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Monday, June 21, 2010


We all have different facets in our personalities. They combine to make us who we are. Some parts struggle with others, which bring about our internal conflicts. Eric, one of the Omegas, was a secondary character in Book 1of The Vanguard series but since his triumph over the Ayumu life has changed and now he has too as well.

Eric never found it difficult to embrace his inner geek but ever since he’d been made a werewolf, he struggled with the alpha nature of his beast. With the help of the resident Nosferatu, Daedalus, Eric inherited the Ayumu pack and now he must figure out how to unite his old pack, the Omegas, to his new one.

Then his past knocks on the door, literally.

Someone is about to get some Spice in his life.

Spice has nothing but the clothes on her back when she returns to Chicago. She's looking for a better life, and that means reuniting with her estranged twin sister, Sugar. She isn't thrilled to find out Sugar's boyfriend is a vampire. But then she meets Eric, once the bottle-cap-glasses wearing nerd next door - now grown into the kind of man she'd love to snuggle with on this cold winter night...and he’s offered her his room in Sugar’s house.

Eric can’t believe Spice has returned. He’d given up hope of ever seeing her again, let alone having her stare at him as if he’s sex on a stick. But now that all of his fantasies for them are coming true, reality rears her ugly head and Eric must tell Spice his intimate secret; he’s actually an Alpha werewolf looking for his mate and he thinks he’s found her.


No one could call Spice Monroe weak, at least not to her face, yet she returned to Chicago with nothing but the clothes on her back. If only the strong survived, then why did she feel like such a loser?

Narrow, box-like homes lined the street as she peered at the addresses in the dark. The bus driver dropped her off a block away with directions. Cold winter wind blew through her thin trench coat. She pulled it closer, but her teeth started to chatter anyway. If she didn’t find it soon, she’d turn into a Spicesicle.

She must have taken a wrong turn. Maybe she was supposed to take a left instead of a right? The wealthy, established neighborhood screamed of money and when she abandoned Sugar neither of them had any.

The street sign matched what she looked for and the number on the house appeared right. She gazed up at the three-story building and swallowed around a hard lump in her throat.

Her sister lived here? She pulled an envelope from her pocket and checked the return address once more. It was correct. Maybe Sugar rented, Spice doubted a librarian’s salary was enough to afford a house in the northwest side of Chicago.

The dark brick brownstone sat close to the curb. A wide set of granite stairs led to the front door. Christmas lights still hung from the window and around a tiny evergreen tree struggling to live in the small front yard.

She could relate to it.

It was February. Sugar should have brought those decorations in a while ago.

Spice sighed and stared at her feet. They hadn’t spoken in years. Things in Vegas went from bad to worse for her during that time. She never wanted her twin sister to know but now she didn’t have anywhere else to go.

She knocked. The wind picked up, and she shuffled her sneaker clad feet to keep numbness at bay. No one answered, but she could see a light in the window.

Bad idea. Sugar shouldn’t care about her. Not after the way they parted. Spice hadn’t written or called once since she left, and her little sister never had any way to contact her, yet managed to figure out where to send this letter. The envelope crinkled in her hand. Inside, the note didn’t say much except Sugar missed her.

She spun around and took a step away from the house. Tears threatened to spill from her eyes. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d cried, but shame burned bright in her soul.

Warm yellow light streamed from behind her. “Forget your keys, Sugar?” a male voice asked from the doorway.

She stopped and glanced over her shoulder but saw only his silhouette.

“Oh my God, you cut your hair. Daedalus is going to freak.” The laughter in his comforting voice disappeared and he moved closer. “Don’t cry.” He wiped a tear from her face. “It looks great.” With a grin, he ruffled her short blond curls.

She couldn’t help but smile back.

He thought she was Sugar, her twin sister. Something in his voice sounded familiar. The face didn’t ring a bell though, but shaggy brown hair fell around most of it. He had a nice, easy-going smile. It would be wonderful to come home to a smile like that every night, but it belonged to her sister.

Her grin faded.

He wrapped his strong, thick arm around her shoulders and pulled her inside. Laughter drifted from the living room where three men and an oriental woman were setting up a board game.

One of the men, who had short cropped red hair, looked up. “Where’s the food? You were supposed to grab some grub on the way home from work.”

“We’ll order pizza.” The guy next to her squeezed one more time before walking into the next room, a huge kitchen.

“You cut your hair.” The woman spoke with a thick accent and sprung across the room to run her fingers through her hair.

Spice retreated and bumped against the entrance wall. This game of pretending to be Sugar used to be fun as kids but not anymore. With her hands raised, she kept the strangers at bay as they surrounded her like a pack of wolves. None of them looked dangerous, but what were they doing in her sister’s house while she was at work?

The way they grinned at her and each other, she concluded they were all good friends.

Sugar had everything she wanted; a loving man, friends, and a home.

“Daedalus let you cut your hair?” A short man built like a bodybuilder approached her.

The awe in his voice snapped Spice out of her self-pity and the protector inside reared its head. This was the second reference to someone allowing her little sister to do something. “What do you mean ‘let me’?”

What kind of relationship did Sugar have? She needed permission to cut her hair? Maybe destiny brought her back to Chicago to save her little sister from some monster. Again. All those bad things happening to drive her here couldn’t be coincidental.

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Where is my sister, and what are you doing in her house?”

They glanced at each other, confusion apparent on their faces. “What?”

The man in the kitchen stuck his head out of the door, chocolate brown eyes wide as he stared at her. “Spice?” The smile he’d given to her when he thought she was Sugar returned but wider.

Her heart skipped a beat. In the light his face seemed familiar as well. “I know you.”

“You should, we were only neighbors forever as kids.”

For an excerpt in Eric’s point of view follow this link:

I am running a week long contest at my blog, , leave a comment there and e-mail to win a copy of The Alpha.

Annie Nicholas hibernates in the rural, green mountains of Vermont where she dreams of different worlds, heroes, and heroines. When spring arrives the stories pour from her, in hopes to share them with the masses one day. Mother, daughter, wife are some of the hats she happily wears while trudging after her cubs through the hills and dales. The four seasons an inspiration and muse.

Annie Nicholas

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