2014 Christmas Collection

2014Christmas Collection_medium
2014 Christmas Collection
Seven complete sweet to sensual romances from seven multi-talented authors in settings that are sure to be magical this holiday season. There’s a story for everyone.
E-book: $3.99
Word Count: 123,190
E-book Available at:
Amazon / Smashwords /ARe / OmniLit /Barnes and Noble
Also in paperback!
Paperback: $12.99

My tale in the anthology is All That We Have Is Our Soul

Only the Fates may have missed their mark. Theo’s life is in 1940 and his soulmate is in 2014. This couldn’t be happening. Is he doomed to never be with his soulmate, or will the Fates find a way to make this right.
The other stories included in this Christmas Collection: 
 A Season of Miracles by Linda Swift
As Caroline and John keep a vigil for days at Danny’s bedside, a close relationship develops between them. John longs for a family and wants to make Caroline and Danny his own. Will his wish come true in this season of miracles? 
At First Snowfall by Cecilia Corona 
May all your dreams come true, takes on a whole new meaning when Xiomara finds out she’s an Oracle with Fae witch powers, and her boyfriend is a werewolf from another realm.
When her half- brother shows up on her doorstep with his prophecy, the true nightmare begins. She must stand beside him in the battle of Galant or the evil Queen will destroy the kingdom
Some faerytales are all too real, but if she can unleash her powers and learn to control them before the first snowfall, she just might find her happily ever after.
Mr. Christmas Elf by Stephanie Burkhart
Jules could use a little Christmas magic, so when Elvis pops up claiming that he was sent by Santa to fill her Christmas list, all she has to do is believe – in the magic the season has to offer.

Christmas Tears by Rebecca J. Vickery
Officer Nick Stewart stops when he spies a familiar looking car parked in a church parking lot late one night. Sure enough, she’s the same pixie-faced woman he warned before. When he discovers she has kids asleep in the car, he insists she park in his yard or go to the police station with him.
But what about the next night, and the next?

Room at the Inn by Nan O’Berry
Gift of the Magi has been handed down in James Buchannan’s family since his great, great grandfather brought his Russian bride home from Europe. But the Magi is a secret place where James can hide from the world. Helena McCray slowly melts his heart and together they find out the magic of the inn could be in opening their hearts to a new beginning.

Blame the Mistletoe by Markee Anderson
Do you believe in love at first sight? Or love after a kiss under the mistletoe? Neither did Tasha or Cal…Tasha Adams owns a bakery and catering shop after losing her nursing career. Lack of confidence and low self-esteem make her an almost hermit, especially during the holidays.Calvin Miller, busy doctor and bachelor, receives a sudden and unexpected visit from his young niece and nephew for the holidays. There go his work plans. Then a fateful collision on a staircase changes all their lives.

Excerpt from my tale, All That We Have Is Our Soul :

Theo rolled over and stretched as he took a moment to wake up. It was his eighteenth birthday and he knew what that meant. Excitement and fear played havoc with his heart as it sped up and made his stomach flutter in anticipation.
Centuries ago, his people traveled from another galaxy to find a home on earth. They were every bit as human as the next person—except for one thing. Their souls longed for their other half, the one who would bring out the very best in them. At eighteen, their essence would switch places with their soulmate's—no matter where they may be living at the time. They would each have one day to see the world through their soulmate's eyes before they returned to their own bodies. Only then would they actually have a chance to meet face to face.
Not everybody's outcome possessed a romantic nature, where they lived happily ever after. A soulmate could end up be nothing more than a really good friend, and the relationship would remain platonic.
Ninety percent of soulmates shared the same birthday, a rare nine percent didn't, but the Fates found a way of uniting them eventually. It may take a couple of years, but by his or her twentieth birthday, they experience the Enlightening as his people called the soulmate exchange. Then there was the rare one percent, the ones where the Fates really screwed up their destinies and the soulmates were separated forever by time, mishap, or just dumb luck.
Theo opened one eye then the other. He blinked a couple of times and focused his sight on... He blinked again and met the gaze of a young woman standing over him with a huge smile stretching her mouth and lighting her pretty face.
"Hello." His voice came out higher pitched than he was accustomed to. It took a moment for him to register it was his soulmate's voice he heard, instead of his own. He restrained the urge to scream in delight and sound like a little girl, but his inner self was definitely dancing a jig.
"Tell me she snagged a hottie," the pretty young woman asked.
Theo frowned. "Excuse me?" He didn't feel hot in the least. The temperature felt...comfortable. He was about to tell her he was fine, but she interrupted before he could utter a word.
"Tell me you're hot," she said, and he had this weird feeling she wasn't speaking about the temperature. "What do you look like?" she added. "No wait. I'm sorry I should have introduced myself first. I'm Isla. I'm Grace's older sister."
"Grace." Theo tested the name, letting it roll off his tongue. "This is whose body I'm currently occupying?" he asked, just to make sure.
"Yep. And your name is?"
Theo sat up and scooted back on the bed so he leaned against the headrest. Isla stepped back, giving him some space. "I'm Theodore," he told her. "You may call me Theo."
"So..." She let that one word hang there between them, as if she were working out the details before she presented them to him. "Hmm…yes. I'm thinking we can spend the day at Grace's favorite place. Which is the zoo," she clarified. "I'm going to leave you now...so you can get dressed." She took a few steps toward the bedroom door, still keeping her eyes peeled on him. "Please don't take too long staring and admiring my sister's body in the mirror." She grimaced as if she said too much.
Heat burned his cheeks. "Uh...okay," he stuttered.
"I'm going to stop talking," Isla said. "'Cause that thought process will make me combust."
As Isla whirled around, Theo noticed her hair was not pulled back, but cut short. Boy short. He frowned. "That is curious," he murmured.
Left alone in Grace's room, Theo had the opportunity to find out more about his soulmate. His gaze took in the valuables left on the dresser—perfume bottles, jewelry, and other items he did not recognize, but must be of importance to have them displayed in such a fashion. Her family must come from money. He glanced at the bed he'd vacated. Large and roomy—nothing like his narrow bed back home. He noticed a smaller door next to her dresser and strode over to it. Reaching for the handle, he opened it. His eyes widened in surprise at the closet full of clothes. He noted most of the garments were in mourning colors—black and gray. Had she lost someone recently? He made a note to ask her sister… What was her name? "Isla," he said and nodded. He must remember his soulmate sister's name.
Theo closed the closet and went to investigate what the dresser held. He pulled open a drawer and reached for a black garment and shook it out. "Black slacks." He never met a woman who owned so many pairs of slacks. Did her parents allow her to walk in public with them? He did not care, but most of his mother's friends would find it scandalous. He smiled. Why not be adventurous and wear what Grace found comfortable.
He spotted another door, standing ajar on the other side of the room. He grabbed a shirt to go with the slacks and shoved the dresser drawer closed. Then he headed over to investigate where the door would lead him. Upon opening it further, he discovered a washroom. Theo had to share one bathroom with six other relatives. Grace really must be from money to have a private washroom. He dare hoped she would not be uncomfortable at his house with so little privacy.
He stepped inside and closed the door behind him. A mirror hung on the wall over the sink, but he didn't chance a look…not yet. He placed the clothes on the counter in front of him. More perfume bottles and lipsticks. He ran his fingers over the lipstick caps, and then reached for a perfume bottle, spraying it in front of him. He leaned forward to take a whiff. There were at least five small squared different colored boxes stacked on each other. Picking one up, he read the back. "Eyeshadow," he muttered. There was a bottle that read hand soap and it apparently smelled like strawberries since the printed word claimed it. His mother would love to have a bottle.
