Interview & Giveaway w/ Nara Malone {BLIND HEAT}


Please welcome Nara Malone to Novel Reflections!

Allie is determined to build an ordinary life. To survive, she needs to be the sort of woman no one notices. She has a generic job, lives in a generic apartment, and thinks maybe one day she’ll find an ordinary Joe who wants an average Jane sort of woman.

Marcus is anything but an ordinary Joe. Even if humans don’t know he’s a shifter and millennial being, he’s the sort of man women notice. A night of passion spent with Marcus is a night any female, human or Pantherian, won’t forget.

But Allie does forget. She repeatedly fails to recognize him even after an intense sexual encounter. Marcus discovers the source of her problem—face blindness, a genetic disorder with no cure. And he decides to use erotic rituals to teach her to see with more than her eyes. What he doesn’t count on is Allie seeing past the man—and recognizing the beast within.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was reading forum posts in therian communities on the internet when the idea first started taking shape. Some of the members identified so completely with specific animals that they felt as if they were an animal trapped in a human body. I started asking myself the what-if questions: What if people had a perfect reason to feel that way? What if there had always been therianthropes (beings that are human and one other species) living among us? Or what if someone was genetically manufacturing them and abandoning them in the human population while they were still babies? Wouldn’t a child raised as a human still have a sense of the other animal that was part of her genes? I combined those what-ifs and a lot of genetic research to come up with the Pantherians and Wildlings that make up my stories.

You can read more about that here:

Was there a character you enjoyed writing the most?

Marcus, the hero of Blind Heat, has a pet rabbit he “liberated from a genetics research lab. Oliver has a human brain, and while he can’t talk, he does manage to master using a computer. Marcus is old school, he still likes to write with a quill on parchment, but Oliver manages to teach him the basics–using a mouse and Google. After all, Marcus can’t let a rabbit show him up when it comes to technology. I had a liberated lab rabbit character in The Tiger’s Tale too. I never know why they turn up in my stories, but they always prove themselves essential to the plot in the end. I call them my plot bunnies.

With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs that readers jumping in somewhere other than the beginning need to be aware of?

While there is a common quest that will arc through the series, I have worked hard to make this a story a new reader can drop into and feel like she knows all she needs to know to enjoy this story. I ran the story past several beta readers who had not read The Tiger’s Tale to make sure they all understood what was happening.

Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book or series? Were there challenges or obstacles you had to overcome?

The biggest challenge with world building has been requests from readers to know more about Pantheria, the homeland of the Pantherians. Pantheria is secluded in the Dragon’s Triangle of the Pacific Rim, not a place accessible by satellites and so disruptive to navigation tools that planes and boats avoid it. With the first two stories in the series all taking place in the United States, it was hard to include detail about Pantheria without slowing the momentum of the story. I made all my world building material available online for readers to browse through between stories.

There’s a virtual replica of Pantheria, the largest in a chain of eight islands. Readers can enter the Pantherian world as an avatar and go on a quest for the crystal cave. At the website, they’ll find basic information on Pantherian history, Pantherian law, and the eight Pantherian tribes. I plan to add more islands and a bestiary. I’ll also add to the lexicon and history as I go along. All of that material and some material from another series I’m working on with a group of authors is available at

Which character has the most identifiable characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?

My heroine, Allie, and I share a congenital disability commonly known as face blindness. Allie can see just fine, but she is not able to imprint a memory of someone’s face. When the story begins, Allie is using tricks I have always relied on to help me identify people. Tricks that fail her regularly, especially when it comes to identifying the hero. At one point she is trying to draw pictures of faces she has to remember, thinking that paying close attention to the faces will help her remember them. It doesn’t. There is no cure for face blindness, but Marcus believes that human reliance on sight is the source of Allie’s problem. He insists he can use erotic rituals to enhance the perception of her other senses and enable her to see with more than her eyes.

Can you leave readers with a little teaser from the book?

Oliver sat back on his hind legs, pink nose twitching. The lid of the laptop was closed. He was looking intently at Marcus.

Marcus pointed at the computer. Do you know anything about Googling?

Oliver just stared, that steady, unwavering look.

Whenever Marcus needed research done, Jake said he’d Google it. Only this time, Marcus didn’t want Jake to know what he was researching. He couldn’t explain his need to protect Allie from people he trusted with his life or them from her. There was just a sense, a premonition of sorts, that she was his Pandora’s box. When he learned her secrets, there’d be no putting them back. He didn’t want blame for whatever might go wrong to fall on anyone but him.

Marcus lifted the laptop lid.

A round button just above the keyboard blinked red.

“What now?” Marcus wondered aloud.

Oliver looked from Marcus to the laptop. When Marcus did nothing, Oliver tapped the “enter” key. With a whir and some beeps the screen lit up. An empty box with password written above it appeared.

Oliver typed, hit enter, and the screen changed. A few more key taps and another box, very much like the password box appeared, only this box said Google.

Marcus nodded. “Now that is impressive.”

Oliver flicked his bunny ears and twitched his tail.

Marcus sat. He still didn’t know what to do, but he had his pride. If a rabbit could figure this out… He typed “face perception” in the box. If he knew more about how the recognition process worked, he might understand why the skill seemed absent in Allie’s case. He waited patiently for the computer to produce some kind of answer. Nothing happened.

Oliver reached a paw across the keyboard and hit the enter key.

A list appeared on the screen.

“Ah,” Marcus said.

Oliver nudged the mouse with his nose.

“I know, I know,” Marcus said. Oliver looked at him, head tipped slightly sideways, contemplating. It was unacceptable that he had a rabbit doubting whether it was safe to leave him alone with the computer.

Author Bio:
Like the heroine, Allie, in Blind Heat, Nara is face blind and lived with the condition not knowing there was a medical explanation for her inability to remember faces. It’s a rare and only recently publicized condition. She hopes Blind Heat will help get the word out about face blindness.Nara lives on a small farm in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. When she’s not writing, she loves to run, hike, bike, and kayak. Every story she tells incorporates her love of animals, nature, and adventure.The interactive world Nara built for Blind Heat is here--

Book video for Blind Heat:

Where can readers find you on the web?    |   | and
@nara_malone on Twitter

Giveaway Details:

  • Nara will be awarding a digital copy of The Tiger’s Tale, first in the Pantherian Passions series, and a $10 Ellora’s Cave GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a GC to purchase a video game targeted for female gamers written by Nara Malone with Orchid Games, Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch to a second randomly drawn commenter.
  • Please leave a meaningful comment or question for Nara, along with your broken up email addy.
  • Contest is open the duration of the contest.
  • Winner will be randomly selected and notified via email.

Tour Stops: