SPOTLIGHT: Silent Knight/Sleepless Knight by Gale Stanley #LGBTQ #holidayromance @GaleStanley

Silent Knight: Paul Stanton thought he had it all — until his lover dumped him for another man, forcing Paul to rethink his life. But when a trip home for the holidays goes predictably wrong, Paul ends up stranded in the woods. There’s more to Andy Reynolds than meets the eye. But is a chance encounter enough to bind two men who have nothing in common except their sex?

Sleepless Knight: When the two-year itch infects their relationship, Andy arranges a much needed vacation. Andy will do anything to make Paul happy, even if it means bringing another man into their bed. But is a threesome really the answer? Or will it drive them further apart?

Publisher’s Note: Silent Knight, Sleepless Knight (Duet) contains the previously published novellas Silent Knight and Sleepless Knight.

Get it at Changeling Press

EXCERPT

Copyright ©2017 Gale Stanley
Excerpt from Silent Knight


Andy moved through the woods in a slow stalk. Nothing beat hunting in the snow. Most Keystone State hunters called it quits by late December, but Andy was a hardheaded optimist. Besides, he enjoyed the solitude, and dealing with winter’s stark elements provided an extra challenge. There were other pluses as well. Even a novice hunter could follow the deer tracks, and the light wind dispersed Andy’s scent and covered any sounds he made.

But the wind picked up, blowing the snow sideways. Deer tended to lay low during high winds. It looked like this hunt would end with no game. Good thing these hunting trips weren’t all about the kill. Andy hunted for food, but mostly to get out, and be a part of nature. The experience took him back to a happy time when his parents were still alive. He and his dad spent a lot of time in the woods. No TV, no cars, no other people, just the two of them hanging out and having a good time. Half the time they came home empty handed, but it didn’t matter. Andy’s mom would welcome them home with a good, hot meal.

God, he missed them. At least they’d died together. A car accident. Never knew what hit them, according to the coroner. Andy had come home to bury them a year ago and never left.

Snow on an overhanging branch dropped white bombs on Andy’s head. He brushed it off, and looked around. No animal life disturbed the spectacular view. No sound, except for the howling wind. He felt insignificant in these surroundings, yet more alive than he did in the city.

Andy packed up his gear and started backtracking toward his ATV. The wind blasted him and drove him off his path a few times, but finally the gusts eased and the ATV appeared in his sights. It occurred to him he might have to leave it, but old reliable started right up. Andy nosed it around and got back on the road, recognizable because it was the only stretch clear of trees. Mishaps were more common in the winter, but the white stuff didn’t intimidate Andy. He knew these backwoods like the —

Andy swerved to the left to avoid the man in his path. The ATV slammed into a car, and Andy catapulted feet over head. One second he was behind the wheel, the next he was flying through the air. Andy landed face down in a snow covered hill of pinecones that cushioned his touchdown. Everything happened so fast. For a few scary seconds he couldn’t breathe, then someone grabbed him and rolled him over.

Before Andy could react, a hand gripped his chin and tilted his head backward. An ear covered his mouth.

“What the fuck!” Andy cried out. He opened his eyes just as the other man jerked his head back. When Andy’s blurry vision cleared, he saw a pair of worried eyes staring down at him. Snowflakes drifted around the stranger’s head, and stuck to his long dark lashes. The sound of the wind faded into the background, and the silent snowy woods provided a surreal backdrop behind the green-eyed stranger. Andy sucked in a frosty breath. In the midst of the chilling temperatures, heat sparked in his groin.

“Are you okay?”

The voice brought Andy back to reality. “No thanks to you.”

Andy attempted to get up, but Green-eyes gripped his arms and held him down. “Don’t move, you might have broken something.”

“Don’t even try playing white knight. This is your fault, asshole.”

Green-eyes backed off and held his hands up in surrender.

Andy struggled to a sitting position and glared at the other man. “I’m fucking freezing, and you want me to lay here.”

“Sss-sorry.”

Andy stared at the man’s stuttering lips. They were blue. The color didn’t go well with his eyes. Oh hell! His white knight was in worse shape than he was. “Gimme a hand,” Andy barked. “We need to get outta this storm before we both freeze.”

* * *

The snow-covered man winced as Paul hauled him up. Only an inch or two taller than Paul, he appeared a lot bigger in his thickly padded hunting jacket. A thick beard hid most of the man’s face. Paul hoped like hell the hunter wasn’t another former classmate.

“Fuck!” The hunter pulled his hand from Paul’s grip and rubbed his right hip.

A twinge of guilt pierced Paul’s gut, but he kept his mouth shut. This man had made it plain he didn’t want Paul’s help.

“Just bruised,” the hunter said. “Could have been worse. I could have been killed. Or killed you.”

“Look, I sss-aid I was sss-sorry –“

“Forget it. What are you doing out here?”

It was too cold for a conversation. Paul gave him the short version. “Paul Stanton, home for the holidays. I just had a close encounter with a tree. That was my rental car you hit.” He clenched his mouth shut to stop his teeth from chattering.

“Andy Reynolds.” Andy waved at the vehicles. “Looks like we’re walking. My cabin’s not far.”

Paul’s chest tightened as he watched Andy walk off. Do I really want to go home with this big redneck? Andy Reynolds already hated him. The name didn’t ring any bells, but so what? Reynolds looked like every other homophobic asshole in this town. Paul shivered and tucked his frozen hands under his armpits.

Andy looked back. “You coming?”

If I stay out here, I’ll freeze to death. Paul started walking.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gale Stanley grew up in Philadelphia PA. She was the kid who always had her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, and her hands on a pad and pencil.

Some things never change.

Now in Paperback: Krampus Bah Humbug by Crymsyn Hart #darkfantasy #holidayromance #LGBTQ @crymsynhart

Elves running amok in Christmas Town… cannibal gingerbread men… Krampus is in for the ride of his life!

Claiming Cupid: Krampus never thought his heart could be captured — until he met Cupid.

Krampus Does Dallas: Riding a bull has never been more stimulating!

Forging Krampus: Samhain is determined to rock Krampus’s world, but something dark is eating away at Samhain’s realm.

Krampus to the Rescue: Only Krampus can make Santa say ho-ho-ho!

