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🌟 Please join me in welcoming author Shea Balik to Stories That Make You Smile! Shea is here today celebrating the audio release of her popular tiger shifter novella, Mating the Enemy. She’s kindly brought along an exclusive excerpt and a generous giveaway! 🌟
Mating the Enemy by Shea Balik
Can Aleksi and Seth manage to find happiness by mating the enemy?
Series: Paranormal Wars: Stone Haven
Cover Artist: Harris Channing
Release Date: March 17, 2020 (ebook 1st edition: 2014)
Length: Novella / 40k words / 133 pages / 4 HRS 9 MINS
Pairing / Genre: M/M Paranormal Dystopian Futuristic Romance, gay, enemies to lovers, fated mates
This is a re-edited 2nd edition
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Siberian Tiger shifter, Aleksi Rykov, is amused to watch the enemy chasing one of their own, psy, Seth Tilton, until he realizes it’s his mate. Rescuing his mate isn’t difficult for the powerful Alpha but keeping his mate safe from the war raging between their races may be more difficult.
Seth is taking a chance running to the one man he knows can keep him safe, Aleksi. Seth knows the psy’s secrets and the psy will do anything to get him back but with Aleksi’s help Seth can help turn the tide of the war and uncover the horrible truth. The question is will Aleksi be willing to help the enemy?
Both sides are against their mating and doing their best to tear the two apart but Aleksi and Seth are determined to stay together against all odds. Can Aleksi and Seth manage to find happiness by mating the enemy?
December 21, 2012, 4:00 a.m., Sydney, Australia.
“That’s it. You’re doing a great job.” Even with his body begging for just a few hours of sleep, the adrenaline was keeping Eli alert as he was only two hours shy of finishing a forty-eight-hour rotation on the maternity ward. His only chance at a nap had been interrupted when Abbey and her husband, Frank, came in. Eli would swear there was a conspiracy to keep him awake. How he was even functioning he wasn’t sure anymore.
“Okay, it’s time to push again,” he gently told Abbey, who was about to be a mom for the first time. Frank held her hand, or to be more precise she gripped his hand like a vise. It looked like the circulation had been cut off from the man’s hand for some time but Frank never once complained, just encouraged his wife and kept her as calm as possible.
This was the type of delivery Eli preferred, the parents not screaming at each other, just happy to bring their child into the world. Yeah, he knew it was painful, but still, he really hated it when the women got hysterical.
The head pushed through and he went to work cleaning out the baby’s airway. One more push and he held the infant as it took a stuttering breath before letting out a cry at being shoved out into the cold, unforgiving world.
The parents were smiling, beaming as Eli brought the child up to lie on his mother’s stomach. “It’s a boy—” was barely out his mouth before the infant changed into a dog. No, more like a dingo.
There was no way he was seeing this. Scrunching his eyes closed and shaking his head, Eli quickly reopened his eyes and, yep, it was a dingo he was holding instead of a baby. Suddenly the baby was back and screaming at the top of his little lungs.
Without missing a beat he laid the child on his mother’s stomach, cut the umbilical cord, and let one of the nurses quickly take the baby away to be cleaned. It just couldn’t have happened and he hoped if he ignored it so would everyone else.
“What…” Frank’s mouth kept moving but no sound came out as his eyes stayed on his son. Suddenly his gaze found the doctor’s and he demanded, “What happened?”
Damn. Somehow Eli didn’t think he’d be leaving when his shift was over.
Same day, 5:00 a.m., small village in India.
Murali ran as fast as his legs would carry him from his family’s home, a small hut set in the middle of the land they farmed. It took him just a few minutes to reach Nanda, the woman who would help his mother deliver his next brother or sister. “Come, come. She is ready,” he told Nanda when she came to the doorway.
When she nodded her understanding, Murali rushed back home to let his parents know Nanda was on her way. Once he told his parents, he quickly went out to start his chores along with his brothers and sisters.
He’d just turned eight and with each birthday his list of chores grew. Each morning he had to help feed the animals and shovel the manure. He loved the animals and enjoyed the time he spent feeding and watering them but today he rushed through his chores so he could get back and see the new baby. Was it even born yet?
The urgency to get back to the hut to find out had him finishing quickly. A loud scream from his mother as he neared told him the baby hadn’t been born yet. Without making any noise he quickly darted into the hut so he could watch.
Just as he got into position, his mom let out an exhausted shout and the next thing he knew Nanda was holding a baby. Wanting to get closer, he stepped over to the mat his mom was lying on, his gaze completely focused on his little sister.
Suddenly, his sister was completely surrounded by flames that licked over her body, consuming her. Nanda screamed and dropped her. Fortunately, she was only inches off the ground. Nanda started spewing horrible names at his sister and mom.
The blankets around his mother caught fire and before Murali knew what was happening the entire hut was engulfed in flames. Nanda ran, leaving his mom and sister to die.
Murali jumped into action by running to his mom but by then the blankets had done their damage and he knew there was no way he could save her. Turning to his sister, Murali could see the flames around her were no longer there. In fact, it looked like the flames were avoiding her.
Picking her up, he ran from the hut just before the roof collapsed.
Same day, 12:00 p.m., Nashville, TN
“You no good redneck. How dare ya do this to me? I swear ya ain’t touching me again, do ya hear me, Billy Joe?”
It had been like this for the last three or four hours, and as much as Betty enjoyed seeing the stupidity of first-time parents, she was over it.
