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What happens at Winter’s height

Solstice Surrender
Short Paranormals Series #1
Tracy Cooper-Posey
fantasy, erotic, romance, witch
Tracy Cooper-Posey
(14 Oct. 2012)

A man of mysterious powers. A woman who fights her destiny. On mid-winter’s eve she must decide. When her SIA partner and lover is killed on assignment, Jenna hides away in Banff, Canada for the Christmas season to lick her wounds in private. When she forces a rude stranger to dump coffee in his own lap just by thinking about it, Jenna is tipped into a shadowy world hidden to most humans. Rhys Cellyn knows that dangerous, powerful world intimately. He helps Jenna avoid the many enemies who now want her for her fast-developing powers, while Jenna struggles to accept the truth about her true fate, her growing feelings for Rhys and their twined destinies. Time is against her, for she must make a choice and the future of the world is at stake…if she can only keep Rhys and herself alive until the moment of the winter solstice. ___________ Solstice Surrender was first published as a novella included in the Winter Warriors anthology, then re-released in December 2009 by Ellora’s Cave as a ebook-only single title novella. It has now been extended and re-edited, and repackaged with new front and end matter, and re-released as the Author’s Edition. The additional text has lengthened the story enough to also allow a print edition to be released. Warning: This book is an erotic paranormal romance. It contains frequent graphic sexual scenes and sexual language. Do not proceed if sexy heroes receiving their due reward offends you. Lots of bad guys were harmed during the making of this novel.

A short story or novella with an a witch coming into her power unexpectedly and rather late in life.

To be saved by the proverbial hero and fated mate, who is also hunky etc etc.

A fantasy story with goodies and baddies and…

The winter solstice occurs in December, and in the northern hemisphere the date marks the 24-hour period with the fewest daylight hours of the year. That is why it is known as the shortest day of the year, or the longest night of the year.

The term ‘solstice’ derives from the Latin word ‘solstitium’, meaning ‘Sun standing still’. On this day the Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction as it reaches its southernmost position as seen from the Earth.

Pagan and druid communities, celebrate the first sunrise after the astronomical event and the winter solstice festival Saturnalia began on December 17 and lasted for seven days in Ancient Rome.

These Saturnalian banquets were held from as far back as around 217 BCE to honour Saturn, the father of the gods.

See also:

Yalda or Shab-e Chelleh (‘night of forty’) which is an Iranian festival celebrated on the “longest and darkest night of the year,” i.e. the night of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice.

Every year, on the date of the Winter solstice, Iranians celebrate the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness on Yalda Night.

Ancient Iranians believed that the dawning of each year is marked with the re-emergence or rebirth of the sun, an event which falls on the first day of the month of Dey in the Iranian calendar (December 21).

On this day, the sun was salvaged from the claws of the devil, which is represented by darkness, and gradually spread its rays all over the world to symbolise the triumph of good over evil. 

And then there is:

The Feast of Juul (where we get the term ‘Yule’ from at this time of year) was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the December solstice.

People would light fires to symbolise the heat and light of the returning sun and a Juul (or Yule) log was brought in and dropped in the hearth as a tribute the Norse god Thor.

So basically, a time for celebration for the returning of the light from the dark and good from evil in many cultures and thus a symbolic time for this storyline.

A fairly normal storyline but nicely done and easy to read, with some extra elements.

Author Bio

I have been writing and publishing romances since 1999 when I sold my first two books in the same week (after six years of flogging my work to editors who didn’t recognize the staggering genius within).  Many of the books I’ve released so far have been romantic suspense.  I’ve also squeezed in the odd contemporary and historical romance or two.  I also write erotic paranormal and erotic urban fantasy romances. Just lately, I’ve been trying my hand at my very favorite — science fiction romance.

On March 8, 2011, I went indie.  After thirty-five novels published with legacy publishers, I turned to self-publishing, and released the paranormal/urban fantasy romance, Blood Knot.

In the future, I will write a lot more science fiction romances, as well as paranormal romances and urban fantasy romances, and quite a few more romantic suspense novels. I really hope you’ll come along for the ride.


If you like audio and/or video documentaries, then you may like to listen to the podcasts I have been interviewed for.  They are mostly writing related, but I do spend some time in each of them talking about me and my writing…and you get to see/hear what I look/sound like.  🙂  

Click here for a list of podcasts.


When I tell people I’ve been writing since I was 14 they tend to look at me a little oddly, but it’s quite true. I fell in love with Harrison Ford and Star Wars at the exact same moment, and wrote the unofficial sequel in the following year. Of course, I had Han Solo and Leia falling in love long before the sequel came along, and in much more satisfying fashion than George Lucas ever managed.

What I didn’t realize at the time, and not for another twenty years or so, was that I had been writing fanfic, possibly the first of its kind.

