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dragons

My Marketing Manager (aka my 9-year old) said I needed to give away some fan packs with dragons and pens. If you are not going to RT, Euro pride Con, UK Meet, GRNW or GRL you can enter to win a dragon and pen combo by listing your favorite book of mine. Five winners will be chosen Sunday.

Note: I’m asking people attending conferences not to enter because they can pick these up at the above conference :)

Throwback Thursday!

wandmaker

Amber Kell Books | Amazon | ARe | B&N

Cebrus had thought his quest would take him to new parts of the land. He didn’t know it would lead him to the prince of his dreams. When Prince Silvan catches sight of the sexy wandmaker it’s love at first glance. However, it takes a battle, a journey and an encounter with a fantastical beast before the two lovers can find their middle ground.

Silvan is determined to do anything to marry his mate even if he has to go against a king and give up everything to keep the man he has claimed for his own.

Excerpt:

Cebrus Starn strolled down the road with a small pack strapped to his back, a stick of wood in one hand, and a knife in the other. He whittled as he walked, flicking bits of wood behind him like a trail of breadcrumbs. The soft wood began to take shape beneath his nimble fingers as he continued to chip away at the outer bark to reveal the brighter wood hidden beneath. Several minutes later, he stopped by the side of the road to examine his work.

“Perfect.”

The rough column now fit the needed size and shape for a good-sized wand. He slipped his bag off his shoulders and set it on the ground. Crouching down, he opened his pack, pulled out a leather sheath, and slid his knife inside. He’d been taught young the value of keeping tools in their proper place and the harsh penalty for losing one. Small scars decorated his fingers, tiny reminders of his painful learning curve.

Clutching the stick in one hand, he used the other to search the bag’s inner pockets. After a few minutes of feeling through the contents, he wrapped his fingers around a shaping stone. A fond smile curled his lips as he pulled it out. One of a set of three given to him by his father, each piece helped smooth and conform the wood to create a plain, blank wand ready to be bonded to its new owner. It always served him well to have a good variety of wands prepared when he entered a new town.

Pleased he had found the right stone on his first try, Cebrus straightened, refastened his pack, then returned it to his shoulders, the soft sound of wood clattering together followed his movements.

As a wandmaker, Cebrus traveled from town to town trading his skills for food and shelter. Most wandmakers stayed in one place, plying their trade to the locals and merchants who traveled into town for their services. Cebrus’s itchy feet didn’t allow him to settle down in one location, despite his family’s disapproval of his nomadic ways. He tried to make sure he visited them once a year during festival season to help out with the influx of additional customers, but this year he’d miss it. His quest didn’t allow for backtracking or returning home halfway through his travels. If he’d even gone halfway.

He’d never met another traveling wandmaker. A shame since their specialized abilities were needed in every town and there were too few wandmakers to serve everyone. Most places had to use standard wands mass-produced by apprentice wizards and not properly matched with their new owners. Shabby bits of wood that most people didn’t realize were a step below their potential. Only high-level wizards bothered to have their wands correctly bonded because of the time and expense involved in traveling to a wandmaker.

Cebrus had no idea how close the next town might be, but the beautiful weather didn’t prod him to be too concerned about distance. There was no need to hurry, and he enjoyed the journey as much as his possible destination.

The sound of hooves had him looking up from his task to discover a team of five soldiers in full uniform riding toward him. Their large, powerful horses stirred up dust and thundered like an oncoming storm against the dry ground. He didn’t bother to hide his surprise when the men pulled to a stop before him. What could they possibly want? He didn’t have the wealthy appearance of a successful merchant or any discernible luxury about him. Stories of soldiers preying on unwary travelers drifted through Cebrus’s mind. He braced himself for possible confrontation.

“Halt, stranger.” The leader of the group blocked Cebrus’s path with his horse, his face stern and commanding.

“Is there a problem?” Cebrus examined the soldier with great interest. He’d never been stopped before. In general, people left wandmakers alone. Their special jurisdiction allowed them to travel wherever they chose.

