Has anyone been out and about since the holidays were over? I swear...yesterday, my daughter and I headed out to spend some of her Christmas money and it was like a swarm of locusts had attacked every store we stopped in! She is still working on setting up her cute little kitchen in her apartment and we were on the hunt for "gadgets". You know what I mean...potato peelers, pot scrubbers, can openers. Exciting stuff. At first glance that kind of thing is pretty cheap but damn, add up about twenty of these items and it gets pretty expensive. She had a nice gift card to a local department store and she picked up silverware (for four) along with four glasses. We stood in line for awhile to pay for the silverware and glasses. A lady was in front of us who had about a gazillion Christmas ornaments. She quibbled over the price of each one which required a 'price check' by the poor girl ringing everything up. I swear! Took about ten minutes to find what we needed and another 30 minutes standing in line to PAY. Jeez! No wonder I hate shopping!
Today I'm staying home and writing. At the moment, I'm working on Lover's Moon and have roughly thirty pages or so to write. Lots of menage sex coming my way. Fun living vicariously through our characters, isn't it? Lover's Moon is a spin off of my Feral Moon (Ellora's Cave) and I've been busily working in sexy male characters who will each have their own stories plus advancing the plot of Lover's Moon. Starting a new series can be FUN but SCARY. The series is set in a place in Central Texas called Sanctuary where panther families live and hunt in peace. Staying close together protects them from the outside world and keeps the secret of what they are, well, SECRET! Though these stories will be largely male/female there will be some menage in each one.
There's nothing better than beginning something fresh and new!
In other news: I was tickled to pieces to learn two of my books are nominated for CAPA awards given each year by The Romance Studio. Jaguar Hunger (Ellora's Cave) is nominated in the best erotic paranormal catagory and Drilled (a Cougar Challenge story from Ellora's Cave) got a nod in the erotic contemporary catagory. Winners will be announced in February. There are some incredible authors (and many friends) on this list and I congratulate each one of them. It's amazing to be listed alongside them.
And MORE news: Riding the Edge (books three and four of my High Plains Shifters series) is now available in PRINT. So if you didn't get that nifty ebook reader for Christmas, you can read this one the old fashioned way. And for fans of the series, look for Lawman (book five) this year.
Buy it HERE
Rayne dreamed of the day Ringo would claim her as his mate, changing her into the lycan she is meant to be. One touch from his hands burns her with a flame hot enough to scorch the Texas plains. But the moody lycan has made it clear he doesn’t want her. That’s just too damn bad! The sexy Latino lycan belongs to her and she aims to claim him, no matter what it takes.
Ringo hides the pain of his tortured past behind a menacing sneer. Learning that Rayne is meant to be his mate is unwelcome news. She deserves better than to be saddled with a man with his checkered past. It isn’t until she is taken from him that he knows she is the only woman who can heal his battered soul.
Edge of Nowhere
From the moment Cactus Mackey rescues Sara Farmer from outlaw wolves, he knows she belongs to him—and he’s more than ready to mess up some sheets with the sassy female. But she has secrets and wants to run. Infuriating woman! He might have to tie her to his bed but he’s not about to give up until she belongs to him, body and soul.
As danger chases her, Sara knows it’s a huge mistake to fall head over heels for the sexy lycan cowboy from Wolf Creek Ranch. A single touch from this shockingly seductive man melts her like butter under the hot Texas sun, and has her yearning for impossible things. The man is big trouble to her heart and running may no longer be an option.
An Excerpt From: RINGO’S RIDE
Copyright © REGINA CARLYSLE, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Ringo Ramone raced through the hot Texas night as if someone had lit a fire under his ass. He dodged rocks and prickly cactus, ignoring the heat that singed the pads of his paws, too furious to notice. Rage beat at him until he practically shook with it. He sniffed the ground in an effort to pick up the trail of the rogue lycans who’d stolen his mate.
He’d always suspected Rayne Poteet might be the one but he hadn’t wanted that. For years he’d watched her from a distance, drawn to her sweetness, her beauty. He’d slunk around in the shadows, fighting off the feelings that twisted tightly in his chest every time she so much as spoke to him. He wasn’t an emotional man and didn’t plan on changing for any she-wolf, not even Rayne. Besides, she was too good for the likes of him. He was a motherless son of a rat-bastard traitor and that’s all he’d ever be.
