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Archive for 'anthology'

So many books–COMING SOON! Check them out!
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

I sent this out in my newsletter yesterday, so sorry if this is a repeat for you… 🙂

I recently received the rights back to some of my older titles. I didn’t immediately republish them. I sat on them while I thought about what exactly I wanted to do with them. They are stories that take me back to my roots in this industry writing erotic romance.

First, I had a series with Avon over a decade ago. A dark, erotic paranormal series, Dark Realm. They gave me back the three short stories associated with the series and the first two novels out of four. I was majorly bummed they didn’t give me back all the books. I did nothing while I wondered what could I do with only the first two titles? I’ve decided I’m going to republish them, and then write some other stories related to that world. Something tangential to the original plotline. The first two stories are full-length novels, something I don’t write anymore because I suffer from W.A.D.D. — Writer’s ADD. (It’s only a real thing to me.) So, the follow-on stories will be short novels. If you’re ready to sink into something very sexy and dark, with creatures based on my favorite mythologies, you’ll love my Dark Realm series. I’m releasing a short story next week, Sleeping with the Enemy, that’s a SHORT STORY related to the series. Have to say that twice because folks sometimes complain when the story was short even when they were warned! Don’t worry, it’s FREE in KU and only $0.99 if you purchase it. But it will give you a little tasty bite of what’s to come.

The other story I’m excited about, is yes, another vampire story. This one’s set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world — Texas to be exact. I wrote one story for Samhain years ago, but it’s one that I’ve had readers ask me for the sequels many times over the years. I plan a trilogy of stories in the Texas Vampires series, but first, I’m re-editing the story that was originally known as Undeniable. Now, it’s Her Sanctuary. And yes, it’s sexy as hell.

There are a couple more books in the works that will be more familiar to you. Something for everyone, I hope.

Happy Reading!

Sleeping with the Enemy

Sleeping with the Enemy

Sleeping with the Enemy: A Paranormal Vampire Short Story
Dark Realm series
Releases August 10th!

A lone rogue vampire mingles among his hunters in a blood bar, undetected…until a beautiful woman snares his attention. Suddenly, he’s running, leading her on a chase until she corners him, stake dangling from her slender fingertips. Now he has a couple of choices, play it sexy or safe?

Pre-Order your copy now!

Her Sanctuary

Her Sanctuary

Her Sanctuary
Texas Vampires, Book 1
Releases August 24th!

A woman surviving on the edge of a dark frontier strikes a sensual bargain with a handsome stranger hiding a dangerous secret…

In a post-apocalyptic future, creatures who’ve hidden in the shadows for millennia are freed to roam in a world shrouded in darkness. Rancher Kate McKinnon runs Sanctuary Ranch—a last refuge on the western frontier. While running herd over her cowhands and integrating refugees into their self-sufficient refuge, she escapes her responsibilities the only way she has left—via radio to pockets of other survivors. One man, Ty Bennett, is her confidante, and she thinks she might be falling in love with his deep, rasping voice. Although they’ve never met, he seems to know her heart.

On a patrol to scavenge supplies, Kate and her cowboys are surrounded by a gang of renegades intent on claiming her. Rescue comes unexpectedly by a militaristic band led by the man she’s spent so many hours talking to through the dark nights. She brings him home only to discover she’s brought vampires inside the refuge.

Already half in love with the human woman, Ty offers added muscle to her defenses and promises to move her people to safety. Fighting his own nature and appetites, he seeks redemption for his many sins but can’t control his hunger to possess Kate. Getting past her prejudice and choking responsibilities tests his seductive powers.

Note: This story was previously released under the title Undeniable. It has since been revised and expanded and will be the first in at least a trilogy of new stories.

Pre-Order your copy now!

Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology
Releases October 12th!

Cowboys is filled with tales of those rough and rugged cowboys, whether they’re riding a fence line in Texas or Australia, or herding animals on a newly colonized planet!