Her shift ended an hour ago but her replacement was late, again. So here she stood, trying to encourage the woman to push as Betty waited for the doctor to get in. Seeing the head crown, she hoped the doctor got in quickly or she’d be delivering this baby.
Not that she was surprised. The doctors tended to waltz in at the last second to basically sit down, catch the baby, and walk back out, while she had to sit with the parents the whole time, listening to them bitching.
The door swished open and in strode the biggest jerk on the planet. “Good afternoon, folks.” Betty quickly hopped out of his way as the doctor sat. “Looks like it will be just another couple of pushes and your new son will be born.”
Just as predicated, two more pushes and the baby boy was in his hands. Holding the newborn up, the doctor announced, “I’d like you to meet your son.” A round of shocked gasps were heard as the baby suddenly changed into a bear cub.
The mother of the bouncing baby bear passed out. The father just stood there, his mouth agape and his eyes opening and shutting repeatedly as if hoping that would change things. The doctor screamed like a girl and dropped the bear onto its passed-out mother’s stomach.
Betty was just glad the doctor had come in before this happened.
Same day, 6:00 p.m., Oahu, Hawaii.
The storm was bad, trees were down, the electricity was out, and Tia knew there was no way she was going to get to the hospital before she delivered. She tried 9-1-1 and they told her it would be miracle if they could get out there, but they would try.
Her lover of ten years, Trent, was online trying to find information about delivering a baby from home. She knew she should be panicking about now, but she wasn’t. What was the point really? There was nothing she could do about it.
It had been that way through much of her pregnancy and she often wondered about it. She was normally a nervous person, prone to anxiety attacks. When she first learned she was pregnant, she had to be hospitalized. But sometime around the third month a sense of peace and calm fell over her like a veil, shielding her from all those chaotic feelings she normally had.
So now she lay in the guest bedroom, because she refused to ruin her own mattress, and waited patiently for her baby to be born. There was no doubt in her mind her son would come with or without a doctor.
It wasn’t until the need to push came that she finally called for Trent, who looked about ready to pass out as all the color bled from his body. She honestly didn’t think a guy who spent so much time in the sun surfing could be that white.
He’d only just made it into the room when she started pushing, her body not willing to wait any longer. Trent’s eyes filled with panic, but he still came over to help. Grabbing one of the towels he’d set next to the bed as he got into position to deliver their son.
A new life came into the world, one that looked like every other healthy child. A baby boy who had the gift of empathy, one who not only could feel the emotions of others but could change their feelings also. He would quickly learn to hide his abilities, which would save his kind from the torture of the scientific community.
☆ Exclusive Excerpt ☆
The Gods 2014
“I tried to tell you it wouldn’t work,” Chajos said. “It’s not my fault you wouldn’t listen to me.”
“How could you force their supernatural ability to appear at their birth?” Gahnij screeched. “In front of the very people who already kill without any regard for life? You had to know what they would do,” she insisted.
Chajos shrugged. “It’s not my fault. I don’t make the rules. Only carry them out.”
A hand slammed down upon the table, cracking what should have been an impenetrable surface. But when it came to Undim’s anger, there was no such thing as impossible. Or impenetrable, apparently. “You should have warned us,” he bellowed to Chajos.
Chajos rolled his eyes, not even flinching at the rage that emanated from Undim. “What would that have done? It couldn’t be changed and if you had tried to stop the humans from their path, another correction would have been put into play that could have made things even worse.”
“As much as I hate to admit, Chajos is right,” Assiri said before more fighting broke out. “Our laws aren’t many, but the one constant is anything we do to the mortal realm must be balanced out. We tried to help the planet, but that meant something had to be created that would possibly correct our actions.”
“Why?” Gahnij asked with a sob. “Why give us the ability to create beauty if it’s only going to be ruined?”
It was a good question. One Assiri couldn’t answer. “I wish I knew.”
“I know you don’t see it, but I’ve done you a favor,” Chajos told Gahnij.
She looked at Chajos as if he’d lost his mind, which had always been questionable. “How can you say that? The humans have either killed our creations outright or put them in cages to be experimented on. Because of you, those little babies will never know a moment’s peace.”
Chajos nodded, for once, no smile on his face. “I know. It is my only regret, but I just didn’t have any other option.” There was something in Chajos’s eyes that Assiri rarely saw, hope. “Not if you want this plan of yours to have any chance.”
“What are you talking about?” Gahnij sneered at him. “How can we ever expect the new creations to help the humans when they are either being killed or tortured?”
The smug smile Chajos usually wore returned. “Not all of them.”
Assiri and the others sat there staring at Chajos, not sure what the man was saying. “It’s not a guarantee but, as I told you when I first created the humans after you rashly decided to create the Earth, I gave you a chance.”
A chance. Assiri wasn’t sure if that was true. It was the same chance Chajos had given Gahnij when he’d created the humans.
Meet the Author
Bestselling author of the Cedar Falls Series, Miracle Series, and Paranormal Wars Series, Shea Balik has always had a vivid imagination with stories running around in her head. Often her stories are taken from observations of other people with her own spin. Traveling is one of her favorite ways of fulfilling her passion of people watching. You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.
Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book. Find Shea at any of the links below!
Website | Facebook Page | Twitter (@BalikShea) | Instagram (@shebalik) | QueeRomance Ink | Amazon
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