Oh, Those Ménage Books!
by Anna Gimble
When I was discussing my next project with the Liquid Silver Books acquisitions editor a few months back, she said, “You should write a shifter ménage.” She and I have gotten to be pretty good friends over the months I've written for LSB, so I listened to her and asked myself if I could do a credible job with multiple partners.
I started by reading a couple of shifter ménage books, just to sort of get my feet wet and get in the mood. After the second one, I was intrigued by the possibilities. Ménage arrangements offer a rich array of, ahem, shall we say, options.
My husband had been nagging me to write a story based out of Lon Chaney’s cabin in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Bear with me for a moment. Lon Chaney Sr. built the structure between 1929 and 1920, completing it right before he died. It’s substantial. Maybe 1200 square feet. I've hiked past it many times. It’s set on the North Fork of Big Pine Creek. Today, it’s about 3 miles from the trailhead, but in the 1930s, you could drive to within about a mile-and-a-half, which made hauling the big fieldstones on mules a little easier.
Okay, I told myself, I need shifters, a ménage, and Lon Chaney’s cabin. It seemed like fertile ground, so I sat down and started to write. The setting worked out fine and I had amazing male leads. My favorite kind of alphas with to-die-for bodies. Personality-wise, they’re hot and sensual, but also tender and compassionate. Though Jed is the alpha, Terin and Bron are awesome, too. And Alice was a perfect heroine. Independent as all get out and still a virgin at close to thirty. Oh, I should mention, the story takes place in 1936, which necessitated a bit of research to make sure I got the details right for that era.
Everything was working out really well until I got to writing the group sex scenes. Gulp. They’re way harder than one-on-one sex. There are a whole bunch of body parts when you've got three guys and one gal. It took me about three tries before I had something that felt natural. Two men would have been easier, but I’m stubborn. I’d written the book with three wolf shifter males and I was really reluctant to cut one of them.
Anyway, it all worked out. I’m happy with the result and the reviews so far have been positive. Plus, Alice is one happy heroine. She crows every time I visit with her about how amazing her life is. Snort! And why wouldn't it be? Three men dancing attendance on her must rock.
How about you readers? What do you love about ménage books? Why would you seek them out over, say, a shifter romance featuring a single hero and heroine?
Pages: 98 pages
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books on July 1st 2013
Form: E-book (from tour for an honest review)
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance (+18 Only)
Series: Wolf Clan Shifters #1
Amazon: Buy / $3.99 (Kindle) ( EU price, click to see yours )
Barnes & Noble: Buy / $3.79 (Nook)
All Romance E-books: Buy / $3.99 (E-book)
Excerpt: Chapter 1
"It’s 1936. Thirty-year-old Alice has almost given up finding a man. Between civil engineering and mountain climbing, her interests are so masculine she scares men away. A poor route choice lands her next to horror movie star Lon Chaney’s cabin deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She’s wary when Jed, a strikingly handsome man, offers her shelter.
By the time she discovers he’s clan leader for a pack of wolf shifters, she’s in way too deep to back out. Her carefully tended wasteland of a heart cracks wide open and all her preconceived notions shatter. Snared by the mate bond, Alice discovers passion hot enough to change her forever. She’s just getting used to Jed when his lieutenants show up, and she discovers she’s mated to all three." ~ From Goodreads
I liked how Alice’s Alpha was set in 1936, but that also kept my mind vary of could this happen, could that and not being 1930’s expert it did distract me a little. But, very little! Because the story is interesting, we get some back story while the wolf and bear reminisce, and we also get to know Jed and Alice separately very well before they are but together. I was expecting something with the whole Lon Chaney story line but he’s got nothing to do with the book ( although it's explained in the Guest Blog, why it's there ), and I’m not even sure why he’s in the blurb, to be honest?
The romance is hot of course, it starts with you getting a hint just hard it’s been on the boys to be mateless all these years, and then enter Alice whose sent drives Jed mad, though he hides it pretty well for the first few minutes. ;) Then its toe sucking and our heroine’s a goner. ;) Of course Jed and Alice had the main romance but eventually the other two wolves return to the cabin and all hell breaks loose, Alice wants nothing to do with any of them – and that creates great conflict! And that’s not all of it, in Ann Gimpel’s world humans are taught to believe all shifters are evil, kidnap babies and eat them kind of way - so Alice isn't exactly raving happy when the trio’s species comes up.
Alice’s Alpha is a great short story of wolf shifters, a tough cookie heroine, the irresistible mate bond and 1930’s - and it’s an awesome read, even with the little snags on the road.
You should know : The sex is pretty tame (but still hot!) for a foursome - in case that would have scared you away.
Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Several paranormal romance novellas are available in e-format. Three novels, Psyche’s Prophecy, Psyche’s Search, and Psyche's Promise are small press publications available in e-format and paperback. Look for two more urban fantasy novels coming this summer and fall: Fortune’s Scion and Earth’s Requiem.
A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.
@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)