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While Ryker’s body came back from Afghanistan just fine, his mind didn’t, and his thoughts wander back there in painful flashbacks that have present-time consequences. In order to avoid hurting anyone, Ryker secludes himself in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Then Officer Chess Medcull shows up with a case of were-animals being tortured and killed in a way similar to how Ryker almost died in the war. In order to stop the murders, Ryker must face the demons in his head, and maybe, just maybe, allow Chess to help. That is, as long as neither is the next victim.



Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 04/12/2021

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 22100

Genre: Pararnormal, LGBTQIA+, PTSD/post-traumatic stress, hurt/comfort, retired military, recluse, law enforcement, were-animals, werewolves, mental health, soulmates

Goodreads Link



NineStar Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/wounded-alpha/

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/u/bORykK


excerpt

Ryker’s back wasn’t burning any longer, which brought both relief and terror. He healed quickly, even for a werewolf, and the stinging, sharp pain of the blood and bruising of the whip were definitely something he wanted to end as fast as possible. Except, his captors had some sort of sixth sense for when he had healed enough for the pain to fade, and that was when they returned.


He wasn’t healing as quickly now as in those first few days. His body was emaciated from what must have been a month or two of very little food and almost constant abuse. Ryker’s clothing was completely shredded, the desert camo print more rags than anything resembling his Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform. The jacket had been taken on day one by his captors, and his white undershirt hadn’t survived the first whipping. The pants had gotten bloodstained immediately, but the shredding hadn’t started until they decided to find out what happened to his healing ability if they stabbed him a couple of times. Those initial rips had spread until only the barest strips of fabric covered his long legs.


And then there was his right wrist. The inch-thick silver band was tight around his wrist and held in place by a heavy padlock that none of his attempts had broken. Werewolf strength would have broken an ordinary lock, but this massive one combined with the immediate effects of silver poisoning kept him trapped. The skin around Ryker’s wrist had bubbled and blistered underneath the touch of silver. His head ached constantly as the silver slowly poisoned his blood, and every time he bled a little more under the hands of his captors, the silver’s fangs dug a little deeper.


A rasping sound came from outside the narrow door that was the only way to get in and out of the small, dirty room. Ryker managed to suppress a whimper of fear, certain that any moment the lock would scrape and his grinning captors would stalk in with some new torture planned.


Except, he suddenly heard yelling, and that was definitely the booming pop of gunfire. He didn’t dare get up to see; this could easily be some new form of torture they had thought up to torment him. The dragging scrape of the lock sounded a moment later, and Ryker was glad he had remained huddled in his corner where they would have to drag him out into the open to get a good chance at him. But it wasn’t one of his captors.


The clean-shaven face and bright eyes were foreign to Afghanistan, and the white smile spoke of access to decent healthcare. That, plus the uniform, told Ryker he was saved.


“Hey,” the soldier said cheerily.


“Hey!”


Ryker blinked, and suddenly he was standing in bright afternoon sunlight, a man wearing a business suit running toward him. The musty, sewage smell of his dark cell faded, replaced with car exhaust and a floral-scented summer breeze.


“Let him go, man!” said the suited man.


Ryker blinked again, and his eyes followed the length of his left arm, down to the wrist and the fingers he had clamped around the throat of a stranger.


The stranger was choking and spluttering, his fingers scrabbling at Ryker’s sleeve and his dark-brown eyes bugging out as his face turned purple. Ryker immediately let go, stepping back from the stranger. This time he knew what had set him off. The stranger had been walking behind him, and his shoe had scraped on the concrete. A sound so similar to that damned cell lock opening and suddenly Ryker was gone.


He couldn’t keep doing this. Ryker looked at the man crumpled on the ground, gasping for air, and knew he had to find another answer. Any time he went out into a crowd, even one as small as the sidewalk in front of the grocery store, was one too many for him.


The stranger wasn’t injured, just scared, so Ryker bent to pick up the plastic bag of groceries he had dropped.


“Sorry,” he said softly before hurrying off. If he made it back to his apartment without having another episode, he would reevaluate his circumstances. He needed to find somewhere he wouldn’t be a threat to anyone else around him, and that meant leaving the city.


Ryker didn’t have a choice.


Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Card!

Rafflecopter Direct Link



the Author

When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.


