Her mysterious past holds the key to protecting his clan. Between helping teens at an After-School Art Club and trying to publish her granny’s fairy tales, Chantelle’s life still feels somehow unfulfilled. When his father and older brother died, Charles was forced into the role of Alpha. Three years later, he still hasn’t dealt with the loss. Now a rival pack is stirring up trouble in his grandmother’s hometown, and he must investigate. But that is only where the mystery begins. There’s something else going on and it starts with the mysterious and beautiful Chantelle. The secrets of her past and her untrained magical abilities hold the key to the rival pack’s attacks. And when they discover that sorcery is behind the violence against women and children in the territory, they have to trust each other and forge a connection. But is their bond strong enough to protect the pack and fulfil a Fated Mates prophecy, or will they lead the pack, and their love, to ruin?
I had a deep love for Alice in Wonderland (and the Narnia Chronicles) as a child. The idea of a portal to another world--a tunnel or a wardrobe, for example--is appealing to me, still. My series makes a nod to this trope. We don't emerge in a new, secondary world; rather, our heroine encounters her world differently upon travelling to her love interest's home in the mountain forest. (She doesn't call him her love interest yet. They are both still denying the attraction they feel for each other.) Once she finds out he leads a pack of shifters, there will be no turning back--both in romantic terms and in how she experiences the world. Through the mirror she goes!
At the start of my PNR novel, Charles (the Alpha Billionaire male lead) has been working too hard and needs some time off. His family's business is running into obstacles and he's taking it out on everyone. When his brother suggests he visit their grandmother, Charles reluctantly agrees and begins the short journey that will lead him to his heart's desire: Chantelle. She's in danger from the rival clan and the two must work together to figure out why she's being targeted. And, of course, that's when sparks fly. Everybody loves a grumpy hero - don't they? - because he has strong feelings inside. Chantelle is not your typical sunshine heroine, since she's still grieving her granny's death, but she's artsy and fun-loving--a great contrast to Charles's sparse life right now. Charles will lose his grumpiness as he gets to know Chantelle, and he will ease her grief. Get to know these characters by buying my book--out now!
In the last third of this paranormal romance novel, the leading couple has faced a lot of their fears and grown closer, BUT they still have to conquer one more hurdle. In this story, it is the son of the rival pack who is still out for blood. Chantelle and Charles knew him when he was younger and he still harbours resentment toward them about an incident in which they were involved. When Chantelle goes missing on their weekend away, Charles has to find her. But Chantelle will have to use her newfound powers and confidence to help defeat the rival too--the couple must work together in this final confrontation, if they want their HEA.
Writing paranormal romantic suspense allows me to combine the romance storyline with the subplot of a feud with the rival werewolf clan. I really enjoy pulling the threads together like this--especially in high drama scenes like this one. In this scene--at the midpoint of the novel--things fall apart for our hero, Charles. His clan's compound is invaded by the rival pack. He has to leave Chantelle behind and she almost dies. Then we find out that his ex-girlfriend was part of the attack and Chantelle killed her. This was so fun to bring all the threads of loyalty, betrayal and danger together. And then I injected a note of hope along with the gravity of the situation because Chantelle is learning to use her magic powers to protect the clan. She is coming into her own as a leader of her people just as she is finding her role as Charles's mate. It was rewarding to weave these threads together in this scene. I hope you enjoy the excerpt too.
Chantelle and Charles have some rocky times in their courtship. He's an Alpha werewolf, she's a Chosen One--a Mage whose grandmother hid her away and dampened her powers to keep her safe from the bad guys. As their relationship deepens, she has to learn how to use her powers and face her growing leadership role in Charles's clan. Charles, in turn, has to learn to let her take the lead sometimes and show his respect and care for her in more subtle ways. This scene happens after their first big fight. Charles shows up at her house with gifts and pizza for her usual movie night with the girls. He scores some big points with the presents for her friends! They will face bigger challenges, but this scene shows them learning how to negotiate and compromise with each other--keys to a successful relationship.
