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Olivia’s Mate is Out!

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Today is the Day! At last,  Olivia’s Mate is out!

 

     Olivia Stensrud, a beloved daughter of the Lakota Wolf Clan, lives a charmed life in a world recovering from the nuclear attacks seventy-five years earlier. When she is stolen by a feral cat-shifter who insists she’s his mate, the men of her clan track her down and take her back. Sent away to safety, Olivia finds it impossible to forget the handsome savage who lives according to nature’s law.

 

     Kit is heartbroken. A mate is a rare thing for his kind to find. Her father promised to kill him if he ever came near Olivia again, but Kit can’t give up such a precious treasure. Determined to make himself a fit mate for a Daughter of the Wolf Clan, Kit goes to live with humans and learn their civilized ways.

 

     Will the thin veneer of culture be enough to win her heart? Or will her menfolk drive him off before he even has a chance to court her?

 

Olivia’s Mate is the first book in a new spin off series called The Daughters of the Wolf Clan. (There may be a second series called Sons of the wolf Clan. Taye and Carla’s son, Colby, is just screaming for a mate of his own. As you’ll see in Olivia’s Mate, Colby needs to be whipped into shape before he can make a good husband. 😉 ) Olivia’s Mate is the story of Tracker and Tami’s daughter. Remember them? They were the hero and heroine from Wolf Tracker) They were two of my favorite characters. I enjoyed writing them again, and seeing some of the other couples from the After the Crash series.

 

If you’d like to read Olivia and Kit’s story, you can follow the appropriate link below. 🙂

Amazon.com

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Happy Reading!

 

 

Catch Up Post

It’s been quite a while since I made a post, so I thought it was time I let everyone know what I’ve been up to!

 Warning! Pictures ahead!

 

WRITING:

Olivia's Mate1

 

      Olivia’s Mate-I got the edits back from Athena at Wandering Minstrel Press. I’m taking a break right now from editing to write this post. I have a wedding to go to this afternoon, but I plan to finish the edits before bed. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll read through it one more time before sending the manuscript to the proof readers.
I’ll be sending out a newsletter in a few days with instructions on how to win an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) . The release date is April 28, 2016.

 

 

My next project is Brave Hearts, part of Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle World. This will be a contemporary romance between a Latina yarn store owner who lost her lower leg in Iraq and the medic who saved her life. When they meet again a decade later, can she embrace a future with him or will she stay in the safety of the past?

 

 

Crafting:

 

cowl

You know I love to spin and knit and sew. So far this year I’ve finished a few little knitting projects like this sweet summer cotton cowl. It’s made with cotton yarn with strips of shiny rayon. This will show up in a future Mystery Giveaway.

steampunk sideI’ve also been busy sewing and repairing costumes for the Fashion
Show at Lori SteampunkFoster’s Reader & Author Get Together. (More about RAGT16 later). One of them is this steampunk. I bought the corset, but the skirt and blouse and hat I made myself. What do you think?

steampunk Hat

 

I am looking forward to #RAGT16 SOOOOO much! It’s the only author event I go to.  I can’t wait to see some of my author friends again, and every year I get to meet some of you. If you are at RAGT in June, please come find me! And bid on my raffle basket! My friend Jessica Pease and I always try to put together a fun and unique basket. This year our theme is Sci-Fi Fun.  I have a Firefly Monopoly game to put in, and I’m making a Star Wars quilt, and Jessica is adding a season of Dr. Who dvds and a gift card to either Barnes & Noble or Amazon. The quilt is ready to sew together. I have completed the blocks and squared them up. I plan to add some narrow sashing to sort of break it up. What do you think? Is that the sort of raffle basket you would be willing to bid on?

quiltquilt close up

 

 

 

Well, that’s what I’ve been up to lately! I better get back to Olivia’s Mate and get those edits done.  Have a great day, and

Happy Reading!

Paperbacks Winner!

Congrats to…

 

Anthea H!

Your books are winging their way to England as I type, Anthea.

 

Thank you to everyone who entered. I’ll be giving away ARCs of Olivia’s Mate in a week or so through my newsletter, so stay tuned!

Lightning Fast Paperback Giveaway!

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First, to those who celebrate,

Happy Easter!

 

 

Second, Ellie’s Wolf, Wolf’s Vengeance, and Wolf’s Lady will be available very soon in paperback. I haven’t had a giveaway on my blog for quite a while, since I do monthly contests through my newsletter, but I’ve decided to do this giveaway right here.

 

The PRIZE: A set of the three newest books in paperback. That is Ellie’s Wolf, Wolf’s Vengeance, and Wolf’s Lady.

 

How to Enter: Just leave a comment on this blog post BEFORE 6:00PM CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME MONDAY MARCH 28. Comments left after 6pm on Monday, March 28 will not be added to the drawing. The drawing will take place at 6:30pm March 28. I will email the winner right away and ask for their snail mail address.

     Please remember that if you get my newsletter and you use that same email addy to leave your comment, you are automatically entered twice in this giveaway.

 

Ready, Set, Go!!!

