I think it is normal when the year is coming to an end and a new bright exciting future is new to look back just a little. When I sat down to write this post I wanted to tell you all about all the exciting things I am looking forward to in 2012.
But really I can't do that without looking back just a little.
2010 was good to me.
With five releases (all through Total-E-Bound) and wonderful feedback from the readers. This year we saw the continued books of the Were Chronicles with Pack Rogue, the second book in the Corporate Wolves series Losing Control, the first book in the Secrets series The shifter and the dreamer, a vampire novella Vamps in the city, and a Halloween Collection book Vampire Hunter.
I couldn't be more proud of my publisher and my fans!
Speaking of the publisher- Total-E-Bound ( some of you!) which I hope you love as much as I do. ( Esp if you are on this blog, lol!) Have you seen all the awesome things they have added in just a years time. It seems each idea and new project just gets better and better. I believe they (you) are at the cutting edge in e-book publishing and I am so proud to be a part of this family.
There were also several new authors that have joined us here and I have found a few new favorites- many with series running. (Which I prefer.)
Now that brings me to the upcoming year 2012-
Oh I get chills thinking about all I have planned.
We should see new books in the Were Chronicle Series and the Secrets series. I have also worked on several other single titles. And started a new series. I hope to match if not beat my releases of 2011!
Also I will be attending my very first RT Convention in Chicago this year. I am so looking forward to meeting other authors and the readers! This small town Texas girl can't wait to put a few faces to names. :)
New for me will also be a monthly newsletter to let you know what is going on and what is coming up. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband that is helping me with this. I will email this out starting in January.
If you would like to be added to the email list please send me a message.
Right now my website is also being updated! I love when that happens. A few more excerpts and a news page will be added to keep everyone updated.
I know so much more will be going on. I would like to share this all with you.
Most of all today I want to Thank each one of you that has supported me and my writing. Three years now as a published author and with Total-E-Bound and it seems the time just fly by.
I have meet some wonderful people and look forward to our relationship growing.
2012 is looking bright and I wish only the very best for everyone here.
I hope you are having a lovely Christmas time, full of fun and laughter. Here are a few sexy Santa's to feast your eyes on. So much more appealing than the rotund, rather hairy variety...
And if you want a spicy ménage to warm you up, check out my Christmas novella Candy Canes and Coal Dust.
But it’s only about sex….
Anyone who writes erotica, any kind of erotica, has probably heard this at least once. And what other function is there for stories that are mostly filled with characters having sex, then to titillate the reader? An interesting plot? Or perhaps complex characterisation? Nah. It’s porn, only in words, so you can imagine the pictures all by yourself.
To be honest, I think that’s utter nonsense. Yes, there are many stories with cookie-cutter characters, performing sexual acts that follow an extremely familiar scenario. Those characters are nothing more than functioning, be it often far above average attractive, bodies without much inner thought or complexity. And that’s okay, because many readers enjoy such stories in any of the popular genres.
But does that mean a story that has the sexual encounters between two, or more, individuals at its very heart, must be superficial and about nothing but what it says on the cover?
Why should it? Sex is as legitimate a means of telling about a character’s doubts, weaknesses and struggles as any other method. Feelings and thoughts about sex are simply part of the human psyche and of course, writers are bound to feel inspired by that.
Acts, and that include sexual ones, only get deeper meaning if we get to know the character(s) a little better through those acts. It’s remarkably easy to write dull erotica, but it isn’t an unavoidable part of the genre.
In reality, sex is often enough motivated by something else than lust, love and romance. It can also be about duty, familiarity, being a good sport, proving you’re not gay, who’s in charge, economics, getting it over and done with, curiosity and countless reasons more.
And sooner or later a writer will tell a story…
So, only about sex…?
Years ago, I remember going to the erotica section at my local big box book retailers. (I’d say their initials, but then you’d know who they were!) They shelved erotica reads alongside the psychology books. I always felt slightly guilty when I pulled a book off the shelf to read the back blurb, or, heavens, flipped through the pages!
I definitely didn’t need a helpful customer service representative asking if I needed help. I also didn’t want to be plucking books from the shelves while men were jostling for space next to me.
Then, even worse, was the walk to the front of the store. I would generally buy something else so I could hide my erotica purchase. That was followed by being rung up by a clerk and wondering what he or she was thinking.
A lot of times, I was a bit unsatisfied by my purchases. I was looking for deeper characterization in more relatable situations. Victorian spanking stories were tantalizing, but I wanted something that I felt more connected to.