“We’ve heard rumors a wandmaker is traveling this road. Are you that man?”

Cebrus looked at the wand in his hand, then back at the soldier and raised an eyebrow.

The soldier blushed, but quickly rallied. “Under the command of the king, I order you to accompany us to the royal palace.”

Cebrus sighed, then shook his head at the soldier. “I’m on a quest. I don’t have time for spoiled royals.”

Stepping to one side, Cebrus moved to go around the soldier’s horse. He grinned when the officious guard pointed his wand at Cebrus and muttered some garbled words Cebrus assumed created a spell.

Of course, nothing happened.

The soldier paled.

Why was it that people were never aware of the primary skill of a wandmaker? Taking pity on the confused man, Cebrus paused to explain. Maybe the soldier could pass on his knowledge to others. People were woefully uneducated these days.

“Magic doesn’t affect wandmakers. You can wave that thing all day, and it won’t do anything to me. Besides your wand doesn’t suit you. Whoever you got it from was an idiot.”

Nothing irritated Cebrus more than people who bought whatever stick someone offered to sell them under the assumption one wand was as good as another. Only a properly trained wandmaker could correctly calibrate a wand. He didn’t blame the soldier for his inferior tool. He likely had nothing else to choose from.

To Cebrus’s surprise, the soldier got off his horse to approach him.

“I’m Trelfan Fairwen, King Minr’s captain of the guard,” the soldier introduced himself.

Cebrus bowed at the introduction. “Cebrus Starn, wandmaker.”

“How can you tell my wand doesn’t suit me?” Trelfan asked.

Cebrus never knew how to explain to someone when they had a bad wand, but he gave it his best try. “Part of my ability is I can see the magical connection between wand and user. It’s a talent of mine.” Most wandmakers shared that skill, but not all. Cebrus didn’t like to brag, but his family considered him the strongest wandmaker ever born into their clan.

“What kind of wand would suit me?” The soldier obviously wasn’t going to let the subject or Cebrus go without a more thorough explanation.

Tilting his head, Cebrus focused entirely on the soldier, he let his power pour over Trelfan and waited for his magic to give a proper answer. Pulling his pack off his shoulder, he opened it again. He tucked his current blank in with the others as he searched around until he found the wand he sought. It was long, heavy, and made out of a grainy hard wood he’d come across during his travels. Perfect.

“This one.”

The soldier gave Cebrus a cynical look. “And what will it cost me to get a wand like that?”

“Your old wand. I would like to give it a home with someone who can use it. I will siphon the absorbed magic from your old wand into your new one and take the empty one with me.” Cebrus hated to waste a wand, and even though the poor quality of Trelfan’s wand offended him, Cebrus could salvage the piece.

Interest sparked in Trelfan’s eyes. “Really? That’s all you’d ask for?”

Cebrus never understood why his fee always surprised people. “My father gave me a bit of advice before I started out on my own. He told me, ‘A man who only asks for what he needs will always be wealthy.’ I don’t need much besides food, the occasional roof over my head, and a bit of coin to replace my clothes when they wear out. I’m a man of simple needs. Now would you like the wand or not? I have a bit more land to travel before I reach my stop for the evening.”

Trelfan’s face took on an even more serious mien. “Yes, thank you. Will the transfer hurt?”

“Why would it hurt?” Where did people get their foolish ideas? Preposterous.

“Because it hurt the first time.” The shadow in the soldier’s face told Cebrus all he needed to know about the other supposed wandmaker’s skill.

“Magic transfer shouldn’t be painful. It is your magic going where it belongs. I’m sorry you had someone incompetent last time.”

“Then I want to do it.” Trelfan straightened his shoulders as if he were still expecting pain despite Cebrus’s reassurance.

“Captain.” One of the other soldiers sounded like he was going to protest, but Trelfan glared over his shoulder and nothing more was said.

