Monday, April 20, 2009

Hoosier Werewolves Collection by Kate Hill

Hoosier Werewolf: Howl & Prowl (Collection)
by Kate Steele
Cover art by Reneé George
ISBN: 978-1-60521-137-4
Genre(s): Paranormal, Dark Fantasy
Theme(s): Werewolves, Gay and Lesbian
Length: Collection

For most people, werewolves are creatures of fantasy, pulled from the pages of fiction novels and seen only in movies. For brothers Ethan, Dustin and Nick Parks, they become beings who are all too real... and the family tree is about to get a little furry.
* * *Crewe Jackson’s been waiting patiently to claim his mate. Nine years ago both he and Ethan Parks were too young, but now he intends to give his sweet little nerd some lessons in love.
* * *Chad Sutter has his hands full. Not only has his future mate, Dustin Parks, been accused of dealing drugs, he’s been hurt by someone he trusted. It’s up to Chad to straighten out the mess and prove to Dustin that it’ll take more than a little trouble to put out the growing flame between them.
* * *Never show weakness. For two men, human Nick Parks and werewolf Lucas Devereau, it’s the creed they live by. Trouble is, just because something is hidden doesn’t mean it’s not there. With a little trust they may just discover in each other a mate who truly understands the heart and soul of an alpha.

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.
"No, don't. Please, don't," Ethan begged. Ignoring his plea, the car died. "Son of a bitch. You lousy piece of…" He paused. Closing his eyes and scrunching up his face, he forced himself to shut up. "Okay, wait a minute. Deep breath. Let's not lose our heads here, yeah? You know you're my sweet little baby," Ethan apologized, rubbing his cold hands over the steering wheel. His breath clouded the frigid air in front of him and fogged the windshield.
"I know you want to run for me, baby. Just come on, start like a good girl and it's home to the garage. I'll even turn the heat on for you," Ethan promised. Closing his eyes he turned the key in the ignition. His only answer was rrr, rrr, rrr. "Damn it!"
Ethan resisted the urge to bang his head on the steering wheel. Instead, he leaned back and closed his eyes, waiting for his agitation to calm. When he could think straight, he quickly made a calculation in his head. It was about thirty blocks from home which meant an almost two mile walk. He shivered and considered calling a taxi but remembered he'd left his recharged cell phone on the kitchen counter. The walk to a payphone would take him quite a distance out of the way, not to mention he wasn't sure how long he'd have to wait for them to get there.
Don't be such a wimp, Ethan, you can do this. But why does it have to be so damn cold? Duh! It's December. December in Indiana, and Christmas just around the corner. I suppose I'm lucky there isn't a foot of snow on the ground.
With these and other thoughts prodding him, Ethan grabbed his laptop in its sturdy case from the passenger seat. Taking a quick, cautious look around the empty library parking lot, he got out, locked the car and started his walk. Having worked well past closing, Ethan had let himself out with his own key and reset the alarm system before heading for his car. Glancing at his watch before getting in the car, he'd been surprised to find it was nearly midnight.
The library was in the middle of town, the first part of his walk taking him through the small business district. He was grateful for the evenly spaced streetlights and the fact that he wouldn't be walking home in total darkness. This late night walk had enough of an eerie quality to it without having to navigate in the dark.
At this time of night there was very little traffic moving up and down the road, especially after the Main Street renovation project. The street had been cunningly curved and now resembled the sinuous s-shape of a traveling snake. The idea was to give Main a sort of artful look. At various points along the way wide, built up, modified speed bumps kept the traffic from moving too fast. By keeping the speed limit down it was supposed to give those driving through a better look at the stores along the way and hopefully lure in more shoppers.
Whether it worked, Ethan couldn't say for sure. It did seem to him that the two streets on either side of Main that ran parallel to it now appeared to have a lot more traffic on them. Looking left and right at every cross street, he saw more cars on those streets than he did on Main. Unconsciously, he shrugged. It was too bad really. He thought Main Street looked much nicer and there were some interesting stores there. He loved the bookstore and his favorite lunch café was right next door to it.
Huddling deeper into his coat he trudged on, his leather dress shoes creaking a little with the cold. Slowly, the business district gave way to suburban housing. At this point the next dozen or so blocks were mixed with houses, fast food places, a large chain-type drug store, a couple of car dealerships and a video store. Ethan was anticipating his arrival at the twenty-four hour mini-mart. His extremities were starting to go numb and his nose and ears were burning. He wanted to get in out of the cold and spend a few minutes with a cup of coffee or cocoa.
Cold as it was, it was still a beautiful night. The sky was clear and a full moon rode high above the increasingly large trees that lined the street. Ethan let his gaze linger on that beautiful orb until he tripped on a crack in the sidewalk.
Barely saving himself from a fall, he kept his eyes peeled for further hazards. The neighborhood he walked through was as familiar as the back of his hand. It was a nice place and while the homes were rather close to each other, they had individuality instead of being cookie-cutter images of each other. The further from town one got, the larger the houses became.
In the eighteen-hundreds, part of the street had been called Millionaire's Row. The houses were large and stately. A couple of them had since been converted to bed and breakfast inns. One housed a firm of lawyers and a few of the others were combination home and office for several doctors, one dentist and a podiatrist. Many of the homes at one point had had Victorian railings and flourishes, but much of that had given way to a less flamboyant style.
Ethan's home, which he shared with his two brothers, was just beyond Millionaire's Row. Not as grand as those, it was still a stylish, old fashioned house built of oversized brick in shades of gray. The front had two long columns which supported a small second story balcony that was accessible from the upstairs hallway and two of the bedrooms. The house had been extensively remodeled on the inside which made it cozy and welcoming. There were three bedrooms upstairs, each with an adjoining bathroom. In addition to the living room, kitchen and utility room there had been a large dining room. Part of their renovations had been to turn the dining room into office space for himself and Nick.
Ethan brought his free hand up to his face, breathed on his fingers and thought about his brothers. Wouldn't you know that Nick and Dustin are both out of town just when I need them? Typical.
Ethan shook his head and silently scolded himself. It really wasn't their fault. After all, Dustin was at school and Nick was working. And he shouldn't need his brothers to get him out of a jam. He wasn't a kid anymore.
He shivered. I can't wait to get home and light a fire in the fireplace. The thought of being snug and warm on the sofa with a good book in front of the fire made him groan. He had the next day off and didn't have to worry about getting up early to go to work. Going home and going straight to bed wouldn't be necessary so he was free to indulge and looking forward to it.
Trading his laptop case to his warmer hand, he was just about to shove his other hand into his coat pocket when a movement at the corner of his eye caught his attention. He turned his head to look but the streetlights revealed nothing beyond the usual. Frowning slightly, Ethan kept walking but surreptitiously cast frequent glances across the street.
There it was again. His heart thumped. A flash of movement between the evenly spaced trees as though someone was rushing between them, then hiding behind them out of sight. Ethan swallowed hard, visions of muggers filling his mind. Two and a half blocks away, he could just make out the sign for the all night mini-mart. Forcing himself to stay calm, he increased his pace and kept watch.
The movement came again and this time he was ready for it. Ethan quickly turned his head and saw his stalker. It was a dog, a very large dog. At least he thought it was a dog. It resembled a German Shepherd but the hair was longer and thicker. He started when the thought struck him that what the dog really resembled most was a wolf. But that was impossible, wasn't it? Wolves didn't roam the streets of small towns in Indiana. Maybe it's a Husky.
Ethan shook his head. Whatever it was, the dog was acting strangely. Following him and slipping from tree to tree to stay hidden, what kind of dog did that? Was this some kind of prelude to an attack? The thought had Ethan again increasing his pace but he was afraid to just flat out run. What if that encouraged the dog to chase him? Weren't animals more likely to attack when you ran?
Biting his lip, Ethan kept walking, his entire body tense and braced for what might come. Luckily nothing happened. The dog merely kept pace with him. At some point it stopped trying to hide. It simply stayed parallel to his course as though it was escorting him. Finally he came even with the mini-mart, crossed the lot and ducked inside. Ethan stood at the window looking for the dog, but it had disappeared.

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