It’s The Final…Book. Or… Not…

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I have a new release today. it’s the 4th and final book in my Black & White Series in Eliza Gayle’s Southern Shifters Kindle World.

Writing in someone else’s world, one that they lovingly and painstakingly created was a challenge, one I didn’t think I’d create anything but one story around. But here we are and there are 4.

The characters I created… Bex and Gus, Michael and Maxine, Marcel and Mari, Leah and Blake, even Gus’s parents, Beck, the Mayor, and the newest character, Roan… these are my characters and I will be taking them outside the Southern Shifters Kindle World and into my own world that will at some point intersect with my dormant Denali Heat series that will get new life breathed into it.

Luke Blackwood is not a character I created. He is one of Eliza’s characters and I cannot take him out of the Kindle World. He must stay there. Others will write about him in their own way and it’s possible I’ll return to write a tale about him myself. But it won’t be anytime soon.

This series was a labor of love and learning and frustration and headaches and fear.

I also know that there will be some who will hate the way it ended. Others will understand and look forward to the next series. But I had to stay true to what Bex and Gus were telling me over these last months. And when all was said and done, I did what they, the characters dictated to me.

I have always been a character driven author and am proud to remain so. I have nothing but love for this book and this series.

I appreciate each and every reader who read it from start to finish and who loved it more with each book and always, always asked for more. Thank you. So very much.

Blurb:

Tracking Luke Blackwood, wolf shifter and all around pain in the ass, hadn’t been the toughest part of Gus’s current situation. No… Lying to his mate had been.

While Bex was home overseeing the renovations on her house, Gus and Luke were working to gather information on their enemies. But in their absence, danger has closed in on Bex and the ragtag band of werewolves and werebears left behind to watch out for her.

When the threat causes her to lose everything she owns, lines in the sand blur and choices have to be made. The safety of not only their immediate friends and family, but that of all the shifters in and around the Dragon and Deal’s Gap depends on it.

Author’s Note: This fast paced story is the final installment of my Black & White series within Eliza Gayle’s Southern Shifters Kindle World.

Author’s Additional Note: This cannot be read as a standalone. If you try, you will be very confused. Please start with book one, Ink To Bear.

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New Release! Christmas Wishes

Happy Release Day to ME!

Or, happy re-release day to me. A version of this story was included in an anthology last Christmas, A Very Alpha Christmas. That anthology is what allowed me to say that I was a USA Today Bestselling Author. To say it was an incredible feeling would be an understatement.

I haven’t re-released my story from that collection until now because I wanted it to come out at Christmas. I’ve doubled the word count, added a bit more back story and a few additional characters than weren’t in the original telling. I do hope you’ll like it. It’s fun and fanciful and charming. And it’s open-ended enough that I could write additional books if there’s enough interest.

I’ll be adding additional formats for sale soon.

Blurb:

The picturesque town of Snows Fall has a new resident: Rand. Lead reindeer and… Santa’s son.

Rand has some pretty big doubts about humanity’s inherent good versus their apparent greed. But doubts aren’t tolerated in the North Pole where wonder and magic rule the kingdom of Christmas.

The one thing Rand does believe in is an elf named Blix. She’s the owner of Wishes Bakery and the future Mrs. Only, she doesn’t know about that last part. Rand didn’t have the chance to tell her before waking up in a snow covered cabin far from home with more questions than answers.

Now he’s alone, just days before Christmas with nothing but a basket of Blix’s magical cookies and a few wishes of his own.

Is it too late for Rand? Will he be banished forever? Or do the holidays, his parents, and the town of Snows Fall have a few tricks up their collective sleeves to help restore his faith in humans and the holiday season?

Excerpt:

Inside Wishes Bakery, a long line had formed, starting at the register. A fresh batch of cookies must’ve come out. He loved when they were just out of the oven, when one of the elves brought out a tray of them for the customers. They would melt in a spicy mix of goodness on his tongue when they were warm.

