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Myths...

Legends...

What is true? What isn't?

 

Deep in the Central American jungles beings roamed freely -- half human, half cat. For three such cats, a jaguar, a puma, and an ocelot, life is easy and uncomplicated -- until humans cross their paths -- specific humans, humans who will need their help, their protection, their love.

 

Balam, Karak, and Raina must choose between the uncomplicated life denizens of the jungle lead or a life with a human with all its complications.

 

Sanika, Mireya, and Hans must also make a choice, one that is far harder and more uncertain. Can each of them find it in themselves to love a being that is more than human, that is half animal?

 

Myths...

Legends...

What is love? What isn't?

 

This collection contains the previously released novellas Jaguar, Puma, and Ocelot.

 

All three of Judy's Myths & Legend stories in one great volume! Available from Changeling Press!

Publishers of out of this world erotic love stories.

 


 

Myths and Legends: Ocelot

Myths...  Legends

What is true?  What isn't? 

Myths and Legends: Ocelot.

Change comes even deep in the jungle.  But, does life always change for the better.

Raina's isolated village is threatened by a drug lord who wants her people to cultivate his illegal crops.  Even her power to shift into an ocelot cannot help them.

 Hans Bernhard zur Lippe is one of General Rommel's elite tank commanders.  During a routine scouting mission on the edge of the Sahara Desert, his tank is engulfed by a sandstorm, a violent, eldrich storm that explodes through the seams and crevices of the steel machine he commands and kills his crew.  Only he survives, waking up in a verdant, green forest - lost, alone, and 70 years in the future. 

 At his side kneels a lovely, young woman with golden eyes, a young woman who asks for his help.  A young woman whose secret will test the depths of his beliefs.

 

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Myths....
Myths....
Legends....
What is true? What isn't?

 

People who have anything other than dark hair and eyes live their lives constantly in fear of the priests who would murder them on sacrificial altars.  For those whose need is greatest, a golden puma will appear. Karrak is a shapeshifter who has two purposes in life - revenge on the corrupt priests who murdered his mother because of her blond hair and blue eyes and rescuing every light-haired or pale-eyed child the priests find.  Nothing is more important than their lives - until he sees the healer Mireya bathing in a forest pool. The puma that shares his soul screams out in recognition.  Mireya is his soulmate! His! 

For Mireya, nothing is more important than caring for people.  Then, a man appears, a blond-haired, blue-eyed man, a man totally unlike any she'd ever seen before.  When he comes to her in the dark of night, she discovers a hot, sensual passion she can't deny.  But the night Karrak disappears in a cloud of golden mist and a puma appears in his place, Mireya must face the fact that he is far more than a man.  Love a shapeshifter!  But when Karrak is captured by the priests, Mireya risks everything to save him.  Love is more important than anything else. 

 

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Jaguar

Myths....
Legends....
What is true? What isn't?


According to legend, if one's need is great enough, a jaguar will come, a jaguar who can change into a man.
Spread-eagled and naked on a sacrificial altar, Sanika's need is great - and it is answered...by Balam, the huge, black jaguar that rescues her and carries her back to his lair where he nurses her back to health -- and love.

In the hot, bubbling pools and deep darkness of Balam's volcanic cave, Sanika discovers the joys of physical intimacy with a sleek, lithe being who is far more than human. From the first, gentle rasp of his rough tongue against her sensitive skin, she is lost in a sultry, sensual dance of desire.

For Balam, their union is far more profound. This beautiful, sexy woman accepts him for what he is -- half man, half beast. All he has to do is convince her to stay.

 

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Praise for Jaguar

 

"Jaguar is well-written, captivating, and the characters engaging. Balam is one hot male that I would love to snuggle up next to and Sanika is a worthy mate for him. Erotic romance fans, particularly those who love paranormals, won't want to miss Jaguar."

-- Sinclair Reid, Romance Reviews Today

 

"From the very beginning, this book entranced me, with its sensual scenes and colorful wording."

-- LindseyAnn Denson, Coffee Time Romance

 

 

Praise for Puma

 

"Myths and Legends: Puma is an enjoyable, erotic romance with great characters and a hot shapeshifting hero.... Mireya is a strong, determined heroine who will risk much for love, and Karak is a yummy hero, who is well worth the risk. If you are looking for a hot, shapeshifter romance, give Puma a try."

-- Marlene Breakfield, The Best Reviews

 

"This was a great story that used fabulous imagery. I really enjoyed the different ideas that were reminiscent of Mayan and Aztec culture. There are not enough of these stories out there. Karrak was innocently sensual and just dark enough to make him an extremely exciting hero."