 

Tuesday Teaser 3/15/16: Olivia’s Mate- for adults only

   Hello! We have come to the end. Yes, the end of Olivia’s Mate, and the end of the Tuesday Teasers until May. *sob* But I’ll be working hard on Olivia’s Mate for the next 6 weeks. After that I’ll be starting Brave Hearts, the story of Jesse Dustin “Dusty” Wolfe, an EMS in Dallas TX, and Iraq veteran Ysabel Ybarra.  Izzy was the squad mate of Tami Casper Wolfe. Small world, huh?  You’ll be getting to know them pretty well in May and June.

 

   This is the last teaser from Olivia’s Mate. What you’ve seen posted here is not the finished product. I will be working feverishly to add a few scenes, maybe remove a few scenes, and generally polish it up. It goes to the editor on April 1, and I’ve set the publish date at April 28.  So, without further ado, here is the last scene in Olivia’s Mate. It is adult in nature, so if you are under the age of adulthood in your country, please read no further.

 

Enjoy!

 

Her gaze settled on him, and slowly the outrage was replaced by passion. She knelt beside him and took his face in her hands. “We’re not done yet,” she agreed, and kissed him.

He loved the taste of her tongue in his mouth, and rejoiced in the heat of her hand circling his cock. He remembered what her uncle had told him: a mate’s pleasure always came first. That was so obvious that Kit couldn’t imagine why Taye had said it. In the pride, the queens’ pleasure was the most important thing. A male who couldn’t make the queen come wouldn’t be allowed to service her again. But the other thing that Taye had said was new to him. A woman could climax just from the touch of his hands and mouth. He was anxious to experiment with that.

“Lie down,” he urged Olivia, pushing at her shoulders gently.

She was a feast laid out for him, her legs slightly parted and the uncertain expression not quite hidden by anticipation. “Should I turn off the lamp?” he asked.

“No,” she said instantly. “I want to see you when we make love.”

“Okay.”

He moved slowly and gently, ignoring his own body’s roaring need to part her legs and sink deep inside her. He made love to her with his fingers and his mouth, paying attention to her body’s reactions to see what she liked most. He could tell when she was nearing climax by the way her body tightened and her breathing became moaning gasps. The sight of her cresting was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. When she had finished writhing beneath him, he kissed her.

“You are so beautiful,” he murmured. He looked down at her with an unspoken question.

“Yes!” she cried. “Come into me now.”

Go slow, he reminded himself. Taye said a woman’s first time could be painful, and he didn’t want to cause his mate any pain. He entered her very carefully, and nudged deeper with every controlled stroke, waiting for pain to blossom on her face. She twitched very slightly and he stopped, sweat blooming on his upper lip.

“Olivia? Are you okay?”

“Yes.” She threaded her hands through his hair. “This is incredible. I feel full. Stretched. It doesn’t hurt, though. Keep going.”

Control was hard to maintain with her body clamped around him like a hot, wet vice. He rocked gently into her over and over. When she arched against him and screamed his name, his control broke. He lifted himself on stiff arms and pounded into her.

“Yes, Kit!” she cried.

When he climaxed, he yowled the scream of a mountain lion victorious. He collapsed on her, his cheek pressed to the sweat-damp flesh of her shoulder. They panted together for a minute. She tilted her head to nuzzle his hair, almost like a mountain cat would. It made him smile.

“Is it always like that?” she whispered.

He forced his head up to smile at her. “I hope so.”

She frowned. “You hope so? Don’t you know? You’ve done it before with those women from your pride.”

He rolled off her, so they lay on their backs shoulder to shoulder. He grasped her hand and brought it to his lips. “Yeah, I have.” He kissed her hand again, tasting the salt of her sweat in the palm. “This was different. Before, it was a natural thing, like horses mating. Not emotional. It’s different with you because I love you.”

Olivia lifted herself and half-sat to look at him. “I love you.” She paused, seeming to savor the words. “Kit, I love you.”

“I love you.” He gave a little tug to pull her on to his chest. “This is what I wanted when I stole you. I wanted a mate who would love me.” He stroked her hair. “I didn’t understand then that a mate forced to accept me against her will wouldn’t give me what I wanted.” He brushed his lips over the top of her head. “Thank you for giving me a second chance.”

She was silent for a long minute, snuggling her cheek against his shoulder. Her fingers stroked back and forth over the edge of his jaw. “I’m glad you came looking for me. In the past year and a half, I’ve been courted by other men. They were all good men. Every time, I tried to fall in love, but it just never happened.” She must have felt the growl vibrating his chest because she lifted her head to smile at him. “I know why now. It was because none of them was you.”

He held her tightly to his chest. The year he’d spent with Justin and Teresa had been long and hard. Deprived of his pride and his mate, he had spent many nights roaming the hills around their ranch, screaming his loneliness to the night. He had dreamed of finding his mate again and wooing her properly. But he hadn’t dared to dream of all this. Now he had his mate in his arms, with a future as a rancher ahead of him, and a new family that accepted him.

He tilted his head to glance at the wreckage of the bed. Well, they mostly accepted him. Olivia followed his gaze and her sated, sleepy eyes sharpened.

“I am going to kill them,” she said conversationally.

He thought about it. “No, we might need them to help us out on our ranch.”

She drummed her fingers on his breast. “We have to retaliate.”

Smiling, he trailed his fingers down her spine. “Someday. But for now I have the perfect revenge.”

“Oh?”

He rolled her over onto her back. “Let’s love each other forever, and make love all the time.”

She parted her legs for him to press between them. “Sounds like a plan. And right away tomorrow morning, let’s tell them how much fun it was to make love on the floor.”

