When Juli Gunby left Missoula, Montana, she didn’t intend to come back. Not to her exacting alpha werewolf father, and certainly not to Neil Statham, the beta who rejected Juli’s girlish advances. Her father, as usual, has other ideas, using his dying breath to pass pack leadership to his daughter. Juli resolves to carry out her duty to her father and her pack, but the one man she wants on her side has made himself her enemy.
After years of loyal service to the pack, Neil expects to take over as alpha when his mentor dies. As good as it is to see Juli again, he knows he can’t trust her. After all, she abandoned both him and the pack years ago and never looked back. Neil determines to fight for his rightful position in the pack, even if that means going up against a woman who fills him with an overwhelming urge to mate every time she walks into the room.
Someone needs to lead, and the more Neil and Juli fight, the more they attract interference from those who would control the pack and destroy the ties between them.
Rival alphas Juli Gunby and Neil Statham want to tear each other apart — but will they do it in battle or as mates?
Juli smiled for only a second before her expression turned serious. “Neil, I wasn’t ready for any of this.”
He tightened his arm around her. “Of course not. How could you be?”
Neil cleared his throat. It was just like her to take him off balance by diving straight into the heaviest part of the conversation. He needed to respond carefully. “Juli, if that’s a burden to you, I may be able to help.”
“I hope so! I don’t know what I’ll do without you staying on as beta. What if people don’t accept me?”
Neil blinked. He’d expected to find her desperate to relieve herself of the responsibility Darrow had dumped on her. She’d left years ago, after all, and had never seemed to spare a backward glance for the pack, or for him. “You mean, you actually want to do this?”
She pulled back a few inches and stared. His body cried out at the loss, and he had to resist the urge to close the distance she had opened between them. “I have to do this. My father used his dying breath to pass this on to me. I have a duty. You of all people ought to understand.”
He spoke before he had a chance to think. “Maybe it’s time to stop worrying so much about duty. Maybe it’s time to think about what’s right for us individually.” He should have kissed her that night years ago. She shouldn’t take this responsibility now, when she clearly didn’t have the resources or the training for it. Both these things could be fixed.
Thank you Annabeth for stopping by All I Want and More. We’re glad to have you here.
Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself…. Something that we cannot Google about you, lol!
I still play Rock Band obsessively, even though I’m starting to feel like the rest of the world has moved on. I recently considered stocking up on the drums because they’re starting to be hard to find, and I’m worried about the inevitable need to replace the set I have now.
Tell us a little about your book?
Not the Leader of the Pack is about two alphas fighting for control of a pack. They’ve both been attracted to each other for a long time, but as the struggle over leadership breaks out, they increasingly don’t know whether to fight it out in battle or as mates.
How much emotion does it take from you to write?
I think writing is where I put my emotion. I wrote this book shortly after my father died, and it opens with the death of the current pack leader. The heroine, Juli, struggles to deal with her father’s last wishes and the way they change her life, and her emotion certainly mirrors some of my own. I also find that the last couple of years, since I’ve been in love with the man I recently married, I’m more willing to write love stories with happy endings, such as this one.
What is your favorite part of the book?
My favorite part takes place when the hero and heroine go to a playground to talk out their differences and discover that they drive each other so wild that they can’t be around each other without beginning to shift into werewolf form from the sheer passion they feel.
You can only pick 3 words to describe your main characters..what would they be?
Juli, the heroine: Passionate and outspoken, but also responsible.
Neil, the hero: Loyal and strong, but a little too impulsive.
Which was the easiest character to write and the hardest ~ and why??
The easiest character for me to write was Heather Compton, who is sent by the Werewolf Council to arbitrate the dispute between Neil and Juli. She’s supposed to be so annoying that Neil and Juli struggle to remain human while in her presence (in my world, strong emotions, including irritation, bring on the Change). I had fun writing someone totally devoted to rules and regulations, but I’ve seen a lot of reviews where readers noted how much they hated Heather and the Council. I may have done my job too well!
The hardest character for me to write was Neil. He’s had a thing for Juli as long as she’s had a thing for him, but he has terrible foot-in-mouth syndrome, and he always seems to say the wrong thing. It’s painful to let a character screw up sometimes.
How many books are you shooting for in this series??
