Ice Age Shifters
Carol Van Natta
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Ketumino da’Nok de Mar lumbered up onto the bank of the impossible river and
snorted forcefully to open his nose and ear flaps. The pretend sun was more
than halfway toward the far horizon. He shook up and down to help his fur shed
Even the distant orchard trees to his left swayed.
aquatic sloth form was massive, but not that massive. Certainly not massive
enough to shake an entire magical fairy demesne.
again, longer this time. Water sloshed onto the river’s banks, lapping at his
the ancient fairy who created the demesne to house her collection of aquatic
exotics like him, went on a rampage, the wind blew heat and the central castle
trembled. But she’d died and turned to fairy dust two months ago.
surfaced of feeling something similar a couple of hundred years ago, soon after
Nessireth moved the demesne from the high, cold place to a warm island
location. The demesne’s anchor had been tugged by a violent real-world storm
she’d called a hurricane. After a second one a few years later, she’d used her
then-abundant magic to add more anchors. That cured it.
remembered a recent comment from Kelvin, the young pygmy hippopotamus shifter
who had been Nessireth’s final acquisition. Humans were now living everywhere,
and they’d been burning forests and fossils. Scientists said it changed the
climate and predicted more hurricanes.
it. Heat and magic were similar—increased energy in a stable spell guaranteed
The river water surged in a wave, wetting his front paws.
magic made the circular river constantly flowing to provide habitat and feeding
grounds for him and the other aquatic shifters and creatures. It hadn’t ever
changed… until today.
home to him that he and others needed to get serious about escaping. Nessireth
had bragged about spending millennia to construct her demesne, but it was
decaying daily without her active magic to maintain it. The false moon wasn’t
as round as it used to be, and had a noticeable pink tint. Just last week, the
constant breeze had taken to gusting chaotically.
captives knew what would happen if the demesne collapsed with them still
inside. Dauro was certain it wouldn’t be good.
liked solitary peace and quiet, but his suppressed human side knew he needed to
check on the rest of his friends. Nessireth’s death had given him more freedom
than the others. And his limited telepathic skills as a sloth meant he had to
visit them himself. Nessireth had forced each of them to remain their animal
form, and the demesne would keep them that way forever… as long as the magic
Nessireth’s acquisitions, he’d become the sinchi, the temporary champion of the
collection. In his opinion, formidable size, war experience, and a talent for
magic while in animal form didn’t make him a leader, but he was the best they
energy-saving sloth succumbed to the lure of a nap, he plunged back into the
water. Digging his strong, clawed toes into the silty bank, he let the water
flow over him for a minute while he thought. Downstream was the long way around
the river, but wouldn’t tire him out as fast. So far, the magical
protein-enriched sea grasses he depended on for food still grew overnight, but
for how long?
and let the current help him swim toward his friend Sunscar’s territory. The
closer he got, the more the magic in the water felt as agitated as the river
because the lake’s wall was breached. Instead of an orderly river running next
to a placid pool, the whole area was now a flooded swamp. The demesne’s castle
was already repairing the wall, but the water had no natural way to drain back
into the lake.
damage had activated the water-based defensive spells, which were fighting with
the castle’s defenses. Grab-weed tried to strangle the broken pieces of the
wall, as if they were attackers. Two of the animated castle statues tore at the
weeds so the wall could heal.
A Cowboy Christmas by Shanna Hatfield – Deck the Halls with Books Holiday Extravaganza
Genre: Non-fiction, Holiday, Cooking, Ranch Life
interspersed with hues of tan and gray surrounded me as I gazed over a sea of
cowboy hats at the Las Vegas airport.
crowd, my husband, Captain Cavedweller, and I settled at our gate to wait for
our flight. While he read the newspaper and jiggled his boot-covered foot
impatiently, I observed those milling around. Like us, hundreds of cowboys
prepared to depart after attending the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and many
of the accompanying activities.
Vegas takes on a country vibe as the rodeo comes to town, bringing hundreds of
vendors, thousands of spectators, and a whole lot of fun.
morning, the idea for a story began churning in my head.
compete professionally spend a good deal of time traveling, I began to wonder
how many of them flew from one rodeo to the next. If they were flying, it made
sense that they might meet a girl at an airport who turned their head.
story idea and by the time we reached home, The Christmas
Romance Series Book 1) was born.
