Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Howlz: Cry for the Moon by Marie Treanor (Futuristic, Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, Hot Flashes, Werewolves, Christmas, Seasonal, Holiday Howlz Series)

Holiday Howlz: Cry for the Moon

by Marie Treanor
cover art by ReneƩ George


ISBN: 978-1-60521-357-6


Genre(s): Futuristic, Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, Hot Flashes


Theme(s): Werewolves, Christmas, Seasonal Themes


Series: Holiday Howlz Multi-Author Series


Length: Hot Flash



A lonely woman spends Christmas by herself in the country cottage she once shared with her beloved husband, a soldier who disappeared without trace two years ago. She has finally accepted that he's dead and is even contemplating suicide.

On Christmas Eve, a knock on the door heralds the arrival of a homeless man in ragged clothes who bears a staggering resemblance to her husband. However, he doesn't know who he is, or what has led him to the cottage. Recklessly, she lets him stay the night, but begins to suspect she may have made a terrible mistake when, in the midst of unexpected passion, a wolf flees howling from her bed.


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A loud knock shattered her dream. Whisky sloshed over her hand as she jumped. Who the hell could that be? Whoever it was, Ruth hated them for interrupting her dream. It had almost felt real.

Standing, she dashed her hand across her wet face. Shit, when had she started to cry? As the knock came again, loud and impatient, she walked unsteadily to the door, wiping her eyes on her sleeve as she went.

She was a woman, alone, in an isolated cottage at night. But she ignored the danger. She'd been beyond caring for some time. In any case, it must be Jane or Charlie in the midst of some emergency.

She flung open the door. "What is it?"

She found a tall man leaning one arm across the door frame, staring at her. In the contrast of the lit cottage with the darkness outside, she couldn't make him out properly, but he seemed to be large and ragged and unshaven. And by some unkind trick, he managed to look like her husband.

Her throat dried up. Shock and grief kept her frozen. Had she fallen asleep in front of the fire and was dreaming? After all, she'd had dreams like this before, where he came back... Only he hadn't looked so... rough.

He moved, pushing his head forward into the light and she saw that of course it wasn't Jared. This man had blank, wild eyes, not the thoughtful, intelligent, often cynically amused ones of her husband. And he was too thin, too unshaven. Jared had never had stubble growing all over his neck like that...

The man took a step nearer her, and instinctively, although she wasn't frightened, she took one back. She blinked. In the glow of light from the cottage, his neck no longer looked so hairy, though he clearly hadn't shaved for some time. Unsure, she lifted her gaze back to his.

He stared at her, a frown etched between his thick brows. Or were they really so thick? Perhaps they were just untidy. But his eyes... her mind was playing tricks, for his eyes seemed to be exactly the same shade of bright, piercing blue as Jared's.

He said, "Who are you?"

She squeezed her eyes shut, willing the dream to end, because it didn't seem right to let the stranger have Jared's voice, even if distorted with some hoarse, gravelly element it had never possessed in real life, only to deny any knowledge of her.

"I'm Ruth. Who are you?"

Not Jared. Even in a dream, not Jared. Life sucked. "I don't know."

She opened her eyes. "You don't know your name? Or you're having some philosophical identity crisis?"

A faint, a very faint smile tugged at his lips. That was like Jared, and it twisted her heart. "Both."

Dream or not, she decided to go with it. "All right, let's try something easier. What do you want?"

The frown deepened. "I don't know that either. I thought..." He trailed off, gave a quick, half-apologetic shrug. His gaze darted behind her, then upward and around the cottage before coming back to her face. "I thought you might be able to tell me."


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