Tag Archives: twisted fairy tale

Try a sample of Touch of Beauty

Want to read a sample of my latest twisted fairy tale romance—TOUCH OF BEAUTY? The sample is available for FREE on Instafreebie.com. Click HERE and download the first few chapters, just for you!

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What happens when a brand new Fairy Godmother, a witch, and a troll, are caught up in a twist of Beauty and the Beast…Magic!

Ever since the day a bedraggled fairy walked into his casino and turned him into a troll, Tanner Scott has been in a bad mood. Now, the casino is losing money, the dwarves in the family mine are on strike, and he can’t keep a housekeeper to save his life. When one of their clients nearly drains the casino’s bank, Tanner loses it and decrees the man must pay the consequences.

Bonita can’t help wanting to rescue her dad from his downward spiral so she heads to the casino to face the man who owns her father’s debt—Tanner Scott.  What she doesn’t expect is how desperate being a troll has made Tanner. Or that behind the scenes is a magical fairy with a mission. Or that love might finally conquer all—trolls, kidnappings…and her own disbelief.

Discover Jessica Aspen’s fairy tale twists—Magic New Mexico Style.

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*****

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

 

Your Jessica Aspen Starter Library is waiting.

Click HERE to discover Jessica Aspen’s fast-paced world of paranormal romance

jessica aspen starter library

 

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and purchase.

 

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Filed under fairy tales, Magic Books, Writer's Journey

Goldi and the Bear is a Finalist!

Thursdays Bite

a hot, shapeshifter romance blog

I’m super excited to discover that my spicy, new adult, twisted fairy tale, Goldi and the Bear is a finalist in the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence. Goldi is the third book in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series of hot, shape-shifter romance novellas from Passion in Print Press.

I love this series of novellas. They are fun and fast-paced, and I had a terrific time writing them. I can’t wait to get back to this series and write a few more about my Colorado shape-shifters and fairy-tale twists.

Goldi Lycan’s father has gone wild wolf. She needs his signature and the money he’s hidden or the bank will foreclose and sell to a buyer she suspects is her ex-boyfriend, whose heart she crushed. Zeke has a secret. He’s never stopped loving Goldi, or forgotten their steamy nights together, and he’s determined to make her pay. When Goldi is injured in a Rocky Mountain blizzard she’s forced to take shelter in Zeke’s empty house. But look out! When Zeke arrives home to find a naked she-wolf in his bed, all hell will break loose.

Goldi and the Bear

Chapter One

Goldi took a last despairing look in the mirror. It had been a long time since she’d done anything as frivolous as looking good and dressing up. Today, of all days, it made her skin crawl.

Crazy blonde curls tamed? Check.

Conservative, navy dress? Check.

Medium heels to match? Check.

Well, sort of. She eyed the shoes. She’d taken an old black marker and covered the scuff marks. They’d do, as long as no one looked closely and saw that the black was a little smeary. With no money for the last two years for anything besides the needs of the sheep, the ranch, and paying the bills, there was nothing leftover for anything as impractical as a new dress or shoes.

The old navy dress and black pumps had better be up to the job of looking serious enough to impress Jonas MacGee at the Smittsville Savings and Loan. She didn’t have much choice. If Jonas didn’t give her father an extension on the loan, she’d not only be nearly dressless, she’d be homeless too.

She smothered another sigh and pasted on a smile.

This was the best she could do. She couldn’t make her wild curls look like she had a corporate job, and she couldn’t make Dad crawl to the bank manager twenty years his junior. All she could do was force him to go and hope he treated Jonas with respect. Something the old wolf would have trouble enough doing. Lots of trouble.

She grabbed her purse and headed for the living room, checking for wallet and keys and calling to her dad. “Dad, are you ready?”

No answer.

“It’s time to go.” The hairs on the back of her neck rose.

It was a short trip through the small, one-story house, sniffing deeply for her dad’s woodsy scent, a suspicious, panicky ache growing in the center of her chest as she checked each room. He wasn’t in his bedroom, the bathroom, kitchen, or living room. His scent was fresh, he couldn’t have left more than an hour ago. Just when she’d gotten into the shower.

She pressed her lips together, squashing the twinge of anxiety before it bloomed into a panic attack. Pushing open the wooden screen door, she hollered out into the ranch yard, the cold rising wind whipping her words away. “Dad! It’s time to go.”

