Chris T. Kat on Reading Influences, Writing, and her new release ‘Alpha Unit One, New York’ (excerpt)

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Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Cate Ashwood

Sales Links:      Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Chris T. Kat here today talking about her reading influences and writing. Welcome, Chris.

♦︎

 

How my choice of teenage reading carried into my own writing

Thanks so much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me on their blog. Dreamspinner Press published my new shapeshifter novella, Alpha Unit One, New York, on July 27th.

I’ve always preferred to read suspense books. During my childhood, these books were classified as adventure books, like The Famous Five. During my teenage years, I discovered the horror / supernatural genre, which was en vogue at that time. So I started reading Stephen King, Dean Koontz, etc. To this day, I still read pretty much every book written by Dean Koontz because I simply adore his writing.

For a while, I read a lot of thrillers—either “normal” thrillers, medical thrillers or supernatural thrillers. It didn’t really matter as long as the book was suspenseful. I’m the same with movies—I love action movies the most. 😉

Then there came the time when I became a mother. Suddenly my choice of books started to change. The suspense books became too much, especially when something bad happened to the children characters in the book. After some searching and finally discovering the m/m genre, I found my new perfect reading experience. While I still prefer suspense books, I also want to have the romance.

As for my own writing, I started as a fan fiction writer in the House MD fandom and believed that only romance stories would do. Soon enough I realized that yes, writing romance is fine, but something was missing. So I dipped into the supernatural and suspense world and that was it. I prefer writing stories with a romantic part but I love writing action scenes. When, for example, I wrote Breeding Stations, which is a science fiction story, I had the most fun to that day in my writing career. In Alpha Unit One, New York, I was able to merge romance, suspense, and cuteness into one single story and had a blast writing. I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

Blurb:

The cat’s out of the bag….

In a world that accepts shifters as normal and thinks nothing of human/shifter couples, baby shifters and small shifters are treated as subpar. They are not allowed into the more dangerous professions, and their mates have legal control over what they can and cannot do.

Nicholas Reed is about to challenge the established rules. At twenty-eight, Nick has just been accepted into New York’s Alpha Unit One—an elite law enforcement team, composed equally of humans and shifters, that specializes in drug crimes. It is Nick’s dream job. But if they find out what he’s hiding, his career could be destroyed.

Enter a huge complication in the form of Sam Black, an older lion shifter who is the leader of the unit… and Nick’s mate. Nick wants Sam, and he wants to keep his job, but he can’t have them both. He also can’t choose between them.

Excerpt from Chapter One:

Annoyed at my jumbled thoughts and ramblings, I tried to push everything aside and knocked at the door. A deep rumble called out, “Come in!”

For a second, my bravado faltered. What if they found out who I really was? All my hard work would be for nothing, then. No matter how good I was at my job, they’d kick me out before I could utter a single word. Guys like me weren’t supposed to become cops.

I pushed the door handle and walked inside, catching glimpses of a handful of people—mostly large people. That’s how it always was. Everyone had to be taller, bigger, meaner than me. It was like a law or something.

Oh boy, and there I went again with the rambling.

Seven pairs of eyes stared at me, waiting, assessing. After clearing my throat, I gave a small wave with the hand that still clutched the envelope.

“Hi,” I said. My voice came out soft and tentative. Screw that!

Putting more strength into my tone, I tried again. “I’m Nicholas Reed, your new colleague. I’m looking for Sam Black.”

A guy with short black hair, tinged with a few silver strands at his temples, unfolded from a chair. My nose informed me this was the guy who’d jostled me only a minute or so earlier.

Fuck, fuck, fuck! My boss was a lion shifter.

Okay, I could still do this. No stepping back, even though my inner voice screamed at me to leg it. How could I be so stupid as to want to associate with one of his kind?

Black strode toward me—or maybe I should say he swaggered—oozing self-confidence and… intoxicating pheromones. He smiled as he stretched out his hand. For a second, I got lost in his hazel eyes. All my defenses lowered at once. I wanted to rub my cheek against his in the worst way while my inner voice shrieked, filled with too many emotions for me to accurately compute.

I blinked, which effectively cleared my head. Bastard!

I knew what he was doing. He was checking to see if I’d fall for his pheromones and react so he could determine whether I was a shifter instead of a human. I ignored his hand, still held out there waiting for the obligatory shake, and sneered. “What? No conviction in the system?”

He dropped his hand and scowled. “Last guy who reeked of cologne as much as you do was no human. He fooled everyone, and he put the team in jeopardy.”

“So the guy was a shifter. What’s your problem with that?”

“Guy was a goddamn sheep, that’s my problem. First sign of trouble, he ran.” My new boss frowned suddenly. “How’d you pick up on what I was doing?”

Shit. That tiny inner voice yelled something unintelligible at me, but I’ve had years of practice ignoring it. “You sniffed the air, and let me tell you, it wasn’t subtle.”

A lanky man on my right threw a ballpoint pen onto his desk, laughing. “He’s got you there, Sam. Regarding your question about the shifter—that’s just how we roll here, kid. We don’t work with sheep or small shifters. They’re not dependable.”

“Then it’s your lucky day, since I’m simply human,” I stated, wishing I’d stop sweating so much.

Black circled me before his meaty hand landed on my neck. I stood stock-still as he swept my hair aside and whispered, “Then you won’t have a problem with me taking a whiff, right? You know, just to make sure you’re not another one of those lying idiots who could cost my team their lives.”

“Does that mean you’ve had trouble with imposters regularly?” I asked, curious even as a shiver crept down my spine. A huge beast sniffing at me tended to put the fear of God into me.

“Everyone wants to get on this team, but only a few are a good fit,” Black purred. “You’re sweating. Are you scared of what I’m going to find out, and what I’m going to do with you then?”

I had a pretty good idea what he’d do with me if he found out. “You’re sniffing at my neck, dude. Either you want to fuck me or bite me. Neither option sounds incredibly appealing.”

Chris T. Kat

Chris T. Kat stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between teaching, taking care of her family, reading, and sometimes writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as romance, paranormal, and suspense. She also buys way too many fabrics and spends a ridiculous amount of time behind her sewing machine.

Links:

blog: http://christikat.blogspot.com

e-mail: christi_kat25@yahoo.com

A VVivacious Release Day Review: Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Nicholas ‘Nick’ Reed has just been accepted into New York’s Alpha Unit One and he is more than nervous on his first day because there is a truth that Nicholas must hide in order to be considered an equal in his unit. But, when he realises that his unit leader is also his mate, things just get a whole lot more compliacted than they already were.

This book just flew by. I started reading it and then I was finished, with no stops in between. I just enjoyed the book so much; it was exactly what I wanted. There were some really exciting elements in this story that made it irresistible.

Firstly, I loved the world that Chris T. Kat has created in this book. I would have loved to spend more time in it. This was one of the first books in which when I finished it, I was like, wasn’t this supposed to be a novel, not realising that I had just thundered past 150+ pages just because of how much I loved reading this one. I especially liked the concept of baby shifters in this book. It was so adorable. In this book, all sorts of shifters exist from rats, owls and meerkats to jaguars, tigers and wolves, but there are some shifters that though themselves adult shift into an animal counterpart that is still a baby, so instead of shifting into an adult, say, lion they shift into a lion cub. This was such a novel concept and I loved how the author imagined the mentality of a baby shifter, not to mention the fact that the baby shifters were just adorable.

Secondly, God, I loved Nicholas. I found him a little lippy initially but when I realised that he was just overcompensating for his nervousness at being placed at an alpha unit, I could sympathize. But, I really fell in love with Tiny, Nicholas’ shifted self, who was just so cute and I loved the traits that Tiny had which Nick as an adult didn’t, especially how active he was with his thoughts just jumping from one subject to the other. Also, I can’t get over how adorable he was. The image of Tiny asleep on top of a lion who is afraid to move so he doesn’t wake up his mate is like seared into my brain, it was sooo cute.

