Jaime Rush On What Lies Beyond The Darkness — With Giveaway!

Jaime Rush’s Offspring series features a group of supernatural characters that work to control their powers while evading the government. In the newest release, Beyond the Darkness, shapeshifting hero Cheveyo must find a peaceful way to protect the Offspring from extraterrestrials that want the group's coveted abilities. But when one of the Offspring, Petra, is captured, all bets are off. Today, Jamie Rush reveals how she developed the unique creatures in her Offspring series — and gives readers a chance to win the series first, A Perfect Darkness!

Petra is vexed by Cheveyo, the mysterious shapeshifter who captured her heart but walked out of her life. He's been watching over her from the shadows, but a supernatural evil threatens Petra and her people, forcing him to step in and protect his beloved. Now she must become a warrior to face down enemies with fur and claw … and dare to love a man whose darkness could destroy them both. 

Chupracabras. Bigfoot. Nessie. Scary creatures of myth and mystery. Even the random wild animal attack upon a human can raise one’s hackles in fear. What makes an animal, usually wary of humans, attack? And where do those strange creatures come from?

I love to take things that happen, and that people believe in, and come up with my own reason for them. I love mysteries, and one of those is whether there are other dimensions, worlds that exist right here yet beyond our perception. My Offspring series takes this idea and brings people from a sister dimension here to ours. They are human, but with extraordinary abilities. 

But what if more than people came in? I could come up with my very own creatures without having to adhere to any current mythology, and explain, at least in my books, why those mysterious things happen. My creatures can pop in and out of our dimension, which is why we can’t ever find their remains or capture one. 

The chupacabra-like creature in my book, Beyond the Darkness, is called a Glouk. Part dog, part man, even it’s confused about its true nature. But it has no qualms about what it wants:

"This hunter … why does he want to kill you?"

The Glouk smiled. "I eat humans. The hunter does not seem to like that."

What we fear the most are the things that lurk in the dark, and even worse, the things that want to eat us.

"The hunter tracked me in the woods north of here a few days ago. We have been hunter and prey since. I decided I must switch roles. I picked up his scent and followed him here, intending to put an end to his tyranny." A string of saliva dripped from the corner of his mouth. He swiped it away. "I would eat him. He is mine." His humanistic eyes, brown as dirt, glowed briefly.

Even my hero (the hunter the Glouk references) isn’t wholly human. Cheveyo does not, however, eat humans (unless you count his hunger for a certain female … ). But you certainly wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley, not when he’s in cat form. Even the heroine, Petra, is just a little afraid of Cheveyo, as much as she’s drawn to him. 

"Okay, so you hunt Glouks," she said. "For fun?"

He slid her a Are you kidding me? glance.

"You don't get paid for it, do you? Unless you're a secret government agent or something?"

Still, he only gave her a look that she supposed was an answer in the negative. 

"Do you have a job?" she asked.

"I don't need a job."

He hunted Glouks, creatures that liked to kill humans and livestock. Then it hit her. "That's why you can't be around me—us. You said it was to protect us."

He kept his gaze on the road, his voice devoid of emotion. "Kind of hard to have a life when you're all over the country dealing with killer vermin."

So what scares you? Real or imagined? Ghosts? Spiders? 2012? Comment to win a copy of A Perfect Darkness, the first book in the Offspring series!

- Jaime Rush

You can pick up your own copy of Beyond the Darkness in stores now, and leave a comment below to be entered in a contest to win the Offspring series starter.

GIVEAWAY ALERT: One reader will win a copy of the Offspring series starter A Perfect Darkness. To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling us what creature frightens you the most. Alternatively, you can email your answer here with your mailing address and the subject line "Jamie Rush Giveaway." The giveaway ends January 12 and is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.