Thursday, August 16, 2012

A little bit of a tease...

Thanks to Shelly Laurenston's newsletter here's a little excerpt from her upcoming release Howl For It (out 8/28)!

Back Cover Copy:
HOWL FOR IT Back Cover:
Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn’t be happier when the most-feared member of the South’s rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there’s nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts—and have her surrender however and whenever she wants…

EXCERPT: (Unedited/Unproofed)
“Like a Wolf With a Bone”
From Brava
Available August 28th, 2012!

Darla had no idea what woke her up.
She knew she was safe and her body nearly healed. She just had a little bit of a headache that started at the base of her skull. But other than that . . .
And yet, she knew she’d woken up for a reason.
Slipping out of bed, Darla made her way downstairs. As she passed the dining room, she glanced into the kitchen and she could see through the big windows and onto the porch. She stopped and spun around, staring at the wolf standing on his porch. He just stood there, staring out into the trees that surrounded his little house.
She walked to the door and eased it open, stepped out onto the porch.
He glanced at her. “You should be in bed.”
“So should you.”
“Just keeping watch.”
She stepped closer. “Have you been out here all night?”
“Maybe?” Darla sighed. “You’re such a protector.”
“I am?”
“Of course you are. But we’re safe here. You said so yourself.”
“Couldn’t hurt to have a little extra --  ”
“Lord!” She grabbed his arm and yanked him toward the backdoor. “Come on.”
“You need sleep. You’ve been up for hours.”
“I’m used to it.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be. Not when you’re home.”
She managed to drag him through the house and up the stairs, but as soon as she got to the bedroom he was letting her use, he froze in his tracks.
Darla squealed a little when Eggie brought her up short. She realized he’d only been letting her drag him through the house.
“What’s wrong?” she demanded. She wanted to go back to bed.
“Why am I going in there?”
“So you can get some sleep.”
“But where will you sleep?”
Darla released Eggie so she could put her hands on her hips. “Tell me you are kidding.”

Of course he wasn’t kidding. He couldn’t . . . sleep with her.
Because when she said “sleep” what she really meant was “sex,” right? Because that’s what he meant when he said he was sleeping with a woman. That they were fucking.
“We’re both adults, Eggie,” she reasoned.
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“Lord help me,” she muttered. “Can we just get some sleep, please?”
“I can just sleep on --  ”
“That ugly couch? No. Besides, you drool even a little on that couch, something tells me your aunt is not going to let you exchange it.”
“I don’t drool.”
“And there are no beds in the other two rooms.”
“Because every time my brothers would fight with your sisters, they’d come here to sleep. If they think they’ll have to sleep on the floor, they stay away.”
“Then where else are we going to sleep?”
“It wouldn’t be right.”
She studied him for a moment. “You do understand I’m not talking about having sex with you?”
“You’re not?”
Darla gasped and slapped at his arm. It kind of hurt.
“No, I am not!”
“You don’t have to yell.”
“Clearly I do if you think that’s what I want from you.”
“Wasn’t trying to insult ya, Darla Mae. It’s just . . . a wolf and She-wolf sharing the same bed and all --  ”
“Does not mean they have to have sex.”
“They don’t?”
“No. Now come on.” She grabbed hold of his arm.
“I’m still not sure about this,” he hedged.
“Why not? I’ve crashed with male friends before.”
“You have?”
“Of course. During concerts or after a long night at the restaurant. Sometimes after a party. Eggie, it’s no big deal.” 
“Well,” he said, letting her pull him into the room behind her. “If you’re sure.”
“Of course I am. I mean, all those times I’ve slept with my male friends and I’m still a virgin so --  ”
Eggie never heard the end of Darla’s sentence because he somehow ended up slamming his head into the door at her words. He stumbled back, blood starting to drip from his nose.
“Oh, Eggie! Are you all right?”
“Yeah. Sure.”
And Lord, he was such a liar.
Thankfully he hadn’t broken his nose. Although it apparently wouldn’t have been a big deal because he’d already broken it seventeen times. Darla didn’t know how that was even possible, but she also knew the man wasn’t much for telling tall tales. It just wasn’t in him.
She pulled the washcloth that she’d wrapped around ice away from his nose and took another look. “The bleeding’s stopped.”
“Yeah. It’ll be fine. Just a bit of a headache later.”
“Was it the virgin thing?”
He shrugged. “It kind of threw me off.”
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to.”
“I know.”
“Um . . .” Darla toyed with the washcloth. “You aren’t going to tell my sisters, are you?”
“Why in heaven or hell would I ever talk about your virginity to your sisters?”
Disgusted she even had to say it, Darla rolled her eyes and admitted, “They make fun of me about it.”
“Because they always have. Since I was fifteen or so. Anyway, about three years ago, I finally lied and told them it was done with just so they’d stop talking about it.”
“But why did you tell me?”
“Because I knew you wouldn’t care.” Darla turned around and sat down on Eggie’s leg. “I knew I could trust you not to make fun of me.”
“Don’t see why it’s a big deal. You’re only twenty.”
Darla cleared her throat. “Twenty-five.”
“Then that’s tragic.”
Darla punched his chest. “Eggie Ray!”
And, for the first time, she heard him . . . well . . . chuckle. Sort of. It was kind of a grunt-chuckle.
“Just kiddin’.”
“Won’t say a word to your sisters. They don’t speak to me anyway.”
Darla looked at him, frowned. “Why not?”
He shrugged those massive shoulders. “Don’t think they like me.”
“Why wouldn’t they like you? You’re so sweet.”
“You do know you’re the only human being who’s ever said that to me . . . except my mother and I’m not sure she counts.”
“Of course she counts and I’m always right. Once you understand that, you’ll be fine.” Besides, she’d straighten out her sisters later. If they were going to live here and be part of the Smith Pack, they had to accept all the brothers, including Eggie. It wouldn’t be right otherwise.
“Can we go to sleep now?” she asked, resting her head on his shoulder.
“Are you sure you really want to --  ”
“Are we still talking about that?”
“All right. All right. No need to get that tone.”
With his arm around her waist, Eggie hoisted her off his lap and onto the bed. “Under the covers,” he ordered.
Darla slipped under the covers and watched as Eggie followed behind her.
“Do you want to put up a wall between us so we don’t accidentally touch in the night?” she asked sweetly.
“Don’t tempt me.”
Giggling, she settled into the bed. Eggie turned off the lamp she’d forgotten she’d left on and relaxed into the bed.
“Night, Darla.”
“Night, Eggie.”
“And, Darla . . . ?”
“Thank you.”
“For what?”
“For not being afraid of me.”
“Was I supposed to be?”
“Everybody else is.”
I am not everybody else, Egbert Ray Smith. You’d do well to remember that.”
He chuckled --  again! --  and said, “Don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”
“Good. Then I think everything will be just fine.”
“Don’t irritate me, Eggie Ray.”
“You sure are easily irritated for a pacifist.”

Copyright © Shelly Laurenston 2012