Del Fantasma: Texas Tea

Publisher: IN LIMBO – PLEASE SEE MY BLOG POST
Genre: Paranormal, Coyote Clans, Del Fantasma Continuity Series
Sexuality: Male/Female
ISBN: 978-1-60168-052-5
Release Date: August 17, 2007
Length: Novella
Order from Aspen Mountain Press
Order from Fictionwise
Order from Amazon for Kindle

Fantasm Award WINNER

Read an Excerpt | Read the Reviews

Photographer Lara Saunders has a lifelong secret – she can see and hear ghosts. When she was rescued from a near drowning by the ghost of a lighthouse keeper, he set her on a mission to document historic lighthouses and the lives of their keepers so they were not forgotten. Now on her third book in the series, Lara has arrived in San Diego to document the Old Point Loma Lighthouse but hasn’t counted on becoming the target of Cody Warren, the matchmaking owner of the Del Fantasma bar. Or falling in love with a handsome Park Ranger whose secret is even more strange than her own.


Excerpt

Neither the situation nor Cody seemed dangerous, at least not to her. The ghosts usually warned her of threats. It was one of the useful side effects of her affinity with them. Too bad their presence also scared off every sane person she spent any time with until she no longer even tried to get close to anyone. Being alone by choice was easier than the inevitable rejection when the ghosts decided to frighten them away from her.

The sounds of clanking and voices from the doorway Cody had disappeared through drew Lara’s attention back to the here and now. The decor wasn’t really what she’d expected — from the name of the bar, she’d almost expected a Dias De Los Muertos theme of bright colors, skulls and maybe some skeletons but, instead, it tended toward a modern mission style with a lot of wood and earth-toned Southwestern touches. A warm and cozy bar for such an unusual name.

From the corner of her eye, she caught a hint of movement and whipped her head around to follow it. She caught just the briefest glimpse of what looked like a dog before it disappeared down the hallway marked “Private”. A dog in a food establishment?

Poised halfway out of her chair, she tried to see if she could spot the animal again. Cody suddenly chuckled directly behind her and she leapt sideways. Trying to not fall on her face, Lara teetered, arms flailing in a desperate attempt to regain her balance.

A hard yank from Cody and she was in her chair again, sprawled with legs spread and heart pounding so hard she thought she would pass out. “You scared me.” Her voice sounded breathless and trembling, adrenaline already doing a number on her system.

He had the nerve to laugh at her and she forgot her fear, forgot that he wasn’t just a human, even forgot that he was nearly a foot taller and much heavier than she was. Her lifelong hatred of being laughed at made her temper flare. Too exhausted to moderate her impulsive reactions, when he set her mug of tea on the table and his arm was within reach, she lashed out and slugged it. Hard.

The force of the impact screamed up her arm. The man must be made of stone. He merely laughed harder while she cradled her now throbbing hand to her chest and glared. A small part of her was appalled at her loss of control over her temper and own actions but she successfully ignored it.

“You sure you don’t want to act as her tour guide, Code?”

The husky baritone voice, sultry, overlaid with a sexy drawl, preceded the man who sauntered from the hall.

Oh. My. God. Attractive as Cody was, this man was stunning. Shorter than her host, he was just as muscular but more compact. Her fingers longed to explore the texture of the glossy black hair he wore cut military-short. His face was tanned and clean-shaven with a tantalizing square jaw and high cheekbones she’d bet spoke of more than a touch of Native American mixed with his obvious Latino ancestry.

Every movement was silent and graceful, nearly soundless, even in his jeans and cowboy boots. The sinuous sway of his hips as he walked reminded her of the calculating, smooth motions of a wild animal, a predator.

And his eyes, his eyes were a bright gold she’d never seen before, framed by thick black lashes that only served to make them more piercing. They were an almost inhuman color, one that would be more at home in the face of an animal.

“Texas, this is Lara Saunders. Lara, this is my friend Matthew Martinez. He’s the Park Ranger I told you about.”

Lara continued to gape at the newcomer, oblivious to the hand he held out to her until he forcibly picked up her own from the table to shake it.

Even his touch felt wild and untamed. And it carried the unmistakable touch of the spirit world as well.


Reviews

Bella at Fallen Angel Reviews gave Del Fantasma: Texas Tea a Recommended Read and says: “Del Fantasma: Texas Tea is a stunning debut for new author Maura Anderson. This story is smoking hot! Lara is feisty and assertive which is just the right mix for intense, Alpha Matt. The sexual tension between the two is so heady, the pages fairly fly by as the story becomes more engrossing by the minute. Texas Tea not only has a great erotic romance element, but the plot throughout makes for a highly scintillating read. I wholeheartedly recommend that you rush off to buy Ms. Anderson’s Del Fantasma: Texas Tea today!”

