Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for a new year of Mid Week Tease hosted by Sandra Bunino.
Authors: this is a great opportunity to spotlight a few lines or even a paragraph or two from a new release or backlisted title. Readers: you get to sample some delicious snippets! We’ll do our best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.
Today I'm offering snippets from Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack, a paranormal romantic suspense. Julianna Morris swore she was human until she shifted for the first time. Now she's returned to her hometown for her dad's funeral and has to hide it from the one guy she's crushed since high school. Jeff Lightfoot always treated her like another little sister and now that she's a werewolf she has another reason to stay away from him. Even if it's the last thing she wants.
“Actually, I’m a little tired.” Julianna turned to her mother. “Mom, I think I’m going to go.”
“What? Why?” Beth’s face creased with concern.
“I’m tired, and I just need to be alone.” She shrugged uncomfortably. “Too many people around for me.”
“Do you want a ride home?” Jeff’s voice promised comfort and sweet intimacy, but his expression showed only friendly concern.
“No, thank you, I can drive myself. But can you take my mom home? We came in my car.” She began to push her way out of the booth. Her mother moved aside, and Jeff followed, making her heart flutter with excitement despite her fatigue.
“Of course. I’d be happy to do that.”
“Thanks, Mr. Lightfoot.”
He stiffened with surprise at her formality and pulled her to face him. His nostrils flared as a tremor shifted through her body with his touch.
“Call me Jeff. ‘Mr. Lightfoot’ is too formal for friends.”
“Are we friends, Jeff?”
He cocked his head, thoughtfully. “I always thought we were. Didn’t you?”
Can we be friends with benefits?
“‘Sure’ as in you’re humoring me, or ‘sure, you guessed it’?”
His eyes narrowed. “But that isn’t what you want? To be friends?”
Boldness bubbled up and she lifted her chin. “No, it isn’t.”
“Ouch!” He thumped himself in the chest with one hand. “What do you want, then?”
“Do you really have to ask? I thought it was pretty obvious from my pathetic efforts to throw myself at you all those years ago.”
His eyes turned gold as he grasped one hand, squeezing unconsciously. “You were my little sister’s friend. It didn’t seem right to court you then.”
She raised her eyebrows dubiously. “Is that your excuse?”
He laughed. “Not an excuse, a reason. You’re still bold as ever, though.”
“I’m still six years younger, Jeff, even if I’m no longer your sister’s friend. Has anything really changed?”
“You have.” His hand squeezed hers again. “You’ve changed a lot.”
“Actually, I haven’t,” she stated with a disappointed smile. “I’m still the same girl who threw herself at you all those years ago. I’m just older.”
Julianna pulled her hand free and shook her head, sorrow sliding through her. She wished she was different, more exciting or glamorous. But at the end of the day, she was still Julianna Morris, the girl with the larger-than-life-crush on Jeff Lightfoot. If he hadn’t seen it then, why would he see it now?
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