We’re thrilled to introduce Nina Levine’s new monthly magazine-style publication exclusive to her VIP subscribers:
ESCAPE WITH AN ALPHA
Issue One out on April 9th
Interviews with Authors & Bloggers
Storm MC Bonus Chapters
News and Other Fun Stuff
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Welcome to some of Nina Levine’s #LifeIsMessy flash fiction. She writes these pieces when she’s struggling for words or trying to warm up her writing brain and shares them in her Facebook reader group. Sometimes the characters are familiar, other times they’re brand new. These pieces are just for fun, but you never know when one will turn into something more. To celebrate the launch of ESCAPE WITH AN ALPHA, Nina has written us an exclusive #LifeIsMessy bonus scene featuring Hyde and Monroe from Hyde’s Absolution!
My gaze landed on Monroe’s ass the minute I stepped through the front door of her tattoo parlour.
Not a productive way to start the afternoon. Not when I had shit to get back to for King after I fixed her plumbing problem.
She straightened and turned at the sound of the bell chiming as I entered. A smile lit her face as she came my way. I’d never grow tired of that smile. Or those lips. “I’m going to make this worth your while tonight.” Her hands came straight to my chest before sliding down my body to my jeans. “Or maybe now. My next appointment isn’t for another hour, and Fox won’t be in until then, so we’ve got some time to kill.”
I clamped my hand over hers to slow her down. The last fucking thing I needed was her hand around my dick. “It’ll have to wait till tonight, Red. King needs me out on a job after this.”
She pouted. “He always ruins my fun. I can be quick.”
My mouth curled up in amusement. “You don’t know the meaning of a quick fuck.”
“I’m a woman of many talents, tiger,” she said with a sexy grin, her fingers working my belt. “I just haven’t chosen to bless you with a quick fuck yet.”
“Fuck,” I muttered, grabbing her hand again. “I’m just trying to get through the fucking day here, Roe. King’s busting my ass—I’m looking at about six straight hours of work to get through everything he wants done—so as much as sinking my dick in that sweet pussy of yours sounds like the best offer I’ve had all day, I don’t have time for it.”
She cocked her head. “You’ve had other offers today?”
Monroe was fucking lethal when it came to my restraint. When she stood in front of me dressed to kill like she was today, with sexy shit falling out of her mouth, there was no way I could resist her.
Wrapping my hand around her arm, I dragged her to the office. Kicking the door closed behind us, I pushed her up against it and claimed the kiss I needed more than anything. Being balls deep inside Monroe was a favourite place of mine to be, but more than that, I craved the connection to her that kissing gave me.
She looped her arms around my neck as she kissed me back, and when I finally let her lips go, she sighed. “I need to keep an eye out for customers.”
I reached for the bottom of her dress. “You have a bell on the front door.”
“Sometimes it doesn’t work. We need to open this door.”
I stopped what I was doing and met her gaze. “You want me to fuck you, Red? Or you wanna stand here and argue about the fucking door?”
“I want you to fuck me. With the door open.”
“Every surface of this office is covered with shit. It’s a fucking mess in here. Where do you suggest I fuck you?” There wasn’t even a spare wall to slam her up against. If she had a better option, I was all fucking ears, but from where I stood, this was the only place.
The heat in her eyes cooled, and she took a step away from me. “There’s plenty of places. You’re just being an ass now because of last night.”
I dropped my head for a moment and blew out a frustrated breath. She’d referenced the fight we’d had last night, which was becoming a recurring argument between us. The mess Monroe created in our bathroom with her makeup was in complete contrast to the rest of our home, which she kept obsessively clean. And I wasn’t a fan of it. Having to move shit all the time irritated the fuck out of me. After we’d argued over it last night, she’d hinted that I should sleep on the fucking couch, which I’d ignored. No fucking way was I going a night without her.
Looking back up, I said, “Not everything is about something else, Monroe. This has nothing to do with your mess at home.”
Her eyes widened. “I’ve told you—that’s not a mess! It’s—”
Jesus, this was the last thing I had time for today. I opened the door so I could go fix her plumbing and then get back to work. “I’m not getting into another fight with you about it.”