“Give me your old wand.” Cebrus held out his hand.

Trelfan handed it over.

“Take your new wand in your right hand and put your left on top of mine.” Cebrus held out his right hand flat while clutching the soldier’s wand in his left.

Trelfan audibly swallowed before taking a deep breath and obeying Cebrus’s command.

“Relax. This won’t hurt, I swear.” Cebrus felt a pang of sympathy for Trelfan. No one should be afraid of their own magic.

Closing his eyes, Cebrus focused on the transfer of power from wand to wand until he felt the connection click in his mind. “Transfer,” he whispered. He opened his eyes and watched the wand in his hand dim and the wand in Trelfan’s hand glow a bright white before turning back to its natural brown color.

“Wow.” Trelfan’s eyes widened.

“We’re not done yet,” Cebrus warned.

He tucked Trelfan’s old wand into his pack before turning back to the soldier. “Put your hands together with the wand in the middle. We need to connect you to your new wand and rebind it with your magic.”

Cebrus placed his hands on the outside of the soldier’s fingers. “Bond.”

The air crackled with electricity, and an intricate tree design worked its way around the wand until the carving covered the entire surface.

A soft chime sounded, and Cebrus released Trelfan’s grip. “There, all done.”

He looked at his work with the satisfaction of a job well done. The wand’s energy now aligned in perfect rhythm with the Trelfan’s magic.

Trelfan turned the wand over and over in his hand. “This…this is my family crest. How did you do that?”

Cebrus frowned. “I didn’t do it. You did. That’s what happens when a wand is matched properly.”

Personal symbols helped magic users identify their stick. How did he not know this? Cebrus couldn’t remember what Trelfan’s wand had looked like before. He just remembered it hadn’t fit the soldier.

The captain shook his head. “No one in the kingdom has any carving on their wands. I’ve never heard of this. Will the magic wear away the engraving?”

“A bit. Yours will last until you either die or you change wands again.”

Trelfan’s forehead creased, and his bushy eyebrows almost met in the middle. “Why would I change wands?”

Cebrus stared at the soldier. “Do you people know nothing about wands? You need to change your wands as you age and fine-tune them as your magic changes. If you don’t re-bond your wand every ten years, your magic will stagnate at that level.” The idea that no one in this kingdom had such essential information changed Cebrus’s mind. He couldn’t let them remain uninformed. It was almost criminal. “I will come with you after all. It’s obvious you people need some instruction.”

He’d have to put off his quest for a bit, but he’d already done it for three years, a little more time wouldn’t make much difference. Besides, the more kingdoms he could enlighten about the importance of a proper wand, the better off they would be. Although his family might not thank him for the additional work bound to come out from Cebrus’s educational tour.

Cebrus rode behind Trelfan on the soldier’s horse. He tried to concentrate on not falling off. He didn’t enjoy horse riding, mostly because horses were evil. They enjoyed tossing off their riders and stomping on them afterwards. He had a scar on his left shoulder from one such occurrence.

Trelfan spent the time enthusing over his new wand. A few of the other soldiers cast Trelfan envious looks, but maybe they figured the captain should receive special services. Cebrus silently vowed to help them later. Everyone deserved a proper wand.

Even on the back of the devil spawn, it still took almost two hours to reach the castle. Cebrus hadn’t realized he’d wandered so close to a kingdom. Generally, he avoided the royals and went directly to the townspeople. Even with protection laws in place, royals always thought they could order wandmakers around. Explaining they were mistaken never went over well. One of these days, he’d end up in a royal’s prison, but hopefully not today.

The soldiers were saluted at the gate and allowed in with only a few curious glances toward Cebrus. Maybe the soldiers brought strangers in often.

After dropping their steeds off at the stables, Cebrus was escorted to the throne room.

“He might be a bit bossy, but he’s a good king,” Trelfan swore.

