Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Inside Out tour! I have the author, Amy Lee Burgess on the blog for a guest post, plus I'm sharing my review of Inside Out! I hope you'll help the author feel welcome and leave a comment, show some love! :)
I will now stand aside and turn the blog over to our guest today!
I’d like to introduce you to the main characters you’ll meet in my novel, Inside Out. They are all members of the Great Pack, a race of wolf shifters, and this is the fourth novel in the series The Wolf Within. This novel takes place in the small fictional town of Willoughby, Massachusetts, home to the Mayflower pack. Something is wrong in the pack and Stanzie, in her role as Councilor Jason Allerton’s Advisor, is sent to investigate. What she finds will change everything about her life.
Constance “Stanzie Newcastle - Stanzie is a blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty who thinks her nose is too big. Her fashion passion is shoes. She never wears the same pair twice in a row and has been accused of trying to fill the empty spaces in her life with shoes. She plays professional level harp, but hasn’t played since the deaths of her first bond mates, Grey and Elena. She works as an Advisor to Councilor Jason Allerton and has an uncanny knack for unearthing buried secrets – sometimes endangering herself in the process. Her wolf is different than the other shifters’ wolves – more childlike and stubborn. She is deeply in love with Liam Murphy but afraid to tell him. In this novel, Liam has gone back to his home in Dublin and Stanzie is afraid of what the future holds for them.
Liam Murphy is Irish and handsome and hell. He possesses infinite patience, but harbors a dark past that he hasn’t quite been able to overcome. Forest brown eyes, dark blond hair, his smile is his best feature. He and Stanzie are bond mates, but because of the circumstances of their bonding and his past experience with a fickle bond mate, he isn’t quite sure where he stands with Stanzie. As a result, he can be distant and frustratingly moody. He’d do anything for Stanzie, even leave her if he thought she’d be happier without him.
Scott Charest is the current Alpha male of Mayflower which also happens to be Stanzie’s birth pack. Originally from Darkhunt in Rhode Island, he left his pack to bond with Faith. Scott is gorgeous but doesn’t flaunt it with dark hair and uncanny grey eyes. His sense of humor is razor sharp and he can be an enigma at times – some might say a real asshole, but he knows how to pour on the charm. He and Faith have a very unusual “how we met” story that even he is not quite sure he believes.
Faith Newcastle is the current Alpha female of Mayflower and Stanzie’s cousin. Their mothers were twins. She closely resembles Stanzie except her eyes are dark brown and her nose is smaller. Pregnant, and scared because her pack is talking about replacing her as Alpha for no reason, she seeks out her cousin who has Great Council connections, to help figure out what is wrong with Mayflower. Her fashion passion is lacy underthings which no one gets to see but Scott.
Alan Perrault is the youngest adult member of Mayflower. Sandy haired with blue eyes, he is adorable and shy. He is old enough to have begun the initiation of his wolf, but does not want to shift with either of the two mentors he is being pressured to accept in the role. The pampered prince of the pack, he is bewildered and hurt when his pack turns against him and tells him he needs to find a bond mate and leave Mayflower. Stanzie used to babysit him when he was nine and she was twenty, but twelve years later could Stanzie become the mentor he needs to bring out his wolf for the first time?
Jason Allerton is one of the most influential members of the Great Council which oversees the entire Great Pack. Tall, dark, dignified, and blue-eyed, he is always perfectly groomed, Jason uses his power as a Councilor to help people in whom he sees hidden potential. Stanzie and Murphy are two of his latest examples. His bond mate went incurably insane after their son was stillborn and over the years he has taken a series of mistresses – usually powerful women who serve on Regional Councils around the world or Alpha females of larger packs. But secretly does he wish he could have someone who wants to be a more permanent fixture in his life? Will he ever find her?
Kathy Manning is a member of the New England Regional Council and Jason Allerton’s latest mistress. She is adept at getting her way with a smile and a refusal to back down. Petite, she resembles an elfin princess with pixie short brown hair and blue-grey eyes. She has adopted Stanzie as a surrogate daughter much to Stanzie’s consternation. Kathy loves to bake and cook and favors the ones she loves with her special recipes.
Each of these characters plays a role in what happens within Mayflower – some more directly than others.
Without Murphy as her partner this time, will Stanzie be able to solve the mystery? I hope you’ll read the book and find out.
BLURB: There's no place like home...or is there?
When Stanzie is asked to investigate her birth pack- Mayflower--she isn't prepared for what she finds.
No one respects the Alphas and the newest adult member of the pack is being encouraged to leave. Why? To make matters worse, the men are dangerously intent on mating and shifting with her.