“What you like to call a mess in our bathroom is not a mess. I need to see all my makeup so I know what my options are. And don’t you walk away from me while we’re discussing something. You know I hate that.”
I was three steps out of her office, but halted my progress. She had a point—we both hated being walked away from. Turning back to face her, I raked my fingers through my hair and said, “I can’t win here, no matter what I say. And I don’t want a repeat of last night where you wouldn’t let me touch you. So let’s not get into this.”
“If we don’t get into it, we’re never going to settle it. I just want you to understand why I have all my stuff spread out in the bathroom.”
“I will never understand that. It makes no sense to me. Organise it into some containers or put it in the cupboards.”
“Ugh, men! You drive me crazy some days.”
“The feeling’s fucking mutual. Now, can I get to work so we can both go back to our day?”
She stared at me for a long few moments before saying, “Fine. But just so you know, I’m already feeling like a repeat of last night might happen again, so feel free to take your time getting all your work done this afternoon.”
“Fucking hell, Monroe,” I muttered as I closed the distance between us. Sliding my arm around her waist, I pulled her hard against my body. “I love you, but you don’t just drive me crazy some days—you fucking drive me to distraction. I can’t get enough of you, even when you’re arguing with me. Just so you know, I’ll be getting through that work as fast as fucking possible and then I’ll be coming home to finish what you started here. I don’t give a flying fuck if I break some of your shit, I’ll be clearing some space in our bathroom to fuck you on that vanity, exactly how you like it. And then I’m going to have you in the shower with all your toys. So go home after work and get ready for that, because there’s no fucking way it’s not happening.”
Heat flared in her eyes again. “Wait, you’re worried about breaking my stuff?”
“Yeah. Why do you fucking think I want that shit packed up?”
A smile spread out across her face and her body softened against mine. “Well why didn’t you say that?”
I’d never fucking understand women.
“Fuck, Red, get your ass back in that office. No fucking way can I wait until tonight to have you.”
She continued smiling. “Sometimes you say the exact right thing, tiger.” And with that, she finally did what I wanted her to do.
PoP: We’re big fans of biker book boyfriends which is how we discovered your novels. What drew you to writing MC romance?
Nina: I was writing Madison’s story and she was the daughter of the MC president and J was just supposed to be a biker friend, but the minute he showed up on the page, the chemistry between them took over and I realised I had to write a story about them. Turned out, I loved writing bikers because they were completely alpha, dirty, bossy and could pretty much say and do anything that was over the top. I also loved being able to explore the darker side of life. And Sons of Anarchy was one of my favourite TV shows, so I had awesome inspiration!
PoP: You’ve written a lot of fierce, sexy, and unforgettable couples. If you had to choose, which couple is your favorite and why?
Nina: This question is so hard to answer!! I have a few favourites, but if I had to choose one couple, it would be Nitro & Tatum. I loved that they were both so hardened by life and didn’t open up easily. They both had to work to get the other to allow them in, and they both had to come to terms with themselves and make some big changes to grow. I know all my couples do this, but it felt like Nitro & Tatum fought this the most. And that’s what I love about writing – watching that struggle to grow and make changes. It’s life, and we’re all flawed and make mistakes and either learn from them or stay stuck. I love exploring that, and I’m finding that my writing is evolving more and more into digging deeper into human flaws and creating imperfect characters who sometimes are a struggle to like.
PoP: Your Storm MC and Sydney Storm MC series are thrilling, hot, and full of surprises and yet each novel also stands apart in its own way. Which book was the easiest to write? Which was the hardest?
