Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Family Ties

Posted by: PG Forte

 Today's my daughter's birthday, so of course I'm posting a throwback excerpt from In the Dark, the story she pretty much dared me to write after listening to me bitch about everything I didn't  like about the vampire books I'd been judging for a contest. She was a big vampire fan, at the time, and I was...not so much. Now, of course, they're pretty much my favorite thing to write. Other than dragons. I think dragons will be fun. 

Anyway, I think my daughter has read more of my books than anyone else in my family (and all of my non-writing friends)  combined. And I don't know what I would do without her--although, obviously, not just for that!  



In the Dark

Children of Night 1.0

When you live forever, a few mistakes are bound to happen.

Vampire Conrad Quintano has been around for centuries -- long enough to know falling for a human is a terrible idea. Much less falling for adventure-seeking hippie Desert Rose and agreeing to raise her babies.

Raised in virtual isolation, Marc and Julie Fischer have never known their unique status in the world. But once they're in San Francisco, the family reunion is nothing like they anticipated and they're thrust into a world they're completely unprepared for.

BUY LINKS: https://books2read.com/u/mlL2eB

The following scene takes place shortly after Marc and Julie arrive in San Francisco and find Conrad missing...

“This whole scene is seriously screwed up. [Marc said] It makes me want to punch something. I hate all this stupid vampire drama.” He paused, running his hands through his hair, trying to shake the moodiness threatening to overtake him again. “It just never stops, does it?”

Julie rolled her eyes. “Here we go again. Why would it stop, Marc? We’re vampires. Always were, always gonna be. I can’t believe you’re still trying to dream up idiotic reasons not to admit that. We’re different, so what? Learn to deal with it, already. Or, you know what? Don’t. If it honestly makes you feel that much better to pretend we’re really space aliens instead, then go for it, Star-man, live long and prosper.”

Marc flushed. Not fair. He’d never pretended they were something they weren’t. He’d merely theorized on the various possibilities. And it had been years since he’d floated the idea they might have evolved from some kind of alien life form. Decades maybe. Even though anybody with brains would have to agree that a dip in the extraterrestrial gene pool was a good, solid, reasonable explanation for the way they’d all turned out. It was scientific, logical and so much better than the traditional theory—that they’d originated from demon spawn.

Aliens, by virtue of the fact they’d had to travel through space to get here, were obviously smart, technologically advanced and, in all likelihood, peaceful ambassadors from a better, brighter world. Vampires, on the other hand, were murderers. They were monsters. They were the quintessential fairy-tale villains—right up there with ogres and trolls and gorgons—the kind of creature nightmares were made of.

Who in the hell would choose to be something like that if they didn’t have to?

“You know what I think?” He grabbed one of Julie’s paperbacks from the stack by the window seat and waved it in her face. “I think you just like the idea of being a vampire ’cause you think it’s sexy. I mean, look at this crap you read.” He opened the book at random and read aloud. “…satisfaction gleamed in the prince’s dark eyes as he drew back and looked her over, still licking the last traces of blood from his lips. My blood, Celeste thought, her breasts rising and falling more quickly with the realization. It was her blood, her life force from which he’d been feeding and her body ached with the need to give him more.”

“Give it back!” Julie reached out to snatch the book from his hand.

Marc smirked. “Is that really how feeding makes you feel? Do your eyes gleam with satisfaction when you do it? Maybe, next time you eat, you could take out your mirror and check to see. Oh, but, wait a minute—” He smacked himself in the head. “Since you’re a vampire, I guess you must be invisible in mirrors too, huh?”

“Funny.” Julie gazed at him resentfully. “You know what, Marc? It’s called fiction. And, for your information, if it’s got a good story and three-dimensional characters, nobody cares if some of the facts are a little sketchy.”

Monday, May 16, 2022

HERE BE NEWS for Monday May 16, 2022

Posted by: PG Forte

 

                            


Monday May 16, 2022 

Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:



Thursday May 12, 2022: Deborah Bailey discusses Creating New Worlds For Your Stories.


           


Find your new favorite story. Limited time only https://books.bookfunnel.com/romanceinku/nxqwqe4fca




ZONATON
Sci-Fi Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 54.9K
Narrated by Audrey Lusk
Length: 6 hrs, 1 min

Hear a Sample

$3.99 e / $9.99 p / $19.95 a

She was the child of his heart. Then she grew up to become the love of his life.