Many of my stories show women coming into their own, finding magical powers or leadership qualities, and using them to protect their community. In this excerpt, the FMC Chantelle's powers are activated by a statue of St. Patrick--patron saint of werewolves--and she makes a connection with the MMC Charles. This connection will strengthen through the novel. It is not just about their love, but also about her learning about her magical powers and coming into her own as a powerful mage and leader. Together, the two will work to defeat the rival clan and bring peace to their community.
The Laurentian Mountain Clan's territory is northern Quebec, with lots of trees and mountains to give us some fairy tale vibes. They are having a Harvest Moon Fete--harking back to their pagan roots and their connections with the earth and its cycles. This party also echoes the growing romance between Chantelle and Charles. They had their first fight and made up, so it's time to celebrate at the clan compound. Family and clan is everything for these shifters.
Ever since I was a little girl reading fairy tales and C.S. Lewis's Narnia Chronicles, I have loved shifter tales. The idea of transforming one's shape and inhabiting another creature is fascinating. It also is a great theme in stories to show how characters are developing and changing, how they are disguising themselves, and how the outer appearance may reveal or hide the inner nature of someone. In my story, Charles and Chantelle are Fated Mates who are connected not only through the present but also in the past, when they were younger. In addition, they have a connection to each other through the stories Charles's clan tells and the folk tale Chantelle's granny told her. It is larger than the two of them, and they must come to understand their roles and their relationship within these expectations. It is revealed through Charles's use of the words "Caradec" and "Rouanez," Breton words for "beloved" and "queen." Charles knows these words through his cultural memory and the clan magic, and he uses them when he meets Chantelle. In this excerpt, he is still trying to figure it all out, and he asks his grandmother about the stories.
My series relies on the forced proximity trope to push the hero and heroine together. The Alpha Charles is investigating some disappearances and deaths of women in his territory, and he's at Chantelle's house when the police find another body. Chantelle thinks she knows the victim--this makes it personal to her. This death will help bring Chantelle into the shifter world, as it establishes Charles's commitment to getting justice for those who are hurt and killed. The inspiration for the disappearances plot line comes from the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls movement in Canada. Institutional racism and the historic oppression of Indigenous women and girls has led to many deaths and disappearances. In my story these incidents can be traced to sorcerers who masqueraded as priests in New France. These villains are a metaphor for the violence against Indigenous women and girls that has been perpetrated by religious and secular institutions since settlers first came to this continent.
Gwen Hayes says in her Romancing the Beat--the bible for romance authors--that we show the hurt of the main characters in the opening of the story. This wound will be healed by the love relationship they form in the story. Charles--the sexy billionaire werewolf--was easy to set up. He is driven, loyal, and grieving the loss of his father and brother, who died recently and pushed him into the role of Alpha. Add in a toxic relationship in the past and Charles is struggling in his personal life while he has thrown himself into work. I like reading a nice Alpha billionaire as much as the next girl, but sometimes they come on a little strong. Charles is part of the new generation. Eco-conscious, ethical, and community-oriented, he seeks input and struggles to be an effective leader. It will take his personal relationship with Chantelle to help him see the value of collaboration and trust. I hope you enjoy this excerpt! Go to https://www.mimibroseauthor.SheWritesSteamyRomance.com for further information and to sign up for my newsletter.
I wrote a dozen different openings for my billionaire werewolf romance novel, Heart's Ease, coming spring 2022. I wanted to start at the moment when the heroine Chantelle first realized something unusual was happening to her. But she needed to be strong and independent too. Chantelle is an untrained Mage--her story is about coming into her powers and finding a place in the shifter world she’s thrown into. At the beginning she may not be powerful, but she has a strength of character and a drive to help others that comes from her female role models. In this first scene she is being chased by rogue wolves through the woods of the Quebec mountains, where she lives in a little fairy tale village. Her grandmother has died and she is stuck--physically and emotionally. While she realizes this in the forest, she can only keep running away from the immediate danger, and then, into the world of the shifters. The suspenseful tone of the opening sets up the novel's subplot--who are the wolves and why are they targeting Chantelle as well as the Laurentian Mountain Clan? If you want to know the answers, you buy my book now: https://books2read.com/heartsease
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