Rosemary at Joyfully Reviewed says: “Texas Tea keeps you amused with this witty, delectable romance, and provides a little history lesson also. Lara aches for a relationship, but is afraid her secret makes her too weird. Matt is afraid that no woman will be able to live with the wild and very opinionated coyote part of him. Maura Anderson’s hot, sexy unique characters arouse an affinity to the coyote personified in Matt. Texas Tea is a sensuous, mouth-watering saga that will require a pitcher of iced tea and a change in underwear. I am enchanted with the man and the beast. I look forward to more of Maura Anderson’s captivating stories in the future. “

Regina at Coffee Time Romance gave Del Fantasma: Texas Tea 5 cups and says: “Del Fantasma: Texas Tea has many of my favorite elements when it comes to a romance. The character’s emotions and history are well laid out from the beginning, leaving the rest of the book to focus on their relationship. The lovemaking when it happens is chock full of deep and lasting emotions. The paranormal elements are well explained and make sense. I really enjoyed reading about these two dancing around each other until they finally gave in. The sexual tension is drawn out throughout the book which kept me turning the pages quickly. Quite simply this book is a keeper and has been added to my favorites list.”

Stephanie at Euro-Reviews gave Del Fantasma: Texas Tea 5 flags and says: “Del Fantasma: Texas Tea is a must read for paranormal and shifter fans. Maura Anderson has crafted a first book that is intriguing, humorous, and keeps you reading. Her ability to build sexual tension between her characters and the reader’s concern for them to have a happily-ever-after poises her to join the ranks of the top paranormal romance writers. The only regret I have on finishing the book, is I would have enjoyed reading more. I will be looking for more from this talented newcomer..”

Wanda Maynard at The Romance Studio gave Del Fantasma: Texas Tea 4 and 1/2 hearts and says: “Such a gratifying work of art, Maura Anderson formulated. Through her imagination and ability to create such striking images, she tied together into a beautiful bound package, a twist of doubt, along with a modest amount of romance, which turned out to be a pleasantly puzzling story. Just enough to leave this reader wanting more. This awesome page turner, with its fast moving plot and memorable characters, gripped me with tantalizing suspense. There were no sudden jerks or jolting parts to slow the action down. Matthew, and the manner in which he was brought up, had qualities of gentlemanly and lovable attributes. That showed me he appreciated his mother, in view of the way he showed respect for women. He didn’t try to control. That surprisingly touched my heart. Will Lara become too involved with Matthew and try to transform him to a wilder side? Or will the two drift away from each other once the truth is known? I had to find out, and so will you. I highly recommend this impressive read.”

Fellow author Ciar Cullen says: “Ms. Anderson is really, really good at description. I felt time/place/senses. I like a bit more dialog, and I might have enjoyed this book even more if there was a bit more banter. But the sexual tension all comes from description. There’s a lot of it, perhaps too much of it for me. But if you like the sexy stuff, this is your book! Okay, so I’m confused. I liked a short erotic shapeshifter book. I want more. I want to know about all the ghosts, I want to hear about all the lighthouses, and I want to visit the paranormal “Cheers” again. That’s a big deal for someone who’s gotten grouchy about this kind of book. Two paws up! Maura has great imagination, and this looks like a very cool series. I want to read more of her work, soon!”

Sheryl at Ecataromance gave Del Fantasma: Texas Tea four stars and says: “Del Fantasma: Texas Tea by Maura Anderson is a riveting tale of the supernatural and also of paranormal creatures. Having read the previous books from the Del Fantasma series this one slots in very nicely amongst them all. I really enjoyed the quirky nature of Texas, and the knowledge that in some way Lara would change his life. I also loved Lara, because she not only fulfilled a promise that had taken years to complete but also because she recognized Texas for his true self and also as her partner, not as a monster or something to be afraid of. Maura Anderson has captured the essence of a love that crosses the boundaries of both paranormal and human while giving us readers a great book to read and one lovers of shape shifters and mystical creatures will fall in love with.”

Jennifer at CK2S Kwips and Kritiques has given Del Fantasma: Texas Tea four klovers and says: “DEL FANTASMA: TEXAS TEA meets both requirements. New author Maura Anderson makes the writing craft look easy with her first published story, and doubtless earned herself a following of her own fans with this sexy little story. While ghosts are in the story, they do not overwhelm it, they are a very small part of the plot. The focus here is really on our couple, Matt and Lara, and the secrets that they are each certain will prevent them from being together long-term.

Lucky for us readers, they are both very wrong about that! Of course, as with the ghosts and other paranormal supporting characters inhabiting this town, we enjoy the omniscient view that reveals both of their secrets to us, so we know at all times just how perfect this match is.

And if that didn’t tell us, then the sexual heat these two cook up together surely would! But as hot as their love scenes are, what really captures the readers’ heart is the caring Lara and Matt show each other outside of the bedroom.

TEXAS TEA is a sensual delight sure to charm lovers of paranormal romance and put Maura Anderson on readers’ list of authors to watch!”

KatherineT on eHarlequin.com says: “I really enjoyed meeting Lara and Matt aka Texas…Matt was adorable in both his shapes; human and coyote. It took me a bit to warm up to Lara, but she came through. I liked that Ms. Anderson allowed the sexual tension to build and the two didn’t make love until almost the end of the book. And wow, the lovemaking was scorching!”