Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Better late than never

Howdy folks. If you are reading this, that means Blogger didn't eat my post again. Today's post was supposed to have been part of last week's blog hop... but Blogger ate it. Considering how big it is, it's probably better that I'm posting it by itself anyway.

There are two Onion "news" articles mentioned in today's post. I did not make them up, either. You can find them here and here. Without further ado, I present a peek into the daily grind of the Guts and Butts news room!


“Nick, we gotta talk.”

Nick looked up at Ziva, the love of his life, with part apprehension and part utter fear. When a female said words like that, it usually went very badly for for him.

“I love the new website, don’t get me wrong,” Ziva continued as she sidled around his desk and sat on his lap.

“But?” Nick asked, trying to keep his mind on her words and not her luscious mouth.

“The content leaves a lot to be desired.”

“What’s wrong with the content?” Nick asked, trying to remember what had been on the news feed the last time he looked at it. “I thought it looked good.”

“The Onion is very entertaining, sure. But it’s not news and really should not be passed off as real news by a legitimate news organization like G&BG.”

“Sweetie, it was just a story about human reproduction,” Nick said consolingly. “Maybe it was a bit tongue in cheek but surly the monkeys will appreciate us making the effort—“

A bellow of rage followed by a resounding crash interrupted him. Nick popped to his feet and would have dumped Ziva on the floor if she hadn’t also been getting up to investigate. He opened his office door but had to slam it shut again as a body came flying out of nowhere. The next time he opened his door, he peeked out cautiously first before slipping out.

“What the hell is going on here?!?” Nick yelled in his loudest pissed-off-alpha voice. The two wolves at the center of the maelstrom of flying office furniture stopped rolling instantly, Mooney on top with his fist poised to slam Rex’s bloody face again. Rex looked up at Nick then back at Mooney. The bloody wolf snickered. Mooney let his fist fly, slamming Rex in the nose with a sickening crunch.

“Mooney!” Nick barked. His baby brother, a born beta, never picked fights though he was always more than willing to join in when someone else started it. To see him beating an alpha like Rex into submission was… shocking. And Rex was giggling like a little girl, spitting blood and teeth out but not making any attempt to defend himself. What could make an alpha submit to a beta like that? And why would Mooney not accept Rex’s submission?

“How many heads do I need to bust before someone tells me what’s going on?” Nick growled ominously as his eyes scanned the mess of what used to be the news room of the Guts and Butts Gazette.

“This fleabag insulted my mate,” Mooney snapped.

“I did no such thing!” Rex gasped as Mooney’s big beefy fist found his ribs. “The boss said to set up one of those news aggregation things for the paper’s website. I chose stories that would be interesting to our readers. Mance is the one who made the joke, not me.”

“Then why is it you who’s laughing cat-box breath?” Mooney snarled.

“Because it was funny, monkey-lover—Ow! Crap, stop hitting me!” Rex whined when Mooney’s elbow made contact with his jaw.

“Knock it off! Tell me what’s going on or both of you are going to end up in traction!”

Mooney glared balefully at him through blood-shot eyes, a rivulet of bloody snot running from one nostril proving that Rex had at least begun the fight with the intent of winning. From what Nick could see, that one solid hit to the nose and a pair of bloody fists were all the injuries Mooney sustained, though.

“The cat-box muncher posted stuff on the G&B website making fun of Marissa,” Mooney muttered reluctantly. Nick raised his eyebrows in disbelief and looked at Rex, who was rolling on the floor in obvious pain. Ziva stepped up behind him so he looked back at her.

“As I was saying about the content being added…”

Nick rolled his eyes in disgust. There was no way a few harmless fake news stories could have cause this much trouble. Then he saw Marry waving her hands over her head. He looked at her then at Jamie, silently demanding the swish-tail red wolf translate.

“Boss, Marry said she’s gotten five complaint e-mails in the last hour. Three from the Ladies Rotary club demanding we remove the sexist smut from out website, one from the mayor about journalistic integrity and…” Jamie paused while his hands began dancing back at the deaf/mute fem sheep. Nick crossed his arms over his chest and began tapping his foot in irritation. One of these days he was really going to have to take the time to learn sign language so he wouldn’t have to rely on others to translate for him. “And one—no, now two e-mails from bunnies asking if we were going to be running a special on advertising for the Summer Solstice mating event.”

“What mating event?” Nick asked impatiently as Ziva growled.

“Those damn rabbits get “in the mood” at the drop of a hat,” she spat angrily. “Now I’m going to be fielding nasty personal ads about how they use 100%of the package God gave them and other drivel.”

Nick looked at her in horror, realizing which aggregated articles had started all this. Rex had posted one about some study saying humans only use ten percent of their reproductive organs and another article about a who-ha doctor being recognized for female sexual break-through. He had thought they were funny as hell. He understood exactly why his baby brother, who was mated to a human, got bent out of shape over the inevitable puns the other wolves had made, though. And judging by the stink-eye Ziva was giving Rex, he had better act fast before his own mate picked up where Mooney left off and killed the flee-bitten bastard.

He looked around the trashed news room wildly, trying to stall while he thought about this. Then it hit him: the perfect answer to two problems.

“Rex, Mooney, you two get this cleaned up. No more fighting. Ziva, you have the website now. Get those articles off and replace them with something that might calm down our readers.”

“Hey, the website is mine!” Rex whined pitifully as he rolled to his feet.

“This situation is proof that you have not not the necessary panache to do G&BG proud without some supervision. Ziva has the kind of class to do it right.” Nick looked down at Ziva, hoping to see some approval for this change. He hadn’t really meant to stick her on the personals for this long. It wasn’t his fault he liked to see her riled up, was it? And nothing riled his feisty mate up quite like dealing with the paper’s love-sick readers.

“What am I going to do, then?” Rex whined. “Are you firing me?”

Nick looked at him then looked back at Ziva with a sneaky grin.

“Nope. You have the personals desk.”


“Hello, G&B personals. How may I help you. No, I’m afraid we aren’t running any Solstice specials this week. If you would like to place and ad, it will have to be at the regular price. Ok, I’m ready. ‘If you are tired of you man giving you only ten percent, give Buck Bunny a call. I’ll help your woo-ha hoot all the way home.’ Do I have that right? Uh-ha. Thank you for your ad.”

Rex hung up the phone, putting the receiver into the cradle gently as if doing so harder might encourage the vile thing to start ringing again. Three day, he’d been on the personals desk. Three days of dealing with hormonally challenged bunnies. Wasn’t breading season over? As the phone began ringing, he put his head down on the desk, pounding his forehead no the wood in time with the bleating of his new torture machine. He was so going to get back at Mooney for costing him his choice position…

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hellhound and Witch Cover Art, then Six-Six...

Yes, it’s finally here, shapeshifter lovers... and if you haven’t gotten a glimpse yet, here’s my cover art for KANDY APPLE AND HER HELLHOUNDS, thanks to the bedazzling artistry of Amanda Kelsey of ~ ~

Blurb ~

Kandace doesn’t know why she’s a real witch. Despite her powers, she can’t find her bio parents. When the Tuxedo Twins tempt her with knowledge about her heritage at a charity event, Kandace agrees to dance with the mysterious Supernaturals. Unexpectedly, they are threatened by the omnipresent evil she’s been warned about in her dreams. To keep from being enslaved, Kandace brings forth her greater magick. But, to save her homeworld, she needs her hellhounds.

Zolivar and Zindale, two of Hades’ most mission-accomplished Hellhounds, see a witch sliding down the bannister after her heist of a painting. Spellbound, they know they’ve found just the right Kandy Apple to lick for Halloween. With every passion, Zin and Zol woo their chosen witch. Yet, will their Triad mate stay once she learns they can’t fall in love like humans? Or, will she return to her homeworld? Their very lives are at stake.

Six, Six... but not 666...

My heroes, Zol and Zin, are fiery, deadly beasts from the Underworld. Hellhounds. However, while they are shifted into their human form, they prefer to be gentleman in the style of Cary Grant and Remington Steele ~ the character played by Pierce Brosnan. Kandy, their witch heroine, is fond of calling them her gentlemen hellbeasts.

Here’s the first SIX sentences from the first SIX chapters ~

Chapter One:
Zolivar and Zindale

August 14, 2009

“Ready to unleash your inner being?” Zol asked his twin. Utterly naked, he pulled off his gold and onyx signet ring, twirled it once on his finger, then slid it inside his tuxedo pants pocket.

Zin stripped off his dress pants and tossed them inside their black sports car, affectionately known as the Twilight Mirage. He shut the door with a neat twist of his wrist. “I’m releasing my inner beast,” he returned with dry amusement.

Standing side by side, they traveled their supernatural gazes over the Mojave Desert’s moonlit landscape.

Chapter Two:
Kandace Sylvia Winter

October 30, 2009

Kandace halted part way up the long curving staircase. “Lightball,” she whispered. Instantly, the luminous blue sphere she’d imaged before her third eye appeared.

Floating ahead of her, the blue ball guided her steps as she mounted the stairs. Kandace hoped her lightball wasn’t noticed by anyone attending the high society charity event, since it provided enough illumination for the darkened upper level.

Kandace sensed the man standing on the top landing of the stairway before she saw him.

Chapter Three:
Ménage à Trois Red

Zin watched the witch slide down the grand staircase’s banister.

“Look at that,” he uttered, his gaze riveted by her perky peach-shaped ass. Covered only by the black silky material of her pantyhose, it was a temptation beyond compare.

“An arousing sight, indeed, as proven by the tight fit of my pants.” Zol particularly appreciated the small witch’s legs as she athletically flung them, maneuvering off the banister. “Gorgeous gams, slim and curvaceous.”

Chapter Four:
Alien Tuxedo Twins

Kandace sipped on her ice-whipped drink. Flavored with apple liqueur and apple cider, it was her own recipe for a Candy Apple. Not only did she relish the taste, the color matched her dress.

Besides, she definitely needed the alcohol for her frayed nerves. Not because of her theft, no -- the Alien Tuxedo Twins, as she thought of them, had her spooked but good. Shivers cascaded through her as she glanced their way.

Chapter Five:
Where is this Enduoir Prime?

“It will be my distinct pleasure.”

Zol couldn’t recall ever desiring the touch of a woman’s hand more, certainly not with this savage intensity. Speculation, wariness glinted within her bewitching indigo eyes, more appropriately described as shimmering orbs of cobalt blue and purple.

She approached him like a slow-motion scene, and when her hand alighted on his, Zol softly winged inside.

“If you don’t tell me, remember, I am wearing spiked heels.” She scowled formidably.

Chapter Six:
Spellbound Hounds

Zin tasted the candy apple drink he’d purchased for himself out of rabid curiosity. Waiting on the edge of the ballroom floor, he watched his twin masterfully handle their lovely Kandy Apple. As the two of them spoke about her heritage, Zol enticed her closer.

So far, his brother mind-sent the words between him and the gorgeous witch.

As he drank, the icy apple-tart concoction interested Zin’s taste buds. Though, given the torrid state of his loins, he fantasized about pouring it on his nether column, then feeling the little laps of her tongue.

Coming soon from Siren-BookStrand ~ Ebook release is scheduled for August 2011. Print release is currently scheduled for December 2011.

Have a Magickal Shapeshifting Day!


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Monday, June 27, 2011

Operation Infiltration

Jordy’s teeth chattered the whole way up the long gravel drive to the backwoods bar. “Seriously, Ray,” he said. “This has got to be your worse idea ever.”

Ray cackled and slapped his brother on the arm. “Don’t be such a wuss. These are she-wolves, bro! Hot as hell and ready to rumble!”

“How would you know? Have you ever, uh – ”

“Okay, not personally, but you heard about Willis, right?”

“I heard he’s still in the hospital.”

“That’s because he wasn’t careful. Us – ” Ray grinned. “We’re smarter than any friggin’ werewolf.”

Jordy offered up a sullen grunt. Ray shrugged it off. The residents of Talbot’s Peak thought they were oh-so-sneaky in hiding themselves from humans. They didn’t know Ray Moyer invented sneaky. He’d scoped out what was really going on in Talbot’s Peak, right down to the existence of the secret sex club out in the woods. They’d doused themselves with wolf musk so the mutts wouldn’t sniff them out. Hot animal sex, here we come!

Jordy had a disappointed look on his face, per usual. “It’s just a biker bar."

“Wait’ll we get inside.”

Nothing inside gave away the business’s true nature. Those unshaven dudes in the leather jackets could have been wolves or cats or accountants from Boise. No one gave the Moyer brothers so much as a second glance. “Toldja,” Ray whispered. “This’ll be cake.” Jordy just looked gloomy. Freakin’ wuss.

A man in a T-shirt with Dante’s on the front approached them. He sneezed and rubbed his nose. “Help you gentlemen?”

“We’re looking for action.” Ray winked broadly. “You know what I’m talking about.”

“Of course, sir.” The man scratched his nose again. “This way.”

He led them down a flight of stairs to a crowded second bar. A rowdy band was rocking the joint with thrash metal. He guided Ray and Jordy to a table far enough from the stage to allow conversation. “What can I get you to drink?”

“I’ll have a Loup-Garou, no chaser. He’ll have a beer.” Show you know the lingo and they won’t ask questions. “Listen, we didn’t bring dates. I was told we can get those here.”

“Half hour or hour, sir?”

“Hour.” Ray winked at Jordy. “If she can last that long.”

“I’ll check the rooms, and the state of their stamina, sir.” With a final sneeze, their waiter left them.

Ray thumped Jordy on the back. “What did I tell you? We’re in, bro! It only gets better from here. What Willis told me about wolf sex – ”

“How long was he in traction?”

“Look, if you’re just gonna piss on everything don’t even bother talking, okay?”

The waiter returned with their drinks and word that “dates” had been procured and would be joining them momentarily. Ray whapped Jordy on the shoulder again. Jordy morosely chugged on his beer. I’m never taking you anywhere again, Ray decided, and settled in to enjoy the band. For a bunch of monkeys with guitars, they weren’t all that bad.

Two smoking babes undulated over to their table. The willowy redhead in the filmy half-an-outfit moved like a dancer, which meant she probably had legs of steel. The other one was tall with hefty titties, and walked with a bold sashay that promised all sorts of action. As long as that baby-pink hair was a wig, Ray was good with it.

The redhead beelined straight for Jordy. “I’m Gypsy,” she purred. Ray couldn’t figure her species. He hoped she was a wolf. Serve Jordy right. “Our room is ready.” Jordy threw one last beseeching glance at Ray before he let the dancer haul him off.

Pinky wasted no time; she slithered onto Ray’s lap and got right down to business. “I’m Lola,” she said in a voice so deep she could pass for a guy in the dark. Ray snuck his hand under her skirt, just to be safe. Nope, nothing stashed down there. “The rooms are full up, so it’s you, me, and the drink you’re going to buy me for the next couple of minutes. How’s that sit with you?”

Not half as good as her on his lap. Lola twined herself around him like a boa constrictor and stuck her tongue halfway down his throat. What the hell, he’d never been one for small talk. For the next couple of minutes they tonsil-boxed and groped each other in what must pass for foreplay among shifters. Lola’s gyrations in his lap boded well for the hour to come.

“Damn, you taste good,” she hissed against his mouth. “I could just swallow you whole.”

“Save some for – ” Ray started, then abruptly stopped. He had his hand up her skirt again. Only this time his hand found something that he swore hadn’t been there the first time. Something just as firm and twisty as the rest of her.

