The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating by Ardy Kelly
Title: The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating
Series: Lone Wolves Ranch Series
Author: Ardy Kelly
Publisher: Ardy Kelly
Published: 30 June 2019
Length: 67,520 words
Keywords : Wolf-shifter, Mpreg, M/M, fated mates, shotgun/forced mating, barren omega, fated mates, bounty hunter
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Lone Wolves Ranch, in the California Sierras, is a gated community like no other. Home to shifters of every type, it’s the ideal place to raise a family of four-legs. And with an abundance of single, smoking-hot alphas it’s also the perfect place for male omegas to find love.
Low angst, slow burn, and with a collection of characters you won’t forget, Lone Wolves Ranch is the perfect M/M Mpreg hideaway to burrow into.
We’ll leave the gate open for you
A bad bargain.
A botched bounty.
A binding bite.
Adam knew bounty hunting in another pack’s territory had risks, but being at the end of a shotgun for a forced mating was not one he expected. At least it wasn’t permanent. Once he paid the promised cut of the bounty the leader of Pine Hollow would dissolve the mating. Adam just needed to keep his hands (and his teeth) away from the enticing omega.
Ricky knew nothing about the outside world, but he knew his days at Pine Hollow were numbered. The barren, widowed omega’s best chance for survival was to find a mate at Lone Wolves Ranch. Anyone would do. Anyone but the ornery wolf who bit him. Adam said he didn’t want a mate, so why was he acting like a knot-blocker?
The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating is the second book in the Lone Wolves Ranch series. It can be read as a stand-alone though secondary character’s lives continue from The Cub Club.B
Exclusive Author Interview
Q: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
A: Low angst, slow-burn, paranormal romantic comedies about pregnant men and the wolves who love them. The books center around the Lone Wolves Ranch and, despite the name of the place, it is a family-focused enclave. There is lots of support, and a bit of meddling, from relatives and friends in all my romances.
Q: Have you ever taken a trip to research a story? Tell me about it.
I booked a trip on the Queen Mary from Southampton to New York, thinking if I wrote about someone who took a trip on the Queen Mary from Southampton to New York I could write off the ticket on my expenses. Unfortunately, I had too much fun on the voyage to get any writing done, so I guess I’m going to be owing money to the IRS this year.
Q: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Forever. At least it feels that way. I used to rely on one book a year, but the Lone Wolves Ranch series seems to come a little faster. The biggest influence on how long it takes to write a book is how long I have before my editor’s deadline.
Q: Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?
My ideas usually start with another author’s character. When I’m reading a story, if someone starts acting “out of character” to how I picture them (like omegas suddenly needing “fresh air” when they hear a killer is on the loose) I reimagine who they would be after I slapped some sense into them.
Personality is important to me. I love writing dialogue the most, and good dialogue requires knowing how your characters view the world. There is an unexpected pregnancy in The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating. There are plenty of books with “barren” omegas who suddenly become pregnant. What makes each of them different is how the couple reacts to the situation.
Q: Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?
This is the first cover I designed myself. While searching for the obligatory cute baby picture, I found a scowling infant that was too perfect to ignore. Originally the baby was going to hold a shotgun, but with the recent shootings I felt that would be in poor taste.
For this series each title will be in the colors on the original eight-stripe rainbow flag. The Cub Club was pink, The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating is red, and the next book will be orange.
If I write more than eight books I’m going to need a new plan.
Q: What was the first book that made you cry?
A: Cooking with Onions
Q: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
Currently I’m writing the third book in the Lone Wolves Ranch series. I’ve decided that it is time Sheriff Chet finds love. Since Chet isn’t a shifter (but he does have powers) it’s a bit of a departure from the first two books. The sheriff falls in love with a pregnant single man from a famous shifter family, and if everything goes as planned they’ll settle down at the ranch. I’m hoping to have it out in March, 2020—but don’t quote me on that.
It was too quiet. And too dark.
Adam tried to open his eyes against the pressure of something cool and damp laid across his face. He reached up to brush it away.
A gentle hand wrapped around his wrist. “Please, let me do it.”
Not one to trust a strange voice, Adam yanked his hand free. Pulling the cloth from his head, he blinked at the candle-lit faces staring down at him before a wave of nausea struck.
Eight arms replaced the damp rag over his eyes, while a single hand pressed him back against the cushions. “You need to rest and let your body heal if you want to recover quickly.”
Rest seemed like the sensible thing to do until the queasiness passed. “Where am I?”
“You’re back at Pine Hollow. Do you remember how you got here?”
