Alpha’s Claim featuring Nikka Michaels

Thanks so much to Kastil Eavenshade for giving me a chance to share my newest release, Waking Up Wolf in Evernight Publishing’s M/M Shifter Anthology, Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition.

Waking Up Wolf is a short paranormal erotic romance where two men find each other in a post- apocalyptic world. When a radioactive leak in the local water source turns the inhabitants of Adam Baker’s small town into shape shifting wolves, he manages to hold and survive alone–except for the wolves he hears in the distance. When he doesn’t immediately undergo “the change” into a wolf himself, he begins to believe he’s immune. After his dreams begin to include another wolf, he finds himself drawn to the howls outside his window and the pack’s alpha, handsome Grady Conway.

Writers find inspiration everywhere, and I know I find it particularly in music. Waking up Wolf was inspired by the Imagine Dragons song Radioactive To me it just summed up everything that I wanted to create in a post-apocalyptic world filled with wolf shifters. Adam is waking up to a whole new world with the possibility of something new with Grady as a wolf.


Waking up Wolf

By Nikka Michaels

Genre: Erotic Romance, M/M, Paranormal, Shifter

Length: Anthology Length Short Story

Release Date: January 24, 2014

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Anthology Title: Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition

Strength. Power. Domination. 

The shifters in our Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology have one thing in common—they won’t take “no” for an answer. Whether they lead packs of their own, or whether they walk a solitary path, these alphas won’t let anyone stop them from claiming their men.

Lose yourself in these ten sinfully delicious love stories. After all, who could deny an Alpha’s claim?



Adam watched him carefully. “You don’t even know me. Why would you invite me back with your family, your pack?”

Grady looked down. “What if I told you we needed you? That I needed you?”

Adam stared at him like he’d gone crazy.

“Me? Why would you need me?”

A true alpha needs a mate.” Grady raised his head, meeting Adam’s eyes, and for a moment he couldn’t look away.

“And you think I’m your mate?”

“I don’t think. I know. You’re my mate, always have been.”

Adam backed away, and he felt himself shake and pain shoot through his body as he fell to his knees. Naked and sprawled in the dirt he stared up at Grady, who closed his eyes and shifted, leaving himself bare as well.

Adam swallowed hard as he stared up at Grady in shock. This close he could see every single inch of the tanned and toned body of the man who commanded a pack. Muscled and imposing, he stared down at Adam, his blue eyed gaze heated.

Without another word, Grady took a step closer, sliding his hand over the top of Adam’s head possessively. He slowly wrapped his hand around Adam’s long dark dreads and pulled his head back, exposing his neck. Adam’s eyes slammed shut as he waited for Grady to change and wolf teeth to tear out his throat. Instead, when Grady’s human teeth sank into his shoulder he shuddered and cried out.

Pleasure/pain surged through Adam’s body as he jerked awake, his cock throbbing as he felt hot cum stripe his belly. His legs shook as he panted for breath, his bed sheets and body soaked with sweat.

His dreams had never been that vivid before, and when he shifted his body his muscles screamed in protest and he flopped back with a moan.

When he yanked back the blankets he stared.

His feet were dirty, caked in mud along with his hands. On his neck, he could feel Grady’s teeth marks.

He’d been marked by the alpha.


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Nikka Michaels lives in the often rainy Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking, laughing and crafting romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs with heat. A voracious reader, novice knitter and music lover she’s been known to multitask without breaking a sweat. She loves to read and write M/M romance but believes everyone deserves a love story. She currently has three releases out, Chasing Matt, a M/M novella co-authored with Eileen Griffin, Christmas with Caden, a M/F romance novella from Cobblestone Press, and “Waking up Wolf”, a M/M shifter romance in Evernight Publishing’s Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology. Her short erotic M/M BDSM story, Room Service is forthcoming from Cobblestone Press in February 2014. Nikka is currently at work with her co-author on two M/M foodie romance novels, set to be released summer and fall 2014 from Carina Press.



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The Nightmare Called the Comma

This makes more sense to me than the comma.

This makes more sense to me than the comma.

I really, really just can’t fathom this little beast called the comma. Sure, it’s cute enough and has kicking curves but really. Why the hell does it have to be so…odd? I’ve tried and tried to understand the little bit of punctuation but at every chance, it thwarts me.


