Archive | October 2018

Shifter Halloween

Shifter Halloween jaguar and wolf 1000

Shifter Halloween


Terry Spear

What if your best friend says she wants you to come over and have fun at her special Halloween party, costumes not necessary? But she’s always been a stickler for them. “If you’re going to party, do it right!” So it’s got you to thinking, what’s she up to this time?

You’re ultra-curious and you’ve been asking her all month long—what’s so special about this party? Who’s going to be there? You’re thinking old boyfriends, and she’s got some idea she wants you to get back together with one of them. You really haven’t a clue. You don’t want to go unprepared though.

Have you ever had a fear of the unknown? Sure, fear of the known can be pretty hard to overcome, too. But let your imagination run wild when you don’t have any idea what’s going to happen, and it can be seriously unfun.

Of course, you could chicken out. But you never chicken out and you’re not about to start now.

So feeling a little strange about not wearing a costume to Lila’s Halloween party, you arrive in jeans and a T-shirt featuring an old-time looking jack-o-lantern. You had to wear something! And you feel you’ve entered the “Twilight Zone” as soon as you walk in the door.

Everyone turns to look at you, men and women dressed in jeans and cotton shirts, no sign of anything Halloween-like, but it’s a veritable jungle in here. Jungle drums and the sounds of the rain forest are playing overhead.

The heater is on full blast. Humidifiers are pouring out wet air. Real plants fill the whole place, every table space, every wall covered in vines. A soft mist is sprayed through the air, making your hair drip and your mouth gape.

“Can she climb a tree?” a man asked, clutching an empty wine glass in his hand.

“Does she like to swim?” Another raked her with his golden gaze.

“Does she purr?” a woman asked, purring the words.

“Does she like to bite?” The first man set his empty glass down among a hodgepodge of greenery and took a step toward her.

Vampires, you’re thinking. Although you can’t imagine how your friend got mixed up with those, when they don’t exist.

Then a sleek golden cat wearing black ringed rosettes moves into view, a jaguar with green eyes studying you, her mouth opening to show a lot of very sharp wicked teeth. It can’t be her. Your best friend. But you smell her! And she’s no longer human!

You have to get out of here, now! Why didn’t she tell you?

Why didn’t you tell her?

Before anyone moves any closer, you lift your chin and howl, telling them to back off.

Hisses fill the air as if the room is full of vampires or riled up snakes or… jaguar shifters.

You didn’t know they existed!

You back up toward the door and escape. You hear the howls in the distance, responding to your own howl, but you don’t want your new wolf pack mates to fight these cats.

You give one last long look at your friend standing in the doorway of her house, appearing confused. And you wished you’d turned her first, just like you’d been turned…the night before.

Then you’re off, racing toward your pack.

Maybe, next year you’ll play it safe and just wear a costume and stick with the wolf kind. Or maybe, just maybe, you can find some common ground with the friend you used to know.

What do you think? Ready to play with the big boys with teeth?

You had me at Jaguar

I so hope you’ve enjoyed our Halloween fare! Until the next one then…


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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The New Boss by Kathryn Royce-Martin

All the way from Down Under!


The New Boss
by Kathryn Royce-Martin

THE NEW BOSS by Kathryn Royce-Martin

Cassie forced herself out of bed and into the shower. She felt like crap but loved her job and wasn’t going to let a lousy cold stop her. A hacking cough shook her body as she dried off and moved to the mirror to apply her makeup. The pale, red-eyed face staring back pulled a yelp from her.

“Oh great, meeting the new boss today looking like this. Great first impression O’Neil.”

Attempting to tame her unruly, dark red curls she eventually dropped her hands in frustration.

“Nice to meet you Mr. Oakes, I’m your events manager, Quasimodo! Arrrrrrgghhhhh.”

She pulled herself together, choosing her favourite teal coloured skirt, matching jacket and a soft grey blouse. Piling her unco-operative locks on top of her head, she pinned a matching burette underneath and applied extra makeup to hide the dark circles under her eyes. She stood back and assessed herself in the mirror. Thankfully, she looked better than she felt. Squaring her shoulders, she grabbed her handbag, slid on her heels and walked out of her apartment to the lift.

