Newly Released – Scent of a Woman

It’s finally here – Scent of a Woman went live yesterday. I’m excited that another one of my works is out there! This is a departure from my contemporary romances. This is one of two paranormal / shifter romances that I’ve written. The second is in the second draft and hopefully by the end of the year will be ready for publication.

soawScent of a Woman: A certain scent wafted under Ewan Hathorn’s nose. He knew what it meant but did she? 

Ada Trevors is searching through the canyons surrounding Haziel, Texas for an Ap-Muea—the man by day and the screeching cat by night. Though she doesn’t believe the legendary creature exists, she is certain the myth is based on something she can document. 

From the moment Ewan meets Ada he recognizes her as something more unique than his adua, his fated love. She’s a witch, one beautiful enough to entice the ruler of the Ap-Muea Nation. However knowing that she’s too human to understand the future they would share, he resigns himself to another century of being alone. That is until Ada proves to be more powerful than he’d imagined and an Ap-Muea demands her death. 

Together, Ewan and Ada must discover if the bonds of adua are strong enough to save them both. 

Excerpt (Ada meets Ewan for the first time)

“Maybe you should buy the next round for her.” Ada nudged Russ, disrupting the fourth check of his watch in the last thirty seconds. “She seems approachable.”

“We’re leaving.” Russ glared at her. For the last few minutes, he’d been glued to her side as if she‘d be the one doing the protecting in case of an emergency.

“We have three more minutes. Go talk to her.” Ada pinched his thigh. “Do it, or I’ll start tickling you…”

“That’s not necessary.”

“Huh?” Ada released her hold on Russ’s thigh and looked up at the man who had suddenly appeared at their table. Of course she wouldn’t have heard him approach. Now that a band had taken the stage, hardly anything else could be heard except a driving drumbeat. Still, she jumped a little at the sound of his voice.

“This is your credit card. It’s on the house.” The man held a gold card between his long fingers and smiled.

“Cool.” Russ jostled next her, indicating that she should move.

Russ’s bounce to get out of the booth rocked her body from side to side on the springy cushion, but she remained otherwise motionless. Her gaze locked with that of the man in front of them.

He was as out of place in the bar as she was. Among a crowd of button-down cotton shirts and jeans, he wore a tailored olive green suit that fit his lean body to perfection. His straight dark hair hung in a blunt line above his shoulders, seeming almost black against his parchment-colored skin. And he stood in front of her with the wide stance of absolute confidence, not some imagined, alcohol-induced swagger.

An unfettered smile stretched her lips upward.

“Thanks. We appreciate it.” She managed to take the card from his hand and shove it into what she hoped was the open side pocket of her purse. She hadn’t been able to notice anything else since he’d spoken.

It wasn’t that he was strikingly handsome – his brows were too thick and dark for his complexion, his chin ended in a point and his smile revealed incisors that appeared sharper than normal. It was his eyes that held her in place. Looking into the dark orbs rimmed in a flaming gold was like looking into a pond in the moonlight – playful beams of light mingled in the shadows, creating something beautiful and slightly dangerous. Her heart seemed to skip a beat, then two, and then three as she searched the depths of his eyes for her reflection in them.

For a moment she thought he sought the same. That was, until he spoke again.

“Management hopes you have enjoyed your evening, but you are being asked to find entertainment elsewhere.”

His voice was deep and smooth, devoid of the Texas twang she encountered in the small town. She could have listened to him talk all night.

If only he hadn’t just told her to get the hell out.

Copies are available through Evernight (on sale through the end of May), All Romance (rebate available until the end of May) and Amazon!

Happy Reading!

Book Spotlight on A Saint’s Salvation by Beverly Ovalle

SOR A Saint's Salvation VBT Banner2Corporal Nicholas ‘Saint’ Santiago needs to go home to reclaim the man he used to be. To be the man he was before Operation Enduring Freedom slowly hardened his heart. He needs to reconnect to the values and the reasons he is doing what he does. Saint also needs to try to forget the courageous woman he knows was meant to be his.

Petty Officer Angelina Jones’ life changed the moment Saint saved her life. She survived the blast but now has to deal with the fact that she will never be whole. Knowing Saint received a ‘Dear John’ letter, Angelina has no intention of being his rebound romance. She needs to be loved for herself. She needs to forget about the one man she knows was meant to be hers.

They each try to find someone to help them forget.

But what does fate have planned for them?

