Monday, 13 July 2015

Give Us Your Best Excerpt: The Alpha's Concubine


Hello all! Today is the day of the Give Us Your Best Excerpt paranormal romance blog hop -- a fun little event where authors such as myself post some excerpts of our work to tantalise and engross fans of all things romancey and paranormal!

I've chosen a snippet of a scene from my latest serial novel The Alpha's Concubine, a historical shifter romance set in the wild and tribal antiquity of ancient Europe somewhere between the end of the neolithic period and the advent of the bronze age. The first part (which contains this excerpt) is available to download for free at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, ibooks, and various other retailers!

From the blurb:

Taken from her people. Claimed by an alpha. Forced into a new life.

In a time before tools of metal and houses of wood, tooth and claw rule the wild places of the world.



The Moon People have been enemies to Netya's kind for as long as the stars can remember. They are monsters, demons, men and women who take the shapes of beasts. The murderers of her father.

An outsider taken as a prize by the pack, Netya must overcome suspicion, rivalry, and the division of her own heart, as she grows to realise that monsters wear many different faces.
Among the Moon People, she uncovers the potential of a life she never knew existed. The chance for a woman to become something more than a prize, or a mother, or a concubine. But as the alpha and others vie for her heart, the powerful huntress Vaya seeks to purge Netya from her pack.
Before Netya can decide where she belongs, she must endure the trials of love, hatred, and heartbreak. The girl taken as a trophy must become a woman.


- - - - -

 "Has Fern made you welcome?" The deep voice of the alpha reached her ears. He was seated across the room from her, half in shadow, upon what Netya could only describe as a throne. It was adorned with the full pelt of a bear, enormous and snarling, its jaws hanging inches above the alpha's own head.
"Yes," she said, her voice sounding very quiet compared to his. "She has treated me well."
The alpha rose to his feet and stepped into the light, his broad frame looming even larger than the pelt of the bear behind him. He was dressed as he had been the evening before, bare-chested with a kilt of furs.
"Good. You are to be treated as one of our own while you are here, for however long that may be. If any of my pack mistreat you, they will be punished."
"I am thankful," Netya said, edging a little farther into the room. "Am I not to be your prisoner, then?"
"You are here by my will, not your own. But whether that remains true, we shall have to see."
Netya frowned at the cryptic answer, then forced herself to ask the question that had been drumming in her mind for the past hour. "Then why did you choose to bring me here?"
The alpha approached her, his eyes taking in her body without a hint of reserve. He took her by the lower arm, running his free hand over her pale skin from the inside of her elbow to the palm of her hand. The touch of his rough fingers against the sensitive area made her shiver, and as her heart jolted in her chest her lower body began to tingle with warmth.
"Perhaps Fern has told you. I have no mate, and so I have no heir. I will take you as my consort." His eyes met hers, and in them she saw an unspoken question, a silent expectancy as he waited to gauge her response.
Her breath shuddered as she inhaled deeply. "Why not one of your own people?"
The alpha smiled at that. "None of my pack would dare to ask me such a question."
"I'm sorry—"
"But you are not of my pack," he continued. "And that is why, when I saw you at our mercy last night, I chose to bring you with us."
"I don't think I am suited to be the consort of a great leader," she said. "What about the den mother? She is far more beautiful than I."
The alpha's expression hardened. "Do not speak to me of Adel," he said firmly. "I have no need of hearing her name voiced in here."
Netya almost wilted under his fierce gaze, but she forced herself not to look away. Perhaps bravery was foolishness, but the stirring pulse of her blood prevented her from giving in to fear. She was walking the tightrope of her curiosity into the unknown, where she had dared to venture with Layon the night before, and secretly longed to explore more of. The allure of danger was too tempting.
"You are young," the alpha said as he reached over her shoulder to admire her braid. "How many times have you lain with a man?"
"Never."
The alpha nodded. "You will come to my bed tonight. No other male will be permitted to claim you."
Netya's skin warmed. The subtle scent of his body reminded her of fur and salt water. "I do not know how to be with a man," she said.
"Your body will know the pleasures of a woman. You will learn to listen to it, and then you will know what to do." He placed his hand at the nape of her neck and shoulder, allowing his fingers to rest across her throat, then drew them slowly downwards, caressing her skin until they slipped into the cleft between her breasts. Another sensitive ripple ran through Netya's body, and the tug in her lower belly seemed to urge her toward him.
"Do you feel it?" he said.
She nodded shakily.
"Then I was not wrong in choosing you. What is your name?"
"Netya."
"Netya. Are you unwilling to be my consort?"
She hesitated, unsure of what to say, or even think. She was anxious. Perhaps even afraid. But unwilling? She had no desire to flee or plead her fate. She wanted to understand the things her body seemed to be telling her. The alpha's appearance and scent and powerful voice awakened all the feelings she had begun to notice in herself since becoming a woman, and for once she had the opportunity to explore them.
"A man who takes an unwilling female to his bed is no man at all," the alpha said when she did not respond.
"I am not... unwilling, no," she whispered, the words catching in her throat.
"Good." The alpha moved his hand back up her neck, sliding his fingers through the hair at the base of her braid.
It was strange for her to be so close to an unfamiliar man, to have him touching her in this way. It was not like being touched by anyone else. His hands slid over her body as if she were an immaculately crafted ornament, seeking out the fine details to make them more real through his touch. He tilted her head back and pulled her in with an arm around her waist, bringing his lips to hers for a kiss.
Netya expected the same soft warmth she remembered from Layon's kiss, closing her eyes and opening her mouth gently to savour the soft feeling of the alpha's mouth against her own. Instead of giving her gentle pleasure, he took her breath away.
The alpha's firm grip tightened around her hips, the hand on the back of her head steadying her as he kissed her hard and deep, his tongue plunging into her mouth and curling around hers, bearing down with passion and power. Netya's whole body tightened as she found herself crushed against his broad chest, putting up her hands to steady herself and finding only his muscular body to cling to. A low whimper sounded in the back of her throat, and she reeled with a heady rush of desire as the alpha's lips continued to work against hers, like a wolf devouring his prey.

