Friday, August 30, 2013

Giveaway & Special Guest - Kendall McKenna!!

We are happy to have special guest Kendall McKenna on our blog today! We are super excited to hear about her hot marine shifters! Also we are pleased to host a giveaway for book 1 in her Strength of the Pack series. You have until Sunday to enter!




Hello! My name is Kendall McKenna, and I write M/M Erotic Romance novels and novellas. My stories feature characters who are authentically written U.S. Marines, and realistic combat scenes. With me, you get some action and intrigue along with your hot romance!

The lovely and generous Book Whores have allowed me to come visit, have a chat about my new book, and share some hot man-pics!



My new book will release on September 6th. It’s called Strength of the Wolf and it’s the second book in my series, The Tameness of the Wolf. The second book picks up several months after the point where the first book, Strength of the Pack, left off. If the titles weren’t a dead giveaway, let me just clarify that this series of books are about werewolves who are U.S. Marines.

Or maybe it’s about U.S. Marines who are werewolves.



Oh well! Either way, it’s about hot, hard-bodied men who turn into wolves and the human men who fall in the love with them.



I wrote Strength of the Pack almost on a whim. I have read very, very few shifter stories. Not because I don’t like them, but I simply haven’t made a point to seek them out. I’ve enjoyed the very few I have read. It wasn’t until Strength of the Pack was released, that I became aware that the genre has many, many tropes, many ‘rules’, and certain patterns that appear in story after story. Because I’m unaware of most of these, they’re not in Strength of the Pack.

I was halfway through writing book #1 when I realized I had a supporting character on my hands who absolutely needed his own story written. I also realized that I had written certain themes that could easily be developed into overall, multi-story arcs. I sat down to write Strength of the Wolf, and nearly couldn’t stop. My characters took over and I ended up with 119,000 words! (No wonder my arthritis is acting up!)
What I have on my hands is a series, that was only supposed to be a single book, that features werewolves that are fully integrated with humans, are serving openly in the Marine Corps, and are respected to the point of reverence. Readers and reviewers tell me repeatedly that there’s nothing else out there like them, and that I broke a whole lotta rules.



I have to take their words for it, because I still don’t read shifter books!
Curious? Here’s the blurb for Strength of the Pack:

Lieutenant Lucas Young doesn’t know much about shifters. When Sergeant Noah Hammond is assigned to Lucas’ platoon, the Marine Corps’ True Alpha werewolf challenges the Lieutenant’s authority and his self-control. As Lucas learns to dominate and command Noah, he struggles against a strong attraction and deepening emotional bond.
During their combat deployment to Afghanistan, Lucas and Noah begin mirroring legendary partnerships. Their bond and their power grow as they survive dangerous combat and ambushes. When one of them is wounded in battle, they both must embrace the strength of their bond before they lose each other forever.

So, Lucas and Noah have a commanding officer named Tim Madison. Tim’s a smart, competent officer who takes good care of the Marines in his command. He’s strangely intuitive when it comes to understanding and dealing with werewolves. Tim has a dry sense of humor and frequently sees the irony in life. He’s easy to like, so it’s easy to cheer for him when he stumbles over his own werewolf in Strength of the Wolf:

Blurb:
After a fiery exit from Afghanistan, Tim Madison is promoted to major. Jeremy Wagner is a civilian, just beginning his Transition to True Alpha. As a lone wolf, he has no one to teach him the vital principles of strong leadership. After a volatile chance encounter, Tim and Jeremy form an intimate bond.
As Jeremy prepares to someday lead his own pack, Tim struggles with military werewolves being needlessly maimed in combat, as well as specifically targeted by hostile forces. Despite Tim and Jeremy’s feelings, werewolf and human politics or family conflict could prevent their mate-bond.

