Hi Megan and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Edge of Obsession!
Hi everybody! Happy New Year!
Tell us about the book with this fun little challenge using the title of the book:
I’m really, really excited about Edge of Obsession. It’s the first in a brand new series featuring my raiders–futuristic Vikings who live in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world marked by risen seas and the downfall of civilization as we know it. Not that these tough warriors care about that. They care about their clan and their way of life, and woe betide the people who get in their way…
The first book focuses on Tyr, the war chief of the clan and Helena, a mainland woman he picks up after a strange raid–because she mouths off to him instead of cowering in fear like most women, and he’s as baffled by that as he is intrigued. And attracted…
What’s your favorite line(s) from the book?:
Well. Both Tyr and Helena are mouthy in their own ways, and they both crack me up. But I do like it when Tyr says this, in the middle of demonstrating he’s anything but cuddly:
“Monsters are always real, girl. They’re not always as cuddly as I am.”
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
Try isn’t used to being challenged. Certainly not by tiny, breakable women. And he’s exactly the kind of alpha male warrior who finds that kind of defiance pretty freaking hot.
Helena, meanwhile, always dreamed of a bold, ruthless man, tough and strong, who could keep her safe. Assuming she survives him…
When you sat down to start this book, what was the biggest challenge you faced? What were you most excited about?
I bit off way more than I could chew–but of course, that’s what made it fun! These books are much longer than the books I normally write (the Edge books are all over 400 pages) and they’re very complicated, both in terms of the world-building and the fact they’re very hot and erotic. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have tried to write SO MANY new things at once. But I can’t regret it, because I love the outcome. I hope readers will find it the same dark, dirty thrill ride that I did!
What, in your mind, makes this book stand out?
I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything quite like this. I took all my feelings about alpha males like bikers and military men and Vikings and outlaws and rolled them into my raiders. Then I thought about a dark future and what it might look like, and what it might be like to live in the world we know, except ruined by horrible storms and risen seas. And it all sort of came together from there. Action! Adventure! Very bad men and the women who love them and tame them and match them! Hooray!
The First Kiss…
Well. That’s a little dirty. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
She heard him laugh. She didn’t see him move.
One moment he was looming above her, a hulking dark thing no matter how her eyes tried to adjust and really see him, and the next Tyr was crouched down in front of her—hauling her off the ground and up against him with a fistful of her wet, muddy shirt.
She made a sound that could only be described as a squeak as he dragged her face to his. She arched back, but there was no evading him, and he was surrounding her again. Too big, too hard, too damned strong. He bent her backward until she was off-balance—deliberately, a voice in her head shrieked—and if he let go, Helena knew, she’d topple over on her back.
But he didn’t let go.
He moved closer. And that was much, much worse.
“You need to watch that mouth,” Tyr growled, and it was a lot scarier up close. He was.
She tried to squirm away from him, but it was no use. “Let go of me.”
He laughed again, and it was a dark thing, thicker and more dangerous than the night all around them or even the mud she still knelt in that didn’t seem to affect him at all.
“Maybe you’re not getting this.”
He shifted, and Helena’s breath deserted her when his other hand moved beneath her shirt to smooth over her exposed abdomen, flooding her with more of that knotted heat. Making her shake. Making her wonder what the hell was happening to her.
She tried to bat his hands away. He simply ignored it, as if she was nothing but an annoying fly.
“You don’t tell me what to do. You don’t use that mouth for talking shit or copping an attitude.” He slid that hard, hard hand of his beneath the waistband of her jeans and his voice got almost soft. She might have believed that softness if she hadn’t been held like this, completely under his command and helpless to do a single thing about it. His wolf eyes gleamed in the warm, wet dark. “I took you because I felt like it. You’re nothing but a piece of ass to me.”
The fist in her shirt, big and hard, tightened and hauled her even closer to his pitiless face and that cruelly fascinating mouth of his, his dark braids and dark beard making him seem that much more savage. At the same time, he tugged down below and she felt the buttons of her jeans give way before him and no. No. This couldn’t be happening.
“You said… you said you don’t…” Helena didn’t recognize her own voice.
Tyr grinned, even darker than his laughter, this giant wolf of a man who she should never have tried to push or manipulate or handle. It made a terrible wave roll over her, making her feel tight and needy and wildly confused by her own reaction. Making her squirm against that impossibly hard body of his and the hands that held her where he wanted her, as if he really was made of stone and was as impervious to the weather as he was to the bullet that had left his arm bloody. All those tattoos and scars and the black wheel of mysterious symbols over his heart, as if he was daring anyone who looked at him to read the truth about him right there, stamped deep into his skin.
