Meet The Heat – Rhian Cahill
This week begins a summer long celebration of the International Heat members. Every week, one member will take over the International Heat blog to share anything that comes to mind. During that week, the rest of us IHers will feature that member on our blogs, sharing with you all our favourite snippets from their work.
To kick off the fun, allow me to introduce you to Rhian Cahill.
I’ve known RC for a long time. She was an awesome reader who just happened to also be an Aussie. Now most of you know what a proud Aussie I am, so RC instantly took up a damn special place in my heart. When she announced she’s not only written a book but that it was going to be published, I was stoked.
Since then. RC has gone on to write more than one book and has been snapped up by Ellora’s Cave (and courted by one of the most influential editors in the business). Add that to the fact she’s one of the most awesome people I know (and a bloody brilliant friend) and you’ve got someone I’d be lost without.
Coyote Home is soo wonderfully naughty and at the same time, poignant and moving I just knew I had to share a snippet of it with you. It was RC’s first Ellora’s Cave release and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series it begins.
Book One in the Coyote Hunger series.
Coming home was never going to be easy for Rowan Wilder, but after six years she didn’t think it would be this hard. First she can’t control her inner coyote, then she has to deal with her mate and the madman out to get them both. Determined to take her rightful place in the pack, Rowan must face each hurdle and succeed. To fail could mean losing her life.
Quinn MacClellan is more than ready for the return of his mate and he’ll do anything to keep her safe and by his side. He couldn’t protect her years ago, but things are different now and he won’t let anything or anyone separate them again. Together they’ll confront all obstacles and ensure the future they both deserve.
An Excerpt From: COYOTE HOME
Copyright © RHIAN CAHILL, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Timber crashed against timber. Windows rattled in their frames and the hardwood floor vibrated beneath her bare feet.
Time to face the music.
Rowan turned toward the door. She knew what she would see but knowing and seeing were two different things. Silhouetted by the sun, the six-foot-four wall of solid muscle standing in the doorway was menacing in appearance and attitude. She should be terrified but she’d never been afraid of Quinn. She knew to the depth of her soul that he’d never hurt her no matter what she’d done.
“Get your things, you’re coming home.”
Rowan rolled her eyes. He hadn’t changed. Six years hadn’t tempered his demanding personality. Then again it had done little to curb her rebellious nature and need to provoke him. In fact, it had increased her need to make her own decisions. Her independence had come at a cost. Being separated from her family, her home—her mate. It had almost cost her sanity.
“No.” She wasn’t going to allow Quinn or her brother to tell her what to do anymore. She’d finally come home to face her destiny and her mate but she was here on her terms, best to get everyone used to the new Rowan from the start.
“No?” Quinn’s brow creased and the confusion swirling in his caramel brown eyes almost made her back down. Almost.
She sucked in a deep breath, stiffened her spine and straightened her shoulders.
“I’m not coming to Whispering Creek yet. I need time.”
“Time? For what? And why the hell didn’t you tell me you were on an earlier flight?” Anger and hurt simmered in his voice.
“I need to adjust to being home, Quinn.”
“You’re not home. Your home is Whispering Creek—by my side.”
“I am home. Whispering Mountains is home.”
“You’re not staying here. Get your things or I will.”
“Rowan,” he growled.
“Quinn, please try to understand. I’ve been gone six years—”
“Exactly. You’ve spent too long away from me already. Get your stuff.”
“No. I’m not leaving the cabin until I’m ready.”
He took a step toward her, a growl rumbling deep in his bare chest and his eyes flared amber with the anger her disobedience raised. She put up a hand and stood her ground.
“Don’t you dare come any closer.” To her surprise, he stopped. She swallowed over the lump in her throat. “Please, Quinn. You have to understand. I’ve ignored my coyote for six years. I can’t even remember what she looks like. I need to reconnect, need to be comfortable in both my skins. I can’t do that if I have to deal with the pack.”
