Thanks for having me!
My new book, Fever of the Fox, was an idea that sort of came to me through the characters. Growing up, I lived in an area that was essentially a melting pot of many different cultures, with friends from all sorts of different backgrounds. One on my closest grade-school friends was a Japanese-American girl whose house was like this amazing shrine to her parent’s homeland. I used to love going over there to play with her, especially outside in their beautiful garden. There was this cool little statue of a fox that I remember looking at a lot. For some reason it always stuck out to me, but I never asked my friend about it.
Fast forward to now, I was thinking of trying to bring in the supernatural element into my very first LGBTQ book, but I was stuck. Wolves, bears…all of those were pretty commonplace and I wanted to do something different and not necessarily your average shifter title. I already had Tai and Jessa (my two main characters) dreamed up in my mind, so now I just had to think of the supernatural element. Knowing that Tai was going to be a Japanese-American girl, I wanted to try and bring some of the Japanese culture to life in the book and that’s where the kitsune came in.
I did some research and found out a lot of interesting things on Japanese folklore, especially the legends surrounding the kitsune, which is roughly translated as the “fox-spirit.” According to the lore, kitsune are similar to Western ideas of witches, in that they have special powers. They are primarily foxes but can possess people (generally thought to possess young, beautiful women), or they can shape-shift into one. Many believe that the creatures could live forever, and as they got older they grew extra tails so that at the height of their power they would have nine tails, and the only way to kill one was to cut them all off! The Japanese think of the kitsune-zenko as the good-spirited foxes, associated with the god, Inari. On the other hand, the kitsune is also known to be a trickster either mischievously or maliciously, and these types are referred to as nogitsune.
What was funny was that I didn’t put two and two together until I recently caught up with my friend. We talked about my idea and she was over the moon – so excited that I chose the Japanese legend as I did. I brought up our playdates in the garden and she pointed out that the fox statue I used to admire was actually a good luck totem, a kitsune to help guard the garden from any wrong-doers. How crazy is that?
As far as my book goes, I wanted to put my own spin on the legend, but deep down it is still very true to its roots. Hopefully everyone else will feel the same!
* * * *
Fever of the Fox
The Kitsune Chronicles Book One
Social Media Blitz Date: July 31, 2015
Release Date: July 31, 2015
Publisher: LoveLight Press
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Tags: lesbian romance, paranormal romance, new adult, coming of age, F/F, lesbian fiction
Length: Novella – 32,000 Words
Tai Murata’s dream is to be the next valedictorian in her class at Harington University, and thanks to her hard work that goal is finally within her grasp. With everything going her way she feels able at last to summon the courage to admit her true feelings to her best friend and room-mate Jessa.
Jessa Conway is a free-spirited girl who’s ready to graduate and find out where the wind takes her. She’s desperate to escape the town she grew up in and the thought of getting stuck there terrifies her. Drawn to Tai in ways she cannot explain, her need to run is at odds with her desire to stay at Tai’s side.
As Tai turns twenty-one something buried deep within her is unleashed: something powerful and animalistic which threatens to tear them both asunder. Together the girls begin a search for the answers which should help Tai rein in the ancient beast which begs to be set free, but the beast is cunning, wily, and has no wish to be tamed…
If I was going to stop being a prude for once in my life, now was the time.
I slid the straps of my one-piece off of my shoulders, shivering even though the night was warm and balmy. Jessa, who probably couldn’t believe that I was actually doing this, kept her head only just above the water, with eyes her trained on me. Somehow I managed to keep eye contact with her as I pulled the bathing suit down and stepped out of it, kicking it over to where my flip-flops lay on the ground.
The slanted smile of hers was the last thing I saw before diving into the deep end of the pool. Even with the temperature being warm, the water seemed to be only a degree or two below frozen tundra. I shrieked as I emerged, gulping in as much air as I could from the sheer shock of it.
“Holy shit! Why didn’t you tell me the water was freezing?” My teeth were already chattering.
She laughed, shrugging her shoulders innocently as I swam over to her. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m perfectly comfortable.”
“Oh please, I’m the one with the built-in heater! I can’t even imagine how you’re able to just sit there like that!” I splashed her playfully, enjoying the sound of her giggling as she returned fire.
We stayed like that for a while, splashing and goofing off, not worried about getting caught or what anyone else would think for once. When the two of us started trying to dunk each other is when I noticed the inconvenience of my tail splashing around behind me in the water.
“Dammit,” I muttered under my breath. I was being third-wheeled by my own damn fox tail. Who would’ve thought?
Jessa glanced back at the bushy appendage and swam even closer. I was suddenly very aware of the fact that my best friend was completely naked and only inches from my own very naked body. I could feel that same burning behind my eyes, like when I nearly burned down the school’s chem lab. Thank god for Jessa’s quick thinking or I’d be owing Harington University a huge chunk of money right now.
I squeezed my eyes shut, mentally trying to stop whatever weird ancient forces were wanting me to burn holes into the gorgeous body in front of me.
The water between us swished around and Jessa was pressing her herself up against me, circling an arm underneath my arm and around my back. She began shushing me and rubbing circles with the palm of her hand between my shoulders, relaxing the tension that was building up in my body as I tried desperately to control the fire that wanted to blaze. I looked past her, focusing on a spot of moonlight that was shining between the branches of a tree.
“Deep breaths, Tai. Just breathe with me.”
The pressure of her chest expanding against mine both calmed and excited me. It was so weird feeling like I was gaining more control over my powers yet at the same time I had never felt so vulnerable before. I did as I was told and took deeper breaths, laying my head on her shoulder and trying to think of anything else but the fact that Jessa’s nipples were softly rubbing against mine. With my extra-sensitive sense of smell I noticed things I had never even thought about before, like the scent of my coconut shampoo in her hair, the chlorine in the water, the slightly moldy scent of damp towels in a pile outside the pool office, and even the smell of salt on her skin.
Concentrate, I scolded myself.
Coming from a smaller town than most, Evie Collins always wondered if there were books made for women like her. After finally reaching the conclusion that there needed to be more out there for the LGBTQ crowd who also crave romance in their lives, she vowed to do something about it. Pen in hand, she began writing- drawing from her own experience as a lesbian woman.
Having grown up in the northeast, she traded her snowy winters for balmy summers down in North Carolina’s lovely Outer Banks. To keep her company she brought her sweet daughter and her beautiful partner with her, hoping she’ll live out her days on the beach, and spend her nights cooped up and writing in her very own dilapidated beach house that will one day even have an office.
* * * *