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When Push Comes to Love by Elliott James + Giveaway #StompvsRomp

Stomp vs Romp

When I told my girlfriend that I had agreed to write about why I prefer action to romance in fiction, she was very supportive: “WTF?!? NO! How can you do that?” So in the interests of sanity and moderation – or at least the pretense of them – let me just say right now that I like both. I live in a small mountain town in Southwest Virginia (where we don’t have much action OR romance) and at least once a year I get snowed in for a couple of days. When that happens, I get out the cider and the kettle corn, bundle up under a blanket and watch Love Actually along with more traditional Christmas movies like Die Hard. But the truth is, my idea of the perfect date movie is Speed. Two likable leads, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, come to respect each other while a homicidal madman does his best to blow them up for money and fun. They’re smart, strong, good, capable people who lean on each other, learn about each other, and fall in love or something like it amid explosions and high speed decapitations. What could be more romantic than that?

That said, I wasn’t invited here to be moderate, so I wrote a 750 word short story (which is a lot harder than it sounds) where my urban fantasy character, John Charming, meets a paranormal romance trope gone bad. I really do hope that this literary cage match between urban fantasy and paranormal romance that I’ve signed up for is good natured fun though.

When Push Comes to Love

by Elliott James

              Once Upon a Time, the thing calling himself Liam Summers let himself into Samantha Hale’s tower (or at least her eighteenth floor apartment). He was short and slender, smoothly muscled in skinny jeans and a form fitting maroon shirt of some expensive looking material. His bright sea green eyes were framed by wavy brown hair and sharp cheekbones, and he smelled of rich pipe tobacco.
              “Samantha?” Liam’s voice dripped velvet. His hearing was as sharp as mine and his vision better, but a radio was playing in the background while I waited around a corner. He closed the door, walked in, and saw me straddling a wooden chair backwards.
              “Samantha’s in the hospital.” I told him, holding up her cell phone. “And she never got that money from her grandmother for you either. I wrote that text.”
              He finally smelled me and wrinkled his nose. “What is this?”
              “Samantha threw herself off a bridge,” I explained. “I saw it and jumped after her, but hitting the water gave her a concussion. When I found her purse, I smelled your elf stink all over it.”
              Well, half-elf stink technically. The Fae left our world centuries ago. They’d made a kind of mutual and magical non-aggression pact with the earth, and most natural elements wouldn’t harm them. Then mankind began synthesizing elements into new alloys and chemical agents. The Fae’s wards couldn’t recognize all of these new combinations of old elements fast enough to shield against them effectively, so the Fae did what tourists always do when a vacation spot becomes dangerous; they packed their bags and went home. But they left all kinds of half-breed bastards behind.
              This particular bastard smiled naughtily. “You stole her keys.”
              “I borrowed them.” I held up a small journal. “I’ve been sitting here reading Samantha’s diary.”
              Those rose petal lips twisted. How many women had wanted to soften that cruel mouth with kisses? “Her diary?”
              “You’ve been careless, Liam. You really should have bothered to know her,” I said. “Samantha writes beautifully. Or at least she did before she met you. Then her entries become increasingly obsessive and repetitive.”
              His mouth tightened angrily. “Why is this your concern?”
              I ignored the question. The answer…that my name is John Charming…that I come from a long line of monster hunters and have fallen under a curse that can’t be lifted by any kiss… is too complicated. “Think of me as her fairy godfather. The kind of godfather who breaks legs and doesn’t like disrespect. And you’re a gancanagh, right?”
              He laughed disbelievingly. “What does some werewolf mutt know about gancanaghs?”
              “I know you’re love pushers,” I growled. “You turn women into addicts. You use your magic to make them love you. You isolate them from their friends and family. You take their money, their pride, their strength. And when there’s nothing left to take, you leave them, and they die.”
              “All humans die,” he scoffed. “I gave Samantha everything she wanted. Mystery. Danger. Sex. A little taste of wickedness. She has a thing for the bad boys, you see.”
              “The last thing Samantha wrote before she tried to kill herself was that she wished you would love her,” I observed. “And that you would suffer from it the same way she’s suffered.”
              “Poor Samantha,” he smirked. “Such a romantic.”
              I regarded him steadily. There was only one way to break a gancanagh’s spell, and we both knew it. “Your kind like riddles, right? Tell me something, Liam. What happens when a bad boy meets a dangerous man?”
              Inhumanly quick, he whipped a silver knife at me. I’d had my hands draped over the back of the chair while I sat in it reversed, and I slid off, tilted the chair, and lifted the seat in a crude shield. The knife went halfway through the wood and stopped.
              He tried to kick through the chair, but I rotated it and caught his foot between the leg supports instead, then kept twisting. The wood broke before his knee did, but he was hopping awkwardly when I rose up with a backhand that sent him reeling, nothing but his uncanny grace keeping him upright. I charged him then, him and the patio window that I’d purposefully left open, and the industrial asphalt far below.
              I guess I’m not much of a fairy godfather. I couldn’t grant Samantha s wish; Liam never did love her.
              But he did fall for her hard.