How far will the pack she thought she knew go to get what they want? Without her bond-mate, Liam, Stanzie must face this alone and, barely ahead of threat of violence, must solve the mysteries, and fast.
WARNING: Vulgar language, sexual situations, group sex, violence
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance
Alan looked at me and panic flooded his silver blue eyes. “Stanzie.” My name was a horrified plea.
I could see the ghost of a wolf’s muzzle beneath his mouth. He held out a hand and recoiled when he saw the dark fur on his palm.
“Take off your clothes, Alan,” I urged, but he stood there, transfixed. I hastily unbuttoned his plaid shirt and pushed it off his shoulders. “Help me,” I cried as I tugged at his sleeve.
“I don’t know what’s happening to me,” he whispered. His body gave a bone crunching shudder and he stared at Faith and Scott’s wolves, terror etched across his face. The wolves waited together, shoulder to shoulder. It was a damn good thing I hadn’t shifted myself. Poor Alan was clueless.
I fumbled with the button on his fly and then the zipper. His throat rippled and he threw back his head and howled. The noise nearly scared the shit out of me, but I somehow managed to get his zipper down and then I pushed him onto his ass so I could pull his jeans off. He was no help at all, caught in the throes of the first emergence of his wolf. His body morphed in and out of focus. It was like trying to undress someone by strobe light and I had to shut my eyes so I wouldn’t lose my concentration. Alan whimpered and whined. Shifting was painful sometimes--especially when we fought it and he was. He didn’t know how to relax into the chaos and let it flow. He still struggled for control, for a way to reason out the process, and that was impossible. Shifting did not make sense. It just happened.
“Let go. Alan, just go with it,” I coached in a quiet voice as I sat as near as I could to him. He writhed on the pine needles and screamed as his bones shifted beneath his skin. “It hurts less if you just let go.”
“Stanzie!” My name turned into an anguished howl and just when I had begun to get scared, it happened. Alan blinked out of this plane and when he blinked back in, he was shifted.
His wolf was gorgeous. Dusky black with ice-blue eyes. A touch of gray at the tips of each paw. Big too. Bigger than Scott’s gray wolf. He rolled to his feet and sprawled onto his face when he tried to walk. Two legs to four was a bitch for some people. It had never fazed me, but Grey told me it had taken him half an hour to figure out how the hell to walk the first time he’d shifted. I grinned to remember the story and reached out to pat Alan’s wolf on the head. He whined at me.
“Get up and walk. Four legs are fun,” I told him. I was on my hands and knees now, so we could look eye to eye. If he got up, that is. Faith’s wolf pranced over and nudged him with her dainty muzzle. He whined again and she gave a coughing bark. In wolf speak she told him to get off his ass.
Scott’s wolf approached me and stared at me so hard I knew he tried to tell me something, but I couldn’t figure out what. Then it hit me. Duh. I was still in human form.
I stood up so I could strip off my jeans and t-shirt. Scott’s wolf waited impatiently. Alan’s wolf had gained his wobbly feet but seemed stuck in one position. When Faith’s wolf nudged his back end with her nose, he promptly fell over again and I snickered. Alan’s wolf gave me a reproachful look and I patted his head in apology. Scott’s wolf moved behind me and bumped the back of my knees so hard I fell over. Alan’s wolf wheezed with lupine laughter. “At least I can walk on all fours,” I muttered. Naked, I crawled away a few feet to give myself space for shifting. Only nothing happened.
Review Rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS
Review: I found Inside Out to be an intriguing book. It's got a mix of paranormal and mystery, and I enjoy the author's voice. One thing I didn't realize when i picked this book for review was that it's apparently part of a series. That being said, I didn't find it too difficult to follow along, though at times there's things I wasn't sure of. The main character, Stanzie is very interesting and a strong lead character. She's one that seems to get into a bit of trouble everywhere she goes, but despite that and despite her flaws, she's still strong and unique.
I enjoy a good book about wolves, and Inside Out is a fun, unique, different spin, and it has a great blend of suspense, paranormal and romance. There are some sexual situations I could have done without, but for the most part, everything else in the story had an integral reason and seemed to fit the book.
This is my first time reading a book by Ms. Burgess, and I can say that I'm certainly curious for more.
Amy Lee Burgess wrote her first ghost story at age ten. Born in New England, she has also lived in New Orleans and Houston, survived fires, floods, hurricanes, divorce and the premature cancellation of several of her favorite television shows. Turning her back on such shocking betrayals, she is now writing about ghosts, vampires, and other paranormal things and is much happier for it.
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