Trick or Treat at Caynham Castle #PNR #paranormalromance

Trick or Treat at Caynham Castle

Jeanne Adams, Morgan Brice, Caren Crane, Nancy Northcott

Publisher: Rickety Bookshelf Press

Genre: PNR, Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Date of Publication: 9/25/20


Come to western England’s Welsh Marches and the wickedly, spookily fun Halloween Ball at Caynham Castle. Let the Earl of Caynham and his fiancé welcome you into Halloween fun.

Lovers from Cape May, New Jersey, take a Halloween holiday at the magnificent Caynham Castle in Secrets and Ciphers. As their love and trust deepens, they also stumble across and solve a 700 year old mystery! Enjoy this M/M Romance with Morgan Brice’s Erik and Ben from Treasure Trail.

Follow an archeologist witch from Idaho as she tangles with a sexy photographer from the witchiest town in America, Jeanne Adams’s Haven Harbor, Massachusetts. In Trouble Under the Tower, they discover a hidden chapel, fend off thieves, and help put a dark entity to rest. Somewhere in all that trouble, love sneaks in!

In Mr. Never Again, spies from Nancy Northcott’s Arachnid Agency come to Caynham Castle to guard a weapons designer and her family. When her son goes missing, her loyalty may be at risk. Hunting for him offers Blaine and Dana a second chance at love if they’re brave enough to take it.

In Caren Crane’s tale, Murky Waters, a landscape architect from Massachusetts finds much more than he expects, both in a floral designer from his friend’s shop, and in the woods south of Caynham Castle. Discovery of an evil waterborne spirit threatens the new love he has found, unless his lover figures out how to set him free.

Four spooky, witchy, spirit-filled stories set against the stunning background of Caynham Castle’s epic Halloween Ball and Bonfire Night!



Excerpt Secrets and Ciphers by Morgan Brice:

“So when you said ‘castle,’ you really meant—holy shit! That’s a friggin’ castle!” Ben Nolan’s eyes went wide as the hired car pulled into the parking area at Caynham Castle.

Erik Mitchell laughed. “What did you think I meant?”

Ben shook his head, still staring at the large stone building partially hidden within the inner bailey walls. “I thought you meant like Biltmore. Or San Simeon out in California. You know—a big, fancy house built by a gazillionaire. But this is an actual castle!”

“Parts of it date back to the eleven hundreds,” Erik replied, nudging Ben to get him to open his door so their driver could retrieve their luggage. “The fortifications were meant to withstand warfare. It’s been continually inhabited by the Mortimer family for nine hundred years.”

“Wait until I tell my sister-in-law. She thinks it’s extra special that she lives in the same house her grandparents built.”

Erik paid the driver, and then he and Ben stepped to the side of the lot, awaiting the golf cart that would take them closer to the entrance. Caynham Castle had been converted to a hotel back in the 1930s, combining history, fine food, exceptional comfort, and aristocratic flair for those who yearned for a memorable destination.

“For the U.S., that’s an accomplishment,” Erik said with a shrug. “Different places, different times.”

“And you’re friends with the guy who owns it? The duke?”

“Earl,” Erik replied distractedly, checking his text messages to assure that they were in the right place to catch their ride.

“Oh, earl. My bad.” Ben rolled his eyes.

“And I’d say we’re more friendly colleagues than drinking buddies,” Erik answered. “He was the patron of the task force I served on around a fraud investigation in a major museum. We hit it off. He’s very down-to-earth. You’ll like him.”

“Are you on his Christmas card list?”

Erik gave him a weird look. “What?”

“You heard me.”

“I get a holiday card from my mailman too. It’s a polite fiction. Doesn’t make us besties.”

“So you do get a card from the earl?” Ben pressed.

Erik sighed and gave him a look of fond exasperation. “Yes. Are you happy now? It’s a very fancy card with foil stamping and laser die-cuts, and the signature is printed on the card. In case you were keeping track.”

“My dad always got a Christmas card from Earl Denning, the guy who ran the lawnmower repair shop near our house in Newark,” Ben said. “Not quite the same thing.”

