Keeping the Romance Alive

November 21, 2014

Elizabeth Noble here, and I’m back for my final post of the day. I’d like to give a very hearty thank you to everyone who has stopped by today. Remember, to be entered into a drawing for a free eBook of Tethered Pair simply comment on any of today’s Release Party Posts. If you’re the winner Dreamspinner Press will have your book placed on your bookshelf after it is released on November 26, 2014.

HoldingHandsShadowSome of my favorite characters are established characters. The story of how two men meet and fall in love is nice, but what I really enjoy is watching them keep their love-and romance-alive. That becomes a challenge when writing a longer series. Any marriage goes through ups and downs, and the marriage between two men is no different. Different things happen during their lives that influence their relationship.

Todd and Nick are no different. Now that Todd and Nick’s story is farther along and more developed it’s been fun and interesting to explore their lives as a couple. They’ve learned a lot about one another, they know each other in that way that only comes with time spent with your partner. They’ve become comfortable with each other and that allows me to add a whole new dimension to their characters and relationship. Throughout Tethered Pair we see the love and comfort they have for one another. To me that’s the most romantic sort of romance.

Recently I took part in a blog hop focusing on the positive of sex. Sex is as much a part of loving relationships as other shared experiences between couples. Sometimes things don’t always go so smoothly and in Tethered Pair Todd and Nick learn to deal with broken beds and interruptions.

Here is one last excerpt. This one has some spice to it!

 

~|~ ~|~ ~|~

Nick walked to the doorway of the bedroom, looking inside. “So, we look there for him?”

 
“I think so. It’s the most logical place.” Todd closed the distance between them, slipped one arm around Nick’s waist, and ran the other hand up his young mate’s spine to twine his fingers in Nick’s hair. “We’ve got some time to kill.”

 
Licking along Nick’s neck to the corner of his mouth, Todd planted what were at first soft, gentle kisses, each one becoming more assertive than the one before. When Nick arched his back and pressed closer, moaning softly, Todd intensified his grip on Nick’s waist, holding him tight. Walking them into the bedroom, Todd gave Nick a playful shove and dumped him backward onto the bed.

 
Nick laughed softly, grabbed Todd’s belt, and tugged Todd down on top of him. He stretched his neck, returning Todd’s kisses with ones just as aggressive. “There was talk of tying,” Nick said softly between kisses. He rolled his hips up, grinding his groin against Todd’s.

 
“Yeah, there was.” Todd sat up, straddling Nick and pulling him to a sitting position. In one quick move, Todd grabbed Nick’s shirt and yanked it up and over his head, wrapping it around Nick’s wrists.images
Nick flopped back onto the mattress and groaned more loudly when Todd pounced.

A loud and rude pounding on the door accompanied Heidi’s voice. “Ruger! I know you two are in there. We have work to do.”

 
Todd blew out a breath and pushed off Nick far enough that he could rub at his forehead and groan. Looking down at Nick, Todd sighed. “Is she kidding?”

 
Beneath him, Todd felt Nick’s body tremble, and a chuckle rolled up from his belly. “I don’t think so.”

 
“I’m not going away,” Heidi called through the door, and there was more pounding.

 
“We could let her watch,” Nick said and shrugged.

 

~|~ ~|~ ~|~

 

Thank you again for joining me and helping me celebrate the release of Tethered Pair!

New Releases: November 21st, 2014

November 21, 2014

Shifting Gears by Petra Lynn

 

Kenton rescues injured pack alpha Gray and nurses him to health. Being forced to remain in wolf form doesn’t stop Gray from falling hard.

2nd Edition

 

One rainy night, bike-shop owner Kenton Palmer finds an injured dog on the road and takes him to the nearest vet clinic, only to discover he’s actually a wolf. Undeterred, he wants to nurse the injured animal following a necessary surgery. The handsome Dr. Will Barclay’s interest and his own brand of animal attraction overwhelm Kenton, who’s been doubting himself after a failed romance.

 

Gray Fowler is a wolf-shifter and pack alpha. After Kenton rescues him and takes him home to heal, he’s forced to remain in wolf form. But that doesn’t prevent him from falling hard for Kenton. It begins as jealousy, but Gray soon discovers Will, Kenton’s new admirer, is caught up in something sinister. However, he’s forced to wait until he’s healthy before he can shift and enter Kenton’s life as a man. Then Gray must discover how Will’s shady activities are linked to the men who ran him down and expose the scheme before Kenton gets too involved with Will.

 

1st Edition published by Silver Publishing, 2013.

 

Length: Novella (98p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Werewolf/Shapeshifter, Mystery/Suspense

Release Date: November 21, 2014

Buy as eBook ($4.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-464-3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

All That Heaven Will Allow by D.W. Marchwell

 

Bar owner Jimmy and musician Derek begin a long-distance romance, until a tragedy forces them to realize they might lose a future together.

Jimmy Campbell has owned his own bar for the past twenty years.  While his past is troubled, his present and future make life worth living. He has good friends, more than enough money, and he volunteers—along with his Yorkie, Bozo, and his Maine coon cat, Miss Alicia—at the local hospital every Friday. He couldn’t ask for more. That is, until he meets Derek “Dizzy” Roberts.

 

Derek is a musician who tours the country with his band.  He’s an ex-cop, was married once, and has the bitter ex-wife and two spoiled children to prove it. He’s finally living his dream, and that includes bedding all the groupies who think he’s every bit as good as his music. He doesn’t worry much about the future, until he meets Jimmy.

 

The two men begin a long-distance romance, sneaking weekends here and there, until a tragedy forces them to realize they might lose the only thing they both want—a future together. Now, they’re asking for everything heaven will allow.

 

Length: Novel (200p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: November 21, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-167-3) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-166-6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Professor Grayson by Kade Boehme and Allison Cassatta

 

Professor Grayson’s still in the closet. But he accidentally outs himself to CJ, a senior who’s been crushing on him for four years.

Christian Grayson is a professor of sociology who comes from a close-knit Southern family steeped in values and tradition. He left Tennessee using education as his excuse for escape, when he truthfully only wanted the freedom to be who he truly was. But at age forty, he’s still in the closet and still adheres to the morals his father, a Southern Baptist minister, raised him with. This includes saving himself for Mr. Right.

 

CJ Hata has been under Christian’s wing since his freshman year. A genius, pure and simple, he’s a senior now and no longer needs to report to Professor G, but he still seeks his teacher out occasionally for a friendly chat.

 

When Christian accidentally outs himself to CJ while pouring his heart out about his dying father, CJ feels totally out of his element. He convinces himself to put forth his best effort because the man he’s been crushing on for four years needs a friend. In the meantime, everyone around CJ is stumbling out of the closet, but the one person he really wants to come out has barricaded himself in with the bible and his family’s expectations.

 

Length: Novel (224p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: November 21, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-503-9) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-502-2)

Riverboats!

November 21, 2014

I’m Elizabeth Noble and I’m here today talking about my upcoming release, Tethered Pair (book #5 of Sentries).TetheredPairFS

I love finding new and interesting locations to set the Sentries stories in. So far in the series they’ve covered a good bit of North America and in this book they’re heading to the rivers on a high stakes gambling riverboat. There was lots of fun things I could add to the main plot. We find out that Todd Ruger loved a series of books as a young boy that was centered around a riverboat gambler, so of course he wants to reenact some of his favorite parts and be like his favorite character.

Neither Todd, nor Nick have ever been on a riverboat before, so their trip on the Annabelle is more than a mission, it’s one new experience after another. Their mission lands them on a riverboat, undercover as a gambler and his slave, to ferret out and stop weapons dealers. Little do they know those weapons dealers are demons!

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One of my favorite parts of writing this book was creating situations and places, unraveling a story that mostly takes place on a riverboat. Of course, there are a variety of people for them to interact with and Todd finally makes good on his threat-er promise- that Nick learn to dance!

Todd loves riverboats and he’s not really on vacation, but its exciting for him anyway. What sort of vacation travel do you like? Boats, trains, pack mule?

I’ll leave the contest open until Sunday morning. Nov 23. Everyone commenting will be entered in a chance to win an eBook copy of Tethered Pair. The book will be placed on the winner’s Dreamspinner bookshelf after its release date of Nov. 26, 2014.

Sentries and the Future of Technology!

November 21, 2014

new map

 

Hello there! I’m Elizabeth Noble and thank you for joining me today to celebrate my upcoming release of Tethered Pair, book #5 of the Sentries series. It is available for pre-order on the Dreamspinner store.

 

This map was created by my friend, TL Bland. Terry is also a cover artist and has created some great covers for Dreamspinner. The Sentries series takes place in the future, but it’s not a high-tech future. Natural disasters have rendered electronics useless. Through out the series there are glimpses at how a world without electronic technology might work. They use solar panels, Faraday lighting and a variety of other gadgets. Travel is done by horseback, wagons and trains. Life is different, but not desperate and awful. Not all post-apoc stories need to be doom and gloom. I’ve tried to show in this series that despite the downfall of our society as we know it, people survived. They built a new, and different, sort of civilization with good and bad points.

Since Tethered Pair is the fifth in the series I thought I’d take a minute to list the books in order and discuss writing in a series.

The books are:

Marked Yours

Together Bound

Chained Hearts

Collared Souls

Tethered Pair

The sixth and final book will have the title Ringed Love…you heard it here first!

All of them can be ordered from the Sentries page. My website, Emotion in Motion has excerpts, review links and alternate sales links for all my books.

In this series each book builds on the previous parts of the story. I like writing in series because I feel so much more can be done. Instead of getting a little slice of the MCs’ lives the reader is given more of the big picture of their world and their lives. I think, for me, because I’m such a slow reader a series is so enjoyable because I can really immerse myself in the world and characters. I’ve carried the love of series over to my own writing.

What do you like better, series or books that are stand alone types? What sorts of series do you prefer?

Everyone commenting will be entered into a drawing for a free eBook copy of Tethered Pair. I’ll need the email associated with your Dreamspinner account and the winner’s book will be placed on their bookshelf after it is released on Nov. 26, 2014. I will pick winners Sunday Nov 23.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee…these guys are real addicts!

November 21, 2014

coffeegrindingprocess-657578

 

Hi, I’m Elizabeth Noble and I have returned to share some more goodies about Tethered Pair, the 5th book in the Sentries series.

There have been a few constants for Todd and Nick Ruger and one of those began in the opening chapters of book #1, Marked Yours.

Todd introduced Nick to coffee and it was love at first sip!

There is a general theme running throughout the series of the Rugers and their coffee. They take it on the road with them, they find it in cafes and they make sure they never run out.  Whole beans are what they prefer, and grind them as they need them. Everywhere they stay is judged by the quality of their favorite beverage.

In Tethered Pair the guys have lucked out in the coffee department. Their mission takes them to a luxury riverboat, which among other things leads to some adventures with coffee. Here is a little bit of one of Nick’s coffee related adventures.

~|~ ~|~ ~|~

 

Half the bag was full when Nick let go of the little door, expecting it to snap shut. Instead, it stayed open, and the beans began flowing out faster.

 

“Shit. No. Crap. Stop!” Nick tried jamming the little door closed, but it was useless; the thing was stuck. The bag filled, then overflowed. Beans were accumulating fast around his feet. Nick set it to the side and put one hand in the river of beans, trying to catch some. Stretching as far as possible, his fingertips brushed over the stack of bags, but he couldn’t grasp even a single one.

 
Giving up on the bags, he used both hands and pushed down with all his weight on the little door. He heard a snap and felt something pop, and the door gave way, finally slapping shut, but not before several pounds of coffee beans had flowed out to land on the floor at Nick’s feet. Nick looked around. He didn’t readily see anything to clean the beans up with or put them in. He had a moment of panic when he heard the door open and footsteps approach. There wasn’t anything else to do but stand there and get caught.

 
Someone cleared their throat. Nick looked down at his feet for a few seconds, sighed, and looked up sheepishly into the face of his captor.

 
“I see you couldn’t wait for me to make my delivery,” the trolley girl said.

 
“Um, yeah, I… uh….”

 
She cocked her head to one side. “Not chatty before you have your coffee, are you?”

 
“I’m sorry,” Nick finally mumbled out. He looked at all the beans everywhere. “It’s sort of like coffee-geddon. My mate really likes your coffee, and all I wanted to do was surprise him.”

 

“You’re one of the men tracking me down all the time. All that was for your mate?”

 
Nick looked away for a few seconds, but he had to admit the truth to her. “Well, I probably like it a little more than he does. Um… got something to clean this up with?”

