“Six Geese Laid – A Holiday Fable” – a New Short Story in Chicagoland Shifters

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I’m so excited!  The Noon and Wilder short story, Six Geese Laid – A Holiday Fable, is now available on the WROTE podcast, featuring the voice talents of none other than Vance Bastian.  It takes place after the end of Cat’s Cradle, and before the next book, Ambush, which is forthcoming in 2016.  Ambush is TJ’s story, a tale of loss, identity, and love.  Six Geese is a holiday fable that sets the stage for TJ, Dillon, and Craig.

Join me tonight, Tuesday December 22nd, for a live Facebook event from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. Central Standard Time (GMT -6). I’ll have stories, anecdotes, and even an interview with Vance himself at 7:30.  Join me!

Cat's-Cradle---X LargeWhen you’re a former Marine, now tiger shifter, love comes with a high cost – is it too much to pay?

Mitchell Brayden is a former Marine looking for love in all the wrong places. When he decides to rescue a young ocelot shifter from a rich, spoiled playboy, he embroils himself in a conflict that goes back generations.

Guadalupe Salazar grew up as a pampered pet of a benevolent patron. After his patron’s untimely death, he stays on with the patron’s son – a self-centered, weak man who got ensnared by the drugs and fast living in the States. One night, it goes too far and Lupe is beaten nearly to death. He is taken to a secret shifter clinic where he meets an unlikely knight in tarnished armor.

Together, Mitch and Lupe confront the playboy and his friends – but will their actions draw the rest of the jaguar familias, not to mention the ocelot clans, into a battle over Lupe’s future? Will the delicate balance of power destroy everything that Mitch’s small band of tiger shifters has built in Chicago?

M Is For… Mitch and Lupe!

MI know, it’s an “m” and it would be a lot more fun to look at mancandy.  Sadly, the two guys we cast as Mitch and Lupe are models, and we don’t have permission to use their photos.  Someday, when we’re big and famous, we’ll hire our own models and have lovely photographs.  In the meantime, you’ll just have to do what you do best, Dear Reader:  use your imagination.

After all, exercise is good for us, right?

All kidding aside, Cat’s Cradle will be out this summer and since it’s about Mitch and Lupe, I figured I’d take today to share a little bit about character development.  There’s a lot of stuff out there about the subject of character, and a lot of good stuff from role playing games, not just writers.  But in some ways, all that wealth of information is too much and can overload a person just trying to figure out how to write a character – one character, one simple person to wander onto the page of story and be the vehicle for it.

Here’s one way I do it:

I like to work from image, so I’ll go onto Google and either look for a specific actor that caught my eye (and it’s embarrassing how many of them can do that, isn’t it?  Good thing there’s no such thing as mental police, or they’d find all sorts of stuff in there) or ask Google for a specific “type” – such as, male black hair.  I refine from there, finding images of people that interest me and drilling down until I find something that speaks to me.

What about you?
What’s your favorite way of creating a character, if you’re a writer; if not, what first catches your attention about a character?

C Is For… Cat’s Cradle

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The holidays are over.  March Madness is now April Fool’s.  And Cat’s Cradle, one of the Chicagoland Shifters novels, is coming this summer.  I figured I’d give you a sneak peek – Mitch gets to settle down.  Or does he?

When you’re an ex-Marine tiger shifter, love comes with a high cost – is it too much to pay?

Mitchell Brayden is an ex-Marine tiger shifter looking for love in all the wrong places. When he decides to rescue a young ocelot shifter from a rich, spoiled playboy, he embroils himself in a conflict that goes back generations.

Guadalupe Salazar grew up as a pampered pet of a benevolent patron. After his patron’s untimely death, he stays on with the patron’s son – a self-centered, weak man who got ensnared by the drugs and fast living in the States. One night, it goes too far and Lupe is beaten nearly to death. He is taken to a secret shifter clinic where he meets an unlikely knight in tarnished armor.

Together, Mitch and Lupe confront the playboy and his friends – but will their actions draw the rest of the jaguar familias, not to mention the ocelot clans, into a battle over Lupe’s future? Will the delicate balance of power destroy everything that Mitch’s small band of tiger shifters has built in Chicago?

What about you, Dear Reader?

What book or movie are you looking forward to this summer?

Writer Wednesday with Noon and Wilder

Yes, dear, I know you don’t like your picture taken.
©2015 A. Catherine Noon

Why do you want me to smi-
©2015 Rachel Wilder

2015 is shaping up to be a busy year.  We’ve sent off Sealed by Magic for consideration; finished first and second rounds of edits on Emerald Keep; made a deal for Book 3 of the Chicagoland Shifters, called Cat’s Cradle, and it’ll be out in the summer of 2015; and we’ve worked out the order of the Persis Chronicles series for the next four years.  Rock on.

I’m not sure I have two brain cells to rub together at the moment, though.  ~grin~

We are redesigning our websites this year, and my website will be up shortly.  We’ll launch the new Noon and Wilder site in the next month or so, before April’s A-Z Blog Challenge.  And yes, I’ll be doing the Challenge – with more than one blog, too, thereby proving the theory that I am, in fact, mad.

In Noon & Wilder news, I’m excited to say that we’ll be holding the 2015 Keepsake Tour right here on the blog for 31 days starting March 8th.  It will celebrate the release of Emerald Keep, the long-awaited sequel to our popular book Emerald Fire.  The Keepsake Tour will be a little different than blog tours I’ve done in the past – for this one, Rachel and I are literally making keepsakes for you, Dear Reader, to collect.  Rachel is crocheting a scarf, I’m making a lace scarf, we’ll have hand-made bookmarks and other bits and bobs.  I can’t wait.  I’m booking the stops on the tour now, but you can always check in here during the tour because I’ll leave little breadcrumbs for you to follow.

For now, it’s time to put my nose back on that grindstone.  We’re almost finished with Sapphire Dream, book 3 in the Persis Chronicles, and know what comes after it – which is sometimes half the battle.  We hope to be done with Sapphire within the next month or two so that we can send it off for consideration – so keep your fingers crossed!

Happy Wednesday, Dear Reader!

A to Z Challenge, Day 13: M Is For Mitch

Our next book in the Chicagoland Shifters will shift focus from Doc to Mitchell Brayden, one of the tigers in Neal’s unit.  A smartass tough guy, Mitch doesn’t seem like the kind to settle down.  But when he meets Lupe Salazar, his wandering days might be over for good.

He got out a clean-ish t-shirt and some shorts and ruffled his hair. A brief detour in the bathroom took care of everything including his teeth and he emerged to find Mitch talking to TJ.

Jealously flared through him so fast he almost felt dizzy.

“Mornin’,” TJ drawled, sipping from what looked like a brand-spanking clean coffee mug.

“Yeah. What are you doing here?”

TJ did a slow blink and set the Sports Illustrated down. “If I say drinkin’ coffee, you gonna kick my ass?”

“I might,” Mitch shot back.

“Here,” Lupe interrupted, thrusting another clean mug filled with black stuff at him. “Drink. Sit. I cook.”

“‘Drink, sit, I cook,’ huh,” Mitch echoed. He sat. “You do windows?”

“Why? You need them washed?” Lupe asked, craning his head around to peer at them.

Mitch laughed. “Slow down, dude! I’m just kidding!”

Lupe shrugged. “I make eggs and bacon. American breakfast. You like this?”

“I like this,” Mitch told him, grinning.

TJ kicked him under the table.

“What the fuck?” he growled, glaring.

TJ tipped his head at Lupe, like he meant it.

Christ. Worse than a fucking wife, TJ. “What can I do to help, Lupe?”

TJ smiled slightly.

Ass hat.

“Nothing, Mitch. You just relax, let Lupe make food. I clean dishes too.”

“You… dude, you don’t have to do that!”

“Is already done,” Lupe told him.

TJ looked up, and then over at the sink. He frowned and squinted at Mitch.

Like he was supposed to get it.

“Lupe, you don’t have to do the dishes, man,” Mitch told him.

“You said I’m yours, Mitch. I do the dishes.”

He went cold. “Lupe – ”

“Is okay, Mitch. You have a dishwasher.”

His eyebrows went all the way up his forehead and tried to climb clear off his head. “Um…”

TJ stared at him, his face reflecting Mitch’s shock. Mitch shrugged. TJ glanced at Lupe. “Don’t take advantage.”

“Dude!” Mitch protested.

TJ sighed. “Too late?”

Heat flared into Mitch’s face from a blush and he glared at TJ.

TJ just snorted and drank his coffee.

“Toast!” Mitch blurted, and shot to his feet.

“What?” Lupe asked, looking over from the skillet.

Fuck, but it smelled good.

“I’ll make us some toast,” Mitch told him. “You do that, and I’ll… um… I’ll do this…” He trailed off, feeling lame.

“Good idea, there, cowboy,” TJ murmured from behind him.

“Thanks,” Mitch said acidly.