Sierra Kanoska fought hard for her position as wolf alpha of the Red Rock pack, and intruders in her territory receive the full brunt of what her claws, fangs, and smarts can accomplish. So when Dax Williams, de facto alpha of the Silver Springs pack, pays an unwelcome visit, Sierra’s ready to toss him out. However, the man’s in a tough spot. The pack elders sabotaged his fight for alpha against his brother, driving him from his lands. Sierra hates underhanded moves like that, so she agrees on an alliance.
As they work together, she witnesses an alpha who wants to do right by his pack, not just the cocky wiseass she first met. Their growing attraction blazes hot, but the moment she and Dax lock lips, a mating bond emerges. Sierra sure as hell isn’t ready to share that intimate connection with a stranger, and the thought of forever sends Dax running.
Before they can talk, the Tribe commanding the East Coast shifters arrives to settle the dispute. Dax and his brother’s punishment for their pack’s civil war is a free-for-all on their lands. Not only does he have to defeat his brother, but any challenger in the region. Despite Dax and Sierra’s initial resistance, his wily charm relaxes her control-freak tendencies while her steadfast support bolsters his strength. Yet every new opponent places their newfound relationship under siege—one misstep, one wrong blow in the ring, and Dax could leave in a bodybag.
Guest Post: Different Styles of Research by Katherine McIntyre
After finishing my Philadelphia Coven Chronicles, an urban fantasy romance series, I was searching for a new series to sink my teeth into. And once I got a concept for a shifter romance series, Forged Alliances was born. Now, when it comes to creating a new world and new characters, I think most folks hit the books—or abuse their Google search. I’m not immune to that, as I’ve gone down many a research rabbit hole when trying to figure out specific things. For example, recently, I was researching if a wolf would sweat. In case you were curious, they don’t. At least, not like we do.
Research done on the web doesn’t really stick with me though, and when I write, I love to immerse myself in the scene, in concrete details that I can really feel. Lucky for me, there’s a wolf sanctuary not even an hour from my house, so I did some real life investigation. First off, the wolf sanctuary was amazing, the guides informative, and the wolves absolutely gorgeous. I would’ve gone even if it wasn’t for research. That in-person style of research works well for me, because I’m a tactile learner, and besides, the experience can translate into my books.
I know this method isn’t for everyone, and sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to get out of the house and research through exploration. However, if you can find anything similar to what you’re trying to describe or write about in your books, whether it be the vibe of a coffee house, the bustling city streets of a place you’re trying to describe, sometimes getting out there for a frame of reference can make a world’s worth of difference. While it can be tempting to stay inside and type at your keyboard, this is a reminder to get out and collect your own sensory details, each one adding another layer of depth to your story.
Imagination is a powerful tool for the author, but experience makes those stories unique.
“They’ve got some great kibble on the menu here,” he drawled, eliciting a growl from Jeremiah. Her blood ignited. The man might be as pretty as a picture, but his smart-ass mouth ruined the package. Sierra contained her annoyance, offering a sweet smile while hiding her fangs.
“How considerate,” she murmured.
His brows furrowed in confusion. If he wanted to play power games, now that her temper had cooled and she tapped into a clear perspective, he didn’t stand a chance. She clapped a hand on Jeremiah’s shoulder. He had bared his teeth, two steps away from wolfing out around more than a couple of humans in front of this quaint diner. Perfect recipe for freaking out the norms. Their eyes met, and she stared him down with her patented alpha look. Sure, her wolf paced restlessly inside her, desperate to establish dominance with the newcomer, but Sierra steered this ship for a reason.
“Lest you think I came for witty banter,” Dax said as he made his way to the door and held it open for Jeremiah with a flourish. Jer folded his arms over his chest, refusing to budge. Save me from fragile male egos. Dax’s eyes glittered with unspent amusement, clarifying that the gesture was meant as a taunt.
“Streaky, he’s not asking you to marry him, just holding the door,” Sierra said, giving Jer a shove hard enough to send him stumbling. She followed through, shooting a glare at Dax as she passed. “And you’re no better. Taunting people you want help from is poor form. Shape up.”
Dax’s gaze darkened, and for a moment she wasn’t sure if they headed for a brawl right in the parking lot. Not uncommon with her kind. His breath hitched for a half second, but as sudden as a swerving car, he flashed her a hot-as-hell smile.
“Yes, ma’am,” he said, following them into the diner.