Teaser Tuesday | Eight Feet of Magic

Remember how I said I’d do Teaser Tuesday posts now and then and then never did? Well, I am doing it now. I figured since it’s the time for holiday reads I’d post something about Eight Feet of Magic.

Eight Feet of Magic might be the story I had the most fun writing, maybe. I can’t recall what gave me the idea really, but sometimes I just want to do crazy. I have this need of breaking away from ‘normal’ characters and let them run wild LOL.

When that happens we either end up with characters like Captain Elazar Steel or we get a nice cosy bloodbath created by a sociopath. In this case, we got Captain Elazar Steel.

Hank held his breath as the sounds of the carol singers’ voices merged with the smog and faded into the dusk. It was the first Christmas songs he’d heard for the season, and it made him think of his mother.

Demetrius dragged him to a narrow wooden door with flaking dark blue paint and rusting iron ferrules. Above, a ghost ship sign painted on a dried up board creaked every time the wind got hold of it.

The Bold Ship.

The words sent a shiver of recognition through him. He’d heard the name before, but how was that possible? He never came to these parts of London—no one in their right mind did.

He slumped down in an attempt to make himself invisible, completely in vain—he had both his size and his velvet coat working against him. The dust of the streets had done nothing to mute the red colour.

Hank had tried to stick to the shadows on the way here, but people kept staring at him no matter what. Barefoot children dressed in rags watched him with eyes wide enough for Hank to fear they’d fall out of their skulls.

He blinked away the smoke hitting him in the face as he followed Demetrius into the grimy tavern. The low murmur stopped as he got a couple of steps inside, then he heard someone chuckle. Heat began climbing his neck, but he refused to blush. It had taken years to get it under a semblance of control. Wiping his sweaty hands on the soft velvet, he kept his gaze on Demetrius’s back.

“He’s over there.” Demetrius appeared unaware of the laughter spreading in the room and hurried towards the far corner. Hank filled his lungs with the sooty air and kept his back straight as he followed. Show no weakness. He had to duck at one point not to hit his head on a joist.

It became darker the farther into the tavern they got, and Hank dared a breath of relief. At least his coat wouldn’t be visible from the entrance. He looked around the room before looking at the man Demetrius had stopped next to. When he did, he wished he hadn’t, he wished he’d stayed at home, and he definitely wished he’d worn his old rugged coat.

The man’s dark eyes shone as he watched Hank. Something close to a smile tugged at the corner of his lips, but Hank could tell it wouldn’t turn into a nice one. A dimple almost appeared on his right cheek, or maybe it was a muscle strain from keeping the sneer at bay.

“This is your seaman?” His voice was melodic, so melodic Hank almost missed the words.

“Yes, my son.” Demetrius nodded frantically, and Hank’s heart made a run for his throat.

“No.”

No one was listening to him.

“Good, good. I’ve always liked a sturdy man; I need someone big and strong on the ship.”

Hank looked around, hoping against hope someone was standing behind him, and they weren’t talking about him. Several pairs of eyes were watching him with amusement.

“I’m no seaman.”

The man cocked his head, making a long tress of black hair glide off his shoulder. “No seaman?” Then he glared at Demetrius. “A seaman was part of the deal.”

“He is your seaman. Tall and strong, good for heavy lifting. God knows it’s all he’s good for.”

Hank’s stomach turned, but the usual nausea following Demetrius and Polly’s words halted when the man gave an annoyed huff. If he was annoyed with Hank’s stupidity or Demetrius for pointing it out, he didn’t know, but his gaze turned harder than before.

Silence fell. It spread to the entire tavern and made Hank twitchy—grown men shouldn’t be twitchy.

Finally, the man reached out over the table and offered Hank his hand. “I’m Captain Elazar Steel. What’s your name, lad?”

Lad? Lad! The man must be ten years younger than Hank, and though he was still sitting down, he didn’t look like a big man. Hank couldn’t help but narrow his eyes, and it wasn’t until Demetrius elbowed him in the side he realised he hadn’t responded.

“Hank Goodenough…sir.”

“Captain.” Hank refrained from rolling his eyes. Dear Elazar didn’t seem to notice, though.


For more holiday stories, click here.


Eight Feet of Magic There is still magic to be found. Even in the bleakest of places.

Hank Goodenough has spent his entire life in the smoggy streets of London trying to keep his head down and not to get noticed. Not an easy feat when you’re the tallest one in the room and have a brass funnel protruding from your head. When he finds himself laid off work once again, his dad wants to drag him away on a crazy quest. Before he can figure out how to get out of it, he finds himself on a steam-driven airship in search of Odin, the old Norse God, and is sharing a room with Captain Elazar Steel, a man strutting around on one high-heeled boot and one peg leg.

Steel doesn’t care that the winks, smiles, and small touches he and Hank share might get them hanged once they land on the ground again. He is determined to show Hank there is magic in the world and that there is no better place to be than on his balloon ship steering towards the Arctic Circle.

books2read.com/EightFeetOfMagic

Mistletoe at Midnight

I’m starting December with another Christmas story! Today we have Mistletoe at Midnight by L.B. Gregg. This was such a delight to read.

Owen McKenzie is about the spend the Christmas with his family – his crazy, meddling family. His mother is constantly trying to fix him up with someone and it turns out she invited Owen’s ex this time around. His father doesn’t look well. And his younger brother is up to no good, as usual.

But not only does Owen have to put up with having his ex there, for some reason Caleb Black is there too. Caleb was Owen’s first love, the one he’d never managed to get over.

There are food and drinks, carol singing and mistletoes, snowstorms and rustic cabins. A lovely story about second chances and family. I loved it!

books2read.com/MistletoeatMidnight


Click here for more Christmas stories.


Mistletoe at MidnightOwen McKenzie has traveled to Vermont to spend an old-fashioned Christmas with his family when he finds himself staying at the same inn as his first love. Owen is disconcerted to realize he’s still attracted to Caleb Black but refuses to pursue him. Caleb left him once, and Owen’s not going down that road again.

Caleb is ready for a second chance with Owen and gets it when fate and the matchmaking McKenzies conspire to strand the two men in a rustic cabin during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. Can Caleb convince Owen to rekindle their romance so they can stop spending their holidays apart?

 

Ugly Christmas Sweater

So I’ve started reading Christmas stories, apparently. Ugly Christmas Sweater by Tara Harris. I haven’t read anything by Tara Harris before, but the title snagged my attention LOL.

Joel is a shy, quiet guy who’s had a crush on his friend Nick for ages so when Nick calls him and asks him to come to a mutual friend’s Christmas party Joel says yes. On the way there, he learns that it’s an ugly Christmas sweater party but not worry, Nick has a sweater for him.

This is a cute, funny, friends to lovers story. Sometimes it was a bit hard to know who was saying what and another round of proofreading might have been good, but the idea was fun.

books2read.com/UglyChristmasSweater


Looking for more Christmas books? Check out my collection.


Ugly Christmas SweaterJoel’s never been on Santa’s Naughty List.

But what happens when the ugly Christmas sweaters come off?

When his gorgeous friend Nick invites him to an ugly Christmas sweater party, Joel can’t say no. Even though going on a non-date with the guy he’s been crushing on forever is officially a Bad Idea. But who’d have thought Nick could look so hot in a Christmas tree sweater with actual blinking lights?

When the sweater Nick lends Joel turns out to be baby blue with flying bunny reindeer, Joel feels like a total dork. In fact, he’s ready to spend the whole party hiding in the bathroom. But something in Nick’s eyes gives him a sudden surge of confidence. If things go Joel’s way, he might end up on Santa’s naughty list this year.

This sweet bit of holiday fluff is for a mature audience. It has a happy ending, no cliffhanger, and a deliciously gooey center.