The huge black wolf stopped and panted. How much ground had he covered since leaving the ranch house to hunt down the men who’d taken her? Tonight they’d had a barbecue for the town of Cloverfield. It had been a happy time and, Lord knew, he’d seen too few of those in his many years. His alpha Joe McKinnon, and Quinn, the daughter of their former alpha, were celebrating their Consummation Ceremony when it all went down. Like a bunch of raving idiots, the males of the pack had been lured by rogue lycans to the south pasture while others had circled back to the ranch to steal away their unmated females.
She was his predestined mate. He hadn’t known it until tonight and then, in one instant of stupidity, she’d been taken before he’d had time to absorb it all. Spotting a grove of mesquite in the distance, he loped over, shifting as he ran. Naked, dripping with sweat, he leaned against the rough bark and closed his eyes. Ringo couldn’t help it. The look on her face tonight as the knowledge of their empathic connection, the proof they were a meant to be a mated pair, had gone through him like a blast from a flamethrower. Her pretty, sherry-colored eyes had gone wide as energy sizzled between them.
His cock thickened as he remembered.
Damn his horny ass!
This wasn’t the time.
Shifting back into his wolf, he took off again, scenting the air. Off in the distance, he spotted an old line shack at the edge of the ranch property. If worse came to worst, he could bring her to it. It was kept fully stocked with provisions.
Ringo continued on, running endlessly across the empty stretch of prairie. Suddenly, he spotted it. A low campfire was flickering in the predawn darkness, shooting up occasional sparks. Laughter. Male laughter. His heightened senses picked up the sound of Rayne’s breathing. It was accelerated.
A truck was parked at the very edge of the meager light and two naked men sat on the ground several yards from where Rayne lay, trussed up like a Christmas turkey. Her clothes were a mess and there were scratches on her legs. Her copper-colored hair was spread across the dusty ground like a pool of sunshine and he got a glimpse of her bare white belly and the tiny red panties she wore.
“What are we gonna do with her? Zavalos must be dead. He hasn’t shown up like he was supposed to.”
The other lycan stood and, planting his fists on his hips, stared across the fire at Rayne. Ringo lowered his body closer to the ground and moved slowly toward them, listening.
“Something went wrong. I feel it,” he said. “Let’s load her into the truck and head south. We can’t wait out here anymore. It’ll be morning soon.”
“Please. Let me go,” Rayne said.
Ringo’s heart thumped then sped in his chest at the sound of her voice. Just hearing it threatened to send him to his knees.
“Can’t do that, Red.” This from the man who was crouched before the fire. “Our pack is short on unmated females and you’ll have to come with us.”
“But I-I am,” she stammered. “I have a mate.”
The lycan who stood stalked toward her and, grabbing her shoulders, jerked her upright and slapped her. The crack of it shredded the quiet.
Red rage clouded Ringo’s mind. His fur bristled. They would die this night for trespassing on what was his. His snarl of outrage made his prey go still. With death and destruction on his mind, he leaped.
* * * * *
The first lycan had thrown her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and run with her into the night to where a truck waited. A second man had bound her hands and feet with duct tape and covered her mouth with it too. Callously they’d tossed her into the bed of the truck and driven off. She heard the cries of the McCafferty sisters and wanted to scream her outrage. They were just girls really, no older than seventeen. No doubt they were being handled in the same sickening manner. A second truck, carrying the girls, went in another direction.
There was no way in hell she could help them.
Terrified, shaken beyond anything in her experience, she’d lain there as tears leaked from her eyes. All she could see was the smattering of stars overhead. All she could hear was the sound of the truck engine and the wind as it whistled by. Closing her eyes, she prayed for Ringo.
Yes, she was lycan but not yet fully in working order, so to speak. She’d yet to shift and only tonight had it been revealed that Ringo, the lanky, dark wolf with the blacker–than-sin eyes was hers.
Finally. After all these years of hoping and praying that he was the one who would have an unbreakable psychic connection with her, the wish had come true. He would come for her. She knew it.
They’d barely touched tonight at the barbecue at the Wolf Creek Ranch. Big Joe McKinnon, the pack’s new alpha had taken Quinn, his newly consummated mate by the hand. Joy propelled Rayne to her feet as she took a step through the crowd and toward the bandstand where the couple had gone to make an announcement. Suddenly, she brushed against six foot four inches of steely-hard muscle. She smelled the familiar scent of clean, masculine cologne and stared into the black eyes that featured prominently in most of her dreams.
“Ringo,” she gasped as his hands reached out to steady her.
“Steady there, darlin’.”
He sucked in a breath and so did she. Their eyes connected and held.
Around her the world narrowed dramatically as a low buzz of energy zipped through her system. Instantly her panties were drenched and a ball of lust tightened low in her belly. Her first thought was to press her thighs together to soothe the harsh ache in her pussy. “Wha—”
“Fuck. No. This can’t be happening,” Ringo murmured huskily. He released her as if burned and shoved his fingers through his thick, black hair. His nostrils flared. His breath whipped in and out of his lungs as if he he’d run a race.
Rayne could do nothing but stare. Ringo’s eyes narrowed on her seconds before he grabbed her arm and ushered her toward the kitchen door of the house. His grip was strong but she didn’t mind. Even a simple touch from him set her on fire. In the distance she heard shouts of “Happy consummation” from the lycan population of Cloverfield, Texas. But then she heard nothing because Ringo led her through the door, pressed her against the wall and took her mouth with a hunger she’d never experienced before. Those lips, that to others might seem cruel, softened over hers and then he nipped her bottom lip. “This can’t be happening. It can’t be you.”
He regretted her. He didn’t want her.
An Excerpt From: EDGE OF NOWHERE
Copyright © REGINA CARLYSLE, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
“Don’t let me go.”
Cactus went still at the whispered demand. The woman’s lips moved against his throat and just that simple touch had sensation rocketing through his body to settle in his cock. She’d been traumatized enough and he hated like hell that holding her this way made him hard enough to hammer nails but it couldn’t be helped. He’d been semi-erect since the moment he’d first clapped eyes on her. The instant attraction caught him off guard but then, was a man ever really prepared for the first moment he met the she-wolf who was destined to be his mate?
He settled his cheek against her tousled blonde curls and instinctively tightened his arm around her. Her name was Sara and he and others from the Wolf Creek Pack of Cloverfield, Texas had just saved her and her sister, along with Rayne Poteet, from a gang of rogue lycans. The sorry fucks made it their business to steal unmated she-wolves from the safety of their homes.
Except this woman, Sara, didn’t have a home.
Hell if she didn’t. Her home was with him.
“I won’t, darlin’. Not in this lifetime.”
Cactus sat in the backseat of the big duely double cab truck with his charge safely curled on his lap. He lifted his head from Sara’s hair and spoke over the roar of the engine. “How much longer until we’re home, Gabe?”
Cloverfield’s sheriff, who was driving them home, caught his eye in the rearview mirror. The big lycan was steering with one hand and holding Sara’s sister, Kate, close to his side. Cactus watched the big, gruff wolf’s hand stroke comfortingly over Kate’s body as she huddled against him. “About half an hour or so,” he murmured. “Almost there.”
Following behind them on the narrow stretch of twisted highway was a van full of the criminal lycans and their leader, Selena. Tonight full pack justice would be handed out to the lot of them. There would be little chance of escape for this bunch and the bloodthirsty half of his nature, his beast, would relish the chance to end their reign of terror.
Cactus returned his attention to the woman in his arms. Earlier, he’d lifted her up and carried her from the maze of old RVs and mobile homes where the captives had been held and settled her in the backseat of the truck. No one had questioned him but then, no one would dare. He wasn’t the kind of man who put up with interference from others. Cactus Mackey was a two-hundred-year-old lycan and old enough to handle his own affairs just fine. He settled back to look at the woman who he knew was his mate.
“How are you feeling?”
Her answering sigh almost broke his heart. She gave him a single look from eyes the color of Texas bluebonnets then closed them. Lowering her cheek to his chest, she settled her hand there too. Her fingers moved restlessly against his pecs and Cactus caught his breath. “I don’t know.”
“Don’t worry about it. We’ll get you home soon. I’ll tuck you in nice and tight and make sure you rest up.”
“Sounds nice,” she whispered. “Tell me your name.”
“Cactus. Cactus Mackey.”
Again, that little sigh. “Funny name.”