Her apartment was only a few blocks from the Oakes Foundation building so she decided to walk. Entering the Oakes building, she smiled at Anne at reception and stepped into the lift. She pressed the button for the fourteenth floor, moved to the back, and pulled out her phone. By the sixth floor, only one man was left. She lifted her eyes, allowing her gaze to flick over him and froze. He was gorgeous, around six feet two, with black, shiny hair hanging rakishly over deep blue eyes. He wore designer, grey chinos and a black shirt that hugged his muscled torso.

Swallowing hard, she forced her gaze back to her phone but couldn’t resist stealing another peek. His fingers were flying across his phone screen.

Some gorgeous bimbo, no doubt. I bet she’s not a redhead with uncooperative hair and a runny nose.

When the lift reached the fourteenth floor, Cassie was surprised when he strode out and headed Andrew’s receptionist. Hesitating near the coffee machine, Cassie poured freshly brewed coffee into her cup and watched him.

“Dane Oakes, I have an appointment.”

“Yes Mr Oakes, Mr Mills won’t be a moment, please take a seat.”

Cassie gasped, and spilled coffee over her hand.

“Oww, crap.”

THE Dane Oakes, son of the CEO of the Oakes Foundation! No wonder he’s in the papers with different women every week, he’s hot!”

Settling himself in a chair, he glanced in her direction. She dropped her gaze, hurried to her office, closed the door and flopped into her chair. Dragging in a deep, calming breath she pulled up the file for the upcoming conference.

Dane’s eyes followed the stunning redhead down the corridor. Her hips swayed seductively in her tight skirt and her long legs in those killer heels had his heart thumping. He ran his tongue distractedly over his perfectly formed, white teeth and reined in errant thoughts of those legs wrapped around him. Hauling in a deep breath he focused on Andrew Mills approaching, hand extended.

Cassie was updating her latest project plan when there was a knock at the door.

“Come in,” she called distractedly.

Andrew’s head popped around her door, “Do you have a moment?”

“Of course …”

She stopped mid sentence and her mouth went dry when Dane Oakes followed Andrew into her office.  For a split second she couldn’t move, her pulse skittered, her palms were suddenly sweaty. Pulling herself together, she smiled politely and stood but lapsed into a coughing fit making her eyes stream and her nose run.

Just great. Quasimodo at your service!

When she’d recovered, Andrew made the formal introductions.

“Cassie, this is Mr Oakes. He is here to observe our operations.”

“Mr Oakes,” Cassie managed, offering her hand.

“Call me Dane, please.”

He flashed a heart stopping smile and took her hand. His voice was like warm chocolate. His touch sent little electric shocks up her arm and she bit her lip to suppress a gasp. This man was seriously good looking and her body reacted accordingly.

“Cassie is our best events manager. She’s currently working on the upcoming international news conference.”

Dane held her hand a little longer than necessary.

“I’d like to see your project plan later.”

“It should be ready for you by lunch time.”

“Good. I look forward to working with you.”

He glanced back over his shoulder as they left her office and she swore his eyes were a much darker blue than previously.

Dane forced himself to breathe steadily as he spoke with Cassie. Her delicate hand had his pulse racing and his body reacting. He’d barely resisted rubbing his thumb over her soft skin. Just a normal reaction to a good looking woman. Actually, she was downright beautiful.

His reaction to Cassie O’Neill completely surprised him. He had long ago given up on finding the one woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. The women he dated now were safe. Boring. He didn’t allow any of them to truly know him.

His thoughts drifted back to the stunning redhead, in the office down the corridor. He was sure she wouldn’t be boring. Uncharacteristically, he had to ask Andrew to repeat what he’d just said. Wrenching his focus back to business, he shoved all thought of Cassie temporarily to the back of his mind. He wasn’t going to become involved with this woman. For one thing, he had to work with her, and she unsettled him. That could be bad news.

Later that afternoon, Dane entered Cassie’s office, moving with the smooth grace of a predator. Pulling a chair up beside her, he settled himself a respectable distance away.

“Okay, Cassie, show me what you have on the conference.”

She was feeling dreadful again and his devastating smile was a deadly weapon to her fragile mood. Breathing deeply, she brought  up the project plan on her laptop, giving him a rundown of the budget, milestones and risks. He seemed impressed and asked a number of questions.

