Monday, October 16, 2023

Bewitching Book Tour's Haunted Halloween Spooktacular: Taken By The Alpha King by Abigail Barnette




We’re moving. The home we’re leaving was built in 1907, on the site of a house that had previously burned down. Designed by the local brickyard, which shipped hundreds of copies across the midwest as a complete home-building kit, it started life as a showroom, became part of a working farm, passed through the hands of several families, and had a brief stint as a meth lab, requiring extensive refurbishment before it could become a single family rental home.

At some point during the refurbishment, the owner decided to take a metal detector for a spin. She found what she described as, “An old locket with a bunch of hair in it.” I asked if she reburied that locket, but as a medium who’d already been living in the house for several years at that point, I knew that she hadn’t.

If she had reburied the locket, maybe we wouldn’t come home to an empty house with every cupboard wide open. Maybe the bare, disembodied legs of a young girl in a gingham skirt wouldn’t jump playfully over the landing at the top of the stairs. It’s possible that the grandfather clock--which we do not own and which is not present in the house--wouldn’t tick quite so loudly.

Keeping dog sitters has been an issue. A young couple who enthusiastically loved our animals said, “Never again,” once they’d had to be in the place alone. Another found one of our dogs trapped in a closet--something that had never occurred before--and yet another sent me a picture of the Addams Family’s house, stating, “I’m going to tell my kids this is where you lived.”

It isn’t a malicious haunting. We’ve never felt unsafe. Creeped out, maybe, when the back door has automatically opened for us when our car pulled into the driveway. Freaked by the footsteps heard in unoccupied rooms, sure. And the little girl’s legs? Always a bit jarring. But after a while, one grows used to catching shadowy figures out of the corner of one’s eye. And the back door thing? That could actually be helpful when one’s hands are full.

The townhouse we’re moving to is a little over twenty years old. There has never been a recorded death in it. It isn’t built on the site of a tragedy (that we’re aware of), and the scariest thing about it is that I’ll have to negotiate two flights of stairs to get from my bed to my office, rather than just one. But I wonder, will I miss living in such a benignly haunted place? Will it feel empty? Lonely?

I look forward to the cupboard doors staying shut, though.

How about you? Do you have any spooky stories from past houses?

Taken By The Alpha King
Abigail Barnette

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Trout Nation, Inc.
Date of Publication: May 2, 2023
ISBN: 9798988035503
ASIN: B0BZ2TY27H
Number of pages: 472
Cover Artist: Covers by Kris

Tagline: He’ll never stop fighting to keep his throne…and her.

Book Description: 

Born into a secret society of werewolves and betrothed to a mate she didn’t love, Bailey Dixon made the choice to leave her pack for five years. Now, she’s back and fully committed to becoming the werewolf she was destined to be.

But destiny--and the new pack king--have other plans. Rich, handsome, and utterly ruthless, Nathan Frost demands absolute obedience from the Toronto pack. When he sets his sights on Bailey, she’s plunged into a world of politics, sex, and violence she’s not equipped to navigate on her own.

With her life in danger and enemies emerging from every corner, Bailey is forced to rely on the mysterious stranger who’s usurped the throne of her pack. And even he can’t be trusted…


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Humans imagine scenes in movies where werewolves scream in agony and tear out of their clothes, which I’ve never understood. We know when the full moon is. It doesn’t take us by surprise. And we know how to dress for it.

Or undress. My breath freezes in my lungs as Nathan walks into the circle. He stops in front of the monolith to Lycaon and drops his robe.

I shamelessly look him over, the way he did to me, from his broad shoulders, down his chest dusted with dark hair that thins to a line on his shockingly sculpted abs. I wasn’t expecting him to look as good as he does. I wasn’t expecting that my mouth would water at the sight of his cock, that my thighs would clench together at the thought of how huge it must be hard.

I wish he could see me. I hope he feels me, smells me.

And I hope that the strange attraction between us is making him as crazed with need as I feel.

An acolyte—a thrall trained in our ceremonies and rituals—steps forward with a shallow silver bowl bearing a glistening human heart. It’s required for the transformation; Lycaon himself was transformed into a wolf after he angered Zeus by feeding the God human flesh. Nathan grabs the heart with his bare hand and bites into it.

That’s when he lifts his gaze and finds me, seconds before the transformation starts.

It begins with his eyes. They flash silver, then red. His face shifts, nose and jaw elongating into a muzzle. We don’t turn into wolves. That’s a myth. We turn into a creature that stands upright; body covered with short, silky hair from our clawed feet to our canine-like heads. The fur flows over every contour of Nathan’s body and his spine curves, drawing him into a hunched posture. His ears elongate, pointing straight back, a shape humans would consider more elfin than dog-like, with tufts of fur accentuating the points. His arms grow longer, as well; in this predatory manifestation, a wide reach is an advantage.

In his animalistic form, he waits for the others but stares up at me. Like this, I’m vulnerable. Far too human. I would be no match for him, should he want me. And he does want me, but even this way, he has self-control, as well as some common sense. He knows he can’t reach me, and so do I, but being the target of all that concentrated power and bestial drive is still heady and frightening.

The good kind of frightening. The kind that makes me wonder what could happen if I only push a little further.




 

About the Author: 

Abigail Barnette is the pseudonym of Jenny Trout, an author, blogger, and funny person. Jenny made the USA Today bestseller list with their debut novel, Blood Ties Book One: The Turning. Their American Vampire was named one of the top ten horror novels of 2011 by Booklist Magazine Online. As Abigail Barnette, Jenny writes award-winning erotic fiction, including the internationally bestselling The Boss series.

Jenny has been featured on television and radio, including HuffPost Live, Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, and National Public Radio’s Here and Now. Their work has earned mentions in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Slate, Vulture, and Fangoria.

A longtime supporter of community theatre, Jenny has appeared on stages across West Michigan as Anelle in Steel Magnolias, Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Bea Bottom in Something Rotten, and Hunyak in Chicago, among many others. They’ve worked behind the scenes as everything from director to prop master. Jenny is a proud Michigander, parent of two, and spouse to their very most favorite person.









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