 

~|~ ~|~ ~|~

 

This little scene was inspired by a trip to the grocery store I made. Yes, I caused a coffee-geddon. Dumped a few pounds of coffee all over the place! Today I’m enjoying a lovely blend called El Diablo. I purchased the beans, because like Todd and Nick Ruger I grind my own, from a local store. They keep the beans in big barrels, which is much, MUCH safer.

To be entered for an opportunity to win a free eBook copy of Tethered Pair tell me about your favorite beverage and any mishaps you may have had while purchasing it.

I’ll leave all my contests today open until Sunday morning and will announce the winners then–over coffee of course. The winner’s eBook will be placed on their Dreamspinner bookshelf, so I’ll need the email associated with your account. You will be able to download your book after its release on November 26, 2014.

 

 

 

 

Tethered Pair Release Party

November 21, 2014

TetheredPairFS

Hello, hello. I’m Elizabeth Noble and welcome to the blog party for my upcoming release of Tethered Pair.

I’ll start the fun off today with a blurb and an excerpt from Tethered Pair. It is the fifth book in the Sentries series. I have six books in all planned for the series. Tethered Pair will be released on Wednesday, November 26, 2014. Check out the rest of my posts today for opportunities to win a free eBook copy of Tethered Pair.

Blurb:

New Colorado Protectorate is entrenched in war. Both sides employ natural as well as supernatural soldiers and weapons. Sentries such as Todd and Nick Ruger are men with the talents and training to combat those supernatural threats.

Sent by New Colorado’s Chancellor Clarke after weapon smugglers, they find themselves on the riverboat, Annabelle. They make the horrifying discovery the smugglers are demons, something Todd and Nick have never dealt with before. It will take all their skills and their ability to depend on the powerful bond they’ve forged just to stay alive.

When the Chancellor is assassinated events are set into motion that will alter the Rugers’ lives forever.

Excerpt:

“Let’s try other music.” This tune wasn’t quite as slow and had a more pronounced beat. Positioning Nick’s hands, then his own, Todd leaned forward far enough to brush a light kiss over Nick’s cheek. He whispered into Nick’s ear, “Listen to the music and try to follow it… and me… and relax… and—”

“Have fun, damn it!” Nick grinned, pressing his head close to Todd’s, his tongue swiping a wet path over Todd’s ear.

“Damn straight!”

“Anyway, launch is in a few hours, and there’s a party in the formal ballroom after that,” Todd said. He snickered when he got his foot out of the way of Nick’s just in time. “Don’t look down.”

Todd hustled Nick out of their suite, and they headed toward the main deck. They could have watched the launch from the small balcony off their room, but Todd wanted to see everything. He’d never understood why launches were always at night, but once they reached the main deck and the companionway that ringed it, he understood immediately.

Slave porters were moving along the deck, lighting small oil lamps and cranking Faraday lights that were hung in strings along the rail. The engines hummed. Todd could feel the vibration under his feet. He glanced sideways at Nick, took his hand, and pulled him closer to the rail so they could lean over and look.

Nick’s face split into a brilliant smile when he looked out. The river was dark, lights from the boat reflecting off the water. He turned and leaned back against the rail, facing Todd and looking up.

“That is worth this whole trip,” Nick said, motioning to the upper part of the boat.

Todd twisted around and followed Nick’s gaze with his own. The steam stacks were ringed with polished metal—it looked like brass, from the coloring. Red and black streamers flowed in the gentle breeze. The horn blared, and Todd could feel how the engines rumbled, their power ramping up.

Nick looked down, then back up at him, and grinned. “Wow.”

“Yeah,” Todd agreed.

“Okay, now I get why you are so fascinated with these boats and wanted to see this for yourself,” Nick said.

Other passengers cheered and waved to people seeing them off on the pier as the paddle wheels came to life and the boat began its journey. As it pulled away from the shore and docks, it picked up speed until, once in the center of the river, Todd could actually feel a slight breeze from its movement on his face.

He twined his fingers through Nick’s and tugged him in for a light kiss. “This is how I always imagined it would be,” he said. He’d dropped his voice so it was low and husky. It had the desired effect on his young mate. Nick sucked in a breath.

Nick pressed close, shivering, his lips curled into a smile against Todd’s mouth. “This is pretty amazing,” Nick said softly.

 

Excerpt from Shifting Gears (#pnr, #amreading) by @petralynn77

November 20, 2014

Here’s an excerpt from my new novella Shifting Gears, available now from Dreamspinner Press!

