Bewitching Desires: A Savannah Coven Anthology

By

Rebekah R. Ganiere, Tami Lund, Niki Daninger, Jennifer Ray, Danielle Donaldson, Sheri Williams, Michele Mohr, Maria Arell, A. E. Snow, Andra Shine, Sonja Fröjdendal, and Kay Blake

 

bewitchBlurb: Twelve Paranormal Stories of Love, Hate, and Desire. Bewitching Desires, The Savannah Coven Anthology, is packed full of Witches, Warlocks, Werewolves, Ghosts, and even a Reaper. All based around the great holiday of Samhain – or, as mere humans call it, Halloween. The witches of the Savannah coven are all preparing themselves for their favorite holiday, but on the night when humans and spirits collide, nothing ever goes as planned.

Journey with an angel across the country, with a reaper chasing a soul hiding in someone else’s body, to a haunted hotel, with a reluctant supreme witch who’d rather give her powers to someone else, not to mention eight other wild and intriguing encounters.

Twelve interwoven tales from bestselling and up and coming authors will have you wishing Samhain came more than once a year…

 

 

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Kissed by the Reaper

Rebekah R. Ganiere

Some loves are worth a battle with both heaven and hell to keep.

 

kissedBlurb: Rose committed an unpardonable sin right before she died. As penance, she has been reaping souls for Lucifer for over twenty years. On Halloween night she finds herself in Podunk nowhere ushering souls back to hell when she runs into the mysteriously handsome Gabriel who’s not at all what he seems. After chasing him into a cornfield and battling an angel to get Gabriel’s soul, she leaves with more questions than answers.

Gabriel is an angel hiding out as a jumper. A soul that jumps from body to body to stay hidden on Earth. But when he finds himself mortally wounded there is only one person he can turn to for protection. The feisty and beautiful reaper who tried to kill him the year before.

With Gabriel recuperating in her bed, Rose is summoned by her boss to hell where he makes her a proposal. Find the jumper Gabriel and deliver his soul, and she will be set free. Fail and become Lucifer’s bride forever. It should be an easy choice. Problem is, Gabriel is the first person Rose has been able to touch without scaring to death in the last twenty years. And just his presence has begun to bring back hidden memories from her human life. In the end Rose will have to make the ultimate decision. Choosing Gabriel or choosing herself.

Excerpt

Rose’s heartbeat pounded in her ears. She pulled the door open the same moment someone stepped out. She was propelled backward in a tangle of arms and legs, onto her bed.

“Whoa! Hey!” said Elijah, his face inches from hers. “I thought we were friends.” He stared at her Reaper blade. The weight of his hipbones on hers sent a thrill through her. His lean muscular body pressed her down into the plush comforter.

“Elijah!” She closed her eyes and sighed. “Freak. I called you but you didn’t answer. I had no idea what I’d find in there.”

“Sorry. I was cleaning up the mess I made. I didn’t mean to knock you down.” His gaze searched her face, his lips inches from hers.

Her brain fogged with desire, making it hard to think straight. “Um… there’s food.”

“Right. Sorry.” He stood, leaving her body too cool, solitary, and alone.

She sheathed her Reaper blade and closed her eyes. This was stupid. She shouldn’t even be helping him, let alone allowing him to lie all over her like a personal electric blanket. Lucifer wanted him. If she turned him in, she was free. No more reaping. No more torture. No more death.

“Which burger is mine?” he called.

“They’re both the same.” She sat up. Get answers and then turn him in. That’s what she had to do. He wasn’t supposed to be in that body anyway.

She joined him at the small table.

He’d already dug into his food.

She picked at hers.

“So you were attacked by three Reapers, huh?” Subtle.

He stopped chewing and looked up. He took a giant swig of soda and nodded. “I was just hanging out, minding my own business, and they popped up out of nowhere.”

“No Gabriella to help you out?”

His expression darkened. “Do you want me to go?”

“No, I want to know what the hell is going on. You were attacked by three Reapers. One of them is missing, yet you survived. How’s that possible?”

“He’s not missing.”

“What?”

“The Reaper, Timothy. He’s not missing, he’s moved on.”

“Moved on? What do you mean moved on? Reapers don’t move on without Lucifer’s permission and he never gives that permission.”

“They can move on but they have to choose to.”

She snorted. “If it was that easy, every Reaper would’ve moved on by now.”

“Really? After what you’ve done. The things you’ve been forced to do by your boss, would you really choose to move on right now? To face judgment?”

She swallowed. He was right. Her penance wasn’t yet complete for the unforgivable act she’d committed right before dying. She couldn’t remember what that act was, but she remembered how it felt.

“How do you know all this?” She swigged her soda.

“I’m an angel.”

Rose snorted and gulped her soda. “Yeah, you were an angel. Now you’re just a Jumper.”

Elijah sat down his burger and stood. He closed his eyes and looked as if he were praying. Slowly his entire body filled with light. The mortal body that housed him fell away and she saw him for who he truly was. She saw the soul within. He was amazing. A Greek god complete with eight packed abs, chiseled chest, and powerful, muscular thighs. His wheat colored wavy hair would have even made Fabio cringe in shame. He stared at her through bright aquamarine eyes.

“Wow. You’re seriously hot.” She clapped her hand over her mouth.

He chuckled and his light faded, but she could still see his true form.

She had so many questions for him. “How can I still see the real you?”

“Because I’m letting you.”

“And your body is…”

“Somewhere safe.”

“So what’s the deal? Why is everyone after you?”

He looked away. “I’ve… gone rogue.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean I don’t play by the rules anymore. I help those who need help. I don’t wait in hopes that another human will help. Humanity has fallen too far for that. But most of all, I don’t take orders.”

“And so you were what? Cast out?”

His eyes turned hard. “I left.”

She nodded. “Your Father must not be very happy.”

“Yes, our Father is not too happy. I have a few brothers and sisters, like Gabriella, who believe as I do. They try to help or protect me as much as possible, but they have their own problems right now.”

“So you’ve been living here, on Earth this entire last year?”

“Longer than that.” He sat down and bit into his hamburger.

“Doing what? How do you live? Eat? Where do you sleep?”

He shrugged. “I travel around the world helping people.”

“Quite the saint.” She swirled a fry in ketchup.

“And I spend a lot of time here in Savannah.”

Her heart thundered. “Here? Why?”

“For you.” His angelic gaze bore into her, making her insides turn to gelatin.

“Me?” she croaked.

He held out his hand and without thinking she slipped her palm onto his. Again his touch caused her body to tingle all the way down to her toes. The action so natural, it was like they’d done it a thousand times before.

“Because you’re special. You should never have been made a Reaper. You weren’t meant to be one. You should have been like me, an angel.”

She snorted. “An avenging angel maybe.”

“No.” He pulled her to her feet and stepped close. “I’ve watched you for the last year. Seen you with the witches and with other people. I see how it pains you to reap them. How you only want to go back to the way things were.”

His hand caressed her cheek and she focused on his plump lips.

“How can you touch me and not feel my Reaper’s curse?”

His body compressed into hers and his arousal pushed hard and long against the flat of her stomach.

“I don’t know,” he whispered. “How is it you can make me feel something besides apathy for the first time in a thousand years.”

 

Rebekah R. Ganiere Bio:

rebekahRebekah is an Award Winning Bestselling Author. Her debut novel Dead Awakenings, hit the bestseller list the first day, in January 2014. Her Fairelle Series released in May 2014 and has won several awards including the Golden Palm and is currently up for the Rone Award. Her trilogy The Society was released by Kensington in 2014 and her new series Shifter Rising is releasing in 2016 from Samhain Press.

Rebekah is currently working on six series in the Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Sci-fi genres. She has three more books slated to release this year and another five for next year.