Excerpt:
The crowd of Marines backed away, forming a wide circle around Tim. To his left, Lucas dropped what he was carrying. Glass shattered on the wooden deck and dispelled the food it contained. To Tim’s right, Jeremy’s clawed hands wrapped around Terrell Hubbard’s throat. His lips pulled back in a ferocious snarl, revealing long, wickedly sharp fangs. Hubbard’s fingers were claws, as well. One gripped Jeremy’s bicep, the other was fisted in Jeremy’s shirt. Hubbard bared his fangs, barking and growling in Jeremy’s face.
Adrenaline surged into Tim’s bloodstream. His heart pounded, his mouth went dry. “Jeremy! Knock it the fuck off!” he shouted, reaching for the brat’s shoulders to pull him away from Hubbard. “Sergeant Hubbard! Stand down! Right the fuck now!” Tim’s skin tightened over his bones and his clothes were suddenly painful.
Tim hadn’t been this afraid in combat. Hubbard was inches taller and tens of pounds heavier than Jeremy. He was a trained Marine, battle hardened. Jeremy was outclassed and that scared the shit out of Tim.
“Submit, Terrell,” Noah shouted, voice rough and commanding. He sounded more wolf than human.
Just as Tim reached for Jeremy, strong hands grasped his wrists.
“Stay out of it,” Lucas said, trying to drag Tim away from the embattled werewolves. “You’ll only get hurt.”
“Jeremy’s no match for Hubbard,” Tim said angrily, trying to shake off Lucas.
“Yes, he is.” Lucas put himself between Tim and the shifters, giving a mighty shove. “Let Noah handle it.”
Tim stumbled, Lucas’ shove sending him off balance. He started back toward Jeremy, desperate to get him away from the larger, stronger Hubbard. Lucas blocked his path. Dawson was suddenly behind Lucas as silent reinforcement.
“Submit to him, Terrell,” Noah ordered again. He stood beside the two werewolves but didn’t touch. Tim wondered why the hell he didn’t break up the fight. “If you make him shift he’ll rip your throat out.”
In the blink of an eye, Hubbard gave up the fight and let himself be carried to the ground by Jeremy’s weight. Now on his back, Terrell let his arms go limp beside him. He tilted back his head so that both his throat and his belly were vulnerable to Jeremy’s attack.
A strange silence fell over the yard, save for Hubbard’s labored breathing as he struggled to get air past Jeremy’s grip on his throat. Jeremy crouched over Terrell’s supine form. He gripped Hubbard’s throat with only one clawed hand now. He leaned down until his open mouth hovered just above Terrell’s throat.
“My wolf has submitted, Jeremy,” Noah said calmly. He knelt next to the combatants, still not touching Jeremy. “You’re the victor. He submitted. Let him up.”
Jeremy continued to crouch over Hubbard. He snapped audibly at the vulnerable flesh of Terrell’s throat. Hubbard flinched. Tim clenched his jaw, silently begging Jeremy to accept Hubbard’s submission.
“You can’t filter this through any human or military standards,” Lucas said quietly. Tim had nearly forgotten he was there. “I know you think it’s too soon, but do you feel a connection to Jeremy?”
Tim swallowed hard, his throat tight. To his relief, Jeremy released Terrell, rising gracefully to his feet. “Yes,” Tim admitted, eyes following Jeremy as he stalked back and forth, glaring at the werewolves circled around them.
“Let him mark you, then,” said Lucas. “Right now, in front of the Pack.”
Tim realized everything had been leading him to this very moment, despite his efforts to deny and avoid it. “Yeah,” he sighed. He had feelings for the kid he knew weren’t mixed up with Jeremy’s, or tied to the full moon. Jeremy’s well-being mattered to Tim, but he was the reason Jeremy was angry and aggressive. Jeremy needed Tim to stop hiding.
“It’s got to be a visible mark,” Lucas reminded him. “He’s going to want to get his scent on you, too.”
None of that bothered Tim. Well, the visible marks made him apprehensive. He’d had such sympathy for Lucas, watching him struggle with werewolves making things public that humans usually kept private.
“The brat had better be worth all the drama,” Tim muttered darkly, decision made.
Lucas chuckled. “You wouldn’t like him if he wasn’t a challenge.”
Lucas and Dawson both stepped aside, leaving Tim free to approach to Jeremy. Or Jeremy to approach Tim. It wasn’t clear yet how this was going to go down. Terrell had rolled onto his side, but he still lay on the ground at Jeremy’s feet. The neck of his muscle shirt was darkened with blood. Jeremy’s claws had done some damage. Thankfully, it didn’t appear too severe.
Jeremy stopped pacing. Noah stood behind him, speaking quietly. Jeremy stood tall, shoulders squared, staring directly at Tim. His eyes were amber and those of a wolf. His chest heaved with each breath. At least his hands were no longer claws. Tim couldn’t tell if Jeremy still had fangs.
