Saturday, September 29, 2018

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

What have I been up to this week? Uhm... I'm sitting here trying to figure out where the week has gone. Where has the month gone?! Looking back, I've been really busy and a lot has happened. GRL is coming up next month and I've been preparing for that. Been working Constant and Assassin's Retirement. Twin Flames is going to audio, so... busy. I think I need another week in this month, perhaps two. There's just so much to do!




Title: Sweet Nothings
Series: The Chosen One: Prequel
Author(s): Macy Blake
Length: 230 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Shifter / Gay / 

Notes: This is one of my favorite series because it makes me happy. Where the Chosen One series is a yummy poly romance. This prequel is not poly, but about Henry's family and how they all came to be adopted by an Alpha and human. It made me want to reread the main series again. 

Blurb: Sam Baker couldn’t be more normal. He’s a teacher at the local middle school and the most exciting part of his day is dealing with a classroom full of hormonal preteens. His life takes a turn for the weird one stormy night when he finds a small boy on his doorstep. A boy who growls, flashes unnaturally blue eyes, demands for Sam to call the alpha-- whatever that is-- and gives Sam the one name he wishes he could forget: Vaughn Jerrick.

Vaughn Jerrick is the alpha to a pack of wolf shifters and a doctor to the supernatural world. After sharing a steamy one night stand with Sam years ago, Vaughn couldn’t consider the possibility of a future with the man, no matter how much he wanted him. Bringing a human into his world is against the rules, but one phone call changes everything, and Vaughn finds himself face-to-face with the man who could give him everything he’s ever wanted.

Rescuing one small child turns into saving six from a dark and uncertain fate, and although Sam doesn’t understand the world he’s been forced into, he would never turn his back on children in need, even if it means confronting his past with Vaughn.

As Vaughn and Sam join forces to protect the children put into their care, the future they’ve both dreamed of is within their reach, but first they need to survive the sinister force looking to rip away everything they’ve come to hold dear.




Title: Broken Prince, Mismatched Eyes
Series: 
Author(s): Layla Dorine
Length: 367 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay /

Notes: Last week I asked for recommendations and this is one of them.

Blurb: All of his life, Caden DeMott’s mismatched eyes have made him the target of superstition and scorn. Though he is the son of a nobleman, he’s been allowed to run free over the hills and moors, mostly ignored by his family. No one ever thought to inform him that he had been betrothed since infancy, until the day his fiancé, Prince Rhys Gwyther arrived to marry him.

Rhys is the prince of the small island country of Mauritania, a land rich in gems, rose oil, and pearls, but poor in skilled artisans and seeds to grow crops. In order to further cement the trade route to the mainland, he’s been sent to marry a man he’s never met, and bring him back to Mauritania. Unfortunately, an accident years before has left Rhys with a lot of emotional baggage and very little trust in strangers.

But trust is exactly what Caden and Rhys are going to need if they are to make a life together, and help unravel the mystery of who’s been smuggling valuable gems and pearls off the island. Add in the realization that Caden’s stepmother, Mildred and her island representative, Maxwell, have been importing inferior goods for years, forcing Mauritania to become more dependent on them, and trust becomes even more difficult.


Caden possesses the knowledge to finally allow Rhys’ father to unravel the plot to ruin Mauritania, but only if the king and his son are willing to put their faith in Caden’s loyalty to his new home. Something that is difficult to do after Caden is accused of cheating on his marriage vows to Rhys with his guard, Luc. Will Rhys believe him innocent? Or will their marriage be over before it truly has a chance to begin?



Title: Chosen Wolf
Series: (Moonlight Mountain Book 1)
Author(s): Minerva Howe
Length: 112 pages
Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives; 2 edition (September 19, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifter / Gay / 

Notes: 

Blurb: Brantley is perfectly happy with his life. He has a good job, a strong wolf pack behind him, and a trip into Denver every so often to take care of his needs. So when the Pack has the kind of meeting that only happens once in a blue moon, he's more annoyed than worried. At least until the meeting turns out to be the stuff of Pack legend, with a vampire appearing to choose a new guardian from all of the eligible male wolves.

Vampire Paul has a good arrangement with the Moonlight Mountain pack. He gets to choose a wolf as his guardian, and they get a draught of his blood to strengthen their line. His connection with Brant is immediate, and he knows Brantley will be the first guardian in maybe centuries who will match him need for need. Paul likes games of dominance, likes to put his guardians to the test. Brantley is pretty sure he doesn't even like men, let alone a vamp who's into whips and chains. Can Paul convince Brantley that they really are made for each other?

Author's note: This is a previously published story with a new edit and new material. The publisher has changed. This is a paranormal fated mates story that contains strong elements that some readers may find darker.




Title: Eramus
Series: Shadows in the Dark, 1
Author(s): Charlie Sweeters
Length: 41 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay / 

Notes: 

Blurb: Rayden crash lands on Eramus, a strange planet of which not much is known, and he is rescued by a group of strangers who take him to safety – or so he thinks.

When those whom he had assumed were his saviors turn out to be his captors for reasons that are a culmination of years of animosity between his own race and theirs, Rayden realizes that he will have to fight for his life if he is to find his freedom.

This, however, is easier said than done as he is faced with a potentially deadly challenge in which his contender is none other than the Shade, the mysterious and powerful ruler of the planet.




Title: The Heku Series
Series: 
Author(s): TM Nielson
Length: 5279 pages
Publisher: T.M. Nielsen; 2 edition (October 11, 2014)

Genre: Epic Romance / Paranormal / Sci-Fi / Urban Fantasy / 

Notes: Last week when I was asking for recommendation, this was one given to me. The first two books in the series were free on Amazon (at the time of creating this post) but for $10 you can get all 9 books, which I thought was a great price, especially for the word count.

