Book Title: Enchantress' Destiny
By: Beth Caudill
Published by: Moonlight Mountain Books
Series: Paranormals of Arilase – Novella 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fantasy Romance
Length: Novella – 25,200 wordsHeat Level: Spicy
Disregarded by her betrothed, elven princess Clairessa Bellehaven analyzes spell books and dreams of finding someone to share her life. Betrayed by her unfaithful witch boyfriend, she convinces herself a single night with another elf will do no harm. Except the Goddess has a plan and Clairessa will have to fight to save the man who seized her heart and refused to let her go.
Clan prince Rowe Calder arrived in Wildeloch to settle problems with his family's business. What he found was the one elf he'd spent his life avoiding. His bondmate. The woman destined to bring about his death. Now he must find a way to keep his family safe when the dark elf comes to claim his soul.
Will a love long denied be strong enough to save them when darkness seeks retribution?
"Have you gone out with him yet?" Sarah Winston, a mid-level witch, asked over the top of a tree limb separating their desks.
For a moment, Claire ignored her friend. But Sarah could be persistent when she wanted to know something. Thank the Goddess it was the end of the day and they were alone. "No. And I don't plan to."
"Ri-ight." Sarah rolled her eyes. "I believe that like I believe there is a troll bridge for sale in the Desert Resort."
Sometimes friends were a pain; they never let you get away with deluding yourself.
"It's better this way."
"Honey, you're so frustrated, sparks are dancing along your skin." A wicked gleam infused Sarah's gaze. "My suggestion to you is quit hiding and take what you need." She winked and ducked back into her space. Her cheerful laughter echoed in the mostly empty room.
Claire shook her head at her friend's good-natured teasing. While the idea of capturing Rowe was intriguing, the reality of the situation was filled with nothing but trouble. She concentrated on her mirror interface and hoped work would distract her.
The Living Tree's magic connected the mirror to a collective knowledge base. While a lot of her job as spell book tester was actively casting spells, she also needed to verify ingredient information. At the moment, she was verifying the information on an obscure herb called Moonsglow. The leaves were silvery gray, extremely poisonous if ingested, but could amplify magic spells if used sparingly.
"Good. You haven't left yet." Rowe's deep voice rumbled behind her.
She jumped and then spun her chair around. "Wha…What are you doing here?" Why did he have to sneak up on her? She always seemed to be out of control around him.
His lips twitched at the corners of his mouth. "I've come to beg your help with a project."
She hated how composed he appeared. With his sky blue shirt opened at the neck, his wrinkle-free dove gray suit, and his mussed hair; he possessed a rakishly attractive air. It drove her crazy that he affected her. For four weeks, she'd reminded herself that he was off limits. If only images of them in bed wouldn't keep intruding on her thoughts.
He was cordial and patient with her. Yet she wanted the man who took what he wanted, exactly like he had their first night together. The self-restraint he exercised heightened her frustrations. He'd been considerate in their interactions since that first day in the office. She wanted to tear away his social mask and discover if he was just as unbalanced as she.
"Can it wait until tomorrow?" She turned back to her work. "I have someplace to be tonight."
The choked laugh from the other side of the branch made Claire blush.
"I'm afraid not. Please, Claire. I need your help." Standing with his hand out, Rowe looked so earnest, her resolve weakened.
Her parents had instilled in her the responsibility to share her gifts. She couldn't say no. "Very well." Wiping the image from the mirror, she turned and placed her hand in his. The hum of his power tickled along her skin. "I'll see you tomorrow, Sarah."
"Have fun," Sarah said, wiggling her fingers at them. "Do everything you think you shouldn’t."
Claire shook her head and hid her reddened cheeks behind her long hair. Rowe's chuckle only intensified her embarrassment. At least Rowe appreciated the good-natured teasing. Gavin would have suspended Sarah for such a comment.
Doing everything she shouldn't would endanger her heart. Rowe's competence and easy demeanor already had her falling for him. Her heart wasn't free to give but somehow he had a strong grip on it.
"What shouldn't you do?" His eyes sparked with flirtatious energy despite his innocent tone.
Her face heated even more and she to refused answer. How could she tell him what she couldn't do was become involved? With him. "Um. What spell do you need help with?"
