Friday, June 2, 2023

Friday Flashback!

 It's definitely summer where I am--peach season! So here's a peach-themed Oberon flashback. This is from book five, Touch of a Vanished Hand:


Sinead Quinn has always been something of a drifter.   But now, with her ex-husband trying to blackmail her, and her ex-boyfriend's widow trying to put her in jail, she has no choice but to go to ground.  What better place to hide than with your family?   After all, what are sisters for?  Especially when you're a twin.

 But the first rule of hiding out, is to keep a low profile.  And that does not mean kissing your sister's boyfriend (even if he can't tell the two of you apart); rescuing a troubled teen; or taking a highly visible job as hostess of Oberon's most celebrated new inn.


 Adam Sasso has always dreamed big.  But big dreams beget big complications.  First, his goal to turn the vineyard he inherited from his grandfather into a world-class winery is threatened by a mysterious saboteur.  Next, his plan to run the finest bed & breakfast Oberon has ever seen, is broadsided by a hostess who wants to run him.  Finally, it seems his fondest wish, of finding love-everlasting with the soul mate of his dreams, is about to go up in smoke when he can't convince her that they're destined to be together.


 This summer, it's going to take all the wizardry in Oberon to craft a happy ending for the drifter and the dreamer.


Closing his eyes and grounding himself, [Adam] called out with his mind.  Come to me, tesoro!  I need you!

            He sent the thought winging its way across the terrace, and was startled when it was met with a muffled exclamation and the crash of breaking glass.

            His eyes shot open, and he turned to the house, half expecting to see that the French doors leading in from the terrace had been blown away, and that Sinead--

            She was standing just a few steps from the table, staring in vexation at the broken dishes at her feet.  The lights in the pergola illuminated her expression, making it all too easy to see her annoyance.  She slid the tray she was carrying onto the table, dropped the towels she'd had tucked under her arm on one of the chairs, and bent to retrieve the broken pieces.

            Adam struggled to breathe.  His heart pounded in his chest.  She was okay.  Thank the gods.  For a moment he'd been afraid of a repeat of last week's disaster.  Was this why Marsha wanted to keep them apart?  Was he somehow putting Sinead in danger?  But, no, that made no sense; that would indicate two enemies, after all.  And he still had no real reason to suspect Marsha had any such intentions.

            He climbed out of the tub and strode across the terrace, willing her to stay preoccupied with the dishes until he'd snagged his slacks from the chair where he'd left them; the time for games and flirtations had passed.

            "What happened?" he asked as he zipped his pants and bent to crouch beside her. 

            Sinead's glance held a trace of something--reluctance, perhaps, or fear--but then she shrugged and it was gone again.  "I don't know.  I heard something, I thought, and I...and I guess I jumped, and the dishes--  Damn it, I don't know what's wrong with me tonight.  I'm not usually this clumsy."

            She'd heard him? “I’m sorry” he murmured, not knowing whether to be pleased, or surprised, or merely worried.  If she was aware of the connection between them, why didn’t she say so?  Why was she trying to hide from him?  Tesoro.  Parlare!  Speak to me, he called to her again with his mind, even more urgently this time.

            But she gave no sign she heard him.  Only raised an eyebrow as she asked, “What are you sorry about?  You're not the one breaking plates.  Sheesh.  They're barely even paid for.”

            “Don't worry about it,” he sighed, struggling to hide his disappointment as they stood.  “I know I'm not.  What's for dessert, anyway?”

            “Peach gallette, with a vanilla custard sauce and white chocolate ice cream.”

            “Peaches?”  Of course.  That was the fragrance he had scented earlier, and almost recognized, hidden beneath the garlic and roast peppers.  It could hardly be a coincidence that she'd chosen, as part of their first meal together, the very thing he'd used in his summoning of her.  So, she was aware of him.  On some level, at least.

            “Yes.”  She frowned.  “Why?  Is that a problem?”

            He smiled.  “No, not at all.  I brought a very nice dessert wine over with me, it should go perfectly with it.”

            But she shook her head.  “No more wine for me.  I'm going to stick to coffee, thanks just the same.”

            Maybe she was right.  Nothing had really changed, after all.  He still needed to take things slow.  “All right,” he agreed, toweling the excess moisture from his chest and arms as he re-seated himself at the table.  “Can I pour you a cup?”

