Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter 34, Part 1 #blogstory #amwriting #gentleman #ION


Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement. Did you know that this little blog story is not so little? With this chapter, the story is at 72k. Wow! I never expected it to be this long. I estimate another 20k... but I'm not sure since I haven't decided where the story should stop. I might just to have to wait and see. :)

Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Thirty-Four


Zane was pulled to the table as if compelled. The cases were humming, and he cocked his, listening. He heard a soft sound, perhaps voices and he became convinced that if he concentrated hard enough, he would understand what they were saying.

He ran his hands over the surface. The trunks were old, covered with leather, brass tacks holding the material in place as well as forming designs that made Zane think of runes. He was careful not to touch the symbols, not sure why, but always willing to follow his instincts.

A noise from the living room caught his attention. Without turning his head, Zane looked out of the corner of his eye to see Duvan staring at him intently. He resolved to ensure Duvan met his end before he was taken off the mountain. He should have just tied him back to the bed and forced more tea down his throat. Now Duvan knew about Diego. Passing through the shadow earlier, he had picked up on how protective Tezcatlipoca was towards Diego, and oddly Zane felt the same. Duvan was too interested in what Zane was doing which did not bode well.

Zane could not open the cases with an audience who he was beginning to sense was more spy than prisoner. Skyld emerged from the dark hall, shirtless and scratching his belly. Yawning, he took in Alonzo holding Diego's hands and the people around them. He scowled at Duvan who gave a token whimper and cowered back into the cushions of the chair, though his eyes said he was anything but scared.

When Skyld's gaze landed on Zane, he crossed to stand close enough to whisper in his ear. "Tez woke me up. Said you needed back up." At Zane's incredulous expression, Skyld's lips twitched as if he wanted o smile. "Not in so many words." He glanced down at the cases and cocked his head as if listening.

"Can you hear the murmuring?" Zane asked, curious. Could he hear the noise because he was a scion, or perhaps he was sensitive to magical things since he had been made a patron?

"I haven't heard something like that since I was a child," Skyld said softly.

Behind Skyld, Zane watched Duvan strain to hear what they talked about. Decided, he placed his hand on Skyld's bare arm before he could say more. "Help me put these away."

Zane picked up the largest one, finding it much lighter than he anticipated. Skyld stacked the last two cases atop each other. Denise watched them with a laughing almost smug expression that turned to incredulity when Skyld easily lifted both trunks. There was something he was missing but he was reluctant to say anything in front of Duvan. He cut his eyes toward el Chupacabra and Denise followed the motion, her own gaze narrowing, mouth compressing a thin line at Duvan's watchfulness.

He went to the pantry and once Skyld followed him inside, closed the door before heading to the walk-in freezer. Skyld followed without comment. With the door closed behind them again, Zane crossed to the back corner and swung a shelving unit away from the wall on silent hinges. A key pad was revealed under a stainless-steel covering that matched the wall. Once the code was entered, the hidden door opened, and he motioned for Skyld to proceed him into a short hallway, lights flickering on with their movement. Swinging the shelving back into place, and perhaps it didn't matter since they would return to the main rooms by the same route, but he made sure the door closed and locked behind him. One could never be too careful.

Skyld had followed the lighting to an open room that held Zane's spare weapons and his electronic security. The only available counter space was the desk. Skyld pushed the laptop to the side and set his cases down before glancing at the wall of flat-screen monitors. Each one showed various views from the cameras Zane had situated throughout the house and property.

"I wondered how 'retired' you were," Skyld said, glancing around to the locked weapon's cages.

Zane scoffed. "I am retired."

"Yeah. Sure. Every other citizen has a secret room like this," Skyld teased. "I guess with all the trouble you continually draw your way, you would need all of this."

"Wasn't it you who taught me to always be prepared?"

"And here I thought you only listened to half the things I told you." Skyld playfully bumped his shoulder against Zane's, his expression fond.

He had missed this banter with Skyld, had missed Skyld period, rarely getting to see him once Zane had been returned to his so-called uncle. He liked that Skyld was tied to him through Tezcatlipoca. Though he was unsure how this new future would unfold, Zane would not regret the choices he had made.

"We should probably take a look at the mantles," Zane said after a couple of moments of simply basking in their shared comfortable silence.

He glanced at the monitors and used the laptop to bring up the three cameras angles of the living room. He isolated those views so they wouldn't flip through to the other cameras, allowing him to watch over Alonzo… and Duvan.

"Are you concerned about el Chupacabra?" Skyld had always been intuitive when it came to Zane's inner thoughts.

He told Skyld what Alonzo and Tezcatlipoca had revealed about Diego, Duvan there to overhear it all.

"We need to take him out then," Skyld correctly surmised.

"That is going to be tricky," Zane replied. "Even if I left an opening for him to escape, he is shackled to Denise." He suspected Duvan would take any escape offered. He could then track Duvan and eliminated the threat to Diego. No one would find the body. "I'm pretty sure they won't be open to giving him back to me. It's my fault. I brought him out of the bedroom after I caught him attempting to escape. At the time, I thought it would be better if I could keep my eyes on him. Now he knows too much, and he has been too attentive to what is going on."


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
Chapter Sixteen - Maricoxi Guardians
Chapter Seventeen - Coincidence?
Chapter Eighteen, Part One - Guns Ablazin'
Chapter Eighteen, Part Two
Chapter Nineteen, Part One - Reckoning
Chapter Nineteen, Part Two
Chapter Twenty - Mercy
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Three
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 1

Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 2

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter Thirty-Three, Part Three #amwriting #ION #gentleman #blogstory


So, last week I got sick and decided that I would take some time off. I'm feeling better, but I'm going to take the rest of this week off as I had originally planned. But not to worry, the next part of Assassin's Retirement is ready. Enjoy!!


Copyright Lexi Ander


Cord helped Duvan to his feet and they led him to the living room where everyone waited. Midnight sat on one of the large sofas next to Alonzo. Diego sat on the other side of Alonzo but not close enough to touch. Beck leaned against the arm rest closest to Diego since there wasn't room for Beck on the couch as well. Denise was looking through the little trinkets Zane had placed on the mantle over the fire. When they exited the hall, Alonzo's eyes widened, and he made to rise, but Zane motioned him back down. Duvan was sat in a chair closest to everyone. Denise pulled what looked like a couple of engraved bracelets from her back packet and approached the Chupacabra. When Duvan noticed what she held, he attempted to flee but Cord hadn't yet let him go and Duvan was jerked back into the chair. With practiced ease, Denise had one bracelet snapped on Duvan's wrist and the other on hers.

"There you go." Her smile was hard and inflexible. "He won't be going anywhere or changing as long as he's attached to me."

Duvan snarled, before Cord or Zane could grab him again, he lunged for Denise. Denise didn't even dodge and soon Zane knew why when Duvan ran into something unyielding before he reached her. His outstretched hands buckled as if he'd crashed into a wall, and he hissed in pain holding his arms close to his chest.

"Sit your stinky ass down," Denise snarled, pushing him back into the chair. "Don't move from there until I tell you."

When Zane glanced at Cord, he nodded and remained behind Duvan. He didn't know what Denise's bracelets did, so he would make sure one of his guys were watching Duvan until he was taken off the property. Relying on Cord to watch his back, Zane crossed to the couch and sat on the coffee table face Alonzo and Diego.

"Alonzo, what did you mean when you said the shamans disappeared?" Zane started, by passing any pleasantries.

Alonzo shrugged as if uncomfortable. "They died, I think. At the time, I had been broken from my tribe and was going from tribe to tribe. Some went foraging and never returned to their tribe, their bodies never found. They quit being born to the Maricoxi, their abilities lost over the eras and no one understood why. They disappeared as if we were cursed." Alonzo looked at Diego, settling more firmly against Midnight as if he needed the comfort. "The native peoples had medicine men, but their abilities were different. You feel familiar, like you are Maricoxi, but you aren't. And even though you are not Maricoxi, I know you are a true shaman."

"Not that I think that you would purposely hurt Diego, but how can you know, Alonzo?" Beck said. "Like you said, Diego isn't the same as you. How can he have something only found in your people?"

Alonzo looked confused and troubled.

"There is no question that Diego is a shaman," Zane interjected before Alonzo could doubt himself.

"Then He confirmed it?" Alonzo asked, looking relieved.

"Yes, and we are to help," Zane confirmed.

Beck scowled. "Who are you talking about? Did you call someone?" When Beck went to stand, Zane motioned for him to stay and was surprised when Beck obeyed. Beck looked both shocked and frustrated. "How did you do that?"

"He is my patron and you are in his territory. Here, his is word is law," Alonzo explained.

Zane ignored Beck's distrustful frown. The only person that mattered was Diego, who watched everything with curiosity but no apprehension.

"He has to learn what he is and can do from somewhere," Denise said into the silence. She moved to stand behind Diego, giving him her support even as she met Zane's gaze. "Sorry for all of this, it's just we have been searching for answers. Diego's abuela sent him some old books and his padre told him what he knew of the family and what they could do, but he only knows so much since his craft never emerged. Diego could learn from his abuela. She's as strong as Diego, we think, but she… we don't know if we can trust her."

She didn't say anything that Zane hadn't suspected.

"I know I am a type of seer," Diego added. "I have spent the last few months learning how to control it through trial and error. But it sounds like a shaman is something more. And I feel as if I am running out of time. My brother, Hector, has been missing for some time. If I can harness my ability and learn what I can and cannot do, then I will finally be able to bring my brother home before the person holding him hostage kills him.

Diego's brown eyes begged for understanding and compassion. Zane did understand. He would turn the world over to get Skyld back if someone took him.

"Why can't ION help you?" Zane asked out of curiosity. The organization Alonzo used to work for policed Others. Surely they would help out one of their own officers.

"The organization was infiltrated with a mole who reported to that piece of shit holding Hector," Denise said. "There was a… The story is too long. Just know that we don't know who we can trust, and we definitely don't want them to know what Diego can do."

"His secret is safe with us," Zane vowed. He made a note to ask Alonzo why he left ION as well as why he called this team for help and not anyone else.

Beck still looked skeptical and Zane could empathize. He protected Diego just as Zane protected his guys. Words would not sway Beck, only action, and that was something Zane could agree with Beck on.

"Since Diego isn't blooded, like Alonzo said, touching Alonzo or any others can hurt him." Zane had gleaned a little bit from his brief touch with Tezcatlipoca. Those who couldn't control their gift would over time get migraines then, eventually, develop brain tumors. The Maricoxi shamans who lived outside the protection of the tribe died of such ailments. Being blooded by Tezcatlipoca protected the individual, but Zane was pretty sure that Diego would balk at what needed to be done in order to save his life. He would also be able to control his abilities more easily. At sometime in the future, Diego would have to make a decision. Today would be for learning, not lecturing.

"I no longer see anything when I touch Denise or Beck," Diego replied. "They are safe for me. What is this blooded thing you and Alonzo brought up? I don't know what that is."

"When you touch me, you will see," Alonzo replied. He held out his hand. "If you are ready."

Diego didn't even hesitate, he took Alonzo's hand and they both stiffened, staring into each other eyes not blinking.

"This will take a while," Zane said, standing. "Alonzo wasn't kidding when he said he's been a live a long time. You might want to get a room in town for tonight." Zane glanced at Duvan who was watching them all with interest. Perhaps Duvan needed to have an accident? He'd overheard too much by Zane's estimation. "Would you like something to drink or eat?"

Denise and Beck both declined, and Zane went to the frig to grab a soda. The three leather-bound cases on the table met his gaze after he took several long gulps of pop. Covering his mouth, he belched several times. He might as well see what the cases held while he still had people on hand who could answer any questions he had.


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
Chapter Sixteen - Maricoxi Guardians
Chapter Seventeen - Coincidence?
Chapter Eighteen, Part One - Guns Ablazin'
Chapter Eighteen, Part Two
Chapter Nineteen, Part One - Reckoning
Chapter Nineteen, Part Two
Chapter Twenty - Mercy
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Three
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 1

Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 2

Saturday, January 12, 2019

What is on the Reading Radar? #TBR #WishList

What am I up to? Well, I took some time off. I still have a couple of days but thought I would go ahead and make today's Reading Radar. I already missed last week's partially due to being sick on my vacation. I'm feeling better now. :)

I have to say that I haven't been doing a lot of reading-reading while on vacation. It's mostly been audiobooks. I set up part of this Radar up before I decided I needed some time off, so it doesn't include some of the books that were on my weekly reading list. I'm a mood reader and when I got ill, what I wanted to read changed from what I had planned to read. :D


Title: Rebellion
Series: The Exalted, 1
Author: Rachel White
Length: 260 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press, LLC (November 21, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Gay / Pansexual / 

Notes: 

Blurb: When Rallis's country, Adesa, is invaded by the technologically-advanced sky nation of Jev, all he wants is to keep his head down, avoid attention, and survive. That would be easier if Rallis wasn't half-Jevite, and his cousin weren't muttering about rebellion.

Then Rallis is approached by Amun, a soldier in the Jevite legion, who is seeking an opponent in the game kha. Though Rallis would prefer not to be anywhere near him, he reluctantly agrees—and discovers Amun to be friendly, kind, and intelligent. As they continue to play khas, the two grow steadily closer, and Rallis finds his allegiances torn.

Then his cousin is arrested for resistance, and Rallis's world completely falls apart.




Title: Whispering Universe
Series: 
Author: Taylor Puckett
Length: 36 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Poly / Bisexual / 

Notes: 

Blurb: Debra is bored of her life. There is nothing interesting about it, that is until her best friend Tamika persuades her to accompany her to a beach party. While there, Debra meets this handsome guy that she immediately has a crush on. Being lonely, she falls for him and they head out down the beach. Little does she know that she has just met the most handsome and passionate aliens. She is totally swept away.

Ethan and Chris are from another planet that have been sent by their king to capture human slaves. Everything is going according to plan until they meet Debra and discover that she can offer them something that they cannot get back home, passion.

WARNING: This book contains mature language and content intended for 18+ readers only!




Title: Undying
Series: Valos of Sonhadra, 7
Author: Tiffany Roberts
Length: 
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Alien / 

Notes: This is romance in a shared universe and can be read as a standalone.

Blurb: BRINGER OF DEATH…

Orishok is the last of his kind — a valo shaped by the Creators to embody death. He’s stood vigil over his people for centuries, watching them fade away, one by one succumbing to the entropic energies they hold inside. With his slightest touch unwillingly bringing death to all living things, he has remained isolated in his people’s city, his heart as empty as the buildings around him…until a pale, slight female arrives and shakes the foundations of his world.

GIVER OF LIFE…

Quinn Dalton lost everything when she was convicted of murder — her sister, her niece, her budding career — but it isn’t until she’s transferred to an interstellar penitentiary that she realizes her very life is no longer her own. Her existence aboard the Concord is a nightmare, broken only when the station is torn through a wormhole and crash lands on an alien world. After waking up alone and bloodied, but somehow unharmed, she seeks shelter in an abandoned city — where she discovers an ancient, wondrous mystery. Can she survive alongside a being whose touch means death? 


-------------------------------------------------
Undying is M/F.
-------------------------------------------------
The Valos of Sonhadra series is the shared vision of nine sci-fi and fantasy romance authors. Each book is a standalone, containing its own Happy Ever After, and can be read in any order.




Title: Forbidden Pursuits
Series: The Galactic Captains, 2
Author: Harry F. Rey
Length: 164 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay / Multiple Partners / 

Notes: 

Blurb: When Daeron’s mother, Captain Sanya, is offered a risky but lucrative job, rescuing an experimental galinium scientist from Aldegar, the lost loves lurking in her past mean she must send Daeron away to the other end of the galaxy—to the father he’s never met on the Kyleri Empire’s capital, Jiwani.

On Jiwani, the heir to the galaxy’s most powerful empire, Prince Osvai, balances deference to rigid Kyleri customs with his desire to explore the forbidden secrets of the Royal Baths, and the dark pursuits no prince should have.

But when a mysterious stranger from the Outer Verge turns up to work with his ambitious Uncle Viscamon, Osvai’s temptations lead him into a web of intrigue that could change the Galactic Balance forever.

As Sanya, Daeron, and Osvai pursue their forbidden desires, they become entwined in a galactic power struggle stretching from the frozen tundra of Jansen to the searing memories of Captain Ales’s lost homeworld, Teva.

