Title: Alpha Unleashed
Series: The Alpha Girl Series
Vol or Book #: 5
Author: Aileen Erin
Audience: YA, 14+
E-Book Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC
Cover by: Art by Ana Cruz ;
Graphics by Paddy Donnelly
Editor: Ink Monster, LLC
Pages: unknown at this time
Date Published: 10-13-15
Tessa McCaide has had it up to here with supernaturals. Luciana may have failed to steal Tessa’s magic, but she’s just getting started on her crusade for magical domination. If her demonic summoning isn’t stopped, it could mean the end of everything.
Tessa’s allies, including her mate Dastien, are ready to fight, but they’re no match for Luciana’s power. A little help (and ancient Inca mojo) from Tessa’s cousin, Claudia, may give the side of good a chance if she can make it home in time, but stopping the war is no longer an option.
When witches and wolves fight, no one wins. Only time will tell who will still be standing after the last spell is cast.
I trailed off when I noticed Meredith staring hard at something behind me. I quickly glanced over my shoulder. “What?”
“What’s Shannon doing with that group?” Her lips pressed into a tight, thin line. “And is that Imogene?” Meredith and I might be split on how we felt about Shannon, but we totally agreed on Imogene.
I turned back to my now-cold omelet and took a bite. “I know,” I said after a second. “Looks like they’re BFFs now.”
She scrunched up her nose as she thought. “Why is she with those guys? Shannon has nothing in common with them. She’s from the Irish pack. And Imogene? Really?” Meredith stared at them like she could glean answers off them. “Maybe if we all try reaching out to her, she’ll sit with us again.”
I’d explained what happened between Shannon and I while Meredith was sick, but she didn’t understand. For better or worse, they’d been friends since forever. Their parents were friends and they’d grown up taking vacations together. Meredith was loyal, almost to a fault, and that meant she refused to give up on Shannon. “We tried that, remember? It didn’t work.”
“I should go over. Try talking to her again.”
I nearly rolled my eyes. Meredith had tried talking to Shannon, and in her defense—Shannon was still nice to her, but it was a losing battle. Shannon would obviously rather be with her new friends than us.
Meredith started to stand up, but I grabbed her hand. “I wouldn’t—”
“I have to try.”
I let her go as I tried to think of a way to say what I needed to say without making it worse. “I don’t know. I still can’t feel anyone at that table through the pack bonds. Including Shannon.”
Meredith crossed her arms as she stared down at me. “Whatever happened between you and her, she wouldn’t do anything to harm the pack. Shannon’s not capable of that.”
I disagreed, but saying so would only hurt Meredith’s feelings. “What if she thought it would help the pack?” And what if they aren’t part of our pack anymore? I thought the words but didn’t say them aloud.
For a second, Meredith’s lower lip trembled, and I thought I’d gotten through to her, but then she shook her head. “No. I don’t believe that. Not at all.”
I kept my mouth firmly shut. If there was one person I didn’t want to piss off, it was Meredith. She’d been my friend—no questions asked—from the beginning. She’d helped me through when all I’d wanted to do was run away from St. Ailbe’s. And when I’d sucked at running and kept falling out of windows, she hadn’t made fun of me. Much. “I just don’t want you to get disappointed.”
“I—” Meredith stopped in the middle of what she was saying, and turned to the door.
It took me a second to figure out what was going on, but then Donovan came into the cafeteria, and started our way. Maybe he’d be able to reach Meredith, because I sure as hell wasn’t getting anywhere.
She laughed at something he must’ve said through their bond. “Donovan is going to keep you company while I talk to Shannon. I’ll be back in a sec.”
There wasn’t any point in trying to stop her.
Donovan took Meredith’s spot at the table. He wore sweat pants and a T-shirt and his black hair was still messy from his run. His clothes gave of the scents of cedar and grass and dirt, and it almost made me jealous.
Maybe a run would clear my mind. Help me figure out a way around these visions.
“She’s checking on Shannon, eh?” Donovan asked, bringing me back to myself.
“Yeah.” I’d already said my piece to his mate. I didn’t need to repeat myself.
He jerked his chin toward the table in question. “There’s still something off about them.”
My fork dropped to the plate with a clatter, and I glared into his glass-blue eyes. “Oh, come on. We’re not doing this.”
Donovan raised his eyebrows. “Not doing what?”
