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Tea Apocalypse: Love In The Time Of Tea – A Charity Anthology by Nine USA Today Bestselling Authors


Tea Apocalypse: Love In The Time Of Tea

Featuring
USA Today Bestselling Authors

All The Tea In Texas by Margo Bond Collins
Alien Abduction For Milkmen by Skye MacKinnon
Nymph’s Trust by Laura Greenwood & Arizona Tape
Why Yes There Are Witches by Rebecca Royce
Do It For The Tea by Erin Bedford
Totally Steeped by Zoey Indiana
A Cup Of Sin by Demelza Carlton
Refresh by Jade Waltz

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No one expected the end of the world to start with a tea disaster, but in these nine brand new fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi romance stories, that’s just what happened.

Enter eight post-apocalyptic worlds filled with witches, shifters, aliens, and more in these tales steeped in adventure, love, and magic.

Grab yourself a brew and one-click this limited edition collection from nine USA Today Bestselling authors today! All proceeds from the sale of the Tea Apocalypse anthology will be donated to the Tea Leaf Trust.

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All the Tea in Texas
AN ​ ​ INCANTATION INVESTIGATIONS, INC. STORY
USA Today Bestselling Author

Margo Bond Collins

When private investigator and owner of Incantation Investigations, Inc. Harlowe McKee is hired to join forces with a coyote shifter and track down a stolen shipment of tea, she gets more than she bargained for— and the chance to save all the tea left in Texas after the Tea Apocalypse.

Tea is a precious commodity in this post-apocalyptic world, so it comes as no surprise that when a shipment is stolen Harlow is hired to find it.

A surprise is the client, Benedict Abercrombie insists a shifter from his security work with her.

This is a favorite scene when they meet.

“There’s at least one person who wasn’t hurt by the Tea Apocalypse,” I murmured to myself as I scrolled through a list of the holdings they’d acquired recently.

“I take it you mean our mutual employer.” A tall, dark-haired man closed the door behind him. “Hi. I’m Connor Cole.” He held out his hand, and I stood to shake it.

“Harlowe McKee. I take it you’re the shifter he sent to help out— or keep an eye on me, maybe?”

He ducked his head, one lip quirking up in a slightly crooked grin, and glanced up at me through envy-inducing lashes. “Yep. That’s the plan.”

I bit back my irritation at having to include a stranger in my investigation and managed a smile. “I was planning to head down to Houston to interview the people who unloaded the missing shipment. Want to go with me? You can tell me what you know about the case on the way.”

“Sure. I’m all yours.”

His statement pulled me up short, reminding me as it did of a comment my former business partner— and boyfriend— had once made.

Jonah hadn’t been telling the truth, as I had discovered when I caught him in bed with another woman, and for a moment, I wondered if Connor Cole was lying, as well.

Keeping one hand down below the desk, out of Connor’s line of sight, I wove a quick spell, sending a tiny tendril of magic out into the air. It swirled through the air and around Cole, picking up information.
Abercrombie had told me Cole was some kind of shifter, but not what kind.

The magic pulsed back to me, confirming the shifter bit.

I spun the magic around in my fingertips, letting it fizz against my skin.

Not any kind of shifter I had encountered before, however. He wasn’t a werewolf, or a bear shifter, or even a snake shifter, rare as those were.

No, he carried a hint of something canine. Not one of the giant black hound shifters, either though. There was something wilder than that in him.

I flicked the magic up to my mouth, letting it sparkle against my lips and tongue. It tasted too rangy to be a fox, way too canine to be one of the big cats.

Finally deciding he was something entirely new to me, I rolled the magic into a tiny ball between my forefinger and thumb, then with a squeeze and a pop, allowed it to dissipate back into the air around us.

Connor quirked a grin at me. “Find anything interesting?”

I blinked, forcing myself not to show my surprise. Shifters generally didn’t recognize magic when it was deployed by a mage. They tended to have heightened senses in line with their animal sides, but not necessarily a recognition of magical forces.

“A little,” I acknowledged. “Not as much as I wanted to. What kind of shifter are you?”

“Coyote,” he said, his grin growing sharper. “See how easy it was to simply ask?”

I shrugged. “In my line of work, I find people are more likely to lie than not. But coyote definitely fits with what I sensed.” Without waiting for him to respond, I changed the subject. “How did you end up working for Abercrombie?”

“My parents went to college with him in the UK. So, when he came to Texas, he reached out. He said he wanted someone with local knowledge to help out as he set up his business here.”

“Are you a born shifter, or turned?”

“Born, on my father’s side. My mother’s British, and not a supernatural at all.”

“A coyote shifter attending college in the UK before the supernaturals were outed? That must have been interesting.”

“Oh, even more than you know. Apparently he didn’t tell Mom he was a shifter until she was pregnant with me.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah.” He grinned again, a dimple appearing in one cheek.

“Any idea why Abercrombie chose Texas? Seems like there would be plenty of tea drinkers in England.”

This time, it was Connor who shrugged. “He never said— only that there was business to be had here.”

I nodded. Not that really mattered why Abercrombie had started importing tea to Texas.
Margo Bond Collins; All the Tea in Texas. Tea Apocalypse (Kindle Locations 101-137).

Harlowe is good at what she does, and it doesn’t take her long to find a trail. Connor is also very helpful with finding and remembering scents.

As they follow the leads these two find they have an attraction, and they also work well together.

I was as surprised as they were as to the culprit, and now I have to read more of this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Margo!


Alien Abduction for Milkmen
THE INTERGALACTIC GUIDE TO HUMANS
USA Today Bestselling Author

Skye MacKinnon

Alien scientist Bainne never meant to cause the apocalypse, but a simple mistake means planet Earth is suddenly in the grip of the Great Curdle. He’ll need the help of milkman Kenneth to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

As the two unlikely allies try to save the world, they realise their shared interest in milk isn’t the only thing they have in common…

When aliens mess up, they do it in a big way.

Kenneth is a milkman and suddenly he’s getting calls that the milk is curdled. His supplier isn’t answering his phone, for the same reason. Then Kenneth gets a strange call.

Bainne has made a terrible mistake and he has to fix it before his reputation is ruined. He calls Kenneth, a milkman to help him figure out what went wrong with the scans. Promptly ‘collecting’ him.

This is a favorite scene.

This was a catastrophe. It could spell the end of my business. I’d worked hard to get this far. I’d left school with no qualifications. After years of doing odd jobs here and there, I’d jumped on the chance to take over an existing milkman business from an uncle’s friend. Until today, it had been developing well. I’d started advertising on social media, targeting eco mums and health-conscious millennials.  

Now, my dreams were curdling.   Another call appeared on my phone’s screen. The number wasn’t anything I’d recognised. Long and from abroad. It had to be. No British phone number started with 69.  

Curiosity piqued, I answered. “Kenneth, your local milkman.”

Crackle made me wince and I held the phone further away from my ear.

“Milk. Man.” A deep male voice said in a heavy accent. “I need. Milk. Man.”

“You’re calling the right number, I’m your local milkman.”

The slogan came easily off my lips. I’d used that phrase every day for years. People liked the idea of buying locally, especially since the pandemic of 2020.

“Milk expert?”

He clearly didn’t know much English. That was alright. I was proud to deliver to all parts of town, the very multicultural ones included.

“Yes, I suppose so. Are you calling because the milk curdled?”

“I don’t. Understand.” More crackle. The line really wasn’t good. “What is ‘curdled’?”

“Curdling is when the milk goes sour. It smells and tastes bad. Is that what happened to yours?”

“Yes. Milk bad. You know. Good. Will you help?”

I couldn’t help but smile. His voice reminded me of thick cocoa, rich and velvety. His accent was kind of sexy. I wasn’t able to place it. Something Slavic, maybe?

“Yes, it would be my pleasure to help. What’s your address? I’ll go back to the farm and get a new batch of milk.”

“Pleasure.” The way he said that made me shiver. He should become an audiobook narrator. I often listened to them while doing my deliveries and had come to appreciate a beautiful, expressive voice. His accent was a little distracting, but with a few English lessons he’d become an audiobook sensation.

“I will…” The rest of the sentence disappeared in crackle. “Prepare.”

“Huh? Prepare for what?”

My phone suddenly grew scorching hot and I gasped, letting it drop to the ground. Before it even hit the tarmac, a blinding light flashed all around me, causing me to squeeze shut my eyes. Something touched me all over my body, like a massive hand grabbing me. Drowsiness overcame me as I felt like I was being lifted off the ground.

Maybe I was having a seizure. Maybe I was fainting.

I tried to open my eyes, but my eyelids were glued shut. It was probably better that way; the bright light was still all around me. My skin was hot all over, almost burning. I couldn’t move. I was frozen, unable to even wriggle my fingers.

And then it was suddenly all over. The light disappeared and I could move again. I collapsed into a heap before I could regain control of my body. The ground was no longer black tarmac. It had turned into a deep emerald carpet. What the fuck?

I blinked, trying to get my bearings. I was in a small room, a mix between a storage cupboard and an office. Tall shelves lined the walls, stacked to the brink with books, and a large wooden desk in front of me looked like it belonged to someone important. Only the dozens of cardboard boxes and plastic crates covering most of the floor and the top of the desk destroyed the impression of being in someone’s office space.

I staggered to my feet, using one stack of boxes for support.

“Hello?” I called out before erupting into a coughing fit. My throat was strangely dry. Even the inside of my lungs felt dry.

Footsteps outside were the only warning I got before the door opened, revealing a man in a Halloween costume. Not that it was anywhere near Halloween.

Horns sprouted from his forehead, almost as wide as his broad shoulders. His face – and the rest of him – was painted purple. He only wore black trousers, leaving his feet and chest bare. And what a chest that was. He looked as if he worked out every hour of the day. His chiselled abs were a thing of beauty. I had to close my mouth, or I would have drooled.

“Milk man.”

His voice was even more stunning than over the phone. Smooth and velvety with a sexy accent that I couldn’t place. His gaze ran up and down my body, an appreciative smile curling his lips. I supposed I had done the same. We were checking each other out. My gaydar was running at full strength. The way his emerald eyes were undressing me made it very clear what kind of milk he preferred.

“Yes, I’m your local milkman-” I stopped when I realised that I was spurting the same old slogan. I always fell into familiar patterns when I was nervous. And right now, I was more than just nervous. I had no fucking clue what was going on.

“How did I get here?” I asked instead. “I was on a street and now I’m suddenly in an office.”

“I collected you,” he said simply as if that made total sense. He pulled a small metal box from his pocket and handed it to me. “Translator.”
Skye MacKinnon; Alien Abduction for Milkmen. Tea Apocalypse (Kindle Locations 522-568).

Bainne and Kenneth are attracted to each other, and Kenneth is a more than a little curious about Bainne’s appearance. The problem at hand is a bit more important but that doesn’t seem to stop these two.

I really can’t say anymore without giving too much away. I laughed when I read the title and to be honest, this book is not only sizzling, it’s hysterical.

5 Contented Purrs for Skye!


Nymph’s Trust
PURPLE OASIS
USA Today Bestselling Authors

Laura Greenwood & Arizona Tape

The end of the world was bad for everyone, especially the tea witches who had to ration the leaves that give them power. When the witches of the Purple Oasis hear a rumour about a group of nymphs who have successfully grown tea on British soil, Jasmine finds herself representing the Oasis in a trade deal.

But a trade link isn’t the only thing on Jasmine’s mind when she meets the nymph liaison.

This book opens with the council’s tea ceremony, and a meeting where Jasmine is chosen to travel to verify a rumor of Tea being grown on British soil. If it’s true she’s to negotiate with the Nymphs to acquire some.

Ryburn is Mother Nature’s choice to meet with the Tea Witch. He’s a water nymph and while he’s surprised to be chosen, he’s looking forward to traveling outside the Grower’s Cove.

Their meeting is one of my favorite scenes.

The sound of footsteps cut through my thoughts and I sat up straighter, trying to appear dignified and experienced. I had no idea who the Grower’s Cove were sending, but I didn’t want them to dismiss me as powerless, even if I felt a little that way.

Relief crashed through me as a guy who looked to be around my age stepped through the doorless frame, coming to stop in front of the metal table.

He didn’t look comfortable enough to be from around here, but then again, that didn’t mean anything. Most people had moved on from where they’d once lived after it became inhospitable to them.