Nina: Havoc was the easiest to write. He and Carla just fell onto the page. I know this may be hard to believe 😉 but up until I wrote the first half of Havoc (which was just after I wrote Revive), I’d kind of censored my bikers. When they said or did something that I thought may have stretched the dirtiness a little too far, I pulled them back. I deleted a lot of dirty stuff and toned it down. But with Havoc, I just let him and Carla be as dirty as they wanted. And that was fun! Carla was especially fun to write because of the fact I didn’t censor her. My hardest book to write has hands down been King’s book (and it’s still not finished because of this!). It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my writing since my mother passed away, but I’m doing much better with that now. However, I’m still finding King’s Wrath hard to write because of all the intricate plots I’ve got going on. Weaving in his life story plus all the club issues that have been going on for the entire series has been much harder than I ever anticipated. I thought I may struggle with King himself (getting him exactly right) but that hasn’t been a problem at all. He’s been in my head since 2014 and he is the character of mine who I know the best. I pretty much know him inside out and I don’t ever struggle with knowing how he would react to a certain situation, so he just falls onto the page. It’s just everything else going on that is making this a difficult book to write. I’ve also had to write his woman a few times now to get her right. I played with writing the book entirely in his POV also, but decided for the story to work best I wanted her POV in there too. So yeah, this book has been a journey! I’m aiming to finish writing his first book soon! And fingers crossed his second book flows much easier.
PoP: You seem to enjoy writing complicated, brooding alphas with filthy minds and even filthier mouths. Were you always comfortable getting down and dirty with your book boyfriends or was it something you had to grow into?
Nina: LOL at the filthy. Yes, I love writing that! I remember writing the first sex scene between J & Madison and blushing while I wrote it. Afterwards, I was like “huh, that was actually fun!”. By the time Nash’s book came, I was completely good with writing the filthy side of my men.
PoP: When you first hit publish on Storm, did you ever imagine you’d have two series worth of deliciously dirty bikers out in the world? What did you originally have in mind with J, Madison, and the rest of the Storm MC crew?
Nina: I had no idea that this is where I would be now! I didn’t plan that first series in the beginning. I simply wrote Storm and put it out there and went with the flow. That book did extremely well and readers were excited for a second book, so I wrote Scott’s book. I wasn’t sure what possessed me to say I’d write his next because in Storm he was a complete ass lol! I didn’t even really like him in that first book. But I ended up loving writing his story and fell in love with his character. However, the night before I was to publish his book, my friend called me up and told me that she hated him. She’d read his book and told me he was a complete dick and the kind of guy that never grows up. I appreciated her honest feedback but was then completely confused about how to proceed. I mean, it was too late then to change him when I had to publish the book the next day. And besides that, I actually personally loved his character. So I went with my gut and I hit publish the next day. I felt so sick over the whole thing and hadn’t heard back from any of the bloggers reading the book, so I closed my computer and took my daughter out for dinner and told her that my publishing career was most likely over. LOL! So it turned out I was right to trust myself on that one because that book hit the USA Today Bestseller list and Scott Cole is one of the series favourites.
After the success of Fierce, I decided I should get serious about planning out the rest of the series. Back then, I used to fly by the seat of my pants. These days, I’m much more organised with plans for series and mapping them out in advance.
PoP: Who was your favorite character to write and what was it like being inside their head? Did they make you laugh out loud? Blush profusely? Curse the day they popped into your head?
Nina: I have two favourites – King from the Storm MC series and Charlize from Risk. I love being inside King’s head because he’s so different to me in pretty much every way. He’s decisive, confident in his decisions, gives no fucks what anyone thinks, and he doesn’t get bogged down in details. He’s a make-it-happen man. And I have to be honest, I love writing his violent side. Not sure what that says about me?! Writing him in King’s Wrath, though, has shown me his vulnerable side and honestly, I swoon over that side of him. Being in his head for this book has made so many of his actions in past books so much more understandable. I am fascinated by my writing process and how I can have no understanding of why a character says or does something until much later in the book or even in the series. And then it’s like an aha moment where it all becomes clear. A lot of that has happened while writing King! And Charlize – she was so much fun to write because of her hilarious inner thoughts and funny moments. That story was roughly planned, but I had no idea of how the characters would show up on the page because I didn’t do any planning for their personality types or anything like that. I simply sat down and decided I needed to think of a funny and mortifying situation a woman could find herself in and then write that to open the book. And Charlize just took off from there. I love her because I feel like she has so many traits that most women can relate to.