Dane was struggling to contain his reaction to her and that made him grumpy. With a supreme effort he tamped down his bad mood so he could focus on the great work she’d done. They discussed the project and her enthusiasm for her job took over, dispelling the nervousness she’d displayed earlier. When she had finished, she waited expectantly. Dane thought for a moment, unconsciously running his tongue along his teeth.

“You’ve done a great job so far, but I’d like to work with you on this. It’s a prestigious event and I want to make sure everything is perfect.”

Her temper flickered to life.

“It will be perfect, Mr Oakes. I have organised many similar events and have an excellent reputation. You only have to check my file …”

“I’m fully aware of that, but my involvement in this is non-negotiable. Thank you for your time Miss O’Neil.”

He strode out of her office.

Yep, his initial assessment of her had been correct, a beautiful woman with impossibly long legs and the emotional stability of a barbie doll. He shoved his hands into his pockets and stalked to his office, strangely disappointed that he’d been right.

Cassie sat at her desk, stunned, then rose, sweeping into Dane’s office, furious. His eyes lifted from the papers on his desk as she barged into his office without knocking.

“I don’t know why you’re here Mr Oakes, but I do know how to do my job. Where do you get off checking on my work as if I’m new at this? Are you trying to show your father you’re not the spoiled playboy the papers say?”

“Calm down, Miss O’Neil, and please refrain from shouting at me.”

A modicum of common sense returned and she dropped into a chair, her anger giving way to despair. Dane stood and moved around to the front of his desk. She winced as he unleashed the full force of his furious gaze on her.

“Firstly, Miss O’Neil, do not believe everything you read in the newspapers. I am fully aware that you know your job, and I do not need to explain my decisions to you. Now take a break and pull yourself together.”

Turning back to his desk he lowered himself into his chair, effectively dismissing her. Cassie’s eyes filled with tears.

“You’re not going to fire me?”

Irritated by her continued presence, he looked up, his ire dissipating when he saw her damp eyes. Dane couldn’t fathom why this woman affected him so. Damn it if his desire hadn’t ramped up when he’d seen her eyes brimming with tears.

“No, Miss O’Neil, I am not going to fire you. Why don’t you get yourself some of that coffee you enjoyed so much this morning?”

Nodding, she walked out of his office without another word, dabbing her eyes.
Andrew stood at his door, having heard raised voices in Dane’s office. She managed a tiny, watery smile as she headed for the coffee machine. She poured a cup and Andrew approached her.

“Cassie, what the hell just happened?”

“I lost it Andrew, I’m sorry. I’ll apologise later, I promise.”

She couldn’t hold back the sobs. Andrew steered her into her office, shut the door. Doing his best to comfort her, he dragged his clean handkerchief out of his pocket and handed it to her. She wiped her eyes, smearing her mascara, and apologised again.

“Cassie I think you should go home.”

Agreeing, she thanked him, retrieved her handbag, and slipped into the bathroom. She barely recognised the miserable creature looking back at her from the mirror. Her mascara was streaked down her face, her nose was red and her eyes were puffy.

Oh great, I look as bad as I feel.

She splashed her face, reapplied a little foundation, then added a small amount of mascara. Squaring her shoulders, she walked out of the bathroom. She’d almost made it to the lift when she heard a familiar voice. Her shoulders sagged.

“Leaving so soon, Miss O’Neil?”

Dane Oakes leaned in the doorway, his arms crossed over his broad chest, looking every inch the arrogant playboy. She spun round but refused to look into his eyes.

“Y…yes I don’t feel well.”

He knew he should leave this, but he couldn’t.

“I’ll drive you home.”

She opened her mouth to argue, but gave in and nodded. Taking her elbow, he guided her into the lift and jabbed the button for the ground floor. She sagged against the wall of the elevator.

“My car is out the front.”

He guided her through the revolving door at the building entrance towards a bright red Ferrari, and wondered what would happen if he kissed her. Frustrated, he pulled the keys out of his pocket and pressed the button. She gaped at the expensive sports car. Impatiently, he pulled her towards it, opened the door and guided her into the passenger seat.

“Wow,” she smiled as he slid into the driver’s seat beside her.

“Nice isn’t it.”

