Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to Naomi Clark and her smouldering new shifter book In Cold Blood. Take it away, Naomi!
Hi there! Thanks for having me today and letting me share a bit about my new release, IN COLD BLOOD. This is a spin-off from my Urban Wolf series, set in the same world but featuring new characters. My goal with every entry in the Urban Wolf series is to open the world up a little bit more. SILVER KISS gives us a good, solid starting point with werewolves. BLOOD HUNT introduces vampires. PHANTOM FEARS teases the idea of ghosts, and COLD NIGHT MOON gives us fae creatures (or one, at any rate). With IN COLD BLOOD, my idea was that, well, someone had to be noticing all these weird and wonderful creepy beasties. And someone would be keeping notes…This will tie directly into the plot of the next Urban Wolf book, which will take us back to Ayla and Shannon. The circle of life, etc.
IN COLD BLOOD is the first of a planned trilogy about Phoebe, Aisling, and the Luporum. I already have book 2 mostly planned out (in my head, anyway), but my aim is write that Ayla and Shannon book first. So if you enjoy IN COLD BLOOD, rest assured that there’ll be more from my socially awkward werewolves in love – and the Urban Wolf series in general! – in the future 🙂 Happy reading!
You can find the complete Urban Wolf series, in reading order, at my blog here – http://naomiclarkwrites.blogspot.co.uk/p/urban-fantasy.html
Phoebe Fairley wanted to be a librarian. Somehow, she’s become a vampire hunter. Women are dying across the country and the police are baffled. Phoebe’s just supposed to be gathering information on the deaths, but as the body count mounts, she can’t help but break the rules and get involved. She knows what the killer is—and catching and containing it is vital. If she can persuade the police to believe her, and keep her secretive bosses happy, she stands a chance of capturing a very real, very deadly vampire. Not bad for a werewolf who can’t shapeshift.
Aisling is happy living as a feral wolf. She’s got no time for human affairs, until a mysterious creature attacks her and leaves her in human hands. Now, if she wants her life back, she’ll have to join Phoebe’s hunt. There are just a couple of snags. One, she hates humans. And two, she’s falling hard for Phoebe. With a monster to catch and her own past to protect, will Aisling trust her head or her heart?
The scene inside the barn was surreal. Two big floodlights overhead lit the barn in glaring white. Half the huge space was taken up with sheep, penned off from the drama but still hysterically bleating and milling together. A grizzled man in a tattered dressing gown and Wellington boots – surely the farmer – leaned into the pen, talking non-stop to the frightened animals. Bales of hay were piled high around the rest of the barn, looking to Phoebe like they might come toppling down any second. They formed a rough arena for the main drama. Two more men held down a naked woman. She thrashed in their grip, tossing her matted red hair and snarling with a viciousness that made Phoebe’s wolf cower. This was their victim, this mad, wild thing?
Spalding hurried over to the farmer and Gibbs ran to the paramedics. They had to be wolves, from the strength they were displaying, but the woman was making them work to keep her still. Phoebe hesitated before following Gibbs – at a distance. Observe, Spalding had said. That was fine. Observing was all she was meant to do. The question was, what exactly was she seeing? The victim of a vampire attack or a feral wolf gone mad? She couldn’t help but lean towards the latter. Perhaps the woman thought the sheep would be easy pickings, but something had gone wrong. Maybe she’d been startled by the farmer or a guard dog. Phoebe had noticed a kennel outside the barn, although there was no sign of a dog now.
As she got closer, she saw the woman’s hands and feet were caked in mud, and there were thin red scratches all over her pale skin. Dried blood on her chest, too, although her endless thrashing made it hard to see where the original wound was. She stopped a few feet away, watching as Gibbs crouched down before the woman and – daringly, Phoebe thought – gripped her chin firmly. She was surprised he didn’t get his fingers bitten off.
The woman growled but couldn’t pull free of Gibbs’ hold. He growled right back, with a force and venom that made Phoebe quake. Did they teach that in training?
