8 Questions Bad Boy Alphas Style: Ellis Leigh

To celebrate The Fifth Moon’s Wolf release I’ve invited my fellow partners in crime from the Bad Boy Alpha project to answer my 8 questions. Today is Ellis Leigh’s turn! Her riveting novel, Claiming His Prize, will leave you fanning and hoping for a nearby icy waterfall to dive in…

f4885c_5b9f8499dbb34e2e9c77ee26226da6ae“Dragons don’t play well with others…

Dragon-shifter Piers has been fighting at The Pack House—an underground MMA-style fight ring for shifters—for months. He’s bested every opponent, won every prize, except the attention of the hot female doctor he can’t get off his mind.

Doctor Jane patches up shifters to keep her father safe, a fate not of her choosing. She’d be okay with her lot in life if it weren’t for the handsome dragon shifter with the charming smile she can’t stop thinking about.

When another dragon claims Jane as his mate, Piers will have to fight to the death to save her from a fate she didn’t choose. But the biggest obstacle in his way isn’t the fire-breathing dragon set on claiming what isn’t his, but the doctor herself who might choose duty over everything else. Maybe even him.

Scales will fly, hisses will sound, and dragons will take to the sky, but only one will end up with the ultimate prize: love.”

And now let’s meet Ellis:

When you were a kid you wanted to be…?
Ellis: A veterinarian. I was that kid who constantly brought strays home with her. “But Mom, he’s starving” was a mantra of sorts. I’m still that way though my husband doesn’t let me get away with bringing random animals home with me. Just a dog…and some fish. I’m working on another dog since mine passed away a few months back.

The first book you read was…?
Ellis: Oh gosh, I have no clue. Children are made readers on the laps of their parents, and that saying was true for me. My parents both read to me and my dad always bought us books. Probably the ones that stick out in my memory the most are Autumn Street by Lois Lowry and Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. True story: I took a trip to Chincoteague in 1998 to see the ponies because of that book. Is sob like a baby if someone made me go to Autumn Street.

You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?
Ellis: When I wrote a fanfiction piece that garnered over a million reads in three years. Seeing those numbers pushed me to try writing original fiction.

As a reader, your favorite genre is…?

Ellis: Romance of course! Women’s fiction and chick-lit would come next. Then, oddly enough, horror.

Why do you like bad boys…?

Ellis: Because they’re hot. In fiction, having a guy be all rough and demanding is intriguing to me. In real life, I’d probably tell him to keep walking because I tend to like control a bit too much. But man, when a strong, confident man jumps off the pages at me? Yeah. That’s amazing.

You write…?
Ellis: Strong, sexy romance currently of the PNR variety.

The praise about your writing you like the most is…?
Ellis: About my heroines. When readers call out the strength of the women I write. When they see the theme of consent and choice running through books dealing with fate and destiny. I dig that. Those are women after my own heart.

What’s next…?
Ellis:
Wolves, aliens, and mechanics.

8 Questions Bad Boy Alphas Style: Ellis Leigh

8 Questions Bad Boy Alphas style: Tasha Black

To celebrate The Fifth Moon’s Wolf release I’ve invited my fellow partners in crime from the Bad Boy Alpha project to answer my 8 questions.

The first to start the dances is Tasha Black, the lovely author of Burn This! (A 300 Moons Book) I have read Burn This!’s first chapter and the main character is quite the bad boy and a rockstar: a deadly combo for any shifter reader. Plus, Johnny Lazarus has that dragon tattooed on his ripping body… just makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

“Johnny Lazarus is a rockstar who’s used to getting what he wants. Money. Fame. Women. You name it. But Johnny has a dark secret, and the spell that helped him keep it in check all these years is about to wear off. As his control begins to slip, Johnny finds the perfect place to weather the storm. And it looks like his plan to keep to himself just might work… until he meets Neve.
Neve Whittaker is known as the Angel of Malibu to the people whose lives she’s helped to recover. When bad-boy rockstar Johnny Lazarus shows up, she sees him as just one f4885c_31bdc6071cc94455a6596490555de692more challenge. But she soon learns there’s more to Johnny than meets the eye. As she struggles to unravel the mystery surrounding her newest patient, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the handsome stranger. Now she’s torn between her need to help him, and her primal desires. And if she’s not careful, she might end up losing more than her heart.
When things heat up, can Johnny and Neve overcome their inner demons in time to save each other, or will they both end up getting burned?

And now, let’s meet Tasha:

When you were a kid you wanted to be…?

Tasha: I was a chubby kid, so naturally I wanted to be a ballerina, a model, an actress – any job that would verify that I was lovable. Thank goodness I grew up and learned that chubbiness and love are not mutually exclusive! (I would have been a terrible dancer!)