She nodded as he accelerated into the traffic.

“Where do you live, Miss O’Neil?”

Cassie was gazing out at the traffic and didn’t hear him for a moment.


“Where do you live?” he asked again, impatiently.

She told him and he didn’t bother with any further conversation until he parked out the front of her apartment building. Opening her door, he offered his hand to help her out of the low bucket seat. She took it, feeling the same tingle she had earlier, but ignored it, too tired and miserable to care. He yanked his hand back as soon as she was standing on the sidewalk.

“Well, I hope you feel better, Miss O’Neil.”

Before she could thank him, he jumped in the sleek sports car and drove away, She watched him leave, then wearily made her way up to her apartment.


Cassie felt worse when she woke the next morning. For the first time since she started at the Oakes Foundation, she called in sick, settled back into bed and drifted off to sleep.

She woke with a start several hours later to loud knocking. Stumbling groggily from the bed, she looked through the peephole to see who was knocking, and jumped back. Why was Dane Oakes at her door?  She stood for a moment, not knowing quite what to do.

When Andrew informed Dane that their meeting was cancelled because Cassie wasn’t well, Dane waited almost an hour before he left the office, then drove hard to her apartment. By the time she’d answered her door, he was furious.

“Cassie, I know you’re in there. Open the damn door.”

She opened the door to Dane, dressed impeccably, a lock of his hair hanging rebelliously over one eye. His chin was covered in designer stubble and he looked delicious.
He pushed past her and stormed into the apartment.

“Is this about what happened yesterday? Because if it is, I think you really need to grow up.
Cassie went from perplexed to livid instantly.

“Who the hell do you think you are, coming into my apartment and speaking to me like that? Get out now!”

Suddenly catching her scent, he froze, his eyed wide, and stammered an apology.

“I …Cassie, I’m sorry.”

Surprised, she watched him slowly approach. He stopped an arm’s length away and she had to tip her head back to look into his face. When she did, her pulse skittered.  He stepped closer. She felt the heat of his muscular body and smelled his spicy, masculine scent. Why did he have to smell so good?


Hesitating briefly, he claimed her lips with a searing kiss. Her arms snaked around his neck and her body melted into his. Momentarily breaking the kiss to gaze at her exquisite face, he ran his tongue over his long, white fangs, growled softly and melded his lips to hers again. His tongue sought entry into her eager mouth as he scooped her into his arms and carried her to the bedroom. Her intoxicating scent drove him wild.

Suddenly, it all made sense. She was his true mate! That explained why he’d had trouble keeping his fangs hidden around her. He grinned. He desperately hoped she’d agree to being changed into a wolf, or he was screwed!


Kathryn Royce Martin

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New bosses can be pretty intimidating while getting to learn what they like and don’t like, don’t you agree?

I hope you enjoyed Kathryn’s short story and give a shout out to her!

Thanks, Kathryn, for sharing with us today, all the way from Australia!!!!


The Spelling Contest–Halloween Style

The Spelling Contest

You are cordially invited to the ninety fifth annual Spelling contest. Please bring your most creative spell and compete against the nation’s most talented witches. The winners will receive medals and the prestige of holding the title. Please sign up early to ensure a spot. Sincerely, EWA. (Elemental Witches of America)

I sat on my porch and read the invitation four more times, then shook my head to rattle an idea free from my brain. Halloween was only a week away. I still didn’t have a spell.

“Hey, Vicky. Got any more Mike’s Hard Lemonades?”

I glanced over at my best friend Essie, who sat on the porch next to me. Her long golden hair reflected the sun and her eyes reminded me of the green ferns that were planted along the garage. “There’s a pack in the fridge. Want to grab one for me too?”

She disappeared into the little brick ranch I call my home.

I needed a spectacular entry for the contest this year. There was no way Misty McGillan was going to steal the gold medal away from me again. Every year she’s managed to sabotage my entry and win. Not this year.

Essie barreled out the front door armed with more drinks and an iPod dock. She placed the six pack next to the four empty bottles and turned on my playlist. A poppy tune blared out of the speakers. She sat down and started piecing together her rifle with bag of Skittles next to her.

“What the heck are you doing to that gun, and what’s with the Candy?” I popped a red one into my mouth. The tart cherry flavor awakened my taste buds.

