Werewolf Luvin’ and Other Inappropriate Questions: Chat with Katie Reus, Connor, and Ana of Alpha Instinct
This is a great time to head to North Carolina. The weather in Ohio is cold, and I’d like to be a bit warmer. I’m going to meet up with Ana, Connor and company at the ranch. Since I happen to love horses, this has got me all excited. I just enjoy the smell of the barn and the still atmosphere you can lose yourself in. Calms me right down. (And yeah, I’m aware that barns mostly smell like poo. I’m weird. We all know this.)
Driving down the road toward the ranch is peaceful, quiet. I’ve got my stereo cranked with the Black Keys and am jamming all by myself. This is music you have to sing along to. “Howlin’ For You” is one of my favorite tracks. From the corner of my eye I keep seeing a flash of something running along the side of road. Makes me hope it isn’t a deer or something that’s going to jump on my car. Happens quite a bit in Ohio. Idiot prey animals seem to like to hurl themselves at moving objects. There isn’t any traffic out here and when I pull into the long driveway, I’m certain that I have been seeing something after all. The proof strides right out in front of me.
At first I think that perhaps it’s a really huge dog. And then I remember. I’m going to a ranch owned by werewolves.
Holy shit! Who is that? It’s got to be one of the men. Cause he’s huge. And fluffy. I hope he’s friendly. I stop my car outside the gate and put it in park. The wolf sits down a few feet away by the gate and just stares at me so I get out.
Me: “Uh, hi? I’m Jenn. I’m supposed to meet up with Katie and Ana today.”
Feeling stupid cause he just keeps staring at me. I wonder if I should offer him a cheeseburger. Maybe he’ll be friendlier. Men like food. I scuff the toe of my shoe on the ground and try not to fidget.
Me: “You’re really huge. And fluffy. I kinda want to pet you.”
Clapping a hand over my mouth in horror. I definitely didn’t want to say that out loud.
Me: “Oh, shit. I’m sorry. I tend to babble when I’m nervous. And you staring at me like that is making me nervous.”
The wolf sneezes a bit and I get the feeling that he’s laughing at me. I’m not sure that’s any better but he isn’t trying to eat my face, so it can’t be horrible. Then he gets up and comes over closer to me. I don’t give up any ground, but don’t make eye contact for long either. I have no idea who this is or how he feels about humans, so even though I was invited, it’s probably not a good idea to piss him off. A cold nose touches the back of my hand and I jump a bit before looking down. The wolf is looking up at me with humor in his eyes.
Me: “Oh. Hi. Again. Can I touch you?” The wolf touches me with his nose again and wags his tail a little. “I’ll take that as a yes.” I reach out and run my fingers through the fur behind one large ear, very gently. “Your fur is really soft. Thanks for being so sweet. I’ve never met a werewolf before. You’re even bigger than I thought you’d be.”
Two women and a man are at the gate. One of the women has shoulder length dark hair – she must be Ana – and the man is very tall, muscular, with a distinctive Celtic knot design on his neck. Gotta be Connor. That leaves me guessing that the woman with the long curly hair is Katie.
Me: “Hi!” waving “I’m Jenn. Thanks for having me. Can I ask who this is?” I point to the wolf at my side.
Katie waves back, smiling, before she slightly narrows her eyes at the giant wolf. “That’s Aiden and he’s shameless when it comes to begging for food or wanting someone to pet him…in wolf or human form.” The wolf barks at her, turns tail and trots off as if offended.
Me: “Nice to meet you. I guess I’ll see you later.” (to werewolf)
I drive my car through the gate and park it by a pickup.
Me: “Thanks for having me over today. This is really beautiful country here. I like the mountains.”
Katie: “Thanks so much for joining us. Connor and Ana are very happy to have you here.” When Connor noisily clears his throat, Katie glares at him. “Well, Connor isn’t a big fan of outsiders but he’s graciously…” Connor clears his throat again.
Ana snorts as Katie trails off. “You’ll have to excuse my mate. We’re happy to open up our home to you. We’ve just had some issues with humans lately and it’s made everyone a bit wary.”
Me: “Eh, no worries. I tend to think that most people pretty much suck if something either scares them or makes them envious. And, for seriously, the freedom and joy of being able to shift forms and the idea of a mate you get to keep forever and ever? That’ll make people see the green eyed monster. So, I’m cool with Connor being cranky.” Shrugs. “I don’t like it either when I feel like the people I love are threatened.”
We head into the main house and settle around the living room. It’s very warm and welcoming.
Me: “So how are things going now that you’ve all had some time to settle in? Catching anyone making out in the hay loft like teenagers?”
Katie smiles mischievously. “Well, I think I might have seen Nikan trailing after Esperanze—she teaches the cubs—like a lost puppy earlier, but you won’t catch them making out. At least not yet.”
“Don’t let Nikan hear you call him a puppy,” Connor mutters under his breath while Ana quietly laughs.
Me: Giggling “Poor Nikan. Hope she doesn’t give him a merry chase for too long. But it might be good for him.” Winks
Katie: “You’ll just have to find out in Lover’s Instinct. Their story comes out in August.” 😉
Me: “Really?! Well that’s rather squee worthy! How are the cubs? They seem like they’re rather adorable. Any on the horizon for you guys?”
Connor starts to answer, but Ana cuts him off with a shake of her head. “Uh…we haven’t exactly talked about that yet, so…um, yeah, let’s just put that question on hold. The cubs are wonderful though. Vivian is settling in nicely with us and Lucas loves living with Ryan and the rest of the men. He’s quite spoiled.”
Katie just grins, as if she knows something they don’t, but doesn’t say anything.
Me: “So, Katie, any designs on any of the single men here? Cause I know if I was single I’d be outside right now perusing the goods.” Grins at Katie
Katie grins back as she answers. “Nikan has a thing for Esperanze. And Noah, well, he’s got it bad for Erin even if she is keeping him at arms’ length.” Katie thoughtfully taps her chin. “A few of the guys are about to fall hard pretty soon—they just don’t know it, but that still leaves a couple single guys so any single ladies out there you might want to make your move soon.”
Me: “Oh, how hard the mighty fall, right? Yeah, I kinda thought that Noah and Erin had a little – er, chemistry? – yeah let’s call it that.”
Katie snickers. “I hate to tell you they’re still working on their…relationship.”
Me: “Well, I’d guess so. Girl’s had a rough road. Plus, she’s not going to be the type to roll over easily. So, Ana, have you found Connor’s ticklish spots yet? Cause I love to mess with my husband that way. Although then he retaliates and makes me feel stupid for starting in the first place.” Laughing “Although, there are some good side effects too.” Winks
Ana’s cheeks turn red. “What kind of interview is this? I thought you wanted to talk about pack and ranch life.” But then she nods, her face still flushed. “I’ve found all of his sensitive spots and yes, he retaliates too…Not that I’m complaining,” she murmurs as she shoots her mate a knowing look.
Me: Blushes and laughs “Sorry, I tend to cause trouble. It’s just my nature. It’s just, I don’t know, I don’t like to treat other people any different than I’d expect. And I love to ask questions that catch people off guard. I mean, do you really want to tell me about the horses or how much food you go through in a week feeding everybody? This is talking about your life. Just the fun parts of it.” Grins You can ask me whatever you like. I’ve been married for a bazillion years, so…meh.”
Katie: “I’m making a mental note to come up with all sorts of inappropriate questions the first time I interview you—oh yes, it’s happening—so you might want to start preparing now.” 😉
Me: : “Ooohhh I’m quaking in my boots! Will there be a bright overhead light and scary images on a screen too?” Laughing. “What’d you expect from someone with the screen name Captain Dirty Pants?” Laughs harder at Ana and Connor’s expressions when I reveal my blogging handle. “If Ana and Connor weren’t wondering just what kind of crazy lady you’d brought into their house before they definitely are now. And just think, I’ve got two little girls who are as goofy as I am.”
