1. Tell us about your Alpha book.
In Moon Cursed, coming out in July, a rare female Alpha must find a way to help clear her Omega mate of a crime that puts him at the mercy of another pack. Her shifter side was hidden before so her primal urges are still new and can make her a little bit temperamental. Luckily, she has three mates to help her adjust.
2. What do you love about Alphas?
I love that they’re always deeply protective of their mates and their packs.
3. Is this a series or a standalone?
Moon Cursed can be read as a standalone, but it exists in my Hybrid Shifter world of standalone novels and this pack were first formed in Vicious Love.
4. If you could shape-shift into an animal, what would it be and why?
Probably a cat. I’m quite klutzy, but they always land on their feet so that would make a nice change!
5. What is next for you?
I’m working on the seventh novel in my Hybrid Shifter world now, and the second book in a new Omegaverse world.
Romy Lockhart writes paranormal reverse harem. All of her books contain steamy scenes between consenting adults. All of her reverse harems have harem ever afters, and all of her romance novels have happy endings.
1) Tell us about your Alpha book.
My book, Pack Queen: A Shifters of Crescent City Novel, is a high octane paranormal reverse harem romance. It features Chastity Johnson, a reporter swept up in a government conspiracy to genetically alter shifters. She meets three mates over the course of the book—Maahes, Omar, and Rajesh, a lion, frostwolf, and tiger shifter.
2) What do you love about Alphas?
I love the fact that they can command a room and also protect and nurture their mate, or mates. This will be my first time writing a luna, or alpha female, and I’m excited to explore the possibilities. It’ll be fun navigating swoony scenes with three bull-headed alphas (including the FMC) and one mate who is a unique shifter (which would spoil the story so can’t say!).
3) Is this a series or a standalone?
So Pack Queen is intended to be a standalone, though it might become a duet in the end. However, the book is a part of a large shared universe called Luna City. Stories set in Crescent City will include slayers, vampires, shifters, and more paranormals as they navigate inside “human society.” Luna Cove stories take place in a world dominated by the paranormal, as well as feral immortals. I’m excited to introduce readers to Crescent City with Pack Queen. Which reminds me, I need to get a reading order up stat!
4) If you could shape-shift into an animal, what would it be and why?
Hands down an orangutan.
5) What is next for you?
Right now I’m working on that aforementioned reading order and other website freebies. My main focus for the rest of May and June will be getting two newsletter serials going when I’m not writing for publication. Finally, I’m editing a huge anthology that I can’t wait to share.
Zelda Knight is a USA Today bestselling author, British Fantasy Award-winning editor, and diverse bookseller. She writes speculative romance for all orientations. She’s also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Aurelia Leo, an independent Nebula Award-nominated press based in Louisville, Kentucky. Zelda co-edited Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora (Aurelia Leo, 2020), which has received critical acclaim. Zelda’s currently co-editing Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction (Tordotcom, 2022). Keep in touch on social media @AuthorZKnight.
Every Pack needs an Alpha...
In a pack, you answer to the Alpha, without question, but what happens when you don't want the job? Or when the other wolves are against you?
It's never easy being in charge, but for these Alpha Queens, it could prove deadly...
This collection of paranormal and urban fantasy tales explores the world of werewolf packs and female Alphas. Our heroines will face their deepest fears, darkest urges and terrible betrayals, but a Queen always comes out on top.
A Limited Edition Female Alpha Collection
Featuring stories from -
★USAT Bestselling Author S. K. Gregory
★NYT Bestselling Author Zari Hunt
“I can’t do this.”
We’d taken three days to drive here and now I wanted to turn around and run back to the comfort of Alaska. I mean, Green Mountain itself wasn’t bad—hilltops all around, trees as far as I could see, fresh air away from the city. It had its charm.
But as I sat in Rhys’ truck and watched three grown men brawling in the middle of a dirt pit, I knew I didn’t have it in me to be an alpha.
“Stop fidgeting,” Rhys said. He reached over and squeezed my thigh.
“Where is everyone else? And what are they doing?” Just as I asked that, one of the men ripped off his flannel shirt and threw a beer can at another one’s head. The third man let out a laugh and then spit of the ground and wiggled his fingers, inviting the fight. In an instant, all three were on top of each other again, rolling around in the dirt and throwing punches at anything and everything they could reach. “Oh, my god,” I breathed.
“They’re just playing around,” Rhys said, although I heard the hesitation in his voice. “Come on.”
He jumped out of the truck and jogged around to open my door. The three grown men didn’t even notice us as they continued to pummel each other. Even when we walked toward them, hand in hand, they kept fighting. At one point, the ball of bodies rolled our way, and I was too slow to jump out of the path, so they slammed into my legs and knocked me to the ground.
“Hey!” Rhys shouted while he helped me up. “This is your fucking alpha!”
The men looked up at me, faces dirty and bloody, bodies shirtless and pants all ripped up. One of them belched. Another punched him in the neck. And the third scrambled to his feet. “Get up, assholes,” he said.
