I dread the day my child says to me, “I don’t need to be tucked in anymore.”

I do so love the ritual. I’ve adored it from the first day we came home from the hospital, family intact. When she was a baby, I used to stand next to her crib and stare at her, watching her breathe, admiring her very existence. When she was a toddler, I’d sneak into her bedroom every night before I went to bed, just to check, because children are so utterly adorable when they’re sleeping.

Admit it, you did it, too. Or do.

She’s twelve now. Nearly a woman. Or at least a pre-teen. Which frankly is scarier than being a woman. Christ, middle school is the worst. I hated it when I went through it; I hate it now that she’s going through it.

And she still lets me tuck her in each night. Still wants me to do it.

My daughter’s not big on emotion (unlike her mother—she totally gets that from her dad). All day long, whatever hug or remote assumption of affection I get is grudging at best, most likely accidental. But bedtime, that’s a whole other ballgame. It’s like she knows no one else is watching, so it’s okay to let her mom know she really does love her.

So I get hugs. And chatter about her day. Conversation. True confessions. The real deal.

Of course, it may all be a symptom of that pesky bedtime routine called “delay tactics,” but hey, I’ll take it. Because deep down, I know she means it. She really does love me.

She just can’t let anyone else know.

My daughter reminds me a bit of Olivia, the princess from the first book in my Lightbearer series. Which I suppose makes sense, right? Probably, I was subconsciously modeling Olivia after my daughter when I wrote her. Might be why she’s one of my faves of all my heroines.

Olivia Bennett, Princess of the magical Lightbearers, is an only child, and as a result, she’s a woman with a great deal of expectation piled onto her delicate-yet-tough shoulders. She isn’t particularly thrilled with the latest requirement of her station in the world, so, in a surprising act of rebellion, she leaves her family’s magically protected home and heads off to Vegas to have some good old fashioned fun in a place where no one knows she’s a princess—or that she isn’t even human.

Of course she runs into trouble, of the potentially deadly kind. You see, Lightbearers carry magic that the shapeshifters want, and they believe the only way to gain said magic is to kill the person who currently possesses it. This is why Lightbearers have lived in their magically hidden coterie for the past 500 years, and absolutely why the princess, the only heir to the throne, should most definitely not have run off to live it up in Sin City.

Luckily for Olivia, Tanner Lyons isn’t like the shapeshifters she’s learned about in her studies. Seriously lucky, actually, because he ends up rescuing her from his own father, who planned to kill her for her magic. Tanner then vows to take her cross-country to return her safely to her secret home.

Assuming, of course, they can keep their hands off each other en route. Which is crazy since they’re supposed to be arch enemies, not lovers…

Oh, and did I mention this book happens to be free, this week only?

Amazon US

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Amazon UK

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Hugs! ~Tami Lund, author, wine drinker, award winner, blogger…and mother