Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Assassin's Retirement Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part Two #blogstory #Gentleman #ION #amwriting


Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement. Zane is about to find out what is going on... 

Copyright Lexi Ander


The long walls facing East and West had open faced windows. The horizon of the setting sun was shot through with magnificent colors from gold to crimson. Stars, more stars than Zane had seen in a long while, already started to shine in the layers of indigo of the darkening sky above the treetops. Where the hell was he—were they?

The room was huge. At the opposite end was a low banquet table piled high with food, some he didn't recognize. The North and South walls were completely painted with more scenes. A massive crocodile being split apart by shadowed beings and fashioned into land. People like Alonzo, giants foraging for food, cultivating the land, riding… was that a prehistoric Terror Bird? Huge beak like a macaw's and a heavy head, two long strong legs with huge clawed feet, and tiny wings. The creature had been one of South America's top predators. How had the Maricoxi tamed and ridden it? The next panel was of the sun falling from the sky into the ocean. Jaguars whirled up from the depths of the water, swimming to the shore. In their midst was a black Jaguar the size of a mammoth. When they reached shore, they chased the Maricoxi, eating them.

Oh, that couldn't be good. Zane immediately headed to the only door on the west side. Stepping out, he found himself on a torch-lit platform. A shiver rushed over his skin as if he had walked through some kind of barrier. The sound of the night creatures filled the air, almost deafening compared to the quiet the room. Zane stepped back into the room discovering that more than sound was being blocked. From the inside he confirmed the view hadn't been lit by torches, the view only that of a dark landscape. Moving to the window, he reached out his hand, stopping when he felt the electrical zip across his skin. If he turned his head, he could barely see a purple haze around his hand.

Withdrawing, he rubbed at his face and came away with some kind of yellow paste… face paint? His frustration growing, he left the hall again. He needed to find Alonzo and a way out of this dream. Walking to the edge of the platform, he found he was on top of a step pyramid. The stairs were blocked off by the encroaching jungle, the saplings and thick vines had created a barrier. It looked as if no one had ventured that way for a long, long time. Voices carried on the wind and Zane turned, but no one was there. He hurried around the building, reminding himself to be careful. But the closer he came to the sound of people talking, he was sure Alonzo was the one speaking.

Cautiously peering around the corner, Zane frowned. Alonzo knelt before a stained carved-stone altar. He was huge, a giant, hairy man possibly twelve feet tall if he had been standing. As it was, Alonzo was still taller than him while kneeling. Zane was staggered by the sudden rush of relief, but it was short-lived when he realized who Alonzo spoke to: the being of smoke who had appeared in the middle of his living room.

"Please, do not take Zane from me."

Zane hated the begging quality of Alonzo's voice. No one could make him leave.

"You would rather die?" the being asked.

Zane charge from the corner, and Alonzo glanced at him in surprise then with fear when he looked to the… Alonzo had claimed this being was a god, but Zane didn't care. He placed himself between the god and Alonzo, feeling like a mouse among elephants when he looked up and up some more to meet the luminous amber eyes within the smoky figure. He didn't know what was going on. He thought he should say something but wasn't sure what. Before Cord and Crimson Comet had entered his life, Zane wasn't sure he believed in God much less multiple gods. Today he had come face-to-face with not only one, but two.

He held out his palm for a handshake. "We haven't been formally introduced. I am Zane Snow Cortese and Alonzo is mine. While I'm staking territory, so to speak, the people in the… house," Zane motioned to the building behind the god. "They are mine as well, and I will protect what I claim."

Skyld had taught Zane how to hide his emotions but he wanted this being to know he wasn't bluffing. God or not, Zane would find a way to crushed them if they posed a threat.

"I know who you are." The air around the god shifted, crackled with power, and Zane was suddenly faced with a massive black Jaguar—just like in the story panel. "I have been called by many names over the eons. Many lost to time, forgotten by the People, or simply renamed. I have been called Titlacauan, Ipalne Moani, Manikin Sceptor, Father Ocelotl, Necoc Yaotl, Lord of the Near and Nigh, Smoking Mirror, Tepeyollotl, Father of the Night Sky, Possessor of the Sky and Earth, Yohaulli Ehecatl, Ome Acatl, and most recently Black Tezcatlipoca or simply Tezcatlipoca."

Zane hoped he wouldn't have to remember all of that. He swallowed, his mouth arid dry. "Nice to meet you." He waved before he dropped his hand, thinking well, not really. But one did not say such things to a god.

As if he'd heard Zane's thought, the Jaguar grinned, revealing very big sharp teeth.

"I just stopped by to pick up Alonzo. We will get out of your way as soon as I find a door out of this… place."

