by Coral Moore
Shapeshifter Brand Geirson was raised to rule the Broods of Fenrir, but he refused his birthright. Instead, he killed their brutal leader–his own father–and walked away.
For hundreds of years he’s avoided brood society, until a werewolf kills an innocent human woman and Brand finds himself dragged back into the violent politics of the shapeshifters. When the two brood women who mean the most to him come under threat, he must take up the throne and risk becoming the kind of vicious bastard his father was, or let the broods descend further into chaos–taking the friend he swore to protect and his lover with them.
A stunning read! Tortured hero, ShapeShifter, Norse mythology mixed with the Urban Fantasy how could you not want to pick up this book? The author did an incredible job bringing the characters to life and the reality in which they live in. The pace and plot was so perfectly put together it will have you at the edge of your seat, holding on to your breathe. This was a great read and one I can see myself rereading. I do recommend it to any one who loves the harder side of the paranormal romance genre.
Rating 5 Stars!
Broods of Fenrir by Coral MooreChapter 1 - Excerpt
Brand walked along the yellow crime scene tape that cordoned off the dilapidated building. His gaze wandered over the stained brick wall and broken windows. He remembered when the building was new, how modern it had seemed rising out of the barren landscape. The abandoned industrial complex south of downtown had deteriorated from a Denver landmark into a crumbling eyesore over the last several decades. Glare from the bright, early winter sun prevented him from seeing inside the dim structure.
The patrolman guarding the perimeter passed a long, appraising look over him. Brand nodded to the man and handed over his identification. The uniformed officer glanced at the badge. He gave Brand another once-over and frowned. “Private security? You’re not authorized to be in this area.”
Between his height and the presence of the wolf inside him, most humans found Brand intimidating. They would never be able to define exactly what bothered them, only a vague sense of strangeness. The more sensitive they were to the energies of the natural world, the harder he had to try to put them at ease. If the man in front of Brand had been a wolf, his hackles would have been raised.
Brand pulled off his sunglasses and smiled without showing his overlong canine teeth. “Detective Grant asked me to stop by.” He kept his voice light, trying to convey that he was just another guy, there to do his job when he’d rather be anywhere else.
With a pensive creasing of his forehead, the officer seemed to come to the conclusion that Brand was no threat, and his expression eased. He turned to speak into the radio at his shoulder. “Tell Grant a guy named Brandon Geirson from Sword Security is here to see him.”
For Brand, dealing with humans was easier than interacting with his own kind. Aggression was counterproductive, rather than required. He appreciated that humans responded better to courtesy than intimidation, something that would never work in the brutal subculture into which he’d been born. The constant battle for rank among the Broods of Fenrir brought out unwelcome feral tendencies.
The crackling that answered was all but incomprehensible. The patrolman handed back Brand’s identification. “He’ll be here shortly.”
“Thanks, I appreciate it.” Brand slid his sunglasses back into place.
“Sure thing.” The officer nodded and resumed his scan of the area.
Grant emerged from the building a few minutes later and jogged over to the edge of the cordoned-off area. He made a beckoning gesture with one thick-fingered hand.
Brand ducked under the yellow tape. “What’s going on, Grant?” They’d never met under what could be called pleasant circumstances, so Brand wasn’t surprised Grant seemed perturbed.
Grant led the way toward one of the oversized loading doors that had been propped open. Police personnel wandered in and out of the building. Snatches of conversation drifted over to them.
Grant paused several feet short of the entry. “We got a call about a body inside. Your company is the security outfit for this place?”
Brand swiped a hand down his face. He hoped some kid hadn’t thought to have an adventure exploring the empty derelict and instead had fallen down an open elevator shaft. It had happened before, and the guilt gnawed at him. “They don’t pay for anything but one guard doing occasional walks of the outside.”
Grant made a note, then fixed his astute eyes on Brand. “Must be frustrating for you.”
Brand sighed. “It is. I’ve tried to talk to the owners about it, but they aren’t interested in spending money to keep out trespassers.”
