Monday, December 5, 2022

Author Interview - In Her Own Words: A Collection of Short Stories and Flashku by Cendrine Marrouat

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

In Her Own Words is my first full collection of short stories and flashku (a form of “poetic” flash fiction I invented). Each story features a different main female character whose experiences teach her an important lesson. 

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

Like all authors, my environment has informed my writing.   

My play, In the Silence of Words: A Three-Act Play , is loosely inspired by two major events in my life. While all the characters carry a little bit of my “DNA”, a couple of them are actually modeled after people I know. 

What Will Happen Next? came to life as a result of my observations and conversations with people who have been adopted. 

The more I re-read In Her Own Words, the more the book feels like a series of letters to my younger self. 

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

Whether it is poetry, photography or fiction, my message is always the same. No matter how hard life may be, there is always a lesson standing around the corner. Embrace challenges and disappointments. Only through them can real growth happen.  

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

That I am an introvert with a very perfectionist brain. For example, most people have no idea how hard it is for me to speak in front of a camera / audience or even record myself reading my own poetry. But I do it anyway. That’s how you build healthy self-confidence.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

I am a photographer, visual artist, poet, blogger, and the co-founder of Auroras and Blossoms, a platform dedicated to inspiration and upliftment in the arts. I also interview artists, review books, and enjoy creating poetry forms.  

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

I am always working on something. Right now, I am putting the finishing touches to a short story that I hope to release as a standalone book next year. 

Thank you very much for having me!

In Her Own Words: A Collection of Short Stories and Flashku
Cendrine Marrouat

Genre: Fiction/ Short Stories / Women’s fiction
Publisher: Independent
Date of Publication: March, 15, 2022
ISBN: 9798201241919
Number of pages: 41
Word Count: 9,200
Cover Artist: Cendrine Marrouat

Book Description: 

A collection of eight contemporary and emotionally gripping stories told from the point of view of women at different stages in their lives. In Her Own Words will move you deeply whatever walks of life you come from.

About the Flashku: 
Created in 2021 by Cendrine Marrouat, the Flashku is a short piece of flash fiction (50–100 words) inspired by an image. It contains minimal descriptions and uses seven words borrowed from another source. The ending must contain a positive / inspirational twist or resolution. For more information, visit .  

A lovely collection of short stories and flashku, a literary form of flash fiction of her own creation, that visit and revisit the many forms love can take throughout our lives. Immersive, palpable, emotionally intelligent characters and themes make this collection a very enjoyable experience. One for my bookshelves! - Sarah St. Erth

About the Author:

Cendrine Marrouat is a poet, photographer, multi-genre author, creator of literary forms, and co-founder of Auroras and Blossoms and A Warm Mug of Cozy. She has released more than 40 books, including A Particle of You: Love Poetry (2022), Tree Reflections (2022), After the Fires of Day: Haiku Inspired by Kahlil Gibran & Alphonse de Lamartine (2021), Songs in Our Paths: Haiku and Photography (2020-2021), and In the Silence of Words: A Three-Act Play (2018). 

Cendrine's work has appeared in many publications. She is the (co-)creator of the Sixku, Kindku, Pareiku, Flashku, Sepigram, Vardhaku, Hemingku, and Reminigram. 


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Friday, December 2, 2022

New Release : The Crimson Daughter by J.I. Hens #ParanormalRomance

“The demons I fought to keep in their cages had broken free and I had the messy job of rounding them up one by one and putting them back where they belonged.”

The Crimson Daughter 
The Dark Blood Chronicles 
Book One
J.I. Hens

Khris sits in a bar in Soho, trying to figure out how to keep her job. The only way to do that is to persuade her co-worker from revealing her secret.

But before that can happen, she stumbles onto a mystery nobody wants her to know, one that threatens to change her life completely. The moment she leaves that bar, someone is on her trail, and he'll stop at nothing.

Lucien comes from a long line of Dark Bloods, a race descended from rogue knights who use dark magic to gain power and influence. Their number one rule is not to get too close to humans. It always causes trouble. Which makes him wonder why he's doing exactly that.

