SNOW WOLF by Heather Long
Outlaw Wolves & Defiant Hearts!
War may be coming for the Yukon, but Diesel’s battle is very personal.
Praise for the Wolves of Williow Bend Series:
“ROGUE WOLF is a fast paced, intriguing look into the world of shifters. Salvatore is old world a bit stodgy and Margo is very much new world and on top of that a lone wolf and Enforcer. How is it possible that these two could be mates? In author Heather Long’s vivid and fun imagination it’s very easy.” — Fresh Fiction
“BAYOU WOLF is in a word … amazing. All the reader can do is hold on for the ride and enjoy the fireworks.” — Fresh Fiction
“If you love sexy wolf shifters, sweet love stories and action then you have to pick up UNTAMED WOLF by Heather Long”. — Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction
“It is a great story about finding a place to belong and the love that can follow if you allow it.” – Hart’s Romance Pulse reviewing RIVER WOLF
Follow the tour June 6th – 10th ! One grand prize winners will receive a Snow Wolf Swag Pack (U.S. Only)
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About SNOW WOLF:
Title: SNOW WOLF
Author: Heather Long
Series: Wolves of Willow Bend #9
Genre: Paranormal/Shifter Romance
Release Date: June 7th, 2016
Digital ISBN: 2940158381683
Ranae is the youngest of the Buckleys, and the only girl amongst three powerful male siblings. Her restlessness and dominant nature has affected every relationship within Willow Bend, not to mention testing the patience of her Alpha. Apprenticeship to the Hunters fed her desire for a purpose. When her Alpha and eldest brother ask her to undertake a mission to the Yukon territory, she’s thrilled at the opportunity for a real chance to be useful. Clashing with the Alpha was the last thing she expected on the dangerous assignment.
The oldest Alpha in the U.S. packs, lives a gray existence. The loss of his mate so many decades before wears away at him, until he doesn’t give a damn about anything. The problems of the other packs are not his, and he prefers to be left to his isolation. The arrival of the Chief Enforcer annoys him, but it is the wolf traveling with him who wakes the predator in Diesel. The scent of mate clings to her, but she rejects his overtures and challenges him on every level.
Read an excerpt from SNOW WOLF:
Riding the high of her nearness, Diesel leaned into the force of her hand on his chest. “I know my mate’s scent. I searched for you all over Willow Bend. Why else would Mason send you?” The moment the words left his lips, he reconsidered the phrasing. Her eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared.
“I’m a Hunter of Willow Bend. I am here to deliver a message from my Alpha—and I don’t care what century you were born in old man, but we don’t arrange matings. You don’t just get to walk in here, thump your chest and say mine.” The ferocious light in her eyes sent a quiet thrill through his bloodstream. His wolf roused to the hunt, every color and nuance sharpening under their study.
“No?” He didn’t want to miss a moment of her reaction. Her dilated pupils constricted even as her mouth tightened. Anger soured her scent and her nails bit into his muscle as he pressed into the contact. Despite a faint tremble, she didn’t shift her grip or attack him. Would she? If he provoked her enough? The idea intrigued the hell out of him. No Alpha wanted a weak mate.
“No.” She withdrew the contact then retreated one step. Crowding closer, he refused to let her abandon him. “Dude…get a grip. I came here to do a job.” A muscle in her jaw twitched. “Or maybe you are trying to prove you don’t hold the Yukon?”
Challenge wound through every syllable. Canting his head to the side, he raised one eyebrow and waited.
“What? Playing crazy, eccentric keeps the other packs at bay and allows you to dictate the terms of your interactions. You don’t want to talk; you walk away or slam a door. You want to shut me down; you declare I’m yours.” Folding her arms, Ranae raised her chin and, although the gold circle on around her gray-green irises faded, it didn’t diminish completely. “It won’t work and I’m really not interested in the games. We have serious issues to discuss with you, Alpha. You can get on board or be left behind to cope on your own should the Russian packs turn their gaze on your territory and your pack.”
Amusement curved through him. Passionate determination etched into her expression. “Our pack will be fine.”
“My pack will be, absolutely. Your pack is debatable.” The aggravation in her scent muted beneath the sting of frustration. “Now you’re baiting me.” Sidestepping him, she tried to put some distance between them. He allowed her three steps before intercepting her again. He wanted her gaze on him, nowhere else. “Seriously, you have a problem.”
“No, I have a mate, but continue telling me why our pack is in danger.”
Pausing, her lips tightened and her eyes narrowed. The curl of her fingers into a fist telegraphed her next move. Would she do it? He pressed into her space, and she rewarded his effort with fresh contact in the form of a blow. It caught him square above his heart, and the second with her elbow connected with his jaw. He accepted both blows, but refused to retreat.
“Your training is incomplete.” Whatever response she’d been expecting, his comment surprised her. “Otherwise you’d understand that two hits will not take down an enraged male, if you want to escape you have to incapacitate or kill.”
“I don’t want to fight you.”
“Wonderful. I have no desire to fight you, but if you need to beat on me to make yourself feel better, go right ahead. I’m very sturdy.”
The corner of her mouth kicked into an involuntary smile, and his breath lodged in his throat, the single glimpse of sweetness a better reward than he could have imagined. “Are you insane?”
“Depends on your definition of sanity.” The tangle of her hair contrasted with the wool of her pullover. How soft would the strands be? When she failed to respond, he reached out to test his theory. She slapped his hand away, and the sting intrigued him.
“Stop.” Command reverberated through the single syllable. “I came here as a messenger, nothing else. Keep your teeth and your hands to yourself. Am I clear?”
In all things, an Alpha could command. He could take a life. He could grant it. Wolves who pledged to an Alpha could be sent into the heart of danger and forfeit all that they owned. The heart, however, could not be commanded nor could he take what she would not willingly give.
His wolf bucked at the rejection, but Diesel withdrew three steps to give her space. Clasping his hands behind his back, he studied the beautiful Hunter before him. She would not tumble easily, nor would she accept his direct pledge. Very well, if he had to learn to court, then he would find what enticed her. “Dress,” he ordered. “Several layers. We will be leaving the guest quarters.”
Expecting obedience, he turned to the entrance and pressed the code to allow Julian entry.
“Are you staying with her or leaving?” Her presence was non-negotiable.
“Since you asked so nicely…” The Chief Enforcer’s expression barely shifted, yet a smirk echoed beneath his words. “I’d be happy to stay.”
Uninterested in the old wolf’s games, Diesel spared his mate another studying look. Ranae gaped at him, and she hadn’t moved a muscle.
“Trust me when I say it will be more comfortable if you get dressed, but if you insist on testing my patience, I’ll happily take care of stripping you first then dressing you.”
The taunt did what the order would not. She moved.
His wolf rose, stretching and raking his claws. Yes, they had the scent of this hunt.
TITLE: Snow Wolf
SERIES: Wolves of Willow Bend #9
ARC Received From: Heather Long
# OF STARS 5
Don’t miss the highly anticipated installment in the Wolves of Willow Bend as we travel north to one of the most secretive packs in the U.S.
Ranae is the youngest of the Buckleys— the only girl among three powerful male siblings. Her restlessness and dominant nature affected her every relationship within Willow Bend, not to mention testing the patience of her Alpha. Apprenticeship to the Hunters fed her desire for a purpose. When her Alpha and eldest brother ask her to undertake a mission to the Yukon territory, she’s thrilled at the opportunity to be useful. Clashing with the Diesel was the last thing she expected on the dangerous assignment.
Diesel, the oldest Alpha in the U.S. packs, lives a gray existence. The loss of his mate so many decades ago wears away at him until he doesn’t give a damn about anything. The problems of the other packs are not his, and he prefers to be left in isolation. The arrival of the Chief Enforcer annoys him, but it is the wolf traveling with him who wakes the predator in Diesel. The scent of mate clings to her, but she rejects his overtures and challenges him on every level.
War may be coming for the Yukon, but Diesel’s battle is very personal…
Wow Heather wrote another great book in this series. We watch a Diesel tries to win his mate. We see the struggle and how she is trying to deal with her anger. Will she leave Willows Bend? Will they find out why all the clans are being attacked? Will they find any leads? Will Julian find his white rabbit?
I received an ARC version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Keeping a Series Fresh: It’s all Wolf to Me
One of the more difficult challenges for readers and authors alike when it comes to a series is how do you keep it fresh? How do you return to the same well over and over again? And what point does a series become…eek…boring?
I’ve read a lot of series over the years, the ones I enjoy the most are the ones which give me a reason to come back, but aren’t repetitive. They may possess an ongoing set of story arcs, but each book propels us forward and focuses on the couple at hand, on their journey.
Keeping Willow Bend New
Every book in the Wolves of Willow Bend series is a “first” book because for the couple I’m focusing on, it’s their first book, it’s their story. I keep the focus on them, and reintroduce only those key elements from the series that are vital to understanding the current couple’s tale.
It sounds easy, and sometimes it is. Other times, it’s hard. Readers who follow the series will obviously get more because they know the history, and have met earlier characters, followed the twists and turns of their stories and seen more of the world fleshed out.
Each book adds a new layer or dimension to the world itself. We’re exploring the world together. Every character presents their perspective, offers a window on the world to give us their view and expands the image.
So how do you keep it fresh? Since the first time I read a book and discussed it with a friend, one truth has underscored both my reading and my writing—no two readers experience the same book the same way. We each bring to the table a set of unique experiences and viewpoints. I may respond emotionally to triggers that you nod to and say yes, that was sad, but I didn’t sob whereas another reader may cry buckets because it reminded them of their own loss.
Understanding how our experiences inform our reactions helps me to weave each tale by viewing the world only through the eyes of my main characters. For example, what may have made Wolf Claim’s Gillian shy away from confrontation could simply piss off River Wolf’s Colby while what is absolutely vital to Untamed Wolf’s Dylan may only be a nuisance to Rogue Wolf’s Salvatore.
Every character’s existence is vital to their point of view, what they will react to, what they need, and more—what they want. So while these characters—these people live in the same world, maybe even in the same pack, their experiences aren’t the same. So every book whether it’s number 1 or number 15 in the series is their first book.
From Supporting to Lead
One element which helps me in my strive to keep each tale in the Willow Bend series fresh includes the supporting cast of characters—more it’s rotating leading characters from one book to supporting characters of another. It lets us revisit previous heroes and heroines while also offering a way to introduce future issues. In addition to rotating the cast, I can use natural relationships to show how these characters interact.
We know Gillian and Owen are important to Brett, they are also important to Mason. It’s natural for them to appear in books where these characters are pivotal. Claire Buckley spent time in Sutter Butte, her appearance in Desert Wolf is organic as is being joined by her mate, Tyler. Tyler has links to A.J. and Linc—they’re his brothers…call it my Six Degrees of Willow Bend…those connections flesh out the world, the story and they give me ideas for future tales as well as upcoming twists and turns we may or may not be expecting.
While the series has continuing world arcs, each book focuses on a particular set of characters. They are our window, and give us their view of what is happening to the greater world while we are engaged in their tale. Each piece of the puzzle provides us with another clue to where we are going and who will be guiding us on the next part of the journey. The best part of the series is the characters that appear as a momentary distraction, but prove to be a meatier hook for the future.
What keeps a series fresh for you?
Other Books in the Wolves of Willow Bend Series:
WOLF AT LAW
WOLF NEXT DOOR
WOLF WITH BENEFITS
SINGLE WICKED WOLF
About Heather Long:
National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.