Krampus Bah Humbug: Krampus has to get with the holiday attitude or lose all he holds dear. Bah, Humbug!

Y’all Tied Up: Clive and Aniston must escape before Krampus can feed them to the cannibal gingerbread men!

Publisher’s Note: Krampus Bah Humbug contains the previously released novellas Claiming CupidKrampus Does DallasForging KrampusKrampus to the RescueKrampus Bah Humbug, and Y’all Tied Up. The Krampus Box Set presents these stories in chronological order, rather than the original release order.

Available at Amazon

EXCERPT

Copyright ©2021 Crymsyn Hart
Excerpt from Krampus Does Dallas

“Have a good evening.” Krampus moved through the crowd that had gathered around them. He entered the town. The shops had closed up for the day. The road was dry and in need of rain. The only rowdy place was the tavern. He slid inside. Few people noticed as he walked in, but they didn’t say anything when he sat down in a corner booth. He sat back and watched the place fill with the laborers of the town. A waitress came by and set a mug down on his table.

“You sit at a table, you gotta order food.”

“Fine. Bring me whatever’s on the menu.”

The waitress came back with some kind of stew and bread. He dipped the bread into the broth and took a taste of it. He coughed at the seasoning. Besides having an overabundance of pepper, it was edible. His stomach growled. He thought about his interaction with the owner of the rodeo. He’d bought a bull. Why the hell did I buy the bull? I don’t need it. Now I’m stuck with the beast. I’m sure it’s had a taxing life.

He glanced up from his meal when the noise level dropped. A group from the rodeo entered the tavern. One of the thugs who had stopped him approached the bartender. The group followed behind him.

“A round of ale for the lot.”

The bartender crossed his arms over his chest. The corner of his mouth twitched. “Your kind ain’t wanted here. Best if you get out before I have someone throw you out.”

“We have a right to be here just as anyone else.” The thug sat at the bar. The rest moved into a table that emptied out since they had come in. The rodeo participants all looked as though they had a difficult life. All were tanned and wrinkled from years in the sun and hard work. Krampus didn’t envy them. The tension in the bar grew. He sat back. The bartender and the other patrons surrounded them.

A cloaked figure slipped past them and hovered by Krampus’s table.

“Why don’t you sit here? It looks like everywhere else is taken.” Krampus found himself saying.

The man looked at him. “Why do you care?”

“I don’t. Sit or don’t sit.”

Krampus pushed the plate aside and laid a couple of silver coins on the table. They would more than cover the cost of his meal and the ale. He didn’t want the waitress to hassle him any longer. The man glanced at the coins and the unfinished bowl of stew. He sat down and reached for the stew. Then the stranger pulled his hand back.

“You going to eat that?”

“Have at it.”

The stranger’s hands were dark, almost like polished black marble. His arms were decorated with long-healed-over scars. The man took the bowl and brought it in close to him, protecting it. When he ate, the hood of his cloak fell away, revealing a bald head, a strong jaw and a flat nose. His eyes were gold when he looked up at Krampus. Something in that gaze stirred Krampus’s desire.

“What?” the man asked around a mouthful of bread.

“Nothing. I just noticed you were hungry. I could make it worth your while if you wanted to come back to the house with me.”

“So you can fuck me? I’m not a whore. I see how you’re looking at me.”

Krampus held back a smile. “No. I wasn’t considering sex. I just meant I have better food than what you have there. Plus, you can sleep in a bed. It looks like you might need it. No strings attached.”

The other man eyed him. “I thought you said you didn’t care.”

“It’s obvious your companions don’t care about you or you would’ve come in with them. And you wouldn’t have been hiding your appearance. I’m surprised you’re still with them. Of course, I could be way off on my observations. Come or not, but I’m leaving.” Krampus got up from the booth and left the tavern. After he rejoined the darkness, the tavern door slammed shut.

“Where are we going?”

“Follow me.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crymsyn Hart is a National Bestselling author of over eighty paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic and ghostly encounters have given her a lot of material to use in her books. Vampires, grim reapers, shifters, and other paranormal creatures tend to end up in her books no matter how hard she tries to keep them away.

She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

To find out more about Crymsyn, check out her website on: www.crymsynhart.com

New Release: The Night Bartender by Alexa Piper #darkfantasy #holidayromance #LGBTQ @prowlingpiper

Aaron has come to Fairview to find his ex’s teenage sister, who went missing in the city. As a witch both rich and powerful, Aaron follows a trail that leads him to a bar frequented by supernaturals and to a bartender who attracts Aaron’s attention — and not just because the bartender is keeping something from Aaron. When Aaron runs out of leads, he follows the mysterious and pretty bartender, and the next thing Aaron knows, he’s foiling an attempted abduction.

Ilya has built a quiet life in Fairview mixing drinks and flying under the radar. He is a banshee, and the psychic ability and mild telepathy that comes with that makes Ilya a sought-after commodity. That carefully constructed life Ilya built for himself breaks into a thousand pieces when a handsome witch starts asking questions and becomes Ilya’s rescuer mere hours after they meet.

The witch, Aaron, vows to protect Ilya and to keep his secret. Now Ilya has to decide whether he will give Aaron his trust and risk a lonely but safe life as a night bartender in a wintry city in which people disappear only to then turn up murdered.

Save 15% at Changeling Press

Preorder for December 10th at online retailers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Alexa Piper

Aaron buried his hands in his coat pockets and gave the bleak Fairview midday sky a hard look. Not that the sky gave much of a damn. It was late November, just after the Thanksgiving weekend, and for most of the morning, it had sleeted in a way Aaron had never before experienced in his life. It was like a hot shower, except the cold, freezing water got all the way through to your skin and passed the cold to every inch of your body.

“Damn city just might be cursed with bad weather,” Aaron mumbled as he walked along a street in the Old Town, which should lead him to a bar friendly to the not-quite-human clientele if his online research skills hadn’t failed him. A deep black cloud caught his attention. It zapped across the horizon as if blown by a particularly vicious breeze. Aaron frowned before he picked up his pace. The sooner I’m done here, the sooner I can go back to Morrowvale where November doesn’t suck so bad your balls want to freeze off in surrender, he thought.