Blurb: 

Contains all 9 books of The Heku Series with the bonus novel : Return of the Encala.
Heku (Book 1 of the Heku Series)
Valle (Book 2 of the Heku Series)
Encala (Book 3 of the Heku Series)
Equites (Book 4 of the Heku Series)
Proditor (Book 5 of the Heku Series)
Ferus (Book 6 of the Heku Series)
Eternity of Vengeance : Extended Edition (Book 7 of the Heku Series)
Ancients and Old Ones (Book 8 of the Heku Series)
Banishment (Book 9 of the Heku Series)
Return of the Encala

They live among us, blending with the human society, while behind closed doors and heavily guarded compounds, they continue age old practices of the immortal. The heku are indigenous to this planet and are far older than the earliest signs of man. They are militaristic, violent, and highly secretive. They are bound by strict rules that separate them from, and protect, the mortals.

Chevalier has never been told no. For thousands of years he’s sat on the Equites Council, ruling body of his heku faction, and for thousands of years his every order has been followed immediately and without question.

One of the most important rules of the heku, is that no one is to feed from unwilling donors. Following a tip that a young mortal woman is being brutally attacked by his own kind, he seeks her out and immediately begins to experience unnatural feelings for the woman.

Emily, a beautiful rancher from Montana, has spent her entire life being violently attacked by beings she assumed were vampires. It isn’t until she meets Chevalier that she learns of her startling family history, a history that immediately throws her into the volatile world of the heku.

In a bid to protect her, Chevalier moves Emily into his isolated coven, which marks her as a prime target for the Valle and the Encala, enemy factions of the heku. Emily fights to fit into the militaristic world of the heku as her head-strong personality and independent ways turn their perfectly balanced world on end. She immediately befriends Kyle, a heku from Chevalier’s coven, and together they find Emily a niche among the immortal.

Emily’s violent past interferes with Chevalier’s plans, and he must first undo what her abusive ex-husband did before he can convince her how much he cares about her, and how much she’s worth to his faction. Chevalier’s growing feelings for Emily are unnatural to his kind, and must be hidden from the rest of the Equites Faction if he’s to remain a formidable part of their Council.

His jealous tendencies rage as Emily gets closer to Kyle, and both heku struggle to make her realize how important she is to the faction and how endangered she now is.




Title: And I Darken
Series: Claim the Throne
Author(s): Kiersten White
Length: 494 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press (June 28, 2016)

Genre: Fantasy / Dracula Retold / 

Notes: This was recommended to me last week.

Blurb: NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.




Title: Allison's Adventures in Underland 
Series: (Harem of Hearts Book 1)
Author(s): CM Stunich
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Sarian Royal (December 17, 2017)

Genre: Dark Romance / Fantasy / RH / Bisexual / 

Notes: 

Blurb: Um. Um. Um.
Are you reading this?
If you are, I need your help.

I was at a party; I was running; I fell.
And get this—this is the part you'll never believe—I fell down a rabbit hole.
Like Alice in those old books.

Except in those books, there wasn't blood everywhere.
In those books, the characters weren't all male, attractive, and interested in me.


Forget everything you know about the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the March Hare …

This isn't Wonderland; this is Underland.
Violence, sex, drugs, and magic … that's all there is in this place.
There's me, Allison, and there are the men that want me, the enemies that hunt me, and the darkness that's quickly rolling in.

And only I can stop it.
So if you're reading this, will you help me?
Please. I just want to escape this place and go … home.

ALLISON'S ADVENTURES IN UNDERLAND (Book 1 of 3 in the "Harem of Hearts" series) -- is a full-length reverse harem/new adult/dark romance novel, a gritty retelling of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". Don't expect a children's tale; these characters are nothing like their more innocent counterparts. This book contains: drugs, cursing, violence, sex ... and love found in the darkest shadows.




Title: The Soul Spell
Series: (Fae Academy)
Author(s): AY Venona
Length: 253 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay / 

Notes: 

Blurb: I, Elian Gustan, find myself in an unfortunate predicament. Adrian Larsa, the captain of the most elite group of alphas, shows me so much love I’m so loved-up. But here's the rub: it’s a love of the brotherly kind. Yes, it's cute, but its cuteness has long run its course and now becomes a major heartache because Adrian is not my brother. He is my soulmate. But then again I might be mistaken. I mean, who knows really? 

Enter Alexander Brunn, the most beautiful man on the planet. He is as heroic as Adrian. Together, they are the perfect couple—too perfect that they make me feel like a villain in my own godforsaken story.

And then here comes the Gatherings, the anniversary of the Founding of the Seven Realms and the only event that the gods attend. This year turns out to be full of surprises from good to bad—to worst. Guess who gets the worst part?

Set in the same universe as Alpha Academy, this book is an m/m suspense and scifi-fantasy romance with an mpreg theme. It contains a certain tragic element but with a satisfying HEA ending.




Title: Moonrise
Series: 
Author(s): Hannah L. Corrie
Length: 244 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Enhanced Human / Aliens / Gay / 

Notes: 

Blurb: Fed up with this world? Thought about moving to Mars?

Not enough distance? Well, then!

What if you had the chance to become something completely different? To change what you are and leave the world you know, the solar system you know, behind? Would you take the plunge?

Yago Solas never got to ponder and much less answer those questions, but he faces the consequences when an escaped alien creature infects him with a mutating virus that takes everything from him, even his humanity.

The experiments intended to heal him soon turn to cold interest in his new physiology, and the very people supposed to save him become his enemies, his hunters, his looming demise. And why not? Who could feel sympathy for a twisted creature like him, much less love him now, looking like this?

Still, the Maker smiles down on all his childen. The space ship on which he is being held as a prisoner crashes and sends Yago stumbling into an alien culture and into the lap of Azekial Yyn-Thyr, a snarly, grim A'shian guard captain. The wary alien doesn't care how Yago looks, but he may yet prove to be his demise; A'shian legends tell of a species that caused a cataclysm responsible for stranding the A'shians where they are, and the Terrans might just fit the bill…



Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Pact Days: GryFalconi Society and Culture #ValespianPact


Welcome back Thursday's Pact Day. I'm going to piggyback off last week's post about the GyrFalconi and the Twenty Year War to discuss GyrFalconi culture and society prior to Terren occupation. In the middle of writing this post, I got a story idea that takes place on post-war Aries 7. LOL!