Rand took a spot behind a group of elves who, once they saw him, turned away and started to whisper and giggle. That wasn’t a new thing. His role on the sleigh team this year was a well known fact and he was some sort of celebrity among the citizens of the North Pole. He grinned down at one of the elves when she glanced over her shoulder at him. He winked and her eyes widened.

He didn’t mind the extra dose of popularity. He minded that he could never get near the one elf he wanted most. The one coming from the kitchen carrying a large stack of gift boxes. The one who just tripped and started falling forward, disaster written all over her face. Rand jumped from his place in line and stretched out his arms as the boxes began tumbling down. He caught all of them, lifted them high, and put his body directly in front of her. She fell right into him. He hardly felt the impact.

Beneath the sparkle of her eyes lurked embarrassment accompanied by a blush staining her already rosy cheeks. “Rand,” she said, breathless and hushed.

“Hey, Blix.” He raised his brows. “You okay?”

She righted herself quickly and let go of where she’d grabbed his shirt. She was barely five feet, and the small heels on her shoes helped minimally, but her soft curves and plush weight was felt in every region of his body. He’d been the buffer between her and the floor and if he let his mind wander, it’d wander straight to wanting to take her to the floor, a bakery full of curious eyes or not. He didn’t care. He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to hold her. He wanted to make love to her.

He simply wanted her. There was no way around it and there was no way to fight it.

“Yeah, Rand. I’m okay.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder and straightened her dress. Red and silver, a scoop neckline and a skirt that swished around her knees when she walked. “Thank you for catching the cookies for me.”

“You’re welcome. Where were you headed with them?”

“Oh, the display table behind you and the front window. They’re the first chocolate sugar cookies of the season and I wanted to make sure there were plenty ready. I got a little over excited.”

“I see.” He’d like to see her a lot excited, but right then and there wasn’t the time or the place for it. “Let me help you set things up.”

“T-that’s not necessary. Really. I can do it.”

“I’d still like to help.”

She nodded after a brief hesitation. “All right. Sure.” She took three boxes from the stack he held. “I’ll take these to the window, if you’ll put yours on the table.”

“Any particular way?”

“A pyramid is fine. It’s what I was planning to do until I brought out some other things.”

Rand smiled. “A pyramid it is.” He was aware of the stares from the line behind him, but he didn’t give anyone the satisfaction of looking at them. They were curious and he’d let them be. Blix had disappeared into the opening of the display window where she painstakingly arranged and rearranged her three boxes.

Was she avoiding him? Was she trying to take as long as possible so she wouldn’t have to talk to him again? Was she still embarrassed about having almost fallen? Whatever it was, Rand wasn’t going to let her get away with it. She was going to have to face him, talk to him just a little bit more before he went away.

At the window, he positioned himself so that when she turned around, she’d come face to face with him. She’d be the perfect height for a kiss. A kiss he couldn’t give her in such a public place, but a kiss he’d love to give her nonetheless.

She stepped once, twice, and her heel caught on the edge of the display platform. Rand’s arms shot out again, but instead of catching boxes of cookies, he caught Blix as she grasped for purchase where there was none.

“How have you survived without me?” he asked, lightly, with a chuckle at the end of his question.

“I’m kind of wondering the same thing.”

Rand eased her down the front of his body and held onto her a little longer than he should have. When he finally let go, she spun to face him. “You okay?” He brushed hair from her face, behind her delicately pointed ear. Rubies hung from her earlobes.

“I am. I’m not usually this clumsy. I am so sorry.”

“I don’t mind at all. I’m glad I was here to catch you.”

She smiled up at him and Rand’s heart stopped in his chest. The little elf had no idea what she did to him. “Admit it. You’re even more glad you saved the cookies from crashing to the ground.”

She was teasing him and oh, how he adored it. “That’s a definite perk. I mean, I can eat cracked and even crumbled cookies, but I’d rather eat whole ones. Even better if I could share a box with someone.”

“Oh. Of course. Why wouldn’t you want to? I’m sure she, ah… What I meant was… Your, ah…” Blix closed her mouth, pressed her lips into a tight, thin line, and blushed scarlet. He’d never heard her stammer like that. She stepped around him, grabbing the box from the top of his pyramid. “Take these. On the house. For helping to save them. I’m sure your date will love them.”

“Blix, I don’t —”

But she didn’t give him a chance to finish his sentence. She scurried back into the kitchen and out of sight, leaving him staring after her, with a box of chocolate cookies in his hands. He shook his head, certain confusion was written all over his face. “Elves.”

 

Merry Christmas, Y’all!

 

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New Release – Bearing The Ink

a little different from other shifter books…” Oh My God, y’all… I LOVE that! One of the reviews says it. And yes, it IS a little different.

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Bryson City, North Carolina. It was her home. It was her childhood. Now it’s the key to a horrible reality.

Poachers. Unscrupulous hunters who take the lives of full blood animals and shifters alike. Sport for most. Revenge for one.

Confronted by a man she believed to be dead, Bex, along with her newfound family, and Gus by her side, face down a stunning realization that nothing is as it seems and where dots connect past to present.

Bears and wolves must find a common thread that weaves together an unconventional alliance. They’re all targets. They’re all in danger.

And when hearts are involved, it always gets messy.

#SouthernShiftersKW

There will be other books coming, but I have no idea when. More bears, definitely. Wolves now, too. First though, I owe y’all The Billionaire’s Heiress and that’s what I plan to deliver on.

I hope you’ll enjoy the trip back into the Southern Shifters Kindle World…

~lissa

 

 

Werebears Like Donuts, Too

I have written a new Kindle Worlds story in the Southern Shifters world. It is a continuation of Gus and Bex’s story which began in Ink To Bear. In this new title, questions from Bex’s past arise and secrets are revealed that even I didn’t know until recently… There will be a book 3, as well, coming in late October.

Enjoy!

~lissa

Inked By The Bear


READ AN EXCERPT

Gus tried – and failed – to ignore the rumbling beneath his feet. He heard them coming long before anyone else would have. And, he felt them.

He turned the wrench harder than he should have and reminded himself that it wasn’t his bike he was working on right then.

It was a neighbor’s bike. A human’s bike. And a normal human wouldn’t have that kind of strength behind the simple turning of a wrench.

The roar of multiple engines gutted the silence of the normally peaceful little town of Dandridge, Tennessee. He’d brought Bex here when she sold her childhood home to start

He gave her a ride from North Carolina and hadn’t left. Didn’t have a plan to leave, either.

He also didn’t want to cause her or anyone in the small town issues and the wolf shifter leading the handful of other wolf shifters was nothing but one big, furry issue.

Gus stood, wiping his hands on a rag, and pretended he wasn’t tense as the first bike pulled right up to his feet. One by one, the engines shut off. It wasn’t until all was quiet again, that Gus looked up.

“Blackwood,” was all he said by way of greeting.

“I’m here to talk about the human woman.”

“She’s mine. Which makes her off limits to you. No need to talk about her. Have a… Safe trip back.”

“I’m not looking to cause trouble.”

Gus smirked. “You and your pack are nothing but trouble from what I hear. Especially, you.”

“At least the reputation fits,” the wolf said with a grin. His expression turned serious again. “She’s not a pure human. And I know you sense that. We all sense it. She’s part shifter, and given her age and where she comes from, I think I might I know something about her past.”Gus stared at the alpha wolf, one brow raised in question. That was a lot of specific information to just be tossed out into the open. Was Blackwood telling the truth? If he wasn’t, Gus would tear the wolf apart. But… But if he was…? Only Bex could say whether or not she’d want to know.

“Look, I know you have no reason to trust me, but when I saw her a few weeks back outside Sweet Retreat? Let’s just say it triggered some things I’ve been pulling together about past events involving our kind.”

Now, Gus was even more wary about the wolf and his intentions. “She gets off work in a few hours.”

“We can go see her now,” Luke said impatiently.

“We sure as hell can’t. I’m not letting you and your pack loose all over town or upsetting her at her job.”

“Possessive or protective?”

“Where you’re concerned, both. Definitely both.”

