Marlowe Roy is a Midwestern transplant living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her husband describes her dystopian omegaverse stories as “punchy and unboring.” She writes late at night and on weekends and does not want to go for a hike.
One chance to choose her Alpha.
Zorah’s on a high-stakes mission: choose one of the Morris Hill Alphas to bond before summer ends. If she fails, she’ll be forced to return home and accept whomever her controlling parents pick, including her oily cousin.
With a dozen handsome Alphas vying for her attention, her future is well in hand. That is, until fate blinds her to all but one. Anti-social and reclusive, with a violent history, he’s lowest Alpha in the pack.
And he’s her mate.
His fresh start came with a price.
Desperate for a new life, Jake joins the Morris Hill Pack with a promise to never speak to an Omega again. A high cost he gladly paid for a shot at redemption.
But when an irresistible omega arrives at their village, he fears his resolve will crumble. Too young, too sweet, and too good for a train wreck like him, he vows to stay away. Forbidden to have and impossible to ignore, her nature calls to him; a destined collision he can’t avoid.
Giving in risks everything he’s worked for, but giving her up will tear them both apart.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a work of omegaverse fiction. It includes depictions of post-traumatic stress, parental verbal and physical abuse, a near-drowning, and discussion of (past) torture and (past) addiction. It also contains mature language, and explicit sexual content.
Riddick snuck his arm around her waist and threw her a saucy grin. “Let’s take a walk and discuss what I might have to offer. What do you say? Care to join me for a moonlit stroll?”
Before she could answer, another unmistakable touch tingled against her nape. More forceful, like a taunt or a warning, it reverberated deep in her body, like the rumble of an earthquake that only she could feel. Zorah took an involuntary step backward and scanned the darkness beyond the fire, seeking the source of the elusive, invisible prickle. Another brush came, this one lighter and more cajoling, a puff of humid breath behind her ear.
It was nothing new. In the weeks since the sensation first wove its way into her awareness, she’d never once laid eyes on her watcher. But she knew him all the same. She knew the way his attention warmed when she laughed. She knew the way it sharpened when she flirted. And, most perplexing of all, she knew the way he recoiled when she sought him out.
Shards of orange firelight slashed against the rough-hewn village structures and flickered against the trees in the surrounding forest as Zorah glared into the black night. Some presence hovered in the gathering darkness, teasing her with these fleeting touches that seemed to communicate so much and yet nothing at all. Sudden frustration surged. Her watcher did not want her to go for an evening stroll with Riddick, yet they refused to come out into the light and even talk to her. It was beyond maddening.
Zorah drained her cup, letting the strong liquor swirl around her taste buds and fortify her nerves. Enough was enough.
“Not right now, sorry,” she said, handing Riddick her empty cup and inventing a plausible excuse. “I need to ask Grace about Ginny’s rash before she goes to bed. I’ll find you later.”
Riddick opened his mouth to protest, but Zorah didn’t wait to hear it. Feet crunching in the dry August grass, she waved off calls to her as she skirted past Packmates enjoying the party. Their laughs and raised voices chafed against her frazzled nerves as she narrowed her eyes and peered into the endless blank spaces between the trees. The touch lingered, a barely-there weight on the curve of her shoulder. Lessened in intensity, but present and real.
At the edge of the clearing, she charged into the tree cover, the depth of night folding around her like a blanket. Head swiveling this way and that, she sought to locate the source of the touch but came up empty. He must be hiding here somewhere. But where? Who was it? Why did she feel him — and she was rather certain it was a him — in a way she felt no one else? Was he special to her in some way, or she to him? Her illusory fated mate?
Her fated mate. As if the phrase was an antidote to the sensation, the touch faded away. No lingering tingle. No alluring caress. Nothing. Gone as if it never existed. A desolate emptiness yawned open behind Zorah’s ribs. An acute aloneness that left her feeling abandoned, neglected, and, strangely, let down.
It couldn’t be her fated mate. At any rate, her mother Ida argued fated mates were a fairy tale. Many Omegas, she alleged, never found a fated mate and were happy enough to make do with another. But, in Zorah’s (perhaps childish) estimation, a non-fated-mating was fine for other Omegas, but surely, she would find hers.
Problem was, Prince Charming Alpha was overdue on his long-awaited appearance. All she had to show after two months here was a cast of suitors, a weird sensation on the back of her neck, and a stomach tied in knots with worry.