Thirdly, I really liked Sam and Nick’s relationship. I loved how Sam had to fight his prejudices and overcome them because he realised the fault in them and how hard it was for him to go against things and opinions that had been ingrained into his brain since he was a kid. Sam struggled, made the wrong decisions but when push came to shove he managed to make the right choice which is something I loved about him. He was there for Nicholas. Also, I loved how their relationship was still growing, like the author recognised that they didn’t know each other as well as mates ought to, and they continued to grow as a couple even after their mating. I would love to read more about these two.

Fourthly, I loved the entire alpha unit one team. They were all amazing people. I wanted to know Roland’s story from the moment we were introduced to him. I loved Annie and Jake and really appreciated how strong they were together as a couple and how in sync and how accepting of each other. The only spanner in the works was Connor, I really don’t feel like we have worked out everything he did wrong and neither do I think he can be forgiven so easily especially considering the fact that their unit specializes in drug crimes and here was one member of their very team complicit in the use of illicit substances. Also, Jesse’s hurt at the dilemma of Connor’s smell really stung and I really feel like the entire issue wasn’t properly addressed. But, I still believe this is a minor glitch considering that this is Nick and Sam’s book and they would always be the focus and things had been settled between Jesse and Connor, just off page, so there is no way to truly knowing how the issue was ultimately handled.

In the end, all I would like to say is, I loved this one so much that I froze when I discovered the book had ended because I wanted so much more of Nick and Sam. I truly loved them and their story.

Cover Art by Cate Ashwood. Can we just talk about that cover for a moment? It is amazing. This was a cover I really wanted to hold in my hands. It is incredibly fabulous and modern-looking. I don’t know why but the cover gives me a very technologically advanced feel and don’t even get me started on that leopard cub…

Sales Links:      Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 161 pages

Publication Date July 27th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781640805132

Edition Language English

A Stella Release Day Review: Alpha Unit One, New York by Chris T. Kat

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

The cat’s out of the bag….

In a world that accepts shifters as normal and thinks nothing of human/shifter couples, baby shifters and small shifters are treated as subpar. They are not allowed into the more dangerous professions, and their mates have legal control over what they can and cannot do.

Nicholas Reed is about to challenge the established rules. At twenty-eight, Nick has just been accepted into New York’s Alpha Unit One—an elite law enforcement team, composed equally of humans and shifters, that specializes in drug crimes. It is Nick’s dream job. But if they find out what he’s hiding, his career could be destroyed.

Enter a huge complication in the form of Sam Black, an older lion shifter who is the leader of the unit… and Nick’s mate. Nick wants Sam, and he wants to keep his job, but he can’t have them both. He also can’t choose between them.

I can confess I was over the moon when I saw Chris T. Kat had a new book coming out soon, I’m a huge fan of her works and was very sad when she decided to take some time off from writing. This new release was a fabulous surprise.

I read Alpha Unit One, New York in one night, I devoured it, I fell into the novellas from the start. The writing was so good, I was caught into the plot and couldn’t put down the kindle for a minute. Nothing new to me, this has happened every time I read this author books.

I adored Nick and Sam story, I soon felt the connection between them, the chemistry was so clear and strong it was unevitable for them to act on it, even if it seemed some circustances were agaist their union. But they are mates and this can’t be fought. Altough I liked them both, I particularly cared for Nick, he was cute and funny, his worries about being where he actually couldn’t be,  made me cringe and sometimes laugh too. I liked how he easily found new friends among his new colleagues, some of them had more than one secret in common.

This is the kind of paranormal books I love to read, I am a sucker for the destined mates thrope, but I need something more too and here the author developed a new world that it felt me very realistic. Plus a solid plot with interesting second characters and couples I would so hope to have their stories in the next future; there is action, and then sex, sweetnesses, friendships.

I simply loved  Alpha Unit One, New York and I already reread it, so of course I feel to recommend it.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is lovely, well done and fitting in every detail.

SALE LINKS       Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 161 pages

Publication Date July 27th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781640805132

Edition Language English