He jerked his hand to freedom and stared at her with a sinking feeling in his gut. On a queasy impulse, he grabbed her hair and yanked. It came off, revealing a dark, tousled mop underneath. “Shit! You’re a guy!”

“I’m way more than that, chico.” Lola flicked her tongue at him. Her green eyes had slitted pupils. How the hell had he missed that? “We don’t go for monkey-boys trying to slip into our dens.”

Her arms withdrew. No, her arms receded. Her sinuous body lost its limbs altogether. Suddenly Ray had his hands full of a man-sized, writhing snake in a sequined evening gown. The snake poured itself out of the plunging neckline and tried to coil around him.

Even the thrash metal wasn’t loud enough to cover Ray’s screech. He upended both the chair and the table in his leap to freedom. He plunged headlong for the exit. The snake gave him a look of mild annoyance, but didn’t pursue.

Minutes later Lamar, with his dress, wig and stilettos in hand and the Hooded Cobra safely tucked back into its pouch, made his way backstage. Jamie met him with folded arms and a scowl on his face. “You all done playing dress-up?” he said.

“Oooo. I do believe somebody’s jealous. Jesu Cristo, querida. He was a human. Like I’m going to mess with an ape.” He tried to peer beyond Jamie’s shoulders. “How’d Gypsy make out?”

“Boy took one look at Sergei and lit out like his ass was on fire. She’s gone to tell Dante the invasion’s over. What the hell’s wrong with them boys? Their own shes ain’t good enough, they gotta try for ours?”

“Hey, they’re humans. Stupidity comes with the genes.” Lamar held up the evening gown. “Does this dress make me look fat?”


Ray and Jordy reached the truck at the same time. Ray fumbled the keys out of his pocket while Jordy scrambled into the cab. They shot down the gravel road a helluva lot faster than they’d traveled up it. “Oh shit oh shit oh shit,” Jordy kept chanting. Ray didn’t say anything. He kept his eyes fixed on the road.

Finally Jordy changed his tune. “Big. Big big big big.”

“Big what?” Ray said. Not that he wanted to know.

“Big guy in her room. Hadda be ten feet tall. I don’t know what the hell he was. She shoved me inside and this big guy’s in there, white as a fish belly, and he says, `I kill you now.’ Man, I’m lucky I got out of there intact. What’d they do to you? Dammit, bro. You’re all sweaty.”

“Nothing,” Ray snapped. “We’re going home.” Back to Idaho, where men were men and the women weren’t men or snakes or anything else. He shot the truck onto the highway and didn’t drop speed below 70 until they’d safely crossed the state line.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday ~ Kandy Apple and Her Hellhounds

Chapter One:
Zolivar and Zindale

August 14, 2009

“Ready to unleash your inner being?” Zol asked his twin. Utterly naked, he pulled off his gold and onyx signet ring, twirled it once on his finger, then slid it inside his tuxedo pants pocket.

Zin stripped off his dress pants and tossed them inside their black sports car, affectionately known as the Twilight Mirage. He shut the door with a neat twist of his wrist. “I’m releasing my inner beast,” he returned with dry amusement.

Standing side by side, they traveled their supernatural gazes over the Mojave Desert’s moonlit landscape.

Coming from Siren-BookStrand ~ Ebook release is scheduled for August 2011. Print release is currently scheduled for December 2011.

Have a Magickal Six Sentence Day!


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

~~~ Find out more about Six Sentence Sunday at ~ ~~~

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice Blog Hop

Summer Solstice Howls, shapeshifter lovers. To join the blog hop, here's the link. Now for your entertainment, stories from Talbot's Peak...

Kazim and Stanlisus at The Pleasure Palace

Kazim wiped the table, trying to not bend over more than he absolutely had too. Stanlisus lingered near the bar hoping to avoid any more gropes and pinches from the she wolves sitting two tables over from the stage.

Kazim wanted to cuss every time that his male thong shorts inched tighter to the crack of his ass. He damn near split them the first time he bent over picking up things off the floor.

PINCH! Stanlisus growl and hiss split the air in between beats of the live band playing on stage. Kazim could feel several sets of female eyes rove over him as he continued busing the empty tables and wiping in short strokes across the table tops. Who's idea were these damn outfits?

Dante stepped behind the bar and looked out over the dinning area surrounding the stage. Good thing he'd put in overflow tables. Hiring extra help made sense and with the guys in skimpy outfits helping out, well business should be interesting. He wondered if Sergei minded guarding the orgy room until the peak hour between spring and summer came.

The two new waiters stuck out with their pale skin and yellow hair. Dante knew Tomas wanted them to fit in and not be seen. Why the hell had he sent them? And called in a favor for them to work at the newly opened Pleasure Palace? Nudity and sex flowed within and even spiked the air from time to time. No way these two were going to be wall flowers tonight. He'd best move them to the other side of the floor or the she wolves would have them welted with pinches before midnight.

Kazim sat the full dish bin down on the bar. He tried to pass Stanlissu. Their bare legs brushed each other. "Hey look out where you're going!' Stanlisus hissed.

Kazim shoved by him. "Remind me again why we're here and dressed like this?"

"We needed jobs. Tomas called in a favor to get us work." Stanlisus rubbed his arms as two of the she wolves approached. "Our Djinn clothes cover more than these bathing suits do!"

"Yeah but in a hot desert it don't matter. Here it is frigging cold!" Kazim moved toward the kitchen doors close to the bar. "I think I'm gonna take a break."

Stanlisus grabbed his arm. "And leave me here with them?" He pointed to the women bearing down on him.




“Aren’t you the hoo lady?”

Lin sighed. It never ended. She put on a patient smile for the girl who had stopped her on the street. “Yes. I am Dr. Hu.”

“You’re Doctor Who?”

Still patient, Lin spelled it out. I should have married, she thought wistfully. A nice panda, just as Mama wanted. A kind man with a bland last name. And ripped abs. “What can I do for you?”

“Is it true?” the girl asked. “Can you fix it so different shifter species can have babies together?”

Blunt, rude and twitchy. “You’re a rabbit, aren’t you?”

Grinning, the girl held up a size 9 foot. “Hare. How can you tell? Yeah. I’m dating a badger. We want to have kids. So, can you do it?”

“Well, I would have to – ”

“See, I was dating a skunk, but I didn’t want the kids to be smelly, then somebody told me it wouldn’t matter because I could only have kids with another hare, but then I see all these mixed couples around, wolves with cats and cats with bats and people with humans even, and they all have kids so I figure why not me? I mean, I’m a hare. We get preggers if a guy looks at us, y’know?”

“I doubt if it’s that easy,” Lin said drily. She handed the girl a business card. “If you’re serious, call my office and make an appointment. Once I’ve evaluated you, I can more easily – ”

“That must be boring. Looking at lady bits all day long. Me, I’d rather look at guy bits, y’know?” The girl winked.

“I considered it. However, even handling dicks all day gets tiresome.”

“Not when you’re a hare. Thanks, doc.” The girl skipped away to join the other residents gathering in the town square for the summer festival. Lin bit down on another sigh. The girl would never call. Next week she’d be dating a wolf or a fox or a wildebeest, if they had those here in Montana. She would probably be pregnant before the summer was out. The father would no doubt be a hare.

Lin strolled toward the square, pondering the girl's question. Pandas were hard to come by, even in her native China. If one wanted a mate, sometimes one must make do with what was available. Children by such a mate required much effort and a dash of good luck. Surely there must be a way to tip the odds in the parents’ favor.

Wolves could mate with cats, but not breed them. The hare and her badger might have a chance, but it would be a slim one. Carnivores and herbivores, forget it. The genetic gymnastics required for a working digestive system alone almost guaranteed such a child would be stillborn.

Given time and experimentation, Lin was certain she could uncover a way to compensate for Nature’s unyielding laws. With male pandas so scarce, her own desire for an eventual child depended on it.

Enough. On to more pressing matters: the procurement of a suitable mate. She’d come to Talbot’s Peak because of the diverse shifter species that congregated here. Well, for that and Brandon Wayne’s paycheck. Upon hearing of her research, he had generously offered to fund it. No surprise; he was dating a panther. What would their offspring be? A bat-cat? She could figure out the label once she delivered a healthy child into Wayne’s arms. Lin smiled to herself at the thought.

But first, her own personal research. As yet she’d found no pandas here, but she hadn’t expected to. There were bears, but she found them tiresome. Canines appeared to be in copious supply. She understood she had some genes in common with canine breeds. The same for raccoons. Perhaps she could find a nice raccoon.

Not all the people crowding into the square were shifters. Lin easily spotted the humans among them by the way they moved, and their obliviousness to the nature of their neighbors. Humans were excellent at not seeing things they wished to avoid. They could also, according to all her research, interbreed with just about every shifter species on the planet, producing viable offspring with next to no trouble. They bred more easily than hares, as a matter of fact. The children were never born deformed and were often shifters themselves, in spite of the thinning of the blood.

Lin watched a family thoughtfully. The mother was human, the father a wolf. Their three offspring could have been either. Only the older boy had the distinct alpha walk. All three looked hale and happy.

What was it about human genetics that allowed for such adaptability? Perhaps she’d been steering her efforts in the wrong direction.

She got in line at a food stand and purchased a lemonade. A human male in a cowboy hat sidled up to her. “Some party, huh?” he said, as if they were old friends. “Look at this crowd, and it’s not even sundown yet.” He sneezed. “Why does it smell like a zoo?”

Lin chuckled. He was well built and quite handsome, in a primate sort of way. He was certainly friendly enough. Why not try a human’s company? She smiled up at him. “I’m Lin.”

“Howdy, and welcome to Talbot’s Peak. I’m Randy Koch.”

And then there was her other problem, the matter of bad names. Well, it wasn’t as if she were going to marry him. In the absence of pandas, one made do. “Pleased to meet you, Randy.”

Posted by Pat C. (and yes, it's pronounced the way you think it is. You dirty birdie.)

Gunslinger Wanted

“Prime delivery as usual, Dead Aim. You have a nose for the best quality prey animals.” Dante continued eyeing and sniffing the cuts of meat inside his immense cooler at the Pleasure Club. “I got a lot of customers to please for the Summer Solstice Howl and Prowl cookout.”

“I aim to please. Your diners are hungry as wolves,” Dead Aim Dane drily joked. He caught the gold-filled purse Dante tossed to him, stuffing it in the pocket of his buckskin pants.

“Yeah, with the chaos-hits-the-fan astrological forecast I read online, and Gypsy Red Wolf’s warning, I figure keep everyone around the bonfire eating, instead of roaming mad-beast style, and causing unwanted havoc. You gonna attend?”

“Thought I might lurk. Stake out the local female talent, and then steak-out ravenously on a prime cut of buffalo, and your smoked brisket.”

Dane took hold of the old-fashioned handbill Dante thrust toward him. He raised his brows in question as the werewolf grinned fleetingly. But all he got was Dante’s black, leather-clad back. He’d turned on his heel, heading for the cooler door.

Once they walked to the unloading dock, Dante neutrally rasped, “Local talent needed. Might be your talent she needs.”

After a farewell nod, Dead Aim Dane sprang inside the large truck that served as his portable meat locker. Feeling darn mystified, he unrolled the handbill.

Very Much Alive
A Gunslinger Who Can Prove His Worth
Reward is Negotiable

Believing it to be a clever advertisement of some kind, Dane was about to toss it on the passenger seat when he noticed the name of the ranch, and in particular the ranch owner.

He knew Thunderbird Sky Ranch like the back of his hand because it butted up against the edge of his hunting territory -- his since he’d arrived from back East, escaping the Civil War. Being long-lived only went so far, and being gunned down in a human war didn’t sit too well with his innards.

Dane knew the ranch’s owner damn well because Sky ‘Stormy’ Wakefield owned the most kissable pair of lips a man, shapeshifter or otherwise, could ever behold. That is, to his way thinkin’. Not to consider the rest of her fleshly charms he’d been privy to see on a few occasions were just as enticin’, and made for his kind of lustin’.

Even with all the invites he’d received to the orgy at Dante’s newly opened part of the Pleasure Club, called the Palace... nope, it was Stormy he had a rambunctious hankerin’ for.

His lips always puckered up something fierce with wanting to kiss her all over. And, hellfire, he’d itch like a dang rutting stud for days after catching a glimpse of her -- usually astride her paint pony as she rode over her spread checking on her small herd of longhorn cattle.

Course, Stormy, her handle since she’d moved lock, stock and barrel, and taken over the ranch some five years past, also owned the stormiest pair of eyes he’d ever seen grace the female sex.

She owned the fiercest temper he’d witnessed on a woman, too. A marvel to behold. She was likely as not to shoot a man if he was caught anywhere on her land.

He’d heard the stories while in Talbot’s Peak doin’ business. Then he’d witnessed her confrontation with a werewolf man who had decided humpin’ her was to his liking. He’d made the mistake of grabbing her arm.

Like a she-cat disturbed during her rabbit dinner, Stormy had whirled, her fists clenched. Clearly outraged, the roar of her words as she chewed Giorgio out, blasted through the coffee shop. Chin to chin, she backed him up.

Making a stand by the front door, the werewolf had attempted to assert his dominance by seizing her long, ginger-colored ponytail. A huge mistake.

Faster than the human eye could see, Stormy whipped her pistol out of the pocket of her denim jacket. She didn’t bother with a warning until she’d pulled the trigger back, and pressed the muzzle against Giorgio’s heart.

“Don’t say goodbye, pervert,” she’d hissed. “Just die. It’s a good day.”

Unknown to Stormy, Dane had intervened at that point. He’d stared so hard Giorgio couldn’t miss it, then telepathed his own warning. No one knew the backwoods like Dane. It would only be a matter of time before he tracked, then wacked the werewolf.

Smart enough to know that Dante had Dead Aim Dane’s back, Giorgio had mumbled a guttural apology, and left the instant Stormy lowered her pistol. With a shrug and a shake of her ponytail, Stormy returned to her waiting cup of fancified joe. She’d resumed gabbing with the blue-haired owner as if nothing untoward had occurred.

Finding a corner table, Dane nursed his black-as-coal coffee, and kept a watch on her -- especially the way her lips settled on the rim of the cup whenever she sipped. The fact that she was mostly human didn’t deter Dane.

Hell’s pearly gates, what did he have to offer her? What did he have to offer any woman? Mountain man, some would call him. He lived off the land with no regular place to call home. Also, Dane realized his influence as a shifter could stir up Stormy’s dormant genes.

Her kind hadn’t been seen on Earth for an eon. Still, nature had a grip on his balls like Giogio wanted to fang-clamp down on Dane’s gonads in retaliation.

The woman plain made him hornier than a whole passel of horny toads. Even though, Dane enjoyed the advantages of Dante’s Pleasure Club whenever it suited his needs.


Dane slowed the truck to a crawl once he sighted the Thunderbird Sky ranch house, a sprawling affair constructed for life on the Montana prairie. He grabbed the handbill for the about the fifth time, flattened it on his steering wheel, and reread it -- just to make certain.

With the sun sinking fast, he figured Stormy was nearby. He’d scent her out if he had to. Despite arguing with himself like a badger and a wolf going at it, nothing had stopped him from driving to her place.

As Dane stepped out of the truck, his instinct to shift seized him. He always readied himself to morph whenever he neared her spread, since Stormy rarely shot at an animal, only gunnin’ for one that was a true danger to her, or her ranch animals.

Sniffing the prevailing wind, he realized she also kept a few exotic breeds, llamas for one. Chickens and ducks scattered at his approach to the front door, and as he leapt onto the large front porch a one-eyed tomcat lazily took his measure.

“In no danger of starvin’, are you?” Dane one-eyed the tom back before raising his hand to knock.

His knuckles never made contact. The door swung open, and he was face to face with Stormy, beautiful Stormy.

Dane nearly rocked back with the force of her affect on him. But somehow he kept his boots planted.

“Dane, is it?” she asked, her gaze keen as a sharpshooter’s would be if one had him in the crosshairs. “Dante said you might be droppin’ by about now. Come on in.” She stepped back, widening the door for him.

“Yep, Dane is my handle,” he managed as he strode past her. Homey smells filled his nostrils. She filled the rest of him in ways he’d never thought about. “Know Dante long?” he asked, figuring it was the safest conversation opener.

“Met him when he first came back to Talbot’s Peak. Despite that Pleasure Club business of his, he’s a decent sort with a big heart. Like his poetry,” she added as she closed the door, then turned and motioned for him to follow. “We’ll talk in the office.”

“Poetry?” Dane’s gaze didn’t stray far from the plump firm shape of her butt blatantly displayed by her work-worn jeans.

“Yeah, we both joined an online poetry forum. Course, no one knows it’s Dante, except me. He emails regularly asking what my thoughts are about his latest poem or song.” Stormy entered a somewhat cluttered, sunshine-filled room, then moved behind a small substantial desk.

Dane took a moment to peruse, noticing the collection of antique rifles hanging on the wall first, then the paintings of prairie landscapes. “Guess I won’t be needling Dante about his softer side. He’s tough as they come when something gets under his hide.”

“I sensed that about him. Have a seat.” She motioned to a comfy enough chair that was big enough to handle Dane’s frame. Though he was spare and on the lanky side, given his human body favored the ancient big cat he shapeshifted into, an ancestor of the puma.

Perching on the chair, Dane leaned forward, clasped his hands, and gave her his undivided attention. Stormy didn’t flinch at the intensity of his gaze, returning it. And, hell, she hadn’t flinched at the two sidearms he wore on his hips like an Old West gunfighter. But then, he figured she had a gun, or two, within easy reach.

She faced him all business, a steady gleam in her eyes -- pale green eyes that could become thunderclouds at the drop of a hat. The wrong hat, that is.

“Recently there’s been some strange happenings around Talbot’s Peak. Up until now, I thought I could take care of myself... and the ranch.”

“Did something happen?” Dane knew he should have let her finish. But he couldn’t, not with her. He’d kill anyone who’d tried to harm her.

Her face reddened a bit. “Some huge critter is lurking close to the barn at night.” She paused, obviously reluctant to continue. “I can’t tell what it is.” She drew in a breath, then blurted out, “The shape seems to change. I know that sounds crazy... but, with all the other stories going ‘round... well, I need another good hand with a gun.”

She waved toward the door. “My sister and her husband are great hands, but won’t touch so much as a .22 rifle.”

Dane determined right then and there he’d discover what critter was spookin’ Stormy. “You want me bunk down in the barn, and keep watch?”

“Actually, if we agree on terms, there’s a separate living unit attached to the house. It’s close to the barn.”

“Terms?” Puzzled, Dane knitted his brow.

“Sort of like a bodyguard arrangement.” Again she paused, drawing in a sharp breath. “I need someone to ride the range with me.” With a small toss of her ponytail, she continued, “Not just for the odd things going on now. The world isn’t going so well, either. I’ve already dealt with a few poachers.”

Yep, the stories he’d heard were true. “Things is headed in a bad direction what with no jobs and all. Already rescued some citified hunters this year. Don’t know what they’re doin’ to save their souls.”

Stormy gave an understanding nod. “Of course, if you’re interested in my offer, all your living expenses would be paid for. If you could tell me what kind of salary you expect?”

If this had been times past, Dane would have simply offered her his protection. But, modern women didn’t tick that way.

“Living expenses is good. Just need some roamin’ time now and again. And, I gotta fill Dante’s orders.” At the flash of disappointment in her eyes, Dane regretted what he’d said. “Did I misunderstand? Are you sayin’ you need a full-time bodyguard?”

She sighed, and rose. “I’m not certain what I’m saying. It’s not like I would expect you to be full-time. Not at all. It’s just that...” She turned away, but not before Dane saw her face flush fiery red.

That certainly surprised the ‘ornery’ out of him. “What’s wrong, Stormy?”

She leaned on her palms, her embarrassment obvious. Still, her gaze was straightforward. “A Gunslinger Who Can Prove His Worth,” she repeated what had been on her handbill. “I need someone here at the ranch who, over time, can prove himself. I also... well, I’ve hit a point in a woman’s life. Damn!” She spun, and began pacing. “My hormones are driving me insane... you know, as in ‘have a baby’. Tick tock, tick tock, the biological clock.”

If Dane had been shifted to cat, his puma ears would have shot forward, threatening to fly off his head. As it was his cock yelled “daddy” and sprang into action.

Pacing fast, Stormy rubbed the back of her neck. “Thing is,” she continued, not looking at him. “I want a real man... meaning he can handle himself in taking care of me and the ranch. And, well...” She stopped on a thin dime, spinning to him. An instant later, her gaze fastened on his straining member. “Dang, looks like you got the equipment to take care of business.”

Reward is Negotiable,” Dane repeated that part of the handbill, as he not so discreetly covered his cock with his interlocked hands. “You meant as in being your stud, didn’t you, Stormy?”

“You wouldn’t have to raise the child... just, just donate the seed... so to speak. That is, if you measure up and stick around. If --“

“Yes,” he cut her off at the verbal pass. Dane had no kin he’d been able to discover. His kind were few and far between. And, if he ended up activating her latent shapeshifting ability, well, he’d tangle with that possible hell later.

Slowly lowering herself to the desk, Stormy perched on the edge, and regarded him “You’re sure you want to try this?”

Leaning back, Dane eyed her with his own dead-aim directness. “Yeah, I want to give it a try. But, you’re gonna be my gal. And, I’m gonna court you proper.”

When she started to speak, he raised his palm halting her. “I’ll be your gunslinger ‘round here. No worries. If you want to show me where I’ll be bunkin’ for now, I’ll get moved in.” He stood, glad to see she wasn’t going to argue with him, or worse deny him.

“Okay,” she softly drawled after a moment of scrutinizing him. “I do need a date for Summer Solstice. Lots of celebrating going on in Talbot’s Peak, I hear. And I don’t want to miss it.”

“You just pick where you want to go, an’ I’ll escort you like a gentleman.” Dane stood, prepared to follow her to where he’d be bunkin’ down. But only for a short time, he told himself.

“You’re not intimidated by me, are you?” She flipped him a smile, then moved toward the doorway.

“Nope. I like you just the way you are.”

Stormy turned back to him, and Dane saw the womanly vulnerability in her gaze. “Oh, I hope that’s true. Because I sure do like what I’m seeing.”

With that she strode toward the front door, her brisk pace at odds with her words. Silken inferno, Dane said to himself. She’d be like that in his arms, beneath him, and in their bed.

Savanna Kougar

Happy Painted Solstice!

“This had better be worth it,” Zeva grumbled, as she tromped through the woods bemoaning text messages with mysterious GPS coordinates and the little sisters who sent them.

Cami Ann had once again pulled her away from some long anticipated hours of teasing Nicolas ‘The Naughty Editor’ McMahon with newly cut and perfectly sanded rulers. Zeva had crafted the tools from exotic woods she’d found online. Of course they were now sitting on her table at home rather than on her desk at work torturing her boss with every glance he gave them. If she didn’t know the sexy wolf as well as she did, she’d think he had a bladder the size of a walnut with as many times as he passed her desk on the way to the john.

“Cami Ann!” She snarled, a bit louder than before.

“Ssssh, Zeva, over here.”

The smell of burning wood prompted Zeva to move faster towards the girlish giggles sounding through the brush.

“What are you doing, Cam…” The air left her lungs in a slow wheeze as she spied the reason for not only the chuckling, but the fire crackling as well. A foursome of tall, lithe tattooed men circled a bonfire that blazed half a tree high. They danced, naked and nubile, while chanting to the honorable sun. The summer solstice was a time for fertility and these boys were doing their part to increase to local population. Evan their pretty pink heads couldn’t kill the sexual vibe filling the air.

“Welcome to wonderland, sister dear. The Cheshire cat has nothing on you.”

Uproarious laughter was stifled as the group of women she’d just noticed covered their mouths and ducked their heads.

“You’ve been a busy girl, Cami Ann,” she whispered. “Half the female population in Talbot’s Peak is here tonight.”

“Did you really think we’d miss this show, Zeva?” Prudence Penelope lounged back against a tree and ran a peacock feather against her bare tummy. She’d been wearing more leather clothes than usual since her return from the Alaskan wilderness and her eyes held a gleam of naughtiness Zeva knew much about.
“Word has it, Penny,” Zeva teased, “You give a pretty good show yourself.”

“That’s Penelope to you, darling, or I’ll have you calling me mistress by morning.”

The colorful bird’s words hit Zeva deep within her soft flesh. Between the naked dancing and Penelope’s teasing she was primed and ready. “Yes Ma’am.”

Tulullah Belle, her aunt Liliya and several women she’d seen at Dante’s chuckled and pulled her down to watch the show. Gasps and moans from several ladies rose right along with the entertainments sinewy length. They danced faster, gyrating to their raised voices as the fire grew higher.

Zeva pulled her camera from her jeans and snapped a picture of a pink haired dancer. She typed in a text and hit send, smiling at the thought of the receivers expression…


Nick’s phone chirped at the arrival of a new text message. Scrolling to the new message, he clicked read and was immediately confronted with a totally nude dancer, sporting one hell of an intimidating erection.

“What the fuck!” He grumbled as he read Zeva’s words.

Hey there, Nicky, hope your summer solstice is as happy as mine. Muahahaha…kisses, Zeva.

Nick roared and whipped his new phone against the far wall. That’s two phones she owed him. Twice the punishment she’d receive and he’d use those brand new rulers she thought he didn’t know about.

Happy Solstice, indeed!

Serena Shay