Before the Twenty Year War, the GyrFalconi only lived in the high places. They lived in their mountain cities that oversaw the agriculture production and their massive sky cities that several million called home.

Aries 7 is not the homeworld of the GyrFalconi. Only the adept of the Divine Egg has recorded their origin world which the GyrFalconi left in order to explore space. For several centuries, GyrFalconi crossed many solar systems and a galaxy until their wanderlust abated. They then split into seven groups, each group settling on a different world. In their language, Aries means pioneer and applied to those who fearlessly trek into the unknown. The number 7 is the number of their group. They were the last to settle after seeing groups one through six safely ensconced into their new homeworlds.

When the GyrFalconi settled Aries 7, they retired and dismantled their space program, using the technology to build the sky cities and concentrating on making the planet their home. They are relatively peaceful and don't physically war with each other. Their battles are waged in politics or certain professional games, so they have no air defense and only police their city streets.

They allocated land for crops and flowers that were maintained by machinery. The manufacturing facilities were built underground to keep the planet surface pristine. The overseers live in the mountain based cities. Vehicles are used by nesters caring for non-flying hatchlings or young chicks. If the distance between destination is too great for flying, there is a public transit system. But if they can fly to their destination, they will.

Their society is built around age and gender tiers. Chicks stay in the nest until maturity (which depends on the gender) and then they leave to begin their own nest. During their breeding age, they have steady work but take jobs that allows them to be home as frequently as they are needed. After the breeding age, they become a part of the infrastructure. GyrFalconi have three genders: female, males, and nesting males. (I will probably come up with official names for the tiers later.) Males and females are brilliantly colored and distinct. The nesting males have dull feathers in tones of white, gray, and browns.

The parents of the hatchlings who are nesting males and females will take the chicks for community play dates. The chicks will play with each other and the parents will watch who their chicks are most drawn to. It is considered abuse if a parent is found trying to force/coerce their chick to have relationships with hatchlings they have no interest in. That will get their chicks taken away and the authorities digging into every personal aspect of their life. As the nesting males and females pair up, the parents will arrange a betrothal and ensure the two chicks spend much time with each other so that they will bond.

Around the age of fifteen, male and females will leave their family's nest. Females starts a foundation and gradually builds a nest of her own in preparation of the nesting male joining her when he matures. The nesting male will stay in the parents' nest the longest. He cannot go to his bonded female until he has matured. If he goes to his bonded female's nest, it will spur her into the breeding stage. If he is not mature, then his cloaca is unable to hold an egg. So he stays with his parents until he molts, loosing all of his dull feathers and growing new, more colorful ones. The breeding males and females are both very colorful and pretty, but when a nesting male matures, they are stunning beyond compare. After the nesting male's new feathers come in completely, he can join his bonded female.

When a male leaves the nest, he too will build a nest but it isn't the same. Sometimes he will only house himself, but often times males will join together with other breeding males. Breeding males start compiling finances and commodities that will later be used to help support any chick they sire. A breeding male can only sire additional chicks if his portfolio says he is capable of supporting them. Being able to provide for multiple chicks is a point of extreme pride among breeding males. They don't have relationships with the chicks until the chicks are older, but that is a natural part of their makeup.

Something to note about GyrFalconi, sex and relationships are two different things. Males and females have sex for fun and to breed. Females are friendly with breeding males outside the breeding grounds and they respect each other but they don't form bonds or relationships beyond light friendships. If for some reason the females dies, the breeding males will check in the nesting male caring for their chicks but they won't nest with the nesting male nor will they take the chicks from the nesting male. It's just not done.

Females bond to and have deep emotional relationships with their nesting males, but they don't have sex with them. Nesting males are asexual. They enjoy cuddles and romance and taking care of the chicks, but they have no desire for sex. On the other hand, breeding males love to have sex. If he nests with other breeding males, they will have sex with each other when they are not trying to attract a breeding female. Rarely, a breeding male will be invited into the nest by both the nesting male and female. This doesn't happen often and is considered weird by society's standards but that nest isn't shamed (to keep from scarring the chicks) but there is gossip because most don't understand why.

In the middle of the cities are protected breeding grounds where the males and females go when they are ready to sire a chick. The female will choose a male and see him every day until she conceives. The egg takes about 40 days to grow and at that time, she will line up her cloaca with her bonded and pass the egg to him. The nesting male will hold the egg in his body until it is ready to hatch. When he feels the egg is ready, he'll lay the egg and within the hour the hatchling will break free. (GyrFalconi don't have the feather mass to lay an egg and sit on it until it hatches. This is an adaptation they underwent the centuries they travelled space.) Once the chick hatches, the hatchling is the sole responsibility of the nesting male. The female supports him but doesn't help rear the chicks. Therefore, chicks are very close to their nesting parent and that closeness never dims.

When the GyrFalconi move beyond breeding age, the females will take jobs in the government. They aren't required to be at home as much for their nester and will choose public service careers that consume most of their time. Even the nesting male will become active, mainly in home economics and helping out young nests. Post breeding males will also enter public service, going to school for higher education, become philosophers, cultural teachers, or studying with the adepts, becoming spirit walkers or spirit trackers.

If a GyrFalconi dies, spirit walkers will collect the spirits and help it return to the Divine Egg from where they will be reborn. If the spirit is lost or trapped, a spirit tracker will find it and guide it to where it needs to go. Spirit walkers are known for their ability to speak to the spirits before they return to the Divine Egg. This is how they are able to record unusual information about the universe. If the GyrFalconi is murdered, the spirit will stay until the spirit walker can relay such so their death will be avenged. GyrFalconi believe that if they die anywhere in the universe, their spirit will always return to Aries 7. Since a spirit tracker can always find them, there had never been a permanently lost spirit.

This is the society and culture that was torn apart when Terrens invaded Aries 7. There are those in the sky cities who want to pretend that the last twenty years didn't happen, going so far as shunning the wingless from returning to families and homes. The victims of the Terrens stubbornly forge on once again becoming the embodiment of what it means to be Aries, fearless pioneers into the unknown.




Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

BLOG TOUR: Rebuilding Hope by Jessie G


I'm excited to be hosting Jessie J today!! She has just release book in her new Kindred series, Rebuilding Hope. I got to ask her one question. "What do you love about your main character?" This is what she has to say!


Jessie J: Holden is an old soul in a young, failing body. Life had been a constant trade-off. Instead of health, he got brains. Instead of a loving family and good friends, he had the one and only Abigail to be both. But he's not bitter. Convinced that his time is limited, he puts those brains to work trying to help others and when the system tries to stop him, he goes around it. Through it all, he never loses his snark. His sense of humor shines through the darkest scenes, infiltrates his thoughts, falls out of his mind whether its the right time or not, and makes him a character you want to root for. He's not feeling sorry for himself, he has no interest in regrets. He simply wants to leave his mark and go out smiling.


Meeting Crowley changes the course he thinks he's on and shows him the path he was supposed to be following all along. Crowley is not intentionally stoic, but those around him believe that a Zenith should be shown the utmost respect. It wears a little thin and there are few places he can truly be himself. Until Holden, he doesn't realize that there could be someone to share the burden. Someone to make him smile. An equal partner who is enamored of him, but would never be overshadowed by his station. Crowley has a possessive, protective streak a mile wide, but he adores Holden's intelligence, humor, and independence and will do anything to encourage them.


Together, they made me laugh, they made me cry, they made me crazy, and I was cheering right up until the very end. I can only hope that those same feelings come through in the story.

BOOK DETAILS


AUTHOR NAME: Jessie G
BOOK NAME: Rebuilding Hope
SERIES NAME:  A Kindred Story, Book #1
PUBLISHER: Jessie G Books, Inc.
PAGE/WORD COUNT: 200 pages, 64K words
CATEGORIES: Gay, Contemporary, Shifter
COVER MODELS: TankJoey & Connor Jay
PHOTOGRAPHER: CJC Photography
COVER ARTIST: Andrew Reyna

BLURB: Holden Bancroft was born with a better than average brain and not much else. Often described as strange and sickly, his attempts to conform only made him look foolish and a life-long diet of pills hasn’t provided a cure. Deciding to strengthen the only tool in his arsenal was liberating and learning became his greatest joy. But each episode is another reminder that his time is limited, and Holden intends to use everything he’s learned to help the small town of Hope before he dies.

Alpha Crowley Lomond, Zenith of the Americas, isn’t exactly happy with his ascension. Leading isn’t the problem, it’s acting like he’s somehow better than every other shifter that chafes. But while living and working beside them may seem noble, Crowley is more than just an alpha. As Zenith, he’s their example, their teacher and guide, and the one they will turn to when their way of life is threatened.

Meeting changes them in ways they never could have predicted and unveils a web of deceit that began long before they were born. Together, they will have to unravel the lies and reconcile the consequences if they are to protect the shifter way of life. Along the way, Crowley will become the Zenith his Kindred was born to love and their enemies will learn that there's nothing more dangerous than fated mates.

BUY LINKS

Coming to all other retailers this week

 

AUTHOR BIO

Like many readers, I've dreamed of being a writer most of my life. Thanks to social media, I was able to follow my favorite authors and hoped to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. It isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely been worth it and with four series in the works and a full schedule of releases planned for the next two years, it's been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I'm a lover of strong secondary characters and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you'll find throughout my books.

Contact Links:

Social Links:
Tumblr (NSFW 18+):  http://jessiegbooks.tumblr.com/

Author Pages:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Assassin's Retirement Chapter Twenty-Seven, Part One #blogstory #Gentleman #ION #amwriting


Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement. This chapter gave me a bit of a problem. Starting from Zane's POV, things just didn't happen... well, things did happen. Saja was picking a fight with Zane and it was out of character with how she'd treated him in the previous chapters. So I skipped to another POV, trying to find the right perspective. After one week of fruitless writing and a half dozen false starts, I rolled through character POVs until I ended with Cord. His felt right and the chapter took off. The reason for Saja's anger is clearer. I also had a slew of issues that needed to be addressed. Delivery of the mantles, ION character cross over, what to do with the chupacabra (who is still tied to the bed, poor guy), and of course, the killer. Plus it feels as if the guys need some downtime which unfortunately, they aren't going to get until their day is over. This touches on none of that.  Cord will tell you why.



Chapter Twenty-Seven

Waking up on a hardwood floor… Well, perhaps it wasn't the first time Cord had woken on a hard surface where he'd passed, but this time it was without imbibing in even one a sip of alcohol. Unlike a night of hard partying, being so close to a goddess's wrath had been far from fun. His mouth was bone-dry and his head pounded, the threat of a migraine making him cover his eyes for a moment. It was barely early afternoon and already he wished the day was over with. If he was done, he could only imagine how Zane felt. Zane's life had been turned upside down and the fault could be laid at Cord's feet. If he had attempted to go to different I.O.N. office when his request of help went unanswered, if he had been more persistent, then Ella wouldn't have had the opportunity to lure him in with her lies. She'd claimed I.O.N. was failing to catch the person hunting the Grendels and now him. If he had simply doubled checked and verified her information… Zane wouldn't have been dragged into the world of the Others.

"We're doing all we can to apprehend this person," Ella had told him. He could still hear the sympathy in her voice, see the sorrow in her brown eyes, and he had fallen for it. Fear and despair had clouded his rationale. He had been eager for a solution, to find someone who could keep not only him but the band safe. They were his life, his cobbled together precious family, and the thought of one of them accidentally stepping in front of a bullet meant for him… that paralyzing terror was what Ella had poked and prodded. Then she suggested he hire security or his own hunter, perhaps an assassin who would keep Cord and the band safe.

The 'no' had been on the tip of his tongue until Ella slipped him the large photo of Zane. Cord's world had stopped, time suspended as Cord was ensnared, his mostly dormant Valkyrie side flaring to life at the sight of the nondescript man staring back at him with hard, unforgiving eyes. He vaguely recalled Ella's triumphant expression, and at the time, that peculiarity had been shoved aside by Cord's need to know more about the person.