They’ll soon discover all love has consequence, and the more forbidden the desires, the more deadly the pursuits.




Title: Eye of the Beholder
Series: 
Author: M.D. Grimm
Length: 153 pages
Publisher: Dreaspinner Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Vampires / Shifters / Gay / 

Notes: Release Date Feb 8th

Blurb: Is it better to risk it all… or never know what could have been?

After surviving an abusive childhood, Vulcan remade himself upon arriving in Los Angeles, California. He became a blacksmith for the paranormal community and strives to earn the respect of the vampire covens and werewolf packs that call LA home. He also prevents the pain of loss by keeping everyone at arm’s length.

But he never planned on meeting a former Roman soldier by the name of Marcus Cassius Vespillo. Something sparks between them and turns into a friendship he never considered possible. He can’t deny his intense attraction to the intelligent, courteous, ancient vampire. And it scares him.

Though Vulcan is wary of seeking more with Cassius, an attack leaves him at death’s door and forces him to reexamine his priorities. But Cassius has his own secret, one that promises tragedy and loss. And if that wasn’t enough, a slayer arrives in the States, one with a bloody connection to Cassius… and Vulcan himself.




Title: Going Rogue
Series: 
Author: Kass Barrow
Length: 189 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay / 

Notes: Honestly, I'm still on the fence about this one since it mentions one MC is ace and at the end it says erotic romance. 

Blurb: He came to save mankind. Falling in love wasn't part of the equation.

Inside every human on this planet is a genetic time bomb that’s already started ticking. A gene planted inside of us seven million years ago by a being known as the Caretaker has mutated causing many of today’s common disorders, first in the brain and then in other less complex organs. Next it will spread to the reproductive system, leading to the eventual annihilation of mankind.

The only one who can save us is the Caretaker’s son.

From a race of near-immortal asexuals, the Caretaker’s son must adopt human form to fulfil his mission and save our race. Having studied humans from afar all of his life, the Caretaker’s son is excited at the prospect of his brief visit to Earth, but once in human form he is subjected to the full gamut of human emotions—something he is ill-equipped to cope with—and that’s when things start to unravel.

He isn’t meant to fall in love.
Especially not with a human male.

Blake Denby doesn’t believe in extra-terrestrials. He believes in hot sex and pizza, followed by more hot sex. When an intriguing stranger turns up at the hotel where he works as receptionist, all he can think about is sharing hot sex, pizza and more hot sex with the gorgeous boy with the piercing blue eyes.

They say be careful what you wish for, but never has it been more true. The Caretaker’s son can only maintain his transient human form for a limited time and then he must return home. As his and Blake’s lives become inexorably entangled, their growing attraction to each other can surely only lead to heartbreak and could ultimately affect the survival of the entire human race.

Can love find a way against such odds?

GOING ROGUE is an erotic gay romance of approx. 40,000 words.




Title: Hidden Depths
Series: Mermen & Magic, 5
Author: LM Brown
Length: 323 pages
Publisher: Pride Publishing (October 30, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Paranormal / Mermen / Gay / 

Notes: 

Blurb: FROM POPULAR GAY ROMANCE AUTHOR L.M. BROWN

Book five in the Mermen and Magic series

Lost beneath the ocean, Atlantis has become a myth. When it rises from the deep everything will change for Kyle, Finn and the merpeople.

Jake Seabrook, a human descendant of Medina, the Atlantean Goddess of Love, never asked for magical powers. Unfortunately, not only does he have them, but they are also growing stronger as more of the Atlantean gods wake from their long slumber.

When Jake develops the power to hear the thoughts of anyone thinking about love, lust or sex, it is strange and embarrassing, but also reveals cracks in his relationship with his mermen lovers, Kyle and Finn. If they are going to continue to live as a ménage, they will have to learn to be honest with each other.

With Jake’s powers out of control and their relationship on shaky ground, the last thing any of them need is a crisis in the sunken city.

The Atlantean gods want to regain the powers they lost when the Atlantean people were banished from the city, but the solution will leave the mer who live in the city no choice but to evacuate and search for a new home or risk exposing the existence of the mer to the whole world.

