Here's something for you to read while waiting for Christmas! It's a new novella by Kyra Myles, who is my YA sci-fi/paranormal/adventure writer pen name.
Better Watch Out
(Santa may not be from Earth)
Gemma Charles and her family are officially homeless. Will the alien ready to offer Gemma a job be able to follow through with cash, or will he just be like her dad and disappear or die when the going gets tough?
There's only one way to know, and Gemma is curious enough to find out.
*** NOVELLA LENGTH CHRISTMAS STORY ***
The fire blazed as the three remaining members of the Charles family stood by. They were helpless and now, without their big home. To make it worse, it was two days before Christmas.
The firemen tried to put out the fire, but the place was down to only ashes in just a short time. What used to be their home was now nothing—not even good kindling wood.
One of the older firefighters approached Gemma's mom. "I hope you have insurance on that place."
She nodded but said nothing.
"However, I suspect someone started it. If so, the insurance won't pay."
Her mom covered her mouth and let out a sob. "We have nothing," she said. "No money, nothing."
"Sorry for your loss." The guy walked off, joking with his coworkers. Before long, they'd packed up and driven away, leaving the family in the dark, staring at what used to be in that spot. Neighbors watched from a distance, but none offered any condolences or assistance. It was that kind of neighborhood. People turned a blind eye to everyone else's problems.
Gemma had just gotten home from babysitting down the street to see the fire trucks and the firemen working. The blaze was huge, but her eight-year-old brother, Ray, her mom, Betsy, and their big mutt Barney, stood in front of the home and watched. Barney seemed more interested in the firemen, barking at them for a good ten minutes after Gemma had arrived. He finally settled down and went to sleep on the snowy ground.
"We can't just stand here," Gemma said. "There's nothing left. Now that the firemen have gone, can anyone tell me what happened?"
"Ray started it," Betsy said.
"No, I didn't." The kid crossed his arms. "I was playing in the family room. I wasn't near anything to start that fire."
Gemma didn't know what to believe.
At fourteen, she ran that house since her dad had died a year earlier. Her mom usually worked during the day at a department store, but with cutbacks, she'd lost her job a month earlier. Betsy had tried to get a good job, but other than a day of work here and a day there, she was jobless. The bank was almost ready to take the house anyway, so overall, they were bound to be homeless before long. Gemma had hoped they'd make it past Christmas, but that wasn't going to happen.
Gemma pointed toward the driveway. "Is the car working?" She adjusted her backpack on her back. At least she still had her books from school. She had a lot to do before the end of the break, and now, it seemed as if she had a lot of time to do that with no home to work in.
"Yeah." Betsy wiped her eyes. "I never should've gone into the garage. I never should've left him alone. I never—" She sobbed and held her mouth. "We have nothing left. We only have the clothes on our backs. Nothing more. This is it."
Betsy had been depressed since Gemma's dad had died, but his death was more than mysterious. However, Betsy never discussed it with the kids. One day he was there and the next, he was gone. No more was said after Betsy had told them at dinner that he'd died out west somewhere and the state would take care of the funeral. That was it. Very odd, but Betsy refused to discuss it.
Ray bounded toward the car. "I say we go to Grandma's and Grandpa's house." Barney took off after him, his long ears flopping as he ran. He was a white mutt, probably part sheep dog and part, well, mutt. But he was a good-natured dog and at least he hadn't died in the fire.
Betsy inched closer to the car but stopped suddenly. "No," she said. "We can't go there."
Gemma knew why. Betsy's parents were both dead, so the only Grandma and Grandpa they had were their dad's parents. Gemma had heard her mom fighting with them over the phone late one night, because they wanted Gemma and Ray to live with them at their house. But Betsy refused and slammed down the phone. If they went to their grandparents' house now, it would be like her mom admitting she couldn't care for her own children.
"We can't stay here," Gemma said. "Let's get in the car, at least, and figure out where to go."
Betsy sighed after a long moment. "You're right." They all got into the car and Betsy turned the ignition.
"Where are we going then?" Ray asked, from the back seat. "I'm hungry. Let's get take out. It stinks like smoke here and I don't like it."
"Well, we can't go to the Patterson's house," Gemma said. "They refused to pay me anything for babysitting, because they were out of money and heading to their extended family for the holidays. So there's no way we can go there. I'm not happy with not getting paid. I'll never go there again."
"We have nothing left," Betsy said in a low tone. She backed out of the driveway and headed down the street. "We'll have to find a place to live now, that doesn't cost anything."
That's when it hit Gemma. They were officially homeless.
My alter-ego (one of my pen names), Paige Ryter, has a book out! YAY! She writes Sci-Fi and Paranormal Adventures. This novella (short, about 21,000 words) is the first of a series of adventures with Rick Shilling, Entity Exterminator. I like to think of it as 'Doctor Who meets Supernatural' (both television series).
