Today it’s my pleasure to feature Carol Van Natta, author of Ice Age Shifters. Enjoy as we roll back the clock to 1993 and learn more about this fascinating series.
What Did You See in 1993?
By Carol Van Natta
Where were you in 1993, and what did you do for entertainment?
Shifter Mate Magic, the first book in my Ice Age Shifters paranormal romance series, is set in 1993. I had fun walking down memory lane when I was researching the time period to get the right details.
Music to Drive By
The hero of Shifter Mate Magic is Trevor. In addition to being a prehistoric bear shifter, he is an independent truck driver. He listened to a lot of music on the road, including new hits “Soul to Squeeze” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” by Lenny Kravitz, and “I Would Do Anything for Love” by Meat Loaf.
The heroine of the story, Jackie, grew up in Texas, where they play a lot of country music. She’s human, but knows the secret the hidden magical world. She heard Reba McEntire & Vince Gill’s “The Heart Won't Lie,” Mariah Carey’s "Dreamlover," and John Michael Montgomery’s “I Love The Way You Love Me.”
It was a banner year for lyrics, such as Sheryl Crow’s “Leaving Las Vegas” and Sting’s “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You.” The catchy outlier, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by Crash Test Dummies, proved that authors aren’t the only artists who have trouble coming up with titles. ;-) Everyone was still listening to Whitney Houston’s mega-platinum 1992 cover of a Dolly Parton song, “I Will Always Love You.”
Me? When I wasn’t listening to musical theatre soundtracks and international folk, I was listening to Jane Siberry and k.d. lang’s heartfelt “Calling All Angels.” Heavens, but those two women can sing!
Movies to Live By
Trevor’s job meant he didn’t see many movies—motels didn’t offer in-room VCRs with tapes, and the sleeper section of his truck didn’t have a TV.
Jackie, on the other hand, is a big movie buff. New films out in 1993 were Schindler’s List, which won many well-deserved accolades, including 7 Academy Awards.The other big hit was Jurassic Park, which took home no Academy Awards but sure did take a T-Rex-sized bite out of the box office.
I loved the campy fun of Army of Darkness, starring the comedically gifted Bruce Campbell, and Addams Family Values because of Raul Julia and all the fantastic quotable quotes. (Popular girl Amanda, volunteering for a water lifesaving demonstration: “I'll be the victim!” Wednesday Addams: “All your life.”)
The World at Your Fingertips...Sort Of
The internet and the World Wide Web were just around the corner. In the meantime, you could sign up for bulletin board services such as Genie and AOL and connect over a phone line via modem. Home PCs were barely affordable (and their specs are laughably bad when compared to even today’s smartphones). User files were stored on easily hidden floppy disks. A plot point in Shifter Mate Magic turns on the fact that heroine Jackie knows this (hint, hint).
WiFi wasn’t even on the horizon, except in the fertile minds of science fiction authors. Trevor is justifiably pleased with his brand new cellular phone that puts him ahead of the competition. It is also the weight and size of a brick and needs the power of his truck to make it work.
Here’s a little excerpt from Shifter Mate Magic in which Trevor uses his phone. His aunt calls with a warning and advice to get him and the woman he rescued—then had to let go—to safety.
The ringing of his cellular phone nearly made him leap out of his seat. He reduced his speed and pulled into the right lane, then answered the call using the hands-free speakers he and an electrician friend had rigged.
“Trevor, what are you doing?”
“Aunt Straya? Are you okay?” She disliked phones in general, and only used them for emergencies.
“That’s what I called to ask you.” Cellular phones were a modern miracle, but they made everyone sound like they were in the bottom of a well. “Auris came pounding on my door, wailing about signs and portents. I thought she’d been sampling the fairy moondew again, but she’s sober as a judge.” No one knew what Auris was running from, and she was more than a bit of a drama queen, but his aunt didn’t discriminate against the lost and unwanted who found their way into her woods.
“What did she say?” asked Trevor.
“That you and your mate need to find sanctuary before the full moon, or your blood will paint the canyons. What’s this about a mate, and why do I have to hear it from Auris?” To his aunt, the news about a mate would be much more important than the threat on his life.
He suppressed a frustrated noise. “It’s complicated.” He told her about the disastrous first meeting and what little he knew.
“You always did pick the hardest path up the mountain.” Trevor rolled his eyes. He preferred peace and quiet, but the fates seemed to have other plans for him. “Best you get yourself and your woman to Kotoyeesinay as soon as you can. Ask for sanctuary the moment you cross the glade’s border. The elves will hear you.”
“Bring her here, afterward. I want to meet the woman who has your measure.”
Trevor gave an audible growl. “I will not. You’ll show her your photo album, and she’ll laugh at me the rest of my life.”
“You need laughter. Drive safe.” As usual, when his aunt was done talking, she simply hung up.
Shifter Mate Magic (Ice Age Shifters #1): Lonely bear shifter Trevor meets his mate. Jackie is running for her life and doesn’t have time for romance. Can she trust the sexy bear shifter to get them both to a magical sanctuary town in time?
Shift of Destiny (Ice Age Shifters #2): Moira doesn’t believe in magic, despite being chased by a crazy billionaire for her supposed “gifts.” Chance, prehistoric lion shifter, believes in Moira, his true mate. He’s determined to protect her and help her find the magic in her blood. But even a top predator can’t guess the lengths to which a desperate billionaire will go to get what he wants. https://books2read.com/u/31xYVv
Heart of a Dire Wolf (Ice Age Shifters #3): Skyla, dire wolf shifter, and Nic, sexy tiger shifter, recognize their true mate in each other. Problem is, they’re prisoners of an underground auction. To stay together, they must escape captivity, avoid ruthless hunters, and solve the mystery of a hidden sanctuary town before greedy wizards take everything—including them. https://books2read.com/u/mqZwv8
Dire Wolf Wanted (Ice Age Shifters #4): The magical world stands on the brink of war, unless two extraordinary shifters can bridge the gulf between them. Dire wolf shifter Rayne Chekal works to take down an illegal auction house that trafficks in shifters. Arvik Inuktan, secret mythic shifter, infiltrated the auction staff with the same mission. The attraction is instant... and impossible. War is coming. When Rayne and Arvik meet on the battlefield, can they overcome their differences and work together to stop the evil, or will this war engulf the magical world? https://books2read.com/u/boZknR