Behind him, Alonzo snorted out a laugh and the noise eased Zane's apprehension. That wasn't a sound of fear, so Zane trusted they weren't in imminent danger. But the thought was fleeting as he recalled the story panel of jaguars eating the fleeing Maricoxi.

When Alonzo touched his back, Zane turned, still keeping the jaguar in his line of sight but also able to look up into Alonzo's face. There he found reassurance, a silent promise that Alonzo would keep him safe. Zane might have melted a little bit at the endearing expression.

"We protect each other. We are partners," Zane said into the silence.

Alonzo's enormous hand cupped the whole of Zane's torso and pulled him back into Alonzo's splendidly hairy chest. He didn't resist. This felt so right, and he always trusted his instincts.

"Why are you not afraid of him?" the jaguar asked, sitting primly on his haunches.

Zane was immediately annoyed, his attention pulled away from Alonzo. As absurd as the timing was Zane wanted to wallow in Alonzo's embrace. He'd never felt more connected to anyone in his life, not even living with Skyld had given him this sense of belonging.

"I don't know why," he finally responded.

Unintentionally, his eyelids fluttered closed. Alonzo's hand was still wrapped around his torso and the bottom of it kept brushing against Zane's dick. His body reacted to the sensation as if he hadn't had sex in a year. Well, if he didn't count the quick hand job with Alonzo the other night, then yes, it had been a year since he had intercourse. He clawed his way up from the fog of lust, not surprised to find Tezcatlipoca staring intently at him.

"I am not afraid of anything that is happened so far," he confessed. His reactions and possessiveness of Alonzo. The visceral attraction he had toward all six members of Crimson Comet, he was aware that all of it was unnatural. But he was also hard-pressed to bring himself to care.

The jaguar rose and prowled around the darkly stained altar, his whiskers brushing the stone before he gave the surface a long lick. Alonzo seemed to trust Tezcatlipoca, but Zane was well read in ancient Rome, Greek, and Norse myth. One thing that was the same across the regions was: gods were fickle, giving favor one moment in taking it away the next. They could be vengeful. Just that afternoon he had watched the crone aspect of the Goddess Anatha turn Ella into stone. What little he knew about Tezcatlipoca came from Aztec lore, and they had a bloody history of sacrificing humans to all their gods. At the moment, Tezcatlipoca was licking the stone altar like a bloodstained popsicle. Zane would err on the side of caution and protect Alonzo.




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, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Eight, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part Two


Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

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

What am I doing? Trying to catch up after being away for a week. I'm attempting to get all my side stuff done and out of the way so that next week I can go back to concentrating on Constant. So, I've reviewed the audio for Twin Flames. Approved the first 15 minutes for the Songs of the Earth audio. Worked on the next chapter of Assassin's Retirement. Just stuff. :)



Title: Elf Struck
Series: (Matched by Magic Book 4)
Author(s): Jenna Castille
Length: 154 pages
Publisher: 

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Bisexual / BDSM / 

Notes: 


Blurb: Kidnapped at the age of eleven and raised in the Kitsune Court, Takeshi was surrounded by violence and deceit. A romantic relationship wasn’t safe to even consider. Now he’s free to make a life for himself. But Takeshi doesn’t have the first clue about love or desire. Can Divine Intervention find a soulmate for a man whose biggest fear is the possibility of being asexual?

Many things can be said about Aindreas. He’s flighty. He’s serious. He’s bi-sexual. He’s a submissive. He’s a dominant. He loves it all but he can’t seem to find the one person who can love him for all his contradictions. Is Divine Intervention his answer or is he just too much of a duality for any sane person to deal with?

When the BDSM club slut is matched with the warrior virgin, both tempers and desires flare.


Title: King of Gods
Series: (Vampire Crown Book 2)
Author(s): Scarlett Dawn, Katherine Rhodes
Length: 465 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Paranormal / Vampires / Poly /
Notes:

Blurb: The Breaking Time has come in S'Kir. The Spine is ready to be broken and reunite the races. But the Breaker is missing a critical piece of knowledge: Sex is power.

In the Stronghold, a new Queen has been crowned and the time's come for the King Novitiate to face his trials. While the Original druid thinks intimacy is strength, the Queen knows better: Knowledge is power.

Sex will bring power to the druids.
But knowledge is the knife's edge to carve out the power.

*CONTENT WARNING: This book contains graphic language, violent content, and sexual situations (M/F, M/F/M, M/M/M, and M/F/M/M). It is intended for audiences 18+ ONLY.*






Title: Out of the Blue
Series:
Author(s): Lila Rose
Length: 382 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Contemporary / Poly / MMM / Bisexual / Cops /

Notes:

Blurb: At forty, Lan Davis is looking for his damned picket fence and 2.5 kids. What he doesn’t expect is instead of a wife in the picture, his mind keeps conjuring up images of two men. One, his partner in the force, who is as straight as they came, the other an ex, who he’d hurt but never forgot.

