Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lycan Lore 2: Offspring--sneak peak

WARNING!!! Since this is book 2 in the Lycan Lore series, this excerpt contains spoilers for the first book, Lycan Lore. This is completely unedited. Please disregard and blatant grammar errors.


Heather stirred the skewered cherry around in her soda. Seemed the bartenders in South Beach thought it amusing to dress up their drinks, alcoholic or not. Since arriving some three days ago, she hadn’t gotten one beverage that didn’t sport an orange slice, pineapple wedge, or some other type of impaled fruit.

She’d debated taking the plastic sword and sticking it in the bartender’s eye when he’d set it before her, but decided against it. The last thing she wanted to do was make a scene. She’d come to Miami to blend in with the throngs of college kids currently on Spring Break; stabbing her server certainly wouldn’t promote conspicuity.

Heather eyeballed the attractive guy sitting on the barstool next to her. Her assessing gaze swept him from head to foot. With his athletic build and youthful skin, she guessed him to be in his early twenties.

He’d make a fine fuck-partner.

And afterward, a tasty snack.

“So where are you going to school?”

He glanced over at her, his sea green eyes sparkling with interest. His gaze dropped from her face to her breasts, lingering a long moment to ostensibly appreciate their ample size before sliding lower to focus on the large swell of her abdomen. Instant recognition of her pregnant state caused his assessment to falter.

“You shouldn’t drink when you’re pregnant, you know,” he said matter-of-factly.

Heather bristled at the haughtiness of his tone. She clenched her jaw, struggling to control her temper. Restraining her inner beast became more difficult with each passing night of the lunar cycle.

For three moons of the month—the full and the two preceding—she became a force to be reckoned with. Last night was the first. Tonight would make two. And tomorrow would be worse.

“It’s virgin,” she ground out through a fake smile. “I don’t drink.”

She lied, of course. She drank all the time, even more so since the manifestation of her current state. Nothing else dulled her pain.

Not that she didn’t care about the child in her womb, she did. She just doubted alcohol would cause it much harm. No, silver bullets were her baby’s only enemy. Well, silver bullets and Cray McCorbin.

Though he shared her ailment—if one considered lycanthropy to be some sort of disease—he still saw fit to hunt and kill his own kind. The man proved relentless. After he’d disposed of Graham, her baby’s father, he’d targeted her.

Regardless of how many obstacles she put in his way, he refused to stop hunting her. Oh she’d managed to slow him down, throw a few detours in his trail. But once he’d eliminated her progenies, he steadfastly resumed his search for her.

It’d been nearly nine months since she’d started running from Cray, nine long months. But despite how tired she’d grown of late, she needed a little more time. Her baby would come soon, perhaps at the conclusion of the current lunar cycle. She just hoped her surroundings masked her scent until then.

Although her hormones were working on overtime, Cray would have a hard time pinpointing her location. Right now, hundreds of horny college girls flocked South Beach’s Lummus Park and all its surrounding attractions. The very air teemed with the smell of sex, a veritable cesspool of pheromones.

She’d purposely booked lodging at the Clevelander Hotel, one of South Beach’s hot spots. In addition to being located right in the middle of the infamous Ocean Drive, it served as home to the Clevelander bar, a place synonymous with irreverent partying. She’d not only blend in with the carousing crowd around her, she’d be certain to sample some of its delicacies as well, in more ways than one.


Be sure to check out Lycan Lore.

Shannon Leigh

Lycan Lore

This was also an Amber Heat best seller. Since I'm working on a sequel, Lycan Lore 2: Offspring, I thought I'd post a little about this one first.

Being the tag-along on a camping trip with Heather and Graham is not what Cassandra has in mind for her long weekend. When a tall, dark stranger with staggering green eyes shows up to lend a hand with her tent assembly from Hell, however, she has to rethink her predicament. Despite the mixture of excitement and apprehension he incites with his soul-startling stare, the possibility that she’s just found her brawny Tarzan in the depths of Redwood National Park suddenly doesn’t seem so absurd.

