Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Spotlight - Shea Balik & Purring with His Mate

Welcome author Shea Balik and her new release, Purring With His Mate, Miracle Book 1

Welcome to Miracle!

In a world where everyone was against them, they needed a Miracle. What no one had expected was to find their salvation in an abandoned town that was ready to collapse. Yet, that is exactly what happened when they moved to the town of Miracle, Oregon.

Edrick Rapp, a mountain lion shifter, wanted to kick himself for not moving he and his friends far from their former pack years earlier. It wasn’t until he came upon one of his friends being beaten to death for their sins that he realized his mistake.

Mouse shifter, Nole Hayward, had been punished by his Alpha. Left for dead, he barely managed to crawl away with his life. He ends up hiding out in Miracle, Oregon until a group of mountain lion shifters show up. Before he could get away he ends up with a building collapsing down around him and his mate rescuing him.

Can Edrick and Nole find love or will they let the ghosts of their pasts tear them apart?



“Please tell me we’re just stopping to take a piss,” Hudson whined as the rumble of their motorcycles died down.
Edrick Rapp ignored Hudson as he swung his leg over his treasured Fat Boy S.  He took in the surroundings and tried his best not to wince at what he saw.  The last thing he needed was for Hudson to have an actual good reason to bitch.  The man may be one of his best friends, but Hudson had the unique ability to complain about winning the lottery as if it were a bad thing.
When Edrick had bought this little town, he’d known it had been abandoned for some time and would need work.  He’d just hoped it wouldn’t look like if they breathed on it wrong, the whole place would topple over.
There had originally been ten buildings along the main street of the town, well, the only street the town actually had.  The two other roads the town boasted were nothing more than dirt paths.  One led to a small residential area, while the other led to a large farm that, according to the real estate agent, no longer had any buildings that were still standing.  There was a second farm nearby, but the owner had refused to sell.
Scanning the ten buildings, Edrick guessed he should be glad that only two of the buildings had collapsed.  The other eight buildings were still standing.
Sort of.
Okay, so they may have only been upright because they were leaning against each other, preventing them from tumbling into a pile of wood and brick.  The point was, they were vertical – mostly.
Hopefully, the six homes the real estate agent claimed were still intact that came with the town were in better shape or they would be camping out - again.  Something they had done the past two nights as they’d run from their previous pack. Edrick could have gotten hotel rooms, but he didn’t want there to be any trace of where they had gone.
He only hoped traveling to the other side of the country was enough to keep his father from hunting them down.  Edrick sighed at that thought.  Two thousand miles would be a deterrent, especially if his father’s pack couldn’t follow their movements electronically.  But, sooner or later, Lorcan Rapp would find them, if for no other reason than to prove he could.
But for now, they were safe - he hoped.  The last thing Edrick wanted to do was to fight his father.  He had little doubt he’d win, but he wouldn’t relish killing his old man.
Shaking the morbid thoughts away, he answered Hudson.  “Sorry to disappoint, but this is our new home.”
“Good,” Lucca growled.  “Kellach needs to rest.  Riding on the back of my bike as he tries to heal isn’t helping.”
A stab of guilt pierced Edrick’s heart at the reminder of his failure to protect his friend.  Striding over to where Kellach leaned heavily against Lucca’s bike, Edrick cupped his friend’s face and tilted it up so he was looking into his pretty lavender eyes, filled with so much pain it threatened to send Edrick to his knees.  “I’m so sorry, Kellach.  Can you hold on another few minutes?  The houses are just a short distance away.”
A much smaller hand landed on top of his as Kellach tried to smile.  “This isn’t your fault, Edrick.  We all knew the risks.  I was careless and paid the price.”
A rumble pushed up from deep within Edrick as he thought of what might have happened if he hadn’t of come upon Kellach getting beaten by his friend’s father when he did.  The rage that had been in Milton Alder’s eyes had a promise of death that would be long and painful.  Something Kellach had already gotten a taste of for far too long before Edrick had shown up.
