Mid Week Tease: To My Muse #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15Hello, lovelies! This week I’m teasing you with a snippet from my very first contemporary romcom, To My Muse. LA tech writer by day and romance novelist by night, Lily Nayar is still recovering from being dumped by her screenwriter boyfriend. When she gets loaded one night with her BFF and tweets to hot British actor Tom Morrison about the romance novel he inspired, hijinks ensue! In this scene, Lily is posing as Tom’s girlfriend for a myriad of reasons, and they need to get some details straight.

Many thanks to Angelica Dawson for hosting us, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

I made it back to the hotel a few minutes before Tom showed up in the lobby. I’d been entertaining myself with spotting various actors and trying to remember the first time I’d ever seen them when he strode in, a classy black wheelie case rolling behind him.

“Good, you’re here,” he said, dropping into the chair next to me. “I thought we should take the opportunity to get our notes straight, make it look like we’ve known each other for long than six hours.”

“Smart,” I agreed. “Who starts?”

He gestured towards me. “Ladies first.”

“Okay.” What had Kirk known about me (apart from the fact that I was a damn better writer than him)? “Um, I’m Lily Nayar, I’m twenty-seven, I graduated from USC, I live in an apartment in Highland Park, I don’t have any pets, and I write fantasy romance novels as Lilian DeVries, as you know.”

“As I know,” he said, smiling. “Rather naughty ones.”

He had noticed the sex scenes. Damn. “Anyway,” I said after clearing my throat, “I have a younger brother named Derek, and my mom and dad are still together. What else would my boyfriend know?”

He considered. “Ethnic background?”

Good point, and a graceful way of asking. “Mom’s white, Dad’s first-generation American. His parents are from Mumbai, hers are from Pasadena. You can imagine the holiday dinners. What about you?”

He sat back in his chair, scratching his chin. “Well, you know my name. Which is my real one, by the way. Born in Swansea, raised in London. Dad died when I was twelve, after which Mum raised me with Aunt Margery and my sisters.”

I felt a twinge of sympathy at that. I might fight with Dad sometimes, but I’m damned glad he’s here. “When you say Aunt Margery, are we talking an actual blood relation, or your mom’s girlfriend that they gave a familial title to in order to ward off a homophobic society that wouldn’t accept their love?”

His smile turned into a grin. “I like you. No, actual relation, although I suspect Aunt Margery wasn’t adverse to a bit of flannel. Went to a comprehensive secondary school—I think you’d call that junior and senior high over here—before heading off to the University of Manchester, where I studied History with a view towards teaching it until I was seduced by the Drama department.”

“So you didn’t go to RADA?”

From his long-suffering yet amused reaction, I assumed he got that a lot. “No, I didn’t go to RADA, mainly because I didn’t have the money. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with the University of Manchester’s drama department. Cumberbatch went there, you know.”

Well, if it was good enough for Sherlock, it was good enough for me. “And after you graduated?”

“Went back to London, split my time between being a substitute teacher and acting in anything that would hire me, and finally got my break in a tea commercial, if you’d believe it. Through that and a very clever agent, I sit before you now as one of a number of interchangeable British actors currently occupying Hollywood.” He spread his hands in a “ta-da” gesture.

I leaned my chin on my hand, pretending to study him. “Got news for you, dude. You’re not interchangeable.”

“Ha. I regularly get mistaken for Ben Barnes, Tom Ellis, and Sam Claflin, and I don’t even have the same color eyes as Sam. English actors of my age and facial type are about as interchangeable as Lego, especially in Hollywood. It’s one of the reasons why I want to do this movie and get some experience in producing.” That touch of self-mocking humor vanished. “Don’t get me wrong, I love acting. I always have, and I want to keep doing it as long as I can. But unless the heavens bless you with a lucky break, the real money and power is in producing.” His expression softened. “And I want to make sure Mum and Auntie Margery are taken care of, as well as my sisters. I promised Dad I’d look after them.”