It didn’t matter if he did. Tim knew he was in no danger from Jeremy. Focusing all of his attention on Jeremy, Tim realized he should have done this before now. Jeremy’s need was a physical ache. His desire to mark Tim, and be marked in return had always been there. It lingered at the back of Tim’s mind like white noise, making it easy to ignore. Tim’s own regret poured through him, drowning out everything else. He hoped this effort would make up for his mistakes. Releasing a shaky breath, Tim silently acknowledged that he’d wanted this all along.
Tim saw the moment Jeremy sensed that their needs finally synced. He closed the distance between them in a few long strides. Tim clutched at Jeremy’s shirt as Jeremy wrapped his arms around Tim’s waist, pulling their bodies together roughly. Their open mouths collided and Tim felt the hard press of teeth. Jeremy did still have his fangs, their sharp tips drawing blood from Tim’s lips. A thrill ran down Tim’s spine, knowing Jeremy’s lethal strength was leashed, just for him.
Jeremy licked deep into Tim’s mouth, their tongues tangling wetly. Jeremy’s body was flame-hot, pressed to the length of Tim’s. His breath was scalding as it ghosted across Tim’s cheek.
Breaking the kiss, Jeremy buried his face in the join of Tim’s neck and shoulder. Tim shuddered. He pushed his hips against Jeremy’s, feeling Jeremy’s already hard cock. Tim tilted his head slightly, asking at the same time he gave consent.
Jeremy pried Tim’s fingers from his shirt. Tim gasped as Jeremy forced his arms to cross at the small of his back. The strength in Jeremy’s hand was surprising as he restrained Tim’s wrists. The arch in his back pushed Tim’s body hard against Jeremy’s. His own cock was completely hard now and he rubbed himself back and forth against Jeremy. Tim closed his eyes, letting his head fall back in silent pleading.
Jeremy kissed up the length of Tim’s throat, dragging the sharp tips of his teeth along the edge of Tim’s jaw. The slight sting sent a thrill down Tim’s spine and he wanted more. Jeremy nipped at Tim’s pulse where it throbbed just below his skin. Tim moaned when Jeremy soothed the spot with his tongue.
His body went rigid and Tim unleashed a decadent groan when Jeremy’s hot mouth latched onto the side of his neck. Tim’s blood rose to the surface as Jeremy sucked hard at the spot. Jeremy soothed the bruise with a swipe of his tongue. Tim relaxed into Jeremy’s hard body, moaning each time Jeremy sucked a bruise into his throat, or nipped sharply at his too-sensitive skin.
He wanted to touch. Tim struggled to free his hands from Jeremy’s grip. When Jeremy released his wrists, Tim buried his fingers in Jeremy’s hair, holding him close. Jeremy nosed at Tim’s ear, dragging his sharp teeth along the sensitive lobe. Tim shuddered again and moaned.
Lowering his head, Tim found Jeremy’s mouth. He chased Jeremy’s tongue with his own. Curling his fingers in Jeremy’s hair, Tim used it to tilt his head back. He skimmed his lips and nose over the pounding pulse in Jeremy’s throat. Tim pressed his open mouth to the same spot and drew heated blood to the surface. Jeremy panted. He cradled the back of Tim’s head, encouraging him. Tim sucked blood to the surface of Jeremy’s skin. He was deeply satisfied that Jeremy wore his mark. The werewolf pack that surrounded them would know that Jeremy was his, and only his.
Jeremy pulled back abruptly. “Okay, that’s enough,” he gasped. “Any more and we’re going to put on a much more revealing show than I’d planned.”
Tim blinked, struggling to understand Jeremy’s words. He watched Jeremy’s eyes roam over his throat, taking in the bruises Tim could feel darkening on his skin. Jeremy’s expression was satisfied, bordering on arrogant. Tim couldn’t help but chuckle. It was such an Alpha thing to do.
The world began to move around them. Dawson directed someone to clean up the shattered glass and spilled food. Noah tried to save the meat left forgotten on the grill. Mundane conversations swirled around them.
Tim and Jeremy stood alone, completely surrounded by Noah’s Pack, breathing heavily, looking only at one another.
“How long do we have to stay?” Desire was obvious in Jeremy’s still-amber eyes.
“It would be polite to eat something, then help clean up a little,” Tim replied, already calculating how he might maneuver them into an early departure.
“Stay with me tonight?” Jeremy asked.
Tim nodded emphatically. “Of course.” Everyone associated with a werewolf pack was excused from duty for the next two days for the full-moon run. He imagined the two of them had much to discuss over the course of the next twenty-four hours.
“Good,” Jeremy said. He turned toward the cluster of Marines who had begun to serve themselves food. “Now let’s go let them all know it’s time to keep their hands off of what’s mine.”
Jeremy’s possessive words should have angered Tim. Instead, it made him consider being rude and skipping out on food.
If anyone would understand, it would be Lucas and Noah.

