Beneath the Broken Moon: Season One

Carmela struggles to choose between the alpha werewolf she's destined for and the vampire she's enchanted by, but the wrong decision could lead to deadly consequences…

Werewolf relationships are all about influence and offspring, especially as the species is becoming extinct. Carmela Santiago resents that type of life. She dreams of falling in love and being happy, not following the dismal example her parents have set.

When sensual vampire Derek Ashmore rescues her from dangerous hunters, she tumbles head over heels for him. Not a wise decision since werewolves and vampires are mortal enemies.

Meeting her caring mate-to-be Brendan Kelly has her further questioning the future. Regardless, her life has forever changed now that she's met not one, but two men who pull at her heartstrings…

Excerpt:

Bullets peppered the big screen of the Teatro de la Noche. Screams rang out around me, and I dropped to the floor, pulling my cousin Chandra down with me. Tension ached in my shoulders, and my heart pounded in my chest like a trapped animal, desperate to escape.

Gunpowder stung my sensitive nose, but through the overpowering scent, I caught a whiff of a hunter heading our way. “Chandra, we have to move.”

If Chandra and I didn’t get out of here we’d end up dead—or worse, test subjects for the Cazador—human hunters ordered to scour the land of nocturnes by the plutocratic government.

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“How? They’re all around us.” Chandra peeked over the seats before dropping back down beside me. “A few of them are chasing down those who ran from the first assault, but two more are heading straight for us.” She ran a manicured hand through her honey-brown hair, which was only a shade darker than my own. “Come on. I have a plan. Let’s try to sneak out the side door.” She crawled in the opposite direction, down the row of seats.

The sight of my cousin’s butt cheeks hanging out of her short skirt filled my vision; some things were better left unseen. I lowered my gaze, particularly since Chandra had forgone panties. She almost always held herself with an air of power and purpose. Perhaps that’s what it took to get attention from other werewolves. Chandra got it in heaps, but her lower social status stopped a lot of relationships.

While it was a horrible time to second-guess my modest fashion sense, I couldn’t help wonder if I should take a lesson from my cousin. My own blouse and dark blue jeans had much less pizzazz. But I doubted my father would allow me to dress like Chandra; we had a privileged image to uphold.

I bit my lip, struggling to turn my thoughts back to the problem at hand. This was all too much. How could we get out of here unscathed when the roar of gunfire continued to close in?

We reached the end of the aisle. Chandra moved to glance over the seat, when a shout came from the opposite end, startling us both.

“Run, Chandra!” I barely kept my voice to a whisper.

She sprinted toward the bright red exit sign at the front of the theater, and I chased after her, trying to keep my pace natural though her long legs made it challenging. Maybe if they suspected we weren’t nocturnes, they’d leave us alone.

The stomping of heavy boots on the theater’s plush carpets said otherwise. Then again, they weren’t opposed to taking their fellow humans down too. The very rich in power thrived on oppressing those less fortunate. What better way to keep the populace down than to have their thugs strike whenever possible.

“We should split up.” Chandra shoved a heavy trashcan in front of the door, but that wouldn’t be much of an obstacle to the pseudo-military bastards.

“What?” I couldn’t believe my ears. “No way. If we do that, we’ll—” The trashcan scraped the cement as the hunters tried to open the door. Maybe she was right. If we were together, there was a better chance of them catching us both. Alone, we might survive the night.

I nodded to her, and we took off in opposite directions down the alleyway behind the Teatro. The door slammed open, smacking the wall hard, as I turned the corner and headed toward the main street. I had to find somewhere to hide out before the hunters spotted me again.

In front of me, another group of Cazador chased a few werewolves down the main road. I slowed to keep my distance from them, but if I didn’t get somewhere fast, they were going to catch me. Ugh. As much as I loved getting out of the house and going to the movies, I wished I’d listened to my instincts tonight and stayed home.

Two sets of feet pounded the sidewalk behind me. Perhaps they’d spotted me before I reached the corner.

I picked up speed a little, pumping my arms as I struggled to keep to a human speed while staying out of range. The temptation to race through the streets nearly drove me to action, but I glanced back, seeing my pursuers for the first time.

One of the men had greying hair and a rounded belly, which explained the slower, heavier footfalls, while the other guy appeared younger and super-athletic. No wonder I was having trouble getting away. If he hadn’t been so scary, he might’ve been attractive. Pure masculine aggression raged through him, tensing his shoulders as his gaze focused solely on me, his prize. Each man carried a large-caliber handgun. I was just glad they were too busy running to try to shoot me...for now, at least.

My sandal hit an uneven patch of concrete in the sidewalk. My body lurched forward, but I caught myself before I could go down. I should’ve been paying more attention to the street. Up ahead on the opposite side of the road, I spotted a dark alleyway running alongside a row house. If I cut through, I could safely turn up the speed without exposing myself, and lose them.

The older hunter slowed; his breathing had become increasingly labored. He cocked his revolver’s hammer, and I darted across the empty road, making a beeline for the alley. The last thing I wanted tonight was to see Dr. Matthews. Just a little bit farther. A bullet smacked the ground at my feet, hitting me with fragments of pavement. I bit back a yelp, not wanting to give them the satisfaction of knowing my fear.

“I got this one, old kook,” the younger hunter grumbled, and his footsteps slowed too.

Another gunshot pierced the hazy night air. White-hot pain rocked my shoulder, nearly toppling me to the ground. I screamed, unable to hold it in, and picked up speed, no longer caring if I appeared human or not. The faint creak of a door barely registered before a pair of arms wrapped around my waist, jerking me inside the dark row house.

My rescuer softly shut the door, careful not to make a sound, and shoved a hand over my mouth. “Sshhh,” he whispered. “I won’t hurt you. You’re safe.” His voice was deep, with an English accent. He pulled me away from the door and hunched down in the darkened room, holding me close, waiting and listening.

COLLAPSE

The Leopard Who Claimed A Wolf

When a wolf loves a leopard…

He’s her protector...
Caitlyn Fraser, a wereleopard who has always hated cruel werewolves, is the former prisoner turned mate of Dougal Sterling, Alpha of the Scottish pack. She’s courting jeopardy with her determination to attend the funeral of her brother’s father, since the Pack blames her for Alistair’s death. But still Dougal protects her from his wolves.

Her defender...
Short of allies, Dougal struggles to balance loyalty and attention between the Pack and Caitlyn. When the Pack’s stability crumbles, he’s faced with the return of his older brother, the rightful Alpha, who shirked his duty after their father’s death. However, Ewan’s challenge will be a battle to the death. Sheltering Caitlyn can only lose Dougal more friends, but he knows she’s the mate he’s longed for.

But survival takes two...
Menace lurks in every corner of the Highlands; Alistair and Ewan’s supporters and haters of shapeshifters abound. Caitlyn and Dougal must stick together, pushing back fiercely when they are attacked. Even if that puts them in mortal danger…

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Caitlyn

The driveway leading up to the Scottish Pack’s massive headquarters stretched almost half a mile. I rested my chin on my arms and stared out of the Alpha’s window on the second story, overlooking the circular section of the drive. The Pack’s castle came complete with its very own dungeon, but at least they weren’t keeping me in there anymore. Alistair’s craggy face loomed over me every time I closed my eyes, his fists hammering against my face, ribs, and stomach.

Tension radiated through my shoulders, and I balled my hands into fists. No, Alistair—Colin’s father—was dead. Dougal had protected me, and my brother, from that monster when I didn’t have the strength to fight back.

Not that it mattered.

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Two days had passed since my brother’s sudden departure. Now Colin was on his own, without anyone to watch his back. How could he leave without saying anything to me? I flexed my fists again, welcoming the anger as it bubbled up in my chest and replaced my sadness.

The heavy weight of a man’s hand descended on my back. I twisted around, my knuckles connecting with a solid jaw lined with dark, coarse stubble. A familiar jaw. Shite.

Dougal stumbled back half a step, but then he planted his feet like a tree with strong roots, not budging any further. Sharp power flared outward from him before he squelched it, stretching the muscles in his jaw. A frown tugged at his lips, and the corners of his eyes creased, either in pain or displeasure.

“Dougal! I’m so sorry.” The sudden movement of punching him had shot a searing ache through my battered ribs again. The pain stole my breath away, but I tried to force it down. How could I have been so careless? If he’d been anyone else in the Pack, I would’ve caused World War III.

Dinnae fash. The punch bloody well hurt, though. I didn’t realize you were so strong.” Dougal’s frown melted away as he pulled me closer and pressed a kiss to my forehead. “Seems like you’re recovering your strength.” His gaze drifted past me to the long gravel driveway of the estate. “How are you doing, love?”

The emotions I’d been stomping down now came bubbling up to the surface again. “I cannae believe Colin left me. He left before I even regained consciousness. How could he?” With anyone else, I wouldn’t show weakness, but I rested my forehead against Dougal’s chest, needing his touch and savoring his warmth. “I barely got a chance to talk with him, and when I did, it wasn’t a good time to ask how he was doing after the months he’d spent in that bloody research facility—or even to ask where he was going to go to heal…”

Tears welled in my eyes, but I held them back, refusing to cry. “I gave up so much—my job, my flat, my life—while trying to track him down and bring him home. What if my sacrifices were all for naught?”

“Nae, they weren’t for naught, love.” Dougal kissed the top of my head. “I know you’re hurting. You have plenty of reasons to be, but the man who came back wasn’t the same one who left for the United States.” He lifted my chin, forcing me to see the sincerity in his clear blue eyes. “Whatever those scientists did affected him in ways neither of us will likely ever know. Waiting at the window won’t make him return any sooner.” He wrapped his arms around me and gently pulled me against his chest again. “Let me draw you a bath. Remember, I’m here if you need to talk.”

He was right, even if I didn’t want to admit it. Waiting at the window for Colin’s return wouldn’t help, but what else could I do? “I know, but that doesn’t make this any easier for me. He’s my younger brother. I feel helpless that I cannae be there for him…again.” A heavy ached settled on my heart, and I pulled away hating the awkward emotions crushing me. “Sorry.”

Dougal turned away from me and stared out of the window again. His jaw clenched and unclenched, as if he were trying hard to hold in his words. A lot was going on in his life too, and yet he was making a strong effort to support me through my problems. Things had become increasingly strained between him and his Pack since my arrival and Duncan and Alistair’s subsequent deaths. He didn’t talk about what he faced, and I didn’t want to pressure him.

After a few moments of silence, he released a sigh and turned back toward me. “You’ve done what you could for him, lass.” The ghost of a grin spread across his lips. “Would you still like the bath?”

I couldn’t help but nod. When I’d awakened from unconsciousness, Dougal had been there for me. We’d made love, and he brought me to new heights of pleasure. We also became intimately acquainted with the fancy Jacuzzi bathtub that could likely fit three or four humans…or one big, scary werewolf. The perks of being mated to the Alpha of the Scottish Pack.

“Aye, a bath sounds delish.” I wrapped my arms around his waist, bringing him back to me and drawing in his musky lupine scent. “Thanks for the talk. I really wish I could’ve spoken with him before he left. It would’ve made me feel better about him going.”

“Love, I talked with him before he left.” He trailed his fingertips over my back in light, soothing strokes. “If I wasn’t confident that he presented no danger to others, I wouldn’t have let him go. He would’ve stayed here whether he favored the idea or not.” The muscles in his lower back tensed beneath my touch, and his hand paused over my spine.

Something didn’t feel right. I lifted my gaze to meet Dougal’s. Was he not telling me something? We hadn’t known each other for long, but my sharp, feline instincts knew when someone told an untruth. He wasn’t outright lying to me, but he was holding something back. What could it be?

I bit my lower lip, instantly regretting it as my teeth sank into one of the nearly healed spots where Alistair had punched me in the face. Instead of confronting Dougal, I turned my attention toward the window. “You would tell me if he was dangerous to himself, wouldn’t you?”

“Aye, I would.” His tone of voice wasn’t as convincing as I’d wanted. He leaned away, putting me at arm’s length. “Enough of that, I suppose. I’ll draw the bath for you.” Without another word, he strode to the en-suite bathroom. His hands clenched and unclenched at his sides all the way. The door snapped shut behind him, and he started the water running a few moments later.

Nausea churned inside me, and I held my stomach. Should I actually believe Dougal? Something about his words didn’t feel right. The Jacuzzi tub would take a few minutes to fill, and I needed to get out of this bloody bedroom and away from him. The strain of standing there and trying to keep myself calm was becoming too much.

My stomach growled, and I glanced up at the round wrought-iron clock on the wall. It was almost one o’clock in the afternoon.

Many of the werewolves didn’t like that their Alpha was mating with a wereleopard, so I usually skipped the mealtime rushes in an attempt to keep my distance. It wasn’t easy, because several of the wolves lived here in this honest-to-God castle full time. Apparently, that was how many Packs operated. The thought boggled my mind. How did they stand to be around one another all the time? How would I survive being the sole feline in this house full of wolves?

Every urge for solitude within me roared to run as fast and as far away from this place as I could. Too much held me here, though. Besides, if Colin returned from his trip, I wanted to be around to greet him. Maybe throttle him, too, but it’d be a greeting nonetheless…

I slid my leather jacket on over the white tank top, not wanting to reveal too much bruised skin, then headed for the kitchen to grab some leftovers. Dougal had tried to convince me to eat with him and everyone else. He wanted me to get to know the wolves and socialize. Getting friendly with the Pack might be a nice idea, but I couldn’t do it. Not with how his Pack watched me when they thought I wasn’t looking. Even Dougal’s second-in-command wasn’t a fan of mine. The sentiment was mutual, really. For as long as I could remember, I’d hated werewolves. One of my main reasons would soon be resting six feet underground. Their hatred of me for Alistair’s death just added to my reluctance to get to know them.

Shaking away those thoughts, I turned the corner to enter the kitchen. If my sharp feline reflexes hadn’t kicked in, I would’ve run straight into a towering werewolf. I leapt back at the last minute to prevent Kerr from spilling his plate of food. The already agonizing ache in my side intensified from moving so quickly, but I kept my arms at my sides and my face neutral.

“Afternoon, lass. Ye look like yer recoverin’ well.” Kerr nodded, looking more than a little curiously at me.

“Thanks, Kerr. I’m trying.” I flashed him an uncomfortable smile, then edged past the broad, barrel-chested man into the kitchen. Maybe he wasn’t as bad as the others, but I couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling that he strongly disagreed with Dougal’s decision to mate with me.

Kerr placed a heavy hand on my shoulder. My spine stiffened, and I tightly gripped the sleeves of my jacket to keep from swinging on him too. “Keep tryin’, then.” His deep voice rumbled through the kitchen. I glanced pointedly at his hand, but he didn’t move it. “Sooner or later ye need to overcome yer fear, hatred, or whatever it is ye feel toward my kind. If ye cannae, ye won’t last long here, lass.” With that, he walked toward the massive grand hall down the corridor, where the wolves held their meetings and ate.

My shoulders slumped. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so hungry, but my leopard still needed to be fed. We couldn’t skip any more meals. It hindered our healing process and weakened us too much. Right now, I couldn’t afford weakness, not while I was amongst a pack of wolves.

If only I didn’t have to be constantly looking over my shoulder with the Pack but such was life for now.

Shite. I didn’t have much time before Dougal noticed I was gone.

The leftovers were neatly arranged on the clean counter top. There wasn’t much food left, but I grabbed a bag of crisps and one of the last club sandwiches. One of the female wolves—Mairi, I think—ran a catering company, so she always brought by food to keep the Pack well fed. She was one of the nicer wolves.

Instead of following Kerr toward the dining room, where I was sure to find the rowdy werewolves laughing and talking, I remained in the kitchen. I sat on the counter farthest away from the entrance, hidden from anyone who might walk by.

As I finished up my sandwich, footsteps in the hall became louder as someone approached the kitchen. The sound of soft sniffing tensed every muscle in my body, then Dougal stepped into the room. His gaze slid over me, and desire darkened his blue eyes.

“Your bath is ready. If I’d known you were hungry, I would’ve brought something earlier when I ate.”

I shrugged a shoulder. “It’s all right. I’m eating now.”

“Aye, so you are.” He looked down the hallway as if checking to make sure no one else was near. When he turned back to me, he wore a frown that creased the corners of his lips and eyes. “You shouldn’t be in here all alone, love. Things are tense right now within the Pack. Let’s go back to the bedroom.”

I tilted my chin up, not in the mood to be bossed around again. “I’m not alone. You’re here.” I opened the bag of crisps and munched on one.

His nostrils flared, and he crossed his arms over his broad chest. The move might’ve been scary as hell if it wasn’t him doing it. “That’s not the point. Come on.”

Bloody hell. First I’d been his prisoner in the cage, and now I’d become a prisoner in his bedroom. Not in a fun way, either. Why was this happening?

I clenched my fists, crushing a few of my crisps as tears burned in my eyes, but I refused to let them show. The flood of emotions I’d experienced over the past week was becoming too much to all push down at once. As soon as I dealt with certain fears or emotions, others popped up to take their place, like some horrible version of whack-a-mole.

Life just wasn’t fair. All I’d wanted to do was return to Scotland to be here for my brother. In that time, I’d been reintroduced to a childhood nightmare, imprisoned in a dungeon, and now I was the prisoner/mate of a werewolf Alpha. When would the roller coaster end?

Dougal crossed the space between us in a few long strides. He pulled me from the counter into his arms.

A feline hiss ripped from my throat, sounding every bit as feral as I felt. Once again, anger rescued me from my moodiness. “Set me down this minute!”

COLLAPSE

The Selkie Who Loved A Wolf

Book Cover: The Selkie Who Loved A Wolf
Editions:Kindle: $ 3.99
ISBN: 9781942873822
Pages: 146

Love heals even the deepest wounds…

The wounded werewolf…
After being held in captivity by scientists for months, Colin Fraser needs rest and recuperation. The Scottish Highlands offer him the perfect place to get much-needed distance from the world and repair the bond with his inner beast.

The selkie’s search…
Unna Mikkelsen is being urged to mate with a selkie man she doesn’t care for. But she’ll never forget how, as a young girl, she saw her mother taken by a fisherman. Knowing she must make her peace with the world above the waves, she leaves the deep for dry land—even though this means she’s putting herself into danger.

The power of immortal love…
When Colin notices Unna in the pub, he realizes there’s more to her than meets the eye. But he fights his feelings for her—how can a wolf as broken as he is have a relationship? Little does he know Unna will need him when her pelt is stolen by a fisherman, causing her to relive her childhood trauma. Or how much he’ll need her too, because only her love can heal his wounds…

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Colin

Almost a week had passed since the Southeastern Pack had rescued me from that bloody research facility. Memories of being locked in a cage and prodded with needles like some science experiment still haunted me. As much as I tried, my thoughts continually returned to the horror I’d gone through. Chad Fitzroy had been generous to let me leave even though his father, the Pack’s Alpha, wanted all available werewolves on guard in case they faced retaliation from whoever was behind that hellhole. From what I’d heard, no one was certain whether the government had led the project or if it had been a group of mad scientists. When I’d been there, they hadn’t said much within my hearing. I hadn’t really cared who was in charge because I was sure I wouldn’t live long enough for it to matter.

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My hands trembled as I took another swig of Scotch ale, despite it being seven o’clock in the morning. I’d hoped getting away from the world would make my problems easier to cope with, but I was at my breaking point. Alcohol dulled my pain and lessened my worries. It didn’t stop them, though. Every time I closed my eyes, I relived the terror of being locked up in that damned cage. None of this—the alcohol, the stress, the nightmares—helped the incredibly shaky control I had over my wolf. If I didn’t regain my composure soon, I feared I would become more beast than man. The scariest part was I’d seen a Pack member go rogue before. The Scottish Pack had killed the wolf to protect our secret, and also to let the beast finally have solace. I pushed those thoughts aside, not wanting to dwell on what could happen if I didn’t get my act together.

Silence weighed on the cottage like a thick blanket. My ears perked at each soft sound. The idyllic daydream I’d had of renewing the bond with my beast seemed to drift farther and farther away. How could I relax when it was hard enough to just breathe? For months on end, I’d stayed alert and on edge, always watching and waiting for some bastard in a lab coat to hurt me. Regardless of the distance, I didn’t feel much different now. Being away from civilization—for the most part—in the peaceful Scottish Highlands seemed surreal. I wondered if the quiet and calm were worse for my nerves than the bustle of Edinburgh had been.

The cottage I’d rented was a fair bit from the nearest village’s sparse population. I’d planned this trip to give me a good shot at taming my beast without too many bystanders. The last thing I needed was to be the reason werewolves were revealed to the world at large. If anyone found out what I was, I’d have to kill them, and if I did, I greatly feared for my humanity. Would my wolf finally take over? Would the Pack…

Fucking stop!

Leaning back in the kitchen chair, I pressed the cool, dark-brown bottle of ale to my forehead, trying to get myself under control. Deep breaths… I took a few calming breaths, then gulped down some more ale. My racing heart rate steadied. I placed the bottle back on the table, but I didn’t take my hand away from the comfort of its presence.

Coming home to Scotland had been bittersweet. My intention was to spend time reconnecting with my wereleopard half-sister, Caitlyn, as I regained my composure and sanity. But my late father, whom I’d always been told was a good man—and dead—had ruined my plans. Bloody monster. That had pushed me over the edge, but I gained a new respect for my sister, knowing the pain she’d been through as a wee lass at his hands. She’d put on a brave face to protect me, but I couldn’t help feeling a little betrayed. Either she or our mother should’ve been honest with me. Instead, they’d let me spend most of my life loving some woman-abusing arsehole. My hand trembled around the bottle.

