Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: BURST Books
Date of Publication: January 5, 2014
Word Count: 40,738
Cover Artist: E. Smith
Paranormal Bounty Hunter Myka Quinn left behind her failed attempt at wolf Pack life. Now she is focused on providing for her brother and staying out of werewolf territory.
But when she’s framed for a witch’s murder, she must either accept help from a very unlikely source, or watch the lives of those she loves rip apart.
If someone says the root of all evil is money, they’ve never met a witch. Hot on Tara Sobrantes heels, I hungered for a quick capture. But my past experiences with brimstone-users had taught me not to eat the candy house until Gretel had heated the oven. The permanent fireball scar on my right butt cheek reinforced the lesson.
Capitalizing on a rare break in the rain, I peered through the branches and foliage I’d arranged to obscure my position in one of the Pacific Northwest’s oldest forests. Drawn to the sweet scent of exhaled carbon dioxide, a deer fly landed on my cheek. I flicked away the bloodsucker while keeping my gaze on a distant group of figures.
Three hundred feet away, the Mystic Monks began another round of tiresome morning rituals. For four lousy days I’d watched them worship their gods. Watched, waited and shivered through one bone-chilling downpour after another. I knew Tara was hiding at the monastery. While I might not have her yet, or the large bounty she’d fetch from shirking a loan shark, I was still in the game.
A man wearing a burgundy cloak ventured away from the others, heading deeper into the woods. He glanced around, perhaps to confirm he was alone, and then crouched until he almost sat. The monk lifted the hem of his woolen robe, carefully draping the material over his knees. I scrunched my nose and started to look away when something caught and held my eye. A steady stream of yellow wet the thick carpet of pine needles between his feet. The men I’d known didn’t squat when they pissed—I got you, Tara.
I stood, careful not to make a sound. In the tight cat suit I wore, the movement caused the plastic edge of my Para Hunter identification card to poke my hip. A practiced shake released two Fae kissed, silver blades from their leather holsters and into my hands. Blades were good for close combat, not for the gap I currently faced. With well placed, gliding steps, I narrowed the opening between us.
Finished urinating, Tara rose, letting the hem of her heavy robe fall. I quickened my pace, I couldn’t afford to lose her bounty. My brother was all the inspiration I needed to complete this job.
A scream pierced my thoughts and the damp, morning air. The pressurized wail thickened then transformed into a muted gurgle. Tara’s hood fell backward, revealing a bobbing metal shaft protruding from under her jaw. Someone, not me, had launched an arrow into her throat.
Move! I lunged forward, feet slipping as my boots sought purchase on the slick ground. Razor sharp, a barb sliced through my suit and lodged into the skin and muscle of my shoulder. The force of the arrow shoved me backward and to the ground. An instantaneous, moor-like sweat coated my skin.
My nostrils flared like a wounded animal, and I scrambled to my feet. Normally, I’ll stubbornly stand my ground, but I’m not stupid. My attacker knew my position, and I didn’t know his. If I stayed put, he’d fill me full of metal like a scrap yard.
Racing away in a crazy zigzag, I heard near noiseless whispers as the air parted, making way for a barrage of arrows. Bolts lodged into the trees all around me, at head level. Yes, someone wasn’t trying to scare me off. Someone wanted me dead. Not here, not now. Not when my brother and his family were counting on me.
Bites of pain skewered my arms, then a leg. The cold cramp of fear tightened its hold on my lungs. Holy shit, I was going to die. Adrenaline driven, I pushed forward long after my wounds should have dropped me.
A misty fog had descended on the dense pine canopy when I finally allowed myself to stop running. I sank to the ground at the base of a tamarack pine. In unison, my muscles and lungs screamed a tortured ditty, whose tune I was hella familiar. I need a new profession or I’m not going to make it to my thirtieth birthday.
Blinking, I tried to focus eyes blurry with tears. I had officially accepted Tara’s mark. For two weeks she was supposed to be off limits to all other Para Bounty Hunters. That was the unwritten code. Someone violated that code, and that someone was here. They’d killed her and tried the same with me. Who? Why?
And how had they found Tara? Some might call it cockiness, I called it first class investigation skills. I was positive that I alone figured out the connection between brother and sister. Tara had blended in seamlessly with the monks. It took me days in that damn hidey-hole to catch her slip.
Lids closing, I slowed my breathing. Trading pain for awareness, I listened to the steady dripping that came from the pine needles above. Morning dew ran down the rough grooves in the bark. A crackle here, a chirp there, then quiet. Head bowing to my chest, minutes spooled by. A long, low howl broke the quiet, followed by another, then another--young, excited yips joining in.
I’d forgotten others beside the monks called the Pacific Northwest home. Wolves hunted in secluded places like this, and the blood trail I left behind was ideal for tracking.
