Category Archives: Guests
Please welcome my guest Randi today, and get ready for an awesome giveaway
Yes, I Can Write Paranormal Cowboys!
Thank you, Amber, for hosting me today. I’m Randi Alexander and I write cowboy erotic romance. I’m published with The Wild Rose Press’ Cowboy Kink line. My new release, Her Cowboy Stud, is available now.
I enjoy reading paranormal romance, but the few times I’ve tried to write it, it’s been difficult for me. Last year, All Romance eBooks hosted a contest called Just One Bite. I felt a driving urge to challenge myself and write a vampire erotic romance short story to enter. I did it! This Cowboy Bites was a blast to write.
I started by creating my character’s world. My vampire was warm blooded, night walking, and when he bit a woman’s neck, he also needed to take her, sexually. I loved being able to set my own rules. It’s very freeing. I could be as creative as I chose.
I entered the story in the contest, and Oh My Gosh, it was chosen from over a hundred entries as one of the thirty-two finalists! Really amazing for me because I hadn’t written paranormal before. But it gets better! I ended out just out of the money in fourth place, but for a first-timer, that was truly incredible.
Here’s a link to the story, if you’d care to read it. It’s actually a free book download from All Romance eBooks which includes eleven other paranormal short stories as well as This Cowboy Bites. Click here for your free download.
After the contest, dozens of readers asked me to write more vampire cowboys. I spent a week creating a series of vampire cowboy erotic romance ménages – nine books in all. I pitched the idea to an editor at a writers’ conference. She loved it, and wants to see the first book as soon as it’s ready. Now, I just have to write it.
I also need to find a name for the town. The series is set in a very small town in south-central Texas. I’m looking for a name that gives the feeling of a dusty old place on a dead-end road that is nearing extinction until rich cowboys (vampires!) begin buying up all the huge ranches surrounding the town. The books will tell the story of the clashes and seductions between the town folk and the vampires.
This is where I need your help. What are your suggestions for the town’s name? Whatever pops into your mind, one, two, a dozen names, please leave a comment with your ideas. One lucky commenter will win an ebook!
Trace McGonagall’s quiet life on his Houston stud ranch is shaken up when gorgeous Macy Veralta arrives to claim an inheritance left to her in his uncle’s will. Trace sees her as just another gold digger, but he also can’t resist her curvy body. When she hints at being the perfect submissive to his Dom, he has to have her.
Macy wouldn’t have been three months late to claim her inheritance if she’d known Trace was sin in jeans. The cowboy’s dominant bearing and the smoldering glint in his eyes send shivers to her toes and stirs images of being bound in his bed and disciplined at his hand. But could Trace’s perfect seduction be part of his plan to reclaim her inheritance?
EXCERPT: Over 18 only, please.
“I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like you.” Macy wrapped her arms around his middle.
Trace hugged her tight for a minute. Against her chest his heart beat as wildly as hers. Reaching down, Trace eased an arm under her knees and lifted her into his arms. “Wait until you get a taste of my lovin’, sweetheart. You’ll be hooked.”
She rested her head on his chest and admitted more to herself than to him, “I think I’m already hooked.” Being held in his arms tingled like magic, and her body reacted, filling and warming, flooding her needy pussy with a sweet ache.
He opened the screen door and deftly carried her in. He strode down a hallway and into a big bedroom, kicking the door shut behind them. A gigantic bed dominated the room, done up in moss green with a few gray and green throw pillows tossed on as an afterthought—the housekeeper’s doing, probably. Trace didn’t seem like the accessorizing kind of guy.
Big, clunky dark wood furniture stood around the room. A beautiful old rug nearly covered the entire hardwood floor, and a lamp in the corner cast a subtle glow over the room.
She took a deep breath, smelling the scent of man and musky cologne. “This bedroom is so masculine.”
“Just like me?” He set her on her feet.
“Exactly like you.” She ran her fingers through his hair, loving how the soft locks curled around her skin, tickling her. She tugged him down for a kiss.
He groaned as he slanted his lips over hers and made love to her with his mouth. His tongue touched everywhere, slow and thorough. His hands slid to the tie of her halter top, and he eased it free, standing back to watch as he revealed her breasts.
“Beautiful.” He stared for a moment before bending her backward over his arm, one hand at her neck to steady her, suckling first one nipple then the other. He laved them with his tongue, teasing them with sensual flicks.
The sucking and nibbling of his hot, talented mouth on her breasts drove her mad. A quaking desire filled her as her core contracted, and moisture slid from her needy lips.
Lifting the hem of her halter top, he eased it off over her head and tossed it onto a chair.
“My turn.” Macy unbuttoned his shirt, taking her time, enjoying each inch of skin she revealed. She slid it off his shoulders and let it drop. “Oh, wow.” His arms were defined, his chest sculpted and furred by a light scattering of dark hair, his flat stomach showed a hint of muscle developed by hard work, not zealous sit-ups. Lower, his narrow hipbones showed above his low-slung jeans.
Her need to touch him consumed her.
“Touch me,” he drawled, as if reading her mind.
Macy ran her fingers over his torso. She wanted him, wanted his chest pressed to her breasts, wanted his big arms around her. First, she wanted to see what hid beneath those tight fitting jeans.
At the instant she reached for his belt buckle, his fingers closed on the button of her capris. They both grinned and worked in tandem, removing his boots and socks, her flip flops and pants, and his jeans. They stood in their underwear, hers lacy and white, his black and stretched to the limit by his big, long cock.
He stared at her, a long, slow appraisal, making her skin quiver wherever his gaze touched. When he reached for her, she melted into his arms as his hands roamed across her back. He pressed his lips gently to her neck. His tongue darted out for a taste. “Aw, God.” His voice rumbled low in her ear.
His hand eased from her back to the side of her breast. His thumb traced a path around her nipple, brushing over it.
She sighed and shuddered as heat streaked from her nipple down to her slit.
His cock jerked against her belly. She abandoned any insecurity she felt and pressed her hand to the bulge in his underwear. His rod throbbed in her palm, and she licked her lips with the need to feel him in her mouth, pushing in deep, taking him down her throat as she swallowed his long shaft and sucked him dry.
“Darlin’.” He lifted her gently in his arms and carried her to the bed, laying her on the comforter. “I want to taste you. Everywhere.” His words came slow and full of promise. His half-lidded eyes turned nearly black with lust as he looked his fill of her body, not touching her, taunting her with expectation.
Macy’s back arched off the bed as a sweep of pleasure brushed over her. Tingling with need, she reached up and touched one of her nipples. “Here?”
He swallowed loudly. “Yes, there.”
Her hand snaked down her body, over her stomach. “And here?”
“Of course.” His voice growled even deeper.
She looked him in the eye, reveling in his barely-leashed desire. The tightness of his face, his flared nostrils, and tense jaw. When she slid her hand lower, he watched.
Slipping her finger inside her lacy panties, she asked, “Will you taste me here?”
To celebrate the release of Her Cowboy Stud, I’m giving away, to one lucky *commenter, an e-copy of my new erotic romance short story anthology Cowboy Bad Boys. Just leave a comment today and we’ll choose a winner tomorrow. *Commenter must be 18 years of age or older to win.
I’m also giving away a custom-made messenger bag and a $50 gift certificate to Pureromance to one subscriber to my newsletter. For more details, and to sign up for this contest, please go to my website, RandiAlexander.com And while you’re there, you can read the first chapter of Her Cowboy Stud.
Good luck, and thank you!
Randi “Rode Hard and Put Up Satisfied”
Her Cowboy Stud available at The Wild Rose Press Wilder Roses
Kindle version is available at Amazon.com
Release date (squee!!!) is this Friday the 13th. I love those days.
Also, don’t forget to come back on Friday for my Super-Duper Release Day Par-tay
When duty forces a shaman to stop a vampire from her revenge, love doesn’t just burn… it bites.
For two hundred years, Niki DeVeraux has been tracking the monster who murdered her family and made her a vampire. She finally catches up to him in a small Arizona town, only to face more than she bargained for. Amid an imperious vampire King, a shaky truce between the local clan and shifter pack, and a too-sexy sheriff who makes her remember she’s still a woman, Niki’s single-minded purpose is threatened for the first time since her turning.
Between his duties as Keeper of the peace for the Magic Council and heir to his tribe’s shamanistic magic, Sheriff Shane Spencer’s job is to protect humanity and stop the friction between the local Arcaine races before it turns into an all out blood war. To make matters worse, there’s an irresistible rouge vampire in town enflaming his senses.
