We’re so pleased to welcome Piper Vaughn, of the Vaughn/Cade writing duo, on the Prickly Business blog tour.
Enjoy Piper’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a copy of the ebook or paperback (when it’s released) AND a $20 gift card to Amazon, ARe, or Barnes & Noble (Winner’s choice).
Hedgehogs & Characteristics
Hi, all! Thanks to The Novel Approach for having me today! It’s an honor to be here. :)
Those who follow me on social media know I have several big obsessions. One of the biggest is hedgehogs. I think they’re completely adorable from their spikes to their little twitchy noses and tiny paws. I often post pics of them and usually have a hedgie as my avatar on Facebook. Yes, the love goes that far. One day I hope to have my own, but we try to limit ourselves to two pets in the household, and we’re already full with a cute Yorkie and my adorable cat, Yuki. Someday I will own a hedgie! But for now, let me share some hedgie factoids with you.
When people in the US think about hedgehogs, often the ones that come to mind are the African pygmy hedgehog (aka the domesticated hedgehog), as those are the ones commonly seen when people post pics of their pets online. These are smaller than the wild European hedgehogs found in people’s gardens in Britain. Avery, our character in Prickly Business, who is a hedgehog shifter, comes from English and French descent, so when he shifts, he turns into the wild European hedgie (as seen on the cover).
When we were developing Avery’s character, we looked to some traits of the European hedgehog that we could carry over into his human personality. First and foremost is his prickly attitude. That’s a given. ;) But beyond that, he’s also very solitary, as hedgehogs are in nature. Sometimes a male and female might share a hibernating spot, but usually they separate, and after breeding, the female raises the hoglets alone. They don’t stay in packs the way most wolves do.
In nature, European hedgehogs will hibernate for the winter season. Pygmy hedgehogs will go into hibernation if you allow them to get down to a certain temperature—which can lead to death from starvation if not caught in time, because unlike their wild counterparts, they didn’t bulk up and put on extra weight in order to prepare for being asleep all that time. So, we incorporated certain hedgehog reactions to temperature into Avery’s human side too. He hates to be too cold, but he also hates being too hot. This is why he loves living in the Pacific Northwest, as the climate in Portland is fairly temperate and not really given to any extremes in either direction.
Hedgehogs are also nocturnal, and so is Avery, though he’s worked on putting himself on a diurnal schedule pretty much all his life so he can fit in better with humans. He tries, but really, he loves being awake at night best. (He also loves to sleep.)
One big difference between Avery and his hedgehog side is that hedgehogs are by nature omnivores. They mainly eat slugs, earthworms, and a variety of insects. Sometimes they will also eat mushrooms and fruit. For his part, Avery is primarily an ovo-lacto vegetarian. He only really eats meat when his body is demanding it, and of course that’s directly opposite to his meat-loving werewolf mate, Dylan. Yet another difference between them, but by far the least of them. While the hedgie side of his personality might have contributed toward their estrangement, Avery’s human half and their combined stubbornness added some issues too.
Things might be prickly along the way, but we hope you enjoy Dylan and Avery’s story!
And if you’re considering a hedgehog for a pet like I am, be sure to do your research first! They’re not the ideal pet for everyone, but Hedgehog Central is a great resource for anyone who wants to find out more about our little spiney friends.
Thanks for reading! :D
Blurb: Some people might call Avery Babineaux a prick. He’s a hedgehog shifter from an old-money Louisiana family with a penchant for expensive shoes and a reputation for being a judgmental snob. His attitude is why he and his fated mate are estranged. Not that Avery cares. He doesn’t want to be mated to some blue-collar werewolf anyway. Or so he keeps telling himself.
No werewolf likes to be looked down upon, least of all Dylan Green. He doesn’t need a mate, especially not some snotty hedgehog who sneers at his custom motorcycle shop and calls him a grease monkey. But when Avery gets into trouble with a shady loan shark, Dylan can’t stand by and let him be hurt—whether he wants the brat or not.
Yet once Dylan steps into Avery’s world, he realizes there’s more to Avery than his prickly exterior, and that unexpected vulnerability calls to Dylan’s protective instincts. The sassy little hedgehog needs a keeper, and despite their horrible first impressions, Dylan starts to believe he might be the wolf for the job.
Piper Vaughn Bio — Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.
Kenzie Cade Bio — Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/Long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes the fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story. Contact Kenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org.