PoP: In addition to your MC series, you’ve written a rocker and friends to lovers romance. What other tropes do you hope to tackle in your writing career?
Nina: I have plans for so many! There will be the accidental pregnancy book featuring Avery and Tyler from Steal My Breath. I’ve got the billionaire trope with Ashton Scott and the office romance/billionaire trope with Risk (I’ve still got the second book in this duet to write and am really looking forward to that!). I have a book I started writing way before Storm that I want to finish – it features a married couple on the rocks. It was inspired by Pink’s album The Truth About Love. I’ve got the opposites attract novella I wrote about a laid back tattoo artist who falls for an uptight career girl, titled Her Kind of Crazy. I’ll be expanding that book and releasing it this year. Other than those, I’d love to write a ‘woke up married in Vegas’ book, a secret baby book, maybe a jilted bride book, and a marriage of convenience book. I’d also really love to write a small town romance series, and it would definitely need to have a story about a woman who returns to the small town she grew up in and finds love with her first love again *sigh*. Oh, and I’d love to dedicate a whole series of standalones to a second chance romance series. I adore second chance romance!
PoP: How do you shape your characters? Are they reflections of the people you have encountered or do you write them the way they speak to you?
Nina: I wouldn’t say they are planned as reflections of the people I encounter, but sometimes I find myself writing a character who I later realise was probably influenced by someone I’ve met. Having said that, there are a few characters I’ve written who have gone through similar experiences as mine, so they’ve been partly shaped by some of the people I’ve known. Generally when I’m planning out a novel and the main characters, I start with their wound and go from there. Everything else about them has to fit into character with that.
PoP: What do you do to help writer’s block should you encounter it?
Nina: Oh man, I’ve definitely suffered over the last year with this. I had to acknowledge that my self care was lacking and that I had worked myself into burnout. Grief on top of that only made it worse, and then physical injury forced me to take time off and figure it all out. I had to go back to basics with my self care and improve my sleep, eating and movement. Regular massages and physiotherapy helped too. And then just getting out and living life rather than working all the time was also key for me. Girls weekends away are one of my favourite things to do. Taking time away from social media is another key thing, although I do struggle with this when a lot of my work is on social media. And trying to set aside time first thing in the morning for writing is beneficial for me because I tend to write much better then. And lastly, when the words aren’t coming on the main book I’m writing, I’ve found that working on side projects really helps my creativity flow. So I’ve been slowly working away on some fun side projects the last couple of months and am excited for where they will lead!
PoP: If you were to pitch your books to new readers in one sentence, what would it be?
Nina: If you don’t love romances with dirty-talking alphas, you won’t love my books 😉
— Nina Levine asks Prisoners of Print —
Nina: How did the two of you meet and decide to blog together?
PoP: We met when we were 14 years old, working at the public library across the street from our high school reshelving books. Candy was singing a highly inappropriate song on the opposite side of the shelf, and the rest is history. After graduation, Becca went to college hundreds of miles away, but we never lost touch despite life continuing to keep us geographically separate. A few years ago, while messaging about books we’d recently read, we came up with the idea to start a book blog. We thought it would be a fun way to reconnect and share something we love with one another. Prisoners of Print was born, and here we are over four years later.
Nina: I love this!! Love that you’ve been friends for so long and share a love of books!
What is your absolute favourite thing about blogging?
PoP: Hands down, the relationships we have cultivated. Blogging has allowed us to connect with authors, other bloggers, and fellow readers in ways we could never have imagined. What starts out as a shared love for the written word evolves into something so much more. It’s kind of incredible when messages about your swoon-worthy book boyfriend turn into talking about real life, supporting one another through the difficult times, sharing in each other’s joy, and making plans to one day meet up. We love that blogging has allowed us to connect with so many different people from around the world in ways we would never have been able to otherwise. We truly cherish the genuine friendships we’ve made in the book world.
Nina: I agree that the messages that start off being about book boyfriends and turn into beautiful friendships are a special and wonderful part of this community. I’ve definitely treasured our chats, Becca. You’ve been there for me at times I needed someone to chat with and that has meant so much to me.
