Friday, 30 May 2014
Werewolves Wanting Love book 1
The moment werewolves Merek Hopwood and Benedict Shearer see Ebony Tainton they know she’s the woman for them. Only problem is, she and her sister Ivory are the dance teachers at the conference, with very little time to party and the need to treat all the men perfectly equally.
Merek, a Dom, and Ben set out to spend every available moment with Ebony, which means attending every class she teaches. Merek also takes the time to plan some special things she might agree to do, such as a picnic. They’re very happy when she agrees to have lunch with them, but frustrated by having to share her with the many other wolves who also want to dance with her and talk to her and her sister.
They only have a week. Will they ever get her alone to show her how much they love her and want to make her theirs?
At the door, women lined up on one side and men the other, and security was checking the women and letting them in first. Only when no women were waiting were the men allowed in. Consequently even though they were early, the men’s line was long.
Once they were finally scanned inside it was no better. There was a bar at one side of the room, with a huge range of beverages and several wait staff, and a stage with a band on it. The band looked pretty normal to Merek, a keyboard player, several guitarists, a drummer, a couple of singers.
The rest of the room had a row of chairs against the wall, interspersed with little tables holding giant potted plants. Now he looked again, there was a line of equally large green plants in front of the stage, and more potted plants in the corners of the rooms, as well as by the doors where he’d entered and not noticed them as he passed. He was focused on looking for Ebony and Ivory, but he couldn’t see them.
Deciding he’d rushed too much, he looked at each woman more carefully but no one had butt-length black hair, or a whole lot of dark hair piled up on her head.
Well, likely that was a good thing. He only needed to watch the door and sooner or later she’d arrive. The band was playing, but it was background sort of music, not dance music.
“Shall we walk?” asked Ben softly.
He nodded. Yes indeed, it was important not to appear as stalkers. Not that they were stalkers precisely. It was just that they’d already chosen their woman. Merek wondered how many other men had found the woman they wanted already. And how many of them wanted Ebony? His major hope was that at least half the men who’d been talking to the women at lunchtime had their hearts set on Ivory, not Ebony. Ivory was very beautiful and seemed a lovely person. Merek would be more than happy to have her as a sister-in-law. But it was Ebony who made his cock stand up and who tugged at his heart strings with every smile and frown she made.
Very slowly they circled the large room, nodding and smiling to some of the people they’d already met, but nowhere did they see Ebony and Ivory. When they reached the bar, they both chose glasses of light ale. Now was not the time to get drunk. They stopped about halfway down the side of the room, where they had a good view of the doors.
He was startled when the music stopped and a woman welcomed them. She was quite a small woman with light brown hair and dressed in a white dress with some sort of ribbons tied up under her breasts.
“Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the Second Desperate and Dateless Interspecies Week-Long House Party. My name is Dorothea and I’m your host this evening. I know some of you will be thinking how very formal and structured the week is and how many rules we’re imposing on you. The rules are there to ensure that all the women here are comfortable, and that the men all understand it is always the woman’s choice as to what happens here, including whether or not she dances with you. Just to show you what rules are really like, the first item this evening is going to be a formal dance from the days of Regency Britain. You will notice that everyone is wearing gloves, and that the only place anyone may touch a lady is on her gloved hand.”
Dorothea had been holding something in one hand, which turned out to be long white gloves. When she pulled them on they came up over her elbows. Merek barely had time to assimilate that fact when three men and two women came out from behind the stage and stood in two lines in the center of the dance floor. The women on one side and the men on the other. The three men were wearing tight pants that stopped just under their knees and long socks that vanished inside the knee breeches. They had tight coats with long tails. One of the two women was a blonde wearing a pale pink dress with a ruffled hem and pink ribbons on it and the other woman was dark and wearing pale lilac. Ebony! Ebony and Ivory! So that’s where they were, out back waiting for this dance.
Merek relaxed as he watched the six people dance. It was actually damn complicated and quite energetic. Certainly they never even brushed their bodies against each other in the twists and turns of the dance, as they ducked under joined hands, and twirled around each other. There were a lot of tricky little steps to the sides and backward and forward as well as the weaving in and out things they did. Merek was glad he hadn’t had to learn that and wondered who the three men were. Fitness instructors or personal trainers maybe? Those people in the olden days must have been damn fit to do dances like that all night long.
At the end of the dance the six dancers bowed and walked around back of the stage again, and the band began to play a modern dance.
Instead of joining the people crowding onto the dance floor, Merek moved smoothly up the side of the room, wanting to see Ebony. But the dancers had completely disappeared. Well, fuck!
Thursday, 15 May 2014
I know that "real" authors aren't supposed to have a favorite book, but "Extravagantly Loved" is very special to me. Janet and Malcolm are real people. When I was looking for a fitting way to end the very special "Werewolves of Hanson Mall" series, it occcurred to me that Janet deserved to find her own happy ending. That someone ought to deal with Malcolm appropriately.
And "Extravagantly Loved" came into being.
To the original Janet.