- - - - -

Check out some of the other authors involved in the blog hop for more free snippets of a whole bunch of juicy paranormal romance novels!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Daughter of the Moon - The Alpha's Concubine Sequel

-- ENDING SPOILERS FOR THE ALPHA'S CONCUBINE BELOW --



So! With the previous story all wrapped up, and work on the sequel well underway, I think it's high time I started sharing some of the details on what to expect from the novel I teased in the final part of The Alpha's Concubine.

My next story, Daughter of the Moon, picks up immediately where the previous book left off, continuing to follow Netya and her companions as they strike out to make a life for themselves beyond the mountains, absent from the safety of Khelt's pack and beset by challenges on all sides as they prepare for winter.

Daughter of the Moon is likely to be published in my usual format, with a serialised edition of five parts coming first, followed by a complete novel later on. Given that this is a sequel, however, I'm considering forgoing the serial version this time around depending on how things pan out. Right now I'm leaning toward serialising again, but that's always subject to change!

The book's format will be very similar to that of its prequel, with Netya remaining the central viewpoint character, but with short forays into the supporting cast from time to time. Caspian in particular is getting a little more page time than before, and a few new (and old) faces will have chapters dedicated to them as well. The themes of coming of age, finding a place in the world, romance, and discovery will remain prevalent once again, along with some slightly darker questions of morality, and more complex relationship challenges for the heroine and hero to face.

While the initial chapters of the book focus on Adel's new pack trying to survive by themselves in a hostile world, the central conflict that manifests over time is planned to be a lot more prominent than in the previous novel. Netya and her companions have strayed beyond the lands of the Sun People, deep into the territory of their fellow wolf packs, where rival alphas vie for power both physically and socially. One powerful alpha in particular is especially incensed by the small group of seers infringing on the outskirts of his territory, and he will stop at nothing to bring them into his fold, or have them suffer the consequences of refusal.

It will fall to Netya, Caspian, Adel, and the rest of their new pack to brave the strength of their rivals, and to wrestle with the complexities of their hearts as they come to understand their new place in the world.

Work on Daughter of the Moon is ticking along nicely, and the novel is currently planned to be released in late 2015!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Alpha's Concubine - Part Five Published!

It's done! The concluding part of The Alpha's Concubine is all wrapped up, longer than ever, and available to purchase on Amazon, Smashwords, and Google Play, with other retailers to follow as per usual!

Still reeling from the betrayal of one of their own, the Moon People struggle to piece the safety of their pack back together as tragedy after tragedy threatens to break them apart. Netya is lost, her fate unknown, and there are precious few who still have faith in her innocence.
Caspian believes, and he will stop at nothing to find the girl who has captured his heart. With Netya's life in the balance, respect and propriety between friends can no longer stand in the way of how he and the alpha both feel for her.
The ripples of Vaya's treachery are leading to a culmination of many things. The breaking point of a rivalry, the wills of two great leaders—and the answer to a question of love.

