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Tag Archives: reindeer games

It’s Blissemaaaaaaas!

Yes, it’s that very special time of year – Blissemas! Where the fab husband and wife team Victoria and Mit put together lots of seasonal goodness for us to enjoy, including cool prizes and brand new books for us to buy. Speaking of which, I have a brand new book out – did you know? It’s Christmas themed, too. Kind of, anyway. It’s set in a very snowy and icy early January, but the main character is one of Santa’s reindeer. For one day of the year, anyway. The other 364 days, he’s a regular guy. And he’s lonely too, which is why this year Santa has done something very special and helped Cassius Cupid to find a woman – how nice is that?!

So if you want to find out how a delivery and some ice can bring a couple together, you should definitely check out my erotic romance, Reindeer Games: Cupid. It’s part of a series, so take a peek at the others, too. Also, you can add it to Goodreads here.

Before you rush off and buy my book, though (:D), make sure to read the paragraph below to find out how you can win this Blissemas.

You could win the Blissemas Kindle Fire! Simply leave a comment on this blog and all the others listed at blissemas.co.uk and for each comment you’ll win an entry into the draw! Please note only one comment per person per blog will be counted. Please check out http://blissemas.co.uk for terms and conditions.

Guest Blogger: Drea Layne

First I want to thank my fellow Wickedly Sexy Writer, Lucy, for having me on her blog today!

Today I am visiting to share with you all my new Christmas book, Rudolf & Dancer, which is part of the Reindeer Games anthology between the Wickedly Sexy Writers. It was a complete pleasure working with these ladies on these stories and I couldn’t be more excited to show you my little piece of this great set of stories!

OMG how annoying is Christmas music. Okay well you might not think so but for me they start playing it way too early and WAY too much. There are a few songs I like to hear at Christmas like Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill, Baby It’s Cold Out Side by Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, and White Christmas by just about anyone. But that doesn’t mean I want to hear them over and over again until my brain goes numb with holiday cheer.

No I am not the Grinch, although I love the movie, I just think they could maybe tone it down a little bit to maybe just playing it the week of Christmas. Like right now I have Rudolf the rednosed reindeer stuck in my head. Now I must say that it is only stuck there because of my story and writing so many blog posts lol.

What do you think? Am I completely nuts or do they play it way too much?

Make sure you check out my story, Rudolf & Dancer, coming December 17, 2012 from Secret Cravings Publishing.

sexy noel sleeping in a barnBlurb:

After years away from home, her brother’s freak accident brings Donna Dancer home to the man who broke her heart. Time hasn’t diminished the lust and love, and emotions can’t be denied. Donna is sick of playing reindeer games with her mate, Paul Rudolf, but there are only so many rejections a girl can take.

It takes a dedicated man to lead the group of reindeer shifters responsible for bringing joy to millions of children, and Paul takes his job very seriously. Women were nothing more than a distraction he doesn’t need, but he now finds himself feeling lonely and hating the job he’s loved for so long. Rejecting Donna was the one decision he regrets more and more with each passing day.

Will this Christmas be as lonely as the rest? Or will Paul and Donna finally find holiday bliss in each others arms.

Excerpt:

“You’ve been gone an awfully long time, sweet pea. We honestly didn’t know if you would say yes.”

“I’m sorry, Daddy. I just…”

“I know, honey. Just don’t go away that long ever again. Okay?”

“I promise.”

Donna looked around, searching from one face to another, trying to keep her gaze casual as she scanned the crowd for the only other man she desperately wanted to see.

One face blurred into another as she took the crowd in at a slow pace. After a few minutes of searching, she almost gave up. Then, she locked gazes with the one man who held her heart. The world shifted, causing her to stand uneasy on her feet. An overwhelming need to shift and run took over her body as she dropped her gaze from his eyes and handed her bag to her mother, giving her an ‘I need to get away’ look.

Without another word, she turned her back to the crowd and sprinted toward the woods behind the house. Her deer half wanted to run as much as her human half did, and just like every other time she was in her mate’s presence, she lost complete control and could only give in to what her body and soul needed.

Ditching her dress on a limb just outside the tree line, Donna let the change come over her swiftly. Muscles burned and bones reshaped as Donna went from human to deer. When the transformation was complete and she was standing at the forest’s edge, Donna opened her eyes and took in the cabin and people as they milled around. Kids played with each other at the waters edge while parents watched closely from where they visited, not far away.

