Author Jan DeLima’s Magical Kisses Potion and Autumn Moon first kiss preview #CMCon16 #AuthorSpotlight #giveaway
Please help me welcome the very enchanting Jan DeLima back to GraveTells!
Jan is sharing an insider look at the first kiss between Autumn Moon’s Cormack and Elen. And, of course, a yummy martini—erm, potion—recipe as well!
re you ready to brew, my lovelies? Be forewarned—this is a powerful potion! With 2 jiggers of spirits, magic kisses are not beyond the realm of possibilities. So be sure to hang up your keys for the evening and drink responsibly. Moreover, you must be of legal drinking age to mix and consume this adult tonic.
Preparation is essential. If you have all your ingredients bottled and prepared before your gathering, the potion making is fun instead of tedious, and this potion needs to be fun for it to work properly. Recycled wine bottles work well as potion containers. Be sure to label properly. One does not want to mix up these potions!
- 2 parts Fermented Potato Water ( 2 oz of vodka )
- 2 parts Moonbeam Mist ( 2 oz of fresh-squeezed lemonade—recipe below )
- 1 part Kiss Potion ( ½ oz blueberry compote—recipe below )
- 1 part Dream Extract ( ½ oz limoncello and ½ oz blueberry liquor )
- Stardust for a sweeter kiss( blue-colored cake decorating sugar )
Moonbeam mist and the kiss potion are brewed the morning before your gathering.
Prepare goblet by running a sliced lemon around the rim and gently tapping it upside down on top of the stardust. Add all spirits (liquor) and moonbeam mist (lemonade) into an iced-filled cocktail shaker.
Shake several times for good luck and strain into prepared glass without ice.
Use a straw to catch a portion of the kiss potion (three to four inches of blueberry compote) by inserting and then placing thumb on top to hold compote while you lift. Place compote filled straw in the center of the glass until it rests on the bottom, release thumb and lift as shown in photograph. Compote will naturally settle on the bottom because the alcohol mixture is lighter.
Lastly, you mustn’t forget to seal the potion with a toast to Mae before taking that first sip…
~Maelorwen from Autumn Moon
Wondering how to make the Moonbeam Mist, Kiss Potion, and Dream Extract?
For centuries, Cormack has lived between worlds—a man trapped in the body of a wolf, shunned by humans and shifters alike. Only one person has ever welcomed his company: Elen, a kindred outcast who is feared by others of her ancient Celtic race for her strange healing abilities. Cormack has always valued Elen’s kindness and understanding, but after a desperate act of friendship causes Elen to free him from his curse, he realizes he wants more. He wants all of her—completely and forever.
Except before Cormack can win Elen’s heart, Pendaran, the evil leader of the Guardians, captures her, determined to manipulate her incredible power to aid him in his twisted war against the shapeshifting tribes. Now Cormack must use all of his skills as a warrior and a wolf to save the woman he loves—before Pendaran’s vile schemes destroy them all…
Read an excerpt from Autumn Moon
Elen and Cormack’s First Kiss
The gathering room was Elen’s favorite place in the cottage. None of her furniture matched, and shelves lined the walls, filled with worn and well-loved novels of every genre. Her living plants remained outside in the garden, where they belonged, having been contained over the summer. Herbs hung from the rafters in bunched bundles as they dried, adding an earthy scent of lavender, rosemary and sage.
It was her cluttered and eclectic haven. A central stone fireplace separated the sitting area from the kitchen and provided heat and comfort. She often prepared remedies in the cast-iron kettle that hung from the chute over the flames. There was something about kindled fire, wood smoke and iron that set the potions better than any modern stove.
Even now, thanks to Cormack, a fire crackled in the hearth, taking the night chill out of the air. They had spent many hours in this room together, snuggled by the fire while she read to him. Her sofa was a recent splurge, overstuffed and covered in soft velour and she sighed with pleasure as she curled her legs under a knitted throw and savored this time.
“I love this room,” Cormack said, echoing her thoughts. He had changed into a green shirt that tapered loosely to his waist and jeans, but she remembered all too well the body those clothes hid. He’d been glorious when he’d stripped by the falls; his stomach kissed by the afternoon sun, his shaft thick and heavy between his thighs. He was comfortable in his human skin.
He filled the room now with the same assurance, relaxed and at ease. While her skin felt tight and antsy, sensitive to touch under a tank top and cotton pajama bottoms over lace panties. She’d left off the bra, too stimulated to deal with the extra friction.
With a glass of red wine balanced in the palm of one hand, he twirled the dark liquid before taking an unhurried sip, closing his eyes as the taste hit his tongue. I belong here. That was the message he projected. Her wine, her glasses; it was his as much as hers.
He was home.
And it cast a feeling of rightness in her chest so deep it physically ached. If he’d placed the hilt of his sword on the coals of the fire and then held it on her skin, she’d be no less branded. Some marks remained unseen.
“You’ve been raiding the wine cellar,” she managed to tease without betraying her thoughts.
Grinning without shame, he asked, “Would you like a glass?”
She shook her head. “Maybe later.” In her current condition, anything that impeded judgment posed a dangerous prospect.
Walking along the nearest bookshelf, he ran his free hand over the spines, pausing at a tattered volume of Jane Eyre—one of her favorites, but not his. As a wolf, he would fall asleep when she read it. His interests leaned toward action and suspense novels. He removed the book and placed the glass on the trunk doubling as a coffee table, sat down beside her and drew her legs up over his lap. An intimate gesture, but comfortable because of the memories formed in this room.
And then he began to read, and she was lost in the deep timbre of his voice. He hesitated at times to decipher certain words, but for the most part recited the verse with steady and determined cadence.
“You’ve learned so much without me,” she whispered as he paused to turn a page. Her interruption ruined the magic of the moment, and she instantly regretted it.
His chest rose and fell with a sigh. He closed the book and set it next to his glass. “Elen—”
“Forgive me,” she blurted. “I should never have brought it up again.” To reassure him, or perhaps herself, she leaned forward and placed a chaste kiss on his cheek. “Please continue reading. You’re very good at it.”
His skin was smooth but not soft, she noted during that brief moment of contact, and his scent lingered in the air around them, a meld of midnight breezes through whispering pines. And because it belonged to him, it reminded her of honor, and selflessness, and incredible will. And it would haunt her with hunger for the rest of her days.
She offered a smile, but humor didn’t lighten his mood—or hers for that matter. If anything, it became heavier as the questions she’d avoided lodged in her throat, burning for answers.
His hand lifted and covered his cheek where her lips had been. “I haven’t learned everything.” His voice was quiet, and if she’d been mortal, she may never have heard his confession. “That was the first time I’ve felt lips on my skin.”
There were times in Elen’s life where she’d been stunned to silence. Hundreds, she suspected, were she to waste her time counting. A certain moment at the falls came to mind. And had she not been ripped of her spirit less than four days prior? But his admission left her mouth hanging ajar like a child at her first fair—and he was the candied apple waiting to be tasted. “You’ve never been kissed?”
“No,” he stated without apology. “And before you ask, I’ve never lain with anyone either.”
“You’re jesting,” she challenged, still unbelieving. “I was at Avon, if you don’t remember.” She refused to bring up the wager. “You had plenty of admirers, and I can’t imagine that not one offered—”
“There were offers,” he admitted, “and I was tempted.”
A log snapped in the hearth, and the flashing flame cast a jagged glow on his profile. As envy burned within her stomach, Elen wondered if she’d somehow caused the flared reaction. “I’m sure you were.” It was natural, expected even, for him to have been tempted and curious. In fact, it needn’t have been mentioned at all and definitely not with a sheepish grin that told of flirtations she didn’t want to envision.
If his mouth was going to make that wicked turn, then why couldn’t it turn for her? It was a sullen thought born of loneliness, but it also gave her courage. More than anything, she wanted to jump over that edge of possibilities. But how? She was hardly an expert on the art of luring a lover. She hadn’t flirted in years, decades, really; there hadn’t been anyone to flirt with who wouldn’t have shrunk back in terror.
But this was Cormack. And he wasn’t at Avon with those other temptations. He was here, with her, and she wanted him so badly she could barely breathe.
“Tell me what you’re thinking.” Cormack leaned forward, snagged the wineglass and took several healthy sips before setting it back, as if he needed the extra libation to ready him for her answer.
She looked down at the knitted afghan, worrying her fingers within the knotted holes of the pattern. “I’m not sure you want to know.”
“You’re wrong. Whatever it is, I want to know.” He reached out and covered her hands, turning her wrist to trace a slow circle with his thumb. If his intentions were to drive her mad, he was certainly achieving his goal. “Too much has gone unsaid between us.”
“Yes,” she agreed. He’d bared his secret, had he not? It felt dishonest, if not cowardly, for her not to do the same. “I’m trying to figure out how to flirt with you.”
His eyes widened. “Flirt with me?” A choking sound garbled his voice. “There is”—he coughed twice, and then cleared his throat, shaking his head—“no need.”
