Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tasting Fire by Shelly Holt

Tasting Fire by Shelly Holt
Published: September 10, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance

I am delighted to have Shelly Holt with me today. First she would like to share her thoughts on the novel she has written, Tasting Fire, and then you can find out more about the book and read a quick excerpt.

Ten months after I decided to write a paranormal erotic romance about a sexy shape-shifter named Kai Tenzin whose alternate form was that of the exotically beautiful and highly endangered Asian Snow Leopard, I still ask myself why did I chose to write about snow leopards? There are many endangered animals I could have chosen to focus on.

I remember back in March of this year when I decided to write a paranormal romance and made the executive decision to explain the presence of shape-shifters in my world without the use of magic. I drew up a plot that revolved around the hypothesis that the various shape-shifting legends from many different cultures all over the world were based on what human beings had witnessed over thousands of years and a result of a scientific phenomenon. I researched methods of bacterial transmission and eventually came up with the idea that if shape-shifters throughout history were caused by an infection, it would have to be difficult to catch, otherwise everybody and their grandmother would be a shape-shifter by the twenty-first century. That was how I decided to make the infection come from a thermophilic (heat loving) bacteria that only lives in hot springs around the world. You can't catch it from another shape-shifter, but you can inherit the condition from your parents. This method of transmission gives rise to the many different mythologies of shape-shifters that have evolved from every culture on the planet. This also opens the door to other books in the series.
Once I had the basic outline, I needed a species that would be highlighted and the main love interest in the story. I sat down on the floor and went through all of my books to get an idea of which animal I should chose. I came across a .25 cent library discard I had purchased about snow leopards and their cubs. I read the book for the first time and fell in love with the highly endangered exotic cat. Snow leopards evolved to become the highest predator altitude wise on the planet and as an apex predator, their only enemy is man. I learned if there was ever an animal that deserved a spotlight thrown on it, the Asian Snow Leopard was it. After that, I spent several days learning about this amazing predator and how it has evolved in one of the harshest environments on the planet and until the arrival of modern firearms turned the tide, survived without competition at the top of the world. 

My story evolved from the original outline to the intelligent, sexy adventure it is from learning about this beautiful animal. I decided early on that my hero, Kai Tenzin would have to be from the Himalayas for the book to work. Kai Tenzin is from a small village in Tibet because snow leopards live in the mountains of Tibet. In the story, one of my favorite chapters is a charming original folktale told by Kai's father to the heroine, Dr Rae Hales called (How the snow leopard lost her roar) it's the Pari's creation myth with a Hindu influence as our favorite leopard also lives in India, again the snow leopard helped dictate the direction the book took.

I have no doubt in my mind that Tasting Fire is a direct reflection of the animal I chose to become a shape-shifter. If I had used a different animal, my book would have turned out very differently.

Tasting Fire is not your average paranormal, shape-shifting, romance. If you want a book where the hero and heroine fall into bed within the first two minutes of meeting and have mindless sex, than this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a rich, textured romance, full of exotic cultures and three dimensional characters and if you want to lose yourself in an intelligent, romantic, SEXY, adventure, this is your book!

I like to thank A Date With A Book for inviting me to visit today and share my experience of writing Tasting Fire with you.


Shape-shifters have always walked the earth. Shrouded in myth and folklore, hiding in the shadows, watching and waiting. Advances in modern science are now about to reveal them to the world. Kai Tenzin is the self appointed leader of the Pari people. He and his kind evolved from the most reclusive predators on earth, the Asian Snow Leopard. They live and hunt in the most fearsome and rugged terrain known to man, the Himalayas. As a young man, Kai left his small village where the mountain touches the heavens, determined to do anything to protect his people. When he is forced to enlist the aid of the beautiful American scientist Dr. Rae Hales, the last thing he expects to find is a woman who will ensnare his heart and endanger them all. Their action-packed adventure will take them around the world to discover the truth behind the legends and reveal the future of humanity.

My name is Shelly Holt and I live in the middle of the harsh and unforgiving Mojave desert. I write my stories looking out of a window that shows sweeping desert views. Outside is a barren and severe landscape, yet inside my head lives a world filled with exotic shape-shifters come to life, pulled from the pages of myth and legend, ready to entice and seduce any reader brave enough to take them on.





  1. Color me intrigued, and cool cover. Thanks for sharing this and the excerpt!

  2. Thanks for inviting me on today.