Thursday, August 28, 2014

Moonlight Dance - Chapter 1 Sneak Preview

So I just did this...


YEP!!! Completely umplanned and I may grow to hate myself for it but oh well. Its a holiday weekend and I wanted to do something special. And besides I have been holding on to this story for so long and I really wanted to be able to share it with the world. What better way? (I know there are about a thousand ways...so sue me!) Any way... check it out!


1.
It was four days. That was what the moon told her, regardless of what the calendar said, the moon validated that fact. In four days, she would be 25, on the very night of the Moonlight Dance, which would confirm her status as the mate to the next Alpha of their clan. Katerina stood in the snow and allowed a shudder to pass through her body. They told her what to expect, they told her how the change would feel. In four days, she would be able to call forth her wolf at any given moment. Her wolf spirit would no longer be bound inside of her human form to be controlled by the moon, but that was still four days away. For four more moons, she was still tied to it; she needed it, and begged for the softly lit disk to fill the dark sky so that her spirit could run free. She dropped her head and rolled into the howl that escaped from her form as she shifted into her true self.
She heard the calls of her friends drift to her on a current of cold night air. They wanted to run with her and celebrate all that was about to happen in her life, but she wanted to be alone, to be free of them and all the responsibilities that came with being part of a pack. They tried to hone in on her, but she would not allow them to, it was one of the perks that she was told came with Alpha rising, she could now hide. ‘Alpha’, the title still made her nervous, but according to the clan, she, the daughter of the Blue Moon, was destined to lead her pack alongside Harold, her Alpha-mate. Katerina was happy to be with Harold, she loved him and wanted nothing more than to spend eternity basking under the moon with him. They had been making googly eyes at each other since they were pups and nothing about that had changed.
It wasn’t Harold that she wanted to run away from it was the title itself, the weight of the word alone was suffocating, Alpha. What she hated most about it was that it was not her choice to make. It was a great honor; that much she knew, but it was one forced upon her. She knew there was a long line of women who would be all too eager to jump on the chance to take her place if she ever had the nerve to stand down. She had assured her mother and anyone else who had asked, that she would never turn her back on her responsibilities, but she wasn’t so sure she would be able to keep her promise.
“It never ceases to amaze me just how beautiful your wolf is.” Harold’s voice was a low growl in the back of her mind. He spoke to her in his wolf form. She scented the air for him and instantly located him just beyond the line of trees to her left. She didn’t turn toward him; it was a game they often played.
“You found me.” She responded in a soft purr to him. She invited him into her mind and mentally rubbed her fur along the side of his body. He growled in response to her tease.
“Was there any doubt that I would?” He growled once more and she could feel him leaning into her and calling her to come and play with him.
“No, not a single one.” She smiled because Harold could find her whenever he wanted. Alpha-mate is bond, it was more than just a title; they were one.
“What’s wrong, Kat. Do you want to be alone?” Harold emerged from the tree line, his dark fur dusted in the snow that fell from the tall trees.
“I just have a lot on my mind.” She walked over to him and nuzzled his shoulder with her nose and he gave a soft growl in response.
“Alpha-rising. Yeah I know.” He circled her slowly, assessing her emotional levels and determining the best way to proceed with his conflicted mate.
“Exactly.” She dropped her head because she was ashamed to show her doubts to him. Harold deserved to have a strong mate by his side, one that was sure of her path. She was afraid that her doubts would make her look weak.
“Are you thinking about running away, Kat?” He issued the challenge because he knew exactly what was on her mind. Would she admit it to him?
“Would you hate me if I did?” She shied away from the question and flirted instead. They both knew how serious it was, for her to run; the clan, the pack, they would all disown her. He would do everything in his power to keep that from happening.
“I could never hate you, Kat. I know how you struggle with this, even though you’ve never openly admitted it to me. Yes, I am an Alpha, and it is what I want, but I know you. I know how your wolf struggles with this, and I am on your side. We will do this together. It will be as it has always been. You and I bonded for eternity.”
“Only with the weight of the pack placed on our shoulders.” She sighed heavily.
