Thursday, August 16, 2018

Pact Days: Series Update & A Fun Excerpt #ValespianPact #Constant


Welcome back to Pact Days! I was kind of at a conundrum, looking for something to post today. I thought an excerpt from Constant would be fun.

Constant is the unexpected 3rd book in the Valespian Pact series. Unexpected because I was sure Bespoken would be next and was writing on Bespoken when I realized I needed some background details on Zeus's brother, Prince Mestor Vondorian and Warlord Sohm'lan. I had planned for there to be a sort of sneak peek of their love affair in the following books with a culmination in the final book, Legends. But I needed a bouncing off point because things didn't really heat up for the two until the Vondorian twins, Azaes and Mestor, go to pick up Zeus from the space station only for Zeus to be kidnapped by Captain Dargon Kal-Turak. It is during Striker that the true love story between Mestor and Sohm'lan begins. 

I decided to do a couple of flash fictions during the Striker time period and before I knew it, those flashes turned into a short story, then a novella and I decided to just take it all of the way. I thought I was finished when the book hit 65k but the beta feedback was extremely helpful in pointing out missed opportunities and other problems. I was fighting my way out of depression when I started writing the flashes for Constant and it showed. Depression does funny things to the brain, and unlike Hemmingway (who I think wrote most of his works in his depression), it hindered my creativity. I have been doing rewrites and adding new words when I can. I spent a lot of time editing May, June, and July, first for Caledonia Destiny, which released on July 9th, and then on Alpha Trine for its new contract period for LT3 Press. 

Now I'm back to working on Constant. It has unintentionally become a pivotal book in the series... I really didn't mean for so much of the Mar'Sani history to come to the forefront, but as I write I can now see why this is so important. Some things that I was going to mention in future books, I pulled back into Constant, and now the book is well on its way to being 100k words. I don't know when it will be done. I keep setting deadlines and I keep blowing by them. But with other projects now off my desk, I will be working primarily on this book.

That being said, this is an excerpt from Constant. It is a memory told from Mestor's POV when he and Azaes were five summers old. The time period is before Canry was lost in the Waters of Poseidon. The part I want to share is almost 3k so I'll split it between today and next Thursday. Enjoy!


Copyright Lexi Ander



Mestor was attempting to sneak by the nannies. He wanted to go to the nursery and see his little brother. Canry was only six moons old and Mestor had heard the adults talking about introducing Canry to the Waters of Poseidon. He wanted to be there too, but the nannies were guarding the doors like they were Giante elite Mukene warriors guarding the high king.

His twin, Azaes, peeked around the doorjamb to the room of the nannies' bedchamber. Nanny Notus was still at the exit of the main room, speaking to a Basilisc guard. Earlier, Nanny Kalika went to the kitchens to order their midday meal. Mestor gestured to Azaes, giving him the 'all clear'. His twin walked from the nannies' room, not run. The nannies always sensed when Azaes or Mestor were running and they did not want to draw the attention of Nanny Notus. He and Azaes had learned that lesson the hard way. Mestor suspected they were always caught running because their tails crashed into everything. Their waterfather, Sohm'lan, promised they would learn how to control their tails better when they grew older. But for now, he and Azaes knew not to run when they were trying to accomplish something of the utmost importance.

::All set,:: Azaes signed with his hands. ::The fuses are really long—::

A loud bang went off in the nannies' sleeping quarters followed by several more pops. The Basilisc guard brushed by their startled nanny. Nanny Notus followed the guard, his hands fisted in the shirt over his heart. Once their backs were turned, Mestor bolted, in a fast walk, not a run, out the door and into the large, grand hallway. The nursery where Canry and Shaneva stayed was around the corner. A little over a summer ago, he and Azaes and graduated to their own rooms and the days were spent with tutors instead of playing in the sand. They missed spending time with Shaneva, and now that Canry would be introduced to the Waters of Poseidon, he and Azaes would be allowed to play with Canry more.

Azaes took the lead as they hurried down the hallway. Around the corner coming toward them, was the sound of clumping footstep. The explosion, which shouldn't have been that loud, would have brought more Basilisc guards and they were hurrying, coming toward Mestor's and Azaes's room. Mestor's heart sped. They had to find a place to hide before the guards rounded the corner. He rushed to the nearest pot, and Mestor climbed over the side of the planter, turning to grab Azaes's hands. Once he hoisted his twin over the rim, they both scrambled into the middle where the large fronds hid them from view. Something grabbed his tail and when he looked, Azaes was holding both of their tails in his fists.

The sound of boots rounding the corner caused Mestor to instantly still. The guards were talking about the report of a loud noise, and they were stopping at all the rooms, checking for more hidden incendiary devices before advancing on to the next room.

Staying still was so hard. Mestor thought hours passed before the guards rounded the opposite corner that lead to a different wing of the palace. Scrambling out of the giant pot, Mestor accidentally spilled some of the black soil over the side. Somehow both he and Azaes got their clothes dirty as well, but he could not worry about that now. They needed to get to the nursery before more guards came down the hall.

