Happy New Year!
We’re all hoping that 2021 is not only going to be a happier, more hopeful time . . . but also more FUN.
That’s why these six authors decided to put together a paranormal romance/urban fantasy anthology NEW YEAR, NEW BOO--a collection of light stories that all involve new beginnings.
Releasing January 21st--and only available through the month of February--you can get your copy wherever you buy books! https://books2read.com/newyearnewboo
Grab your little bit of fun today!
A Half-Cocked Vampire by Tina Glasneck - Baby witches are cursing the moon, large unexplained crystal monoliths are sprouting up around the world, and supernatural doom is on the horizon...
New Promise, by Julie Trettel - He's made it clear I'm not what he wants. It's time to prove him wrong. I'll do whatever it takes to change his mind. I'm a wolf, not a chicken shifter.
Fated Mates by Brittany Lawrence- You shine like a beacon of hope when you share your happiness. The world can see it. So can the darkness.
Something in the Water by Elva Birch - Something strange is going on in Anders Canyon.
Catnipped by Tawdra Kandle writing as Tamara Kendall-I'm a brand-new shifter slayer. When my first assignment pairs me with a super sexy angel and a hot, brooding shifter-and lands me deep in other-worldly political intrigue-I begin to wonder if I might be in over my head.
The Reaping of an Alchemist by Olivia Hardin- I'm willing to risk the depths of Hades to save my sister so when a dark and sexy reaper agrees to transport me, I'm willing to pay almost any price.
Do YOU want more FUN in 2021?
If you answered yes, then NEW YEAR NEW BOO is just what you're looking for. This anthology is a light-hearted and fun collection of paranormal and urban fantasy stories celebrating new beginnings... AND you can preorder it for just 99 cents!
To whet your appetite, I have ANOTHER teaser of my contribution right here! Check it out:
“I think you can handle yourself. But I’m still responsible for you, and I’d rather not take any chances.”
Somehow, I had the sense it was more than just responsibility, but he didn’t elaborate and I didn’t ask because he stopped, glanced left and right before rounding a crumbled tomb and entering into an area where the crypts were mostly broken and leveled into piles of stone and brick.
As I followed him, I softened my steps, sensing the place was sacred.
“I feel like I’m walking off into the past,” I whispered, edging closer to him.
“Yeah, I know. I feel it every time.”
There was an old column lying beside one of the crypts, and Ric reached behind it, emerging with a smooth-sided, opalescent brick. I was wide-eyed with fascination as he tossed it once in his palm, then crossed in front of me to a round platform of stone. Carefully, he balanced the stone on its smallest side atop the platform, then looked over his shoulder and pointed to the bag in my hand.
Instead of handing it to him, I reached inside and took the bottle of rum in one hand, then grabbed the chocolates and let the bag fall away. Crouching, he took them both from me, opening the chocolate and placing it on one side of the brick, then turning the top off of the rum to set it on the other side. Quickly he stood back and stepped away from it.
The air shimmered in waves until a ghostly image appeared. He was a skeletal figure, wearing a top hat and a tuxedo. As I studied him further, I realized he wasn’t really a skeleton, but just so thin that his skin clung tight to his bones. He was gnawing a thick cigar between his teeth, jiggling it around from one side of his lips to the other.
“Reaper Ric, so nice to see you again. It’s been a while,” he said.
“It has, Baron Cimitière. We’ve brought gifts.” My companion gestured with a wave of his palm.
The Baron didn’t so much as glance at the rum and chocolates, just continued chewing his stogie. “I see you have the spirit secured there.” He pointed to Ric’s chest where I knew the hourglass was safely stowed in his breast pocket. “But who is this lovely and studious-looking mademoiselle?”
“My companion will be joining me to deliver the reap. Miss Mack is conducting research.”
Ric’s body stiffened, but he smiled. “No, not my replacement. As I said, a researcher.”
Removing the stogie, the Baron grinned wide, then snatched up the bottle of rum and tipped it back.
Are we all ready to leave 2020 behind us?
Do we want more FUN in 2021?
If you answered yes, then NEW YEAR NEW BOO is just what you’re looking for. This anthology is a light-hearted and fun collection of paranormal and urban fantasy stories celebrating new beginnings… AND you can preorder it for just 99 cents!
To whet your appetite, I have a teaser of my contribution right here! Check it out:
Swallowing a large gulp of the delicious drink, I studied my vampire sister carefully. As always, she did her best to hide the despair living deep inside her. I’d never been in love, so it was hard for me to understand the bond of devotion that had existed between my sister and her lover, Doc. But I did know that he’d died to protect my sister and because of that, I held him in the highest of esteem.
“Doc would have liked to see this moment, ya know,” Jill told me, smiling to cover any hint of sadness. “He believed education was important.”
I nodded, swirling my glass a little. Yes, I knew that about him. Tina and I had been fortunate because in the year before he was killed, we’d gotten to spend time at the hospital with Jill and Doc and their friend, Charlie. Certainly, our mother hadn’t provided much of a home for us, so we’d formed a special bond with the three of them. A bond that was just as strong as—or more likely, even stronger than blood.
“I like to think he was watching,” I told Jill. “From somewhere.” I flicked my hand high as if pointing to the heavens.
Jill shrugged, licking her lips. A group of drunk college kids walked past us, one of the guys tripping over his feet and falling into our table. I couldn’t be sure if he’d intended it or if it had truly been an accident because as soon as he caught himself, he shot my beautiful blonde sister a very suggestive grin.
“Hey, you new here?” he asked, letting the rest of his group go on ahead as he lingered to stare down at the peek of her cleavage at the neckline.
“Not interested,” she hissed, then shoved him away.
He looked a little confused, then made a move like he intended to try again, but this time his eyes met mine. I gave him a very stern frown and a shake of my head. Straightening his shirt, he finally decided not to push his luck and weaved ahead to catch up with his friends.
“If there are too many people here, we can go,” I offered my sister, leaning forward to grab her hand in mine. She yanked her palm away, and I realized too late my mistake. I shouldn’t have touched her, not at a time like this.
After swallowing, her eyes met mine, and she smiled. “I can handle it. I just fed, so I’m not starving or anything.”
I wasn’t surprised by that. Charlie kept the hospital stocked with bags of blood so that Jill could get her nourishment without taking from live humans. But that didn’t mean being in the presence of so many people wasn’t hard for Jill. She’d never spoken much about it, but I’d done research.
According to my sources, a vampire could hear the pounding heartbeat and smell the blood of a human just by being in the same room with them. And fresh blood was like a drug to them. If they gave in to that bloodlust, they could get sucked into a dark world that was hard to escape.
My eyes caught movement, and I spotted Tina returning with her drink. Just before she reached us, she got sidelined by a hunky guy in a muscle shirt.
Typical, I muttered in my mind but turned back to Jill. “Seriously, we can just go back to the hospital and hang there. Booze will be cheaper by the bottle anyway…”
“This is a big day and we are going to celebrate big. B. I. G. Big!”
Thanks to Doc, Jill’s lover, she’d managed to fight against the call of the darkness. They’d both sworn off fresh blood and supported one another in their struggles to keep that vow. For months after she became a vampire, Jill couldn’t even visit Tina and me because the temptation to feed on us would have been too strong for her to fight. Even though she’d been “clean,” so to speak, for years, a crowd even this small was a struggle.
Now both of us watched as the beefy man inched in close to Tina’s ear and murmured something that made her cheeks flame. I could have choreographed what would happen next as she slipped her phone from her back pocket and handed it to him. She tossed her head back and giggled as he plugged his digits into her contacts. Instead of putting the phone into her pants, she twisted and presented him with her backside so that he could slide it in for her.
“She’s such a…” I trailed off without finishing, shaking my head before taking another sip of my martini.
Jill began to giggle, then side-eyed me over the rim of her glass. “She really, really is.”
To this day my absolute favorite Trivia from Olivia is from the third book in my Lynlee Lincoln urban fantasy series. In the story Lynlee gets visited by brownies, little magical creatures, who warn her of danger. And that’s where my hometown trivia comes into play…
Just before the turn of the twentieth century a man by the name of Arthur Stilwell was in the process of building a railway to connect Kansas City to the Gulf of Mexico. His original plan was to purchase the Houston East and West Texas Railroad and then to create a port terminal in Galveston, Texas.
Stilwell’s plans changed when, as he recounts in his autobiography:
I was warned by my nightly advisors not to make Galveston the terminal of the Kansas City Southern Railroad, because that city was destined to be destroyed by a tidal wave.
You see Stilwell claimed that from about the age of four he received messages from spirits which he called “brownies.” As a child he would warn his mother that relatives would be visiting days before the persons would actually arrive. He also pointed out his future bride when he was just 14 years old and in fact within five years Jennie Wood became his wife.
As to the railroad, Stilwell said that the brownies advised him to end the railroad at Lake Sabine and to build the terminal at the site which is present day Port Arthur. He followed their instructions, “not deviating from the plans revealed.” Just five years later the hurricane of 1900 devastated Galveston Island, killing around 8,000 people.
On April 7, 1924 Time Magazine featured an article titled “Brownies” which related the guidance Stilwell received from his nightly visitors. Other authorities at the time, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, believed Stilwell might truly have been psychic. I even located for auction a copy of one of Doyle’s books which was inscribed: “Yours in the great cause of Spirit-/Arthur Conan Doyle,/May, 31/22”
So there you have it… my all time fave Trivia from Olivia. The first book int he Lynlee Lincoln series is FREE so grab your copy now!
I’m thinking I probably continued to believe in Santa until I was about eight or nine. Then when I finally figured it out I was too afraid to tell mom and dad – hey, if they knew I knew, then they might not get me anymore Santa gifts. Plus, my little sisters still believed and so I didn’t want to ruin things for them.
My mom does an awesome Santa Claus. She doesn’t wrap gifts, she sets everything up under the tree. For instance one year we got an entire set of Heart Family dolls and matching playsets. She laid out all of their clothes and put the little kiddie ones on the swing set with the daddy one standing behind them. And the mommy one was propped up next to the bassinette with the baby. What a thrill to get up and see all of it magically there on Christmas morning!
So then, I figured it all out. My brain began spinning and I realized that there was no longer any fear that Santa wouldn’t come if I didn’t go to sleep – all I had to do was wait for mom to finish then I could sneak into the living room for a peek. But eventually, a peek wasn’t enough. I had to inspect things. Now generally our gifts were laid out in order of age under the tree. Sometimes what was in my spot wasn’t the color or choice that I wanted. I was the oldest so I’m sure mom thought it was appropriate for me to get the Strawberry Shortcake doll, but I thought the Blueberry Muffin doll was cuter, so I switched them. And the next year I wanted the Red Rainbow Bright Sprite, not the White one!
In retrospect I figure I’m lucky Santa ever brought me anything again – afterall I think stealing your sister’s gifts would be a good reason to end up on the naughty list. To this day I sometimes wonder if my baby sis ever forgave me for taking Blueberry Muffin.
Oh yeah, by the way, sorry, sis… (Just in case Santa is reading this!)
These are some of the memories I was channeling when I wrote The Crazy Thing ’bout Christmas. Have you preordered your copy?
So what are some of your favorite Christmas or Santa stories?
Boy meets girl. It’s the way romances usually begin . . . and while we all love a happy ending, it’s the #MeetCute that wins our hearts.
How did you two meet?
The #MeetCute Books each have a unique answer to that query. Some might make you swoon, others might make you giggle . . . and some may make you blush.
Twelve authors. Twelve stand-alone contemporary romance novels. Twelve stories that will make your heart beat a little faster.
Because it’s all about the #MeetCute.
For each #MeetCute Book, we’ll share a couples interview in the style of the “When Harry Met Sally” clips. (Check them out here!)
In WHAT I WASN’T LOOKING FOR Mary and Austin are just looking for a summer fling… but sometimes love finds you when you least expect it.
Austin: Well, the first time she met me, she thought I was so hot, she sold me a bag of ice.
Mary: Pftt… puh-lease. We met at church. He walked right into the middle of mass, and I knew immediately he was out of place.
Austin: Hey! I do go to church, you know. I’m not a heathen or something.
Mary: Fine, you go to church. But you’re not Catholic. None of the Catholics I know have foot fetishes. And they certainly don’t let it show during mass either.
