Saturday, July 4, 2020

Tala Ridge Alpha Available in Large Print Paperback!


Tala Ridge Alpha in Large Print!


Tala Ridge Alpha, the second book in new The Tala Ridge Shifters series, has published in large print paperback format.

Blurb


Wolf shifter children attend human public school for the first time. What could go wrong?

With the king’s tentative approval, Terrell, the youngest wolf shifter alpha in the world, sends the pack children to public school after Child Protection Services investigates the ranch for never registering their kids.
But Terrell’s concern over attending school with human students is overshadowed with worries for their safety when he finds other shifters attending the school.
Buck, the future alpha of the outcast pack, isn’t happy when outside wolves start attending his school.
Who are they?
How does their presence affect his pack?
When two teen-aged alphas collide, who wins? Who loses?


Two Chapter Preview:

Chapter 1

La Veta County Sheriff Cole Jameson absently picked up his coffee cup and sipped. Cold. Making a face, he set it down, the ceramic cup thumping on his ancient wooden desktop. Glancing at the door to the front office, he called, “Mitch, that new pot ready?”

Deputy Mitch Vaine leaned into the sheriff’s office and grinned. The deputy’s straight, even teeth, boyish good looks, and meticulously combed hair paid homage to his last name. “Almost, Boss!”

Cole shook his head when Mitch disappeared back into the front office and sighed before turning back to the BOLO he received from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, a warrant for a gang of three bank robbers headed south from Denver. So far, the perpetrators hit four banks. Two bank employees and one police officer sustained gunshot wounds in their last robbery.

The words on the BOLO faded as his mind wandered. Again. Since he escorted Micah Bird to the Tala Ridge Ranch for a CPS complaint, he’d found keeping his mind on his duties difficult at best.
Werewolves! In his county! And they’d been there for years. Even before the town was founded in 1886.

He heard the front door open and shut but left it to his deputies to see what whoever it was wanted. “Jameson! Where’s Jameson?”

He’d never forget that thunderous voice. He winced at the fury in Commander Terrence Bird’s roar, stood, and walked to the office door. Deputy Lincoln Stiles’ large form blocked Bird’s path to the office. “Sir, you need to calm down.”

“I want to see Jameson, right now!”

Tucking his thumbs in his holster belt, Cole tilted his head and narrowed his gaze at his former CO. Dressed in fatigues, combat boots, and a heavy jacket and black cap dusted with snow, all the SEAL commander needed to be combat-ready were his weapons.

Realizing the commander knew he and Micah were dating, Cole sighed. “Commander.”

Bird’s sharp eyes speared him. If looks could kill, the sheriff would be a pile of broken bones and goo. Refusing to be cowed by the man’s obvious anger, he jerked his head toward his office. Cole sighed. “Why don’t we take this somewhere more private?”

Lips pressed tight, shoulders bunched, Bird slapped aside the short gate separating the front office desks from the waiting area and walked past Deputy Stiles, brushing the man’s shoulder. Cole raised an eyebrow. There weren’t many men as big as Commander Bird, but Stiles matched him inch for inch, with one or two to spare. The dispatcher and the rest of Cole’s deputies watched wide-eyed. His former CO stopped a foot in front of Jameson, hands on his hips. Cole met his gaze, then jerked his head toward his office door.

“Have a seat, Commander. I’ll get us some coffee.”

Wordless, Bird shoved past him and walked to the visitor’s chair. Now that the commander wasn’t glaring at him, Cole took a quiet, deep breath, then blew it out. He glanced at Vaine. “Coffee ready, yet?”

“No, Sir. It’ll be another five minutes or so.”

Cole nodded. “Bring us two cups, black, when it’s done. Otherwise, y’all get busy.”

Ignoring the scamper to find something to do, he turned his back on his deputies, took another deep breath, and blew it out. Closing the door behind him, he walked to his desk and sat. “Morning, Commander.”

Bird leaned forward, askew elbows resting on the arms of his old-fashioned wooden chair. “What the blazes do you think you’re doing, Jameson?”

“You spoke with Micah?”

“Nah, Mom told me. Said you’ve been keeping company with Micah since before Christmas.”

“Yeah, well, that’s true.” Jameson fixed Bird in a level stare. “I won’t hurt her, Sir. I’m serious about our relationship.”

Bird tensed. “If you’re just...”

“I’m not.” Cole opened his top desk drawer and pulled out a small box. “If she’ll have me, I plan to marry her.”

Taking a deep breath, Bird visibly forced himself to relax. He glanced at the midnight blue ring box, then raised his gaze to his Navy friend. “Tell me.”

“I accompanied her to a CPS visitation before Christmas. She was pretty shook up by everything that happened. Afterwards, we had a meal and started talking. We had coffee the next day, and since then we’ve met for coffee or a meal almost every day.”

Cole shrugged. “I know it’s quick, but I love her, Terry. I’ll never purposely do anything to hurt her.”
Bird sighed away some of his anger. “I wanted her to find a safe guy, you know. Someone not likely to leave in the morning and die before coming home. Not a soldier.” He glared at Cole. “And not a cop!”

“I know.” Cole fisted his coffee cup and stared at the cold coffee. “I didn’t plan it, Terry, it just happened.”

“Because she got upset about that CPS visit? What happened?”

