Word-Slingers – Spotlight’s on Elene Sallinger


AUTHOR INFO

Hailing from Washington, DC, Elene Sallinger first caught the writing bug in 2004 after writing and illustrating several stories for her then four-year-old daughter. Her writing career has encompassed two award-winning childrens stories, a stint as a consumer-education advocate, as well as writing her debut novel, Awakening – a novel of erotic fiction that won the New Writing Competition at the Festival of Romance 2011. 

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BOOK INFO

This is the story of Claire Ryan and Evan Lang. 35-year-old Claire joins a local book club for romance readers in order to get over the breakdown of her 10-year relationship, there she meets book shop owner Evan, a dominant man who has never recovered from the sudden death of his submissive wife.

As their relationship develops and they embark on the path of Claire’s submission, it becomes harder and harder for Evan to keep his emotional distance. Claire is open and responsive and he wants her badly, but refuses to let himself go.


As Claire falls deeper in love with Evan, she realizes that he is holding back and decides to end their relationship, forcing Evan to confront his own past and his feelings in order to save his new love.


EXCERPT
Caution – Graphic
‘I feel safe here.’ She waved a hand around to encompass the bookstore. ‘You make me feel safe. Despite your attitude, I don’t believe you would hurt me.’ Claire flushed such a sweet shade of pink as she spoke, her hazel gaze roaming the store as she looked everywhere but at him.
Safe. She thought she was safe with him. That he wouldn’t hurt her. Evan sat in stunned silence for the briefest moment before a red tide of fury suffused his body. Fury at Marianne for dying and leaving him alone when she had been the centre of his life. Fury at Claire for tempting him and reviving desires that he’d believed were dead and buried with his love. Fury at himself for being so damned foolish and afraid in the face of his temptation. In that moment, he knew himself for a coward and he snapped.
‘Safe. You think you’re safe with me?’ he all but sneered at her. ‘You know nothing.’ He spit the words at Claire as he leant, forward his hands clenched into fists on his knees. She shrank away from him, pushing so far back into the leather club chair her feet no longer touched the floor. Her eyes were wide with shock and the beginnings of fear. Shame crawled over his skin and he reached for self-control, only to lose it all over again when her small, white teeth bit into her trembling lower lip.
‘Damn you!’ He slammed a fist down on the arm of his chair, causing her to jump at the violence of his action. ‘You are anything but safe with me. Every time you walk through that door all I can think about is bending you over my lap and spanking that pretty little ass until it is shiny, red, and stinging. Then fucking you from behind so that the sting feeds the orgasm I give you. I fantasise about binding you and whipping those sweet little tits, your pussy, and your ass. Marking you everywhere so that each time you look in the mirror you remember me and how I put them there, and then beg me to put more on you when they heal. I want to drench you in my come, fuck you in every goddamn hole, and make you scream until you can’t speak.’
As the words died on his lips, he dragged in a breath and took Claire in, really saw her now that the apex of his anger had passed somewhat. She was glassy-eyed and panting. The knuckles of her slim, elegant fingers were white and she gripped the arms of her chair as if her life depended on it. She looked like she was having a panic attack.
Fear and shame overrode his anger and he lurched forward, coming around and sitting on the table before her. He took her face between his palms. She was so tiny, his hands seems to swallow her up.
‘Claire.’ He spoke softly, soothingly, as he rubbed his thumb over her cheeks. ‘Claire, please. Look at me.’
She turned just a fraction, closing her eyes and refusing to look at him. Her motion brought his thumb to rest on her lower lip. Quickly, so quickly he almost missed it, she licked his thumb. It was the barest touch, but the sight of her pink tongue against his skin was more than he could take. What control remained to him was lost.
‘Damn you,’ he repeated, but this time it was the hoarse whisper of a drowning man. ‘Suck it,’ he demanded as he thrust his thumb between her full, rosy lips. She obeyed instantly, enveloping the digit in wet, velvet heat. A shudder coursed through him at the silken feel of her mouth on his skin. She sucked gently in slow draws that he felt all the way to his cock, which surged violently to life.
With his other hand he untied the bow that held the halter of her dress together and yanked the barrier from her body so that it pooled at her waist in a lake of red silk. She faltered briefly, but continued to suck on his thumb as he squeezed her breast, massaging and shaping it in his large palm. She was small, tiny even; the entire globe barely filled his palm, but his mouth watered to taste her. He pulled his thumb from her mouth and trailed damp circles around each nipple before leaning down to suck the puckered tips into his mouth. He sucked hard, eliciting a cry of pained pleasure from her as she arched into his mouth.
He squeezed and pulled, sucked and bit at her nipples furiously, his mind blank except for the driving urge to mark her, claim her. Only when they were red and swollen, jutting out from the cream of her skin, did he leave her breasts. But he was far from done with her. He yanked her hips forward and roughly pushed the skirt of her dress up to her hips. She wore a brief, black silk thong which disappeared in a savage yank as he tore it from her. The fragile elastic snapped as easily as if it were an errant thread. He dropped the offending silk to the floor and threw her legs over the arms of the chair so that she was spread and open to him.
He didn’t stop to appreciate the sight she made, though the memory would haunt him later. Her eyes were half-closed and glazed with desire. Her rosy lips were parted and damp from her tongue. Her small, tight breasts were swollen and tipped with hard, berry-red pebbles from his earlier feasting. The scarlet silk pooled at her waist, framing and showcasing her plump hips and drenched pussy. The damp curls were trimmed close, just a shade darker than the honeyed brown of her tousled hair. No, in that moment, he only took in the sandpaper dryness of his throat and the need to taste her.