            She didn't answer.  He looked up to find her staring at him with a puzzled expression on her face. 

            “Sinead?”  He repeated his question softly.  “Coffee?” 

            She blinked, and shook her head.  “No.  I mean, yes, but first I have to get more bowls.  For the ice cream.”

            As she started to move past him, he reached out and grabbed her by the wrist.  “No, stay,” he entreated.  He couldn't bear to lose sight of her again.  Not yet.  "We don't need separate bowls, do we?  Why don't we put it on top of the pie?" 

            "Gallette," she corrected automatically.  "Not pie."  Her eyes searched his face for an instant, as though hoping to find something that hadn't been there before.  “I guess we could do that.”  She pulled her arm out of his grasp and picked up the knife she'd placed on the tray.  She quickly served up two portions, while he poured out two cups of coffee.

            He slid one of the cups across the table to her as she took her seat.  “Thank you,” she said, and once again the response seemed mechanical, as though her thoughts were a billion miles away.

            Adam sighed.  He watched as she picked up her coffee with a distracted air.  Clearly, if there was to be any more conversation tonight he would have to initiate it.  He cast about for a suitable topic.  “So, are you planning on attending the balloon fest tomorrow?” he asked at last.

            “Tomorrow?” she repeated slowly.  “I'm not sure....”

            He cut into the pastry on his plate.  “Well, I know it runs for the next couple of weekends, but I never miss a chance to attend any of the balloon glows.”  

            “Really?  I've never been,” she said as she sipped at her coffee.

            He put his fork down again, the pie untouched, to stare at her in surprise.  “Oh, you have to go.” He reached across the table to touch her hand.  “If you've never been to one, you have no idea what you're missing.  Maybe we can go together?”

            “Maybe.  I'm not sure,” she repeated, as she slid her hand away from his. 

            “Well...think about it, okay?” Picking up his fork again, he took a bite of the gallette; and then he didn't say anything else.

            The taste of ripe peaches, combined with the scent of the roses blooming unseen in the darkness that surrounded the terrace propelled his mind back through time to the night, almost six months earlier, when he'd performed his summoning spell.  His eyes squeezed shut as a feeling that went way beyond deja vu swept over him.  Past and present melded, then split apart.  For an instant, so did he.  He found himself in two places at one and the same time.  And then, like an elastic band that had been stretched too far, he was all at once snapped back to the present.

            He opened his eyes to find her staring at him again, her expression one of alarm.  He pushed the plate away from him, and alarm changed to dismay.

            “You don't like it?”

            “Like?  No.”  He shook his head.  After one taste he was ready to declare his undying love, either by getting down on one knee and begging her to marry him, or by grabbing her up in his arms and ravishing her with kisses. 

            Either one would work just fine for him.  But, certainly neither would be the kind of response she expected.  He wasn't sure if he could come up with an answer that would express how he felt and not sound deranged, but he figured he had to try.  “Like is...too insipid a word.  I think I could fall in love with it.”

            She set down her fork and gaped at him.  “In love?  With your dessert?”

            And with you.  But it was probably best not to say that yet.  He nodded.  “Why not?  It's very possibly the best thing I've ever tasted.”

            “Oh.”  She stared at him a moment longer.  “Well, thanks, but...all the same, I think that would be a bad idea.”  Seeing the question in his eyes, she added, “It's a pastry, Adam.  It will never love you back.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

New Fallen Angel-themed Release

Redemption is live!


A Fallen Angels Paranormal Romance Collection 

Perfection is impossible, even for this collection of angels. ​

 Once esteemed immortals find themselves banished from the heavenly realm and condemned to a life on Earth amongst the mortals, unless they find a way back through the veil. 

Before they can find redemption they must first learn how to navigate their new life. Will they find a new appreciation for humanity and choose this life over the one they were created for? Grab this limited edition collection now before it disappears beyond the veil. ​

 Includes the Angels in the Afterlife Story, Christmas Angel. 

Blub for Christmas Angel:

Being fully transparent is good for a relationship, right? Well, maybe not when it’s literal. 

Christmas Angel is a second-chance, holiday romance with a celestial twist. Jake’s been sent back to earth to mend fences with his ex. Or has he? Certainly Tony doesn’t seem to think that's the case. 