“Oh, is it?”

Her smile was almost like a cat’s. “I seem to remember some fun. Maybe you should remind me.”

He kissed her. “With pleasure.”

 

The End

Do You Want To Win?

mysterygive

I’m doing a Mystery Giveaway from my Newsletter this weekend!

I’m one of those people who just can’t resist a grab bag. You know, those plain paper bags that a store has stuffed with merchandise that hasn’t sold. You never know what you’ll get! My local needlework store does that. They put in patterns, a pack of needles that someone opened and stole one of the needles from, a few skeins of floss, etc, and sell the whole thing for a dollar. Most of it is crap, but it’s so much fun to open the bag and see what’s in it.

 

     I promise this giveaway isn’t a bunch of crap! I put several items into this bubble envelope and will mail it to the winner on Monday after work.  What’s in it? A grab bag is supposed to be secret, but I’ll give you some hints. There are 2 paranormal romance paperback books in it, one by me, and one by a writer I admire. There is a small knitted item (knitted by moi), a piece of jewelry, some magnets, and a bunch of swag.

 

     The newsletter will go out tomorrow (Friday) so if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, you still have time! The sign up is over there on the right on side. I will mail the package to anywhere in the world, so if you live across the pond or down under, you can have this lovely assortment of goodies.

Good luck!

Tuesday Teaser 3/8/16: Olivia’s Mate–For Adults Only

I have completed the formatting of the next three books in the series for paperback. Ellie’s Wolf, Wolf’s Vengeance, and Wolf’s Lady will be coming out in print format in approximately four weeks. Now that I have that out of the way, I can go back and begin revisions of Olivia’s Mate!

 

This week’s Tuesday Teaser is intended for mature readers. This wedding night scene isn’t exactly at the burning heat level, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for young readers either.  It is completely unedited. I haven’t reviewed it at all, so I don’t know what typos and flubs it might have. Be kind. 🙂  Enjoy!

 

He moved close to her, his legs crowding the skirt of her dress into a distorted oval. His mouth was light and tender against hers. “Are you relaxed yet?” he whispered against her lips.

“No. You might want to kiss me harder.”

He did. She found it very satisfying. What wasn’t satisfying were the layers of clothing he wore. She wanted to feel his warm firm flesh against her hands. Without breaking the kiss, she tried to shove his coat down his arms.

He lifted his head to groan. “Too many clothes,” he said in agreement.

His coat hit the floor a second later, followed rapidly by his shirt and pants. His shoes and socks ended up on opposite sides of the room. Olivia looked at his bare, lithe body with pleasure. Even back in his cave, when she’d been angry and frightened, she had thought him beautiful. Naked male bodies weren’t unknown to her. Her brothers and cousins didn’t hide to strip to let out their wolves. Colby had a fine looking physique, but Olivia had never ogled him. She could look at Kit for hours.

Well, she could if he’d stand still for hours. He came toward her with that same feline grace undisguised now by garments. “You are the one wearing too many clothes now,” he murmured, smoothing his hands down her bare shoulders and into the neckline of the dress. He tried to slide the dress down.

“It’s too tight,” she told him. “You have to unlace it.”

He grunted. “This dress is like a fence, keeping me away from you. I bet that was your dad’s idea.”

“No.” She laughed, turning around and grabbing the edge of the dresser. The cards Parker had left made her roll her eyes. “The dress was Aunt Marissa’s idea.” She could feel him fumbling with the laces. A sharp jerk lifted her to her toes. “Be careful with it. Don’t rip it, okay?”

“Okay.” He worked in silence behind her for several minutes. “Kit? How’s it going?”

He bent and kissed the bare slope of her shoulder. “It’s a trick. I thought your brothers were being too nice. Now I know why. They knew I wouldn’t be able to get you naked.”

She gasped when she felt his tongue run hot and wet over the sliver of flesh left bare in the gap between the laces. “Oh, Kit,” she breathed, gripping the dresser more tightly to keep from falling. “Oh, Kit. Hurry.”

He snarled something behind her, and all at once the laces parted. Without thinking, she caught the dress and pressed it to her breasts to keep it from dropping. He tried to shove the dress down, but her grip was too strong.

“Move back, Kit,” she told him. “I’ll do it.”

After a moment when she could almost feel his reluctance to separate from her, he took a step back, and she turned to face him. His gaze was fixed on her hands pressing the bodice of the dress to her breasts. Watching him, she lifted her hands away and let the dress fall. It caught on the hooped petticoat beneath it, but her breasts were bared to his gaze. His eyes shimmered green gold. Maybe it was that shimmering that made her melt inside. Or maybe it was the almost feral expression on his face that woke a river of fire in her body. He reached out and touched his forefinger to her nipple.

“Mine,” he said in a low rasp. “Mine.”

Pleasure juddered through her when he pinched her nipple, playing with her breast before bending to suck it into his mouth. She clutched at his shoulders to keep her balance. Vaguely she remembered her mother’s advice. “Kit, that feels wonderful!”

With a final light nip of his teeth he raised his head to smile at her. “It feels good to me too.”

She looked at him, all sleek muscle under warm skin and touched her finger to his nipple. “Mine,” she said.

“Yeah,” he growled, taking her hand and drawing down his body to his penis. “And so is this.”

