All posts by carolkittie

I am a retired software developer, avid reader and reviewer. While I read all genres, I love romance and erotic romance. I am devoting this blog to the Authors of Romance, for now. I occasionally review books for Bea's Book Nook where you can catch my reviews for books that do not qualify under the Romance genre.

Not Your Ex’s Hexes – Supernatural Singles Book 2 by April Asher


Not Your Ex’s Hexes
Supernatural Singles Book 2
By
April Asher

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For her entire life, Rose Maxwell trained to become the next Prima on the Supernatural Council. Now that she’s stepped down, it’s time for this witch to focus on herself. And not think about her impulsive one-night stand with Damian Adams, a half-Demon Veterinarian who she can’t get out of her head. Neither of them is looking for a relationship. But when Rose is sentenced to community service at Damian’s animal sanctuary it becomes impossible for them to ignore their sparking attraction. A friends-with-benefits, no feelings, no strings arrangement works perfectly for them both.

After a sequence of dead-end jobs, it’s not until Rose tangos with two snarly demons that she thinks she’s finally found her path. However, this puts Damian back on the periphery of a world he thought he left behind. He doesn’t approve of Rose becoming a Hunter, but if there’s one thing he’s learned about the stubborn witch, it was telling her not to do something was one sure-fire way to make sure she did.

Working—and sleeping—together awakens feelings Damian never knew he had…and shouldn’t have. Because thanks to his ex’s hex, if he falls in love, he’ll not only lose his heart—but his humanity.

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Rose Maxwell had been training to be Prima ever since her older sister Violet failed to come into her powers, that all changed when Violet not only found her mate and bonded but she also gained her powers. Now she’s the Prima in training and Rose has to figure out what she wants to do with her life.

A girl’s night out is usually a way to sort things out, but this one has become Operation Equine Freedom. Rose spotted two very emaciated horses near a rundown barn on her way back to the city. She has plans for those horses to have good homes. With her sisters, Violet and Olive and her best friend Harper they set out with a horse trailer to collect the horses. Unfortunately for them the horses were at a very good home.

Damian Adams has been dragged out with friends Lincoln Thorne, North America Pack Alpha, his second Adrian Collins and Bax Donovan a Guardian Angel. His partner in the Marisol Animal Sanctuary and Clinic, Miguel is keeping watch over the animals tonight.

Then the phone call comes, from Violet to come get them at the police station. While Damian doesn’t have to go with them, he finds he wants to hear the whole story of why the Maxwell Triplets were busted.

The absolute best is when Rose is sentenced by the council to community service at the Marisol Animal Sanctuary and Clinic under the supervision of Dr. Damian Adams.

From trying new things, to working at the clinic Rose is dedicated. She’s also trying to find ways to filter donations to the clinic. She needs to be creative since Damian wants nothing to do with the bowing and scraping type charity affairs.

When she decides to take a Julian’s offer of a job hunting it sets Damian off because he doesn’t want her hurt or worse. Insisting on being her trainer and assigned to the same cases.

Then we have the physical attraction between these two that goes so much deeper than that. Both Rose and Damian are in denial as to what is happening between them which makes for some interesting scenes.

This book is lots of fun, with some laughter, tears and sizzle as well as a touch of action. I have to go back and read the first book in this series, it’s Violet’s story.

5 Contented Purrs for April!

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 April Asher

April Asher, aka April Hunt, was hooked on romantic stories from the time she first snuck a bodice-ripper romance out from her mom’s bedside table. She now lives out her own happily-ever-after with her college-sweetheart husband, their two children, and a cat who thinks she’s more dog—and human—than feline. By day, April dons dark blue nursing scrubs and drinks way too much caffeine. By night, she still consumes too much caffeine, but she does it with a laptop in hand, and from her favorite side of the couch.

From the far left cushion, April Asher pens laugh-out-loud romantic comedies with a paranormal twist, but when she’s not putting her characters into embarrassing situations with supernatural entities, she also writes high-octane romantic suspense as April Hunt, her thrill-seeking alter ego.

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Magnus – Shadow Recon Book 1 by Dale Mayer


Magnus
Shadow Recon Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Deep in the permafrost of the Arctic, a joint task force, comprised of over one dozen countries, comes together to level up their winter skills. A mix of personalities, nationalities, and egos bring out the best—and the worst—as these globally elite men and women work and play together. They rub elbows with hardy locals and a group of scientists gathered close by …

One fatality is almost expected with this training. A second is tough but not a surprise. However, when a third goes missing? It’s hard to not be suspicious. When the missing man is connected to one of the elite Maverick team members and is a special friend of Lieutenant Commander Mason Callister? All hell breaks loose …

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We’ve been getting hints on this series for quite a while and it’s finally here!!

What we know so far is that there have been 3 incidents, 2 deaths; one Russian and one from the German SEAL team both deemed accidental. The third incident is Mountain’s brother, Teegan Rode, disappearing. According to Mountain, Teegan had evidence that those deaths weren’t accidental at all. Now they have to get a team into the Artic and attached to this Artic training program without attracting attention to what they are doing outside of the norm.

When Magnus arrives, there are two more men missing, Terrance Billings and a Russian so recently missing they don’t know his name yet. It just makes the question of what’s going on here far more urgent to figure out. Of course, finding Teegan is imperative as well, but he’s been missing three days now and with a blizzard raging and the temperature it’s really not safe to be outside very long.

Mountain is already there, and they’ve worked out how to communicate without drawing suspicion. The first person we sort of meet in this hostile environment is Jesse who’s seems to have been here awhile. Next is Dr. Sydney Jenkins, she is the only doctor on this base and as she inquires as to how he’s feeling having been outside for so long, she also sneaks in a word about missing medications. Just what they need more mystery.

Sydney also has a bug detector that she sweeps the clinic every time she enters. Mountain gave it to her after he found a bug and now she’s wondering what is so important about the clinic that it had been bugged.

We get a look at the sled dog’s enclosure and meet Joe their trainer, handler and owner. Magnus has already made an impression on some of the dogs. I can picture them crowding him for attention.

Mountain is paired with someone he knew under a different name and thought was on medical leave. Seems his name is Salmo but he’d been called Selly previously. We get to see the Scientist’s camp with these two.

As we hear more grumblings about something going on, no one can actually say what it is. It’s more of a feeling than anything else. Then there’s another kitchen fire and two men are brought to the clinic for burns.

This is a favorite scene.

When Sydney woke the next morning, she felt an uncanny sense of wrongness. She bolted up, quickly dressed, and raced to her clinic. Just as she got there, the door slammed open, and somebody barreled out at top speed. She yelled after him, as she chased him down the hallway, but he booked it outside, and she knew better than to go out there.

As she turned around, Magnus stared at her. He was bare-chested, just in his PJ bottoms, a bit of sleeplessness in his eyes. “What happened?”

“He came running out of my clinic,” she cried out in frustration.

Magnus took off and disappeared outside after the culprit, leaving her open-mouthed at his rash actions. Shrugging, she headed back to her clinic, hoping that Joy was there because Sydney had left everything wide open. Only she saw no sign of her nurse.

With that, Sydney decided she would no longer be sleeping in her close quarters but staying in the clinic, whether she had patients there or not. She quickly checked the time and noted it was just 7: 00 a.m. Most of the others would be in the dining area, getting breakfast or at least coffee.

She checked up on the two male burn patients in her clinic. They were both sound asleep. Whoever had come in either didn’t know patients would be here or hadn’t had a chance to do anything.

Checking on the medicine cabinet, she confirmed it was still locked up. Feeling a whole lot better, she glanced around to ensure everything else was okay.

When Magnus strode in ten minutes later, carrying coffee for two, she immediately snatched one and cried out, “Thank God for that.” She looked up at him— the last she’d seen him, he was chasing her intruder half naked, only now he was fully dressed. She shook her head and chastised herself for being so out of it. “Any luck?”

He shook his head. “No, unfortunately,” he replied grumpily. “I’ve got two other men out looking. If your intruder doesn’t show up soon …” Magnus didn’t say anything to follow up.

She winced. “Sounds as if a storm is out there again too?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty much been bad weather since I arrived,” he noted quietly. “Not exactly conducive to escaping though.”

“Unless he knew of somewhere and had a plan.”

“The real question is, … how would he have gotten in?”

“We don’t lock up any of the external doors to the base,” she explained. “I mean, they’re secured for the wind, but we’re not trying to lock people in or out. This is not that type of facility, and, if people run into trouble, they need to know that they can come in here and take shelter.” She frowned. “So, in a way, it’s just an open public place.”

“Did you get a description of him?”

She shrugged. “I can give you what I remember, but it isn’t a whole lot.” She quickly went through what she recalled, realizing it sounded lame. “I’m sorry. That’s not much. It just seems stupid, but he was dressed all in black. He wore not full winter gear but outdoor gear, for sure. He was moving pretty fast for someone geared so heavily,” she added, thinking back. “But then everybody here is fit and in shape, so no handicap to point out.”

Magnus nodded in agreement. “Right, and everybody here is decent at subterfuge too,” he admitted quietly. She winced. “Did you do a check this morning?”

She stared at him, not understanding at first, then it clicked. She quickly put down her coffee. She got up and pulled the device from her top drawer and quickly checked her clinic. To her dismay, almost immediately it started buzzing. She swore, as she looked over at him. He got up and followed her around, as they pinpointed where the latest bug was. He quickly removed it from the light where it was affixed and quickly dismantled it. Neither of her patients woke up; then, their pain medication was intense.

He held it up, his face grim, as he looked at her. “What are the chances that this is what your intruder was doing this morning?”

She shook her head. “I’m not betting on that,” she muttered. “I just don’t understand what they think will happen here, when I don’t have anything to do with it.”

“To do with what?” he asked, looking at her quietly.

“With what’s going on, particularly after the colonel talked to me yesterday.” She gave a quick shrug. “That was beyond bizarre.”

“I won’t say it wasn’t a surprise,” he replied cautiously, “but the brass? … They’re people, just like the rest of us.”

“Sure they are,” she replied, with spirit. “Yet it seems somebody is trying to set me up, is thinking I’m involved, or is convinced that some top secret information is being talked about around here that they’re hoping to get from me, but I don’t know anything about that.” She raised her hands in disgust. “My superiors are expecting a full report today too. Do I tell them about this?” She waved her hand at the bug. “This will raise the roof, if they think their team is in any danger.”

He frowned. “No suggestion on that but your position is one of respect and has a little more expectation of privacy, so, if people talk to you and want that privacy, … they would do that here.”

