December can mean different things to different people.
To some, it is the end of the year. To others it is the best time of the year. Many people realize snow and ice are obstacles they need to contend with. Others wonder how they can celebrate Santa when palm trees are swaying outside their condos.
For me, it is too soon after my birthday and Thanksgiving to worry about the Christmas holiday.
I had my son drag boxes down from the attic, and the cat and I will fight over what I want to display and what ornaments he wants to eat, but I will find time to keep writing. Even if snow hits us here in sunny Raleigh, North Carolina, I can visit the NC Museum of Art and enjoy reflecting on the future…spring! Here is one of my favorite paintings hanging there. It is called Morning on the Seine, near Giverny by Claude Monet.
The art at this museum, which is only 5 miles from our home, is extraordinary, especially the 30+ works by the famous French sculptor, Auguste Rodin. It affected me in such a way that I planned my next book series there!
Book #1 of my Warriors in Bronze series is Heaven-sent Warrior.Asleep inside a bronze statue, a naked Frenchman wakes a century later to save a half-Fae museum curator from a demon bent on ruling our present-day world.
Check it out in ebook and print. The buy links are HERE
My author friend, Terry Spear, challenged me to write a short, very short story inspired by a holiday picture of my choosing for her blog . I’m also sharing the wee tale here. If you’ve read Just Wait For Me from my Highland Gardens series, you met a young lad named Tevin in the epilogue. He appears again in the upcoming novella, Just Within a Highland Mist, coming Winter 2017.
In A Red Mug and a Christmas Kiss, this very short holiday tale, Tevin is all grown up and working as a Santa’s helper for the holidays at Foxgloves, the garden center owned by his mother, Jillian, and her two partners…
A Red Mug and a Christmas Kiss
by Dawn Marie Hamilton
Melinda had always wanted to be a Santa’s helper. At twenty-five, it seemed like a silly childhood dream.
Snowflakes danced on the breeze, landing on her cheeks and the tip of her nose. She shivered and sipped from the red ceramic mug she’d just purchased at the garden center’s gift shop along with hot cider. The owners of Foxgloves were Scottish and all the greenery was decorated with tartan ribbon and bows.
Wandering past rows of Christmas trees, the sharp scent of fir, along with apple and cinnamon from the cider, reminded her of Christmases long past. She missed her family. Felt alone in this new mountain town.
In the center of the display garden, a Christmas village had been erected. Young men, dressed in kilts and tunics and wearing elf hats, used hand puppets to entertain children waiting their turn to sit on Santa’s lap and give the white-bearded man their Christmas wish lists.
Melinda couldn’t help but ogle the guys’ muscular legs exposed to the chilly air. She’d be covered in goose bumps if she—
“Lass, would you be so kind as to help me with a medieval skit?”
She lifted her gaze from a firm pair of masculine legs, up a tight body, to very kissable lips that broadened into a grin. Blue eyes glinted with humor. Heat burned her cheeks. And it wasn’t from the steam rising from the red mug.
“Aren’t you cold?” she blurted. “I mean, of course, I’d be happy to help.” Gosh. She sounded silly.
“My name is Tevin,” he said.
“Mine is Melinda.”
He handed her a puppet depicting a faerie princess and another a fair maiden and introduced her to the crowd as Santa’s Helper Melinda. She then joined him in an improvised skit where the faerie princess bestowed magic powers upon a warrior who slayed a dragon and won the hand of the fair maiden.
The children clapped.
“That was fun,” she said as they walked away from the Christmas village to a secluded picnic table.
“It was.” He pulled a flask out of his sporran. “I’m finished for the night. Would you care for some whisky?”
He poured a small measure of the amber liquid into the red mug and handed it over. She sipped the drink and smiled. How could she let him know of her interest in him without feeling a fool?
Tevin took the mug from her hand and drank from the spot her lips had touched. “I like the taste of your lips. May I?”
The intent glowing in his eyes near to burned her. Her stomach shimmied. Still, she nodded.