When wolves start turning up dead, the tension between the paranormal races grows and suspicion falls on Niki. Shane knows she’s not to blame, and it has nothing to do with the primal urges she stirs within him. Working together, they must find a way to stop the hostilities from going over the edge. Trouble is, the desires raging between Niki and Shane might prove more dangerous than the surrounding threats.
The pitch black tunnel, complete with crumbling dirt walls and cobwebs, didn’t frighten Nicola DeVeraux. The dark held nothing to fear. She’d seen too many real monsters in the years since her death.
Besides, her night vision was as good as any human’s in the bright light of day.
She stepped over a skeleton, then around the grisly remains of a wild boar.
At the far end of the tunnel, candlelight flared to life, as if welcoming her into the witch’s den. Her boots stirred up dust as she entered the small cave.
The walls glinted with a mix of crystalline dirt and flecked stone. The scent of a nearby spring layered heavy moisture in the air. In the center of the cavern stood a long rectangular table, covered by a black velvet cloth. Strange items, some unrecognizable at first–or even second–glance, littered the top.
Spinning at the gravelly, androgynous voice, Niki grabbed for the dagger at her waist.
The old crone cackled as she entered, her grin nearly toothless. Stringy gray hair straggled around her plump, wrinkled, face. Jezamine glided to the table. “I didn’t think ye’d answer my summons.”
“You asked me to come, old woman. I assume there’s a reason.” Though the dark tunnel hadn’t scared her, the witch did. Niki forced herself to take another step, though she kept a tense grip on the hilt of her still-sheathed dagger.
“What question do ye ask the gods?”
Ignoring the tension roiling in her stomach, she moved to the woman’s side. “They’re finally ready to answer me?”
Jezamine laughed again, the sound sending skitters down Niki’s spine. “Ye know they take their time, girl.”
“Fine. I want to know if I’ll finally find the man who murdered my family.”
The old woman reached for a silver cup etched with strange markings. She shook it three times before dumping the contents into a circle made from small, round crystals. Human finger bones clattered against one another. She bent over the table.
Jezamine had looked as ancient a hundred years ago as she did now. “Hmm. Yes. Mmm.” The old woman poked at one bone sticking above the others. “But what ‘bout…”
Niki eased onto one of the dark wooden stools at the far end of the table.
The priestess sprung upright, staring at Niki with her fathomless dark eyes. Her inky black lips stretched in a grimacing smile. “It’s yer birthday. Samhain be a good day for birthin’.”
Niki clenched her fists in her lap. “Not really.”
Halloween was a cursed day to be born. It had brought her nothing but pain, brought her family nothing but death.
The old woman poked at the bones again. “Maybe. Maybe ye be finding the monster ye seek, maybe be getting some other kind of lucky.” Jezamine’s screeching laugh echoed from the cavern walls.
Shivers inched along Niki’s spine and flooded into her legs. Thankfully she was sitting down. “What do you mean, some other kind of lucky?”
Jezamine’s dark eyes glittered. “Girl, I don’t think ye want me telling. Don’t think the Fates want me telling.”
“Then what about Thomas?” Her nails poked painfully into her palms.
“Lil’ girl. Why ye wanna spend all yer time tracking down pure evil?”
Memories flashed. The Halloween ball, celebrating not just her seventeenth birthday, but her engagement as well. The plantation in the bayou, ringing with music and laughter. At least until dawn arrived, the sun shining down on nothing but death.
Niki shook the old pain away. “Duty,” she repeated. “He owes me vengeance.”
“’Tis a fine line ye walk between revenge and justice.” Jezamine shook her head, the corners of her lips drooping in a frown. “Revenge make yer soul dark as his.”
“I don’t care.” In the far corner of the cave, wisps of white fog crept up the walls. Soon they would form into the shapes of those long dead.
She jumped to her feet, turning away. “Can you tell me anything else?”
Jezamine walked around the table to face her. “’Ware child. He who turned ye may also be the cause of yer downfall.”
Niki lifted her chin, facing down the old woman’s words, the Fates themselves. “Not until after I’ve killed him.”
As Shane Spencer finished the last of his beer, his deputy, Chase Campton, strode by, slapping him on the back.
“Another re-election year well done, Sheriff.”