“Fair enough. What’ve you got for entertainment? Sounds like it’ll be a bit of a wait.”

“You can work on your bikes, or nap, or best idea, go back where you came from.”

“How about some ink?”

“You trust me with a needle?”

“Guess we’ll find out.”

Gus regarded the wolf shifter for a long moment. He couldn’t get a real solid read on the pack and their intentions. Something didn’t feel right, but he couldn’t figure out what it was. The best way to get to the bottom of it, was to keep the wolves around for a bit. “All right. Come with me. Don’t touch anything. She’ll know if it’s out of place.”

Through the back door, Gus led Luke through the kitchen. It was mostly put together. Bex was waiting on the stove top. She’d bought it at an estate sale when the money can through from the sale of the bed and breakfast in Bryson City.

She had a thing for vintage appliances and the oven was being repaired at a local shop down the road.

She had a whole vision for the place. His vision was only for her and the home he wanted with her.

“Don’t suppose you or any of your boys brought donuts from that little place in Deal’s Gap, did you?” He hadn’t had a chance to go get any himself since he’d been back from his last tattoo trip. He had a hankering for something sugary and cake like.

“No. Can’t say that was on my mind when we set out earlier.”

“Shame. Would’ve been nice, since I don’t think you’re here to talk about anything good.”

“Guess it all depends on what you consider good.”

“Guess so.”

“She tell you about what happened to her mother?” Luke asked as they climbed the staircase. Gus had refinished it down to the original wood a couple of weeks back. He needed to earn his keep. He couldn’t let her be the only one working while she got things off the ground. She didn’t make him feel that he did. No, the feeling came from within him, from when he’d been taken in and raised by a family who didn’t owe him anything, who didn’t have to keep him, yet did.

He couldn’t and wouldn’t be beholden to anyone, not even the woman who made him feel as though he fit with her more than he’d ever fit anywhere. “Yes, she told me,” he answered honestly.

“Did she tell you it was a bear? One like you?”

“She did, but he wasn’t anything like me. I wouldn’t have done what he did. I don’t know any bears who would.”

“No?”

Gus rounded on Luke so fast, the wolf nearly fell down the steps. “No, you son of a bitch. I don’t. If you’ve got something to say, say it. Otherwise, save your story for Bex or leave.”

Luke raised his hands in a show of surrender. “Guess donuts would’ve been a good idea. Maybe they’d have kept your temper in check. You’re touchy.”

“We’ll find out who’s touchy when I get the tattoo gun out.”

“You don’t scare me, bear,” the wolf muttered once they started up the stairs again.

“That was your second mistake,” Gus bit out.

“What was the first?”

“Showing up.

Available as an ebook:

Amazon Kindle

The quaint little town of Dandridge, Tennessee is about to get a whole lot less quiet and a whole lot more interesting…

Bex and Gus have kept busy since leaving Bryson City and arriving in Dandridge. Between renovations on her would-be bed and breakfast, Gus tinkering on a couple of bikes and planting roots for the first time in his adult life, and Bex pulling long hours at a local restaurant, there’s been little time for much else.

But when werewolf Luke Blackwood, of the rogue Blackwood Pack, shows up with answers to secrets from Bex’s past, revelations that question whether or not she’s truly human, and and theories that may lead them all in dangerous directions, Gus must call in the cavalry to help them sort things out.

*Author’s Note: This is not a standalone read. Ink To Bear – Black and White series, Book One, can be read as a standalone, and is the beginning of how Bex and Gus met, but Inked By The Bear, a continuation of Bex and Gus’s story, cannot be read that way. Inked By The Bear has a cliffhanger ending. Book Three will be out in October 2015*


For More Information On Eliza Gayle’s Southern Shifters Kindle World, Click HERE For More Information on Kindle Worlds, Click HERE

How Do You Take Your Coffee?

The Tattooed Barista


READ AN EXCERPT

Peg heard ringing in her ears and a cough, then a sputter as though someone were choking. Her vision was hazy, but she could make out Samuel sitting with his hip on the edge of his desk, coffee dribbling down his chin. She should go over and help him, because the woman dabbing a napkin on his shirt was making it worse. Only, Peg couldn’t seem to move.

Her feet were rooted to the floor and the arm around her waist was vice-like in its tightness. That was good… and bad. Good in that it was probably the only thing holding her up. Bad in that the man the arm was attached to may not live out the rest of the day once the office cleared.

The stunned looks on the faces of the four women in front of her and Derek said everything she was feeling inside. Shock. Horror. Embarrassment. Disbelief. Anger.

Samuel had recovered and an amused look had taken over. She liked him. She really did. But if he didn’t do something to help save his friend’s life…

He said Derek was acting weird. Maybe what he’d really meant was that Derek was crazy. That could be it. She’d buy that Derek had lost his mind between the time he ran in and the moment his mother had confronted him.

“I wasn’t aware you were seeing anyone,” his mother said. She’d recovered her composure much more quickly than Peg, although Peg wasn’t sure when she might recover hers.

“Whirlwind romance,” Derek said easily, lightly. “I took one look at her and that was it for me.” He gazed down at her with what she was sure was supposed to be love and affection, but all she read was pleading in his eyes. “I was head over heels before I knew what hit me.”

Oh, something would definitely hit him. Something hard. Something sharp and pointy. Something he may not wake up from.

However, she would play along. She would make sure he paid for it, too, and paid big.

“Something similar happened with Samuel, as well,” one of the women stated, her blonde hair perfectly coifed around her head while Peg’s was bundled in a mess on top of hers and held in place with cheap chopsticks. She wasn’t sure if the comment was meant to be pleasant or biting, but the women looking at them, didn’t fill her with warm fuzzies.

“I guess love blooms in summer,” Peg said, pasting a smile on her face so big her cheeks hurt.

“Seems so,” Derek’s mother stated. “I simply hadn’t expected it to strike my son quite so firmly, but since you’re going to be part of the family, dear, that means you’ll be part of our small group of friends. Let me introduce you to Samuel’s mother, Bitsy Worthington, and this is Cricket, who was thought, at one time, to be the perfect match for Samuel, and this is Pamela, who has been a very dear friend of Derek’s for many years.”

“Perhaps tastes change with the seasons,” Peg offered, though she was most definitely out of her element with this particular conversation. She had no business fostering the idea in anyone’s head that she intended to marry Derek. Kill or maim him, yes. Marry him, no.

“Do they?” Samuel’s mother inquired.

That question wasn’t asked with friendliness and Peg watched as Samuel stiffened, then rose from the corner of the desk. “Yes, Mother, they do. Especially, when that taste was never there to begin with. Now, I hate to cut this short, but if you all will excuse us, Derek, Peggy, and I have a meeting to get to.”

“What sort of meeting could all three of you be attending? She doesn’t look like a business person.”

Meaning no tattoos or teal hair? Peg didn’t miss a beat. “A potential investor for my new company has asked to meet with us. Samuel is my advisor, and Derek is my attorney.”

“You own a company? Like the other woman?” the blonde asked. What was her name? Cricket? Who the hell named their child after a bug?

“Samantha? Yes, like her. Only a little different. I own The Tattooed Barista. It’s a mobile coffee business.”

“You didn’t get the tattoos just for the business, did you? That would seem a little extreme,” Pamela, Derek’s society intended, inquired, her delicate nose scrunching up ever so slightly.

Peg laughed at the absurd question. “No. I’ve had tattoos since I was sixteen.”

And that silenced them all, enough that the awkwardness became almost intolerable. Derek’s mother cleared her throat. “I believe then that we should go so you can make it to your meeting. Peggy, I’ll get your card from Derek and be in touch. If you’re marrying my son, I’d like to get to know you and help you… plan. Help you and your mother plan, that is.”

Oh. Joy. Peg started to say something, to correct Pauline, but chose to let it go. There wasn’t going to be any wedding, so there was no need to get into her family history. “Great.” Why didn’t she ask for a card directly from Peg? Why did she think she had to go through Derek?

