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Saturday, March 10, 2018

not that cougar, the other one (snippet time!)

Did you know that the American mountain lions are listed in dictionaries under more names than any other animal in the world? Writer Claude T. Barnes listed 18 native South American, 25 native North American, and 40 English names for the same animal. Depending on the region and native language, common names for the American lion include: mountain lion, cougar, panther, puma, painter, el leon, and catamount.

In Her Mountain Lion Mate, we meet Creole "Cree" James, the only natural born shifter so far (hehe) in the series. I tried to make a title using the word cougar, but in American slang, cougar has a whole different meaning. 

Enjoy this snippet.Her Mountain Lion Mate is with my editors and should be out in a few weeks. In the meantime, don't forget to check out my other books in the series (or any of my series, for that matter!)


Cree felt his hands shake as he prepped a keg for his usual Monday night crowd. Had it finally happened? Had he gone insane? He made a mental note to tell Quinn. An angry mountain lion shifter gone mad could cause untold destruction.

He didn’t want to wait for the government to put him down. If he needed to be killed, Cree wanted Quinn to do it.

Shaking his head, Cree went back to doing the bar back work he relished. He wasn’t as good with people as his bartender Jason was. After prepping the bar, Cree hid in his office the rest of the night, paying bills or searching endlessly for information on Roger Elliot.

As he hauled a case a local microbrew up from the cellar, the tantalizing-but- barely-familiar - scent wafted across the room. Creole shook his head, denial sharp and strong pulsing within him. He knew that scent, but she was dead. He shook his head trying to snap some sanity into his mind.
Cree’s eyes scanned the bar. Nothing moved except the sluggish whir of the ceiling fan. But he knew that sometimes prey hid in plain sight. He was no mindless animal ready to pounce. Instead, he was an experienced warrior.

Tamara was dead. Crushed in a car crash on her birthday, two weeks before Creole was released from the shifter prison he’d been transferred to. As he exited the facility on his 18th birthday, his mother and his handler were there. Greeting him with the news that destroyed him.

Fresh pain pulsed through him in time with his heartbeat. He stacked the beer and rubbed the area across his heart. Would this wound be his constant reminder? His relationship with Tamara began while they were children. But their bond went deeper than childhood. It had its roots in fear, protection, and eventually death.

“Soon,” he promised her ghost. “One day, we’ll be united again.” A calmness settled over him at the idea of Quinn finally putting him out of his misery. If he had to live with this heartbreak every hour of every day for the rest of his life, he’d rather be dead, anyway. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Snow: A retelling of Rose-Red and Snow-White (snippet!!)

Snippet Time!!

Snow: A Retelling of Red-Rose and Snow-White by Summer Donnelly

I've always loved the story of Rose-Red and Snow-White, a Grimm fairy tale about two sisters who fall in love with bear shifters. (This Snow is not related to the one with the 7 dwarves.) In German, Schneewittchen is the girl with the dwarves. This Snow was originally called SchneeweiƟchen)
It's a story I've always wanted to read but could never find one. So, I wrote it myself. 

Come join me in Thistle Grove, a land full of Fables following the War of the Wicked Witches. Per the Treaty of the Wicked Witches, the Fables were removed out of the Woods They've established a town, complete with a bear shifter Baron, his brother, and a big bad wolf-shifter Sheriff. 

Book 1 is available now. Book 2 will be out the end of March. 


