Supernatural Coffee Sip and Book Break with Wolf Creek by Nikko Lee (excerpt and giveaway)

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Wolf Creek by Nikko Lee
Release Date: September 9, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Prizm Books
Cover Artist: BSClay

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Buy the book:   Torquere Books

Blurb

Being the Silverbane pack’s omega is killing Josh. His plans to escape are foiled when he is blackmailed into finding a new alpha capable of controlling the largest pack in New England before the Amazons cull it. Josh has no clue how he is going to accomplish this task, let alone stay out of the sights of his power-hungry cousin, Bryce, who is convinced he is the pack’s next alpha.

Josh befriends Andrea, an erratic Amazon trainee, who talks to the ghost of her dead mother and has her own agenda when it comes to the wolf pack. When he is rescued by Gavin, a handsome park ranger driven to live in the furthest reaches of civilization, Josh feels a pull toward him that is more than just physical attraction. The three develop a bond that is stronger than friendship and tested at every turn.

With the help of his new family, Josh must find the strength within him to save the Silverbane pack and defeat the evil that threatens to turn them into killers. Only then can he finally be free.

Pages or Words: 87,700 words
Categories: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Excerpt

“I don’t know about this.” Josh waited with Andrea outside the ranger station.
Gavin would be off duty in a few minutes. Andrea’s harebrained scheme was the only plan they had time for. Instead of slowly baiting Gavin into revealing his true nature, they were going to have to shock him into it, but Josh was starting to have doubts.
“What if he isn’t a werewolf?”
Andrea frowned.
“Okay, what if he is and he tries to kill me?”
“I’ll protect you,” Andrea said, but it didn’t give Josh much assurance.
“Have you ever won a fight against a werewolf?”
Andrea tore her shirt at the collar, then unbuttoned her jeans.
“Almost,” she said with a smile.
Josh didn’t have another second to protest. Andrea pulled him against her so suddenly that their lips collided and her teeth cut into his lips. Just as suddenly, she was pushing him away and screaming.
“No!” Andrea fought to get away from him without really letting go of him. She shook him back and forth. “You’re hurting me!”
Then, Josh was being hurled backwards.
“What the fuck is going on?” Gavin shouted.
Josh scrambled to his feet.
“I don’t know,” Andrea said through sobs. Blood smeared her lips and tears drenched her cheeks. “He said he wouldn’t share me, that I was his.”
As ridiculous as it sounded, Gavin looked utterly convinced that Josh had attacked Andrea. Gavin’s chest expanded from more than just heavy breathing. The fabric of his uniform strained against flexing muscles, but it was the wild look in his eyes that worried Josh. Gavin was on the verge of losing control. He actually looked like he could transform.
“Go inside,” Gavin said to Andrea, without taking his eyes off Josh. “I’ll deal with this bastard.”
Josh scrambled backwards as Gavin stalked toward him. The normally good-natured ranger was seething with rage. His soft brown eyes were hard and flinty.
“I told you to stay away from her.” He hauled Josh up by his collar and threw him against a tree.
Josh cowered against the tree trunk and waited for the inevitable beating. Gavin loomed over him, his breathing ragged, but no blows came. He seemed to be struggling within himself, his hands clawing at the tree bark and his eyes shut. Josh could see him regaining control over his anger. If he didn’t act soon, Gavin would calm himself enough that Josh would never know if he could save the pack.
“She’s mine,” Josh said. It was a timid challenge, but a challenge nonetheless. “I saw her first. I’m not going to give her up without a fight.”
He stripped off his shirt and tried to remember how Silverbane looked just before he transformed. At a foot shorter and fifty pounds lighter, Josh wouldn’t have been surprised if Gavin laughed at him. But Gavin was lost to his anger, taking off his shirt and backing away, ready to fight.
“Come on,” he said, and motioned for Josh to attack him. “Let’s settle this.”
The air was electric on Josh’s skin. He could feel the gravel shift under his feet. He smelled the forest behind him and the testosterone of the menacing male in front of him. For the first time in his life, he was going to have to fight to save those he cared about. Even if it meant getting hurt or dying, Josh had to bring out Gavin’s beast and test him as Elaine would.
He took a swing at Gavin, but Gavin had already moved to the side. A crushing pain in Josh’s ribs was followed by a blow that knocked him from his feet, and he scrambled to put space between them. There was no doubt that Gavin could best him in a fist fight. The only other person Josh had ever taken a swing at was Andrea, and she had dealt with him like he was no more than a child throwing a temper tantrum.
If he was going to challenge Gavin, Josh had to transform. He felt close to it. His muscles ached to expand. Inside his body, he felt the howl of the beast that cried to be set free but refused to break the invisible pack bond that held it in check. The full moon was so close. Even Elaine and Bryce looked ready to heed its call earlier. Why couldn’t Josh?
Gavin attacked, but it was Josh’s turn to evade. He might not be a fighter, but he was an expert in avoiding getting hurt. The more he evaded Gavin, the angrier Gavin got. His body was beginning the transformation. The seams of his pants split and the leather of his boots creaked under the force of expanding feet.
“Fight me.” Gavin’s voice was little more than a barely intelligible grunt. “Fight.”
As close as he was to transforming, something was holding him back. Maybe he didn’t have control over it.
Josh had seen teenage pack members experience their first transformations without a command from Silverbane. It was a struggle that could last hours. His own first time had come at Silverbane’s command. He’d been fourteen, older than most werewolves who transformed when they reached puberty, and even after he’d taken wolf form, he had cowered until Silverbane released him.
Gavin’s swings were faster and harder, but less coordinated. It was getting harder for Josh to predict where they’d come from and how to avoid them. Josh had only transformed a handful of times under Silverbane’s command. Now that his alpha was gone, he had to find out if Gavin was his new alpha.
“You want me to fight?” Josh said stepping out of the way of a wild haymaker.
“Yes, fight me now.”
The pull from Gavin was undeniable. Josh realized then that there was nothing he could refuse Gavin; not because he was infatuated with him, but because Gavin was his alpha. Josh would do whatever it took to satisfy him. Right now that meant having the strength to give him the fight he needed.

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About the Author

Meet Nikko Lee:

The author is a scientific curator who enjoys writing genre fiction from erotica to horror under the pen name Nikko Lee. Born in Canada, she moved to Maine after completing a PhD in Zoology and her post-doctoral training. She resides near Bar Harbor with her husband, daughter, two cats and malamute. The author blogs about hiking, writing and science at http://www.nikkolee.com.

Where to find Nikko Lee:
Facebook: 88nikkolee88
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: @NikkoLee88
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nikko_lee88/


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Havan Fellows, Bayou Book Junkie, Decadent Delights, My Fiction Nook, MM Good Book Reviews, The Jena Wade, BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads, SA McAuley, Mikky’s World of Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Three Books Over The Rainbow, V’s Reads, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Redz World, Nephylim, Happily Ever Chapter, The Hat Party

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of the book.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by Pride Promotions and the author.
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WillPride

Review of Hawaiian Gothic by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane

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Rating: 4. 5 stars

Gregorio “Ori” Reyes has just arrived home in Hawaii after doing time in Leavenworth and given a dishonorable discharge from the Army for his crime.  In disgrace with his military oriented family and with dwindling funds in his pocket, Ori has come home for only one reason.  Kalani, his boyhood friend, the reason he joined the Army and the only man he has ever loved.  Thoughts of Kalani were his constant companions in Iraq and his images haunted Ori’s nights in Leavenworth.  Everywhere Ori looks Kalani appears, which is crazy.  Because Kalani is lying comatose in a hospital bed on Honolulu.  Kalani had been attacked by a gang of men and left for dead while Ori had been in prison.  And now feeling guilty and grief stricken, Ori has returned to Kalani too late to tell him how much he loves him.  Or so Ori thinks.

After one of his visits to Kalani’s bedside, Ori’s visit to a gay bar ends with him taking a guy home.  As things heat up, a loud noise stops the proceedings and Kalani appears.  Or actually Kalani’s spirit appears although he feels so very real to Ori.  While his broken body remains in the hospital, Kalani visits Ori, the man Kalani has loved even if he wasn’t ready to accept that it was romantic love.  Unsure why Kalani is able to physically appear to Ori, neither man wants to question the miracle until Kalani starts getting attacked in the spirit world.  Together Ori and Kalani must explore the secrets of Kalani’s past and venture forward into Hawaii’s ghost world to set Kalani free, either to return to his body or join his ancestors in the clouds.  Something must be done quickly or Kalani will be condemned to everlasting pain in between.

Hawaiian Gothic is an remarkable story.  From the start, authors Belleau and Vane submerge us in the Hawaiian culture beginning with the language of the islands flowing throughout the dialog.  It mingles effortlessly as one would expect from a local speaker. Belleau and Vane actually created an Hawaiian Gothic glossary of Native Hawaiian and Hawaiian pidgin terms used in the story.  It can be found here. And there’s the locations. The Hawaiian settings are so authentically rendered that I would think that the authors are natives themselves, right down to hidden beaches and non-touristy sites.  I almost felt like I had to wipe the sand off my feet at times so complete was my immersion in the islands.

The next outstanding elements in the book are the Hawaiian creationist myths and beliefs that swirled and rolled like the waves of the ocean around all the characters of the story, especially the main ones of Ori and Kalani.  Here the Hawaiian myths rise up and become real, able to rip one apart like the flashing teeth of a shark or the mandibles of a caterpillar or sooth like the lomilomi.  Before I started this book I was only familiar with one of the Hawaiian creation myths.  By the end, I was seeking out more resources so fantastic, so addictive did the Hawaiian gods and stories become.  Great job by the authors in seamlessly fusing mythic and contemporary worlds so that both stood on equal footing with the reader as far as realism and tone. The authors almost did too good a job with their descriptions so frightening were the keuwas, Hawaiian dead hungry souls, that the very thought of them lingered on into my nightmares that night.

Belleau and Vane give us great characters to inhabit a great story.  Ori is especially believable.  He is a former Army Ranger and MMA fighter (that’s mixed martial arts for those of you unfamiliar with the MMA) who has completed two tours of duty in Iraq.  He is a victim of PTSD, ashamed of his discharge, isolated from his family. He feels he has little future and helpless, especially with Kalani comotose.  He hid his love for Kalani and ran from him rather than force Kalani to face it for what it was -romantic love. It was so easy to empathize with Ori and I became invested in his character early on. Kalani is a little more of a mystery as the book starts and then the reader becomes more familiar with him as Ori’s memories of their shared past surface and you come to love him as much as Ori does.  All the secondary characters are as fully realized as Ori and Kalani, giving the story the depth it needs with all its complicated layers of flashbacks, memories and spirit worlds.

So why not give this story 5 stars?  Well, it certainly came close and I am still debating the rating even now.  But I am still quibbling over two things.  One concern is an m/f/m element here that was required for the exposition of a plot point. But for me its extended narrative went on too long and removed us from the main storyline unnecessarily. Plus I know that for some readers any m/m/f or combination thereof is not something they want to see in their m/m fiction. And usually I would agree with them.  But I absolutely understood its inclusion by the authors here.  My second quibble involves the numerous flashbacks used by the authors to highlight certain elements of their story.  Did it work well in most instances? Yes.  Most of the time it was a satisfactory method to better understand the main characters pov and history.  But then its continued use and varied time frames (1988, 2004, 2010, 2009, etc) started to become a little irritating and less effective, distracting rather than contributing to a captivating and addictive storyline.  And trust me, this is such a great story that nothing should ever divert the reader away from  the saga at hand.

So pick up Hawaiian Gothic and visit the islands. Whether you be Malahini or Kama’aina, this story will have you ohana in no time.  Make no mistake Hawaiian Gothic is da kine or the best in every way.  Aloha!

Cover.  I love this cover by artist April Martinez.  Its beautiful from its model to Hawaiian cloth.  Perfect for the story.