Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guest Post: Strength of the Mate by Kendall McKenna with Giveaways

Happy Hump Day!

Thank you all for stopping by to visit, and my thanks to Lexi Ander for generously hosting me today. We’re going to have some fun, talk about hot men, learn about my book that’s coming out June 20th, and someone will even get to win a prize!

If you’re wondering who the hell I am, my name is Kendall McKenna. I write m/m erotic romance novels that feature authentic U.S. Marines, and realistic suspense, action, and combat. I was the MLR Press Best Selling E-book Author for 2013, and I’m about to release the third book in my series, Tameness of the Wolf.

Those of you who already know me are reading this and cheering, possibly doing cartwheels and back flips. Those of you who have no clue where I came from are quite possibly thinking to yourselves, “Please, not another paranormal series!” I know, I know, but bear with me for a minute, because I didn’t write your typical werewolf story.

Last year, I released Strength of the Pack, and introduced readers to a world in which werewolves are revered, and fully integrated into the U.S. military (what’s not to love about werewolves and men in uniform?). Strength of the Pack featured Noah Hammond and Lucas Young, along with members of their inner circle, Tim Madison and Terrell Hubbard. The second title in the series, Strength of the Wolf, featured Tim Madison and the new character, Jeremy Wager. Now, remember…I write erotic romances. There is some hot, hot sex going on with these couples! 

For those of you who haven’t yet read these books, in Strength of the Wolf, readers got to meet Tim’s younger brother, Adam. From the first moment, it’s obvious there is tension and conflict between the two. Yeah, Adam is the bratty younger brother. But it’s no secret why. Adam and the youngest brother, Jase, were attacked and robbed. Both brothers were shot, but Jase died, while Adam survived. Cue a decade worth of personal ghosts and survivor’s guilt.

Tim comes to realize that Adam has changed for the better. He appears to be making an effort to grow up, and to get along with Tim. By the end of the story, Tim believes they’ve made real progress. Strength of the Wolf also brought back Terrell Hubbard as a (super sexy) supporting character. He’s often accompanied by (uber-competent) Dawson Rivers, who works closely with Noah, Lucas, and Tim. The story ends, ready to pick right up with the next title.

This brings us to the third book, Strength of the Mate, releasing June 20th.

Blurb:

Adam Madison is in Iraq, driving supply trucks for the Marines, but he still can't outrun his personal ghosts. Outside the wire, insurgents are a relentless threat. Inside, renegade werewolves are a constant danger.

Dawson Rivers is on a mission for the True Alpha—bring the rampaging shifters under control. Adam proves to be invaluable to his task. Their intense mutual attraction explodes into a powerful physical, and emotional connection.

If you’re thinking that all I had to do was pick up writing Adam’s character just as he was at the end of the last book, you’d be wrong. When is it ever that easy? We’re talking about an epic amount of angst, here! Besides, Adam was still unpleasant and anti-social when the last book ended. I needed him to have done some maturing off screen. He had to be open to change, and seeking to face his demons. Dawson’s arrival in Iraq becomes a tipping point. Adam tips over the edge of the cliff, following a character arc that ends with him being able to love, and accept love from Dawson.

Let’s be honest, Dawson’s arrival is a tipping point for the start of some really hot sex scenes! I admit it; I like the idea of two hot men, having vigorous, sweaty sex. I shouldn’t downplay the emotions, though. The love scenes are arousing, but I never write sex for the sake of sex. I write love scenes that are designed to move a character, or the story along. Sometimes, the best way to demonstrate the depth of their emotions is to show the intensity of their connection, using lots of eye contact and nurturing touches.

But let’s get back to Adam. If you read Strength of the Wolf, you might have thought he was prickly, and difficult to get along with. Which is all a fancy way of saying he was an asshole. You’ll be pleased to know that starts off quite likeable, when Strength of the Mate opens. Within the first few paragraphs, I made it clear he’s done some changing and growing in the months since readers first met him.

Telling readers Adam done some growing up will only get you so far. I had to give him some character traits that would demonstrate his new maturity. It needed to be apparent that he was open and vulnerable, in ways he hadn’t been previously. This is new to Adam. His anxiety is through the roof, as he learns to make and maintain friendships. Most especially, as he starts having regular, mind blowing sex with a sexy Marine who happens to be a werewolf. To show his anxiety, I gave Adam a new, adorable verbal tic. When he gets excited, or unsure of himself, or even when Dawson catches him off guard, his tic manifests, and it really is charming.

The most difficult thing Adam knows he has to learn to do, is get along with Tim. He’s really bad at it in Strength of the Wolf, but at least he’s begun to try. He gets off to rough start in Strength of the Mate, calling Tim up and tearing him a new one, only to learn he’d made a mistake. You know, the kind of shit we all do to our siblings, accidentally. (It’s always their fault, though! If they weren’t so bossy, or nosey, or lazy, or <insert your gripe here>.)

Well, I think that’s enough of that boring ‘author insights’ crap, don’t you? How about I let you read a new excerpt that I haven’t posted anywhere, yet?

Excerpt:

Before he knew what was happening, the only thing Adam could see was the back of Dawson’s neck and shoulders. He stood between Carson and Adam, tension obvious in the lines of his back. Dawson growled loudly, his voice more animal than human. A chill ran the length of Adam’s spine and stirred his cock.

Carson stopped moving forward. He growled in response, but it lacked something; commitment, strength, or maybe just balls.

“The True Alpha is already gonna kick your ass,” Dawson snarled viciously. “Do you really wanna make it worse by doing this?”

“You have to win the Challenge, first.” Carson sounded dismissive, like he believed Dawson didn’t stand a chance.

 “Not the first time I’ve had to take out the trash,” Dawson replied. “Now get the fuck out of here.”

“You can’t be with him every second.” Carson’s words dripped with menace.

Adam wondered who Carson was talking about. It didn’t make sense if he meant Granger.

“That’s a hell of a stupid threat to make,” Dawson said icily. “If he gets hurt, the True Alpha will be the least of your problems. He’ll be in line behind me, not to mention the major.”

Shit. Carson was talking about Adam.

“I never said I’d hurt him.” There was a sinister hiss to Carson’s words.

Dawson’s answering snarl was all wolf. “Get the fuck out of here.”

Carson hesitated, looking like he was going to push the confrontation. Instead, he brushed past Dawson, and Adam started breathing again. He and Dawson both watched Carson storm out the door. He slammed it on his way out.

As Dawson turned toward him, Adam was ready to make a smart-assed comment about temper tantrums. Before he got out a single word, he was pressed hard against Dawson’s chest, strong arms wrapped tightly around him. He put his hands on Dawson’s shoulders, trying to get some space between them so he could breathe.

Dawson pressed his face to the side of Adam’s neck and took a deep breath. Adam’s body caught fire from the inside. Dawson loosened his arms enough for Adam to breathe, but they stayed wrapped firmly around him. Adam slid his arms around Dawson’s shoulders. He was surprised to feel Dawson’s heart racing, where their chests pressed together.

“I recognized Carson’s scent,” Dawson said, his lips brushing against Adam’s sensitized skin. “I recognized it from yesterday, when it was all over you.”

Fuck. Adam froze. He didn’t know what he should say, he had no idea what was going on in Dawson’s head. Did this change anything? Did it change everything?

“It doesn’t matter,” Adam said firmly. “I handled it. It’s over.”

“You need to be careful, until I take over as pack leader, and can get things under control.” Dawson ran his hands up and down Adam’s back. In between his words, Dawson pressed soft kisses to Adam’s throat.

Adam thought he felt a tremor run through Dawson’s large frame. At first, he was sure Dawson was angry. When he felt Dawson release a shaky breathe, Adam realized it was worry over Carson’s threat.

“I’ll be fine,” Adam said reassuringly. “I’ve been dealing with his shit since my first month here.”

“It’s different now.” Dawson pulled back slightly, cradling Adam’s face between his palms. “The stakes are higher for the werewolves.” Adam started to protest that he’d been taking care of himself for a long time, but Dawson stopped him. “Please. I’m asking you to do this for me. Don’t go anywhere without one of your werewolf friends, until it’s safe.”

Because Dawson asked, Adam agreed. “Okay. I won’t.”

“Thank you.” Dawson pressed a kiss to Adam’s lips. “I hated smelling him on you yesterday. The only werewolf whose scent should be on you is mine.”

Adam almost laughed at Dawson’s outrageous possessiveness. Instead, he nodded his agreement. If he was honest, he liked being the center of Dawson’s attention and focus. But it was a werewolf response to a werewolf situation, and Adam’s disappointment was surprising.

“You smell so fucking good,” Dawson whispered roughly. “Christ, I want to mark you.”

Let’s conclude the official business so we can get down to the prizes! 

Strength of the Mate will be available on June 20th on MLR’s website: www.mlrpress.com/books. It will available at all the usual distributers shortly after. 

If you’d like more information on me, or my books, or would like to follow me on social media, here’s the Intel:

Website/Blog: www.kendallmckenna.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kendallmckenna
Twitter: @kendallmckenna
Email: kendall.mckenna3@gmail.com

FREE STUFF! Who doesn’t like free stuff? In celebration of the new release, I’m offering something for both existing readers, who are already fans of Tameness of the Wolf, and for readers who haven’t become fans…YET!


ENTER BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN AN E-BOOK COPY
OF STRENGTH OF THE PACK!


OR
ENTER BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A SIGNED PRINT COPY OF
YOUR CHOICE:
STRENGTH OF THE PACK
OR
STRENGTH OF THE WOLF


OR
ENTER BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN ONE SET OF
AUTHENTIC CHARACTER DOG TAGS
FOR THE PAIRING OF YOUR CHOICE:
LUCAS/NOAH
OR
TIM/JEREMY


Thank you for joining me! Good luck with the giveaways! And don’t forget to pick up
STRENGTH OF THE MATE
available June 20th from MLR Press!


54 comments:

  1. I am excited to read this new book in the series. The McKenna has created is different than most shifter stories I have read and I am hooked.

    Wtsbsllc@christynallswilliams.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad to hear you're excited for the new book!

      Delete
  2. Hi Kendall, you are a new to me author and I look forward to reading your books. I've added you to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway. ardent.ereader@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great to 'meet' you! I'm honored to be added to your TBR list!

      Delete
  3. Hi Kendall, I'm so looking forward to reading this book thank you for the giveaway.

    ShirleyAnn(at)speakman40(dot)freeserve(dot)co(dot)uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by to check out the post!

      Delete
  4. book sounds great
    jmarinich33@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my this sounds very very good!
    rojoroaors@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cannot wait!, lob
    Ve your stuff and doing the snoopy dances

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot email. Crozzy67@nctv.com

      Delete
    2. LOL! Thank you! I really think you're gonna like this one a lot.

      Delete
  7. Love your shifters, marines, and marine shifters. Can't wait to read this next book.

    jczlapin (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      I ended up loving Dawson and Adam quite a lot, by the time I was done writing.

      Delete
  8. I am dying for this new book...do you hear me? Dying...no...I'm not being overly dramatic. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! But if you die, you can't read it!

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Don't mind me. I'll be over here screaming happily and flailing wildly. Best surprise ever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Don't flail so much you hurt yourself!

      Delete
  11. I sooo can't wait to read this book!......is it out yet? No?.......How bout now? Ugh I'm dying over here! Lol

    Deborah H
    Deborahhansen52@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You only have to wait for 1 more week.....

      Delete
  12. SWEET!! Another Kendall McKenna masterpiece to look forward to! (Rubs hands greedily) =}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Soon! Very, very soon! And I think everyone will like this one.

      Delete
  13. I'm in the middle of rereading the first 2books. I'm so looking forward to the 20th.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of people are telling me they're re-reading the first two, getting ready for the third. I'm happy to know I'm not the only reader who does that!

      Delete
    2. Yes, I've pushed my Looooong TBR list out of the way. ��

      Delete
  14. I loved both book in this series and waiting for this one

    ReplyDelete
  15. Congrats on this coming release! I have been waiting & waiting for this one for a long time....lol
    Your wring and characterizations are just awesome. I love wolves, and the way you developed the wolves behaviors and actions are so descriptive and right on the nose. You have to tell you that your wolf shifters stories are my most favorite, and I have read a lot of them.
    I will probably get impatient and go right to MLR to get it on the 20th.
    Thank you for the giveaway!
    Wishing you all the best & continued success!

    Darcy
    pomma@akwolf.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heya!

      Thank you! I pay close attention to my dogs, and to any wolf info I can get access to, to make sure I write them correctly. I'm glad it shows.

      Start checking MLR on the 19th. My last few titles have shown up a little early. ;)

      Delete
  16. I don't know how I didn't see this book coming for so long but now that I know it's going to release next week, I'm like dancing and squealing and I think my neighbors are disturbed, lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dang, I just realized that I can't enter the contests. Already own Strength of the Pack and the other two giveaways aren't eligible for outside the U.S. :(
      BUT of course I only realized that after entering because I was so excited... *sigh* SORRY!

      Delete
    2. This is why I start doing guest blog appearances in the weeks before the book comes out...I gotta find all the people who haven't heard the good news! I'm glad I found you!

      Sorry about the U.S. thing. I SOLD a bunch of things to folks outside the U.S. this past fall, so I know what the shipping rates are, and I've owned cars that cost less. ;) It sucks, I know.

      Delete
  17. I'm so eager to read these! (And the Rafflecopter for the dog tags isn't working for some reason--thought someone should know.)

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fixed it! Rafflecopter works now, I put extra time on it.

      Delete
  18. Commenters - If you are entering one of the giveaways, make sure you use the white entry boxes below each giveaway listed above. What is begin given away is also listed in the box as well. There are three boxes so three different giveaways. You can enter using either by clicking the button for your facebook login or your email address. From the counter, the giveaway ends at the end of the day.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for the giveaway.

    marsh10@netzero.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congrats on the upcoming release!
    I just love this series! Definitely the best wolf shifter series ever, and the character development in the previous books is outstanding. Thank you for the giveaway.

    Darcy
    as:
    "Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes"
    &
    "Pommawolf WWolfweeps"

    pomma @akwolf.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sorry but Rafflecopter for the dogtags is not working...:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pommawolf! I PM'd Kendall. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Lexi ! :) Hope your week has been a great one...*S*
      Take care!

      Delete
    3. Thank you Pommawolf!! The weekend is creeping up on us. I hope the rest of your week goes well!

      The rafflecopter for the dog tags has been fixed. Kendall added another day onto the entry timer to give everybody a chance to enter the drawing if you so desire! :)

      Delete
    4. I fixted it! It's working now, and I put more time on it, so no one has to miss out.

      Delete
  22. I am excited to read the next book in the series. Thanks for the giveaways.

    ReplyDelete
  23. General note: The rafflecopter for the dog tags has been fixed. Kendall added another day onto the entry timer to give everybody a chance to enter the drawing if you so desire! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love this series and I cannot wait for this next book!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Can't wait!!!!! Want it now!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Everyone's excitement is infectious!

      Delete
  26. Whoops, forgot the email. CatteibrieATyahooDOTcom. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete