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Earthbound by Melora Johnson – A Chat with Matthew Scott Blake (@MeloraJohnson) #ParanormalRomance #UrbanFantasy #RomanticFantasy #TirgearrPublishing

Melora: Hi and thanks for having us here today. I’ve brought along Matthew Scott Blake, ornithologist and . . . Matt? (looks around) Where are you?

Matt: I’m right here.

Melora: Oh, is that the chameleon thing kicking in again?

Matt: I’m really not comfortable talking about this in a public setting. I think it’s better if I remain off the record.

Melora: Well, we’re among friends here.

Matt: (dryly) I highly doubt that.

Melora: Don’t you think it would be better to have the public aware of the dangers present around us and have them help in the fight against, well, whatever it is you’re battling.

Matt: Civilians would just endanger us and themselves.

Melora: Well, ignorant and untrained civilians, but surely –

Matt: I don’t have time to train people to bring them into the fray, plus they don’t have the skills we do.

Melora: I understand that, but don’t you think that if more people are aware and keeping an eye out for –

Matt: No. We’ll know long before they’re aware.

Melora: (waves her hands) Okay, let’s try a different topic. You and Ally, huh?

Matt: (face reddening)

Melora: How’s that working out?

Matt: Good.

Melora: Have the two of you worked out any little differences in comfort levels with intimacy?

Matt: (stiffly) That would be on a need to know basis. Ally and I are the only ones who need to know.

Melora: Okay, okay. What about Zyriel? Are you okay with he and Ally being friends now?

Matt: (just glowers)

Melora: O-kay. How about work? Have you found something in New Hampshire?

Matt: There are several promising possibilities.

Melora: Good, good. Okay, ah, well. Is there anything you’d like to talk about?

Matt: No.

Melora: Okay, then. Maybe we could take some questions from the audience?

Matt: No.

Melora: But . . . .

Matt: I’m leaving now.

Melora: Okay. Well, thanks for having us here today, and rest assured, none of the other characters are this . . . taciturn.

 

Earthbound Excerpt:

“Doctor Reynolds,” a male voice called out from across the room, pulling me back to the present. It sounded somewhat familiar.

I looked up, shielding my eyes from the afternoon sun shining in the front window as a male figure strode toward me, blond hair haloed by the light. He stopped in front of me.

Startled, I rose to my feet and looked into a chiseled face, his eyes the indeterminate blue green of sea glass like I’d collected along the shoreline once as a teenager. His dark golden blond hair was short and spiky, his lopsided grin pure perfection. He was gorgeous.

In my experience, gorgeous men were not to be trusted. Well, no men really were. Oh, all right, no one was, period.

“Doctor Allyson Reynolds? I’m Doctor Matthew Scott Blake. I’m honored to have you join us. I’ve read your articles in the Raptor Rehab Newsletter.”

He held out a hand, but when I put out mine to shake it, he simply captured mine in his and placed his other hand over it. His eyes flashed green with golden flecks in the sunlight.

“I’m glad to be here,” I said, not at all sure I was anymore, as my pulse sped up. “Please, call me Ally.”

“All right, Ally it is.”

I want to climb him like a tree. I swallowed, aghast at my own thoughts. I’d only known him a few minutes.

His hands were so warm. My mother’s voice played in my head, Gorgeous men are dangerous, arrogant, and being involved with them will lead to no good. I frowned.

“It’s so good to see you…” he said. At my expression, he faltered and cleared his throat. The wattage of his smile dimmed significantly. “I mean, to meet you. I’ve been following your work since I arrived in the States, in the newsletter.”

He turned, drawing my hand through his arm. “Please, let me show you around the facilities here.”

“Uh, thank you,” I murmured, wondering how to tactfully withdraw my arm.

 

 

Blurb:

Her healing touch could start a fire.

Ally Reynolds is a veterinarian specializing in raptor rehabilitation in New Hampshire. Other than one horrific incident in her childhood and a little extra “spark” for healing in her hands, both of which she has kept secret from even her best friend, her life has been singularly boring. It has also been extremely lonely. Ally longs for someone to share her life with, but how can she trust anyone with her secret?

Matthew Blake, an ornithologist at Cornell University, calls Ally, asking for her help with an injured raptor. Matthew grew up in New Zealand and has lived around the world. He has read about Ally’s high success rates in raptor rehabilitation and suspects there is more to it than is generally known.

Matthew has some secrets of his own; he is a demon hunter. He suspects Ally’s healing powers could benefit him. He wants her to join him and thinks they’d make a great team.

Can Ally trust him or is he just using her? Matthew definitely has more secrets, and some of them are about Ally.

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Author Bio:

Melora Johnson is a poet and novelist living in Upstate New York with her husband, daughter, a black cat, and quite a few chickens. Her most recent published work includes A Sanctuary Built of Words: Poems of Peace, Grief, and Passion, and publication in The Sexuality Poems from Foothills Publishing. She also runs a large and thriving writer’s group for adults. Of course, into every life a little rain must fall as well as the occasional tornado, but you’ll find that amply covered in her writing. Find out more about Melora and her writing –

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Lip Service

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like it’s a proper sex scene, or even a proper PG love scene, unless there’s some serious lip action. Here are a few fun factoids about the lip lock that I discovered while I was writing my post for my Sunday Snog. They are from Psychology Today, How Stuff Works and Random Facts:

 

  • The science of kissing is called philematology.
  • Lips are 100 times more sensitive than the tips of the fingers. They’re even more sensitive that the genitals!
  • The most important muscle in kissing is the orbicularis oris, whichallows the lips to “pucker.”
  • French kissing involves 34 muscles in the face, while a pucker kiss involves just two.
  • A nice romantic kiss burns 2-3 calories, while a hot sizzler can burn off five or even more.
  • The mucus membranes inside the mouth are permeable to hormones. Through open-mouth kissing, men introduced testosterone into a woman’s mouth, the absorption of which increases arousal and the likelihood of rumpy pumpy.
  • Apparently men like it wet and sloppy while women like it long and lingering.
  • While we Western folk do lip service, some cultures do nose service, smelling for that romantic, sexual connection. Very mammalian, if you ask me, and who doesn’t love a good dose of pheromonal yumminess?
  • Then there’s good old fashion bonding. It’s no secret that kissing someone you like increases closeness.

 

While all that’s interesting to know, what really intrigues me about kisses is how something seemingly so fragile can become so mind-blowingly powerful when lips, tongue, a whisp of breath, perhaps a nip of teeth are applied in the right proportion at the right time on the right part of the anatomy. And with the size of the human body in proportion to the mouth, the possibilities for a delicious outcome are only as limited as the imagination.

 

One theory is that kissing evolved from the act of mothers premasticating food for their infants, back in the pre-baby food days, and then literally kissing it into their mouths. Birds still do that. The sharing of food mouth to mouth is also a courtship ritual, and birds aren’t the only critters who do that. Even with no food involved the tasting, touching and sniffing of mouths of possible mates, or even as an act of submission, is very much a part of the animal kingdom.

 

The sharing of food is one of the most basic functions, the function that kept us all alive when we were too small to care for ourselves. The mouth is that magical place where something from the outside world is ingested and becomes a part of our inside world, giving us energy and strength. Not only is the mouth the receptacle for food, it’s the passage for oxygen. Pretty much all that has to pass into the body to sustain life passes through the mouth. I find it fascinating that the kiss, one of the most basic elements in Western mating ritual and romance, should involve such a live-giving part of our anatomy.

 

But the mouth does more than just allow for the intake of the sustenance we need. The mouth allows us voice. I doubt there are many people who appreciate that quite as much as we writers, who love words and the power they give us. And how can I think about the power of words without thinking about the power of words in song and poetry? Our mouths connect us in language, in thought, in the courtship of words that allow us to know and understand each other before those mouths take us to that intimate place of the kiss. And when that kiss becomes a part of our sexual experience, it’s that mouth, that tongue, those lips that allow us to say what we like and how we like it; that allow us to talk dirty; that allow us to vocalize our arousal; that allow us to laugh or tease our way to deeper intimacy.

 

The fact that the mouth offers all those wonderful, life-giving, life enhancing things, AND can kiss, makes it one of my very favourite parts of the body

 

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”

Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Scene 5

William Shakespeare

 

New Years Resolutions Through the Back Door

Well what do you know? Here it is the 7th of January already! 2020 is well and truly under way, and I’ve revamped this P1030134post from the archives because it’s a post that I need to re-read for my own benefit every year, and I hope it will be something to encourage readers as well.

The gym was overflowing with New Years Resolutioners yesterday when I went to do Kettle Bells; all around the world new diets have been begun. As soon as the New Year hangover wears off gazillions of gloomy people are signing on to Dry January; people stop drinking, stop smoking, begin learning Spanish or French, people promise to take better care of themselves, spend more time with good friends, waste less time in front of the telly, read more, exercise more, write more, and the list goes on. On January 7th the universal urge to be ‘better’ in the New Year is nearly palpable in the soggy English air.

And I’m behind somehow, as I have been for the last few years. New Years Eve passes me by in a daze and so does New Years Day, and in the midst of it all I have this vague notion that I should do something, or at least think something profound. That urge to reflect on what has been and plan how the New Year will be better is always there, but somehow ends up subsumed in the immediacy of everything else going on as the old year hear hammers down to the wire and the new one barrels over me.

Hope and excitement at new beginnings is so much a part of our human nature that the end of a year and the beginning of another one can’t help but be the time when we anticipate, plan change, and dare to dream of what wonderful things we can bring about in the next year. In fact there’s a heady sense of power in the New Year. I think it’s the time when we’re most confident that we can make changes, that we really do have power over our own lives. It’s the time when we’re most proactive toward those changes, those visions of the people we want to be. I think that’s because it’s the one time of the year when there is a clear delineation between what has been and what will be – even if it is really rather arbitrary.

Before I actually began to sell my writing, back when I dreamed of that first publication, back when there seemed to be a lot more time for navel gazing than is now, I was a consummate journaler. I filled pages and pages, notebooks and notebooks full of my reflections, ruminations and navel gazes. And nothing took more time and energy than the end of Sleeping woman reading181340322466666994_IswNAb85_bthe year entry, in which I reflected on how I did on the year’s resolutions and planned my resolutions for the next. This was a process that often began late in November with me reading back through journals, taking notes, tracing down some of what I’d been reading during that year and reflecting on it. Yeah, I know. I needed to get a life!

By the time New Years Day rolled around, I had an extensive list of resolutions, each with a detailed outline of action as to how I was going to achieve it. I found that some of those resolutions simply fell by the wayside almost before the year began — those things that if I’m honest with myself, I know I’m never gonna do, no matter how much I wish I would. Others I achieved in varying degrees-ish. But sadly, for the most part, a month or maybe two into the year, that hard core maniacal urge to be a better me no matter what cooled to tepid indifference as every-day life took the shine off the New Year.

It was only when there stopped being time for such ginormous navel-gazes and micro-planning that I discovered I actually had achieved a lot of those goals that were my resolutions simply by just getting on with it. As I began to think more about how different my approach to all things new in the New Year had become the busier I became, I realised that I had, through no planning on my part, perfected the sneak-in-through-the-back-door method of dealing with the New Year. The big, bright New Year changes I used to spend days plotting and planning no longer got written down, no longer got planned out. Instead, they sort of implemented themselves in a totally unorganised way somewhere between the middle of January and the middle of February. They were easy on me, sort of whispering and smiling unobtrusively from the corners of my life. They came upon me, not in a sneak attack so much as a passing brush with someone who would somehow become my best friend.

All together, I’ve written more that a half a million words this year. Needless to say, I’m my own harsh taskmaster. I’m driven, I’m tunnel-visioned, I’m a pit bull when I grab on to what I want to achieve with my writing. No one is harder on me than I am – no one is even close. And yet from somewhere there’s a gentler voice that sneaks in through the back door of the New Year and through the back doors of my life and reminds me to be kinder to me, to be easier on me, to find ways to rest and recreate and feed my creative self. I’ll never stop being driven. The time I’ve been given, the time we’ve all been given, is finite. And that gentler part of ourselves must somehow be a constant reminder of comfort and forgiveness, of self-betterment that comes, not from brow-beating and berating ourselves, not from forced regimentation, but from easing into it, making ourselves comfortable with it. We, all of us, live in a time when life is http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-black-white-writing-pen-image20156020snatched away from us one sound-bite, one reality TV show, one advert at a time. Often our time, our precious time is bargained away from us by harsher forces, by ideals and scripts that aren’t our own, and the less time we have to dwell on the still small voice, the deeper the loss.

So my resolution, my only resolution every year is to listen more carefully to that gentler, quieter part of me, to forgive myself for not being able to be the super-human I think I should be, to settle into the arms of and be comfortable with the quieter me, the wiser me who knows how far I’ve really come, who knows that the shaping of a human being goes way deeper than what’s achieved in the outer world, and every heart that beats needs to find its own refuge in the value of just being who we are, of living in the present and coming quietly and gently and hopefully into 2020.

 

Doing the Gingerbread Man

Holiday sweets that I promise won’t add extra calories of your celebrations, but guaranteed to make your holidays a little naughtier.

 

 

It might have been too much mulled wine, or perhaps a sugar high from eating damn near as much of my holiday baking as I … well as I baked. It might have been just a longing for a little bit of that holiday magic I remembered from my childhood. Whatever it was, on a whim, I decided to bake gingerbread men. I mean why should kids have all the fun. I was alone over the holiday and I had decided that I was going to make the best of it, that I was not going to feel sorry for myself. I was going to have a good time if it killed me, and that good time involved making, decorating, and eating gingerbread men.

The recipe I found online not only promised that my ginger bread men would be tasty, but that they would also be chewy. My mouth watered at the thought. I had all the ingredients, and in my cupboard I found red hots for buttons, dried cranberries for lips and slivered almonds for eyes, plus I had several tubes of icing in primary colors all ready and waiting to spiff up those men when I took them out of the oven.

The recipe was supposed to make sixteen gingerbread people – gender of your own choosing, but I never was great at following a recipe. I reckon they’re just guidelines anyway. Instead of the requisite sixteen biscuit boys, I opted for one giant, macho, gingerbread man, one that would fill the entire cookie sheet. By the time I had the dough mixed up, I’d switched from mulled wine to Prosecco. Truth be told, most ginger bread men were entirely too unmanly for my taste. I intended to create a testosterone charged, hunk of a gingerbread man, one that would seriously make my mouth water and give me something to wrap my lips around. I wanted my big GBM – something that size had to have a name — to have bulging biceps. I’m a commercial artist by trade because it pays the bills, but I’m artsy fartsy by nature, and well-shaped biceps and decent pecs and abs sculpted from liberally-sampled ginger cookie dough were not beyond my artistic abilities. Strangely enough the more Prosecco I sipped, the more creative I became. In no time at all I decided GBM didn’t need red hots for buttons because GBM wasn’t going to wear a shirt. I was having visions of Magic Mike by the time I got down to GBM’s trousers. I had plans for a little blue frosting thong with just enough pouch to cover GBM’s junk. But then I decided maybe I didn’t want said junk covered. After all this was a private performance for an audience of one. “It’ll be much easier for me to eat you and taste your yummy gingery goodness without frosting,” I said to my creation. “Besides who needs all those extra calories?” I could almost swear I heard a low throaty moan, but then more than likely it was my own. I raised my glass to my buffed biscuit boy feeling a bit like Dr. Frankenstein in her laboratory as I polished off the glass, rubbed my hands together and went to work on making sure GBM was … um…err … anatomically correct.

When a girl has her hands on a man’s cock, and she gets the feel for it, the shape of it, the way it responds to her touch, well how can she not get a little wet, a little squirmy, a little hot and bothered, and who would have thought that was true even with a gingerbread cock? I’ll admit I took time out from my efforts for a little browsing of the internet researching just exactly how I wanted GBM’s cock to look, making him wait on the table unformed and unfulfilled while I checked out schlongs online. I decided to go for heavy, somewhere in between flaccid and semi, resting languidly against GBM’s golden tan belly so as not to obscure the view of his weighty balls.

I remember as a little girl secretly pretending that my Barbie and Ken were fucking, even though poor Ken didn’t have the equipment for the job. I only ever did that when my rather conservative mother wasn’t home, and even then I felt guilty. Not tonight though! Tonight I felt empowered. Tonight was all about indulgence, all about my fucking pleasure, and here I was making it up to poor Ken by creating right proper, and proportionately substantial, bits for GBM, shaped to suit my very active fantasy life. For a long time now, my sex life had been solo, so my fantasies tended to be doozies. That meant I saw and heard sexual innuendo everywhere in everything, and eating a hot gingerbread man was just too delicious not to fantasize about.

