Tuesday, December 17, 2013

25 Days of Christmas Stories: BITING HOLIDAY HONEYMOONS (BITING CHRISTMAS by Mary Hughes)

Biting Holiday Honeymoons
That special night with her master vampire is interrupted by Dracula and Santa Vamp.

Biting Christmas—Nixie and Julian slide into a hot-tub honeymoon, but things turn nasty when Santa Vamp shows up.

Biting Halloween—Elena and Bo’s honeymoon in the Dells is derailed when they get run off the road by a vampire. They chase him, only to find out Dracula—the real Dracula—is on the loose. Introduces Glynn Rhys-Jenkins from Biting Oz.

Warning: These titles contain vampires. Fighting, biting, loving vampires. And adult couples trying to have sexy times on their wedding nights. Explicit language. Slang guide included.

Biting Christmas Excerpt:
This story takes place between Biting Nixie and The Bite of Silence.

I slid into the fizzing steam of the suite’s hot tub. Excitement effervesced in my blood as I waited for the naked man of my dreams.

Any moment now, a strong thigh would appear in the doorway, prelude to Julian’s killer bod and square competent hands bringing champagne to toast our first night together as man and wife. Well, not man, exactly. Husband and wife, then, but with all the physical goodies that entailed. I sank lower into the tub’s wet heat in anticipation.

Naturally, “Home on the Range” blasted from the bedroom instead. My cell phone.

Worse yet, my mother.

“Spucatum!” I gave it extra explosive consonants. Julian had been teaching me Latin, not his uptight lawyer words, but the good ones. “Asinus.”

The phone continued to ring. I slid straight, sloshing water in my agitation.

Tonight was my wedding night, for fuzznuck’s sake. After a six-week engagement (translation: no sex) I was crawling the walls. Some German mothers were protective. Mine was an armored tank. She’d let us kiss a time or two but shut it down the instant there was the slightest hint of tongue.

“Nixie.” The naked man of my dreams glided through the doorway with two flutes of Sec champagne. He was six-foot plus of lean, muscular power with stunning blue eyes framed by sweeping coal-black eyelashes, smooth bronzed skin begging to be tasted and below, a jutting twelve-inch gavel demanding it.

Julian Emerson. High-powered attorney, master vampire, and as of today, all mine.

“Sweetheart.” His silky, Boston-cultured voice caressed me. “Shall I fetch your phone?”

Okay, that didn’t caress. With a groan, I sank deeper into the water, but not in anticipation this time. If it had been anybody but Mom I’d have said abso-fucking-lutely not. My most pressing question should have been what to do to him first. Kiss or nibble? Lick my name over his massive pecs? Suck little hickeys down his riptide abs?

But with Mom… “I suppose. Otherwise, she’ll just call back. Hourly. We’d never get anything started.”

He raised sleek black brows. “I can do quite a bit in fifty-nine minutes.”
Review by Melissa Snark:
BITING HOLIDAY HONEYMOONS contains a pair of paranormal romance short stories set during the holidays. Mary Hughes combines elements of erotica and action  adventure in her storytelling, along with healthy doses of off-beat humor.  Her style is fast-paced and flowing, and the stories contained slang and many fun pop cultural references.

For the sake of fairness, I have to disclose that vampires are far from my favorite supernatural critter, but I believe that I am capable of setting personal preferences aside to provide a fair review. This novella is being reviewed as part of my Christmas Stories blog event, but I did take the time to read both BITING HALLOWEEN and BITING CHRISTMAS so I'll comment on them separately.

BITING HALLOWEEN: Elena and her vampire groom, Bo, begin the story with some crazy sexual escapades inside a moving car that made my inner auto accidents claims adjuster cringe. The sex scenes are hot but tongue-in-cheek and a bit over the top. Anyway, she's a cop; he's a master vampire. They're supposed to be on their honeymoon but a series of strange events converge, which results in the  newlyweds hunting Dracula on Halloween. Life gets even more complicated fast   when the hunters run into a whole bunch of costumed kids dressed up as old Drac.   Hilarity ensues.

Reaction: I found the characters to be likeable, the funny bits to be laugh-worthy and the whole story to be overall enjoyable. There were parts where point of view issues threw me out of the story but I recovered fast. 

BITING CHRISTMAS: Nixie and vampire Julian are on their honeymoon at Christmas time but Nixie's German mom can't stand to leave the poor couple alone. The initial phone conversation between the heroine and her mother is pretty darn funny (but I was left wondering why she didn't just hang up. I would have.)  Love scenes are hot and explicit but the author doesn't take anything too seriously, including the sexy  bits. The author's offbeat humor remains consistent with the arrival of  a Santa-vampire and Mrs. Santa lookalike. Once again, the hero and heroine must suspend their sexcapades in order to save the day amidst many one-liners worthy of Buffy. I LOVED the mental image of Santa Vampire and the seven hundred red ball ornaments comedy device.

Reaction: Another enjoyable short story, but I had trouble distinguishing Elena from Nixie and Bo from Julian when it came to characterization. Now, these stories  do appear to be part of a short story series, so my issues may in part be due to  not having read the rest of the series. However, I'd have liked it better if both brides weren't human and both grooms powerful master vampires because it felt like a cliché. The action scenes were exciting and I laughed at the jokes.  This is a fun holiday tale for fans of paranormal romance and action adventure.

Available for purchase at:

About the author:

Mary writes like a rich layer cake--a layer of action, a layer of humor, a layer of red-hot attraction; repeat until happily full. Life is too short not to see the humor in it, and too short not to read page-turning books.

She is grateful for a husband who reads her stories and points out when she uses cubical instead of cubicle, two kids she loves, two grandcats who demand equal lap time, and most of all, you, her wonderful readers.
She lives in the Midwest with a basement full of spare computer parts and several musical instruments, including the husband's romantic cello and her flute for playing The Bird in Peter and the Wolf.

To learn more about Mary Hughes, please visit http://www.maryhughesbooks.com/ or write mary@maryhughesbooks.com.
Mary’s on Facebook and Twitter and would love to hear from you! 

The author is offering a giveaway of the winner's choice of an ebook copy of Bite My Fire or Biting Nixie (explicit, adults only) or one of her sensual contemporary romances to one randomly drawn commenter.


  1. Hi Mary,

    I enjoyed your steamy little excerpt, and I'm curious to know more about this Santa vamp....

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Hey Val! Thanks for your kind words. Ah, Santa Vamp. We meet him battling a Mrs. Claus of a woman, but he's not quite what he seems :) Merry Christmas to you too!

  2. Your excerpt held plenty of humor, a must in my reading choices! I wish you great success with your short stories and your series!

    1. Hi Ashantay! Thanks for reading :) Thanks for your nice comment and good wishes!

  3. I love the excerpt! I have this on my Kindle, and I just need time to read it!

    1. Hey Edie! Thanks for the love :) I hear you about the TBR pile, I've got the Romance Super Bundle plus all the great stories I've been reading here at the 25 Days of Christmas stories!!

    2. And now I have The Child Thief on my TBR too :)

  4. Hi Cara! Thanks :) If my stories lighten a reader's day, I've done my job :)

  5. My thanks to Melissa Snark and The Snarkology for featuring my Christmas story as part of this wonderful 25 Days of Christmas Stories celebration!

  6. See? For me, vampires are definitely my supernatural critter of choice: the stories sound fun and sexy! And I love a series I can sink my teeth into (pun intended!).

    1. Hi Debra! Fangs for the pun :) Biting Nixie's tag line is "Nitro? Meet glycerin..." Opposites ignite! I love taking sexy dark vampires and tossing them into a quirky world of romance and fun. Thanks for reading and your awesome comments!

  7. Love vampires! Enjoyed the excerpt, too. :) Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Hi Karen! Thanks for reading and so glad you enjoyed it! Warm Christmas wishes to you too, and a Happy New Year!

  8. Fun excerpt, thanks for sharing and for the review. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    1. Hi ELF! Thank you for reading and your kind words :) Melissa is a wonderful writer, isn't she? Warm wishes for a Happy Holidays to you & yours too!

  9. I have to admit to also being insanely curious about Santa Vamp!

    1. Hi Rebecca! Here's a little tidbit for you :) Warning: contains spoilers!!

      Nixie and Julian have just saved a human woman from the evil Santa Vamp...or so they think...

      “I’m an undercover agent for the Ancient One in Virginia.” Santa Vamp’s voice was deep and rich when he didn’t have a knife in his chest. We apologized for the knife (and ruining his dry-clean-only costume). Since vampires heal fast—and his costume was red anyway—he said no harm done.

      I sat on the double king-sized bed, trying not to think of what I should have been doing on that mattress. “Doesn’t the Ancient One live in Iowa?”

      “There’s more than one. I owe allegiance to Nicodemus.”

      I filed that away. I knew there were vampire factions—Julian fights for Team Iowa against Team Nosferatu for control of the U.S. Midwest. But this was the first I’d heard that there was more than one scary ancient. “There’s a Team Nicky?”

      “Huh?” Santa blinked at me. Not a Twilight fan apparently.

      “What are you doing in Meiers Corners?” Julian gave me a brief “no” headshake. As in, no confusing the nice vampy guy before we got the full story out of him.

      “I’m tracking an incredibly dangerous mistake.” Santa sighed.