I know you’ll never let Malcolm defeat you, so hang in there, hon.
Besides, all the readers and I have got your back!
Janet Young’s brother, Malcolm, has threatened to kill her if she tries to retrieve all the money he stole from their father. She contacts Cadfael Hanson, Alpha of the Hanson Mall werewolf pack, and asks to hire a couple of his biggest, toughest security guards until the case comes to court.
Berian Davies, a trained security guard, and Hal Rowe from the Simon pack are determined to protect her. Berian thinks a farm boy will be useless. Hal doesn’t even know what a CFO is. But they’re both determined no one will harm Janet.
Unfortunately Malcolm is manipulative, cunning, and vindictive and he hasn’t gotten that memo. Somehow the two werewolves are going to have to learn how to cooperate with each other, keep Janet out of danger, avoid Malcolm and his attacks, and still get Janet to her meetings. It isn’t going to be easy. It might not even be possible to keep her alive, far less unharmed.
“I’m the firstborn. I’m the son. You are nothing. Second born and a worthless female as well. Everything belongs to me and I’m going to take it. If you get in my way and get hurt that’s your problem. Father’s property is mine and only mine. Stay out of my business or accept the consequences, you fat cunt!”
Janet Young stared at her cell phone in distaste. Malcolm might be ranting and crazy but he wasn’t insane. In a court of law it was likely he could manage to convince a jury he was playacting, not even threatening her. She sighed and saved the call onto a memory stick, which she then inserted into her iPad, and e-mailed to herself in another e-mail account.
That done she tapped her fingers on her desk thoughtfully. “He’s fucking serious. He’s always been a selfish shit. I can’t assume he’ll grow a brain any time soon.” Picking up her cell phone again she scrolled through several screens until she found what she wanted. Cadfael Hanson’s number. Cadfael was the managing director of Hanson Mall, but more importantly, the Alpha of the Hanson Mall Werewolf pack. He had a passel of mountainous security guards. She needed to hire a few of them right away. Her brother was a typical bully, which meant he was also a coward. But to avoid him hitting her over the head with a baseball bat one dark night she needed someone to watch her back, and there’d be no one better than a nice big werewolf.
“This is Janet Young, Mr. Hanson. I don’t know if you remember me, but—”
“I do remember you. You worked with Georgia on the family history project and brought us some information on the well-being center. How can I help you?”
“While I was working interstate temporarily my brother Malcolm stole all our father’s assets. The judge has ordered him to present a complete accounting of his and my father’s finances to the court by next month and it’s sent him batshit crazy. He’s threatened everyone who opposes him.”
“Georgia mentioned that. The security staff here at the mall is alert for any potential trouble.”
Janet winced. The shape-shifters had helped her and inadvertently she might have brought trouble to them. “I’m sorry about that. It never occurred to me he’d be angry with anyone other than me.”
“You aren’t to blame for another person’s actions.”
She was aware he was a very busy man with a lot of responsibilities so she hurried on with her question. “I was hoping you could direct me to some of your part-time security guards or former security guards who are interested in a short-term position as my bodyguard. Malcolm is not happy with me and he’s a very vindictive person. I was hoping to hire two or three of the largest, toughest-looking men you know who could be my bodyguards until the case comes to court in a few months.”
Janet could hear the smile in his voice as he replied. “The biggest ones I can find, huh? Very well. I should be able to get back to you by the end of the day. You’ll be paying the standard rates, I assume?”
“If they are big and tough looking I’m happy to pay ten percent over the usual rate, or fifteen percent if they have extra skills.”
“Good. I’ll talk to you later.”
Janet hated the thought of having to put herself under the control of a couple of men who she didn’t even know, but a lifetime association with her brother had taught her not to trust him. He was extremely vindictive and very likely to take his anger out on anyone less powerful than himself. For the first eighteen years of her life that had far too often been her. He’d stolen or destroyed all her favorite possessions, looking angelically innocent when she told her parents, who always believed him when he said she was lying. She’d never bought a car in high school, knowing that it would be just one more thing he’d take from her. She’d even come to believe him when he constantly claimed she was fat, stupid, and worthless. Certainly she’d never gotten good marks on any assignments at school, mainly because he either destroyed them, or hid anything she needed to complete them properly, including all her textbooks.
But once she got to college—in a different state from the one he was attending—her marks suddenly improved enormously. Possibly because the stress of always having to hide everything from him, and even from her parents, had passed.
Janet shook her head at herself. She had no doubt her folks had loved her, but they’d always believed Malcolm rather than her. Now her mother was dead and her father, Norm, had early stage dementia. Certainly Norm couldn’t be left alone and needed to be somewhere people could care for him, but he didn’t deserve having Malcolm steal all his possessions and money. Right now Janet was paying all his bills. She didn’t begrudge the money to her father. He’d cared for her for the first eighteen years of her life after all. But she also didn’t see why Malcolm should take her father’s assets when the old man needed them himself.
Janet gave herself a little shake. It was time to forget about Malcolm and get on with the work her bosses expected her to be doing.