“Well, in this case, it’s not some adrenaline junkie looking for a new high.” Grant shook his head. “Wish it was. Lady in there is all slashed up.”
Brand froze in the act of scratching his jaw. “She was murdered?”
Grant looked over his notes and gestured toward the page with one finger. “The coroner’s hemming and hawing about bites that look canine, but there’s no animal I know of would do that kind of damage.”
Dread slithered up Brand’s back, raising the hairs on his neck. “Canine?”
Grant flipped a few pages in his notebook. “Maybe some coyotes came in after the guy was done with her and had a snack, who knows?” He shrugged. “All I know is, there’s no dog-like thing on Earth that would slice her up that way.”
Brand knew firsthand that wasn’t true. Bloody images bubbled up from the deep place he’d buried them. His stomach turned while he battled the painful memories. “Why’d you ask me to come here?”
“I need to know about anything unusual going on in the vicinity.”
He met Grant’s cool stare. “Kids come to get their kicks exploring the empty building. It’s been happening since they closed the factory down years ago.”
Grant scribbled some more notes. He pushed a few buttons on his phone and held it up for Brand to see. “You know her?”
Bruises and cuts covered the woman’s swollen face. Brand swallowed to alleviate the sudden tightening of his throat.
At the bottom of the frame, bloody gashes in her clothing made the pain she had endured before her death obvious. Teeth marks were visible along one side of her neck. Not canine, not at all, though Brand understood why someone who didn’t know about the existence of his kind might assume that. He closed his eyes briefly and searched for calm. His temper flared, but he regained control. “No, I’ve never seen her before.”
Grant harrumphed. “That’s all I’ve got for you right now. I’ll call your office when we clear out of here.”
“Thanks.” Brand offered his hand, and Grant shook it with a short nod.
While walking back to his motorcycle, Brand mulled over what do to next. Leaving the investigation up to the police was out of the question. Even if they could figure out who’d done it, they were ill-equipped to deal with one of the brood. The responsibility of seeking justice for the woman’s death fell to him.
The leader of the brood in the Denver area was a long-time friend and one of his biggest clients. In all likelihood, a member of Erik’s brood had murdered that woman. That placed Brand in a dangerous position since he wanted to put the wild animal down.
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Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been an avid reader as long as I can remember. Stephen King was one of the first authors I picked up of my own choice. I became enamored with horror early, so I like my fiction gritty.
Biology was my first love, but I ran out of money for school. Though I think I would have been a pretty great scientist, I’m happy with the way life unfolded for me and wouldn’t trade one second of it. I have a wonderful husband, an enthusiastic dog and an aloof cat. Life is good.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always loved making up stories. For me, inventing characters and then writing down stories was a natural continuation of the “Let’s pretend” phase. I started writing as a hobby in high school, but it wasn’t until early in 2010 that I decided I wanted to start working on it as a profession.
What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?
How much work is really involved. When I first “finished” Broods I thought the rest was going to be easy, but there are so many other steps you don’t think about when you’re staring at that first draft thrilled with yourself for actually finishing it. Finding the right editor and artist were very important to me, and that search was more time intensive than I’d imagined.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I don’t rely on formulas, but I do have a process. Characters always come first for me. I get the glimmer of an idea about an interesting character I want to learn more about. The story grows organically out of the character and the situations I put them in. To give you an example, one story I’m working on now started off as: A conman charms his way onboard a freight ship.
Then, I usually write backwards for a little while as I start to flesh out the character. How did he become a conman? How did he get where he is now? What’s he running from?
Once I know where he’s coming from I can start writing forward. What’s on the ship he’s managed to get aboard? How do the crew react to him?