 ~Excerpt~

ASaintsSalvations_LRGA shout from Hamilton brought him back to the here and now. “Hey, Saint, do you see any trouble coming?” On guard at the west wall, Nick shook his head. Not that it was much of a wall, a couple of sandbags holding up a makeshift bullet riddled wooden fence, an illusion of safety and security.

“No, it all looks clear.” Well, as clear as normal, Nick thought. The Seabees and the Army Corp of Engineers had done their best to give them a clear line of site, but the rubble of buildings and piles of rock where there used to be a town never seemed to go away. Rebels constantly hid there, randomly firing at their FOB, a forward operating base in Helmand Provence, making it almost impossible to build a more secure perimeter.

Nick could see kids playing in the dirt. In the distance the locals were harvesting the poppy fields. Some of the largest poppy fields in the world were right outside the walls of the FOB. Beautiful when in bloom, they were more pervasive and did more damage than the terrorists.

“Anymore threats?”

“When aren’t there threats?” Every damn day there were threats. “Why, is there a problem?”

“The brass is making noise. When they do something stupid, we end up paying for it.” Hamilton sounded disgusted. As Hamilton spoke, shots were fired over and through the fence, adding more holes to the dilapidated barrier. Nick and Hamilton hit the ground, rolling toward the sandbags to return fire through the cracks. “See what I mean?”

“Yeah it’s been a while since they shot at us, at least a couple of days.” Nick’s sarcasm caused Hamilton to laugh.

“Probably someone is coming to pick up something from the poppy fields and they want to keep us from seeing who.” Hamilton glanced at him. “You doing okay?”

“Gettin’ there. It was just a shock, ya know?”

“Yeah, damn women. The least they could do is be faithful while we’re out here fighting.”

“Yeah, it sucks. I just can’t help thinking it’s my fault.”

“Fuck. How the hell could it be? You weren’t even there. The bitch knew you were gone, were going to be gone.” They fired shots, aiming at the muzzle flash in the distance. More Marines headed their way, sprinting from cover to cover. Perez came running, bringing out ammo and providing more fire power.

Another crack and Perez went down with a cry.

“Fuck! Medic! Man down!” The cry went out, passed through until the call went to the corpsman, while Nick tried to stem the blood flow. Hands pushed his away. Nick looked up. Petty Officer Jones, better known as Doc, had bandages ready.

“Help me roll this on until we can get him out of here.” Her voice sent a ripple through him. Nick had always ignored the attraction he had felt for her. He’d had his girl back home, and fraternization out here could get him thrown in the brig. Not to mention the brig out here was a hell hole.

Nick was leery about approaching Doc now. The Dear John letter had been a shock. He had known Leila for years. Hell, they had been friends since they were little. Her betrayal was unexpected. Nick didn’t even really know Doc. He could trust her with his life, but he wasn’t ready for another go around with his heart, no matter the attraction he felt.

Nick looked toward the fence line, rifle at the ready. Shots were firing sporadically around him. That’s when he saw it, the trail from a grenade launcher, unmistakable. Shit!

Buy Links: Amazon     Barnes and Noble     All Romance eBooks     Bookstrand    Secret Cravings

~View the Book Trailer~

 ~About the Author~

Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband Edmond of 24 years and two Chinese Water Dragons. Having her own Dragons is expected as she is dragon crazy and anyone that walks in her house can tell. Her son Nicholas visits when he is on leave from the Marines. Her daughter Susannah visits to the ‘old’ people.

Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell. Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.

Beverly has been reading romances since her Aunt introduced her to the gothic romance in the fourth grade and is still reading every chance she gets.

Author Links:     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest     Site    

~Giveaway~

Beverly is giving away a book thong.

For a chance to win please here click for the rafflecopter.

 

 

Book Spotlight on Island Bride by Danica Winters

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Island Bride_DWWedding planner to the rich and famous, Amy Oliver isn’t the kind of woman to take a break even on a vacation. No, business first and then comes pleasure—or maybe not—she’d have to check her schedule.

When Amy selects to take a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to New Zealand, she finds herself using the trip to put her career first. But when life gets in the way of her work, she is forced to decide whether to follow the path of least resistance or forge a new path–a path that may lead to heartache as easily as love. What is a driven woman to do?

