Friday, March 25, 2016

Bianca D'Arc talks about the inspiration behind Alpha Bear

Alpha Bear
a Grizzly Cove novel
by Bianca D'Arc
a Paranormal Romance

Guest Post

 Why Write Shifters?
The Inspiration Behind Alpha Bear

by Bianca D’Arc

Shifters as romantic heroes and heroines have really come into their own in the past ten years or so. Coincidentally—or, perhaps not so much—my first book was published 10 years ago this past Valentine’s Day. My first writing contract was for a vampire short story, but as it happened, the first book to make it to publication was a dragon book. I wrote the vampire story for a contest and was really surprised when they offered me a contract! But I didn’t want to just write vampires. At that point, vampires were old news and I was looking for ways to expand my paranormal world beyond what was accepted at the time.

Shifters were my natural choice. I wrote werewolves at first, but I couldn’t resist adding a werebear character even way back in 2006. His name was Rocco Garibaldi—Rocky for short—and the joke going around was that he must be a wereracoon with a name like Rocky. But no. He was a bear. A grizzly. And I found I had so much fun writing his character that I eventually gave him his own book.

Why are bears so much fun to write?

Well…they’re big. They’re growly. Furry and cuddly—sort of. They’re strong and powerful, and when you see one, you get a little thrill of excitement—or fear, depending on how close it is to you. Kind of like a handsome man, in a lot of ways.

Bears are slow moving and laid back until they get angry, and then it’s sorta like the Incredible Hulk wearing a fur coat. Badass bear with big freaking claws and sharp teeth. Where wolves are playful and quick, bears are dependable and steady. Their appeal is slightly different from the sexy, bad boy werewolves, but every bit as alluring.

It seems only natural to me that bear shifters are making a splash in romance right now. My long-running paranormal series branched out in years past to include the Redstone Clan of cougar shifters, a group of ex-mercenary werewolves, tiger and panther shifters, and a number of different vampires thrown in for good measure, but I’ve circled back around to bears again, and it feels…right.

Grizzly Cove is a social experiment being conducted by the Alpha Bear, John Marshall, and his crew of ex-military werebears. They want nothing more than to settle down in a quiet spot on the Washington coast and build their own little town where bears can be bears. But fate has other ideas, and all sorts of supernatural Others begin to show up.

I like mixing it up with different kinds of bears, and different kinds of women to be their mates. The Alpha Bear will find himself entangled with a witch. Not all the women in this series are magical, but for this story, and this particular werebear, we needed a badass mate who could hold her own with the strongest of the strong.

Grizzlies dominate in Grizzly Cove, of course, but there are a few notable exceptions of black bears and Kodiak bears. Not to mention the town’s single polar bear, and the female panda and her adorable toddler.

The one thing they all have in common is what I call the fierce factor. They are brawny and cunning in their fur, but when they shapeshift into their human halves, they are H-O-T. Muscular, strong and with sharper senses than mere mortals, they are on the hunt for the perfect mate to complete them.

So, the simple answer to what inspired Alpha Bear and the entire Grizzly Cove series, is that I wanted to get back to basics with a crew of shifters that were just trying to find a peaceful place of their own making, to live in and raise a family. They may wind up getting dragged into the bigger conflicts in the world through the series, but there’s always that safe place—Grizzly Cove—to go back to when the battle is over, and the loving mates they find along the way. Isn’t that, basically, what most of us look for in our own lives? Love, and a safe and happy place to live are among the most important things to me, and, I suspect, a lot of other people in the world.

I hope you enjoy your visit to Grizzly Cove!
YouTube Trailer:

A man with a plan…

John is the
Alpha bear of Grizzly Cove, a town built to his own design, made up mostly of bear shifters. He brought them all together, so it’s on him when the community comes under attack.

A woman of power…

Ursula is more than she appears, and when her secret comes out, she’s afraid the shifters aren’t going to take it well, but John surprises her. He needs her help to combat the evil targeting the town, but there seems to be more to their relationship.

A battle to the death…

When evil attacks from the ocean, can John afford not to utilize Urse’s skills to protect the town and people in it? Better still, can John reconcile his inner
bear’s demand that she is his mate, with his lifelong dream of leading his people into a new way of living—in a town built just for them? Or will he have to give up Grizzly Cove in order to keep the woman he loves?

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Bianca  D’Arc Bio:
Bianca D’Arc is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 romance novels. She has twice won EPPIE Awards for her work, along with the Australian Romance Readers Favorite Erotic Romance eBook of 2008 for her first werewolf romance, Lords of the Were. She is a native New Yorker who worked as an executive on Wall Street during the summer of 2001. She changed careers after the tragic attacks of 9/11 and started seriously pursuing publication in 2005. She has a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, a Masters in Library Science, and a Juris Doctor, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She loves her garden and plays the piano, ukulele and guitar.


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