Cray feels an equally potent draw to the fiery redhead with the soft hazel eyes, attractive features, and tempting shape. Despite his resolve, she provokes a primordial calling he’s long sought to contain. He wants this female, he can’t deny, but he knows giving in to such unabashed urges can lead to disaster, and he refuses to sentence this woman to his own horrid fate.

But just as powerful as Cray’s attraction is his unexpected surge of protectiveness. There’s something about Cassandra’s male friend that needles his suspicion. Graham invokes Cray’s predatory sense of dominance, and that doesn’t bode well. If his instincts are correct, Cray knows Graham is more than he appears and Cassandra’s life is in danger...


She wasn’t too sure how far back Heather might be, but surely she couldn’t have been more than a hundred yards or so. The scream had sounded close. “Where are you?” she repeated, then stopped, fearing her pounding feet might mask a response.

A whimpering to her left caught her ear. “Heather?” Her voice shook as she recognized a growing sense of fear.

Trying to quell her panic at the realization of her own peril, she took a deep breath and stepped off the trail into the brush. Carefully spreading branches apart with the end of her knife to afford her deeper passage, she disappeared into the undergrowth. A tearing sound caused her to pause.

What the heck was that? It almost sounded like ripping fabric.

Or…flesh, she concluded, feeling a chill grip her innards as alarm hit her full force.

Instinct suggested her life was in danger. She couldn’t help Heather if she were dead herself. Perhaps finding some help was a better course of action.

She started to retrace her steps. Another spine-straightening suggestion of ripping followed by a moan of pain broke the dark stillness around her. A moist gurgle pursued its wake.

Cassandra froze. Heather would be dead before she returned. What if it wasn’t a mountain lion. What if it was a werewolf? She couldn’t just leave her.

“Please…” Heather’s voice murmured through the stillness.

Oh, for God’s sake, you’ve been listening to Graham’s ridiculous chatter for too long.

Cassandra started forward once again, disregarding the noise she made as she picked her way through the thick brush. Cray had said to yell and be aggressive. If it were a cougar, perhaps the clatter would scare it away.

Besides, there’s no such thing as—

Catching her foot on an exposed tree root, she tumbled forward, bursting through the other side of the bush in a clamorous rustle of leaves and snapping branches to land painfully on her hands and knees on the outskirts of a small clearing. Stunned by the fall, she leaned back on her haunches and wiped the remnants of dirt and twigs from her palms.

Her flashlight rolled away, coming to rest several feet beyond her reach. Despite a hard knock on the ground, it remained lit, though its beam was dull. And her knife had disappeared somewhere within a mound of leaves on her left.

When she finally glanced around her dim surroundings, she realized that she’d just happened onto the scene of something akin to a horror film. Cassandra opened her mouth to scream, but terror choked the sound from her throat. All her psychological profiling of lycanthropes fizzled away like water subjected to flame, for the shadowed creature before her—a strange mix of man and dog—couldn’t be anything human.



Pick up your copy from Amber Quill Press today!

Shannon Leigh

Chasing Booty

When cops can’t catch the most-wanted criminals, they hire Gaelyn. She comes from a long line of bounty hunters, including her father, uncle, and grandfather. Extensive training in weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, and adverse conditions have seasoned her into a formidable opponent against any contracted hit, whether male, female, alien, or human. She has little fear of the unknown and thrives on adventure.

Only one other hunter matches her status—Reese, a Trøndite from the small planet of Sør-Trøndalag in the Capricornus Sector. And the man has a knack for stealing her contracts. Both cunning and gorgeous, the mix doesn’t seem quite fair. But attractiveness holds little power over money. Reese had beaten Gaelyn out of a half-year’s pay a scarce three months ago, and she will be damned if he outwits her again.

Thinking she’s duped Reese back onto Jupiter, Gaelyn isn’t too happy when she runs into him on Quaoar at the Blue Moon, an authentic hole-in-the-wall bar tucked at the end of a narrow alley in what would be considered the rough part of town; just the place to find her contracted hit. But Reese not only has the information she needs to find her mark, he also has a business proposal that’s too tempting to pass up. And a partnership with Reese just might prove rewarding in a way Gaelyn never expects...


“State your business,” the squeed demanded.

Gaelyn lifted her nose a bit, not in defiance, but in an effort to breath. The creature stank like raw sewage. That alone would make anyone want to jump a ship and hightail it out of there.

“I already told you my business. I’m chasing a contracted hit and I have reason to believe he’s here.”

“Bounty hunters,” the squeed sneered. “You’re just as arrogant as the other one.”

Gaelyn felt her self-confidence wane. “Other one?” She scanned the docking station, searching for the only “other one” she expected to see.

Unless Reese had acquired a new ship, nothing in there resembled his. In fact, the other rigs were far too small to equip a bounty. More likely than not, the personal crafts belonged to some of the elite inhabitants of Quaoar.

“How long are you planning on staying?” the squeed demanded.

Gaelyn shrugged. “As long as it takes to either catch him or determine he’s not here. A few days, perhaps.”

He grunted, then began filling out information on his clipboard.

Gaelyn regarded his writing instrument. Comprised of flawless stainless steel, the long slender stylus reminded her of something she’d use as a weapon instead of a pencil. Small bolts of blue electricity sparked from the tip as he wrote.

I could have used that on my last hit.

She’d gone after a wereling—half werewolf, half earthling—a brutal beast that easily passed for human in public, but turned into a flesh-starved beast with razor sharp fangs and deadly claws in the blink of an eye. Unlike their forefathers, these creatures didn’t need a full moon to call on their hidden form. They shifted at will.

After several moments, the squeed shoved the clipboard in her direction. “Sign by the X.”

Gaelyn scanned the documentation he’d made. There didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary. Wanting to get on with business, she took the offered stylus and signed her name where indicated.

Handing the board back to him, she said, “I expect my ship will be safe during my stay.”

The squeed looked offended. His large globular eyes nearly bugged out of his gray gelatinous face and his black pupils constricted so tight, they became horizontal slits splitting his white orbs into two half moons. He pursed his beak-like mouth and puffed out his jowls.

“Of course,” he declared with a click of his tongue. “I oversee all security on Quaoar myself.”

Gaelyn nodded. “I’ll need lodging for a few nights. Any suggestions?”

“Take Elevator A up to Sector 5.” He pointed to a group of elevators along the far left wall, beside the glass enclosed control center. “That’s the entertainment section of the biosphere. I’m sure you’ll find what you need there.”

His tentacles twitched as though he found the mere mention of fun abhorrent.


Pick up your copy from AQ today!

Shannon Leigh

That time again...

Well another month has gone by and it's my turn to blog again at the Amber Heat Blog. I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. These last two weeks have been pretty trying. My littlest son has been visiting with his father and I'm not used to him being gone so long. Yes, I'm the clingy mother, can't help it, he's my baby. But he'll be back in a couple of days and I'm sure I'll be ready to pull my hair out by the end of the weekend! His brother's have asked nearly every day when he comes back. We're all anxious to see him.

I've had quite a lot happen over the last month. Two book releases: Dark Tales 1: Vampyress from Wild Child Publishing, and Chasing Booty from Amber Quill Press. I'm pleased to announce that when the monthly sales reports came back from Amber Quill, I found out that Chasing Booty was the top seller in the Amber Heat category.

But I can't gloat long. I also discovered that I'd been moved from an "alternate" in an upcoming Amber Pax to one of authors scheduled to have an included story! The deadline for manuscript completion was April. I hadn't even started!!! After the shock and stark terror (okay, that's a little much, how about apprehension) left, I knew I had to get down to business. I'm about 6000 words in to it and rolling right along. Thank goodness the release date isn't until August!

In addition to my working, raising kids, and my writing regimen, my fiance and I have taken on the endeavor of finishing my 1475 sq foot basement. We started with four concrete walls and nothing more, but have really come quite a ways. Our basic plan is to put a bedroom and bathroom along the far wall, closet in the furnace and water heater (which by some crazy reason the builder saw fit to place right in the friggin middle of the basement), put a bar/game area in the opposite corner from the bathroom, make a storage area under the steps, then finish the outer walls the rest of the way around. While it will likely take several months to complete, I can happily say we've finished studding the bedroom and bathroom. The next house will have a finished basement! ha ha.

Shannon Leigh