 Tony might have ninety-nine problems—and then some—between dealing with his meddlesome family AND running the family business (a Christmas tree farm in rural Texas) but he's pretty sure that playing catch-up with his ex-husband isn’t supposed to be one of them. 

It’s a little hard to imagine what kind of future the two of them could have when only one of them is alive.

I do love grumpy heroes. And Christmas Angel has TWO of them! Here's Tony: 

Just to be clear, I never asked for this job. Cedar Lane Farms is and always was my parents’ dream; not mine. But when the dad who sacrificed his whole life for you and your siblings gets sick, and when your entire family’s future livelihood depends on someone being willing to step in and keep the farm running while he’s laid up…well, you do what you have to.
And when you also find out, in that self-same moment, that the person you thought would always be there to support you is a heartless, self-centered prick, you don’t even think twice.
Still, it’s been five years. Five years since I closed the door on the life that I thought I wanted and the marriage that was supposed to have been forever. Five years that I’ve been working here without a single break. It’s kind of a lot.
Quiet settles around me as I set about closing up shop for the night. Tthe sense of being alone is like a weighted blanket, heavy on my shoulders in a not-in-the-least-bit-comforting kind of way. I should be used to this, or getting used to it, by now.
I should man up, stop whining and just count my blessings. Starting with the fact that it’s a beautiful evening. Golden Hour. That time of day when the setting sun gilds everything in its path. And yes, my allergies are acting up like they do every winter—cedar fever kicking my butt as per usual. But still…I’m home. And for all its faults, the Texas Hill Country is still my favorite place in all the world to be.
And maybe it’s been a tough year—the latest in a string of tough years. But even with a lack of rain and record heat waves, we’re doing okay, you know? The new programs and events I’ve developed have finally started to pay off. Projections for next year are looking good, better than anything we’ve seen in a while. I’m even starting to think that maybe I do have what it takes to be a farmer after all.
Good thing, too. Because with my father’s neuropathy still flaring up from time to time—like it’s doing right now, for example—he’s not taking the reins back any time soon. If ever. And, speaking of my father, while I hate to see him in pain, I can’t lose sight of the most important thing, which is that his cancer is still in remission.
The rest of the family is also doing well. My mom, my sister, her husband, their kids are all in good health and reasonably happy. And, hallelujah, my little brother will be heading off to college in the fall. Can I get an Amen?
Lord knows, I love that kid to pieces, but we’ve been at each other’s throats since I moved back home. A little time apart can only improve our relationship.
But despite all the good things in my life, I’m still feeling down. Because, you see, I have this vision in my head of what my perfect Christmas would look and feel like. And every year that misses the mark, leaves me more and more depressed. The fact that my dream Christmas is based on the memory of a real Christmas only makes it worse.
Honestly, I think I’d feel a lot better if I could convince myself that the whole thing had never happened, that falling in love that Christmas was a fantasy. Or failing that, a goal for the future, something that I could still forward to, not something I had once and lost.
After finishing up at the shop, I lock the door and head back across the parking lot toward the rustic white farmhouse where I grew up. But then the low, rumbling growl of a powerful engine turning off the highway catches my attention and slows my steps.
“Who the fuck is this now?” I mutter as I stop to watch the showy, big-ass motorcycle cruise up our lane. The fancy paint job—metallic red and creamy white, Santa Claus colors—is right on point for the season. All that’s missing is a wreath between the handlebars. Which, I guess, must be what he’s here for since no one in their right mind would attempt to carry a Christmas tree home on a bike, not even a super-sized, full-dress tourer like this one. Then again, considering that biker Santa is wearing a red and white stocking cap in lieu of a helmet, who’s to say that he is in his right mind?
He’s a ginger. His hair, what I can see of it beneath the hat, gleams copper in the sunlight. He’s got the kind of rangy build I tend to fall for, a dark, scruffy beard; and my heart clenches at the sight of him. Even though I know it’s just my imagination playing tricks on me, like it tends to do this time of year, I’ll be damned if this jerk-off doesn’t remind me of my ex.
Except for the beard and the longish hair. Those are totally out of character. And…wait a minute. Is this dickhead smoking a cigar? Yes, he sure as fuck is. Which clinches the matter. I’ve never known anyone more dedicated to the preservation of his own health and well-being than my former husband. So, this must be some sort of Christmas-memory induced madness messing with my senses—more gravy than grave, as Scrooge would have it. Because Death-Wish Dude here can’t be Jake.
Except… Holy Guacamole. As he slows to a stop, close enough for his eyes to meet mine, I realize that this is, in fact, my very own Ghost of Christmas Past. “Jesus fucking Christ, Jake. What the hell are you doing here?”
“Whoa. Nice language,” Jake scolds. “You sing Christmas carols with that mouth?”
“Do I what?”
“You know: ’Tis the season, and all of that? What else are you gonna do with your mouth this time of year?”
“Well, I can think of a few things, actually,” I’m goaded into replying. And then immediately regret it when I catch sight of the twinkle in Jake’s eyes. It’s a very familiar twinkle and it hits me like a punch in the gut.
“Oh, I’m sure you can.”
“Fuck. You.”
“That an offer?”
“Don’t flatter yourself. Also, don’t make me ask you this a third time, either. Why. Are. You. Here?”
Jake spreads his hands in a what-can-you-do gesture. “Wasn’t my idea. I’m here because you want me to be.”
“I do not!”
“Beg to differ. Apparently, I’m the answer to your prayers.”
“The hell you are.”
“Okay, could we please not mention the burny place? You asked for a Christmas miracle, right? Well, that’s me.”
“But I— No. Stop!” I hold up a hand. “Do not get off your bike, Jake. I mean it. You’re notstaying.”
Of course, he ignores me. Because I guess some things really never do change. He swings his leg over the bike, sets the kick stand and then, cigar still in hand, saunters over to where I’m waiting with my arms crossed, still glaring at him in helpless fury.
“Look,” Jake says. “I don’t make the rules, all right? My best guess is that someone up in Heaven has a twisted sense of humor, because when you asked for help, they decided to send me.”
“I did not ask for help. And if I had, it wouldn’t have been from you. I know better’n that by now. Been there, done that, burned the bridge.”
“So not how that saying goes.”

