Hi guys! We have a j. leigh bailey stopping by today with her upcoming release Chasing Thunderbird, we have a brilliant guest post, a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
j. leigh bailey
A Shifter U Tale
A legendary love.
Ornithology professor Simon Coleman’s reputation is at risk, and the only way to save his name is to prove thunderbirds are more than creatures of Native American myth. Grad student and part-time barista Ford Whitney has a lot on his plate, but it’s also his duty to make sure the resident bird nerd doesn’t discover shape-shifters—like himself—live on campus.
When a series of incidents related to Simon’s search put him in harm’s way, Ford’s instincts kick in, and they become closer than is strictly proper for student and teacher. Ford is forced to reveal his secrets to Simon, and their relationship is put to the test—Simon must choose between salvaging his reputation and protecting the man who protected him….
Pre-order: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barns & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play
j. leigh bailey!
I’d like to start with a big “Thank you!” to the team at MM Good Books Reviews for having me here today to celebrate the upcoming release of Chasing Thunderbird, the second book in my Shifter U paranormal series. We first met Ford Whitney in Stalking Buffalo Bill. He was Donnie’s kind of grumpy, kind of intense roommate. In Chasing Thunderbird, I’ve paired him up with a completely human bird-nerd, ornithology professor, Simon Coleman. Something about the unlikely pairing of a mythical bird-of-prey shifter and a geeky bird watcher tickled my funny bone.
I’m a huge fan of unlikely pairings… you know, the two characters who shouldn’t work, but absolutely do? It doesn’t have to be an opposites attract, though if often is, for me to gravitate to those stories. Some of my recent favorite odd couple pairings include:
- Raymond (sarcastic slacker from Queens) and David (Connecticut prim and proper)from Santino Hassell’s Sunset Park.
- Jack (scoundrel with flexible morals) and Oliver (a gentleman soldier with an unblemished reputation) from Cat Sebastian’s The Soldier’s Scoundrel.
- Poe (23-year-old slacker who still lives with his dad) and Jericho (tattoo-artist, business owner, Poe’s dad’s best friend) from Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
- Michael (hipster interior designer) and Gil (gentle giant painter) from Diana Copland’s Michael, Reinvented.
How about you? Do you have any favorite unlikely pairings?
As we started the ascent to the third floor, Ford spoke directly to me for the first time. “So, thunderbirds?” My insides twisted in a not unpleasant way at the rough sound of the words. Figured his voice would match his dark, dangerous, and, all right, sexy appearance.
“Yes. It’s sort of a family interest.” Then, to distract him from that line of questioning, I dove into the basics of University Social Interaction 101—Conversation Starters for Even the Most Awkward and Introverted Academic. “You’re a grad student? What’s your area?”
He flicked a stream of dark hair back over his shoulder, a movement I’d once thought was one of those tricks only women were any good at. There was nothing feminine about it when Ford did it. And I really had to steer clear of that kind of thinking.
“Modern raptor migration.”
One of my fellowships dealt with something similar. “That’s great. How far along are you?”
“I’m starting my last year. Two semesters left.”
I nodded. “I take it you’re writing your master’s thesis, then?”
He tucked his hands into his pockets, the movement emphasizing the breadth of his shoulders. He was built like Michael Phelps, all long limbs and loose joints. He was a good six inches taller than my own five ten, and I wondered if he, like the amazing Phelps, was a swimmer. That would be one way to account for those miles of shoulders.
And once again, my mind was going in the absolute wrong direction. Focusing on academia had never been a problem for me. It shouldn’t be a problem for me now. Especially since I had to find a way to avoid my beautiful new babysitter if I ever intended to get anywhere with my search for the thunderbird that was sighted. “What’s your thesis?”
We’d reached the third-floor hallway with its flickering lights. Shadows coalesced in corners where the dim fluorescence didn’t reach. Those same shadows seemed to reach out to Ford, shrouding his features. At least until the lights flickered again, brightened, and chased the shadows away.
“Differential Migration of Five Species of Raptors in Northwestern Wyoming.”
Interest piqued, I pushed open my office door and gestured for Ford to take a seat. A seat which was, I realized, buried in books. “Just a sec.” I rushed ahead of him and grabbed the stack of antique encyclopedias that were piled on the chair. I turned in place, looking for a good place to deposit them. Giving up on an appropriate location, I squatted and settled them on the floor next to the beat-up bookshelf that barely fit in the narrow closet of an office I’d been given.
I stood up and turned, coming chest-to-chest with Ford. He’d been standing much closer to me than I’d expected. I took an instinctive step back, and my heel hit the stack of encyclopedias. Which, of course, sent me tripping back, arms windmilling wildly in an effort to not fall on my ass. Or into the bookshelf. Or, well, at all.
Ford’s strong hands clamped on to my upper arms, pulled me to his broad, coffee-scented chest, and kept me from crashing. It was the near miss that caused my spinning head and tripping heart, not the grip of those hands or the press of his chest. Sure.
“You smell like coffee.” I inhaled, ignoring the inappropriate intimacy and the embarrassment part of me knew I should have felt. Man, he really did smell like coffee. And that, coupled with the green tea scent of whatever he used to wash his hair, was the sexiest thing.
The weird force or pressure surrounding Ford I’d imagined earlier seemed to surge around him again. Fingers kneading my biceps, he sucked in a deep breath, and the phantom energy field, or whatever it was, receded. My imagination was getting away from me, that was for sure. While I’d been accused a time or two in the past of having a vivid imagination—usually by people who disapproved of my forays into cryptozoology—I’d never had the thought about myself before.
About j. leigh!
j.leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending. For upcoming releases and appearances information, sign up for her newsletter at https://t.co/FfL9gFVJLQ.
Social Media Links