Kyle and Finn return to Atlantis to help with the evacuation and insure the safety of their families, but time is not on their side. When Atlantis rises, the consequences could tear apart their ménage forever.




Title: Joseph
Series: Clan Companions
Author: Tracy St. John
Length: 170 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay

Notes: 

Blurb: Released from a criminal psychiatric unit on the planet Kalquor, Joseph Walker starts his life over with the fierce Nobek who scares and entices him in equal measure. Coming from a society where same-sex attraction was punished by death, Joseph finds openly loving another man filled with its share of obstacles. He and Almon are committed to each other, but is it enough?Making matters worse, Almon is not the only Kalquorian enthralled with Joseph. The Earther’s other would-be suitor is determined to go through Almon to get what he wants. He will stop at nothing to take Joseph from Almon…even kill.



Title: In the Lion's Den
Series: 
Author: Abigail Kade
Length: 168 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Dark? Romance / Paranormal / Gay 

Notes: I put dark because it sounds dark and violent...

Blurb: Danial “Nial” Rourke is the oldest son of a criminal shifter family, but wants nothing to do with the family business. As a rare pureblood shifter with no abilities, he's treated as human and is able to live a relatively normal life. One night out with his brother to celebrate his graduation changes everything. Now, Nial is a convicted murderer and his pureblood status means he'll be going to Starke Penitentiary for criminal beasts. The high stone walls, human prejudice, and the worst of the shifter world make it a deadly place for someone like Nial. If his father can't pull some strings and get Nial protection, he'll never make his next birthday alive. 

Ezekiel “Ze” de Koening is Nial's only chance for survival. He's gruff, intimidating, and a rare lion shifter, indifferent one minute and protective the next. But Ze soon seems to grow fond of his new cellmate, saying Nial's too pretty and weak to survive on his own. He'll babysit, for now. Just when things seem to settle into a routine, Nial is forced to confide in his protector. He’s much more than he claims to be, and he's holding onto some deep secrets. And Nial is sure Ze is keeping secrets of his own. Secrets that could be deadly.

When the violence inside escalates, and their world unexpectedly explodes, there’s only one way out for either of them. Through an unimaginable trial, freedom finally comes. But freedom will come with an unexpected price, neither one was prepared to pay.




Title: The Spirit Key
Series: Lock and Key, 1
Author: Parker Williams
Length: 229 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (January 15, 2019)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / 

Notes: 

Blurb: When he was eight years old, Scott Fogel died. Paramedics revived him, but he came back changed. Ghosts and spirits tormented Scott for over a decade until, thinking he was going mad, he did the only thing he could.

He ran—leaving behind his best friend, Tim Jennesee.

Scott’s had five normal, ghost-free years in Chicago, when the spirit of Tim’s mother comes to him and begs him to go home because Tim’s in trouble and needs him.

He isn’t prepared for what he finds when he goes home—a taller and sexier Tim, but a Tim who hasn’t forgiven Scott for abandoning him… a Tim whose body is no longer his own. The ghost of a serial murderer has attached itself to Tim, and it’s whispering dark and evil things. It wants Tim to kill, and it’s becoming harder for Tim to resist. To free the man who has always meant so much to him, Scott must unravel the mystery of the destiny he shares with Tim.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter Thirty Three, Part Two #amwriting #ION #gentleman #blogstory


Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement! Ha! Ha! This part is what gave me problems in the next chapter...


Copyright Lexi Ander


Before Alonzo could say more, there were heavy footsteps on the porch, then a rough knock on the frame of the open doorway before Beck entered carrying a very large case. Cord and Midnight, who had been standing at the kitchen bar, hurried over to take the container from Beck and set it on the dining table. Denise and Diego followed closely, carrying similar sized cases. Zane closed the door behind them, shutting out the blowing snow.

Diego crossed back to where Alonzo stood, holding out his hand. "Sorry about earlier. I am Diego Hernandez, team leader as well as Beck's life partner."

Alonzo stared at Diego's hand with trepidation as if it was a snake about to strike. "Shaman," he said with no small amount of respect. "You should not be touching anyone."

Diego's grin widened. "It took me a little while to realize that."

