Friday, June 30, 2017

Wolf Of The Northern Star by SJ Himes - Blog Tour with Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Wolf of the Northern Star
Author: SJ Himes
Series: The Wolfkin Saga, #2
Release Date: June 15th 2017
Genre: Gay Paranormal Shifter Romance


Ghost, once known as the cub Luca, is finally home. Back among his kind and learning what it means to be both a man and a shaman, Ghost battles the expectations of his people, his family, and the pressures of a society that is both foreign and familiar. His power is greater than any seen before, dwarfing that of even the legendary Shaman Gray Shadow—and his union with Kane places him in the center of a controversy that rattles wolfkin society around the world.

Kane, greater alpha and Heir to Black Pine Clan, has finally defeated the traitor and murderer that destroyed the heart of Black Pine years before. Freed at last from guilt and pain, Kane has a new enemy to face: his own people. Placed on trial for violation of Law and blasphemy, Kane will have to fight to the death to preserve his bond with Ghost and keep his mate and people safe.

The soulbond between Ghost and Kane is forged by the creator and Goddess of the wolfkin. Usually, a sacred and treasured union that honors the pair and their clans, this soulbond is seen not as a gift, but a threat to eons of tradition and Clan Law.
The union of a Shaman and Alpha is anathema—but how to reconcile that belief when it is the wolfkin Goddess who forged it? Can Ghost and Kane save themselves, preserve their bond, and find a new future when the laws of the ancient past threaten to tear them apart?

*This book is part of a series and should not be read as a standalone. Prior books should be read to understand content. 104,000 words*

Purchase: Amazon Universal

Find The Wolfkin Saga on Goodreads

Exclusive Excerpt 

Caius and two of his betas crouched by the corner, as the three rogues, fur rough and unkempt, tumbled from the shadows and went to the door. He wondered how they would open the door with fully wolf paws, when one of the rogues sat back on his haunches and began to Change, the process rough and sluggish.

Caius leapt, snarling as he took the distance in less than a second, his betas right behind him. He landed on the rogue who was caught mid-shift, Caius’ own claws out, fangs lowered, and he ripped out the rogue’s throat before they even hit the ground. Hot blood sprayed, the rogue’s eyes wide in fear and shock, and Caius grabbed his skull and twisted. He dropped the body at his feet, and spun towards the other rogues.

His two betas, both wolves in their wilder forms, had one rogue cornered against the building. Caius leapt again, clawed hand out, and he grabbed the hind paw of the third rogue as he attempted to flee. A sharp yank and the leg broke at the hip, the rogue screaming. Caius pulled the wolf back to him, claws sinking into fur and flesh, and with a negligent flick, broke the struggling wolf’s neck. He tossed aside the rogue’s corpse, and turned back to the remaining wolf. 

His betas lunged forward together, and the rogue found himself buried under the two females, throat and chest ripped open. He died within moments, the females backing away, shaking their heads to lose the taste of his foul blood on their tongues. Caius smiled down at his wolves, proud and pleased, and they danced happily with wide, sharp grins when he petted them gently on their heads.

Caius reached out for Burke. *The three rogues are dead.* Caius smiled, lifting his face to the wind, blood and death heavy in the air. He growled, a smooth purr that expelled some of the tension he had been carrying for far too long. Burke responded with subdued acknowledgment, and Caius tilted his head.

The rumbled of engines. He moved to the corner of the building at the front, and looked carefully out toward the front lot. Headlights glanced off the ground, highlighting potholes and dead grass in cracks. A dark SUV and a limo were about two hundred yards out, and Caius grinned.

*A limo and escort car are coming from the west,* Caius told Burke, the Speaker’s surprise echoing back.

*They will likely be armed. Any confrontation outside will run the risk of drawing the human authorities.*

*Get the shamans out of the line of fire. Let them into the lobby. We’ll trap them inside between us.*

Like herding frantic deer into the rest of the wolf pack, the humans would die. Caius called in the rest of the perimeter team, and split them between his side of the building and the far side. His eyes could pick up the soft pops of gunfire in the sublevel, telling him Kane was still encountering the humans within.

The two approaching cars parked side by side in front of the building, engines ticking. Guards exited the vehicles, human men in dark suits with the soft stink of gunmetal broadcasting to anyone with a nose that they were armed.

It took everything Caius had not to leap out from hiding and eviscerate Simon Remus when the human bastard got out of the limo. He paused, and backed away from the door, another man exiting behind him.


“Where have you been? With your mate?” Glen asked, and Ghost grumbled.

“Been running around the mountain all night long, thinking. Being a man is hard. How do you do it?”

Glen snorted out a laugh. “Practice.” He nodded at the blanket, and Ghost sighed loudly.

