I’m currently working on my posts for the upcoming blog hops, and I’m involved in a Cyber Launch of my newest release The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo. The following is an excerpt to tempt you.
Retaining the body of a wolf in Livie’s house, Ash, with his unique gift of rapid comprehension, is exposed to TV and quickly absorbs the details of the modern world. A morning alone watching Sesame Street gives him a rudimentary grasp of the written word.
Ash looked up at the sign, the ditty playing in his head — take an H, that’s a Hah and an OT ot, put them all together and they spell hot. Take a D that’s a Duh and an OG og, put them all together and that spells dog. Hot Dog. He’d only eaten dog once, at a wedding feast in the Goose clan’s camp. He found it too stringy. But even if the meat had been better, he liked dogs far too much to enjoy eating them.
Her eyes on the menu board, Olivia asked, “So what are you going to get?”
There were so many words up there and very few pictures and these were of foods he didn’t recognize. He said, “I’ll eat what you eat.”
She told the young man behind the counter, “We’ll have two hot dogs and fries, with mustard, relish, and celery salt. And two chocolate shakes.”
Ash hid his disappointment. After all, he did tell her he’d eat whatever she was eating. They took a seat at a table and he watched Livie squeeze a thick red something out of a bottle, one she placed before him as if she expected him to want it. He dabbed some on his finger and tried it for himself. It was both sweet and sour, but very good. He’d seen this on the TV. Ketchup, that’s what it was.
“They make the best fries here.” She dipped the white stick into the ketchup. He did the same. These were fries. Flavored by salt, he found them similar in texture and taste to baked arrowroot. They too were very good, especially with ketchup.
When Livie unwrapped the package, he couldn’t believe his eyes. Nor could he imagine her eating such a thing.
“Aren’t you going to try your hot dog?”
Unwrapping the warm bundle, Ash stared at it. He watched her take a bite. There was no doubt she enjoyed it immensely. His eyes followed as she set the unappetizing food on top of her basket of fries. Seeing the insideof the hot dog, he suddenly burst out laughing. This was no dog cock.
Olivia looked at him, his unexpected laughter making her smile. “What’s so funny?”
He shook his head. Still chuckling, he picked up his hot dog and without hesitation took a bite. It was meat of some unidentifiable kind, and delicious. The milkshake defied description. Ash spent the better part of an hour absorbing the sweet creamy coldness of the chocolate milkshake balanced against the savory saltiness of the fries and the curious meat on a B-U-N, and listening to the story of Livie’s last man.
“Tom just didn’t understand that sometimes my work had to come first. That’s why he ended it.” She ended the sentence with a shrug. “But I was okay with that. I liked him, he was fun. But I wasn’t in love.”
“It takes a special person to understand the healer’s path, Livie.”
She nodded. Feeling more at ease now that they’d been talking a while, she said pointedly, “So tell me about you, Ash. Anyone in your life? A wife or girlfriend?”
He shook his head. “My wife died many years ago. I’ve been alone a long time.”
Liv hadn’t considered he’d be a widower. He couldn’t be much older than she was. It happened, though. Accident, crime, or disease can catch anyone. Not about to pry for details, she said sincerely, “I’m so sorry.”
He gave her a small smile.
Expecting he’d say more, she asked, “You rather not talk about her?”
“I’d rather talk of you. If we did, I’d tell you your beautiful eyes are the color of the sky.”
Olivia knew she was blushing by the tell-tale rush of warmth all over. After all, they’d only met three days ago. Averting her gaze, she thanked him for the compliment.
Ash had seen women blush before, but never a white-skinned woman. It was lovely. “You look away again, why is this?”
His words made her feel unaccountably shy and deepened her blush. In the awkward silence that followed, she poked at her thick shake with her straw. Maybe it was just that she found him an extremely attractive and very compelling man or perhaps it was his bearing. He carried himself like he stepped out of one those ethnographic portrait photos taken of Native American men in the 1800s. Like many of those images, Ash too, had a regal quality about him.
She absently closed her lips around the straw, lost in her musing. Ash had amazingly intense eyes and the rest of him was gorgeous — gorgeous skin, gorgeous hair, and gorgeous smile. Her gaze rose from her milkshake, landed on that smile, and stayed there. A moment passed before she realized she was staring dumbly at his lips. When she met his eyes, she found them dancing with mirth. His handsome smiled widened engagingly.
Ignoring another rush of warmth, she cleared her throat. Then in a move completely out of character for her, she responded coquettishly, “You think I’m refusing to look at you? Well, I’m looking now.”
“Yes, you are. And what your eyes show me makes me want to kiss you right here and right now.”
Oh my god. This had to be the most direct man she’d ever met. The funny thing was, she wouldn’t mind being kissed by him, right here and right now. The thought took the blush that warmed her face and turned it into a full-body flush. Thank God she wore clothing.
Ash found her even lovelier. He wanted this woman. He wanted to hold her in his arms and kiss her. He wanted to feel her body wrapped around him while his lips chased the blush over her skin. And above all, he wanted her to love him.
Laughing to defuse the moment, she pushed her fries in front of him. “Here, how fast can you finish these? I need to get home to my dog.”
The previous scene made me laugh when I wrote it. It’s based on a true story from the Reservation. An Anishinabe (Ojibwe) friend lived with us for the better part of a summer teaching me useful things like brain-tanning leather, quilling in birchbark, and traditional dance (don’t laugh, they’re useful skills.) One day he told me a story he’d heard from an old uncle on the Reservation. Apparently this was a very real impression of a hotdog by an elder the man knew long ago. 🙂
~~~About Rose ~~~
Have you ever fallen so deeply in love with the characters in a romance novel that thoughts of them linger long after the last page is turned? Have you ever been so completely immersed in a love scene that you’d swear you’ve just been kissed or more?
Meet Rose Anderson’s strong, confident heroines and compelling heroes. Come see how their lives entwine and through their stories discover love profound. From her current novels, to the passionate stories that follow, Rose will sweep you away on a sensual tide of memorable story-telling.