Rebekah is the VP of Communications of the Romance Writers of America Los Angeles Chapter as well as the Newsletter Editor of the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Chapter. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her moderating and teaching on SavvyAuthors.com or at RWA. Rebekah also cosplays with her kids and is a guest speaker and panelist at San Diego Comic Con and several other Comic Cons on the west coast as well as LTUE, Romantic Times Convention, and Authors After Dark.

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

Bestselling – Award Winning Author of:

Dead Awakenings

Fairelle Series – from Fallen Angel Press

The Society Series – from Kensington

The Shifter Rising Series – from Samhain

The Otherworlder Series – from Fallen Angel Press

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All’s Fair: Love & Warlocks

Tami Lund

Sometimes what you think you don’t want is exactly what you need.

 

allBlurb: Adanna Granier is the reluctant Supreme Witch of the Savannah Coven, marked for the position at birth, as defined by the scrollwork permanently tattooed on her face. All she wants is to be human. But when attractive warlock Anton Burke shows up hours before the Halloween coven meeting, Adanna begins to rethink her determination to stay away from her own kind.

Anton Burke has come to Savannah for one purpose: to usurp the Supreme. Instead of doing his job, he finds himself attracted to her in a way he has never felt before. When strange occurrences start happening, Anton must decide whether to stand by Adanna – or destroy her.

 

 

Excerpt

The meeting was a disaster. Good for Anton’s purposes, not so good for the young coven leader. She stuttered and floundered and generally looked like anything but a leader, but damn, she was hot. Smokin’. Shit, after he’d pulled her into his arms and she’d done that little wiggle thing with her hips, he was pretty sure he would have tried to fuck her on the spot. Too bad the cougar had made her appearance at that moment. That witch had lousy timing.

Synthia hadn’t mentioned the Savannah Supreme was so young. For some reason, Anton had assumed he would be dealing with somebody more Synthia’s age. Or any of the other coven leaders he’d met in his life. The vast majority were old ladies – and occasionally geezers – before they took on the title.

Not Adanna Grandier. Nothing about her was old, except the magic swirling in her blood and the history behind that sexy tattoo marking her as a leader. Every witch born as a Supreme had a slightly different variation of that mark, and in a different place on their body, too. He imagined it had been hard on her growing up, a young child with intricate scrollwork on her face. Or maybe it had been hard on her mother. Humans were so critical, always fast to call someone out for something they didn’t believe was right. If only they knew, that tat represented more power than they could possibly comprehend.

And Synthia wanted it.

You have a job to do, boy-o. Distract the Supreme, let Synthia do her thing, then hightail it out of town before anyone connects the two actions. He had no reason, no desire to stay in Savannah any longer than he had to, to do Synthia’s bidding.

Good thing she hadn’t clarified just how she wanted him to distract the dark-haired beauty. Anton’s initial plan of charming her with tea and silly spells, opening doors and rescuing cats from trees went out the window the moment he realized Adanna was the woman he needed to distract. Oh no, there would be no cat rescuing for this lady. Cat licking, maybe… Oh yeah, this was going to be the best job Anton had ever taken for the power hungry Supreme Witch to whom he was beholden.

Oh yeah.

He should have taken the opening when she bumbled and fumbled through the meeting, even if he fully intended to get horizontal with her later. But he hadn’t been able to do it. When a group of old biddies ganged up on her after she said she had no intention of wandering the streets tonight, searching for zombies and lost spirits, Anton should have goaded them on, should have encouraged others to join their plight. Instead, he defended the young leader, arguing that she intended to make herself available, should anyone have such sightings. If she was out looking for zombies herself, how was she supposed to help when someone else actually did find one?

And when somebody brought up the fact that Rose hadn’t been downstairs before the meeting, he suggested she might have been busy with a personal matter and pointed out that Adanna had managed to take care of everyone’s needs in the shopkeeper’s absence. He hadn’t missed the look of appreciation that crossed Adanna’s beautiful, porcelain doll-like face. That alone had been worth not taking advantage of the opportunity to ruin the meeting. That and the promise of hot, sweaty sex, later, in his hotel room. Screw Samhain bonfires and Halloween gatherings. He had plans for a party of two, and it was going to last all night long.

That would be distracting, wouldn’t it? The idea was sure as hell distracting him at the moment. For some unfathomable reason, he found her casual attire and the black polish on her toes sexy as hell. She was the most attractive woman he’d ever encountered.

Maybe it was the look in her eyes – a little bit lost, but with a determination to make it through whatever the hell she needed to get through. He wondered at her story. She clearly did not want to be the Supreme Witch. Why not? He’d never met one who hadn’t let all that power go to her head before. Adanna Grandier was intriguing, in more ways than one.

He couldn’t wait to peel away the layers. Of her clothes, that is. Anton didn’t do emotional connections, but physical ones were an entirely different matter…

The meeting lasted an hour, and to him, it didn’t seem like much of anything was accomplished. Adanna gave the usual warnings to watch out for zombies and poltergeists that liked to taunt – and sometimes harm – the humans who all thought the last day of October was an excuse to get drunk, dress up, and pretend to be something they didn’t even believe existed. When she gently reminded the attendees to use magic responsibly and not imbibe too much before doing so, a cluster of elderly witches took offense and there were some tense moments as Adanna swore she wasn’t trying to ruin their fun. Anton had been as shocked as she when he spoke up and pointed out that they managed to perform magic on every other day of the year without getting wasted first.

Another lost chance at ruining her. Was he losing his game, or was he just that desperate to get into her pants? There couldn’t be any other reason. It surely wasn’t because he actually liked the young Supreme, that he respected her determination to take care of her coven, her own wishes be damned.

He reminded himself that he didn’t let emotions get involved and decided his own thoughts were distracted by the idea of the impending hookup. Better for his ego. And, hopefully, the brain below his waist that was far too eager for this meeting to end.

Tami Lund Bio:

Tami Lund likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they’ve overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

Tami is multi-published, both self and with a few publishers, including Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Books, and Soul Mates Publishing. She’s won a couple awards along the way, too. Chances are, there is a new book coming out soon. Be sure to stalk her on social media, so you know when.

 

Micah’s Mess

Niki Daninger

When an envious warlock bent on taking coven rule from his sister, saves an angel, he learns there is more to life than his bruised self-worth.

michaBlurb: Micah is a self proclaimed selfish-ass, who wants nothing more than to take over the Savannah Coven. He doesn’t need an angel looking over his shoulder, and he doesn’t need to feel responsible for her safety. But fate intervenes. As the two travel across the southern half of The United States, they must face demons—his and hers, and discover the one thing that can save them both.

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

I stepped out of my 1978 Ford Ranger and into the beautiful night. The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge surrounded me, welcoming me like a long lost friend. It had been too long since I’d last been here.

The refuge was mostly bottomland, and moonflower grew naturally in tropical hardwood hammocks, but my grandmother had planted some in a hidden clearing when she first became Supreme. As far as I knew, she’d never shown it to anyone but me, and possibly Adanna.

I walked amongst the giant cypress, gum, and oaks, feeling the essence of the place, soft as a whisper along my skin. I didn’t have heightened senses, not the way humans would imagine. I couldn’t hear or see any better than they could, but I was more attuned to the forces just beyond their senses. Energy pulsed around me, life and…

I stopped. Something was off. I sensed magic— and blood.

I spun in a circle, clutching my focus stone. Something dark had happened here. Holding my hand out before me, I followed the trail through the forest and into a thick stand of undergrowth. Shoving leafy branches aside, I came upon a doe lying against the trunk of a cypress.

Her coat was pale for a white tail, almost creamy. There was something familiar about her though, something that had me thinking shapeshifter.

“Damn.” I looked down at the arrow in her hindquarters. Archery season in Savannah ended today, at sunset. “Bet you thought you were safe.”

I turned around, but there was no trace of the person who’d shot her.

“Look, nothing personal.” I bent down, unsheathing my hunting knife. “But shifter blood is hard to come by.”

I held the blade out toward her, expecting her to thrash, bolt, or shift. Instead, she lay perfectly still. I pressed the knife to her throat, waiting, but all she did was stare up at me, her eyes wide and dark.

“You don’t think I’ll do it, do you?” I demanded.

She didn’t know who she was dealing with. I was the warlock with the chip on his shoulder. The ass who didn’t give a damn about anyone but himself. The guy who was plotting to take down his own sister. I pushed the edge deeper, feeling her pelt brush up against my knuckles, feeling the blood pulse through her jugular.

She didn’t answer.

“Ah hell,” I grumbled. I wanted to do it, shifter blood had a hundred and one uses, but I couldn’t.

Being a healer gave me a good under the table income, but it was an ability I’d often cursed. Sure, I was powerful, but I’d trade it for something that didn’t cramp my bad-boy style any day.

“All right, all right.” I gave in. “I’ll help, but if you tell anyone, I’ll hunt you down myself and take every last drop of your blood.”

I sheathed my blade and grabbed hold of the arrow. Bracing my free hand on her hip, I pulled. The arrow came free, and I tossed it into the brush but not before I noted the chipped silver tip. That’s why she hadn’t transformed.

Blood flowed from the wound, but the amount was insignificant. “Lucky you, it missed the femoral artery.”

I clasped the stone laying against my chest a second, then covered the hole in her leg with one palm while placing the other flat upon the tree’s trunk.

I closed my eyes. I was a conduit. I didn’t heal the wound by stitching the fibers of her muscle and skin back together. No, I channeled her injuries through my body, feeling the sharp stab of the arrow, the tearing of flesh, sinew, and vein, the ache of straining muscles, and the exhaustion of lungs fighting for breath, slide over my nerves, into the living tree. I groaned as the wound on her leg closed, and a similar one opened in the trunk. Sap slid down the bark, and I knew the process was complete.

Wiping my hands on my jeans, I stood up. The doe emanated a soft, warm glow as her form altered. I wasn’t sure why she was glowing; shifters didn’t do that. The light brightened, and I shielded my eyes ‘til it faded.

Standing before me, in the now dark forest, was the most beautiful being I’d ever seen. Like the doe she had once been, her eyes were big and dark, and the silky hair tumbling over her slight shoulders was tawny colored. She wore nothing but a long, white, sleeveless shift.

She took my breath away. “You’re not a shapeshifter.”

“I am the guardian of this wood, and I am in your debt.”

I cursed under my breath. One might think having an angel in your debt was a good thing, but I knew, from second hand experience, they had a nasty habit of checking in at the most inopportune moments to offer ‘help’. The last thing I needed right now was a goody-two-shoes watching over my shoulder.

“I’m Micah.”

A shy smile pulled at her lovely lips. “I know every person who has stepped foot here.”

“Including the one who shot you?”

“That was no person.” She looked away. “That was a demon.”

 

 

Niki Daninger Bio:

Niki grew up reading fantasy books, dreaming of elves, magic, magnificent beasts and worlds that only she could visit, but she never dreamed of being an author. That came later, after she went to Manhattan, majored in art, found her husband, moved to Pennsylvania, and had two daughters.

Inspired by her author friends, she joined NaNoWriMo. That’s when her dreams took a new turn. They became insistent. The ideas and characters that had slowly taken up residence in her mind demanded their stories be told. So she started to write—with purpose.

Micah’s Mess is Niki’s first short story, but she hopes to finish her current WIP soon, so she can share more of her dreams with those who have supported and encouraged her over the years

Love Spell

Jennifer Ray

When an inexperienced witch messes up her spell and the man of her dreams falls in love with her, she must figure out how to undo the mess, even if that means she’ll lose him forever.

 

loveBlurb: Keira Weathersby loves to help people with the matters of the heart and the body as a witch and pharmacist. But when her childhood rival demands her help, Keira will have to use her craft on the one man she can’t get out of her mind or heart.

Wade Hadley’s girlfriend enjoys leaving hints that she wants to get engaged. The only problem is he doesn’t want to get married right now especially when he’s unsure of his feelings.

When Keira messes up a love spell and Wade professes his love for her, she must figure out how to undo her spell, even if that means Wade will run back to his dreadful girlfriend.

 

 

Excerpt

What was he doing here? Wade stared at her front door, his hand raised, poised to knock, but he hesitated. You should be over at Ginny’s. He slammed his fist on his thigh.

Movement from the window caught his attention. Keira sat down on the couch and turned on the TV. Her dark hair was up in a bun, exposing her creamy neck. A repetitive knock surprised him. It was his own fist demanding an audience with her.

She jumped up and glanced out the window. He smiled and waved. “Damn it. You’re an idiot.”

The heavy, wood door opened. “Wade? What are you doing here?” A loose wisp of hair hung down and drew his attention to her low cut, v-neck t-shirt.

He jerked his gaze up to her face and cleared his throat. “Can I come in? Please?”

She stepped back and opened the door wider, gesturing him in.

“I wanted to talk to you about something.” He glanced around her house, more like a cottage. It suited her.

“Okay… What is it?” She leaned back against the closed front door.

How could an old stretched out t-shirt, pajama pants, and mismatched fuzzy socks turn him on more than the elegance of Ginny’s satin robes, ornate slippers, and perfectly coiffed hair?

“Ginny.”

“What about Ginny?” She eyed him and kept her hand on the doorknob.

He shook his head. “No, not Ginny. You.” He stepped up to her, and although he wanted to grab her, he kept his fisted hands at his sides.

Her eyebrows rose. “Me? Did I do something wrong at work?” She moistened her lips and brought her hand up to her chest.

What was one little kiss? He grabbed her cheeks and lowered his head to hers. His mouth brushed over hers, but she didn’t push him away. He traced her lips with his tongue. She parted them for him, and he deepened the kiss.

Her hands rested on his chest. He caressed the back of her neck to hold her in place while his other hand braced him against the door.

Their tongues tasted and caressed. She was sweet and salty. He couldn’t get enough, he needed more.

He broke the kiss and kissed down her jaw line to her throat. The honey he had come to know her by filled his senses, but her skin was salty. He could lick, kiss, and taste and never be satisfied.

She pressed her hands against his chest. Finally he pulled away and looked down at her.

“What are you doing?” She brushed her bangs out of her eyes with one hand while the other remained on his chest.

“I’m not sure. I had to see you tonight, and I don’t know why. When I saw you, I needed to kiss you. I’m sorry. I should leave.” He pulled his hands away from her and waited for her to step out of the way of the door.

“Oh fudge!” She started to pace. “I messed up again.” She continued muttering to herself, but he couldn’t make out what she said.

“No. It wasn’t you. All the blame is on me.” Wanting to stop her pacing, he reached out and grasped her arm. She turned and gave him a weak smile.

“No, it really was me. I botched up my spell.” She gasped and clamped a hand over her mouth, her eyes widening.

“What? A spell?” Savannah was full of people who swore witches existed or believed they were witches, but he’d never come face to face with someone who actually admitted it to him.

“I… I… I come from a long line of witches, but it’s not something I usually advertise. Only the people who know my family or knew my grandmother know about me.” She tugged her arm from his hand and went to sit down in the living room.

He followed her and sat in the chair next to her. “You actually believe in that hocus pocus stuff?” He shoved his hand through his hair. He’d never pegged her as a believer. “Wait. What kind of spell?” If this was even remotely true, what had she done to him?

“Um, you see, the thing is Ginny and I grew up together. She’s heard of my family, and I’m helping her sister. So she asked for my assistance.” She clasped her hands in her lap, but wiggled her fingers like she couldn’t hold still.

