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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Woodland Creek: Wicked Jackal by Cherie Marks: Author & Character Interviews & Giveaway

Woodland Creek Series.
30 Authors. 30 Shifter Stories.
One Epic Release Day.

Wicked Jackal 
by Cherie Marks

Anastasiya Petrov ran from her fate. The youngest of seven sisters and promised to one of the Princes of a rival pack, she refuses to be a bargaining chip. Instead, she flees to a remote area in the United States, changes her name to Tasia Connor, and settles into her new life.

Alex Chilikov might be an Estonian prince, but he was raised in the United States and loves it here, especially Woodland Creek, Indiana, where he's followed close behind his bride-to-be. She might be able to hide who she is from the others, but he'd recognize her scent anywhere, and he plans to use his trickster abilities to help him obtain what he wants. He wants out from under his own father's heavy thumb.

However, he's not the only one searching for her. Her father has made some dangerous enemies, and though she continues to attempt to escape Alex's protection, he'll fight to keep her safe. Tasia will risk almost anything to keep her freedom, but only if she can resist a Wicked Jackal.

Available at:  Amazon 

Author Bio

It all started with an old-fashioned typewriter. When the family brought it home, all those stories and characters rolling around in her head could finally get out. The press and click of the keys satisfied in their own right, but when she pulled out a finished page, she knew this was for her. Since then, she's graduated to a laptop, but the stories still find a way out.

She's a breast cancer survivor, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and from the very beginning--a storyteller. Always a hint humorous and honest to a fault, she loves to make people laugh and smile. Her goal in life is to achieve tact and stop procrastinating. The battle wages on.

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Please welcome Wicked Jackal author Cherie Marks to Diane’s Book Blog. 

What is your favorite part of the story, Wicked Jackal?

Anastasyia Petrov was a fun character to write.  She’s a little on the bratty side and clearly needs someone with a firm hand to keep her from being too impulsive.  That’s where a very sexy Alex Chilikov made the story just a little more interesting.  He’s not used to letting go of his tight control of every situation. They definitely crashed each other’s existing state of affairs.  This is my first official shifter romance book, even though I’ve written shifter characters in other books, and I loved the storyline involving Golden Jackals as the animal-selves of the characters.

What sort of research did you do while planning the series?  

Normally, research makes me a little itchy, but I loved the research for this book. Anastasyia Petrov is from Estonia, which I found out is still a viable habitat for Golden Jackals in Europe.  Turns out that Golden Jackals mate for life and pretty much stay in the same pack all their lives.  It was kind of romantic to me.  I also had to research names of places and some of the language.  Many of the people are considered Nordic Russians, but they don’t necessarily like that description. Needless to say, I’ve spent countless hours learning much about Estonia, and it seems like an interesting place that I’d like to visit someday.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My step-father loved to collect antiques like old-fashioned typewriters. He brought one home, and I couldn’t get enough of the click of the keys and the bell and slide of the return. My first foray into writing was mini-plays about talking fruits—Nanner Dave and the Fruit Bunch (or something like that). My family, friends, and teachers encouraged me along the way. Eventually I moved on from fruits to orphan stories, fantasy, and the favorite I returned to again and again—romance.

I’ve always known I wanted to write books.  Life has never slowed down to allow me to wait for a muse, so I finally had to kick my own butt into the chair and write down all my ideas one word at a time. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, someday just wasn’t soon enough, so I decided to get serious and get published.  Fortunately, I still love the writing process and feel like I’m living a dream, and almost six years later, I’m still cancer free.

Who or what inspired you to be a writer?

It’s probably a little corny, but I have to say my mother inspired me to write.  Although it hurt a little, she was honest about my lack of ability to carry a tune, which pushed me to work with my natural strengths instead. She was patient with my earliest writing attempts and encouraged me to submit my best work. I’ll always be grateful to her for being my first editor.

What books have most influenced your life?

I cut my teeth on authors like Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and later, Johanna Lindsey, and Julie Garwood, and I was forever a romance fan.  But the truth is, I just love books.  Romance, thriller, young adult, mystery—they’re all in my TBR pile.  Some current favorite authors—Michael Crichton, Kresley Cole, Rachel Gibson, Teresa Reasor, Seraphina Donavan, J.m. Madden.

What is your typical day like?

Much of my time is spent at a day job.  Then I start second shift with the hero hubby and three minions…er…kids (we haven’t taken over the world yet).  This includes dinner, homework, baths, brushing of teeth, and a million other little tasks that never end. While fixing dinner, I sneak in some social networking, blogging, and other tasks like emailing, organizing, and researching. After everyone is fed, educated, and settled in at night, I set aside about an hour for writing. If all goes well, I get about thirty minutes in the morning too. It’s not ideal, but I wouldn’t trade any of the current moments of my life for anything.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m working on the third book in The Love Next Door series, The Dragon Next Door. It’s a paranormal romance with Donovan, a dragon shifter, trying desperately to resist the not-so-typical maiden with which he’s been stuck. She’s ready to turn in her V-card, if she can get him on board, but apparently it might just be the end of the world or something like that. I love this series and can’t wait to dive back into this world again and again.

Character Interview  

Please welcome Alex Chilikov from Cherie Marks’s Wicked Jackal from The Woodland Creek Series to Diane’s Book Blog.
What is your full name? 

