“Just Jump In and Fly” Re-Release (Ava Dunne)

This piece, under the Ava Dunne byline, mixes mythology, Yule traditions, romance, mystery, and fantasy, all in one novelette just over 10,000 words.

Samantha Wright has a problem. The attractive Kris Teague crash- landed his sleigh and eight not-so-tiny reindeer in her driveway. His uncle Nick happens to be THAT Nick – as in Claus – and they need Samantha Wright’s help to turn back the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at one of the Universal Gates not only to save Christmas, but keep Earth turning. A fresh, romantic comedy turn on Yuletide myths and traditions!

It was an absolute delight to write. Even though it’s quite a few years old at this point, it still makes me happy when I re-read it every year. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. This is very much a case of me writing the piece I looked for, couldn’t find, and wanted to read.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Are you mad that I told Dad I had a stomach bug when I really didn’t, just so I could come home?”

            “It would have been nice if you hadn’t waited until you were at the airport on Christmas Eve in the middle of a snowstorm. If they weren’t on a private plane, they’d never get out of here tonight. Driving to and from Logan on a lovely summer’s day is hardly my idea of a good time, but in this weather. . .”

            “I was desperate.”

            “I understand why you did it. In a perfect world, you could have told him you were uncomfortable and why and made arrangements, but in this case, yeah, I see why you did it. If you hadn’t said you were sick and grossed out Alyssa, he would have made you do whatever felt wrong so you’d learn to do his version of manning up. I don’t want this to become a pattern, faking illness to get out of doing stuff you don’t want to do, but in this case, I do understand, and I’ll let it go.”

            “I promise it won’t be a habit, and I promise I won’t ever do it with you. I’ll just tell you when something bugs me.”

            “Okay, we have a deal.”

            “Hey, what’s happened at the foot of our driveway?” Liam leaned forward. “It looks like an accident.”

            I pulled into the lip of the driveway to the red Colonial I’d bought in the summer. Snow was stacked up against the fence, left by the town’s plow brigade. In the snowbank was what looked like an overturned sleigh and a bunch of livestock. I pulled out my phone to call 9-1-1. Nothing. No signal.

            “Are those reindeer?” Liam’s mouth dropped open.

            “I’m not sure.” I got out of the car on my side. Liam got out on his side, and Simon shouldered his way over the seats and out of Liam’s door. As we got closer to the livestock, I saw they had antlers and large, liquid brown eyes. Some of the harnesses broke, and they stepped through the snow, the bells on the remaining strips jingling. None of them looked as though they were hurt, thank goodness.

            I turned to Liam. “I think they are reindeer.”

            “Cool,” Liam responded.

            I wasn’t so sure it was cool. Yes, I had a barn. I even had a trio of rescued horses in it and supplies. I counted — eight — where the heck could I put EIGHT reindeer?

            Eight. Reindeer. I was getting a really bad feeling about this.

This piece is one of my favorite things ever written. It was on Payloadz way back when, then moved over to Smashwords, and is now OFF Smashwords and distributed via multiple digital channels. Amazon is refusing to carry it, because it’s available on other channels, even though I want Amazon to distribute it, and am not in a publishing agreement with them. I am looking at other platforms where I can distribute the mobi file.

It’s only 99 cents!

The easiest way to find the type of digital file is to use the Universal Buy Link.

For more information on all the Delectable Digital Delights, visit the website page. More holiday shorts are being prepped for re-release!

Midnight Enchantments: Tim Powers


Midnight Enchantments is a celebration of books, authors, and characters who bring magic into our lives.

Midnight Enchantments: Tim Powers
By Cerridwen Iris Shea

Remember Compuserve Forums? That’s how long it’s been since the first time I read a Tim Powers novel. I was on a readers’ forum in Compuserve, and I wanted an interesting book, something unlike anything I’d ever read before. One of the other forum members, knowing I read tarot cards, suggested Tim Powers’s novel LAST CALL, where one of the major plot actions is high stakes poker using tarot.

I loved the way Celtic mythology of the Fisher King wove within the urban fantasy context set, in all places, Vegas. I love the way tarot wove through it. I couldn’t put it down — I read it straight through. The magic within the book had its own momentum. You couldn’t see how Scott could win against these odds, and yet couldn’t bear him to lose.

It’s one of those books I’ve been afraid to re-read in the intervening years, afraid I won’t love it as much as I did the first time I read it. The breathless joy with which it captured me might never be recreated. But I know it’s in a box downstairs, waiting to be unpacked in the new house, and I know, when I finally unpack it, I’ll re-read it.

Quite a few years passed before I read the other books in the trilogy, EXPIRATION DATE and EARTHQUAKE WEATHER. I enjoyed them, but none of the others packed the punch to me of LAST CALL.

I’ve read many of his other novels through the years. THE STRESS OF HER REGARD, with a premise of Byron and Shelley dealing with vampires, and THE DRAWING OF THE DARK, about a struggle between Muslim and Christian magicians were my favorites. DECLARE, on the other hand, just annoyed me. I felt like he was hitting me over the head with a religious two by four, and I didn’t like it. And then I felt guilty about the reaction, because I’d always held his work in such high esteem.

You can learn more about LAST CALL and Tim Powers’s other work here.

–Cerridwen Iris Shea wrote for Llewellyn Worldwide for sixteen years. She writes the Merry’s Dalliance Pirate Fantasies, and teaches workshops all over the world. This is her busy season. Visit her website: www.cerridwenscottage.com