Title: Challenge the Darkness
Published On: Aug 31 2015
Series: Yellowstone Wolves
Genres: M/M Paranormal Shifters
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Format: eBook, Print
When alpha shifter Mikael Volokov is called to witness a challenge, he learns the evil and power-hungry Anton Gregor will stop at nothing to attain victory. Knowing he will need alliances to keep his pack together, Mikael requests a congress with the Evergreen pack and meets Denton Arguson, Evergreen alpha, to ask for his help. Fate has a strange twist for both of them though, and Mikael and Denton soon realize they’re destined mates.
Denton resists the pull between them—he has his own pack and his own responsibilities. But Mikael isn't willing to give up. The Mother has promised Mikael his mate, told him he must fight for him, and that only together can they defeat the coming darkness. When Anton casts his sights on Denton's pack, attacks and sabotage follow, pulling Denton and Mikael together to defeat a common enemy. But Anton’s threats sow seeds of destruction enough to break any bond, and the mates’ determination to challenge the darkness may be their only saving grace.
But he’s gone,” Anna mumbled. “The other half of my soul has been ripped away from me. We’ve lost our home and our family. All of it was taken from me in the instant Gregor died.” Her voice remained steady, though, and Mikael knew she’d keep it together. She was the mate of an alpha, and that alone would sustain her.
“I know. But the boys will need you, and your new pack will need you.”
She turned to him. “You lied to Anton.”
“In a way. When Gregor asked me to come to ensure the fight would be fair, he told me if anything were to happen to him, he wanted me to take care of his family. You and those two boys were important to him. So when Anton tried to claim you, I had to step in.” He glanced in the backseat and saw that both boys were asleep, lying down on the seat, curled together just the way he’d slept with his siblings, Karl and Catherine, when they were pups. “What he was doing violated everything I believe in, and if I could have, I’d have helped everyone in the pack, but I can’t. They are beyond me, but not you and the boys.” He had to save a piece of his old friend. If Anton had taken the boys, odds were good that at some point they would end up dead too. Gregor’s blood in Anton’s pack would have been a threat to him, especially if they grew to be as strong as their father.
“What if they grow up to challenge you or your sons?” Anna asked with a touch of pride.
“They won’t. I won’t have children.”
“You’ll find a mate,” Anna said.
“I might, but I know my mate will be another man. The Mother told me so in a dream when I was eight years old. She showed him to me—another eight-year-old boy. I remember his blond hair, fierce eyes, and the way he looked back at me. It was like we could see each other for a brief time through the ether. Then he was gone, but I always knew he was my mate. I just haven’t met him yet.”
“What about your brother and sister’s children?” Anna asked.
“You’ll see. Karl is my beta and he’s fantastic at it. He always has my back, and Catherine is an enforcer. No one messes with her, including her husband, Stan. My younger brother, Christopher, is away at college.” Christopher’s role in the pack was up in the air at the moment, by his choice. He’d always seemed to go his own way and follow his own drummer. “They are my support, always, and I couldn’t be the alpha I am without them. We’re not a large pack, only about twenty in all. The core of the pack is my family—my siblings and their spouses, their children, and my uncle and mother. And now you and the boys. So if they grow up and follow in their father’s footsteps, as long as they care for their pack the way Gregor always did, they’ll have my blessing and support.”
Anna didn’t say anything right away. “Thank you, Alpha,” she finally said softly.
Why did you decide to become a writer? It happened mostly by accident. I started writing a number of years ago on a whim and never stopped afterwards. Once I found the creative outlet, it became part of me.
Who/what are your writing inspirations? I find inspiration for my work in a number of places, including newspaper articles, works of art, the people I meet, and of course my poor family who no longet tell me their stories because they’re afraid they’ll end up in a book.
What are your favorite genres to read? I read mostly MM romance. I also read other romances to and adventure books.
Favorite writing food / snack? Peanut M&Ms without a doubt.
What do you hope readers take away most from your writing? I didn’t realize it at first, but I have themes running through my books around family and the fact that we all make our own. We have the one we’re born into, but often we need to build our own and that family may look very different from the traditional model.
Who’s the favorite character of yours that you’ve written and why? As Dirk Greyson my favorite character has to be Knight. (Day and Knight) He’s the one that perplexes me the most and drives me crazy because he only talks to me on his own damned schedule!!!!
What is your writing style? Outliner/Planner or Seat of the Pantser? I am very much a seat of the pants kind of guy. I start my stories and write to the end. I have a basic idea of the story in my head, but it usually takes a number of twists and turns before it’s done.
If someone wanted to become a writer, what tips would you give to them? The first is to sit down and write. Start with a subject you know well and tell your story. Nothing is more satisfying than words on the page and the story taking shape as you work.
Have you ever purchased something from a late-night infomercial? If so, what? No. I’m never up that late and I usually mute the commercials. If I am up late, it’s with the computer on my lap because my characters won’t let me sleep.
If you could collaborate with any other author (living, dead, or undead) who would that be and why? I would love to work with Clive Cussler. I think writing that kind of adventure would be awesome. I’d also like to work with Amber Kell.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you do? I’d work in information systems and be a lot more boring.
Coke, Pepsi, or? Diet Coke
What’s one thing people should know and/or don’t know about you? I really don’t know, but I am going to take this moment to say that in addition to adventure and paranormal stories as Dirk Greyson, I write contemporary stories as Andrew Grey.
Is there a character that has the most “You” in them? Or the opposite of you? I think Mikael form Challenge the Darkness has quite a bit of me in him, or at least a lot of what I’d like to be.
If we lived in a Fahrenheit 451 culture, which book would you want to memorize? That’s a really hard question. There are so many. But I think it would have to be Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I love that story.
Has anyone written a fan fiction based on your work? I don’t believe so. However they are welcome to if they choose.
Is Dirk Greyson a pen name? If so, why did you pick it? Yes it is a pen name. I chose it because I love the Dirk Pitt stories by Clive Cussler and I always wanted to be Dirk. Now in a way I am,