On a completely off-topic side-note, I used to lie awake at night, listening to the Star Wars soundtrack on my record player, and re-playing the movie in my head, fantasizing about how wonderful it would be to somehow be able to play the movie at home, whenever I wanted. Eight years later I saw my first Beta cassette player. It was the size of a small suitcase and weighed 45 pounds. A few years after that I got to buy my first VHS movie – Star Wars. That was a reflective moment in my life.

However, while things have clearly changed over the years since my first bad attempt at getting a hero and heroine together on paper, two things have not. I’m still writing romances, and I’m still throwing my hero and heroine through a fair imitation of hell while they’re sorting their feelings for each other out — the essence of romantic suspense.

But hey, here’s the boring stuff:  I’m Australian, although I live in Canada. I still have the accent, although I’ve been here almost two decades now. And I still have trouble remembering it’s a hood, not a bonnet and stuff like that — you’d be amazed how hard-wired culture really is. It calcifies internally, I think. But the mountains here are stupendous, so I think I’ll stick around. Besides, my husband is kinda cute. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention? I met him on the Internet back when it was a few HTML pages and a couple of bulletin boards or two, and me and the kids (three of us) packed up and moved here.

The kids are no longer really kids any more. They’re both taller than me now, but I didn’t say that aloud, okay? I’d still like them to think I’m the boss for a while longer, at least.

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And now we steal?

Heist Book Cover Heist
Melanie Perkiss Witch Hunter
Kezzy Sparks
paranormal, fantasy, magic, adult
Square Six
October 31st 2019

A thrilling introduction to the dark mystical world of Melanie ‘Breaker’ Perkiss, Buffalo NY’s most capable witch hunter and spell lifter. 

In this debut instalment, a dark mage acting on behalf of a vengeful ex has magically removed the genitals of a man and vanished, leaving him wiped clean down there. And unfortunately for the victim, he is set to wed…now imagine saying ‘I do’ while in that deprived state.

No wonder when a shell-shocked and heartbroken Casey walks into Melanie’s office to report the incident, the witch hunter immediately goes on a chase, risking her own life as she encounters dark creatures and malevolent spirits in the city’s darkest corners.

The pressure is indeed on Mel: the wedding is fast approaching and leads remain few. Will she be able to corner the mage, recover the taken goods and save a doomed marriage, while bringing the conspirators to justice?

I failed to finish this book for a number of reasons.

I am going to list them below. I do realise that this is Kezzy’s first novel in a blog tour (see previous interview in November) and thus one that has gone out to a wide audience, but for me it lacked quite a few things.

  1. the story was too long. it needed editing into a tighter storyline.
  2. the way it was written I found strange – the grammar, the phrasing and the way the sentences often didn’t flow seamlessly into the next. The style was staccato.
  3. example of above “The day outside looks a whole lot new”.
  4. I found much of the content too ‘young’ – I know that Kezzy wanted to be different but the concept of a clawed hammer to claw out bad spells seemed to me to be something that my 10 year old grand-daughter would come up with. His potential audience is more sophisticated.
  5. this jarred with the explicit sexual content!
  6. the witch hunter seemed to lack much of the necessary skills for her work.

So the publisher’s blurb fails to live up to the potential and actual content. Sorry Kezzy!

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Visit Santa’s Toy Store

Miss Frost solves a Cold Case. Book Cover Miss Frost solves a Cold Case.
A Nocturne Falls Mystery: Volume 1 (Jayne Frost)
Kirsten Painter
Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Kirsten Painter
4 Mar 2016

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year. Jayne Frost is a lot of things. Winter elf, Jack Frost’s daughter, Santa Claus’s niece, heir to the Winter Throne and now…private investigator. Sort of. Needing someone he can trust, her father sends her undercover to Nocturne Falls to find out why employees at the Santa’s Workshop toy store are going missing. Doing that requires getting to know the town, which leads to interesting encounters with a sexy vampire, an old flame, and an elevator that’s strictly off-limits. The more Jayne finds out, the more questions she has, but the answers lead her deeper into danger. Will her magic save her? Or will she come up cold?

The town that loves all fantasy characters including some you would not believe in until you read their stories.

Always good story-telling in this series and one day I will have read them all, but I save them up for when I feel like a well written, funny, sharp, fantastical story.

There were winter elves, vampires, magic toys, and Santa stores with snow falling inside the shop!

Miss Frost by the way is the daughter of Jack Frost if course, and her mother is Santa’s daughter. She normally resides with Santa at the North Pole, but he was having some problems with staff going missing in his stores, and the store at Nocturne Falls was his flagship store where all the new toys were tried out. So he needed an undercover detective. So he sent in his grand-daughter.. and she finds romance of course as is always the case in these stories. Great fun to read, especially when you are feeling poorly or down.

