It’s Christmas, and climatologist Lydia Doyle is stuck in the worst place possible — the Florida Everglades — alone in a record breaking heat wave. Her twin sister, who she usually spends the holidays with, has bailed, but not before she sends a special Christmas present — a cute stuffed, snowman plushy.
After rebelling to free his people, Nix, onetime Warrior Prince of the Snowmen tribe, finds himself cursed into a soft, helpless body until someone makes a heartfelt wish. He never expect to be thrust into this new world stuck in his secondary form, with the most beautiful human he’s ever seen.
But a heated argument, an attack goose named Frankie, and an accidental melting changes things for them both, all in one chaotic morning. Now Lydia has to find a way to put her snowman back together again and hope she hasn’t ruined her chance for a very happy holiday.
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Copyright ©2020 Stephanie Burke
“Grandma got run over by a reindeer!” Lydia Doyle sadly sang along with the radio as she melted into a puddle of overheated climatologist. Here she was, lying in her bed dressed in just an oversized tank top, tossing grapes to her pet goose while she tried to get over that feeling of betrayal her twin sister’s absence caused. “On my way to my house Christmas Eve–” An indignant honk from her pet and best friend at least put smile to her face.
Frankie was an Egyptian goose with distinctive pink legs and feet. He also had beautiful bronze-colored flight feathers that matched the smaller, softer feathers that surrounded his piercing amber eyes. With his unique beauty, there was no way anyone could mistake him for anything but the beautiful territorial bird that he was and not a typical unsophisticated barn goose. Sure, his pink beak, with the hooked, black-tipped end, made him appear dangerous, but he was just a big old sweetheart…that had the ability to geld a man if she asked him nicely.
“Silly goose.” She laughed. “How can I be alone when I have you?”
Even that amusement was short-lived, however, because no matter how she looked at it, Lydia was trapped in Doug.
Doug wasn’t a really bad place… Okay, it was surrounded by ghost towns and had the added tourist attraction of being home to a place where the occasional croc was seen keeping company with alligators while some perverted dolphins watched, but at least it wasn’t some frozen arctic wasteland… though a little arctic air would not be amiss at this moment.
Lydia’s house came with a sweet HVAC unit… and unfortunately it was busted. When she complained about it to her landlord, he supplied a window unit for her to use… but it too was broken. And here she was, stuck in Doug during one of the longest heat waves on record for the Everglades in South Florida.
Doug was an island about ten miles away from Chokoloskee, Florida, with a static population of less than four hundred people, and some of the prettiest gardens she had ever seen. But her company didn’t think getting her accommodations on the pretty main island was close enough to her testing station. So no, she did not have access to their pet friendly restaurants, nail salons, and shopping district where she could waste her hard-earned cash on frivolous items that would remind her of her time in Florida. Alas, no. She was on Doug with a population that was more scarce than teeth in a hen’s mouth, an absolutely stunning colloquialism she had learned since she had been dropped off and abandoned here. She would kill to see four hundred people instead of the roughly two hundred she had to deal with here… on Doug.
Doug had a tight-knit community, one that she really wasn’t a part of. The people there let her know it, ignoring her greetings and giving her the side-eye when she went for a walk with Frankie to alleviate her boredom when her workday was done. She was alone and that made her even sadder because her placement here was indefinite.
“I feel so lonely, I could cry,” she muttered and Frankie honked at her before preening as she tossed him another grape. That last honk was more of an emotive squawk, almost as if Frankie could understand what she was saying and was now intent on reminding her that sometimes two legs were just as good as four, if not better.
She had acquired Frankie when she was doing her stint in studying desert climates in South Africa. He was an injured sterile male who would never have a chance at finding a mate. He had been a parting gift to her by her then lover…. The asshole who shall remain nameless… right before he skipped off to marry a woman his family arranged as a wife. It would have been nice if the bastard had told her he was only in it for fun and games before she managed to catch feelings for that son of a bitch.
Well, the sex had been good. Damn, she missed the sex. She was running out of batteries for her BOB, battery operated boyfriend, and the Bessie Sisters who ran the general store were beginning to give her odd looks for the sheer quantity she went through in a week. Maybe she could buy them in bulk from Amazon?
And speaking of mail order deliveries, Lydia again looked at the package that had been waiting for her today after she was done tromping through the razor grass and horny lizards — who knew that a crocodile and an alligator could have a sexual relationship? — that filled the areas surrounding Doug where she had to take water temperatures and plant life samples.
Her twin sister, Lana Doyle, a research biologist stationed in the friggin’ South Pole, was supposed to come and visit, but there was some issue or something with some gay penguins actually finding an abandoned egg to adopt that left her screaming in delight and unable to leave her guys until she knew if the egg was viable. Lana’s explanation for the last-minute cancellation came with a barrage of photos and apologies that forced Lydia put on a happy face and forgive her sister for leaving her alone in fucking Doug.
“As if penguins are better than geese.” She snorted, shaking her head at her sister’s stupid obsession. “She even let one of those fish munchers live with her, setting up a habitat for it in her yurt and everything. Sometimes I wonder what’s going on in that girl’s head.”
Frankie honked in agreement and she tossed him another grape.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephanie is a USA Today Best Selling, multi published, multi award-winning author, Master Costumer, handicapped, wife and mother of two.
From sex-shifting, shape-shifting dragons to undersea worlds, sexually confused elemental Fey and homo-erotic mysteries, all the way to pastel-challenged urban sprites, Stephanie has done it all, and hopes to do more.
Stephanie is an orator on her favorite subjects of writing and world-building, a sometime teacher when you feed her enough tea and donuts, an anime nut, a costumer, and a frequent guest of various sci-fi and writing cons where she can be found leading panel discussions or researching varied legends and theories to improve her writing skills.
Stephanie is known for her love of the outrageous, strong female characters, believable worlds, male characters filled with depth, and multi-cultural stories that make the reader sit up and take notice.