Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Just Right is out today!
Sheesh! I've been so busy, I almost forgot to post! But, my new story, Just Right, is out from Resplendence Publishing today! It's a naughty retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and it's part of the Not Quite Wicked Series with Brynn Paulin, Mia Watts and Dakota Rebel.
There's still time to win all four copies - just go to the Stumbling Over Chaos blog and leave a comment!
Anyway, here's the blurb and an excerpt. :)
Blurb: When Department of Natural Resources officer, Gwendolyn Locke, hits a black bear on the way home from work one night, her entire view of reality changes. She discovers that shape shifters exist and she’s just become Goldilocks to three, gorgeous, very aroused men who also happen to be werebears. Being snowbound has never been so hot.
Excerpt: Gwendolyn followed the path as rapidly as she dared, blowing snow stinging her exposed skin. The whipping wind carried the bear’s anguished cry to her, and she tried to move faster. She hated to have to take its life, but what choice did she have? Judging from the blood loss she’d seen, there was no way it would survive the night—especially not in a storm like this. For a brief, crazy moment, she considered calling Noah, but she dismissed the thought just as quickly. He’d already made it clear she was on her own.
She stumbled across a log only to fall face first in the snow. For a moment, her world went dim as the lightheadedness returned, but she forced away the woozy feeling and pushed to her feet. A few yards ahead lay a dark shape. She’d found the bear. Training her flashlight on it, she watched for signs of life. It moved, and she saw the spreading pool of blood that melted the snow around it.
Feeling sick at what she had to do, she raised her gun to her shoulder and took aim. She tried to still her shaking hands as the bear began to twist and writhe on the ground. Suddenly, its body thinned and lengthened and she thought she heard the muffled sounds of flesh tearing and bones breaking. Before her eyes, its fur receded leaving bare skin, the body of a predator becoming that of a human man.
She must have hit her head harder than she’d thought. How could she have possibly mistaken him for a bear? What the hell was he doing naked in a snowstorm? She needed to get help. She lowered her gun and dug in her pocket for her cell phone. No signal. God damn it!
Quickly, she darted to his side and checked for a pulse. Faint but steady. Her blood ran cold when she saw his face. For a moment, she thought it was Noah. Relief flooded her when she realized it wasn’t, followed quickly by guilt. She’d hit this man with her car and now she had no idea how she was going to get him help.
Stripping off her coat, she covered him with it, careful not to jostle him. She couldn’t tell the extent of his injuries, and she didn’t want to make it worse. Standing, she turned in a circle, looking for any sign of life. The only light she saw was the faint glow of one headlight and the taillights of her vehicle.
Not knowing what else to do, she fired several shots into the air and yelled for help. Her scream was cut short as a rustle sounded behind her. Whirling, she faced the biggest black bear she’d ever seen. She lifted the gun to her shoulder, but before her frozen finger could find the trigger, it growled and knocked it from her hands. Standing on its hind legs, it advanced on her.
It must have smelled the blood of the injured man and been drawn out of its nest. Bears rarely attacked people, but in this case, she could see where it might make an exception. And considering she was standing between it and a potential meal…she was fucked.
Everything within her screamed at her to run, but she couldn’t leave the man unprotected. Her gun was behind the bear, well out of reach. Glancing around, she searched for anything that might serve as a weapon. Maybe if she could scare it away, she still might have a chance at getting help for the injured guy.
Crouching down, she grabbed a stick and quickly stood up again, holding it like a baseball bat. A wave of nausea washed over her as the dizziness intensified. The cold sank into her bones as her sweater absorbed the heavy wet snow that continued to fall. For the first time, she began to wonder if she’d make it out of these woods alive. It would certainly solve Noah’s problem if she didn’t, she thought with a near-hysterical giggle.
The bear cocked its head to the side and looked at her, then behind her at the injured man.
Keeping herself between the man and the bear, she took a swing at the bear and cracked it in the head, hoping to scare it off. It didn’t work. Growling, it grabbed the end of the stick and splintered it before wrenching it from her hands. With a shriek, she dove for the gun, brushing against the bear as she rolled through the wet snow. She gripped it with aching fingers and pointed it at the animal. At this range, she should be able to kill it, but if she aimed wrong, she’d just piss it off, and that was the last thing she needed.
“I don’t want to shoot you, but I can’t let you hurt him.”
She squeezed the trigger and fired a warning alongside its head.
The bear reached out and grabbed the barrel of the gun and pushed it toward the ground. She tried to wrench it from its grasp, but the animal held fast as it sank to all fours. All at once, the animal began to writhe and the nauseating sounds of joints popping and bones snapping filled the air. As she watched, the furry pelt receded, revealing smooth, burnished copper skin stretched over tight, lean muscles. Her breath stalled in her chest as a naked man rose, long dark hair partially covering his face, but she’d know those eyes anywhere.