He ran a hand through his short, black hair and waved awkwardly.

“Hey.”

“Hi.” I tried to smile reassuringly, but I was pretty sure it just came across as awkward.

“I’m Ryburn, from Grower’s Cove. Are you the liaison from Purple Oasis?”

I nodded, standing up and offering him my hand like Dad had taught me.

“I’m Jasmine,” I said. “It’s nice to meet you.”

His hand was surprisingly soft and his grip pleasantly strong. I could have lingered in our touch for longer but knew we needed to move on to the important task at hand.

“Likewise.”

“Have a seat,” I gestured to the dingy chair on the other side of the table. It was one of the better ones I’d found in the abandoned building. Not for the first time, I wondered about the practicalities of meeting somewhere like this. But the nymphs of Grower’s Cove were a secretive bunch who refused to let anyone into their home. And we weren’t exactly free with our borders either.

Which meant that we had to meet somewhere in the middle, even if that meant a rundown building and chairs that had seen better days.

I opened my bag and unpacked my travel kit, setting up a small gas burner and lighting it. I poured water from my stainless steel water bottle into the small travel kettle I’d brought with me, before setting it on top of the burner to boil.

The tea leaves waited in a small pouch, worth more than the rest of my equipment put together.

“What are you doing?” Ryburn questioned, gesturing to my set-up.

“Making tea.” I frowned. Wasn’t that obvious? Surely he knew I was a tea witch and that we had ceremonies we needed to perform.

He seemed confused. “Do you have to do that now? I thought this was a meeting.”

“We always drink tea during a meeting,” I answered. “I’m sorry, is this not common where you’re from?”

“No,” he said hesitantly.

“Oh. Okay. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed.” I fiddled with the reusable tea bag, unsure what the best course of action was now. I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable, but I did want some tea. And not just because it would recharge my magic. “Do you want some tea?” I offered.

Ryburn hesitated. “Is it magic tea?”

“No, I brought green tea.”

“But aren’t you a tea witch?”

I smiled reassuringly as I pulled out two cups for us. “I am. But it’s not the tea itself that’s magic. It sort of recharges us, if that makes sense.”

“It does.” He still didn’t seem too sure.

“It isn’t magic tea,” I promised. “It’s just normal tea.”

Ryburn thought for a moment, probably trying to work out whether or not I was telling the truth. I’d be insulted, but I could understand his apprehension. It was a different world from the one I’d grown up in, and that meant dangers I’d never considered before.

“All right then,” he said after a moment.

I flashed him a relieved smile and turned my attention to preparing everything.

I tried to do it with the same grace as Father usually did, but I feared I didn’t manage nearly as well.

Ryburn watched me patiently, not saying a word until everything was set up and I faced him with my hands folded on my lap.

He gave me a small smile and cleared his throat. “Shall we get started?”

“Yes, we can,” I responded, my voice barely shaking. I was lucky it was covering up my nerves. “I’ll speak frankly, I don’t want to waste more time than necessary. Your Cove has recently succeeded in growing tea plants, correct?”

A surprised look flitted through Ryburn’s eyes but he covered it quickly.

But not quickly enough. I’d seen it, and that was all I needed to know that it was true.

“I’m not at liberty to say.” There was a hesitancy in his voice that made me think he wasn’t completely comfortable with lying, but knew that he had to.

But if that was the way he had to play it, then I would approach the subject carefully. Alienating Ryburn and Grower’s Cove wasn’t something I wanted to do.

“Okay, so let’s speak hypothetically. If it’s true that your Cove has successfully grown tea on British soil, Purple Oasis would be very interested in forging an alliance. We don’t want an inequitable trade. We have resources that we imagine Grower’s Cove might be interested in.”

“Right, the Nixion Spring.”

I raised an eyebrow. “I’m impressed. Not many people know the real name. Most just call it the Purple Spring now.” Though it wasn’t surprising in the slightest that he knew what I was talking about.

“I’m a river nymph, I know my springs,” he declared, rather proudly.

Ah, that explained it. The water in the kettle began to boil. I leaned over and turned off the burner, but left the kettle where it was.

“Are you not making tea?” From the expression on his face, he seemed to be both confused and curious.

Despite knowing I shouldn’t let myself get distracted, I couldn’t help but appreciate his patience.

Or the intelligence sparkling through his eyes. No wonder Grower’s Cove sent him.

“For green tea, it’s best to leave the water stand for a bit so it’s not too hot. It makes it taste better,” I explained, realising he might not know the ins and outs of proper tea brewing. He hadn’t had the same repetitive tea brewing lessons as I did as a child.

“Oh, I had no idea. I usually drink black tea.”

“You do?”

He flashed me a tight smile. “Yes.”

Had he inadvertently confirmed the truth about the tea growing in Grower’s Cove? Black tea had become a scarcity since the apocalypse, the little we had at Purple Oasis was locked in a secure safe and only used sparingly. I tried to keep a straight face so I didn’t let my thoughts slip out. But I wasn’t going to push the subject. It seemed like he didn’t want to talk about it. Or perhaps he’d been ordered not to. Either way, it wouldn’t be good for our negotiations if I made him uncomfortable.
Laura Greenwood; Arizona Tape; Nymph’s Trust. Tea Apocalypse (Kindle Locations 1236-1285).

Jasmine and Ryburn are attracted but neither can really act on it since they can’t jeopardize the negotiations.

Ryburn loves the spring in Purple Oasis and Jasmine is very impressed with the tea. Now Purple Oasis has to meet the requirements for the deal to happen.

Of course, someone doesn’t want that to happen and Ryburn and Jasmine have to figure out who and why quickly or everything is over. Including their budding romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Laura & Arizona!


Why Yes There Are Witches
WARDS AND WANDS UNIVERSE
USA Today Bestselling Author

Rebecca Royce

Have you ever wondered how the witch world and the human world became divided in the Wards and Wands universe? Well… maybe it had to do with tea.

This tale takes us into the past to before the split of the human and magical. Marie has totally gone out of character and spent the night with not one but all three of the men who own the shop next door. She thinks they’re human, but they aren’t.

However, in the light of day there’s another problem. No tea, anywhere! It’s totally disappeared, not even a plant. Marie knows who’s to blame though, and she’s got to make it right quickly.

Enoch, Beau and Archie pop her into her mother’s kitchen for the confrontation.

This is a favorite scene.

“Ready to go? Check on your tea-loving mother?”

I shook my head. “You’re going to be seriously cold. She lives on top of a mountain. It’s really cold there already.”

“Thanks.” Archie immediately dressed all of them in leather jackets. It would really be a neat trick to be able to do that. What was more was that I couldn’t feel their magic at all. Usually, there was a feeling that happened, that told me there was magic, like a feather over my skin. Nothing. They could do magic so subtly that I didn’t notice the sensation.

Enoch put out his hand. “Come. Picture where your mother lives. And we’ll be there in seconds.”

“Can you only do this with an image? And are you taking the image from my head?” I had to draw the line somewhere. There were privacy issues. I didn’t need them roaming around uninvited. Or worse, my inviting them in without understanding what I was doing.

“I can do it with an address, too. Makes it a little trickier. Beau can actually track a person. Think of them and go but that’s not my gift. And, no, I’ll not be in your head. You’ll actually be leading the jump. I will, for just a second, give you my power.

Then it’ll transfer back to me and I’ll take us there. Not at all in your head. I wouldn’t do that.”

I appreciated that. “As I said, we don’t know each other. I don’t know that about you.”

He stroked a finger down the side of my face. “We’re guys who had a really hard time doing really tough stuff. Things we’d rather not talk about most of the time. Now, we’re living our dream. Part of that seems to be you. Who knew we’d all like the same girl? I think last night worked. I think you know that, too. So let’s go see your mom. And then you can check our morality after. If you want to. Maybe you’ll like it better when we’re a little bit bad.”

I opened and closed my mouth. Maybe I did.

Beau walked over slowly. “She needs to see her mom. So we need to do that. And get to being bad later today.” He lifted his eyebrows. “Unless you’d rather reverse that. Personally, I don’t give two shits about the tea. Fuck it. And I’d rather just stay here and do what I pictured doing to you in the morning when I passed out last night. It involved licking whipped cream off your body.”

My heart rate kicked up. Yes, I could easily let him do that. And then we’d get some chocolate syrup and…

I forced my brain to take over. Taking Enoch’s hand, I pictured my mother’s home on top of her mountain. Snow around them most of the year. Her crazy friends cackling as they made plans for world destruction because they were bored, because life had been unkind to them, and because it was nice to pretend that you could be that kind of powerful when the truth was that you were pretty unaccounted for most of the time.

Empathy ran deep in me. It was part of my power source. I could always understand someone else’s reasons. It was a problem when it turned out that the other person was truly filled with ill intention. Darkness would burn for the moments I felt it. And I’d grown up feeling those things all the time in the presence of my mother.

On her own, she was okay. Put her around her friends and it was a whole different issue. They could go dark. Of course, I could be wrong. I might just be thinking they’d done something they hadn’t done.

But I doubted that. Highly.

This tea nonsense was their fault. I just knew it.

There was a pop. I gasped. A swirl of light assaulted my eyes, and seconds later, I was just where I’d pictured myself being, in my mother’s kitchen.

I gasped, and Enoch dropped my hand to grab my shoulders. “Just breathe. It sucks the first couple of times. Then you get a little bit of a tolerance for it.”

Two more pops sounded, and his brothers appeared.

Archie grinned. “I can always find my brothers and Beau can always find anyone. Makes doing that really easy.”

“You’re all so impressive. I mean… the things you do.”

“Marie.” My mother gasped, coming into the kitchen. “What are you doing here with them?”

I stared at her, realization dawning for a second. “Do you know them? Have you met them before?”

She pointed. “I told you three. The next time you came here…”

“You do know them.” I stepped away from Enoch. “Did you know she was my mother? What’s going on here?”

Beau sighed. “I didn’t know. I should have put two and two together. But you are using a different last name, and we are trying to not investigate every person who comes into our lives. Now, however, it makes sense. This isn’t just that you’re worried about your mother. You’re worried that Dru here, one of the nastiest almost-offenders I’ve ever encountered, did this.”

“I am.” I’d deal with what they had and hadn’t known another time. “I’m using a different last name.”

My mother pointed her finger at Beau. Uh-oh. That wasn’t good. “I swore I would get you holier-than thou witches. I swore I would. Acting so big and tough because you never bend the laws. You do. Because you’re in charge, you do.”

“Mother,” I said her name fast. “Do not do anything here that you will regret. Do you understand me? Control yourself.”

“Don’t you speak to me like that, young lady. You’re not better than me. None of you are…”

I tried to take a deep breath, but it failed to calm me. Anger that only my mother could raise in me surged to the top of my skin, and despite my trying to push it back down, the kitchen started to shake. I took another deep breath. That was right. My temper wasn’t pretty. I almost never got mad but sometimes things shook. I had to control this. I had to…

“Mother, did you make all the tea disappear?” I spoke through gritted teeth. “Did you do this?”

“I did.” Now she was shouting. “And there isn’t a thing you can do about it.”

Archie waved his hand. “Pause.”

My mother stilled. She actually stopped moving mid-word like she’d been frozen in place. I would be very impressed if I weren’t worried I was actually going to destroy the room. Beau put his hand on my shoulder. “Easy, now. I can help you with this. But not without your permission.”

Enoch smiled before he stepped toward me.

“We can both help. If you want.”

I could be prideful about this but this was one of the reasons I’d left home and conducted my life the way I did. I kept things as even keel as I could handle. And even if I got mad, it was never mother mad. Mother mad was an entirely different thing.

“I’ll take the help.”

Two hands touched me, one on each of my cheeks. What followed was a cooling off the likes of which I’d never felt before. One second I released so much witch energy, the next it just stopped. They pulled their hands away and Beau hugged me close. “Don’t fall over. We dosed you pretty hard.”

I leaned my head against his chest. “Thank you.” With a wobbly hand I patted Enoch, too. That was when my frozen mother caught my attention. “How did you do that?”

“It’s a little trick I have.” Archie raised his hands over his head to stretch. “I absolutely promise to never do that to you. Unless you make all the tea in the world disappear.”

I was never, ever going to do that.
Rebecca Royce; Why Yes There Are Witches. Tea Apocalypse (Kindle Locations 2255-2312).