“Maybe.” She stared at him. “However, it’s not as if anybody here will talk to me about crimes. I’m the doctor. I’m, … you know, fixing coughs and scrapes and burns now.”

“How badly were they hurt?” he asked, turning to look at the two men asleep on the two hospital beds.

She nodded grimly. “One’s got a good-size burn on his arm. He’s shipping out as soon as I can arrange it. So, right now, I’m just managing his and the second man’s pain. Not a whole lot of treatment that anybody can do for burns here. I’m definitely not equipped for it and trying could do far more harm than good.” She glanced back where the one patient was in a drugged stupor. “I’m hoping to get them both out today.”

“That would be good,” Magnus agreed, with a nod. “It would also mean that they could get supplies in.”

She nodded. “That also would be good.”

“Are you leaving with them?”

She turned and frowned at him. “It’s always an option I have, but no.” She shook her head. “I am the only doctor, so to leave would mean the people here would have no one. I’m not sure how quickly I could be replaced.”

“Yet there’s a nurse?” he confirmed questioningly.

“Sure, but she’s not a doctor. So, if some emergency operation or major issues popped up, … she’s not qualified for that.”

“What kind of emergency operation are you thinking?”

She looked at him, shrugged, and explained, “The last time I was in a similar situation, I had to do an emergency appendectomy.” He winced at that, and she nodded. “That’s the thing. You don’t know what will happen from one minute to the next. I can take X-Rays, splint broken bones, and quite a bit more,” she added, with spirit. “Plus, I signed on for the duration.”

“Which was what?”

“Twelve weeks, and then they would rotate me out with another doctor. If they can get one in.”

“And you’ve done how many weeks so far?”

“Two and a half. No, just over three, I guess.” Looking at the desk calendar, she nodded. “Almost three. You lose track of time in here.”

“So just under nine more to go.” She nodded. “Nine more to go. Unless they shut down early. Or …” She stared up at the light. “If they feel they need to extend it. I just don’t have a clue why anything I’m doing is of interest to somebody else.”

“I don’t either, but you need to be extra careful.”
Dale Mayer. Magnus (Kindle Locations 763-711). Valley Publishing Ltd..

There’s also a lot of gossip that revolves around the women here. According to her nurse Joy, Sydney has managed to get a reputation of being standoffish since she doesn’t fraternize with anyone.

All of this and there’s so much more going on in the background as we meet people, investigate the missing drugs and look for missing men.

Not a lot of action, but more than enough intrigue and plenty of suspense as well as a surprise or two. There’s also the friendship that turns romantic with Magnus and Sydney.

I really can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Coming Soon!
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Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.


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Shadow Witch – The Witches of Hollow Cove Book 1 by Kim Richardson


Shadow Witch
Witches of Hollow Cove Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Kim Richardson

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Okay, so I’m in trouble. Big trouble. I’m broke. Worse, my boyfriend of five years just dumped me.

What do I do? I move in with my three eccentric aunts in their family home, Davenport House. Sounds exciting, only this massive farmhouse likes to eat men.

If I were a regular human, I would have run out screaming like a banshee. As a witch—I do absolutely nothing. Hey, maybe they deserved it?

I’m back in Hollow Cove, the flamboyant paranormal community, where nymphs, werewolves, trolls, shifters, witches, and other paranormals live comfortable lives away from prying human eyes. As I settle into my new life, I decide to accept my aunts’ proposal and join the family business—the business of protecting our town and killing anything that would want to harm it.

But I’ve been away from the paranormal world for quite some time, and my magical abilities are a little bit rusty. Heck, they’re practically invisible.

Things soon spiral down the crapper when people in our community start dropping like flies. And when demons start showing up in Hollow Cove, it’s up to me to take care of them. Permanently.

This is going to be awesome. I just know it.

Tessa Davenport is broke with nowhere to live. She does the only thing she can, packs up her belongings and leaves the cheating boyfriend’s apartment forever. She hops a bus to Maine to move in with her three aunts.

Her arrival in Hollow Cove is interesting as the first person to greet her as she steps off the bridge is not her aunts but Martha the town gossip and salon owner. The exchange, if you can really call it that is one that had my eyes rolling. One thing Martha seems to be good at is ferreting out information.

Arriving finally at Davenport House the first person to greet her is Ruth, she even has Tessa’s favorite cookies waiting. Ruth is about to tell Tessa what’s going on in town when Dolores comes home, followed shortly by Beverly. With everyone present, Tessa is informed she’ll need to join them in the Merlin Group that protects the town. The thing is Tessa hasn’t used her magic in a very long time and really has no idea where to start using it.

They’ve already got a major problem and they think Tessa can solve it. Then a body is discovered. This is when we meet Ronin the vampire and Gilbert the grocery owner and mayor. However the one who makes the biggest impression is Marcus the Town Chief. He really doesn’t like Tessa and wants her gone.

This is a favorite scene.

Marcus stepped around the bloody mess on the ground and walked toward me. “Who are you?”

“Tessa,” I answered, not sure I liked his tone.

“Do you have a last name, Tessa?” he ordered, again with the tone, and stared at me with eyes that were hard and unyielding like stone.

Yup. I liked him as much as I liked ticks.

“How’s it going, Chief?” said Ronin, and I knew he was just trying to smooth the mood a little. Didn’t seem to work.

“Last name,” Marcus commanded again, like I was his servant.

If he thought he could scare me with his hard stare, he was in for a surprise.

I shrugged, keeping my eyes on the chief. “How about you give me yours, and I’ll give you mine,” I answered, making Ronin snort. The half-vampire was growing on me.

Marcus’s eyes narrowed, and he closed the distance between us until I had to look up at him.

“You’re tall,” I observed, and Ronin snorted again.

The chief’s face hardened. “I make it my business to know everyone in my town. I want to know who you are and why you’re here.”

Jeez. Why are the pretty ones always so nasty? “Your town? I thought this was Hollow Cove, not Marcus Cove.” Oopsy.

“I like her,” expressed Ronin, all smiles. “She’s entertaining. Let’s keep her.”

Marcus let out a breath. “Last name. Or I’ll have you arrested.”

My mouth fell. “For what? Breathing?” The nerve of this guy. If I knew how to spell him, I’d choose a deflatable spell, to deflate all those muscles and his ego, and give him a lanky twelve-year-old boy body. Yeah. The thought made me smile.

The big man pointed to the blood and guts. “Maybe this is your handiwork. I don’t know. I don’t know you.”

I balled my hands into fists. “It’s not. I’m here to help. To figure out what happened and to protect the town.” Yes, I was new and had no idea what I was doing or how I would protect the town. But so what? This guy was really pissing me off.

Marcus kept staring at me and then his eyes widened, something flickering behind them. “You’re Tessa Davenport.” It wasn’t a question.

I put my hands on my hips. “Yeah. So?”

Marcus’s jaw clenched. “You should leave. I don’t want you here.”

A slip of anger lit through me. He was just asking for me to punch him across the face. “Is it against the ‘law,’” I made quotes with my fingers, “that I’m standing here?”

Marcus blinked. “No.”

“Then I’m staying, Chief.” I heard Ronin laugh as I turned away from Marcus and made my way around the dead, looking for clues. That’s what I guessed I should be doing, though I had no freaking clue how to find clues—pun intended. And yes, I knew that sounded bad.

I caught Martha’s eye, and the witch gave me a thumbs up. I was not going there.

Kneeling as close as I would let myself get to the slop of remains, I could feel Marcus’s gaze on me, but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of a look in his direction. I wasn’t here for him. I was here for my aunts. I told them I would help them with this case, and that’s exactly what I was going to do. He would not scare me away.

“Marcus doesn’t like me either.” Ronin was next to me, staring down at the blood. “He’s jealous because I’ve got better hair. Are those fingers?” He pointed to three small cylindrical shapes resting in the pool of blood and guts.

“Those are definitely fingers.” I stared at what I thought was some flesh with hair. The scalp maybe? Yikes. Don’t throw up. “He doesn’t scare me.” I didn’t want Marcus to see how this scene was affecting me because it was.

Ronin flashed me his perfect white teeth. “So, what are we looking for?”

I couldn’t help but notice he used the word “we,” like we were a team or something. “Anything that’ll tell me who this person was.” My aunts never mentioned that I couldn’t ask for help, and right now, I needed it. “If I knew, I would be a little closer to finding who did this and why.”

“His name was Avi,” came Marcus’s loud voice. The bastard had been listening in on us.

I looked across from me to the handsome but seriously irritating chief. “And you got all this just by looking at this splatter of blood and guts?”

Marcus’s gaze was locked on the blood. “Werewolves have a distinctive smell. Just like each person here does.”

I was impressed, but I kept my face blank. He had to be a werewolf or a shifter to have that kind of keen sense of smell. The guy was good. I pegged him for a werewolf, which meant his buddies were probably werewolves too.

“You sure?” I asked. The chief didn’t answer, and I took that as a yes. It also saved me the time and effort of going around door to door to see who was missing in town. Too bad he was being such a dick. He could’ve been useful for other information as well.

A name was better than I’d hoped. I stood up. “Thanks.”

Marcus issued a sound like a growl. “You should leave.”

My temper went into overdrive. “What is your problem?” My voice rose, aware that everyone had gone quiet around us. Ronin took a step back from me. Smart vampire.

Marcus smiled coldly. “You. You’re my problem.”

“Really?” I cocked my hips, my face all smiles, but my guts were having a wrestling competition. “Why’s that, hot-stuff?”

Just like my ex, he knew all the right buttons to push. But he didn’t even know me, so that made it worse. So much worse.

Marcus crossed his arms over his sizable chest, no doubt to show off all those hard, bulging muscles. “You have no investigative skills. Clearly, you don’t understand what you’re doing. You’re not even a real witch,” he snarled, his brows furrowed.

“Dude. You’re way out of line,” said Ronin, and I was surprised by the anger in his voice.

Marcus ignored him, his attention never wavering from me. “You’re just going to get in the way. There’s nothing you can do to help this town. Just like your mother.”

My lips parted, and I frowned, my heart thrashing. “You know my mother?” When he didn’t answer, I continued, “I don’t work for you, Chief. I work for the Merlin Group.”

Marcus laughed. “Just like your mother did until she left—in the middle of a case. More trouble than she was worth.” He gave me a hard stare. “Your mother is a waste of space.”

Something inside me snapped.

A rush of energy overflowed my aura. My breath caught, a force hammering inside me as I homed in on Marcus.

