A woman with too many secrets dares to risk everything to claim the pack destined to be hers…if she can keep them all alive long enough.
Everything changed when Raven, a natural born conduit, accidentally walks in on a slave auction. She only wants a night out with her friends before her next case as a paranormal liaison with the police. Instead, she ends up in possession of a shifter and his guardian. When your touch can kill, living with two touchy-feely shifters is a disaster waiting to happen.
To make matters worse, a vicious killer is on the loose. As mutilated bodies turn up, she can’t help fear that her new acquisitions are keeping secrets from her. The strain of keeping everyone alive, not to mention catching the killer, pushes her tenuous control of her gift and her emotions to their limits. If they hope to survive, they must work together as a pack or risk becoming hunted themselves.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I live in a small town in the boondocks of Minnesota. I can’t even get cable where I live! I actually live not even 15 minutes away from the house where I grew up. There are both good and bad things living way out in the back of beyond.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t think I considered my a writer until I had five or six novels completed. It took a long time for me to even tell people about my passion. Everyone knows I love books. It was a natural progression for me to start writing. When people found out, they weren’t really surprised. The normal response I get is either : Wow, I could never do that! Or : I have some ideas.
If you know anything about writers, the last one makes you run in the other direction.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I love the feel of paperback. I have thousands of them in my house. But I also have a Sony reader and just purchased a Kindle. I’m willing to move with the age, but I also like to keep my series all paper or all digital.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have a number of books in the works. The Demon Within, a paranormal romance, will be released next. It’s about a reformed demon and her cursed angel lover…that is if they don’t kill each other first.
I do have plans to have book two of my urban fantasy series out this year as well. The novel is called Electric Moon. Not only does the heat really turn up for my characters, the investigation strikes closer to home and deadlier than ever.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
I think a lot can be forgiven in a book as long as the characters can suck you into the story. The characters and story are key to a good book. If one of them are lacking, I start shuffling my book piles around for my next read.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
This might not be a surprise, but I relax with a book and a glass of wine. I love getting lost in a story and staying up all night. I used to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to finish a book. Now, I only do that if I absolutely love the story.
Have you ever read a book more than once?
I’m a strange beast. I remember every book I read. If I read a page or two of a book, I know if I’ve read it before. Now a good question would be … what books would I re-read? There are a number of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance series that I wouldn’t mind falling in love with again. If I didn’t have so many books in my reading pile, I would be gobbling them up!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
The best advice I can give a writer is don’t rush. Learn the rules before you break them. Too many authors rush to get there product out and don’t realize that they could be hurting themselves. Do your research and make the best decisions for you, not those around you.
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
I never leave the house without my phone, purse, a book of some type and car keys. The one time I left my car keys in my jacket pocket was the one time I locked my jacket in my car. Yes, this happened to me a few weeks ago at work. And yes, that would be my new place of work.
Sigh…I know how to make a good first impression.
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Laptop all the way for me. I haven’t had a desktop for over 20 years. I love the mobility. My husband usually tells me it’s time for a new computer when all the letters rub off the keyboard (that means he can’t use it anymore). I usually wait until the computer refuses to start. Hmmm, maybe that’s just a tad too long.
List 3 of your all time favourite books?
Favorite books? Only three? I could never pin it down to that few. I will say that my auto buy authors list is fewer than 10 people. I’m notorious for buying books that catch my attention, but I refuse to read books in a series out of order.
List 3 of your all time favourite movies?
I love bad movies. The cornier the better. My favorite movies would be Serenity, Underworld and French Kiss. I could easily make this list my top 100. There are too many to choose from!
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I’m a movie and TV hog. I love gritty or really oddball shows. The only downside is that those shows usually get cancelled pretty quick. I recently saw The Hunger Games. I surprised myself and really liked it. I need to dig the book out of my to be read pile and read it! I’m the type of person that has to see the movie before reading the books.
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“In or out?”
“Excuse me?” Raven whirled, her gaze unerringly finding those of a man…no, a wolf in human form who stood a little over six feet. He towered over her by at least half a foot, forcing her to take a step back in order to meet his gaze without cricking her neck.
Damn touchy-feely shifters. They didn’t have any boundaries or understand the concept of personal space, especially between unclaimed men and women.