 

Blurb:
One rainy night, bike-shop owner Kenton Palmer finds an injured dog on the road and takes him to the nearest vet clinic, only to discover he’s actually a wolf. Undeterred, he wants to nurse the injured animal following a necessary surgery. The handsome Dr. Will Barclay’s interest and his own brand of animal attraction overwhelm Kenton, who’s been doubting himself after a failed romance.

Gray Fowler is a wolf-shifter and pack alpha. After Kenton rescues him and takes him home to heal, he’s forced to remain in wolf form. But that doesn’t prevent him from falling hard for Kenton. It begins as jealousy, but Gray soon discovers Will, Kenton’s new admirer, is caught up in something sinister. However, he’s forced to wait until he’s healthy before he can shift and enter Kenton’s life as a man. Then Gray must discover how Will’s shady activities are linked to the men who ran him down and expose the scheme before Kenton gets too involved with Will.

 

KENTON BLINKED a few times to stay awake, grateful he had only ten miles left in his journey. He was exhausted after a long day of cycling with his youth group and the drive home. Pouring rain for the last fifty miles made driving even more of a challenge, and he worried he’d doze off if he kept the heat on, so he was shivering slightly.

 

The rain had come early this year to his Northern California town, not far from Eureka and near the Oregon border, home of redwoods, rocky coasts, and plenty of pot farmers—licensed by the state but under fire from the federal government. It kept local politics interesting.

 

Maybe I’ll listen to a ballgame. Kenton fiddled with the dial while trying to keep his gaze on the road. Up ahead wide-set headlights flashed and tires screeched as a large, dark vehicle veered into his lane. Reflexes in action, he swerved onto the muddy shoulder and stopped his SUV to let his nerves calm down from the near miss. The other vehicle stopped behind him, and for a moment he wondered if they’d run him off the road with the intent to rob or carjack him. Glancing back, he had the vague impression that the vehicle was a Hummer from its general outline and placement of the lights. Anyone who could afford that monstrosity certainly didn’t need to carjack a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, unless they were trying to cut down on their gasoline expenditures.

 

Should I go check and see if the other driver is okay? The vehicle stayed on the opposite shoulder, but it was impossible to tell if the driver was injured or not. There hadn’t been an actual collision, so the chance of that was slim, but perhaps the driver was ill and that accounted for the near miss.

 

The rain continued to thud against the roof and windshield, blurring his range of vision. Kenton had only taken one step out of his SUV when the Hummer suddenly peeled out and drove off. What the fuck? Kenton shrugged and climbed back in his vehicle.

 

He was about to drive away when up ahead in the hazy beams of his headlights, Kenton thought he saw someone moving on the surface of the road. Or something. He wasn’t sure if he was still in the county preserve or not, but he thought twice about getting closer to whatever it was. There were plenty of wild animals here, and the local farmers complained loudly if one roamed out of the protected area to feast on cows or sheep. Kenton certainly didn’t want to end up as dinner for any predators, but now he was sure he saw someone—a vague outline of a man—on the surface of the road.

 

Kenton was not about to leave anyone out in this weather, especially someone who might be injured, so he zipped up his jacket and slowly opened his door. Sure enough, even from fifteen or so feet away, he could see something lying in the middle of the road, but it wasn’t a man. It was a dog.

 

Eyes playing tricks on me again. I have to get home to sleep soon. But despite his exhaustion and frustration about the crazy-ass driver who ran him off the road, Kenton didn’t have the heart to leave even a dog on the road tonight. He got out of the car, digging his hands into his pockets against the weather, and headed toward the animal. It had unusually luminous gray-blue eyes—obvious despite the darkness—and it whimpered softly. The rain couldn’t wash away the blood that poured out of a gash on the animal’s hind leg, and from the unnatural angle, Kenton was certain it was broken.

 

“Hey, boy, looks like that crazy Hummer clipped you.” He reached out tentatively, and when the animal didn’t appear threatening, Kenton smoothed the wet fur on his head, barely noticing the rain dripping down his own hair and face and under his jacket. “Let me open up the back and I’ll get you out of the rain in just a minute.”

 

Kenton rushed to the rear of his SUV, opened the cargo area, and pushed his overnight bag and bicycle far enough out of the way so he could clear a space. He found a few towels and spread them out, then returned to the wounded dog, who watched his actions, clearly not afraid of him. He considered moving the vehicle closer but was worried that might frighten the animal, so he steeled himself for the effort.

