Welcome to the book blitz for the BORN TO LOVE WILD anthology, a collection of paranormal romances, by USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Pepper McGraw, M.T. DeSantis, Read Gallo, J. Bigelow, and Andie Biagini. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt from WATER TEMPERATURE by Andie Biagini.
About the Book
Title: BORN TO LOVE WILD Anthology
Authors: Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Pepper McGraw, M.T. DeSantis, Read Gallo, J. Bigelow, and Andie Biagini
Publisher: Stars and Stone Books
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay
A Paranormal Romance Short Story Anthology from Stars and Stone Books, featuring: USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Pepper McGraw, M.T. DeSantis, Read Gallo, J. Bigelow, and Andie Biagini.
Traci Douglass – “Blood Strong: A Blood Ravagers Novella”
One guardian demon in love. One witch with a secret crush. One evil threatening their newfound connection.
Cara McKinnon – “A Change of Heart”
She’s a hybrid shifter who’s not supposed to exist. He’s a wolf who was born to protect her. But her secrets force him to choose: his mate, or his pack loyalty?
Sheri Queen – “The Robinson Agency”
Some are born with the gift to see into the future. Others create their own destiny.
Pepper McGraw – “Full Moon Shenanigans”
The full moon’s coming and it’s time to embrace the wildness within.
M.T. DeSantis – “Forever Love”
To find a chance… A chance to find…
Read Gallo – “The Flying Saltines”
When a river falls in love with an ordinary person will New York City survive?
Bigelow – “Focal Point”
Sometimes a wizard from Sweden needs help from a medium from Michigan.
Andie Biagini – “Water Temperature”
An engineering student and a cryptozoologist. One of them can talk to sea monsters, but it’s not who you think.
Excerpt from Andie Biagini’s WATER TEMPERATURE
I met the animal control officer at the outer gate of the Greenflower Nuclear Power Plant. He pulled up in a big red pickup truck and parked in a visitor spot. To my relief, he didn’t look much older than me. At least I wasn’t dealing with some grizzled old man who wanted to talk to someone more important than a twenty-one-year-old intern.
From twenty yards away, I watched him haul a black duffel bag out of the back of the truck, a motion which showed off smooth, well-defined biceps under his white T-shirt. I caught myself enjoying the view and quickly looked away. If any of the other interns knew I’d been staring at hot guys on the clock, I’d never hear the end of it.
“Hi.” I gave him a 3,412 BTU-per-hour friendly smile as he approached. “Are you Louis?”
“Luis,” he corrected my pronunciation, frowning. Even with the grumpy face, I couldn’t help but notice his eyes. They were an unusual shade of light brown, like sea glass.
“I’m Madison.” I stuck out my hand for him to shake.
He ignored it. “I know. We talked on the phone. Show me the canal.”
Eyes might be the windows to the soul, but it looked like his pretty ones were well-shuttered. I reminded myself to be polite. This was just a summer internship, but if I wanted the plant to offer me a position after graduation next May, I needed to prove I could handle whatever the job threw at me. Including rude people. “We’ll need to get you through security first.”
Luis scowled. Still, he followed me and submitted to the process.
The security guard at the front desk gave him a discreet once-over while he signed in. Even though she was old enough to be his mom, I couldn’t blame her. Luis looked like he should be lounging shirtless on a beach somewhere—a mental image that was almost enough to make me blush— not fishing lost reptiles out of Greenflower’s cooling canal.
It wasn’t until we were walking toward the golf cart that would take us to our destination that he said another word to me. “You’re the one who saw this alligator, right?”
I hesitated. “I saw a tail.”
“Tails are usually attached to something.”
I bit my tongue on a snarky response. My supervisor had been quick to tell me that alligators and other local fauna hung out near the canal all the time. I was at the plant to learn, but I was so tired of people talking down to me and explaining things I already knew. Normally I would have let it drop, but I’d been having a rough couple of days, feeling lethargic and frustrated for no reason I could pinpoint. I wanted a win, a problem to solve. So I pushed the issue, reminding my supervisor of the plant’s tenuous relationship with the local wildlife authorities. Reaching out to them was a good PR move—it showed that Greenflower cared about the ecology of the area. That’s when I’d been given permission to get in touch with animal control.
I motioned for Luis to put his duffle in the back of the golf cart and get in. “I only saw the tail,” I repeated. “I don’t think it’s an alligator. It didn’t look like one.”
“Have you ever seen a gator before?” His voice dripped condescension. More sincerely, he amended, “Sorry. But you don’t sound like you’re from around here.”
Luis didn’t have anything like what I considered a Southern drawl, but apparently something about my speech had made him judgey. “Connecticut,” I admitted. “But I’ve been going to school down here for three years. And I’m planning to move here after I graduate.” Hopefully. Pending impressing the right people at the plant and landing that job offer.
I started the golf cart and began to scoot along the path. It wasn’t even lunchtime yet, but it was already blazing hot. My long dark hair was starting to frizz and curl. I could feel myself sweating through my blouse. I wished I had the ovaries to wear a skirt or a dress to work, just for the breeze. But it was hard enough being the only girl intern without drawing attention to my legs, so I stuck to khakis.
Beside me, Luis lifted a hand to wipe sweat off his forehead. The sleeve of his white T-shirt pulled up, flashing a gray-green tattoo. I wanted a closer look, but I kept my eyes facing front. I couldn’t tell my supervisor that I’d wrecked the golf cart because I was distracted by the animal control officer’s nice arms.
We arrived at the edge of the canal. From far above, it looked a little like one of those old snake computer games, where someone had succeeded in getting the snake to fill the screen without eating its tail. It switched back on itself continuously, so its length would fit within five square miles. From where we were standing, there were just rows of blue-green water, broken up by strips of concrete.
Luis got out of the cart and walked to the edge of the canal, leaving his duffel behind. I went to stand next to him. He was a few inches shorter than me, and I was in flats. I could see the edge of his tattoo now—a tail, with fins. Mermaid?
“When the water leaves the plant, it’s hot,” I explained. “It cools down as it goes through the canal, so by the time it gets into the gulf it’s a normal temperature.”
“And all the nuclear waste in the water is just a bonus, right?” he said acidly. No wonder he was being so salty, if that’s what he thought went on at Greenflower.
My temper flared. “Do you honestly think we’d be putting it back in the damn ocean if it were contaminated?”
“I don’t know what you nuclear people get up to. I just live here.”
I didn’t respond to that. Locals were still touchy about the plant, even though it had stood for fifty years without a contamination issue.
Luis turned back to me. “So, tell me what exactly you saw.”
Before I could explain, I caught a glimpse of green scales with an iridescent shimmer breaking the water fifty yards behind him. “I saw that.” I grabbed his arm and spun him around to face the canal. The scaly thing slid back down, and the tail broke the water. It was long and ended in flukes, like a dolphin’s.
When the tail went back under, I worried it might not come back up again. I’d seen it twice now, and I was sure I could trust my own eyes, but would Luis believe me? Before I could gauge his reaction, a head appeared. It was triangular and decidedly snakelike, but it was bigger than the hard hats I had to wear around the plant. Which made me think the creature’s whole body was probably bigger than any snake I cared to see in real life.
Before I could notice any more details, the head disappeared. I turned to Luis, expecting shock, surprise, his mouth hanging open, maybe. Instead, he was grinning broadly. Something fluttered in my stomach, and I couldn’t help but smile back. I realized I was still holding his very firm, warm arm, and I dropped it, embarrassed.
Luis didn’t seem to notice the awkward extended contact, or if he noticed he didn’t mind. “Holy shit,” he said, gleefully. “You’ve got yourself a sea monster.”
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