Monday, November 20, 2023

HERE BE NEWS for Monday November 20, 2023

Posted by: PG Forte



 Monday November 20, 2023 

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

Tuesday November 14, 2023: Deborah A. Bailey discusses finding Inspiration for You Stories!

Sound Of A Voice That Is Still

Oberon Book 3.0

Some wounds take a long time to heal, others never do.  Four months after being wounded in the line of duty, Ryan Henderson is beginning to fear that his is of the latter variety.  He's a patient man, but a poor patient.  As winter drags interminably on, he's growing desperate for distraction--anything that might take his mind off his injury, before he goes insane.

 Siobhan Quinn could give the injured officer a lesson or two in living with pain.  It's been ten years since her life was changed and her heart critically wounded as a result of the tragic accident that robbed her of her family.  She knows firsthand how grief can cripple a soul and drive a sane mind over the edge. 


Sometimes it seems like Spring will never come again.  Sometimes, the only alternative to living in inner darkness, is death.  Your own, or someone else's.  In the depths of winter, Ryan and Siobhan will have to make a choice: to help each other heal, or die trying.

 Okay, so it's not Christmas yet, but I also don't have any stories set at Thanksgiving (yet) and I have an Oberon book re-releasing on Tuesday, so an Oberon Christmas story seemed like the best thing to go with. Here's an excerpt from The Spirit of the Place (Oberon book 6) which will be returning sometime next year. 

The Spirit of the Place

Oberon Book 6.0

'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: A band was already onstage when Jasmine arrived at The Temple Garden that evening.  She hesitated in the doorway of the restored Victorian era storefront that housed the restaurant; listening to the music, soaking in the ambiance, until she heard a friendly voice calling her name.

She turned to see Brent Hoffman, Maya’s father, motioning her to join him at the big mahogany bar.  He was wearing a warm smile and his customary Hawaiian shirt.  

He must have close to a hundred of those shirts by now, Jasmine thought, as she made her way across the room.  She’d never seen him in anything else.  According to Maya, he even wore them when he treated his patients.       

“Jasmine.  Welcome.  Maya told me you were back in town.  Here.”  He handed her a bamboo-patterned ceramic tumbler, identical to the one he was holding. “Have a fruit punch.  Drinks are on the house all night, tonight.  Mele Kalikimaka.” 

Jasmine smiled back at him.  “Thanks, Doctor H.  Merry Christmas to you, too.  And a Happy Yule.”  She settled herself on the empty stool next to him and then glanced curiously around the room once more.  “Where is Maya, by the way?  I don’t see her anywhere.”

Doctor Hoffman looked slightly sheepish.  “We had to send her on an emergency grocery run, to pick up more fruit.”  He indicated their drinks, which, among other things, were decorated with long wooden skewers loaded with a variety of fresh fruit—orange and pineapple wedges, cherries, and grapes.  “Can you believe we ran out this early in the evening?”

If they were giving them away, it was no wonder they’d run out.  “I guess it’s better now than later,” Jasmine suggested.  “After the stores have all closed, I mean.”  Temple Garden drinks always tended toward the extravagant.  Besides fruit, her mug had also been topped with a fresh orchid and a small paper umbrella.            

“True, true.”  He raised his drink in a small salute.  “Still, here’s to better planning in the New Year.  Hipahipa.”

“Hipahipa,” Jasmine repeated, taking a small sip.  Hopefully, in all the excitement, the bartender had slipped up and poured her a rum punch.   No such luck.   Guava juice mixed with pineapple.  Non-spiked.  She should have figured.  “Maya said your band was playing tonight.  I didn’t miss it, did I?”

“Ah, no, you’re not that lucky, I’m afraid,” the older man answered, eyes twinkling. “We’re on next.  Or, at least, that’s the theory.  We’re still waiting for one of our guys to show.  He’s new.  I don’t know if Maya mentioned him?  He’s actually the son of one of my old college roommates, he just moved here a few months back.  Very talented young man.  Unfortunately, his day jobs keep him pretty busy, and I guess he’s running late tonight.”

He regarded her kindly. “But, what’s been happening with you?  How’s your mother?  Is everything okay at school?”

Jasmine felt her smile slip a little.  Her mother and school.  Two of her least favorite subjects at the moment.  Not that school was bad, per se, it was just that, “I don’t know.  I was actually thinking about coming home,” she heard herself blurt.  “Maybe switching to State next semester.  But...”  But that was before her mother’s phone call.  Before Jasmine realized how serious Marsha’s relationship with Sam had become.  How irrevocably changed things were at home.  “I can’t really do that, now,” she ended lamely.

“I’m sure you can, you know,” Brent said sympathetically.  “If it’s what you really want, I’m sure you’ll find a way.”

Fat chance of that happening, Jasmine thought, but, before she had found the words for a more polite response— 

“Brent.  Hi.  Sorry I’m late,” said a familiar voice from behind the doctor’s shoulder.  

Jasmine stiffened.  And, as Doctor Hoffman turned to greet the new arrival, she found herself once again face to face with Brandon.

His eyes widened.  “Jasmine?  What are you doing here?”

Brent Hoffman looked at her in surprise.  “Oh.  Do you already know each other?”

Jasmine frowned.  Was it ever possible to keep anything a secret in Oberon?  “No,” she snapped, “We don’t.”

And at the very same instant Brandon nodded, “Yes, actually, we— Huh?”

Brent’s eyebrows rose higher.  Jasmine glared warningly at Brandon.  They tried again.

“But, not really that well,” Brandon corrected with a slight shrug, just as Jasmine was murmuring, “I mean, yes, obviously, we do. It’s just—”  

She broke off and glared at him again.  “Not that well?”

“I see.”  A small smile tugged at Brent’s lips.  “Li’i huikau, eh?  A little confusion?  Maybe you two need a few minutes alone to, uh...sort things out.”

“Not that well?” Jasmine repeated once again, after Brent left.  She didn’t know what Brandon thought qualified as knowing someone well but, considering some of the places their hands had been the night before, she’d say they were very well acquainted.

“Well, you said no,” Brandon reminded her, frowning slightly as he slid onto the stool Brent had vacated.  He stared at her moodily for a couple of minutes and then said, “Look, I’m sorry if you’re still angry about this morning.  I really didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”

“Angry?” She plucked the flower from her drink and twirled it between her fingers.  “Me?  Why would you think something like that?”

“I— I just—”  He stuttered to a stop, his eyes glued to the orchid.  After a moment, he reached over and took it from her hand.  He studied it curiously, a small, vaguely ironic smile curving his lips.  And then, just as she was about to demand it back, he leaned forward to tuck the flower behind her ear.  His fingers caressed her cheek for a moment and she had to swallow her words, bite back the rush of longing his touch stirred up.  What kind of fool was she, falling for this shit again?  Picky?  Ha. If only Maya could see her now.

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