Ghost sat up, wrapping the quilt about his hips. He threw himself back down almost immediately, and Glen found himself unable to resist the plaintive whine that came from his pretty lips. Glen was as straight as they came, but even he could acknowledge the sheer beauty of the human form of his wayward wolf. Ghost was beautiful, inside and out, and yet he had a shade of sadness hovering about his expressive silver eyes. He walked around the couch and paused as Ghost scrambled out of the way long enough for him to sit down. A bare second later he had an armful of lean youth and wiggling limbs.

Ghost curled up in his lap like he used to as a pup, though it was different now, as Ghost was not a wolf anymore. Glen heaved out a groan in complaint, but let Ghost hide under his chin and snuggle. He hugged the boy to his chest, and they both relaxed, adjusting easily enough to the new dynamic.

“What’s wrong?” Glen asked, and Ghost responded in a tiny voice.

“They put Kane in a cell in the woods yesterday. And they want to destroy our mate bond.”

Glen could recall only two times in his entire life he ever got angry enough to kill. Once was back in college when he tore a drunk frat boy off a cussing and furious redhead who then proceeded to wallop her attacker. The other time was when he rescued a malnourished wolf-hybrid from a careless and ignorant suburban family in the outskirts of Toronto, the poor thing starved near to death and skeletal thin. As he did then, he ran his hands over the back of a young wolf’s head, and said, “Everything is going to be okay.”

Glen managed to hold onto his temper, but it was a battle. The youngling needed a shoulder to cry on, a place to relax his guarded emotions, and Glen would be that safe place for him.

“I wanted to come home more than anything,” Ghost whispered, pressing his face into Glen’s chest. “But nothing good has come of it. They think me damaged, weak. Vulnerable.”

“We both know you are not damaged or weak. I don’t think I would have survived fifteen years locked away in the body of a wolf, deprived of any sense of self or family. You’re strong. And what do you mean nothing good has come from returning to your people? You have your man now, Kane. He’s your mate, no matter what those fools may say or think.”

“He’s in a cage, Glen. In the woods, alone, surrounded by alphas who wouldn’t hesitate to hurt him. I can feel him through our bond. He’s frustrated, and misses me. I haven’t seen him since they took him away yesterday We can’t talk because the alphas might be able to overhear us, but I can still feel him. It hurts not being with him.”

The Wolfkin Saga #1

Title: Wolves of Black Pine
Release Date: June 30th 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Shifters, MM Romance

An ancient civilization long hidden from humanity is on the brink of chaos and war.

Peaceful for thousands of years, the wolfkin clans are mysteriously losing packmates, kidnapped and killed by unknown foes. Among the dead is Luca, youngest grandson of the two most powerful wolves in the Northern Clans, but he is forced into a half-life, hidden in the far northern wilds of Canada and cut off from his kind. Those who raised him have no idea the creature they harbor in their midst, and name him Ghost. He begins to lose himself over the long years, and though he barely recalls his true name, the one wolf he never forgets is Kane.

Heir to the wolfkin clan Black Pine, Kane is charged with hunting down the traitors who them to the humans. Years fly by, and more wolves are dying. He refuses to give up, and he vows to never again fail another of their kind, as he failed young Luca years before. His heart tells him Luca lives, but his mind tells him that it’s foolish hope, his guilt eating him alive.

Fate and magic change the course of their lives, and the two wolves long separated by the years find their paths intertwining, though the reunion does not come without cost...

150,000+ words, contains graphic sex between men, dubious consent, mentions of abuse. Contains gore and violence. Mature readers only.

Purchase: Amazon Universal  **On SALE $2.99 until 5th July**

GIVEAWAY: Win $10 Amazon gift card and Wolves of Black Pine & Wolf of the Northern Star ebooks

About the Author

I'm a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I'm at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with ocasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that's perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), and The Wolfkin Saga. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on.... I'm a nomad, and I've yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.

Promises Part 3 by A.E. Via - Release Blast with Excerpt and Giveaway

Author A.E. Via
Title:  Promises Part 3
Edited by: Tina Adamski
Cover Artist – Jay Aheer
Release Date: June 30, 2017


A bounty hunter’s partners to lovers’ story.

The hunt is on… and he’s the prey.

Bradford (Ford) King was sure he had the rest of his life mapped out. Though he was no longer a SEAL Lieutenant, his brother was home safe and he had a job that still allowed him to satisfy his hunger for hunting bad guys. Life was simple, no distractions or complications – at age forty-six – that’s all Ford wanted. What he didn’t want was his work partner, sniper/watchman, Dana, giving him s**t all the time. 

Dana Cadby had grown up labeled a roughneck from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d fought, scrounged, and survived despite a father that constantly told him he couldn’t. Dana pulled himself up by his own boot straps and made a name for himself in the marksman community. He’d been Duke’s bounty watchman for five years. It was his job to ensure their safety, watch their backs. At thirty-three, he was trusted, well respected by his peers, his bosses, his friends… so why couldn’t he earn the same respect from his partner? 