If you crave a sexy tale about those gruff, capable men, this collection will embody that earthy alpha male hero who isn’t afraid to show the gentle, nurturing side of his complex nature along with his rough and rugged ability to protect those he loves.

Get ready to fall in love with tales filled with the earthy scent of horses, cows, and crisp, clean sweat; the sight of sun-leathered skin and crow’s feet; the feel of work-hardened thighs and arms; and the sound of a deep-voiced drawl…

Pre-Order your copy now!



Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT, Book 5
Releases October 26th!

I haven’t written the blurb yet, but it will be chock-full of fun adventures with the “Chase and Cowboy” show…

Pre-Order your copy now!

Dark Legacy

Dark Legacy

Dark Legacy
Dark Realm, Book 1
Releases November 16th

How could everything have changed for Natalie Lambert so radically, so quickly?

Escaping from a tragic past, the virginal beauty arrives in New Orleans and falls victim to a series of strange, unearthly attacks. Now, for the first time in her life, Natalie aches with sexual desire. Confused, frightened, out of control, she struggles desperately to understand a world that is transforming around her. But soon she will be powerful and magnificent in ways she could never have imagined…

A ruggedly handsome Cajun policeman, Detective Rene Broussard has come to rescue Natalie in her time of greatest need. And when he inexplicably wakes in bed beside her—both burning with a lust impossible to deny—he doesn’t care that a dark and vengeful enemy has brought them to this moment. All that matters is the irresistible curve of her body, the heat of her passion…and the forbidden pleasures the night promises.

With one sharp, sensuous, biting kiss, he will be hers for life…and beyond.

Note: This book was originally released as Into the Darkness. The author is re-releasing the book and continuing the series. There will be new stories to tell!

Pre-Order your copy now!

Short Story Anthologies (Contest–3 Winners!)
Friday, June 4th, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Mechelle, Cheryl Bowers, and Ani!

I’m working away at a new collection of short stories from some very talented authors—sexy stories all centered around cowboys! In the meantime, because I love to share these books and introduce you to authors you might not know, I want to make sure you know where to find these books. All my anthologies are listed on my Collections website. They are full-sized books—none less than 60,000 words—and ALL of the ones we published ourselves are available for just $0.99! A STEAL. We want you to read them, so we’re making sure cost is not an impediment! Be sure to visit the site and peruse the available titles: Delilah’s Collections


Comment for a chance to win a download of one of the full-size books below. You can tell me whether you love short stories. Tell me what theme you’d like to see for the next one. Or just ramble about what you’ll be doing while you’re reading the sexy shorties in this collection (passing time in a dentist’s office, reading sexy stories to your significant other in bed at night, etc.). Just be sure to comment!

Here’s what you might win (click on the covers to learn more):

First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology Rogues Blue Collar

Open Contests & Giveaways

  1. Cratered Weekend? (Puzzle-Contest) — Win a FREE book!
  2. FREE Read! See what happens when Beauty meets Beast! — Everyone, get your FREE short story! (It’s a sexy one!)
  3. Tell Me a Story (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
Anne Rainey: Last Chance to Call You Mine
Friday, May 28th, 2021

Have You Ever…

Broken your own rules? Done something impulsive and reckless? Well, sometimes you do have to take risks. That’s how memories are made, right? I can honestly tell you that I didn’t make it to fifty-three without a few wild memories of my own. There was that one time when I was about twenty…wait, maybe I should keep that to myself. Haha! At any rate, life is dull if you don’t let down your hair from time to time. Sure, you’ll make a few mistakes, but I can tell you from experience that it’s worth it. *wink, wink*

Anyway, that’s exactly what happens to the rather stringent Lauren Clark in my latest release. She’s the type to read all those pesky terms and conditions. She works hard and prefers her men domesticated. And taking a walk on the wild side? Yeah, that’s never going to happen! But after her boyfriend dumps her Lauren ends up pouring her heart out to a handsome stranger. His silver-eyed stare and wicked grin tempts her. And there’s nothing tame in the way he kisses. So maybe, just this once, Lauren will gamble everything for a single night of passion. But what happens when she finds out she’s been deceived? Ah! Let the games begin! 🙂