This gets everyone to laugh, even Connor, although I think he looks a little worried. Snicker.
Me: “Hey, can we go outside? I’d love to see the barns and stuff. I really like to wander outside in the woods.”
We head outside and a two tiny balls of fur and energy come racing across the porch. They jump off the other side and take off around the side of the house. It has all of us chicks smiling sort of sappily.
Me: “Uh oh. Looks like he’s in trouble. I used to chase my brothers like that too.”
Katie nods. “Yeah, Vivian and Lucas like to get into any trouble they can. Vivian has taken to shifting to her jaguar form in the middle of the barn, terrifying the horses. They’re used to the scent of wolves, but she’s a new predator and thinks it’s hilarious to freak them out. She’s going to be a handful in a few years.”
Me: Laughing “Sounds like my kind of girl.”
We walk out to the barn and I can’t help but take a nice big deep breath, enjoying the vast emptiness of this place. It makes me feel calmer, more centered.
Me: “So, Katie, when did you and Ana meet, anyway? She seems pretty busy around here. Not much time for shenanigans.”
“She makes plenty of time for…” Connor’s voice trails off and to everyone’s shock, the tips of his ears turn red, as if he realized what he was about to say. “I’ve got stuff to do,” he mutters. “I’ll see you guys later.” He pauses for a moment as if he might say more, then just hurries back to the house.
Me: “Oh, you know, my hubby kinda does the same thing. I love that he still flushes for me once in a awhile. That was really cute.”
Katie quickly picks up the thread of conversation. “We met a couple years ago because Ana had a story to tell and I was more than happy to tell it for her.”
Me: Turns to Katie “Yeah and what a story! Wow, Ana, you’ve had a really rough couple of years. I don’t know how I would have pulled it off. Do you ever feel kind of smothered with all the people around, all the time? I’m kinda a loner, almost. Need my time by myself.”
Ana shakes her head. “No, I rarely feel smothered. I love my pack and sisters. I think that might be part of my wolf nature, but I need my pack. They’re a part of who I am. Though that’s not to say I don’t love getting away for a couple hours to run free. Of course I used to do that by myself. Now, well, if I go for a run, Connor’s usually not far behind.”
That little tidbit has me giggling and giving her a lecherous grin. Connor is a hunky man, and add in the brogue that he drops now and then and you’ve got a guy who could light panties on fire at fifty paces.
Me: “Well, I promise not to ask anymore sex questions today. Think we can just go for a walk? I’ve been cooped up in the car for hours and hours. My legs feel like smooshed Jell-O. Oh, but first I have to get something out of my car. I’ve got a sandwich in there with a certain friendly wolf’s name on it.” Grin
And now for a few silly observations from me to Katie, on being an author whose book is out getting reviews, and of course the fangirl question we are all asking:
Me: “So when’s book 2 coming out? Cause I needed it three days ago.” 😉
Katie: “Lol! It will be out in September (but there’s also a novella in the series coming out in August). Ahem, and I have the cover for book #2 and it’s freaking gorgeous!! But I can’t show it off just yet (I’m evil, I know).”
Me: “Glad you enjoyed your review. I was giggling to myself writing it – I love it when I read something that gets the goof-ball juices flowing. It’s got to be hard, wondering what people will say. Then you probably think -“Oh shit! I shouldn’t look! But I want to look! But I shouldn’t! No! Yes! No! Yes! Where’s the rum? I need a shot!”
Katie:”Yeah, I’ve been in serious avoidance mode this month…As in I recently deleted my Google alerts and unless someone tweets me or emails me about a review I’m not going to know about it. It’s just easier on my sanity. Sooo glad I saw yours though. I was laughing a little uncontrollably and had to go back and reread it!”
Extra Special thanks to Katie and Company for the interview. It was loads of fun. And Katie, bring on the crazy questions luv. I can take it. In fact, I look forward to it. Now, where did Aiden go? He promised to show me a special fishing spot down by the river…..
(Get your minds out of the gutter! I have night crawlers right here! There will not be any skinny dipping or use of special bait. Ahem.)