Giveaway + Blog Tour: Chasing Thunderbird (Shifter U #2) by j. leigh bailey

j. leigh bailey is here today to tell you about her new paranormal romance, Chasing Thunderbird! She's brought not 1 but 2 excerpts AND a giveaway so be sure to leave a comment to be entered. Good luck!

Don't miss out 5 Heart review: HERE

I’d like to start with a big “Thank you!” to the Boy Meets Boy crew for having me here today to celebrate the upcoming release of Chasing Thunderbird, the second book in my Shifter U paranormal series.

The Shifter U series started with what was supposed to be a short story about a hyperactive coyote who had a crush on a quietly mysterious buffalo shifter. It didn’t stay a short story and quickly morphed into Stalking Buffalo Bill. This is where we met Ford, grad student, barista, and roommate. I hadn’t gotten very far in Stalking Buffalo Bill before I knew for sure that Ford had to have his own story. I just needed to find the right boy for the thunderbird shapeshifter. Who better than the geeky birdwatcher/ornithology professor—the 100% human birdwatcher/professor—who’s entire life has been geared toward proving the existence of thunderbirds. It was a match made in Heaven.

Every now and then a character is written whose purpose was absolutely secondary—or even random filler—who nudges his way into an author’s consciousness. That’s what happened to Ford. But, that being said, a character who makes a very brief cameo in Chasing Thunderbird will return this summer in the third book in the Shifter U series, The Night Owl and the Insomniac.

So below I’m sharing with you two excerpts—the first is when we first meet Owen in Chasing Thunderbird, and the second is sneak peek (the first ever!) at Owen and Yusuf’s love story, The Night Owl and the Insomniac.


A Shifter U Tale

A legendary love.

Ornithology professor Simon Coleman’s reputation is at risk, and the only way to save his name is to prove thunderbirds are more than creatures of Native American myth. Grad student and part-time barista Ford Whitney has a lot on his plate, but it’s also his duty to make sure the resident bird nerd doesn’t discover shape-shifters—like himself—live on campus.

When a series of incidents related to Simon’s search put him in harm’s way, Ford’s instincts kick in, and they become closer than is strictly proper for student and teacher. Ford is forced to reveal his secrets to Simon, and their relationship is put to the test—Simon must choose between salvaging his reputation and protecting the man who protected him….

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My phone chirped, telling me I was late, so I ran the rest of the way to room 112. When I walked into the room this time, though, it wasn’t just silence that greeted me. It was a dozen startled stares, each falling somewhere along a spectrum of appalled, confused, and pissed. And Ford Whitney sat front and center of the group.
I glanced at the flyer in my hand. “This is the birding club, right?”
I scanned the room. “Am I in the wrong place? Isn’t this room one-twelve?”
Eleven of the twelve sets of eyes turned to Ford.
“Uh, yeah.” He scratched at his jaw. “Were you looking for someone?”
“I wanted to check the club out. Not every campus has a bird-watching group. I was excited to find out that Cody College was one that did.” I dropped into a desk chair, then dug through my shoulder bag for the embossed leather journal I used for most of my personal field observations. I set it in front of me and dug through my bag again, this time in search of the mechanical pencil I knew had to be there. I was pretty sure I’d tossed a couple in there yesterday morning before leaving my home.
When I finally had my crap together, I looked up, noticing that everyone had been watching me get situated. “Don’t mind me,” I told them. “I don’t plan to interfere. Just go about your meeting as normal.”
“Okaaay,” a guy sitting next to Ford said, grinning and drawing the word out. He smirked at Ford. “You heard him, boss.”
Ford narrowed his eyes at his neighbor, who ignored the fierce look. The neighbor was probably a few years younger than me, maybe nineteen, and built like a wrestler—broad and stocky. Longish ash-blond hair fell in front of a face I would have called plain or nondescript if it hadn’t been for his eyes. I’ve never seen eyes that color—a glowing golden amber—on a person before.
“Owen,” Ford growled under his breath.
The neighbor, who was called Owen, apparently, used his bright amber eyes to great effect, widening them guilelessly at Ford, the picture of innocence. “You’re the president, right?”
“Right,” Ford grit out through clenched teeth.
The rest of the group shifted uncomfortably in their seats. Maybe it was their first meeting?
Ford cleared his throat. “Our first order of business today,” he began, speaking slowly as if waiting on a defective teleprompter, “is to schedule our first… excursion.”
The others nodded like a bunch of those bobblehead toys. A couple of them even had their hands folded on the desks in front of them. What kind of meeting was this? I had to admit, I was a little disappointed in Ford. The couple of times I’d seen him since our meeting last week, he’d come across and capable and confident. Here he was all shifty eyes and throat clearing.
I couldn’t take it much longer. The uncomfortable silence was heading into downright painful. I clicked my pencil and hovered the tip over my journal. “When do you usually go out? Mornings or evenings?”
More blank stares.
“I suppose that does depend on which birds you’re chasing.” Maybe if I kept talking, someone would join the conversation.
“Chasing?” one timid-looking girl asked.
“Do you use the British terminology? Twitching?”
Owen sniggered.
“It’s chasing,” Ford said, shooting a glare at Owen, and the rest of the group for good measure. “But we usually just call it bird-watching.”
“I’m sure that’s less confusing,” I said. Maybe less confusing for them, but I was getting more confused by the second.


