By Danica Winters
For cursed, shape-shifting Veela, Gloriana, following her heart and giving her body to sexy, tortured werewolf Alexander means one thing-he will die and it will again be her fault.
Once only a man, Alexander finds himself scarred by the memories of his former life and the deceptions and lies that surround him. When a glimmer of light breaks the madness, he must let go of his misguided preconceptions and the hatred that consumes him.
On a mission for blood, they find unity in their desire for revenge, but are driven apart by their pasts. Traveling the darkest paths and fighting the very people they think they can trust, they draw closer to one another's hearts and further into danger.
Will the curse prove to be unstoppable... or is there hope in forbidden love?
In her human-like Veela form, Gloriana Canis was at a distinct disadvantage. Her feet pounded against the ground as she ran, she crashed through the underbrush, and tripped upon the branches that reached up to snatch her legs. With a muffled growl, she paused as she forced her body to shift into her more powerful wolfen shape.
Dashing after the intruders, she silently passed beneath the low lying branches and bounded over the roots. Her paws silently absorbed the sounds as the ground blurred beneath her. She saw none of the pack that had invaded her territory, so she lifted her snout and sniffed.
The scent of the gray Werewolf was a mix of triumph, malice, and anger, but there were no traces of fear.
He’s a fool. The thieving Were should feel fear above anything else—because I soon will be upon him.
When she found the beast, she would tear at his soft flesh…the least vital parts first. Before she finished, he would undoubtedly cry for mercy, but no matter how hard he cried, or how desperately he pleaded, he would find none. The man had tried to steal Baldur’s Vitam Aeternam, the ring of eternal life, from her. The ring was the final memento of Baldur’s existence, of their fight for love against all odds and the curse that had taken his life. The Were who attempted to take it from her would have no easy death.
Deeper into the woods, the scent of the gray alpha Were lessened and was replaced by the musky scent of the brown beta she had seen circling the alpha.
Her strides grew more rapid. She was close.
Weaving around a boulder, her body collapsed as the ground gave way. Her paws clawed at the soft earth, desperate to stop the fall, but the dirt crumbled beneath her touch. She yelped in fear as she clawed, but it was too late. Her body flipped into the earth’s open maw.
The stakes ripped into her soft flesh. Hot, searing pain invaded her body.
Howling, she tried to leap, struggle—anything to free her
body—but the motions only drove the stakes deeper, worsening her agony.
A fire burned deep in her flank and she caught the scent of blood on the stakes that now were wedged in her flesh. Hydra blood.
The venom pumped through her veins, she could taste the acrid poison in her mouth. Slowly her vision began to fade. She was forced to find refuge from the pain inside of her mind.
My dearest Goddess, Epione, do not let the curse of the loving Veela take me. I promise that if you let me live, I will find Baldur’s killer and make him pay. Please, please do not deliver my soul to the underworld. I must complete my task.
She could feel the sun rising in the distance. Would this morning be her last?
A light illuminated the grave-like pit.
Expecting a torch-bearing lampade to lead her to the underworld, she was surprised when a tall man appeared with a flashlight in his hand. He stood at the edge of the pit, his other hand on his hip and a scowl on his face.
She growled, but as the rumble escaped her, it was replaced with a yelp.
The thief had returned to finish her.
He reached down to her and said something, but it sounded as if he was talking through water. When he spoke again, she heard him say, “Shifter, I’m Alex…” but the rest of his words were lost in the muffling pain circulating through her body.
She tried to pull away from his touch, but her paws felt like lead weights and she struggled to move.
The pain radiated from the stakes in her flesh. Unable to fight the poison any longer, her eyes closed. Her mind went black.
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“A sense of humor...is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” Hugh Sidey
One of my favorite and least favorite conversations is when I introduce myself to a new person. I wait for the inevitable question, “What do you do for a living?” My heart quickens, because I love my job. I love writing. I love creating. I love imagining the impossible.
“I’m a romance author.” I smile proudly.
Then from their reaction I know who the person is: the non-romance readers cringes, the romance reader smiles excitedly and spills over with questions (I love these meetings—can you say ‘instant friendship?’), literary writers smirk and genre writers smile proudly and exclaim ‘Me too!’.
It is truly amazing what you can learn from a person in the five seconds following my simple statement.
Next I’m often asked, by the non-romance readers, “Why would you do that?” It’s almost as if, by writing romance, in their mind, I’m instantly delegated to the social rank of a stripper or porn star. Little do they know I’m far different than a porn star…I’m a professional writer—I know no pole dancing moves (not that I wouldn’t give it a shot), I don’t know camera angles, or movie making lingo, and I’ve never (intentionally) shown my ‘girls’ in public.
What I most dislike about this assumption is the fact that they believe I’m writing smut. My internal dialogue goes crazy. Don’t they realize the amount of work that goes into writing a novel? Story structure? Pacing? Dialogue? Plot? Acts? Critiquing? Editing? Going to conferences? Teaching classes? Writing blogs? Pitching the novel? Writing the queries and the dreaded Synopsis? I’m sure they don’t mean to offend me, but the ‘smut’ that they are judging me for, is about 5 pages out of my 300 page novels. It’s less than 1% of my work. Yet, it comprises 100% of their opinion. I don’t walk into their job and point at their coffee cup and say, “Why do you do that?” (Though now, I think I just may.)
During these lapses in conversational etiquette I always bite my tongue and give them the well-worn answer. “I love it. It’s a lot of fun.” And I leave it at that. If the person eventually becomes my friend, they begin to learn all that goes into writing, all the victories and the defeats, and soon they come to realize that most writing (even some literary) is, at their core, romance. And over a glass of wine, they come to learn that most writers are not porn stars or stippers, instead only humorists in disguise.
Danica is offering a free ebook copy of Curse of the Wolf! YAY! So you know the drill, fill out the Rafflecopter below! Open internationally! Winner will be contacted via e-mail! Good luck! :)
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