Cowboy, which involves a saddle bronc rider as the hero, I became
aware of a wonderful organization — the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.
provides help to injured rodeo athletes. The men and women who are professional
rodeo athletes know it isn’t a matter of if they get hurt, but when. Many of
them are uninsured, so when an accident happens, it can be devastating
physically, emotionally, and financially.
when the JCCF steps in and offers a hand up to steps in offer financial
assistance to rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries that leave
them unable to compete for an extended time. Rather than worry about how
they’ll pay their bills, they can focus on healing. One thing I especially
admire about the JCCF is that 100 percent of the donations go to the cowboys
who need it. They don’t take out administrative expenses or fees.
through Christmas Eve, I will donate
ten percent of the proceeds from every book purchase to the JCCF.
wonderful addition to this year’s campaign is A Cowboy
Christmas. The book features 300 pages of western holiday fun
with more than 70 full-color recipes.
jangle of spurs mingles with the jingle of sleigh bells in this celebration of
with A Cowboy
Christmas. A collection of unique holiday décor, traditions, recipes,
and guides for entertaining with ease make this your go-to resource for an
amazing western Christmas. Filled with stories of real-life ranch families and
rodeo cowboys, get a glimpse into their traditions, try their family recipes,
and experience their lifestyles. From preserving memories of the past to tips
for wrapping presents, discover the special touches incorporated throughout
this book that make it a holiday keepsake you’ll cherish for years to come.
Brimming with holiday cheer, recipes with full-color photographs, and
one-of-a-kind ideas, this book is a wonderful celebration of the holidays that
will help make your Christmas unforgettable.
featured in the interviews talk about how the JCCF offered a hand up to them
and their families when they most needed the help. And a few of them shared
their favorite holiday recipes!
this way. 20 years of laying my head on my pillow at night just to wake up the
folliwing day exhausted and confused . A feeling of melancholy always consuming
me. It’s getting to the point that I am begging to question what’s real and
what’s just in my mind. It all comes down to those damn dreams.
dreamed of her. I don’t know her name or who she is, or if she’s even real. But
I know the gentle touch of her hand as it reaches for mine. Know the power of
her gaze as she uses there full weight to stare at me. Never once looking threw
me but looking at me as if we are long forgotten friends. I smile at her as I
always do and extend my hand towards her. Knowing that she will take it as she
always has before.
we’ve never spoken, not one word. We just stand frozen before one another, not
being able to say the things were really feeling. Or put into words the
randomness and oddness of this recurring dream that we both seem to share. I
slowly feel myself being pulled back into the world of the living. Into the
world of reality and being pulled farther away from her. The one place even in
silence I feel completely myself. How I hate to leave her.
as I begin to fade and soon wake. I can feel it almost cut into the air like a
sharp blade. The change she looks behind her for the first time into the
nothingness surrounding us. She turns back. Whipping her strawberry blonde hair
out of place. Fear grips her angelic features I can see the fear in her Light
through the quiet and makes me suck in a shaky breath. So beautiful she sounds
even more so then I could have ever dreamed. This would be beautiful if I
didn’t hear the complete terror in her voice.
try to speak but it’s as if my lips are glued shut. She walks over towards me
and places her hands on either side of my face. I avert my gaze for what felt
like a mere moment but who knows how long it actually was. I see a mark on her
wrist and try to adjust my eyes to get a clearer look. A Blue butterfly
spreading out its wings is burned into her Right wrist.
me. Her eyes begin to tear I can see the look in her eyes begging me to
understand what she’s trying to say. Instead however I am left more confused
into her sea green stare truly look. For the first time my lips start to
you? I don’t even know who you are. You’re not real just a figment of my
imagination. I wish you were real after all this time but you’re not you can’t
be so you see I can’t help you. Because you don’t exist.’’.
room we are standing in begins to take on a more definite shape and as my eyes
begin to adjust more to the light I notice a pale hand gripping her left
Hand falls from her shoulder and a woman steps forward.
than me. She looks at me with identical Emerald eyes as the girl I have dreamed
about for as long as I can remember. She looks at my Dream girl and smiles a
kind knowing smile. Suddenly I am overcome with the Feeling of love and joy and
something bitter … Something I can almost taste on my tongue. Regret. She steps
closer to me and grabs my hand into hers I can feel the heart radiating from
her grip like a hot iron I moan slightly at the pain. I try to remove my hand
from hers but she’s got it tight within her own. She looks at me and smiles
like a mother would to a beloved child.
mouth to speak and I am taken aback by how much she sounds like the young woman
next to her who I feel I have known all my life.
second you see her’’
head looking at the young woman and then back at me
problem is she won’t know you so you’ll have to help her to remember’’.
pats my hand reassuringly.
Remember You. Help her to remember who she truly is. Help her to Remember me.
But most importantly keep Her Safe Alex. We’re all counting on you to keep her
safe…? To help her whatever comes ‘’
Counting on me you and who else?’’
time I can see true sadness come over her beautiful features She scowls and
downcast her eyes and I can feel the true pain whatever this is overtaking her.
up at me
your sake and hers you never find out that answer. Just promise me you will do
as I say.’’
myself slowly waking up being pulled awake the image in front of me begins to
fade my dream girl has disappeared completely … All I can see now is the face
of this Other woman I hold on as hard as I can.’’
also noticing she is no longer with us. I see a tear slide down her cheek.She
turns back at me and right when I think I can no longer hold on I hear her
answer my question with a whisper.
upright in bed trying to catch my breath and still my raging heart. None of
that has ever happened before. We’ve never spoken or asked the other for any
type of help. It was just a silly crazy dream I try to tell myself. Like all
the other nights before. My mind is once again playing cruel tricks on me.
what I tell myself. Suddenly I hear light pounding on my window Paine. I stand
and slowly walk over to my window and throw open the blinds. What I see shocked
me and run’s my blood cold. I pinch myself almost certain it’s another dream. I
pinch myself and soon realize it can’t be I’m awake.
definitely wrong in my small town of East brook Maine. A lot of crazy things
have happened here in the past but what I see before me is certainty a first.
Waking up to a snowstorm in the middle of July.
I grabbed my car keys and got the hell out of there. I ran not walked to my car
and drove pajamas and all to the only person in the world that would understand
this. The only person in the world that wouldn’t think I’m crazy. My sister.
is going on either I’m losing my mind which is a very real possibility I admit.
Or something really wrong is happening in East Brooke and I know in my bones it
has something to do with her.
the Deepest green eyes I’ve ever seen.
Strawberry blonde hair.
takes the cake is her tattoo a butterfly. It’s the first solid thing to make me
believe she’s real and not some crazy figment of my imagination. Just when I
think I’m over analyzing the situation. Hale the size of a basketball breaks my
windows. I swerve almost completely off the road. Oh yes something is definitely wrong in East
Brooke and no matter what I’m going to find out what it is.
I’m still in the dark about all of this I have something now that I never had
before. Something to hold onto when my mind begins to think it’s all a dream.
and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the
vengeful demon destroy them all?
Curiosities series.Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day
Charleston, an antiques and curio shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can
read the history of objects by touching them, and she teams up with friends and
allies who use magic and paranormal abilities to get rid of cursed objects and
keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
Charleston and start racking up a body count. Then Beckford Pendlewood, the
heir to a powerful family of dark warlocks, shows up raving about a bound demon
locked in a lost box and begs sanctuary. Can Cassidy and her friends find the
demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before
Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?
1 from Chapter 1 484 words
problem antique I’d like you to take a look at.” The man on the other end of
the call sounded rattled. I recognized his name—Alfred Stone, from Stone
Auctions—but I didn’t think we had ever spoken, let alone met.
‘problem’ does it present?” I asked. A number of possibilities came to mind.
“Questionable provenance? Not sure how to authenticate?”
trying to kill me.”
kind of problem. “All right, Mr. Stone. Try to stay calm.”
you, it’s trying to kill me. I heard you…know…about these things. Please, help
store, Teag Logan glanced up to make sure everything was all right. I nodded,
and he went back to helping a customer.
Are you at the showroom?”
and sighed. This might be the first time Alfred Stone had an antique try to
kill him, but that made it just another day here at Trifles and Folly.
Kincaide, and I own Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop in historic,
haunted Charleston, South Carolina. The shop has been in my family for more
than three hundred years. While we’re known as a great place to buy
high-quality antiques, the shop is also a cover for the Alliance, a coalition
of mortals and immortals who save Charleston—and the world—from supernatural
threats. I’m a psychometric, which means I can read the history and magic of
objects by touching them. Teag is my assistant store manager, best friend, and
sometimes bodyguard—and he’s also a talented Weaver witch. Sorren, my business
partner, is a nearly six-hundred-year-old vampire. Together with some other
friends with very specialized abilities, we do our best to keep the world safe
from dark magic and things that go bump in the night.
asked when the customer left.
I replied. “Alfred Stone just called—from the auction house. He says he’s got
an item that’s trying to kill him.”
go with you?” Teag pushed a lock of dark hair out of his eyes. His skater-boy
haircut and skinny jeans made him look younger than his late twenties. “Maggie
can handle the store.”
Maggie—our lifesaver of a part-time associate—waved to agree from the other
side of the store. She was sporting a new bright pink streak in her short gray
hair, and it matched her sweater, a reminder—as if I needed one—that she
believed in taking risks and living large.
slick my humidity-frizzy strawberry blond hair back into a ponytail and shook
my head. “Let me go see what the problem is, and I’ll figure out what to do
from there. It’s not far away, in case I need to give a shout.”
fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL
Publishing, Darkwind Press, Worldbuilders Press and Falstaff Books. Recent
books include Reckoning, Sellsword’s Oath, Inheritance, CHARON, Wasteland Marshals.
As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the
Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include The Rising,
Flame and Ash. Find her at