Leaving Caitlyn in her weakened condition was brutal, but if I’d stayed, I would have put the Scottish Pack—and most importantly, her—at risk. I didn’t like feeling as if I would snap at any given moment. My fragile control over my beast left me vulnerable, especially with all that had happened recently. When I was in Edinburgh, my focus had been solely on keeping my sister safe. I refused to let her see how torn apart I was now. Dougal’s passionate glances told me he’d try to protect her, but the lass had no idea what she’d gotten herself into by falling for the Alpha.

I clenched my hands into fists, and the bottle of Scotch ale shattered. Pain bit my palm as alcohol seeped into the wounds. Opening my fist, I frowned at the large shard of brown glass protruding from my skin. Shite, what a waste of perfectly good ale.

Crimson blood mixed with ale and dripped onto the floor. If I didn’t take care of the mess, the cottage’s owner might think to ask questions about my stay. This needed to be cleaned straight away. My hand didn’t worry me all that much. It’d be fine. With my supernatural healing, I’d survived a hell of a lot worse.

If only that healing helped my mind...

I cupped my wounded hand to my chest palm-up to try to slow the bleeding, then stepped over the broken glass in my now-damp socks to reach the kitchen sink. The window’s distant seaside view, with its jagged cliffs and sweeping waves, struck pride in my heart, and I remembered again just why I’d come back to my homeland. Caitlyn and I had visited a place not far from here for some time as kids. It’d been one of my favorite memories as a young lad. Our mother kept us on the move growing up, never settling down for long. Now I knew why.

The ache in my hand tugged me back to the present. Yanking the large piece of glass from my palm wouldn’t be fun, but it needed to be done. The skin around the wound was already trying to heal. If I didn’t get the glass out soon, it would hurt much more than it did now. The shard was buried deep, nearly penetrating all the way through to the other side. If I were human, I’d have needed immediate medical attention.

I firmly pinched the glass with the hem of my shirt, between my thumb and index finger. My grip on the sharp shard slipped the first time, but on the second try, I jerked the fragment out of my hand, leaving a long gash behind. A new rush of agony ripped at my palm. Blood poured from the wound, no longer held back by the glass. I held my hand over the sink, letting the drain drink the thick red liquid as I searched the nearby cupboards for a first-aid kit. The kit was rather dusty, but it contained plenty of gauze to wrap the wound.

The chunk of glass had come out fairly smoothly, so I wasn’t worried about any fragments getting left behind in my hand. My lycanthropy would likely push the foreign object from my body anyway, as it had done with a bullet once. I’d been a stupid teenager who thought more about impressing a female werewolf than keeping an eye out for an old farmer protecting his livestock. I learned my lesson. Particularly since, as punishment, I’d been locked for a full month and a half in the same cage where Caitlyn had been held.

I turned on the faucet, rinsing the open wound before I patted it dry with a formerly white towel that hung on a hook by the sink. I’d do what I could to clean it up, but I wasn’t very domesticated. Tasks like that were a bit outside my area of expertise. Maybe the towel would just ‘go missing.’ I’d rather that than have the owner see it stained.

Once I’d wrapped the wound with a respectable amount of gauze, I opened the cupboard below the sink to inspect what cleaning agents the owner provided her tenants. I needed something that could clean up the blood and ale that had spilled all over the floor. I grabbed the bleach and set it on the counter. The scent hit my nostrils like a boxer’s right hook, my mind flashing back to the overwhelming scent I’d endured at the laboratory. Panic rose within me like a massive wave. I stumbled away from the counter, slipped on the blood and booze, and fell on my arse.

The world faded away.

 

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Cherri-Anne Boitson on Amazon wrote:

LOVE IT!!! This all howls "READ ME NOW" and is only made PAWSSIBLE, only works together because of one reason - Sarah Makela is one FURRIFICALLY talented author!!


Moonlit Feathers

Book Cover: Moonlit Feathers
Editions:Kindle: $ 2.99
ISBN: 9781942873808

Woodland Creek Series.
30 Authors. 30 Shifter Stories.
One Epic Release Day.

After faced with crippling loss, a heartbroken raven must find her wings again...

Treasure hunters are trained to find things, but all Morgana has known is loss. When someone she loves dies because she can’t protect them, she shies away from the world, too afraid to let anyone else get close. That won’t last long because ravens aren’t ones to pass up on shiny things.

Cody has never really felt accepted. He’s a coyote shifter of Native American heritage, but he gets his looks from his Scandinavian mother, unlike his siblings and the rest of his people. That makes him all the more dedicated when what seemed like a freak tornado becomes something much scarier.

When Cody realizes that his family’s powerful talisman has slips into the wrong hands, he desperately needs help. But he never imagined he’d be fall head over heels for the beautiful, if not, mysterious treasure hunter. Morgana will need to let go of being hurt again if they have any hope of saving not only each other, but also the small town that they both love from disaster.

Excerpt:

Wind caressed my midnight black feathers as I sailed through the early evening sky. Flying had always been a welcome reprieve, an escape from the everyday life of walking on two legs. Most people in the world only dreamed of this gift I'd been granted, but it didn't give me that much freedom from life’s sorrows. Perhaps that was just as well.

My line of work demanded more from me than the average human’s physique could handle. That was why my peers regarded me as the best of the best.

As a treasure hunter, people expected me to explore mystical ruins and dodge huge boulders, but my main task was to always be on the lookout for stunning riches that might interest my wealthy clients. What set me apart from the rest was being a Raven shifter. That gave me the ability to get in and out of ancient, mythical locales more quickly and safely than most.

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Clients came to me with all sorts of requests. Due to my popularity, I could choose the jobs I wanted and who I wanted to work for, something the few fellow treasure hunters I'd met could only dream of. When we got together, they always asked for my secrets—either to my face or behind my back—but I wasn't willing to share the knowledge of my abilities with them.

Only one person, aside from my parents, had ever gotten close enough to see the true me, and he'd died because I couldn't save him when he needed me the most.

How could I truly be happy with a life spent forever alone, regardless of the mystery and adventure my career afforded me?

Loneliness ached like a gaping hole in my chest. Whatever life I’d known before had dimmed the light, and I merely trudged through the shades of grey with my bruised heart.

Ezra Phillips had been the last person I'd allowed to get close to me. He'd crept past the walls I'd erected around my heart after my parents died and left me all alone in the world. I regretted his death every single day. Life with him had been an exciting journey. We were hunting a rare gem with supposed magical properties together, and I'd tried to convince him that I should go alone since he was only human. The job was dangerous, even for me. He had a way with words and convinced me to let him come along. I mistakenly believed we were indestructible together. Neither of us had been to South America before, and now I never wanted to go back.

I was all alone again. Whoever said it was better to have loved and lost had obviously never felt this kind of gut-wrenching pain.

If anything had come from my relationship with Ezra, it was a determination to harden my heart that much more. Never again would I let someone in. More pain and loss would be too much to bear. Besides, I had a career in shambles that needed to be rebuilt.

Shaking away my destructive thoughts, I swept my gaze over my surroundings, dragging myself back to the here and now. Breathtaking oranges, reds, and yellows spread out beneath me, helping me remember why I'd chosen Woodland Creek, Indiana as my new home. I'd never been a small-town girl, but that didn't matter much. After Ezra's death, I drew more into myself, and the solitude suited me now.

Above the treetops, the air carried the clean scent of ozone mixed with pine. The strong pull from the ley-lines had called me here like a mystical artery pumping with magic, very much alive with raw, untapped energy churning below the ground. For wizards, it made spellcasting easier, but for the shifters I knew of, it acted like a beacon, calling us together.

Through the thick canopy, I caught sight of something shiny on the forest floor below. I'd flown this path many times on my way home, and rarely had I seen any hikers in this area. Could this object be something valuable? The raven in me wanted to investigate—she liked shiny things—but my human side prepared for disappointment.

Maybe I'd become more jaded than I'd realized, if not downright pessimistic.

Swooping toward the ground, we splayed our wings wide and slowed our descent to get a better look. Just an average section of Running Deer National Forest. It’s only distinguishing feature was a large ring boulders. No one was around, and the area was clear of camping gear and human supplies.

I perched on a sturdy tree limb, and it groaned a little under our weight. While most ravens were about three pounds, I was closer to thirty, approximately the size of a cinereous vulture. Not conspicuous at all, right? But most people didn’t look too hard at me. They keep their eyes at ground level, not paying much attention to what goes on above their heads.

The shiny object below beckoned my raven closer, but I couldn't be sure this wasn't some kind of trap. Call me paranoid, but that was the sort of thinking that kept me alive. I didn't see anyone else nearby, though: people, animals, or those in-between. The longer I sat there, the more I felt a heaviness in the air, as if someone had recently thrown a lot of magic around. The sensation nearly made me decide to fly away, but my raven krawed at me. She thought I was acting like a coward, and that was definitely not me. The thought of the glimmer had entered into her mind, and once she was set on something, there was only one way to satisfy her curiosity.

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Reviews:Roxie on Roxie's Romance Reviews wrote:

This book is exciting right from the beginning! The story line is fantastic and the characters are awesome!


Find out more about The Woodland Creek series by visiting http://woodlandcreekseries.com/.

 

Beneath the Broken Moon: Part Five

Carmela Santiago has no idea that she's about to become the cause of a truce between two races that have feuded for centuries. If she makes it out alive, she may finally have the life she didn't know she wanted--one filled with both love and power.

Devastated by Carmela's kidnapping, Derek Ashmore will wade through vampire and werewolf politics--something he loathes--to bring back the one person he's ever truly cared for. But the vampire can't do it alone.

Alpha werewolf Brendan Kelly must put aside his anger and focus on what needs to be done if he hopes to ever see his mate again. The two men in Carmela's life must rely on each other and join forces against an unknown enemy bigger than what any vampire or werewolf could face alone.

Excerpt:

After Carmela told me to go away, I came to the mostly unused bathroom down the hall. What would I say to the others downstairs? I needed to collect my thoughts before I rejoined them. Regardless of my concern for Carmela, Elliot was counting on me to rescue him. I had to get my act together.

Unease trickled along my spine. I scanned the bathroom’s tight confines, confirming I was still alone. Suddenly fear exploded in my chest, but the emotion wasn’t mine. My mind drew back to the way I’d felt the night Carmela came to my home after her father abused her. I darted through the hallway toward the spare room where I’d left her.

Something wasn’t right. I could sense nothing but utter stillness from inside. I tried the doorknob, but it was locked. “Carmela? Open up.” I listened, but she didn’t reply. “Love? Are you there?” Silence.

What’s going on?

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The sound of footsteps and a crutch tapped up the stairs. “Everything okay?” Brendan asked from behind me.

“No, I don’t think it is.” I jerked the doorknob to the right, breaking the lock. My gaze whipped around the room—Carmela was gone. My heart raced in my chest. The curtain billowed in the gentle breeze, bringing my attention to the open window. Had she run again? “Damn it!” I slammed my fist into the wall beside the door.

Brendan stood in the doorway, just inches from the spot I’d struck. His eyes widened, and he stepped away from me as he checked for himself that Carmela wasn’t here. A harsh growl rumbled up from deep in his chest. He pushed further into the room, heading toward the bed where we’d made love to her a little less than an hour ago. His shoulders slumped forward as if hit by a wave of emotion.

I looked away. I knew about pain all too well, but time was of the essence if we were to figure out where she’d gone and why before she got into even more trouble. But why had she run? I walked toward the window, and a strong, chemical scent seeped into my nostrils. Something like what I’d smelled before.

No! She hadn’t run after all. Someone took her from under my nose, and the noses of the dozen or so vampires and werewolves downstairs. That bastard.

“Carmela was kidnapped.” Brendan’s gaze rose to meet mine, and he hobbled over. He sucked in a deep breath, only to end up coughing and pinching his nose. “Shit. I can’t believe this is happening. Someone should’ve stayed with her.”

“What is it?” I asked, not really sure I wanted to know the answer.

“The chemical has elements of a drug that’s been tested on werewolves as a temporary paralytic. The Cazador concocted it.” Brendan sniffed around the window, then raised his face to an area where the intruder’s scent was strongest. His eyes narrowed. “The Cazador...but somehow, this guy is different. He exudes death.”

The necromancer. It had to be. I scented the air, confirming it for myself.

Several footsteps thumped on the stairs. “What’s going on in here?” Neal said from the doorway.

I frowned, searching for the words tell him.

Neal glanced between me and his son. When neither of us spoke, he glanced around the room. Confusion creased his forehead for a split second before realization set in. “Damn it! Those bastards.” He strolled into the room, sniffing the spots that Brendan and I had discovered moments before. “We should’ve taken out that lab when we had the chance.” He frowned at the burgundy-haired female werewolf standing near the door.

I caught Prescott’s eye as he joined us. He nodded toward a corner of the room, furthest from the window where Carmela had been taken.

An unfamiliar handkerchief lay abandoned on the floor. I crossed the room to investigate, then picked it up and sniffed. It had the kidnapper’s scent, and only a trace of the chemical. Heck, this whole area carried his scent, as if he’d been hovering here for a while. “Found something,” I said, lifting the cloth for the others to see.

Neal snatched it from me, holding the fabric near his nose. He winced, but quickly seemed to brush off any discomfort. “Let’s get some trackers on this.” He held the handkerchief out to the female werewolf he’d looked to moments ago. “I want you searching the rest of the room, top to bottom. Report anything you find.” The Alpha werewolf paused, then turned back to me. His lips tightened. “Thanks.”

“Anything to help find Carmela and the others.” I retreated to the hallway as the burgundy-haired werewolf began her search of the spare room.

Prescott leaned against the wall beside me, shrugging a shoulder as if to say, What did you expect? Two vampires lingered nearby, waiting for instructions. “Timothy and Jane, join the werewolf in investigating the room,” Prescott said before slipping back down the stairs.

The look on their faces showed their displeasure before they could censor themselves. Horror came over Jane’s, while Timothy wrinkled his nose as if the task was distasteful. I couldn’t blame them; they weren’t used to being around wolves.

