He haunts the jungle – and her dreams
When Dr. Sally Carter travels to India to regroup from a broken heart the last thing she wants is to fall in love. But Raja Asoka (Ash) Bhosle is entirely too attractive to ignore, even though she knows it can only end in tears. Hers.
Ash guards his forest and the precious creatures within it, protecting the rare tigers from mindless slaughter, and a secret that lives in legend. From the moment he sets eyes on the Australian doctor, he wants her, even over the objections of his mother and the unsuitability of her cultural heritage.
While Ash fights tiger poachers, Sally struggles against cultural prejudice. Can the Legend of the Black Tiger be the bond that brings them closer together, or will it be an impossible belief that rips them apart. The closer Sally comes to understanding what the legend means, the more frequent the nightmares become. Is she losing her sanity, or is there more to Sally than she herself knows? The answers lie buried in her past.
This is a paranormal story in a modern setting, moving from India to Hong Kong and Australia. Action, adventure, weretigers – and, of course, tigers.
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A bit of background
I’ve had a love affair with India for a long time, ever since university where I studied Indian history as part of my BA (Hons). I’ve tried my best to portray a contemporary Indian setting in what is a fantasy novel. If my Indian readers note any mistakes, I ask their forgiveness and their indulgence, because I’ve written this book for the tigers.
I’ve always been an animal lover and like many other people, I adore the big cats, especially that magnificent solitary hunter, the tiger. I was horrified to learn that there are no more than two and a half thousand tigers still in the wild. Their numbers dwindle every year, through poaching and habitat destruction. In such a crowded country as India, the vast tracts of land needed for a viable wild tiger population can be difficult to justify. To its credit, the Indian Government has set aside large areas and removed villages in places like Pench to provide habitat. The development of tiger parks for tourists wishing to see the tigers in the wild is a viable way of conserving the tigers, as well as providing employment for the people. It’s worked here in Australia, where humpback whales have recovered from the brink of extinction and people flock to see them in the waters near where I live.
The alternative is to see them in zoos. Did you know there are more Bengal tigers in the US than there are in the wild? They’re in legitimate zoos, private zoos and private hands. As a result, there is a Big Cat Rescue organization in Florida which provides a sanctuary for ‘unwanted, abused or abandoned big cats.’ It’s not the only one. Carolina Tiger does the same sort of thing.
Here’s an example of why. In 2011, the owner of a private zoo released all his animals, then shot himself. The police were forced to shoot many of the roaming animals, including eighteen tigers. Tigers are not pets; they don’t belong in zoos – even if we must have some in controlled environments to ensure their survival.
Poaching is a disgusting business. Tradition dies hard, but it’s pretty hard to justify the use of tiger body parts in traditional medicine. Ingesting bits of tiger doesn’t make you a tiger.
The prognosis is not good. Without support and action, tigers will be extinct in the wild in decades, if not less.
You know William Blake’s immortal poem?
Tyger, tyger, burning bright in the forests of the night
It will be a sad day indeed if that bright light is extinguished forever.