Archive for 'Shifter'
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
Hi, all! Thanks go to Delilah for allowing me to take over her blog on this Wednesday.
I’m going to talk about my penchant for using unusual supernatural beings in my exciting new release No Ordinary Fairy. I will also give you the opportunity to win an ebook of the novella and an Amazon gift card!
Whenever I set out to write a story I first look around to myth and fairy tales to see what people or elements I could utilize that are a little fresher. I have nothing against vampires and werewolves and do include them in my stories, but I feel like they’ve had their place in the sun. So instead, I look for unusual creatures who don’t normally grace the pages of fiction.
For No Ordinary Fairy, which is a novella setting the stage for a shifter war series I turned to Polish myths and the stories of the Vila/Vilas, who are supposedly deadly…but I think they’re misunderstood. Pani, the heroine of NOF, is one such being. She is just trying to live a quiet life when she encounters Rafe, a gorgeous mountain lion shifter who has lost his ability to shift. Vila are not normally written in paranormal romance, which is one of the things that appealed to me about them. There are so many tales about them: that they are the spirits of women who had died. Alternatively, they have control over the winds, and make the earth shake from the force of their magic. When angered, they will entrance and dance men to death.
Whew! Some kind of fairy, huh? I hope that you enjoy Pani and Rafe as much as I enjoyed writing them. They are the first story in a larger series arc that will take the shifters in this world to the point of war. I will be looking for other unusual and interesting paranormals in the years to come. There are so many! If I could write about them all I would, but I’d need unlimited time. It’s times like these I wish I were one of my immortal Elementals.
Here is a taste of No Ordinary Fairy:
She felt a tug again, a presence to the right, deeper into the woods. There was something else too, a spirit she couldn’t identify. Not a shifter. Pani focused. She could feel shifter birds and foxes scattered around the area, but those weren’t what drew her attention. It felt like a shifter, but not a shifter, and its signature danced on the wind like a blast of cold Arctic air.
“Rafe, do you sense that?”
He looked at her with a dash of gold in his green eyes. For a moment, the cat looked at her, pleading, begging her to release it. He lifted his head and sniffed, so like a cat that she felt the presence of the lion surround her. Her Vila flowed out, the crown of gleaming gemstones beginning to take shape on her head. If she could reach the cat, maybe she could free it.
There was a mournful howl, unearthly and shrill, from somewhere in the distance.
“That’s not a coyote. Or a wolf,” Rafe said. “That sounds almost human, but not like any human I’ve met.”
Using her summoned Vila senses, Pani flowed out toward the sound, but could find no trail to lead her to the noise. It, and the strange sense of malevolence, vanished. She tested the air, trying to capture the feeling of the “other” so she could identify it again. Whatever it was, she didn’t like it.
Rafe growled deep in his throat and she turned back to him.
“Do you have any of your abilities?” she asked, looking up at him to see frustration crawl across his face.
His fists clenched and his body was so tight she thought his muscles might explode.
“I still have better reflexes, and acute senses of smell and hearing. I have enhanced tracking, superior to any human. But I can’t shift. My cat paces around inside me, but he can’t get out.”
He ground his teeth and he slammed one fist into another. He looked over at her with those eyes so like the color of her favorite forest trees.
“I thought you would know where he was. You’re a Vila. You like dogs.” He looked at her for a long minute. “You’re supposed to make men want to follow you anywhere, but you don’t seem to be that dangerous.”
Mocking laughter. Touching. Unwanted hands. The savage compliments that tasted like rage. The chase. The lure. Deep. Deeper. Into the forest. Come, little man, come. Teasing. Dancing. Deeper. Deeper. The forest. The forest. The forest. Screams. Pleas.
Pani looked at him, glad he didn’t have psychic ability, glad that his powers were diminished at the moment. If he hadn’t been stunted, she wondered if he’d be able to smell the past on her, the wrongness of what had happened.
Of what she’d had to do.
Want to win a ebook of No Ordinary Fairy as well as a $10 Amazon gift card? Just leave a comment on my Facebook author page between now and the end of the month, and I will draw one random name as the lucky winner. As always I welcome feedback. If you care to drop me a line either at my website (www.clairedavon.com) or on my Facebook author page.
Thanks again to Delilah for hosting me! I had a blast!
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Thank you for hosting me again, Delilah. I always enjoy stopping by your blog. Today, I have a confession for your readers.
I cannot stand silence.
Silence has weight. A crushing pressure that I cannot think through. I need something with a cadence or beat that I can tune out, otherwise, I focus on every creak, drip, or thump my house makes. Whether I’m working or reading, I need something in the background my brain can ignore.
Despite being of the MTV generation, I didn’t see a lot of music videos growing up. My family didn’t have cable and until I was in high school we only had 1 TV in the house controlled by my dad. I listened to the radio with advertising spots every ten minutes or played cassette tapes.
Fortunately, I had an awesome friend who made me artist playlists and themed compilations.
In college, I discovered New Age music. I preferred to work to synthesized ambient and space music over nature sounds. But sometimes I’d go to sleep to a thunderstorm. Other times I’d listen to instrumental soundtracks. The first year of college, all I listened to was the Terminator 2: Judgement Day soundtrack.
When I read, I usually have the TV on. I’m a bit of a TV junkie about drama shows like NCIS and Once Upon a Time. On the weekend, I’ll watch baseball or NASCAR. (Don’t judge, I have two car crazy boys in the house) Just something to have on while I do other things.
Before I start writing a story, one of my first tasks is to complete a playlist. I try to select 20 to 25 songs but it varies depending on the story. I mix classical, new age, soundtrack and pop music based on what I think will fit the story. Sometimes I have specific songs for characters and sometimes the music reminds me of the emotion I want to convey.
This is the playlist for my latest novella, Tethered, which releases Tuesday, February 14, 2017.
You can listen to the playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvG3phTNj4isHUMtgOSs6AFUaIpq8ooVn
I only played The Vengeful One when I channeled my villain. According to my software, I played Radioactive the most. My story takes place in the fall between September and October which explains why a few of the songs have September in the title.
I think of my heroine, Evelyn whenever Something Wild plays. She is a Peregrine falcon shifter who is also an Aquarius. Being in the air, flying, is what she longs for. Riding the currents, living life is her calling.
Are you a Silence person or a background noise person?
Zodiac Shifters: Tethered
Releases Feb. 14, 2017
For over one hundred years, Evelyn Brooks experienced the world through her photography. Now her creativity has deserted her and a stalker drove her from her home. Looking for a new sanctuary, she moved to North Carolina. Exploring the skies of her new home, a bolt of magic knocks her falcon form from the air.
Park ranger Lawke Morgan’s already bad day got worse when his ex-wife dropped off their 13 year old daughter and left for a vacation in London. Dealing with his daughter is nothing compared to discovering magic and shapeshifters exist when a Peregrine falcon he rescued transforms before his eyes. Then his daughter is kidnapped by an Aztec priest after Evelyn.
In exchange for one of Evelyn’s early pictures, located in the small town of Willows Haven, the priest will free Lawke’s daughter. He will do anything to get his daughter back, even break the law. But magic has a way of entangling people together whether they want to be or not. To rescue his daughter, they must confront blood sacrifices, ancient gods and their own inability to trust.
Can a woman used to the freedom of the skies embrace love with a man firmly rooted on the ground?
Evelyn Brooks raced across a purple-tinged sky. Behind her, lightning and thunder clashed within baleful clouds. Her wings dipped in a strong crosswind and plunged her toward the earth. Muscling through the gale, she climbed into a less turbulent current. She’d never make Raleigh before getting soaked, despite the speed her Peregrine form achieved.
A ferocious roar drowned out the whistle of the wind. The upward flap of her wings faltered, and her blood chilled. Turning into a different current, she glimpsed the silhouette of an enormous beast against the storm’s clouds.
Below her, the treetops of a deciduous forest with red-kissed leaves due to an early frost stood sentry. She took shelter within the branches of an oak tree.
The whoosh of wings induced Evelyn to shrink against the tree trunk and dig her talons into the bark as the limbs swayed. A strong crosswind contorted the tree further. Another roar challenged the incoming storm’s might and silenced the nighttime creatures.
Twisting her head, she glanced through the foliage into the cloud-filled sky. A dark shadow moved against the dark gray backdrop. Gigantic wings lifted a massive creature high into the sky.
Hunted until extinct, dragons had been stripped of their scales and blood, their magic forever lost to the supernatural communities. For eons they’d guarded and sheltered those seeking wisdom or healing until humans, who couldn’t control their desires, rampaged across the earth and destroyed all the sanctuaries.
Apparently, the purge hadn’t destroyed them all, and the approaching storm had disturbed this one’s slumber.
Moving to the East Coast was supposed to keep Evelyn safe. Free her of the disturbing sense that someone watched her. Maybe stimulate her creativity and spark a burst of artistry. Instead, she was denied the escape of flight and forced to hide.