Erik laid a hand on Ben’s shoulder as if he could guess what was bothering him. “Relax. I never thought you’d feel uncomfortable. I just wanted to spoil you a little.” He gave Ben a coaxing look that usually melted any hesitation.

“I’ve been to fancy places, just not quite this fancy,” Ben admitted, wondering if any of the clothing he had brought with him would be suitable. Well, at least there’s the tux Erik had me get for Jaxon’s big gala. But I don’t think I can wear that all week.

“Think of it as a museum,” Erik cajoled. “And remember what I told you about the food and the cake at the castle tea shop.”

Ben smiled, forcing his insecurities to the back of his mind. Erik had planned this trip to give them both some much-needed time off together, and Ben didn’t want to dim that glow.

“I’m looking forward to all of it,” he assured Erik. “The castle part just took me by surprise.”

“Because I totally tricked you into coming to a castle by telling you we were coming to a castle,” Erik said, but Ben could see his partner’s worried frown had eased.

“Yeah. You’re sneaky like that,” Ben teased.

About Morgan Brice:

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

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Twitter: @MorganBriceBook

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Read a copy of my Badlands short story Restless Nights here for free:

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ExcerptTrouble Under the Tower by Jeanne Adams:

“Good afternoon, sir.” The desk clerk greeted him with a broad smile. The warmly lit area boasted stone walls, rich wood and a softly burning fire. It was also gaily decorated for Halloween with carved pumpkins and a dish of candy on the desk. “Checking in?”

“Yes, thank you.” The dark-haired woman smiled as he gave his name. “Alden McDonald.

“Oh! A double welcome then as you’re here as the guest of the earl and Dr. Alden.” Obviously connecting the names, she frowned. “Are you related?”

He grinned. In Haven Harbor, most of the families were intertwined in one generation or another. “A very long time ago, someone married someone. My family resurrected the name.”

The Alden name kept hanging around in most Haven Harbor families.

“I didn’t think people celebrated Halloween this much in England. I thought that was an American thing.” He gestured toward the ghost.

The receptionist grinned. “It’s catching on over here a bit more. You may already know, we’re hosting a 1920s themed Halloween Ball for charity..”

Ah. That explained it.

“Welcome to Caynham Castle, Dr. McDonald. Do let us know if there’s anything you need. Patrick will drive you up to your room in the castle proper.”

Nodding, he retraced his steps to the waiting golf cart. “Tell me about the towers,” he said to Patrick as he gave the young man his room number.

Patrick grinned. “Which ones? The one you’ll be staying in? The one the ghost of Lady Alice Neville’s daughter haunts? The one with the bar?”

“All of them.”

He listened in delight as Patrick pointed out Caynham Tower. Secret passages and hidden doors. What was not to love about that, especially this near Halloween?

“Now the tower you’re staying in, sir,,,” Patrick pointed at the bulk of the main building after they came out from under the second curtain wall archway into the inner ward. “That one’s the Challenge Tower. Some say they hear the ring of swords on the landing as you go up the stairs.”


“Yes, indeed. See, the sixth earl caught his daughter’s suitor in her room.” Patrick wiggled his eyebrows to give extra meaning to the statement. “The earl challenged the guy to a duel. They battled up and down the hall. You can still see the sword marks.”

“Did the earl kill the suitor?”

“Nah.” Patrick’s youthful enthusiasm was infectious. “The man kept saying he wanted to marry the daughter––so the earl disarmed him and ordered the young scallywag brought to the library.” Patrick used a growly voice to mimic the sixth earl’s demand. “They wrote up the marriage documents then and there.

Laughing, Alden got out of the cart and headed into the main castle building. Patrick would follow with his luggage, so he headed up a set of stone steps with a thick glossy wooden railing.

He paused on the second landing and opened his magical senses. As if summoned, the faintest clash of swords rang in his ears and he felt the rush of cold that indicated ghosts were afoot.

Once settled in the room, Alden took time enough to wash up and change into jeans. Slipping on his well-broken-in hiking boots, he headed out for a meal.


Sebelle trotted up the stairs, heading for her room. It had taken every ounce of control she had to stop work for the day on the archeological site under Caynham Tower.

