Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Katie Reus

UFI welcomes Katie Reus Author of Alpha Instinct. Thanks for Joining us!!

Thank you so much to Stacy for letting me blog here today at Urban Fantasy Investigations!

Today I’m talking about cemeteries and customs! I’ve always had a fascination with old cemeteries, though I don’t know why. In fact, I actually live behind one. I wish I could that’s on purpose, but it’s totally not. My sister thinks it’s a little weird and always asks me if I’ve seen any ghosts. Not yet, but I’m kinda hoping!

Living in the South I’ve never been at a loss for cool cemeteries to visit. They don’t have to be famous, though that’s always fun. The last well known cemetery I visited was at the end of last year. I took a day trip to New Orleans with some friends and got to check out St. Louis cemetery #1 (there are a total of three). If you’ve heard of it, it is much smaller than what you might expect.

It’s not like I celebrate death, but I think it’s interesting to see how people revere and take care of their dead. In some parts of the world the dead are left outside for predators to eat. Some people are given ocean burials, or buried in caves and some are even given coins or beads to pay tolls on their way to the afterlife. Sadly, in some countries women are buried with no headstones or markers, as if they never existed. Customs are interesting, but that’s not a custom, it’s just depressing.

In New Orleans, most graves are in above ground vaults and some are more ornate than others. Supposedly the voodoo queen Marie Laveau was buried in St. Louis Cemetery #1 but according to my husband (and many others) it’s not true. That certainly doesn’t stop people from flocking to see her tomb. All around it there are markings of three XXXs in a row from people hoping she’ll grant them a wish. If you ever make it to New Orleans it’s well worth seeing and almost impossible to get lost in. Even though the cemetery houses close to 100,000 it only covers one square block! That’s a little bit crowded!

In Alpha Instinct, my recent release from NAL/Signet, shifter and vampires were revealed to the world about two decades ago and they have very different customs from humans. Alpha Instinct focuses on a pack of lupine shifters living in North America and when someone dies, they don’t give any speeches or eulogies. The body or bodies are wrapped in a thin shift and burned. Since their DNA is different than humans, they burn much quicker. After they’re gone, their ashes are scattered by their loved ones. To shifters, they came from the earth and that’s the way they return. As I created the Moon Shifter world this was one of the few things I knew without a doubt would be part of the world building.

So what about you? Do you have any pastimes or hobbies like visiting cemeteries? Please share! Two readers who comment today will be randomly selected to win a print copy of Alpha Instinct (US eligible only). Good luck and thanks so much for stopping by!


I’ve been reading romance since a young age—ever since I discovered my
 mom’s hidden stash. Luckily the addiction stayed with me into adulthood. I write paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense for Carina Press, Harlequin Nocturne, and NAL/Signet

Find Katie and her books

Alpha Instinct
Moon Shifter #1
Feb 7, 2012
Fear has a scent. So does desire…

Ana Cordona has been a strong leader for the lupine shifters who survived after all the males and most of the females in her pack were mysteriously poisoned. As tough as she is, with no Alpha male, the pack is vulnerable to the devious shifter Taggart, who wants to claim both their ranch and Ana as his own. When Connor Armstrong comes back into her life, promising protection, it’s almost enough to make Ana forget how he walked out on her before—and reluctantly accept his offer to mate.

The minute Connor sees Ana again, it reawakens a raw hunger. He must have her for his bondmate—his wolf cries out for it. But his human side knows he must proceed with caution because of their complicated past. If he is to truly have her body and soul, he must go beyond his burning desire and win back her heart. Whatever it takes, he is determined not to leave her side again.

But Taggart and his rival pack are not their only enemies. A human element in town is targeting shifters. Their plan not only threatens Ana and Connor’s future, but the lives of the entire pack…