Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Guest - Tessa Stockton

Good morning! We've got author Tessa Stockton visiting us today. Tessa has a giveaway so make sure you read on to find out what and how to enter her drawing. Good luck!


What do you think makes a good story?
I like monsters. I like monsters who don’t want to be monsters, who are tortured souls, conflicted. Then I like the unlikely heroine who comes along and finds that miniscule speck of goodness in the monster’s heart, a speck nobody else has the ability to see, and discovers what it takes to expand that speck into full blown, sacred love. It also helps when the monster is a spectacular specimen.

How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?
I don’t. I’m terrible with this. I get . . . I don’t know . . . obsessed with ideas and I can’t rest until what needs to get out is out. Drives those around me crazy. Honestly, though, I’m trying. I’m always looking for that “off” switch, but I don’t know where it is most of the time. Wish I did. Dance consumed me much the same way. I’m aware that it’s not very healthy and I’d love to strike a balance, but I haven’t perfected that yet. Ah, I think that’s part of the problem! I’m a perfectionist. Sigh.

What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?
Currently, I’m working on a paranormal romance that revolves around a ballerina. The story also includes scenes at a coffee shop/poet’s pad. I worked once as a barista and I really enjoyed it, along with meeting all of those crazy-great poets who seemed to like their cappuccinos “dry.”

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
Well, Wind’s Aria, only because it’s the first of a series. eNovella #2 Sea God’s Siren, and #3 Tree Lord’s Oracle are right around the corner.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
Besides a stretching of the mind and emotion: delight; fulfillment.

List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
I’m an eclectic and voracious reader. I’ll read just about anything under the sun. And I’m moody. I suppose I could list my favorite authors . . . Meredith Ann Pierce is probably my favorite in fantasy, and I love Amanda Ashley books in paranormal romance. In the non-romance sense, I deeply appreciate Lya Luft’s evocative work.

Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Wind’s Aria is a fantasy romance. Some might call it inspirational. Others might call it mythological. Overall, it pretty much remains in the fantasy romance category. Having said that, I’m somebody who likes to explore and write in a variety of genres. From me you’ll never know what to expect next. I never know what to expect next!

Tell us about yourself.
I had nurtured a 20-year career in the performing arts. Just about every member of my family—immediate and extended—is in the musical arts at some capacity. My parents were professionals. It was a very natural progression for me, to walk into what was already present. I dabbled in a lot of different things in that realm, but I ultimately chose dance. Rather, it chose me. Lively and great, and oh-so-hard, this field granted me the opportunity to see the world. I fell in love with other cultures. I think it shows in my stories. Speaking of stories, I’ve also always wanted to be a writer, especially a romance writer. I grabbed a fair share of writing opportunities over the years, but didn’t have the time to seriously pursue publication in fiction. Ideas, characters, plots, lingered—haunted, really—in the back of my mind until I could breathe life into them and set them free. Now, I’m living in the moment! Other than that, I love four-legged critters, and I’m a popcorn junkie. My family adores my insanity. I think.

 Follow links:

Wind's Aria
Elected as the Songstress, Aria takes her place on the sacred platform to sing before every dawn. As long as she does so, peace and abundant life belong to her people. One morning, amidst a strange wind that brings with it a curse in its eerie howl, Aria loses her ability to make music. But the encroaching death that transpires isn’t her biggest tragedy. It’s that she adores the cause of her blunder, for he’s a magnificent winged creature who’s stolen more than her voice.

