Saturday, April 10, 2021

New Release Alert! (Plus a Heartfelt Backstory)

 




To celebrate Book 2 of the Ancient Aliens Descendants “The Alien Legacy – The Shapeshifter”, I wanted to give you a bit of history on what inspired me to write this series.

To start, there are a couple of things to confess concerning the first book, “The Empath”. A long time ago there was a western series called “Alias Smith & Jones” with two main characters that I and my best friend were obsessed with, as only preteens could be.

One of the actors, Ben Murphy, was my first love (funny how my husband ended up with the same curly dark blonde hair, overall build, and prominent Roman nose that the actor did). To salute that cutie, I fashioned my main hero after him.


Secondly, I admit that a lot of what happens to Julienne in the first part of Book One (The Empath) actually happened to me (ok, there weren’t any aliens…). I'd worked my way up in a small bank in Vegas until I reached the pinnacle position she did. As I wrote the book, I loosely based some of my characters from the people I worked with at the time. While my boss was a lot like Claude in the story, I’m pretty sure he wasn't a CIA operative. I've also included the actions of my supposed “best friend” who betrayed me much like Kathy did Julienne.

But, unlike Julienne, I wasn’t demoted. I was let go. And they weren't nice about it either. You know the same old reason, “We’re headed in a different direction and don't need you anymore”. I was devastated. It was a low blow, especially since I spent over twenty years with that company. I have to tell you, my deep depression lasted a long time. I felt like my very foundation had been ripped out of me and stomped on.  It took years to crawl out of the deep hole I'd fallen into before I had the strength to build up my self-esteem again.

So, how did I cope after something like that happened? Why, I wrote a book, of course! I can’t tell you what an immense relief it was when I “killed” one of my personal tormentors in the story. Yeah, I had that sucker shot right between the eyes…

For the newest book, “The Shapeshifter”, the hero was the other main actor in that TV series by the name of Pete Duel.


I was heartbroken when at the age of 31, Pete killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. My best friend and I were devastated. It was hard for us at such a young age to understand why a seemingly successful, good-looking man would do something like that. Even though that tragedy happened a long time ago, I still find myself dwelling on it from time-to-time.

In the Shapeshifter, I wanted to give Pete an extra zest for life… to honor the man along with his killer dimples.

ONE MORE CONFESSION...



With this series, I was eager to highlight my home state of Nevada. Born and raised in Reno, my family moved to Las Vegas when I was ten. After my husband and I married (he’s a native Nevadan as well), we moved to Lake Tahoe (on the Nevada side, like our heroine Jena does in The Shapeshifter) in a small community called Zephyr Cove. 

In Book Three: The Psychic takes place at the capital of Nevada, Carson City. As a matter of fact, my husband was the general manager at a small casino there like our heroine, Jordyn. I’m working on editing the first draft and I gotta admit I’m loving the story as much as I do the other two. If all goes well, I'm hoping to release it around August of this year.


DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

In honor of my newest release, I'm offering Alien Legacy: The Shapeshifter for the bargain price of 0.99¢! But that only for a limit time (Click Here)!  FYI - It's FREE if you are on Kindle Unlimited.

No chance to delve into my newest series? Never fear, I’ve got your back! Click here for Book One – Alien Legacy: The Empath.


I can’t wait to see what you think about Ben and Pete and their tangle with their feisty mates!   

Friday, April 9, 2021

A Writer’s Quirky Habits by Mary Morgan

 

One of the many questions I’ve been asked in interviews is to share any quirky writing habits I have with their readers. I have too many to list here, so I won’t bore you. Yet there are a couple that make me smile and set the mood when I descend into my writing cave. It’s almost like entering another world for me—full of brave, stubborn warriors, and strong, feisty women. In addition, a few magical dragons, an occasional evil druid and or seer, and lots of wolves.

I don’t consider this one a quirky habit, but rather a tradition—a leather journal. It’s one that has to be purchased before the start of each story or series. I have to find the right one that feels right in my hands. This is where I put all the pertinent information for the world of my story. My collection started with my first purchase at a Renaissance Faire years ago. Now, I’m able to find really lovely leather journals at Barnes & Noble.

The photo of the journal below is for my current series The Wolves of Clan Sutherland.


 

Though some might argue it’s odd and suggest any random notepad or writer’s computer program will do the job more easily, I cannot. For this writer, it’s leather journals all the way! Also, I believe each writer is unique and has their own special technique that works for them.

Another quirky habit is to hold one of my crystals in my hand and take three deep cleansing breaths before I start writing. I’ve found when I’m in a hurry to get into the story and don’t do this ritual, I’m not as focused.


So my writer friends, what quirky habits do you have? Do share!
 