Once upon a time, she envisioned herself doing that very thing with children of her very own. Without a mate, that future was impossible and it tore her up inside, knowing she wouldn’t ever have that happiness.

With one last look at the party, she turned and sprinted through the forest. She didn’t know where she was going but anywhere was better than here right now. The pain in her heart was almost too much to bear. But in the end, she loved Paul with her entire being, and if he’d have her, she would gladly forget all the heartbreak and spend forever in his arms.

Buy links:

http://drealayne.com/bookshelf/holiday/rudolf-dancer/

Guest Blogger: Rawiya

Good morning. Recently I’ve crossed over into a new realm in my writing. I’ve done the M/M as well as the M/F. My latest, I Like Em’ Pretty is out now. And once again, I’m bringing a lady into the mix but this time, the men aren’t the couple. One of the males and the woman are. How different is that! Add to that mix the man has an attraction to the other guy and the feelings are mutual. Whoa! That sounds like tension but with only 15k to work with you can only solve so many problems. So needless to say, I have a full and a sequel coming for these characters. *adds to the already long list* That’s the fun thing about being a writer. A new plot bunny will always pop up even when writing a new story!

*smiles*

So what about my latest, Comet? Gabriel “Comet” Marrisco and his wife Shelba are happily married but Comet is attracted to Denny Brothers a charity worker who visits his veterinary clinic all the time. What to do? You have to find out in my book. Look for the next books to come out in 2013 at some point. *grins* I’ll keep you posted when they do.

*****

sexy noel sleeping in a barnGabriel “Comet” Marrisco is blessed with good looks, has a great career as a veterinarian and has a lovely wife named Shelba however, in December, he’s obligated to take off and be part of Santa’s Sleigh Team of Reindeer. Because of his deal with Father Christmas, he must make a regular human’s Christmas better than the last and grant a wish.

Denny Brothers, well respected charity worker, young, handsome, and unfortunately socially inept is searching for a boyfriend. Denny has never had a man and Father Christmas has asked Comet to find him a date and assist him in falling in love with someone else. However, Denny has a crush on Comet and the feelings are mutual. Will Comet be able to find him a mate when he wants him for himself? His very livelihood depends on his decision.

*****

Excerpt:

After visiting Gabriel in his office, Denny ran home to his beloved dog and lonely apartment on the north side of Chicago. His place was at the end of a quiet block in Lincoln Park, where many professionals lived. He’d had the studio for three years and loved the area because he could access all the shops and attractions by walking or bus. Not only that, his job at Cancer Charities was less than twenty minutes away, which made his decision to stay in the neighborhood even easier. Why move when he had everything right here?

Denny welcomed the chilly air after feeling Gabriel’s heated gaze upon him. He hoped the doctor hadn’t noticed the tent in his pants while they had talked. Denny had noticed Gabriel’s crotch several times and couldn’t help but stare. Too bad they couldn’t have taken care of one another properly.

With keys in hand, he opened the door to a three flat brownstone and sprinted to the first floor apartment. Although Denny’s place paled in comparison to others in size, it never bothered him because it was only him and Preston. And despite the fact property values had more than doubled since he’d moved in, his landlady, Mrs. Bagley, hadn’t increased the rent. She claimed to like him, especially since he always helped do yard work and small fixes around the building. Denny appreciated the elder lady’s generosity.

“Here boy!” Denny called out to his beloved chocolate lab, Preston.

Preston’s tail wagged behind him while he stood on his hind legs to greet Denny.

“Good boy. You’ve been a good dog today, huh? It’s not real cold outside so we can take a walk to the store and get some more of those treats you like.” Denny removed his jacket and hung it up on hook. He knelt down in front of his dog and rubbed under his chin while nuzzling the animal’s cold nose. “Whew, you need a bath and your teeth cleaned. Are you gonna be patient and let me clean you up?”

Seemingly the lab didn’t like Denny’s suggestion and whined in response.

“Aw c’mon boy, we might be going somewhere for the holiday. You know Doc Gabriel, right? Well, he invited us over for Christmas. You can’t go there smelling bad, you know. There’re other dogs for you to play with.”

When Denny mentioned that, the dog gave a hearty bark and licked his face as though he understood.

“Okay, okay, good, I knew that would sway you.” Denny laughed and stood up straight, then sighed and glanced at his empty place. “Well at least we might have a little fun on Christmas, Preston.”

