Monday, July 29, 2013

Excerpt-a-ganza: Haunted Wolves by Moira Rogers

Today we have some more shiftery goodness with the Always Awesome Moira Rogers's latest release, Haunted WolvesEnjoy!

He hunts nightmares. She survives them.
Green Pines, Book 2
Lorelei Adams has lost many things—her humanity, her life, even her son. She’s always fought through her exhaustion, always stayed strong for her pack, but now there are new alphas to take care of the others. Unfortunately, time to rest means time to think about her own pain.

Colin Knox knows about exhaustion. He’s acted as judge, jury, and executioner to rogue wolves for over a decade, but never lingered long enough to help the survivors pick up the pieces—until now. Lorelei rouses his instincts, both protective and carnal. She’s willing, but only to indulge in physical distraction. Colin wants more, to be the hero who slays her monsters.

Especially when it becomes clear that malicious magic is loose in their sanctuary. The danger draws them together until it’s impossible to separate lust from affection, good intentions from rationalizations. Darkness is stirring at Green Pines. If they can’t fight it together, they could lose everything they have left.

Product Warnings: Contains a weary vigilante hero looking for a place to call home and a stubborn werewolf heroine unwilling to admit she needs help. Also appearing: small-town prejudices, big-city dangers, naked chases through the woods and ghosts. Lots of ghosts.


