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!

Fool For Love!

Welcome to Maddy Barone’s stop of the Fool For Love Blog Hop from Just Romance Me. To join the Hop just click HERE. The good folks who run the Hop are giving away a free download of one of my stories, and I’m giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card. Keep Reading to find out how to enter.

I write paranormal romance with a twist. Like time travel to a post apocalyptic future where women are rare. A plane takes off in 2014 and crashes in 2064, and the survivors learn that terrorists destroyed the world they knew. Due to disease released by the terrorists, women are few. And werewolves really do exist and they want mates to cherish.

 

I’m writing this blog post on the evening of Thursday April 3. You might think that means warm spring weather. Not in North Dakota. We had a blizzard a few days ago and right now heavy wet snow is falling. It’s no very cold out, but it’s the kind of wet cold that seeps in your bones. It reminds me of a a scene in my upcoming release Wolf’s Vengeance. The hero, Snake Wolfe, is a wolf shifter, and his mate, Melissa, had gotten drenched in a cold rain while they were travelling with her brother. Snake wrapped her up in blankets and curled up in wolf form next to her to keep her warm. Here is a sneak peek at their first love scene.

 

Mel woke hours later from a sound sleep to find a warm furry body pinning her under the blanket. Her heart leaped into her throat and pounded there for a minute before she realized it must be Snake. She lifted a bleary head to try to see him better. It was too dark to see anything but the unearthly shimmer of wolf eyes, but she knew it was Snake.

“Oh, Snake, you scared me for a minute.”

The wolf swiped a wet warm tongue over her cheek.

“Eeww,” she groaned, wiping the slobber away. But she laid her head down and went back to sleep, leaning into the comfortably warm bulk of a wolf.

She woke next when dawn was only a promise in the east, barely seen through the open barn door. Her mouth opened in a wide yawn as she pressed closer to the wolf’s warmth. The feel of smooth warm skin instead of rough fur against her cheek shot her eyes wide open.

 “Snake?”

“Mmm,” he hummed, burrowing his nose into her throat.

She wrestled a hand from under the blanket to touch his hair. His braids were thicker and longer than her stubby one. She ran her hand down the length of his braid until her fingers smoothed over his bare spine. “Are you wearing clothes?” she demanded with a gulp.

“Nuh-uh,” he murmured. “Just made the change a couple of minutes ago. Haven’t had time to dress yet.” His mouth touched her throat, glided up to the corner of her jaw, over her cheek to her lips, where he teased her with small, light kisses.

Mel froze, breath trapped in her throat for a long icy moment before she realized how nice it felt. His weight felt good too when he moved his body over hers. But she was horribly aware that she was naked under the blankets except for her panties, and she could feel his erection pressing against the top of her thigh. “We’re in the open,” she protested in a whisper. “Someone could see us.”

“Nobody can see us. Mike’s snoring by the barn door and Stone is running a perimeter patrol. It’s just us, Mel.”

“I don’t want to have sex here,” she hissed.

“We won’t.”

“But, you’re …I mean, you…” She trailed off, angry at herself for being so prudish. “You’re … uh… hard,” she finished.

“Yeah. Just ignore that. It happens when I’m this close to you, but we don’t have to do anything about it.”

They didn’t? “Won’t that hurt you?”

She felt his shrug. “I’ll survive. This isn’t the right time or place. We’re in the open, remember?”

His heat was irresistible. She wrapped her hands around his braids and tugged him down to her mouth. “Kiss me, Snake.”

His lips were amazingly soft for a moment, then hard and demanding on hers. She savored  the feel of his mouth before Snake buried his face against her neck. “Oh,” he groaned. “I’ve wanted to do that forever.”

“We haven’t known each other that long.”

“I wanted to do that before I ever saw you. And since I’ve met you I’ve wanted to do it twice as much.”

His chin had no stubble. She brushed exploring fingers over it. “Then keep doing it.”

 

Do you think having your cheek licked by a werewolf is sexy or disgusting? Leave a comment and let me know. On Sunday I will choose a commenter to receive a $15.00 gift card to Amazon. Have fun on the hop and good luck!

