Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Flash Fiction in the Black Harbinger Universe Prequel

The next couple of weeks will feature flash fictions from the Black Harbinger universe. I've spent the month of July working on Caledonia Destiny's release or re-editing Alpha Trine and have had no time to add new words to Assassin's Retirement. 

On top of that, I am going to GenCon which starts this Thursday. The Con was supposed to be my midyear vacation but I'm so edited out, all I want to do is hide in a corner and rest. Unfortunately, we spent a good deal of money to go to the Con, so I'll have to put off my secluded corner desire until next week.

Right now, I have flash fictions that are pre-Death Mask. You may or may not have seen them before. (The whole no time to write new words thing.) I hope that you enjoy them anyway.

~Lexi


Copyright © 2016 Lexi Ander


Rejected

1899, Ohio River Valley

Leaning against the tree, I attempted to catch my breath but pain from multiple wounds not only stole the air from me, but took my fabled strength as well. Six feral vampires thrashed on the forest floor, their death throes reminiscent of a beheaded chicken, flopping around because the body hadn't recognized the creature was dead.

My family tracked a kiss of vampires that had entered our territory, leaving behind human casualties and drawing unwanted attention. Under no circumstances were paranormals to reveal their existence to humans. To do so meant an immediate death warrant. Father had sent for help and until reinforcements arrived, we took turns watching the kiss, preventing them from taking more lives if we could.

Two days ago they'd disappeared, leaving no trace as to where they'd gone. Father speculated the kiss caught wind of one of our watcher and fled. So it was a great surprise when I accidentally found their camp on my way home. Cloaked in shadow, they didn't notice my presence when I rounded the thicket expecting to find a human campsite. I had planned to return to my father's house and report their location but a hunter and his young son stumbled onto the vampire's camp. Judging by the animalistic behavior several of the vampires exhibited, we'd suspected that at least four members of the kiss were too old and had gone feral. So instead of portraying themselves as humans, the leaches fell on the newcomers like rabid dogs. There was nothing I could've done to save the man and his boy for there was only one of me and more than a dozen of them. But still, I tried.

When I stepped from my hiding and unceremoniously tore the heart out of the closest man, the creatures who were still sane recognized the type of danger I brought, scattering like a flock of startled birds. Only five remained behind, too far gone and lost in their madness to flee like a sensible paranormal. They dropped the humans they'd ravaged and attacked me. I was faster and stronger but they had numbers and insanity on their side. Though I triumphed in the end, I'd still been gravely wounded.

Pressing my palm against the gaping wound in my side, I attempted to staunch the flow of blood where one of them attempted to gnaw her way through my abdomen while her kissmates held me down. Each vampire left behind ragged wounds, nothing I couldn't heal from given time, but the pain cause by the venom added to the agony my body felt.

A sense of foreboding that had been plaguing me throughout the day sharpened to a fine point and suddenly, all I wanted was to go home and see Griffin. He would cluck over the injuries and angrily lecture me for my foolish actions, but regardless of his reprimands, his touch was ever tender, always reminding me how much he loved me.

Pushing off the tree trunk, I carefully stepped around the twitching bodies. Another twenty minutes and they would finally lay still. The hunter and his son hadn't moved from where the vampires had dropped them, but I needed to make sure they were dead and not going to accidentally rise again. Shame washed through me at their unseeing eyes staring skyward. I berated myself for the illogical emotion. Yet, questions pushed at my conscious. Could I have been better prepared? Quicker? Had there been a way for me to intercept the two humans before they'd stumbled to their doom? The answer was no but I hated useless death and I always asked myself the same questions when an innocent fell to evil.

When I climbed to my feet, I lost my breath again. Blood soaked my shirt, seeping through my fingers where I pressed against my side. When I took a step, my boot squelched and dizziness assailed me. The smart thing to do would be to stay put and allow my body to heal, but the silver tie that bound me to my husband tugged as if beckoning me to hurry. The irrational fear that I wouldn't see Griffin again hounded me, and I pushed aside common sense to go home.

With each step, I gritted my teeth against the sickness taking hold as the vampire venom worked its way through my body. I was immune to vampirism, but I would be gravely ill for weeks. The beginnings of that illness already made itself known. To get my mind off the agony gripping me, I looked forward to seeing Griffin and his bright smile that lit his honey brown eyes from within. I anticipated the touch of his soft hands as he tended me. Watching him always brought me a sense of peace. Though we had to hide what we were to each other I wouldn't change one thing. Behind the doors of our home, he was mine to love and cherish.

