A Bealeton author recently accepted a 2012 Global eBook Award for her first self-published digital novel, a steamy paranormal romance involving a dashingly handsome wolf man and fiercely independent woman photographer with psychic ability.
Caryn Moya Block, president of the Windmore Foundation for the Arts of Culpeper, earned the award Aug. 18 for “Alpha’s Mate,” the first in a series about a Siberian pack of werewolves prowling for passion.
“The message is love conquers all,” said the author. “Personally, I believe that — I believe love is the most powerful source in the world. If you really love, you can overcome evil. You can overcome anything. I am very much an optimist.”
Since publishing Jan. 1, “Alpha’s Mate” has sold about 20,000 copies online, available at Amazon.com and most other eBook sites for 99 cents. The title won in the category of contemporary romance at an eBook ceremony Aug. 17 in Santa Barbara, Calif. In addition to that honor, Block, a wife and mother, was named one of the “Top 50 Indie Authors for April 2012.”
Married for more than three decades, Block, 52, spent her childhood in California before moving to Arizona during high school and college. She grew up reading the classic mysteries of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie before delving into fantasy fiction.
As the wife of a U.S. Air Force servicemen, she lived in Hawaii and Germany prior to moving to Virginia. A former educator, Block has lived in Bealeton for six years and has two grown sons.
She always loved to write and read, and dreamed about publishing her own book.
When Block’s husband turned 50 a few years ago, the urgency to do so increased.
“I started thinking about the things I wanted to accomplish in my life and this was a biggie I had left alone,” she said.
Block, borrowing from her innate adoration for wolves, embarked on a two-year journey of education and research, taking classes on how to write an eBook and investigating the Siberian legend about a she-wolf who mates with a human male and gives birth to 10 half male, half wolf sons.
One of these, Ashina, was supposedly the first Mongol Khan warrior, according to legend.
Siberia seemed the natural setting for Block’s book.
“I started thinking about where would you put a pack of werewolves in the world where no one could find them?” Block said.
Enter leading man Dmitry Volkov of Moscow, Lycanthrope debonair in her award-winning first book.
“In my world being a shape shifter is not a curse its just genetics,” said Block.
“Like most alpha males, Dmitry is arrogant and dominant, but he is also loving and loyal. Wolves are very loyal. They mate for life. They are also highly intelligent, one of the few species besides primates that educate their children. The more I learned about wolves and legend all the pieces fell together.”
“Alpha’s Mate” leading lady Violet Anderson, an American wildlife photographer who thrives on solitude, is not your average love interest as she is able to read minds. When Dmitry catches sight of her in a Russian nightclub, it is all he can do to restrain himself.
“His breath caught, his heart clenched. She was small, her body slim, breasts full and tempting in her pink camisole top. Her mahogany hair was long, falling to her waist. He drank in the sight of her, wanting nothing more to look at her forever…His blood heated, his body ached with arousal. He wanted her. Emotions – hunger, lust, joy, confusion – crashed over him like a giant wave. His wolf spirit surged to the surface. He wanted to hunt, capture, mate.”
And that’s the first chapter.
Block said her novel, albeit racy, is tame compared to most of today’s romance books.
“I try to make my stories as real as possible,” she said, characterizing ‘Alpha’s Mate’ as being on the low end of graphic love scenes. “I had someone tell me they wouldn’t give me a five-star review because there wasn’t enough sex in it.”
But “Alpha’s Mate” has heat.
The attraction for Violet mirrors that of the wolf man desiring her.
“She could still feel the warmth of his hands on her body branding her. It was crazy. Thinking about him made her hot. The man was arrogant and elegant and infuriating. She wanted to kick him as much as she wanted to kiss him.”
And that’s chapter two.
Thoroughly readable and naughtily entertaining, “Alpha’s Mate” stokes the flames of love. As for real-life marriage, Block believes long-term love is possible.
“I wouldn’t say we are always hot,” she said of her own marriage, “but we are always friends.”
Block, a member of Windmore’s Pen to Paper writers group, said she was surprised and thrilled to win the eBook Award for “Alpha’s Mate.”
She has already released a second digital book in the series, “A Siberian Werewolf in London.” A third book, “My Mate’s Embrace,” is due out this fall. For more information, check out carynmoyablock.com.
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