~Excerpt~

While she waited in the New Zealand hotel’s bar for her assistant, Amy Oliver’s thoughts wandered to Jason. After a long day like this, she used to slip her fingers into his as soon as she sank into their bed. His fingers would collapse around hers, as if they had waited all day for her presence. Yet, the longer she held his hand, no matter how hard or how light her grip, the less and less she had felt his touch. Before long, just as she had lost the feeling of his fingers night after night, she had lost his love—even though their skins had been pressed together.

The bar around her was almost empty except for a couple who sat in the shadows. Amy took a long drink from the glass of Chardonnay and sat it back down on the bar. Droplets of condensation pooled where her fingers had pressed against the glass. Love in a touch. Love lost in that same touch. It all depended on the force. How right they had been.

Why hadn’t she listened?

The Chardonnay tasted harsh and dry, but it was nothing compared to the Arctic chill that had invaded her core.

“You ready, Amy?” Her assistant, Honeysuckle, called from the door of the hotel lounge. A large binder was stuffed against her blood-red business suit, like it was the only life preserver in a sea filled with sharks.

What parent in their right mind would name their daughter Honeysuckle?

The woman perched on the tips of her Choo’s like she was ready to pirouette across the bar. Her red hair was pulled back with one perfect little curl framing her face. No matter the amount of hairspray or thousand dollar suits, Honeysuckle still carried the shame of an overly sweet-scented name that must have been given to her by a tribe of left-over lovechildren.

“Come on!” Honeysuckle made her way across the bar, unaware of the interruption she caused in Amy’s pity party. “The wedding starts tomorrow and the florist says they’re running late with a shipment. The orchids won’t be arriving until tomorrow morning and now he’s saying that there’s no way he can get all forty-seven arrangements completed before six.”

Amy dipped her finger in the pool of condensation on her wine glass and licked it from her fingertip. Her chance at love may have come and gone, but that didn’t mean she could ignore the ignorant bliss of those who paid her to fantasize about theirs. Happy hour was officially over.

Buy Links: Amazon

~About the Author~

Danica Winters is a bestselling author who is known for writing award-winning books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and often a touch of magic. She is also the Assistant Editor for Books To Go Now Publishing.

When she’s not working she can be found in the wilds of Montana working on her patience while she tries to understand the allure of various crafts (quilting, pottery, and painting are not her thing). She always believes the cup is neither half full nor half empty, but it better be filled with wine.

Author Links: Site       Facebook      Twitter

***Check out book one The Empress of Ireland ***

Laila Byrne made a final promise to her friend. She will travel more and work less. After sticking a pin in a map of the world, she heads off to Ireland.

Laila’s trip doesn’t work out as planned, but the mix-up results in a chance encounter with a handsome Irishman, Alasdair.

Alasdair spends all his waking hours trying to figure out how to keep his family’s century old pub, The Empress of Ireland, open for business. He doesn’t have time for anything. But when the lovely American comes across his path, will he find time?

Once you come to Ireland, you may never leave.

Buy Links: Amazon 

~Giveaway~

 Danica is giving away two e-book copies of Christmas Romance Anthology, and five Swag Packs (US only)

For a chance to win please click her for the rafflecopter.

 

 

Spotlight and Review of Arranged Love

SOR Arranged Love VBT Banner

What It’s About:

They think they’re fooling their parents, but really, the joke’s on them.

Kayla Ames’s parents could win an award in meddling. Every time she turns around, they’re setting her up with someone new. Try as she might, she can’t convince them to butt out of her love life.

Ryan Newell isn’t looking for love. After having his heart torn to shreds by his ex, he’s determined to never again fall in love and leave himself that vulnerable to being hurt. His parents, however, believe he just needs some help finding the right woman, and their friends’ daughter, Kayla, might be a perfect match.

Realizing they both have the same problem—parents who won’t stop nagging them about finding a partner—Ryan and Kayla agree to an arrangement of sorts. All they have to do is pretend to date, and they don’t even have to see each other, they can discuss the details of their “dates” via email. But then the email conversations lead to real dates, and Kayla finds herself struggling to keep her feelings for Ryan in check as he’s made it clear love will not enter into the equation for him. Then Kayla’s parents suddenly announce they’re getting a divorce, and she begins to wonder if maybe Ryan has the right idea.

When it all gets to be too much for Kayla, she has a hard decision to make—agree to stay with Ryan and never experience love, or walk away for her chance to find it.

Content Warning: contains adult language and graphic sexual content

 Excerpt:

ArrangedLove_MediumLeaning forward, Kayla grabbed the remote and turned the TV off. It was early still and since she wasn’t tired, sleep wasn’t an option. She could go out again. Maybe call a friend to go to a club or something. Or she could go back to the bar from last night…no, no she couldn’t.