The two still on the ground didn’t move so I glared down at them and crossed my arms. “Do I really have to order you?”
They sighed, mumbled some curses under their breath, and finally stood. The belcher fake-punched the man who’d stood first right in the groin. And when he freaked out because he’d almost hit him, the gassy man laughed like a child.
“Where is everyone?” I asked.
The three looked at each other and then back to me without answering.
“Is this seriously how it’s going to be?” I snapped. “Where’s the rest of the pack?”
“Gone,” the tallest one said. He had shaggy brown hair and a beard and was the one who’d thrown the beer can earlier.
“Who are you?” I asked him.
“What do you mean gone?”
“They left about a week ago.” Jack rubbed his beard and then dusted off his jeans. He said nothing as though he’d already given me the information I needed.
I turned to the belcher. “Who are you?”
“Where did everyone go, Colton?”
The blond behemoth of a man shook his head. “They left when the money ran out.”
I glanced at Rhys, panic in my eyes and needing his strength right now. “I don’t understand.”
The third man, a tall but scrappy wolf with brown hair cut like Rhys’, spoke up. “When you killed Cade, all hell broke loose here.”
“What do you mean? And who are you?” Jesus Christ, it was like pulling teeth to get information out of these assholes. Out of my new pack.
Jack started explaining. “That’s Sawyer and the Green Mountain pack might have had a shitty alpha, but we were making bank. Cade made sure of it. But his family liquidated everything after he died, and left the pack broke and homeless.”
“Homeless?” Rhys asked. “Why didn’t you call us?”
“Because what’s the point? What were you going to do about it? Cade used us to make his money and stashed it all away under his name. We got fucked. And now you’re fucked too.”
“What happened to the houses?” I asked.
“Gone. Bank owned now,” Jack said.
“So whose land is this?” Rhys asked.
“It was a little something the three of us purchased together a few years ago,” Sawyer jumped in. “It’s not much but it’s all we’ve got.”
I looked around the site. A trailer park basically. One tiny, flattened piece of land with three small trailers in various stages of decay. One of them had two pink flamingo lawn ornaments in the dirt patch out front and they were positioned so that they were humping each other. Another trailer had “Jack Off” spray-painted on the side with a big red slash through it. The third trailer looked like someone was taking care of it, until I saw the hole in the side where two kegs of beer had been shoved into the house in place of a window. Someone here drank a lot of beer.
And I’d just inherited this shit show.
“What about the Green Mountain pack?” I asked, that dark pit of doubt and fear snaking up my skin.
“You’re lookin’ at ‘em,” Colton said. “We’re the only ones left.”
“And I guess that makes you an alpha of three,” Sawyer said sarcastically before turning his glare to Rhys. “Or four.”
“Great,” I mumbled. “So where are we supposed to sleep?”
The three men laughed, and it wasn’t a pretty sound. “You’re on your own, sweetheart. Better get into town and start trailer shopping,” Colton teased.
I glanced at Rhys again, who reached out and squeezed my hand in solidarity.
“Well…can you at least help us unload some of our stuff?”
They started to walk away. My new pack started to fucking walk away when I asked for help. My wolf growled, stopping them in their tracks.
“Look, lady,” Jack said. “There ain’t no reason to unpack your shit until you have a place to put it. Go to Tommy’s Trailers in town, he’ll get you hooked up.” And with that, they disappeared into their own homes.
“What the fuck was that?” I asked.
“Bright side?” Rhys said, wrapping me in his arms. “They aren’t drug addicts or adrenaline junkies. You’re already starting off better than I did.”
Huffing my annoyance, I tried to wiggle free. “Really? You think this,” I waved my hand at the pitiful Green Mountain pack, “is better?”
Rhys kissed my head. “Much.”
“Sometimes I hate you,” I teased.
“You’re going to make this great. I know it.”
“I don’t have money to buy a trailer,” I sighed.
Looking up at my mate, I lifted my brow. “You do?”
“Not important. We need a home. Why don’t we go into town and see what we can finagle?”
I giggled. “Did you just say finagle?”
“It’s a funny word.”
Rhys turned me around in his arms so I was facing him. “Well, if I can make you laugh like that, I will say it more often.”
I lifted my chin and welcomed his kiss. The drive had been exhausting. This pack was exhausting. The whole damn situation was exhausting. But I had Rhys and with Rhys by my side, I could do anything. His tongue slipped into my mouth and in no time at all, our make out session turned hot and heavy.
And then the beer can hit Rhys in the head.
“Get a room!” Colton called out.
“Get a trailer!” Jack said.
“Everyone shut the fuck up!” Sawyer yelled from somewhere behind the humping flamingos.
I shook my head and let out a deep breath. “I can’t do this.”
Rhys pulled me over to his truck and helped me inside. “You can and you will. These guys need someone strong like you in their lives.”
“How do you know?”
“Because they’re lost. Look at them. They stayed. For a reason.”
“They probably can’t afford to go anywhere else.”
Rhys shook his head. “No, I think it’s more than that.”
“Since when did you become the perpetual optimist?” I teased.
He tapped my nose and started to close the door. “Since the moment I met you.”
As he walked around the front of the truck, I wondered if he meant our recent meeting or our entire childhood together. I loved Rhys Murray with all my heart, and I couldn’t imagine facing this without him by my side. I wasn’t ready to lead a pack of unruly men. That part was pretty clear when they all walked away from me. I’d have to find a way to make it work, and knowing I had Rhys standing behind me, made it that much more possible.
“You ready to go find a home?” he asked as he jumped in the truck.
I turned and smiled. “I am.”
I was ready. I would have a home with Rhys by my side and the support of my pack. If I could dream it, it would happen. And when I reached across the seat and grabbed my mate’s hand, I knew it would all work out in the end.
Ashlee Sinn fancies all creatures of the paranormal persuasion, especially those who like to bite. Her steamy romances tend to feature swoon-worthy heroes and kick-ass heroines. Whether it's vampires, shifters, or demons, the women who keep them in line have a special place in her heart. And in her chaotic head.
All of Ashlee’s books take place in the same world with overlapping characters. Find the suggested reading order on her website!
The warmth from the sunlight streaming through the window woke Hayleigh up. She groaned, sat up, and rubbed her eyes. She flopped back onto the bed when she realized what she had to do that day. It wasn’t going to be a good day for anyone.
There was a knock on her door. She got up, opened it and motioned for her sister Stacy to come into the room. Hayleigh frowned it couldn’t be good if her sister was coming to see that early in the morning. Her sister never appeared before 10 am.
“What’s wrong now?” Hayleigh asked as she sat down on the bed.
“There was another attack last night. The sheriff called just a little while ago. He said he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be able to keep townspeople from hunting the creature down themselves,” she said as she sat down in the chair across from Hayleigh.
“The last thing we need is for people to go hunting in the woods for it,” Hayleigh said.
“I told him it wouldn’t be a good thing. He’s going to try and keep people back if he can,” she said.
“Is everyone in the pack accounted for?” Hayleigh asked.
“Yes, including our brothers. Konner though was defensive when asked where he was and if anyone could vouch for him,” she said.
“It doesn’t surprise me. Konner has always been defensive when asked to prove his whereabouts when something has happened. Kaden-Scott is the more level-headed of the two,” Hayleigh said.
“I would say Konner’s adopted but since they are twins it’s not likely,” her sister said.
“Konner’s not all bad. He does have some good qualities about him,” Hayleigh said.
“Name one good thing or quality about him,” her sister said.
“He helped out with the festival last year when he didn’t have to. Mom had given him an out but he worked the festival anyway. Mom was so proud when he showed up to help,” Hayleigh said.
“He wasn’t doing it to be helpful he was doing it so mom wouldn’t be mad at him. He didn’t want her to make him feel guilty about it afterward,” her sister said.
“I’m trying to give him some leeway. He hasn’t had it easy over the last few years,” Hayleigh said.
“Stop making excuses for him. Things would have ended differently if dad hadn’t of stepped in and you know it,” her sister said.
“We don’t know that. You were there you know he was defending himself,” Hayleigh said.
“He was fighting the enforcer of the pack Hayleigh. He was out to kill him for no good reason. He changed while he was away,” her sister said.
Hayleigh had to agree with her sister about their younger brother. Something had happened to him while he was away for a year. When he had returned, he was defensive and shut everyone out. They had tried to get him to open up about what had happened but he refused.
She couldn’t help but wonder if her brother was behind the attacks. They had begun after he had returned to town. Hayleigh would have to deal with her brother later. There were more important things on the agenda for the day.
The council had called a meeting about the attacks. Everyone had to attend the meeting. Hayleigh would rather be hanging out with her friends.
“Why do we have to attend the meeting?” her sister asked.
“I don’t know other than they want everyone where they can keep an eye on them,” Hayleigh said.
“I bet they want to prove no on in our pack is the attacker. If everyone is in the same place at the same time and another attack happens while we are gathered together then our pack is innocent,” her sister said.
“Sounds like it’s the plan. There is a rogue wolf out there attacking not just other wolves but the townspeople as well. We can’t let it continue,” Hayleigh said as she finished getting dressed.
They headed over to the main house to meet their parents and brothers. They hoped Konner would be there. He hadn’t been part of the family meals since he had gotten back.
The girls walked through the foyer to the kitchen. Their parents and brother Kaden-Scott were already seated. They waved, grabbed plates and filled them up before sitting down.
“I guess Konner decided to be non-social again,” Hayleigh asked as she sat down across from her brother.
“Yeah, he didn’t get in until around 3 am this morning,” Kaden-Scott said with a cautious glance at their parents.
“Your brother needs to grow up and take his responsibilities to this family and pack more seriously,” their father said.
“Dad, he hasn’t been the same since he came back from the assignment you sent him on. You have to see it. He needs help or he’s going to kill or be killed by someone,” Hayleigh said.
She was tired of everyone doubting Konner and his sense of responsibility. He had been sent on a mission for the pack that had gone wrong for everyone involved. No matter what he was still her brother.
