Shannon West is an author of M/M romance. She publishes with Secret Cravings Publishing, MLR Press, Ellora’s Cave and Siren Publishing, as well as publishing some independent books. Originally from Virginia, she now lives in Georgia with her very understanding husband and large family. A lover of M/M romances, she reads everything M/M she can get her hands on—purely for research purposes, of course. She loves men and everything about them, and believes that love is love, no matter the gender. A huge proponent of gay rights, she is a PFLAG mom. She supports equal rights for everyone. Though there are never enough hours in the day, she tries to work every day, giving in to the demanding men in her head and writing their stories. She’s easy like that. Other than men, she loves traveling, reading and watching scary movies and ghost hunter shows on TV.
Twice in a Blue Moon- Dark Hollows Wolf Pack Series
When Detective Kevin Bryson’s partner, Tucker, disappears into the mountains of Tennessee with only a phone call telling Kevin not to worry about him, Kevin can’t leave it alone. For one thing, he’s been in love with the handsome Tucker for years, and for another, he doesn’t trust the man Tucker left with—a handsome man named Gavin. Deciding to go to Tennessee to look for him, Kevin’s surprised when Tucker shows up at his hotel, with another of the men. Suspecting a dangerous cult, Kevin goes with them to their remote mountain lodge. Once he arrives, he’s told he can’t leave. Stripped naked and held captive in the lodge, Kevin finds out just who what this strange “cult” is all about, and he finds himself falling in love against his will. Can he escape and save his friend, or will he succumb to the lure of the blue moon?
As they were finishing their coffee, a man approached the table. He was one of the big men so common there, and he had the look of the Cherokee Indians so common in the Smoky Mountains. He nodded to both Gavin and Richard and looked directly across the table at Kevin. His gaze swept over him before he spoke to Gavin. “This the one you were telling me about?”
Tucker stiffened next to him, but Gavin nodded. “Yes, but we can talk about it later, Russell. Not now.”
“Sure,” he said, giving Kevin one last appreciative glance before moving away. Tucker’s mouth fell open.
“Russell? You can’t be serious.”
“I said we’d discuss it later, Tucker.”
“Well, I’d like to discuss it right now. Not Russell. I forbid it.”
“Oh you do, huh? Well, that’s not really your decision to make, Tucker. And what’s wrong with Russell anyway? He’s a nice guy, a good gamma. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with him.”
Tucker’s voice had dropped down to a deeper timbre, mimicking Russell. “‘Is this the one you were talking about?’ Oh yeah, such finesse and charm. Nope, no fucking way.”
“We don’t exactly have an unlimited choice, Tucker, and please lower your voice. Russell’s mate was killed in a Hunter raid a few years ago.”
“Wait a minute…” Kevin said in a choked voice. “This is about me? Are you thinking that me and that guy…”
Richard scooted his chair back from the table and stood up abruptly, taking hold of Kevin’s arm. “Kevin and I are going for a walk,” he said, tugging Kevin from the chair. We’ll be back in a while, and I’ll come find you, Gavin.”
Kevin stumbled to his feet and allowed Richard to lead him from the room and out onto the grounds. It was a sunny morning, with only a slight chill in the air, so Kevin was glad of the long sleeves on his shirt. He was feeling distinctly chilled, and he didn’t think it came only from the air temperature.
“Tell me he’s not planning on having that guy fuck me.”
Richard looked at him with shock. “God, the way you talk.”
“Well, is he?”
“Gavin is looking for a suitable mate for you, yes. But no one will force you. We’ll find someone you can agree to.”
“This whole thing is crazy.” Kevin stopped walking down the path they were on that led into the woods, shoving his hands down into his pockets. “I’ve got to get out of here, before I’m as nutty as the rest of you.”
Richard turned to stare down at him. “Damn it, don’t you listen? We’ve been over this. We can’t let you leave.”
“Yeah? Well, what if I took off right now? Just took off running and got away from you?”
“Not going to happen.”