Fog continued to dance around them covering most of his body, to her dismay. Just curious, she convinced herself. She closed her eyes and squeezed the bridge of her nose to concentrate . . . something that seemed hard to do at that moment.
“Feeling better?” The smooth notes of his words swam through her ears.
“Mmm.” She nodded. “I guess.”
He continued to stare.
Aria cleared her throat. “Um . . . can I ask you a question?”
“You may ask . . .”
“But will you answer?”
“That depends.”
“Oh. Well. How did you get to be so huge when all the Meleyans are rather small? And why haven’t I seen you before?”
“That’s two questions.”
He exhaled a steady stream of air, adding to the mist, as if deliberating.
Aria felt the strength of his breath, blowing strands of her hair across her face.
Slow, yet with precision, he lifted a lock from the curve of her mouth and rubbed the strands between his fingers. He murmured, “Soft and orange, like the petals of prairie-tails.” Then he bent and smelled her hair, closing his eyes. “And sweet like the honey of bees.” Again he held her gaze. The corner of his mouth twitched upward. “Do you have a sting?”
“I asked you a question first—”
“Two,” he corrected. Then he smiled.

Purchase Links - Wind’s Aria:

Coming soon!

Sea God’s Siren
An accident left Syrena blind and only one can bring her healing. But the cost of abiding in his, Dagon's, aquatic prison in exchange for sight proves more than she bargained for.

Tree Lord’s Oracle
Arekel becomes the chosen of her world to stop the Tree Lord menace from expanding his domain of Deadwood. Embarking on the fretful task, the young maiden learns that she alone holds the key to destroying the Tree Lord’s malevolent heart. There’s just one other problem. She’s fallen in love with him.

Give away info:
Tessa is giving away one electronic copy of her eNovella, Wind’s Aria. Leave a comment between Jan 30-Feb 3, and a random winner will be selected and announced on Feb 4.  Be sure to include your email with your comment, replacing @ with (at) and . with (dot).

-- Lynda Again,
   What a great excerpt! Am I the only one who wants to read more? I bet I'm not, lol. Don't forget to leave a comment with your e-addy to enter the drawing for an e-copy of Wind's Aria!
    Good luck and have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review - Wildcat by Cheryl Brooks

Cheryl Brooks
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
February 2013

When Sara Shield sees the wild Zetithian hermit riding across the meadow on her stallion with a black leopard beside them, she's stunned. Not just because the man is astride the horse without benefit of saddle or bridle and not because he is gloriously naked. She's stunned because the leopard, the horse and the Zetithian form an incomparable image of Nature at her finest.

She wasn't the kind of woman who normally would swoon at a man's good looks and she wasn't starting now. All she wanted was her stallion. And she tells Jerden as much.

Jerden's first thoughts on seeing Sara standing outside his cabin are less than charitable. He thinks she's another one of those women who lust after him because he's Zetithian and one of the great lovers of his race. He ignores her greeting, her outstretched hand and walks past her just telling her to take her horse if she wants him.

And that's the start of Wildcat by Cheryl Brooks. No immediate 'knowing' that this is the mate of their dreams. No instant lust or yearning desire. No, this book starts with two wounded people who are more or less content to live their lives in the little cocoons they've made for themselves.

But, of course, that's not going to happen. Meeting Sara is the impetus for the illness plaguing Jerden to come to a head. He suffers from nightmares so real he can hardly distinguish them from reality. He sees again the murder of his lover, the murder that sent him to this lonely spot. Finally, he practically falls atop the stallion and in his delirium, the stallion takes him to the one place where he can get help - Sara's ranch.

Sara isn't sure what to do with the fallen Zetithian. He looks close to death though so she has him brought into her house and put in the only bed she has - hers. She's startled when the stallion watches over Jerden from the window and even more startled when the black leopard regally stalks into her house to make sure Jerden is being treated right. She can't blame the two animals though. Something about the ill man calls to her to help him.

That's how the romance begins. Wildcat is a more tender love story than some of the others in the Cat Star Chronicles but no less passionate. The two of them find they have at least one thing in common - unwanted attention from the opposite sex. They agree to form a partnership by pretending to be lovers. But Jerden's illness has passed and he realizes that he can tell that Sara is his mate. Normally the instant he wants a woman, she's eager to satisfy him. Not Sara.

He can tell that she does want him though. But something holds her back. Though it drives Jerden crazy, he's willing to do whatever it takes to earn her trust and love.

Wildcat is a tender yet deeply passionate love story with earthy humor and a touch of mystery. It's a compelling story of two wounded souls who need each other and whose coming together heals them both. Brilliantly written by a talented author, I highly recommend this one. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guest - Noemi Ghirghi aka Mimi Sebastian

Good morning! We have a very interesting post today from Noemi Ghirghi who writes as Mimi Sebastian. Noemi will be writing about one of my favorite topics - Zombies! Read on while she describes how she creates an unusual breed of zombie for her latest books. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Having Fun with Zombies

When the idea for my upcoming novel, The Necromancer’s Seduction, popped in my head, it definitely included Vampires. I love Vampires…the kick-ass kind. The first actual written words involved a werewolf. He was going to be my hero. I’d always envisioned a necromancer as the heroine because I wanted to explore an urban fantasy heroine that struggled with a dark power. Control of the dead is not glamorous, like casting spells or giving chase in stilettos, but she has this crazy, rather gruesome power. I was very into exploring how a supernatural character dealt with such a power. Does it twist her? Yes! Yes, I say. It's how she transcends the darkness or will she???

But zombies?

I've always enjoyed, well not enjoyed, because the Romero zombie movies are way too disturbing, but appreciated the Romero zombie movies, and, yes, I enjoyed Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, but never thought I'd write a book that dealt with zombies and raising the dead. Now that I’m writing book two, I find I enjoy writing horror, and zombies are horrifying. But there's also a lot of fun zombie mythology to explore from the legends of necromancers, revenants, Haitian voodoo, even gaming, like World of Warcraft.

First decision: will the zombies shamble and shuffle or attack its victims with speed? I decided to make my zombies of the fast and furious kind, not the slow motion kind that one can easily run away from, but why do they always manage to catch up somehow?

And appearance? Will they be normal or in various states of decay? Decay is always fun to describe and mine decay pretty rapidly and really aren’t meant to stay reanimated for too long. No zombie should.

But it was the mythology of revenants that provided a wonderful, tortured character for The Necromancer’s Seduction. In the world of the undead, revenants are zombies who basically retain their soul. They come alive with their minds intact and can be powerful. In role playing games, evil necromancers often raise revenants to fight battles. My necromancer, Ruby, created her revenant, Adam, a former witch, to help track a killer. And raising a supernatural revenant was an unprecedented task that resulted in all kinds of trouble for Ruby. As Ruby noted in The Necromancer’s Seduction:

Revenants are usually pissed at the necro who wrestles them from the grave and jump at the chance to kill him or her. The idea of creating a supernatural revenant was one that resided in some dark chamber of a Lovecraft nightmare.

Because revenants retain their memories, they also retain their emotions which provides wonderful conflict to plunder. The best part with Adam was exploring how he dealt with returning to life, and realizing he was now a nightmarish creature. He was pretty pissed at Ruby, and controlling him proved to be a great and interesting test of her power.

I didn’t explore much humor with my zombies in Necromancer’s Seduction, but in the second book, which I’m currently editing, titled The Necromancer’s Betrayal, Ruby creates a zombie named Charlie. He shambles. He moans. He has a fondness for worms. Charlie’s fun. Sadly, Ruby doesn’t think so. Oh well, guess it’s a good thing, as writers, we like to make our heroines miserable!

She has never feared the walking dead. It’s the power required to reanimate the dead that startles her, seduces her. The power that dwells inside her…and is growing.

For Professor Ruby Montagne, being a necromancer has brought her nothing but heartache, and she walked away from that part of her life long ago. However, her quiet existence in San Francisco is shattered when she stumbles upon the body of a slain witch, and the supernatural community insists she transform him into a revenant to track the killer. But his murder was just the beginning, and Ruby soon realizes that the stakes are higher than anyone can imagine—and that revenants have nasty minds of their own.