You can learn a lot about a guy by the way he plays chess. Or, at least that’s what I’d decided during my online games. Some people were slow and methodical, stretching a game out for hours, sometimes days. I imagined them agonizing over every move, running scenarios, balancing costs and benefits of any given move. Some people played in a sporadic, slapdash way that made me wonder if they lived their lives in such chaos. Some people played as though they were reading a text on chess maneuvers, very by-the-book, even when their opponent didn’t play by the same manual.
Owen, he was deceptive. Instead of studying the board, he barely glanced at it before moving one of his pieces. It took me way too long to figure out his moves weren’t random. Mostly because I found him distracting. Very, very distracting.
I liked his smile. And he smiled a lot. His smile was just like him, full of life and energy, rejuvenating. Sitting this close to him felt like I was basking in the sun after months in the dark. It was intoxicating and a little scary.
And he talked. A lot.
“I like the night shifts,” he was saying while I planned my next move. I had a bit of a conundrum. I couldn’t decide whether to push my attack further or shore up my defenses. Somehow, while he’d been giving me recommendations for which professors to avoid next semester, he’d maneuvered his chess army into a subtly threatening position. And because of his casual approach to strategy, I couldn’t tell if it was deliberate aggression or a fluke of placement.
“It’s a total stereotype, I know, but I’ve always been a bit of a night owl,” he continued, reaching below into a red backpack behind him. He plopped a ziplocked bag of beef jerky onto the countertop while I tried to figure out how liking the night shift was a stereotype. “Help yourself.” He motioned to the bag.
I hesitated. The sight of the dried meat and the spicy scent had my mouth watering, but I didn’t recognize the brand. I had to avoid foods with too much sodium nitrate, and jerky, depending on the supplier, could be chock-full of it. Just one of many things on the list of possible health triggers I needed to avoid.
Sure, I could have asked to see the bag, to scrutinize the nutritional information on the packaging, but I didn’t want to draw attention to my differences. “I’m good, thanks.” The whole thing screamed of weakness, so I channeled my self-disgust into my game strategy. Screw defense. I was going on the offense. I moved my knight.
His lips twitched, and he hopped a pawn to the next square. He made a little boop sound as the white plastic settled onto its new home. Seriously. He had little sound effects to go with the pieces. Knights zipped, rooks whooshed, pawns booped. It should have been ridiculous. But no, it was charming.
He popped a bit of jerky into his mouth, leaning back on his stool. “There’s something so cool about the night, you know? On the surface it’s quiet and peaceful and dark. But underneath it all, there’s so much going on. Nocturnal predators, nocturnal prey, a constant battle of cat and mouse. We may not see it, but nighttime isn’t always quiet and peaceful and dark.”

Author Bio

j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of... well, everything...but some habits aren't worth breaking. She's been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She's a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending. For upcoming releases and appearances information, sign up for her newsletter at

Social Media Links
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I will gift someone an ebook copy of STALKING BUFFALO BILL to a random winner who comments with: What secondary characters in any book do you wish would get their own book? Or, which secondary characters were you over the moon for when they did receive their own book? Giveaway will close on 2/24.


  1. Thank you for the excerpt. AS for your question, I love the Whyborne and Griffin series by Jordan L. Hawk, and I was really happy when Persephone and Maggie Parkhurst got their own book! ;)

  2. I just finished Chasing Thunderbird and it rocks! I'm so glad to hear Owen gets his own story. He's definitely cheeky. I did a happy dance when Bobby finally got his own story in Rhys Ford's Down and Dirty.