Life, Love and the Moon

Prequel to the Moon Series; can be read in any order.

At a Day of the Dead celebration with her cousin, Sarah Garrett finds not just one but two perfect men. Even knowing the relationship will be publicly viewed as immoral and that she’ll probably be disowned, she’s determined to have them…both.

Emilio Hernandez has always known that Michael McCoy was his mate, but he never dreamed he could have a romantic relationship with Michael until Sarah came along. Sarah offers him not just her love both a chance to be with his mate as well.

When he was young, Michael McCoy was disowned by his parents and nearly separated from his mate, his best friend, when he was caught kissing Emilio. Since then he’s maintained it was better to have Emilio as his best friend and constant companion than to be lover and risk being separated and shunned.

Sarah and Emilio will have their work cut out for them to convince Michael the three of them are meant to be together.

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Loose Id

Excerpt:

Sarah heard them before she saw them. It did indeed sound like a party was going on. She’d never heard of such a thing. Everyone she knew talked in a hushed voice in graveyards. Were Rita and her family like this in churches and libraries, too?

She and Kyle rounded the corner of a mausoleum, and Sarah had to blink to make sure she was seeing things right. Kyle hadn’t lied, after all. There were tons of candles and party decorations and about a dozen people scattered around a plot eating and drinking. It had to be the strangest thing she’d ever witnessed, but it looked like fun, too.

Kyle pulled on her hand. “Close your mouth, Sarah.”

She snapped her mouth shut, but didn’t take her eyes off the sight in front of her.

Rita, who was standing with a group of women, looked up and saw them. She smiled and waved, heading their way with her waist-length black hair floating behind her.

It was easy to see why Kyle had fallen in love with her. She was beautiful inside and out. Tonight, she had on a long, red, Spanish-styled skirt and a white long-sleeved shirt that did nothing to hide her ample bosom. It wasn’t fair that someone so petite and thin should be so well endowed.

Kyle dropped Sarah’s hand in favor of hugging his fiancée. They kissed briefly, and Sarah resisted the urge to sigh. She had never shared her aunt’s opinion that Kyle needed someone fair. From the very first time Sarah saw them together, the affection they shared had been obvious .  They looked good together, with Kyle’s blond handsomeness a complement to Rita’s dark beauty.

How could Kyle’s parents frown on the match? They’d come very close to disowning their son when he’d announced his engagement. The only reason they hadn’t was because Rita came from good werewolf stock. Her brother, Diego, was alpha of the local pack, which apparently made up for the fact that Rita wasn’t lily white. Sarah wished she had someone who loved her the way Kyle did his fiancée.

Rita pulled back from Kyle and smiled at her. “I’m so glad you’re here, Sarah. You have to meet my mama.”

“Is she dead?” Oh, God! Sarah slapped her hand over her mouth.

Rita burst into laughter. “No, Red, she’s very much alive. But never fear, I’m sure she’ll introduce you to my papa, who is dead. That’s his grave.” She pointed to the spot decorated with candles, flowers, and streamers, where all the people were gathered.

Sarah groaned. Rita wasn’t the only one who had ever dared to call her “Red,” but she was the only one Sarah hadn’t been able to intimidate into dropping the nickname after the first time it was used. Cursed red hair. At least she didn’t have the freckles to go with the mane, even if she did have the dreaded pale skin that burned if you so much as mentioned the sun. “Rita…”

Rita’s big brown eyes twinkled with mischief. “What? It’s a cute nickname. Or maybe I could call you Scarlett; it fits you better than it does me.”

A small Mexican woman rushed up, going to Kyle immediately. “Mijo.

“Hello, Mama.” Kyle dipped down and hugged the woman, kissing her cheek.

The woman returned Kyle’s kiss and stepped back. She tsked at Rita. “Mija, you aren’t named Scarlett for your appearance. And it’s not a nickname; it’s a middle name.” She then turned to Sarah, openly looking her up and down.

Sarah resisted the urge to squirm under her close scrutiny. This was her only cousin’s future mother-in-law, and she wanted the older woman to like her. It meant a lot to Kyle. In a way, Sarah was acting as ambassador for her and Kyle’s family.

Then Rita’s mom smiled and hugged her, giving her no choice but to hug back. “Welcome, Sarah; you’re even prettier than Margarita has said. I’m Esperanza Hernandez. Please call me Mama, mija.” She grabbed Sarah’s hand and brought her toward the festive grave. “Kyle tells me you’re a writer. What do you write? I love romance novels. Have you read Gone with the Wind?”