Fool For Love Blog Hop Coming This weekend!!

Yep, Come visit during this weekend to jump on one of the funnest, easiest bloghops around — one with fantastic prizes!

Tuesday Teaser April 1, 2014-Wolf’s Lady Part 13

Today’s tidbit from Sand and Amanda’s story is not as exciting as I would have liked it to be. This is a section where I want the reader to get to know a little bit more about Amanda. What sort of family does she come from? What does she think of her life working in Sky’s house? This is the sort section that I will spent extra time on during my self-edits because it rambles more than I want it to.

Speaking of edits, I just finished edits on Wolf’s Vengeance. I’ll be sending out the first couple of chapters in the newsletter later this week, along with news of a blog hop where you can win tons of prizes, including gift cards and a kindle paperwhite.

Amanda woke the next morning feeling oddly happy. She hadn’t felt this sort of fragile hope since her early childhood, before she learned lavish Christmas presents only came to rich little girls. A set of pretty clothes that were brand new instead of hand me downs had been at the top of her wish list for years, until she realized a sanitary worker couldn’t afford them, even one who cherished his daughter above anything else.

Sand wasn’t her Christmas present, but he could be. She lay on her back between cool sheets and cast her mind back over the events of last night. A giggle escaped when she remembered Paul’s misunderstanding. The giggle died. Sand’s violence had been controlled, but was there any doubt he could have killed Paul? No, not in her mind. What would it be like being married to him? The sex part would be fine, no matter what sort of lover he was. In seven years she had plenty of experience. Some men were good at it, others weren’t. She shrugged, her shoulders moving against the pillow. As long as he wasn’t cruel she could accept his lovemaking. Sex was only one slice of the marriage pie. There were other things that outweighed sex. She had a month to decide if Sand could give her what she wanted from a husband.

She got up and threw on a robe. Unlike her sexy working robes, this one was bulky and comfortable. Summer was winding down, and the morning air was a bit chilly. Was it always this cold in the morning? Since she normally slept until noon, Amanda wasn’t sure.

She opened her door to go downstairs to breakfast and nearly tripped over a foot. Sand jumped up to steady her.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Yeah.” She tightened the sash of her robe. “I’m going to use the bathroom and then have breakfast. Have you eaten yet? I’ll meet you in the dining room in a couple of minutes.”

 Sand was still at the head of the stairs when she finished in the bathroom. He walked beside her down the stairs, through the kitchen to the dining room. There she found a half a dozen women seated at the long table. They were what Amanda considered day staff. Ginny, Sally, Carey, and Rebecca were laundresses, and Jennifer and Denise worked in the kitchen.

Sand said a quiet good morning and headed over to the buffet under the window and loaded his plate with enough eggs and sausage to feed an entire family. Amanda filled a plate more modestly.

Sand wasn’t one for chatting while he ate. Amanda watched him empty his plate one forkful at a time. He ate neatly, she noticed, but steadily. When he got up to fill his plate again, Amanda met Carey’s wide eyes with wide eyes of her own and a little shrug.

He finished his second plate before she finished her first. He leaned an elbow on the table and put his chin in his hand to watch her. “What would you like to do today?” he asked. “Are there chores you need to finish first?”

Ginny snorted, a sound loaded with bitter sarcasm. Amanda put all her attention on finishing the last of her raspberries. “Let’s go for a walk,” she suggested when she put her fork down. “Give me five minutes to dress, and I’ll meet you by the front door.”

Without looking at Ginny, Amanda went back upstairs. She put on ankle boots, jeans, and a loose blouse of pale green cotton. Because it was a little cool, she added her mother’s shawl. It seemed right to wear the shawl her mother had knit before her death.

 Sand stood in the foyer, deftly braiding his long black hair into a single braid that dangled between shoulders blades. Amanda’s fingers itched to do it for him. He had gorgeous hair.

“If I decide to marry you, you’ll have to agree to let me play with your hair whenever I want.”

