GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ The Story Behind the Story: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries by Alexis Duran + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Story Behind the Story: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries by Alexis Duran + giveaway

The Birth of Jacqui the Cat 

Jacqui was one of those characters who showed up in my brain fully formed, demanding to be heard. I remember having a ridiculously fun time listening the discussions he and his inner cat would have as I walked the dog, took a shower, drove to work. Even though Jacqui pretty much wrote himself when he first forced himself to the forefront of my mind, I had to ask myself if I could really take on this project. It seemed a tad irreverent, even for me who revels in silliness. I had "serious" books in the queue to attend to! But then I started to work on Jacqui's backstory and the challenges he faced as a lone shifter in a world of ordinary people, and I realized that there was a lot more weight to Jacqui than I first suspected.

Like most creative ideas, Jacqui didn't really emerge from the void. Many factors went into his arrival at my doorstep. First of all, I was never that into the shifter genre. It had yet to capture my imagination. Then a couple of my favorite authors wrote their own shifter books, so I had to read them. I did enjoy them, but one thing that struck me was that the animal side didn't really get a voice. Maybe some of that fox, crow, or wolf personality would show through, but only in glimpses, always through the eyes of the human.

Prowl (Jacqui the Cat Mysteries Book 1) 
by Alexis Duran
May 29, 2018
Genre: Gay M/M Paranormal Romance Mystery
Jacqui Corleone is a fashion designer, a yoga-instructor and a concerned citizen who selflessly helps the police solve crimes. Oh, and he occasionally turns into a small wild cat. Probably due to a wizard's curse or an evil government plot to create super warriors.

Or, he's a cat cursed to turn into a human and only the bite of a sexy alpha lion will allow him to remain in his superior form of Cat.

Jacqui does not have a split personality, but sometimes his cat personality can get rather loud. 

Jacqui Corleone is a cat shifter who doesn't know why or how he turns into a cat. He lives a solitary life in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. He's not afraid of intimacy (yes, he is) but sensibly refrains from potentially awkward entanglements. Unfortunately, the sexy new deputy sheriff just moved in across the street and Jacqui's vow not to get mixed up with island dudes is sorely challenged.

When the mysterious disappearance of three blue pots draws Jacqui to investigate, he prowls ever deeper into danger--and into the arms of Deputy Wyatt West (he wishes).

Work, work, work. 

Not that anything could make Jacqui a dull boy, but hours spent stooped over his sewing table had given him a kink in his neck along a strong urge to throw aside his needle and leap out the window. 

Instead he sighed dramatically, pressed his palms against the edge of the heavy table and stretched his neck, tilting his head to one side and then the other. He arched his back, slouched, arched again. Not working. He stood, padded across the hardwood floor and slid open the glass door to his tiny balcony. 

He'd been working for hours and still had two jackets to finish. Zee was arriving the next day to pick up the new outfits Jacqui had created. Everything had to be perfect. And complete. Complete and perfect and amazing. Because Zee was a rising star, and when the rabble got a look at the Cat's Eye creations adorning Zee's nearly famous bod, Jacqui would have it made. That was the assumption, anyway. Orders would flood his inbox, gobs of money would flow into his bank account, and he could hire an assistant and stop working these dog-awful hours. 

Or not. After all, what else would he do with his time if not toil? 

Right now, he had a strong urge to prowl. 

Now is not the time, Cat. Now is the time of toil. 

He stepped out on his second-story balcony and took a deep breath of fresh, slightly salty air blowing in off the water. His studio apartment overlooked Friday Harbor, and at the cusp of sunset, both town and harbor were bathed in a pinkish glow, doing that twinkly and picturesque as all get-out thing that happened on lovely summer evenings like this. 

Must prowl. 

No. The stitching had to be perfect. The lines exquisitely formed to Zee's angular shape, the drape immaculate. The last version hadn't been up to Jacqui's exacting standards. He'd pulled out a day's work in a pissy rage at himself, and now he was paying for it. 

You'll be more efficient after a prowl. And Zee's seaplane won't arrive until midday. 

Jacqui made the mistake of looking down, letting his gaze wander across the street, to where a moving van had recently been parked. 

Jacqui had a new neighbor. 

Back. To. Work. 

Jacqui's new neighbor was Wyatt West, the new deputy sheriff in town. Yes, Jacqui had played around with the name in an endlessly juvenile fashion. Wild Wild West, with the broad shoulders, lean waist, and an ass to die for. Dark brown hair, amber eyes, and a crooked smile that made Jacqui's heart do a little squeezy thing, leaving him breathless. How wild was West, Jacqui couldn't help but wonder? 

So they'd never spoken. Minor detail. Didn't matter. Until this weekend Wyatt West of the exceptionally hot body was a live aboard, a local brand of lunatic who lived on a sailboat surrounded by fucking water. Jacqui wasn't about to go sniffing around a mental case like that. 

But now Wild Wyatt Hot Bod was Jacqui's across-the-street-two-condos-down neighbor and required closer inspection. Because all neighbors required inspection. Because curiosity. 

"Wait for it. Anticipation makes it all the more sweet." 

To hell with that. Do the change and let's check Wild West out.

Pounce (Jacqui the Cat Mysteries Book 2)

Roam (Jacqui the Cat Mysteries Book 3)  

Wild (Jacqui the Cat Mysteries Book 4) 

About the Author:
Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She has worked in museums, in fashion, in finance and film production. Her favorite job so far was Administrative Assistant in a haunted Victorian Mansion. She's had several short stories published in the mystery, horror and literary genres, and one contemporary fantasy novel. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She's thrilled to enter the realm of erotic romance with the publication of her novels Touch of Salar, Blood of Salar and To Catch A Threeve. She's is currently working on the next in the Masters and Mages series and several other m/m erotic novellas. 

$10 Amazon 
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