Welcome romance author Jocelyn Modo!

I'm so excited to have fellow EC author Jocelyn Modo here today! Jocelyn's first EC release, First Heat, is out now. I love the cover! And check out Jocelyn's cute little lion adorable! First Heat is definitely going on my TBR!

1.) I've just picked up a book by Jocelyn Modo. How do you hope I feel when I'm finished reading it?

I would love for you to feel the way I felt when I finished writing it: happy, fulfilled, and most importantly, satisfied. As a bonus, I’d love for you to feel intrigued about the characters so that you go out and purchase the next books in the series when they are released.

2.) What made you want to write First Heat? Tell us a little more about the story. 

I love the fantasy genre mixed with erotic romance, and big cats, like lions, have always fascinated me. The idea for First Heat came about while researching lions. The males are so dominate but it’s the females who are the fantastic hunters. They are such graceful yet deadly creatures. They’re animals but they lions have a firm social structure that humans can relate to, even while feeling as if you are studying an alien social order.

I am a lover of poetry. The idea for my heroine, Kissa, came from the poem "Autumn Sonnet" by Baudelaire where the poet admonishes himself to not listen to his emotions but instead listen to reason. The poem made me ask: What if your heart knows better than your head? What happens when reason is unreasonable?

I answered these questions with Kissa’s motto: Never trust a cat and never trust your heart. This motto became the theme for First Heat.

Kissa is jaded. Her parents are the pride’s mane miun—head shifter lion, lioness—, and Kissa spent her childhood watching her parents literally take swipes at each other. So as she prepares for her first heat, her top priority is choosing a mate she can love and trust because once she mates with him three times, they will be bonded for life.

With his sexy French accent, Venor seems like the perfect choice: smart, honest, gorgeous, and crazy about her. But when she learns that he’s hiding things from her, she runs from him before their bond is complete only to be abducted by a rogue shifter bent on making her his. Venor must earn Kissa’s trust in order to save her life and win her heart.

3.) What or who inspires you?

I have an overblown imagination. Anything from a poem, a look from a stranger, to a song or painting generates ideas. I have scraps of paper, notebooks, files filled with ideas that I revisit when deciding on my next venture.

4.) What one piece of advice would you give to someone trying to get - or stay - published? 

Keep moving forward. When you receive a rejection, allow yourself to mourn for a day then put it away and submit your next query. I read once that the reason why the American Indian Rain Dance works is because they didn’t stop dancing until it rained. I remind myself of this whenever I become frustrated with the profession of fiction writing. Don’t stop dancing until it rains!

5.) Anything else in the works we should be on the lookout for from you? 

First Heat is the first in my Pride & Passion series. I have a Christmas quickie due out in December. Jayden and Bethany’s story is the next full-length novel in the series. I had such fun writing both stories and am excited about sending them out to the world.

6.) You're granted the ability to shift into any creature. Would you choose lions or another animal? 

Oh, lioness, definitely. My second choice would be an eagle. I would love to be able to fly, play in the clouds, perch way up high and see the bend of the world. Wings would be a dream come true.

First Heat Blurb
Shifter lion Kissa Alassane has finally gone into heat and she has never been consumed by such raging lust. Too bad her lioness is demanding she mate with Venor Brun, a tortured and deadly male with a dark past.

Too bad she can’t keep her hands, lips, or any other part of herself off him. They must mate three times to complete their bond. Just once can’t hurt, she figures, just once to soother her aching need and clear her head.

When once becomes twice, Kissa flees to Austin, Texas, hoping to lose Venor and others tracking her in the big city. But a pride of rogue shifters is killing and turning humans in Austin, and Kissa finds herself thrust into a full-scale battle for survival. And while Venor may be the only male who can save her, he might be the biggest threat to her of all… Because if there is one thing she knows, it’s never trust a cat and never trust your heart.

