Zia Westfield is the next contributor to Black Velvet Seductions Mystic Desire. Her short story is a paranormal shifter romance.
Zia Westfield creates suspenseful, exciting stories with romance at the heart of them. There is nothing more thrilling than watching two people fall in love despite the odds and the danger surrounding their every move.
She makes her home in Tokyo with her husband and three sons. She holds a full-time job, volunteers too much because she doesn’t know how to say “no,” and generally finds peace between the pages of a book or when she’s writing out the stories in her head.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m an Italian-American with the noisy family that comes with that and have lived in Japan for many years. My husband is Japanese with all the traditions and rules of that culture. It makes for interesting times at our house! We’ve raised three boys, who are university age, so I’m preparing for an empty nest soon. During the day I teach English as a foreign language to university students, a job that keeps me hopping. At night, I try to write whenever I can before I faceplant after a long day. I love walking along the beach, being with family, and watching Hallmark mysteries. I’m a sucker for a good romance and mystery. 🙂
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
My nose was always stuck in a book when I was a child. I think it was probably middle school or high school that the idea of writing a story glimmered as a possibility. But authors seemed like magical people with incredible imaginations. How could I possibly do something like that? It took many years and motherhood to give me the courage to actually try bringing the characters in my mind to life.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
Mystery (especially cozy mysteries). Romantic Suspense. Paranormal Romance. I write in Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romance. I haven’t tried to write a cozy mystery yet, but I think it would be a fun genre to work in.
Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
Mystic Desire is an anthology of short paranormal romance stories for adults.
What is your current release or project?
Mystic Desire is out now! Woo hoo! In October, the next book in my Deadly Encounter series, Killer Deceptions will release.
Tell us about the key characters
Bewitching the Wolf is my story in Mystic Desire. Alice Humphreys is a witch who is loyal, hardworking and determined to remain single. Brodie MacEwan is a wolf shifter who believes in the ties of family and the soul-deep connection to the one woman fated to be his mate. When the two meet, it’s sparks all around!
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
Alice Humphreys has poured her heart and soul into creating a magical B&B where guests experience their fantasy vacation in their dreams. When Brodie MacEwan arrives looking for a room, she gives him his choice of the adventure room, the relaxation room or the romance room. There is something all too predatory about the Scotsman and he makes her body tingle in places it shouldn’t!
Brodie has been sent to investigate the mysterious death of his uncle. He never expects to discover his mate in his dreams. But is the illusion real? As he moves closer to identifying the woman his soul is bound to, he must deal with a grumpy leprechaun, a ghostly terrier, bumps in the night, and musical bedrooms. Any other wolf shifter would turn tail and run, but Brodie never gives up when he’s in pursuit and never when the stakes are so high!
Share an excerpt
An hour later, they were sitting around the table. Despite Alice’s best intentions, she had ended up next to Brodie. With every spoonful of Aunt Cora’s stew, she inhaled Brodie’s scent to the point that if someone has asked how the food tasted, she would have replied “wild with a dash of the outdoors.”
A loud crash from above caused Alice to spill stew on her shirt. Oggie snatched the wine from the table, cradling it in the crook of his arm. “ ʼTis an earthquake,” he bellowed. Puddles popped into the room and ran toward them, but as Brodie stood up, Puddles skidded to a stop, yelped and poofed away.
Alice wiped off the sauce trailing down her shirt, then tossed her napkin on the table. “I’ll go see what happened.” She addressed Brodie, grateful to escape his presence. “Please enjoy Aunt Cora’s amazing apple pie for dessert.”
Brodie nodded towards Aunt Cora. “Please save me a piece. I’ll go with your niece.” He scraped back his chair and stood, his gray eyes darkened with a swirl of emotion she didn’t understand but that sent a shiver down her back.
She led the way up the stairs, aware of him behind her the whole way. When she reached the room directly above the dining room, he moved in front of her.
“What room is this?” he asked in a low rumble.
She dropped her own voice in response. “Henry Duncan’s study. Nothing has been touched. Aunt Cora wouldn’t allow it.”
He nodded and, standing to the side, opened the door slowly and then pushed it fully open. He stepped inside and, after peering in, Alice followed. She noted that Brodie had no problem maneuvering in the darkness. For her own sake, she hit the lights.
The French windows to the balcony were open; the curtains billowed into the room with drops of wind and rain. Alice hurried across to thrust the large windows closed, locking the handles. She turned and surveyed the room. A pile of books lay on the floor next to the desk.
“These books must have tumbled off when the windows blew open,” Alice said.
Brodie nodded. He prowled the room like a predator, the movement of his muscles mesmerizing and completely unacceptable. He was her guest—a guest who was cutting up her peace of mind.
“Well, that should do it. Shall we go back?”
Brodie glanced at her, his gaze more silvery than gray. “Not yet.”
Alice frowned. She was about to remind him that he was a guest in the house when Puddles popped out from behind a bookcase, ran over to a large armchair situated near a standing lamp and sniffed the rug.
“What’s the dog’s name?” Brodie asked, everything about him on alert.
Puddles stiffened. His head came up, and tucking his tail beneath his legs, he scampered back towards the bookcase.
“It’s Puddles.” She tapped her chin with her finger. “He seems afraid of you. I wonder why,” she added dryly.
He ignored her. He barked out something in a language she didn’t understand, except for the word Puddles, and darn if that dog didn’t turn around and obediently trot over to the man.
Brodie squatted down and, holding the dog’s gaze, appeared to hold silent communication with the Scottish terrier. Puddles’s tail began whipping side to side with increasing vigor. He let out a yip, ducked his head, and then disappeared.
“Humph,” Alice sounded, crossing her arms. “What was that all about?”
Brodie rose and, once again, seemed to draw all the energy in the room towards him. But the predator in him had receded, the silvery shade of his eyes back to slate gray.
“Puddles said that Henry wanted a book to read,” Brodie said, his mouth quirking upwards.
Alice stared at him in horror. “Do you mean I have a second ghost?” Alice looked up at the ceiling and then shook her fist at it. “Henry Duncan,” she shouted. “You broke Aunt Cora’s heart!”
Brodie’s mouth dropped open. “Lass, he’s dead.”
“That’s no excuse.” She brushed past him, pausing only long enough to say, “I want a slice of pie before Oggie eats it all. Are you coming?” She marched out the door and thought about how Aunt Cora had cried for days after Henry passed on. Her aunt was wrong. Men dumped, deceived and died. So no matter Brodie MacEwan’s good looks and her traitorous body’s responses, she was standing strong.
Do you have a favorite scene?
I love the scenes Oggie is in. His way with words makes me smile every time I read them. I also can’t help enjoying the fight Alice puts up to hold back the inevitable.
What advice would you give a beginner?
Keep writing! There is no magic formula. Writing is a craft and like any skill, it takes constant practice and a lot of perseverance to reach The End.