Right now, I’ve got two out—Not the Leader of the Pack and Not His Territory, which takes place simultaneously in a different city. Each book is a stand-alone romance, but they take place against a larger back drop—the Werewolf Council that controls the packs has some obvious problems. I recently made some notes and calculated that it will take four more titles to advance that larger plot to the point I want it to reach. Of course, this all depends on whether the publisher likes the next entries in the series, and on whether readers want to see more.
What are you currently working on?
I’m too superstitious to say. I also never celebrate my birthday before the date itself. 🙂
Do you have anything due to release soon?
My next release is Design and Scandal from Ellora’s Cave, which will be part of their Curve Appeal series, featuring plus-size heroines. My book is about a costume designer, her on-set romance with a movie star, and how the two lovers deal with the paparazzi.
What’s one thing that you enjoy about writing?
I get caught up in the story when I’m writing, just as I do when I’m reading. I like to get to know the characters and find out what happens to them.
Since we’re cover hussies….what was your first impression of your cover?
I love it madly. Breathless Press has some of the greatest covers in the business, and I’m always excited beyond words to see what they’ve done. I can’t give enough props to cover artist Victoria Miller.
What do you prefer, ebooks or paperbacks?
Honestly, I like the experience of reading paperbacks more, but I frequently buy e-books since a lot of the books I want to read are only available in that format, and I’m addicted to the convenience of getting the book instantly.
Is there a genre you would like to write but are a little apprehensive to try?
Lately, I’ve been playing with adding more comedic elements to my stories, but I’d be interested in doing a full-out comedy. I’m intimidated, however, because I’m not sure how it would be to actually try to sustain being funny over a long piece.
Okay…. personal time!!!! Oh yeah, I go there… Hahah…
If you thought you were safe… Nah… Forgot it… Not a chance! We will start off slow and easy, I promise!
What is on your night stand/dresser?
My jewelry box, an old to-do list from my wedding (I just got married a couple months ago), a stack of books, and several bottles of lube. Thank God I put the vibrator away.
What are you listening to right now?
Kanye West’s Graduation.
What are you reading right now?
I’m usually reading more than one thing at once. Right now, I’m working on Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed, The Harder She Comes, edited by D.L. King, The House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell, and Rajasthani Moon by Lisabet Sarai. If someone mashed those up, the result would be quite odd.
What is your favorite season? Holiday?
I love winter, because I’m still fascinated by snow (I grew up somewhere that never gets the stuff). My favorite holiday is Christmas Eve, which always feels more magical to me than the day itself.
And what has been your best b-day present ever??
My husband bought me a bass guitar a couple years ago to replace one that had been stolen, and I was really touched.
Hard and Quick Time! Don’t think… Just answer! Okay, before we go this route, I will get us a refill on our drinks… I will be right back…
You know you do… Quickie time… Think fast….
Are you a quickie kind girl?
Absolutely. I never have as much time with my husband as I would like, and quickies are a hot way to stay connected.
Dark or Milk Chocolate?
Milk. I like it creamy. 🙂
Whipped or Melted?
Melted. That sounds nice and warm.
Straight up or with a twist – sex?
With a twist.
What’s ur fave drink – in a glass or on him?
A chocolate-banana milkshake.
Spank or Flogger?
Flogger. I think the thud of it hurts less than the sting of a palm.
Junk or Health Food?
Junk, I’m afraid.
Ties or Chains?
Chains sound neat, but I’ve only got experience with ties.
Leather or Lace?
Soft or Hard… Bed, where was your mind?
Control or Be Controlled?
Hot Wax or Whip Cream?
Vampire or Werewolf?
Twitter and/or Facebook?
Pinterest or not?
Not yet, but I’d like to try it.
Thanks so much for the interview—it was lots of fun!
Annabeth Leong has written romance and erotica of many flavors — dark, kinky, vanilla, straight, lesbian, bi, and menage. Her titles for Breathless Press include Not His Territory, Not the Leader of the Pack, and a contribution to the Ravaged anthology. She enjoys writing about the tension between passion and control that werewolves embody. Unfortunately, when Annabeth loses control of herself, she does not gain the power to change shape. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Annabeth will be awarding a $10 gift card for Breathless Press to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour
I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better the chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: