January Bain’s novella, Lovestruck, is from the Valentine’s collection A Little Bit Cupid. There’s eight stories in the collection, spread between Pride and Totally Bound Publishing. Lovestruck is available to preorder now, and is published on 4th February 2020.
Here’s January to tell us about the inspiration for her story.
I often get asked, where do your ideas for your books come from? That’s an excellent question, in my opinion, and one I love to answer. They all come from different places, usually unexpectedly and while I’m in the shower causing me to dance around looking for a bit of paper and a pen while soaking wet, but the plot for LOVESTRUCK came to me in one glorious afternoon. I asked myself one question: What if cupid’s arrow was real? The concept had me stirred to the nines as I thought about what could that mean to a couple that had just met, and he got struck in the hiney by an arrow that would change his life forever!
So, first up, meeting cute: What if a young boy tears out of a Valentine’s Day Shoppe with the real bow and arrow clutched in his five-year-old hands, and he nails the hero with it right off the hop? Then the ensuing ruckus and events would cause the entire town of Snowy Lake to be turned on its head as the hero strives to make the heroine fall in love with him! And each antic can out do the last making the story almost too much fun to write. My heartrate increased just thinking, with a lot of glee, just how easy it would be to throw everything I had at the poor guy. <insert devilish giggle here>
Within a few short hours I had the plot all hammered out, like it was all meant to be. And I proudly present it to my readers under the title: LOVESTRUCK. Because that is exactly what happened to the hero…
Connected to the Manitoba Tea & Tarot series
What if Cupid’s arrow is real?
What if Cupid’s arrow is real? When the ancient artifact is discovered by a newfound witch and lent to a friend for her Valentine’s Day display, all Hades breaks lose when it inadvertently falls into the wrong hands.
Magic is in the air as two polar-opposite people, sweet small-town Emma Hurst and big city man Stone Collins, are forced to deal with his over-the-top romantic gestures that threaten embarrassment at every turn. Being swept off her feet by a heartthrob is one thing, but having love forced on them by a spell is quite another, something Emma won’t stand for. Soon no one knows what’s real and what’s been caused by the tricky god of love.
Will Cupid win or will cooler heads prevail? It’s going to take every last sprinkle of Valentine magic to sort out this kerfuffle….
Oh, did you expect me to play fair?” Cupid laughed. “I am the god of love. I am never fair. ~Rick Riordan, The House of Hades
Emma Valentine Hurst’s hand hovered over the open chocolate box. Hmm. A sinfully dark chocolate truffle or a heart-shaped melt-in-your-mouth orange liquor? After her dismal morning, both.
She slipped the first one into her mouth, closed her eyes and let it melt on her tongue while trying to ignore the ongoing struggle of wills between mother and son going on right behind her. A sudden sharp snap alerted her to trouble. She whirled around to discover her new Cupid-with-arrow display teetering precariously on its pedestal. In a flash she crossed the short distance, just in time to save the display from toppling over, but not in time to stop the child from taking off with his prize, clutching it in his candy-stained hands. The bow and arrow recently held upright and loaded for action by none other than Cupid himself.
“Tommy! Stop that! Put that back right now. Don’t you dare, young man, I’m warning you!”
Timothy Adam Jones took off like a bat, well, right out of hades for the front door of the newly minted Valentine’s Candy Shoppe, his mother Vanity trying desperately to catch up with the five-year-old. He seemed to have been blessed with feet that must be invisibly winged like Mercury or Hermes, depending on whether one preferred the Romans or the Greeks. She was more personally more enamored of the Greeks for their mythology came first. Though Cupid was decidedly more Roman.
But the determined child who had already made the front entrance also had the advantage of being sugar-fueled thanks to his doting mother allowing him to graze at each and every candy bin to his heart’s content, hence Emma’s dismal morning. To Vanity’s credit, she was being hampered by her four-inch heels, a tight pencil skirt, and a multitude of hair extensions that obscured her sideways vision like blinders on a plow horse. The fashion plate succeeded in only teetering dangerously back and forth on the tiled floor and within precarious inches of a towering display of crystal cut-glass stemware.
Emma swallowed the remains of the chocolate and charged after the child, waving his mother off who gave her a grateful though chagrined look. Afterall, he had her Cupid’s arrow clutched in his tight little fists, having torn it off her new Valentine’s display. So now the display didn’t make sense for why would Cupid being holding his arms out so awkwardly? Pretending to mime an arrow? It just wasn’t going to work.
And not to mention her best friend Charm McCall had loaned it to her with the express sentiment that she keeps it safe and out of anyone’s hands. That it was the real deal. And knowing Charm, that meant it was charged with magic, whatever that would entail. But right now, all she wanted was to get the precious artifact back in one piece and where it belonged before her friend found out what had happened.
Timmy turned the handle of the shop’s front door and slipped through the opening before she could grasp the back of his snowsuit.
“Whoopee, I’m Robin Hood!” he yelled at the top of his surprisingly robust lungs while tearing off down the street, holding his prize in front of him.
Emma took off after him, grateful for her running shoes. She ignored the frosty air that bit at her skin. February in Snowy Lake in the northern reaches of Canada’s heartland was a cold, cold affair. The next two weeks plus one day of celebrating the Winter Festival—claim to fame the longest one in Canada beating out Quebec by twenty-four hours—concluded with a Valentine’s Dance on Saturday, February 14th. The town competitive? Naw. Well, maybe. But it was the highlight of their winter and helped the residents, all twelve-hundred and fifty-nine of them on a good day, stay away from the doldrums of the endless white freezing stuff that lined driveways and fields with equal abandon. Snow. The four-letter word that was greeted with such fanfare in late October, and vilified by most by early February.
“Timmy! Stop! I’ll give you a big bag of candy,” she yelled at the small figure disappearing down the street, doing a dazzling display of male daring by pretending to shoot every person he met. He was also too busy darting around the legs of passersby to give her any mind. She began to gain on him. Just a few more steps and I’ll have that little candy monster in my grasp.
Ah-ha. She reached for him just as he let the arrow loose from the bow. No! She watched in horror as it went flying into the air on a straight trajectory and right into the backside of a retreating figure. The person, a man, stopped in his tracks. Oh—fudge. He was walking alongside Charm’s Mountie, Ace Collins. She grabbed the bow from Timmy and clutched it to her stomach. The child slumped to the sidewalk and began to cry.
The tall man, as tall as Ace who Charm had likened to Bigfoot on first meeting him out Saskatoon berry picking last fall, turned around and stared right at her. Everyone else backed away a bit, leaving them to sort it out. Of course, they all stayed, lining the sidewalk, a good show in Snowy Lake was not something to be missed. A popcorn vendor was likely on their way.
“You could have just said, hello, but I get your point,” the man said, his brown eyes locked with hers. She couldn’t seem to find her tongue to speak. Words. That’s what was needed. He’d just said something clever, now it was her turn. But what could she say to this fine-looking hunk of maleness that carried such a striking resemblance to the town’s newest Mountie? Right down to the rich brown wavy hair and chiselled jawline. Oh. My. Goddess.
“I’m sorry. It wasn’t me. I mean, it’s my bow, on loan, but I didn’t shoot you. Timmy, tell the man.” She looked in desperation at the young boy still carrying on his now full-blown tantrum at her feet, rolling around the sidewalk in his bright blue snowsuit. “Tell him you shot him in the—aw—derriere, not me.”
No help in that direction. Timmy ignored everything but his own grief at the loss of his new toy. The man continued to stare at her for a few more intense seconds, eyebrows raised in disbelief, before seeming to realize he had an arrow attached to his backside. Ace, his ever-supportive brother, stopped laughing long enough to inspect the damage.
“Afraid we’re going to need medical intervention, Stone. That thing’s rather well attached.” Ace’s tone was quite calm for a man whose sibling had just been shot.
About January Bain
January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full-blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination.
If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.
If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…