I didn’t buy erotica all the time, just occasionally. Generally you’d find me in the romance section. I’d been a voracious romance reader ever since high school. With a few notable exceptions, I often wanted more from the stories, sex wise.
And then…along came erotic romance.
For me, it was the perfect combo. I got characters I could fall in love with. I could be emotionally satisfied by the stories, and, even better, slightly scandalized! What could be more perfect?
Well, the availability of purchasing options.
I can download as many titles as I want to my handy e-reader or I can read books on my computer. The other day, and this wasn’t ideal, but it served in a pinch, I read one on my phone!
I can browse reviews from other like-minded readers. With recommendations, I can find new authors. Or I can checkout other titles in my preferred genre. (Bet you couldn’t guess my preference for BDSM!) I can pay in various ways, too. And I don’t have to go to the front of a store with my book hidden beneath something else. Although if I did buy a book at a book store, I wouldn’t keep it hidden. The covers on these books are absolutely beautiful artistically.
The evolution of books has made my naughty pastime much, much nicer.
Many happy reads in the new year!
For some of us, it also means spending time with a certain someone and coming up with creative things to do after all those presents have been opened. Not sure what to do to make the season bright? Here are a few ideas that might have you blushing like Rudolph:
1. THE present. The one that you can't open in front of family and friends. The one that gets opened in the bedroom, at night, when the door is locked. Maybe it's that naughty board game or that sex toy you ordered online or those cheap sex dice that leads to hours of fun. You have one in mind already, don't you?
2. The other present. This is the one presented in nothing but a birthday suit with a pretty bow wrapped around it. In your beloved's favorite color, of course.
3. Good use of dinner leftovers. Think that pie is only good for eating in the kitchen? Think again, my friend. Naughty cheesecake, sexy grapes and even a drizzle or two of sweet syrups can make your bedtime sweeter than sugarplums.
4. Unique candlelight. Have you ever made love under Christmas tree lights? They give a glimmer to that fine sheen of sweat across his shoulders. They make curious shadows on your bodies that demand exploration. They light you up with a beautiful glow, and that leads to a lovely afterglow.
5. Snow! If you are one of the lucky ones who has plenty of snow hanging around outside, scoop some up and take it to the bedroom. Take turns applying the flakes to the skin and quickly lick them up, warming the trail wherever it may lead. Don't have snow? Now is the time of year to break out the ice cubes.
Of course, no Christmas romp is complete without the absolutely required accessory: The Santa Claus hat. Bonus points if you can keep it on your head all the way through the big finish!
With much love,
I want to personally thank each author, reader, friend and family member who reached out to me and supported my work this year. I'm truly thankful for the connections I've made while being a part of the TEB team. I'm awed by the amount of talent and warmth I've been surrounded with since coming aboard in 2010!
Writing to me is a gift. Every time I sit down and began to type, I swear a bit of magic takes place. Every single time I type 'The End,' I think...did I really just write that? I'll go back through my own tales, thankful for the gift of imagination, thankful for the strength to plough on even when I feel I can't write another word.
Writing stories is a challenge...one that I take very seriously. I challenge myself to write tales that first and foremost entertain, but I also want to touch your heart, make you laugh out loud and better yet...dream up (act out) sexy fantasies!
Why do I write? Because hot, romantic stories make me happy! I'm an avid reader too, and reading is an escape. I just prefer my literary escapes blazing hot! Reading is a relaxing (past) pleasure-time that's all for me. Yup, just me and the characters on the page leading me into their world, their experiences...how cool is that!
So, thanks, to anyone reading that chose one of my stories to enjoy! I know how precious time is and it truly is an honor you'd spend it reading one of my tales!
Look for As You Desire the second book in my Djinn Brotherhood series, coming January 16th with Total E-Bound!
Check out my beautiful cover (thanks, Lyn Taylor!)
Enter their realm with caution!
Danger lurks between dimensions, fiery passions ignite without control and wishes are granted for those brave enough to ask…
Here's the blurb:
Two scarred hearts learn to beat again with the healing power of love and all its magic...
Accused of being a traitor to the Djinn Brotherhood, Lona realizes trying to love the wrong man has cost her everything...maybe even her freedom. Alone and pregnant, she's beginning to believe the terrible pain she's experiencing is punishment for all her wrong choices as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life.
When Rafi finds Lona suffering in agony, he makes a hasty decision and takes her home. Ignoring the mutual attraction between them, he agrees when asked to keep Lona in his charge until Rue is tracked down and the High Council can be certain of her innocence.
