Brand-new 6-author anthology—BEACH HUT SURPRISE—Out NOW
BEACH HUT SURPRISE
Lovers, vampires… A body?
Little Piddling—now renamed Little Piddling sur Mer—is a resort with ambitions.
With its own row of highly desirable beach huts, the world is its oyster.
Next stop: Piddling Regis?
But odd things keep happening in Little Piddling. Especially among those delectable beach huts. There have been sightings of strange creatures.
And who knows what else?
Would you dare to walk along that beach in the dark?
Six favourite authors let their hair down on the Piddling sands…
Here are the titles of the stories. Fun to work out what 6 different authors might have written about, perhaps?
- Grand Designs for Little Piddling ~ An Edwardian Entertainment Sarah Mallory
- Going Home? Sophie Weston
- The Body at Satis House Lesley Cookman
- Past Echoes Liz Fielding
- I, Vampire ~ Romance with Bite Joanna Maitland
- Grapes and Ale Louise Allen
My contribution to this beach read anthology is I, Vampire – Romance with Bite. And, yes, it does what it says on the tin. 😉 It’s a new genre for me and I had to go up a very steep learning curve, vampire-wise. But my vampire story was huge fun to write. In fact, I think I’ve fallen in love with Theo. And he knows it. He’s angling to appear again, quite soon.
Theo is just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill vampire, taking a seaside holiday at Little Piddling.
It’s peaceful and relaxing in his borrowed beach hut until, one night, a scruffy little boy turns up.
And then Theo is forced to confront a woman he’s tried to forget…
I, Vampire – Romance with Bite starts like this:
“I, vampire. You, human. We have a relationship, you know?”
The boy nodded. He didn’t look worried.
I was going to have to be more precise. It was time this little urchin showed some proper respect to a vampire. Fear, even.
“Vampires drink blood. Human blood. You are human. Worried now?”
He shook his head. “Nope. I know all about vampires. I’ve read Terry Pratchett.”
“Pratchett. Don’t you read in your vampire world? Oh, I suppose you’re a bit short of light in your coffin.”
“I don’t live in a coffin. I live in a—” Oh. Um. I glanced over my shoulder at beach hut Number 23a.
“Anyway, you don’t have to drink human blood to survive. You can reform.”
“I can what?”
“You can reform. Like Angel in Buffy.”
“What the h—? Um.” He was a child. No swearing. “Who is Buffy when he’s at home? And where does the angel come in?”
“Buffy,” he responded smugly, “is a she. She’s a Slayer. Of vampires.”
“And Angel is a vampire.”
“So she slays him?”
“Nnnooope. She falls in love with him.”
My head was beginning to hurt. “So the Slayer doesn’t slay the vampire? Does the vampire drink her blood?”
“So how does he survive?”
“It’s complicated. You need to watch the box set.”
The only boxes I knew were coffins—which don’t come in sets. Besides, I’d given up on coffins in favour of beach hut Number 23a.
Temporarily, you understand.
I’d picked my hut for its simplicity. Some of the others—like Rassendyll Lodge further along—were ornate beyond belief and stuffed to the gills with human junk. Barely room to stand, far less lie down and sleep during the daylight hours. But Number 23a was as spare as its name and suited me admirably. It had a long bench down each side, a low cupboard at the back, and a couple of deckchairs, neatly stowed.
“Look,” I said, “I am a vampire. And I do need a regular resupply. Right now, you look plump and pink in a way that’s very enticing.”
He sighed. “I don’t believe you. If you were a proper blood-sucking vampire, you would have done the fang bit long before now. Proper vampires don’t get into discussions about Terry Pratchett.”
That was a low blow. I tried to regain a little dignity. “Blood-sucking vampires can be extremely polite and logical, you know. Charming conversationalists, even. When they are not out for blood. But just at the moment—” I narrowed my eyes at him, trying to look threatening. He didn’t flinch. “Just at the moment, I’m beginning to feel the odd pang.”
This time, he didn’t sigh; he laughed.
Being laughed at by a little boy of about seven is pretty insulting when you’re more than two hundred years old and have, basically, seen it all. Well, OK, not absolutely all. Clearly I’d missed out on Terry Pratchett and the blasted vampire slayer but I’d catch up, eventually. What mattered now was that this mouthy little human was beginning to annoy me.
I let him see my fangs.
More about Joanna Maitland
I have been reading — and writing! — stories for as long as I can remember and I love to share favourite books. I may write (mostly) romantic novels, but I read all sorts of fiction besides romance — lots of crime, thrillers, fantasy and science fiction, timeslip, historicals. I’m hoping that readers at Libertà will point me to new genres and authors I’ve been missing.
I also offer editing and proof-reading services. More details here.
Joanna Maitland Independent Self-Publishing
My half of the I Hate Christmas box set is One Christmas Tree To Go, a Victorian timeslip.
For tree-grower Gabe, Christmas is already hectic enough. And then he’s confronted by Lucy, his millionaire landlord’s daughter, wanting a very special tree. Though she used to be a friend, Gabe knows he ought to keep her at a distance now. But can he?
And why does the woman in the Victorian picture look exactly like her?
“Friendship is for equals,” Gabe managed at last, through a dry throat. “You and I are…” He gestured helplessly with open hands. “Best if we keep things businesslike. So, what can I do for you?”
Lucy responded with a noise that tried to be an angry growl. Gabe thought she sounded like a cuddly puppy, doing a wolf impression. He said nothing, waiting.
Finally, she sighed and said, matter-of-factly, “Christmas trees. Or, more specifically, one Christmas tree. A really special one this year. I want to put a tree into the stairwell so that our guests can admire it all the way up to the top floor.”
“Four floors worth of tree?”
Earlier Joanna Maitland Stories : His Silken Seduction
Wounded. Abandoned. In the enemy’s bed.
He’s Wellington’s spy, trying to survive in war-torn France. He has a choice — duty, or desire.
She’s his beautiful silk weaver. Her touch is driving him wild.
But she’s the enemy.
Will he dare to trust her with his life, his mission, and his heart?
A revised and much expanded edition of the ebook novella
originally published by Harlequin S.A. in 2009
Earlier Joanna Maitland Stories : Star Crossed at Twilight
My second venture into self-publishing was another out-of-print Regency novella — Star Crossed at Twilight — originally published under the title Delight and Desire back in 2010. It’s set in my native Scotland, but this is a Romeo and Juliet story. That’s why I had always wanted to have “star crossed” in the title. So, now that I am free to choose my own titles, I opted for STAR CROSSED AT TWILIGHT and a new cover (shown below) featuring the tower of the real ruined Scottish castle that plays such a big part in the lovers’ encounters. It is available for download and now in paperback too
A Fairytale Castle? With a REAL Fairy?
Major Robert Anstruther is bored. His wounds are healing at last, so he rides out to a favourite retreat, the ruins of Caerlaverock Castle. He loves its fairytale atmosphere, especially in the twilight, though he’s never seen any fairies there.
A revised version of the ebook novella originally published in 2010
by Harlequin Mills & Boon Ltd under the title Delight and Desire
Joanna’s Free Short Story!
To celebrate Burns Night 2016 — I am a Scot, after all — I posted a tongue-in-cheek take-off of Tam O’Shanter with my blog. The story is still available here on the website, as a free read. You can even print it, if you like!