When they’d cleared the floor of the hidden rooms, they’d found a trap door in the floor.

A. Trap. Door.

Who knew what they would find beneath it?

A trap door!” she exulted dancing over the expansive landing. She bounced up the stairs, only looking up at the last minute when she sensed something.

“Whoa!” The absentminded guy in the tweed jacket took a step down into her path. He was looking at the tapestry on the opposite wall.

“What? Oh, sorry,” he exclaimed, catching the railing to steady himself. His hand brushed hers and she felt a warm glow.

Uh-oh. He had magic.

“No, I should have taken the other side. My mind was elsewhere…” She stopped. He was perfectly still, his brow furrowed.

“You’re Dr. Sebelle Turturro. The head archeologist for the Caynham Tower project.”

Yes.” She braced herself. He could be a reporter. Most guests were unaware of the study. Absolutely no one but her team knew about the trap door.

“Fascinating stuff. Hidden passages. Leaping ghosts. Secret rooms.” He stopped, his gaze unfocused. “You’re…”

Oh, no. This could be a mansplaining moment––a losing proposition––or questions about her visibly multiracial heritage––black, Polynesian and white––her gender, or her curvy body, or some other obtrusively asinine thing. Knowing about magic, and having enough for a spark, frequently turned men into assholes.

“I’m?” she finally asked, because she had to break the tension.

“The Dr. Turturro who wrote the paper on the disappearance of the Etruscan.”

Surprised––shocked, really––she smiled. “You read it? She wracked her brain for who he might be. Her study team was already assembled.

“Dr. Alden McDonald. Your photographer.” He extended his hand and they both gasped at the magical current that ran through the connection. “And a fellow practitioner, I take it?”

Their hands still joined, she gave a cautious nod. Hard to argue you weren’t into the woo-woo and witchy when you met someone who made your hand spark like a live wire.

“I generally don’t admit it.”

“I get that.” Alden opened his mouth to say more, but instead he cocked his head. “Do you hear it?”

She stilled her surprise at his easy acceptance, and listened.

Harsh, panting breaths. The ring of steel on steel. A thump. A gasp of pain or surprise.

“What the hell?” She broke their connection and pivoted. The noise from the landing. faded. Only a ripple of the tapestry gave a hint of something mysterious.

About Jeanne Adams:

Jeanne Adams writes award-winning romantic suspense, paranormal and urban fantasies, as well as space opera that’s been compared to the works of Robert Heinlein and Jack McDevitt. She’s also a sought-after speaker, teaching classes on body disposal for writers, worldbuilding and collaboration, plotting for pantzers and how to write a fight scene that works!

Jeanne lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two growing sons, as well as three dogs – two Labs and an Irish Water Spaniel. Don’t tell, but she’s prone to adopting more dogs when her husband isn’t looking.

Featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and other publications, her books have been consistently hailed as “One of the best Suspense Books of the Year!” by Romantic Times and “Stunningly realistic space adventure” by Amazon reviewers.

You can find her books on all major platforms, and connect with her on the web at:

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Excerpt Mr. Never Again by Nancy Northcott:

Even a babysitting assignment could go horribly wrong. Especially when you were watching an engineer to be sure she didn’t illegally sell a government-backed weapons system. In the wrong hands, well…World War III, anyone?

Even so, there would be tiny moments to enjoy the perks of the situation. Like several days staying in an actual castle, The Caynham Castle Hotel, on the boss’s dime.

Dana Gresham swung her rented sedan around a curve, and the town of Caynham-on-Ledwyche came into view. A few minutes later, she was driving through a charming mixture of half-timbered, medieval buildings interspersed with Tudor brick, Georgian stone and more modern styles. If she didn’t get to see more of it while on duty, she would stay a day or so after and explore.

There was only one fly in the ointment, and she absolutely would not think about him until she had to. Which would be when she checked into the hotel in approximately ten minutes and informed him she was here. Until then, no harm in admiring the quaint little town.  Or the castle now looming above the trees ahead on her right.

Her cell phone buzzed, the tone a signal that the call came from her employer, the multinational, covert agency known as Arachnid, or from another employee. The car’s dash display read, Harris, and Dana grimaced. She’d jinxed herself by thinking about him.