“Hey, don’t eat those.” She smacked my hand away. “You know those teenagers that keep smashing Mrs. Pinkle’s pumpkins?”

I nodded.

“Well, this year I’m going to Skittle their behinds if they go anywhere near her Jack O’lanterns.” She loaded the rainbow of flavor candies into the hopper, not one dropped.

“You’re going to shoot them?” Did she lose her sanity when she fought in the war overseas?

A bright orange Skittle shot out the end of the gun and hit the tree with a ping. She adjusted a little knob on the side and shot one more. “It won’t kill them, but they’ll have big red welts on their butts.”

A synthesizer blared a few cords from the speakers. “Thriller!” My body responded to the rhythmic pounding of the beat. I stood. My head and shoulder ticked to each pulse.

Essie laughed. “Oh no, not the zombie dance.”

I waved her to join me. She refused. It didn’t matter. The vibrations flowed through my body and the ground fed me with power. My nerve endings tickled, my adrenaline spiked. I loved the feeling of magic.

An earthworm crawled through the grass by me. I projected my energy down to the worm and it stood up on end. His little head bobbed and his middle part thrust back and forth. I realized it mimicked my movements.

“Holy crap, Vicky, you got that worm doing the dance, too.”

Looking down, I noticed a few more, then poured more magic into them. A whole crew surrounded me.

“You have thirty-two so far. What’s the record?” She yelled over the music.

I clapped my hands over my head, two worms slapped their heads together to match. “This is a first. I don’t have a record.”

Prince Fred II, my black cat, jumped from his bed and smacked into a tree. He ran around in a circle, then stood beside to me. He was my familiar. I pulled the power through him and it amplified the strength. More worms rose from the dirt to join us. I was up to fifty now.

“Those on the ends are twisting weird.” Essie pointed with her bottle to the right.

I looked over. “They’re mating. Earthworms are always horny.” I needed control before it turned into a worm orgy. I focused on the procreating ones, they snapped apart and returned to the line.

The song finished and Essie clapped.

This would be my entry, now all I had to do was nail it for the contest.

The Spelling Contest was held Halloween evening in the middle of a forest preserve. The witches were divided according to the elements of their power. I was in the earth category. Air, wind, fire, and spirit witches formed separate groups.

Misty was called before me. She lifted her arms and chanted something in Latin as her eyes rolled back into her head. The dark mud moved in front of her and piled up to form into boxed shapes. She twirled to create turrets and a drawbridge for the mud castle. Two chipmunks scampered up the miniature stairs to the balcony. Everyone laughed and applauded as the rodents peered over the edge then kissed. I clapped and wished I had a Skittle gun.

My turn was next. My coven stood behind me for support as the High Priestess hit play on the iPod. I looked around to see Prince Fred, my familiar, was missing. My stomach clenched and felt as if I swallowed a beehive while my gaze combed through the crowd. The beat started, no time to come up with an alternate plan. I had to wing it. My body soaked up the power from the earth as I expelled it out to all the worms. It tingled up and down my arms. Only about three quarters stood at attention in front of me. They wiggled to the beat, the others were coiled around each other.

A small mew came from behind me. Thank heavenly peas, I will get through this. Prince Fred licked his paw as I pulled the magical current through him. The rest of the worms sprang up and danced. The witches joined us in the zombie dance under the moon. Misty stomped away.

I had won the gold.

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I love how original everyone can be, the fun voices of the authors, the interesting stories.
Bonnie also has her first book at only 99 cents right now! So be sure and check it out!
And we have a Halloween story from an author Down Under next week!
Have a great and fun rest of the weekend!

Going Down?


Going Down


Ashlyn Chase

Heather had left her windows open a crack and the light rain had turned into a deluge. She hurried to the elevator, hoping to get to her car on the top, uncovered level of the parking garage before her upholstery smelled like wet dog.

Handsome delivery man Ryan joined her in the elevator, holding an odd boomerang shaped bone. As the doors closed he pushed the button for the twenty-ninth floor and they began their descent, Heather realized to her delight they were the only two using it. Thank you, Lord! Please help me not to blow this opportunity.

