Tami Lund’s Shifters & Lightbearers

I am Xander Wulf, and I am a shapeshifter. This means I have the ability to change forms at will. And not just one form, either, like werebears or werepanthers. I can shift into a hawk to fly over a tall, steep cliff; or I can become a cheetah to quickly get across country. I can even shift into the bear or panther I mentioned.

Or a lion. It’s good to be king.

Yes, shifters are king. We are the most powerful of the magical community. We are also the only ones who share this world with the humans. Everyone else has their own world in which to live. Well, almost everyone.

There are also the Lightbearers. Those elusive magical creatures with their golden blonde good looks and magic they get from the sun. It regenerates each and every day, as well. They can deplete their stores entirely, go sit in a shaft of sunlight, and a few hours later, the magic is back. Damned impressive.

And I want it. I want that feeling, that ability. Changing forms is not enough. My magic manifests itself only in that way. I’ve witnessed Lightbearers create light, make food, build structures—and summon weapons. They can even heal one another, all with magic.

Sometimes I wonder how shifters were able to claim the position of king, when our magic feels so … limited. But then I see how the Lightbearers scurry away, run and hide when they sense a shifter in their midst. Like lambs and wolves. They are afraid; shifters rarely feel fear.

They are afraid because my kind believes we must kill them to inherit their magic. When a Lightbearer dies, there is a great flash of light as their magic or spirit or whatever is released. Some shifter at some point along the line convinced himself that meant if he were the one doing the killing, that magic would go to him, instead of release into the air.

True confession: I’m not so sure of that. Plenty of Lightbearers have been killed by shifters. I’ve killed my fair share. And not a one of us has inherited a lick of Lightbearer magic. We convince ourselves it’s our fault; the way we kill them, the position we stood in when it happened, the fact it was nighttime instead of daytime. Whatever it took, we’ve been full of excuses for decades.

I’m all out of excuses. I still believe I can gain their magic, but perhaps killing isn’t the way. Maybe there’s another way. And maybe that feisty Lightbearer with the unruly blonde curls knows how. Hell, maybe it’s her magic I can inherit. Considering the last thing I want to do is kill her, I’m now officially convinced.

There’s another way.

Read the F*R*E*E prequel to the Lightbearer series to find out if Xander gets what he wants from the Lightbearers: FIRST LIGHT

(PS – Xander’s story continues in BROKEN LIGHT, the prequel part two, which is part of an anthology called CLAIMING MY VALENTINE. It’s fourteen shifter love stories for only 99 cents, all of which goes to charity. So why not give it a try, too?)

Lovely Woman Posing With a Wolf       Claiming My Valentine Antho Cover

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and occasionally a channeler of characters from her books. If you want more, take a look at her website: TAMI LUND

Today’s the Anniversary by Tami Lund

It’s an anniversary today. One year ago, my son died, and my life was turned upside, forever altered in a way I could never have imagined, not even in the deepest, darkest part of my overactive imagination.

This date has been hanging over our heads since March first, a depressing sort of anticipation building as each square on the calendar was crossed off. I’ve dreaded it for two reasons: 1) because, well, it’s The Day and this date will suck for the rest of my life; and 2) because this means beginning tomorrow we will enter Year Two of Life Without My Son, this new reality I neither wanted nor expected to be forced to live.

So what does one do on the first anniversary of one’s son’s death?

Well, my husband and I both took the day off work. I did because I wanted to have the inevitable emotional breakdown in the privacy of my own home (or at his graveside, as it were) and not in front of my co-workers, even as supportive as they all have been. My husband did it because he feels this overwhelming need to be there for me.

As I drove my daughter to school this morning, I asked if she wanted to visit her brother’s grave with us. She looked at me and said, “Why are you visiting today?”

“Well, it’s the day this all happened, so it seems appropriate.”

“It is? Huh. I thought it was later in the month.” She paused and said, “Is that why you and Dad both took the day off work?”

“Yes.”

“Awe, how come I don’t get to take the day off school?”

“You didn’t even know what day it was. How can I justify you taking a day off?”

We both chuckled, a nice deviation from the usual half-awake state she’s normally in each morning as we head toward school.