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Tethered-Shifters-Paranormal-Romance-Aquarius-ebook/dp/B01NH9KZT9/
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tethered-17
Sunday, February 5th, 2017
My name is Stefan Wyemore and I’m the High Alpha of the Northwest Territories. If I could snort here, I would. That sounds so high-and-mighty. What it really means is that I get to listen to every complaint and gripe everyone in the northwestern area has and figure out how to make shifters of all sorts, covens and hybrids live together in peace. It’s a nasty job, but my folks thought I was up to the job. They’re technically the leaders, but they live in Florida with the packs and prides there and ceded this place to me. Gee, thanks, folks.
Don’t get me wrong. I love it here. The mountains are incredible. We don’t have anything like that in Florida, that’s for sure. And if I hadn’t had this job, I wouldn’t have met Mali, my mate and the woman I can’t imagine life without. Though it wasn’t easy convincing her.
Mali is an amazing woman. She’s a hybrid, like me, someone who can both shift and do magic. Fortunately, we’re both feline shifters, which makes our bond even stronger. I knew as soon as I met her that we were mates, but it took a little longer for her to accept it. She’s been through a lot in her life. I can’t imagine never belonging somewhere. My folks and where I grew up were so accepting of everyone. But here, it’s not quite as open. In fact, I had to take out four betas who were lording it over their packs like they were gods or something. They quickly learned I don’t go for that. Yes, I’m an alpha and my word is law, but laws have to be tempered with compassion and acceptance. And theirs weren’t. I will not allow bigotry to spread in my packs and prides. We are all shifters. It doesn’t matter if we’re feline, canine, bovine, or something else. Shifters are shifters. And mage-shifters are even better.
That’s what Mali and I are—mage-shifters. Not only do we shift, but we can do magic. My affinity is with the elements while hers is with healing. Because of what we are, maybe others will learn what acceptance is.
Anyway, Lion’s Choice is our story. Or rather, a part of our story. It’s about how Malena and I met and how we became mates. It’s got shifters and witches, yes, but don’t be surprised if a ghost or two shows up too. My grandmother likes to interfere in my life, even if she’s not still around. Sigh. Like I said, the life of the High Alpha is not an easy one, but with Mali at my side, I can tackle anything.
Stefan the Black, alpha of the northwestern territories, needs a strong mate. It’s the only way the prides and packs will continue to follow him, but he hasn’t found the right one yet. Then Dr. Malena Troutman literally runs into him and he and his beast know that she is the one.
The problem is convincing her.
Malena wants nothing to do with prides or packs. As a half-breed—part witch, part shifter—she’s been shunned by both shifters and witches alike. But her beast wants Stefan, and so does the human part of her. Still, can she trust him not to turn her away, especially once he learns her secret?
But Stefan has more than a few secrets of his own, not the least of which is… he’s also got magic running through his blood. It’s up to him to convince the packs and prides that their prejudices are hurting the prides. Ruling a large area of multiple packs and prides takes a lot of balancing—funds, people, emergencies, and more. But with Malena by his side, Stefan turns things around and both beasts find contentment.
“Is there a problem?”
Malena looked up—something that didn’t happen too often—to find a man with raven hair and eyes the color of deep sapphires looking down at her. She immediately recognized him. She could never forget that face or his scent. Her lion grew restless, and Mali fought to stay in control. He wore cut-off jean shorts and a deep blue tee, exposing impressive muscles, but not body-builder bulk. These were the lean, long ones of a lethal animal.
“Oh! Alpha Stefan, it’s nothing. Just a computer mix-up with Miss Troutman’s reservation. I’m sure we can find someone who will take her in.”
Alpha Stefan? Damn. Of course he would be the alpha. “That’s Doctor Troutman, and I’d rather not be crammed into someone’s family room with screaming kids running all around.” Mali let a little of her irritation show in her voice.
“What about a separate bedroom with a private bath and no screaming kids?”
She hesitated the briefest of seconds before nodding. She wondered if he had orchestrated this glitch, along with the invitation. “That’s what I was hoping for.”
Not only did her lioness approve, but so did the witch side of her. That in itself was odd enough for her to pay attention.
“Where are your bags, Doctor Troutman?” He smiled at her, a grin of both invitation and consideration.
“Just this.” She indicated a regulation-sized pull-along. “The rest are still in my truck, though I have no idea where that is at the moment.”
“In the parking area. I can have one of the valets retrieve your things for you if you wish.”