The first thing that caught Cebrus’s attention was the size of the throne room. He could easily fit his entire village inside the audience chamber. The second thing he noticed was the man sitting beside the king. Tall with pitch-black hair and brilliant blue eyes, he had the build of a soldier and the sex appeal of a man Cebrus wouldn’t mind finding in his bed.

“Your majesty,” Trelfan bowed to the monarch. “I present to you Cebrus the wandmaker.”

“You’re a wandmaker?” King Minr was a big, muscular man who looked as if he could wield an axe with one hand and a sword with the other. His cool gray eyes examined Cebrus like he was an interesting bug who had mistakenly wandered into his court and might need to be smashed at any moment.

“Yes, Your Majesty.” Cebrus didn’t bow. The man wasn’t his king, after all.

King Minr frowned. “I expected you to come to me sooner, but never mind, you can still be of some use. I want you to make me a wand out of heartwood. I expect it ready in two days.” He waved his hand as if dismissing Cebrus to go carry out his request.

“Sorry but no, Your Majesty.” Cebrus gave a respectful nod, hoping to take a little sting out of his rejection. Royals never appreciated hearing no. It never failed to get Cebrus threatened with prison time. Monarchs were a pretty predictable lot overall.

“What?” The king’s shout echoed through the chamber.

Cebrus sighed. “You aren’t suited to heartwood. You would do better with iron wood.”

“I want heartwood,” King Minr insisted.

Damn, royals were stubborn.

“I won’t make an inferior wand. If you want heartwood, find another wandmaker.” It didn’t matter to him what the king demanded. He refused to make something unsuitable.

The king jumped to his feet. “I could have you killed.”

Cebrus pulled out the pendant he had hidden beneath his shirt. He hated confrontation, but that didn’t mean he’d back down. “If you don’t mind losing your kingdom and your life, go ahead.”

He hated bullies.

The king stomped over to look at Cebrus’s pendant. “Well crap, you’re a heritage wandmaker.” He paused for a moment. “So, iron wood, huh?”

Cebrus bit his lip to hold back his smile at the king’s new respectful tone. Curiosity compelled him to ask, “What kind of wand do you have now?”

“I don’t. I lost it while hunting.” The king returned to his throne.

Cebrus gaped. “You lost your wand?”

How was it even possible for someone to lose their wand?

The king blushed.

“Was your old wand heartwood?”

“Yes, and it suited me just fine,” King Minr insisted. If he weren’t a king, Cebrus would accuse him of pouting.

“Uh-huh.” Cebrus didn’t even try to hide his disdain over the king’s previous wand. He probably got it from some charlatan. Opening his sack, he pulled out the iron wood blanks he’d stuffed inside. After some contemplation of their differences, he pulled out the thickest. The king had big hands. He’d need something solid to hold.

“Put both of your hands on your wand.” He pointed where he wanted King Minr to place his grip. A few minutes later, Cebrus had the king bonded to his new wand. He also now knew the king didn’t have much magic since the transfer process took hardly any time at all.

The king stared at the piece of ironwood in shock. “It has my family crest.”

Cebrus rolled his eyes, but refrained from mentioning the king must’ve used a second rate wandmaker for his last wand. He might not like royalty, but he didn’t want to get a reputation for being too rude.

A yawn had him covering his mouth.

“Sorry, it’s been a long day.” And the king was boring, but he kept that part to himself.

The king nodded to the sexy man Cebrus had been eyeing during their entire encounter. “Silvan, escort our wandmaker to the blue room.”

Silvan raised an eyebrow at the command, but didn’t argue. Instead he walked over to Cebrus and offered his arm. Surprised by the old-fashioned show of manners, Cebrus tucked his hand in the crook of Silvan’s elbow. At the contact, a crackle of electricity went through him, and he gasped to catch his breath.

“Mmm, don’t worry, little wandmaker. I’ll take good care of you,” Silvan’s voice, filled with dark promises, sent shivers of need down Cebrus’s spine.

He cleared his throat. “Who are you exactly?” he asked as Silvan led him down the hall. He had no objection to the handsome stranger gracing his bed, and being taken care of sounded like just the thing to make this entire side trip worthwhile. However, he liked to know a bit about his bed partners in case they turned out to be psychotic killers.

“You don’t know who I am?” Silvan stopped in the middle of the walkway and turned Cebrus to face him. As he searched Cebrus’s expression, a look of wonder filled his eyes. “You really don’t know me.”

“Should I?” Maybe Cebrus should’ve known one of the king’s companions was half a load short of a cartful, but he didn’t exactly follow castle gossip in any kingdom. He didn’t like it when people talked about him. Why would he encourage that sort of rumormongering from others? He didn’t really care who Silvan was, as long as he knew what to do in bed.

A wide smile brightened Silvan’s dark features. “I don’t believe it. The fortuneteller didn’t lie. I did meet the one man who didn’t know me.”

Fortuneteller?

“Don’t think so much of yourself. I’m sure there are others who haven’t seen your face before. No one is that famous.” Cebrus frowned at the impudent man even as a dawning suspicion grew. But surely the king would’ve mentioned…

“Ah, you finally figured it out,” Silvan said, a smile spreading across his face.

“You’re the crown prince.” Cebrus was ready to accept his award for dumbest man in the kingdom. Only someone royal would share the throne dais with the king. He blamed the long day of travel for his idiocy. He searched his mind for details about this particular kingdom and drudged up a few facts from his memory.

The prince was known for leading a successful battle against the troll rebellion, for single-handedly negotiating a treaty with the giants, and for being the best strategist in any kingdom. He thought he’d heard a story about Silvan enjoying both men and women, but gossips rarely got those sorts of details right.

“I see you figured it out. I knew you were a bright lad,” Silvan teased. His brilliant eyes glowed with approval.

Out Now!

Unexpected Alpha jpg

I finally have it published. My book where all the proceeds go to an autism society of Washington. If you have a different autism charity you support if you donate a minimum of $5 and email me the receipt I’ll send you a free copy of Unexpected Alpha. It is currently on my site, ARe & Smashwords and pending on Amazon, BN and other ebook retailers.

Blurb:

Stanley didn’t expect his life to change when he went jogging one night. Barely surviving a dog attack he woke in a strange bed with odd urges. He didn’t mind the sexy man hovering over him. In fact if Fen wished to join him in bed he’d have no objections.

Fenris wanted the alpha at his first growl. The sexy man’s commanding air and sweet smile were a combination out of Fen’s hottest dreams. Unfortunately family issues and outside forces tried to push the lovers apart and keep them from their happily ever after.

Faced with opposition Stanley did the only thing he could. He let everyone know that the new alpha on the block wouldn’t accept anyone getting between him and his man.

Excerpt:

If Stanley Brown had known what kind of day it would turn out to be, he would’ve stayed in bed. No two ways about it. In bed with the door locked, the curtains drawn, and maybe a giant boulder in front of the entrance to his apartment building, like the ones in cartoons.

He definitely wouldn’t have gone running in the park.

Idiot.

But how was he to know something he did on an almost nightly basis would turn disastrous?

Not a lot of people visited the park at night. Technically, it closed at dusk, but Stanley considered the opening times posted as more of a guideline rather than a hard fast rule, and had discovered many fellow joggers with the same opinion. Except tonight none of his other running rebel friends were around to keep him company. Shrugging off the slight shiver tickling down his spine, Stanley continued on his routine path. He had no reason to find that night any scarier than other nights. In fact, the full moon brightened up the park far better than the pathetic glow from the dim streetlights a block away.

Hitting his stride, Stanley followed the familiar curved gravel path. The apartment key he kept on a chain around his neck and under his shirt. The small bit of metal tapped a calming rhythm against his chest with each step. A dog growled behind him. Damn, some moron had let his pet off leash again. He hated dog owners who thought the idea of a good time was to take their barely tamed animal to the park and let them run free. Those kinds of people tended to be mindless idiots who never worried about their beasts mauling some poor kid playing in the grassy field as long as Fido didn’t have to be oppressed by the leash laws.