Crossing Grimm River on the back of a giant brown bear was an all-new experience for Snow. She giggled, straddling his large back. “This is better than riding a horse,” she announced as he dropped her, safe and sound, on the other side.
Tristan chuffed at her, and she giggled anew. “Aw, poor baby, you don’t like being compared to a horse?
Tristan shook his fur and sprayed river water over her shirt, jerkin, and leather pants. She observed her surroundings as Tristan went back across the river to get Ruby and Avery.
“I can cross on my own, Tristan,” Avery said, his voice deep and growly in the morning.
They had eaten the last of the biscuits that morning and washed them down with icy cold river water. No one knew what was on the horizon, and they were all on edge.
Once they were all on the same side of the Grimm River, Avery led the way. “Castle and cave are to the east.”
“I can’t even see the sun,” Snow said, falling into line. Avery, Ruby, Snow, with Tristan at the rear. “How can you tell east from west?”
“Instincts,” Avery responded. He sniffed the air, seeking his way.
“It’s too quiet,” Tristan warned. “Beware.”
Tension settled into Snow’s shoulders, and she narrowed her eyes. Yards fell, and then miles between the river and where they were. They were deep in the Woodlands now, and hardly a drop of sunlight fell to the forest floor.
After several hours, Avery slowed down. “There’s a berry bush up ahead. Tristan, help me see if they’re okay to eat.”
Tristan chuffed in response. Still keeping an eye on the women, the two shifters sniffed for poisons or spells that may hurt them.
Ruby and Snow spread out a blanket to sit on in a small clearing.
Snow took her throwing knives out of their sheaths. “Let’s practice while we wait,” she suggested. Ruby nodded and took out her own knives.
“Good one,” Ruby congratulated Snow. “You’re getting better!”
“Okay, your turn,” Snow suggested. Ruby eyed up her target and tossed the knife. THWAP. It, too, hit the tree and shuddered in relief.
By the time Avery and Tristan returned with a basket of berries, Ruby and Snow were warm and a little sweaty from their practice session.
“Looking good on the throws,” Avery said with a nod. “Let’s take a break and eat. I think we’ll be outside the forest by dinner. I saw a few rabbits running around. We can set up some snares and hopefully have a brace or two for dinner.”
The small group welcomed their brightly colored feast, although none of them relaxed enough to enjoy their meal. Conversation was subdued, as each waited. Trepidation crept up Snow’s spine and took up permanent residence.
She frowned. Was that a sound?
Snow glanced around, but no one else seemed to notice. “Tristan? Do you hear that?” she asked.
Tristan’s ears perked and his nose lifted. “A dark cloud is traveling towards us.”
The sound grew louder. Snow and Ruby shared a look before getting to their feet. Each pulled their staff out of its scabbard and prepped their knives.
Avery shoved his sleeves up, exposing forearms covered with hair. “It sounds like a stampede or some sort,” he said just before shifting into his wolf form. He howled with the pleasure of being a wolf again.
“What the…” Snow said. “It looks like a storm cloud. But that can’t be.”
“They’re bugs,” Ruby said.
“Gnats,” Tristan corrected.
“Gnats? How can gnats hurt us?” But no sooner were the words out of Snow’s mouth than the bugs swarmed the group.
“My eyes!” Ruby cried out, seconds before she began choking. Weapons were useless. Raw strength was wasted on their tiny foes. They attacked everywhere. Eyes. Ears. Choking them.

Tristan raised his paws, swatting them, but they got in the delicate membranes of his eyes. He blinked. Stopped. Unable to see what he was swiping at, he was a loaded weapon with too many friendly targets around him. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

You always remember your first Bear

Snippet time!!!

When did you first fall in love with shifters? For me, it was the story of Snow-White and Rose-Red. I was 6 years old when I first read the fairytale. A story about 2 sisters and 2 prince bear shifters. What could be more romantic?

I have tried to do it justice in this debut novel in my Thistle Grove series. This is more adventure than romance. More YA than adult. I'm currently halfway done with its sequel Snow.