Dana knew he was bisexual before he graduated high school. He also knew he was attracted to the huge, 6’3”, SEAL from the moment he and his brother came to join their team. It wasn’t easy for him to tamp down his immediate reaction to Ford’s thick muscles, full beard, and dark eyes. Still, Dana exhibited nothing but professionalism towards him, not wanting to make his ‘straight’ partner uncomfortable. 

After Dana took back his ex-girlfriend, he’d noticed an intensification in Ford’s bad attitude. One that turned aggressive and downright antagonistic, and Dana was damned if he’d just lay down and take it. He was gonna make that man respect him if it was the last thing he did. 

When Duke sends Dana and Ford out to track down their most dangerous bounty yet, they both embrace the fact that they make one hell of a team… but they fight tooth and nail against the powerful intimacy brewing between them. 

Beware: When Ford and Dana connect, no fugitive can hide from the hunter and his watchman.

This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA. 

Disclaimer: This book is about MM romance, albeit there is a very brief MF scene.

Buy Links
Amazon Link:


“I can’t believe you, Ford.” Dana whirled around, his teeth clenched together, his words hissing between them. “I trusted you, man. I put myself out there and you… you hustled me. I can’t believe you talked all that shit about Jessica, and look what you turn around and do. I deserve better, huh? You ain’t treating me no better, Bradford. That bullshit you—”

He’d heard enough. Ford pushed off the chair so hard it flipped over. Dana’s eyes widened a split second before Ford reached out and yanked him by his collar, pulling him into his chest. Their angry, scowling faces on a couple inches apart. “How dare you compare me to her? And I’ve never fuckin’ hustled anyone in my life.”

“Why, then?” Dana’s boldness deflated so fast, Ford wondered if it was ever there to begin with. Dana looked so beaten and tired, Ford had an overwhelming urge to take it all on himself and make him smile again. He didn’t know how Dana had ended up the one hurt by all this, but there had obviously been some major miscommunication. “Why’d you do that? That was messed up. I woke up and you’d left.”

Ford realized he was still holding onto Dana but his grip was no longer as aggressive. Instead, his fingers were lightly caressing Dana’s throat. Ford eased in closer. “Yes, Dana. I left you in my bed. Warm. Relaxed. Resting. I didn’t do anything to hurt you. I watched you sleep. There was so much going on in my head, so much I wanted to say to you.”

“Then why’d you leave?” Dana snapped.

“Are you that impatient, brat?” Ford held Dana’s face in his big hands. His mouth was just barely brushing Dana’s pursed lips. “I went for a run, goddamnit. I drove to the park. Ran to clear my head. I stopped and got us breakfast. When I came back… you were gone. I came back for this, and you were fuckin’ gone.” Ford crashed his mouth over his partner’s, pulling Dana into him to show he was back in control.


A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children.

Adrienne has tons of more stories to tell, so be sure to visit her site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.


Author Official Website:
A.E. Amazon Author Page
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Jordan's Pryde by Giovanna Reaves - Release Blitz with Excerpt

Title:  Jordan's Pryde
Series: Pryde Shifter Series Book 1
Author: Giovanna Reaves
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: June 30th 2017
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 83K
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, Mpreg, Paranormal Romance


All he did was apply for a job and then his world was turned upside down.

Thrust into the world he had no idea about, Jordan Sutton’s only goal was to get a job working for Duncan Pryde of Pryde Industries. He thought werewolves, vampires, and faes belonged in fairy tales, not in the real world. What will he do when he finds out that there’s more than meets the eye to his boss and his family?

Duncan Pryde had too much going on in his life. He became the sole guardian of his twin niece and nephew along with the addition of his pack and company. He had no time to think about a mate when trouble came to his front door. What happens when the man he hired for one job turns out to be his destined mate? Does he deny what he feels or embrace it?


Chapter One

Jordan pulled up to the address he was directed to by his GPS. His mouth fell open in complete shock at the mansion looking back at him. He was applying for a position to work for the CEO of Pryde Industries. The handsome and jaw-dropping Duncan Pryde. The position was as his personal assistant. Unless people had been living under a rock, everyone knew exactly who Duncan Pryde was. A self-made billionaire who had his fingers in everything from computer software to fashion design.  The man was intelligent, wealthy, and drop-dead gorgeous and didn’t look a day over forty. Simply put, everything Jordan could want in a man. But with one snag—the man was completely straight according to all the magazines he’d read.

When he heard there was a position opening up at Pryde Industries and it would be working for the CEO, Jordan researched everything he could about Duncan Pryde. One thing was evident, Pryde was never without some slim, beautiful female model or actress hanging off his arm. Other than his attraction, Jordan admired Duncan Pryde from afar, since he started tracking his success.

It was only by chance Jordan found out about the job opening and jumped at the opportunity. He admitted to himself that he had a selfish reason for wanting to work for Pryde Industries. It was the opening Jordan needed to get his foot in the door in the business world. Even if he was starting out as a personal assistant. Jordan would be foolish to pass up the chance. Being rich was not his primary goal, success and recognition for what he could do were what he was after. Call him ambitious, but Jordan learned a long time ago that success didn’t come easily. You have to step over a few people to get where you want to be in life.  He practically bit his nails down to the knuckle the day he sent off his résumé.  It was not a job at the corner store, but working for a CEO with a major Fortune 500 company.

