Hi! I’m Bailey Bradford and I am so happy to be here today! Happy Birthday, Amber! May every day be a blessing and joy be a generous thing!
And for everyone reading this, I hope you all have a fantastic day ❤
So, we have a theme going here, and it’s my turn to play. If I were going to throw myself a birthday party, in all honesty, it’d be pretty boring to everyone else, because I’d flop on my bed and read all day while snacking on apples and sipping a Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
But, for the sake of fun and creativity, my alternate birthday party would be:
Severo sure knows how to pick the perfect spot for my birthday party. Away from town, without the noise and pressure that comes from living among so many other people, sunshine streaming down on us, and the promise of shade under the oaks should we get too hot, which, given the time of year, shouldn’t be a problem. Still, the meadow he and his husband Laine have brought me to is beautiful.
Even in January, the grass is green, and flowers bloom all over—probably the work of some spirit Sev communicates with. That’s one of his talents, talking to the dead. Well, only the dead that hang around once their body gives up. I’d be scared to do what he does, but Sev has made peace with it.
“I know how un-people-y you are,” Sev explained as he gestured at the meadow. “Laine’s the same way.”
“I’ve gotten better. She’s still a hermit.” Laine pushes back the baseball cap he’s wearing. His hair is solid white now, no pepper left in his salt. He doesn’t look old, though, just dignified in that way some men can pull off.
Toeing the ground, I mutter, “I’m not a hermit. I’m just busy.”
Sev snorts and tucks a few strands of his silver-streaked black hair behind his ears. “Right. We’ll go with that. As I was saying before my train of thought derailed, it’s just me and Laine here. I’ll warn you, though. There might be a surprise party being set up at your house while we’re out here.”
“I can’t believe you told her.” Laine tuts. “They’re gonna be pissed off.”
“Well, I’m glad he told me, otherwise Sev might be conversing with me as a spirit.” I nod. “People jumping out and screaming at me would probably do me in. I hate being startled.”
“See? I know Bailey. You can act surprised when they holler at you.” Sev holds out one hand to Laine. “Shall we?”
Now, most people would run screaming when a passel full of spirits appear in the blink of the eye. Not me. I know these folks, their stories and lives, both before death and after. One thing about the dead—they sure know how to, well, live, I guess. After all, the worst has already happened to them, and now they are free from the worry that many mortal beings fear.
Although, I’ve heard tales some spirits fear the light, which apparently exists after death, and isn’t something a spirit who wants to stay on earth should gravitate to.
The only light I see is the brilliant sun—I didn’t look at it, but it’s damned bright!—and the smiles and laughter on my friends’ faces. They’re a happy lot. I’m lucky to know them.
You should see the spirits trying to blow out my candles. Or, better yet, see Sev and Laine trying to get fifty of those waxy things lit!
“Y’all should have just gotten the numbers instead,” I tell them, but honestly, I like the individual candles. There’s one representing each year of my life, and…well, see the forty-first one, right there on the bottom row? That one is the year I started writing in this genre. I can look at those candles, and there’s a sweet memory for each one.
The best gifts are friendship and love, and that’s what overflows in the party in the meadow.
Sev and Laine can be found here, in the second book of the Southern Spirits series:
I don’t find it morbid to party with the dead. I like to think that the people I’ve loved and lost to death’s grip are still around, watching me bumble my way through life, doing good, screwing up, and trying to be better every day. That brings me comfort, and I hope you believe in something that brings you comfort, too.
For my giveaway, one winner will be chosen to receive one these self-published titles from Amazon, the links of which are provided below. Let me know in the comments which book you’d like if you win, and I’ll get it to you via Amazon.
Good luck, and thank you for popping in.
Self-published titles at Amazon:
Sun Shift One: No Sanctuary
One shifter, waiting for others to join him in the sanctuary he’s built. One lone wolf, broken and close to death. Cali and Jacob find more than sanctuary; they find hope and the possibility of a love that can endure throughout time– if they can survive the evil coming for them and those seeking safety with them. But there might not be any truly safe place for shifters…
Cali has had to be cautious around humans, who have no clue that shifters exist. He’s made a success of himself, and now he’s ready to escape from humanity. The sanctuary he’s had built will be home not only to him but to any other shifters looking for a safe place to live. He’s spared no expense. Now all he needs is for others to join him. Maybe he’ll even have his deepest wish come true– that he will find another lion shifter to share the kind of the abiding love his parents had.
When the perimeter alarms go off, Cali races to see if there’s a lion waiting for him. What he finds is a lone wolf, beaten, battered, and on the verge of death. Cali rescues the wolf and brings him to the refuge. Whatever ails the other shifter is an unknown to Cali, and it takes all of his skill– and a lot of luck– to keep the lone wolf alive.
Jacob is a haunted wolf and a tormented man. He’s seen things no one should ever have to see and survived something more tragic than most people or shifters could imagine. A mystery illness keeps bringing him to the brink of death, but somehow, he has found sanctuary with a lion shifter determined to help him live.
Jacob isn’t what Cali expected, but a bond forms between them, and through that bond, emotions that neither man can deny.
But nothing in life comes easy. Other shifters find sanctuary, Jacob’s illness continues to weaken him, and an enemy greater than any Cali had ever expected comes for those he’s trying to protect.
Even hiring the best security firm in the field might not help save Cali and the man he loves, or the Pride of mixed-species shifters he’s building.
Across the Tides
Titus Eisenhower loves his job as an elementary school teacher in a small town. Sure, he has to be careful about some things, but not being out is fine with him since he’s not interested in dating another man– ever. His last relationship left him with emotional scars and he doesn’t think he’ll ever recover. But now he’s got the career he’s always wanted, and he’s found a safe place in a small Texas town. Titus has made friends and he loves teaching at the local elementary school. Wasn’t that everything he’d dreamed of?
His summer vacation goes a little different than he’d planned but staying at the condo without his best friend there won’t be so bad. Titus plans to relax and red as much as possible.
Then he meets a man he can’t resist, and Titus realizes he’s stifled a part of himself, along with a part of his dream. While he doesn’t believe he’ll ever trust another man again, he does decide to indulge in a little pleasurable interlude.
It’s just supposed to be a short fling, but something about Draven calls to him, promising a connection unlike any he’s ever experienced.
When danger comes calling, Titus will have to open his mind to new– and sometimes scary– possibilities, and it’ll take the strength of many to help him and Draven survive the evil trying to claim them.
Dragon Dreams and Fairy Wings
What happens when a fairy loses his wings—and his memory?
Griff was born a Love fairy, but he never quite fit in. He didn’t want to be part of a harem, at least…he didn’t think he wanted that. What with his wings gone and his memory damaged, he can’t be certain of what he felt in the past. All he does know is, he wants his wings back. Without them, he’s grounded.
Blaze is a dragon shifter who tends to stick his foot in his mouth—and some other parts in other places—when he really shouldn’t. His brother is the king, and his sister-in-law Bonny is scary. Blaze’s last screw-up got him grounded, unable to shift into his dragon form. His punishment seems harsh to him, but there’s no escaping it.
Then the Love fairies come to the castle to work on forming an alliance. Blaze has about had it with guarding the horny beings, and he’s disappointed that they don’t stay small and cute. He almost commits a major faux-pas when he swats at something buzzing him, and it turns out to be a fairy on a dragonfly.
And from that snarky meeting, something wonderful, and dangerous, will come.
Author Page Pride-publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/index.php?route=product/author/info&author_id=114
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Bailey-Bradford
Smashwords Author Page: Bailey Bradford Smashwords