“Thank you. They’re rather important, and some need to be handled with care. I’m teaching a class here tomorrow. If you could show me my room, and where my truck might be, I’ll get them myself.” She hesitated. Damn. She’d given orders to the alpha. Could she stuff her foot any further into her mouth? Her face grew warm. “My apologies, Alpha Stefan. If I’d known—”
“If you’d known, I think you would still need to handle your bags with care. Shall we?” He offered his arm and took her bag in one hand.
“I can carry that myself,” she said, not wanting to put the alpha out any more than she already had.
“I’m sure you can. I was merely being polite.”
She blew out a sigh and took his arm. “Thank you, Alpha Stefan. I appreciate the help. So where is this room I can have?”
He stepped into the elevator and punched the button for the fifth floor. “My apartment.”
Stefan enjoyed the look of pure shock on the woman’s face. As soon as he’d told her where they were going, she’d dropped her hand and stepped away from him. This was not a woman who used feminine wiles to capture a man. She wanted nothing to do with him. It showed in her stiff shoulders, crossed arms, tight mouth, and narrowed eyes. He kept a neutral look on his face but smiled inwardly. She intrigued him on many levels. He discovered he was actually looking forward to the challenge she offered.
Malena Troutman. The lion within him was practically purring, and so was the man.
Available from Liquid Silver Publishing, Amazon, B&N, and other fine sellers
Where to find me: http://burkholv.wordpress.com
Sunday, January 8th, 2017
UPDATE: The winner of the free download of Bad Moon Rising is…Kim Smith!
* * * * *
This one came out a little over a year ago. Love panther-shifters? Love a sexy Cajun drawl? Enjoy the excerpt!
Comment for a chance to win a free download of Bad Moon Rising!
Bad Moon Rising
On a whim, romance author DiDi Devereaux decides to travel to remote Louisiana bayou country to take possession of a house she inherited from a reclusive relative. But before she reaches her destination, she drives her car into a ditch to avoid a large animal that leaps into her path. Rescue comes in the form of a sexy sheriff, whose gruff demeanor seems to hide a feral attraction. As DiDi settles into her new home she finds herself torn between her attraction to the sheriff and the raw, handsome bad boy whose offer to help her renovate her home is a little too convenient and tempting.
Nothing in Bayou Noir is what it seems. When strange things begin to happen, her natural curiosity leads her into danger…
Get your copy here!
Read an excerpt…
DiDi hit SAVE and shut down her computer. Her newest story was beginning to pull together—or at least, the characters were coming alive. The external plot of her novel hadn’t yet gelled, because she hadn’t discovered what secrets the sheriff and the bad boy hid.
But the characters were now fully fleshed—the two men appealing to her heroine in ways DiDi understood all too well. The question she still struggled with was which man her heroine would ultimately choose. The thought made her smile.
DiDi closed the computer lid. Of course, Sheriff Breaux and Bobby Sonnier were the models for her two heroes. All the while she’d described her heroine’s first meeting with the men, she’d described her own feelings, and how her curiosity and body had both been aroused. Which man did she, DiDi, prefer? Funny, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d thought a man so disturbingly attractive. But in this remote location, within a single hour, she’d met two.
She stretched her arms above her head and glanced at her watch—two o’clock AM. Since she was a night owl by habit, she didn’t worry. However, the room was warm. The AC chugged along, but didn’t seem to cool very well. Upon returning to the room, she’d changed to cutoffs and a tank top, but the fabric stuck to her skin. Maybe drinking something ice-cold would cool her enough to rest comfortably. She slipped the pass key into her back pocket, tucked a couple of dollar bills into the front one, and let herself out of her room.
Outside, she breathed in the thick, humid air. The night was quiet except for the distant, blended hum of insects and frogs. Maybe it was the cloying heat, but she felt restless and aroused. Her thoughts swirled with the erotic fantasies she’d been spinning into a story.
A woman caught between two men.
On the outside, one wore a white hat, the other dressed like he’d just dragged himself out of bed. But inside, both souls were painted with the same darkness.
The soda machine stood next to the office, so she walked barefoot along the sidewalk, slid her money into the slot, and hit the button for a Coke. The machine shuddered, but nothing dropped into the well at the bottom.
“Damn.” She hit the button again. Nothing. Cursing, she bent and stuck her arm up into the opening, found the bottom of her can lodged at an odd angle, and rattled it until it dropped into her hand.
When she straightened, she held the can away and opened the tab, letting it spray outward.
The can was icy cold, and she drank down several gulps before turning back to her room.
DiDi drew up short. A car had parked in front of her room. A sleek Caprice with the township’s emblem and blue lights on the top. Sheriff Breaux stood with his arms crossed over his chest, watching her.