Cole hesitated. The pack alpha had decided the command to keep them secret placed on him years ago in Oregon was good enough. He thought he could talk about the local pack, but he wasn’t sure he should. Chewing the right corner of his bottom lip, he glanced out the only window in his office. 
“You know I can’t talk about that, Terry.”

“Yeah. That’s what Micah said. But she’s hiding something from me, Cole. Something that scares her. What is it?”

Rubbing an itch above his left eye, Cole opened his mouth, then snapped it shut when a sharp tap sounded on the door. “Sheriff? Coffee got done quicker than I expected.”

“Hold that thought.” Cole stood and walked to the door, opened it, then took both cups from his deputy. “Shut the door, Vaine.”

With a nod, the deputy pulled the door shut. Cole carried the coffee to the desk and set a cup in front of Micah’s brother. “Here you go. Black and strong enough to float horseshoes, since Deputy Vaine made it.”

The commander’s large hand lifted the cup. He sipped, then winced and nodded. “I think you could walk on that.”

Cole grinned. “Boy’s talented when it comes to coffee.”

Bird snickered, then his face settled back into a tight expression. “Just tell me if there’s something I need to be worried about, Cole.”

The automatic denial refused to leave Cole’s lips. He sighed and moved aside the first, cold cup of coffee to make room for the second hot one. “Terry, I can’t tell you anything, but I promise I’ll do everything in my  power to make sure she stays safe.”

“Meaning there’s something to worry about.”

Cole studied Terry’s worried eyes. “You remember Nate Rollins? Lieutenant-Colonel, Marines, Brighton’s Elite Unit?”

Bird blinked. “Sure. What about him?”

“He says everything is cool. He’ll keep everything safe.”

“Marines are involved in one of Micah’s cases?”

“No.” Cole tried a different direction. “You ever meet Captain Waylon Rickles?”

All expressions left Terry’s face. “I did. What’s he have to do with this?”

“You ever see him...” Cole grimaced at the pain erupting in his head. Pain warning him to stop talking. Aware of his former CO’s tense consideration, Cole sighed. “Never mind.”

“You know.”

“What?”

“You know about Rickles.”

Cole’s gaze snapped to Terry. “Rickles is a...” He couldn’t force out the word.

Soundlessly, Bird mouthed, “Shifter.”

Face pale, Cole stood and swayed for a moment. Walking to the door, he turned and glanced at Terry. “I’ll be right back.”

Closing the door behind him, he marched across the outer office, ignoring Stiles’ heavy frown and the questioning looks from the other officers. Stepping out on the sidewalk, he pulled the door shut, then walked to the alley. With shaking fingers, he pressed the Tala Ridge Ranch button on his cell.

“Tala Ridge Ranch, Dusty speaking.”

“This is Sheriff Jameson. I need to see Nate and Terrell right away.”

Chapter 2


The alpha of the Tala Ridge Wolf Pack, twelve-year-old Terrell Pace, thirteen next week, he reminded everyone, tossed a baseball to his beta, Josh Tatlow. Mind busy considering the ramifications of King Nathaniel being called back to the ranch, he almost missed Josh’s return throw. His lightweight denim jacket more than enough to keep him warm, he took a deep, snow- and pine-scented breath and tossed the ball back to Josh. Most of his pack was still indoors, kids enjoying the warmth of the fireplace while playing games or reading, and the women preparing a communal meal for the evening.

The men and teens worked in the fields, feeding cows and horses, or chopping wood for the fireplace. Terrell found himself in the unenviable position of having nothing to do. Every time he decided to do something productive, one of the adults swooped in to do it for him. Ainle whined in the back of his mind, sympathetic but not knowing what to do to change things. “Ugh!”

“What’s wrong?” When Terrell didn’t throw the ball and didn’t answer, Josh walked to him. “Want to talk about it?”

“They won’t let me do anything!”

Surprise flashed on Josh’s face. “Like what?”

“Anything! Chores!”

Josh laughed and sauntered over to an old stump. Wiping the snow off, he sat and studied his alpha. 

“You know you’re like the king of your kingdom, right?”

Terrell dropped his glove and ball next to his boot and kicked a snowdrift. Shoulders hunched, he shoved his hands in his front jeans pockets. “So?”

“Well, it was before my time here, but I’ve heard talk. What would have happened if your father started doing something and someone didn’t jump to take it over?”

Understanding washed over Terrell and he looked up. “They were punished for making him do it.”
“So…”

Sighing, Terrell gazed down the dirt road that led to the ranch gate. “So, they still don’t know me well enough to know if I’ll do the same thing.”

“Right.” Scooping up a handful of snow, Josh molded it into a ball, then tossed it into the air. “And since Nate gave you your dad’s power, you’re more powerful than any wolf here, including Dusty.”

Terrell huffed. He wasn’t at all sure he was more powerful than Dusty, his regent. Nate assigned Dusty as pack regent and guardian to Terrell until he reached eighteen. It hadn’t taken Terrell long to realize that power wasn’t everything. Courage, skill, and cunning played a huge role in almost every aspect of pack governance. Abilities Terrell hoped to learn from his guardian, someday.

