Monday, December 17, 2007

Measure of Healing

My second release from Cerridwen Press, Measure of Healing, comes out one month from today. So instead of a rant I thought I'd share the blurb and an excerpt.

Alejandro Ramirez’s Were-Cougar mother drove him out after his first transformation at the age of fifteen leaving him to seek out his human father and find the family his human side craved but that his animal side can never embrace. Now a man, he finds himself responsible for a traumatized Were-Cougar child. When he turns to the Weres for help, they send him to a human. Dr. Gabriela St. Jerome knows of the Cougars and hates them with every fiber of her being. But now she must swallow that hatred to work with Alejandro to help a Were child who has been thrown into transformation far too early by the horrific death of his mother. As they are forced together in the remote woods of the North Georgia Mountains, both find their mutual attraction overwhelming. But if Brie gives into this man and her own passions, it will cost her dearly. It will cost her her life.

Brie rang the bell a second time. She could hear the sound of movement from within, still no one answered the door. There had been no visible number on the house and she had had to guess at its location by counting down from the nearest house that did have its address painted over the door. It was a law that all houses be marked but she somehow doubted that the local city hall sent many inspectors out to monitor compliance.

She was about to pull out her cell phone and try the phone number when the door finally opened and an older woman in her sixties answered. Her dark brown eyes were large and held a wary smile. The black hair was more grey than ebony and her face was tanned and wrinkled from the Florida sun. “Can I help you?” the voice carried a soft Latin inflection.
Brie removed her glasses and the woman’s eyes widened. Cursing she slipped them back on. She knew better. “I’m Gabriela St. Jerome, I’m supposed to meet Alejandro Ramirez. Is this the correct address?” She showed the woman the address written on a small slip of paper.

“You have found the right house.” The woman’s gaze was guarded. “You must be the doctor Alej said would come.”

“Yes,” Brie breathed a sigh of relief. At least she was in the right place. “I’m Dr. St. Jerome. Is he here?”

“I’m here,” the low voice rumbled from the darkened interior of the house. A man stepped up beside the woman and Brie felt her breath catch. He was impressive, the kind of man her research assistant Caroline would call yummy. But his look was wrong, good but wrong.
She frowned at him and Alejandro suppressed the urge to smile nastily. “We better let her in Mama, before she falls down from shock and we have to explain it to the neighbors.”

The older woman gave the young man a patient look and opened the screen door. “Come in Doctor, I’ll fetch you something cool to drink. Alej see that she is comfortable.” As she passed him she gave a mock scowl, “And behave yourself.”

The tall man stepped back and motioned for her to select a seat in the room. The house was comfortably furnished with well worn and used furniture. Choosing a spot on the end of the sofa, Brie perched stiffly. Alejandro was watching her unabashedly, staring almost rudely at her. Lifting her head, she stared back. He wasn’t what she expected. Most Were-Cougars did not look like this. They were tall but not abnormally so. Their hair was generally somewhere between a silvery ash blonde and a dark golden blonde depending on where they called home. And their eyes were blue.

She’d never known of a Were-Cougar whose eyes were not blue. In the wild the actual cougar kittens, Were and animal, were born with blue eyes. Were-Cougar kittens’ eyes remained blue while the animals’ eyes changed to a golden yellow-green. It was one of the identifying marks of their kind. Yet the man who stood there silently taking her measure broke most of the rules. He was tall. Six five at a minimum. His hair was dark and the eyes that seemed to be trying to see inside her were brown. Had Sister Margarite not told her he was Cougar, she would never have known. He looked human.

His eyes held hers then looked away. He was amused. And he was aroused. Good thing you’re not a Were, Princess, cause I’d certainly be getting my face slapped or clawed about now. His thoughts and the accompanying images were broadcast so that any Were could have heard him and they flitted through to her as the woman re-entered the room.