Ned, their latest ranch hand, limped around the corner of the half-empty hay barn holding her dad’s best blue jeans, the shirt she’d ironed yesterday, and his only tie. “He’s gone, Goldi.” He stopped and leaned on the rusting, pale-green 1975 Ford pick-up. “I saw him running for the hills about twenty minutes ago.”

The tightness in her chest clamped down hard as panic blossomed into a full-blown attack. She sucked in air to shout once again for her dad, knowing it was useless. He’d shifted to wolf, run off, and left her here to face the debt all by herself.

Ned shook his head and pursed his lips. “You’d better go without him.”

Cold sweat dampened her fresh dress and she stifled the urge to rip it off her body. The urge to get rid of the tight shoes and confining dress and shift to wolf grew nearly unbearable. Why couldn’t she run for the hills and hide like Dad from the demands of the world?

Her lungs seized up.

She couldn’t do this. She couldn’t talk Jonas MacGee into extending the loan for a twenty-two year old, unemployed, high school drop-out.

“Maybe I can find him.” She gasped, struggling to breathe past the lump in her chest.

“You might, but you’d have to come back here, get dressed again, and still make it into town for your appointment.” Ned’s typical dour expression darkened. “I doubt you’d impress the banker.”

“You’re right.” Goldi dug into her purse for her keys. “Can you look for him?”

Ned’s eyes shifted away, and Goldi’s outstretched hand dropped to her side. She should have known it was futile to ask. Ned never did more than he had to, and looking for her dad would be actual work.

“I could…” He pulled a package of tobacco out and pushed a wad in front of his stained teeth. “But I was going to go check on the pregnant ewes in the south field.” He lifted his head and sniffed the air. “It smells like snow. What do you want me to do?”

A bank of dark threatening clouds loomed behind the western mountains. Rocky Mountain blizzards could be heavy in late February, and the cool breeze, carrying the taste of snow, smelled wet. Suddenly, it was all too much. She was exhausted from having to make all the decisions. Every blessed day her father left more and more responsibility to her and took off for the woods. Today, she’d really needed him. And he’d known it.

Ned slouched against the old pickup, his tobacco-full lower lip pushed out as he waited for her decision.

She tried to take a deep breath. “No, you’d better check on the ewes. If I can talk Jonas into giving us until May, we’re going to need every single lamb to dig us out of debt.”

He nodded and spat a brown liquid stream into the dirt. “Yup,” he said and turned away, heading back to the small cabin he had all to himself.

Once again, she wished her dad would let her talk to the other wolves in Radon. Then, they’d be able to hire someone from the pack, not some lone-wolf with a hidden history, like Ned. Somewhere, somehow, Ned had left his pack. Or been driven out. He didn’t say why, and Goldi wasn’t sure she wanted to know how, but she’d seen his leg. It was covered with scars from some wolf’s teeth.

But she had few choices. At this point, Ned was all she had keeping the ranch together. Her dad would never hire anyone else. All the things she didn’t like about Ned made her dad like him. He had no ties. Was loyal to no pack. And best of all, in her dad’s opinion, Ned didn’t care if her dad spent more and more time running as a wolf. Much as she didn’t like it, Ned was sticking around.

Goldi got into the old truck and cranked the engine. It fired up with no problem, the old motor rumbling unhappily away. Her panic attack loosened its hold on her chest. At least one thing was going right today. She drove away from the ranch and turned up the dirt road toward town.

An old country tune sang out of the radio and she sang along with it, howling out the high notes and trying to push all her worries out of her mind. It would take an hour to drive to town and she needed to be ready to face Jonas. Calm, collected, cool as the proverbial cucumber. Every inch the woman he would give an extension to. Not the scared little girl she’d become over the last few years since her mom’s death, prone to letting fear take over, panic attacks, and turning tail.

Today, if she didn’t face the world, the world would take over. She had to rock this appointment or lose everything.

Driving past the dilapidated house that marked the intersection to Rover’s Corner she made the left-hand turn onto the road that led into town. Out of habit she averted her eyes from the dirt road on the right that curved up the side of Beresford Mountain. The sight of it didn’t even hurt anymore, at least not much. She hadn’t been up there in years and didn’t allow herself to even think about all the happy time she’d spent up there. That was bear territory and if her father ever caught wind of how tempting it was every time she drove by to turn up that road, he’d be furious. It had been bad enough five years ago when her mom had passed, but now?

Wolves hated bears, bears didn’t like anyone else, and the closer her father came to slipping into the wild, the more he distrusted outsiders. Humans, bears, and wolves.

She shoved the yearning for the past back in the same place with her worries and turned her attention to forming careful arguments that would impress Jonas MacGee. Mr. MacGee, I…

The truck sputtered.

