"A swift-paced, fun romp."
-Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author
Romance is about to get a little hairy.
Sophie Garou seems to have it all: a great job at a prestigious accounting firm, a closet that rivals a Nordstrom showroom, and a terrific boyfriend who isn't afraid to use the "M" word. There's just one little itty-bitty problem: Sophie is a werewolf-and her time of month has a whole new meaning.
Needless to say, life among yummy flesh-and-blood humans is no piece of steak . . . er, cake!, but regular doses of wolfsbane tea and a mother who runs a magic shop have helped Sophie keep her paranormal pedigree under wraps. Still, when a sexy, golden-eyed werewolf prowls into town, Sophie finds herself struggling to keep her animal impulses in check-not to mention trying to keep things on track with her super hot (and super human) lawyer boyfriend. What's more, someone is threatening to expose Sophie for what she really is. And when her mother is accused of selling a poison-laced potion, Sophie must sniff out a culprit before the fur hits the fan.
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January 28, 2008
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Excerpt from Howling at the Moon by Karen MacInerney
I have a secret. A big, fat, hairy secret.
And I'm not talking minor-league stuff, like I once let Joseph Applebaum feel me up behind the seventh-grade stairwell or I got a Brazilian wax after work last Friday or I'm hiding a neon blue vibrator called the Electric Slide in my night table. Which I'm not, by the way. In case you were wondering.
No, this is completely different. And as far as I knew, only two--well, technically one, but we'll call it two--people in the entire world knew about it.
Until this morning.
Usually, I waltz into my office at Withers and Young with my skinny latte, extra foam, and find nothing but a neat stack of manila folders waiting for me. Today, however, next to the manila folders--labeled with the new apple green and pink stickers I'd bought last week--was a box.
Now, I should have been suspicious right off. I mean, it was too early for the mail, and the only thing on the front of the package was my name, in swirly letters. Not your normal business correspondence, for sure. And besides, I was an auditor. Who in the world would be sending me care packages?
But none of that percolated through my sluggish brain that morning. I had just picked up the box when my nosy assistant Sally walked in, wearing snug hip-huggers and a jarring floral blouse that barely contained her bosom. "Adele wants to talk to you about the Southeast Airlines account." She gave me a tight smile, accentuating the cupid's bow she'd drawn just outside the perimeter of her lips. Then her beady little eyes fastened on the box. "What's that? Something from that tennis-player boyfriend of yours?"
"I don't know." I shook the box, which had just the right heft for Godiva. "Probably chocolate." My boyfriend Heath had a penchant for surprising me with boxes of truffles. I loved them--especially those hazelnut cream ones--but it was starting to play hell with my waistline.
"Yum. Can I have one?"
"Sure." I tried to pry up the tape with my fingernail, but it wouldn't budge.
"Jeez, that's wrapped up tight."
Sally was right; it was the Fort Knox of chocolate boxes. I ran my tongue over my razor-sharp eyeteeth, tempted to use them on the tape. But with Sally hanging over my desk, it wouldn't be a good idea.
"I'll get scissors," she said, heaving herself off my desk and disappearing through the door. A moment later, she returned with a pair of shears, cutting the paper off with a flourish.
The box inside wasn't gold foil. It was plain brown cardboard. And my skinny latte must have finally kicked in, because my instincts were telling me I wasn't going to like what was inside. And since my instincts are on the strong side, I really should have listened to them.
But hindsight, as they say, is always twenty-twenty.
"Doesn't look like chocolate," said Sally, who was hovering over me like a flowery vulture, reeking of Aviance Night Musk.
"Not Godiva, anyway." A phone rang in the distance. "Isn't that your phone?"
Sally gave me a smile that told me I wasn't going to pry her out of my office with a crowbar. "No, it's Mindy's."
"Are you sure?"
She wasn't budging, so I went ahead and opened it.
Instead of neat rows of chocolate nestled in gold foil, inside the box was a Ziploc bag of dried green leaves.
I slammed the lid down, hoping Sally wasn't an amateur botanist.
Sally's black-rimmed eyes grew huge. "Is that pot?"
"What?" I croaked. On second thought, maybe it would be better if she was an amateur botanist. Wolfsbane might be poisonous, but at least you couldn't be arrested for having it.
"The bag in there," she said, pointing at the box. "It looks like weed."
"Oh, it's just peppermint," I said, tossing off a light laugh that sounded like I was choking on a chicken bone. "Probably from my mother."
Sally narrowed her little eyes at me. "Why would your mother send you peppermint?"
"Peppermint tea," I said. "She knows I like it." Actually, it wasn't a total lie. My mother did send me tea regularly, only it wasn't peppermint.
I moved the box to my lap, resisting the urge to panic and trying to ignore the fact that Sally was still staring at me. A phone rang somewhere in the building. "Shouldn't you get the phone?" I suggested.
"No, it's Mindy's again." Sally wrinkled her nose. "That stuff doesn't smell like mint." She jabbed a finger at the corner of yellow legal paper that was sticking out from under the lid. "Is that a note?"
"You know, I'm kind of busy this morning."
"Aren't you going to read it?"
Just then, a ring that was unmistakably Sally's phone burbled from outside the door.
"Better go get that," I said brightly.
Sally pursed her lips. "It can wait."
I raised an eyebrow and tried to look official. "I don't think Adele would be happy to hear that." Adele was the head of the department and had an extremely low tolerance for anything short of professional.