Title: Hair of the WERE
Author: Eliza March
Genre: Cozy Mystery (Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal)
Hi! I'm Delia. Short for Adelaide, which, in my opinion, is too old-fashioned sounding for a young business manager in charge of the poshest salon in Boca. I’m of mixed heritage, exactly what sort, I don't know. At least one side of my family has a musical/theatrical background. My great aunt Edna is still performing in a local cabaret at hundred plus years and doesn’t look a day over fifty. We all suspect routine nips and tucks, but you’d never know. Her personal trainer and plastic surgeon are magicians. Not euphemistically…really magicians. I know because I’ve recently been dragged into Boca’s dirty local secret. Sam, Edna’s handsome husband is still doing character parts in independent films in Miami. His last role was a gun runner for Werewolves—not much of a box office success, but the subject hit a little too close to home for my comfort. (SPOILER ALERT - not really.) Uncle Sam may not know it, but Boca is a city full of paranormal creatures just fitting in. Shifters, werewolves, witches, vampires. The list goes on. You name it. I never know what I’ll bump into on a quiet afternoon or a dark night. I recently applied for the very desirable management position at Luna de la Mar Salon and Spa. As it turns out, the fix was in. Just one glitch. They never expected a human to apply. I am not supposed to know about the inner operations of the town where most of the inhabitants aren’t human. I’ve come to realize being human is sometimes an advantage. I keep things operating daily...until the full moon. Then insanity rules. Our employees go crazy while I rearrange schedules like a juggler with a dozen balls in the air, and my personal life is turning into a catastrophe. I’m infatuated with two men, and I use that term loosely because at least one is a Werewolf.
The other is a Coast Guard Commander who looks like the god Thor, but I’m playing second fiddle to his career. Uncle Sam, his not mine, is impossible to compete with. My heart throb, Aelric, saved my life then ditched me before our first date. Frankie, who's not technically my boss, is totally hot for me. He claims I’m making too big a deal out of my principles, but I have scruples about mixing business with pleasure. And believe me, hubba hubba, Frankie is definitely that. Pleasure could be his middle name. Truly, our biggest obstacle to a happily ever after are his monthly pack requirements. Frankie is the alpha of the local Weres, and though I’m not usually selfish, I refuse to stand in line with a bunch of female werewolves vying for his attention.
Oh…I also sing with a local beach band. Two things I love: the beach and music. There’s one obstacle standing in my way. Due to recently being attacked by an unknown creature…I must get through the next few months without biting or killing anyone, because... Well it's a long story… Hair of the WERE is the first part of the ongoing Luna de la Mar series in AS THE CHAIR TURNS.
“Come, there’s a conference room down here…” Madame de Wolfe led the way, flopping her hands in each direction she referred, and I followed, still fascinated…no…mind boggled by the underground facilities. It must be an optical illusion. I heard there is an underground at, you know, the happiest place on earth, where the famous mouse lives...but it isn’t really underground.
“Here we are. Let me get your paperwork. Have a seat while I ring for some refreshments.”
Suddenly there was a flurry of activity. People, unusual-looking people of all shapes and sizes, dressed in a variety of costumes, came in with papers and refreshments, books and what looked like essential oils, and candles and incense. I couldn’t even guess at it all.
“Look, here is Franco.”
“We have a little problem, Madame.” Oh, how strange. He calls his grandmother Madame. “Please look at the answer on line number seven.”
Madame read the line and looked up at me then down at the paper. Was that my application? Oh, no…I almost had the job. Frankie was ruining everything.
“Prepare the contract, Franco.”
He hesitated. “Do you think—?”
“I understand why you’ve been confused, Adelaide,” Madame admitted to me, and then she turned to Frankie and pointed at me. “She read the ad. Filled out the application. Passed the test. She is the one. The faeries and witches are never wrong. I will hire Adelaide.”
Faeries and witches are always right? I hope so. “I-if Frankie thinks—” I stuttered.
“Franco,” Madame corrected.
“If Franco thinks—”
“It doesn’t matter what he thinks,” she said. “You want the job, correct?” Madame stared deep into my eyes.
After hearing about faeries and witches and spells and charms, I was certain this place needed a new manager. At least I was playing with a full deck. I responded carefully, “Of course.”
Frankie’s slow smile made me nervous. Then his words almost made me laugh. “You are fearless, little human.”
Omg. Frankie was trying to smooth out the situation.
“Oh, ha-ha.” I shuffled my feet uncomfortably. “I didn’t know if that question was a typo or what…but it was the only answer that fit.”
“You will be required to sign the non-disclosure contract,” Madame explained, and placed a scroll in front of me. “It’s very rare that humans fit our qualifications. As I said, magic doesn’t make mistakes. You are the one, so let’s get the contract signed, and we can get on with the training.”
She poured out three glasses of something from a dusty bottle and had an assistant bring in a large metal-bound folder. Madame handed me a quill pen and a bottle of ink. I studied the objects, hoping that I dipped the quill correctly, then she pushed the parchment in front of me.
“You realize you cannot share any knowledge you have or will be made aware of during your employment with anyone human?”
“Yes, that seems like a reasonable expectation.”
“Nothing to your family or any other human.”
“Ah yes…humans or otherwise.” I nodded.
“Then sign and we’ll toast to a long association.”
“That’s it? I haven’t read the contract.”
“Technically you’ve seen too much already,” Frankie whispered softly in my ear. “Sign the damned contract. You want the job, and we need the right manager.”
I did a double take trying to figure out how he ended up beside me without me noticing. “How do you know I’m the right manager?” I whispered back.
He raised an eyebrow of intimidation. “Would you have applied if you didn’t think you could do the job?”
“Well…no. No, I wouldn’t have.”
“So you are the right human for the job.” Madame clapped her hands in delight. “Toast.” She held up her glass and so did Frankie.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
In a world of COVID-19 we need a fantasy world. Hair of the WERE, the first book in the series, As the Chair Turns, draws you in from the first page and keeps the action coming fast. Antics at Luna de la Mar Salon & Spa entertain with the unfolding of a world in the fictional town of Boca, Florida. Lots of light suspense, a little drama, potential danger, and an unusual cast of thousands (okay, not quite) but a lot if of wacky characters—sirens, Weres, witches, vampires and more… keep you giggling. Throw in a young female lead and competing love interests, a few sea monsters and dead bodies then add question marks to the cartoon bubble over your head. The character appeal keeps this series interesting. Although the first book ends on a cliff-hanger, you’ll want to read more, and guess what—the next few books in the series are available and on sale. A Siren’s Tail—Mayhem, Magic, and Mistletoe—Witch’s Curse.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 42 books featured in the Cozy Mystery Bookish Event: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db775081
Open Internationally. Runs October 13 – 19, 2020. Winner will be drawn on October 23, 2020.
Eliza March writes romance - E. L. March jacks up the heat.
The best-selling author known for writing contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy romance with sensual erotic content, also writes soul searing, gut-wrenching, and sometimes downright humorous romance. Eliza March is a multi-genre author for romance fans who enjoy variety. She also writes erotic romance as E.L. March.
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