Again, Azaes took off and Mestor tried to mimic his twin's soft steps on the yellow-veined, red tile. At the corner, Azaes got on his belly and looked around the edge. Mestor paused and crouched behind Azaes. He was startled out of his excitement when his tail cracked against the tiled wall. He bared his teeth when Azaes scowled over his shoulder in a silent reprimand.

Once Azaes deemed the way clear, he scrambled to his feet. Mestor glanced behind to ensure no one had spotted them before he ran after his twin. The door to the nursery was all the way at the other end of the hallway. Mestor sprinted like he was in one of the annual mountain races that Sohm'lan anticipated in every year. He could practically hear the cheers, his waterfather shaking his fist in the air as he urged Mestor to move his feet faster.

He was not sure what happened, but he crashed into Azaes, and they tumbled in a knotted-heap through the open doorway of the nursery. Mestor hiss-clicked at Azaes's shushing noises punctuated by grunts as they rolled. They disentangled themselves only to hear more footsteps. Mestor scurried to one side of the doorway while Azaes took the other. To be safe, he trapped his tail between his legs so it would not thump anything. The clomping slowed as a passerby glanced into the quiet nursery and then continued on without entering. When the noise was gone, Mestor helped Azaes slide the ornately painted door almost closed. The nursery was remotely monitored for sound. Something they had learned before graduating to their new rooms. Even though they did not dare speak, Mestor and his brother use the language of their hands, taught to them by the People of the Longing.

::How long before Nanny Notus and Nanny Kalika noticed that we are gone?:: Azaes gestured as he crossed to Canry's birth bed. Mestor shrugged. How would he know?

Canry's halfshell was intricately carved with whirls and spirals surrounding the drawing of a four-legged raptor. The wings spanned the length of the oval cradle. Mestor's father told them how he climbed Mount Rhodes and haggled with the Gatekeeper for the birthbed made from the eggshell of the Pegasus, the largest flying raptor species on Atlainticia. Mestor had trouble imagining a bird so big.

Inside the birth bed, Canry slept on his stomach, his hind-end sticking up in the air. ::His tail is starting to grow,:: Azaes pointed out.

Canry was born without a tail. Meme said all youngling came into the world tailless, but still Mestor and his brother worried. They sometimes talked about it long into the night and neither remembered being without their own tail.

::It is really thin.:: Mestor replied. ::Maybe Canry needs to eat something special for it to grow thick and strong.::

Azaes made a face. ::Unca seaweed is nasty.::

The nannies were always pushing them to eat more of the greens, claiming it would strengthen their limbs and tail.

Azaes sighed deeply. ::I guess we should eat more of it when we spend time with Canry so he would eat more himself.::

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Flash Fiction: The Black Harbinger's Universe Prequel


Make sure you have read prequel #1, Rejected and prequel #2, Opium and Lung.

Copyright © 2016 Lexi Ander

Fisticuffs and Rye Whiskey

Boston 1910

Slouching over the end of the bar, I nursed the shot of rye whiskey the bartender poured me. I'd lost count of how many I had, but I wasn't into my cups so much that the two pickpockets succeeded in lifting my purse. Breaking the hand of the second thief had the perfect effect of warning the others away. The patrons of the underground saloon steered clear of my end of the bar.

I stared into the murky brown liquid as I imagined all the ways Iron Lightning would insult me for not only drinking again but imbibing in the opium. I wouldn't call Iron my friend, but for some reason he'd taken me in and sobered me up. I didn't remember how I came to be on the Ute reservation in South Dakota, nor did I recall how I'd spent the last decade. Iron said I wouldn't want to know where he found me, and from some of the dark memories surfacing, I agreed which made me reluctant to stomach the last shot of whiskey.

Iron was the only person I told of my husband—or former husband since he was the one who'd left me—and of the pain that persisted even though years had gone by. Time had not buffered the agony of being separated from the man I'd handfasted to when I was a mere thirty years old, too young many said of those who lived as long as my people did. In return, Iron scoffed at me for becoming a wastrel and allowing another man's actions to turn me into a useless being. That started the first of many fistfights between him and me. Eventually, I stayed away from the whiskey, until today when thoughts of my husband wouldn't leave me be. I only wanted a reprieve from the constant heartache.

It was that sneaky dragon shifter's fault that I was even thinking about Iron. I was feeling a might guilty for giving up Iron's identity and location up to Jian Chin. I considered hoofing it back to South Dakota to warn Iron that a randy dragon was looking for a companion. Then I remembered Iron half drowning me in the horse trough and discarded the idea. I'd send him a cryptic telegraph and let him figure the rest out.

Tossing back the shot, I left the bar, deciding I would search out the person Jian Chin suggested I meet. I headed to Eastern Avenue on slightly unsteady legs. I wasn't paying attention to my surrounding because I was rethinking the idea of traipsing back across the great plains to Iron's place. There was something… calming about being around someone who was like me. We weren't born of the same bloodlines but what we were connected us. I couldn't stomach the thought of going back to my own family, not when… I simply couldn't. Iron was the next best thing in my eyes. Besides, I missed his grumpy face and fighting with him.

