Interview with Annabeth Leong and review of Not the Leader of the Pack

I’ve got an interview with author Annabeth Leong today, along with a review of her book, Not the Leader of the Pack.  Check out the fun answers she gave to my questions and the details on her novel.  I’ve got my review of it at the bottom of this post.  As a bonus, Annabeth will be awarding a $10 gift card for Breathless Press to a randomly drawn commenter during her tour (visit other stops listed here for a greater chance to win).





by Annabeth Leong



*Note- my responses to Annabeth’s answers are in italics.

Tell us something dark about yourself.

I have terrible nightmares, usually in phases that go on for weeks at a time. While often gory, the worst for me are the ones that create horrifying ethical choices, such as placing me in situations where if I run away to save myself, I’ll be leaving others behind to be hurt. I’d always been particularly afraid of horror movies because of how my dreams already are, but a few years ago I discovered that sometimes it can help to watch horror movies since I’m less connected to what’s on screen than I am to my own fears. In most cases, if horror movie images replace my internally generated nightmares, I’m better off.


Wow, that is rather dark.  Glad you at least found a way to deal with it.

You are on a deserted island and can only choose one beverage to have besides water.  What would it be?

Oh, coffee, how I love thee.


You and me both!

If you had to choose between a bullwhip, cat o’ nine tails, or a crop, which would you pick?

I haven’t actually experienced a cat o’ nine tails or a bullwhip, and those might be too intense for me. I do, however, like being hit with a crop, particularly on the bottoms of my feet. My dom usually switches between the tougher callused areas and the more sensitive areas such as the arches, which changes how much each strike hurts. For people who don’t like pain, I figure this must sound incredibly weird, but I like pain for its intensity even if I fear it. Sometimes the pain sort of flips into pleasure and sometimes it doesn’t, but I get into moods where I crave it either way. A crop has a sharp, precise sting that really satisfies what I like to feel, and my dom gets into the whistling sound.

All that said, I’m kinky, but not all my books are! People interested in my kinky writing should check out The Fugitive’s Sexy Brother or some of my writing for anthologies. Not the Leader of the Pack, though very hot, does not include BDSM—it does, however, include lots of outdoor sex.


For once someone gave me a really awesome answer to this question.  Love that you were willing to share your own experiences.

What mythical creature would you be and why?

A sphinx, because I would enjoy being good at riddles and I like to play things close to the chest.


Nice answer!

What first inspired you to write your book?

I created a setting, world logic, and so on, for another Breathless Press title, Not His Territory, and I wasn’t done playing with it. The core idea is about werewolves who have been convinced that denying their true primal nature is essential to getting along in society, and I wanted to explore that tension more. I went through Not His Territory, wrote down the themes I wanted to develop further and the questions that had been raised that I wanted to explore, and from that, I had the seed of Not the Leader of the Pack.


I got that sense from reading your novel.  It definitely follows those lines and was interesting to see.

How long did it take to research/write it?

I spent several solid days researching, compiling data on the Montana setting, Minor League Baseball, wolves, and what I’d written previously about the rules of the werewolves in this world. Then I finished the first draft in three weeks of passion—this book really took me over. Of course, I had several rounds of revision after that with my editor at Breathless. The whole process of putting together a book is quite lengthy. At this point, including the work I’ve done promoting it, I’ve been working on Not the Leader of the Pack for almost a year. Of course, I’ve been doing other things, too, which is as it should be.


That’s some quick writing for a first draft!

Give one unique fact about your novel that makes it different from the others in its genre.

My hero, Neil Statham, is a minor league baseball player, which allows me to combine two sexy things (sports and werewolves) into one hot man.


Certainly not something I’ve seen before.



Thanks to Annabeth for being here today and for participating in this interview.  She had some fun answers to my questions!  For everyone else, please check out all the information on her and her latest book below, along with my review.  Feel free to ask your own questions if you have any.



Annabeth LeongAUTHOR BIO:

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.


Twitter: @AnnabethLeong



Buy links for Not the Leader of the Pack:

All Romance:


Amazon UK:


Breathless Press:




Cover_Not the Leader of the PackBLURB:

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.




This novel starts out strong.  You can feel how upset Juli is at finding out her father is dying and how guilty she feels for not coming to see him sooner.  Then when she runs into Neil at the hospital, he comes off just as I’d expect of an Alpha werewolf.  He really does seem to help her in the opening scene and those early chapters as she deals with losing her father.  It isn’t until Neil and Juli become at odds over who will take over as alpha for the pack that things didn’t go the way I expected.
I will admit that anytime you have a man and woman fighting for dominance (even as humans) things are most likely going to get a bit immature and they’re going to say and do some stupid things.  Anyone who’s been in a serious relationship has to admit they’ve done some idiotic stuff when their emotions ran high (raising my own guilty hand).  My problem was the story focused so much on Juli and Neil’s bickering back and forth that I couldn’t ever get a sense either of them was fit to be the alpha.  I agreed with Neil that Juli didn’t have the experience or knowledge to take over a pack.  Yet at the same time, I had to admit Juli was right about Neil not really being strong enough to take the lead.  He just didn’t feel dominate and ruthless enough.  That made it a bit hard to root for either of them.
Mostly I just wanted to see them hook up after a while.  Except pack politics got in the way.  This novel is different from most other werewolf books in the sense that these shifters have some of the strictest laws governing themselves that I’ve ever seen in the genre.  If you’re a fan of the Mercy Thompson series or the Kate Daniel’s series, don’t expect the weres to be nearly as dark and dangerous as they are in those.  The ones in this novel have some struggles with trying not to shift in public, but I never got the feeling they were tempted to attack and eat people or go off on some kind of insane massacre.  That scary kind of edge wasn’t there.  Mostly, it’s all about how they value controlling themselves and suppressing their nature.  I really felt sorry them in that sense as they weren’t even allowed to shift except for once a month on the full moon.
When the romance does finally start to get a strong hold beyond the bickering and random kiss, it didn’t go the way I expected either.  Let’s just say the first sex scene isn’t going to be with the hero and heroine in their full human forms.  I’m usually not squeamish at all, but this book still managed to push my comfort zone a bit.  You’d have to read it for yourself to see what I mean.
Overall, this book was well written.  The pacing went fairly smoothly and it had some unique world-building.  I would have liked to see more of the pack as opposed to so much of the werewolf council, but the council’s presence was important for readers to understand how cold and controlling they are over their members.  The author definitely painted a clear picture in that regard.  If you’re looking for something different in the genre, this book might be one you should check out.  I give it three and a half whips!


WhipWhipWhipWhip half.





NOTE- I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

~ by Suzie on September 16, 2013.

8 Responses to “Interview with Annabeth Leong and review of Not the Leader of the Pack”

  1. I sense the Mistress rocked back on her elegant heels by the hot crop answer from Annabeth (loved that the author’s picture was of her feet – and not because I have a ‘footish’). The exploration of dominance disputes between alphas is very interesting. As you say, it’s difficult to keep this between the extremes of silliness, angst and violence. The book sounds fun.

    • I really was excited for that crop answer. I’ve had many authors come off shy or embarrassed by the question, but there’s so much room for fun with it! That foot pic was awesome and appropriate too 🙂

      • Thanks to both of you–so glad you liked my crop answer! Those questions were a lot of fun to answer, Suzie! I love seeing foot pics myself, and recently did a photo shoot for a new one. I’ll be changing my pic to different shoes soon!

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Thanks for sharing your review and the great interview. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot com

  4. Thanks for hosting the interview today!

    Eva, I’ve got this entry recorded! Love your enthusiasm!

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