“Really?” Kevin suddenly shoved Richard hard, surprising him and making him stumble back off the narrow pathway into the bushes. Kevin leaped off the other side, plowing through some thick bushes to get to a more open area in the woods. He took off as fast as he could, losing the flip flops after about three or four steps, but forging on despite the beating his bare feet were taking, dodging around trees and rocks, hearing Richard crashing through the brush behind him.
Suddenly, strong arms lifted him off his feet and held on tight, crushing his body back into a solid, large form. He struggled wildly, kicking back against Richard’s legs, pulling fiercely against the arms around his waist. He fought to escape, but his struggles were useless. He couldn’t break Richard’s grip around his waist, no matter how hard he tried. Breathing hard, he cursed and went limp, letting his head fall back against Richard’s chest. Only then did Richard let him go to sink down to the ground and sat down beside him while he caught his breath.
After a few minutes, Kevin glanced up at him, a little out of breath. “Not my best escape attempt ever,” he managed.
Richard glared at him, but his lips twisted up a little. “Had a lot of escape attempts, have you?”
“Not really,” he said, with a shrug and a short bark of laughter. “That one played out better in my head than in actual execution, though.”
“Damn it, Kevin, you have to accept this. You can be happy here if you just let yourself. We’ll find someone you’ll like. He can train you to be a good mate.”
“Train me? Like a dog? Fuck you, Richard.”
“You can cuss me all you want. It’s not going to change a thing. You’ll still be mated to a member of our pack.”
Kevin snorted. “I don’t want to mate with anybody! You’re talking about sex, right? Forget that.”
“You didn’t seem to mind it so much last night,” Richard said quietly.
“Damn you. Get this through your head. I’m not fucking mating with anybody. I don’t want that!”
“Oh, yeah?Even with me?”
“Shit, you scared me to death. Why the hell were you sitting here in the dark? Don’t you ever knock?” Kevin scooted up in bed to sit with his back against the headboard.
Richard’s deep voice rumbled in the dark room. “It isn’t dark. Not really. And I did, but you weren’t in here. So I came in to wait for you. Actually, I’m here to apologize.”
Kevin snorted. “You? Apologize? I must not have heard you correctly.”
“I shouldn’t have been so short with you downstairs. It wasn’t your fault that Derek came over to you. Even with my scent all over you, I guess he couldn’t resist.”
“God, I hope I didn’t smell that bad. I was sitting right next to Tucker, and he never said anything.”
“Tucker wouldn’t have noticed.”
“But that boy would have from across the room? You and your cryptic comments.”
Richard stood and came over to the bed to sit on the side. Kevin pulled the sheet higher on his chest, uneasy at Richard’s proximity. “Okay, apology accepted, but I need to sleep.”
Richard stretched out his arm and Kevin felt his fingers trail gently along his jaw. “I need to claim you soon,” he said, almost as if he were talking to himself.
Kevin leaned into his touch, craving it, hating himself for needing it so much. “What about what I need?”
“Tell me what that is, baby,” Richard said softly.
“I-I need to get out of here, to go home.”
“I know.” Richard’s hand moved down to his shoulders, massaging, stroking, making him ache even more in his groin. He dropped his head back on the headboard.
Richard’s hand moved down to his nipples, gently circling each one, one thumb rubbing over the small nub. “I know all that, sweet boy. But what do you want me to do for you right now?”
“I don’t want you to do anything.”
Richard’s hand stilled, and he raised one eyebrow as he pulled his hand away. Unable to bear it, Kevin grabbed for it and pulled it back to his chest, his breathing quickening. Kevin shook his head, tightening his grip on Richard’s hand. He couldn’t put it into words. He just had this aching need inside him that he wanted filled. It had always been there, throughout every encounter with every man, all of his life. No matter how much sex he had, it was never quite enough. Today, in the woods, was the closest he’d ever come to fulfillment. He wanted, he needed more.
“I-I want it rough. I want you to take me. To make me like it.”