Out of nowhere, my nose was assailed with whiff of the familiarity I'd just been pining for. On the air floated the hint of family but not quite family. Intermingled with it were five others that spoke of hatred and aggression. I inhaled deeper, my heart speeding as sense of urgency gripped me. Picking up my pace, I attempted to slough off the sluggish affects the whiskey, cursing myself for downing that last shot. The only weapon I carried was a buck knife, Iron's parting gift, and I hoped it would be enough.

As the scent grew stronger, I detected something intermingled with that of family. An otherness that made the person different from me but not human either. Werewolf. And a strong one at that. He or she was leaking heady power that made them the pinnacle of wolf hierarchy. Strangely, the alpha wasn't capping the outflow, either on accident or on purpose.

Turning down and aisle behind a warehouse, the corridor was stacked high with wooden crates on each side, I stumbled to a halt, taking in the scene before me. The owner of the familiar scent wasn't what I excepted. The amount of power surrounding him made me think he'd be a mature man, a behemoth in size and stature. What I'd found was a lad, a slip of man-child of perhaps sixteen or seventeen years of age. He had a tall and gangly body he'd yet to grow into. I wasn't surprised by the shock of red hair brushing his shoulders from under his news cap.

"I told you, Wallace, I don't want trouble. I was only visiting my mother. I hadn't seen her since you turned me out." The boy said, hands held out in a placating gesture even as his chin notched up in defiance.

"I warmed you five years ago to never come back," smeared the giant blocking the boy's path. "You're lucky I didn't cull you at birth you cussed half-breed." The man was another alpha and the four men with him were decidedly his betas. The handsome duds they wore with matching hats didn't belong in this grubby corridor. They had to have come from downtown. Had they heard the boy was in their territory and run him down? If the child was going to challenge the alpha, I imagined he would've already done so—if he was anything like the others in my bloodline.

The man-child flushed crimson, his freckles disappearing behind the wash of red. "And showed yourself for the coward you are, afraid this half-breed would take your place at the head of the pack," he scoffed quite effectively, I thought.

Wallace roared his fury at the kid's prodding then attacked. The four betas with him had no intension of allowing a fair fight. I frowned searching my surroundings for weapons and spied a barrel of broken planks. The lengths of wood would do just fine for what I had in mind. Plucking up one, I hurried toward the fray and smashed the plank into the back of the head of the nearest beta. If they wanted a dirty fight, I would give them one.

The two alphas had shifted. The man-child seemed to be only half werewolf, his body much different than the upright-wolf he fought. They didn't seem to register my interference but the betas did. Unlike their alpha, they couldn't change into a standing wolf, only able to take the wild wolf form. They hadn't transformed, staying human probably to assist they alpha when he returned to his human shape.

Two of the four drew billy clubs, their looks of anticipation told me they were looking forward to teaching me a lesson. They could try. I flashed them a hard grin as I snagged two more boards from the barrel and began instruction in a lesson of my own. I laughed with the euphoric rush that caused my blood to song with joy. The betas soon learned that I wasn't as human as I smelled and more than a match for them.

Years had passed since my blood pumped with purpose, that I felt alive and at least for the moment, I had a goal. There was no question the kid could handle the alpha. My part was to keep the encounter fair. And if smashing some heads in worked out some of my aggression, I would savor every second.

I delved into the lessons my brothers and sisters taught me. Every time my fists connected with someone else, I was reminded of what I was born to do, in part, and it was glorious to be evening out the odds so werewolf politics didn't over run into the light of human awareness. Later, I would not be sending only one telegraph. I would craft another to the Red Hoods, reporting this pack who put an adolescent wolf on the streets without guidance or a foster guardian. It should've never happened. That the kid would kick the alpha's ass was already a given in my mind. But in the near future, the alpha's humiliation would be complete when the Red Hoods took his power and his pack away for his irresponsible abandonment of a pup.

In the meant time, I stretched my muscles, giving back three times the bruises I received. When two of the brutes jumped on my back, baring me to the ground, their fists flying as they pummeled me about the head and torso. My rancorous laugh caused them to falter, giving me the opening I needed to turn the tables on them. After throwing them off I rolled to the side, barely dodging the knife now imbedded in the dirt where I'd been laying. Now that the betas were determined to draw blood, play time was over once. As quickly as I could, I incapacitated them one by one, breaking a few bones here and there until I was the only one standing.

Not far from me, the man-child stood over the semi-conscious alpha. Blood was smeared on his knuckles and face but I didn't spy any grievous injuries. I met his eyes, nearly the same shade of blue as mine and simultaneously we smiled. Wallace groaned and the boy kicked him in the head.

I held out my hand to him. "Come away brother, they are not worth our time or our blood." Suspicion crossed his expression, there and gone in the blink of an eye. He didn't know me and I knew he could sense I wasn't a wolf, but he could feel our connection, the familiarity that hummed strongly between us. "I'm called Grim Dolam O Ceallachain," I offered when the awkward quiet stretched between us.

His bright red brows shot up and a smile quirked up a corner of his mouth. "Piss your mum off before you were even born, eh?"

"In a manner of speaking." She had passed into the fade giving birth to me.

My heart thudded as I waited patiently for the lad to decide if he trusted me.

"I was born Farr Clancy, something to do with my father and the color of my hair, not that I would know since I never met the man but…" He took a deep breath, as if trying to get a hold of his runaway mouth. "But those who know me, call me Lalios." He grinned wide. "I happen to talk a lot."

I pointed the way I'd come. "I think this victory calls for a celebration. There's a place I know that serves people like us, if you're interested in a couple of shots of rye whiskey. My treat."

Lalios stepped over the prone bodies as he crossed to me, his eyes alight with mischief. "I'm always up for a good shindig."

I turned and walked alongside of him down the corridor. The aches and pains of my body were making themselves known and for once the sensation was a wondrous feeling.

"Not many men run around Boston in buckskins." Lalios pointed glanced down at my moccasins.

Giving in to the need building in me, I threw my arm across Lalios' shoulder. "That is one very long story that would need more than a couple of shots to tell."

"As it turns out, I have all night."

Looking at him, I was reminded of my eldest brother and the family I'd left behind when I struck out on my own. And when he smiled, like he was now, he put a part of me at ease that I hadn't realized contributed to the pain I'd been carrying around all of these years. The hollowness in my chest was still there and I'd resigned myself that I would have to live with the agony of being separated from the man I once called husband. As excruciating as the pain was, it was still bearable, even more so now because there before me lay a new beginning of sorts.


Seemingly unaware, Lalios leaned into me. I imagined he was just as starved for family as I was. As I smiled over at him, I had an epiphany. Lalios and I would become the best of friends. Inseparable. Perhaps I wouldn't be travelling to see Iron just for a taste of home.

~*~*~

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.

Excerpt Link: https://www.lessthanthreepress.com/excerpt-death-mask/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31923039-death-mask

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

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

What have I been doing? Getting over con-crud. This is the first convention that I have been to that I came away with con-crud. It's not fun. Other than that, I have been attempting to work on Assassin's Retirement and working on some plotting for the Valepsian Pact and I.O.N. I have friends coming in a couple of weeks so I'm going to need to take some time to do some serious cleaning before I have house guests. I think I need a hazmat team to tackle the husband's bathroom. LOL!

What has caught my eye, reading wise?


Title: Be Fairy Game
Series:  Starfig Investigations, 2
Author(s): Meghan Maslow
Length: 378 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / High Fantasy / Humorous / Gay / 

Notes: Releases August 30th

Blurb: They’re baaacckk! 

When a simple ‘find & fetch’ case throws private investigator Twig Starfig and newly-minted wizard, Quinn Broomsparkle, into the middle of an EBI murder investigation, it’s just another day in the Elder Realm.

If murder were Twig’s only problem, he’d be the luckiest half-dragon in the land. Murder he can handle. Fulfilling his promise to his scheming, power-hungry father to run for a seat on Lighthelm’s city council? Meh, he’d rather face a demon with a toothache.

On top of their case going sideways, and Twig running for a council seat he really doesn’t want, Twig and Quinn are forced to face some unpleasant realities about their budding romance, while still learning how to handle the wizard-familiar bond they now share. Throw in a red fury with abysmal taste in boyfriends, a ghost pirate-parrot who drinks too much, a murderer who will stop at nothing to get what they want, a host of new friends and enemies, and you’ve got a situation where no one is safe and everyone is Fairy Game.


*This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone.




Title: Under the Midnight Sun
Series: 
Author(s): Lore Graham
Length: 35k
Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay

Notes: releases August 14th

Blurb: The eldest son of Thunderhill's warrior-kings, Otto Johanson lives for battle but has forsaken love since the death of his partner three years ago. Still when the Midsummer festivities bring nomadic reindeer herders back to town, Otto can't help but notice the handsome, if sullen, Lukas.

Tension rises between them during the annual tournament, but when a terrible attack devastates Thunderhill, Otto and Lukas must put aside their burgeoning rivalry to embark on a dangerous quest that may be the town's only hope of survival.



Title: By Flame
Series: Witches of Portland, 2
Author(s): T. Thorn Coyle
Length: 219 pages
Publisher: PF Publishing (May 8, 2018)

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Gay / Romantic Elements? /

Notes: I didn't realize this was the second book in a series. The first book is By Earth (The Witches of Portland Book 1) Each book seems like it is a standalone and about different characters in this urban fantasy world.

Blurb: He forges justice from the fires of love.

Tobias's life looks perfect: perfect herbalism business, perfect household, perfect coven. But it isn't. His favorite client has just died, and he fears that he failed her, that he's not the healer he wants to be more than anything in the world.

Then Aiden, a shy and gorgeous man with a passion for serving the homeless, stumbles into Tobias's arms and asks for help:

The homeless communities of Portland are under threat. They need healing and protection, and the magic that Tobias has buried deep inside.

With Arrow and Crescent Coven – and the divine intervention of a Goddess whose plan threatens to change all their lives from the inside out – Tobias and Aiden are thrust into a situation that’s out of their control…



Title: Chosen
Series: Chosen Series, 1
Author(s): Stacy Jones
Length: 412 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Aliens / Reverse Harem / 

Notes:

Blurb: One minute Lily is trying, and failing, to run her grandmother’s farm—her last remaining connection to her family. The next, she wakes to find herself in a cold, sterile cage surrounded by monsters, with no memory of how she got there. Accidentally abducted by alien poachers, unsure if she will live or die, she is dreading the worst. What she doesn’t expect is for her captors to dump her on an alien planet to fend for herself. Now, she must fight to survive the planet… or die trying.

Frrar, Tor, and Arruk have been searching endlessly for a mate to belong to, someone to finally accept them, but they are losing hope. The time of cleansing, when the great waters drown the land, draws near. They are on the verge of abandoning their search and fleeing the forest when they spot a strange, tiny, two-armed female. They are immediately drawn to her, fascinated by her differences, but they must act fast to save her life, and their own, from the coming flood.




Title: Night Raven
Series: 
Author(s): Lyssa Hart
Length: 208 pages
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing (September 1, 2009)

Genre: Erotic Romance / Futuristic / Sci-Fi / Paranormal / Reverse Harem / 

Notes: I thought this was a menage. The cover on amazon seems to have been updated.

Blurb: Woman with genetically enhanced male harem/warriors/reverse harem

The pheromones made it possible to track the vixen to lair, but it also wreaked havoc with their sex drives-which no one had counted on. As squad leader, it was Raven's job to keep a cool head, whatever the circumstances, but the ease with which Nika decimated the control of his squad members was unnerving enough to make him wary anyway. 


The woman was dangerous!

Title: Forged in Fire: Paranormal Dating Agency
Series: (The Phoenix Pack Book 1)

Author(s): Sheri Lynn

Length: 125 pages
Publisher: MTW Press (July 18, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay /

Notes:

Blurb: Sypher Delacroix is the leader of a pack of winged creatures that even some shifters believe don’t exist. Their numbers may be small, but pack Alpha has a plan to change that. He knows only one person can help this reclusive group find their mates, Paranormal Dating Agency owner and genius, Gerri Wilder. 

Daegan McKenzie’s life revolves around two things, his grandmother and vengeance. When she asks him to escort her good friend Gerri to visit friends, he reluctantly agrees. Now he is searching for the clues to bring his friend’s killer to justice and travelling with a perceptive and slightly scary woman who just might know more about what makes him tick then he does.

Two lives are about to entwine in ways neither of them expected as they learn that sometimes the ashes of your past can be the foundation of your future.




Title: Changed: Mated to the Alien Alpha
Series: The Omega Colony, 1
Author(s): Robin Moray
Length: 209 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Alpha-Omegaverse / Mpreg / 

Notes:

Blurb: The Company said Omega IV was uninhabited. They said Omega IV was safe.They were wrong.

The giant humanoid inhabitants of Omega IV are conditioned to the Change—a biological event in their development that designates them altha or amekha—but for the new colony of humans, the Change comes as an unpleasant surprise.

Dr Cameron Grant, bitter after a turbulent break-up, finds himself in a first-contact situation that was never covered in training. The alien warrior Tal'jen, seven feet tall and distinctly male, has taken an interest in him, an interest with a clear and pressing conclusion. Dr Grant can't deny his attraction, even as his body undergoes strange and frightening changes. Whatever is happening to him, it's obvious that Tal'jen understands it instinctively. He will have to place himself in the hands of an alien and hope that Tal'jen's interest is as benign as it seems.

Meanwhile, Tal'jen, chief-in-waiting of his people, seeks a mate. The handsome and strange Cam'ren of the newcomers calls to him powerfully, though he has not yet gone through his Change. To be chief Tal'jen must mate with a bearer, so while he longs to claim Cam'ren for his own, he must be patient and hope that Cam'ren's Change will grant him the gift of bearing young.

As the Change spreads through the human colony, leaving chaos in its wake, Cameron and Tal'jen must fight to protect both the delicate bond growing between them, and each other.

This book is first in the Omega Colony series, however it can be read as a stand-alone title. This book features adult content and language, sexual situations, and male pregnancy.




Title: Rabbit on the Run
Series: Dry Lake Pack, 1
Author(s): Jamie Lynn
Length: 137 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / 

Notes: This one peaked my interest with the shifter going blind. Rarely do we see paranormal beings with disabilities.

Blurb: Rohlin, the rabbit shifter is on the run from his former warren after being drugged and attacked by the alpha and his son. Afraid for his life he seeks the relative safety within human civilization. His strong suspicion that he was now pregnant from the attack only adds to his desperate situation. His only hope was to hide where no shifters could find him. That was his plan anyway!

When his failing eye sight causes wolf shifter Kai and his brother Connor to flee their home pack they find themselves part of an unlikely family of humans brought together by a human named Pops. Pop’s crew are motorcycle loving mechanics who become the family and support system that Kai and his brother needed to survive. When there is a shooting in Pop’s Shop that lands Connor in the human hospital, Kai must struggle to hold together his crew while hiding the truth about shifters from the humans around them.

Rohlin never expected to find his true mates scent in the aftermath of a bloody crime scene. While trying to track the scent of his mate he is found by members of the Dry Lake Pack and is taken to their pack lands. Meanwhile Kai, Connor, and the rest of the crew struggle with the aftermath of the shooting. They soon join the Dry Lake Pack and when their two paths cross, they both know they have found their true mate.

Can they overcome their own pasts and their current challenges to make a future for themselves with the Dry Lake Pack?




Title: The Horned God
Series: Crown Jewels, 3
Author(s): Ophelia Cox
Length: 137 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (July 12, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Fantasy / 

Notes: Whoops! I thought this was the first one in the series when I pulled it off the MLR website. Amazon says its the 3rd. Looking at thes closer, Prick of the Spindle (The Crown Jewels Book 1) is the first book in the series. 

Blurb: Prince Lewin has to spend his days walking two steps behind his brother, the future king of Bavaria, and pretending to enjoy it. His life is a series of dull days of being the spare and not the heir. He has resigned himself to the fact that no one prefers him, when they could have someone else. Until he meets Krampus. The God from the Alpine tribefolks' winter stories is alive and well in the Bavarian mountains, and has set his sights on the younger prince. Lewin soon finds himself falling for the man who is supposed to be a myth. But it has its own set of consequences. And with the Black Plague spreading fast across the continent, can Lewin and Krampus find some middle ground to grow their love?



Title: The Harem
Series: 
Author(s): M.H. Silver
Length: 430 pages
Publisher: Silver Heart Publishing (June 4, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Poly / Omegaverse / Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / Gay / 

Notes:

Blurb: Lust. Love. One omega, the three men who want him in their beds. And a spell so dangerous it might kill them all.

Elliot is an omega working with three powerful men. His skills make him invaluable to creating powerful spells. The men he works for want to take down the Order, the organization that betrayed them. With their abilities put together they just might pull it off.

Sweet and wicked Jacob, brimming with magic that draws Elliot to his bed.
Refined and intelligent Taryn, who shows him what it means to make love.
And enigmatic Matthias, destroyer of all he touches—including, maybe, Elliot.
Every moment he spends with them only increases his desire.

Together, they’re powerful beyond all measure. And their plan to destroy the Order just might work.

Elliot said yes for the money, but now he’s in over his head. It turns out that when you sleep with three powerful men—you just might wind up pregnant.

Getting out alive will take everything they’ve got. Elliot swears to protect all of the men he loves—and in doing so, bargains with his child’s future.

Because the only thing more powerful than all of them is the baby he carries...

***

The Harem is a novel about an omega who can’t choose between three men. But he doesn’t have to choose. He gets them all.

This is a 100,000 word steamy novel in a hot new subgenre. Welcome to the harem!




Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Pact Days: Atlainticia Maps #ValespianPact


I drew my first map of Atlainticia while writing Alpha Trine. Since then, I have been expanding on it, bit by bit. There is only one land mass on the planet and it has four major cities along the coastline and many hamlets inland that serve the farmers and cultivators, but those are never far from the Waters of Poseidon. Most Mar'Sani need water and chose to live by lakes and streams but they do travel to the coastline at lease once a week. The oceans covers about 70-71% of the planet and divided up in seas and oceans. Waters of Poseidon is all the water claimed by Poseidon, so to speak. 


With each book and the additional world building and plotting that I have been doing, I needed to expand my meager map which only included Thrace, the mountain range, and the military base. I needed Mount Rhodes where the Mar'sani climb a cliff to obtain the birth bed for the youngling on the way. In Alpha Trine, Zeus compares something to Inferno which is a volcano in the center of the content. In Striker it is mentioned that sages live in the desert. Mar'Sani have been exiled away from the Waters, so there will be other communities more central to the continent. So as the story grows, I will create a bigger map showing more about Atlainticia and her people. 


I think as it expands I'm going to have to start taping pages together. This second photo is an expanded part with more detailed map than the first. The paper is too big for my scanner so I had to take a picture. I will have to make a scaled down version of the continent as a whole and then make 'zoomed in' portions, I think. I won't go so crazy and make a city street map of Thrace. I really don't need it since nothing major will take place there... but I can't say it hasn't crossed my mind once or twice. :)


The one thing I like to do is make parts of the map on scrap paper. I can test out size and placement before putting them on the main pages. This one was drawn because I needed figure out what was where for an 'adventurous' crash landing. It's still a work in progress and I think as I write it, there will be more details because though I have to plot a little bit (lot), I still end up pantsing some as I write. 

Well! I hope you enjoyed the look into the maps of Atlainticia. Making maps for my world is a fun thing that I like to do, but the maps don't always make it into the front of the book. Sometimes they are only necessary for me so that I get the details right every time I write about the area. It is fun sharing them, though. :)

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Flash Fiction: The Balck Harbinger's Universe Prequel


This will make more sense if you have read the prequel #1, Rejected.


Copyright © 2016 Lexi Ander


Opium and Lung

Boston 1910

The blue-gray haze of pipe smoke clouded the air, coating my tongue with every inhale. Three days ago I entered the docks searching for a particular ship. I'd heard a vessel from Chinese Empire was sitting in the harbor and it took only a couple of well-placed questions and a bit of money to find a boat that would take me to her. The ribbed red sails had stood out like a beacon in the light of the dying sun.

Normally, I wouldn't give a damn. I'm no ship lover. The only vessel I'd been on was the one that set sail from my homeland to the Americas. But the rumor was this particular ship had hosted a Chinese Lung, a fabled wyrm and type of dragon shifter that didn't often leave the lush forest of their birth. The handful who did were known far and wide for the quality of their opium stash. I was more than interested in tasting the seed that was rumored to make a man forget. Oh, God above, how I needed to forget.

But as I lay on the mound of silk cushions staring at the faded wood of the ship's rafters, already the blessed numbness was receding and the crisp pain crushing me returned. Nothing I'd taken part in for the last ten years had relieved the agony of being rejected and betrayed by my husband. Neither drink nor food nor tonic nor smoke, no matter how potent or mind twisting, gave me relief for long. The open wound in my chest where my heart was supposed to be was hallow, never healing the interminable ache left in the wake of abandonment. Fucking warlock. The opium had been my last hope at oblivion and yet again I was denied. Perhaps my fate was to walk alone, a punishment for putting my faith in a person of gray magic. I only wanted to forget his face, his scent, and the touch of his skin against mine, but it seemed my desire would never be fulfilled.

The silk drapes fluttered and the meager candlelight flickered even though I felt no draft. "I see you are lucid, Irishman. I would encourage you to take another toke or two but—" When I'd first arrived, I'd expected accented English but had been surprised by the fluidity in which the dragon spoke.

The shadow of my benefactor moved behind the sheer material, the only barrier that separated him from me, never quite giving me a peek at the shifter. I'd been in the belly of his ship for three days and I'd yet seen him face to face. Come to think of it, neither had he shared his name. Not that I cared. I wasn't there to partake in social niceties. I paid for my opium and he'd watched me imbibe. More than once, I heard scales slide along the planks as he moved, pacing back and forth as if waiting for something. Still partially floating in the clouds, I wondered if he couldn't look fully human. Perhaps that was the reason he didn't show himself. He didn't need to hide from me but he didn't know that. Shifters only scented the human in me, nothing else. I didn't want to encourage familiarity between us, so I kept what I was to myself, allowing the dragon to draw his own conclusions even though he was wrong.

The shifter stopped his pacing behind the panel nearest my feet. Futilely, I squinted attempting to see through the gauzy material. "You have a strong will and body." His pleasure was obvious in the tone of his voice. "I've seen men bigger than you who were unable to handle the quantity you consumed in an hour, never mind what you smoked these past several days." The shifter took up pacing again, his movements fluid, like a rolling marble across a smooth surface.

Even though my mind was clearing, my body was lax, a dead weight when I attempted to move. "I paid good coin for the smoke." My voice came out raspy, as if dried out by all the heated air I'd inhaled.

"Your coin is no what I wish to speak of." The sound of clacking teeth, as if the dragon gnashed the air, caused me to halt my attempt to rise.

All the time I'd spent in the shifter's company he'd only been calm and curiously watchful, until now. I didn't know much about Lungs or dragons in general, only what I'd heard and that was sorely little.

"Be at ease." The last word was more of a hiss, barely recognizable. "I'm merely excited. I haven't met one as strong as you in centuries. There have been rumors… but I didn't imagine I would cross one of your kind who wasn't attached to a family."

Alarm bells sounded in my head. That more than anything else burned the lingering stupor away, leaving me stone cold sober. I sank into the cushions, schooling my expression into bland indifference. The shifter wasn't fooled and he gave a hissy laugh. I surreptitiously scented the air, attempting to get a whiff of my opium benefactor.

I threw away caution, needing to know what the shifter wanted of me. "You know who I am?"

"Oh, I know what you are. I've heard tell of a child of your ilk who'd wandered into the western wilderness nigh ten years ago. Some said he searched for his heart's desire, other claimed he ran from the calamity that swallowed his hearth and home after the deepest of betrayals. Fewer still spread rumors that he sought to meet death. But here you sit in my lair, numbing a pain so deep I easily sense the poignancy and depth."

