Please welcome Chris T. Kat with
Alpha Unit One, New York
Different kind of shapeshifters
Thanks so much to for having me on My Fiction Nook. I'm here to talk about my new release, Alpha Unit One, New York, a m/m shape-shifter romance which was published by Dreamspinner Press yesterday.
In Alpha Unit One, New York, many of the characters are shapeshifters, and most of them belong to the big cat species. There are also some other shifter types, but as the idea for this story popped up, I wondered why most shapeshifter stories tend to use the same animals, such as big cats, wolves, etc. so often. What about some other animals?
- How about a raccoon or a skunk? I really love their markings and think it would make for some funny scenes. Well, as long as the skunk doesn't get upset.
- What about a monkey? I don't think I've read a shape-shifter book in the m/m genre that deals with a monkey-shifter. The weird thing is that I don’t feel any desire to write such a character, but I’m sure it would lead to some awesome scenes.
- How about a horse? I remember reading such a story once and loving it, though I can’t remember the title. If anyone knows such a book, let me know, please!
- A shark? A dolphin? What about any of the water animals? I guess it’s difficult to explain why their human side doesn’t need to be inside the water all the time, but this would definitely be a unique kind of shifter.
- Why do most of the animals have to be big? How about a mouse, a rat, a bee, an ant? Insects aren’t really my thing, but I’d be curious to see how another writer would portray such a shifter. And why does the biological age of the animal part have to be the same as the human part…
What kind of shifter would you like to read about and why?
The cat’s out of the bag….
In a world that accepts shifters as normal and thinks nothing of human/shifter couples, baby shifters and small shifters are treated as subpar. They are not allowed into the more dangerous professions, and their mates have legal control over what they can and cannot do.
Nicholas Reed is about to challenge the established rules. At twenty-eight, Nick has just been accepted into New York’s Alpha Unit One—an elite law enforcement team, composed equally of humans and shifters, that specializes in drug crimes. It is Nick’s dream job. But if they find out what he’s hiding, his career could be destroyed.
Enter a huge complication in the form of Sam Black, an older lion shifter who is the leader of the unit… and Nick’s mate. Nick wants Sam, and he wants to keep his job, but he can’t have them both. He also can’t choose between them.
Excerpt from Chapter One:
Annoyed at my jumbled thoughts and ramblings, I tried to push everything aside and knocked at the door. A deep rumble called out, “Come in!”
For a second, my bravado faltered. What if they found out who I really was? All my hard work would be for nothing, then. No matter how good I was at my job, they’d kick me out before I could utter a single word. Guys like me weren’t supposed to become cops.
I pushed the door handle and walked inside, catching glimpses of a handful of people—mostly large people. That’s how it always was. Everyone had to be taller, bigger, meaner than me. It was like a law or something.
Oh boy, and there I went again with the rambling.
Seven pairs of eyes stared at me, waiting, assessing. After clearing my throat, I gave a small wave with the hand that still clutched the envelope.
“Hi,” I said. My voice came out soft and tentative. Screw that!
Putting more strength into my tone, I tried again. “I’m Nicholas Reed, your new colleague. I’m looking for Sam Black.”
A guy with short black hair, tinged with a few silver strands at his temples, unfolded from a chair. My nose informed me this was the guy who’d jostled me only a minute or so earlier.
Fuck, fuck, fuck! My boss was a lion shifter.
Okay, I could still do this. No stepping back, even though my inner voice screamed at me to leg it. How could I be so stupid as to want to associate with one of his kind?
Black strode toward me—or maybe I should say he swaggered—oozing self-confidence and… intoxicating pheromones. He smiled as he stretched out his hand. For a second, I got lost in his hazel eyes. All my defenses lowered at once. I wanted to rub my cheek against his in the worst way while my inner voice shrieked, filled with too many emotions for me to accurately compute.
I blinked, which effectively cleared my head. Bastard!
I knew what he was doing. He was checking to see if I’d fall for his pheromones and react so he could determine whether I was a shifter instead of a human. I ignored his hand, still held out there waiting for the obligatory shake, and sneered. “What? No conviction in the system?”
He dropped his hand and scowled. “Last guy who reeked of cologne as much as you do was no human. He fooled everyone, and he put the team in jeopardy.”
“So the guy was a shifter. What’s your problem with that?”
“Guy was a goddamn sheep, that’s my problem. First sign of trouble, he ran.” My new boss frowned suddenly. “How’d you pick up on what I was doing?”
Shit. That tiny inner voice yelled something unintelligible at me, but I’ve had years of practice ignoring it. “You sniffed the air, and let me tell you, it wasn’t subtle.”
A lanky man on my right threw a ballpoint pen onto his desk, laughing. “He’s got you there, Sam. Regarding your question about the shifter—that’s just how we roll here, kid. We don’t work with sheep or small shifters. They’re not dependable.”
“Then it’s your lucky day, since I’m simply human,” I stated, wishing I’d stop sweating so much.
Black circled me before his meaty hand landed on my neck. I stood stock-still as he swept my hair aside and whispered, “Then you won’t have a problem with me taking a whiff, right? You know, just to make sure you’re not another one of those lying idiots who could cost my team their lives.”
“Does that mean you’ve had trouble with imposters regularly?” I asked, curious even as a shiver crept down my spine. A huge beast sniffing at me tended to put the fear of God into me.
“Everyone wants to get on this team, but only a few are a good fit,” Black purred. “You’re sweating. Are you scared of what I’m going to find out, and what I’m going to do with you then?”
I had a pretty good idea what he’d do with me if he found out. “You’re sniffing at my neck, dude. Either you want to fuck me or bite me. Neither option sounds incredibly appealing.”
Get the book:
About the author:
Chris T. Kat stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between teaching, taking care of her family, reading, and sometimes writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as romance, paranormal, and suspense. She also buys way too many fabrics and spends a ridiculous amount of time behind her sewing machine.
Find out more on her blog.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.