Beck approached, a grimace twisting his lips. "Those first weeks were rough for him."

Alonzo nodded, as if knowing exactly what Beck meant. "And yet you offer to touch me. I have been alive a long, long time and I am sure you do not understand what a boon you are gifting me. What you see through me can hurt you, especially since you are not blooded."

Originally, Zane had thought Alonzo was apprehensive around Diego, like a devout Catholic would be around someone like the Pope. But now he was not so sure.

Diego gave Beck an affectionate glance before answering, "This too, I understand—mostly. But you took one look at me and knew what I was. I have only recently come into this… this… see, that is what I don't know." Diego's expression turned beseeching, as if he desperately needed someone who could understand.

Beck wrapped his arm around Diego, giving comfort. "You could always talk to your Buela."

A flash of rage crossed Diego's handsome features, so out of place with the person Zane had seen so far. "No," he said flatly. "She lied to me for years. She let them take Hector. If I go to her, I will never be sure if she is giving me only half truths. I will not allow her the opportunity to deceive me again."

Zane scratched the back of his head. How were they in the middle of someone else's family drama? Surreptitiously, he studied Diego out of the corner of his eye. Beck was not a short man, but next to Diego with his barrel-chest and massive arms, Zane wondered if Beck could actually get his arms around Diego. He was frustrated with his lack of knowledge about Maricoxi and Tezcatlipoca's history. If he knew what had worked Alonzo up, he could help, but instead he was fluttering around, unsure how he could fix this.

"Let's do this," Zane said, breaking the stare off between Diego and Beck. "Have a seat. Cord and Midnight had rummage up some drinks. I'm going to check on the Chupacabra. When I get back, we can discuss what you think Alonzo can do for you and whether or not I think it is safe for Alonzo to help you." As soon as the words came out of his mouth, Zane glanced to Alonzo. He was being a little high-handed, but he wasn't going to take it back. He was responsible for Alonzo and the guys. He could feel it deep in his core. But instead of seeing dismay or angered that Zane basically told everybody that nothing would happen without his blessing, Alonzo was staring at him with an open expression of adoration.

"As you wish, my patrón."

Zane hurried to the hallway but still heard Denise say, "Oi, mijo, your lover is bossy."

"As he should be," Alonzo replied.

When Zane entered the dark corridor, it was as if Tezcatlipoca had been waiting for him. The shadows surrounded Zane in a comforting embrace. No words were spoken aloud, but when Zane stepped back into the dim light he was sure of two things. Tezcatlipoca was overjoyed they had crossed paths with a shaman. The second, he and his tribe would do everything they could to help Diego in what ever he needed. Their futures were intertwined, just how much, Zane would have to wait and see.

He was glad that he had used the excuse to check on the Chupacabra. The sneaky bastard had somehow untied himself from the bed and though he hadn't been able to remove the rope winding around his torso that kept him from changing forms, he was attempting to pry open his window.

"Oh, no you don't. Your ride is here." Zane grabbed Duvan by the waistband of the sweats Alonzo had found for him last night and pulled him away from the glass before he broke it in his escape attempt. Duvan flailed, and Zane took a glancing blow on the check, but he quickly pinched two nerves that caused Duvan's knees to buckle.

"Zane?" Cord hurried into the room, his gaze dropping to where the Chupacabra lay on the floor. "I thought I heard something." A very small curl of smoke left one nostril.

Zane squinted, wondering how close Cord's Grendal was to the surface. Cord had said that his dragon half would awaken soon but hadn't said how soon. Quite frankly, Zane had been dealing with everything but the reason why Crimson Comet needed him. At the moment, they didn't need another crisis on their hands.


When no more smoke appeared, he said, "He was loose. I think we should take him with us." He also didn't like the thought of Duvan tied up again, especially since he'd already escaped once. He might as well keep an eye on him until he left with Alonzo's friends.


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
Chapter Sixteen - Maricoxi Guardians
Chapter Seventeen - Coincidence?
Chapter Eighteen, Part One - Guns Ablazin'
Chapter Eighteen, Part Two
Chapter Nineteen, Part One - Reckoning
Chapter Nineteen, Part Two
Chapter Twenty - Mercy
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Three
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 1

Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 2