Available at AMAZON


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Alternate Universes in Paranormal Romance and Sci-Fi Romance by @jsubject #PNR #SFRomance #Romance

 


ALTERNATE UNIVERSES
IN
PARANORMAL AND SCI-FI ROMANCE

As an author of both sci-fi and paranormal romance, I know we have to create alternate worlds for our stories. Because as much as we like to believe that aliens, shifters, ghosts, vampires, zombies, etc. exist on this planet, we don't see them walking around in public on a daily basis. So, we create our own where they do.

Now, these alternate worlds or universes can be as similar or different from our own existence as we want them to be. In my ALIEN NEXT DOOR series, aliens live on an Earth much like our own. And they try to blend in to human society so their secret is not discovered. The world-building was simple, as I only had to tweak a few things from our own world.



In my most recently published series, SHIFTER TOWERS, shifters live amongst humans in an omegaverse. There was a little more world-building involved with this series. As similar as I tried to make this world to our own, I did create new cities, towns, and landmarks to match the world I was writing in. And since the characters were mostly AOB shifters, there were a few other differences I had to consider. Like how often, and where they were allowed to shift.

With my GALACTIC DEFENDERS series and my upcoming KADDIM BROTHERS series, I went all out, creating new worlds with new rules, and so much more. And the joy of these stories taking place on multiple planets and on space craft as well is that each one is different from the other, leading to so many possibilities for things to happen.


As a reader, or an author, I want to know how close you like your stories to be to your reality? Do you like to wonder if your neighbor might be an alien or a vampire? Or, do you want the full escape to leave this world during your reading/writing time? I enjoy both, but I'm always curious about what everyone else thinks.

Here's a snippet from BRYCE, the first book in my Galactic Defenders series, where Lalia is on the Galactic Defenders ship and trying to find her way around...

Glancing one last time at her daughter, she pulled on her robe then exited the room.

Confident of their safety on the carrier and in space, the Galactic Alliance hadn’t assigned them any security. They’d been housed in the guest quarters, three floors up from Bryce and the rest of the Defenders.

No one patrolled the hallway at all, making her passage past the communal bathroom and  to the lift easy. “Second floor, Defender’s Lounge,” she recited to the computer after the doors slid closed behind her. The chamber softly glowed around her, no buttons or emergency phones on the walls like elevators on Earth. While Bryce had told her to locate him in the lounge if she had an emergency, she doubted he’d expect her so soon after he’d left her. But she couldn’t share her objections in front of her daughter. If they did end up on Hemera, she didn’t want Katrina to know how much she’d detested life on her home planet.

“Destination reached,” the computer said in a neutral tone, neither male nor female.

Peeking out, she spotted no one. With all the Defenders she’d met on board, she’d expected to run into at least one of them. Instead, closed doors surrounded the gleaming floor of the large, circular room. Tables, chairs, couches, and other odd-shaped furniture rested along the far wall, as if pushed there before one of the crew had cleaned the floor.

Would she leave marks on the polished surface if she stepped across it, evidence of her visit to Bryce? Or, worse, set off an intruder alarm?

The lift door whooshed toward her. Lalia jumped out of the way to avoid getting squished. She paused, waiting for an ear-piercing wail, for all the Defenders to come rushing out to see what had set off the alarm. Yet, an eerie silence hung around her, all the doors remaining closed.

She tiptoed around the edge of the room, searching the entrances for some marker indicating which one led to Bryce. Nothing. They all looked the same, brushed metal without even a window to help her find him. No number or any sort of identification to tell them apart from each other. How did any of the Defenders find their own room?



FIND MY BOOKS HERE:





Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Why Veronica Scott Wrote #SciFi Novel COLONY ON FIRE


After writing the first book, COLONY UNDER SIEGE with these characters – Dr. Saffia Mandell, newly minted doctor working off her medical school bills by doing five years of government service on a remote colony and Micah Navonn, Chief Ranger of his people, who own the planet – I just really wasn’t ready to walk away from them. More plots kept coming to mind and I like these two and their world a lot.

The book is set in my Sectors scifi universe.

It’s a first for me to write a series which focuses on the same hero and heroine in all the books. I have other series but they feature a new couple each time. I’m enjoying the challenge and with Saffia and Micah it feels natural to me to follow their lives through the succeeding years. Lots of adventures to be had on a colony planet!