He stared at his feet, his too-short jeans leaving too much sock showing. Receiving his father’s alpha power, then facing vampires in the attack on the King’s pack had forced early puberty on Terrell. The challenge battle to keep his position and title intensified his growth spurt. In the past two weeks, he’d grown at least four inches in height. The growth spurt had him tripping over his own feet at times. And his bones ached most of the time. He’d be glad when the growing stopped for a while. His feet were shod in Dusty’s extra, too-long shoes because his own no longer fit, and unlike his jeans, he couldn’t just pull them up higher.  He didn’t recognize himself in the mirror either, his face longer and narrower than he remembered it being. Even his shoulders were wider, enough that he had to wear some of Dusty’s shirts.

He looked older than his years, too. Samantha and Larissa, the only two teen girls on the ranch started following him around, whispering and giggling. He sighed. His fated mate already found, their whispers and giggles did little more than annoy him. And since he couldn’t tell anyone yet about her, there was little he could do to dissuade them. But when school started, the giggles and whispers would be more about his unfitting clothing than the new maturity he showed.

“Know what? I’m going to have Nettie or Dusty take me shopping for new clothes tomorrow. Want to come?”

“Sure. It’s my job to go where you go.” When Terrell rolled his eyes and huffed, Josh laughed. 

“Anyway, I need some new clothes, too. Gramma said I don’t have enough for school.”

“Hmm. She’s probably right. I don’t think any of the kids have enough. Maybe we all should go and get some new clothes.” The young alpha pushed his hair off his forehead. “And maybe haircuts, too.”

Thunder rolled through the mountains and blue lightning flashed, washing out the late December sunlight shining down on the ranch yard. When it cleared, a white, twenty-six-passenger StarCraft Allstar bus sat in the driveway. The door opened and Nate, King of all Werekind, stepped out, followed by Magnus, the king's guard. “Hey, Terrell. I brought the bus you asked for.”

“Hi, Nate.” Terrell walked around the bus, examining it. He climbed the steps and surveyed the individual seats, each with a seatbelt buckled across the seat. “It’s a bit big, isn’t it? We only have sixteen kids.”

From outside the bus, Nate answered. “Choices were fifteen passengers or twenty-six passengers, so I got this one.”

Terrell turned, jumped over the steps and out the door, then scratched his cheek and winced. “I’m not sure when I can pay you for it, Sire.”

Nate clapped a hand on Terrell’s shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. Consider it a gift. After all, you’re going to be our test case for sending the kids to human schools.”

Heat suffused Terrell’s face and he ducked his head. “Thank you, Sire.”

“None of that. Where’s Dusty?”

Behind them, the door on the main lodge opened. “Hey, Nate! Wow! That’s a bus.”

“For the kids. When Ms. Bird mentioned the school didn’t have the funds to send a bus to the ranch, Terrell requested a bus.” Nate raised an eyebrow. “I’ll assume someone here has the proper license to drive it.”

“Someone will have a license before school starts in January,” inserted Terrell.

“Good enough.” Nate flashed him a grin before looking at Dusty. “You said the sheriff needs to see me?”

The silver-burn scars on his neck mostly covered by a turtleneck sweater, Dusty shrugged and nodded. “Yeah. He’s bringing someone to the ranch. He wouldn’t tell me what he wants, but he insisted you be here.”

Nettie, Dusty’s mate, told Terrell that Dusty received the silver-burn scars on his neck and wrists when an evil alpha kept him in silver chains because Dusty wouldn’t tell him how to find Nate, the boy who grew to become their king. As far as Terrell was concerned, the scars were a testament to Dusty’s unwavering courage and loyalty. His musings were cut short by Josh’s comment.

“Looks like they’re here.”

Terrell followed Josh’s pointing finger to see a La Veta County Sheriff’s car driving toward them.




In Other News


In the next book, Tala Ridge Storm, Alpha Terrell and Alpha Buck must work together to save a bus full of children. So far, I have nearly 3,000 words written. Back to work!

Take care,









Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series






Friday, July 3, 2020

Tala Ridge Alpha has Published!

The Tala Ridge Shifters:

A New Series


Tala Ridge Alpha, the first book in the Tala Ridge Shifters series, has published!

It took a while to write this one. Terrell Pace is one of my favorite characters in the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series. He's the young wolf whose father tried to force to mate Princess Ophelia. 

After he was caught, King Nathanial and his wolf, Koreth, walked the boy's mind. Realizing that Terrell was following the orders of his father (and alpha), King Nathanial dismissed the charges against the boy.

Terrell was given the alpha position over his father's pack. This is detailed in Wolf's Enemy and Wolf's Quest. He also had a walk-on role in Wolf's Guard and is mentioned in Wolf's Duty.

The Tala Ridge Shifters series is the young adult story of how a young teen-aged boy handles being alpha, the leader of a wolf pack when terrible secrets are revealed.

Blurb

Wolf shifter children attend human public school for the first time. What could go wrong?


With the king’s tentative approval, Terrell, the youngest wolf shifter alpha in the world, sends the pack children to public school after Child Protection Services investigates the ranch for never registering their kids.
But Terrell’s concern over attending school with human students is overshadowed with worries for their safety when he finds other shifters attending the school.
Buck, the future alpha of the outcast pack, isn’t happy when outside wolves start attending his school. 
Who are they? 
How does their presence affect his pack?
When the two teen-aged alphas collide, who wins? Who loses?

Preview: First Three Chapters



Chapter 1

La Veta County Sheriff Cole Jameson absently picked up his coffee cup and sipped. Cold. Making a face, he set it down, the ceramic cup thumping on his ancient wooden desktop. Glancing at the door to the front office, he called, “Mitch, that new pot ready?”

