Please join me in welcoming author Dawn Marie Hamilton to Preternatura. Dawn is dropping by today while I’m in New Orleans to celebrate the recent release of her book, Sea Panther. Sea Panther was released in March of this year and is the first book in Dawn’s Crimson Storm series.
Dawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls–shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two–stalk across the pages of other stories. She is a member of The Golden Network, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart chapters of RWA. When not writing, she’s cooking, gardening, or paddling the local creeks of Southern Maryland with her husband. The first book in her Crimson Storm paranormal romance series, Sea Panther, and the first two books in her Highland Gardens time travel romance series are available at Amazon and Barnes& Noble. You can learn more about Dawn by visiting her website, blog, Facebook page and following her on Twitter.
ABOUT SEA PANTHER: Sea Panther ~ a Scottish inspired paranormal romance with a Highlander vampire shifter hero, a modern damsel in distress, adventure, suspense, and romance. And a wee bit of time travel—just for fun. Can love mend a fractured soul? After evading arrest for Jacobite activities, Scottish nobleman Robert MacLachlan turns privateer. A Caribbean Voodoo priestess curses him to an eternal existence as a vampire shifter torn between the dual natures of a Florida panther and an immortal blood-thirsting man. For centuries, he seeks to reverse the black magic whilst maintaining his honor. Cruising the twenty-first century Atlantic, he becomes shorthanded to sail his 90-foot yacht, Sea Panther. The last thing he wants is a female crewmember and the call of her blood. Although she swore never to sail again after her father died in a sailing accident, Kimberly Scot answers the captain’s crew wanted ad to escape a hit man. She’s lost everything, her fiancé, her job, and most of her money, along with money belonging to her ex-clients. A taste of Kimberly’s blood convinces Robert she is the one woman who can claim the panther’s heart. To break the curse, they travel back in time to where it all began—Jamaica 1715.
And now, let’s hear from Dawn…
Is That a Cougar or a Florida Panther Shifter?
Sea Panther started out as a vampire romance story, but while driving in Southern Florida, a sign on the road—panther crossing next 7 miles—changed everything. The story morphed into a vampire shifter romance novel with a new premise and set of rules.
Under the wrong assumption, I believed Florida panthers to be black and imagined a mysterious dark-haired hero. Not so. The Florida panther is an endangered subspecies of mountain lion, Puma concolor coryi, and closely related to the Texas cougar, thusly they are tawny brown in color. Panthers are slightly smaller than their Texas cousins, sporting short, stiff fur, with a slight reddish tinge, highlighted with gray. Sea Panther’s hero took on these coloring characteristics when in human/vampire form. While in panther form, other distinct characteristics resulting from inbreeding became evident, a kink at the end of the tail and a cowlick on his back.
Once I knew what a panther really looked like, I needed to come up with a way for a Scottish nobleman to be turned into a vampire/Florida panther. I almost had the answer when I learned the Governor of Jamaica in 1715 was a Scot and it has been hypothesized that he massed private warships for a Jacobite navy to dethrone the then King of England. Obviously, that didn’t work, but… The next thought was to have Sea Panther’s hero sail to Jamaica to join the governor’s privateers, run afoul of pirates, and become the victim of a botched curse performed by a Voodoo priestess with a pet Florida panther.
There are cases reported from the 40’s—could have happened in 1715—where private individuals kept Florida panthers as pets. I remember a childhood vacation to Colorado and Utah where I saw a pet mountain lion lounging in the back of a station wagon. This is just wrong. The animals need to remain wild. Anyway, it worked for Sea Panther’s backstory.
For more information about the endangered Florida panther visit: Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge.
If you could shapeshift into anything you wanted, what would it be?
Leave a comment with an answer to the question for a chance to win a gift e-copy of Sea Panther.
You can purchase a copy of Sea Panther by clicking on the following link:
Thanks for stopping by today, Dawn. If you would like to be entered for your chance to win a copy of Sea Panther, leave a comment!