Tuesday Teaser 2/24/15: Rose & Carla

Happy Tuesday! Is it Friday yet?

 

This is going to be a long week for me and I’m already exhausted. I feel like I’ve been sick forever. In early January I caught a cold that by the end of January turned into a sinus infection. Then I hurt my shoulder, a teeny tiny tear in my rotator cuff.  Then that sinus infection went down into my lungs. When I breathe I sound like I’m gargling, and then I cough non stop. Sheesh! Enough already!

 

Do you ever feel like that? Like it’s just one thing after another? But I think I’m on the mend now, and it hasn’t stopped me writing. In fact, the end of Wolf’s Princess is in sight. A few big scenes, a few little scenes, and an epilogue are all that is left. My goal for finishing the rough draft is March 8. I think I can do it!

 

Here is a little snip from Wolf’s Princess. This takes place in Carla’s room the evening of the day that Sky returned to the Den to talk to Rose. Enjoy!

 

 

Rose watched Little Feather’s tiny hands press against his mother’s breast as he nursed. What did it feel like to cradle a son or daughter to your breast and watch them suckle? She snapped her attention back to Carla at the next question.

“It would be nice for Sky to see his parents again. I’m sure he wants to. Does he plan to live here at the den or with the Clan?”

Rose opened her mouth, thought for a moment, and closed it. “I don’t know. It didn’t come up.”

“Maybe he’s waiting to see what you would prefer.” Carla lifted Little Feather to the other breast. “He is here to court you, isn’t he?”

“Yeah.” It had taken a bit of effort to get it out of him, but yes, he was here to court her. She tried to remember what he had said in that short time before supper. “He said no one would ever love me as well as he could.”

“That’s a nice start to a courtship,” Carla commented.

Rose shook her head. “Too nice.”

“Too nice?”

“Yeah. Slick. Glib. You know what I mean?” Rose saw Carla’s confusion. “Did you see the way he dresses? The way he acts?”

“He’s been in Omaha for nearly eight years.”

Rose cocked an eyebrow at the Lupa. “That’s not how I remember him. He used to be a hot head. Remember? He’s nothing like I imagined he would be.”

Carla’s smooth brow formed the crease that always appeared when she was thinking hard. “Well, the last time we saw him, he was only seventeen years old. Now he’s twenty-five. He’s matured in a city that everyone says is cosmopolitan.”

“Swanky,” Rose said, smiling at the memory of Sand’s disapproving description of Omaha. Her smile faded. “Sky came back only because Taye wrote to him and told him he was allowing me to be courted.”

“Does it matter why?” Carla lifted Little Feather to her shoulder to burp him. “He’s here now.”

“Yeah.”

“What’s wrong, Rose? Don’t you want him to court you?”

Rose raised a hand as if to stroke the baby’s small head, let it fall. “I want that.” She nodded at Little Feather. “I want to hold my own baby in my arms. I want a family.”

The Lupa nodded. “I know. I’ve seen it in you for the past few years. Don’t you think you could have that with Sky?”

“Maybe. But I’m not sure I like him.”

“What do you have against him?”

Rose threw up her hands.  “I don’t know. He’s just so … smooth. I don’t trust him.”

Carla lifted startled eyes to stare at her. “You don’t think he would hurt you?”

“No.”

“Do you find him attractive?”

Rose ignored the heat that flooded her cheeks. “Oh, sure, he’s good looking.”

“That’s not quite the same thing. One thing all us mates have in common is the attraction we feel for our men.”

The heat multiplied. “He’s hot, okay? But he’s not the only hot guy around here.”

“Do you mean Jasper?” Carla laughed at her glare. “You know wolves are bigger gossips than most people think women are. I know all about your lunch with Jasper.”

“Of course you do.” Rose made a face. “I had a nice time this afternoon until Mr. City Slicker got off the train. I suppose I’ll need to cancel my Saturday night supper with Jasper.”

“Yeah, Taye will have one of the men tell him.”

Rose winced when she imagined how the message would be delivered. “I should write a note to him. I’d like to explain in person, but I don’t suppose I can.”

Little Feather was sleeping, a small milk bubble trembling on his lower lip. Carla smiled down at her son before looking back up at Rose. “Sky wouldn’t like that much. Are you going to let him court you?”

“Yeah.” Rose heaved a sigh. “I guess I owe him that much. But if don’t like him, I’m not accepting his mate claim. That’s final.”

Tuesday Teaser 2/17/2015: Rose

It’s mid February! Wolf’s Princess is still not done, but I’m really moving forward on it now. I have three main scenes left to write, or about 12,000 words. It is at 91,200 right now, so that will put us over 100,000 words.. I am considering a short-ish epilogue too. I have hopes the rough draft will be complete by March 8. It’s sad that I hurt my shoulder shoveling snow. (The one and only day I had to go out is the one and only day this year we had snow!) It slowed me down in my writing. You wouldn’t think typing would hurt a shoulder, but it does!

Anyway, here is a snip of what I wrote Sunday. It should be interesting to those of you who want to know what happens with Sara and Stone. :)

 

Even taking her time, Rose finished the dishes in less than an hour. She was wiping down the sink when the mudroom door opened and Stone came in. Rose blinked at the beaming smile on his face. She had rarely seen that open, happy smile since he had come back from Kansas two years ago. It chased away all signs of grimness, leaving him a handsome young man of twenty-one.

“Rose!” He came to her with a bounce in his step, oozing excitement. “She said yes! She agreed to my mate claim, and the marriage is going to stand.”

“You forgave her? You love her?”

His eyelids swept down and then up, showing a sheen of moisture. “Yeah, I love her. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been so hurt. But we’ve talked about it, and we’re going to put it away and never talk about it again.”

“That’s good, Stone. I’m so happy for you. Have you…” Rose cleared her throat. “Are you going to spend the night at her uncle’s house? Or will you wait to, um.” Doggone it, she was blushing!

Now his smile shaded into knowing male satisfaction. “Tonight.” His caramel-colored eyes glowed. “Tonight,” he repeated, “we’re going to… Tonight is our wedding night. But where can we go? I don’t want her walking through the streets tonight, even with me for her escort. Whichever way the vote goes, things could get rowdy.”

Rose smiled. “I know exactly where you should spend tonight. Come with me, and I’ll show you.”

She led him up the steep, narrow staircase to the third floor. “This is the room Ms. Mary used. I think it will work just fine for your wedding night.”

She opened the door to the pink room and flicked on the light. Stone sent a quick glance around the pretty, feminine room, but his gaze settled on the bed for a long moment. He turned to her and gripped her hands. “It’s perfect,” he said, squeezing her hands.

“I’m happy for you, Stone,” she said again. “You’re a special man, and I believe Sara truly loves you. I’ll take some time and clean up in here.”

He lifted her hands to his lips and kissed them with brotherly affection. “Thank you, Rose. You’re the best.”

The day passed slowly for Rose. She finished tidying the kitchen, and then changed the sheets on the bed in the pink room and tidied it. She stood in the doorway when she was finished, looking around the room. It was pretty, a more appropriate place for a wedding night than the boring gray room across the hall where she and Sky had lost their virginity. She smiled a little. She didn’t care what the room looked like as long as Sky was in it.

She stilled, staring blankly at the wall. As long as Sky was in it. Did she care for him? Yes, of course, she cared for him. Did she love him? She wasn’t sure it was love. Did he love her? She’d seen what true love looked like. It was Taye, face white with terror, when Carla’s labor went too long with Little Feather. It was Tracker sitting side by side in the firelight with Tami, telling her without words he would always be there for her. It was bossy Shadow, sitting patiently while his wife laughed at their  daughter braiding his hair into ridiculous loops. It was the pride on Quill’s face when he watched Ellie play with their children.

She closed the door on the room, and on her thoughts, and went downstairs to see if Katelyn needed help with lunch.

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

kindle_treeboy_10_us_noto_email_us-main

Time is short! I’m giving a $10.00 Amazon gift card (good for anything at Amazon, not just kindle books!) to a commenter on my Author page on Facebook tonight at 9:00pm Central time. I’m moving and I’ve decided I need to name my new apartment they way cottages and manor houses are named in England. Head over to Facebook and like my page and leave a comment.

Tuesday Teaser 2/10/15 Wolf’s Princess

Here it is, Tuesday again, and I have nothing new from Daughter of the Wolf Clan. I guess you’re stuck with another snip from Sky and Rose’s story. ;)

First let me say that my search for a new apartment is over! Now I’ll hopefully be able to devote more time to writing! Well, at least until it is time to start packing (groan). I will be moving at the end of March, so  here’s to a lot of writing for the next five or six weeks!

And now, a little snip from Wolf’s Princess:

 

Rose went back to the guestroom and was reaching for one of her suitcases when Sky stopped her with a hand on her shoulder.

“Rose, wait.”

She stood up to face him. “Yeah?”

He swallowed, loosening his tie with sharp jerks. “I’ve imagined this so many times,” he whispered. “Having you here with me. I never thought it would come true.” He fell silent for a minute, his blue eyes looking dark in the low light. He brought his hand up to touch her face. She shivered under the brush of his fingers over her cheek. He trailed them to the corner of her lips, over her jaw, to her throat. “So beautiful. Rose, I want to kiss you.”

The expression on his face made her heart thunder. No one had ever looked at her with that kind of raw longing. Who would have dared with half the Pack guarding her at all times? There were times in the past eight years when she would have welcomed a kiss from anyone. At twenty-four, she was the oldest virgin she knew of, and she wanted to experience a man’s lips caressing hers. She tilted her face up. “Then kiss me.”

She felt the shudder that went through him. The hand he stroked her throat with lifted to cradle her cheek. She closed her eyes and held her breath, agonizingly eager, and almost more nervous, to feel his kiss. It was a long time in coming. She was about ready to open her eyes when his lips brushed lightly over hers. He did it again, and this time his lips stayed on hers. He licked the seam of her lips and when she gasped, he invaded. That was all it took. Like a bundle of dry twigs struck by a spark, her whole body flashed into flame.

 

Amanda of Wolf’s Lady

Wolf's Lady Cover ArtOver the past few years I’ve had some people ask me about how I come up with my characters. Well, the men are completely made up (but if anyone happens to run into a Taye or Shadow or Tracker or… Oh, heck, any of my heroes, let me know, okay?), but several of the heroines are based on friends and co-workers. A couple of people have emailed to ask specifically about Amanda, the heroine from Wolf’s Lady. How did I find a picture of a woman who looked so much like my heroine? One reviewer on Amazon even says she’s glad to see a real size woman on the cover.  She’s a real size woman who looks amazingly like my heroine because she is that woman. Yes, make believe Amanda is based on real life Amanda! And that cover was a labor of love thanks to several people: Gary Lura of Gary Lura Photography, Lyn Taylor cover artist extraordinaire, and of course, a woman named Amanda.

I’ve wanted to write Rose and Sky’s story since I first wrote about them in Wolf’s Glory, but for a long time they were too young, and way too immature. I sent Sky off to Omaha to grow up. What does that have to do with Amanda? Well, hang on, I’ll get to that. LOL I needed to show readers how Sky became what he is. What on earth could keep him from returning to the den the minute Rose turned eighteen to claim her as his mate? In Omaha he found a world where women are only taxable goods the city politicians use to make themselves rich. No wolf warrior would accept that. He stayed in Omaha because he had a goal. It just took longer than he expected.

I decided to write a short story to introduce you to what life in Omaha is like and hopefully make you believe in the reason Sky stayed in Omaha. I had to build Omaha in my mind and create a new life for Sky there, one filled with places and people and rules. A woman who worked in the same place as I did was named Amanda. We didn’t hang out or go to lunch, but we chatted from time to time. I would see her walk past my desk in one of her peasant skirts, and I admired the gorgeous tattoo on her shoulder. It came to me that she would be a perfect basis for the heroine in the short story. Now of course, I didn’t want to put her (even fictionally) in the world’s oldest profession without her okay. I was a little worried about asking, but she was a good sport. She laughed and said, “Sure, you can use my name and appearance in your book. I don’t care if you make me a hooker. Anyone who knows me will know it’s as far from the truth as you can get.” Or something like that.

And so Wolf’s Lady was born. It was only supposed to be four or five chapters long, just a little doodle to post on my blog to get you and me into the alien world of Omaha. But it kept growing and growing until finally I decided to self publish it just for fun. That meant I needed cover art. I didn’t need to spend hours searching for the right image for my heroine; she was right there.

I contacted the artist who did the art for the rest of the series and asked if she was willing to work with an image I would send her. Lyn Taylor was willing, bless her. I asked a friend’s husband if he would take pictures for cheap. He was willing, provided we found an outdoor space. That way he wouldn’t charge us studio fees. We set up a day and met in the park, and the result is the cover you see here.

I love this cover. Amanda does, of course, really look like the Amanda in the story. The colors are lovely, and they fit the rest of the series. If you haven’t read it yet, you can only buy it from Amazon at the moment. But if you don’t want to buy from Amazon because you don’t have a kindle, go ahead and buy it anyway. Then email me at maddybarone@gmail.com and attach a copy of your Amazon receipt before Feb 28, 2015. I will email you a .pdf, an .epub or a .docx file of Wolf’s lady for whichever device you use.

Thank you for reading! I’m still working on Wolf’s Princess and I can’t wait for you to read it! Another Rose/Sky snip is coming for Tuesday, so check back in in a couple of days.

Tuesday Teaser 2/3/15: Wolf’s Princess

I’m moving! That is, I put my notice in at the rental office on Friday and today I made about a half dozen calls to other rental offices in search of a new apartment, preferably one with a balcony. I had to leave messages at some, but I have appointments to view three apartments on Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

I’m kind of freaking out about it, because moving is a LOT of work! I have lots and lots of stuff. Fabric, yarn, more fabric, books (ye gads, the books!!!) and tons of other craft supplies. And I’ve been spending the past three days cleaning because they’ll be bringing people through to view my current apartment. Yikes! The front hall closet is stuffed to the gills with all kinds of stuff, about half of which I can probably throw away or donate. And the bedroom? Holy moly. That will take me an entire day to clean. (did I mention the books?)

What does that mean? It means I haven’t spent much time writing, and I won’t be spending very much time writing this week. So… no new snip from Kit and Olivia. I hope you’ll be satisfied with a snip from Rose and Sky. This scene takes place after they’ve been in Omaha for a few days. I hope you enjoy it! Now I’m going to sit in my newly cleaned living room with a heating pad on my aching back (cleaning is hard work!) and read the new Jeaniene Frost book.

 

It was nearly four hours later that Sky went upstairs to join his mate. Instead of the usual weary frustration dragging at his feet when he climbed the stairs, tonight he bounced up the steps, eager to see his mate in his bed. Her scent would be on his sheets and pillows. She would be there to welcome him. He would inhale the scent of her hair and savor the warmth of her body beside his while they talked. Yes, he reminded his libido firmly, just talk.

A thin line of light showed under the closed door. He took a deep breath and turned the knob. When he stepped inside his bedroom he looked immediately at the bed. The glow of the lamp made Rose’s blonde hair look more yellow. She was curled on her side, propped up by pillows in pink cases which she must have brought from the other room. He liked the pink mixed in with his gray sheets. They were pretty and feminine just like his mate.  Her head was bent over an open book and it took Sky a moment to realize she had fallen asleep while reading.

“Rose,” he whispered.

She didn’t stir. He approached the bed and put light fingers on her hair. The book slid out of her limp grasp and fluttered shut on the bed beside her, but she didn’t waken. Some of his excitement ebbed away, but seeing her sleeping so soundly in his bed gave him a sense of satisfaction. He could shake her awake, but he didn’t want to. She was so beautiful, so infinitely precious, that the heat of tears stung his eyes. He blinked it back, drinking in the lovely sight of her in his bed. He wished he could make her understand how much he wanted her. Not just sexually, although the sight of her in his bed was doing interesting things to his body. No, Just having her close made his wolf happy. And it made him happy, too.

He picked up the book and put it on the bedside table. With careful hands he removed some of her pillows and tossed them on the floor before arranging her on one side of the bed. He waited for her to wake up, but aside from humming a little and opening and closing her mouth like a fish a few times, she slumbered peacefully on. He cursed himself when he caught sight of her long pale legs under the hem of her night shirt. The fit of his pants was already uncomfortable; looking at his mate seemed to make them shrink. He pulled the blanket up to her chin out of self preservation.

He turned off the light before getting undressed. She didn’t want him to kiss her without her invitation, so he doubted she would appreciate the sight of his arousal. He even considered wearing something to bed, but he had nothing that would work as pajamas. So he went commando as usual when he lifted the blankets and slid in beside her.

A quiet joy filled him when he breathed in her scent and felt the warmth of her breath on his shoulder. Eight years of dreaming and longing were forgotten in a moment.

She shifted an inch closer to him and gave a low, lady-like grunt.

“Rose?”

“Thank you for the lamp,” she mumbled.

At least, he thought that was what she said. He leaned up on one elbow to look at her. She appeared to be still sleeping. “You’re welcome.”

“The mayor doesn’t like you. Said he shoulda gotten rid of you a long time ago.”

“I know,” he responded, staring down at her closed eyes and relaxed face. “Rose? Are you awake?”

“Mmm,” she said, flopping a heavy hand onto his breast.

He froze. His erection, which had begun to subside, roared back to life. She was soundly asleep, but even asleep her touch affected him. For a second, he regretted insisting she share his bed. No, he didn’t regret it. It might drive him half crazy, but sleeping beside her was worth it. He would tempt her and tease her and show her how much he valued her, until she accepted his mate claim. Then they would do more than just slee—

A tiny sound jerked his head toward the door, his body tensing for an attack.

Low to the floor, two green orbs glimmered. A sniff confirmed what Sky suspected. That damn cat jumped up to the bed, glared at him for a long challenging minute, then sauntered over to Rose’s ankles before turning in a circle three times. Mitzi plopped her overfed self down, shot one leg up in the air and began to thoroughly wash her lady parts. She paused to sneer at Sky, and then, supremely blasé, went back to her bath.

Sky laid his head back on the pillow, swearing to firmly shut the door tomorrow night. Then, to calm himself, he took in a deep breath tinged with his mate’s scent, and fell asleep.

Tuesday Teaser 1/27/15: Daughter of the Wolf Clan

Before we get to today’s snip, I want to give you an update of Rose and Sky’s story. It’s moving along. I finally got the write The Scene I’ve Been Looking Forward To For The Past Two Years. Yes, Rose has finally accepted Sky’s mate claim and they have lost their virginity! It’s a looooong scene (about 10 pages) with hot passionate kisses, a few giggling fumbles, tender possessiveness, heartfelt confessions… OK. I really like it. I may do a little trimming, but in general, I think it’s one of the best love scenes I’ve ever written. I shared a few snips of it on my Facebook Page and I’ll post a few here next week. I know a lot of you are anxious to get to read Rose and Sky’s story, and I’m anxious to get it out to you! I have four major scenes left to write, and several smaller scenes, so  four chapters plus an epilogue. Should be about 100,000 words. For comparison, Wolf’s Glory, Wolf Tracker and Ellie’s Wolf were all around 75,000 words.

 

And now, back to Olivia and Kit:

 

 

The first woman, the taller one, took a menacing step. “Dev, you’re coming pretty close to insubordination, aren’t you?”

Devlin held her eyes for a moment before looking down. “Not intentionally, Maria. But I was with Kit when he found his mate yesterday, and I believe the mate bond exists. For him to service another female would be wrong.”

“Fine.” Maria’s smile made Olivia touch the knife on her belt. “If they’re mates, let’s see it. Service your mate, Kit, and we’ll all be witnesses to your bond.”

“I’m nah human,” Kit growled.

“Human enough to give the little girl sex. Do it, Kit. Prove she’s your mate and she lives.”

Tricia jumped up from the blankets, wearing only her shirt and a leer. “Your choice, Kit. Either give your mate sex or watch her die.”

Kit’s roar was cut off by a third woman, walking from the back of the cave with two mountain lion kits in her arms. She was smaller than either of the other two women and her mouth was curved in a smile that didn’t have even a hint of a leer.

“Maria. Tricia.” The third woman shook her head. “Why taunt poor Kit like this? Leave him and his mate alone.”

“You always had a soft spot for him, Juanita,” spat Maria. “He’s brought a human to the pride.”

The curvy woman called Juanita shrugged and rubbed her cheek against the fur of one of the babies in her arms. “She’s his mate.”

“Human,” insisted Maria.

“She probably wasn’t even born when the pride was slaughtered. She’s not responsible.” Juanita turned to Olivia with a smile. “Here, hold my sons.” She plopped the kittens into Olivia’s arms and ignored both Olivia’s stuttering protests and the hisses from the other people in the cave to fasten a cold stare on first Maria and then Tricia.

“This stops now. Kit deserves to find some happiness. His mate is off limits. I mean it.” She lifted black eyes to glare at everyone else in the cave. “No one bothers Kit or his mate or they answer to me.”

All eyes dropped, even Maria’s and Tricia’s. Juanita gave a satisfied grunt and turned back to Olivia and Kit. She smoothed hand over Kit’s feline face with a loving smile. “I’ll miss you as a lover, sweetie, but I hope you’ll be happy with your mate.” She picked up his paw and kissed it before turning to Olivia. “What’s your name?”

“Olivia Stensrud.” Holding the kittens squirming to get loose was hard. They each weighed at least twenty pounds, and their claws were already sharp. Juanita took pity on her and removed them. She leaned close to say, “Be good to Kit, Olivia Stensrud. He’s special. Let him service you as soon as possible. Until you’re fully mated, the pride won’t accept you.”

“Uh.” Olivia blinked. She didn’t want the pride to accept her. She wanted to go home, where her family would surround her with love, and where no man could get within fifty yards of her without her brothers bristling like the wolves they were. “Thanks.”

Juanita leaned in to press a quick peck on Olivia’s cheek. “You two get out of here now. Take your mate back to your lair, Kit, and get to know her better.”

Kit didn’t say a word. He picked Olivia up, tossed her over his shoulder and ran out of the cave back to his own.

 

Tuesday Teaser, 1/20/15: Daughter of the Wolf Clan

I am moving right along on Wolf’s Princess now.  I just finished writing the big love scene between Rose and Sky. It took me the entire weekend to write! It’s amazing what a little love making will do for the level of affection and trust between mates. They are both pretty happy now! Maybe next week I’ll share a little snip of Wolf’s Princess, but for today, you get another helping of Kit and Olivia. :)

 

With supreme indifference to the threat of Kit’s claws, the woman turned and walked out of the cave. Eyeing Kit uneasily, Olivia walked after the woman, expecting Kit to stop her. But he only fell into step beside her, growling a quiet rumble under his breath. She tried to edge away from him, but he grabbed her arm to keep her close.

“Let go of me,” she snarled, every bit as ferociously as her aunt Glory could.