Before she had a chance to think of something to talk about, she heard a thud. The elevator lurched and bounced. A sick feeling roiled her stomach, and she and Ryan stared at each other, wide-eyed.  All of a sudden something let go and the elevator dropped like a rock.

They screamed in unison as their plunge toward doom accelerated. The numbers above the door flashed in quick succession, signifying the floors as they passed. In no time they were in single digits. Heather watched, frozen in helpless panic. Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one…

She screamed, “Fuck!” scrunched her eyes shut and braced for the inevitable impact.  Oddly enough, they didn’t stop falling.

“Hey! We’re not landing!” Ryan shouted.

Gawking at the numbers, Heather couldn’t believe what she saw. Negative nine, negative ten, negative eleven…

Ryan began counting out loud. “Negative eighteen?  Negative nineteen?  Negative twenty?”

The elevator slowed and both of them had their eyes glued to the numbers, chanting in unison. “Negative twenty-seven—negative twenty-eight—negative twenty-nine…”

The numbers stopped, heralding the end of their descent.

Ryan’s large, round eyes stared at her. “Are we dead? Did we go to—?” The doors whooshed open, cutting off his question.

Damp fingers of fog reached into the elevator and a preternatural scene greeted Heather’s astonished gaze. An eerie, blue-green light permeated the billowing fog, peeking through thin spots. A pond beneath the miasma seemed to be emitting the strange, iridescent illumination.

They both hesitated but eventually each one of them stepped out onto wet grass and gazed at their mystifying surroundings. Spanish moss hung from giant trees, gnarled and twisted with age.  Weird, otherworldly noises, like mournful birds, cried in the distance. The smell of wet moss hung in the air. Before their very eyes the fog dissipated. It appeared to be early morning, just before dawn. The sky was the color of Ryan’s indigo jeans.

Oh Lord. She couldn’t believe she was thinking of his jeans at a time like this, but he had been walking in front of her and she couldn’t help admiring…

A figure dressed in a flowing, brown robe, stood with its back to them on the opposite side of the pond.  Platinum hair cascaded down the creature’s back.

Then the elevator disappeared. What the hell is going on?

Ryan called out in the direction of the stranger across the pond. “Hey, you! Where are we?”

The figure didn’t turn around. Instead a low voice began to hum. The hum grew louder and at last evolved into the sound of a female singing a tune; a song that seemed to resonate from everywhere and nowhere.


’Where am I?  Where am I?’  That’s what you’re thinking.

Traveled to somewhere without even blinking.

Am I in Heaven?  Am I on Earth?

Traveled in time to before my own birth?

Such silly mortals with mortalish thoughts.

Wondering now if you’ve had all your shots.


Resuming her hum, she turned around to face them. She tipped her head to the right, then to the left, and appeared to be studying them.


Picture a moment; a place beyond dreams

That’s waterfall fresh with candy sweet scenes.

That’s not where you’ve landed, and though I’m your host,

I am an immortal, so almost a ghost.


Heather trembled and clumsily grabbed hold of Ryan’s leather jacket. The stranger laughed out loud and her song turned into a shout.


No, you’re not dead, though that can be arranged.

You’re saving your souls!  You’re here to be changed!


After the last verse, the odd woman disappeared in a puff of smoke. In the blink of Heather’s eyes, the figure reappeared directly in front of her. She shook so hard she tried to back away but stumbled and landed on her butt in the soft moss. “Ryan, run!”

“Aww…fell on your tush, did you? Hmm. Nice white skirt you’re wearing. That’ll leave a stain,” the whatever-she-was said.

“This can’t be happening.”

Ryan bent to help her up and whispered, “I won’t leave you.”

Heather took one look at his determined expression and swallowed hard. The warm strength of him seeped into her and spread. He could almost distract her from this craziness.

That’s it! I must be at my desk—going crazy. Or I fell asleep from utter boredom. Any minute now, I’ll wake up.  

Meanwhile, the peculiar woman paced back and forth in front of them, looking them over from top to bottom.

“You’re from the Earthly realm. You were wise to seek me out, although I must say I’m amazed you found me. It was decided long ago that I should remain hidden from you.”

She sighed and began to sit. A chair appeared underneath her by the time she needed it, thus preventing her from falling on her ass. Heather wished she had plummeted to the ground. Maybe a little humor would make her laugh and wake her up out of this dream—or hallucination.