If you’d like to find out more about my series, The Tameness of the Wolf, you can get more information on my website:  http://kendallmckenna.com/books/the-tameness-of-the-wolf/

I’d like to give an interested reader a chance to become acquainted with my beloved Marine werewolves!
Enter below for a chance to win The Tameness of the Wolf Book #1 – Strength of the Pack,
and be ready for the release of Book #2 – Strength of the Wolf on September 6th!


24 comments:

  1. O. M. F. G. i am dropping off the planet whilst i read Strength of the Wolf.. Kendall McKenna just astounds me with her writing.. BUt she knows this... I just wanted to comment to comment. good blog and GREAT snippet... Hopefully they leave the BBQ after that.. Oh well soon find out...

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    1. Unibomber! *smooches* Thank you for stalking and cheerleading! ;-D

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  2. Loved the first book of this series and can't wait for Tameness to come out.

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    1. Thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. I can't wait for this book to come out. Loved Tim already during the first book, and I'll be happy to meet Lucas and Noah again!

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    1. Yeah, Tim was informing me before the first book was through, that he wanted his own to be written. He's bossy, it's a good thing he's also charming.

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  4. I can't wait for the next book! Loved the first book!

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  5. I love books about shifters and I love our marines. I am new to this author but I am looking forward to reading these books. thanks for the giveaway. lacombejc@suddenlink.net

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and expressing your interest!

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  6. Love MM shifter books. Looking forward to reading this series. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
    Freakgrly at aol dot com

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  7. Love MM shifter books. Looking forward to reading this series. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
    Freakgrly at aol dot com

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    1. Thank you for the interest! I think you'll enjoy the books!

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  8. Apart from drooling over the hot guys in her stories, what I admire is Ms McKenna's total knowledge of the inner workings of Marine Corp life - I never feel like she's winging it. Really authentic and totally readable.

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    1. Very, very kind words! Thank you so much, JP! :-)

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  9. Growl, shifters and hot military men. What could be better? ;)

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  10. Please count me in. Thanks!

    gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. This look intriguing. I rally want to read it

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    1. I think you'll enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. This series sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it to see more men in uniform and hot shifters. YUM!!!

    e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

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    1. Thank you! I'm pretty proud of them and I think you'll enjoy!

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  13. Please pick me


    Sally h

    Halliday.sally@yahoo.co.uk

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