My paternal grandparents came from India with practically nothing but a cousin willing to sponsor them. I could understand his viewpoint perfectly. “Okay, so we’re both driven overachievers who love our families and are determined to support ourselves in a crazy business,” I said. “No wonder we make such a good couple. How long have we been dating?”

“Let’s say two months? Makes it sound like we’re a bit more established that way.”

“Works for me.” And that way I could mentally blank out that last month with the dickhead. “How did we meet?”

“Hm. I’ve got a rental in Santa Monica so it’s not as if we ran into each other at the supermarket.” He snapped his fingers. “Your car overheated on the 110 and I stopped to help you.”

“Suicidal but very noble of you. And I almost called the cops on you, thinking you were trying to assault me.”

He snorted in appreciation. “But then you recognized me from TV and let me take you out for coffee while the tow truck hauled your car off to a nearby garage.” He pronounced it GAR-aj. That was so cute. “You do drink coffee, yes?”

“I’m a writer. Caffeine makes up seventy-five percent of my blood volume. Okay, I think that covers all the basics for a two-month relationship.”

“Sounds good.” Now he looked hesitant. “Er, we’d probably be publicly affectionate by this time. How much physical contact are you willing to engage in?”

A little thrill went through me, until I remembered that he was an actor and had to negotiate this with actresses all the time. “Holding hands, totally fine,” I said, trying to sound casual. “Arm around my shoulders and occasional hugging is cool. Kissing…” Aaaand there went my brain into vapor lock. “Um, I’ve never kissed someone I wasn’t actually dating,” I mumbled. “You’re the pro here. What do you think would be acceptable?”

He looked at my mouth, and his own curved slightly. “Let’s make this warm but discreet. The occasional peck on the cheek or temple, and one affectionate kiss with no tongues in front of Nathan. Sound reasonable?”

Kissing Tom Morrison would never sound reasonable to me. Unbelievable, amazing, addicting, yes, but not reasonable. “Yes.”

“Good.” Those cappuccino eyes twinkled now. “Do you want to do it once here, just so that we get the hang of it?”

Crap. I could feel my cheeks heating up. “We probably should. Um, how…”

“Just lean forward.”

Stamping down hard on my inner gibbering fangirl, I did as he asked. He mirrored me, cupping my cheek. “Relax,” he murmured, then touched his lips to mine.

It … was not what I expected. I suppose I thought it would feel fake, somehow, that I’d be able to tell he was acting. But it felt like I was kissing someone who was genuinely interested in me. Plus he smelled amazing, and his mouth was just the right amount of soft, warm, and mostly dry, definitely not Kirk’s sex beast technique. And there was the strangest little tingle that spread through my lips, like Tom was touching a live wire as our mouths met. Yet another romance trope that turned out to be true.

He held it for maybe two seconds, then pulled back. It was hard to tell with brown eyes but I was pretty sure his pupils had dilated, turning his eyes even darker. Maybe he’d felt a tingle as well.

And then we started to lean towards each other again—

“Sorry to interrupt your tete-a-tete, children, but our winged conveyance awaits,” a cultured British voice said cheerfully.


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So I have the flu

Or at least I assume I have the flu, judging from the symptoms — stuffy nose, muscle aches, lack of energy, low fever, and every bad thing or decision in my life coming back to haunt me in 4K HD. Whee. So Ramón will be heading off to the shops in a bit to pick up basics so that we can eat today, and I’m drinking lots of water, eating healthy stuff when I can muster an appetite, and trying to add at least a K a day to To My Muse because I’m insane like that. Don’t worry — I’m taking breaks as and when appropriate. Also, ignore the number on the graphic at left — I’m currently up to 23,289 words and I’m hoping to crack 25K by tonight.

The cats are also making it their mission to drive me completely nuts. You know how you get those heartwarming stories of moggies who can tell when their owners are ill and will curl up next to them, providing body warmth and quiet support? Yeah, I have one like that (Jessie, my silver girl). The rest are either yelling at me for food (JJ), running through the house like their tail is on fire and acting like a complete idiot (Jeremy), crawling in between me and my food for pettins’ (Jasmine), or climbing on me because I’m their favorite perch (Jemma). I keep having to go upstairs and hide in my room because Jasmine won’t go up there, Jeremy and JJ will go straight for the space heater and sprawl there, and Jemma prefers to snooze under the bed, don’t ask me why. Only Jessie will come in, check on me, then settle down next to me within petting range (if I’m in the mood, but only then) and take a catnap.

