At the stroke of midnight, creatures of the realm come out to prowl. Gods, shifters, fated mates, enemies-to-lovers, alpha heroes, angels, demons, and so much more.
Realm of Midnight
A Limited Edition Fantasy & Paranormal Collection
Genre: Paranormal Romance
with stories by
J.A. Culican, Elise Knight, Susan Stradiotto, S. Johnson, Yvette Bostic, R.L. Perez, Rose. K, Bobbi Jo Green, Samantha Peppercorn, Amanda Marin, Lissa Bolts, Reese Spenser, Charmaine Louise Shelton, Dora Blume, Crystal Dawn, Sara Sines, Bethany Strobel, Adam J. Ridley, CM Haines, Isla Starr, LA Kirk, Kinley Craine, Alana Ash, Scarlett Finn, N. Isabelle Blanco, Melle Amade, Jennifer Marcia, Jane Poller, Elsie Woods, April L. Moon, Victoria Liiv, Maggie Adams, Tabitha M Corvin, Camilla Isley, Audrey Rich, Miranda Herald, Angelique Anderson
Excerpt from When Cupid Falls First by April L. Moon and Elsie Woods
Heat Level: Deep kisses, closed-door paranormal romantic comedy
I was hunched over my desk, intentionally buried under bookstore paperwork. But a curious sound broke the silence. Music, vibrant and peppy, and undoubtedly out of place. I picked this spot for The Bookish Cat specifically because it was quiet, but just off one of the main drags.
Music from the eighties filled the air as I opened the door, and my first thought was that a flash mob in costume had come to the neighborhood. I loved a good flash mob and the shop was currently empty, so I stepped out.
Before me, the sidewalk had transformed into a spontaneous dance floor with a flurry of movement, fingers jazz-handing in the air. A group of women in matching velour tracksuits shuffled and swayed, their silver wigs catching in the sunlight. Except …
Wait, those aren’t wigs. And those aren’t costumes.
A crowd of elderly ladies were cutting the rug to an eighties heartthrob, and they were heading my way.
In the midst of them all, one woman stood out. With a mini boombox perched on her shoulder, she led the brigade of dancers with a spryness that contradicted her age.
The way the woman tossed her head left and right reminded me so much of—
"Nana Geraldine?" I blurted in surprise.
Nana Geraldine, clad in bright purple leggings and a sweatband around her forehead, was front and center. She kicked high for her age, bent low, and twirled, her arms windmilling wildly in the air. She was both graceful and unpredictable, with facial expressions that belonged on a commercial for a cruise boat.
Behind her, the ladies mimicked her moves with varying levels of success. One particularly enthusiastic lady, wearing oversized sunglasses, did almost a full split, though her friend yanked her back up.
As the music hit the final chord, the group struck a pose, hands on hips, elbows out, in a full diva stance. I can now attest that a crowd of eighty-year-old-plus ladies in Lycra is far less frightening than I would have imagined.
Nana scuttled right over to me. “Do we know how to make an entrance or what!”
Next thing I knew, Nana Geraldine and her jazzercise troop stormed The Bookish Cat like a pack of lively flamingos. They flocked towards the romance section, huddling close around the shelves.
“Here’s what we’re looking for, girls!” one of the ladies shouted.
Oh, my word. Steamy Highlander romance, of all things?
I could feel the blush creeping up my neck as Nana Geraldine held up one of the books, its cover flaunting a bare-chested hunk with flowing hair.
"Look at this one, ladies!" she squealed, pointing at the book. "Those biceps could crack walnuts!"
"Good gracious!" One of the ladies gasped, running to check it out.
"Oh, Betty, look at this one!" Nana Geraldine held up a book with a Highlander in a kilt, his chest gleaming under the painted sunlight. "Isn't he a handsome brute?"
Betty, a petite woman with hair as white as snow, squinted at the book before she gave a sharp nod. "Handsome, yes, but nothing compared to the hunk on A Highlander's Promise. Now that's a man."
“Nana,” I half-whispered, “What’s the deal with the enthusiasm for Highlanders?”
"It's the kilts," she quipped. "So much … mystery."
I shook my head, smiling despite myself. The giggling group of jazzercising, steamy Highlander-loving ladies had turned my bookstore into a lively mess, but I didn't mind it one bit.
As the women continued on, Nana laid a soft, wrinkled hand on my arm and gave it a gentle squeeze. "You know, my girl," she said, her voice soft and full of warmth, "I'm proud of you. Proud of you for taking a dream and turning it into this … this wonder.”
“Thank you, Nana.” My voice broke as I dared to imagine a world without Nana. “You know a lot of it is thanks to you.”
“Let’s not battle with feelings now, sweetie pie.” She winked. “You have other joyful topics, like your own Highlander romance.” She must have seen the question on my face because she added. “You know, that tall, handsome drink of holy water.”
“What? It’s not blasphemy if it’s true.” She huddled up close. “It can’t be easy for you to wrap your head around what he is. Wrapping your arms, however—”
“Nana, I am not going there with you.”
“Okay, then stick with the topic at hand. What’s the deal with the angel? Are you his Chosen?”
His Chosen? This was the first time this word had ever come up. Caleb had never said anything about it. But could that be what happened with that incredible kiss? Was I being chosen?
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