Slowly, he walked to the mantle above the fireplace with Preston panting and wagging his tail while he followed. Attempting to hold back the tears, he stared at the picture of his family photo from four years ago, one of the last taken before he’d come out. They all looked so happy together, his father holding him tightly and mom leaning against his other shoulder. Denny was their only child and unfortunately, they couldn’t get past the fact he was gay.

Months later, they had thrown him out the house, telling him to never return until he had repented and married a woman. Denny’s folks were religious fanatics who didn’t believe someone could love their own gender.

Despite that, Denny didn’t hate his mom and dad. He still loved them and hoped they would understand his admission one day. Perhaps they could be a family again, but Denny wasn’t holding his breath. He’d prayed about it himself, but he knew it would take a miracle for that to happen. They hadn’t called, written, or even tried to come see him in three years. “Hope you’re havin’ a great holiday Mom and Pop.” While a tear slid down the length of his cheek, he traced the photo, wishing they’d at least return his calls. Regardless, he’d continue hoping they would give in.

Denny set the photograph down and turned to his dog who lay on the hardwood floor with his paws on his head. He wiped the moisture from Preston’s face and patted him. “Alright pal. We’ll just take the walk and I’ll save the bath and teeth cleaning for tomorrow. I don’t much feel like it anyway.”

Right then, the lab perked up and licked Denny’s face while he barked loudly.

“You’re happy about that, huh?” Denny held him close and planted a kiss on the animal’s head. “I’m too tired. I’ll get it done before the charity event since I’m taking you with me. Let me change so we can take a quick walk then. C’mon, boy.” He rose up and walked to his bedroom while he loosened his tie.

Preston jumped on the bed and watched him remove his shirt and search for a tee to put on.

While he looked, he thought back to the conversation he’d had with Gabriel at the office. Why did he come on to him like that and embarrass him? Gabriel had to have known Denny had a huge crush on him. He got an erection just thinking about the vet. Why did he have to be married? Yep, his wife stood in the way of who Denny considered to be his perfect match and now, he’d invited Denny to stay at his house for the holiday. Just what was he trying to do?

Denny wished he’d turned him down, but he just hated the idea of staying home alone for the fourth straight Christmas. At least Shelba and Gabriel would be good company and he’d get a great meal out of it, too.

Better than staying home with no one to talk to. Sure it would, but being around Gabriel would be torture the whole time especially when he couldn’t do anything about his feelings for him.

Darnit, why didn’t I meet him first?

*****

RAWIYA is the more sensual erotica writer in the BLRawiya duo. She loves multiracial characters who overcome obstacles other than race. Sweet, sassy, and spicy would be the best way to describe her work. Happily married mother of two, loves music, computers, and travel. She blogs regularly at Wickedly Sexy Writers. For more please visit the Rawiya’s blog on WordPress.

***

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Guest Blogger: Robin Badillo

sexy noel sleeping in a barnBlurb:

Noah Donner had it all, good looks, great job and a kick-ass gift. As a special breed of shifter, every Christmas Eve he assisted Santa as one of his famous reindeer. A lover of all women, he’s the quintessential playboy. But all that changed within weeks of Christmas, when he found himself drawn to another reindeer shifter, Mira Prancer.

Not exactly sleek reindeer material, full-figured Mira took pride in her gift as a shifter. Usually a timid wallflower, Mira suddenly learns she’s Noah’s latest target and after a drunken night of unexpected passion, they find themselves in a quandary.

Can these two love-struck shifters play nice? Or will this little Reindeer Game require a little magic?

Adult Excerpt

His gravelly timbre sent shockwaves pulsating across her throbbing clit.

She sucked air through her teeth and pinched at her nipples, for no other reason than to remind herself she wasn’t dreaming.

“Tell me.” Her breathing quickened, matching the accelerated beat of her heart.

Noah laughed with what sounded like devilish intent. He ran his hand up her inner thigh and playfully cupped her crotch, pressing in a little harder along the slit until the lacy fabric grazed her sensitive nub.

Mira shuddered and chewed her bottom lip. Her fingers found the swirls of dark hair atop his head and when he hiked up her skirt and began kissing her inner thigh, her instincts kicked in and she urged him on. “Oh, yeah.”

“You like that?” His hungry growl made her tremble even more.

Mira moaned then slipped her hand down the front of her panties.

Noah groaned. “That’s it.” He grasped the fabric of her thong at her hips and tugged them down, a little rougher than necessary, which only excited Mira more.

Her middle finger invaded her seam and she quaked as her fingernail nicked her swollen clit.