Had he seen her wrestle with the coke, her butt in the air? Would she ever catch a break with the guy?
DiDi made herself straighten her shoulders and sauntered toward the large man. Did he always wear that expression—so dark and intense, so watchful? She caught the way his narrowed glance scanned her bare legs and feet, and she shivered.
She’d take his frown over a smile from another man any day—the gesture did things to her. Challenged her. Made her tingle in all the right places. “Evenin’, Sheriff,” she drawled, walking closer.
“Miz Devereaux,” he said, nodding.
“DiDi,” she replied, curving her lips. “I thought we were getting friendly.”
His expression didn’t soften. “It’s late. Doesn’t a city girl like you know it’s not safe to be alone outside after dark?”
“Tell me,” she said softly, teasingly as she leaned against her room’s door. “This is a small town. What should I fear? And is the danger sporting four legs or two?”
His features stilled. He stepped closer and looked down his nose.
A move like he was trying to intimidate. She didn’t know why, but his stance aroused her.
“Bayou Noir is a quiet town,” he said, his voice dead even, “but you’re a beautiful woman. More temptation than man or beast might be able to resist.”
DiDi blinked, all bluster gone. Heat soaked the crotch of her panties. He thinks I’m hard to resist? “Looks like I don’t have a thing to fear with you here, Sheriff.”
His lips crimped in irritation, and he shook his head. “Told you before, Mason,” he bit out. “Seein’ as how we’re friendly now.”
Two could play this game of chicken. She stepped close enough she could smell him. “What if I like sheriff? I like a man being in charge.”
His nostrils flared. His eyelids fell. “Careful, chère…”
“Am I really that hard to resist?” DiDi lifted her chin.
He didn’t answer, but his gaze fell to her mouth.
DiDi knew she’d roll her eyes if a character in her book licked her lips at a time like this, but she couldn’t resist the tease. She stroked her bottom lip, wetting it and watching Mason’s eyes narrow further, homing in on the simple little motion.
“You like playin’ with fire?” he muttered, his voice guttural.
“I’m not playin’.”
His eyes were shadowed, a touch sinister and frightening.
She couldn’t have said why, but she wanted to rattle him. Answer his challenge with one of her own. DiDi leaned into Mason, pressing the hand not holding the soda against his chest and rising on her toes. When her mouth approached, she saw his lips part.
But he held still, watching her with that dark, steady gaze.
She placed her lips against his and rubbed, and then did it again when he still didn’t move. Pulling back, she gave him a slight glare. His expression hadn’t changed, but that didn’t defeat her. No way could she be this hot if he wasn’t returning some of the heat.
Plus, he hadn’t warned her away with a word or a gesture, hadn’t moved back either. Not exactly a no.
Angling a hand backwards, she set the soda on the windowsill and reached up to clutch his shoulders, pushed her chest against his, snuggling closer, and kissed him again.
His hands curled gently around her waist.
Her heart sped up, her body melted. She pressed her lips harder.
However, Mason pushed her away…but his fingers didn’t let her go.
Rather than reach for him again, DiDi curved her fingers into her palms. She’d never thrown herself at a man like that, without an ounce of encouragement. Feeling like a fool, she pushed at his hands. “Don’t worry,” she said, unable to hold his steady stare now that she’d humiliated herself. “I promise I won’t attack you again.”
“What?” she snapped, lifting her face, hoping to salvage her pride.
“Dammit.” His lips slammed on top of hers. His hands let go of her waist and glided around her back, pulling her against him. And then he was walking her backward, pushing her against her door while he devoured her mouth.
DiDi thought she’d been ready for his kiss. Ready for whatever he’d bring, but under the onslaught, her head swam, her knees weakened. She locked her fingers behind his neck.
Scents intensified—the smell of thick, green forest, the exhaust of his car, his aftershave, the unique smell of his masculine musk.
Sounds—an indistinct hum before—returned, becoming louder. Crickets chirped, frogs croaked. The wind sifted through the trees, rustling leaves and creaking branches. And his heartbeat grew loud enough, insistent enough, her own matched its beat.
And God, the lush, wet thrill of that kiss! His mouth was hard, his tongue sinfully fluid, sliding along hers then tangling and twisting until she had to suck on it to keep him still and savor the sensual connection.
DiDi felt as though she drowned in a perfect moment, falling deeply into lust, her body shivering and bending toward him.
Mason broke the kiss. His gaze raked her face; his jaw tightened. “Better get inside an’ lock that door, chère.”
