Double Giveaway Day!
Update: Two winners have been chosen from our commenters. Congrats to: Debra Wright who won Bonnie’s book and Clair Carter, who will receive one of mine!
It’s always a treat to spotlight another author on Monday’s, and today is no exception. My guest is my friend, Bonnie Vanak. We share a past publisher, a current agent and a love for a good story. Bonnie is a special, big-hearted person whose day job regularly takes her to developing countries where she helps people in need. For more about that, pop over to her website. But for now, sit back and enjoy a peek at Bonnie’s newest Nocturne, THE SHADOW WOLF.
“The Shadow Wolf is one heck of a ride that will leave a reader breathless. This story has dark depths and a meaty plot sure to appeal to paranormal romantic suspense readers who look for a quality written story.” ~ Long & Short Reviews
THE SHADOW WOLF is now in stores!
On the run from authorities, gutsy Megan Moraine knows shadow wolves like herself have no place in this world. But she’s still prepared to do anything to protect her young charges. That resolve is tested when the trio is captured by Gabriel Robichaux. Everyone knows that Gabriel is a ruthless bounty hunter, a member of an elite group called the Enforcers. Why then is Megan so attracted to her enemy—a wolf who hunts his own people? A wolf whose languid, sexy drawl makes her dream the impossible?
The Shadow Wolf marks my fourth book in the Draicon werewolf series for Harlequin Nocturne. There’s something about a powerful shifter with the beast leashed inside, waiting to be freed. Werewolves are sexy and fun to write. When I created my Draicon wolves, I wanted them to have a true mate, but I didn’t want to make it easy for them.
So I decided that each shifter’s true mate contains their missing magick. Long ago, when the Draicon first came to this dimension to learn of the earth, they were too powerful. So they willingly split themselves in half, dividing up their powers, to blend into our world. When a male and female Draicon who are destined mates find each other, they regain each others’ magick. This is done during sex when they both reach emotional and physical fulfillment.
In The Shadow Wolf, Gabriel is a muscled Cajun werewolf who speaks with a sexy drawl and looks great in faded blue jeans. He seems easygoing, friendly and funny, but he’s got a deep, dark side. Gabriel doesn’t dare get close to anyone should his dark side come out. Megan is a perfect match for Gabriel. Megan has faced prejudice her entire life and longs for an open, honest relationship. She won’t put up with anything less and slowly she begins to peel back Gabriel’s layers to find his true self. Gabriel is torn. He wants Megan, but he also fears an emotional connection. He’s been hurt by betrayal before, yet the wolf inside him knows and recognizes Megan and wants her, badly, as shown in this scene:
The wolf’s raw power and dark intensity sent a chill down her spine. Larger than most, muscles rippled under the lupine’s gray fur. He could break her spine with one lunge. She wrapped her arms around herself, sinking back into the cover of the mangroves.
Megan peered around the mangroves, her palms growing cold and sweaty. What if Gabriel suddenly turned on them? She’d glimpsed his haunted look when he’d left to shutter the houses. But this wolf was not vulnerable. This wolf could tear and kill and destroy.
Never had she seen such a display, as if the wolf released all the emotions the man could not. This wolf snapped at the surf. It tipped back its head and released a long, mournful howl that echoed the cadence of the crashing waves.
A delicious scent of pine, leather and sweet wine drifted on the wind. It overwhelmed her senses. Megan closed her eyes, overcome with the sensuality calling to her. No wolf she had ever known emitted such an enticing scent.
The idea hit her like a resounding slap on the face. Shadows didn’t do that. From what little she knew, neither did Normals.
Panic squeezed her throat. Ferals were wild and unpredictable. Their blood ran thick with the instinct to hunt, kill and mate. Male Ferals were dominating, highly sexual and aggressive. Their scents were strong and irresistible to females. When a male saw a female he wanted, the Feral Draicon pursued with ruthless determination until he had her naked and submissive beneath his powerful body.