 

“Damn, you’re heavy!” Kenton grunted as he lifted the dog and carried him to the SUV, then settled him onto the dry towels. The dog looked sad as well as cold, and Kenton found himself rambling a string of comforting words and explanations as he tried to dry the animal. He stared up at him with an expression Kenton could only describe as grateful.

 

“I’ll find a vet and we’ll get you fixed up. We’ll figure out who owns you and get you home. How does that sound?” Kenton realized how ridiculous it was to expect a reply from the dog. He grabbed blankets from the backseat and covered the animal. Then after carefully shutting the cargo-area door, he got back behind the wheel and drove off. This time he turned up the heat, hoping to keep both himself and the injured dog warm until he could find a vet still open at this time of night.

 

Remembering his GPS unit, Kenton punched a few buttons and soon discovered a vet’s office with late emergency service. He followed the robot woman’s directions, and less than ten minutes later, he found himself in front of a white suburban two-story house with VETERINARIAN printed on a large sign in the front yard. He didn’t bother to read the doctor’s name, not wanting to lose any time.

 

“Vet must have his office in his house,” Kenton said, unsure whether he was talking to himself or to the dog. “Let me make sure he’s up, and then I’ll come back and get you.” Kenton glanced over his shoulder, noticing that the dog was staring at him, seemingly intent on his words.

 

Once again, Kenton got out of his SUV, thankful the rain had all but stopped. He rushed up the sidewalk, rang the buzzer near the front door, and waited. The downstairs was dark, but lights were on in a couple of rooms upstairs. Glancing at his watch, Kenton realized it was nearly midnight, but as long as someone was awake, hopefully they’d take care of the dog and he could call the owner.

 

Kenton waited nearly five minutes before he heard someone on the other side of the door.

 

“Hayes? We didn’t have anything—” a disembodied voice began speaking with more than a hint of annoyance as the door slowly swung open.

 

“I’ve got an injured dog. Hit by a car. Can you help?” Kenton explained.

 

The door opened completely, and a man of about thirty-five with blond hair and a neatly trimmed ginger beard looked Kenton up and down with piercing gray eyes. Kenton was now acutely aware of the cold rain that had dripped under his jacket and he shuddered involuntarily while small rivulets of water ran down his face. He knew he looked like a mess, and his cheeks warmed with embarrassment as the man, dressed in well-tailored and unwrinkled clothing, continued to stare with what came across as a confused, impatient glare. He’d obviously been expecting someone else.

 

Your dog?” he asked curtly.

 

“No, I found him out on the county road about five miles away. Some asshole sideswiped me and ran me off the road. I noticed the dog while I was trying to calm down.” Kenton wondered why he was explaining in such minute detail, especially as the vet looked just as sour and inconvenienced as he had when he’d opened the door.

 

“Okay, bring him inside.” The man motioned off toward his left. “The clinic’s in there.”

 

“I can clean up all the rainwater—” Kenton started to say. He could tell from the man’s neat appearance that he wasn’t the kind to tolerate much mess in his life, which seemed odd for a veterinarian. I’d love to see that man up to his elbow in a cow, Kenton mused. Probably only treats Yorkies and Chihuahuas and other lap dogs.

 

“No problem. The dog’s more important right now. Don’t worry about the mess.” That was the first trace of concern the vet had shown so far.

 

Kenton nodded and ran back outside to get the dog. By the time he had opened the back of the SUV and was scooping the animal up in his arms, the man appeared behind him with a rolling table, a smaller version of a gurney, and then helped bring the dog inside. Kenton trailed behind as the vet pushed the gurney into the clinic and the exam room.

 

It took a few moments for the overhead lights to turn on completely, while Kenton and the man stood on opposite sides of the exam table staring at each other and the dog in the flickering light.

 

“Hmmm. Two big problems I see right away.”

 

“What’s that?” Kenton’s voice expressed his concern, and he wondered why he cared so much; it wasn’t even his dog. “Can you fix the leg? I’m willing to pay a deposit until we find the owner, if that’s what the problem is.”

 

“Well, that’s part of it. It’s got no tag… no owner. And it’s not a dog. It’s a wolf.”

 

Kenton yanked his hand away from the animal’s thick, damp fur in belated fear.