Saturday, April 1, 2023

New Shifter Antho--available now!



Let us help you scratch that itch…

Get your FREE copy of SHIFTER FEVER









Friday, March 31, 2023

One Day Only!



Wednesday, February 15, 2023

First Look!

 I have a new series in the works. Actual books in the Sierra Shifters series proper probably won't release before next year, but I hope to have two introductory stories out this year. The first, Can't Fight the Moonlight will release in April (if all goes well) as part of the Shifter Fever anthology. 

At the moment, I believe the series will center around the Bitterridge werewolf pack and its Alpha, Klaus (Madclaws) Winterborn. I am enjoying the world building process SO stinking much. You'll note the very distinct naming protocols I'm using. First, last and pack names tend to be compound words. First names tend to highlight personal attributes, while last names and pack names tend to be more about locations, activities, or weather. One of the two heroes of Can't Fight the Moonlight, for example, is a part-werewolf named Coldpelt Moonwalker. On the other hand, there's another wolf mentioned whose name deviates slightly from this norm, being Juniper Sageriver. In addition, shifters will also adopt a human version of their first name--such as Klaus, or Cole or Juan. This is the name they'll use when dealing with humans. Interestingly, the wolves call Josiah Josh. I don't know why that is.

In any event. I expect great things from Madclaws, who'll be going head to head (or toe to toe, or mano e mano--take your pick) with none other than Conrad Quintano when Chasing Daylight releases hopefully later this year! Here's an (unedited, uncorrected, and very first-drafty) excerpt showing him interacting with Josiah Lodge (the vampire hero of Can't Fight the Moonlight). 

Can't Fight the Moonlight

The Sierra Nevada foothills have been vampire Josiah Lodge’s hunting grounds for nearly two centuries. Alone since a lover’s betrayal cost him his nest, the former trapper-turned-wild-crafter has given up on ever again finding love or acceptance. If he didn’t have to eat, he’d never venture out of his woods again. But needs must. 

 When Coldpelt (Cole) Moonwalker’s true shifter nature asserted itself, he was judged an abomination and cast out of his pack. Without a territory to call his own, he’s constantly on the move—which is how he ends up basically in Josh’s backyard. While Cole dreams of someday finding a place where he can belong, he knows that place can never be with the scarred and surly vampire who undoubtedly has the blood of Cole’s people on his hands. 