“Anna? What in the world would you be helping her with? A new dress?” He snorted. Anna was one of the silliest girls he had ever had the misfortune of knowing. Even more silly than Ginny. “What does Ginny have to do with this?”

“Well, she wanted to nudge you in the matrimonial direction.” She dipped her head, refusing to meet his eye.

“That explains a lot.” He slammed his fist down on the chair’s armrest.

“It does?”

“She keeps leaving wedding magazines and pictures of engagement rings at my place. Then there’s the fight the other night.” He rubbed his temples.

“Why don’t you just propose to her? It’s not like you have to marry her the next day. You can work on a long engagement. I’m sure it will take her at least a year to plan her wedding.”

He heaved himself up and paced. “You sound just like her. I’ll propose when I’m ready. I’m not ready.”

“But–”

“No.”

“Wade, why can’t you just–”

His pacing came to a stop in front of her. “Damn it, Keira. It’s because I’m in love with you.”

 

Jennifer Ray Bio:

Jennifer pretends to be organized in a sea of to-do lists while chauffeuring around her two children to their endless activities.

While waiting in the car, she sips her coffee and escapes to make-believe worlds full of destiny, love, and strength.

If she has any spare time, she bakes sweet treats, dances with her children to the music in her head, and curls up on the couch with her husband watching their backlog of DVR-ed TV shows. Since they live in the southeast, Jennifer takes the opportunity to drink sweet tea and say y’all whenever she gets a chance.

 

The Banshee and the Barista

Danielle Donaldson

A young banshee can’t escape the death that constantly surrounds her, but she can’t seem to keep the handsome barista at arm’s length despite the shadow hanging over them.

bansheeBlurb: Jenny was thirteen years old when she accidentally killed her parents. It seems like every time she opens her mouth, people around her start dropping dead. She’s learned to live with her power, keep her mouth shut, and stay away from people. She’s learned the art of healing through touch with the help of her coven. Yet, Mac, the motor-mouth barista from the local coffee shop, wiggles into her life and shows her that her witchcraft is much stronger than she originally thought. Jenny discovers that being a Banshee doesn’t have to be a silent life of sadness.

 

 

 

Excerpt

The first moment she laid hands on someone always scared her a little. What if I see that he has rapidly spreading cancer or that he will accidentally electrocute himself with a toaster? What if I see his mother or brother or best friend dying?

A memory overtook her for a moment. She watched her parents drive away in their new car. She was thirteen again and tears were running down her face. She told them she hated them. She told them that she wished they were dead. Then Dad’s new car was found three days later rolled over an embankment. Both of them dead.

Jenny’s hands hovered over Mac’s body, over his shoulders. She must have closed her eyes because she opened them when he started talking.

“Are you sure that this is okay? You seem a little hesitant. I get it. Don’t worry.” He moved to get up again.

Jenny shoved his shoulders down. When her skin touched his full-on, she saw bright yellow behind her eyes. Dandelions in spring. The sun when it first crested over a mountain at dawn. She had never seen yellow so beautiful before.

She drew her hands back a little.

Mac opened his eyes but didn’t say anything. His mouth was a straight line.

Jenny tried her best to smile at him.

She put her hands back down. The feeling wasn’t as jarring, but it was still there. She massaged him calmly, letting the “Sounds of Nature” CD take over the job of filling in the awkward silence.

He closed his eyes and let her hands work over his body. He had a scar on his right collarbone, Jenny determined it was an old break healed over. When she started to massage his forearm and hands, his body sunk into the bed. The sign of a client starting to relax.

After, she massaged the back of his calves, she noticed the muscle differences between them. He’d skateboarded at one time. One leg was used for pushing.

She worked her way up to his head and tapped him lightly on the shoulder. He didn’t respond. His eyes were closed. Had he fallen asleep? She studied his face for a moment. His nose was cute, a little big for his face, but it worked. His mouth was full, and she thought for a moment that it looked perfect for kissing but quickly shook that idea out of her head. She never kissed anyone other than her parents when they were alive. It was too scary to be that close to anyone. As a teenager, it was easy. No boy wanted to be with the creepy quiet girl in foster care. As a twenty-something, she hadn’t even tried the dating scene.

She tapped him again on the shoulder. One of his eyes popped open. She signaled that it was time to roll over.

“I wasn’t asleep,” he told her. “I wondered what it would take to get you to talk. I hoped you would say something.” He flipped over quickly while she held the sheet up and turned her head away. When his body was settled face down, she shimmied the sheet over him. His back looked massive. A swimmer’s body. He would be impressive in the water.

“You know, I don’t even know what your voice sounds like.” His own voice was muffled from the pressure of the face cradle.

You probably don’t want to know what it sounds like. It’d probably kill you. She rubbed his shoulders in smooth, long arcs across the muscles not feeling any ailments, only the usual muscle stress. His heart beat fast and it felt like the center of a rose, deep reds with the softness of a down feather.

Jeez, Jenny. Get it together. You got one semi-naked guy on your table and you freak out? You’ve done this before. Be a professional.

“You’re left handed?” The words tumbled out of her mouth before she realized that she had thought them. Her hands stilled and she snapped her mouth shut. What the hell? What is wrong with me today?

“You can tell that?” Mac said, still facing down. The muscles in his shoulder flexed almost involuntarily. “Also, you said something!”

Jenny grimaced. She didn’t mean to say anything. She let her guard down. She couldn’t let that happen again.

“Seriously, I thought that you were deaf or hard of hearing. I even looked for a couple of videos online to learn sign language, but I thought it would be weird if I walked over to you and started signing and you weren’t actually deaf. I’d probably piss you off. Plus, I noticed that you don’t read lips so I was pretty sure you could hear me.” He used his arms to oddly gesture as he spoke, with his face still down in the cradle of the bed.

Deaf? What? I always try to respond, maybe not verbally, but I try to do something when people talk to me. I’m quiet. I like to keep to myself. I …

As her hands swooped over his left shoulder blade, rubbing at the aching muscles there, she felt his heart almost burst into bright pink and purples. It was warm to her touch, heating her fingers. She’d never felt anything like it. Her own aches in her tense hands and arms melted away. It ignited her own heart, like dipping her toes into a nice warm bath or taking the first bite of rich chocolate cake. She smiled and sunk into the feeling, sighing.

Danielle Donaldson Bio:

Danielle Donaldson writes from Southern California where she lives with her husband and son. She is busy writing YA and Contemporary Romance novels as well as poetry and short stories. Her novels are stories of hope. The smallest candle is still fighting the shadows. Every person has their struggles, their darkness, but the cycle of life continues and the light might be around the next bend.

Catch her online on WriterDanielleDonaldson.com

 

Promised Magic

Sheri Williams

Will the girl he was promised to as a child, be the one to unlock his magic?

 

promisedBlurb: When Brior was a child he had an idyllic home life, living on a farm, mostly out of the general population. But when disaster strikes and his parents die, he is thrust into the foster system. All the while he’s harboring a secret. A secret that will change his life when he turns 18. When he wakes up with magical powers Brior doesn’t know what to do. Adrift in his life for a few years, it isn’t until a mysterious letter arrives that his life changes.

Promised to a child from another magical family at a young age, Brior will leave all he knows to find the girl from the letter. To find out more about his powers. With the help of the girl from the letter, he will unlock his hidden abilities, and become the man he was always meant to be.

 

 

Excerpt

Pulling a worn card from his shirt pocket, he rubbed his thumb over the picture.

The Wheel of Fortune tarot. According to the fortune teller he’d gone to in a drunken stupor, he was supposed to find Savannah Rose. Well, he was in Savannah, he just had to find Rose. It was weird how clearly he remembered that reading. He’d been going all his life, most of the time not paying any attention, but that night, despite being drunk off his ass, the tarot had called to him. He’d found the first reader he could and sat there as she pulled the Wheel. Changes for the better, she’d said.