Deputy Mitch Vaine leaned into the sheriff’s office and grinned. The deputy’s straight, even teeth, boyish good looks, and meticulously combed hair paid homage to his last name. “Almost, Boss!”

Cole shook his head when Mitch disappeared back into the front office and sighed before turning back to the BOLO he received from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, a warrant for a gang of three bank robbers headed south from Denver. So far, the perpetrators hit four banks. Two bank employees and one police officer sustained gunshot wounds in their last robbery.

The words on the BOLO faded as his mind wandered. Again. Since he escorted Micah Bird to the Tala Ridge Ranch for a CPS complaint, he’d found keeping his mind on his duties difficult at best.

Werewolves! In his county! And they’d been there for years. Even before the town was founded in 1886.

He heard the front door open and shut but left it to his deputies to see what whoever it was wanted. “Jameson! Where’s Jameson?”

He’d never forget that thunderous voice. He winced at the fury in Commander Terrence Bird’s roar, stood, and walked to the office door. Deputy Lincoln Stiles’ large form blocked Bird’s path to the office. “Sir, you need to calm down.”

“I want to see Jameson, right now!”

Tucking his thumbs in his holster belt, Cole tilted his head and narrowed his gaze at his former CO. Dressed in fatigues, combat boots, and a heavy jacket and black cap dusted with snow, all the SEAL commander needed to be combat-ready were his weapons.
Realizing the commander knew he and Micah were dating, Cole sighed. “Commander.”

Bird’s sharp eyes speared him. If looks could kill, the sheriff would be a pile of broken bones and goo. Refusing to be cowed by the man’s obvious anger, he jerked his head toward his office. Cole sighed. “Why don’t we take this somewhere more private?”

Lips pressed tight, shoulders bunched, Bird slapped aside the short gate separating the front office desks from the waiting area and walked past Deputy Stiles, brushing the man’s shoulder. Cole raised an eyebrow. There weren’t many men as big as Commander Bird, but Stiles matched him inch for inch, with one or two to spare. The dispatcher and the rest of Cole’s deputies watched wide-eyed. His former CO stopped a foot in front of Jameson, hands on his hips. 

Cole met his gaze, then jerked his head toward his office door. “Have a seat, Commander. I’ll get us some coffee.”

Wordless, Bird shoved past him and walked to the visitor’s chair. Now that the commander wasn’t glaring at him, Cole took a quiet, deep breath, then blew it out. He glanced at Vaine. “Coffee ready, yet?”

“No, Sir. It’ll be another five minutes or so.”

Cole nodded. “Bring us two cups, black, when it’s done. Otherwise, y’all get busy.”

Ignoring the scamper to find something to do, he turned his back on his deputies, took another deep breath, and blew it out. Closing the door behind him, he walked to his desk and sat. “Morning, Commander.”

Bird leaned forward, askew elbows resting on the arms of his old-fashioned wooden chair. “What the blazes do you think you’re doing, Jameson?”

“You spoke with Micah?”

“Nah, Mom told me. Said you’ve been keeping company with Micah since before Christmas.”

“Yeah, well, that’s true.” Jameson fixed Bird in a level stare. “I won’t hurt her, Sir. I’m serious about our relationship.”
Bird tensed. “If you’re just...”

“I’m not.” Cole opened his top desk drawer and pulled out a small box. “If she’ll have me, I plan to marry her.”

Taking a deep breath, Bird visibly forced himself to relax. He glanced at the midnight blue ring box, then raised his gaze to his Navy friend. “Tell me.”

“I accompanied her to a CPS visitation before Christmas. She was pretty shook up by everything that happened. Afterwards, we had a meal and started talking. We had coffee the next day, and since then we’ve met for coffee or a meal almost every day.”

Cole shrugged. “I know it’s quick, but I love her, Terry. I’ll never purposely do anything to hurt her.”

Bird sighed away some of his anger. “I wanted her to find a safe guy, you know. Someone not likely to leave in the morning and die before coming home. Not a soldier.” He glared at Cole. “And not a cop!”

“I know.” Cole fisted his coffee cup and stared at the cold coffee. “I didn’t plan it, Terry, it just happened.”

“Because she got upset about that CPS visit? What happened?”

Cole hesitated. The pack alpha had decided the command to keep them secret placed on him years ago in Oregon was good enough. He thought he could talk about the local pack, but he wasn’t sure he should. Chewing the right corner of his bottom lip, he glanced out the only window in his office. “You know I can’t talk about that, Terry.”

“Yeah. That’s what Micah said. But she’s hiding something from me, Cole. Something that scares her. What is it?”

Rubbing an itch above his left eye, Cole opened his mouth, then snapped it shut when a sharp tap sounded on the door. “Sheriff? Coffee got done quicker than I expected.”

“Hold that thought.” Cole stood and walked to the door, opened it, then took both cups from his deputy. “Shut the door, Vaine.”

With a nod, the deputy pulled the door shut. Cole carried the coffee to the desk and set a cup in front of Micah’s brother. “Here you go. Black and strong enough to float horseshoes, since Deputy Vaine made it.”

The commander’s large hand lifted the cup. He sipped, then winced and nodded. “I think you could walk on that.”

Cole grinned. “Boy’s talented when it comes to coffee.”

Bird snickered, then his face settled back into a tight expression. “Just tell me if there’s something I need to be worried about, Cole.”

The automatic denial refused to leave Cole’s lips. He sighed and moved aside the first, cold cup of coffee to make room for the second hot one. “Terry, I can’t tell you anything, but I promise I’ll do everything in my  power to make sure she stays safe.”

“Meaning there’s something to worry about.”

Cole studied Terry’s worried eyes. “You remember Nate Rollins? Lieutenant-Colonel, Marines, Brighton’s Elite Unit?”

Bird blinked. “Sure. What about him?”

“He says everything is cool. He’ll keep everything safe.”

“Marines are involved in one of Micah’s cases?”

“No.” Cole tried a different direction. “You ever meet Captain Waylon Rickles?”

All expressions left Terry’s face. “I did. What’s he have to do with this?”

“You ever see him...” Cole grimaced at the pain erupting in his head. Pain warning him to stop talking. Aware of his former CO’s tense consideration, Cole sighed. “Never mind.”

“You know.”

“What?”

“You know about Rickles.”

Cole’s gaze snapped to Terry. “Rickles is a...” He couldn’t force out the word.

Soundlessly, Bird mouthed, “Shifter.”

Face pale, Cole stood and swayed for a moment. Walking to the door, he turned and glanced at Terry. “I’ll be right back.”

Closing the door behind him, he marched across the outer office, ignoring Stiles’ heavy frown and the questioning looks from the other officers. Stepping out on the sidewalk, he pulled the door shut, then walked to the alley. With shaking fingers, he pressed the Tala Ridge Ranch button on his cell.

“Tala Ridge Ranch, Dusty speaking.”

“This is Sheriff Jameson. I need to see Nate and Terrell right away.”

Chapter 2

The alpha of the Tala Ridge Wolf Pack, twelve-year-old Terrell Pace, thirteen next week, he reminded everyone, tossed a baseball to his beta, Josh Tatlow. Mind busy considering the ramifications of King Nathaniel being called back to the ranch, he almost missed Josh’s return throw. His lightweight denim jacket more than enough to keep him warm, he took a deep, snow- and pine-scented breath and tossed the ball back to Josh. Most of his pack was still indoors, kids enjoying the warmth of the fireplace while playing games or reading, and the women preparing a communal meal for the evening.

The men and teens worked in the fields, feeding cows and horses, or chopping wood for the fireplace. Terrell found himself in the unenviable position of having nothing to do. Every time he decided to do something productive, one of the adults swooped in to do it for him. Ainle whined in the back of his mind, sympathetic but not knowing what to do to change things. “Ugh!”

“What’s wrong?” When Terrell didn’t throw the ball and didn’t answer, Josh walked to him. “Want to talk about it?”

“They won’t let me do anything!”

Surprise flashed on Josh’s face. “Like what?”

“Anything! Chores!”

Josh laughed and sauntered over to an old stump. Wiping the snow off, he sat and studied his alpha. “You know you’re like the king of your kingdom, right?”

Terrell dropped his glove and ball next to his boot and kicked a snowdrift. Shoulders hunched, he shoved his hands in his front jeans pockets. “So?”

“Well, it was before my time here, but I’ve heard talk. What would have happened if your father started doing something and someone didn’t jump to take it over?”

Understanding washed over Terrell and he looked up. “They were punished for making him do it.”

“So…”

Sighing, Terrell gazed down the dirt road that led to the ranch gate. “So, they still don’t know me well enough to know if I’ll do the same thing.”

“Right.” Scooping up a handful of snow, Josh molded it into a ball, then tossed it into the air. “And since Nate gave you your dad’s power, you’re more powerful than any wolf here, including Dusty.”
Terrell huffed. He wasn’t at all sure he was more powerful than Dusty, his regent. Nate assigned Dusty as pack regent and guardian to Terrell until he reached eighteen. It hadn’t taken Terrell long to realize that power wasn’t everything. Courage, skill, and cunning played a huge role in almost every aspect of pack governance. Abilities Terrell hoped to learn from his guardian, someday.

He stared at his feet, his too-short jeans leaving too much sock showing. Receiving his father’s alpha power, then facing vampires in the attack on the King’s pack had forced early puberty on Terrell. The challenge battle to keep his position and title intensified his growth spurt. In the past two weeks, he’d grown at least four inches in height. The growth spurt had him tripping over his own feet at times. And his bones ached most of the time. He’d be glad when the growing stopped for a while. His feet were shod in Dusty’s extra, too-long shoes because his own no longer fit, and unlike his jeans, he couldn’t just pull them up higher.  He didn’t recognize himself in the mirror either, his face longer and narrower than he remembered it being. Even his shoulders were wider, enough that he had to wear some of Dusty’s shirts.

He looked older than his years, too. Samantha and Larissa, the only two teen girls on the ranch started following him around, whispering and giggling. He sighed. His fated mate already found, their whispers and giggles did little more than annoy him. And since he couldn’t tell anyone yet about her, there was little he could do to dissuade them. But when school started, the giggles and whispers would be more about his unfitting clothing than the new maturity he showed.

“Know what? I’m going to have Nettie or Dusty take me shopping for new clothes tomorrow. Want to come?”

“Sure. It’s my job to go where you go.” When Terrell rolled his eyes and huffed, Josh laughed. “Anyway, I need some new clothes, too. Gramma said I don’t have enough for school.”