“I see.” The space between them filled with awkward tension, and she cringed at her own desperate foolishness. “Then I’m sorry I brought it up.” Mortified, Elen ripped off the blanket and slid her feet onto the floor. “I want some fresh air.” Pride kept her from running to the door, but she did make hasty progress, slipping on her garden clogs and favorite knit cardigan before he caught up with her.
A large hand covered hers as she turned the doorknob. “You are not leaving,” he said. “Not now.”
“This is my house,” she reminded him. “I can come and go as I please, so remove your hand and let me be.”
“I’m not good with words,” he told her.
“I understand you just fine.” Wrenching her hand out from under his, she pivoted toward the kitchen and dodged around the central fireplace. There was more than one exit from her cottage, and if she didn’t leave soon, he was going to witness her cry. This time she did run, having lost all semblance of pride.
With shifter speed, he made it to the door first, blocking her escape. His legs spread from frame to frame, a dominant stance, as he planted his feet and lowered his chin. “You don’t understand a damn thing, but I’m not letting you leave here until you do.”
She wove to the side, but he blocked her, and now she was trapped between a muscular arm and the frame of the door, and she suspected the latter might be easier to move. “Let me pass.”
Clenching her hands until her nails bit into her palms, she said, “Don’t forget who I am, or what I can do.” As long as nature and its elements were near, there was no man, woman, wolf, shifter or sorcerer who could bar her path if she were willing to hurt them to pass.
“As if I could,” he taunted, having felt the bite of her gift more than once.
She winced at the unnecessary reminder. Ducking her head under his arm, she wiggled her foot over his knee and succeeded far enough to get his leg wedged between her thighs, which seriously didn’t help her cause. Frustrated, she pushed against his chest—and then again because if she didn’t do something, she was going to fall apart in his arms.
When the first tingles tightened her spine, Elen realized her recklessness, but it was too late. Emotion was a powerful conduit, especially pain, and her gift surged and expelled before she could stop it. Flames flared in the hearth, then built into a raging chute up the chimney that set the cottage aglow before it settled and died in the grate.
Fire, it seemed, was ready to play. Air responded to procreation, but its cohort fed on all things yearning for resolution, like desperation, anger and suffering. And she presented them all in one bountiful feast. Thankfully, the fiery element calmed as quickly as it flared and hadn’t spread beyond the hearth.
“Shit,” Cormack hissed between gritted teeth. Two blackened handprints smoldered on the green shirt that covered his chest. “Elen . . . that hurt!” But when most men would have run screaming, he pushed her farther into the jam of the door.
The wooden frame dug into her back. “I’m sorry.” And she was. The lingering scent of singed cotton pierced her with guilt. “Let me see your chest,” she pleaded while trying to lift his shirt.
He brushed her off. “It’s fine.”
“If you don’t want my help, then go for a run. It will heal after you shift.” But she was determined to see what damage she’d caused before he did and continued to tug at the cotton hem.
He snagged her wrists midair, holding her in the vice of his grip. “You can burn me to cinders, drown me, force me to shift a hundred times in a row—but you are not leaving this room until you hear me out.”
Ouch. Well deserved, given their history, but words too can burn. “You were nicer to me as a wolf.” A petty accusation after what she’d just done, but she was too heartbroken to care. “You would never have treated me this way.”
“You’re right,” he agreed too softly. It was the tone a predator used to taunt their prey, and a warning shiver trickled down her spine. “And I would never have done this either.”
His mouth descended to capture hers. She wasn’t prepared, hadn’t relaxed her lips, and he came in so quickly that their teeth collided. His kiss was untried and stiff, and he tasted of wine, and fury, and carnal needs too long repressed. It was messy and unsophisticated and she had never been so thoroughly undone…
About the author
Jan DeLima is the author of the Celtic Wolves novels, including Summer Moon and Celtic Moon. She lives in Maine with her husband and their two sons. Unlike many authors, Jan didn’t pen stories at an early age, but she has always been a dedicated reader. It wasn’t until after her children entered school that she began writing. Raised in a military family, she lived in different countries such as Thailand and Germany, but home base has always been Maine.
Jan is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader on today’s post! To enter to win, fill out the prize widget below. For extra chances, leave Jan a comment, and share the post on social media!
- Are you a new reader to the Celtic Wolves series?
- Already love the series? Who’s your favorite character or couple?
- Are you excited about Autumn Moon?
*Note: This giveaway is open internationally, but you will need to have a US Amazon account in order to redeem the gift card, so please only enter if you have a US Amazon account or a way to redeem a gift card for one.
Hang out with Jan at Coastal Magic Convention 2016!
Registration is open now! Click the link below for more details…