Book Daily Shares The Lady in the Mist

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The Lady in the Mist (The Western Werewolf Legend #1)

Catherine Wolffe

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The Civil War took Sonja Brooks’ husband and left her alone. Unprotected and scared, she runs headlong into a life changing event when she’s attacked by a pack of wolves. Her fate as a werewolf is sealed. When she stumbles upon Ty Loflin, a Rebel soldier dying of his wounds, she nurses him back to health. He’s the perfect mate, but will…Download Free TODAY on Amazon ← Click now while it’s still free!

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Friday Eve – Spend the Day with Desire’s Embrace

Good morning.  Lovely to have you drop by today.  I want to share an excerpt from Desire’s Embrace with you, my readers.  If you aren’t familiar with my latest paranormal romance set in post-war New Orleans, circa 1872, then here’s the blurb:

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An orphan with a goal to become her own woman. Quite a challenge for a woman in 1872. Still, her drive leads her to answer an ad placed by the mysterious man from Louisiana. He’s known for being the sugar baron of the south and his good looks. Can she become the independent woman she wants to be under his roof as the nanny to his children? Or will the attraction between them drive her into his arms despite her questions about his secretive nature? Join Laura Sinclair as she takes on the greatest challenge of her life with her employer, Morgan Latimar, sugar king of New Orleans.

Morgan Latimar seeks a nanny for his children. The woman who accepts the position can never know he is a wolf shifter. Despite his Wolfen wisdom, Morgan is mesmerized by the passionate, Laura Sinclair. Will she be his salvation or his downfall?Enjoy the

Enjoy the excerpt and have a wonder-filled day.

Desire’s Embrace

Chapter 7 – The Governor’s Ball

“Show me what to do with this thing.”

A lace and feather encrusted mask dangled from the eye opening on one finger of her gloved hand.  Laura’s expression proved what Morgan had known all along.  The hostess arrangement did not make her happy.  Laura enjoyed the children, and teaching seemed her forte.  She resisted the social aspect of their arrangement with some vigor.  “Here, let me show you how fetching you’ll look with the mask in place.”  His arched eyebrow with a debonair slant did not impress her.  “You position the paper mache thus.  You then tighten the ribbons like so and with a couple of hairpins your costume is secure.  Cherie, you’re ready to turn heads wherever the night may take you.”

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The lack of enthusiasm she wore dealt his positive statement a harsh blow.  “You are going to make me wear this thing, aren’t you, sir?”

The use of such a formal address pressed on his already stingy patience.  “Why yes, my dear, you look marvelous.”  With a wink, he smiled.  “I for one would dance with you every dance just to discover who the beautiful creature is under the mask.  Besides, we had an arrangement – remember?”  Hating the reminder, he vowed to be on his best behavior.

Laura rolled her eyes to the ceiling as he adjusted the black lace shawl about her bare shoulders.  The tall mirror in the foyer proved his point.

“See, you look stunning.”

She glanced at him in the mirror.

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“Forgive me, Laura, but I’m only telling the truth.”  His tone must have sounded sincere because she turned to peer closer before returning his gaze in the mirror’s reflection.  Something stirred in his gut.  Morgan hesitated to put a name to the sensation, more a swirling of energy, a tingling of feelings each time he took her hand in his.  “The carriage is here.”  Propriety allowed for a hand upon her low back to assist her inside.  The heat from the touch startled him making Morgan wonder if, in fact, she did possess a streak of magic.  Something perhaps even Laura wasn’t aware she owned.  Mystical and tantalizing, the sensation held the same mystery as the first time he had touched her.  Her mother’s illness perhaps was not an illness after all.  Laura’s mother may have been a true seer or even a witch.

“Where are we going tonight?”  She glanced out the window, watching, yet not seeing.  Her hands relaxed atop a velvet purse and gloves in her lap.

He couldn’t help the smile that crept across his face.  She hated the gloves and removed them often.  “Tonight’s fete’ is at the governor’s home.  Despite my misgivings about socializing with a reformist Democrat, I must keep up appearances.”  He waved a hand in the air.  “The coach is a symbol of the Mardi Gras season.  Though a bit old-fashioned for my tastes, they’re used by all the krewes’ for parties and balls.  We’ll stay until the Governor arrives and leave soon after we’ve thanked him for the invitation.  The whole affair shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.”  Leaning close, he lowered his voice.  “I promise not to be too much of a bore during our time together.”

She turned, yet said nothing.

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Reaching out, he took her hand in his.  She tensed.  “Easy, my dear.  By the way, you smell enchanting tonight.”  He held her gaze a moment and then glanced out the window and sighed.  “I’m certain.  I’ll have my hands full fighting off the young bucks tonight.”

Her brow furrowed.  “Young bucks?”

He grinned.  God, what an innocent she was.  “I’m referring to the men with their youth and vigor which will try to steal you away.”  They crossed a deep pothole, causing the coach to lurch.  Pain shot through his bum leg.  He eased back into the plush cushions of the seat.

A quick glance proved Laura was riding out the obstacles in the street as well.

She held the leather strap attached to the ceiling with a frown on her face.  “I’ve never been interested in those young bucks as you say.  I prefer a man with life experience.”

His breath caught.

Laura studied him in the dim light.  “Forgive me for being blunt, but how old are you-thirty-five?  It has been said; a man is like a fine wine, which requires aging to ensure its quality.  You, sir, possess that quality.”  Her eyes remained on his.  “You have control over impulses – the kind that would derail a younger man.  Yours is a quiet confidence without arrogance.  Younger men always seem to have something to prove.”

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Clear blue eyes held his gaze without wavering.  Always outspokenly truthful, Laura hit her mark.  She could have spouted the Rosary in Latin and not have had a more profound effect on Morgan.  He stared for a full minute before finally swallowing and glanced out the window into the misty darkness of the street.  A sickly ill sensation swam in his gut.  What a boon she had been since her arrival.  She deserved – a whole man– one without flaws and deception.  Pain speared him again, and he sucked in air.  The devil takes him, but he wanted her.  Perhaps, he would have to settle for her in his arms for the leg throbbed anew, and Morgan closed his eyes.  In the darkness, all he saw was Laura.

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“We’re here.”  She slid the gloves back on and gathered her purse, rearranging the shawl more closely.  The footman opened her door, and she got out.  Morgan had difficulty standing.  Cursing silently at the damn leg, he adjusted the brace as the mechanical mechanism hissed and spewed.  With the footman’s help, he pulled the crippled leg out to stand.  Laura took his arm as they made their way up the low-slung porch to the massive door.  He gave her points for her accommodating nature.

The lively music coming from the double doors drew their attention.  Inside, dancers swirled and twirled to the sound of an old-fashioned waltz.

“It is beautiful.  Laura cut Morgan a sidelong glance.  “Where would you prefer we start – at the receiving line or the dance floor?”

Morgan patted her hand on his forearm.  The glib way she asked the question told him she wanted to dance.  “I’ll wager you’ll surrender before I get warmed up.  What do you say?”

Her laugh of pure delight trailed after them as they descended the stairs to a large ballroom.  Sparkling lights eliminated the dancers.  Her enthusiasm bolstered his confidence.  Soon they disappeared into the wave of guests.  Next, accordions and fiddles replaced violins and harps as they shuffled at a dizzying pace to a Cajun tune.  A dip and twirl had Laura holding on to him.

“You dance so well, sir.”

“This old dog hasn’t forgotten everything.  Hang on, Cherie.”  Giving her a good squeeze, Morgan faded before twirling her out and back into his arms.

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Genuine surprise crossed her face.  “Oh, Monsieur, you are an accomplished dancer.  Why didn’t you tell me this?”

He noted the stain of pink in her cheeks.  “Be truthful – would you have believed me?”  The directness of his question caught her off guard.

“To be sure, I didn’t believe you so light and steady.  But, you are confident as well.  There’s no hesitation, no uncertainty in your direction.”  Her eyes traveled over his face in speculation.  “You’ve been trained no doubt.”

He noted the pulse in her neck throb with the blood coursing through her veins.  His blood surged at the sight of such life.  “Yes, we were trained in dance, theater, music appreciation and the accordion as children.  My mother insisted though my father found the instruction tedious.”  Her light laughter filled the air as the music ended.  The sensation of real pleasure washed over him.  He lifted her hand, kissing her knuckles.  “By the way.  I like it when you call me by my French title – Monsieur.”  With a flourish, he released her hands.  “It’s a pleasure to be of service, madam.”  Bowing formally, Morgan gave her a satisfied grin when she continued the private joke by curtsying before accepting his hand to leave the floor.  “Can I get you some refreshment?”

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Her tiny paper fan appeared.  Laura batted her eyelashes at him.  “Yes, thank you.  That would be lovely.”

“Good, I won’t be long.”  Depositing her along the wall where chairs offered a quiet repose, Morgan winked as he left.  The night was going well, he mused.  Laura’s reluctance seemed to ebb.  Thankfully, a cheerful demeanor won out.  He could only hope the mood carried the night.  Humming a light-hearted tune, Morgan made his way across the room to the dining hall where food and drink abound.

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https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/552070

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Marie Laveau, Voodoo High Priestess in Desire’s Embrace

“I promised you an interview with the Queen of Voodoo, Marie Laveau. This woman ruled life as it was in 1872, New Orleans. She reigned as the Mamba of the Voodoo religion in Louisiana for countless years. Her talent is legion among the believers.”

“I had the opportunity to sit down with her and ask her some difficult questions. Here is the interview.”

“Good day, Marie. Thank you for agreeing to this interview.”

“Thank you for having me, Catherine. I sense you have an interest in Voodoo but hold back because of your social position. Am I right?”

“Ah, well, I suppose you’re right. I’m here today to talk about you, Marie. What is your title among the believers?”

“Some call me Mamba, some call me priestess, some call me Marie and some even call me Mother. I go by many names. I am a servant of the great one. I serve the believers.”

“You serve the-the great one. What is his name? Who do you serve?”

“I told you, Catherine. I serve the great one. He is known by many names. He is our leader, and I await his pleasure.”

“Really? Because I have information, that states you perform many rituals that involve some very disturbing elements. Is it true you eat the hearts of newborn babies and the young among the believers. Sacrifices continue to include human offerings despite the constables raids and arrests.”

“Catherine, forgive me. I don’t want you to think I am using the position I have been given as a catalyst for my own desires. The constables are mistaken. I govern the believers in the name of our leader.” Marie shares a short laugh. ” You see, I want nothing but the power of our father to shine through.”

“Yes, yes, of course. You want what’s best for the believers. Correct?”

“Yes, and with that said, I want to thank you for the opportunity to share this space in time with your readers. Their belief in our devotion is welcome and cherished. I invite them to contact me for more on our religion and the strength of discovery.”

“Marie, one last question? Are you responsible for the curse on Morgan Latimar? A simple yes or no will suffice.”

“No. It is an insult for you to ask me that question. I curse no one in such a way. My power is to heal. This interview is over. Good day, madam.”

###

Purchase your copy of Desire’s Embrace at Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Desires-Embrace-Catherine-Wolffe-ebook/dp/B0130OFQCE/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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Hot Halloween Heroes Blog Hop with Wolfen Secrets

Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.

What makes a hero lovable?  We’re asking that question in Felicity Heaton’s Hot Halloween Heroes Giveaway Blog Hop.  Does a hero have to be strong, blatantly male, no inhibitions, no apologies, or a diamond in the ruff to be sexy?  Describe your hot Halloween hero in a comment here and you’ll be eligible for the drawing of an ebook copy of Wolfen Secrets, the third book in the series, The Western Werewolf Legend.  Join us for the hop which includes over 120 blogs, all with something to share on the subject of hot Halloween heroes.  Click the Blog Hop pic above for a complete list of blog sites to visit. Also, click the cover of Wolfen Secrets, The Western Werewolf Legend series listed below for the Amazon link to  it and all my books.

Now check out the steamy excerpt from Wolfen Secrets:

Sonja Brooks’ body jerked, waking with a jolt.  She’d been dreaming again.  Running trembling fingers through her hair, she released an unsteady breath.  The darkness was always filled with hands clawing at her flesh, moans of anguish or sharp stabs of pain.  Being a werewolf had brought all kinds of changes to her life.  This latest plague was the worst.  Depending on an ordered, tidy existence was a thing of the past.  Would she ever be able to sleep without nightmares or rest peacefully again?

Her mentor, the witch, Hortence, had given her potion after potion to relieve the restless nights of dream after unsettling dream.  None had helped.  So, the night sweats and visions continued like premonitions from a horror play.

Her hands came down, punching the quilt on either side of her thighs in an act of frustration.

Immediately, Ty’s arm came around her.  Her lover, Tyler Loflin, wrapped her close.

“Easy, Sonja!  Baby, I’m right here.”

His strength – so solid and dependable along with his words – so warm and gentle enveloped her.  Nothing could penetrate his protection, nothing, she mused.  Sonja wrapped her arms around his solid strength, languishing in his hold.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes… the dream…I had it again.”  Seeking the crook of his neck as a haven, Sonja released a shaky breath.  Ty’s heart beat in solid, rhythmic cadence.  His long, dark hair skimmed her cheek in a soft caress.

“Here, now, let me hold you.  You can tell me what happened.”  With big, bronzed hands, he adjusted the covers, arranging a nest of sorts for her comfort.  “Shamans say it makes a bad dream better when you talk about the fool thing.”  Ty punched up the pillows.  Easing her back, he made sure she was comfortable before joining her against the cool cotton.  In a gesture as old as time, he reached out, brushing her curls back from her face.  “Now, that’s better?”

She let out a slow breath.  It was worth a try.  Nodding, she frowned, trying to recall the details.

“It’s the same one I keep having.  We are fighting the vampires.  There are so many!”  Her voice cracked with the last words.  She swallowed hard.  The tears couldn’t break free.

“I got you, Nymph.  You’re safe.  Nothing will hurt you, now.  Keep going.”

Sonja sniffed before sending him a trembling smile.  She loved it when he used the pet name he’d given her right after they’d met over three months before.  “All right.”  Shoving at her hair, she tried again.  “This time, the bloodsuckers are everywhere.  They’re coming out of the woodwork, Ty.”  She glanced at him, the fingers of unease showing again.  “There’s so many, I don’t think we will stop them.”

He patted her back gentle like, rocking her slightly in his hold.  “Just a dream, it’s okay, I got you.”

“We’re separated.”  She slid her hand between their bodies, wiping at the tears.  “I can’t see you, yet I hear you.  You’re swarmed by vampires.”

Panic clawed at her chest.  She clutched at her breast, the pressure there cutting off her air.  On a strangled cry, Sonja shoved away.  Suddenly, his comfort had turned into a vice-like sensation.  “I…I can’t breathe, Ty!”

He released her, rolling from the bed, before, reaching for her to follow.  Sonja went immediately into his hold.  “Watch me, Nymph – breathe,” he commanded.  “Breathe…that’s it.  Now again…deep.  Let it out slow.  That’s a girl.”  He raised her arms up over her head, standing with her until her chest eased its rapid constriction.  With his big hand, Ty gently rubbed between her breasts.  “Feel better?”

She nodded.  Soon, the feeling of security his hold invoked returned.  The anxiety attack eased.  Threading her arms around him, she smiled when his sturdy embrace encircled her once more.

“I’ll speak to Hortence again about the damn nightmares.  There has to be a better way to handle them.”

“Do you suppose they’re more than figments of my imagination?”  A frown crossed her brow.  Was it possible for someone or something else to hold control over her nightmares?  “Like a vampire spell or perhaps black magic?”  She leaned back in his hold, gazing steadily into his eyes.  “We may not be considering all the possibilities, Ty.”

“It’s not off to consider the vampires have powers too – maybe even access to magic.”  Ty shook his head before resting his brow against hers.  “We know so little about these damn creatures of the night.  It frustrates the hell out of me.  So, somehow they get inside your head, conjuring up a wicked dream.”  Gathering her close again, he tried to reassure.  “Tomorrow we’ll talk to Hortence.  She’s got to have something that will block the dreams.  I won’t give up until I find one.  I promise, Nymph.”

Resting against his chest, the vibration of his voice next to her ear as a welcome balm, Sonja closed her eyes.  Could the dreams be her anxiety manifested or the future about to play out in reality?  God, she hoped not!  Unable to stop her body’s cringe, the memory of the screams came back to her.  In the dream, Ty needed her help, yet she wasn’t able to reach him in time.

***

Cover Design by Ally Thomas
Cover Design by Ally Thomas
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.

Thanks for dropping by!

Hot Halloween Heroes Blog Hop with Wolfen Secrets

Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.

What makes a hero lovable?  We’re asking that question in Felicity Heaton’s Hot Halloween Heroes Giveaway Blog Hop.  Does a hero have to be strong, blatantly male, no inhibitions, no apologies, or a diamond in the ruff to be sexy?  Describe your hot Halloween hero in a comment here and you’ll be eligible for the drawing of an ebook copy of Wolfen Secrets, the third book in the series, The Western Werewolf Legend.  Join us for the hop which includes over 120 blogs, all with something to share on the subject of hot Halloween heroes.  Click the Blog Hop pic above for a complete list of blog sites to visit. Also, click the cover of Wolfen Secrets, The Western Werewolf Legend series listed below for the Amazon link to  it and all my books.

Now check out the steamy excerpt from Wolfen Secrets:

The fire sprang up unexpected.  A lone, extended note of pain erupted from somewhere in the haze of smoke and flames.  Ty’s anxious search of the smoldering blaze didn’t go unnoticed.

“She’ll be all right, Lieutenant.”

Ty whipped around to glare into the eyes of the Guardian.  “How in the bloody hell can you be sure?  You stand here in the safety of the cool glade, while Sonja is out there in the flames somewhere searching for a lost child.”  Unable to stand in the wolf god’s presence any longer, Ty huffed out a breath before wheeling away to stare at the flames once more.  “Your audacity astounds me.”  He whipped back around, punching out a finger in the direction of the flames.  “I want you to tell me she is here with me, you overgrown bag of bones, not “she is all right”.”  He wheeled from the Guardian toward the fire again.  Sparks burned his eyes.  The change to a werewolf came on him like a refuge for his anger.  He embraced the shift.  With the glow of a shifter’s essence still fresh on his wolf’s coat, Ty growled low, leaping into the firestorm, leaving the Guardian standing there.

He could hear the fire moan as another gust of wind fed the blaze.  Hortence’s voice came to him on the wind-swept smoke.  In his mind’s eye, she appeared next to the Guardian.  Now, she showed up.  Unbelievable!

“He seeks his mate.”  Hortence’s words rang flat.

“Yes, he is having a hard time with the responsibilities she faces.  His nature is to protect a woman.  This woman is different,” the Guardian added.

Hortence nodded absently at the flames.  A great ball of fire erupted, spewing sparks into the darkness.  “He will find his way.  Compromise is the great mediator.”

Guardian flicked a glance her way.  “Sonja was correct.  You are full of riddles and conundrums, Witch.”

The old woman glared in return at the great hulking beast.  “And you smell.  What’s your point, wolf god?”  Without waiting for an answer, she turned to go.  “Soon, you’ll have your hands full.”  She flung the jab over her shoulder as she walked away.  “I’ll be taking my leave of this place now, along with its company.”

How’d the two ever get anything done?  Arguing was their only means of communication.  Still Ty remembered the Guardian’s words.  Was it true?  Sonja would have to face the demons on her own.  Surely not – they were wolf mates.  If anything, he’d be the one to face the bastards, not her.

She was in the damn fire alone, right now.  Struggling with something akin to panic, Ty swore low, before scanning the flames again.  Where was she?  Suddenly, the ground trembled as a great fireball erupted into the sky.  Searing heat washed over him in waves.  The fire was getting worse.  He had to find her!  Noting the girth and depth of the inferno, Ty sprinted forward.  The fire breathed as a living thing.  The flames continued to consume everything in their path.  “Sonja!  Where are you?”  No reply!  A sensation of helplessness washed over him, promising to engulf him in its grip if he wasn’t careful.