After an incident leaves Lan injured, the two men rally around him… only maybe they shouldn’t have. It seems a medicated Lan is a truthful one.

Parker Wilding is pissed at the world. His anger builds when his partner refuses medical care after an attack. Instead, Lan entrusts his neighbour to take care of him—a guy Parker doesn’t trust. While he’s aware they share a history, when the past is revealed, the truth shocks the hell out of him.

Being emotionally crushed ten years ago, Easton Ravel hoped he would never have to see the man who broke him again. Hope is a fickle b*itch. And now he’s not sure how to handle being face-to-face with the man he once loved. Add in the mix the annoying, testy Parker, and Easton finds his limits are pushed.

Just not in the way he thought they would be.

What happens next sure does come out of the blue. 





Title: Panic in Detroit
Series: (Touch of Gray Book 6)
Author(s): Dakota Rebel
Length: 61 pages
Publisher: Supernova Indie Publishing Services LLC (October 15, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifters / Gay /

Notes:

Blurb: Cole and Bryce Grayson, run a paranormal exterminator business with their lover and partner Sebastian. With Bryce and Bastian each suffering from cases of the furries every full moon, Cole was happy to be the odd man out in his normalcy.

However, after hunting down a pack of vampires, Cole Grayson discovers that he may not just be a typical hunter either. While he was aware that he had been adopted and that his birthmother had been a witch, he hadn't realized what that would mean for him until his powers went off like a bomb to help clear a nest a vampires…with no warning or training.

All the beasties within a 50 mile radius felt the pull of Cole's explosion, and have come to investigate. Since it is Halloween, it takes a while for the public to notice something is amiss in their city, but soon Detroit is overrun with ghosts, zombies and witches, making for a night everyone hopes to survive.






Title: Falling for Forest
Series: (Wolves of Solara Book 1)
Author(s): Charlie Tran
Length: 164 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifter / Mpreg / Gay /
Notes:

Blurb: Most packs fight for dominance.

His fights for their lives.

FOREST

All I wanted was a night out with my pack. With my friends.

At first, everything was all fun and games. Dancing with the nameless hottie in the club, getting drunk, and forgetting about all my problems with Thorn, my ex. But that escalated quickly into a night of horror.

I didn't mean to walk in on a drug deal! And the Grey Brotherhood didn't care. They tried to kill me, and my pack killed one of their own in self defense. Now they'll stop at nothing for retribution.

And what's worse, I can feel that red-head's eyes all over me. I'm thankful that he saved my life, but I couldn't possibly drag him into all my problems.

But the more I'm around him, the harder he is to resist.

JASON

A night like any other.

Cruising around downtown Solara, waiting for an emergency to be called to. I loathed how I spent my weekends, but that's what I signed up for. Night shifts as an EMT were harsh, but it paid well.

Then that call came in. My coworker and I responded to a murder at a night club. Arriving at the scene, I expected the blood, the gore. I didn't expect that I'd instantly fall head over heels for the man I'm supposed to be rushing to the hospital.

But why was he attacked, and what's with the dead wolf at the scene? My head tells me to mind my damn business, but my other head is saying something much different.

Falling for Forest is a 44k HFN Romantic Suspense. It contains darker themes of mpreg, foul language, knotty situations, and graphic violence. The first in a series meant to be read in order, and not suitable for readers under eighteen.






Title: Red Sky at Morning
Series:
Author(s): Genna Donaghy
Length: 115 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Friends to Lovers / Sci-Fi / Gay /

Notes:

Blurb: Fox has been secretly in love with his best friend, Tobias, since grade school. But even though Fox has fought in wars overseas, he hasn't worked up the courage to do act on his feelings.

Then, an alien ship appears in the pre-dawn sky and bombs San Francisco.

Fox never imagined he would have to go to war again. Now things have changed. To save himself, and the man he loves, Fox will have to join the fight against the invaders.
But the aliens aren't what they seem, and the real enemy may be within...






Title: Blood and Smoke: 1408
Series:
Author(s): Stephen Kin
Length: 3 hours and 50 minutes
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Genre: Horror

Notes: This was recommended to me.

Blurb: This collection of short stories from the master of modern fiction is available only as an audiobook.

In Blood and Smoke, Stephen King takes us inside a world of yearning and paranoia, isolation and addiction. It is the world of the smoker. In this audio-only collection, the now politically incorrect habit plays a key role in the fates of three different men in three unabridged stories of unfiltered suspense.

In Lunch at the Gotham Café, Steve Davis is suffering through intense withdrawal - from both nicotine and his wife. His desperation for a cigarette and for his ex are almost too much to bear, but that's nothing compared to the horrors that await him at a trendy Manhattan restaurant.

