Dia Ngata has been on the run for half her life—from hunters and from her past. Afraid to put down roots, she works with a global aid group, traveling to dangerous and often war-torn or devastated areas to provide help. The latest mission brings her to Romania, where militia activity has caused disruptions all over the country. Investigative journalist Carver Kano loves using his “journalistic integrity” to put garbage humans in prison. He started with his adoptive father’s hunting buddies—the ones responsible for the Whakamanu slaughter—and has since covered a variety of criminals. His latest assignment takes him to Romania, where militia activity has ratcheted up and a mysterious figure strikes fear into the citizens. When a bomb strikes the town of Siret, Dia does the only thing she can: she runs. Her worst fears come true at the hands of a secluded colony of bat-shifters wary of strangers, including the handsome Milos; she’s forced to face every bit of her past, including her ex-lover Carver Kano and a dire situation that threatens the bat shifters’ lives. Sometimes it takes two loves to heal the past. Can they put their fears and mistrust aside? Or will the past finally win?
Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.
When Dia’s past finally catches up, will she stand and fight or will she let it win?
What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?
There’s a scene toward the end after Dia talks to her younger sister and realizes that her family is safe. After, there’s a feast to celebrate and she tells her favorite Maori story for the first time in decades – the story of how the jeweled swans were created. There were tears.
How do you use magic in your book?
Magic is HEAVILY featured in the book. Dia, Milos, and Kano are shifters, and the bat-shifters live among a group of witches in a sort of symbiotic relationship. You’ll have to read it to figure out how it works 😉
Would your hero enjoy pumpkin spice lattes, candy corn, or apple bobbing?
LOL Kano comes off tough, but I bet he’s a PSL fan. Personally, I love candy corn, and but I think it’d be too sweet for Milos and Kano has to draw the line somewhere. However, Milos would rock apple bobbing thanks to those fangs.
What costume would your heroine (or hero if MM) wear to a halloween party?
Milos would 10000% play into the vampire thing. Kano would probably dress as Jonathan Harker from Dracula for giggles, and Dia would begrudgingly be Mina.
What scene did you adore writing in this book?
I think the conversation between Dia and Ember. The first book in the series originally came out in 2015, so I’ve waited ALL THIS TIME to write that moment, and it was so worth it.
Is this book a spooky/scary PNR, or a cozy/snuggling with a monster PNR?
I think it’s a suspenseful PNR. There are a lot of moving parts and sometimes I wasn’t even sure how it’d all work out in the end!
What is your favorite monster to write?
I love shifters. I just do. It may have to do with growing up on a steady diet of Animorphs and vampires.
If you had to pick, would you rather have fangs, claws, or wings?
Wings. Half the reason I’m scared of heights is that I’m afraid of falling. If I had wings? I might never touch the ground again.
Halloween’s coming. Do you do anything special to celebrate?
YES! Halloween is my favorite holiday anyway, but I moved to South Carolina from Kentucky the day before Halloween 2019 to be with my sister and brother in law. Plus my sister’s lovely mother-in-law’s birthday is the 31st, AND Dia’s Lure releases October 25! It’s gonna be a great Halloween!
That night, she Dia stared at the ceiling. She and sleep weren’t friends on the best of days, but as the Solstice neared, they became enemies; the dreams were picking up again, as violent and terrifying as the event they forced her to relive. She wished for Amy, who always knew the right things to say when she Dia was feeling down or overwhelmed or upset. Dia She missed her sister’s wry sense of humor, her propensity for getting into trouble, her lust for life, and she Dia often prayed that those parts of Amy survived. That Amy survived.
And Ember … what was Ember like? What kind of woman had she become?
Ember had come into the world a squalling mess of orange and black hair and eyes to match. Papa had often called her their little phoenix, thought she’d find a way to revitalize the Whakamanu. Mama had believed that Ember would work with her sisters to bring the swans out of hiding and into society. So much pressure for a tiny baby.
This time, Dia let the tears spill.
Sometime later, she woke to the first rays of dawn warming her windows. She’d slept maybe four or five hours, but it’d be enough to get her through. After too long in the field—too long alive—she didn’t trust sunny mornings. Bombings happened on sunny mornings. Murders happened on sunny mornings. Sunny mornings led to sunny afternoons, which led to complacency. And that complacency led to slaughter.
She donned her disguise and hefted her duffel onto her shoulder. Time to go.
The bus ride was subdued. It always was when they were on the way to a camp. As the miles passed, more signs of destruction made themselves known: clusters of damaged trees or bits of scorched ground, possibly from fires that got out of control—purposefully or not—flattened areas of grass from makeshift camps, ground that was ripped up by vehicles. Over the years of working for the Samaritan’s Crossing, Dia had learned to spot the signs of human suffering the same way a hunter learned the tracks and scat of his prey, and Siret was beginning to resemble the warzone they feared dreaded it’d be.
Fear slithered up her spine, wrapped itself around her heart. Everywhere she looked, she saw home. Her last memory of the village was of it being on fire, and highlighted by the flames, the form of—
Don’t think of him. Leave the past where it belongs.
Catherine Peace has been telling stories for as long as she could remember. She often blames two things for her forays into speculative fiction—Syfy (when it was SciFi) channel Sundays with her dad and The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells. She graduated in 2008 from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in English and is still chasing the dream of being super rich and famous, mostly so she can sit around in her PJs all day and write stories.
Catherine currently lives on a farm in South Carolina. E-I-E-I-O.