For a minute, the pair seemed locked in battle, the woman struggling against all three men in vain while she snarled at Gibbs. He didn’t flinch or loosen his grip, and kept his own domineering growl rumbling on, rising in pitch. The sheep grew more frantic and both the farmer and Spalding yelled at them with a mixture of anger and desperation. Phoebe felt battered, all the noise and tumultuous emotion like an assault. She wanted to run. She forced herself to stay, watching as Gibbs tried to inflict his will on the woman.
As much as pop culture got muddled with myth, some things were always true, just as much for wolves as humans. Some people were simply more dominant than others. Gibbs’ laid-back, clownish persona was all gone now as he pinned the woman down with both his body and his eyes. Phoebe would have caved already, if she’d even had it in her to resist. The woman, whatever her mental state might be, was not so easily dominated. But after what felt like an age, she slumped, stopped fighting, and went still.
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About Naomi Clark
Naomi likes writing, perfume, fancy tea, and unfathomable monsters from the dark spaces between the stars, not necessarily in that order. She has been writing stories ever since she learned how to write, but is still trying to master the art of biography writing. When she’s not dealing with werewolves, demons, or sea monsters, she’s hanging out with her cat and probably watching a documentary about Bigfoot. If the cat isn’t available, she’s with her fiancé watching cookery shows and silently plotting her next book.
Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, angels! Today I’m featuring April Zyon and her hot new shifter romance A Mate For the Sheriff (Shifters Match.com 4). Take it away, April!
Jessica Morris has a secret that could get her killed. Hiding in plain sight, pretending to be normal, is all she’s ever known. And even though she’s been lucky so far, she knows that she can’t hide in Shifter Falls forever. Getting involved with the town sheriff is the last thing she needs, but lately it’s all she can think about.
Novak Porter has watched Jessica since the first day she came into town. He suspects that, like everyone else in Shifter Falls, she’s got a skeleton or two in her closet. She’s nervous around him, and for years he’s forced himself to give her time. But when a chance encounter throws them together for more than five minutes, Novak decides he’s tired of waiting. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep her around. Convincing her to work for him is easy, but getting her to believe in happily ever after might be a little more difficult.
Jessica turned to the voice in the darkness. The sexiest voice on the face of the planet. “Sheriff,” she said, her pulse increasing when she turned to look at him.
He looked as if he had been built of stone, and again she wondered just exactly what sort of shifter he was. No one seemed to know, or be willing to share, which was very strange in a town like Shifter Falls. Then again, she didn’t let anyone know what she was, either, so it could just be a privacy thing.
“I’m not sure what’s going on, but suddenly all the electronics inside the car went completely dead. The lights, dash, everything. I’m afraid it’s the alternator, since it has a brand-new battery.” She might be a lot of things, but she wasn’t completely stupid. “And I think that Jagger’s cub swiped my cell phone, again, so do you think you could maybe call a tow for me?” She shook her head. “That little guy gets me every single time. I swear he’s taken more cell phones off of me than I can count. Phi is never able to find them, so there’s no telling what he does with them.” She was snickering as she said that. She didn’t know why she was talking so much, but she was.
The sheriff was watching her intently and didn’t seem all that bothered by her random rambling. He merely pulled out his cell and put in a call for a truck. “Mick will come get your car. He said to leave the keys on the passenger front tire since he might be a while. They had to pull a couple cars from a slough after some young twits decided that drag racing with their parents’ cars was a good plan. Come on, I’ll give you a ride home.”
She whistled. “Oh boy. I bet there are going to be some kids in serious trouble about right now. Thanks for the offer of the ride.” She grabbed her purse, locked the car, and put the keys on the front passenger tire as she had been instructed. “You’ll probably be going out of your way a bit. I live at twenty-nine Forest Acre Road.” It was a dirt road surrounded by forest and she loved it. Nature called to her, and at least there she didn’t have to worry about nulling any abilities as she typically did when she was near other witches.
“No worries at all. It keeps me out of the station until the parents have finally wound down to a dull roar and the kids have had a few minutes for everything to sink in. Anyhow, I think that an hour’s worth of stewing before I arrive to come up with some interesting charges might help the situation. By then I’ll know if the lawyers have actually been called in or not and can figure out how to play this to keep the kids from doing something worse down the line.” The sheriff held her door for her, then shut it when she settled into her seat. A minute later he was setting out reflective markers behind her car before sliding in behind the wheel to take her toward town and home.
