Her mysterious past holds the key to protecting his clan. Between helping teens at an After-School Art Club and trying to publish her granny’s fairy tales, Chantelle’s life still feels somehow unfulfilled. When his father and older brother died, Charles was forced into the role of Alpha. Three years later, he still hasn’t dealt with the loss. Now a rival pack is stirring up trouble in his grandmother’s hometown, and he must investigate. But that is only where the mystery begins. There’s something else going on and it starts with the mysterious and beautiful Chantelle. The secrets of her past and her untrained magical abilities hold the key to the rival pack’s attacks. And when they discover that sorcery is behind the violence against women and children in the territory, they have to trust each other and forge a connection. But is their bond strong enough to protect the pack and fulfill a Fated Mates prophecy, or will they lead the pack, and their love, to ruin?
Mimi B. Rose
Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.
Her mysterious past holds the key to protecting his clan.
What surprised you the most while writing this book?
I tried a lot of different genres when I first started writing. I read widely, and I thought I would want to write a lot of different kinds of stories. But I struggled to find the secret ingredient that made me love a story I was writing. This one was different – I loved it right away and it felt like it almost wrote it itself! It was my first paranormal romance novel, which is my favourite genre to read, but I was afraid to try it in case I couldn’t live up to my idols. But I loved it! It was actually freeing to write something that was exciting and fun.
Why did you pick the setting you used for your book?
I love shifter books set in remote locations. I also love the New Orleans settings of Ann Rice and Faith Hunter, and was thinking about all the history and gorgeous architecture and stories that go along with an older setting. There is a personal connection, too. My family is French-Canadian and I wanted to use some of that background. My sister lived in the Laurentian Mountains in her twenties and my parents visit northern Quebec often. It is rich with history and stories that allowed me to build the paranormal elements effectively in the novel.
What is the sexiest trait of your hero(s)?
Hmmm, when I was writing the novel, I thought of Jason Momoa in the TV show Frontier – long shaggy hair, lots of muscles, and those eyes! Charles is more of a sophisticated businessman, but I think of him as a hipster lumberjack figure who swaggers around oozing sex appeal in a beanie (toque, as we call it in Canada) and plaid button-up. Oooh, TMI?
What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?
I really liked writing the sweet moments that happen in the second half of the book. For example, when Chantelle draws Charles a bath while they’re away for the weekend. Soapy, sudsy fun! The couple cares for each other in many ways, and it’s a tender moment where they show their soft sides and grow closer.
What did you have to cut out of your book but wish you could have included?
In the first draft, the couple went on a Cinderella date in Montreal, but I had to cut it out in the later version. In Book 2, Charles’s brother meets his love interest in Montreal, so there’ll be a couple of city dates in that one!
Tropes get a bad name, but they’re often the biggest draw for readers. What tropes do you love to write and read?
I LOVE the forced proximity trope. It’s one of my favourites, because the couple has to learn about each other and figure out how to communicate quickly. The enemies-to-lovers is also great – the couple fights their growing attraction while arguing and misunderstanding each other. Talk about sexual tension! I like a billionaire Alpha, but he has to have an ethical, caring side to balance his controlling tendencies. It’s the give-and-take in the relationships that really appeal to me!
What are your favorite genres/sub-genres to write in? Are there any you love to read but cannot write in?
I love reading cozy, small town romance, but I can’t write it! I grew up in a small town and maybe I can’t see the romance in that setting anymore? Paranormal romance is my favourite, but I also love all fantasy romance – steampunk, gaslamp, medieval knights and Viking warriors, etc. etc. I love an imaginary world with villains and swashbuckling heroes and heroines! I’ve never written Reverse Harem, but I’d like to try it sometime.
Which do you love to write best: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?
I love writing love scenes! I admire Desiree Holt’s work so much, because she can bring all the feels and emotions into a very hot scene. Making the love scene about the characters communicating together, making it a moment where their relationship deepens or changes in some – I love finding the layers in the scenes.
Which do you hate to write: dialogue, setting, action, love scenes, or other?
I think like a screenwriter in my first draft, so there’s lot of dialogue and it acts as a skeleton for the story. Setting is the hardest for me! I can see it in my mind, but translating it to the page takes a lot of work. But it’s such an important element of writing. If I get stuck, I go to one of my favourite authors for inspiration.
Chantelle Mizuki didn’t want to die today.
I’m wearing old underwear. With holes. Nobody is going to see them. No nurse, no doctor, no coroner. Nobody.
Chantelle’s footsteps crunched in the autumn leaves of the mountain forest. Night was falling. Wolves were howling.
Granny Ceci’s voice rang in her ears. “Don’t go in the forest at dusk, mon chou.”
Too late, Granny.
She hadn’t planned to be out this late. It was light when the After-School Art Club finished at the library. She had asked her student Alfonso to stay and talk about his application for art school. By the time they were done, the sun was low in the sky. Only after Alfonso had left did she discover she’d locked her keys in the car.
In the daytime, everyone used the path through the woods to get to the other side of the village in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. She loved the soft pine needles underfoot, tall trunks stretching their branches to the sky, soothing fragrances of moss and fern. During the day Chantelle expected to stumble across Snow White singing and dancing among the trees.
Night-time was different. Every noise was menacing, every shadow a predator waiting for her to stray off the path.
Chantelle kept to the darkened trail, wishing those howls and barks were getting fainter. The sounds of the forest were soothing when she was tucked into Granny Ceci’s gingerbread cottage—her cottage now. This evening, those sounds took on ominous undertones.
She remembered Granny Ceci telling her, “Ma cocotte, the Laurentian Mountains are home to many creatures, some fair, some foul. Be prepared for both.” Tonight, it was the foul creatures. Why couldn’t it be chipmunks or raccoons?
Another howl wailed over the tops of the trees. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up. One step in front of the other. You can do this.
Soon she reached the edge of the village. Only a quarter of a mile left. Past Marie’s big house on the hill, through the ravine, then up the path to the top of her street.
No problem. She had survived book signings with dozens of cranky children and their bad-tempered parents. She had run off her cheating no-good boyfriend. A wolf or two? No sweat.
She picked up her pace to a jog. Her legs were aching, her chest heaving. At the very least she’d have a funny story to tell Yvette and Kat. Well, it would be funny if she made it home in one piece.
The recent wolf sightings had everyone in town worried. The wolves were larger than usual, more vicious. They had even killed some dogs. Villagers were warned to stay away from the woods at night. She knew her woodcraft and carried her multi-tool at all times, but that wouldn’t be enough to stop a feral wolf.
Mimi B. Rose writes fantastic tales filled with steamy enchantment and tender-hearted fulfilment to thrill strong women. As a teen she read V.C. Andews’s Flowers in the Attic and Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat and she was hooked on fantasy romance and paranormal romance. Some of her favourite tv shows are Sleepy Hollow, Grimm, and Once–and the reboot of Beauty and the Beast starring Kirstin Kreuk (does anyone remember that series?).
She loves all kinds of shifters and vampires. Her all-time favourite authors are Faith Hunter, Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, and more recently Richelle Mead.
Mimi likes a sassy heroine who is independent but finds a strong hero who can keep up with her and treasure her for their uniqueness–including her flaws!