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(A Victoria Storm novel, #2 Loki’s Wolves series)
by Melissa Snark
Interview with Victoria Storm
Fantasy Gab is a nighttime talk show dedicated to covering the latest developments in fantasy news, including the review of new books and movies. The host, Sam Smarmy is a tall, thin Caucasian man who has appeared to be in his mid-thirties for the last fifty years. His pale skin has a plastic quality and his fangy smile gleams with the wattage of a thousand light bulbs. Sam has worked on a variety of game shows and sitcoms, including The Newlywed Game and Family Feud, prior to becoming the host of Fantasy Gab.
As the opening credits to the show finish rolling, the camera reveals Sam Smarmy seated in a black recliner. He flashes his bright smile until the applause fades. A gorgeous woman in her early-twenties is seated beside him with her legs crossed. She has bright blue eyes set in an oval face and long white-blonde hair.
“Good evening,” Sam says. “Tonight we have a special treat–the heroine of Hunger Moon is with us. Everyone please give a warm welcome to Victoria of the Storm Pack.”
“Thank you, Sam.”
The audience responded with a round of vigorous applause. The host flashes a toothpaste smile and steeples his fingers. “I’m going to start our interview with something I’ve been curious about ever since I read your bio. Is it correct your nickname is ‘Victory’?”
Victoria chuckled. “That’s right. My father gave me the nickname when I was little. He said it was because I was always so determined to accomplish whatever it was I set out to do.”
The host asks: “That stubborn, are you?”
“Strength of will must be an important character trail for the female Alpha of a werewolf pack.”
The corners of her mouth turn down and her voice contains bite. “How typically male of you to put all of the emphasis on female instead of Alpha.”
Sam chuckles and smiles broadly. “You have to admit. Feminism hasn’t exactly penetrated werewolf politics. I’m only calling it like I see it.”
Victoria leans forward. “The pack political structure dates from before the Middle Ages. If male wolves need to learn feminism, then I’ll happily teach them.”
“Now, that’s something I’d love to see,” he says with a feral gleam in his eyes.
“Then sit back and watch because I’m going to bring it. I’m going to dominate.”
“I’m looking forward to it.” Sam laughs with delight and claps his hands together. The audience follows his lead. He waits for the sound to die down and then says: “Victoria, let’s talk about your current book, Hunger Moon.”
“What would you like to know, Sam?”
“That’s a great question. So glad you asked. I considered asking about your romance with Arik Koenig but that seemed so obvious.”
Victoria arches her brow. “He is the hero and the romantic lead.”
The host leans forward, expression intent. “Tell me about your relationship with Logan.”
Victoria’s cheeks turn bright pink. “I don’t have a relationship with Logan.”
“Oh, come on! You don’t expect us to buy that line. The sexual tension is—”
“A spoiler. We can’t discuss this,” Victoria said with angelic innocence. “It’s a violation of your show’s contract with the author to even bring it up.”
Laughing, Sam leans back. “All right, we’ll play this your way. Let’s talk about something less… confidential.”
A slight smile touches her lips. “Let’s talk about the weather.”
Sam clears his throat. “”So Victoria, you’re from sunny Arizona?”
She nods. “I was born in Phoenix, Arizona and I’ve lived there my entire life. I attended the ASU College of Nursing and then served an internship to obtain my R.N.”
“I understand your healing abilities lean toward the mystical side.”
Victoria’s mouth tugged into a full smile. “That’s not a question.”
Sam grinned. “And that’s not an answer.”
Her lips pursed. “I’m a priestess of the Goddess Freya. I’m also a healer but before the events in Hunger Moon, my abilities were limited and people—good people—died because of it.”
A hush falls over the audience.
“In what way?” Sam asks.
“Then I couldn’t save a fatally injured man from dying.” Victoria’s tone drops to barely audible.
“You’re talking about the man you loved? Daniel Barrett?”
Her hands fist but her voice modulates to an even pitch. “Yes. Daniel’s death is what started the war between the hunters and my pack.”
