It’s release day!!! It’s also my daughter’s birthday so we’ll be celebrating with cake.
Pine Tree Mary is a story about a cop and a hulder – a forest creature from the Scandinavian folklore. A few years ago I wrote Silent Woods which has the Neck, a male water nymph from the Swedish folklore. He’s a fascinating creature who bewitches people by playing the violin. The Neck is always male, and in Pine Tree Mary I’ve cheated because a hulder is always female…only here my main character is male.
I talked a little about the old stories with hulders in a previous blog post, but mainly they lure unassuming men into the forests and have their way with them. In Pine Tree Mary, we have Hush, the only known male hulder in the world.
Detective Manning is following a known drug lord into the forest and what he sees there will forever change his life. Creatures with tails and holes in their backs only exist in fairy tales, and it isn’t normal to ride on moose…unless you’re a hulder of course.
Manning in convinces Hush is the key that will help him put the drug lord behind bars so he decides to keep Hush close at all times. Hush doesn’t always understand why humans do what they do, but he likes Detective Manning so he tries to help him get what he wants.
“So, Hush.” He didn’t look at him as he zigzagged between the people on the sidewalk. “How did you first get to know Diamond?” It was a question he should’ve asked a long time ago.
“Oh, it was pure luck on my part.” Luck? Manning glanced at him. He was utterly beautiful—his hair shiny and soft-looking, his unusual eyes sparkling, and despite his lips being swollen from the beating, Manning wanted to taste them. Highly unprofessional.
“How do you figure it was luck?”
Hush stopped. A person behind them cursing as he stepped around them. “Well, I was walking around in the forest and there they were, both Diamond and North.”
Manning wished he’d continue, but instead, he watched the cars glide by on the street. Reaching out, Manning put a hand on Hush’s lower back, or he attempted to. His hand kept going, the fabric of the dress touched his hand but there was nothing underneath. Hush jumped forward, hurrying to put a couple of steps between them.
An invisible fist curled around Manning’s throat. He had touched him, his palm had pressed in where there should’ve been a solid back. A chill shot up his spine until the hairs on his neck stood on end.
“He said he’d been looking for me.”
Manning forced down a breath. “Who?” Was he going insane? Hush had a back, right? He was walking around, he was standing, moving, gesturing. Where was his spine? Nausea blocked his throat.
“Diamond. But he couldn’t have, not me specifically. No one knew I existed. Solstice said I never could show myself to anyone. I had to, though. I have to feed sometimes. I’m not like them, I don’t have a steady stream of men coming to—” He cut himself off and looked around as if looking for an escape route. “I talk too much.”
“No, no you don’t.” He should talk more.
“Clover will bring the cat out of the bag.”
“You have a cat?” Manning didn’t care, though he could see Hush cuddling up with a fluffy little hairball.
“The cat o’ nine tails.” Hush avoided his gaze and kept walking without any real aim, bumping into people as he went, apologizing left and right. Cat o’ nine? The nausea hadn’t gone away but now it grew in the pit of his stomach. Were the women in the forest flogging Hush? If so, why did he go back there?
“What did Diamond say when he found you? Hey, this way.” He caught Hush’s arm and a current almost like electricity poured into him, only it wasn’t unpleasant. He had to let go, or he’d pull Hush into his arms. What would his hair smell like, his skin taste like?
Manning shook his head and opened the door to Jacobs’s building. “Jacobs lives on the third floor. We can take the elevator.” He never did, running up the stairs was good for him, but Hush was in pain, though he hid it well. Manning sneaked a glance at him. Did the arm look better? It wasn’t as blue as it been in the diner? A trick of light. He was seeing things that weren’t there.
Hush clung to the brass banister on the way up, staring wide-eyed at the sliding doors. When they opened, he stumbled out. Manning grinned. The man sure was strange.
He rang Jacobs’s doorbell, knocked loudly, and when nothing happened, he tried calling him through the door.
“I don’t think he’s home.” Hush was playing with a strand of his hair, looking uncomfortable.
For a few more days you can get a 20% discount on Pine Tree Mary over at JMS-Books.
Detective Quinn Manning wants nothing more than to see Diamond Dace, one of Fagerdal’s most notorious drug lords, behind bars. After years of the man eluding the authorities, when Manning accidentally stumbles onto an opportunity to catch the powerful dealer red-handed, he doesn’t hesitate. But what should be a simple tail, instead drops Manning into a real-life world of myth and legend.
Hush is a hulder, a forest spirit also known as a pine tree Mary. Since the beginning of time, his people have lived in the forest, feeding off the energy they derive from the lust and desires of passing hunters. But Hush is an abomination, the only male of his kind.
After a lifetime of starvation, Hush has struck a deal with a human. A simple trade that will give the human what he desires and keep Hush from wasting away completely.
When Manning saves a young man from Diamond and one of his men, his view of reality is altered forever. And Hush, who has never met anyone like Manning, finds the man’s attraction to him enough to finally stave off his constant hunger.
When together they set out to rescue Manning’s partner, their connection to one another grows. But can a human detective have a future with a creature of the forest, a creature who isn’t supposed to exist?
Pine Tree Mary is part of Legendary Loves Vol 1 which is a story collection of three stories with legendary creatures. It too is on a 20% discount at JMS-Books.
JMS Books’ Trios are themed collections of three gay romance stories by a trio of authors. Each story is available separately, but readers can get all three for a discounted bundle price.
Legendary Loves Volume 1 contains three paranormal shifter M/M romances just in time for Halloween! Contains the stories:
Metamorphosis by Pelaam: When Ryker arrives in Puerto Rico, he doesn’t anticipate falling for the handsome and flirtatious Alejandro, who works at the hotel where he’s staying. There’s definitely something between them, and then Ryker uncovers a world he couldn’t have dreamed existed. He already knows he’s in love with Alejandro, but something dark and deadly is stalking him.
Pine Tree Mary by Ofelia Gränd: What should be a simple chase drops Detective Quinn Manning into a real-life world of myth and legend when he stumbles upon Hush, who is a hulder, a pine tree Mary. His people live in the forest and feed off energy of passing humans. When Manning’s partner disappears, he needs Hush’s help. While working together, their connection grows, but can a human have a future with a creature of the forest?
The Pooka’s Share by K.L. Noone: Aidan’s on an easy Magical Enforcement Division case: stolen apples. But the apple-thief faerie-horse shifts into gorgeous young man, Ink, who left his herd to find adventure. He likes Aidan’s hands, and that enchanted bridle, on him. But ritual magic and complicated powers collide, and the family legacy Aidan’s avoiding becomes important, but maybe not as important as keeping Ink in his arms.