2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Bite Of ...Cherry Kisses

This Wednesday it is my pleasure to introduce the wonderful Erica Hayes, with a bite of her delectable book, Cherry Kisses.

Can you, in less than five words describe your book/story?

Witchy, UF with a twist.

What inspired you to write it?

I thought it'd be fun to write about a heroine who initially acts for selfish reasons, and then is forced to make a choice between doing the 'right' thing or the profitable thing. In the story, Lena is a con-artist and a spell-thief – she has no magic of her own, but steals spells from fairies so she can use them for herself. So often she gets ugly surprises. In this case, definitely :)

And here's the snippet!
(Where Lena meets her nemesis, a maddeningly incorruptible guy who's trying to muscle in on her latest job, a daring heist from a demon's palace in hell…)

New voice. Not fae. Familiar. I leapt backwards, hand flashing to knife. With a rich chuckle, the shadows coalesced, and from the dark oozed Ethan Benford.

All six-foot-two, blond-and-blue of him. Lean and hard-bodied, tanned, not a scrap of fat. Long ponytail slung nonchalantly over one shoulder, Japanese sword with a leather-wrapped grip over the other. He wore ripped jeans and a black silver-buttoned shirt with the sleeves slashed off, and as usual he looked disgustingly good.

I tightened my grip on the knife. "What are you doing here?"

Ethan pulled a vial similar to mine halfway out of his shirt pocket to show me. "Same as you. Demon amulet, strongbox, trip to hell? Sound familiar?"

Shit. No way was he cutting in on my job this time. I scowled, my heart rate only gradually calming. "How did you find out about that?"

"Doesn't matter. You sure you know what you're doing?" He stepped further into the light, and moonshine glinted on his bare arms, where faint dark lines of power traced the bronzed curves of his muscles like fine tattoos.

My hex pendant hummed sweetly in harmony, and sweat dripped from my hair down my neck. Fairy spells, like I make? Ethan didn't need them. He subscribed to the study-hard-and-you'll-get-your-own school of magic—oh boy, had I heard about it—and infuriatingly, the smug bastard practiced what he preached. In all that spare time he had, between meditating, and training with that counter-weighted sword, and getting his umpteenth-dan black belt in some obscure martial art, and climbing fucking Everest on the weekend.

He tried to mentor me once, years ago. But I liked pizza, late nights on the town and sleeping till midday. He was insufferably healthy, a ridiculously early riser and a militant pain in the ass about little things like hangovers and caffeine consumption. I lasted a week. Just one more reason I didn't like him.

Sometimes, mostly when I'd run out of spells and cash, I regretted my impatience. The rest of the time? Just glad I didn't have to put up with his shit.

I jammed my knife away. "This is my job, Ethan. Butt out."

"What did he promise you?"

"Isn't it past your bedtime?" I stalked back up the alley without waiting for him.

He fell into step beside me anyway, and as I glanced at him, so cool and fluid and in control, for the first time that night I wished that my hot pants weren't quite so… well, hot.

Not that I didn't look smoking in fishnets. I knew I did. And I was good at my job, damn it. Nothing to be ashamed of.

But if one thing on this earth never failed to make me feel like a cheap gutter con-artist, it was Ethan butter-won't-melt Benford.

He caught my eye, his gaze ice-blue but somehow warm. "C'mon, what was it? Money? Magic? You always took the easy way out, Lena."

Well, screw you, Ethan. "That's fine for you to say. You've got time."

Did I mention Ethan's immortal? As good as, anyway. He's human, far as I know, but he hasn't aged a day in the ten years I've known him. He says it's because he meditates on the meaning of life. Like I said: one more reason.

He smiled, and I wanted my sunglasses. "You've got time, too, if you want it," he said. "You just waste it—"

"—on boozing and blokes, yeah, yeah. I got it." Still, I wondered if he was sore that those blokes of mine never included him. He didn't have a girlfriend, and for a guy who claimed he didn't like me, he sure showed up a lot. And okay, I suppose he wasn't a total eyesore. His smile would blow a fuse. Totally crushable hair, if he ever wore it loose, which he didn't. And all those gymnastic workouts sure paid off…

I caught myself checking out his butt, and dragged my gaze away. Me, dating Mr. Zen-and-the-art-of-holier-than-thou? A one-way street to inadequate. No way.

Thank you so much for sharing Erica - it's definitely another to add to my TBR pile!

If you'd like to buy Cherry Kisses or find out what else Erica Hayes is up to, check out these links;

Amazon |  Kobo |  iBookstore
Or, newsletter subscribers can download the book free! 
Subscribe link is here

You can find Erica on her website ericahayes.net | Twitter @ericahayes | Facebook



  1. LOVE IT! Chalk and cheese... or Wild Cherries and Chocolate :)

  2. Thanks for sharing Erica & Eleni for tidying up my messes!

  3. oh this sounds great! Need to get it! =)

  4. Hey, thanks for dropping by, ladies :)

  5. Love the sound of it Erica. Sounds like a lot of fun.