Brendan and Neal talked further along the hallway in harsh whispers. I didn’t envy the young werewolf. When this was behind us, I’d probably be getting the same treatment from my leader.

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Reviews:Cindy C. on Amazon wrote:

What a great finish to the series. Sarah has taken a figment of her imagination and made it into an extraordinary five-part series. ... If you are looking for a series that will keep you on pins and needles from start to finish, then this is the one for you.


Beneath the Broken Moon: Part Four

The time has come for Carmela to face the consequences of her secrets, but she never imagined she’d be dragging Derek and Brendan down with her.

The more Carmela Santiago thinks about her vampire lover and her alpha werewolf, the more she realizes that she can’t let either of them go. However, the last thing she wants is for her secrets to drag them down with her.

Derek Ashmore has lived for many centuries, but even vampires can get stressed. Not only does he need to rescue his longtime friend from the Cazador, but he also needs to keep Carmela safe all the factions threatening them.

The clock is ticking for Brendan Kelly. His Alpha and father has given him a deadline for bringing Carmela to a werewolf safe house, but when Carmela doesn’t budge on the issue, he’ll have to find a way to convince her before it’s too late.

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I couldn’t suppress my relief that Carmela hadn’t fled to Derek because she hated me. But I still seethed with anger that her father had almost raped her. If I’d known things would get so bad, I could’ve done something to prevent her pain... Maybe I should’ve pressed to visit her sooner, or talked my father into bumping up the mating ritual. No, I couldn’t second-guess myself. What William did wasn’t normal. You didn’t expect your future mate’s father to do something like that.

“M-mate? S-so soon?” Carmela met my gaze with slivers of panic in her eyes.

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Damn. The last thing I wanted to do was scare her. My words had just slipped out in my desperation to draw her close, although I meant them from the bottom of my heart. What if they drove her away from me? I’d been unable to protect her before due to our customs, but now I could change that. My father was the Alpha of Alphas. He could ensure her safety and bring William to justice once we were mated.

The only other thing that bothered me was how she looked at Derek.

“The sooner the better, babe.” Glancing up at the balcony, I caught Derek watching us from the shadows. He wasn’t trying very hard to conceal himself. Emotions warred within me. She was my future mate, but the two of them seemed to have feelings for one another. I was grateful that Derek watched over her while I was injured and at home, but I couldn’t let him take her from me. I was falling in love with her.

She chewed on her lower lip. Memories of our kiss shoved all other thoughts aside. The only thing that kept me from leaning in to claim her mouth again was the worry in her eyes. I brushed a strand of hair from her cheek, tucking it behind her ear. She leaned into my palm.

“I—”

“You don’t have to make that decision right now, love.” Derek walked toward us, stopping mere feet away, and much closer than I’d have preferred.

Every muscle in my body tensed. “She was going to say something. Let her speak.” The hair on the back of my neck rose, and a low growl trickled up from my chest. I must’ve been so caught up in being close to Carmela that I hadn’t remained aware of our surroundings. Vampires were stealthy, but I was the Alpha of Alphas’ son; my keen senses were sharpened from an early age. He shouldn’t have been able to sneak up on me.

She placed a small hand against my chest. “It’s okay, Brendan.” She leaned up and brushed her soft lips against mine.

I gently cupped her cheeks, not wanting just a chaste peck. After everything that had happened, I needed more than that. I needed her. Her hands covered mine, and she softly moaned as I swiped my tongue over her lower lip.

Derek cleared his throat. “As I said before, you should be going.” His power surged toward us in a hot wave.

Carmela tried to turn to look at him, but I kept her gaze on me. “I can protect you. Just say yes.” My wolf wanted to rip the vampire’s throat out, regardless of the help he and his friend had provided us. That would resolve some of my problems, but it went against the kind of man I was. Besides, he’d taken care of Carmela when I could not. Regret twisted my stomach in knots.

Derek took a couple steps closer. “You had your chance to talk with her. Leave us.”

I grabbed the crutch from beside me and stood. Our eyes met, and I felt the soft tug of his power as he tried to mess with my mind. Even though I was injured, I wouldn’t put up with this. He might have feelings for her, but she was a werewolf, and my destined mate.

“Guys, please.” Carmela looked between us and sighed. “I need to talk with you both.”

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Beneath the Broken Moon: Part Three

The time has come for Carmela to face the consequences of her secrets, but she never imagined she’d be dragging Derek and Brendan down with her.

Carmela Santiago has run away from home, but too hurt to think, she goes to her vampire lover for safety. She’s had enough from alpha werewolves.

Seeing the young werewolf surprises Derek Ashmore, but when he finds out what has happened to her, his vampiric blood boils. But now that she’s with him, he’ll do everything in his power to help her heal, both physically and mentally.

Alpha werewolf Brendan Kelly is worried sick about his future mate when he can’t reach her after she’s taken home. Her father is hiding something, and he’s determined to find out what it is.

Excerpt:

The weight of the sun’s power made my limbs feel heavy and lethargic. It was rare for me to be awake with the sun still in the sky; today I’d awakened twice in the same day. But sunset was nearly upon the world now.

Two soft taps at the back door had me pushing through the haze. No one should be knocking on my door, especially at this time of day. The necromancer and his friend were certainly not that polite.

I walked to the back door, barely managing a human pace, and opened it.

Carmela leaned against the doorframe with her head bowed. When she looked up, she had a bandage on her cheek and a black eye marred her beauty. Bruises littered her soft skin. Her shoulders hunched forward, making her seem so unlike the woman I’d left at Brendan’s doorstep last night.

My heart ached for revenge.

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Taking a deep breath, I drew her scent into my lungs and almost wished I hadn’t. The strong scent of a male werewolf and whiskey wafted through the air around her.

Any ill effects from the sun evaporated as it set, unleashing the full sting of my power. My blood boiled with the pure rage pounding through my veins.

Carmela winced and drew back a little. “Maybe I shouldn’t have come here.” She averted her gaze, staring down the alleyway.

I reached for her bag, but she jerked away from me. Her heart raced, and instead of a predator, she looked like prey. Grimacing, I stepped away from the door to allow her entry. “Please, come inside.”

She watched me for a moment, then walked past me, clutching the duffle to her chest. Her gaze skimmed my place as if checking for anyone else’s presence. Her shoulders trembled with nerves.

“I won’t allow anyone to harm you again. I promise.” I held out my hand again. “May I have your bag?” I nodded toward the staircase. “You can use my spare bedroom again. You’re already familiar with it. I could put your things there while you rest.”

She stared down at the bag. Her lower lip trembled, and she handed it over. “Thank you for your hospitality. I didn’t know where else to go.”

The werewolf scent on her wasn’t Brendan’s. Why didn’t she turn to her future mate? I didn’t understand. What that man did to Carmela was a crime. He’d be punished by her people, yet she turned away from them. “Why didn’t you go to Brendan, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Her breath hitched, and she shook her head. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come.” She turned toward the door, but I blocked her way. While I didn’t want her to feel trapped, she couldn’t run out on the street and put herself into more danger. A protective need reared its head. I’d do anything to help her.

“I apologize. I’m just curious why you chose me. Just give me a chance. Open up to me.” I set her bag on the floor carefully and clasped my hands in front of me, when what I most wanted was to take her in my arms and hold her. Instead, I tried to portray a relaxed disposition. But I could barely hold onto that demeanor while I was itching to kill the bastard who’d assaulted her.

“I told you. I didn’t know where else to go.” She swayed on her feet and looked like she would fall over, but caught herself at the last moment.

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Reviews:Cindy Caron on Amazon wrote:

Wow! The suspense is killing me! This series is awesome. It is completely different from any other paranormal book that I have previously read, but in a good way. The characters grab onto you and drag you along on their journey of survival, tripping over many hazards thrown their way.


Beneath the Broken Moon: Part One

Werewolf relationships are all about influence and offspring, especially as they are becoming extinct. But Carmela Santiago resents that type of life. She dreams of falling in love, not following the example her parents have set.

When sensual vampire Derek Ashmore rescues her from dangerous hunters, she tumbles head over heels for him. Not a wise decision since werewolves and vampires are mortal enemies.

Meeting her caring mate-to-be Brendan Kelly has her further questioning the future. Regardless, her life has forever changed now that she's met not one, but two men who pull at her heartstrings...

This is part one in a werewolf/vampire menage serial with a cliffhanger, explicit language and sexual situations. Please read the books in order.

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Excerpt:

Bullets peppered the big screen of the Teatro de la Noche. Screams rang out around me, and I dropped to the floor, pulling my cousin Chandra down with me. Tension ached in my shoulders, and my heart pounded in my chest like a trapped animal, desperate to escape.

Gunpowder stung my sensitive nose, but through the overpowering scent, I caught a whiff of a hunter heading our way. “Chandra, we have to move.”

If Chandra and I didn’t get out of here we’d end up dead—or worse, test subjects for the Cazador—human hunters ordered to scour the land of nocturnes by the plutocratic government.

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“How? They’re all around us.” Chandra peeked over the seats before dropping back down beside me. “A few of them are chasing down those who ran from the first assault, but two more are heading straight for us.” She ran a manicured hand through her honey-brown hair, which was only a shade darker than my own. “Come on. I have a plan. Let’s try to sneak out the side door.” She crawled in the opposite direction, down the row of seats.

The sight of my cousin’s butt cheeks hanging out of her short skirt filled my vision; some things were better left unseen. I lowered my gaze, particularly since Chandra had forgone panties. She almost always held herself with an air of power and purpose. Perhaps that’s what it took to get attention from other werewolves. Chandra got it in heaps, but her lower social status stopped a lot of relationships.

While it was a horrible time to second-guess my modest fashion sense, I couldn’t help wonder if I should take a lesson from my cousin. My own blouse and dark blue jeans had much less pizzazz. But I doubted my father would allow me to dress like Chandra; we had a privileged image to uphold.

I bit my lip, struggling to turn my thoughts back to the problem at hand. This was all too much. How could we get out of here unscathed when the roar of gunfire continued to close in?

We reached the end of the aisle. Chandra moved to glance over the seat, when a shout came from the opposite end, startling us both.

“Run, Chandra!” I barely kept my voice to a whisper.

She sprinted toward the bright red exit sign at the front of the theater, and I chased after her, trying to keep my pace natural though her long legs made it challenging. Maybe if they suspected we weren’t nocturnes, they’d leave us alone.

The stomping of heavy boots on the theater’s plush carpets said otherwise. Then again, they weren’t opposed to taking their fellow humans down too. The very rich in power thrived on oppressing those less fortunate. What better way to keep the populace down than to have their thugs strike whenever possible.

“We should split up.” Chandra shoved a heavy trashcan in front of the door, but that wouldn’t be much of an obstacle to the pseudo-military bastards.

“What?” I couldn’t believe my ears. “No way. If we do that, we’ll—” The trashcan scraped the cement as the hunters tried to open the door. Maybe she was right. If we were together, there was a better chance of them catching us both. Alone, we might survive the night.

I nodded to her, and we took off in opposite directions down the alleyway behind the Teatro. The door slammed open, smacking the wall hard, as I turned the corner and headed toward the main street. I had to find somewhere to hide out before the hunters spotted me again.

In front of me, another group of Cazador chased a few werewolves down the main road. I slowed to keep my distance from them, but if I didn’t get somewhere fast, they were going to catch me. Ugh. As much as I loved getting out of the house and going to the movies, I wished I’d listened to my instincts tonight and stayed home.

Two sets of feet pounded the sidewalk behind me. Perhaps they’d spotted me before I reached the corner.

I picked up speed a little, pumping my arms as I struggled to keep to a human speed while staying out of range. The temptation to race through the streets nearly drove me to action, but I glanced back, seeing my pursuers for the first time.

One of the men had greying hair and a rounded belly, which explained the slower, heavier footfalls, while the other guy appeared younger and super-athletic. No wonder I was having trouble getting away. If he hadn’t been so scary, he might’ve been attractive. Pure masculine aggression raged through him, tensing his shoulders as his gaze focused solely on me, his prize. Each man carried a large-caliber handgun. I was just glad they were too busy running to try to shoot me...for now, at least.

My sandal hit an uneven patch of concrete in the sidewalk. My body lurched forward, but I caught myself before I could go down. I should’ve been paying more attention to the street. Up ahead on the opposite side of the road, I spotted a dark alleyway running alongside a row house. If I cut through, I could safely turn up the speed without exposing myself, and lose them.

The older hunter slowed; his breathing had become increasingly labored. He cocked his revolver’s hammer, and I darted across the empty road, making a beeline for the alley. The last thing I wanted tonight was to see Dr. Matthews. Just a little bit farther. A bullet smacked the ground at my feet, hitting me with fragments of pavement. I bit back a yelp, not wanting to give them the satisfaction of knowing my fear.

“I got this one, old kook,” the younger hunter grumbled, and his footsteps slowed too.

Another gunshot pierced the hazy night air. White-hot pain rocked my shoulder, nearly toppling me to the ground. I screamed, unable to hold it in, and picked up speed, no longer caring if I appeared human or not. The faint creak of a door barely registered before a pair of arms wrapped around my waist, jerking me inside the dark row house.

My rescuer softly shut the door, careful not to make a sound, and shoved a hand over my mouth. “Sshhh,” he whispered. “I won’t hurt you. You’re safe.” His voice was deep, with an English accent. He pulled me away from the door and hunched down in the darkened room, holding me close, waiting and listening.

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Reviews:Yvonne Daniels on Amazon wrote:

Beneath the Broken Moon: Part One is another one knocked out the park. This storyline is about a wolf shifter and a vampire romance. A great series from Sarah Makela as in all her books it captures you and don't want it to end. Just in part one there is magic, love, conflict, fantasy, action adventure, political conflict, something for everyone this series. The dialog is so original, imaginative, exciting. With characters that are handsome, sexy, intriguing, little shy, engaging, fascinating and beautiful. Sarah weaves with her expert talent, fantasy paranormal love and she tease us with a story that makes you want it to never end but as this is only the first part WOW. With a cliffhanger that makes you anxious for Part Two of a series.


The Witch Who Cried Wolf

Be careful what you wish for...

A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she’s being pursued by werewolves—that she didn’t even realize existed...

Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia’s brother’s best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia’s not only hiding from werewolves, she’s trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she’s been nursing a long-time crush…

The power of love: Things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he’s been denying what he really wants? Mia...

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Jessa’s New Age shop—Eternally Magick—was empty. Usually, Jessa was around. But, right now, she wasn’t. I leaned against the front counter, resting my forehead against the cool glass. Athames, crystals, jewelry and really cute dragon statues were locked in the case beneath my fingertips. While I enjoyed hanging out at the shop and seeing what new potions were available, I wished Jessa had given me some kind of clue as to why she wanted me here. But she was my best friend and mentor; the reason had to be important, if for nothing else to spend much needed time together.

I glanced over my shoulder at the wall of ingredients lining the shelves, ripe for the picking. It had been a while since I’d made a new potion. Maybe if I could stock up on a few things...

“Not what you’re here for,” I whispered to myself. The urge to see what she had nearly drove me away from the counter, but I held myself in check.

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Making potions was one of my hobbies. I loved the creativity and excitement that went into building something from nothing, and the brief connection with my power.

Tapping my fingers on the counter, I stared at the curtained-off backroom. Worry crept into my chest. Why wasn’t Jessa here? She never stood me up. This wasn’t like her.

“Jessa?” Usually she came right out when the bells on the door chimed. Biting my lower lip, I considered going into the back. Someone could steal things without her keeping an eye on the store.

“Coming,” Jessa called. The black-haired and blue-eyed beauty swept into the front of the store like a hurricane of flowing skirts. She always looked like she’d just come from a Renaissance faire.

I loved the way she dressed, but I knew that style would never be my thing. My parents would think I’d flipped my lid, and my older brother.... Shudder. Nolan would laugh at me, probably joking with his best friend—and my crush since forever—Ethan Parker.

“Where have you been? I was getting concerned.” Stepping around the counter, I wrapped my arms around her and she embraced me in a hug smelling of lavender and honey.

“Just in the back. I had to wrap up a call and I guess I didn’t hear you come in.” Jessa smiled, but something was up. She appeared a bit too eager to pretend everything was fine.

“What’s going on? Are you okay?” I placed my hand on her shoulder, trying to be comforting.

The door chimed, and we turned in unison toward the shop’s new arrival.

I blinked in surprise.

The man towered in the doorway, over six feet of pure muscle. If his shirt were a little tighter, I probably would’ve been able to see six-pack abs through it. What was he doing here?

He strode in as if he owned the place. There could be no doubt: ladies would drop their panties at his command. If I didn’t have a boyfriend.... Stop it, Mia!

“I’m looking for the owner,” the man said, his deep voice as smooth and sinful as his looks. Yet beneath his delicious exterior, something about him put me on edge. The hint of arrogance in his eyes and the sharp flare of power as he walked in the room were instant triggers. This guy wasn’t a mere mortal. He was something else, but I couldn’t put my finger on what. Aside from Jessa, I’d never met anyone else with this level of power.

Maybe I needed to get out more.

Jessa cleared her throat, as captivated by him as I was by the sound of it. “I’m the owner.” Her voice hit all the sultry tones and she swayed her shoulders. “Can I help you?” I wished I could pull her aside and tell her my feelings, but that would look way too awkward.

“We spoke over the phone. I’m interested in the potion.” He leaned his hip against the counter, standing only a couple feet away. Too close for comfort.

Since Jessa had business to take care of, I sidestepped toward the wall of ingredients, but Jessa grabbed my wrist, keeping me beside her. I cast her a dirty look, but she didn’t pay me any attention, focusing her gaze instead on Mr. Way-Too-Sexy.

“Right, I don’t have any of that in right now, but this woman makes some of the best healing salves I’ve seen.” Jessa nudged me forward, nearly throwing me into Mr. Sexy’s arms.

Glancing up his body to his eyes from so close strained my neck. My five-foot-six frame probably looked tiny beside him. An overwhelming sense of lust and intimidation washed over me.

“Hi.” I fought against a shiver.

Mr. Sexy’s lips twitched. “The potion? Or...salve? Can you help me, or not?”

I looked behind me, noticing how Jessa was ‘busy’ tidying a few shelves that were perfectly fine. A small smirk tugged at her lips.

“Sure, I can help. What exactly do you need?” Healing potions? This was great, just great. He didn’t even know what he needed, nor did he know the differences between potions, salves or poultices. Not that many people outside of the metaphysical community did, but that wasn’t my fault. Besides, there were plenty of ways to do them. It didn’t help to say healing potion. I knew some concoctions that cured the flu, helped with burns, even helped with migraines.

The man cocked an eyebrow at me as if I was stupid. “A...healing salve. Are you serious? I’ve told you what I need.”

Jessa placed her hand on my shoulder. “What she means is, what does it need to do?” She pursed her lips, running her gaze over the man. “On the phone, you said that someone you know had some kind of...poisoning?”

While I enjoyed making potions and other healing remedies, I couldn’t help but wonder why this guy wasn’t taking his friend to a hospital or doctor instead.

Mr. Sexy scratched the back of his neck, causing his shirt to lift. My gaze skimmed his navel and part of the defined six-pack I’d known was hiding there. Somehow, knowing how hot he was under his shirt calmed my nerves a little. Surely, he was fine.

Maybe it’d just been a long time since I’d met a nice looking guy who wasn’t a jerk, and didn’t just storm off to join the military when I needed him. But...I was so not going to think about Ethan right now.

“Right. Not food poisoning. Lead poisoning.” Something flickered in his eyes. What was he hiding? “My friend was injured when the metal got into his system, so if there’s something you could put in to help with that, too.”

Jessa nodded, a frown tugging at her lips. “We can help. Have you taken him to the hospital?”

Mr. Sexy narrowed his eyes first at her, then he slid his gaze to me. “He’s more into the holistic, alternative approach to medicine. He’s assured me that if this doesn’t work, he’ll go to the doctor.” With another caress of his gaze over my body, he crossed his arms over his chest. “Think you can handle it, princess?”

My jaw dropped. For a moment, I couldn’t believe he was both checking me out and kind of insulting me. “Yeah, I know a recipe. I’ll just get the ingredients and head home. When do you need it by?” That was stupid question. He’d just told me his friend was injured. There wasn’t time for me to mess around. “Sorry, I can drop it back by a little later.”

“Why can’t you do it here and now?” Irritation hardened the set of his jaw.

Jessa jumped in before I could say anything. “While we have the ingredients to make the salve, she would need her supplies.” She waved her hand around the store. “I don’t have everything here. Usually—”

“That’s fine. I’ll be back before the store closes. That’s a couple hours from now, correct?” At Jessa’s nod, Mr. Sexy turned on his heel and was gone before she could say anything, the bells chiming in his wake.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Kawehi on Kawehi's Book Blog wrote:

The Witch Who Cried Wolf was an enjoyable and fast paced read. I’ve always enjoyed books that dealt with the supernatural so this was right up my alley!

Teresa T. on The Romance Studio wrote:

Ms. Mäkelä has given us a wild and romantic story with plenty of suspense, magic and surprises to keep us enthralled. I can’t wait to read what she will give us in the next book!

Evampire on Night Owl Reviews wrote:

The first book in the new adult series Cry Wolf is an intriguing short and fast paranormal romance with witches and wolves. The author has packed a lot of punch in this short and fascinating story that had me in its grip until the very end.