Available Now: Barbed Wire Cowboy

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Barbed Wire Cowboy
Length: 85,000 Words
Cover Artist: Mann Ramblings

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Blurb:

After having been kicked off the family ranch by his father, Marc Poulson has made a new home for himself as the foreman of the Double R Ranch. His fellow ranch hands are his family, but he’s still not complete without Casey Morgan, his counterpart at the neighboring Del Rio Ranch. In the middle of a feud with his one-time best friend, Marc struggles to understand why Casey would rather take a swing at him than talk to him. He wants to put the past behind them and rebuild what they once had and make their relationship stronger than ever, but Casey is having none of it.

Casey has his own demons to deal with, and Marc serves as a reminder to things he’d rather forget. Casey can’t see beyond the past and continues to make mistakes that put both him and Marc in harms way. After one close call too many, Casey must decide whether his past is more important than his future, or if he can live with Marc walking out of his life—possibly forever.

Excerpt:

“EARTH TO Marc, come in, Marc.” Rick made a show of waving his hand in front of Marc’s face. He waited until he had Marc’s attention. “Did you hear anything I said?”

“Sorry.” Marc glanced at him, but the lure of Casey Morgan was too strong to ignore. He returned his gaze to linger on the blond who had walked through the doors of the bar a moment earlier. “I was distracted.” Half of the bar separated them, but he knew from experience that the chances of avoiding a confrontation were slim to nil.

“Obviously.” Their companion, and coworker, Jason snickered.

“What is it with you and him?” Rick’s gaze danced between the two men. “You two can’t be in the same room together without going for the jugular.”

“It has nothing to do with you.” Marc didn’t want to get into it and was desperate to stop the barrage of questions before they could start. “You concentrate on yourself and let me handle my own problems.”

Marc tracked Casey’s progress through the bar until he sat at a table with two of the hired hands from the Del Rio Ranch. As the foreman for the Del Rio, Casey was the direct counterpart of Marc’s position at the Double R. The owners of the two ranches were close friends, and up until a few months earlier, so were Casey and Marc. It was amazing how one thing could cause friends to become bitter enemies, and it was nothing more than a misunderstanding.

“We lost him again.” Jason needed to wipe the smirk off his face.

“Knock it off.” Marc forced his attention away from Casey and back to Rick and Jason. “What were you asking?”

“Never mind.” Rick shook his head. “Since we have tomorrow off it can wait until Monday. No sense in talking ranch work if we don’t have to.”

“Sounds good to me.” Jason finished off the beer in front of him.

Marc swallowed the last of his own drink and headed toward the bar for the next round. Despite being the sole bar in town, it wasn’t busy, and within a couple of minutes he was turning to head back to his table with three fresh beers. As he turned, his shoulder brushed against a newcomer, and Marc turned to apologize, but the words stuck in his throat when he found himself face-to-face with Casey. If he’d realized Casey had the same idea, he would have stayed in his seat and let one of the other two go.

“Poulson.” Casey’s greeting dripped with hostility.

“Morgan.” Fuck the apology. Marc pushed past him but stopped when Casey mumbled something under his breath. His entire body went stiff, and he struggled to breathe through the anger. He should have ignored it and walked away, but it built inside him until he was seething with every breath he took. “What the hell did you say to me?”

“You heard me.” Casey leaned against the bar and tried to stare him down.

“That’s bullshit and you know it.” Marc took a determined step forward. He had a couple of inches on his former friend and wasn’t above trying to intimidate him. Not anymore.

“It’s not bullshit if it’s the truth.” Instead of backing down, Casey straightened up, anger flashing in his eyes.

“I’ve had it with this crap.” Marc clenched his jaw. He’d tried to keep his cool, but if Casey was itching for a fight that bad, Marc was ready and willing to oblige. He ignored the little voice in his head telling him it was a bad idea. Marc plunked the bottles he was holding onto the bar, flexed his hands at his side, and waited. He wouldn’t throw the first punch, but if Casey did, he wouldn’t walk away. “I wasn’t the only one there, and you damn well know it.”

“You may as well have been.” Casey sneered and grabbed the beer the bartender set down. He tried to shoulder his way past, but Marc refused to move.

Marc reached out and grabbed ahold of Casey’s arm to keep him there. “Oh, I don’t know about that. When are you going to admit you liked it?”