Pressing the button on the steering wheel, she took the call. “Gresham.”

She turned left on Caynham Castle Road. The castle drive lay a little way ahead on her right.

“What’s your ETA?” Blaine Harris’s deep voice still sent ripples through her, and wasn’t that aggravating? Dana grimaced. She needed to get her hormones under better control.

It wasn’t like him to be so abrupt, though. Frowning, she replied, “About ten minutes. I just drove through town. Why?”

“Vidhur Mahajan has gone missing.”

The ten-year-old son of their subject. Personal considerations dropped away, and Dana mentally summoned an area map. “How long ago?”

“Nobody’s sure. Apparently, he wanders off every once in a while. The family was in the group touring the castle garden and beehives—lots of shifting positions to see things, a bunch of kids along, and everybody feeling safe on the Earl of Caynham’s private land. With his private bees.”

That dry tone hinted that he found Caynham-on-Ledwyche’s bee products industry baffling. She swung into the car park for a church and stopped.

“When they returned to the hotel,” he continued, “they realized Vidhur and this other kid had taken a powder. The family seems more exasperated than worried.”

The family being Dr. Kara Mahajan, her widowed sister, Bhavna Chaudry, and Vidhur’s fourteen-year-old sister, Aaliyah.

“She feels safe here,” he added. “Even the kid wandering off doesn’t especially worry either her because he likes to do that. She encourages it as fostering his independence.”

“Yeah, well, there are limits.” As the eldest of five, having been responsible for the younger ones while her widowed dad worked two jobs to keep food on the table, Dana wasn’t exactly lacking experience with kids.

“Maybe they just wandered off, but how do we know?” she asked. “Could the group who want to buy his mom’s weapons system be looking for a little insurance? We know they want to buy, but nothing we’ve seen gives me a strong feeling she wants to sell.”

“Wouldn’t you at least think about it in her shoes?”

“Probably. Wouldn’t you?”

Mahajan’s husband had been tortured and murdered by Pakistani intelligence. If she carried a grudge, nobody could blame her. Acting on it by selling India a weapons system underwritten by the British government, however, would take that too far.

“But if she doesn’t want to sell,” Dana continued, “what better leverage than one of her kids?” If that was the case, this assignment had just become a clusterfuck.

“Yeah. So we need to find that kid asap. If we can’t, well…”

“I know. I’m at the church. Where should I go from here?”

“Officers from MI5 masquerading as local detectives are questioning the family while the rest of their team fanned out to search,” Blaine said.

The Security Service had point on this with Arachnid, meaning Dana and Blaine, as backup.  The British government thought no one would suspect two Americans of working with them.

“I’m on the path to Saxon Hundred, northwest of Caynham-on-Ledwyche,” he informed her.

“Because Vidhur Mahajan’s into gaming and there’s a game store there.”

“Got it in one. Meanwhile, you swing through Caynham and see if you spot them. One more set of eyes always helps.”

“On it. Keep me posted.”

“Back atcha.”

Blaine wasn’t one for phone etiquette, so the sudden absence of sound was her only cue that they were done.

Heading back onto Caynham Castle Road, Dana frowned at the picturesque buildings. What in this quaint town would draw a ten-year-old interested in robotics and gaming?

Was searching in the town a waste of precious time?

If someone had snatched the boys, any useful information lay back at the castle.

About Nancy Northcott:

Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman.  Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, history, and romance. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes (and sometimes the magic) she loves in the books she writes.

She’s the author of the Light Mage Wars paranormal romances, the Lethal Webs and Arachnid Files romantic suspense series, and the historical fantasy trilogy The Boar King’s Honor. With author Jeanne Adams, she co-writes the Outcast Station space opera mystery series.

Twitter: @NancyNorthcott



Excerpt Murky Waters by Caren Crane:

Jason Wetherell eyed the limestone castle walls with a weary, appreciative gaze. As a landscape architect, he appreciated how Caynham Castle rose in stately elegance from its environs on the hill. As a traveler, he was grateful for the staff that opened the door of his airport transport, pulled his luggage from the trunk and escorted him to a waiting golf cart.