He stared at her a moment before leading her downstairs. The sparkle in his eyes made her face heat like a boiling cauldron. She feared he knew her secret: she still wanted him.
Five Favorite Elves Checklist
Elves are a staple fantasy creature, historically diminutive in size and generally categorized as Fae. J. R. R. Tolkien's writing popularized the tall, graceful elf with pointed ears and established a following with other authors and fantasy game makers. Today both Light and Dark Elves take many forms across the fantasy spectrum. Below are my five favorite incarnations:
5. Grimm's Shoemaker Elves
Everyone needs an elf to make the perfect shoe fit.
4. Marvel's Dark Elves
So evil they make Loki look good.
3. Shea Ohmsford
A small half-elf with the power to wield the Sword of Shannara.
2. Keebler Elves
Shortbread and chocolate from the Hollow Tree, what's not to love?
He made tall elves hot.
"Whether they are tall or small, elves are noble and loyal to their families. They are powerful creatures who demonstrate what humans could be with a bit of magic."
Book Title: Healer's Fate
By: Beth Caudill
Published by: Moonlight Mountain Books
Series: Paranormals of Arilase – Novella 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fantasy Romance
Length: Novella – 21,100 wordsHeat Level: Spicy
Corliss Rumdone hides behind her status as Healer to avoid the normal wolf pack hierarchal challenges. A forced mating changes the course of her life. Instead of Raymond, the beta wolf selected for her, she mates with Liam—her best friend and heir to the Alpha pair. Liam whisks them away to a shifter retreat so they can allow the mating bond to settle in private. But interference from those seeking power and two terminal children arouse past hurts and challenge their new relationship. Even their home is not the haven it should be as Liam must watch Corliss fight for the right to stay his mate. For one healer, death becomes a weapon to balance life.
Liam couldn't watch the ceremony that would mate Corliss to someone else. He could've challenged for her, but that meant fighting his father—the ruling wolf, who was neither a tyrant nor senile. Both of them in their prime, a fight would have ended in one of their deaths, and he couldn't justify the loss of life.
Not even for her. Unable to keep control of his wolf, Liam shifted to animal form and sought solace in the forest. Except every tree, every fragrance roused memories of her, and the wolf sprinted towards the ceremonial clearing. His paws swiftly traversed the distance until he scented the woman who should be his.
Stark quiet alerted him to trouble as the wolf crept along the edge of the grass. People were missing and those who remained stood as if waiting for the ceremony to start. He circled around to the front to get a better view, hiding in the shadows so as not to alert anyone. Raymond was unaccounted for. Corliss stood stiff-backed, facing away from the audience.
Her caramel-colored hair was piled atop her head, darkened to walnut in the moonlight. Shadows hid her sea-green eyes and emphasized her high cheekbones. She appeared cold, harsh, and removed from events going on around her. Yet he knew her to be warm and caring, often too caring.
Through her healing powers, she gave more of her personal energy than she should. As her friend, he could offer support, but he couldn't push too hard for her to rest, or she'd rip out his throat.
He chuffed. The dark green specks in her eyes glowed when she was angry. That spark had been missing from her eyes for days. He repressed a growl as Corliss bit the inside of her cheek. Before the wind shifted, he backed away. She wouldn't appreciate anyone seeing her close to tears.
The wolf wanted to rip a hole in Raymond's belly, but even their animals had rules for a challenge. He trotted to a cache of clothes. Only the human half of his soul could help her now.
He let the ever-present hum of insects and familiar mossy pine scent calm his inner turmoil. No one could explain the magic of the werewolves shifting forms, but sometimes an unfocused change resulted in monstrous configurations. And death.
Centered by will alone, he called forth the transformational shift. His fur stood on end as an electric charge built in an invisible bubble around him. Pressure pricked against his skin until just before it became painful. His fur receded and then his body stretched, grew until once again he was Liam, the man.
The tranquility brought on by the change vanished beneath the fury within his heart. Yanking on his jeans, he'd protect Corliss the only way he could. By hunting down his prey.
Although Beth grew up in West Virginia, she currently resides in North
Carolina with her husband, two sons and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who makes an excellent lap warmer. Blending the analytical and creative sides of her brain, she delights in creating fantasy worlds for others. Catch her online most days except when NCIS and Once Upon a Time air.