 Will the attraction they feel for one another allow these natural enemies to overcome their sense of mutual distrust? Is enemies with benefits even a thing? Find out when the FREE anthology Shifter Fever debuts April 1st.


“Why are you in here so much?” Klaus Winterborn asked as he pulled out a chair at the two-top where Josiah was already seated—his usual table, in one of the Bitter Ridge’s darkest corners. Where he could observe others, without being observed himself.

Josiah—or as he was known here, Josh—arched an eyebrow at the werewolf.  “You do go your own way, don’t you?”

“Meaning…?” Klaus replied, casually sipping from his IPA and looking completely at home, which of course he would.

 “Meaning that most proprietors would probably have chosen a different form of greeting when addressing a customer.”

Klaus grinned. “Very likely. But as neither of us are ordinary, I don’t quite see your point. And you still haven’t answered the question.”

“You brew good beer,” Josiah said, taking a long, satisfying sip from his pint of amber ale, enjoying the sweet, earthy flavor, reminiscent of chanterelle mushroom. 

The Bitter Ridge specialized in wildcraft beers, brewed using a variety of locally foraged wild edibles—much of which Josiah supplied—as well as a menu heavily weighted toward fish and game, which the pack supplied. 

“I do brew good beer,” Klaus agreed—no false modesty there. “But seriously…”

Josiah frowned. “Was there a problem with tonight’s delivery?” Josiah had had many jobs and occupations over the course of his already very long life. He’d been a trapper, a prospector, a moonshiner.  Foraging was far from the most profitable, but he enjoyed it a good deal more than he had most of the others. Bitter Ridge was not his only client, but he’d be reluctant to lose them for several reasons. 

Klaus’s eyebrows rose. “No. Not at all. In fact…” He shifted forward to pull a thick envelop from the back pocket of his jeans then slid it across the table to Josiah. “That’s for you.” He frowned at it for a moment then asked, “I still can’t convince you to accept digital payments, I suppose?”

Josiah chuckled as he tucked the envelope away. “Did you ever have any luck convincing me to accept checks?”


“Well then…”

Klaus rolled his eyes. “You know, if you’d simply accept that you’re living in the twenty-first century now, things would be much easier.” 

“Not for me, they wouldn’t. Anyway, I prefer cash.” What he actually preferred was gold, but Klaus had no need to know that Josiah regularly traded away most of the paper he received from Klaus for gold and gemstones; things that were easy to carry, easy to hide, hard to destroy—safer and more secure. 

Since Klaus was still there, giving no indication this very uncomfortable conversation was over, Josiah tried again. “Do we have some other sort of problem that I should know about?” 

Klaus tilted his head from side to side. “Not a problem, per se. But I just feel your being here so much of the time…well, it’s giving the pub something of a reputation.”

“Ah.” Josiah lifted his glass to his lips and took a sip. “Well, you’re welcome.”

Klaus’s eyes narrowed. “Interesting that you’d assume I meant it as a compliment.”

“Didn’t you?” Josiah looked at him. “I mean, considering that I plant suggestions in the minds of everyone I feed from that this was the best night out they’ve had in a while and that they want to come here often to repeat the experience, I took that as a given. Maybe you haven’t noticed the repeat business, but I assure you, it’s there.” 

“That’s even more interesting,” Klaus said. “And now I’m surprised we haven’t yet garnered a reputation for overserving our customers.”

“Overserving?” Josiah was surprised into asking. “Is that a thing now?” In his day, back when he was still human and it was possible for him to get drunk, that would have been the sort of reputation a saloon would have welcomed, if not actively fostered. 

Klaus—not as old as Josiah, but old enough to share his point of view in this matter—spread his hands. “Apparently, it is. If you can imagine. But that’s not my concern. Some of my wolves… Well, old prejudices die hard, if you know what I mean.”

Josiah nodded. “I think I’m beginning to.” The animosity between shifters and nightwalkers was old and deep and if there had ever been a point to it, Josiah didn’t know what that might have been. But Klaus, whose actual given name was Madclaws, was not just a brewer of excellent beer, he was also the Alpha of the Bitterridge wolf pack. As such, the pack’s needs would always come first with him. I should have known it was too good to last, Josiah thought sadly. “You’re saying your people don’t like the vampire in their midst?”

