Property of the Alpha

 Property of the Alpha Supremacy of Wolves – Book One

Dark Hollows Press http://www.darkhollowspress.com/#!property-of-the-alpha/c85b

July 2, 2015

 

When Quinn, the Supreme Alpha of all the Nine Territories first sees a young man in the arena, he is struck by his beauty and by the fact that despite his chains, he’s barely contained. Quinn recognizes him almost at once as the human who led an assassination attempt on him just weeks before, yet when he tries to take him into custody, he’s shocked to find the human is his fated mate. He has only one option to keep the council from executing the young man for his crimes—to make an example of Aaron, and to debase and degrade him as his love slave so that none of Aaron’s followers will celebrate him as a martyr or a hero.

Aaron is on a quest to find his brother, separated from him during the plague that devastated the population, killing seventy percent of all the humans on the planet. When he gets word that his brother is among the rebels, he joins them too, hoping to find him. Instead he gets caught up in a failed assassination attempt on the Supreme Alpha, a strong, powerful wolf shifter who now has Aaron right where he wants him–at his mercy.

Despite his growing attraction to Aaron, Quinn has to try to keep his heart from getting too involved, and when another assassination plot is uncovered, Quinn has to make a difficult decision. He must put Aaron aside despite his feelings for him and imprison him, even though the mating bond between them means Aaron will suffer and die without Quinn. And when Aaron disappears and word gets back to Quinn that he’s dying, he has to take a leap of faith to bring him home and back to Quinn’s bed where he belongs.

 

Shannon West

Shannon West lives with her husband and two crazy dogs in the south. She likes to travel and read and write pretty much constantly. Shannon loves writing M/M erotic romance and loves to hear from her readers. She tries to go to as many Romance Conventions as she possibly can so she can meet them.  She is a 2013 and 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist.

You can learn more about Shannon and her books at www.shannonwest.com

Victoria Sue

Victoria Sue has loved books for as long as she can remember. Books were always what pocket money went on and what usually Father Christmas brought. When she ran out of her kids’ adventure stories, she would go raid her mom’s. By the age of eight she was devouring classics like Little Women, and fell in love with love stories.
She’s still in love with them. Any size, any shape, any creature – love is love, no matter what it says on the box. In fact if her heroes and heroines don’t always fit neatly into a box, she loves them even more. She’s worked as a mom, a nurse, and a teaching assistant.
Victoria decided to go on an adventure with her family in 2010 and moved from England to America and now lives in Florida.
Last year, she thought it was time to stop just reading love stories and start writing them.

My Stranger…my thanks

My Stranger - 2000x3000 Intensely erotic read, and a captivating story.  – Johanna Panko

Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Kobo    Apple    Excessica

Is pleasure addictive? My Stranger is about a woman who is sucked into the orbit of a Bad Boy Alpha Male, but her stranger wields a darkness that goes beyond normal behavior. Confidence hints at aggression, intelligence turns to manipulation, care is hidden within control, and persistence slides into obsession.

 

I wrote My Stranger last summer (2014) and didn’t really know what to do with it. Every time I wrote something that tended toward the dark side, my story was rejected. I thought My Stranger would be no different, but I took a chance and sent it to Excessica, and they accepted.

Now I’m overwhelmed at the reviews coming in for my story. I never expected the responses I’m getting. I have a lot of trouble getting people to review my books, though many have emailed me to say how much they like them—which I appreciate, but that doesn’t get those sentiments in the record books, you know?

I was very excited about this book, and nervous. The My Stalker trilogy is a piece of me I rarely show. Well, every book I write is a piece of me, but this dark erotic/erotic horror series digs down into my own dark places. Maybe that’s why the responses have been so overwhelmingly positive—this series is personal to me. Maybe that shows.

I am intensely private, and I don’t trust people easily…but when I do trust, I accept that I am a little gullible where they are concerned. I’m no different than any other woman in the desire to be someone’s priority, the center of their world. But I have been stalked and I have been in relationships that border on terrifying, and I got out of them because being someone’s sole focus is suffocating.

My Stranger came from the questions raised from my own personal experiences. What if I made different decisions? What if I stayed, what if I sacrificed. So far, I haven’t met a man who made me want to play the odds the way my characters do in the My Stalker trilogy.

Three books, three different women, three different circumstances. Three different facets of myself and the what-ifs that have gone through my head. In the end, I labeled the series erotic horror, because the decisions made are horrific, and well outside the bounds of what most would call normal.

Yet, every day, women make the same choices. So maybe My Stranger (and the rest of the series) isn’t just personal to me—maybe it’s reflecting something in you, too. I appreciate that.

 

Thank you to all the bloggers who participated in the My Stranger tour. Thank you to all the reviewers, no matter whether you liked the book or not, I appreciate the time you took to read it. Thank you to Shannon Hunt and Once Upon an Alpha for the opportunity to tour and get My Stranger out there.