Something blazed in Richard’s eyes for just a moment before his lashes fell to cover the spark. His voice, low and sexy in the quiet room, sent chills through Kevin’s body. “I won’t hurt you…”
Kevin’s breath hitched, and he nodded, letting his hands fall away from Richard’s and gripping the sheets beneath him. He was almost ready to beg, but he pressed his lips together, swallowing the things he wanted to say. Then Richard’s voice came again.
“What I will do is turn you over my lap and spank your pretty ass until it pinks up under my hand, until you squirm and beg me to stop, until you’re coming on my thighs, because you can’t help yourself. Then I’ll turn you over on this bed and fuck you so hard you forget your own name. So hard you’ll plead with me to stop, but I won’t. Until I think you’ve had enough. All you have to do,” he leaned over and whispered in Kevin’s ear, his hot breath sending waves of pleasure through his body. “All you have to do is ask for it.”
“Oh, God…” His heart was beating wildly at the image that sprang into his mind. His body spread out across another man’s knees. The humiliation, the pain, the loss of control. “Oh God, please.”
“That’s what I thought.” Richard pulled Kevin across his lap as if he were a child, his ass in the air. Despite what he said he wanted, now that the reality was here, he panicked and struggled, trying to get up. A strong hand held him down, held him in place. He knew that if he cried out and told Richard to stop, he would. That was why Richard was hesitating, waiting for Kevin to find his balance, to be sure. Richard rubbed his hands over the globes of his ass, soothing what he intended to spank in just seconds. “Ready?”
Kevin took a deep breath and nodded, and then Richard’s hand came down on his bare skin hard twice in succession. The heat from his face quickly transferred itself to his ass, and he bucked his body as the hand fell again and again. His cock lay against the rough material of Richard’s jeans, and as his balls tightened, he rubbed frantically against his thighs. Richard never relented, never gave him a chance to get used to it, to get ready for the next one before the hand fell again. His hips began to writhe, his body well aware of what it wanted, what it needed from this man. His cock was engorged with blood, and he was becoming mindless.
He felt himself arching like a cat, trying to turn to watch the hand as it came down on him, but the hand on his back was relentless, pushing him back down and making him take it. He could hear the choked cries coming from his throat, hardly able to breathe for the sensations that were rocking his body, the pain and the pleasure coming in equal measures so fast it was overwhelming him.
He cried out then as his orgasm gripped him and he thrust his legs straight out behind him, convulsing on Richard’s lap. Richard’s hand tightened around his waist as he spurted all over his belly and Richard’s thighs. “Good boy,” Richard said, as he slapped his ass one more time. “Tell me how that felt.”
“Tell me it was good then, baby.”
“It was good.”
“This will be better.”
Interview with Ms West
Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Not that I have time to indulge! I do love to paint, and I prefer oils, but I haven’t had time to do much in a while. If I had more time, I’d love to go to the mountains and do some landscapes. I love waterfalls and mountain vistas, and painting them is very relaxing to me. I also love, love, love to travel. I’ve been to Europe many times, and I really like Munich—I guess it’s one of my favorite cities, along with Paris, of course. It’s visually the most appealing city in the world, I believe. I haven’t been to either of them in a while, and I need a Munich fix soon. I’d love to go this Christmas to the Christmas markets, if I can.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More shifters, for sure. I love to write shifter stories—and mostly wolves, though I have been thinking about some other species. I’d love to do a dragon, for example. I’m working on a Love Slaves of the Alphas now that has one of the Lycans involved with a tiger shifter, and these two Alpha males struggle for control. I like to write about the dynamics of Power Exchange and I think it’s a fascinating subject to explore. I’ve been writing a little recently with a new author named Susan E. Scott. She and I have done two books on a BDSM trilogy called the Master Trilogy. The first was a departure for me—M/F, but still D/s. It was written as a fun story called Mastering Amanda—very light BDSM. Once I successfully switched over in my head to M/F, I enjoyed it, though I missed my boys. The second one we just finished is different than anything I’ve done before and different I think from most things out there. It’s a M/F about a female Domme and her attempts to dominate an Alpha male. The dynamic between them is complicated by the fact that he’s a cutter. It’s called The Education of Nicholas, and it’s not the typical, grind-the-guy-in-the-dirt kind of female domination at all. This is much more loving and sexy, I think, and I got to do some sexy spanking scenes. The male character emerges with his balls still firmly intact, though, and there’s a unique power exchange between them that isn’t often written about. The next one in the trilogy is M/M, so I can finally go back to my first love.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