With a wrench of his arm he whirled Casey back around. The bottle clutched in Casey’s grasp slipped free, shattering on the floor, and beer splashed up onto their boots. Their gazes collided, and Marc could see the fury simmering in Casey’s eyes. Determined to use his height advantage, he took a step forward until there were a mere couple of inches separating them, forcing Casey to look up to meet his eyes. When Marc didn’t release his hold on him, Casey knocked his hand away.

“Don’t.” As cliched as it sounded, if looks could kill, Marc would drop dead on the spot. “You have no fucking right to touch me.”

“Like this?” Marc reached out with one hand and shoved Casey’s shoulder.

“Bastard,” Casey replied.

“Point being?” Marc repeated his earlier action, this time putting enough force behind it to cause the infuriating man to stagger into the table behind him.

“Go to hell.” Casey growled and turned toward his table.

“I’ll meet you there.” Marc laughed and moved to grab the beers from the bar. He heard one of the Del Rio hands yell and turned a second too late. Casey’s fist connected with his jaw and sent him stumbling back into the bar.

“Fucker!” Marc launched himself toward Casey and placed a couple of well-aimed blows to Casey’s stomach and ribs. It didn’t bring near the satisfaction he’d expected. Instead, regret trickled through him and was enough to throw off his concentration. Casey didn’t hesitate to take advantage, but Marc managed to deflect the blow with his shoulder. He grunted in pain as the next one connected with his ribs. Thank god Casey hadn’t managed to land a shot to his liver. That would have had him writhing in agony.

Shelving his feelings of remorse to study later, Marc shoved Casey hard enough to send him careening into a nearby chair. Taking advantage of gaining the upper hand, he pressed on and within moments Marc was rolling on the floor with Casey as they each tried to gain domination over the other. Marc managed to land a few more punches, but then someone grabbed his arms and pulled him away. His entire body hurt, but he ignored the pain and struggled to get free.

“Fuckers. Let me go.” The more he fought, the tighter he was held. Despite his attempts, Marc was no match for the men intent on dragging him away. Through the haze of anger he saw two men pull Casey to his feet and resumed his struggles, but there was no freeing himself.

The adrenaline drained out of him, and, as his vision cleared, he recognized the two men holding Casey back as the two hired hands from the Del Rio Ranch. He turned his head to see who had him and met Rick’s gaze. A groan slithered from his throat as he looked on his other side and found Jason regarding him as if he was a snake about to strike.

“You can let me go now.” Marc tried to jerk his arms free.

“Sorry, boss man, can’t do that.” Rick’s grip tightened to the point Marc was sure he’d have bruises. On top of the ones he’d have from Casey.

“You’ll fucking pay for this.” Casey struggled against the two men holding him, blood flowing unimpeded from his nose.

Marc glanced at his hands and winced at the blood coating his split knuckles. With his quarry now out of his reach, he allowed Rick and Jason to lead him toward the exit. He couldn’t believe he’d been goaded into yet another fight. Though, if he was honest, he’d egged Casey on as well. Now he had to figure out how he was going to explain the night’s events to his boss, once word got around, and it would. That should be fun. Rick and Jason almost had him to the door when it opened and revealed the lean body of the sheriff blocking their escape.

Author Bio:

Renee Stevens first started writing in her teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties. Since then she’s written a number of contemporary stories, as well as delved into the paranormal. When not writing, or spending time in the outdoors, Renee can usually be found working on GayAuthors.org in her capacity of Admin, Blog Coordinator, and Anthology Coordinator.

Renee resides in Wyoming with her wonderfully supportive husband and a menagerie of four-legged critters. Making the most of the nearly constant negative temperatures and mounds of snow, Renee spends much of the winter months in hibernation with her laptop, the voices in her head keeping her company while her husband works.

When she needs a break from writing, Renee takes to the sewing machine to design, and make, beautiful quilts. When the snow finally disappears, usually around May or June, Renee can be found in the great-outdoors. She spends her time on the mountain, at the lake, and just anywhere that she can do some camping, take some photos, and ride the four-wheelers with her hubby. Once back at home, it’s back to writing.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Google+

Available for Pre-Order: Barbed Wire Cowboy

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Blurb:

After having been kicked off the family ranch by his father, Marc Poulson has made a new home for himself as the foreman of the Double R Ranch. His fellow ranch hands are his family, but he’s still not complete without Casey Morgan, his counterpart at the neighboring Del Rio Ranch. In the middle of a feud with his one-time best friend, Marc struggles to understand why Casey would rather take a swing at him than talk to him. He wants to put the past behind them and rebuild what they once had and make their relationship stronger than ever, but Casey is having none of it.