“And if I don’t want to?” she asked breathlessly, looking deep into his dark eyes.
“Gimme your key.”
Relief made her knees shake. He’s coming inside. She dug into her pocket for the key card and handed it over. He swiped the key and pulled down the latch next to her hip. Then he tossed the key toward the bed behind her and grasped her waist.
DiDi began to reach up to enfold him in her arms—
Scowling, Mason pushed her backward and closed the door in her face.
“Fuck,” she whispered. That had never happened before.
Monday, September 19th, 2016
I’m so excited to share my newest release with you, HER ROGUE ALPHA, Book 5 in my X-OPS Series!
I introduced you to feline shifter Layla Halliwell and injured Special Forces lieutenant Jayson Harmon earlier in the series, then gave you glimpses into their relationship in each subsequent book. Well, HER ROGUE ALPHA is all about them!
Layla went to college to become a psychologist because she always wanted help people. After graduation, she got a job at the DCO so she could work with shifters like her. She didn’t intend to ever become a field agent, but now that she’s training to be one, she’s excited at the prospect. If only her boyfriend, Jayson, were as thrilled about he career change.
Jayson used to be in the Special Forces, but got injured during a mission in Afghanistan and was medically separated from the Army. He takes an experimental drug that’s supposed to not only heal his injuries, but give him shifter abilities. Problem is, people who were given previous versions of that same serum either died or ended up like wild, uncontrollable animals. But
thinking about his girlfriend Layla out there in danger without him to watch her back is driving him crazy with worry and he’ll do anything to be her partner in the field.
Hope you enjoy it!
HE’LL DO ANYTHING FOR HER
Former Special Forces Lieutenant Jayson Harmon can’t believe that his war scars don’t matter to beautiful feline shifter Layla Halliwell. Why would she saddle herself with a broken man?
But Layla knows that Jayson is a hero to the core, and that only she can heal his wounded soul. So when Jayson is deployed on another deadly mission, no way is Layla staying behind…
Read the First 3 Chapters for FREE!
Purchase at: Amazon | B&N | iBOOKS | Kobo:
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Friday, June 24th, 2016
Release day: July 1, 2016
Where there’s smoke, there’s dragon fire.
Ordinary girl. Extraordinary fate.
Violet Winters is having a less than perfect day. Her parents are meddling with her love life (again), her wintery magic is kaput and her vivid dreams are coming far too close to reality. When she falls through the ice after seeing her fiancé all close and snuggly with a fellow polar bear, all bets are off. Is she better off dead or will she get another chance at life when a Grimare angel rescues her from her chosen fate?
Fire meets ice and passions ignite.
Dante is a dragon on a mission: fight the string of strange fires springing up around Westmore and find a mate. When his Captain decides to have the men pose for social media shots to garner attention for the station, Dante finds himself in the middle of a steady stream of women after his special strategically placed “fire hose.”
At Hot Whips Café to haggle with the owner for counter space for their new firemen calendar, he meets a woman who sets his inner scales on fire. Can he save her from the machinations of the Fates or will she die a second time by the very threat Dante fights against?
A dragon’s panty melting kiss may just be the wow this curvy girl needs.
“Come on, Dante, show us a little leg.” The smirking photographer circled in front of him and it was all Dante could do to control the dragon scraping beneath his skin to avoid reaching out and shoving the camera up his ass.
Pictures for social media. The Captain had officially lost his fucking mind. The catcalls and male laughter from the rest of the guys made him lose his footing and the fire hose he’d been using as a prop to conceal his nakedness began to slip.
“Jesus. Fix that hose. This isn’t internet porn, you know.” The Captain groused, scowling.
Dante scrambled to catch the hose and cover himself and balanced against the newly washed and waxed fire engine, trying to pretend he was anywhere else but standing like a prize bull at an auction.
“If you’ll hold still, please. The others have already contributed their shots. You’re the last one.” The cameraman huffed, turning the lens. He lowered the camera and glared at Dante. “You could smile maybe?”
Shit. He was distracted by the wacked out dream he’d had the night before. A woman he’d never met swam in front of him, dying. Her long black hair fanned out in the cold, dark water and he’d panicked. He’d told her to live.
“Fine.” Dante growled, a wisp of smoke curling out from behind his lips. He felt the change sliding beneath his skin, the dragon agitated by his distress.
“God, Dante. Come on.” Carter laughed. “You aren’t afraid of a little flashing light, are you?” The rest of the crew laughed, sharing in the good natured ribbing.