By the time I stumbled onto the clearing our cabin sat in, the night had waned to early morn. Candles burned in the front windows and my heart squeezed seeing my husband had waited up for me. Breathing hard, I shuffled hunched and aching to the porch, the wood creaking under my boot when I stepped up. I grabbed the post to the awning over the porch to steady myself, a wave of harsh dizziness threatening to put me on the ground. My senses went on alert and I paused, the bitter tang of foreign magick that didn't belong on my land coated my tongue.

Foreboding returned full force but was immediately forgotten when Griffin opened the door, as if he'd been waiting just on the other side. Smiling through the nigh unbearable pain, I drank in the sight of his tired eyes and rumpled clothing. His dark skin glowed warmly in the candlelight and I couldn't wait until he put his hands on me. But when he didn't step out of the house to help me, I knew something was wrong. Then I caught the strange scent again… It was all over Griffin and wafted from the interior of our home. Did we have a guest? Was that the reason for Griffin's standoffish behavior?

I reached for Griffin, blood coating my fingertips, and he flinched away, his expression turning to one of revulsion. Pain lanced through me, adding to the agony of my injuries. Never had Griffin not rushed to my aid or denied me his touch when I needed him. When Griffin met my gaze, my bewilderment turned to dread. No love or affection was reflected there. For the first time, distaste marred his countenance and I swallowed thickly when I realized that look was all for me. What happened to make him regard me so?

"Griffin," I implored, not quite believing what my eyes were telling me. How had he come to be smothered in another's scent, another's magick? The answer was obvious and became more so when the scrap of a hard sole sounded behind Griffin and the scent of desire mixed with the magick.

"You cannot come in." Griffin's lip lifted in a sneer, his expression twisting with revulsion. "You'll have to take shelter at your fathers, Grim. I'll have your belongings transported there in a week's time."

All the battering I'd taken from the vampires didn't compare to stab of this single verbal blow from Griffin. He was sending me away. "I don't… let me in and we can talk about this. Surely—"

"No, Grim," Griffin spat. "There is no talking about anything. We are through. This has been coming for a long time now. We are too different, you and I. I've been craving to be with someone more like me but have been too embarrassed to tell you. A couple of weeks ago I met Marcheso Aldo in Cincinnati. He's a master warlock and I want…" Griffin dropped his gaze to my hand still outstretch and trembling.

He couldn't throw away what we had. We loved each other almost from the moment we'd met. Our relationship wasn't perfect, and by the standards of my people I was considered very young being under one hundred years old. But despite the age difference between Griffin and me, we had thrived together, our love growing stronger year after year, or so I thought.

The way Griffin looked at me, as if touching me would taint him in some way, I was beginning to wonder if I'd been living a lie, blindly loving someone who only pretended to have great affection for me.

"Don't. Please, Griffin," I begged. I was fumbling to hold onto us, refusing to believe it was suddenly gone without warning.

"Stop." Griffin gaze flicked back to me, devoid of any warmth I'd naively hoped would be there. "Don't you understand what I'm saying? I don't want you. I don't even love you anymore much less like you. I haven't for a while. Don't embarrass you or me by making a scene, just go home to your father so we both can start new lives." A coldness radiated from Griffin that sucked the light from my soul.

I took a staggering step back, vision blurring through tears. I wanted to argue, to wail, to fight Griffin on this sudden change but the words lodged in my throat. The agony from my wounds and the vampire venom created a haze in my mind, muddling my thoughts while the searing pain of Griffin's confession made breathing difficult. I couldn't think and the chill of Griffin's unforgiving stare forced me back another step and then another. I wanted to press upon him that I loved him, but just looking at Griffin and his suddenly shuttered expression, those heartfelt words would fall on deaf ears.

When I turned away, I stumbled, almost falling and barely remaining upright. When I heard Griffin close the door, the finality of the situation washed over me. My heart cracked open and I released a wail of heartbreak. Griffin was the most important person in my life and somehow I'd lost him. As I staggered down the road toward my father's homestead, the bitter sorrow caused by Griffin's rejection turned to burning hatred for the man who'd captured Griffin's heart, Marcheso Aldo. For the first time in my life, I wanted to commit murder. But doing so would change me irrevocably, and that I wouldn't allow, no matter how much I hated a warlock I'd never met. I needed to be a better man than that, and with every footstep I pushed down the soul-sucking malice until the only emotion left to me was a heartsickness that threatened to eat me alive.