The small crowd in the bar cheered and the waitress, Rae, slipped another bottle onto his corner table.
Shane tipped his cowboy hat politely and plastered on a fake smile, unable to join in the spirit. All day, something dark had been hanging over the town. Not that anyone else sensed it. He needed to go to his childhood home. On the edge of town, the house sat at the borderline of the Apache reservation and Moss Creek.
His father, head shaman and seer, would know what the signs meant. Once again, doubt crept up inside Shane. How did the Fates pass over the eldest in their family and choose him as their father’s successor? It had never before happened in their tribe’s history.
He nursed the beer, deep in thought.
The door banged open, a cold autumn breeze swirled the smoky air. A woman followed it in, stopping just inside the bar. The air vibrated with unseen power. Even the deepest shadows shivered. Everyone in the bar fell silent, turning as one to look her way.
She held her head high, long black hair curling over her shoulders like silk. Her bright green gaze scanned the tables. She passed over Shane without pause, only to snap back to him.
Magic filled the room and the hair on his forearms rose. The other people in the bar were forgotten. Only the two of them existed.
His heartbeat slowed, skipped a beat, sped up like a race horse barreling down the track.
The doorframe towered over her slight form. Yet her body was ripe, lush with curves. The tight blue jeans emphasized her hips, the narrowness of her waist. And the sleeveless white tank showed her breasts off to perfection.
He swallowed, though his mouth was dry.
Her eyes widened and even over the distance of the room, he heard her soft, feminine gasp. Palms slick, he shakily set the bottle back on the table.
His blood screamed primitive urges… demanding he drag her off to his cave.
It wasn’t like him.
Women, even the most beautiful, had never affected him this way. He’d met with the rich and beautiful, models and actresses galore during his time in the city. Gathering the remaining shreds of his willpower, he closed his eyes calling on the magic of his ancestors. The spirits of the earth responded and power surged through him. Magic raised the hairs on his arms and the back of his neck as the whispers of the spirits of the nearby forest filled him. Ignoring it to concentrate on what was here and now, he reopened his eyes. Colorful hues surrounded everyone in the bar.
Her aura struck him like a punch to the gut. A deep maroon, with flecks of black, revealed exactly what she was.
And not local.
He blinked again, letting the sight fade.
The woman finally looked away and took another step into the bar. As quickly as it had hit, the power surging through the room dissipated. People once more talked and laughed, raising their glasses in toasts.
What the hell kind of vampire was she, to cause such a raging lust?
The woman strode to the bar, her glare shouting ‘Don’t mess with me’. Though she didn’t look old enough to drink, let alone be in a bar in the first place, the bartender immediately poured her a shot of whiskey.
Shane would be talking to Henry about it later.
First, he needed to figure out what this vampire was doing in Moss Creek. Sure, the small mountain town was a hub of paranormal activity, with the local vampire clan and the shifter pack taking advantage of the surrounding nature. But rogues generally tended to stay out of places dominated by orderly clans, knowing the structure and politics were handed down by the Magic Council.
And the Council didn’t like Rogues.
Cupping the shot glass in her hands, the woman leaned towards Henry before the older man could move away.
Shane tensed in his seat. If she was looking for a meal…
Henry murmured something. The woman nodded, downed her shot and laid some money on the bar before turning and striding out.
Shane tried to relax, but he still yearned for the stranger, to touch her, smell her, nearly as badly as when she’d been staring at him, as if she could see down to his very soul.
Niki kept to the shadows of the forest as she skirted the parking lot. The only light came from a blue neon sign on the building’s roof, claiming someone called Henry owned the Spitfire bar.
She stopped near a clump of three trees opposite the bar. The center one was marked with a red X. How original. Yet this was where her contact wanted to meet, so who was she to complain?
It was nearly a half-hour later than their appointed time and she wasn’t quite sure why she was still here. Her stomach grumbled lightly. She needed to eat, the blood she’d consumed earlier hadn’t been enough. Without both food and blood her strength would wane. She couldn’t afford that, not now when she was so close to her prey.
She’d give this snitch five more minutes.
Only three passed before the air whispered through the forest at her back. Niki turned, knife in hand, holding it hidden down by her thigh.
“Looking for me?” a husky whisper drifted out of the darkness.