Friday, 2 May 2014
"Tightly Held" (MFM) "Werewolves of Hanson Mal" book 5
Werewolves Ethan Simon and Nolan James are sent to Hanson Mall to help Georgia Edwards with the shape-shifter family history project. They’re determined to succeed at their job, bring honor to their pack, and also to claim Georgia, who’s a wolf, as their mate.
But it’s not that simple. They have an enormous amount to learn. The city is very different from their home on the farm. Georgia is their boss and they love her far too much to hurt or embarrass her by clumsy actions. Besides, more drama from the discredited well-being center comes to light, and something has to be done to drag their own pack out of poverty, as well.
How will they ever be able to demonstrate to her how much they’ll love and adore her if only she'll give them the chance? All they want to do is hold her tightly in their arms forever, but making it happen is proving incredibly difficult.
“You two boys fancy yourselves in love with that redhead from the Hanson Mall pack, don’t you?”
When the Alpha of the Simon pack asked a question, only a very foolish wolf would lie. “I’d certainly like to get to know her better, sir,” said Ethan Simon.
The Alpha’s piercing black gaze moved from his face to Nolan James’s but Ethan was too smart to move a muscle. The Alpha wasn’t finished with them yet.
“I don’t know, sir. I don’t know her yet, sir.” Nolan was sounding even worse than he had.
“Cadfael Hanson, the Alpha of the Hanson Mall pack, has agreed to take you two to help with the werewolf genealogy project. You will obey him in all things.” The Alpha’s voice was stern and Ethan could clearly hear the unspoken words. “The honor of our pack rests on your shoulders.”
“You will be starting at the bottom. You know nothing of their work but you will apply yourselves, work hard, and learn all the tasks as fast as you can. There’ll be no sneaking time off or wasting your opportunities.”
“We will do our very best, sir. Thank you for choosing us,” said Nolan.
“You will not antagonize Georgia Edwards. She is your superior in this work. She’s also a female wolf and there are far too few of them around for you two to recklessly waste your chances with her. If you discover she won’t accept you, make sure she doesn’t develop a distaste for this pack. There are other young men here who deserve a mate as well.”
Ethan thought he was starting to sound like a children’s toy that was broken and could only say one thing. But he was fucked if he could think of anything else to say. It wasn’t like the Alpha was looking for a conversation here. And the chance to find a mate was a huge gift as well as a challenge. He was up for the challenge and had no intention of wasting the gift.
“Sit down.” The Alpha waved to the couch opposite him. He was sitting in the huge armchair in the front room of the old farmhouse where he often sat, his back ramrod straight, though not at all relaxed. Ethan thought his gray hair had thinned even more the past few months. The pack was struggling to survive. They all couldn’t help but notice it. If he and Nolan were being fed and kept in another pack, that would take a little bit of pressure off the rest of the Simon pack. But only a new income stream could save them. He knew the Alpha was working on something but had no idea what it was or whether or not it would actually be successful.
“You don’t need to know all the ins and outs of the changes that will be happening in this pack, but in order to succeed in your task I’m about to tell you some things. This is strictly pack business, and not to be chattered about with your friends. I’m telling you so you know how important it is that you either succeed in your mission, or at least leave the pathway still clear for me to send others to follow you. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir. I appreciate your trust in us,” said Ethan.
“I’m honored you’ve chosen us,” said Nolan.
The Alpha wrinkled his nose, but Ethan thought he relaxed back into his armchair just a fraction. So far so good. Although I wish I knew what the fuck is going on.
“The lack of females being born into our pack is not something that’s unique to our pack, or to Ohio, or even to the Unites States of America. All around the world werewolf packs have noticed the lack of female babies being born over the past few generations. The Supreme Alpha of North America is aiding a research project that’s tracking shape-shifter genealogies to determine if there’s a cause for the lack of females, or if it’s a regular cyclical trend. It seems when male wolves mate with female humans, more girls are born. Not that it helped the Simon family. Quintana’s the only girl in three generations. Still, that’s what they’ve discovered.”
Ethan knew that. He was Quintana’s cousin, sharing the same human grandmother she had, although his father was the third brother born to their grandmother and hers the fifth.
“The Supreme is involved, sir?”
Yeah, good catch, Nolan. I didn’t know that.
“The Supreme’s headquarters is coordinating the project. The Hanson Mall pack is providing the key staff for it. Georgia Edwards and Wynn Evans. You will do exactly as they tell you. Always remember you’re there to learn and to help. If they tell you to fetch coffee, you go get it without complaint. I have chosen you both believing you are smart enough to learn whatever you need to learn, and to keep your mouths shut, and work hard on any menial tasks you’re given until you know enough to perform more advanced assignments. I will be extremely annoyed if I learn that either of you has been rude or lazy. And if it happens that you fail and the pack is not permitted to send anyone else on this project, the results will be extremely severe for you both. Have I made myself clear?”
“Yes, sir,” said Ethan.
“Crystal clear, sir. We won’t fail you or the pack,” said Nolan.