Today I am so pleased to welcome Kris T. Bethke to Joyfully Jay. Kris has come to talk to us about her latest release, Not So Familiar. She has also brought along. an exclusive excerpt and great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


It all started with a flash fic. A one shot. It wasn’t supposed to go anywhere. It was just a mage in the woods, on his last chance to call a familiar before his power was stripped from him. Lo and behold, when that familiar shows up, the wolf shifts into a man. That’s it. The end.

Except it wasn’t.

Gareth kept talking. What was he supposed to do with a wolf shifter as a familiar? And when that wolf shifter said he was Gareth’s mate? Gareth wanted to tell me. Owen wanted to support his mage. And I kept writing.

Not So Familiar went from a serial to a full novella. It spawned a sequel, which turned into a series. This is just the first book of the Mages’ Mates series. There’s magic and mystery, emotion and a bit of angst. Above all else, there’s love.

Because these mages just happen to be the fated mates of shifters.

There’s a lot to come in this world. But Gareth and Owen get their own moment to shine first. Everything they face, they face together, a mated pair, a bonded mage and familiar. If you love PNR as much as I do, then I hope you’ll give this story a chance. Check out the excerpt!


“I know that face,” Owen said, interrupting my line of thought. “That’s your upset face.”

“You don’t know all my faces yet.”

Owen’s gaze softened, and he cupped my cheek, his thumb gently sweeping against my skin. “I’m learning them. You’re so expressive and I love that I can read you. Why are you upset?”

I sighed, trying to decide if it was a good thing or not that I couldn’t keep a secret. It probably was good. Communication was important in any relationship, but especially so in one like ours. And I had to think it would be an advantage if I could do so without words. I sighed and explained my train of thought.

I expected Owen to laugh, but instead, he gave me his sweet smile, the one he reserved for when he thought I was being cute. I smiled back, internally pleased when I realized I was learning to read him too.

“It’s magic, babe. Magic that alerts a familiar that they’re going to be called and where to go. I have to think there’s some inherent protection in place because of that. I traveled over six hundred miles, on foot, and didn’t encounter a single problem. There were places to rest when I needed to, food and water when I needed that. And I left with exactly enough time to arrive to you when you called on the spell. Just think about that.”

“Well, when you put it that way,” I grumbled, but we both knew I didn’t mean it.

Owen kissed me again, slow and sweet. “I think you need a place to focus all your worry and nerves, and so your brain latched on to that. There’s nothing to be nervous about. We’re getting the hell out of this backward-ass place and I will keep you safe in my own pack’s territory.”

I knew he was trying to be reassuring, but when he laid it out like that, I could no longer ignore what I was actually nervous about. “What if they don’t like me?”

Owen snorted and waved that away, but I grabbed his hand. He looked at me for a long second before he seemed to realize how serious I was. “They’re gonna love you. Not only because of who you are, but because you’re my mate. My pack embraces all kinds of relationships, and even though our kind of familiar bond is rare, it’s not unheard of. Right?”

I blew out a breath slowly, counting to five while doing it so I could calm down. “Right.”

He kissed my forehead. “I’m never not going to keep you savesafe. You have to know that. You’re gonna love New York, and the pack. They’ll love you back. I would never bring you home if it was going to cause you even the tiniest bit of pain. Now stop distracting me. We have to get this done so that I can take you to bed later and make sure you get a really good nightsnight’s sleep.”

I laughed because he wanted me too, but my insides warmed at his tone and his clear affection. And his promise. Because that’s what that was. Owen would keep me safe no matter what. I would do the same for him. Just like Aeron said, it was the start of an adventure.


Gareth Evans is on his last chance. If he doesn’t manage to call a familiar this time, then the High Council will strip his magic and he will no longer be a mage. Gareth thinks he’s prepared for the worst, but never expects the wolf shifter. Who just so also happens to be his mate. Owen might be a surprise, but he’s exactly what Gareth needs.

Solidifying their bonds would be a whole lot easier if the High Council wasn’t breathing down their necks. With their bond on the line, Gareth and Owen take a stand. If they want their bond to continue, they have to fight for it. And that’s only the first hurdle the pair must face.

All Gareth wanted was a familiar, but he got so much more in Owen. Their bond is strong, Gareth’s magic is growing, and Owen’s support and care mean everything to Gareth. Just as things seem to be settling, a new threat emerges from an unexpected place. With Owen by his side, Gareth can do what is necessary. Love and a mate were the last things Gareth anticipated, but what started out as not so familiar has become the mage’s everything.

Buy Link: Amazon


Kris is a bisexual hardcore fan of romance, and has been from a very young age. She believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated. With that in mind, she writes romance across several subgenres but with the ultimate goal of a satisfying happily ever after at the end. That is, after all, the important part.
Kris lives in a converted attic with a pack of rodents who amuse her daily, and long naps on the weekend are her greatest pleasure. A creative soul and an avid daydreamer, her pursuits range past just the written word into a plethora of creative hobbies. Kris finds inspiration in all of life’s twist and turns. From the mundane to the fantastical, just about anything will make it into her books. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to get in touch through email, Facebook, or Twitter.


Kris has brought a copy of Not So Familiar to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Monday, November 13th at 11:59 pm ET.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
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FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post