Dirty Deception—Last Chance to Call You Mine Anthology


For a single night with her, he’ll be whatever she craves…

Lauren Clark has landed the job of her dreams and she’s ready to celebrate. When her boyfriend dumps her via text message, Lauren finds herself baring her soul to the dark-haired stranger two barstools over. Going home with the delicious hottie probably wasn’t the wisest move. And how was she to know that her Mr. All-Night-Long would end up being her new boss?

Alexander Costa isn’t one to second guess a good thing. And the sweet redhead with the luscious curves is a damn good thing. When her boyfriend is a no-show, Alexander seizes a chance to make Lauren forget all about her broken heart. Sure, maybe he knew exactly who she was the instant he walked into the bar. Maybe he has a rule about office romance. But just this once Alexander doesn’t want to be heir to the Costa fortune. He only wants to be the man that makes Lauren burn…

Also, keep your eye out for Dirty Addiction (Chloe’s story), May 2022!

Universal Purchase link for Last Chance to Call You Mine Anthology:

About the Author

Bestselling author Anne Rainey, “wastes no time getting right to the erotic heart” (Publishers Weekly). She is published by Kensington and Entangled Publishing. Her books have won numerous awards and have been translated into Italian and German. In addition, Anne has dipped her toes into self-publishing with her exciting paranormal series: The Zenarians. Anne is from the midwest and has had a variety of odd careers, including sales associate, nail technician, chiropractic assistant, and restaurant hostess. Her love of books has opened her up to a thrilling career as a romance author. Her stories are filled with passion, love, and the sometimes-exasperating bonds of family.

Find Anne:
Rainey’s Readers Private Group:
Website: –download the first chapter *free* of all my books!

Happy reading,
Anne Rainey

A.C. Dawn: Stay With Me (Excerpt & FREE in KU!)
Friday, May 14th, 2021

StrandedIn my upcoming release for the anthology, Stay With Me, I revisited my first published work that was under my own name (I’d been ghostwriting before this). “A Stranger’s Kiss” first appeared in Delilah’s Boys Behaving Badly, Stranded anthology. It gave me a massive boost in confidence and helped me launch my author career. A quick, heartfelt THANK YOU to Delilah for that opportunity!

Has anybody experienced the magic of a fresh off-the-line HOT Krispy Kreme donut? When I was a paramedic in Atlanta, we routinely dropped in for one in the wee hours of the morning. Nothing helped get you through the night like a sticky, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth donut from the original Krispy Kreme store in downtown Atlanta. Side note- I just found out that this store was not the original store. The company actually started in the 1930s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I also discovered that the building burned a few months ago.

When I first moved to Atlanta, I’d just turned 20 and had the world by the tail. I was also a country girl in the big city and walked around with my eyes bugging out and my mouth hanging open. I desperately wanted to experience all the city had to offer. I had big dreams and a head stuffed full of romantic nonsense—thanks to my obsessive reading of all things romance. Since I wasn’t 21, I couldn’t go clubbing with the crew from work, and after months in the city, I still hadn’t managed to have a night on the town. I was a little discouraged, but finally, a firefighter I met through work asked me out.

A tall, hunky guy with blue eyes and biceps that strained the limits of his uniform shirt, I had a serious crush on him. Due to my limited access to the adult world, we spent our evening at a taqueria that had an outdoor dance floor, and all my girlish fantasies of dancing into the night came true. Afterward, we ended swinging by Krispy Kreme and, over a dozen donuts, talked for hours. It didn’t end up going anywhere, but for a country girl with limited experience with men and the city, it was more than enough to make me feel like I had finally arrived.

That simple, sweet memory came to mind as I reinvigorated “A Stranger’s Kiss”. The story was initially an erotic short story. I wanted to use it for a romantic anthology, so I went back and focused on building the romance between the characters that includes bonding over hot donuts! I’m thrilled with how it turned out!

