Ten years ago, the world as we know it changed. The shift is what it became known as. Overnight, paranormal beings came out of the proverbial closet. Something, in reality, had shifted. Those who had no idea they were paranormal were awakened to a new reality. Ten years in and Harlowe Lake Kelly, Harley to her friends, is back in her small Oklahoma town, widowed and striking out in a new career, namely, a successful magic agency. Her uncanny abilities at using potions, spells, and other means at solving supernatural crimes, thrust her into a partnership with local law enforcement.
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Lady of the earth’s desire and the earth’s yielding, of the sap rising and the embrace of longing, as the kiss of the sun, awakens you, we too are awakened to the yearning of our bodies and souls. As you unfurl each petal, you release the scent of bluebells, may and apple blossom – this is your love song, your call to union – and we too must answer. Maria Ede-Weaving
I say that tongue in cheek, yet Beltane is one of the most well-known pagan holiday celebrated in the nude. While many traditions do high holidays and other sabbaths in the nude. Beltane marks the return of life and abundance to the earth. It’s a day to celebrate life and fertility. It marks the time of the fire.
The veil between the two worlds also thins for Beltane, just like it does at Samhain (Halloween). Bonfires have always played a large part in the celebration. The fires are believed to have protective qualities. Farmers would parade their cows around the bonfires to be exposed to the protective smoke. People would leap over the flames in feats of daring. Once the fire had died down the ashes were spread on crops, livestock, and daubed on people.
Sex during Beltane is called the Great Rite and is considered sacred sex, much like Hindu Tantra. Having sex during Beltane is considered an act of devotion. The act of sacred sex is thought to encourage the growth of crops. A baby conceived on Beltane is thought to be a direct blessing from the gods.
Last, yet certainly not least, the festival is a celebration of the Sacred Union between the God and the Goddess. The Goddess is the essence of life. The giver of life. The god, in this case, is the Green Man her divine consort, and passionate lover. The movie “The Mists of Avalon” beautifully portrays this ritual.
Take some time to smell the flowers, enjoy the outdoors, and maybe even have a happy naked pagan dance of your own.
Thanks so much for allowing me a guest spot on this blog. I’m so happy to be featured here.
Have you ever jokingly tossed out an idea … and it turned out to be just what you needed? That’s how Shore is Magical, my latest Gulf Shore novel and my first paranormal, was conceived.
I was doing an online chat with other authors when the subject turned to paranormal novels, particularly shape-shifters. Confession: I haven’t read too many of those books, usually preferring reality (or a reasonable facsimile of it) over fantasy.
The other authors were discussing the merits of the animals usually favored in shifter novels: tigers and other big cats, bears and wolves, primarily.
“How about a dolphin shifter?” I kiddingly suggested in full smart-aleck mode. Dolphins are one of my favorite animals and have been since I was a little girl who listed Flipper at the top of her must-see TV list.
Surprisingly—to me anyway—the other chat participants quickly and enthusiastically chorused their approval of dolphin shifters. So I thought, why not?
The challenge was fitting a paranormal story into a contemporary romance series that’s firmly rooted in real life. I spent more than thirty years working as a newspaper reporter and editor, pursuing a fair presentation of the facts as both sides saw them. Making things up doesn’t come as easily to me as to other authors.
I do a lot of research to ensure that my Gulf Shore novels stay within the realm of possibility. And I volunteer at a marine animal hospital, so I’ve seen firsthand how such operations conduct themselves.
So how do I justify a heroine whose very existence defies belief?
By making the details of her story as conceivable as possible. And by letting the other characters express their skepticism and at times outright rejection of the idea that a person can assume an animal shape, and then change back.
Despite her otherworldly ability and a lifestyle shrouded in secrecy, Marina Seaward, the leading lady of Shore is Magical, is not that different from other women. She squabbles with her sisters and takes family obligations seriously, but chafes at the strings that bind her to their restrictive traditions. Seeking true love, she’s beaten down by a jealous and controlling man but fights to preserve her identity and independence.
Marina isn’t looking for a savior or a prince charming. And that’s a good thing, because Kenshin Hamasaki is neither. He’s a good man but a flawed one, and he hasn’t fully recovered from the tragedies that nearly sucked him down a dark hole of despair.
