Where The Wolves Run

Where The Wolves Run

Wolves of Black Pine

by SJ Himes
Release Day, June 30th 2015

It's Alive!



Starting out, months and months ago, writing was the means I used to escape. I tried to get away from the frustration, the helplessness, the grief I felt at being stuck in a life I could no longer stand. Depression is a vile and cloying disease that steals hope and ambition, and kills dreams faster than anything in this world. 
To survive, I latched onto whatever I could that generated even the tiniest bit of happy, and what happened snowballed into the miracle I now call my profession. I may pull a day job to cover the bills, but what I call myself now is....
WRITER.
Author.

I create worlds that bring me peace and happiness, and the stories I kept to myself for years, my escape from reality, are now alive, a force of nature and words that are inescapable and powerful. 

Back in August of 2014, I read an m/m shifter story, and while it was sexy and well-written, it left me unsatisfied. That itch wasn't scratched, ya know? Little things in the commonly accepted lore of 'shifters' bothered me, in that it was all about those particular pieces and not the characters. And I kept seeing the same themes over and over and over in shifter books. While some things are perfectly fine to be shared across the genre, and I personally read and enjoy tons of shifter books, I had a version to tell that was vastly different. 

One thing that seems to be shared across the spectrum with writers is that we write what we want to read.  So that, my dears, is how Wolves of Black Pine was born. I wrote what I wanted to read.

And I'm incredibly nervous about how it's going to be received. It's one thing to lament the woes of trying to create an original shifter world and universe, and its entirely different to actually do it. I'm messing with the very much beloved shifter-verse, and I'm not too sure how the readers will take to it. Angry? Adoring? Or will my book come in with a lusty howl and quickly fade out on a whimper?


When He Speaks

Yet he wouldn't shut up. He broke down my nerves and walls and said, "I'm here, and I'm not leaving until you tell this story."

That's when Gray Shadow started to talk to me. Shaman Gray Shadow spoke to me, and he didn't tell me his story, but the story of his grandson, Luca. A very special boy who would one day be the key and focus of a war, a battle for not just his right to live and love, but the fate of his people.

I love Gray Shadow. He came out of my brain fully realized and complete, and I knew before I wrote the first word that he would break my heart. His own story isn't in Wolves, but his best chapter is, and it will hopefully resonate with readers as it did with me.

Wolves of Black Pine

An ancient civilization long hidden from humanity is on the brink of chaos and war. Peaceful for thousands of years, the wolfkin clans are mysteriously losing packmates, kidnapped and killed by unknown foes.
The nightmare begins with an ambush by humans at a gathering of their kind, and lives are lost. Among them is Luca, youngest grandson of the two most powerful wolves in the Northern Clans. Thought long dead and gone, he is forced into a half-life, hidden in the far northern wilds of Canada and cut off from his kind. Those who raised him have no idea the creature they harbor in their midst, and name him Ghost. He begins to lose himself over the long years, and though he barely recalls his true name, the one wolf he never forgets is Kane.


Kane, Heir to the wolfkin clan Black Pine, is charged with hunting down the traitors who betrayed their kind to the humans. Years fly by, and more wolves are dying. He refuses to give up, and he vows to never again fail another of their kind, as he failed young Luca years before. His heart tells him Luca lives, but his mind tells him that it’s foolish hope, his guilt eating him alive.
Fate and magic change the course of their lives, and the two wolves long separated by the years find their paths intertwining. Though the gift of their reunion doesn’t come without price. Faced by the consequences of their growing love, and the goddess-forged bond between them, Kane and Ghost are besieged on all sides. Enemies are coming for their blood, and without the steadfast loyalty and love of family and friends, they may not be safe from the very people they fight to protect.

Ghost

Luca is a child in the beginning of the book. The wolfkin live for a very long time, and five years is like infancy to their kind. He is five years old, and smart, sweet, and loves to flirt with everyone. Innocent and affectionate, Luca holds a special place in Gray Shadow's heart, and he charms everyone he meets.....Especially Kane, heir to Black Pine Clan.

Tragedy strikes and betrayal rips apart families. Death takes the best and brightest, and cruel fate sends Luca, helpless and alone, into the wilds. His path deviates from where it should have gone, and his loss is mourned, all thinking him dead... But for one.

Kane has hope, but it torments him, his inability to let go of Luca and mourn him for dead crippling him. He continues on, grieving and yet determined to avenge the lives lost, and find the traitors and killers hiding among their kind.

Lost for years, in the company of humans who think him an animal, Luca loses himself. He is given a new name, and becomes Ghost. He dreams of loneliness and sorrow, and the distant glimpses in his dream-scape of a midnight black wolf.

He is a ghost, a specter, living a half-life of empty promise, his humanity slowly losing ground to the instincts of his wolfkin form. It's not until violence and death comes for him and his humans that Ghost begins to recall his past and true nature.