“Come on, you piece of junk, come on.” She hit the dash with her palm. “You can do it!”

The engine gave off a few guttural growls, coughed, and died.

“Noooo!” she wailed, and with the truck’s last rolling effort she guided it to the side of the road and into the high grass. She checked the mileage. One hundred and fifty-two miles. Nowhere near the two hundred and twenty mile mark that she needed to get gas. With the old truck’s speedometer broken as long as she could remember, they’d always re-set the odometer so they could get gas before they reached the two hundred mark. The twenty was just in case.

There should be an extra sixty-eight miles left before she ran out of gas.

She turned the car over and over, the grinding sound of the starter wearing on her nerves. No gas. And no one in sight on this lonely road that led nowhere but bear territory and Lycan Ranch. No one would be coming, and she only had half-an-hour to make it to town. On her own two feet. Or four.

She hopped out of the car and, for a fleeting moment, considered stripping off her clothes, tying them to her back, and running in wolf-form all the way to town. But, before she could put it into practice, she heard a motor. Someone was coming from the direction of Rover’s Corner. She turned. And as the expensive, shiny black pickup approached, dust blowing from its rear wheels, her lungs tightened and her heart sank.

Only one person in this area drove a new, black pickup.

The truck rolled to a stop next to the old, stalled truck, and the automatic window rolled down. Zeke Beresford leaned across the seat and asked, “Heading into town? Need a lift?”

At the sound of his voice, her heart skittered.

It had been over five-and-a-half years since she’d heard Zeke Beresford speak, and he sounded just the same. Sexy. Hot. Tempting. But he looked different. Way different. He still had thick, dark brown, straight hair, and deep, rich, chocolate brown eyes, but everything else had changed.

She couldn’t even get enough air to speak.

“I won’t bite.” His words were soft, almost flirty. But he wasn’t smiling. His face was hard, his eyes cold and assessing as he checked out her conservative clothes. And by the small shake of his head and sardonic lift to his brow, he found her wanting.

She looked up the road at the long, dusty walk to town and knew she had no choice. She had to take him up on his offer.

He started to pull his head back into the pick-up.

“No, wait.” She got the words out, grabbed her purse off the front seat, and slammed the creaky door of the betraying old truck. “I would love a lift into town.” Opening the door of the too tall truck, she raised her heeled foot up high, tugged her skirt down, and hauled her ass into the cab. “Thank you,” she said, with all the sophistication and air she could muster as she stared into the dark, dangerous brown eyes of her ex-boyfriend.

The one she’d stopped talking to when her mother had died and she’d dropped out of her junior year of high school. The one who had begged and pleaded with her to re-consider and whom she’d told she never wanted to speak to again.

Zeke Beresford, bad bear made good.

Goldi huddled on her side of the luxurious cab, working on breathing past the tight squeeze of her heart, as they drove to town. Zeke’s capable, large hands expertly handled the powerful truck and she caught herself staring at them, remembering the way they’d felt on her skin. How, a full year older, he’d taught her inexperienced high school self all the things her parents never wanted to know she’d learned. Especially at the hands of a bear.

Old desires, long forgotten, tingled along her skin. She yanked her gaze from Zeke’s hands.

“Why didn’t your date pick you up at the ranch? Afraid Daddy dear might see?” Zeke’s mocking tone raised her ruff.

“I don’t have a date,” she said, her voice stiff.

She darted a look at his hard face as he stared straight down the road. No one except Ned knew how close her father was to permanently turning wild wolf, and she wasn’t about to tell Zeke. Not now. Not with that callous tone in his voice telling her he’d never forgive her for dumping him.

He darted a look at her as they rounded the curve heading down the valley and into town. “Why are you all dressed up if it’s not a date? I don’t remember you being the kind to wear a skirt to grocery shop.”

“For your information, I have an appointment.” She didn’t want to tell him about her mission. But she was damned if she’d let him make fun of her. She felt uncomfortable enough as it was in the skirt and heels, and now being in his car was the icing on the cherry.

“Oh? What kind of an appointment?”

“A none-of-your-business kind.” That’s just what she needed, Zeke to know that she was begging the bank for time to pay off the mortgage. Her nerves pushed the tension from her tight chest into her throat. She swallowed past the lump.

“Well, you just let me know where you want to be dropped off.” Zeke eased the truck onto Main.

“Right here would be fine.” She pushed the words out past the straight jacket of her lungs, the lump in her throat, and her tightly clenched teeth.