The strike of horse's hooves on hard packed earth drew my attention to the road ahead. A rider came into view. I should hide in the forest. Strangers would have too many questions about how I'd acquired my wounds, but I didn't care anymore. My vision blurred again as the vision of Griffin's cold stare came to mind and I swayed even as I stifled the need to wail again.

The galloping horse skidded to a halt in front of me and the rider hopped off. "Cain." I called my brother's name. He surged to catch me as I toppled forward. With his strong arms around me, I gave him my weight and a sob broke from my lips before I could call it back. I soaked up the immediate comfort he gave me, keeping at bay the chill that threatened to seep into my core. I tried to answer Cain's questions, but my lips were numb and my throat closed over the words that Griffin had shunned me for another.

How was I supposed to walk through life without him by my side?

~*~*~

Title: Death Mask

Series: Black Harbinger MC, 1
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: November 9, 2016
Cover Artist: Kirby Crow
Length: 43,000
Genre: Fairy Tales / Gay / Roughhouse Raiders / Urban Fantasy  
Advisory: None
Heat Level: 3 Flames
ISBN: 9781620048849
Formats: eBook / Paperback

Buy Links: LT3Press | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Bookstrand | iBooks

Blurb: Grim Misery, the President of the Black Harbinger Motorcycle Club, discovers a wounded warlock and four werepups aboard the club's LSD shipment. And the news kept getting better and better. Not only is the warlock sitting on the edge of death, he's illegally bonded to the werepups, which could trigger a war with the werewolves—and he turns out to be Misery's estranged husband.

Years ago, Griffin turned Misery away to be with another warlock by the name of Marcheso Aldo. Misery left everything behind, even his family, but couldn't shake the heartbreak Griffin caused. With Griffin thrust back into Misery's life, he discovers things aren't as they seem... and everything is about to get much, much worse.



Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

What's on the Reading Radar? #TBR #WishList

What am I up to? Editing and editing and editing. I've been working on Alpha Trine. I renewed the contract with LT3 Press and I'm polishing Alpha Trine, fixing some mistakes, and adding some depth in areas that needed it. 


Title: All or Nothing
Series: The Chosen One, 1
Author(s): Macy Blake
Length: 210 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Poly / Paranormal / Dragons / Gay /

Notes: With the Reverse Harem genre, all the love interests are there for and "all about the MC". Sometimes those love interest have intimate relationships with each other, but mostly not. I don't know if the gay harems I've been coming across follow the same rules. So this might not be poly, which has a romantic balance between all characters, but I'm not sure what word I would use to categorize the relationship structure.

Blurb: A Gay Paranormal Harem Romance

Sawyer Smith is preparing to take on the world, and with his graduate degree only days away, he’s hoping to convince his gorgeous best friend and neighbor to come along for the ride. There’s only one problem; Draco has a secret, a big scaly secret, and it’s about to change Sawyer’s life forever.

When three mysterious men move into the new mansion across the street, Sawyer is plunged into a fantastical world he never knew existed, one filled with creatures of legend. Discovering the truth about Draco and his role as guardian of The Chosen One is only the tip of the paranormal iceberg.

Being drawn to this strange new world is challenging enough, but then Sawyer finds himself attracted to all The Chosen One’s guardians. Giving into his desire comes with incredible risks. Once the chosen one is found, Sawyer will return to his human life, without the guardians, without Draco.

As danger mounts, Sawyer must choose between guarding his heart from the men he grows closer to by the day, or give in and risk losing it all.




Title: Homeplanet
Series:
Author(s): Kail Muse
Length: 57k
Publisher: LT3 Press

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gray-A / Pansexual / Gay / 

Notes: I Love this cover. This title is available for preorder and will be available at approximately 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 21, 2018.

Blurb: Centuries ago Earth was declared a dead planet and humanity was left with a cluster of space stations called the Human Colonies. Now a power shortage could lose them their home all over again. Desperate not to let that happen, they turn to the kyni for help.