She had never seen an erect penis, much less touched one. She took her time learning the feel of him, noting which touches made him quiver. He stood with his hands rubbing circles over her shoulders, eyes closed and teeth clenched.

“Does it hurt when I squeeze you like this?” she asked.

He opened his eyes. “No. It feels good. I want to touch more of you.”

Obligingly, she reached for the knot in the drawstring of the hooped petticoat and shimmied to let it loose. It fell in perfect concentric circles around her feet, leaving her in only her panties and shoes. The thick noise that Kit made was appreciative. Any embarrassment she might have felt evaporated. She kicked her shoes off and stepped over the petticoat to press herself against him.

“Touch me,” she said.

It might have been an invitation, but it sounded like an order. Kit didn’t seem to mind. He stroked his thumbs over her eyebrows, skimmed his fingertips along the curves behind her ears, to her neck, and down along the outsides of her breasts. He stopped there to kiss her with long, hot, drugging kisses that made her pant, while his fingers teased her breasts. After a very pleasurable pause he sent his hands smoothing down her sides, following the indent of her waist to the slight flare of her hips. His hands spread over her butt to pull her hard against him. The feel of his penis pressed into her belly did interesting things to her breathing. Her breathing literally stopped for a moment when he tugged her panties down and smoothed through the hair between her legs.

She kicked and wiggled to get rid of the panties. “Touch me,” she demanded.

“So soft,” he muttered, petting the hair between her legs before one of his fingers slipped up and inside her. “And this, so warm, so tight.”

Olivia found herself lost in sensations she had never felt before. Such wonderful sensations weakened her knees and made her almost dizzy. “Oh, Kit,” she moaned. “I can’t keep standing. I think I need to lie down.”

“Yes,” he hissed in a guttural tone. “Bed.”

His finger slid out of her in a rush of liquid heat. She missed it immediately. “Hurry.”

She took his hand and pulled him to the bed. She reached to throw the covers back and stopped, confused. She tried again. They were stuck? They were…

“Those idiots!” she raged. “They sewed the sheets together.”

Some of the passion glazing Kit’s eyes cleared. He bent to peer at sheets. “I think they’re sewed to the mattress,” he clarified. “Big stitches spaced about two inches apart.”

“I’m going to kill Parker and Taylor.” It wasn’t a threat. It was a promise. “I don’t have my knife.”

“It’s okay.”

He raised his forefinger and a claw, sharp and curving, sprang out. With a deft flicks, he sliced through each stitch and then carefully folded the bedding open. He turned back to her and kissed her with tender promise.

“Your uncle said I must go slowly with you. Virgins need a lot of foreplay to be ready to make love. Are you ready?”

She wound her arms around his neck. “Oh, yes.”

His smile was devilish. “Good. So am I.”

Holding her close, he toppled them onto the bed.

It collapsed in a crash of splinters to the floor.

“Taylor! Parker!” she roared. “I’m going to kill you!

 

*

 

Kit laughed. He knew his mate’s brothers and cousins had been too nice to him. “Are you hurt?”

“No, just angry. Are you okay?”

“Yes.” He cradled his mate’s naked body close for a minute, just savoring her warmth and the rich, heady scent of her arousal. He stood up with her in his arms and carried her a few feet away, where her bare feet would be safe from splinters. “Wait here.”

He pulled the mattress free of the wreckage and dragged it to a clear spot by Olivia. He retrieved the pillows and sheets and blankets and spread them over the mattress. Rising to his feet, he turned to look at her. How beautiful she was! Her skin was pale and soft, exquisitely punctuated by pink nipples and blond hair between her legs. Her face was flushed was pink too, but he could tell her passion was waning under the outrage at her brothers.

“Come here,” he invited, kneeling down to lift the bedding. “You can kill your brothers later. We’re busy right now.”

Her gaze settled on him, and slowly the outrage was replaced by passion. She knelt beside him and took his face in her hands. “We’re not done yet,” she agreed, and kissed him.

He loved the taste of her tongue in his mouth, and rejoiced in the heat of her hand circling his cock. He remembered what her uncle had told him: a mate’s pleasure always came first. That was so obvious that Kit couldn’t imagine why Taye had said it. In the pride, the queens’ pleasure was the most important thing. A male who couldn’t make the queen come wouldn’t be allowed to service her again. But the other thing that Taye had said was new to him. A woman could climax just from the touch of his hands and mouth. He was anxious to experiment with that.

“Lie down,” he urged Olivia, pushing at her shoulders gently.

She was a feast laid out for him, her legs slightly parted and the uncertain expression not quite hidden by anticipation. “Should I turn off the lamp?” he asked.

“No,” she said instantly. “I want to see you when we make love.”

Tuesday Teaser 3/1/16: Olivia’s Mate

I did it! I DID IT!!!  The rough draft of Olivia’s Mate is complete!

 

Olivia's Mate Fnl smI had fully intended to have it done by the end of January, but between the overtime and the pneumonia it just didn’t happen. I am now going to put it aside for this week while I work on getting Ellie’s Wolf, Wolf’s Vengeance and Wolf’s Lady formatted for paperback. Then I’m going to do the first revision, send it to the beta readers, and then send it to the Editor, Athena Gracyk.  My target goal for the release is April 28, 2016. Two months. It could be less, depending on editing.