Austin: (smug grin) I do not have a foot fetish. I have a toe fetish.
Mary: (laughing) Oh my word, do you know how disgusting that sounds?
Austin: (leaning forward and cupping a hand to his mouth) Don’t tell her, but the truth is I have a fetish for that sexy red nail polish. And when she starts wiggling those toes . . . (whistles suggestively)
Mary: (rolling her eyes and smacking his arm) Austin Hayworth, we were in church. I cannot believe your mind was in the gutter during mass.
Austin: Listen, babe, I’m no longer talking about church. I’ve moved on. I’m talking about when you wiggle your toes while I’m doing that thing ….
Mary: (blushes and slaps her hand over his mouth with an embarrassed giggle) Austin!
Austin: (shoving her hand away) See that pretty blush on those cheeks? And that laugh. It’s no wonder a simple summer fling stole my heart.
Mary: You didn’t know it stole your heart at the time.
Austin: I knew it. You had me long before I drove away from Simoneaux Bayou after that first week. You were the one who had to be convinced.
Mary: True. I admit it. I fought it a long time, but in the end, there was just no resisting his charms.
Austin: Just remember what I said. I want this to be the longest fling in the history of flings.
Mary: Almost sounds like forever.
Austin: (winking at her before taking her hand in his) Forever just might do.
I have a fantastic family. I mean really, super fantastic. Sure they’re all a bit cooky. And yes, they occassionally get on my last nerve. But they’ve always got my back and I know how blessed I am to have them.
Just a month or so ago I contacted my little cuz Cherie for help. Wow… she’s not really little anymore. I mean its kind of hard to keep perspective when you can actually remember being there at her house when her mom was in labor for her. Not to mention all the summers I babysat her, taking her to swimming lessons and toting her around the mall pretending she was my kid. But, the truth is she’s not a kid anymore. She’s an absolutely beautiful, totally talented lady and I’m very proud of her.
So when I recently got the opportunity to participate in a cookbook collaboration with some other writers, who else would I call on than my capable culinary cousin, Cherie! You’ll have to get the cookbook for her recipe, but Cherie was fabulous enough to bake a batch of yummy blueberry muffins and take pictures of them too. Isn’t your mouth just watering? Mmmm… So keep an eye out for the IWU Cookbook 2012 where you’ll be able to get a recipe for Langston’s Very Berry Blueberry Muffins.
Bitten Shame Excerpt:
“Shit,” Kent hissed, running his hand through his hair, “I should’ve known once the dust cleared they’d pull this. Where is he supposed to meet them?”
Langston laughed as he moved towards the kitchen where he removed a tray of piping hot muffins from the oven, “Come, Kent. You yourself suggested you would give Nicky more credit than that. As I stated, he is on his way here. He has ignored their communication.”
“What do you suppose they’ll want with them?” Devan asked.
Until just a few days ago they’d not seen each other in years, but Jill knew her friend well enough to see the gears turning in her head. Instead of pressing her on it, Jill waited.
“It is possible they may send them on our original mission to ensure that it is complete. There is no way to know whether killing Adriel is the end of the Org. Also, they may be called upon to bring us in, Kent and I that is. Or, more likely, they might be ordered to bring you in, Devan. The Company will naturally be curious about the new faery-witch.”
“No, we can’t do that! What would they want with her? There’s no way to know…” Jill insisted, her angst evident in the tone of her voice. When Langston gave her a glance she immediately fell silent. She saw Devan had noticed the furtive look passing between them and read the concern in her friend’s gold-brown eyes.
It took a moment for Devan to break her gaze from Jill’s, then she finally turned to Kent, “You once told me Nicky does this for money. What would be the going rate for his services?”
Langston’s face was overtaken by a huge smile even as he set the steaming muffins, now on a platter, before them on the coffee table, “You have an idea, little one?”
Don’t forget, Bitten Shame, will be released in just a few months so keep an eye out!
And if you just need to read more about our Bend-Bite-Shift friends, don’t forget to grab a copy of Cupid Painted Blind. It’s available for ereaders at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I’ll have signed paperbacks available by the end of this month too!