I’ve always been fascinated by disasters and I've written many a scifi disaster novel. I hope with a title like COLONY ON FIRE it’s not a spoiler to reveal there’s a major wildfire in the plot. I’ve lived in Southern California since I was 19 and had my own brushfire experiences. Nothing like what my characters go through in the novel, nor what many have suffered in real life, but enough to be able to extrapolate. I think my worst was being on my way to work one morning and becoming trapped on the freeway by a fire which had jumped the road…and I was next to a gasoline truck! (Yeah, if I put that in a novel people would scoff but true story.) The CHP eventually led us to safety. Looking back, I think it’s lucky we all made it without someone getting stuck. There were about ten cars.

I’ve always been especially terrified of being stuck in my car with the fire approaching and having to flee on foot…because the fires move incredibly fast, especially if wind driven.

And I do maintain a prioritized list of what to grab if we’re evacuating for a fire, prioritizing in order of how much time we have to get out, from basically none to half an hour. There are always so many sad stories of people who took things which were replaceable or just the closest items – it’s very VERY hard to think clearly in a crisis like a rapidly spreading wildfire and limited escape routes. We have a teaspoon which has been in the family over 200 years and it’s not melting on my watch, so that’s right at the top of the list, after humans and the cats.

There are other elements in the book than the wildfire, and of course the main theme is the relationship between the hero and heroine. The book can be read as a standalone.

Here's the blurb:

COLONY ON FIRE: HAVEN COLONY BOOK TWO

When she came to Haven Two Dr. Saffia Mandell expected to grimly do her five years of medical service as the colony’s only doctor, work off her medical school debt and leave. Then she’d fallen in love, handled an epidemic and become an accepted member of the community. Now, in her second year, she faces new challenges as the tinder dry planet heads into a fire season and a mysterious food allergy threatens the local restaurant’s reputation.

Chief Ranger Micah Navonn of the Calinurra never expected to fall in love with a human woman but Saffia was a special person who captured his heart and now means everything to him. Not all of his people are as enthusiastic about the situation and his efforts to handle the politics are getting complicated. Add to that an infestation by insects from another world, causing portions of the forest to die off and his plate is full.

When the jet stream shifts course and the fires rage, will the colonists and the Calinurra set aside their differences? With Saffia’s life hanging in the balance, can Micah arrive in time to save her and the colonists in jeopardy?

Life on Haven Two never lets up.

Amazon      Apple Books     Kobo     Nook     GooglePlay

And a quick excerpt: 

“We’ve got to get to town right away. Can you open your mobile clinic a day early?”

“Of course if there’s a need. What’s wrong?” Saffia followed Ellen to toward the parking lot at a jog, Roann on her heels.

“Two of the boys got burned, not sure how bad. The wind shifted and they couldn’t move fast enough. The crew is bringing them to town now. Smoke inhalation problem too. Good thing you’re here, doc.”

“We won’t open up the entire mobile clinic,” Saffia said to Roann while she mentally reviewed what supplies she had for treating burns. “Unless there’s more to these injuries. The examining room should be adequate.”

“Yes, doctor.” Roann leaned forward. “What does the town do when you aren’t here?”

“We have a physician’s assistant and a couple of former medics,” Ellen said, keeping her attention on the narrow road. “But for anything serious the patient has to be flown to the main colony.”

“I’m glad I’m here to help today,” Saffia said. She got out her handheld and sent Warby, her medical AI a quick message. True to his prediction, he’d managed to create a version of himself to add to Gretchen’s systems. While the version didn’t have all of his enhanced capabilities, it could perform quite a few tasks and multiply her efforts and that of her staff, which in this case was only Roann.

She arrived at the landing field before the injured men were brought in, although as she hastened to Gretchen, Saffia could hear sirens coming closer. As soon as the mobile clinic opened, she rushed inside to throw on a medical coat and run herself through the decontam ray so she could begin examination and treatments immediately.

She and Roann worked together smoothly to take the most severely injured man into deep treatment for his lungs and burns, which fortunately weren’t as severe as Saffia had been dreading. The second man was stoic about waiting his turn and Warby was able to begin the lung therapy to some extent, once Roann had the patient properly situated on the exam table in the second small room. It was an hour of intense work before Saffia was able to step outside of Gretchen’s portal and announce to the waiting crowd both men were going to be okay and able to go home that same evening. A cheer went up from the surprisingly large group of villagers and she escaped inside to supervise the last few aspects of the procedures.

“I want to see both of you tomorrow,” she said to the men. “Have someone in your family work with Ellen to schedule an appointment but you must be seen. Those burns were nothing to take lightly and neither is the condition of your lungs. In the bad old days, you might not have survived the pulmonary damage.”

“We’ll be here, doc,” said the elder, a man named Baxter, who ran one of the local stores when he wasn’t fighting fires as a volunteer. “We’re sure blessed you were here today.”

“Can I attend the party this evening?” asked the younger, Duncan, with a shy glance at Roann, standing beside Saffia. “It’s supposed to be quite a special event, all my friends are going. Live music and everything. Be a shame to miss it—we don’t get much excitement up here.”

“Sorry, doctor’s orders you need to stay home and rest.” She was a bit annoyed she even had to say this but at least he’d asked. She probably would have gone supernova if she learned later he’d taken the risk of attending the gathering. “I know it’s hard to miss a good party and we should celebrate the lucky escape you both have had today, but these types of injuries are nothing to fool around with. You’ll be in for the long flight to the colony if you don’t heal and a lot more unpleasant treatments.” Duncan had struggled with the lung flushing and had required a medinject to partially sedate him in fact so she figured it was an effective threat.

Roann escorted the two men from the clinic and Saffia headed for her tiny office to make proper notes about the cases. She heard a muted cheer go up and smiled. It had been a satisfying ‘save’. This is what I got into medicine to do.

“You look satisfied with yourself.” Micah leaned against the door frame. “Thought you weren’t treating people today?”

“There was an emergency; couple of the firefighters were burned. Not too badly thank goodness, but I also had to treat substantial lung damage.” She rose and went to him, putting her arms around him in a tight hug. “When you go out to a wildfire, are you running the same risks?”

“Fire doesn’t treat anyone better than the next person,” Micah said, holding her close. “But as I’ve told you before, the Calinurra take a different approach to managing the blazes. I’m not usually a frontline responder anyway—we have trained crews for that.” He smoothed her hair away from her face and gave her a long kiss. “I promise you I’m always careful. Even more so, now I have you to come home to.”



 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Today

by Maureen Bonatch

Last year was the first time we spent Easter at home with just our girls. COVID cancelled our usual celebration with family, but it also changed my daughter's plans to return to school since it suddenly went online at the end of spring break. 

This year will be another different type of year as my daughters are back on campus, but precautions remain in place so it will be the first Easter that we don't get to see them. We will see them on Zoom, of course. Thank goodness for the wonders of technology.

Then some of my extended family members got COVID and an additional family get together for this weekend was rescheduled for a later date. 

We're on our way back to a new normal, but we're not there yet. 


Part of me wants to rush time along so everything gets back to at least semi-normal, or until the semester ends so I can see my girls. But then I think about just how fast time goes by. I only realized that April 4th had snuck up one day prior, and remembered that I had a post to write for all my peeps here!

My brain came up empty as I dwelled on this very different holiday weekend this year. I looked through some of my old flash fiction, thinking I might have something related to spring. I came across this one. It's something that I probably wrote when my girls were in elementary school themselves. It made me think once again how fast time goes by, and how important it is to cherish every stage of our lives and the memories we create. 

Another Summer

    “I can’t believe the school year is over.” Lisa folded her arms across her cobalt shirt and grimaced. “I’m dreading entertaining Anthony and Johnny all summer.” 
        Susan smiled, taking in the clear blue sky. “I’m kind of looking forward to spending time with Tessa.”      
     The roar of the bus announced its arrival. Above the Blue Bird Bus logo, tiny heads bobbed as they scurried to exit. 
    Whoops and cheers emanated from the tiny mob, celebrating three months of freedom. 
     Susan searched the faces. 
     “Tessa?” Susan’s smile faltered. Her daughter's Blue’s Clues lunchbox clanked against her jean clad leg as she burst toward her mother. 
     “What’s wrong?” Susan clutched Tessa after she collided into her legs. Her cries muffled against Susan’s indigo shorts. 
    Tessa’s baby blue eyes scrunched up, pushing fat tears down her cheeks as she wailed, “I miss Julie!” 
     “What? You just saw her.” Susan gestured to the pig-tailed girl sporting navy ribbons and an identical expression of agony peering out the bus window as it continued up the hill. 
    Tessa sniffled, throwing her head back and opening her mouth so wide that she was in danger of choking on her strawberry bubblegum and bellowed, “I won’t get to see Julie all summer!” 
     Susan met Lisa’s gaze as she was trying to corral her two terrors wrestling on the lawn, adding more black and blue marks to their collection. 
    “Still looking forward to it?” Lisa smirked with a raised brow. Susan was spared a reply when the boys rolled over the Cool Berry juice box from their lunch, spraying a sapphire colored liquid over them.      
     “Boys!” Lisa deftly separated their intertwined limbs and stilled them with a narrowed look. Heads hanging, they trudged behind their mother. 
     Susan knelt to Tessa, smoothing hair from her face and wiping a tissue over her swollen cheeks. “Sweetheart, think of all the fun you and I can have. Most kids are happy for summer break, just look at Anthony and Johnny.” 
    The scolding already forgotten, they rushed ahead and stripped off their stained shirts and dove into an inflated swimming pool. 
 Tessa’s chin rested upon her chest and her whimpering continued. “That’s because they have someone to play with.” “Well you and I can do plenty together and I’m sure Anthony and Johnny would love to play with you—” 
    “Mama!” Tessa’s face contorted into an expression of horror. “They’re boys! And you’re old!” 
     “Oh.” Susan frowned. Her baby was growing up. 
    “Well,” Susan hid her dismay by hugging her daughter tightly. “Julie only lives a mile away. You can still play, phone her or write letters.” 
    Tessa pulled away. “Can she have a sleepover sometime? I’m the only girl in my class who’s never had one.” Placing her hands on her hips Tessa declared. “I’m not a baby anymore.” 
    “Well,” Susan sighed. “Okay.” Tessa’s smile lit up her face. “Thank you, mama!” She threw her arms around her mother. Susan laughed. 
    “As long as you know you’ll always be my baby.”

