Get ready for a charmingly quirky romance with a twist of murder mystery in Honey Mead Murder!
Honey Mead Murder
Honey Bear Cosy Mysteries Book 1
by Dahlia Donovan
Genre: LGBTQ MM Romance, Cozy Mystery
Get ready for a charmingly quirky romance with a twist of murder mystery in Honey Mead Murder!
Follow the heart-warming story of George Bernard Sheth, a devoted pug and bee lover, who has been secretly crushing on a local mead brewer. But when a customer dies during a mead tasting, Murphy Baird, the brewer, finds himself at the centre of a police investigation.
As the two navigate the murder mystery, they find themselves falling deeper in love, all while trying to stay alive long enough for their first date. With meddling friends and unexpected plot twists, “Honey Mead Murder” is a must-read for anyone who loves a good MM romance and a thrilling mystery.
Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.
Tamaska is to become a wolf shifter but she might not survive the change.
Protector Wolf Shifter Series Book 3
by Lilliana Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Tamaska is to become a wolf shifter but she might not survive the change.
If Tamaska wants to survive being hunted by vampires she must transformed into a wolf shifter. But new information brings into question if the transformation process will work or not.
Kodiak doesn’t want to take any risks that might end Tamaska’s life. She is his mate and he can’t imagine living without her. He’d rather she is alive, protected by himself against the vampires. But the vampires capture Kodiak.
Can Tamaska find someone else in the pack to transform her into the wolf shifter? Will she find a way to rescue her wolf mate without letting the vampires capture her?
Tamaska started up the car, ready to drive back to the pack. She’d promised Kodiak she wouldn’t return to her apartment, but it was the middle of the day, when vampires slumbered or whatever they did…hung upside down like bats? She was safe in any case and the chance to shower, to wash away the past few days and grab some clean clothes was too tempting.
What’s the worst thing Kodiak could do to me?
The thought opened all sorts of delicious possibilities that she shut down.
It wouldn’t take long. She’d just grab some of her clothes and toiletries, a few things that would make the clubhouse more like home for her.
“But he said to head right back.”
Tamaska drove the car through the crazy Sydney traffic, heading back to Kodiak.
Home called just as strongly as doing what she was ordered to do. She was sick of wearing sweaty, stinky clothes stained with blood.
It reminded her of the vampires, the fight, and the death she’d witnessed.
Tamaska gripped the steering wheel tightly, as if that action could push away the images burned in her mind.
A horn blasted from behind, and her attention crashed back into reality.
The lights ahead were green, and the cars behind were impatient for her to drive on. Tamaska took her foot off the brake too quickly and lurched forward.
Another blast from a car behind her set Tamaska on edge.
If she was careless and caused an accident, the pack members likely wouldn’t be so forgiving—especially Onai, since Tamaska drove his car. She needed brownie points, not black crosses against her. She couldn’t keep messing up and doing the wrong thing.
Kodiak wouldn’t need to know.
And he wouldn’t, not if she was quick. He was too busy with his new role, leading the pack. He wouldn’t even notice, never mind be angry at her.
All she had to do was to get to her apartment, then get back with the carpet cleaners.
Tamaska parked in front of her apartment.
It’s close to the clubhouse, anyway.
Without another thought, she got out of her car and hurried inside the apartment building. After being transformed, she would never need to go back again. It made sense for her to get some of her things now rather than later.
Excuse after excuse for this disobedience filled her head.
The sun shone warm on her skin—another excuse…it was too early for the vampires to out hunt her.
Returning to the apartment might be a sightly risky detour, but if she skipped the shower it wouldn’t count. She’s just go in, grab some things and leave. Easy.
The elevator ride to her floor was slow, and she had to stop herself from pacing the small space. Fortunately, none of her neighbors seemed to be around, and she hurried to her apartment before anyone saw her and started asking questions.
Tamaska took the hidden spare key out of the lockbox, unlocked the door, and swung it open. She’s just do a grab and dash so—
She gasped. Her hand covered her mouth as she stared, horrified, at the sight.
Her neat apartment was torn apart.
Tamaska stood frozen in the doorway. The words who did this filled her brain, but she knew. Of course, she knew.
Protector Wolf Shifter Series Book 2
A vampire attack on the Shadow Pack may end in their destruction.
Scared and confused, Tamaska refuses to see or talk to the man who lied about what he was. Kodiak is a wolf shifter and even though her heart breaks at the distance between them, her fear of this supernatural world threatens to break the connection with him.
Tamaska is determined to overcome her fear and steal back the Blood Opal from the vampires so her life can return to normal. She sneaks into the night club in search of the Blood Opal, what she finds is far more terrifying than Kodiak and his pack could ever be.