Casey has his own demons to deal with, and Marc serves as a reminder to things he’d rather forget. Casey can’t see beyond the past and continues to make mistakes that put both him and Marc in harms way. After one close call too many, Casey must decide whether his past is more important than his future, or if he can live with Marc walking out of his life—possibly forever.

Excerpt:

“EARTH TO Marc, come in, Marc.” Rick made a show of waving his hand in front of Marc’s face. He waited until he had Marc’s attention. “Did you hear anything I said?”

“Sorry.” Marc glanced at him, but the lure of Casey Morgan was too strong to ignore. He returned his gaze to linger on the blond who had walked through the doors of the bar a moment earlier. “I was distracted.” Half of the bar separated them, but he knew from experience that the chances of avoiding a confrontation were slim to nil.

“Obviously.” Their companion, and coworker, Jason snickered.

“What is it with you and him?” Rick’s gaze danced between the two men. “You two can’t be in the same room together without going for the jugular.”

“It has nothing to do with you.” Marc didn’t want to get into it and was desperate to stop the barrage of questions before they could start. “You concentrate on yourself and let me handle my own problems.”

Marc tracked Casey’s progress through the bar until he sat at a table with two of the hired hands from the Del Rio Ranch. As the foreman for the Del Rio, Casey was the direct counterpart of Marc’s position at the Double R. The owners of the two ranches were close friends, and up until a few months earlier, so were Casey and Marc. It was amazing how one thing could cause friends to become bitter enemies, and it was nothing more than a misunderstanding.

“We lost him again.” Jason needed to wipe the smirk off his face.

“Knock it off.” Marc forced his attention away from Casey and back to Rick and Jason. “What were you asking?”

“Never mind.” Rick shook his head. “Since we have tomorrow off it can wait until Monday. No sense in talking ranch work if we don’t have to.”

“Sounds good to me.” Jason finished off the beer in front of him.

Marc swallowed the last of his own drink and headed toward the bar for the next round. Despite being the sole bar in town, it wasn’t busy, and within a couple of minutes he was turning to head back to his table with three fresh beers. As he turned, his shoulder brushed against a newcomer, and Marc turned to apologize, but the words stuck in his throat when he found himself face-to-face with Casey. If he’d realized Casey had the same idea, he would have stayed in his seat and let one of the other two go.

“Poulson.” Casey’s greeting dripped with hostility.

“Morgan.” Fuck the apology. Marc pushed past him but stopped when Casey mumbled something under his breath. His entire body went stiff, and he struggled to breathe through the anger. He should have ignored it and walked away, but it built inside him until he was seething with every breath he took. “What the hell did you say to me?”

“You heard me.” Casey leaned against the bar and tried to stare him down.

“That’s bullshit and you know it.” Marc took a determined step forward. He had a couple of inches on his former friend and wasn’t above trying to intimidate him. Not anymore.

“It’s not bullshit if it’s the truth.” Instead of backing down, Casey straightened up, anger flashing in his eyes.

“I’ve had it with this crap.” Marc clenched his jaw. He’d tried to keep his cool, but if Casey was itching for a fight that bad, Marc was ready and willing to oblige. He ignored the little voice in his head telling him it was a bad idea. Marc plunked the bottles he was holding onto the bar, flexed his hands at his side, and waited. He wouldn’t throw the first punch, but if Casey did, he wouldn’t walk away. “I wasn’t the only one there, and you damn well know it.”

“You may as well have been.” Casey sneered and grabbed the beer the bartender set down. He tried to shoulder his way past, but Marc refused to move.

Marc reached out and grabbed ahold of Casey’s arm to keep him there. “Oh, I don’t know about that. When are you going to admit you liked it?”

With a wrench of his arm he whirled Casey back around. The bottle clutched in Casey’s grasp slipped free, shattering on the floor, and beer splashed up onto their boots. Their gazes collided, and Marc could see the fury simmering in Casey’s eyes. Determined to use his height advantage, he took a step forward until there were a mere couple of inches separating them, forcing Casey to look up to meet his eyes. When Marc didn’t release his hold on him, Casey knocked his hand away.

“Don’t.” As cliched as it sounded, if looks could kill, Marc would drop dead on the spot. “You have no fucking right to touch me.”

“Like this?” Marc reached out with one hand and shoved Casey’s shoulder.

“Bastard,” Casey replied.

“Point being?” Marc repeated his earlier action, this time putting enough force behind it to cause the infuriating man to stagger into the table behind him.

