When Shifter Woods: Roar came out, it received a complaint from a reviewer that the cover art used models with shaved chests. Since you’re never supposed to respond to a reviewer I bit my tongue, but I did think, “Lady, if you can find a model with chest hair in the right age range, lemme know because I’ve been looking and they’re NOT out there.”
And then I read a comment a few days ago about the awesomely talented artist Jay Aheer and how she painstakingly painted on chest hair for another author’s cover because the character had chest hair. My first thought was, “That Jay, she always goes the distance with her work. Such a professional.”
My second thought was, “Wait, you can do that?” So I did some searching and by gum, it is possible to add chest hair onto a hairless model in Photoshop. After finding a tutorial, I decided to build my own chest hair brush and tried it out with the cover for Shifter Woods: Snarl (it’s coming, people, I promise). The result worked, but it looked like my poor wolf shifter had been manscaped within an inch of his life. So I built another brush, this one with thicker, curlier hair, and tried that.
WOO! As you can see, the result looks damned good. So, keeping that reviewer’s comments in mind, I went back and added a fair amount of curly hair to Mike’s chest for the cover of Shifter Woods: Roar. I’m going to build another thicker brush with straighter hair, just to change things up a bit, but it looks like I’m free of the shaved chest tyranny of stock photography, yay!
Woohoo, happy Summer Solstice, y’all! It’s also Wednesday, which means I have a pyroclastic new teaser for you from the next entry in the Esposito County Shifters series, Shifter Woods: Roar, now available for pre-order from Amazon and available everywhere for 99¢ on June 27th.
As always, fulsome thanks go out to the glorious Angelica Dawson for hosting MWT. Make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
On the run from armed lowlifes in New Mexico’s Sandia Mountains, news photographer Gavin Leeds is rescued from certain death by local company owner Mike Ivanov. When a snowstorm strands them in Mike’s cabin, Gavin discovers to his shock that his enigmatic rescuer is also an Alpha bear shifter who believes that Gavin is his heart’s mate. Some hot and dirty sex with the gorgeous shifter who saved his life is one thing, but Gavin doesn’t believe in fated mates or happily ever afters.
Mike has enough problems with his pack as it is; they’re not thrilled that he won’t be siring the next Alpha, and now he has to answer a challenge from one of his pack members. Having his heart’s mate show up on the same night doesn’t help. Finding out that his mate is a snarky, rebellious human with a commitment problem and an ass he wants to bite?
Nobody ever said an Alpha’s life was going to be easy.
Gavin’s mouth watered as he studied the cock that pulsed gently in front of his face. Thick and wrapped in veins, Mike’s shaft bulged a little in the middle before tapering to the upturned plum head, already crowned with a bead of salty honey. Gavin could smell the meaty, musky scent coming from it, and had to swallow a mouthful of sweet water before he could do anything else.
Resting his hands on Mike’s thighs, he leaned forward and licked a delicate, wet stripe up the sensitive underside, using just the tip of his tongue to paint warm saliva on that soft, soft skin. A faint tremor ran through Mike’s muscles and the thick pole bobbed again, the roadmap of veins standing out just a little more in relief.
Time to show off his mad skills. This time Gavin flattened his tongue, dragging the flat of it up that warm, hard flesh to the little triangular notch under the crest and scrubbing it, finishing off with a teasing little lick. Mike made a muffled noise that could have been pain if Gavin didn’t know better.
And the way he tasted was amazing. Salt, musk, a hint of something sharp and bitter, a warm and primal taste that was pure male, yes, but there was also something resinous as well, like rosemary rubbed over the skin. Gavin had grown up with pots of rosemary blooming in his momma’s kitchen window, and the taste reminded him of warm Texas mornings when the day would stretch out in front of him without a care in the world.
He flicked his tongue against the edge of the corona, licking up to the tiny eye hidden in the slit. Salt and more of that wonderful woody taste flowed over his tongue and he swallowed, smacking his lips.