Still, he can't shake the thought about the strange human female, but navigating his feelings should be the last thing on his mind, considering the murder scene he must solve, and this woman seems to be at the centre of it.

Read The Crimson Daughter and discover your next favorite paranormal romance story.

#paranormalromance #bookstagram #kindlebooks #newbookrelease

Monday, November 28, 2022

Release Day Blitz Martyr by Linda Robertson Reinhardt

The Immanence Series
Book Three
Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Igni House Publishing
Date of Publication: Nov 28, 2022   
ISBN:   9781685440091
Number of pages:  635
Word Count: 148,000 
Cover Artist: Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Series Tagline: A renegade angel once changed human society forever… now a new angel will change it again.   

Book Description: 

Jovienne’s quest to understand her power and claim her freedom leads to a shocking discovery--one that will shake the foundations of modern society and sends her straight to Hell.

Listen to the Immanence Soundtrack

About the Author:

Linda Robertson Reinhardt is an internationally published novelist and her short stories have appeared in several anthologies. In 2022, she released The Immanence Series, a dark fantasy trilogy for which she created the covers and all the interior artwork. A life-long musician, she’s also an award-winning composer, so it’s no surprise she also wrote and produced a 72-minute original orchestral score to accompany the new books. She has even scored a few short, independent films. Her music is available on most streaming channels. She is also a graphic artist and a painter, and her artwork is available through Redbubble. If that’s not enough, she makes jewelry and hand-blends/hand-bottles fragrances that she sells on her Etsy store. A mother of four boys, Linda is married and lives in Ohio.

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In the Garden with E.M. Munsch Author of A Haunting at Marianwood

You’ve heard the expression ‘that gene skipped me.’ Well, I am the living example of that statement. Both my parents excelled at culinary skills and my mother, a talented seamstress and my father, an excellent woodworker. They were always making things or fixing things.
 They were ready to impart their wisdom but, for example, my father wanted to show me how he made his most tasty stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey. The problem was he said I had to get up at six since that’s when he started preparing the meal for most of his family and my mother’s.

Six a.m. was not in my wheelhouse at that time.

One area that I did pay attention was when we were in the garden. My father had studied horticulture in high school, obviously a trade school. He even worked at the Cleveland Botanic Garden after graduating, only to have his career cut short by World War II. My mother was also a depression baby so gardened by necessity. Marry the two (literally) and you had one heck of a garden.

In my younger days, before arthritic knees, I loved to be down on the ground experimenting like my dad. I grew vegetables only to have the squirrels and chipmunks take the first bite. I almost wouldn’t have minded that if they ate the whole thing but it is very disheartening to have this beautiful  ripe tomato in your hand only to turn it over and see the bite marks.

Roses. My father had the dream of creating a ‘black rose’ which was all rosarians talked about back in the 50’s and 60’s. Our yard had thirty or more bushes, many grown from cuttings my dad took. He nourished them in a cold frame until the cuttings were hardy enough to live.

I moved to Kentucky and bought a small condo mainly because it had a patio area and a small garden, though the garden centers nearby think I have several acres that I’m filling with all the plants I buy each spring. I discovered cultivating roses in Kentucky is very different than up north. I planted three or four of my favorites only to discover that Japanese beetles could swarm with the best of insects. If it wasn’t the beetles, it was mildew or any number of diseases. And I was not lazy about all this but I know when I’m licked.

Leaving off the roses and vegetables, I decided I would plant flowers, both annuals and perennials. To that end I built a three-tiered raised bed. I situated it where I could appreciate the colors and the movement from my reading chair in my bedroom.  

From the moment I fill it I begin to think of ‘next year’ and how I’ll try this plant or that. I plow through catalogs and websites. 

Next to authoring a book or reading one, the garden is where I find joy. I love to discover the myriad spiders that live out there. And watching the frolicking chipmunks, no longer a threat to my vegetables unless they learn to open a can, is a wonderful past-time, or so I think. 

When I’m in the garden, my parents are with me. Either congratulating me on my progress or rolling their eyes at each other saying, ‘can you believe she’s doing that!’

A Haunting at Marianwood
Dash Hammond 
Book Six
E.M. Munsch

Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Mystery and Horror, LLC
Date of Publication: October 18, 2022
ISBN-10: ‎1949281213
ISBN-13: ‎978-1949281217
Print length: ‎217 pages

Book Description: 

Life is good for Dash Hammond. He's recently remarried his childhood sweetheart, Dr. Maevis Summers, and together they're raising his four-year-old son, T.J. in the Hammond family homestead in Clover Pointe, Ohio. A retired Army colonel, Dash now keeps himself busy fixing everything from a leaky faucet to an unsolved murder.

It is no wonder that his cousin Billy McCafferty calls on Dash for a road trip to Kentucky when  his oldest sister is in trouble. The president of a religious order, Sister Miriam Patrice, Miri Pat to those who knew her before she took the veil, has been hearing things, seeing things and misplacing things. A very competent woman, she refuses to accept an unearthly reason for all this.

Marianwood, the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Mother of God, is located on an old plantation thought to be haunted by its original inhabitant, Miss Victoria Harris, who is rumored to prowl the grounds and cemetery in search of her murdered beau. 

When the Ohio contingent arrives, they discover that things are not as simple as your ordinary haunting. 

In a battle of wits, will the victor be supernatural or a very corporal retired Army colonel?



Sister Miriam Patrice slid back from the kneeler. The quiet of the church soothed her as it wrapped its velvet cloak of serenity around her. She sat, hands folded, once in prayer but now to stop the trembling. Glancing at the sunlight streaming through the stained-glass windows casting a rainbow on the empty pews, she drew in deep slow breaths. She looked at the watch pinned to her tunic. Time to get back to work. She rose to leave the church, her place of refuge, a place free from the distractions of the running the community and the new retirement home the sisters established to help make ends meet.

The members of the Sisters of the Blessed Mother of God found their numbers dwindling. New recruits, as Sister Miriam Patrice called them mimicking her cousin Dash Hammond’s military jargon, were very rare. The teaching congregation once had more than a hundred sisters. Vocations, callings to either the religious or the educational side of the community, had fallen to less than a handful each year.

As she walked down the aisle to the back of the church, she heard it again. Tap, tap, tap. She stopped to listen, making sure she wasn’t mistaken. That sound sent shivers down her spine. Squaring her shoulders she walked to the doors next to the church exit. One led up to the choir loft, the other down to the cellar. In days past she had gone up the stairs; today she would go down.

Pulling the doorknob, Miriam Patrice met the resistance of a locked door. She pulled out her keys and unlocked it. She struggled with the door, suggesting to her that no one had gone to the cellar in a while.

The stone steps were worn but sturdy. She moved cautiously into the darkness, one hand on the wall to steady her nervous knees, the other searching for the handrail. Her hope was that the security guard forgot to close the door one day and some critter, not two legged, was trapped down here and making the tap, tap, tap sound. Logically she knew this was wrong, but the alternative could be worse.

Decades ago they discovered one of the newer buildings constructed during a period of rapid expansion had been built on an underground spring. It wasn’t long before the building tilted, as did their finances. What a waste of time and money. Fearful that what she would find was a tell-tale pooling or bubbling of water, she moved forward slowly. She said a silent prayer that she would not stumble into a puddle, a precursor of the inevitable unwelcome news.

Her trek seemed unnecessarily slow though reason told Miriam Patrice she should alert one of her sisters where she was just in case she lost her footing. But her reasoning had not been the sharpest of late. She blamed her sleepless nights, not because of an uneasy conscience but an overabundance of concern for her congregation and its uncertain future, both financially and individually.

After spending a half an hour poking into the corners, searching for the origin of the sound, Miriam Patrice gave up. She needed a flashlight if she wanted to do a proper search. Next time she would be prepared. Next time, she told herself, she would be less skittish, more confident that she could deal with whatever sprung up from the tap, tap, tap. After deciding this, she nodded to herself. At least she didn’t hear a drip, drip, drip.

The sound had stopped so she returned to the church. As she locked the door behind her, the tap, tap, tap began again, louder this time. If she permitted herself, she would have said damn.