Here’s a tidbit from “A Stranger’s Kiss”. This story will be part of a charity anthology benefitting a good friend and Indie publisher, Sosha Ann, with BBB Publishing. Her mother is battling breast cancer, and we’re trying to support her as she takes care of her mom. The anthology, Stay With Me, is up for preorder and releases June 10th!

Stay With Me

Steaming hot to sugary sweet and everything in between. Join these amazing authors as they delve into worlds of romance. This anthology will be filled with short stories, prequels, and maybe a few surprises along the way. Please beware there maybe cliffhangers and some stories may come with a trigger warning
The anthology is only $1.99 and is FREE in KU!

Excerpt from “A Stranger’s Kiss”

“The hot sign is on!” Jordan suddenly came alive next to me.

Ahead of us, the Krispy Kreme Donut sign glowed with HOT NOW illuminated in red neon. Stuart laughed and made a quick turn into the parking lot. Jordan hopped out of the car before it even came to a stop and was at my door in a blink. He opened it and held his hand out for mine.

“Come on. There’s nothing better for a late-night snack than a Krispy Kreme hot off the line.” He grinned at me like an excited little boy.

The scent of hot fried dough filled the air. My mouth watered. I grabbed his hand and laughed as he practically ran to window to order. A few minutes later, after Jordan took Stuart a cup of coffee and a box of donuts, we sat on a concrete picnic table beneath the city lights with a dozen hot glazed donuts and two chocolate milks.

As we clogged our arteries and skyrocketed our glucose levels, we talked. Small discoveries, like our common love for chocolate and classic literature, revealed themselves quickly. By the time I was licking my sticky fingers clean, we moved past small talk, revealing bits about ourselves.

“So, if you’re not Batman, heir to the Wayne family fortune, what do you do?” I asked, sipping my chocolate milk, thinking I should have stopped at five donuts instead of splitting the dozen evenly. My mind buzzed with a pleasant sugar high as my tired body asked what it had ever done to deserve such abuse.

Jordan popped the last bit of his final donut in his mouth and chewed before answering my question. “I own several tech companies.” He shrugged and gathered up our trash.

I grinned, liking how he hadn’t taken the opportunity to launch into a dissertation on Jordan Campbell the man, the myth, the millionaire. I hated it when someone’s favorite subject was themselves.

“I thought you were going to say you were a YouTube sensation and donut critic.”

Jordan laughed and again offered his hand. “Are you up for a bit of a walk?”

I hesitated. Going for a walk in an un unknown city after dark with a stranger sounded like a great way to end up on the morning news, but even as I thought it, I put my hand in his. I couldn’t find the tiniest spark of fear for this man.

Jordan pulled my hand through the crook of his arm as we walked down the well-lit sidewalk. Stuart drove behind us, creeping along with his flashers on like a hovering dowager aunt chaperone. The stillness of the city felt odd. I assumed all big cities constantly buzzed with activity.

“Where is everybody?” I asked as we strolled along. I liked how he put himself between me and the street and matched his stride to mine.

“Atlanta’s a weird city. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people flood in from the suburbs and desert it eight hours later. They’ve done a lot of revitalization to help draw people live in the city, but it still feels like a ghost town after dark. What’s Kansas City like after dark?”

“I honestly don’t know. I avoid it at all costs. I live like a hermit in the middle of nowhere about an hour north of the city.”

Jordan stopped and faced me. “A writer. A recluse.” He tucked my hair behind my ear and studied me in the under the streetlight. “You’ve got too much to offer to hide away.”

I averted my gaze and looked up into the twinkling lights of the city. How did he know just what to say to disarm me? It was like he could see straight into me and flip whatever switch he wanted.

“Not everyone thinks so. Besides, you don’t even know me,” I said quietly, thinking of Dilan and what he said when he left me.

Kinsey, you just don’t do it for me anymore.