The minute Jordan got the call for the interview, he did a more in-depth research on Duncan Pryde, that was available on Duncan, and his businesses. There was not a lot. He could find little on Duncan’s personal life, but there was more than enough information on Pryde Industries. It frustrated Jordan, to the point of obsession, that he could not learn more about the man he wanted to work for. The only personal information he could find was that a tragedy had occurred in his life six months earlier.

He had turned the running of the business over to the hands of his vice president until he was able to return. No matter how much he searched, Jordan was not able to find out what had happened. Duncan Pryde had also withdrawn from public life.  No one seemed to know what happened. Wild speculations swirled around that he had been severely injured in a car accident and his company was covering it up. Some reported that he was bound to a wheelchair and would never walk again.

Taking a deep breath, Jordan looked at the file sitting in the passenger seat next to him. It was his résumé and work experience. There wasn’t a lot to go on, but Jordan had glowing letters of recommendation from previous employers along with those of volunteering administrators. He was ready, and he was pretty confident that the job belonged to him and no one else.

No need to keep sitting here, the job’s not going to come to me this way. Jordan nervously got out of the car closing the door.

Checking his suit to make sure that everything was pristine, he smoothed out invisible wrinkles and lint while praying to the gods that he wouldn’t come off as an idiot in his interview.  He wanted to make a good impression the first time meeting Mr. Pryde, who was conducting the interview himself. Jordan squared his shoulders, and looked at the large white painted mansion with black window trim in front of him. The lawn was well manicured with shrubbery and trees on both sides of the walkway leading up to the door.

What he could not understand was why the interview was at a mansion and not at the head office located downtown. Jordan shrugged his shoulders, again. As long as Jordan got the job he did not care where the interview was held. Wealthy and influential people had their quirks, it wasn’t for him to judge. Determined that he was ready to meet the man he was hoping to work for, Jordan walked to the red painted front door and cleared his throat, he raised his hand, ready to knock on the door when it was flung open for him. A ragged-looking woman burst through the door.

“I don’t care how much you pay me; I will not take care of those hellions!” she yelled, walking or rather running down the driveway and got in the car parked next to his, speeding off like a bat out of hell.

Well, that’s interesting.

Jordan quickly stepped to the side holding his folder to his chest, not sure if someone or something else was going to come flying out of the house and hit him. His heart was pounding in his chest. Instead of feeling nervous he was starting to get scared out of his fucking mind. The little voice in the back of his head told him to cut his losses and get his ass back in his car and go home, and let someone else be terrorized by Duncan Pryde. He ignored the voice and waited a few minutes before he decided that nothing else was going to come flying in his direction. Peeking his head through the door, not seeing anyone, Jordan stepped forward and walked in the foyer looking around for someone to ask for directions. The place was just as large on the inside as it was on the outside.

Shouldn’t there be a maid or a butler to answer the door? Jordan heard voices coming from down the hall and followed it. His previous apprehension went away as his curiosity took over.

“You guys, know that I have meetings to attend, I might not go into the office, but I cannot stay with you pups all day long.”

“We know, Uncle Duncan,” a cute, tiny little voice said.

“But she was so mean,” another small voice added.

“She promised if we behaved she would let us have ice cream,” they chimed in together.

Kids, nothing I read said that Duncan Pryde had kids.

“And we were especially good,” one of the kids said.

From the tone, Jordan assumed it was a little boy. He stood outside the door listening shamelessly to their conversation. He found it adorable how the kids finished each other’s sentences.

“Be that as it may, you were both wrong for putting mud in her shoes and lizards in her pockets.” Duncan Pryde’s voice sounded quiet but stern, not frightening considering the conversation with the kids. 

“We’re sorry,” they chorused together.

“What am I going to do with you both?” Duncan Pryde asked.

“Please, don’t be mad at us, Uncle Duncan,” one of the tiny little voices said. To Jordan, it sounded like a little girl. The pleading and the sniffle at the end broke Jordan’s heart, he was so tempted to go into the room and comfort the little one himself and call Duncan Pryde out for being mean to his kids. 

“I’m not angry. But, guys, I need to be able to go back to work.”  The room was quiet for a few seconds before Duncan Pryde spoke again. “Promise me you will give the other nanny a chance.”

“We promise, Uncle Duncan,” they said together.

“Okay, now let’s hug it out.”

Jordan heard an oof sound and then peals of laughter. He stood in the hall a bit longer letting the small family enjoy their time together before he interrupted. Pulling himself off the wall, he walked the short few steps and stood at the entrance to the room and knocked on the door.

“Come in,” Duncan Pryde’s voice echoed strongly from the other side of the door.