He needed more. Opening his mouth, he sucked in the thick rounded head, closing his lips behind the ridged corona and running his tongue around it in a lazy spiral. More precome pearled onto his tongue and he swallowed it greedily, increasing his suction as his head started to bob.
Overhead, he heard Mike’s breathing pick up, short exhalations that were broken up by soft, wordless sounds of praise or pleading, he couldn’t tell which. Gavin concentrated on what was in his mouth, humming softly now as he massaged the proud flesh with his lips and tongue. He fucking loved doing this, taking a big man and making him helpless with something as soft as a kiss.
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Sexy Snippets are seven sentences, taken from a work in progress, or published book, brought to you every Sunday. Allow me to present a teaser from my new paranormal shifter romance Shifter Woods: Roar (Esposito County Shifters 2), out on June 27th and available for pre-order.
Gavin Leeds was maybe an inch or two taller than him, and leanly muscled without being bulky from what he could tell through the jacket and jeans. Classic All American boy with his strong jawline, shock of dirty blond hair, a nose that looked like it had been broken once, and direct green eyes.
And the lips. God, what Mike wanted to do with those full, firm lips. Nibble them, suck on them, slip his tongue between them. Watch them wrap around his dick and slide up and down while Gavin’s tongue massaged the underside of his shaft. Listen to them moan, gasp, and beg as he sank into Gavin’s tight ass and rode him to ecstasy.
After getting separated from his colleague Laurie Rivera and being chased by rifle-toting rednecks through the Sandia Mountains, photojournalist and former UFC fighter Gavin Leeds is shocked to learn that the enigmatic man who rescues him is not only an Alpha bear shifter, but believes that Gavin is his heart’s mate. Gavin’s down for some hot and dirty sex with the gorgeous, dangerous shifter, but he doesn’t believe in fated mates or happily ever afters.
Mike Ivanov has enough problems with his pack as it is; they’re not thrilled that he’s gay and won’t be siring the next Alpha, and now he has to answer a challenge from one of his more homophobic pack members. Having his heart’s mate show up on the same night doesn’t help.
Finding out that his mate is a snarky, rebellious human with an attitude and an ass he wants to bite? Well, nobody ever said an Alpha’s life was going to be easy.
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Whee, it’s Wednesday! Which means I have a hot little teaser for you from the next entry in the Esposito County Shifters series, Shifter Woods: Roar.
After being chased through the snow-choked Sandia Mountains, former UFC fighter Gavin Leeds is shocked to learn that the enigmatic man who rescued him is not only an Alpha bear shifter, but Gavin’s new mate. Unfortunately, other members of Mike Ivanov’s Green Pine bear pack aren’t happy about their Alpha mating a human, and Gavin and Mike must overcome differences of their own to rescue Mike’s beta from an icy death.
Thanks go out to Angelica Dawson for hosting MWT, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Mike straightened up and a spike of pain dug into his side. “Look, I need that bath. I’ll explain everything afterwards.”
“Shit.” Gavin hesitated, then nodded. “Okay, how can I help?”
“Don’t worry about it. I got this.”
“Bullshit.” The words were firm. “I know when someone’s hurting from a fight, dude. What do you need?”
Mike sighed. He had expected Duncan to stay behind and help him get patched up. If Gavin wanted to do it, he was in no shape to say no. “Go fill the bathtub. Not boiling, but a few degrees above body temperature.”
“Got it.” Gavin headed to the bathroom and Mike followed, grimacing now at the burning pain from the claw marks along his side. They weren’t life-threatening, but they were going to slow him down significantly. And of all nights, this was not the one he wanted to be hampered by challenge injuries. You should be damned lucky I didn’t bounce you out of the pack tonight, Barnson.
By the time he shuffled into the bathroom Gavin was running water into the oversized clawfoot bathtub. It had been Mike’s real indulgence with the cabin, and was big enough to fit a person at each raised end if they were willing to be friendly. He liked soaking in it after pack meetings and runs, giving both his brain and body a chance to unwind.
