Hi! Thanks for having me on Queer Books Unbound to celebrate my new release Thrown to the Wolves! After an unexpected loss, Cooper and Park head to Cape Breton to spend some time with Park’s family. Of course, nothing is that simple. The guys run into meet-the-family drama, dangerous secrets, mystery and murder. In this excerpt Cooper and Park have just arrived at the family estate for the first time…
He stared up at the house, taking in the dark blue shutters and massive stone urns full of winter greenery, dark holly leaves and bright red berries. A heavy brass knocker on the door showed the crest from the gate again.
In his periphery, Cooper saw Park stand beside him, watching his expression closely. “What do you think?”
“It’s pretty,” Cooper said. Park shuffled in place like he was hoping for more. “Really—” overwhelming, over-the-top, ostentatious “—nice,” he added lamely. He pointed at the knocker. “Wabbit hunting season?”
“Technically it’s supposed to be a hare. And we don’t kill them anymore. My grandfather used to take his kids out hunting when they were growing up so they remembered their position in the natural order. Top of the animal kingdom,” Park said, disgusted. “That stopped by the time I was living here, thank god. At least some traditions die out.”
“Now you just post up their little bunny effigies as a warning.”
“It’s a…family thing.”
“Like a crest?” Cooper could hear the alarm in his own voice and see it reflected back in Park’s expression. “I mean, that’s…cool. I’ll have to workshop some hare jokes and get back to you.”
“Could you—” Park stopped, and Cooper looked at him. Park ran a hand through his hair, tugging at the strands nervously. “Would you want to live somewhere like this someday?”
“In a log castle?”
Park rolled his eyes. “No, I mean out here. Out of the city, like this.”
“This isn’t ‘out of the city,’” Cooper babbled while his mind spun. There was no such thing as casual questions in a serious relationship. Do you want kids? Would you want a big wedding? The unspoken with me was always lurking in the air.
“This is the edge of the world. They could make a NatGeo series just on making it up the driveway.” Park snorted. “But, uh, yeah. I like…nature.”
They stared at each other for a moment. “Cooper,” Park said finally, voice gruff. “About before, with Mai, I really fucked up. I’m—” He cut off, eyes drifting and unfocused. He frowned. “Shit, no. Wait…”
A piercing howl rang out over the wind. Cooper startled and twisted around toward the sound. Fifty feet away by the edge of a copse of pine trees, a large wolf with blondish fur was sitting, head thrown back and howling at the sky. A painful, haunting sound that was too sonorous to ever come from a human throat.
The howl trailed off, and the wolf lowered its head, abruptly jumped up and ran directly toward them. Cooper tensed but refused to give in to his body’s urge to run. Surely this was a member of Park’s family. Surely they were just coming over for a pleasant hello…
The wolf was picking up speed now, its shoulders raised and head down like it was gathering momentum to pounce. Cooper covered the burning scars down his belly. Steady, men. Hold your stations, he instructed his feet.
“Wait, don’t—” Park started.
Don’t what? Don’t just stand there while a two-hundred-pound killing machine barrels toward you? Cooper didn’t have time to change his mind, though. The wolf was on them. It leapt directly at Park, slamming into his chest.
Title: Thrown to the Wolves
Author: Charlie Adhara
Series: Big Bad Wolf, #3
On-sale Date: April 1, 2019
Agent Cooper Dayton is going to meet his boyfriend’s werewolf family. Unarmed. On their turf.
And he’s bringing his cat.
When Agent Cooper Dayton agreed to attend the funeral for Oliver Park’s grandfather, he didn’t know what he was getting into. Turns out, the deceased was the alpha of the most powerful werewolf pack on the eastern seaboard. And his death is highly suspicious. Regardless, Cooper is determined to love and support Park the way Park has been there for him.
But Park left him woefully unprepared for the wolf pack politics and etiquette. Rival packs? A seating order at the dinner table? A mysterious figure named the Shepherd? The worst is that Park didn’t tell his family one key thing about Cooper. Cooper feels two steps behind, and reticent Park is no help.
There are plenty of pack members eager to open up about Park and why Cooper is wrong for him. Their stories make Cooper wonder if he’s holding Park back. But there’s no time to get into it…as lethal tranquilizer darts start to fly, Cooper needs to solve the mystery of the alpha’s death and fight for the man he loves—all before someone else dies.
Charlie Adhara writes mystery, contemporary and paranormal queer romance. Or some assortment of the above. Whatever the genre, her stories feature imperfect people stumbling around, tripping over trouble and falling in love.