“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!

Reader Expansion Challenge: Book by A Woman Whose Work You Haven’t Yet Read: Until You by Jeannie Moon


This month, the challenge was to read a book by a woman writer whose work we had not previously read.

I got some wonderful recommendations. I looked at several books; I have a huge TBR pile from those recommendations that is very exciting. Some of them are big books that will probably change my life.

Then, I saw a RT on Twitter (can’t remember from whom, but it must have been a fellow writer). It was about a writer I had never yet read named Jeannie Moon, who writes romance. A younger writer criticized her because her female protagonist is ten years older than the male love interest.

Say what?

As an unmarried woman who’s older than I ever expected to be, that offends me.

I’ve dated older; I’ve dated younger. I joke a lot about how my cut-off in dating is that don’t date a man to whom I could have technically given birth.

That’s not always true. I’ve sometimes dated men younger than that.

But, as I said, I’m older than I ever thought I’d be.

I don’t date them very young, because I don’t date boys, I date men.

Of course, there are plenty of males who are chronologically men but emotionally boys. I try to steer clear of them, too.

I hurt on behalf of Jeannie Moon, and I was offended FOR her. She gets to write whatever she wants. She writes romance. That means her characters find their Happily Ever After.

In my Gwen Finnegan series, Gwen is twelve years older than Justin. Does it cause problems? Hell, yes. Do they have great sex anyway? HELL, yes! Do they genuinely love each other? Hell, hell, HELL yes!

Granted, the Gwen Finnegan books are paranormal mysteries with romantic elements, not romance novels. But I believe everyone deserves a happy ending. A real one, not a nudge, nudge, wink, wink kind that’s paid for by old white men in Florida “spas.”

I looked over Jeannie Moon’s published books and decided to read UNTIL YOU for this month’s challenge. First, that was the book criticized. Second, the male protagonist was a professional hockey player.

I’m a huge hockey fan. I’ve written about hockey, both in fiction and by covering the sport. I even spent eight months with a minor league team (where, even then, I was already older than some of their mothers). No, I didn’t date any of them. I wasn’t even tempted, and I set strong boundaries. But I wrote about quite a few hockey players over a period of years who started out as talented boys and grew into terrific men. I’m proud of them.

I didn’t date any of them after they’d all grown up, either.

An aside: I once brought a date to one of the games. We went to the bar where we all hung out after the games. My date and I sat on our own, but I brought him over to introduce him to the players. As we walked away, I looked back at the table, and a handful of the guys with whom I was closest looked horrified and shook their heads. When I went to the rink the next day, they sat me down and gave me a serious talking to about how this guy was entirely wrong for me, and they were worried.

I’d already figured that out. But I thought they were adorable to care.

Back to Jeannie Moon’s book.

I really liked it. It was charming and funny. She’d done her research. She got the hockey right and the teamwork right and some of the not-so-nice aspects right. She got various settings right and they sang, supporting the story.

There was one plot development where I thought the book would lose me, because I am sick and tired of that choice being the endgame in too many books, especially romance novels. But then, it took a sad and poignant twist. The way the characters dealt with it was beautiful and true to their core integrity, and made me care about them even more.

The antagonists were drawn a bit too broadly sometimes, and I got ahead of them. I didn’t need scenes in their POVs. The scenes were fine–the writing was good, we got insight. But I didn’t need those scenes.

But the other characters and the way they grew and loved and laughed and cried and lived and fought and supported each other — it was beautiful.

I had a smile on my face by the end of the book. I look forward to reading more of her work.

I’m sorry Jeannie Moon was attacked for writing lovely, vibrant people who genuinely love each other; but I might not have found her work otherwise. She’s definitely worth reading.

So what’s next month’s challenge?

April’s challenge is to read in a favorite genre by a new-to-you author. We reconvene to share on Tuesday, April 16th.

Please share in this post’s comments what you read this month. I’d love to add them to my TBR pile!

Yes, these posts are more essays on my emotional responses to a book than a review. That is my choice. A review serves a different purpose. The point of the Reader Expansion Challenge is to get us reading in new directions and respond emotionally as much as intellectually. These posts are not reviews. They’re discussions of reading experiences.