Rafi knows she's not guilty. He's lived with a lifetime of heartache to recognize something other than guilt is causing Lona's pain. He'll do anything to help her heal and find some peace. Their journey together might also lead to his own salvation...
One person will win a copy of As You Desire coming January 16th!!
Simply sexy stories...
www.simplysexystories.com • www.simplysexystories.blogspot.com
With Christmas so close and Chanukah just beginning, (I have celebrated one, both, and, some years, neither), perhaps a little holiday ditty would be in order here today; but a Christmas card, a lunch date, and a text message all converging within the past week kept me focused on the topic I chose weeks ago: best friends. In my three novellas thus far, a third character is instrumental in helping my hero and heroine find love, and that’s what I planned to chat about today, the significance of those “best friends” in my stories. Then that Christmas card, that lunch date, and that text happened – and the significance of “best friends” in my imaginary worlds took a back seat to acknowledging the best friends in my real life.
My friendship with my Christmas card buddy has endured through thirty years. That’s scary in itself to me. Only my relationship with my ghost has survived longer – and John tells me he’s breathing, so he wins. Italian and Catholic, from a large, crazed family, John, once again, handed over an olive branch from our last virtual knock-down, f*ck you fight. He signed his card “to my best friend.” He’ll go to church, celebrate Mass – but, in his heart, I know he really considers himself a Druid. Through so many stupid disagreements, through all of the most significant moments of my life, this man has endured much hurt I inflicted, has inflicted some in kind – but he stood by me, through me embracing faith and through me feeling abandoned by it, always there to pull me up out of whatever gutter I chose to wallow in and push me back on a path of sorts when I fell on my ass. He doesn’t understand or particularly like my choices in love but accepts them as part of who I am, and I am fairly certain he routinely dances naked in the moonlight in some ancient ritual in an attempt to ensure my happiness.
My lunch date with a co-worker for the past ten years – I’ll call her Nancy – well, we shouldn’t be “friends” at all, in most people’s view, but we share a core set of values – fierce loyalty, a manic work ethic, a strong internal moral compass – and those shared values blossomed into the closest adult female friendship I have had the pleasure to count on. She’s a staunch Catholic; I am adrift. She hunts, with live ammo and in camo. I’m considering going vegetarian. She’s a little bit country and I…am so not. She can count patience and fortitude among her wonderful characteristics – but she puts up with my intolerance and impatience, helping me temper the intemperate, making me kinder than I often want to be. She makes me laugh at myself.
My text came from my 30-something Hindu military buddy. We’ve never physically met but “Sam” knows secrets no one else does –- because we never meet -– and respects me just the same. I still wonder at this unexpected gift. He shows me faith of another sort; keeps up with the all-nighters texting when the chronic insomniac, once again, can’t sleep; and teaches me how to say stuff like, “Turn off the microwave before the Peeps explode” in Nepali. He wants me to write a sex scene that involves a man and woman without any whips or handcuffs and he thinks it’s funny that the straightest sex I’ve written is a gay couple.
Yes, there is usually a third person – a best friend of some sort whose clothes stay on – moving the plot along in my stories. They are significant: the stories would be so thin, so lifeless, so two-dimensional without them.
Get my drift?
Whatever holiday you celebrate – or don’t – I do wish for everyone this traditional holiday season a buddy -- or two – maybe three! – who, through the sometimes inexplicable magic of friendship, takes those flat days we all experience and fills them full with the kind of gifts money can’t buy.
That’s what I’m celebrating this season.
- The sea
- The food
- The smells
- The calm
- The coziness
I wish you a joyous holiday season and may the New Year bring you lots of wonderful moments!
…increasing the sizzle factor
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crenshawcafe
Free Reads Site: http://www.satinnotes.com/
By Lisabet Sarai
Here's a bit of holiday silliness to warm you up. I've posted this previously on the free stories page of my website, but in case you missed it...
"Where ya goin', Elsie? To a funeral?" Bert cracked up at his own joke. He pointed his beer-laden fist at her, drawing his cronies' attention to the formal black outfit she'd chosen for the party. They snickered at her obvious discomfort. She hated it when he called her Elsie. Made her sound like a cow or something.
Turning her back on her ex, Ellen headed for the bar. Okay, maybe she looked slightly ridiculous, or at least out of place, in her velvet gown and rhinestone earrings, but it was New Year's Eve, for heaven sakes. Everyone else in Alicia's vast Soho loft wore jeans. So what? She'd always loved dressing up, and what better occasion than tonight?