“Welcome to Castle Caynham, Mr. Wetherell,” the smiling porter said. Though the fact that he knew to expect Jason at this time was a surprise. “Ben will see you to Reception and they’ll get you checked right in.”

He gave the man a baffled nod and folded himself into the golf cart. The young man wasted no time getting him through the imposing stone archways and down the passage to set of very modern-looking entry doors. He saw signs directing guests to Reception on the driver’s side and a busy-looking gift shop on his own side.

“I’ll stay with your bags until you get checked in, sir,” Ben said. “The Reception desk is right through those doors.”

Jason figured he probably should have done some research on Castle Caynham before he got here, but he trip had come up so suddenly he hadn’t. He’d been waiting for an opportunity like the one the Mortimers had in mind for the Caynham property for a long time. His whole career, really. When his old college roommate, Tom Greenbury, called to tell him what the Earl of Caynham had in mind, Jason felt like it was the chance of a lifetime. Even if it meant he had to attend a costume gala happening on Halloween, of all things.

Jason approached the substantial desk and the smiling receptionist, whose name tag read Angela. “Jason Wetherell, checking in,” he said with a smile. “Or did you know that already?”

“Actually, I did know that, Mr. Wetherell,” she said with a smile of her own. “Lord Mortimer gave us your itinerary, so we were tracking your progress. I know there were delays leaving Boston, but we’re glad you’re with us now.”

That explained the personal attention, at least. Jason found it disconcerting to be the center of attention, but he understood the Earl’s interest in his arrival. He was anxious to meet the man. He’d never met anyone with a title before. Then again, he’d never taken on a project with the scope of what the Earl wanted, either.

“You’ll be staying in the Challenge Tower, Mr. Wetherell, which is to the left of the Great Hall,” Angela said, marking his room’s location on a handy map of the Castle. “As you can see, you’re on the top floor of guest rooms, so you’ll have a splendid view of the grounds.”

“Very good,” he said, not knowing enough about the area to appreciate what the view should be. “Who do I need to see about when I’ll be meeting with Lord Mortimer?”

“Ms. Wellbern, Lord Mortimer’s assistant, has left information for you regarding your meeting,” Angela said. “It won’t be until tomorrow, though, so you’ll have today to rest and familiarize yourself with the Castle. And with Caynham-on-Ledwyche, if you’re feeling like going into the town.”

“I think I’ll try to get settled in first and get my bearings,” Jason said, taking the slim folder of information she handed him and tucking it into the inner pocket of his coat. He hadn’t been sure he would need the overcoat, but brought it from an abundance of New England caution. He was glad he had. Not only was the sky gray and threatening more rain, but there was a distinct chill in the air outside. It reminded him of home.

He shook his head and headed back out to the golf cart, not wanting to ruin his first day here with memories and regrets about his home and family. Ben was waiting on him, just as he had promised.

“So where are we headed, Mr. Wetherell?”

“The Challenge Tower, apparently,” Jason said. “I’ll admit to being curious about that name. I’m sure there is a story attached to it.”

“Indeed there is, sir,” Ben said, navigating carefully through the light foot and golf cart traffic to a broad path leading toward a formidable-looking set of towers set into a looming walled fortress.

Jason was a bit floored by the sheer scale of the place, not to mention the impressively-maintained stonework. It had to take a full-time crew just to keep up the point work. Amazing.

“Back in the late 17th century,” Ben said, driving slowly and carefully, “the 6th Earl challenged his daughter’s lover to a duel on a landing of the staircase in the Tower. They battled long and hard, up and down the stairs. The young man kept telling the Earl all through the duel that he loved the girl and wanted to marry her, but the Earl wasn’t swayed. The Earl won the duel, but he didn’t kill the young man. He was so impressed with his sword work that he had the man bandaged and brought to his library. The men had some brandy and the Earl agreed to the marriage. Ever since then, that tower has been the Challenge Tower.”

“That’s quite a story,” Jason said, amused. “Any grain of truth in it?”

Ben threw him a surprised look. “Of course. You can see the cuts their duel left in the stone for yourself.”

