Today’s snippet is from my book Whispered Summons in the Halloween anthology Something In The Shadows published by Midnight Tide Publishing. It releases Oct 28th and I can’t wait for you to read this story!!! I just love Cass, and maybe one day I’ll turn this novella into a full length novel.
“Iz, I made a mistake last night, but I didn’t know it.” I took a deep breath and squeezed her hands, her grip on me almost painful. “Last night, after you went to bed, I was reading through a book on demons, and I happened to murmur a spell. I didn’t think anything of it because they’re usually complex spells. Well, apparently this is one of the easiest spells, so all you have to do is recite it.”
“Meeps, what happened?”
I was avoiding the truth for as long as possible, but it was only upsetting Izzy further. Taking my hands back, I wiped my face and heaved a heavy sigh. This was it.
Meeting Izzy’s terrified face, I confessed my sin. “Last night I summoned a demon.”
Her mouth popped open. Even young Izzy knew better than to do that. It was dark magic and forbidden by our coven.
“I didn’t plan on it,” I urged, wanting my baby sister to understand what was happening. “It was a mistake. How was I supposed to know?”
“Is he going to kill us?” Izzy squeaked, her body starting to tremble with the news.
I shook my head. “No, I don’t think so. He’s not that kind of demon.”
Eyes widening further, Izzy gasped softly. “There’s more than one type of demon?”
“Apparently so, which is exactly what I was looking at last night,” I muttered. “All the spells were so incredibly complex. I just happened to pick the one that wasn’t complex to whisper.”
“What are you going to do?”
I deflated as a fist banged against the door in a solid knock that made us both squeak, and I grabbed Izzy, keeping myself between the door and her.
Today’s snippet comes from K.J. Lavalee’s book Revealing The Truth inside the shared world box set, The Diner. Just a few more weeks until release so pre-order your copy now! You don’t want to miss this box set if you love all things paranormal, fantasy, and romance!
I bolt up in bed. Panic fills me. Not from me, but she’s panicked. Something isn’t right. But she’s also resigned.
The emotion subsides and I relax. She probably had a bad dream and is worrying about her life now, and then thinking of her uncle, mother and father.
I get up and start putting my shit back into my duffle when a sharp pain pierces my gut. Not mine, Ella’s.
I must have made a pained noise, because Gellevel is at my side in an instant. “What is it?”
“Ella. She’s hurting.” I groan. “It’s like, torture.” I don’t have anything else to compare it to. I was tortured before. This is like that. Like being stabbed in the gut repeatedly to see what you can withstand.
“Did you see where she was?”
“No,” I say through gritted teeth. “When I… spoke to her… she didn’t want… me to find her.” I take a deep breath. “She wants to keep me safe.”
My brother growls. “You’re the warrior. You don’t need protection.”
The pain stops, I can feel her relief for a brief moment, then white light shoots through me.
Gellevel drops to the floor, and rolls away. Afraid the light is going to hurt him. It very well might have.
Several minutes pass when the light finally fades. I pat my body making sure I’m okay. That’s not my magic, and elves magic is green. Not white. That’s Ella’s.
“I think the block has been removed.”
Gel grunts. “You think? I can’t imagine the destruction she can wreak if that much power came through you. You’re her mate, and you lit up like a fucking bonfire.”
“She is a Bennet witch,” I say, as if it’s obvious.
“So I saw. Guess she’ll be needing to learn how to control that magic.”
Breathing as if I just ran a marathon, I flip him off. “Obviously. She hasn’t had her magic since she was a little girl. She isn’t going to be able to control it without extensive training.”
Even as I say the words, pride fills me. My mate, she’ll be a formidable foe. And she’s mine.
“What do we do now?”
“We continue searching. But this time, we look online. Someone had to have reported that surge of light. We can narrow it down that way,” I tell him. I dig my laptop out of my duffle, and load it up. I will find you, Ella. And I will help protect you, whether you like it or not.
Today’s snippet comes from another book in The Diner: Of Fishes And Wishes! This story is by Melanie Gilbert and the shared world box set releases Oct 23rd! We can’t wait for you to read it!
Going out to dinner tonight had been a treat to myself. Now, I regretted my choice. I should have waited for a different night. One with less people. The girls at work teased me for being antisocial, but they didn’t realize the extent I would go to be antisocial if it were possible. I needed a place to live, food, and utilities. Those wouldn’t pay for themselves. I hadn’t yet found a job where I could work from home. When I did, I’d be home. All the time.
Habit drove my hand to tap the back pocket of my jeans. I froze mid-step as the blood drained from my face and my heart stuttered to a stop.
I patted the pocket again. Still, nothing.
“Don’t panic, Venice. Don’t panic. Just think. Relax and think.”
Why had I brought the coin with me? No one would break into my crappy apartment. I had nothing and it showed by the state of the entire building. No one with anything would live there. I didn’t even want to live there, and I had nothing.
“Go back to The Diner. Check the seat and talk with the staff. Look on the ground for it as you walk back.” Talking out loud kept me from totally losing my mind, something I was two breaths from doing. I’d been so stupid. So stupid.
My heart beat hard in my chest as I walked, my eyes searching the crowded sidewalk in frantic sweeps. I couldn’t see any glimmers off a coin, even human money, but I still kept searching as my breathing grew more ragged. I had to find it. Everything I’d worked for would be over if I didn’t. My freedom would be over.
The Diner appeared faster than I’d thought. Time and space meant nothing while I’d searched for my coin. If it wasn’t in The Diner, I’d need to scour the sidewalk again until I found it. Even if I had to stay out all night, the lack of sleep would be worth it.
A few human heads raised from their meals when I bustled into the human’s diner in a flurry of rushing limbs. The floor remained spotless as I made my way to the hallway where the tapestry was located that led to the supernatural side. I did what I could to glance beneath tables and booths as I passed them, gaining more unneeded attention, but I couldn’t help it. At this point, I was a breath from pulling my hair out in the fetal position on the floor. The humans didn’t know what I’d lost, physically and beyond.
“Aeternum ceno,” my voice squeaked out the password and I shoved the tapestry aside to walk into the supernatural’s side of The Diner. Good thing the magic knew what I’d meant to say because I could barely understand myself.
My eyes immediately darted to the booth where I’d sat on the other side of the room. Some of the tension inside faded at the empty seating. No one sat there and would be weirded out by my request to search the area. However, that had been the least of my concerns on my walk back to this spot.
“How many?” One of the staff approached me. He stood tall, a good six inches taller than my six and a half feet.
“Um, I’m not here to eat.” I scooted past him and he followed. “I left something, I think. Anyway, it’s not in my pocket. Once I find it, I’ll be out of your hair.”
“What did you leave? I can help you look.”
I wanted to say yes to the man. He was hot. Even in my frazzled state I could see that. But I shook my head. If he came across it first, I’d be in so much trouble. “It’s okay. I’ll find it.”
At the table, my hopes fell. Someone had cleared the space. Maybe they hadn’t noticed the coin if it fell in the crack at the back of the seat.
I ran my hand in the crack, cringing the entire time. The effort didn’t come up empty. I did find a few french fries and human coins, but I didn’t find my coin. Tears burned my eyes as I sat in the empty booth, staring at the white laminate covering the wood.
“Are you sure I can’t help you?”
The man now sat in the seat across from me, a grin on his face. I scowled.
“Where is it?” If he didn’t have it, I’d strangle him for laughing at me.
Today’s snippet is coming from my upcoming book in The Diner Box set. It’s called “Black Cat’s Curse” and I find this book hilarious. The dynamics between Lucky and Doris are beyond adorable as she tries to act like she doesn’t like him and he loves to annoy her.
“Dear, I don’t know where those paws of yours have been, but that isn’t the place for them,” Doris stated, sliding in behind the bar on this side of the diner via a door to the left. “Now, take a seat on the stool.”
The woman’s voice jogged my witch’s attention from her laptop, and she finally noticed me. “Umm, nice kitty?” Her voice was so hesitant and uncertain that I had to wonder what about my small stature had her sounding like that. Did she think I was going to attack and try to scratch her eyes out?
Very nice kitty, I confirmed and watched as her bright, sapphire eyes widened and her mouth popped open.
Doris chuckled, taking a drag on the cigarette still hanging out of her mouth. “Of course he talks. He’s a black cat. All they ever do is talk.”
I do not, I argued, sitting my butt down on the bar for emphasis. And this is my seat.
It’s release day for Negative Energy!!! Again, this is a standalone novel. Here’s the blurb, snippet to follow:
Shannon Dart’s magic is out of control. Rather, her flaring temper causes her magic to blow up the nearest object. With ninety days to learn control, and a bully set on making that impossible, Shannon is at her wits end. That is, until a wolf shifter appears in her first hour class after his pack moves to town. There’s something about this shifter that Shannon can’t put her finger on.
With Jackson’s help, Shannon is hopeful to learn control, especially when her magic responds to him. However, the rising tension between the magical coven and the wolf pack create problems for the two friends. If Jackson is the key to unlocking Shannon’s control, can they find a way to make it work while keeping their distance, or are they bound to fail?
Jackson’s grin grew wider as his steel eyes returned to me, their depths pulling me in. “My one goal today was to make a friend, and I chose you.”
“You chose me?” I stared openly. “You know what I am, right?”
He tapped his nose. “I smell that too. Which makes me wonder, what creature, or what person, makes someone like you so afraid?”
I ground my teeth together and stared back at the papers on my desk. “It’s no one.”
“Fine, if you don’t want to tell me, I’ll just have to figure it out for myself.”
“Why do you care?”
“Because I chose you as my friend, and no one is going to cause the amount of fear I smelled and the spiked heart rate I heard from my new friend. Not without me stepping in.”
“Welcome to class everyone,” Mrs. Gulf called from the doorway as the second bell rang and she closed the door.
She began instructing us about the packets on our desks when Jackson leaned closer. “I’m still listening. Talk low, I’ll hear it.”
I looked down at my paper like I was listening to the teacher, though I was only half aware of what she was saying. Covering my mouth so she couldn’t see my lips move, I spoke as softly as I could, not worried he’d hear me. “First, you don’t just choose a friend like that. The other person has a choice. Second, you can’t help me with my problem. No one can.”
Jackson leaned over toward me, pretending he was digging in his bag for something, likely a pencil. “We’ll see about that. And you do have a choice to be my friend, but you’ll find I’m completely irresistible.”
I haven’t done a Snippet Saturday in forever, so let’s start again! This snippet comes from next week’s release, Negative Energy. It’s a standalone in the First Blood world, and reading the original trilogy is not required to understand it. You really don’t want to miss this one.
When I turned around, I spotted a new face sitting at the desk next to my usual place. It wasn’t the shaved sides of his head with a short, spiky mohawk running down the center of his head that first caught my attention. Nor was it the wide, wolfie grin he aimed at me. Nope, it was those deep pools of steel gray eyes that made me come up short when I saw him.
“Hey.” His light, tenor voice shook me from whatever trance those eyes had put me under.
I jerked out of it. “Hi.” Ignoring him, and Theodore’s odd stare, I took my seat and opened the textbook, pretending to read it as two sets of eyes continued to be preoccupied with me.
“The name’s Jackson,” the new boy stated, extending a hand in my direction, which I caught sight of in my peripheral vision.
Turning, I met those gray eyes again and swallowed. “Shannon,” I stated without taking his hand.
The boy’s nose flared, giving him away. Wolf boy. His grin grew wider as my lips pressed into a thin line and worry crept up my spine.
“It’s nice to meet you. I mean it.” Jackson shrugged and looked to the door as a strange female entered the room. The girl took one look at him, and then us, as she strode passed Jackson and took the seat behind him. Jackson ducked his head for a second before turning his attention back to me, the grin plastered back on his face. “So, what’s interesting to do here in town?”
“Nothing,” Theodore stated, voice hard and stern, not the usual tone for my cousin.
The tone didn’t faze Jackson, who stared at me. I shook my head. “Honestly, not much. Small town.”
“I see.” The first bell rang, cutting him off. “I guess I’ll just have to find something to do then.”
He winked at me. My cheeks heated as I turned away. It didn’t help that the girl behind Jackson snorted. The flush crept down my neck and I took a deep breath to steady my emotions, already feeling my power wanting to flare. It didn’t matter the emotion. As long as it was strong, my magic would react to it.
Today’s snippet comes from First Christmas which is currently FREE until Dec 17th!
Move out of the way, dragon. She is ours, Drake ordered the man at my back.
“No, she is mine. If you try to harm her, I will kill you.”
My ears pricked at the sound of my mate’s deep, husky voice. I fought a shiver from the lethal edge that chilled the threat in his words. It even caused the dragons on my side of the fight to take a step back. Whoever my mate was, he was not a dragon to be taken lightly, and he hadn’t even thrown a punch or shifted yet.
You should move on, dragon. She isn’t yours. We found her first. Now, step aside. I took notice that Drake’s words were less confident.
The dragon on my left took a step closer, heading toward me, but my mate swung his head around to face him, pulling his top lip back in a feral human snarl. “My mate is not yours. Now, leave before I tear you to pieces. This is your final warning.”
It’s Snippet Saturday again! That week rolled by pretty quick. Today’s snippet comes from the upcoming Christmas book, Snowbound Christmas. Here we have Flint meeting some of the North Pole’s occupants! Cider is one of my new faves.
Cocoa House was on the corner of Mistletoe Lane and Christmas Crossing, and like the Bakery, it was bustling inside. A tiny elf with spiky black hair with red tips noticed us walk in and she squealed as she ran around the counter and straight for Lizzette.
“You’re back!” She threw herself into Lizzette’s arms and the two hugged one another for longer than was customary, so they had to be friends, if the excited greeting wasn’t enough to prove that. “Who’s this?”
“This is Flint, he’s the polar bear shifter we brought back with us from Alaska. He likes hugs too.” Lizzette winked at me before the elf threw herself into my arms for a tight squeeze that wasn’t nearly as long as Lizzette’s hug had been, but I didn’t expect it to be any longer considering we were strangers. “Flint, this is Cider, my best friend in Christmas Village. Actually, she’s my bestest friend in the whole of the North Pole.”
Cider stepped back and surveyed me, tapping her fingertip against bright red lips. “Polar bear, huh? I heard Santa was bringing one of them back. So, what, you’re on tour guide duty?” She arched a brow at Lizzette, who grinned and shook her head.
“No, Flint is a friend.”
I’d better end up being more than a friend by the end of this or I’d done something seriously wrong. My bear and I had taken quite a bit of time while shoveling to study our mate, and not in a friendly way. If Lizzette had noticed, she hadn’t said anything. Then again, would she have called me out if she had caught me staring?
Of course she wouldn’t. We weren’t supposed to be anything more than that publicly. This was depressing.
Cider studied me again, and I kept my gaze locked on hers until she nodded. “He’ll do. Okay, now boy, follow me.”
Turning to Lizzette, I gave her a questioning stare, but she shrugged and motioned me to follow her friend. Before I moved, I handed over our muffins, my stomach complaining about giving the food away. Then I followed Cider behind the counter, hesitating to do so until she crooked her finger at me.
“Take your coat off,” Cider ordered, and I did. She took it from me and tossed it into a back room before returning to where she’d left me and handed me a tray with four mugs of hot chocolate on it with four cookies on a center plate. “You see that table in the far corner, this goes to them. Hurry up before it grows cold.”
First Blood is still free through tomorrow night, so of course today’s snipped comes from that book! It’s also perfect that it’s time for Daylight Savings in the USA so you have an extra hour to read tonight!
“Can I ask a personal question?” I asked Shannon, who turned in her seat to stare at me. The wind blew her hair around her face, so she tucked it behind her ear. From the driver’s seat, I could see Luella’s eyes flicker to keep tabs on the conversation.
“Sure, ask away.”
I looked between Shannon and Jackson. “What exactly is your relationship?”
Jackson snorted. “I’m leaving this one to you, Shan.” With that, he turned away from me to curl his body into as much of a ball as he could with the seat belt restraining him. I wasn’t sure how long it would take him to fall asleep, but once he stopped moving, he didn’t move again.
“Well, it’s complicated,” Shannon giggled, answering my question once Jackson was asleep. “We’ve known each other since high school, and he’s been at my side ever since. We were seniors in college when he bonded himself to me as my familiar. Now he can belong to no one else. Me, I’m still free as a bird, but I can’t do that to him. He’s my best friend, and maybe someday more than that. Until then, he’s bound to protect me and assist with my needs.”
“Speaking of men,” Luella crooned. “What about you and Raven? He sure has mellowed out since you drank his blood.”
“Maybe to you,” I grumbled, remembering Raven’s less than stellar mood this morning, “but to me he’s still the same old Raven.”
“Uh huh. That’s why he can’t keep his eyes off you whenever you aren’t looking.”
He did what?
“He likes my eye color.” My floundering retort only served to give Luella another case of the giggles. Even Shannon snickered.
“I hate to say it, Koda, but Luella has a point. He may have been grumpy this morning, but Raven was more mellow this morning than he has been in the years I’ve known him. What happened between you two yesterday?”