“Hey, watch that. I’ll be the one to decide what happens to whom.”

Heather caught her breath. Did she just read my mind?

“Oh, that’s right,” said the singing Dr. Seuss. “You don’t know who I am. I guess I’ll have to introduce myself.” She tossed her head and crossed her legs, the robe falling open to reveal their shapeliness. “I have many different names, but you can call me Tophet.”

After a period of silence she sighed. “For heaven’s sake, will one of you please get over your speechless panic and talk to me? Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve heard another voice? Not that I don’t love the sound of my own voice…I do, but come on now. Speak!”

“You can hear what we’re thinking?” Ryan asked.

“Yes. By the way, thanks for the compliment on my legs, but they’re not really a mile long.”

His jaw dropped and he took a giant step backward. Ryan managed to straighten his posture and cross his arms in front of his chest. “Okay, what was I just thinking?”

Tophet chuckled. “Your mind was blank. Your brain’s still frozen in fear, although you’re doing an impressive job of hiding your terror.” She waved them over and gestured to the grass at her feet. “Come. Sit down. I won’t bite.”

Heather took a deep breath and hoped it was true. As they settled on the ground, Ryan happened to lay the boomerang-shaped bone on the grass in front of Tophet.

“My boomerang! Where did you find it?”

Ryan wiped the sweat from his brow and said, “I was told to deliver it to the Paleontology department—on the 29th floor. I didn’t realize there was a negative 29th floor.”

Tophet chuckled. “I see what happened now. I threw my boomerang so hard, it wound up in the world above. Then, when you began your descent, it found its way back to me—as boomerangs are supposed to do.”

“Okaaay…Now that you have your precious boomerang, how do we get out of here?” Ryan asked.

“Ah. Simple.” She snapped her fingers.

Heather blinked. She must have—they were in the elevator again, slowing to a safe stop on the lobby floor. The doors whooshed open.

“Did you…” she began.

“No. I didn’t see anything strange. No negative twenty-ninth floor. No weird woman. Nothing unusual happened. Right?”

At first Heather was confused, then he winked. “Ah! Right. We didn’t see anything that would land us in the loony bin.”

He nodded. “Want to go for a drink after work and not talk about it?” he asked.

She grinned. “Yeah. I’d like that.”

More than a Phoenix (Phoenix Brothers Book 2) by [Chase, Ashlyn]

Ashlyn Chase
Where there’s fire, there’s Ash
Paranormal and Contemporary Romantic comedies
Latest release:
More than a Phoenix, Book 2, Phoenix Brothers
Several series, audios, box sets, etc.
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Cool, eh? Have you ever felt…uncomfortable in an elevator? I have!!! I rode the antiquated narrow grated one up to the auditing office where I worked for a short time in the TOWER. The place where the guy killed so many people on UT campus in Austin. The next step up were a flight of stairs to the top where he was shooting. It was the eeriest feeling, going up in that old elevator.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable when tons of people get on with you and you’re sure they’ve exceeded the weight limit? Or have you ever been stuck in an elevator?

When we lived in Imperial Towers in Titusville, we got stuck on their elevator. It had stuck between floors and we had to climb out where the elevator was stuck below the opening. I just knew it would crash while we were halfway out. It didn’t. Not that day. But it did later. Luckily, no one was on it that time. What about glass elevators? Creepy.

Have a great day and may all your experiences in elevators be good ones!


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Sylvia’s Worst Nightmare


By Dawn Marie Hamilton
Shit. Late for work again.

The early morning California sun blinded. Sylvia slid into the cracked leather seat of her red MGB midget and her short black skirt rode up her thighs. With a sigh, she inserted the key into the ignition.

“Please start.”

Click, click, click, click, click, vroom.


She pulled out of the driveway and headed for the city.

With one hand on the wheel, she scratched the raised bite mark near the vein on her wrist and shuddered. That too familiar prickly sensation of eight tiny phantom legs crawled over her skin. Revulsion chills crept down her spine. She despised spiders.

Breathe, Sylvia. Breathe. She inhaled air deep into her lungs.

Entering the freeway, she zipped across the lanes to the left and sped with the traffic. Holy shit! Her worst nightmare crawled across the dashboard. She grabbed a used tissue from the passenger seat garbage pile and squashed the damn creepy crawly.

