I wrote Kiss and Kin on purpose, so to speak, specifically for the Samhain anthology.
I’ve been working on a full length story set in the same world, only in Colorado, not Houston. (It’s been over a year, and it’s not quite finished. Pieces of it have finalled in some contests, I’m almost there, but…yeah. You know how it goes). So when I saw the Shifting Dreams submission call, I thought – well, hey, I like this world I’ve built, and I’m frustrated with the big WIP, so I’ll write a short story.
But I’d never sat down to make up a story all at once. I can’t explain it, but I get the characters first, and maybe just a hint of a background, and then they start walking around and talking, and then I start to see a story. Character and dialogue are my two strengths, I think. It’s the plot that gives me fits. If only readers didn’t insist on interesting plots…
So then I had to come up with a story I could tell in thirty thousand words. I’m kind of verbose – I envy my writer friends who have to really work to make a story hit seventy-five thousand words. I mean, the big WIP stands at ninety-four thousand words and I’m not done. But anyway…
I had this idea about a nightclub, drug dealing wolves and a heroine who gets in trouble because she was dragged along by a friend. It took me a while to come up with a hero and a real plot. Then I thought about the very first story I tried to write, the one that got stalled at six thousand words because I started having visions of this dark, bearded werewolf in Colorado. So when it was time to come up with this short story, I didn’t want to use Nick Wargman, the hero of the stalled WIP, because I’m going to finish him one day (soon, I hope). I decided the hero would be one of Nick’s wolves. After that, Lark just sort of popped up on her own, and the whole cousins-but-not-cousins thing. (There was a conversation recently over at Smart Bitches Trashy Books about what kind of hero/heroine setup you’re a sucker for. I’m a sucker for the stories where either the hero’s been in love with the heroine for years, or vice versa, or they’ve been carrying a torch for each other and neither of them knows it.)
And of course, the hardest part was the plot. I drove my sister in law crazy as I tried to work out what the bad guys did and how it happened. And you read the story now, and it’s like – that’s it? That simple little plot took you forever to come up with? Yep. I can make people walk and talk and breathe, but I have a helluva time making them actually do anything interesting!
Brotherly love? Oh hell no…
A Sexy Shifter story.
On the surface, court reporter Lark Manning looks like the luckiest girl in the world, blessed with great friends and a wonderful family. Underneath, she harbors a hopelessly unrequited love for the sexy werewolf everyone thinks of as her cousin. Taran rarely notices her except to condescend or lecture. He’s treated her the same way since she was eight years old, and there’s no reason to think he’ll ever change.
Taran Lloyd, a detective in the Houston Police Department’s Shifters Investigations Unit (SHIU), lives for those rare moments he gets to spend around Lark, torturing himself with what he can’t have. Kin only by marriage, she thinks of him as her big brother. He couldn’t bear her pity—or her disgust—if she learned he wants her for his mate.
When weres from a rival pack attack her, Lark screams out the first name that comes to mind—Taran. Only this sexy alpha can keep her safe until they find out who wants her dead, and why. But keeping her safe means keeping her close. And the closer they get, the harder it gets for these not-really-cousins to honor their commitment to keep their paws off.