It is with great joy that I announce the completion of Ravages of Spirit. This novel has been a tumultuous undertaking for me. It fought me every step of the way but I believe the result is the best story I’ve released to date. It ballooned as time went on, what I had planned as an approximately 70,000 word story now clocks in at close to 100,000 words before revisions. It is an epic tale of love and loss. Heart-breaking but hopeful, it is peopled with tragic but inspiring characters.
I would like to introduce you to the characters that comprise Ravages of Spirit. Tessa is a wounded woman hiding from the world. Secluded in a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, her only companions are her faithful dog Goober and her elderly neighbour, Earl. She bears deep physical and emotional scars of her tragic past. She has given up on life, too hurt by her experiences to attempt to reintegrate into society and merely exists, passing the years in solitude.
Her life changes dramatically one morning when she encounters a strange-looking cougar. Witnessing the cat fall from a rock ledge, she prepares herself to shoot the injured animal, intent on ending its suffering. When she reaches the spot where it fell however, she finds an unconscious naked man in its place. Having no recourse but to believe the cougar has transformed into a man, her humanitarian instincts kick in. She cannot leave an injured man alone in the wilderness and, so, after fashioning a stretcher, she brings him back to her cabin to care for him.
Finn is a cougar-shifter, a creature meant to live amongst his own kind, keeping his distance from humans. However, human hunters kill a loved one and Finn is determined to exact his revenge. After surviving the fall witnessed by Tessa, he awakens in her cabin. Reluctant to be with a human woman who knows his true nature, he must rely on her to take care of him during his infirmary and soon finds they have much in common. Both victims of senseless violence, they connect deeply. As Tessa nurses him to health, he repairs her battered spirit and soon the pair are a couple.
He struggles to keep his secret intentions from her, certain she will not be able to understand his thirst for vengeance. He knows he is close to encountering the hunters he seeks and vows to keep Tessa from becoming entangled in his vendetta. A further complication ensues when cat-shifters from his Pride track him to Tessa’s cabin, intent on assisting him.
Photo credit: Art G. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
Gerrard is the Pride’s Alpha and a shifter of uncommon compassion. His worry for Finn has spurned him to search for the shifter, accompanied by his son, Rick, Finn’s best friend, James and his friend Tulsa, a bear-shifter. Rick is determined to prove his mettle to his father and the Pride. James wants to ensure Finn’s safety and prove his albinism and small-stature are not the detriments that others view them to be. Tulsa, estranged from his Sleuth, is resolved to protect Gerrard, his only friend. However, Gerrard’s desire to accommodate Finn’s needs soon endangers the lives of the others. Upon learning the whereabouts of the hunters, tragedy befalls the group.
Jacob, a cruel man with a hidden agenda and Jude, a small-town pastor, lead the human hunters. The two recruit several men to their side, determined to alleviate the ‘demon threat’ to the town. Having grossly underestimated the abilities of the humans, the shifters face them in a bloody standoff that will see many die. Caught in the middle of the bloodshed, Tessa is a pawn in the battle that rages around her. She wonders if her love for Finn will be enough to ensure his survival.
Ravages of Spirit will be available for pre-order August 1st and will be released in late August.