Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I have author Addison Carmichael in the interview chair.  We are celebrating today’s official release of Hunter, book four in the Sons of the Alpha series.  And I’ll also be reviewing the book, along with its companion prequel Shifted Desires.

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Interview

1. Hi, Addison. I’m so glad you could take the time to stop by and sit in the nice, comfy interview chair. Let’s get started. First off, readers have an idea of the writer you, but what about the everyday Addy? Can you share about your personal life?

If I could sum up my life in a couple of words, I’d say it was “blissfully chaotic”. I come from a large family of predominantly women (my poor father), then I married, had sons and ended up in a predominately male household! Still, it gave me great perspective on both sides of the gender gap, which helps me a great deal in my writing.

2. Having read the majority of your books, I know you love writing about the paranormal and fantasy. What draws you to these genres?

I’m a rebel at heart and love breaking all the rules. So the idea of creating an entirely new world and characters from the norm really floats my boat!

3. Your latest series is Sons of the Alpha. Can you tell me what inspired you to create this series?

I give credit to my faithful beta reader who began as a friend and co-worker. I’ve written for years, but one day she challenged me to write something in the paranormal romance genre that we both enjoyed reading in our book club. It started off as just a fun kick (and was originally named Silver Dagger), then blossomed into a serious 4-book series.

4. Each book in your series has a prequel novella. Why a prequel? What gave you this idea, and why write one for each book?

Confession time. I was looking for unique ways to get my name out there, and one author friend of mine suggested writing a prequel to give away and hook new readers. The heroine’s birth parents had been a sideline plot, so I used that to explore their own love story. Every author has (or should have) detailed backstories on their characters in order to create the storyline properly, so I thought it would be interesting to use one of them for each book in order to give the reader some fun reader insider information into the main book. You don’t have to read the prequels, but you will understand the motivating factors behind each of them better.

5. Can you share your writing process through book four of the series, Hunter?

I have a pretty standard format developed over the years. First comes the “what if” mental knocking around of the basic plot. Then I pull together a very brief synopsis, then a more detailed one, then a heavily detailed chapter-by-chapter outline with backstories. Then I do my research to see if it would all jib and rework things as needed. At last I sit down and actually write the story. Finally, when it gains momentum and takes on a life of its own (usually around chapter 6-8), I throw the entire outline in the trash, because it looks nothing like what I had planned! A good writer has to court the Muse, then step out of her way and let her do her work when she takes over.

6. How much research goes into your novels?

It varies with each story, but I’m a hard core research junkie, so quite a bit. There’s nothing that grinds my corn worse than reading a novel (especially from big names who have a full fact-finding staff behind them) that has sloppy, inaccurate facts. Nothing is perfect, of course, but part of our job as writers is to make sure everything is as plausible as humanly (or inhumanly, in my case) as possible in order to bring together a satisfying reading experience for our audience.

7. Let’s talk about the main characters for Hunter. What do you love most about Dr. Scarlet Lupis and what makes you want to shake her?

Scarlet is a brilliant anthropologist, and I love her “out of the box” thinking and tenacity. But she also suffers from a severe case of self-doubt (something I personally relate to). When I’m shaking her to say “stick to your guns and don’t let them change your opinion just because it’s unpopular”, I’m saying that to myself. Constantly.

8. The same for Adam Bryant. What do you love most about him and what makes you want to shake him?

I love his quiet, homey charm, and the fact that (as an adult) he doesn’t feel he needs to prove anything to anyone. However, he tends to be a little too passive-aggressive instead of assertively standing up for his rights. Difficult to do as a #3 son in a family of aggressive werewolf men and royals. I believe Scarlet helps him overcome this a lot more.

9. I do have to ask about the characters in the prequel to Hunter, Shifted Desires. What inspired you to create Randolyn Summers and Zachary King? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Every basic story has three main characters—hero, villain, and mentor (who launches hero on quest). Randi is Scarlet’s mentor figure (Zach would then be Adam’s). As I was pulling together the main synopsis for HUNTER, Randi was already Scarlet’s best friend, and I thought how interesting it would be to share her own love story, then weave them together. Randi is tenacious and generous and kind-hearted, but hard-headed. So is Zach. They’re a match made in werewolf heaven!

10. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write for Hunter and why?

Always difficult for a writer to answer, as all are in their various ways. I really had a great time writing the Prologue though. I incorporated all the various aspects of the genre in a tasty bite-sized morsel.