In 1408, Mike Enslin, best selling author of "true" ghost stories, decides to spend the night in New York City's most haunted hotel room. But he must live to write about it without the help of his ex best-friends, his trusty smokes.

And in In the Deathroom, a man named Fletcher is held captive in a Central American stronghold. His captors will use any torturous means necessary to extract the information they want from him. His only hope lies with his last request - one last cigarette, please.







Title: Pack Mates Boxed Set: Volume 2
Series: Pack Mates
Author(s): Lynn Tyler
Length: 865 pages
Publisher: Lynn Tyler Books (December 4, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifters / Gay /

Notes: This series was recommended to me. I've read the first four or so a while back. The rest are in this nifty bundle.

Blurb: Read the stories of the Smooth Rock Falls shifters in books 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the bestselling Pack Mates series. As well, catch up on some of your favorite shifters in two short stories.

Date Night ~ Pack Mates Book 3.5

Shannon’s getting desperate. Between teething, colds and night shifts, he and Gray haven’t been together in weeks. Hell, he’s pretty sure Gray’s three nieces are working together to make sure he never gets any loving from Gray again. But it’s Declan and Quinn to the rescue and Shannon suddenly finds himself in a hotel room with an equally desperate mate.

Michael's Heart ~ Pack Mates Book 4

Michael Ferris lives a solitary life, even as a werewolf within the confines of the Smooth Rock Falls pack. Not willing to risk getting hurt again, he’s built an impenetrable wall around his heart that only a few have had a chance of chipping away at. His job as a firefighter helps to keep his mind off his solitude for a while, but when he meets the right guy, Michael doesn’t know if he can let him in.

Justin Blake isn’t lonely by choice. In fact, he’s not even aware of just how lonely he is until he lays eyes on the handsome firefighter. As the shifter negotiator, Justin finds himself hopelessly drawn to Michael while helping to ease new shifters onto pack lands.

Can two hurting, lost souls heal each other, or will fear keep them apart even as the Smooth Rock Falls pack grows larger?

Michael's Mate ~ Pack Mates Book 4.5

Michael and Justin have come to an understanding. They’ve admitted their love for each other but Michael still struggles with commitment issues. As their mating date looms ever closer, Justin worries the man he loves might just run away. Or worse, trap himself in a mating he doesn’t want. But when it comes down to it, Declan knows exactly what they need.

Pierce's Choice ~ Pack Mates Book 5

After having been removed from his parents' home for his own safety, Pierce Nevitt has lived his entire life at someone else’s whim. The tiger omega has been protected and coddled from the outside world, denied the one thing he wants more than anything: Gavin.

Gavin Jackson ran away from Pierce, terrified of getting too attached, only to discover it was too late. Freshly graduated, he’s been assigned as one of Pierce’s bodyguards when he is moved to Smooth Rock Falls.

Now, someone is trying to kidnap omegas, and the two of them need to figure out who and why before their newly re-kindled love is torn apart forever?

Daniel's Mate ~ Pack Mates Book 6

Big, bad wolf shifter, Daniel Carter has been on the run for years. Finally settling down near the Smooth Rock Falls werewolf pack as a lone wolf, he feels he may actually have a chance at protecting the secret he’s been carrying with him.

Trevor Armstrong is still recovering from half a year of horror. The last thing he wants is to be under the influence of another alpha. So when Daniel offers Trevor the chance to recover without giving an oath to the resident alpha, he jumps at it.

But secrets are not always meant to be kept and one false move can ruin them all.

Rescue

Somehow, among the horrors of war, wolf shifters, Payton Ward and Sven Gunnerson fall for each other and begin a not so secret romance.


Pay had thought the jungle trek and his recovery would be the hardest part of his life. He was wrong. Love is more difficult than he’d ever imagined. His beloved Gunny seems to be having second thoughts about their relationship.


Gunny’s head is reeling. One moment he was carrying his injured lover through hell, the next, he was expected to settle down with a mate. But he’s scared; scared of having his heart broken.
With one unit member missing, and the existence of their species about to be revealed, will Pay and Gunny be able to survive, let alone learn to love?






Title: The Great Cock Hunt
Series: A Cox Fairytale, 2
Author(s): James Cox
Length:
Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Genre: Romance / Parnormal / Fantasy / Fairy Tale / Gay /

Notes: I think this has been kicked off of Amazon but you can still find it through the publisher.

Blurb: Cinderelle is a cross-dresser.

Prince Charming has a shoe fetish.

And the fairy godmother can twist your wish into a nightmare.