After a moment, he dropped her wrist, but stayed close. Olivia swallowed and kept her eyes on the woman. As they passed out of the cave, the warmth of the sun fell like a welcome blanket over her. She looked around to try to fix landmarks in her memory for her escape. The sense of warm comfort was shredded by the woman’s mocking laugh from a few yards away. “Hurry up, little human.”

Olivia followed, still casting thorough looks around to memorize the terrain. They were on a rocky mountainside so steep that if she tripped she’d slide thirty feet almost straight down. Nothing was familiar. She had no idea how to get home from here. There was a narrow ledge that went from Kit’s cave to another cave about a hundred yards away. The woman ran with light, sure feet along it, utterly confident she would not slip. Olivia took a deep breath and started after her, more slowly and carefully. She could feel the warmth of Kit’s body right behind her. Kit’s large, furry, naked body. it made her uncomfortable. He should have put some clothes on. The wolves of the Clan tended to wear as little as possible, but they wore at least breechcloths when they were in human form. Kit wore nothing at all. It reminded her that only a few minutes ago he had tried to rape her. So why did he seem like a friend? The woman might be her enemy, but she was Kit’s pack mate.

The other cave was larger than Kit’s, and dim after the bright morning light. A quick count told Olivia that there were about twenty adults there, mostly men, and about a dozen cougars. A group of ten children were herded to the back of the cave at the sight of her. Olivia was relieved everyone was clothed in pants and shirts, although they were barefoot. Clearly, this cave was a living area, as there were piles of blankets scattered along the wall and woven baskets with lids beside the blankets.

As she stood just inside the cave, every eye turned to her and silence fell. In the quiet, the mewling of kittens rose. The woman folded her arms over her ample bosom and stalked forward to stare into Olivia’s eyes. Olivia let her eyes drop so as to not challenge the Alpha female. She jumped when Kit’s arm curled around her waist and he leaned his hip against hers, but his warmth was comforting. It shouldn’t be comforting!

“Kit has brought a little human girl to our pride,” the woman announced loudly. Her lip curled. “What do you all think of that?”

Little? Olivia wanted to argue. She wasn’t as tall as her cousin Victoria, but she was above average for a woman. And she wasn’t a girl. She was nineteen now, old enough that even her father and brothers agreed she could have suitors. The two she’d had so far were boys she’d known all her life, and with her father sitting on the other side of the fireplace, working on his carving with a large knife instead of his usual small chisel, they hadn’t dared to even hold her hand.

“She’s human.” Scorn dripped from the voice. Another woman came from the rear of the cave, looking ready to spit at Olivia. She was shorter and slimmer than the other woman, but with similar coloring and features, and with a bitter expression that scared Olivia. “I say we kill her.”

Olivia was almost glad of Kit’s arm clamping around her and the snarl twisting his feline face. “Oleeya is mah madte. Mine!”

“So you’ve said. Repeatedly.” The first woman’s smile was cruel. “But from what I heard at your lair, she doesn’t agree. Do you, girl?”

Death colored the air shuddering in Olivia’s lungs. “I haven’t accepted him yet.” She laid one hand over the arm clenching her waist. “I need more time to get to know Kit before I accept him.”

“Liar.” It was the second woman, the bitter one. “All you humans are liars.”

Olivia forgot about not challenging anyone. She drew herself up and glared. “I am not a liar!” Well, maybe a little bit of a liar, but only to save her life. “In the Wolf Clan, a man courts a woman to give her a chance to accept him.”

“But you aren’t his mate yet, are you?” The woman pulled her pants off, and threw herself on a nearby pile of blankets, opening her legs so everyone could see her privates. Olivia felt her eyes stretch into wide circles before she jerked her gaze away. “Kit!” the woman bellowed. “Come service me. Now.”

Kit shook his head. His long hair brushed over Olivia’s shoulder. “I gih sex only Oleeya. Candt change back human now.”

“I don’t care,” snapped the woman. “I demand you service me now.”

There was a gasp and a murmur at this. Another voice rose, and it was familiar to Olivia. The dark-haired man from yesterday pushed to the front of the people. Devlin. “Tricia, the rule has always been that whichever form you queens are in, your partners will take the same form to give you sex. Kit can’t take full cougar form, so you both have to be human. He’s too upset to change right now, but even if he wasn’t, he can’t give you sex. He’s mated.”

The first woman, the taller one, took a menacing step. “Dev, you’re coming pretty close to insubordination, aren’t you?”

Devlin held her eyes for a moment before looking down. “Not intentionally, Maria. But I was with Kit when he found his mate yesterday, and I believe the mate bond exists. For him to service another female would be wrong.”