He smiled. “What’d you expect? I’m a Texan.”
Sara shifted in his lap and his cock tightened. Gods! She had to feel the damn thing prodding her sweet, nicely plump ass. His balls went hard. Fighting off the powerful urge to fuck her right here in front of the gods and everybody was suddenly the hardest challenge he’d ever faced. Literally. But Cactus wasn’t a man who took advantage of wounded creatures and Sara was wounded, for sure. Downright shocky. Whatever had possessed him to drag her into his lap that way? Damn it! She’d been hurt, traumatized and emotionally battered. He’d felt the trembling of her body and needed to comfort her so he didn’t think twice about pulling her into his lap. She’d needed to know he represented safety and that she and her sister would be cared for in this town he called home.
“I’m Sara Farmer.”
Cactus tightened his hold and breathed in her scent. It wrapped around him like a benediction. Mine. Mine. Mine. The words whispered through his mind and he wondered if she felt it too.
“You banged up a bit?”
“I was but I heal pretty quickly for being unmated.”
Among their kind unmated females were slower to heal injuries than a full-fledged lycan. Until she consummated things with her mate and finally released her wolf, it would be that way. He didn’t respond but glanced out the window of the truck and watched the miles of desert flash by as they motored their way deep into west Texas. Some might not find the country pretty but to him, the flat prairie with its buttes and plateaus was heaven. His kind had fought the Comanche and Apache Indians generations ago claiming the land as theirs. They’d built their homes, ranches and businesses with sweat and hard work and had won Texas independence from Mexico. Cactus had been one of many of Cloverfield’s lycans to fight side by side with others to build Texas into a force in this burgeoning country.
“She asleep?” The rumbling question came from Gabe and Cactus glanced down at his charge.
“So is Kate. Poor little thing.” The comment seemed strange coming from the burly lycan who wore an air of suppressed violence around him like an aura. “Figure we should take them to the ranch.”
Cactus swallowed the denial that rushed to his lips. He wanted Sara with him but knew Gabe was right about that. Quinn, their lupa and wife of their alpha, Joe McKinnon would take care of them for the time being until it was decided what was to be done with the kidnapped sisters. They needed the care that only a woman could offer. Gods knew, he didn’t know shit about that stuff. Both Sara and Kate had said they hadn’t been assaulted but maybe they didn’t want to speak the truth to a bunch of rough-looking men.
His belly knotted.
If any of those rogues had laid a finger on Sara there would be hell to pay. No doubt about it.
“So what do you think, Cactus?” Gabe prodded, catching his gaze once again in the rearview mirror.
Cactus nodded. “Yep, I reckon that would be best.”
Later he spotted the familiar landscape that included lines of fence that days before he’d been repairing along with Dusty, another Wolf Creek cowboy. The spread was huge, dominating most of the area around Cloverfield. The only ranch that came close belonged to Rayne’s dad, Angus Poteet, and these days he farmed windmills more than he raised cattle.
Huge limestone pillars rose up in the distance signaling their approach to the ranch. They sat on opposite sides of the entry road, like sentinels. Gabe took a left through the gates and satisfaction sank tender claws into his heart as he thought of his modest brick house where a nice hot shower and fresh coffee were waiting. He glanced down at the still sleeping Sara and wondered what she’d think of the home he’d built. Hell, who was he kidding? His decorating skills were sadly lacking. In fact, the last woman who’d been in his place admitted with a sniff that he decorated like a man.
Sara shifted on his lap and Cactus studied her features in repose. Her face was a neat, pretty little oval, her lips were full and her nose was small with an obstinate little tilt at the very end. If this had been a better time, he might’ve kissed her there or traced the line of barely visible freckles that marched across the bridge. He already knew she was soft and curvy since most of those lush curves were pressed intimately against his own body.
He wanted inside this woman so much he could practically taste it.
The truck pulled to a stop in front of the ranch house, a huge two-story limestone structure that had been built years before the battle of Texas Independence, and saw Quinn McKinnon and their housekeeper, Maria, standing on the porch. The pack’s lupa was a beautiful woman, tall, blonde and curvy enough to make a wolf’s mouth water. She was also intelligent and funny. Joe adored her and so did the pack. As she marched across the front yard toward them, he noted the look of worry on her face.