“If I had just gotten us out of there like I should have, this never would have happened.”  They also might not have his father’s pack after them, prepared to kill them.
“You have got to be fucking kidding me,” Hudson called out as he picked up a sign that had been lying on the ground.  “This place is called Miracle.”  Hudson gave a snort of derision.  “Miracle the place is still standing.”
“Miracle it remains that way if we breathe too hard,” Kellach joked, even though he clearly was in a tremendous amount of pain.
“Miracle this place hasn’t fallen down on top of us,” Lucca said as he stared critically at their new home.
“Miracle if we can fix it,” Chadwick, the last of their team chimed in.  “Actually, tearing it down and starting from scratch might be a lot easier.”  A light Edrick hadn’t seen in Chadwick’s eyes for more than a decade flamed to life as their resident handyman started inspecting the closest structure from the outside.  “Although, it would be a shame to destroy the character each building has to offer.”
How they rebuilt the town wasn’t something Edrick cared about.  As far as he was concerned, that would be completely up to Chadwick, who was the only one of them with enough building experience to make that decision.  “We’ll follow your lead on this one,” Edrick told his friend.
Gray eyes studied him for a moment as if Chadwick was trying to ascertain if Edrick was serious or not.  He must have seen the sincerity in Edrick’s gaze, for Chadwick gave a nod.  “First we need to find these houses you mentioned and see if any of them are livable.”
Edrick agreed.  They needed to get some rest.  Tomorrow they could make plans for what they would need to do to restore the town Edrick had bought.  “Let’s load up.”
Once more engines roared to life.  As soon as Kellach was safely on Lucca’s bike, Edrick rolled onto the road that should lead them to their new homes.  He just prayed they would have some time to figure out how they were going to defend themselves when Edrick’s father caught up with them.
As much as Edrick would like to believe they were safe, he wasn’t stupid enough to think that was an actual possibility.  Edrick had committed the ultimate sin in his father’s eyes.  He admitted to being gay.  At forty-five, a mere child in the shifter world, it had been past time to stand up to the archaic bigotry that ran rampant in the shifter world.
Why a person’s sexuality mattered, was anyone’s guess.
They were mountain lion shifters.  As with all shifters, fate designed mates.  Male or female didn’t seem to matter to the powers that be, so why did men like his father think it was a sin to love someone of the same sex?
In the past, same-sex mates had a difficult choice – ignore the mate pull, which was nearly impossible, or accept their mate and live the rest of their lives on the run from shifters who believed they should be killed for their immoral ways.  In the past?  Who was he kidding?  The practice was still occurring.
Case in point.  Them.
Kellach had been caught kissing a man by one of their pack mates.  His father had been told and when Kellach got home, his father started beating him.  If Edrick hadn’t of passed Kellach’s home and heard his friend cry out, he had no doubt Kellach would have died that day.
The rage that had coursed through Edrick’s veins when Milton admitted why he was beating his own son, nearly ended in Milton’s death.  Edrick had wanted to rip the man to shreds and would have, if Lucca, who had been with him when they discovered Kellach, hadn’t stopped him.
By then, it was too late to stop the wheels that had been set in motion.  Hauled in front of his father for daring to interfere in a father’s right to kill his own child for his perverted ways, Edrick had to explain his actions.
Refusing to allow his friend to be sentenced to death for being gay, Edrick admitted that he, too, was gay.  His friends had already grabbed their go bags by the time he’d made that announcement.  Their bikes were loaded up and waiting for them outside of the council chambers.
They had barely made it out with their lives.  Only the shock he’d caused by announcing his sexuality had delayed the attack by his father and his enforcers.  By then, Edrick had scooped Kellach up in his arms and charged out of the council room to where their friends were waiting for them, bikes ready.
From the beginning, they had known one day something would happen to out them.  Plans had been made, including a sizeable amount of money saved and moved to secret accounts that couldn’t be traced.  The more advanced technology came to be, the easier it became to create new identities and hide their actions.  But Edrick knew it would also make them easier to find in the end.  The world was just too small to keep their whereabouts a secret for long.
