Mood board for my piece in March’s Wild At Heart PNR Flash Fiction challenge. The theme is luck. Be sure to follow my blog and sign up for my newsletter so you can read “Treasure”and more book excerpts for free, later this week!
Happy Spring, everybody!
Squeee!! I’m super excited to be joining the Wild At Heart PNR Flash Fiction challenge this month! The theme for March is “Luck” and I have a magical Fae Romance piece I’ll be contributing soon. 🧚
Keep your eye out for “Treasure” to go live on my blog and newsletter later this week so you can read it for free! Sign up here.
Follow the Wild At Heart PNR Flash Fiction writing group on Instagram #wildatheartpnrflashfiction for links to all the other great Wild At Heart author’s stories. I’ve read quite a few of them already. They’re fantastic! And a great way to find some #newtomeauthors—my favorite kind of “Treasure” hunt.
#flashfiction #pnrflashfiction #pnrflashfictionwritingclub #wildatheart #wildshortreads #faeromance #fantasyromancewriter #magicallyseductivereads #amandavshanebooks #urbanfantasyromance #pnrbooklover
There's just something magical about snow and we've had a lot of here in Colorado the past couple of days, so of course I'm in the mood for a little Nika and Vasilli in the snowy, Northern Kingdom where the fantasy romance story Snow Maiden takes place. Read the first few chapters of Snow Maiden for free here.
Here are a few pictures I took of the big snow storm that came through our area over the weekend.
Here's an excerpt from Crystal Tide for your Book Teaser Tuesday. Actually, I love this scene so much that I'm sharing the whole chapter. Enjoy! You can find Crystal Tide and read Kay and Xieran's whole thrilling, sexy story on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited here.
Falling. Falling or shooting or hurtling; Kay couldn’t decide which. She’d been pulled out of King Amphere’s bed where he’d bound her so cleverly and thrown into a panic. All the water in the portal disappeared in an instant. She burst up through the travel tube just as the door opened and landed in a heap on dry land.
“Ahh,” she groaned, face down in the dirt, so much for the nice clothes.
She’d lost a shoe too. Pushing up off the ground, she turned her head to find the stiletto lying a few feet from a bush. Gingerly, she rose up to retrieve it.
With no idea where she was, she looked at her surroundings, miraculously catching sight of Xieran moving down a road. He should have been the last person she wanted to see, but she was relieved. Maybe she could tail him until she figured out where to go. It was the middle of the night and there wasn’t anyone around so she followed him from a distance.
Hermes had said he was going to Rome. Looking back at where the tube had spit her out, her ankles wobbled again.
The aqueducts. She never thought she’d get to see them. Rome was a bucket list item, sure, but this was crazy. To just appear somewhere out of thin air! It was too much to take in but Xieran was about out of sight so she curbed her amazement and hurried after him.
He made his way into the city where things got busier then went down an alley behind a large building. Kay waited. She didn’t want him to find her out. The clacky heels were a dead give-away even though she was getting much better at walking in them, thank you very much. Still, she had to walk carefully.
Xieran punched a code into a keypad and she thought this was where she should probably part ways with him to find her own way through the city. But then she heard something at the other end of the alley. Two men were coming her way and they didn’t look very nice. One of them yelled something as they both started to rush up on her. Terrified, she ran to the door Xieran had just disappeared behind. It was easing shut when she got there so she grabbed the handle before it clicked into the lock then slipped in and yanked it closed behind her. Panting, she leaned against the door but jumped when the men began to pound on it, yelling in a language she couldn’t understand.
She scurried away from the door trying to think what to do next. Xieran was here and she should avoid him seeing her but there was no way she was going back outside in the dark.
Squinting to see, she found herself in yet another storage room. Everything was covered with sheeting and tarps. Light shone from across the room as Xieran passed through another door and she ducked back into the shadows. What was he planning to steal now? Before she could think better of it she tip-toed after him, dogging his steps until he came to a big open stairwell then started down. Waiting a few seconds so as to keep a safe distance, Kay pressed herself into the cold stone column at the top of the stairs then ran on her toes again to peek over the banister.