To the readers, or potential readers, you can see the reviews (including Johanna’s, above) on Goodreads

But my favorite snippets are:

The erotica in this book is a ten out of ten and will leave you breathless.  – Samaris Creech

Wow…this book left me absolutely speechless! – Carrie
All I Can Say Is Wow…  – Jenna Fox
This book blew my mind. – Kathy Wideman

This book is all kinds of erotic – like need new panties hot. – Jessica

Santeria & Sorcery

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DHP

Amazon

All Romance

Smashwords

 

 

Santeria & Sorcery is the first book in The Tithe Collector series. The whole series is a little dark, hidden inside lighter material. In each book, the Special Collections Team will investigate a magical crime…yes, the crimes they investigate are the ‘light’ stuff.

Oh, but the series has deeper undertones. There is a larger plot afoot, one that will change every member of the team, but especially the tithe collector, Zahra.

Zahra is a genie who committed the capital crime of consorting with humans. The most sacred law of the Djinn Nation forbids any relationship between the two, because humans and djinn can so easily become addicted to one another.

Zahra is addicted to human magic, the most potent force on earth—but she had help getting there. Her boyfriend knowing, and repeatedly, brought humans to their bed, and Zahra pays the price for their pleasure.

There are three other members of the Special Collections Team:

Niccolo is a vampire who has been handfasted to a hyena shape-shifter, Chimbwe, after having an affair with him—when Niccolo was supposed to be in his goddess’ bed exclusively. He struggles with issues of fidelity, because if he cheats in his new relationship, more time is tacked onto the handfasting, and Chimbwe will never be free. Unfortunately, vampires aren’t known for monogamy.

Beryl is—was—a fae assassin, one of the most feared assassins of all time. Now she’s been demoted and banished from the fairy courts because she had an affair with the new Summer King, which displeased the new Queen. Beryl has deeper secrets though, which will be unveiled in upcoming books. Her most immediate problem, however, is a sexy Fallen Angel that turns her world upside down.

Wade is the only human, an injured vet recently returned from the Middle East. He should have died in the war, but El, the king of gods, saved his life. Wade has a hard time finding his footing among the paranormal creatures he’s suddenly surrounded by, and he clings to his faith to the point that he is blinded to El’s manipulations. He’s also suffering from an odd manifestation of PTSD, and an unwanted attraction to Zahra.

In Santeria & Sorcery, the team is assembled, and they’re not happy about it. They’re paying penance for their sins, but the danger is more than they ever expected. The team isn’t just investigating any old crime, but those committed by humans—and theirs is a job typically reserved for elite law enforcement.

The Special Collections Team is anything but elite, but they’ll have to hit the ground running and learn on the fly. In Miami, a sorcerer is taking refuge in the Santeria community, and turning the religion’s traditions on its head as he amasses enough magical power to take on the king of gods, himself.

Manipulative boyfriends, deadly Fallen Angels, the kings of gods, a sorcerer, and—on top of all that—the team members’ individual emotional distress create a pretty hostile working environment. But there is too much on the line for failure to be an option. The Special Collections Team must learn to work together and to trust each other, but that’s an uphill battle for all of them.

Excerpt:

Wade

I tried to keep my words level. “I’m real damn sick of y’all trying to make me question my faith.”

“I’m not!” Chimbwe looked surprised, even sad in a way. He turned in his chair, leaning back as he studied the window over the sink. “El has Blessed you, and you must follow his rules. But his rules are not what you’ve always believed them to be.”

“Well, since no one wants to explain it to me in a way that even remotely makes sense, I’ll just have to follow my own conscience, won’t I?”

“We are at war.” Now Chimbwe looked fierce, as he turned back to me. He drilled a finger into the tabletop, rocking the whole thing until the dregs of my coffee splashed up to the rim of my mug. The man had some strength. “It is a very silent war. A war humans don’t know about, and couldn’t understand if they did.”

“The girls explained that to me already.” I slid forward in my seat, mimicking the bouda’s posture and not giving a fuck if he saw it as a challenge. “Lucifer’s Fallen provides the balance so the Five Nations don’t duke it out with each other.”

“But they still do,” he told me. “They are always trying to gain the advantage. Maybe not the angels, they have a strong alliance with El, but the djinn, especially, are slobbering for revolution.”

I shrugged and sat back, unconcerned. “El will win.”

“He must.” Chimbwe nodded. “He’s the only one who is able to keep everyone else in their place. No one else is as strong. I don’t wish to break your faith, I only hope you widen it to include what is truth, rather than focus on what you wish to be truth.”

To hide my surprise and gain a little time to think of something to say, I drained the rest of my coffee. There wasn’t much more than stray grounds left. “I deserve a little time to come to terms with all this. Your world is new to me.”

“This world is new to me, too,” he argued. “I have been forced to hide everything I am for my whole life. I could not be a bouda in a village of humans, I could not love a man in a country where it means death.”