He hadn’t told anyone about his fantasies of sprawling in it with his mate. With any luck, his fantasy was going to come true tonight.
Gavin turned at his entrance, frowning. “Jesus. You really are banged up.”
“I’ll live.” Mike shrugged, immediately regretting it when the movement pulled on the claw marks.
His mate snorted. “Yeah, right. What kind of painkillers do you have?”
“Aspirin’s in the medicine cabinet.”
Gavin dug through the cabinet until he found the prosaic plastic bottle filled with white pills. He rattled it. “Okay, you’re gonna take four of these—“
“Nurse’s dose, prescription strength. I wish I had some gummies on me, but we’ll make do.”
Mike watched as Gavin shook out four aspirin and handed them over, followed by the bathroom glass full of cold tap water. “You mean pot gummies?” New Mexico had legalized the use of medical marijuana, but most shifters didn’t have to worry about chronic pain or the other ailments that could be eased by the drug.
The shaggy blond head nodded. “Although I use the ones that mainly have CBD in them instead of THC, the stuff that gets you high. I’m not trying to get wasted, I just want to keep my pain under control.”
Mike frowned at that. He could deal with his own pain, but he didn’t like the idea of Gavin hurting. “What kind of pain?”
“The hit that put me in a coma left me with some spinal damage and residual nerve pain. Regular NSAIDs don’t help a lot with that and I’ve seen too many fighters get screwed up on opioids, so I got a medical marijuana card. And since I don’t like smoking, I stick with the gummies.” Gavin flashed a grin. “Don’t worry. It’s not like I sit there eating Cheetos and watching cartoons all day.”
Mike tossed the aspirin into his mouth, following them with a slug of water. “I didn’t think you did,” he said after swallowing. If nothing else, chronic pain would be one thing Gavin wouldn’t have to worry about anymore once he was claimed. “Um. I’m gonna need to get undressed.”
The air between them changed, growing charged with a mutual awareness of each other. Gavin’s head quirked to the side, green eyes glinting. “Already saw you naked. Want some help getting the shirt off?”
Mike tried raising his arms and hissed. “Yeah.”
“Okay, then.” Gavin moved into his personal space like he’d always been there. Despite the pain, Mike was acutely aware of his mate’s scent, a mix of clean sweat, the aromatics of Texas brushwood, and something green. That scent, the heat from Gavin’s body, and the visual of Gavin’s hands undoing his shirt buttons one by one sent desire trickling through him like slow honey. His dick started to thicken in his jeans and he fought a powerful urge to pull Gavin against it. Yeah, no. With your luck, he’d hit your side and it would hurt like hell. Just be patient for once.
Gavin opened the shirt and eased it over Mike’s shoulders, glancing downward. He grimaced. “Dude. He whaled on you.”
Mike looked down at the multicolored bruises spreading across one side of his ribcage. The claw marks were crimson against them, and stung even in the increasingly humid air. “Part of being an Alpha. I have to take on all challengers. They’ll be healed by tomorrow, I promise.”
“If you say so.” Gavin finished pulling the shirt off and tossed it onto the bathroom counter. He turned back, resting the tips of his fingers on the edge of Mike’s belt. “Should I keep going?”
Mike licked his lips. If he got any harder, injuries or no injuries, he was going to pull this cocky, gorgeous human onto the floor and fuck him silly. “Yeah.”
Gavin’s irises contracted, turning into a band of moss green around a dark center. He undid the belt, letting the clinking buckle dangle. The back of his hand brushed against Mike’s growing erection. “Yeah, you must be feeling better.”
“You know how it is. Fight, then fuck.”
“Yeah.” Gavin’s hand turned over and he cupped Mike’s bulge. “You sure you’re up for it, though?”
There was no way he was letting Gavin leave the cabin without being claimed. “Did you want to have sex with me tonight?”
Gavin laughed shortly. “Yeah, I was hoping you’d be interested. But I didn’t expect you to have to fight a freaking bear first.”
“We all have our little challenges.” He thrust lightly into Gavin’s hand. “Keep going.”
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