“You Baal?” She tried not to snort. Sometimes vampires tried on grandioseness, as if eternal life made them superman. Which, she guessed, in some ways it did.
“Maybe. Depends. You got the money?”
“Sure. If you have the information you promised.”
“Lemme see the cash first, lady.”
Niki reached slowly into her front pocket and pulled out two one-hundred dollar bills. The snitch tried to grab it, but she held tight. “Information first.”
He stepped into a bit of moonlight and grinned, eyes flushed with red. His thin lips drew back, revealing long fangs as he chuckled. “I got something else for you.”
She sighed. “Let me guess. You’re not going to give me the information, assuming a creep like you even knows anything.”
“Got that right.” Confusion twisted his pale features, as if he didn’t quite follow. Then he grinned again. “But you sure gonna give me something. Ain’t just money.”
Never trust a snitch. “Let’s get on with it then.” She tucked the bills back in her pocket.
His grin twitched, eyes flickered, following the money. He shook himself, confidence coming back.
She tightened her grip on the dagger. He lunged.
Niki used his momentum to fling him against the trunk of the tree. His head slammed in to the painted red X.
“Damn it,” he yelled, quickly recovering and charging her again.
She waited until he was close, then rammed her knee into his groin. Not even vampires were immune to that pain.
Hope you enjoyed
Here’s a treat for ya’ll today, a peek at Emily Cale’s ‘Public Display of Affection’.
After a heartbreaking end to her relationship with her girlfriend, Lucy Stark is looking to try something more adventurous. She turns to Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service to help her find the perfect woman to push her boundaries and introduce her to the more daring side of a sexual encounter.
Samantha Taylor’s helped more than one woman explore her sexuality, but Lucy’s the first to really get to her. Keeping her walls up and the women she dates from getting inside is a skill she’s managed to master. After one night of unbridled passion, she has to decide whether to give up her hard exterior or let the woman of her dreams slip away.
“I’m Samantha, but you can call me Sam.” She paused, hoping for a response, then shrugged. “Can I come in?”
Lucy—assuming it was Lucy?—shook her head and blinked a few times, as though she’d been in a trance. “Of course.” She stood back, holding the door open.
“Seems like a nice enough room.” Nothing extraordinary, but it didn’t need to be with the scenery that surrounded it. No one came there to see the inside of a hotel room. Well, no one except for them, and they’d be doing very little of that. The king-sized bed decked out with a forest green and brown duvet and pillows took up a majority of the room. The whole set-up looked comfortable and inviting. Too bad the activities she had planned didn’t require a mattress. Setting her duffle bag next to the dresser, she turned back toward Lucy. “So what are you up for tonight?”
Like a deer in headlights, the brunette looked puzzled by the question. “Well, I’m not sure. I thought maybe you’d have an idea or two and we could go from there?”
As timid as Madame Eve had described in her email. She’d expected the woman to at least have a few ideas, an erotic act she’d found on the internet that intrigued her. Sam bit her tongue to keep from making a sarcastic comment. No judgment. This evening was to be an introduction to the more adventurous side of intimacy. Aside from that, she hoped to quell the sexual frustration that had been brewing deep inside her. “I have a few things worked out. After that, we can see where the night takes us.” She imagined it would have them in bed before late night TV even started. “Does that sound agreeable to you?” She half expected the wide-eyed woman in front of her to back out. From her expression, it was clear she contemplated her options.
“That sounds good.” Lucy played with the edge of her black, knee-length skirt.
Sam doubted the truthfulness of that statement, but decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. “Then I suggest we get started. We are on a tight schedule at the moment.” Crouching down, she pulled a small box from her overnight bag. “Why don’t you go put this on?”
Lucy took it and turned it over in her hands. “What is it?” The pink color of the paper matched her sweater, Sam noted with amusement.
“Open it and you’ll find out.”
Emily Cale spent the majority of her childhood as a visitor to the worlds of her favorite authors. With encouragement from her English teachers, she put pen to paper and began imagining her own stories. Preferring the fascinating lives of her characters, she majored in creative writing. When not lost in a manuscript or a good book, she enjoys crocheting, rock climbing, and playing board games. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and a very spoiled cat.
All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-publicdisplayofaffection-673179-144.html
Welcome author and fellow Plot Mama Danielle Monsch : )
She graciously agreed to one of my interviews, the brave woman. Plus, we get a sneak peak of her newest release, Loving a Fairy Godmother.