It doesn’t help that the temperature is dropping quickly and we’ll be below freezing by tonight. We just had a plumber come out yesterday to fix one of the outside faucets that had developed a fatal failure during our recent freeze (when you turned it on water started coming out from BEHIND the brick fascia of the house). Luckily it wasn’t too horribly expensive, but I did throw on enough clothes so that I could stagger out and make sure that, yeah, he’d disconnected the hose (which apparently caused the problem). I may go back out in a bit and wrap the damn thing with a towel for insulation. And we still don’t know if the pool pump took any damage from the freeze. I know, first world problems, but that’s still a $600+ expense I’d like to avoid if at all possible.

In other news, I got my hair cut. And since it’s wavy it means that once I’d washed the salon product out of it (shown at right — my hair is never that straight unless a stylist has blown-dry it using one of those big round brushes) and let it dry naturally it bounced above my shoulders. Since it was down to the middle of my back before this is something of a change. Ramón keeps saying I look like I did when we lived in Montreal back in 1994, and it’s nice not to have to keep it in a pony tail all the time.

To My Muse: Day Three

I probably should have started this on Monday but what the heck — I’ve made word quota every day and that’s what counts. So far I’m a skosh over 10% finished, have three chapters, Lily has just gone from “Oh, my God, I’m about to get arrested and thrown into jail for breaking and entering” to “Oh, my God, Tom the cute actor who inspired my fantasy romance wants me to do a spec script for him AND it’s a story squarely in my wheelhouse AND my barracuda of a BFF just negotiated a hella decent contract for me,” and I’m about to throw a wrench into the proceedings with the high-powered actor Tom desperately wants to sign for his film. I’m so happy I got over my reluctance to put my characters through the wringer. I am a dark goddess, and all shall love me and despair.

Also, out of sheer amusement, I would up transferring the text message section I blogged about yesterday into an app that creates fake iPhone 7 text messages. That was fun!

Mid Week Tease: To My Muse #MidWeekTease #MWTease

MWTease15Hello, lovelies! This week I’m teasing you with a snippet from my very first contemporary romcom, To My Muse. LA tech writer by day and romance novelist by night, Lily Nayar is still recovering from being dumped by her screenwriter boyfriend. When she gets loaded one night with her BFF and tweets to a hot British actor about the romance novel he inspired, hijinks ensue! 

Many thanks to Angelica Dawson for hosting us, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

I pulled out the various receipts I’d saved up so that I could reconcile my checkbook (yet another ingrained habit from Dad). Supermarket, gas, Starbucks, sushi, Starbucks, Rite-Aid, Starbucks, I really had to do something about my triple venti nonfat latte habit—

Post office. I frowned at the receipt. I couldn’t remember mailing anything. But according to the piece of paper in my hand I had sent a package to…

Beverly Hills.

Why the hell would I send a package to Beverly Hills? For that matter, what the hell would I send to Beverly Hills?

The receipt was from Sunday night. A vague memory of me hunting for a padded envelope drifted into focus. Curious (okay, and maybe just a little worried), I opened a browser and checked the tracking number on the USPS’s website. Whatever I’d sent, it had been received Tuesday morning.

Attached to the receipt was a sticky with an address on it in my handwriting. Google informed me that the address was an agent’s office, Bryce Lambert Talent. I’d heard of them before–one of their main stars had just landed a new series on HBO–but I couldn’t figure out why I’d send something to them.

An image of the shot glasses and the open box of books came to me. Oh, God. I didn’t get loaded and send them a copy of one of my books, did I? Great. Now some junior agent would think I was an unprofessional idiot. Just what I needed. But why the hell would I send something to Bryce Lambert, of all agencies?