“You are a good man. Too bad you can’t keep a secretary to save your gorgeous ass.” She felt her face turn red from heat when she realized she’d blurted that out. “Crap, ignore me. I don’t know what I’m saying.” She cringed, but then shrugged. Since it was too late to take her candid observation back, she pressed on. “Well, from what I understand, you have gone through thirteen of them inside of three months. That’s outstanding right there.”
He leveled a look on her she couldn’t read. She was only thankful he seemed to ignore her initial comment and it allowed her cheeks to cool. “I have a specific way I expect things to be done. And, I admit, my temper can get the best of me. Everything we do can be called into question inside a courtroom. If even one I isn’t dotted right, or a T was missed being crossed, that is potentially a dangerous offender being allowed out on the street due to clerical error. Unacceptable in my book so, yes, I have some impossibly high standards I expect to be carried out by every man and woman in the department.”
“No, not impossibly high standards. They are perfectly reasonable. The way that everyone made it sound you were seriously a neat freak nut job, but what you’re saying doesn’t sound like that at all.” She understood the importance of perfect record keeping, of ensuring that everything was where it should be at all times. “When the council took me on as their secretary, I had to redo a hell of a lot of stuff because the person before me couldn’t seem to understand that paperwork is filed by number then letter. Idiots.” She smirked and looked over at him. “I guess I have high standards as well. Then again since I’m a witch without abilities, I have to be able to contribute somehow, right? Especially with my mother’s coven proclaiming me to be nothing but a human.” That’s what all of Shifter Falls thought of her, and she was happy to keep it that way. When she’d first started out on her own, she’d wondered if it wouldn’t have been smarter, and safer, to try to hide even the fact that she’d been born into a witch family. Ultimately she’d decided that it was better to stick as close to the truth as possible. So she never tried to hide the fact that she had been born to witch parents. It was unlikely that she would ever run into anyone from her old coven, but on the off chance that she did, she didn’t want to arouse suspicion by being caught in a lie. Besides, being known as a witch without powers—therefore, more or less, human—kept her just as safe as if she’d tried to pass herself off as a normal human.
“I’m glad you understand. Few do,” he muttered. “I think the council foisted their rejects my way for some form of payback. They all loved the idea when the mayor had me run for office and I won by a landslide, but the minute I arrested the first council member and wouldn’t take a bribe, they started to wonder. Told them the same thing I told the mayor when he hired me—I was going to run things my way, and if they found someone that could run against me and get elected that would be the only way they’d get me out of that seat. They haven’t had any luck yet.”
Jess knew it was because the sheriff was respected by every citizen in the Falls as well as the other two cities that made up their exceptionally small county. While not everyone agreed with his methods and strict by-the-book ways, they liked how he’d cleaned up and kept the area protected from a drug problem several years back when he’d first taken the position.
“You cleaned up the area. No one would run against you. You’re too good at your job, so it is what it is.” She shrugged. “You are strict and you can be an ass from what I’ve been told, but then again there are a lot of falsehoods that fly through Shifter Falls, aren’t there?” she asked with a smile.
“True enough. The trick is determining what’s truth and what’s lie in everything that goes around town. It’s amazing what one can discover the moment they find that tiny thread and give it a tug. After all, there’s not a soul in this town that is exactly who they appear to be on the surface once you dig down a little further.”
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About April Zyon
Having been a lover of the written word all her life April has always wanted to expand her horizons and write something that could be shared with the world. Only one thing held April back, the fact that the letters and numbers mixed and jumbled more often than not. Diagnosed with Dyslexia when she was eight years old April had to work her butt off just to be able to keep up with the other kids in reading and writing, so her love for fictional writing was tossed to the wayside for the moment.
Time marched on, as it always does, and she forgot her childhood dream of becoming an author and instead focused on what she had to – creating a career for herself. As the endless waves of time passed the shores became less rocky and more sandy, a place where she could find an even foot. That and Microsoft invented Word. Hallelujah. This is where April began her journey into the written world, the world that her imagination had been ceaselessly creating for her entire adult life.