Adam tried to shake his head, but his equilibrium protested the motion. He felt hands on his forehead. Warm, soothing hands. Omega hands.
“Relax,” the voice suggested, and tension drained from Adam’s body.
Don’t let your guard down, his inner voice warned. Omegas were overly protective, especially to pups and alphas, and would insist he rest. There must be a beta in the room who would see reason. “I just need to shift and I’ll be fine.”
“You were hit with silver buckshot. You’re going to have to heal the human way. Patiently. Please, give your body time to recover.”
Gus had silver bullets? That thought alone would have propelled him out of bed, but for the hands gently preventing him from rising.
Adam took a deep breath through his nose. Yes, definitely omega. Or he was pumped up with tranquilizers and parked downwind from a bakery. When the hands pressed lightly on his shoulder, Adam relaxed back on the bed. He no longer felt the need to get up, but he hadn’t lost concern for his men. “What about my team?”
“I’ve only seen you and the obnox—the chatty one.”
That would be Tom. “Is he okay?”
“I took some silver out of his calf. Had to give him white sage for the pain. He’s sleeping now.”
White sage was catnip for shifters. That’s why I feel this way. It’s a contact high. It would explain his desire to get a good look at the sweet-smelling omega hovering around him. “I’m Adam.”
Adam waited but no one else spoke. “What about the rest of you?”
“I saw a whole medical team hovering over me.”
“Keep your eyes closed,” the voice instructed as the cloth was lifted off one eye. “Tell me how many fingers you see.”
Adam slowly lifted his eyelid. “Are you an octopus shifter? Nobody has that many fingers on one hand.”
Ricky covered Adam’s eye. “You’ve got double vision. It’s probably from the buckshot that grazed your head. I pulled all the silver out of your skin and cleansed the wounds, but we should flush out your system to speed the recovery. I want you to drink plenty of water.”
“How’s that going to work if I can’t walk to the bathroom?”
Ricky paused. “I’ll get you a jar.”
“Make it a wide-mouth one,” Adam replied.
If eye rolls made a sound, Adam was pretty sure he heard one from the omega. While Ricky fetched the water, Adam let his hands move over his body, taking an inventory. He felt gauze bandages across the left side of his scalp, and more on his left shoulder and bicep. His chest was uninjured, no doubt due to the protective vest, but his thigh had taken a few hits, dangerously close to the family jewels. If he had stood a few inches in either direction, he’d either be dead or have missed the ammo entirely.
His hands moved outward, exploring where he laid. He was on a bed big enough for two. The sheets were freshly washed, so he couldn’t scent them to be sure he was in the home of the omega tending him.
The strong odor of antiseptic on his skin made it difficult to sniff out Ricky. He needed the omega to be closer. Preferably, very close.
Ricky returned and sat on the edge of the bed. The mattress dipped slightly, pulling the blanket tighter against his body. When their hips pressed against each other, Adam felt the warmth of his nurse through the covers.
A childhood memory came back to him. He remembered his mother sitting on his bed when he was ill. Her hands on his forehead, and the warmth of her body as she hovered over him. Focus, he told himself. You can relax when you get back to Lone Wolves Ranch.
“I put some water in an empty beer bottle. It should make it easier to drink while you’re lying down.” Ricky pressed the cool glass into Adam’s hand, and set another against his hip. “And here’s a jar if you need it. Wide mouth.”
Omegas weren’t known for sarcasm, so Adam couldn’t be sure whether Ricky was teasing him. “Thanks. Are you the pack doctor?”
“No. I told Tom I’m a healer, but the truth is I’m a nobody.”
“Are you mated?” Adam cringed at his question. Wolves weren’t known for being subtle, but that was rude even for a lupine. “Sorry, that was the head injury talking. What I meant to say was do I need to worry about being naked and alone with an unmated omega?”
Ricky stood up and the worn mattress slowly recovered its shape. “No. I was mated.”
Was mated? Is he mated now?
Before he could ask, Ricky crossed the room. “I need to leave you for a bit, to tend to Rock.”
Adam had completely forgotten about the idiot who caused this mess. “Is he okay?” It would serve him right.
There was a pause. “Rock’s dead,” was the monotone reply.
Oh, dear wolf gods. Everything has gone to hell. “I need to talk to my team. Now!”
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Ardy Kelly is the paranormal pen name for author Robyn Kelly.
I began writing in 2015 as a lark, creating the Best Laid series. That led to my discovery of the Omegaverse. A new universe requires a new name, and Ardy Kelly was born!