There was only one thing to do. I texted Theresa.

Did I mail something on Sunday night?

A minute later the response arrived:

Yup. I got an Uber for us. Don’t you remember?

Uh, no. That’s why I’m asking.
What did I mail to a talent agency in Beverly Hills?

A copy of FEAST OF LOVERS.

Fuck fuck fuck. I wanted to pound my head on the desk top.

Why did you let me do that? They don’t handle writers.

Before she could reply, a drop-down message appeared, telling me that I had a DM on Twitter from—

I stared at my phone. You ever read how a character’s heart stops when they’re shocked by something? That really happens. I literally felt my heart stop as I read that eensy message that said I had a DM from Tom Morrison waiting for me.

Tom Morrison. Tom “British Sex on a Stick” Morrison, who had just walked onscreen at this very moment dressed in tight pants and that gorgeous smile. The actor who had inspired my hero Drake Montmorency in Feast of Lovers. The man I guiltily followed on Twitter because it took my mind off of Kirk being a dickhead. It had to be a prank, some fake account using his name.

It took forever to open Twitter, then hit the little envelope icon, my fingers were trembling so hard. But there it was, with the little blue check mark verifying that my newest DM was indeed from Tom Morrison.

Hey Lilian! Thanks so much for sending me FEAST OF LOVERS. I’m really flattered that I inspired an actual book, and I’m bringing it with me on location to read. I’ll give you a book report when I get back!

It took me a couple of seconds to start breathing again, and I flinched when I saw Theresa’s message pop up.

You really don’t remember?

DID I SEND A COPY OF FEAST OF LOVERS TO TOM FUCKING MORRISON???

Okay, you do remember.

THERESA, THIS IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT.
WHAT IN THE NAME OF GANESH DID WE DO SUNDAY NIGHT?

Well, we were drinking margs and then started doing shots.
Then you checked Twitter and saw that Tom had posted something.
So you pinged him and told him about FEAST.

IS THAT ALL?

Why are you yelling?

THERESA.

Okay. I may have suggested that you send him a copy.
You did dedicate it to him, after all.
And Montmorency is basically him in fantasy baron drag.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.

Is your caps lock broken?

Oh god oh god oh god. What else did I do?

He pinged you back a couple of minutes later with his agent’s address.
You signed a copy of the book, packed it up,
and we got an Uber to that all-night PO.

Did he get it?

Yes.

Good!

GOOD? GOOD? WHY IS THIS GOOD?

Capslock.

Theresa, there are sex scenes in that book.

I know! Rowr!

Really explicit, filthy sex scenes.
And apparently I told him that he not only inspired my hero,
but the whole damn book.

So?

So he’s going to think I’m a huge perv
who writes jack off fantasies about him!

Well, there’s a plot, too.

You’re. Not. Helping.

Sorry.
Look, did he actually say he was going to read it?

Yes.

Huh. Well, he was probably just being polite.
Actors get this sort of thing all the time.
Don’t worry about it.

I stared at those cool, logical words on my screen. Don’t worry about it. Like I was ever going to do that. I had just outed myself as a sexually perverse fangirl to an actor. But I shouldn’t worry about it. I had made a complete and utter fool of myself to a lovely, polite, and absolutely smoking hot man. But I shouldn’t worry about it. Even though I wrote about him and Clarinda using a—oh, God.

I need to get the book back.

Little late for that, my dear.

They say that desperation is the mother of invention. Turns out they’re right.

No, no it’s not. He said he’s taking it with him on location.
I think GS was supposed to start shooting this week.
All I have to do is find out where he’s staying,
get into his hotel room, and steal the book back.

Are you NUTS?

I can do this. And you’re going to help me.


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Welcome to 2018!

I was on a self-imposed writing hiatus for the last week in an effort to let my brain cool down after the last two and a half months of frantic writing, and it was absolutely lovely, thank you! I cooked, cleaned, got stuck into a BUNCH of craft projects that had been lying fallow for some time, watched TV, watched movies, baked pies, and generally had a rather pleasant week.

Among some of the nifty neato-keen craft projects are the socks shown above. They’ve been in my purse for well over a year, and I finally got cracking on them only to find that I’d run out of the self-striping yarn halfway through the second sock. Whomp-whomp! Luckily I had yarn of the same weight and makeup left over from other projects, so one sock will have a large light and dark pink foot on it. Hell, they’re striped anyway, and it’s not like anyone is going to see when I have shoes on, right?

Another LONG overdue project is the queen-sized Dia de los Muertos quilt for my friend. E. I’ve had this fabric for, God, at least three years now, but I just didn’t have the time or the inspiration to put some many vividly patterned fabrics together in an attractive whole. But last week inspiration did indeed strike, and after a few false starts I started putting the central medallion together. With luck I can get it quilted and off to E by the end of the month.

BUT! Most important of all, I’ve started the first book of 2018. And it’s going to be…

…wait until you hear this…

…a contemporary romcom! I know, I know — what the hell do I know about writing contemporary romance OR romcoms? Quite a lot, as it turns out, and I already have the entire plot worked out and can get it finished by the end of January if I get a move on. So look for To My Muse on Amazon sometime in late February!

And here’s hoping that 2018 turns out to be a much, MUCH better year for everyone than 2017.

The one where Nicola learns not to assume

As you know, Bob, I released my Two Thrones holiday novella Red Robin and the Huntsman this week. So far it seems to be doing well, which pleases me, and I’ll be getting to work on Two Thrones Book 4 in January.

But I must admit that I learned something interesting with RRatH. I’m from Chicago, you see, and grew up thinking that most people knew Robin is a diminutive for Roberta. So when I wrote the novella, I initially introduced the female lead as Lady Roberta Busse, Countess of Wellen, then referred to her as Robin when one of the Bardahlson brothers or she thought of herself.

Wrapped up all the edits, sent it off to my crit group and my betas, and sat back satisfied that I’d done a good job. And the responses I got indicated that yes, it was a good story with just a few easily fixed goofs here and there…

…except that fully half of them were confused at Roberta/Robin. They got it from context, but suggested I make it clearer that Robin is Roberta’s nickname.

To which my response was, “Huh?” Because in my experience everyone knew that “Robin” was a nickname for “Roberta,” so I thought it was obvious that the names referred to the same person. After some questioning, however, I realized that I was basing this on a regional bias. If you’re from Chicago or a Northeastern urban area, most Robertas take Robin (or Robyn) as their diminutive. But if you’re from the South, West, or Midwestern rural areas, the most common diminutive for Roberta is Bobbie. The first readers who were confused by the Roberta/Robin connection were all from the latter regional areas.

So I put in a line making it very clear that Lady Roberta was also Robin, which fixed the problem. It also taught me never to assume that every diminutive is obvious!

Fabulous Friday Reads: Xmas Spouse Swap

Happy holidays! Let’s kick off the holiday weekend with H.K. Carlton’s steamy new holiday erotica story, Xmas Spouse Swap, now available from eXtasy Books and other purveyors of fine online fiction. Take it away, H.K.!

Thank you so much for hosting today. I’d like to wish you and your readers a Happy Holiday filled with all the Blessings of the Season.

Today, I’ve brought along, twins Siri and Iris, who decide to give their husbands the ultimate gift — a festive spouse swap.

If you decide to give this story a read and you enjoy it—and I hope you do—you might be interested to know, I’m working on a sequel.


Meet the twins who take share and share alike to a whole new level…

Separated at the age of sixteen by selfish battling parents going through a bitter divorce, twin sisters Iris and Siri Beaulieu vow to never be apart on Christmas Eve, which is also their birthday.

Now grown and married and perhaps a bit bored with their husbands, the twins decide to give each other the ultimate birthday present by switching identities.

And one tipsy Christmas Eve leads to a twin swap the husbands will never forget.

Although it’s been done, many times, many ways … Merry Christmas to you!


Story Excerpt

“So it’s finally happened to you, too. Your little routine has turned blah. You wanna spice things up a little. Just like I do.”

“Not like that, I don’t.”

“You can’t keep your eyes off of my husband, Iris. I’m not blind. And that blush when you and Kyle first arrived, I mean, come on.”

“My cheeks were merely rosy from the cold,” Iris lied.

“Pfff.”

“Are we going to decorate that poor tree over there, or what, ladies?” Kyle asked when the wood in the fireplace finally lit.

“Absolutely, you guys get started,” Siri said.

“Oh, I get it, this is going to be like last year, and you’ll both sit back here, drink wine and ogle the man-candy? I see. It’s cool. Some guys would find it demeaning.” Kyle lifted up his t-shirt and flashed them his abs. “I, for one, have zero hang-ups about the former Beaulieu sisters seeing me as nothing more than a piece of meat. Prime rib, right here, ladies.”

“You call that prime?” Brett snorted. “More like ground round. Now, this… this is Grade A!” The generally more reserved man shocked the shit out of Iris by raising the hem of his cream-colored fishermen’s sweater giving them a little tease of the hidden six-pack beneath.

Spontaneously, Iris gasped. Brett’s gaze flew to hers.

Shit! Had she made that noise out loud? For the second time, her cheeks flamed with heat.

Quickly, Iris averted her attention but made the mistake of making eye contact with her sister, who let out an evil chuckle if she’d ever heard one.

Siri swirled her wine around her glass and grinned. “Interested in swapping now, sista-mine?”


Where to Buy

eXtasy Books | Coming soon to Amazon and other vendors


About the Author

H.K. Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of romance and its varied sub-genres. From naughty to nice, historical to contemporary, time travel to space travel, and everything in between.

Variety is creativity’s playground—It’s where you’ll find me.

Pick a Genre Already | Pick a Genre | Breaking Genre | Twitter | Facebook (timeline)
Facebook (author page) | The Always Cambridge Series | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon

Merry Christmas

Red Robin and the Huntsman is LIVE!

Phoo! Sorry about the radio silence for the last few weeks but I have been nailed to my chair getting Red Robin and the Huntsman ready for release! It’s a second chances holiday novella set in the Two Thrones universe and follows the adventures of Ypresian army captain Duncan Bardahlson (eldest son of Lord Commander Ferdal Bardahlson) and his bickering brothers Ewan and Hamish as they’re dispatched to the tiny province of Wellen right before the winter holiday of Frostfair to apprehend a legendary bandit known as the Redbird. One little problem: Wellen is governed by widowed countess Lady Roberta Busse, who also happens to be Duncan’s long-lost love. Oops.

There’s snark, wine, an overbearing tax collector, an impish priest, a rather large pig, an extremely smart eight-year-old, a LOT of porridge, and a love story that is guaranteed to have you cheering by the last chapter if I do say so myself. Plus it’s available on Kindle Unlimited so you can even read it for free if you have a KU membership!

And now, I clean and put up the Christmas tree — whee!

Marvelous Monday Reads: Love Thaws a Frozen Heart

Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, angels! Today I’m featuring Valerie J. Clarizio and her re-release of her Yooper short story romance Love Thaws a Frozen Heart. Take it away, Valerie!


Sometimes a trip down memory lane is what it takes to fall back in love.

Casey is hell bent on getting Noah to sign divorce papers. Hiding out at his camp, Noah is hell bent on not signing. Procuring a snowmobile, Casey sets out in a blinding snow storm to find him. After crashing, she is near death when Noah finds her. Will a few cabin-bound days cause either of them to change their mind?

 

 

 

 


Where to Buy

Amazon | Books2Read | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes


About the Author

Valerie Clarizio lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and two extremely spoiled cats. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.

Website/Blog | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Amazon

Fabulous Friday Reads: Hidden Magic

TGIF! Let’s kick off the weekend with E.D. Parr’s hot new M/M paranormal romance Hidden Magic, now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine online fiction. Take it away, E.D.!

Thank you for hosting me with new release MM romance Hidden Magic.