Jordan took a deep breath, letting it out slowly before opening the door and stepping over the threshold and stopped, he had to hold back the gasp that threatened to escape. Magazines and television did not do Duncan Pryde justice because standing in front of Jordan was one of the sexiest men he’d ever laid eyes on.

Nope, Duncan Pryde is not wheelchair bound, he doesn’t even look as if he has a scratch on his perfect muscled body.

The only disappointment, in Jordan’s opinion, was the confused expression on the man’s handsome face. Duncan Pryde stood about six feet four inches. Wide muscled shoulders and arms that looked like they could bench press the two kids in one hand and him in the other without breaking a sweat.

“Who are you?” Duncan Pryde demanded and stepped in front of the kids, shielding them from Jordan’s view. To Jordan, it had sounded as if he growled his words rather than spoke them.

“Y…your front door was open, and I heard voices so I…” Jordan stuttered through his response.

“You didn’t answer my question, who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house?” he demanded again, placing the children entirely behind him.

Jordan was about to walk further into the room, but paused at the man’s deep voice and hoped he did not let on just how much Duncan Pryde’s very presence was affecting him in a few short seconds. With his pale complexion, he was probably blushing from the tips of his ears to his toes.

Fuck, the man’s tall.

Jordan took a deep breath, finally he was able to string a few sentences together. “I’m sorry, my name is Jordan Sutton. I was told to meet you here for an interview.”

Duncan Pryde stared at Jordan as if he’d lost his head. His blue eyes widened as if he just remembered their meeting.

“Oh shit,” he said, and the kids gasped.

“Uncle Duncan, you said a bad word,” the little girl said looking up at her uncle.

“Now you gotta put money in the bad word jar,” the little boy added to the conversation.

The kids are adorable.

“You’re right, guys,” Duncan Pryde said, he still had his eyes trained on Jordan, but his tone was gentle when he spoke to the kids. “I’m sorry, I completely forgot, things got a bit out of control this morning,” he apologized to Jordan.

“That’s okay,” Jordan assured him with a shrug of his shoulders.

Jordan watched as Duncan turned and kneeled in front of the kids who looked so much like him. The twins had the same dark brown hair with sprinkles of silver highlights. His curiosity was piqued, wondering if it was a family trait kind of thing.

“Okay, my little pups, here is what I need you to do for me.” The twins nodded, looking up at him. “I need to meet with Mr....” He turned and looked at Jordan.

“Sutton,” Jordan answered for him.

The twins were staring at him, and Jordan knew why. He always got the same look everywhere he went. It used to bother him when he was a kid growing up, but he wasn’t bothered by it anymore. There had to be other people in the world with white hair and red eyes. Many thought he dyed his hair and wore contacts simply to freak them out or was being rebellious and balked when he told them that he was born this way.

“Thank you,” he said to Jordan then looked back at the twins. “I need to speak with Mr. Sutton for a few minutes. I need you both to go to your rooms and play with your toys. I promise I won’t be that long.  Afterward, we can do anything you guys want to do.” Their heads bobbed at the same time nodding, before hugging their uncle then walked out of the room, whispering to each other and looking back at him. Jordan smiled and waved.

“Did you see his eyes?” the little boy asked.

“Yeah, and his hair,” the little girl said. “I want my hair like his.”

Duncan got up from his position and looked at Jordan. “I say we have a good twenty minutes before they get bored, and I will have to think of something to bribe them with,” Duncan told Jordan with a smile.

“In that case, how about we cut to the chase, then,” Jordan said. “And I just lay out why I’m the perfect candidate for the job as your assistant, you hire me, and I can start working immediately.”

“Bossy, demanding, and confident, I like that. But, let’s go through with the formalities and see how you do.”

Jordan tried not to smile, but the sudden change in Duncan Pryde’s demeanor put him completely at ease. 

Duncan walked over to his desk and sat down. He looked over to the young man standing in front of him. He was properly dressed, which impressed him. He only hoped he continued to impress him during their short interview. He wasn’t kidding when he told Mr. Sutton that they had twenty minutes, Maddison and Benjamin were a handful. Duncan could not believe the morning he’d had, and it wasn’t even noon. He’d planned on going into the office, but had to shift his schedule around by doing the interview at his home. Because the twins begged him to stay home with them, and he gave in with the promise they would behave for Charlotte. That didn’t work out so well since they decided to terrorize Charlotte, who was nanny number, hell if he knew, he went through them quicker than it took him to blink an eye. At times the twins reminded him more of him and Mari than he would like to acknowledge. 

“Have a seat,” he instructed.  “I assume that you have a résumé in that folder you’re clutching tightly to your chest?”

Duncan extended his hand, waiting for the young man to give him the folder. After sitting down, the young man gave the folder to him. Duncan got comfortable as he flipped it open and began reading through Sutton’s qualifications. An indescribable sweet scent wafted under his nose, but Duncan ignored it. As a lykosian, or a werewolf, he was sensitive to certain smells.