Just Stuff

So, how’s everyone doing? I know i haven’t been posting much, but that’s largely because I don’t really have much to say lately that I haven’t said a bajillion times. However, I thought I’d come say some of it again today ’cause I haven’t done that in a bit.

As you might gather from the ticker to your right, I have (once again) decided to start over on my current WIP. It’s not pretty. I have such a PHENOMENAL idea for this book (series, really), and I keep stalling out on it. I’m not entirely sure what’s wrong. But I think I’ve got a notion and so I must go back to fix it (I’m working in a third POV character who I think is necessary for the hint of darkness I want to convey). Luckily, some of what I’ve got (hopefully half to 3/4 of it) should carry over with minimal tweaking beyond POV shifts.

Either that or I’m hanging up my writer’s hat. I just dunno. Feel like I should be doing more, but I just have lost my motivation, I guess.

Now the obligatory twin pictures:

Yeah, they’re both monkeys who enjoy climbing up on the table. We gave up on the booster seats and just imported chairs my in-laws left with us. They’re the perfect height and come with sides that block the girls into their seats at dinner.

Sam is STILL Little Miss I Don’t Believe In Sleep and she’s decided getting up at 4:45 in the morning is a good thing. At least on the weekends, I’ve been able to convince her to come sleep with Mommy when she pulls that. At least until 6, when the sun is up, then she’s pretty much decided it’s time for everyone (or at least Mommy) to get up and she will not stop squirming. She’s also the drama queen.

Jackie, as you can tell from that squinch-faced grin, is still my ham. She will now stink-eye on command, as well as pretend to sleep. Hehe. It’s hilarious in the car in the morning (yes, I have no life, I know that, but my toddlers give me some of my best giggles of the day).

Garrett is Garrett (no pictures because he doesn’t do much that’s amusing – just plays video games or stares at the TV…we’re working on forcing him outside more).

And then there’s my weight-loss efforts. I seem to have finally broken through a 20-day stall, and my exercise is increasing nicely. I can now walk 3+ miles in a single pop, though I prefer to break it up into 2 1.65 mile walks. I’m seriously considering entering a 5k that’s taking place in August. I can walk that distance now, but I’m not sure I want to sign up for something that highly encourages fundraising (it’s an American Lung Association walk). My feet hate me. I think I have plantar fascitis and maybe something else going on down there, but I’ll just have to deal with it for now. Don’t want to spend money on the doctor.

Word-Slingers – Spotlight on Ashley Nemer

AUTHOR INFO
Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs named Toto and Doogie. They have been together for almost 8 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her life long best friend Laura gave her “Ashes to Ashes’ by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.

Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life, they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life ‘Reach for the Stars’ and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and display’s came from. With her Parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.



BOOK INFO

Blurb
Reporter Nadia Maverick takes an adventure through the underbelly of her town where she discovers that even the criminal life she had been reporting on isn’t quite like it seemed. Things turn bad for Nadia when in the middle of an investigation the tables are turned and she becomes the one under the watchful eye of Mr. A. Everyone becomes a suspect when Nadia turns up missing. Who will be there to set her free? Read and see.

Excerpt
Spot on, at five forty-five a.m., her alarm sounded off, waking her out of her dream. “Every bloody morning.” She turned it off and got out of bed, heading for the shower. She looked in on her nephews, passed out, their best side, asleep. Sweet angels, when they’re sleeping, she thought. She got dressed and fixed her hair in a cute style and went and woke the boys. It almost made her sad to disturb them. Tony the Tiger rubbed along her leg in the threshold of the spare room’s door while she looked at the two boys.
 “I know, you want to play don’t you?” She picked up the kitten and walked over to the bed, setting him down and gently stirring the boys awake.
“Aunt Dia, stop licking me” Daman said.
Leon mumbled in reply, “Dummy that’s the cat.”
“Hey, no name calling. Come on, get up, we need to get ready for school.” Nadia said, tussling Leon’s hair. “Pancakes ready in 10 minutes; be there or starve.” She left the boys and went to prepare breakfast. The kitten followed her and hopped up on a stool and then onto the counter top. She could tell, by letting him on her desk yesterday afternoon, she had started a bad trend.
“You are going to be trouble, aren’t you Triple T?” She scratched under his jaw. He purred into her touch and his tail began swinging back and forth. “Yup, nothing but trouble.”
Nadia dropped the boys off at school then drove into work. Gabe was waiting on her in the parking lot when she pulled into her assigned spot. She gave him a little wave as she turned the steering wheel. She knew once he was interested in something, there was no stopping the lengths he would go to when he wanted to talk.
 “Hot chocolate mi lady,” he said, grinning and shaking a Starbucks cup at her.
“Mmm mi lord.” She faked a little bow before grabbing the drink from his hand and taking a sip. “You look happy to see me. Something to talk about?” She eyed him with a questioning look.
“Can’t I just be happy to see you love?” He grabbed her arm and guided her towards their office. “Or could it be I have a bit of gossip for you that is to die for?”

Word-Slingers – Interviewing Red Garnier

1)                  How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for myself for about ten years, but seriously maybe for seven. I started taking writing courses, entering contests, then began my career writing for Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, Loose ID, and Liquid Silver.

2)                 How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I use to juggle with far more balls than I’ve cut down to now. My health needed attention and I had to stop working, so now I dedicate my time to my family, keeping my health in shape and my environment as stress free as possible, and my writing.

3)                 What can you tell us about your release Taken by Him? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

Taken by Him is the second story of my Billionaire’s Club series. This story came about the wonderful suggestions of my editor, who wanted to read more about billionaire friends finding love. Luke Preston dazzled me in the first story, and I couldn’t wait to get to his own story. I actually had an idea of his plot from an earlier book I had worked on, but Luke took it over, owned it, revamped and made it, and it is absolutely one of my faves. It is sexy, funny, and heartwarming. I hope readers love it too! J

4)                 What is it about the contemporary romance genre that you like so much?

I just love how relatable this genre is. I can identify and imagine it happening to me, and I can also forget about having to keep track of any details “such as in romantic suspense or other genres) and focus more on the exquisite details and emotions of falling in love.

5)                 Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I am always tempted to write other kinds of books, sometimes after watching an inspiring movie, reading an inspiring book. At the moment, I still love contemporary, but like they say, never say never!

6)                 Sweet or sour?

Sweet AND sour. Hahah. (TM – Smart aleck)

7)                 Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate.

AUTHOR INFO

I don’t think there’s anything as magical as reading a wonderful book. Since I read my very first, I was utterly transported to a world that made me want to pack my bags and move right into it. I was twelve. Maybe thirteen. And I finally knew what I wanted to be.


