Try the Tofu
by Karenna Colcroft
Series: Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat (Book 4)
Release Day: Thursday, July 13, 2023
Publisher: Vegan Wolf Productions
Cover Artist: Kim Ramsey-Winkler
Length: Novel / 82,000 Words / 269 Pages
Primary Plot Arc: Speculative Fiction
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Keywords/Categories: werewolves, shifters, paranormal, paranormal romance, gay romance, new release, gay, m/m, m/m romance, vegetarian
As Alpha Tobias Rogan and his mate Kyle Slidell prepare to travel to the regional Alpha gathering, Tobias receives a threatening phone call. If he brings his mate to the gathering, Kyle will not return to Boston. But stubborn Kyle, believing the threat is actually against Tobias, refuses to stay home.
Tobias’s foreboding is proven correct when a visiting stranger challenges Zane Wolfskin, Arkhon of the Northeast Region, to a fight for rank–and wins. Tobias and his allies learn that the challenge was part of a larger plan to destroy their region, something Tobias will not allow. To prevent disaster, Tobias must challenge the new Arkhon himself. But can he survive the attempt?
Warnings: reference to past sexual abuse and trauma, PTSD, violence
Kyle Slidell didn’t move to Boston expecting to be changed into a werewolf. But that’s what happened. He can’t control whether he shifts at the full moon, but he can damn sure continue being vegan–even in wolf form.
Tobias Rogan, Alpha of Boston North Pack, never expected to fall in love with anyone, let alone a man. A male Alpha is not supposed to have a male partner. But when he meets Kyle, he’s immediately attracted. And after Kyle is changed, Tobias realizes the truth: Kyle is not only his partner, but his mate.
The werewolf world isn’t a simple place, and Kyle and Tobias are thrown into the middle of conflict within and among the packs of the United States–a conflict that extends all the way to the top of the werewolf hierarchy. Can they and their love survive what they face?
✨ Exclusive Excerpt ✨
“I’m not staying behind.” It was the third time Kyle had said it, or maybe the fourth, and it didn’t do any more toward changing my mind than it had the first time. “Tobias, you’ll need me there. You know you will. Look at what happened last time.”
Fury rushed through me and I tensed before forcing myself to relax. I refused to lose my temper. As a kid, before I was changed and even more afterward, I lost my temper far too easily. I hurt people. I even killed someone when I was fifteen, completely premeditated. Then again, that was the guy who’d changed me, and he’d attacked other boys who were even younger than me, so he had it coming
But I didn’t like myself when I ran on anger, so I’d learned control. Sometimes too much, according to Kyle, but it beat the alternative.
“You’re not impressing me,” I said, my voice deliberately calm and even. Kyle could sense how angry I was through our mate bond, but that didn’t mean I had to show it. “You shouldn’t have brought up the last conference. If you think that’s going to make me cave, think again.”
“Why are you being such an ass about this?” Kyle straightened up and walked over to the table. He leaned over me, but I stared at the computer monitor and pretended not to notice. “Tobias, I don’t want you there alone, okay? Last time scared the fuck out of me. I might have lost you. I’m not letting it happen again.”
“You think I want to risk you?” Now I looked up at him. My anger was too strong not to. “You think I didn’t almost lose it last time when I didn’t know how badly you were hurt and no one would frigging tell me anything?”
He took a step back and folded his arms. “You were shot. All I had to deal with was a psycho ex-alpha with a death wish. I should have killed him.”
“He’s dead now.” Saul had invaded my pack’s territory only two months earlier. The Anax, the ruler of all wolves in the United States, had sent a traumatized young wolf to my pack, and Saul followed her. He turned two of my wolves against the pack, causing them to kidnap a six-year-old boy who had recently moved into our territory and to attack and change the child’s father when he attempted to rescue his son. My two wolves died, killed for revealing themselves to a human, and Kyle had almost faced the same fate. Saul had escaped.
My new wolf, whom Saul victimized for months before her move to Boston, killed Saul when he tried to end her life. And I was glad he’d died.
I hadn’t protected my pack well enough, and I refused to let my guard down again. That was why I wouldn’t allow Kyle to accompany me to Pennsylvania for the spring alphas’ conference at the home of Zane Wolfskin, our regional leader, known as the Arkhon. Losing my pack members hurt like hell and amplified my doubts that I was really cut out to be an alpha, even though I’d run the Boston North Pack since shortly before my eighteenth birthday.
Losing Kyle would kill me. I refused to risk it.
“You’re right,” he said. “Saul’s dead. Melia’s dead. Art’s dead. Everybody’s dead, Tobias. Everyone who has targeted us and tried to harm us. For a change, we might be able to have a relaxing time together. Celebrate being with each other the way we didn’t get to do in September because of goddamn Saul.”
“I’m not declaring you my mate again.” That was one of the only bright spots in September. I became the first male Alpha in history, as far as anyone knew, to declare a male mate in front of the Arkhon and entire region. The other victory was the recognition of Boston North Pack as its own entity. Until then, we’d officially been considered part of City Pack, a larger pack which occupied the rest of Boston and most of eastern Massachusetts, though almost everyone had known the truth.
“I bet Justin’s bringing Tareth,” he muttered.
I shook my head. “Her doctor said she can travel, but Justin won’t allow it. He won’t risk her and the baby, especially after what happened in September.” The City Pack Alpha, instated after Chal’s death, was even more protective of his human mate than I was of Kyle.
“So who —”
My phone rang, the generic ringtone mercifully cutting him off, and I grabbed it. It probably wasn’t pack business or anything important, but I needed a break from Kyle’s arguments. “Tobias Rogan.”
“Leave your mate at home.”
My heart sped up. I was already on a mild adrenaline rush from fighting with Kyle. This call amped it up. It was a threat. I didn’t need to hear any more than I had to determine that.
The question was who would threaten my mate? The voice was disguised somehow, though not by anything particularly advanced. It sounded like one of those microphones marketed to kids. But it was enough that I couldn’t even tell whether the speaker was male or female, let alone take a stab at identifying the voice.
“Who is this?” I demanded.
“Leave your mate at home,” the voice said again. “If you bring him, he won’t be going home.”
“Who the fuck is this?”
My voice cracked. The first sign I was losing it, and one I wished I’d kept a better handle on, but the voice was threatening Kyle. My mate. My life.
I got no answer except a click as the caller hung up.
Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.
Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)
Find out more about Karenna online at http://www.karennacolcroft.com or https://www.facebook.com/KarennaColcroft. You can also sign up to receive a free short story, and be added to Karenna’s mailing list, at https://karennacolcroft.com/get-your-free-short-story/.