Duncan felt his skin prickle, and the scent got stronger. Pulling on his restraints, he ignored the way his body was reacting and concentrated on the reason the young man was there in the first place. Even in the height of protecting the twins Duncan couldn’t help but stare the first moment he saw the young man standing in front of him. He was entranced by his glistening ruby jeweled eyes and his silver white hair. If the kids' fingernails were not digging into his skin, Duncan would have surely forgotten they were in the room.

Not many humans that he’d seen were born with such exotic appearances, it made Duncan wonder if he was something other than human. If he weren't sure that there was a male standing in front of him, Duncan would have mistaken Jordan for a woman with his delicate features. Duncan tried to distract his wandering thoughts by looking through the file in his hands. He already read a few things he liked. Duncan was a very busy man and needed someone who could keep up with him. He was organized and by his references he seemed to be more than qualified for the position as his personal assistant.

This was the part Duncan hated, he’d gone through six assistants in the past year.  All women and all under the illusion that he would fall in love with them. There were three lykosian females from his pack that tried to trap him into mating with them. They were immediately fired from the company and banished from the pack. There were consequences for such actions. Trying to manipulate a member of the pack into a mating when they were not mates would result in the member being banished from the pack for ten years. Duncan hated doing it, but he had no other choice.

Duncan was the pack leader of one of the largest lykosian packs of Cypress Prince Island. Cypress Prince was much more than an island; it was a bustling city filled with all walks of life. Duncan looked up from the file in his hands and stared at Jordan for a few seconds assessing him before a thought popped into his head. He was in need of an assistant and a new nanny, why not interview for both positions and see which candidate would fit perfectly for either position.

“Tell me, Mr. Sutton, why do you want to be my personal assistant?”

Duncan watched as a worried expression crossed over Jordan’s face before he answered. “Do you want me to be honest or give you the placated version that would make sure you hire me on the spot?”

Duncan chuckled, he liked the kid. He was also glad that the timidness he saw a few seconds earlier was no longer in his posture. “If you do get the job, what you need to know about me is that above all things, I value honesty from my employees.”

“I really need a job,” Jordan started. “I’m pretty close to moving back in with my parents and my little baby parked in your exquisite driveway is being held together by luck, hope, and Gods know a lot of prayers.” Jordan finished with a sigh. Duncan could tell he was trying not to sound desperate about needing a job, but he did ask the man for honesty. “I’m also inexperienced in the sense that I have never worked in the world of business, but I have admired you and your drive to succeed. I feel working for your company, or you specifically, will help me achieve my goals.”

He smelled the honesty coming from the young man. “Are you trying to butter me up, Mr. Sutton?” Duncan asked raising an eyebrow.

“Only if it’s working,” Jordan countered back with a smile that had Duncan thinking thoughts he really shouldn’t about the applicant.

Duncan chuckled at their natural banter, it had been a while since he smiled so much in an interview. He spent a few more minutes asking Jordan questions. Duncan liked what he was hearing from the young man with each answer he gave to the questions posed. He had a few more applicants to interview by the end of the week, but he was positive that Jordan would be a value to his company. Twenty minutes on the dot Duncan’s keen hearing heard the pitter patter of little feet heading in their direction. He stood to his feet as did Jordan. Duncan extended his hand wrapping up their meeting. He would have loved to sit and speak with the young man a few minutes more but knew that wasn’t possible. Not with the twins seconds away from his office door.

“I will have someone contact you by the end of the week to let you know if you have the job.”

Jordan shook his hand as they walked to the door. “Thank you for taking the time to see me.” A spark of electricity ran down his spine, but again Duncan ignored it. Maybe he would examine what was going on later if he was still bothered by it.

When he opened the door, the twins were standing at the entrance with an innocent expression on their tiny faces that Duncan did not believe for a second. The twins were so much like he and his twin sister, Mari, were when they were their age. A sad feeling settled in the bottom of his stomach.

“Are you ready now, Uncle Duncan?” they asked together.

“Yes,” he answered. “Let me walk Mr. Sutton to the door and I’m all yours for the rest of the day.”

They nodded and followed behind him and Jordan. Duncan opened the door for the young man. He watched as the younger man walked to his car, or what resembled a car. The kid wasn’t lying; Duncan was not sure how much longer that car was going to last. Once the kid drove off, Duncan turned around and focused his attention to the twins who were starting to get that impatient look on their faces.

“Okay, my little munchkins, I canceled all my other appointments to spend the day with you. So, what will it be?” he asked them. They smiled, and he knew exactly what he would be spending the rest of the day doing, and there was no way he could get out of it.