-- Serena, Fallen Angel Reviews

 

 

Praise for Ocelot

 

"A fantastical and exciting adventure... This is a fast paced storyline that flows smoothly and has a well defined plot. Readers will find themselves not wanting to stop once they begin reading, so be sure to set aside some time just for reading."

-- Anita, The Romance Studio

 

"4 Nymphs! The characters are memorable and the variety of shape shifting cats will keep you from ever getting bored while reading this delightful tale."

-- Water Nymph, Literary Nymphs

 

 

Myths and Legends: OCELOT

 

            Hands still planted firmly on her hips, Raina looked up into the man’s face. He was tall, far taller than any man from her village though not as muscular as some. Still, his shoulders and chest were broad and well defined. And, even though she could see quite well in the semidarkness, she didn’t really need to see him to know how muscular he was. She’d spent enough time crushed against his chest to know exactly how hard his body was.

            Raina sighed. Their mating had been very satisfying.

            “If you’d get dressed, you wouldn’t be shivering.”

            Raina sighed again. Why was it humans were so obsessed about clothing?

            After touching his forehead, he sat down and reached for his boots. Looking up into her face, he asked, “What’s your name?”

            “Raina.”

            Nodding, he laced up the other boot and rose slowly to his feet. Then, bowing slightly, he said, “Captain Hans Bernhard zur Lippe.”

            Raina stared at him. Why did humans have so many names? “You are called Captain?”

            He nodded. “By my men.”

            She frowned. “What does your mother call you?” She had no trouble reading the consternation on his face.

            “You are not my mother.”

            “I am not one of your men.”

            He stared at her. “Hans.”

            Raina nodded. Hans, an easy name to say and remember. “Follow me.” Turning, she took one step.

            His firm voice stopped her. “I will not travel with a naked woman.”

            “Why? You did not mind my nakedness earlier when we mated.”

            His face flushed bright red. “I -- We…” He cleared his throat then continued in a more formal tone, “Fraulein, please accept my apologies. I should not have forced myself upon you when you were only trying to help me.”

            First Raina stared at him. Then she chuckled. “Force yourself on me? You couldn’t have done anything to me if I hadn’t allowed it. Both of us enjoyed that mating. You don’t need to make any apologies or excuses to me.”

            “Fraulein -- Raina, I’m much larger and stronger than you.”

            She shrugged. “So.”

            He crossed his arms over his chest. “I will not travel with a naked woman.”

            Biting her bottom lip, she stared at him. It would be so much easier to just leave him here, or better yet, inside the cave. There, he’d have fresh water. Unfortunately, Hans didn’t seem like the type of man who’d stay where she’d put him. And, if he was traveling with her, she couldn’t shift to her ocelot form. Showing him her true self would only cause problems. Humans could not be trusted with the knowledge of her people. So, she would have to travel in her human form. For some reason, any humans not native to her jungle were unable to concentrate around other people who didn’t wear clothing. Maybe this Hans would be able to explain the reason to her.

She tsked. In human form, it would take longer to reach the men’s camp. “I don’t have any clothing.”

 

            Arms still crossed over his chest, Hans stared at her. Then, with a curse, he unbuttoned his shirt, shrugged out of it, and handed it to her.

            With what sounded like a snarl, she put it on. Instead of buttoning it, however, she ripped a piece of vine from a nearby bush and used it like a belt. Then she did her best to roll up the sleeves.

            “Are you ready?”

            He shook himself out of his reverie. “How do you expect us to travel in the dark?”

            Her sigh was audible. “By putting one foot in front of the other. Besides, it’s almost dawn. have a fair distance to go today if we want to reach the camp tomorrow.” She plucked at the shirt she was wearing. “You shouldn’t have any trouble seeing me in this.” Turning she pushed some branches out of the way and disappeared.

            Cursing under his breath, Hans picked up the water bottle, cursed again as he fought a dizzy spell, then hurried after her. Head aching, he cursed more as he thrashed his way through the thick bushes. Then, when he thought some hanging vines had finally managed to capture him, he pushed past the last tangle of branches into open ground.

            Obviously waiting for him, Raina stood a few feet away. Without a word, she spun on her heel and started down the hill.

            Hans followed her, the horizon before them slowly brightening. Dawn. Good, at last he’d be able to see more than blurry shadows.