Now demonic creatures have escaped into the human world, and zombies once again walk the streets. For humanity’s sake, Ruby forms an unlikely alliance with a witch, a zombie, and Ewan March, a demon warrior who sets her senses on fire. She’s always distrusted demons and Ewan is no exception, but circumstances push them closer together, and Ruby not only finds it harder to resist him, she isn’t sure she even wants to. But she suspects his job of patrolling the portal separating humans and demons conceals a dark and deadly past that may consume them both.

With events spiraling out of control, Ruby unravels a plot that not only threatens the human and demon realms, but puts Ruby’s very soul in jeopardy. Because when the dead walk, no one is safe. Especially Ruby.

The Necromancer’s Seduction comes out July 15, 2013 with ImaJinn Books. Join my release notification mailing list by e-mailing me at


Noemi Ghirghi writes as Mimi Sebastian and raised herself on books and the strange and unusual with an unhealthy dose of comics and Saturday morning cartoons. Loving angst-filled romance thrown in the mix, she decided to blend all those elements in a steamy mix in her first Urban Fantasy series, the Necromancer Books. The first book, The Necromancer’s Seduction, debuts July 15, 2013, with ImaJinn Books.

Noemi spent two years in the Ivory Coast with the Peace Corps and loves to introduce tid-bits from her experiences in her writing. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA. A transplant from the beaches of Florida, Noemi now wanders the desert in Phoenix, AZ, and attempts to balance writing with a day career, fantastic family, and household diva: her Amazon parrot.

Noemi Ghirghi
Writing as Mimi Sebastian
Twitter@ SebastianMimi

-- Lynda Again,
    Hope you enjoyed this peek at Noemi's creations. What do you think about zombies or revenants? Do you like the current zombie craze as much as I (and a bunch of others) do? 

    Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Guest - Karen Duvall

Good morning! We're in a cold spell...the kind of weather where you just want to stay inside and stay warm no matter how bright and sunny the day is. A friend of mine just told me those kinds of days of bright sunshine and frigid temp's are 'fake sunshine' days because the temperatures counteract the brightness. I think she may be right, lol. So stay inside and stay warm and entertain yourselves with today's blog by author Karen Duvall.



Controversial Subjects in Stories: Good or Bad?

Controversy. It's a hot bed of opinions that are highly debatable. It's those subjects we're warned not to discuss in public because they can cause heated arguments, offend sensibilities and alienate our peers. If controversial conversation is taboo in most social circles, is it okay in fiction?

Controversial issues can lead to tension and ill will, but wow, what a great platform on which to build conflict, right? Stir a pot that's already boiling and it's sure to attract attention. Good or bad, there's one thing for certain: Controversial topics in fiction should be handled with care.

I recently read an interview with a Berkley editor ( who said a controversial story that dealt with politics or religion was a deal breaker for her. She didn't say why, but it's possible that Berkley feels a need to be cautious about taking sides on a controversial issue. It could open them to lawsuits, or at the very least the company's reputation is on the line. Neutrality is safe and good for business.

Writers of fantasy and science fiction can disguise controversy of a political or religious nature within the alien worlds and cultures they create. Fae politics are different from those of humans. Shapeshifter pack culture isn't real, but can feasibly be based on something familiar that readers can relate to. The agnostic alien society of planet X is a sharp contrast to the known religions of our world, but it's imaginary so that makes it more acceptable. However, the veil is often thin and may not completely hide the author's intention of broaching a subject that could make some readers bristle and grit their teeth to read.   

The point I'm making is that there are two sides to every issue, and if a writer chooses to tread the turbulent waters of controversy, it's wise to approach the concept with equality in mind. Writers may want to avoid taking a stand and using the topic of their story to soapbox their own opinions. Characters should be the ones to handle the debate in a way that makes each side sympathetic. It's intellectually stimulating to read a story where both sides are wrong and right, depending on which side of the fence you stand. The reader is allowed his or her own perception and will probably learn something from it. Now that's good storytelling.

