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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
So, I just had a new release (and yes I did sneak that buy button in there). It’s getting some great reviews and I’ve received some interesting, supportive, and bordering on obsessive emails and messages regarding the series. I love that people enjoy it, especially since I’m so far out of my element with what’s contained in the rest of this post.
The following image is one of my whiteboards. It has arrows and colors and a very, very, very loose idea of how I’ll be connecting several shifter series… Read this one as ‘Lissa’s brain on coffee’
It’s not pretty, but I do understand it… I see the overall picture…
This is a visual idea of what my brain looks like with the details and even with some of the overall idea of what I’m attempting to do…
Notice the difference? My mind is a scrambled mess of interwoven details and ideas and thoughts and “OMFG WTF am I doing?” Read this one as ‘Lissa’s brain on coffee but obviously laced with something because there’s no freakin’ clarity’
I know you want the next book. Some book. Any book that has to do with the shifters… Many want more Gus and Bex. Many still want the rest of Denali Heat. Some now also want the wolves that I’ve introduced. So on, and so forth. I get it. I really do.
Denali Heat books (This is indicated on the whiteboard in the upper left corner that got cut off)… Those are different. The first one is still at Samhain Publishing and I can’t have it back, yet. It will need to be revised and added to in order to incorporate it into the huge, jumbled mess I’ve shown you above. I can work on that before I get the rights back and get back to working on the next book in the series, but it won’t be available to anyone until I get the rights back to Arctic Shift.
Just bear with me as I try to figure out how to do what it want to do…
Just bear with me as I try to untangle my brain.
In the process, I’m also working on the new contemporaries I promised earlier in the year. My ‘Fuck You if you don’t like what I want to write’ books.
Lots in store, y’all…
“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.
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.
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…
I haven’t been online a whole lot the last week or so. I know I haven’t kept up with the blog as much as I used to and I know I didn’t leave a Thanksgiving message this year as I have in the past, but my heartfelt gratitude is no less diminished.
I’ve been trying hard to be present. To be in the moment. Too much planning ahead or looking back ruins the RIGHT NOW and I’ve spent too much time looking around and not looking within to savor the minutes and seconds that are passing by.
When I started writing, I didn’t go into it with the idea of hitting a list. But guess what? Earlier this week, I found out that A Very Alpha Christmas box set hit the USA Today Bestseller’s List. This was a shock for me. Not because of the others in the set, because WOW there are some major paranormal authors in it, but it was a shock because I’m part of it. I’m sitting there in the list of author’s names right along with everyone else. I mean…Holy. Crap. L. Matthews. THAT’S ME!
I wanted to write good books. I wanted to write books that would resonate with readers. I wanted to touch people. I didn’t think about making a list. I didn’t think about making a lot of money as a writer. But I did think about a dream coming true and that was writing a story, having it published, and seeing my name on a cover. I’ve achieved those things. Time and time again.
I’ve made a little money, too.
And with an amazing and talented group of authors, I have become a USA Today Bestselling author.
None of it. NONE OF IT could have happened without you. Those who’ve been with me from the beginning and those who’ve come to read my work in recent months, weeks, days , who’ve held me up when I wanted to cry, who’d been in my corner when it seemed every review written was a bad one and made me want to quit, who’ve supported me when it seemed no one else did, who’ve shared in my achievements and my failures, THANK YOU!
And yes, if by chance you’ve haven’t ordered the book, click the cover to do so now!
Please visit the authors who make up A Very Alpha Christmas… I know you’ll be glad you did!
Have a wonderful weekend!