            In front of him, the tan blur that was Raina stopped next to some boulders. “Now we travel south.” Turning she led the way downhill.

            As they walked, the sun rose behind him, it’s first rays reaching past him to the jungle below.

            Hans stopped. Tall trees rose hundreds of meters above his head. Wisps of clouds and mists swirled high in the uppermost branches. Lower down, colorful birds flitted among thick branches and clinging vines at the jungle’s edge, their raucous calls greeting the sun’s rising.

            Not caring that his mouth was hanging open, Hans just stared. Trees such as these grew nowhere near the Sahara Desert. Where was he?

            “Are you coming?”

            Hans wrenched his gaze from the trees and looked at Raina.

            She’d halted about ten feet away and was looking back at him.

            As the sun shone full on her face, Hans finally got a good look at the woman who’d given him her body during the night.

            Her long, dark hair wasn’t black but rather dark brown with streaks of auburn, black, and cinnamon, and it flowed halfway down her back. Her forehead was wide, her nose slender, her chin pointed, and her cheekbones high. Her pink lips were turned upward in a slight smile. But it was her eyes that drew his attention. They were large and almond-shaped. Last night, Hans would have sworn they were dark but now with the sun shining on her face, her could see they were the color of rich topaz. He’d never seen anything like them. She was the most exotic woman he’d ever encountered.  Definitely too bad she wasn’t naked anymore. Memories of the preceding night leaped into his brain. Her skin had been soft and smooth, her lips full. Her tongue had tantalized him. And her body…

            “Are you just going to stand there and stare at me?”

            Shaking himself free of his daydreams, Hans focused his attention back on the wall of trees just behind her. “Where am I?” he asked once more.

            The consternation on her face was evident.

            “I told you,” she said pointing behind him, “between the plateau and the rain forest.”

            Spinning on his heel, Hans looked behind him. Rising upward into the clouds was a wall of stone pock-marked with holes and small caves. Water poured out of some of the holes. Vines, bushes, and small trees dug their roots into others.

            His heart beating faster and faster, Hans stared at the wall. Spinning around again, he stared at the jungle. “Where am I,” he repeated mostly to himself.

            Stamping her foot, his companion stared at him. “I told you…”

            Before she could finish, he surged forward and grabbed her by the arms. Pulling her close, he shouted, “What country?”

            A blank expression appeared on her face. “Country?” She shrugged. “You are here, where I have lived all my life.”

            She didn’t squirm or try to escape him in any way. Moments passed as Hans struggled to breathe. What had happened to him? Just who was this Raina? He sucked moist air into his lungs and fought to maintain his sanity.

            “Hans, we can’t remain standing here in the open. It isn’t safe.”

            Slowly, he released her.

            As she stepped back, he wiped the sweat from his brow. The heat and humidity were staggering. Already his back was wet with sweat. If he hadn’t removed his jacket while he was still in his tank, he’d be overcome by now.

            Thinking of his tank -- and his missing men -- Hans shuddered. They had to be here somewhere too.  He waved for Raina to go on. “Lead me to this camp. I’m sure I’ll find my men there.”

            Turning, she walked toward the forest. “I hope you find your men, Hans, but the men in this camp are not to be trusted. They think nothing of their surroundings, burning the forest’s trees and killing the animals.”

            “Who are they?” he asked as he followed her into the tangled underbrush. She seemed to know where she was going, but Hans didn’t see a path. “Where did they come from?”

            Pushing some long, broad leaves out of her way, she said, “I don’t know where they came from. One day they appeared above our village in their flying machine. They landed and demanded that we work for them growing cocoa and other plants. We refused. We are free people and no one’s slaves.” She ducked and slipped under a huge tree that had fallen. “They left, but our priestess, Malia, told us to watch carefully. After two weeks, our vigilance weakened. It was then that they found a group of our children in the forest and took five of them. Others told us the men shouted if we didn’t do what they told us to, the children would die. We will not allow that to happen.” Stopping, she pointed upward. “Watch your head. The python isn’t poisonous, but its bite is nasty.”

            Stopping in his tracks, Hans looked up.

            A very large snake stared back at him.

            He gulped.

            She smiled. “I won’t let anything hurt you.”

            Hans glared at her. He didn’t need a woman to protect him.

            Bark rasped. Hans looked up and watched as the snake slithered along the branch to the trunk of the tree.

            She grabbed his belt and pulled him forward. “Watch out.”

            The snake fell to the ground with a thump and slid into the underbrush.

