Tag Archives: shifter romance

Release Day! Bare Season

Children of Nanook 4: Bare Season is  out now!

Amazon: US, UK, CA, AUBarnes and NobleiBooksKobo: US, UK

Idonea has been afraid of frost bears ever since she was attacked by one. She has also been distrustful of men after the one who should have protected her ran away. As a shifter, Massak takes the form of both man and bear, so he should be her worst nightmare. One whiff of her scent, though, and he knows they’re meant to be together. Winter is the mating season on the planet of Jensen—a time when nature strips everything bare and primal instincts rise to the surface. Massak must use this time to prove to Idonea that he’s her perfect mate. He’ll use every skill he has to protect and pleasure her until the stubborn female admits she’s his.

Amazon: US, UK, CA, AUBarnes and NobleiBooksKobo: US, UK

Preorder Bare Season

Exciting news! Children of Nanook 4: Bare Season is coming out October 1. It is now available for preorder at Amazon: US, UK, CA, AUBarnes and NobleiBooksKobo: US, UK

Idonea has been afraid of frost bears ever since she was attacked by one. She has also been distrustful of men after the one who should have protected her ran away. As a shifter, Massak takes the form of both man and bear, so he should be her worst nightmare. One whiff of her scent, though, and he knows they’re meant to be together. Winter is the mating season on the planet of Jensen—a time when nature strips everything bare and primal instincts rise to the surface. Massak must use this time to prove to Idonea that he’s her perfect mate. He’ll use every skill he has to protect and pleasure her until the stubborn female admits she’s his.

Amazon: US, UK, CA, AUBarnes and NobleiBooksKobo: US, UK

Tribal Shift Is Now in Print!

My SFR/PNR shifter romance Tribal Shift is now available in paperback.

tribalshift_print

 

Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/6426775

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1535315415/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tribal-Shift-Allie-Ritch/dp/1535315415/

Amazon CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1535315415/

Out now! Tribal Shift

ar_tribalshift_ebookI just re-released Tribal Shift, my shifter romance, and to celebrate, I’m offering it on sale for $0.99 through October 16. That’s 80% off! Visit my books and trailers page for buy links as the book becomes available at retailers and watch the new book trailer for it.

https://allieritch.wordpress.com/bookstrailers/#TribalShift

Writing In Season

Each book I write has its own journey and its own challenges, and In Season, the first sequel to Mating Season, was no exception. In Mating Season, Gilby was a short, chatty fellow who tended to blurt out whatever was on his mind. He was also loyal, brave, and honest. I refused to change him. I think we’ve all read series where the secondary character from an earlier book somehow morphs into an entirely different personality by the time he takes center stage. Gilby wasn’t going to get bigger or quieter or any more tactful. He already had a lot of excellent qualities and was fine the way he was. He just needed to find someone who could see all his good points and love him for his true self. He needed the heroine, Miksa. The challenge, which I hope I succeeded at, was to present Gilby to readers in such a way that they see him as Miksa does.

The second difficulty I faced was to keep the story fresh and flowing well. I didn’t want to repeat what I’d done in Mating Season, but there were certain elements that had to be included because of the first book. Namely, I was still going to have the arctic planet of Jensen, the Children of Nanook (the frost-bear shifters), and the challenge of finding love in a frozen wilderness.

I hate to say something unbearably clichéd like every snowflake is unique, but in the end it did come down to a simple matter of Gilby making In Season special. He’s a very different type of hero, and thus his story has its own flavor. Gilby isn’t like Koll, and his romance with Miksa isn’t either. As for keeping good pacing, I opted to make this work a short novella to prevent the story from lagging or dragging out. Like Gilby, In Season is short and sweet. I really hope readers enjoy it.

***

InSeasonAll Gilby wants is to find a female who will spend the mating season with him. Yes, he’s short. And yes, he talks too much and doesn’t often watch what he says. But he has a lot to offer.

Rejected by her fellow shifters because she can’t change into a frost bear, Miksa travels to the clawless people’s village to look for a mate. With his sexy scent and good humor, could Gilby be the male for her? Can he help her unlock the magic that will let her shift?

Love comes in all different shapes and sizes, and sometimes it even has claws.

And also in this volume is the bonus story “Breeding Season.” For the Children of Nanook—shifters who can take the form of the deadly frost bear—passions run high during breeding season. Desna has already chosen the mate of her heart, but can Karpok defeat the male who wants to take her from him?

(In Season was previously published by Liquid Silver Books. This work has been revised and re-edited. The short story “Breeding Season” has previously been released in anthologies.)

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA │  KoboAppleInktera

Excerpt:

Gilby walked to a fireplace in the adjoining room and bent to stir the flames. She’d never taken an interest in a male’s backside before, but there was something about the taut stretch of his pants over his firm bottom that made her want to sink her teeth into him. Sparks rose, and the flames sputtered and popped as they grew.

His voice was clear and masculine. “You’ve just seen the front entrance, of course. I use this as a common room for entertaining guests. The bedroom is behind me, if you’d like to see it and—”

A series of yips from the far side of the house interrupted him.