The first book you read was…?

Tasha: I wasn’t allowed to watch TV as a child, so I read a lot. My favorites were Tasha Tudor’s glorious picture book, A Time to Keep, and later, James and Deborah Howe’s Bunnicula. As a matter of fact, Bunnicula is still a favorite of mine – it’s a story about a dog and cat solving a mystery that involves a rabbit. And the rabbit may or may not be a vampire. I’m now convinced that it was Bunnicula that is responsible for my interest in PNR!

You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?

Tasha: Am I quite good at writing? I think most authors spend half our time throwing out what we’ve just written and the other half feeling like complete frauds. One thing I can do is write a convincing letter. I once wrote a grant proposal that raised enough money to send forty inner city kids to camp for the summer. That was the moment when I realized that being good with words was more than just a neat trick.

As a reader, your favorite genre is…?

Tasha: Paranormal romance, of course! Followed by classic Russian lit, mysteries, and young adult.

Why do you like bad boys…?

Tasha: In my opinion, real men should sit quietly and await instruction from the wise women in their lives. BUT in books I adore bad boys! Bad boys are unpredictable, they don’t care about the minutiae of everyday life, they don’t vacillate in endless analysis – they DO stuff, with reckless abandon! Bad boys see what they want and take it. When attracted, they seduce. When threatened, they kick ass! And when love hits them it’s like a tree falling in the forest: resounding and permanent. 

You write…?

Tasha: I write paranormal romance with a mystery/thriller element starring real women with agency (meaning they make their own choices in life, even if sometimes their choices are not good choices), and the achingly gorgeous men who risk life and limb to pursue them.

The praise about your writing you like the most is…?

Tasha: I love when readers say that the characters feel like real people. I’ve had a few say they wanted to throw their e-reader at the wall in frustration at the decisions the characters are making. I’ve had others say that they feel these people are their friends, and that they wish they could live in the fictional town of Tarker’s Hollow, where many of my books take place. I feel that way too! I will never stop being stunned and grateful that other people are going along on these adventures that began in my head.

What’s next…?

Tasha: My next book in the 300 Moons series, Bite This! will be out very soon! This book tells the story of Burn This! star Johnny’s foster sister, Darcy, as she navigates the arrival of her 300th moon. I don’t want to give too much away but this one has wolves, kidnappings, magic, and a wild love scene in a moonlit creek! I hope readers will enjoy seeing more of the 300 Moons mystery unfold in this book as well!

8 Questions Bad Boy Alphas style: Tasha Black

Release day for The Fifth Moon’s Wolf

TFMW Teaser 4

The Fifth Moon’s Wolf is finally out and available everywhere! I hope you’ll love my steampunk/scifi/victorian/paranormal romance as much as I enjoyed writing Valentine and Mirella’s story.

The Fifth Moon’s Wolf: The Fifth Moon Tales, Book 1

Humanity left Earth several hundreds of years ago. Shifters were among the first to board the space stations escaping from the dying planet. During the long voyage in deep space, mutations changed the paranormal passengers altering their lives forever. As a result, shifters lost their ability to reproduce and enrolled geneticists to ensure their survival.

Valentine Lobo is the last werewolf left in all the Coral System. The undisputed leader of planet Lupine, he has been waiting for his genetically engineered bride for centuries. He has no time to court Mirella Canalis, the young woman whom he only sees as a means to an end. After all, her only reason to exist is to give the alpha werewolf an heir.

Valentine is arrogant and domineering. He must save House Lobo from oblivion. What will happen when he finally meets sweet and naïve Mirella on his wedding night?

A dash of space opera and plenty of steamy paranormal romance.

Release day for The Fifth Moon’s Wolf

My First Bookbub: The Lost Centurion & The Promo that Almost wasn’t…

On Saturday, April 9th, year of the Lord 2016, I finally got a Bookbub promotion. After submitting once a month for a few months, someone took pity on me and decided to give me a chance with The Lost Centurion (The Immortals Book 1) . Vivid dreams of fame and glory filled my mind as I promptly paypaled them my fee for entering indie author Valhalla. For two weeks, I agonized about all the changes I had to make on all the books I’ve published so far. New newsletter webforms were created for the occasion. No words were written whatsoever. The book that should’ve been halfway finished has been forgotten. Spring has come. The much anticipated day comes as well… and Amazon decides that’s the day it won’t be refreshing ranks until late in the evening. For several hours, The Lost Centurion is stuck at #1500, when it should have been between #5 and #10 on Free Kindle Store. When its true rank finally shows, the book it’s at #6, but it’s also the middle of the night on the East Coast, so it missed all the visibility a whole day would have granted. Let’s say that a few chosen words were uttered during Saturday and that I considered taking on a new hobby: drinking. Fortunately, The Lost Centurion is still on the first page of Free Kindle Store, sitting now at #13. I’m still sober.

