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Sunday, August 24, 2014

{Spotlight} LOVEBLOOD by M.J. O'Shea -- with giveaway and excerpt!

By MJ O’Shea
Publisher Harmony Ink Press
Genre YA Paranormal M/M        

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Max Appleton and his mother Celia are are on the run, hiding from an abusive father and husband who’s also a notoriously bad pack leader. When Max hit puberty and it became obvious he’d never make an alpha wolf, his father turned the brunt of his anger toward his inferior son and his beta wolf wife for producing him. Max and Celia find sanctuary in a garden cottage at Holly Court, the sprawling estate where Celia's oldest friend lives with her pack alpha husband, three daughters, and teenaged son Jonah.

Jonah Spellman has what seems like the perfect life. His family is close, his dad is respected by their whole pack, and he's been groomed to take over for as long as he can remember. Everything is set, his whole life planned, and Jonah works hard to be exactly what everyone expects. He's under enough pressure without a runaway from a bad pack complicating his life.

When two teenaged werewolves from very different worlds meet one snowy January day, both of their worlds get turned inside out. From the moment they meet, nothing will be the same for Jonah or Max ever again.

* * * *
(In this section, Max and Jonah have just met and shook hands. Jonah is having a very unusual reaction to Max. He's never smelled anything as good in his life and even though they're strangers, he keeps wanting to do things like lean over and kiss him)

Max’s pulse raced beneath Jonah’s fingers, but he didn’t smell scared, instead the scent intensified, the one that made Jonah want to lean closer and… lick? God, what the hell was that? He’d never met anyone who smelled like that, and he knew it wasn’t cologne. Jonah’s sensitive nose had never liked heavy cologne.
“Um,” Max started. “I’m just putting some stuff away. You want to sit on my, er the bed and hang out?”
“It’s your bed now,” Jonah said softly. “But yeah. I’ll just….” He gestured to the bed.
The bed didn’t smell like Max yet, more like his mother’s light perfume and the soap they used at the big house for laundry. Even if the smells were ones he associated with happiness and home, he still didn’t like them nearly as much.
“So how long have you been here?” he asked.
“Just an hour or so. It’s nice. Pretty.” Max’s voice was kind of low for how small he was and a little throaty. Jonah liked listening to him talk.
“Yeah.” Jonah laughed at himself. “I say that like I’ve ever been anywhere else.”
“Haven’t you?” Max looked confused. “I mean with the house and the cars I just assumed….”
“Oh, my parents are kind of the protective type. And you know wolves don’t travel much outside their pack territory. We have a beach house up north, but that’s about it.”
“True. This is the farthest I’ve been from Bangor ever.”
“I wanted to go to Boston for this concert,” Jonah pointed at the stereo that was plugged in and playing quietly, but with wires still draped all over Max’s small desk. “I got the big hell-no from my mom.”
“I was dying to go to it too. Last year in March, right? We didn’t have the money. Plus, I’d have never been allowed.”
Jonah let his mind wander to what would’ve happened if he and Max had both been at that concert. Would they have met?
Wait. What the hell’s wrong with you? Since when did he go around imagining fated meetings at concerts with guys he met five minutes before? Jonah tried to shake his head out of it. It kind of worked. Until he inhaled.

  Max [1] finished putting his clothes away, then sat on the bed next to Jonah. What had been awkward and overwhelming at first turned into the exact opposite quicker than Jonah could’ve imagined. Ten minutes in, all Jonah wanted was to be Max’s best friend, to be around him, to hear his voice and get surrounded by his scent. He felt like home, which was so weird after only a few minutes, and judging by the way Max smiled at him, the way their conversation flew out of their mouths, how he looked right at Jonah when he laughed, well, it seemed like he felt the same way.
“Boys, I’m going to drive into town and look for a grocery store!” Max's mom called from downstairs a while later.
“Do you want me to come?” Max asked.
Jonah hoped the answer was no. If it was yes, well, he’d just go too. Any thought of homework or avoiding his new neighbor had long since disappeared. Any apprehension about Max fitting in with his pack was ignored. Jonah simply didn’t care about any of it anymore. It was like the rest of his world had turned into a fuzzy background that barely existed. The only thing he noticed was Max.
“I’ll be fine, sweetheart. It was nice to meet you, Jonah!”
“You too,” he called distractedly.
He and Max grinned at each other when the door slammed shut. He didn’t know why it was so much better now that they were completely alone. It just was.
“What’s there to do around here?” Max asked.
Jonah shrugged. “Not much. It’s pretty boring. I do like to go running a lot, though.”
Max’s whole face lit up. “I was dying to go earlier, but I didn’t know if it was a bad idea with nobody knowing me.”
“Might be. My dad’s betas patrol the woods outside the estate sometimes. But if you’re with me….” Jonah wiggled his eyebrows.
“Can we go?” He looked so excited, Jonah hated to disappoint him even a little.
“My mom will probably skin me alive if I show up to dinner sweaty and muddy, but after?”
Max grinned a huge sunny grin, and Jonah’s heart practically thunked to a stop. “After?” he asked.
“After.” Jonah returned the grin.