Commotion behind Quinn drew both their gazes. Brogan stood at the door stomping snow and mud from his boots. He stepped into the room and threw a bag at Quinn.
“Get dressed,” Brogan barked at Quinn but his eyes were on Rowan. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he demanded.
Great. Two alphas to deal with. On their own she knew she could handle them but together, batting for the same cause…
Rowan closed her eyes, tried to focus on what she knew she wanted. What she needed. Dragging in more oxygen, she steeled her determination to get them to see it from her side. The swish of cloth and the metallic hiss of a zipper closing snapped her eyes open.
She breathed easier. Now that Quinn had some clothes on she wouldn’t have to deal with the distraction of his naked body. And what a gorgeous body it was, all sculpted muscle and smooth male skin. Memories of exploring his hard male flesh with her hands sent a shiver down her spine. She curled her fingers, clenched them tight to stop her hands from reaching out to touch.
How she hadn’t jumped him the second he slammed through the door stark naked was beyond her. There was not one day, one night over the last six years where her body hadn’t craved his and all the pleasure tangling with him gave her. She licked her dry lips before speaking to her brother.
“Hello to you too, Brogan.”
He looked sheepish for all of two seconds before his face drew into an angry scowl. Rowan sighed. She really didn’t want their first meeting to be clouded with anger. But then what she wanted and what she got were rarely the same.
“When did you get in? And why didn’t you tell us you were coming early?”
The coffee machine dinged, signaling it was ready. A shot of caffeine was just what this occasion needed. At least she needed it. She turned, reached into the cupboard for two more cups and poured each of them full to the brim. None of them took milk and she’d given up sugar a few years ago.
Quinn moved up beside her, close but not touching. Heat radiated off him and his scent flowed around her, through her. Breathing deeply she pulled him in, filled her lungs with the smell she’d gone so long without.
“Here.” He held the sugar bowl out to her.
Raising her gaze to his, she said, “I don’t take sugar anymore.”
Shock bloomed in his eyes, then confusion.
“It’s just one of many things that have changed, Quinn.” She tried not to squirm when he leaned in close, sniffed at her neck, her breasts. She knew he was scenting for another male. He wouldn’t find one. “That hasn’t.”
A low rumble was Rowan’s only warning. He turned quickly, slanting his mouth over hers. Crushing pressure and his probing tongue had her opening to him. Need slammed into her. Quinn wrapped his arms around her waist, lifting her off the floor and against his body. His hard length trapped between them. Her hands gripped his shoulder, slid into the hair at his nape and over his scalp. She tugged his head closer. Their teeth bumped and scraped and the kiss turned volcanic.
Heat blazed through her blood, pumping into her breasts and pussy, throbbing to a tribal beat only Quinn could drum up. She bent her legs, curled them around his hips and ground her pounding clit on his cock. A snarl vibrated in her chest, her coyote snapped at her control and threatened to break free. Twisting her head, she ripped her mouth from his. It was too much. She felt her grip weaken, knew the beast would spring forward at any second.
“Stop,” she panted.
He didn’t hear her. His mouth traveled along her jaw and down her neck. Rowan’s muscles stretched, her teeth lengthened and her claws popped out and dug into Quinn’s scalp.
“Quinn!” Brogan’s shout penetrated the hammering in her ears.
Her legs dropped to the floor as Quinn pushed her away to look at her. It was too little too late.
“Fuck!” The word exploded from his mouth.
The animal she’d denied for so long broke free and she shifted before he let her go.
Quinn stared at Rowan.
What the hell just happened?
One minute she was in his arms the next she was shifting. He let go, allowed her to slide to the floor as she changed to coyote. If he wasn’t so freaked out he’d laugh at the sight of her in T-shirt and shorts. Brogan made it across the room as Quinn dropped to his knees beside her.
“What the hell happened?” Brogan’s words echoed his own thoughts.
“I don’t know.”