Cin wants nothing more than to forget his life as his family’s slave for a few hours. A party at the palace seems like the thing to do. Putting on his step-sister’s clothes, he looks better than any princess there. He stumbles upon the prince’s orgy and, after all these miserable years, Cin finally finds something to live for, to fight for. Prince Henry Charming. Too bad his evil fairy godmother shows up with dwarf reinforcements.

It’s time to take off his stuffed bra and put on a sword, because everyone is hunting poor Cinderelle.





Title: Strays
Series:
Author(s): AJ Thomas
Length: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 25, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Demons / Urban Fantasy /

Notes:

Blurb: Orphaned at a young age and raised in the foster system, Jory Smith has no idea he’s half incubus. He only knows he has the power to heal people, making himself sick in the process. Exploited by a crooked faith healer who sells his abilities and his life to the highest bidder and then left for dead, Jory flees, falling into a job at a small-town café where he can put his lifelong obsession with baking to good use.

But the minister who exploited him wants him back.

Exiled hellhound-turned–bounty hunter Malpheus Pelle has no idea why his human client wants him to track down an incubus. Jory is traumatized and afraid to touch anyone, an emotional handicap that could prove fatal for a demon who requires physical contact. Needing answers, Mal concocts a disastrous plan: pretend to date Jory to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, his plan never included dealing with an ancient demon assassin, Jory’s orgasmic pumpkin cookies, or losing his heart to the incubus he’s supposed to be hunting….



Title: Hell on Earth
Series: Hellhound Omegas
Author: Macy Blake
Length: 219 pages
Publisher:

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Alpha & Omega / 

Note: Yes, I have already read this and loved it! It is a part of the Chosen One universe. I highly recommend all the books in this universe.

Blurb: Protector. Boogeyman. Hellhound. Meshaq has been called it all. As alpha of the hellhounds, his goddess has tasked him with protecting the secrets of the supernatural world. He’s the police of other creatures and the enforcer of the goddess’s rules. If his duty leaves him lonely and longing for a mate and a larger pack, well, the goddess knows the secrets of his heart and she will grant them if it is her will.

Drew Metcalf is a man on the run. When he finds himself in a biker bar surrounded by leather wearing giants, he thinks he’s a goner. But there’s something different about the man slinging drinks. He makes Drew feel safe, something he hasn’t felt in a long time.

When Drew and Shaq’s worlds collide, a different kind of magic happens. Shaq doesn’t understand why he’s so drawn to the human whose life is shrouded in mystery and danger. What Shaq does know is that Drew needs his protection. Magical forces are at work, beginning a battle that will require all of Shaq’s skill as the goddess’s champion. With a terrifying threat looming, Shaq and Drew are in danger of losing more than their hearts.



Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Pact Day: Open to Questions #ValespianPact


I'm back from GRL... Yay! But I've got nothing for today's Pact Day. Boo! 

I thought I would be able to come up with something on Monday or Tuesday, but I've been a bit useless.

So, what I'm going to do instead is open up this blog to questions. Are there burning things you would like to know about any of the characters, books, plots, species, or cultures? Give them to me and I will answer them on next Thursday!

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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


Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement. Chapter 29 is close to 5k so it will be in several parts. Today, Zane wakes up down the rabbit hole... 

Copyright Lexi Ander


Chapter Twenty-Nine

Zane slowly woke to the scent of ash and incense. He frowned. There was also a warm weight draped over his midsection and he blinked his eyes open to discover why. The colorful mural that greeted him was not in his bedroom.

Wait. Hadn't he just been in the living room, arguing with Saja? Where did the animal—the being of smoke come from? Only Alonzo's softly spoken warnings had kept him from reacting.

"Everything will turn out fine," Alonzo had urgently whispered in Zane's ear. "This is my God, Tezcatlipoca. Remember how Medusa said Ella had woken something? This is what she was talking about."

Zane gave a small nod, not taking his eyes off the god made of smoke. There was something familiar, but not quite, about the figure, as if Zane had seen something similar in a dream. He attempted to follow Myranda's conversation with Tezcatlipoca as well as listen to Alonzo. Now that he was watching the god carefully, he could just barely discern a blanket of hazy smoke covering everyone lying on the floor. The only ones with their heads above the ethereal cloud were Raine and Cord. Even with Saja's yelling, no one stirred. If he was not mistaken, they all seem to be having waking dreams, their eyes glassy and distant as if they were seeing and hearing something completely different than what was actually going on. Was the smoke drugging them? Only Cord had moments of clarity, making eye contact with Zane. Each time, his expression turned soft and beseeching, holding a reverence Zane didn't understand.

"Whatever happens next," Alonzo continued in a hushed tone, "know that Tezcatlipoca won't harm you." Alonzo's urgency caused Zane's protectiveness to rise just before everything went dark.

