Lisa's Lair

Hi everyone!

Thanks for coming by! I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season!

If we haven’t met, I’m Lisa Kessler and I write dark paranormal romance. To help celebrate the season, my award-winning novella NIGHT ANGEL is on sale for .99 through Christmas Day!

I also have a new holiday release out now! ICE MOON is the only book in my Moon Series to take place during the holidays… What more could you ask for than a sexy werewolf for Christmas, right? LOL

This book was such a wild ride to write, and I can’t wait for you to read it!

One touch and she is his…

Jared Ayers works outdoors, embracing a solitary life, hiding from his inner demons. But after so many of his Pack brothers have found their mates, he starts wondering if there might be a mate in his future too. His world turns upside down after he’s hired by the “Ice Queen of Lake Tahoe”. One touch is all it takes. One touch to send the wolf howling within…

A gifted psychic with pyrokinesis, Taryn Goldstone wields fire beyond her control- sometimes with dire consequences. With Jason, she discovers that some flames are meant for passion-and healing. She has enemies who covet her powerful gift, but they are about to learn just how far a wolf will go to protect his mate.

Thanks so much for coming by my blog! Be sure to enter the rafflecopter and check out the free Christmas short story “A Miraculous Burden” below.

A Miraculous Burden – By Lisa Kessler

The cold night wind stung her skin. Tugging her wrap tighter, Tera squinted as she followed the wise-woman through the icy snow flurries. She kept the worn recipe book clutched against her chest. Gradually she made out the shape of the modest cabin, and hustled inside after her mentor.

Ivy went directly to the hearth and stoked the fire, sending sparks dancing up through the crooked chimney. “Close the door, child, before we lose all the heat.”

Tera shoved the heavy oak door closed with one hand, still grasping the book with the other. The wind howled outside, clearly offended by the barrier. Tera carefully placed the book on the butcher block and approached the fire where Ivy was already free of her woolen shawl.

“Will you cook up magic tonight?” Tera removed her wrap without taking her eyes off her mentor.

Ivy turned, and Tera did her best not to fidget under the weight of her gaze. Her lips curved at the corners, exposing well-worn wrinkles from past smiles around her bright green eyes.

“Magic?” She feigned innocence and freed her long hair from her mahogany hair sticks. “Where do you dream up such things?”

Ivy reached up to grab some of the hanging herbs from the ceiling. Tera couldn’t hide her smile. Ivy was an elder in their village, and although streaks of silver wove through her dark hair, and her fair skin bore lines of age, her spirit remained untouched.

Tera would never forget the day Ivy selected her as an apprentice. For years Tera had dreamed of cooking, not only food for her future family, but magic for her village. During the past year, she shadowed the wise-woman’s work, concocting everything from cold remedies, to cakes celebrating new life in their community.

The cycle of seasons passed her by in a blur of activity.

And tomorrow they would celebrate another Feast of Lights. Young ones would play with bunnies made of wool and stuffed with dried straw. Nervous young men would ask girls to dance, and candlelight would remind them of the Star.

Had it been a year already?

The door flew open. Tera jumped before she recognized the hulking figure stepping over the threshold.

“Husband!” Ivy rested her spoon against the rim of her mixing bowl and rushed to embrace him.

His deep laughter filled the small space as he kicked the door closed with his boot and kissed Ivy’s forehead. “Woman, you nearly knocked me back out into the cold.”

The biting wind left his cheeks flushed with color, but it was Ivy’s kiss that made his blue eyes light up.

She took a step back with her hands on her hips. “I did no such thing. If my eagerness to kiss you is a bother, I will control myself next time.”

“That was no complaint, love.” He grinned. “More like a boast.”

She laughed, and returned to her mixing bowl, while Kerst disappeared into the back room. The more Tera got to know both of them, the more she thought they would have made great parents. But after many years together, they never conceived any babes. Tera often wondered if they had shed tears over their childless lot, but if they had, no lingering bitterness gathered within these walls.

Truth be told, she’d never seen a happier couple.

Ivy squinted down at the page, bringing her candle closer. “Child, read the last ingredient for me.”

