Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Meet My Guys

Yesterday I participated in a chat loop to kick off the Valentine’s contest. While chatting I was posting excerpts from some of my books, and enjoyed telling folks on the loop to my guys. So I thought I’d spend a few days introducing people to my guys.

I’ve said before that my stories are often driven by the male characters. No, not often, always. They are the ones who pop into my mind first, they tell me their stories and introduce me to the people in their lives. They whisper in my hear, argue with me, pout, fuss and sulk when I don’t get it right or don’t write for them that day and they open up their souls to my inspection. My men may not be corporeal, but each one of them is special.

Alejandro Ramirez
Half Human/Half Were-Cougar
Age: 51 (looks about 28)

Alejandro is the son of a She-Cougar and a human man. Though not the only kitten in his litter, he was the only one with human blood. When he experienced his first transformation, as is the way of the Cougars, his mother sent him out with nothing but a few dollars in his pocket and his human father’s driver’s license. A souvenir of their tryst.

Taken in by his human family, Alejandro finds a life that his human half craves, but his Cougar half can never fully accept. Male Cougars do not form families. They are solitary creatures who hunt, mate and defend their territory. When he finds himself responsible for a small Were child he has no choice but ask the Were world for help. They send him to a human. But Brie has secrets that could get them all killed.

As his human need for love and family war with his Cougar heritage, he finds that the family he really wants includes Brie and the child they are working together to heal.


The man who sat in the corner booth this early afternoon was certainly no college boy. He also wasn’t one of the park staff. But he could easily have been one of the regulars. His tightly set jaw cut a clean, slightly squared line. The long hair was loose and reached his shoulders, a red bandana tied around his forehead to keep it out of his eyes. The mixture of medium brown and golden strands gave the hair the color of richly polished maple. He was a bit pretty for this neck of the woods but there was something dangerous and hard about him that warned everyone a harsh penalty would be extracted from anyone who pissed him off.

Henry continued to eye him warily until a familiar voice called out as its owner entered the door. “Hey old man, you still alive?” Henry scowled at the speaker and immediately opened a bottle.

“Haven’t you been eaten by a gator yet, asshole?” He slid the beer down the bar to where the new arrival stood grinning at him.

“Naw but keep prayin’. Between you and my ex-wife, maybe you’ll get lucky.” He picked up his bottle and stepped away from the bar.

“I’ve seen your ex-wife, Eddie-boy. Just hearing her, me and getting lucky in the same sentence is enough to make me swallow drain cleaner,” Henry snorted. Poor kid couldn’t be over 30 and he had one hell of bitch nipping at his heels.

Eddie grimaced, “Where were you with your sage advice before I said I do?”

“As I remember it, every male in the family tried to stop you and you threatened to kick the hell out of all of us,” the deep voice rumbled up from the booth in the corner.

Eddie pushed his black hair out of his eyes and his face grew serious, his voice hard. “This good-for-nothing giving you trouble, Henry?”

The bartender glanced between the two men. He’d never heard Eduardo Ramirez speak a harsh word to anyone. Even in the midst of a fight, Eddie’s smile was fixed on his face and he used his quick tongue to strike as many blows as his fists. The man stood up and Henry reached carefully for the handgun that sat beneath a stack of towels on the shelf under the bar. If this guy messed with one of his customers, he’d be sorry.

Eddie slowly approached the man who was two to three inches taller than he and much leaner. He looked like a seasoned predator, one made hard by the struggle to survive. The smaller man was broader but Henry’s experienced eye told him who would be the more deadly if trouble broke out and it wouldn’t be Eddie.

The two men stood, eyes locked and bodies held stiff. “You look like shit,” Eddie snorted reaching out and grabbing the other man into a quick embrace.

At the hard, two handed slap on the back a hint of a smile broke out on the tall man’s face, a faint curl of the lip that almost looked like a snarl. “Let go of me, cabron.” The man pulled away and sat back down.

Eddie laughed again and looked over at the older man whose tension was almost tangible. “It’s okay, Henry. Alejandro has been calling me a lot worse for years.” Eddie slid into the booth, “Still a friggin’ ray of sunshine aren’t you, hermano?”

Sunglasses lowered to reveal golden brown eyes only a shade darker than the man’s hair. “I’m sitting in a dive in the middle of the Everglades and you know how much I hate the Everglades,” he glanced up to see the bartender standing close enough to hear, while trying to seem as if he weren’t hanging on every word. Both of the old man’s hands were now visible above the bar. Alejandro breathed a sigh of relief. He’d known there was a weapon back there and he’d have hated to have had to hurt the old man had he decided to use it. He’d have hated it but he wouldn’t have hesitated, not if it meant protecting his brother or himself. He met Eddie’s eyes and held them intently. The dark chocolate eyes of the other man widened in surprise as the next words sounded in his mind and not his ears.

Not to mention it’s not even noon yet and I’m walking on two legs instead of four. The frown deepened. So this better be good, little boy.

Eddie shook himself breaking eye contact. He squirmed for a moment in his seat as if he’d gotten a sudden chill. “I hate when you do that, man.”

Alejandro slipped the glasses into the pocket of his leather jacket, glanced back up at the bar and jerked his head toward the back of the room. “Let’s go play pool.”

His brother looked at him surprised. “You hate playing pool. Come to think of it is there anything you don’t hate?”

“Your parents,” the deep voice said briskly as Alejandro stood and walked to the back of the room. He paused and looked back toward Eddie. So unless you want to discuss this important business in front of the old man, get back here.

Eddie followed and muttered as he stepped past him to pull a cue off the wall, “You do that because I hate it, don’t you.”

“Sometimes,” came the cryptic reply.

(Photos of Alej are courtesy of Antonio Banderas only he doesn’t know it.)

Now, How to Win Free Books

Eternally Yours Contest

What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire? Each day beginning February 5 and running through February 14 one of the ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to anny@annycook.com with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.

The prizes –1st prize--5 books

2nd prize--3 books

3rd prize--2 books
Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.

Sandra Cox
Mona Risk
To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone
Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Anny Cook Honeysuckle


Amarinda Jones said...

I love Antonio Banderas...mmmmm ...

Bronwyn's Blog said...

I like your guys, Jae!

Anny Cook said...

Yummmm. I have this in the reader... still. Perhaps later today? I hope.

disa said...
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Anonymous said...
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