Noah’s hot breath spilled across the delicate skin of her folds, followed by a stiffened flick of his tongue, competing with her fingers for the job.

Mira relented and moved her hand away, surrendering herself to his will.

Noah suckled her pussy and playfully teased her clit with the tip of his tongue.

She could hardly remain standing as her knees weakened.

He cupped the back of her legs, gripping her right below her ass, spreading her cheeks as his fingertips playfully invaded her from behind.

Mira gasped as he sucked harder and nibbled her now burning nub. “Fuck meee.” It was more of a sigh than a command, but Noah must have taken it at face value, because he slid his fingers inside her slickened channel then plunged deeper.

“Wait.” Mira eased around to the sofa with Noah following her every move while still on his knees. She sat down and scooted forward, allowing her ass to hang off the edge. Mira spread her legs wide, inviting him to pleasure her properly. “Now.” Where in the hell did this confidence come from?

“You are so fucking hot.” He roughly gripped her thighs, leaned in, and kissed her.

Her own salty essence flooded her tongue and she sucked his harder.

Noah chuckled deep. “Naughty little vixen.”

Mira laughed. “I think you’re a little confused. I’m Prancer, not Vixen.”

He sucked her left nipple. “Trust me. I know exactly who you are.” Noah nudged her back, settled between her legs, and spread her thighs even wider.

Mira looked down her body, past her plump curves, and watched intently as Noah’s mouth pleasured her. She splayed shaky fingers through his hair and encouraged him to suck harder.

He slid one finger inside her, then two, and pumped feverishly as he lapped away her cream. “So fucking sweet.”

Mira’s eyes rolled back. Overwhelmed by her climax, she bucked beneath his laboring mouth. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.” Electricity zapped across her skin and skittered up her spine.

Noah grunted and sucked wildly as she exploded in his mouth.

Her body jerked and her vision dimmed. This was not at all how she’d expected her night to end.

New Release: Reindeer Games – Cupid

Yay – another release day! Yes, that’s right, my third book to come out this month (following A Taste of London and The Sweetest Revenge) is Reindeer Games: Cupid. It’s an erotic romance about Cassius Cupid, who just happens to be a shifter, and one of Santa’s reindeer. It’s part of the Reindeer Games series, which also contains books from my fellow Wickedly Sexy Writers.

Here’s the blurb:

As a postman by day, and one of Santa’s reindeer on a single very special night, Cassius Cupid eats, sleeps, and breathes deliveries. He doesn’t mind, but sometimes wishes that someone would send him something more exciting than bills and junk mail.

One cold January morning, Cassius gets his wish. A young woman arrives with a parcel. Turns out it’s for his housemate – but Cassius doesn’t care. All he’s interested in is Carina – the beautiful female courier.

Has Cupid finally met his match?

And an excerpt:

Chapter One

Cassius Cupid woke with a start, and then sat bolt upright in his bed. Shit, I’m going to be late! was his first thought.

Milliseconds later his brain switched on, and he remembered. He was on holiday. Flopping back onto the warm mattress and pillows with a contented sigh, he smiled. No work for fourteen whole days—it was going to be utter bliss. He stretched, relishing the feeling it created in his sleep-softened muscles. Ahhh…this is the life.

He knew he wouldn’t go back to sleep—hell, it was eight o’clock, which was practically the middle of the day for someone in his profession—so Cassius fell to thinking about how he was going to spend his day, not to mention the several others in front of him. God knew he deserved to relax and have some fun. He’d just emerged from the busiest part of his year, and he was more than ready to do some chilling out.

He enjoyed his job as a postman—he really did—but the Christmas period was a total killer. He idly wondered how many cards and presents he’d delivered over the past few weeks. It didn’t bear thinking about. Once you factored in the festive period itself, the weird few days between Christmas and New Year, and then the flurry of mail that got sent when everyone went back to work properly at the beginning of January, he’d racked up some serious deliveries. And that was before you even thought about his other job—which was for just one day a year, but was arguably more important than the other 364 put together.

Cassius—or Cupid, as he was known to his boss and colleagues in his second, but most important job—was not only a regular postman for the Royal Mail, but also a reindeer. For a single day of the year, Cassius had the supernatural power to transform into one of Santa’s faithful steeds and help pull that famous magical sleigh, delivering presents to excited children the world over.

Therefore, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Cassius really did eat, sleep and breathe deliveries, but not for the next fourteen days. All he planned to do was watch some TV, read some books, maybe go out hiking, meet some friends… basically anything that wasn’t delivering something to someone. Hey, he might even receive something through the post himself—preferably not the usual crap; bills and junk mail. He didn’t hold out much hope.