When I finally got down to serious hands-on with GBM’s meat and two veg, my buzz was way more than alcoholic. I was the queen, I was the creator, the dominatrix, I was GBM’s goddess and he lay before me passive and obedient to my will. And then the true artist in me came out. In my imagination, the feel of a cock became almost tactile. I imagined a man asleep not yet aroused to my touch. I imagined sliding close to him, under the blankets, all naked and needing, needing the feel of maleness — of maleness needing me back. In my mind’s eye, I traced the silken smoothness of hard growing beneath soft. I cupped the weighty sac, slightly cooler to the touch, full and tight, resting in my hand. My mouth watered anticipating the taste of maleness, ginger and spice and everything nice, everything so fucking nice.

“Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.”

“Oh trust me, my little humunculous, you don’t want to run from me, not when I have your cock in my hand. Oh yes, I can see that smile on your face. You can’t fool me. I know what you want, and when I’ve made it so hot you can’t stand it, I’m going to eat you.”

I would have considered taking a break to tuck my set of shiny love balls up inside me, to jiggle and tease me while I worked on my creation, but I couldn’t leave him alone in such an unsatisfied state. Instead I stood at the counter hunched over his prone body, shifting from foot to foot, pressing my thighs together. The heady smell of ginger and heat flaring my nostrils and filling my mouth with saliva as I touched and fondled and formed the cock of my dreams. Lust heated the kitchen far more than the oven did. Sweat trickled down my spine, and thoughts of Pygmalion, in love with his own creation, thoughts of breathing life into grain and spice, leavening and oil connected me to an age old story of wanting, needing to create something to love, something that would love me back, something that I knew intimately because I had touched him as no one else had or ever would. Even in my state of arousal, my state of need, I found myself waxing all Biblical to GBM, with my slightly enebriated, more than a little bit self-centered version of Psalm 139.

 

For I created your inmost being;

I knit you together on my kitchen counter.

 You are fearfully and wonderfully made,

Even if I do say so myself

 

In the heat, I had shed my shirt and jeans, standing before my man in my red Christmas knickers and bra with a sprig of mistletoe in my damp hair, anticipating some serious mouth action when GBM was complete. At last, pleased with the shape of him, I got down on my knees and tuck him on his non-stick surface into the oven raising my arms to the heavens as I shut the oven door and steamed the glass all but shouting, “live, damn you! Live!”

Okay, now I know this sounds insane, but the second I did that, there was a flash of lightning and the electricity buzzed popped and crackled, and then went out, leaving me in the dark with GBM in his super-heated prison. But never fear, my oven is gas, and while I lay half naked curled on my side with my fingers in my panties, GBM got hotter and hotter and more and more ready, and I swear, his cock got bigger and bigger. Okay, yes, I know that’s the result of baking soda, but you gotta remember, I was in an altered state, I was just this side of Nirvana, I was having a religious experience.

Perhaps I passed out. Perhaps I really was temporarily traipsing around Nirvana. I had to be dreaming, though, because when the lights came back on the oven door burst open and wow! GBM crawled out all bronze and rippling and fully grown. Some parts of him were way more fully grown than others. And what do you think? The first words out of his mouth were, “I want to eat you, my lady, and then I’m going to fuck you.”

I always figured I’d be a beneficent creator, so I laid back in front of the oven and let GBM open my legs and run his hot, gingery, very talented tongue all over my juicy landscape. And just when I was writhing and grinding and guiding his ginger head closer to my itch, he pulled away, and I got my first look at that magnificent spicy, bronze cock, raised for the occasion.

The heat of him all but scorched me raw as he shoved his sizzling thickness up inside me and began to hump and thrust, filling the whole kitchen with the spicy, humid scent of sex and ginger – some of it his, but a good bit of it mine. He rode me until I knew I’d have bruises on my ass, and I didn’t care. I wrapped my legs around his floury ribs and met him thrust for thrust, slipping and sliding up and down his well-buttered torso. When I came, he pulled out and straddled me, holding his heavy staff up to my lips. “Eat me. Eat me now,” he said. I barely managed a few delicious licks and sucks down his gingery length before he came in buttery, spicy purts at the back of my throat. “I heard you love cream fillings,” he managed as he exploded again and again until butter and ginger and crème ran down my chin and onto my tits and I sucked and slurped and mewled like a kitten. How could anything taste so good?