Author Links

Website: http://melleightfiction.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MellEightFiction/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MellEight





Two hearts bound together, suddenly torn apart.

Dragon King, 3

When Egan disappears, Prince Raiden will stop at nothing to find him. With his closest friends and an unexpected acquaintance, he leaves the Sixth Realm behind to track down the man he loves. What he sees along the way will stay with him forever.

Egan finds himself face to face with the man who has haunted his dreams since he was a child, only now he brings new nightmares. Egan's not the only one suffering at the monster's hand; there are others- others like him. He vows to do whatever he can to stop the monster and protect those around him.

Egan holds on to the hope that the love and connection he has with Raiden will reunite them once again.





Universal Link

Add on Goodreads



Excerpt

I don’t know how long I sat with my arms wrapped around my knees, and my father’s arms around me as I rocked and sobbed. My father, King Rodick, held me, Prince Raiden, heir to the throne, victor in battle, as tears flowed endlessly. I couldn’t form the words to explain what happened, or even why I knew something had happened. Still, my father held me and stayed with me. He whispered reassurances that we would find Egan.


I had a vague recollection of yelling Egan’s name, which had brought both him and my brother, Kairn, into my room. I kept rubbing the tender scar over my heart that had been made as part of the ritual that bound myself to Egan. I screamed his name inside of my mind as well as out loud. Worry and fear filled Kairn’s face as he watched me break apart.


Everything was fine one minute, then the next, he was gone. I thought about the pain that I had felt in my back and shoulders; it was his pain. What happened to him? Where did he go?


The connection was still there, it was faint, but it was there. Egan was still alive, he had to be. The relief that he was alive was short-lived as I wondered what had caused his pain and what kind of state he was in. Egan, the man I loved, he was my everything and I couldn’t handle the thought of something happening to him.


“Raiden, my boy, tell me what’s happened.” He had been asking me for a while, but now that I was spent from the sobs and the terror, his pained words finally reached through the fog. I sniffed and breathed in deeply, trying to collect myself.


“I...I don’t know exactly.” My voice was hoarse and the words croaked out of me. I kept rubbing the scar above my heart. I could feel my father watching the movement, I hadn’t told him about the bonding, there was no way he could understand why I felt the loss of Egan’s presence bone-deep.


“How do you know something happened?” His words were soft and calm, I knew he was trying to keep me level, to keep me from falling over the edge again.


“We...we’re connected, Egan and I.” I tugged the collar of my shirt down to show the still red, puckered scar from where Egan had sliced my skin open with a talon.



Dragon King

Of Heart and Wings, Bound in Fire, Talons of Love, Breaking the Chains

check out the series


the Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Talons Of Love, Debbie is giving away some awesome prizes:

  • Signed Paperbacks of the Dragon King Series: Of Heart and Wings, Bound in Fire, Talons of Love + e-copy of Breaking the Chains (US Winner)

  • $30 Amazon Voucher + e-copy of Breaking the Chains (International Winner)

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway



the Author

Debbie McQueen has been married to her loving and supportive husband for eighteen years. They have two amazing kids that share her love of musicals, singing, fairies, dragons, and superheroes. Debbie is an avid reader and loves to read YA/NA, PNR, Urban Fantasy, Thrillers, LGBTQ stories, and more.

Debbie is an affirming Christian who is proud to continue learning and serving as an LGBTQ+ ally and advocate. She has learned more about God’s love through the beauty of a diverse creation and strives to support her friends and loved ones, as well as the broader LGBTQ+ community. She proudly gives out Free Hugs at Pride events, and also works with a service organization that helps support LGBTQ youth in Southern California.


Connect with Debbie:

www.authordebbiemcqueen.com

www.instagram.com/authordebbiemcqueen

www.facebook.com/authordebbiemcqueen

www.twitter.com/authordebbiemcq




Outback Boys, 2

Standoffish Aiden is content keeping people at a distance and ensuring his boundaries are impenetrable. There’s safety in not opening up, but there’s also a loneliness he doesn’t realise exists until he meets Riley, a new member of the LGBTQI+ adventure group Outback Boys.


Fascinated by the new guy, Aiden is quick to discover his flirtation skills are rusty and his sweet-talking is cringeworthy. But sweet and clumsy Riley doesn’t seem to mind so much.


