Yup, it’s that time again everyone. So, get your hopping feet ready. Over 200 different authors and bloggers have banded together to pay tribute to all those irresistible, alpha males we all love to read about. Welcome to Carrie Ann Ryan’s:
You’ve got to hand it to Carrie Ann Ryan, the lady sure loves to put together some great blog hops!
What is your favorite thing about Alpha Heroes? Well, we authors are ready to share our favorite Alpha Males, our favorite things about them, and everything sexy and heated about those Alpha Males you can think of. *wink*
While we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.
But that’s not all….
We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!
Pretty fabulous prizes, eh?
That’s not all!
One lucky commenter, drawn at random, will win an in depth first chapter critique from me. So, be sure to leave a comment with your email address when you stop by. You’ll be entered into the drawing for four different prizes.
Today I celebrate our 15th anniversary with my special alpha hero. No, he’s not a military man, though he is passionate about our country. He’s not a fireman, or a cop, but he’s my hero. He saved me from living a cold, lonely existence. So, to celebrate our anniversary, I’d like to share a poem I wrote for him with all of you.
My One, My Only
Cold and lonely was my life
Lost in darkness knowing only strife
Forever to drown in sorrow and shame
Until into my life you came
Appearing before me pure as a dove
To show and teach me a miracle called love
Never again will I be lonely
Thanks to you, my one, my only.
So, what makes a man an alpha? Is it his charisma? The respect he shows his woman? His leadership abilities? His intelligence?
I think all of those are part of it. But, what stands out the most to me and makes him an effective alpha is his sense of honor, and his protectiveness. Tell me what aspects you think creates a great alpha?
Now I’d like to share an excerpt of Dangerous Temptation and introduce you to my alpha Cadmon.
“Stop!” Cadmon ordered as he stood. The small boat halted. What a waste! His hands balled into fists and jaw clenched as he stared at the once beautiful land, full of fallen trees and stumps. Mounds of dirt dotted the land every ten feet. Next to one of the stumps sat a forestry harvester.
“Damn,” he muttered and his heart sank into his belly. He stepped onto the violated land, careful not to crush any small animals buried beneath the rubble. The face of the earth held deep scars, testament of the mindless destruction.
The tiger inside him recoiled in horror at the view. Its angry snarls echoed in his mind.
An orangutan screeched, as it lay trapped under a tree, eyes wide with fright. It tried to use one arm to push the tree off to no avail.
Cadmon cautiously walked over and lifted the tree and tossed it behind him. He held out a hand. “Don’t be frightened little friend.”
The orangutan stared at him a moment, then leapt into his arms and clung to his neck with its uninjured arm, hooting and bounced in his arms.
“I’ll find you a safer home,” he vowed, as he rubbed a hand down its back.
The orangutan fell silent and stared at him. It hopped down and walked beside him, tucking its injured arm to its chest.
Cadmon searched the rubble and freed the other trapped animals, and watched them scurry away. Damn humans! How can they be so careless? His fists clenched and his teeth ground, as he stared at the destruction. When I get my hands on those responsible, I’ll rip them limb from limb!
His left eyebrow twitched, and he knew he had to get away. A guttural roar exploded as he returned to the boat. “How dare they do this?”
“Thanks Mateo, I’ll go on foot from here.” He passed the boat driver a couple coins, and snatched his bag, which he draped across his chest.
“Save our homes.” The short, frail man with silver hair down to his shoulders stuffed the payment in his pocket.
Like I don’t already have enough to deal with? He scrubbed a hand over his face and sighed. “I’ll try.” Cadmon picked up the orangutan. It wrapped its good arm around his neck.
The leaves and tree limbs crunched under his sandaled feet as he ran towards the sparse remnants of the trees, with the orangutan on his shoulder.
Ten miles passed beneath his stride before the undamaged trees surrounded him and the anger in his belly simmered over red coals.
Cadmon stopped and patted the orangutan on the back. “Okay little guy. Go find your family.” He placed it on a tree and wiped the sweat off his face. He watched the orangutan use its good arm to swing through the trees. At least you have one. His lips thinned into a hard, flat line as he looked at the untouched rainforest.
His tiger emotions moved close to the surface, eager to re-explore the land that captivated man and beast, like nothing else ever had. His fingertips burned as they changed to claws and his tawny skin itched as pristine white fur pushed through his pores. His sandy shoulder length hair lengthened and changed to white fur going down his back.
He clawed his shirt off his wide chest and tore out of his creased slacks as the muscles of his thighs thickened. Cadmon fell on all fours, back arched as roped muscles contorted beneath his skin. His heart soared as his body transformed into the sleek form of a large tiger.
Cadmon tilted his head back and unleashed a mighty roar, before he shot into the rainforest, uncaring of the limbs that scratched his fur. It felt good to tear through the underbrush with sure footing as his paws pounded the ground.
He had to get away before the unpleasant memories rushed back. He hoped to outrun them, but they refused to let go.
A family of rabbits scurried out of the way and his chest tightened like it did as the night his sister died. It replayed in his mind and his heart felt torn from his chest. Blood pounded in his ears as the tiger roared and raked his claws deep into the tree bark, much like he had rendered flesh from bone that night.