“We offered to get him help. He wouldn’t do it,” their mother said staring at Hayleigh.
“Can we not argue about Konner right now. We have to find the attacker before someone else gets hurt,” Kaden-Scott said.
“I agree. Can we have a peaceful meal for once?” Stacy asked glancing around the table.
“Your brother and sister have the right idea. No more talk about Konner or even about the attacker,” their mother said gazing around the table at each one of them.
Hayleigh and her siblings gazed down at their plates without muttering another word.
Konner listened to his parents and siblings talking about him. His wolf paced. He took deep breaths to calm himself and his wolf down. He left the house because he didn’t want to hear anymore of their conversation. They stopped talking when they heard the front door slam shut. Kaden-Scott sighed and left the table to go look for his brother. Konner had to stay within the pack compound today because of the meeting.
He hadn’t cleared the steps when he heard the shouting and scuffling. Kaden-Scott ran toward the sound. He rounded the corner of the house to see Sean and Tony trying to stop Konner from leaving.
Kaden-Scott entered the scuffle and grabbed his brother. He motioned for the two men to let him go. They released Konner after they knew Kaden-Scott had a grip on him.
“Sorry, little brother but you can’t leave. Did you forget we have a pack meeting to attend today?” Kaden-Scott said fighting to keep his hold on him.
“I don’t care about the meeting. No one around here cares if I’m here or not,” Konner said breaking out of his brother’s grip.
“Not going to happen. You’ll be put on lockdown until the meeting if you try to leave,” Kaden-Scott said.
“Fine, I won’t leave before the meeting but as soon as it’s over I’m gone,” Konner said slamming his palm against the wall. He turned and walked away before Kaden-Scott could say anything else.
Kaden-Scott watched his brother walk away. Hayleigh was right his brother needed help and soon. He was a ticking time bomb and it didn’t help he was a wolf.
His brother was headed down a dangerous road. He turned and headed back to the house. His parents were waiting for him when he walked into the foyer.
“Everything’s fine. Konner overheard us and was leaving but Sean and Tony stopped him. I explained to him why he couldn’t leave. He was upset but agreed to stay for the meeting. After it’s over he’s leaving and I doubt he’ll be back before tomorrow morning,” Kaden-Scott said his hands curled into fists by his side.
“Son, you did what had to be done. Your sister is right. He has to be dealt with before something bad happens. I just don’t know who to call or where to look,” their dad said glancing around the room.
“I think I know who we can call. It might be a long shot though I haven’t talked to them in a long time,” Hayleigh said leaning against the wall.
“Fine. Can they be trusted? We are wolves and have a reputation to maintain within the pack,” their dad said gazing at her.
“Yes, he can be trusted. I’ll begin trying to track him down after the meeting,” she said.
“Let me know as soon as you do get in touch with him,” their dad said.
“Yes, sir. Now, we have a meeting to attend and as the family of the alpha we can’t be late,” their mom said motioning everyone toward the door.
The family arrived at the meeting hall to find Konner outside with several of his friends. Their dad shook his head and walked in without acknowledging his son. Konner glanced over at them and waved. He was acting nothing had happened earlier. Hayleigh sighed and walked in behind their dad. Stacy and their mom followed after her. Kaden-Scott growled and walked over to him.
“Let’s go inside now. You can hang out with them later,” he said as he grabbed Konner’s arm. Konner jerked away from him.
“You don’t tell me what to do. I’m going to sit with my friends and we’re leaving right after the meeting’s over,” Konner said walking away with his friends.
Kaden-Scott believed Konner was going to do something to disrupt the meeting and embarrass their dad more than he already had.
He moved toward the door of the meeting hall and walked in. He scanned the room for his brother. Konner was in back with those troublemaker friends of his. Kaden-Scott strode toward the front of the room.
“Konner not going to grace us with his presence?” Hayleigh asked when Kaden-Scott reached them.
“No, he would rather sit in the back with his friends so he can leave as soon as the meeting ends,” Kaden-Scott said sitting down beside her.
“Do what you have to if he begins to cause trouble,” their mom told him.
“Yes, ma’am,” Kaden-Scott said.
Hayleigh glanced back to where her other brother was sitting. She shook her head and turned around to face the front. Kaden-Scott gave her hand a little squeeze. She glanced over and smiled. At least she could trust one of her brothers.
The meeting began and Hayleigh pushed all thoughts about Konner out of her head. She wanted to a clear head to listen to the council. The council members began with news about the attacks happening in the area. The attacker(s) were rogue wolves and had to be found.
Hayleigh wasn’t surprised by the news. She had deciphered from the clues at the scenes it was a rogue wolf behind the attacks. She glanced around the room eyes landing on her brother. Konner and his friends were whispering while the Alpha was going over the plan he and the council had decided on.
They were creating teams of 4 to go out and search for the rogue(s). There were groans all around the room when he announced no one other than the teams would be allowed to leave and return until the rogue(s) were found.
Hayleigh closed her eyes and muttered to herself. She hoped it would be on a voluntary basis. Next thing she knew her parents were pushing her toward the front after the Alpha had called her name for one of the teams. Kaden-Scott was chosen for one as well. Stacy was staying behind because she was still too young to go on hunts for rouges. She let it be known how unhappy she was.
Their mom glared at Stacy and she hushed. Kaden-Scott and Hayleigh were up front with the groups conversing with each other and several of their friends who were chosen. The meeting adjourned so everyone else could leave. The teams had to stay so they could be briefed on their assignments and areas to search.
The two returned to their parents house several hours later. Hayleigh wasn’t shocked to find Konner gone. Their parents and Stacy were watching a movie when they walked into the living room. The two let them know they would be leaving out the next morning and didn’t know when they would be back. They promised to stay in touch as much as possible. Stacy, Hayleigh, and Kaden-Scott left after saying good night to their parents. Stacy had to pack along with Hayleigh. She lived with her sister and when Hayleigh would have to go out of town Stacy stayed with their parents until she returned.
The next morning the siblings meet in front of the meeting hall. Their parents and sister were there to see them off like the rest of the pack. Konner and his friends were arriving back at the compound as Hayleigh and Kaden-Scott left with their respective teams.
“Let me guess they were picked for the teams,” Konner said wiping his palms on his pants.
“Yes, they did. You would’ve known if you had stuck around for a few minutes longer,” Stacy said glaring at him.
“I did but I don’t remember their names being called,” Konner said glancing between their mother and Stacy.
“Oh please. You and your friends were gone a minute after the gavel slammed down ending the meeting,” Stacy said before walking away.
“What’s with the attitude? I just stated a fact,” he asked his mom as Stacy walked away from them.
“She has a right to be unhappy with you. We all are. You need to grow up Konner,” their mom said and walked away.
He watched his mom walk away and enter the house. His dad leaned against the nearly tree.
“You have pushed your luck with your mom and siblings. I would say leave and not return for a long time but you can’t do that,” his dad as he turned away from Konner.
Konner growled and stormed away from the meeting hall. They were going to pay for treating him the way they did.
Hayleigh and Kaden-Scott got in touch with their parents as much as they could. They had been out tracking the rogues for several months. Kaden-Scott had been able to return home for some rest. Hayleigh was still out in the field. Her team was searching an area where a recent victim had been found.
Hayleigh glanced down at the bottom of a tree and saw an item that looked familiar. She could have sworn it belonged to Konner. It was a torn-up shirt with blood on it. She bagged it before anyone else could find it.
The team lead came up to her and was frowning. He pulled her aside and informed her she was going home for a few days. She wouldn’t have to wait to get Kaden-Scott’s help with the shirt.
She drove into the compound and parked in front of the meeting hall. Hayleigh got out of the car and noticed the deafening silence. Where was everyone? Her parents and siblings must have informed she was arriving.
Hayleigh walked into the meeting hall to check in with the coordinator and let them know her information from the search area(s). The few people who were in the hall stopped talking when she walked in.
“What’s going on? Why did everyone shut up?” Hayleigh asked.
“Go let Kaden-Scott know she’s here,” Sean said.
Tony took off out the door to find her brother. Hayleigh glanced around the room. She had the feeling something was wrong. She paced back and forth waiting for Kaden-Scott.
A few minutes later her brother walked in with Tony behind him. She rushed over to him demanding to know what was going on.
“Stacy was attacked. She’s going to be okay. She fought off the attacker and scratched him,” Kaden-Scott said.
“Thank God, she’s going to be okay. Does it mean we might have some DNA from the attacker?” Hayleigh asked.
“It does. It’s being tested now. We should know the results soon,” he said.
“Well, I have something that might be considered a clue in the trunk of the car. I found it in the last area were searching when I was told to return home,” Hayleigh said.
She spent most of her time waiting taking care of her sister to give their mom some time to rest. Although after a few days Stacy had healed enough that she didn’t need as much attention from her sister or mom.
The results of the testing on the blood had come back. No one was shocked when the attacker was revealed to be one of Konner’s troublemaking friends. What was worse and made Konner look guilty as well was he had disappeared around the time of the attack.
Kaden-Scott sat down beside Hayleigh on the porch swing their mom insisted she had to have.
“You know Konner’s innocent until proven guilty. I know how it looks though. He disappeared at the same time Stacy was attacked,” he said glancing at her.
“I know. I want to believe he’s innocent but part of me can’t. Given how he’s been acting since he got back from the mission dad had sent him on,” Hayleigh said.
“We’ll find him and clear his name,” Kaden-Scott said as he patted her on the leg.
“I’m going to search for him myself,” Hayleigh said.
“You can’t do that. He’s dangerous,” he said.
“I know but someone has to bring him in,” she said.
“It won’t be you. I already have one sick and don’t need the other one getting hurt as well.
Hayleigh didn’t say anything else. She went to her house to pack another pack of clothes. She needed to pack some extra weapons. After packing she went back to her parents’ house to say goodbye.
She got in her car and drove off the compound property. Her search would take her all over the place. Hayleigh’s mind wondered to a time when her family was happy, healthy and whole. She would find out what happened to her brother on his mission.
Several months after starting the search Hayleigh was returning home feeling defeated. She had found no more clues. At home she would regroup and begin the search again. Hayleigh smiled as she drove through the compound gates. It was good to be home even if it was a short period of time.
She had to applaud his efforts to stay hidden.
You won’t be able to hide for much longer little brother. I will find you and bring you home to get the help you need before facing the council and the possible charges of crime against a pack member. Until then keep playing your little hide and seek game. I know you are one of the rogue wolves. I just have to prove it. Goodbye for now little brother see you soon.
About the Author
Diane and her family live in the south with their two dogs and three cats. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her family and friends, reading, playing video games, or watching some of her favorite movies and television shows. She is currently working on a Young Adult series set in a Witch Academy and writing the Junior and Senior Year stories for the Ytherynia: Gifted Blood Academy Set among other projects. More of Hayleigh’s story coming soon.
Werecreatures or shapeshifters are humans with the ability to turn into a type of animal. The most common is the werewolf, but they can be any animal including - cougars, bears, panthers, coyotes and more.
Often they have other abilities too like superior strength and healing abilities. They may have heightened senses like their animal such as a powerful sense of smell. They are not immortal however and can be killed with extreme force or catastrophic injuries.
Tales of werecreatures have been told for centuries and one of the earliest books to feature a werewolf was The Man Wolf by Leitch Richie in 1831.
Werewolf and other werecreature stories continue to be popular with recent shows such as Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries and Wolf Like Me.
Who is your favorite Werecreature?
1) Tell us about your Alpha book.
When she was young, Jacqueline’s parents died when a rival wolf pack decided they wanted to rule their pack’s land. The rivals left the destruction to go pack before starting to move in. An Omega male from a different neighboring pack happened upon the battle grounds and heard Jackie’s cries. The Omega sensed she was an Alpha and could eventually take over his pack, if allowed. He went to his Alpha and they got a locket spelled by a witch to hide Jackie’s wolf. It would restrain her powers so that she could be raised an Omega and pose no threat.
Omega’s are known for being caretakers and Jackie was raised no differently. As an orphan, she felt herself wanting to help all the other wolf orphans in the area. She turned her home into a foster home and the orphans were nicknamed Red’s Wolves. The future pack Alpha is sent around the pack to learn about each business and citizen so that he can lead them properly. He can’t help but feel a connection with Jackie.
What would happen if he learns of her secret? What will happen if SHE learns the secret?
2) What do you love about Alphas?
I love their confidence, which is something that I have always lacked. I also love their leadership skills and charisma.
3) Is this a series or a standalone?
It is meant to be a standalone.
4) If you could shape-shift into an animal, what would it be and why?
I would love to turn into a falcon. To be able to fly anytime I wanted and to be a fierce bird of prey? For someone that was raised in a family of alcoholics and domestic violence, those abilities would have been greatly appreciated as a child. Even now I would love the freedom flight could bring at times.
5) What is next for you?
Way too many projects. More short stories for anthologies including a time travel YA, and a spin on the damsel in distress trope PNR. There’s also a novelette “Queen Maribelle” (the second part to my fae YA set), a Christmas wolf shifter PNR with a secret baby trope novel, and a novel about a son of Krampus. That’s just for this year under this author name…
Lore Nicole lives on a family dairy farm with her husband and three children in Wisconsin. Books were always her escape in childhood and she hopes to provide that escape for others through her writing, besides spreading awareness. She is an advocate for endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and childhood brain tumor awareness. She addresses these issues, and others, in her writing. She normally writes young adult fantasy and adult paranormal romance.
Want to follow for more stories? Find her newsletter, social media, and other check out the link below:
1) Tell us about your Alpha book.
My Alpha book is not a typical Alpha book, or Alpha character. Werewolf Worries is the third book in the Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries, which tells of secondary character Zeke Randale and his life before he came to Chicago and met Paige.
2) What do you love about Alphas?
I love subverting the trope, writing Alphas like actual Alpha wolves in the wild. Kind, wise, protective, not possessive. I love those characteristics and how I am able to craft a nearly perfect person from those traits, then figure out how to make them flaws.
3) Is this a series or a standalone?
Paige's books are a 5 book series, finishing this July, and Zeke's pack, Moon Lake, will be getting their own eleven book series beginning in 2023!
4) If you could shape-shift into an animal, what would it be and why?
Hmm. I'd guess a cat. Laze about, sleepover 18 hours a day, eat when I want, demand pets/attention. It would be great!
5) What is next for you?
I finish the Paige Papillon Paranormal Mysteries in July, and in October, I release an alternate ending version of my debut, Stake-Out, which is darker and sexier than the version readers now know.
I also have a dark romance boxed set called Deviously Yours in October as well, which will feature my first bully dark romance with an Alpha (non-paranormal kind) CEO.
Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series.
Her young adult Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon's Hot New Releases list consecutively.