Quite a bit happens in this fun, short, sizzling tale and I really liked the epilogue. Now I have to go back and re-read the Wards and Wands series.

5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!


Do It For The Tea
USA Today Bestselling Author

Erin Bedford

There’s nothing worse than the end of the world. Except maybe having to live in it without your daily cup of tea.

Hazel enjoyed living by herself in her immaculate base beneath the dessert world with only her dog and her tea to keep her company.

Until she runs out of tea.

Now, Hazel must face the blazing desert, sand pirates, and a tantalizing trader just to get another cup. The only thing going through Hazel’s mind now was… is it worth it?

Hazel’s home is a fortified underground her parents built. She’s mostly self-sufficient but there are some things she can’t grow herself. Tea is one of those and she is truly addicted to it. When she finds she’s out of the life sustaining brew she sets out with her dog Tracy to her supplier Nic.

On the way they are attacked by a large animal and Tracy is injured. Nic does what he can and assures her Tracy will be okay. However, he doesn’t have any tea, and informs no one else does either.

Now these two have some history that they avoid, but you can see the attraction between them. Nic agrees to go to the sand pirates to get her tea, but she wants to take Tracy to their medic as well. Which is how they end up pretending to be together.

This is a favorite scene.

The sand cleared enough so that the full picture was available and what a picture it was. Half a dozen small steel boats surrounded us, their wheels covered in spikes to better move through the sand. On top of each boat had at least ten masked people looking menacing with their blasters and swords at the ready. Who carried swords nowadays?

“Hey Goose,” Nic cleared his throat and shifted in place, “I know I’m not due yet but I had a special circumstance.” He jerked his head in my direction.

The man named Goose shifted his face over to me and though I couldn’t see his eyes, I could feel his eyes roaming over my body. “Aye, I see. And what are you wanting in trade for the woman?”

I gaped at him and shot a glare at Nic. “I am not for sale.”

Nic dropped the reins of his sled and stepped over to me, sliding an arm around my waist.

“What are you doing?” I hissed at him, not wanting to shove him away in front of the pirates.

“Just play along,” Nic whispered through the side of his mouth. To Goose he said, “Sorry, Goose. This one’s mine.” He slapped a hand on the side of my hip a little too close to my ass for comfort.

A series of groans came from the pirates around us. Goose grunted, his focus on our embrace. “That’s too bad. My crew hasn’t had fresh tail in ages. So what brings you here if not to trade the woman? You didn’t run out of tobacco already?” He arched a thick fuzzy brow.

Nic laughed. “No, no. This errand isn’t for me. The woman -” I cleared my throat. “I mean, Hazel needs more tea and we were hoping you’d lend us your medic for a moment?”

Goose stared at us for a long moment before he threw his head back and laughed. “Aye, I can see how dire a situation it is. I, myself, cannot bear to go a day without my hit of caffeine.” He waved his arms and a long plank cranked out of the bottom of the boat. “Come aboard and we can see what we can do for you.”

The other pirates yarred and the engines calmed down around us. The majority of them went inside their boats while a few meandered around on top, keeping their eyes on us. That part was particularly annoying.

“I’m going to kill you,” I snarled into Nic’s ear as we gathered Tracy up off the sled and walked up the plank.

“Just play along,” Nic bit out between his teeth. “You don’t want to be something they trade. Once they see you as goods and not a real person then it’s all over.”

I snorted. Tracy whined in my arms. I shushed her. “Sorry, baby girl.” To Nic, I glowered. “And I’m sure this has nothing to do with you wanting to own me.”

“What?” Nic gaped at me and then forced a smile at a pirate watching us come aboard. “This has nothing to do with that and that’s not what I meant. You know that!”

“Doesn’t it?” I tried to talk without moving my lips. “We conveniently are in the position where I have to be your woman. I bet you’re just loving this.” I shrugged his hand off my shoulder and stalked forward.

A pirate jerked his bald head toward the entrance to the lower levels. “Don’t touch anything. Unless you’re willing to pay for it.”

I clutched Tracy close to me, causing her to yelp. I loosened my grip. “Sorry.”

The light through the lower levels was brighter than I expected. Not that I’d been expecting much from a bunch of pirates. It was a lot cleaner than Nic’s place for sure.

“Down here,” Goose’s growling voice called out further into the lower level. There was a lot more room inside of the boat than it looked like from the outside. If I didn’t already have a prime place of my own, I’d have said it was a good alternative.

I walked into the room Goose’s voice came from and glanced around. Not bad. Not bad at all.

“Ah so that’s the patient.” Goose said from his desk and jerked his head toward Tracy. “You can lay her over there.” He pointed a pen toward a small cot in the corner. “I’ll have the medic come in just a moment.”

“Now, Nic,” Goose addressed the man coming in behind me. “Why haven’t you ever told me about your woman here? I had plans to set you up with my own girl, Beth Ann.”

Nic smirked and leaned on the edge of Goose’s desk. “Ah, you know. It took me a bit to tie this one down.”

Goose guffawed. “A feisty one is she?” Goose raised a brow at me with a masculine grin that made me want to punch him in the face.

I lowered Tracy down to the cot before I hurt her from needing to hurt something. Or someone. Turning back to the two of them, I gave a look to Nic that made the grin fall right off his face.

Nic jerked up straight and cleared his throat, lowering his gaze to the ground. “Yeah, you know, gotta keep that spirit alive and whatnot. So…” he whistled and gave me his back to look at Goose. “What about that tea? Got any on hand?”

Goose flipped through the pages of the book he had in front of him, checking off this and that every few seconds. “Ah, yes. We’ll get to that in just a moment. I’m pretty sure we have a good stock left. What do you have to trade? Any copper?”

Nic scratched the back of his neck and gave me a sideways look. “No, no copper today.”

Goose harrumphed. “What about buckweed? You’re usually good for an ounce or two.”

I snorted and crossed my arms, turning my back to him. Not surprised Nic would be doing the kind of trading no one else would dare do. Copper was hard to find nowadays. You had to travel to the remnants of the big cities to find it. Buckweed was hazardous to the health. Growing that stuff took up way more resources than it was worth.

“Uh, yeah. I’ve got some,” Nic grunted and shoved his hands into his pockets. “Think you could help me out with the medic? I’d owe ya some next time.”

Goose’s head lifted up finally to look at Nic and then to me. A sneaky grin curling up his lip. “Actually, I have a better idea.”
Erin Bedford; Do It For The Tea. Tea Apocalypse (Kindle Locations 2840-2888).

The pirate’s idea of a trade becomes attendance at a party. Nic and Hazel find they really are attracted to each other, and things heat up to sizzling rapidly.

I’m going to have to check out more of Erin’s books.

5 Contented Purrs for Erin!


Totally Steeped
A SHIFTER SPEED DATING ROMANCE
USA Today Bestselling Author

Zoey Indiana

Need to repel a curse for shifter speed dating, what could go wrong?

The curse has stolen years from me with my fated mate. I have a plan in place to give myself a few hours to find my mate, but it all hinges on the True Love Tea Luncheon. Except the witch who curse our town to never find true love has struck again. The cream we use to activate our tea spells has curdled. Not only does it steal my chance to find my fated mate, it destroys my mercenary business, leaving all my employees on the run for their lives.

A spell experiment goes wrong, leaving me at the mercy of my screaming mate bond. I want Ravenna, but is this urge because she’s my fated mate, or a side effect of the tea. When the tea’s side effects never dissipate, I know she’s the one destined for me.

But when she finds out that I hid her dream job from her, I’m not sure she’ll find a way to forgive me. Throw in a kidnapping, a possessed witch, and three meddling shifters, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to save our town, let alone the world from the tea apocalypse.

Zagan and Nora were planning an event designed to get rid of a curse on their town. Shifters who live here or even visit won’t ever find their true mate. Apparently, someone isn’t happy with that idea.

This is a favorite scene.

“I’ll have to call the mayor if she-” my words drifted off as a green ball of light slammed into the window next to us. “What the fuck is that?” I watched as the shimmering light repeatedly bounced off the glass.

Nore rolled her eyes. “Probably the answer to our questions. Someone forgot to imbue it with common sense.” She flicked her fingers as she whispered and the window slid open right before the orb would have crashed into the glass again.

The green ball floated between us then exploded green goo everywhere. Nore squealed in anger as it splattered over her face and clothes. I tried to spit out the gelatin-consistency slime. Oddly, it tasted like lime and cucumber. When I’d scraped most of it off my face, I saw the wax sealed envelope sitting on the table between us. It didn’t have a speck of green on it.

Nore screeched as she flicked her fingers uselessly. “I’m going to hex a bitch for this!” She snatched up a cloth and wiped her hands and face. Then she grabbed the envelope and looked at the seal. She didn’t seem to recognize it. Keeping it intact, she carefully pried the wax off the paper, then ripped the envelope open.

An unknown female voice read the letter aloud. “How dare you attempt to thwart my spell! It’s one thing to sully yourself with your magick for hire by a shifter… but to work around my love banishment spell is another. For your audacity, I’ve had to rid the entire planet of cream. Don’t choke on your creamless, bitter tea. P.S. I embellished this messenger spell with a little something extra. Have fun cleaning this up without magic!”

The letter burst into flames and disappeared with the envelope and wax seal. “That annoying, egotistical, self-serving bitch!” Nore grabbed a fresh cloth and wiped the pages of her book clean. “At least I preventatively placed a protection spell on all my books.”

I pulled my shirt off, turning it inside out, and used a clean spot to wipe off as much of the goo as I could. Nore glared at me, then snapped, and an identical shirt appeared on me.

“No one wants to watch you flaunt all that flying rodent flesh of yours.” Nore went back to cleaning up.

“Hey, some people like my human form. Females frequently flirt with me. I just don’t date them because I’m trying to find my fated mate, as shifters do.”

She tossed the cloths in the trash. “Well, now it’s confirmed. A witch cursed our little town. Which explains why none of you shifters can find love…” Nore paused as her glare focused on me. “It’s your stupid True Love Tea Luncheon that started this!”

I gaped. She was right. The letter had referenced a love banishment spell. “Wait a minute. If they’re trying to ban fated mates within this town, that means they have something to lose. You know what that means?”

Nore examined her shirt then cast a spell. When she pulled off the one covered in goo, an exact replica was already in place under it. “I have no idea.” She dropped it in the trash can as she closed the window and went back to the book.

“We have to move forward with the True Love Tea Luncheon. This witch doesn’t want someone to meet their fated mate, so we can’t cancel it.”

I tapped the table with my fingers, which resulted in another glare. “Of course when someone tells you not to do something, then curses the entire planet, you feel the need to piss off this powerful witch even more?” Nore tapped her long, perfectly polished nails on the table. “Actually, I think it might be fun. Flush this witch out and see how powerful this someone might be. And I have an idea of how to activate the tea.”

Nore flitted around the room, grabbing different ingredients. A scoop of this, a sprinkle of that. I wasn’t able to read any of the labels since they were in the same unfamiliar language as her spell book. She glanced at me, then whispered a spell so quiet, I couldn’t even make out the words with my shifter hearing. A tiny jar of leaves flared with a bright white light. When she was done, she carried the small jar into the shop area. Nore placed her new enchanted tea on a table, then retrieved a larger container of Terrible Tipping Tea.

Her main business was enchanting prank teas with punny names for tourists to buy for unsuspecting victims back home. Without the activator cream, they worked more like a mild suggestion than actual magic. I watched as she boiled a tea pot of water, then set it on the table’s potholder. With precise measurements, she combined the two teas and steeped them.

“Aside from being clumsy for an hour, it shouldn’t bother you much.”

The door chimed. I turned and watched the most gorgeous woman I’d ever seen step into the store. Ravenna. She lived on the other side of Witch Cove in a cute little cabin on the beach. I couldn’t remember what she did for a living, but I’d run into her a few times.

“Are you having a tea tasting?” Ravenna neared the table and inhaled deep. “It smells delicious.”

Nore smirked as she glanced at the jar. I noticed there was no label on the jar, just the shelf. “Yup, Zagan here is testing a new blend for me.” She poured two cups of the tea and gestured for us to pick them up.

I grabbed mine, wondering how to stop Ravenna from Nore’s little prank. Since Ravenna was human, she wouldn’t normally notice the effects of the tea, but with the new activator, it might actually enchant her.

Ravenna was too trusting. She picked up the mug and tapped it against mine, then took a drink before I could warn her. Not wanting to look suspicious, I gulped mine down. “This is really good.” Ravenna took a few more drinks before she finished it off. She set the cup down and smiled. “I came to pick up my usual…” Ravenna’s voice trailed off as she glanced at me.

Her gaze lit a fire inside of me I’d never felt before. I set the teacup down. Before I’d realized what I’d done, I’d pushed Ravenna against the wall and kissed her. Ravenna’s hands pulled at my shirt, sliding underneath.

Nore cleared her throat. “Oh shit. I think I accidentally switched the teas earlier when I was straightening them. Probably should label the jars and not the shelves.” Every muscle in my body froze at her words. I stared into Ravenna’s gaze, consumed with the need to claim my mate. “I think this was the True Love Tea.”
Zoey Indiana; Totally Steeped. Tea Apocalypse (Kindle Locations 3107-3155).

Ravenna and Zagan drink the tea Nora prepares, but it isn’t what she thought it was. As the mating hits the two of them Zagan struggles to explain to Ravenna that this is for life. What he doesn’t realize is she knows about shifters and has been attracted to him for a long time. He wants to be sure their mating is for real and not just a side effect of the tea before proceeding so with a push from Nora they head to his apartment.

They don’t make it there, instead they’re kidnapped and things heat up in more ways than one!

This is a fun read with so many consequences I’m going have to read more of this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Zoey!


 

A Cup of Sin
A TALE FROM THE COLONY
USA Today Bestselling Author

Demelza Carlton

Sinclair has one goal in life: to survive her sentence on a prison ship full of male prisoners so she can go home and live her life again. Until the ship’s systems start to fail.

Edward prides himself on being a model prison guard, obeying all the rules. Until Sinclair steps aboard his ship. She’s everything he ever wanted… and everything he can’t have. But when disaster strikes and they’re stranded in space, a little sin could mean their salvation…

Sinclair and her sister Virtue are inmates on the Prison Mining Ship Vice. They are awakened by Virtue’s alarm and head to the dining hall for breakfast. At the food fabricator, Sinclair orders up her tea, only tea isn’t what she gets. Thanks to her sister’s quick move she’s saved from death, and watches the liquid burn through what was thought to be an indestructible surface.

When their guard Edward joins them, he surveys the damage and goes to reset the system and get the days orders. Only what he finds is that there are none, no communications for hours. He is able to reboot the computer system so at least they should get actual food. It’s after breakfast that he discovers that not only are there no communications, but there is no gravity in the cargo hold and Captain Solon was in there, dead.

When Edward doesn’t show up for lunch or with afternoon orders, Sinclair goes looking for him.

This is a favorite scene.

She sought him out in the guard office, raising her fist to rap on the door, only to find he hadn’t even bothered to close it properly. That wasn’t right – he always locked this door, because he knew he couldn’t trust convicted criminals not to cause trouble.

“Mr… Edward?” she ventured, peering inside. She’d almost called him Mr Perfect to his face. That would have gone down well. “Are you in here?”

“Stars, I killed him.”

His voice came from under the desk.

Sinclair leaned down for a better look. He was under there, all right, with his knees up under his chin, and his head buried in his hands.

Only something utterly earth-shattering could have wrought such a change in him. Whatever it was, Titania had to be at the heart of it.

“What happened?” she asked.

“I killed the captain.”

Sinclair scanned the office. There was no corpse to be seen – not the captain’s or anyone else’s. She scrutinised the checkerboard of surveillance footage on the screen for a long moment before she had her answer.

Captain Solon did appear to be dead.

“I didn’t know he was in the cargo hold, and the artificial gravity failed. He must have been crushed. If I’d known, I could have saved him,” Edward – for she could hardly call the ashen faced guard huddled under the table perfect – mumbled, more to himself than to her.

Sinclair had answered enough emergency calls to recognise shock when she heard it. What he needed was to be talked off that hypothetical ledge, into taking practical action. But in order to help him, she needed more information.

Information she could find far more quickly for herself, instead of having to talk him through getting it for her.

She pulled up a diagnostic on the ship’s systems. Just one look had her swearing, wishing she’d had this data hours ago. The ship had lost contact with Titania in the early hours of the morning, and the ship had responded by kicking the systems into emergency mode. Anything non-essential, like gravity in the cargo holds or the equipment in the refinery levels, had shut down.

If the captain had sneaked into the cargo hold to snack on the ore, which he did several times a day, he could easily have fallen asleep in there and not noticed when the gravity failed.

“You couldn’t have saved him. He’s in a hold full of free-floating ore that was waiting to be crushed before it could be stored safely. The safety locks on the doors won’t let anyone in there until gravity’s restored. He shouldn’t have been in there in the first place,” Sinclair said. “What was he after, anyway?”

“Aluminium,” Edward said. “He was addicted to raw aluminium ore. He had aluminium supplements, which should have been enough for any alicanto, but he’d developed a taste for the raw stuff while working the mining ships, and no one cared enough to help him as long as there was enough lithium on board when the ship reached port. I told Central a few times, but all they cared about was the lithium, and they told me to let him do as he wished on his ship. He’d scoff as much aluminium as he could before the lithium he’d accidentally ingested with it sent him off to sleep.”

Sinclair nodded slowly. So that’s why Captain Solon had showed up as unmoving on the life signs detector when she was manning the comms desk. He’d been in a lithium-induced stupor. “Have you contacted your superiors on Tito?” she asked.

Edward shook his head. “Comms are down, too. Haven’t received any messages since before midnight last night.”

Stars. So Titania really was taking over.

“Then we need to return to Tito,” she said.

Edward stared at her for an impossibly long moment. He climbed out from under the desk and stood in front of her, still staring. “You are a genius,” he breathed.

Sinclair wasn’t entirely sure how it happened. One moment, she had her mouth open, ready to tell him she wasn’t, and the next…

Mr Perfect was kissing her, and if there could be such a thing as a perfect kiss, then he was definitely giving it to her.

Was it any surprise that he had her kissing him right back?

Stars, she didn’t want to stop kissing him. He was… it was… everything was… perfect.

Until it ended.

They both gasped for breath, staring, but not daring to say a word, for that would break the spell.

Sinclair swallowed. Her mouth tasted of him. She hadn’t imagined it, though it sure felt like she had, but they needed to face reality.

“Everyone is still in the galley, awaiting the afternoon work orders. We’ll have to… you have to go tell them,” she said. When his eyes widened, she added, “About returning to Tito, of course.”

If anyone found out she’d kissed a guard, even Mr Perfect, there’d be hell to pay. And if the others found out he’d kissed her… that’d be even worse.

So they kept a courteous distance, like any other guard and prisoner, as far apart as the passageway would permit, all the way back to the galley.
Demelza Carlton; A Cup of Sin. Tea Apocalypse (Kindle Locations 4118-4161).

With the systems detached, Sinclair tells Edward they really have to head back to their home planet, Tito. They can’t continue mining on the asteroids without the computer directions.

Getting out of the asteroid belt was an interesting feat as was the route Sinclair takes after Pride refuses to fly without the computer guidance. The relationship between Edward and Sinclair rapidly accelerates once they are out of the belt.

Plenty of surprises await them as they get close to Tito, a visitor and a change of landing location.

I’m going to read more of this series, I want to know all these characters better.

5 Contented Purrs for Demelza!


Refresh
PROJECT: ADAPT SERIES – SLICE-OF-LIFE
USA Today Bestselling Author

Jade Waltz

Xylo:
Demihuman pregnancy cravings are real… And now Destima is out of tea.   My research didn’t repair me for this.We are in desperate need for supplies.  I am afraid of what will become of my nestqueen if we can’t find her any tea.And until we find a solution, I shall sacrifice my body for her.Note:
This is a slice of life novelette of my Project: Adapt series. It features characters and relationships that are currently established in the series, but focuses on Selena and Xylo. This is part of a scifi space opera alien-looking-alien reverse harem romance series featuring the same heroine as she collects alien mates as she travels around the galaxy.

Selena is a demi-human who is having pregnacy cravings. Her mates are doing everything they can to provide her with those things but now the entire planet of Destima is out of tea. One of her mates, Xylo is the one to tell her and he hated to disappoint her. In a last effort they call her sister Masmi. She’s a little miffed they haven’t called sooner since it would have been easier during the harvest festival. It’s Selene’s friend Tori who comes up with the idea of a competition. While that’s in the works her only relief is her mate Xylo his ‘flavor’ is most like her favorite Osso tea.

This is a favorite scene.

Standing behind my dark marbled podium, I faced thousands of Destima citizens and the guest tea growers in their booths who were eagerly awaiting my official announcement to begin the tea tasting contest. I knew I had the support of my clan and our friends behind me, ready to aid me whenever I needed it.

I wouldn’t be able to have this tea contest if it weren’t for Masmi working with Vagren on organizing it. They were the ones responsible for making this happen. I knew I had nothing to worry about because I had full faith in Kaede and the Fab Five. Security would be tight, especially when there were demi-human guards roaming about, ready to prove themselves to their superiors.

I just needed to focus on enjoying the event— and tasting all the tea.

Tea.

No matter how many times Vowels reports to me that my body— or my daughter— wasn’t lacking anything, I couldn’t deny the intense cravings that flooded my thoughts often. If it wasn’t sex, it was tea. I felt as if I was in some heat like Kaede had experienced, but instead, it was a never-ending experience.

I felt for Xylo— and was thankful that he had never complained about me needing to sample him. My Primary was selfless and so giving. After today, I needed to make sure I paid him back for everything I’d done to him.

Tea.

It was time to start my tea competition— before everyone started to get restless.

Taking a deep breath, I rolled my shoulders and slowly exhaled. It was time for me to steel myself and bring forth my confidence.

“I would like to welcome everyone here today for this amazing opportunity.” Placing my hand on my small baby belly, I flashed a warm smile to the crowd. “I’m sure most of you know about my pregnancy cravings and how this tea competition was created. Tea is one of the most ancient and well-known beverages in the galaxy. Almost every species has their own process on how they harvest, care for, and create it— including their own wide variety of flavors and how it’s prepared.

“Tea has always been my favorite beverage, and I want to share my love for the beverage with all of you—”

“Listen up!” Tori yelled as she placed a hand on my shoulder and carefully pushed me away. “I am going to take it from here.”

My blonde haired friend stepped in front of the booth as Zirene gripped my hips and guided me to stand in front of him, securing me in place. Her rainbow highlights glistened in the sun beaming through the dome’s glass.

“My girl, Selena, is pregnant and doesn’t want to worry any of you about her needs. The Beacon needs tea. There is something in the beverage that her body craves, and pregnant humans don’t crave anything unless their body is lacking something from that specific refreshment. Sometimes those cravings can be a little nontraditional— like combining items that aren’t typically served together or at a different temperature. It’s a serious matter and the true reason why this contest was created.”

“Tori,” I whispered, sounding more like a hiss. “You can’t say stuff like that!”

Ripples of concern echoed through the moon’s mental network as all eyes turned to me. Fear flooded their eyes at the discovery— the mere thought of being lost without a leader to hold the Circuli psychic web.

Tori flicked her long rainbow-highlighted hair over her shoulder as she turned to peer at me.

“Selena.” She let out a sigh as she covered one side of her mouth with her hand, as if she were trying to tell me a secret without being beside my ear. “You can’t deny how much tea cravings have taken over your life. A leader such as you shouldn’t be without something as common as tea. Let them know how important it is to you, so they understand why you are doing this.”

“Today was supposed to be a celebratory day—”

“And it will be. Just watch.” Tori flashed me a wide smile as she turned toward the crowd and gripped the podium. “Okay. The rules are simple. Each one of you has three votes. The top three companies will be given the opportunity to sell their teas here on Destima. The Beacon will reward one tea as her official tea of the royal family. These are all very honorable opportunities, including being some of the first outsiders allowed to set up a business here on this exclusive moon.

“Once the suns set, we will announce the winners.” She pointed at the suns beaming through the glass dome. “And now, let the tasting begin!”
Jade Waltz. Refresh. Tea Apocalypse (Kindle Locations 4668-4702).

Selene finds herself disappointed that the teas she’s been offered taste so similar to her favored Osso. She’s looking for something different one that satisfies the cravings.

The characters we meet are fun and different, her best friend Tori is a hoot and her mates as loving as they are devoted.

I truly loved where she finds what she’s looking for. I am going to have to read more of this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Jade!


Margo Bond Collins’ Bio and Links

USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times bestselling author Margo Bond Collins is a former college English professor who, tired of explaining the difference between “hanged” and “hung,” turned to writing romance novels instead. Sometimes her heroines kill monsters, sometimes they kiss aliens. But they always aim for the heart! Want to hang out with the author, win book prizes, see the cool covers first, and read her books early? Join the Official Margo Bond Collins Fan Club!

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Skye MacKinnon’s Bio and Links

Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.

She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.

When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.

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Laura Greenwood’s Bio and Links

Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)

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Arizona Tape’s Bio and Links

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

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Rebecca Royce’s Bio and Links

As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers!!


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Erin Bedford’s Bio and Links

Erin Bedford is an otaku, recovering coffee addict, and Legend of Zelda fanatic. Her brain is so full of stories that need to be told that she must get them out or explode into a million screaming chibis. Obsessed with fairy tales and bad boys, she hasn’t found a story she can’t twist to match her deviant mind full of innuendos, snarky humour, and dream guys.

On the outside, she’s a work from home mom and bookbinger. On the inside, she’s a thirteen-year-old boy screaming to get out and tell you the pervy joke they found online. As an ex-computer programmer, she dreams of one day combining her love for writing and college credits to make the ultimate video game!

Until then, when she’s not writing, Erin is devouring as many books as possible on her quest to have the biggest book gut of all time. She’s written over thirty books, ranging from paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and even sci-fi romance.

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Zoey Indiana’s Bio and Links

Zoey Indiana was inspired by the idea that everyone deserves love and their own happily ever after. She loves to write about heroic heroines who go on amazing adventures while finding the love they deserve. After creating her first fictional planet where amazing creatures roamed at age ten, she was determined to prove love could be found in the stars. In addition to writing, she listens to eclectic music, practices Krav Maga, and takes on home improvement projects just for the fun of it.

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Demelza Carlton’s Bio and Links

USA Today Bestselling author Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish.

She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by her suspense thriller Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn’t leave her alone.

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Jade Waltz’s Bio and Links

USA Today Bestselling author, Jade Waltz lives in Illinois with her husband, two sons, and her three crazy cats. She writes character driven romances within detailed universes, where happily-ever-afters happen for those who dare love the abnormal and the unknown. Their love may not be easy– but it is well worth it   in the end. Jade enjoys knitting, playing video games, watching Esports, green tea and writing all the stories that live in her imagination.

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The Alien’s Veterinarian – Aliens and Animals Book 2 By Arizona Tape and Skye MacKinnon


The Alien’s Veterinarian
Aliens and Animals Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Arizona Tape
&
Skye Mac Kinnon

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

No space adventure is complete without a cat

Abby prefers animals to people, which comes in handy since she’s a vet working long hours at a cat rescue. She can’t say no to a critter in need, so when she’s offered a quick and well-paid job to look after a pregnant jaguar, she accepts it. Problem is, she didn’t read the small print…

Sahra has travelled to Earth to find a healer who can help with the animals back on Kyven. But how do you persuade a human to leave their planet without revealing that you’re an alien? It’s time to twist the truth a little and abduct an unsuspecting vet.

Throughout the journey, their ability to work together is tested. When a storm and a dangerous beast threatens their lives, can they make it out together?

NOTE:
An out-of-this-world f/f romance with a cat-loving human woman and a determined alien female willing to do anything to find her mate. Part of the Aliens and Animals series.

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In the Alien’s Zookeeper we met Tilly and her animals as they were taken from earth. The mess up was on the part of Bavalla who is now Tilly’s mate. Now they have a pregnant leopard and she’s in trouble. They send Sahra to earth with directions to get medications and a Veterinarian. She kinda messes this up but at least not as badly as the previous book went.

Abby is surprised when Sahra requests her to come to her home to treat the cat in trouble and even more so when she sees the horse and buggy Sahra is driving instead of a car.

This is a favorite scene.

I stopped in my tracks when I saw the horse-drawn cart parked outside the practice. It didn’t look like one of the romantic wedding carriages that sometimes drove through the centre of town. This was something you would have found at a farm a hundred years ago. I’d cared for horses before, but most farmers and riders used specialist vets, so it was unusual for a horse to stand in front of my house.

I looked around for the owner, but the street was empty. Maybe they weren’t here to see me after all.

Sahra confidently headed to the cart and climbed on the driver’s seat. It was hers. Bloody hell. This woman was becoming more and more intriguing by the minute.

She held out a hand to help me up. When our fingers touched, a strange zing of electricity shot up my arm. I rubbed my hand, but the tingly feeling was gone.

The bench was narrow and our thighs touched when I took a seat. Again, the tiniest of electric shocks hit me.

Sahra seemed oblivious, taking the reins.

I put my vet’s bag in the back. The cart was strangely clean; not a single bit of hay or mud anywhere.

“Do you have medicine for cats?” Sahra asked, pointing at my bag.

“Yes, it’s got all the essentials. If I need anything else, I can write a prescription later.”

The horse moved without her having to say anything. Its hooves clacked on the tarmac, the sound echoing back from the narrow terrace houses.

“This is an unusual choice of vehicle,” I said after a moment’s silence.

“I was told this is what you use,” she replied in her strong accent that I still couldn’t place.

Was she making a joke? Or had she really thought that we used horse-drawn carts in 21st century England? She had to be from somewhere very remote without access to television, the internet or even a newspaper. No, this had to be joke.

“Where are we going?” I asked to skip the awkward moment. “Do you live far?”

For some reason, that made her chuckle.

“We need to stop on the way,” she said instead of giving an answer. “My sister’s mate gave me a list.”

“A list?” I asked curiously. “What kind of list?”

She handed me a scrap of paper. On top was the address of the veterinary pharmacy I got most of my own supplies from. Underneath someone had scrawled about twenty different drugs and salves. One I recognised as a powder I regularly prescribed for treating rodents’ skin infections.

“Is he a vet? Your sister’s mate?”

I found it strange how she described her, but maybe that was because of her lack of vocabulary.

“She looks after animals. A zookeep.”

“Zookeeper,” I corrected automatically, regretting it when her expression fell.

“But I totally understood zookeep, don’t worry. So she asked you to get all these things?”

Sahra nodded. “The list and a veteri… vetar…”

“Vet,” I said quickly. “Everyone calls us vets. Veterinarian takes forever to say.”

She gave me a grateful smile. “Vet. I like that. Do you know where we have to go?”

“Yes. We’re actually really close. Take a right turn over there and then a left at the junction. And – wait, those lights are turning red!”

* * *

Twenty minutes later, we had several bags full of bottles, pills, powders and creams in the back of the cart. I’d helped Sahra with persuading the pharmacist that yes, she really needed all those things. I wasn’t sure why that zookeeper didn’t get all those things herself, but it was actually quite fun to go shopping.

Cars kept passing us, some of them hitting their horns, but Sahra ignored them all. Her horse was surprisingly fast, so we weren’t as much of a traffic jam creator as I’d feared.

She pulled another piece of paper from her bag and handed it to me.

“My sister’s mate wrote words for you. She said you have to write your name on it.”

“A contract?”

Sahra only shrugged and looked straight ahead.

I scanned the handwritten document. It looked like it had been written in a hurry. Some of the words were smudged and completely illegible. I had to squint to make out what this letter was supposed to say.

By signing this contract, you agree to come …. to … and to care for the feline and her offspring until they’re well enough to be without veterinary care. You will be offered travel, … and generous remuneration. We will of course pay for any drugs prescribed. [insert amount here]

You will not divulge anything you see or hear during your stay on … once you have returned to your home. In return, we promise complete confidentiality.

This is a binding agreement under … law.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t read some of the smudged words. Still, the rest was enough to make sense.

“Isn’t this a bit over the top?” I asked. “I’d never gossip about a patient.”

Sahra smiled. For a moment, a trick of the light made her hair shimmer blue before it returned to its deep chestnut colour.

“I’m sorry. My sister’s mate says it’s important.” She shrugged. “She says you can write your own money.”

“Money? You mean my fee?”

She nodded. “Yes. Fee. That was the word. Sorry, I’m still learning.”

“Oh, you’re polydactyl!” I exclaimed when I spotted her extra fingers. “That’s rare for humans, but I see cats with it all the time.”

Sahra looked embarrassed and curled her hands into fists to hide the sixth digits. “

Sorry,” I said, feeling guilty for calling her out on it like that. “My social skills aren’t always the best. I spend most of my day with animals. They’re much easier to be around than people.”

“I agree,” Sahra muttered. “Animals are nice.”
Skye MacKinnon; Arizona Tape. The Alien’s Veterinarian: Aliens and Animals 2 (Kindle Locations 159-213).

The journey back to Kyven, is not without problems. Abby is more than a little curious, she just wants to make arrangements for her practice to be covered in her absence.

There’s more than a little tension between Sahra and Abby, and I really thought they’d figure it out sooner than they did.

A bit of drama, some sniffles, and giggles too. I can’t wait for Tamsia’s story.

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Skye!

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Coming Soon!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

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Skye MacKinnon

Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.

She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.

When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.

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The Aliens Zookeeper – Aliens and Animals Book 1 by Arizona Tape & Skye MacKinnon


The Alien’s Zookeeper
Aliens and Animals Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Arizona Tape
&
Skye MacKinnon

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

The stars gave her a mate…
and a rhino.

Tilly doesn’t believe in aliens. At least, she didn’t, until she gets abducted along with half the animals of her zoo. When you and your rhino are stuck in a cage on a spaceship, it’s hard not to believe. One of them, an elf-eared female, seems ready to help her find a way back to Earth, but is that really what Tilly wants?

Bavalla’s messed up big time. She wasn’t supposed to abduct a sentient being, but now that she’s face to face with a female who’s not only intelligent but also very attractive, she has to figure out what to do. Telling the Captain would result in severe punishment, but how do you hide a human who’s very intent on saving not just herself, but all her animals as well?

NOTE:
A fast-paced f/f romance with a strong human woman and a swoon-worthy alien female willing to give up everything for her mate.

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Everything was going according to plan, or so Bavalla thought. The animals on the list were now all in the cargo hold of their ship. Then she notices an extra something in one of the containers. A sentient being, if the captain found out it would mean her death.

Tilly wakes in a strange place with Brie, her favorite Rhino in the zoo where she worked. She’s about to learn some very interesting things about where she and many of the animal she cares for are.

This is a favorite scene.

The two creatures on the other side of the glass were clearly studying me too, but it was easier to pretend that I was the examiner. “There seem to be slight openings in the neck of the right one. I count… three on either side. They look like nostrils. I wonder if they also breathe oxygen or if the air in this cell is specially made for Brie and me,” I wondered out loud.

I pressed my hands against the wall. One of the two beings, the one that looked female, did the same. Her hands had six fingers, slender and delicate, but our palms were almost the same size. She cocked her head, her large eyes examining me closely. Maybe she wasn’t female.

Maybe I was simply applying my human concepts to an alien species. For all I knew, these beings reproduced in an entirely different way, having no need for genders. I pushed that thought away. I shouldn’t be focusing on things like that. Far more important was how to get out of here, back to Earth. Maybe we were still there, cloaked so that my fellow humans couldn’t see it. But the slight vibration in the walls and floor told a different story. We were flying. We might be far away from home by now. I didn’t know how long I’d slept for.

Brie snorted and got to her feet. She stared at the beings with all the curiosity a rhino could muster. Which wasn’t a lot. Brie was lovely, but not the brightest rhino out there. I put a hand on her thick skin, stroking her.

“Easy, girl. Don’t worry, I’ll get you home.”

My voice shook slightly, but I hoped she wouldn’t pick up on that.

“Eeeeezzzzyyyyyyy.” The female alien parroted my words, although it barely resembled the original sound. “Guuuuuuuuurrrrrl.”

I swallowed a laugh. I wouldn’t give in to hysteria. Not yet.

The alien said something else in her own clicking language, then looked at me questioningly. Did she want me to repeat that?

I tried to replicate her clicks, but without success. It sounded like I had a cough.

The slits in her neck flared and her full lips turned upwards. Was it too much to hope that a smile was the same for her species? I knew that in apes, what looked like a smile was actually a threatening gesture. I very much hoped it wasn’t the same for her.

The other alien, who I thought was male, didn’t smile or change his blank expression. He simply stared at Brie, who returned his intense gaze with all the nonchalance of a two-tonne rhino. Brie knew she was the strongest animal in the room. I was glad to have her on my side, even with the danger of being squashed by accident.

The two aliens started talking again. I hoped they weren’t discussing how to get rid of me. Or how best to cook me. Their conversation turned into something of an argument, with both of them gesticulating widely. Secretly, I rooted for the female. Us women had to stick together, right?

After what seemed like a small eternity, the female pulled out a shimmering device the size of her hand. The way she held it reminded me of a phone, but there was no display that I could see. Again, I chided myself for assuming my understanding of the universe would be the same here. Of course, they didn’t use the same technology as us. It would have been strange if she’d been handling a smartphone. Whatever it was, a hiss sounded when she rubbed the glittering device and lines appeared on the wall. I stepped back, bumping against Brie. She huffed but didn’t move. The lines turned into a rectangle, just big enough for me and the aliens, but way too small for Brie.

The wall inside the lines disappeared, yes, it disappeared. What had looked like solid matter turned into thin air. Wow. That was technology way beyond my understanding. I would have called it magic if I hadn’t known otherwise.

The male kept clicking at the female, seemingly unhappy with her decision to let me out. Before he could decide otherwise, I stepped through the doorway, half expecting to bump into an invisible wall. But no, it really was nothing but air. So weird.

The female smiled at me again and reached out, her fingertips brushing against my throat. She gently stroked my neck in the places where she had slits, gills maybe. Her touch was ever so soft. Tingles spread from where her fingers met my skin and a pleasant shudder ran down my back. What on Earth was happening?

She said something to me and pulled back.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Don’t you have some kind of translation device? They always have those in films. And books. Not that I’ve read any alien romance novels, not at all.”

I stopped babbling and shot a look at the male behind her. He was staring at me with a frown. The tips of his long ears were bent to the sides, which they hadn’t done earlier. Some kind of gesture that I couldn’t interpret. I hoped it wasn’t a sign of aggression.

The female muttered something that seemed to be directed at the male, then turned and beckoned me to follow her. Hesitantly, I walked behind her through a narrow corridor. On both sides, large containers were piled on top of each other. Muffled sounds told me I’d find several of my zoo animals inside. There was no mistaking Terry the tiger’s agitated roar. He was a sweetheart when you scratched him behind the ears, but he could be fearsome if he was afraid or angry.

“What are you doing with my animals?” I asked, not expecting an answer. “Why did you abduct them? Why did you abduct me? What are you planning to do with us?”

She didn’t turn and kept walking. The male was following at a distance behind me, not giving me a choice but to stay with the alien. We passed at least twenty containers before reaching a door. It slid open as soon as the female approached, giving way to a brightly lit room full of screens. No, they weren’t screens as such. The images and data were shown on the walls themselves, either projected onto them or as if they were the screens. Two comfy looking chairs sat in the centre of the room. Weird, they looked so ordinary. Four legs, a backrest. Even though it was made from a strange material that looked like purple wood, it wouldn’t have stood out in a fancy designer furniture store on Earth.

The female sat on the left one and gestured to the other chair. Carefully, I sat down, hoping this wasn’t meant to electrocute me or something. That would be a nasty way to go.

The purple wood was much softer than expected and slightly rubbery. The cushions were warm and moulded to fit my bum. How surprisingly comfortable. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The alien used her glittery device again, and a loud noise sounded above me. I looked up just in time to see a chandelier-crown-helmet contraption descend from the ceiling. It lowered itself on my head and tightened against my temples.

This better not kill me.
Skye MacKinnon; Arizona Tape. The Alien’s Zookeeper: Aliens and Animals 1 (Kindle Locations 163-216). Peryton Press.

Aside from trying to avoid the captain, Valla also needs a plan to keep Tilly and her animals safe. Tilly doesn’t want to leave the animals anywhere so it’s not going to be easy.

A fun romp in space, with some angst, laughter, a romance and some very interesting characters.

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Skye!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

Skye MacKinnon

Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.

She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.

When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.

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author-links-fall-cornucopia

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An Origin Tail – The Vampire Detective Book 3.5 by Arizona Tape and Laura Greenwood


An Origin Tail
The Vampire Detective Book 3.5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Author

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Lucy Corentine, Vampire Detective, is content that all the mysteries in her personal life are solved.

Except one. Where did the blind cat delivered to her doorstep come from? A clue left in the box Jester came in leads her to one of her Grandmother’s old friends, and on the search for a secret room.

Can Lucy find the answers she’s looking for, or will she end up sending Jester back where he came from?

NOTE:
An Origin Tail is a happy-ever-after companion story to the Vampire Detective series and is set approximately a year after the events of Fangs For All. It contains minor spoilers for the series, but can be read on its own.

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I read this story as part of the Talons and Tails limited edition anthology. It inspired me to buy the trilogy and read it before reviewing this one.

As this opens, Lucy and William are now married but the vows also included the others in her life, Mika, Watt and Derek. Her cat Jester still prefers anyone but her, so now she’s determined to find out where he came from.

She finds a note that has been overlooked all the times she looked at the box he came in, it’s addressed to her grandmother. In the basement where her grandmother is in her Everwake she reads the note. Doris didn’t sign with a last name so now she has to find out who Doris is. Lucy enlists Mika’s aid in going through her grandmother’s room where they find a bunch of business cards.

This is a favorite scene as they go through them.

I opened a cabinet, coughing as it blew more dust at me. “Anything that might give us a clue to who Doris is.”

She nodded and pulled open a dresser on her side of the room, her hands light and gentle. Respectful. Just watching the way she touched Grandmother’s things, I knew I’d chosen the right person for the job.

After searching through a couple of boxes, I ended up in front of the large closet. Given that Grandmother never mentioned Doris, she must have wanted to keep it a secret and there was only one place where she kept those. In the closet, together with the skeleton. Now I thought about it, that was the only place she could be keeping secrets. It would certainly be where I’d hide them. A skeleton is always a good way to put people off prying too much.

Before I pulled it open, I prepared myself mentally for what I’d find in there. I gathered a deep breath and pulled the two doors open. The wardrobe had a couple of old coats and some formal jackets that were so old, they’d come back into fashion. Probably. I had to admit that I wasn’t very good at keeping up with the trends. Hidden behind the clothes, there was a wooden box with a metal lock.

Carefully, I lifted the box and put it safely on top of the dresser. It rattled slightly but I didn’t need to open it to know what was inside. Daisy.

With her safely put aside, I rummaged through the rest of the closet. It didn’t take me long to get through the contents, but there was nothing of any particular note. Just shoes that had seen better days, an odd umbrella stand that seemed as if it would be more at home in the entrance of the mansion than hidden away in the master bedroom, and a box of old business cards and diaries.

On second thought, the business cards could be useful. And the diaries were in an odd place too. Grandmother kept most of the things like that in her office. I’d already been through a lot of them while trying to find clues to help me bring down Radcliffe.

“Hopefully these will get us somewhere,” I announced, taking the diaries and cards. I didn’t want to stay and disturb the room any longer than needed, so Mika and I went back downstairs to look through the stuff in the living room. The fact that there was less dust in the main room which would mean less of a risk of constant sneezes was only a welcome side effect.

William and Watt were still sitting exactly where I left them, but this time, Watt was reading the newspaper and William was…

I frowned. What was he doing? It looked like he was doing nothing but he’d insisted multiple times nothing was something. Men.

I shook my head. I needed to focus on the mystery I already had to solve, especially because it would no doubt prove easier than demystifying male vampires. They were a strange species at the best of times.

Though they’d probably say the same about me, but that was just their weirdness talking.

I set the box of business cards on the coffee table and sat myself down on the floor. Mika did the same and started to help me spread them out across the table.

A soft smile spread over my face at the sight. I loved her in a different way than I loved the three men in my life, but it was just as strong. She knew things about me in a way that they couldn’t and would often start doing tasks I was thinking about without me voicing them out loud. Perhaps it was her fake-blood-slave training that meant she was good at guessing what people wanted, but I didn’t think so. She’d slipped up in her servitude role often enough for me to get suspicious. This was different. She knew me in the way only someone with a deep emotional connection could.

After five minutes or so, the guys’ curiosity got the better of them. Watt closed his paper dramatically and came to join us, with William hot on his heels.

The four of us worked in comfortable silence to spread the cards out so that we could check them all. It was a shame Derek wasn’t here to make things even more perfect. Then again, he’d probably have started tinkering until he made an invention to sort the cards that ended up blowing up in one of our faces.

Even the thought of it made me smile. There was something endearing about how badly many of his inventions went.

“Elizabeth Von… I don’t even know how to pronounce that,” Watt read from one of the cards. “A lawyer.”

“I’ve got a… Tina.” Mika hummed. “Wow, this is old. It has a fax number on it.”

“Old? Fax is the height of new technology,” I countered.

Mika raised an eyebrow. “No, Lucy, it’s not.”

“It is,” Watt defended me. “They just brought out that machine…”

Mika rolled her eyes. “Vampires,” she muttered. “I hope I’m not like this in another hundred years.”

“If you mean awesome, then I’m sure you will be,” I promised.

“Janice, Jones, Julie… Are these alphabetical?” William inquired as he flipped through the stack of cards closest to him.

“Doesn’t look like it. That would’ve been too easy,” I responded, riffling through more cards. Why were there so many? Grandmother had an address book, it seemed much more practical than this pile of cards we were having to search through.

“What was the name you’re looking for again? Doris… Doris what?”

I shrugged. “No idea, the letter was just signed Doris.” I loved a good mystery that made me work hard to solve it, even if it was bad for my case closing rate.

“I can’t recall any vampire noble named Doris so we should assume she isn’t part of society,” he reasoned.

“Me neither,” I agreed. Though that didn’t mean much. I could be forgetting someone. Or she could be a foreigner.

Doris wasn’t really a continental name, which left Australia or America, both of which were a little big to be searching even with an extended life.

We continued to flick through the cards and journals for a clue to who this mystery cat person was, chattering away about nothing in particular as we did so. It helped soothe some of the tediousness of the task. Not that I’d admit that out loud. As far as I was concerned, everyone was going to think I was having the time of my life.

“Hey, what about this one. Doris Singleton,” Watt chirped, waving a stale card around. “It has a local address.”

He handed me the card and I examined both sides, only to find myself disappointed by the distinct lack of information. All it had was a name and the address. There was a possibility that this wasn’t even the right Doris. But There was only one way to find out and it wasn’t as if we had any other leads.

I smiled. “Who is up for a little road trip?”
Laura Greenwood & Arizona Tape. Talons & Tails: A Limited Edition Urban Fantasy Anthology. An Origin Tail (Kindle Locations 601-655). Kindle Edition.

Doris is a quirky old woman but she wants a favor before she will tell Lucy anything about the relationship with her grandmother. She also has more cats than could possibly be lawful.

This is a fun and enjoyable read. Lucy’s revelation regarding Jester, leads to her not only keeping the cat but something more as well.

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Laura!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Fangs for All – The Vampire Detective Book 3 by Arizona Tape and Laura Greenwood


Fangs for All
The Vampire Detective Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Arizona Tape & Laura Greenwood

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Having seen the worst the vampire world could offer her, Lucy is more determined than ever to make changes that could save lives. But with mysteries in the house, as well as outside it, she might have bitten off more than she can chew.

Can Lucy trust the people around her?

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At the end of ‘What the Fangs’ there were a couple of discoveries made. A major one that has Lucy going to the Vampire Court, and another is that Mika, the blood slave William bought her, doesn’t have the brand on her neck.

As this book opens Lucy has requested a meeting with the council. She gets one shock after another after she reveals the blood slave auction. They knew about the illegal auctions and have done nothing. A younger member of the court approaches her after and tells her to look into her grandmother’s diaries, he also tells her about blood servants who are tattooed not branded. Although that doesn’t help her since Mika has no mark at all.

We also have almost every one living in the house, William her now true fiancé, Derek and Watson the men she is dating and cares for, and Mika her ‘accidental’ blood slave. All of them are helping her to gather evidence to take down the auctions. Her attempts keep failing because the one in charge of it all has too much power. She needs more evidence and her grandmother’s journals have to provide it.

This is a favorite scene.