I’d love to know each of your top 3 favourite books! Which books do you still think about to this day and wish you could read all over again?
B: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker , Rule by Jay Crownover , and The Coincidence series by Jessica Sorensen
C: The Edge of Never series by J.A. Redmerski , From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon , and Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Nina: Some amazing books here. I also loved Rule, Ten Tiny Breaths and The Edge of Never! Oh and I’m pretty sure I’ve read the first Coincidence book by Jessica Sorenson and loved it too.
Last 5 star read for each of you?
B: Recovered by Jay Crownover
C: The Birthday List by Devney Perry
Nina: Paperback or ebook? Why?
PoP: We can really go with either one, but if we had to choose, we would say that it would be eBooks. We like to have the highlight ability so that all our favorite quotes or things that we can relate to are always at our fingertips. Plus, eBooks allow for being able to carry more than one around at all times 😉
Nina: I love being able to highlight my fave parts in ebooks too, but I still love reading paperbacks. I tend to buy fiction in ebook form and non-fiction in paperback (except when I reallyyyyy can’t wait for the paperback to be delivered!).
One of my fave tropes is the ‘married in Vegas’ trope. I pretty much devour any movie or book I stumble across with that storyline! What is the one trope for each of you that you can’t go past?
B: I adore a good sibling’s best friend romance. There’s something about quietly wanting someone forever and having them in your life but always out of reach that just tugs on my heartstrings. I can’t help but get caught up in all of the delicious tension and inevitable angst. Plus, that moment when things finally click is always kind of magical! Happily ever afters carved out of a lifetime of longing and barely maintained patience tend to be so much sweeter, too.
C: I’m a sucker for a second chance at love. We all make mistakes in life and sometimes those errors lead to losing something we didn’t know we wanted – especially in the form of love. There’s something so special about witnessing that redemption, the growth, and the overcoming of obstacles that seemed impossible at one point in time.
Nina: Next book on your TBR?
B: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen
C: The Pleasure of Panic by JA Huss
Nina: When I’m ready to settle in and read a book, I love to do that either on the couch, the sunbed or in bed. And I like to set myself up with a cup of tea and chocolate! Where do you prefer to read, and what are your reading must-haves?
B: I’m pretty content to read anywhere there’s quiet and a glass of wine or cup of coffee. However, most of my reading happens in bed at the end of the night cuddled up to my cat. If there’s a big blanket, fuzzy socks, and something yummy to sip on I’m a happy girl.
C: In an ideal world, I’d be in a hammock by the water somewhere. Since that’s rarely possible for me, my favorite place is curled up in bed at night. My husband and daughter are asleep and the world is quiet. My puppy curls up next to me and I escape to a new world…it’s perfection every time.
Nina: I love snuggling under a big blanket too, Becca! And reading by the water is a fave place of mine too, Candy!
I detest spoilers!! Do you girls like them?? If you love them, do you actually search them out?
PoP: Absolutely not! We both love the thrill of going into a book and being taken on every turn for ourselves. There’s something about experiencing every raw emotion and a delicious anticipation that leaves us loving a book that much more. However, that’s not to say that sometimes a little trigger warning isn’t helpful when it’s necessary.
Nina: How does blogging fit in with the rest of your life? How much time do you spend on blogging each week?
PoP: Even after almost four years of doing this, we’re constantly evolving as bloggers. Maintaining a balance between work, family, and the vortex of social media is difficult, but we’ve managed to become pretty efficient and organized in how we tackle the everyday aspects of our blog. We tend to meet up online after dinner to go over scheduling for the next day, dedicating a couple of hours to getting things taken care of so we can focus on our lives offline, the social aspects of blogging, and whatever else we have going on at the moment.
USA Today Bestselling Author Nina Levine is an Aussie author who writes alphas with a side of dirty and sassy women who don’t hand their hearts over easily.
When she’s not creating with words you’ll find her planning her next getaway, visiting somewhere new in the world, having a long conversation over coffee and cake with a friend, creating with paper or curled up with a good book and chocolate.