She is also the co-owner of Partners in Crime Book Services, where she offers a myriad of services alongside her business partner Annie Smith, including editing.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, where many of her stories are set. Ever since she was a toddler, her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community.
When she's not writing, she's going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading comics and manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.
She also writes contemporary books for adults as Samantha Calcott.
1 - Underworld - the Underworld film series stars Kate Beckinsale who is a vampire caught in the middle of a war between vampires and werewolves.
2 - Dog Soldiers - Set in Scotland, a group of soldiers happen across a werewolf and must survive the night.
3 - Red Riding Hood - a reimaging of the original tale with Amanda Seyfried as the heroine. A wolf has been attacking her village and when her sister is killed by it, she learns some horrifying truths.
4 - Ginger Snaps - a teenage girl is bitten by a werewolf and as she starts to transform, her sister tried to help her.
5 - Cursed - being a werewolf is a curse, and Christina Ricci is up against a vicious beast as it tries to kill her and her brother.
I have him. He is right there in my crosshairs, then I blink and he’s gone. I scan the area with my night vision scope. He has disappeared, along with the other one.
“Fucking werewolves,” I mutter.
I sling my recurve bow over my shoulder, check my quiver and climb down from the tree I have been sitting in for the past hour. My butt has gone numb and I’m going to be picking burrs out of my hair for weeks.
It is a cold night in October. A thin mist has rolled in, obscuring my vision. I guess it makes this more of a challenge. Zipping up my leather jacket to my chin, I load my bow. My fingers are frozen and I fumble the arrow. Swearing under my breath, I finally get it loaded. There is no way I’m letting these two get away.
Eden is hunter territory, has been for over thirty years since my grandfather drove the last pack out and they have no right to be here. There are clear boundaries and they know the penalty for crossing them. And if they’ve forgotten, I will gladly remind them.
My booted feet make no sound as I move across the forest floor. There is hardly any light since it is a new moon tonight, hence their partially transformed shape.
Wolves can shift at will, but only at night. On the night of the new moon, it is impossible for them to shift all the way. It doesn’t make them any less dangerous or ugly for that matter. They keep the claws and teeth along with their human skins.
Probably why they are being so ballsy.
As werewolves their instincts and sense of smell would tell them this was a no go area. Half transformed as they are, means they still maintain their ability to think. What there is of it.
I don’t like them being on my turf, especially since they know who my father is, his reputation. Word must have spread about his injuries and since he has been out of action for the past seven months, they have decided to test the boundaries.
A branch snaps twenty feet ahead. All thought ceases as I wait. I hold my breath, arms tense, ready to release the arrow. My hands are perfectly still.
Hunting requires patience. It is the only part of my life where I have any and with good reason. Move too late, you’re dead. Move too soon, you give away your position and it ends the same.
One of them creeps forward, sniffing the air. My scent is all over this forest, so it won’t help him.
Hunting 101, it is almost impossible to disguise your scent from a werewolf, but if it’s everywhere, then they have difficulty picking up a distinct trail. I wait until he is fully in my line of sight, then I release the arrow.
It penetrates his right shoulder and he cries out, the sound is more of a roar than a scream. I expect it to drive off the other one, but instead he comes to the first one’s aid. He hurtles from the trees, heading straight for me.
No time to reload, I drop the bow and when he hits me, I use his own momentum to throw him. We flip over and I land on top of him.
I drive a knee into his solar plexus and swing the knife I keep on my belt, towards his throat. He swipes the knife away and shoves me hard. I fall back onto the ground.
Rolling away, I get to my feet, already squaring off against him. In this light, I can only make out his outline, but I can tell from his stance that he wants a fight. Good, I do too.
Now the adrenaline is flowing, the wolf takes over and when that happens, he loses any fighting finesse he had. He swings wildly at me. I dodge each blow knowing that if one of them connects it could cause major damage. I spin out of his reach, but his claws catch me in the shoulder, tearing at flesh and my new leather jacket. He swings again. I duck under his arm and slash out with the knife I keep in my sleeve. I have a lot of knives. I cut his thigh which makes him back off. The cut isn’t deep, but the knife is laced with silver dust, which will irritate the wound and prevent it from healing.
His friend has managed to break the arrow shaft, but the head is still in his shoulder. A little design of my father’s. Upon contact, the head expands, trapping it in the flesh and making it extremely difficult to remove. At least in any way that doesn’t involve cutting it out.
A howl sounds in the distance, drawing both their attentions. They back away. The one I was fighting hesitates.
“You stay, you die. Your choice,” I say.
He gives me a low growl then takes off after his friend. Cowards.
I did plan on killing one and letting the other go as a warning, but I think I have made my point. Eden is still under the protection of hunters. Well, hunter. Since I’m out here alone.
I asked Dad once why Weres were so hell bent on coming back here. He told me that to certain packs, Eden is considered their ancestral home. They had lived here for centuries before we arrived. One thing is for sure, the death rate certainly went down after we took over.