I stretched out, letting the covers envelop me. There was something comforting about good bed sheets, and I was going to make the most of them. Between my budding relationships, the oddness surrounding Mika arriving at my house, and the blood slave rings, I had plenty of things that I should be doing today, but that wasn’t going to steal my rest.

A small lump on the bed shifted next to me. Oh, right, Jester. He’d become particularly needy in the last couple of nights. And right now, he was reminding me that I had yet another mystery to solve. Who’d delivered the cat and why? And what was the meaning of a blind cat anyway? I could have sworn my life was complicated enough without being confused by that.

“I see you’re finally awake,” Watt said.

I darted upright, sending Jester rolling down the covers. “Why are you lurking in the doorway?” I demanded.

“I brought you coffee.” He held out a mug as if to prove it. “It’s the kind you like. Brewed to the strength you like…”

“You remember that?” I frowned. Perhaps I should be focusing more on what he was doing in my room, but that could wait.

“I could make myself look good by saying yes, but that’d be a lie.” He moved over and perched on my bed, handing me the mug. “William reminded me when he suggested I brought it up to you.”
“William sent you to my bedroom?” That was a new one. And I wasn’t too sure how we’d gotten here.

Watt shrugged. “I might have told him I have information about your case for you.”

“Watson!” I admonished. “You can’t go lying to my fiancé.”

“Oh, Lucy, you really have a low opinion of me, don’t you?” He reached out and stroked Jester’s head. The cat purred and leaned into him.

I rolled my eyes. Despite the fact he liked to sleep on my bed, the cat seemed to like everyone more than he did me.

“What can I say? Years of being rivals has rubbed off on me.”

“I hate to point it out, Luce, but we’re still rivals,” he teased.

“And yet you’re in my bedroom, promising me the one thing you know will get me to agree to see you.” I took a sip of the coffee, pleased to find he had made it just like I liked. Or William had and gave it to him. I wasn’t sure it mattered. The whole point of our budding relationship was what I’d said to William yesterday, I got different things from each of them, but not because none of them were good enough. It was that I needed more of everything.

“What do you know about Radclyffe?” he asked.

I perked up. “The Elder?” He’d been one of the ones missing from the meeting.

“I don’t know, I’ve never paid much attention to that side of things. You know how they feel about commoners.”

I narrowed my eyes. “You realise I’m an heir, right?” Of course, he knew that. He probably suspected that I was more than that too. Watson wasn’t a fool.

“And the day you take your seat will be a good one in the vampire world.”

“I think that was the day Grandmother took her seat,” I muttered. Which reminded me, I needed to search her office today and find her notes. Hopefully, it would enlighten me on the nuances of blood slavery. And perhaps have some answers about Mika too? I wasn’t sure where she fit into this whole mess.

“She paved the way for you, Lucy. That’s how it works,” Watt pointed out.

“Hmm. Just hurry up and get to the point. What did you find out about Radclyffe?”

He smirked and shook his head. “Your pillow talk needs work.”

“I’ll improve the quality of it when the person on the pillow next to me has earned their place,” I threw back instantly.

He chuckled. “Radclyffe is an odd one. I did some digging on the slave ring you found, and came up blank. But then I went back and looked at the warehouse we were at before, and the one you’re invited to, and both of them are owned by shell corporations.”

“Let’s guess,” I started. “They’re both owned by Radclyffe.”

“Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner,” Watt announced.

I sighed loudly. “I guess the question is what we can do about it.”

“I guess that meeting him is the first step,” Watt suggested. “Do the Corentine family have a piece of land you can sell? A warehouse would be better, but…”

“You want me to sell a piece of my family’s legacy to this man?” I raised an eyebrow, in a little bit of disbelief over what he was suggesting.

“You won’t actually sell it,” he pointed out. “You’ll just pretend. Have him come around and then you can talk to him about whatever you want. Maybe suss him out a little bit.”

I stroked my chin, pretending there was a beard there for emphasis. Sometimes, it saddened me I wouldn’t be able to grow one in my twilight years. Long, twisty beards always gave older vampires an air of intelligence. “If I take Mika with me, then perhaps he’ll even start something about blood slaves.” Though she didn’t have the brand she should do if she’d come from his ring. That might be a good thing, it might not.

“Would he know William?” Watt asked.

I nodded. “He’s noble, like us. If he doesn’t know William, he knows of William, which will be enough to recognise him.”

“Damn. I was going to suggest I could go with you and pretend to be your fiancé.” He grinned impishly, like he was plotting something.

I shrugged. “You can come as my attaché, or not at all,” I said simply.

Watt blinked a couple of times, trying to process what I’d suggested.

“You’re going to have to explain that to me,” he said eventually.

I shrugged. “Most of the noble vampires have them. It’s not a big deal.”

“I’m not your attaché, Lucy.” It was impossible to read the expression on his face, so I didn’t bother trying.

“Of course you aren’t. Attaché would imply I was doing something outside the confines of my official relationship.” The nuance was a small one, and I imagined that a lot of vampires wouldn’t understand it. But it didn’t matter so long as mine did.

“Hmm.” He reached out and gave Jester a scratch. The cat pushed his head into Watson’s hand, urging the man to continue showing that amount of affection.

“I promise, Watt, I don’t feel that way about you.” I set my coffee down and let the bed sheet fall away from me so I could reach out and take his hand. I gave it a squeeze.

“It’s not me, it’s vampire society,” he said with a wink.

I chuckled. “Exactly. Don’t you just hate vampire society?” I joked.

“You have no idea,” he muttered darkly, before getting up and leaving the room. All right then, it seemed that our conversation was over for now. That was good to know.

“I guess I’ll organise a meeting with Radclyffe then?” I called after him.

I was fairly certain I heard him call back a yes, but I wasn’t sure about it. I guessed I’d just go along with the plan and pretend I knew what I was doing.

That method had got me through one hundred and twenty-five years of life, I was sure it would get me through more.

Hopefully.
Tape, Arizona; Greenwood, Laura. Fangs For All (The Vampire Detective Book 3). Kindle Locations (315-372). Twin Souls Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Things start heating up rather quickly after Lucy confronts Radclyffe. From one rejected Court appearance to a second, the man has too much power.

I love the way this plays out, Lucy has far more power than she’s letting on. She has her chosen family of William, Derek, Watson and Mika to support her every move.

I laughed, cried and enjoyed every single up and down. Now to read about Jester.

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Laura!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

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What the Fangs – The Vampire Detective Book 2 by Arizona Tape and Laura Greenwood


What the Fangs
The Vampire Detective Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Arizona Tape & Laura Greenwood

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When she started her investigation, the last thing Lucy expected was to end up with an illegal slave in her kitchen, and a stirring hunger for blood. And that doesn’t even take into account the childhood-friend-turned-rival PI, the stubborn fiancé, or the eccentric inventor she has to deal with.

With the mystery deepening with each new discovery, Lucy uncovers a vampire underworld she never knew existed. All she has to do is decide whether she wants to be a part of it, or if she should help take it down.

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At the end of the end of ‘Fangs for Nothing’ Lucy received a present from William, a present she is not happy about. A blood slave he’d ordered while trying to one up Derek, before they reconciled that situation.

This books starts right at that point and she’s lying in wait for William with Jester in her lap. She more than a little pissed off and it shows.

This is a favorite scene.

The door opened and William stepped inside. Good. It was him.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” I said in the most menacing tone I could come up with.

He flinched, before relaxing slightly. “Blood clots, Lucy, you scared me.”

“That was the idea,” I mused. Jester hissed and finally freed himself from my grasp.

Alright then. At least he’d stayed for my big reveal.

“Why are you sitting in the dark acting like a Bond villain ?” he asked, a bemused note entering his voice.

“Pfft, please. Bond villains have nothing on me,” I countered.

“That doesn’t answer the question,” he pointed out.

“Alright then, how about I answer with a question of my own. Like, I don’t know, why the fangs is there a blood slave in my bedroom?” I rose to my feet and closed the distance between us, making sure a strict annoyed expression stayed plastered on my face.

William’s eyes widened. “Oops.”

“Oops?” I squeaked without meaning to. “Oops just doesn’t cover it, William. Why the fangs did you think I would want a blood slave? Do I seem like the type who wants anything to do with such an archaic practice?” Not to mention one that was so barbaric. In the past, blood slaves were just that. Slaves. Ones who would die by sustained blood loss.

Or by their master going a little overboard and draining them dry. Either or.

“I wasn’t thinking.”

I blinked a couple of times. He hadn’t been thinking? How the fangs was that possible?

“Do you have one?” I whispered, dreading the answer. If he thought this was the kind of gift that was okay, then I had to question other parts of his integrity.

“No, of course, I don’t…”

“Then why get me one?”

“I don’t know. I’d had a few too many gin and tonics and it seemed like a good idea. Nothing I could give you could live up to the presents Derek was sending.” He waved towards the piles of boxes that I still hadn’t opened.

“So you went from coffee filters to blood slave in a couple of drinks?”

He nodded sheepishly.

“Wow. I may need to take away your credit card next time you drink.”

“Maybe,” he admitted.

“What do we do with her now?” I asked.

“Send her back?”

I scoffed. “I’ve seen the adverts, William. A blood slave isn’t just for Christmas, you know.” I rubbed a hand over my face. How had I gotten myself into this situation? “Besides, I thought you were okay with me dating Derek?”

I certainly hoped he still was or we were going to have an awkward conversation about how I’d agreed to pay Derek for services rendered.

“I am. But I ordered her before we talked.”

“Ah. Not only did you order me a blood slave, but you passive aggressively ordered her.”

“Yes.” He shuffled back and forth, clearly uncomfortable with the situation. Good. He should be.

“What do we do with her?” I asked, glancing over to the staircase.

“Where is she?”

“Where do you think she is? Still kneeling on my bedroom floor, the poor woman probably needs the bathroom, but I can’t very well let her move or do anything or I’ll claim ownership of her, and I don’t want that.”

“How do you know proper blood slave etiquette?” He cocked his head to the side.

“You’ve met my mother.” I thought that explained well enough.

“She supports blood slaves?” He seemed alarmed, which was amusing given what he’d done to support the blood slave industry.

“Not openly. But let’s face it, she probably has some.” And they were probably young men with more muscles than sense. “Does the woman upstairs know what she’s supposed to be doing for me?” A shudder rippled down my back even as I said it. The idea of using someone for that just didn’t sit right with me. The last thing I wanted was to kill someone.

“I think so. I don’t really remember.”

“I swear to Dracula, if you didn’t check she was ethically sourced, William, you are going to find yourself locked in a room full of garlic with the curtains open,” I threatened.

“You realise that would do no damage whatsoever?”

I threw my hands up in the air, done with him. “I know that, I’m a vampire too remember.”

“I did, that’s why I got you a blood slave.”

“I hope you checked she was B positive,” I muttered darkly. Even if I wasn’t going to actually use her as a blood slave, it would sting if he’d forgotten.

“I assume so…”

“Just how many gin and tonics did you have?” I shook my head.

“You know the bottle of Hendricks you had in the larder?”

“The full one?” I prompted, seeing where this was going.

“I wouldn’t call it full anymore,” he admitted sheepishly.

“And what would you call it?”

“Empty.”

I sighed loudly. “Oh, William, William, William, what am I going to do with you?”

“Marry me?”

Despite myself, I let out a small chuckle. “One day, but not yet.”

“Too many dates to go on first?” He winked at me.

“Stop trying to distract me from the fact you bought a blood slave,” I reprimanded. “You can’t get out of trouble that easily.”
Tape, Arizona; Greenwood, Laura. What The Fangs (The Vampire Detective Book 2). Kindle Locations (61-104). Twin Souls Publishing. Kindle Edition.

That’s just the beginning of this hilarious and intriguing tale. She goes on a date with Derek and finds he isn’t the one sending her all those ‘gifts’ that are piling up in her living room. They decide to go back to the house and see what’s in them. So not what she expected and William and Derek are getting along very well. She still has to find that darn watch and in her pursuit of that she runs into Watson again. Just what she needs more complications.

I certainly didn’t expect the twist this one took or the ending. I can’t wait for all of this to be solved.

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Laura!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

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Amazon Author Page

Fangs for Nothing – The Vampire Detective Book 1 by Laura Greenwood & Arizona Tape


Fangs for Nothing
The Vampire Detective Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Skye MacKinnon
&
Arizona Tape

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When vampire, Lucy, is finally hired to do some proper private investigating, she uncovers a plot far deeper than she expected…and far more dangerous. If she doesn’t figure it out, vampires as a species could end up exposed. That’s if she doesn’t accidentally reveal them first.

And as if going on a date wasn’t stressful enough, Lucy’s Noble fiancé has made a reappearance, and he’s brought a rather distasteful present with him.

NOTE:
Fangs For Nothing is a paranormal reverse harem set in the Twin Souls Universe.

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This book opens with Lucy having a phone conversation with her sort of fiancé William Williamsbourgh III. The conversation appears to be routine for them, he asks if she’s coming home soon, followed by is she ready to marry him yet. Apparently he was a day late in asking and she’s still holding it against him almost a hundred years later. While that’s not a bad start to her day it’s about to go downhill. First her blood supply is the wrong type and she’s paying too much for that to happen, followed by a mysterious caller with a riddle, then a package is delivered out of nowhere. As she debates the possible contents she lists some of Williams gifts. I started giggling and really didn’t stop for a while. The package contained one very quick fur ball of black cat.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

What was I supposed to do with his gift? Bring it inside? Leave it on the porch? Pretend I never got it?

All viable options…

“Meow,” the box exclaimed, rattling a little.

“What the fangs?” Carefully, I poked the cardboard, earning another meow. Was it a meowing head? A cat bomb?

Too curious for my own good, I crouched down and peeled the security tape away. A ball of fur jumped up and shot into the house like a black flash.

“For real?” Already exhausted with the situation, I shut the door and followed the cat inside. I didn’t want a pet, let alone a cat. I was perfectly fine without a hairy animal occupying my seat and ruining my sleep. If I wanted that, I could just take a husband. Those were just a little more favourable than cats.

“Here, kitty, kitty.” I rolled my eyes, looking under the couches and chairs for the little devilish fiend. “Come out, come out, so I can murder you.”

I shuffled through the house on hands and knees, trying to locate the intruder. There were just so many dark nooks and corners, it was impossible to find a black ball of fur.

If this was William’s idea of a good gift, he really didn’t know me at all.

Maybe I should just tell him that now instead of crawling around like an animal. Yes, that was a good idea.

Patiently, I let the rotary dial of my old-fashioned spin to combine the phone number that my “fiancé” had had for the last century.

“William Williamsbourgh speaking, how may I help you?”

“Why did you send me a cat?”

“And a good day to you too, Lucinda.”

“I hate cats, you know this.”

The deep voice chuckled, sending shivers down my spine. There was no denying he had an effect on me, even when he was pissing me off.

“I’m serious, William.”

“I didn’t send you anything…” Silence. “Apart from the telephone booth, but that one is still going through customs. I special ordered it.”

“I don’t need a telephone booth,” I sighed, slapping my forehead.

“Are you sure? Your mother told me you were using an old-fashioned device. I thought this was an upgrade.”

“You talked to my mother!?” I exclaimed.

“You know Georgina and I get together every month for bridge soirées. You know this. You should really come and join. It’s tradition.”

“Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people, William,” I groaned, wishing both him and my mother could just disappear for a day or two to give me some peace. Between the two of them, it was impossible to have a life. Which was one of the reasons I finally moved out of the family home and into Grandmother’s Manor.

Annoyed, I doodled little tornados on the notepad next to my phone. It was supposed to be for penning down serious inquiries, but I hadn’t really gotten many of those. Especially not with William hogging the line.

“So, you didn’t send me the cat?” I asked, wanting to clarify this matter. Someone delivered this feral thing to my door and I wanted to know who it was.

“No, I did not. Do you have another suitor I don’t know about?” he asked, his voice lowering even more.

“Unlikely,” I scoffed.

“What about your friend Derek?” he asked, sounding more amused than jealous.

“You know I don’t have time to date other people.”

“Does that imply you’re dating me?”

I chuckled. “Goodbye, William.”

“Always a pleasure.” Amused, I rolled my eyes even though he couldn’t see it. If he kept this up, I wouldn’t have it in me to keep shooting his marriage proposals back. It was good that I was a girl of principles or I’d long be Lucinda Corentine-Williamsbourgh, the third, I might add.

I retreated back to the living room, following the hissing sound of my newest companion. So if William hadn’t sent it, who had? And what was with the weird riddle from before? Four legs and no eyes?

It seemed ominous but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be fun. That was just in the eye of the beholder and as it were, my eye was made to spy.

With a grin, I grabbed my badge from the dresser and held it up. “PI Lucy is on the case.”
Tape, Arizona; Greenwood, Laura. Fangs For Nothing (The Vampire Detective Book 1). Kindle Locations (110-143). Twin Souls Publishing. Kindle Edition.

We meet her friend Derek, the one William had referred to as someone she might be dating. Then a friend of William’s shows up in the middle of the night wanting her help to find a watch.

It’s that case that is going to open up a whole can of worms and also has her working with a childhood friend Watson Xavier Smith.

There’s a lot going on in this book and it’s so much fun. I laughed out loud many times especially where William and either Derek or Watson were involved. Lucy is certainly in over her head.

It’s the ending of this book that had me immediately buying the next one. Oh my!

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Laura!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)

newsletter - for blog


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

newsletter - for blog


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

The Aliens Zookeeper – Aliens and Animals Book 1 by Arizona Tape & Skye MacKinnon


The Alien’s Zookeeper
Aliens and Animals Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Arizona Tape
&
Skye MacKinnon

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

The stars gave her a mate…
and a rhino.

Tilly doesn’t believe in aliens. At least, she didn’t, until she gets abducted along with half the animals of her zoo. When you and your rhino are stuck in a cage on a spaceship, it’s hard not to believe. One of them, an elf-eared female, seems ready to help her find a way back to Earth, but is that really what Tilly wants?

Bavalla’s messed up big time. She wasn’t supposed to abduct a sentient being, but now that she’s face to face with a female who’s not only intelligent but also very attractive, she has to figure out what to do. Telling the Captain would result in severe punishment, but how do you hide a human who’s very intent on saving not just herself, but all her animals as well?

NOTE:
A fast-paced f/f romance with a strong human woman and a swoon-worthy alien female willing to give up everything for her mate.



Everything was going according to plan, or so Bavalla thought. The animals on the list were now all in the cargo hold of their ship. Then she notices an extra something in one of the containers. A sentient being, if the captain found out it would mean her death.

Tilly wakes in a strange place with Brie, her favorite Rhino in the zoo where she worked. She’s about to learn some very interesting things about where she and many of the animal she cares for are.

This is a favorite scene.

The two creatures on the other side of the glass were clearly studying me too, but it was easier to pretend that I was the examiner. “There seem to be slight openings in the neck of the right one. I count… three on either side. They look like nostrils. I wonder if they also breathe oxygen or if the air in this cell is specially made for Brie and me,” I wondered out loud.

I pressed my hands against the wall. One of the two beings, the one that looked female, did the same. Her hands had six fingers, slender and delicate, but our palms were almost the same size. She cocked her head, her large eyes examining me closely. Maybe she wasn’t female.

Maybe I was simply applying my human concepts to an alien species. For all I knew, these beings reproduced in an entirely different way, having no need for genders. I pushed that thought away. I shouldn’t be focusing on things like that. Far more important was how to get out of here, back to Earth. Maybe we were still there, cloaked so that my fellow humans couldn’t see it. But the slight vibration in the walls and floor told a different story. We were flying. We might be far away from home by now. I didn’t know how long I’d slept for.

Brie snorted and got to her feet. She stared at the beings with all the curiosity a rhino could muster. Which wasn’t a lot. Brie was lovely, but not the brightest rhino out there. I put a hand on her thick skin, stroking her.

“Easy, girl. Don’t worry, I’ll get you home.”

My voice shook slightly, but I hoped she wouldn’t pick up on that.

“Eeeeezzzzyyyyyyy.” The female alien parroted my words, although it barely resembled the original sound. “Guuuuuuuuurrrrrl.”

I swallowed a laugh. I wouldn’t give in to hysteria. Not yet.

The alien said something else in her own clicking language, then looked at me questioningly. Did she want me to repeat that?

I tried to replicate her clicks, but without success. It sounded like I had a cough.

The slits in her neck flared and her full lips turned upwards. Was it too much to hope that a smile was the same for her species? I knew that in apes, what looked like a smile was actually a threatening gesture. I very much hoped it wasn’t the same for her.

The other alien, who I thought was male, didn’t smile or change his blank expression. He simply stared at Brie, who returned his intense gaze with all the nonchalance of a two-tonne rhino. Brie knew she was the strongest animal in the room. I was glad to have her on my side, even with the danger of being squashed by accident.

The two aliens started talking again. I hoped they weren’t discussing how to get rid of me. Or how best to cook me. Their conversation turned into something of an argument, with both of them gesticulating widely. Secretly, I rooted for the female. Us women had to stick together, right?

After what seemed like a small eternity, the female pulled out a shimmering device the size of her hand. The way she held it reminded me of a phone, but there was no display that I could see. Again, I chided myself for assuming my understanding of the universe would be the same here. Of course, they didn’t use the same technology as us. It would have been strange if she’d been handling a smartphone. Whatever it was, a hiss sounded when she rubbed the glittering device and lines appeared on the wall. I stepped back, bumping against Brie. She huffed but didn’t move. The lines turned into a rectangle, just big enough for me and the aliens, but way too small for Brie.

The wall inside the lines disappeared, yes, it disappeared. What had looked like solid matter turned into thin air. Wow. That was technology way beyond my understanding. I would have called it magic if I hadn’t known otherwise.

The male kept clicking at the female, seemingly unhappy with her decision to let me out. Before he could decide otherwise, I stepped through the doorway, half expecting to bump into an invisible wall. But no, it really was nothing but air. So weird.

The female smiled at me again and reached out, her fingertips brushing against my throat. She gently stroked my neck in the places where she had slits, gills maybe. Her touch was ever so soft. Tingles spread from where her fingers met my skin and a pleasant shudder ran down my back. What on Earth was happening?

She said something to me and pulled back.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Don’t you have some kind of translation device? They always have those in films. And books. Not that I’ve read any alien romance novels, not at all.”

I stopped babbling and shot a look at the male behind her. He was staring at me with a frown. The tips of his long ears were bent to the sides, which they hadn’t done earlier. Some kind of gesture that I couldn’t interpret. I hoped it wasn’t a sign of aggression.

The female muttered something that seemed to be directed at the male, then turned and beckoned me to follow her. Hesitantly, I walked behind her through a narrow corridor. On both sides, large containers were piled on top of each other. Muffled sounds told me I’d find several of my zoo animals inside. There was no mistaking Terry the tiger’s agitated roar. He was a sweetheart when you scratched him behind the ears, but he could be fearsome if he was afraid or angry.

“What are you doing with my animals?” I asked, not expecting an answer. “Why did you abduct them? Why did you abduct me? What are you planning to do with us?”

She didn’t turn and kept walking. The male was following at a distance behind me, not giving me a choice but to stay with the alien. We passed at least twenty containers before reaching a door. It slid open as soon as the female approached, giving way to a brightly lit room full of screens. No, they weren’t screens as such. The images and data were shown on the walls themselves, either projected onto them or as if they were the screens. Two comfy looking chairs sat in the centre of the room. Weird, they looked so ordinary. Four legs, a backrest. Even though it was made from a strange material that looked like purple wood, it wouldn’t have stood out in a fancy designer furniture store on Earth.

The female sat on the left one and gestured to the other chair. Carefully, I sat down, hoping this wasn’t meant to electrocute me or something. That would be a nasty way to go.

The purple wood was much softer than expected and slightly rubbery. The cushions were warm and moulded to fit my bum. How surprisingly comfortable. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The alien used her glittery device again, and a loud noise sounded above me. I looked up just in time to see a chandelier-crown-helmet contraption descend from the ceiling. It lowered itself on my head and tightened against my temples.

This better not kill me.
Skye MacKinnon; Arizona Tape. The Alien’s Zookeeper: Aliens and Animals 1 (Kindle Locations 163-216). Peryton Press.

Aside from trying to avoid the captain, Valla also needs a plan to keep Tilly and her animals safe. Tilly doesn’t want to leave the animals anywhere so it’s not going to be easy.

A fun romp in space, with some angst, laughter, a romance and some very interesting characters.

5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Skye!

 

A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.

Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.

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Skye MacKinnon

Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.

She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.

When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page