“Here?” He pulled into an empty parking space and was out of the truck and around to her side before she could figure out which of the fancy buttons unlocked the door. He yanked the door open, and she was faced with Zeke Beresford at eye level. Anxiety clamped down on her chest and she couldn’t get any air.

“Let me help you,” he growled.

She had no choice.

She turned her knees to the side and slid out. He caught her and held her tight, pressed against his hard, muscular body. She gripped her purse in one hand, the other one landing on his shoulder as her breasts caught on his chest and he eased her down. Past his eyes, his lips, the dip of his throat, her pelvis and abdomen sliding down the thrust of his erection.

Her feet touched the pavement, but he didn’t let go. She gasped for air, drowning in the rich, spicy, familiar scent of Zeke and wished her traitor skin didn’t reveal everything she felt.

“Let me go,” she wheezed.

He didn’t move. His deep brown eyes held hers. Her chest fluttered with the unfamiliarity of being trapped.

Then he let go, and without the support of his strong arms she stumbled on the cement. Clutching her purse, she stood on shaky legs and mustered her voice. “Thanks for the ride.”

“No problem.” He backed up and bowed. “At your service, princess.”

Her already hot skin burned. She put her nose in the air and walked as fast as she could on her unfamiliar heels across the sidewalk and into the bank, putting Zeke and the past behind her. Right where he had to stay.

Upon entering the bank Goldi abandoned all pretenses and ran for the ladies’ room. Inside, she plopped her purse down and gripped the rigid sides of the grey Formica counter, panting and struggling for air. She turned on the taps, ran cold water over her wrists, and practiced slow, even breaths to calm her racing pulse.

Of all the days to run into Zeke, why did it have to be today?

It had nearly shattered her to break up with him, but she’d had to. She could still remember that last time, leaving Zeke in the sunny meadow and running home, ecstatic and happy. And then, her mother died and her world crashed down.

Goldi shuddered and turned off the taps. The whirring of the fan in the ceiling and the slow drip of water were the only sounds in the bathroom, but what she heard were the howls and recriminations her father would scream at her if he even had an idea that she still loved Zeke Beresford.

She dried off her hands and stared at her strained face in the mirror. Her heart had slowed down to merely fast. She could face Jonas MacGee now. But the one person she hoped she never had to face again was Zeke Beresford.

 

Available now from:

Amazon , Barnes and Noble ,  All Romance   , and Passion in Print

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Filed under fairy tales, Goldi and the Bear, Thursdays Bite, werecreatures

Prince by Blood and Bone is Released!

Whimsical Wednesdays

a blog for lovers of paranormal romance

I’m super excited to announce that it’s finally here! Prince by Blood and Bone, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court, is now available in e-book form on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and All Romance Ebooks. (pending on Ibooks.)

If you are looking for a paperback copy, that is in the works. I’ve ordered my proof and it is in the mail. As soon as I’ve been through it with the proverbial fine toothed comb, it will be approved and available for sale.

And to celebrate I’m offering ebooks of The Dark Huntsman to lucky commenters.

Make sure your email is the one you want to be contacted on, because that is how I notify winners of their prizes. Leave your best email (emails are not shared when entered into the WordPress form), comment with your epub or kindle preference and enter to win!

And to kick oprince by blood and bone by jessica aspenff the celebrations I thought I’d share an excerpt from chapter one of Prince by Blood and Bone.

Prince Kian, only son of the Faery Queen of the Black Court, and her seemingly eternal prisoner, pawed at the book on the long wooden table. His talons cut deeply into the old vellum, shredding the page and digging into the binding.

“I don’t understand why it’s not working!” he growled, and yanked his claws out.

The book hit the floor hard, smacking down into a puddle of ash and liquid that was all that remained from Kian’s failed attempt at a witch’s retrieval spell. The crowd of rubbery white hobgoblins at his feet chittered their distress, fleeing into the shadows to bob and lurk amid the ruins of the wallpaper. Kian pushed away from the table, brushing past the hovering grey gnome at his side, and flipping off the hobgoblins with his middle claw.

Beezel flinched.

Kian breathed through his nose and struggled for control. He paced the perimeter of the chamber he’d designated his work space, the claws on his misshapen toes clicking on the marble floor.

Just because his ever-loving mother had forced him into this distorted shape did not mean he had to succumb to the animal instincts threatening to overwhelm him. Even if it would feel good, oh-so-good, to take out his frustrations on Beezel and the hobgoblins, he would resist.