Jason shook his head, astonished that a place with that sort of history was still standing and occupied. At times like this he realized how young America was, even the old parts, like his hometown in Massachusetts.

He was glad to be here and for this chance to do the work he’d dreamed of since he decided to study landscape architecture. But finding project suited to his degree in cultural landscape studies and design was apparently a challenge. He huffed a laugh to himself at the irony of staying in the Challenge Tower.


About Caren Crane:

Caren Crane began writing warm, witty contemporary romance and women’s fiction to save herself from the drudgery of life in the office. An electrical engineer by training, she longed to create worlds where things were any color except cube-wall gray. She still works in a cubicle, but gets to hang out with witty, fabulous people whenever she’s writing, which greatly encourages butt-in-chair time.

Caren lives in North Carolina with her wonderful husband. She has three fiercely intelligent, gorgeous grown children, having neatly side-stepped her mother’s threat that she would have children Just Like Her. 

You can find info and excerpts at:




A Warrior’s Kiss by Celia Breslin

Celia’s Must-See TV Shows For Halloween

Halloween month is the perfect time to binge some paranormal TV shows. Add these to your binge-list.

* Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Good vs. evil, angsty teens, wacky witches.

* iZombie – Dark comedy with zombies quarantined in Seattle. Brain cuisine jokes.

* Legion –  People with powers and power struggles. Surreal, sometimes scary, and totally quirky and compelling.

* Legacies – Teen werewolves, vampires, witches at a boarding school fraught with peril.

* Lucifer – NetFlix saved this fab show, serving up one sexy devil and a strong female lead.

* The Magicians – College students/magicians tangle with supernatural forces and other worlds. 

* Stranger Things – An alternate dimension, monsters, plus government experiments, and one tough girl with wicked powers, oh my!

* The Umbrella Academy – a dysfunctional family of funny, flawed, and powerful superheroes. Quirky, action packed, and 100% entertaining.

Happy viewing and Happy Halloween!

A Warrior’s Kiss
The Cupid Dating Agency
Celia Breslin

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Celia Breslin
Date of Publication: August 4, 2020
ISBN:  9781393477938
Number of pages: 116
Word Count: 28K

Cover Artist: Brantwijn Serrah

Tagline: She’s chasing her dream. He’s after her heart.

Book Description:

French teacher turned entrepreneur, Nicolette Durand has one goal in mind when she leaves the big city for a quaint town in the California wine country, and it has nothing to do with men. Intent on converting the antique store she inherited from her aunt into a booming new business with her bestie, Nicky doesn’t care how many dating edicts the cupids send her, she’s simply too busy. Then a hunk of surly angel crashes into her life. Literally.

Ezekiel is less than delighted when the Almighty assigns him and his elite team of warriors to Earth with instructions to help the cupids. Now Heaven’s top soldiers are running two businesses, including a gastropub where speed dating events are a part of their mission. But Zeke may have to rethink his surly position on this earthbound gig after he meets the kind, considerate and curvy biz owner next door.

Nicky is sure she has no time for a relationship, not even with the gorgeous hunk of heaven who rocks her world, but Zeke is determined to convince her otherwise. Too bad a supernatural disaster and thousands of Hell’s minions intent on destruction and mayhem might stand in their way…

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“Think he’s dead?” The whispered question quieted his internal whining.

Nice voice. Soft and smooth, like velvet. Feminine. Clearly, he wasn’t alone.

“He sure looks dead.” A second woman replied, louder and with a chuckle.

He suppressed a scowl and kept his eyes closed. She thinks this is funny?

Bodies shifted behind whatever his head had cracked into, edging closer to either side of him.

“There’s no blood, though,” she of the velvet voice murmured. “Shouldn’t there be blood? […].”

Ah, their business neighbor. She came to a halt near his head, her body heat and peaches-and-honey scent saturating his senses. He should open his peepers and say something, see if the female looked as good as she sounded and smelled.

Shit. Where had that reaction come from? He had no room in his life for a woman, especially not a mortal woman.

“Maybe we should check for a pulse,” the one Peaches had called Maya suggested.

“I’m not touching his body.”

