When an author creates a particular world for her characters, one that endures throughout the series, it is important to always work within the parameters of that world. If one establishes laws, so to speak, one must obey them.
One of the “laws” I created for my Gemini Island Shifters is the powerful mate bond. In my world, shape shifters have one true mate, the one for whom they are destined. Once they recognize that mate, the bond is spiritual, physical and stronger than any human can comprehend. My shifters live for each other and would die for each other.
But happens when they die? As I’ve hinted at in the books, a mated shifter who loses his/her mate, can often die as a result. Because their bond is so strong, the grief is overwhelming. I explore this concept in book 8, Predator’s Salvation.
Heroine Elaine has lost much. Her mate perished in the battle with the Alpha Brethren. She is teetering, not only on the edge of sanity, but her health appears to be suffering. The mate bond is still in effect and her friends are desperate to save her, in particular Connor, her dead mate’s best friend. Connor will do anything to ensure Elaine does not succumb to the “wasting disease” that seems to have stricken other widowed shifters. This is just one of the conflicts in the book.
However, in caring for Elaine and her kids, Connor begins to realize his affection runs deeper than he ever expected. And what about Elaine? Her love for her mate was all-encompassing. Can she ever love again? In Connor, she begins to glimpse hope.
As an author, I love the tension in these questions. I have thrown together two people who stand to lose a great deal. However, I have not lost sight of the fact that in bonding Elaine and Connor, I might be breaking one of my world’s most important rules. Can a mated shifter actually survive the loss of her mate and fall in love again?
I think I’ve found a way to pair Connor and Elaine realistically and in such a manner my world rules aren’t broken. Every shifter on Gemini Island is pulling for them. No one wants Elaine to die of a broken heart. We want hope. We want love and we want it for them, even before they realize they do.
I hope you’ll continue reading the series to the end to see what I’ve done. As always, I promise happy endings. This one might be the hardest won but the end result will be sweeter.