Happy Easter - Happy Spring - from Scuff!






Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebook Twitter 

 Be the first to know about Maureen’s book sales and new releases by following her on BookBubAmazon and/or signing up for her newsletter

Thursday, April 1, 2021

#CovidVaccine and Weird Thoughts by Diane Burton

 Happy April 1st. No April Fool's Jokes from me today.



credit: banyanhill.com

Last week, I got my second covid shot. Whew! My husband got his almost two months ago. Since his health is not that good, I was very glad he was vaccinated. But I was sweating mine. Couldn’t wait to be protected. Besides the health concerns, I wanted/needed to hug my grandchildren.

When the announcement came last fall about a possible vaccine, my first thought was safety. Would the “government” force the drug makers into rushing the vaccine? Would the vaccine be safe? Would it be effective?

 


credit: gov.uk

While pondering this, I asked my go-to, favorite doctor (and family member) about the vaccine. He had been actively researching the whole situation since the beginning. He looked at the science. When he said we could trust the vaccine—and was first in line to get his—I was reassured.

 

credit: medicalnewstoday.com

Now comes the weird thoughts. Oh, I had them from the beginning because—well, I am a writer with an active imagination. We’ve all read paranormal and/or science fiction adventures about how a much-needed inoculation caused unexpected side effects. Like making all men (or females) sterile, so they had to go outside their planet searching for mates to repopulate the planet. And, of course, they came to Earth in search of that mate.

 

credit: NASA

Or, the inoculation caused paranormal talents to emerge. Like telepathy (communicating with others via the mind) or telekinesis (moving objects with the mind), pyrokinesis (controlling fire). What about psychometry (reading info from an object by touch)? Or bilocation (being in 2 places at once). That’s one busy people could use. Astral projection (separating mind and body in order to travel far distances with the mind only).

 

Wow. Wouldn’t some of those be cool!

 

psychometry credit: listverse.com


I’ll bet you’ve had some weird ideas, too. After all, we are writers. We have very active imaginations.

While waiting for my vaccine, I read or heard on the news that an amazing number of people weren’t getting the vaccine. With the virus killing over half a million Americans, why would people not get something to prevent it (or at least make it non-fatal)? Are they operating out of fear, distrust, or, in general, not getting preventive medicine?

 

Some people won’t go to the doctor for regular (preventive) checkups. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. They don’t take meds unless it’s critical. Men, in particular, are notorious for dismissing pain or other symptoms until, sometimes, it’s too late.

 

Distrust of the government. I’m a product of the 1960s, the generation that started questioning the Establishment. They didn’t always tell us the truth. Okay, they lied. I don’t need to give examples. That distrust carries over to today.

 

1963 credit: buzzfeed.com

Some people don’t get flu shots because they think they’ll get the flu, then they apply that to same reasoning to covid. According to medical resources, you don’t get the flu from the flu shot. You might get side effects that are similar but not the flu. Hubs and I were fortunate that we had no side effects from the covid vaccine. He got Moderna’s, and I received the one from Pfizer. I drank tons of water afterward and had no ill effects.

 

Until “herd immunity” is established, I’ll wear my mask and stay six feet or more away from people. But, I’ll get those hugs from my grandkiddies.

 

credit: Creative Commons

 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Can Three Kittens Plus Two Neighbors Equal Love? ~ Love Next Door by @Meganslayer #romance #spring #gay #gayromance

 Love Next Door by Megan Slayer

Love’s Bloom

Pride Publishing

Contemporary LGBTQ Romance

M/M, Anal Sex, Masturbation

 

Can three tiny kittens really bring these two men together and prove love can bloom despite the chilly spring days?

Tommy Davis considered himself a loner. He spent his days writing and running, all while keeping everyone else at bay. That is until he discovers three kittens abandoned in his shrubbery. His fatherly instincts kick in, and he goes to the one person he knows can help—his sexy as sin next-door-neighbor who happens to be a veterinarian.

Matthew James wasn’t looking for love, but the moment Tommy shows up on his doorstep, he can’t send him away. He’s had a thing for Tommy since the first time he saw him, but his shyness has kept him from making a move.

The melting snow, blossoming flowers and a trio of kittens could be more than the guys can handle, but they just might be the push Matthew needs to find his forever with Tommy.

General Release Date: 6th April 2021

 

https://www.firstforromance.com/book/love-next-door

https://books2read.com/u/3n8gr5

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08W593XQX/

https://books.apple.com/us/book/love-next-door/id1553148732?mt=11&id=1553148732&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-next-door-megan-slayer/1138805348

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-next-door-8

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=UWMdEAAAQBAJ

 

EXCERPT:

©2021 Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved

Matthew opened the door. “It’s eight in the morning and I’m tired. I don’t care if it is fifty degrees out, I’m not running right now.” He frowned. “Wait, you said you had a problem. Did you get my mail again?”

“Sort of, maybe?” Tommy bit back his desperation and fear. “I found kittens.”

“Kittens?” Matthew peeked into the box. “They’re only a few days old, but their eyes are open. Where were they? Is the mother with them?”

“I found these three in the bushes.” He fought to catch his breath. “I don’t know what to do. I think the momma perished.”

Matthew sighed. “Jesus.”

“If you don’t want to give me a hand, I’ll take them to the clinic.” Tommy covered the mewling kittens with the towels and box flaps. “Sorry I bothered you.”

“If you take them to the clinic, they could put them down,” Matthew said. “Kittens without a mother require special attention we don’t have at the clinic and they might not survive anyway.”

“That’s terrible.” Tommy shook his head. “Look, I don’t know anything about them. Shouldn’t I have bottles and formula or something? I’ll take care of them.” He needed to be sure about the mother cat, though. “Will you check on Momma? I’ll pay you for the home visit.”

Matthew shoved his feet into a pair of boots. “I didn’t think you were an animal lover.”

“I didn’t think you were so heartless,” Tommy snapped. “Put them down? They’d truly do that?”

Matthew grabbed his scarf. “First, I said they might—not me. Second, they are young kittens. It can be tricky because they’re so small. The averages aren’t in their favor if the mother has rejected them. It’s not being cruel. It’s being honest. That said, I’ll help you. I can’t imagine being left alone, even if today is the warmest it’s been all year. Where’s the mother?”

“In the bushes. Can’t miss her. Ginger cat by the bush closest to the flower box,” Tommy said. “Do I take these guys inside?”

“Take them to my living room. I’ve got milk replacer at the house. If the mother has expired, I’ll show you what to do to give the kittens get the best start. Ensure they’re warm. Pushy will try to get involved, so just let her. She simply wants to investigate and won’t hurt them.” Matthew hustled past the hedgerow and across Tommy’s lawn.

Tommy stepped into Matthew’s house. He’d never been inside before. The best he’d done was catch glimpses of the interior when he’d gone for an evening run and Matthew’s lights were on.

Pushy trotted up to Tommy. She didn’t bark but wagged her tail. She sniffed at the box until he put the cardboard on the floor. He had petted her head and chatted to her plenty of times when she’d managed to tunnel under the fence between his and Matthew’s yards. “Hi, Push.” He sat on the floor. “I’ve got kittens. See?” He moved one of the flaps. “Three kittens.”

Pushy whined and nosed the box, then let out what sounded like a howl.

Tommy petted her, trying to soothe the dog. “I’m sorry, Push. What’s wrong?”

Matthew strode into the house. “Momma has expired. She probably froze to death or starved trying to protect them. She was so thin.”

Tommy’s heart sank. He’d hoped she could be saved. “Why don’t you keep these guys, Squeak, Eek and Meek? I’ve got a shoebox and will bury Momma.” He stood. “When I’m done, you can give me the rundown as to how to take care of them.”

“You’re sure you want to take them in?”

“Someone has to. They’ve had a rough start in life and it’s the least I can do, giving them a fighting chance. It’s the official first day of spring and everyone needs that chance to survive.”

“I admire you, Tommy.”

“Don’t admire me until we know they’re all okay.” He half-smiled, faking confidence, then abandoned the box. He headed outside and over to his garage. Once he’d emptied a shoebox, he took to the task of giving Momma a proper burial. He might not be able to help her, but he could take care of her babies. If it meant spending time with Matthew, then even better.

Spring was supposed to be the time for new beginnings and fresh starts. Maybe he and Matthew could form a strong alliance or something more.

I never thought Matthew and I could bond over a triad of abandoned kittens.

 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Vernal Equinox: It's Not Too Late to Burn Your Socks by L. A. Kelley

It’s been a long winter and though the vernal equinox has passed, it’s not too late to burn your socks. What’s that, you say? You’ve never celebrated the vernal equinox? Well, you’re certainly behind the times. It traditionally occurs on March 21 each year and signals the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere (and fall in the Southern Hemisphere.) It’s all keyed to the Earth’s rotation which tilts at an angle of 23.5 degrees on its axis relative to the plane of orbit around the sun. This means that during the year, different places get sunlight for different amounts of time.

While “equinox” comes from the Latin for equal, sunlight didn’t get the memo. Because of atmospheric refraction, people at mid-temperate latitudes actually get  a few extra minutes of daylight on the equinox. The fall and spring equinoxes, however, are the only two days during the year when the sun rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.

Earth thinks it’s oh-so-special but it isn’t the only planet with an equinox. Saturn’s occurs about every 15 Earth years. The next one is on May 6, 2025, so you have plenty of time to plan a party. When Saturn’s equinox is viewed from Earth, the rings are seen edge-on and appear as a thin line, sometimes giving the illusion they disappeared. Weird.

What’s also weird is the belief that since day and night are nearly equal, equinoxes affect gravity and are the only days of the year you can balance raw eggs on end. Wrong. You can do that any day of the year, although why you’d want to is beyond me.

Myths

The vernal equinox is responsible for many beliefs of ancient people. Stonehenge’s design also includes a celestial observatory function, which allowed prediction of eclipses, solstices, equinoxes and other celestial events.  On the vernal equinox, the druids and pagans celebrated the ancient Saxon goddess Eostre, who symbolized fertility and new beginnings.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia, was first a Hindu, and then a Buddhist temple complex. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century AD. The carved asuras (demons) and devas (deities) are intended to indicate the precession of the equinoxes and the slow transition from one astrological age to another.  On the morning of the spring equinox, the sun rises up the side of the central tower of the temple to crown the pinnacle.

A Chinese legend involves the vernal equinox in a divine right to rule. In the year 1600 B.C., a woman named Chien-Ti received a special egg from a heavenly swallow. Although a virgin, she became pregnant, and her son Hsieh went on to found the Shang dynasty.

In the Middle Ages, reproduction of many plants and animals was often a mystery. Philosophers latched onto the idea of spontaneous generation where life sprung out of rotting or decaying flesh or matter. Mice, for instance, were supposed to come from sweaty underwear placed near husks of wheat in a dark place. (Note to self: Do laundry more often.) The vernal equinox was the most potent time for getting something from nothing. Petrus Alfonsi, a 12th century philosopher wrote:

“From this spring equinox (which is the beginning of spring), cold weather turns warm... Blood increases in the bodies of animals, and the diseases which come from blood return; natural lust bursts forth from its latent state, and all insects which are born from spontaneous generation now procreate.”

Now as to the sock burning…The old sweaty garment thing is still showing up, however not with mice. Every year, boaters in Annapolis, Md., burn their socks on the vernal equinox. The tradition began because sailors are forced to wear these “woolly prisons” on their feet all winter and enough was enough. Now the town website proudly proclaims since no self-respecting boater would wear them in the summertime, the dreaded socks “must be reduced to ash in a community bonfire.”

Not a bad tradition and even though the vernal equinox has passed, I think I’ll make a tidy bonfire on the front porch. It’s better than having mice spring from my underwear.


L. A. Kelley writes science fiction and fantasy adventures with humor, romance, and a touch of sass. She invited the neighbors over to burn their underwear with her, but instead they called the police.





Monday, March 22, 2021

First There was Ebooks...

 

First there were ebooks, then audio books and now we have books that are  video games! Can you believe it?

A few months ago this happened.  An opportunity can knocking for one of my books to be made into a video game! Say What? Never heard of such a thing, but it was real and looked like a great deal of fun. Yep, my secret is out, I’m a gamer. LOL So I hopped on board.

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that my title, CHARM ME AGAIN, is being made into a video game within the next six to eight months by http://Romancefate.com. These games are interactive where the player becomes the heroine and best played on a phone or tablet.

You will be one of the first to know when CHARM ME AGAIN has been transformed into a video game. I can hardly wait!

I’m also celebrating the release of my fifteenth book, CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MAGIC, April 7, 2021. Squeal!!!  It’s part of the One Scoop or Two Summer Ice Cream Series from The Wild Rose Press. And CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MAGIC is also the fourth book in A WITCH’S JOURNEY (it can be read as a stand-alone).