            “Christ.” Wiping the perspiration from his face, Hans followed Raina. The humidity was even more oppressive inside the forest. Water dripped from the leaves high above his head adding more moisture to his sweat-soaked shirt. A cacophony of bird calls, insect chirps, and other sounds he couldn’t identify surrounded him. Bright colors, the like of which he’d never seen before, decorated the strange plants. The ground beneath his feet was a slippery mess of decaying plant life. Wherever he was, it wasn’t the Sahara.

 

 

 

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PUMA

He centered his attention on the woman again. Watching her was a nice way to pass some time, but she could be nothing else to him. His oath precluded everything else, including women, no matter how beautiful and tempting they were. For ten years, he had done nothing more than observe women if they happened to cross his path. None would tempt him from his task, neither human nor shape shifter.

A bevy of multicolored butterflies fluttered to the far side of the pool, and the woman laughed with joy.

When the music in her voice wrapped itself around him, Karrak froze. The heaviness that had lain on his heart since his mother’s death lightened.

The woman reached behind her and lifted her hair off the back of her neck. Her breasts bounced.

He lashed his tail. Something about her...

Snarling softly, he closed his eyes and shook his head. No! This woman was nothing to him. He was a shape shifter. He had absolute control over his body and emotions. No female could tempt him from the tasks he had set for himself.

Opening his eyes, he focused his attention back on the woman in the pool. However, just because this female wasn’t meant for him didn’t mean he couldn’t admire her. She’d stopped splashing and was making her way back to the bank. For the first time he got a good look at her face.

The two blue vertical lines on her chin accentuated her full red lips. A tiny polished jade bead matched the larger bead in her naval, and sat on the left side of her nose. More jade dangled from her ears. Tiny green leaves were tattooed in a straight line from one ear, across both cheeks and the bridge of her nose, to the other ear drew attention to her deep, dark eyes -- eyes that held secrets, secrets he wanted -- no needed  to know.

The puma sharing his soul began to purr.

Jerking his gaze away, Karrak blinked and shivered. Another snarl rolled from his throat, this one louder than the first.

The woman covered her breasts with her hands. “Hello. Is someone there?”

He froze. The last thing he wanted was to reveal his presence.

A macaw called.

A howler monkey answered.

She dropped her hands, splashed out of the pool, grabbed her shift, and pulled it over her head. Picking up her basket, she headed back into the forest the way she’d come.

Once she was gone, Karrak stepped from beneath the undergrowth, his mind troubled. Why had her eyes pulled at him? Why couldn’t he dismiss her from his mind as he’d been able to do with all the other women he’d observed in the last ten years.

Her belt still lay on the ground, and he batted at it. Tail whipping from one side to the other, he lowered his head and sniffed it. Golden mist swirled. The puma disappeared and he stood in his human form.

Bending, Karrak picked up the belt. The secrets he’d seen within the depth of her dark eyes remained in his mind, taunting, teasing. He frowned. Why should he care what she was thinking? He rubbed the soft belt against his cheek. Her scent tickled his nostrils, soft, flowery, sexy. He inhaled. Exhaled. Inhaled again.

Then, revelation blasted his mind. Gasping at the sharp stab of desire that exploded in his stomach, he fell to his knees. The puma in his soul screamed in triumph. She is mine!

Karrak pounded his fist against the ground. Not now, not when he was so close to exacting his revenge! No! Why did he find his mate now? And human! Why human? Few women could understand or cope with what it meant to be mated to a shape shifter.

Karrak closed his eyes for a moment. Now wasn’t the time. What was he supposed to do?

The puma in his soul screamed again. Find her! Now!

Cursing, Karrak didn’t deny the longing that surged through his body.

The woman who’s splashed so innocently in the pool was meant to be his.

 

 

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Myths and Legends:  Jaguar

 

Surrounded by masculine warmth, Sanika woke to almost total darkness -- only a dull red glow from the coals of a dying fire provided a dim light. A heavy arm lay across her waist, and a large hand cupped her breast. A hard body curled around hers from behind. Soft, springy hairs tickled her bare behind -- and a hard cock pressed against her ass.

Blinking, she tried to gather her wits. It was so dark, she could barely see the mat beneath her body.

The arm around her waist tightened.

Sanika shifted her hips – away from the man who held her in his arms. Who was he? Frowning she searched her memory. The priest, the cuts, the poison, the pain – the green-eyed jaguar. Later, the dark, a shadowy face, and strong arms. She was still alive. Someone, probably this man, had rescued her and nursed her back to health. She owed him her life.