If she went out though, she’d have to change. And she was really comfortable. She grabbed the remote again, and as the TV turned on, she swore she heard someone tap on her door. Was Bunny chewing on something she shouldn’t be?

Kayla got off the couch, but saw the rabbit had taken a corner and was lying there, far away from the front door. She peeked through the peephole and, to her surprise, she saw Doug, or whatever his name was. Why was he there? And what was he carrying in his hands?

Taking a deep breath, she opened the door. “Hi.”

“It’s nice to see you again.” He smiled an oh-so-sexy grin. “Your parents sent me with food. They insisted I get this to you right away.”

“They did, huh?”

He held the bag out to her and she took it. “Could I come in?”

She sucked in her bottom lip and weighed her choices. Send him away and be done with this, or see what he wants. What did she have to lose? “Sure.”

Doug brushed past her into her house. She stood back a moment, watching him as he glanced around and then finally took a seat on her couch. Kayla joined the mystery man in the living room, tossing the bag of food on the coffee table as she sat on the love seat opposite of the couch he was on. Her stomach rumbled as she inhaled the aroma from the bag now sitting on the coffee table.

“So, what brings you by, besides the food?” she asked, and quickly added, “Please tell me your real name as well. It’s only fair since you know mine.”

“Kayla, and it’s a lovely name. Mine is actually Ryan. Ryan Newell.” He took a moment to rub his temple and proceeded. “Obviously, our parents are interested in us hooking up.”

Hooking up…they’d covered that already. “I’m sorry. My parents are a bit over the top.”

“I’d have to agree. Yours are a little worse than mine. Usually my parents leave me alone, but with your folks, it was like they were double-teaming me. They feel very strongly about you and I getting to know one another.”

“Figures. I’d say we accomplished that in a way they probably weren’t wanting.”

He grinned again. Her heart fluttered. She needed to pack this man up and get him out of there.

“Why don’t we give them what they want?”

What did he say? He couldn’t really want to go along with them. “Excuse me.”

“Let’s date, for them. It’ll get them to leave us alone.”

She laughed. He wasn’t serious, was he? “Brilliant plan, but I’ll pass for now.”

“Just hear me out. I’m not looking to fall in love. But if we pretend to be dating, our parents won’t try to set us up anymore. We don’t even have to see one another. We can discuss our dates and be on the same page with our stories.”

“Wait.” She held her hand up, staring at the dark-haired man that made her stomach do summersaults. “You’re saying we aren’t going to actually date. We never have to see one another. But our parents will think we are.”

He nodded.

“I’m in.” Kayla shrugged. “What could go wrong?”

 Buy Links:  Beachwalk Press

My Review of Arranged Love

Over all I liked this book and give it a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.

I love a quirky heroine and Kayla didn’t disappoint. She spends her days working from home as a freelance editor with her pet rabbit, Bunny. She dresses up like a “hooker” as her mom says for a dinner and quickly regrets her decision. She made me laugh on more than one occasion and I could believe her struggle with her feelings with the hero, Ryan.

I liked the romantic arc of the story and the sex scenes were HOT!

My only wish for this story is that was more of a reason for the characters to be involved in the fake relationship to the extent they were. Did that stop me from finishing this book in less than a day? No, because the story was so good and I wanted them to make it work!

 I received a free ARC for review in return for an honest opinion of this work.

More About the Author:

Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether it’s getting lost in a book or writing her own. From the time she was a child she would slip away to write short stories about people she knew and fantasies she wished would happen. It has always been her dream to be a published author and with her two children now of school age, she finally has the time to work on making her dream come true.

Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.

Author Links:    Site     Twitter    Facebook

Spotlight on A Love Unfinished

A Love Unfinished by Bethany-Kris

aloveunfinishedGenre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Length: 95k—Full length novel.

Release Date: January 10th, 2014

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Blurb:

Over two decades ago, an attack on The Clan of Cobalt left families of dragons in ruins; now, with the clans able to start rebuilding their lives, history is beginning to rewrite, one dragon and one mate at a time…

Dani Heartview spent a year running from the past she can’t forget and it’s about to catch up in the form of Holden Levy. When he suddenly disappeared, she was devastated, but now he’s back. Even if she can’t deny their connection, the man who returned is vastly different from the one who left.