From Red

But now, alone in the woods with only a bear and Gaul, Red felt waves of animosity, avarice, and hatred pour off him in waves. She made a mental note to listen to her sister’s intuition more often.
Red swallowed and felt her eyes grow round when she saw Gaul pick up a large rock and place it in the pocket of a slingshot. Was he going to shoot the bear? Anger rose in her. How dare the little man attack the bear? The bear had been enjoying himself and doing whatever bear business bears liked to do in the woods. Why was Gaul intent on harassing the majestic animal?
The bear chuffed and eyed up the little man. The bear rose on his hind legs as if to prove his physical superiority to the measly human. Red’s feet were frozen to the autumn cloaked ground, and her heart beat heavily in her chest as she awaited the outcome of the battle playing out before her. Gaul was no match for the huge bear, but she didn’t understand why the bear hadn’t either charged or run away.
Another bear huffed, and terror replaced her earlier anger at Gaul. Now she was alone in the woods with two bears and a mean, slingshot-wielding man. She scanned around the ground until she found a sturdy stick she could use to defend herself, if needed.
Man and beast continued to eye each other up as Red’s mind scrambled for a way to break the growing tension.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Her Broken Bear - Snippet Time!

Snippet time!!
Her Broken Bear by Summer Donnelly

Answering an emergency call from her best friend, twenty-eight-year-old Hadley Mills runs to Maxwell Mountains, North Carolina. There she meets Hunter, explosives expert and bear shifter. Hadley is able to heal Hunter's body, but his heart and mind are beyond her control.

Thirty-year-old Hunter Bromstad has a broken bear. Sent back from a battle with more internal scars than a man should carry, Hunter can't control his bear. But when he falls in love with a nurse practitioner, his life is turned upside down. Can he learn to control his bear? What about the years of service he still owes the government?

And when a fire breaks out on Maxwell Mountain, will he and Hadley be able to survive the fallout?

I just finished my first round of edits on Her Broken Bear, book 2 in the Shifter Special Forces book series. It's 1am local time and i am both beat and happy. Hunter's story will be looked at by my editors in a day or two and i'll be on time for an early March pub date.

here's a short little (unedited) tease to keep you excited about the new book.

Hadley refused to budge. “Why don’t you tell me about the bear in your cabin. Did you start branching out from cats and dogs into lions and tigers and bears?”
“Oh, my,” Lacey said. “Well, not exactly.” She shook her head. “Okay. But don't freak out, okay? Promise?"
This didn't seem good. Hadley narrowed her eyes. "I'm a nurse, Lacey. Not much freaks me out." But when her friend continued to just look at her, Hadley nodded. "I promise."
Hadley felt her jaw drop in shock. “One came to our high school career day. Are you telling me you have a bear soldier in your cabin?”
“Yes,” Lacey admitted. “His name is Hunter Bromstadt. He’s in a bad way.”
“But how? I mean. Why?” Hadley leaned against the side of her car and ran her fingers through her short blonde hair. “What’s going on?”
Lacey took Hadley’s hand and lead her into the third, slightly shabby and deserted cabin. “Come meet Hunter,” she said. “He’s one of Quinn’s friends.”
Hadley stopped in her tracks. “Is Quinn a bear shifter, too?”
“What? Oh, uh. No. He’s a Mastiff.”
Hadley shook her head, feeling as if she had stepped out of 21st century America and entered the Twilight Zone.
She entered the cabin and held her hand up to her nose. The dark scent of decay and the rank odor of infection slammed against her. “Holy Moses,” she said. The cabin was empty except for an angry brown bear being run herd on by a Mastiff of almost the same size.
“I take it that’s Quinn,” Hadley said.
The massive dog howled and acknowledged her presence.
“Why didn’t you just take him to the hospital? I can smell the infection from here.”
Tears trembled on Lacey’s eyelashes. “He can’t hold his shifts. The hospital might drug him. Might institutionalize him. We can’t let that happen. Not unless we had no choice.”
Hadley took in the scene with practiced eyes. She pulled her script pad from her purse. “Go into town and get these scripts filled.” She wrote down two different types of antibiotics. She ripped the page and handed it to Lacey. “And I need the following items, but you won’t need an Rx for them.”
Lacey nodded. “You’re the best, Had,” she whispered right before she took off.
“Will I be safe?” Hadley asked as she approached her patient.
“I will do whatever it takes to keep you safe.”
He was operating on instincts. His roars in time with the throbbing of his pulse. The cries of the children an out of tune staccato medley. And the damn cat, icy green eyes daring him to move forward.
Only the dog kept him from hurting people. No. He shook his massive head. Not a dog. A friend. But that couldn’t be right. He didn’t have friends. His friends were dead. As dead as the Qubrian children he’d helped kill.
War after war, they were sent. To countries near and far. Hunter was damn good at his job. Until Qubria. After six months in the Latin American hellhole, he’d been given leave and an appointment with the Shifter Veteran’s Hospital.
Fuck that shit. All he needed was his bear, Bal.
Another scent penetrated his dimmed senses. Delicate. Floral. The sweet scent of roses on a June evening.
Hunter roared. Another scent was in his way. Guarding her. Danger? Was there danger? Bear and human warred for supremacy. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

