Monday December 13, 2021
Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:
Linda Mooney is running a sale on all books on her website. https://lindamooney.com
I had a new story release this week. I'll Be Home for Christmas is an Oberon-themed version of It's A Wonderful Life. In the alternate timeline I created for the story, no one's having a very merry Christmas. But this is not the first time I've visited Oberon during the holidays. Here's a look back at how Christmas used to be celebrated in Oberon--and how it will be again!
The Spirit Of The Place
Oberon Series, Book 6
'Tis the season to be jolly, but Jasmine Quinn is far from happy about her mother's latest folly: her upcoming wedding to former Wall Street financier, Sam Sterling. Jasmine doesn't like her future stepfather, or his values. Anybody with as much money as Sam, should be spreading it around, aiding worthy causes, making it count for something. Instead, he seems intent on using his wealth to embarrass her mother by throwing a ridiculously lavish wedding. But there's one thing about Sam that Jasmine can't help but admire, no matter how much she'd like to--the graduate student he's hired as an intern.
Brandon Ablemarle is also finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit. Especially since his dream job has just become a nightmare, thanks in part to the fiery redhead with some of the goofiest ideas he's ever heard of. But what else can you expect from the daughter of a self-proclaimed psychic? Marsha Quinn has a lot to answer for. Not only has she encouraged her daughter's esoteric craziness, she's also turned one of the most brilliant stock analysts Wall Street had ever seen into a nutcase as well. One who actually appears to believe that the answers to the stock market can be found in the stars!
It's a clash of ideologies when Jasmine and Brandon get together. Can the spirit of the season, and the spirit of the place help them to see beyond their differences?
Excerpt:Christmas Eve dawned foggy and cool. The heavy air seemed to
muffle sound. Long before the silent
night could fall, the day had a hushed and breathless feel to it. As if the whole world was holding its
Last minute shoppers thronged The Crone’s Nest all day long,
keeping Marsha too busy to ponder the irony.
It flew in the face of logic, but every year she sold more of everything
on the day before Christmas than she did on the day before Yule.
Business was brisk at Cavanaugh’s nursery, as well. Shortly before noon, Dan packed up most of
the unsold trees from the lot and delivered them to a local food bank. There, they would be handed out to the
families who came in to pick up boxes of groceries and canned goods that kids
in the local elementary schools had spent weeks collecting.
At Lupa e Cervo, goodwill of a slightly different kind was being
dispensed. Sinead had set up a table of
appetizers in the winery’s tasting room, turning the daily free wine sampling
into an impromptu party.
Out of deference to Adam’s feelings on the subject, she’d had a
separate table set up on the terrace outside the tasting room—and out of his
direct line of sight—where she offered prospective customers a holiday twist on
the winery’s usual offerings.
“Mulled wine?” Adam
stared at her, appalled when she explained what she was doing. “Hot
lips trembling as she tried not to smile too broadly. In truth, it was all she could do to keep
from laughing out loud at his outrage.
“You’re taking my wine
and...heating it? In a...in a crock pot? With—?”
“With spices, yes.” She
smiled at him, and added, gently, “That’s how it’s done, I’m afraid. It’s what we did last night, too, you
know. Out on the back terrace?”
Adam shuddered, his revulsion obvious. “No. I
didn’t know. Thank the gods for
that.” He eyed her suspiciously, and
then asked in a voice filled with dread.
But Sinead knew better than to answer a loaded question like
that. She was just damn glad Nick could
have no idea about Adam’s feelings on the subject. There was no telling how much mileage he’d
try to get from it, if he did.
As it was, she was more than a little worried about what kind of
surprises the two men might have in store for each other…
It was a subject that was causing Scout some concern, as
well. “I can’t believe you won’t tell me
what you got Adam for Christmas,” she complained. Perched on the kitchen counter, she watched
as Nick pressed fresh dough into the pasta maker, turning it into noodles for
tonight’s lasagna. They were celebrating
this evening with his daughter Kate, who would be spending the next couple of
days with her mother. Tomorrow, they
would be going to Lucy’s.
If she were honest, Scout would have to admit that she wasn’t all
that disappointed that Adam and Sinead would not be at Lucy’s as well. She’d already spent two days this week
playing referee. She deserved a day off.
But, she would have found it a whole lot easier to relax if she
hadn’t learned—only last night—that both Nick and Adam had purchased presents
for each other. And, how weird was that,
Nick glanced up from his pasta and smiled. “Tell you now? And spoil the surprise? No way.”
She watched him for a moment longer, but he was focused on his
work, and his expression gave away nothing. “It’s not something that’s
gonna...oh, I don’t know…blow up in his face, or something. Is it?”
“No, of course not,” Nick said, feeding another sheet of pasta
into the machine. “I mean, not unless
he’s really careless. If he got
distracted, or something, then I guess, theoretically, it might be possible.”
“Oh. Right.” Scout rolled her eyes. “So, I guess, in that case, your plan is to
be around when he uses whatever it is.
So you can make sure he’s distracted?”
Nick grinned at her, eyes twinkling. “You know, you used to be a lot more trusting
“You used to be a lot more predictable,” Scout snapped. She thought about that for a moment.
Maybe predictable wasn’t quite the right word. He’d just been…defensive. Like a fighter who had gone too many rounds
but was still too stubborn to stay down.
Sheer determination might keep bringing him to his feet, but he had
nothing left for anything more. He was
too beaten up by life to do anything other than put one foot in front of the
other and, over and over again, walk right into the next punch it threw him.
Scout thought back over the last year. He was so much more relaxed now. So much more lighthearted and carefree than
he’d been, even last Christmas. She’d
like to think she could take some of the credit for that. Maybe, after a year and a half, he’d finally
begun to trust that, this time around, the happiness that had eluded them for
so long would not be snatched away again.
She slid from the counter.
Nick turned his head to smile at her as she came up behind him and put
her arms around his waist.
“Is there anything I can do to help?” she asked.
Nick nodded. “There sure
is. Just stay right where you are. That’s all I need, you know.”
“Good,” Scout murmured happily, resting her head against his
back. “Me, too.”
She’d been running for such a long, long time. Right now, staying put was all she ever
wanted to do.
Experience the magic of romance this Christmas. Holiday Kisses is a festive collection of eight exclusive Christmas stories that will make you fall head over heels in love. Are you ready to take a journey with us? Get into the Christmas spirit with these swoon-worthy romances this holiday season.
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