FYI: I sent out a newsletter today (April 3) wishing you all the best in this difficult time.
I’m reaching out to let you know everyone is in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. The pandemic has impacted all of us in some way; disrupting our lives, causing financial hardship, forcing us to distance ourselves from others, creating fear for the well-being of friends and loved ones, and uncertainty as to what the future will hold.
I wish I could hold your hands, give you a hug and tell you everything will be all right but, like you, I don’t know. What I can do, however, is share a momentary escape in the form of a short vignette which you will find at the end of this newsletter as well as on my webpage. It’s called “A Distant Love” and may or may not eventually inspire a novella at some time.
As well, there was a short LOTL vignette included - a little story to take your mind off what is going on in the world.
Here is a link to the newsletter: https://ymlp.com/zFZxSa
And here is the vignette in case you'd prefer to read it here:
A Distant Love
“I never would’ve guessed the pack Beta was such a baby.” Nadia placed the tweezers on to the metal tray with more force than needed.
John gave a sheepish grin as he slid off the examining table. “It really hurt.”
“It was a sliver.” She snapped off the pair of gloves she’d donned for the simple procedure and tossed them in the garbage.
“A big one.” He pointed out the fact while trying to twist enough to see the back of his leg. “And it hurt.”
“Right.” She handed him a bandage. “Can you put this on yourself?”
“Yeah.” He took the small item and studied it. “A smiley face bandage? That’s a low blow, Nadia.”
“I call it as I see it.” She put the cap on the bottle of antiseptic. “Give it to John Jr. if you don’t want it.”
“I will.” He tucked it in his back pocket.
“And don’t play on the teeter-totter with your son again until you get the seats fixed. I don’t need a line of pups at my door with splinters in their bottoms!” She called the instruction over her shoulder as she turned to the sink.
“It’s top of my list,” he assured.
She stood by the sink, listening to the sound of his footsteps as he crossed the room, opened the door and left.
Silence fell on the small clinic and for a minute she held herself frozen in place before allowing her tense shoulders to sag. She was alone again, the need to maintain a façade gone. Soon the Beta’s scent would fade from the room and her domain would return to sterile serenity. Pure, white, calm… It was what she craved…needed…if she was to keep functioning.
She began to tidy the area from the small procedure, setting the tweezers and tray aside to be sterilized in the autoclave, replacing the antiseptic to its spot on the shelf. She removed the paper sheet that contained an imprint of the Beta’s body, then sprayed cleaner and wiped everything thoroughly.
The familiar routine helped keep disturbing memories behind the mental barricade she’d built. Everything in life had to be neat and tidy and in its proper compartment both in the clinic and in her life.
Cleaning done, she moved to her desk to update John’s file. The splinter was barely worth a notation but she made one anyway.
Her desk was by the window and outside she could see a group of children on the swings while others dug in a sand pit or hung from the climbers. The proximity of the playground had irritated her at first but she’d learned to accept it. It was the only logical course of action as her requests to relocate it had fallen on deaf ears.
Giggles and screams of delight could be heard if she opened the window, which was something she seldom did. Officially the reason was to keep dust and germs out, but in truth it was too bitter-sweet to have reminders of her dashed dreams inundating her.
Her hand was drifting to her waist when a sound from her computer drew her attention. A video call was coming in.
“Hey there, Darlin’! How’s my best girl?”
“Ezra!” She breathed the name of her mate and leaned closer to the screen. “Why are you calling now?”
“Are you busy?” The smile on his face faltered.
“No! Not at all! It’s just you usually call at night when I’m home.”
He shrugged. “I had a free minute.”
“How are things going? Has the fighting stopped? Any more injuries?” She curled her fingers so her nails pressed into her palms but managed to keep her face expressionless.
“The local government has regained control. A few skirmishes in the outlying areas but the insurgents are on the run. Things are quiet here now.”
“Good.” She allowed a faint smile of relief to show. Ezra was a surgeon and travelled from hot spot to hot spot, helping shifters who were stuck in the crossfire when their human neighbours were at war. It was a dangerous job and constant fear for his safety plagued her.
“What about you? What are you up to?”
“Me? I just finished a very difficult procedure.”
“Really?” He frowned. “What was it?”
“A splinter removal.”
She nodded solemnly and he burst out laughing. The sound of him laughing filled her with warmth. How she loved that. And seeing his eyes twinkle, his demeanour relaxing…
“Yeah, I can see how that would test your abilities.”
“My ability to hold my tongue at least.”
“You ripped the patient a new one for bothering you?” He knew her so well.
“A mild scolding.”
“Yeah. Right.” He shook his head. Something behind him had him turning and then, “Damn. I have to go. Love you, Darlin’!”
“I love you, too, Ezra. Stay—” Even as she spoke the picture froze and then broke up. “—safe.” Her lips trembled and she reached out to touch the screen. “Stay safe, my love. Please, stay safe.”
Hours later, she entered her small home still preoccupied with the conversation. What had caused him to cut off their conversation so suddenly? He’d said things were calming down but she knew all too well how quickly situations could change. She’d worked alongside him for years before….
Closing her eyes, she tried not to relive the attack on the small hospital that had almost killed her as she’d shielded her patient. She’d survived but the shrapnel had stolen her dream of ever being a mother. When she’d recovered, she’d quit, begging Ezra to do the same but with so few surgeons, he’d remained on duty visiting her when he could before flying off to the next assignment.
It was hard to accept, this long distance love they had, but she did because she knew his devotion to her wasn’t lessened by his need to serve. As a nurse-practitioner, she felt the same way about the sick and injured…even if the injury was just a splinter.
She shook her head and moved through the house, not bothering to turn on the lights. Many thought she was cold but little did they know she bled inside for each patient, the wall she existed behind allowing her to function smoothly and efficiently. It was only with Ezra she let her guard down.
His picture was on the mantle and she stopped by it, lovingly tracing his features, recalling the sound of his voice that afternoon. Ezra was stronger than she was, laughing in the face of danger, riding the adrenaline rush of combat surgery. He was so skilled, his hands healing broken bodies and broken spirits, especially hers.
Wrapping her arms around herself, she tried to recall his touch. He’d been away so long this time…
The computer sounded and she rushed to the desk where she kept her laptop open.
“Ezra? You’re back already?”
“Already? I thought I’d been gone pretty long.”
“You know what I mean. This afternoon—”
“Yeah, sorry about that. The chopper was about to leave and—”
“You’ve moved?” Disappointment washed over her. She’d pinned her hopes on him returning home before his next deployment. Tears threatened and she blinked them back, her need to see him, to hold him overwhelming. To hear his laughter not distorted by the miles, to have his warmth surround her, his scent fill her lungs…
“Are you crying?” Concern filled his voice.
“No.” She cleared her voice and surreptitiously wiped her eyes. “I’m fine.”
“You’re lying. I can always tell.”
Yes, he could. Ezra knew her better than anyone. She closed her eyes, her throat feeling tight.
“Ah Darlin’, I didn’t mean to make you cry.”
With her eyes shut, his voice sounded closer and she clung to the idea he was there, reaching out to stroke his thumb over her cheek, to tell her everything would be all right, to gather her close and tell her…
“Everything’s all right, Darlin’, everything’s all right”
The words rumbled in her ear, warmth surrounded her and, with a start, she realized he was there! In her house, standing in front of her…
“Ezra!” She opened her eyes and stared up at him then glanced at the screen where he’d been moments earlier. “But how?”
“I was trying to surprise you. I was in the bedroom waiting for you.”
“I…” She blinked trying to process what was going on. “Your scent? I didn’t…?”
“Lycan Link secrets.” He winked. “Happy to see me?”
Realizing she was gaping at him, she gave a self-deprecating laugh and threw her arms around him. “Yes, of course.”
“Good. I was getting worried.” He crushed her close then leaned back just enough to access her mouth and kissed her thoroughly.
To have him close like this was water to an arid garden and she felt herself bloom, the stress and tension leaving her body. She melted against him, running her hands over his broad shoulders and down his back, then up again so she could cradle his head and trace his strong jaw. Reluctantly, she pulled back.
“I can’t believe you’re here.” She stared up into his eyes, noting the lines of strain. “Are you okay?”
“Of course, I’m just tired. It’s been a long day.”
“And a long tour of duty,” she murmured, stroking his cheek with the back of her hand, then running a fingertip across his lips.
He nipped at her. “Yeah, too long. I’m hungry.”