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My First Bookbub: The Lost Centurion & The Promo that Almost wasn’t…

The Fifth Moon’s Wolf: First Chapter

The Fifth Moon’s Wolf will be out April 19th, but here is the first chapter and a teaser to whet your appetite.

TFMW Mirella

His wolf pacing in his head, Valentine left the bed with an exasperated sigh and walked to the liquor cabinet by the arched window.

Outside, the Fifth Moon shone pale blue against the purple night sky. Sidera Prima, the orbital station, cast a long shadow over the mountain ridge of the Caucasum, reminding everyone on Lupine of their terrestrial origins.

“Are you pleased with me, Sir?” Ronda purred from the tangle of linens.

The dark four-poster canopy took most of the wall opposite the window, dwarfing the redhead at its center. The burgundy drapery matched the long curtains framing the arch. The fabric was heavy damask silk salvaged from his private quarters on Sidera Prima.

“You should talk less.” Lifting the heavy barrel with the H and M black letters etched on the wooden staves, Valentine poured a good two fingers of Laurum into a frosted glass goblet.

The viscous drink sloshed inside the walls of the chalice, coating the surface with a deep, powdery red. Aged seventy-five revolutions, the Laurum was a wedding gift from House Martelli. After the Brotherhood of the Wolf, his own house, the vampires had been the first sending congratulations for Valentine’s impending nuptials.

“Would you require my service after the ceremony?” Ronda moved sinuously on the bed, prowling on all fours like a hungry cat.

“You know I won’t.” With a flick of his wrist, Valentine dismissed the courtesan, who, still naked, jumped off the high bed and scampered toward the back door that led into the servants’ passages.

Hungry, he rang the bell to call his majordomo. Aldo’s steps echoed throughout the main hallway and stopped before Valentine’s bedroom a moment later.

“What can I do for you, Master Lobo?” Aldo asked from the door.

Lanky and lean, the majordomo was an example of how humanity had adapted to Lupine’s low gravity, whereas Valentine’s massive build was the epitome of a Terran. Although he had not been born and raised on ye olde Earth, Valentine shared all the traits of his werewolf ancestors: tall, muscular, with an unruly mane, and a propensity to rage.

“I want to eat something before I leave for the ceremony.” As he walked to the breakfast table by the fireplace, Valentine grabbed the black kimono he had thrown to the floor. He put on the garment but didn’t tie it around his waist, letting the silky fabric flap around his back.

“Refreshments will be ready in ten minutes.” Aldo bowed but didn’t leave.

Passing his hand through his long, dark chestnut hair, Valentine made a mental note to ask his barber to trim it to shoulder length. “What is it?”

“If I may say something—” His eyes facing the floor, Aldo bowed lower.

“Say it already.” Valentine plaited his mane in a thick braid.

“Your spouse is young and innocent.” Aldo’s voice trailed as he stepped backward, retreating into the safety of the hallway.

“And?” Valentine asked.

One of the mechanical dusters worked its way through the leather-bound tomes resting on the fireplace shelf. Their wrought-iron spindly legs and the black, round bodies always reminded him of the spiders that had once populated the space station. Their constant whirring and humming could be heard throughout Lobo Mansion and had become the sound of home to Valentine. He could spend hours watching their inner clockwork gears rotate, intersecting in a constant loop that created energy.

Stirring Valentine from his thoughts, Aldo continued, “And her life will be short compare to yours—”

“And?” Valentine repeated.

If only Aldo knew how short would be his bride’s life… but that was Valentine’s personal burden to bear.

Everyone on Lupine knew of what being a Fifth Moon’s Wife entailed. It was an unparalleled privilege for the family who raised the bride, and her sacrifice for the greater good of the Brotherhood was widely recognized. Statues would be erected in her honor. Valentine’s mother had her effigies displayed in the Goddess’ Temple, and every day women lit votive candles under the bronze sculpture.

Only a few people knew that his wife wouldn’t survive the year.

“She’s only twenty-five years old—” Aldo paused as if to gather his thoughts. “And she must be scared. You might remember that… when you are alone with her later tonight—” As soon as Aldo finished his halting speech, he left.

Valentine pushed away the chair with more strength than it was necessary, sending the furniture against the opposite wall. He was annoyed by his majordomo’s words because, without knowing the whole extent of it, Aldo had just pushed one of Valentine’s buttons.

Soon after the majordomo left, one of the house servants deposited a light meal onto the breakfast table. The girl kept her eyes low the whole time and retraced her steps out of the bedroom, being careful never to show her back to Valentine.

Still disgruntled, he sat and grabbed a spongy loaf dusted with black sesame seeds. “Bring me more sweetbread.”

