Friday, December 3, 2021

#FlashFiction of The Perfect Christmas by Tami Lund

 



Flash Fiction – The Perfect Christmas by Tami Lund

Anna stood in front of the French doors, staring out over the darkened landscape, dotted with multi-colored tiny Christmas lights. Jesse stepped up behind her, smoothed his hand up her back and then cupped her neck, massaging gently.

“You okay?” he asked, his voice laced with concern.

She twisted her head to look over her shoulder and smiled. “It’s perfect. Everything is perfect.”

“Good.” He motioned with his empty beer bottle. “I’m going to go get everyone another round. You want one?”

She pulled the bottle out of his hand. “I’ll do it.”

“I’ll help.”

Anna and Jesse exchanged a surprised look, but neither said anything out loud when Jessica walked over and interrupted their conversation. Jesse dropped his hand and Anna led her sister into the kitchen.

“So Mom says she’s using one of your ideas to redesign their kitchen.”

Anna shrugged. “Jesse’s going to do the work. I just gave him the idea.”

“Just,” Jessica muttered under her breath. Then she added, “What can I do?” She stood in the middle of the room, looking slightly lost and as gorgeous as ever.

“Um, how about you get a bottle of wine from the rack? The opener is in that drawer over there.”

Anna snagged three bottles of beer from the fridge. When she turned around, Jessica stood, facing the counter, her palms planted on the smooth surface, her shoulders shaking slightly. Anna placed the beers on the counter and walked over to press her hand against her sister’s back.

“Hey. What’s wrong?”

Jessica shook her head and tore a paper towel from the roll perched near her elbow. She dabbed at her eyes and cleared her throat. “I didn’t think I would cry.”
Fear sliced through Anna’s body, shooting from her extremities straight to her heart, where it wrapped its slimy, dark tentacles and squeezed. She tried unsuccessfully to suck in air.

“Are you … are you changing your mind?”

It had been ten years. Cora knew her as cool Aunt Jess. She breezed through town less than half a dozen times a year, and life was always a party when she was around.

And then she left and life returned to its nice, normal routine.

While Jessica and Anna no longer argued and fought like they hated each other,

Anna was always relieved when her sister left again – without her daughter.

Anna was Cora’s mom now.

“About what?” Jessica asked.

“Cora.”

Jessica turned around and leaned against the counter. Her face wasn’t even splotchy. If Anna had been crying, her face would look like she was having an allergic reaction.

“No. Mom and I said we would take both your girls for a spa day for Christmas, and we meant it. And if you’re worried we’re going to corrupt them, don’t be. You have had far too much influence by now. For God’s sake, Cora wants to become a partner in yours and Jesse’s business someday. What twelve-year-old wants to be a carpenter?”

The slimy tentacles retracted and Anna blew out a relieved breath. “Of course,” she said, her voice shaking only a little.

She waited while Jessica dug around in the junk drawer, searching for the wine opener.

“She isn’t mine,” Jessica said into the silence. “I mean, she is, but, you know…”

“I know,” Anna reassured her. “And I can never thank you enough for that gift. Both of them.”

“Cora and Gina?”

“Cora and Jesse. And Gina.”

“You and Jesse did make a pretty cute kid. Funny that she looks just like me.”

Anna did not rise to that bait. Secretly, she was pleased that both of her daughters had inherited Jessica and her mother’s beauty. She’d confessed as much to Jesse last night, and in an effort to demonstrate just how beautiful she was, he’d seduced her on the rug in front of the Christmas tree. She hadn’t minded the reassurance.

Not in the least.

“We should probably get back with the drinks,” Anna said. “Mom’s wine glass was empty when we came in here. I’m surprised she hasn’t come charging in, demanding her refill.”

“Danny and I split.”

So that’s the cause of the tears. Jessica wasn’t feeling sentimental over seeing her biological daughter and ex-husband during the holidays. She was upset over the loss of her relationship with her rock star boyfriend.

“I’m sorry.”

“He’s big time now, you know. Hot young bimbos are throwing themselves at him at every turn. It was only a matter of time. I guess even I have begun to age.” She sighed deeply.

