Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Servant Crown - An excerpt

The Servant Crown

This will be the third book in the series. The first two, The Servant Prince and The Servant King (Ice Dragon Tales) is not available right now but will be again soon, along with The Servant Crown, Diagus's story. I don't have a blurb just yet but I do have a very unedited first chapter. Here it is. As always, I hope you like it. I expect to have both Ice Dragon Tales and The Servant Crown out early next year. Let me know what you think.

Chapter One

Tama was the last to leave the graveyard. His father, angry and disheartened, had left at least fifteen minutes earlier, right after the priest said his final Commitment Prayer. Even the priest at that point, with a quick nod to Tama and a brief, harried look around, gathered up his robes and fled as if some demon chased him. Sadly, other than the grave diggers, who worked to cover the grave even as Tama stood there, the wet dirt making a hollow sound as it hit the coffin, the three of them had been the only ones who bothered to witness Kelay’s burial. Of course, the continuous February sleet didn’t help, making the ground greasy and treacherous. Still, Tama was sad for Kelay that no one else came.
Tama sighed as he trudged through the freezing mud to the heavy iron gates of the cemetery. Although women died in childbirth all the time, he was still in shock his sister had suffered such a fate. She had been strong and healthy right up to the moment she announced she was in labor. The woman who had suddenly appeared days earlier, a woman who identified herself as a midwife, gave no indication there was even a problem, only that Kelay had given birth to a robust and strong son. Except, minutes afterward, something went horribly wrong.
Exactly what, Tama had no idea, and his father was ignorant as well. Tama should never have left the house. He had been told the birth would take hours yet so he decided to tend to the animals. He had been in the barn when Kelay breathed her last. Sensing something wrong, Tama hurried back to her room only to catch the midwife packing her wares and hastening out the door, his father wailing that he had lost his precious daughter and a baby crying heartily on the bed next to a lifeless Kelay.
To think, even carrying a crown prince couldn’t save her.
Yes, that was the story Kelay had told them. She had been impregnated by a king. But no one other than his father truly believed her.
Kelay wanted out of Beourn Hilman’s house. Beourn was their abusive, gluttoness, lazy father. She felt her only hope was finding a husband. Once she reached of age, she began  her search. However, in Elven Port, there were no great opportunities for the likes of the Hilman family. Those with money had options. But with no possible dowry, Kelay had few prospects. So, unfortunately, she chose to frequent the ale houses, carousing with the sailors, pirates and ruffians. Tama knew Kelay obviously did far more than just drink with them, though. Sometimes she didn’t come home for days. So how she knew her offspring had royal blood Tama had no clue. But he was also aware women were mysterious in that respect so neither he nor his father ever questioned it.
She had been so happy, making her plans to travel to Castle Blade Rain to tell the king herself. But only after the baby was born. “To be sure,” she had said. “To be certain.”
Their father, too, had beamed as Kelay’s belly grew round and heavy. “He will be a big baby,” he boasted to her at least once a day, giving Kelay any of the extra food, encouraging her to eat heartily. “He will be a boy the king will be proud of.”
“Aye, father, he will indeed.”
“Why do you have to wait, Kelay?” Tama had asked her early on. “You have certainly told enough people already, have you not? Why not travel to the castle and tell him now?”
“You fool, Tama! How can there be proof he is the father before the child is born? I need to wait to see the baby’s eyes. That will be the proof.”
“The eyes?”
“Oh yes! King Diagus’s eyes are the bluest blue I have ever seen. Surely the baby will have them and no one will question his birthright – or mine.”
Tama had scoffed at that. “How is it you are so certain the baby is a boy in the first place and what possible birthright could you claim, Kelay?”
“Women’s intuition, my brother. And my birthright comes from the fact I am the child’s mother, of course! The rumors are the mighty king of Blade Rain needs to marry to produce an heir but takes no woman to his bed. Fate may have it that he is waiting for me. He will make me his queen, you wait and see.”
Tama had doubted that particular scenario of Kelay’s intuition, where the king would marry her. But, the part about the baby being a boy and having amazing blue eyes had both been true. If the king had eyes this color then even Tama would have to believe Kelay’s story of how she became pregnant, however sordid.
Tama was now sad, though, that even he had a bit of that “woman’s intuition”. His doubt had also been true. Kelay would not be marrying the King. It broke Tama’s heart that the big strapping baby, who cried out in a strong voice right from the start, unfortunately was calling for a mother who would never come.
He smiled when he heard the baby’s wails even before he arrived back to the front door of the cottage where they all lived. He was most likely hungry again. There had been a nursemaid called in by a caring neighbor to help with the feedings directly after Kelay’s death. But unfortunately that lady did not have enough milk to feed both her son and Kelay’s hungry boy so another had to be located. In the meantime, Tama had fashioned a bottle of sorts out of a wine skin, allowing for the baby to suck cow’s milk from it. The child had become content immediately, cuddling into Tama’s chest, slurping loudly as he took nourishment. Tama knew in that moment, he loved the small child as if he were his own. Even rejoicing silently that a new nursemaid had yet to be found.
Tama entered the small house and went immediately to the cold storage where the cow’s milk was being kept and filled the makeshift bottle. He then went to the cradle where the baby fussed from and picked him up. He glanced at his father who was sitting by himself and staring into the fire in the hearth, saying nothing, not even acknowledging Tama’s arrival. Tama sighed. Ever since Kelay had announced she was pregnant with a king’s baby and her assurance they were all soon to become royalty and move to the palace, he had no time for Tama other than to shout out the endless chores needing to be done and to beat him for his slowness to finish them all at once. Day after week after month he endured his father’s irrational behavior while his sister enjoyed lazy days, additional blankets and surplus food when there was any. Even to the point of Tama going hungry if he was late to the table due to any number of delays which his father often made sure of.
He loved his sister but was dismayed at her willingness to encourage their father’s harsh actions against him.
“It is for the greater good, Tama. You will soon never be hungry again!”
Ahhh Kelay…
Another oddity was that Beourn had insisted Kelay have a Christian burial. Not that any of them had attended a church. But, it seemed, Beourn was not going to tempt God’s wrath by simply burying Kelay in the field in an unmarked grave. No. Beourn absolutely insisted she be in hallowed ground and be personally blessed by the local priest even though it was not free and coin was a rare visitor in their house.
“You will have to take the baby to the castle.”
Tama had sat down at the tiny table in the kitchen area to avoid having to be in his father’s sight line. Even though he was doing a most important chore, feeding the king’s baby, he was afraid his father would insist he do one of the tens of other things he had already listed out for him this morning, nearly preventing him from attending the burial. For a moment, since pleasant conversation was infrequent between them, Tama wondered who the man was speaking to. Seeing no one else, he repeated what he thought he heard. “You want me to take the baby to the castle?”
“Yes. That king must accept this baby as his own and give us gold in return.”
“Gold in return? What are you talking about, father?”
He turned then, with that fierce look of craziness he always seemed to have when he looked at Tama. “Of course, gold, my daft son! What else? Sheep? Cows? We cannot afford to keep such lavish things. You must ask for gold. Then return with it and we will finally live the way we should live, being related to a king.”
“Why would he give me gold, father? Are you suggesting I leave the baby with him?”
“Yes, yes, of course, boy! Leave the child, take the gold and come home. An easy task.”
“I thought the intent was to live in the castle.”
“Without Kelay there is no longer any hope of that. The only thing left is to obtain gold for the child.”
“But have you no care for this child? No love? He is your grandson!”
The man slowly removed himself from his chair and walked toward Tama. For the first time in a long time Tama did not recoil. He held the baby, the king’s child. His father would not dare to touch him now. But then his father looked at the child as if he looked upon something fearful and Tama was no longer sure. He said quietly, “You will go in the early morning. Having to negotiate the Grey Mountains, Blade Rain is a good week away by fast horse. You will not have a fast horse.”
Tama looked down to the baby’s face as he hungrily sucked at the milk, his little hand clinging tightly to Tama’s shirt, his sweet blue gaze seeking Tama’s. “How will I keep him alive on that long of a trip? The nights are frigid, yet. The baby may not survive. Let us wait for a few weeks, until it is warmer.”
The older man sighed heavily. “Yes. I suppose. It can’t be helped.” But he huffed then. “Think of it, my son. We will soon be rich.”
“We are without Kelay. Now you want to rid us of her son. Is wealth the only thing you cherish?”
His father laughed but it sounded sad.
Or maybe Tama simply imagined it.
The days passed swiftly after that and spring became summer. Tama’s days were full, he was far too busy to discuss a departure time with his father.
“After I get the crop in, father. Wait for that at least.”
“I need to take care of the weeds, father. The crop will most surely die if I don’t. Give me a few days.”
“The sun is too hot to take the boy out. We need to wait for a break in the weather.”
And as the days and then months flew by, the baby grew. Tama named him Aydin, which was elven for “prince”, something Tama’s father was unaware of. He just seemed happy to be able to call the child by other than “Kelay’s boy”. Soon Aydin was sitting up and “talking”, calling Tama “Papa” and Beourn, “Boppa”. Thankfully, Aydin was eating solid foods now and Tama was able to allow his father to once again sell the cow’s milk, making him very happy. It brought a small amount of coin into the house, coin Beourn fiercely guarded in a jar somewhere in his bed chamber.
And as always, Mrs. Bustress, Elven Port’s most wealthy resident, was their best customer.
“I just had to come by and see Aydin’s beautiful blue eyes again, Beourn. Quite the looker he will be when he grows up. I’ve been telling everyone that for months!”
“Yes, Mrs. Bustress. I believe so, too. Now you said you wanted all the milk?”
“Go to bed, Tama.” Tama’s father told him one evening after Tama had finally gotten Aydin to sleep. Tama was bone tired from the constant stream of responsibilities that his father heaped on his shoulders. He had not slept well in too long, keeping an ear open for Aydin. The boy was teething and had bouts with fever and night terrors and Tama needed to be there to calm him. His father couldn’t be called on to help, either. Not only because of his laziness, but because, sometimes, Tama had the thought Beourn believed the child was cursed. Rare was the time when he would even touch the child, much less hold him or comfort him.
“Yes. I plan on it. Is there any supper for me?”
“Alas, boy, I am sorry. There is only a crust left of the bread you made. Here.” He handed a nice sized chunk to Tama who was grateful to have anything at that moment.
“Thank you. But, I am surprised. There has to be meat from the rabbits we caught in the traps, no? And what about the turkey I was able to shoot with my bow and arrow?”
“Ahhh, yes. I will cook all those up tomorrow and you can have as much as you want. I will even rise early and make a hearty breakfast of cakes and eggs.”
“Cakes and eggs? We have no flour for cakes and I thought you sold all the eggs once again to Mrs. Bustress when she came by the other day.”
“Yes, I sold her most of the eggs and in return, she gave me flour.”
“You saved eggs for us this time? Well, then! I will most assuredly look forward to a grand breakfast before I begin my day. What a treat that will be! I can hardly wait. Thank you, my father.”
His father had oddly grinned then. Looking back, Tama should have known better. It had been the first time since before Kelay had claimed to be pregnant from a powerful king that his father had spoken so politely to his only son. The first time in a very long time he was offered any form of kindness. Oh yes, he should have been on the aleart. For when Tama awoke the next morning, concerned he hadn’t been roused in the night by Aydin, he discovered the baby and his father gone. The cradle was empty, his father’s bed never even slept in, all the food had disappeared and their one and only horse, Rego, was missing as well.
“No!” Tama had whispered into the early dawn, his heart in his throat. How long had his father been planning this; begging for Tama to hunt this past week, even after he had been successful with the traps? How had Tama slept through them leaving? He usually slept so lightly. But the chores had been enormous and endless and last night, right before Tama trudged off to his loft, his father had even shared a small bit of his ale. Could his father have raided his healing herbs pouch and concocted a sleeping potion? Again, how had he missed it?
And how would he catch up to them? They surely had at least a few hours head start. Even if they had only a single hour it would still be impossible. They were on horseback, Tama, on foot. But it didn’t matter. He had to catch up to them before his father gave the baby away to the king of Blade Rain.
Tama quickly rumaged through the cottage to find anything his father may have left that would help him on his journey. He rolled up a change of clothes in his sleeping bag along with his flint and small ax. He next grabbed his knife and his bow and arrows, hoping to take down at least some small prey by time he laid his head down tonight seeing his father left him no food at all.
His stomach growled and he cursed his father for lying to him. He had fallen asleep with the thoughts of filling his stomach this morning. Not going hungry yet again and chasing off to rescue his child.
Yes. His child. Aydin was his. The little tyke was only months old but he made Tama’s life so bright and happy, giving him up to a total stranger, even if he was a king, wasn’t an option. He looked forward so much coming home to those little arms that would wrap powerfully around his neck. And he simply loved covering that cherub face with kisses.
“Papa home!” his little voice would sound out.
“Oh yes, my big boy. Papa is home.”
“Tico, tico!” and Aydin’s little fingers would “tickle” Tama wherever he could reach.
Tama’s heart would swell each time with great happiness at Aydin’s energy. He couldn’t help but take the time to play with him, even when Tama was dead tired from the day, tickling him and making them both laugh. Often to the dismay of his father.
“You’re spoiling the lad. He needs to be taught life is full of work and pain, not laughter.”
Tama cringed at his father’s constant berating of him although he wondered whether Beourn knew much of work anymore. However, if anyone knew those harsh words were truth, it was Tama.
“However, being the lad will soon be sitting at the king’s table,” his father continued, “he just might escape such things. Speaking of which, when are you going to do what I told you to do months ago and take the child to the castle Blade Rain? The weather is once again becoming unpredictable. Another couple weeks and it may become impossible to move through the Gray Mountains.”
“Father, why speak of this again? Aydin is happy here with us, is he not?”
But he had known the old man was not going to let it go, knew the lure of his imagined gold they would be offered in return was too strong. Why had he not heeded those thoughts? Why had he not done exactly as Beourne had done; taken the child, the food, and Rego, and strike out on his own, leaving his father to pitch and moan all by himself?
The final thing Tama took was a pretend rabbit Tama had made for Aydin out of leftover white rabbit fur. He had fashioned a body and head with long ears and even managed to blacken the fur where the eyes and nose should be. He stuffed it full of aromatic herbs and specially dried forest gatherings. Then he laid the rabbit in the moonlight seven times, inviting the protection spirits to enter, invoking them to keep the bearer of the rabbit safe from all evil. Aydin loved the thing and even slept with it every night. Beourne had, of course, chastised Tama for wasting his precious time with the project. But when Tama saw how Aydin took to the talisman, he beamed at his father.
“See? The boy doesn’t think I have wasted my time.”
“He is only a child! He has no mind to understand the responsibilities of an adult. You are daft if you accept a mere smile as payment for your labors!”
Still, that was exactly how those smiles felt for Tama. And the smile was always there for him, no matter what it was that Tama did, even for just the act of coming in the door after a long day. Those little hands and knees would carry him immediately to Tama. “Pay, papa, pay?”
“Oh yes, my sweet Aydin. Of course, papa will play.” And they would bounce the rabbit around the floor pretending they were a rabbit family in the deep wood. Aydin would actually squeak his enjoyment and hug the fake rabbit again and again. Kissing it as often as he would kiss Tama. It was no surprise his father would leave such a happy thing behind.
Tama looked over his field of alfalfa as he readied himself for departure. He had been thinking to begin the harvest soon. After keeping what he deemed he could for their own horse and cow, he fully intended on trading the rest for needed winter supplies including seed for the following spring. He had even thought of negotiating for a pair of new boots, having patched and repatched and re-repatched the boots he had on. But he doubted he or his father would be back here to this place. He would stop in town and tell Mr. Olson at the feed mill to send someone and take in the harvest instead. At least someone would benefit from it. Maybe tend to the chickens and their one lone cow, too.
If his father ever returned – well, he no longer cared.