“I can make something for dinner.” She started to step away but he pulled her back.
“Not for food. You.” He growled the words and she felt her cheeks heat as he nudged her with his hips then walked them backward towards the bedroom.
“Ezra!” Her eyes darted to the windows.
He chuckled. “I love that I can make you blush. The impersonal practitioner in public—”
“—and a loving mate in private.” She broke away and circled the room ensuring the curtains were closed. When she was done, she stopped by the bed and he stalked over to her, unbuttoning his shirt.
“It’s been too long, Darlin’.”
“It has, my love. It has.” She pulled off her sweater.
He reached out and freed her hair from the clip that kept it severely pulled back from her face, murmuring appreciatively as he ran his fingers through the dark locks “I’m the only one who gets to see you like this. Soft, sweet, womanly…” He took a handful of tresses and buried his face in the strands.
She closed her eyes, enjoying the gentle pull, then giggled when he blew in her ear.
“I’m the only one who hears you laugh, too.” He nuzzled the sweet spot on her neck.
“Mmm,” she parted his shirt and explored his chest. “And I’m the only one who gets to touch this.” Gently, she raked her nails over his flesh, noticing how he quivered at the sensation.
“This won’t last long, if you keep doing that.” He warned working the button of her waistband.
“Maybe, I don’t want it to?” She looked up at him through her lashes then cupped him.
With that he pushed her down onto the bed and, lost in a haze of passion and love, reconnected as only true mates can.
Some time later, they lay in each others’ arms. Ezra lazily stroked his thumb over the curve of Nadia’s breast, loving how she was curled against him. Her dark lashes feathered over her cheeks and her slightly parted lips were plump and red from their love. This was the side of her only he saw. The tender, passionate woman behind the cool mask, the medical professional who cried at night for her patients, who spent hours researching symptoms and cures, who put her own pain aside so she could care for others.
She was his and he’d been away too long. But it wouldn’t happen again. He’d done his time and so had she. From now on it would be their time.
He tightened his grip and she stirred.
“Ezra?” She looked up, her lids heavy.
“I’m here, Darlin’. I’m here.”
“Hmm…” A contented smile drifted over her and she snuggled against his warm body as her eyes closed.
He’d tell her in the morning but for now he was content to whisper the words. “I’m here, Darlin’. I’m here to stay.”
Wolves, Witches and Bears....Oh My!
Kobo ► https://tinyurl.com/y49sqvle
Ibooks ► https://tinyurl.com/y656cs75
Smashwords link ►https://tinyurl.com/y2lbpmd7
Discover three epic novels in this boxed set entitled, Wolves, Witches and Bears …Oh My!
The first book, For the Good of All, introduces Elijah Stone, a man as hard as his name. Can a psychedelic witch break through his walls or will duty force him to deny his heart?
In Deceit can be Deadly, Gwyneth O'Donnell, a respected member of the Universal Coven, despises all Lycans. When Dante Esparza darkens her door, does she dare trust the motives of the dashing rogue?
And finally, Veil of Lies will have you wondering, how much is too much to forgive? Armand St. John is a bear shifter whose heart runs deep and true. But when love and lies are pitted against each other, can anyone win?
Danger, intrigue, humour and true love can always be found in Nicky Charles’ highly acclaimed Law of the Lycans series!
The Mating is now an Audiobook!
I have a confession. I've never listened to an audiobook in my life so this was a challenging project. However, with no knowledge of what I was doing, I dove in and began auditioning narrators. I envisioned audiobooks to be similar to an old radio show with voices for the various characters and lots of emotion. After several rounds, I finally found a narrator who could deliver what I wanted.
Vivienne Leheny is an accomplished voice actor with many audiobooks under her belt as well as work in TV and movies. She was so great to work with and incredibly patient with all my newbie questions and requests.
I love the final product and hope you do, too! Here is a small sample:
Google Play: https://tinyurl.com/y43txe4r
Veil of Lies in paperback and hardcover!
Order your copy online or special order at your local book store.
Reality Bites Award
2016 Metamorph Publishing Awards
2016 Metamorph Publishing Awards
Little Book Corner Awards
RRR Readers Choice Award
Southern Vixens Best of 2015 Awards
The 3 Bookateers Awards
SKOW and FPSSA Awards
This site was created Jan 16, 2011