Narrated by 22 performers.
Crazy Little Spring Called Love: Eight Magical Stories of Fantasy Romance
This delightful fantasy romance anthology features eight magical stories inspired by the awakenings and renewal of springtime. If you like fairies, djinn, gods and goddesses, druids, mermaids, magic, and true love, then this is the anthology for you.
Featuring: L.J. Longo – “Seaweed and Silk”
Svildna is not the type of mermaid who suns herself on the ice all day. She can kill a shark, scour a keel, and patch a sail as easy as they comb their hair. So she’s more than capable of escorting The Apple Jack and its crew to the warmer southern waters. When a storm blows the ship off course, she finds herself in dangerous waters, under suspicion, and falling in love with the last man she’d expect.
Excerpt from Seaweed and Silk
“Gonna be a bitch of a storm.” Gekko grumbles at the bow over my head.
I can’t see nothing but sunrise water from my station below the bowsprit of The Apple Jack. The sky, redder than shark’s blood, bathes the ice flows and barely penetrates the black ocean. The breaking water flares around my tail in icy splashes, and I lean out of the merrow shelf, holding the metal bar. High above Gekko stands shivering on deck, bundled to her long green nose in her over-sized quilt.
“Well, look who’s here! Morning, Ms. Wizard. I never saw you up so early. You gonna disappoint the wolves and take your share of breakfast for a change?”
I’m not entirely sure what a wolf is. When I asked they said they could turn into wolves, that it was a kind of animal. Something like a shark only on land and in packs. Four men in our little eight-person crew are wolves.
The wind-chill reddens the tip of Gekko’s nose and floppy long ears. A goblin from the tropics, even a wizard like her, has no business being this far north. “Can you feel that storm, Seaweed?”
“I’m a mermaid, ain’t I?” I’ve given up on getting the crew to say my name. Svilnda is apparently too hard for land-dwellers. “Told Captain about it last night. By the course he set, he means to barrel under it before it breaks.”
“Hope we’re fast enough.” Gekko clutches her blankets tighter.
Hoping it will sooth her fears, I make a show of my magic and move a chunk of ice noisily away from the bit of metal, canvas, steam that keeps her afloat. “Captain knows what he’s doing.”
“More than you do certainly.” The goblin plops down at the bow and looks out at the wild water.
The waves chop across the horizon. Little mountains of white foam with only occasional towers of ice to break the endless ripple of the sea. Below the waves, a blue whale keens for her calf; I hear it in my mind. They’re running from the storm.
“Did you talk to Tan about this storm?” Gekko calls down.
Instantly, thoughts of the storm disappear, as if the danger of tumultuous skies cannot coexist with Tan and his warm smile.
It’s a funny thing about how his smile changes his face. He’s fierce ugly when you don’t know him. The fellow ‘s enormously tall and made of stone. I don’t know what race that makes him. Not one I’ve ever heard of, though I suspect stone-people don’t make a habit of swimming in deep water. With the pebbles across his face and arms grating when he talks and a bare chest that’s just a wide swathe of sheets of sliding stones which he only covered with a weird half-dress thing called an apron, he looks strange and hard. Until he notices you and he smiles. Then you hardly notice the pebbles and certainly when he start chatting in his deep voice or whistling soft, sweet melodies it’s hard not to like him.
The name Seaweed is Tan’s fault, but I’d never hold it against him. He was only teasing because I wear woven kelp instead of seashells. Seashells are for the mindless rich maids who sun themselves on the ice all day and comb their hair and flirt shamelessly with sailors and other idle fools. I’m not pretty, or rich, or idle. I’m a merrow who can scour your keel, weave you a seaweed shirt, or patch your sail. I can tan a seal skin and kill a shark better than I can comb my hair.
And sailors like Tan and the wolves never give me a second glance. In a way, I’m proud to be above their leering—means I’m part of the crew, not some pretty thing to look at—but I’m sometimes a little ashamed too. Everyone likes to be beautiful now and then.
Though Tan, when he smiles, can make anyone feel special.
“Seaweed! Did you—”
“Why would I talk to the ship cook about the storm?” Of course, that’s no reason to sit and smile thinkin’ about him when there’s a goblin wizard waiting for your half of the conversation. “What’s he gonna do? Bake it away?”
Gekko snorts. “Don’t be nasty, mermaid. Tan’s got more experience with ships than you ever will. Captain only hired you because you bid cheaper than any other merrow in the job auction. It was a mistake and I’m not much interested in being aboard the ship that suffers from a water-witch’s learning curve.”
I stare hard at the sea until I’m sure I’ve swallowed my pride. No sense in annoying the wizard. Not when she’s right.
Find the anthology on social media and online:
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ANTHOLOGY WEBSITE: http://starsandstonebooks.com/crazy-little-spring-called -love
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Five witches set out to change their destiny.
Magic and Mayhem
Bannon Murphy, proprietress of Beachmoore Inn, has her hands full with a convention of Seelie tourists in town for Blansett’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Not only does she have to keep the pixies and sprites separated, she has to keep a high prince of the Seelie court happy and the banshee guests from scaring the terrene vacationers half to death with their wailing.
Into the midst of all this madness walks gorgeous Deaglan O’Brian, a Tuatha Dé Danann with powers of his own. Despite her dedication to work, and her love of running the inn, Bannon can’t help but get distracted by Deaglan’s good looks and flirtations.
When a rival faction tries to destroy the week-long celebrations, Bannon finds herself teaming up with Deaglan to save Blansett from a wicked witch and her evil husband, but along the way, she finds love in the midst of magic and mayhem.
Princess o’ the Green
Tabby Whitlock’s happy life crashes around her when a little green queen appears in her brother’s closet. Rionach claims Tabby is the new princess and decrees that, on St. Patrick’s Day, Tabby must choose between service and love. The choice of love seems easy enough now that Tabby has met Max Gallagher.
Max is a shy earth witch who grew up surrounded by love and laughter. His greatest wish is to find a woman to share his life. When he meets Tabby, he knows she’s the woman who will fill the void in his life. When Tabby begins to change, Max knows something else: he’ll stick by her no matter what.
Tabby will need the luck of the Irish and all the love and support she and Max can muster—because the choice between service and love isn’t always as easy as you’d think.
Jenn Skyler is a constant if nothing else, an air witch who values her independence. She is a thoughtful analyst of life and sees things as straightforward while intellectually weighing all that comes before her.
Nevlin Rowe enjoys life and all its forms. He loves everyone, and no one. As a Druid scholar, he’s had lifetimes of lessons and experiences and devoted many, many years to caring for, protecting, and being part of the Earth.
When Nevlin comes to the town of Blansett, he does so with a prophecy, as well as a curse. When the sea turns green, that is not all that changes. Jenn is suspicious of him and his intentions, and seeking answers, she discovers not only has Nevlin enjoyed lifetimes of journeys, he has spent centuries seeking answers of his own. Now there are signs all around if only they can interpret them.
As Air meets Earth, a whirlwind of emotion erupts and Nevlin becomes determined to bring Jenn down to Earth. Will their connection be limitless like the Sky itself or grounded like the Earth? Or do all signs point another way?
Paige Jessop is a destroyer in the outside world, but in the realm of supernaturals, she is considered “gifted.” She lives a life of chaos and isolation until her godmother, Helena-Marie, magically summons her to Blansett, North Carolina. There Paige finds out about her extraordinary powers and her family’s cursed past.
Dr. Zack Lewis is tasked with helping Paige hone her gifts. It’s an unnerving reality since she is literally the woman of his nightmares, but he can’t deny the unexplainable need to be near her.
Both Paige and Zack are healers. One by profession, one by nature. As both of their families’ secrets and curses threaten to destroy them, they must decide whether true love really can conquer all.
Lucy Blansett has two options; solve an ancient prophecy before midnight on her birthday or watch the magic in her hometown be destroyed. Meeting a man who’s convinced she’s his future wife isn’t in her plans, but she’s quickly finding out that sometimes plans need to change. Together they’ll have to fight the elements and their attraction to stay focused on solving the mystery.