“Go to hell.” Casey growled and turned toward his table.

“I’ll meet you there.” Marc laughed and moved to grab the beers from the bar. He heard one of the Del Rio hands yell and turned a second too late. Casey’s fist connected with his jaw and sent him stumbling back into the bar.

“Fucker!” Marc launched himself toward Casey and placed a couple of well-aimed blows to Casey’s stomach and ribs. It didn’t bring near the satisfaction he’d expected. Instead, regret trickled through him and was enough to throw off his concentration. Casey didn’t hesitate to take advantage, but Marc managed to deflect the blow with his shoulder. He grunted in pain as the next one connected with his ribs. Thank god Casey hadn’t managed to land a shot to his liver. That would have had him writhing in agony.

Shelving his feelings of remorse to study later, Marc shoved Casey hard enough to send him careening into a nearby chair. Taking advantage of gaining the upper hand, he pressed on and within moments Marc was rolling on the floor with Casey as they each tried to gain domination over the other. Marc managed to land a few more punches, but then someone grabbed his arms and pulled him away. His entire body hurt, but he ignored the pain and struggled to get free.

“Fuckers. Let me go.” The more he fought, the tighter he was held. Despite his attempts, Marc was no match for the men intent on dragging him away. Through the haze of anger he saw two men pull Casey to his feet and resumed his struggles, but there was no freeing himself.
The adrenaline drained out of him, and, as his vision cleared, he recognized the two men holding Casey back as the two hired hands from the Del Rio Ranch. He turned his head to see who had him and met Rick’s gaze. A groan slithered from his throat as he looked on his other side and found Jason regarding him as if he was a snake about to strike.

“You can let me go now.” Marc tried to jerk his arms free.

“Sorry, boss man, can’t do that.” Rick’s grip tightened to the point Marc was sure he’d have bruises. On top of the ones he’d have from Casey.

“You’ll fucking pay for this.” Casey struggled against the two men holding him, blood flowing unimpeded from his nose.

Marc glanced at his hands and winced at the blood coating his split knuckles. With his quarry now out of his reach, he allowed Rick and Jason to lead him toward the exit. He couldn’t believe he’d been goaded into yet another fight. Though, if he was honest, he’d egged Casey on as well. Now he had to figure out how he was going to explain the night’s events to his boss, once word got around, and it would. That should be fun. Rick and Jason almost had him to the door when it opened and revealed the lean body of the sheriff blocking their escape.

eBook Coming Soon: Joined by Blood

***COMING SOON***

Damian’s world has been turned upside down: his sister isn’t who he thought she was, and vampires really do exist. Luckily, with so many obstacles to overcome and so many choices to be made, he doesn’t have to navigate this new landscape alone. Vik, the prince of his clan, has set his eye and his heart on Damian. Vik isn’t the only one who has him in his sights.  Can Vik, with the help of his long time friend Dante, keep Damian safe? Or will distrust and jealousy send Damian right into the clutches of those who wish him dead?

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BLURB

Maki waited years to discover what dragon spirit the fates gifted him with. He anticipated his first flight, his parents at his side, as he launched himself into the sky for the first time. Best of all, one day he’d find his mate and spend the rest of his life with someone by his side. Unfortunately for him, things didn’t go exactly as he’d always planned.

EXCERPT 

 

Cyan watched the two reptilian bodies soaring through the sky high above him, envy settling deep in his gut. The longer he watched, the more he resented the hand that fate had cursed him with. It wasn’t like he hadn’t tried to overcome it, he had. For the last nine years of his life he had tried to embrace who and what he was but he still struggled with it daily. He would never have what the two dragons high above him had, would never experience the unadulterated joy of dancing in the sky with his mate. He had no mate and according to the history and legends of his clan, he never would. It was high time he accepted it and quit wishing for something that could never be.

He tore his gaze away from the pair and shoved off the rock that had been digging into his ass for the last hour. He couldn’t watch them any longer; it was too painful knowing that he would never know the love of a mate. Cyan strode over to the edge of the lake and reached down to scoop up a handful of pebbles. He picked out one and studied its smooth surface for a minute, before tossing it into the calm water, watching as it disappeared into the murky depths.

If only he could disappear as easily.