I had this story in my head for months before I started to write it. The elf, Owain Lovage, was so clear in my imagination but not his lover to be. Rowan kept disappearing and then reforming. I knew he had to be special because Owain is so sure he can never have a human partner.

Owain is lonely but he’s a happy soul, already in love with nature and as much as Rowan stirs him as they meet, Owain is calm and takes the love poured out to him from Rowan like gifts.

Rowan is highly sexual and used to taking what he needs from the men he meets. He pursues Owain from the start, but as soon as they connect, he’s lost in a pull of attraction he’s never felt before. He falls in love with Owain long before he knows it.

There’s a twist, as always, in my romances and of course a happy ending. I hope you enjoy the passion between these two men and the fun in the build to the end where I allow life to play tricks on them the way we all know it can.


Owain Lovage belongs to an ancient family of elven beings, but he and all his family hide themselves among the ordinary humans of an English rural town, where Owain runs a reindeer farm and visitor center. Owain’s life is full, but he is lonely, yearning for a handsome, sexy man to love. 

When Rowan Carter reluctantly leaves California to stay with his folks on vacation for the holiday season in England, everything is so much better than he expected—especially when he meets Owain. Captivated by Owain, Rowan seeks him out. Melting hot kisses in the snow are only the start of what he has in mind to do with this red-hot guy. 

But Rowan is only on vacation, and his life in California is waiting. Is two weeks long enough to fall in love? And Owain’s secret, his elven identity, is a ticking time-bomb for their relationship. Does the answer lie in an ancient magic spell? Or are the two men doomed to miss the love they have begun?


Story Excerpt

“I should get home.” Owain closed the trunk and walked with Rowan to the cottage.

Rowan led the way down the hall and into the dining room where he placed the box he carried on a long table. “Why, Owain? Is someone there waiting for you? Do you have a boyfriend?” His cock still strained against his jeans, and he ached to hold Owain close. It was as if he’d already become addicted to the gorgeous man who glanced at him with his sexy dark eyes.

Without answering, Owain carefully placed the box of mistletoe on the table.

Rowan gazed at Owain. He had to know right then if this man was available. “Tell me.”

Owain’s eyes filled with what looked to Rowan like pleasure and amusement—a strange mix of emotions.

Rowan smiled, happier. “Please.”

“I have no one waiting for me. I don’t have a boyfriend, lover, or partner. I have somewhere to be, though. There’s always a family gathering for Yule. People come from across the country. I always help plan it.” He smiled and touched Rowan’s arm. “We could meet tomorrow.”

The smile and suggestion sent waves of happiness over Rowan. “I’ll come out to the car with you. We’ll make arrangements.” He followed Owain to the driver’s side of the SUV.

Owain leaned against the door and held out his arms.

Rowan’s heart leapt as he saw the gesture. There was no one to see, and he surged into Owain’s arms, pushing his cock on Owain’s hard body. “You’ll never know how welcome this is, to press against you, to have you hold me. Owain, I want you so badly. I can’t believe it.” He murmured the words a breath away from Owain’s lips—then Owain kissed him. It was like falling into a soft, sexual haze that lifted him from his feet. His eyes closed, heavy with lust, and he grabbed Owain’s hips to thrust his lower body along Owain’s until with a groan he contacted the hard column of Owain’s cock. “You want me, too.”

Owain left his mouth as Rowan broke the kiss to breathe and speak. He nuzzled one of Rowan’s ears and whispered. “I’m fucking desperate.”

Rowan pushed his hand between them and pressed his palm on the shape of Owain’s erection.

“I wish there was somewhere to go now. I wish I could open your pants and suck the cum from you. I’m so hard my cock’s aching.”

Owain gently put him at arm’s length. “I’m the same, but I must go now. I work at the reindeer farm, that’s my place. In my jacket pocket there’s a business card. Come to see me any time tomorrow. I’ll show you around.” He brought out the card he’d referred to and held it out to Rowan.

Rowan took it. “I will.” He gazed at Owain. “I never expected to meet you.”

Owain leaned to his face and placed a soft, quick kiss on his mouth. “I’m glad you did.”


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