As a reader, I adore smart books that explore controversial issues using both sides of a debate. For me, it's even better if they're science fiction or fantasy. Such books are not easy to find, however Amazon has a fairly good advance search option that uses key words to filter its findings. The proof is still in the pudding and unless a review discloses the author's unbiased approach to the issue, there's no way of knowing whether or not the book is a grand stand in disguise.

Even a controversial book written without bias can anger readers. Some readers are less open-minded than others, especially when it comes to issues that are close to their hearts. A woman sensitive to the abortion debate will be hard pressed to enjoy a story that explores pro life and pro choice because of her personal view. I like to think of myself as open-minded, but I'm an animal activist and I was midway through reading a story that described the torture of a dog at the hands of a serial killer. I set the book aside and I'll never attempt to read another book by that author. The image of that poor animal is forever burned into my brain. Was it wrong for the author to include animal cruelty in her book? Not necessarily. Did she lose readers as a result? Possibly. She most definitely lost me.

I recently read a manuscript, by an unpublished author, that dealt with the issue of illegal immigration. It was the best book, published or otherwise, that I've read in quite some time. He handled a controversial issue with equality and grace that included a tender romance between an illegal immigrant and the daughter of the sheriff trying to deport him. He couldn't find a publisher, possibly due to the political controversy at the story's core, so he's self-publishing it next month. I'm excited that this wonderful story will finally have the audience it deserves.

I would like to ask the readers of this blog how you feel about controversial issues explored through fiction. And writers, would you risk writing about it? Have you already? If so, what has your experience been like?

About Karen:
Karen Duvall lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She's an award winning author published with Harlequin Luna and is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

Twitter: @KarenDuvall



SUN STORM excerpt:

I stared out the hospital window at the heat-glazed street below, knowing I shouldn't be shocked to see brown lawns, charred rooftops and the sun-scorched branches of leafless trees in the middle of January. But I was. I'd never get used to a hot winter in Colorado.

Few people ventured outside in the daytime anymore. The risk of getting caught in a sun storm was greater now than ever before, and only a rare few survived the storm's lethal rain of radioactive sun sparks. Exposure killed you slowly with Sun Fever, or if you were lucky, it let you live with altered DNA that turned you into a freak. That's what had happened to me. The sun and I were connected now. I could predict when a storm was about to happen, and there was one coming this way.

I gripped the window blinds, my fingers like burning bands of iron as the premonition flowed through me. My entire body felt on fire from the inside out, and I wondered if exhaling hard enough would send flames dancing on my breath. But, no, I'd already tried that. The air from my lungs came out as red clouds of smoke instead.

I had a half hour to warn the town to take cover before the storm hit. It was time to sound the alarm.

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble


-- Lynda Again
    So...what do you think? Should our books include controversial issues? Tell us what you think.

    Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Guest - Shona Husk

Happy New Year! This is our first guest blog of the new year and I think you're going to love it. Shona Husk has a terrific goblin series (Shadowlands) that just begs to be read! You can check out my review of her latest book, For The Love of a Goblin Warrior, here and Sourcebooks is offering a copy to one lucky reader. Check out the instructions below to enter the drawing.

Meanwhile, I have an interview with Shona that I think you'll find very interesting. Enjoy!


1.       How did you get started writing?
SH: I wrote as a child, but stopped in high school and while I was at Uni (college). When I was on maternity leave I started again. While I’d always written fantasy stories, it was only in my mid-twenties I discovered romance, and more importantly that there was a whole genre called paranormal romance that combined world building and a HEA.

2.       What is your favorite part of writing?
SH: The bit I’m not doing at the time? I love the first draft unless it’s not behaving. Edits are great as I can see the story improving, unless I’m struggling with how to make the changes. Maybe the plotting part where the characters and their world first comes to life J

3.       What is your least favorite part of writing?
SH: The final page proofs. It’s a combination of relief that my work on the book is almost done and a freak out that my work on the book is almost done. It’s the last chance to catch any mistakes and make final tweaks.