It wasn’t the first time he had contemplated just walking into the water and letting it claim him, but it wouldn’t do any good. It was nearly impossible for him to drown. It was thanks to a couple of clan members that he’d learned that little tidbit. He’d just returned to the clan’s lands after being granted release from the youth home. He’d been lonely and unaccustomed to living on his own, but he’d thought he was managing quite well. Until hands had latched onto him and jerked him from his sleep.

He’d fought to free himself, to no avail. His hands and feet had been bound before he was carried from his home and thrown into the lake. It was then that he learned that while Red’s had an affinity for fire, Blue’s had an affinity too, but with water. Instead of closing over his head and flowing into his lungs, the water had cradled him, keeping his head above water until he’d managed to break free of his bonds. Agonizing pain swamped him at the memory and he wished, not for the first time, that his dragon had never been awakened. He wanted to go back to the time before his true nature had been revealed to those around him, where he had more friends than he could count and the complete support and love of his family. The things he would still have if it hadn’t been for his dragon’s emergence into the world. Most of his kind met their first transformation with anticipation and he’d been the same until it had finally happened. Just the memory of the day his world had come crashing down around him, back when he’d still been called Maki, sent a fresh wave of pain shooting through him, nearly bringing him to his knees.

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Challenging Fate

Challenging Fate

By: Renee Stevens | Other books by Renee Stevens
Published By: Renee Stevens
ISBN # 9781626330016

Publication Date: July 11, 2013
Word Count: 25000
Heat Index   

Available in: Epub

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Description

Maki waited years to discover what dragon spirit the fates gifted him with. He anticipated his first flight, his parents at his side, as he launched himself into the sky for the first time. Best of all, one day he’d find his mate and spend the rest of his life with someone by his side. Unfortunately for him, things didn’t go exactly as he’d always planned. 


Excerpt:

“Holy fucking hell. Son of bitch, stay the hell back. How the hell could this shit be happening?”

The shock of hearing the foul words from his father sent shock coursing through him and forced him to open his eyes. He blinked to clear his vision and suddenly everything in front of him was crystal clear. He towered over them in his dragon form and instead of the smiles he expected to see, his mother was crying and his father was scowling at him, the whites of his eyes glaringly bright.

His mother’s hand covered her lips, muffling her cries as she stared up at Maki, the sun glinting off the tears coursing down her face. Her fear and pain were crystal clear to his new senses.

He shook his massive head and took a step towards them only to freeze as his father shifted. In what was truly a blink of an eye, his father’s large Green dragon stood between him and his mother, its jade colored scales glistening in the sunlight. Maki had never seen any dragon shift that quickly.

He would be lying if he said their reactions didn’t have him worried and he could feel fear snaking through his veins as he lifted one clawed hand up in front of his face. Maki staggered back as he took in the color of his leathery skin, wanting to escape the reality of what had happened to him. A growling cry escaped his mouth as he turned his gaze back to his father, no longer able to see his mother from where she was hidden behind him.

Why were they afraid of him? Didn’t they know that he would never hurt them? Maki shifted his large scaled body towards them, needing to feel their comforting arms, but his father seemed to grow even bigger, his wings spreading out behind him. He watched horrified as his father beat his strong wings and bared his teeth at him as he roared.

Maki stumbled back and sank to the ground, cowering in the face of his father’s aggression. Why was his father being this way? He was his son; it wasn’t like he didn’t know him. Maki watched helplessly as his father shifted back to his human form and hustled his mother into the house, never turning his back towards him. Before he realized what was happening, the sound of the latch barring the door reached his ears.

Pain warred with fury inside of him. How could the fates be so cruel as to cause his family to turn away from him? He shook his head in denial as he moved backwards before turning and fleeing into the forest. Immature saplings snapped beneath his feet and branches scraped against his scaly body as he fled, but Maki didn’t pay them any attention as he fled into the forest. He wanted to escape, escape the fear in his parent’s eyes and the future that he would face as a Blue.

***

Cyan chucked the remainder of the pebbles into the water all at once, no longer interested in the mindless activity as his mind focused on the remainder of that day. This same lake had been his refuge back then. He’d spent hours trying to decide what he was going to do, but in the end, his only option was to return home, if it was still his home. It hadn’t taken long for him to have his answer.

He still remembered the hopelessness that had swept through him when he’d broken through the trees surrounding his parent’s cottage and saw all of his belongings on the front porch in bags. He’d known he’d have to go to the youth home, all male shifters had to after their first change, but he hadn’t expected it to be like that. He’d thought he would have a few days at least to say good-bye to his parents and those of his friends who wouldn’t be joining him soon. He had never felt as alone as he did in that moment.