He lounged in bed for another ten minutes before realising he was lying there just for the sake of it. Being on holiday didn’t have to equal staying in bed all day—and certainly not for someone as active as him. He reached over to his bedside table, grabbed his glasses and put them on. Throwing off his thick duvet, he walked to his bedroom window and peeked out through the curtains, immediately glad of the effective central heating he and his housemate had forked out to have installed the previous year.

The outside world was covered in a thick layer of snow, and Cassius was mightily glad that he wasn’t out delivering letters and parcels. The stuff was treacherous enough without having to carry a heavy bag up and down driveways, paths, and pavements — most of which either hadn’t been cleared, or had been cleared badly, leaving incredibly slippery patches of ground for an unsuspecting postie to come across. God knows he’d gone down enough times, but, much to his relief, nobody had ever seen him do it. He’d always been relatively unharmed—excerpt for his pride, of course—and had been able to scramble back to his feet and carry on.

The eerie silence outside was broken by the rumble of an engine, and Cassius turned his head to look up the street—he lived in a cul-de-sac, so he knew that’s where the vehicle would come from—and watched as a delivery van made its way slowly and carefully down the road. He hoped the driver was sensible enough to try and steer over the thickest parts of the snow—the more people went over and over the same patches, packing it down, the more the road surface resembled an ice rink. And since the cul-de-sac was on a slight hill, it was easy enough to get stuck. He’d seen it so many times—even going outside one time last winter to suggest the driver go down to the bottom of the road, turn around and try reversing up the hill—an almost foolproof plan for vans with rear-wheel drive. He’d gotten a big thumbs-up for that suggestion as the driver finally got to the junction where the road became flat, and went on his merry way.

As the van drew closer to his house, he saw that the driver was a woman. That would explain her cautious driving—he’d never admit it to one of his drinking buddies, but women were far superior when it came to driving in adverse weather conditions. He even thought he’d seen some survey containing statistics that proved it.

Intrigued? See the book page to get your copy of Reindeer Games: Cupid, or add it to your Goodreads shelves.

Sunday Snog/Blissekiss Under the Mistletoe – Cupid

It’s time for a very special Sunday Snog! This one is part of Blissemas and is a Blissekiss event. Which means… as well as getting some super hot snogging action, you can also win prizes!

The awesome Blisses are giving away a bundle of print books as a grand prize and all comments on all blogs will go into the draw to win the Kindle Fire, too. So make sure to leave a comment – there’s lots at stake!

CupidSo, without further ado, here’s my snog. It’s another one from my Christmas release, Reindeer Games: Cupid. It’s actually set in early January, but there’s definitely a holiday vibe about it! There are also several other books in the Reindeer Games series to check out!

“Okay. Dinner’s on. Can I get you a drink?”
 
“Yes, I thought something smelled nice. What are we having?”
 
Having recovered some of his composure, Cassius replied, “Oysters to start, salmon for main course, and watermelon for dessert.”
 
He watched as Carina frowned, then after a beat a smile spread across her face. “Ha ha, very funny. So desperate to get me into bed that you’re serving three courses of aphrodisiacs, are you?”
 
“Yep,” he said, grinning. He loved the fact that Carina’s intelligence had resulted in her seeing through his joke almost instantly. They often teased one another that way; their senses of humour were very similar, as were their interests, and it meant they rarely ran out of things to talk about.
 
Carina stood up and walked over to him, slid a hand around his waist and pulled him in for a searing kiss. Blood rushed to Cassius’ cock and he went from nought to naughty in less than ten seconds. He loved that she had such a powerful effect on him, but if they carried on much longer, they’d end up forgetting all about dinner.
 
He needn’t have worried. Carina pulled away from their kiss before it got too heavy. Looking him in the eyes, she murmured, “I thought you knew I was a sure thing tonight?”
 
After a desperate scrabble to get some kind of function back to his brain, Cassius replied. “I did. That’s why we’re having pate, beef wellington and cheesecake. And the second two are homemade.”
 
“Really?” she said, giving his ass a cheeky squeeze before sitting back down on the sofa. “I never knew you were such a skilled chef.”
 
“You don’t know that I am. It could be bloody awful. Speaking of which, I’d better go and check on it. Drink?”

Check out the blurb and buy links here – it’s available from 17th December, and you can add it to your Goodreads shelves here.