First Heat Excerpt 
Kissa’s dream changed to Venor smoothing his well-oiled hands down her back, fingering each knob of her spine. She stretched as if she were a cat under Re’s sun, arching up into his hot hands, keeping close to his touch, begging him with her body for more. The deep, woodsy smell of the sandalwood oil merged with Venor’s sexy scent to saturate the room with a singular bouquet that ravaged her senses. His lips brushed her skin, his tongue tracing circles in the small of her back. Her need pulsed, a growing, living thing.

Not a dream. How had Venor snuck into the temple?

Her dam. Of course Kissa’s dam would let him in. Not that it really mattered how he’d gained entrance to her room. She wanted to want him gone. He didn’t belong in her bed or her heart. Instead, she couldn’t bear the thought of him leaving.

“Venor,” she whispered his name, a prayer, a curse, she didn’t know.

He nipped at her hip then swirled his tongue over the small sting, his soft, shoulder-length hair feathering her skin, sending shivers through her body. “You are so lovely, Kissa. Je t’aime de tout mon cœur.”

She closed her eyes on her tears, wishing she could close her ears on his words. I love you with all my heart. He didn’t mean it, had never meant it when he’d told her that he loved her, but Goddess help her, it didn’t feel that way. Every part of her felt loved as he continued to worship her body with his hands and mouth.

Kneading the stiff muscles in her legs, Venor released the knots that had gathered there. He massaged her feet, paying attention to her toes as if each, individual digit warranted his consideration. Then, gliding his hands slowly up her legs, he parted them, making room to kneel between them.

Anticipation had her panting, her heart pounding out her desire in the beat of love, lust and emptiness. She felt as if she were a vacant vessel, waiting, wanting, needing to be filled by him, only by him.

At last his hands found her and he cupped her butt, kneading her flesh, positioning her so that he could prepare her body for mating. She mewled and writhed, wanting more, wanting all of him touching her, not just a single caress. But she shouldn’t want him at all.

As emotions climbed within her, she rolled onto her back. Venor was there immediately, intimately straddling her hips, pressing her back into the soft mattress. Her mie night vision allowed her to see him in the dark room. His light brown hair framed the hard planes of his face. His pupils filled his eyes so that only a thin ring of light gold iris glowed, as if they were the halos of twin angelic souls. But he was no angel, no bright knight there to rescue the silly damsel—she was better than that and he, he was a liar—there to claim her as his bonded mate so he could seize control of the Oakview Pride.

“Don’t be afraid, Kiss. I will be careful with you.” His hands found hers and he slowly brought them up over her head to wrap her fingers around the metal bed frame. “Hold on.” He licked the outer shell of her ear. “This time we will be gentle with one another.”

“Venor,” she breathed his name a second time, this time knowing she cursed him.

“Oui, ma chaton?”

She closed her eyes to block out the arousing image he presented in the dark. “I’m not your kitten. I’m not your anything.”

He pressed his soft, full lips to her neck, so soft, so tender. His kiss felt like love, blind and bewildering.

“Why would you say this?” he asked. “You are my everything.”

Kissa gripped the metal rods tighter, choking back her bitter response. What would be the use of arguing when her heart wasn’t in it? Later, when her body was replete, her mie—her lioness—satisfied, she would fortify her determination to deny Venor’s claim on her.

Much, much later.

First Heat buy link:


J.A. Saare said...

Love the icon and the excerpt. Thanks for sharing. :)

Taryn Elliott said...

Great interview.
I love that the whole idea for the story came from a poem. Such a cool thing to hear. Not your average slice of inspiration. ;)

Good luck with the release and the series!

Amber Skyze said...

Great interview. I really enjoyed the excerpt. Best of luck with this new series. :)

Helen Hardt said...

Jocelyn, great to meet you! I have to echo Taryn -- I love that you got the idea from a poem. Isn't it funny how inspiration comes in so many forms? I've written about lion shifters myself, and I love them. I'm really looking forward to picking this one up!

Natalie Dae said...

Great interview!