“Hmm. She’s probably right. I don’t think any of the kids have enough. Maybe we all should go and get some new clothes.” The young alpha pushed his hair off his forehead. “And maybe haircuts, too.”

Thunder rolled through the mountains and blue lightning flashed, washing out the late December sunlight shining down on the ranch yard. When it cleared, a white, twenty-six-passenger StarCraft Allstar bus sat in the driveway. The door opened and Nate, King of all Werekind, stepped out, followed by Magnus, the king's guard. 

“Hey, Terrell. I brought the bus you asked for.”

“Hi, Nate.” Terrell walked around the bus, examining it. He climbed the steps and surveyed the individual seats, each with a seatbelt buckled across the seat. “It’s a bit big, isn’t it? We only have sixteen kids.”

From outside the bus, Nate answered. “Choices were fifteen passengers or twenty-six passengers, so I got this one.”

Terrell turned, jumped over the steps and out the door, then scratched his cheek and winced. “I’m not sure when I can pay you for it, Sire.”

Nate clapped a hand on Terrell’s shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. Consider it a gift. After all, you’re going to be our test case for sending the kids to human schools.”

Heat suffused Terrell’s face and he ducked his head. “Thank you, Sire.”

“None of that. Where’s Dusty?”

Behind them, the door on the main lodge opened. “Hey, Nate! Wow! That’s a bus.”

“For the kids. When Ms. Bird mentioned the school didn’t have the funds to send a bus to the ranch, Terrell requested a bus.” Nate raised an eyebrow. “I’ll assume someone here has the proper license to drive it.”

“Someone will have a license before school starts in January,” inserted Terrell.

“Good enough.” Nate flashed him a grin before looking at Dusty. 
“You said the sheriff needs to see me?”

The silver-burn scars on his neck mostly covered by a turtleneck sweater, Dusty shrugged and nodded. “Yeah. He’s bringing someone to the ranch. He wouldn’t tell me what he wants, but he insisted you be here.”

Nettie, Dusty’s mate, told Terrell that Dusty received the silver-burn scars on his neck and wrists when an evil alpha kept him in silver chains because Dusty wouldn’t tell him how to find Nate, the boy who grew to become their king. As far as Terrell was concerned, the scars were a testament to Dusty’s unwavering courage and loyalty. His musings were cut short by Josh’s comment.

“Looks like they’re here.”

Terrell followed Josh’s pointing finger to see a La Veta County Sheriff’s car driving toward them.

Chapter 3

Cole Jameson hadn’t said a word since convincing Terry Bird to get in the squad car for a ride. Almost an hour later, the sheriff turned into a drive with an arched wrought-iron sign spanning the entrance over the drive that read Tala Ridge Ranch. At each end of the sign, cut-outs of howling wolves raised their noses to the sky.

Plastered to the first tree inside the ranch, a faded Posted, Private Property sign warned trespassers of legal action should they continue onto the property. Another sign below it warned trespassers might not survive long enough for legal action. Terry frowned at the sign, then glanced at Cole’s profile. Cole’s jaw knotted as he ground his teeth.

“What’s got you so worked up, Cole? What’s out here?”

Cole took a deep breath, glanced at his passenger, then turned his attention back to the snow-covered dirt road in front of him. “You’ll see, soon enough.”

Terry huffed and looked out the door window. As far as he could see, mountains surrounded them. Some bare rock, while others were covered with pine and aspen. Snow blanketed the property and weighed down tree branches. In the distance, the icy water of a small lake gleamed in the sunlight. “Be good hunting out here.”

Cole cleared his throat. “I wouldn’t. At least not without the owner’s permission. Might not live through it. Lots of wild animals out here.”

“What kind? Bears? Wolves?”

“Probably.” Cole gave Terry a sickly grin. “Just don’t come out here without calling and getting permission, okay?”

“Hey, you brought me.”

“I know. And I called first. It’s just that, well, some of these guys are friendlier than others. Some are downright dangerous.”

“You’re that worried about a bunch of cowboys? Local yokels? We’re SEALS, Cole.”

Cole snickered and shook his head but wouldn’t say anything else. Another twenty minutes passed. Blue lightning zipped across the hills and thunder roared.

“That’s weird.” Terry glanced at Cole and frowned when the sheriff caught a breath and clenched his jaw.

Waving a hand, Cole slowed the patrol car. “There they are.”

Terry scanned the area. In the center of a large clearing, a bus was parked in front of a two-story chalet lodge with a wrap-around porch on the second floor hovering over the six houses flanking it,  three on each side. To the east, a huge barn surrounded by fences and corrals dominated the scenery. A small herd sheltered against the south side of the barn to keep out of the north wind. A mountain loomed to the west. Pine trees thick enough to be considered forest covered the mountain behind the lodge. Beyond the last house on the left side, a large chicken coop held dozens of chickens and one lone rooster.

As they pulled into the parking area, Cole grunted. “Nate said he was going to get them a bus.  Looks like he did.”

“Nate? Nate Rollins?”

“Uh huh.” Cole jerked his chin toward the lodge. “Looks like they’re waiting for us.” He blew out a long breath, then glanced at Terry. “Might as well get out. We can’t leave until they say so.”