I retrieve my weapons and head for home, trying to ignore my throbbing shoulder. Contrary to what the movies tell us, a scratch or a bite from a werewolf won’t turn you into one. Werewolves are born, not made. One of Mother Nature’s little quirks. I like to think she has a wicked sense of humor.
A short while later, Eden Manor comes into view. It is a ten bedroom mini mansion on the edge of the forest. With room underneath for a state of the art lab, that dad had commissioned complete with a containment area for Weres. We have lived in many houses over the years and all of them have been big. The house itself is one of the original buildings built by the town founder. To me it’s just another old, musty building in a long line, but Dad likes his luxuries. He can afford it. The government has paid Dad a lot of money over the years to eliminate Weres. While the government would never admit it publicly, werewolves are a big problem across the globe. Most attacks are covered up as bear attacks or other wild animals. Since most packs stick to dense forests and other deserted areas, it is easy to write them off. Not many people automatically think Werewolf when there is an attack.
Dad has traveled all over the world. Now with his injuries, he is only doing consulting work.
We have been in Eden for nearly nine months. One of our longest stays anywhere. Since Dad is ‘convalescing’, he says I can finish my senior year here.
As I approach the house, I can see lights on downstairs. Great, someone is still up.
I stash my bow in the tool shed and hide my knives in my jacket before heading inside.
The family is in the living room gathered around the fireplace. It’s usually only Dad and my stepmother Anne, but tonight we have visitors. My uncle Victor and his three children Kristinna, Charlotte and Owen. Three of the most spoilt morons on the planet. The two girls are older than I am and Owen is sixteen. The girls are tall with dark hair like their father. My hair is dark too, but I have a lighter complexion than they do, from my mother. Owen is blonde like his mother, some supermodel from Finland I heard. I have never seen Uncle Victor in a long term relationship with anyone. Other than his bookie.
All eyes are on me as I enter the house. I try to act casual, hoping they don’t notice my wound. I say hello to everyone.
“Ah, here she is,” Dad announces, “Did you have a good night?”
I nod, “Yeah, just hanging out with the girls.”
Anne sweeps across the room, the ice queen, tall and regal with ash blonde hair. She steps up to me and tugs a leaf from my hair.
“Your daughter has been hunting,” she says. She never misses an opportunity to show me up. Crossing the room, she perches on the arm of the chair my father is sitting in. She gives me a malicious grin.
“No, it’s not what you think. I was out with a guy.”
Most fathers would lose it hearing that their seventeen-year-old daughter was fooling around with some guy, but for Dad, finding out I was hunting was much worse. I wait for him to start yelling, but instead he smiles benignly.
“A wasted trip I imagine, considering there are no more Weres in Eden.”
I try looking embarrassed, like he’s right, “Sorry, Dad,” I mutter.
“It’s late.” His tone is firm. Apparently, my cousins don’t have a curfew.
He shifts in his chair and I see him wince. His clothes hide most of his wounds, but not all of them healed well. He was ambushed during a raid and a group of Weres separated him from the rest of the team. He took out three of them, but was cut up pretty bad. The rest of the team just got him out in time. I think it shook him more than he likes to admit.
I say goodnight and head for the stairs, glad for the pass.
Or not? I turn back to him.
“Good news. Your brother is coming home.”
“He is? When?”
“Any day now.”
I can’t wait to see Jared. It’s been five months since he was last home. He’s five years older than me and Dad’s second in command. He’s one of the most skilled hunters in the world and he taught me everything he knows, against Dad’s wishes. Despite all the moving around, Dad has always pushed me to live a normal life. My mother died when I was eleven, killed in a carjacking. She knew what my father was, but tried to shield me from the life. Since her death Dad has tried to do the same. After his ‘accident’, he’s even more adamant. The only reason he didn’t yell at me just now, is because he is trying to save face in front of the family. I don’t even know why they are here, although it probably has something to do with Uncle Victor needing money.
Once every couple of months he shows up, looking for a handout. He tries to pass it off as a family get-together, but I know otherwise. I think Dad does too, but he still gives him the money. His problem, not mine. I hope they aren’t staying long.
I head to my bedroom in the East wing. Yes, the house has wings. Pretentious I know.
After a quick shower, I bandage my shoulder. The wound isn’t deep, so I doubt I need stitches, but it hurts like hell.
I pull on a nightshirt, wincing as I raise my arm. Maybe I should get it looked at in the morning.
I pack my weapons away into a case that I keep hidden under the bed. As I lift it off the dresser, I knock my mom’s picture off onto the ground. I pick it up to discover I have broken the butterfly shaped frame.
“Sorry, mom,” I say. The picture is of her and me on my first day of kindergarten. I lift the pieces wondering if I can glue it back together.
We lived here in town before and I started kindergarten in Eden Elementary school. We didn’t stay long though and I have very few memories of that time. I do remember that I was obsessed with butterflies back then, so mom bought me the frame.
I set it back on the dresser and get into bed. I can fix it tomorrow.
As I drift off, I hear another howl. Despite what dad thinks, the Weres are still out there. And closer than he thinks.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”