Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Holiday #Romance #Anthology: HOW MY JINGLEBALLS SAVED CHRISTMAS, An Otherworldy Christmas by Rena Marks

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An Otherworldly Christmas


When your brand-new “kind-of” puppy comes along with his own alien handler.

Tabitha: My best friend gives me her adorable alien puppy. She won’t say why, but I suspect her crabby cat, lovingly nicknamed Satanic Sheila by me, wants to eat him.

He’s got the face only a mother could love. Poor little scrawny thing—I’ve named him Jingleballs—just shivers and shakes and buries his little face deep into my cleavage to hide.

I have to ignore the strange barking noises that sound more like a man motorboating.

* * *

Belloc: Her new pet isn’t an alien dog—he’s my brother.

Punished for a short time to navigate Earth, a species he publicly deemed no better than pets—what better punishment than to become a pet himself trapped in a shapeshifting change?

Except J’ngal finds the most attractive, luscious female on the planet. He has access to her home, her body, her conversations. As a beloved pet, he gets to see her dress, watch her shower, tag along on all her dates. All the things I want to do and can’t. So I swear to her I’m his handler from his planet.

Two can play at that game.

An Otherworldly Christmas


I look up at Veronica. “Are you sure it’s a pup?”

She wrinkles her nose. “It does sound like a purr, right? Kind of?”

The puppy raises her head from my cleavage, looks straight at Veri, and huffs indignantly. It sounds a little bit like a bark. If you stretch your imagination.

“See? Just the way she acts? That’s why I think she’s a dog. A precious little alien Chi-waaah-waaah,” Veronica coos, dragging her words out in baby-talk. “It’s all in the attitude. Sheila might be slightly bitchy, the way cats are, but Jingle is, well kind of cocky. Therefore… dog.”


“Jinglebell. Like Tinkerbell. Which I definitely would have named her if it wasn’t Christmas time. But since she came with this cute little collar that has a couple of jingling bells, well…”

I get it. But if Veronica can be wrong about the dog being a cat, she could also be wrong about it being a she. I pick it up by the scruff of the neck, making it yelp in surprise, and quickly peer between the little legs.


The sight that greets me is something I hadn’t quite expected. I gulp. The dog has massive balls, pressed together like firm plums, almost the size of his skull.

“What? What is it?” Veronica asks, worried that she’s missed something.

Oh, she’s missed something. She’s definitely missed something. I quickly flash the dog’s testicles at her and her jaw drops at the sheer size.

I swear the alien pup has a chuckle at her open-mouthed gape. I put his quivering little body back under my sweater, letting his little head stick out from my neckline.

“Does she have a tumor?” Veronica asks, her lip quivering.

“What? No,” I say.

The dog barks at the same time and it sounds strangely like a mimic of my no. We both look sideways at it.

“She’s a boy,” I tell Veri. Then look down at the pup’s upturned face. “Going to have to change your name from Jinglebell to Jingle-balls,” I snicker.

“That’s so crass,” Veronica huffs.

“What? It’s my pet. I can name him whatever I want.”

I almost miss the look of satisfaction that crawls over her pretty face. She’s got me. She knows I’m stuck with the sweet little guy.

“He’s a keeper right? I knew you couldn’t resist. Especially with that cat allergy of yours that makes you avoid all of Sheila’s important life moments.”  She sniffs.

For a second my heart races, making Jingleballs twist his little head around to look up at my face because he can feel my heart pounding against my ribs. Does she know I fake my allergy to avoid her beastly pet?

I press a kiss on the top of his scrawny little skull. Satanic Sheila can probably crunch the delicate bone in her maw like a potato chip. “It’s dangerous for me to be around cats too,” I whisper to the little guy and he rewards me with a short bark. Though it’s the oddest sounding bark I’ve ever heard. Almost as if he says the word arf. Strange because I thought he said no earlier.