Just then, Sara blinked up at him.
“We’re home,” he said.
Little lines formed between her brows as she frowned. “Home?”
“My home. Yours too, I reckon.”
Her hands went to her face for a quick rub before she pushed her tangled hair back. She glanced out the window and Cactus felt the fine tremor that swept her body. Tenderly, he pulled the blanket closer around her and smiled. “It’ll be okay. Quinn has been waiting for you.”
More alert, she looked frantically toward the front seat “Katie? Katie, are you okay?”
Silence fell. Finally Gabe spoke up. He’d stepped from the cab of the truck and was reaching in for Sara’s sister. “She’ll be okay. Don’t you worry. She’s just in shock.” He lifted her blanket-covered body and tucked her against him. “Figure she’ll talk when she’s ready.”
Cactus got out of the truck prepared to lift Sara into his arms but she drew back and looked at him. “I can walk.”
“Honey, you’re barefoot. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”
“No, you’re not.” He wasn’t about to stand there arguing so he lifted her up, despite her protests. Quinn and Maria began to fuss as they followed him and Gabe up the steps and into the house. The instant they were inside, Sara wiggled to get free. Reluctantly, Cactus set her on her dirty, bare feet grabbing her shoulder to steady her as she staggered a bit. When she’d regained her footing she raced across the room and went to her knees before her sister, whom Gabe had settled on a big leather sofa.
Sara reached for her hands and stared into her face. Cactus noted that despite a slight variation in the shades of blonde in their hair, the sisters were almost identical. For the first time in awhile, he felt a flash of alarm at the vacant expression on Katie’s face. Gabe stood nearby, a muscle working in his strong jaw.
“Kati-did, talk to me,” Sara encouraged. “You’ve been so strong. Don’t leave me now. Come on.”
Still Katie didn’t speak. She looked out on the world with a vacant stare and Cactus watched in horror as tears fell from Sara’s eyes to roll slowly down her cheeks. “It has all been too much, hasn’t it?” she whispered. “You’ve been so strong. I’ve been so proud of you. We handled the problem with Dad, didn’t we? We got away. You and me. We did it together. This other thing was nothing after that.” Sara choked and drew her sister into her arms. Turning her face into Katie’s hair, she whispered a savage command. “Stop it! Don’t go away! I mean it, Katalin!”
Questions coalesced in Cactus’ mind. What the fuck was going on? The urge to protect Sara and her sister held him in its grip and, for the first time in over a century, he felt utterly helpless. He hated it.
He stepped forward wanting to do something, wanting to discover what the hell she meant by her little speech but Quinn caught his gaze and shook her head. His lupa went to the pair and she gave Gabe a look.
“Cactus!” Gabe’s voice broke the spell.
Understanding, he gently drew Sara to her feet and pulled her against him as Gabe lifted Kate and followed Quinn and Maria up the stairs.
When they were alone, Sara stepped away and turned to face him. Waves of grief rolled from her to him. A tsunami of pain flashed through his system along with an unmistakable electrical charge that sizzled along his flesh.
“Gods!” She choked on the word as her hands went over her mouth. Tears pooled in her beautiful eyes and he couldn’t stand it another fucking minute. He went to her and cupped her face to press kisses on her forehead, her cheeks. Her salty tears dampened his lips and needing to comfort more than he needed his next breath, he settled his mouth on hers. She tasted of tragedy and passion and loss and Cactus drank each emotion, each fear as if he could draw them into himself and save her from feeling them. The blanket had fallen from her shoulders when she’d gone to comfort her sister and now she wore only an oversized tee shirt. Both women had been stolen from their beds so there was nothing unusual in that.
Cactus sent his tongue deep into her mouth, stroking the walls of her cheeks as he tasted her slowly. Drinking her gasping breath, he drew back to nip her bottom lip with his teeth. “You’re safe,” he whispered, shocked at the gruff sound of his own voice. “I won’t let anything happen to either of you. Trust me.”
“I do. I shouldn’t but I do. What is happening between us, Cactus?”
Bending, he pressed his mouth to the slender column of her throat as his hands took a journey over her back. Finally he answered her, his lips moving on her tender flesh. “You’re mine.”
“I am. At least, I think so. Gods! I shouldn’t be feeling this way after all that’s happened.”