Thank you, Elin, for having me as a guest here today to celebrate the release of my book, Captive Mates. It is the fifth book in my Whithowe Forest Pack series and it comes out today (times may vary as my publisher is based in America, but it is already on pre-order over at Bookstrand).
To enter the giveaway, find the word of the day in this post, then head over to my blog (links below). At the bottom of the Captive Mates Blog Tour post there is a Rafflecopter link in blue, click on that and it will tell you all the ways to enter (some of which can be done daily).
Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?
– I am lucky enough to be able to write full time. Apart from that, I am a single parent to a thirteen year old son and a menagerie of animals, two dogs, two cats, one guinea pig, one hamster, one fish, and numerous stick insects. There have been a lot of times I have to go write in a coffee shop or bar to get away from all the distractions at home, lol.
What are you reading? Can you recommend something that you wished you’d written yourself?
– I am rereading Elantris, by Brian Sanderson. I adore it and have read it a lot of times. I think it would make the most fantastic film if they could do it justice.
In that crucial inspiration stage of a new story which comes first? Plot, situation or character?
– Character, I guess, mostly anyway. I get a lot of initial ideas from dreams, but then once I have one story floating around (written or unwritten), other characters in that world pop up and demand their stories be told. Most often, they are side characters in previous stories first so I already have some idea of who they are.
Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them? Do you have a crisp mental picture of them or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?
– A bit of both. One character in my first book, for instance, popped up out of nowhere as I was writing a particular scene. I had no idea who he was, but (some people were being rescued from a nasty situation) he just clung to one of the other characters until they got out of there and were safe. After that I got to know him a little more, though I have yet to get to his book and really delve into his character properly. For me I suppose it’s like meeting a new person in real life. When you first meet someone, you get a general impression of them, but the details come the more time you spend with them. Also, with events that happen, their characters evolve.
Is there any genre you would love to write, ditto one you would avoid like a rattlesnake? What inspired you to write about shifters?
– I would love to be able to write a comedy. While I can write the odd comic moment, or line, I don’t think I have it in me to write a truly funny book. Right now, I can’t think of any genre I would avoid like the plague. As for shifters, I have no clue, lol. I just woke up with the first line of a story in my head one day, which wouldn’t go away until I wrote it down. It turned out to be about a shifter currently in wolf form who had just escaped from something and was running home to his pack when he got caught in a bear trap. I just write what comes and don’t spend too long wondering where it came from.
Do you find there to be a lot of structural differences between a relationship driven story and one where the romance is a sub plot?
– Ask me again in a couple of years, lol. I have a barely started story which will not be a romance. There may be romance for him down the line, but he is only fifteen when the book starts and has other things to worry about. I am only just beginning with it and I am sure I will learn a lot as I go.
Put together your ideal team of men/women – drawing from all and any walks of life, fictional or non-fictional – who you would want to come to your rescue if menaced by muggers/alligators/fundamentalists?
– I already have. In my shifter books there is a team of guys who run a private security firm called AlphaSec. They are mostly shifters and were all in the military for several years. The one human in the group is a technical genius. Between them, they can pretty much rescue anyone from anything.
What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.
– My WIP was going to be the 6th book in my Whithowe Forest Pack series, but has morphed into the first in a sister series, tentatively titled Vampires of Whithowe. The book is called Solomon’s Regret.
What is the word of the day?
Could we please have an excerpt of something?
Ari was woken by the sounds of a fight in the corridor. He recognised by now the sounds of fists hitting flesh with too much ease. Whoever was under attack sounded like he was giving back as good as he was getting. Ari turned a little and leaned up on his right elbow. He could hear more than a couple of people were involved in the scuffle, and grunts from several as they fought. Scents began to filter through the cracks around the door to him.
Mate! No, that’s not possible. Keiron is my mate and that isn’t him. The scent of whoever was out in the corridor was making his cat growling and lashing its tail inside him, urging him to go to them, to bite, to claim, and to defend. Someone was thrown against the door of his room and Ari jerked upright, ignoring the pains in his shoulder and the rest of his body. Then the fight stopped. Or at least whoever it was stopped fighting back, suddenly passive. A few more dull thuds and grunts sounded, and then a key slid into the door lock and turned. The three bolts were shot back and the door flung open. A man stumbled through, helped on his way by a hefty shove from one of the men now crowding into the doorway.
