In 2009, author Jenna Kernan began her Harlequin Nocturne series The Trackers with Dream Stalker. Featuring Native American shape-shifters, RT reviewer Alexandra Kay said the author's characters are "delightfully complex and their mythology is fascinating." The next two books Ghost Stalker and Soul Whisperer were equally original. In April the fourth story, Beauty's Beast comes out. In the final book in the Tracker’s series, a powerful Seer has spent her life running from the Ruler of Ghosts until fate places her in the hands of the one man who might save the Living World or destroy it. Today, for the first time, readers can view the cover of Beauty's Beast and hear about the design directly from the author.
I’m so pleased to reveal the cover of Beauty's Beast exclusively on RT Book Reviews. This is the fourth and final in The Tracker series from Harlequin Nocturne and, although it doesn’t release until April 2013, you can preorder it now.
I’m really in love with this cover because it captures so much of what I detailed to the art department at Harlequin about this story. You can see that my heroine, Samantha Proud, is very definitely Native American. In fact, she is a Grizzly skinwalker (shape-shifter) from the Lakota tribe and she uses the gold medicine wheel she wears around her neck to help channel her healing powers. She has some additional secret gifts that I can’t reveal without spoiling the story.
I used Irene Bedard as my model for Samantha Proud. Ms. Bedard is the physical model used for the Disney version of Pocahontas and a beautiful woman.
The artists did an equally fine job bringing to life my hero, Alon Garza. Alon is also Native American, but, because of his supernatural lineage and special powers, his skin is extremely pale and his hair nearly white. You can see his hair is fine blond, even under the ominous skies of the cover. I also love that Alon has his arms around Samantha, keeping her safe with his body, as he scans the battlefield for any sign of attack.
I used the actor, Alexander Skarsgard, for my inspiration for Alon Garza. Skarsgard is best known for his role as Eric Northman on HBO’s, True Blood, which romance readers know is based on Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mystery series. This cover model does look a bit like Skarsgard to me. Although he does not have strong Native features, I wonder where they could have possibly found a male model that was both blond and Native American. Perhaps he can exist only in a reader’s imagination. But I am very pleased with the strength that this man radiates and with the ominous mood of the cover.
Now, you may ask, why is the sky filled with ravens?
Well, this story culminates in a great battle with the Halfling races fighting Nagi, the Ruler of Ghosts, for control of the Living World and that includes the ravens that fill the skies. Alon’s adoptive mother is also a raven skinwalker so the choice is especially appropriate to me.
I believe it is a good omen to see so many ravens as they are my very favorite bird and a symbol of cleverness, spirituality and the Spirit World. On the ground the wolf, puma, buffalo and bear skinwalkers will also fight Nagi. Of course, I can see all the skinwalker forces in my head, but a cover can only be so big.
I hope you enjoyed your first look at my April 2013 paranormal romance, Beauty's Beast. For more on The Tracker series please visit the books page of my website. Each book has an excerpt there and a page called The Story Behind the Story that tells readers more about the creation of each book.
- Jenna Kernan
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