Kymber Rowean

Please give Kymber Rowean a warm welcome to A BIBLIO PARADISE! She’s in the year-long writing intensive, and the book we’re talking about today was released a few weeks ago. I’m delighted to have her here as a guest!

Devon Ellington: What was the spark of inspiration (no pun intended) for this story? And how did it grow from the original idea?

Kymber Rowean: Would you believe the first spark came from a childhood movie of a little known witch and a famous wizard? From there, I started tinkering with the idea of how this powerful couple would have to join forces against a greater evil while shifting through the different types of magic abilities at their disposal. The next thing I had to decide is if the protagonists were schooled or were gifted with elemental magic. Still not satisfied, I decided to play with fire or rather cold fire. I gave Kayla, the gift/curse of cold fire and created a powerful pair of brothers who could douse her flame. The protagonist came at a time when I was dealing with an emotional vampire who sucked the life out of my writing and that’s how the hag was born.

DE: Did you find any initial resistance to a menage story, rather than the more common two-person couple with a traditional HEA, or had you done market research before starting the story?

KR: When I first started compiling the notes of the story, I noticed that it lent itself to a ménage story, due to the nature of the magical roles. I settled in and researched some sites, which published ménages and never looked back.

DE: What kind of research did you need to do for the story? What kind of world-building?

KR: With Kayla’s talent, I wanted her to work in a field where she could use what’s considered a destructive force to help others and so began her career as a fire investigator. I read newspaper articles on fires and exploring a variety of websites, which dealt with fire investigation.

I wanted a town that offered a little bit of everything, horse country and a coastline large enough to boast a few sunken ships from the eighteen century. My witches needed a reason to settle and stay in Slone, Texas besides the acceptance of ménage relationship and gave them the responsibility of guarding a portal into the demon realm. I read a number of magic books and research a variety of protection spells, for that was the Ian and Duncan O’Rourke’s task, strengthen the wards on this side of the doorway.

DE: Is this a stand-alone, or will be see more of Kayla, Ian, and Duncan?

KR: The first book is a stand-alone, but I have feeling they’ll make their appearances as the hunt continues for the other pieces of the ‘the Goddess stone’ are sought. Besides, they are the curators of a gallery for magical items….

DE: . . .which opens the door to all sorts of future possibilities. Wonderful! What was the most interesting thing you learned about the process of fire investigation? The most surprising? The most disturbing?

KR: Probably the most surprising fact, I learned is that no matter how hot the fire burns or how destructive we believe the blaze is, forensic fire science can trace the fire back to its origins. For me, the most disturbing part is that I learned that many arsonists actually stand in the crowd watching the destruction of the fire oblivious to the danger they’ve caused. Another interesting fact in the investigation process is that police and other officials often search the crowds for familiar faces especially if there have been a series of fires.

KR: What are you working on now?

KR: I’m in the editing stage of the first book in series of eco-warriors who travel through time in effort to undo the sabotage that destroys the future. The first book is entitled Angel’s Wings and the government’s efforts to repair the atmosphere.

Blurb for WITCHES’ DUEL:
Fire investigator Kayla Flynn escaped the temptation of the O’Rourke twins a year ago, now she’s returned to Slone, Texas for the town’s annual Halloween Festival.

Mages Ian and Duncan O’Rourke have until All Hollow’s Eve to unite Kayla’s magic with their own, forming a ritual tri-bond and sealing the dimensional doorways they guard.

Can they stop the hag before she frees her master and has her revenge on the world?



Kymber Rowean lives in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois with her husband, daughter, son and his Golden Retriever.

Between her duties as DG–domestic goddess–and when the need arises and a happy event occurs she crochets baby blankets for expectant teachers and family members. She believes a family who cuddles and reads together grows with love.

Writing for her is like breathing, she can’t go a day without plotting, or working on one or more stories, whether it’s a devious villain, alpha males or heroines determined not to fall for their charms until they’ve earned their happy ever after.

Email : kimberrowe@gmail.com
Website : http://www.loredreamer.com