It was almost as if he was inviting her to look at him. To really take a good, long look at the man she’d challenged so foolishly. His hair was thick and dark, long the way the raiders all wore it, and braided out of his way. The better to fight, she knew. His beard was a dark triangle that made his golden gaze seem even brighter and more dangerous. More wolfish. His face was brutal and harsh, and then there was that lethal grin of his that she could feel ricocheting inside of her, like a kick to the gut.
A molten sort of kick that seemed to hum between her legs, hot and wet and astonishing, and his scarred and callused hand rested just above, an unspoken threat.
Or a promise, something whispered deep inside of her, like a lick of searing flame.
She was in so much trouble.
“I told you I don’t do cold pussy,” Tyr agreed, huge and hard with his merciless hands all over her, and her entire body seemed to go liquid and hot and weak everywhere. She couldn’t even try to fight him, no matter how useless the attempt might have been. “But I don’t have to worry about that with you, do I?”
And then he hauled her up by her shirt just that little bit further, so close she could see the way his eyes glittered dark gold and raw—
“Wait,” she whispered, too panicked to guard her tongue. “I don’t think—”
And Tyr laughed again, dark and wholly wild and somehow thrilling, and then he slammed his mouth down on hers.
And everything inside of her, that knot of heat and the ache below, ignited.
Then simply… blew up.
He thrust into her mouth with absolutely no hesitation or restraint, as if his mouth was another weapon and he dominated here the way he had back in Ferranti’s courtyard, his lethal moves a kind of dark poetry. He bent her back and he ate at her mouth, urgent and demanding. Possessive and dangerous and lush.
And absolutely sure of her response.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
I wouldn’t know what to choose… The battle scenes? The sexier scenes? There’s a lot of action in this book, which can be just as revealing as the things they say…
If your hero had a sexy-times play list, what song(s) would have to be on it?
Try doesn’t need any enhancements. Trust me on this.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
I hope they love it and want to read the second book, Edge of Temptation, due out in April!
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2016?
There are three more books in the Edge series, so I’ll be working on those, plus a new series of biker books that I’ll be spinning off from the high octane Deacons of Bourbon Street biker series I wrote with Rachael Johns, Jackie Ashenden, and Maisey Yates (the final book in the series, Strip You Bare by Maisey Yates, is out January 5!). My Devil’s Keepers MC series will be raw and hot and outlaw–just how I like my bikers! Look for those starting later this year.
You can keep up with all my new releases, including the Harlequin Presents I write as Caitlin Crews, over on the Coming Soon page of my website: http://megancrane.com/coming.php
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: I’ll give one reader their choice of kindle e-book from my backlist (any book published before 2016).
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: How do you feel about Viking raiders–futuristic or otherwise?
Excerpt from Edge of Obsession:
“Listen up,” Tyr told her softly, and that was even scarier, somehow. That hint of a softness that he had nowhere else in him. “The next time you feel the need to throw that attitude at me, you better think of a more creative way to use that mouth instead. Or I will. And I’ll enjoy it.”
Helena didn’t understand why she felt hollow when he let go of her. When he inched back and allowed the slightest bit of space between them. Sure enough, she staggered back slightly, the mud beneath her as slippery as her legs were wobbly.
But she couldn’t let herself think too closely about what had just happened here. About the wet heat she could still feel pulsing hard between her legs as she buttoned up her fly. About the way her nipples were still in those greedy points, a searing little agony against her cold shirt.
And she definitely couldn’t let herself think about what it meant now that he’d discovered that she wasn’t cold for him at all. Her mind danced away from it, as if completing the obvious thought—and the images that went with it, and the fact that she’d just had noncompliant sexual contact with a man for the first time in her life—might take her feet out from under her all over again.
She still couldn’t breathe. And he must have taken that as some kind of rebellion on her part, because he took her jaw in that same hand that had just made her lose herself so completely. His hard palm was warm and she could smell herself, sex and need and him, too.
And that hard knot blazed to life again, low in her belly, and kicked at her.
Helena had no idea what was happening to her. Only that he was doing it. He was doing it, and that meant she was in some very serious trouble.