With Holden’s secrets uncovered, the Alpha dragon inside the man is demanding for its mate to be claimed, but there’s danger lurking close by. Still, his abandonment is a monster she can’t shake. Can she forgive to restart their life, and if she does, can Dani handle exactly what it means to be a dragon’s mate?

~~~~

Clans of Fire, Book One

Excerpt:

“Get away from me,” I hissed. “You have no right to be here.”

Emotion broke through on his handsome features, marring it with sadness as my eyes blurred with unshed tears. “Please, Dani…”

“Stop saying my name.” My voice was rising to an unhealthy octave. My heart was pounding at a too fast pace. Why would he be here? He had to have known I wouldn’t want him here. “Stop sharing my fucking air. For God sakes, get out of my space, Holden.”

“Ouch, man.”

Holden didn’t even glance back at his friend. “Shut up, Duran.” There was a timber in his tone, something else I didn’t recognize from the man standing before me. I felt wetness drip down my cheeks. “Oh, Dani, please don’t cry…I didn’t come here to make you cry, baby.”

 Baby? “Who in the hel—”

“Dani!” Jade was out of the kitchen and rushing over to my side. She barely noted the men or my heartbroken expression. That, or she mistook it for the pain of the coffee spill. “Did you get burned?”

“I’m fine.” Those words were the biggest lie I’d ever spoken.

“She’s not,” Holden replied quietly. “Could you get a cool cloth and the first aid kit, if you have one?”

“I’m fine,” I repeated. “Jade, could you handle these guys, please?”

“Dani, wait.”

“Holden, I swear to God if you don’t walk out of this place right now and never look back, I will…” I couldn’t finish my sentence because there wasn’t anything I didn’t already feel for him. Hate. Love. Desire. Disgust. I felt all of that. With him being so close, it only served to make me more confused. Defeated, air rushed from my lungs, in a harsh exhale. “Leave, right now.”

Jade appeared lost. “Um…okay, I’m going to grab the first aid. You’re going to stay here and sit down.”

Duran smiled at Jade when no one responded. “Thanks, sweetheart.”  

Holden hadn’t taken his eyes off me. When he moved forward, I backed up. “Don’t come any closer. I don’t want you near me.”

Agony pulled Holden’s full lips into a frown. “Let me explain.”

“I told you this wouldn’t be the best place to approach her,” Duran said. “We should have waited.”

“We don’t have that kind of time.”

“Why haven’t you left?” I asked, feeling a seething rage beginning to take over my initial shock and pain. “Have I not made it clear enough yet that you’re not welcomed?”

“You made it clear.” Holden’s gaze flickered up to the ceiling, a tick showing in his strong jaw. “But it’s not that simple. One minute, Dani. That’s all I’m asking for. After all we were, don’t you owe me that?”

“Owe you?” My hands trembled. The sudden burst of fury and courage that swept over me was all consuming. I stepped up to him and slammed my fist into his chest. Holden barely flinched and the action hurt me a great deal more than it must have him, but emotional pain registered in his eyes. “I owe you. Are you fucking insane? You left me, Holden. Left me in Tennessee with nothing. Not a goddamned explanation, not a goodbye…nothing!”

I hit him in the chest again, disbelief coursing through me. “How could you ever say that I owe you after everything you did to me? I waited for months. I called your phone every day. I texted, emailed, and left messages until your inbox was full. You could have been dead if not for that stupid note. I defended you when it was clear you didn’t want me anymore … Once, Holden. All you had to do was answer me back just once! You up and walked away from me, from our home, and our life without a single care in the world. And you have the audacity to say that I owe you anything?”

“Do not…” he growled, face suddenly mere inches from mine, “…say that I just walked away from you, Dani. I never would have walked away from you like that had I been given the choice. Ever.”

His response only served to fuel my rage. “Well, excuse me for living. What would you call me waking up to an empty house, with a note on the counter, and no you to be seen again, exactly?”

Anger clouded his face. “What did that note say, Dani?”

“Holden, calm down.” Duran was up off the bench, a hand on his friend’s shuddering arm. Rippling tension flowed between the men, but my former lover and fiancé didn’t register the one person attempting to help the situation. No, his focus was solely on me. “Come on, we’ll do this another time.”

“You won’t do it ever again,” I spat hatefully.

“Yes, I will. I have to. I can’t be me without you.” That confession struck me like a knife in the chest, the blade twisting painfully. Holden breathed deeply, the fight suddenly gone from his body as quickly as it came. “I will always come back for you. I lo—”

“No, you don’t. You never did. If you had, this…” I said with a wave at us, “…wouldn’t have happened.”

Buy Links:

Amazon | Evernight | Bookstrand | ARe

~~~~

Author Bio:

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to two young sons, two cats, and two dogs. With her children under her feet, animals at her side, and spouse calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something…when she can find the time.