Kodiak is rejected and disconnected, and loneliness eats away at him threatening to push him towards insanity if he can’t find a way to convince her they are meant to have a future together. He will not allow Tamaska to be so reckless. Worried she will be captured or worse, he ignores his pack responsibilities and risking his status as beta seeks her out.
Caught between the pack he’s sworn to protect and the woman he can’t live without, will Kodiak be able to hold on to everything he holds dear or watch helpless as it’s all torn away?
Fans of Roxie Ray, Kim Richardson, and Sarah Spade will devour Lilliana Rose’s world of unexpected adventure and dark imagination.
Scroll up and click to begin the journey in this protector turn lover and opposites attract series set in a dark, urban fantasy world.
A sound rang out above her, in the direction she’d come from, and made her freeze. Her blood chilled.
Tamaska wasn’t losing her mind, and she wasn’t alone.
Her heart lurched. She didn’t dare to move, let alone risk going back up the stairs. And she couldn’t stay here.
If the staircase led down, maybe there was a way out. But she didn’t want to run. She wanted to get to the balcony area and search for the gem.
Was it worth it?
The softest thump, a footstep on the top of the staircase above her, accelerated her decision. She could only go down and hope there would be a hiding place in the basement—or better still, a way out.
As she raced quickly down the final stairs, a second set of footsteps echoed toward her. Her senses seemed heightened to a level she’d never experienced before.
Since when did my hearing get so sharp?
It didn’t matter. All that mattered was escape. Self-preservation spurred her instincts on, and she rushed down a narrow, dark corridor.
Except it wasn’t as dark as it should be.
Add my eyesight to that list, too.
Soft, orange guide lights pushed back some of the thick, heavy darkness. Yet Tamaska could see the details of the basement area as if it were fully lit.
Her senses screamed. Someone knew she was there. That someone had followed her. She needed to keep moving.
Evenly spaced doors dotted each side of the corridor. Ahead stood a brick wall and an old wooden table with a vase of black roses and a flickering candle. Sensing no way out past the wall, she turned her attention to the doors. Did she dare to open one? The thought of the strange kitchens upstairs chilled her.
She was running out of options.
If she was found, who knew what might happen to her alone in the basement? She would lose the chance to find the Blood Opal, and she wasn’t about to let that happen.
One door stood ajar. Tamaska pushed it open and stepped inside. Immediately, she wished she’d taken her chances and gone back upstairs.
The chilly air in the room hurt her lungs. A strong metallic stench seemed to stain the air, permeating everything.
And in the middle of the room sat a huge, thick table, like an evil thing. It made her want to run as the panic slid in close to her bones, but curiosity drew her closer.
Strange swirl patterns were engraved deeply into the tabletop. The space had to be for something sacrificial. Her gut twisted.
What the fuck goes on here?
Red liquid pooled deep in the carved crevices. Was that…blood? Something drew her to it. She reached out, hand shaking, and pressed her fingers against the table.
A jolt went through her, and she snatched her hand away. What was that strange sensation? It wasn’t sharp or burning hot, but more like an energy zap that sent an uncomfortable vibration up her arm. Like a low-level electric shock. It didn’t hurt, but the unpleasantness left her wanting to back away.
Moisture clung to her fingers, and her stomach heaved as she looked. It was definitely blood, fresh enough to still be wet, but congealed. Her mind filled once more with the images of blood drinking.
Coming here was a mistake. I have to go. She turned to step away and bumped into something. And screamed.
Protector Wolf Shifter Series Book 1
Kodiak must protect Tamaska against vampires who want her dead.
The leader of the vampires wants to capture Tamaska. She needs someone to protector her against a world she has no idea about. That someone is Kodiak, but she doesn’t trust him.
If Kodiak fails at protecting Tamaska and the vampires kill her, they will cause death and destruction on earth. His alpha disagrees, and forbids him from protecting Tamaska. The pack must be committed to each other against the vampires and not be distracted by a human.
There’s a bond forming between Kodiak and Tamaska and he is compelled to protect her.
Who will he choose, his pack or Tamaska? Or will Tamaska break his heart and risk everything he is trying to protect?
Fans of Twilight, Shadow Hunters, and The Winx Saga will devour Lilliana Rose’s world of unexpected adventure and dark imagination.
Scroll up and click to begin the journey in this protector turn lover and opposites attract series set in a dark, urban fantasy world.
That lust had been there since the moment their eyes had met last night.
Tamaska took another step towards him and splayed her hand on his chest. Kodiak could barely think. Releasing her had taken most of his self-restraint and he wasn’t a man built for such things.
When he wanted, he took.
But she was human and…
Hell. She looked at him like she wanted to rip off his clothes and take him here and now.
Her eyes glittered with carnal lust, like she wanted to strip back all humanity’s constructs and get down to the bare boned honest business of sex.
As the music’s beat built, thrumming with the desire in his veins, the last of his control snapped.
He caught her hand and lifted it, without breaking eye contact. He took two of her fingers into his mouth and sucked on them, letting his tongue slide over them, before biting down. She moaned, that low-throated sound that set him ablaze and made the desire within him combust.
This was inevitable. It was fate.
He released her fingers and drew her in. She sighed and wrapped her arms around his neck, rising on her toes so her mouth was a whisper from him.
His breath caught and he lowered his lips, catching hers. It was a taste, a nibble. She was hot and soft.
A groan broke free from his lips before he kissed her again. This time, she met him, her mouth as needy as his, as savage.
It was like an eternity of lust burst from them. The kiss was a carnal, dark exploration and he couldn’t get enough.
He wanted it all.
He didn’t give a fuck they were in the vampire club. He didn’t give a damn about the opal.
Right then, the only dangerous thing was not to continue.
He pulled her in hard against him and kissed her once more.
This could cost him his life, and hers.
And he didn’t give a damn.
Lilliana Rose is an Amazon Bestselling author, who writes romance in the subgenres of contemporary and paranormal romance. She enjoys helping characters overcome problems or issues, and the misunderstandings that often plague relationships, to help them fall in love. Whether it’s city heels being replaced with country work boots, or some magic beyond this world, each story shows how love can prevail. She has poetry, middle grade, picture book, novellas, and novels published under various pen names.
A retired librarian gets back to the books—and into a devilish murder case
A Cryptic Clue
A Hunter & Clewe Mystery Book 1
by Victoria Gilbert
A retired librarian gets back to the books—and into a devilish murder case—in acclaimed author Victoria Gilbert’s new series, the perfect literary adventure for fans of Kate Carlisle and Jenn McKinlay.
Sixty-year-old Jane Hunter, forced into early retirement from her job as a university librarian, is seeking a new challenge to keep her spirits up and supplement her meager pension. But as she’s about to discover, a retiree’s life can bring new thrills—and new dangers.
Cameron “Cam” Clewe, an eccentric 33-year-old collector, is also seeking something—an archivist to inventory his ever-expanding compendium of rare books and artifacts. Jane’s thrilled to be hired on by Cam and to uncover the secrets of his latest acquisition, a trove of items related to the classic mystery and detective authors. But Jane’s delight is upended when a body is discovered in Cam’s library. The victim, heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, was the last in line of Cam’s failed romances—and now he’s suspect number one.
Cam vows to use his intelligence and deductive skills to clear his name—but with a slight case of agoraphobia, rampant anxiety, and limited social skills, he’ll need some help. It comes down to Jane to exonerate her new boss—but is he truly innocent?
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I always loved to write, but mostly wrote poetry and short stories when I was younger. I also outlined and started several novels, but never completed them. Life – in the form of work and family – then got in the way and I abandoned writing for many years. Finally, when I was 56, I decided to complete one novel just to say I had achieved that life goal. That book, and its sequel, are still on the shelf, but my third completed novel garnered me an agent and publishing deal. My first book was published when I was 58! Which is why I always say it is never too late.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I can’t really say that I’m a “country girl” or “city person.” I’ve lived in rural areas, small towns, moderately-sized cities, and very large cities (NYC) and actually enjoy all those lifestyles. I think if I was wealthy, I would have a home in each of those areas and alternate between them!
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
When I was around ten, my family spent 5 weeks traveling in a station wagon and pop-up tent camper. We crossed the USA from the east coast to the west coast and back again, and had many interesting adventures along the way. One evening we set up our camper beside a lake before a huge rainstorm and woke up to find water lapping the bottom of our camper steps. We also encountered a heat wave in the desert – and didn’t have air conditioning in the car! We had to fill a cooler with ice chips and use those to cool down. But it was an amazing trip and I admire my parents so much for taking a 12 year old, 10 year old, and 6-year old on such an adventure.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Peoria, Illinois, but don’t remember living there as my family moved to Virginia when I was two. I grew up in Loudoun County, Virginia, which is in the northern part of the state, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I actually set my first mystery series – the Blue Ridge Library series – there. Although I created a fictional town, it is based on the small towns I knew from living in that area.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
Probably not a very good one, as I have no desire to rule. I don’t care for politics, really don’t enjoy telling others what to do, and like my alone time too much to be a great ruler.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Of course I love to read! But I also like watching films and TV shows, walking, and gardening.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Intelligent, logical, empathetic, driven, and creative.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I love movies, especially classic and foreign films, so it is impossible for me to pick just one favorite. A few I really enjoy are the 1995 Sense and Sensibility, Babette’s Feast, The Lives of Others, Casablanca, Raiders of the Lost Ark, almost any B&W classic noir film, and most old Hollywood musicals.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I’m not sure any of my books would work as a movie, but I do believe all my mysteries would make wonderful TV shows. So if anyone in the industry is reading this…
Raised in a historic small town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian. Now retired, she’s worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and university library director.
Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B Mystery series, and the Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching TV and films, gardening, or traveling. A member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and two very spoiled cats.
Greyson hides many things from the Unseelie Court when they invade his estate each autumn for the Wild Hunt. During his required appearance as host, he is surprised to find a human among the glittering fae. She can see him even when he is using his stealth magic, which means only one thing—they are soul mates. Can he protect her amidst the swirl of fae politics and a plot against her life?
Lyra has grown up among the fae. She has been trained to be the perfect servant. Then her master brings her to the Unseelie Court event of the year and demands she demonstrate her skills to nobles. With the promise of freedom as a motivator, she willingly agrees. Then she realizes her master’s true plan thanks to the intimidating fae lord hosting the event. Though why he would be invested in her fate is a mystery.
The Unseelie’s Wallfloweris a light, fantasy romance novella about a relationship between an Unseelie and a human woman. It features faes, fated mates, and a romance between a noble and a servant, all played out against a backdrop of the peril, politics, and maneuverings of the Unseelie Court.
The hot summer air had cooled into autumn in the Great Wild Woods. Spreading north from the edge of human-dominated lands and nestling up against the feet of the Arista peeks where the gargoyles lived in their eyries, this was the region of the fae, of which I was one. Aligned with the Unseelie king, I was bestowed with his favor, probably because my smuggling operations kept him in all the luxury goods he could consume and more. That favor came with a price, though, hosting the annual Wild Hunt at the end of summer.
The guests began arriving at noon, their carriages, horses, and portals filling my front drive with mayhem and chaos as servants, children, and pets crowded for space among the adult fae as they call greetings to each other. My servants directed the guests inside under the lofty roof of my open-sided foyer as even more guests filled the drive once again. I watched the barely organized confusion from the top of the grand stair into the main house. No one approached me, and I liked it that way. The coming week was one to be endured for the greater good. Until the last guest left, I would be on edge. I needed to accept that.
“The king’s attendants have arrived.” Bartle, my majordomo, stepped to my side. A blonde faun, he kept his appearance meticulous, and I appreciated his tactful efficiency. “They presented this list of demands as per usual.” He extended a gilded sheet of thick parchment, which I took.
“All to be expected.” I handed the list back. “Anything new added since last year?”
“Pomegranate seeds, oranges, and pineapples.” Bartle’s nose wrinkled. “Apparently, he heard about your recent trades with the humans and elves.”
“Or he recalled that I acquired multiple saplings three years ago.”
The Haub family arrived, causing a mild uproar among the clustering fae. As a body, about half of the crowd surged elegantly in the direction of the sprite family as they stepped through their portal. Haub senior, a wizened old sprite, hated me on sight. From the moment he realized that he couldn’t provide what the king wanted and I could, he opposed me at every turn. However, that had recently changed. I hadn’t discovered why as yet, but that didn’t stop me from taking advantage.
“So, you approve the list?” Bartle asked, still standing at my elbow.
“If those are the only changes, then yes, it is approved.”
Bartle bowed and left.
I adjusted the leather gloves covering my hands and shook the edges of my sleeves down over their tops. Now a single inch of skin except my face showed. Gathering my stealth magic, I cloaked. Then, with weary reluctance, I descended the stairs and entered the fray.
Golden light filtered through the turning leaves outside the great expanses of smooth glass in the foyer walls. Arched recesses offered access to the gardens, but most of my guests lingered within the space bound by glass and columns. Designed to meld the gardens, groves, and front drive outside, the great gilt doors with the elegant interior. Marble tile floors, arched ceilings, and eggshell-surfaced columns created the illusion that the room lacked walls. Potted ferns and flowering bushes crowded every nook and clustered about the bases of each column in a vain attempt to decrease the clamor of a multitude of sounds bouncing off the hard surfaces.
And under all the cacophony, the splashing tinkle of the fountains flanking the grand staircase into the house relentlessly added to the pandemonium. I was of the mind to turn them off, but Bartle would be scandalized. Why not show off their engineering?
As I passed through the throng of Unseelie greeting each other, I mentally isolated out different conversations. They varied from gossip, flirting, and chatter to the planning of business negotiations as I passed among the partygoers. Noting who was attempting to speak with whom, I kept moving, relying on my inherent stealth magic to keep out of sight.
Without it, I would’ve been a very noticeable six-and-a-half-foot creature with curly black hair, dusky skin, and gray eyes dressed in all black. When I was uncloaked, most found me intimidating. An impression I tended to use to my advantage. The fact I kept myself aloof and unfailingly kept my appearance impeccable helped as well. Acting as the barely contained beast worked well when dealing with the Unseelie King and fulfilling his excessive tastes in wine, food, and frivolity. Whenever I decided enough was enough, I tapped my inherent intimidating magic and dropped a bit of my façade of culture and control, but this was not the time.
This year’s turn out for my annual gala promised to be the most impressive yet. The inns and rentable rooms for miles around had been sold out for months. Walking through the crowds, I noted almost every Unseelie noble from the king’s court had already arrived. Younglings of multiple species wove through clusters of elegant nymphs, sirens, sprites, goblins, ogres, pixies, and fairies of every size and rank. I began mentally ticking off the attendees from the list of those expected.
Then I noticed her, the singular human. A female, small even for her species, hid among the ferns at the foot of one the massive pillars supporting the soaring ceiling. Dressed simply but adequately, she watched the crowd with wary attention, burrowing deeper into the plants’ accommodating branches whenever a guest wandered near her hiding place.
Curious, I meandered that way. Slipping around the far side of the pillar, I settled in the deepest shadows of the leaves and set my back against the stone. She had chosen a good spot for spying. Most of the foot traffic flowed around this central point, but few of the passersby glanced in our direction. They ignored the greenery that I had ordered placed around the walls and bracketing the windows of my entryway.
“Bored with eavesdropping?” she asked.
I glanced over at her. Fronds framed her features as her bright eyes scanned the mingling crowd. She hadn’t turned my way, but somehow, I was certain she spoke to me. Assessing our surroundings, I noted that no one stood close enough to overhear or be the object of her query.
“Are you speaking to me?” I asked.
“Who else?” She flicked a glance over her shoulder. Blue eyes focusing on my face and the softening of her mouth hinting at a smile left no doubt.
“You see me?” Utter surprise brought a great rush of excitement. No one saw me when I wished to be hidden. Not even my own kind could detect my passing. Yet this slender human, magicless and helpless, could not only see me but didn’t hesitate to speak to me. It could only mean one thing. My breath caught in my chest. She was my soul mate.
“Of course, I see you.” Her mouth deepened into a suppressed smile while hidden laughter brightened her eyes. “You are a bit hard to miss.”
The realization that the day I had equal parts desired and dreaded since reaching my maturity had finally arrived hit me hard. I stiffened as the implications washed over me. She was human, how human I had yet to discover, but her lack of wings, sparkles, horns, or markings hinted strongly of ordinariness. But that couldn’t be. Just the fact she saw me through my shroud of camouflaging magic proved she was anything but ordinary. I took a slight measured step away from her and tucked my gloved hands behind my back. One touch and we would be bound. I couldn’t do that to her, to either of us. I needed time.
“I am sorry if I offended you, Master…” She let the title hang with a tentatively lifted eyebrow. Gone was the hidden laughter from her expression.
“Greyson,” I supplied my surname. I was fae. No fae offered their whole true name. Studying her solemn expression, I already missed her humor. Now she appeared worried. I opened my mouth to assure her that no offense had been taken, but the loud thump of iron boots announced the arrival of a Powrie with his red cap. He had manifested right outside her hiding place, stumbling as he did so in a flurry of loud tapping. The noise brought the nearby lingering guests’ attention around us—well to the Powrie and her.
“Lyra, who are you talking to?” He grabbed her arm. “Come and speak to those I instructed you to. I need more sylvian tears.” The Powrie dragged the woman away, making demands in her ear. The crowd parted to let them through without a word. Once they passed, my guests resumed their conversations as though the whole scene wasn’t worthy of note.
Every part of me protested her going. How dare he touch her so roughly? What was she to him? A wave of possessiveness urged me to pursue, subdue, and demand her attention. With great effort, I resisted the visceral desires that raced through my blood. I was more than my nature, and she was more than just a creature to be claimed. Closing my eyes, I drew my shoulders back. Now wasn’t the time. I had much to accomplish this night that had nothing to do with her, the woman, Lyra.
A reader of fairytales and folklore, Elisa Rae loves a happy ending. Noblebright characters, dastardly villains, and chemistry between characters delight her. When she isn’t writing, she loves to watch superhero movies and literary dramas.
Even the most cunning femme fatale has her weakness
Siena Ricci is shrewd, seductive, and an expert in the art of deception. Masking her identity behind the guise of Marie Lacroix, a specialist in antiques and objets d’art, she swindles her employer’s wealthy clients out of their valuable possessions. She hasn’t yet met the man she can’t manipulate, but then the con she’s playing on Jonathan Woodward has only just begun.
Jonathan proves to be an easy mark, but he’s also enticingly irresistible. As their relationship heats up, her plot to steal his multi-million-dollar antique trinkets begins to unravel. Noticing a subtle change in Jonathan’s demeanor, Marie questions whether she’s still in control of the con or if she’s blindly become the gullible victim of her own scheme.
Marie was delighted with Jonathan’s responses to the teasers she’d thrown at him. His facial reaction when she described how she protected her skin while sunbathing was priceless. She could almost visualize the scene he’d created in his mind of her rubbing her nearly naked body with sunscreen lotion. She’d stroked his ego by praising his choice of venue for their leisurely afternoon, his devotion to his family, his attention to her needs. She’d tantalized him with the occasional touch of her bare skin against his, sparking his desire for more please. She’d even gone so far as to intimate he might be the man she’d been searching for all her life. Her confidence in the job grew stronger as Jonathan fell for her charades one after the other.
Most men were tongue-tied by the time she’d finished enticing them. Depending on the circumstances, they’d take the opportunity to grope her on the spot. Jonathan, however, had remained a gentleman and showered her with compliments, which she found both charming and refreshing. Perhaps he’d been a widower for too many years and had grown accustomed to a life of abstinence. If the pleasure of her company was all he craved, that was fine with Marie. She was willing to be whatever Jonathan wanted as long as the ploy granted her access to the Somerset Necklace.
Marie made a modest attempt to work in the subject of jewelry, but Jonathan hadn’t taken the bait. She’d need to find other subtle ways to wedge the topic into their conversation. When he eventually admitted ownership, she’d plead with him to let her see the necklace. A small distraction, spilling a glass of wine for instance, would occupy Jonathan’s attention while Marie deftly switched the necklace for the fake replica Gus had crafted. By the time Jonathan discovered he no longer possessed the original piece of jewelry, Marie Lacroix would be long gone.
She sipped the water and pondered how to use the remainder of the weekend to her best advantage. A plan developed in her mind, one she was certain would work. After rehearsing the lure she would use to reel Jonathan in, Marie next gauged when to make her move. She placed the phone call around the time she estimated he and his friends would be finishing dinner.
“Marie?” While his greeting was subdued, Marie detected the pleasure in his tone.
“Hello, Jonathan.” Marie noticed other men talking in the background which meant Jonathan was still at the restaurant and close to her hotel. Good timing. “Can you talk?”
“Hold on. Let me find a place that’s more private.” Jonathan’s voice was muffled as he excused himself from the table. A few moments later, he resumed their conversation. “Sorry. My frat brothers have a tendency to eavesdrop, and then the teasing begins. Sometimes, I wonder if they’ll ever grow up.”
“I understand,” she told him. “I returned to my room for the same reasons.”
“We’re about to finish dinner. I was going to call when I got to my car and ask if you have anything planned for the rest of the evening. Is everything all right?”
“Oh, yes, everything’s fine,” she assured him, then added a tinge of anguish to her voice. “But ever since we left the café, a comment you made has been haunting me.”
Jonathan sounded concerned when he asked, “Why? What did I say?”
“You questioned when we’d see each other again. I’ve been thinking all evening about how soon I’d be able to make another trip to Boston, or when you’d be free to meet me in the city. Over dinner with my girlfriends, I realized how little I have in common with them these days, and how much I’d rather spend the remainder of this weekend with you.” Shame on me for throwing my imaginary friends under the bus!
Jonathan chuckled. “Funny. I’ve spent my entire evening mulling over that same dilemma.”
Marie made her response sound as though she were swooning. “Oh, Jonathan! I’m so happy to hear you say that. I gave my girlfriends (Sorry again, ladies!) the excuse of needing to cut the weekend short and returned to my room to call you.” She took a breath before continuing. “When you leave the restaurant, would you like to meet me for a nightcap? There’s a lounge in my hotel that’s open late. Or, if you prefer, I can have a bottle delivered to my room.”
“We could do that,” Jonathan replied, “but I had something else in mind.” He paused, as if waiting for her reaction.
“What is it?”
“Why don’t you check out of the hotel? I’ll pick you up, and we can spend the night at my home instead.”
Marie congratulated herself on a job well done. Placing herself inside Jonathan’s home
had been her goal all along. “How soon can you be here?”
She caught the smile in his voice when he said, “I’ll meet you in your hotel lobby in forty-five minutes.”
“My suitcase and I will be waiting for you.”
Grinning, Marie disconnected the call and sat back in the chair. Mission accomplished.
Rosemary Kubli writes the type of books she loves to read – intrigue and suspense mixed with a pinch of romance and a clever plot twist or two. Her professional experiences run the gamut from Human Resources and training to accounting and banking, with publishing being her most recent endeavor. Aside from the seven years she lived in southern California, she has always called the northeast corner of Ohio her home. Rosemary and her husband of 45 years enjoy traveling – on land to visit family and friends and on sea to any destination a cruise ship will take them. When not working on her next novel, she can be found discussing the latest in literary fare with her book club, playing a rousing game of Bunco with some of her oldest and dearest friends, researching her ancestry, volunteering in her community, burying her nose in a book, or obsessing over the latest binge-worthy TV series.