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You can’t dance when soldiers are approaching

The Last Waltz Book Cover The Last Waltz
by Dorothy Mack
Historical Fiction , Romance
Sapere Books
Pub Date 20 Nov 2019

Can Adrienne reverse her family’s misfortune? When her gambling father dies, young Adrienne Castle must find a way to support her family. In desperation, she visits a gaming house in disguise, intent on winning back some of her father’s lost fortune using her skill at cards. But when her brother falls ill and her luck runs out, Adrienne is forced to seek the aid of a wealthy distant cousin, Lord Dominic Creighton. With a beautiful fiancée and a promising military career, Dominic has everything he could wish for and to her surprise, Adrienne finds him generous and warm-hearted. Despite her poverty and lack of experience in respectable society, Dominic tries to make her feel comfortable in his world. And as their bond grows, it seems that Adrienne is in danger of staking her heart on a man who is already in love with another…

This historical story is set in Brussels just before the time of the Battle of Waterloo, June 1815 Allied forces, consisting of British, Dutch, Belgian and German soldiers, thwarted the attempts of European domination by the French general and emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. This battle marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), Waterloo was the definitive battle for Wellington and and Napoleon and the war  which took the lives of 5 million people.  See: https://booksgosocial.com/2019/10/29/the-regency-decade-1815-part-one-waterloo/

This site tells us a little about what was happening in Brussels from 1812 after until just before the Battle and the novel continues with this society as its backdrop. There was a social whirl that ex-pat Britons and their Continental compatriots enjoyed, including of course, the Officers from the Allied Forces – who were very dashing and usually of a high social rank as such rank was purchased for the young family scions.

So  against this background we have the story of a small family struggling with poverty but well-bred and distantly related to those with more money and titles.  It was common amongst the better off in English society to take in poorer relatives and help them either to launch themselves into Society, or to find suitable employment. Here we have a child with rheumatic fever, which of course is serious even today and then could easily kill or leave sufferers with heart conditions.  Whilst this disease is now rare, in the late eighteenth century it was more common and also becoming recognised as a result of streptococcal infections that include pharyngitis, impetigo, and scarlet fever but rarely recognised as the continuum of these illnesses. It becomes Rheumatic Fever when it begins to affect the organs. Scarlet fever seems to occur in waves and thus rheumatic fever follows.

Part of the storyline involved the game of Piquet and gambling. Piquet is a card game rarely played these days, it is a 2 player game with 32 cards. Similar to whist it has card combinations and tricks but where the object is to reach 100 points within 6 deals. If you fail to reach 100 then you are penalised. I guess you gamble on winning the 100 points. There is a set of complicated instructions about being called the Elder or the Younger that you can obtain if you really want to play by a gentleman called David Parlett. Interestingly the rules now played were not established until much later in the 19th century than this book is set even though the game started in the 16th century. You can also buy sets of Piquet cards.

I liked this story. It was complex and long enough to develop the characters and their situation and imbed it into a historical context. The style was easy to read and flowed well.

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Meet a Blacksmith from France

The Duke's Embrace Book Cover The Duke's Embrace
12 Dukes of Christmas
by Erica Ridley
Historical Fiction , Romance
WebMotion
Pub Date 3 Dec 2019

Unpaid and under-appreciated journalist Miss Eve Shelling never goes anywhere without a trusty notebook and her overprotective Duenna—who happens to be a bullmastiff. Eve learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted. She’s definitely not falling head-over-heels for the deceptively charming subject of her front-page column. Local blacksmith Monsieur Sébastien le Duc is the pillar of his community—when he’s not pillaging elsewhere. He’s a rakish dandy with a heart of stolen gold and two teeny tiny secrets. One happens to be a wee international smuggling operation. The other involves losing his heart to an ambitious journalist determined to expose the truth at any cost… The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. Twelve delightful romances… and plenty of delicious dukes!

Another story about Cressmouth in the series of the 12 Dukes. This time we meet Bastien another of the le Duc family.  He and his brother Luc run the Smithy for the town, the only smithy, which means that as they want to return to France and sell the smithy business, property and all apart from the cottage, the town will be without a blacksmith.

Alongside this we have an enterprising yung woman who runs the Cressmouth Chronicle. Her father claims to own it and run it, but a. He took her dowry to finance the purchase of the type and printer, and b. She does all the writing and printing work, he just OKs the content! So much for women’s property rights in this period.

So when she wants to write a juicier story than the usual ‘How wonderful Cressmouth is’ and ‘The town that celebrates Christmas’ etc etc they disagree. Especially when she wants to write about the Frenchmen running the Smithy…

And so a romance ensues.

The usual standard of writing we come to expect from Erica and nice content. Again we growl when we hear about the property rights of men versus women and how women are ‘ruled’ by the men in their family.. and find ourselves grateful that we no longer need a co-sponsor for our mortgages (I did when I was much younger) and that we can vote and run our own businesses.

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