He had to be joking. “I just had this conversation with Meredith. I know how the whole mate thing works. There’s not a chance she didn’t tell you.”
He gave me a wicked grin, and I knew trouble was coming. “Aye. But what you don’t know is that I agree with you.”
“You do?” Mr. Dawson had been all—everything’s fine. Donovan hadn’t said a word. Why now?
“Yes. I do.”
“What do you know?” I leaned toward him, lowering my voice. Pesky Weres and their super-awesome hearing. “Why are their bonds missing? I thought they couldn’t leave the pack without putting in a formal bid to Mr. Dawson.”
“That’s true enough. I don’t know what’s going on, but I think you’re going to find out. If this absence of pack bond is spreading, then we need to find the cause. Just… Don’t say anything to Meredith until we’re positive. All right?”
Whoa. I didn’t keep much—if anything—from Dastien. “Do you think that’s wise?”
“Keeping my opinions from my mate?” One side of his mouth quirked up. “Not usually. But she made her side clear enough with you, and I’d rather not start an argument that won’t get us anywhere.”
Who knew? Even the great Donovan—one of the all-powerful Seven—was afraid of pissing off his mate. The idea was a little preposterous, but then again—I didn’t like upsetting Dastien either. I’d done it. But that didn’t mean I liked it. That left me with one last question. “Why can’t you keep an eye on them? You’re probably way better at this pack bonds stuff than I am.”
He raised an eyebrow. “In case you’ve forgotten, I’m not of this pack. I’m an alpha, and can use that to overpower and override the pack bonds if necessary, but this needs more finesse. An insider’s look.”
“But your mate’s in our pack.” When Dastien bit me, I’d become part of the St. Ailbe’s pack. I figured it would be the same for Donovan and Meredith and their mate bond, even if they hadn’t gone through with their bonding ceremony.
“Doesn’t work that way. I’m already the alpha of another pack.”
“So, what about Meredith? Is she still part of this pack?”
“Until she and Michael decide to let her move to mine. She’ll keep it for as long as she’s here, and I think that’s best.” He leaned forward. “I’ve heard through Michael and Meredith, but I want to know what it is you’re feelin’ from them. I’ve not experienced this before, and that’s sayin’ something to me.” His Irish accent thickened, and I finally knew that someone else was as worried about this as I was.
“I don’t know what to say except that I can’t feel them. It’s like they’re there, but they’re not.” I sighed. “It makes no sense. Which is why Mr. Dawson blew me off when I brought it up. Shouldn’t you be talking to him about this? He’s the alpha.”
“What makes you think I haven’t already?”
The tension on my shoulders relaxed. It seemed like a good sign that two alphas were really talking about the problem. “And?”
“Nothing. If they’ve withdrawn from the pack, he’s not feeling it.” He leaned in closer, speaking so quietly that even I could barely hear. “But last night, he gave that group of boys from the Canada pack a direct command and they disobeyed. I backed the command and forced their obedience, but I shouldn’t have had to. He’s their alpha. It may be that Rupert Hoel’s influence went deeper than those we’ve caught. There’s still a major player out there, and I’ve a fine idea who it might be.”
Holy shit. That was bad news. Only someone more alpha than Mr. Dawson could ignore his commands, and they weren’t more alpha. At all.
“I think you might know. It’s one who got away.”
It hit me then. They’d kicked one of the Seven out of the Council. The one who hated me. Ferdinand. “Do you really think it could be?”
“But you didn’t say anything when I brought it up before.”
“It took me longer to feel what you were getting at. I like to suss things out before actin’. Get fully aware of the situation. If you feel anything else out of the ordinary, let me know. Just be aware that if that lot wants to leave, that’s fine by me. They’re welcome to go their own way, but they need to make formal bids to Michael and they’ll have to tie to the Seven until they find their new packs. It must be done properly, or they’ll be considered lone wolves. And if they align with Ferdinand… I’d like those youngsters to avoid that if possible.”
My stomach churned, and suddenly I didn’t feel much like finishing my omelet. If the pack was breaking up, then how were we ever going to defeat Luciana? We needed to be united if we wanted to stand the slightest chance of surviving.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
AE: I always dreamed of being a writer, but I wasn’t sure it was such a practical dream. So, I got a degree in Radio-TV-Film with a concentration in post-production from the University of Texas at Austin. I moved out to LA after graduating, and got a job really quickly. But after three years in the business, I was unhappy. Only writing at night was keeping me going. So, I quit my day job and decided to dedicate myself to writing.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
AE: When I started my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction—which was a year and half after quitting my day job. Once I was really focused on writing and learning the craft, I started to feel more comfortable calling myself a “writer.”