Gilby lifted his head. “Just a moment, Halle and Onnika! We have company!” He glanced her way. “My sled hounds. They always get excited when I first come home. Those canines are the most loyal friends a man could ever ask for, and they’ve been with me since they were newborn pups.”

“They’re both female?” His slow smile made everything inside her coil tight. “I really like females. Do you want to meet them?”

“Yes.” The affection in his tone made her want to see him with the animals.

“Right this way. They bed down in the kennel attached to the house.” He walked down the hallway to her left and opened a door that led to the hounds. “There are my girls.”

She could see the canines were enclosed in a space large enough for them to walk around, but small enough to keep them out of trouble. It was warm and inviting, and the hounds smelled of excitement and happiness when they spotted their master. They were both as tall as Gilby. One was black with a white face and underside, while the other had the same pattern but with gold instead of black. Otherwise they looked identical. At least, she thought the hounds matched until they moved their feet.

“What’s wrong with the dark one’s leg?” Miksa asked.

Instead of resting on the ground, the front right paw was folded toward the animal’s ankle. The hound could step on it, but she obviously couldn’t put her full weight on the limb.

Gilby petted the black-and-white hound. “Halle was born with the deformity—not that she ever notices it much. She loves to run. Most sleds are pulled by a single hound, but I use them both and put Onnika in front to help her sister. She keeps Halle moving forward in a straight line and makes up for her lack of strength on the right side. With the two of them pulling the sled and me not weighing as much as most men, I can really fly.”

His pleasure and pride in his hounds was obvious. She also recognized that speed could be as valuable, or even more useful, than brute strength.

Having greeted their master, the canines turned their attention to Miksa. She wasn’t sure how they’d react to her scent. Most animals grew agitated around the Children of Nanook since they sensed the predator beneath the skin. The gold-toned one, Onnika, responded with wariness and uncertainty, audibly sniffing without drawing closer. Ironically, it was Halle—clearly the more submissive hound—who was the first to venture closer. The hound kept her head low as she limped up to Miksa and smelled her all over. Halle must have been satisfied because she snorted and walked back to Gilby when she was done.

“They adore you,” she observed.

“The feeling is mutual.” Gilby continued to beam at his girls, as he called them, and ruffled their fur. Then he turned and gave Miksa an intense look. “You should know I take excellent care of what’s mine.”

Just like that, the sexual tension that had filled her body returned. She grew hyperaware of her breasts, and she felt like she was melting between her legs.

“You said you wanted to inspect my body,” he reminded her. “Maybe I should show you the bedroom?”

Miksa responded with an anticipatory growl. She followed him out of the kennel and back into the main part of the house. His bedroom, she discovered, was a large but cozy space. A small fire heated the room, while the fur blankets on the bed promised a sensual treat.

Gilby stood within the glow of the flames and pulled his shirt off over his head. He revealed strong arms and a chiseled chest and abs. She was pleased to see that he was well proportioned, though he was no less impressive for packing so much muscle onto a short frame.

Her gaze tracked his tongue as it darted out to moisten his bottom lip. “How much do you want to see?”

“Everything.” She didn’t even have to think about her answer.

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA │  KoboAppleInktera

Character Profiles from Mating Season

MatingSeasonKOLL: “I am strong and skilled in battle, and I know how to defend what’s mine.”

DESCRIPTION: “He stared back at her with eyes like black ice, except the heat behind his gaze should have melted his irises. His hair was nearly the same hue, hanging in messy waves to the top of his wide shoulders. Even his skin was dark. It looked like dusky honey spread over his rugged features, tempting her to take a lick.”

 

SHILA: “I want you to make me climax as many times as you can.”

DESCRIPTION: “Her hair was so white it was nearly transparent as it drifted down to curl just beneath her cheekbones. Those cheeks were rosy from the cold—a pretty contrast to skin almost as pale as the snowflakes. His first impression was that she was an albino. Then he saw her eyes. They weren’t colorless or gray or even the pale blue of a clear winter sky. Instead, they were rich brown, full of depth and life.”

 

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAKoboAppleInktera

Mating Season – Can pink be a manly color?

Can pink be a manly color? One winter, I watched a TV show about extreme Christmas trees. One tree was done by lobstermen who build a huge tree out of traps every year. Once the green traps are all stacked and tied together by zip-ties, the local men then decorate the pyramid-like structure with their buoys. Each family has their own color buoy, and sure enough, one guy got stuck with pink. Needless to say, he got quite a few comments about it.

Personally, I loved the juxtaposition of this manly man and this typically girly color, so I decided to use it. In Mating Season, men find a woman they want to winter with and offer her their family ribbon. If the woman accepts, she then wears the ribbon in her hair as a sign to other men that she’s taken. This helps prevent fights during a time of year when everyone is feeling cooped up and testy already. Unfortunately for Koll, he isn’t too happy with his family color. Here he is, the biggest, strongest, gruffest man in the whole village, and his coat-of-arms, so to speak, is baby-girl pink.

