Happy Halloween! I’m excited to be joining the Snarkology Halloween Hop with lots of fun prizes for all you grown-up trick-or-treaters.
Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was born to be an event planner. Every year I’d plot how I would design the perfect party. I was obsessed with all things glow in the dark.
It wasn’t until years later that I started planning and executing actual events. I’ve done themed Star Wars parties at scifi conventions, masquerade balls, conferences, and all sorts of fun things. It’s my dream to do a Faerie costume masquerade ball in Chicago.
These days, I tend to celebrate Samhain more than the secular Halloween.
Samhain is the holiday celebrated by most Pagans, Wiccans, Witches, Druids, and other followers of Earth-centered spirituality. One of the hats I wear is that I am a community leader and teacher in the modern Pagan community. I write paranormal romance, but I also write metaphysical/Pagan/magical books.
While a lot of paranormal romance books tend to focus on magical powers, werewolves, and vampires (including some of my own stories) Samhain is actually a fairly practical holiday. Samhain means “summer’s end” and it was the third of the harvest festivals. From August to October you have the harvesting of the grains and the apples, and finally, before winter sets in, that’s when the herd animals were slaughtered. That probably sounds a little gory, but to this day it’s also hunting season.
Samhain and harvest time are all about death. There’s no escaping it; The leaves are falling, the branches are bare. The winds grow cold, the nights grow longer…our bodies know that winter is coming.
Samhain is a time to honor our Beloved Dead who have crossed over. For me, this isn’t a creepy thing at all. It’s looking at the land and seeing how everything must die, that that is part of the cycle, and this is an appropriate time to honor those who have died.
For me Samhain is also about the magic of deep introspection. For me this personal reflection lasts through the dark months, from the end of October through New Years Eve. The dark months are the time to reflect on the past year and the choices I’ve made, and to re-evaluate what I want going forward. By New Years, I know some of what I want to focus on for the coming year. We are usually the ones who get in the way of our goals, so for me this time of year is an excellent chance to look into the mirror of souls, to face my shadows and do my personal work. This kind of magic is what has helped me to become a published author.
The more modern Halloween also seems to have become a sort of paranormal romance holiday. Some of us like reading about witches, mages, vampires, and shifters, and I’m definitely no exception!
Below I’ve included an excerpt from my novella Werewolves in the Kitchen. Anyone who comments on this blog post will have a chance to win an eBook copy. Here’s the question: What do you like best about paranormal romance?
Everyone’s a Winner!
If you sign up for my fiction email list, you’ll get a free copy of Werewolves with Chocolate, a sequel novella to Werewolves in the Kitchen. Werewolves with Chocolate will be coming out in the next weeks. Read more about my current and forthcoming books on my main site.
Treat! More Prizes
There are many more prizes. Below the excerpt is a link to the Rafflecopter for the grand prize, a $100 gift card, plus links to all the other authors on the Snarkology Halloween hop. Many of the other authors are offering up their own prizes too.
Werewolves in the Kitchen
When Ellie moved to the SpiralStone retreat center to figure out her life, she expected peace, quiet, and spiritual practice. She had no idea that the two sexy men running the kitchen would seduce her…much less at the same time. Kyle and Jake turn out to be wilder than they seem and Ellie finds herself wrapped up in devastating magic. She must choose: stay with Jake and Kyle and risk who she has been, accepting the dangerous world of shapeshifters? Or leave them and risk madness, or worse?
This paranormal romance features two sexy werewolves and a menage (M/F/M). Heat level: Spicy
Ellie headed to the large catering kitchen of the retreat center where the washer and dryer were. “Maybe I’ll get out of there before the wonder twins drive me crazy.” However, they were in the kitchen when she arrived, despite it being hours after dinnertime. She blinked.
Kyle was bare-chested. “Hey, Ellie.” Kyle tossed something in the washer, then looked at her. “Oh, you have laundry?”
“It’s ok. Mine can wait.”
“Nonsense, there’s plenty of room.”
“Here, put that down. Eat. We saved you some.” Jake produced a heaping plate.
Ellie blinked again. “I can’t eat all that.”
Both men watched her. She felt as if she needed to back up. “Are you guys conspiring to make me eat?”
“Well, it is our job to feed people,” Kyle grinned that lady-killer grin of his. She felt her insides clench. Kyle took her laundry basket from her. “Eat.”
Her stomach grumbled and she gave in, leaning against the counter to eat. They were both so nice to her, she wished she could be around them for five minutes without imagining them tearing her clothes off.
She almost choked on a bite of roasted peppers when Kyle began putting her laundry into the washing machine. She set down her plate.
“Oh, I’ll get that.” Blushing, she took the basket from him. He gave her a strange look. “You don’t want to smell my dirty clothes.” Kyle was close enough to her that she could feel the warmth coming off of his body. She tried to not stare at his chest and the tribal tattoos curled around his bicep and shoulder. She dropped her clothes into the washer, her hands shaking, she wanted him so badly. She started the washer.
“Ugh, this got dropped in the creek too.” She sniffed her silk hair band. “You should smell this thing; I don’t know if it smells more like creek water or my sweat.”
She looked up, surprised by the sudden silence in the room, and her jaw dropped a little. The two men were suddenly looking at her like hungry wolves. Ellie felt like a cornered deer and actually backed up against the washer.
Kyle stepped closer and drew the silk up to his nose. “Hmmm, not sure,” he said, and moved in to her side, scenting her hair. “Seems to smell more like you. Jake?” He looked up, and the men shared some look between them.
Ellie was tongue-tied. They had to be teasing her.
Jake moved in front of her, and she trembled as he sniffed her hair band and then her hair. “Yes, definitely like you.”
“Yes,” Kyle murmured, nuzzling her neck. She was panting. Kyle growled and pulled back. “I don’t want to pressure you.”
“We don’t want you to feel like you have to.”
Ellie made a soft sound. Words wouldn’t come.
“Are you ok?”
“Do you want us to stop?” Jake murmured. She shook her head and then gasped when Kyle kissed her neck. Jake stroked her cheek and kissed her lips gently at first, and when she moaned he pulled her closer. Kyle lapped at her neck, nipping now, slipping his hands over her breasts, and Jake was making love to her mouth with deep velvet strokes of his tongue.
She moaned weakly feeling Kyle behind her, his hard heat rubbing against her buttocks, and felt Jake in front of her, pulling her close against his hips. Kyle slipped his fingers into her shirt to tease at her nipples, and she leaned back against him, bucking into his touch. Kyle drew the straps of her cami-top down even as Jake started dragging her shirt up.
She pulled back to breathe, and Jake stroked her cheek, nibbling at the other side of her neck. “Guys…I need a shower….”
Kyle chuckled, lifting his head. “Not like we haven’t been baking in our own juices; we can take care of that. Come with us.”
“Come with you?”
“To our room,” Jake whispered into her ear, and she moaned, closing her eyes. “Come on,” they urged, drawing her to the stairs.
“But…I…” Ellie shook her head. “Why now?” Kyle turned her to face him.
“We both wanted you, but we didn’t want to scare you.”
“I saw you watching us. Don’t you desire us?”
“Oh yes, but I thought you two were…that is…didn’t think you’d want….”
Kyle kissed her deeply. “I want you. Jake wants you. We’ve been trying not to crowd you, but well…”
“You didn’t seem to get our signals.” Jake sucked hard on her neck.
“I just thought you were being nice.”
“Oh we were being nice,” Kyle grinned. “We’re going to be nicer. Come on.” He shut the washer.
Prizes & Blog Hop
Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway and follow this link to find all the other links on the hop. Enjoy!