Xieran stopped and started to look up but she ducked back out of sight in the nick of time. After a moment, he continued down. Lifting herself up a bit, Kay could see over the railing. She followed him with her eyes until she could see him make his way into a big open room full of sculptures. It was then that she realized they were in a museum. He halted again to look up and she barely slumped down behind the stairwell before he saw her because she was so intrigued. This was how he and Hermes got all of their art.
Her heart was beating a mile a minute. She held her breath until she heard Xieran start moving again. Then, slowly, she lifted up to peek over the edge of the staircase. She couldn’t see him so she scooted forward in a crouched position, rising up along the wall to lean over. It sounded like he was right underneath her so she pushed a little further to get a better look. Just as she spotted him though, she felt the slippery sole of her shoe slide on the floor. Too late, she knew she was done for.
The last thing she thought about was all that stone and marble. Where were those pillows from Amphere’s “resting room” when a girl needed them?
She screamed as she went over the edge. The break to her fall was a mix of Xieran’s hard body and alabaster, neither one forgiving. That was going to leave a mark. She didn’t have time to think though before Xieran moved under her and she was sent rolling across the floor, grabbing a clump of broken statuary as she went. There were voices shouting in the distance, people coming their way.
Scrambling up to her feet, Kay hunched over and held the stone piece in her hand out like a sword. Turning in every direction she prepared to ward off whoever might be coming for her next – museum guards, police…Xieran. He was just a few feet from her, dusting off his suit. How many times had she crashed into him now?
He turned, lancing through her with his stare.
“Miss Laurens. What. Are. You. Doing?”
Kay’s chest heaved.
Shouting and the sound of footsteps got closer, then Xieran was stalking toward her. He looked very annoyed…and very handsome. Always that. Kay backed up, pointing the weapon in her hands at him.
“Don’t come any closer!” She shouted.
He stopped. His eyes went to her hands. He looked back up at her, then lifted an eyebrow. She frowned but brought her hands up to eye level so that she could see what exactly she was threatening him with.
There, right before her eyes, in both hands and to her horror, she found that she had a death grip on an enormous stone penis!
Stunned she stared at the clay wonder. In her tumble through the open air, she hadn’t realized that the room was filled with giant nudes. Her cheeks started to burn. She raised her startled brown eyes up to his. He wore a damnable, ‘all right crazy girl, now what?’ smirk on his face.
Chaos came running at them after that, getting louder as a band of security guards burst onto the scene. Everyone stopped and stared. At her! Why weren’t they looking at Xieran? Surely he was more menacing than she was. He was stealing from the museum for fuck’s sake! But they all had their eyes trained on her like she was some unhinged psycho – armed and dangerous. And she was…with a huge phallic!
Dammit, he was the criminal here. Guess that didn’t matter when you were the one standing there with a dick in your hands. Oh god!
She gasped, dropping the thing. It rolled around on the floor, forlorn and detached. Some angsty poet could probably put the image to good use. Kay scowled at it, but then Xieran was on her, grabbing the top of her arm.
“You, Miss Laurens,” he said in her ear, “are such a fucking beautiful disaster.”
Then they were running. When they neared the guards, Xieran swung her up in his arms at just the right angle to crash through two of them as he did a full turn then set her down and kept moving, pulling her along with him. The man was slick. That and the guards were dumbstruck. She figured at least half the credit went to her though for the little distraction she had provided. He was welcome.
Slipping and sliding across the tile in her heels, Xieran dragged her around a stone pillar. Faking right, he moved across the hall to a doorway on the left but not before he had held up some kind of remote control device and brought down a metal barricade all around the sculpture exhibit. The guards were locked in and the two of them were safe in a closet before anyone knew what had happened.
Xieran flipped on a light in the small room, pushed her up against the wall then shocked the hell out of her by kissing her hard on the mouth.
She melted. After their first kiss, her body craved him. Even when she’d dreamed of Amphere, it was with the real man—Xieran—still in her mind. He drew her to him, his hands strong on her arms.
“What are you doing here?” He breathed. “How did you find the access?”
When she didn’t answer right away he gave her a little shake.
“B-bathroom, I found a door in my bathroom,” she told him. “I saw you and Hermes…”
Just then they heard the guards running past, shouting.
“We have to get out of here,” Xieran said. He moved around, searching for something. Kay felt deprived of his heat even when he was only a foot away. Rubbing her arms, she pressed her lips together, still tasting him. Remnants of all the lustful sensations he stirred in her and a fair amount of adrenalin hummed through her body. Something crashed above her in the next instant though, clearing her head and making her jump.
He’d busted a panel in the ceiling with a mop handle.
“Come on,” he said reaching for her. He dragged her right under the hole he’d made then spun her around. “Jump!”
“Wuh?” was all she got out before his hands were on her hips and she was being hurled up through the tight space.
“Ahh,” she squeaked, landing in a cloud of dust on the other side of the ceiling panel. This night was proof that she could not be trusted with designer clothing. Added to that was the fact that every bone in her body ached from the many falls she’d taken recently.
Xieran popped up through the hole easily then hoisted himself upright before noises below indicated that the guards had crashed into the closet. Kay’s heart beat fast and hard while Xieran seemed unfazed. But this was nothing new for him. He was probably on the lamb all the time she figured.
Grabbing Kay’s hand, he pulled her up off the floor. The man never missed a beat.
“Where are we going?” She asked the back of his head as they moved.
“Quiet,” was all he gave her for an answer then pulled her to the back of the attic.
He found a fresh air vent on the wall.
“Stand back,” he said, pushing her aside.
He pulled back sideways then rammed the vent with his shoulder. It didn’t move so he tried it a second time. Finally, the screen gave way, falling with a clatter onto the pavement below. Xieran reached for her, pulling her in behind him.
“Stay close to me,” he said as he dropped down then jumped through the opening. Kay poked her head out just as he was rising. He reached up to her with both hands.
“Jump Karina,” he called.
It looked too far. Kay bit her lip but then the sound of sirens approached.
“Hurry,” he said, “I’ll catch you.”
She swallowed then leaped out of the hole and into his arms. As soon as he set her on her feet, they were on the run again.
Dodging between buildings, they managed to avoid the cops, coming out on the street where things were busier. Xieran pulled Kay under an awning, stood her with her back to the wall and came directly in front of her.
“Wrap your arms around me,” he said.
She did, just as a group of law enforcement ran past. He whipped out his phone and started dialing.
“Anthony,” he said. Kay remembered hearing that name recently but she couldn’t think where. She watched him as he talked.
“Yes, I’m in Rome. We’re out on the street but we’ve hit a snag. Can you send a car?”
He chuckled at something the other speaker said then gave their location.
“Okay, thanks,” he said then disconnected.
“Who was that?” Kay asked.
“A friend,” he brushed her hair off her face, “don’t worry, he’ll help us.”
She stared into his deep green eyes for she didn’t know how long then, incredibly, the next thing she knew, a black Audi s8 was roaring up next to the curb where they stood.
“Here’s our ride,” Xieran said as he turned her toward the vehicle and opened the door.
“Nice car,” she said. His eyes gleamed in the moonlight as he moved his head toward the car door.
“Get in, Miss Laurens.”
Crystal Tide, Tides of Atlantis on Amazon
Read the Tides of Atlantis series for free on Kindle Unlimited here.
Devastated by the loss of both parents and running scared after a break-in at her home, Kay Laurens jumps on the first plane out of Denver heading south to Miami. There she meets up with, of all people, a love psychic for answers. On the tip of the Bermuda Triangle, she is swept up into the dark world of an ancient cult and sent on the ride of her life. Then her incense induced visions come to life in the form of an inter-world traveling, suspicious and sinfully hot immortal agent for Mt. Olympus.