“Hey look, Ari, you have company!” They all laughed uproariously.
What’s funny about that? Ari thought, staring at the blond man who had fallen in a heap on the floor, trying not to look too interested in case they decided to put them in separate rooms. He couldn’t hold back a growl when Aaron swung his foot back and booted the man in the ribs. He silenced himself quickly and kept his gaze away from Aaron so the beta would not see the rage simmering there.
The blond on the floor stiffened and his head snapped up toward Ari, eyes wide and nostrils dilated. Ari felt a moment of panic that the guy would give something away to Aaron or one of the others. He realised this must have been the way Keiron felt all those months ago when he had laid eyes on Ari from his vantage point atop the building, a burning desire to go to him, but fear and worry about the consequences. The man lowered his head again and Ari breathed out slowly.
Aaron and his cronies left, closing the door and locking it behind them. The blond opened his mouth to speak, but Ari quickly held up a hand to keep him quiet for a few more moments. As soon as he could no longer hear footsteps moving away, he relaxed.
“Are you hurt badly?” he asked.
“Only my pride,” the man replied, with a rather pained grin. He winced, holding an arm to his ribs as he clambered to his feet. “I’m Isaac. You’re Ari?” At Ari’s nod, Isaac gave a dark laugh. “Of course you are. Well, I was supposed to be here to rescue you.” Isaac had an accent.
“Huh? How did you even know I was here? Are you English?”
“Yes, I am. It was Keiron. He got a message out to a member of my pack.” Ari had no idea how Keiron had managed that, but he hoped his mate was safe and hadn’t gotten caught doing something stupid. Isaac was sniffing the air with a frown.
“Um, don’t take this the wrong way, but…are you my mate? Keiron said you were his mate in his message, but the way you smell… God, my lion is going nuts.”
“My panther, too. Keiron is my mate. I… He must be our mate. I can’t see fate making him and I mates, and you and I mates, without all three of us being mated to each other.” Ari felt weird discussing it like this. It all felt so clinical and rational.
“No wonder my lion has been so restless. He must have been picking up something from you both since I got here. I caught your scent properly when they had me outside in the corridor, stopped fighting back because I wanted in here where they were trying to put me.”
“And now we’re both screwed.” Ari gave him a wry grin. “You might as well come sit down.” He sat up properly and moved over making it obvious he wanted Isaac on the bed with him, not on the one across the room.
“Oh, don’t worry. As long as they don’t do us in in the next few days, my pack’ll come looking. Rescuing people is kind of what they do. I was an idiot to come on my own.” Isaac limped over and lowered himself gingerly to the bed. He sat close, and Ari could feel the warmth his body gave off. He could feel his blood heading toward his groin. Hmmm… maybe getting him to sit next to me was a bad idea. I mean, God knows he smells amazing, but we can’t do anything. Not without Keiron knowing. That would feel like betraying him. But, hell! I don’t know if I can stop myself from touching this guy.
“So why did you?” Focus. Must focus on the conversation.
Isaac shifted, next to him, then again. Ari looked down at where their arms were barely touching, his own brown skin against the pale, creaminess of Isaac’s. Looks good. Smells good. I’m so fucked. Then Isaac rose to his feet again and moved away from the bed. He hobbled over to the other cot and sat back down, looking at Ari dryly. “Sorry, no way I can concentrate if I sit next to you. All I want to do is push you back, rip your clothes off, and lick you from one end to the other.”
When lion-shifter Isaac Anderson goes to help panther-shifters Ari Jones and Keiron Haller, not only does he get captured and imprisoned alongside them, but he also finds out something he never expected—he’s their third mate.
Keiron’s under pressure to mate elsewhere, Ari’s being beaten to force Keiron’s hand, and Isaac feels like he is floundering. The three unclaimed mates need to hold on long enough for rescue, in the form of Isaac’s pack, to arrive.
Even after they escape, danger follows and they have to fight to hold onto each other through that, memories of past trauma, and the effects of Keiron’s mysterious origins.
The three long to be free so they can settle down and live their lives together but will they get the chance, or will they always be captives? Will there always be something around the corner for them to fear?
Buy link: http://www.bookstrand.com/captive-mates
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url for book cover: http://www.bookstrand.com/files/books/images/vjc-wfp-captivemates.jpg