Author Bio

An army brat and gypsy scholar, ELLIOTT JAMES is currently living in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwest Virginia. An avid reader since the age of three (or that’s what his family swears anyhow), he has an abiding interest in mythology, martial arts, live music, hiking, and used bookstores. Irrationally convinced that cellphone technology was inserted into human culture by aliens who want to turn us into easily tracked herd beasts, Elliott has one anyhow but keeps it in a locked tinfoil covered box which he will sometimes sit and stare at mistrustfully for hours. Okay, that was a lie. Elliott lies a lot; in fact, he decided to become a writer so that he could get paid for it.

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Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin.

Werewolf packs are being united and absorbed into an army of super soldiers by a mysterious figure who speaks like an angel and fights like a demon. And every Knight Templar—keepers of the magical peace between mankind and magickind—who tries to get close to this big bad wolf winds up dead. No knight can infiltrate a group whose members can smell a human from a mile away…no knight except one.

John Charming. Ex knight. Current werewolf. Hunted by the men who trained him, he now might be their only salvation. But animal instincts are rising up to claim John more powerfully than ever before, and he must decide if this new leader of wolves is a madman…or a messiah.

DARING is the second novel in an urban fantasy series which gives a new twist to the Prince Charming tale.

The Pax Arcana Series


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Visit The Book Nympho to read today’s ROMP post by Bec McMaster, then VOTE for your fav!

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. I hope I win coz I want Daring!

    Cool date movies, I prefer something like that too over the sappy ones. I don’t want to sniff and sob on a date LOL
    braine recently posted…Loved It: Wickedly Dangerous by Deborah Blake + Fun Facts

    • Hehe You and all of the other giveaway participants! Good luck! 🙂

  2. I love that the author wrote this just for you Carmel! Looks like I have another series to add to my TBR pile, I loved this!
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Happy Labor Day Weekend!

    • I know, right!? I feel so special! Elliott deserves to win this round because of the amount of work he put into his post, but I’m obviously biased… LOL

  3. Die Hard and A Christmas Story are my go-to’s for Christmas movies, though I do love Love Actually. Just the right amount of humor and romance to keep it moving along!
    Mary recently posted…Speed Date with Xavier: Night’s Honor by Thea Harrison

    • You both have excellent taste in Xmas movies—I must say! Thanks for voting!

  4. I so need to try this one!
    blodeuedd recently posted…My Highland Spy – Victoria Roberts

    • The next installment comes out in September, so you’d best get on that!

  5. I’m anxiously waiting for this Audiobook 🙂
    Great post!
    Lupdilup recently posted…Shifting Shadows Audiobook by Patricia Briggs (early review)

    • Me too! Me too! I could have gotten an ARC, but I’m holding out for the audio instead because I LOVED the narrator.