Stumbling, he covered his muzzle with his paw.  The smoke choked the oxygen out of the air, making it hard to breathe, not to mention think.  Something akin to terror gripped his chest.  Recalling the night she’d been bitten by her undead husband, Robert, he had to fight the notion she may be lost.  “Sonja!”  Ty’s howl echoed in the thick smoke.  No answer!  His chest tightened again as his vision raced in every direction at once.  “Sonja!”

Suddenly up ahead came a whimper.  His keen ears went on alert.

The fire moaned and yawed with another gust of wind.  The flames shifted toward him.  The whimpering stopped.  Scanning a few feet ahead, Ty bent low on all fours, forcing his way through with the fire licking at his fur.  He kept going.  Scorched and singed, he paid no attention as he struggled to clear the downed timber and burning treetops.  There she was, a smoldering figure staggering toward him.  Her fur, matted and burned in places, resembled a half-charred piece of white paper someone had crumpled before throwing into the flames.  Yet she lived.  Blinking, Sonja’s werewolf stared blankly up at her mate.  Those golden eyes of hers bore misery mingled with defeat.  She belched a plume of smoke from her muzzle.

“She’s gone.”  With those two words, she slumped against him.  The retched ache of her mind’s words wrapped around his heart and squeezed.

Still his mind cried out with relief.  Ty’s one and only wolf had made it back to him.  She reeked of smoke, yet she lived.  Gone was the pristine white of her mane, in its place a molten gray and black body swayed precariously in front of him.  He noted the large raw patches of scorched flesh and oozing wounds scattered along her back.  Still, she lived.  He gathered her in his front paws, licking her muzzle.  “Don’t do this to yourself, Nymph.”  His wolf’s mind tried to comfort.  The nudge he gave her with his snout didn’t rouse her from her misery.  “Were it in my power, I’d take this from you.  I’d make everything right.  You should expect nothing more when dealing with the vampires.  For all we know, this was a vision, like another of your hellish dreams.  Take heart in the fact, you gave it your best shot.”  Ty’s limited connection to her grieved him almost as much as the sadness in her eyes.  “Come, let’s get you back.  You’re injured.”  He ran a paw over the gash in her hind leg.  “A major part of my loving you lies in your courage, Nymph.  I’d never question your attempt at saving a life.”

With that, Ty nudged her neck, licking at the wound in her leg.  The attention was enough to rouse Sonja.  It was time to leave.  The portal was in sight.  She stumbled toward the light

***

Cover Design by Ally Thomas
Cover Design by Ally Thomas
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.

Thanks for dropping by!

Hot Halloween Heroes Blog Hop with Wolfen Secrets

Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.
Click the image to view all the authors in this blog hop.

What makes a hero lovable?  We’re asking that question in Felicity Heaton’s Hot Halloween Heroes Giveaway Blog Hop.  Does a hero have to be strong, blatantly male, no inhibitions, no apologies, or a diamond in the ruff to be sexy?  Describe your hot Halloween hero in a comment here and you’ll be eligible for the drawing of an ebook copy of Wolfen Secrets, the third book in the series, The Western Werewolf Legend.  Join us for the hop which includes over 120 blogs, all with something to share on the subject of hot Halloween heroes.  Click the Blog Hop pic above for a complete list of blog sites to visit. Also, click the cover of Wolfen Secrets, The Western Werewolf Legend series listed below for the Amazon link to  it and all my books.

Now check out the steamy excerpt from Wolfen Secrets:

Sonja Brooks’ body jerked, waking with a jolt.  She’d been dreaming again.  Running trembling fingers through her hair, she released an unsteady breath.  The darkness was always filled with hands clawing at her flesh, moans of anguish or sharp stabs of pain.  Being a werewolf had brought all kinds of changes to her life.  This latest plague was the worst.  Depending on an ordered, tidy existence was a thing of the past.  Would she ever be able to sleep without nightmares or rest peacefully again?

Her mentor, the witch, Hortence, had given her potion after potion to relieve the restless nights of dream after unsettling dream.  None had helped.  So, the night sweats and visions continued like premonitions from a horror play.

Her hands came down, punching the quilt on either side of her thighs in an act of frustration.

Immediately, Ty’s arm came around her.  Her lover, Tyler Loflin, wrapped her close.

“Easy, Sonja!  Baby, I’m right here.”

His strength – so solid and dependable along with his words – so warm and gentle enveloped her.  Nothing could penetrate his protection, nothing, she mused.  Sonja wrapped her arms around his solid strength, languishing in his hold.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes… the dream…I had it again.”  Seeking the crook of his neck as a haven, Sonja released a shaky breath.  Ty’s heart beat in solid, rhythmic cadence.  His long, dark hair skimmed her cheek in a soft caress.

“Here, now, let me hold you.  You can tell me what happened.”  With big, bronzed hands, he adjusted the covers, arranging a nest of sorts for her comfort.  “Shamans say it makes a bad dream better when you talk about the fool thing.”  Ty punched up the pillows.  Easing her back, he made sure she was comfortable before joining her against the cool cotton.  In a gesture as old as time, he reached out, brushing her curls back from her face.  “Now, that’s better?”

She let out a slow breath.  It was worth a try.  Nodding, she frowned, trying to recall the details.

“It’s the same one I keep having.  We are fighting the vampires.  There are so many!”  Her voice cracked with the last words.  She swallowed hard.  The tears couldn’t break free.

“I got you, Nymph.  You’re safe.  Nothing will hurt you, now.  Keep going.”

Sonja sniffed before sending him a trembling smile.  She loved it when he used the pet name he’d given her right after they’d met over three months before.  “All right.”  Shoving at her hair, she tried again.  “This time, the bloodsuckers are everywhere.  They’re coming out of the woodwork, Ty.”  She glanced at him, the fingers of unease showing again.  “There’s so many, I don’t think we will stop them.”

He patted her back gentle like, rocking her slightly in his hold.  “Just a dream, it’s okay, I got you.”

“We’re separated.”  She slid her hand between their bodies, wiping at the tears.  “I can’t see you, yet I hear you.  You’re swarmed by vampires.”

Panic clawed at her chest.  She clutched at her breast, the pressure there cutting off her air.  On a strangled cry, Sonja shoved away.  Suddenly, his comfort had turned into a vice-like sensation.  “I…I can’t breathe, Ty!”

He released her, rolling from the bed, before, reaching for her to follow.  Sonja went immediately into his hold.  “Watch me, Nymph – breathe,” he commanded.  “Breathe…that’s it.  Now again…deep.  Let it out slow.  That’s a girl.”  He raised her arms up over her head, standing with her until her chest eased its rapid constriction.  With his big hand, Ty gently rubbed between her breasts.  “Feel better?”

She nodded.  Soon, the feeling of security his hold invoked returned.  The anxiety attack eased.  Threading her arms around him, she smiled when his sturdy embrace encircled her once more.

“I’ll speak to Hortence again about the damn nightmares.  There has to be a better way to handle them.”

“Do you suppose they’re more than figments of my imagination?”  A frown crossed her brow.  Was it possible for someone or something else to hold control over her nightmares?  “Like a vampire spell or perhaps black magic?”  She leaned back in his hold, gazing steadily into his eyes.  “We may not be considering all the possibilities, Ty.”

“It’s not off to consider the vampires have powers too – maybe even access to magic.”  Ty shook his head before resting his brow against hers.  “We know so little about these damn creatures of the night.  It frustrates the hell out of me.  So, somehow they get inside your head, conjuring up a wicked dream.”  Gathering her close again, he tried to reassure.  “Tomorrow we’ll talk to Hortence.  She’s got to have something that will block the dreams.  I won’t give up until I find one.  I promise, Nymph.”

Resting against his chest, the vibration of his voice next to her ear as a welcome balm, Sonja closed her eyes.  Could the dreams be her anxiety manifested or the future about to play out in reality?  God, she hoped not!  Unable to stop her body’s cringe, the memory of the screams came back to her.  In the dream, Ty needed her help, yet she wasn’t able to reach him in time.

***

Cover Design by Ally Thomas
Cover Design by Ally Thomas
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