Werewolf Queen wasn’t on her middle aged bingo card…
In the Midnight Hour

A Midnight Madness Nightcreature Novel Book 3

by Lori Handeland

Genre: Paranormal Women’s FictionJust when I thought it was safe to go home…

I’ve been running too long. I’d gotten sloppy. Sloppy gets you captured. But it turns out, the very one I thought I had to hide from, saved me.

I just want to live peacefully. But happy family, er, pack reunions don’t seem to be in my future. When my secret is used against me, I’m forced to run again. This time, help comes from the most unexpected source, the greatest werewolf hunter of all time, Edward Mandenauer.

To get what we both want—the end of the sadistic, yet sexy, werewolf Zane—Edward and I join forces. But Zane isn’t working alone. Nor is he who or what he says he is. He’s much, much more…

All I want is the life I believed I’d lost, but at this rate, I’ll end up captured, imprisoned, enslaved . . . or dead.

From the voice of New York Times bestselling author Lori Handeland, the final installment in the Midnight Madness trilogy takes you deep into her Nightcreature world, complete with the humor, depth of characterization and fast-paced plot lines the author is known for while showcasing her incredible range.

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I strolled down the deserted streets of Wisconsin’s capital city and tried to think of a plan. I could only come up with one.

The first person I saw getting out of a car was in the employee lot of a twenty-four-hour diner. I approached her, and she smiled. I was an older woman, nonthreatening, no danger. I felt bad about what I was about to do, but I did it anyway, smiling back as I touched my fingertips to my temple. “Give me your car keys, then go to work.”

She repeated my instructions, handed over her keys, and reached into the midnight-blue Hyundai SUV for her purse.

“Leave it.”

Sadly, my borrowed pockets held nothing but lint. Should have thought ahead and asked my daughter for some cash—though like most Gen Zers, she rarely had any. But what difference did stealing make on top of grand theft auto?

At the next gas station, I used the woman’s cell phone—no password, shame on her—to search for the Leonard farm, then scribbled the address on a stray receipt. I tossed her phone into a sewer grate before heading inside where I bought a burner, then asked for a map of Wisconsin.

“You could just get this one.” The clerk pointed to a more expensive phone. “Then you could GPS it.”

I’d have to connect to my personal provider for that. And the entire point of tossing my own phone days ago, as well as tossing the phone of the waitress I’d robbed just now, was so Gideon couldn’t find me.

I shook my head. “Maps?”

The guy pointed to a revolving wire carousel hidden behind a display of energy drinks, which contained maps of Wisconsin and the surrounding states.

“I don’t know the last time anyone bought one of these.” The clerk scanned the barcode. “I hope it doesn’t send you down a road to nowhere.”

I wasn’t worried. The roads of northern Wisconsin didn’t change much. The Department of Transportation spent its budget on the byways that got the most use, for instance, the ones that went into and out of big cities or those that went into and out of the state. Considering those restored Victorians, Viroqua had been there since the mid-to-late 1800s, which meant the roads surrounding it had been there that long as well with only baseline maintenance and little to no rerouting.

In less than two hours, I turned off a highway that had been mostly deserted and rattled down the rutted gravel driveway that led to the Leonard farm. The moon’s silvery glow had been dulled to pewter by a sky filled with clouds. I still heard the moon singing, but her voice had waned, night by night, since she’d been full. According to every werewolf I knew, that music would grow louder as she waxed from new to full.

The just-sprung buds of corn in the fields fluttered, their shade a muted moss shrouded in ice, while the mud in the barnyard recalled a cup of espresso, the puddles undulating like a raven’s wing. In that vista of sepia, the white clapboard house and outbuildings shone pearlescent.

The night held its breath, but all I heard were the clicks of a cooling engine and the beginnings of a breeze. Shouldn’t there be the lowing of cows? Shouldn’t there be cows? Shouldn’t there be someone waking up to deal with the cows?

The porch steps creaked like those in a Gothic novel. I’d read quite a few once I’d discovered that Gothic lit became popular during the Victorian period. I’d been partial to Dracula. Kind of hilarious now.

I lifted my hand to knock, and the door screeched open. Maybe not so hilarious. If there were werewolves, were there vampires?

“Bloody hell.” I bit my tongue to stem the hysterical laughter that bubbled up over my choice of curse words. “Hello? Anyone home?”

As I didn’t want to be shot for trespassing, I remained perched on the threshold. Then it occurred to me that while that might hurt, it probably wouldn’t kill me because the chances of a dairy farmer in Viroqua packing silver cartridges were slim to none.

I stepped inside. “I have information about Natalie.”

I’d thought of little else during the two-hour drive, but what could I tell the Leonards that wouldn’t get them wiped out by a werewolf for knowing it? All I had were two truths and a lie—she’d been kidnapped by sex traffickers, then killed. And me? I was with the FBI task force handling the case.

I’d believed it when Ash said it; I hoped the Leonards would believe it when I did. If not, I’d have to push them to do so, as well as to keep the news to themselves. Didn’t need any real FBI agents following up.

Not a great plan, but I had to work with what I had.

I listened for the sounds of someone getting out of bed, opening a door, flushing a toilet. All I heard was another creak. I wished I had a gun, but my fangs and my teeth and my inability to die except by silver were pretty good weapons.

However, I was here to tell the Leonard family a partial truth. I wasn’t going to be able to do that if I was a wolf. And I wanted to tell them, needed to. There were many, many girls who weren’t coming home. Many, many families who would never know where they’d gone or what had happened to them. This girl I could do something about.

I took a breath to call out again, and the door slammed behind me. I would have blamed the wind if not for the gun barrel pressed to the base of my skull. I went very still.

“I told you I’d kill you the next time I saw you.”

Blame It On Midnight

A Midnight Madness Nightcreature Novel Book 2

I saved my daughter. But how do I save myself?

I did what I had to. Try and kill my girl? I will end you faster than you can say have mercy. Sure I broke a cardinal pack rule, which will get me executed by my mate. If they find out. If they find me.

Saved from capture by Zane, the sexiest of sexy werewolves, my rescue comes with a price. Zane wants a favor, one that could cause an all-out pack war. The last thing I need is to make more enemies, but lives are at stake if I don’t make a stand.

Not only that, but I have a secret. An impossible secret that is going to turn the entire werewolf world upside down.

From the voice of New York Times bestselling author Lori Handeland, a new volume in her Nightcreature world, complete with the humor, depth of characterization and fast-paced plot lines she is known for while showcasing the author’s incredible range.

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“You’re my wife,” he said. “We’ll figure it out.”

“I’m not your wife.”

“My mate. Same thing.”

“You said it wasn’t the same. That humans marry and wolves mate.”

“Mating is deeper, more.” A growl rippled the air. My air, and he wasn’t even in my air. “Until death, which is a very long time in our world.”

I’d allowed this, embraced this to save my girl, but now I needed to save not only Gideon, but also the pack that had come to feel like family far too fast.

“I’m sorry, but we need to do whatever we have to do to undo this.” I waved a finger back and forth between us.

“There is no undoing it.”

“I don’t believe you.” And with that, I disconnected the call, powered down, yanked out the SIM card, and dropped both it and the phone into the tropical fish tank Patrick had given to Frankie one Christmas.

“Sarah! What the hell?” Frankie stood in the entryway from the hall.

“I’ll buy you another one.”

He waved a hand as if to chase a fly. “Heir? Mates? Pack?”

“You were eavesdropping?” I had waited for the sound of a door closing, but what I hadn’t done was check to make sure that Frankie was behind it. Silly me.

“You sound like a lunatic.”

“Feel like one too.”

Frankie shoved his fingers through his hair, mussing it more than I’d ever seen it mussed. “He’s Jenna’s dad?”

I nodded.

“Did Patrick know?”

Since Patrick and I had never had sex—surprised he hadn’t shared that . . . “Of course.” I paused, gathering my thoughts. I wasn’t supposed to share this, but there was a lot I wasn’t supposed to do that I’d already done. “There’s another world that lives beneath the moon. One that howls. One that kills.”

“You really believe that.” It wasn’t a question. “What else?”

I told him. All of it. Why not? I could always make him forget.

When I got to the part about Ash, Frankie held up a hand. “The FBI sent a werewolf hunter.”