After taking a look at everything on the counter before him, he finally mustered the courage to glance in the mirror. What stared back at him was the most breathtaking dame he'd ever had the pleasure seeing. Grace had bright blue eyes and the thickest eyelashes he'd ever seen. Her hair was the color of a raven's wing, cascading over her shoulders and stopping right above her breasts. Theo's mother would smack him on the back of his head for where his gaze dropped and lingered. That thought made him raise his eyes to Grace's collarbone. She had evenly tanned skin, adorned with freckles and a few moles.
While he stripped off her sleepwear, he tried his best to be a gentleman and not peek at anything for too long, but he couldn't help being curious. His cheeks flamed red and he wondered if his beloved viewed him with curiosity too. His cheeks felt hotter.
He zipped and buttoned the black jeans. He was amazed how tight fitting they were. They hugged the body like a second skin. Theo wondered how Grace managed to breathe with these on and shifted uncomfortably. He then reached for the plain gray shirt and slipped it on. It did nothing to hide her shapely chest area, if anything it pronounced it more. Flattering, but he didn't like the idea that other men might find it appealing also. He crossed his arms then let them fall to his side once more.
He stared at his reflection... Grace's reflection. "You're beautiful," he murmured the words he wished to say to Grace. Maybe he and Grace would become more than friends. He hoped so.
Theo picked up a brush and brushed through Grace's hair thoroughly. He didn't know the first thing about women's hair and how to style it, so he decided to leave it down. He left the washroom and entered the bedroom once more. Grace's small desk by her window caught his attention. He pulled out the chair and sat down. He smiled as it twirled with his weight. How swell. His gaze spotted a piece of paper on the desktop. Scrawled with messy handwriting it was addressed to him. Well, it read: To my soulmate. "That's me," he said as his fingers did the honors and opened it. The first line on the pages read: Hello, my soulmate to be. The next line she wrote: Wow that sounded cheesy. Ignore my attempt at being humorous.
He reread the line and wondered why Grace said what she wrote sounded cheesy. He shrugged and continued to read through the letter.
Hi, so my name is Grace Ward.
I wanted to write this welcome letter mostly because I know you'll be spending the day with my sister. Which is already a scary thought that will keep me up late. I don't even want to know what she has planned for you two. I'm just praying she won't reveal something completely embarrassing about me.
Now the thing you need to know about my sister Isla is that she's crazy in the membrane. I'm the sane one. Okay, I'm being a little unfair. She's just way more outgoing than I am. I would be what they call reserved, and the quiet one most of the time. Whereas Isla thinks nothing of flashing someone, while we're driving down the freeway at 80 miles per hour. Okay, back to the reason I was writing this crap. Don't let Isla talk you into doing something crazy, especially in my body, Dude. It's precious. So no tattoos or piercings.
Oh, while we're on the subject of dos and don'ts, I know you're a guy so don't go and be a perv with my body, okay? I can't do anything to make sure it doesn't happen, but I'm trusting you with my body, Dude. So behave yourself.
Oh, when I come back and my comics have been messed with, we will have words, Mister. Don't mess with the comics.
Now I'm just sitting here not knowing what to write and feeling like an idiot for writing what I wrote. Well, I guess this is it. I'll see ya when I see ya, then.
Theo refolded the letter and leaned back against the chair. Grace had a weird way of wording things. Why in the world would he even consider getting a tattoo or piercings? Did she mean pierced ears? He thought he noticed her ears were pierced when he glanced in the mirror. He sighed heavily and stared at her letter. Besides the strange words, he enjoyed the letter and was glad she left it for him. She didn't give herself enough credit.
He tapped his fingers against the desk as he glanced at everything he could take in. She had different colored paper tucked into the slots the desk provided. Pens and pencils of various colors were in a Captain America coffee cup, or so the label across the image of a guy wearing red, white, and blue, indicated. It looked like a comic book hero, but he wasn't familiar with the character. His lips curved. He really liked this girl. He had his own stash of comics. Superman was a favorite. He swiveled the chair to the left and noticed the framed posters of various comic book heroes. He sure would have a lot to talk to her about.
Next his gaze caught sight of a calendar pinned to the wall with a thumbtack, and sat up straight with a start. "No," he said then shot out of the chair and leaned most of his weight on the desk to manage a closer look at the calendar. "No." He gasped. "This can't be happening." He read the date over, and over again, but it didn't change. 2014 in bold black print stared back at him.
He didn't want to believe it, but how could he not? He glanced around Grace's room again. All the odd things…things that were strange to his eyes— her clothes, her sister's boy haircut, Grace's way with words...
He fell back into the chair; his breath knocked out of him as if he'd been sucker-punched. He would never meet his soulmate. He'd been born ninety-two years too early.