So you know I love werewolf stories. Even better when it's a very cool chick who's a wolf. Myka is a bitten werewolf. That means she was born a human and was attacked and survived. I won't go into that devastating event but know that a lot of things changed for Myka when that happened to her. And in the werewolf world, bitten is definitely inferior to being a born pure wolf. In the beginning she was with a pack and in love with the alphas son. But then her inferior status brought about a heartbreaking rejection so she became a line wolf bounty hunter. She works to track down those supernaturals who've done wrong. And her latest bounty has left her injured, framed for murder, with a price on her head and captured by a rival wolf pack. Myka also has a little extra magic that she doesn't understand. So she hides it, until she gets caught.
Lucky for her, she survives her silver injury, is healed by the capturing pack and meets Ari, the alpha. For some reason, he wants to protect her. She just wants to not be framed for murder and go back to being a lone wolf. Ari wants to keep Myka, he is attracted to her so he helps her with the investigation.
Myka is so much fun. Now don't get me wrong, she's a little broken but it doesn't keep her down. She fights for herself and she helps her family. She also makes friends with friendly humans around Ari's pack. She's pretty kick ass and though she's had to be, sometimes I wanna hug her.
Ari is every girls book boyfriend dream. He can be an ass because he's alpha but he's still great. He loves his pack but in the untypical fashion, he'd like to keep peace instead of fighting for it. He leads with respect not fists and fighting though he will if he needs. He's pretty bad ass himself and he's HAWT!
The plot kept me glued to the page! I wanted to know about the secrets surrounding Myka's change and who killed the witch and who's framing Myka! I of course wanted to make sure she got a HEA after all she's been through. There's romance, action, mystery and wonderful writing. I was especially happy with the ending of those bad guys lol! You'll also see a few familiar characters if you've read any other books by this author :) I hope to see these wonderful wolves again and I look forward to the next book!! 5 WOLFY PAWS!!
First, tell me a little about your book …. Unspoken began, and then due to a slot in an Academy required for my fulltime job, the book stopped. I was very excited to pick up, (after nine months of Academy and then three months of field training), where I had left the characters hanging. I the characters were grateful too J
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know? I think I’ve always just known I wanted to write. Magic solves problems like nobody’s business; it’s a great mode for escapism!
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it? Liking fantasy so much, it was a given I would make my first real stab in grade school to write that genre. Tapping away at the keyboard for hours after school, I produced my first book. I titled it, 'The Locket of Time.' Obviously about time travel, my heroine found a mysterious locket that enabled her to travel back to the medieval period. My teachers helped me take cardboard and cover it with cloth, glue my printed type to the pages, and then illustrate the masterpiece. I was unbelievably proud of it.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Some of the people I work with ‘color’ the characters, but mostly they are creations all my own.
How do you choose when/which characters die in your books? I don’t like killing anyone off in my books. It’s really a struggle. Perhaps being a firefighter plays into that, we want everyone to live, no matter what the cost to us.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? I’ve always had a soft spot from spy thrillers, but lately I’ve been into sniper/military stories.
Who do you look up to as a writer? Every writer is a hero in my eyes. It’s incredibly hard to balance work, friends, family and all the other day-to-struggles, PLUS put something together that is coherent and entertaining.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book? No. I am pretty happy with the way things spooled out.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Grammar. I think I was asleep at the wheel during English classes. Thank goodness I have several friends who are brave enough to conquer my appalling sentences and make them behave.
What book are you reading now? Or what genre? Right now I am reading “American Sniper” by Chris Kyle. I am really enjoying the book because he doesn’t mince words or feelings. With him what you see is what you get.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it? Stick with it. No matter how long it takes you to squeeze time and get your story on paper- don’t quit.
Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because? I just got over a really nasty flu. It had me down for over a week. The best thing I can say about that was I read a ton of books. One of my favorite categories is zombies. I love anything and everything The Walking Dead. No surprise then that I would recommend the series I discovered while combating the flu—Slow Burn, by Bobby Adair. Try it, I swear you will be hooked!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Sure, I’ll leave you with one last random thought… If you have a Whole Foods Market in your neighborhood, be sure to try their T-Rex Cheese Puffs. I am a connoisseur of cheese puffs, and those are not only too hilarious to pass up, but they are super tasty!
About the Author:
J.A. is a full time firefighter in California, an addicted trail runner, a connoisseur of all things cheese puff, and an urban fantasy author. When she isn't slogging through the obstacles at a mud run, you can find her hunched over her computer unleashing demons, vampires, and werewolves upon the world.
1 $100.00 Amazon GC
10 ebooks, winners can choose from Instinct, Dysus Dreamer or Unspoken