It was the for the better part he was having a hard time with. His life had been in shambles since his parents deaths. Sixteen years old and naive, he’d been put into foster care and forgotten about by his extended family. Not that he’d known them very well. His parents had kept him fairly insulated his whole life, up until the night they died. His hands fisted involuntarily. There was no use getting mad about it now. The bench scraped along the floor as he pushed out of the corner. Boots that had seen better days barked out an echo as he crossed the floor over to the bar to pay his tab.

“G’nite, man.”

The bartender didn’t look up from the book in his hand, just said, “Yeah, man.”

And people say I suck at being social. He stopped at the stairway, on the way to his room. I have got to stop talking to myself. Shit, I did it again.

Thunk! Brior knocked his head against the wall and groaned. He knew he needed to start making a go at being an actual adult. Not drinking himself stupid and falling asleep at the bar would be a good first step. Maybe then he’d find someone to talk to instead of arguing with himself.

The tarot card felt like it was burning a hole in his shirt pocket. Stripping out of his shirt, he dropped it to the floor of his room. Next came his boots and jeans, leaving him buck naked as he fell on the bed. If anyone decided to rob his room that’s how they would find him. Dead to the world and snoring like the devil.

Hours later when he woke, he shivered. At some point in the night the window in his room had come open. Autumn in the south wasn’t particularly cold, but there was a slight chill in the morning air.

He grabbed his pants to drag them on before going to close the window. No use in scaring any passersby. His foot caught something on the floor by the window, and bending, he scooped up a letter. A dusty rose colored envelope with his name and the B&B scrawled across it. Brior almost dropped it. Dammit, first the magic on his eighteenth birthday, and the tarot card inviting him to a coven meeting, now a envelope arriving out of the blue? His life was turning into a freaking Harry Potter novel.

 

Sheri Williams Bio:

Sheri Williams is a woman of contradictions. A Yankee living in the deep south, a wanderer who has to sit still, a geek who used to be a jock. She lives to write and read, but not as much as she lives for her family. A mother and a wife to amazing humans, as well as parent to multiple fur babies, she lives in a tiny house overpopulated. Sheri has multiple things in the works at any given time, in any given genre. She has always been a hopeless romantic and finds writing romance help keeps it alive.

 

Drifter’s Moon

Michele Mohr

A witch’s magic is put to the test when she becomes the target of a vengeful ghost at a haunted motel on Halloween.

 

drifterBlurb: Savannah James is a Natural Gray, a rare type of witch that can successfully practice both white and black magic. Feeling trapped by her coven’s strict rules, she decides to fly her broomstick solo and break the news of her resignation at their big annual meeting on Halloween.

Trouble has other plans for her when she unexpectedly finds herself tracking down her con artist ex-boyfriend Levi the day before the big event to recover her priceless moonstone necklace he stole from her.

When a locater spell leads her to an off the map truck stop diner in rural Georgia, she crosses paths with lonely drifter Jesse King, a green eyed, all American country boy from her childhood.

Craving a little love and adventure in addition to the menu items at the greasy spoon, Jesse offers Savannah a ride after an her intense run in with Levi at the diner, and they end up at the creepy roadside motel, the Drifter’s Moon.

While rekindling their friendship as adults, Savannah and Jesse quickly learn things aren’t what they seem underneath the dust and outdated décor of the motel, and checking out might be harder than they think. Is Savannah’s magic strong enough to defeat a vengeful ghost and break a decades old curse to get to the coven meeting on time, or will she and Jesse become the motel’s new permanent residents?

Excerpt

I eased out of  my jacket, kicked my boots off, and shuffled toward the bathroom. Before I went in, I glanced over my shoulder. His gaze was still on me. I left the door open just a crack and told myself it was because I might’ve overheated from the shower steam, but I knew better. As my Granny often asked me, “Oh little Savannah, what spell are you weaving now?”  

The bathroom was clean, so I got naked and turned the nozzle in anticipation of the hot stream of water but nothing came out but a dry squeak.

“Oh come on!”

I fidgeted with the other nozzles and was relieved when water came gushing out of the faucet to run a bath. I didn’t look forward to a phone call to creepy Jude to complain about not being able to bathe. I inspected the tub before I sat my bare ass in it. It passed my standards.

Shit. I had forgotten my overnight bag in Jesse’s truck. Oh well, I’ll just have him go out and get it later since I was already naked. In addition to the generic motel soap, I spotted a bottle of bubble bath on the counter by the sink. I opened it and took a sniff.

Lavender… the key ingredient in a love spell.

After I poured in a generous amount, I caught a glimpse of myself in the medicine cabinet mirror. Something was different. Was it my hair? It looked a little drabby as opposed to its usual chestnut shine, but that wasn’t it. Oh well. I turned away from my reflection and climbed into the tub. I stretched out and dunked underneath the water to let the soothing warmth envelope me. The moment was mine. Almost.

Something slid across my throat like the movement one makes with their finger when they slide it from one ear to the other signifying sudden death.

I bolted up to the surface.

Every hair on my body stood up in the icy draft that hovered around the tub. My overactive thoughts raced in the quiet of the bathroom in competition with the echoed drip of the faucet.

“Savaaaaaaannah.” A faint whisper danced in my ear. I panned around the bathroom, but I was still alone.

“Jesse?”

A few seconds later, my handsome companion stood in the doorway holding the bottle of whiskey.

“You rang?”

“Did you just call my name?”

His look of confusion told me he hadn’t. He took a deep pull off the bottle.

“No. You’re not falling asleep in here and dreaming, are you?”

He leaned against the door frame and rested his head on his arm. The movement made the bottom of his t-shirt rise over the top of his jeans to the point where I caught a glimpse of his stomach… and his happy trail.  Did I mention I had a thing for happy trails?

“Maybe I’m just hearing things.”

 

 

Michele Mohr Bio:

From an early age, Michele Mohr had a passion for storytelling and would write sequels to her favorite books in crayon while sitting in her backyard at her family’s picnic table. Growing up in a haunted house ignited her passion for the paranormal and when other kids her age read fairy tales and comic books, she read Stephen King and Anne Rice. She fell in love with the craft of writing in college while pursuing an art degree and became creatively charged while living in New York City. She currently resides in Nashville, TN with her three rescue dogs and one diva cat. When she’s not writing, she’s talking about writing with fans and other authors on social media or binge watching episodes of Supernatural and The Walking Dead.

 

Where the Heart Belongs

Maria Arell

Kilyn goes from being an orphan to having a large family in a matter of days, but is she ready to embrace her heritage?

 

whereBlurb: After being orphaned at a young age, Kilyn has finally settled in Savannah, Georgia, and is quite content with her life. A letter arrives and turns everything upside down and brings Felix, who Kilyn feels inexplicably attracted to. But can she trust him?

Felix was sent to keep Kilyn under a watchful eye, but can he keep his distance? He’s used to doing things on his own, but she is tempting him in ways he hadn’t thought possible. And what comes first, love or family?

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

Kilyn took off like a frightened deer. Felix rushed after her. She felt the familiar sensation build inside her. Her emotions running amok, and so were her powers. If she didn’t get out of there soon, something bad was going to happen.

“Just don’t, Felix,” she pleaded, over her shoulder. She was not giving in to her feral urges. Felix was everything she was not. Mysterious, dark, and alluring. Dealing with another supernatural, without knowing herself, was too complicated.

“Kilyn please.” His voice rang in her ears and he took hold of her arm, making her face him. It felt like she was caught in a gentle snare. She swung around toward him.

“I can’t do this,” she whispered again, feeling the tears prickle in her eyes. She tore free of his grip and continued out the door, wishing he had the decency not to follow her. Kilyn had too much to deal with as it was, a romance would only complicate things.

She burst out onto the street, her heart racing with panic. She took a few steps to the side and found the wall. The rain had gone from a soft drizzle to a downpour. She didn’t care. Kilyn slouched against the wall and tried to remain calm. She realized how close she had come to using her powers, could still feel her body tingling, humming with energy. Ever since she had read that stupid letter more talents were starting to manifest. She had no idea how to control them.

Kilyn decided to seek out Violet. She needed answers and help, before everything got out of hand.

“Are you okay?” Elvira put a hand on Kilyn’s arm, making her look up and Kilyn nodded.

“Yes, just overwhelmed.” Elvira nodded, as if she understood exactly.

“Follow your heart, it won’t lead you astray. I know you’re afraid, but there’s no need. Not of him, at least. Cats on the other hand…” Elvira looked at Kilyn and held up the deck of tarot cards. “Beware of the cat, the cards said.” Her golden eyes bore into Kilyn’s as if she looked into Kilyn’s soul. “Trust your heart. Here’s my number if you need me.” Elvira pressed a small card into her hand. Kilyn read Elvira’s name followed by ‘Reader and interpreter of signs and cards’, then she heard Elvira’s footsteps hurry away. She shut her eyes and took long soothing breaths.

****

Felix stared after Kilyn. Her eyes had told him to stay away, not to follow. He should do what she wanted, but his body and soul wouldn’t listen to reason. He argued with himself for a long time. It was madness, but he couldn’t let her go. He had felt distress coursing through her. He needed to see that she was okay before going home.

Felix found her leaning against the wall with her eyes closed. He walked slowly toward her as not to startle her. He could sense her magic, barely under control, and he walked with caution, uncertain what she would do if cornered.

“Kilyn,” he said in a hushed voice. “Are you okay?” He touched her lightly on the shoulder and she started. Finally opening her eyes, she smiled hazily.

“Who are you?” she whispered.

“Someone who can help.”

“How do you know I need help?” She stared at him.

“Because I’m like you,” he said with a hesitant smile. “Look, this is not the place to talk about it. Let’s get off the street. Go someplace warm and out of the rain. You can trust me.” He held out his hand. She took it, but stayed put.

“So I’ve been told,” she whispered and something flickered in her eyes, and then she drew him toward her and planted a kiss on his lips. Startled he took a step back.

“Sorry, I just wanted to feel what it would be like.”

Felix stared at her. This was a totally different Kilyn than the one he had observed in the over the past few days. After a beat he was back in her arms, kissing her, tasting her. A half growl rumbled through his chest as he leaned into her, pinning her against the wall. She moaned into his mouth. It spurred him on and he buried his hands in her long silky hair.

“This is insane,” she breathed.

“Yes,” he agreed and kissed his way down her neck.

Maria Arell Bio:

After being published in a Swedish fantasy/erotica anthology, Maria Arell wanted more. She’s dabbling in both short stories and full novels with fantasy and romance combined most of the time. She’s also known for writing fanfictions on the side.

Maria lives in Sweden with her husband, two kids and an unsocial cat. She works full time and writes as often as she can. This is her first English story that is not fanfiction.

 

A Stolen Spell

A.E. Snow

Can Isadora save Savannah from an evil spell and her own family?

 

stolenBlurb: Isadora Blackwood is a shy, reserved librarian. She’s passionate about history and preservation and happens to be the keeper of the histories for the witches of Savannah, a job she takes very seriously. Spells, stories, and memoirs lie in her care, and she’s devoted her life to the work. On Halloween, Isadora arrives at the library to find that the history of her own family, the notorious Blackwoods, and an ancient and dangerous spell have been stolen.

To complicate matters, Graham Hart, a visiting professor arrives in town, and Isadora finds herself enamored of him. With his help, Isadora goes on a wild goose chase across Savannah to find the spell and the thief. The hunt leads them to the famous Bonaventure Cemetery, an antebellum mansion, and a wild Halloween masquerade ball.

Will she be too late to save Savannah from evil and from the Blackwoods?

 

Excerpt

“Scared of ghosts?” Isadora stepped over a headstone in the old cemetery.

Tripping over it, he stumbled. “No. I just like to be able to see where I’m going.”

“Follow me.” She led the way. While she too felt a little freaked out, she kept going, brushing moss out of the way. “Think of it this way: a ghost would be a very pleasant alternative to a Blackwood.”

“That’s true.” He shivered.

Weaving their way through tombstones, they went deeper into the cemetery, the final resting place of so many. Nothing looked familiar and she started to suspect they might be lost. Tears filled her eyes as she thought about Susanna, her book, and the impending disaster. She had no idea what might happen if a Blackwood performed the spell, but she knew it wouldn’t be good.

She stopped suddenly and Graham, peering into the darkness behind them, ran right into her. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I have no idea where we are. None at all.” Her voice flat with defeat.

“I thought you knew your way around.” His voice tinged with irritation.

She rolled her eyes despite her tears. “I’ve never been here at night. Plus you aren’t helping.”

Graham turned in a slow circle while Isadora pulled her shawl closer around her. She wished she’d changed clothes.

A low growl filled the eerie silence.

“Did you hear that?”

“No.” She said, but she had heard it. She froze, licking her lips as her mouth had gone dry. Another growl came out of the darkness right behind them. “Okay. I can’t even pretend I didn’t hear that.”

“I realize there’s nothing to be afraid of…” Graham left his thought hanging. His eyes wide behind his black-framed glasses.

Drawing in a shaky breath, she edged forward, Graham at her heel. The growl came again, closer this time. She whipped her head from side to side trying to get her bearings. “Shit.” Panic and bile rose in her throat. “Am I going to be eaten by a ghost dog? I guess it won’t matter so much about the book if that’s the case.”

“I’m sure it’s fine.” The tremble in his voice didn’t sound convincing.

“Run for it?” She asked ready to bolt.

Before Graham could answer, a dense fog settled around them slowly at first and then all at once. He reached out and grabbed her hand. They both backed up until Isadora stumbled into a tombstone behind her. She clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle a scream. Neither spoke. They stared straight ahead into the fog, waiting. She thought she was about to come face to face with a long lost Blackwood, hungry for power.

Out of the mist, a figure moved toward them. Isadora shut her eyes and prayed to the goddess a silent but passionate prayer peppered with curse words before opening her eyes to slits. The fog parted and the figure became clear. A little girl with blonde hair and a white dress. A ghostly girl but a little girl, nonetheless.

Isadora let out the breath she’d been holding. Next to her, Graham relaxed.

“Don’t be afraid,” the girl said. “I called off the Hell Hounds. Though they really aren’t all that scary.”

Isadora opened her mouth to speak but squeaked instead. She cleared her throat and began again. “Thank you for that.”

The girl smiled and peeked up at them through her pale eyelashes. “You’re welcome. I’m Gracie Watkins.”

She let her shoulders drop and relaxed. She smiled back at the girl. “I’m Isadora and this is Graham. How do you do?”

Gracie giggled. “It’s Halloween. All Hallow’s Eve. I’ve been teasing people in Johnson Square. Their faces turn white. It’s so funny.”

“Sounds like a good time.” Graham found his voice.

“You look like you are going to a party.” Gracie’s head tilted to the side.

“Sort of. We’re a bit lost though,” Isadora said.

Gracie’s smile faded. “There’s someone looking for you.”

A chill ran through her. “We were trying to sneak through the cemetery and out the back entrance to avoid that someone.”

Gracie leaned in and whispered. “Do you know who it is?”

Isadora shook her head. “Not exactly.”

Gracie glanced around before she spoke as though she could see through the fog. “It’s not a good person. Follow me. I’ll lead you out.”

Graham spoke up. “Thank you very much.” He smiled at the small child.

Gracie smiled back, a slow smile that started small and spread across her whole face. She waved them forward and they followed as she hovered just above the ground. The mist abated as the unlikely trio turned down a path they hadn’t noticed before. Isadora glanced behind her, the path was clear but she doubted anyone could see them.

A gate waited for them at the end of the path.

Gracie turned back to face Isadora and Graham. “I’m afraid it’s locked. I imagine you can take care of that though.”

He stepped up to the gate and rattled the handle. Blue sparks shot out from his fingers followed by a click.

She knelt down eye-level with Gracie. “Thank you so much for the help.”

Gracie put her cold hand on Isadora’s face. It felt like the curling fingers of a winter morning. “You’re welcome. I don’t see many witches in here. Thank you for visiting.” Pulling her hand back from her face, Gracie faded away with the mist. She waved at them both as they stepped through the gate and onto the street.

Isadora closed the gate and waved to Gracie but she was gone.

A.E. Snow Bio:

A.E. Snow is a writer, mother, and pet wrangler. She lives in a tiny mountain town with her husband, two children, three cats, a large dog, and a partridge in a pear tree.

https://aesnowauthor.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/aesnowauthor

https://www.facebook.com/aesnowauthor?ref=hl

 

The Heart of a Hunter

Andra Shine

Ashley, a spoilt young witch must break a love spell, defeat her enemy and learn some manners, to win the heart of her true love.

heartBlurb: With all her power, most things in Ashley’s life come easy, but when her aged aunts cast a true love spell on her, the spoilt young witch must learn to think of someone other than herself. When she rescues a hunted man, she doesn’t know if she will end up at the hands of her enemy, or in the arms of her true love.

Ashley must choose between lust and love, self and others, hunted and hunter. It should be like taking Halloween candy from a baby; after all, it’s only her heart at stake.

 

 

 

Excerpt

Ashley didn’t want to risk her aunts’ attention. They would have a lot to say about her naked guest, and none of it would entertain her as much as it did them.

She shut off the engine and the headlights and let the Mustang coast into the garage.

Ashley used an automaton enchantment so she didn’t have to touch the battered figure; he rose awkward and unconscious from the car. Underneath him the backseat was gross; the bloody leather would need a proper valet clean. She ignored it, cleaning was not her area of expertise.

He shuffled ahead of her like a zombie. The magical house sensed an interloper and opposed his entry. The stairs and furniture conspired to halt his progress; they defended their territory and attempted to ambush the gruesome puppet.

“Cut it out.” Ashley warned her overprotective home. She controlled her burden like an expert, and made him navigate the hostile terrain to arrive in the relative safety of her room. There she allowed him to collapse on her bed. His scrapes and cuts smeared red blood on the blue silk.

Swiftly she collected her medicine kit from the closet, placed it on the bed, and unfastened its complicated locking mechanism. She mixed herbal paste in a wooden bowl and applied it to the man’s wounds. Ashley whispered incantations as she worked to ensure rapid healing. His inhalations were shorter and shallower than she expected from an adult male at rest. She discovered his heart rate was rapid when she checked his pulse. There was nothing in the kit for that, so she left to collect her aunt Agatha’s, more comprehensive supplies in the conservatory.

When she got back he was healed.

“That’s way too fast.” His pulse was still shallow and rapid. He regained consciousness while she held his wrist. He moaned and flailed around, and she let go, wary of his reaction. His violence increased, he appeared unaware of his actions. Off the bed he staggered towards Ashley, she leapt out of range and repeated the calming incantation.

The incomplete spell fizzled when he lunged and grabbed her upper arm. She yelped as he jerked her towards him. She tried to wrench herself free, but his grip was strong. He reacted like a beast and Ashley wondered if he’d suffered brain damage in the accident. He was so close she could smell his musky animal scent. He put his face close to hers, and she thought he sniffed her neck. She dug her nails into his bulging forearm, and tore the skin until he was compelled to let go.

“Just calm down, I don’t want to hurt you.”

He relaxed his grip. She turned to face him, and pushed against his hairy chest to force him back on the bed.

There was no resistance, but she could tell his strength was hidden under the surface. Despite his weakened state, he shouldn’t have been so easy to subdue. With his coiled muscles taut, she was glad he held back, for now.

Her eyes ran over his gorgeous body, tense and waiting. She tried to calm herself, but couldn’t stop her heart beating fast, and a tingle arose between her legs, despite his rough treatment. The betrayal of her own body angered her further.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I’m Ashley; I picked your broken carcass off my windscreen and brought you home to heal you. You’ve attacked me twice and sniffed me! Who the hell are you?” Her jaw and fists were clenched.

“I’m Orion,” he growled. He looked up at her with soulful brown eyes. Ashley ignored them.

“Why was that man shooting at you?”

“I didn’t stop to ask.” He avoided her gaze to examine himself. Where cuts and bruises had been, he flaunted perfect skin. There was a smear of blood on his shoulder, an arrow graze perhaps. Around his mouth, leftover blood congealed. He wiped it on his arm, casually licked it and smiled at the taste. Ashley flinched, revolted. She handed him a wet towel. Orion shrugged but accepted it.

“Who are you, little one?” Unclothed, he stared at her with no apparent embarrassment.

Indignant Ashley wanted to slap him. “Don’t condescend to me. I’m Ashley Evergreen. The woman that just saved your ass.” She watched, fascinated and repulsed, as he wiped away the mysterious blood.

He leered at her and she narrowed her eyes. To surrender immediately wasn’t respectable, but respectable was for normal people. Anyway, she had to admit, he was hot. He knew it too. Ashley cursed herself for being so shallow and stupid and tried to cover with snarky comments. “I hope you’re comfortable. That’s my bed you’ve ruined.”

Orion sneered at the surroundings and flicked the diaphanous curtains on her four-poster bed. “Certainly like your creature comforts, don’t you?”

Ashley straightened the curtain. “If I’d known you were coming, I would have prepared a blanket on the floor.”

“I’ve had worse.” He regarded her with intense dark eyes and picked up a book lying on the bed. ‘The Physics of Musical Acoustics,’ am I supposed to be impressed?”

“By a book?”

“I’m not a big reader.”

“Clearly.”

“You smell good.”

“It’s Obsession.”

“Not the chemicals.” He propped himself up on his elbows, his torso tightened. Ashley held her breath, unable to concentrate on anything save his sculpted stomach. The line of hair from his chest dared her to follow its descent south. Furious at her weakness she forced herself to look at his face.

“I mean the scent below. You smell like a woman. Come here.” Orion’s brazen grin demanded no dissent.

Andra Shine Bio:

Andra became a writer after a failed career as a pirate. She lives with her two children and their ninja father on the edge of the forest path to grandma’s house. She has been published under the name Andra Jenkin, in television, radio, film, cd, newspapers, theatre reviews and comics, and has travelled as a performance poet.

Words are her passion and she writes eclectically in fiction and non-fiction genres. She is published in The Douglas Adams Liff trilogy, Afterliff, Three Words, and various online literary journals. This is her first short story available to the public.

 

Running with Magic

Sonja Fröjdendal

Sunshine is a witch who can bottle emotions, but with the ruler of demons and his son crazy for her, loving the right demon is hell.

 

runningBlurb: Sunshine is a witch who can bottle emotions and that’s not her only talent. With a long line of witches behind her, she isn’t scared that she has a hot demon following her.

She does mind that his father has taken a shine to her too, and as ruler of the night demons, has sent an army to capture her as his bride.

Even with her occult powers and a dragon as her ride, Sunshine is finding that loving the right demon is hell.

 

 

 

Excerpt

It was two days after the encounter in Stay a Spell and Sunshine was still simmering from the kiss. Thinking on the kiss and why Teagan kissed her worked her up. She hoped he didn’t have an ulterior motive behind it. The kiss had created fireworks though, in more ways than one. Luckily Cook was a witch with a protection spell on her establishment, the place would have burned down otherwise. Teagan had run out quickly afterwards. Who knew demons were such cowards. She tried to focus yet again on what she was doing, trying to make her center herself.