 

Here is the end of the second to the last chapter, and the beginning of the last chapter. Unedited, of course, but I like it. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

 

 

Victoria removed the pins holding the veil to Olivia’s hair with a shudder. “I am not going through a nightmare like that when I get married,” she declared.

Olivia could definitely agree. It had been a long, tiring day. They were alone in the one bedroom apartment in the basement of the Plane Women’s House. Years ago it had been an efficiency apartment, but now it was the most private apartment in the house. Her father had said grimly that he didn’t need to hear their wedding night. The single room had been cleaned and decorated as a honeymoon suite. There was a plain dresser against the wall and a four poster bed with a beautiful gold comforter under the narrow window. Olivia fingered one of the puffy white bows that were tied to the bedposts and smiled with affection for her aunts and cousins who had gone to the trouble to make this little room special.

She slanted a teasing look at Victoria. “I thought you wanted to marry Marty.”

“I do, but heck, he can just give my dad a few horses and I’ll pack my bag and move in with him like they did in the old days. I’m not wearing all that frou-frou and sitting at a table for two hours while my cousins make fun of me. Newlyweds have better things to do with their time.”

Olivia followed her cousin’s gaze to the bed. Sitting beside Kit without touching him during that endless supper had been hard. She’d kept thinking about how he’d looked naked back in his cave. From the expression on his face when he looked at her, Olivia knew he was impatient for the meal to end too. “Yeah,” she murmured.

Vic glanced at the door. “Well, you can get to the better things any minute now. I think I hear him coming down the stairs. Darn, I’m your attendant. I was supposed to help you get undressed and ready for bed before the bridegroom came. I guess…” She paused delicately and continued in teasing sarcasm. “He’s not in the mood to wait in the hall while I disrobe you?”

Olivia gave her a swat on the arm but couldn’t help smiling. “Kit can help me get undressed.”

Moving to the door, Victoria tossed a grin over her shoulder. “Tell him to be careful. Kendra won’t be able to wear that monstrosity of a dress at her wedding if it’s shredded.”

The mental image of Kit tearing the dress off her made Olivia’s mouth go dry.

“Good grief,” Victoria said with a snort. “If the dictionary had a picture to show what lustful anticipation looked like, it would be the expression on your face right now.”

A knock on the door saved Olivia from having to answer that, but she was sure her blush was as bright as her smile.

“Just wait a second,” Victoria snapped at the still-closed door before turning back to Olivia. “I’m almost envious of what you’ll do tonight, but I wish you the best. I hope you two will be really happy together forever.”

“Thanks.”

Victoria turned the door knob but paused. She arched brow at Olivia. “Oh, I was wondering… When you start your family, will you have puppies or kitties?”

“Oh, lord,” Olivia squealed, feeling her eyes open wide.

Laughing, Vic opened the door and Olivia’s brothers and a dozen male cousins trooped in, carrying Kit on their shoulders. One of them cried, “Not on the bed!” They dumped him on the rug beside the four poster, and Olivia was sure only his feline reflexes kept him on his feet.

“Aw,” said Colby, standing with his thumbs hooked in his belt loops, gaze on the bed. “Isn’t that a pretty bed? Taylor, have you ever seen a prettier bed?”

Taylor shook his head. “Nope. Those bows are precious.”

Olivia ground her teeth. She was positive the word precious had never before passed Taylor’s lips. He wasn’t done.

“And see how the comforter’s turned down just so?” Her brother gestured at the bed. “You can see all the pretty embroidery on the sheet. Looks real tidy. Inviting, even.” He cast a sly glance at Olivia. “I bet it won’t stay that way for long.”

“I bet not.” Parker sauntered over to Olivia and pinched her cheek before nodding at Kit. “There you go, baby sister: one bridegroom, mostly undamaged.”

Undamaged? Olivia quickly looked Kit over. He didn’t look hurt. Her cousins were swatting him on the shoulders and back as if dusting him off, using far more force than necessary. Kit seemed to be taking it with good humor.

“Thanks for showing me where I’ll be sleeping tonight,” he said with a grin. “But if you don’t mind, I think it’s time for you to leave so I can spend some time alone with my mate.”

“Hold on.” Parker held up one finger. “Just one sec.” He reached into the back pocket of his pants and came out with a pack of playing cards. He set them on the dresser with finicky precision. The smile he aimed at Olivia was so innocent she almost choked. “For you,” he said in dulcet tones. “In case you get bored tonight and need something to keep yourself busy.”

Olivia’s jaw dropped. “What?” she managed to squawk. “Are you crazy?”

Amidst the snickers from her cousins, Kit’s laugh was joyous. “She won’t be bored, I promise.” He moved toward the door with arms outstretched, herding her brothers and cousins toward the hall. “Good night. Thank you. Have a nice night.”

She heard one of her cousins mumble, “It won’t be as nice as yours.”

The door closed and finally she was alone with her husband.

Chapter 14

 

Olivia waited with her breath stuck in her throat for Kit to come to her. Would he immediately take her clothes off? Or would he kiss her with gentle passion first? Or rough passion? Which did she want him to do? But he only stood by the door, staring at her with intense eyes. At last she gasped in a breath and said, “Kit?”

“I don’t want to scare you.”

“I’m not scared.”

“You’re not?” His smile bloomed. “Good. Your uncle Taye told me you would be and I would have to be careful.”