Even though Riley doesn’t quite know how to handle Aiden’s intensity, he’s willing to step out of his comfort zone and see how their tentative friendship unravels.


Between a surf lesson that resembles a kangaroo on acid and paddle boarding that is trickier than walking a tightrope, Aiden and Riley discover love may be a possibility after all.


Happiness relies on honesty and openness, though. And with both men holding on tightly to past struggles, their future together is at risk. Can the two Aussies bounce back and heal themselves and each other, or are some wounds too raw to recover from?


Outback Boys is a sweet and sexy M/M romance series complete with bruised butts, rope burn, and overworked muscles… all in the pursuit of adventure, of course!


Trigger Warning: Contains themes (discussions) of mental health and suicide.



Universal Link

Goodreads



Excerpt

“Excellent.” He thrust his hand out. “Aiden.” On autopilot, I took it, aware once again that my skin was heating. His strong hand gripped mine, his palm large like my own. His skin was rough, so much more so than mine. Being a computer programmer didn’t leave much time for hard yakka.


“Riley.” I smiled, hoping it came out naturally and I didn’t come off looking shifty, something my big sister, in her once-teasing way, had told me many years back. Once that seed had been planted, I’d done nothing but water the bloody thing. “Good to meet you.” I finally released his hand and swallowed, trying to get a grip on my nerves.


Talking to a good-looking guy was a struggle at the best of times. Aiden, though, was so spectacular that it sent my pulse skyrocketing. I played with the leather band on my left wrist, trying to keep my cool.


“Hey, Aiden,” Pete said, much to my relief. “This is the Riley from work I was telling you about.”


I blanched at that and turned my gaze to Pete, who did nothing but grin at me.


“Oh yeah, right. I remember you mentioning him.” Aiden returned his attention to me. “I’m pleased you finally joined us.” He angled his head, indicating we should start walking. I could do that. One step in front of the other without tripping and looking like a jerk. “How’d you handle the first ten kilometres?”


“Really, is that what we’ve done?” Surprise flickered to life. Holy shit. I grinned, completely proud of myself.


“It sure is.” Aiden offered me a friendly smile. “Did it feel like more or less?” I looked ahead as we walked side by side, the trail wider in this section. Mark and Trey were a few metres ahead, Pete a few steps behind them.


“Less, I think. Even though I’m already exhausted,” I admitted with a shrug. “I can’t remember the last walk I went on.” Embarrassment had me flushing. I didn’t want him to think I was lazy, though admittedly, outside of work, I holed up at home doing very little.


“Well, that’s brilliant that you’re taking it in your stride. Ten kilometres is no easy feat.” I cast a glance at him as he continued. “Starting off is always hard, and there’s always reasons not to do it, right?”


I nodded. “Yeah, but I think I finally realised they were excuses, you know?” My honest words just continued to tumble forth. “I’m thirty-six and creeping closer to the big four-oh.” I snorted. “It was about time I got healthy, and this seemed like a good start.”


“It really is. And the last few kilometres will seem so easy compared to this morning.”


“You think?”


“Yup.”


“You’re trying to make me feel better, huh?” I gave a small laugh.


His smile widened. “Maybe.” He shrugged. “I only got back into fitness outside my regular day and all this adventure stuff a few years back. I remember the blisters and how much it sucked.”


“Hey, I didn’t sign up for blisters. Is there an Uber service around here or something?” I joked, enjoying how easy Aiden was to talk to. Perhaps it was the whole unattainable thing that had me loosening up, maybe that I understood the devastation of loss, but whatever it was, my steps came easier with him walking beside me, and our flowing conversation seemed natural.


“I think we’re just out of range for a rescue.”



Outback Boys

Stumble, Bounce



the Giveaway

To celebrate Becca's new release, she's giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway



the Author

Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.


Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.


Connect with Becca: https://twitter.com/beccaseymour_ https://www.facebook.com/beccaseymourauthor/ Facebook Group: RoMMance with Becca & Louisa https://beccaseymour.com https://www.instagram.com/authorbeccaseymour/ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18745264.Becca_Seymour https://www.bookbub.com/authors/becca-seymour https://www.amazon.com/Becca-Seymour/e/B07NYXX6JP Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r9f0i4



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