Cord's need to possess, to hold, to call his own, men of exceptional talent, fighters who had no equal was something that Cord chalked up to his warped Valkyrie half. Valkyries rarely birthed male children, and most times, the male-child died within the first two years of life. Unlike the females, they were born without the protections that shielded Valkyrie from the primordial beings inhabiting the realm of Asgard, home of the Aesir gods. He lived because his mother, Saja, refused to give up on him and made him spend grueling hours, year after year, learning how to shield himself until he was no longer tormented by the jealous shades who had once been men before the Valkyrie gleaned them from fields of battle. Yes, he lived today because of her ruthlessness, but that same relentlessness allowed no room for a mother-son bond. Even now, she treated him as a teacher would a student.

Besides his gender, another thing that separated Cord from his mother's people was he did not push death on the warriors he collected. Valkyrie sought out the best fighters and were often known for creating an accident that would usher the man toward crossing over. Sometimes the Valkyrie took the man as a lover once he was in Asgard. That was until she found a new warrior brought over for Odin's table. Cord, on the other hand, he gathered warriors of unparalleled skill, keeping them to himself, taking them as lovers, and creating a family on this plane. 

He often wondered if collecting warriors was a part of his dragon half. He had never met a dragon, not that he knew of, and his mother refused to tell him who his father was. Dragons were secretive and what Cord thought he knew of them was unsubstantiated rumors, so it wasn't as if he could track down someone to ask if dragons truly horded.

Next to him, Skyld groaned, and Cord agreed with the pained sound. He uncovered his eyes to see Skyld attempting to sit up.

"What the fuck?" Skyld flopped back down. "I don't ever want to experience that again."

On the other side of Cord, Raine laughed hoarsely. "A hangover without booze."

Cord didn't want to get up just yet either, but hearing his mother speak in a soft tone to someone reminded him that he was responsible for her being there. He couldn't leave Zane to deal with the Valkyries or I.O.N. on his own. Zane knew nothing about the rules the Others followed. Though Cord didn't think Saja could force Zane to do something he didn't want to do, the least Cord could do was stand by him and Alonzo.

His head pounded relentlessly as he rose to sit up. He was relieved to see that neither Zane or Alonzo were in the room. His mother was speaking to Myranda Anatha. He shivered, his skin crawling as he remembered the sensation of her goddess riding so close to the surface. The hair-raising sensation had forcefully compelled him, and all the men in the room, to turn away. He had no idea how Zane or Alonzo had endured standing near her while she had leaked so much raging energy.

"We should position Valkyrie throughout the Valley," Saja said, not noticing that Cord was awake. "This person murdering Grendals can't be far. We can flush him out in no time."

He was a bit surprised upon hearing their plans to capture the killer, but then again, he shouldn't have been. I.O.N. was responsible for bringing in rogues, but that task wasn't usually handled by Valkyrie.

"There is a team already on its way here. You can take the captured chupacabra back to headquarters." Myranda's voice was soft, but there was an inflexibility that Cord wouldn't have argued with. But Saja seemed to be more obstinate than prudent when dealing powerful beings, known for pushing and pushing in the person gave in or exploded with rage.

"My Valkyrie are more than capable of capturing —"

"I did not say they weren't, but your responsibilities lie with the oracles and not running down criminals. One of our best teams is already in the area."

"I —" Saja would have argued more, Cord knew her too well, but she saw him sitting up. A determined glint entered her eye. She turned from Myranda and charged across the room. "Cord get up. I am taking you to Asgard."

He sensed her power building, wrapping around her and causing his head throb all the more. The other members of the band roused, and Cord half suspected it was his mother's forceful tone that woke them. There were a couple of reasons he had never introduced his mother to his lovers. She wouldn't accept them, not because they were males, but for the fact they were alive.


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
Chapter Twenty-Six
Chapter Twenty-Seven, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Seven, Part two
Chapter Twenty-Eight


Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

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

What have I been up to? 

Well, Twin Flames will be releasing on audio later this year, so working on stuff for that. I'm behind on Assassin's Retirement and got stuck on Chapter Twenty-Seven and took me a bit to figure what I needed to do to go forward. I need to get ahead another chapter or two and then I'll start working on Constant again. (I needed a break from Constant.)

I am looking for book recommendations. I finished listening to Anne Bishop's Others series and its spin-off. I also listened to Joe Abernathy's Exhale. Both series are very engaging and I'm looking for more like them. 

My folder was a bit sparse today. I haven't been book browsing in a little while. Let's see what I catches my fancy this morning.

Title: Duty Bound
Series:
Author(s): Lynn Lorenz
Length: 112 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay /

Notes:

Blurb: When Jax Jupiter loses his job on a space station, he takes a position on a deep space freighter--as the ship's sex counselor. It's a position he's held before with almost deadly results, but he's desperate. Captain Logan Forge runs a tight ship and watches over his small crew. When their regular counselor is taken ill, they have to take on a new man, and from the moment Logan lays eyes on Jax, naked in the shower, he knows the sexy as hell counselor will be nothing but trouble. And when someone tries to kill Jax, that trouble lands at Logan's door, because it looks like he's the prime suspect. Jax has been here before, but can he trust Logan, a man who has deadly secrets that Jax has stumbled on?


Title: Shifter's Price
Series:
Author(s): Jamie K. Schmidt
Length: 220 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / FF / MF / MM / 

Notes:

Blurb: In a post-apocalyptic society, sex is currency.

After a meteor destroyed most of the planet, a ragtag group of survivors tries to reform civilization. But this brave new world has new creatures in it as well. Shifters can be any creature they want. Techs can channel electricity out of the air.

Bethany joins up with Lewis and Clark expeditions to travel across the ravaged countryside to find her brother. Lucas, a shifter, has agreed to be her bodyguard and the only thing he has to offer is his body. His sister Lisa is in a similar situation only she haggles with a leather making mistress for the journey. M/F, F/F, M/M and everything in between happen along the way. But there are forces in this dark society that stalk both Shifters, Techs and humans and the team needs to work together to rescue their friends or pay the ultimate price.



