WELCOME CJ Matthew!!
CJ Matthew is the author of paranormal romance suspense series Dolphin Shore Shifters. Her debut novel, Blood Tide, features a pod of dolphins posing as humans that work through their oceanic conservation corporation Save Blue Water, based in Santa Barbara, California, to protect the oceans at any cost. CJ grew up in an Air Force family that travelled all over the U.S. and around the world. She spent her high school and university years living in California, which inspired her love of marine life and the Pacific Ocean.
A member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) Romance Writers of America, CJ lives and writes near a lake in the woods northeast of Atlanta. When she isn’t writing or reading romances, CJ likes to travel and to spend time with her two grown children, a brilliant grandson and a feisty cat named Max.
The Santa Barbara Channel holds a closely guarded secret…
She had more than just her mission…
Sy’s rotation on land as a dolphin shifter couldn’t have come at a better time. With her best friend missing and no answers forthcoming, it was time to take matters into her own hands. And with the resources at the Save Blue Water organization, finding her friend would be a whole lot easier. Except …something sinister is going on inside SBW, something deadly, and Sy finds herself at the center of danger.
The last thing he needed was bullets and bombs…
Noah Nelson spent every minute trying to forget the war while fighting his PTSD, but jumping in front of a bullet was second nature. It had nothing to do with the fact the target was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Or that she was naked. But suddenly he’s caught up in her world, protecting her from unforeseen threats, and falling in love … but Sy’s got a secret that may rip them apart. Forever.
By midnight the new moon had long ago set and the distant stars barely illuminated the Santa Barbara channel. Sy propelled her sleek dolphin body along the ocean floor—fast approaching the point of no return. For the final leg, she swam inches above the sand, targeting the appointed meeting spot on the shore.
All senses on alert, her supple body vibrated with tension. In addition to the natural concerns about her first shape shift, Sy worried about the enormous personal task she’d set for herself as a human. A job that carried unacceptable consequences if she failed. No. Come kelp or high water, she’d locate Lorelei. Do whatever it took to rescue her missing best friend and pod sister. She wouldn’t fail. Arching to the surface, Sy exchanged air. A shallow dive brought her back near the bottom and fluke pumping, she sped forward. Even knowing Lorelei couldn’t hear her, Sy used her friend’s unique signature of clicks and whistles to send out reassurance. “Wherever you are, girl, hang on.”
It was time. Sy knew the minute she completed this first shift, she needed to get out of the ocean immediately or risk drowning. The newly transfigured often had trouble using their limbs and stumbled in the surf. Concentrating on the mental pathways she’d been taught, Sy’s body tingled and then throbbed. The change. A horrible wrenching pain shot through her tail. Another across her dorsal. Heart racing, she fought the urge to surface. Was this normal? The pain was excruciating. Why hadn’t someone warned her?
In another instant, the pain vanished. She was on her hands and knees. Frothy sea water swirled around her as she fought to maintain a precarious balance. Trying to raise her head, Sy opened her mouth and gulped for air. Get up. She had to stand. Long fingers wrapped around her elbows. A pair of strong arms lifted her quivering body from the water. Chin on her chest, she watched her legs wobble. Tried to lift her new feet out of the wet, cloying sand of the surf. Sy gasped in a deeper breath and set off a hacking cough. Finally, unfamiliar lungs began to process the sea air. Sy noticed her hands, studied her wiggling fingers. Amazing. Her brain ached with overload. Only the dark sky and sand were familiar. The rest of the world
around her was insanely weird.
Remembering the strong hands on her arms, she stiffened her neck, tipped her head back. Expecting to translate his description and recognize her assigned escort, she stared into the face of a total stranger. Sy froze and gaped. A shadow of the former pain rumbled through her abdomen.
What was happening? The throbbing during her shift was unexpected and belied all the pod training. Now they’d betrayed her further by going against strict protocol? Without warning, someone switched her escort?
The man steadied her. “Can you walk?” Hearing his gruff tone, she stumbled back. Squid shit. Would nothing go right tonight? Who was this man? A deep instinct assured her he was from their dolphin shore shifter pod. But nothing about him resembled the description of the male scheduled to meet her on this beach. Now what?
Her brain took off on a paranoid tangent. If this man was planning to murder her, or worse, abduct her for a science experiment, she’d fight him. No way would she go quietly. Not without finding Lorelei.
“You’re late,” the imposter complained. “We need to hustle.” That did it. She’d reached her limit. Sy opened her mouth to scream. No sound came out. She snapped powerful jaws together and gritted her teeth. Here she was with nothing, not even her promised cell phone. Her real escort would have brought a bag of stuff for her. He’d gently help her dress, and drive her to Save Blue Water headquarters. Studying
this man’s shadowed face, more inner alarms clanged in her head.
“Where’s my assigned escort?” she demanded, her voice a raspy whisper. She tried licking her dry lips.
“There was a threat to SBW.” His forehead creased in a deep frown. “Everyone had to evacuate.”
Sy’s heart thundered in her chest. Wiggling her elbows free from his grasp, she stepped around the stranger onto dry sand. He got points for calling the shore shifter’s corporation by its nickname, SBW. But then, so did most all of the humans in the United States. The part about a threat, potential danger to SBW rang true. Sy wrapped her arms around her waist and shivered. The hair on the back of her neck rose in warning. More new human instincts kicking in? Too many things about tonight were very wrong.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
After reading this dolphin-shifter story, questions popped into my head. Do dolphin-shifters age differently than humans? What’s the life expectancy of a (non-shifting) dolphin?
Since shifters are make-believe, the first answer is in the hands of the writer, CJ. However for the second question, I looked towards the internet.
At http://www.whalefacts.org/how-long-do-dolphins-live/ I learned that due to 40 or so species of dolphins, it is rather challenging to pinpoint a life span. However, the chart provided on the site does list several species and their estimations; anywhere from 15-90 years.
With that bit of knowledge in your head, lets move on.
I’ve read oodles of shifter books in my time BUT this is the FIRST one revolving around dolphins. They live such peaceful lives under the water surface but on land…. dang, trouble seems to follow them everywhere and I mean that literally.
Poor Sy couldn’t see to go a day without trouble knocking on her door or, in one instance, walking straight in.
If you want action, you’ll get plenty of it here.
If you want a little hanky-panky, CJ delivered on that as well.
If you want a sweet HEA, consider it done!
On a side note, in case you are wondering, shifter dolphins (in human form) behave like the rest of us when they climax. I guess if they were in dolphin form they would make those cute dolphin sounds. You know the one I’m talking about. 😉 Yes, for a brief minute, I half-expected the “squeal”. Thankfully, it didn’t happen because that would’ve totally killed the mood for me and probably had me laughing my keister off.
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
WANT MORE? CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE SHIFTER SERIES!!
NOW FOR THE REAL FUN!!
Now that you’ve had a sneak peek at CJ Matthew’s hot new book, Blood Tide, WHO IS READY TO WIN?
Ladies and Gents, CJ is offering ONE LUCKY WINNER a chance to receive a digital copy of this suspenseful romantic story, so if you like paranormal tales (shifter books) then I encourage you to ENTER TODAY.
You’ll have until WEDNESDAY (midnight, central time) to enter. THURSDAY morning, I will post the winner’s name and attempt to message you. Please follow the comment thread or come back on Thursday to see if you are the lucky recipient of this amazing prize.
(Special note: Gift will be administered in the e-format the winner prefers.)