Fate takes another turn, and when Ghost finds himself returning to the place where his life as Luca ended, he comes face to face with the one wolfkin he never expected to see again.



Kane


Heir and Alpha. Best friend and killer. Hunter, leader, and defender. Kane is many things, and does his best to live up to the expectations of his clan and his people. 

He leads the hunt for missing wolfkin and their abductors, and its when they get so very close to their enemies that Kane's path twists, and he returns to the place he never wanted to: Baxter State Park, the place where he failed to save some of his people, and the youngling Luca was lost. 



He returns to Baxter, accompanied by his pack and dearest friends, and they quickly realize that what at first seemed to be a simple protection job had become so much more......and that Goddess and Fate have a gift for him......Luca lives.

When Deities Intervene


There is no gift from a deity that comes without price. Luca's return as Ghost is greeted with joy and disbelief, but their enemies are excited for his return as well, and they want something from Ghost that they're willing to kill to get. A bond is forged between Kane and Ghost, impossible and divine, and it is that soul bond that threatens their lives and those who would defend them. Anathema and a violation of Tradition and Law, their bond and nascent love places them in great danger. 

Yet it is that bond that makes them strong, and keeps them safe. Lust and desire comes easily, and the bond comes with a surprising side effect that astounds and frightens the wolfkin around them.

The Wolf of the Northern Star is all knowing, and their Goddess has a plan for them.





Excerpt from Wolves of Black Pine:

Ghost absorbed Kane’s reply, and he unconsciously nuzzled deeper into the alpha’s embrace, breathing in his scent. It was a delicious and heady mixture of fresh-cut sweet wood, pine, coffee, and soap from their shower. Thinking of wolves mating for love, and then their shower that morning, stirred Ghost’s blood, his body heating. The dull roar of many voices and the vibration of dozens of feet coming up through the soles of Ghost’s borrowed boots receded until nothing existed for him except his mate.
He laid his hands flat on Kane’s stomach and side, feeling rock-hard muscles under his thin shirt, heat radiating through the fabric. Kane was speaking over Ghost’s head to someone, but he wasn’t interested in who it was, or their words. He put his nose on the smooth, soft cotton, and pulled in deep, smelling the winter air caught in the threads and his mate’s scent underneath, knocking his thoughts astray. There was so much to learn and do and think and simply be, and Ghost wanted none of it right that moment. All he wanted was to keep on existing in his mate’s space, feeling him, smelling him, listening to the rumble of his words as he spoke.
Ghost ran his hands down Kane’s sides, to his hips, nostrils flaring as he pulled his heady scent in deeper, until it felt like his mate was wound around his very bones, twined with the fibers of his very being. Red starlight pulsed, grew brighter, flooding his vision, his eyes floating shut as he leaned into Kane, everything falling away but for the other wolfkin’s heat.
Time passed without meaning. He’d never felt like this before. Was it because he was a human man now? The female wolves of the sanctuary never appealed to him when he was in wolf-form, nor did the scrawny males, the submissives of the female alpha’s pack. Perhaps his dual nature, both wolf and man, had kept him from having an interest in such things until he was back among his own kind.
Kane was everywhere. His heat, his scent, his taste. Ghost came back to the surface momentarily, as his tongue traced the dips and hollows of Kane’s collar bone, revealed by the open neckline of his shirt. Salty, and yet sweet. He wanted more. A voice came to him through the haze, trying to calm the storm of heat and need, but he didn’t want to hear it. He growled softly, teeth bared against his mate’s soft skin, nipping and tasting.
“Kane, take Ghost to your cabin,” an accented voice said, laced with humor. It came as if from a great distance, muffled. Ghosts sighed, lathing his tongue over a hard ridge of muscle, standing on his toes, fingers curled tightly in the fabric of Kane’s shirt.
“What’s gotten in to him? I’m not complaining, but he growls every time I try and get him to calm down.” Kane was speaking. Why was he speaking to someone, and not touching him?
Ghost whined, and pressed closer, wanting to crawl inside his mate and roll in him, surround himself in every facet of his mate. He was falling deeper, every thump of his heart rocking him under his body’s response to his mate. His thoughts were thinning, becoming less complete, Kane’s sharing of thoughts and ideas, behaviors—it was becoming less important. He wanted something. Needed something, and soon.
“Your bond is getting stronger, deeper. Whether you knew it or not, you’ve had nearly fifteen years of adjusting to the bond. Whereas Ghost was a little boy, then a wolf, when the bond first began, so it never had time to grow in him as it did in you….the bond is hitting him hard, making up for lost time. The two of you need to cement your connection. Get him alone, now.”
“Well, shit,” Kane swore, grabbing at Ghost’s hands. He growled again, trying to get closer, not wanting to be denied. “I’ll ask how you know that later.”
Big arms picked him up. Ecstatic, Ghost whimpered, and roped his legs around Kane’s waist, and he buried his hands in his long dark hair, the silken strands flowing through his fingers like water. He ran his mouth slowly over Kane’s high cheekbones, to his ear, nipping at the soft lobe. There was a rough hitch in Kane’s breathing, and there was a change in his scent, a fiery and spicy taste of which he wanted more.
Kane was walking. Carrying him, to somewhere. He didn’t care. All he cared about was the strength in the muscles under his hands, against his body, the way his skin tasted and smelled and felt. Chill air and the scent of pine greeted him, light filtering through his eyelids. He blinked, and lifted his head from Kane’s neck. He saw a hillside covered in snow, a thin path cutting through the trees behind them as Kane took them down a new path.
“There you are, little wolf. Can you hold on for me? Just another few minutes?” Kane asked him huskily, his long strides devouring the ground as he walked along the path.
“What happened?” Ghost gasped softly, and he tightened his arms and legs around Kane’s torso. He felt different. Head lighter, skin tingling, heart thrumming. And he was hard, his cock aching where it was pressed to Kane’s stomach.
“Can you tell me? I don’t mind at all that you want me, little wolf, but in the middle of a Clan-wide meeting was perhaps not the best place to…..you know.” Kane didn’t sound upset, he sounded amused, and yet strained. “My cabin’s right here, just hold on, I’m going to open the door.”



