtic beliefs from Celtic art, with depictions of men shifting into wolves. Intrigued, I dove into researching Celtic mythology and found more material than I could possibly imagine on wolves and shape shifting. Let’s just say my paranormal writer’s radar was dinging loudly. Once the research started my characters demanded a place in this magical world.
Even though my series is set in modern day, my characters are ancient Celts, and I do try to weave the belief systems of the culture they came from into their personalities. As for research, the Internet is good for gathering ideas, but the best and most accurate resource for any writer is our local library.
Why do you think readers will root for Luc and Rosa?
Luc and Rosa have interesting histories and pairing them together created a wonderful dynamic. Luc is very much an alpha, but also honorable, and Rosa has been isolated from modern society. She is the last pure-blooded female shifter of an ancient immortal race, and now that her powerful Guardian husband is dead, she is expected to mate with other leaders she despises to carry on the purity of their shifter line. Rosa has other plans. She claims her freedom in this book, and her rightful place in the pack hierarchy to defend the people she loves—but not without dangerous consequences.
What’s been one of your favorite parts of writing the Celtic Wolves series?
I love exploring the personalities of each character, even my secondary ones. Koko, Luc’s deceased wife, inspired me to dust off my paint set and add drawings to her entries that are included in Summer Moon. You can view Koko’s Journal on my website. Mae is another new favorite. She is the herbalist and healer in Rosa’s territory .
Here’s a fun tidbit from Mae in Summer Moon:
- Mae gave him a stern eye for the interruption. “I am a problem solver, though I have been called many things in all my years: witch, midwife, alchemist, herbalist, doctor. We were burned on pyres, hung from trees, pressed between rocks, and now people of my trade work in tall buildings made of iron and glass and spin their potions in tubes instead of cauldrons. I read about these things in the magazine-books Gareth brings us. They make squares of chocolate for people to shit and I would have given them a nice cup of elderberry tea.” A wide smile revealed white but uneven teeth. “Alas, I will admit I never made a potion for a six-hour erection.” A dimple appeared on the unscarred side of her cheek. “Though I know of a few men who could have greatly used one.”
When you started the series, did you already have in mind how many books you’d like to write, or did you just decide to see where the narrative took you?
It’s a bit of both. My secondary characters have strong voices and I can see their future stories.
Have you read any good books lately? Anything you’d recommend?
I love to discuss books, but I will try to keep this answer shorter than my TBR pile. If you like romantic suspense, Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts is wonderful. I’ve also enjoyed all of Sarah Addison Allen’s novels and I’m looking forward to reading her latest release, Lost Lake.
What’s next for you, this year and beyond?
Elen and Cormack’s story is next, the third book in the Celtic Wolves Series. They are both central characters throughout the series and I’ve found their journey particularly moving to write. Elen has a special gift; she can manipulate nature with a touch of her hand, but she’s feared by their kind, and therefore lonely. Trapped in wolf form, Cormack has been Elen’s chaste companion for over four hundred years until she frees his human half in Celtic Moon. In Summer Moon Cormack is learning how to function in his new human body. By the third book he will be the warrior Elen needs to protect her from Pendaran, the leader of the Guardians and the most dangerous of them all. Elen will discover that the heart of a warrior is worth far more than the friendship of a wolf.
About SUMMER MOON:
She won’t be ruled again…
Rosa Alban has been obedient her entire life. But when her alpha husband dies, she seizes the opportunity to flee the oppressive Guardians—the rulers of the secret shapeshifter world. Her flight instantly brands her as a pack traitor, and she has no choice but to seek protection from a neighboring tribe by marrying one of their sons.
Known as the Beast of Merin, Luc Black loyally plays the part of unwanted son and devoted brother. He realizes marrying Rosa will strengthen his tribe’s territory, but he has no intention of loving ever again. Still, he’s unprepared for the intense physical need the wild she-wolf awakens in him.
When the Guardians hone in on Rosa, Luc must fight to protect his new bride. And as war descends, the unlikely allies discover their destinies are irrevocably entwined…