Turning onto an overgrown road that was more weeds and potholes than a smooth dirt surface, Edrick groaned as he took in the six homes that lined one side of it.  Two of the homes no longer had roofs.  Two of them had large sections of walls missing.  While the other two appeared in somewhat better shape, they still looked ready to fall over from a stiff wind.
He wasn’t sure any of them were livable enough to give them shelter.  It looked like they would be camping once more.
Turning off the engine, Edrick climbed off his bike and headed for one of the two story homes that might have a chance of remaining standing.  Chadwick quickly joined him.
They circled the structure first, looking for any obvious signs of trouble.  “Considering the other homes, it’s in relatively good shape,” Chadwick said as they came around to the front of the house.
Carefully, they opened the front door, which fell to the ground as soon as Edrick pushed against it.  “Then again, what do I know?” Chadwick quipped.
Edrick glared at him.  Normally he would be thrilled his usually reserved friend had been coming out of his shell the further from the pack they traveled, but this wasn’t the time for joking around.  They were all too damn tired.  “You’re a contractor.”
Chadwick lifted a shoulder as he carefully stuck his head inside the door.  “Yeah, but that doesn’t make me psychic.”
“That doesn’t look safe,” Hudson called out.  “Maybe we should find a hotel nearby.”
Out of all of them, Hudson hated camping the most.  He grumbled the entire time about how hard the ground was.  Then again, Hudson would have bitched about the thread count of the sheets at a five-star hotel, so he didn’t pay much attention to his friend.  Admittedly, camping wasn’t Edrick’s favorite way to sleep, but he didn’t mind it, either.  His cat enjoyed being outdoors.
Chadwick looked over his shoulder and gave Hudson a cocky grin.  “Aww, come on Hudson.  Where is your sense of adventure?  If you’re lucky, there might even be a ghost or two inside.”
Edrick had to stop himself from smacking Chadwick for bringing up ghosts.  They had enough problems.  The last thing they needed was Hudson becoming obsessed over paranormal activity.
“Do you think so?” Hudson asked as he clomped up the steps of the porch.  “I knew I should have taken the time to grab my equipment,” Hudson groused.  “It wouldn’t have taken that long.”
“For the last time, Hudson, even if you did have time, you have too much crap for us to have carried,” Lucca said from where he stood holding a now sleeping, or most likely passed out, Kellach, in the safety of the yard.
“Enough,” Edrick growled.  He was too damn tired to let this inane argument continue.   They needed to find a safe place to bed down for the night and let Kellach get some real rest so he could finish healing.
Turning to Chadwick, he asked, “Is this place safe enough to enter or should we set up the tents?”
Chadwick crooked an eyebrow and shrugged.  “Guess we’ll find out.”  Before Edrick could respond, Chadwick stepped inside.
Not about to let another of his friends get hurt, Edrick entered right behind Chadwick.  As darkness fell, the dim interior didn’t allow them to see much, although as mountain lion shifters, they could see relatively well in the waning light.
As they walked further inside, a faint scent tickled Edrick’s senses.  His cock thickened.  He couldn’t explain what he was feeling, but the need to find the source of that scent became paramount.
Striding through the home faster than was probably wise, Edrick let the arousing aroma lead him up the creaky stairs to one of the large bedrooms with an attached en suite.  Disappointed to not find the source, Edrick searched each nook and cranny.  He might have wondered if Hudson was right about ghosts if he hadn’t noticed there was a disturbance of dust along the floor.  It was more pronounced in one area, as if someone had slept there recently.
“I think it’s safe enough for us to use as we fix it up,” Chadwick said several minutes later when he’d caught up to Edrick.  “It’s going to need a lot of work, but it appears sturdy enough.”
Edrick nodded his agreement.  “Tell the others and let’s get set up for the night.”
Once more Edrick’s gaze swept the room, looking for evidence of who had been there.  Not finding anything, Edrick headed downstairs to help unload.
Based on the faintness of the scent, the person was no longer there, but if Edrick had to guess, he had only been gone a couple of days.  If he was lucky, whoever it was would be back.  If not, he’d have to hunt him down, because Edrick was positive that enticing aroma was from his mate.



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