She should be more distressed by the general situation, but the anxiety over the wolf had been successfully distracting her over all the possible threats to her safety here. The magical humans were the real enemy. She knew that. But it was hard to keep that thought in the forefront of her mind when the wolf kept growling and watching her like she was a bone he wanted to gnaw on.
Finally, the tension eased and he shifted back to his far-too-gorgeous human form. This guy had to be working out somehow because nature didn’t just give somebody muscles like that. Jacob had spent hours in the compound’s gym every week, and yet even he hadn’t been this delicious-looking.
Sydney’s hand flew to her mouth when she realized her fangs had popped out. Did she want to sleep with him or have him for dinner?
He wasn’t the only predator here. Too bad nature hadn’t given her anything to back that up with.
The werewolf noticed her gawking and came to the edge of his cube, the closest he could get to her. He stood in all his naked glory staring her down until she averted her eyes. God, Syd, what is wrong with you?
If the attraction were mutual, maybe he wouldn’t try to break through the glass and maul her, but the hard look in his eyes gave her little hope of that. She glanced surreptitiously through the veil of her blonde hair to watch him turn and move to his clothes in the center of his cube. She tried unsuccessfully not to ogle his back and his ass and the back of his thighs. Stop, Syd!
She was stopped from further angering the wolf or embarrassing herself beyond repair by the too-happy robotic voice. “Number 5857B, please prepare to exit your cell for daily exercise.”
The glass door on her cube slid open. But then, so did the door to the right of her… 5856. The wolf. His eyes glowed as he glanced over. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. There was no longer any barrier stopping him from coming into her cube. Was that how the previous occupant had gone out? It hadn’t been lost on her that the wolf was just 5856 and she was 5857B. They weren’t exactly subtle around here.
But then warm air that smelled like raspberries hit her in the face, and suddenly for some reason she felt very calm and peaceful.
The robotic voice spoke again: “Please follow the glowing arrows to the exercise yard, and remember to play nice with your friends.”
The word friends, snapped her out of the calm enough to think yeah, right. She wasn’t sure why she’d had that mental break for a second where everything was roses and chocolate hearts, but she was mostly back to normal. The tension of moving in a single file line with the rest of the preternaturals who were far stronger than her was more than enough to shake any sense of peace she’d felt.
She followed the glowing arrows and the werewolf in front of her. His white T-shirt practically glowed against his olive skin. Just underneath where the fabric ended on his arm was a black tattoo with the number 5856. Sydney guessed it hadn’t been a voluntary tattoo and was thankful she didn’t have one. Yet.
As they walked down the hallway, she couldn’t help being mesmerized by the way his muscles moved under the shirt as he walked. She wanted to lick… no bite… no stroke…
The wolf in front of her growled, startling her, and her face flamed. His back was to her. How in the hell could he know she was thinking inappropriate things about him?
Sense of smell. Oh yeah. Wow, this was mortifying. Sydney blushed even harder and was thankful when they reached the open air of the exercise yard. The moon was waxing. It would be full in just a couple of days. She wondered if she’d have to come out here with therians when that happened.
They’d all have to shift under the moon; they wouldn’t be able to control or stop it. What if the wolf came after her then? Maybe if she talked to him. Maybe she could diffuse the situation somehow. Maybe when he was in wolf form he’d remember she was a friend and not food.
She followed him to the edge of the yard and tapped him on the shoulder. “Excuse me.”
He rounded on her and growled. “WHAT?” That dangerous glow was in his eyes again.
“No,” he said with a nasty sneer, “You are 5857B. And you’d better get used to it.”
She couldn’t believe she’d been attracted to him just minutes ago. More than just threatening and intimidating, out here where he could talk to her, he was just plain unpleasant.
“Well, sorry,” she mumbled. “I just thought we didn’t have to hate each other.” Because I was hoping maybe then you wouldn’t go psychotic on me later.
Sydney took several steps back as he moved into her space.
“Let me be the one to educate you about things here. We are not going to be allies. You will never speak to me again. And if you have any sense in that stupid blonde head of yours, you won’t attempt to call attention to yourself with any of the others, either. You are an abomination. We smell your weakness, and everyone in this yard wants to rip you apart to undo the mistake your idiotic parents made. Stay the fuck away from all of us or learn the consequences of being what you are.”
Sydney was stunned into silence. It wasn’t as if she thought they were going to cuddle on the couch for movie night or anything, but she also hadn’t expected such acidic words from someone who didn’t even know her.
“GO!” he growled, pointing to the far end of the yard.
Noah watched Sydney scurry away from the other prisoners. Good. Now if she could do that for just one more night because two nights from now, he was busting them out. She hadn’t recognized him. But of course, she wouldn’t. Her sense of smell wasn’t as developed as his. And he’d changed so much from when they were kids. Then again, she had, too. She’d transformed from a child into a woman, and the looks a few of the others gave her as she passed, left no doubt.
He growled. He’d never get out of here with her. And he’d chew his own arm off before he left without her.
If he hadn’t been sure before, he was sure now. Sydney was his true mate.
Just before he’d been kidnapped, Noah had asked his dad about mates. The words Cole had spoken would never leave him: “You can take anyone you want for a mate, but a true mate is determined by blood and destiny. She’s out there somewhere. You’ll be happier if you listen to the instinct and don’t try to mark anyone but her.”
BUY LINKS (official release date November 5th. This is a definite release date. Retailers already have final files.) $2.99 pre-order and release day sale not available through Smashwords, Apple, or Barnes and Noble (due to delays with premium distribution with Smashwords and the fact that Nook still doesn’t allow pre-order outside of using Smashwords.) However, the $2.99 pre-order price is available at: Google Play, Amazon, and Kobo Books.
Kobo Link for $2.99 Unleash the Moon Sale. Click Here. (I think that’s the US store, but it’s available pre-order on sale in all countries Kobo is sold.)
Amazon.com Link for $2.99 Unleash the Moon Sale. Click Here.
Amazon.co.uk Sale link. Click Here. (Note that all Amazon stores except for India have a pre-order button and the price is the exchange rate price that matches up with the $2.99 price.)
Google Play $2.99 sale link. Click Here. (Note that the non-US Google Play stores also have pre-order, and it is also on sale at the exchange rate.)
Links for Pre-order where there is no sale and it is regular retail: $4.95:
Smashwords link. $4.95. Click Here.
Barnes and Noble Link. $4.95. Click Here. (Believe me, it annoys the crap out of me that Nook does not yet have a more direct way to get a pre-order button. If they did, I could offer you the sale here. Nook is behind the ball on everything they do.)
I’m not sure if it’s up at Apple ibookstore yet. The ibookstore completely mystifies me. But if it’s not there for pre-order yet, it will be.
I can now share more about the 6th book in the preternaturals series.
Title: Unleash the Moon
Official Release Date: November 5th, 2014
Now Available for Pre-order.
… Can two souls trapped in separate cages ever find each other?
Twenty-six years have passed since the link between heaven and earth was severed and all hell broke loose. The fighting raged until the human magic users took over the cities, driving most of the preternaturals into hiding.
This is the world Sydney Burgess has grown up in, locked inside her father’s compound. As the daughter of a human mother and a vampire king, she has all the weaknesses of a vampire but none of their strengths. Anthony keeps her on a tight leash, ever-vigilant against the constant imagined threats to her safety. But all she wants is to break free and start a real life.
Noah Riley has lived in captivity for the past twenty years, so long he barely knows how to be a werewolf anymore. Even with a photographic memory, most of his past before the facility feels fuzzy at best. His strongest memories are of the little girl he protected during his childhood: Sydney. When he reaches his full power on his twenty-eighth birth moon, he’ll have a chance to break free to find her and finally reunite with his family.
But vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies. Even if Sydney is Noah’s true mate, the vampire king would kill him before he ever let a filthy werewolf near her, especially one of questionable sanity.
Forbidden is now available (Finally!) Forbidden is the 5th book in the Preternaturals series. However, it can be read as a stand alone with very little trouble (i.e. if you are new to my world and this book sounds good to you… while everything has more depth if you’ve read it all in order, you do not HAVE to read it all in order. You can start here and go back and pick up the earlier books if you like this. Or you can start at the top. Whichever.)
Description, excerpt link, book trailer, and buy links below the cut. (Scroll to the very bottom for buy links if you don’t need the sales pitch.) Read more…
And now for an excerpt for the VERY soon to be released, Forbidden:
Forbidden, Copyright 2014, Zoe Winters
Angeline felt his eyes on her. She should leave. It had taken everything in her not to flee when he’d called her little angel. It was what Linus had called her. The endearment had always been followed by something terrible when it had come from the mouth of her sire.
She’d had to mentally remind herself that she’d watched Hadrian for years. She knew him. He wasn’t Linus. A pet name wouldn’t change that. And further, she’d seen plenty of reasons over the years to trust Hadrian. Most evil acts for him occurred in a gray area in service to a greater good.
She wandered the basement. The decor was mostly modern. Sharp lines and hard planes. Cold marble statues watching her and documenting all her sins. Only a little comfort or warmth here or there… a comfy leather chair, a rug, a large, ornate bed with sheer black curtains around it. Lots of white candles and Gothic candle stands.
Everything was black and gray and white with a few flourishes of gold here and there. The only thing that didn’t fit the bland color scheme was a wardrobe and trunk in the corner made from rich dark oak. The other corner had racks and racks of wine.
A familiar piece of fabric peeked from behind the trunk. It was the bag she’d left behind years ago. She tensed, afraid the rosary would burn when her fingers brushed over the cross, but of course it didn’t. Instead, when she held it, she felt herself glow.
“You kept this?”
She jumped when his arms closed around her waist. He’d moved across the room so quickly and quietly she hadn’t noticed him behind her.
“I never bothered throwing it out. It’s not as if I live here all the time.”
She put the rosary and drawing back into the bag and placed it on the trunk. It felt wrong to keep it. It only reminded her of things she wanted to forget.
“Do you want absolution, Angeline?”
“I know that you’ll never…”
“You know I do.”
“Even if the penance is difficult?”
Angeline nodded. He released her and went back to the chair, and she could finally breathe. When she turned around, he was studying her again. She couldn’t decide what his new mood was about. He’d hated her from the moment she’d turned him. It was disconcerting to see this sudden change. She didn’t trust it.
Something about him still frightened her. She knew he couldn’t hurt her. As an angel there was nothing that could hurt her, except a higher-level angel. And yet, it was so easy to forget all of that while captured in his dark gaze, his punishing grip, the hard lines of his face that said he would never waver in his judgment.
“If I’m to avoid Anthony, I’ll need to stay indoors for a while. You will give me your blood until I decide I’ve had enough. Even if the threat to me has passed. In time, I may choose to forgive you.”
Of course, that would be what he wanted. He had no idea the risk he asked her to take on. For an angel to lower herself to feed a vampire… It wasn’t done. Her hand rose to her throat where he’d bitten her.
“Too much for you little angel?”
“N-no. It’s not too much.” She didn’t think there was anything he could ask for that she wouldn’t give him. He was her loose end, the one sin that couldn’t lay buried in the past. She wasn’t sure she’d ever forgive herself for doing exactly as Linus had done to her. Even if Hadrian never forgave her, she’d feed him as long as he wanted her.
His eyes lit with malice she hadn’t seen since her sire, and she took a step back. The night she’d met Father Hadrian, she’d sensed the darkness in him, the darkness that would echo hers. He’d been her perfect match. But now she searched, hoping for bits of goodness instead.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. He’s not Linus. Even if he were, no one can hurt you now. She felt the tingle of her wings inside her back, reminding her of the power she had now. She was safe. Everything would be okay.
When she opened her eyes, he still watched her.
“Undress and lie down in the bed. I want you to sleep here tonight. I don’t sleep until the sun rises.”
“I…” He was messing with her mind, pushing to see how vulnerable she’d allow herself to be around him. Linus had played those games, too. Only he’d hurt her every time she’d shown the least hint of weakness, whenever she’d offered the smallest amount of open trust.
Hadrian turned away. “I won’t watch you. I won’t touch you.”
It wasn’t as if he could hurt her, at least not while she was conscious.
“I can’t miss prayers. I’ll be in trouble if I’m not back in time.”
“They keep you on a tight leash up there, don’t they?”
“Mine would be tighter. I’ll wake you in a couple of hours.”
I now have Cover Art and the Book Trailer for Forbidden.
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Cover by: Robin Ludwig Design, Inc.
Book Trailer by: Me. :)
Angeline knows Father Hadrian will never forgive her for their ugly history. When the king of the vampires seeks vengeance for Hadrian’s recent betrayal, she’ll risk everything to protect the vampire she still loves.
But when she agrees to give Hadrian her blood, all of Heaven will break loose.