Fresh air clung to him, relaxing some of her initial surprise at finding him so close. Though handsome, there was something a little too masculine about him, a little too purposeful in his actions that left her unsettled. She resisted the urge to fidget, glad she took care to make herself as forgettable as possible. Dressed in black, her distinctive, silver-tipped hair pinned back like a prim schoolmarm, she little resembled the carefree, underdressed partygoers who frequented the place.
“I said are you going in or out?” Dark brows lowered in annoyance, and those deep brown eyes shone brightly in the hallway, revealing his animal nature. Power wrapped around him, barely leashed, rubbing against her. It didn’t hurt, though it wasn’t quite pleasant either. More of a brusque probe to find out if she was a threat. The taste of his magic revealed he had no interest in her.
She stepped aside to let him pass, refusing to shrink in front of him, taking care to ensure they didn’t touch. He didn’t seem to notice, not even sparing her a glance. He just grunted, gliding by on silent feet. The noise of the club rose as he entered the room beyond.
Raven pried open her clenched fingers, finding them reluctant to obey. Though she should be pleased, his dismissive attitude annoyed her. Despite having a very small portion of the shifter genetic make-up, her mind blared a warning that all males inside would have the same reaction. Like was attracted to like, and she most definitely was not one of them. Not really, despite all the tests conducted on her as a child. Tests the labs performed to find out how much control she had over the animal counterparts locked away at her core. A core that gave a low rumble at his easy dismissal.
“Don’t mind him. He can be an ass.”
Raven jerked at the masculine voice, surprised to find herself not alone. She’d shut herself down so hard she’d inadvertently blocked some of her senses. A costly mistake. Especially since her animals liked to come out to play when she shut out the very electricity she used to keep them at bay.
“My fault.” She pushed the words past her constricted throat. From now on, she would stick to business and shove the personal nonsense the girls always spouted into the garbage where it belonged. She could deal with her gift by herself like she had all her life. Plans were in place if the worst came to pass. “I should go.”
When she went to retreat, the boy, who had to be no more than eighteen, stepped in front of the exit, barring her way. “Don’t. Please.”
The tremble in his voice drew her attention. Instincts sharpened. Then she noticed the slave collar clamped around his throat.
The delicate threads of metal, a combination of silver and gold, marked him as a slave to the shifter community. Welts beaded on his skin where the silver encircled his neck, and she couldn’t prevent her lips from curling in disgust.
She understood the aching need to belong, but she couldn’t condone the process. How could a person permit another to use them just to earn a place in the pack?
“Why do you do it?” The question slipped out without thinking of the consequences.
No retaliation came. More surprising, he didn’t appear angered at her question. Pack always held their business close to their chest. Unless you were a fur-and-claw-carrying member of the club, you didn’t need to know.
A sad look passed over the boy’s face. “The collar protects me more than if I remained rogue. Without it, I’d be bottom to everyone. If I’m accepted into a pack, they’ll protect me.”
“Unless they kill you first.” Rogues don’t last long past their prime out in the open.
The lean man who stood so proudly before her didn’t look to be the threatening monster everyone claimed about rogues, the reason for their unspoken, kill-first law for unregistered rogues.
He shrugged. “Those are the rules. Unless you’re born into the pack or challenge and kill for your place, you have to earn your spot.” An uncertain smile tipped the corner of his lips, an expression that didn’t settle easily on his face. An almost indistinguishable sheen of sweat clung to him.
The people inside were like animals in the way that if they sensed fear or weakness, they singled you out. After years of practice, she made an art out of blending into the background. The boy had no such protection.
“Maybe you’ll find me inside.” Without waiting for her response, he disappeared into the club, leaving the scent of defeat. Anxiety. And more damning, hope.
Raven debated the wisdom of leaving against all that she could gain. If the boy could face the crowd, then so could she.
I live in the wilderness of Minnesota with my loving husband and teenage son, along with two cats and a dog that can’t be convinced he’s not human. That’s him sleeping on the couch with his pillow and a blanket.
When I’m not in front of my computer, I’m either reading one of my thousands of books from the towering TBR (to be read) stacks shown here or watching a crime show or awful scifi/horror movie.
I began writing over ten years ago. When my interest in the hobby increased, along with my obsession with books (see the mountainous TBR pile above), I decided it was time to become published. In five years, I completed a few more books. Only, I’m painfully shy, so sending out my work was a battle. I’m determined to get published this year. My first book should be out soon, so be sure to check out my Bookshelf or news section on my Home page often for more information.
You can also find her at Goodreads.