When characters don't behave.

I have two girls I'm writing a story about. A 6 book series of shorts that I'll combine into a boxed set when i'm finally done with them.

Only, the girls don't seem to want to do what i want them to do. I have outlines. A series outline. A plan. And over and over, they surprise me. Tell me something new. Show me a different (admittedly better) path.

But that doesn't mean i have to like it, ladies!!

I love these girls, and I hope you do, too. Drop me a line and let me know what you think!

Here Come the Grifter Sisters

Back to School with the Grifter Sisters

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Grifters, shifters, and bootleg liquor.

Grifters, shifters, and bootleg liquor.

I hit a stage in my latest novel set in an all new shifter universe (keep an eye out for a cover reveal!) before I headed home for the holidays. I had two of my six (six, what am I, crazy??) grifter sisters books written, and as I drove into town, I passed this old haunted building on Route 94.

I really try not to have three brand new series going at once. But once my brain was caught in the mystry and romance of the Roaring Twenties, I knew it was going to happen. 

Sitting on the edge of the Paulinskill, this beautiful home has been used many times since it was built in the late Victorian era. A private residence. A bed and breakfast. A biker bar. And once, over ninety years ago, it was a speakeasy.

It's a long drive from New Jersey to North Carolina, so I began dreaming of this world of girls in short dresses, guys in black suits, and how a dive bar would fit in Harper's Mill.

A Harper would run it, naturally. They're charmers. Smooth talkers. What better type of men to run an illegal bar?

When I got home, I began researching. Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean (and the St. Lawrence Seaway to the north and Cuba and the Bahamas to the south) New Jersey is perfectly situated for the illegal booze trade. And Harper's Mill, which has the Paulinskil (a minor tributary of the Deleware River) run completely through it, would historically be a great place for a speakeasy.

Now, how do I keep the mobsters from North Jersey and Philadelphia away from tiny Harper's Mill? With a little magic, of course.

Get your glad rags on, pour a Tom Collins, and come join me on a new adventure for my Harper's Mill Historicals.

Hope to see you there.

Here Come the Grifter Sisters

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What is art?

one of the best feelings I've had as a writer is when my readers reach out and tell me i've made them happy. That getting caught in a sweet love story with just a little bit of heat is a recharge for their souls.

That is better than 5 star reviews or 100s of sales (although i wouldn't turn either down!) But after a bad day at work, or disappointing news, or a fill in the blank reason - they reached for one of my books and it made them happier.

I know so many amazing artists and I just think of myself as a teller of stories. not to belittle myself. telling stories is a crafted gift but i'm not sure mine rises to the level of art. It's something i'm still working on accepting.

What i am starting to realize, though, in our world of 24 hour bad news that maybe making the world a little happier one book at a time is a gift. Maybe the world needs the story tellers to allow them to dream when the real world piles crap up to their ears.

Dream my friends and if you find me there, sit down and enjoy this story i've been working on.

Seasons of Love