Ginger, Spice, and Everything Not Nice
Rick Shilling to the Rescue, Story 1
Christmas Eve, and like every other day of the year, Lyra McCabe is baking
cookies. However, her idea of the
universe is about ready to extend when Rick Shilling, Entity Exterminator, runs
through the door, shooting at living gingerbread men.
to expand your world, Lyra, and it's way past due!
door to the Cookie Fairy House flew open.
The small bell flew off the doorjamb and a blast of cold air filled the
hot building. A blue-eyed, brown-haired
man wearing a tan Stetson hat, black leather gloves, and a black leather jacket
entered the building. A tan satchel hung
off his shoulder and neck. But it was
odd, because he held onto a gigantic orange and bright lime green water
gun. He proceeded to point that water
gun at some unseen adversary out the still-open front door.
McCabe couldn't move, watching the scene unfold before her. The man shot some sort of liquid through the
open door, seeming to laugh at the joke.
But she didn't see the humor.
"Shut the door!" she yelled, and moved closer to the display cabinet filled with
cookies. The temperature was around
zero, since it was the day before Christmas in Colorado. Silly man.
lifted his gun once more and shot the liquid from the water gun. "Duck!"
guy must be an escapee from a mental institution. He was shooting at nothing, and everyone knew
a water gun was no true weapon, especially in sub-freezing temperatures.
crossed her arms over her apron, still standing behind the display case. "If you don't leave right now, I'm calling the cops. Shut
the door on your way out."
ran around the four-foot display case and stood beside her. "I said, duck!" He kept shooting over the
case and toward the floor near the door, but she didn't move or look at his
target, disgusted with the guy. She had
work to do, but until she got this annoying man out of her shop, she couldn't do anything.
grabbed some of the flour from the container on her worktable and threw it
toward the floor near the door. She
turned and stared over the display case.
The flour covered small gingerbread men, holding bows and arrows aimed
directly at her.
looked before now, but didn't consider them a threat.
They were, after all, only about six inches tall. What could they do with those weapons,
"What's that?" she asked and pointed. "Why are there small
cookies shooting at you?"
"Not your issue, Toots." Stetson-man aimed and shot
again. "Take that, you rotten cookies, you!"
"Cookies?" Even though she knew he
was telling the truth, Lyra couldn't believe it. She glanced
at Stetson-man and then darted her eyes downward over the case and to the
showroom floor. In that instant, a tiny
arrow sailed through the air and struck her left arm.
"You've been hit," Stetson-man said.
stared at the tiny army of gingerbread men, angrier than ever. Her head suddenly felt woozy and she
"Sit down," Stetson-man said. "I'm about out of
ammo. Do you have any milk here?"
"Milk?" That was an odd
request. He must be thirsty. But in battle? She fell into a chair at the table where she'd been working. "Why?" She felt so dizzy all of a
"That's my ammo. It makes them
dissolve. Haven't you ever seen
cookies in milk?"
"Uh-huh." Her life was filled with
cookies, but right now, she didn't care. Instead, she
watched the mysterious man shoot over the counter, and then duck. Before she could enjoy the show for more than
a moment, everything swam in her eyesight.
That's all she remembered.
"Lady," she heard. "Lady, wake up. I've treated your wound but need to know if you're diabetic."
"Diabetic?" She forced her eyes open
and saw the ceiling. She must be lying
on the shop floor. "Why?"
"They shot you with a quick-acting concentrated sugar
compound. I need to give you an
looked up at him, holding a syringe in his hand.
moved away as much as she could. "Who are you?"
"Name's Rick Shilling." He nodded as if he were
the good guy in an old western movie. "I'm going to save your
life. Now are you diabetic or not?"
"No. It doesn't run in my family,
"Good." He pushed up her short
sleeve and shoved the needle into her skin.
Pain filled the spot.
grabbed her arm and tried to sit up. "Oww! You're an idiot. You have no
right to shoot me up with whatever."
pulled the needle out of her arm and pushed her back to the floor. "Stay there. The enemy's gone. I dissolved all of them, for now." He moved his gaze toward the display
cabinet. "You might want to clean up a bit.
There's gingerbread and flour everywhere over there. It's a confectionary mess."
forced herself to sit up, but her head still swam a bit, so she lay back down.
"Told ya," the man said. "You really need to
listen to me and lie down. I also shut
the door, so it'll be warmer in here again.
Sorry about that, but I needed to contain the Gingerbread Gang and lure
them into some place they'd feel familiar."
"What was your name again? I
want to know who to tell the cops to arrest."
chuckled. "Rick Shilling, but they'll never find me."
"I'm not…from around here."
a weird guy. Her initial assessment was
correct. "So? They can find you
shook his head. "Nope. They won't find me."
sighed. "You're in Nutmeg, Colorado, right now, which is close to the center of
the state. Even though it's not very
mountainous here, the town's surrounded by them. I
doubt you can get out of the state before they find you."
shot her a big smile, but she wasn't impressed. "I can do it," he said.