Tera leaned in. “Nutmeg.” She glanced over at Ivy as she searched the hanging herbs. “Do you want me to get your spectacles?”

Ivy stopped her searching. “Goodness, no.”

“There is no shame in wearing spectacles.”

The wise-woman pulled a dried herb down, and frowned. “It’s not shame that keeps me from the spectacles.”

“What then?” Tera took over mixing while Ivy crushed the herbs into the dough.

Ivy smiled and shook her head. “I am happy with my view of the world.”

“But the blurring–”

She reached over to stop Tera’s hand in the mixing bowl. “When I look at my husband, I see the man who chose me to be his all those years ago. When I spy my reflection in the cooking pot, I see the girl who once dreamed of her first kiss.” Her gaze moved toward the fire. “When I wear the spectacles, the years are blatant. Clear vision. Bah.”

Waving her hand, her warm smile returned. “My spirit is still young. The world changes, age colors our hair and lines our faces, but our souls are still bright. I have no need for spectacles to convince me of anything different. I see the world just fine.”

Kerst came out of the back room wearing his tall black boots. His white beard was in stark contrast to his red jacket.

Tera’s brow furrowed. “Are you leaving us again, Sir?”

His blue eyes cut across the room to his wife. “You did not tell her?”

Ivy rolled balls of dough in her hands. “She came to us just after the Feast of Lights last year, remember?”

His deep throaty laugh filled the room. “Of course I remember. I told you she wanted to cook after she wished for a mixing bowl and wooden spoon.”

“I never told a soul about my wish.” Tera’s jaw went slack. “I burned a letter for de Kerstman…”

He nodded and gave his wife a wink. “Best you tell her everything, love.” He bent to kiss her and straightened with a jolly smile. “Tera, you have been a blessing to my sweet wife. Thank you.”

He stepped to the door. “Keep the fire warm for me, my love.”

Ivy smiled. “Be safe, husband.”

The snow landed lightly in his hair and on his red coat as he went out to his sled. Tera whispered, “Your husband is de Kerstman.”

Ivy nodded with a wistful sigh. “That is what they call him now. And every year the fabric of time stretches for him as more of the world’s children believe.”

“De Kerstman is real.” Tera struggled to remain calm, forcing a slow breath into her lungs.

Ivy nodded. “He is real because we make him so. He lives in all of us.”

“You truly are magic. You both are.”

“The faith and hope of the season is the magic, child. We only try to bring joy to the little ones and keep their hope alive.” She met Tera’s eyes. “And if you are willing, the task will fall to you and your husband one day.”

“To me?” Her head spun at the thought.

“Of course.” A conspiratorial smile warmed Ivy’s features. “No one lives forever, but it is our obligation to keep the stories alive for the children. I will teach you all that I know, and when the time comes, you and your future husband will be ready to carry the most miraculous burden you could ever imagine. The choice is yours.”

Someone pounded on the door before Tera could answer her. She opened the door and her breath caught in her throat when she found Wolter smiling down at her. “Good eve, Tera. May I come inside?”

She stepped aside and closed the door behind him. He tugged his fur cap free, revealing his thick mane of golden hair. He nodded toward Ivy. “Good eve to you.”

“And to you, Wolter,” Ivy replied with a knowing smile.

He wrung his hat in his large hands. “Might I have a word with Tera?”

“Of course.” Ivy went to the hearth, placing cookies in the hot Dutch oven, providing them with a modicum of privacy.

Tera held her breath as he pulled off one glove and took her hand in his. “I have grown fond of your smile and the sound of your laughter.” Her cheeks flushed with heat as he stammered, “If you would honor me, I would like nothing more than to dance with you at the Feast tomorrow.”

Her heart fluttered in her chest. Tera bit her lower lip to keep from blurting out her answer. She glanced over at the fire only to find Ivy, grinning with tears in her eyes. She nodded, gesturing for Tera to answer him.

She looked up at Wolter, trying not to think about the future. Would he be willing to make and deliver toys to the village children? Would he understand the magic?

He lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles. “Say yes,” he whispered.

Tera nodded. “Yes.”