That short sentence shredded my heart and cut the moorings to my center. Over the last year, I tried to reconnect to my drive, my mojo. My editor forced me to go to this conference to get me out of the house in hopes it would jar me out of my funk. A few hours ago, I would have said it hadn’t worked, but now, I wasn’t so sure.

Jordan studied me for a moment before he continued our stroll. We walked the next block in silence until he stopped at the entrance of a high rise building that jutted up into the dark sky.

“This is where I live.” Jordan paused and looked over my shoulder into the night. Indecision played out on his face.

I jumped in. “I don’t know how to thank you. Seriously. Not just for saving me from sleeping in the airport, but everything.” He had no idea how much he had done for me in the last couple of hours.

“Stay with me,” he whispered.


With her author career in flames, all Kinsey wants to do is go home and nurse her wounds. When sparks fly between her and a hunky millionaire, will Kinsey grab a chance at rejuvenating her writing or will fear and self-doubt hold her back?

About the Author

A.C. Dawn is an active and enthusiastic author and reader of short stories, novellas, and novels. She enjoys bringing her characters to life and strives to stir the imagination of her readers. She believes the best writing touches the reader in ways they hadn’t expected and will never forget!

So, that’s the official bio…

Really, I’m a lover of chocolate, a strong jawline with a 5 o’clock shadow, and romances that make your heart pound and your middle get all squishy. I love quiet country living on my north Georgia farm with my family and fur babies of all shapes and sizes. I think the scariest things in life are how fast my daughter is growing and an empty coffee pot. I can’t stand slow drivers in the fast lane and wimpy handshakes.

I have endless stories rumbling around among the rocks in my head. I can’t wait to share them with you!


Beverly Ovalle: Help Celebrate My Writing Birthday! (Contest)
Thursday, February 11th, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Margaret, bn100, Debra Guyette and flchen1!

Hi! I’m Beverly Ovalle. I wanted this date since it is my birthday! This marks eight years I’ve been writing.

I am a writer, but I’m so much more, too. A wife, mom, and grandma along with being a crafter. I guess you could say I’m a serial hobbyist. Let me name a few.

My most recent hobby is welding. I took a class through the local community trade school. I’m planning on going back for more. I had a ball doing it.

I love to sew. Back in the day, I made all of my first child’s clothing until he was about two. Before that, I made my dress clothes for work. I still sew. My most recent was a tree skirt for my daughter. I’m in the middle of completing another one for my nephew and his new bride. I didn’t finish it in time for the wedding so I’m mailing it off before Christmas to them.

Another hobby is stained glass. I’ve made windows in a previous house I lived in. I let this one lapse because small children and glass bits don’t mix.

I make jewelry on occasion and bookmarks for swag when the mood hits me.

I have a cricut. I love that but haven’t had much time to go further in-depth. It looks like so much fun so I had to try it.

I also love to build puzzles. All winter long my daughter and I work on them. This past year it was all year round. Being quarantined it gave us something for the whole family to work on.

The IRS might say my writing is a hobby, too, lol. They would be wrong. Like sewing, it is a lifelong love.

In high school, I had to choose between track and the creative writing club. I chose writing. I don’t remember when I started, but I’ve done it throughout my life. I managed it between a full-time job and a growing family. Now, I’m retired and seem to have less time for it.

However, I’ve set a schedule I hope to meet. Currently, I’m working on a book that was supposed to be released last year. I wasn’t happy with it, though. My goal this year for it is April. My next is July.

One book is a military shipboard romance, part fiction and part truth, called China Fleet Club. The other, Taming Tamara, will be the fourth in A Dragon’s Fated Heart Series. I’m also working on a cookbook I’m calling Not Hamburger Again! A total departure from fiction for me.

I’d love to hear about what hobbies you do. I’m always looking for my next great obsession!

In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Instagram where I post a bit about my books, more about my hobbies and life in general. Be ready to see lots of food, lol. Also, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, my website, and my blog.

Honestly, I’m most active on Instagram and Facebook, so those are your best bets to chat with me. The most fun, too! If you just want to see books, follow me on Amazon. But hobby discussions are my bread and butter and keep me active and interested. I’m too restless for just one thing, but obsessed enough to be that serial hobbyist you know and love!


My most recent story is in an anthology #Mommastrong. All proceeds go to a well-loved friend everyone calls Momma to help in her fight against cancer. My contribution is a sci-fi romance. A second story in The Road to Eden short story series called “Mama Said.”

Mama Said ~ An Area 51 short story:


Let me know your favorite hobby for a chance to win an ecopy of #Mommastrong!

Boys Behaving Badly (Contest–Three Winners!)
Thursday, February 4th, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Brenda Rumsey, Kelly Samuels, and C. Marie Bowen!

This month, I’m reading the rest of the cowboy stories that will be a part of my next Boys Behaving Badly short story collection. I’m having a blast reading the offerings from some very talented authors! Once I select the stories, edit them, then compile them into a book, I’ll hand them over to my sister, Elle James, to create a cover for the antho before we get it up on Amazon for you all to purchase! (These big books are always offered for only $0.99—a steal because we want everyone reading the authors’ stories!) It’s a huge undertaking, but one I love. Every anthology, I’ve added new author friends, many of whom who come back, again and again, to submit new stories for readers to enjoy.

As soon as Cowboys is in the can, I’ll be searching for a new theme for the next anthology. That’s where you come in. Below, I have the covers of the previous anthologies so you can see what themes we’ve covered. For a chance to win a download of your choice from among these titles, tell me what you’d like to see next!

Click on the covers to learn more about these books!

Conquests Rogues Blue Collar
Pirates Stranded First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

A.C. Dawn: Under the Sea (Excerpt)
Thursday, December 10th, 2020

The holidays are here, and despite the rocky ride of 2020, I am so very thankful for my abundance of blessings and love that fill my life. One of my greatest blessings in 2020, besides my loved ones and their continued health and happiness, has been embarking on my writing adventure. Many thanks to Delilah Devlin for accepting my story into her anthology and letting me drop in here! It has given me a confidence boost to chase this crazy author dream!

My favorite part of writing is the process. It’s fun to read back over what I wrote and think, “Damn, girl. That’s not bad!” Of course, just as often, I reread something and shake my head as I hold down the delete button. But more than the final words on the page, I love dreaming and scheming about stories and the twists and turns of the characters. It’s a testament to just how big a nerd I am that I enjoy immersing myself in the world of my characters. I seriously prefer hanging out with my imaginary friends more than real people…. Hmmm…. I probably should talk to someone about that! Anyway, moving on. 😊

I also enjoy learning about new subjects and researching facts. So many times, I remind myself that I was just supposed to check what year the typewriter was invented to make sure it fits in the story, not research the entire history of typewriters! I’m like Alice in Wonderland on the internet. So many rabbit holes! A writer friend of mine posted this the other day, and it’s so true! My internet browsing history would raise an eyebrow or two, and my Facebook feed looks like it belongs to someone with multiple personalities.

I find inspiration in many different places. For my latest story, it came to me from an old folk tune. I was writing a story about pirates for an upcoming anthology, but it just wasn’t flowing well. So, I turned on some music (Yes, I listen to folk music—nerd, remember??) and heard a song called “Maid on the Shore.” It’s about a woman who lived alone on an island, walking the beaches. A captain of a sailing ship saw her and ordered her brought to him. Once onboard, she sang the sailors to sleep, stole their treasure, and rowed back to her island. It caught my attention, and down the rabbit hole I went, wondering about this siren’s story. She was clearly different than Odysseus’ sirens. It didn’t take long for her tale to unfold in my mind, and I knew I had to tell her story.

That’s the part of writing that is just so freaking awesome! A song I had heard many times before caught me at the right moment, planted a seed in my imagination, and BAM—storytime, here we come!

Under the Sea

Here’s a snippet from my story, “Before Words, There was Song,” part of the Under the Sea anthology releasing Jan 31, 2021!

“Well, now, Daughter of the Sea,” Manannan said, pulling Ciara’s attention to him. “It is time for you to join your sisters.”

He reached his hand down in invitation, and Ciara simply stared at him. Confusion and questions overwhelmed her. Just hours ago, she had been chasing Dougan and dreaming of a life in a quiet fishing village. Now, here she sat with Manannan mac Lir talking to her in the middle of the ocean. It was beyond belief.

The God of the Sea waited patiently and gently prompted, “I’ll answer all your questions on the way. Take my hand, Daughter, and let our journey begin.”

Ciara put her hand in his, and he pulled her up in front of him on Enbarr’s massive back. The horse surged forward, and faster than the wind, they began to run across the water.

Ciara looked over her shoulder toward the shore she could no longer see but was all she had ever known. The wind whipped her hair around her face. She buried her hands in Enbarr’s silky mane and asked the question her whirling thoughts kept coming back to.

“Who am I?”

Manannan slowed Enbarr to a gentler pace.

“Let me tell you a story. Eons ago, the Great Goddess, Gaia, released from her womb a storm into the sea. It contained all the songs of the earth. It swirled and danced through the waters of the word, leaving behind magic and life. The gods still walked the land of Erin at that time, and we danced in joy as the music poured forth. The songs were too beautiful to let fade into oblivion. We gathered in council to find a way to capture the melodies.

Since they were born of the sea, the gods asked me to create something to hold the music. I crafted a creature from the spray of the sea, the cry of the bird, the call of the whale, and the beauty of the reef. She rose from the sea, and with the ocean’s infinity and the fluidity of water, she captured all the melodies of the world. I named her Eulah, Gem of the Sea, and she was the first Siren. Over the centuries, the sea has brought forth more melodies and more sirens, but one had not been born for a long, long time.

Fifteen years ago, a great storm full of fury and darkness swelled from the depths. Terrible and vicious, the sea raged, and the men and women of Erin begged me to calm it. I felt their terror as the towering waves bore down on the shore. The wind screamed, and Gaia shook beneath their feet, expressing her displeasure at the folly and short memory of man. The Children of Erin had turned their faces from her, distracted by the new god and his prophets and priests. Her anger called forth the storm to punish them, but I could not let her destroy my faithful people, even though there were far fewer who called my name than in times past.

I rode out in the blackest night I have ever seen. The storm pulled at me, seething with hurt and vengeance. Enbarr and I plunged into the tempest, so strong it threatened to pull the powerful Enbarr beneath its roiling fury. I called to wind and water, who knew my command, but they couldn’t hear me over their roaring. Through the tumult, the faintest of melodies played, new and unheard. At that moment, I knew how to calm the sea and save the Children of Erin.

I gathered sea spray and added the sea bird’s cry, the call of the giants of deep, and all the reef’s beauty. The voices of the Children of Erin intermingled with the melody of nature. The first wail of a babe, the tears of a maiden, the wisdom of an old man, and the last breath of a crone joined in accompaniment. With ancient magic, I created the last siren, capturing the storm’s song and the melodies of man.

The magic of the world had changed over the centuries. The gods no longer walked among men. This siren did not come forth as a goddess fully formed and radiant of song and beauty. She came to me as a babe in arms. As I looked at the tiny creature whose cry held a heartbreaking melody, I knew she would be different than her sisters. I brought Muirin, my most cherished selkie, to land to raise the child with the instructions to return her to the sea when her song was ready to be sung.”

Manannan fell silent. Ciara’s mind fit the pieces together. She was a siren, made by the hands of a god. The Great Goddess created the melodies that coursed through her blood. She held within her the song of death, fury, and destruction.

Ciara’s adventure is just beginning!

Be sure to preorder your copy of Under the Sea to find out how her song ends and enjoy several other stories of the deep!