Book Debut: Walker's Run by Mel Favreaux
Today, we're celebrating the release of Walker's Run by Mel Favreaux! Drop by the Muse and take a look, and make her feel welcomed, folks! *G*
Was a life dealing with the pressure of photographing an A-List crowd really what she wanted to be known for? Casey Maynard decided a trip home was called for: a camping trip into the wilds of North Western Montana. Growing up, she’d spent as much time in its vast wilderness as she had in her own home. The weekend trip with her father and brother fell through, but undeterred; she’d gone alone.
But Casey finds herself in the middle of a twenty year vendetta against her father for killing the Alpha of a pack of werewolves who hold a Sanctuary deep in the mountains of the Cabinets. In a battle for her life, Casey finds herself falling for the new Alpha of the pack while he shows her how to handle and communicate with her own wolf.
Upon discovering the wolf spirit who chose her was the Mother of all Weres…more treachery thrives. Finding love and true bonds that know no bounds, her life is turned upside down.
From a deep family secret to a two thousand year old murder, will Casey’s link with the Silver Wolf be enough to save them all?
Casey was afraid to give voice to the one term that would describe what she’d seen. What...he was. “So...you’re a...werewolf?”
She saw the truth in his pale eyes. “The bite?”
Braedyn looked away from her.
Her mouth went dry. She put her right hand on his cheek and forced him to look at her. “Am I...?” Unable to finish the question, her heart thundered in her chest.
Anguish once again filled his expression. Reaching up, he grasped her hand in his. Casey knew in the pit of her stomach she wouldn’t like his answer, even though he managed to look reassuring at the same time. “Yes, you were lucky. Not many survive the first day after being bitten.”
“You said not all of you can change. What does that mean?”
He sat down in front of her, still holding her hand. “Those of us with a human parent have a more difficult time learning to transform. It’s incredibly painful. Those who never acquire the ability can only change with the lunar cycles. Not everyone can handle being able to do it at will.”
Her mind whirled, trying to understand what he was saying. “So...your father was a werewolf and your mother...is human?”
Braedyn nodded. “Yes, a Native American. She’s a healer; a practiced homeopathic physician and herbalist. My father adored her.” He gave a soft smile. “He truly treated her as if she were a queen.”
Casey noticed the expression on his face. Though he spoke of his parents love it was obvious he’d worshiped his father. The pang of his death hit her again, even more now that she knew the truth.
“What am I to expect now?” She looked down at their joined hands. His tanned skin was such a contrast compared to hers. Casey had never considered herself pale, but the richer russet tone in his skin made hers look nearly alabaster.
Braedyn cleared his throat. “I can’t lie. This won’t be easy on you. While your wound heals you will feel like you’re on fire inside. It will continue until the first night of the full moon. During the three days the moon is full, you will change into your wolf form at sundown. Urges will build inside you. It’s not blood you’ll crave, but the hunt. Eventually, you will learn to work with the wolf, even control it.”
“I have only killed for food and to protect myself.” She shuddered, tears welling in her eyes. “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”
“You are a kind and decent person, Casey. You may have to fight the wolf on occasion. The rage that comes from nowhere needs to be held firmly in check. I normally request the death of someone who’s been changed against their will.”
She searched his face. “You’re the alpha now?”
He nodded. “Those changed against their will usually go rogue, with or without the proper training. You can imagine, having a rogue running loose puts those of us who walk amongst the humans unnoticed, in danger.”
“Do you think I can learn?” Casey watched him smile when he reached up and stroked her cheek.
“If I didn’t believe it, I’d have...spared you this life.” Braedyn shook his head. “I’ve watched for many years whenever you came back to the forest, protecting you from my sister. As the years drew on and visits became infrequent, I...missed you.” He dropped his hand from her cheek and fidgeted.
Noticing his cheeks redden a little, she raised her brows. “Me?”
He gave a gentle laugh and nodded. “Yes. You were the first human to play with me in my wolf form and not be frightened. My first human friend.”
She watched his pale gaze travel over her face before locking with hers once more. “I can promise you, I’ve looked for you each time I’ve come back to the forest, wondering what had happened to you.”
His hand ran through his hair. “After what happened to my father, I was wary. Too afraid to approach you as you were never far from your father or brother.”
Casey shook her head feeling the pain of that night all over again. The guilt she’d carried for so long. “I’m so very sorry for what’s happened.”
“No, it was just as much my fault.”
Tears pricked her eyes, and she hung her head. “I’m worried...” She shivered, unsure if the cold or fear was the cause.
“I know and you have every right to be, but I promise I will be with you every step of the way,” he vowed. “It’s my fault this happened, I should’ve kept a better eye on you.”
“You’ve protected me all these years. Why?” Casey looked in his eyes again, searching for the answers there. She noticed he looked uncomfortable under her direct gaze.
“Because...somewhere along the years, I began to feel more than just protective...when it came to you. I’ve watched you grow and learn to live off the land. Seen the enjoyment in your eyes when you took in the beauty of the forest. Knowing that beauty hasn’t been lost on you no matter how infrequent your visits became…it...touched something in me.” He shook his head and smiled. “I’ve never met another woman quite like you.”
Over the last four days, Casey had found herself admiring Braedyn more while he’d tended to her with such tenderness for a man his size. Not once did he waiver on any of the responsibilities he’d taken upon himself. Now that she’d learned he was the alpha it made her wonder if he was shirking his duties for her. Was he afraid he would have to kill her or was it something more?
Casey shifted a little to give him room when he sat down next to her and opened the bottle of water. “I’m scared, Braedyn,” she whispered, leaning against him, resting her head on his shoulder. She needed his comfort.
He placed a reassuring arm around her. “I know.”
She closed her eyes.