Wolves of Black Pine

by SJ Himes

Book One of The Wolfkin Saga

Release Day June 30th, 2015






Coming soon 

 Early Winter 2015:


Wolf of the Northern Star

Sequel to Wolves of Black Pine

Their story doesn't end here! Kane and Ghost will be back!

Excerpt from Wolf of the Northern Star


Ghost crept forward, the flickering light from the fires camouflaging his approach to the cage where his mate paced. Kane was in his wolf-form, the great and beautiful beast almost too big for his prison. Ghost could see him with his Spirit-sight, Kane’s powerful crimson red star in his core a writhing storm of strength and resolute determination.
Ghost was within a yard or so when Kane’s head turned in his direction, his dark eyes glowing in the shadows, the only hint of his outline in the darkness.
*Little wolf, you must leave,* Kane said, the frantic concern he felt for Ghost’s safety coming through clearly along their link. *The tribunal will punish you if they catch you here!*
*No!* Ghost retorted, stepping through the dead grass and weeds beside the cage. He pressed his head through the bars, only able to get his nose and muzzle inside. He was not afraid of wolves who went against the Great Mother’s will, wolves who wanted Kane punished for having too much power—power they couldn’t control or exploit. Kane licked his nose, whining deep in his throat. *I will not leave you alone. You fight for me, for us. What the tribunal is doing is wrong, and you know it!*
*It is, little wolf, but they do what they feel is right,* Kane said softly, pressing his head to Ghost’s, the bars keeping them from getting closer. *I am Heir and Alpha, and I cannot disobey the Law.*
*Law made by wolves who no longer believe, no longer follow our Goddess. They quote Her Will without once asking for Her guidance. She made this bond between us, and I am thankful every moonrise that she did,* Ghost whimpered, thinking he should just use his abilities to destroy his mate’s prison and free them both. Let them leave, live in the wilds, wolves unfettered by corrupt Law and greed.
*No, Ghost,* Kane told him, reading his thoughts. *I will fight tomorrow, and defeat Roman. I have done so before, easily. He will die, as justice for his crimes, and I will be exonerated when the gathered shamans cannot dissolve our soulbond. Don’t worry.*
Ghost was about to answer, when the crack of a twig in the night made them break apart, both turning to confront the wolf standing nearby. Ghost swallowed his snarl, instantly recognizing Andromeda’s true-gold star, shining intensely in the heart of the Red Fern Clan Leader. The White Wolf padded silently into the small space around the cage, and sat beside Ghost, her wolf-form terrifying in its beauty and grace. Pure white, glacial blue eyes, and fangs sharper than the final cut of Death, Andromeda was the epitome of the wolfkin.
*You would win, Kane of Black Pine,* she said gently to both of them, *If the tribunal had not just decided that you will no longer fight Roman McLennan. He will face death in the pit against Heromindes, Clan Alpha of Ashland.*
*And who will Kane fight?* Ghost demanded, paws restless in the pine needles under his toes. Kane was breathing slow and sure next to him, both of them staring at Andromeda, waiting for the name of Kane’s opponent in the morning.

*Forgive me, younglings,* She said, ears back, nose down, unhappiness for once disturbing her usually stony expression. *For once, I do not know. A greater alpha, summoned this night from out-Clan. He arrives in the morning.*

Upcoming from SJ's Alter Ego

Revella Hawthorne


August 15th, 2015



All Content Copyrighted by SJ Himes 2015


Comments

  1. Cant wait for The Wolf Of The Northern Star. Any ideas on when it'll come out?

    ReplyDelete

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