  The afternoon passed quickly. Way too quickly for Jonah’s liking. He wanted it to go on forever. They sat on Max’s bed and talked a mile a minute, looked through pictures and magazines, and listened to music. At some point Celia came back and shouted hello. They probably answered her. Hopefully they did at least. Jonah didn’t remember much of anything other than Max’s smile, his scent, and his contagious laugh. He scoured through Max’s music collection on his rickety old laptop. He had nearly all of the stuff Jonah had plus some bands he’d never heard of. They planned to trade the next day, and Jonah gave a long look to Max’s computer.
“When’s your birthday?” he asked. He knew exactly what he wanted to get Max.
“May thirtieth, why?”
Jonah nearly choked, thoughts of his potential birthday gift quickly forgotten. “Really?” The matching eyes, the music, the way they clicked… weird. Again.
“Like I was going to make something up. What’s wrong?”
“That’s my birthday too. It’s just odd how much we have in common.”
“I like it. Maybe we can do something together.” Max looked nervous all of a sudden. Jonah felt his pulse rise from where his arm was pressed against Jonah’s. “I mean, if you want to. I don’t mean to saddle you with the new guy. You have your pack already.”
“Of course I want to.” Jonah elbowed him. He’d already decided he’d pretty much be happy to be with Max every minute of every day. He inhaled and breathed out happily. He wanted to get that scent in his nostrils before he had to spend a long night in his room without it. It was just so good.
Jonah’s phone pinged. He pulled it out of his pocket and made a face to himself. “It’s dinner time. We’re supposed to get your mom and walk over.” He wasn’t hungry, the bubbles and butterflies in his belly pushed out even the thought of food.
Max’s face flipped immediately from relaxed and happy to apprehensive. “Right now?”
“Yeah. What’s the matter?” Jonah put his hand on Max’s arm, like he’d done it a thousand times before. He felt it easily, how nervous Max was to meet the rest of his family. The sharp oniony smell of nerves crept into his usual scent. Jonah wanted to wrap him in a big hug and tell him everything was going to be fine. How could anyone not love him?
“I’m just not good with new people.”
“You were great with me.” Jonah had never felt so completely comfortable with anyone in his life, not even his oldest closest betas.
“That’s different.”
“Nah, it’s not. You’ll be fine.” Jonah stood and held out his hand to help Max off the bed. He got those tingles again, like he did every time they touched. Like their skin was welded together for those brief moments and it didn’t want to be wrenched apart. “Besides, Bethany would kill me if I didn’t produce you on time. She’s been waiting to see if you’re cute for weeks.”
“My fifteen-year-old sister. Touch her and I’ll kill you.” Jonah was joking. He said it with a smile and a small chuckle. He just knew Max wouldn’t, but the thought of him getting closer to Bethany even as a friend shot a weird surge of jealousy through him. Jonah didn’t like it. Alpha or not, he wasn’t the jealous sort. At least not usually.
“Like I’d do that.” Max punched Jonah’s shoulder lightly. “Okay, let’s do this if we’re going to.”
Jonah had to suppress the urge to reach for Max’s hand again, twine their fingers together and hold on tight. He was horrified with himself. He couldn’t imagine how badly that would’ve freaked Max out.
What the hell is going on with me?

I’m Mj O’Shea, author of erotic romance–well all sorts of romance actually, that’s just what’s been published so far!
I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.
I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite tv stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then…
Right now, I have four books published through Republica Press (click on the link to visit their site), but I’m constantly working on new projects.
When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano and cook and paint pictures…and of course read. It’s nearly impossible to work on my own writing when I’ve gotten myself hooked into a great new book:) I like sparkly girly girl things, own at least twenty different colored headbands, and I have a little white dog with a ginger eye spot who sits with me when I write. Sometimes she comes up with ideas for me too…when she’s not napping.

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