A hundred years ago, the last people of Earth landed on planet AR617b. It was their only hope after being forced to flee the dead planet that was once their ancestral home. 

The native inhabitants of AR617b, known as gerons, are sentient creatures that resemble a cross between dragons and griffins of old Earth lore. When they initially tried to destroy the settlers, a deal was made to ensure both species' survival. It was decided that each year, every five-year-old human child must take The Walk across a hundred meter field. If they don't stop or run, they will arrive safely on the other side, and be allowed to grow up and have families of their own. But if they break the rule, the gerons will kill them. Unless, by a strange quirk of fate, a geron decides to Pair with the child, taking and raising the human as its own.

Emmala took The Walk, and found herself adopted by one of the older gerons, an immense silvery-white creature named Zonaton. For the next fifteen years, he cared for her, protected her, and loved her. But now Emmala's real family wants her back, and they will do everything they can to have her returned, even if it means killing Zonaton, and starting an all-out war with the gerons.
 
What neither the settlers nor gerons realize is that there is another alien species watching and waiting for the two combatants to go into battle. Because when they do, that will be the aliens’ cue to destroy everyone and claim AR617b for their own.

Warning! Contains green fire, arrogant assholes, plunderberries, child abuse, rectangular spaceships, shadows on the wall, and a love so great, it defies death. 

Excerpt and Buy Links

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Bring It Back(List) - ZONATON, a Sci-Fi Romance by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney

ZONATON
Sci-Fi Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 54.9K
Narrated by Audrey Lusk
Length: 6 hrs, 1 min

Hear a Sample

$3.99 e / $9.99 p / $19.95 a

She was the child of his heart. Then she grew up to become the love of his life.

A hundred years ago, the last people of Earth landed on planet AR617b. It was their only hope after being forced to flee the dead planet that was once their ancestral home. 

The native inhabitants of AR617b, known as gerons, are sentient creatures that resemble a cross between dragons and griffins of old Earth lore. When they initially tried to destroy the settlers, a deal was made to ensure both species' survival. It was decided that each year, every five-year-old human child must take The Walk across a hundred meter field. If they don't stop or run, they will arrive safely on the other side, and be allowed to grow up and have families of their own. But if they break the rule, the gerons will kill them. Unless, by a strange quirk of fate, a geron decides to Pair with the child, taking and raising the human as its own.

Emmala took The Walk, and found herself adopted by one of the older gerons, an immense silvery-white creature named Zonaton. For the next fifteen years, he cared for her, protected her, and loved her. But now Emmala's real family wants her back, and they will do everything they can to have her returned, even if it means killing Zonaton, and starting an all-out war with the gerons.
 
What neither the settlers nor gerons realize is that there is another alien species watching and waiting for the two combatants to go into battle. Because when they do, that will be the aliens’ cue to destroy everyone and claim AR617b for their own.

Warning! Contains green fire, arrogant assholes, plunderberries, child abuse, rectangular spaceships, shadows on the wall, and a love so great, it defies death. 

Excerpt and Buy Links

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Creating New Words for Your Stories

Posted by: Deborah A Bailey

 

Usually, I create words for my fantasy and science fiction worlds, but it can be a challenge to come up with them. Often I research topics I'm basing stories on, and then that helps me to decide.

For instance, for my latest book, Blood Red Moon, one of the main characters is a Templar. One of the supporting characters is the Templar third in command, a woman I only identify as the Seneschal. That rank would've actually been the second-in-command. But I liked the sound of the word.

No, I didn't create that word. Instead, I used one that already existed and was a good fit for the story. If it's possible to use an existing word that works (and if you can use it in your work) there's nothing wrong with that.

Other words I used in the book were from languages, such as, Latin and Spanish. For instance, the phoenix character is associated with a vampire. She's referred to as a blood, or sanguis phoenix. Sanguis, being a Latin word for blood.  The phoenix associated with gold is referred to as an aurum phoenix (aurum is Latin for gold).

In my novella, Heart of Stone, I only ended up creating one word, "Malida." The reason I created it was because I wanted to use it during a conversation between the hero and heroine. Willem, the hero, uses that word to refer to the heroine's grandmother. The grandmother is a former queen of the province where the story is set. In the aftermath of a war, the heroine, Leesa, and her grandmother are (as far as they know) the only remaining members of the royal family.

When Willem asks Leesa about her grandmother he calls her Malida, a term of endearment meaning "great mother." For Willem to know that name, he would have to have known more about the family than he's admitting.