He jumped to his feet as Grace's bedroom door burst open and Isla popped in and grinned at him. Then her eyes did a full sweep over his attire. "Uh…you might want to dress warmer than that. It's late December. It's cold outside, Buddy. Here let me help you out." With quick sure steps she strode over to Grace's closet and opened the door. She rummaged through her sister's things before she pulled out a long sleeved sweater—dark burgundy with black skulls all over it.
"My sister, if you haven't noticed yet... is kind of punk. She's also a big nerd. If you dig around in the back of her closet, you'll find some boxes full of comics. Do you like those things? I could never get into them."
He stood up in stunned silence. He held onto the edge of the desk, feeling a bit unsteady from his recent shock. His gaze took in the sweater Isla wanted him to wear, and he couldn't help but think the burgundy would flatter Grace's eyes perfectly. Theo ran a shaking hand through his long locks, brushing them away from his— no, Grace's face.
Theo made no move to take the sweater from Isla. He looked over his shoulder and read the God-awful date again on the calendar. He wanted to let the Fates have it. Why would they be so cruel to the both of them?
"Theo?" Isla said with impatience.
He caught her eye. She was still holding out the sweater toward him and remembered she asked him something about comics. "Yeah, I enjoy comics," he told her.
"Cool, you two can geek out when you meet."
Theo forced a smile for Isla, hoping to keep his anger in check. At the moment, he wanted to punch something, but he didn't want to hurt Grace's delicate hands, and he most assuredly didn't want Isla to believe him a jerk. Logically, hitting something wouldn't solve a thing, but it might make him feel better to let off some steam. Instead, he took a deep breath and let it out again. "Sounds swell," he managed to say. He took the sweater Isla still held in front of her. "Let's go to this zoo you were talking about," he told her, deciding he couldn't stay in Grace's room and mope. He'd go bonkers. He had to get out. "Will there be elephants there?" he asked. "I've never seen one up close."
"Yep. All sorts of awesome animals there. Are you from California too?"
"Boston," he said as he pulled the sweater over his head.
"Oh. I wonder how you two will meet," Isla said. "I met Dave, my soulmate, when I went to college in Florida. We're married now. What's your last name? We can look you up on Facebook."
He frowned again, not knowing what this Facebook was. "My last name is Lewis."
"Nice to meet you, Theodore Lewis." Isla smiled brightly at him and grabbed his arm. "I'll make sure to introduce you to Grace's favorite elephant."
The zoo took his mind off his dilemma. He walked in his soulmate's shoes, saw what she looked like, could see what she enjoyed, but he would never meet her in his own body. They might as well be worlds apart. He did the math. He'd be an old man right now. Heck, he might even be dead.
"Earth to Theo," Isla said and snapped her fingers in front of him.
"Sorry." He shrugged.
"Are you okay? Don't you like the zoo?"
"I do." Music played over the speakers, Christmas tunes. What Will Santa Claus Say? was the song playing now. At least some things hadn't changed.
"They've really cleaned out the attic," Isla said. "The songs," she added and pointed to the speakers as they passed by.
"I like it." Mostly because it's familiar, he thought. "This is by Louis Prima and His New Orleans Gang."
Isla's one brow rose. "My sister loves the oldies too. You'll get along famously with Grace." She looped her arm through his. "This way." She steered him down another lane where the sign read Elephant Habitat.
He glanced at Isla's shoes, or rather boots, black with silver studs. "Those are some stompers," he said with an incline of his head.
"What?" Isla looked at him then followed his gaze. "Oh, my boots. Do you like them?" Her wide grin made him smile.
"They are you, I would say."
"You know, you do have an odd way of talking."
She had no idea. He thought her speech odd as well.
The elephants came into view, beautiful and majestic. The habitat did a good imitation of looking like a marsh with a forest in the background. There were two calves and two females watching over them. A bench stood to the right of the exhibit and they took a seat.
The music continued to play in the background, a more upbeat tune about mamma kissing Santa Claus. Though it was only days from Christmas, the weather in California remained comfortable. A sweater kept him warm. "In Boston," he said and Isla turned toward him, "we'd be snuggled in thick jackets and scarves."
Isla chuckled. "Southern California does have the best of all worlds. We have mountains a couple hours away. The beach in the other direction, and the desert in another."
He nodded. He might consider moving here one day. The thought of being closer to where his beloved would one day live proved inviting. "Thank you," he said.
"For what?" Isla asked.
"For showing me Grace's favorite place to visit."
"Well then, you're welcome." She leaned near with a friendly nudge. "What's a future sister-in-law for?"
He didn't say a word. He didn't want to ruin the day.
Later, Isla drove them to the beach. It proved colder near the water so they didn't stay long. After dinner, she drove him back to the house. The day was almost over, and he would soon return to his body in 1940 and Grace would return to hers in 2014.
After thanking Isla again, he returned to Grace's room and shut the door. His gaze took in all her belongings ‑ her posters on the wall, her bed with the fluffy pillows, and her desk…everything that was her. He strode over to the desk and touched the letter she left him. He may never hear her speak to him, but this letter had been precious. She gave him a glimpse of who she was. His fingers slid over the words without really reading them. "Until we really meet in person," he whispered. Perhaps in another life they would.

No comments:

Post a Comment