His arm encircled her waist; drew her close. The touch of his lips against hers was soft. Gentle. Stole her breath. Became demanding. She dropped the empty red mug into the snow and wrapped her arms around his neck, surrendering to the magic of his Christmas kiss.
I love Christmas! The lights, the presents, but most of all the LOVE. I would love to gift every fan of my books a little something. So here is a Christmas Carol for you, Lycan Style.
12 Days of Christmas Lycan Style
On the First day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a mating bond attached to my heart.
On the Second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: two twin girls and
On the Third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Three cozy dens.
On the Fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Four Lada-Nivas.
On the Fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Five Asena Blessings.
On the Sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Six pack members mated.
On the Seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Seven young pups playing
On the Eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Eight English pack members
On the Ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Nine cakes of Pryaniki
On the Tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Ten bowls of Kutya
On the Eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Eleven Pork Steaks roasting
On the Twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Twelve Christmas Wishes
When Lycans and Shadow Walkers meet.
Book Eleven of the Siberian Volkov Pack Romance Series
Cross-Over to Shadow Walker Series
Sergei Sokolov, Siberian Lycan, is surprised when the mating bond snaps into place and connects him to a woman being attacked in Moscow. Knowing he may lose his destined mate sends him running to rescue her.
Lindy Quiet Thunder, Shadow Walker, is investigating strange lapses of lost time in a team of Marines. While taking the unit to Moscow for a little R&R, Lindy is attacked. As she loses consciousness her mind connects to her mate. Who is behind the attack and will her mate find her in time?
“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” – J. K. Rowling,Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
“You sure you don’t want me to come over? We could make a snowman in the garden, or one in front of the hotel for the guests’ arrival tomorrow. Or we could build snow forts and have a snowball fight.”- Terry Spear,A Silver Wolf Christmas
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – Charles Dickens,A Christmas Carol
“What I mean, is I pictured you in my life surrounded by our children. Please tell me this is possible. Please make this Christmas the best I’ve ever had?” Staff Sergeant Christopher Hawkins) – Nancy Lee Badger,Unwrapping Chris
JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS (A Highland Gardens Novella – Book 2.5)
Not just a holiday read and e-book only 99 pennies.
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Scottish historical time travel romance with Highlanders, scheming faeries, a mischievous brownie, magic, adventure, and romance set in 16th century Scotland and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match?
Sea Panther ~ a Scottish inspired paranormal romance with a Highlander vampire shifter hero, a modern damsel in distress, adventure, suspense, and romance. And a wee bit of time travel—just for fun.
A drunk banged into the table and broke the steamy spell holding Kimberly and Robert enthralled. She choked on a flat laugh. He cleared his throat.
The awkward moment thickened the air. Made it hard to breathe.
Kimberly twitched her nose. Now would be a good time to find a hidey-hole to crawl into. Perspiration glazed the skin between her breasts. God, her face must be the color of a ripe strawberry.
“I overheard you,” Robert said.
“Did you?” Just great.
“Aye.” His gaze dropped to the tabletop. He picked up a drink stirrer and fiddled with it.
Mesmerized, she watched large fingers nimbly tie the thin strip of plastic into a bowline knot. The naughty image of him using the same knot to tie a silk scarf around her wrists flashed in her mind. Where had that idea come from?
“What the rest of the crew has been trying hard not to tell you is I have a rare blood disease.” Her wayward thought splintered at the unemotional statement of fact.
She gazed into his eyes, searching for something empathetic to say.
“I have to take it easy until my doctors can find a donor with the right DNA makeup to help me. That is why I sleep a lot.”
“I’m sorry.” Oh, that sounded lame. Worse yet, she’d been thinking about sex. Kinky sex. My God, what had come over her lately? She’d never thought of having that kind of sex with Jason. Heat rose from toes to face. Thank God Robert couldn’t read minds. She reached for her mug, but it was empty.
“Dance with me?” He grasped her hand.
She nodded, and followed him onto the dance floor. “When they find a donor, will they be able to make you well?”
His eyes clouded. “I hope so.”
So did she.
He tucked her close, held her tight, smooth cheek against the rasp of whiskers, as they swayed with the other couples to the sweet melody of an Irish love song. She embraced hard muscle as she wrapped her arms around him.
How could a virile man like Robert be critically ill?
When the song ended, she pulled away, feeling awkward. He seemed uncomfortable too. They returned to the booth at the same time as the twins.
The moment Robert sat, his cell phone buzzed. He grabbed it from his belt. “Aye.” A dark expression hardened his features. “Do what you can. Tell Colin to be ready to motor out and set sail as soon as we arrive.”
Alarm pinched. Something bad must have happened.
He returned the phone to his belt and pulled her to her feet.
“What’s up?” Davey asked.
“We have trouble.” Robert pushed Kimberly through the crowd toward the back door. Davey and John followed. Once they were out in the night air, Robert answered Davey’s question, “It appears Miss Scot is wanted by the sheriff’s department.”
Kimberly wanted to explain, but he cut her off.
“Colin is stalling the deputies, which will buy us some time but not much. You two…” He directed an intense stare at the twins. “Go to the boat and make ready to cast off on Colin’s order. I will borrow a launch, and we will rendezvous offshore.”
John and Davey disappeared into the shadows.
“Come.” Robert tugged on her arm.
They ran down the back alley away from the Christmas gaiety. By the time they reached the outskirts of town, Kimberly panted for breath. She still hadn’t figured out how to explain the situation. “Captain, I—”
“Just answer one question. Did you break the law?”
“No.” She shook her head with force. “Definitely not.”
“Then you can explain later. Now, we need to hurry.” He led her behind a waterfront hotel. They jogged across the manicured lawn to a private dock with a Zodiac tied to it. Luck was with them. Keys dangled from the ignition.
The inflatable boat raced out into the dark night. When the town with its twinkling lights looked like a miniature holiday village, Robert idled the engine, and they drifted.
“I’m sorry. I’ve done nothing wrong.” Kimberly found it hard to believe the mess that had caught up with her.
Coming November 17th – Available for Pre-Order Now
The Gift of My Mate
A Siberian Volkov Pack Romance
By Caryn Moya Block
Sneak Peek One:
“I want something from you, too,” Margot said.
“You, woman, are playing with fire,” Mathis said pushing into her hand.
“Then make me burn…”
Sneak Peek Two:
“Are you out of your mind?” Margot asked, her hands on her hips. She finally had a mate and the first thing he wanted to do was get himself killed. “Let’s make a run for it. Your family can cover for us.”
Margot Martin has been searching for her mate for years. When she couldn’t find a mate in her pack, she started looking for a mate in the human population, earning her a rather shady reputation. Now one of her human admirers has turned stalker and Margot can only turn to the head of pack security, Mathis Levesque, for help.
Mathis Levesque has known from the first moment he saw Margot Martin that she was his mate, a secret he has kept from her, for her own protection. A member of the Betas council’s “Sable Guard” has made him more than one enemy and Mathis didn’t want Margot to become a target. Now she is stalked by a human business man and Mathis must protect the one woman he can’t give up.
Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match in time for Christmas?
When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.
Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan’s enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.
Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?
Here we are, in the middle of summer, with hot muggy days in Virginia. But, the Hallmark Shop is releasing their new Christmas ornaments, and already the countdown has started to one of my favorite times of the year.
The current book I am working on is also taking place during months of snow and cold. So, to get us all in the mood, I decided to share with you a taste of Christmas “Lycan Style”.
A Siberian Werewolf Christmas
Available now at all e-Retailers
Margaret Brady knows she must be out of her mind to go to Siberia for Christmas. But her intuition won’t let her turn down the invitation of her best friend, Violet Volkov. When she meets the good looking Vyacheslav Putyatinov, she knows just what she wants for Christmas.
Vyacheslav “Slava” Putyatinov thinks any human woman coming to the Siberian Lycan village will be trouble. But one unmated could be a disaster. When he is put in charge of the American siren he finds trouble can lead to desire.