Jingle Claws by Megan Slayer
Paranormal, Contemporary, Holiday
Shara Azod Publishing
Christmas is the time to come together. But for a tiger shifter stuck in his tiger form, it can be a lonely time. Kash isn’t just alone, he’s stuck in the zoo. He needs to find his mate and fast—or his human form will be lost to the tiger forever. There’s one woman who can help him out...if he doesn’t scare the hell out of her first.
Charise doesn’t believe in shifters. There isn’t such a thing. When the man appears in the sick bay where the tiger once lounged, she’s not sure what to think. He claims she’s his salvation. Will she be able to accept the Christmas spirit and his wild story in order to get her happily ever after? Only time and a little visit from Jingle Claws will tell.
Available now: http://www.sharaazod.com/ebook/jingle-claws.html
And now an excerpt!
“What a way to spend the holidays.” Charise Sutton scanned the medical sheets on the tigers under her care. Volunteering to care for the animals over the holiday break had seemed like a good idea—back when the other workers were still at the zoo. Instead, there she was, alone on the night before Christmas. Well, alone save for the bare-bones staff. For once, she wished she still had family around. Someone to care about her during the Christmas season and a place to go to celebrate. Nope. After breast cancer had claimed her mother and throat cancer took her father, she’d vowed to help others. Charise shut the lid on her laptop and glanced over at the monitor for the tiger enclosure. She’d administered the meds they needed. The three Bengal tigers napped happily in their faux jungle enclosure. The white tiger grabbed her attention. She loved the look of the massive animal. Then again, she’d always had a love of cats. Big, small...didn’t matter. Such intelligent creatures and so full of attitude. The tiger hadn’t moved much since that afternoon. “He should be up and at ‘em by now,” she murmured. He’d been withdrawn since the transfer from the Paducah Zoo, but the meds should’ve worked. She left her seat and strode over to the quarantine enclosure. The tiger flopped on his side and stared up at her. His chest moved, proving he was still alive.
She squatted at the outside edge of the enclosure. “I just want you to get better,” she said to him. She closed her eyes and placed her hand on the chain link. “God, help him. If I can’t bring him around by my hand, then I offer him over to you.”
Charise opened her eyes. He didn’t seem to be responding—not even to her prayer. She sighed and stood. Sleep beckoned. She’d been up all day worrying about him. If she didn’t get some rest, she’d be no good tomorrow. “Good night, handsome boy. Merry Christmas.”
She made her way back to the main lab room and plopped in front of the monitors. The office chair wasn’t an ideal place to crash, but any port in a storm. Charise removed the clip from her hair and kicked out of her shoes. Just a little nap. Long enough to recharge, then she’d check on the tiger again. She leaned back and draped her arms along the thinly padded armrests. Charise closed her eyes. Just a tiny nap.
A roar jarred her from sleep. Charise sat up and blinked. Where the hell was she? She rubbed her eyes, then glanced around the room. Oh, yeah...the lab. She turned her attention to the monitor. A man sat in the sanitary white enclosure.
“No freaking way,” she blurted.
She scrubbed a hand across her face once more. Her eyes had to be playing tricks on her from lack of sleep. She checked the wall clock. Two a.m. Well, shit. Her nap had lasted more than four hours. She looked back at the screens to the isolation areas.
The man still sat against the wall, his long legs stretched out before him. She looked closer at the black-and-white image. No...couldn’t be...well…he was naked.
“Oh, my God.” Charise jumped up from her chair and bolted from the observation room into the main isolation room. “How did you get in there?” she demanded. “Get out of there. You could be killed.”
At once she regretted what she’d said. Get out of there? What if the man was a maniac? She slipped her cell phone from her pocket and dialed 911.
@Copyright Megan Slayer 2013