11. The same for the prequel story Shifted Desires. What was your favourite scene to write and why?

I kept throwing my head back and laughing at the scene where Randi discovers from Zach that all her preconceived ideas about werewolves were false and ridiculous. It was my own private wave to fellow PNR writers who often tell me, “Werewolves don’t do that!” Hey guys, all folklore is made up stories. I can write them how I want!

12. What makes the Sons of the Alpha series different from other shifter romances?

Wow, where to begin? I’ve researched the subject and genre thoroughly in order to plausibly break the rules in a more interesting way (rebel, remember?). For instance, we all know that silver kills werewolves, but did you know that every were-species has their own particular elemental poison? At least in my world. You find out why in HUNTER.

And for those of you seeking “steamy scenes”, sorry, you’ll be disappointed. I tease the edges of sex a lot (spicy, not steamy), but close the door when it gets to a certain point. Most people assume all PNR are “50 Shades” explicit (i.e. the bare-chested, headless torso on nearly every PNR book cover—gag). But I and other new PNR authors are breaking down those old stigma walls, trying to make it more about the storyline and characters. Give us a chance, and you may find something new and fun to read!

13. If a reader asked you why they should read the Sons of the Alpha series, what would you tell them?

I write for fun, and I read for fun (even research and serious stuff is fun for me, if it’s interesting). So I want my audience to be able to jump into my world of make-believe and be just as entertained as I am. That brings me bliss.

14. If you can only recommend one of your novels to a reader, which would you choose from the books you’ve written so far, and why?

That’s so hard, because it’s like trying to choose your “favorite child”. I can’t. However, KNIGHT (Sons of the Alpha #1) is a great place to start. I did my best to explain my newly created were-kind world, so that you as a reader will more easily understand the other books.

15. Which novel was your personal favourite to write, and why?

Oh man, you’re going to embarrass me now. I’d have to say HEIR (Sons of the Alpha #2). It has a strict Cinderella theme, because I’ve been an enormous Cinderella fanatic since childhood. There’s just something about the rags to riches girl that I’ve always dreamed about becoming. Plus, Prince Charming (in this case, Prince Jake) is super charming, hot and rich. What’s not to love?

16. What about works in progress? Since Hunter is the final book in the series, what’s next?

Ooo, this upcoming series “Black Sky Dragons” is going to be so exciting! It’s a slight spinoff from Sons of the Alpha and another 4-book series (no prequels this time) about dragon shifters. First book (Hunted by the Dragon) releases February-2020.

In 2021, I’ll be releasing a trilogy about sisters “Power of Three” (working series title) who are hybrids, both shifters and vampires. There will be sorcerers in this series as well. After that—well, more fun stuff broiling around in my noggin’, so we’ll see. It’s always hard to just let one idea take front and center and be put down on paper. Still, that’s the fun part—helping them come alive.

17. What do you enjoy most about writing?

When the story takes on a life of its own and I’m sitting there typing frantically, trying desperately to keep up with the Muse that’s dictating it to me. Then I stop and sit back saying, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!”

18. What do you enjoy least about writing?

When I get stuck at a particular spot and can’t move forward. It frustrates me. Part of the process though, so you figure out a way to either leap ahead and go back later, or plunge through the fog and keep going.

19. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:

  • What’s your favourite movie?
    I have a ton, but here are few top favorites: Narnia, Terminator, Ever After, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Pride and Prejudice (with Keira Knightly), Pirates of the Caribbean, Titanic.
  • What book is currently in your e-reader?
    DRUMS OF AUTUMN (Outlander series) by Diana Gabaldon, WAKING THE WITCH (Women of the Otherworld series) by Kelly Armstrong, and SANCTIFIED (Matawapit Family series) by Maggie Blackbird
  • Who’s your favourite musical group?
    Too many to have a favorite – I’m a music fanatic and love just about all types of music.
  • What song puts a smile on your face?
    KNIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN by the Moody Blues
    DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY (yeah, I went there—LOL)

20. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks so much for this opportunity, Maggie! I love your work, and I love connecting with fellow readers from all across the board and talking about books for hours on end (I call it “book-speak”).

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About-the-Book

Shiftd DesiresTitle: Shifted Desires
Series: Sons of the Alpha, #3.5
Author: Addison Carmichael
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Blurb:  Randolyn Summers keeps a sharp eye and her photo lens on werewolf Zachary King. She intends to set the stage to befriend him and earn his trust in order to discover the location and human identity of his alpha creator. Then she’ll destroy him, his alpha, and his entire monstrous kind for good.