Fast reply from Peaches. Jesus, did he look so horrible? And double Jesus, why did her opinion matter? He must have hit his head harder than he imagined.

“C’mon, girlfriend. It’s a big, beautiful body. How can you not want to get your hands on it?”

Listen to your girlfriend, Peaches. No. Wait. Belay that order.

“Really, M? One-track mind much?”

He tensed to haul his ass upward, but a soft, gentle hand landed on his shoulder, feather light, then slid down his bare arm, kicking up a riot of electric sensation along his skin. He should move, but damn if he didn’t want to see what she would do next. Or touch next.

Warm fingers palpated his inner wrist, right over his madly beating pulse. Racing for her? A human female he hadn’t even laid eyes on? Shit. […]

Eyes shooting wide, he sat up.

About the Author:

Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for werewolves, vampires, the Fae, and warrior-class angels. Her stories are action-packed and typically include one of the many varieties of romantic entanglements: fated mates, second chance, rescue romance, opposites attract, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, and more.

When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies, as well as everything in the Marvel Universe franchise.

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Jealousy’s a Witch by Louisa West

What is Paranormal Women’s Fiction, Anyway?

A Conversation with Louisa West

Buffy. Sookie Stackhouse. Elena Gilbert. Bella Swan. If you know one or all of these characters, then there’s a pretty good chance that you like to read paranormal romance. These women range between being kick-ass, plucky, and just plain special—but there’s another thing they all have in common: really hot supernatural love interests. I’m the first to admit that there’s nothing I love better than a Buffy re-watch, or curling up with a Charlaine Harris novel to whittle my time away in a land where Eric Northman exists. But as I get older (sigh), I find myself wanting more out of my paranormal romance.

I want to relate.

I want to feel as though my real-life struggles of bills, and raising a child, and the body-image issues I have are real for the characters I’m reading as well. I want to be able to laugh because I’m not the only one who has problems with her neighbors, or can never fold a fitted sheet (that’s another kind of witchcraft, friends!), or because sex after twenty can sometimes be a little awkward and hilarious at the same time. Life after 35 just gets even more real. At best, you start thinking about long-term plans for your retirement. At worst, you need to be careful about how many cups of coffee you have before you drive to the grocery store fifteen minutes down the road.

Paranormal Women’s Fiction is a rising genre thanks to the collective efforts of a group of women known colloquially online as ‘The Fab13’. The genre touches on what it’s like for ‘mature’ heroines to get by in a modern world, with all the hurdles that life throws in their paths. These women are dealing with issues like divorce, potential homelessness, toxic relationships, and other really gritty, grown-up stuff. But the sparkling platter that these themes are served on comes in the form of literal magical circumstances, witty one-liners, love interests that are hotter than Hades and women who are empowered to not only move forward but to do so while coming fully into their own power.

Typically, the heroines of these books are over forty. It’s kind of that golden age where you’ve lived enough of life to know what’s what, but also you’ve seen enough to know that you just don’t have the time or energy to put up with any more crap from anyone. It also means that you’re probably not as perky or unwrinkled as you once were (if you are, leave your skin-care and exercise routines in the comments below!). For me, reading these books and getting to know these women who not only face who they are but fly that Older and Fabulous flag proudly has been an absolute joy.

So it made sense that my next series would be written in the same vein.

The main character in my Midlife in Mosswood series is Rosemary Bell, a thirty-nine year old mom who finds the courage to finally leave a toxic relationship. While she’s petrified of starting over again, Rosie and her young daughter Maggie soon settle into the slow rhythm of life in a small town. Rosie is resilient hard-working, and desperate to raise her daughter right. She’s also emotionally damaged, untrusting, and determined to hold everyone except Maggie at arm’s length. Throughout the series Rosie must face not only her past with her ex, but also her family history. She learns how to be a better mom, and how to navigate the challenges of living in a small town when you’re obviously different and more than a little out of your depth. And she also finds a way forward for herself, finding out that she’s actually a witch and that there’s possibly and handsome Irish witch King in her future.

The Paranormal Women’s Fiction genre has set up new expectations for books about older women written by older women. I’m thrilled to be part of it!

