Last week, I showed off the cover of my upcoming novel Half Wolf. Today, I’d like to share an unedited version of the first few paragraphs. Don’t worry, I won’t give so much away that you’ll regret not being able to read the book right now.
Three shifters walked into a bar.
It sounds like the beginning of a corny joke, doesn’t it?
But here’s a little more information for you. I was those shifters’ alpha and den mother rolled into one. Two of the barhoppers were jail bait or close to it. And the establishment in question was filled to the brim with horny, lawless, outpack males.
No wonder I wasn’t laughing and was in a big hurry.
I breezed past the bouncer with a show of entirely human teeth, then rolled my eyes at his laxness. The employee wasn’t being remiss by not checking my ID. Not in a werewolf bar. But he still wasn’t really doing his job.
I was twenty-one — barely — which is all humans would have cared about when allowing entrance to a drinking establishment. But the guy at the door in a shifter bar was supposed to turn away anyone without the ability to don fur and howl at the moon. And even though I was technically a shifter, my half-human heritage meant my wolf was too weak to rise up behind my eyes and prove her worth to the bouncer.
Good thing I was accustomed to faking it.
But I wasn’t home free just yet. I’d barely set foot in the sea of writhing bodies when one of those lawless males alluded to earlier grabbed my arm, swinging me around to collide hard with his chest. My chin thudded against bare flesh only slightly less hairy than it would have been in lupine form and my nose took in the over-ripe scent of unwashed man.
Ugh. Not that it would have mattered if he was cute. I was on a mission and Ginger, Cinnamon, and Lia had a half-hour head start. I could only imagine what kind of mischief the trouble twins and their tagalong cousin could get into during thirty long minutes.
“Nice to see another lady in the place,” the male offered with a triumphant leer, clearly pleased with himself for having snagged one of the very few females in evidence.
“Not interested,” I replied sweetly, grinding the heel of one boot into the top of my assailant’s arch. I hadn’t dressed to impress and didn’t particularly expect my hiking shoes to make much of an impression, but I was pleasantly surprised. This particular male must have shown up at the back door in wolf form because his feet were bare, and they were also apparently quite sensitive to being stomped on.
Whatever the reason, the shifter didn’t so much release me as fling me across the room to land at the feet of another group of outpack males. This time I was the one initiating a collision, and the male I struck snarled and kicked me out of his path. Luckily, though, he didn’t look down.
At least my weak wolf has a few things going for her, I thought as I struggled to my feet. There had to be at least a hundred males in the room and most of them were almost certainly outpack wolves with no clan — or woman — of their own. A lone female like me in a bar like this was akin to lighting a match beside a powder keg then standing there tapping my foot while wondering if anything would blow.
Luckily, my half-blood skin didn’t exude the same sort of come-hither charm as a pure-bred pack princess would have. And, in the dimness of the dance floor, my tomboy apparel probably made me look like just another shifter kid out on his own and hunting for a good time.
Or perhaps the males’ lack of attention to my skinny form was the result of vastly more enticing eye candy on hand. Because I caught sight of my three pack mates at last by dint of following everyone’s gazes to a table near the front of the room. There, Ginger was belting out an accompaniment to the piped-in music and providing enticing visual aids to prove that tequila did indeed make her clothes fall off.
“Take it all off!” one of the shifters beside me hollered….