Silently, Zane counted slowly, working to control his breathing as he stared at the mural on the ceiling, not really seeing it. As his racing heart slowed, he could better concentrate on the picture. Bright yellows, reds, and greens created a colorful mosaic of snarling creatures and feathered serpents, the colors deepening with the setting sun. He glanced to the windows. Their construction was obviously at a time before glass was used, the gauzy curtains billowing on the warm breeze as the waning light casting shadows. In Idaho, it had been early afternoon. Either he was far from home or he had been unconscious for more than a couple of hours, probably a combination of both.

Lifting his head, he looked around the room that was as big as a modern-day banquet hall. All the plastered walls were covered in detailed pictures of stylized jaguars and two-legged Jaguar-men in stages of stalking, hiding, and hunting. It all was quite captivating until the person draped over his lap shifted, drawing his attention to the massive bed he lay on.

What the hell? He'd assumed it was Alonzo with him but got the shock of his lifetime when his fingers grazed cool scales instead of silky black hair. Rising on his elbow, Zane almost forgot to breathe when he pushed aside the bright blue sheet to reveal a snoring lizard-man. Now he knew he had to be dreaming, but when he ran his fingers over the glossy red scales, they felt real enough. Glancing further down the lizard-man's body, he counted two hands, two feet, and a tail. The lizard-man snuffled, his snout was not as prominent as say, a dragon's, but not as flat as a human's face. Something niggled at Zane that told him he knew this person—being.

Zane studied the other bodies, lying around him in almost a perfect circle with him being in the middle. Skyld was the easiest to identify, laying on his side, wearing a dented suit of armor like a knight from the 16th-century. He looked so much younger sleeping, the scowl he always wore was nowhere to be seen.

If Skyld was here… Zane looked back to the scaled head laying on his stomach. Could this be Cord's Grendel form? That felt right. Glancing around again he took in each being, attempting to connect them to the people he knew.

A large sea lion with a luxurious coat the color of blue pearls reminded Zane of Prince. The ghostly wolf the size of a pony… Xander perhaps. Was that a fish-man next to him? Blue-gray skin, webbed and clawed fingers… and some kind of spiny fin on the forearms. The face wasn't monstrous, but more alien in appearance with a flat nose and big eyes. Even in repose, the being emanated ire and Zane could only guess this was Raine's alternate form. Next to him was a being of… Was he a tree? No, the skin looked like stone, but broad leaves and ropey vines covered the long body. Thick moss hung from the head, flowing down to hide the being's face. He smelled like Midnight.

The last being truly gave Zane pause, and he was glad he didn't have a phobia to arachnids. One the size of a large dog lay with its turquoise and orange legs curled under its body as it slept. That had to be Anson, which made Zane see Anson in a new light. As strange as these forms were, they did not distract Zane from the fact that Alonzo wasn't anywhere to be seen.

Scowling, Zane cautiously extracted himself from the Grendel, careful not to wake any of the sleeping beings. Though he wasn't scared, he was not in a place mentally to deal with them if they were aroused. He believed this place was a dream of some kind and wanted to get a sense of it first.

Once he was able to stand, he tiptoed out of the circle, glad the bed was on the floor instead of the platform. Could someone fall and break their neck in a dream? Zane didn't want to tempt fate. But once he was finally clear, he ran into another problem… Well, two. One, he wasn't wearing a stitch of clothing and there was nothing immediately at hand. The second, he was covered head to toe in ash. When he glanced back at the guys, he realized they were covered as well, they just didn't show it as prominently as Zane with his light skin. He wiped at the ash, but the motion only smeared the substance more and he gave up.

A hollowness formed in his chest as he wondered again where Alonzo was. He didn't like this growing sense of alarm. He'd spent years controlling his emotions, his expressions, his reactions. Here he was unable to force down the rising apprehension caused by this separation from Alonzo. It felt wrong… unnatural, and that feeling grew with every passing moment. It was as if he and Alonzo had been together every single day of their lives, never having been out of each other's sight, and suddenly he'd been set adrift… alone. It was completely ridiculous, but Zane wouldn't discount how he felt.




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, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Eight, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part One


Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

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

What am I doing? I'm at GRL this week having a great time!



Title: The Mere Wife
Series: 
Author(s): Maria Dahvana Headley
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: MCD (July 17, 2018)

Genre: Myth Retold in a Contemporary world.

Notes: 


Blurb: New York Times bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley presents a modern retelling of the literary classic Beowulf, set in American suburbia as two mothers—a housewife and a battle-hardened veteran—fight to protect those they love in The Mere Wife.

From the perspective of those who live in Herot Hall, the suburb is a paradise. Picket fences divide buildings—high and gabled—and the community is entirely self-sustaining. Each house has its own fireplace, each fireplace is fitted with a container of lighter fluid, and outside—in lawns and on playgrounds—wildflowers seed themselves in neat rows. But for those who live surreptitiously along Herot Hall’s periphery, the subdivision is a fortress guarded by an intense network of gates, surveillance cameras, and motion-activated lights.