Yet as she watched Gabriel, doubt laced through the fear. He’d seemed gentle and protective of the twins. As wild as the wolf acted, the man acted restrained. How could Gabriel be a Feral since he was an Enforcer? The Council of Draicon executed vicious Ferals and sent others to demon prisons. As despised as Shadows were, Ferals were hated more. Their ability to blend in with the human populace was limited by their savage animal nature, often triggered by sexual arousal and heightened emotions.
Once the most dangerous Ferals were called Trans-Ferals. Long ago, they’d been hunted to extinction.
Megan felt a tug of empathy for Feral Draicon. As a Shadow, she wanted equality among all their species.
A savage beauty reflected in the wolf’s running with the wind. Her heart thundered again, echoing the cadence of distant crashing thunder. Her pulse raced with excitement.
How she longed to run wild, heedless of watchful Draicon ready to punish her for shifting into a wolf. Megan took one step forward, her body thrumming with anticipation.
The wolf skidded, his big paws digging into the wet sand. He pivoted, his huge head swerving in her direction, focused on her with a predatory look. Wild amber eyes met hers.
The wolf was king. If he wanted, the wolf could track her scent, have her on the ground before she could escape.
Though her heart pounded hard, Megan held her position. She returned the wolf’s dominating look. She blinked, and the wolf was gone, replaced by a man wearing a white shirt and khaki shorts.
Sea mist dampened his dark hair. His muscled body was hard with sexual aggression. He stalked toward her with determined purpose. Afraid of his power, she stood her ground. Megan refused to lower her gaze as other Draicon would do facing a predator.
“I can smell your fear. I told you before, I won’t hurt you,” he said softly. “How long have you been watching?”
“I just got here,” she admitted. “It was fascinating watching you as a wolf. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I saw a Draicon shift and we’re prohibited from shifting into wolves on Shadow Island.”
“Why can’t you shift?”
“I guess they’re afraid we’ll become more powerful as invisible wolves than invisible in our human form.”
Raw sexuality radiated from him. Megan swallowed hard. “I didn’t come to spy on you. I came looking for you to tell you something.”
He stopped close enough for her to smell his delicious maleness mingling with evergreen and rain. Passion filled his heated gaze. His nostrils flared as if he’d caught her scent. A pulse hammered at the base of his throat.
“Tell me what, chère?”
Though she was still untouched, Megan sensed his desire. He wanted her, badly. And animal instinct fought for control of the man. Something inside her clawed to the surface, wanting him just as badly.
Gabriel unclenched his fists. He caught her hand in his and turned it over. The gentleness of the gesture contrasted sharply to his earlier display of brute strength. He ran a thumb over her cut.
“It’s starting to heal already. Good.” He dropped her hand and traced a line along her jaw. His touch was gentle, but she instinctively recognized the possessiveness.
A wolf marking his territory.
Bonnie’s parting thoughts…
I love the idea of shifters being so attracted to their mates. This is one reason why I enjoy writing shifter stories. However, for my next few releases, I did deviate a little. Next up is a trilogy of three paranormal erotic novellas titled The Ancients. These short stories are part of Harlequin Nocturne’s new Cravings line. Three triplet sisters are half-demon and half-angel and are coming into their powers. To prevent them from turning demonic, three pararnormal beings are assigned to mate with them and tame their dark powers.
The first novella is Bitten by the Vampire and is out in October. The second is Mated to the Wolf and is a November release, and Hunted by the Jaguar is the third story, out in December.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Mia! To celebrate the release of The Shadow Wolf, I’ll give away a copy of one of my backlist Draicon werewolf books.
Thanks for dropping by, Bonnie! I love your richly imagined world.
In addition to Bonnie’s giveaway, I’d like to offer one of my backlist titles too to make this a double giveaway day! All YOU have to do is leave a comment or question for Bonnie. I’ll kick off the conversation with this question:
Whether he’s a shifter or not, historical or contemporary, what quality do you look for most in a hero?