Tuesday Teaser 4/22/14: Wolf’s Lady Part 16

I can’t believe I’ve been putting this serial out for almost 4 months now! After this there will be more action than emotions.  I feel like we’ve gotten to know Amanda and Sand a bit more now, so we can get to the “good stuff”. What would make Amanda be willing to accept Sand?  Does Sand love Amanda. or only want a mate?  I need to bring them both to the point where they know their feelings are real and deep.

 

As always, this is rough and unedited. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Amanda's bench1Sand watched Askup and the Guardsman until they were out of sight and hearing. When he was sure they were away, he pulled Amanda back to the bench to sit. “That fat slug asked you to marry him?”

Her beautiful smile, the one that showed only amusement, curved her mouth. “Yes, he did. He’s rich, he’s close friends with the mayor, and he has a large mansion, so his wife would have a life of ease.”

He didn’t like that. “So why did you refuse him?”

She leaned close to speak in a voice hardly louder than a whisper. Her scent overwhelmed him. He breathed deeply of that precious scent. “He’s also petty, controlling, and mean in bed. Did you hear his threat? I won’t marry a man who won’t accept defeat gracefully.”

The threat didn’t bother him. The image of Askup in bed with Amanda lifted his lip in a snarl. When Amanda dropped his arm and stepped back he realized his mistake. He sniffed. Her scent had changed. “You’re nervous?”

“Of course not.”

Her scent said different, but her face lifted to his with a calm expression. Amanda was not only beautiful beyond his dreams, she was also strong and self-controlled. His wolf had chosen a superb woman for his mate.

“Sand, does my career bother you?”

“We already talked about this.” It took a little effort, but he kept his voice mild. “What you did before we even met is none of my business.”

“Hmmm,” she murmured in a doubting tone.

He clenched his teeth. “I’m jealous of the men who have been in your life before me,” he admitted. “I can’t help that, but I know I have no right to expect you to deny loving other men in your life.”

“They were in my bed, not my life!” she clarified, with a bit of a snap. “The only men in my life that I care about are my dad and Sky. I love Sky like my brother. And I’ve never brought Sky here.” She waved an arm around the clearing with the dead fountain. “Only you.”

Only him. Relief, and something close to wonder, melted his heart within him. “Will you accept my mate claim?”

She smiled and lifted one shoulder in a slight shrug. “I don’t know yet.”

Relief dissolved in disappointment. “Oh.”

Her smile grew to a laugh. “Don’t give up, Sand. It took me two seconds to refuse Terry. It’s been twelve hours and you’re still in the running.” She took his arm. “Let’s go back to Sky’s.”

She hadn’t denied him yet, at least. He just needed to figure out what would make her accept him. As they strolled through the gardens he noticed her pleasure in the flowers. “If you accept my mate claim I’ll plant all the flowers you like around our house. I’ll make you a garden, with a fountain, and a bench and anything else you like.”

She flashed him a quick glance. “That would be nice. But if I marry you, it won’t be for a house, or flowers or anything like that.”

He stopped and looked down at her, forcing desperation back. “Then for what? What can I give you to convince you to accept me?”

She stopped too, staring up at him with an unusually sober face. “What I want from my husband can’t be touched or put into a gift bag, and the price could be very high. But I won’t marry without it.”

“Name it.” Determination rose in him. “I’ll give you whatever you want.”

Amanda’s smile this time was misty, as if she were holding back tears. “It’s not that easy, Sand. I’ll be cheating if I tell you. You have to figure it out for yourself.”

A challenge! There was nothing a wolf liked better. His smiled fiercely at her, savoring the lovely lines of her face. “I will figure it out. Give me a hint.”

She bit her lower lip. “It’s only what most women want.”

If the Lupa were here he could ask her. Maybe he could write her a letter. “I’ll find out and I will give it to you.”

Her hand was soft and gentle when she touched his cheek. “I hope so,” she murmured. “Let’s go home.”

 

Paperback Giveaway!

Just thought I’d let you know I am running a giveaway for 3 copies of Tales of the Wolf Clan on GoodReads! Why not toss your hat in the ring?