That quick, the need to wriggle my shoulders and run from the room took hold of me. “Mmm, sorry to hear that.”

The corner of his mouth tipped up. “Niccolo used to be an investigator. Gaea sent him to my village after it seemed some people were killed by a bouda. All the signs were there, but it wasn’t true. Niccolo saved me and I saved him. Gaea was not pleased with the way we did that, so she handfasted us.”

“Congratulations. That means you’re married, right?”

“Not exactly. It was meant to be a punishment. I am sure Gaea would not like to hear you wish us well.”

I got up and poured more coffee without a word.

Chimbwe laughed, a deep sound coming straight from his belly. “I know you don’t care, Wade, but I need you to understand. We are together because my goddess says it must be so, but he is a man I would have chosen for myself anyway.”

My fingers tightened around my mug. The man was as intent on discussing his relationship as I was on avoiding the subject altogether. I glared at him, noting the stubborn glint in his eye as I surrendered. “Why do you need me to understand?”

“I think this team has been assembled as more than punishment. I know Niccolo is well placed in vampire society, for all he believes he is not. From what he’s said, I think Zahra also has some importance she is not telling. Beryl has served her goddess for a thousand years, and people say simply speaking the assassin’s name is enough to make Lucifer’s Fallen cower in fear.”

“So what?”

The bouda shook his head. “And you are Blessed. I think the team is being used for a bigger purpose than what we’ve been led to believe.”

“Sure, Chimbwe, that’s possible.” But that’s all I was prepared to say on the matter, at that moment with his words of war mocking my memories. I was half-believing, and half-resistant to the idea. On one hand, it was excellent strategy to take the wind from the enemies’ sails, on the other, it was hard to imagine God being so manipulative.

“I don’t know what is going on yet,” Chimbwe whispered. “But the team needs to learn to trust each other. I am afraid of what may happen in the future, and I do not want Niccolo caught in something that may lead to his death.”

I waved my mug because it seemed a better option than putting it down to cross my arms over my chest. “So you and I need to be all buddy-buddy to get the job done. Is that it?”

Chimbwe grimaced. “Even if my suspicions are not correct, this team must meet the expectations of the Council in order to be released from their punishments. I want Niccolo to be free, so you four will need to work as one.”

I weighed his words carefully. I was used to being a part of a team that shared the same training, values and goals. This team, though, was all over the map. They only spoke to each other when they had to, came from different Nations, definitely had different training because I couldn’t imagine Zahra or Niccolo handling a weapon like Beryl, and they all reported in to different leaders.

Hell of a team. Four of us were moving in four different directions, and it seemed Chimbwe wanted to be our wise guide, leading us all into a cohesive whole. A wise guide might be just what we all needed.

That realization had me sitting back down at the table. “I would like this team to work together,” I told him. “Considering the monsters we might run up against, our lives might depend on it.”

The Tithe Collector Series

The Tithe Collector series might be the trickiest one I will ever write. It’s definitely the trickiest I’ve written so far. In a big way, though it’s fairly subtle for a while, this series is a Cinderella tale…many Cinderella tales, all woven together.

Santeria & Sorcery comes out in just two weeks, and I am nervous. More so than with any other book I’ve written, in fact. The Tithe Collector has a lot of characters, and they each have plots and backstories, romances and futures. Every chapter is written in first person, from four different points of view…I know a lot of readers don’t like that, but the story simply wouldn’t work otherwise.

Four main characters have to learn to work as a team, but they’re all starting from different places. They all have deficiencies that may be ordinary in the normal course of their lives, but once together and in the situations they find themselves in, become magnified. And sometimes, their weaknesses end up being their greatest strengths.

Zahra is a magic-addicted djinn charged with the capital crime of consorting with humans. Niccolo is a vampire who betrayed his goddess. Beryl is a fairy assassin demoted for her transgressions against a queen. Wade is the only human on the team—the only one not being punished, but he’s been assigned to Special Collections for some purpose the others can’t figure out.

They’ve been brought together to investigate magical crimes as penance for their own. But the information they receive, and what they think they know, isn’t always true or straightforward. They are lied to, manipulated and misinformed, because there is a bigger purpose unfolding.

Why am I nervous? There are many threads in this tapestry, and I have to make certain they all come together in a sensible way. With every chapter in first person POV, what the reader gets is the perception from that character—good, bad or ugly, not to mention truth or lie. Events are portrayed in a way fitting that character’s viewpoint, and through the series each character evolves. They learn as they go—about many things, but especially about the rules of their world, the fabrications, and themselves. As they learn, so too, does the reader.

I invite you to enter a world hidden within our own. One where djinn, angels, faeries and deities blend into society. One where vampires and shifters shared a common ancestry with humans, who would be the most powerful creatures in existence, if they weren’t blocked from using magic. I invite you into a world where committing magical crimes means paying in death or taxes, and love may leave a tithe collector insane.

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