Later that week, Duncan was found slouched on the sofa, a drink in his hand and three applicants’ files sitting in his lap. He’d spent the rest of the week taking care of the twins and truth be told he was exhausted. Duncan needed someone quickly. He loved having and taking care of Maddison and Benjamin, but he had a pack and a company to run, he never thought he’d miss getting up and going to work so badly. Six months earlier, when he told his sister, Mari, that he would watch the kids while she and her husband, Ben, went on their second honeymoon, Duncan did not expect that it would be for the rest of his life. The private jet that Mari and Ben were on crashed on their way back from Paris. Duncan was devastated and had no idea what he was going to do. He had to bury his sister and his brother-in-law.

He had a hard time trying to explain to his five-year-old niece and nephew that their mom and dad would never be coming home again. Duncan had to change his life drastically to accommodate the twins. He’d gone from a doting uncle who saw them when he missed them, to a father figure in the span of months. He’d also gone through about the same number of nannies as he had personal assistants in the past few months. Duncan was a perfectionist and wanted things done his way. Mari used to tease him that he needed to loosen up a bit and give people a chance to make mistakes.

Mari and Duncan were twins, but the public had no knowledge of her existence. As wealthy and well-known as he was, Duncan respected Mari’s wish to keep her away from the public. So not to be recognized as his twin in public, Mari dyed her hair and grew it out to the middle of her back. It was her choice to live a modest life and taught at the school that Duncan had built when he took over as Alpha of his pack.  The same way he protected Mari he did with his pack, keeping their existence a secret.

It had not been easy, but Duncan felt it was better to hide in plain sight.  The employees that worked in his company were both pack members and humans who had no idea that they were working with lykosians. Duncan thought about hiring other creatures, but since the great war, each sect had lived separate lives. The thought of intermingling was considered blasphemous. He was not under the naïve impression that his pack was the only living among them. There were a few other shifter clan leaders that Duncan had known since childhood whom he had relied on over the years. There were even sanguine, or vampire, covens on the other side of the island.

The world was filled with many other sects. Many believed that lykosians were the first beasts formed. It was written that the gods—that once roamed the earth—wanted more than human worshipers and decided to create beasts and creatures who would not only protect their providence but be their warriors. The mistress of the moon, created the lykosians. In the beginning many beasts mated with humans before realizing they could also mate with their own kind. Lykosians and other shifted sects were given unmanageable strength and the ability to change from man to beast. Other sects were also given special abilities, some known and some not. The nyxian sect was known for their beauty and mysterious abilities. The elfkins, or elves, who were just as mysterious as the nyxians, were close in relation with their appearance. Both sects were created by the gods of the sun and given abilities to defend themselves.

There were many other sects that had hidden their people away and had remained a secret even to him. One sect Duncan was sure they had died out centuries ago, were the draconem. They were hunted and killed for their blood and heart. Men and beasts were attracted to the idea of a long life. By eating the heart of a draconem a person could live up to one hundred years plus. It was also written that draconems were quite powerful and possess magic liken to that of witches and warlocks, it was how they controlled their fire that dwelled deep inside of them while in their human form.

Duncan had always wondered how a sect as powerful as the draconems could have failed to protect themselves and died out. Some died during and after the war.  After the great war, a treaty was signed by the leaders of each sect. No matter how much he researched, Duncan could not find the reason why or who started the war in the first place. The only thing that was apparent was that many died senselessly. In the end, each sect decided it was better that they all lived their lives and didn’t intermingle. Duncan and a few other lykosian alphas had worked together to keep the peace with other packs and shifter clans across the globe.

As with humans, there was always a bad apple in with a bunch of perfectly good ones.  Duncan would never deny how competitive he was and the lengths he’d gone through to ensure his pack’s safety. One of his primary goals was to make sure that his members would have the best life possible. He was quite young when he took the pack over after challenging—and killing—his uncle for leadership. Duncan hated the way his uncle used and abused his power as Alpha of the pack. Women were being used for his sole pleasure, couples were not allowed to mate until the Alpha had his way with the females first. Some tried to run away but were caught before they could leave the island.

Some were killed in front of the rest of the pack as an embellished way to keep the members in line. On the full moon, the pack was not allowed to shift and run together. According to his uncle, that pleasure belonged to him alone. Duncan’s uncle told the pack that the previous Alpha was weak, which was why he was easily defeated by their enemies. He put more fear in the pack members telling them the goddess of the moon saw fit to bless him with her strength and considered the members weak and needed him to guide them.

Duncan was a child when his father, Thorin, was killed. He was not aware the role his uncle, Bradley, played in Thorin’s death. There were two things his uncle wanted: Galicia, who was Duncan’s mother, and the pack. Duncan couldn’t believe his uncle held such jealousy in his heart to kill his own brother. No one spoke of how his father died. It was forbidden, punishable by death to even mention his name. After Thorin’s death, Bradley approached Galicia and offered to be her mate, but Galicia turned him down. Bradley became furious and punished the pack instead.