He just wanted it to be over. His beast wanted to fly and hunt and if he didn’t get out of here soon, he was going to lose his mind. Most of the men here were either dating or married. He wasn’t and the urge to mate had made his already bad temper even worse.
The Captain had lured him and the others in with the promise of a social media boost to help the department. He figured a couple of pictures for Instagram like that vet that had so many followers it was insane. Model pretty with a gaggle of women trailing behind him like no tomorrow. The guy had even been on national television recently. Cap was dreaming, but he also knew the man would do anything to save their department from going strictly volunteer.
So many in the country had gone that route and the bear shifter was fighting it tooth and claw. Dante supported that. He’d moved from his home in the mountains to come here after his buddy Carter had told him about the job. Happy and with a large family of cat and dragon shifter young, his friend would do anything to ensure things stayed status quo. So would he, and apparently that included standing naked in front of a freshly polished firetruck.
Thank God his mother couldn’t see him or he’d never hear the end of it. She’d been writing him emails nonstop asking if he’d met any promising women. Jesus. He’d never seen a woman more eager to fuss over grandchildren. But he hadn’t and the prospects didn’t look very favorable. Not that he hadn’t dated. He had. But no female he’d met even sparked his interest past the typical curves and tight jeans and it wasn’t enough. Not anymore.
He wanted a mate. Someone to come home to and warm his bed and his heart. Most of the women he’d come across only wanted one thing—to bang a fireman and brag to their friends.
“Well, that’s about as good as I’m going to get if you’re going to scowl like that.” The photographer capped his lens and sighed, stalking off toward the Captain. “You can get dressed now.”
“Jerk.” Dante swiped the robe he’d worn from the floor and shrugged into it.
“Man, you really need to learn to crack a smile, buddy.” Carter grinned as he and a few of the others approached now that the photographer had gone.
“Thank you, guys. Dante.” The Captain came forward giving Dante a narrow eyed look, then nodded toward the remainder of the group. “We should see the finished product in a day or so.”
About the Author
Erzabet Bishop is an award winning and bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Snow (Three Times More Lucky Box Set), Malediction (upcoming-A Wicked Halloween Box Set), Map of Bones (upcoming-A Wicked Affair Box Set), Sanguine Shadows (Vampire Bites Box Set), The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Red Hot (upcoming), Bayou Shadows (upcoming-Nola Naughty Nine) Hedging Her Bets (Alpha Fever Box Set), Cat’s Got Her Tongue (Alpha Heat Box Set), Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming),The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Sigil Fire, Glitter Lust (upcoming), Written on Skin, Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Fantasies in Red, Sweet Seductions, Holiday Cruise, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts: Jess, Temptation Resorts: Marnie, Taming the Beast, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.
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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
Ranae is the youngest of the Buckleys, and the only girl amongst three powerful male siblings. Her restlessness and dominant nature has affected every relationship within Willow Bend, not to mention testing the patience of her Alpha. Apprenticeship to the Hunters fed her desire for a purpose. When her Alpha and eldest brother ask her to undertake a mission to the Yukon territory, she’s thrilled at the opportunity for a real chance to be useful. Clashing with the Alpha was the last thing she expected on the dangerous assignment.
The oldest Alpha in the U.S. packs lives a gray existence. The loss of his mate so many decades before wears away at him, until he doesn’t give a damn about anything. The problems of the other packs are not his, and he prefers to be left to his isolation. The arrival of the Chief Enforcer annoys him, but it is the wolf traveling with him who wakes the predator in Diesel. The scent of mate clings to her, but she rejects his overtures and challenges him on every level.
War may be coming for the Yukon, but Diesel’s battle is very personal…
Find out more at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | ARe
Praise for the Wolves of Willow Bend series:
“ROGUE WOLF is a fast paced, intriguing look into the world of shifters. Salvatore is old world a bit stodgy and Margo is very much new world and on top of that a lone wolf and Enforcer. How is it possible that these two could be mates? In author Heather Long’s vivid and fun imagination it’s very easy.” — Fresh Fiction
“BAYOU WOLF is in a word … amazing. All the reader can do is hold on for the ride and enjoy the fireworks.” — Fresh Fiction
“If you love sexy wolf shifters, sweet love stories and action then you have to pick up UNTAMED WOLF by Heather Long”. — Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction
“It is a great story about finding a place to belong and the love that can follow if you allow it.” – Hart’s Romance Pulse reviewing RIVER WOLF
Read an excerpt from SNOW WOLF:
Riding the high of her nearness, Diesel leaned into the force of her hand on his chest. “I know my mate’s scent. I searched for you all over Willow Bend. Why else would Mason send you?” The moment the words left his lips, he reconsidered the phrasing. Her eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared.