I didn’t speak a word of magic. I didn’t even conjure a spell.

I just… let go.

My instincts hit, and I raised my hands. A gust of wind flung through my palms. It hit Marcus in the chest and the big guy went rocketing back like he was hit by a missile. He let out a windy grunt as he hit the hard pavement fifty feet away.

I wavered a little as a slip of dizziness hit. I knew this was payment for using magic. All magic required it. No witch could do spells indefinitely. That would most certainly be deadly. Magic always took what was owed—a piece of the witch, a bit of aura—and made it its own, aiding in the spell.

But I barely felt it over the pumping energy of my anger.

“Screw you, Marcus.”

I turned on my heel, grabbed the still-hovering orb, and left.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an exit.
Richardson, Kim. Shadow Witch (The Witches of Hollow Cove Book 1) Kindle Locations (441-501). FablePrint. Kindle Edition.

Gilbert is certainly one to cause hysterics and Martha is a bit of an instigator. Then we have Marcus, the Town Chief, he’s certainly got a lot of issues with Tessa. Although that’s on him since it’s really her mother he dislikes immensely.

That’s not the worst of it either, with demons breeching the wards, Marcus dissolves the town’s contract with The Merlin Group. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from protecting the town, it does however bring in another issue, The Unseen. They are mercenaries the town has now hired for protection. They also want Davenport House. So not happening.

I love Davenport House, it’s a truly unique structure in more ways than one. Tessa learns more about the house and studies all types of magic spells and potions to aid in protecting the town and learning about her own abilities.

Demons, Dragons, a Sorceress and so much more make this a page turning read, full of action, laughter, tears and is that a romance blooming?

5 Contented Purrs for Kim!

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Coming Soon!

Kim Richardson

Kim Richardson is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of urban fantasy, fantasy, and young adult books. She lives in the eastern part of Canada with her husband, two dogs and a very old cat. Kim’s books are available in print editions, and translations are available in over 7 languages.

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Serendipity – Serendipity Series Book 1 by Carly Phillips


Serendipity
Serendipity Series Book 1
By
NY Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips

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He’s from the wrong side of the tracks.
She lived in the house on the hill.
Now their fortunes have reversed…
but their long-ago attraction still burns.

From high school golden girl to wife of a high-powered New York attorney, Faith Harrington lived the dream. Until divorce and her father’s imprisonment for fraud left her with almost nothing. Now she’s back in her hometown to redesign her life, and not every face is friendly. Least of all the town rebel, whose memory lingered long after they shared one searing teenage kiss.

Ethan Barron is a bad boy. Was. Was a bad boy. Now a man—a very rich man—he quietly buys the old Harrington mansion to thumb his nose at Serendipity and the people who looked down on him. But until he reconciles with his brothers and builds a life, the victory rings hollow.

Faith had been a rich girl ripe for rebellion, and his shamelessly stolen kiss still burns in his dreams. Only a fool would risk feeding town gossip by asking her to redecorate the house she grew up in. But Ethan never did choose easy. Not when the hard way promises a much sweeter—and hotter—reward.

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Ten years after leaving Serendipity, Ethan Barron is back. He’s successful now and he’s purchased the landmark house in town. His goal is to make amends with his brothers Nash and Dare although he’s not sure how to go about that.

Faith Harrington is also back in town.  However her circumstances are far different from Ethan’s. Her father apparently had been scamming everyone for years, the law finally caught up with him and now he’s in jail. Everything sold for restitution. She’s staring at her old home remembering the past, when Ethan is approaches her. He doesn’t recognize her at first, but when he does memories come flowing back.

For Faith her divorce and subsequent settlement means she can open her Interior Design business, and hopefully be a success. She will need clients though, and her father pretty much destroyed all the goodwill there might have been in this small town.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

Awareness and definite remembrance flickered in her gaze. He was struck by how those amber eyes still provided an open window to her soul. When he was younger, he’d been captivated, mesmerized by how pure and untouched she appeared compared to the girls he normally hung around with. Girls with a harder edge, willing to give it up to anyone but especially to him because he had a reputation for being bad and had no problem living up to it.

She’d been different. Special. Another reason her rejection had stung so badly.

Looks like I’m facing another unresolved piece of my past, he thought, disgusted with himself for still caring. Although to be fair, she’d only been sixteen and a good girl at that. No way would she have put out for anyone, let alone him.

She shifted on her high-heeled sandals.

Uncomfortable or restless to leave? Ethan chose the former. He’d like to think he’d gotten to her—the same way she’d gotten to him. Inside his skin just as she had way back when.

She flipped her glasses back onto her face. “Okay, I think we’re finished reminiscing. You go home to your place.” She gestured up the hill. “I’ll go back to mine.”

“And where would that be?” All he knew of her family now was that her father was in jail, and her mother lived on the other side of town, a comedown for a woman with her attitude and former wealth.

He hadn’t known the princess was back here at all. Apparently, Anna had chosen to omit that bit of information.

“I’m renting a place over Joe’s on Main.” She tossed her hair in a way that indicated her new digs were no big deal.

He knew better. Joe’s was the local bar where guys like Ethan used to hang out. But he knew not to pity her. “Interesting,” he said instead.

“What is?” She pursed her glossed lips.

Definitely not a deliberate move but seductive nonetheless, and he longed for a hot, wet taste. Wondered what might have been if she’d given in to temptation all those years ago.

But this was now, and her question still hovered between them. “It’s interesting how the mighty have fallen.” No pity, just truthfulness, he thought and held her gaze, not backing down. S

he raised her chin a notch. “Like I said, you don’t know me at all.”

“Then fill me in.”

She exhaled a puff of air and paused. Probably trying to decide how much to reveal, a feeling he understood too well.

“I came back for a fresh start,” she said at last. “I’ll be opening an interior design business in town. What about you?”

He shrugged. Easy enough question. “I own a weapons software development company.”

Her mouth opened, then closed again.

“Nope, didn’t end up in jail after all,” he said, catching the shock that had registered on her face.

“I didn’t think—”

He folded his arms across his chest. “Yeah, you did.”

The first hint of a smile pulled at her lips. “Okay, so maybe I would have thought that, but you buying this house gave me a clue you’d turned things around.”

A hint of admiration touched her voice, and though he appreciated the sentiment, he didn’t deserve it. He’d still screwed up a lot of people’s lives. But recent years had been better. He’d gone to college on the Army’s dime and put his affinity for computer simulation gaming to good use. After two tours of duty overseas, he’d ended up working at a military base Stateside in the management information system department doing software-related work and dabbling in his own development work on the side.

Upon graduation, he’d taken a job with Lockheed but had chafed under their restrictions. He turned independent contractor, picked up a few contracts that enabled him to support himself, and within a few years, he’d perfected a system that revolutionized the capabilities of the country’s next proposed fleet of military jets. He’d sold his system to the government, netting him a small fortune and enabling him to buy her old house.

None of which she’d care about. “And what were you doing here?” he asked, moving the subject away from himself.

They both knew he meant the land, the property, and specifically, her old home.

She swallowed hard. He had no doubt the subject was a painful one. “I came to look,” she admitted. “To remember.”

He nodded in understanding. Her family’s fall from grace couldn’t be easy for her, yet she’d come back.

Maybe they had common ground after all, he thought, finding a more than grudging respect for this woman and her strength. She was right. He hadn’t known her then. Didn’t know her now either, but suddenly, he wouldn’t mind rectifying that fact. If he had the time or energy to invest in someone who wasn’t family-related.

He didn’t.

“Look, I really need to get going,” she said. “The heat’s killing me. I only meant to take a short walk through town. Next thing I knew, I ended up here.”

As if on cue at the mention of the sweltering weather, he caught the bead of sweat trickling down her throat, her chest, disappearing between the swells of her breasts, visible beneath the silk top she wore under her jacket.

He swallowed a groan. She was dangerous, all right. But he couldn’t let her walk back in those ridiculous shoes, and she’d overheat in the damn clothes. “Come on. I’ll give you a ride back to town.”

She shook her head. “I appreciate it, but—”

“It’s hot as hell, and I’d bet my last dollar your feet are killing you. So come on.” He waited for a deliberate beat. “Unless you’re afraid to be alone with me, princess?”

Her breath caught in her throat, and a slow but knowing smile tilted her lips. “You know I’m not.”

That quickly, they were back ten years, and he was daring her to climb on his bike. And she had. She’d been afraid of him, and he knew it, but she’d accepted the challenge, and he’d never felt anything like it.

He wanted to experience that same rush again. Wanted to feel her arms wrapped around him and her body pressed against his, trusting him to keep her safe. But most of all, he wanted to feel her fingernails digging into his skin—and not because they were riding a motorcycle. He remembered thinking that if the bike had gotten her that worked up, he could only imagine what she’d be like during sex. He’d wondered if she’d scream when he pounded into her and made her come. Hell, he’d been so hard for her on the ride, he’d barely been able to see straight to drive. He’d tried to ease the ache she’d caused. And of course she’d turned him down for that.

He couldn’t deny she affected him still.

He turned toward the car before she could notice. “Come on and I’ll drive you home.”

“One question first.”

He gritted his teeth and glanced over his shoulder. “What?”

“Do you even remember my name? Or am I still just that spoiled princess to you?”

Oh, he remembered. He just liked “princess” better. But from the determined look on her face, his answer mattered.

As if he’d forget. He’d taken a philosophy class his senior year in high school. The perky cheerleader had also been in that class, one of the few sophomores there. They’d been given an assignment to explore the meaning behind their names. For once, he hadn’t cut class, and he’d been there the day she’d had to discuss hers. Her name had everything to do with unquestioning belief and complete trust. Something that no one had ever had in him. Ironically, he couldn’t remember what the hell his name meant, but he recalled hers.

“Well?” She tapped her foot impatiently.

He shook his head and let out a groan. “Get in the car . . . Faith.”
Carly Phillips. Serendipity (Kindle Locations 87-153). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.

There is definitely an attraction there Ethan wants to explore. For Faith, she needs to find her way and her true self.

The catalyst for Ethan to get even a meeting with his brothers, comes as quite a surprise for all of them. Faith witnesses the beginning of it and even though it ruins what might have been a sizzling evening, it is truly a turning point for all of them.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Coming soon!
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Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.


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Tw’elf Knight – Magical Renaissance Faire Mysteries Book 5 by Nova Nelson


Tw’elf Knight
Magical Renaissance Faire Mysteries Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Nova Nelson

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This earthbound angel’s next investigation just fell from the sky.

