Today I am so pleased to welcome Karenna Colcroft to Joyfully Jay. Karenna has come to talk to us about her latest release, Try the Tofu. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Zane’s estate included several acres of woodland, as befit the home of the werewolf ruler of the northeastern United States. There was plenty of room for a hundred or more wolves to run and hunt without any humans seeing. Boundaries were carefully marked so no one strayed too near the neighbors, and as long as I stayed within those boundaries, I could run to my heart’s content.
Not that anything contented me at that point. I didn’t want to be there anymore. I didn’t want to deal with Zane and the other alphas, and most of all I didn’t want to deal with my mate. I loved him, but he caused trouble for me and my pack. There was enough trouble here already.
I didn’t want trouble. I wanted peace.
In my white wolf form, I ran until my breath ran short, and even then I kept going. It didn’t matter if I could breathe. What mattered was the movement. I couldn’t hunt this close to full moon night without permission from my host, but I could run.
It began to grow dark, and still I ran, until I felt a sudden urge to return to the house. It was an order from the one wolf at the gathering who was strong enough to command me, and I had to obey. I didn’t want to, but I had to.
I walked very slowly back to the house. Just because I had to do what Zane wanted didn’t mean I had to do it quickly. I stopped short of the house’s lawn to shift back into human form, although doing so meant I would have to walk across the grass naked since I’d left my briefs by the back door. Not that it mattered. Werewolves took casual nudity for granted.
I lay on the ground in human form for a moment, struggling to regain my breath and my senses. Shifting wasn’t as difficult for me as for some. I’d trained myself well decades ago. But that didn’t mean I enjoyed the process.
When I finally walked out of the trees, Jon was standing there with my clothes. He held them out to me without a word and turned his back as I dressed.
“How did you know where to find me?” I asked when I had everything on.
He turned to face me. “You’re my Alpha. How wouldn’t I be able to find you, unless you hid yourself somehow? Besides, Kyle said you’d gone for a run. There’s lots of room to run here, but not many ways back to the house afterward.”
“Point.” I had more questions for him, such as whether Kyle was still there as he’d promised. I decided not to ask. Showing concern for my mate was understandable. Showing concern about him was weakness.
“Dinner’s up,” Jon said. “Zane wanted me to make sure you got there.”
I had to wonder whether Kyle had said anything to Zane about where I’d gone. If the Arkhon had asked, Kyle would have had to tell him. Even though Kyle didn’t have to follow Zane’s compulsions any more than he had to follow mine, he showed Zane the same respect he showed me by obeying commands and deferring to Zane’s authority. Zane and Justin were the only other high-ranked wolves who knew Kyle was immune to compulsion, and we’d agreed to keep it among us.
I had no desire for Zane to know about the argument between Kyle and me. That, more than anything, showed weakness. I had lost control of my emotions and my words, and I’d hurt my mate. I should have been better than that.
Jon followed me across the lawn without a word. When we walked into the house, half a dozen alphas called my name. More than anything, I didn’t want to be there, surrounded by far too many others who thought they were strong and powerful like me.
I forced a smile and greeted everyone who greeted me, including the obligatory small talk and “isn’t it too bad” about the losses of the delegations from St. Lawrence Pack and Champlain Pack, and finally managed to reach the kitchen. As usual, a buffet covered the table. Even though this was the first formal meal of the gathering, now that all the packs had arrived, Zane still didn’t have a sit-down dinner. It was just as well, given how many shifters were there. The formal dining room didn’t have enough seats. We would have had to either go down to the meeting room, or the alphas would have used the dining room while our packs ate elsewhere.
One end of the kitchen island, as usual, held Kyle’s vegan foods. Anyone could have eaten them if they’d chosen to, but they were there specifically for the only vegan werewolf in the region. The only one in existence, as far as we knew.
I couldn’t tell whether any of the food had been touched, and Kyle was nowhere in sight. That cut me deeper than I would have expected. I’d told him to leave. The possibility that he might have followed through shouldn’t have bothered me, except he’d promised to stay until I returned.
It was just as well I didn’t see him, though. Running had cleared my head, but I didn’t know what to say to Kyle. I couldn’t decide whether to tell him to go back to Boston anyway or make him stay with me. The wolf wanted him present. He was my mate, and he was my wolf. My human side was the part that couldn’t make up its mind.
As Alpha Tobias Rogan and his mate Kyle Slidell prepare to travel to the regional Alpha gathering, Tobias receives a threatening phone call. If he brings his mate to the gathering, Kyle will not return to Boston. But stubborn Kyle, believing the threat is actually against Tobias, refuses to stay home.
Tobias’s foreboding is proven correct when a visiting stranger challenges Zane Wolfskin, Arkhon of the Northeast Region, to a fight for rank–and wins. Tobias and his allies learn that the challenge was part of a larger plan to destroy their region, something Tobias will not allow. To prevent disaster, Tobias must challenge the new Arkhon himself. But can he survive the attempt?
Warnings: reference to past sexual abuse and trauma, PTSD, violence
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C8ZBSQPF
Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.
Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)
Find out more about Karenna online at http://www.karennacolcroft.com or https://www.facebook.com/KarennaColcroft. You can also sign up to receive a free short story, and be added to Karenna’s mailing list, at https://karennacolcroft.com/get-your-free-short-story/.
- Author Website: https://karennacolcroft.com
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- Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Karenna-Colcroft/author/B0031HAOUK
Karenna is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour:
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