“I followed the spell exactly. This should be easy for me. Not only am I a lord of the fae, I am a prince of the Tuathan, damn her!” He leaned in close and waggled his blade-like digits inches from Beezel’s cringing face. “I can’t bring light and fire—children’s magics learnt at my nurse’s knee. I can’t grip a sword, nor ride a horse, and I can’t free myself from this hell hole…yet.” He stood up as straight as his current shape would allow him. “But I am determined to make this stupid spell work and fetch someone here who can play chess!”

The shaking gnome leaned away from his caustic glare. “Maybe, the trouble is, you aren’t being specific enough.” Beezel’s voice was small and hesitant.

Kian turned away, his muscles straining from the effort of not beating the gnome senseless.

As far as gnomes went Beezel was a waste. He lacked the tall stature of the Galentian Gnomes and the book-smarts of the Scalian Gnomes. He was a whining, cringing, ignorant common cave gnome, with bulging eyes and grey scaly skin. And he was the queen’s spy.

He was all Kian had in the way of companionship. Or was likely to get, given how this particular experiment had failed. But maybe the gnome was onto something.

“Explain.” Inches from the gnome’s perspiring face Kian let his large, hairy jaws gape open, revealing his ivory fangs, and uttered a low growl.

“I m-m-mean, Sire, you’re asking for a chess companion, but that’s all you’ve asked for. There m…m…may be m-m-many to pick from.” The gnome quivered in front of him. “Be more narrow in your request, and maybe the spell will be able to ac-c-commodate you.”

“I hadn’t thought of that.” He backed up a little. “I thought if I left it open, the spell would have an easier time choosing. Maybe it cannot make up its mind.” He resumed his pacing. “It’s witch magic after all. Witches use spells and cantrips, maybe some visualization is what’s missing.”

“You’ve been able to work some of the witch spells, sir.”

Kian growled. “Yes. Small, pathetic things, like making glass glow.” He resumed his pacing, trying to get his bestial anger under control so he could think. He’d struggled to do anything in the witch’s book. Even small child’s magics like calling fire required verbal spells with the correct intonation, and something called centering that he didn’t understand. The fae didn’t need to center.

“Beezel, maybe the witches need more than the words, maybe they need focus. I’ve been treating these spells like things to recite—get the pronunciation right and it should work—but that’s not how fae magic works.” He swept the little gnome off his feet and spun him around in the air. Beezel clutched his spectacles, his face turning an even paler shade of grey.

“Yes, sir. Maybe, sir. I don’t know, sir. Gnomes don’t do magic.”

“Of course you don’t.” Kian stopped spinning. “Fae magic is like blood pumping, like moving a hand. I don’t have to think about it, it just happens. But things feed it, like food, sleep, and emotions. I’ve got the food.” He swung the gnome upside down to look at all the beakers and jars on the work table. “I’ve got the means.” He plunked the gnome down. “Maybe what I’ve lacked was the intention.” He scraped the book off the floor with his talons, dropping it on the table where its savaged pages splayed out from its broken spine.

If he had to be specific, he would ask for a woman. An, intelligent, attractive sort of woman. Someone curved and sexy and real. The idea of smelling, touching, tasting the soft, scented skin of a woman…

His mouth filled with saliva and his paw-like hands shook.

“Beezel!” The gnome jumped. Kian coughed and got his voice back under control. “Get it ready. We’ll try again.”

He hardly noticed Beezel’s sigh of relief as the gnome readied the powders and beakers and flipped to the right page in the shabby book. This time, Kian pictured exactly what he desired. A slender, shapely, blond maid with chess playing abilities. One who smelled good enough to eat.

And, though he hardly dared even think it, banishing the thought before it had time to appear, he asked for one with the ability to free him from his prison.

This time, the potion developed a rosy pink glow, which crept slowly out of the glass and became a small pink cloud. The mist coalesced and grew larger, filling the room with the rich scent of spun sugar.

Kian’s pulse beat hard in his throat. This was better than the last time. Much better.

The cloud expanded, tendrils of mist stretched out into the edges of the room. Goblins shrieked and screamed, climbing over each other and racing from the chamber.

Beezel squeezed into a corner. Kian himself moved back from the now sparkling puffy wisps. No sense in getting caught in his own spell—he didn’t want to accidentally turn into a woman. Especially in his current state.

He snorted, thinking about being stuck between a woman and this mashed version of man and animal his mother had stuck him with. If he’d been forced to deal with female hormones as well as his bestial rage for the last fifteen years, he likely would have given in to his mother’s demands.

