Monday, December 24, 2012

Fluff and Puff on the Naughty List

“You’re on the Naughty List!”

“No, you’re on the Naughty List!”

Red, gold and dark green sparks of magick flew through the air as the bunny slippers faced off.

“Santa wrote Fluff on the naughty list,” Puff insisted, glaring at his brother slipper.

“The name there is Puff,” Fluff countered, shooting another a red spear of power at him. The slipper deftly avoided the weapon.

“Hey! What in Hades is going on here?” A wide-eyed Jazz stared the disaster zone once known as her bedroom.

Her black and white print comforter hung from the ceiling while red and black throw pillows floated around the room. Perfume bottles drifted around like scented ornaments. She quickly ducked just in time as a shot of magick almost created a new part in her hair.

“Stop it now!” She threw out her hands and froze the slippers in place. Their eyes rolled and tiny growls left their mouths as they glared at her. “If you promise to behave and clean up this mess I will release you. And then I want to know why you two are acting like this. Blink one for yes, you’ll behave.” After the receiving the signal. She reversed her spell. “Now, why are you fighting?”

“Fluff is on the Naughty List and he claims it’s me,” Puff shouted, bouncing up and down.

“It’s Puff who’s on the Naughty List!”

“So why the battle?”

Fluff tipped his ear toward Jazz and a long scroll unrolled in front of her.

Her lips parted in shock. “You stole Santa’s Naughty List? It’s Christmas Eve! Santa needs this list tonight.”

“And he’s on it.” They pointed at each other.

“But it doesn’t say exactly which one of us is on it,” Puff explained. “Look under the Us.”

Jazz scanned the List and soon saw why the problem. “Uff,” she said.

“For Puff.”

“For Fluff!”

They glared at each other and started revving up some magick until Jazz pointed a warning finger at each.
“You know what? I don’t have time for this. Nick, Krebs, and Letitia and I are going to a party tonight.” She headed for her closet and pulled out a red sparkly dress. “I want this mess cleaned up by the time I get out of the shower. And the two of you make up. Personally, I wouldn’t put either of you on the Nice List. And I’m sure Santa would agree with me.” After pulling lingerie out of drawers she sailed into the bathroom. “And clean up my room!”

“Like she cleans it up,” Puff muttered, zapping the floating pillows while Fluff worked on bringing the comforter back to the bed. The perfume bottles returned to their upright position on the dresser. “As if there’s someone out there named Uff.”

Fluff’s dark eyes lit up and he spun around. “There’s one way to find out for sure,” he said slowly.

Puff stared at his partner in magickal crime and smiled.

This time, they linked their ears and willed their power to a new high.

“Santa, come to us. Come to us now. Santa, bring our presents and bring them swift. Prove we’re on the Nice List,” they chanted. “And give it to us now right away!”

The temperature in the room dropped a good sixty degrees as snow fell on them in thick drifts.
“Whoa, something went wrong!” Fluff’s fangs chattered from the ice cold.

“The sound of sleigh bells rang loud in their ears and they ducked as something large swooped over their heads.
“Why have you called me here? This is my busiest night of the year.” The large man dressed in red trimmed with white fur climbed out of his sleigh and loomed over the bunny slippers. He spied the scroll lying nearby. “So that’s where it went.” He snapped his fingers, The scroll instantly appeared between his gloved fingertips and he tucked it away. Then he turned his gaze on the slippers. “Why did you steal my Naughty List?”

“To see which one of us was on it,” the slippers said in unison.

His belly jiggled as he laughed. “Silly bunny slippers. You have your very own list.” He snapped his fingers again and a scroll unrolled until it almost filled the room. “Master Uff only had a few transgressions to rate being on the Naughty List. The two of you surpassed that.” He frowned at them.

“Soooo, no gifts?” Fluff asked, trying unsuccessfully to wrap his ears around his shivering body.

“No sled? ATV? Race car?” Puff added hopefully.

“Only what you deserve.” Santa hopped into his sleigh and took off in a wink of red and gold lights.

A holiday dressed Jazz walked out of the bathroom in a cloud of her favorite perfume. “Now you better have cleaned everythi—“ She stopped short, stared at the chaos that used to be her room and shook her head. She took several deep breaths but the rolling thunder overhead warned everyone her temper was rapidly fraying. She returned to the bathroom and came back out holding two scrub brushes and a bottle of cleaner. “Get to it.” She navigated the room on red high heels and closed the door behind her.

Fluff zapped his cleaning brush at his brother. “You just had to steal the List and get us in even more trouble, didn’t you?”

“Me? It was you!” Both brushes flew at Puff. They bounced off the mountain of coal, sending black dust everywhere that created a nasty black paste thanks to the snow Santa left behind.

PS: It took a lot of Jazz’s magick to get the room back to what it was and as for the slippers, they weren’t off the Naughty List for a Very Long Time.

So whether you’re on the Nice List or Naughty List, have a wonderful holiday

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis The Season!

It’s natural that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. And Christmas is right up there.

Let’s see. With one, you can get lots of candy. The other you can get lots of candy, cookies, and presents. But that’s not why I love the two holidays. Well, maybe a little bit.

I love the colors and the energy that comes with it. There is nothing more enjoyable than driving around at night and seeing all the decorations. I remember growing up where the house of an aerospace engineer always had incredible decorations. Santa in a rocket ship one year including motion and sound effects was one of my favorites.
No wonder I was so happy when I was asked to write a Christmas theme book for Harlequin American Romance. I was asked to do that for three years and I have the rights back to two of those books, which are out right now.

Twas the Night was originally titled He’s A Rebel and is my flat out fun book. A government agent wants to quit the agency in order to take care of her orphaned niece and nephew is now on the run because her boss refuses to accept her resignation. Plus we have a true crime writer who’s decided to hole up in a Lake Tahoe cabin he owns jointly with his best friends. He doesn’t care it’s Christmastime. Ukiah ‘Ki’ Jones has a book about an infamous serial killer to write and the cabin is his idea of solitude. Too bad that’s not going to happen with Sydney Taylor and her two young charges and two dogs barging into his solitude. A man who’s determined to never marry and a formerly footless and fancy free woman who doesn’t see marriage in her future either. Used to a life on the edge and roaming the world on dangerous assignments she’s determined to give her niece and nephew the home life they deserve. But as we all know love barges in where we don’t expect it and that’s what happens here. Plus, with children, can Christmas really be ignored?

Mistletoe Magic originally titled No Room at the Inn is my holiday Brigadoon. I thought of the idea of a Christmas village in Vermont that’s only visible during the month of December and disappears every Christmas night at midnight. A village only reveals itself to those who truly need that magic of the holidays. Quinn and Santee, who was first introduced in Sometimes A Lady, meet on a blizzard covered road and find sanctuary in a small village that they think celebrate Christmas 365 days a year. Quinn is an advertising executive who needs to decide if the man who proposed to her is the man she wants to be with for the rest of her life and for some unknown reason deputy sheriff Santee felt the need to travel from California to Vermont. Attraction is immediate and along the way Quinn also is able to confront a piece of her past and help a woman and her granddaughter not end up the way she did.

In romances, falling in love is expected. And when you can add a holiday to it it’s even more special.

Twas the Night and Mistletoe Magic are available at Amazon and Smashwords and soon available for Nook, Apple, Sony, and Kobo.

I hope you’ll try my holiday romances and find yourself transported to something unique.

And then you can share the Christmas spirit.

A Happy Holiday to you all!