The girl nodded and hurried outside, her wooden clogs soon echoing in the hallway. His request was carried out by a second servant.

He had finished his repast when Aldo knocked at the arched entryway. “Doc Balenus is here.”

“Let him in.” Valentine placed the ornate knife on the ceramic plate.

He knew his medicus would visit him before the ceremony, but his most recent appointment was only seven days ago and his health hadn’t changed in the short time passed. Yet, his wedding required a strict protocol to be followed, and even Valentine was to obey the ancient canon of the Brotherhood.

Holding the big leather bag typical of his trade, Balenus entered the bedroom followed by two of his ancillae. The girls carried between them a large bronze vessel that was pearled with dew. Valentine noticed how the chosen nurses seemed to look younger with every visit of the middle-aged medicus. Balenus had a receding hairline and anachronistic paunch. On a planet where gaining weight was difficult, appearing not-athletic was a feat, but his status as Valentine’s medicus clearly gave him social clout.

“Are we ready for the big night?” Balenus asked, voice loud and jovial as always.

“It’s a night like any other.” Valentine didn’t stand but waited for the trio to walk to him.

“Your life is going to change forever, Master Lobo.” The medicus chuckled, then motioned for the ancillae to come closer to Valentine. “Wash him,” he ordered the girls.

Wearing white tunics, the ancillae knelt before Valentine, their heads low, their hands raised high, waiting for him to give them permission to touch him.

“Go ahead.” He relaxed his back against the chair, opening his legs wide to give the girls easy access to his body.

Hesitant hands poured the perfumed water from the vessel into a decorated basin, then the same hands cupped some of the water and dripped it between Valentine’s legs. He suffered through the ceremonial ablution in silence, wishing for the feather light touches to end. But the sooner he gave the medicus his fill of Vital Essence, the sooner he could go through the farce of his wedding night.

When the hands weren’t able to coax the wanted reaction from his body, soft lips took turns on Valentine. Finally, he shuddered his release into a crystal ampule the medicus had promptly produced from his leather bag.

“Excellent.” Balenus raised the flask high, studying its milky content against the amber light from the suspended brazier. “Flawless. As I expected from such a splendid specimen like yourself.” He stored Valentine’s Vital Essence inside a velvet pouch, then nested the pouch on a damask pillow with the Lobo’s insignia—a stylized wolf howling at the moon. “Dress him,” he said to the girls.

Standing, Valentine opened his arms to facilitate the ancillae’s job. The kimono was removed and a high collared, burgundy shirt took its place, followed by black, wide-legged pants with the ceremonial slit on the front. The girls then helped him into a tight-fitting, gilded vest that completed his wedding uniform.

“His hair.” The medicus pointed at Valentine’s mane.

The girls waited for Valentine to sit, then worked dark-violet flower oil through his hair, setting his plait free, only to braid it again, starting from the front and adding thick strands toward the back of his head, creating a big ridged braid.

“Shave him.” Balenus opened his bag and presented the ancillae with a golden razor, shave brush, bowl, and scented soap. The kit would then be cleaned and stored in the Goddess’ Temple alongside the crystal ampule.

Valentine’s clothes would be stored and preserved as well as a memento of the night. He didn’t like all the pomp and ceremony surrounding what would be a procreation ritual, but he could understand the need for it. Far away from Earth, both in years and astral distance, his people clung to the old ways in a desperate attempt not to lose their identities.

Lupine was different from their original planet in so many ways, it was easy after a generation or two to forget what it had meant to walk on grass or swim in the sea. With their obscure rituals and strict laws, the elders made sure to preserve the collective memory of a bygone era. Valentine had never been a religious person and suspected most of tonight’s ceremony was made up by the elders and didn’t resemble its Earth equivalent at all.

Perfumed, anointed with the holy oil, dressed up, freshly shaved, and coiffured, Valentine was ready to do his part as the only remaining descendant of the House of Lobo. He wished he could still shift like his ancestors had done, so he could avoid the spectacle awaiting him.

“Ready?” the medicus asked.

Valentine nodded and followed the trio outside.

The Fifth Moon’s Wolf: First Chapter

The Fifth Moon’s Wolf: Cover Reveal

In the last twenty-five days, I’ve been working nonstop on my newest project, The Fifth Moon’s Wolf, a brand new paranormal series set on a distant planet, several hundreds years from now. It has been an exhilarating month of February, and I’m barely breathing now, but I was able to finish the book, and create the covers and several banners. The house has yet to recover from it, but Spring is here, so I can look outside at the pretty cherry blossoms and forget that I should be cleaning the mess that has accumulated all around me. So, what do you think?

The Fifth Moon's Wolf 800

The Fifth Moon’s Wolf: Cover Reveal