This last year I was asked to participate in two new anthologies, both requiring an original novella (up
to 40k for the first, and 30k for the second - so decent length novellas). For the first, the Fantasy
Realms: Warlords, Witches & Wolves Anthology which is out now, I decided to write a prequel to my Pack Bound series. There are a few characters and ideas from that world that I have wanted to flesh
out for a while now but that are not full-book length, so it seemed the ideal way to bring at least one
of those stories to life for that anthology.
However, when I was asked a few months later to be a part of A Perfectly Paranormal Valentine Anthology, I knew I didn’t want to write another prequel or side story in that world. Don’t get me wrong, it was huge fun to dive into that established world and play in it again, and I can’t wait to do more of it in the future, but for this different anthology, I wanted a fresh start with a fresh new world to uncover and explore. But what could that be?
A number of years ago, I had a stab at writing a short story for a short story competition. It became
pretty apparent very quickly that I am not a short story writer. I got it done, but the idea was too big
for a short story and as I was writing it, my mind kept on wanting to expand on this or that world-
building aspect, or this or that sub-plot, or this or that character conflict - which you can’t do in a
short story. I put the short story aside, having many other things to write at the time (including my
Pack Bound series), but the idea for it was always there at the back of my mind, waiting to pounce on
the opportunity to have its day in the sun.
The night after being asked to be in this Valentine anthology, that story started to push forward,
making itself known, throwing new scenarios up, intriguing me with new character details as I was
trying to sleep. It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I knew this story and the world it took place in was
what I needed to write now. It was an idea that never faded with the years, with characters who had
stories that demanded to be told, and so, I started to write, and the writing just flowed with one
page turning to ten to fifty then more until I was done.
I am so happy with how Jules and Bastien’s tale has unfolded in Love Cursed, and can’t wait for it to
land in readers’ hands. I also can’t wait to get stuck into the next novella in the series - a story that
started to tantalise me about one of the secondary characters as I was writing Jules and Bastien’s
story - which will appear in A Perfectly Paranormal Halloween Anthology later this year.
A Perfectly Paranormal Valentine
Valentine’s Day - celebrating forever love with roses and chocolates, claws and fangs, and a magical
spell or two ...
Featuring sweet or spicy romance, action, revenge, secrets and curses, this paranormal anthology will fill all your Valentine’s Day desires.
Witch, Vampire, Demi-God, Fae and Shifter: who will get their happy ever after this Valentine’s Day?
Due out: 1 February 2021
Leisl Leighton (Melbourne)
Marnie St Clair (Melbourne)
Samantha Marshall (Melbourne)
Helen Lucy Howe (Melbourne)
Georgia Tingley (Perth)
LOVE CURSED by Leisl Leighton
A love across time, cursed to stay apart …
Coven librarian, Julianna Stevens, jokes about being cursed at love. When an old diary that speaks of
an ancient Love Curse is found, she realises it isn’t a joke. To break the hex, she must uncover a
secret spell and travel to Rome to be in the exact spot with her unknown soul mate by midnight on
Valentine’s Day, or her soul will be doomed forever. No pressure – but it’s going to be Happy Never
After if she can’t.
BAD VALENTINE BATCH by Marnie St Clair
Avery Lloyd does not like being a witch - it's all rules and hard work. She also hates dogs. As in, really hates dogs. So, when her boss Alec insists she attend the Valentine’s Day charity event at the lost
dogs’ shelter, Avery casts an unlawful spell to get out of it. But something’s not quite right about this
batch of magic, and before she knows it, Avery has ruined Alec's life. She has until Valentine’s Day to fix it, or the damage will be permanent.
CATNIP by Samantha Marshall
For reclusive dragon Oaklyn Airecross, spending Valentine’s Day with a stack of book boyfriends and
chocolate mousse sounds like heaven - until an uninvited guest picks a fight with a bean bag, and she’s thrust bodily into a mess of runaway cats, vampire intrigue and frypans. In order to reclaim the
Valentine’s Day of her dreams, Oaklyn must set aside her preconceived notions on true love, the
perfect man, and exactly what that bulge might be when it twitches inside of his pants.
FILIGREE AND FATE by Helen Lucy Howe
Famous fae-artist, Zhulija, is asked to create decorations for a wedding, but things don’t go according
to plan. Infamous unseelie, Dario Eribifax, after recognizing his ‘true mate,’ appoints himself her
personal assistant in an effort to convince her of their fated connection. What could possibly go
A BROOMSTICK BREW by Georgia Tingley
When Wysper uses a ‘love potion’ on Valentine’s Day to make the man of her dreams fall in love,
things take a turn for the worse. She finds herself falling for everyone she looks at. A hilarious
After starting a family, Leisl stopped performing and began writing the stories plaguing her dreams. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, her shelves are full of fantasy, paranormal, Sci-fi and romance books and DVDs, she sometimes sings in a choir, has worked as a swim teacher, loves to ski and
horse ride, and has been President of Romance Writers of Australia from 2014-2017. She now has aGraduate Diploma in Publishing and Communications (Advanced) and continues to write novels and also helps other writers make their manuscripts shine with her manuscript assessing and mentoring services.
Leisl is the author of the paranormal Pack Bound Series, romantic suspense novels, Dangerous Echoes (Book 1 in the Echo Springs Series), Climbing Fear and Blazing Fear (Books 1& 2 in the CoalCliff Stud Series.) She has won and placed in many writing contests in Australia and the US. Most recently, she has been a finalist in the 2019 RUBY Awards (for Moon Bound), a finalist in the 2019 ARRA Awards (for Climbing Fear) and long-listed for the 2019 (Dangerous Echoes) and 2020 (Climbing Fear) Davitt Awards.
You can catch up with Leisl at: www.leislleighton.com | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter
Marnie St Clair loves her romance with a heaping dollop of mystery and magic. She grew up in
country NSW but now lives in a lovely leafy suburb of Melbourne with her weather man husband and
two gorgeous daughters. Apart from a deep and abiding love of all things romance, Marnie has a
wide array of unusual and embarrassing passions including playing Bridge, growing succulents,
visiting deserts and getting down on the Zumba floor. No points for guessing which is the
Marnie also writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her novel, No Place Like You, has
been called ‘a feel good, sizzling romance that will leave you swooning,’ her office romance, Deal
Breaker, a ‘terrific addition to the trope’ and her romantic suspense, Blue Steal, has been called, ‘fast
paced’ and ‘spectacular’.
You can find out more about Marnie and her books on her website