“Uncle Taye?” She barely kept herself from rolling her eyes. “He gave you his speech, didn’t he? The one about how to make your mate happy in bed?”

“Yes. Most of it I already knew, but there were a few things I didn’t.”

Memories of the women at the caves flashed into Olivia’s mind. She got stuck on the memory of one woman baring herself and demanding that Kit service her. “You’ve done this before.”

His smile died. “Yes and no.” He looked directly into her eyes. “I’ve had sex. The queens wanted to be serviced when they were in heat. I liked doing it, but it didn’t mean anything. I didn’t love them. It wasn’t making love. I’ve never made love before.”

Somehow that answer soothed her jealousy and uncertainty. “So what did Uncle Taye tell you to do?”

Kit crossed the few yards between them in a saunter of smooth feline grace. He put a hand on either side of her face and tilted it to look down at her. “First I need to make you relaxed.”

His hands were warm. She smiled up at him. “How are you supposed to do that?”

“I think I’m supposed to pet you and kiss you.”

Her heart thudded. “Yes, please.”

He moved close to her, his legs crowding the skirt of her dress into a distorted oval. His mouth was light and tender against hers. “Are you relaxed yet?” he whispered against her lips.

“No. You might want to kiss me harder.”

He did. She found it very satisfying. What wasn’t satisfying were the layers of clothing he wore. She wanted to feel his warm firm flesh against her hands. Without breaking the kiss, she tried to shove his coat down his arms.

He lifted his head to groan. “Too many clothes,” he said in agreement.

 

Tuesday Teaser 2/23/16: Olivia’s Mate

We’re almost at the end of the story! No, I still haven’t finished the rough draft. But I WILL. I swear, I’ll get over this stupid pneumonia soon.  Anyway, I think another 2000 words will finish the draft.  Most of those will be the wedding night that Kit has been longing for all this time. Olivia is pretty enthusiastic too. *wink*  Enjoy!

 

Kit stood at the far end of the restaurant at the Plane Women’s House. The big room was empty of tables, but chairs had been lined up in rows, and they were filling fast. Almost all the guests here were for Olivia, and they filled both sides of the chairs. He had been told that traditionally the guests of the bride sat on one side of the room and the guests of the groom sat on the other, but his guests were only the few members of the Madison Pride: Eddie Madison and his mate Lisa, their children Ray, Emily, and David, and his brother Marty. They were all friends of Olivia’s too. A tiny part of him wished for someone from his Pride to be here today for him, like Justin and Teresa, or Dev. At least his side wasn’t empty. Olivia’s family more than filled the chairs. In fact, there weren’t enough seats for everyone to be able to sit. The young men stood in the back of the room. They stared at him, some with simple curiosity, others with hostility, and still others with acceptance.

Wasn’t it time to start yet? He wanted to hear the magical words that would make him married to Olivia. His palms were wet. He almost wiped them on his suit pants, but remembered that wasn’t appropriate when he was in his best clothes.

“Relax,” muttered Marty Madison beside him.

Marty was his best man. Like the whole concept of a wedding, the idea of a man to stand beside him during the ceremony was odd. Was he supposed to keep Kit from running away? He would never run away. His mate’s kin had decreed the ceremony was a necessity, so Kit raised no objection. Marty was a good choice to be his best man. His own Pride had cast him off, so Kit was glad to have another cat stand with him. And Marty’s brother Eddie, the First Male of the Pride here, was the mayor of Kearney. He had the power to make people married. Kit wasn’t sure if it was magic, but he suspected it was. Kit glanced at Eddie Madison standing three feet in front of he and Marty with a black book in his hands. He eyed the book with respectful curiosity. Maybe the book was the source of the magic.

“Ah,” said Eddie Madison, looking from the back of the room to Kit. “We are about to begin.”

Kit watched his mate’s mother walk along the open space down the center of the chairs and seat herself in the front row. She gave him a small smile and a nod. All the people in the chairs turned to look at the other end of the room. His breath left him in a relieved sigh. There stood the tall woman who would stand with his mate as her maid of honor today, and a few feet behind her was Olivia in a wide, white dress and a piece of flimsy fabric over her face. Her father stood beside her, tall and stern.

Marty made a guttural cat sound of awe. “Isn’t she the most gorgeous woman you’ve ever laid eyes on?”

Yes, Olivia was more beautiful than any other woman. But a quick glance at Marty showed his stare fixed on Victoria, not Olivia. The tall woman was pretty, but she didn’t compare to his mate. Kit drew himself up straight as Victoria walked along the aisle between the seats with a slow steady step. When she reached the front she turned and placed herself on his opposite side, leaving a space for Olivia to stand beside him. Everyone stood up then, looking back to Olivia.

Kit’s heart swelled with pride as she, holding her father’s arm, walked slowly toward him. Even through the veil he could see her smile. A few sniffs from the women could be heard when her father lifted the filmy stuff away from her face and bent to kiss her cheek. He fumbled a little lowering the veil back over Olivia’s face and a tiny smile cracked his solemnity. Kit felt a little bit of awe when he noticed the man’s eyes were a little brighter than usual with unshed tears.

“I love you, baby girl,” the older man murmured into his daughter’s ear, smoothing the veil down to hide her face again.

“I love you too, dad,” Olivia said.