“A little extra weight, it’s nothing. We are strong Kat. We’ve got this.” He paused. “Run with me baby. I can feel you, your energy; your wolf is begging you to move. Do not deny her, never again. Run.”
~
“Look at her, she is so fucking weak! She doesn’t even want it!” Felicia growled as she turned to Lamont who slowly backed away from her until she reached her hand out to coax him forward. “And you will help me won’t you?”
“Whatever you want baby.” He leaned into her hand and let her finger dance through his coat.
“Good, we will take her down and then her Alpha. He will be lost without her, and well who else will he turn to but her Beta?” She smiled hungrily as he wrapped his body around her naked frame. She stood medium height, small frame, and nude under the moon, allowing the pull of it to ebb her wolf once more. She had long since passed her 25th birthday and could shift whenever she felt like it, but because she wasn’t the wolf of the Blue Moon, she would be overlooked for the title of Alpha. So what if Katerina’s birth happened to be timed so perfectly, the girl was still weak in Felicia’s eyes. She didn’t deserve to lead the pack and Felicia would do whatever it took to be sure that the right wolf would lead their people.
“I still don’t like this; I don’t want his hands on you.” Lamont nuzzled his nose into her flesh urging her to shift again and run with him. He loved her body, the soft curves of it, but he was still tied to the moon for several more months. He wanted to be with her, he needed her body, but he couldn’t have it in his current form, not unless she shifted to be with him. He hated that he wasn’t Alpha intended; if he was, he could force her to shift. He could call to the wolf hidden inside of her Beta body and force her out.
“It won’t be for too long baby, you will take your rightful place beside me. Destined my ass, neither one of them deserve the Alpha title. A scared bitch and her sad little pup. That title is mine.” She turned to him and pat his nose. “And yours baby.” She finally gave him what he wanted; she threw her head back and bathed in the moon as her wolf slowly transitioned and released the long brunette fur that took over her frame. She had thoroughly practiced this erotic dance, the slow agonizing turn that drove Lamont wild. He would always give her whatever she wanted; her wolf would be sure of it.
~
“Katerina, you must prepare, the Moonlight Dance is in two nights, and you don’t even have an outfit picked out. What is the holdup daughter?” Katerina’s mother pulled her from her daydream.
“I don’t know mom, I am just not that into it.” Katerina fell across her bed and stared at the ceiling. She wanted to appease her mother and pretend to be excited but she simply couldn’t. It all felt so forced.
“It is your 25th birthday, how can you not be into it? This is your time; your wolf will awaken! It’s the most exciting moment in a young Alpha’s life!” Her mother practically danced around the room.
“Come now Rose, give the girl some breathing room, it’s a heavy time in her life.” Katerina’s father boomed from the first floor of their home and called for her mother to leave her alone.
“Thanks Dad!” She yelled her gratitude down the stairs as her mother began to flee. Rose turned back and winked, letting her daughter know that this was not over and that she would be back.
A few moments later her door swung open and in burst 3 of her friends, her Betas. This was in no doubt her mother’s doing. It wasn’t unlike her to ‘reach out’ to the girls when she felt her daughter was in need of some more friendly urging. Immediately following their entrance, they picked up the conversation almost exactly where her mother had left off. Katerina wished her father would save her from the trio, but she knew that he wouldn’t. He would never interfere with her personal relationship with her Betas.
Savanah, Lorraine and Jennifer were Katerina’s best friends and now her Betas. They would be there alongside her to back her up whenever necessary. However, it wasn’t that simple. After her Alpha–rising, her best buds would have to fight for their place and go up against some tough bitches that Katerina didn’t want anywhere near her. She had no doubt about Lorraine and Savanah, they were fierce competitors, but Jennifer was shy, motherly, and timid. She worried that the more ruthless girls would take her down. The thing about being a Beta is that, if something happens to the Alpha, your name goes in the hat first to become her replacement. Obviously, there were a few people ready to contend for the spot. Katerina hoped that she wouldn’t have to deal with that.
Another problem about having a Beta you don’t trust is the Alpha challenge. At any point, a Beta can challenge your power and authority. If they see fit, they will take you down, no worry about it. To be an Alpha who loses to a Beta is shameful and even though you are not ever technically put to exile, you leave the pack. Who the hell would want to show their face after something like that?
Savanah pulled her red locks up into a tight ponytail as she started in on outfit choices. She had a catalog of ball gowns that she had access to get in as little as 24 hours. She was the curvy girl, the wolf that all the boys called out under the moon and since her 25th, she had only blossomed that much more, her hair grew in red rivers down past her ass and when her wolf emerged, it flowed on the wind like flames.
Lorraine was much more subdued, stocky. She spent more time in the gym than half the Beta males, and she had a body befitting it. Her wolf was a strong grey stock that most shied away from. The males wanted nothing to do with her, because she made them feel emasculated. Lucky for her she was more into females than males. She didn’t really care about wardrobe choices, Lorraine would be happy if Katerina arrived in a pair of baggy jeans and combat boots. All she cared about was that she showed up and performed.
Jennifer was the blonde-haired woman of the group. She had soft skin with a golden mane and small pouty lips. She would definitely be the first to be mated, paired for life after her 25th, which was in just a few weeks. Outside of Alpha mate, the Betas had to pair off; they had to compete for the strongest partners. Every Beta wanted to breed an Alpha. It was the way of the clan. Stronger parings meant better chances for leaders. Jennifer was a strong mate to have, she was docile, yet when she wanted to be, she was very strong. Katerina hoped that she would pull that strength to her when it came time to fight for her position.
“Look guys, I am really not into this. I mean, look at me. When have you ever seen me put on a ball gown?” Katerina tossed the catalog across the room.
“You haven’t, and hell, after you are Alpha, you won’t have to again, but formalities are such and this occasion calls for a gown!” Savanah squealed.
“You just want a reason to play My Size Barbie.” Lorraine chuckled and shook her head, glad that she wasn’t the one required to get all ‘dolled’ up for the event.
“This isn’t fair.” Katerina plopped down onto her bed. “I didn’t exactly ask for this. Why is it my issue that my birthday falls under the Blue Moon?”
“Hey, the elders say it is written that the next Alpha-mate will hit her peak under the Blue Moon, and sorry my dear but that is you.” Jennifer said with sympathy in her tone. She was the only one who understood Katerina’s plight; she wasn’t all that excited about having to contend in the ‘Beta wars’, as she had so nicely termed that. “Legend is such for a reason I suppose.”
“Legend my ass.” Katerina snipped.
Lorraine laughed and they all looked at her with odd faces. “Come on! ‘Legend my ass.’ I am sorry but that is funny! Think about it!” Lorraine snorted. The girl had an odd sense of humor that no one in the group ever understood. Instead, they just nodded their heads at her and continued what they were doing. If they didn’t press the issue, maybe she wouldn’t attempt to explain the joke that wasn’t a joke at all.
“You could always hand it over to Felicia; you know she is just itching for it.” Savanah said matter-of-factly.
“Yeah right, let that psycho bitch lead the pack? You better not!” Lorraine growled.
“I am not crazy Lorraine. Look, I know I am not super excited about my new position, but I have a duty, and I will fulfill it. Just let me bitch about it for a couple more days, okay.” Katerina looked at Lorraine and gave her friend a chance to read the real meaning behind her words. What she said was true. It had been solved on her run with Harold; well at least most of her worries had been laid to rest.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Events....Traveling.....and HOT GUYS!!

Recently my life as an author has taken me on the road  a bit and it has been so much fun. First off, I had never really travelled prior to becoming an author. Outside of short road trips to one of two locations for family events, Chicago has been my place to roam (and trust me I haven't done much roaming here at all!) But on my bucket list (I suppose that is what I will call it) I added two words "Travel more" and now thanks to my current day job and my author life I am happy to say that I am an experienced flier (I also had never been on a plane prior to this year!)

Going to these events has to be one of the best parts of being an author. It's one thing to sit behind the keys of a computer commenting, liking, messaging and forming connections with others in this awesome indie community but its another to actually get out, shake hands, have drinks, and yes... hug! I have already met some awesome people both on the road and locally and I am all to eager to get out and meet some more.

The best part has to be having someone who recognizes your name and your work come up to you and actually have a Fangirl moment....over YOU! To have someone ask to take a picture with you and to be able to sign a book and watch them happily flip through the pages. Total enjoyment!

I write this to say one thing to my author pals across the webberverse... Get up and get out! Become a visible presence both online and off! It has been the best thing I have done so far. And oh...at some of those events...there are HOT GUYS!