Welcome, readers, to The Cozy Page's 20 Questions Valentine's Event! We'll be counting down to Valentine's Day with 14 guest authors, 20 questions, excerpts, and prizes! To kick off the festivities, please welcome author of Howl, Mariposa Cruz!
Mariposa Cruz balances writing with working as a fulltime corporate paralegal. As a writer she has interviewed a variety of characters from cowboy crooners to rock divas. Her articles have appeared in local magazines and indie newspapers. She currently resides with her own pack of two teens in Reno, Nevada.
Her novel, Howl, is a paranormal romance available now from The Wild Rose Press....
As if Kate Owens doesn't have enough problems as a struggling single mom and paralegal, a brutal animal attack outside her office plunges her into turmoil. At work, she is attracted to her rescuer, Jack Walker, an attorney wary of commitment. Every morning after the attack she awakes drenched in blood beside the body of a mangled stray. Kate's days become a battle to maintain control while her nights are a disturbing blur of dreams. Will Kate's nightly madness harm her young daughter?
Lone wolf attorney, Jack Walker understands the reason for his paralegal's exhaustion and haunted demeanor. Jack has pursued the beast since law school graduation and he knows the creature's relentless thirst for revenge. Can Jack save Kate from her attacker and her own savage nature?
Our Cozy correspondent, Tink, sat down with our guest earlier this week for 20 Questions with Mariposa Cruz! Take it away, Tink....
Tink: Are you the first one on the dance floor or not so much?
Mariposa: I might not be the first on the dance floor, but I’ll definitely be there for the last dance!
Tink: Do you prefer to spend the night at the theatre or at a bike show?
Mariposa: I love a night at the theatre.
Tink: Do you give relationship advice or think it’s a bad idea?
Mariposa: It's probably a bad idea, but I give advice anyway.
Tink: Describe the ideal hero – rough and tumble highlander, titled gentleman of the ton, modern-day bad boy, or supernatural anti-hero?
Mariposa: I’m drawn to supernatural heroes.
Tink: Would you rather tell someone you love them or show it?
Mariposa: To me, actions always speak louder than words.
Tink: Travel to the past or into the future?
Tink: Bubble bath or hot shower?
Mariposa: Bubble bath
Tink: Flats or high heels?
Tink: Flowers or chocolate?
Mariposa: Flowers (they last longer than chocolate!)
Tink: G-rated or unrated?
Tink: Alpha or beta?
Tink: Would you make the first move or wait it out?
Mariposa: I prefer to wait.
Tink: Favorite love song?
Mariposa: “Saint” by Elton John
Tink: For Valentine’s would you rather go out or stay in?
Mariposa: I’d rather have a cozy evening at home and avoid the crowds.
Tink: Karaoke: yes or no?
Mariposa: No—my best performances are in the car.
Tink: Describe your most romantic moment.
Mariposa: Hanging on to my honey as we flew across the turquoise waters of St Thomas on a jet ski.
Tink: Boxers, briefs…or kilts?
Tink: What is your idea of a dream date?
Mariposa: My dream date would combine my two favorite passions music and dancing, either slow dancing in an intimate club or swing dancing in a honky tonk.
Tink: Valentine’s Day watch: sappy love story, romantic comedy or forgo all of the above and go with the action flick?
Mariposa: Bring on the action flick and extra butter on the popcorn please!
Tink: And, most importantly – do you like your man clean shaven or with a five o’clock shadow?
Mariposa: Clean shaven
Thank you, Mariposa, for answering Tink's instrusive questions! Readers, if you'd like to learn more about Mariposa and her books, visit her on the web!
And now for an excerpt from Howl....
“Pierce called me this morning. He’s here. He left cigarette butts near your window. I spent all day tracking him.”
Kate hugged her knees trying to shake a sudden chill.
“When I think about what he did to you…”
“I’m all right. I want to be with you in any way, shape, or form.” Kate put her arms around him.
His shoulders were rigid with tension. Kate turned his face toward hers and kissed him slowly, her free hand stroking his beard.
“I never realized you could be such a tease,” Jack murmured into her ear.
“I never knew you could be such a beast,” Kate replied and kissed him again.
He returned her kiss, pulling her onto his lap. His hands slid up her shirt caressing her bare back while she snuggled closer and wrapped her legs around him.
The first howl startled them.
“Damn,” Jack muttered.
Kate sighed. “We can’t be late for dinner?” she murmured.
“No. I’m not going to rush this time. We’ll continue this later in bed. I’ll wait for you outside.” His fingers traced the curve of her bare thigh when he released her. He kissed her hard on the mouth then turned and left her to change alone. If he lingered much longer, they would miss dinner.
Jack paced outside while he waited for Kate to join him. Changing in the chilled, night air cooled his ardor. He heard the others in the distance and his stomach growled. Searching the forest for Pierce all day, he hadn’t slowed to eat. What was taking her so long? It wasn’t as if she needed to freshen up her make up or curl her hair. Finally, after several long minutes, a small, silver wolf joined him. She nipped at him playfully as they raced to meet the others.
The hunt seemed to take longer than usual while they chased their prey deep into the forest. No longer overwhelmed by sounds and scents of the forest, Kate appeared exhilarated by the hunt.
Several hours later, slightly winded from their pursuit, they slipped into Jack’s room. He had changed and waited for her in bed when Kate crawled through the side door and burrowed under the covers. A faint cry came from beneath the blankets while her limbs shifted and reformed. Breathlessly, Kate emerged beside him, her blonde hair tousled. With an exasperated groan, she held up her arms, the silver wolf’s paws still splayed from her wrists.
20 Questions continues tomorrow with more from Tink and our second guest! Check back for prizes, more fun and excerpts throughout the week!