Monday, August 26, 2013

Author Terry Spear: Jaguar Research And A Giveaway

It’s always a pleasure to welcome USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear to Thoughts in Progress. She creates such fascinating stories and her latest release, JAGUAR FEVER, is a great example of that.

JAGUAR FEVER is the second installment in her new Heart of the Jaguar series. Thanks to Terry and the lovely Danielle at Sourcebooks, I have a copy of the first book in the series to giveaway today. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway details.

Here’s a brief synopsis of JAGUAR FEVER:
    She's being pursued by everyone, in more ways than one.     

     Even in an exotic world of humans, jaguars, and tantalizing creatures who shift between the two, Maya Anderson stands out from the crowd. Interest from human suitors is bad enough, but when male shifters give chase, the real trouble starts.
    Who's the hunter and who's the prey?    

     Investigating the black marketing trade of exotic animals keeps Wade Patterson more than busy. When he and Maya both get entangled in a steamy jungle mission, it becomes impossible to tell who is being hunted or who the hunters are. Wade is desperate to survive this deadly game of cat and mouse. But it's Maya's piercing eyes that keep him awake at night.

Terry joins us now and has graciously answered some questions about her series and her writing.

Mason - Could you explain the depth of research you've gone through and continue to do so for your new Jaguar series?
I love learning how it is for folks to visit an area like the jungle, when I actually can't go there myself. But seeing how it was from trip reports from others gives a feel of what we would see or hear or taste or smell if we were with the jaguars in these exotic jungle locations. 

I also use real jungle retreats in my stories. So the descriptions of the cabanas are real places. I will have pictures of them on my screen while I'm "living" there with my shifter friends to keep me in the setting. I watch videos of jaguars moving in the jungle, reclining in trees, drinking at a river, catching catfish in the Amazon, or courting a jaguar who's interested in a mating. All these help me to describe jaguar scenes more accurately. 

I study the jaguars' behavior at my local zoo, have captured their huffing roars on video, watched them pace, lie down on a boulder, drink from a water source, chase after birds they can't reach, clean themselves with their long pink tongues, and yawn, showing off their long, wicked canines.
I learn what menus are being served at the resorts to lend authenticity. For this story, I moved from the Amazon to Belize. I researched about the animals found there, about the hunting regulations, and about the exotic animals market. I learned about the exotic animal farms where the animals are being raised to hunt at exorbitant prices locally instead of the hunter having to kill his prey in the countries where the animals are from.

I've researched about clubs, even found beautiful designer leopard skin bikinis that I used in helping to visualize the dancers on stage at the jaguar shifter club. I've researched the differences between cats—domesticated house cats—because most of us know something about them—and the big cats. And between big cats and how different they are from each other. And how different the jaguars are from wolves.

Mason - What were some of the most surprising things you learned about Jaguars?

That their jaws are so powerful, they can crunch through a tortoise shell. And that it only takes a swipe of their paw to stun or kill their prey. And unlike pumas, tigers, and lions, jaguars are elusive andJaguar Fever Cover do not hunt humans. Also that ocelots and jaguars live in the same area, but jaguars treat them as encroachers even though the ocelots dine on smaller animals than the jaguars. But jaguars are extremely territorial and no other cats are allowed, small or otherwise.

Mason - As you’re writing about the Jaguars, do you have any type of visual aid around to inspire you such as photos, movies or soundtracks?

Yes! All of the above. I've watched several videos showing their behavior, listen to soundtracks both of jaguars roaring, but also of the sounds various birds and bugs make to catch that in my writing. Or the rainfall in a rainforest. Or the sound of water running down a stream. 

Photos, definitely. I will look at photos of jaguars to describe their coloration and patterns to differentiate them from others. The greenhouse I used in SAVAGE HUNGER is a greenhouse I found on Pinterest. Beautiful. The treetop cabanas where Maya and her brother and sister-in-law stayed have a rotating view of the rooms, the dining room, etc., and I had them on my monitor while I described the various scenes that included them. The ones that Wade and David stayed at were different and I had the pictures of those, both outside and inside to use to help describe the settings. The same with the tours they took while there. I used pictures to help describe them.

Mason - With the book’s release, as you look back what was the biggest surprise that occurred while you were writing the story?

That David, Wade Patterson's brother, kept trying to steal the show. He has his book next in the series, JAGUAR HUNT. When I write my stories, I never know where they'll take me.

Mason - For people who have never read this genre, what do you think they would be surprised to find if they try it?

Realism. Even though they're about werewolves or jaguar shifters, the stories are written with mystery, murder, intrigue, romance in an everyday kind of way. They are as real as shifters can be. What can I say? The hunky guy next door who swims in your condo complex's pool and looks like Adonis, all muscles and a to-die-for tan who takes regular "business" trips to South America, loves all things "nature," and practically purrs when you get near—maybe, just maybe he's one of those hot jaguar shifters. He might be a little possessive, a lot territorial, but in the end, he's a regular guy who loves a run on the wild side. Did I mention he's really hot?

Mason - If you could co-author a book with any author (living or dead) who would it be and what type of book would it be?

My dad. I would love to have co-authored his life story. He survived so many near death experiences, including freefalling from an airplane when his crashed over Germany and he ended up in a POW camp for 16 months, but so many other situations too that nearly cost him his life. He was a storyteller extraordinaire, but when it came to real life, he had the real stories to tell too.

Mason - What is the strangest, most unusual or funniest experience you’ve had at a book signing, literary festival or author event?

