Hello and welcome to Living the Dream. Today, I would like to highlight one of my favorite authors, Marie Lavender. One of the most difficult things for an author to do is write a series of books. The key is keeping the reader hooked from one book to another. J.K. Rowling mastered this with her Harry Potter books and I believe Marie is on her way to doing the same. Read on to learn more!
Blurb for Magick & Moonlight, book one of the Magick Series
Genre: Lighthearted Romantic Fantasy
Messing with free will is always a bad idea…
Ethan Hamilton moves to a lazy little town in Oregon, hoping to escape his demons. But, instead he discovers a woman dancing nude in the moonlight. This woman who claims she is a witch dazzles him with her sensual presence. He thinks she’s crazy, but what if she’s not?
Jessie Anderson has been taught that her kind hides who they really are. And she has a problem on her hands. Someone knows her secret and she has to do all she can to protect herself. What other choice does she have? Jessie casts a love spell on a good man, a man with whom she can’t fight her attraction. The spell doesn’t work quite as planned – she ends up falling for Ethan.
To top it off, Ethan’s treatment of her, his “love”, is so addictive. Deep down, she knows the spell will wear off, and yet his feelings seem genuine. It’s just a spell…right?
Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00IRKN5P2
Her gaze flew around wildly, reminding him of a wounded animal that wasn’t sure of what danger it might be facing. When her gaze met his, the breath escaped him just as she gasped. Dear God, she was lovely. From what he could tell, she was about five foot four and perfect. He could not mistake the pull he felt, the way he was drawn to her sensuous mystery. Instead of covering herself, she crept closer to the fire and before he knew it, she produced a knife.
Her voice called out, startling him. “Strong gusts of sweet Nature’s Life, soft scented stillness to calm all strife, Blow for me, breathe for me, sweeping all evil away. Blow for me, breathe for me, in dark winter night or bright summer day.”
He didn’t understand her words at all, but he couldn’t look away.
Then her eyes traveled back to his. “What do you want?” she hissed.
The contrast between her ferocity and the carefree, joyous way she had been dancing made him want to laugh. He shook his head. “What are you doing with that? You could hurt someone.”
“It’s an athame.” She narrowed her eyes at him.
He frowned. He doubted she knew how to wield the weapon. But, it wouldn’t be smart to underestimate her. His job had taught him to be prepared for anything. “Now, wait just a minute, Sweetheart. I’m not going to hurt you.” He took one step out of the line of trees, then stopped.
“I just came to make sure no one’s trying to start a fire out here.”
She frowned. “Are you a ranger?”
“Hardly.” He sighed. “I used to be a cop.”
Her eyes wavered over his face, and then gave a swift perusal of the rest of his body. He had never been more aware of his masculinity, dressed in simple jeans, a tee shirt and a jacket.
“I don’t recognize you. Are you a tourist?”
He shook his head. “No. I just moved here a few days ago.”
“What are you doing out here anyway?” He struggled not to be distracted by her nudity, however appealing it was.
“Nothing. A spell.”
“A spell?” His eyes flew to the black cauldron. He remembered the strange chanting he’d heard before. “You’re practicing witchcraft? That’s a new one.”
“Wicca, actually, is a religion based on the elements of nature. It’s a way to harmonize with our environment.”
“Is that right?”
Unnerved again by her naked body as well as her suggestion, he shrugged out of his barn coat and approached her. He draped it around her shoulders and buttoned it over her, aware that he might as well be caressing her, he was so close to her. He realized that his coat was touching her luscious, naked body, her most secret spots. The thought made him clench his fists. “Can I give you a ride back home? My truck is nearby.”
A long silence fell. Her gaze on his, it seemed to take her awhile to decide if she could trust him. “All right.” She dropped the knife she held.
Inwardly relieved, he sighed. “We need to put the
fire out,” he pointed out.
He took a stick and nudged the cauldron enough so that it spilled its contents onto the fire. A puff of smoke filled the air, causing them both to cough at the whiff of herbs and something else that smelled burnt. He began to doubt if she was really a witch after all. It was likely she was dabbling in the arts because she was bored. When she gasped, he turned, alarmed. “What is it?”
She pointed to the mess he’d created with the broth and the campfire. “I wouldn’t have done that if I were you.”
“Oh? Why not?”
She opened her mouth as if to explain, then suddenly closed it. “Never mind.”
“Fine, then. Let’s get out of here.” With a hand against the small of her back, he nudged her gently toward the path he’d taken to find her campfire. “So, how long have you been dabbling in—”
“In what? Magick?”
He wondered if her contrariness was borne out of the urge to make him more uncomfortable about the subject than he already was. “Yes.”
“All of my life.”
He raised his eyebrows. This woman was getting more interesting by the moment. And for all he knew, she might be crazy. “I see.”
“I doubt it.”
Not only was she sexy as hell, she was feisty. He fought down the response of his libido to that deadly combination. Perhaps she was a witch. She would be nearly impossible to forget now that he’d met her. “Maybe you could tell me your name?”
“You can call me Jessie.”
He grinned. At least now he could put a name with a face. Or a body. “Well, nice to meet you, Jessie. I’m Ethan Hamilton.”
“Good to meet you too. What are you doing out here though?”
“I have a cabin not too far from here. I was by the shore when I saw the light from the campfire.”
“Oh. Sorry for disturbing your peace.”
“Believe me. It was no bother.” At least not if he didn’t want to sleep tonight. His body was as hard as a rock, clenched in anticipation of what he could share with this woman if she let him. And that wasn’t likely, considering her reception of him. “We’ll reach the truck soon, I promise. You’ll be home in no time.”
“No problem.” He cleared his throat. “Is there a reason I found you naked out there? I mean, you lost your clothes somehow, right?”
The secret smile she gave him made his throat feel dry. “Do you want me to lie?”
“Of course not.”
“The ritual was best practiced in the nude. Skyclad rituals are very common, you know. The Goddess tells us, ‘You shall be free from all slavery, and as a sign that you be truly free, you shall be naked in your rights.’”
He lifted a brow. “Even if that were the case, you didn’t walk there naked, did you?”
Maybe she was crazy after all.
“I didn’t walk at all.”
He thought she might be saying that she was transported by magic. Yep, she was batty as hell. He was so not touching that one. He cleared his throat again.
A sharp cry startled him and instinctively, he reached forward and grabbed her when she started to fall. Unfortunately, she ended up right in his arms.
Or maybe it was fortunate after all. With her luscious lips so close, he could almost taste her. And her scent…dear God, she was intoxicating, like a mixture of night air and jasmine.
Blurb for A Little Magick, book two of the Magick Series
Genre: Children’s Fantasy (This can be read as a standalone, or paired with the first book. Some parents have found this great because they can read the first book, then read the second one with their kids.)
Through the rain streaming down the car windows, the gloomy sky could still be seen. It did little to improve nine year old Rosanna Hamilton’s mood. “How long will I be there?” she asked her mother from the back seat of the red SUV. “How long are you making me stay with him?”
Rosie was supposed to stay with her Uncle Adam for a few weeks. It was summer so she didn’t have to worry about missing school work, not that she cared much for it anyway. She was an active type; she preferred playing with her friends or participating in sports to sitting in class, learning about fractions and other silliness. What did she need that for? She just wanted to be outdoors, in Mother Nature, as Mama called it. Rosanna didn’t mind reading for fun, however.
“No more than a month, baby. I’m not quite sure how long the festival runs in Portland. I’d have you stay at home, but Daddy can’t watch you while he’s training for his new job as Sheriff. There may be some late nights. But, we’re happy for him, right?”
She nodded and gazed out the window while cars sped by them, throwing water up into the air. She sighed. She couldn’t wait to grow up so she could see things better, reach things easier. She was short like Mama, and she often struggled while other kids didn’t seem to have a problem.
Her mother went on. “We’re going to have to come up with another option soon. Mrs. Waters moved to Florida to be with her daughter so we can’t ask her. I wonder if Lisa’s mom would be willing to watch you for a few hours after school…” Lisa was her best friend and neighbor; they were practically like sisters. They had sleepovers and everything.
She glanced at her mother as she continued to talk; her full concentration was on the road, but she had a tendency to chatter when Rosie got silent. It was nothing against her mother. Rosanna had a vivid imagination. She often daydreamed of fantasy worlds with castles and dragons and warriors. She thought of them when she was in her post in the nearest tree after she’d climbed it. It wasn’t her fault if she found life lacking the excitement she craved. With the exception of a few family vacations, she hadn’t been outside of Yachats for very long. This trip would be the exception and she dreaded it for a very good reason.