Kenshin’s wounded heart and soul urges him to play it safe, but he’s inexplicably drawn to the mysterious stranger who risks everything in an effort to fit into his world in pursuit of her happily ever after.
Lurking in the background, however, is a dark presence from Marina’s past, who threatens to end this unlikely pairing before she and Kenshin can fully explore whether they’re destined to be together.
Find out whether Marina and Kenshin’s relationship ends in romance or ruin by snaring your digital copy of Shore is Magical, Gulf Shore book 4, available now from all major e-book retailers and from liquidsilverpublishing.com.
Here’s a snippet from one of my favorite scenes in the book, when Kenshin first encounters Marina in very enticing human form. This scene takes place in the marine animal hospital at Gulf Shore Aquarium, where Kenshin works. He thinks he’s helping to rehabilitate a rescued dolphin, but he gets the surprise of his life one night.
Looking up, Kenshin almost dropped his phone. He stared, eyes wide, mouth open, as a lithe form emerged from the pool, water cascading down her body. Where had she come from and, more importantly, why was she naked? Then he glanced behind her and received his second shock.
The rescued dolphin was—gone. Impossible. He gave his cheek a light smack to make sure he hadn’t succumbed to exhaustion and passed out. That was entirely possible, given he hadn’t slept more than two hours at a stretch since leaving Erica’s bed.
If this was a dream, it was incredibly realistic. Off the charts sexy, too.
The woman sauntering toward him was hotter than an egg yolk on Florida asphalt in August. Her brown hair framed a pair of turquoise eyes that shimmered like the sea. Her rosebud nipples all but begged for his touch, and he imagined himself at home between her long, supple legs, which were as toned as the rest of her.
The corners of her lips tipped up as if she’d read his mind. Kenshin’s gaze darted around the rehab unit, looking for backup if he needed it. But Kelsey had gone home early for a change, Flipper probably was loading up on caffeine and carbs, and Sitara was in her office catching up on paperwork.
Kenshin’s carnal fantasies dissolved amid concerns about a massive security breach.
“Who are you, and why are you here?” he demanded.
“You know who I am.” The woman’s voice was as smooth as spiced rum sliding over ice cubes. “You just don’t want to admit it.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Your friends brought me here from the beach, jostling me around in that canvas thing. What do you call it?”
“Are you talking about the sling?”
“It felt like they dragged me across a rocky sea bottom. Very bad for the delicate skin.” She pouted and pointed to a chafe mark on her elbow. “Get something softer, for Poseidon’s sake.”
“This is…insane. Why aren’t you wearing clothes?”
She shrugged. “I didn’t bring any.” Cocking her head, she studied him for a moment before her expression turned playful. “Don’t you like me as I am? I thought the males of your species enjoyed seeing females without garments.”
What an odd way to say that guys lust after naked women. “You’re beautiful, and I think you know that, but it’s beside the point.”
She’d come close enough for Kenshin to stroke a hand down all that lush, bare flesh, and he almost did so to make sure she was real. Common sense kicked in before he acted on the impulse. Besides being a stranger, she was, well, strange.
“Listen, lady, I don’t know what your game is but—”
“Game? There is no game. Your people rescued me, and now I’m your responsibility. Isn’t that how this works?”
Kenshin glanced around again, convinced that any minute Flipper or someone would leap out and scream, “Gotcha!” This had to be a prank. Stuff like this didn’t happen otherwise, at least not to him. But after that dolphin encounter at the reef, anything seemed possible.
Kenshin felt her warm breath on his face. It smelled…fishy? When he wrinkled his nose, she clapped her hand over her mouth. Now she was self-conscious? He looked into her eyes, an inviting shade matched only by a secluded tropical lagoon.
“What’s your name?”
Liquid Silver: http://bit.ly/2gmfrA2
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2gvDNKr
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2gMr5rb
And now a word about the Gulf Shore series
My contemporary romance series is set in the fictional west-central Florida beach town of Gulf Shore, where you’ll taste salt on your skin and feel sugary white sand between your toes, the warm sun on your shoulders, and a sea breeze ruffling your hair.
You’ll meet swoon-worthy alpha males who aren’t embarrassed to cuddle a rescued baby dolphin in their muscular arms, and accomplished women looking for an equal partner who thinks that smart is sexy.
You’ll get up close and personal with sea life, join the “snipe and gripe” club for girls’ nights out, and fall in love with a talking parrot who acts like a little boy in a bird suit.
You’ll go behind-the-scenes at the local aquarium and out to the beach to rescue marine animals in distress and to cheer others as they return to the wild.
And once you visit Gulf Shore, you just may find yourself wishing you could stay.
Connect with Annette
Website and blog: www.annettemardis.com/
Twitter: @AnnetteMardis48 https://twitter.com/annettemardis48
As a girl, Annette dreamed of being an astronaut, but she stank at science and math and became motion sick riding the bus home from school. So she went with her second choice—newspaper journalist—and stuck with it for more than three decades. After years of ignoring well-meaning people who said, “You should write a book,” she finally did. And then she wrote a few more. When she’s not working, Annette usually has her nose in someone else’s novel or her gaze glued to sports on TV. She has three totally spoiled pets, enjoys being the designated sightseer on her husband’s Harley, and volunteers at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of diva dolphins Winter and Hope from the Dolphin Tale films.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmond Burke
This, perhaps above all, is the principle by which, writer, Nadia Romanov walks through life. Known for her blunt style of written expression, this self proclaimed ‘speaker of unpopular truths; is adamant about giving a voice to those who go unheard, and speaking of experiences, we all are more comfortable keeping silent.
After years of sharing life perspective blogs, poetry, and reviews of her favorite books, film, and music, Nadia is about to release her first book.
Due out in January 2017, “Essays from the Edge” is a collection of experiences from in and around Nadia’s life, and the lessons she learned from them. Viewing life as a series of ‘edges’ on which we precariously balance, always with the choice of fall, fly, or stay steady and climb, the notoriously private Nadia, opens her life and heart to her readers.
Why is this book, and not the novels she has in queue to publish, being shared first? ‘We are all constantly presented with experiences, opportunities to shrink or shine, learn or regress’, says Nadia. “I don’t believe anyone else necessarily needs the same lessons that I have, but I am hoping, that in sharing my process for excavating the gem from the rubble, others can either gain an advantage, or see how to carve out their own path with a few less bruises. Some of these stories are funny; it is not all heavy and intense, but that too is a point to remember – lessons can come easily, and sometimes amidst laughter not tears.’
Spanning her life as a single mother, business woman, writer, mystical consultant, social advocate and more, we get a glimpse into Nadia’s family, her work with the homeless and abused, her love for literature and film, and much more.
Nadia will be sharing excerpts from ‘Essays from the Edge’ as it gets closer to release. Follow her on social media for information on preordering a signed copy, as well as for her blogs, book excerpts, and other wordy wonders.
Facebook: Author page: https://www.facebook.com/NadiaRomanov13
Essays from the Edge page: https://www.facebook.com/EssaysfromtheEdge/
STOP- and take time to smell the pumpkins!
Fall is my favorite time of year. I literally come ALIVE with excitement! The crisp air, the holidays and the rising spirits in those around me.
I used to take on too much and actually MISS the enjoyment. Had my October plan . This haunted house, that pumpkin patch, this line-up of horror movies and baking, baking, baking.
Now, I’ve slowed to actually ENJOY the month!
For those that love to tackle a lot, here’s a few fun ideas.
Monster fingers & Blood Soup. (Rolled Bread sticks stuffed w/ham and cheese and shaped into fingers served with tomato soup)
Frankenstein Casserole. (Chili with cornbread mix on top then use carrots, olives, green and red bell peppers to make a face.)
Spider Web brownies! (Brownies cooked on stoneware pizza sheet then white icing to create web)
Pumpkin Pizza’s. (Simply split English muffins, top with pizza or spaghetti sauce & mozzarella, then using a pizza cutter, shape pepperoni into triangles to make “pumpkin faces.”