“You’re just as beautiful as you’ve always been, Jessica.” Anna fed her sister the obligatory compliment, but the thing was… it was true.
Jessica waved away her words and filled the wine glass she’d brought with her into the kitchen. “It’s okay. I met this twenty-two year old at the bar the night before last. I’m actually going to meet him again in about an hour.”

Anna probably should have been shocked, except she’d learned ten years ago not to be shocked by her sister. When Jessica said, “You take them. I don’t want a kid or a husband, but you do. And you’d make a perfect family,” Anna had realized her sister could never trump that proclamation.

“Listen, before you go …” Anna reached out, touched her sleeve, then pulled back, unsure of what to say, where to start. How did you thank someone, when they didn’t even really understand they’d given you a gift in the first place?

“Yes. I will.”

“Huh?”

“Jesse told me about your plans for your tenth anniversary. I said I’d come back into town to watch the girls.”

“You … you will?” Never in a million years would Anna have dreamed to ask her sister to watch her two children while she and Jesse slipped away for an anniversary trip.

“What? Would you rather leave them with our parents?”

Anna laughed, then slapped a hand over her mouth. Jessica tossed her a wry grin and sipped from her wine glass.

“Jesse’s parents will watch them. Or his sister.”

Jessica shook her head. “No. I want to. It’ll be good for me. For them.”

Those slimy, scary tentacles started to advance again. “You won’t …”

“Suddenly develop maternal feelings? Not a chance. I’m digging this Aunt Jess status. It’s pretty cool, actually. And it’s only in short spurts, which is even better.

So stop worrying. It’s been ten years, Anna. How much longer will it be before you are convinced that Cora and Jesse are yours, and they always will be?”

Anna impulsively grabbed her sister and pulled her into a breathtaking hug. Jessica endured it for approximately ten seconds, and then she pushed Anna away. “Go.

Get in there and deliver beers to the guys. And then go hug on that husband of yours. You know he likes it more than I do.”

“Yeah. He does.”

 


S
anta’s Destiny
Tami Lund

Genre:  Paranormal Romcom/Chick Lit
Publisher: Tami Lund
Date of Publication:  12/1/2021
ISBN:9781005702335
ASIN:  B09HQ2XDFZ
Number of pages:  68
Word Count: 17,851
Cover Artist: Kathryn R. Biel 

Tagline: This elf is in for the sleigh ride of her life

Book Description: 

Des (don’t call her Destiny—she hates that name) is an elf with a problem. A jolly, red-suit wearing, gift-bearing, reindeer-loving problem.

Turns out, someone has stolen Santa Claus’s magic. And it’s three days before Christmas. What’s an elf to do?

Help him out, of course. That’s her specialty, after all.

Except that creates a whole new problem: Des has to work closely with the Man in Red while keeping her presents under wraps, because there is definitely one thing she will not do.

Ride in Santa’s sleigh tonight.


Amazon US      Apple      Nook      Kobo


“Get up. It’s time to go.”

“I’m already up,” Santos, aka Santa Claus, replied while rolling his hips, which earned him a scowl from me and a giggle from his companion.

I turned to the blond bimbo. Okay, to be fair, I had no idea if she was a bimbo. Santos had the ability to pull pretty much all women from rocket scientists to, er, candy cane lickers under his seductive spell. Truth be told, they all became candy cane lickers once he set his sights on them.

“Listen, honey, he’s a one-and-done kind of guy. He’ll use you to get his rocks off”—Christmas euphemisms were Santos’s thing, not mine—“and walk away and never talk to you again. Is that what you really want?”

She eyed the still-impressive bulge in his shorts. “If I get an orgasm out of it, I’m game.”
Mentally, I slapped my palm against my forehand. In actuality, I ground my teeth. “You’ll be out of luck. Giving, at least in that respect, is not how he rolls.”

“Hey—” Santos started.

“How do you know?” Blondie interrupted.

“Yeah, do tell,” Santos added. “Did I miss something along the way? Did I stuff your stocking and neglect to eat your milk and cookies? Maybe we need a do-over.” He eyed me like I’d seriously ever give him a first time let alone a do-over.

“Never have I ever, and never will I ever,” I proclaimed. “I know of him. His reputation. We’ve run in the same circles for a long time.” A few centuries too long, but who was counting?
Blondie’s focus shifted to my outfit. “Why are you wearing so many clothes?”

“Yeah,” Santos said, “you should take them off. Unwrap that present for me.”

Blondie giggled. I glared at her. “Do you even realize that he’s flirting with me?”

She shrugged. “He flirts with everyone. And everything he says makes Christmas sound so dirty.” There she went, staring at his candy cane again.

I bent and grabbed a sheer wrap and tossed it at her before slapping Santos’s leg. “Time to go, Father Christmas. You’re under my protection now.”

He groaned. “You aren’t seriously still doing that whole saving souls gig, are you, Des?”

“As you well know,” I retorted, “since you’ve been dodging me for days now.”

“Sugar plum, if I’d known you were chasing me, I would have slowed my sleigh so you could have a ride.”

“Don’t fucking call me that.”

He waggled his eyebrows. “Should I call you Mrs. Claus instead?”

“Don’t ever fucking call me that.”

The jerk had the gall to laugh at my obvious indignation.

“Do you ever stop?” I demanded.

He rolled his hips again. “Wanna climb my North Pole and find out?”




About the Author:

Tami Lund—author, wine drinker, award winner. Lover of romance. Writing happily ever afters, one book at a time. 

Those happy endings come in contemporary and paranormal, so pick your poison. Or try them all. You’re bound to find something that curls your toes and makes you smile.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 26, 2021

Review: All I want for Christmas is more stories like “A Siren’s Christmas Wish”

What do you give an immortal assassin siren who can basically take anything she wants? Luna Joya explores this quest for the perfect gift in her magical holiday short “A Siren’s Christmas Wish” in Magic Beneath the Mistletoe: A Mystic Owl Anthology, Vol. 2

 

As part of Joya’s World of the Legacies Series, readers first meet Zaida and Zimm in book 3, Killing Song. This short story opens in a richly described Garden District in New Orleans with atmosphere aplenty. It’s dark and dewy and oh-so-dangerous, and all Zimm desires is to grant his love a wish. 

 

In order to do so, he’s going to have to portal to an even more dank and dangerous place filled with a myriad of mystical creatures all set on making him fail. 

 

“A Siren’s Christmas Wish” explores everything a reading-witch’s heart wants: Intrigue, heart-warming holiday folklore and an-all-consuming love blended with Joya’s sensual descriptions:

 

“The red of his love’s hair was the boldest color in the room, stark against her pale skin, silvery blades, and the black she always wore.”

 

The tale enchants the reader and its lesson teases to a famous short story with magical ties that I won’t name because of potential spoilers. That added level of complexity adds to the brilliance of “A Siren’s Christmas Wish.”

 

I look forward to reading the other contributions in this anthology. 


*~*~*~*

 

Magic Beneath the Mistletoe: A Mystic Owl Anthology, Vol. 2 (Mystic Owl Anthologies)


Available free via Kindle and for sale for .99 cents

 




Sunday, October 31, 2021

31 Days of Magic & Mayhem, Kerry Adrienne #HappyHalloween

 Kerry Adrienne


When do you put up Halloween decorations? Any rules in the house?


Midnight, September 1, Andromeda (my youngest) came to me and asked when we could start decorating. This year, with so much going on, we were late getting started and we didn't put everything up. It's still quite Halloweeny--it honestly doesn't take much inside the house since we are kinda Gothic-y anyway. We've never done gory stuff--but it's cool to see all the houses around with different styles. Halloween is the best! 

 

What's your favorite Halloween tradition/decoration/memory?

 

I thought I was so clever to dress up as Stephen King's "Carrie" (since I'm "Kerry") when I was 11. It was a cheap costume--basically a "dress" and fake blood. I'd read the book and had seen ads for the movie--but hadn't been allowed to see it. I'm sure my mom was relieved about the cheap costume! The same year, my uncle dressed up as the Wolfman--he glued fur all over his face from some kit. It wouldn't come off and he had bits of brown fuzz on his face for what seemed a long time (probably was only a couple days, lol). He definitely suffered for his art, but I thought it was an awesome costume! 

 

Have you ever had a paranormal/ghostly experience? Can you share a little about what happened?

 

So many experiences! Once, I was with my family in Charleston and we were asleep in a hotel. I felt a cat jump on the bed (not an unusual experience at home--but we had no cats at the hotel!). I realized there were no cats and I sat up to see what was going on--and at the same time my daughter Ana sat up in the other bed and said something to the effect of "I felt a cat jump up here." She's still a little freaked out about it and it was maybe 10 years ago. 

 

There is also a black cat who roams our house--usually just disappearing around the corner or I'll spot out of the corner of my eye. We've had three black cats since we moved here, but don't have one now. Oddly, I'll see the cat either right before or after we have a cat cross the rainbow bridge. Both Ana and Andi have seen the cat, too. I don't really know if it is the ghost of our first cat here (Neuromancer, who lived to almost 19 and passed while we lived here), or another cat or a representation of all the cats we've loved and lost while living in this house. 

 

What do you think goes *bump* in the night?

 

Echoes of energy.

 

*~*~*~*

 

Kerry Adrienne

Midwinter Mage

The Nightshade Guild, Book 12

 

A serious and visionary talent, Arion has no time for toddlers. But as part of the Nightshade Guild, he won’t refuse the council’s call to protect the orphaned Princess Ameria. As winter solstice approaches, this leather-clad magical musician becomes her twelfth temporary guardian despite the fact that he doesn’t have a full grasp of his own powers or any experience changing diapers.

Protecting a pint-sized princess leaves very little time for promoting his alt-rock music and touring the indie club scene throughout Europe. And it seems the only gift he has for babysitting is entertaining little Ameria with his musical spells and charms. Though it's good fun for her and great practice for him, he's desperate for his month to be over, and none too happy when a groupie named Liv insists she can help. He’s not one to trust, but Liv slides right into his life, almost like she belongs. And that bothers him.

Can they work together to finally end the princess’s long year on the run? Or will December be the month the world loses a kingdom?

 

Grab your copy Dec. 9 on Amazon.

 

Find Kerry Adrienne online:

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/kerryskittens 
https://www.instagram.com/kerryadrienne/ 
https://www.facebook.com/authorkerryadrienne 
https://twitter.com/kerryadrienne

 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

31 Days of Magic & Mayhem, Jennifer Wedmore

 Otherworld visitor or dream? You decide after reading Jennifer Wedmore’s account.

When do you put up Halloween decorations? Any rules in the house?

 

I'm ready to do it every day of the year, but hubby refuses to let me do it before Oct 1st. 

 

What's your favorite Halloween tradition/decoration/memory?

 

When our kids were young, we would all meet up at our grandmother’s house and go trick or treating. There was four of them all within a year in age. And 8 like adults just walked the neighborhood chatting with everyone. 

 

Have you ever had a paranormal/ghostly experience? Can you share a little about what happened?

 

I'm not sure honestly! When I was in high school my mom would drop us off at our grandmother’s house (same one we went trick or treating in lol). We used to fall asleep before school, and one morning I fell asleep on the floor in front of the chair my grandfather always sat in. I dreamed he was sitting in the chair, leaning over me. He smiled and said he was proud of me. I honestly to this day am not sure it was a dream.

 

What do you think goes *bump* in the night?

 

My teenagers sneaking food into their rooms.... That could be my 9 yr old too though lol. I'd like it to be Zombies though. Just ask my twin Sheri Lyn :)

 

*~*~*~*

 

Jennifer Wedmore

You Mage Me, the Nightshade Guild, Book 11

 

Eleven months, that’s how long Morwen Rowe had to prepare for the arrival of the Elven Princess. It was finally her turn, and she was terrified. Could she keep the princess safe and alive for thirty days? Or would she be the first mage to fail their mission?

 

Fauxon Solis had watched Morwen for months, every day she’d stop by his stall and buy herbs, flowers and other items. They made small talk, but never anything more. He never let on he was interested until it was almost too late.

 

Rowen was wary of Fauxon, was he after the Princess or her? Out of the blue he decides he’s going to help her, they had never interacted beyond a passing exchange. She didn't know if he could be trusted, but she had to trust her heart because time was running out and she needed all the help she could get.

 

Available via Amazon on Nov. 19.

 

Find Jennifer Wedmore online

 

https://www.jenniferwedmoreauthor.com/
https://www.facebook.com/JenniferWedmoreAuthor/