“What if he doesn’t like me?” she complained.
“Oh, honey. Uncle Adam adores you, you know that.”
She wasn’t so sure. She had only seen him a few times in her life and though he’d been warm towards her, she often caught the suspicious looks sent towards her mother. It was almost as if he knew something about her that he didn’t like. And she wasn’t sure if she should trust him.
Amazon link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00YJSGE40
Coming Next Year…
Initial Blurb for Magick Sunrise, book three of the Magick Series
Genre: Lighthearted Romantic Fantasy
Caleb Brennan is just looking for a ticket to something bigger. When his boss puts pressure on him to catch the next great story, he is desperate. But he never imagines his saving grace might come in the form of a stunning woman practicing bizarre acts in the darkness one night. Drawn to her and this fantastic world he is determined to prove is a trick, he tries to get closer to her.
Rosanna Hamilton is born of magick and a deep, abiding love that makes her a gentle, romantic soul. She has always been fascinated with her natural gifts, but also the beauty of the universe around her. Taking a vacation before she settles into a life back in Yachats, she is surprised to find a man who enjoys nature as much as she does. She stumbles into a passionate storm with him, stunned by the chemistry between them. Unfortunately, it is getting harder these days to hide her craft from him.
When the truth comes out in a big way from both sides, the deception is far too much to handle. Rosie never thought the magick of love might be her downfall…
But Caleb wants this unusual woman more than he ever imagined he would. Can he convince her his heart is true before he loses her forever?
He should have noticed at first – the steam – but, he didn’t. The aroma of something sweet, like fresh flowers, came to him. It was only then that he noticed the fog dispersing through the room was from the nearby shower. He froze, knowing he was in dangerous territory. As he didn’t want to intrude on her, he began to softly back out just as he heard the sound of a curtain moving. A hiss drew his attention. He swung back around and spotted her. Damp, perfect skin taunted him, and her chocolate brown eyes should have been angry, but they weren’t. He took a slow, experimental step forward.
It was she that met him halfway, stepping out of the shower and padding across the room to reach the place where he stood. He waited, expecting a slap of some kind. Instead, her dark gaze roamed over his face and chest. It heated him from within, buzzing all the way down to where his member began to rise in response to her innocent curiosity. He meant to be a gentleman, but his gaze dropped to her incredible body, her delicious, plump breasts and fine curves, then touched on the athletic length of her legs. It still surprised him that someone with her assets could be a runner. Most of the women he knew who adored nature as much as she did were too skinny. He couldn’t even explain why suddenly none of that appealed to him, why he knew that after her he couldn’t go back. He might always prefer these luscious curves over anything else. He was torn between the insane urge to touch her or to simply leave her be, safe and idolized from afar. He wanted nothing to mar her perfect skin, not even him with his harsh background and penchant for moving from one woman to another. Caleb lifted his eyes back to her face, sculpted perfectly like porcelain.
Her smile was light with a touch of uncertainty, either from inexperience or because like him, she didn’t know what to do next. Her hand, which was so much smaller than his, lifted to his face, her fingers tracing his cheeks and his brow. He closed his eyes; no one had ever touched him like this, so affectionately, and he was in awe of her. An ache echoed in his chest, a new feeling. He knew he should say something, assure her of his good intentions, but he was afraid that speaking would break the spell. This amazing woman, this girl who must be a witch, had made him crazy for her, crazy with need and something more.
His lashes lifted. He looked down into her eyes, suddenly full of anxiety. “It’s all right. There’s no pressure here.”
She nodded. “Will you…will you kiss me like you did in the moonlight that night?”
Caleb smiled. “Of course.” He reached out to cup her cheek. “Rosanna, you’re so amazing, so special. Do the smart thing and run from me now.”
She blinked, frowning. “I don’t understand.”
“I’m no good for you. With my past and everything—”
“I don’t care about that. I want you. I…”
With a groan, he leaned forward and nipped at her lips with his.
Thank you, Marie Lavender for joining us today. Best of luck with your trilogy!