When the cauldron boiled, she threw in the herbs she got from Reap What You Sow. It was quite handy to have an occult shop in the area. Made it so much easier to make spells and potions when she didn´t have to collect the ingredients herself. Rose always got the good stuff Sunshine had to hand it to her, and she was a freaking magician. Even if she wasn´t a witch.

The last things Sunshine needed for the spell were the bottled emotions she collected in the shop. Stirring them in would get her emotional, it always did. It was the downside of working with emotions. The spell would be stronger with them in so she didn´t mind much.

“So, this is where you hide when you leave town?”

Startled, Sunshine dropped the bottle in the cauldron. Slowly she turned around to face him, that voice could only belong to one person.

“How did you find me and what are you doing here?”

“Well, you´re not that hard to follow when you are upset. You leave a trail of puddles of magic when you let things get the better of you.”

“You followed me! What the hell!? Are you insane?” Her magic rushed to the surface. Telling someone off while concocting a potion wasn’t the smartest thing, but she didn’t care. It really hit her in the face when she messed a potion up. Especially if she made a potion to reinforce a spell. She could almost feel her face change as the potion hit her face.

Sunshine stared Teagan down, she was close to the boiling point. He had pissed her off already earlier in the morning, albeit he didn’t know that. Having a spell backfiring in the face making her look like a horse’s ass was not the way to get on her good side.

“What the HELL did you do that for? Are you TRYING to piss me off? Because if you are, you´re doing a damn good job.” The chill that ran up her spine was a dead giveaway that her eyes would get more golden. If she didn’t watch out, she would blow something up.

“If you can´t keep your temper in check, how the hell am I supposed to?” Teagan waved his arms in the air, growling the words out. “A simple question have you going all Frankenstein’s monster on me. I only asked you why you wouldn´t make our arrangement permanent? What is it with you and relationships? Did poor little witchy get trashed by her Daddy who didn´t care?”

“How dear you drag my Dad into this? You have NO idea who he is or what he has done.” The air around Sunshine shimmered and exuded heat. She didn´t want to stay any longer. Slowly she elevated into the air.

“Oh, no you don´t! You don´t run away from me!” Teagan spread his wings and flew up to her, grabbing her arms tight. “Trust me Sunshine, I mean you no harm. If not me, trust your heart, it won´t lead you astray.”

Sunshine stiffened up and glared at him. “Why did you say that? What do you mean with that?”

“It´s something my Dad used to say when I was a youngster. Trust your heart, Son, it won´t lead you astray. So far it never has.” Teagan seemed to assess her reaction eagerly.

“Your Dad?”

“His name is Hamish.”

“Hamish? That´s your Dad? Well, that would explain a lot now, wouldn´t it? Freaking Hamish? Why not complicate things even further?” Sunshine pushed away from Teagan and landed. Still steaming over it, she was leaving small fires in her wake.

“You know my Dad? How can you know him?”

“For heaven’s sake, Teagan! Everyone knows about Hamish. If you are someone with powers that is. Working with magic, you sooner or later come across him and his minions.”

“Sunshine? Can you stop walking around or at least put out the fires you´re making?

“For crying out loud!” She waved a hand and the fires were out.

Teagan ignored the big wolf who came into camp and closed in close to Sunshine.

“Can you tell me now what made you mad at me this morning at outside Reap?” Keeping her in his arms soothed him and he noticed her breathing slowed down.

“You said I needed help! Really, am I that kind of woman that needs help? It pissed me off.”

“I don´t think you need help. I offered to help because that’s what friends do, they help each other even if they don´t have to. It´s not pity, it´s love. If my offer insulted you, I beg for   your forgiveness.”

“You love me, and I’m supposed to believe that? Okay, can we talk about this later? I can’t handle this now, I have your Dad to deal with.”

“Sure. Why do you say that? Deal with my father?”

“Hamish wants me, for himself as a partner.” Sunshine shuddered.

“Why? Do you want him?” The shock was vivid in his voice

“I don’t know, all he said was that I would light up his house with my presence.”

“So you don´t like him?”

“No, I don´t like him.”

“Good. You’re my mate and I don’t want to have to fight my father for you.” He raised his hands defensively. “Don’t blow me up or put me on fire, hear me out first.”

 

Sonja Fröjdendal Bio:

You can find Sonja on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sonjafrojdendalauthhor and on Twitter: @frjdendalsonja

 

Magical Shift

Kay Blake

Sparks fly when a young telekinetic witch is put under the protection of a rugged, but handsome stranger who is more than what meets the eye.

 

magicalBlurb: Paige has always been a loner. After the death of her nana, she takes solace in her job and taking long runs in the woods. Her usual place of solitude is threatened by an unknown presence and a rather handsome mystery man who lands on her doorstep quite literally.

Falling in love with the handsome stranger wasn’t part of the plan, but that is exactly what begins to happen. When old friends and secrets start to unravel, Paige is left with trying to find a balance between what she thought she knew and what her heart says.

 

 

 

Excerpt

Me? I received my powers a year ago at midnight. At first I thought I’d lost things, my keys and my sunglasses. Then later I’d find them in different places. By the time I arrived at the Halloween coven meeting, I had realized that I was accidently moving things around. At first it seemed fun, but after a while, I grew frustrated because I didn’t know how to control the telekinesis. I’d find my hairbrush in the fridge and the flour would end up in the linen cupboard. Glasses would be broken on the hall floor. Almost a year and endless practice later I have a greater degree of control. Nana would’ve made sure I learned it all, but I think I did pretty well for someone who had to figure it out on her own. Although when I’m angry or tired, I still tend to do things more unintentionally than not.

My usual route took me around the edge of the woods; a circuit that ended back home. I could take the road on the opposite side, but that led into town. Now that Nana had passed, I had been going further in, not when the run was so peaceful and the forest so close to my house.

I paced myself as I ran past the trees. Pink’s upbeat tunes dazzled my eardrums. I reveled in the sense of freedom running gave me, even if it was only for a moment.

Nana often called me her special little girl. She said there weren’t many of us in the black culture. I came from a long line of witches and I inherited the powers I got. It skipped generations. Many of the other black witches my nana had known in her lifetime learned their occult knowledge from books and spells.

I kept up my pace until the feeling I wasn’t alone in the woods crept up on me. I took one of the headphones out and scanned my surroundings to see if I could spot something. My intuition was usually right. I turned around a few times, seeing nothing, I placed my earphones back in. Lately, I have been feeling like I was being watched. Most times the presence didn’t feel threatening, and other times it did. Maybe Nana was warning me away from the woods from beyond.

The hairs on the back of my neck pricked up and I picked up the pace. I could hear all of Nana’s past warnings in my head, but I needed my daily run like I needed coffee. It was my fix.

My senses tingled again. I spun around again this time certain that I wasn’t alone. I didn’t want to deal with the abnormal today.

I was isolated by my abnormality. Okay, yes, I had the coven. The coven, a sacred place with friendly enough witches, but they weren’t my nana. I had always been an awkward girl.

Kay Blake Bio:

Kay Blake was born in New York City. She is a sarcastic sweetheart who prefers being home reading a good book. She’s a newlywed and a mom to three cubs. Kay is an avid reader. Kay has written poetry, song lyrics, fan fiction, and short stories as a child. She decided to take a real stab at writing in 2014. Her guilty pleasures are horror movies, chocolate, strawberry cheesecake, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, wrestling, and happy endings. She blogs at www.authorkayblake.wordpess.com and with several wonderful authors/writers at http://www.writingwenches.com

She can be found on twitter @authorkayblake and Instagram @authorkayblake