Take clear Solo (or store brand) cocktail cups and with marker, make a Frankenstein face (then fill with Pistachio pudding) or a pumpkin face (and fill with orange jello or pumpkin pudding (or dye vanilla pudding)
All time favorite? KITTY LITTER CAKE! (Just google for directions)
Now, onto MOVIES!!!
Favorites for Family:
The Witches with Angelica Houston
For the Grown-Ups:
If you’ve somehow missed American Horror Story rent/buy, Season 1 and 4 are my favorites!
ANY old Vincent Price flick! (House of Long Shadows, House on Haunted Hill, Edgar Allen Poe’s the Raven, House of Wax, Madman, any!
The House on Haunted Hill remake was really good.
As was Rose Red and The Haunting!
*Decorations! They don’t have to cost a lot*.
(2) Wooden Pallets, spray paint black (don’t worry about covering, just paint enough they aren’t blinding pine white) lights underneath a few tombstones on top or zombie hands or plastic dollar stores skeletons!
Use PVC to create a giant grim reaper. (PVC and Elbows, then drape a black sheet on and around then put some lights underneath!)
Bottom line, HAVE FUN!!!
For those of you who are readers of mine….
Coming SOON- Dark Justice: Vengeance with Style!
What do you get when you combine Six Bad guys, Six Heroes with Six Different Authors and Stories ?
One wicked, steamy book where being bad — never felt so decadent!
Find me all over the place or at the below-
Evernight Editor’s Pick
Book 3 in the Shifters-Match.com Series by April Zyon
Quinn Ash is as human as they come. She came to Shifter Falls to hide from the danger. Too bad trouble always has a way of finding her.
Piran Raske works with wood. It makes his Jaguar happy, plus he makes a great living doing it. But he’s lonely and needs more to keep him and his cat satisfied.
Quinn comes into Piran’s life with her shockingly dark secret, and he knows he must protect her. As much as he doesn’t want to, Piran asks his friends for help to keep his mate safe. But is it too late to save the love of his life?
Holding the mug in her hands, Quinn looked out of the large picture window of her living room and into the brilliant summer day and smiled. She loved this time of year. Not only was she was out of school, but this was the time of year where life was in full bloom.
She lifted a hand and waved at one of the kids that had recently graduated from her sixth grade class. Sometimes it was heartbreaking to know that the shy little fledglings would one day walk into the large ocean of middle school. She did all she could to prepare them, not only with her curriculum but also with the things she taught them in how to deal with larger crowds of people, how to be giving and, most importantly with some of the kids, how to control their tempers. She didn’t know why but some of the kids had serious issues with their tempers and that worried her.
Looking at the clock, she stood and brushed her hands down her pants. “Okay, time to get ready.” She checked her phone to make sure that her date hadn’t canceled on her and when she saw he hadn’t, she smiled. “So far, this dating site has been pretty nifty. I have no idea why I never get a second date, but here is hoping that I get one from this guy.”
The site was www.shifters-match.com and she’d met a number of great guys that she had gone out on dates with but oddly enough at the end of all of the dates most of the men had said something very similar to you aren’t the one, which Quinn had always felt was odd but what did she know? At least they all seemed to become friends and pseudo-siblings to her, so that was kind of cool.
She lifted the phone and shot a text message to the man she had been talking to on the phone, computer, and via text message for the last few months to ensure that they would be able to meet this time. She wanted to meet this man. She felt a connection to this man, and she wanted to meet him to see if the connection was as real in person as it was via their text messages and online communications.
So nothing else is standing in the way of us finally meeting, right? No emergencies popping up? I don’t have any and I’m only going to answer your e-mails and text messages, so things are good on my end.
It had been very odd. Each time they’d tried to meet, something came up either in her life or his and they had to cancel their dates time and time again. In fact, this would be their thirteenth date made, so she was hopeful that maybe thirteen would be the proper number. She took her mug to the kitchen and washed it, then headed to her bedroom to get dressed. A loud ping had her pausing in the doorway, though. An e-mail. Quinn frowned but hurried to the laptop and took a seat at her desk. Her stomach clenched as she saw who the e-mail was from. Her eyes scanned the message once, then twice. She re-read the words once more and felt a chill racing up and down her spine.
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