The glow grew until it filled most of the large chamber, his tension growing along with it. This was the best spell he’d attempted since he’d been imprisoned and his hopes soared.

The puffy high pink cloud shivered. The mist retracted from the corners, speeding into the center of the room until the cloud was a globular, gelatinous mass about five feet around, crouching on the floor.

He waited. Nothing happened. The hobgoblins snuck closer.

He sagged. “Fuck me.”

It wasn’t going to work. He, Prince Kian, master of the hunt, superior swordsman, and wooer of women, was a failure at simple witch magic.

Kian peered into the mass, but it had a thick, spongy quality that defied examination. Beezel crept out of his corner and huddled next to him. Together, they waited for something to happen, afraid to disturb it.

“It’s worse than before. Nothing is happening, but we’re going to be stuck cleaning up this gunk.” Kian eyed the pile morosely and mourned his blond vision. “I’m going to bed.” He turned his back on the mess. Beezel and the hobgoblins would clean it up. He trudged toward the door.

He was never getting out of here. His mother would let him rot until he died.

Beezel grunted. “Sire!”

Kian spun around.

The mass quivered and shook. It began to emit a low whine, the pink gelatin texture reflecting the lantern light on its now shiny surface. The shaking increased. The floor vibrated. Beezel ducked under the table and hung onto a leg, but Kian couldn’t take his eyes off of his creation.

The whine increased in pitch. Kian covered his still pointed ears, crouching in pain as the pink glob exploded in a burst of light. Twinkling sludge spattered everywhere, on the table, on the book, in Kian’s face.

He wiped off the gunk and stared at the tangle of long limbs and golden hair.

Beezel’s mouth fell open. “Sire, what have you done?”

Please leave a comment to enter to win an e-copy of The Dark Huntsman, book one, Tales of the Black Court. And don’t forget to check back for the Goodreads giveaway and your chance to win a print copy of book two, Prince by Blood and Bone. I want to thank each and every one of you for your support. This book has been a long time coming and I appreciate your patience!

Are you super excited like me? This one has been a bear to get to the publishing stage, let’s hope Broken Mirror is easier because I know fans of the series will be champing at the bit, once they finish Prince by Blood and Bone!

 

 

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Filed under fairy tales, Fantasy Romance, Prince by Blood and Bone, Whimsical Wednesdays, Writer's Journey

October Burn Out

Moonday Mania

a blog about blogging

Before I get started whining (and trust me, there will be whining) I would like to take care of a few business items. 

  1. THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who has signed up for my Goodreads Giveaway (ending on October 22nd), hopped over to all my guest blogs (I have more coming!), and just in general supported the release of my new twisted fairy tale, The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court.
  2. Tomorrow is the opening of Sam Cheever’s Trick or Treat with Your Favorite Author! Don’t forget to stop by Jessica Aspen Writes, as well as the thirteen other participating authors stops during the next two weeks. The contest ends on Halloween. There will be terrific prizes including two Kindle Paperwhite Readers, so come back and enter!
  3. I will be visiting several more sites this week including author Lynn Cahoon’s site tomorrow, October 15th. An interview with Sherry Issac on Wednesday, October 16th, and a very cool article on Wicca in my World on the site Worlds of the Imagination on Thursday, October 17th.
  4. Last, but not least, on Friday, October 18th, I will be in Las Vegas at the Hot Mojave Knights Romance Readers Convention! WOOT! If you are going, please look for me. I’ll be the one putting her feet up in the bar!

Now on to the whining!

If you read the above list about this week you’ll see why I’m afraid of burning out this October. Not only did my planned September release of The Dark Huntsman get pushed into this month, but I also ended up springing an out-of-town trip on myself when I won the Hot Mojave Knights tickets in the August CRW mini-con auction.

I guess none of this is really something I can complain about, since I’ve done it all to myself. I’m the one who decided to schedule all the blogs and blog hops. I’m the one who bought the tickets to Vegas. And I’m the one who went at ahead and released The Dark Huntsman.

The question is why?

Why would I do this to myself?

Why would I chose October, one of the busiest months of my year to do all of this?

jessica aspen

Because I’m crazy, that’s why.

I am a crazy, over-achiever, goal setter. I knew you all suspected, but this month is proof. We are only half-way through and already I’m worried about not making my goals, deadlines, seriously high expectations. I have activities planned for every weekend, blogs to write, and a novella to finish.

WHAT?

What did you say?