Too bad that everyone she knew was Bert's friend, too. She'd broken up with Bert more than six months ago, but she was still forced to see him constantly, if she wanted any social life at all. She needed to meet some new people. That was rough, though, with her sixty-hour-a-week work schedule. She picked up an open bottle of champagne and poured herself another glass. Staring at bubbles rising through the golden liquid, she wondered how to get out of her social rut.
"Mind if I have some?" An unfamiliar male voice cut into her reverie. Ellen looked up to find a stranger holding out his goblet. He had pale skin, jet black hair, plump lips as red as strawberries, and the most gorgeous tuxedo Ellen had ever seen - inky dark satin that gleamed in the dim light, a snowy expanse of ruffled shirt, and a scarlet cummerbund. It fit his lean, muscled body perfectly, too.
"Of course," Ellen replied, a bit flustered at being faced with such a vision. "I didn't mean to hog it. Here, let me...." She filled his empty crystal flute - at least Alicia had pulled out her good glassware for the occasion - admiring the strong looking fingers that held the delicate stem.
"Happy New Year," the stranger said with a melting smile, clicking glasses.
"The same to you," Ellen replied. They sipped their champagne in silence. Ellen felt as though similar bubbles were cavorting in her chest. "I'm Ellen," she blurted out as the silence lengthened. "I work with Alicia."
"Very pleased to meet you, Ellen." The impeccably attired stranger took her hand. For an instant Ellen thought he intended to bring it to his lips. At the last moment, he merely gave it a firm squeeze. "Sean. I just joined the IT department. Night shift."
"Ah, that explains why I haven't seen you around the office. I'm sure that I would have noticed someone like you!" Ellen realized after she closed her mouth that she must sound like total bimbo. She blushed to the roots of her blond hair.
"Someone like me?" Sean raised one eyebrow, a twinkle in his blue eyes.
"Well - you know, so debonair and sophisticated... I mean, there aren't too many guys who could wear a tuxedo like that - so comfortably, I mean, as though you were born in it...oh, dear, I'm being terribly silly. I'm just impressed, to be honest. Most of these guys - outside of work, they're such slobs..."
She gestured toward the other end of the loft, where Bert and his buddies gyrated to the beat of AC/DC. Topping their baggy jeans, they wore football jerseys, faded flannel, or stretched out hoodies.
"I must say that you look lovely," Sean told her. "The black velvet makes your hair glow like spun gold. And your eyes remind me of emeralds."
"Gee - um - thank you." Ellen was dumbfounded. Men just didn't say things like that these days.
"Dance with me," Sean insisted. Ellen was about to refuse - she hated heavy metal - when the strains of a Strauss waltz reached her ears.
"Come on. Don't disappoint me." Graceful and confident, he folded her into his arms. They swooped across the floor of the loft, wings on their feet, while the music swelled around them.
Ellen felt completely comfortable in the embrace of this stranger. She looked up into his smiling eyes. "This is wonderful. But where did the music come from?"
Sean shrugged. "The plot required it."
His cool hand rested on her bare back. Then he moved it a bit lower. A little shiver ran up Ellen's spine. Who was this elegant stranger? Could she really trust him?
She gazed up at his pale, composed features. "Are you a vampire?" she asked suddenly.
Sean started, then laughed. "A vampire? Why in the world would you ask that?"
"Well, you have that kind of style, old-fashioned, polite, as though you'd been born a long time ago. And your skin is so white..."
"The consequences of spending my nights pounding out code in a cubicle and my days sleeping," he replied, obviously amused. He opened his mouth to divulge a set of perfectly aligned, normal teeth. "See? No fangs at all."
The Strauss ended and was replaced by Mozart. Sean continued to guide her, leading unobtrusively but firmly. She snuggled against him, enjoying the feel of his satiny tux under her finger tips. It all felt like a dream, or maybe a fairy tale, with Ellen as Cinderella.
"It's almost midnight," Alicia called from the bar, where she was opening more champagne.
Midnight. The gateway to a new year. Dimly she heard Bert leading the count down. "Five. Four. Three. Two. One." Everything but the dance and her partner seemed unreal.
Sean pulled her closer. His breath warmed her ear. "Happy New Year, Ellen," he whispered. Then he leaned down and kissed her.
For the first second or two, the kiss was almost chaste. His lips were gentle, as though asking a silent question. She gave him a wordless answer. Gaining confidence, he gathered her to his chest while his tongue invaded her mouth.
He tasted of champagne and faintly, fish, probably the smoked salmon canapés. Delicious. The kiss went on and on, growing fiercer and more feverish by the instant. His fingers dug into her hips like claws. Her nipples tightened under the stretchy velvet, until they were as hard as the stones dangling from her earlobes. The swollen bulk pressing against her belly told her that he was as aroused as she was.
Oh God! She was intoxicated, floating on a bubbly cloud, drinking him in. Cries of "Happy New Year" rang around them. Someone started singing "Auld Lang Syne". Ellen ignored everyone, lost in the most ecstatic kiss she'd ever experienced.
"It's starting to snow," someone called. "Perfect for New Year's!"
Sean abruptly broke their embrace. He looked anxiously out the floor-to-ceiling windows, where a few white flakes drifted lazily down onto the city. "Sorry," he mumbled, pushing her away. "Gotta go." He headed for the door.
"What? Wait! Where are you going? Sean?" Ellen nearly lost her balance. By the time she recovered, the tuxedo-clad gentleman who had stolen her breath and her heart had already vanished. She ran out to the empty landing and listened for his footsteps on the stairs. All she could hear was the wail of a distant siren.
Damn. She should have gotten his card, his number... She knew his first name, though, and the fact that he worked as Matheson, Fortuner and Todd just as she did. It shouldn't be too hard to find him.
She wandered back into the party, feeling more alone than ever. Midnight had come and gone but Alicia's guests didn't seem in any mood to go home. The music was louder and more raucous than before. Almost everyone was dancing, except for Alicia, who was in a clinch with her fiancé Paul.
Ellen found herself longing for her cozy apartment and her cat Franklin. For her, the party was over. Not wanting to disturb the hostess, she dug her coat and scarf out of the pile on the bed and headed downstairs.
The snow fell more heavily now. A quarter inch had already accumulated on the pavement. Her heels sank into the white blanket but it wasn't yet deep enough to make its way into her shoes. Ellen headed for the subway two blocks away, reminding herself that it might be slippery.
"Elsie! Wait a minute!" Someone grabbed her arm and whirled her around. "Where d'ya think you're going, bitch?"
Bert was clearly drunk. His face was red and his eyes watered from the cold. He had rushed after her without bothering with a jacket.
Ellen spoke slowly and deliberately, knowing from experience how hostile her ex could get when he'd had too many beers. "I'm headed home. I'm tired."
"Yeah? I'll bet you're going to meet that fancy boy somewhere. That guy you were smooching with, the one dressed up like a maitre'd."
"I'm going home, Bert. But in any case, it's none of your business." Ellen disengaged herself from his strong grip. "Good night and Happy New Year." She started toward the corner.
"Not so fast, baby!" He snatched her coat and yanked her back. Ellen slipped on the pavement, smacking into his hard body. "You haven't given me a New Year's kiss yet." He brought his face close to hers. Ellen almost choked as the beer fumes enveloped her.
"I don't want to kiss you, Bert." Pressing her hands against his chest, she tried to push him away, but he held her tight. "I'm not your girlfriend anymore."
"You're mine," he replied, his voice thick. "You'll always be mine, baby. That's why I don't want you kissing no tuxedo-wearing fairy..." He forced his mouth down on hers. When she tried to protest, he plunged his tongue inside.
He tasted disgusting, the sour dregs of many beers mingling with onions from the pizza. He slobbered all over her, smearing her lipstick across her cheeks. Ellen struggled to free herself without success. Finally she just went limp and let him kiss her. It would be over soon enough.
Then she felt his cold hand sliding up under her skirt.
"No!" she cried.
"I know you missed me babe," Bert muttered, burying his face in her neck and giving her a hickie while she squirmed in his iron grip. "I'm gonna give you what you need."
All at once, someone or something rammed into them like a freight train, forcing them apart. Ellen landed on her butt in the snow. The impact dazed her and drove the breath from her lungs.
She gulped in huge mouthfuls of the frigid January air. What happened? Where was Bert?
When she saw the answer, she didn't believe it.
Her ex stood up against a wall, across the street. Actually, he wasn't standing; he was being held in place, his feet dangling, by a six foot tall black and white penguin. The binary-hued bird slapped his flipper back and forth across Bert's terrified face. Every now and again the penguin would raise one of its splayed pink feet and give Bert a vicious kick in the groin.
Ellen's former boyfriend groaned and twisted, trying to free himself from the penguin's clutches. His struggles only earned him more ferocious slaps.