When he got older and found out what happened to his father, and that his uncle was the one that killed him, Duncan acted by challenging his uncle. He was only eighteen when he took over the pack.  Galicia who was still depressed because of her mate’s death moved to Virginia to live with her sister. She was too heartbroken at the loss of his father to stay in the pack. His mom looked happy when he saw her a few months before Mari died. Duncan and Mari were ecstatic when she announced that she had opened her heart again to the possibility of love and finding a new mate. Her mate was gone, but there was nothing wrong with having someone to love again in her life. 

After taking over the pack, Duncan was ridiculed by the same pack members he saved from his uncle’s tyrannical rule. That was so long ago, but at times it still felt as if it were yesterday. It took him quite a while to gain the trust of his pack members. Duncan was one hundred and fifty years old but looked like a man in his late thirties. After taking over the pack, he appointed his best friend, Ryland Burnett, as his Beta. Ryland’s father was also killed by his uncle for being an opposition to his uncle’s tyranny and for the color of his skin. He and his mother were allowed to remain in the pack because she was the right color and his uncle was not afraid of a weak-minded woman.

Duncan also named Ryland’s three cousins, Parker, Charlie, and Sebastian, as his enforcers of the pack. They had been more than just his Beta and enforcers; they had become his family. Duncan worked hard on building up his pack and changing their image. He attended community college and studied business and finance. He used his smarts and invested money into the pack and ultimately his company.

    Before Duncan took over, the women in the pack were not even allowed to better themselves, such as attending school. The men were considered the authority apart from the Alpha. Little things were seen as punishable offenses, such as associating with humans. Duncan had done a lot to change the image of his pack. He felt the more the pack stayed hidden, the easier it would be for them to be found out.  They had a target on their backs, no matter if they stayed hidden or not. Duncan wanted his pack to live in the light instead of staying hidden.

There are other organizations like the Blackburn hunters who would stop at nothing to try and eradicate his pack and others like him. However, they are not as organized or well-funded as the Blackburn Organization. Duncan felt hiding would bring more suspicion. Living in the spotlight also has its disadvantages, one would be his appearance. Duncan reinvented his image so that it would not draw too much attention or questions from reporters. Duncan had lived a long time, and if others looked close enough, there would be questions as to why he hadn’t aged in his early thirties and how he was able to keep his youthful appearance.

    To the humans of this world, he was Duncan Pryde, the fourth who took over his father’s company after the man died. No one seemed to question why he looked almost the same as his father. The easy answer was the strong genetics that ran in their family. The Pryde pack had come a long way. He had to work hard to get over the emotional scar that continued to hang over the pack. Duncan prided himself, knowing that his pack was more accepting than others. A few years after he took over, the pack started to grow. Members were finding their mates and having pups. Duncan prided himself on being an open-minded Alpha and allowed his members to voice their likes and dislikes with respect. He practically bought the entire island of Cypress, so that his pack could expand and his members could live in peace.

Coming back to the present, Duncan looked down at the files resting on his lap.  He needed someone he could trust to take care of the twins when he had to travel out of town or when he had to work late at the office. Duncan knew he had to be selective. It would be easier to choose one of the female lykosians from his pack. But in the past, he realized they were using the pups to get close to him. Being the mate of the Alpha came with a lot of privilege. The pups they would have would be powerful, and the next to become the Alpha of the pack, no matter the gender. Duncan was not above naming a female as the Alpha of his pack. Strength came from how an Alpha cared for the members of its pack and not how well they could thrash his or her opponent in a match.

As old as he was, Duncan was not ready to settle down with a mate; which was why he was not looking or pining for one. Duncan was aware of his obligation to provide Alpha pups for the pack. As crazy as it might sound to others, he wanted to be in love and not be forced to sleep with a female lykosian because of the needs of the pack. Love mattered to him. He wanted what Mari and Ben had. He saw and felt the love between them, and at times it made him jealous. But he was also happy for them.

Duncan sighed as he flipped through the file of Jordan Sutton and Samantha Jones. Both candidates answered his questions truthfully, he did not smell any deceit coming from them. Also, their references checked out, as well as their background check came back clean. Decision made, Duncan made specific notes on each folder as to who was hired for what position. The next morning, he would send the documents off to his human resources department and have someone contact both applicants, informing them they got the job.

Copyright © 2017 by Giovanna Reaves

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Meet the Author

Giovanna (Gia) Reaves is my alter ego, who is a dreamer. I spend my days and nights dreaming and thinking of the worlds I want to create with words. I started writing about three years ago, when I was introduced to the world of fan fiction. I loved the idea of creating a new world around characters that people already knew about. And ones that are original of my own making. I have written two novels and a few free stories.

I am a mother, wife, and a military veteran. I enjoy trying new things such as traveling, cooking, and reading. I try to incorporate some of the things I have experienced into my books.

Currently living in Newport, RI with my two favorite men. If I am not hidden in my cave writing, I love to read and spend time with my hubby and son. I love listening to R and B along with neo soul when I am writing. When I'm not writing, I am trying to perfect my baking and decorating skills or try to pick up something new. I love spending time with my husband and son playing video games and traveling.

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