“What?” Blinking, Terry whipped his head to stare at Cole, but Cole was already climbing out of the vehicle. As the driver’s door shut, Terry looked again at the three men and two boys walking toward them. Just by his mannerisms, Terry identified Nate Rollins. The man behind Nate was huge, larger than any man had a right to be. Nate and the other man walking beside him weren’t small by any measure, but the larger man made them both seem small. Sighing, Bird opened his door and climbed out, shutting it behind him.

Nate stopped as the sheriff reached him, the two men with him standing behind him. Hand outstretched, Nate shook Cole’s hand. Meanwhile, the other two men eyed Terry, as if wondering if he was a threat to them. The two boys blatantly stared at him.

When Nate released Cole’s hand, the sheriff waved toward Terry. “Nate, you remember Commander Bird?”

Nate’s grey eyes fixed on Terry. A moment passed before a smile spread on the man’s face. “Commander, it’s been a while.” Nate extended his hand.

“It has.” Terry shook, then glanced at Cole. “Not sure why I’m here, though.”

“Oh?” Nate looked at Cole. “What’s up?”

“Commander Bird...”

Cole stopped when Terry cleared his throat. “I’m retired, Cole. Call me Terry.”

With a nod, Cole started over. “Terry is Micah Bird’s brother. She’s been flustered and nervous since we were out here, and he’s demanding answers I can’t give him.” Cole scratched his neck and looked uncomfortable. “He knows Captain Waylon Rickles, the man from Oregon I told you about.”

“Hmm.” Nate turned his gaze to Terry. “You know about shifters, then.”

Terry blinked. He turned his incredulous gaze to Cole. “You told him?”

“Nope. Didn’t have to.”

“Didn’t have...?” Terry broke off and glanced at the other two men and the two boys. Eyes narrowed and face tight, he returned his gaze to Nate. “You’re shifters.”

Nate crossed his arms over his chest and sucked air between his front teeth. “That gonna be a problem for you, Terry?”







Other News


Tala Ridge Shifters


I've begun writing Tala Ridge Storm, book 2 in the Tala Ridge Shifters series. So far, I have almost 2,000 words and two chapters written. I know the main crises the teens will have to deal with in this book, but the details are still unclear.

Take care,








Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series




Thursday, June 11, 2020

Wolf's Dragon has Published!

Wolf's Dragon is Available in E-book!


Wolf's Dragon, a companion standalone novella in the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack World, has published!

To celebrate the publication of this novella, I decided to publish at $0.99. 

The price will go up to the normal price of $3.99 on July 1st (2020).

Wolf's Dragon is also available in paperback and large print paperback.

Writing this story was so much fun!

Blurb:


Can a wolf protect a dragon?


Dragon shifter Ulia smuggles her tiny pet unicorn to Texas when she flees Dragomir to escape an unwanted dragon shifter mate.
Cross-cultural differences keep wolf shifter Reese off balance when his true mate, a dragon shifter from another realm, arrives in Texas.
Then her spurned suitor follows her to Earth.
If her brother doesn't kill Reese for insulting his sister, the dragon she fled may.

In a world where dragons, unicorns, and werewolves are mythical creatures, what could go wrong?

A fast-paced and wild fun stand-alone story set in the same world as the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series!

If you enjoy reading about werewolves hiding in plain sight, dragons flaming enemies, and exotic unicorns, try this book.



Other News


I'm back to working on Tala Ridge Alpha, with 27,583 words written.

Take care,









Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series






Saturday, June 6, 2020

Wolf's Dragon and Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series Books in Large Print Paperback

TRWP Series and TRWP World Books in Large Print Editions


Wolf's Dragon, the newest book in the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack World, is now available as a paperback or a large print paperback.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I don't think the large print should be more expensive, so my large print paperbacks are priced the same as the smaller print paperbacks. (Most are priced $12.98.)

The Wolf's Dragon ebook will publish June 11, 2020, but you can order it now for delivery to your Kindle when it publishes. To celebrate publication, through the month of June, the ebook will be priced at $0.99. July 1st, the ebook price will go up to the regular price of $3.99.

Since reading books is difficult for people with eye issues, I've created large print editions with 16 point type. All the novellas and full-length books are available in large print.

Eventually, when there are enough short stories to put together into a collection, the collection will be published in a large print edition.

The individual regular print books in the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series and Texas Ranch Wolf Pack World are printed in a 5"x8" size, while the large print books are printed in a 6"x9" format.

With Wolf's Dragon, I have created a new series that will encompass all the stand-alone stories, novellas, and books titled Texas Ranch Wolf Pack World. This will help differentiate the 12 book series from other books and stories using the locations and characters in the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series.

Back to work!

Later,









Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series






Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Wolf's Dragon Pre-Order and Puzzle

Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Puzzles

Wolf's Dragon is on Pre-order!

I finished Wolf's Dragon! It's been through a couple of edits and is off for another round. It will be back and ready to purchase by the time the pre-order is live on June 11.

To celebrate, I created the online jigsaw puzzle from the book cover, pictured above.


Blurb:


Can a wolf protect a dragon?

Dragon shifter Ulia smuggles her tiny pet unicorn to Texas when she flees Dragomir to escape an unwanted dragon shifter mate.

Cross-cultural differences keep wolf shifter Reese off balance when his true mate, a dragon shifter from another realm, arrives in Texas.

Then her spurned suitor follows her to Earth.

If her brother doesn't kill Reese for insulting his sister, the dragon she fled may.