“Not all of them. And I wouldn’t say that they don’t like you, exactly. It’s more that your presence here makes them uncomfortable.”

“Old roots run deep.”

“Yes.” Klaus shot him a pointedly ironic look. “Unfortunately, you’re far from the only person in my life who’s reluctant to move with the times.”

“This is hardly the same as my not accepting digital payment for my services,” Josiah said dryly.  

 “No. Of course, it’s not. It’s about people not being willing to open their minds to new ideas and new ways of thinking. They don’t understand your motives for frequenting the place. And, unfortunately, I don’t either. So, I have no idea how to placate them—or even if I should.”

“Do you fish?” Josiah asked.

Klaus blinked at the apparent non sequitur. “I have fished. When I was younger and actually had the timeto indulge in recreational activities. Why do you ask?”

“Well, what if it wasn’t recreational? What if you needed to fish for your sustenance; don’t you think you’d find it beneficial to locate a favorite fishing hole and make some small effort to keep it stocked with your preferred species of fish?”

 “You’re saying my bar is your fishing hole?” Klaus asked, looking pained as he pinched the bridge of his nose.  “To be honest, I’m not sure how comfortable am with that idea. Never mind what the others might think of it.”

“Well, it’s an imperfect analogy,” Josiah admitted. “I only come here when I have business to conduct. If I stay for a drink, or if I choose to…exchange pleasantries, shall we say…with other customers in your parking lot, that really doesn’t affect you all that much. Other than the repeat business, which, as we discussed, is actually a benefit. So, unless you no longer wish me to forage for you?” 

“I didn’t say that. I’m happy with our arrangement and I certainly don’t see any reason to change that based on someone else’s prejudice.” Klaus regarded him for a moment. “So basically, what you’re reallysaying is that your being here is more a matter of your wanting to kill two birds with one stone than anything else. Wouldn’t you agree?”

“Make it three birds,” Josiah corrected. He lifted his glass. “And then, yes I do. But we really can’t forget about the beer, now can we?”

“No, we certainly cannot.” Klaus lifted his own glass. The two men toasted each other and drank. “Very well, then. This is my problem. I’ll deal with it.”

“Thank you,” Josiah said quietly. He was grateful that the wolf was, in essence, willing to go to bat for him with his own people. While it hardly mattered in the grand scheme of things, it would have been disappointing to have lost this place. Ever since he’d lost his family, he’d been alone. Being able to occasionally spend time in a place where he didn’t have to hide what he was, among people who knew his true nature even if they didn’t share it, was priceless. But he knew better than to abuse the privilege. 

Finishing his beer, Josiah climbed to his feet and shrugged into his outerwear. “All right, I’m off,” he said. “Run well. Clear trails to you.”

Klaus saluted with his glass. “Clear trails and good hunting.”

With that, Josiah turned toward the door. He hadn’t taken more than a few steps, however, before Klaus called over his shoulder. “Say, how’s my breastplate doing these days?”

Josiah turned slowly back around. “You mean my breastplate? It’s still safe and sound, thanks for asking.”

Klaus shrugged. “Just so you know, if you ever do change your mind about that, my offer still stands.”

Josiah nodded. “If I ever change my mind, I promise you’ll be the first to know.”

“Very well,” Klaus said as he lifted his glass again. “Can’t ask for more than that.”

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Holidays Aren't Over Yet! Still Time to Stock Those E-Readers


If you missed yesterday's big FREE event--or even if you didn't--there's still time to save on next year's reading. The Stocking Your E-Reader sale runs from now until the 30th with dozens of free or nearly free (.99 cents) books. 

Check it out and enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2022

A Year's Worth Of Reading in Just ONE DAY? Yes, You Can!



Do you like free books?  Of course you do! And several times a year your favorite (and soon-to-be favorite) authors get together to put on a free-book-palooza. This time around we have more than EIGHT HUNDRED free romance books--all the genres, none of the strings.

That's right, you don't have to sign up for even a single newsletter, just click on the link and download to your heart's content. 

Is there a catch? Well, a little one, I suppose: it's one day only! So what are you waiting for?