One of the most powerful species in the known universe, the kyni are the only ones with both the power and the ability to fuel the Human Colonies. Though Calder has never heard anything good about them, he accepts a job as a bodyguard, determined to guarantee his brother will have a home. If he has to work for terrifying, heartless aliens to do that, so be it.

But when they kyni arrive, they're nothing at all what anyone expects...



Title: Alpha Unit One, New York
Series:
Author(s): Chris T. Kat
Length: 181 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 27, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / 

Notes:

Blurb: The cat’s out of the bag….

In a world that accepts shifters as normal and thinks nothing of human/shifter couples, baby shifters and small shifters are treated as subpar. They are not allowed into the more dangerous professions, and their mates have legal control over what they can and cannot do.

Nicholas Reed is about to challenge the established rules. At twenty-eight, Nick has just been accepted into New York’s Alpha Unit One—an elite law enforcement team, composed equally of humans and shifters, that specializes in drug crimes. It is Nick’s dream job. But if they find out what he’s hiding, his career could be destroyed.

Enter a huge complication in the form of Sam Black, an older lion shifter who is the leader of the unit… and Nick’s mate. Nick wants Sam, and he wants to keep his job, but he can’t have them both. He also can’t choose between them.




Title: Power of Five
Series: Power of Five, 1
Author(s): Alex Lidell
Length: 226 pages
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press (May 4, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Bisexual / Poly / Reverse Harem /

Notes:

Blurb: Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow—or resist. 

Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out... Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn.

River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to... a female. A mortal female.

Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing—a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone... especially for Lera herself.

Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel.




Title: Blue Curse
Series: Blue Wolf, 1
Author(s): Brad Magnarella
Length: 315 pages; 
Publisher:

Genre: Paranormal / Military / Werewolves / Dragons / Fantasy / 

Notes:

Blurb: ELITE SOLDIER TURNED WEREWOLF 

Cursed by a blind witch in Waristan, Special Ops soldier Jason Wolfe finds himself transforming into a creature of local legend, a lupine referred to in fearful whispers as Blue Wolf.

Faster, stronger, and more lethal, he’s the perfect weapon — but not for the U.S. military. To break the curse, Jason must join a war between ancient tribal foes: blue werewolves and the formidable White Dragon.

In a battle spanning from the peaks of Central Asia to the valleys of Manhattan, and with the help of a bookish wizard named Prof Croft, Jason will test the limits of his newfound powers. Because with the curse now spreading to his mind, he’s running out of time — and the stakes couldn’t be more personal.

Win and he returns home to his fiancée and a future.

Lose and he dies a bloodthirsty beast…




Title: Black Tie
Series:
Author(s): Ciaran Strange
Length: 361 pages
Publisher: Heartcandies Publishing (June 10, 2018)

Genre: Science Fiction / Super Heroes / Romantic Elements? / Gay / 

Notes:

Blurb: While some folk earn a living driving a cab or waiting tables, this one Brit in America works as an operative for a top-secret international agency. Their existence serves solely to protect a newly-emerged human subrace with bizarre “superpowers” dubbed Anomalies - and, sometimes, to protect society from them. Recently, Agent Cabe Sparrow and his team’s duties have become tougher than ever as the world around them overflows with fear, biased government motive, and societal outrage against Anomaly populations.

And then, out of the blue, the notorious, charismatic, brilliant C.E.O. of the number one global electronics and software corporation WrightTech comes out very publicly as an Anomaly, which means Agent Sparrow and his handler, Agent Moss, already have their next assignment: to safeguard Elliot Wright at all costs.

With unknown forces scheming to eradicate Elliot for the clout he gives to the Anomaly Rights Movement, and the suave, smooth-talking celebrity himself with-holding delicate information that could bring Cabe’s investigation crashing down around him, just how far will this one Agent allow himself to go to fight for a cause that isn’t even his? And is he getting too close to the mission... or just too close to Elliot?




Title: Dragon Slayer
Series: (Twitterlight Book 1)
Author(s): Matthew Lang
Length: 259 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications (September 25, 2018)

Genre: Romantic Elements / Fantasy / Dragons / Slayers / Gay

Notes: releases September 25, 2018.

Blurb: A Twitterlight Story

Kill the dragon, marry the princess, and rule the kingdom. It’s a fantasy come true… if you’re straight.

Adam is a chemistry student and martial artist, active in his local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism. But none of that prepares him to be the savior of a faraway land locked in perpetual dusk.

In a world of shape-shifters, necromancy, and religious politics, Adam is fated to slay the golden dragon, Khalivibra, and defeat its mind-controlling sorcery to help Princess Esmeralda of Aergon retake her city. Tradition dictates he’ll rule by her side—but Adam is much more interested in Duin, a warrior who changes to beast form in the light of the sun… or fire.

Adam hopes he and Duin might end up together when their ordeal ends. But first, the reluctant hero, the spell-casting heir to the throne, the beast-shifting object of Adam’s desire, a six-legged cave lizard, and any allies they can gather must do the impossible… and live to celebrate their victory.




Title: The Power of Three
Series:
Author(s): Pelaam
Length:
Publisher: MLR Press (October 27, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / Poly / 

Notes:

Blurb: Kidnapped as a sacrifice to a demon, Darcy must learn the magic and love behind the power of three.

Visiting his grandmother near isolated wetlands at Halloween, Darcy is kidnapped by Medea, a witch serving the black arts, to be served up as a demonic sacrifice.

Trapped in her cottage, Darcy finds unlikely allies in Bastet, a talking cat, Broom, a mechanical with magic of his own, and four kittens who refuse to leave his side.

Bastet brings Darcy's rescuer, the rougarou Bardou, to break him free, and Darcy's taken to Bardou's home.

There he meets Bardou's lover, Hunter. The men are as opposite as chalk and cheese, and yet are equally attractive to an increasingly confused Darcy.

But Medea isn't finished with Darcy yet, and all three men will face more dangers to find their power of three.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Pact Days: Illustrations and Sketches #ValespianPact


Well, today is the last day of sketches and illustrations... Well, until I pencil some more. Next Thursday I will be at GenCon but I'll see if I can't get something scheduled for the day before I "go offline" for several days. :)

Well, the last group to show you are the Vondorians: Azaes, Shaneva, and Zeus. 

I have to admit that I worked the longest and hardest on Azaes. He is much harder than drawing humans, especially with his scales and his ridge.


I found the ridge the hardest and didn't really get it right. The bony-ridge is a slightly raised thick, bonelike scales that are red. From the red strip, barbs/spikes protrude. There are some Mar'Sani who can retract the spikes. 


The ridge starts at the crown of their head and follows the spine to the tip of the tail. With the Vondorians and Warlord Sohm'lan, these barbs can be retracted otherwise they would go through a lot of sheets when sleeping. LOL :-) Well, unless they are stomach sleepers.


Okay, so his arms aren't great but the face is pretty good. I need to redo the mouth though. That looks more like a bird beak. Anyway, since I didn't get some elements of his body right, neither did the illustrator, though she did a much better than I did. 


Shaneva's sketch is a bit more whimsical. With Azaes's drawing, I realized that I couldn't get the colors correct. So with his sister, I stuck with the idea that this was just going to be black and white sketch. 


When I sent this to the illustrator, she thought Shaneva was wearing a gown. I had to explain she was in stormy waters, and then I explained Shaneva's coloring. I had her add the spines on Shaneva's arms. When she asked me if I wanted Shaneva's head turned as if she was looking over her shoulder, I responded with an emphatic yes. 


Shaneva and Azaes are my favorite illustrations, but my favorite sketch is Zeus. He looks a bit innocent but I think his was the best sketch that I have completed so far. 


I think that because I really loved Zeus's sketch, his illustration was just meh for me. The colors are great and you get a better idea of what his eyes look like and the color of his hair is spot on. The bound locks are good, too but the shape of his face is different than my sketch. Like I said, I REALLY liked my sketch, but I'm terrible with the coloring and other aspects of creating something that represents my characters.


That's it for the sketches that I'm okay with showing the public. Hopefully, I'll have some new ones to share in the future. I also hope that you enjoyed this look into some of the characters of the Valespian Pact. 

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Assassin's Retirement Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Three #gentleman #blogstory #amwriting


Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement and the conclusion to Chapter Twenty and it's revelations that will rock Zane's world!




"Wait, how is that possible?" Zane was confused. "Oracles… I don't know much about them but aren't they seers, clairvoyants, or prophetesses of some kind?"

Skyld tipped his head. "There are several different types, some oracle house specializing in more specific abilities."

"That still doesn't answer my question. How does a scion become a slave to an oracle? She might have seer abilities, but she is still human, right? She doesn't have any extra abilities like super strength or something that would force a scion to her will, does she?

