Today I am so pleased to welcome Chris T. Kat to Joyfully Jay. Chris has come to talk to us about her latest release, Alpha Unit One, New York. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a backlist book to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thanks so much, Jay, for having me on your blog. I’m excited to share an exclusive excerpt from Alpha Unit One, New York, my new shapeshifter story.
Actually I’m excited to be able to share anything at all, since I never thought I’d get back to writing again after I officially retired from it two years ago. I didn’t write for over a year. I honestly didn’t miss it all, because I had so many other things going on. Then all of a sudden this idea popped into my mind. How about a story with suspense coupled with a good dose of cuteness?
At first I didn’t want to write because the idea of having to sit in front of the computer for hours had me balking. But the idea wouldn’t let go of me, so eventually I sat down and only wrote for an hour. Usually I’d never sit down to write for simply an hour, but I’ve discovered that this works pretty well for me. After realizing that it was fun to write and the story simply flowed, I was hooked.
So what’s the story about? At heart, it’s a shapehsifter story with a fated mate trope. It’s no secret that I love shapeshifter stories. I love to read them but I also love to write them. The smaller animals or baby animals hold a special place in my heart (yes, I’m one of those people who immediately go “Awww!” at seeing a pup or kitten) but they’re not overly represented in books. I’ve written a couple of stories that either include a squirrel or a fox kit but eventually the kit had to grow up and that was just a pity. Until I had the idea for Alpha Unit One, New York. Why not have baby creatures being the permanent form of human shifters? In my opinion, that would be totally adorable, and open up whole new twists for stories.
I hope the excerpt will intrigue you enough to give this story a try.
Exclusive excerpt from Chapter Three:
I turned toward Roland, the guy in the shadows with the creepy, gravelly voice, to introduce myself properly. Black bitched at Connor and Jesse in the background as I held out my hand to Roland. His scent, all wolf and sad and hurt, slammed into me. I kept upright, even though the smell of his pain was so intense my knees threatened to buckle. How could the others stand to be close to him all day?
Tears sprang into my eyes. I hurriedly sucked in a deep breath, hiding it inside a cough. Roland’s amber eyes bored right into me, rooting me to the spot. He knew.
For fuck’s sake, he knew about me. I could see it in the sudden flare of his nostrils, accompanied by a disbelieving grimace.
No, no, no. That couldn’t be. I’d been so cautious, so very, very cautious. Any second now he’d tell the others, and there would go my chance to make a difference. They’d throw me out, and I’d be forced to become the pampered mate of whomever. My pulse quickened as I pondered a solution to this dilemma, when Roland beckoned me forward.
I made my way over on wobbly legs, waiting for him to disclose my secret. His voice sounded surprisingly soft when he asked, “Are you up for this job?”
“I’ve been a detective for several years now. I wouldn’t’ve been chosen for this team if I wasn’t good,” I replied defiantly.
“That’s not what I asked. Are you up for this job, or do I need to inform the others about you so you won’t get hurt on the job?”
I bristled. Why did everyone think I, or anyone who was like me, needed a keeper?
“I don’t care what you are, kid. I just want you to be sure this is what you want,” Roland added.
He smelled even sadder, bringing another surge of tears to my eyes. Damn my nature for being so susceptible to the emotions of others. All I wanted was to curl up on his lap, oozing soothing pheromones, and have the thick cloud of bone-deep sorrow go away. Swallowing, I whispered, “Thank you. And yes, I’m sure this is what I want.”
“Then welcome to the team.”
Roland held out his hand to me, a thoughtful act to help me pretend to be human, but I couldn’t stop myself from skimming my fingers along his scar. His breath caught in his throat, and his scent changed to confusion, but also the slightest sliver of happiness. Throwing caution to the wind—because hello, this is me—I bent down and rubbed my cheek against Roland’s scarred one. A puff of air escaped his mouth, and I wondered what he’d look like in wolf-form. I pulled away, smiling down at him.
“Hell, kiddy, no one has dared to come that close since… since my face got mangled.” Roland jerked his hands to indicate himself.
I winked. “About time someone did, then. Who else would be better equipped than me, huh?”
He barked out a laugh as he rose to his considerable height. Fuck, he must be a monster in his wolf-form. Couldn’t be much smaller than the big cats, if at all. At least most wolves were cool with guys like me, though I’d never heard of a wolf giving his okay for someone like me to join anything even remotely dangerous. My esteem for Roland rose considerably. Maybe I could even befriend the guy. That would be nice. I hadn’t had a real friend in… forever.
There I went again. Roland pulled me out of my funk as he clapped me on the shoulder. “I’m heading for the break room. You want anything?”
Milk. A whole carton of it. I was salivating at the thought of milk alone. My nose twitched. It always did when I thought of milk. Mortified, I tried for nonchalance. “Coffee would be great.”
“Milk too?” A grin stretched Roland’s face, showing how handsome he was.
I rolled my eyes and muttered, “Asshole. Yes, milk. Lots of it.”
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.
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.
Chris has brought a copy of any backlist book to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, August 5th at 11:59 pm ET.
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