“No, I’m not like you but I am empathic and telepathic. Don’t worry, though, I’m actually more offended at being called Princess. I’d suggest you don’t do that again.” She straightened her skirt and accepted the iced glass from the chuckling woman. The man had a vivid imagination, she’d give him that.

Alejandro stiffened and frowned. Damn that Wolf! The least she could have done was warn him. He’d not run across a gifted human in a long time, then again he’d not been around any humans but his family for the past couple of months.

When she spoke again, it was with deep amusement. “And while we’re getting the surprises out of the way, let’s just deal with this, shall we?” Her voice was filled with impatience but he could hear the anticipatory chuckle it hid.

She pulled off her glasses and revealed a set of deep electric blue eyes. His breath left his chest in a rush. She had the eyes of a Cougar. He’d never seen a human with eyes that color and found he could only stare at her. She was laughing at him but he was too stunned to be angry, yet. Something in him was reacting to her, or to what she seemed to be, in a dangerous way.

“You should learn to trust your nose. For I, Mr. Ramirez, am no more what I look like than are you,” she sat the glass down on a coaster.

So it was an illusion. Determined to wipe the superior smile off her face he shrugged. “You may wish to rephrase that statement, Dr. St. Jerome. I am at least half of what I seem to be.” He walked over to the couch and dropped down next to her, leaning back insolently and stretching his arms out across the back. “I’m half human on my father’s side.”

Her eyes widened and it was her turn to be shocked. A Were-Cougaress mating with a human? It was unheard of. Males had been known to toy with humans and even leave behind mixed blood children but no female would ever…

“My mother was young, on her first estrus actually, when she came across my father one evening. He was a bit younger and a bit more reckless back then and had fallen asleep in his truck alongside the road.” Alejandro leaned forward and looked at her with a wicked light in his eyes. “I’m afraid he was a bit wasted. Three days later she was gone. Seven months later I arrived. And fifteen years after that, when she figured I could fend for myself, I was turned out with nothing but a few dollars in my pocket and my father’s driver’s license. She’d stolen it from him as a souvenir.”

Leaning back he spread his hands wide, “So I sit before you in the bosom of the only real family I’ve ever known. A half Were with dark hair and eyes and a traumatized kitten in his bed. Now that we’ve had our little ice breaker can we get down to business.”

And now:

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Seven Seductive Santas.
For reasons I can't quite articulate, Santa #4 here is my favorite. He's not a ripped as some of the others, but there is something extremely sexy about this Santa and this pose. Come back tomorrow for Santa #5. He's a particularly naughty little Santa.
Do you want to win some fantastic holiday reading? If so come celebrate the Twelve days of Romance with 12 authors from Ellora's Cave, Wild Rose Press, Total-E-Bound and Cerridwen Press. Each day beginning December 8th and running through December 19th one of the twelve authors will tell what their "True love gave to them" on either their blog or website.

Collect all twelve answers and e-mail them to with 12 days of Romance in the subject line to win some great books. There will be three lucky winners. The prizes –
1st prize--6 books
2nd prize--4 books
3rd prize--2 books
All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.
Participating authors/books:
Anny Cook Winter Hearts
Sandra Cox Boji Stones
Bronwyn Green Ronan’s Grail
Heather Hiestand Cards Never Lie
Barbara Huffert Deal of a Lifetime
Amarinda Jones Mad About Mirabelle
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Cindy Spencer Pape Cowboy’s Christmas Bride
Brynn Paulin Fallen
JacquƩline Roth Access Denied
KZ Snow Mrs. Claws
Lacey Thorn Earth Moves


Amarinda Jones said...

And this Santa has champagne so he has my vote for Mr Santa 2007

I love the sound of this book. I was very disappointed when the excerpt ended. How am I going to wait a month to find out what happens?

Molly Daniels said...

This sounds great! I loved 'Access Denied', so am eagerly looking forward to reading this one as well!

Anny Cook said...

Oh, yummmmmy, both the excerpt and the Santa! Yep, can barely wait!