Derek stepped away from Peg and she smiled at the stiff hugs that were exchanged between mothers and sons and the unfeeling little finger waves as they all exited the office, their heads close together in heated conversation. Peg could only imagine what they were twittering on about.

“Thank God, that’s over,” Derek said, slumping down in a chair across from Samuel’s desk and loosening his tie.

He was so gorgeous with his espresso colored eyes and his midnight black hair. He was taller than her, even in the heels she wore and she’d always been a sucker for guys who were taller. Then there was the little bit of skin he showed as he unbuttoned the top two buttons of his dress shirt that made her lick her lips. He would be a huge distraction if things were allowed to progress outside what had happened in the office. She couldn’t let that happen. No matter how much she wanted to drop to her knees and crawl between his and lick that spot on his throat that he’d revealed. No matter how much she wanted to undo each and every button on his shirt so she could lick and kiss and taste his skin from his chest to his belly.

No. No matter what. She couldn’t let that happen. Instead… “Yes, thank God, that’s over,” Peg agreed. She motioned with her hand. “Time to pay up.”

Derek looked up at her, those dark eyes raking her from head to toe much as she’d been doing to him. She never felt self conscious with a man before, but something in the way he appraised her, made her feel that way along with aroused and hungry. He was out of her league. It was just that simple.

“I know. What say we meet for dinner around seven?”

The man was out of his mind. “I’m not going to dinner with you.”

“Why not?” He also seemed genuinely shocked that she’d say no.

“Because that wasn’t part of the deal.”

“I’d like to take you out as a thank you.”

“What are you thanking me for? Not killing you in front of your mother and her friends? Because I can tell you that you came very close to dying with that little fiancé stunt.”

For the first time, he looked uncertain and she wasn’t sure she liked that look on him. “I’m sorry about that. It was all I could come up with.”

“Really? That’s all? You’re a lawyer, right? You can’t lie better than that when put on the spot?” Peg shook her head. “Your poor clients.”

“Hey, now. You don’t know me. You don’t know that I can’t lie better in a more normal situation. One that doesn’t involve my mother walking in with a woman she would like me to marry. You don’t know that I can lie convincingly at all. So, don’t go making judgements.”

Samuel chuckled and Peg scrunched up her face as she tried to figure out exactly what Derek had just said.“Is that who she was? Your hopeful fiancé? I thought she was a friend.”

“Once upon a time in fourth grade maybe. Today was the first time I’ve seen her in years.”

“Either way. You owe me and I don’t want to have to have dinner with you. Samuel? You’re welcome to chime in any time now. He’s your friend.”

Samuel finally let out a full laugh. “Why would I jump into the middle of this? It’s entertaining for me.”

“Samantha wouldn’t like you just sitting there while I’m being thrown under the bus.”

“No, she wouldn’t. But she’s not here. You handled yourself just fine, Peg. Derek handled himself like a coward.”

Derek not so discreetly gave Samuel the middle finger. “You took Samantha to meet the lioness in her den knowing exactly what you were walking into, what you were walking Samantha into, and didn’t bother to tell her.”

“Yep, and she was strong and beautiful and for every bite my mother tried to take out of her, Samantha bit back.”

“See? Coward.” Derek sounded pleased with himself.

“You two are pathetic. Are you sure you’re not still in college?”

“When dealing with the women who were just here, yes, we are pathetic cowards,” Derek confirmed. “So, dinner?” Derek stated, his tone serious. “Tower of the America’s? Chart House? I’ll see you at seven.”

Available as an ebook:

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Lone Star Sweets, Book 3

Derek Forrester couldn’t lie his way out of a paper bag, but somehow he’s managed to convince his less than approving high society mother of his engagement to the teal haired, dangerously curved, tattoo covered, coffee cart owning girl named Peggy.

Peg, not ‘Peggy’, is far from amused by Derek’s fib, but the way he kissed, left her wondering what might have been if she hadn’t been paid to play along.

The stakes are higher than the original bargaining price, a new business is getting off the ground, and it’s going to take a whole lot more than caffeine to get through this wedded mess.

Other Books In The Series:

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