His face lit up with a grin. “Thank you!” He slipped his glove back on and pulled the cap back into place before bending to kiss her cheek and whispering, “Dancing with you at the Feast of Lights was my only wish in my burnt letter to de Kerstman this year.”

Tera couldn’t help but smile.


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Thanks for hopping through!

And Merry Christmas!

Lisa J

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  • koshkalady

    Some of favorite Santa memories are of my Dad going outside in the snow to make tracks and jingle bells. We would get excited hearing Santa coming and barely able to contain ourselves especially when we saw the cookie crumbs, empty milk glass and the leftover carrot tops from the reindeer…

    • Awww that’s so cool that he did that for you! 😀 Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! 🙂

  • Misty Gee

    My favorite memory is when Santa brought me my She-Ra dolls and playset.

    • Oh I remember She-ra! 😀 How fun! Thanks for coming by Misty! 🙂

  • marypreston

    More than anything I think it’s the build up to Christmas & Santa coming.

    • I agree Mary, and then it’s all over way too quick! LOL

  • Elizabeth H.

    I remember I was about 3 years old and Santa came to visit us. I asked my mom where my dad went and she said he was “taking a shower” so he missed Santa. When he left, I asked if I could go out and see his reindeer and my mom said I couldn’t because nobody was allowed to do that. I never knew it was my father until later own. He passed away when I was six. That is my best memory of Santa.

    • I’m so sorry you lost your father so early, but what a wonderful memory of him! Thanks so much for sharing it!!! *HUGS* Hope you had a merry Christmas Elizabeth! 🙂

  • Nora-Adrienne Deret

    My favorite memory is the year my best friend’s uncle (my friend’s family and I both lived over my family’s store) showed up very very early on Christmas morning and climbed up to the roof. He stomped around for about five minutes making sure he woke everyone up. Patti banged on our door for me to come in the hall, and there was her uncle dressed as Santa coming down the ladder with pillow cases stuffed with toys for both of us and gifts for both families.

    • Wow! That’s so wonderful! 😀 I’d be terrified to stomp around on the roof! LOL Thanks for coming by Nora-Adrienne! 🙂

  • Mary BookHounds Jacobs

    thank you for participating

    • Thanks for putting the blog hop together Mary! You rock! 😀

  • Mary McCoy

    What a lovely story! My favorite Santa story is when I was 2 and had the mumps at Christmas. My dad put on a Santa hat and beard and visited my bedside with a doll.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the story Mary! 🙂

      And your Dad sounds like a great guy! Super cool he went to so much trouble to make Christmas magical for you even though you were sick…. 🙂

  • jovial_1

    The Santa parade when I was a kid :).

    • Oh me too!!! And my Dad was a band director so his marching band would often be marching right in front of Santa’s sleigh! 😀 So fun!

  • Judy Cox

    I always got so excited waiting for the day to come. I don’t think the children get as excited these days, like they did in my time!!!

    • I think there are a lot more distractions for kids now. I can remember anxiously waiting for the Christmas specials like the Grinch and Charlie Brown to come on TV, but my kids have always had them on DVD to watch whenever they want. And while I counted down the days, they have computers and game boys to keep them busy so I think the time goes faster…. Lucky kids! LOL 😀

      Thanks for coming by Judy! 🙂

  • Outrun1986

    Yes it is an awesome story, I loved santa as a child.

    • Thanks for coming by! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story! 🙂

  • I think as a kid my favorite Santa moments was trying to stay awake to catch him but never could. The excitement in everyone’s eyes as we gathered around the tree to find out what was there and the guessing games.

    • Oh I can remember trying SO hard to stay awake and finally you’d blink and it was morning and Santa had already been by! LOL Fun times! 🙂

  • alejandra

    really good story hope to read more things from you! I lovec christmas just because of santa. I know I am to old to beleive in him but I love seeing the faces of every child and their happiness which makes me happy too

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the story! 🙂 And I think it’s okay to still believe in Santa, because the hope we give kids is almost a living thing, right? 🙂

  • Any memories of Christmas, especially when my Uncle used to dress up as Santa were great!

    • That’s so fun that your uncle dressed up! 😀 Thanks for coming by Sandra! 🙂

  • Vicki Crum

    Such a cute story, Lisa! I enjoyed it, and the sweet Christmas spirit it brings!