 

“Oh, it’s harmless enough now. Too weak to do much damage, and I think it knows you’re trying to help.” The vet smoothed the fur at the animal’s shoulder, but Kenton didn’t see much tenderness in the motion.

 

The dog—wolf—tried to raise his head, and he looked around the room, wide-eyed and trembling in terror, as well as from the cold, despite being safe and dry in the clinic. Seeing the animal’s fear, Kenton forgot his own trepidation and reached out to stroke the wolf’s cheek. “Shhh. It’s gonna be all right.”

 

“I wouldn’t put my hand near its mouth, though,” the vet cautioned, but Kenton didn’t stop what he was doing, and almost immediately the animal lay his head back down, relaxing visibly and the shivering abating.

 

“So, he’s wild? Are there a lot of wolves around here? I never really noticed before.”

 

“A small pack over at the preserve—and getting smaller. From what I hear from my colleagues, the local farmers blame them for snacking on calves and new lambs. But this guy is a lot larger than the ones I’ve seen over there. No idea where it came from. If they wander off the preserve, farmers are allowed to shoot them, you know.”

 

“Really? That’s terrible.” Until this moment, Kenton hadn’t thought one way or the other about wolves, but suddenly, after helping this one, the idea of someone shooting a wolf seemed obscene. “What do we do with him?”

 

“I know a place that would take a wolf like this, but first it’s going to need surgery to repair that leg and some serious recuperation. I don’t have the facilities for something like that. It might be more humane to—”

 

As soon as Kenton heard “humane,” he knew what the vet was about to propose. He could have sworn the wolf did too because the animal caught Kenton’s gaze and seemed to plead with him.

 

“Help me, Kenton. Save me.”

 

Kenton blinked, wondering if he was just projecting. He certainly was no Doctor Doolittle. He’d never communicated with animals before, but right now, he felt as though this wolf was actually speaking to him.

 

“Look, I’ll pay for the surgery, and I’ll take him home for the recuperation. That would work wouldn’t it, Doctor…?” Kenton realized he didn’t even remember the vet’s name. He’d only glanced at the sign outside when they’d first pulled up.

 

“Barclay. Will Barclay.” He held out his hand to Kenton.

 

“Kenton Palmer.” The warmth of the doctor’s hand and the matching heat in his gaze startled Kenton. Apparently Will realized and pulled his hand away with a shy glance away from Kenton. It was the first sign Will had shown of not being fully in control of the situation, and Kenton had to admit he liked it, liked seeing that the doctor was human after all. And Kenton couldn’t deny that glimmer of attraction in Will’s eyes had sent his pulse racing faster than he expected. There hadn’t been a man in his life for a long time, and maybe this was the start of something exciting.

 

 

 

 

 

FROM THE time he’d been hit by the black Hummer out on the county road, Gray had been unable to sustain one form or the other. The pain destroyed his concentration, and he shifted between wolf and human several times in the cold, driving rain as he lay on the surface of the road. When the black-haired man in the blue jacket came running over from the SUV on the shoulder, Gray happened to be in wolf form, and there was no way he could shift back while in the man’s presence, even if he’d been in full control of his powers.

 

He couldn’t remember exactly how he’d ended up on the road, or why he’d even left the preserve. His leg—probably broken—and scraped skin ached and throbbed, and he wanted nothing more than to lick his wounds or pass out. But the man had carried him into the back of his SUV and driven him to a vet’s office, all the while talking to him, calming and soothing him in a voice filled with deep, smooth, musical tones. Gray forced himself to concentrate on the man’s voice to stay alert and to help him retain his current form. The man had thought he was a dog, which was fine. He wasn’t sure what would happen when he found he had rescued a wolf. Bad as that might be, it would be far worse to have his werewolf identity revealed to a stranger. Gray had to prevent that.

 

Once they were at the vet’s office, Gray sensed something amiss with the doctor. His hands had been rough compared to the other man’s comforting touch. And once the vet recognized that Gray wasn’t a dog, he was far too quick to suggest putting him down rather than mending his broken body. Even for a vet, Barclay seemed to know entirely too much about the wolf population in the area, and that got Gray’s radar up.

 

But the man who had found him—Gray knew now his name was Kenton Palmer—looked into his eyes and saw Gray’s fear. Not only saw it, but felt it too, at least it seemed so from the way he reached down to stroke Gray’s fur and murmur meaningless noises. For some reason, this man wanted to make sure Gray had the necessary treatment for his broken leg and other injuries. The vet appeared surprised at Kenton’s generosity, and just as Gray was succumbing to the effects of the anesthesia, he thought he saw a different kind of look in the vet’s eyes as he gazed at Kenton—animal attraction. Gray only hoped he’d survive the surgery so he could find out what the vet was hiding, and what his sudden interest was in Kenton.

 

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Shifters? Weres? What’s in a Name

November 20, 2014

Gray Fowler, my alpha wolf-shifter is very particular. He is not a werewolf. “There’s too much mythology going on there,” he tells Kenton.

I agree! To me, the word “werewolf” conjures up all sorts of dark (and hairy) images, most of which aren’t at all sexy. I think of the Wolf Man, who’s more Saturday matinee than movie star dream. Over the years, pop culture has given werewolves a pretty bad rap. They do some bad shit. Even the ones we love, like Oz in Buffy.

It’s been only more recently that wolf shifter characters have gotten a little sex appeal going. Though I’m not a fan of the Twilight franchise, I can still enjoy Taylor Lautner, even though his wolf is CGI. Teen Wolf is another departure from the more clichéd examples. When the wolves in human form can get our hearts and sympathy, we can forgive some of the things they do. Actually, I can forgive Alcide in True Blood just about anything. He only kills people who deserve it, but he still kills.

I’m not a fan of gore in my books or films, which is another reason I’ve shied away from many of the classic wolves. The transformation scenes get my skin crawling, though I think they are incredibly important to understand the experience from the shifter’s point of view, and sometimes that’s just yucky (think of the scene in Supernatural when the shapeshifter takes on Dean’s appearance. That scene still makes me need to wash my eyes out!)

 

What about other weres and shifters? Somehow the idea of a wereduck or wereotter sounds cute and cuddly, and they are. I definitely put them in a different category. These characters live in a different world than that of the wolf who is pursued in animal form, whether or not he’s actually done something reprehensible.

I haven’t even had a chance to touch on how to explain yourself to a non-shifter significant other? Or his parents? “Mom, this is my werewolf boyfriend. We promise not to visit during the full moon. Go on, give him a hug!”

So, there are a lot of fun aspects to explore with a shifter, wolf or not. I couldn’t possibly address even a fraction of them here or in Shifting Gears, but doing a little reading and research opens up so many possibilities.

What aspects of a shifter’s life interest you most? Who is your favorite wolf and why?

Shifting Gears releases Friday

November 20, 2014

 

I’m just thrilled to bits that Dreamspinner is releasing my novella tomorrow. It’s also available for pre-order over at Amazon.com

Here’s more about the story and check out the gorgeous cover by Bree Archer.

One rainy night, bike-shop owner Kenton Palmer finds an injured dog on the road and takes him to the nearest vet clinic, only to discover he’s actually a wolf. Undeterred, he wants to nurse the injured animal following a necessary surgery. The handsome Dr. Will Barclay’s interest and his own brand of animal attraction overwhelm Kenton, who’s been doubting himself after a failed romance.

Gray Fowler is a wolf-shifter and pack alpha. After Kenton rescues him and takes him home to heal, he’s forced to remain in wolf form. But that doesn’t prevent him from falling hard for Kenton. It begins as jealousy, but Gray soon discovers Will, Kenton’s new admirer, is caught up in something sinister. However, he’s forced to wait until he’s healthy before he can shift and enter Kenton’s life as a man. Then Gray must discover how Will’s shady activities are linked to the men who ran him down and expose the scheme before Kenton gets too involved with Will.

 

Pre-order at Dreamspinner

Pre-order at Amazon

Don’t forget, if you leave a comment on any of my posts today, you’ll be entered to win a Dreamspinner gift certificate. The amount will depend on how many people comment. More comments = more $$$$.

Good Morning from Petra Lynn!

November 20, 2014

Happy Thursday to everyone!

I’m Petra Lynn and I’ll be taking over the Dreamspinner blog today to talk about my upcoming novella Shifting Gears, which releases tomorrow from Dreamspinner.

Who’s here with me today?

Who likes stories about shifters? What kind do you enjoy most?

I’ll be back a little later, so stay tuned for more about me and my book. And some prizes!

 

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