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
For me, character triumphs everything else. I need a solid character I want to follow and learn more about. If I’m not invested in the character there’s no reason to find out what happens. That goes for stories I read just as much as for those I write.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s about two hundred words from the early part of the second Broods book, tentatively called Fenrir’s Chosen. This is from the first draft, so don’t be too harsh:
Gunni sniffed several times, his muzzle lifted high. The cold air tickled the labyrinthine passages of his nose. The scents of fear and pain assaulted him, even from a few hundred feet away. Brand had sent him ahead to scout the Vancouver brood, and what he had to report was not encouraging. Madness was the best way to describe the events taking place in the valley below him.
He'd been raised in a relatively modern brood that shared a city with humans and blended in with them whenever possible. The chaos in front of him reminded him of the barbaric history of their kind that he'd heard about, but never imagined still existed. One female was dragged across the dirty snow between two dwellings.
Gunni had trouble quelling the urge to run in and rescue another female that was set upon by male who laughed every time she screamed. Half a dozen males fought in one of the paths between buildings for a haunch of meat that was quickly forgotten amid the violence of the exchange.
Going down there wouldn't solve anything and he’d be vastly outnumbered. He was supposed to observe and report back to Brand, not try to resolve the issues himself. He knew that, and yet, turning his back on the chaos below was one of the hardest things he'd ever done.
In Twitter Fashion use 140 characters or less, sum Broods of Fenrir for us.
Brand struggles with the vicious tendencies of his people. He must decide between helping them change or abandoning them to their brutality.
Phew, that was tough! Definitely the shortest summary I’ve ever written.
How did you come up with a story that was such a whirl wind of events?
One step at a time! I’m a discovery writer, so I never know where the story is heading before I get there. In some cases, I think I’m more surprised about where my stories end up than anyone else. I do tend to write in chronological order at first, but I usually go back and insert scenes later when I realize they are needed. The very first scene of Broods (where Brand visits a murder scene) was actually the last one I wrote.
How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the way?
I started writing the first draft in December of 2010. I officially finished the first draft in April of 2011. This book came out relatively free of writer’s block, though that’s usually not the case for me. I learn about my stories as I’m writing them, so I often get stuck trying to figure out what happened next.
Will we be seeing a following book to this stories?
I’m working on a second book right now! It’s quite different than this one, because there are aspects of this story which can’t be repeated. The second book deals with the repercussions of some of the things that happen at the end of this one, so I don’t want to give too much away.
How did you come up with the character Brand Geirson?
Brand was the result of about a year of evolution before I ever started on the first draft of what is now the book. I had the idea for a different sort of werewolf, one that was more physical than metaphysical. My werewolves are their own breed rather than humans inflicted with a disease or a curse. The descendents of Norse berserkers, I knew their society would be a brutal one. Brand was brought up in a primitive world that values strength beyond everything else and that makes some aspects of his character off-putting, especially as a woman writer. There’s a macho sense of entitlement that I struggled with at every turn especially because I didn’t want my story to turn into yet another hero rescues the girl tale.
I had written a few scenes featuring Brand, but nothing really stood out for the first several months of his existence. That changed when the idea for another character came to me. Alice is in a lot of ways the missing piece of Brand that made him interesting for me. His drive to protect her sets him apart from other members of his species and causes many of his problems.
I always must ask, If you could pick one actor to portray Brand Geirson on the big screen who would it be and why?
There’s one actor that’s always made me think of Brand, Matthew Fox. He’s got the ruggedly intense stare down to a science. He’s also a very manly kind of hot, which I think is pretty rare in actors these days.
Was there anything you find particularly challenging when writing this book?
As a whole, the book came pretty easily. I struggled a bit with Brand. He’s a difficult character to wrangle because he always wants to go the most direct route and sometimes that doesn’t work for the story.
I used to say that my characters never went their own way in my stories. When I started fighting with Brand almost every chapter, I realized that was no longer the case. There are some scenes that I still would have liked to go a different way, but Brand wouldn’t have it.
What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?
I was in love. Amanda Kesley at Razzle Dazzle Design made the cover. This being my first book, I’m afraid I wasn’t much help to her, but she took a very vague concept and created a stunning cover. It outdid my every expectation.
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