Autumn Knight Olivia Swift finally feels her angelic powers returning, and just in time. Because when an elf is found dead on a pile of feathers, the falconer who makes Olivia’s heart flutter falls accused of the crime. Certain he’s not the culprit, she must search through the tall tales of the Renaissance Faire to find a killer on the loose.

When she senses her sweetheart isn’t telling her everything he knows, her gift of truth-seeing feels more like a curse. And the deeper she digs, the less she can trust anyone around her, including herself…

Can this fallen angel unravel the case of the fallen elf before the wrong person goes down for the crime?

Olivia is an earthbound angel. We met her in ‘A Midsummer Knight Scream’ where she cleared herself of murder and actually got the opportunity to return to heaven.

Although she decided to remain here as a permanent resident of the Faire, she is getting some of her angelic investigative powers back, as is Pax, her wings turned dove. The ability to identify lies has helped her in the past and they’ll prove useful in this case as well.

The stable master Bartholomew catches the attention of the four knights just before they are due to joust. There’s a body in one of the stalls and a huge hole in the roof of the stable.

This is a favorite scene.

Ursula, Elias, and I dismounted at once.

“Dead?” I said.

“Who is it?” Bartholomew shook his head. “I don’t know, Sir Olivia. She’s facedown, and I didn’t want to move her. But it looked bad.”

“Show us,” I said, and he led the knights of Elbion to the scene at the back of the stables.

As I approached, the stall door obscured my view of a body, but what did catch my eye was the massive hole in the roof above the stall in question. Through it, the morning sun cast thick beams that shimmered in the dusty air, a natural spotlight on something I would likely regret seeing.

When Bartholomew opened the stall door, I was confronted with nothing but questions.

The woman was dressed like a peasant and was lying beneath a layer of wood and straw debris from the busted ceiling above.

“Fangs and claws,” Ursula muttered, stopping short.

I rushed forward, kneeling next to the body and checking for a pulse. Nothing there, but no surprise. I hadn’t felt a single bit of aura around her as my fingers touched her skin. I had felt something else, though. Around her hovered a lingering haze of deception.

“What on earth and sky happened?” I murmured, getting to my feet again.

“Should we call Sheriff Boswell?” Bartholomew asked.

“No!” said every knight at once.

Fabian stood next to me, staring at the body. “Should we turn her or preserve the crime scene?”

“We don’t know it’s a crime,” I said, though I hardly bought that myself.

Ursula chuckled darkly, staring at the hole in the roof. “What, she loaded herself into a catapult and pulled the release?”

I grunted and nodded for Fabian to help me roll her over.

As soon as she was face up, the stall went so silent, you could have heard a feather land.

I noted the resemblance immediately, but even if I hadn’t, I would’ve caught on from Elias’s gasp behind me. “No! It can’t be!” He pushed Fabian and me aside and dropped to his knees by the body. “I thought she was dead.”

I refrained from stating the obvious.

Ursula was the first one to ask the question on my mind. “Did you… have a sister, Elias?”

The resemblance between the Summer Knight and the dead woman was startling. Granted, elves of all genders looked rather similar to me, the men having a more feminine appearance on the whole, and the women being equal in height and stature to the men.

“A twin, yes,” Elias replied. “But I thought Eloria was dead or had found some way to escape the Faire years ago.”

There were no tears on his face, and his eyes weren’t even red. Sure, he was a brave knight, but there was nothing in our code against crying over a loved one.

“What is that?” he said, pointing at a gray mass where Eloria’s body had just been.

But as soon as I saw them, I knew what they were: feathers. She had been lying on top of no fewer than a dozen large feathers.

My mind jumped back to Brandon’s recent unexplained deception, and I struggled not to connect the two things.

No, surely, he had nothing to do with this elf’s death.

“Feathers,” remarked Fabian. “But I’m not sure which variety of bird this belongs to.”

“I know someone who would know,” Ursula said, and I didn’t love the suspicion coloring her words.

Elias leaned over his twin’s body. She looked like she could have been sleeping. “And what in the realm is this?” He pointed at it without touching, and I pulled my attention away from the feathers.

There was a white silk ribbon around Eloria’s shoulder, looping under her armpit, and tied to it was a cork stopper with a ring of broken glass around it.

“It appears to be the remains of a shattered potion bottle,” Fabian said. “Look! Drops of something orange still cling to a few of the shards.”

I knelt next to him and held out my hand. “Handkerchief.” Fabian always carried one on him, and today was no exception. He pulled it out, a plain white swatch with FG stitched in one corner, and I used it to soak up those drops. I would need to have them analyzed by a magic practitioner later.

I heard wing beats a second before Pax landed on my shoulder. What mischief he’d been up to previously, I didn’t ask.

He gripped the straps of my shoulder plate to hold on and whistled in my ear. “This is way more exciting than stealing kettle corn with the ravens.” He fluttered off my shoulder and lit on one of the downed roof beams, cocking his head this way and that as he gawked at the body.

“Elias,” I said gently, “you thought your sister had died. Did you have a reason for that, other than not seeing her around?”

“Certainly,” he said. “She had a death sentence against her.”

“A what?

Still staring down at her without the slightest sign of emotion, he said, “She’d been sentenced to death by the Elven Council.”
Nelson, Nova. Tw’Elf Knight: A Paranormal Cozy Mystery (Magical Renaissance Faire Mysteries Book 5). Kindle Locations (335-371). The Faire Ladies LLC. Kindle Edition.

The Knights of Elbion would be investigating this death, since it appears to be Elias’ sister Eloria. First, they had to Joust for the crowds. Probably not a good idea right after finding the body as Elias seems to go a bit feral.

As Olivia is walking to the stables she finds a juggling pin, something not expected to be anywhere near the stables. Giving her a new suspect, Marcucio the juggler.

However, she can’t discount the feathers they found under the body. Brandon would be able to tell the kind of bird they came from, and he had been acting strangely the previous night. She had sensed a lie, but could Brandon really be a murderer, she didn’t think so.

I get such a kick out of Pax, her wings have such a unique sense of humor to go along with their mischievous ways. Pax has also mentioned something being familiar about Eloria, even though he didn’t know her.

The first thing was to get the body to Vern the vampire who serves as the Faire’s coroner. Hopefully he’d have answers as to cause of death.

Things get very interesting as this tale unfolds, with twists, revelations and more than one surprise. There’s also laughter, tears, loyalty and romance.

I am already reading the next book in this multi-author series.

5 Contented Purrs for Nova!

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Nova Nelson

Nova Nelson grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie novels. She loves the mind candy of cozy mysteries and has been weaving paranormal tales since she first learned handwriting. Those two loves meet in her Eastwind Witches series, and it’s about time, if she does say so herself.

When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys long walks with her strong-willed dogs and eating breakfast for dinner.

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With Scream and Sugar – Vampire Tea Room Magical Mystery Book 2 by Erin Johnson


With Scream and Sugar
Vampire Tea Room Magical Mystery Book 2
By
Erin Johnson

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Welcome to the coziest, vampire-owned tea room in Bath! It’s steeped in magic and mystery.

You’d expect serving afternoon tea to a high-society ladies club to go smoothly, right?

Newbie witch and marketing whiz Minnie Wells thought so. She’s in need of some smooth sailing, considering her plate is full with magic lessons, marketing the tea room, and navigating a divorce during the most romantic time of the year. But the women’s “Galentine’s” Day celebration is thrown into chaos when their event coordinator is stabbed in the back with a pink stiletto.

Now her handsome boss (who Minnie might have a little crush on) is in hot water with the vampire council and the group’s down a guide.

When Minnie’s offered the position for the weekend, she eagerly agrees to show the women around the gorgeous city of Bath. Not only to make some extra cash so she and her black cat can stop crashing on her vampire bestie’s couch, but also because she’ll get an an all-access pass to snoop out the killer and clear her boss’s name.

When another body turns up though, Minnie suspects she may be in over her head!

Will Minnie figure out who’s got it out for these upper class ladies and save her boss from the vampire council’s wrath? Or will the killer tire of Minnie’s meddling, and have a score to kettle?

In the first book of this series, Minnie manages to convince Fitz to hire her. Now we get to see some of the results of her marketing ideas.

The Regency Ladies Club has booked the Butler’s Cafe for Galentine’s day. They would be doing a weekend of Regency themed activities for Valentine’s Day. Their tour guide Amanda is one of the people Minnie contacted to boost the cafe’s business.

The cafe is packed, everyone is running around and even Minnie is helping by busing tables. The club even has anonymous gift giving for this event, with pouches of gifts on the back of every chair.

One of the women received an extravagant gift, a first edition of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. When she held it up, Amelia notices the page edges are gilded in a bright emerald green. However, when she asks for a closer look the woman Julianne slaps her.

Composing herself Amelia leaves the room and heads outside. When their time to leave approaches, Renee, the organizer asks if Minnie’s seen Amelia. Things get interesting as Minnie finds Amelia’s body in the alley behind the Cafe.

However, this doesn’t end for Minnie with just a police interview. Renee asks her to lead the tour group through the rest of the weekend, but Minnie declines since the Cafe is too busy for her to take time off.

To top this day off the Vampire council wants to speak with her regarding the previous murder and this one and the connection to Fitz’s Cafe. They are convinced Fitz is killing these people and should be confined to their ‘nest’ and not free among humans.

This is a favorite scene.

Barry set his briefcase down beside him and spread his palms wide. “Allow me to assure you all that these fears of violence on my client’s part are completely baseless.”

Darius lifted a white, sculpted brow. He looked completely unmoved. If Gus was right, he’d probably already made up his mind to punish Fitz, whether he was guilty or not.

“Absolutely.” Barry nodded emphatically. “These humans who were killed on my client’s premises were murdered in events unrelated to vampire concerns.” He held up a finger. “In fact, the police already arrested the first perpetrator last month. The motive was determined to be of a personal nature. And while it’s true that, unfortunately, another woman was killed this afternoon, she firstly died in an alley—not even on Mr. Connors’s premises. And secondly, it had nothing to do with my client.”

“Oh?” Darius lifted a brow. “Have the human police already found her killer as well?”

Barry licked his lips. “Er, no, Councilor, they have not, as of yet.”

“Is that so?” Darius pressed his pale lips together and looked side to side at his fellow council members. He made a doubtful noise. “It seems to me highly unlikely that two human deaths at a vampire’s place of business are merely coincidence.”

The vampires around the pool murmured their agreement.

“And how are we to know that the police arrested the true culprit of the first murder? Might not it have been Mr. Connors? We know our kind is keen and clever at disguising our crimes. However, we cannot have one of ours garnering such attention, being involved in so many deaths. It will lead to all of us being exposed!”

Gasps and frightened murmurs sounded around the pool.

I clicked my tongue. Seriously? He thought Fitz was behind these deaths? I couldn’t believe the others were buying this.

Darius went on. “It seems to me that Fitzgerald may have blamed that first murder on a scapegoat. He may be a danger to humankind—to us all, really. If he exposed us and humans learned of our existence, we’d all be in danger. Hunted, once again, to near extinction.” Darius’s eyes grew round. “We can’t risk it. Especially not now, with rumors of a vampire hunter sniffing about.”

Come again? I shot a look at Gus. Clearly there was a lot he wasn’t telling me. He flashed his eyes back.

Fitz let out a shaky breath, his hands balled into tight fists, his knuckles white and blotchy.

“No,” Darius drawled. “It is my recommendation, Council, that Fitzgerald be ordered back into the nest where we may supervise him and prevent him from being a danger to our kind.”

I froze. Where the heck was this nest? How long would Fitz be held for? What would happen to the tearoom he loved so much? I didn’t like the sound of this and couldn’t stay quiet any longer. Barry had warned me not to speak unless spoken to, but I stepped forward and raised my chin.

“Councilmembers, I’d like to say something.” My voice came out shaky, but stronger than I felt.

I didn’t know if vampires had beating hearts, but it was as if they all stopped. Dozens of pale faces fixed on me, and the hairs rose on the back of my neck.

Darius’s lip curled. “And who is this?”

Fitz’s eyes blazed as he shot me a warning look—which I ignored. “My name is Minnie Wells. I’m a witch and an employee of Fit—I mean, Mr. Connors.”

Lady Cordelia, the beautiful redhead, shot me a saucy look and folded her arms.

Millie giggled. “A witch working for a vampire?” Her voice came out as sing-song. “That’s funny.”

Was it? I cleared my throat and opened my mouth to speak, but Barry threw an arm out, blocking me. He bared his teeth at me, then smiled back at the council. “Apologies for this witch speaking out of turn. I’m sure she means well, but—”

I stepped around his outstretched arm, closer to the council. Everything in me was telling me to run, but I held my ground. Partly because I wanted to help Fitz, and partly because my legs had turned to jelly. “No. I have something important to say. I know Fitz would never hurt a human. He cares about his tearoom too much to endanger it, and he’s a good person. Besides, I was nearly killed myself by the first murderer and even helped the police apprehend them, so I know for a fact that Fitz wasn’t the perpetrator.”

Darius fixed me with a murderous look. “Is. That. So?” he growled.

Yeep. “Yes.” My voice came out a squeak. I tried again. “Yes. And I’ll prove he didn’t kill the woman who died today, either.”

Lady Cordelia scoffed, and little Millie giggled again. Marcel, the guy in the track suit, lifted a dark brow, lowered his aviator sunglasses, and peered at me over the top of them.

“You’ll prove it?”

I nodded. “Like I said, I helped the police apprehend the first killer—I can do it again.” I hoped.

Darius stared me down, a muscle in his jaw twitching. His lips curled back, revealing pointed canines. It was a look that told me, quite clearly, that he wished to kill me. I, for one, hoped that wouldn’t happen.

Lady Cordelia lifted a pale shoulder. “I say let her try.”

Millie giggled. “Yeah, why not?” She grinned, dimples in her cheeks. “If she fails, we can drain her.”

I snapped my alarmed gaze to Gus, then Fitz. Oh boy. I was in trouble.

Marcel let out a deep chuckle, and even Balthazar, who hadn’t yet spoken, nodded, running his tongue over his teeth. “I like that idea.”

“No.” Fitz stepped forward, and Barry pinched the space between his brows. He shook his head and grumbled something about screening his clients better.

“Minnie’s not a vampire, and she’s not bound to our laws. She’s not part of this.”

Darius’s intense gaze swung from me to Fitz. He studied him for a long moment, and then his lips curled back from his teeth in a devilish grin. “On the contrary. Perhaps you’re more involved with her than we realized, which makes her involved with us.”

I’d swear Fitz blushed, which was saying something for a vampire.

Darius simpered at me. “I say we let this witch try. Minnie, you have three days to catch the real culprit, as you put it, and prove that Fitz is innocent.”

“NO!” Fitz growled.

“Yes,” Darius sneered.

The man with the scroll stepped forward and spoke in his high, sing-song voice. “Shall we vote?”

Lady Cordelia, Marcel, Darius, Balthazar, and Millie all cast their ayes.

The man with the scroll turned to the vampires gathered around the pool. “Minnie Wells has three days to prove Fitzgerald Connors innocent of murdering the woman found dead in his alley this afternoon. If she convinces the human police that another is guilty, the case shall be dropped and Mr. Connors shall remain a free vampire. Should she fail, Mr. Connors shall be put on nest arrest, forfeiting his freedom, and Miss Wells shall find herself exempt from the protections of the vampire statutes preventing the draining of witches.”

My shoulders slumped. Oh boy. I’d done it this time.
Johnson, Erin. With Scream and Sugar: A Magical Tea Room Mystery (The Magical Tea Room Mysteries Book 2). Kindle Locations (649-708). Kindle Edition.

After the council meeting Minnie has no choice but to agree to lead the tour group. That in itself is quite the experience as she also tries to get clues as to who had motive to kill Amelia.

There aren’t many clues here. The murder weapon was the very pregnant Bunny’s stiletto that she had taken off as soon as they arrived at the cafe and left by the door. Easy access for anyone. The other clue is the bookmark that fell out of the first edition Northanger Abbey.

Oh the twists and turns that Minnie has to follow in order to solve this intense mystery. Both her life and Fitz’s is on the line and she cannot fail.

I am loving this series and I’ve already started the next book.

5 Contented Purrs for Erin!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Erin Johnson

A native of Arizona, Erin loves her new home in the Pacific Northwest! She writes paranormal cozy novels– stories that are mysterious, magical, and will hopefully make you laugh.

When not writing, she’s hiking, napping with her dogs, and losing at trivia night.

Erin’s had a ton of different jobs, from blackjack dealer to PA on a horror movie to Pilates instructor but has finally embraced her true calling as a writer. Thanks so much for your interest and for supporting her!

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Bond of Destiny – Shifting Fate Book 3 by Tessa Hale


Bond of Destiny
Shifting Fate Book 3
By
Tessa Hale

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Just when Rowan thought things might be coming together. When she dared to hope things might work out. The world around her crumbled.

Betrayed by her own pack. Held captive by someone she should’ve been able to trust above all others. And time is running out.

Her only hope is her mates. Holden, Anson, Lucas, Keene, and Vaughn won’t stop fighting. For Rowan and for their bond.

But just when they thought there might be a way out, everything is turned upside down yet again.

Because the person who’s after Rowan? He’ll stop at nothing until all of her powers are his. And if he can’t have them, no one will…

If you haven’t read the other books in this series STOP! Go back and read them. This book begins where that one ends.

When we last saw Rowan, she was given a soda that appeared to be sealed by Jaz. Seems like Jaz hasn’t forgiven Rowan for taking Holden from her. What she has done though is turn her over to her biological father.

Rowan wakes in a dungeon, she’s not alone there. Rezah is about her age and has been imprisoned for around nine months. The mind link with her mates isn’t working and she’s unable to shift. Apparently, there are shields to prevent any use of magic.

Rezah has mates in her pack in Indiana, but she can’t connect with them. She’s been given drugs to prevent her from dying from the loss of connection.

Kaleb is the one who’s orchestrated these kidnappings. He wants power over everything. He wants to be King. He’s also Rowan’s father. He’s not pleased when his drugs don’t work on her and he wants her fixed, putting not only Rowan’s life in danger but Rezah’s as well.

Luc manages to break through the shields and Rowan is able to tell him who has her but not where. In a quirk of fate Holden is able to complete the bond with her even though they are far apart.

This is a favorite scene.

Garrison lunged for me, but I was ready. I released Rezah’s hand and dodged to my right. He ran smack into the cot, letting loose a creative curse and grabbing his shin.

“For fuck’s sake,” Kaleb gritted out. He strode into the cell and towards me.

I leapt over the cot, evading his grasp. Time. It was all I needed. I could feel them now. A humming of energy just below my skin. My mates. They were feeding me their power. I didn’t know how it was possible without them touching me, but it was happening.

Rowan? Where are you?

Holden’s voice sounded clear as day in my head. I wanted to weep at the deep timbre.

Basement. Kaleb and three guards are down here. They have weapons. We’re coming. Just hold on.

A hand locked around my wrist, dragging me towards the cell door. Garrison sneered down at me. “You better be worth it, you little bitch.”

“Don’t call her a bitch, you overgrown micropenis.” Rezah’s knee came up, finding purchase right between Garrison’s legs.

His eyes went wide with shock and he dropped like a stone, curling into a ball.

“Get up!” Kaleb yelled. “You’re an embarrassment.”

He shoved me towards the door of the cell, but I grabbed hold of the bars. Using them for balance, I kicked out my foot, landing squarely on Kaleb’s chest. He stumbled back a few steps but not far enough.

His lip curled, exposing his lengthening canines.

“You’ll pay for that.” Energy crackled over my skin. For the first time in over a week, I felt my connection to that golden pool of energy at my core.

Kaleb turned to Garrison, who was pushing to his feet. “Grab her and get to the tunnels.”

“Alpha, they’ve breached the building above.”

“Fuck! Are my enforcers worthless?” It was the first time I’d ever seen any hint of panic from Kaleb.

The man behind him who had been offering to break my bond sent a worried glance towards the door. “I didn’t sign up for this.” He hurried deeper into the basement, to a door I’d never seen before. Seconds later, he disappeared behind it.

Hands gripped my waist and then I was being lifted in the air. Garrison’s scent filled my nostrils and had me fighting a wave of nausea.

“Let her go!” Rezah screamed. She kicked at him but Garrison was faster, leveling his baton on her. He shot an electrical current through Rezah that sent her collapsing to the floor in a seizure.

The level of rage that filled me was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. My hands dug into his shoulders and I let my energy fly.

Then it was Garrison who dropped to the ground. I barely caught myself before hitting the cement floor with him. He twitched and seized.

“What the hell?” a guard barked.

Kaleb’s eyes went wide. “Get a shield down here! She’s breaking through.”