    • Aww thanks Vicki! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 😀 Short stories were my first love… 🙂

  • Ann Waters

    I loved the story. My favorite memory of Santa is watching Rudolph every year.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the story Ann! 🙂 Rudolph was always fun to watch! It meant Christmas was right around the corner! 🙂

  • Crystal Flannery

    I always loved spending the holidays with my Mom’s family. we would all gather up at my grandparents house an have a huge dinner, open gifts, fireworks. All of the kids would have so much fun!

    • Wow! Christmas fireworks? How fun! I live in fire-land San Diego so fireworks are illegal without a permit… Ah well… 🙂 Hope you had a great Christmas Crystal! 🙂

  • Lori Ha

    My mom and dad always did a wonderful job of giving my brother,sister, and I a great Christmas 🙂 They were sneaky too so we never caught them in the act of playing Santa but we did try.

    • Oh that’s so cool that they did that for you guys! 😀

      Thanks for coming by Lori!

  • Diane Elizabeth

    My favorite memory of Santa is going downtown every year the day after Thanksgiving and watching him ride into town. Sometimes he’s in a horse drawn carriage, other years on a fire truck, but it was always exciting.

  • Velvet Hubler

    I remember staying awake on Christmas staring out the window thinking I would see Santa fly past the moon

  • Barbara Stoker

    My favorite memory is when my son was 5 and we had a fireplace. I made it look like santa walked through the house and reindeer hoof prints in the front yard. He was so excited that santa came. It was the 1st time since I was a kid I felt Christmas magic

  • Michelle Willms

    My favorite Santa story was when I decided Santa was tired of cookies and milk on Christmas Eve after visiting alllll those houses with allll those cookies. I left him a beer, some crispy tortilla chips, and homemade salsa. My mom looked funny when I made this suggestion; I thought it was just suggesting that Santa have a beer. I told her that Rudolph was navigating and he’d be alright. Later, she told me that it had nothing to do with Santa drinking, but that she was a firm believer in carrying out all parts of the fantasy. Each year, she forced down some of the milk (she’s not a milk drinker), ate a cookie, carefully leaving some crumbs, and tossed our reindeer snacks outside for the reindeer. She hates beer with a fiery passion. She had to hold her nose and choke down a swallow of the beer, past the gags. She said it was the first year she was afraid she’d have to resort to pouring some out to set the scene (though she appreciated the chips and salsa.) 🙂

  • Joanne Balinski

    I remember when I was little, trying to stay up all night to catch a glimpse of Santa. My dad’s friend dressed up like the big guy to surprise me.

  • Josy Herrera

    I don’t celebrate Christmas so I don’t have any memory of Santa lol
    Thanks for the giveaway and the story! 🙂

  • FortuonaPaendrag

    My favorite Santa memory was the year I was ready to quit believing and while out “looking for Santa” on Christmas Eve (as was our tradition), my parents were lucky enough to drive past a home where a man dressed as Santa was coming out of the house. They got me for 2 more years when I found my mother’s receipt envelope.

  • BookLady

    What a wonderful story! I remember putting out cookies for Santa and trying to stay up late to see Santa deliver the beautiful packages under the Christmas tree. Wishing you a Very Happy New Year!

  • Janie McGaugh

    I can remember trying to stay awake to see Santa and his reindeer. Never made it, though!

  • Rebecca James

    Thanks for the story, Lisa. So many memories of Santa, one in particular doesn’t stand out. Just the pure excitement and magic of it all. 🙂

  • Taswmom

    Loved the story. Thank you. And I can’t really remember Santa as a child, but have fond memories of Santa being kind with my children and grandchildren.

  • koshkalady

    New Year’s resolutions…see more of the family especially sister and niece and nephew and to have a more healthful 2016….

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Moonlight Moonlight (Moon, #1)
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ratings: 660 (avg rating 3.76)

Night Walker Night Walker (Night, #1)
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Beg Me to Slay Beg Me to Slay
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Hunter's Moon Hunter's Moon (Moon, #2)
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Across the Veil Across the Veil
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