AuntMaddieHdrA
 

CHRISTMAS PAWSIBILITIES
Now a stand-alone book
from Once Upon a
Christmas Moon


Available Dec. 15, 2018

The anthology, ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS MOON, includes these three novellas:

TWELVE DAYS TO LOVE--Christine Young
When Archer Steele shows up at Calanthe Durand's failing plantation with an alligator over his shoulder, Cali thinks she's never seen a more handsome man. During the war she had to defend herself and her servants from both union and confederate soldiers. Independent and self-sufficient, she vows to never marry. But Archer Steele has different ideas. The first time Archer sees Cali in town, he feels an instant attraction. He decides he will do everything and anything to convince the beautiful Miss Durand he is worthy of her love. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, he gives her twelve gifts in hopes she will fall in love with him.

BOOTS AND BLADES--C.L. Kraemer
An ancient evil from the old country has arrived in the high desert of Oregon. Gnome children are vanishing then re-appearing, showing various stages of traumatization. Tiamoon, warrior gnome, will put her skills to use alongside Killian, a handsome warrior, also in need of a cause.

CHRISTMAS PAWSIBILITIES--Genie Gabriel
Book 4 of Aunt Maddie's Doggone Misadventures
With their world destroyed and their space ship malfunctioning, the dogizens of Planet Canid have little choice but to crash land on Earth. They face tortuous experiments at the hands of the Geeks in Green...or they can trust an eccentric inventor and his zany family to deliver the Canine Queen's puppies and help them celebrate new lives.

EXCERPT from CHRISTMAS PAWSIBILITIES
What to do with Butch wasn’t Fletcher’s only problem. The twenty-four hours Atrocitor had given him to bring the aliens to GIG headquarters was quickly ticking away. In less than twelve hours, Fletcher’s career and the town of Watermark would be only a melted blob, like Gram’s living room, and the aliens still wouldn’t be safe.
As he drove Laycee and her grandmother back to Maddie’s castle, Fletcher racked his brain for a way to solve this conundrum.
A solution presented itself in the form of the ethereal Dori, who appeared after Gram and Laycee entered the castle.
“I will go with you to GIG headquarters.”
Fletcher looked at Dori in surprise. “Are you from another planet?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never known any other elfenchauns. My mother and father died in the potato famine, and grandfather didn’t know of my ability to transform.”
“Wait. The potato famine? That was in the 1800s.” At Dori’s nod, Fletcher continued, “Then you are how old?”
“I didn’t age while traveling in the time machine. I was twenty when I left my grandfather’s and arrived in this time period at the same age.”
“And Horace invented this time machine?”
“I do not think I am supposed to tell you of this.”
“So time travel is possible. Not only to the future but to the past. I wonder what else Horace has invented that would be of great value to the world.”
“Sometimes the world does not appreciate great inventions or those who are different.”
“You are right. But back to the question of whether you should accompany me to GIG headquarters. I don’t think Ryan would approve.”
“It is something I must do. If we decide to have children…” Embarrassed, Dori’s voice trailed off for a moment, then she squared her delicate shoulders and continued. “You need an alien to save your career and our town, and perhaps GIG can help me solve the mystery of my heritage.”
“I won’t do this without talking to Ryan.”
As Fletcher predicted, Ryan was not pleased about this plan. When Ryan and Dori started their discussion, Fletcher slipped quietly down the hall.
“What of our children?” Dori asked. “I don’t know if they will be elfenchauns or human. I don’t want our children to go through what I’ve endured.”
“And I don’t want you to endure any more personal intrusions and danger,” Ryan stated. “We know very little about GIG. Once you are in their headquarters, you will be at their mercy.”
“This is something I must do. If GIG knows of others like me…” Dori frowned with determination. “You have family who loves you and you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. I have always had to adapt to the ways of others. I appreciate beyond words that you allow me to be elfenchaun sometimes, but no one truly understands…”
Ryan wiped the single tear off Dori’s cheek with his thumb. “I don’t allow you to be anything, Dori. It is your right to be a woman or an elfenchaun or anything you want to be. I am honored to love all that you are.”
“Do you not wish me to be all human?”
“I loved you from the first time I saw you. A delicate little elfenchaun who had been battered by the mob following you. Then you transformed into a beautiful young woman. The thought someone would harm you was unfathomable.” Ryan’s fist clenched, but he slowly opened his fingers to touch Dori’s face.
“Waiting to be sure you loved me has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Probably retribution karma from dating so many women before you.” A wry smile kicked up one side of Ryan’s mouth. “I wanted you to make your own choice of whether to stay in this time period. I wanted you to know you don’t have to be controlled by any one, not even a husband–especially not a husband. That you are free to make your own choices and celebrate being both a woman and an elfenchaun. I wanted you to find your own strength and know what you were getting into by formally joining this family. We are a bit quirky, you know.”
Dori laughed, the sound like the delicate tinkling of chimes. “I love the quirkiness of this family. And I love you, Ryan. But I don’t want you to feel obligated to marry me.”
Confusion clouded Ryan’s eyes. “Obligated?”
“That you proposed and feel you have to keep your word, even though there might be someone else…”
“I’m feeling really dense here.” Ryan rubbed his temples. “I haven’t been the least bit interested in any other woman since I met you.”
“But there’s Laycee…”
“Laycee?”
“You had a crush on her in first grade, and you acted so upset about the broken pieces of the mechanical dog. So I thought…”
“First grade was a long time ago, and Rissa was right. It wasn’t about the broken dog. It was about losing my dad. I could get mad about the dog and imagine beating the crap out of Butch, but I couldn’t bring my dad back.” Ryan wiped his sleeve across his eyes. “Mother retreated into the fifties and sometimes I envied her. She may have thought she deserted us emotionally, but I remember evenings we would sit in front of the television and watch old movies—Mother and Rissa and me. We’d fall asleep cuddled together and wake up in the morning covered with a blanket Aunt Maddie threw over us the night before. And I knew Mother still loved us. She just couldn’t face losing the man she loved. The man who was her life.”
Ryan took Dori’s hands in his. “I was afraid of loving that deeply. That’s why I only dated women who wanted a good time. Then you showed up in the time machine with Uncle Horace and I understood what Mother must have felt. But I also know part of loving someone that profoundly is having the courage to let them walk away if that’s what is best for them. It scares me to death that you would ever leave me, but I know I’ll somehow find a way to let you go if that’s your choice. Not sure if I’d retreat to the fifties. Maybe the disco era of the eighties.”
“Oh, Ryan. That’s what I would do for you. Walk away if you loved someone else.”
Ryan cuddled Dori in his arms. “I love only you.”
Dori buried her face against Ryan’s shirt, weeping, while he held her. After a few moments, his voice rumbled against her ear. “So there’s no need for you to go to GIG headquarters.”
“Now there is even more reason. If Fletcher doesn’t deliver an alien to GIG, his commander will destroy Watermark. Maybe I am an alien and GIG can help me find others like me. I can also help save our town and feel like I’m truly contributing to this modern time.”
“I don’t think I’ll persuade you that you make a difference just by being yourself, and I’m not convinced GIG’s motives are altruistic.” Ryan drew a deep breath. “But I want to help save our town also. I’ll go with you–after we talk to Uncle Horace and prepare.”

 

 

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