Today for First Kiss Friday, I’d like to welcome back my dear friend, R.L. Merrill who will share an excerpt from her upcoming novel. Happy reading, my lovelies, and take it away, Ro!

Happy October! It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year for weirdos like me and I thought I’d share a little First Kiss snippet from my upcoming funny paranormal release Ghoul Me Once, out October 21st!

A little background… Last summer I received a message from one of my heroes in the writery business, Robyn Peterman. She invited me to write a book in her Magic and Mayhem Universe and the resulting book, Shifted, came out in June. I introduced my characters Louis and Maggie into her world of Assjacket, West Virginia and many hijinks ensued. The pair are Intervention Specialists from the Afterlife and in Shifted they were ordered to bring together a mute water witch named Layla with wonky magic and a hexed gator Shifter Garrett Cocodri, on the run from his past. In book two, Layla and Garrett have new responsibilities, including caring for Garrett’s childhood best friend Johann, who’s in quite a predicament. In this excerpt, Johann has found a kindred soul in Garrett’s cousin Clarabelle and they’re out stargazing in her secret magical garden.


Johann had been feeling safe and secure in their little corner of the garden, but the bigger picture started to hit him.

            “Clarabelle, I’m sorry if my being here has made things more complicated for you. I don’t want to be a burden on you. You seem like you already have your hands full.”

            “No, no. That’s not what I meant. I just meant…it’s been hard, maybe a little lonely, but things are looking up.” She lifted her gaze to his and gave him a lazy, welcoming smile.

 He felt her breath on his cheek.

            The longing he experienced in that moment was far more potent than anything in his life—

            He pulled back quickly and put distance between them.

            He took a breath for courage.

            “Clarabelle? I cannot thank you enough for all you’ve done for me, but I have to know…why? Why would you help me? Why share your secret garden with me? I’m a monster.”

            Clarabelle looked down at their hands and sighed. “Maybe because I saw in you a fellow outsider. Maybe because you looked as though you’d lost your best friend in the world and I know that feeling. Maybe because…”

            Before Johann knew what was happening, she’d pressed her lips to his in a kiss that was revelatory. Clarabelle’s lips tasted like a promise, like a wish come true, like the answer to his prayers.

He took a chance and threaded his fingers into her hair, pulling her closer, deepening the kiss. She smiled against his lips and tangled her leg with his while clutching at the shirt she’d loaned him.

When he heard fabric tear, he pulled back.

            Now she was the one looking mighty hungry. She seemed to realize it at the same time as Johann, and her eyes went wide.

            “I’m sorry. I gotta go. Stay here? I’ll, um…see you tonight?”

            She scrambled up off the ground and ran for the house, not once looking back.

And if Johann wasn’t completely losing it, it appeared she was pulling off her dress as the back door opened.


Stupid hormones!

Clarabelle got tangled in her dress as she tried to yank it off. She sped through the house, the dress covering her face, and just before she reached the door, she ran into something hard. A laughing something hard.

            “What in the hell are you doing?”

            She yanked the dress back down so she could see and found Beau standing in front of her.

            “I need to shift,” she said through clenched teeth. “Move!”

            He chuckled and started to move, but he wasn’t fast enough. She shifted into her gator right there in the living room, tearing her dress.

            Beau’s laughter and taunts followed her as she attempted to make a break for it, heading for the water. “Now who’s wreckin’ their clothes, huh, sis?”

            Grrr, she was going to clobber him when she came back.

            For now, she needed to swim. She needed to clear her mind.

            She needed to cool her jets.

            What the heck had she been about to do? She kissed Johann!

Ghoul Me Once has a healthy dose of hope, love and rock ‘n’ roll as well as shifters, witches, and a lovesick ghoul. I hope you’ll check it out as well as the other books at www.magicandmayhemuniverse.com! You can find me and all of my other stories at www.rlmerrillauthor.com. Sign up for my newsletter-y thingie and let’s keep in touch! Thanks again to Sherry, who is one of the most incredible women I’ve met on my authory journey. I appreciate the heck out of her and thank you all for letting me join you for First Kiss Friday!

Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance…