This week I had my last breakfast of Fiori’s Swedish pancakes with Tara and Anderson and the Elemental coven, and then I sent the finished manuscript of Elemental Fire off to Xcite for the final edit. I’ll have one last read-through when the proofs come back to me and, after that, I’ll be saying good-bye to the Elemental Coven and turning them over to the readers. And my first trilogy will be complete!
What I hadn’t expected was such a huge dose of empty nest syndrome so quickly. I mean I get that feeling after every novel, novella, or story I finish, but this was major. This was three books worth of ENS. This was a story of a long battle for the life and love and the well-being of the Elemental Coven; a battle against a very nasty, yet very sexy demon. Because the story is set in the Lake District, which is one of my favourite places on the planet, that meant that every second I spent on the trilogy was like escaping to Cumbria for a quick break. I’ll miss that a lot!
Elemental Cottage and Lacewing Farm have become real to me. I love curling up in front of the fireplace on the cushions in Tim Meriwether’s farmhouse with a nice bottle of claret. I love sitting in the lovely library at Elemental Cottage eating Fiori’s homemade gingerbread and having a cuppa while discussing ways to take out Deacon. I love time spent with Tara in the greenhouse. I love sexy magic circles cast in the Room of Reflection or in the Dream Cave. I love sitting down with the whole coven for a fry-up or a breakfast of Fiori’s Swedish pancakes after a hot night of sex magic. I love the camaraderie and the closeness that developed in the coven, and I love the fun-loving spirit in spite of the adversity with which they were dealing.
There are other stories to be told, the stories of other members of the Elemental Coven, the stories of other magical experiences in the Lake District, and I’ll go back there in a heartbeat if the Muse is willing. And I’ll be honest, I go back and visit all my novels periodically, at least in my head. The characters have been too much a part of my life not to, and never more so than the Elemental Coven because I’ve walked the land, been caught out in the mist, explored the quarries, drank in the fresh fell air.
Of course it’s not the end. It’s only the beginning, really. As always, the best part will be sharing Elemental Fire and the antics of the Elemental Coven with you. I look forward to that even more than Fiori’s Swedish pancakes. So here’s a little peek of what’s to come.
Elemental Fire Blurb:
Obsessed with revenge, KENNET LUCIAN makes a deal with a demon, a deal he comes to regret when he meets TARA STONE, head of the Elemental Coven, and a powerful witch with a desire for revenge at least as great as his. Even though the attraction between the two is magnetic and the lust combustive, Kennet must betray her to accomplish his goal, which is ultimately her goal as well; to put a final end to the demon, Deacon’s, reign of terror. But can Tara trust the man who has wormed his way into her heart and the heart of the Elemental Coven? Can she trust LUCIA, the demon with whom Kennet is allied, a demon with her own agenda. The path to Deacon’s destruction is far from clear, and the price that must be paid to be free of him forever may be too high, even for Tara Stone.
From far away someone shook Tara’s arm, someone called to her in distressed tones, trying to bring her back to the Waking World. But she didn’t want to go back. It was safe and warm and happy here. There was nothing but sadness in the Waking World. She just wanted to sleep here in the cave and wait for whoever the beautiful woman would bring to her.
But the shaking and jostling continued. She slapped the hand away but it kept coming back to shake her. She was just ready to tell whoever it was to bugger off, when she opened her eyes and looked up to see the outline of a man leaning over her. Even in the darkness, the energy emanating from him was magnetic. Everything inside her tightened with anticipation, and Goddess, she wanted him. Surely she was still dreaming.
‘Are you alright?’ His voice vibrated through her chest and his touch felt electric, full of magic. ‘I thought you were dead, then I heard you moaning. I guess you were dreaming. I was worried and then …’
They both realized at the same time that her shirt was open and so were her trousers, and one hand still rested on her mons. She could feel the man’s gaze taking in the situation, and he twigged. ‘Oh shit, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize. I thought you were — ’
‘I was! Dreaming, I mean.’ She quickly jerked her hand out of her trousers and tugged her open blouse across her bare breasts. ‘I was dreaming, and she said she’d send someone and …’ She blinked hard and looked around at the night sky. She couldn’t have been asleep long, but everything felt unreal, different. Was she still dreaming? Dreams could be so powerful at times, so confusing. She reached up to touch his face and felt a surge of magic — some new, some old. Some very old. Had she enfleshed a ghost because of her horny dream? When she walked at night, ghosts did sometimes follow her onto the fells in hopes that she would enflesh them and allow them to experience for a little while the pleasures afforded the living. And any other time she would happily oblige. But when she walked at night, she always sent them away. This was her place, her alone time. No one was welcome to disturb her here, and most ghosts knew that. Had she been that out of it? Was she that desperate for a fuck that her unconscious had broken her own rules?’
The man sat back on his haunches and looked down at her. In the darkness she could only make out his silhouette dominated by broad shoulders, but it was enough to make her own arousal spike. Certainly if she had enfleshed him, she couldn’t leave him in the state he was now, no doubt, in because of her.
He gave a little gasp of surprise when she off-balanced him, pulled him down to her and kissed him. ‘You shouldn’t have come here,’ she managed before she drew him into another kiss.
‘I might say the same about you,’ he replied.
Cheeky ghost, she thought, but she kissed him again. This time he returned the favour. And the power surge she felt went clear from her mouth down to the base of her spine and back again. His eyes fluttered, he gasped against her mouth, clearly feeling what she felt, and there was no disguising the press of his heavy erection against the fly of his walking trousers.
‘What the hell was that?’ She gasped, not entirely sure she wasn’t going to come just from their last kiss.
He pulled back from her with a start, one hand against his lips and the other resting low on his belly. ‘If you do that again, I can’t guarantee what will… If you do that again.’
For a tightly stretched second, they froze in each other’s gaze. Then she forced words up through her throat, struggling to breathe through her arousal. ‘I can’t … I need …’
‘Me too,’ He whispered. She couldn’t see the colour of his eyes in the darkness, but his gaze was baking hot against her.
Focus. Damn it, she needed to be able to focus, to think. She forced a deep breath and then they were both speaking at the same time.
‘I’m sorry … I didn’t … I wouldn’t …’
‘I don’t know what just happened,’ he gasped.
‘Me neither,’ she managed.
Then they were on each other. He yanked the clasp from her hair and clawed it free from the ponytail. She curled her fingers in the front of his shirt and pulled him on top of her, down between her open legs, lifting her hips, wrapping her ankles around his waist and thrusting up to meet him. The sounds coming from his throat were deep-chested, wild, and she wasn’t sure where his grunts and growls left off and hers began as he thrust and ground against her, shoving her arse into the soft moss with his efforts.
‘I need to get to you,’ he gasped pulling away from her, tugging and fumbling at her trousers until they were down over her hips.
She toed one of her boots off and kicked it aside, and he lifted her leg free of her trousers while she shoved open his fly and slid her hand into his boxers until she could wrap her fingers around his heavy cock.
He gasped and pushed her hand away. ‘Don’t do that. I’ll come in your hand and I don’t want to come there. He trapped both her wrists above her head with a large hand while he nuzzled his way into her shirt and battled with his trousers until his butt was bare.
Then he released her hands and kissed his way down her belly, shoving her legs further apart as he went, lowering his face, biting the inside of her left thigh just below the swell of her pussy. She yelped and drenched herself. He fingered her open and ran his tongue up from her perineum all the way to her clit and bit again. And she came, bellowing her orgasm into the cool night air. ‘I want you in me, I want you in me,’ she gasped, even before she could breathe again, even before the waves inside her had dissipated.
He positioned himself and pushed into her deep and hard and they both growled like angry wolves. She grabbed his arse cheeks in an effort to pull him still deeper into her. He dug into the moss with his feet, shoved up onto his knees and lifted her until her shoulders rested in the moss and her hips were in the air, knees pressing upward against her breasts. Then he rolled with her and pulled her on top of him. With one trembling hand he shoved her blouse off her shoulders and her breasts bounced freely into his cupping fingers. With the other hand he expertly found her clit, and resting the flat of his palm on her mound, he stroked and rubbed with the pad of his thumb.
One wave of orgasm collapsed in on the next, like the waves breaking against the cliffs at St Bee’s Head. Then both of his hands settled to her hips and he thrust up nearly bucking her off in his efforts to penetrate still deeper. His grip on her hips was bruising, and she slammed into him harder and harder with each thrust, emotions swirling around, emotions that she didn’t want to feel, emotions that she did want to feel, emotions that she had wanted to feel from the time she was a little girl. And somewhere in the midst of their thrusting and pushing, she realized that not all of the emotions were hers. But she couldn’t think, she couldn’t concentrate on anything but the in and out, push and shove, like a mantra, like a spell being woven in rhythm, in repetition, in sync.
And then they both came, screaming and raging and rolling in the moss until he was once again on top of her, his weight feeling like the weight of the world, and yet at the same time feeling like a blanket protecting her from the depths of her own pain. How could this be? How could she ever experience anything like this with some strange horny ghost on the fells?
She found herself with a million questions, and yet by the time she caught her breath, she was fast asleep. To her total surprise, he had crossed the dream threshold and they were chasing the dream together.