"Lemme go! Please! I give up! I'll leave her alone. I promise...don't kill me...ow!" The penguin halted the beating and peered into Bert's face. Apparently satisfied, he let go of his victim. Bert crumpled to the ground.
The feathered vigilante loomed over Bert's cringing form.
"Don't hurt him anymore," Ellen cried. "Let him go."
The avian avenger turned in her direction, fixing her with its beady blank eyes. Ellen had the strangest sense of familiarity. Meanwhile, as soon as he saw that the bird's attention was elsewhere, Bert scrambled to a crouch and limped off in the direction of Alicia's building.
Ellen tried without success to rise to her feet. They kept sliding out from under her. Snowflakes swirled around her, settling on her eyelashes and blurring her vision. The next time she could see clearly, the oversized fowl had disappeared.
Too much champagne? she wondered. She didn't feel drunk. In any case, she had bigger problems than a giant penguin. Cold moisture seeped through her coat. Her toes grew numb. She shivered uncontrollably. The snow had stopped, but the temperature must be dropping. When a final attempt to get up failed, she worked herself onto her hands and knees. She'd crawl to the subway if she had to.
"Ellen! Let me help you!"
She recognized the voice. Relief flooded through her. "Sean! I was looking for you..."
"You'll catch your death from exposure," he replied. "Let's get you to some place warm." With his assistance, she managed to make it to a standing position. Leaning on his muscular arm, she allowed him to lead her to a twenty-four hour diner around the corner, where he ordered coffee for both of them.
Ellen cupped her hands around the mug, feeling the blood return to her fingers. Sean sat across from her, looking as sleek and elegant as he had at the party. He was not wearing a coat.
"Why did you leave so abruptly?" she asked. Her delight at seeing him again made it hard for her to be angry.
Sean stared into his cup. "I had to," he answered finally.
"Why? Tell me. You can trust me."
"Really, you don't want to know."
"I do. I want to know everything about you, Sean. I feel so close to you already." She reached across the table to capture his hand. "I want to get closer."
"No...it's not possible."
The pain she saw in his eyes made Ellen's heart ache too. "Anything's possible. This is a romance." She squeezed his cool hand. "Please..."
Sean just shook his head. "No. It's forbidden."
They sat in silence. The waitress topped up their mugs. Still neither of them spoke.
"How about this?" Ellen broke the silence. "If I guess correctly, will you tell me?"
Sean gazed at her, a flicker of hope animating his face.
"It was you, wasn't it. The penguin."
Sean nodded slowly. "How did you know?" he whispered.
"I'm not sure. I just felt that I knew the bird, somehow... plus he was protecting me, the way I know you would..."
"Oh, Ellen!" He took her hand in both of his. "It's such a nightmare..."
"Tell me," she murmured. She glanced around the coffee shop. They were the only customers. The stocky Latina waitress was watching television. "Tell me, my darling."
Sean took a deep breath then let it out slowly. "I was cursed," he began. "By an Inuit shaman. I was doing graduate research in ecology near the North Pole. Somehow I desecrated a site considered sacred. The curse was my punishment."
Ellen sat quietly, waiting for him to continue.
"The shaman decreed that whenever the snow began to fall, I'd take the shape of a penguin."
"Um, I thought that penguins lived at the South Pole."
Sean shrugged. "You expect black magic to be logical?"
"So back at the party, when it started to snow...."
"I had to get out of there before it was too late. I didn't want you to see me change. I didn't want you to see me - like that..."
"I couldn't let that bastard take advantage of you. I had to do something! Oh, Ellen! I've been so lonely. I hate my miserable existence. I've even thought of - of taking my own life. But tonight, for the first time, when I met you..."
"I know, Sean. I felt it too." Ellen released his hand and sat back in the booth. "You're not alone any more. I'll help you to free yourself from this horror." She placed three dollars on the table under her mug. Then she stood and offered him her hand.
"Come home with me, darling. I want more of your swoon-inducing kisses."
"Are you sure... knowing what I am? What if the snow starts again?"
"I'll deal with it. We'll deal with it together. I love you, Sean. There's nothing that can keep us apart, not even an Eskimo curse or a giant bird. Let's go."
Like the gentleman that he was, Sean helped her on with her coat. He brushed his lips across her damp hair. "I love you too, Ellen. Thank you for trusting me."
Joy swelled in Ellen's breast. Everything would be all right. After all her pain, the universe had smiled. She had found her soul mate.
"There's just one thing."
"What is it, darling?"
"Is there an all-night grocery near here? I think we should pick up some canned herring on the way home."