The pull of the moon sang in her blood, and Lorelei fell into it.
She’d been more desperate to shed her skin and run under the silvered light before, but not by much. Each day brought new challenges, new hurdles to clear. Apparently, declaring sanctuary for abused and beleaguered wolves was easy. Making it a reality? Not so much.
Mae ran with her, at her side but always that one step behind. Weeks of safety had settled some of the girl’s worst fears, but still she hung back, more than willing to let Lorelei charge ahead. Trusting her to set their course.
So much responsibility, as much as she’d had in Memphis. Funny how it felt lighter here, in the absence of constant, grinding danger. Light enough for Lorelei to slow her stride, making the run easier for her companion. There was nothing to escape, no one to outrun.
But Mae tired more easily. As they circled near the clearing where most of the pack had left their clothes, Mae veered off, her sides heaving with panted breaths by the time they reached the tangle of fabric she’d left behind. She dropped to the grass and started the slow, agonizing process of regaining her human form.
It took a while, and by the time Mae knelt on the ground in her human skin, Lorelei had already gathered the girl’s clothes for her. “It’s getting too cold to lounge around naked. Before long, we’ll have to build a fire before we run.”
“Next month, for sure.” Mae wiggled into her underwear and jeans, but bypassed her shirt in favor of hauling Shane’s hoodie over her head. “I may need a heater in the barn, though I guess I could move some of the supplies inside.”
It was only October. “There has to be something safe to use in the barn. I’ll ask Kaley.”
“Yeah, she’ll know.” Mae settled on the grass, pulled on her socks and tossed a blanket to Lorelei. “You don’t have to stop running if you don’t want to. I know I get tired out before you.”
It wouldn’t take long to warm the chill off the blanket, but the night beckoned. “I don’t mind hanging out for a—” A scent, familiar but just shy of comforting, tickled Lorelei’s nose. She turned and peered through the darkness, but saw nothing.
Colin was out there.
She wrapped the blanket around her body and tucked in the end near her shoulder. “What was I saying?”
“That you don’t mind hanging out.” Mae snuggled down into her too-large borrowed sweatshirt and patted the grass next to her. “Only if you really don’t mind.”
“I don’t.” Lorelei stretched out on the grass. “Do you and Kaley have lots left to do before the craft festival?”
“Mostly the nitpicky stuff.” Mae sighed. “I like that part, usually. The packaging. Turning a skein of yarn or a bar of soap into a product. But it’s never had so much hanging on it before. It’s more pressure.”
The festival was a yearly event, combining craft sales with harvest festivities. Though relatively small, it drew enough regional media coverage to mean the difference between Mae’s soap business garnering a healthy local customer base or languishing in obscurity. “You can count on me for putting in booth hours or whatever else you need.”
“I know. Thank you.” Mae pressed her forehead to Lorelei’s shoulder, the quiet touch of a wolf who needed pack. “Shane’s making us a fancy new website—well, upgrading the one I designed. I don’t really know what he’s doing, but I guess it’s going to be high-tech, maybe help manage inventory and invoices. We’ll be a real business.”
“I know. And you can do it, too. I have faith in you.”
“That’s why we can do it. Because you had faith.”
It left Lorelei feeling strangely self-conscious. “No, you and Kaley were already making plans.”
Mae shook her head. “We were trying to, but we wouldn’t have gotten out of Memphis without you. I’m just…grateful, that’s all. Nothing bad’s happened in a month, and maybe that means it works. We’re going to be okay. So I’m grateful.”
Desperate but hopeful, the words of someone life had not yet broken. Lorelei patted Mae’s hand. “You are going to be okay.”
“I am.”
A howl drifted out of the trees, joyous and answered immediately by a second and then a third. It was Mae’s turn to pat Lorelei’s hand as she drew away and rose to her knees. “Go. I’ll be safe walking to the house. Colin’s probably out there, waiting to follow me home.”
She’d given no indication, but maybe she had noticed his presence. “I think you may be right.” Lorelei stood, folded the blanket and held it out. “I’ll see you later.”
Mae smiled and headed for the barn. Lorelei caught that hint of Colin’s scent again, but instead of drifting away after Mae, it grew stronger. Magic sparked behind her, and Colin stepped out of the trees. “Were you going to run again?”
Awareness prickled over her skin, but she resisted the urge to cover herself. Instead, she indulged in a slow appraisal of his naked body—he deserved it for spying, after all—and shrugged. “I’d considered it.”
He accepted her scrutiny with a too-still expression, the kind that had to be deliberate because his face was so rarely devoid of emotion. “If you don’t want company, I can leave. Just thought I’d offer. Shane will make sure Mae gets back all right.”
“Do I want company,” Lorelei asked softly, her gaze flicking over his tall, solid form again, “or do I want company?”
His lips pressed into a flat line. Stern eyes, stern expression, but he used the same voice with her that he used with Mae when panic gripped her—the soft, soothing tone of a man comforting a broken girl. “You know that’s not required of you here, and it never will be again. Company, Lorelei, that’s all this is. Pack to run with.”
She couldn’t blame him for the assumption—that she’d be crawling in his bed for safety and protection, not pleasure. What else could he think? Everyone knew she’d been the one to bargain for their safety in Memphis…and everyone knew exactly how she’d done it.
What they didn’t know was that she refused to feel bad about it.
She walked past him, keenly aware of the tingles that cascaded through her when her shoulder brushed his, sparking a heat the chilly autumn night couldn’t quell entirely. “All you had to say was no, thanks.”
Colin turned and caught her arm, but he released her without tightening his grip, as if touching her at all had been a moment of lost self-control. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—” But he cut himself off with a sigh. “Never mind.”
“Stop apologizing.” She hopped up and balanced on a fallen log for a few seconds before stepping off the other side. “You don’t owe it to me.”
“Maybe I owe it to myself.”
“That’s none of my business.” And then she couldn’t believe the words that came out of her mouth. “But if you want to talk, I’ll listen.”
Colin shook his head, but not without a tiny smile. “Maybe another time. Moon’s still calling me pretty hard. I’ll be even more irritable than usual if I don’t run it out.”
She could feel it too, a jagged need that pulsed through the air, and it reminded her of other, more carnal, needs. Best not to stick around, especially if he planned to keep his hands to himself. “I’m going to call it a night.”
“Do you want me to walk you back?”
“I’ll make it. No need to worry about me.”
“No way to stop me.” He nodded once, an oddly formal gesture. “Have a good night, Lorelei.”
Good night, Batman. She bit her lip against the words. She shouldn’t tease, but it fit him so well—broody and handsome, the dark avenger hell-bent on protecting them all from the injustices of the world. A woman could drown in a man like that, lose herself completely.
Good thing his need to protect her extended to her own self-destructive physical desires.
She turned away. “Good night, Colin.”


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