“There. That’s better, isn’t it?”

I came to feeling a little singed around the edges and looking up into startling brown eyes. I blinked, not sure but what I was still dreaming, then I blinked again as I took in the total package, looking up into an outdoorsy tanned face with strong cheekbones and a slightly crooked nose that looked as though it might have been broken at one time. There was a full-lipped smile and a dimpled chin and the whole lot was topped off with bed-headed ginger-bronze hair and matching stubble.

“What happened?” I managed through a parched throat.

“You had me really worried there for a minute,” his voice was a toffee rich baritone I could have eaten with a spoon. “I think it was some sort of an electrical surge, or something. I heard it from outside and saw this bright flash of light. When your door was standing open, I feared the worst.”

“I was baking.” I did a quick glance at my oven, then did a double take only to find that the cookie sheet was empty and smoking heavily.

“Mm,” the man said, glancing first at the recipe for gingerbread men on my phone, which now lay on the floor next to me. Then he stood, grabbed a potholder and pulled the empty cookie sheet from the oven with a hearty chuckle. “What happened, did your gingerbread men run away?”

“I guess maybe he did,” I replied, looking around the room, as he offered me his hand and helped me to my feet. “I did threaten to eat him, after all.”

“Him?”

“There was just one. A big one.” It was then that I noticed my state of undress. “Oh god, I’m sorry. It was, well it was really hot in here, so I …”

“It is, hot.” He said, the smile twitching at the corner of his lips as he looked away to give me a little privacy. “Could have been all the heat that caused the electrical surge.”

“I’m sure that was it.” I replied.

“I’m Nick, By the way,” he said, still keeping his eyes averted. “I just moved in next door.”

“Janet,” I replied, zipping my jeans and turning to face him. “Welcome.”

He shot me a quick glance and when he saw that I was decent, he offered his hand. “I was just delivering a little Christmas cheer.” And then he gave me a flirty little grin that made me feel hot all over again. He nodded to the plate of gorgeously perfect gingerbread men setting on the table. “Perhaps these’ll make up for the one that got away.”

“Thank you. I had my mouth set for gingerbread men.” Then I added quickly, “sometimes my imagination runs away with me.” I looked around, half expecting GBM to be peeking out from behind the pantry door. “With the size of the one I made though, I imagine he’d still be gooey in the middle.”

“Gooey in the middle is all right as long as he’s hard where it counts. Oh God, I can’t believe I said that.” He ran a hand through mussed ginger curls.

“Well you can hardly be blamed under the circumstances,” I replied. “What with finding me in my underwear all sprawled on the kitchen floor in front of the oven.”

He looked around. “You don’t suppose he has something sinister in mind, this giant runaway gingerbread man of yours, do you?”

“I did feel a bit like Dr. Frankenstein when I was making him,” I said. “It’s possibly he’s now out on the street running amok.”
“If the villagers all turn up with torches and pitchforks later tonight, we’ll know why,” he said.

“Best be vigilant.” I put on the kettle and nodded him to sit at the flour dusted kitchen table, still wondering what had happened to GBM. “So what do you do for a living, Nick?” I asked.

“I just opened a bakery down the street. While I do seriously delicious cookies and cakes, my specialty is breads.”

“Oh my God,” I dropped into the chair next to him, feeling like I’d just stepped into the Twilight Zone. “You own The Ginger Bread Man?”

He raised his brown eyes to meet my gaze, and a smile split his face. “Yup, that would be me.” He pointed to his hair. “I am the ginger bread man.”

 

 

Happy Holidays to all of you and all the best in 2020!

 

Out Now—Moonstone by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #reverseharem #rh #whychoose #ku #kindleunlimited

MoonstoneDo you love reverse harem romances? Love Christmas books? Then check out Moonstone!

Moonstone is a standalone contemporary reverse harem romance, which is part of the Jewels Café series—all of which can be read as standalones.

Blurb:

Christmas gifts aren’t the only surprises Ginny is going to get this year.

