A Limited Edition Anthology Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Including the following stories and more!
Queen of the Island by Bokerah Brumley
Fated to be together, Calder and his mate must overcome the evil nymph that would keep them apart.
Seize the Storm by Kristi Lea
An Isyre hides from the hunters who killed her family, as far from any ocean as she can be. The fire mage who discovers her secrets has a few of his own. Can they trust each other to face their pasts
Touched by a Mermaid by Raine English
A secret society. A sea witch bent on revenge. An ancient world in peril.
Paranormal Maritime War by Nicole Zoltack
A stolen selkie skin just might start a war between the merfolk, the selkies, and the sirens.
Racing the Clock by Catherine Banks
“You will seduce the prince and convince him to give you his soul. If you fail, you will give me your soul for eternity.”
The Church of Moon and Sea by Sara Elizabeth
She must choose between two loves – the sea or the land.
Fury by Merrie Destefano
To survive, she made a secret deal in the Underworld.
Soul's Reef - Kai Ellory Viola
A mysterious phenomenon. A weird cult. Vaccines needed at the end of the universe - Captain Holloway just needs to get through the reefs.
The Sea of Time and Stars by Mara Amberly
"A woman watched from just above the water line, her sleek blue hair drifting in the water around her. One moment she was there and the next she was gone; so quickly I could’ve put it down to my imagination or a hallucination from my injuries.”
Beneath a thin sheet, Calder Brumen pretended to sleep, his fingers twisted into his pillowcase to keep from leaping off the bed.
Gaire, the vision, had come back. She always returned. More so lately than she ever had before.
On the whim of hope, he’d left the sliding door open for her that night. When a breeze blew in, moving across him in waves, he knew. Wind preceded her. In the cool of the darkened apartment, Calder bit back a groan. Anticipation set his skin aflame.
He imagined her so often. One day, he might find a real woman to take her place, but it was not this day. Today, he lived for the few minutes that would have to tide him over until her next visit.
Another puff of wind burst over him, ruffling the bed skirt and lifting the sheet. He gripped the bed, careful to be as still as possible. So many nights had been the same: filled with the euphoria she brought when she arrived, trailed by the void she left when she’d gone.
He took a breath. Then she was there, waiting at the end of the bed.
That was all that mattered. He had to live in this moment. Too many questions, too many rational thoughts always drove the fantasy away, and it might be weeks until next time.
She tugged on the corner of the silken sheets and every nerve ending pricked beneath the fabric she dragged across his skin. Breath left his body in a rush as he strained toward the shapely figure standing next to his bedside. He moaned aloud but did not move.
Light fell over them from the streetlamps outside. Her bare belly button demanded his attention, resting slightly above the outward curves of her hips. She shifted and moonlight glinted on the metallic scale markings that covered her skin. Shadows obscured her torso, but her green eyes glowed. The limited light illuminated only her silhouette, highlighting her womanly shape.
“Gaire.” He spoke her name as a wish, enunciating the hard “g” sound and sighing on the “air” sound in her name.
She frowned down at him.
“Gaire,” he said, his voice stronger. He couldn’t wait again.
She leaned forward and into a pool of light cast from the streetlamp outside. She clutched her bottom lip between her white teeth as she studied him. Her ginger hair splashed across Calder’s middle. As each strand fell, Calder’s chest pulled tighter and tighter with anticipation, his eyes fixed on the face he had painted on canvas so many times. He couldn’t be certain she existed anywhere other than his mind.
Her tongue swiped across her mouth in a nervous gesture. “How do you remember who I am, my red warrior?” she whispered.
“You’re unforgettable.” You are more real to me than any other woman in the world. He willed her to hear his thoughts, afraid to speak the words out loud, afraid to frighten her away. “Tell me you’re real. You’re not just a mermaid from my dreams.”
She didn’t answer, only stared at the ground.
“Tell me about the tattoos on your hips,” he said, desperate to draw her into conversation. Conversation could become something else. “I’ve never seen any like those before. I tried to find the artist who does them…” His voice faded. So many things he wanted to say.
“Tattoos?” Her eyebrows lifted. “How do you remember my name? You shouldn’t be able to recall anything about me.”
“I never forget.” Even as figment of his imagination, she was lodged in his brain. He reached for her, but the familiar weakness made his limb useless. “Last night, you said to call you by…”
He didn’t mention the other nights, the other times when he heard her name in his head as she kissed him or the mornings when her name was the first thing he remembered when he woke.
“You told me your name,” he said.
She pushed his hand away. “Hush.”
“Don’t go,” he begged. Sometimes the fantasy disappeared after only a moment and a kiss on the cheek and he woke frustrated and angry. Sometimes she stayed most of the night.
The corners of her mouth tipped up. “You’re not mine yet, but I came to see you. I needed to know you were all right.” She pulled the sheet from the floor and slipped into the bed. She pressed her body against his side, and he rolled toward her.
“I’m a hallucination,” she said. “Go back to sleep. Don’t remember me in the morning.”
“You’re my dream,” he said, but his words slurred. His thoughts bumped into one another. “My heart is always chasing you,” he sighed.
When Gaire’s fingers fluttered across his middle, the edges of the room twisted inward. The scent of saltwater, coconuts, and jasmine grew stronger, clouding his mind until his thoughts turned silent, swallowed by the warmth of her gentle lips on his.
She murmured something against his mouth. Maybe he tasted the ocean in her tears, but he could no longer understand the words as he drifted in the confusion her nearness wrought.
~~From Queen of the Island by Bokerah Brumley
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