For Willa, the wife of Roger Herot (heir of Herot Hall), life moves at a charmingly slow pace. She flits between mommy groups, playdates, cocktail hour, and dinner parties, always with her son, Dylan, in tow. Meanwhile, in a cave in the mountains just beyond the limits of Herot Hall lives Gren, short for Grendel, as well as his mother, Dana, a former soldier who gave birth as if by chance. Dana didn’t want Gren, didn’t plan Gren, and doesn’t know how she got Gren, but when she returned from war, there he was. When Gren, unaware of the borders erected to keep him at bay, ventures into Herot Hall and runs off with Dylan, Dana’s and Willa’s worlds collide.


Title: Darkness

Series: (Darkest Nightmares Book 1)

Author(s): Brynn Burke, Elizabeth Knox

Length: 200 pages

Publisher: Knox Publishing (August 25, 2018)



Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Dark Fantasy / 



Notes: 



Blurb: Jett

For generations, I have been the being who lurks in the dark. The one that feeds on the screams of pain and fear, cold sweats and the nightmares in which I cause. I am the monster you warned your children about.

No one can escape my clutches, no matter how hard they try; I show them who they truly are deep down.

Centuries ago, I was possessed by a creature of whom I had no name for. I was nothing but your average human, a man who was fighting for his king and slaying many monsters in his name. The next thing I knew, I became that monstrosity that I tried to eliminate every day of my life. In the matter of hours, everything had changed drastically. I was used to fighting the dark and suddenly the dark became part of me.

There is no reasoning for what I have become. I embrace it - embrace the hideousness of my appearance because no one is as grotesque as I.

I am bitter. I don’t want to be the man who surrounds myself in a cloak of shadows, of serpents and arachnids, of smoke and ghouls. I want to return to the glory days. If only it was that simple.

Haven

Throughout my entire life I have felt out of place, that is until one day I discovered a place where I didn’t feel like the outcast that others made me out to be. I didn’t feel ugly, sinister, or even dark compared to those who I surrounded myself with.

I was a human, or so I thought.

I didn’t know that only supernaturals could gain entry into Sanctuary, not until I walked through those doors and began speaking to the others. It’s name is exactly what it is - a Sanctuary for all supernaturals and paranormals regardless of beliefs. It was the one place we could all go to that wouldn’t result in bloodshed, agony or pain.

I have been here for years, becoming friends with the owner of this place and ultimately landing myself a job as a barmaid and having a warm place to rest my head. Still, I do not know what I am. I have talked to the others and they have told me stories of paranormals with great powers who have to wait to discover their abilities.

It seems I am one of these rare and far between. I only wish that things were simple, but I know better. Nothing was ever simple in this life. 




Title: Death by Dick

Series: (A Cox Club Story Book 2)

Author(s): James Cox

Length: 

Publisher: Evernight Publishing (September 4, 2018)



Genre: Erotic Romance / Contemporary / FBI / Light Mystery /



Notes: 



Blurb: The day a hooker dropped dead on Kyler’s dick changed his life forever…

When Kyler graduated high school, he wanted to give himself the gift of his first blowjob from a sexy male hooker. Then said hooker drops dead in his lap. Yeah, he has that kind of luck. Now, the police are after him, he can’t go home because of an abusive father, and he ends up working at The Cox Club, a small town gay gentlemen’s club.

Seamus is on his first undercover mission for the FBI. The problem is that he doesn’t think their terrorist suspect, Kyler, is guilty. Oh, and there’s also the matter of giving Kyler a hand job … on the FBI’s hidden camera. His first field mission may be his last.

When bullets start flying, it’s up to Seamus to find out the truth and he has to do it before Kyler becomes a victim.




Title: Consume

Series: Hellish, 1

Author(s): Charity Parkerson

Length: 54 pages

Publisher: Punk & Sissy Publications (July 17, 2017)



Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Vampire / Gay / 



Notes: 



Blurb: Jonathan thinks Cin is too perfect to be real. He’s right.

As the top investigative reporter for Global Daily, Jonathan travels all over the world. Three weeks in Tortola, covering the story of the disappearance of twelve women, sounds like heaven. After all, the island is one of the most beautiful in the world. He doesn’t have many leads. The women only have one thing in common. They all went missing from the same club—Consume. Fifteen minutes into visiting the club, Jonathan sees him, and the world slips away.

Cinaed, better known as Cin, spots Jonathan the moment he walks through the club’s door. It’s obvious the man is out of place. Cin slips into Jonathan’s mind, catching visions he can’t shake. He’s never wanted a human for anything other than blood and sex, but Jonathan is different. That’s why Cin has to keep the man addicted to being in his bed and send him home safely. There’s nothing in Tortola for Jonathan except death.