I stretched my fingers, waving them. “What’s the matter, Dad? Don’t want to hang out with me anymore?”

The two guards pulled their weapons.

“Don’t shoot her,” Kaleb ordered. “Don’t Tase her either. It will only feed her power.”

“Then what the hell are we supposed to do?” one asked.

Kaleb glanced to the door. “Will, shift. That’s our best hope for corralling her.”

“She’ll still be able to use her gift on me.”

“I don’t give a damn. Shift.”

A second later, the guard was replaced by a gray wolf. The creature snarled in my direction. The sound had my power reacting on instinct. A bolt of energy shot from my palm, striking him in the chest.

He was there one moment and then lifeless on the floor the next. Panic seized me as my hand dropped to my side. The wolf’s chest wasn’t moving. He was simply gone. Not gone, dead. Because I had killed him.

Pain bloomed on the side of my temple as a fist landed a blow. Stunned, I stumbled and arms locked around me. “Don’t fucking move.”

I thrashed in Garrison’s hold. But my power wouldn’t respond, too traumatized by ending a life. Claws lengthened on Garrison’s hand and he punched them into my side.

The pain stole my breath. A burning fire ran along my ribs, into my lungs.

Luc was in my mind in an instant. Rowan!

Hurry.

His claws tore at my flesh, energy and blood seeping from me. I scratched at his neck and face, but my nails were no match for Garrison’s claws.

“Get her to the tunnel,” Kaleb shouted, running for the back door.

I couldn’t let them take me, couldn’t lose my chance to get to my bond. I summoned everything I had and went for Garrison’s eyes with my fingers.

He howled in pain but didn’t let me go.

A flash of movement caught my attention. A black wolf. Vaughn.

Relief bloomed in my chest. He was here.

Relief quickly transformed to panic as the guard in front of me raised his gun. I screamed with everything I had in me. But it was too late.
Hale, Tessa. Bond of Destiny: A Paranormal Reverse Harem Romance (The Shifting Fate Series Book 3) Kindle Locations (357-396). Kindle Edition.

Rowan is rescued and Rezah is sent home with two of Mason’s enforcers as protection.

Now the problem is the remaining QUAD members don’t believe Kaleb has done this. That’s not quite true, Ivan has some doubts and there is a prophecy that says someone with the bond of 6 will root out the evil among them. There is more to that, but I’ll let you find it yourselves.

While not imprisoned anymore, Rowan still has a problem. Kaleb can enter her mind while she sleeps.

Plenty of tension, action, laughter, tears, romance and sizzle in this page-turning conclusion!

5 Contented Purrs for Tessa!

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Author of love stories with magic, usually with more than one love interest. Constant daydreamer.

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Frost – Frost and Nectar Book 1 by C.N. Crawford


Frost
Frost and Nectar Book 1
By
C.N. Crawford

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On the worst birthday of my life, I come home to find my boyfriend in bed with another woman. Within hours, I’m drunk, homeless, and pledging to stay single forever. And that is when the dangerously sexy Seelie King rolls through town, looking for fae like me.

Every generation, the king holds a competition for Seelie queen. But for reasons he won’t explain, Torin is looking for a charade, not a real marriage. So when I drunkenly sling insults his way, I have his attention.

When Torin offers me fifty million to participate, I think, “What have I got to lose?” The answer turns out to be “my life,” because my competition will literally kill for the crown.

And the more time I spend with the seductive king, the harder it becomes to remember it’s all supposed to be fake. Now, my life—and my heart—are one the line.

Ava is a fairy who is living in the human world. On her birthday, she discovers her boyfriend in their bed with another woman. After throwing the dinner she brought home to celebrate at them she leaves with only her gym bag as she sees her dreams crumble before her.She heads to a local bar and calls her best friend Shalini to commiserate with her. Ava has a goal this night, to get drunk and forget her horrible day. She just doesn’t expect to have a confrontation with King Torin.

This confrontation goes viral, and King Torin has this crazy idea. He’s going to invite her to participate in the Tournament for fae women looking to qualify to be his queen. With a catch of course.

This is a favorite scene.

I sighed. “Okay. So, you want me to be your wife so your kingdom can drain my magic? Don’t be offended, but I’m going to pass on this offer. Why don’t you ask one of the many fae women who actually want to do this? There are plenty of them clamoring for the chance.”

“I don’t want you to be my wife, either,” said King Torin. “That’s the whole plan. That’s why you’re so perfect.”

I blinked. “Sorry, what?”

“You’ll just need to marry me for a few months. Not for very long. And you wouldn’t need to consummate anything. Just sit on the queen’s throne and channel your power. Replenish Faerie’s magic. Help me save the kingdom. Once things are back to normal, we’ll get divorced. And you can go back to”—he surveyed the small living room—“this place. And it can all be over without any messy emotions getting in the way because we don’t like each other. At all.”

He paused, crossing his arms over his chest like he’d just delivered the deal of a lifetime.

I stared at the king. “Why would I do this? You want me to become your wife, then divorce you a few months later. Can you imagine the impact that would have on my life? I hate being the center of attention, and I’d be all over the news as ‘a gold-digger common fae.’ Just that ten minutes outside was one of the worst experiences of my life. And after I left Faerie? I’d be all over the tabloids. I don’t need this. I have a mess of my own here I need to sort out, Torin. I need to find a way to get my own place. Normal things like rent that you probably don’t even know about. Can’t you just find someone you actually love?”

For a moment, I thought I saw him wince. Then his expression became unreadable again. “I was planning on paying you handsomely for your role. Thirty million dollars to cover your time and any potential future issues. You’d be set up for life. You can choose to stay in Faerie, with the understanding that it will not be a real marriage. I should probably add that there is a good chance you could die during the tournaments.”

I froze, my eyes widening. “Thirty…sorry I thought you said…did you say thirty million?” As soon as the words were out of my mouth, it occurred to me that I was a terrible negotiator. If he was willing to throw thirty million at me, how high could I get him to go?

I rested my hand on my hip. “I won’t have my good name dragged through the mud. And you did mention that I could die.”

He snorted. “Your good name? Your meltdown is all over mortal social media. How could it possibly be any worse?”

I closed my eyes, trying not to imagine what the memes were like. Shivers of horror crawled over my body at the thought of everyone sharing the video. Sounds of me slurring about Chad from Hitched and Stitched trending on TikTok…

It almost made the idea of running away to Faerie sound appealing.

“Fifty million,” I said.

“Fine. Fifty million—if you win. I will do my best to keep you alive.”

“How dangerous are we talking, exactly?”

“The tournaments always end in a fencing match, and it has been known to get bloody. But I will help you train.”

I let out a long, slow breath. “Besides bartending, fencing is the one thing I’m actually good at.” I bit my lip. “But what are the chances I’ll win?”

“Assuming you survive, almost certain, since I’m the one who chooses the bride. We just need to make sure it seems believable that I’d choose you, which won’t exactly be easy after…”

“The drunken meltdown, yes.”

“You must avoid making another public spectacle of yourself in Faerie. My cursory research tells me that until last night, I didn’t see any other evidence of public disgrace or scandal. Do you think you can conduct yourself with a modicum of decorum? I’m not expecting much, but my marriage to you has to be at least somewhat believable. And the idea of marrying a low-born common fae with a slovenly appearance and a drinking problem already stretches the bounds of credulity.”

His insults were sliding right off me now because…fifty million? I could probably buy my own privacy. I could buy people to compliment me. I could get takeout curry every night. It was a dizzying amount of money; I almost couldn’t comprehend what I’d do with it.

I opened my eyes again to find that King Torin had fallen silent and was staring at me. An icy fire danced in his eyes. I sensed that he was studying me. Not in a sexual way, but rather that he was finally taking me in as a person. Assessing my running outfit. The dark circles under my eyes. The rat’s nest of my hair. Assessing weaknesses.

“Who are your parents?” he said at last.

“My mother’s name was Chloe Jones.”

“Not her.” He leaned closer. “Who was your biological mother? Your true family?”

A heavy weariness pressed down on me, and I wanted to flop onto the sofa again. A buried memory from my childhood clawed at the hollow recesses of my mind: me, standing before the portal, clutching a Mickey Mouse backpack, sobbing uncontrollably because they wouldn’t let me in.

“I honestly have no idea. I tried to go back into Faerie one day, but they wouldn’t allow me.”

He cocked his head. “Why were you trying to get in? Did the human woman mistreat you?”

I felt instantly defensive at his question, and also annoyed he referred to her as the human woman. “No. My mother was amazing. But the kids at school thought I was a freak with weird ears and ridiculous blue hair, and they weren’t kind. They tied me to a fence post once, like a dog leashed outside a café. I just wanted to see other people like me.”

A dark look slid across his eyes. “Well, now you will. If you agree to my proposal, I will help you find your fae family.”

“I’m sure they’re dead. Why would they let me get kicked out if they weren’t?”

But my mind was already made up. Because what kind of moron would turn down fifty million dollars?

Especially someone homeless and unemployable, which was my current situation. With fifty million dollars, I could open an entire chain of bars—if I even decided to work again.

And the truth was, even if they were dead, I was desperate to know more about my birth parents. What exactly had happened to them? Fae almost always lived longer than humans. What were the chances they’d both died young?

I took a deep breath. “All right, I’m in. But we should sign some kind of contract.”

He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a form. I watched as he held it against the wall and crossed a few things out, then signed his name in an elegant calligraphy at the bottom.

He handed me the form, and I scanned it.

Generally, when given paperwork, my eyes just sort of glaze over, and the words seem to blur. Then I assume everything is fine, and I scribble my signature. But this was too important to half-ass, so I forced myself to focus. He’d added in the amount I’d be paid and initialed next to it. There was a clause about secrecy, and a stipulation that I’d forfeit the money if I told any other fae about my role. And if I lost the tournament, I got nothing.

I licked my lips, realizing there might be no point to a contract with the most powerful person in the world. “Who, exactly, would enforce this?”

Surprise flickered over his features. “If a fae king breaks a contract, he will grow sick and die. I can’t break it. Only you can.”

“Right. Okay. I guess that’s binding, then.” I signed it, then handed it over to him.

“Are you ready?” he asked. “It starts soon.”

Now? I haven’t even showered.”

He scrubbed a hand over his jaw. “Unfortunately, there is no time. But we’ll try to make you presentable in Faerie.”

“I volunteer as tribute!” Shalini stood in the doorway of her bedroom wearing a hot pink bathrobe. “Take me to Faerie. I’ll be a contestant.”

Torin exhaled sharply. “You’re not fae. And Ava has already agreed.”

“Don’t some of the women have advisors?” asked Shalini. “Someone as counsel? In Ava’s case, someone to stop her from any more outrageous drunken episodes?”

I should have asked about an advisor, but I was so caught off guard, I stammered, “Shalini, what are you doing?”

“Helping you.” She beamed. “I’m not letting you go alone. Who knows what these people are like in their own realm? I heard him say it’s dangerous.”

Torin shrugged. “So is your world.”

Of course—Shalini was desperate for adventure.

Torin turned, already heading for the door. “I don’t really have time to argue about this, but maybe it’s not the worst idea. You may need emotional support to keep you from falling off the rails and someone to help negotiate any duels. Let’s go. Now.”
Crawford, C.N. . Frost (Frost and Nectar Book 1). Kindle Locations (585-651). Kindle Edition.

Ava and Shalini head to the fae realm with Torin with little time to spare before the meet and greet ball. As impressed as Ava is with the castle, she also somehow feels unwelcome. A feeling she pushes away often.

The competition is fierce and sadistic as well. There is no love lost between those who would be queen. Torin needs her to win, he can’t marry anyone he may fall in love with, and Ava fills that requirement.

I love this tale, it has lots of twists, and many surprises as well as more than one romance.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for C.N.!

Coming Soon!
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C.N. Crawford is not one person but two. We write our novels collaboratively, passing our laptops back and forth to edit each other’s words.

Christine is from Lexington, Massachusetts and has has a lifelong interest in New England folklore–with a particular fondness for creepy old cemeteries and execution histories. Nick spent his childhood reading fantasy and science fiction during Vermont’s long winters, which have rendered him impervious to the cold.

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Spelling the Tea – Vampire Tea Room Magical Mystery Book 1 by Erin Johnson


Spelling the Tea
Vampire Tea Room Magical Mystery Book 1
By
Erin Johnson

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You’re supposed to support your guy, right? Even if it means moving away from the watery source of your witchy magic and suffering through five years of writer’s block?

Minnie Wells thought so, until her soon-to-be-ex left her high and dry for another woman.

Now, she’s back in Bath, with the magic of the town’s enchanted springs flowing through her veins, ready to explore her newbie witch powers and pen her novel. Bath inspired her favorite writer Jane Austen, after all. Why wouldn’t it work for her?

Only catch is, once the divorce is final, Minnie will be deported back to the US (and she’ll lose her powers all over again) unless she can convince the haughty (and handsome) vampire owner of a struggling tea room to hire her.

As if her cup didn’t already runneth over with trouble, an employee drops dead during her interview. Now Minnie’s got to solve the murder to clear the cafe’s name, while figuring out a way to bring in more customers.

With the help of her vampire roommate and black cat familiar, she’s hot on the killer’s trail. But when the murderer sets Minnie in their sights, she’ll have to tap into her own inner strength (and magic) to save herself, and bring the killer to justice.

Will Minnie solve the murder and save the vampire’s tea room? Or will she find herself in hot water with the killer?

I’ve been loving some witchy magic, so here’s more. Minnie has moved back to Bath after her soon to be ex-husband left her for another woman. Bath is the one place she’s in touch with her magic although she’s not proficient. She was raised in Arizona, not much water there, but when she came to Bath for University, she made that discovery after drinking some of the enchanted spring’s water.

She’s got an interview at the Bath Butler Cafe, and she really needs the job. Without a job she can be deported as soon as her divorce is finalized and if she leaves Bath she will also lose the connection to her powers.

She sort of eavesdrops on a conversation between two guys in the alley shortcut she was taking. She also meets a black cat just before she gets to the front of the shop, giving it pets for luck.

She would be meeting her best friend Gus who would introduce her to Fitz the owner of the tea shop. Fitz is a vampire as is Gus and he’s set in his ways from two hundred years ago. The decor of the tea shop reflects that time period and since it was also Jane Austin’s time Minnie found it delightful. She did think it was a bit stuffy and could use some changes to make it a warmer environment.

Unfortunately, the Butler she saw arguing in the alley dies after escorting her to the restroom and the police declare it a murder. Apparently his EpiPens had been emptied and then made to look unused.

That night after all the interviews, Minnie joins Gus in the living room to discuss everything that’s happening and to introduce him to her new pet, possible familiar Tilda.

This is a favorite scene.

I counted it as one of those lucky strokes of fate that I’d happened to make friends with Gustaf. He’d been a fellow student at the time (pretending to be twenty-two). After drinking the Roman spa waters, I’d confessed to him my new ability to move objects with my mind and boil water—okay, ability might be pushing it. “Strange occurrences that happened when I was either exceedingly happy or upset” was more accurate.

He’d reacted with amusement and understanding instead of thinking I was a basket case like I’d expected. He confessed that he was actually a very old vampire—I didn’t know how old, as he claimed it was impolite to ask—and was the first person to call me a witch.

I’d been slightly offended at the time but took pride in the word now. He’d helped connect me with some local witches he knew, who told me that I probably had ancestors from the Bath region. They’d explained that when I was near the enchanted hot springs, I had magic. But move away, and I’d lose my powers.

In retrospect, I think Gustaf and I had been drawn to each other by the magic that connected us. Aside from my cheating ex, Gustaf was the only friend I’d confessed my secret to.

I groaned. And if I got deported, I’d lose my connection to that magic!

“I wish I was a better witch.” Learning to use my powers had been put on the backburner while I’d moved away from Bath to Desmond’s hometown. “If I was, I bet I could figure out a way to stay.” A lump formed in my throat. “I just got back here, Gus. I finally have a chance to figure out what I want instead of just going along with Desmond’s plans, to write and to learn to use my magic and explore this whole other part of me that I had to hide for so long.”

Gus reached over and squeezed my shoulder, his lips pressed together in sympathy. “I’m very sorry, Minnie. I tried to get Fitz to hire you. He’s quite stubborn.” He sighed. “Plus, the cafe’s not doing so well.”

I frowned. “Yeah, I overheard that. I thought all vampires were rich. Couldn’t he just float the shop?”

“That’s racist. Not all vampires are rich.” He looked at his nails. “I mean, most of us are.” He grinned, revealing his pointed canines. “Fitz, I believe, is cash poor—he owns a massive estate outside of town, and it takes a pretty penny to keep it running.” He shrugged. “I think he’s pretty fully invested in this tea shop venture of his.”

I lifted a hopeful brow. “Couldn’t you give him a loan?”

Gus snorted. “I could, but Fitz is too proud. Besides, I’m afraid I’d only be enabling him at this point. He can’t cope with modern life—he wants to cocoon himself in the ways and manners of the Regency. But I’m not sure clinging to the past is good for him. Plus, with a murder? This isn’t the kind of attention a vampire wants to attract.”

I nodded, gently stroking Tilda’s head. Even if Fitz had agreed to hire me on, it wouldn’t make a difference if the cafe closed. I frowned. Unless hiring me saved the cafe….

Tilda licked my thumb, as though encouraging me to follow the interesting line of thought that had popped into my head.

I looked up. “Gus… what if I was just as stubborn as Fitz?”

He raised a brow. “If?”

I shot him a flat look. “I mean… what if I didn’t take no for an answer? He doesn’t have to hire me for me to spend time in the cafe. I could go in as a customer who just happens to spend an inordinate amount of time there. I could chat with the butlers, ask them what they think should happen to bring in more customers and save the tearoom. Plus, I could probably pick up some good clues about the murder and maybe help clear the cafe’s name by figuring out who killed Brock.”

My friend stared at the swirling, viscous red liquid in his glass. “It’d help clear Fitz’s name with the Council, as well.”

I wasn’t sure who this mysterious Council was, but Gus was typically tight-lipped about vampire affairs, so I didn’t pry. I just nodded my agreement.

“Totally. I could make myself useful until Fitz has no choice but to see how essential I am.” I waggled my brows. “Get it? Because I need that essential worker visa?”

Gus pressed his eyes shut as though my terrible joke literally pained him. “Yes. I get it.”

I sat up straighter. “Well? What do you think? I’ll figure out a way to save the cafe and maybe just solve a murder while I’m at it. Fitz will be so impressed, he’ll hire me on full-time. I’ll get a job, stay here in Bath with my witchy magic, and Fitz can keep his cafe! Win-win!” I beamed.

Gus rubbed his eyes. “Minnie? Remember that foolish optimism of yours we were just discussing? I know you have marketing skills, but you have to change the mind of a vampire who’s had two hundred years to get stuck in his ways. Plus, you’re no detective. You really think just hanging around the tea shop you’ll glean enough to solve the murder?”

“Hear me out.” I raised my brows. “Someone who was in the cafe this morning has to have killed Brock. How else would they have triggered his allergy?”

Gus pressed his lips together and acknowledged my point with a nod.

I waved my hands, and Tilda batted at them. I immediately returned to petting her, and she purred, appeased. “Did you notice that mousy gal by the window? She seemed really jealous of all the flirting that blond lady—”

“The mousy one is Grace, and the blond is Collette.”

“What?”

Gus rolled a wrist. “I overheard them speaking with the detectives.”

My eyes widened. “From downstairs?”

He tapped his ear. “Vampire hearing, my dear.”

Oh. Right. “Did you overhear anything good?”

“Like did one of them confess? No. It was boring, and I mostly tuned out.”

I lifted a brow. “Hey—why didn’t you or Fitz hear Brock wheezing and choking?”

“We were in the middle of a rather heated discussion. I was trying to convince him to stop being such a prat and hire you.” He shrugged. “We were distracted.”

I shot him a grateful smile, then went on. “Grace seemed jealous of Collette and Brock’s flirting. And they were pretty shameless in front of Collette’s husband.”

“Jay.”

I grinned. “Jay might have been angry about that… though he did seem rather oblivious. Oh! And I overhead Brock arguing with a teammate in the alley. He mentioned a crazy ex-girlfriend who’d broken into his flat.”

Gus raised his brows. “That’s interesting.”

I nodded. “Plus, there were all the other butlers. Maybe there’s some rivalries there.”

My friend chuckled. “Alright, Minnie—fine. It’s not the worst plan I’ve ever heard.”

I grinned. “I’m desperate, Gus. What have I got to lose?”

He nodded, then his eyes drifted down to Tilda in my lap.

I held her under the armpits and hefted her up to face Gustaf. “I forgot to mention—this is my pet cat now.” I quirked my lips to the side. “You’re not allergic, are you?” Did vampires have allergies? “Tilda meet Gustaf. Gustaf, this is Tilda.”