I spent the morning writing. If you’re a fan of Sexy Bad Neighbor, you’ll be pleased to know we’re up to chapter nine of Sexy Bad Daddy (and hoping to release it in June). My husband, I don’t know what he did. I was too busy getting lost in a reality in which I know without a single doubt there will be a happy ending.

I took the dog for a walk. The poor thing hadn’t had one in two days, thanks to crazy weather and my emotional breakdown last night.

We checked up on the grandparents, made sure they were making it through this horrible day.

And then, around noon, we headed out to run errands, including an amusing stop at the drug store to buy the necessary supplies to prepare for a colonoscopy (not me—him, although I’m sure the experience will be part of a future blog post—never fear).

And then we headed out to the cemetery, to visit my son. The temperature was in the twenties, with a bitter wind that made it feel more like single digits. The sun was shining, and there were sandhill cranes slowly wandering about, which my husband informed me are the ‘filet mignon of the sky’ and whoever manages that sort of thing is considering allowing people to legally hunt them. Yes, this was a conversation we had while standing over my son’s grave.

And then we talked about depression and mental health and the frustrations we have as the ones who were left behind; the ones who didn’t know anything was wrong until it was too late. The state of mind neither of us can imagine, that leads someone to convince themselves death is the optimal solution to making the demons in their head stop screaming.

We talked about my daughter, my sadness over the fact that she doesn’t have a brother anymore, that her future children won’t know their Uncle Brady; that she now goes to a Catholic school and that it’s entirely likely she’s the only kid there without a sibling. We gratefully acknowledged that she is generally happy, a glass-half-full kind of kid, and that we do not have to worry about any demons in her head. My son, on the other hand, had been largely miserable for the last year or so of his life, and we’d attributed it to “typical” teenage angst, when in fact, it was much, much more than that.

And then we had a late lunch, ate at a small sports bar that we didn’t start frequenting until after my son’s death. I commented that I liked this place because it was a new fave for us, and I’m a big fan of starting new traditions instead of holding onto the old. My husband pointed out that the first time we went to this place was the day we picked out our own gravestone, at which point I’d commented, “This feels more binding than even getting married did.”

After that, we picked up my daughter from school. She was thrilled to see us and chatted all the way home, exchanging snarky comments with my husband and laughing each time, even telling us a bit about her day in between. That seven minute ride was the highlight of my day thus far.

Now we’re off to dinner, going back to an old tradition. My therapist suggested we do something to honor Brady on this day, perhaps make his favorite meal. Instead, we decided to go to his favorite restaurant. Hopefully, we’ll have a nice, relaxing dinner and we’ll laugh through the tears.

And tomorrow, we go back to reality, this new reality that, while it was forced upon us, we’re doing our best to make as happy and satisfying as we can.

Tami Lund Talks Dragons & Loss

Almost a year after his death, we’re slowly beginning to use my son’s bedroom again. Not surprisingly, it’s being taken over by my daughter. Her Lego dragons are on the shelves; there are pictures next to the computer monitor. We’ve moved the dog’s crate in there, too, which is nice if only to get it out of the living room.

We offered to move her in there entirely (it’s bigger than her bedroom), but she declined. I think it’s a combination of it being “his” room and the fact that she isn’t keen on change. Moving her bed is one thing; firing up the computer in there is entirely another. And the dragons are there because she’s run out of room in her own bedroom.

My husband and I refer to it as the “annex” now. My daughter recently said, “Why do you call it that? It’s Brady’s room.”

I replied, “Because honestly, saying his name hurts. It’s easier this way.”

And she said, “Why can’t you remember the good times? Why can’t you enjoy the time we had with him, instead of wishing it never happened?”

That hurt, because I admit, sometimes I wish he never had been born, but only because that way I’d never have had to suffer this immense pain that never quite goes away, now that he’s dead, far, far too soon.

When I think that way, my overactive mind goes a few steps further, and tries to analyze what the world would be like if my husband and I had not tried to get pregnant for those six months; if I had not gone to my gynecologist and she had not prescribed a pill that would (finally) make me ovulate. If we had not had sex on that specific day, at that specific moment.

My daughter came around when she did because of the timing of my son’s birth; we wanted them roughly three years apart, and we got lucky because they were two years and nine months apart. It was Halloween, eleven days after his second birthday, when I found out I was pregnant with her.

If we had not had him, would we still have her? We never intended to only have one. If it had taken us another six months to get pregnant, we might have had an entirely different kid. Maybe even a girl first. And then we probably would have waited another six months to try to get pregnant with number two. And maybe she would have been a boy. And since I cannot fathom my life without my daughter in it, I suppose I cannot say I wish my son had never been born, because then I might not have her, too.

So after a few moments, I responded, and I said, “I don’t wish it had never happened. I wish it were still happening.”

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes funny, award-winning books and depressing blog posts. But the blogging helps her deal, so she can do everything else in life–like write more books for your reading pleasure. Check out her books here: https://www.amazon.com/Tami-Lund/e/B00AXJH5MY/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_2

A V Day Chat with Characters from Tami Lund’s Book

I know, I know, Valentine’s Day was yesterday. But considering this post is about Gavin Rowan from Of Love and Darkness, the first in my Twisted Fate series, I think you understand why it’s acceptable to post it on February 15th.

What’s that? You haven’t read Of Love and Darkness, so you have no idea what I’m talking about? You don’t know anything about Gavin, the cursed Light One, and Sydney, the Chala-who-has-no-idea she is one? Or how about William, the cross-dressing Fate who’s built like a linebacker?

No?

Well, what are you waiting for? Today through Friday it’s only 99 cents. Hurry and grab it!

In the meantime, here’s a typical Valentine’s Day in the Rowan household….

***

OfLoveandDarkness (large).jpg

“I suck at this Valentine’s shit.”

William glanced up from reading the newspaper on his iPad. Gavin Rowan, that incorrigible cursed Rakshasa shifter who happened to be in love with William’s Chala, towered over him, a scowl on his unshaven face, his pale blue eyes glaring at the Fate as if it were his fault the man was lousy at being romantic.

“You suck at a great many things,” William obligingly pointed out. He was stuck with the often surly shifter because Sydney loved him, but that didn’t mean he had to play nice. Besides, playing nice rarely worked for Gavin. He tended to speak one language: asshole.

“Not nearly as good as you do, I bet,” Gavin shot back, a typical derogatory comment about William’s preference for sharing his bed with men instead of women.

“I will never understand what Sydney sees in you.” William dropped his iPad onto his lap and brushed a bit of lint off the lacy lapel of his red wrap blouse. It was a recent find and his current favorite shirt. He’d been thrilled when he discovered they made it in his size. It was often a challenge to buy women’s clothing in sizes large enough to fit a six and a half foot tall, two hundred and sixty pound man built like a linebacker. And don’t even get him started on shoes.

“I think you understand quite well,” Gavin replied with a leer. “Now, help a guy out. What should I get her?”

“You to realize it’s four o’clock in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day, right?”

“Yeah, so hurry up about it. I haven’t even acknowledged the day yet. I’m sure she thinks I have some kind of surprise up my sleeve. So tell me what to do.”

William would like to tell the man to jump off the highest cliff he could find. But that would devastate Sydney, and William hated it when his Chala was upset. He sighed and said, “You seriously can’t think of anything? You have no idea what she wants, what she likes? Her favorite pastime? Her favorite restaurant?”

“I don’t want to take her out to dinner. Everybody does that. It’s boring. I want… something different. Better. Something she’ll remember, and tell all her friends about.”

“How does the asshole in you manage to live with that giant ego? Seems like they’d be fighting for dominance all the damn time.”

“You’re a funny Fate,” Gavin replied with a smirk that said William was anything but.

“Not nearly as funny as the comedians at the Comedy Castle.”

Gavin gave him a blank look and then shook his head. “Whatever, dude. You gonna help me or not?”

“I’m trying,” William grumbled. “She does like to laugh, you know.”

“So you think I should just tell her jokes all night?”

“You really are an idiot, you know that?”

“And you’re a fruitcake. We all have our burdens to bear. So about that Valentine’s Day idea?”

With a long-suffering sigh, William reached into the V on the neck of his blouse and pulled out an envelope. He offered it to Gavin, who looked at it as if it might bite him.

“Did you seriously just pull that out of your cleavage? What the fuck is wrong with you? And what is it, anyway?”

“Tickets, you dolt. To the comedy show. Seven o’clock seating. A lovely wine bar recently opened down the street from the comedy club. I think she’d like it.” He made a show of looking at his watch. “So I’d get a move on, if I were you.”

He watched realization dawn on Gavin’s face. If he weren’t such a repulsive creature, William might even go so far as to say it lightened his face, made him almost attractive.

Gavin snatched the envelope. “Sweet.” He bolted from the room without so much as a thank you, but William had expected no less. A moment later, Sydney stepped out from where she’d been hovering in the kitchen. Unlike her mate, her enthusiasm and appreciation was clear as day, as she pulled William to his feet and squeezed him until he couldn’t breathe.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, William. You’re a doll. I’m so excited for tonight.” She clapped her hands like a three-year-old.

“You’re welcome, but tell me, why didn’t you just tell him that’s what you wanted?”

Sydney’s pink rosebud lips thinned and she crossed her arms over her chest. “Gavin probably would have refused to do it, if I’d suggested it. You know how he likes to think it was his idea. And I knew he’d come to you, because he wouldn’t be able to think of anything. And whatever you suggested is what he’d do. This worked perfectly. Now, I have to go track him down so he can tell me about our plans, so I can get ready for my hot date. Thanks again, William. I owe you one.”

She trotted away, happy as a lark, and William was once again reminded of the complexity and convolution—and sheer genius—of the female mind.

***

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes quirky characters, often with a strong sense of humor. She’s a big fan of bad boys who really have a heart of gold, and unexpected secondary characters who sometimes have to bash the hero and heroine over the head to get them to realize they’re in love.

Got Birthday Ideas? Tami Lund Needs ’em

The husband’s birthday is next month. The big 5-0. Seems pretty significant, right? Like I should plan something big, right? A few months ago, he even hinted that he’d like to go to Vegas for his birthday, because that’s what you do when you turn fifty.

So I looked into Vegas, even though neither of us are gamblers. But there’s lots of other stuff to do there, right? I’ve never been, but he has, and he’s always had a good time. I even went so far as to send out a message to our closest friends, see if anyone wanted to join us.

Then a couple of those friends suggested doing something more … up my husband’s alley. He’s a huge history buff and a beer connoisseur, so I thought about Boston. Aside from spending far more than we can afford to fly to Germany, I can’t think of a better place that combines those two loves. And if we figure out how to get passports so we can drive through Canada to get there, it’s only about a ten-hour drive from Detroit, saving us airfare and a rental car fee while we’re there. Considering we make an annual trip between Detroit and Dallas, ten hours is a walk in the park.

I also toyed with heading to Napa Valley, which is where we spent our honeymoon and our tenth anniversary, and from where we purchase and consume relatively large quantities of wine.

And then earlier today he informed me he didn’t want me to do anything special, aside from dinner at a nice restaurant, for his birthday.

Seriously???

I’m not sure how to take this. I feel like he’ll be disappointed if I *only* do dinner. I mean, it’s FIFTY. That’s significant, isn’t it? I’m not sure why, to be honest, but it feels like it should be. Maybe because he’s halfway to being a centennial? Although I personally don’t think that’s something to celebrate, but then again, I desperately don’t want to get old, so I’m not the person to ask.

Anyway, what should I do? Should I plan something anyway? Adhere to his wishes? Figure out something in between? If so, what the heck is in between?

Got some ideas for me? I’d luuuuuv to hear them. Seriously. I need *something*. I have about seven weeks to figure this out…

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, lover of happily ever afters and her husband. And she really wants to do something special for his birthday, but she’s never been very good at getting this whole gift giving thing right…

What’s Old Is New Again

That’s right: Tanner and Olivia and company are ba-a-a-a-ack! If you’re already a fan of my Lightbearer series, you’ll be happy (I hope!) to know it ain’t over yet. In fact, there’s a new book releasing in February. It’s another prequel (it’s okay to have more than one, right?) and it’s called BROKEN LIGHT. If you read FIRST LIGHT, it’s Xander’s story. He might just get a happily ever after in this one.

BROKEN LIGHT will be part of the CLAIMING MY VALENTINE anthology, a collection of 14 shifter Valentine romances, all for only 99 cents, with proceeds going to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Yep, it’s for charity, and it’s a bunch of awesome reads for you shapeshifter fans out there.