Title: Beyond Meridian
Series:
Author(s): CC Bridges
Length: 99 pages
Publisher: NineStar Press (September 3, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay /

Notes: I'm not sure, but I feel as if I have read this book before. I'll have to check.

Blurb: Captain Rick Raine thinks he’s just picking up a passenger and some cargo when he takes on Karl as a member of his crew. He didn’t sign up for battling privateers, the United Planetary Alliance, and his own heart. But everyone has secrets in space, even a naive kid who knows more than he should.

Karl is on a mission, deep in the heart of enemy space. Sam saved him from a life of servitude and now it’s time to return the favor. For that he needs a ship and someone to fly it. Captain Raine seems like the perfect guy, a good pilot and an honest thief. But Karl doesn’t count on falling for the spacer, not when he has a mission to accomplish and the UPA’s secrets to keep.



Title: Sunshine and Bullets
Series: (The Bullets Book 1)
Author(s): Coralee June
Length: 297 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Romantic Suspense / Reverse Harem / Contemporary / 

Notes:

Blurb: Sunshine.

It’s a nickname I haven’t heard since I lived on Woodbury Lane, where the houses were pretty but the secrets? Deadly. It was a pet name known only to the Bullets. Rough, violent, and ruthless, they laid claim to the town — and my heart.

I wasn't supposed to fall for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks—especially not four of them. But they were the only ones who understood that sometimes hell hides in plain sight.

I was the girl with all the conveniences a privileged upbringing could provide. The world only saw two loving parents and a pristine home life, but I knew the truth. And it was going to get me killed. So, I disappeared, from everyone and everything I’d ever known. I changed my name and my appearance, but the scars I carry, they’re still the same.

The Bullets are all grown up now, too — a crime boss, a pro fighter, a bounty hunter, and a federal agent. Life took them in different directions, but they once shared the bonds of a brotherhood forged under the harshest conditions. Together they were fearless. Brutal. Unstoppable.

I'm praying they can find that unity again. If I'm going to survive this, it'll take everything they have. Because that's the thing about running from the past.

Eventually, it catches up to you.



Title: Of Gallantry and Magic
Series:
Author(s): Alex Hintermann
Length: 155 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Historical / Gay /

Notes:

Blurb: Sir Tristan son of Derrick Dragonbane would like to settle down and raise dragons, but he is obligated to follow in his father’s heroic footsteps. While he interviews for a novice knight position at one of the most prestigious courts in the Middle-North, he meets a brash, bearded commoner who compels him to reassess his goals, as well as his sexuality.

Title: The Darkling Hunters
Series: Fox Company Alpha
Author(s): Rhiannon Ayers
Length: 538 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / Bisexual / MMF / Angels & Demons /

Notes:

Blurb: For darkling hunters Dex Peterson and Sam Spencer, working for the Darkling Eradication Agency means putting their lives on the line every single day. They’re used to tracking down soulless monsters and burying them in an early grave. But when their new assignment lands them smack in the middle of a darkling turf war, they realize their military experience and government backing won't be nearly enough to survive the crossfire.

Enter Sydney Carpenter, a bad-ass, no-nonsense, wait-right-there-so-I-can-come-kick-your-ass warrior woman with more than enough experience to take down the darkling horde. She’s saved their bacon more times than they can count, and having her on their team will almost guarantee victory. If this was nothing but a routine mission, the three of them could wipe the floor with these depraved monstrosities and call it a day.

But this is anything but a routine mission. Love, lust, and deadly secrets have the power to destroy even the best-laid plans. For the three of them to survive, they’ll not only have to accept their unspoken need for each other, they’ll have to put it all on the line to save the mission—and their souls. And when Sydney finally reveals a terrifying secret, they’ll have to face the reality that nothing in their world is as it seems.

WARNING: Contains two hardcore Marine soldiers guaranteed to make your panties melt.


Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pact Days: GryFalconi and the Twenty Year War #ValespianPact #Cosntant #AlphaTrine


Welcome to Pact Day!

Today I want to talk about the conflict that changed the GryFalconi in many ways, crating disparity in their society. They are one of the species that have a more fleshed out background than other species with more details to their history and people. 

In the series, the navigator of the Oethra 7, Axis de la Rynch, is a GryFalconi. Visually, GyrFalconi are brightly colored between their skin color and feathers. Those living in the high places of Aries 7 have wings and have an arrogance that, in the recent years, has hurt the victims of the Terren invasion more than helped.

Axis is a biped and almost as tall as Dargon, who is 2.4 meter tall (7.87 feet). He has dark brown skin and a plume of red-tipped gray feathers instead of hair. His round eyes are large and black with an outer ring of yellow. He has dark-colored finger nails and a wide, boney-plated nose which gives him a flat-faced appearance. 

The GyrFalconi's coloring of feathers and skin is very vibrant and different from being to being. The males are much more brilliant in their variations than the females, their plumage used to attract others during mating. The dullest of the GyrFalconi are the nesting males before they reach their prime. I'll talk more about that in next weeks blog post. GyrFalconi coloring doesn't help them hide in their surroundings but meant to make them stand out. It has been several hundred generations since they have had to worry about predators plucking them out of the sky or from the foliage. 

Axis is one of the GyrFalconi who didn't escape when the Terrens attacked the place where he lived. He was captured at a young age and was part of the group who had their wings removed so they could be put to work in the mines. 

Now, you might wonder why the Terren still used a primitive way of mining for valuables? This is far into humanity's future, surely they would have a better way of removing the crystals from Aries 7 than slave labor? 

Sure there is equipment that can be used to strip a location of valuable ore. But there are rules to invasion. You don't bring in the high tech, valuable equipment for phase two of the takeover until threats from the population has been subdued and the opposing military force decimated. There is a risk of sabotage and loss of equipment that would take years to replace. Aries 7 is not near the Terren controlled space of the Milky Way, but situated within the Andromeda Galaxy, and not reached quickly or easily. Therefore the Terren's had to secure the planet before they could completely take advantage of Aries 7 natural resources.