Wishes aren’t all they’re cracked up to be… especially when you have to capture the Fairies who grant them to you.
Er… make that faeries… and not the normal, hiding-in-plain-sight magical kind.
When a misadventure cleaning out the attic leads Isaac to release a faerie trapped in a glass ball of light, he believes he’s struck gold–in the form of wishes. All he has to do is mention the name that was engraved on the ball, and the indebted faerie would grant him any three wishes he wanted.
The best part of all was knowing that there was an entire chest of captured faeries waiting to be freed…
But when strange things start to happen around town, Isaac begins to wonder if the increasingly unfortunate events are his doing.
Only his mysterious neighbor, Yara, knows the truth about his lineage as a Light Keeper.
Can Yara’s strength and wisdom guide Isaac into his new role?
Can Isaac make things right again?
Or will his dream-come-true turn into his worst nightmare?
Rows and rows of glass balls stared back at me. They almost reminded me of ornaments without the hooks. I reached in and clasped one of the balls in my hands; the ball glowed a faint orange. I rolled it around but couldn’t identify a battery or a charge port. What powered this thing? The only other interesting thing about the glass was the word engraved on the side. C-R-I-S-T-O. Cristo? What a disappointment. Lightbulbs. I had torn the attic upside down for lightbulbs.
I was reaching back down to pick up another ball when the first slipped from my hand. I grabbed for it but clasped only air. I couldn’t do anything except listen to the glass shatter on the floor.
As I imagined Mom’s frustration when I explained to her that I’d broken one of Grandfather’s priceless heirlooms, a wispy fog poured out from the shattered glass, floated over the floor, and expanded to cover every inch of space. The cold and damp fog sent a chill through my body. The light from the window illuminated the silhouette of a figure in the mist. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I swatted my hand to wave away the fog from my face, but the figure remained.
I wanted to run back downstairs, nail the door shut, and apologize to Mom and Dad, but I couldn’t move. I wasn’t sure if I was frozen in fear or had an intense fight complex or my curiosity was too strong, but I needed to see what was coming. My knees quaked, and my heart thumped as the fog cleared and the shape in front of me became more pronounced.
The figure loomed over me. He was thin and tall, not abnormally so but taller than the average man. His suit was one I had only seen in movies about olden times and reminded me of a leprechaun’s. The suit had a waistcoat, and he even wore his trousers tucked into long socks. He also wore loafers with buckles on the shoes. The man’s skin was rough and weathered. He had a long-hooked nose, his face formed sharp angles, and his ears were half the size of his head.
The most curious thing about this person were his eyes. The man strode toward me. His eyes turned my blood cold. Was it because looking at his pupils felt like staring into a deep well? His intense gaze locked onto mine. I wanted to leave, but something prevented me from looking away from him.
A lump in my throat grew larger with each step he took. He came to a stop in front of me with perfect posture, hands folded behind his back. In a stone so calm and quiet it almost scared me more, he asked, “Do you know my name?”
My stomach lurched and threatened to make me throw up from panic. This person had come from a ball inside a secret locked chest. My mind raced a mile a minute. How would I know his name? The only indicator I could think of was the word I read on the glass before it broke, Cristo.
In a broken voice that squeaked and made me sound younger than my sister, I asked, “Cristo?”
The man snapped into a bow. The quick gesture caught me off guard and made me hop a step backward. His friendly smile stretched from ear to ear but did not match the despair his eyes made me feel. He stood and grandly announced, “At your service. What tasks will you have me perform?”
Christina Wallace has been many things. A student, an analyst, a wife, a mother, a gamer, and a lifelong writer. For almost as long as she can remember she’s dreamed of people and places that only existed in her mind, and sharing her stories is a dream come true.
Christina writes books not only for middle-grade audiences, but for young and new adults as well. Stories should be an escape. Christina likes to write about people who become their own heroes and take fate into their own hands. Many of her works contain fantastical elements and also a bit of love, but strong friendships are the common thread.
The Light Keeper is Christina’s debut series with more books soon to come. She is thrilled to begin this adventure of her very own as an author.
Religion is a funny thing. Especially when you accidentally create your own.
Eccentric young writer Zeggara “Egg” East has done just that, much to the chagrin of her devout mother. Egg’s new religion is called “Penguinism” and it’s proving far more popular than anyone—even the immortal Ageless—could’ve imagined. And the thing about deities is, they don’t appreciate a rival dogma.
Now everyone’s choosing sides in the coming conflict, including a tea-slurping tyrant, a guy with 12 gifts, and the God of Waste Management. So when Egg and her mother pick opposing factions, Egg has to wonder…can they reconcile, or will religion keep them apart forever?
Perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, and Douglas Adams, Eggs for the Agelessis a comic fantasy novel about family, faith, and waddling—not necessarily in that order.
What readers are saying:
“A fantasy comedy that swims in similarly madcap waters as works by Terry Pratchett and Christopher Moore, Massa’s novel coolly and deftly introduces a farcical setting that reflects the absurdity of today’s world, brimming with commentary on religion, capitalism, and writing.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Hilarious, quirky, and sharply satirical. Kyle A. Massa has crafted a work of comedic genius that will make you laugh until you cry, while simultaneously exploring the hypocrisy of some of humanity’s deepest-held beliefs. A read for anyone who delights in absurdity.” – Laura Lauda, Author
“Eggs for the Agelessis a hoot. It’s fun and easy to read, but leaves you with lots to think about, and endless chuckles.It’s filled with delightful characters, both good and bad. Kyle A. Massa weaves together a bundle of hilarious plot threads so expertly that you never quite know where they’re going, but can’t wait to get there.” – Geoff Jones, Author of The Dinosaur Four
“Fun, funny, and wildly creative.” – Nathan Pieplow, Author
“Interesting character development and a fast-clip storyline tells a very funny tale. Highly recommend.” – AJM, Amazon Reviewer
Kyle A. Massa is a comic fantasy author living somewhere in upstate New York with his wife, their daughter, and three wild animals. His published works include three books and several short stories. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, running, and drinking coffee.
Yvette Tyson is making a run for the governor’s office. Her goal is clear. Win.
She has the backing of her boyfriend, Cory Logan. He is kind, gentle, and determined— and offers the kind of support an unmarried black woman needs to get into office. Their relationship has grown over the past year, and she had been seen arm-in-arm with him in public numerous times. She is proud to show him off, and him, her—so there is no color issue—or is that exactly what it is?
Does Cory need a black governor to get a sports center named after him? Does Yvette need a white boyfriend to win that demographic to get elected?
All bets are off as convicts, ex-husbands, mistresses, unscrupulous family members, secret club affiliations, and manipulating the media are all part of the ammunition at a candidate’s disposal.
All parties are willing to take a DARK ALLEY TO POWER
Cory Logan retired from boxing after winning millions of dollars, but he never won a world title. When he dies, all he’ll have is a headstone that no one will visit. To live in infamy, he wants a sports facility named after him. The only thing that stands in his way is the mayor of Hilton Head, who insists it be named after an African American.
Yvette Tyson is frustrated since she divorced her cheating husband. She struggles with her new life, embarrassed by her past and unable to gain the respect she once had. Does she really have to spend the rest of her life working the graveyard shift at the supermarket?
When Cory runs into Yvette, their past lives converge. It soon becomes clear that Yvette winning the mayor’s office would benefit both of them.
Travis was brought up in Midwest America before embarking on a nine year Navy career that allowed him to travel the world and learn about life. He has ping-ponged across oceans moving from mainland United States to Hawaii, to Scotland, to Seattle, to England, to Minnesota, back to England, and back to Minnesota where he currently resides … for now
He writes easy-reading, light-hearted fiction and true stories about his own experiences that even the best fiction writer couldn’t make up. Relax by the beach or curl up on the couch on a rainy day while Travis takes you on fun-filled adventures that let you forget about life for a while and have a laugh.
A Romance Anthology to Benefit Breast Cancer Research
From sizzle to spice, we’ve got all your romance needs covered! Dive into some amazing romance stories while supporting a very important cause! Included are 25 short stories of various romance genres including: contemporary romance, dark romance, romantic suspense and rom-com. Grab this limited time collection before it’s gone forever!
FIGHT LIKE A GIRLis a romance anthology to benefit Breast Cancer Research in the US and Canada. This collection of short romance stories cannot be read anywhere else. 100% of the royalties will be split equally and donated to the US Breast Cancer Research Foundation & the Canadian Cancer Society-CIBC Run for the Cure, both charitable organizations dedicated to funding breast cancer research.
Authors included in this anthology: Anna B. Doe, B.L Olson, Brighton Walsh, Cassidy London, CM Albert, Crystal St-Clair, Daisy St. James, Dakota Willink, Diana Hicks, E.M Shue, Ellie Masters, Erin Cristofoli, Gabrielle G, Heather Slade, Jami Davenport, Kat Mizura, Lydia Michaels, M.L Broome, Maddy Lowe, Michelle Windsor, Mimi Flood, Patricia D. Eddy, Pepper North, Remy Reigns, Samantha A. Cole, Zoe York.