In a world where dragons, unicorns, and werewolves are mythical creatures, what could go wrong? 

A fast-paced and wild fun stand-alone story set in the same world as the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series!

If you enjoy reading about werewolves hiding in plain sight, dragons flaming enemies, and exotic unicorns, try this book.



Other News


I'm back to working on Tala Ridge Alpha.

Ulia wants me to write a new series, titled Shifter Heirs of Dragomir, but Terrell told me Ulia has to wait until his book is finished. (Rolling my eyes, here.) I just love it when my characters take over the keyboard.

Take care,




























Saturday, May 30, 2020

Authors Love Reviews

Leave a Review

It's True! Authors Love Reviews!


Most authors love to get reviews. Especially good reviews.

But even bad reviews are helpful.

Besides the opportunity to learn from mistakes and errors, Amazon counts bad reviews as well as good reviews in the number of reviews for a book.

A higher number of reviews is factored into the book's Amazon rank, though no one outside Amazon's development team knows exactly how that works.

I've seen authors ask for good reviews only, but in my opinion, that is short-sighted.

What Authors Learn from Bad Reviews


Bad reviews occur for a number of reasons, including the reader simply didn't like the book, the book didn't meet expectations, the book was riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, or the author made a mistake.

There are as many reasons for bad reviews as there are reviewers.

Since I began my author's journey in 2017, there are a number of things I have learned from bad reviews:


  • I inadvertently changed a character's name (sometimes in the same paragraph. EEEKK!)
  • While moving chapters, instead of moving them, I duplicated them
  • I changed the spelling on a character's name
  • When I purposely changed a character's name, I did a global search and replace, without realizing the character's name was also the name of a month that was used in a scheduling scene. Thus my book had a month called Violet.


Some of these were quite funny. There are more. I am grateful to the reviewers who pointed out these issues, since it gave me the opportunity to correct them and upload the new files to Amazon.

At present, I have corrections to make that will be completed and uploaded over the next two weeks. Keep an eye on the Your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account to update the books you have.

What Authors Learn from Good Reviews


First and foremost, reviews help authors learn that their writing isn't crap. Even many-times published authors fall prey to doubt at times. Good reviews help bolster them through bad times, which include working with recalcitrant characters who insist on going a different direction than you thought they would, cruel comments from readers or fellow authors (not to be confused with constructive reviews or comments), and even the fear that the next book will never be as well-received as the last.

Reviews such as this one on Wolf's Duty start my day right and make me want to write more!

Amazon Review
To Read this on Amazon, click the image of the review, then click Top Reviews and select Most Recent.

I was always told to never make a decision on a blue day. I try to live by that. The times I didn't I most often regretted the decisions I made. On blue days, I reread my four- and five-star reviews. They help cheer me up when nothing seems to be going right.

Among the things I learn from good reviews are which characters readers most identify with and which storylines they want to continue. Magnus (Wolf's Quest, Wolf's Guard, Wolf's Duty, Wolf's Dragon) came about because someone wondered what would happen with Bess.  Stacy (Wolf's Heart, and hinted at in Wolf's Duty) became Jonathan's mate when a reader worried about the faithful beta in my series.

So, the most important things I get from reviews are ideas for new stories and books.

Take care,










Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series








Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Dictation and Writing


Dictation and Writing


The most talked-about dictation software for authors is Dragon Naturally Speaking.  

After reading the reviews, it’s probably the best available. 

I would love to have it, but it’s not quite in the budget. Yet. 

With arthritis in my hands and fingers, typing isn’t always easy. 

I write in Microsoft Word which I subscribe to as part of Office 365.

Dictation Software You May Already Have


Imagine how thrilled I was to discover the newest version of Word now has a Dictate command. 

Does it work? Yes, but you have to be patient with it until it learns your voice. As with Dragon, you have to speak your punctuation. So you have to be patient with yourself, too, while you learn how to ‘write’ verbally.

In the newest versions of Word, the Dictate command is available on the Home ribbon. Click the down arrow below the Dictate command and select the language you wish to use. 

The first time you use the Dictate command, you’ll be prompted to enable permissions for your microphone.

To use the Dictate command, click it. The icon changes and displays a red dot. Speak into the microphone, remembering to speak your punctuation. When you’re through, click the Dictate button again to stop recording. 

Want to Learn More?


For more information, check out Microsoft’s Dictate your documents in Word

If you don't use Word, but use a Windows 10 PC, you can also dictate using the Dictation Toolbar in Windows. For more information on using Windows 10 Dictation, check Use dictation to talk instead of type on your PC.

Microphone Needed


You will need a good microphone for dictation. My personal choice is the Blue Snowball USB Mic. I purchased mine after I saw my daughter’s. I really like that the mic doesn’t have to sit right in front of your mouth. 

You can set it to be cardioid, omnidirectional, or cardioid with a -10 dB pad. I haven’t used the omnidirectional setting, yet, but with the cardioid setting, the recording is clear, and the mic doesn’t pick up background noise.

Do I use it? Not as much as I would like to. I’m still learning, and at this point, if a scene is flowing, I can type it faster than I can remember to stop and speak the punctuation as I go. However, I am practicing with it so that I can eventually do most of my ‘writing’ by ‘speaking’ my story out loud.

Do you use dictation in your writing? If so, do you use Dragon, Word, or some other method of dictation recording?


Later,









Need Some Binge Reading? Check out the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series!