How long did it take to get your first book published?
AE: I went the indie pub route. After finishing my MFA and watching so many friends get traditionally published and not liking their experience or the lack of control they had over their career, I decided to start my own publishing company with a friend—Christina Bauer. Once we started Ink Monster, it took us about a year to get the business plan down and feel ready to start publishing.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
AE: I don’t! I’m super lucky and thankful that I don’t need another job. I get to focus full time on writing and publishing.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
AE: I co-own a publishing company called Ink Monster, LLC. It’s a super awesome company that publishes books about girls who kick ass.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
AE: I usually spend a week or two on brainstorming, 6-8 weeks writing the first draft, and then another 4 weeks revising. So in total, about 3.5 months to write a book from start to finish.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
AE: I’m taking a break from the Alpha Girl series for a little bit to write a new series. It’s paranormal with ghosts set in LA, and will have a good romance in it, too. I’ll also be writing more Shadow Ravens books in the future—which has a little more science fiction/science fantasy to it.
What genre would you place your books into?
AE: The Alpha Girl books are YA Urban Fantasy to me, but they could also be classified as YA Paranormal.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
AE: I write what I want to read. So, I read a lot of YA, paranormal, fantasy, urban fantasy—and that’s what I end up writing, too.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
AE: I’ve been writing for about 8 years. I started writing for sanity’s sake. I hated my day job, and coming home and writing was a way for me to let go of everything that happened during the day. Once I finished my first book (which is currently in a drawer and will never, ever see the light of day), I realized that writing was where my true passion was. I quit my day job, got a part-time one, and started my MFA in creative writing so I could hone my craft. I haven’t looked back since.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
AE: I have a writing chair that I love. I need to be totally comfortable to really get in the flow of the story. I always listen to music, but it changes depending on book and series.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
AE: No! I stay far away from the reviews. I write the best book that I can, and hope for the best. I look at the average star rating, and that’s about it. Reading one bad review undermines my confidence as a writer, and I start to question everything. So, I learned early on to just ignore them. I know I can’t please everyone, but I hope I at least the majority of readers enjoy the books.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
AE: For the first book in the Alpha Girl series, Becoming Alpha, I had the book written first. For every other book I’ve written, I came up with the title first.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
AE: That is my least favorite part. Sometimes I won’t name things until the very end. I’ll mark the names by putting XXSCHOOLNAME and then I do a find for “xx” and start the naming process. It takes forever for me to decide!
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
AE: I come up with the character traits before I start writing. I write out a little character map, and figure out their backstory and who they are when the story starts. And then I figure out where I want them to be when the story ends. How they might grow as a character. I have to know who I’m writing about before I start writing. Otherwise, I’ll just end up needing to revise or rewrite all of it.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
AE: I’m a total convert. I love my Kindle. Only because I travel so much, especially when my husband is shooting a movie. I’m all over the place. Keeping my Kindle with me is key! I don’t have to use half my suitcase for my books anymore. One lightweight device and I have thousands of books at my fingertips!
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
Your favorite food is?
AE: Mexican food. Especially Tex-Mex. I could eat it every day, every meal.
Your favorite singer/group is?
AE: Above and Beyond. Love them so much. They’re weekly podcast—Group Therapy—is amazing. I never miss it.
Your favorite color is?
AE: Blue! My whole house is blue, I swear. I just love everything a little better when it comes in blue. ;)
Your favorite Author is?
AE: Oh, boy. I can’t pick just one. My Kindle library has over three thousand books… And that’s not including my real library in my house… But I was really lucky in my MFA to have one of my favorite authors as my mentor—Maria V. Snyder. I also love Anne Bishop. Her world building is outstanding and completely unique. Sarah J Maas is amazing, too. As is Patricia Briggs—I never miss one of her books!
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd—from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.
Website - http://inkmonster.net
Blog – http://inkmonster.net/blog/category/aileen
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aelatcham
Twitter – https://twitter.com/aileen_erin
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/aileenlatcham/
Instagram : Username: aelatcham
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