I love this time of year. The heat of summer has waned and night asserts its dominance over day. In America, September’s Labor Day launches holiday season, in which we have a major holiday every month. It starts a time where the focus is on food, friends and family, and being thankful.
The same holds true for my characters, the Children of Anubis and the Daughters of Isis. Though they are jackal shapeshifters and priestesses of Isis, their lives center around family and faith. In Seducing the Jackal, it is his responsibility to the larger jackal clan family that causes Markus to kidnap Tia. Tia’s faith and her connection to Markus gives her the power she needs to not only heal the stricken jackals, but forge a treaty between the groups.
In Hunting the Jackal, family is also prominent—family you choose, versus family you’re born into. Amarie was banished from her home clan for being infertile—and for a clan that treated its women like chattel, infertility rendered a woman all but useless. Joining Markus’s clan in Atlanta heals Amarie in a myriad of ways, most especially in how she views her worth as a contributing member of the clan. This is due in no small part to her roommates-turned lovers, who prove to her that they value her for her, not for what she can or can’t do. She will do anything to protect her new family, even risk her life.
Claiming the Jackal is the latest in the Sons of Anubis series, and again the focus in on family and faith. Hector’s brother is one of the jackals saved by Tia. He knows he owes the Isis priestesses a debt of gratitude, but as a warrior who has protected the clan against the Isis priestesses for centuries, it’s hard to set aside millennia of animosity. He’s willing to try for Rana. Rana is a healer who believes she has to make amends for crimes perpetrated by Daughters of Isis in the distant past by serving as the jackal’s onsite doctor. She enjoys her life with the clan, admires their cohesiveness. She also enjoys her burgeoning romance with Hector. But when the truth of her bloodlines is revealed, she stands to lose everything—unless she can use the power of her blood to set things right.
So the themes of these stories is as much about born families as it is chosen families and the sacrifices people will go through to protect them. It’s about the power of love and how love empowers. It’s about the ties that bind us and the ties that bring us together. And while those themes have our focus in this season, they are universal and we hold them close every day of the year.
So how about you? What do you like most about this time of year? What themes are important in your life?