More memories crashed in and he leapt over to the next tree and raked it, trying to chase away the unwanted memory of his greatest failure. He snarled with each slash of his claws, the urge to kill so strong he could taste the metallic tang of blood on his tongue.
By the time he’d finished all trees within a twenty acre radius sported several deep gouges. Now they would know he’d returned. Let his enemies come if they held such a death wish. He’d shred anyone stupid enough to challenge him! A fierce roar exploded from his chest, a challenge to all nearby.
Anger abated, his chest felt hollow and he shot into the foliage, as the wind blew through his whiskers. He lifted his face, allowing the wind to dry his fur under his wet eyes.
Life wasn’t the same without his twin sister. He’d give anything to see her one last time. His shoulders dropped forward as the scent of dewy flowers and various smaller animal scents filled his nostrils.
As he approached his cabin, low hanging vines brushed against him and his nose twitched at the smell of rotting vegetation. His pace slowed and he snarled at the snakes, which hissed and slithered out of his path. Every beast of the rain forest knew his kind were the lords of the lands.
If only Keely were still around. She’d be mated and with cubling by now. He crouched low to the ground, reverting to his humanoid form as guilt settled like a heavy stone in his belly. He stood, scanned his surroundings, and with heavy footfalls over to the stream.
Trees competed for space as far as he could see. Creeping vines, and various plants crowded, as if trying to strangle the towering giants. In the canopy, birds flew to and fro making their nests, and feeding their young.
The sun trickled through the canopy, warming his skin with an affectionate glow, as if welcoming him home.
His eyes closed and he tilted his head back as he inhaled the mingled scents of the lush rainforest and felt the worries of the past five years melt away. He trapped the fresh air and held it in his lungs, afraid to let it go. It’d been far too long since he’d returned. Throughout his travels to different lands, no place called to his soul like his homelands.
Cadmon opened his eyes and smiled as the foliage sprang to life with movement. Several small animals darted in and out of their homes. He watched the orangutans swing through the vines, even their hoots and the proboscis monkeys’ screeches of play sounded like music to his ears.
The abundance of wildlife and fresh water were only part of the reason he’d chosen this spot for his cabin.
“Good to have you back.” A man with a slim, athletic frame and black hair tied into a braid that reached halfway down his back, walked up beside him.
“I’ve missed you too, Banan.” He clapped the slender man on the back as warmth radiated throughout his body. “Beautiful isn’t it?”
“Beautiful.” His friend nudged him with a manila folder. “For you.”
“Duty calls,” Cadmon muttered, as he accepted the folder. This place was home to Cadmon’s people, the Caspians. Like hell he’d let that weak human and his avaricious associates destroy it!
“You’re sure this girl is the one?” His brow rose as he stared at the picture.
His friend nodded and shuffled his feet.
Cadmon inhaled a sharp breath at the intensity of her warm, brandy colored eyes. Even in the picture they seemed to stare into his soul. “So, she likes to swim,” he mumbled.
“Informant says she good. Sure you can do this, Cade?” Banan tapped the photo. “Keith’s daughter.”
“His brother isn’t leaving us any choice.” He snorted and snapped the folder shut. Why did Nigel have to be so stubborn? His jaw tightened. Just because Keith had befriended Cadmon when he was a boy, didn’t mean his daughter was sheltered.
“Damn you Nigel.” A low growl rose from his throat.
His loyalty to Keith could not come before his loyalty to his Pride! The Pride’s lands were in danger of deforestation, spearheaded by her uncle. He’d seen the proof with his own eyes. A once beautiful land, stripped bare of its abundance of rich vegetation, which housed and fed many smaller animals.
“Already left,” Banan placed the folder under his arm.
“We wait until she arrives.” He stared across the water, jaw tight and vowed, “I won’t let her uncle destroy our home, or our people.”
“Good to see you.” Banan placed a hand on his shoulder.
Cadmon gave a curt nod and ground his teeth.
“Enjoy your run?” Banan walked over and sat on a medium sized boulder.
“I’ve been gone too long.” He walked into the stream, and allowed the cold water to pool around his hands as he cupped them to bring water to his lips, drinking his fill He stood and walked towards the cabin, noticing the grim look on his friend’s face. “What?”
“Won’t last long,” he replied, staring at the wall.
“How bad has he gotten?” Cadmon’s brows furrowed.
“Bad.” Banan frowned and Cadmon reached for the bag which he held out to him.
“Go now?” He glanced toward the camp and then back at Cadmon.
Cadmon opened the bag and extracted his clothes, and then slipped into them, running his fingers through his hair. He needed a few hours to settle his mind before he could take up the mantle of leadership.
“Healers say not much time.” Banan shifted his weight to his other foot and glanced outside again.
“This evening.” He squeezed Banan’s shoulder.
Banan nodded and left.
Cadmon entered the empty, dusty cabin. “Welcome home,” he muttered in a monotone voice, as he tossed his empty bag aside.
He swallowed against the thickness in his throat, and stared at the door to his twin’s empty room. An intense ache settled in his chest. He stepped outside, and released a heavy sigh.
Be sure to check out the other blog stops on this wonderful hop! http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=152582