Tama turned toward the south and hurried toward the castle Blade Rain. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

COVER REVEAL for Every Breath

Every Breath by Teri Yorek


Brianna ran with her daughter, Melinda, from Arizona all the way to Minnesota to escape her blackmailing sister, Kathy. Melinda belonged to Brianna now, not Kathy, who gave her up for adoption to Brianna and now Kathy suddenly has a desire to be a mother? Ha! There’s money out there for single moms and cold hard cash is the only thing Kathy understands. 
Besides, Minnesota has something Brianna finds she is very interested in – Hockey.
Okay, maybe not hockey, but one specific hockey player by the name of Devon Saint Martin. Big, gorgeous and wealthy, Devon has it all. Including a long string of stunning ex-girlfriends. So Brianna knows he would have no interest in plain-Jane Brianna.
Except, the first time they meet, it was up close and personal and they were both naked.
Afterward Devon made it perfectly clear he was not only interested, he wants Brianna. But the man is famous for his “never gonna get married” attitude and there’s no way Brianna is going to fall victim to the devastating “Devon charm” and be yet another notch on the man’s hockey stick. 
Until little Melinda decides “Debon” is her “bestest fwend”. Brianna finds it impossible not to fall for the man who gently holds her daughter’s heart in his hand. 
But then some very unpleasant incidents begin to take place and It has both Devon and Brianna questioning who it could be that is jeopardizing their fledgling happiness, and whether or not their fragile love can survive.  

For more information 

Click HERE

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Every Breath

Today I am announcing a new book I wrote with the help of my late sister, Teri. I wasn't sure how I was going to deal with this because it is not my usual M/M romance. Instead, it is a M/F romance. My author name will not be on or even in the book, just my sister's. But, after much thought, I decided that I would "put it out there" for those who, knowing I wrote it, just might want to read it. Below is an acknowledgement which will be in the book.

I hope those who read this post will give this book a chance. Below the acknowledgement, is the working blurb and below that, the always present Book video. As always, happy reading.

Hurri Cosmo



Teri had beautiful hands. Something I always noticed. Not that she had manicures all the time or used a special lotion, she just had naturally beautiful hands. She also had beautiful handwriting. You could always tell if she wrote a particular note or actually signed the birthday card, because her handwriting was unique. At least it was to me. She got it from our mother who was, and is, meticulous about certain things, and her own handwriting was just one of many she took pride in. That wasn’t the only thing Teri got from our mother. She got our mother’s beauty, perfect skin, amazing energy, and keen eye for detail. She also got our mother’s solid common sense and, along with my other two sisters and my brother, brilliance. Well – maybe she got some of that from our dad as well. Sadly, I didn’t get any of it, the hands, the beauty, the common sense or the brilliance. And the handwriting? Some would say “Good grief, no”. But the one thing Teri and I did have in common was reading. Oh yes. A passion for both of us and Teri had hundreds and hundreds of romance paperbacks, all of which, she read. Every single one.

Unfortunately, at the young age of 23, Teri was diagnosed with cancer, and after battling it for three long years, the cancer took her life. A number of weeks after her death, when going through her things, the family discovered a file folder of notebooks and loose papers, all filled with her handwritten romance stories. Who knew? None were complete, but it was obvious we also shared one other thing. She, like me, had, at one point, dreams of becoming an author. But, along with so many of her dreams, she was never able to make it happen. So I gathered up that file and stowed it away, vowing that someday I would make at least that denied dream come true. Then a few years ago I became a published author with, now, over twenty books under my author name.

I was finally ready.

Which was a good thing. I had a bout with breast cancer last year and my mom was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. It put things back into perspective for me. I wanted that book done. So here it is. Complete.

This book is a combination of all those beautifully handwritten notes, stories and out-lines, found in that old, and now very tattered, file folder. It is also a combination of our writing styles, something I think Teri would appreciate, respect, and, I dare to believe, like. I see her adding this paperback to her enormous collection and moving right on to the next dream, this one finally fulfilled.

And my mom? She may or may not read it. I hope she does. Otherwise, it will still have a special place on her book shelf that she designated a long time ago for this very book.

Thank you, Dark Hollows Press, Eden Connors, Michelle Williams and the awesome Shannon West, all true heroes, for believing in me enough to pull this off and committing to publishing this book even before I finished it. Thank you to my family of crazy people who allowed me to take this file of Teri’s writings so many years ago and for believing that I could possibly make it what it is today, a little contribution to the paperback romance world. And thank you, Teri, for letting us find your treasure in the first place so I, along with so many awesome others, could complete this dream for you, for our family and, hopefully, for many happy readers who will now be able to see not only what your beautiful hands created but a tiny piece of your heart.

I love you. I miss you.



Brianna ran with her daughter, Melinda, from Arizona all the way to Minnesota to escape her blackmailing sister, Kathy. Melinda belonged to Brianna now, not Kathy who gave her up for adoption to Brianna and now Kathy suddenly has a desire to be a mother? Ha! There’s money out there for single moms and cold hard cash is the only thing Kathy understands. 
Besides, Minnesota has something Brianna finds she is very interested in – Hockey.
Okay, maybe not hockey, but one specific hockey player by the name of Devon Saint Martin. Big, gorgeous and wealthy, Devon has it all. Including a long string of stunning ex-girlfriends. So Brianna knows he would have no interest in plain-Jane Brianna.
Except, the first time they meet, it was up close and personal and they were both naked.
Afterward Devon made it perfectly clear he was not only interested, he wants Brianna. But the man is famous for his “never gonna get married” attitude and there’s no way Brianna is going to fall victim to the devastating “Devon charm” and be yet another notch on the man’s hockey stick. 
Until little Melinda decides “Debon” is her “bestest fwend”. Brianna finds it impossible not to fall for the man who gently holds her daughter’s heart in his hand. 

But then some very unpleasant incidents begin to take place and It has both Devon and Brianna questioning who it could be that is jeopardizing their fledgling happiness, and whether or not their fragile love can survive.  


Saturday, June 4, 2016

An excerpt of Ghost Wolf

I changed it. Shocker, right? Anyway, here is the newer version for Chapter One

Chapter One

They were going to kill me. They were going to hunt me down and pull out all my innards. That's what grandpa said. But grandpa was like that. Kinda blunt and always to the point. Well, a point he wanted to make. Other times he was pretty vague. He had been a big influence on me when I was careening into my teenage years.
He wasn't really my grandpa, though. He was just some old man who had lived down the road but he had been a wolf shifter too, just like me, and he told me that was what they did to shifters without a pack. They killed them. I didn't have a pack. But it wasn’t my fault. It wasn't like I was kicked out or chose to go it alone or anything. My parents adopted me and I never really even knew I was a shifter until I was twelve. And until the old man told me, I never knew I was supposed to even have a pack.
But man, shifting? I thought I was going crazy that summer. I know I was acting a little weird too because I heard Mom whisper to one of her friends I was going through some major hormones. Yeah, right!  Fuck!  “Horror-mones,” more like. That first time I shifted totally through me for a loop. I ran as far into the woods as I could get, thanking God we actually lived in the country at the time, following some crazy need to be as far away from people as I could get. And I shifted. I had no clue what was happening to me, my body contorting and changing. It didn’t exactly hurt or anything, it just felt incredibly strange, like…letting loose, letting go.  Once I was shifted fully into my wolf form I felt free for the first time in my life. It felt so good!  I ran for hours. I killed for the first time too, a small rabbit. I saw it and I chased it and I caught and killed it. I drank its blood and then I ate it.
Then I threw it up.
I never killed again.
But even so, I was kind of proud.

           The shifting part? I didn't understand it. But I loved it. I spent a lot of time in the woods that summer. I think my mom thought I was probably "discovering myself" in a far different way then I really was. No, I was learning how awesome it was to simply run.

          That was when I met the old man.