Author Links:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

Spotlight on The Decision by James Burnett

 

SOR The Decision VBT Banner

Sexy superstar idol Chevalier has a problem. Shy and publicity averse, he escapes his fans by morphing into a woman, thanks to a family gene. However, this ability will not last forever, and in any case will end the first time he – or she – has sex.

Six years into an amazingly successful career when he had no time to do anything but work, it’s now time, after twelve years of switching between the two aspects, to work out which one should become permanent.

The challenge, while dating in both aspects, and trying new things to help settle which of two different futures will be best, is to work out which choice will bring the greatest happiness. Of course all this has to be done without revealing the family secret.

This proves harder than expected, as both aspects interact with a lot of the same people, several of whom notice that the two aspects are never seen together.

Complications abound as work and social pressures combine to create unexpected situations which threaten to derail the process of making the right decision.

thedecision333x500Excerpt:

The concert had been a great success. As always. He was wildly popular, with his slim physique and knock’em dead looks, but it was the voice that captured them. Women and girls swooned over him, and he was not unaware of the occasional glances he got from men. As the stadium cleared out, Chevalier locked himself in his changing room. Changing room. He laughed at the thought. Yes, that’s what he did in here, but nobody suspected what changed. The transition took a few minutes, but the body needed several more to recover. That was one reason the door was locked. The other was that he didn’t want anyone to discover his other clothes. They also fit a five foot ten person, but not Chevalier, at least not when he was Chevalier. Three inch heels and a B cup wouldn’t do anything for his image, if they were found.

Another seven minutes later, she emerged. She was dressed to be ignored. Undistinguished working clothes that looked like they had been worked in. Nothing to draw attention to herself. The heels were to make her taller than Chevalier. In five years as Chevalier’s administrative assistant, more gofer in the eyes of his management company, nobody had suspected Serina Sharpe was also Chevalier.

She had Chevalier’s clothing and stuff in an anonymous bag, and walked confidently out of the exit, straight past the crowd of fans aching for a closer look at their idol. An idol that nobody ever saw leave. Even so, there was still a crowd of hopefuls, all of whom ignored her, a nondescript woman who didn’t deserve a second glance.

As far as Chevalier’s management company, MAK Industries, was concerned, she was a necessary evil. On paper she worked directly for Chevalier and was supposedly his cousin. She had become not only a buffer between him and his managers, but between him and the world.

In the taxi she took back to the hotel, she remembered the night when he was thirteen. Puberty had arrived, and he woke up in the middle of the night, exhausted and sweating, as if from a disquieting dream. Absently he went to scratch his balls. They weren’t there. Neither was the other thing that should be close by. Instead there was a slit. He had run to his parent’s bedroom, frightened out of his mind. As soon as they had turned on the light, his father had said, “Calm down. I didn’t know whether this would happen to you, but I know what it is.”

“What!” he, or was it now she, had screamed. “You knew this might happen and you said nothing!”

His mother’s calm voice took over. “We didn’t know whether it would happen or not. If it didn’t, well, we would have scared you for nothing. Your father’s family has a gene that affects roughly three children out of four. At puberty you gain the ability to switch sexes.”

“You mean I’m a girl now?” It was almost a squeak.

“Yes, Steve.” His father explained, “But only for the moment. You can change back and forth, until you decide which one suits you the best. It takes a lot of energy, so I wouldn’t do it too often.”

“Daddy, you mean you were a girl once?” He fought to keep his voice normal.

“Yes, but I much preferred to be a man. One word of warning. This ability will only last until you have sex for the first time. After that, you’re stuck with the role you chose. Also, if you don’t make a choice, sometime in your mid to late twenties, your body will choose for you, and it may not be the one you want.”

“Don’t worry, love” his, or was it now her, mother said, enveloping her in a warm and comforting hug until she stopped trembling. “Tomorrow we can go out and buy you a lot of girl’s clothes. I always hoped I could do girly things with you.” The enthusiasm in his mother’s voice gave him pause. He knew she had wanted a daughter, which was why they had tried for his brother, Dave, who was ten now. He loved her, and if this would give her joy, then he would be a dutiful daughter for a while.