4.       Tell us about your current series.
SH: The Shadowlands series is about a group of Celtic warriors who were cursed to be goblins. During the series they manage to break the curse, let go of the past and adapt to the modern world. Each of them has a very different past from the time they were Celts which gives them a very different perspective on what a second chance at living as men means. Writing about goblins gave me the opportunity to turn something really hideous and selfish into a hero which was a lot of fun.

5.       Tell us about your hero.  Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.
SH: Meryn was the King’s cousin, he was quite powerful and was used to being in command of the army. He also had a wife and children which he saw murdered by Roman soldiers. His greatest strength would be his ability to love again even after having his heart broken and becoming goblin. His biggest weakness would be his pride and his refusal to let others help.

6.       Tell us about your heroine.  Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
SH: Nadine is a nurse who works nightshifts because she is terrified of goblins and the dark. At least if she is working she is surrounded by people. She’s also grown up in foster care since she was five after her father was convicted of killing her mother. And while she was a witness, she doesn’t remember anything. Her greatest strength would be her compassion and a willingness to see the good in people. Her biggest weakness would be her fear of getting involved with a man and ending up like her mother. She feels it’s safer to be alone.

7.       What inspired your latest book?
SH: Meryn’s story was kind of set when I wrote he gave in and became a goblin in The Goblin King. The only course of action for him was to find his way back to being human—and rediscovering what that means. Of course the world has changed a lot in two thousand years so I got to have a play with how he’d adapt not only to being human but to all the changes. Finding the perfect heroine was a challenge. However at the time I was working on the Shadowlands series there was a lot in the news about police corruption and how a few old cases were being over turned.  And I wanted a heroine who already knew about goblins (unlike Eliza and Amanda from The Goblin King and Kiss of the Goblin Prince), but who would never trust one…or a man who’d been one. So a murder and a wrong conviction brought Nadine into the story.

8.       What is your next project and when will it be released?
SH: I have a few new releases in 2013. A couple of novellas Dark Secrets (weird west: magic guns and male prostitute for a hero) and Ruby’s Ghost (paranormal romance with a dead vengeful ex and a man caught between life and death). But the big news is I have a new print series starting in July with The Outcast Prince. This series is set in our world and Annwyn where there is a power struggle for the throne, so fairies, death, and magic mirrors. Lots of fun :)

9.       How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
SH: Very unlikely. That said if I hear an interesting name or a piece of dialogue I note it down. I also tear out newspaper articles and interesting pictures. People are much more likely to spark an idea through something random than end up in my book.

10.   Do you have a view in your writing space?  What does your space look like?
SH: I have a weird little dogleg as my writing area which I share with the kids’ keyboard, the washing basket, the ironing board and a bookcase. It has a lovely view of the garden and the washing line. When the weather is warm I open up the sliding doors and let fresh air in, in winter I rug up as its cold sitting by the glass doors. But pajamas and dressing gown are practically writing uniform, right? I also have my three essential books on my desk (dictionary, thesaurus and baby name book) and my files for my WIPs.


In a Faraway Land...
There lived a man who was trapped—his only companions a horde of goblins consumed by their lust for gold. He thought he was lost forever, thought that no one would ever remember he'd been noble.

A Fearless Warrior…
Now he has been thrust into the human world once again, but so much has changed. How can he ever be rid of the darkness after so long in the Shadowlands?

It Starts with Dreams of a Castle...
And a woman who takes his breath away and makes him forget the pain of his past. He knows he must protecet her at all costs. And perhaps in saving her, he can finally learn to love again.

Praise for The Goblin King:
"Steamy, sensual, and dangerous...Dark and delicious." —Fresh Fiction
"Shona Husk put together an amazing story about loss, love, redemption, and discovery." —Night Owl Reviews Top Pick
"A wonderfully dark and sensual fairy tale." —Jessa Slade, author of Seduced by Shadows

A civil designer by day and an author by night, Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Drawing on history, myth, and imagination, she writes about heroes who are armed and dangerous but have a heart of gold–sometimes literally. Look for the other books in the Shadowlands Series, The Goblin King and Kiss of the Goblin Prince, available now. In July 2013, Shona will begin another dark paranormal series with The Outcast Prince! For more information, please visit

-- Lynda Again,
    I hope you enjoyed the interview. I always find them interesting and thought Shona gave some terrific answers. What did you think?
    To enter the drawing: Leave a comment AND send me an email with Meryn in the Subject line, your snail mail address, and the answer to this question: What kind of work did Nadine do? by Friday, Jan. 18. I'll have my alien kitten, Wookie, select the winner (she loves to do this so let's make sure she gets lots of entries).

   Good luck and have a Blessed Day! 

Review - For the Love of a Goblin Warrior

For the Love of a Goblin Warrior
Shona Husk
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
January 2013

For 2000 years, Meryn has been under a curse that turned him into a goblin warrior. But then, miraculously, the curse has been broken. Now Meryn is a 2000 year old Celtic warrior caught up in the modern era and trying to deal with the crushing weight of grief he feels from the loss of his wife and children. An accidental meeting with Nadine Gilbert somehow eases some of that weight and he finds himself unconsciously seeking her out.

Nadine has her own emotional baggage.  When she was a small child, her father was convicted of murdering her mother even though there was scant evidence to prove his guilt. But Nadine, raised in foster homes, can't bring herself to love anyone. Her nightmares remind her of things better left forgotten.

Meryn's sudden reappearance in the world of men is as confusing and frightening to him as it would be to any wild thing. At first, he continues to act as a goblin would - desiring gold above all else - but as he realizes he's no longer a goblin, his drive to gather gold lessens. But not before he steals the gold cross necklace of the hospital nurse, Nadine, who tries to help him. Even though the necklace is gold, it does less to remind him of his goblinhood than it does of the lovely nurse he took it from.

Meryn escapes from the hospital and takes up residence in a wooded park. He continues to dream about his goblin past and his human past and struggles to make sense of this new world and his place in it. When he's approached by Dai (Kiss of the Goblin Prince) offering him a place to live and help getting acclimated, he's at first too proud to take what he feels is charity. But each time he sees Nadine, he wants to be more human and less goblin. His theft of her necklace gnaws at him, especially when he realizes how much she misses it.

Nadine dreams of a castle garden, a lovely peaceful place of contentment…until a vague sense of danger begins to eat at the edges of her dream. The dream gets worse and worse until goblins breach the garden walls and invade the castle and Nadine wakes screaming and clutching her sheets. As she jogs through the park, her nightmare comes to life when she's attacked. But a man, shabby and probably homeless, leaps out to beat her attackers off. He's vaguely familiar but Nadine can't place him. She finds him oddly attractive and finds herself drawn to him.

The call of goblinhood is much less when Meryn is around Nadine. She eases the impossible grief of losing his family and slowly makes him want to be fully human again. With Meryn, Nadine feels that the trust and sunshine-y love her parents had for each other could have been real. That's what she wants for herself but with so many shadows around Meryn, can she find it with him?

While there isn't a lot of magic in the story, there is magic in the way Shona Husk brings these characters together. This is a tremendous character study of two damaged people who learn to open themselves up to love and relationships. Neither character instantly falls in love. Instead, they do a kind of dance, coming together then stepping apart. Neither character forgets his or her past either. Meryn doesn't abandon his deceased family the minute Nadine walks onto the stage but comes to terms with their death and his continued life. Likewise, Nadine finally bridges her past so that she can love. The way the author brings the two together and shows their emotional growth is just short of poetic. For the Love of a Goblin Warrior is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once. It and the other books in the series beg to be read.

I definitely recommend For the Love of a Goblin Warrior