There is another reason that has to do with keeping the structural integrity of the M'Cathaian crystals. If shattered, they are useless.

Keep in mind that the four Terren companies that govern the humans were on the brink of collapsing because they had expended more money than they could bring in with the resources they currently controlled. The highly sought after M'Cathaian crystals were extremely valuable and the Terren military didn't have the non-combat personnel to extract the gems themselves. They needed the revenue the crystals would bring. So in their desperation, the people of the mountain communities the Terrens subjugated were utilized to work in the mines that would bring in money that would allow the Terrens to continue their endeavors on Aries 7. 

The GyrFalconi's lack of obvious technology reinforced the Terren's superiority complex. Since GyrFalconi could fly, they had every few transportation vehicles. They did have a half dozen sky cities but no recognizable manufacturing or industrial facilities. The GyrFalconi had a military force, but not a large one. Their people didn't war against each other and until the Terren's surprise attack, they didn't worry overmuch about invasion from space. They were part of the Valespian Pact and as such, their sector was patrolled by Galactic Imperial Patrol (GIP).

The Terren's had invaded and occupied a portion of Aries 7 for three Galactic Standard years before Valespia's Andromadan Galactic Legion arrived to evict them. The Twenty Year War started but the humans had plenty of time to do irreparable damage to the GyrFalconi under their control. 

Six months before Aries 7 was liberated, Axis was captured. He was young at the time, almost old enough to have his own nest but not quite. The Terrens removed his wings and forced him into the mines even knowing that GyrFalconi who lost the ability to fly and kept in the mines usually died within a year. 

Those who were liberated from Terren control were quickly shunned by the GyFalconi in the sky cities and not allowed to rejoin kin in the high places or even the mountain towns.

The GyrFalconi who had their wings removed were only one kind of injury left the wake of the Terren occupation. Warehouses filled with incubating eggs were discovered. The hatchlings born in captivity had underdeveloped wings, and no one knew exactly what the humans did to cause such changes in the GyrFalconi. Originally, the hatchlings were given to the winged in the sky cities but when it was discovered the hatchling's wings would never grow big enough to allow them to fly, the hatchlings were returned to the ground cities, further widening the rift in between the winged and wingless. The wingless adopted the hatchlings and the subsequent generations were born with inferior wings.

Within the first six Galactic Standard months after Aries 7 was liberated, GIP reported back to the Galactic Imperials, describing the way the victims of the Terren occupation had been shunned by those still whole. The Galactic Imperials sent aid to the displaced, stationing GIP planetside to ensure the supplies weren't redirected to the sky cities. Modern cities were built ground level and the GIP helped as best as they could to treat not only the physical wounds of the survivors but the emotional ones. A governing council was established, and a police and military force created. The displaced GyrFalconi did not expect their winged brethren would treat them fairly and learned quickly how to not only to protect themselves physically, but also through the courts and the spiritual clergy.

Schools were built in the ground cities, catering to occupations that would better be suited to those now bound to the land. Some GyrFalconi sought ways to take to the sky and became pilots, while others left their homeworld for the stars, becoming highly sought after starship navigators. They had retained their natural sense of location of their spacefaring ancestors, allowing them to know where they were in the galaxy in relation to their homeplanet. 

This incident colored the opinions of the people of the Valepsian Pact, placing Terrens in such poor light that even after several years post event, animosity remained high against humans. The monetary compensation the Terrens agreed to would help the rebuild parts of Aries 7 but no amount of money could mend GyrFalconi society. The harmony between the people was broken and their own fears created additional harm that the victims of the Terren occupation will never forget, even if they eventually forgive. 


Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Assassin's Retirment Chapter Twenty-Six #blogstory #Gentleman #ION #amwriting


Hey there! We have the next chapter of Assassin's Retirement where Zane has been made keeper of the mantles. Now, it is time for Anatha to deal with Ella. *evil cackle*


Chapter Twenty-Six

"Uhmm…Thank you?"

What had he gotten himself into?

Zane stared at Myranda, understanding that Medusa the Wise stared at him through Myranda's eyes. A shiver gripped him. Very little information survived history on the true Medusa. There was no question she was powerful, and even dangerous, but to whom exactly? She just laid some goddess mojo on him, and though he wasn't ungrateful for the trust she placed in him, he was 'weirded out'. He never actually understood the phrase until just then.

Alonzo's warmth covered his back and Zane immediately rested against him, taking shelter in the comforting embrace. The relief Alonzo's touch provided was something Zane would have to look at later, but for the moment, he was relieved his fear had been momentarily swept away.

"You are generous, Medusa," Alonzo intoned reverently. "We will strive to be worthy of this boon."

"I have no doubts," Medusa replied, her voice sounding like the hiss of scales rubbing together. The pouch at her waist writhed, something thumping against the hard leather several times. Zane did not want to know what was in it and was pretty sure he was all right with his lack of knowledge. "Now, we must deal with Ella and see how deep this corruption goes."

Zane swallowed thickly. He had to ask. "And if the corruption goes beyond the House of Oden's—Bal—uhm, Runes?"

"Then we will dig it out. They will not be able to hide from me." Even with the veil obscuring the majority of Myranda's face, what he could see of her smile made Zane's blood run cold.

Alonzo stepped around Zane and offered his arm to her. "Shall we?" he inquired formally.

Without a word, she slipped her hand into the crook of his elbow. Zane hurried to the door, leading the way back to the main room. He sensed the power of the goddess pushing at him as she and Alonzo followed. Everyone else must have felt the goddess riding Myranda because they were on the opposite side of the room, away from the dining area and the door to the garage where Ella was being held. The Valkyrie were lined up against the wall, their gazes trained on the floor. Strangely, all the bandmembers, as well as Skyld, had their backs to the room. Not one of them glanced over their shoulder. Upon seeing that, Zane didn't feel so bad about his own instinctual fear. Obviously they knew something he did not.

He opened the door to the mud room. Behind him, Medusa told the room that Zane was the protector of the lost and stolen mantels. Saja said something, but Zane didn't care. He opened the door to the garage.