Buy Link:   Amazon

 

~~~About the Author~~~

I was educated at Gordonstoun School in Scotland, where I lived in what was supposed to be an enormous pentacle built by a mad sorcerer. That may have affected my outlook on life.

I made my career in casinos, first in London, and then in The Bahamas, having now worked for what is now Atlantis casino on Paradise Island for almost forty years. I really enjoy meeting all sorts of interesting people every day, and that gives me an awful lot of insight into people’s characters which I can use in my writing.

I run a pit that is located between two enormous glass sculptures by Dale Chihuli of the sun and the moon. This means that I tell people that I can always be found ‘between the Sun and the Moon in Paradise’.

Having read SF and Fantasy from a very early age, it was probably inevitable that I would write my novels in that genre.

When I need to chill I take the ferry to one of the other islands, which is fabulous for doing absolutely nothing. Except writing of course.

I am married and have two wonderful daughters, and two furry cats who often sleep with us.

I started out by writing stories from the casinos where I worked, as many were worth recording, and some were truly outrageous. I started novel writing when I had exhausted what was truly a mother lode of entertaining vignettes.

I don’t write for a particular market, but I write what I would like to read myself, and I always try to be different.

 

 

What They Did Last Christmas

I can’t believe that one I have a day off from the day job and two I get to spend it with my family enjoying Christmas.

I’m writing this on Christmas Eve because I know tomorrow is going to be busy and I’ll probably have a few glasses of wine with lunch and dinner.

Tonight as we have arrived home from a Christmas musical and eaten our usual take-out Chinese Christmas Eve dinner, I began to reflect on the couples with whom I’d spent my 2013 writing year. What were they doing last Christmas?

DEJAVUFinalDarcey St. Claire and Vincent Guidry from Déjà Vu  –

By Christmas Day 2012, Vincent Guidry had finalized plans for a New Year’s Eve party for one of his companies, Guidry Construction. He rarely attended the employee events himself but had to admit that he was intrigued by the woman who was the catering manager at the Hotel.

It was her laugh. He couldn’t get the melodic sound out of his head and booked a room at the Hayden Court.

Darcey St. Claire spent Christmas Day with her family in Miami. The only time her father was remotely interested in her career was when she mentioned that a former quarterback, Vincent Guidry, was a client.

“He was magnificent on the field,” her father said.

“Really? He seemed like an ass on the phone.” Darcey then turned to her sister-in-law, counting the hours until she could spend her Christmas bonus at the Sawgrass Mills Mall.

100836-20121209-001_HotFlashesElise Donaldson and Jacques Aristide from The Artist, a flash fiction piece included in Hot Flashes –

On Christmas Day, Elise was fielding questions from her family in Tyler, Texas about what exactly she was doing all these years in school. Apparently, anthropologist didn’t resonate with anyone within a hundred miles. By the end of the day, she snuggled up with a six pack of beer and her dog-eared copy of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel in what used to be her childhood bedroom. She read and drank until she fell asleep.

Jacques Aristide attended a private showing of an emerging artist. His date for the evening was a curvy red head with sparkling green eyes. They left soon after the initial walk through. He wasn’t interested in hobnobbing; besides Annette charged outrageous rates for her holiday dates.

TheBeginningofForeverAmber Grayson and Kevin Miller from The Beginning of Forever –

These two spent Christmas together and Kevin proposed. You can read about it on Goodreads.

OSNAlexis Joplin and Shane Fowler from One Stormy Night

Actually they spent Christmas Day together as well.

The weather derailed Alexis’s flight to her hometown of Ellicott City, Maryland. On Christmas Day, she was treated to a marathon of Christmas movies and a warm-and-eat dinner from a grocery store close to Shane’s apartment.

“I guess it all worked out since your dad is out of town. You didn’t have to spend Christmas Day alone.” Alexis had said as she stuffed the last paper plate into a wastebasket.

She turned in time to see Shane flick his tongue over around his opened mouth.

Surely, there were no hints of the apple pie left after they’d devoured the dessert.

“I’m going to get some sheets for the guest room.”

Shane left the kitchen leaving her wondering exactly what he hoped to taste on his curvy lips.

That’s what they were doing last year. Please feel free to comment on what you think they’re doing this year.

And Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

~Val