Because I just can’t seem to get the usage right. A comma to me is where you briefly pause, say, for emphasis. Then I read that if there’s one of those dastardly conjunctions involved with their cohorts the independent clauses, the comma needs to be thrown in there. Except, that’s not always the rule. Or at least, I’m beginning to feel that way.

So I go comma-less or haphazardly toss them around like glitter.


My editor’s nice enough to point the way but it’s still a frustrating joust with my least favorite punctuation. I get the semi-colon better and who the hell uses that ancient symbol other than to make a winky face?

Now lists are the easiest to get right. I’ve gone to this site for wisdom yet I still shed silent tears over the commas. I can take away one thing from all of this. Unlike some of the people slamming books in reviews out there in the internetz, I know the difference between grammar and punctuation. The two aren’t banging away as bedmates. They live in separate houses on different streets.

Still, I hate you comma. You suck em dash balls.

Goodreads: Reader Connection or Troll Fields?

I found, at first, Goodreads a useful tool.I could track the books I was reading and put a review up in any style I wanted without being censored for crass words. Swear words are part of my life, I’m not ashamed to say. Once I got my first contract, I had a tool to upload every book I’ve written onto one handy site. Genius!

Then I saw the darkside, something I muddled through on other sites. It’s not the sharpness of steel that would lay these foul creatures to rest, I thought, but a sharp witted tongue. I have the means but should I tread that thorny path?

Imagine the creator(s) of Goodreads sitting down and describing a beautiful place where authors and readers could frollick and mingle. A glorious book euphoria for all to enjoy. Then, as many sites on the internet eventually face, the trolls crawled out of the virtual woodwork and caused havoc.

Once you open that door, you better be prepared to gird your loins. (this photo was taken in Stavanger, Norway by me)

But where, I wonder, is the line between good old fashioned snark and author bashing? Have I crossed the line myself? Sarcasm, after all, doesn’t translation well in written form. There’s no smileys to guide the way or a special font. Worst of all, the internet gives a person a certain amount of anonimity. Faceless masses in a digital playground finding the strength to bully without reprecussions.

As a person who has felt the sting of a rejection or a bad review once a a book hits the world, I tread a little carefully out and about. Even the slightest peep could seriously joepardize everything you’ve tried to accomplish in your writing career. It’s far more easier to destroy than to build. I’ve seen a tidal wave come and sweep me up in a broad generalization over something I never did just because of one comment I made. A mark that took over a year to fade. People love to jump on the hate train and hurl insults for the sake of doing so. I wonder one thing when I see it–are their lives so decidedly boring and retched that their only gratification comes in the face of slandering and vilifying another? I watched an episode of Almost Human, first airing on 06 January 2014, that showed the ugly side of the internet. It’s not the first show to do it in the format they did but its affects are no less chilling.

In the grand scheme of things, does it matter if someone self-published, used an indie publisher, or scored an agent with the big 5/6 to get their book out there? We could argue all day and then some on the little bits of that whole statement. You know, proper editing, cover art, or how long it took to create your masterpiece. The point is, however, when an author puts something on the block, it’s baring their soul for the whole world to see–good or bad. Not only do they need to prepare themselves for the onslaught of critics but the little minions that clamber after them.

On the flip side of things, I’ve also seen authors behaving like misguided children. It’s a hard task to sit on your hands or walk away from the keyboard when someone’s blasting you into a deep, dark hole. We’re supposed to be the bigger person in all of this. That includes speaking ill will about a genre–even one you wrote because you thought it was easy money. Writing a book about dirty little whores sticking popcicles up their hoohahs? Good for you! Typing away at the keys on the latest adventure of your puppy detective Spuds and his michevious sidekick Grieves the mouse? Go for it. Dream your dream for yourself because sometimes that’s all you got.

The fact remains that there’s something out there for everyone and that’s what Goodreads was most likely intended for. Not for authors or readers to trash others, to label books “I’d rather shove a red hot poker in my ass than read this”, or to vicious dogpile someone just trying to catch their break in a field that’s crawling with aspiring authors.

This business isn’t an overnight sensation and people are going to misstep. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m not saying to give false praise, I’m saying don’t be a cunt about what you do say.