Still running, Stanley reached into his jacket pocket and wrapped his fingers around the container of pepper spray he kept tucked inside. He might like to run amongst the trees, but this city boy never traveled without some sort of protection. He blamed the owners, not the mutts for their misbehavior, sadly it was the animals that got sprayed. Dousing the owners would’ve been much more satisfying.

The growling became louder. Maybe running away from the snarling dog had unleashed the animal’s hunting instinct. Well fuck, he wasn’t going to stop now.

Fumbling to pull the canister out, it caught on the inside mesh of his jacket pocket. A loud howl filled the air, closer this time. Before he could react, thick claws stabbed into Stanley’s back like sharp razors easily slicing through his thin nylon clothing.

Screaming, he fell face first onto the ground. Fear accelerated his heartbeat, hammering a staccato rhythm against his chest. He rolled over, still trying to pull the pepper spray out of his pocket. Stanley kicked at the creature, then pushed off with his feet and rolled away from his attacker. The dog, wolf, thing turned toward him, saliva dripping from its long snout.

What the hell is that? A feral dog? A runaway lab animal?

If he believed in monster movies, this would’ve been the perfect set up. His thoughts jabbering away in his mind, Stanley continued to yank at the pepper spray. Finally, the canister pulled free. With shaking hands, he lined up the nozzle and pointed it at the shaggy, snarling creature.

“Take that, you fucker!” Stanley stumbled to his feet and sprayed the large animal. If he found the beast’s owner, he’d sue the bastard for terrifying the crap out of him. Before he could douse the beast a second time, it jumped at Stanley and scratched the hell out of his arm. Unprepared for a second attack, Stanley tumbled to the ground. He let out a gurgling cry as the beast lunged and clamped onto Stanley’s throat with its massive teeth. Like a set of Ginsu knives, the beast’s sharp canines ripped through Stanley’s flesh. His vision dimmed from lack of blood as it splashed a warm river across his throat. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists, not daring to buck off the beast gnawing at his throat. Thoughts of his parents’ sorrow when they heard of his death renewed Stanley’s fading determination.

Flinging out his hand, Stanley scrabbled to grab hold of anything. A piece of branch filled his palm, the wood scraping his flesh. Desperate for any bit of help, Stanley clutched the small branch. With his last surge of strength, he brought the stake up between them and stabbed the beast through its chest. Blood coated Stanley’s arm, its sticky essence soaking his shirt in a hot, crimson river. He turned his head when the first flow tried to get into his mouth. Spitting out the acrid taste spilling across his tongue, he still couldn’t quite clear his mouth of the flavor.

Throwback Thursday!

tyler

Amazon | Totally Bound | ARe | B&N

When Tyler runs to his injured brother’s side, he doesn’t know it’s his brother’s partner that will take all his attention.

Tyler has three problems. His brother, Baron, was injured, his job sucks and Baron’s straight partner, Cody, is the hottest piece of ass he’s seen in a long time.

When jealousy lifts its ugly head, Tyler learns that all problems have a solution if you can only corral yourself a hot cowboy.

 

Excerpt:

Cody looked down at his business partner. He knew the man wasn’t dead. The machines told him, the nurses told him, but it hurt to see such a vibrant man lying so still in a hospital bed. It had broken his heart to have to call Baron’s little brother, but as his friend’s only living relative, he had a right to know what was going on. Cody hoped he hadn’t been too optimistic about Baron’s chances.

“When did his brother say he was goin’ to be here?” Jeffrey asked.

Cody shrugged his shoulders. “I sent Dave to pick him up from the airport. His flight comes in at ten.” He could see his own reflection in the darkened windows. He looked as tired as he felt. His friend’s accident had affected him more than he liked to admit.

