May 27, 2013

In the Spotlight - Cyndi Friberg



CONTEST: Comment below and include your email address for a chance to win any eBook from Cyndi's backlist! Contest ends Saturday, June 1st at Midnight. 


Anything-but-Ordinary is Cyndi's creed and her writing reflects her dedication to the concept. She writes in a variety of genres, but seems happiest in outer space. Her books have been nominated for numerous awards, and Taken by Storm was named Best Fantasy/Science Fiction Romance of the year by Romance Reviews Today.
She lives in Colorado with her high school sweetheart turned husband of many years. With a pampered cat curled on the corner of her desk, she dreams of fascinating words and larger than life adventures -- and wouldn't have it any other way!

Therian Heat, Book Five: THERIAN PRIZE

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Therian Heat, Book Five: When Heather’s father offers the right to mate with her as the prize in a vicious tournament, she refuses to submit and runs for her life. Knowing the last place wolf hunters will search for her is in the heart of cat territory, she seeks the help of Jake, an irresistible and powerful tiger-shifter.
Jake and Heather have lusted for each other for years but loyalty to their respective clans has kept them apart. Thrown together by danger, they slowly succumb to the temptation of forbidden passion.
As the lovers lose themselves in each other, the hunt for Heather intensifies. Not only is her father still hot on her heels, a group of human scientists have targeted Heather, convinced they can use her unique shifter status for their own twisted ends.


“I can’t do this.” Heather used both hands in an effort to break his hold but he easily restrained her.
“Stop fighting me! You only humiliate yourself. There is no reason for your stubbornness. This is natural, an event to be celebrated.”
“This is barbaric and cruel,” she cried. “I will not be the prize for some twisted blood sport.”
He paused and stared deep into her eyes, a hint of tenderness softening his expression. “You’re a treasure I will award to the strongest and most cunning among numerous packs. You should be proud. The turnout for your challenge is unprecedented.” Without another word, he continued toward the crowd, dragging her behind him.
She looked at Lexxie in panicked anger but her friend appeared as upset as Heather.
“I didn’t know about this,” Lexxie insisted. “I swear. He told me it was a Howl.”
“It is a Howl,” Nate objected. “But rather than dancing and fucking, Heather’s mating ceremony will be the entertainment.”
His fingers banded her arm, firm, unbreakable. Even if she managed to break free, where would she go? Rather than humiliate herself further by kicking and screaming, Heather walked at his side, chin raised, gaze coolly assessing. He hadn’t exaggerated. The vast majority of attendees were male and many were from other packs.
The crowd parted for them, offering her an unobstructed view of the combatants. Three fights were going on simultaneously, each bout savage and bloody. She crossed her arms over her chest and forced herself to watch. She would not show fear in the face of this madness. She had to remain calm and watch for an opportunity if she hoped to escape.
Escape? Was there really any hope that she could outrun all these men?
“As soon as this round is decided, we’ll be down to the final six,” her father explained. He seemed absorbed by the competition, yet he maintained his hold on her arm. “My money is on Risdon, but Braden Montego is solid too.” He motioned toward two men standing across from them. She recognized James Risdon. The other man was a stranger to her. James was one of her father’s favorites and James had made no secret of his desire for her. Braden was tall and lean, with sharp features and pale-green eyes. He stared at her boldly as if he were already undressing her.
One of the combatants screamed and Heather’s attention returned to the fight. The wounded man held his arm against his chest, his hand twisted at an unnatural angle. His opponent smiled with vicious joy and Heather felt sick all over.
“He needs to shift to mend the bone, but he’ll be disqualified if he does,” her father explained, fascination making his eyes gleam. Ignoring the pain, the contestant attempted to continue.
It was all so cruel, so vicious. She started to turn away but her father jerked her back around.
“They’re spilling their blood for you. You can have the decency to watch.”
Decency? Nothing about this was decent.
The winners were declared a short time later and the final six paired off. She tried to calm down, to accept the inevitable. She was a Therian wolf. Her mate needed to be strong and capable. That’s all this was, a demonstration of his strength and…savagery! Blood marred their features and cruel ambition twisted their expressions. They weren’t allowed to shift and still they looked more animal than man.
This might be “an honored tradition” but she found it revolting.
Disgust and fear gave way to desperate purpose. She would not be the prize in this vicious competition. She would not submit to the brutality of men!
Drawing energy deep into her chest, she shut out everything but the hot tingle. All around her men cheered and shouted, calling suggestions to the ones slugging it out in the center. She tuned out the sounds and focused inward. Ever since she transformed six years ago, she’d been able to sense her inner self. She’d tried countless times to transform again but the stakes had never been this high before. If she stayed here she would die, perhaps not physically, but part of her soul would be consumed by the indignities they had planned for her.
Energy coalesced in her abdomen, spinning and twisting into a concentrated ball. Her skin felt tight, painfully confining, and her joints began to ache. Invigorated by her progress, Heather slowly opened her eyes.
Lexxie was the only one not engrossed in the fighting.
Heather felt her eyes burn as the shift took hold deep inside. Yes! It was working.
Lexxie’s eyes widened and she shook her head. “Don’t.” Her lips formed the word, but the sound was swallowed up by the roar of the crowd.
Heather was beyond caution, beyond caring if this made her look weak or embarrassed her father. She would not spend the rest of her life with the winner of this horrendous contest. Her Therian nature had saved her once before. When Carlos threatened her life, it was as if her ancestors rose up and triggered her transformation. This wasn’t a typical shift. This was more elemental, a Therian equivalent of fight or flight.
She surrendered to instinct and allowed her Therian nature to take over. Her wolf tossed her head, anxious and ready to escape. She closed her eyes again as her wolf thrust through her human form. Blinding pain flashed through her being as the shift hit her fast and hard. Nate cried out and grabbed a handful of fur, but the rest of her slipped away. Heather spun on her back legs then leapt between two stunned onlookers.
“Stop her!” Nate screamed. “If you catch her you keep her. And claim her any way you like.”
Her father’s horrible words followed her into the surrounding forest. She wasn’t sure where she was going or how she’d survive without her pack. All she knew was her life here was over and she couldn’t look back.


Q: Has your perspective on the writing process changed since you became published?
I still love to write, but this is my occupation now. I’ve become much more disciplined, spending at least 8 hours per day writing, editing or promoting.
Q: How do you know you’ve written a good book?
My best books are the ones that seem to write themselves. But I rely heavily on my critique partner and beta readers for honest opinions. It’s impossible for me to be objective about my work. I’ve had the same critique partner for 12 years, so we don’t pull punches.
Q: How do you keep your characters and stories organized?
I have a detailed “bible” for each of my worlds, but I also use a sort of cheat sheet with basic, yet important information, character descriptions, occupations, species, that sort of thing. The information becomes more complicated as each series progresses, so it’s imperative that I keep track of everything.
Q: What is the one thing you must have to be able to write?
Actually there are two: coffee and chocolate.
Q: What are you currently working on? How is it different from other books you’ve written? 
I’m putting the finishing touches on Royal Obsession. It’s the first book in my Shadow Assassins series. These stories will feature the children of, or minor characters from, Beyond Ontariese. The Shadow Assassins stories are going to take place on Earth and most of the heroines will be human. The original series was sci-fi romance where these new books will be paranormal romance with sci-fi elements. No spaceship battles or interplanetary wars. J

CONTEST: Comment below and include your email address for a chance to win any eBook from Cyndi's backlist! Contest ends Saturday, June 1st at Midnight. 

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