A writer.


But a writer’s life isn’t as romantic as it sounds. Life always gets in the way of writers. You either live your own, or you sit down and create one for someone. Someone more wonderful, more interesting, more courageous. And because I met a wonderful man, my life came first. I married him. And we have two wonderful kids, whom we adore. And writing seemed to be just a little moment living in a big dream. I wrote, but I wrote little, and I needed more.
It wasn’t until the start of 2005 when my life had settled around me, and with that stillness came a gnawing restlessness. I really needed to write, really write, or I’d be miserable.

So I started, spending a few hours a day on the computer, and later entire nights. I heard of Ellora’s Cave, an erotic romance publisher, and their call for submissions for their hotter Exotika line. Ahh! Something sexy, I thought, and mulled through that a bit further: Something scandalizing. Shocking. Out of this world caliente.

And so began a career writing erotic romance, which took off quickly and unexpectedly. First with the epublishers, and later helping me find my fabulous agent Roberta Brown. She signed me up with my first full single title, The Satin Sash, which NAL/ Penguin bought on proposal in April 2008.

Am I a writer now? I wondered that day.

Nah! I was a writer before that, but perhaps at last I start to feel like one.I live in Texas with my family, two very big dogs, and dozens of wandering deer who keep eating the flowers. Sometimes I write all day, and sometimes the words elude me, little devils. But the thing is, at last I write. Or perhaps I spin, weaving tales of love and woe and raw, unbridled passion.


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BOOK INFO
The Billionaire’s Club: The wealthiest, most powerful men, not only in Chicago, but in the world.  They are used to having whatever they want, whenever they want it.
Luke Preston is the ultimate playboy among his billionaire friends.  Every bad girl in Chicago has surrendered in his bed.  Some good girls, too.  But when he ends up in the hospital after an assassination attempt, his friends suggest he take a long vacation to recoup, regroup and lay off the women until the man is caught.  However, when Luke lays eyes on the stunning brunette across the beach, she inspires every dark, erotic thought his mind can conjure.

Peyton Lane has always been serious and responsible and she’s determined to have some fun for once in her life.  And that means a deliciously, sexy affair with a stranger while she’s on vacation.  So when a blond Adonis named Luke crosses her path at the Cancun resort, she’s determined that he will be the one. But Peyton gets more than she bargained for when Luke introduces her to a passion unlike any she has ever experienced and she discovers that behind that charming smile are secrets and a beautiful, damaged soul. 


Writing, Weight Loss and Life

Hey there everyone.

As you may have noticed, my Word-Slingers posts have slowed down. That’s because I’m winding down my time as a blog-tour host. I don’t feel like I’m getting enough views to make it worth the authors’ time, and very rarely do they get any comments, so, I just think it’s best if I withdraw from that.

It does mean I might post more personal stuff again. Since I’m not really promoting my own work any more either (yeah, because the people who come here have already bought my stuff or decided they DON’T want to buy my stuff, and I’d rather not waste my time and yours with constant regurgitation), that leaves me with talking about my family and current projects more. 🙂

On Writing
As you can see from the ticker to your right, my current WIP is still floundering along. I’m past the half-way mark (FINALLY). I’m getting a much better feel for who the characters are and I think that’s going to make the second draft run much better (though it’ll take substantial work to get it into fighting shape). It’s turned into a three-person POV urban fantasy. You’ve got Rory, the (relatively speaking) wide-eyed innocent who’s dragged into a supernatural world she didn’t know existed, Gabe, the loner who’s ignored the supernatural world he knew existed because he didn’t feel he had a part in it, and Lucas, the leader figure of the North American contingent of good guys in said supernatural world.

There are plenty of secondary characters. And no, I haven’t been able to post either snippets or talk about specifics. I’m trying to keep the story idea mostly under wraps because I think it’s a really BIG idea and I’m protecting it. Hehe. Once I get an agent and/or contract, I’ll share more. Because yes, I am planning on trying to go the agent route once more.