About the Author:

Elaine Munsch is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, but has spent her adult life in Louisville, Kentucky.  She graduated from Nazareth College of Kentucky located outside of Bardstown and attended The Ohio State University for her graduate work. She has been a bookseller for fifty years working in both large and small, chain and independent bookstores. She opened the first Barnes & Noble in Kentucky where she set up a mystery reading group which is still active today. She also taught classes in the mystery genre for the Veritas Society and joined the local chapter of Sisters in Crime.
With Susan Bell, she co-edited MYSTERY WITH A SPLASH OF BOURBON, an anthology of bourbon related stories.

As E.M. Munsch, she writes the Dash Hammond series set on the shores of Lake Erie. The latest title, A HAUNTING AT MARIANWOOD, is set to be released at the end of October.

Poetry Corner with Patricia Angeles Author of Midpoint A Memoir

I don’t write poetry as much as prose, when inspiration strikes, I tend to turn to free-verse poetry. 

Here, I’ll share with you the most recent poem I wrote, which is about two souls who are meant to be together, desperately trying but failing to see eye to eye.


Perpendicular planes, 

Close to intersecting,

But not quite, 

Clashing viewpoints,

Wrestling to find the light.

Contrasting wavelengths,

Grappling for synchronicity,

Crooked lines,

Struggling for symmetry.

Winding roads,

Failing to converge,

Opposing tangents,

Never meant to merge.

One step forward, two steps back,

Each move further amplifies the crack.

So easy to fall into a pit of despair,

But what we have is something rare.

Let’s close the gap,

Lest we fall into a trap.

Together, we should stay,

Maybe one day we’ll find a way.

-P.S. Angeles

Midpoint: A Memoir
Patricia Angeles

Genre: Memoir
Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 20, 2022
Print length ‏ : ‎ 168 pages

Book Description:

Midpoint: A Memoir is an immigrant woman’s story of perseverance and building a legacy future generations can be proud of.

Patricia Angeles is at the midpoint of the average human lifespan. Decades of experience, mistakes, love, and loss have led her to contemplate what anyone might when they’ve lived half their life. “What kind of legacy am I leaving behind? What do I want my friends and family to remember after I’m gone? What are the biggest life lessons I can impart while I’m still here?”

Through this collection of personal stories, Patricia attempts to assess her answers to these questions, and perhaps encourage others to do the same. Spanning from her childhood in Manila to her immigration and life in Los Angeles, these stories touch on her youth, her acclimation to American culture, her remarkable career in the world of banking, her thoughts on motherhood, the important people who made her who she is today, and major events that forever changed the trajectory of her life.

A raw, honest, poignant, and at times funny read, Patricia aims to inspire her readers to pursue happiness against all odds and to not settle for a life of mediocrity. Through the power of story, this book ultimately asks: What are we but the accumulation of our experiences?

“Try better every day. Not only is it a reminder to stay aligned with my personal philosophy, but it is also a testament, an acceptance that I am flawed, as we all are.” – Patricia Angeles

About the Author:

Patricia Angeles is a tenured and award-winning banking professional with an MBA degree in international studies from the University of La Verne. She grew up in Manila, Philippines and moved to sunny Southern California in 2005. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, and three daughters. When not writing or reading, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling with them to new places.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

In the Kitchen with Joe Stillman #InTheKitchen #VeggieDogRecipe

From the writer of "Shrek" comes "The Man Who Came and Went," a magically realistic novel about a grill cook who can mind read orders, and a small town diner that changes lives. 

Bill Bill, is the new grill cook at Maybell’s Diner in the small town of Hadley, Arizona. Bill doesn’t just take orders. He can mind-read orders. And he somehow manages to cook what you’ve been aching for. It’s a gift that changes lives.

Here’s a sandwich recipe. You won’t find it at Maybell’s Diner. And I can’t promise it will change your life. But it’s really tasty, it’s cheap and it’s low calorie. 

It starts with Lightlife Veggie Hotdogs (smart dogs), available in most supermarkets. There are two sizes. I like the small one. Two dogs, sliced the long way down the middle. Add oil to a pan and cook the sliced side down. Along with the veggie dogs, sauté some artichoke hearts and pre-roasted olive pieces. I cut and pan roast a jar of Kalamata olives and keep them in the fridge just for this. While this cooks I toast one Trader Joe’s carb savvy tortilla. Not concerned about calories? Slice and toast a croissant. Mmmmm.

When the dogs are well seared on one side, flip and turn down the heat. I spread tahini and mustard on the bread. Add the cooked dogs, artichokes, and by now crispy olives pieces and you’re ready to slice and eat. 

The Man Who Came and Went 
Joe Stillman

Genre: Magical Realism / Mature YA / Literary Fiction
Publisher: City Point Press
Date of Publication: 3/1/22
ISBN: 9781947951389
Number of pages: 240
Word Count: 64,000
Cover Artist:  Barbara Aronica-Buck and Susan Stillman

A grill cook who mind-reads orders.  
A diner that changes lives.
Tips appreciated. 

Book Description:

Fifteen year old Belutha Mariah, our storyteller, is the oldest of three kids from three different fathers. Her life’s goal is to keep her dysfunctional mom, Maybell, from procreating yet again and then to leave the coffin-sized town of Hadley, Arizona the second she graduates high school. 

Along comes the new grill cook at Maybell’s Diner, Bill Bill, a mysterious drifter with the ability to mind-read orders. As word spreads, the curious and desperate pour into this small desert town to eat at Maybell's. Some believe Bill knows the secrets of the universe. Belutha figures he’s probably nuts. 

But his cooking starts to transform the lives of locals and visitors, and Belutha finds her angry heart opening as Bill begins to show her the porous boundary between this life and what comes after.

Amazon     BN     BaM     Bookshop     Indiebound


            That day, the day Bill arrived, my mom was serving up eggs and complaints.

            “Dammit, that daughter a mine,” she yelled to Dolene, across the diner. Shes like walking birth control. Does she think Im trying to have babies? Scuse me, Darlin’” Maybell gave Clovers bubble walker a little kick, sending it between tables 4 and 6 so she could get by and dump a load of dishes behind the counter.

            Dolene was homegrown, like the tumbleweed, with eyes like a golden retriever that never quite looked at you directly. She was smart enough to add up a check, but you could tell she was never getting out of Hadley. I take it you didnt get laid last night.”

            Maybell pointed to her sour puss. Does this say laidto you?”

            There was a harrumphfrom booth 5 by the window. That was Rose. Rose was an old woman by the time she was 30. Now she was in her late 60s, a widow since before I was born—in other words, forever. She liked to spend her afternoons at Maybells Diner, reading her book and keeping an eye on the goings on around her, as if she was the towns homeroom teacher.

            “Look at Saint Rose,” Maybell said, stuffing dirty plates into the plastic tub under the counter. Thinks she smells better than Mentos. I aint running a library here, Rose. Next time bring Readers Digest!

            There was another sound from Rose, something between a welland a pfffft.She never took her eyes off her book.

            The door opened with a DING from the bell that hung on it. No one noticed Bill entering. He was about average in height, but his skinny frame made him look taller. You could tell from his face that he was in his mid-20s, but those were hard years he had lived, and his body looked frail and geriatric. His clothes were old and clung to him like an extra layer of skin, with a smell that would never wash out.

The angles of his face were sharp and careworn. But his eyes, those were different. His face was hard and weathered, but his eyes were soft. They seemed brand new.

No one in the diner even looked. If they did they would have seen those eyes taking in every little detail: the people talking, forks carrying food, the string lights behind the counter, Dolene ringing up a check. But what drew Bill more than anything else was the grill. Harley, the grill cook, must have had four meals going at once, each with its own set of sounds and smells. Most of those meals involved eggs. His spatula made a metal-on-metal scrape as he turned them. Bill was riveted. He went to sit at the counter to watch.

            Down the counter, a porkish-looking man named Earle—probably one of three men in town who had never slept with my mom—raised his empty cup. Can I get a refill, Maybell?”