Tuesday Teaser 1/13/15: Daughter of the Wolf Clan

This week you’re getting a longer snip. Well, slightly longer. If you recall, we left Kit curled around Olivia, waiting for her to wake up so he could make love to her.  In the cat culture, making love isn’t the same as it is for wolves.  Luckily, they are interrupted before Kit can do what he intends. Or maybe Olivia has gone from the frying pan to the fire!  I hope you enjoy it. :)

“Kit?” She craned her head to peer over her shoulder at him in the dim light. Yes, she could see traces of the lion man who had kidnapped her. The dark blond hair that fell past his shoulders and his strangely bright yellow-green eyes were familiar. The wide mouth with the gently curved lower lip and the soft shape of his face were not.

“Yes,” he said, sounding pleased. He bent his nose to the nape of her neck and inhaled deeply, just the way Uncle Taye did to Aunt Carla sometimes. “You slept such a long time.”

His tongue touching the side of her throat, licking up to her jaw, made her scramble to get away from him. “Let me go!”

The happy pleasure died from his face, replaced by something dark. His arm clamped painfully over her waist, yanking her back. “No,” he said flatly.

“You have to! I’m freezing.”

“I’ll give you sex. That will warm you up.”

“No!”

She kicked and clawed, trying to get free, but it was hopeless. He looked slender, but he was as strong as a wolf warrior. He wrestled her face first into the blankets and crushed her beneath him. Her flailing arms failed to hurt him no matter how hard she tried to strike the body on top of her back. When he spoke his voice sounded regretful.

“You prefer rough sex? But you’re so easily broken. Wouldn’t you rather cuddle?”

“No! Get off me!”

Her voice was muffled against the blanket. She struggled to buck him off, but she couldn’t budge him. Were his hands actually trying to pull her panties down? She clamped her knees together, hooking her ankles together with all the strength she had. How did he dare to treat her like this? She had never felt a man’s bare body pressed against hers. Even Rob hadn’t taken off her clothes in his father’s stable. It made her feel horrifyingly vulnerable, and that helpless feeling made fury surge through her.

“Stop!” she screamed. “Kit, stop it right now!”

His teeth fastened on her shoulder near her neck with a growl that vibrated through her like a drum in a parade. Or maybe that was her heart pounding? His teeth hurt, but the pain was drowned by rage.

“Stop, Kit!”

Olivia found fresh strength, enough to allow her to throw him off her back for almost three whole seconds. He pounced back on her, but this time she was ready, and chopped the edge of her hand into his windpipe just as her uncles had taught her. He tumbled back a couple of feet and sat on his bare haunches, glaring at her and breathing hard. Olivia saw, by the state of his arousal, the fight hadn’t dampened his enthusiasm. The skin and muscle of her shoulder throbbed where his teeth tore her skin. Where was her knife? She didn’t dare take her eyes off him to search for it.

A shadow blocked the sun from the front of the cave. Kit turned in a silent bound that put him between her and the cave mouth. Olivia jerked her panties back up and fumbled to pull one of the blankets free to wrap around herself to hide her nakedness. Kit didn’t seem bothered by his nudity, but it was clear he was bothered by the faceless, black silhouette at the front of the cave. He snarled something in that slurred language, his voice so distorted by his rage Olivia couldn’t decipher the words. The shadowy figure said something in calm reply. Olivia blinked with surprise at the feminine voice. When Kit snarled again, the woman’s voice rose to a whiplash of command.

“You braw a female tuwa pride?” the woman demanded.

“Mahmade.”

Kit’s voice was a low, dangerous growl, his body crouched as if ready to spring. Behind him, Olivia looked frantically around for her clothes. Her jeans and shirt had never seemed to be protection before, but right now she was agonizingly aware of being vulnerable without them. She saw them folded a few yards away, and her knife was a beautiful thing, peeking from under her shirt.

“You, human girl.” The woman’s voice was as confident and commanding as an Alpha’s. Was she the cats’ Lupa? “Come here.”

“No!” screamed Kit. “Mahmayde sday wid me!”

He was nuts. Only a crazy man would scream at his Alpha female like that. Olivia edged toward her clothes, flicking a cautious glance between Kit and the woman, desperately wanting to be dressed before the Lupa exploded.

“Girl! I said come here.”

“Yes, ma’am. Just let me get dressed.”

“Right now, bitch,” the woman snarled.

When Kit let out a bone rattling roar, the woman snapped in perfectly spoken English, “Shut up, Kit. You brought her to the Pride. She’s my business now.”

“She dresz furz.”

Olivia didn’t wait for the Lupa’s permission. As she rushed to fumble her way into her pants, she was transfixed by the sight of Kit growing several inches and hair sprouting over his back. His change was nothing like her brothers’. When the Wolf Clan let their wolves out, it happened in a blink. This took transformation took over ten seconds, and the thin noise that came from Kit’s throat was pained.