“I don’t care what your problem is, girl,” Tyr told her, harsh and ruthless, worse somehow than one of his blades, and the controlled, matter of fact way he held her chin and her mouth in his grip made her shake. Everywhere. “I don’t care who you are as a person or what you dreamed about last night or what you thought you were doing back there, getting in my face and putting your hands on me. I’m not interested in your reasons. I’m not looking for a mate or a wife and if you don’t want to be a camp girl, you have one job. It’s simple. Keep me happy.”
She didn’t mean to laugh at that, though it was an empty sound, and made his dark gold eyes narrow. “Is happy something you do?”
“You better hope so, sweetheart,” he growled at her, though there was a gleam in his dark gold eyes. She was sure of it. “You better pick a god and pray. Now walk.”
He pushed her ahead of him again and Helena was grateful, suddenly, for the dark all around them and the fact he was behind her once again. When her face crumpled, he couldn’t see it. When she fought it off, he was no wiser.
And that pressure inside of her didn’t subside. It got worse.
It was like Tyr was a storm, one of those long ago great ones that had wrecked the whole world, and he’d leveled her. She felt ruined all the way through, razed and toppled and used and broken by her own body’s enthusiastic response to him, and she didn’t understand why a big, dumb, impossibly violent animal like this one had managed that when no one else ever had. Not even Krajic.
She knew Krajic wanted to kill her. She didn’t know what Tyr wanted from her.
Tyr isn’t like any man you’ve ever met, that voice in her snapped. Nor did she think he was all that dumb.
The truth of that buzzed through her as she stumbled further into the woods, following what was barely even a path this far away from Ferranti’s so-called stronghold. Her mouth didn’t feel like it belonged to her any more, after the way Tyr had simply… taken it. Her entire body ached, and not because she was in any kind of pain. And that was nothing next to the riot happening between her legs, where she felt soft and destroyed and hungry for something else. Something more.
Helena wasn’t like a lot of the women she knew, like her own sister, in fact, who viewed their compliant sex acts during their winter marriages like separate, individual opportunities for dramatic martyrdom. Helena had never viewed it as any particularly great sacrifice. Her mother had told her that it was all about a greater good, but that there was no shame in having a hand in the timing of that good, and Helena had always taken that as fact. She thought the reality of the whole thing was fine, more or less. And some winters were more fine than others. Sometimes it was a little gross and embarrassing. Sometimes it was kind of nice. Though she’d certainly never thought any man was worth giving up the herbs she drank once a month to prevent pregnancy, because she’d never thought the time was right. Especially not now that carrying out the family legacy fell to her.
But what she felt tonight—what she still felt, rampaging through her body the way Tyr had ransacked Ferranti’s courtyard—had absolutely nothing in common with any of the winter marriages she’d had in the years since her first blood had announced her fertility.
It was something brand new and almost as terrifying as the man who moved with surprising speed and ominous quiet behind her in these neverending woods. Helena ached. She almost thought she was coming down with something, one of those plagues the old people muttered about so darkly, but this wasn’t a fever. It only felt like one. Her breasts felt too heavy against her muddy shirt. She was aware of every step she took, the way the hard, stiff material of her jeans dragged against her swollen pussy, and her skin seemed much too tight and flushed.
Compliance was mechanical. Quick and often boring and sometimes, as with Rolland this past winter, even apologetic. It was duty and obligation. A daily chore like all the rest.
Tyr was none of those things.
It was almost a relief when they finally cleared the woods. Almost. The wind was higher and more insistent when they came out of the trees and onto the beach tucked in between high rocks on each side, buffeting her and reminding her how wet and chilly she already was, no matter how warm the midsummer night. Helena could breathe again, suddenly, as if the woods had been the thing pressing down hard against her chest, edging her that much closer to the tears she didn’t want to cry. Filling her lungs felt like a victory in a night made of very few of those.
But there was also… everything else.
Three raider ships were moored out in the small, wind-battered cove like something out of a child’s bad dream. Looming, indistinct shadows out on the waves with lanterns hanging from their masts like flickering phantoms against the rainy dark. And closer in, above the high tide mark, a cluster of equally dark and yet far rougher shapes arrayed around a big bonfire. The raiders themselves. Far more than had swarmed Ferranti’s courtyard.
Mistake number nine hundred and seventy tonight, Helena thought, was that she’d had some indistinct notion that she’d slip away from this man once he spirited her away from Ferranti and the threat of Krajic. That was laughable enough. But who knew? Even wolves had to sleep. Still, she hadn’t really thought beyond the one man. The one wolf. The one obstacle.
