Me? Not so sanguine about the concept of missing a deadline. I just can't do it. So when they get close, I tend to get busy and forget about other things, like blogs, dishes, sleep...well, you get the idea.
What I'm working on so furiously? Motor City Mage, book 4 of the Urban Arcana series from Carina Press. As currently planned, it will also end the series, though of course I've left loopholes in case I ever want to go back to my version of Detroit.
This month marks the release of book 3, Motor City Wolf, featuring smoking-hot werewolf Greg Novak and the ice-princess ex-Fae, Fianna Meadows. It's already received a 4-star review from Romantic Times Book Reviews, so I'm super-excited about that. Anyway, it's available now for pre-order on Amazon, B&N and at the Carina Press site, so here's a little bite to whet your appetite. Rawr!
Motor City Wolf
Urban Arcana Book 3
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Coming to Carina Press, August 29, 2011
Preorder link: http://bit.ly/nv0Tlm
For Greg, keeping his hands off Fianna has been a challenge. But his sense of honor won't let him get involved with a woman put in his care, even if Fianna is eager to explore her new feelings of lust. Resisting the temptation to claim her gets even harder when Greg's grandfather, the region's Alpha, orders him to marry and Fianna agrees to pretend to be his chosen mate.
Fighting his attraction to Fianna isn't Greg's only problem. Someone is killing werewolves and attacking other paranormal beings in Detroit. He vows to do whatever it takes protect both his pack and Fianna—even if that means giving her up...
With a loud, metallic clang, the door at the top of the steps slammed shut.
“What the fuck?” Greg ran up the stairs two at a time. “Not funny, assholes.” He pounded on the steel door with his fist. “Let us out.”
Fianna dropped the box of garbage bags and clutched the pole of a shelf. “What’s going on?” She was only faintly claustrophobic, she reminded herself. And surely, Greg would have them out in no time.
“I swear, if this is Vince or Lana playing a prank, I’m going to rip their tails off with my teeth,” he snarled, throwing his shoulder into the door to no effect.
“Why would they do that?” It didn’t make any sense at all.
“To throw us together, princess.” His voice softened at the nickname, which he’d originally used in such a derogatory tone when she’d first come to work for him. “I believe my brother and cousin think we ought to be a couple.”
“Really? Lana hasn’t said anything of the sort to me.” Although the other woman had been urging Fianna to wear tighter jeans and lower necklines, and she had gone out early tonight, leaving Greg and Fianna alone. “Can’t we phone someone for help?” She pulled her cell phone from her pocket.
Greg shook his head. “No signal. We’re too far underground. Sorry, Fee, I think we’re stuck here for the duration.”
Sweat had broken out on Fee’s forehead, and it was all Greg could do not to run over and take her into his arms. He knew she had claustrophobia issues. The rat-bastard cousin she’d grown up with had occasionally trapped her in their castle’s dungeons as a child, to fuel his own sense of superiority. Greg had found out about it last year, after he’d been a party to putting Fee in a holding cell at the Faerie Court. He’d sworn not to let anyone lock her up again. She was holding up well, but her faint trembling let him know she was anxious.
Greg swore and ran back up the stairs. This couldn’t be happening. He didn’t want to frighten Fee any further, but he was pretty sure this wasn’t a prank. It would be all too easy for whoever had tossed those Molotov cocktails to be watching the place, and to have taken this opportunity to do more damage. Greg and Fee might be in danger themselves if the building burned down around them, but more likely, locking them up meant someone could trash the rest of the place unimpeded.
He pressed his ear to the door and listened to the sounds of metal on metal, as someone systematically tossed the kitchen. A siren sounded in the distance, and the intruders, thankfully, swore and fled, the back door of the club slamming behind them. Unfortunately the siren kept going, passing in front of the club instead of stopping. Damn.
Greg sank down to the top of the step. “They’re gone. I’m hoping they only smashed up the kitchen.”
Fee grimaced. “More cleaning.”
“Worse yet, we’re still stuck down here.” Even from the top of the stairs he could pick up her scent, and the knowledge that they were together, and trapped, made him want to howl.
“I don’t see why you’re so upset.” She sighed, examining her ragged fingernails which had once been so perfect. He was proud of how hard she’d worked today, of how far she’d come in a few short months. Right now, she lounged idly, presenting a façade of utter boredom, but she wasn’t fooling him. The fear in her scent gave her away. “Surely someone will be along in the morning to let us out. We’ve water, plenty of food, even lavatory facilities. We’ll be fine.”
“It’s a full moon, remember?” His voice was guttural, more growl than speech. He slunk back down the stairs to sit on a keg along the wall farthest from Fee. The rising moon was exerting a pull nearly as strong as the lust he was fighting. The warring impulses practically tore his body and soul apart, but he wanted her so badly, he doubted he could force himself to turn. His body wanted to be in human form to take her. Realizing he was crushing the steel shelving, he loosened his grip, consciously forcing his hands to relax. He couldn’t even look at her, but he could feel her soften, hear her tennis shoes padding on the concrete floor as she stepped up behind him and laid her hand on his shoulder.
“Greg, what’s wrong?” Confusion and possibly hurt mingled in her scent, pushing away the fear. “If you need to change, I won’t mind. Believe me. I’ve become very familiar with the concept of a body that’s out of one’s control.”
“How long have you been human, Fee?” Maybe conversation would distract him from the pull of the moon, and the pain of his erection. Maybe, but not bloody likely.
“Three and a half months.” He could almost see her head droop, her shoulders sag. “It’s been—very strange.”
He barked out a laugh. “I’ll bet.”
The distinct tang of arousal had slowly been seeping into her scent as her nervousness abated. “I’ve been feeling things…things I’ve never felt in almost a hundred years as an elf. Things I’m not really sure I understand.” She shifted her legs, squeezing them together.
Unfortunately, Greg did understand. She was feeling a natural human urge…the need to propagate the species. Lucky him, to get to explain the birds and the bees to a horny, hundred-year-old hottie, when he was hard enough to pole vault on his dick.
Her hand on his shoulder burned like a silver bullet. He couldn’t help it; he turned and took her into his arms. He wasn’t even sure who kissed whom, it simply happened. One minute they were standing there and the next minute they were on the freshly mopped, wooden floor with their mouths fused together and his hands clamped onto her sleek little ass.
Her kiss was hotter and headier than anything he’d ever felt. Hotter than his first time with a woman, headier than running beneath the moon on a clear winter night. Her hands were up under his shirt, stroking the skin of his back, while her long, long legs twined around his. It took every bit of self-control he could muster to pull his lips off hers, but he managed, levering up off her body to roll to the side.
“That’s why I need to get us out.” He panted, throwing one arm across his face to block the glare of the industrial overhead lights.
He heard her move, could sense she was sitting up, gazing down at him. “But why is that a problem? Neither of us has a mate, we are both obviously consenting adults. I’d like to explore this. Sex never…appealed to me much as an elf. Now, when I’m near you, my body becomes overheated, sensitive, even swollen in spots. It’s as though I’ll go mad if I don’t touch you.”
Gods, she was trying to kill him. Any second now, the front of his jeans was simply going to burst. He rolled over, face down on the cold wooden floor, and took a deep breath. Crossing his arms to prop up his chin, he looked at her, read the confusion and hurt at his seeming rejection. Her lips were puffy from his kiss, and her long hair was tousled, falling in a ragged ponytail over one shoulder. She’d never looked sexier.