Surprise lit his face before melting into a smile. He ducked his head almost bashfully. “It’s just hair. You can play with it anytime you want.”

She laughed and went past him through the door he held open for her. “You’re making it too easy for me. You should hold your hair hostage. Tell me I can’t touch it until I agree to marry you.”

Sand stopped her by touching his fingertips to her shoulder. “No.” His face was very earnest. “I want you to accept me. I want that so bad it’s all I can think of. But I won’t use blackmail to get you. I want you to be my mate because you want it too.”

She swallowed a quick stab of emotion. What exactly the emotion was she wasn’t sure, but it brought tears crowding the back of her eyes. She hurried past him to the steps. He fell in beside her.

“Let’s go down to the city gardens,” she said quickly. “I like to walk there.”

“Sure.” They walked in companionable silence for a few blocks before he spoke again. “Why doesn’t Virginia like you?”

Amanda sighed. “Ginny is an unhappy person. Her family paid nearly all they had for her to marry. They belong to a church that believes all women should be married. They don’t approve of my profession.”

“Hm.” Sand’s face looked interested. “Where is her husband?”

“He died a year ago. Ginny is twenty-nine. The city ordinance requires all women from eighteen to forty to pay a tax to remain single, or go to work in one of the brothels.”

“Even widows?”

“Even widows. Sky’s house might be a brothel, but he doesn’t force anyone to accept clients. It’s a good place for Ginny. Her sons live with her parents, but she has two days off a week to visit them.”

“So why does she not like you?”

“Well, I’m a whore.” She laughed lightly. “Which according to her church, means I’m evil and going to hell. Besides that, I make more money than she does, and I don’t have to do any of the labor she does. Other people wash my clothes, cook my food and clean my house.”

Sand’s brow was furrowed as he tried to understand. “Is she jealous?”

Amanda shrugged. “That might be part of it.”

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.”

What Are “Edits”?

I am waiting for the next round of edits from my editor, and I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about edits. What do I mean when I say “edits”? For me, there are a couple of different kinds of edits. Probably every writer has their own version, but here is mine:

 

Self Edits:

When I’m writing my first draft, the first thing I do when I sit down to write is go over what I last wrote and fix any boo-boos I find, Spelling, grammar, small changes in the characters or story all get a quick fix. When I’ve finished the story, I go through it again. Sometimes the story has changed since chapter 1. Often secondary characters have changed their appearance, their name, or their motivation. I send it out to my beta readers to see where the story doesn’t make sense or has bits missing. When they send it back, I pay attention to their comments. They tell me the unvarnished truth about how they like the characters and the story. I sometimes make pretty major changes based on what they tell me. I’ve learned to listen to them! After that, I read it all the way through to catch repetitive words, adverbs, and that sort of thing.  Those changes are what I call Self Edits, and I do those before the manuscript goes to the publisher. When you read my free serial, Wolf’s Lady, you aren’t getting any editing at all, nto even the basic self-edits I usually do.

 

Edits:

These are the edits suggested by the publisher. My publisher, Liquid Silver Books, assigns an editor for the manuscript and gives us a due date to have it complete and turned in. She reads it through, and uses Track Changes and balloon comments to correct punctuation (I really suck at commas!) and point out where things could and/or should be worded differently. Sometimes there are major changes like a different ending, or adding or deleting a scene. These are done in usually three rounds of editing. She makes suggestions/corrections and send the manuscript to me. I do some correcting and rewriting and then send it back to her. We go back and forth until we’re happy with it, and she turns it in the the Editor in Chief.

 

Final Line Edits:

The FLEs are done by another editor assigned by the publisher. Mostly this person is looking for typos, punctuation, small wording changes, etc. The FLE editor sends the corrections to me to accept, and I make the changes and send it back. Then it goes to the formatter to be made ready for sale. It’s sad and frustrating that even after all the times the manuscript has been looked at, typos still slip through!

 

So, there. Now you have an idea of what I mean when I say I’m waiting for edits. I plan to send the first chapter of Wolf’s Vengeance out next week in my newsletter.  Happy Reading!

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