“I’m gonna miss this guy.” Veronica leans down to nuzzle Jingleballs. I hear her whisper into his lack of ear. “Sorry I named you Jinglebell. If it hadn’t been Christmas time, I would have called you Tinkerbell. Which is very flattering. Pets everywhere love the name.”

I roll my eyes but neither Veronica nor Jingleballs can see it. I don’t think there’s a dog or cat in the world that appreciates being called Tinkerbell. Jingleballs, however. Now that’s a strong name. Whimsical for Christmas, yet we’re able to sneak the word balls in there. The only stronger word is cajónes. But Jingle Cajónes doesn’t have the same ring.

Jingleballs melts, giving her puppy kisses. So, I step back, making Veronica stand hunched over where I used to be, and glare that I took him away.

I don’t need her babying my pup. Jingleballs is going to grow up to be the best, most terrifying watchdog ever. Besides which, he’s my pet. And Veronica has already spoiled Satanic Sheila. All of our friends agree.

“Aww!” Veronica protests as I step back. “Promise me you’re going to bring him by once in a while to visit! Otherwise, my heart will simply break.” She blows a kiss at Jingleballs.

I roll my eyes at her dramatics. “Simply break” my ass. She didn’t even know he was a dude, much less a dog versus a cat. Otherwise, she would never have taken him home to Satanic Sheila. Who does that? Who takes a tiny male dog home to an enormous female cat and not expect the bitch to ride him?

“Fine,” I snap and her eyes brighten. Come to think of it, Jingleballs brightens too, and that makes me a little jealous. He’s my pup, soon to be my vicious watchdog. I can’t have her baby him or worse, let her fat cat pulverize him.

“Supervised visits only. I can’t have Satanic Sheila—”

“Just. Sheila,” she grits.

“Shee-laa—” I drag out, making it sound as though I missed a word in her name. Which I did. The word Satanic. “—sit on him. She’s heavy. She could break him.”

In my bosom, Jingleballs cowers.

“It’s not her fault she’s heavy!” Veronica protests. “She has a lot of long hair. More so than most. It drags her down.”

“That and the Puppy Chow you were feeding this poor little guy.” Because he certainly looks like he missed a few good bowls to the cat.

Jingleballs burrows face-first into my cleavage, obviously feeling safe and snug in my care. His little tail wags up from the top of my sweater. His tail is as strange as the rest of him—a corkscrew tail that wags in a spiral. I reach down and right him so he doesn’t suffocate in my ample bosom.

“He’s a boob man,” Veronica comments. “I wonder if the alien women on his planet don’t have boobs?”

“Probably not,” I agree. “And he’s going to have to get used to being head up anyway. Won’t be long before he’s too big to be burrowing a tunnel down there.”

I swear the dog chuckles.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
This sweet and steamy holiday story is part of An Otherworldly Christmas collection, a collaboration brought to you by Rena Marks, Sandra R Neeley, and Liz Paffel, three authors bringing stories with sweetness for the holidays! Each book is a standalone, containing its own Happily Ever After. They can be read in any order so feel free to try all three!

About Author Rena Marks…

Welcome to my Worlds!

Rena Marks is a bestselling author with over eighty-five novels under her belt. She combines her love of science fiction with paranormal romance because no matter what happens in real life, a happy-ever-after never disappoints. Described as the author with “hidden gems,” come get lost in my worlds for a few hours.


Links to Rena’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

How My Jingleballs Saved Christmas—Rena Marks
How My Krynch Saved Christmas—Sandra R Neeley
How My Alien Saved Christmas—Liz Paffel


Thanks, Rena, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

6 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Holiday #Romance #Anthology: HOW MY JINGLEBALLS SAVED CHRISTMAS, An Otherworldy Christmas by Rena Marks”

  1. Good morning, Rena, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. The premise and excerpt both made me laugh. I love good humor with a sexy hero. I do love alien heroes, too. Win. Win. I can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for sharing it with us today!

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