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Valentine’s Blog Hop

Welcome to the Valentines Blog Hop!

If you happen to fall off the tour bus, you can hop back on here.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the various snippets and excerpts we’re posting for this blog hop. I love doing these. I was  a reader long before I was a writer and I look forward to getting to know writers and finding more books to add to my To-Be-Read pile.

My excerpt is part of a scene that will appear in the next After the Crash book, and may be the intro to the 5th book in the series. Rose Turner was not quite sixteen when her plane crashed fifty years in the future. There was no electricity or cars or other technology in this future, and women were scarce. What the future did have was men that could turn into wolves. And one of them, a teenager just a little older than she, had claimed her for his mate. This excerpt takes place a month after they first met. Their story will take place seven years in the future. Sky and Rose have quite a bit of growing up to do before they can truly fall in love with each other. The first book in the series, Sleeping With the Wolf  (the story of how Taye won Carla’s love), is the prize I’m offering.

Don’t forget to join us at 6pm Central Time (7pm Eastern time) for a chat at Gem Sivad’s chat room.

            Rose left her room in the den to head to supper. Her stomach dropped when she saw Sky leaning against the wall, obviously waiting for her. He was wearing only a pair of worn out jeans, which was more than most of the wolves here wore. His bare chest was overly developed for a seventeen-year-old, Rose sniffed to herself. For just one second, she wanted to step back into her room and slam the door shut. Taye, the Pack Alpha, had forbidden Sky to set foot in her room; it was the only place she was safe from him. Not that Sky would hurt her. No, of course he wouldn’t, but ever since he had announced that his wolf had chosen her for his mate she had felt like a rabbit he was hunting.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. In her world she would have been dating the speech and debate team captain, not avoiding a teenaged werewolf who had all the social graces of a caveman.

 The hallway was too narrow for her to walk past him without coming within arm’s reach of him. Should she go back into her room and hope he went away? Sky didn’t give her a chance to retreat. With the unnatural speed and grace that all the wolves had, he bounded forward and snatched her arm. “You sat next to that Kearney man,” he accused in a snarl.

“I didn’t sit next to him. He sat next to me! Not that it’s any of your business who I sit by.”

“It is. You’re my mate,” he said, hard and furious.

“No!” Rose shouted, trying to free her arm. “I’m not your mate! Even if we weren’t too young, you couldn’t pay me enough to be your mate.”

Sky’s voice rose to a muted roar. “You are my mate, and I’ll kill the next man who touches you.”

“Could you please be a little more dramatic?”

Her sarcasm rolled right off his bare broad shoulders. His eyes, unearthly blue in his dark face, shimmered like a cat’s. “You shouldn’t play with me, mate.”

“I’m not playing.” Rose tried to smooth her voice to something calm and reasonable. “I’m only sixteen. You’re just seventeen. Carla said you should leave me alone until I’m eighteen. Then we can … discuss our relationship.”

With a strength that no seventeen year old should have, Sky pushed her against the wall and held her there. “Why should we wait? We’re old enough.”

Rose yelled, “Let me go! Stop! Help!”

The strength of his body pressing against her almost made her forget how the scent of him always made her knees weak. He had her sandwiched between his near-naked body and the wall, holding her hands above her head, so even if her knees did buckle she couldn’t fall. She stared wide-eyed into his face for a long second and then he was kissing her savagely in spite of her attempts to jerk her head away.

“No,” she tried to say, but his mouth smothered her voice. And … It smothered her resistance too. His mouth was rough on hers but hot too, and his weight was pressing on that one spot that made her want to squirm even closer. She dimly felt his hands roam the collar of her shirt.

Then out of the corner of her eye she saw movement. Taye was coming up the hallway like a thunderstorm rolling across the sky. He tore Sky away from Rose and threw him into the opposite wall. Rose gasped, trying to control her shudders. Of relief? Or just reaction to Sky’s  forceful lovemaking?

The hallway was filling with  wolves. Carla pushed her way to the front of the crowd to stare with horrified eyes at Sky. Sky was half-crouched against the wall, staring defiantly at Taye. And Taye—easy-going Taye—was standing tall and unmoving, putting out infuriated Alpha vibes that made Rose want to cringe and thank God it was directed at Sky instead of her. Her hand shook as she wiped at the tears she hadn’t known she’d shed.

“Sky, explain yourself,” Taye demanded.

For another second Sky held Taye’s eyes. Then his challenge wavered, his eyes dropped and he tilted back his head to show his throat.

“Explain yourself,” Taye said again, more mildly. “We do not ever hurt our mates.”

Sky slid a yearning look at Rose before answering. “I only did what the man in the book you gave me did to his woman when she defied him. I held Rose so she couldn’t get away and I kissed her. I was going to tear her shirt off like the man in the book did, but I didn’t want to ruin her shirt by ripping it so I tried to take it off her gently—but she started to cry. That’s not what happened in the book!” He glared accusingly at Taye.

“Taye!” Carla’s voice was exasperated. “You gave him one of your romance novels to use as a game plan for seducing Rose?”

Sky said defensively, “It worked for the Chief. You fell in love with him right away.”

“He never held me down and tried to force me … Oh, never mind! Those books are a lot of fun to read, but they’re not real. Women don’t really want to be treated like that.”

Now Taye was frowning. “But last night—“

“Sh!” hissed Carla, blushing. She cleared her throat and shot a self-conscious look around at all the interested faces in the hallway. “After a woman gets to know a man she might—might!—enjoy pretending sometimes. But not right away. In the beginning a man should bring a woman roses. When he’s sure she’s the right one, he should get down on one knee and beg her to love him.”

Wolves were staring at Carla, fascinated. Taye looked horror-struck. “You wanted me to beg you to love me?”

Carla curled her mouth into a tiny smile, looked her tall muscular mate up and down, and shook her head.  “I didn’t need to beg you to love me. I already knew you did.”

Taye took her hand and pressed  a kiss to her palm. “I loved you the moment I first saw you. You will never need to beg me for anything.”

Sky straightened up from his crouch with a sound of disgust. He leveled a glare at Rose, who folded her arms and said loudly, “I will never beg you for anything.”

“We’ll see about that,” he snapped back.

Taye turned around, the tender lover gone and the furious Alpha back. He hoisted Sky up by one hand under his arm and dragged him down the hall. “You have a lot to learn about being a mate and until you show some sign of learning it, you will stay away from Rose.”

Rose let out a shaky breath, finally relaxing. But when Sky looked back at her she froze again. His long black hair swaying over his back was as beautiful as a woman’s, but the heat in those blue eyes was all male. It promised her that this was not over.

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