          He had just made a kill himself and was muzzle deep when I ran right into him. I knocked him over and we both rolled. He came up snarling and snapping, blood and goo hanging from his fangs. Scared the hell out of me. I ran so fucking fast I had burn marks on my face from the crap I must have plowed through on my way out of the woods. I know he chased me but I ran far faster.
No one was as surprised as I was when later that same night he showed up, in human form, at my front door. Oh, I knew immediately it was him. I could smell him. He told me later he tracked me right to my house. He seemed to think I was stupid or something to allow for that.
He introduced himself to my mother, said he was a neighbor and simply decided to "get to know us". Turned out he lived just down the road. He eyed me a few times, almost feral-like, until my mother told me to get my ass into the kitchen and introduce myself. Fuck, I was scared!  I didn't know anyone else could do what I could do and suddenly here was another human who was also a wolf? How much fucking sense did that make?
Of course, it didn't make any sense I could do it either, but two of us? It made it that much more believable that I wasn’t insane and it may sound crazy but I wasn’t sure which was worse. Being insane and hoping I would grow out of it someday or really truly being able to turn into a wolf.
Being twelve the world just shouldn’t be that complicated.
Mom invited him to dinner a whole lot after that, said she felt sorry for him. Besides, he told some pretty tall tales. She said he reminded her of her old man, my real grandpa, who died before I was adopted, so I just sort a started calling the old man ‘grandpa’. He never once corrected me.
And he told me about being a shifter. Nope, we were not the only ones. There were plenty of “us” out there. He told me all kinds of things, even about shifter rules and shit. A lot of it I forgot, but some stuck with me, like the “they will kill you if you don’t have a pack” thing. He said it was why he rarely shifted anymore. Seems other wolves can smell you and track you. You have to be careful. Yeah. I get that now.
“But why kill a wolf without a pack?” I asked once.
“Because the alpha will look at a lone wolf as being competition for leadership. Alphas are fucking crazy that way.”
“So why wouldn’t they just make me a part of the pack?”
“Still could be a threat.”
I laughed. Yeah, me, a threat. I had been tiny back then. Even now, I stood all of five foot six, weighed maybe hundred ten on a good day under my mop of platinum hair and I’ve seen my wolf. Although I think I am a very pretty color, one I don’t think is normal for a wolf, I’m the same kind of “totally not impressive” there too. He asked me about it once, my wolf’s color, right after we met.
“What the fuck color are you, boy?”
“I…I don’t know…white I guess.”
“White my ass. Your…like a blue silver…or a black silver. Shimmery, like a ghost. I’ve never seen that before.”
“Is that…bad?’
“Probably. Color like that’s intimidating. Alpha would probably kill you just because of that.”
Fuck. I wanted to ask more but I was already feeling anxious about the no pack thing, already starting to look over my shoulder, vowing I would never shift again.
There was other shit too, like the alpha made all the rules and everyone in the pack had to submit. I was never any good at playing follow the leader. Pack initiation was another nightmare and I do mean that, literally. They all get to fuck you, he said. You come into a pack at the bottom rung and they all get to fuck you.
Now, I was only twelve, going on thirteen, but I had pretty much already figured out I wasn’t into girls. I had a friend at school named Timmy and he and I hung out a lot. We used to sit up in his room and whack off to pictures in a magazine Timmy swiped from his old man’s bedroom; pictures of naked big titted women, spreading their legs, looking kind of sleepy with their mouth’s all open and shit. Timmy used to be all bug eyed turning those pages and rubbing himself through his pants until he took his dick out. He would usually stop at the centerfold and pull it out to full length. By that time, he was hard and dripping.
“Oh fuck, Trevor, isn’t that the most awesome sight?” That’s what he would say to me. Every time. Then he would get real busy, moving his hand up and down his thick dick, rubbing the shiny pre-cum over the tip and down the sides, just staring at those pictures. I had to agree it really was an awesome sight, but it wasn’t the picture I was looking at. No, I got off on watching Timmy’s dick. I liked hearing Timmy’s moans as he got close to spurting. I liked watching the way he would jerk his hips in time with his hard and fast strokes. He would reach down and play with his balls too. I remembered wondering what it would feel like if Timmy did that to me. Sometimes late at night I would jack off imagining it was Timmy’s hands on me instead of my own.
Nope, girls didn’t do it for me. Not that Timmy did either, it was just that I liked looking at dicks.
But even so, I wasn’t too keen on having a whole pack fucking me and to tell you the truth, I didn’t know at that time how they could. I was a guy. There was nowhere to stick it, is what I thought. I mean, those magazines were somewhat explicit and were pretty much the extent of my sex education. Girls had a hole. I still had no idea how any of it would fit and I wasn’t all that convinced I would want to be putting my cock up inside anyone like that anyway.
But then at twelve, going on thirteen, the horror-moans were just kicking in so not a lot of things really ever did make much sense. Still scared the crap out of me.
“So gramps, did you ever belong to a pack?”
“Yep,” he said, “once.” I remembered he smiled a kind of bitter smile. But he wouldn’t talk about it. Something of course had to have happened to him. Maybe it was the “whole pack fucking you” thing. All he said was that was why he was living in “Middle of Fuck, Minnesota”. There were no packs out here, or at least, none he had ever run across and he had been there since, well, even he couldn’t recall.
Said he was older than dirt.
I believed him.
In fact, I believed everything he told me.