Moonstone Guinevere ‘Ginny’ Miles is in Silver Springs visiting her parents for the holidays. They moved to the town five years ago, and adore their new life here. Used to the hustle and bustle of London, England, Ginny isn’t convinced at first—what’s so great about a small town in Upstate New York, anyway? Despite her own opinions, it’s clear to Ginny the move has done her parents the world of good—they look years younger. There’s clearly something magical about this town.

Following some exploration of her own, Ginny discovers Silver Springs has its charms—Jewels Cafe is amazing, for starters, as is its pumpkin spice latte. Ginny’s drunk a lot of lattes in her thirty-three years, but nothing quite like this.

Her taste buds are still tingling from the tasty treat when she comes across a broken-down truck on the way back to her parents’ place. And when she spots the three gorgeous guys with the vehicle, it’s not just her taste buds that are tingling.

Is Ginny’s vacation in Silver Springs about to get a whole lot more interesting?

Buy now or read in Kindle Unlimited: http://books2read.com/moonstoneJC

Add to your Goodreads shelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48280273-moonstone

Add to BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/moonstone-jewels-cafe-book-11-by-lucy-felthouse

*****

Excerpt:

Moonstone Guinevere Miles—known as Ginny to people who didn’t want to incur her fierce and everlasting wrath—heaved her suitcase off the luggage reclaim belt with an “Oof!” and placed it on the floor, a sigh of relief escaping her. At least the thing had wheels—she didn’t really have the energy for carrying a heavy suitcase all the way through Customs and out to Arrivals. The long, tiring flight had seen to that. No matter how much she tried, no matter how exhausted she was, she simply could not fall asleep on a plane. Ever. Eye mask, ear plugs, meditation, bloody whale music—nothing helped. She’d long since resigned herself to staying awake while snores from other passengers emanated around the cabin. At least it had only been about seven and a half hours since taking off from Heathrow—she couldn’t imagine what state she’d be in if she ever flew any longer than that—to Australia, New Zealand or somewhere.

Doubtful that would ever happen, though. It had taken long enough for her to get her backside out to the east coast of America, where her parents had been running a retreat since retiring five years ago. But then, things were different now, weren’t they? Which was why she was even here in the first place—it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

Thinking of her parents brought an inevitable smile to her face, and inserted a little more spring in her step. Despite the energy and mood suck that had been the flight, she was excited to be here. She was eager to see her parents, and to find out exactly what they’d built up over the last five years. She’d seen photos and videos, but it wasn’t the same as actually being there.

When they’d first announced they were using their retirement nest egg to open a retreat in Upstate New York, she’d been floored. Who the hell retires, only to take on a massive project like that? Surely the whole point of retiring is to wind down, enjoy some free time, relax? But no, her mum and dad—who, to be fair, had never been what one would call conventional—had set their hearts on it. They’d had a huge purge of their belongings, sold their cars and house, and jetted off across the pond, leaving Ginny shocked and not a little bereft. She’d been so used to having them close by and had quickly realized just how much she’d taken that for granted.

At the same time, her own career had taken off and she’d become so busy that her parents’ sudden distance hadn’t made the blindest bit of difference. She barely saw the inside of her own flat, never mind her friends and family. This was the first Christmas she’d had off work since then, too, and she was looking forward to spending it with her parents more than she could put into words. They’d been big on the festive period ever since she was a baby, and as such, Ginny’s brain was stuffed full of warm, fuzzy memories of Christmases past. They’d been useful to get her through the last five crappy ones, too, where a microwaved ready meal was the best she could hope for, if she hadn’t managed to wangle a free meal from the place she’d been working at at the time.

Her smile widened, and she walked faster still—God, just how big was this bloody airport?—desperate to see her mum and dad and start the Christmas holiday with a bang. Anticipation rushed through her. They’d have turkey and roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, mounds of vegetables, desserts laden with enough calories to last them until Valentine’s Day, Christmas carols, amazing decorations, a beautiful tree, fairy lights…

And Santa Claus. Two of them, in fact, jumping up and down enthusiastically and waving wildly at her, with not a rotund belly in sight.

Ginny was so excited, she couldn’t even be bothered with the embarrassment she might have felt at being greeted in a public place by her parents dressed up in Santa outfits. Plus, nobody knew her here anyway, so who cared?

