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Chase the Moon

Chase the Moon

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Welcome to Aurora Falls. Home of platter-sized pancakes, the Northern Lights, and... a lake full of finned immortal warriors in search of their mates. This mountain getaway is full of sexy shimmering secrets just waiting to be revealed...
I’ve traded rules and expectations for the adventure of a lifetime. But my plan for life on the road is quickly derailed when I bump into what has to be the sexiest man I’ve ever seen. And bonus, he’s dressed as a Viking.
But it isn’t until I spill maple syrup on his fascinating tattoo that my adventure truly begins. Abel claims he’s an ancient warrior and believes I’m the only one who can free him from a centuries-old curse.
Mate or not, I have three days to decide his fate. Do I send Abel back to his watery prison? Or do I embrace the exciting adventure fate has laid before me and claim this Viking god as my own?

Main Tropes

  • Growly, cursed merman
  • He's also a VIKING
  • Immortal hero
  • Adventuresome heroine with a tiny house
  • Amazing festival in Aurora Falls
  • Fated Mates...will she break the curse?

Read Chapter One

 I had an industrial-sized roll of duct tape, a brand-new pair of pajamas, and a dog-eared copy of The Free Gal’s Guide to Road Tripping. That book had been my bible ever since I realized nine to five jobs and sharing walls with my neighbors gave me hives.

What else could I possibly need for my epic road trip?

One thing I was definitely happy to leave behind was the disapproving expression my mom had worn ever since I told her I bought a tiny house and planned to explore North America until further notice.

“I don’t understand why you want to live in a mobile home.” If I drank a shot every time she called it that, I’d be in permanent blackout mode. “What if it breaks?”

“It’s a tiny house, not a mobile home. The only thing that could possibly snap it in half is a tornado, and those barely ever happen in eastern Canada.”

“You could get stuck on train tracks.” She obviously worked hard on her laundry list of disasters, and only had a few more chances to whip it out before I left. She’d really thought of everything. Knowing Mom, she and her girlfriends had probably compiled a list of Ways Tori Might Screw This Up as they made it to the bottom of a wine bottle. “You could hit a moose.”

“File those under, things that could happen anywhere at any time no matter what I’m driving in Eastern Canada.”

“But that mobile home is so big. You’ll have a hard time making tight turns. A strange man could find you.”

I rolled my eyes at the non sequitur. “It’s statistically proven that there are more strange men in the city than there are in the country.”

“Have you ever heard of a lone wolf? They operate alone. No witnesses.” Mom was from a different time. She’d been encouraged to get married and settle. I tried to cut her a little slack, but she was tap dancing on the end of every nerve I had.

“I’ll finally get to use my mad kickboxing skills.” I karate chopped the air and she jerked away from me. A little apprehension was healthy, and I’d inherited if from her. I was dying to finally be free. “It’s just like my old apartment. But I don’t have to pay rent, and my house is on wheels. I’ve taken classes”—more like, I’d watched videos online, but that would send her spinning into another fit of paranoia— “so I know what to do if things go wrong.”

Dad came up behind her, and I was much more ready for his hug. “Call me if you need anything.”

He’d learned long ago to let Mom freak out about everything and let it run its course. He only got involved if something actually went wrong.

I gave Gus, our chocolate lab, a kiss on the top of the head and climbed into my giant new truck. To pull the tiny house, I needed one with all the horsepower, especially since I planned to explore the mountains, and Canada wasn’t known for having mild winters. My plan was always to be south of the snowflakes and north of the heat.

Which meant I should’ve left five minutes ago.

My parents waved to me until they disappeared in the rearview mirror. My heart was heavy in my chest as I drove out of the town I grew up in, into the great unknown. For the first time, I didn’t owe anything to anyone—no work on Monday, no rent due, no one expected anything of me. I’d dreamed of this moment for so long, and now that it was here, all this freedom was actually kind of terrifying.

One of the reasons I wanted to take this trip was to conquer my fears. My life had felt small and claustrophobic, but my anxiety insisted that I liked it that way. I had to prove to myself, my mom, and all the other people who said I was out of my ever-loving mind to do this, wrong.

First stop: Aurora Falls. The cute little town was always on my day trip list, but I hadn’t been there since I was a little kid. They were famous for mermaid lore, and I’d been totally obsessed, giving all my dolls tails and making them swim in the tub. Mom was mortified that I kept them all topless. We’d never been on the same page about anything.

Now I was interested in visiting for a completely different reason. The town was on the shore of Sapphire Lake, which was known for being full of gemstones. Sapphire, no surprise there, and labradorite. Some people thought of it as a spiritual vortex, which was probably where the mermaid lore came from. After spending the last couple of months living with my parents to save up for my adventure, it was the perfect way to kick off my adventure.

Mom loved to remind me how I was taking my chances by winging it with this trip. I didn’t want to be tied down to anything. I needed to learn to take chances. As traffic crawled along the only road into Aurora Falls, I could practically hear her telling me she told me so.

Welcome Aurora Falls Fall Festival Guests! A sign hung outside a motel proudly proclaimed. Oh no. I didn’t realize that was this weekend. The festival moved every year, so it could happen at the same time as the full moon. The residents of Aurora Falls were also obsessed with the full moon. I’d been hoping to get my woo on while I was here, not battle crowds of tourists eating pumpkin pancakes on a stick.

Now I had a craving for pancakes.

But so would everyone else that was headed there in this line of traffic. I hadn’t expected the little town to be packed with tourists. My breath caught in my throat as I imagined the crowds of clueless revelers bumping into me. Not being able to get anywhere I wanted to go.

I could’ve changed my plans, but when I had a chance to drive past the city, I didn’t. A badass warrior of the open road had to roll with the punches.

Sorry, we’re full, the handwritten sign flapped in the breeze of the RV park driveway.

Now what?

I kept driving, headed straight for Sapphire Lake, like something drew me there. The sun had slipped behind the trees, and the reds and oranges of the foliage lit up the lake like fire.

I pulled into an empty lot right on the shore, feeling really good about my life choices. The town might be a hot mess, but at least I’d get a chance to recharge by myself, overlooking the water. The full moon had already started to rise over the lake, and I headed to the craggy shoreline, looking for crystals.

Absolutely no swimming. Huh. Maybe they wanted to discourage people like me from mining for treasure and send them into town shopping.

A few cabins dotted the end of the lot, but there were no other cars here except my truck. On a busy weekend like this, I would think they’d be totally rented. Weird. Maybe they’d gone to the festival already.

I could do this. I could go into town, brave the crowds, and have an awesome weekend on my terms.

Once I detached the hitch, the wheels of my truck spun in the sand, but I got it out. Back in the line of traffic, I realized I never stabilized the tiny house.

It would be fine until I got back. At least I hoped it would.

Downtown wasn’t too packed yet, but the streets were dotted with people dressed as Vikings and mermaids. They were street performers, doing impromptu performances for the crowds that kept growing. I was going to fall in love with mermaids all over again. Vendors set up, getting ready for the main event tomorrow.  I bought myself a congratulatory stack of pumpkin pancakes on a stick and found the perfect spot away from the crowd to watch the show. 

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