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tales of the Wolf Clan by Maddy Barone

Tales of the Wolf Clan

by Maddy Barone

Giveaway ends May 08, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Tales of the Wolf Clan Paperback

 

Tales front cover I have two of my books (Sleeping With the Wolf and Wolf’s Glory) out in paperback and I am attempting to put the rest out too. In fact, Tales of the Wolf Clan is available now from Create Space, and it should be up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in a week or so.  This is Wolf’s Oath and Sherry’s Wolf together in one volume. Interior layout and formatting was done by Nadia Lee in exchange for a beta read of Forever in Love. (I loved that book. Had to go get the rest. If you enjoy contemporary romance in the world of the rich and the famous you might want to try Vengeful in Love, the first book in the series. It’s free on Amazon!)

I did the cover art for this one myself, using images purchased from Fotolia for the background, and the CreateSpace template for the title/spine and back matter. It’s not perfect,  but considering how badly I suck at figuring out graphic art programs, I’m pretty darned proud of it.

Tales of the Wolf Clan

 

Tales of the Wolf Clan, available now at Create Space

Wolf’s Vengeance Cover Reveal!

Wolf's VengeanceIt’s here! I can now show off the cover of Mel and Snake’s story, which releases from Liquid Silver Books on Monday May 26.  See? What do you think? Isn’t it beautiful?

Mel is one of my favorite heroines. She’s tough, but there is grief and trouble behind her calm, stoic face. It takes a guy like Snake to break through the hard crust to the tenderness she guards deep  inside.

This is another of Lyn Taylor’s covers. She does such amazing work. I haven’t seen a single cover by Lyn that isn’t beautiful.

Tuesday Truth 4/15/14 Wolf’s Lady part 15

 

Sand stood in front of his mate, using his own body to shield her from whoever was coming. He tasted a familiar scent on the warming morning air. He identified it only a moment before two men came around the shrubs into the fountain area. One was a tall skinny man in the uniform of the City Guard. The other was Terry Askup, his mate’s appointment from last night.

“See?” said Askup loudly. “There he is!”

Sand heard the brush of Amanda’s jeans over stone when she stood and forced his immediate desire to push her behind him away. She stood beside him and smiled at the Guardsman.

“Good morning, Joe!” she said brightly. “How’s Leanne?”

The Guardsman gave her a small smile in return. “She’s doing fine. Not here to chat, though, Miss Amanda. Mr. Askup wants to file a complaint against your companion.”

Sand tensed, but Amanda just blinked at the men with an expression of confused innocence. If Sand hadn’t smelled her anger, he would have accepted it as genuine.

“Really? What on earth for?”

Askup stabbed a finger in Sand’s direction. “He refused to allow me to keep my appointment with you last night!”

When Sand began to growl Amanda looped an arm around his. The warmth of her skin pressed to his eased the growl to a hum so low human ears probably couldn’t hear it.

“That’s right. I’ve cancelled all my appointments for the rest of the month.” Her voice dripped honey that Sand could almost taste. “I’m so terribly sorry for the short notice but it couldn’t be helped.”

Askup had a mean nature. Sand didn’t have the best nose in the pack, but he could smell the sour stink of it. The thought of this man laying his hands on Sand’s mate brought the growl back.

Askup’s eyes were narrowed in rage and narrowed further when the Guardsman said, “Mr. Askup, I see no grounds for a complaint.”

“He laid his hands on me! My shoulders are bruised! I want him arrested for assault.”

The Guardsman turned slightly away from Askup to face Sand more fully and said politely, “I am Sergeant Joseph Rush of the Omaha City Guard. May I see your Visitor Permit, sir?”

Sand dug the paper out of his pocket and handed it over. The Sergeant took the time to read it thoroughly before handing it back. “Thank you, Mr. Wolfe. Would you care to comment on Mr. Askup’s accusation?”

“I didn’t assault him. I told him his appointment was cancelled, and when he wouldn’t leave I picked him up and carried him down the stairs.”

Sergeant Rush glanced from Sand to Askup and Sand knew he was wondering how he could carry the much larger man down the stairs. “Did you strike him or kick him?”