You know since September of 2015 when my first book, A DEMON’S WITCH, released the excitement of a new release never gets old. Nerve racking—Yes. Lots of promo—Yes.  Hoping my readers love it—Yes. But still as exciting as my first book’s release. WooHoo! How about a sneak peek into CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MAGIC.

Prim and proper Trinity Shilo is the assistant manager for Salem's Wildlife Sanctuary. She hasn't had much luck in the boyfriend department, but the new employee Paul is different. Deep and brooding she sees something special hidden below the surface. Besides she has secrets of her own.

  Paul Thorp is a wounded Special Forces veteran now working in security and computer support. He's fought hard to keep his demons in check and for the first time feels he is ready for a real relationship.

 When a fire breaks out at Puffin Cove Rescue they are called in to help with the recovery and ice cream social fundraiser. Sometimes things are not what they seem, and neither are people. When magic is unleashed will what they learn bring them closer together or push them apart?

 I hope you’ll take a moment and check out CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MAGIC, it's available for pre-order now!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Warrior King - New Release & Excerpt

How about an exclusive excerpt from my recent new release!?!


THE WARRIOR KING


Meira Amon is the most reserved of the phoenixes, finding computers easier to deal with than people and their messy emotions. But she wants revenge against the Rotting King Pytheios for the murder of her parents just as much as her sisters. Offering herself as a queen for their ally, dragon shifter King Gorgon of the Black Clan, only makes sense.

Just one problem…

Samael Veles worked his lowborn ass off to become the fiercest warrior of the Black Clan. He has pledged his life to protect his king at all costs. Yet somehow, in the middle of war, he took one look at a woman in a reflection and gave up his heart. When that woman turns out to be the phoenix promised to mate his king and help bring peace to their kind, he has no choice but to accept it.

Until her fire unexpectedly destroys the king after they’ve wed. Now Samael must choose between his loyalty to his clan and protecting the queen who might be his mate from his people’s wrath, one of which will unlock a destiny no one could have ever imagined…


READ NOW

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“Clever, seductive, and unique, Abigail Owen’s paranormal romances are totally addictive!”

~NY Times Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan




EXCERPT

Her breath caught in her throat when he covered her hand with his own and squeezed. “It will get easier for you,” he said. “The memories. For a long time, you won’t want to think of your mother at all. Then one day when you do, it won’t hurt so much. Eventually, you’ll be able to think of her and smile.”

This from a man who never smiled. At least not that he let her see.

The unexpected offer of comfort unfurled inside her, wrapped around her. Gods above, she wanted to kiss him. Lean forward and steal that unexpected understanding from his lips. Lips Meira could only describe as sensual, saving his face from harshness.

And more. All different sorts of kisses. A soft brush of her lips as a thank-you. A kiss that lingered, taking its time to weave a spell around them. Something hot and openmouthed that let her taste him and generated enough heat to scorch every part of her. She was already on fire.

Except she shouldn’t be wanting this. Any of it.

More guilt. She’d suffocate under the heaps if she wasn’t careful.

Meira slid her hand out from beneath his, the cold air of the room rushing against her palm making her shiver after the heat of his touch and her thoughts.

“So, do you have any friends?” Curiosity prompted her to ask. Gods, why couldn’t she shut up around him? This conversation was already a thousand words more than she usually shared with people.

Samael heaved a sigh with an edge to it and turned his head to face her again. “Do you always have this many questions?”

She offered him a prim look, lips pursed. “My lawyers say I don’t have to answer that.”

Samael gazed at her blankly, then turned his face back up. “Was that you trying to be funny?”

“Did it work?” She bit her lip, waiting for his answer. Most people didn’t get her sense of humor.

“That depends.”

“On what?” she prompted when he didn’t continue.

“Your intent. Were you genuinely trying to make me laugh? Or were you trying to change the subject?”

“I guess I’m nervous.” Now why had she gone and admitted that?

Rather than turn his head again, Samael shifted to his side to face her, his smoke and sand scent swirling around her, soothing her when she should’ve been bracing for whatever he was about to ask. His hand lay on the mattress beside hers. Not touching. What would he do if she hooked her little finger around his, as though he was her anchor?

Maybe he’d been right to want to avoid sharing the bed. This was too close, too intimate. Too damn confusing.

“Are you afraid of me?” he asked.

She should lie and say yes. Any person with an ounce of common sense would be wary of him. His danger evident in the simple way he moved—a prowling, rolling gait—screamed perilous predator.

Meira slowly shook her head. “No.”

Nervous of giving her unfortunate thoughts away? Yes. Of the lash of his volatile emotions? The answer would have been yes before they’d come here. Now…

“You should be,” he said, voice going rougher, harsher.