But is pink just for girls? American culture tends to think of it that way, despite the occasional pink shirt or (in the seventies) pink pants on a guy. Shila, the frost-bear shifter who agrees to mate with Koll, has a very different perspective. To her, Koll’s pink ribbon looks like a lean, tasty strip of meat. Besides that, she doesn’t care about the look as much as the smell. Koll’s scent is all over his ribbon (and soon all over her), and that hot, virile male musk is a huge turn-on. He could wear a pink jumpsuit, and her only objection would be that he was wearing anything at all, obstructing her view of his naked body. Shila likes to see all of her lover—make sure he passes her inspection before she mates with him.

So maybe pink can be a masculine color after all. What do you think?

***

MatingSeasonIt’s mating season on the arctic planet of Jensen, time for eligible men to winter with a potential spouse. In the past, Koll’s enormous size and gruff disposition have scared off available women. When Shila literally falls into his arms, he hopes maybe this year will be different. Shila belongs to a race of shifters who are able to transform into enormous frost bears. She loves Koll’s big body and sexy growl, and she understands the benefit of having a strong protector. With two male shifters stalking her, she needs Koll to keep her safe. But can he defeat the competition?

 (Previously published by Liquid Silver Books. This work has been revised and re-edited.)

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA │ KoboAppleInktera

Excerpt:

It was that time of year again. The snow was already thick on the ground, and Koll’s village prepared to hole up for the brutal winter. Highlighted by the frosty glow of the moon and stars, the gently rolling land around him was bathed in bluish white from horizon to horizon. To the north, the mountains stretched skyward while the sparse trees stood like naked skeletons. It was easy to get lost in the endless haze, but Koll kept his sled hound, Greyfell, on a steady homeward course.

He also kept a careful lookout. There were many predators on the arctic planet of Jensen. The terrain was rife with giant wolverines, spear-toothed cats, and enormous frost bears that prowled the ice floes. Some said Jensen was the last true wilderness left in the universe, which was what had attracted the immigrants who’d settled on this planet generations ago. Untamed nature was both beautiful and deadly, and this time of year could be especially dangerous as food grew scarce. Winter was the season of endings. And beginnings.

Koll blew out a loud sigh and watched his breath fog and disappear in front of his face. Although he should have known better, he’d thought to make a new beginning for himself this year. This was the season when the single men of the allied villages went courting. More precisely, it was a time for those looking to settle down to hunt for a possible wife.

When a man found a female he wanted, he offered her a ribbon bearing his family color—in Koll’s case, a damn unfortunate color. If the woman accepted, she wore it in her hair as a warning to other males and moved in with him for the winter. Come spring, if the pair decided they suited, they married and used the breeding season to start their family. If they were unhappy, then they simply parted ways, free to try with someone else next year.

Koll had seen this mating dance before. Seen it but had never experienced it. No female had ever accepted his ribbon, not from any of the villages nearby. He blamed his size.

From an early age, Koll had grown fast and hadn’t stopped until he’d towered over his peers. His childhood awkwardness had been a source of amusement to the village kids, and they’d excluded him from most of their games. Puberty had only added bulk to his tall frame, turning him into a muscled giant.

He wasn’t a gentle one, though. Koll knew how to be gentle and never looked for trouble, but he was not an easy man. Having learned to control his strength, he was now a seasoned warrior. Usually he did battle with the elements and the beasts that prowled these lands, but the men on the other side of the mountains had been known to raid his village during lean times.

As a mature male, his size and strength should have been an asset, proof that he could protect and provide for a female. Instead, he frightened most women with his large body, dark looks, and gruff manner. As for those females who weren’t put off…well, men didn’t hold a monopoly on lechery. Unfortunately, the women who were attracted to his size, or at least the size of one body part in particular, never seemed interested in more than a night or two.

Koll wanted more. He wasn’t the quitting kind—stubborn, his mother would have said—which was why he hadn’t given up hope. That’s how he found himself here in the dead of night, trekking endlessly through the snow on his way back from the distant village of Idona. Year after year, he ventured farther and farther abroad in the hope of finding a wife. He’d even lined his sled basket with furs to keep her warm and comfortable for the ride back to his home. But his sled was empty of occupants because he’d failed. Again.

“None of them would have suited me anyway,” he groused, trying not to wince at the memory of his recent rejections.

His sled hound twitched an ear in response. Fully in travel mode, Greyfell focused dead ahead and kept his pace steady. Then he did something Koll knew better than to ignore. With an audible breath, Greyfell broke stride to smell the air. His head popped up, his lungs inflated, and his ears swiveled forward as he scanned the terrain.

Koll threw the brake before unsheathing the knife at his belt. He went as still as his hound, letting his gaze slide over his surroundings. The muffled crunch of snow caught his ear just before Greyfell released a soft whine.

Ready for an attack, Koll spun to face the threat and froze in shock. The source of the commotion was closer than he’d expected—close enough that he knew he’d be dead were this a hungry frost bear sneaking up on him. Fortunately, it wasn’t a beast he faced. There, limned by moonlight, stood the most breathtaking woman he’d ever seen.

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAKoboAppleInktera