until about a week ago. Now I've written five no, six now. Why, you may be asking? Not because it's December and I wanted to write Christmas songs for Christmastime. But because I'm playing a Christmas show for a private party. I had never so much as attempted to play a Christmas carol on my guitar but I was asked to play this show and I couldn't say no. Now I can sorta kinda more or less muddle my way through several classic tunes, though hopefully I will get better by the time the show rolls around, which is on the 12th. It's going to be a strange and interesting night to say the least. Excitement and anxiety abound!
PS. Happy Christmas!
PPS. Congratulations to the contest winner, Julie M., from Florida! Julie, your books are on their way to me right now and I will sign them and send them straight on to you once they arrive!
PPPS. Will definitely be doing more contests in the future--this was fun:)
...just for you I did an interview with The Reading Cafe. Okay, maybe not just for you guys but I did one nonetheless. But wait, there's more! Along with the interview, there's also a giveaway. I will be giving away signed paperback copies of books 1-4 in the Lone March series to one lucky person! Who wouldn't want to win such a prize??! *Ahem* Excuse me. The use of the words "lucky" and "prize" are, of course, subjective...
Anyway, if you would like to have the first half of the Lone March story collected in signed paperbacks, you can enter the contest through their website. You have to be a registered member of The Reading Cafe to enter but they have several ways of doing that, including Twitter and Google. So the giveaway just started today but it's only running through Saturday, December 1st--as in just a few days from now--so act fast if you want to get in on this action.
PPS. The reviewer had some issues with March's sexual awakening and how she handles her hormone issues. They were interesting thoughts and honestly, I feel the same way. I definitely set out to put March in some uncomfortable and inappropriate situations because she's the last female of her kind and also because being a were-wolf means rage and sexual aggression and pretty much all kinds of negative human emotions amped up to eleven. So, if you guys read it, I'd like to know how you feel about these issues. Drop a line below, if you are so inclined.
Grrrahhhggg! No, that's not a word, you're right. That's a combination growl and groan. My computer is still stuck at the computer hospital (going on a week now, which is just insanely insane for me). And so without Internet, I have had to resort to sneaking onto other people's computers when I have the chance--people I know and who have given me permission of course--and rushing to check my email really fast to answer important messages and otherwise pretty much just totally neglecting my usual online haunts. Right now I am using an iPad to write this post and let me tell you why it sucks: It won't cooperate! I tried to just update the Lone March Series tab so I wouldn't have to type out a whole big post for one tiny update but it wouldn't let me!! Instead of inferring my own interpretation of the needed onomonpia I will allow you to insert your own version. __________________!!!!!
Anyway, all this was just to tell you guys that I have approved the paperback proof of Moon-Swell. Here is where you can buy it for $8.99:
That is all for now. Fingers crossed I have my laptop back soon and can work and communicate like a normal person and not an Apple junkie, who tries to do complex or involved things on an impractical electronic device!
PS. I will update the Lone March page to consolidate all this information in one place as soon as I get my machine back. I think I already said that. Oh well...
PPS. Hope you guys are enjoying Moon-Swell! Oh who am I kidding? I mean I hope you guys DID enjoy Moon-Swell (because I'm willing to bet you all finished in like a day or something--which is fine; I'm just saying I'm willing to bet on it).
I can't believe it! So there are several options for buying the digital versions. Simply click on the hyperlinked word below for the platform of your fancy. It will be in print as well, but I'm still in the proofing stage, reviewing physical copies until I approve of the cover. We're not quite there yet. When it is available in print, I will update this post with the links.
As always, the ebook is $0.99 and the paperback will be $8.99. Hope you enjoy Book 4 and be sure to tell me what you think!
PS. I seriously cannot believe this day is already here. I'm extremely proud of Moon-Swell and I personally think it's the best one yet. I can't wait to hear what you guys have to say about it so drop a line below when you're finished reading it, you know, if you want to.
I would like--why do I always feel the need to start these kinds of posts with some sort of declamatory introductory statement? Why do I think I have to emcee myself? This is dumb. I'm not doing this.
So here's the synopsis of Book 4. Hope you like!
I flew across the table with inhuman speed and wrapped
my hands around his thick neck.“I’m the
last she-wolf on this planet.If you’re
going to see me as the great hope,
then you better respect me!”
For March Howe, the only
surviving she-wolf, getting kidnapped comes with the territory.Like shifting in and out of her lupine form,
she starts to take it in stride.But
there are still plenty of things she doesn’t expect: Greyson at Glenbrook High,
the author of that anonymous note, and her unique path to
were-spirituality.And then of course,
there are those feelings for Avery…
Nothing is like it should be—the
frigids love her while her friends hate her and just when she’s getting to know
Gaia, her rage is controlling her more than ever.Meanwhile, Avery and the pack are starting to
over-protect her to the point of suffocation.But rebelling against them doesn’t make things easier.In fact, it sparks a series of events that
lead to shocking revelations and a turning point in her journey of self-discovery.Why can’t she resist Jasper’s
flirtations?And what could Avery’s
mysterious past possibly have to do with her own history?
In Book Four of the Lone
March Series, March Howe has to figure out who she can trust, and who’s
pretending.In her evolving love
triangle, she must decide who’s best for her.And when strange things reveal themselves, it’s time for her to finally
come to terms with the fact that she’s different.Will these secrets earn her the trust and
respect she deserves from her pack or will the last of the were-wolves go
beyond protection…and lock her up once and for all?
Welp. There ya go. See now here I am doing it again. I don't have to close these posts with a formal statement either.
So The End.
PS. Gonna have to show you guys the cover soon because I can't keep it secret much longer!
I got to see the cover for Moon-Swell for the first time tonight!! And it looks amazing and beautiful and magical and about a thousand other wonderful things. Best cover yet, seriously. Can't wait to show you guys!
looked into his mesmerizing golden-mahogany eyes and wondered if I should say
anything more but I didn’t want to get myself caught in a web of lies too big
I said.“I just like the idea of you
looking out for me.”
wily grin spread slowly across his face and he took my hand again, pulling me
into the alcove of the lecture room door and propping his free hand on the wall
over my head.
into his chest was too familiar a position for me, and I wanted to slip out of
the Jasper-shaped enclosure, but the warmth I felt filling my own chest had me
fixed in place.I breathed in the deep,
oaky smell of coffee that mixed unusually well with the sharp, citrusy cologne
and found my eyes trailing up to his.“Jasper,”
I whispered slowly, forcing the statement out, “I need to go.”
quickly he unlaced his fingers from mine, dropping his hand to his side so I
was now open to the hall, and free to slip away.“Then go,” he said, like he was challenging
shut my eyes and ran my fingers through my hair.“This is crazy,” I said.“I can’t get involved with you.”
pushed himself off the wall and stood up tall in front of me.“Then don’t.”Again, he sounded like he was challenging me.
simply said, “Okay,” but still, I was glued to my spot.
not moving,” he said.
I didn’t respond to that, he lifted his right hand to brush his fingertips
against my hip, sending a shiver all up and down my body as he did.He pressed his thumb into my skin, then did
the same with his fingers so that he was grasping my hip firmly in his
hand.My heartbeat sped up; my skin
tingled.I was definitely frozen in
leaned down to my ear and whispered, “If you don’t leave, I’m gonna take it as
a sign that you don’t want to.”He moved
even closer so his lips touched my ear, and said, “And I can’t stand here much
longer without kissing you.”He moved
his head back to look at me and said, “So, make your choice.”
couldn’t unlock my eyes from his.I
couldn’t speak.It was comical to think
I even had a choice at this point.
waited another moment, then went straight for my lips.
What do you think? I hope you're thinking, "Wow--I really like that snippet and can't wait to read more when Moon-Swell comes out!"
What does that mean? Probably doesn't mean anything. Or maybe it means I've been gone with the Doctor for a month, flying around the universe in his Tardis, and he meant to drop me off at the exact same moment I left but, as so often happens, there was a mix up so I was a month late.
Yeah, I'm a nerd. And you can't beat me so you might as well join me. My roommate and I are now finally caught up completely on Doctor Who, as in we watched the episode that just aired a few days ago. It's weird that we've spent so long being behind and now we're caught up to syndication. It felt like it was our own little thing when we were just watching it on Netflix but now that we're with the rest of the world and waiting (impatiently) for the next episode, well, it's not just ours anymore. Not a bad thing, just a weird feeling.
Anyway, enough Who talk. (Is there such a thing as enough when it comes to the Doctor?) I just wanted to type a quick post and give you guys a recap of my last few weeks. Here are some things I've been up to:
As I've already made clear, there was a lot of this going on
And some of this
But mostly I've been working a lot. That is to say at my regular job, not my writing job, sadly. I got to take somewhat of a vacation (6 days) to go see my sisters and my best friend, who all live in the same city. I got to spend 2 days with each of them; it wasn't long enough.
When I got home from that trip, I immediately had to plan for the birthday party for my betrothed. It was a big event. Star Trek themed (he and all his pals played that simulator game "Artemis") but no one dressed up or anything. However, I did make four--count them, FOUR--different punches, each their own color, their own themed name I made up for them, their own flavors and spirits. Lots and lots of spirits.
Since I know you want to hear the names I gave each punch, here you go:
1. Yellow - The Enterprise Cocktail
2. Blue - Romulan Ale
3. Red - Klingon Wedding Punch
4. Green - Copper Ichorous AKA Essence of Vulcan
(Which was my personal favorite, title-wise anyway.)
Moving on...Here are some other things I did or didn't do in the past month:
Start my studies on the Victorian era for the next series I'm working on. Just to get me ready and in the right head space when I get back to writing it. I have this huge pile of books I've been amassing of research material, which are wholly focused on the Victorian era. This time period happens to be my favorite so you can imagine my excitement. Major literary/historical boner going on over here. Metaphorically speaking of course.
Make some important and mysterious phone calls.
Okay, maybe not so mysterious, but definitely important. About the long, arduous, and painstaking process of getting my books in print. Seems like it ought to be easy, right? Well, sure it is, if you just want to let it print however and you don't care how your covers come out looking. But I do care. So I've had a tough time getting proofs I'm pleased with and am now locked in an ever-lengthening back-and-forth with the publishers and tech support. Blah. And blech. Let's just move on now.
Oh, I also made some other phone calls. Example:
I'm working on the contract for the artist for my children's storybook (among other projects...), which some of you may recall from way back a million years ago when I talked about this, is a link between the Lone March world and that of the next series I'm working on. So super excitemundo about that!
Do much writing on Book 6 hardly at all (hence the blank page). In the whole month I've only written one chapter. How pathetic is that? I was busy, yes, so I couldn't really help it, but still it sucks. I hate the feeling of...not writing. There's not a word for that feeling yet. I should invent one. Anyway, it's okay because in the mean time, I have been able to work on another book. You know, that one that's coming out in November.
Did a final pass on it, just to be safe. So I can officially say it's done now. Update on the cover: My graphics genius has the materials and will begin work on it next week. Can't wait to see it. It's going to be very different from the first three so get ready!!
Make some shadow puppets whenever the opportunity presented itself. (Don't ask me what that's supposed to be because I honestly don't remember what I thought that was.)
Have a nice evening out with my beau, where dinner and a movie happened.
Climb Mount Everest. Nope. Still not accomplished. Gotta get on that...
Do some recording with the help of guitar god, Ducan Isenhower, who I think I can call a friend now, even if it is presumptuous to place myself in association with someone whose skill with the strings is so ridiculously beyond mine but anyway. He has a home studio set up and he very kindly offered to record some of my stuff. He said he will be done working on the tracks this weekend and I will be able to hear them--yay!!
That's what I looked like during our session, only not because this pic is actually from a totally different time and place, but we didn't take any pix while we were recording so I had to use this placeholder instead. Next time, by thunder, I'm taking pictures for documentation's sake.
Go skydiving. (And never ever will either just by the way.)
Win a marathon. (Or even run one, for that matter.)
But I Did
Start doing Yoga with my fiance and friends. It is quite awesome.
I guess that's it for now. I don't have much in the way of news on the 4th book but I just felt like I really needed to reconnect with you guys, since it's been so long since I've done a real post. I will say this though: everything is going according to plan and on schedule so Moon-Swell will def be out early November. I will keep you updated on how things are moving along as information comes to me.
PS. You didn't really think that was all I was going to say about Book 4, did you? Here's a tiny bulletin: Sometime very soon, as in the next few days, I'm going to post a snippet from the book. So stay tuned:D
PPS. I should just delete the word 'quick' from my vocabulary because every time I use it in conjunction with blogging I never do so correctly as my posts are rarely--if ever--quick but are, in fact, quite long and cumbersome. Oh well.
PPPS. Still not taking the word out of the 3rd paragraph though. Dunno why. Just leavin' it.
I always make sure I drink at least four bottles of water a day. But the main thing I tell people is, "Don't treat every day like Thanksgiving."
"Seek the wisdom of the ages but look at the world through the eyes of a child."
What do you think about being the face of March Howe?
I love being able to bring a character to life! Especially someone with an ever-changing life, like March's.
What do you like most about the character?
The fact that she grows up a little bit with each book is very cool and true to life. It's a slow process for teens--especially sheltered ones, like March--to mature and learn how to be their own person. March's growth is very realistic and I love how she just keeps getting stronger and more fearless.
Out of all the were animals that have been introduced in the Lone March series, which one would you most like to be and why?
A were-wolf, of course! I don't think that needs any explaining.
Sweetest girl ever--and we had a blast doing the photo shoot yesterday! Can't wait to show you guys some stuff:)
Cool, huh? Yeah, I think so, too. And with the release sneaking up like this, it means I'll be gearing up to start telling you guys some stuff pretty soon. (Stuff = Secret Mysteries of Book 4, along the same lines as what I did for Book 3.)
Can you believe it's so close?! Neither can I! It seems like Moon-Burn just came out!! Well, it did actually. But if I'm going to keep these things on a bi-annual release rhythm, then I've gotta ignore the time-crunch factor.
Fair Warning: This series may not always be released bi-annually. Things may slow down a bit after Book 5 comes out, next year. Book 6 is taking a lot longer and I don't want to put too much pressure on myself or the story could suffer. But nothing is for sure; we'll see how things go--maybe I will unwittingly end up releasing Book 6 on schedule anyway. What I do know for sure is that Moon-Swell will definitely be out this November, and Book 5 will definitely be out next May.
Anywho, hope all is well in your worlds, friends! Now, I better get back to work on this beast of a book.
PS. (almost) No one has told me what they think of Moon-Burn. What's up with that, guys??!! Okay, some people on Amazon and Goodreads have said some nice things and also some not-so-nice things. But I want to know what YOU guys think. YOU, my blog readers. Or blog 'scanners' at least. And I would like to put to you the same question I did before Book 3 came out: What do you think is going to happen next? It's always fun to read what you guys think will happen in the next book, so tellmetellmetellme!
*Ahem* Or whatever, you know, don't tell me. I'm cool either way; none of this affects me at all.
You can all see right through that one, can't you?
Moon-Burn is going to be featured on a book blog next week! It's scheduled for Thursday, July 5--I will post the link when it's available. But man, I'm excited! Happy Day-After-Independence-Day Day to me:D
And because this blog was so short (and also because I haven't posted in so long), I thought I would include an old song of mine as an added bonus to make it a bit longer. Be forewarned, it has the F in it like three times. But it's only for funsies not for realsies. So here's "Bully For You"
Moon-Burn is now available and it looks like quite a few of you have beat me to the punch! I figured my official announcement would kick off sales, but I guess you guys didn't want to wait around for me to babble nonsense at you, which I understand completely.
Anyway, for those of you who have, for whatever reason, been waiting for me to babble nonsense, the price is the same as always, $0.99. You can buy it on:
**Also, just a quick announcement, there is NOT a Sneak-Peek of the 4th book at the end of Book #3. I will not be doing those anymore for the sake of upholding the integrity of each individual installment. It was necessary in the beginning, but things are changing in the Lone March world and Sneak-Peeks just won't work anymore. But rest assured the series is not coming to an end any time soon. As some of you may know, I am hard at work on Book #6 now and I expect the series to be at least 7 books, if not 8, plus a certain companion piece that I won't be talking about for a while. I honestly can't say for sure exactly how many books Lone March will have because I never really know how long it's going to take me to write a given portion of the story until I'm actually in the throes of writing said portion.
I want you to know that I am in NO WAY stretching this series out just to have more books, like I know some authors do. You will find none of my books are "filler" books, in which not much happens because the author is merely trying to get as many individual books out of their story as possible to make more money. As I've said before, you guys know I'm not in this for the money, as evidenced by the extremely low price point. Sometimes low prices coax people into buying things, but I don't think it necessarily works that way with books. Having self-published books at such a low price runs the risk of people writing them off, thinking they must be crap if they're both self-published and so cheap. I'm glad you guys haven't overlooked my little indie series, but I promise you there are plenty out there who are. The bottom line is I don't care about making money--I just want to share my work and connect with people. Since my very first creative writing course at University, I have been told over and over again how hard it is to make an honest career out of being a writer. I have taken that advice to heart. There are, of course, exceptions, which you all know: Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, George R. Martin, and so on. But these people are rarities in the writing world. There are plenty of well-known authors who make a killing on one series but then drop off the face of the earth because their next books weren't exactly the same as the last series (go figure) and readers didn't care--and sometimes subsequent works don't even get picked up by the publisher at all. That's right: just because you were successful with one book/series and made money for a publishing house it doesn't mean your next books are automatically accepted and published. It's a sad fact, but true nonetheless--writers are in the never-ending business of having to prove themselves. Doing this for a living basically means you're going to spend your life in a constant cycle of hazing worthy of college fraternities/sororities and every time you get invited into the house, you're kicked right back out to do it all over again.
Look at this, here I am doing exactly what I jokingly said I would--babbling nonsense.
The point of all that was just to tell you three things:
1. There won't be any more Sneak-Peeks, but that doesn't mean the series is ending.
2. That I personally consider myself to be a career writer--it's just that my career doesn't pay my bills, my day job does that.
3. That I have always and will always stay true to my characters and this series and tell the story as it needs to be told with no "filler" books. If it ends up being 12 books (it won't) it's because that's exactly how long it took to tell the story I wanted to tell. But as of right now, I'm looking at 7, possibly 8, with a novella to follow.
That's all. I'll shut up now so that (hopefully) you guys can go off and read Moon-Burn!
PS. That announcement was neither 'little' nor 'quick', was it?
after re-checking the sneak-peek of Moon-Burn that I put at the end of Book 2,
I realized just how much of Chapter One I had released. In the
spirit of not ripping you guys off with regurgitated material, I have decided
to release Chapter Two as well. Not in 3 installments. Not even in
2, in fact, but all at once. So here it is, all new, never-before-read
material from Book 3, Moon-Burn. Enjoy!
we approached the sixth den, I saw that it was a super old, abandoned
elementary school building. The brick
was that unattractive tan color that most old buildings seem to have, and the
windows were small and square, as opposed to the long narrow ones used at
road that used to be was now cracked open and tufts of grass grew obstinately
out all over the place. The path
disappeared behind a cluster of trees, and I wondered if it still led to a main
was a sign by the curb, but the lettering had faded away and the whole thing
was rusted over. A sad little playground
was off to the left, also rusted over, and one lone school bus was parked
around the corner.
stepped up on the sidewalk and I reached for one of the doors, but Elliot
caught my hand.
touch me,” I said, jerking my hand away from his.
to me, Greggor’s pack is the biggest in the state. With over twenty adult members, he can afford
to be more reckless than the rest of us.”
“Really? That’s funny, cuz you were pretty reckless
yourself when you went all Dr. Frankenstein and started shouting ‘she’s
alive—she’s alive!’ and got us into this mess,” I deadpanned. “If you hadn’t announced my existence,
nothing would’ve happened to the pack in the first place.”
furrowed his brow and frowned at me, but didn’t respond to my observation. “Just be ready for anything, alright?”
I open the door now?”
half-frowned at me and threw a hand toward the door in surrender.
my surprise, the door was locked. So
far, all the dens had been completely open, and it made sense— if there was an
intruder, a pack of were-wolves wouldn’t have much to worry about. And it’s not like they had anything worth
weird,” I said aloud, mostly to myself.
This was the main entrance to the building, so the lock was on the outside,
but we had no way to pick it. “So, what
do we do? Go around?”
shook his head. “Gimme the key to the
good is that gonna do?”
give it to me,” he said, raising his voice.
dug in my pocket and handed it to him, watching as he put it in the lock and
tried to pick it. “How in the heck is
that gonna work?”
could be a trap,” he said, jiggling the knob as he methodically turned the
could’ve purposefully locked all the doors but one to trap us. I’m not taking any chances at this
point. If we go in this way, we know
exactly where our out is.”
you’re not gonna be able to get that door open with the handcuff key—”
sharp clicking cut me off. He had done
it; the door was open. “You were
saying?” He raised his eyebrows smugly
and held the door open.
inside of the building was so creepy. As
per usual when it came to were-wolf dens, there were no lights except for what
got in through the windows from outside, so the place was mostly dark. Luckily, my were-wolf eyes were up to the
task once they adjusted, but that didn’t make it less intimidating.
was scattered dirt and dried mud caked all over the floor. They had obviously tracked it in at some
point, but God forbid men should ever clean up after themselves!
thick musty smell hung in the air that told me this particular hall didn’t get
much traffic. If it weren’t for that
scent of oldness, I could almost imagine it as a current school, still in
working order. There were bulletin
boards on the walls, with news clippings, announcements, and ‘exemplary’
student papers and drawings still pinned there, and plaques next to the
classroom doors that denoted what teacher each belonged to. I wondered if any of those teachers were
still around somewhere. Maybe some were
still here, in Beaumont, teaching at real schools.
stepped up to one of the bulletin boards and searched a newspaper clipping for
a date. When I found it, I gasped—1964! Holy crap!
No wonder it smelled like a nursing home in here!
Elliot hissed at me, “stay on task—you’re the only one with the gun, here.”
scowled at him and took my place back in front of him. The main hall drove straight through the
middle of the building, all the way across, but we soon came to a crossroads,
where two smaller halls branched off to the left and right. They seemed to curve around and connect back
to the main hall, down the way.
I viewed our surroundings, Elliot’s hand suddenly clapped down on my shoulder
and I whirled around, cocking the gun instinctively.
off! I shot you twice—you think I won’t
do it a third time?!” I spat at him in a harsh whisper.
one fast motion, he took one hand and pushed the gun aside so it pointed past
him, and cupped the other hand over my mouth, shoving me against the wall.
sucked in a sharp breath through his fingers and tried to pull the gun back to
aim it at him, but he was too strong.
The very thing I had feared from the start was happening—he was
overpowering me and there was nothing I could do about it! I tried to kick him in the crotch, but he
used one of his legs to block mine, then pinned my thighs with his knee,
locking the position by hooking his foot around my leg. I tried to open my mouth to bite his hand,
but he held me too tightly.
could I do? I had been so stupid. Why did I ever think it was a good idea to
travel across the state with the guy who had tried to rape me mere weeks
it out!” he suddenly whispered through gritted teeth. “I’m not trying to hurt you—didn’t you hear
a second, I didn’t respond, so stunned that he was talking at all, instead of
throwing me down and trying to take my clothes off. I burbled, “Hear what?” through his hand.
“A door opened and closed down there
somewhere,” he said, nodding his head toward the main drag of the hallway. “I’m gonna let you go, but you have to shut
up and let me take lead. And keep that
thing pointed away from me—got it?”
complied with a quick nod, still shaken up by the episode and getting even more
worked up at the thought of actually having to fight off a pack of
were-wolves. All I could hope was that
seeing the gun would be enough to scare them into submission. (Yeah, right.)
unwrapped his hand from around my mouth and dropped his leg. Putting a finger in front of his lips, he
gave me a grave look before turning and starting down the hall.
didn’t like that grave look. And despite
the fact that he hadn’t tried to hurt me just then, I couldn’t shake my newfound
unease at being alone with him. If he
could overpower me once, he could do it again.
And next time, things could turn out differently.
shook off my nerves, feeling there was nothing I could do but focus on the
mission. The sooner we got the pack
back, the sooner I’d be safe from Elliot.
So I followed him, keeping my eyes and ears extra alert for more of the
sounds he was talking about. There was
definitely a weight to the silence and I knew it meant there were people here. While it made me nervous, I was also getting
excited—it had to mean our pack was here!
we got to the middle of the hall, Elliot stopped short and put his hand up to
tell me to stop. He sniffed the air and
nodded his head toward a room to the right that had windows on either side of
the double doors, where faint light was shining through.
did the same, sniffing the air, and found it was now filled with the scent of
living flesh—sweaty men with oily hair and dirty clothes. Ew.
Why do guys have to be this gross?
beckoned for me to follow as he backed against the wall and crept closer to the
room. When we got to the end of the
wall, where it met the first window, he peaked in and quickly threw his head
back against the wall.
he whispered, “Yeah. They’re in there.”
who—our guys or Greggor’s?”
many?” I asked.
don’t know. I saw at least two.”
are they doing?”
don’t know—let’s just go.”
“Wait! How do you know they didn’t see you? Maybe they’re in there getting ready to
attack us when we walk through the door!”
shook his head once in annoyance. “It
can it not matter??”
we have to go in there either way,” he shot back. “Buck up and come on.” I took a deep breath and followed him as he
stepped squarely in front of the doors without hesitation and quietly reached
for one of the handles. “Stay behind
me,” he threw over his shoulder. “And if
it looks like it’s too much for us to manage—run.” He crooked his head back at me. “Understand?”
yeah, run if it gets out of hand—I got it—let’s just get this over with.”
used both hands to push the handle down quietly, and pulled open the door. Once he looked inside, he shifted awkwardly
and gestured with his head for me to take a look.
was something I didn’t expect to see. On
the right side of the room, staring at a small TV against the wall, was a group
of six men sitting around in straight-back chairs. It looked so pathetic—like they were prison
inmates and this was their one hour of television for the day. I remembered Greyson saying there was a TV
somewhere upstairs at our den; he’d made a point of saying it wasn’t
fancy. I wondered if my pack looked this
sad when they watched a movie?
swung the door closed and motioned for me to back down the hall a few
steps. “Alright, this is it, what we’ve
been waiting for—are you ready?”
what are we gonna do, just walk in and be like, ‘hey’?” I asked.
not? We have the element of surprise,
which gives us the upper hand.”
can’t believe they’re just sitting around watching a movie—I thought they’d all
be ready and waiting on us.”
too. I’m not so sure this is a good
thing,” he said.
“Great. What do you think that means?”
means we need to do this now and find out what it means.”
confusing,” I said.
brushed me off and opened the door.
took a deep breath and raised the revolver up in front of me before taking a
step, keeping my arms from shaking by locking my elbows.
one of the men said once I had taken a few steps into the room, “what’s that
pissed off she-wolf,” I responded, surprised at the level of strength and
control my voice had.
that, all six heads turned our way as they jumped out of their seats and stood
to face us.
of them stuttered, “Y-you’re…”
established who she is,” Elliot interrupted.
“Let’s establish something else—where the hell is our pack?”
are they?!” I shouted. Elliot shot me a
look that said, ‘can it and let me handle this’ but I ignored him and yelled,
“If someone doesn’t take me to them right now, I’m gonna give you all a new piece
of internal jewelry!”
Gaia,” Elliot said under his breath, like he thought it was stupid.
it’s true—you’re real,” one of them said.
you didn’t understand what I meant by ‘internal jewelry’!” I yelled. It annoyed me that none of them seemed
threatened by the fact that I was pointing a gun at them. “I can’t figure out if the most common trait
in were-wolves is cockiness or stupidity, but either way, you guys are gonna be
in trouble if you don’t—”
pack,” one of them interjected, like he had just registered what I’d said. “They’re not here.”
they’re not,” I said sarcastically.
would they be here?” one of them asked.
said another one, “they should all be at your
den showing you off in front of the rest of our pack.”
should be at our den, you’re right,”
I said. “And they were until you
assholes decided to stage a coup!”
the hell up,” Elliot said behind gritted teeth.
“If they don’t know, you shouldn’t tell them.”
coup, huh?” a burly, dark-haired guy asked.
“I reckon our alpha started that.
Too bad the six of us weren’t there to be part of it.” He grinned as he stepped out of the group and
came forward, still not at all affected by my gun.
get any ideas,” Elliot said, taking a step so he was ahead of me a little.
mean more than the ones I’ve already gotten?” he asked with a cocky grin as he
looked me up and down.
of this!” I shouted. “You! Take me to my pack!”
guy never dropped his grin, but took another step forward and said, “They’re
another step,” Elliot warned.
are you? Her bodyguard?” one of the
other guys asked.
know you’re lying!” I said, ignoring the others and staring at the obvious
alpha of the group. “I know they’re
really not, Angel-face,” he said.
call me Angel-face—don’t call me anything—just tell me where my pack is!”
don’t know where they are,” he said with the same cocksure smirk, “but you’re
more than welcome to use my phone and call your den. Just come reach your hand in my pocket and
it!” Elliot said as he threw a right hook and landed it on the guy’s jaw.
move!” I yelled at the rest of the men, who were stiffening and preparing to
gang up on Elliot. “I know how to use
this and I WILL shoot you if I have to!”
guy Elliot hit spat blood on the floor and put his hand around his jaw, like he
was checking to make sure it wasn’t dislocated.
He went from relaxed and cocky to completely pissed in two seconds flat.
the hell do you think you are?” he yelled at Elliot.
the guy who’s about to fuck up your world if you don’t watch it.”
I said. “And you thought ‘internal
jewelry’ was stupid? How cliché was
up and let me deal with this,” he said, but when he turned his attention
briefly to me, the dark-haired guy took his chance and launched at him.
before he got to Elliot, I aimed at one of his legs and shot. He immediately yelped and fell backward, and
the other guys reacted by stiffening again, but they didn’t move. They just kept darting their eyes back and
forth between their guy lying on the floor and my gun. They obviously hadn’t expected me to really
you know not to underestimate me just because I’m a girl,” I said. “I told you I know how to use this. Anyone else want some?” I asked, waving the
gun at them while the one I’d shot grunted and struggled to reach his wound and
try to extract the bullet. It was too
far down his leg, though, so he couldn’t reach it without moving the leg,
which, of course, he was reluctant to do.
a long time since you’ve had silver in your body, hasn’t it?” Elliot asked
calmly, standing over the guy.
“Actually, you look pretty young—maybe you’ve never known the silver
burn.” The guy said nothing, only kept
grunting and trying to reach his shin as Elliot continued, “Well, little pup,
there’s a first time for everything.”
that, the guy growled and tried to lash out at Elliot, who took a single, calm
step out of his reach.
good is that doing, Elliot, teasing him like that?” I asked. “That’s not getting us any closer to finding
help me, damn it!” the wounded guy shouted.
other five started to move, but Elliot quickly said, “Hold it.”
told you, your pack’s not here!” one yelled urgently, clearly wanting to help
his injured friend.
I told you I don’t believe you!” I yelled back, keeping the gun steady.
stepped halfway in front of me and spoke quietly. “I think they’re telling the truth.”
don’t think the pack’s here.”
the air,” he interrupted. “You know
their scents aren’t here.”
then where are they?” I asked, starting to whimper with exasperation.
can talk about that when we get outta here,” he said. “Right now, you need to shoot them all.”
only way we’re gonna get out of here is if they can’t chase us.”
want me to kill all these guys?” I asked, horrified, before remembering who I
was talking to.
didn’t say ‘kill’. You just have to hit
them in the legs so they can’t run after us.”
I can’t just shoot people arbitrarily—it’s one thing if they’re trying to
attack us, but—”
at it this way,” he said, “they will
attack us if you don’t shoot them.”
you like me to do it?”
jerked the gun to my chest and took a step back from him. “Yeah right I’m gonna give you the gun!”
buck up and do it,” he said, stepping aside so I was facing them head-on again.
looked at the guy still struggling with his maimed leg, and then at the others,
watching him with uncertainty. I
imagined them all lying around on the ground in pain and thought, ‘what if this
was my pack?’ But instead of pushing me
further away from the notion of shooting them, the thought hardened me. My pack was in trouble because of all these other packs.
(Actually, they were ultimately in trouble because of the jerk standing
next to me.) I was here to get them
back. I told Avery I was determined to
get them back—no matter what. This was a
‘no matter what’ moment, and if I wanted to do what I set out to do, I’d have
to keep myself out of harm’s way.
meant, as much as I hated to admit it, that Elliot was right.
Hope you enjoyed it! Moon-Burn is still slated to be released this month, so--barring any unforeseen cover art disasters--you will get to find out what happens next very soon!
PS. I should have news on the cover soon, so stay tuned!