Hello Friends! Let's give a warm welcome to my friend, Mathilde Watson!! She's here to chat a little and to give away a free copy of one of her books! Welcome Mathilde! We're very happy you're here!
Greetings! My name is Mathilde Watson and today my dear friend, Andi, has been kind enough to let me stop by and play on her blog! While I’m here I want to share a little bit about my latest release- but first…
This little visit includes a contest!
And contests mean prizes!
Leave a comment and you will be entered into a drawing to win a free e-book copy of any of my previously released books! The winner will be chosen first thing tomorrow morning. Want to know what you are playing for? Take a look!
SO—on to my new release!
PLAY DEAD is the first book in my new BARKING ORDERS series- the beginning of a saga filled with mystery, danger, adventure—and love!
Arliss is an outsider- the lone mutt raised in a pack of wolf shifters. He finds a kind of camaraderie in the campus LGBT club but he is never able to connect with anyone on a personal level.
Dave is an army veteran released on a medical discharge after a bizarre firefight where he could have sworn one of the enemy soldiers changed into a wolf mid-attack. With his release from the army he loses his sense of belonging.
PLAY DEAD is the story of two loners who come together and bring love and meaning into each other’s’ lives during a time when nothing else in the world makes sense…
Dave rounded the corner… and stopped dead in his tracks. A small blond girl stood on her tip-toes, struggling to raise a bag of trash above her head and into the massive garbage bins behind the cafeteria. The poor thing couldn't have been an inch over five-two and she was skinny as a rail to boot.
"Now why on earth did you get left behind for this job?" Dave rushed forward to help, biting back a laugh when the girl jumped and let out a small shriek. The bag in her hands fell, busting open and landing in a heap at her feet, its contents spilling onto the ground. Her shoulder-length blond hair fell over her face as she turned and bent to collect the trash.
Dave grabbed the two remaining closed bags and hefted them up into the bin. "Here, Miss, let me help you. These are almost as big as you are. Are you okay?" His words came out in a rush as he crouched down in front of the girl to pick up the scattered rubbish and return it to the broken bag. The young woman laughed and brushed away some paper stuck to her shiny blouse. "Yes, I'm fine. Thank you."
Dave reached forward and pulled a sticky wrapper off of the sparkly, jean clad leg in front of him. "I'm sorry I startled you, Miss." The plastic wrap left a dark stain on the girl's pant leg and, without thinking, he ran his hand along her thigh, examining the spot. "I hope this doesn't ruin them."
The girl went completely still at his touch, and Dave blushed with embarrassment. He stilled and looked up, finding himself right at crotch level with the girl. He reddened further when he noticed a definite bulge behind the fly of her jeans and, as his eyes wandered up the small frame he noticed the fabric stretched flat across her chest.
"Shit! You're a guy!" Dave fell onto his ass and tried to compose himself. The young man in front of him didn't say anything. Dave struggled to his feet, hoping the darkness would hide his blush. When he stood, Dave towered over the much smaller man. In his rush to stand Dave overbalanced and reached out, grabbing the little guy's shoulder to keep from toppling over.
The boy screamed and cowered against the dumpster, jerking away from the contact and raising his arms up to cover his head. His entire body shook as he slid down into a crouch. "God, please, no!"
Dave took a step back, his mouth falling open. "Oh, shit, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to scare you… Hey, it's okay. I'm not going to hurt you, I swear."
The side door swung open and Dave glanced up to see tall, skinny, dark-haired man gaping at him. After a glance at the boy huddled against the wall his eyes flashed back to Dave. "What the hell is going on? Arliss, are you all right?"
Dave retreated and allowed the other man to go to the boy. "Hey, it's okay, buddy. I'm here. You're safe. No one is going to hurt you, okay?"
Dave helplessly watched as the newcomer comforted the frightened blond, unsure what to do. He wanted to help, but how?
"Um, is there anything I can do?"
"Haven't you done enough already? Who the hell are you anyway?"
Dave met his anger with a neutral expression and fumbled with his badge, leaning down to make his size less intimidating. "I'm a security guard. It's my job to keep you guys safe, yeah? I didn't mean to scare the guy."
"Thank god." He sighed and his shoulders sagged, the fight draining out of him. "There, you see, Arliss? He isn't going to hurt you. Come on, let me help you up." The blond boy raised his head and bit his lower lip, looking sheepishly up into Dave's face.
Dave rose and stepped back, leaving enough space between them so as not to intimidate the little guy further. The pair in front of him climbed to their feet and the taller man faced Dave, holding out his hand. "I'm Scott. This is my, uh, friend, Arliss."
"Dave Avery." Dave shook Scott's hand and looked over at Arliss, offering an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry I frightened you. And I'm sorry I called you 'miss,' but I mean—it's dark out here, yeah? And from behind?" Dave shrugged, swallowing hard.
Scott laughed and wrapped his arm around Arliss's waist. Arliss visibly relaxed at the contact, his big green eyes losing some of their wildness and a tentative smile turned up the corners of his mouth. Dave realized he was staring and blushed. He let his gaze wander down to where the kid's neck was circled by a brightly colored rainbow striped dog collar.
"You aren't the first to make that mistake and you won't be the last. Am I right, Arliss? Besides, 'miss' is a heck of a lot better than most of the other names people fling at us, huh?" Scott broke the awkward silence, laughing, and Arliss's face flushed a deep shade of red. He didn't seem upset though, just embarrassed.
Dave smiled and nodded, taking in the way Arliss continued to cling to Scott's side. "Names like 'queen' or 'queer' or 'fag' you mean?"
Arliss went still and Scott's face clouded with rage.
Dave held up his hands in surrender. He hadn't meant to insult them. "No! I meant, it takes a lot of guts these days not to hide who you are, especially when you're different." He took a step forward, waving his hand at the garbage strewn over the sidewalk. "Here, let me get this for you. It's the least I can do."
Dave bunched the torn edges of the bag together and swung it over the side of the bin, inspecting the ground one last time for anything he might have missed. "I think that does it. Um, are you two finished up here? Can I walk you to your car?"
Dave smiled at Arliss, he couldn't help himself. The adorable little guy tugged on all of Dave's strings. Arliss had an innocence about him that triggered Dave's protective instincts. The man was vulnerable and Dave wanted to hold him close and keep him safe… but unfortunately, that job had already been taken.
Scott tightened his arm around Arliss's waist and cleared his throat. "We don't have a car, but thanks anyway. Our apartment is just off campus, across Second Street. We can manage." Scott started off in that direction, pulling Arliss along with him. To Dave's surprise, Arliss glanced back over his shoulder, offering Dave a shy smile.
Dave caught up with them, falling into step beside Arliss. "At least let me take you to the edge of campus. I'd feel a lot better if I saw you safely home."
"Suit yourself." Scott shrugged. The conversation seemed to be over, but Dave didn't mind the quiet as they walked. Every few steps he'd brush his arm against Arliss's, accidentally on purpose, and Arliss would smile. Each time he caught Arliss looking his way, Dave's stomach fluttered. He felt like a pervert, crushing on the little guy despite the possessive arm his lover had firmly wrapped around him. Too bad he was already spoken for.
Dave left the pair at the crosswalk, watching as the lovers hurried across the street to their home. With a heavy sigh he went back to work, trying not to think about his own empty house or his lonely bed.
Want to read more?
PLAY DEAD is available for sale though Silver Publishing!