This one has been an absolute delight to pen. I certainly hope that everyone reading enjoys the story as much as I did putting it together over the past year or so. It's been the kind of novel I've been dying to write for years now, and I strongly feel that it's my best yet.
Stay tuned for more updates about what's next on the schedule for me! Or perhaps, if you give part five a read all the way through to the end, there might just be a little teaser waiting there~

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Slight Delay!

Just a quick heads up here -- the final part of The Alpha's Concubine is going to have to be pushed back a little more, likely to the 23rd, due to my own silly urges to write way more than I initially planned. It ended up running more than 10k words longer than intended, which in turn leads to more time required for editing, and more time for proofing. I'm super disappointed to have had a ~1 month gap between the finale and the previous part, but hopefully the extra content will be worth it!

If nothing else, this will be a good lesson to me about not underestimating my ability to ramble on for pages and pages when I've got self-imposed deadlines to hit.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Alpha's Concubine - Part Four Published!

Time for the penultimate instalment! Part four is all done and available to purchase on Amazon, Smashwords, and Google Play, with other retailers to follow as usual.

Many mysteries await Netya as an apprentice to the seers. The demands of her mentor make her training a rigorous trial to endure, and with the alpha absent, she finds herself growing closer to Caspian as she seeks solace in the company of the understanding male.
Hearts are dangerous things to toy with, however, and as Netya's finally begins to settle on what it truly wants, so too do those of her admirers. Love may be calling her, but it cannot hope to blossom when vengeance and jealousy threaten to destroy everything she has ever cared for.

With the story almost complete, I've also decided to delay the final part just by a single week, pushing the release date back to May 16th, rather than the originally planned 9th of the month. The final segment is still on schedule to be finished up and ready to go in plenty of time, but in the interests of making sure I don't get interrupted by any unforeseen hiccups, I've decided to give myself a bit of extra breathing room to make sure nothing's rushed.
Stay tuned for the final instalment in mid May, to be followed by an announcement on my next upcoming project!

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Alpha's Concubine - Part Three Published!

Amazon took a while longer than usual to get this one through the system, but part three of The Alpha's Concubine is now up and available to purchase on Amazon, Smashwords, and Google Play, with other retailers to follow as per usual!

Winter is upon the pack. The rift between the alpha and den mother runs deep, and Netya's voice is a small one between such powerful leaders. With no status of her own, there is little she can do but remain in her place at Khelt's side.
But as a new season dawns, and the great hunt draws near, there may be a chance for Netya to elevate herself in the eyes of the pack. A test of both strength and spirit awaits her, and it is one that Vaya has no intention of allowing the Sun girl to pass through unscathed.
The hunt may be a dangerous place for one of her kind, but the desires of Netya's own heart are equally challenging. Is love something that can be found as the alpha's consort? Or is there another to whom her heart is now being called?

Things are heating up a lot for Netya in this instalment of the series, and between you and me it's one of my favourites. Keep an eye out for part four on April 25th!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Alpha's Concubine - Parts One and Two Published!

It's finally here! After a few months of focused writing, the first two parts of the serialised version of The Alpha's Concubine are now available to purchase on Amazon (+Part Two), Smashwords (+Part Two), and Google Play (+Part Two), with other retailers to follow!

---

Taken from her people. Claimed by an alpha. Forced into a new life.
In a time before tools of metal and houses of wood, tooth and claw rule the wild places of the world.

The Moon People have been enemies to Netya's kind for as long as the stars can remember. They are monsters, demons, men and women who take the shapes of beasts. The murderers of her father.
An outsider taken as a prize by the pack, Netya must overcome suspicion, rivalry, and the division of her own heart, as she grows to realise that monsters wear many different faces.
Among the Moon People, she uncovers the potential of a life she never knew existed. The chance for a woman to become something more than a prize, or a mother, or a concubine. But as the alpha and others vie for her heart, the powerful huntress Vaya seeks to purge Netya from her pack.
Before Netya can decide where she belongs, she must endure the trials of love, hatred, and heartbreak. The girl taken as a trophy must become a woman.

---

With the majority of the novel already written, serial instalments will be coming along at a snappy pace, with one releasing every two weeks until the series is complete, and the standalone novel following some time after. Yet again I've run on waaay longer with this project than I originally intended, and the initial 100k word projection for the final length is now looking to end up closer to 160k. That's almost three times the length of the first novel I published two years ago.
With that said, I can already tell there's a whole lot more I want to do with The Alpha's Concubine beyond this initial story, to the point where notes and plans for the sequel are well under way.

Part Three arrives on April 11th!