“Yet, despite that, the audience really doesn’t know very much about what really happened,” Sam says. “Is there anything you’d care to share?”
She licks her lips. “No, I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to give specifics other than to say the next book in the Loki’s Wolves series will revolve around my conflict resolution with the hunters.”
“I understand your parents were killed by the hunters.”
Victoria sat up straighter and her eyes flash gold. “Yes, there was an explosion during the negotiation with the hunters. My mother and father died with honor. Their souls reside in Valhalla.”
Excitement lit Sam’s face. “Will you seek revenge?”
Victoria’s tone is subdued. “Revenge may not be within my grasp. The hunters have slain most of my pack. I have to think about the well-being of the survivors. Besides, there are complications.”
Victoria rolls her eyes. “The author likes to over complicate things that should be simple.”
“Do you work closely with the author, Melissa Snark?”
“Yes, I’ve worked with Melissa on the sets of two stories—’The Child Thief’ and ‘Hunger Moon’. Three if you count the sequel, the next book in the series.”
Sam interrupts: “The sequel is titled Battle Cry?”
Victoria nods. “That’s correct.”
“That’s an aggressive title. Is there a lot of conflict?”
“Battle Cry is all about conflict. Not all of it is physical. Emotional conflict is really the crux of the story.”
Sam folds his hands. “Go ahead and tell us what the story is about in your own words.”
“At the end of Hunger Moon, the conflict between my pack and the hunters remains unresolved,” Victoria says. “I finally confront the hunters and return to Arizona. I seek revenge on the vampire who murdered my lover.”
“Sounds exciting,” Sam says, grinning. “Is it true you kidnap Jake Barrett, the head of the hunter nation?”
A grin overtakes Victoria. “Yes, yes, it’s true.”
“Here’s an excerpt for our audience.” Sam turns toward the screen behind him.
“Victoria, you do realize you’ve taken Jake Barrett hostage?” Morena said, casting the injured hunter a worried glance over her shoulder. The teenage werewolf gazed at her leader with huge round eyes.
“I hadn’t but now I do. Thanks for pointing that out for me.” Victoria took her eyes off the road and grinned at her companion. “Relax, Morie. It’s going to be okay.”
Victoria adjusted the rear view mirror and checked on her captive. Barrett appeared to still be unconscious. No doubt, once he woke up there would be hell to pay. After so many months of running and hiding, she looked forward to confronting the man responsible for so many deaths of the people she loved.
Morena’s eyes bulged. “Okay! Okay!” She squawked with dismay. “We’ve kidnapped the most dangerous man alive. His son has threatened to come after you. Once word gets out, every hunter in five states will be looking to kill us. Our getaway vehicle is a fire engine red convertible, but you think we’re going to be okay!”
Victoria chuckled and reached over to drop a reassuring pat on Morena’s shoulder. “More like six states,” she said. “Don’t forget Utah.”
Morena muttered a phrase teenager girls her age definitely shouldn’t know. She stared at Victoria and her mouth opened. An accusing finger leveled at her. “You’re enjoying this!”
Victoria flashed a wolf’s smile. “Hell yeah, I am.”
About Hunger Moon
Valkyrie Victoria Storm desires nothing more than to provide her wolf pack with a safe haven, but her position as priestess to the Goddess Freya also brings with it certain… obligations. Not to mention complications.
War with the Barrett family resulted in the deaths of her parents and most of her pack. Now, hunters are hot on the trail of the remaining pack members. Sawyer Barrett, a human hunter hell bent on revenge, is convinced that Victoria murdered his brother. He will stop at nothing to see her dead.
Victoria must defend the survivors and somehow lead them to safety. Months on the run has weakened the pack, and there are newborn pups to protect, making swift travel impossible. Ahead, the promise of refuge beckons.
Their best chance for survival lies in Sierra Pines, California: Arik Koenig, a powerful, dominant male wolf. He promises to protect and provide for the pack, something Victoria knows the pack needs for survival. His mysterious past is riddled with violence and death, including the slaughter of his entire family twenty years before. His wife died under mysterious circumstances and his son, Logan, is rumored to be her killer.
