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Monday, May 2, 2016

One Spirited Woman + Three Coyote Shifters = E-Reader Ecstasy


Sophie’s Shifters, Wolf Clan Shifters #3
By Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press

66K words

 Release Date: 5/2/16
Genre: Shifter Ménage  Romance



One spirited woman + three coyote shifters = e-reader ecstasy.

Book Description:

Late 1930s, California.

The winds of change are blowing hard as shifters gather deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for a war powwow. Tempers run high as they argue their next move. An unexpected attack from more Hunters than they’ve ever seen forces their hand, and Blake, alpha for the coyote clan, fights alongside his brothers. He’s grimly pleased when every single one of their enemies is finally dead, the bodies chucked into glacial crevasses.

Sophie Laughing Wolf tracked her hated brother into the mountains. Gifted with foreseeing, she wants to make certain he ends up just as dead as he was in her vision. When the large group of men he’s with are set upon by shifters, mythical dual-natured beings who can take animal forms, she hides, calling on earth power to shield her.

It doesn’t work. Two shifters, back in their men’s bodies, haul her from her hiding place once the battle ends and drag her before their chief. He spares her life—for now—but she senses the animosity the others have for her. They see her as a threat, a witness to multiple murders.

When the mate bond strikes, she fights its pull. So does Blake. He can’t believe the gods would be so cruel as to bind him and his lieutenants to a woman with blood ties to Hunters—their ancient enemy. She runs from her fate. So does he, but the bond burns bright, transcending everything.

Alice adds Jed to her list of problems when he melts out of the shadowed darkness. At first she declines his offer of help, but he keeps talking until she ends up inside the cozy log cabin in front of a roaring fire. His skilled hands and a shot of whiskey heat her blood to molten, and her carefully tended world explodes into desperate hunger to make love with the man rubbing her weary feet.
As caught up in lust as Alice, Jed takes a chance. A big one. Will mating with her before disclosing everything turn out to be a huge mistake?

Alice adds Jed to her list of problems when he melts out of the shadowed darkness. At first she declines his offer of help, but he keeps talking until she ends up inside the cozy log cabin in front of a roaring fire. His skilled hands and a shot of whiskey heat her blood to molten, and her carefully tended world explodes into desperate hunger to make love with the man rubbing her weary feet.
As caught up in lust as Alice, Jed takes a chance. A big one. Will mating with her before disclosing everything turn out to be a huge
Excerpt from Sophie’s Shifters:

…Jed slipped and slid down the glacier, grateful his mate Alice wasn’t there to read him the riot act. An accomplished mountaineer, she’d have laughed herself sick after the second time he fell on his ass and slid twenty feet.

“Goddammit!” Terin screeched from behind him and went flying past on his stomach. He shifted mid-slide and dug his claws into the icy surface to stop his suicidal descent. Once he’d stopped on the uphill side of a boulder, he shifted back.

Jed drew to a halt next to him. “Good thing you didn’t bother getting dressed. Your clothes would be strewn over the last fifty feet of ice in shreds.”

“Yes and no,” Terin muttered, glancing pointedly at Jed’s shoes. “My boot soles would have helped—a lot. Jesus but I’m glad Alice isn’t here to see this.”

“Keir’s doing okay in bare feet,” Bron noted, catching them up. “And I’m not doing that bad, but the soles of my feet hurt like hell—and I miss my claws.”

Jed eyed the edge of the glacier. Patches of rocks and dirt, interspersed with ice, began a couple hundred feet below them. Walking would get much easier then. He grabbed one of Terin’s arms. Bron seized the other one, and together they lurched over the remaining rock-studded ice.

“We have a problem,” he said without preamble.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” Bron muttered.

“We have to get home and make sure Alice is okay,” Terin added.

Jed winced. He’d wanted to leave someone home with the women, but neither Alice, nor Megan—Les and Karl’s mate—would have any part of that. He reached for Alice through the mate bond, but she was too far away for him to sense anything.

“Which particular problem were you alluding to?” Bron asked. “Somehow it seems like more than getting out of these mountains with our hides intact.”

“It is,” Jed said tersely. “Les and Karl found a woman. They’re holding her back in the cave.”

Terin stopped dead. “What? Is she a climber like Alice, who got stranded up here?”

“Somehow, I don’t think that’s it,” Jed muttered.

“We’ll find out soon enough,” Bron broke in. “Shit! If she came with the Hunters, we’ll have to kill her.”

“That already occurred to me.” Jed shot a pointed look at his lieutenant. “Keir said the same. He was standing close enough to hear when Les gave me the bad news.”

“Damned shame.” Terin shook loose from them. “I’m good. I don’t need you two to nursemaid me anymore.”

They covered the remaining half mile to the cave in silence. Terin and Bron went to collect their clothes, and Jed strode briskly to a back corner where he sensed Les and Karl. Crouched behind them in a quivering mass was a woman with her head buried in her crossed arms. Long black hair shot with thick silver streaks spilled around her onto the dirt floor. She was swathed in dark colored wool and flinched away when Jed hunkered next to her.

He probed her mind and found terror so gripping, it obliterated everything else. He started to tell her not to be afraid, but the words died on his tongue. He couldn’t give her any guarantees, and he wouldn’t lie to her.

“Who are you?” he asked, keeping his voice gentle.

“We tried that, boss,” Les said.

“At first, all she did was moan,” Karl added. “She got quieter after a while, but she hasn’t answered any of our questions.”

“Where’d you find her?” Jed asked.

“After we lifted the last of the bodies in our sector out of the moraine, so others could move them up the mountain, Les and I sensed something living. It wasn’t a Hunter, but it was human, so we dug a little.”

“Didn’t have to go far,” Les cut in, “before we found her hiding between a huge piece of deadfall and a big rock.” He shrugged. “Without our wolf senses, we’d never have discovered her.”

A low whimper escaped from the woman, and Jed laid a hand on her arm. “What’s your name?” he repeated.

“Just get it over with.” Her low, musical voice was strained. Hysteria trod near the surface.

“Get what over with?” Jed probed. Maybe if he could get her talking, he could learn something.

The woman lifted her head from her crossed arms and Jed’s eyes widened. She was absolutely stunning with huge midnight blue eyes. Pronounced bone structure and copper skin suggested Native American blood flowed through her veins. Sharp cheekbones, a hawk-bridged nose, and a squared-off chin lent her an exotic cast.

She tilted her chin at a defiant angle. “You have to kill me. I know too much. Get it over with. The others—” she cast a spurious glance Les and Karl’s way “—they were waiting for you to make the decision.” Her mouth worked as if she’d tasted something bitter. “Anyway, get it over with. I took my chances when I tracked my brother today. If he’d known, he’d have forbidden me to come.”

Jed frowned. “One of the Hunters was your brother?”

The woman nodded mutely. “Yeah, that’s what I just said, isn’t it? Get it over with, white man. If you’re going to kill me, do it. If not, let me go.”

Bron and Terin had joined them once they’d dressed. Bron passed a hand over the woman’s head, and Jed felt him probing with shifter magic. “You have white man’s blood too,” Bron murmured.

The woman shot him a scathing look. “Not much. What of it?”

“Where we come from in Canada,” Les said, “Indians are friends to those like us.”

She curled her upper lip in withering scorn. “We have enough problems without associating with shifters. You’re nothing but trouble. Bad enough we got stuffed onto reservations, land no one else wanted.”

Jed tried a different tack. “Why’d you track your brother today?”

She buried her head in her arms again, refusing to look at him.

“Please.” He gentled his voice. “Give us something to work with. Les and Karl, my brothers who found you, didn’t harm you.”

“Only because they were waiting for you, their chief.” Her voice was muffled.

“Goddammit!” Les squatted in front of her and yanked her head upward. “Karl and I could’ve killed you. We didn’t. We were not waiting for Jed to make that call. Tell us why you were tracking your brother.”

Jed heard compulsion flow beneath the other shifter’s words.

The woman drew back. She tried to combat Les’ spell, but the contest was laughable. “To stop him,” she said. The words were clearly dredged from her, but they held the ring of truth.

“Good. He needed to be stopped,” Les said. “Why’d you think he’d listen to you?”

The woman’s face crumpled and she started to cry, big noisy gulping sobs that ripped through her. “It’s not what you think. I didn’t try to make him listen to me,” she managed between ragged breaths. “I have the gift of prophecy—farseeing—and I knew things would go to hell for all of them today.”

“Do your visions always come true?” Jed probed. Despite the problems the woman presented, her story fascinated him.

She nodded, but didn’t say anything further.

“Did your brother know you followed the Hunter group?” Jed asked.

She shook her head. “No. He doesn’t share my gift. His magic came mostly from the goddamned white man’s Church.”

“Odd none of the rest of them sensed you behind them,” Karl muttered.

“Not odd at all,” she shot back, choking a little on snot running down her face. “I can blend my energy into the rocks, the dirt.”

“We found you,” Karl pointed out.

“Because you were in your natural form, and wolves sense such things far more acutely than men.”

Jed waved Karl to silence. This was going nowhere fast. Returning his attention to the woman, he said, “So you came along, but didn’t talk with him. Didn’t try to warn him. Help me understand why.” Jed hoped things might get clearer, but so far they were just becoming more confusing.

“Let me get this straight.” Bron hunkered next to Les and caught the woman’s gaze with his dark one. “You saw in a vision that your brother would die, and you came along anyway but didn’t try to warn him. Did you want to make certain he was dead?”

Jed silently offered his lieutenant credit for shrewdness. If the woman knew today would end in a bloodbath because she’d seen it—and she made no attempt to warn her brother—what other reason would she have had for trailing after him.

The woman’s sobbing escalated. She tried to jerk her chin out of Les’ grip, but he held fast. “Yes,” she gasped out. “Yes. I hated that bastard. He…used me, hurt me the way men hurt women, when I was only ten years old and never stopped until I ran away when I was sixteen. No one believed me. No one c-cared.” Her last words were almost obliterated by sobs.

Suddenly her phrase to stop him took on a whole new meaning. Jed just stared at her. “So it’s not that you didn’t say anything today. You never told him anything.”

She did yank her chin away then and spat on the dirt floor. “Hell no. I haven’t spoken to him in ten years, but he’s blood and he shows up in my visions.”

Running on instincts that had rarely failed him, Jed glanced at the four wolf shifters ranged around him. They didn’t need to talk. After hundreds of years of working together, they understood one another.

“Stand up.” Jed told the woman.

“Why?”

“Did you see your own death in your vision?”

An odd look washed over her face before she shook her head and pushed herself upright. Standing she was of a height with Jed, and her hair reached past her ass. She squared slender shoulders. “Is that a backhanded way of saying I can leave?”

Jed shook his head and hurried to add words before she sank into a puddle of terror again. “You’re right that we can’t allow you to return to your life. We have no idea who you are, who you’d tell. We could wipe your memory of us, but you’d still recall the death that happened in this canyon.”

“What are you going to do with me?” Her voice shrilled and she jerked her chin upward. “If you think you’re going to abuse me like my brother, think again, white man. I’d rather be dead.”

“We don’t do that to women.” Terin pushed into her line of vision so she had to look at him.

“Not what I’ve heard,” she retorted. “My brother said he learned it from you.”

“Bull crap!” Jed said succinctly. “I’ve never known a shifter to take a woman against her will. Not on my watch, and not in my clan.”

“You planning to bring her home with us?” Bron quirked a dark brow.

Jed nodded. “The only question—” he focused on the woman “—is whether you come willingly, or we knock you out and carry you down the mountain.”

“Home as in staying under the same roof with five men?” Her face twisted into a grimace. “No. Not happening. Just kill me here and get it over with.”

“We’re mated,” Karl informed her. “Les and I have a mate. Her name is Megan. And Jed, Bron, and Terin are mated to Alice.”

The woman tossed her head. “Fine. Just because you located some sluts who—”

Jed snaked out a hand and slapped her hard across the face. He grabbed her head between his hands and forced her to look at him. “Never say one bad word about my mate. I love her. So do Bron and Terin. Don’t disparage what you don’t understand.”

A shocked look blossomed on her face and she muttered, “Sorry,” before looking at her feet.

“Let go of her, boss.” Bron pulled Jed’s hands away. “She only understands what she’s lived. And it hasn’t been pretty.”…

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