“I’m a Hunter of Willow Bend. I am here to deliver a message from my Alpha—and I don’t care what century you were born in old man, but we don’t arrange matings. You don’t just get to walk in here, thump your chest and say mine.” The ferocious light in her eyes sent a quiet thrill through his bloodstream. His wolf roused to the hunt, every color and nuance sharpening under their study.
“No?” He didn’t want to miss a moment of her reaction. Her dilated pupils constricted even as her mouth tightened. Anger soured her scent and her nails bit into his muscle as he pressed into the contact. Despite a faint tremble, she didn’t shift her grip or attack him. Would she? If he provoked her enough? The idea intrigued the hell out of him. No Alpha wanted a weak mate.
“No.” She withdrew the contact then retreated one step. Crowding closer, he refused to let her abandon him. “Dude…get a grip. I came here to do a job.” A muscle in her jaw twitched. “Or maybe you are trying to prove you don’t hold the Yukon?”
Challenge wound through every syllable. Canting his head to the side, he raised one eyebrow and waited.
“What? Playing crazy, eccentric keeps the other packs at bay and allows you to dictate the terms of your interactions. You don’t want to talk; you walk away or slam a door. You want to shut me down; you declare I’m yours.” Folding her arms, Ranae raised her chin and, although the gold circle on around her gray-green irises faded, it didn’t diminish completely. “It won’t work and I’m really not interested in the games. We have serious issues to discuss with you, Alpha. You can get on board or be left behind to cope on your own should the Russian packs turn their gaze on your territory and your pack.”
Amusement curved through him. Passionate determination etched into her expression. “Our pack will be fine.”
“My pack will be, absolutely. Your pack is debatable.” The aggravation in her scent muted beneath the sting of frustration. “Now you’re baiting me.” Sidestepping him, she tried to put some distance between them. He allowed her three steps before intercepting her again. He wanted her gaze on him, nowhere else. “Seriously, you have a problem.”
“No, I have a mate, but continue telling me why our pack is in danger.”
Pausing, her lips tightened and her eyes narrowed. The curl of her fingers into a fist telegraphed her next move. Would she do it? He pressed into her space, and she rewarded his effort with fresh contact in the form of a blow. It caught him square above his heart, and the second with her elbow connected with his jaw. He accepted both blows, but refused to retreat.
“Your training is incomplete.” Whatever response she’d been expecting, his comment surprised her. “Otherwise you’d understand that two hits will not take down an enraged male, if you want to escape you have to incapacitate or kill.”
“I don’t want to fight you.”
“Wonderful. I have no desire to fight you, but if you need to beat on me to make yourself feel better, go right ahead. I’m very sturdy.”
The corner of her mouth kicked into an involuntary smile, and his breath lodged in his throat, the single glimpse of sweetness a better reward than he could have imagined. “Are you insane?”
“Depends on your definition of sanity.” The tangle of her hair contrasted with the wool of her pullover. How soft would the strands be? When she failed to respond, he reached out to test his theory. She slapped his hand away, and the sting intrigued him.
“Stop.” Command reverberated through the single syllable. “I came here as a messenger, nothing else. Keep your teeth and your hands to yourself. Am I clear?”
In all things, an Alpha could command. He could take a life. He could grant it. Wolves who pledged to an Alpha could be sent into the heart of danger and forfeit all that they owned. The heart, however, could not be commanded nor could he take what she would not willingly give.
His wolf bucked at the rejection, but Diesel withdrew three steps to give her space. Clasping his hands behind his back, he studied the beautiful Hunter before him. She would not tumble easily, nor would she accept his direct pledge. Very well, if he had to learn to court, then he would find what enticed her. “Dress,” he ordered. “Several layers. We will be leaving the guest quarters.”
Expecting obedience, he turned to the entrance and pressed the code to allow Julian entry.
“Are you staying with her or leaving?” Her presence was non-negotiable.
“Since you asked so nicely…” The Chief Enforcer’s expression barely shifted, yet a smirk echoed beneath his words. “I’d be happy to stay.”
Uninterested in the old wolf’s games, Diesel spared his mate another studying look. Ranae gaped at him, and she hadn’t moved a muscle.
“Trust me when I say it will be more comfortable if you get dressed, but if you insist on testing my patience, I’ll happily take care of stripping you first then dressing you.”
The taunt did what the order would not. She moved.
His wolf rose, stretching and raking his claws. Yes, they had the scent of this hunt.
About Heather Long
National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
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