“Apparently, certain cases are routed to them.”

“To the . . . what was it? Jager-Suchers?”

“Hunter-searchers. When you called your contact and said Jenna was missing, that contact called Ash, who’d been trying to find other missing girls.”

His niece, Haley, being one of them.

“I don’t know an Ash.” Frankie rubbed his temple. “Do I?”

“I made you forget. I didn’t want you searching for him or calling anyone who might.” And I should have stuck with that plan, but the ship had sailed.

“And where is he now?”

Chained in a dungeon somewhere awaiting execution. I’d tried to find out where but—

“Don’t have a clue.”

Frankie glanced at the door. “We should probably go.”


“Psych hospital.”

I laughed so hard I had to bend over to catch my breath.

“You finished?” he asked when I had. “Were you experimenting with psychedelics? Weird mushrooms? Bad food? Did someone slip you a mickey?”

“I don’t think that’s what they call it anymore.” Though what they called it I had no idea. “You believe I’m crazy.”

“As a shithouse rat. No offense.”

I snorted; I’d heard worse on the campaign trail. “And Gideon?”

“Who’s Gideon?”

“Guy on your phone.”

“Ah. The alpha.” He twisted the title into an insult, and annoyance trilled along my spine. “Shared delusion?”

“What about these?” I pointed at my formerly gingham-blue eyes, now a lovely royal cerulean.

He frowned; he hadn’t noticed them. Maybe because I had turned off all the lights.

“Tinted contacts.”

Except I wasn’t wearing any, but why bother? He was going to see what he wanted to see, it was the way of humans when what they saw was impossible.

I strode for the door.

Frankie hurried to keep up. “I’ll call ahead, talk to someone I know at the—” He peered into the fish tank, where all the pretty fishies flitted around his phone like it was a brand-new fish toy. “Crap.”

“Guess it’s show-and-tell time,” I said. “Or maybe tell, then show.”

Why I didn’t just zap his memory—again—I wasn’t sure. Perhaps a nagging concern that doing so too many times might give him a brain bleed. Or maybe I just needed someone to know. Someone who wasn’t part of this frightening new world I’d been thrust into. Still, telling Frankie had been a dumb idea. All about what I needed, what I wanted. Selfish.

“Hold on. Let me . . .” He glanced around, lost as a millennial without a cell phone. Or a landline.

I set my hand on the doorknob. “Don’t worry. I won’t tear out your throat.” I yanked open the door.

The wolf on the porch lifted his lip, and a snarl curled free.

“But he might.”

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

A Midnight Madness Nightcreature Novel Book 1

They say a mother will do anything for her child . . . I’m living proof

This nightmare began when I got the call every parent dreads. My daughter, Jenna, was missing from her college campus. Of course, my mind went to the worst place. After all, my late husband was a powerful senator. Was this some political payback?

I call in a favor and soon I’m partnered with an FBI sex trafficking agent. He tells me local girls have been disappearing for some time now, and he finally has a lead. But what we find at that abandoned warehouse is something out of a horror movie.

Werewolves! Two rival packs, their alphas fighting, winner take all––the pack and the trafficked girls. The werewolves must replenish their breeders, recently decimated by a virus that killed only the females.

But Jenna’s been keeping a secret, which only makes two of us. Though I should be angry, I know the lies I’ve told play a huge role in why we’re here. I’ll do anything to make it right. No way is my girl going to become a sacrificial mate for the greater good––even if she is the ‘chosen one.’ So, I do what any mother would do, I take her place, offering myself to Gideon, the winning alpha, as his mate.

Gideon’s goal is to live in harmony with the human world, but there are others who exist for the power, for the violence, and they don’t plan to let peace prevail.

There’s a civil werewolf war brewing and I am right in the middle of it.

From the voice of New York Times bestselling author Lori Handeland, a new volume in her Nightcreature world, complete with the humor, depth of characterization and fast-paced plot lines she is known for while showcasing the author’s incredible range.

Amazon * B&N * Kobo * Smashwords * Books2Read * Bookbub * Goodreads

When the phone rings in the middle of the night, everything changes.

Mother always said: Nothing good happens after midnight. I’d found in my forty-one years on this earth, in that at least, Mom had been right.

I sat up so fast I jiggled the mattress. I froze, my gaze shifting to, then away from the empty side of the bed. I still hadn’t gotten used to Patrick not being there. Would I ever?

The shrill slice of sound continued to cut through the oh so silent night. I only had one ringtone left on my allowed calls after that indelible hour of midnight, and this was it. My heart rate increased from WTF? to OMG!


“Sorry, Mrs. Sullivan. It’s Cammy.”

I searched my memory for the identity of Cammy, feeling slow, stupid despite the far too rapid rate of my heart.

Spring, same time two years ago, my OB had diagnosed the reason for my newly sluggish brain and sudden ability to fry eggs atop my head as premature menopause.

Look at it this way, you won’t have to worry about getting pregnant for very much longer.

Not that I had for decades. However, having my body betray me like that—basically saying I was old, when I never really got to be young—had stung. It still did.

Cammy’s tentative voice brought me back to the right now. “I’m Jenna’s roommate.”

My skin prickled with heat and a fine sheen of sweat started up at my hairline. “What’s wrong?”

“Jenna hasn’t been here since Tuesday.”

Here being the University of Wisconsin. I’d been so proud when Jenna had decided to go to UW like me. Or like the me I could have been, would have been if not for her.

“Tuesday,” I repeated. “But it’s . . .”

Come on, brain, don’t fail me now!

Thursday! I thought at the same time Cammy said, “Thursday.”

For an instant, I was near ecstatic to have concluded something at the same speed as a millennial. Then I did the math, never my strong suit even before all the brain-fart BS. “That’s two days, and you’re just calling me now?”

“Sometimes she pulls an all-nighter. Stays at the library or goes to a study group. But she lets me know. I didn’t really worry until I called her phone, and it was . . .”

My skin did that prickle again. Jenna’s phone was in Cammy’s hand, obviously, since she was talking to me on it. That I hadn’t asked why earlier put another notch in my losin’ it belt.

“Her phone was in her backpack,” Cammy continued. “In her room, along with her laptop and her books.”

Cammy paused, waiting for me to fill in the blanks. Jenna probably wouldn’t be studying without her backpack, and the notes and books and computer within. But even if she’d grabbed a few things and left the rest, she never would have left her cell phone. I didn’t think it had been out of her sight—more accurately, out of her hand—since I’d handed it to her when she was ten.

“In Lunar Lake, anywhere can be reached from anywhere in a handful of minutes,” Patrick had argued. “Even if she falls off her bike and breaks her leg, someone’s gonna be at her side quicker than she can make a call. She’s safer than safe, like every other kid in town. What are you worried about?”

When I lifted my eyebrows, he’d blinked, said, “Oh,” and that had been the last Patrick had said about that. He knew why I was the way I was better than anyone. It was one of the reasons I’d married him.

I’d devoted my life to raising Jenna. She was everything. The only thing. When she’d gone to college, I’d been proud but also terrified. This exact scenario—a midnight phone call, a missing child—played through my mind far too often. Sadly, what I should do about it had never played through as well.

“Hello?” Cammy’s worried voice broke into my thoughts. She probably thought I’d fainted. Or stroked out. I was tempted.

But all Jenna had was me now, and all I had was her. If that meant facing my greatest fear again, I’d face it. What choice did I have?

She was my baby.


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Lori Handeland is a five-time nominee and two-time winner of the prestigious RITA™ Award from Romance Writers of America, as well as the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over sixty novels spanning the genres of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, contemporary romance, historical romance, historical fantasy and women’s fiction. Her novel Just Once received a coveted, starred review from Library Journal and was optioned as a feature film by Catalyst Global Media.

Lori set her sight on being an author at the age of ten. She remembers sitting at a typewriter before she knew how to type, pecking out a story about a family who went into space. As an only child her summers were spent with that typewriter, television, and, above all, books. As a young adult, she got sidetracked by the need to make a living. She worked as a waitress and later enrolled in college to become a teacher.

Lori lives in Southern Wisconsin with her husband of over thirty-five years. In between writing and reading, she enjoys long walks with their rescue mutt, Arnold, and visits from her two grown sons, awesome daughter-in-law and perfectly adorable grandchildren.

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