Release Blitz – Wounded Alpha by Mell Eight

A big welcome to Mell Eight as part of her release blitz with IndiGo Marketing and Design for Wounded Alpha from NineStar Press.

Title: Wounded Alpha

Author: Mell Eight

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 04/12/2021

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 22100

Genre: Pararnormal, LGBTQIA+, PTSD/post-traumatic stress, hurt/comfort, retired military, recluse, law enforcement, were-animals, werewolves, mental health, soulmates

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Description

While Ryker’s body came back from Afghanistan just fine, his mind didn’t, and his thoughts wander back there in painful flashbacks that have present-time consequences. In order to avoid hurting anyone, Ryker secludes himself in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Then Officer Chess Medcull shows up with a case of were-animals being tortured and killed in a way similar to how Ryker almost died in the war. In order to stop the murders, Ryker must face the demons in his head, and maybe, just maybe, allow Chess to help. That is, as long as neither is the next victim.

Excerpt

Wounded Alpha
Mell Eight © 2021
All Rights Reserved
Prologue

Ryker’s back wasn’t burning any longer, which brought both relief and terror. He healed quickly, even for a werewolf, and the stinging, sharp pain of the blood and bruising of the whip were definitely something he wanted to end as fast as possible. Except, his captors had some sort of sixth sense for when he had healed enough for the pain to fade, and that was when they returned.

He wasn’t healing as quickly now as in those first few days. His body was emaciated from what must have been a month or two of very little food and almost constant abuse. Ryker’s clothing was completely shredded, the desert camo print more rags than anything resembling his Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform. The jacket had been taken on day one by his captors, and his white undershirt hadn’t survived the first whipping. The pants had gotten bloodstained immediately, but the shredding hadn’t started until they decided to find out what happened to his healing ability if they stabbed him a couple of times. Those initial rips had spread until only the barest strips of fabric covered his long legs.

And then there was his right wrist. The inch-thick silver band was tight around his wrist and held in place by a heavy padlock that none of his attempts had broken. Werewolf strength would have broken an ordinary lock, but this massive one combined with the immediate effects of silver poisoning kept him trapped. The skin around Ryker’s wrist had bubbled and blistered underneath the touch of silver. His head ached constantly as the silver slowly poisoned his blood, and every time he bled a little more under the hands of his captors, the silver’s fangs dug a little deeper.

A rasping sound came from outside the narrow door that was the only way to get in and out of the small, dirty room. Ryker managed to suppress a whimper of fear, certain that any moment the lock would scrape and his grinning captors would stalk in with some new torture planned.

Except, he suddenly heard yelling, and that was definitely the booming pop of gunfire. He didn’t dare get up to see; this could easily be some new form of torture they had thought up to torment him. The dragging scrape of the lock sounded a moment later, and Ryker was glad he had remained huddled in his corner where they would have to drag him out into the open to get a good chance at him. But it wasn’t one of his captors.

The clean-shaven face and bright eyes were foreign to Afghanistan, and the white smile spoke of access to decent healthcare. That, plus the uniform, told Ryker he was saved.

“Hey,” the soldier said cheerily.

“Hey!”

Ryker blinked, and suddenly he was standing in bright afternoon sunlight, a man wearing a business suit running toward him. The musty, sewage smell of his dark cell faded, replaced with car exhaust and a floral-scented summer breeze.

“Let him go, man!” said the suited man.

Ryker blinked again, and his eyes followed the length of his left arm, down to the wrist and the fingers he had clamped around the throat of a stranger.

The stranger was choking and spluttering, his fingers scrabbling at Ryker’s sleeve and his dark-brown eyes bugging out as his face turned purple. Ryker immediately let go, stepping back from the stranger. This time he knew what had set him off. The stranger had been walking behind him, and his shoe had scraped on the concrete. A sound so similar to that damned cell lock opening and suddenly Ryker was gone.

He couldn’t keep doing this. Ryker looked at the man crumpled on the ground, gasping for air, and knew he had to find another answer. Any time he went out into a crowd, even one as small as the sidewalk in front of the grocery store, was one too many for him.

The stranger wasn’t injured, just scared, so Ryker bent to pick up the plastic bag of groceries he had dropped.

“Sorry,” he said softly before hurrying off. If he made it back to his apartment without having another episode, he would reevaluate his circumstances. He needed to find somewhere he wouldn’t be a threat to anyone else around him, and that meant leaving the city.

Ryker didn’t have a choice.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.

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About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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