I'm not really outgoing, so when I was at a book store signing, my daughter said, "Mom, you've got to give a spiel. Like, 'Wouldn't you like to find romance,'" or something like that. So I did say that to customers of the book store until this older gentleman looked straight at me and I asked him that question, "Wouldn't you like to have some romance?"

His face brightened and he smiled big time. I knew I'd say the wrong thing after I'd opened my mouth. 

"Yeah, sure, I haven't been asked that in years." He returned three times thanking me for asking! I tried to talk him into buying an autographed book for his wife, but he was just so thankful I'd asked him if he'd like to have some romance, he just had to keep telling me how much he appreciated it. He was cute and I was sure I was blushing to high heaven.  

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

The SEALs are back in the hot in time for Christmas in October: A SEAL Wolf Christmas. And in February 2014, the much awaited Silence of the Wolf, Tom Silver from the Silver Bros wolf pack in Silver Town, Colorado. After that, it's the next jaguar book in the series, Jaguar Hunt in June 2014, and then more! I'm working on A Hero of a Highland Wolf right now, and have Guthrie MacNeill's Christmas story coming after that. And even more after that!

Terry, thanks so much for joining us and sharing this intriguing look at your research. I love the story about the gentleman at the book store. So cute. You definitely made his day.

Now here’s a bit of background on Terry. She has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and medieval Highland historical romances. In 2008 HEART OF THE WOLF was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. 

A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas. 

For more information on Terry and her writing, please visit, follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear, and like her on Facebook,

JAGUAR FEVER is available at these locations: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Indigo/Chapters, IndieBound, Discover a New Love, and Sourcebooks.

Now for the giveaway, thanks to Terry and Danielle. I have 1 copy of SAVAGE HUNGER (the book directly preceding JAGUAR FEVER in the Heart of the Jaguar series) to giveaway. The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only.

To enter this giveaway, please send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win Savage Hunger.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win a copy of SAVAGE HUNGER will be 8 p.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Here’s what others are saying about SAVAGE HUNGER:
    "Dark, sultry, and primal romance...will leave readers breathless." — Fresh Fiction
    "Humor, tenderness, and pure hot awesome and exciting new world." — Long and Short Reviews, 5 stars
    "A sizzling page-turner, Terry Spear is wickedly talented." — Night Owl Reviews Reviewer Top Pick, 5 Stars
    "Spear paints a colorful, vivid portrait of the lush jungle and deadly beauty...of jaguars." — Publishers Weekly

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy reading books that are rich in detail and descriptions?


  1. Terry, thanks again for visiting today. I'm always amazed at the depth of research you go to for your books. Wishing you much success.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Terry.

    Terry - Thanks for sharing with us the research that goes on behind the scenes when you're writing. I think that research makes a story all the more authentic and gives it depth. I wish you success.

  3. Thanks so much, Mason!!! I'm listening to Bound by Danger narration for the audio book and suddenly thought, OMG, I'm supposed to be at Mason's today! So off to post! Thanks again for having me!!!

    Margot, I so agree! It's like when I went to Savannah last week, so many fun details about the place, taking pictures, and thinking, hmmm, what could I have inhabit this very quaint and fun area! :)

  4. Terry, what part of Savannah did you like best? Thanks!

  5. Hey, Kelly!! I loved the Riverwalk. Love being near water and all the old buildings and architecture, cobblestone streets. But exploring other parts of the city were just as fun. I'll be sharing some of the other intriguing architecture. They built squares--little parks from block to block that really added to the charm of the city. And the people were sooo nice.

  6. Hello Terry,
    I just emailed you to enter into the contest,one of your biggest fans here.You put so much into your books,makes you feel like part of the family. Keep the books coming! I will keep reading them.. :) Thank you!

  7. Thanks, Denise!!! I'm so glad you are part of the family and love all my books. And definitely, I'm writing!!!! :) Thanks again! Loved hearing from you. :)

  8. That's amazing about your father and a story that would be an honor to read. Love your shifter series and cant wait for more of them both.

  9. Yes It is like getting a chance to travel without the expense!

  10. This was a very interesting review and informative post. I love Terry's books. And the in depth research is so inspirational. and She does the jungle hunting, the walking, flying, traveling for me. I can sit back and put my feet up, and enjoy the ride.

  11. Sounds like a fun story! I'm impressed with the research - and agree that sometimes a fantasy setting is a great way to experience the real world and its myriad emotions :)

  12. Loved the interview. Terry your books are so full of information I feel as if I am there. thank you :)

  13. I just read that Wade's brother is going to have his book. Can't wait. Love the Jaguar books.

  14. Steph, thanks! I really do need to tell my dad's story. :)

    Carolyn, lol, yes, absolutely!!! But I keep telling myself I need to go to these places TO do the research to make them totally realistic. Hmm-hm. :) Fiji Islands...

    LOL, Donna, and NOOOOO bugs. That's the important part!! Just hunky big cats or wolves. Also, very important. :)

    Jemi, I so agree. Life can be so add some realism that everyone can relate to and the fantastical, and you've got a winner. :)

    Sin, thanks so much! I'm thrilled you're loving the books!!!

    Yes, David is, Pam! He's in Jaguar Hunt and they're working on the cover now. Can't wait to show it off. :)

  15. great interview, just finished Jaguar Fever and am anxious for David's story :). I very much enjoyed and look forward to more wolf stories and hope all will go well with your internet issues lol

  16. Terry is a new author for me, I haven't had the chance to read any of her books yet. But I love books that are rich in details and descriptions, it really helps paint a picture in my mind to go along with the story!


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