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Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Alice Renaud - Author of The Sweetest Magic of All - Guest Post



I'm delighted to welcome Alice Renaud to the Flight Deck today. Make yourself at home, Alice and tell me all about your story and this anthology - sounds wonderful! (Oh and I noted the mension of Swansea,  in 'The Sweetest Magic' - a place I know quite well coming from South Wales myself.) Gorgeous cover too!


The Sweetest Magic of All, in the Mystic Desire anthology by Alice Renaud

Do you believe in love at first sight?
In the stories, of course, we do… Hero meets heroine, sparks fly, and before they know it they’re head over heels in love. I remember the advice from an editor at Harlequin that the hero and heroine should meet not just in the first chapter, but on the first page, or even better in the first paragraph! 

There are plenty of exceptions to the rule, and I’ve read great romances where the hero turns up in chapter 2. But the first meeting always has to be charged, significant, there has to be a connection between the two characters, otherwise the reader or viewer will soon lose interest.


 But in real life? When I was a teenager, I didn’t really believe in love at first sight in the real world. My view of love was that people met, didn’t think much of it, then grew to know and like each other, then one thing led to another… until eventually they found their happily ever after.Yet, since then, I have met quite a few lovely couples who did, it seems, fall for each other at first sight. My manager at work met his wife on a night out when they were both 18. In a bar. Some people say that you’ll never meet the love of your life in a bar. Or on holiday. They also say that you should never sleep together on the first date, that it will definitely scupper any chance of a real relationship. That sound you hear is hundreds, thousands of couples laughing. They broke the rules, and they’re still happily married decades later.


Because in real life, as I have discovered, there are no rules. You might meet the love of your life and know straight away that they’re special… or you might discover it later. I love hearing how couples found each other, and I love writing about it. In my short story “The Sweetest Magic of All,” part of the BVS supernatural romance anthology “Mystic Desire,” the apprentice witch Sapphire falls for the warlock Aaron when he takes her back in time to find the magical amulet that can save her aunt. If a man did that for me, I’d be quite impressed. It helps that Aaron is smoking hot… with magic at his fingertips. Read the excerpt below to find out more!
 
Oh, and they do meet on the first page… though not in the first paragraph!
What about you? Do you have a love story to share? If you have a partner, how did you meet them? Was it love at first sight, or did it grow over time? Let me know in the comments below!
Also don’t miss our great Halloween Mystic Desire book party on 31 October! There will be games, a chance to chat with the BVS authors who contributed to the anthology Mystic Desire, and many great prizes to be won! https://www.facebook.com/events/363136690941011/

