Something new and intoxicating permeates the air in Arizona’s desert, something only the supernatural world can smell, and it has awakened hungry animalistic desires. An intriguing mix of cursed lands, powerful Gods and forbidden love await readers in Monica L. Smith’s paranormal romance Skinwalkers: The Uprising (Major Key Publishing) as the lives of two human/wolf half-breeds and a human woman collide in passionate and unexpected ways.

Ashley’s marriage is over — well, almost, anyway. Her ex-husband-to-be left her for another woman, and to add insult to injury before ink has even touched divorce papers, he manages to withdraw thousands of dollars from their joint bank account to purchase his fiancé both an engagement ring and a Lexus. Can anyone really blame Ashley for drowning her sorrows in a bottle of vodka and dabbling in spellcraft on the eve of finalizing her divorce? “If it could bring me some peace and tranquility into my life and cause harm and destruction in his, I was all for giving it a whirl.” Whether or not she can hex her ex successfully, the entire mess will be over in the morning, and she can begin her new life under the Arizona sun.

THIS WORLD’S SHAPE BEGINS TO SHIFT

Speaking of new life, Gethambe is about to die. Before he can take his place as Alpha Male, king and leader of his pack, he must enter Edom, the ritual for which requires an erotic blood sacrifice, and “battle the fallen angels of the Seven Heavens.” He has only his physical strength and wit to aid him, but if his spirit survives seven fights to the death, he’ll return to Earth alive again and receive his shape-shifter abilities. Waiting for him after his rebirth is an arranged marriage and eternal youth and health. As king, he’ll not only possess incredible physical power, but he’ll gain responsibility for protecting his fellow wolves and their lands, which have long been threatened.

The future Alpha Male isn’t the only wolf preparing for battle. Lana is being tested. Chosen for her “beauty and unique aura,” Lana is next in line to become Alpha Female, the pack’s queen, but she must first prove her courage and intellect, remaining disciplined, humble and caring. For her own fight, she’ll face a member of the pack’s Canine Crew, the “fearless, heartless, and stone-cold killers” who have trained for years to protect their land’s borders. With victory comes her own blessing from the elders. She’ll have to become one with her beast, “able to transform into a wolf, a hawk, and an owl … the ultimate being under the elders.” She’ll also have to learn how to perform well in her duties as both queen and the king’s wife.

POTENT DESIRES DEMAND SATISFACTION

Gethambe follows the traditions set forth by his people, marrying Lana, but something feels off. Her scent pushes him away while Ashley’s calls to him, though they’ve yet to meet. As his craving for Ashley grows, Lana fears what his rejection of her and obsession with another means for her future in the pack … or if she has one at all. Meanwhile, Ashley, completely separate from Gethambe and Lana’s world of shapeshifting immortals and Archangels, has no idea what dangers and pleasures await just outside her doorstep.

Skinwalkers is a highly erotic and sensual tale that readers have declared “Truly original and captivating.” The chapters alternate between the perspectives of the confident but broken Ashley, the possessive and dominating Gethambe and the beautiful and cunning Lana, offering a glimpse at all sides as their lives intertwine. This fast-paced novel heats up quickly (the bedroom scenes are definitely not safe for work!) and races toward the shocking, cliffhanger of an ending. Not to worry, though. The second and third books in the Skinwalkers trilogy are standing by for further escape into Smith’s paranormal pleasure dome.

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Monica L. Smith lives a vast contrast in lifestyles. She has been working in the medical field since 1997, first as a Certified Nursing Assistant, then in 2005 as a Medication Aide and, since 2013, as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She was born in Louisville, Kentucky, where she received her diploma. She then moved to Maricopa, Arizona, with her husband and 3 out of 9 children.

When she isn’t working, she enjoys old-school television shows such as Perry Mason, Matlock, Forensic Files, and more currently, The First 48. Her creative side began to emerge when she tried her hand at writing. She published A Softer Side of Me, a book of 10 poems focusing on her “normal” but inspirational life, including her husband, children and career. It spent time as #1 in the poetry genre on Amazon.

But much like her character, there’s another side to Monica L. Smith, who has realized that she has a passion for urban erotic fiction. She enjoys writing what she calls “no-no” sensual sex scenes and while she does explore the dark side, she also firmly believes in writing about finding love and hopes to inspire women to find their balance between sexuality and true love.

She claims she may not actually do what she writes about, but she feels a connection to it and enjoys the thrill that drives her to see her stories through to their exciting climax and conclusion.