Out Now, Available at http://bit.ly/Dani_LFG
What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
I’m an otaku, which is another way of saying I’m a very geeky person very into Japanese cartoons, comic books, movies and music. If I’m not writing and have time away from the family, I’m delving into this world. Miyazaki is god and one day, I really will learn to speak Japanese.
What would you do with $1 million dollars (tax-free, of course)?
I’m very boring and practical I’m afraid. House would get paid off, kids college funds would be fully funded, large chunks would go into retirement investments. The only slightly impractical use would be a yearly vacation. Hubby and I both enjoy travelling, and that kind of money would fund several first-class travel adventures.
If you could be any supernatural creature, what would it be and why?
My first love was vampires when I was younger, and while I may not have the all-consuming obsession I used to have with them, vampires would still be my answer today. Even the negatives wouldn’t be that bad for me. Anyone who has seen my paleness in pictures can tell I don’t do much time in the sun.
What is your favorite book? Why?
I won’t say favorite, but the book that has had the most lasting impact on me would be ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott. Partly this is due to the timing of me reading it, that area just on the cusp of pubescence where lots of things are getting churned up in the brain, but that book has had a lasting impact on my psyche. I’m sure I’m not the only girl that feels that way though. Just mention Beth dying in a group of women, see how many start tearing up.
What’s your favorite comfort food?
Pumpkin pie. My mom makes the world’s most delicious pumpkin pie, it’s a lot spicier (nutmeg spicy, not curry spicy) than the store bought stuff, and she has a real gift for making flaky crust. She only ever made pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas though, never any other time of the year, no matter how much we begged. As soon as Halloween hit, my siblings and I would start counting down the days until it was time for pie.
If you could time-travel, where would you go and why?
I’m really not a time traveller. I like indoor plumbing, pain medicine, and air conditioning too much to ever give them up. It’s not that I don’t enjoy learning about history, but actually going back to experience the stink? Blech!
Why are manhole covers round?
Asking questions like this, have you ever thought of starting up your own cult? I guarantee more money than in writing.
Do you have any upcoming news you’d like to share?
I just sold my second short story to Ellora’s Cave. It is a naughty story entitled ‘Pleasure Satellite’, release date TBD.
And the Fast Five:
Coffee or Chocolate?
Chocolate – was there ever a doubt?
Jewelry: Precious gems or gold?
Precious gems, I love color
Beach or Mountains?
Mountains. Hubby is a beach person. Somehow we remain married
Early Morning or Late Night?
Naturally late night, but as a mom I’m forced to be early morning
Fruit or Veggies?
Can I answer chocolate?
Yes dear, you certainly can
Loving a Fairy Godmother
Tiernan is one of a kind. Beyond the divine dimples, killer blue eyes, and hard muscled body, Tiernan is also the only Fairy Godfather. Most of the Fairy Godmothers have no problem with keeping Tiernan around, but Reina isn’t like most Fairy Godmothers.
Amongst Fairy Godmothers, Reina is the best. Organized, efficient, logical. So why is it when Tiernan is around, all those qualities fly out the window? Reina doesn’t like that one infuriating male makes her lose control, and just wants him gone. Circumstances arise that just might let her get her wish, though not in a way she ever wanted.
Tiernan is given an assignment and told either get a Happily Ever After or he will no longer be a Fairy Godfather. Reina is going with him to supervise, but if Tiernan gets his way, he’ll not only be supervising that luscious stubborn fairy in bed, but also get her to admit Happily Ever Afters also apply to Fairy Godmothers.
Out Now, Available at http://bit.ly/Dani_LFG
“You can just call me Tiernan,” he interrupted.
She tried again. “Godfather Tiernan—”
“Didn’t Sara just tell you that you had to follow my directions?”
That pushed her over the edge. “Do you truly think you are going to secure a HEA when you haven’t been able to do it yet?”
He let out a derisive snort, but immediately realized that was a huge mistake. Her face lost her usual look of annoyance crossed with bemused tolerance, leaving pure ice in its place. “This is why men should not be allowed into the Godmother program. None of you have any respect for Happily Ever Afters.”
“I never said I didn’t believe in HEAs” he began, but she cut him off.