            Maybell stopped and faced him. Seriously, Earle? Is it so goddam much trouble for you to get up off your ass and get it yourself? Cant you see Im working here?”

            “Well…” he stammered. I just—was I—I was—”

            Maybell pointed to the coffee pot. How far away is that? Two feet?”

            “Sure, I guess…”

            “Am I your personal slave, Earle? Is that why God put me on earth?”

            “No, I dont think youre—”

            Maybell grabbed the pot and sloshed coffee in his Earles cup. There. You happy now?”

He nodded meekly.

            While she had the pot in her hand, Maybell filled the cup sitting in front of Bill. Ill be by to take your order in a minute, hon.”

            Maybell walked on. Bill just sat there and stared at the coffee. For him, there was no diner anymore, no Maybell, no clanking dishes or dumb conversation. He leaned closer to that cup like it was the only thing in the world. And there he was, smelling coffee for the first time. And it smelled like life. Like a whole world. Like this is how a planet smells if youre up in space and could take a deep breath. Bill was motionless for who knows how long. And then, when he was good and ready, he took his first sip.

            Those eyes, the ones that didnt belong on his head, they closed as if he was praying. No, more like he was hearing a prayer. The coffee was praying to be heard, and Bill heard it.


About the Author:

Joe Stillman co-wrote “Shrek” for Dreamworks which earned him an Academy Award® nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Annie and BAFTA Awards.  Other produced features are “Beavis & Butthead Do America”, “Shrek 2”, “Gulliver’s Travels”, “Planet 51” and “Joseph King Of Dreams”. 

In television, he was co-producer and writer on “King of the Hill,” for which he received two Emmy Award® nominations. He was a writer and story editor for Nickelodeon’s “The Adventures of Pete and Pete” and a writer on MTV’s “Beavis and Butthead”. More recently he worked on Nickelodeon’s “Sanjay And Craig” and “Kirby Buckets” for Disney. Other TV credits include “Albert” for Nickelodeon, “The War Next Door” for the USA Network, “Clueless”, “Doug” and “Danger And Eggs” for Amazon.

Joe is currently working on “Curious George” and “Half-Baked 2” for streaming on Peacock.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Writing with cats Guest Blog by Karenna Colcroft

Thank you to the Creatively Green blog for hosting me! When I sat down to write this blog post, one of the suggested topics was how to juggle writing with children, household, etc. It’s been quite a while since my kids lived with me, though one of them still comes home from graduate school a couple-few times a year. (The other is learning to juggle kids of their own! Not literally, of course.) 

When they were here, by the time I started writing, they were old enough to entertain themselves, so other than having to learn to tune out cartoons and loud music, I didn’t have to do much to manage writing when they were around.

But cats. Man, cats can really interfere with the writing flow.

I was inspired to write this post because during the fifteen minutes or so while I was trying to decide what to write for this guest blog spot, I had to:

- Leave the computer to stop one of the cats from trying to open my bureau drawer so she could climb in

- Leave the computer to chase the other cat away from my husband’s bedroom door because he’s trying to sleep and she was sitting there yowling for him to come out and play with her

- Remove the first cat from my computer keyboard so I could type

- Chase the second cat away from the spot on the carpet that she keeps trying to destroy even though she has a scratching post and a bathmat that exists solely for her to scratch

- Explain to the first cat four times that no, I wasn’t going to open the curtains for her to look out the window, because it’s only five in the morning and it’s still dark out

The fact that I try to explain things to the cats might be an indication of more of a problem than just the fact that the cats distract me from writing!

That isn’t even taking into account the two times this week when I’ve been sitting on the couch with my laptop trying to get some work done on my current book (book 6 in my male/male series Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat) and the first cat, instead of stepping over my legs or jumping past me, walked across my laptop keyboard and stepped on something that locked the keyboard and/or finger pad so I couldn’t use the laptop at all! She’s lucky she’s adorable…(Pictures below for cat tax!)

I think the intention of this topic was to offer tips on how to manage writing under certain circumstances. But to be honest, the only way I’ve found to manage writing with cats is to realize that the cats are the ones who manage things. I simply exist to serve them.

Fortunately, I do get some writing done. During their frequent naps.

Beta Test
Real Werewolves True Mates
Book Two
Karenna Colcroft

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Vegan Wolf Productions 
Date of Publication: November 10, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-958346-03-7
Page Count: 344
Word Count: 100,671
Cover Artist: Kim Ramsey-Winkler

Book Description: 

Tareth McConnell has learned not to count on anyone other than herself. She definitely is NOT in the market for a relationship. But the first time she sees the man with the long braid on the subway, she’s drawn to him.

The first time Justin Ruel speaks to Tareth, he knows there’s something special about her. Something that calls to him as clearly as her beautiful voice. If he didn’t know better, he would swear she was his mate–but that’s impossible. Justin is the Beta of City Pack, the largest werewolf pack in the United States, and he absolutely cannot have a human mate.

As their connection grows and they begin to act on their attraction, Justin hides the truth from Tareth. But when a series of attacks on members of the two Boston werewolf packs occurs, Tareth’s life is endangered. To protect her, Justin has no choice but to tell her what he is–even if it means losing her forever.


She knew Justin wasn’t anything like Max. He didn’t seem at all fazed by his discovery.

If anything, he’d been amused. She hadn’t seen that at first. To her, the situation had been anything but amusing. It wasn’t until he’d threatened to leave that she’d realized she was overreacting.

At least we got the arguing out of the way on the first date. Maybe that means our relationship will be smooth sailing from now on.

That wasn’t exactly a logical thought either, but it made her feel better.

She rummaged through the pile of menus and mail on her kitchen table until she found menus for the three nearest Chinese restaurants. Justin could decide which one he wanted to order from, since he was insisting on paying. For once, she was grateful for the clutter. Having to search for the menus gave her a little more time to calm down and think rationally.

When she returned to the living room, Justin was at the window looking out at the street.

“You have a great neighborhood here,” he said without turning around.

“It is pretty nice.” She’d entered the room quietly, or so she thought. How had he known she was back?

He turned and smiled at her. “I just wanted to tell you how great today has been so far.

I’m glad we’re continuing the date. To be honest, I didn’t want to leave yet.”

“To be honest, I don’t know if I’m going to want you to leave at all. At least not until morning.”

The words seemed to drop out of her mouth without consulting with her brain. Of course she’d considered spending the night with him. She would have had to have been dead not to be attracted to him. And despite the way she’d reacted to his finding her toy, a tiny part of her found it arousing that he knew she’d used it on herself. Maybe he even knew that she’d been fantasizing about him.

No matter what her libido and body wanted, she hadn’t intended to let him know that she might let him stay. They’d agreed to come back to her place and kiss. Maybe more. She’d laid down her ground rules at the beginning. First date, no sex.
Neither of them had said anything about his staying the night, but that was exactly what she’d just suggested.

She bit her lip and managed to look him in the eye. He smiled, and something in his eyes let her know that she could say anything she wanted to him and he would be fine with it.

“I don’t want to leave either,” he said softly. “I’ve already told you I want you. It doesn’t have to happen tonight. If it does, I’m not going to complain about it, and I’m not going to think any less of you.”

It was an odd thing to say. Not something Tareth had ever heard from a guy. And it was exactly what she needed to hear.

“I won’t think less of you either,” she said, trying to make a joke of it.

“Good.” He held out his hand. “Let’s take a look at those menus. Lunch was way too long ago.”

They chose a restaurant and placed their order, then sat on the couch again to wait. Justin held her hand, and for several minutes they sat there together in silence, as they had on the boat. The silence now was just as comfortable as it had been then.

Justin’s touch was just as much a fuel for desire as it had been earlier.

About the Author:

A writer since childhood, Karenna Colcroft delved into the world of romantic fiction in 2009 and brought numerous novels, novellas, and short stories into the world until 2016, when various circumstances combined to enforce a hiatus. Now Karenna is resurrecting herself and some of her previously-published books along with new books set in the same universe.

Karenna lives just north of Boston and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. (At least none that she knows of.) Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.

Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)

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