What is truth? Who can she trust? The desperate spirit of Arik’s murdered wife calls out for help, and Logan begs for assistance in clearing his name. Victoria must solve a murder that has pitted father against son, rooted in a mystery reaching back two decades. Her quest starts her on a journey from the human world to Odin’s Valhalla and back again.
Victoria will find salvation or face destruction beneath the Hunger Moon…
Victoria felt him before she saw him. His power washed over her with the force of an incoming tide, as dark, mysterious and unstoppable as the ocean. Her wolf rose to answer his in instinctive response, defiant and determined. She challenged his power and altered the irresistible flow so it passed around rather than over her. Before she reached the office entrance, the male werewolf responded to her presence and surged to his feet. He rounded the desk, demonstrating extraordinary grace and strength, and she braced for a physical confrontation. He dwarfed her in both height and weight.
As soon as their gazes met, they locked in a dominance contest. His narrowed eyes pierced hers; the light-pigmented brown irises were the color of honey and eclipsed the whites and round black pupils. Wolf eyes.
Victoria did not approach with her head low or avert her gaze. Instead, she challenged him outright, radiating defiance, posture stiff and erect. While they faced off, she regretted the tactical error, but it was too late to rescind. Her stubborn pride permitted no retreat, and it went against her nature to submit.
“Let’s take this outside where there are no humans to bear witness,” he said in a deep, resonant voice she found appealing.
Aroused, her wolf took an immediate interest in him as a fine, fit male animal. For the first time, Victoria noticed his physical appearance, and her wolf found him more than acceptable. She estimated his age as being in his late thirties. He in no way suffered for the smattering of silver hairs that peppered his dark head. He was a perfect specimen of a man.
Distracted, Victoria broke eye contact, but not to submit. She ran her gaze over his body with blatant approval, lingering on his broad shoulders and chest, muscular arms and legs. He wore a tailored navy suit with a light shirt and dark blue tie. From the way his clothing fit, there was not an ounce of spare fat anywhere on him.
His features possessed splendid symmetry, though a silver scar on his right cheek marred his perfection. The shape of his brow, nose, and lower face hinted at a distant Roman heritage. High cheekbones alluded to his Nordic blood. He cleared his throat, and Victoria scented both his arousal and amusement.
“Did you come to challenge me, or do you have something else in mind?”
His devilish smile hinted at a sense of humor, and Victoria seized on the opening. A ballsy gamble carried inherent risk, but her initial inept blundering had left her with no other graceful out. Her eyes rose to meet his once again.
“I am Victoria, daughter of Adair and Katherine, High Priestess of Freya, Lady Valkyrie, shaman, and healer,” she said, making her boast. “I am also the Alpha of my pack, and I am seeking a mate. I have come to assess whether you would make an acceptable suitor.”
“You’re kidding.” He registered surprise and disbelief.
Victoria arched her brow. “I am not.”
About the Author
A friend asked me once how I chose my pen name. I told her the following: “Melissa, because when people mix up my first name, it’s the most common goof up. Snark, because it amuses me. A) I love the word ‘snarky’ and B) I love Lewis Carroll.”
As an individual, I’m sarcastic, stubborn and blunt to a fault. I have a strange sense of humor and I like to laugh (usually at my husband or children), but also at myself. I’m not particularly extroverted, although I do enjoy time with my family and close friends a great deal.
At the moment, I’m a stay at home mom who writes in my spare time. I’ve got a B.S. from Arizona State University in Business, and I’ve worked a variety of different jobs, including as a medical device documentation specialist, a technical writer, and an auto liability adjuster.
I live in the San Francisco East Bay of Northern California with my husband, three kids, and three cats. My hobbies include roleplaying, cooking and reading.
I maintain a blog, which I update regularly at http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/
I enjoy hearing from my readers, so please drop me a line at MelissaSnark at gmail dot com.