He looked back at Baron, ashamed of his self-pity. For the first time he had control of the entire ranch in his hands and he realised how much work his friend did around the place.

He made a silent vow to tell him once he woke up how much he appreciated him as a partner. They had invested in the ranch in their early twenties, and now, ten years later, it was a thriving business where people came from all around the nation to buy their breeding stock.

Cody blinked back tears. “I was hoping he’d be awake before his brother arrived.

Baron’s real protective of that boy, raised him up himself when their parents died.” He gave Jeffrey a level look. “Baron told me his brother’s gay so I expect y’all to treat him with respect, not to hurt his feelings. Baron said he’s real delicate like.”

Jeffrey snorted. “I’ll not cross Baron’s brother. Baron would beat the snot out of me as soon as he woke up. Besides, I’ve got a cousin who’s that way and he’s as tough as they come.”

Cody shook his head. “Not this one. He’s a chef. A real fancy one with professional trainin’.” He gave a nod towards the unconscious man. “Baron said he was top of his class.”

The two men didn’t exchange any more words as Dave clomped into the room, his cowboy boots echoing on the linoleum floor. The mysterious brother Cody had heard so much about followed Dave.

Cody didn’t know what he was expecting—maybe a more delicate version of his best friend. Baron wasn’t a big one for pictures and the only ones he had of his brother were when he was much younger.

Nothing prepared the cattleman for the stunning creature who followed his hired hand.

There was definitely a family resemblance between the two men. They both had white blond hair and blue eyes, but where Baron’s hair was cropped close to his head, Tyler’s fell about his face in an artful mess of curls. Where Baron’s eyes were pale blue like an arctic wolf, Tyler’s eyes were the colour of a perfect summer sky. Tyler’s mouth was full and pouty where Baron’s was hard and firm. It was almost as if Tyler was the purer, more innocent form of his friend.

Cody jumped to his feet and held out his hand.

“I’m Cody, the one who called you.”

Tyler reached out and shook Cody’s hand, but his eyes were on his brother. Good thing too, or he’d see how Cody blushed at the contact. The younger man’s hand felt better than anything he’d touched in a long while.

Sitting on the edge of his brother’s bed, Tyler reached out and stroked Baron’s face.

“Come on, Baron, you’ve got to wake up. I’ll make you your favourite meal,” he wheedled.

“What’s his favourite meal?” Cody asked. His eyes followed Tyler’s fingers as they touched his brother’s face. An image of those hands touching him swam across his vision.

Shaking his head, he tried to focus on the man’s face. Maybe he was more tired than he thought.

Tyler looked up, his beautiful eyes wide with pain. “His favourite meal is pancakes with bacon.” He turned back to his brother. “Or at least it used to be.”

“It still is,” the men surrounding the bed said in unison.

“When was the last time the doctor came?” Tyler continued to hold his brother’s hand as if he needed the physical connection to ground him.

Cody swallowed. What the hell was this? He’d never been attracted to a man before.

Well, except for a few times in high school, but Tyler was like his own personal lightning rod.

He could feel spikes of electricity arc towards him whenever the man’s unnaturally beautiful eyes shifted his way.

“Umm. The doctor was here an hour ago and he said the X-rays show the swelling has gone down.”

“Good,” Tyler said in a voice so sad he wished he had better news.

“I’ve got a room set for you at the main house. It’s next to Baron’s so you can visit him when he’s sent back home.”

“Sounds good. I’m going to stay here until he’s released.”

“You can’t stay at the hospital,” Cody said, his heart breaking for the other man.

“They’ll kick you out after visiting hours, anyway. Come to the ranch with me and I’ll get you settled. You can come back and see him in the morning. I’ll make sure someone drives you over or you can take one of the ranch trucks.”

Leaning over, Tyler kissed his brother on the forehead. “He’s all I’ve got left.” His voice was so quiet it was almost as if he were talking to himself. “He can’t die.”

Cody jumped out of his chair and crouched beside Tyler, gripping him reassuringly on the shoulder. “Don’t think about that. I’ve seen a lot of men injured a lot worse and come through fine. Before you know it, Baron’ll be running around cursing like he always has.”

The younger man blinked back tears. “I sure hope so.”

He stood and Cody followed.

Jeffrey rose to his feet and held out his hand. “I’m Jeffrey Stamm, one of the hands out at the ranch.”

Tyler shook his hand. “Nice to meet you,” he said automatically. “I only wish I was visiting for a different reason.”

Cody squeezed his shoulder. “We all do. Baron’s real proud of you.”

A soft sniff met that statement. “I’m proud of him too.”

“Come on, kid, let’s get you settled,” Jeffrey said in his cigarette-roughened voice.

Welcome Annabelle Jacobs!

TheAltered-f

Amazon USAmazon UK | All Romance ebooks | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

 Twenty years ago the UK’s water supply was contaminated with an experimental pathogen, Lycanaeris, causing widespread panic across the nation. Terrorism was suspected but never proven, and when nothing happened–no epidemic, no unexplained illnesses–the whole episode was written off as an elaborate hoax. But Lycanaeris was selective. Only those of a certain age, and with a specific gene in their DNA were infected. Time would reveal the pathogen’s true nature, when those susceptible grew up Altered.

Daniel is one of thousands forced to hide his altered status by living a quiet life. He’s not like the others, though. Daniel can’t help looking so distinctive or being able to see every altered for what they really are. To those abducting altereds, that skill makes him valuable.

For Jordan, shifting from human to wolf means living under the radar to avoid unwanted attention. Meeting Daniel complicates matters. Daniel’s existence is a threat to Jordan and his friends, but Jordan can’t seem to shake the strange connection between them. When danger threatens, there’s little time for Daniel and Jordan to work out their feelings before lives are at stake.

 

Excerpt:

He laughed at the joke Matt was in the middle of telling, chipping in for a bit and teasing him, and then he felt it again, creeping up the back of his spine like icy fingers. Daniel stayed perfectly still, suppressing his body’s natural reaction, and carefully turned to place his empty pint glass on the bar.

He let his gaze wander along to the end of the bar, past the couple he’d spotted earlier, and—

Bloody Hell.

He sucked in a sharp breath before he could stop himself. Usually he got a flash of images, depending on how much they’d been altered—claws, teeth, and fur if they changed fully, but never anything like this. One minute Daniel was looking at a tall dark-haired, really hot man, and in the blink of an eye he’d changed into a huge black wolf, fangs bared in a snarl—clearer than anything he’d seen before.

The image vanished almost as soon as it appeared, and the noise from the bar suddenly jarred Daniel back to his senses.

Fuck.

 

 

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her husband, three rowdy children, and two cats.

An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

 

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Giveaway:

 

Annabelle Jacobs is giving a backlist ecopy to one lucky commenter. So comment to enter and win!

Autism Awareness Day!

Autism Awareness Graphic

“Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls. Its prevalence is not affected by race, region, or socio-economic status. Since autism was first diagnosed in the U.S. the incidence has climbed to an alarming one in 68 children in the U.S.”

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that my younger child is on the autism spectrum. He is highly functioning and it took me several years before I could get anyone to agree to look at his symptoms. As a mother I knew something was different about him but since he is highly intelligent I couldn’t get anyone to acknowledge there was a problem. The number one thing I hear from people who meet him is that he is a cute, sweet, intelligent child. My concern is that his sweetness will be crushed by others who don’t appreciate those who are different. The world is a harsh place for people who don’t conform.

This month I am doing three things. I am giving $25.00 Amazon GC away to a random commenter, I am participating in an auction where you can bid on my three print Thresl books here, and I am publishing Unexpected Alpha a book where all the profits will go to the Autism Society of Washington. Unexpected Alpha will be out in a few weeks and I will announce when it is available.