Alexandr Mihkel Chilikov  

Do you have a nickname? 

A few people call me Alex.

What is your hair color? 


Eye color? 

Light brown; some people have said they’re an amber color, whatever that is but I can’t go around telling people something like that.  I’ve got a reputation as a badass to protect.

Where were you born? 

Originally born in Estonia.  

Where have you lived since then? 

When I was much younger, my parents moved us to America, and though my mother didn’t stick around, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. 

Where do you currently call home?  

Wherever the next bounty is.  I have an apartment in New York, but I rarely stay in one place for too long.  My latest stopover has been a lengthy stay in Woodland Creek, Indiana.  Have to say, if I were going to settle down, this would be a decent place to do it.

Who are the people you are closest to?  

My brother Andrei is the only person I trust decently enough, but I find him annoying most of the time.  He’s the only one who’s been through the same things as I have and together, we’ve come out on the other side with our backs to each other and fists high, ready to take on any challenge that comes our way.  Of course, no one prepared me for Tasia Petrov.  I don’t think even Andrei will have my back on this one.

What is your biggest fear?  

My biggest fear is that I’ll be stuck under my father’s thumb for the rest of my life.  That man can find a way to keep pulling me back in every time.  His latest ultimatum is extreme, to say the least, but I think I might do it just to spite the prick.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?  

I haven’t loved much in my life, except maybe my brother, but to be honest, there’s something about Tasia that keeps drawing me back in, again and again.  Don’t know, could be something worth looking into.

Which living person do you most despise?  

I have a definite animosity for my father.  He’s not the easiest man to be around…ever, but especially when you work for him.

What is your greatest regret?  

I regret that my mother walked away and left Andrei and I to fend for ourselves against our father.  I’m man enough to admit it’s probably a big part of my trust issues but don’t waste your time analyzing my psyche or whatever.

Which living person do you most admire?  

Not too much impresses me anymore, but I have to admit that, though I don’t approve of her constant impulsivity, I kind of admire the fact that Tasia refused to knuckle under her father’s orders.  I wish I could set aside my own pride and just walk away from my father’s iron rule.  Maybe I’ll learn a little something from the wild, little jackal princess.

The Woodland Creek Series is an innovative and collaborative collection of Shifter stories set in one town, each with a guaranteed Happily Ever After.

Sibilance by Aria Kane -- This sexy trickster won't let Sophia Samson slither out of his life so easily. Amazon | Goodreads

Crow's Caw at Nightmoon Creek by Calinda B -- All she can think about is his naked body in the woods last night...and how he murdered her best friend. Amazon | Goodreads

Running Free by K Webster -- Can Frankie prove her innocence with a sexy detective hot on her trail? Amazon | Goodreads

Broken Wings by Mindy Larson – Love, secrets and lies make for a thrilling ride in Broken Wings. Amazon | Goodreads

Mina’s Revenge by J.M. Witt -- Her powers are changing and they're more than the bloodline inheritance from her mother. Amazon

Gargoyle by Scarlett Dawn -- Being stone-hard has never been this sexy and wicked before. Amazon | Goodreads

Zenko by J. Rose Alexander -- Blaze Riordan must find Melody Hastings before Halloween--and only a little red fox can help him do it. Amazon

The Scarlett Legacy by K.N. Lee -- All Evie wanted was to escape her family's secret...and then Avalon walked into town. Amazon

The Beast Within by Rachel M. Raithby -- Passion ignites, and pasts collide, when the Beast comes out to play. Amazon | Goodreads

Sinful Instincts by J.D. Hollyfield -- She was his temptation, and he was her ultimate Sin. Amazon

Moonlit Feathers by Sarah Makela -- After faced with crippling loss, a heartbroken raven must find her wings again…. Amazon | Goodreads

Hounded by Tasha Black -- This dog is about to have his day... Amazon

Dearborn by Jenni Moen -- I craved normalcy, to fall in love with someone untouched by the magic of Woodland Creek, but not as much as I craved him. Amazon | Goodreads

The Good Girl’s Guide to Being a Demon by April Aasheim -- What's a good girl to do when she starts developing horns, and a hunger? Amazon

Blind Trust by Raci Ames -- When Pia goes blind she must learn to trust what her heart can see, even if it means falling in love with two different shifters. Amazon | Goodreads

Dragon's Web by Lia Davis -- One sexy dragon, two strong-willed females, a family scandal, murder, and a love that requires plenty of ice. Amazon | Goodreads

Wicked Jackal by Cherie Marks -- The freedom to choose her fate is all she wants, but can she resist the draw of one wicked jackal? Amazon | Goodreads

One Insatiable by Tia Louise -- One wounded panther, one restless lynx, one insatiable hunger. Amazon | Goodreads

Dream Catcher by M.C. Cerny -- Happenstance brought Kerri Harper to Woodland Creek, but will she stay for the wolf intent on mending her broken heart? Amazon

The Viking’s Curse by Xandra James -- He was supposed to keep me alive after I was marked for death, but hiring the meanest Viking shifter in town might just kill me. Amazon | Goodreads


There are three amazing prizes for this blog tour!

  • Always Loyal, a Michael Stokes photography book
  • Exhibition, a Michael Stokes photography book
  • $20 Giftcard to your choice of Amazon, B&N, or Starbucks

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