What Randi didn’t count on is discovering the truth about were-creatures, and the unspeakable thought of falling in love with one.

Goodreads | Amazon

My-Review

This is a wonderful companion novel to Hunter.  The Arcan Hunters are mentioned throughout the series and in this novella, the author finally gives us an inside peek at this group whose sole purpose is to hunt down and kill werewolves.  Randolyn “Randi” Summers is one of those people.  Since birth, she’d been trained how to hunt and destroy werewolves, but to date, she hasn’t been given the opportunity until she meets Dr. Lupus, a woman who is also interested in tracking down werewolves.  Zachary King is the werewolf Randi is spying on.

I enjoyed the hero and heroine for this novel.  Opposing sides is one of my fave tropes—or enemies to lovers.  And these two fit the bill perfectly.  Both are attracted to one another from the get-go.

The plot is tight, the pacing moves quick, and the dialogue is realistic and fresh.  Addison’s an author I really enjoy reading.  She has a great way of building tension between the characters and she creates a suspenseful plot.

Part of me wished this story was longer because I loved getting a peek into the Arcan Hunters.  Be sure to check out this novella.  It’s a great companion to Hunter.

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About-the-Book

HunterTitle:  Hunter
Series:  Sons of the Alpha, #4
Author:  Addison Carmichael
Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Blurb:  Anthropologist Dr. Scarlet Lupis sets out to prove that many of the ancient myths of humanlike creatures are in fact true and returns to Washington State where she spotted one 15 years ago.

After a failed mission hunting Arcans, were-Wolf Adam Bryant is pulled from active duty in their Pack military in order to get his head back in the game. Knowing the real issue, however, Adam returns to the place of his worst failure, determined to solve a dangerous problem that has plagued him for over a decade.

But uncovering old ghosts proves lethal for both of them when they cross the same monsters that have haunted both their lives. When Scarlet Lupis is deathly wounded her only hope for survival is Adam’s own healing Wolf blood.

Now she exhibits signs that she is turning into a werewolf herself. Impossible, since she is human, all human.

And one thing all were-kind know for a solid fact— a Wolf cannot create a human shifter.

Goodreads | Amazon

My-Review

I’ll get right to the review.  Let’s talk about the lead characters.  I adored Dr. Scarlet Lupis.  First, she held fast to her beliefs.  She didn’t march to what society says or dictates.  And Scarlet was determined to find out the truth for herself.  She’s the kind of heroine every reader can cheer for.  I loved her individualism.

As for Adam Bryant, he was just like Scarlet.  Even though he belongs to a werewolf society, he wasn’t about to let culture, beliefs, and even his own family stop him from doing what he desired to do.  He was ready to risk everything for his own view on life.

This makes them awesome pairing.  And their romance matched their dogged personalities.

Again, as in all the novels, the werewolf society and what else Scarlet and Adam discover was wonderfully crafted.  Ms. Addison did a brilliant job creating a whole new world for the hero and heroine to discover, which kept the series fresh right until the epilogue.  And I loved how the Arcan Hunter were introduced again.

The setting is wonderfully painted with words that gives the reader a great visual of being in the Pacific Northwest of the USA.

As for the plot, this is well executed.  It kept me turning the pages, wondering what would happen next.  Add in snappy, romantic, and scientific dialogue, and you got a fully-fleshed out novel.

I especially love how Ms. Addison uses words to describe the action scenes, and there are plenty.

In a way I was sad to see this series come to an end.  I enjoyed each novel in Sons of the Alpha.  Do yourself a favour and check out the series.  It’s fast-paced and full of action, romance, and adventure, along with much soul-searching and many shades of grey that makes readers question how they’d react if put in the same situation.

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About-the-Author

addisoncarmichaelAddison Carmichael has been a storyteller since she was a young girl. Even then every tale she imagined had a romantic element that grabbed front and center. She is absolutely in love with love—giving it, receiving it, then sending it back out into the world. She believes there is something miraculous and supernatural about true love in every form, and incorporates this magical element into all of her stories.

Besides reading and writing (blissful addictions), Addison loves the mountains and ocean, and enjoys hiking, camping, horseback riding and star gazing. She also bakes, knits and sews, which she never has enough time for. She attempted mastering several musical instruments, singing, painting, photography, dancing and archery, but always returned to writing and storytelling as the “one true love” of her life.

Addison was born and raised in Southern California and has lived and traveled all over the west coast (and the world), now living happily-ever-after with her family in the Pacific Northwest in Snohomish, Washington.

Find Addison:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

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