Now she has been given a chance to let her literary wings unfold and fly, thanks to the amazing publishers with Evernight Publishing and Secret Cravings Publishing. Now its time to let the dream take flight and watch it soar!
Let’s kick off this lovely weekend with the first entry in Ravenna Tate’s new Blood Moon Lynx shifter series, The Alpha’s Taboo Mate. Take it away, Ravenna!
Writing shifters was something I was asked to do by so many readers, I felt I had to try it. Did I hit a home run? Only time will tell.
THE ALPHA’S TABOO MATE is book one in my new Blood Moon Lynx series. Here is the link to the series page on my website: http://ravennatate.blogspot.com/p/blood-moon-lynx.html
Here’s the series blurb: One thousand years ago, in an unholy alliance, a male lynx shape shifter and a female vampire became lovers. Both knew their mating was forbidden, but their desire for each other was too great to ignore. Under a blood moon, they mated. The lynx bit the vampire woman, marking her as his mate. The vampire in turn bit the male lynx shifter, marking him as hers forever.
But then the lynx took a human female as a lover, betraying the vampire and pack law. When the vampire discovered his infidelity, she struck out against the two, but in the end couldn’t kill her lover. The human female and the lynx turned on the vampire. While she slept in her coffin during the day, they drove a stake through her heart. Unbeknownst to them, in doing so they turned the vampire’s mark of possession on the lynx into a powerful curse that affected his descendants for all eternity.
Despite centuries of mating with other female cat shifters, the male lynx shifters still have vampire blood in their DNA. Because of this, they possess powers that include being able to see minute details at great distances, and being able to travel with tremendous speed while in partial or full shifted form. Their powers are strongest during a blood moon. When they mate with a human, however, the offspring possess enhanced negative traits such as greed and contempt for the pack and its laws.
As the legend of the unholy alliance grew into a myth, fewer cats believed in it, thus exposing all the packs to dangers that still lurk today…
Alpha lynx shifter Canyon Benedict has always known Fiera Kent was his mate. When leopard shifter Hawke Medina tries to claim her, in order to use her as leverage to gain control of the Kent fortune, Canyon takes matters into his own hands. But even after he and Fiera are officially mated, the threat from the Medina family is far from over.
Fiera has loved Canyon from the time she was a child, and is thrilled when he sneaks her away to his family’s secret cabin across the river so they can be mated. But Hawke won’t let it go. Canyon and his father eventually discover illegal business practices that uncover the Medina family’s web of deceit and lies affecting their entire village.
But is it enough? Will Canyon have to fight Hawke to determine which alpha can finally claim Fiera for life?
A powerful orgasm overtook her. In response, Fiera arched her back and cried out. Surely his dick inside her couldn’t feel better than this. If it did, she’d pass out from sheer joy. He continued sucking her clit and finger fucking her until the contractions began to subside. Once they did, he lay on top of her again and kissed her.
Fiera wrapped her arms and legs around his hot, hard body and shoved her tongue into his mouth. She tasted her own juices, but she didn’t care. This was so damn wonderful she might never leave this cabin. They could stay here, making love until they couldn’t walk, and she’d be just fine with that.
“Oh, Fiera…” Canyon sat back on his heels and stroked his dick again, then moved closer to her and guided it toward the opening to her wetness. “Are you ready?” His voice was so rough and gravelly, but that only added to the excitement.
“Yes!” She’d been ready for this most of her life. “Take me, Canyon. Make me yours.”
With a loud groan, he began to ease his cock into her pussy. Fiera held her breath and bit her lip because it hurt. “It’s all right, sweetheart. Try to relax your muscles.”
“Okay.” She smiled up at him, touched that he’d noticed her discomfort.
Canyon bent down and kissed her again, gently working his lips over hers until Fiera was so focused on the kiss and the heady sensation it sent coursing through her body, she didn’t realize his cock was finally inside her. There was no pain now, only a fullness that sent shockwaves of desire out to her fingers and toes.
“Oh, yes. That’s it.” When Canyon began to move, Fiera threw back her head and moaned loudly as the most exquisite pleasure flooded her senses. “You’re mine now, Fiera. No one can take you from me. We’re bonded forever!”