Kit’s fingers trembled when the man took Olivia’s hand and gave it to him. He clutched her fingers tightly, aware of her scent and the warmth of her body standing by his.

“Take care of her, son,” Tracker said, and the sheen of tears was gone, leaving coldness behind.

“Yes, sir,” Kit said.

Tracker stepped back and went to sit beside his mate. Kit smiled down at Olivia. She smiled back and squeezed his fingers as they turned to face Mayor Madison.

Eddie Madison opened his book and began to speak.

“Good afternoon. We are here to join this man, Christopher McQueen, and this woman, Olivia Anne Stensrud, in marriage. Do you, Dan and Tami Stensrud, give your daughter to this man?”

Silence. A cord tightened around his heart, stopping its beat, until Olivia’s father and mother stood up. “We do,” the man said, not quite sourly, and they sat down again.

Almost light headed, Kit stared at the outline of Olivia’s face behind the veil. She was smiling at him.

“Marriage is more than just two people living together.” Eddie Madison had been looking out at the people, but now he focused on him. “It is two lives lived as one. It’s balanced, with neither one nor the other being more important. The husband considers the needs of his wife, and the wife considers the needs of the husband. You will stand as partners, working together not out of mere duty, but out of love and joy. Neither of you are perfect, so you will need a spirit of forgiveness and patience during the years ahead. Are you prepared for that?”

Kit swallowed and nodded. A breathless assent came from behind the veil.

“Olivia, will you have Christopher as your husband? Will you love him in good times and bad, forsaking all others and being faithful to him alone?”

“I will.”

“Christopher, will you have Olivia as your wife? Will you love her in good times and bad, forsaking all others and being faithful to her alone?”

“I will!”

Eddie nodded gravely. “Do you have a ring?”

“Yes!” Kit turned eagerly to Marty, who gave him the ring. He waited until Olivia had handed her flowers to Victoria. “Olivia, this ring belonged to Teresa’s grandmother. Teresa is the mate, er, wife of my brother Justin. She helped me learn to be civilized. She knew I would look for you until I found you and I would do everything I could to win you for my wife. She said civilized people exchange rings to show they belonged to each other, so she gave me this ring. She said her grandparents loved each other, so this ring is a ring of love. Will you wear it for me?”

The salt of tears scented the air. Not only Olivia’s tears, but also tears from the people in the chairs. Olivia gave an inelegant sniff. “Yes, I will wear it.”

He slid the ring over her finger and pressed her hand to his heart. Olivia let her hand stay there a moment before tugging free. Victoria passed her a ring.

“Kit, this ring isn’t a family heirloom or anything fancy, but I bought it with the wages I earned at the restaurant. That makes it mine, and I want to give it to you. Will you wear it for me?”

Kit could feel an exultant yowl rise in his throat. He forced it back. “Yes!”

The yowl pushed, wanting out, when the ring was securely on his finger. Eddie cleared his throat, bringing attention back to him.

“By the authority of my position as Mayor of Kearney, I pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride.”

Exercising strict control over himself, Kit lifted the veil away from Olivia’s face. Her smile trembled for a moment before it firmed into blinding joy. At first it was hard to form a kiss because they were both smiling, but after a moment their lips relaxed and heat built. He wanted to get closer to her, but her stupid dress was too big. Her father had probably designed it that way to keep them apart. Sliding his tongue along the seam of her lips, he decided it didn’t matter. In a few hours she wouldn’t be wearing that dress. She wouldn’t be wearing anything but him.

Tuesday Teaser: 2/16/16: Olivia’s Mate

      Well, I didn’t finished the rough draft this weekend, but I’ve finished the wedding. Just the brief dinner scene, and then the wedding night. Poor Kit! I imagine he’s pretty peeved with me. Olivia too!  LOL

 

      I’m still recovering from pneumonia, but feeling better tonight. Still, I think I better hit the hay now. Here is the next bit in Olivia’s Mate. It’s not at all edited, so please disregard the boo-boos.

 

“I look ridiculous.”

It was a horrified murmur so low that none of the other women in her bedroom could have heard it. Olivia stared at herself in the mirror. The dress Aunt Marissa had sewed and which she was so proud of was an absurd billow of white satin. It flared up and out around her bare shoulders, narrowed so tightly around her waist that she could barely breathe, and belled out to the floor in a series of ruffles that made her look like a stick figure stuck into an upside down bowl. A mostly naked stick figure.

That reminded her of Kit’s remark the night they were engaged. His ‘they could do it naked’ comment had roused a chorus of giggles nearly completely drowned out by lupine growls. Olivia had definitely blushed, but it had roused more than giggles in her. The kisses that followed in the small dining room had been nice, but Kit’s gentle exploration of her body had left her wanting more. In only a few hours she would be naked with him. She would finally lose her virginity with the man she loved.

Aunt Marissa gave a mighty tug on the strings that laced the back of the dress closed. Olivia squeaked. “Well, I guess you were right, Tami. It is a little snug in the waist, but we’ll get it closed.”

“It’s fine. Leave a little gap. The veil will cover it.” Her mom patted Olivia shoulder from behind. “We don’t want her to pass out during the ceremony from lack of oxygen.”

In the dry note in her mom’s voice told Olivia she wasn’t actually joking. Olivia tried to draw in a deep breath and failed. “Yeah, let me breathe.”

