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Unnatural Allies (Shifting Alliances #2) by Shari Elder

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m very excited to share Unnatural Allies, Book Two in the paranormal romance series, Shifting Alliances. Although part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Unnatural AlliesBlurb

A World in Transition

Violent fae encroachment on shifter land is heating up. With death tolls rising, the impossible becomes necessary – an alliance among predator and prey shifters.

An Inconceivable Love

Nicca Baron, lone wolf and wolf clan beta, finds herself under the command of Evan Grant, the rat alpha.  In different circumstances, he’d be dinner. Or so her wolf keeps reminding her.  Evan proves to be a perceptive leader, a skilled fighter and irresistible to her lonely heart.

To rule the rats, you have to rule the pack. Evan is a whiz at managing people and groups. Until he finds himself leading a mission made up of every single large animal that thrives on rat flesh. And not the kind between his legs.  The only bright light is Nicca. Her storm gray eyes miss nothing, her brilliant mind comprehends everything and her succulent curves offer the perfect place for a rat to nestle.

An Impossible Future

In each other’s arms, Nicca and Evan discover love and a new perspective in an off-kilter world. But a wolf cannot mate with a rat, no matter the strength of the human attraction.

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2p1mxx7

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2qtqkF4

Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/unnatural-allies-by-shari-elder/

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/unnatural-allies-mf

*****

Excerpt

Evan had never seen Nicca look frightened before. Those silver eyes expanded into saucers, and they were still beautiful. He wanted to wrap her in his arms, just hold her close as they both tried to process a world spinning out of control. Even his rat wanted to comfort her.

She was getting under skin and fur.

The last leaves hung limp on the branches, resisting winter’s pull. Away from the sidhe, the air had warmed, although the sky retained a grayish winter hue. Shifter bodies held heat, keeping them comfortable in the most brutal frost. Evan burned hot from continuous movement, the too frequent adrenaline spikes, and Nicca’s nearness. Everything about her fit, like she was made for him. That agile mind, open-mindedness, those lush curves. Hell, she even spouted poetry. He yearned to put a sign around her neck—no trespassing, this woman belongs to Evan Grant.

Except for that whole wolf thing…

“Why don’t we find a comfortable place to set up camp near Fairy Falls and call it a day?” he said to get his mind back to practical things, not wishing for something he couldn’t have. He told himself he selected the location as part of the mission. All species declared the pristine, wild falls a safe zone, so they wouldn’t need the wolves or eagles to stand guard. The fact that it was the number one rated site for shifter romances had nothing to do with the selection. Nothing at all.

No one would ever accuse Nicca of talking too much, but she was withdrawn even for her on the hike to the Falls. “Any suggestions on places to sleep?” he asked when her silence got too loud for him.

“I’ve, uh, never really been here,” she whispered, looking at the ground. “Just run by it on patrols sometimes.”

“And that makes you sad?” He itched to run his hand down her cheek.

“This mission makes me sad.” Her gaze stayed lowered as she walked.

His rat senses perceived a deep despondency wrapped around her like a black aura.

“This mission makes you angry, anxious, and confused. Not sad.”

“Who are you to correct my assessment of my emotional state?” She gave him a half-hearted snarl. He figured he’d hit an open, raw nerve.

“I lead this mission, and I will not have you fall apart on me. Right now, you are not okay.” He opened his arm, aping Rafe’s earlier action, inviting her to him to take comfort. “Let me help.” Let me touch you.

She visibly shook herself, ignoring his outstretched limb. “You’re right. I need space. Let me run as wolf.”

He dropped his hand, then nodded to cover the ripping sound his heart was making. “Stay close,” he said over the lump of disappointment lodged in his throat. “Give me your backpack, and I’ll find a place to sleep. Meet me at the falls when you’re done.”

Relief brightened her eyes. Once shifted, she brushed against his leg, then licked at his hand dangling by his side. He ran his fingers through her thick, gray fur touched with black and silver as she trotted off. “Grab some happy, Nicca,” he said into the air, as she raced out of sight.  Come back to me. Accept me.

Alone, he hummed as he walked toward the falls. The low tune soothed his skittish rat, who hated being alone and wasn’t too fond of the woods. Rats felt secure in the pack. The human in him appreciated the red gold of the sunset streaking across the powder blue of the sky, weaving in and out of spiky, hunter green firs that ate up the landscape. Beauty truly did soothe an aching heart. The whirr of winter birds, a chorus to his ears, unnerved the rat. He picked up his pace, following the smell of ice and the roar of the falling water.

When he arrived at the falls, he saw Nicca standing at the edge of the descending water, running her fingers through the stream. That sadness he’d sensed earlier scented the air and dulled those unique gray eyes. Following a powerful intuition, he approached quietly, staying upwind so she wouldn’t notice until he stood directly behind her. She may have rejected his offer of support earlier, but he was determined to try again. His way.

She turned to face him, and tilted her head up to meet his gaze. He pushed behind one ear a lock of hair that was draped along her cheek. The tresses felt like silk, the skin velvet against his fingertips.

“Evan?”