Taking a deep breath, she wiggled out from under the muscular arm. Slowly, she sat up, bracing her hands on the floor at a sudden attack of dizziness. Swaying, she struggled to remaining upright. She was so weak.

Before she knew he was awake, the man lying next to her rose. “Stay where you are. I’ll let in some light.”

The voice was deep and rich, almost a low, rumbling growl. Something about it was familiar.

Soft footfalls traversed an empty space in front of her. Stone rasped against stone and bright light exploded into the darkness.

Gasping, Sanika covered her eyes, blinking until they adjusted.

He spoke again. “I’m sorry. I should’ve warned you. I didn’t think it would be so late in the day when we awoke.”

Footsteps padded behind her, and she heard the rustle of a woven curtain. Bracing her hands against the floor to steady herself, she glanced back over her shoulder. Dim light crept through a door-sized opening.

“The entrance to the cave is on an angle to this opening so the light from it isn’t strong. That other opening, however, is in a relatively thin section of the cave wall. When the sun begins to set, direct sunlight comes in for a few hours. I usually keep the hole covered. The dim light from the doorway and the fire is enough for me, but your eyes aren’t as good as mine.”

Sanika turned her head, following the man’s voice until she found its origin. A shadowy form stood just off to the right of the doorway. The deep voice jogged her memory. He was the man who had held her in his arms and told her she was safe.

“Who are you?”

“Balam.”

Her strength left her. Shivering, she collapsed. Balam. A balam, a half man half jaguar avatar of the gods, had rescued her. He was the jaguar with the green eyes.

“Why?” Sanika swallowed the dryness in her throat. “Why did you rescue me?”

His voice was a raspy growl. “Tlazolteotl commanded me to do so.”

Sanika’s voice dropped to a whisper. “The goddess herself?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

He shrugged. “It wasn’t your time to die.”

Covering her eyes with her arm, she blinked back her tears. She was so weak, so tired, at the mercy of a being not completely human. But, she was still alive. No matter what her circumstances, alive was better than dead.

Sanika sensed rather than heard him move.

He knelt beside her, slipped his arm under her shoulders, lifted her, and held a bowl to her lips.

She wrenched her eyes open. “What?”

Settling one foot on the floor behind her, he leaned her back against his thigh and commanded, “Drink. It’s water. You need to replace the fluids your body lost.”

Warmth from his body surrounded her.

Sanika wrinkled her nose as she sipped. His scent was not unpleasant but rather clean and masculine and something more – musky, like a cat.

She choked.

“Are you alright?” He shifted her and her elbow brushed the tip of his cock.

Sanika froze. What was he going to do with her? “Why am I here? Why didn’t you leave me with the villagers?”

Instead of answering her, he held the bowl to her lips again. “Swallow all of it.”

“No. I need to know...”

“You will drink this now.” His tone brooked no refusal.

Anger welling, Sanika gulped. If she didn’t, he might drown her by dumping it down her throat. After she drank the water, he gently laid her back down. As she watched, he made his way to the fire, dug a hot rock from the center, and dropped it into another wooden bowl.

As the hiss of evaporating steam filled the cave. He fished the stone with two forked sticks and returned to her side.

She tried to push herself away. “What’s that?”

He lifted her back into his arms as if she were a helpless newborn. “Meat broth. You need to regain your strength.”

After tasting it himself, held the bowl to her lips. “It’s not too hot. Drink it. All of it.”

She gulped and swallowed. She swallowed a second time and turned her head away.

He used his thigh to turn her head back to the bowl. “You will drink all of it.”

The musky, masculine scent from his crotch surrounded her.

Sanika didn’t have the strength to fight him.

After each sip, he gave her a chance to catch her breath, then poured more broth into her mouth.

Finally, exhausted, she finished the last drop. Carefully, he laid her back down amongst the furs and grass mats. “Sleep now.”

The command in his voice caused her to drag her eyes open. She’d sleep when she was ready, not when he told her to. “Why didn’t you take me back to my temple?”

“The villagers were willing to let you die once. I couldn’t take the chance they’d do so again.” He set the bowl down and brushed a lock of hair from her face. 

She was too weak to pull away. “The priest...”

Was that a snarl?

“Is dead.”

“You killed him?”

Balam’s gaze was intense as he nodded. “He deserved to die.”

Sanika’s eyelids drooped. “What... What are you going to do with me?”

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Email authorpowell@yahoo.com

 

 

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