In all honesty, Fairview wasn’t a bad place. The city itself was nice enough. The parks and trees here littered the streets with the bones of leaves turning to sludge in the puddles left from the earlier sleet showers, and the people, while ignoring both other people and the suck-tastic weather, dressed a little nicer than the average Morrowvaler. Aaron had also never had Japanese food as good as he’d had an hour ago in a small, unassuming place he’d accidentally walked into, at least not outside Japan. That counted for something, at least in Aaron’s book.

Traffic was in what passed for a bit of a midday lull in Fairview. The honking had ebbed to a not-eardrum-shattering noise, and Aaron managed to cross the street without it feeling like he was gambling with his life.

The Ragdoll was a basement bar, and if Aaron hadn’t been looking for it, he probably would have missed the small neon sign that was either broken or just off this early in the day. A wrought-iron fence further hid the sign and the door, which lay at the bottom of a flight of stairs. This could be a private gambling den or the hideout of a bunch of Russian spies, Aaron thought.

He walked down the stairs and pulled the door open just as another sleet shower was getting ready to wash the streets and everyone walking outside with icy wetness. Aaron shivered as he crossed the threshold and blinked into the softly lit bar.

Last week’s Thanksgiving paper turkeys and fall-colored garlands were still up, though a busboy collected the decorations into a cardboard box labeled “Turkey Day” in black sharpie. There were no Russian spies and no gambling going on here.

Surprisingly, there were several patrons in the bar this early in the day. Aaron spotted a handful starting their day’s drinking early, but most nursed mugs of coffee or were digging into sandwiches which, admittedly, looked better than was right in a basement bar. Judging by their business suits, those were just office workers who knew where the good sandwiches were at. The music was pop, playing just loud enough to offer background noise without becoming obnoxious. This place, despite the outward appearance, looked hip, trendy even. Fucking Fairview. This city is as confusing as a clown at a dinner party, Aaron thought.

Aaron’s fingers closed around the talisman in his pocket. With his touch and the smallest pinch of magic, he felt the worked metal coin activate and the spell bound to it sizzle to life. Three people, including the strawberry-blonde girl behind the bar, whipped their head around to look at him. So, this place really is supernatural friendly, Aaron thought. The talisman heated rapidly in his pocket. And Dora definitely was here before she disappeared.

That confirmed, he let go of the talisman and walked straight to the bartender. The other two patrons who’d noticed his magic had gone back to ignoring him like the good Fairviewers they were.

“Hi,” Aaron said, giving the strawberry blonde his best winning smile. “What’s good here?”

She shrugged. “Depends on whether it’s drink-o’clock in your world or not. If not, the pumpkin spice latte kills. If yes, you look like a Macallan kind of guy.”

Aaron grinned at her. “You’d be right about the whiskey, but I think I’ll go with the latte,” he told her.

He was doing his best with the charming vibes, which usually worked even if he turned it on women, but the bartender just nodded and went about preparing his coffee. Aaron watched her, more interested in the fact that she was making coffee at a bar decked out with an impressive assortment of liquor than anything else. The coffee machine was one of those intimidating ones that took up some primo counter real estate, and from the looks of it, it saw some use.

When she was done, she brought the latte over to him and puffed a dash of cinnamon over the foamy top right in front of him. The warm scent of the spice immediately made Aaron feel just a little more optimistic about everything. The mug was the cutesy kind with a grinning, red-nosed reindeer on the side.

“There you go,” she said with little enthusiasm, though not exactly unfriendly.

“Thanks, miss,” Aaron said. Before she could walk away again, he focused on her instead of the latte. “Could I ask you something?”

“I’m guessing I’m not your type, so go right ahead,” she said.

Aaron’s eyes widened, and it was the girl’s turn to chuckle. “Half-succubus,” she said on a whisper. “The gay-dar is practically built-in.”

He nodded, fighting the color rising to his cheeks. “Right. Makes sense.” Aaron cleared his throat. “I was wondering if you’ve seen this girl,” he said and pulled the photo Patrick had given him from his pocket. It showed Dora smiling, her blond hair shimmering in the sun.

The half-succubus took a look, then shook her head. “No, sorry. Friend of yours?”

“My ex’s sister, believe it or not,” Aaron said. “She went missing, and I tracked her first to Fairview, and now here.” Aaron had the cellphone gods to thank for that. It made using his magic almost unnecessary, although Aaron still liked to confirm the actual person had been to a place, not just their phone, hence his talisman.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexa Piper writes steamy romance that ranges from light to dark, from straight to queer. She’s also a coffee addict. Alexa loves writing stories that make her readers laugh and fall in love with the characters in them. Connect with Alexa on Facebook or Instagram, follow her on Twitter or TikTok, and subscribe to her newsletter!

Visit her website.

New Release: O Christmas Tree by Emily Carrington #LGBTQ #holidayromance @CarringtonEmily

For Jake, losing his eyesight isn’t nearly as frightening as having to rely on someone else. Especially if he wants that other person to be his lover. He was taught from an early age that being gay is synonymous with being a sissy and he can’t see past that lesson to the one Tyler is trying to teach him.

Tyler has been attracted to Jake since they first met. When Jake comes to Tyler’s bed, it seems all of Tyler’s dreams are coming true. Except Jake doesn’t want more than friends with benefits. Can Tyler stand being Jake’s second choice?

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Emily Carrington

For Tyler Carter, there was no better pre-Christmas present than watching Jake swim. The lean-muscled, pale-skinned man was God’s gift to the world of gay men. With his Irish last name, Calhoun, he should have been freckled too, but Jake had been adopted. Tyler sometimes wondered how his mother could have possibly given him up as a baby. But maybe she’d had no choice.

He watched Jake knifing his way through the water at Colton University’s pool and his cock rolled over in its winter hibernation. It took very little time in Jake’s presence to waken Tyler’s body even though they’d never even kissed. Hell, they’d never even held hands.

Jake knew nothing of Tyler’s longing, although Tyler was hoping the vacation they were taking together would change that.

Shoulder-length chestnut brown hair was plastered to Jake’s head like a helmet and Tyler’s fingers itched to touch the slightly curly locks. Jake’s tattoo, on the right side of his back and over that shoulder, was of a dolphin and ocean waves. The twenty-seven-year-old certainly swam like a dolphin.