Her thigh itched like crazy. She swallowed hard and glanced down. A black widow skittered across her leg. Sylvia spun the wheel.

The crunch of metal was the final sound. She’d never be late for work again.

Sea Panther e-cover 200 by 300
Dawn Marie Hamilton


Okay, raise your hand if you thought this was a great spooktacular story!!! I have to say I’ve had a scorpion crawling up my leg, but thought it was a lizard and brushed it away. I wasn’t stung that time. I’ve had a bumblebee land on my shirt right before I got in the car and didn’t notice it until I was on the road, pulled off really quick and jumped around outside to get him off my shirt, not sure I’d even parked the car I was in such a panic. And a friend of ours had a spider crawling up her leg when she was driving, she panicked, wrecked her car and broke her leg.

So can it happen for real? You betcha! The best kind of spooky stories.

Thanks, Dawn, for sharing such a terrific flash fiction!

Be sure to check out her cool release: Sea Panther!


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Clown Fish and Blue Fish

Usually I can’t get very good pictures at the aquarium, but these turned out pretty well. I have no idea what the pretty blue fish is called, but I thought it was interesting that the black stripe on his head goes all the way “through” his eye.

I finished proofing You Had Me at Jaguar and turned it in. I’m back to working on either Woodland Fae or The Witch and the Jaguar this morning.

Hope you all have a great day! It’s cool out and feels like fall! Yay!


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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I Didn’t Think…

I’d be watching animated features when I need to be proofing You Had Me at Jaguar, but baby is here and while I try to post my blog, I’m bouncing her on my lap, listening to Stickman, Eoic Battle Music, with my document open to read as I can!

Hope you have a fun day!!! Baby was a grouch so I’m working to ungrouch her. So far it’s working!


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My Fence Is a Cat Thoroughfare

So I’m working on both Woodland Fae and The Witch and the Jaguar.

It was refreshing to see that my readers will read seasonal stories during any season! So I added 5,000 words to The Witch and the Jaguar and 2,000 words to Woodland Fae. But today, I have proofing work on You Had Me at Jaguar. So today is cat day. Oh, also, this is National Wolf Awareness Week. Just so you know.

Okay, I’m off to write! It’s raining and cold and perfect for Halloween, vampires, and cats that prowl in the night…and day.

Have fun!


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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The Witch and the Jaguar

I’m still working on Woodland Fae, getting closer to word count and I was messing around with a witch’s picture for Halloween, but then I fell in love with it and thought, what if I made a short story to go with it? How about a novella? So what does a jaguar shifter do when she wants to go to a Halloween party without her over-protective brother? She turns him into her familiar when he arrives home unexpectedly. Of course, we normally think of something like a little black cat. Not in the world of jaguars. See how stories get started?

Anyway, I won’t have it finished in time for Halloween, but from what my fans say, any time of year is good for any kind of seasonal story. And that works for me.

The problem is in the middle of the night, I was seeing both the fae’s story continuing to develop in my mind, and the jaguar one. I was too tired to write them down, but I’m going to try and remember what it was I “saw” before it’s too late.

It’s cold this morning and I finished a bear order and wrote 3,000 words yesterday, see if I can do as much today! So I need to ship the bear to Australia, and get some groceries and then it’s back to WRITING.

Have a wonderfully productive and fun day!


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I Didn’t Get Anything Done

Except a little weeding while baby was here. She loves going outside and so I pulled some weeds out of the flowerbed out back. Out front, she was talking away to my ghost, who is about her size.

And the tabby kitty is sooooo sweet, but my puppies don’t love her like she loves me. I raised a cat with my dogs before, so they loved the cat, but these only think she’s like the squirrel and needs to be chased off. She’s very aggressive toward them, sleeps on the back patio next to the door like she owns it, and then hisses at them when I take them out on a leash. She left again, which is good. I don’t want my dogs hurting her.

It’s time for writing. I got nothing done yesterday, added 300 words to Woodland Fae, but baby was here until late, and then I went out to have pizza with her and her daddy…

So today, I need to write! It’s cooler out too and wet, and I need to pull more weeds.

Have a great day!!!


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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