Sarah glanced over her shoulder at Kyle and Rita. Help me. 

Rita waved and shrugged, grimacing. “It’s okay. Have her tell you about our customs. She’s harmless… I promise.”

Sarah turned back to Esperanza. “Y-yes, ma’am. I love that novel.”

“I named my children after its characters. Well, their middle names anyway.”

Sarah smiled. And people accused her of living in a book. “What are their names? I know Rita’s is Margarita Scarlett. What’s Diego’s?”

“He is Diego Ashley, and Emilio is Emilio Rhett.”

“Emilio? I’ve heard Diego talk about him, but I’ve never met him. Is he here?”

“Oh, yes. He’s around here somewhere. Emilio is the baby. He’s eighteen months younger than Margarita.” Esperanza patted her hand. “Come, let me introduce you to my Nestor.”

They stopped in front of the plot. Against the headstone and between two potted arrangements of marigolds was a picture of a man. A very handsome man. Rita’s older brother and Kyle’s best friend, Diego, bore a very strong resemblance to him. Something about the portrait’s smiling face made her relax, and she smiled back.

“This is my husband Nestor. This–” She motioned around her. “– must be quite strange to you. What questions do you have, mija?”

Sarah glanced at Esperanza. The concern in the older woman’s lined face made her want to reassure her. And she was very curious. It was strange, but she sensed a kinship to the older woman.

“Esperanza, I’m not like my aunt and uncle. I’m very glad Kyle is marrying Rita. I adore her. I’m also very curious about not just your culture, but about werewolf culture, too. The wolf gene skipped my uncle, Kyle’s dad, and he doesn’t talk about that side of the family with Kyle and me so we don’t know very much. My father was a wolf, but he died when I was young.”

Esperanza smiled and tugged her down to sit beside the grave. “Then you may ask me anything at all, mija. I didn’t come from a family of wolves like you, but my sons are wolves, as was my Nestor.”

What does mija mean?”

Mija means ‘my daughter.’ Mijo is ‘my son.’ They are terms of endearment.”

Sarah grinned, realizing the woman had accepted her into her family already. “What is the Day of the Dead about? Why is there a party and decora–”

Mami, Emilio es malo conmigo, no me quera dar una galleta.”

Sarah froze. Right in front of her were two of the most gorgeous men she’d ever laid eyes on. One man, the one who’d spoken, had black hair, piercing gray eyes, and the face of an angel, with high cheekbones and a dimple in his right cheek. He was fair-skinned with a golden tan, but not as fair as Sarah, and… beautiful. The other man was obviously Mexican; he, too, had black hair, but his eyes were big and brown, and his skin was a very dark tan. He wasn’t as lovely as the first man, but he was quite handsome and very sexy. Of the two, he was the larger, although not by much.

Esperanza pointed a stern finger at the tanned man, but she was smiling. “Emilio, give Michael one of those cookies and quit being mean to him.”

The one who had initially spoken, Michael, hung off the back of the other one, Emilio, trying to reach a skull-shaped cookie in Emilio’s outstretched hand. Both men were laughing. Finally, Emilio relented and handed over the cookie as his friend dropped onto his feet.

Michael looked down at Sarah, his mouth making a small O. He smiled again. “Hi.”

It was like being run over with a big rig. “Hel-lo.”

Emilio smiled just as brightly as Michael. “Hey.” He took the cookie back from his friend and held it out to her. “Would you like one?”

Sarah opened her mouth, but nothing happened. Her body responded, even though her brain had obviously taken a leave of absence. Her nipples perked right up, and she was suddenly grateful that she wore a bra under her thin sweater.

Esperanza saved her from further embarrassment by waving her hands at the men. “Get away, the both of you! Sarah and I are talking about Día de los Muertos and books. Shoo…”

Michael winked at her, grabbed the cookie back and stuck it in his mouth before turning away.

Emilio rolled his eyes and shook his head, then he followed his friend. A few yards away he swung around and waved. “Bye, Sarah.”

No, don’t go! Sarah waved back in a daze. The two men eventually blended in with the crowd and Sarah lost sight of them. She looked at Esperanza.

“The taller one was your younger son, right? Who was the other?”

“Oh, mija. You may just be the one. Yes, that was Emilio, of course, and his close friend, Michael McCoy.” The older woman grinned, her eyes twinkling. “Any woman who loves Emilio or Michael must accept the other as well, I’m afraid. They are a package deal.”

Huh? Then what Esperanza had said earlier hit her. “The one?”

The older woman nodded. “The one for both of them.”

Available at: AmazonBarnes & NobleLoose Id