Sometimes words come to me easily, other times I have to do a lot of brainstorming. It all depends on how the word feels to me and whether I think it's a fit. It can be a challenge to find (or create) the perfect word or phrase, but when you hit on just the right one, it adds another layer to the story world.

 

Monday, May 9, 2022

HERE BE NEWS for Monday May 9, 2022

Posted by: PG Forte

 


                            


Monday May 9, 2022 

Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each Monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:



Thursday May 5, 2022Nicole Luiken shares a little of her writing process in Beginnings


                       


New!

BREACHERS: Kamrose and Cross
Book 4
Contemporary Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

By Linda Mooney
Word Count: 29.1K
$2.99 e / $9.99 p

For a limited time, you can get the ebook for $1.99 by using discount code SWORD.
This offer good only when purchased from my Gumroad site.

They are the cause of many legends, myths, and fairy tales. And they still live among us.

Human bones are showing up in various concrete structures, all stemming from a site that has been shut down for years. Where exactly are they coming from?

Olmsly Morrow thinks it’s more than just foul play by humans, so he calls on Trenna Cross and Reece Kamrose, although Reece has no idea why he’s been tapped for a super-secret government job. He’s just a farmer. Right, and Trenna is just an actress as well.

In truth, Trenna is also a coh, having trained all her life to fight Breachers. But Reece is not; he has no “abilities.” So why was he called and partnered up with Trenna? Whatever the reason, they’re committed to solving the murders of the gang members, and ridding San Antonio of its otherworldly infestation.

Through it all, Trenna and Reece know there’s an undeniable connection, and how nice would it be to be with someone who truly knows who and what she is? But a relationship could never last between the two, right? They’re too far away, too different from each other…or are they?

Warning! Contains chainmail, a Celtic cross, a choice between barbeque or Mexican food, a haunted cement factory, and two people who discover by accident that they were meant to be together.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Beginnings

Posted by: Nicole Luiken

 My current work-in-progress is a novella called Unscripted based on a short story I wrote some twenty years ago called Without a Cue. 

It has a cute, somewhat quirky premise: everybody in this fictional world is delivered a script each day that they then have to follow. Only, of course, something goes wrong and the main character has to go off script to their great dismay.

I'm just starting the third draft, which is when I focus in on the nitty-gritty sentence level and analyze each scene. The beginning scene is the most important one in any story as it has to introduce the character and world as well as hooking the reader. I  thought it might be interesting to show a little bit of my process so here's an annotated excerpt from the first page.

EXCERPT

Chapter One

Something about the bus driver snagged Chris’s attention as he boarded the city bus on Monday morning. It took his sleep-deprived brain a moment to realize what the oddity was: she lacked the silver R on her forehead that should have marked her as a Robot. 

[ANALYSIS: The first sentence is okay, but doesn't have as strong a hook as I  would like, only raising the minor question of What snagged his attention? It does a basic job to informing the reader who the main character is, what he's doing and when he's doing it. The second sentence is better, first raising the question of Why is Chris sleep-deprived? and then alerting the reader than this is a science fictional world in which Robots are regularly bus drivers as well as raising the question of why this bus driver isn't a Robot.]

The beige City Transit uniform and peaked cap identified her as the driver, but her hair burned a garish red and the curls brushed her shoulders. Robots had utilitarian, short haircuts. They kept silent and focused on their job, their stares vacant. This woman made eye contact and spoke to him.

“Good morning!”

She sounded so cheerful that Chris smiled back at her, though, of course, he didn’t reply.

[ANALYSIS: The second paragraph is mostly added detail, drawing a picture for the reader and explaining how the bus driver is different from a robot driver. The next two  sentences advance the plot slightly. I'm hoping the "of course he didn't reply" raises the question of why he didn't reply in the reader's mind. This is the first subtle hint to my big world-building hook that everyone is following a script. Not sure if it's too subtle, though.]

She winked. “I like you. Sit up front beside me.”

Chris blinked a little at the unexpected request, but his mind was too fuzzy to recognize the warning sign that something was wrong. Assuming that the driver must be part of a new Storyline that was starting, he collapsed onto the nearest blue vinyl seat, kitty-corner from the driver. His artist’s eye saw her as cartoon bird perched on her high seat.

[ANALYSIS: Nothing much has happened yet, but we get another big hint that something is wrong and Chris's commute to work is about to take an unexpected turn. The capitalization of Storyline is another hook to make the reader wonder about the world. Then I feed the reader a little more information about Chris: he is an artist. There's a fair amount of  information packed into the first six paragraphs, but it doesn't exactly start with a bang. Conclusion: it needs more work.]

And there you have it, a glimpse into a writer's mind during revision!

  

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

New! BREACHERS: Kamrose and Cross, Book 4, a Contemporary Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance By Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney

New!

BREACHERS: Kamrose and Cross
Book 4
Contemporary Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

By Linda Mooney
Word Count: 29.1K
$2.99 e / $9.99 p

For a limited time, you can get the ebook for $1.99 by using discount code SWORD.
This offer good only when purchased from my Gumroad site.

They are the cause of many legends, myths, and fairy tales. And they still live among us.

Human bones are showing up in various concrete structures, all stemming from a site that has been shut down for years. Where exactly are they coming from?

Olmsly Morrow thinks it’s more than just foul play by humans, so he calls on Trenna Cross and Reece Kamrose, although Reece has no idea why he’s been tapped for a super-secret government job. He’s just a farmer. Right, and Trenna is just an actress as well.

In truth, Trenna is also a coh, having trained all her life to fight Breachers. But Reece is not; he has no “abilities.” So why was he called and partnered up with Trenna? Whatever the reason, they’re committed to solving the murders of the gang members, and ridding San Antonio of its otherworldly infestation.

Through it all, Trenna and Reece know there’s an undeniable connection, and how nice would it be to be with someone who truly knows who and what she is? But a relationship could never last between the two, right? They’re too far away, too different from each other…or are they?

Warning! Contains chainmail, a Celtic cross, a choice between barbeque or Mexican food, a haunted cement factory, and two people who discover by accident that they were meant to be together.

Monday, May 2, 2022

HERE BE NEWS for Monday May 2, 2022

Posted by: PG Forte

  

                            


Monday May 2, 2022 

Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:




Tuesday April 26, 2022: Linda Mooney shares a vignette from Pink Moon.



BREACHERS: 
Holt and McKenna Book 1 
Linda Mooney

Contemporary Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance 
Word Count: 28.1K 
$2.99 e / $9.99 p / $6.95 a


There are creatures from a parallel world called Breachers who, for hundreds of years, have been inadvertently pulled into our world. They are the truth behind the creatures normally considered to be mythic. Once on Earth, they cannot go back, and those who cannot cope become rabid. Murderers. And when they go berserk, they must be put down.

Jerrod Holt always wondered why he was selected to be part of the secret governmental organization. More perplexing is why his skills as a professional bodyguard are needed.

He discovers his partner assigned to help him bring down a Breacher is the one woman who had caught his eye the moment he saw her at their initial group meeting. Together, he and McKenna travel to Utah to confront a killer beast, not knowing that the terror will be all too real, and too damn close to home.

Warning: Contains smart ass remarks, unbearable cold, a nightmare come to life, toe loss, rabbit farming, a search for the truth, and an unconditional love that defies all boundaries.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

April Vignette - "Pink Moon" by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney

"Pink Moon"

“Somewhere up there is a pink moon,” Morris declared.

            Sonja glanced at the sky, but the dark clouds blanked out everything, including the moon and stars. And had for as long as she could remember. “How do you know it’s pink?”

            “Well, this is April, right?”

            “Yeah.” They followed the homemade calendar almost religiously so everyone would know what day it was, as well as the month and the year.

            “My mother told me it’s named after the phlox.”

            “A fox?”

            He chuckled. “No. A phlox. It’s a pink flower that used to bloom in the spring.”

            Sonja sighed. “I’d love to see a real flower again. I’d be happy with an artificial one that I can hold in my hand.” They both glanced at her pale fingers that rested on top of his. He opened his fingers, and they laced them together.

            “Maybe one day we’ll find one…or the other.”

            Several minutes passed as they continued to stare into the darkness shrouding their world. A darkness that brightened only slightly when night turned into day. But at least during the daytime they didn’t need lanterns or candles to find their way around.

            A brisk wind picked up, hurling snowflakes at them. Sonja drew her coat tighter around her as he slipped an arm across her shoulders for a sideways hug.

            “Does this moon have other names?” she asked after a while. They spoke in hushed tones, for fear of attracting the unwanted. He knew they shouldn’t be outside after dark, anyway. But tonight had been so tempting. The storm that had enveloped their little community had raged for eleven days, finally letting up in the wee hours before morning. Morris knew that if there was going to be a “safe” time to go topside for some fresh air, it would have to be now. Otherwise, it could be days before they could venture above again.

            “Oh, yeah,” he admitted. “Momma said it was also called the Hare Moon, or the Egg Moon.”

            “Let me guess. For Easter, right?”

            “I think so. Yeah. I’m not certain, but that sounds about right.”

            They remained huddled together for another couple of minutes, when he decided they’d been outside long enough. He was about to tell his wife it was time to go below when she squeezed his hand.

            “Morris, do you think we’ll ever see the moon again?”

            “I dunno, honey. Maybe. Who knows?”

            “Do you think it’ll ever be safe enough to come up top and stay here, instead of having to keep living underground?”

            He stared at her. At the way her face glowed from the radiation. He knew…she knew…they all knew that living to a ripe old age was no longer obtainable. And hadn’t been since the bombs fell years ago. If anyone reached their forties these days, it was a miracle. So if anyone found someone they could spend those few short years with, they were blessed beyond measure.

            “Like I was blessed to have found you,” he murmured, reaching up to tuck a strand of hair back underneath her knit cap.

            “What?”

            “I feel so lucky to have you fall in love with me.”

            She smiled. She had just a few teeth left, but it didn’t matter. She would always be beautiful to him.

            “I think we need to go back inside.”

            She nodded in answer. “Maybe I’ll try some of that soup again,” she whispered. “I think I’ll be able to keep a little of it down this time.”

            “I hope so.” He helped her to her feet, and they left the small deck that was normally used as a watchtower during the day.

            “Oh, and Morris?” She paused at the edge of the hatchway and turned to face him. “Thank you for telling me about the pink moon.”

            “You’re welcome.”

            “Does it ever show up as another color later in the year?”

            He made a face as he thought back to his childhood. “There’s a strawberry moon in June. I don’t remember if it’s called that for the fruit or the color. I remember the pink moon because it was Mom’s favorite color.”

            “What about a blue moon? I thought I heard someone mention a blue moon a long time ago.”

            “It’s not really blue. In fact, the moon never turns the color associated with it. A blue moon is what people call it if there’s a second full moon in one month.” He chuckled. “Those are rare, which is why people sometimes used to say an event happened once in a blue moon.”

            She smiled again. “If we’re lucky, we can look for the strawberry moon when June comes.”

            Morris fought the tears. If we’re lucky.

            If we’re both still alive.

            “It’s a date, sweetheart. I promise.” Even if only one of them managed to survive until then, he knew the one who survived would be sure to keep their word.

            Sonja stepped onto the ladder, grasping the rungs with her thin hands, and slowly descended back inside the sewers that had been their home for the past six years. Taking one last look up into the blanketed sky, he followed her down.


Monday, April 25, 2022

HERE BE NEWS for Monday April 25, 2022

Posted by: PG Forte

 

 

 

                            


Monday April 25, 2022 

Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:


Thursday April 21, 2022: PG Forte is ranting about scammers taking advantage of newbie authors.

 

Since Yesterday was Earth Day, I figured a Spring-themed excerpt was in order. A Taste of Honey is the fourth book in my Oberon series--and features one of my favorite couples, Lucy and Dan Cavanaugh. Unfortunately, it's not currently in print, but you can still get a copy of the prequel (see details below).

Oberon 4.0

Blurb:   For Lucy Greco Cavanaugh, life is a dream come true. She has it all. The perfect family. The perfect husband. The perfect marriage. What more could she wish for? Other than the chance to do it all again. To experience once more the agony and ecstasy of falling in love with the man of her dreams. To recapture the joy and uncertainty that comes with starting over.

​ As far as Dan Cavanaugh is concerned, his life has become a nightmare. His storybook marriage is on the line when Deirdre Shelton-Cooper, the runaway daughter of a former girlfriend arrives in Oberon intent on proving Dan is her father. Even though he's convinced the girl's claims are false, Dan decides his only chance to keep from losing everything lies in keeping her very existence a secret from his wife and family.

But, sometimes, what you don't know can hurt you--and those you love. When Deirdre, masquerading as a surfer girl named Monica, accidentally hooks up with their son, Seth, Lucy and Dan are left to wonder: has their perfect, fairy-tale romance, turned into a classic Greek tragedy?

Sometimes you get exactly what you wish for. And it's more than you'd ever dreamed.

*  *  *

Excerpt:   Lucy drove out to the nursery early that afternoon, with the windows rolled down. No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom, an album she’d ‘liberated’ from her teenage son’s music collection several years earlier, was blasting from the Explorer’s CD player, and a plan for fixing the deteriorating relationship between her husband and her son was cooking in her head. In fact, if things worked out the way she hoped they would, she might even be able to give her own relationship with Dan some added spice.

It was a glorious Spring day. The air along the coast was warm and lushly scented with yerba buena, eucalyptus and sage. Fat, majestic puffs sailed across the sky, casting cloud-shaped shadows onto the earth and sea below, further mottling the already variegated landscape. When she turned off the coast road onto the canyon drive that led to the nursery, she saw that the hills that lined the way, gray-green, emerald, and gold for most of the year, had been transformed. They’d blossomed overnight into an almost endless expanse of orange and blue--mostly California poppies and lupine--disrupted only where the spiky silver foliage and dried flower heads of wild artichokes broke through to tower above them.

It was the same thing that happened every year, but, as always, the beauty of it took her by surprise and made her catch her breath.

It was a perfect day for a picnic, she had decided after leaving Marsha and Scout that morning; and so she had gone home and packed a basket with which she hoped to tempt Dan to join her at Seth’s ball game this afternoon.

The relationship between the two men in her life had become so strained of late. And, even though she had taken care to pack all of Dan’s favorites--marinated artichoke hearts, olives stuffed with sun dried tomatoes, roasted eggplant and goat cheese sandwiches on fresh foccacia bread, and a mint-mango salad--she wasn’t sure that even that would do the trick.

It wasn’t so much that she feared her husband’s relationship with their son was in any real danger of becoming irrevocably damaged, as had happened to Dan’s relationship with his own father; although the possibility had certainly occurred to her, and more than once. It was just that it was so very obvious how much both he and Seth were suffering from their estrangement. And it would be good for Seth to see that, annoyed as he often was with him, his father still supported his efforts.

Besides, she knew very well that her own attendance at his games was almost more frustrating for Seth than supportive. Despite all her years as a spectator, Lucy still seemed to be missing the finer points of the game. Their mutual interest in baseball had always been a passion that Dan and Seth enjoyed sharing. And really, what was the point of sports, if not to allow men the opportunity to renew their bonds with one another without shedding too much blood?

She pulled off the road before she reached the nursery’s main entrance, unlocked one of the gates that led directly into the fields, and detoured through the back of the nursery’s grounds to check on her hives. Sunlight shimmered in the air, and as she walked through the field she breathed in deep lungfuls scented with the heady fragrance of flowering plants and warm earth. 

 The bees were everywhere; crawling on the flowers, filling the air with their busy flights, and clustering around the hives’ entrances in a carefully choreographed confusion. Lucy reminded herself to keep all her movements slow as she moved among them. She was entranced by their gentleness as they detoured around her. Even without the honey, she’d enjoy keeping them. Of course, she hadn’t been stung yet, although everyone who worked with bees assured her that it was inevitable, and she hadn’t yet been forced to contend with a swarm, either. Perhaps she’d feel a little less enthusiastic after either of those occurred. But for now, it was a terrific little sideline business.

She watched the bees for several minutes longer, observing their activity, trying to take a count of the bees as they moved in and out of the hives, as she’d been taught to do; looking for anything unusual, any suggestion that the hives were ailing. Finally, satisfied that all was well, she slowly turned and walked back towards her car. She’d come back out here this weekend, with all her equipment, so she could inspect the hives properly, but right now, she had an even more interesting project to work on.

Seth was not the only one whose bonds with Dan could use a little renewing, she thought. It had been months since she and Dan had enjoyed the kind of romantic adventure she had planned for them. Altogether too many months. And man could not live by sports alone.

She’d included a jar of her honey in the picnic basket. If she and Dan could find a private, secluded little spot for their picnic, perhaps she’d find a way to increase his appreciation for her new hobby.

*  *  *


Such Fleeting Pleasures 
An Oberon Prequel Novella 0.5 

Love wasn't always strawberries and cream for Lucy and Dan Cavanaugh...or was it

In this Oberon prequel, we travel back in time to see how it all began. ​ Most of the material in this prequel novella (set some eighteen years before the series begins) also appears as flashback scenes in A Taste of Honey. ​ 

Although the series as a whole is not currently available, you can access a FREE DOWNLOAD of this novella when you join my Facebook group: The Crone's Nest

​ Read an excerpt HERE

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