Tyler knew he should call to Jake, get his attention. They were due at an appointment in less than an hour and who knew how long it would take Jake to get dressed? But Tyler couldn’t quite bring himself to raise his voice or even to speak. Jake was so beautiful while swimming.

If Tyler watched much longer, he’d have to hide in a bathroom and take care of his little problem before the appointment.

He approached the edge of the pool, not close enough to get accidentally splashed. He thought, All the angels in heaven would sing your praise if they were allowed.

Jake was in the second lane from the edge and when he reached the deep end’s side, he finally came up for air. He shook his bangs out of his eyes and turned his head. Maybe he’d somehow sensed Tyler’s nearness, or he was looking for him. Their gazes met and locked. Jake’s grin lit up his whole face, from stretching lips that were slightly pinker than the rest of his skin to crinkling the corners of absolutely stunning hazel eyes.

He swam over to Tyler, gestured for him to step back a bit, and then, with what looked like very little effort, hoisted himself out of the deep end.

Tyler wanted to turn away and adjust his jeans so his boner wouldn’t be so obvious, but he knew doing anything like that would draw more rather than less attention to his reaction. So, feeling his cheeks heat up, he grinned back at Jake.

“Are you early or did I lose track of time?” Jake glanced over his shoulder at the cock hanging on the wall.

The clock, Tyler thought. Not the cock, the clock. Get your mind out of the gutter.

The past six months knowing Jake had been a pleasure. Learning, about six weeks ago, that Jake was gay had just been icing on the cake.

Jake said, “I guess time got away from me.” He walked over to his shower shoes and put them on. “I’ll meet you out front? I need to towel off and get dressed.”

Can I come with you? Tyler swallowed the words. Jake had been walking a very fine line since coming out to Tyler, never being suggestive in his speech or actions. But he was too friendly to tell Tyler he didn’t want him. Or maybe that was just Tyler’s impression. Maybe Jake was one of those weird people who believed it was okay to be gay but wrong to act on it.

Tyler was Christian. Jake wasn’t. At least Tyler didn’t think he was because he didn’t go to Tyler’s church, and he didn’t seem to attend any of the others in Marisburg or Colton.

“I’ll meet you out in the main lobby,” he told Jake now. “We’ve got a little over forty minutes to get there, so there’s not too much of a rush.”

“I’ll probably shower if I have time. There’s nothing more offensive to some people than smelling like chlorine.” Jake flashed him another killer smile, complete with a dimple. “I’ll be out soon.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Carrington is a multipublished author of male/male, female/female, and transgender romance. She has been writing since 2011 and has dedicated her career to two universes: SearchLight and Sticks and Stones. SearchLight is all about magical creatures finding their HEA, and Sticks and Stones finds happily-ever-afters for her contemporary characters. Sticks and Stones tends to happen in small towns, whereas SearchLight happens all up and down the East Coast and across the United States.

Release Blitz: A Highland Hogmanay by Meg Mardell #LGBTQ #historicalromance #holidayromance @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: A Highland Hogmanay

Series: Christmas Masquerade, Book Two

Author: Meg Mardell

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 11/23/2021

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 37700

Genre: Historical holiday, LGBTQIA+, historical, Victorian England, holiday, Christmas, Scottish Highlands, lesbian, wlw, mistaken identity, humorous, family drama, interracial, intercultural, road trip, age gap

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Description

The daughter of an Indian raja and renegade Englishwoman, Sharda Holkar, was gifted with a magnificent dowry but little say in her future. Until now. She must endure one more depressing holiday season with her controlling cousins, then she will be free to begin her emancipated life. But her discovery of a plot to marry her off to the preening son of the house has Sharda wondering if her new start should begin at once. When Sharda meets the intriguing owner of a Highland castle at a Christmas Eve masquerade, she wastes no time in forming a plan—she will escape across the Scottish border!

Finella Forbes cannot imagine why a sophisticated heiress like Sharda would even associate with someone who manages a castle for a living, let alone accompany her all the way back to the Highlands in time for the raucous celebration of Hogmanay. But a wealthy buyer is just what Balintore Castle needs. Fin is determined to prove she is just as good an estate manager as her father, but with the negligent lordly owner refusing to do his duty, she needs help fast. When mistaken assumptions jeopardise their initial attraction, Sharda and Fin will need all the mischief and magic of a Highland holiday to discover the true nature of their feelings.

Excerpt

A Highland Hogmanay
Meg Mardell © 2021
All Rights Reserved

“It’s getting quite sticky in here, isn’t it? Don’t these people perspire a lot in their ridiculous costumes? But the fools will insist upon picking characters that require false beards and headwraps and the lot. What do they expect?”

Mr Edward Pilkington watched the white-masked Pierrots and Pierrettes rotating around the Mayfair ballroom the same way he looked at everything else—right down his upturned nose. Of course, on this occasion, he might just be stopping his own mask from slipping.

“I must say, I consider it in poor taste of Lady Belleville to host such a gaudy entertainment on Christmas Eve. There’s enough blinding décor in every home and shop window without humans dressing like a bunch of tinsel ornaments.”

Sharda thought the display of Venetian masks in gold, silver, and red rather complemented the miles of glittering white ribbon their hostess had threaded around her every enormous window and door. But five days of Edward’s persistent company had taught her to neither agree nor disagree with his frequent judgements as both fanned the flames of his perpetual dissatisfaction.

“Perhaps you now see, Miss Holkar, the wisdom of my selection of attire. A simple mask and fancywork vest, and perhaps a sash, is really all that is required on these occasions.”

“For women as well as men?”

Sharda’s costume took its inspiration from the opulent carnival style of Venetian women from the height of that city’s pomp and power two centuries back. Her square-necked black silk gown cut away to a blaze of scarlet underskirt. Tiny stitched-in crystals covered the tight scarlet front bodice as well as her matching silk hat. Jutting out over one eye, the bold topper terminated in a cascade of black feathers that brushed her black half mask. Edward’s mother, one of Sharda’s inexhaustible supply of second and third cousins, had tried to convince her to wear what that lady was pleased to call her “native finery.” But when Sharda had insisted on purchasing a new costume for the ball, Lavinia Pilkington had graciously conceded that the Venetian style looked well on Sharda, for “many ladies of the Italian peninsula are quite of your complexion, my dear.”

The lady’s son was equally talented at giving compliments.

“A bit of exotic finery is not amiss on a woman. Provided she’s young, of course. There’s nothing more displeasing than an old woman got up like the Queen of Sheba. Now, perhaps I can see if these insolent Turks of footmen have some iced sherbet. You must be awfully hot in all your…” The gentleman gestured to Sharda’s hat. “Er, not that you look to any disadvantage or are…” The gentleman sought in vain for an acceptable substitute for sweating.

Sharda suddenly wished she had selected a full mask to hide her private mirth. She should not find it so amusing when Edward remembered, too late, that he was trying to woo her. Though maybe if she did not find the clumsy courtship so funny, she might cry.

“Or perhaps you would like to take the air in the garden, Miss Holkar? And escape this dreadful crush.”

“They seem to have brought much of the garden in here, Mr Pilkington.”

She gratefully caught the crisp scent of the evergreen branches that wrapped every available railing in Lady Belleville’s house. A delicious freshness that made one forget one was in London.

“Hmm, yes, quite. But then you don’t have the same animal noises outside, of course. It’s much easier to talk.”

She had not noticed the noise of the ballroom impairing his ability to talk in the slightest. But she knew what type of conversation he had in mind. He wasn’t the first young man to try to negotiate her out onto a cool veranda.

“Perhaps I would like an ice, Mr Pilkington. If you would be so kind.”

“Yes, of course… Though it will be a dreadful ordeal making my way over to the refreshment area now… No matter. I will see that you get your ice…my lady.”

Sharda took a few calming inhales of the pine-and-wood-polish scent of the Belleville townhouse. Now she could face Lavinia Pilkington, a spare lady fluffed up with a great deal of feathers, descending upon her beside a very grand person in purple.

“Here she is, Lady Belleville. I thought we should have to send some of your splendid footmen in search.”

“That might have proved difficult. I have my own runaway to locate, Mrs Pilkington. My wretched nephew.”

Lavinia trilled a nervous laugh, unable to tell if this was a joke.

“This is my young friend, Miss Sharda Holkar, who is staying the holidays with us. Sharda, meet Lady Belleville.”

“I do like your hat, Miss Holkar. You need a bit of height for such a topper. I, alas, have always extended out rather than up. I do envy women who can carry off such plumage. You are enjoying the ball?”

“Yes, indeed, ma’am.”

“And you’ve been dancing?”

“Not yet.”

“Oh dear, I do like young people to dance.”

“Do not worry, your ladyship. I am sure my son Edward will do the honours soon.”

“Excellent. Now, you must excuse me, for I hear my dear husband’s growl even now. I should make at least a half-hearted attempt to save my guests from his best Scrooge impersonation, should I not?”

Sharda and her cousin each dipped a curtsy—Lavinia’s embarrassingly low—to their hostess as she moved back into the crowd like the prow of a ship easily carving a path through lesser crafts. Sharda was left stranded on an island of two.

“I do hope you truly intend to dance as you promised Lady Belleville. And what did you think of her ladyship? Quite a superior person, I think, but Edward says she wears too many jewels for true breeding. I only wish I had such a problem! Whatever is taking Edward so long, do you think?”

Lavinia had a fidgety manner that made it impossible to relax in her company. After nearly a week as her guest, Sharda was almost as high-strung as her hostess. The prospect of enduring even another five minutes with this wearisome woman was unbearable. Especially as her only reward would be to eat a melted ice and then dance in Edward Pilkington’s sticky grip.

“He promised me he would return very soon. Perhaps I might wait for him in the garden, Mrs Pilkington?”

Lavinia’s eyes glittered behind her feathered mask.

“Ah, yes, that would be an excellent idea. It is far too noisy and hot in here.”

“Should you like to come with me, cousin?”

“Oh, no. No, no. I declare I see my dear friend Mrs, er…Bamtree just over there. But you go right ahead, my dear.”

Sharda needed no further encouragement.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Meg moved from the US to England because she fell in love with the Victorians’ peculiar blend of glamour and grime. After a decade of exploring historical excesses in a prim scholarly fashion, she realized that fiction is the best way to delve into that period’s great female-focused and LGBT+ stories. Weaned on the high-seas romances of the 1990s, Meg’s lost none of her love for cross-dressing cabin boys but any tolerance for boorish heroes. She’s delighted to now have a whole raft of quirky and queer characters to cheer for on their quest for Happily Ever After. She frequently breaks off writing for an Earl Grey tea (milk not lemon). She’s trying to learn Polish and Portuguese at the same time. She plans to escape Brexit Britain.

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New at Changeling Press: Bite Me for Christmas by Megan Slayer #holidayromance #vampires #urbanfantasy @meganslayer

Rachael isn’t good at magic, and she’s not versed in life, but this witch wants to lay her hands on the sexy vampire who’s come to her in her dreams. She wants just one thing for Christmas wish — her vampire.

Gavin wants the witch in his dreams, but he doesn’t believe he’s worthy of her. Part of him wants to devour her magic and save himself, but what if being saved doesn’t involve dying?

Anything is possible with a little Christmas magic.

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EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Megan Slayer

How had she managed to summon a vampire?

Christmas lights bathed the room in a rainbow of color. Tinsel glittered around her window, and the tiny Christmas tree turned in small revolutions on her dresser. She was in her room and safe.

She was also a witch who not only believed in the creatures of the night, but also in Christmas. Krampus could haunt her, too. She was a conundrum mixed with confusion.

She sighed. If she wanted the vampire to come to her in person, she’d have to appeal to a higher power. Her sisters wouldn’t help and would probably try to steal him away, if they didn’t kill him first. Krampus hated her because she wasn’t bad enough. Clumsy, yes. Prone to mistakes? Sure. But bad? No. The only shot she had was Santa.

Damn.

Santa didn’t pay the coven much mind. It didn’t matter if she put out milk and cookies for him or that she believed he existed. If she existed and so did Krampus, why couldn’t Santa? Belief wasn’t enough. Santa wasn’t coming down her chimney.

Still, she could ask and believe.

She left her bed and ventured over to the window. Santa might not listen, but she had to try. Christmas was in two days, and she had a Christmas wish. If anyone could come through for her, it was Santa.

She held onto the windowsill. She hated being interrupted before she reached orgasm, but she needed her vampire to be there so she could. He mattered. Him being real mattered.

“Dear Santa, I should write a letter, but this seems faster. I could conjure you, but if I did, I’d probably give you four heads or turn you into a dragon by accident. Anyway, I’m tired of getting three-fourths of the way to climax and not being able to finish. Why? I know this seems like a strange thing to mention, but I’m trying to have sex in my dreams — which isn’t as good as the real thing — and it’s with a vampire. He could kill me, but I’m drawn to him. I don’t know who he is, Santa, but I want him. My Christmas wish is for the vampire in my dreams to come to me in real life. He might destroy me, but he might be what I need, and I want to find out. I accept the risk. Please, fulfill my Christmas wish and put a vampire under my tree.”

She swore she heard other voices and paused. Damn it. Her sisters must still be awake downstairs and heard her moving. If they did, they’d want her to get to work on whatever chore they’d found. They treated her like a fucking servant.

“Are you awake?” Serena, her oldest sister, called. “Rachael? If you’re awake, then there’s a sink full of dishes that need done.”

“It’s too early for her to be up,” Millie, her other sister, said. “She’s not awake. You’re imagining things.”

How could she sleep with the noise from her sisters downstairs? They treated her like a child and servant. The only way she’d have a chance at a life of her own would be to find the vampire and run the hell away.

“Please, Santa,” Rachael said. “I want my vampire for Christmas.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

BOOK REVIEW: El Diablo by Marteeka Karland #mcromance #agegap #suspense @marteekakarland

Jezebel – Life in a gilded cage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – especially if the whole purpose of the cage is to keep me a virgin till I’m ready to be sacrificed to the man of my father’s choosing. I want out, and don’t think I haven’t tried. It’s not that easy with Daddy’s Brotherhood guards all over the place. But that doesn’t mean I want to trade one cage for another. And, let’s face it, I have no idea how to live on my own. I’ve never had the chance. Now I’m not sure I want to learn, because my new jailer – err, rescuer — is the sexiest man I’ve ever known. El Diablo’s not the monster everyone’s made him out to be. But can I tame the beast of a man without losing my heart? All I want for Christmas is a chance to find out…

El Diablo — I went hunting for a victim. Instead, I found a Christmas Angel. She’s the daughter of my enemy, used as a pawn in a deadly game of chess. All I really wanted was the Brotherhood out of Palm Beach. Instead I found an innocent who brings out a side of me I’d thought long buried and gone. But Jezebel’s younger than my own daughter, and just as much trouble. And I’m El Diablo — a title I earned heart and soul. I’m so not what she needs. And now she’s under my protection in the Black Reign compound. She should be completely off-limits. I won’t let the Brotherhood take her back and force her to give up her dreams. But who’s going to protect her from me?

WARNING: Contains explicit violence and scenes of dubious consent. As always, there is a HEA and no cliffhangers.

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars

El Diablo might be book 5 in the Black Reign MC, but it’s written in such a way you won’t be overly confused if you haven’t read the previous four books. That being said, you’ll probably enjoy it more when you know the backstory of El Diablo and some of the other characters.

El Diablo – aka Liam – has never wanted to claim a woman. Until he meets the perfect one. She’s innocent, yet daring. Everything about her intrigues him, and makes him to want to hold onto her. Talk about an over the top alpha male! El Diablo brings that and more to the table. If you like sexy older heroes, then his story is a must read!

Jezebel’s father is a monster and she’s remained somewhat sheltered most of her life. Doesn’t make her any less wild. She’s bold and ready to experience all life has to offer. I loved the way she just made herself at home when El Diablo took her back to the Black Reign compound. Seeing her interactions with the old ladies and the kids made me smile.

While there’s some holiday cheer in this story, and quite a bit of hilarity, it’s not lacking the suspense and heat you expect when you pick up a Marteeka Karland book. It’s perfect for unwinding at the end of a long day! This one is full of steam, heart-melting scenes, and those bad boy alpha men we’ve all come to love.

WHAT ARE REVIEWERS SAYING?

“OMG! He was totally worth the wait!!!! I love El Diablo & Jezebel she is the perfect match for the leader of Black Reign!” – Melissa, Goodreads

“OH MY GOSH!!!!! El Diablo is EVERYTHING you could hope he’d be. He’s HOT, HOT, HOT, FLAMING HOT!!!!!!!!” – G, Goodreads

“Wow, just wow! El Diablo is so much more than I expected. I lost myself in these characters and pages.” – Andrea, Goodreads

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Marteeka Karland

El Diablo

Sitting off in the distance next to a densely wooded area, the house looked like something out of a horror movie. Sure, the grounds were immaculate and the structure itself a beautiful, Gothic architecture, but with the trees bare of leaves and the full moon hovering above it with a halo of fog around it, not to mention the tall, imposing fencing with razor wire surrounding it… Yeah. The place could have been an asylum in a slasher film.

From what I’d found out from Drago and Pretty Boy, the girl I had been searching for was being held in this house. Had been in this house her entire life. Not just living there. By all accounts, she’d never once left it.

“No change, Liam,” El Segador — the Reaper — said to me on our personal line. He was one of a very few people who knew my real name. Mainly because we’d grown up together, and he’d willingly followed me for close to thirty years. “She’s still on the upper floor. West wing. Giovanni swears he got it right, and that there’s a tracker on her person.”

“Very well. Is there any way to get in and contain her before we breach the house from below?”

“Negative. Security equipment’s too sensitive. You can go up the side of the house and breach from the roof, but Giovanni says the only viable entrance opens up two rooms away from her. You’ll still have to navigate the hallway, which is probably full of Malcolm’s men.”

“That’s my entry. You come up from below and eliminate as many as you can… quietly. If I need a distraction, you call in the boys, and you’re it.”

“Copy that.”

I switched to the team channel. “It’s a go. El Segador and I will enter first. Other than that, follow the plan.”

“Not comfortable with that, boss,” Archangel keyed in. “Everyone agreed I should take point. Besides, Samson will kill my ass if you come back with so much as a scratch. I know, ‘cause he told me so.”

“I’ll endeavor to appease Samson’s delicate sensibilities,” I replied dryly. While I trusted my club with my life, I wasn’t willing to take the chance the girl was out and about in the house. Or that she could sneak out of her room. Drago had spoken highly of her intelligence and skill. While he’d been able to speak, that is. The fewer of us in the house until she was in my custody, the less likely it was there would be accidents.

“Going on the record I’m objecting strenuously to this. Something happens and El Diablo gets hurt, you motherfuckers better back me up,” Archangel replied crossly.

On any other occasion I’d have taken pity on him and let him lead the mission. Or El Segador. But this was too important. I let my club do many things in the guise of safeguarding me. Only because it pleased them, and I was willing to give a little and look weak if it made them happy. Every single one of them was more than capable, so, as long as the risk was acceptable, I indulged them. They always did what I asked of them to the best of their abilities. It was the least I could do when none of them asked for anything. Typically, I had to force on them their heart’s desires. This, however, was different. Malcolm was a fierce opponent, one I knew almost as well as I knew El Segador. I didn’t want to risk my brothers on someone so unpredictable without knowing exactly where the bastard was and how much he was expecting from me.

“I got your six,” Hardcase spoke up. I could detect the faintest amount of humor in his voice. “For all the good it will do you.” There were chuckles over the radio as throat mics were activated with the sound.

“If you are all finished, El Segador and I would appreciate it if you kept an eye out. Let us know if any surprises are coming our way. Particularly if it’s in the form of a small woman. Aye?”

“Eyes open, mouths closed,” Archangel said. Immediately the chatter stopped and the operation began.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.

SPOTLIGHT: More than Fine by Jenni Bara #holidayromance #contemporaryromance @Jenniferbbar3

She’s running from her past, he’s hiding from the world when suddenly their lives collide.

Trish Biltman has spent the last two years evading a past she fears. Tucked away in a small seaside Jersey town, with her two young children, her life is simple. Until the day a photo from her best friend’s highly publicized wedding shows up on Page 6, and she finds herself once again on the run trying to keep her family safe.

Since his divorce, Grant Evans has focused his time and attention on his secluded Pennsylvania farm. His solitary life is fine, until the quiet, brown-eyed Trish and her adorable—but loud—kids need somewhere to go. Since his farm is their only option Grant reluctantly opens his doors to them.

Both Trish and her kids begin to thaw the ice that held Grant’s heart captive for years as he teaches her to trust again.  But the darkness from her past comes back, threatening their relationship, just as Grant starts to believe life can be

More than Fine.

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EXCERPT

 “I thought you’d be up at five. I was trying to have everything ready for you,” Trish said, turning back to hurry through whatever she was stirring.

“I’m not in a rush,” he said. Trish glanced back at him before turning away again quickly, almost like she felt guilty. “Do you think you need to make me breakfast?”

Her head shot around, but she didn’t say anything.

“I mean, I told you last night I’d eat any time you made food, but I didn’t mean it to be an obligation,” he explained.

She shook her head, and Grant waited while she thought. Trish was slower to answer questions, but if he didn’t rush her, she’d eventually reply. Her brow ruffled, and then her head cocked to the side before she finally looked back at him.

“I wanted to do something nice for you.” There was an open honesty in her statement. She wasn’t buttering him up, and she wasn’t looking for something in return. She was selflessly doing something for someone else. Grant’s chest panged at the difference between this and what he was used to experiencing. She paused again and looked down. “And I wanted to say I’m sorry for running from you last night. It’s just…” She paused again, and her teeth sank into her lush bottom lip. Finally, she looked up and said, “My side hurts,” as if she was apologizing.

“Well, you got cut open and parts of you were taken out, so it should,” Grant said, his eyes drifting to her side, to the exact spot his hand had touched. Then something occurred to him. The way she’d have to twist to change the bandage herself would probably cause her more pain. “Have you been able to clean or change your bandage?”

She swallowed and shook her head.

“Trish,” he sighed. It had been two days, and he knew it should be changed daily. “Can you pause breakfast? And by that, I mean if you take ten minutes off from cooking, will it still taste like heaven?” He sent her a smile to reassure her he wasn’t mad, but wanted to help.

“It’s basically done; if I turn it down, it can simmer.”

He nodded and took a step toward her. “Then can I please change the bandage for you?”

“You don’t have to,” she said. “I don’t want to be an inconvenience.”

“I know.” He took two steps closer to her. They were now only an arm’s length apart. “And you’re not.”

She finally nodded, and he took the final step to her. He could touch her now, he could smell the sweet scent of her skin, but he didn’t move closer. He waited until she looked at him again, making sure she was comfortable.

When she met his eyes, he asked, “Can I lift you up onto the counter?”

He watched her brain start to tick, trying to figure out how she could jump or lift herself. Her lips tightened to a straight line as the realization passed through her: She couldn’t. Finally, she met his eyes again with a small nod.

Gradually, he reached out toward her waist, giving her plenty of time to stop him, but she didn’t. His palms hit the soft fuzz of the flannel first, then his hands came to rest on ample female hips. He slowly lifted her weight and sat her on the counter before stepping between her legs.

His hands rose deliberately, undoing the buttons of her shirt. One. Two. As each button came open, more of the curve of breast and the pinch of her waist in the fitted white tank top came into view. Three. This was killing him. Four. The flannel opened, revealing the body she always hid.

He met her eyes, and the air buzzed around them. He lifted his hand and, painfully slowly, he pushed the red and black material off her shoulder. Goosebumps broke out across all of the soft peachy skin he revealed. He swallowed and glanced back up to her eyes.

“Sorry, I didn’t realize how cold it is in here,” he allowed.

She shook her head and took her arm out of the sleeve. He quickly got what he needed so he could move back to her. Careful not to cause her any pain, he raised the white tank top just enough to reveal the bandage he needed to remove. He peeled the tape cautiously, watching her skin pebble with additional goosebumps, until it finally gave way. He looked at the black stitches, all ten of them, that cut into her soft skin. He watched his hands work, but he could feel her eyes on his face. Grant frowned at the harsh red skin still swelling around every black piece of thread. No wonder his soft touch made her eyes water.

“Are you okay?” he asked, bringing his eyes up to meet hers. Those giant brown orbs rimmed by thick dark lashes watched him with such open trust it caused a weird, painful crack in the armor surrounding his heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Even as a young child Jenni Bara would conjure up all kinds of tales with her endless imagination. She’s improved her skills since the days of scaring her younger cousins with ghost stories, but her love for books and stories has never changed. 


In her everyday life, she is a paralegal for family law writing unhappily ever afters for people every day. So in turn she spends her free time with anything that keeps her laughing including life with her four kids, or five if you count her husband!

All joking aside she is blessed to have not only a very supportive husband but super supportive parents as well as a loving extended family always happy to share their opinions! 

Her favorites spots all have the best views of the sunsets and she loves to share the views through photos. 

She just began her career as a romance author writing books full of life, love, and laughter. 

Find out more about Jenni and her books HERE.

BOOK REVIEW: Frozen Valentine by E.C. Land #MafiaRomance #bookreview

Blake

The first thing you learn as a kid is ‘stranger danger’, but they don’t tell you what to do when a tall, tattooed, dangerous man shows up out of nowhere.

I know I should make him leave. He’s surely capable of fending for himself, but it’s the middle of winter, the roads are icy and around these parts that can mean a death sentence. I don’t have any other choice but to help this handsome stranger.

My heart has been broken one too many times, and I’ve refused to let anyone back in.
Can I keep this man from melting my heart with his charm, or will it be as frigid as it was yesterday?

Today is Valentine’s after all, and stranger things have happened.

Get it at Amazon

MY REVIEW:

Suspense and passion fill the pages of Frozen Valentine. The heat between Theo and his “Snowflake” leaps off the pages. He’s all alpha and makes no apologies for it. She’s the quintessential damsel in distress, who of course falls for him almost immediately. Who can resist a bad boy? I will say it ends with a happily-for-now, but it was a satisfying story overall.

Perfect for a quick read to keep you warm and happy on a cold winters day.

4 1/2 stars ⭐️

*DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. The review above is only my opinion.

A Happy Effin Valentine by Stephanie Burke #RomCom #DarkFantasy @FlashyCat @changelingpress

Masataka is a shape-shifting neko who makes the unfortunate mistake of picking up a stunning kitsune at a bar and taking her home for the night. How was he to know it was her wedding day? Or that her chosen mate was a nine-tailed kitsune of great distinction and power? Masa’s punishment is to be banished to Earth, stuck in his cat form until someone wishes for him to stay.

If it weren’t for bad luck, Effin wouldn’t have any luck at all. It’s Valentine’s Day, a day supposed to symbolize love and romance. Instead, it’s the worst day of Effin’s life. Whatever could go wrong, does. Abandoned in the middle of nowhere, Effin finds a homeless kitty. Charmed, she takes the cute, furry creature home.

It just so happens that the pretty kitty is actually Masataka, that lucky, lusty, shape-shifting neko. Suddenly, bad dates, worse clothes, and the sister from hell are a thing of the past.

Effin is the woman of Masataka’s dreams. Effin’s not so sure. It’s up to Masataka to convince Effin to believe in the staying power of love… and in her sexy lucky charm.

Available Now at Changeling Press

preorder for February 5th at online booksellers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Stephanie Burke

Effin was not having a good day.

In fact, not since Vesuvius had erupted and tons of hot volcanic ash had descended upon the denizens of Pompeii had anyone had a bad day like this. Come to think of it, bad was too minor a word. Her day had been vile, loathsome, horrid, terrifying, disgusting, and monstrously illogical.

And it all started on February thirteenth — Friday, February 13th, when Effin Damnwell Hurtzs opened her mouth.

Her mother had always warned her to think before she spoke, a trait she lacked, and a tendency she shared with her mother. “That little pink thing in your mouth is going to get you into a world of trouble, Effin.” Her mother sighed, shaking her head as if she knew that trouble for her eldest daughter was inevitable.

Hell, she was born during a leap year! Double hell, if Effin’d had any luck at all, Trouble would have been her middle name.

She came upon her unusual moniker by accident. When her mother, doped up with painkillers and sedatives, was asked two different questions at the same time after a forty-three hour labor, this was the result:

Her father: “How does it feel?”

The medical receptionist: “What shall we name this beauty?”

Her mother’s response: “It effin damn-well hurts, you bastard!”

Her father had finally learned to keep the pink thing in his mouth still, especially after his loving wife ripped out a handful of chest hair.

The medical receptionist had sniffed: “You don’t have to be so mean about it! I heard you just fine!”

Her mother: “What?”

The result: A tiny, beautiful little chocolate baby girl stuck with a name that would ensure future school fights and taunting for a lifetime.

And now, how Effin wished she had taken her mother’s advice to heart, especially after she recalled how she’d got her name. But no! Effin Damnwell Hurtzs had to challenge fate and miscellaneous creatures by loudly declaring, “There are no such things as gremlins!” when her best friend confided that she was being plagued by a goodly tribe of them.

And what’s even worse, she made her declaration on Friday, February 13th, black Friday, the unluckiest day of the year.

After ignoring her best friend Christa’s horrified stare, she went home, had a nice mug of cocoa laced with a liberal shot of Cask & Cream Caramel Temptation, indulged in a nice hot bath, and retired to her boudoir to dream wonderful dreams of the blind date Christa had set her up with.

According to Christa, her date, Buster, was a CPA with an MBA and drove a BMW. The brother was supposed to be fine as hell, independent, didn’t live with his mother, had a lucrative job that ensured he wouldn’t be hitting her up for loans, and had impeccable social skills. That meant he had proper pronunciation and would say shrimp instead of scrimps, would chew with his mouth closed, would not brag about himself, and she would not suddenly determine that his ethnicity was actually Russian or Roman from the speed and accuracy of octopus hands.

Yes, Effin went to sleep with a smile on her face, her tummy warm and full, feeling sated and altogether pleased with herself.

Life was good, and tomorrow, Valentine’s Day, it would only get better.

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.