But life cracks you upside the head from time to time and I seemed to be a favorite target. The old man got real sick one day and he died. One day he was there and the next he was lying in a wood box looking pale and…wrong.
He smelled funny too.
Smelled off.
He didn’t have much family, just a man who suddenly showed up who claimed to be a cousin by marriage. Seemed the old man’s long dead wife was the sister to his mom or some stupid shit like that. All I knew was that fucker didn’t smell right either.
After the funeral he said he wanted to get into the house grandpa lived in. I didn’t like his attitude but since he was family – sort of – I showed him where grandpa had lived. He was all business like, going through the old man’s stuff like he was searching for something, but treating everything like it was trash.
“What are you looking for?” I asked finally.
Yeah, right.
He searched through drawers and closets; he lifted the mattress off the bed. He even checked the floor boards by stomping his feet all over them. I think he was trying to figure out if they were loose or not. Yep, he was searching for nothing. My instant distrust of the guy was dead on.
When he happened across the box that had my name on it he first shook it and when it made no noise he tried to open it.
“Hey!” I said. “That has my name on it. Grandpa wanted to give me that.”
He harrumphed and only brought it closer to his beady eyes to figure out how to open it. I reached for it but he batted my hands away. I had no idea what was inside the box but I sure as hell didn’t want this asshole to see it. But he managed to unlatch it and open it anyway. “Huh. Empty,” he announced. He closed it, smirked at me, then latched it again. He threw it at me. “You can have it. It’s worthless.”
Somehow, I caught it, fearing it could break if it hit the floor. I looked at the opening mechanism and realized the idiot had not only latched it, he had locked it as well. “Hey! You jerk! You locked it! Now I can’t get it back open.”
He glared at me with a scowl which made the wolf in me cower. I almost whimpered. Fuck, that would have been embarrassing. But he seemed to lose interest in me at that point. Then, after making a total mess of grandpa’s house, he left. Empty handed.
The County came in and went through grandpa’s stuff too. They had a little more respect for it but not much. There was an auction mom refused to let me go to and after the house was empty, they locked it up and a “for sale” sign went up on the ill kept front lawn.
I cried all night.

Then, the next night, I broke in.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Interview with Sawyer

Trace is nursing a broken heart. He lost his job, his boyfriend of two years was cheating on him, and his apartment building burned right to the ground with all his worldly possessions.  It was time for Trace to get out of Minnesota. 

So Trace heads for Texas and Riven Creek Ranch, the horse farm his aunt Lois owns. But hours before he arrives, Lois is in a terrible car accident that nearly takes her life, and Trace finds himself in charge of the ranch kitchen. Sounds simple enough and it's the least he can do for his recuperating aunt.  

Then Sawyer happens.

Sawyer is his aunt's big, beautiful, muscle bound, incredibly sexy straight ranch manager. Someone who has no clue Trace is gay. And meeting the big man should have been okay, except it was in the middle of his aunt's kitchen at five in the morning and Trace was nearly naked. Embarrassing? Yep. But the very next day Trace proceeded to ramp up his embarrassment by quantum leaps when he nearly sets his aunt's house on fire and the brooding Sawyer has to come to the rescue. 

Seems like Trace's "luck" followed him.

Not to mention that Aunt Lois's "accident" was actually attempted murder. And now, they just might want Trace dead, too. 

Can Trace figure out who's behind the attempts on his aunt's life AND keep Sawyer from finding out he's hot for the cowboy? 
He probably can’t. But he’s going to try.

Character interview with Sawyer Elliot

Thank you for talking with me this morning, Mr. Elliot. May I call you Sawyer?


So you are the ranch manager here at Riven Creek Ranch. Can you tell me a little bit about your job?

Well, I’m in charge. All the ranch hands answer to me. I establish the work schedule and make sure everyone is properly trained and following procedures. We’re not overly staffed so everything is a delicate balance. (chuckles). Thankfully we all work well together. It’s not easy taking care of this facility. The maintenance alone is a full time job. 

It must be expensive to run this place.

Absolutely. I should know, too, since I have to put together the budget every year.

Care to share that figure with us?

I don’t think I should but it’s a crazy high one.

Is there a lot of paperwork that goes along with your job? This office you have is fairly large and there doesn’t seem to be a lack of paper on your desk.

There is a mountain of paperwork. From keeping personnel files on the employees to keeping accurate files on each and every horse on the ranch. We monitor weight, health, feed. When they last saw the vet or farrier. Horses tend to injure themselves, too, so we have to daily monitor that. And if an animal is sick or truly injured? Then let’s talk about paperwork! Not to mention all the state and federal regulations I need to keep up with along with repair records on all the equipment. So, yes, there is paperwork.

Tell me about your relationship with the ranch hands.

(Laughs) We have a good one. All of us. We’re more like a family here. I know a lot of places probably say that but here it’s the truth. These guys have my back and I have theirs.

What do you mean?

We work well together. Each of us pretty much knows what the other guy is thinking, what they need. My guys never question me and oftentimes don’t even need direction from me. They see what has to get done and they get it done.

How does that say family?

Well, maybe it doesn’t say family. It does shout respect. There is not one of these guys I wouldn’t take a bullet for. I think they would do the same for me.

So what about family? Where’s yours?

I don’t have one. I was an only child and my parents died a long time ago.

No aunts or uncles? Cousins?


Love life?

(Laughs) Nope. Nada. Don’t believe in it.

You don’t believe in love?

I don’t believe there is that special someone out there for me.

Really? Why’s that?

Do you see him?


Yeah, I’m gay. So what? Everyone knows and they have no problem with it.

Wow. That alone is something, don’t you think?

