The day has finally arrived. This is my proudest moment to date in my writing career. Something I’ve been working toward since the beginning. My own stand alone publication.
It started out as a little idea after I’d planned five stories to work on for NaNo. I finished three of the five stories, worked on the fifth a little and completely blew off the first idea I had made.
Then came a call for submissions I couldn’t resist–Fairytales. I went with my favorite one, Little Red Riding Hood. I had written a noir piece before that went nowhere as far as a published home and I had planned, in the beginning, to twist the fairytale into as many genres and settings as I could. That never quite took off but since my muse was wanking like he’d never touched himself before, I went for erotica.
Quick planning came next. It was NaNo and I couldn’t get too involved with daydream research. You know the kind–drifting along on the internet wasting time looking for the smallest detail to use. I already knew the original story of Red Riding Hood. Being French originally, I took my names from the culture but nothing else. I have a thing about avoiding thick accents and writing them out in a book. To me as a reader, they are cumbersome and sloppy.
Next I did my ‘clever’ name finding by looking up male names that meant ‘wolf’. They would be the naughty males in the story. I originally had three picked out but ended up dropping one of the characters. I wanted it centered around the three main characters (Rosabel, Urlic, and Conall). Putting another in there would push it over, IMO. He was a minor character with no ties to the female lead.
The one thing I want to stress, and have a future blog post about, is this: Don’t let your writing get to your head. The first draft of The Wolves of Argonne was far from perfect. It took a weekend of non-stop, glued to my laptop, writing to get it up to par after a spanking from the editor before the real polishing began. Remember to always put your best foot forward.
And now for the teaser:
The white oak clung desperately to its red leaves on broad branches. Had her day been more carefree, Rosabel would have climbed the lower branches and bask in the warmth from the ascending sun. Instead, she yanked the carrots out of the soil one by one. She paused, feeling a tinge of regret. She was deceiving Nana as much as the old woman was deceiving her.
How much further would she slide down that slippery slope before coming clean?
A brook trailed down along her path, the water skipping over the rock shelf. She lifted her skirts and hopped over. The basket swayed as she hummed to keep away the eerie silence. Her destination lay ahead. She set her harvest down and entered the cave.
Her fingers brushed against the cold stone walls. A few feet in, another torch sat in a sconce much like the other cave. She took the torch out of its holder and placed it on the ground. She fished out a piece of steel and rock from the nook in the wall. Sparks flew after a couple of strikes.
The layout looked much the same, the illustrations lined up in order. Sure, she missed something in the first cave when Ulric had disturbed her; she padded to the last drawing she examined. Next to the depiction of cave scratched into the stone, nothing showed. She whimpered in frustration. Ulric could do wicked manipulations to her and, while it saturated her below just thinking about it, any man having that much control worried her. He desired her but would he love her?
Rosabel sank to the ground. Was love that important to her over the heated passion he offered? Tears ran down her cheeks, her mind furiously trying to think of some way to get her happily ever after with the prince of the woods. He would love her with the depth she felt for him. She had to believe it.
She wiped the moisture off and stared at the crystalline drops. “The parchment.”
The pieces of paper that had fallen out of the book showed her an image when her tears soaked it. She pressed her wet palm to the blank canvas on the wall. Veins formed in the rock, snaking out and darkening in areas. The spider web design matched the vine maze of the older picture with the woman bowed in submission. It glittered in the torchlight, and the woman appeared first, the magical ink spreading quicker. Her werewolf master fleshed out with her pressed against his chest. The red cape flowed out and encompassed another proud male.
Rosabel’s chest heaved as the smoke from the torch melded into the wall forming shadows behind the figures. Three wolves appeared under a full gray moon. She ripped her hand away from the wall and ran to the exit. A blurry form warped in front of her. The torch left her hand. It blazed back in the sconce.
“Princess, princess. Must I keep my eye on you night and day?”
She pressed against the cave wall as the man grinned at her, his hand on the pilfered torch. The same male from her bedroom encounter. He closed the distance between them. Her palms flattened against the stone to suppress the urge to dance her fingers along his flesh. The same urges welled in her again without the aid of the intoxicating moon.
His body molded to hers and she shivered as his restrained but hard cock rubbed near her throbbing sex. She wouldn’t allow him to sway her as before. Rosabel needed to control the insatiable need to mate with another werewolf.
“Why are you here?” She raised her chin and met his lusty stare. “Come to have a taste?”
“Perhaps.” He inhaled, a demure smile on his face. “Are you offering?”
“You know who I belong to.” Her mouth opened just enough to run her teeth along her lower lip. “Who knows what he will do if he catches a whiff of your scent on me.”
“Oh, princess, you don’t know what game you’re playing.” He bared his canines, a low rumble emulating from his belly.
“My name’s not princess, werewolf.” She leaned closer to his face, giving him a sniff to see how he liked it. His exotic fragrance almost had her suckling at his neck to have a taste but she resisted—barely.
“What is your name, my prince’s little plaything?”
“You first.” Her tongue teased her lips again, and she felt his cock jerk against her.
He hissed, his eyes taking the golden tint of his species. Her lips curved into a smile as she ground against his crotch. “After all, you’ve already tasted what I have to offer.”
“Conall.” He brushed a kiss on her ear, and she fisted his shirt, unable contain her desire. Her cloak came free beneath his dexterous work, and one by one, her blouse buttons loosened.
“If he smells you on me….” She squealed as his fingers pinched a nipple.
His lips seared her skin. She gasped, her hands seeking his growing bulge. “Your arrogance will be your downfall, Conall.” Her desire peaked but she wanted to dominate the proud male before her. To touch and taste his skin. To hear him murmur her name over and over.
“Call me Rosabel.” Her tongue flicked out across his nipple.
He drew back, his eye heady with desire. “You have no power over me, woman.”
Rosabel revealed nothing beyond her wicked grin and searching hands. With a yank, his cock spilled free of his pants. She chuckled as she sank to her knees. “I’m going to enjoy proving you wrong.”
I would like to thank Evernight Publishing for this opportunity. I’m very happy to be an author with them.