Ella, hands and feet still bound, was attempting to hoist herself up onto a workbench in order to get to the window over it. Zane said nothing, crossing his arms as he waited to be noticed. She was oblivious, the duct tape over her mouth muffling her whimpers. Behind him Medusa's power flowed into the room. Ella must have sensed it because she frantically scrambled, knocking tools over that clattered loudly onto the concrete floor.

"That is enough." Medusa's command was said softly, but the result was if she had shouted. Ella startled and fell over backwards off the bench, landing hard on her back. "Alonzo, keep Zane back. Neither of you are to touch me. Do not attempt to look at my face for any reason. I will allow Zane to ask questions, if he has any. But know this, Ella's fate is in my hands. I will not be contradicted. Do I make myself clear?"

Zane's affirmative reply did not give away how he trembled. Any other time with anyone else, he would've been annoyed with himself. Very few things threw him, scared him. But then he had never been in the presence of a deity. He completely understood why worshipers would supplicate themselves. Who wanted to draw the ire of the being that could crush you in every way possible?

Ella whimpered pathetically, scrambling as best as she could away from Medusa. Zane felt no compassion for her. Turning so that her back was to Zane and Alonzo, Medusa stooped, yanking the gray tape from Ella's mouth.

"Whatever they have told you, Myranda, it is a lie," Ella exclaimed hurriedly. "We were attacked as soon as we landed. We have done nothing to provoke his ill-treatment." Ella's dark hair fell into her eyes and her once pristine pantsuit was dirty and wrinkled, yet as she groveled and cowered she had an almost regal bearing.

Zane moved closer to Alonzo. Even though Medusa faced away from him, the moment she tugged her veil free the power tripled. He was brought to his knees, but Alonzo was there, immediately wrapping his arms around Zane, pressing Zane's face into his chest. "Don't even look at her back." Alonzo counseled softly. "The goddess is nearer to the surface than normal. She must be very angry."

Zane wouldn't argue. He had never felt the like before and hoped to never again.

"Medusa!" Ella gasped. "I have done nothing to deserve your attention." Real fear was in her voice now.

"Child, you forget that I am the Wise One. Goddess of death and rebirth, destruction and creation. As such, I cannot only see your future but your past."

Zane couldn't help himself. He needed to see what was going on. He turned his head until he could see the garage from the corner of his eye. Ella truly cowered now, shaking her head furiously until the dark strands flew about her face. "You have no right to judge me. I am an Oracle and deserve to be heard by my sisters. Only they can condemn me. And… And they won't. I have only been doing what my house has commanded."

"Did your house sister, Peony, did she not deserve to be heard by the others before you killed her?" Zane wasn't sure how Medusa's raspy voice could turn more deadly, but it did, sending chills over his skin.

"Peony was an accident. We only wanted to discipline her for going—" As if realizing she'd said too much, Ella clamped her mouth shut so hard Zane heard her teeth clack.

"Like I told you, I already know. Just as I know that you weren't aggrieved when she died from her wounds. I also know that in order to get back at Skyld, you killed his brother when you discovered Mikael had not died but lived as a human. Peony planned to go to the fledgling organization I.O.N. to report the theft of the mantels. Her action would have taken away the power the House of Oden's Runes enjoyed, as well as freeing those the house had enslaved. I know exactly how you planned to ensnare Zane. You weren't sure if he was a scion. You've been watching his human mother for a year and only saw her mundaneness. But if Zane's father had lied about his death, you wondered if he lied about Zane's parentage. Even if Zane was no more remarkable than his mother, at least you would have an assassin at your beck and call."

Silence reigned. Ella looked past Medusa to where Zane knelt on the floor with Alonzo. "Was I right? Is he a scion?"

Zane was floored. Ella was before an executioner of overwhelming power, and she was looking for what? Vindication?

Medusa loosened the mask at her waist and slipped it over her head. Ella screamed and turned, trying to scramble away, but she didn't get far with her hands and feet tied.

"Is Zane Snow Cortese"—Zane's very bones vibrated. He threw his hands over his ears but could not block out Medusa's great and terrible voice—"a scion? Yes, he is, but he is also a patrón, a servant of Tezcatlipoca, whether he knows it or not. If you had attempted to ensnare him, you would've awakened the sleeping god. He is not forgiving. Your death would have last a hundred years for attempting to steal what belongs to him." Medusa reached into the writhing purse at her belt, pulling out a fistful of squirming colorful snakes. Ella mewled like a wounded animal, begging for mercy.

Medusa cocked her head, listening to what, Zane didn't know. "I think your arrival here has awakened him anyway. One more mess you have made that I will have to clean up. Perhaps if I give him your house, his wrath would be satisfied."

She threw the snakes onto Ella, the sound of rubbing scales growing louder with each passing second. Ella screamed. When the snakes landed on her, Ella writhed. They didn't fall off but found openings in her clothing to burrow underneath. One wrapped around her bound hands… everywhere it touched, her skin turned a dark, granite gray. It dawned on Zane, they were turning Ella to stone. She screamed louder and when she looked at him with pleading eyes, Zane flipped his middle finger at her.

Alonzo tugged him to his feet, and Zane didn't fight to stay. Quickly, he was led back into the house. The garage and mud room doors closed behind them with a boom. Still clinging to each other, he and Alonzo staggered to the dining table. The effects of Her presence lessened the further they were from Medusa.

"Holy shit," Zane gasped in a full breath, pressing a hand to his roiling stomach. How long had he been breathing shallowly? Ella screams cut off sharply.

"Come, let us help you," Saja took Zeus's free arm. "Sit down for a moment."

"I have never seen men walk through her power so easily." The other Valkyrie helping Alonzo sounded incredulous.


Zane snorted. She had brought him to his knees. He probably would have face-planted if Alonzo hadn't caught him. When he looked to Cord and the guys, he was shocked to see them on the floor, out cold. Huh? Medusa's power had been awesome, but not that aw— well, maybe it was. Zane shivered.


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
Chapter Twenty-Six


Thank you for stopping by and reading!!