I’m actually starting a street team. My first ever! I hesitated to do one, because I was thinking it might be a case of “throwing a party that no one wants to come to.” But I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I’d really love to connect more with the readers. I am developing a Facebook page called Street Team of The Pack, and I’ll be joining a few other erotic romance/shifter authors. Right now, the members are Destiny Blaine and Susan E. Scott, and me! We’re also talking to a couple of others who would be awesome. I’ll be posting more about it later as we get our plans and ideas finalized, but if anyone is interested, please contact me on FB or by email. We’re thinking now of this being a private group page, and posting new covers before anyone else gets to see them, along with new excerpts and pictures, etc. To be a member, all you’d have to do is share our news about books coming out and upcoming appearances, and such. Destiny and I, in particular, travel to a lot of cons and would love to see the members of our pack there to do lunch, maybe, or just hook up to talk.
How long does it take you to write a book?
There’s no good answer for this, because it depends on so many factors. Contemporary stories are easier, but when I’m world-building, especially with the shifter stories, it takes me longer. Sometimes the words seem to flow better than at others, of course. When writing a Dark Hollows story, it does seem to take a while—there are so many characters now, and they all want their chance to get in on the story. I recently finished a Dark Hollows called Bloodlust, and it was a lot of fun, but introducing new characters while trying to do justice to the older characters is complicated. I love it though, and I think I’ve come up with a new “quest” for Nicky. He’ll be exploring his options in the next book.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
It starts very early, but only lasts until around noon, unless my characters are really urging me on. I hold myself to writing at least 2500 to 3000 words a day, and I find I write best when I first wake up in the mornings. Maybe I’m more rested, or maybe I’m still under the influence of my dreams. I tend to dream a lot of scenes. I tend to think of the plot as a series of scenes, like in a movie in my head and plan them carefully. Of course, once I sit down to write, they go off in their own direction, but I do try to keep them on track. It’s my characters who lead me astray, and I put all the blame on them.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written forty-one (maybe forty-two) erotic romances, though I’m including a couple not published yet, and six historical, sweeter romance stories under a different name. That’s counting the short stories too, and you did say, how many novels. I’m bad at taking direction, lol. My favorite is maybe Breaking Up with the Alpha, one of the Dark Hollows series, but that’s like picking out my favorite child—really hard to do! I also liked Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bright, and Making the Grade. See how hard it is?
What do you think makes a good story?
God, I love a bad boy. They’re so much more interesting than vanilla characters who always try to be good. Nicky, a prominent character in many of the Dark Hollows books is considered to be bratty and a lot of trouble, but I love Nicky. He never gives up and he never gives in. One reviewer says his own body betrays him, and that’s a perfect description of the blood match Nicky experiences with his alpha wolf. Yet, despite what’s happened to him he continues to fight it, even while embracing the greatest passion of his life. He’s so open to what the future holds, even though he’s a bit afraid of it. I don’t think of him as brat—he just knows what he likes and goes after it. I’ve love to write Alpha characters and some people have criticized my Alphas as being “too strong.” I think that if you’re going to write an Alpha, you should write an Alpha, not some watered down, politically correct version of one. As long as what they do is morally correct and they don’t hurt anyone, then I turn them loose and let them have their fun.
Email address where readers can contact you:firstname.lastname@example.org
Three copies to three readers of Twice in a Blue Moon, or any of Shannon’s books they’d like.
How to Enter-
Must answer the following questions: Only those who answer the questions are entered into the contest. You must answer in the comment box below this blog. Winners will be picked Monday to give everyone time to enter.
What draws you to a paranormal romance? What kind of paranormal is your favorite and why?