Blurb
Mystic Desire is a collection of brand new supernatural romance stories by award-winning BVS authors! 
The Sweetest Magic of All by Alice Renaud:
When a sexy apprentice witch and a hot warlock go back in time to locate a magical amulet, they find more than they bargained for. It's May Eve, the most magical night of the year, and normal rules don't apply...
An Awareness of Evil – Dee S. Knight
Only two things stand between evil and a small girl: the visions of Amanda McMasters and Detective Brendan Gilchrist. Neither can afford to be wrong.
Bewitching the Wolf – Zia Westfield
The Witch, Alice Humphreys has poured her heart and soul into creating a magical B&B where guests experience the fantasy vacation of their dreams!  Brodie MacEwan has been sent to investigate the mysterious death of his uncle. He never expected to discover his soul mate in his dreams. But is the illusion real? Alice knows that there is something all too predatory about the Scotsman and he makes her body tingle in places it shouldn’t! 
Calling All Angels – Lora Logan
Elijah Baker, an immortal tasked with fighting against demons that exist on earth, finds peace when he meets his new neighbor, Celeste. But when he realizes that their love comes with a cost, he is faced with choosing between his calling and a chance at true love.
Dream Catcher – Callie Carmen
Long ago a medicine man had made a matched set of dream catchers as a wedding gift to protect the Chief’s daughter and her warrior husband. He had called upon the benevolent spirits to keep the two soul mates safe and in a loving, healthy marriage. It was foretold that if the two dream catchers were ever divided the new owners would be drawn together as soul mates. Was that possible?
Life Saving – Anne Krist
Saving lives isn't just for adults. Sometimes the innocent magic of a child can do the job better.
Love from the Mist – Patricia Elliott
When Jace Warden learns that his brother plans to announce his engagement at a family get together, he flees to the other side of the world to escape the joyous celebration.
Or at least attempts to…  His plane never makes it, and he winds up trapped on an island. Little does he realize, he’s not alone; there’s a mischievous little entity milling about, and she wants to play.
Love Knows No Apocalypse – Patricia Elliott
Getting stranded in the middle of a storm was not Samantha Wheeler’s idea of an ideal situation, especially in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. But fighting zombies was the easy part; her heart, though, was a whole other matter. Thanks to a man named Steve Jones.
When they find themselves in danger, she has to decide what’s more important - dying for someone she loves or surviving.
Love that Binds – Carol Schoenig
On the outskirts of a small town where nothing grows, a young girl, Ianthee, is being bullied and accused of being a witch. Young Caleb, inexplicably drawn to Ianthee, comes to her rescue. Before they can explore their feelings, Caleb and his family disappear. What happened to him, and what part does a long-ago legend play in their lives?
Love’s Ghost – R.M. Olivia
“Sorry, babe. I know it hurts to hear.” John frowned.  I’ll make this brief. I spoke to the man in charge and he is giving me one last chance.”
“Come again?”
“I’m allowed to make love to my wife one last time before I have to cross over. So, are you ready for your husband? Are you ready for me, Ingrid?” He lifted my chin up and ran his thumb along my lips.  I felt a chill go down my spine. How could this be real? How could this be happening?
The Anniversary – Richard Savage
A cruel twist of fate wrenched Evelyn and Peter apart on their wedding anniversary. Evelyn’s life descends into darkness.  James enters her life giving her a chance of happiness. Evelyn discovers a piece of jewelry, that has the power to grant her time with Peter on their anniversary. She adores James, but needs Peter.  Can she ever really let Peter go, while there’s still a chance they can be together?
The Mortal Vampire – Suzanne Smith
Remy enjoys life as a vampire, never giving a thought to sucking every last drop of tasty blood out of his unfortunate victims and leaving them door nail dead. But his cold and carefree existence changes the day he crosses paths with the beautiful and mysterious mortal Angela.
Through the Veil – Jan Selbourne
A beautiful March day in 1875 ends in tragedy when the wagon carrying Helen and Marcus plunges down the mountainside. Generations pass before Rachel Finlay finds an old sepia photo of a man and woman. She knows them but she’s never met them and now, for the peace of mind she desperately craves, she goes back to where it began. In time, through the veil, knowing she may never return.
Unconditional Lust – Breanna Hayes
The massive, hideous merrow leader, Muruch, craves the taste of human flesh. Confined to the ocean, he feeds his horde with sailors from ships pulled into the maw of the Bermuda Triangle. When US Army Captain, Nurys Shaye, puts her life on the line to save him after being captured, his hunger for human flesh is shadowed by the desire for her body and her love. Will she be able to see past his appearance and trust him to break down her walls and teach her to feel?

Excerpt from The Sweetest Magic of All, in the Mystic Desire anthology by Alice Renaud

Saffy knelt on the grass and opened the book of spells. Book was a strong word for the worn diary in which Auntie May had recorded her enchantments, but all witches had books of spells. So she’d call it a book, just as she called herself a witch.
Though she was only an apprentice. A chill crept over her skin, as if a shadow had blotted out the summer sun. She stared hard at the spidery handwriting, but all she could see was the thin body of her aunt, almost swallowed up by the tubes and machines that were keeping her alive. Only one thing could help her now, the magical amulet that she’d once worn around her neck. The amulet had vanished a week ago, on the day she’d had a stroke, and they’d rushed her to the hospital in Swansea. No one had been able to find it since. 
Cold enveloped Saffy and seeped into her limbs. The amulet was her aunt’s last hope. She had to find it. Now. 
She took a deep breath. The familiar smells of the seaside meadow streamed into her nose, pushing back the icy fear that dug its claws into her flesh. Salt on the wind. Wildflowers. Good, rich earth, softened by the morning dew. “I can do this,” she said. 
She placed the book on the grass and waved her hands above it, the way her aunt had shown her. Auntie May had made magic look so easy. Saffy had never managed to cast a spell on her own, but today she had to try, and succeed. She kept breathing, in and out, to keep herself calm. The spell to find lost objects was supposed to be easy. And this meadow was a special place, where the ancient magic of the world flowed fast and strong. Surely the spell would succeed here. 
Saffy laid her hands in the grass, on either side of the yellowed pages. A ladybird landed on her index finger and walked down onto the book, as if to encourage her. She concentrated. All her life seemed to pour into the breath she was taking… into her tongue as it formed the words. 
“Bound and binding
Binding, bound
See the sight
Hear the sound
What was lost
Now is found.”
She closed her eyes and waited for the vision that would show her where the lost amulet was. All she saw was the red light of the sun, shining through her lids. She opened her eyes. There was only the meadow, frothy with oxeye daisies, and the turquoise dome of the sky. A perfect midsummer day, mocking her and her pathetic attempts at magic. Bitter dismay surged, burning her throat and the back of her eyes. She let out a strangled cry. “Fuck and triple fuck!”
“What have you lost?”
The male voice, behind her, made her jump. She turned. A man, wrapped in a black coat, was staring at her, just a few feet away. A warm tide of embarrassment rose from her neck to her cheeks. He must have heard her say the spell. He’d think she was nuts.
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