Quinn stroked the fur along her neck. Rowan’s eyes drifted closed and she lowered to her belly on a sigh. Her movements were lethargic—listless, as she settled into a comfortable position. A shudder rippled down her canine body and her breathing evened out, slowed, deepened. He knew she’d taken a run earlier, that’s how he knew she was here. Brogan had asked him to check on the group of naturals living up on Whispering Ridge—make sure they had a food source. He’d been heading back when he smelled her. Rowan’s scent was imprinted on his soul, he’d know it anywhere.
He had run the rest of the way back to the house as fast as his human legs would take him, only to discover she wasn’t there. His nose never failed him, he had known she was close. He’d yelled for Brogan to follow, stripped out of his clothes and taken to the forest in coyote form. Excitement and fear in equal measures had swamped him. What was she doing up the mountain? Why hadn’t she told him she was arriving today?
Rowan’s warmth and scent soaked into him. His fingers tangled in her coat, trailed down her neck and over her side. She whined softly, snuffled and settled back down when he petted her head and murmured soothing words. It didn’t matter how she’d gotten here or why she’d come without telling him or Brogan. What mattered was the years of waiting were over.
Rowan was finally home.
“Is she asleep?” Brogan’s whispered words were laced with concern.
“Yeah, I think so.” Quinn scooped her up in his arms, bundled her against his chest as best he could. Brogan steadied him as he got to his feet. “I’ll put her on the sofa, closer to the fire.”
“Is she sick?”
“I don’t think so. Her temperature feels normal and she talked and looked fine before…” He didn’t want to think about the scorching kiss they’d shared before she’d changed in his arms.
He placed her on the sofa and settled on the floor in front of her, continued to stroke her coat, more to soothe himself than Rowan. Brogan brought the cups of coffee she’d poured them. He passed Quinn his before he sat in the chair opposite. They remained silent, each lost in their own thoughts. Neither voiced their concern about Rowan’s sudden appearance. Quinn had no idea how long they sat there while she slept, all he knew was he’d finished the coffee long before her eyes opened.
A sigh of relief huffed from his chest and he smiled.
“Shift back, Rowan,” he murmured.
She took a long time to change back and Quinn wondered if Brogan’s concern about illness had merit. She looked tired. The dark circles under her eyes were a deep purple and sunken into the tender flesh of her face. He ran his fingertips over her cheek, along her jaw, around her neck and into her hair. Leaning forward, he brushed his lips over hers. Quinn pulled back an inch and kept his eyes focused on hers.
“Hey. How do you feel?”
“I’m okay, just need to rest.”
“What happened, Rowan?”
“I’ve ignored my coyote too long. I can’t control the shift anymore.” She swallowed hard, licked her lips. “And changing drains my strength.”
“What do you mean you can’t control it?” Quinn asked.
“It just happens. Like just now, my coyote took over and I couldn’t hold her back. I couldn’t earlier either.”
“Here, drink some water.” Brogan offered her a glass. “When did this start?”
Quinn helped Rowan sit up and she leaned back into the sofa, squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep trembling breath. Her eyelids lifted and the tears pooling in the brown orbs tore at Quinn’s heart like claws. “Today’s the first day I’ve shifted in six years.”
What do you think? Told you it was awesome 🙂
Don’t forget to check back here weekly (or daily, if you don’t want to miss anything) to meet the other members of International Heat. There’s nine of us in total…well, ten, but that’s a secret I can’t share with you yet, shhhh…so every week you’ll get to read some great excerpts or drool over some amazing covers or read some brilliant reviews. Next week it’s mine turn. Yay! I’ll share with you an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from my upcoming Ellora’s Cave release, Copping A Feel AS WELL AS an exclusive snippet from my June 27 Changeling Press release, Spaceport: R and R (a multi-partner foursome with a slight difference).
And of course, there’s a contest to go with our Meet The Heat celebration, so be sure to head over to the International Heat blog and leave a comment on one (or all) of Rhian’s posts to be in the draw to win a book from her backlist and an Aussie surprise.