Victoria came to her with a froth of white netting in her hands. “Here’s the veil. Let me put it on you.”

In the mirror, Olivia saw her mom standing on her right, Aunt Marissa barely visible behind her, and Victoria, six inches taller than any of them, on her left. The veil and was several layers of fine net. Victoria set it just so over her blond hair so that it hung in filmy waves over her face in front and to her waist in back. A circlet of red silk roses was pinned to her hair to hold it steady on her head.

Aunt Marissa turned her and stood back to take in the full effect. Tears gleamed in her eyes. “You look so beautiful,” she crooned. “That dress is so beautiful on you. It’s exactly the kind I always wanted to have for my wedding, but it looks perfect on you.”

Olivia made herself smile. “Thank you, Aunt Marissa. You’re so generous.”

Olivia’s mom put an arm around the other woman. “Thank you, Marissa. Would you and Victoria wait outside? I need to have a few words alone with my daughter.”

Once the room was empty, Olivia carefully flipped the veil up so she could see clearly and sat on the edge of her bed. The dress puffed around her like a demented marshmallow. Her mom perched on Victoria’s bed opposite her.

“Livvy, I know this isn’t the dress you would’ve chosen, but it’s good of you to let Marissa have her way.”

She tried to tame the waves of satin at her shoulders. “It’s very pretty,” she said with forced enthusiasm. “Maybe Kendra would like to wear it when she gets married.”

Her mom’s lips twitched. “It looks a lot like the dress I wore for my first wedding.”

Olivia perked her ears. Her mom seldom spoke of her life in the Times Before. “That was before your air plane crashed in 2064, right?”

“That’s right.” She waved a dismissive hand. “But that’s not what I want to talk to you about. Today you’re getting married. Tonight you’ll be a wife.” Red stained her cheeks. “I mean, uh, it’s your wedding night. We should talk about that.”

Olivia felt matching heat surge into her cheeks. “Mom,” she protested. “I don’t need to talk. Really. I know what happens. You gave me The Talk when I turned sixteen, remember?”

“Sure, I remember.” Her mom’s lips twisted into a half-smile. “You know which tab goes into which slot. There’s more to lovemaking than that.” She studied her clasped hands. “I think you know that there’s a difference between sex and making love.” She looked up into Olivia’s eyes. “I won’t waste my time telling you about all the mechanics. There’s really only one point I want to make, and that is communication.”

Communication? “You think I should talk during sex?”

“Before, during, and after. Unless your young man can read your mind, how can he know what you like? Maybe if he’s observant he’ll be able to tell when you’re uncomfortable, but maybe not. It’s important for you to let him know when he does something you like and when he does something you don’t like. Lovemaking should be wonderful. The first few times might be a little uncomfortable. Physically uncomfortable, I mean. Once your body gets used to… uh, it, you should feel pleasure.”

Olivia smoothed the ruffle over her knees. This was so embarrassing. “Thanks, Mom, got it.”

She saw her mother give her a long, steady look. “Okay. Is there anything you want to ask me?”

“No.” Olivia inwardly cringed at the squeak in her voice. “Thanks. Really.”

Her mom sighed. “Okay. Just remember that if you don’t enjoy it, you shouldn’t do it. Let’s go face the music.”

Olivia hurried to leave the bedroom she’d shared with Victoria. Aunt Marissa and Victoria waited for them in the living room. Aunt Marissa smiled and stepped forward to re-arrange the veil back over Olivia’s face.

“I peeked downstairs, and it looks beautiful,” she said to Olivia’s mom. “There’s a Christmas tree there. Reminds me of our weddings. Remember?”

Olivia saw her mom’s face relax in a smile. “It was a good day.” She turned to Olivia. “We’ll go down now to be sure Kit isn’t hanging around.”

“That’s right,” Marissa said with a grin. “Your bridegroom isn’t supposed to see you before the ceremony. You and Victoria come down in a few minutes.”

After the older women had left, Olivia turned to her cousin. “Thanks, Vic, for being my bridesmaid.”

“No problem. Thanks for not making me wear a dress like that one you’ve got on.”

Victoria ran a hand down her blue velvet hip. Her dress was elegant, closely fitted with a V neck, long sleeves, and narrow skirt slit to mid-thigh. She had ordered it early in the fall for the Mayor’s Gala that would take place in a month.

“You look really good in that dress,” Olivia told her honestly. “There was no reason for you to buy a new one.”

Victoria scooped up a small bouquet of blue satin roses tied with blue and white ribbons and handed a second, larger bouquet of red roses to Olivia. “We should just be glad we’re not Kendra. Can you imagine what Aunt Marissa will do for her own daughter’s wedding?”

“If I were Kendra, I would elope!”

They laughed together. Victoria smoothed her dark blond hair back. “Well, should we go? Uncle Taye must be done talking to Kit by now.”

“Uncle Taye? Why would he talk to Kit?”

“Oh, you know, just to give his usual What-To-Do-To-Please-Your-Mate-In-Bed speech.”

Olivia jerked to stop, wondering if her blush was visible behind the veil. “Oh,” she squeaked. “That one.”

Victoria laughed so hard she had to bend over. “I’m going to make him give that speech to Marty.”

Olivia stopped again. “Did Marty ask you to marry him?”

“Not yet.” She smiled with iron confidence. “But he will.” She twisted the knob and opened the door. “Shall we?”

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