“Every case you’ve been on tells me you don’t believe, or else you would have tried once, just once, to get one!”
His hands slammed on the table as he leaned across it, his face coming inches from hers. “I’ve never tried because I believe in love! Humans need love so much, who the hell was I to screw up two people in love to get them to HEA status? I could never forgive myself if two people in love missed out on each other because of my actions!”
All anger fled her face, and a hesitant, unsure look came over features. “What do you think a HEA is?”
He drew in a deep breath, sitting down once again. “I think happily ever after is a nice way to end a story, but in the world I remember, it’s a waste.”
Her hand was halfway towards him before she seemed to remember their roles, and she pulled it back to her side. “Love is wonderful, but only love alone is incomplete. You can love someone, but they can ultimately not be right for you. Even in love, people can still be led to believe the worst of each other, still hurt each other, still decide they are better without the other,” she began, her words hesitant, as if she was trying to define to herself what it all meant as much as to him. “But the Happily Ever After is so much more. It’s finding your perfect match, love purified, refined, to such an extent that it can never be sundered. With a Happily Ever After, men can achieve greatness, as can all the generations who follow growing up in its shadow.”
“And you think jeopardizing the surety of a love match now is worth it for only the possibility of a Happily Ever After?” he asked, his voice gentle, reverent, wanting nothing to break this intimacy their words were creating.
“I do. In your view, maybe that seems cruel, but in my view, there is no greater tragedy then two people who almost make this connection but fall short in the end.”
Such a hard exterior to cover such a tender heart. “I’m not sure if I can believe as you do,” he said after considering her words. “But I never want Sara… you… to feel as if I let you down. After we get this situation behind us, I want you proud of the job I do.”
And as his breath caught at the rare smile she bestowed upon him just then, he knew all she had to do was keep smiling at him like that, and anything she wanted, whether it be his beliefs or his blood, he would give her.
Her smile faded, and the moment ended. Reina cloaked herself in her position of authority as she handed him the file that had been sitting on her desk. It was already open to show a picture of a blond girl, pretty and vibrant with a mouth full of straight white teeth, all of which was evident even underneath the dirt. “I looked over this case earlier, before I realized what was going on,” she said. “It is a good, solid HEA case. There are several challenges to overcome, but also several sources of help for the client. It is about as perfect as a case can be for this purpose, as evenly balanced as I’ve ever seen. No one can accuse the council of favoring either side. The girl’s name is Cinderella. She lives with an abusive Stepmother and two rotten spoiled stepsisters. She is a very kind, generous girl—though a little too much of a doormat, if you ask me—but outside of that, not really any other character flaws. She is much beloved in her village, children and small animals flock to her daily. In short, we exist to give HEAs to mortals like her.”
Tiernan read the file quickly, then flipped the page and took in the photo of the male who would supply the HEA. “A prince, huh? That’s pretty standard.”
“Indeed, but for the most part, we don’t mess with the classics here.” The pointed look she gave him told him he was one of the exceptions, and she wasn’t necessarily thrilled about it. Ah yes, completely back to normal.
He returned that look with a flirty smile. “I used to serve royalty, Godmother Reina. Believe me when I say, sometimes the large crown is to compensate for something.”
“Oh really? Well, I assume we can say the same thing about your sword, eh, knight?”
Maybe not completely back to normal after all. The second those words passed her lips her eyes went saucer wide, and Tiernan couldn’t say who was more shocked, him or Reina herself. There was no way he was letting this pass. His voice coming out a low growl, he replied, “Why, Reina, I never knew you were interested in the size of my sword. Anytime you want a private viewing, I will be more than happy to oblige.”
Out Now, Available at http://bit.ly/Dani_LFG
Danielle Monsch is a Romantic Geek Girl Writing in a Fantasy World. Born to the pothole laden streets of Pittsburgh Pa, she now resides in the Pacific Northwest, where they tell her that the sun will eventually be seen, but she really doesn’t believe them. She has two beautiful kids who do everything in their power to make sure she doesn’t make her daily word count, and a hubby who is her greatest cheerleader as well as her tech support.
And last, but not least, where can we find you on the internet:
www.castlesandguns.com – group blog I’m part of focused on Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, and Paranormal
www.plotmamas.com – group blog I’m part of on the joy and strain of mixing motherhood and writing