Gus stared down at the cat, who stared right back at him. All of sudden, she scrambled to get loose and jumped down onto the Persian rug, arched her back, and hissed at Gus. Gus bared his teeth and hissed right back.

I rolled my eyes. “Oh, grow up.”

He jabbed a finger at Tilda. “She started it!” He winked at me. “Besides, we’re just figuring each other out.

That should clear the tension.”

And sure enough, Tilda sprang back onto the chaise, delicately sniffed Gus’s thigh, and curled up in my lap again.

I shook my head. “I don’t understand vampires… or cats.”

Gustaf winked. “You don’t have to, darling.”
Johnson, Erin. Spelling the Tea: A Magical Tea Room Mystery (The Magical Tea Room Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Locations (523-583). Kindle Edition.

In order to save the tea shop and Fitz’s reputation, Minnie is going to be just as stubborn as he is. She’s going to solve this murder. Then with her marketing skills and knowledge of the era make the tea shop the most popular in Bath.

As Minnie works through the suspects, she also makes some connections from Brock’s past that may or may not have something to do with his murder.

Plenty of suspense, intrigue, and twists as this tale unfolds. There are even hints of romance, the question is with who.

I am already ready the next book in this fun series.

5 Contented Purrs for Erin!

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Coming Soon!

Erin Johnson

A native of Arizona, Erin loves her new home in the Pacific Northwest! She writes paranormal cozy novels– stories that are mysterious, magical, and will hopefully make you laugh.

When not writing, she’s hiking, napping with her dogs, and losing at trivia night.

Erin’s had a ton of different jobs, from blackjack dealer to PA on a horror movie to Pilates instructor but has finally embraced her true calling as a writer. Thanks so much for your interest and for supporting her!

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Fairy Wives of Windsor – Magical Renaissance Faire Mysteries Book 4 by Trixie Silvertale


Fairy Wives of Windsor
Magical Renaissance Faire Mysteries Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Trixie Silvertale

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A jolly Faire.
A shocking murder.
Can this furtive fairy outsmart the killer?

Coriander the Conjurer is trapped in a cursed Renaissance Faire, and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her. But this fairy fortune teller veers off course when a corpse turns up in her storage wagon. While her bestie rots in jail for a crime she didn’t commit, the actual murderer walks free…

When a stolen unicorn horn leads her investigation into the protected realm of the Fae, Coriander must make promises that might prove too big to keep. She’ll need the help of a wily vampire, a brilliant blacksmith, and her meddling toad familiar to uncover the real killer. As her helpers disappear one by one, the case spirals out of control.

Can timid Coriander face the terrifying truth, or will her snooping seal a fate worse than death?

We’re back at the Faire for a new trio of books. This first one is about Coriander, she’s a fairy who had been abused by human parents and when she ate the magic candy that trapped her within the realm of Elbion her wings sprouted. Delicate and iridescent they are unfortunately lopsided having been forced by magic. The fairy Queen, Magnolia wanted nothing to do with a family with no lineage and unbalanced wings. She does allow Coriander an allotment of fairy dust, which now has shown up places it doesn’t belong. Coriander’s contribution to the faire is fortunetelling with her trusty toad familiar, Thornton aka Thorny. She also has a thing for the mer prince, Hadal. Her best friend and roommate Fraxi, is a nymph who phase shifts (like teleporting) and she will play an important part in this book.

This Renaissance Faire located in Texas is the largest and in her opinion the best. She even has an old gypsy wagon in which to store her supplies. She’s running just a bit late to set up and that’s when things shift radically. When she opens the wagon a body falls out…and she telepathically calls for Fraxi to help. She’s able to identify the body of Windsor an honored member of the Fairy Court.

Of course, this is the moment their lazy sheriff and his two VLTs (Very Large Trolls) start to stroll by. Instead, he instantly calls for the arrest of Fraxi, who had the unfortunate timing of turning Windsor’s head at that moment to verify his identity. So now she’s being dragged off to prison by the VLTs, with Coriander promising to help her. First, she has to do her morning appointments. Afterwards she goes to see Hadal, but he’s in a deep discussion with the mer elders. It’s Isaac the blacksmith who asks her about the body and accompanies her to the scene of the crime as he details Windsor’s true identity. They need to get the body to the vampire Vern’s dungeon to be autopsied.

As Coriander begins her investigation, she notes that there’s no blood in the wagon, and she spots a piece of unicorn horn stained with blood near the doorframe. Vern would be able to tell if it was the murder weapon. The most troubling thing is that unicorns are a protected species, and no one should have been able to procure a horn. Which technically means someone murdered a unicorn to kill Windsor.

This is a favorite scene.

I must have dozed. When I opened my eyes, darkness had descended. A fairy fingernail of moon hung low in the sky. I’d initially found the term offensive—and then endearing.  Thornton slept soundly in his habitat. I’d disappointed him one too many times today. I would handle this meeting with the unicorns on my own. Seemed like every time I relied on other creatures for help, I got myself—or them—into more trouble.

Outside the trailer, the air pressed against my skin—damp and heavy. I longed for a light rain to cool the earth. The heat of the day still lingered beneath a thick layer of fast-moving clouds. 

Seemed like perfect flying weather. I took to the skies and headed toward the paddocks.

A few voices echoed up from the tavern as I passed over, but the rest of the grounds were deserted. Most of the Rennies visited the humans’ campground at night and enjoyed the wild abandon of the fully committed guests. I didn’t want to know exactly what happened, but Fraxi had experienced nights away from the trailer, and the shared tidbits of her stories were enough to satisfy my curiosity.

Touching down outside the stables, I quietly entered. Stables always smelled of hay, feed, and, of course, manure. Nevertheless, the stable boys were conscientious and fastidious. They never allowed waste to pile up, and they proudly kept a clean and tidy area. It would never do for one of our illustrious knights to step in a pile of road apples.

Luckily Bartholomew, the horsemaster, had fallen asleep during his night watch. This would be easier than I’d hoped.

Despite my fairy gifts, I made it no more than a step before the sharp tip of a unicorn horn pressed against my chest.

“There shall be no business after dark. If thou value your life, back up.”

“Nefertiti, it’s me. It’s Coriander of the Fae. I’m not here to harm anyone. I’m here to help.”

The grand mare stepped back, and the sadness in her eyes nearly broke my heart. “Coriander! Thou art the only creature who hath offered aid. Ne’er-do-wells murdered my grandson, Amenhotep. Taken before his time. His beautiful horn spirited away! Forsooth, I hear ’twas used in a murder most foul.”

I dropped to one knee and bowed to the magnificent creature. “I’m sorry for your loss. And I’m furious that something so heinous happened within the realm of Elbion. I thought no one knew you were hiding here?”

She tossed her long white mane and pawed at the ground. “Hundreds of years have passed within this cursed Faire. There are no more secrets, sweet fairy. We may hide from yon casual observers or the simple humans, but rumors took the form of reality a century past.”

I wanted to tell her I knew who had taken the life of her precious grandstallion, but I’d already started one potential war today. No need to start another. “I intend to solve both murders, Your Magnificence.”

“Thou art a trusted friend and ally of the unicorns. How can we assist thee?”

“Thank you. I’m trying to find out who purchased—I’m so sorry to say it—the unicorn horn on the black market.”

Her majestic head fell forward, and the tip of her unicorn horn nearly touched my head where I knelt. “Arise, sweet fairy. I slept not at the stables on the night in question. On that night, Queen Magnolia did invite me unto her feast. At the moment the dear stallion was taken, I foolishly enjoyed the food of the Fae. I shall never forgive myself. If I had but been here, perhaps my wisdom and power might have saved him.”

As I slowly rose to my feet, I offered the only condolences I could. “You can’t blame yourself. Nothing can stop a wicked deed, done by wicked creatures. Neither you nor your grandson are at fault.” I had to get this interview back on track. “Were you acquainted with Windsor?”

She shook her head angrily. “Not in the least. Nor would I have been so inclined. He and his fairy mistress often sullied our stables with their secret trysts.”

“He brought Dandelion here?”

The beautiful unicorn stepped back, and her velvety lips hung open in shock. “Dandelion? I know no such fairy by that name. That man always brought a pompous noble. Mine eyes beheld her at the fairy feasts, but the name escapes my recollection.”

“Hyacinth?”

The grand mare pawed at the ground. “Indeed. Hyacinth. Too good for her own skin, if you asketh me. Now, who might this Dandelion be?”

“Apparently, Windsor also married a fairy from the wrong side of the creek.”

The powerful creature blinked her large silver-blue eyes in my direction. “Oh. Troublesome. Perhaps the lowborn fairy hath taken revenge. She would certainly know the type of scoundrels who could obtain—”

I reached my hand out to offer comfort, but couldn’t remember the protocol for petting a unicorn. 

She nuzzled my hand with her nose, and I stroked it gently. “You don’t have to say it. We all know what happened. I hadn’t thought of that angle. I have someone inside the fairy realm right now. I’ll look into it. Again, my deepest sympathy for your loss. I will find whoever is responsible for this travesty.”

A large glistening tear rolled down her nose and touched my fingers. The strangest sensation passed over me. For a moment, I saw her grandson, with his glorious unicorn horn, galloping through a flower-filled meadow.

“What a magnificent stallion.”

She pulled back and gazed at my tear-stained fingers. “Ah, I accidentally shared a memory tear. There be a great deal more to unicorns than mere horns and magic blood.”

I bowed deeply. “Indeed. I will keep you informed, Your Magnificence.”

She bent a knee and bowed in return. “Thank thee, sweet fairy.”

My heart weighed heavy with sadness as I left the stables. The memory the grand mare had shared in her tear played over and over in my mind. The pain of losing such a magnificent magical creature proved more than I could bear. I didn’t have the strength for flight.
Silvertale, Trixie. Fairy Wives of Windsor: A Paranormal Cozy Mystery (Magical Renaissance Faire Mysteries Book 4) Kindle Locations (998-1047). The Faire Ladies LLC. Kindle Edition.

Now Vern confirms the unicorn horn as the murder weapon and also that there is fairy dust in the wound.

Fraxi, now hiding in the fairy realm, finds the deceased had more than one wife, two for sure and the speculation of yet another.

To say things are getting a bit twisted is an understatement. We find some very interesting people are involved in this case. I truly couldn’t guess until we got close to the end. There was also one very major revelation in this book.

I can’t wait to read the next book.

5 Contented Purrs for Trixie!

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USA TODAY Bestselling author Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lilian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.

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