Also, don’t forget to head back to Victoria’s site and see what other luscious lip to lip action other authors have posted and get commenting in order to be in with a chance of winning some awesome prizes.

Candy Cane Kink Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Candy Cane Kink Giveaway Hop! This is where you’ll be hopping from blog to blog, entering giveaways to win Christmas and/or Kink prizes! My prize combines a bit of both Christmas and Kink – check out the Rafflecopter to find out what you can win, and how. Then carry on hopping through all the other sites.

But first, I’d like to share a snippet from my Christmas release, Reindeer Games: Cupid, which is a paranormal erotic romance, and comes out on the 17th December. You can find out more about it here, and add it to your Goodreads shelves here.

Chapter One

Cassius Cupid woke with a start, and then sat bolt upright in his bed. Shit, I’m going to be late! was his first thought.

Milliseconds later his brain switched on, and he remembered. He was on holiday. Flopping back onto the warm mattress and pillows with a contented sigh, he smiled. No work for fourteen whole days—it was going to be utter bliss. He stretched, relishing the feeling it created in his sleep-softened muscles. Ahhh…this is the life.

He knew he wouldn’t go back to sleep—hell, it was eight o’clock, which was practically the middle of the day for someone in his profession—so Cassius fell to thinking about how he was going to spend his day, not to mention the several others in front of him. God knew he deserved to relax and have some fun. He’d just emerged from the busiest part of his year, and he was more than ready to do some chilling out.

He enjoyed his job as a postman—he really did—but the Christmas period was a total killer. He idly wondered how many cards and presents he’d delivered over the past few weeks. It didn’t bear thinking about. Once you factored in the festive period itself, the weird few days between Christmas and New Year, and then the flurry of mail that got sent when everyone went back to work properly at the beginning of January, he’d racked up some serious deliveries. And that was before you even thought about his other job—which was for just one day a year, but was arguably more important than the other 364 put together.

Cassius—or Cupid, as he was known to his boss and colleagues in his second, but most important job—was not only a regular postman for the Royal Mail, but also a reindeer. For a single day of the year, Cassius had the supernatural power to transform into one of Santa’s faithful steeds and help pull that famous magical sleigh, delivering presents to excited children the world over.

Therefore, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Cassius really did eat, sleep and breathe deliveries, but not for the next fourteen days. All he planned to do was watch some TV, read some books, maybe go out hiking, meet some friends… basically anything that wasn’t delivering something to someone. Hey, he might even receive something through the post himself—preferably not the usual crap; bills and junk mail. He didn’t hold out much hope.

He lounged in bed for another ten minutes before realising he was lying there just for the sake of it. Being on holiday didn’t have to equal staying in bed all day—and certainly not for someone as active as him. He reached over to his bedside table, grabbed his glasses and put them on. Throwing off his thick duvet, he walked to his bedroom window and peeked out through the curtains, immediately glad of the effective central heating he and his housemate had forked out to have installed the previous year.

The outside world was covered in a thick layer of snow, and Cassius was mightily glad that he wasn’t out delivering letters and parcels. The stuff was treacherous enough without having to carry a heavy bag up and down driveways, paths, and pavements — most of which either hadn’t been cleared, or had been cleared badly, leaving incredibly slippery patches of ground for an unsuspecting postie to come across. God knows he’d gone down enough times, but, much to his relief, nobody had ever seen him do it. He’d always been relatively unharmed—excerpt for his pride, of course—and had been able to scramble back to his feet and carry on.

The eerie silence outside was broken by the rumble of an engine, and Cassius turned his head to look up the street—he lived in a cul-de-sac, so he knew that’s where the vehicle would come from—and watched as a delivery van made its way slowly and carefully down the road. He hoped the driver was sensible enough to try and steer over the thickest parts of the snow—the more people went over and over the same patches, packing it down, the more the road surface resembled an ice rink. And since the cul-de-sac was on a slight hill, it was easy enough to get stuck. He’d seen it so many times—even going outside one time last winter to suggest the driver go down to the bottom of the road, turn around and try reversing up the hill—an almost foolproof plan for vans with rear-wheel drive. He’d gotten a big thumbs-up for that suggestion as the driver finally got to the junction where the road became flat, and went on his merry way.

As the van drew closer to his house, he saw that the driver was a woman. That would explain her cautious driving—he’d never admit it to one of his drinking buddies, but women were far superior when it came to driving in adverse weather conditions. He even thought he’d seen some survey containing statistics that proved it.

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