I have to finish writing Ghosts of Christmas Past while I’m going to the October CRW Tea, and signing books, and going to Las Vegas? No way.

Yes, but…

I set the goals.

Yes, me.

The Crazy One.

So when November comes around and the rest of you think you are going out of your mind with planning the holidays for December, remember me. I’ll be the one in the straight jacket trying to type.

Any sympathy from the peanut gallery?  Are you realizing it is the end of the year and you better get cracking on that novel, that life-style change, that house-cleaning that you meant to do all summer? Yep, the end of 2013 approaches and if you are like me you are squishing everything you can into October so you can make it to New Years and say, “Yes, I did!”

How is your October going? Are your goals coming home to roost? Leave me a comment (and try not to say “I told you so!”).

Oh, and if you haven’t checked out The Dark Huntsman on Amazon, now is your chance. Click HERE to see how terrific the book looks. If you’ve read it, please think about leaving a review. I love reviews!

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Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Moonday mania, writing organization

The Dark Huntsman Cover Reveal and e-book Giveaway

Thursdays Bite

It’s here! The Dark Huntsman Cover Reveal

I’m happy dancing with my new cover for my spicy, fantasy romance, The Dark Huntsman, book one in my twisted fairy tale series, Tales of the Black Court and to celebrate I am giving away ten e-copies of the book. You can enter below by clicking on the Rafflecopter link, or  by leaving a comment on this post, or  Subscribe to my new release only mailing list. And here it is, the cover we’ve been waiting for!

the dark huntsman by jessica aspen

Isn’t it sexy! I want to thank Kari Ayasha of Cover to Cover Designs for working so hard on this cover. And let me tell you, this was not easy! We went through several design choices. Kari was super patient and had a sunny attitude with each one (although I’m sure her husband got an earful!).

And here is what my very first print book will look like from Abracadabra Publishing:

the dark huntsman by jessica aspen

And, since I know you can’t read the print on the screen, here is the blurb:

An evil queen, a dangerous man, and a witch, tangled together in a tale of Snow White…

Desperate to save the last of her family from the murderous Faery Queen, Trina Mac Elvy weaves a spell of entrapment. But instead of a common soldier, the queen has released the Dark Huntsman, a full blooded fae with lethal powers.

Caged for treason, Logan Ni Brennan, is ready to do anything to win free of the manipulative queen, even if it includes running a last errand for her…murdering a witch. The sight of Trina, ready to fight despite the odds, gives him another option: use the witch as a chess piece, put the queen’s son on the throne, and bring down the queen forever.

As the queen slides into insanity and her closest advisor makes plans to succeed to the throne, Logan secrets Trina away in the enchanted forest and makes a decisive move in his dangerous game of manipulation. But the gaming tables of fate turn on him, and when Trina’s life is threatened he discovers he risks more than his freedom…he risks his heart.

Dare to enter Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance in her new twisted fairy tale trilogy: Tales of the Black Court…

Click HERE to read an excerpt from chapter one.

Want more chances to win The Dark Huntsman in e-book? Hop by these spots on my cover tour and the Rafflecopter link will be there too. You can tweet, FB and ENTER daily between now and September 24th. And don’t forget, you can enter simply by leaving a comment today on this post or subscribing to my New RELEASE email list HERE.

Friday 13th, Lynn Cahoon

Monday 16th, Joan Leacott

Tuesday 17th, ML Guida

Wednesday 18th, Gloria Richard

September 20th, Selena Laurence

The Dark Huntsman:  A fantasy romance of the Black Court 

Author Name: Jessica Aspen 

Name of series and book number in series: Book one, Tales of the Black Court 

Genres: Spicy, Fantasy Romance, Twisted Fairy Tales 

Publisher: Abacadabra Publishing 

Release date: October 2013 

ISBN e-copy: 978-0-9899558-0-5 

Word Count: 88,000 words 

Formats available: kindle, epub, pdf, paperback 

Cover Artist: Kari Ayasha of Cover to Cover Designs  www.covertocoverdesigns.com

Enter HERE for the Rafflecopter  contest and TEN e-copies of The Dark Huntsman.

And it’s Teaser Thursday! So here is another bite of The Dark Huntsman. You can find last week’s teaser HERE.

Trina raced out the door, forgetting again about the broken bottom porch step. The rotting wood gave under her foot. She hit hard on her hands and knees. The heavy duffle bag swung down and slammed into her arm, tipping open, the sacred ritual tools scattering into the dirt.

Her throat swelled tight. She swallowed back forbidden tears, sat up, and brushed off the tiny rocks embedded in her flesh.