"You're an American, right?"
had to be lying, but she needed to know.
"No? You sound
American. Canadian, then?"
laughed. "Hunh-uh. I'm not from North
America or any of the Americas."
shook his head. "Try again."
"Australia, Africa, Asia?"
seemed pensive. "The three A's. Been there, but not from there."
"That leaves…" She had to think of a few
mnemonic devices to remember all the continents. What was left? "Antarctica?"
snorted. "Antarctica? That's just cold. Who lives there, anyway? Penguins, seals, albatross, a few birds, some
whales, and that's about it. No people live
there full time. They'd be people-sickles
if they did." He seemed amused with
himself. "People-sickles. The thought's hilarious."
guy was a little too confident in himself, but Lyra had to keep going. "If you're not from any of the continents, then you're not from this
touched his nose with a grin. "Bingo!"
backed away from him, sitting up fast. "You're an alien?" she whispered. She lowered her head slightly from
lightheadedness, but recovered after a moment.
never should've come to Earth and she had to warn him. "The authorities will want you in their labs."
laughed again. "No, they won't. They already know about my kind and about
me. We have an agreement involving
cash. So it's all good."
"An agreement…with cash?
What are you talking about?"
"Well, I'm an Entity Exterminator. I
get called when anyone needs an entity eliminated. They pay me in silver and I move on."
flipped open a small screen on his watch.
The thing became bigger as soon as it completely flipped. "Here's the definition of Entity…"
sighed. "I know what entity is. It's a being. I get that." She pointed at his
watch. "I want one of those. Is it
connected to Wi-Fi?"
chuckled and shut the watch, returning it back to a standard wristwatch. "Earthlings. No, but it has
your entire internet without any connection as you know it. You'll get it someday on this planet.
But for now, it's highly confidential and you've never seen this." He tilted his head with a
stern look. "Right?"
about to argue with an alien. He might
have super powers or something like mind control. "Yes, sir. So you hunt
beings. You're like a ghost
"Not just ghosts but anything.
In this case, a Koala bear hired me to get the pesky Gingerbread Gang
out of his territory. He paid me half my
fee already, and now, I just have to make sure the rest of the gang is gone,
pay me the rest. Easy money, too."
to believe her ears, she just stared.
waved his hand in front of her face. "Hey, Lady. Are you having a seizure? I have anti-seizure meds in my bag." He reached in, but she grabbed his arm.
"Wait." She shook her head. "Back up. A Koala?"
"Yep. His name's Harcourt."
"How…why…" She shook her head, not
even sure how to word it. But she had to
find out more. "How did you ever talk
to a Koala?"
sighed. "He opens his mouth and talks.
Haven't you ever talked to one yourself?"
shook her head and pinched her arm. "I'm asleep. I'm dreaming, right?"
"No," he said in a slow fashion.
"Are you on meds for craziness or something? Are you sure you're not diabetic? You're acting really crazy."
get it. "I'm not on anything and I'm not diabetic. I'm a baker and part
owner of this fine establishment." She waved her hand,
indicating the Cookie Fairy House. "But you sound
insane. No one talks to animals…" She glanced around them and leaned
closer. "And no one gets a response back from them," she whispered.
"I do." He stood up and offered
her his hand. "I'm going to help you
clean this up. Harcourt will be really
happy I found some of the gang."
his help, she got to her feet and dusted herself off. "Well, good luck with all of it.
Tell Harcourt…" She paused. "Where does Harcourt live?"
"Duh." He rolled his eyes. "Australia. Where do you
think he lives? I got half the silver
fee for this job, too."
"Why silver? I'd think you'd rather have gold."
"I need silver. It's in high demand on my
world." He headed out of the work
area and around the display case. "Wow. This is major carnage of the cookie kind." He turned his blue eyes back toward her. "Got a broom and maybe some dynamite?"
I read this book a few weeks back and needed to review it. However, Amazon seems to hate me, so I have to post my review here.
5 AMAZON STARS!!!!!
I'd like to highly recommend The Marriage Promise! It's a great read, and I read it in one night. Ms. Edwards is a fantastic story teller, knowing how to keep a reader engaged for a fun journey. I didn't see the black moment coming on this one, and for me, that's unusual. (Note: the black moment is the part right before the ending where one of the characters loses a lot and all hope seems lost, just to have a happy ending later on. Most books have them, especially romances.)
Ms. Edwards has quite a few books in this series. I've read them all to date, and I can highly recommend them all! Great job, Ms. Edwards! Now I want to see Hawaii, too, after reading this one (it takes place mostly in Hawaii).
Now go out and get a copy. I promise you won't be disappointed!
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.
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
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.
All That We Have Is Our Soul by Katrina Gillian
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.
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.