“No.” Sand remembered wanting to, but he hadn’t needed to.

“Mr. Askup, in what way did Mr. Wolfe assault you?”

Askup curled a lip. “He touched me. He forced me out.”

Amanda spoke up. “Of course he did.” She directed that same innocent smile at the Guardsman. “He is employed by Sky Wolfe to keep the peace in his house. As I wasn’t taking  appointments, Sand escorted Terry out. He is allowed to use necessary force if an appointment becomes unruly.”

“I asked you to marry me!” Askup yelled.

“You did, and I declined.”

“Why?” Askup spat. “So you can slither all over this .. this …”

Showing his teeth in a snarl that couldn’t possibly be called a smile, Sand took one step forward. Only the weight of his mate hanging fiercely onto his arm kept him from invading Askup’s personal space.

“I refused you before I ever met Sand. Who I choose to … slither over is my concern, not yours. Sergeant, it seems clear to me that Mr. Askup is trying to cause trouble, not file a legitimate complaint.”

“I agree.” The Guardsman frowned at Askup. “Unless you have some evidence that Mr. Wolfe caused you unnecessary harm, I am dismissing your complaint.”

Sand wondered if the scum would lie, but he didn’t. His round cheeks were red with rage, a muscle at the corner of his jaw bunched. “Fine.” He leaned toward Sand. “But don’t expect me to forget this. I won’t. I will make you pay.”

Hey, today is Tax Day in the US. Have you filed? I dropped off my return tonight, a whole day early. LOL

Here is the next bit in Sand and Amanda’s story. Did you think Sand and Amanda had seen the last of her appointment with the taste of roughness? Enter the bad guy!

Sleeping With the Wolf at Amazon


About a week ago a reader emailed me to ask why she couldn’t purchase Sleeping With the Wolf in digital format at Amazon. I was surprised by this question as the book has been consistently my  best seller on Amazon. I went out to Amazon to get the link for her.  It wasn’t there. I could find the paperback and the audiobook, but not the kindle version. Hmm… I thought it might be some odd glitch, so I waited a day and tried again. Nope, still not there. I emailed my publisher, Liquid Silver Books, and they contacted Amazon. It took a few days, but Sleeping With the Wolf is back on Amazon for sale in Kindle format!

Thanks, Amy, for bringing this to my attention!

Interview With Robyn Bachar

Paranormal romance author Robyn Bachar  invited me to be a guest on her blog today.  I met Robyn at Lori Foster’s Annual Reader & Author Get Together a few years ago. She is a ton of fun to be around, and I LOVE her Cy’ren books. If you’d like to try her out, I suggest starting with Nightfall.

Robyn asked me about where I came up with the After the Crash world and the stories that take place there. What to know more? Here is the interview on Robyn’s blog.

Tuesday Teaser, Wolf’s Lady Part 14

Sorry Amanda and Sand’s story is a little late this week. I worked on the Final Line Edits for Wolf’s Vengeance over the weekend and completed them last night. In about a month, I’ll send out a contest through my newsletter for someone to win an ARC of Mel and Snake’s story. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, the sign up form is on the right.

 

The entrance to the gardens came in sight. She grabbed his hand. “I don’t want to talk about that anymore. I want to show you my favorite spot in the gardens.”

She rushed Sand through the profusion of blooming beds of flowers to a small open area. There weren’t any colorful blossoms here, only ornamental grasses lining gravel pathways. There was a fountain in its center, a collection of logs and stones for the water to pour over, but it was dry now. Amanda pulled Sand to one of the benches scattered around the clearing.

“Sit down,” she invited, settling herself on the bench.

He sat, leaving a few inches between their thighs. It surprised her; she’d expected him to plaster himself against her. “This is your favorite place?” he asked, looking around.

Maybe he thought it was plain here. Just a few yards away from where they sat the gardens blazed with the heavy blooms of gold chrysanthemums and red asters. She loved that too, but this was her special place. She was surprised by how much she wanted to share it with him.

“Yes. When I come here I feel close to my mom.”

New interest brightened his dark eyes. “Your mom comes here?”