Skyld gave Zane an annoyed look. "You're sounding a bit misogynistic there."

Zane frown. "I…"

He was having a problem wrapping his head around scions, someone like Skyld being made to do something against his will. Skyld would take no prisoners, wouldn't he? Zane would slaughter any who tried to chain him, force him into something he didn't want. So Skyld calmly telling him that people were enslaved to a group of oracles was something he had a hard time wrapping his mind around.

"This isn't a case of might and manipulation," Skyld scrubbed his hand through his blond hair and Zane's gaze caught on the leather bands around his wrists. He'd never seen Skyld without them. The demonstration outside revealed the cuffs were something much more than what they appeared.

"Are you enslaved?" Zane blurted the question, sudden overwhelming rage making it hard for him to breath. "Fucking tell me who ad I will end them before the day is over." Ella had known who Skyld was. Zane pushed back his chair. Fuck this. She would die.

Skyld grabbed his forearm in an unforgiving grip. "No, little Wulf. I am not ensnared."

"Then how?" Zane glanced at the armbands.

"If I let you go, will you promise you won't kill Ella?"

Zane clenched his teeth at Skyld's request. Why did he care if Ella lived or died?

"Today," he ground out. "I will not kill her today."

He refused to promise more. Just thinking about Ella set off a tingle between his shoulder. His intuition always made him itch like that when something brutal and bloody was coming his way. Ella was either the cause or the reason. Taking out the instigator wouldn't always change things, and Zane still ended up spilling way too much blood. He hated burying bodies. Especially in winter.

"I'll take it." Skyld grabbed the coffee carafe on the table and shook it gently, before deeming there was enough left and pouring himself another cup.

"So this Odin's oracle house was somehow enslaving scions who wanted to claim their mantles," Zane prodded.

Skyld grimaced. "Yes, they magically tied the scions to the oracles of the house."

Zane made a rude noise. There was fucking magic, too? When Skyld glanced at him, he motioned for his friend to continue, stuffing him mouth with pancake and peanut butter.

"Grandfather refused to allow us to be ensnared, and he looked elsewhere for help. My brother and I took jobs where we could utilize our skills. We were good enough to work human cases, and we did that for many years. Then I met a woman." Skyld's cheeks turned rosy but his eyes held a bleakness that Zane had seen off and on through the years. "I fell in love with her, later discovering he was a priestess belonging to House Odin's Runes. She'd be sent to…" Skyld's eyes turned liquid and he coughed into his fist. Zane wanted to wrap his arm around Skyld's shoulder, easily guessing at the ending of this story. "Instead,--" Skyld's voice sounded as if he'd gargled gravel, "--she gave me the mantle right before she was murdered."

There was more to the story, but Zane wouldn't make Skyld walk down that dark memory lane. "Explain to me why I shouldn't blow her head off right now?"  he asked instead.

Skyld's expression turned hard-edged and unforgiving. "Because the whole house needs to be taken down and she will be the key."

Zane sipped his bitter, luke-warm joe making a list of things he would need to do before he left the ranch. House of Odin's Runes would have Scandinavian roots and possibly a home base in the region. It was a huge area but if he utilized his contacts on the dark web, he could find the assholes.

"Scions like you and me do not always have to turn to slaughter to bring down the opposition."

Zane's gaze snapped up to his friend. Was Skyld reading his mind? "In this case, I disagree."

"After Peony's death, the house played hard ball. Our dad was always promiscuous and had a slew of children who eventually made their way to Grandfather when they showed a talent for violence. The oracles hired someone to track them down, intent on bringing them to the House of Odin's Runes to breed their own scions. My brother and I took it upon ourselves to find our kin first, after we dragged dad back to grandfather's"

Zane sat back heavily. "That sounds like the beginning of a war. What about I.O.N.? What did they have to say about all of this?"

Skyld shrugged. "This started in the 1640s. I.O.N. was a fledgling organization with limited reach. The world was a different place back then."

Zane's thoughts scattered. "Wait. How old are you?"

Skyld scowled. "Is that all you got out of this conversation?"

"You know better than that asshole," Zane snapped. "Excuse me if my mind is blown because you're older than dirt."