He leaned over, touching lips to lips ever so gently. Giving comfort. Sneaking a taste. Exploring what might be. She pressed back, her mouth opening slightly beneath his. He sank into cherry and cinnamon, shyness and heat. She didn’t require a friend; she needed a lover. He desperately wanted to be that man.

He pulled back, falling hard for the blush staining her cheeks a bright pink.

“Follow me,” he said, taking her hand, and led her to the camping spot he noticed along the way.

To love a wolf.

*****

About Shari

Hello, I’m Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, get my kid off to school, hop on the metro, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.

At night, the other Shari emerges.  I take off the suit, curl up on the couch and let my imagination play, with words and images until stories take shape (while periodically checking on my teen-ager, hiding out in the bedroom and plotting world domination with her furry minions).  As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.

In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can’t resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one. That gives me immense satisfaction.

Join me on my journey. The best ideas emerge from team work.

Hang out with Shari on the Web

Website           http://sharielder.com

Facebook         www.facebook.com/ShariElderStories/

Twitter            http://www.twitter.com/ShariElderBooks

Pinterest          http://www.pinterest.com/ShariEldeBooks

Goodreads      http://www.goodreads.com/ShariElder

Shari Elder (@ShariElderBooks) Stops by to Talk Villains!

race-to-redemption-evernightpublishing-nov2016-ereader-lrg

Menage a Villain

I love a good villain, don’t you?

But they can be so hard to find! The best villains don’t see themselves as villains and it is this moral blind spot that enables their evil. Their ability to nuance their ethics – make their actions understandable, even sympathetic, is what makes them so downright scary. Like lovers, villains make our hero and/or heroine a better person by forcing them to confront and overcome their weaknesses, while surviving in the face of endless challenges.

Looking at the villains I can’t forget, I see a set of common characteristics:

  • They are on a mission, even if we don’t agree with it.
  • They often lead a pack. Their ability to motivate their people, care for them even if that care is twisted, reveals that nuanced reality.
  • Their words, mannerisms, looks, intellect, all would be drop dead sexy if their bad wasn’t so truly bad.

My two hands down favorites are Hans Gruber, excellently depicted by Alan Rickman, in the film Die Hard and John Harrison/Khan, played to perfection by Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek into Darkness.

Hans Gruber glides off the elevator in a custom-tailored, Savile Row suit, followed by a horde of to-die-for bad boys in tight black t-shirts to execute the ultimate burglary. Within minutes on the screen, he had me at, “I could talk about men’s fashion and industrialization all day but I’m afraid work must intrude.” He is clever, quick, charming and a total snake.

Cumberbatch’s Khan is convinced of the rightness of his superiority.  As ruthless as he is, he had my heart clenching in my chest when he admitted his commitment to his crew. Remember this line? “My crew is my family, Kirk. Is there anything you would not do for your family?”

A family man, but also a cold-blooded ruthless psychopath. Who didn’t shiver when he said to Spock, “I will target your life support systems located behind the aft nacelle. And after every single person aboard your ship suffocates, I will walk over your cold corpses to recover my people.”

Gotta love him. So, when I write villains these are my role models, what I aspire to create.

In my latest release, Race to Redemption, my goal is to build an equally nuanced villain. Tij Pardahl is an alien species, which is gender neutral at rest, but shifts into male or female during sex. They socially organize in threesomes. I show Tij’s complexity through the love scenes—nurturing protectiveness yet with ruthless chill. I actually hadn’t planned to do it that way, but Tij insisted.  Characters do want their own way.

Who are your favorite villains?

*****

Race to RedemptionRace to Redemption Blurb

A woman who lost everything.

Intergalactic storm racing champion Elaina Carteret had it all – fame, wealth, men – until a horrific accident took it away. To get it back, she agrees to pose as Lainie Carter, medical transport pilot and corporate spy. Her risk-taking attitude infuriates Dr. Erik Johansen, who runs the outpost with an iron hand, a permanent scowl and the tightest bod on the planet.

A man desperate for redemption.

Unable to forgive himself for a past tragedy, Erik works himself into an early grave. He has no patience for the insubordinate Lainie Carter, who can’t take an order, disrupts routine and flames his body to ash.

A planet at risk.

When the outpost is attached, they’re thrown together in a race across the desert to stop a deadly biogenetic weapon As a fragile trust blossoms between two damaged hearts, their pasts resurface and threaten their growing bond.

Be warned:  anal sex, bondage, menage sex, gender neutral characters.

Buy Links

Evernight Publishing | Amazon UK | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

*****

About Shari Elder

Hello, I’m Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, get my kid off to school, hop on the metro, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.

At night, the other Shari emerges.  I take off the suit, curl up on the couch and let my imagination play, with words and images until stories take shape (while periodically checking on my teen-ager, hiding out in the bedroom and plotting world domination).  As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.

In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can’t resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one. That gives me immense satisfaction.

Join me on my journey. The best ideas emerge from team work.

Find Shari

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/Shari-Elder-Stories

Twitter:           @ShariElderBooks

Web/Blog:       www.sharielder.com

Pinterest:         https://www.pinterest.com/ShariElderBooks/

***

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