She certainly hadn’t thought about a whole pack.
Helena was entirely too aware of Tyr at her back, that same lethal wall of intensity that she could feel now in a different, disturbing way, like some part of him was still lodged deep inside of her.
His voice was a taunt, for all it rolled over her like a rough caress. As if he knew what she’d thought, what she was thinking. What she’d imagined she could do.
She had the terrible notion that somehow, he really did.
“Not at all,” she threw back at him, and she thought she heard that laugh of his again, a low rumble in the dark.
And she had no choice here, did she? She couldn’t fight this man. She certainly couldn’t fight all the rest of the savages he called his brothers.
She’d acted rashly, just as her mother had warned against years ago. She’d done this to herself, stupid choice by even stupider choice, going back to that time she’d let Melyssa ruin their lives because her sister had wanted to feel special and had thought a man like Ferranti could do that for her. Helena had known better then and she’d gone along with it anyway, because maybe she’d been tired of running too. This was nothing more than reaping what she’d sowed.
And she refused to cry about it. She refused. Tears wouldn’t help. As ever, Helena needed to help herself because there was no one else who could.
Her parents hadn’t died only to save their daughters, and Krajic wasn’t chasing her across what was left of the world for kicks. Helena had a duty to all of those who had fought and died before her to make certain the greedy western kings in their dry and warm and fancy Rocky Mountain compounds couldn’t hoard all the light in the world for themselves the way they had since the Storms.
Melyssa had never been much help with any of this. That meant it was down to Helena and that tablet computer Tyr had taken from her to get the power back on in all these far-off places where there had been nothing but darkness and the occasional generator for more than a hundred years. The priests liked to build their temples in the places the old world had used for their various technologies—power plants, server farms, industrial complexes of all kinds. They claimed all that blasphemous human technology had made the seas rise in the first place. Meanwhile, the western kings had been proclaiming they’d wrested the localized light in their territories from the darkness thanks to their might and influence since the last of the great Storms eased. Helena’s family had known better. It was about controlling power. It was about feeding off of fear. It was about the things it was always about for great men with grand ambitions.
Helena’s mission was simple, if enormously complicated by things like Krajic on her ass and six months of lockdown every year when the winter rains came. There were two mainland power plants she knew of that were also server farms with direct links to the satellites that were still in the sky, presumably unaffected by the weather below. One was so far in the western highlands it had always been too risky to attempt to reach it, but Helena knew where the other one was, buried in the Catskills in the east. She needed to get to it and once there, she needed to turn on the goddamned lights. Then she’d access the long lost internet to find out how many other power plants remained on the planet, thanks to the technology people had installed in them when they’d moved away from archaic power lines in the early days of the bad weather that became the Storms, and discover what—if anything—was left of the rest of the world.
That meant she had no choice, the way she’d always had no choice. The way no one in her family had ever had any choice, going back generations. There was what had to be done and the doing of it, and trying not to die along the way. There could be no tears in that. There could be no tears, period.
So Helena picked up the pace as if she was wearing her own pair of steel-toed boots, ignored the dangerous wolf at her back, and marched herself straight into hell.
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Tyr, a powerful man in a destroyed world, needs only three things to survive: his weapons, basic resources and a rotation of women to serve his voracious sexual needs. But when a beautiful prisoner grabs his attention during a mission to restock his clan’s supplies, Tyr’s alpha instincts give way to something much darker – strong, unquenchable lust that cannot be ignored… or denied…
After two years on the run, Helena is snared by this dominant group of men who roam the land unchallenged. Strong to her core and with a mission of her own, Helena knows she doesn’t have to be their captive for long. But despite all the terrible things she’s heard about these brutal beasts, Helena is overcome by intense desire for the ruthless man who has taken her. As their scorching passion escalates, Helena will have to trust in Tyr in order to save both what’s left of this desolate, torn-up world… and herself.
Meet the Author:
USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Megan Crane has written more than fifty books since her debut in 2004. She has been published by a variety of publishers, including each of New York’s Big Five. She’s won fans with her women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels as well as with the Harlequin Presents she writes as Caitlin Crews. These days her focus is on contemporary romance from small town to international glamor, cowboys to bikers, and beyond. She sometimes teaches creative writing classes both online at mediabistro.com and at UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, where she finally utilizes the MA and PhD in English Literature she received from the University of York in York, England. She currently lives on the glorious west coast with a husband who draws comics and animation storyboards and their menagerie of ridiculous animals.
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