The shadowy figure of the Lupa moved forward, emerging from the glare of the sun to reveal a woman as tall and broad as Aunt Glory, but with waist-length black hair and dark eyes in a harsh-featured face with thin lips. Her jeans and shirt were very tight, showing a lush body. She glared a cold challenge at Kit.

“Are you defying me, boy?” she asked.

Instead of an angry growl, the tone was gentle. So gentle it made Olivia shiver. When Uncle Taye spoke in that tone enemies died. But he never used that tone within the Pack. Did this woman treat her own people like enemies?

“Mah madte.” Kit sounded less angry, but still stubborn. “Oleeya mah madte.”

“Girl, are you finished dressing yet?”

Olivia scrambled into her shirt, shoved her feel in her boots sans socks, and surreptitiously patted the hilt of her knife on her belt. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Follow me.”

 

Tuesday Teaser 1/6/15 Daughter of the Wolf Clan

Here we are: our first Tuesday Teaser of 2015! I am making good progress on Wolf’s Princess. I am really liking Sky now that he’s stopped being an idiot.  I might interrupt Kit and Olivia’s story to throw in a couple Rose & Sky teasers in the next month or so.

 

As you read this snip, please remember that Kit has never lived among humans.  Enjoy!

 

Kit searched out dry wood and hurried back to his lair to build a fire to keep his human mate warm. After building the fire to a nice glow, he curled around Olivia, reveling in the bare skin of her back touching his chest. Cuddling soothed something wild inside him. She smelled right. She smelled like him. He lay on his side almost on top of her and put his chin on her shoulder to watch her sleep. At last he felt calm enough to go back to his human form. The pain of the change was brief as he went from his half-form to human. He couldn’t smell her as well in his man form, but he could still feel her stomach where his arm lay over it, and her breath warm on the fingertips he caressed her lips with. Her hair was almost as pale as her belly. It was shorter than his, soft and straight. He used his fingers to comb the tangles out of it.

Safe in his lair with his mate beside him, he was able to think more clearly. What if Olivia wouldn’t be happy to be his mate? She had seemed to resist at first. He hoped he was wrong and she would be glad he had taken her. He hadn’t had a choice either. All he knew was she was his. Whether she was happy or angry didn’t change that fact.

“Olivia,” he breathed. Her name was strange, but easy to say when he was in man form. He still wasn’t sure if she was pretty as the humans viewed prettiness. She was beautiful to him. Her white skin almost glowed in the dim light. Her belly was firm, the teats beneath their wrappings seemed firm also. Perhaps she hadn’t yet given birth to kits. That pleased him, although it seemed strange. She was fully mature, past the age where she would have dropped her first litter.

Maybe it was a human thing. Kit had watched them sometimes from a distance, but he didn’t understand their ways. Justin and Devlin had told him that some human females accepted only one male. Not just one male at a time, but only one male for their entire lives. But that was ridiculous. There were few females but many males among the humans he’d watched. The males must fight each other for the right to claim a female, just as his pride did sometimes when Maria or the others were in heat. Then the pride queens demanded sex from several of the males at a time.

But maybe the human males felt about their mates the way he felt about Olivia. They prevented any other males from servicing their mates and would kill any male who approached. Kit would kill any male who came near Olivia. He was the only one who would give her sex. Kit bent to inhale at her female spot. To have such an alluring scent she must be in heat. He felt fierce and wild from it, just as he and the other males did when one of their females went into heat. She would wake up demanding he give sex. He relaxed into her body, falling into a light catnap while he waited to please her so thoroughly she wouldn’t ask for another male.

“Wake up, Olivia,” he whispered into her throat. “Wake up so I can give you pleasure.”

 

Chapter Three

 

When she woke, Olivia’s back was warm but her feet were freezing. She wondered sleepily if she had kicked the blankets free during the night. A slow languorous stretch made her aware of an ache in her back and … something warm and firm pressed against her? A glance over her shoulder shocked her. A man with a bare chest leaned over her, his wild tangle of hair brushing her shoulder and chest. Confusion was partially banished by memory, but nothing reduced the terror that leapt into her throat. She was naked except for her underwear, and he –she darted a quick glance down his body– was completely naked.

They weren’t lying on a bed, only a couple folded blankets on a dirt floor in irregularly shaped rock room. A cave? Light was coming in from the narrow opening at one end, about six or seven yards away.

“You’re awake at last,” the man said, wrapping his arm more tightly around her middle. “I was worried.”

She forced herself to not claw at his arm, but she couldn’t control her galloping heart or her wild breathing. “Who are you?”

“Don’t be afraid. I’m Kit. Your mate.”

 

 

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