  6. Great short story. I agree I like them both but TEAM ROMP is going to taking it all the way this year. VOTE TEAM ROMP!!
    Jennifer recently posted…ROMP with a side of Stomp from Bec McMaster

    • I can’t believe you cheated on your giveaway entry by changing your tweet. Boo!

  7. I already wanted to read this series but after that little short, I *really* want to meet John Charming. That was fab! AND Mr. James and I can agree on the perfect date movie, too. Loved Speed! And I saw it on a date with my hubs. 🙂

    I vote STOMP!

    • I’m glad that Elliott’s short amped up your desire to give this series a go. It’s even better in audio BTW. 🙂

  8. Wow, I love the fact that Elliott James wrote “When Push Comes to Shove” just for Rabid Reads! And that ending – loved it!

    “I guess I’m not much of a fairy godfather. I couldn’t grant Samantha s wish; Liam never did love her. But he did fall for her hard.”

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful short story ( I need to meet this Liam) and chance to win ladies!
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Adult Book Review: Bite Me, I’m Yours by Stacy McKitrick

    • I’m spoiled! So happy that you enjoyed Samantha and Liam’s story. Good luck in the giveaway!

  9. i do want to read this^^, thanks for the short story
    miki recently posted…Under the Gun (Underworld Detection Agency 4) by Hannah Jayne

    • September 23rd can’t get here soon enough!

  10. LOL Die Hard Christmas movie? 😀 Good one and I do see some logic in that. Anyhow I like this quest post and I haven’t heard of this book. Seems really interesting. Thanks for sharing, Carmel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Cover Reveal: The Artisans by Julie Reece

    • That’s what I’m here for—to help share the Urban Fantasy / werewolf love! Have a great weekend. 🙂

  11. Oh love that short. Now I am curious about Charming. 🙂 Total STOMP! 😀
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Blog Tour Author Guest Post and Giveaway!

    • James’ short story totally OWNED this round!!!

  12. *claps hands* that was exciting! Oh I love action movies…they are so much fun. The fighting and blowing up of things, I get chills just thinking about it 😀 Speed was a epic movie, one of my faves and not just because K. Reeves was in it, lols.

    thanks for sharing & have a great weekend!

    • You do mean fictional fighting and blowing up though… right? I hope you don’t get that excited about it in RL. LOL

  13. Woohoo, go Elliott James! I enjoyed Charming and I’m torn on whether or not I will read Daring. Picking it up would be a no brainer if I wasn’t going to be so damn busy this fall and with so many books piling up already. But this post and the short sure has piqued my interest in the series again!
    Mogsy recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Batman vol.1: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

    • One of my blogging peeps just finished the ARC, and she said there’s werewolves galore, so I am DEFINITELY listening to it asap.

  14. As far as unusual Christmas movie choices go, I also like the first Lethal Weapon movie. Groundhog day with Bill Murray too, for some reason, though it has nothing to do with Christmas.

  15. And another new author for me! I love Stomp VS Romp!

    • Sadly, this was the final round this year, but I’m glad that you enjoyed it. It’ll be back in Aug 2015 though! 🙂

  16. I need to read Charming SO BAD!! I know I’ll love it. Great post!
    Christy recently posted…Thrive by KB Ritchie

    • Well then, what are you waiting for, Christy!? Just ignore all of those other books on your TBR; they don’t matter. 😉

  17. STOMP! I don’t think I’ve actually seen the movie Love Actually. Seen the rest though! 🙂

  18. Great post and GO TEAM STOMP! I have Charming in eBook version but haven’t had time to read it but guess what audiobook I’m downloading tonight. 🙂 This post convinced me that I need to fit it in so audio it is.
    Ginny recently posted…Release Day Book Review: Sweet Contradiction by Peggy Martinez

    • I hope you LOVE the narrator; I know that I sure did!

  19. interesting bio

    • Yes, Elliott James is quite the card. Hehe I enjoyed working with him for Stomp vs Romp.

  20. Charming was one of my favorite finds this year 🙂 Thanks for the SS to hold us over until Daring comes out.

    • Nice! Only a few weeks left until Daring, so the wait is almost over!