AuThursday – Cheryl Dragon

Please join me today  welcoming fellow RP writer Cheryl Dragon.  Welcome Cheryl.  So Cheryl, how long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing in various genres since after college. I dabbled to find my voice and strengths. Finally I found erotic romance and sold my first book in 2006.

 Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I tend to write tight and fast paced. Lots of hot stuff…

Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Not usually. If I hit a wall, I’ll change books and usually that works.

Q:  How much of your books are realistic?

Lol…well, I write a lot of ménage stories but I think that people could do that if they wanted toJ With the exception of my paranormals…I think my books/characters are fairly realistic. A lot of people experiment with sex, be it BDSM play or other ways. It’s just not something people talk about openly.

Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

 I never got a call, but I got an email from my first EC editor. I’d had a request for a full before a big conference. I had a pitch appointment with EC at the conference. Talk about crossed wires! After the conference, a day or two, I got the email that EC wanted the book! That was the summer of 2006 so there were fewer epubs back then.

 Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?

The biggest misconception is that it’s all sex and basically porn for women. There is a lot of sex but also a lot of emotion as well. The romance is a big part of it. Readers want an emotionally satisfying ending! They want the fantasy of the perfect partner who understands AND sexually thrills the heroine.

 Q: Have you ever been asked to “sex-up or sex-down your books”?

No, I’ve never been asked. Normally I have a lot of sex in my books but no complaints.

 Q:  What is on tap for 2013?

 Tons! The first book in my new Masters Wanted series—Love & History — released January 9th! It’s M/F Light BDSM contemporary erotic romance. I don’t write hardcore BDSM and I wanted a series that reflected the BDSM stuff that I enjoy/write. So the series is centered on heroines who aren’t necessarily new to being submissive. They knew how they want to play and are looking for Masters…specifically Bedroom Doms who don’t need to frequent clubs, groups, or show off in front of others to enjoy satisfy their subs.

 Love & History is the first book in Masters Wanted and available at Resplendence Publishing and All Romance eBooks

 Also at the end of January, I have my first Siren release with two things I love! Ménage + erotic romance and wine… Make sure to check out Pinot Noir Nights!

 2013 is already pretty busy!

 Don’t miss my All Male Nudes! Series. Book one is out, Hot Rivals, and more are coming. MM yummy stripper fun.

 Plus I’m up for a CAPA award over at TRS. Keep your fingers crossed that 4 Bikers & A Witch wins for Best Paranormal Romance!

 Q:  Where can readers find you on the world wide web?

 www.cheryldragon.com

http://www.facebook.com/cheryldragon

http://cheryldragon.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/cheryldragon

Join me Saturday for Sexcerpt from Love & History by Cheryl Dragon.

Until then be Naughty,

Tina

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AuThursday – Cheryl Dragon

Please join me in welcoming fellow Resplendence Author Cheryl Dragon.  Welcome Cheryl, so how long have you been writing?

In my head, always. Seriously, since my early twenties. If I didn’t write, I think I’d go crazy!

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know how specific it is. I tend to be more casual in feel and fast paced. I hate getting bogged down in tons of mundane detail and description when there’s so much to tell. My intention is to get the important stuff there and let the reader experience the story unfolding.

Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Writer’s block is rare since I am constantly getting new ideas. The harder part is focusing on the book I need to finish and ignore the new ideas bugging me. If I can’t ignore the idea, I write down notes so I won’t forget it and then I can get back to the story at hand.

For true writer’s block, I’ll change to a different story. Since I write mostly novellas and short stories, it’s not a big deal to switch when one isn’t working. I always go back to a story. Sometimes the click of what a character wants just takes a little time.

 Q:  How much of your books are realistic?

Unless we’re talking about my paranormals, it’s all realistic. There may be a bit of a fantasy element to some people. Most of my writing is contemporary. I write a lot of ménage which some people might feel isn’t realistic in a long term relationship but stranger things have happened. BDSM, m/m, ménage…it all happens or we wouldn’t be so interested in it. I’ll admit, it’s not common but that’s what makes it even hotter.

Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

The call was actually an email from Ellora’s Cave. I’d been trying traditional romance publishers and it never worked. Everyone loved my hot love scenes so I thought I’d give erotic romance a try. Since then it’s been a wild ride!

 Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?

 The biggest misconception is it’s all about the erotic sex. Or that it’s porn. Women’s sexuality has been repressed for centuries and this genre gives women what they want. The romance, the emotional connections, and the amazing sex focused on their needs. Here women get their fantasies fulfilled.

Q: We all know “SEX” sells, have you ever been asked to “sex-up-your books”?

No, I really don’t have that problem. Some pubs might ask that of writers to bulk out a book but I’ve never been asked to do that. I think most writers have a good feeling for the genre they’re writing and what readers want from a story. I want my characters to be happy, find love, and enjoy all the sexual exploration of that relationship. That’s a happy ending! So my heroines and heroes have a lot of great sex while building and exploring their relationship.

 Q:  What is on tap for the rest of 2010?

 My November release is Pushing Penny. A BBW BDSM:

Going to Italy with a sexy man should be hot but for Penny it’s all business. The plus sized designer of plus sized fashions met Grayson Raider at her best friend’s wedding, and now, he’s her bodyguard. While she doesn’t expect trouble, Penny’s rich Texas family is overprotective. She has no reason to protest—Grayson makes her feel safe and beautiful.

Grayson knew the moment he met Penny that she was the challenge he’d been looking for. Confident in her work, Penny needs to let him lead in the bedroom. His Dom side enjoys giving her pleasure and pushing her limits. Being tied up naked by a man she’s paying to protect her is hot enough, but when he starts using mirrors and fashion to drive her crazy, he might just push Penny right out of her comfort zone.

 Coming December 15th!

 Fly Boys

Ménage+

For Laura, dating Craig, an air force pilot, has been nothing but great. Bonding with Craig’s three housemates who served with him has been an experience in military closeness and deep admiration for men in uniform. The news that they’ve shared everything, including women, is arousing and a bit of a challenge. And Laura wants to take it on. The guys ease her into action, and soon, she can’t imagine life any other way—even if one of the guys is a bit reserved with her. But Laura’s biggest adjustment will be to their weird work schedule. Three months on duty and three months on her!

 Q:  Where can readers find you on the world wide web?

 www.cheryldragon.com

Saturday Sexcerpt – Hat Trick by Cerise Deland

 

 

 

HAT TRICK Cerise’s  Oct. 20 release in the COUGAR CHALLENGE series at EC—a ménage with two younger men for a sassy older Texas woman!  Awesome…here you go Naughty Girls…

“You have children?” Trey’s brows shot up. “You don’t look old enough for that.”
“I am,” she said flatly as she whisked drops of moisture from her glass, wondering if this revelation about age and children would have both men walking out the door. “Clay is nearly twenty-four and in med school in New York. He is my husband’s and my only child. A great guy, too, I must say.” She lifted her glass in a toast. “To great men.”
“Carla tells us you were crazy about your husband,” Gage said.
“I was. Walt was a sweet man, a hard-working rancher and when he died, I thought I had lost all my passion for living.” She tried to smile and failed. “But I am still here and loving my life.”
“You never thought of leaving Winterhalter?” Trey asked.
“Never had a reason to. It’s certainly small, and I know everyone, which is good and bad. But don’t get me wrong, I love to travel, too.”
“Really?” Gage looked intrigued. “We do, too. Where do you go?”
“Every six months or so since my husband died, I pick a city in Europe and go alone for two weeks. I do the ruins and the cathedrals. I shop ’til I drop. And wow, do I eat!”
Both men grinned.
“Can’t prove it by us,” Gage praised her.
“You are one terrific-looking woman,” Trey told her, his green gaze caressing her face and drifting ever so deliberately down her throat to the vee of her white cotton blouse. “So what are you? Forty-two? Three?”
“Five. Forty-five.”
“I’m thirty-three,” Gage told her in a hushed voice.
“And I’m a year younger.”
Her lips parted. Each man sat silently looking at her, waiting for her reaction. What could she say without sounding like a predatory female? You are both stunning specimens of manhood? I want each of you? “Seems like age has nothing to do with how successful you both are.”
“It hasn’t.” Gage nodded and took in a huge breath. “The three of us went to Texas Tech together and from our folks we were each fortunate enough to inherit some money. We pooled it after we graduated, bought a ranch outside Dallas ten years ago and turned it into a shopping mall.”
“We built from there. Now, we are committed to finding a piece of land in an area where we can develop a five-star resort.” Trey finished his margarita. “We’ve done some research of this area. Jed and Gage and I think Carla’s ranch and some adjacent acreage might be the right place. But we need more help. Someone who knows the land. The ecology. The politics. The people. Gage and I hoped you would ride around with us for a few days. Show us the sights. Tell us about the town.”
Belle didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. They wanted her around not for good loving, but for her knowledge? Wow, had she gotten this all wrong. She felt like a fool. Did she look like one, too?
Gage seized her hand. “Belle? Darlin’, look at me.”
She felt Trey stroke her arm.
She gulped and trained her gaze on Gage.
“We had the research planned before we came. Before we met you. Before we enjoyed being with you. And now that we have and we see how lovely you are, how sweet and smart, we want to stick around. We want to be with you.”
“Belle, cara,” Trey crooned. “We thought you’d like the idea of being with us. Helping us. But we want your company. You.”
She bristled with excitement. Beneath the table, Gage’s foot slid over to stroke hers.
Trey’s knee pressed hers. “Belle, with all your long auburn hair. And those pink lush lips. And your dreamy purple eyes. Honey, you are a vision. A ripe and delicious-looking woman who needs good company. And we want to show you how we treasure you.”
With compliments like that, what was a girl to do? Say no? Not likely. Say absolutely? Darn right! Say…
“I would love to help you. Be with you.”
“We don’t want to rush you,” Trey said. “But if you prefer one of us, the other would be disappointed, but good with that.”
If I prefer one of you? If? Her mind whirled. There was no question in her mind now about the topic they really discussed. With a few teensy issues left barring the way, she knew she was now ready to take the Challenge. “You don’t have relationships back home in Dallas with anyone who might get jealous? I wouldn’t want to damage—”
“No,” Trey replied. “I need a woman who gets in my head, first. Not any like that I’ve met in years.”
“And I meet too many women who are looking at my wallet, first,” Gage said.
“Where are their brains?” she wondered, then collected her own. “Have you both been attracted to the same woman before?”
“We have. Once.” Gage played with her fingers. “Trey and I know we have the same tastes. We don’t let jealousy become a problem. We know how to share.”
Wow. Two men who share. Had she ever dreamed of such a thing? She squeezed her thighs together. Her pussy was getting all swollen and juicy just imagining the fun she was about to have.
Trey fiddled with her wedding ring. “But the last time we shared was years ago. We haven’t found a woman in a very long time who is fascinating. And you, Belle Sterling, are one rare and exciting lady.”
The waiter appeared at Gage’s elbow. “Have you had a chance to look at the menu?”
“We certainly have,” Gage told him, checking Trey’s face and then Belle’s.
The waiter nodded in deference to Belle. “For starters, we have the soup or the salad. What would the lady like?”
She considered the possibilities. With a knowing smile at Trey and then Gage, she looked up at the waiter and told him. “Both.”
(Copyright 2020 Cerise DeLand)

You can buy Hat Trick Here:

BUY!

AuThursday – Cindy Spencer Pape

Hello Naughty Boys and Girls!   Please welcome fellow Resplendence Author Cindy Spencer Pape.  Speaking of Authors…Cindy – Who is your favorite author and why?

I can’t claim to have any one favorite. Early influences would include Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, then later Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell, and Linda Howard. More recently I’ve discovered Lora Leigh, Christine Warren, and Christine Feehan. Plus, outside of romance, I adore humorous SF/fantasy writers like Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and more recently, Jim Butcher, and the occasional mystery.

Q: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

No, Every book unfolds a little differently. Some of it is plotting, some of it is waiting to see how

Q: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We’ d love to hear all about them!) 

Well, I just sent a book off to my Ellora’s Cave editor, and I have projects under consideration with a few different houses. My current WIP’s include a trilogy with the fabulous Desiree Holt and Regina Carlysle, and my new love, a steampunk romance.

Q: Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?

I was at Romanticon in October and plan to be at the RT convention in April. Anything in between is still unknown.

Q: Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason? 

You know, I love them all, or I don’t think I could write them. A few favorites include Fitz from Crazy for the Cowboy (Wild Rose Press) David from Djinni and the Geek (Ellora’s Cave) and Will from Wings of the Raven (Total-E-Bound). Why? They’re all imperfect, but come through in the clutch.

Q: How hard is it to keep sex/love scenes fresh and interesting?

Always a challenge!

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website: http://www.cindyspencerpape.com

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/cindyspencerpape

Newsletter Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cspapenewsgroup/

Blog; http://cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com/

Cian Fey: http://cianfey.blogspot.com

Join me on Saturday when Cindy shares a steamy excerpt from her latest book, “Nailed.”

Love,

Tina

AuThursday – Anny Cook

Please welcome fellow Resplendence Author Anny Cook.  So Anny, How long have you been writing?

I’ve written for many years. However, it wasn’t until three years ago that I first submitted a story to a publisher. That was Dancer’s Delight which I submitted to Ellora’s Cave. Imagine my shock—and delight—when they offered me a contract. Since then, I’ve had thirteen books released.

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?

I think it was probably Love Never-Ending. That was my longest book at 70K+. Since it was the fifth book in the Mystic Valley series, there were a million details to check, double check and match with the other books.

Q:  Which country would you most like to visit and why?

Peru. I would love to visit Machu Picchu. Although in reality, I would probably need an oxygen mask because of my asthma.

Q:  Which author would you most like to meet and why?

Shall I confess? I’m a total fan girl of Jayne Ann Krentz. I would love to have time to sit down with her and discuss writing. She has a fascinating mind.

Q:  What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?

Ohhhh. First I put on my sexy lingerie and my pink heels. Then I wrap my favorite feather boa around my neck… NO? Actually, I sit in front of my computer with the minimum noise I can manage (this is after all real life!) and I write. I don’t outline though I have a general idea of where the story is going to go. After that, I just write with a counter running in the back of my head…every 3500 words is a chapter.

Q:  What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

Write every day unless you are so sick you have to stay in bed. Write a grocery list. Write a blog. Write a letter to you mother. Write SOMETHING. It’s very important to develop and maintain the habit of writing. And once you develop that habit, understand that anything written can be revised and changed. But a blank page is impossible to revise or change.

 Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?

A) that we as authors have done everything we’ve written about. B) that we as authors WANT to do everything we write about. C) that we’re all just looking for a few GOOD men… NOT.

 Q: We all know “SEX” sells, have you ever been asked to “sex-up-your books”?

Yes, I have. Sometimes I’ve complied if it seemed the story called for it. Sometimes I’ve declined. Clearly, if we’re writing erotica we already know the expectation the publisher has. Mostly, I believe if you don’t want to add sex, then don’t submit to that genre.

Q:  What is on tap for the rest of 2009?

Wow. Well on November 10, my newest story, Prisoner of the Heart will be released from Resplendence Publishing. It is part of an anthology, Carnal Reunions. There are seven stories in all—about seven young women who return to their college for their tenth reunion. While there, each of them reconnects with the fellow who got away.

 Aside from that, I have several works in progress that I hope to finish before the end of the year—a vampire story, a fantasy, a futuristic/apocalyptic, a Mystic Valley story, and a contemporary older woman/younger man.

Q:  When a new book comes out, have you ever been nervous over readers’ reaction to it?

Oh, yeah. I’m always nervous. It’s impossible to please everyone, but even knowing that, it still stings if someone doesn’t like the book. Every time. You never get past that.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? www.annycook.com and www.annycook.blogspot.com 

I also have MySpace and Facebook pages.

Thanks for a wonderful interview Anny!  Join me on Saturday when Anny shares a steamy excerpt.

See you then,

Tina

Saturday Sexcerpt – Ringo’s Ride by Regina Carlysle

ringosride_msr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a blurb and excerpt from Ringo’s Ride, available August 28 at Ellora’s Cave.

 Book 3 in the High Plains Shifters series but can be read as a stand-alone story.

 Rayne dreamed of the day Ringo would claim her as his mate, changing her into the lycan she is meant to be. One touch from his hands burns her with a flame hot enough to scorch the Texas plains. But the moody lycan has made it clear he doesn’t want her. That’s just too damn bad! The sexy Latino lycan belongs to her and she aims to claim him, no matter what it takes. 

 Ringo hides the pain of his tortured past behind a menacing sneer. Learning that Rayne is meant to be his mate is unwelcome news. She deserves better than to be saddled with a man with his checkered past. It isn’t until she is taken from him that he knows she is the only woman who can heal his battered soul.

 On to the excerpt!  This excerpt is recommended for adults 18 years or older.

Copyright © REGINA CARLYSLE, 2009

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

 Ringo Ramone raced through the hot Texas night as if someone had lit a fire under his ass. He dodged rocks and prickly cactus, ignoring the heat that singed the pads of his paws, too furious to notice. Rage beat at him until he practically shook with it. He sniffed the ground in an effort to pick up the trail of the rogue lycans who’d stolen his mate.

His mate!

Fuck!

He’d always suspected Rayne Poteet might be the one but he hadn’t wanted that. For years he’d watched her from a distance, drawn to her sweetness, her beauty. He’d slunk around in the shadows, fighting off the feelings that twisted tightly in his chest every time she so much as spoke to him. He wasn’t an emotional man and didn’t plan on changing for any she-wolf, not even Rayne. Besides, she was too good for the likes of him. He was a motherless son of a rat-bastard traitor and that’s all he’d ever be.

The huge black wolf stopped and panted. How much ground had he covered since leaving the ranch house to hunt down the men who’d taken her? Tonight they’d had a barbecue for the town of Cloverfield. It had been a happy time and, Lord knew, he’d seen too few of those in his many years. His alpha Joe McKinnon, and Quinn, the daughter of their former alpha, were celebrating their Consummation Ceremony when it all went down. Like a bunch of raving idiots, the males of the pack had been lured by rogue lycans to the south pasture while others had circled back to the ranch to steal away their unmated females.

Rayne!

She was his predestined mate. He hadn’t known it until tonight and then, in one instant of stupidity, she’d been taken before he’d had time to absorb it all. Spotting a grove of mesquite in the distance, he loped over, shifting as he ran. Naked, dripping with sweat, he leaned against the rough bark and closed his eyes. Ringo couldn’t help it. The look on her face tonight as the knowledge of their empathic connection, the proof they were a meant to be a mated pair, had gone through him like a blast from a flamethrower. Her pretty, sherry-colored eyes had gone wide as energy sizzled between them.

His cock thickened as he remembered.

Damn his horny ass!

This wasn’t the time.

Shifting back into his wolf, he took off again, scenting the air. Off in the distance, he spotted an old line shack at the edge of the ranch property. If worse came to worst, he could bring her to it. It was kept fully stocked with provisions.

Ringo continued on, running endlessly across the empty stretch of prairie. Suddenly, he spotted it. A low campfire was flickering in the predawn darkness, shooting up occasional sparks. Laughter. Male laughter. His heightened senses picked up the sound of Rayne’s breathing. It was accelerated.

A truck was parked at the very edge of the meager light and two naked men sat on the ground several yards from where Rayne lay, trussed up like a Christmas turkey. Her clothes were a mess and there were scratches on her legs. Her copper-colored hair was spread across the dusty ground like a pool of sunshine and he got a glimpse of her bare white belly and the tiny red panties she wore.

“What are we gonna do with her? Zavalos must be dead. He hasn’t shown up like he was supposed to.”

The other lycan stood and, planting his fists on his hips, stared across the fire at Rayne. Ringo lowered his body closer to the ground and moved slowly toward them, listening.

“Something went wrong. I feel it,” he said. “Let’s load her into the truck and head south. We can’t wait out here anymore. It’ll be morning soon.”

“Please. Let me go,” Rayne said.

Ringo’s heart thumped then sped in his chest at the sound of her voice. Just hearing it threatened to send him to his knees.

“Can’t do that, Red.” This from the man who was crouched before the fire. “Our pack is short on unmated females and you’ll have to come with us.”

“But I-I am,” she stammered. “I have a mate.”

The lycan who stood stalked toward her and, grabbing her shoulders, jerked her upright and slapped her. The crack of it shredded the quiet.

Red rage clouded Ringo’s mind. His fur bristled. They would die this night for trespassing on what was his. His snarl of outrage made his prey go still. With death and destruction on his mind, he leaped.

* * * * *

The first lycan had thrown her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and run with her into the night to where a truck waited. A second man had bound her hands and feet with duct tape and covered her mouth with it too. Callously they’d tossed her into the bed of the truck and driven off. She heard the cries of the McCafferty sisters and wanted to scream her outrage. They were just girls really, no older than seventeen. No doubt they were being handled in the same sickening manner. A second truck, carrying the girls, went in another direction.

Oh gods!

There was no way in hell she could help them.

Terrified, shaken beyond anything in her experience, she’d lain there as tears leaked from her eyes. All she could see was the smattering of stars overhead. All she could hear was the sound of the truck engine and the wind as it whistled by. Closing her eyes, she prayed for Ringo.

Yes, she was lycan but not yet fully in working order, so to speak. She’d yet to shift and only tonight had it been revealed that Ringo, the lanky, dark wolf with the blacker–than-sin eyes was hers.

Hers.

Finally. After all these years of hoping and praying that he was the one who would have an unbreakable psychic connection with her, the wish had come true. He would come for her. She knew it.

They’d barely touched tonight at the barbecue at the Wolf Creek Ranch. Big Joe McKinnon, the pack’s new alpha had taken Quinn, his newly consummated mate by the hand. Joy propelled Rayne to her feet as she took a step through the crowd and toward the bandstand where the couple had gone to make an announcement. Suddenly, she brushed against six foot four inches of steely-hard muscle. She smelled the familiar scent of clean, masculine cologne and stared into the black eyes that featured prominently in most of her dreams.

“Ringo,” she gasped as his hands reached out to steady her.

“Steady there, darlin’.”

He sucked in a breath and so did she. Their eyes connected and held.

Around her the world narrowed dramatically as a low buzz of energy zipped through her system. Instantly her panties were drenched and a ball of lust tightened low in her belly. Her first thought was to press her thighs together to soothe the harsh ache in her pussy. “Wha—”

“Fuck. No. This can’t be happening,” Ringo murmured huskily. He released her as if burned and shoved his fingers through his thick, black hair. His nostrils flared. His breath whipped in and out of his lungs as if he he’d run a race.

Rayne could do nothing but stare. Ringo’s eyes narrowed on her seconds before he grabbed her arm and ushered her toward the kitchen door of the house. His grip was strong but she didn’t mind. Even a simple touch from him set her on fire. In the distance she heard shouts of “Happy consummation” from the lycan population of Cloverfield, Texas. But then she heard nothing because Ringo led her through the door, pressed her against the wall and took her mouth with a hunger she’d never experienced before. Those lips, that to others might seem cruel, softened over hers and then he nipped her bottom lip. “This can’t be happening. It can’t be you.”

He regretted her. He didn’t want her. 

Copyright © REGINA CARLYSLE, 2009

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

 

Ringo Ramone raced through the hot Texas night as if someone had lit a fire under his ass. He dodged rocks and prickly cactus, ignoring the heat that singed the pads of his paws, too furious to notice. Rage beat at him until he practically shook with it. He sniffed the ground in an effort to pick up the trail of the rogue lycans who’d stolen his mate.

His mate!

Fuck!

He’d always suspected Rayne Poteet might be the one but he hadn’t wanted that. For years he’d watched her from a distance, drawn to her sweetness, her beauty. He’d slunk around in the shadows, fighting off the feelings that twisted tightly in his chest every time she so much as spoke to him. He wasn’t an emotional man and didn’t plan on changing for any she-wolf, not even Rayne. Besides, she was too good for the likes of him. He was a motherless son of a rat-bastard traitor and that’s all he’d ever be.

The huge black wolf stopped and panted. How much ground had he covered since leaving the ranch house to hunt down the men who’d taken her? Tonight they’d had a barbecue for the town of Cloverfield. It had been a happy time and, Lord knew, he’d seen too few of those in his many years. His alpha Joe McKinnon, and Quinn, the daughter of their former alpha, were celebrating their Consummation Ceremony when it all went down. Like a bunch of raving idiots, the males of the pack had been lured by rogue lycans to the south pasture while others had circled back to the ranch to steal away their unmated females.

Rayne!

She was his predestined mate. He hadn’t known it until tonight and then, in one instant of stupidity, she’d been taken before he’d had time to absorb it all. Spotting a grove of mesquite in the distance, he loped over, shifting as he ran. Naked, dripping with sweat, he leaned against the rough bark and closed his eyes. Ringo couldn’t help it. The look on her face tonight as the knowledge of their empathic connection, the proof they were a meant to be a mated pair, had gone through him like a blast from a flamethrower. Her pretty, sherry-colored eyes had gone wide as energy sizzled between them.

His cock thickened as he remembered.

Damn his horny ass!

This wasn’t the time.

Shifting back into his wolf, he took off again, scenting the air. Off in the distance, he spotted an old line shack at the edge of the ranch property. If worse came to worst, he could bring her to it. It was kept fully stocked with provisions.

Ringo continued on, running endlessly across the empty stretch of prairie. Suddenly, he spotted it. A low campfire was flickering in the predawn darkness, shooting up occasional sparks. Laughter. Male laughter. His heightened senses picked up the sound of Rayne’s breathing. It was accelerated.

A truck was parked at the very edge of the meager light and two naked men sat on the ground several yards from where Rayne lay, trussed up like a Christmas turkey. Her clothes were a mess and there were scratches on her legs. Her copper-colored hair was spread across the dusty ground like a pool of sunshine and he got a glimpse of her bare white belly and the tiny red panties she wore.

“What are we gonna do with her? Zavalos must be dead. He hasn’t shown up like he was supposed to.”

The other lycan stood and, planting his fists on his hips, stared across the fire at Rayne. Ringo lowered his body closer to the ground and moved slowly toward them, listening.

“Something went wrong. I feel it,” he said. “Let’s load her into the truck and head south. We can’t wait out here anymore. It’ll be morning soon.”

“Please. Let me go,” Rayne said.

Ringo’s heart thumped then sped in his chest at the sound of her voice. Just hearing it threatened to send him to his knees.

“Can’t do that, Red.” This from the man who was crouched before the fire. “Our pack is short on unmated females and you’ll have to come with us.”

“But I-I am,” she stammered. “I have a mate.”

The lycan who stood stalked toward her and, grabbing her shoulders, jerked her upright and slapped her. The crack of it shredded the quiet.

Red rage clouded Ringo’s mind. His fur bristled. They would die this night for trespassing on what was his. His snarl of outrage made his prey go still. With death and destruction on his mind, he leaped.

* * * * *

The first lycan had thrown her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and run with her into the night to where a truck waited. A second man had bound her hands and feet with duct tape and covered her mouth with it too. Callously they’d tossed her into the bed of the truck and driven off. She heard the cries of the McCafferty sisters and wanted to scream her outrage. They were just girls really, no older than seventeen. No doubt they were being handled in the same sickening manner. A second truck, carrying the girls, went in another direction.

Oh gods!

There was no way in hell she could help them.

Terrified, shaken beyond anything in her experience, she’d lain there as tears leaked from her eyes. All she could see was the smattering of stars overhead. All she could hear was the sound of the truck engine and the wind as it whistled by. Closing her eyes, she prayed for Ringo.

Yes, she was lycan but not yet fully in working order, so to speak. She’d yet to shift and only tonight had it been revealed that Ringo, the lanky, dark wolf with the blacker–than-sin eyes was hers.

Hers.

Finally. After all these years of hoping and praying that he was the one who would have an unbreakable psychic connection with her, the wish had come true. He would come for her. She knew it.

They’d barely touched tonight at the barbecue at the Wolf Creek Ranch. Big Joe McKinnon, the pack’s new alpha had taken Quinn, his newly consummated mate by the hand. Joy propelled Rayne to her feet as she took a step through the crowd and toward the bandstand where the couple had gone to make an announcement. Suddenly, she brushed against six foot four inches of steely-hard muscle. She smelled the familiar scent of clean, masculine cologne and stared into the black eyes that featured prominently in most of her dreams.

“Ringo,” she gasped as his hands reached out to steady her.

“Steady there, darlin’.”

He sucked in a breath and so did she. Their eyes connected and held.

Around her the world narrowed dramatically as a low buzz of energy zipped through her system. Instantly her panties were drenched and a ball of lust tightened low in her belly. Her first thought was to press her thighs together to soothe the harsh ache in her pussy. “Wha—”

“Fuck. No. This can’t be happening,” Ringo murmured huskily. He released her as if burned and shoved his fingers through his thick, black hair. His nostrils flared. His breath whipped in and out of his lungs as if he he’d run a race.

Rayne could do nothing but stare. Ringo’s eyes narrowed on her seconds before he grabbed her arm and ushered her toward the kitchen door of the house. His grip was strong but she didn’t mind. Even a simple touch from him set her on fire. In the distance she heard shouts of “Happy consummation” from the lycan population of Cloverfield, Texas. But then she heard nothing because Ringo led her through the door, pressed her against the wall and took her mouth with a hunger she’d never experienced before. Those lips, that to others might seem cruel, softened over hers and then he nipped her bottom lip. “This can’t be happening. It can’t be you.”

He regretted her. He didn’t want her.