“Damn it!”

She didn’t have time for this.

Scrambling around in the dirt and weeds, she grabbed the precious tools, tossing them like discarded toys into the duffle. Why hadn’t the Goddess Gifted her with time manipulation? Then she wouldn’t have to worry about all this crap.

Ignoring the gorgeous dusty golds and ambers of fall in rural Wyoming, she hauled the loaded duffle up the rapidly darkening hill. Something was coming to the peaceful valley. Cassie had dreamed it, and even if her dreams were subject to interpretation the meaning had been clear. Tonight at sunset, the queen’s dog would descend.

Whatever the hell “queen’s dog” meant.

Sometimes it took more talent than a whole family of witches to figure out the symbolism of Cassie’s visions. Whatever creature the Faerie Queen sent tonight didn’t matter anymore. What mattered was that the last of her family was safe, speeding away in the ancient avocado van.

Doubt quivered low in her belly. The trap spell required more knowledge and power than she possessed, but she had to try. She didn’t know if they’d have another opportunity to grab one of the queen’s scouts before the reinforcements arrived. It was all up to her. They needed information and they needed it soon, before they ran out of places to run.

She reached the point where the rocks began near the old cottonwood at the entrance to the sage labyrinth. An exact eighteen feet across, the sacred three-times-three-times-three, and barely hitting two and-a-half feet tall, it had taken much of her green talent to get it to grow into the classic winding spiral walk used for meditation and spells. No longer the place where she and her cousins had come for spiritual practice, now the stubby double spiral of green and its small center circle would have to change gears from sacred meditation spot to the place she made her stand.

Trina swallowed her fear and reluctance down deep in her gut, dumped her duffle, and stripped off her clothes. A hard gust of the ever-present Wyoming wind shook her.  The newly bared skin of her belly shivered and dread trailed chilly fingers down her spine.

She caught herself checking over her shoulder, finding nothing but the empty landscape. If there were any other way to do this besides bare-assed-naked, she would. But cotton was a downer, it dampened magical fields almost as much as wool. And tonight she had to be unfettered, able to draw as much power as she possibly could. She would need it all.

As soon as the goblin, halfling, or whatever, was in her trap, her clothes could go back on. Then she’d tackle the interrogation and be gone before the big guns arrived. Trolls, ogres, a horde of goblins, no, she’d be long gone before any of those arrived to do the actual killing.

She hoped.

Trying not to rush her steps, the wind lashing dirt against her bare skin, she walked the perimeter of the small labyrinth heading sunwise.

North, East, South, West. She set candles into lanterns at the four corners and lit each one with a prayer to Danu. With each step, apprehension uncoiled in her stomach, radiating out and shaking her hands until it was near impossible for her to light the last candle.

She shoved her anxiety back into her aching stomach and pulled her white handled athame out of the duffle. Breathing deep, she moved the ritual knife, sharp double-blade point up, between her breasts. Energy skidded across her skin. Small hairs on her body rose and her nipples puckered tight.

Time to begin.

Earth magic throbbing under her feet, Trina took the first step into the labyrinth to walk the outer circle and set the wards. Her Gift opened wide. The darkening valley glowed magical colors as the earth’s swirling energies, the soft green of growth and the rich brown of decay, flowed up her legs and into her solar plexus.

She used her body, her anger, and her fear. Anger at the Faery Queen for the constant harassment and extermination of her family and her tribe. Fear of what came next, what might be riding on the coattails of the sunset.

Pulsing with power, she paced deeper and deeper into the labyrinth, static lifting her long black hair into a crackling wild nimbus. She pulled and twisted the vibrant orange and red of her anxiety into the alchemy of the earth’s brown and green energy, weaving them together into an invisible net.

Each measured step layered power into the fabric of her spell. Each movement of the athame directed the energy where it needed to go. Just as darkness dipped its toes into the valley, she turned the last curve into the double spiral’s center.

Her rage and fear coalesced into the final strands of the spell leaving her shaking and exhausted as the last of the afterglow faded from the sky, a stunning show of deep purple on grey. A sonorous quiet descended. No birds, no coyotes. Just the wind sending small trails of skittering leaves through the labyrinth. Prickles of anticipation trembled on her bare spine.

It would be here soon. It was coming fast. And it was coming for her.

Ready for more? Tune in next Thursday, and meanwhile add The Dark Huntsman to your Goodreads shelf HERE.

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Filed under Fae, The Dark Huntsman, Thursdays Bite, witches