The grief, dulled by time though it was, stabbed her. “No. She died when I was seven, but this is where I remember her.” She drew the edge of the shawl higher on her neck. “On Sunday afternoons me and my mom and dad would come here. I would run around on the grass while mom sat on a bench with my dad. She always had her knitting with her.”

Amanda brushed a hand over the stone bench, remembering her mom’s knitting bag on the ground under this very bench, a colorful strand of yarn rising from the bag to the needles flashing in her hands, on its way to becoming a sock or a sweater or a shawl. Her parents leaned toward one another with loving smiles, speaking quietly to one another and glancing over at their cavorting daughter from time to time. The love between them was something the seven-year-old girl didn’t totally comprehend, but she recognized it as something that made her feel safe. Even today, the twenty-five-year-old woman looked back on it as something beautiful, the goal of all marriages.

Sand touched a hand to hers. “Is it a good memory? You look sad.”

Looking sad was a thing she didn’t allow herself, so she took her hand away from him with a smile and changed the subject. “What do you have to offer me if I marry you?”

He didn’t look surprised by the abrupt change of topic, only thoughtful. She considered that a point in his favor. “I’m not rich. I don’t live in a fancy house. I don’t wear pricy clothes or talk in big pretty words.”

“Are you trying to talk me out of considering you?” she laughed.

He didn’t laugh. “No. Just trying to be honest with you. If you accept my mate claim I promise to take care of you. You’ll always have enough to eat, and we’ll have our choice of places to build our house in the Clan’s land. I’ll do everything I can to make you happy.”

“You haven’t said anything about love. Don’t you believe in love at first sight?”

“No.” His eyes were solemn. “Lust at first sight, yes.” Now a corner of his mouth kicked up in a quick grin, that settled immediately back into solemnity. “Love is something different, though, something much better.”

She could agree with that. “You’re right. But you said your picked me at first sight yesterday.”

“My wolf chose you to be my mate,” he corrected.

“So it’s your wolf that fell in love with me at first sight?”

His chuckle was soft. “I guess you could put it that way.”

She glanced sideways at him, trying to understand how that lean, slimly muscled body could house a wolf. “What if the man doesn’t want the same woman the wolf wants? Does that ever happen?”

“No …” He trailed off, frowning at the grass at their feet. “Maybe. One of my cousins sent his mate away. They were unhappy together, but they’re just as miserable apart.” He focused his gaze on her face. “We can be happy together, Amanda, I know it. We can learn to love one another. As long as we are honest with each other and talk things out we can make it work. Please, promise me to always tell me how you feel. If I do something wrong, talk to me about it, okay?”

She tried to imagine one of her clients saying that to her, especially in that gentle, earnest tone, and failed. “Okay, I promise. I’ll start by saying I’ve never brought any other man here to my special place. Only you.”

His smile beamed light as well as any lamp. It turned him from a handsome man into a gorgeously appealing one. She leaned closer to him, wanting to kiss that smiling mouth.

He flowed to his feet with such smoothness it almost didn’t seem abrupt. His crouched posture was that of a wild animal protecting something. “What?” she began.

“Sh,” he hissed. “Someone’s coming.”

Tuesday Truth 4/8/14

The snip from Miss Amanda and Sand’s story is going to be delayed this week. Sorry! I got sucked into the final line edits on Wolf’s Vengeance  and ended up finishing them and turning the manuscript back into the editor tonight. I will work on Amanda and Sand tomorrow night after work and try to get something posted on or before Wednesday.  Sorry!

What a Fun Blog Hop!

The folks over at Just Romance Me put on the best bloghops! And they make it SUPER easy for both the authors and the readers to participate. If you are an author or blogger and your’e looking for a blog hop to participate in, I can’t praise Michael highly enough for all the work he does behind the scenes. He makes it easy for us! If you’d like to know more about it, you can email me at maddybarone@gmail.com.

The latest hop, Fool For Love, just wrapped out and I had two winners. Tina B and Diana M.  Tina won her choice of any of my books in the digital format of her choice. Diana  won a $15.00 gift card to Amazon. Congrats, ladies, and thanks for coming along on our hop.

I’m already looking forward to the next hop!

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