Jealousy’s a Witch
Midlife in Mosswood 
Book Two
Louisa West

Genre: Paranormal Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Louisa West
Date of Publication: September 30, 2020
Number of pages: 170 (eBook)
Word Count: 50,000
Cover Artist: Louisa West

Book Description:

She thought the thriller part of her life was behind her. But when the man she’s falling for has a sinister secret, she’s no longer sure whether he’s a trick or a treat.

Rosemary Bell is a witch for Halloween… and every other day of the year. And that’s not even the weirdest thing about her life. Her ex-husband is a turtle, her daughter Maggie’s new best friend is an imaginary kangaroo, and the guy sleeping on her couch is a King—as well as her fated lover.

Just as she’s starting to fall for Declan, Rosie gets spooked by a revelation that leaves her wondering whether she is really meant to be his Queen. And as a new houseguest quickly proves, promises don’t always mean forever. When a sexy choir girl arrives in town with her eyes set on Rosie’s King and crown, she will have to decide for herself what her destiny is, and soon.

Struggling between caring for Declan and caring for herself, Rosie has better luck advising her friends what to do about their love lives than tending to her own. But when Maggie goes missing on All Hallow’s Eve, Rosie is forced to admit that jealousy’s a witch – literally!

The Good Witch meets Hocus Pocus in this short novel about stepping into new shoes, choosing who you’re going to be, and never letting fear decide your fate, even on Halloween.

Jealousy’s a Witch is the second book in the heartwarming new Midlife in Mosswood series by Louisa West. Available exclusive to Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon US      Amazon CA      Amazon UK      Amazon AU

Excerpt – Jealousy’s a Witch

The sounds of the hot summer afternoon seemed dulled by the arrival of Tammy. She looked sheepishly between Declan and Rosie, her knuckles tight around the laundry bag of clothes she held like Santa Claus’ sack over one pudgy shoulder.

“I hope I’m not imposin’,” she said softly, even though it was clear that she knew she was. “Only that…well!” Unshed tears suddenly welled in her eyes, and she tried a combination of blinking and fanning her wedding-ring devoid hand in front of her face to stop them from falling.

Declan looked from Rosie to Tammy and then back again, as though trying to weigh up how useful he might be in a situation like this versus how much damage he might cause by way of a poorly timed and probably inappropriate joke. “I think I better check on the painting crew,” he murmured, rubbing the back of his neck as he took off for less emotional turf.

Rosie crossed over to the table, set down the potato salad she had been carrying. “Why don’t you have a seat and I’ll pour us some lemonade,” she suggested. Tammy nodded mutely, swiping at the tears now streaking down her face. Two sips of lemonade seemed to give her the confidence she needed to carry through with the story.

“I’m so sorry to barge in on y’all like this,” she sniffled, “but I didn’t know where else to go.”

Rosie thought back to the day Tammy had rolled up to the cottage as part of Prissy’s entourage. She had seemed like the only genuine woman out of the three. Rosie had felt terrible when Tammy had seen her husband Terry making a pass at her the day he’d come out to the cottage to ‘offer his services’ as a handyman. She hadn’t seen her since that day, but it didn’t look like things had improved for her any.

“You don’t need to apologize,” Rosie told her, “so let’s get that out of the way right-quick. We’re havin’ a cook-out, and you’re officially invited.”

Tammy offered a weak smile in return, sipping her lemonade. “Thank you.”

Rosie smiled back. “You’re welcome. Now,” she added, glancing up at the cottage. “I feel duty-bound to tell you that at any minute we’re likely to be infiltrated by a rush of starving teenage boys, an Irishman with a huge appetite, a girl who can put away three hotdogs in one sitting, and a turtle that—”

“—a turtle?”

“Long story,” Rosie grinned.

About the Author:

Author by day, Netflix connoisseur by night.

Louisa likes Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain. Determined to empty her brain of stories, she writes across several genres including fantasy, speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, and romance.

She lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, and drinks more coffee than is good for her. When she’s not writing or researching projects, Louisa enjoys spending time with her family, and Harriet The Great (Dane). Hobbies include playing video games, watching copious amounts of tv, and various craft-related initiatives.

She strongly believes that the truth is still out there.

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