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The Oddities Shop: A Dark and Steamy Paranormal Fantasy (Stories from the Realm Book 5)

The Oddities Shop: A Dark and Steamy Paranormal Fantasy (Stories from the Realm Book 5)

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Main Tropes

  • Pirates
  • Fated Mates
  • Portal Fantasy

Synopsis

Pre-order now for an February 14th delivery!

A daydreaming shopkeeper
and the handsome pirate stuck in her favorite painting chase adventure and
learn to navigate the dangerous seas of a magical world they cannot escape.

When Marcy opens her oddities shop one snowy morning, she discovers the shipwrecked pirate in her favorite painting has changed.

So when a sinister old man comes looking to buy it, she has second thoughts, no matter how badly she needs the money.

When she rushes to hide the portrait among the other garbage that lines her shelves, she discovers the handsome sailor is missing entirely. But that's not even the strangest thing that happens that night...

Intro into Chapter One

Every day I walked to work, the city got a little crueler.

Slowly warning me that my time in this world was ending, every lousy thing drew closer. Like a black hole sucking the entire universe into it, I pulled trouble to me.

As the frigid wind beat my face, I pondered what a rotten mess I got myself into until my feet came out from under me.

The jerk-face in the puffy gray coat never glanced up from his conversation when he bumped into my shoulder, sending me to my ass on the icy sidewalk. 

Like a bee sting, the abrasion on my elbow made me hiss through my teeth. 

Soaking through my sweater, the heat of my blood automatically cooled as the winter chill crawled up my sleeve. Each day got harder to trudge through, and I fought back the urge to cry with my trembling lip.

A few bad days turned into several horrid months, and I whimpered at how terrible my options were as I pushed myself off the concrete.

Slapping the snow and mud and slush from my clothes as I approached the corner, I stopped in my tracks. 

The city works man placed a red tag on my shop door, and the last of my hope in the world dropped from my chest in one long sigh. “Son of a bitch.”

I nearly threw myself from the Fifth Street bridge on my way here this morning. So, when I pulled the cut-off placard from the knob, I nodded and sighed. “Well, I asked you for a sign. Didn’t I?”

Digging my keys from my pocket, I flicked my eyes up at the sky as tiny snowflakes bunched on my lashes. “I was hoping you’d toss me a positive one, though.” 

A gnawing ache sat right in the center of me all the time, ready to explode at any moment. I finally let the tears flow as I fumbled for the right key. “Can you cut me some slack for a minute? I can’t take much more.”

I cursed the lock a time or two as I twisted and slammed my hand against the mechanism to force it open. Everything to my name sat right beyond the door, my empire of second-hand garbage my father collected.

When I got to the counter, I puffed air into my eyes to dry them and rubbed my fingers over the top of his picture. “Good morning, Dad.”

Setting the bill on top of the others, I reached behind me to pull up the chair. “Let’s find out what we can do about these.”

Tapping at the keyboard to wake it up, I rolled out the stress of life from my neck until something froze me in place.

Like a black cat scooting across the edge of my vision, I caught a shadow moving back the hallway. Staring down at my shaking hands, I strained to listen, and I swear I caught the sounds of the ocean tide crashing against the shore and seagulls cawing.

Squinting as I bent my neck forward to peek toward the back room, I came around the counter and cupped my mouth with my hand. “Hello?” 

Twisting my face aside, I pointed my ear down the hall as I inched toward it. “Is anybody here?”

After grabbing the Louisville Slugger from the old milk crate I kept the canes and umbrellas in, I flipped on the light switch. “Hello?”

Tip-toeing closer to the storeroom, I flinched when the mouse ran across the floor before me. “Oh, for Pete’s sake.” My hand slapped the flutter in my chest, and I panted to catch my breath. 

A hint of warm, rum-scented air blew over the side of my face, sending my heart racing again. Despite my fear, my eyes instinctively searched for the source, and the baseball bat slid from my fingers to the floor. “That’s not possible.”

As far back as I recalled, the handsome, shipwrecked man in the portrait pleaded with me to rescue him with his pained expression and sad eyes that won my heart. My kindred spirit, if he existed, I thought.

Today, though, the side of his perfect mouth smiled at me instead.


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