The sheer material rippled again, the shifter's shadow darkening the silk the closer he came to me. Fingers curled around the edge of the cloth and for the first time I glimpsed a part of the shifter. His skin was the color of gold bullion; dainty scales covered the length of his fingers between the joints. A thick, black braid longer than my arm dangled in view when the shifter peered around the fabric. His golden-brown eyes flickered between human and reptilian as if the shifter struggled to hold his shape.

"I search for a… companion. Someone to stand by my side as guardian and lover."

I snorted out a laugh and was mesmerized how the shifter's eye crinkled as he shared my unbecoming mirth. "I am not the strong man you believe me to be."

"I beg to differ Grim Misery. If you've carried this level of pain with you for as long as the rumors suggest, then you are indeed immensely strong. You would father fine children. Even if you didn't wish to stay with me forever," he hurriedly added after a brief pause. "Our offspring would be the envy of our world. Imagine a Lung with your coloring being able to take flight. No longer the wyrm relegated to the ground but with wings and able to take to the sky."

The wistful quality of the shifter's voice told me he wanted a family desperately even though he'd offered an out. I couldn't be who or what he wanted. A warlock had worked his way under my skin and I couldn't get rid of him. Besides what the shifter spoke of—a flying drake—they had died out long ago, before the human population exploded over the Earth. Where would no place for such in this new world, but for some reason I couldn't tell him so. I blamed my softheartedness on the linger effects of the opium.

"I cannot." I struggled to sit, suddenly feeling ridiculous amidst the mound of brilliantly colored pillows. I looked around, finally seeing what I'd been oblivious to when I'd entered seeking relief. He'd called this place his lair and indeed it was. Luxurious, decorated to appeal and seduce and I hadn't noticed any of the subtle hints, didn't question why a shifter would allow me onto his vessel with no questions asked. I'd been lucky the ship wasn't operated by brigands. If I'd been captured and sold underground to someone who could suss out who and what I was, such as the dragon had, then… I didn't want to think about the consequences. I wouldn't be luck enough to be saved again.

The shifter was diminutive but suddenly, he seemed to loom as if he was twice my size. My blood ran cold and I watched his every move warily. "Cannot or will not?" he asked, steel in his tone.

"Cannot," I reaffirmed. Watching as the silk in his grip tore when his claws unsheathed. "You search for someone to share your life and bed with. I won't mislead you. I'm tethered to another, whether I like it or not."

The dragon released the bolt of cloth and he moved away. I didn't know why I spoke but there was something itching to be released and I gave into the impulse without thinking it through. "There is another like me, without a family. He helped me, sobered me up about a year ago." And kicked my butt for the selfishness of my pursuit of oblivion. Shame swamped me at the thought of what he'd have said if he saw me now. "He lives out west in South Dakota, a Ute by the name of Iron Lightning. He lives on a butte on the Cheyenne River Reservation. He's not… not broken like I am."

I glanced away from the shifter's shadow, wondering if giving this dragon Iron's location was a mistake. It didn't feel like one but neither did I feel as if I bumbled when handfasted a warlock.

"He is like you? And would be open to my request?" The shifter pressed close to the sheer curtain, his slender frame definitely not ending in a pair of legs.

"I'm not going to court him for you. Besides, you might take one look at him and how he lives and walk away. If you truly want a partner, then you're going to have to put in the work. I can tell you right now, if you try to win him with opium, he'll walk away from you." Deciding that I needed to leave before I said anything more, I rolled woozily to my knees and carefully climbed to my feet. Once I'd ascertained I wouldn't topple flat on my face, I brushed down the buckskins I hadn't bothered to exchange for eastern duds when I reached civilization. Slowly, I headed toward the stairs that led to the deck.

"My thanks, Grim Misery," the dragon called after me almost cheerily. "If you are ever in need, give my name to the ruling snake shifter clan and I will come."

I scowled over my shoulder. What he offered as a boon beyond measure, especially after I'd shunned his advances. "You never gave me your name."

"You are one of a few who will have it." The statement was followed by a weighted pause that warned me to keep what he would reveal to myself. "I'm called Jian Chin. For the information you gave me, I will give you some in exchange. I'll have my man drop you off near Eastern Avenue. There is… someone there who you need to meet."

I was tempted to throw the curtains aside and follow Jian Chin as he retreated. I wasn't sure I wanted to meet this person he spoke of. But as I contemplated my course of action, the sound of a door closing and the bar set in place told me that avenue of action was closed to me. Grumbling under my breath, I climbed the steep steps and was unsurprisingly met on deck by a grizzled old man who ushered me off the vessel into a long boat.

As the half dozen men at the oars rowed, I glance back at the ship to see someone in red silk robes standing on deck watching me being taken away. I had the sudden feeling this would not be the last time I saw Jian Chin.


~*~*~

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.




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