Xieran has no memory of who he was before being stolen by Hermes. The Greek god uses him to enter Earth's sphere under the guise of an affluent art dealer in search of an elusive artifact which, if he can find, will win him his freedom. When his latest mission is brought up short by a female grad student breaking into his complex travel system, he can’t help but be suspicious. It makes no difference that he finds her more and more irresistible with each encounter. With demon outbreaks, nefarious characters working in the Underworld and a power struggle of epic proportions going on, no one can be trusted.
As they are thrown into the Tides together, Kay and Xieran set out on a whirlwind adventure, racing through the streets of Rome, Miami and even Western Australia to chase down the answers that will win them their freedom from the overbearing gods. Will they come to terms with destiny and conquer the evil taking over the Tides, or will they succumb to the passion growing between them?
Join the forming crew of Poseidon’s defenders against the Underworld in book two of Amanda V. Shane’s Tides of Atlantis series
“You can’t just throw me in there!” She screamed, trying to fight him.
“Listen, miss,” he said with barely any space between them. His words vibrated through her skin, along her spine then all the way down to that sensitive place between her legs, “until you can explain to me who you are and what you were doing in the Tides, you will stay right here.”
He moved into the room then set her down on her feet, being surprisingly gentle. Kay’s whole body felt weak and throbby now. She took in a shuddering breath, stepping back to put some space between them so she could put a stop to this insane physical attraction she was having to him. He was her freaking abductor for crying out loud!
His head lowered and he narrowed his eyes. That look made everything a hundred times worse.
Kay flipped her bangs, jutting her chin out.
“That’s what you think,” she said, over-doing the bravado. She couldn’t resist shaking her arms out, still tingling everywhere from having his hands on her.
He lifted a gold-brown eyebrow up at her and huffed out a laugh like he knew her secret then turned and closed the door behind him.
She decided right then to hate him.
King of the Tides' gorgeous red cover makes the perfect Valentine's Day book buy, don't you think? If you haven't read book 3 in the Tides of Atlantis series yet, you can pick up your copy today on Amazon.
Attacked by the demons –
– that threaten Earth’s Realm, secret agent Marlowe Casey is in a fight for her life. As poisonous demon venom seeps into her veins, Adam Atlas takes her underground. When things go from bad to worse, the immortal Atlantean does the unthinkable, something forbidden by the gods, to save her.
Now she’s alive, but she’s on everyone’s hit list, Poseidon’s, the demons’… even the cartels’! She has powers she never could have imagined. The only problem is, they’re coming from the wrong team.
She needs a power greater than she’s ever known to make things right again. She needs…
… the King of the Tides.
Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited
Be sure to sign up for the Amanda V. Shane Newsletter for book news, a free Tides world novella and some free drink recipes from Adam Atlas's own Miami bar and nightclub! Click here to subscribe.
Happy Wine and Books Wednesday, everybody! This week's Romance, Reads and Wine post will be my last of this year and, oh boy, do I have a sweet treat for you here on the blog. Today's pairing is brought to you by ten fabulous PNR authors, including yours truly *wink wink*, and Kiona Ice Wine. The Christmas Nibbles Paranormal Romance Anthology reads like a box of assorted Christmas candies, providing some fun little romance nibblets to sink your teeth into this holiday season. All the selections are unique, never-before-seen, paranormal romance novellas with different fantasy character types and varying levels of steam so there's something in it for everyone. I'm really excited to be a part of this charity anthology as its proceeds will be going to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. 2020 has presented a lot of challenges and tough times for many. In light of that, my author friends and I wanted to do something to help some of the most vulnerable in our communities and I couldn't be prouder of the finished product.
Kiona Ice Wine was a no brainer pairing to put with Christmas Nibbles. I don't usually reach for a dessert wine, but this one, I have to say, is a delight. If you're in the mood for something sweet, say something to go along with an assorted chocolates box, some Christmas cookies and, of course, the Christmas Nibbles PNR Anthology, this wine is perfection. Santa would approve! ;)
Are you ready for a fun filled and steamy paranormal romance anthology with ten original stories? I’m talking elves and snowmen, reindeer and Santa, all the things that your little jingle-bell-loving heart desires.
What could be better than that? How about ten of your favorite paranormal romance authors getting together to bring you a fun-filled, steamy paranormal christmas anthology that is donating all of its proceeds to charity?
Yes, you heard that right. Every dollar we earn will be going to charity. Because what’s more in the holiday spirit than giving back?
This year we’ve all been struggling. Yet we know there are so many people out there who’ve been struggling even more. Homeschooling sucks but imagine being on lock down with an abusive partner, parent, or guardian. This is why the authors contributing to the Christmas Nibbles Anthology have picked the National Domestic Abuse Hotline to support during this holiday season.
For more information about The Hotline, please visit their website.
So how can you help? Strap in for a ride on Santa’s sleigh and nab the Christmas Nibbles paranormal romance anthology today!
Christmas Nibbles is set at a special preorder sale price of just 0.99 cents up until it releases on December 18th, 2020. Oh, my gosh, that's this Friday!! Be sure to go grab your copy of this holiday collection soon.
*If you preorder, we're also running a special opportunity through midnight Dec. 17th to sign up for a Christmas card from one of the authors. Here's the link: Christmas Nibbles Christmas Cards
Until next time, here on your favorite wine and romance novel pairing blog, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year. Merry Christmas!
Happy Wednesday, Book and Wine lovers! This week's pairing is brought to you by Romance Author Shanna Swenson's third book in her Abundance series, Escape from Abundance and Mason Savignon Blanc. For a true taste of the west, I highly recommend this contemporary western romance and this Napa Valley wine. Grab both for the perfect reading escape during this very busy holiday season. Read on for links and my review!
Trouble finds us all at some point…
Cole Callahan has been in trouble - or better yet - running from trouble his entire life, so it’s no surprise that when his best friend, Adam, is murdered in cold blood, he’s once again running… Only this time, he’s running from the law, and he’s a suspect!
When his get-away ride breaks down in the small Texas town of Abundance, Cole decides to take an impromptu job at Kinsen ranch. He’s thinking he’ll blend in and hide out for a while before heading out of the country. He’s soon astounded by the intense love this amazing family has for one another; a love he’s never experienced before, and Dallas Kinsen starts to become the woman he simply doesn’t want to live without…
Little Dallie is all grown up. She’s eighteen years old now and spending her last summer at home on her family’s horse ranch before heading off to college. The thought of leaving home and going out to make her mark on the world is becoming an overpowering concern for her as she tries to mentally prepare herself to leave the nest. She’s not sure she’s ready for college life and a premature homesickness starts to tear at her fragile heart. She’s also not eager about leaving behind the new ranch hand her father has hired on… Cole is charming, good-looking and has a profound wanderlust unlike any Dallie’s seen before, but how will she take the deep, dark secret he’s been hiding when it comes bursting out from the seams?
Cole is on the run for his freedom! Can Dallie be his saving grace or will she just become yet another let down in his second-rate life?
Let their love story carry you away as they escape from Abundance…
From my review:
I love reading legacy series, and I have to say, Swenson’s Abundance series combines meaningful romance and engrossing storylines that span generations and keep me coming back to Abundance to read all about her great characters. Escape starts off with our hero, Cole, on the run from the law, caught in an impossible situation with nowhere to turn. His character tugged at my heartstrings. He’s never known the love and support of a strong family or really ever had anyone in his corner his whole young life. When he meets the Kinsens, he’s completely in awe of how their family supports and loves one another. He tries right from the beginning to earn no-nonsense, ranch owner Jack Kinsen’s trust. There’s just one problem with that plan—Dallas Kinsen. Jack and Natalie’s daughter from the beginning of the series is all grown up now and Cole can’t stop thinking about her.
Dallie is completely taken with the handsome drifter who’s come to work on her family’s ranch. She’s immediately drawn to the quiet young man and can’t help but want to do her best to strike up a friendship with him. Their friendship quickly grows into more and I really loved all the sweet, coming of age moments the two of them shared.
I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen to poor Cole. Luckily, he had Dallie to see him through everything and stick by him even through his darkest hour. I also really enjoyed reading more about the other couples from this series. Jack and Natalie and Jordan and Nate were all there again and I thought Swenson did a great job of continuing their stories even while telling Dallie and Cole’s.
Escape is full of suspense, a strong sense of family, sweet moments as well as some steamy ones and is an all round great contemporary western read. I can’t wait to get back to Abundance and read more!
Hi, everyone! Happy Wine & Books Wednesday. I've been taking a little break from my Romance, Reads & Wine posts for a bit, but today I have a treat for you. If you love Christmas Romance novels and a treat-yourself-during-the-holidays kind of wine than look no further. Today's pairing fits the bill. Author Melanie A. Smith's Last Kiss Under the Mistletoe (which is on preorder now with a release day of Dec 3rd) and Emmolo Savignon Blanc are sure to get you in the spirit of things this Christmas season. Read on for links and my review!
From award-winning and international best-selling author Melanie A. Smith comes a steamy holiday murder-mystery romance with a psychic twist.
Holidays should be filled with cheer…
CJ Roberts just wants to be a normal girl, have a normal job, normal friends, maybe even a normal boyfriend. Unfortunately, she’s about as far from normal as it gets, because she can See the future. And like two sides of a coin, her twin brother, Matt, can See the past. Sounds like a neat party trick, right? Actually, it’s frustrating and sometimes even dangerous. And if the past is any indicator, CJ can’t do much to change what she Sees.
Drew Davies lives and breathes his job as a chef at one of the hottest restaurants in San Francisco. He’s content to focus on his craft, and dating has always been on the back burner. That is, until he meets CJ. When sparks fly, things heat up quickly between them. It’s an unexpected but welcome connection as the holidays approach.
But just as hope blooms, CJ has a vision that changes everything. She doesn’t know how it will happen, but she knows Drew is going to die. Now she’s left with a decision: Does she risk exposing herself to save Drew, or does she play it safe and let fate deal its hand? Secrecy has protected her until now, but can she really do nothing when the life of the man she’s falling for hangs in the balance?
From my review:
Great Christmas Romance Suspense!
First off, with the holidays now in full swing I’m in the mood to glut out on Christmas Romance stories so I’m really glad that I got the chance to read this one by Ms. Smith so early in the season. Second, any book with a sexy chef as the hero has my immediate attention. Seriously, there’s just something about a hot guy in the kitchen that makes my heart beat a little bit faster and… well anyway, I digress.
I went into “Last Kiss…” expecting a light, holiday cheer, kind of quick seasonal read, but I got so much more! The paranormal-slash-psychic theme threw an intriguing element and mystery into the story line that kept me sucked in the whole time I was reading. There were times I seriously couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!
I really loved CJ’s character. She was so relatable and quirky. Her past, as well as her gift, gave her just the kind of conflict that draws me in as a reader and the quick pace that Smith delivered kept the story moving along at an enjoyable clip. I fell in love with a lot of the supporting characters too, so much that I’m hoping Smith revisits them in future books. Umm, and did I mention there’s a sexy chef?
Don’t take my word for it though. Read this exciting, Christmas romance for yourself and get swept away by CJ and Drew’s story.
About the Author
Amanda V Shane is an author of paranormal and fantasy romance and is currently working on her Tides of Atlantis series about the super hot lost kings of Atlantis as well as her Enchanted Lands Romances.