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I had issues when I first took over. It’s taken five years to get the crew I have. That’s why I call them family because they accept me for who I am and respect me for the job I do. In turn, I put a lot on these boy’s shoulders and not once have they disappointed me.

So, none of them have caught your eye?


That’s pretty definitive.

That’s because it is. And each and every one of them knows that.

That’s kind of sad.

A relationship would only mess things up.

I disagree.

What are you talking about?

I think you’re going to be surprised one day Sawyer Elliot. I think a very special man is going to walk into your life and turn you into a believer. And I think it’s going to be very soon. What do you say to that?

I’d say you’re crazy. It’s not going to happen.

Ha! Famous last words. (laughs)

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Submitted to All Romance By: honei on Apr 9, 2016
I absolutely love this story. Cosmo is a wonderful storyteller and with this twist of a shifter story you can't help but fall for Hyden and want to protect Graham. Great beginning hopefully to new series.

Thank you, honei! And, yes, this is a series. Mates, Inc. is part of it (no longer available but will be republished soon) and much more to come from this part of town.


This is a FREE STORY! 

Go HERE for the downloads 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Interview with Trace Macky from "Then Sawyer Happened"

Trace Macky

Good morning, Mr. Macky. I hope you don’t mind me calling you Trace.

Not at all. Good morning. What is it you needed to talk to me about?

I am trying to get to know what it takes to run a horse ranch. I understand you are now in charge of the kitchen and the finances of Riven Creek ranch.

Yes, I guess I am. I’m not sure why my aunt thinks I can do this but she has always been supportive of me. I can hardly turn my back on her now that she needs me.

I heard she was in quite a serious accident.

Nearly killed her.

She’s doing well now though, right?

She is doing fine. She has a lot of rehabilitation ahead of her which is why she has me doing…well – this.

What is “this” exactly?

Well, should be simply enough, really. I am supposed to provide breakfast for the main employees of the ranch. The managers and heads of certain areas of the ranch like the barns and the maintenance and things.

How many people is that?

Ten. Ten hungry men.

Wow. Ten hungry men, huh?

Don’t make fun of me. Yeah, I know. Shouldn’t be that big of a deal but like I told my aunt, I can barely cook for myself. Making any meal for ten people is a huge challenge.

So that’s all you do? Make breakfast?

(Sighs) No. I have to make lunch, too. And snacks and I’m supposed to run water and coffee like a lot. I know it sounds easy but… well, it’s not.

(Chuckles) How about the finances. Those can’t be that simple either.

Oh, the finances are a breeze. Once I get to know the expenses I will have no problem with them. It’s what I went to school for. Numbers are easy for me.

But I understand it involves a lot of money.

It’s like any business. There’s income and outgo. Simple. Here that translates into foals as the income and feed, equipment and insurance, etc. as outgo. Yes, all of it is very expensive. But it’s all straight forward; black and white. There might be room sometimes to question a bill, question why we are with certain companies, but for the most part, all those decisions are sound. All I have to do is make sure everything is paid in a timely fashion and it’s all entered correctly on all the spread sheets for the CPA.

I would think one of those larger expenses would be the payroll.

Oh yes, absolutely.

Do you have say in how much should be devoted to that?

(Laughs) No. Not at all. I wouldn’t have the first clue right now how many people it takes to keep things running smoothly out there in the barns and such. Sawyer is in charge of all that.

Ahhh. Sawyer Elliot, the ranch manager. Tell me, what do you think of him?

Why are you asking that?

No reason. Just wonder what you think of him.

Well, he’s… he’s… you know – fine. Smart. Big. He’s… he’s fine. Crap. Is it hot in here? Suddenly I think it’s really hot in here.

No. Temperature is very normal. Cool, as a matter of fact.

Crap. Really?

So what about Sawyer?

Nothing! The ranch hands all seem to like him. They respect him.

He says he thinks of the ranch hands as family.

(Snorts) Yeah. He thinks they are all pretty important.

You seem unhappy about that. Jealous, even. Doesn’t that “family” include you?

Are you kidding me? Sawyer thinks I am one completely screwed up idiot. He wishes I would pack my stuff and get the hell out. He hates me.

I find that hard to believe.

Oh, believe me. He can’t wait to be rid of me. And it’s probably best I get out, too, before… well, just before.

Before what?

Before he finds out…that I’m gay.

You’re gay? Oh. I get it. You like him.

What? No! I don’t like him. He’s… yeah he’s nice looking. Very nice looking. (shakes his head) It doesn’t matter.

Does your aunt know?

Know what?

That you’re gay.

Oh yeah. She’s always known.

Really now? She’s okay with that?

Of course. Why wouldn’t she be?

Hmmm. No reason. Just wondering why she insists on you helping instead of hiring someone who – excuse this the way it sounds – knows what they are doing?

(Shrugs) I have no idea. I asked her the same thing.

Seems rather suspicious, don’t you think? Maybe she knows something you don’t?

Like what?

(Laughs) Never mind. But I think this is going to get very interesting in the next several weeks.

What will?

Riven Creek Ranch, Trace. Riven Creek ranch.

Read excerpts and get the buy links HERE