With one last fruitless inspection of her surroundings, she pivoted back toward the party. She’d find Riddick and take the stupid walk. Even if she didn’t have a fated mate, and never made that special Alpha-Omega bond, she’d gladly accept him, Matteo, or any number of Morris Hill Alphas before she’d mate with Nelson. Stomping out of the trees, Zorah gritted her teeth. She’d welcome a lifetime of emptiness in place of a lifetime of oppression. No matter what, she had to choose one of these Alphas. And soon.
Almost all of my story ideas start at the “meet cute” set up. I love to fantasize about how characters first encounter each other and those thrilling immediate impressions. The push and pull tensions right from that initial moment get me really excited about a story. Another thing that helps me when developing characters in a romance is thinking about their intimate moments. Like, what is the sex these two particular people would have? What would be the vulnerabilities for each of them in intimacy? So, I start with how they meet and how they hook up; then I have the difficult task of figuring out all the rest of the book!
Usually when I’m not writing I’m plotting how I can get back to writing. I also daydream a lot about future stories or just imagine scenes from my work in progress. I see scenes play out in my mind like a movie, and then I go try to capture that with words.
It’s more like dragging a manuscript over the finish line than winning a race. I’m so sick of looking at it by that point, I just want it off my desk, so I rarely feel like celebrating.
My husband will buy me flowers or my friends will take me out for dinner or drinks.
I’m a massive romance fan and, like a lot of readers, I read widely across the entire genre. A few years ago, I discovered omegaverse and immediately read as much as I could get my hands on. But, while I loved the concept and the power dynamics inherent in it, I quickly got bored with the inexperienced, virginal, ingenue type female characters typical in the genre. I craved an omegaverse with richness in character and diversity in age and life experience. At the time, that didn’t exist, so I set about to write it and that’s how my series came into being. So my first book (The Alpha’s Salvation) features a female main character (an Omega) who is 40+years old. She’s had a pretty rough life, but she is a survivor and has a lot of quiet, inner strength that I really respect.
No, not really, but I’ll tell you a funny story. The hero in The Alpha’s Salvation goes by the name of Hunter in the post-apocalyptic setting of the book. But, Hunter was his last name before the end of the world and, before then, he had a normal name like everyone else. So when I went to name him, I thought, “what’s just a normal guy name that isn’t going to seem too weird or distracting?” and I came up with Paul. Okay, fine. My husband’s name is Jason so, in honor of him, I named the character Paul Jason Hunter and moved along. Fast forward to months later when the book comes out and my therapist tells me that he’s going to pick it up and read it and — holy shit — his name is Paul, which had NEVER ONCE occurred me in the entire process of writing, editing, and publishing the book. The unconscious is a powerful thing! So there you go. My first hero is named after two important men in my life: my husband and my therapist.
This particular book is a departure for me because my first two books featured heroines who were above the age of 40. Those women possessed a lot of life experiences and traumas that contributed to their character and made they interesting. In this book, my heroine Zorah is much younger (mid-20s). To write Zorah, I had to be careful to stay away from the silly, naive, ingenue stereotype while respecting that she isn’t someone with a whole ton of life experience. I also had to think hard about what a 20-something would be like if they’d grown up sheltered in a dystopian society. And then I had to make her relationship with the much older hero (a man who survived through the apocalypse) make sense and think about how they would relate to each other and believably fall in love.
Interestingly, I set out a goal for myself to inject some fun into this book. I love gritty, emotional, character-driven journeys, so my books tend to be chockfull of angst. My characters work hard for their HEAs! But, I also realize that readers sometimes appreciate a break from the angst. So, for this book I intentionally included a few scenes that were more light-hearted where the characters actually play together. In one scene, they have a splash fight and in another scene they play “marco polo” in the water and it’s great because you can really see the connection between them in those scenes.
I have so many author influences, it’s hard to say who inspired this particular book. But, I am a huge fan of some big-name contemporary romance writers like Tiffany Reisz, Sierra Simone, Charlotte Stein, Kate Clayborn, and Cara McKenna, so when I write I’m always aspiring to their levels. I don’t think I come close but I keep trying!
Jake nearly choked in disbelief. As if there was any possibility in any universe that he would find her silly. As if every syllable that danced off her lips didn’t entice him to an insane, and frankly probably unhealthy, degree. That this conversation, this furtive, intimate, simple but profound exchange, meant more to him than any other interaction he’d had in years. That he wanted to drown in the way her eyes took him in, like he wasn’t a washed-up, broken-down disgrace of an Alpha but a wholly different type of creature altogether, one that — despite all sense and reason — interested her. He didn’t say any of that. Could barely let himself think it, let alone feel the truth of it or say it out loud.
I would love to meet ALL my characters! But I’d especially like to meet Cal, who is the hero of my second book, The Alpha’s Seduction. I’d probably apologize for what I did to his foot!