On Weight Loss
Yup, it’s still going on! 33 pounds down as of last week, and I suspect I’ll have another 1-2 pounds this week. I got this little device called a Fitbit One (pedometer+) and discovered I’m more active than I thought. Granted, I’m not off running marathons, but I never will. I have no interest in running. Walking is enough for me (for now). I’ve added in climbing stairs. My fitness goal for the month of May is to be able to walk up all eight flights of stairs in the parking garage without stopping. Small, pathetic goal, but great for pushing my cardio. I’m up to about 5 flights in one shot now, and I’m climbing between 10 & 20 flights of stairs a day (when added all up). I’d like to get that number closer to 50 a day, but that’ll take time.

As the saying goes, weight loss and fitness isn’t a sprint, but rather a marathon. Okay, so maybe it’s not an official saying, but it works for me. I really want to make this lifestyle change permanent.

And, for the record, I’m doing it without starving myself. Honest to goodness, I’m eating between 1800 and 2000 calories a day and losing at a really nice pace (1-2 pounds a week).

On Life
Let’s see. Screamin’ Demon Sam is settling down some. We found a way of keeping her in her room until she falls asleep so that battle’s been won. Yay for parenting. Jokin’ Jackie is still as big a ham as ever. I swear, that girl lives to make me laugh. She’ll squinch-face and/or stink-eye me for no reason other than because she knows it’ll make me giggle. And yes, seeing your little toddler give you the stink-eye is HILARIOUS when it’s not because she’s actually pissed at you. And of course, let’s not leave out Garrett, my trouble-maker son. He loves tattling on the girls. Oy. But he’s getting into video games now, so that’s helpful for keeping him from driving us TOTALLY insane. Just partially. Heh.

All right, enough babble for this week. Here’s your twin-pic of the week. Sorry, no Garrett pictures. The boy rarely lets me take a picture of him without a goofy, obviously fake, grin.

Word-Slingers – Interviewing Annie Nicholas

1)                  How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since the summer of 2008. Wow, this summer will be my five year anniversary.

2)                 How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I worked two 12 hours shifts per week as a nurse. I am married and have two young sons. I own two dogs, one of which is a Great Dane puppy. I write as my second job.
 Many hats. I live with a Zen-like philosophy. Whatever needs doing the most gets priority and it all works out somehow. I might lose some sleep occasionally or two (or three) things at the same time. Live and learn. LOL

3)                 What can you tell us about your release Prima? What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

Prima is the continuation of Sugar and Daedalus’s story. It started in book one of The Vanguards series where they first met. In each consecutive novella their story was in the background. I did this because I wanted to show a true progression of real romantic relationship. Through richer or poorer, sickness and in health… I’ve put them through a lot over six books as secondary characters and Prima is their love story as main characters.

4)                 What is it about the paranormal romance genre that you like so much?

I love world building. I like to make certain rules and watching my characters unfold within it. For example, if I had a succubus who had to feed every three days, at least, but she hated having sex with strangers.  That’s my rule. Then I watched as my characters deal with it and all the conflicts I toss at them. With contemporary, I feel too restricted.

5)                 Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I won’t move from paranormal but I do wish to expand into science fiction, specifically space opera. What’s space opera? Think Star Wars, Star Trek, or Firefly (my favorite). I actually have to two books on my hard drive in this genre and I’m just waiting for the right time. J

6)                 Sweet or sour?

Sweet

7)                 Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla

AUTHOR INFO 
Annie Nicholas hibernates in the rural, green mountains of Vermont where she dreams of different worlds, heroes, and heroines. When spring arrives the stories pour from her, in hopes to share them with the masses one day. Mother, daughter, wife are some of the hats she happily wears while trudging after her cubs through the hills and dales. The four seasons an inspiration and muse.

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BOOK INFO
One year ago, Sugar survived a wolf shifter attack but it had left her broken.  Paralyzed on the left side, she fights for independence in her day-to-day life. Her worst injuries are the scars on her soul. She can’t bear who she has become and it drives her to push her vampire lover, Daedalus, away. How could he still love her when she is just a shadow of herself? But a new threat on Daedalus’s life yanks away her veil of self-pity and she resolves to help him.
The vampire council sends an emissary to Daedalus. His clan brother, another Nosferatu, hands him an ultimatum. Return to his post as Prime in Pal Robi or he’ll kill Sugar and her shifter friends. Daedalus has brought enough trouble into Sugar’s life. He won’t be responsible for more, so he agrees to leave Chicago.

To both warriors surprise, Sugar’s not willing to remain behind, and with her own shifter guards she’s ready to assist Daedalus regain control of Pal Robi.


Excerpt
As soon as he closed the sliding glass door shut, Daedalus would bet his bank account that his conversation with Pallas would only have a pretense of privacy. Shifter hearing could be miraculous, especially when pressed to cracked-open windows. The distant sound of a chair clattering to the floor in the dining room reached his own sensitive hearing. He could picture his housemates scrambling to find the best places to eavesdrop.
Pallas strode to the center of the moonlit garden. “So the rumors are true. You’ve lost your mind.”
Daedalus chuckled. The other Nosferatu hadn’t changed. They’d been close once. “Maybe. I wish the one about you was true.”
Pallas spun around. “Which one?”
“You being dead.”
“That would be too convenient.” A familiar crooked smile bloomed on his ugly face.
Daedalus laughed louder and shook Pallas’s hand, squeezing his fingers together as hard as he could. “You’re such an ass.” Bearer of bad news or not, he was still a brother, a tie to his past, and a comrade at arms.
Pallas returned his strong grip. “I learned from the best.” His clan brother, and he used that term loosely since they weren’t born from the same parents, bore the trademark appearance of their people—bald, pale, and deadly. “You’re creating quite a stir in the council, enough for them to coerce me to wake and seek you out.”
They released the painful handshake, and Daedalus shook his numb fingers, grinning as Pallas did the same. “You can tell them, for once, I’m happy.”
He snorted. “Like they care. I can’t believe you’re living with shifters again.” He made a distasteful noise.  “Nasty habit. They said you left your post.”
“I did, and I left it in good hands.” Then the fools were killed and the traitors who took over tried to have him assassinated, but Pallas didn’t need to know that.
“Your company is in chaos. I went there before arriving here.”
“No.” Pal Robi Inc. was his private security company, hence it being named after him. What better than hiring an almost indestructible vampire as a guard? The company also served as a front for the vampire political structure in his area. Vampires had revealed themselves, with the other supernatural creatures, to humans fifteen years ago. Vampires were expected to follow human laws and their government, but vampire society had had these things in place long before humans had figured out how to organize themselves. The Vampire Council didn’t expect their people to follow human laws, but Pal Robi Inc. was developed to give his people legal jobs and to police their hunting. In other words, if a vampire couldn’t feed without killing, it was his responsibility to stop that person before humans were aware of it. “I didn’t assign those who presently think they are running my company.” 
Pallas sighed. “Are they under your command?” He gave Daedalus a pointed stare. “Currently.”
“No.” Daedalus shrugged. “How much damage can they do? The last thing they want is to draw the Council’s attention. I haven’t truly lost control.”
“Your estate is abandoned.”
“It’s not abandoned. I dispersed my staff to other tasks, and there’s a shifter house sitter. You probably scared the shit out of him.” He’d have to call Stephen and check on him. The young shifter didn’t like company, let alone drop-ins from hell.
“A little scare never killed anyone. The council wants you to straighten things out at Pal Robi Inc. and return to your post as Prime. Things are falling apart in the area.”
An alien sourness curdled his stomach. He examined the odd sensation and decided he didn’t like the source. “Or what?” This visit was expected. Not Pallas himself but someone the council would send. The Prime kept the peace among vampirekind in his area. Sort of like a sheriff. If those traitors hadn’t been so greedy and tried to kill him, things would still be fine.
“They’ll make me kill everyone at Pal Robi Inc…” Pallas’s gaze wandered to the house, “…and here.”
“Do you think you can defeat me?” It had been ages since he’d fought one of his own kind. Living among the Vasi pack had softened him.
A hard shield fell over Pallas’s eyes. “Yes.”