Not only that, but the first three books in the series (INTO THE LIGHT, DAWNING OF LIGHT, LIGHT BEYOND THE DARKNESS) are all getting new covers and will be rereleased in the coming months. INTO THE LIGHT is already out, and the covers for INTO THE LIGHT and DAWNING OF LIGHT are done! What do you think?

If you haven’t read my Lightbearer series, I encourage you to give it a try. The first prequel, FIRST LIGHT, is free, pretty much anywhere you can buy ebooks. And INTO THE LIGHT was just rereleased. If you’re wondering what it’s like, well, here’s Tanner Lyons, the hero, telling us about his New Year’s resolutions:

***

Fucking New Year’s resolutions? Are you serious? Man, we’re just trying to stay alive here.

See, I left my pack ten years ago, when I was barely twenty years old, and I’ve been on my own ever since. Usually, I spend New Year’s Eve in a bar, drinking cheap champagne and trying to improve my pool game, hoping I’ll get lucky and some drunk, decently good-looking chick will want to hook up for a few hours after that stupid glittery ball drops.

Well, that all changed the last time my father found me and convinced me to return to the pack. I shouldn’t have gone, but he had physical proof that the Lightbearers really did exist. You see, he’s spent his entire life searching for those elusive magical people. He’s convinced the old stories, the urban legends, are true. That to kill a Lightbearer is to inherit her magic. Problem is, you have to find them, first, and no one’s seen one in five hundred years. Most of us assumed they’d gone extinct. But not my father. He can be pretty damn focused and single-minded, and determined as hell, when he wants to be.

And he was right. They do exist. In the form of a delicate yet strong blonde waif of a female, in a torn dress and with sticks and leaves in her hair, curled up in the corner of a cell in my father’s basement. Not only do they exist, but they’re gorgeous, at least this one is. And something about her calls to me. I don’t know what, because God knows she’s not giving me a damn thing when I try to talk to her, but that doesn’t even matter.

I gotta save this woman. And then I gotta have her. I don’t give a rat’s ass that she’s not a shifter or that I’m supposed to want to kill her or that she has magic I could steal, if I could just figure out how. I don’t care. I just want Olivia. Might even want to mate with her.

So, I guess I do have a New Year’s resolution this year. And I guess it’s to save Olivia Bennett from my father. No, better yet, it’s to mate with her.

Nothing like going for broke, huh?

***

Want more? Grab INTO THE LIGHT and fall in love with the Lightbearer series!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes, drinks wine, and wins awards. She has a particular fondness for writing about sexy shapeshifters. So much so, in fact, that her Lightbearer series may never end…

 

 

Tami Lund Talks Lightbearers and F*ree Reads

For those who don’t know, I write a series called “Lightbearer.” It’s about these people who get their magic from the sun. They must soak up a certain amount of sunlight each day in order to regenerate their magic. And if they are cut off from the sun for too long, they’ll die.

Not that I did it on purpose when I came up with the idea, but they are sort of the polar opposite of vampires. When I realized that, I made a comment in the first book of the series, Into the Light, along the lines of Lightbearers being poisonous to vampires, since sunlight sorta kinda runs in their veins.

Wait, Into the Light isn’t really the first, not anymore. After I’d written eleven books in the series, I went back and wrote a prequel. First Light takes place five hundred years ago, back when the Lightbearers first went into hiding to escape from the shapeshifters who wanted to kill them and steal their magic. It helps explain how the urban legends started (that killing a Lightbearer means you inherit their magic), and how the Lightbearers ended up living in a secret, magically protected coterie on the shore of Lake Michigan. It also sets up the possibility of Lightbearers and shifters potentially choosing to be lovers instead of enemies (which is what happens in Into the Light).

First Light is also free, and it’s part of this double boxed set chock-full of series-starting freebies. Year of the Wolf Pack, Part One and Part Two. My book is in Part Two, which will be available January 9-14. In the meantime, there are a bunch of books for you to read in Part One, which is available now (but only until January 7, so download asap). Here’s the link: https://instafreebie.com/free/sE9T7.

If you can’t wait until January 9 to read First Light, head over to my website (http://tamilund.com/free-read/) for the link. Otherwise, on January 9, you’ll be able to download the entire second boxed set.

Happy New Year and enjoy your reading!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, and award winner. She loves happily ever afters, and she loves to share special offers with readers. Join her newsletter list for more, more, more! http://www.subscribepage.com/Tami_Lund