Skyld barked out a hard laugh and wrapped an arm around Zane's neck, jerking him close, causing Zane's chair to scrape harshly against the hardwood floor. Zane grumbled but still leaned into Skyld's side, seeking comfort. Shooting things was so much easier. The anticipation over where this conversation was going, especially since Skyld felt he had to give an in-depth explanation into his family, worried Zane. The skeptical part of him whispered that the more Skyld spoke, the worse the punch line would be. Zane ignored the voice and chose to reserve judgement until Skyld finished.

"You're an idiot if you think any of this has changed my opinion of you," Zane grumbled.


He felt Skyld tremble. When he went to pull away to look at him, Skyld tightened his arm, keeping Zane in place. "Well, you're the idiot if you haven't realized you're one of my brothers."


Table of Contents


Chapter One - Retirement
Chapter Two - Normal is not supposed to be this hard
Chapter Three - Caught
Chapter Four - Crimson Comet
Chapter Five - Mountain Magic
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Six, Part 2 -
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Seven, Part 2 -
Chapter Eight, Part 1 - No such thing as heroes
Chapter Eight, Part 2 -
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Chapter Ten, Part 1 - Gathering Allies
Chapter Ten, Part 2
Chapter Eleven - Combustible
Chapter Twelve - Standing His Ground
Chapter Thirteen - Choices
Chapter Fourteen, Part 1
Chapter Fourteen, Part 2
Chapter Fifteen, Part 1 - To kill, or not to kill
Chapter Fifteen, Part 2

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

What's on the Reading Radar? #TBR #WishList

What have I been doing? Buckling down on edits for Alpha Trine. I spent a lot of time watching the World Cup gamesThe last few weeks. I haven't watched that much TV in two years. Now that it's over, I have to get these edits finished and turned in before the end of the month. 

Just in case you missed it (because I'm crap at self-promotion) I had a new release last week. Caledonia Destiny went up and you can now get it through several retailers. Amazon, Payhip, and Books2Read (that's a universal link that includes Kobo, iBooks, and B&N).

As for reading, I've been looking for new stuff to add to my TBR/WishList. I've been rather picky with lots of DNF-for-now.


Title: Here Be Sexist Vampires
Series: Deep in Your Veins Series, Book 1
Author(s): Suzanne Wright
Length: 10 hrs & 29 min
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Vampires / Kickass Woman / 

Notes: 

Blurb: Sam Parker is a vampire with a gift so strong and substantial that she is invited to partake in a test for a place in the Grand High Master Vampire's private army. She finds that not only has the army never included a woman, but it has never included a Svente vampire; a breed that is regarded by the super strong Pagori breed and the hypnotically beautiful Keja breed to be too tame and human-like.

Most refuse to take her seriously, especially a Pagori commander named Jared who she craves in spite of herself. The Grand High Master, however, sees her potential and offers her the position of Jared's co-commander to help train the newest squad in time for the impending attack on his home. Sam has to demonstrate to Jared and the squad of chauvinists why it is incredibly foolish to underestimate a wilful, temperamental, borderline-homicidal Svente female.





Title: Human Omega Discovered on the Slave Planet
Series: (Pykh Book 1)
Author(s): Eileen Glass
Length: 287 pages
Publisher: Glass Fiction (May 26, 2018)

Genre: Romantic Elements / Sci-Fi / Aliens / Language Barrier / Human Not Stupid or Useless / Human Saves the Day / Poly / Gay /

Notes: I will probably write a review of this book. The title doesn't do it justice.

Blurb: How does a bad day get worse, you ask?

Well…

How about being squished between two huge, naked dudes with their meaty schlongs hanging out and everything?

It's all a matter of opinion, but Carter's day is going pretty badly. He's an engineer captured by bug aliens, now depending on his large, muscled, naked cage mates for food and warmth. They seem sentient, so that's good. But they're also handsy. Which is… complicated.

The military isn't looking for him. Slaves taken by the bug race never come back. Yet, Carter is very much alive, and if he wants to stay that way, he'll need to trust Pykh and Siel, two affectionate aliens with claws, teeth, and size.


Title: His Vampire Harem
Series: 
Author(s): Lily Harlem
Length: 231 pages
Publisher: Lily Harlem (July 12, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Poly / Paranormal / Vampires / Demons / 

Notes: 

Blurb: He's special. He just doesn't know it yet.

Darius Linnet has it all. He's a top male model, he's traveled the world, and everyone wants to either be him or be with him.

But would they really want to walk in his shoes? Because when emotions consume him, heated sparks fly. When he sleeps, his dreams take on an other-worldly twist. And his perfect body--sometimes it doesn't even feel like his own.

Until, that is, he meets a group of sexy, mysterious men who claim they've been searching for him for centuries. He's their savior, apparently, the key to their release from eternal damnation. They love him and they want to show him the pleasure he's been denying himself. There's only one problem: Darius's demon father has other ideas.

This novel contains male/female and male/male scenes. It is intended for mature readers and ends on a happy for now.




Title: Hunter by Blood
Series: 
Author(s): Robin White
Length: 50 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press, LLC (November 12, 2013)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / 

Notes: This title is available for preorder and will be available at approximately 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 7, 2018.

Blurb: In the middle of a job, Kayn is bitten by one of the werewolves he is hunting—and wakes up one of them. Except he doesn't shift like he should, and he's not an out of control monster the way he should be. Unfortunately, the key to figuring out what makes Kayn different—and possibly more dangerous—may be found in the past that he prefers to leave behind …



Title: Mark of the Incubus
Series: Robert & Caleb, 1
Author(s): E.S. Hutch
Length: 232 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / 

Notes: 

Blurb: Robert Layton is dead.

But at the same time, he isn’t. He eats and breathes, walks and talks, but to the rest of the world he might as well not even exist. He’s forgotten as soon as he’s out of sight.

A former cop, Robert’s arrogant ways led to him being possessed and then destroyed by an ancient evil, a demon that preys on man’s deepest desires. Now that same demon has led him to its latest victim, the first person capable of remembering Robert since his death.

Caleb Miller has made some monumentally stupid decisions, all before the age of twenty-three. He dropped out of college, is stuck in an affair with a married man, and struggles to make ends meet as a folk singer at the same coffee shop he slings drinks at all day.

When a handsome stranger shows up and claims Caleb’s been possessed by a strange sex demon, he’s obviously skeptical. But Robert turns out to be the man of his dreams, and Caleb can’t believe his luck. Too bad Robert has vowed never to touch him.

Forced to live together while battling their intense attraction, they must find a way to stop the demon before it’s too late to save Caleb’s life and his memory of Robert.




Title: The Architect and the Castle of Glass
Series: 
Author(s): Jade Mere
Length: 230 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 27, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay / 

Notes: 

Blurb: Chasing his dream will send him into a dark and twisted nightmare.

Tahki’s only goal is to become a world-famous architect, even if that means betraying his father’s wishes by abandoning his comfortable life for one of unpredictable danger.

After Tahki blindly accepts what he thinks will be a dream job, his skills as an architect are put to the test as he is given the bizarre—and slightly unethical—task of turning a remote castle into a new-age machine for Prince Dyraien. The castle provides a challenge unlike any he’s had before, and Tahki finds the only way he’ll be able to succeed is to swallow his pride and work alongside Rye, a guarded young man who is quick to see the flaws in both Tahki and his work.

Yet the looming deadline proves to be the least of Tahki’s troubles. When a horrifying creature begins to haunt him, Tahki turns to Rye for help. The more he learns about the history of the castle, the more terrifying the hauntings become. Even with Rye by his side, Tahki realizes achieving his dream might send him down a dark path from which he can’t return.




Title: Twice Bitten
Series: 
Author(s): Rayna Vause
Length: 194 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 17, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / 

Notes: 

Blurb: With a new species of vampire stalking the streets, the stakes are high. But that’s not the only reason hearts are on the line.

Danny Reynolds thought Kieran McCade was the one—true love and hot lust forever—until Danny found out Kier’s bloody secret and ran away screaming. Months later, Danny is facing his own paranormal crisis, and he needs Kieran’s help, but are there enough ways to apologize for breaking a vampire’s heart?

Nothing about Danny’s transformation is normal—not the attack that led to it, and not the symptoms Danny’s plagued with—but being in close proximity to Kieran is even worse than becoming a thing that goes bump in the night. Danny and Kieran aren’t the only things threatening to bump each other off, though. Secret organizations and clashing vigilante agendas want to get their hands on Danny. His only hope is to find a fix for his problem before he’s either captured or his abnormal transition starves him to death.

Danny and Kieran might have a real chance to repair their broken romance… but only if they keep Danny alive!


Thank you for stopping by and reading!!