Please say hello to Grace R. Duncan and
Published by Grace R. Duncan
Release date: March 3, 2017
Cover artist: Jess Small
Liam Scott is sick. That’s not supposed to be possible. As a wolf shifter, he’s supposed to be able to heal. The omega gene he was born with means he’s capable of carrying shifter young and Liam is worried that whatever is wrong will mean his one-day hope of having pups will be dashed. But despite the fears keeping him away from the doctor until now, he knows he needs to go.
It turns out the sickness is temporary, but the treatment causes a whole other problem.
Mason’s alpha gene means he’s one of very few wolves who can impregnate an omega male. For two years, he’d been watching Liam, but things kept getting in the way. When Liam shows up in heat, Mason recognizes the opportunity he needs and doesn’t hesitate make to Liam his mate and the father of his pups.
But Liam has old wounds and fears to work through which the pregnancy is only making worse, and Mason isn’t sure how to get past them to show he’s serious about making a life together as loving mates. It’s not until a female wolf decides Mason should be hers that Liam makes his biggest worry known—and Mason can finally put the fears to rest.
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Thanks so much to Sandra for allowing me to take up space today!
Worldbuilding is one of my favorite parts of writing non-contemporary stories. Contemporary, of course, have their share of worldbuilding (making up cities/restaurants/whatever) but nothing to the level of the other genres.
I have an entire two-inch binder full of notes, maps, timelines, family trees, language research, and more for my Golden Collar series. Forbes Mates is a leather notebook stuffed full of much the same type of stuff. It, of course, is a bit smaller because it’s still contemporary, albeit with a wolfy-flare.
So, when I started writing Three Hearts, I looked forward to doing more of that fun worldbuilding. Since men could have babies, I knew that I’d need to take a different approach than I did with my other shifter stories. Both the Forbes Mates series, as well as Secrets had shifters hidden from the world. There’s a good reason for that, of course, but that wasn’t going to work for this story.
Because I wanted Liam to be able to be “out” with his pregnancy. That meant the shifters were out to the world. Well… how the hell do you handle that?
It definitely required some thinking and planning. I hadn’t planned any part of the plot of Three Hearts. It was one of the stories I completely pantsed. But figuring out how things would work with the world aware of the shifters absolutely demanded some seriously consideration.
Now, I am very fond, in my world building, of knowing way more about my world than I put into my books. (See above re: the notebooks for Golden Collar and Forbes Mates!) But at the same time, the story was moving so fast for me, I didn’t have as much time to consider it as I wanted. Still, I worked it out as I went and found much of it fell into place for me because it turned out there weren’t a lot of things I needed to include to make it understood.
Of course, there was the pregnancy explanation. I didn’t want to leave that up to the imagination. That part was actually easy for me. But I found I needed to include little things here and there to show other aspects of how the wolves fit into human society.
“What did your parents do?”
“They’re both teachers. Unfortunately, Dad had a hard time of it when I was younger because the shifter nondiscrimination laws weren’t in place yet. He kept losing positions because he was a wolf. Eventually they stopped telling people, but it was kind of difficult when they’d disappear for two days every month for the full moon.”
My dad went through something similar. He wasn’t a teacher or anything, but the jobs he could find certainly wouldn’t let him take off with pay for the full moon—or his heat. And the suppressant, if you don’t have insurance, isn’t cheap, so he couldn’t always get it.”
Mason grimaced. “Yeah, I can see that. The one thing my parents were lucky with was that the school districts all had insurance. So Mom was able to get the suppressant and plan her pregnancies for over the summer.” He shook his head. “I can’t imagine how hard it would have been on your dad.”
I shrugged. “He did his best. He kept working, sometimes even through his heat, if he knew his workplace was all human. Having gone through it myself, the thought of trying to work with full heat….” I shuddered. “That’d drive me insane.”
I started thinking about what sorts of things might be in place for shifters, especially when it comes to laws and the workplace. Now, Liam and Mason work in a very liberal, wolf-friendly company. I am quite sure there are plenty in that world that aren’t, but this one definitely was. They changed their “human resources” department to “employee resources.” They had heat leave. They anticipated paternity leave for omegas. Liam even mentions at one point when he was on the debate team in high school and argued for “wolf rights.”
It was fun coming up with ways to integrate the wolves into human society. I have volumes of stuff in my head that never made it to the page, and even though it didn’t, I thoroughly enjoyed making it happen.
Thanks again to Sandra for the space today! I hope you enjoyed this peek into building the world of Three Hearts.
I am also celebrating my 4th publishing anniversary with more giveaways and even a full scavenger hunt! See below for more
Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.