She scurried around the barrier, almost flipping her case in her haste to turn a corner, then covered the remaining distance between them in seconds flat and released the handle of her suitcase. A series of squeals and exclamations went up—from all three of them—and then everything went dark as Ginny was enveloped in a warm, fluffy embrace, her face crushed up against what she suspected was the white fur trim on her mother’s jacket, and kisses rained down on her. It was all she could do to suck in oxygen as she was squeezed and squeezed them right back. She was assailed by the scents of clean clothes, shampoo, perfume, and cologne—all perfectly lovely smells by themselves, but somewhat overwhelming all at once. Unintelligible murmurings reached her ears, but she didn’t bother to reply since she had no idea what was being said. And she didn’t need words, anyway. All she needed at that moment in time was to soak up the enormous outpouring of love she was experiencing.

She was so bloody happy, she thought she might pop.

Eventually, her parents loosened their hold enough so she could step back and actually look at them. She took in her father’s handsome face, his steel-gray hair—or what she could see beneath the hat, at least—his wide grin, and her mother’s long, light gray, waist-length plaits, the glint in her eyes and the glow of her skin.

“Guys, you look fantastic! If this is what retirement does for you, I think I might sign up now.”

Her mother, Deborah, gave a nonchalant shrug—which, given her attire, was way more amusing than it should have been. “What can I say, sweetheart? I feel fantastic. I’ve got so much more energy than I ever had in London, even when I was much younger.” She shrugged again. “It’s the retreat, I’m sure of it—the moment your father and I first set foot there all those years ago, I felt there was something magical about it. Silver Springs is the most wonderful little town, and we’re lucky enough to live and work in the most spectacular part of it—though it hardly feels like work.”

Ginny gave her mother a kiss on the cheek, then turned to her father, Charlie. “And you, Dad? You look twenty years younger, but how do you feel?”

His face took on a beatific expression. “The same as your mother, kiddo. Exactly the same. If I’d known just how wonderful it would be, I’d have thrown in the towel and moved out here years ago. Decades, even.” He grabbed the handle of Ginny’s case in one hand, then looped the other around her neck and pulled her in to drop a kiss on her chin-length blonde hair, which he then ruffled. “I’m so thrilled you’re here, Moony. You’re going to love it in Silver Springs. Just love it! Come on, let’s get going. We’ve got a long drive ahead of us, and the weather’s on the turn.”

Ginny bit back comments on both his use of her childhood nickname, and his messing up of her hair. She didn’t want to dampen the almost euphoric mood that seemed to float between the three of them—a combination of being pleased to see each other, and her parents’ obvious appreciation of their new home. Though five years was hardly new anymore, was it? She really should have visited before now, but the circumstances had been impossible. Now they weren’t, and she was here, in the bosom of her family, at Christmas time, and it was going to be magical.

And, at some point, she’d enlighten her parents about the fact she had nothing in particular to rush home for, either. But that could wait. No need to burst the happy, everything-is-perfect bubble just yet. She’d let them all enjoy their first Christmas together in years before thinking about that.

They made their way out of the airport building. The cold air slapped Ginny in the face, momentarily taking her breath. Her slight gasp drew her mother’s keen eye. “I hope you listened to me, sweetheart, and brought warm clothes with you. It’s even colder up in Silver Springs, you know.”

“The car’s not far,” her dad piped up. “I’ll get the heating on as soon as we’re inside, and we’ll soon have you snug as a bug in a rug.” He tipped her a wink, and warmth flooded her veins. She hadn’t realized until now just how much she’d missed her wacky yet lovable parents. They might be unconventional, but they’d given her a wonderful childhood. When she’d reached adulthood, they’d remained incredibly close, with them managing to achieve the perfect balance of loving and supportive without being controlling. They’d let her forge her own path, make her own mistakes, and had been there to help pick up the pieces without uttering so much as a “I told you so.”

They’d definitely earned this idyllic new life they’d carved out for themselves, and she couldn’t wait to experience it for herself, if only for a little while. Though she wasn’t sure how much fun there was to be had in the back end of beyond. It was hardly going to be lively. Perhaps it was a good thing she was only here for an extended holiday.

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*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

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