Once Jonathan’s three weeks are at an end, it doesn’t take long for him to realize something is wrong. His trip has been—at best—a hazy memory of steamy nights, and he never spent a moment researching his story. No matter how deep he digs into the recesses of his brain, there’s nothing except the sexy Scot he met at Consume. With a burning need to know everything, and a deep fear he’s been drugged to keep him from his investigation, Jonathan cashes in his extensive vacation time before setting out to break this story. This time, he’s determined he won’t let anything keep him from the truth, even if it means finding out Cin is the man behind everything.

Author note: This is a short introduction into my new M/M vampire series, Hellish. It was first published in the anthology Vampires of the Caribbean.




Title: Betrothed

Series: The Alpha Princes, 1

Author(s): Claire Cullen

Length: 311 pages

Publisher: 


Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Poly / Gay / Mpreg / 

Notes: 


Blurb: Life’s no fairy tale, especially for an omega.

When William’s father names him heir to the throne, it kicks off an event the alpha has both longed for and dreaded; the courtship contest. In a matter of weeks, he has to choose the two people he’ll spend the rest of his life with. He has Elliott; his best friend and secret love. But his family cares more about making ‘the right kind’ of match and less about little things like love and happiness. Will doesn’t want to end up in an unhappy marriage like his father, and he doesn’t share his family’s loathing of omegas.

Elliott loves Will with all his heart, and the long wait for them to be together is almost over. But first, he has to help William with the difficult task of choosing a third person to share their life with. When he meets Cinder, he knows there’s something special about the shy omega. Choosing an omega won’t be easy given the kingdom’s past, but he’s determined they’ll make it work. Until he realizes there’s more working against them than simple jealousy and family politics.

Like every omega in their island kingdom, Cinder dreams of being invited to the palace and the prince falling in love with him. Too bad that only happens in fairy tales. When his stepfather sabotages any chance he has of being selected, Cinder thinks it’s time to let go of his dreams. But when a twist of fate sees him wind up in the palace anyway, he has the chance he’s always wanted. He finds himself dealing with jealous betas, his bully of a stepbrother, and a royal family who want to pretend omegas don’t exist. Even that won’t deter him when he finally sets his eyes on Prince William and his close friend, Elliott. But someone in the palace is determined to put a stop to things and when Cinder finds himself imprisoned, their fairy tale romance hangs in the balance.

Betrothed is a ~ 97,000-word novel featuring a polyamorous romance, a modern-day fairy tale, intrigue, angst, mpreg, knotting, and of course, happy endings. There are scenes not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.




Title: Priest & Pariahs


Series: (Centauri Survivors Second Chance Chronicles Book 3)

Author(s): J. Alan Veerkamp

Length: 267 pages

Publisher: NineStar Press (September 24, 2018)



Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay /



Notes: 



Blurb: Costa McQuillen has escaped from Earth, where being para-human—a Pariah—with tech empathic abilities is illegal, and marks him for extermination. Arrogant and standoffish, Costa is unable to trust anyone but is willing to risk everyone’s safety in his desperate effort to reach the planet Omoikane. His best solution, gaining passage on board the Santa Claus.

Arbor Kittering is the crew’s newest coding tech. Having spent a short time in prison for data hacking and falsifying government files, the Santa Claus is his last chance at a new start—if he can decipher the strange malfunctions plaguing the ship.

Eugene “Priest” Jones, the Santa Claus’s Head Pilot, is a bit of a scoundrel. Perpetually single, Priest is attracted to Costa and Arbor. In truth, he’d like to have both, but it’s clear even his grifting and gambling skills can’t make that happen.

Now as they all travel together, it appears Priest needs to make a choice before it’s too late as each of their lives intertwine with potentially dangerous and deadly consequences.




Title: Senses Vol 1

Series: 

Author(s): Andrew Grey

Length: 498 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 2, 2016)



Genre: Romance / Contemporary / Gay / 



Notes: This was recommended to me.



Blurb: Sometimes the heart is the most important sense. Caring for a young daughter with cancer is almost enough to make Ken Brighton give up, in Love Comes Silently, but former singer and next-door neighbor Patrick Flaherty brings hope for both of them—if he can manage to break his silence. In Love Comes in Darkness, Howard Justinian has always had to fight for his independence, in spite of his blindness, but when tragedy strikes, he may have to accept help in the form of unassuming Gordy Jarrett. In Love Comes Home, Greg Hampton’s son Davey is losing his eyesight, but Tom Spangler isn’t going to let that stop a boy from playing his favorite game.




Title: Falkrag
Series: (Wytch Kings Book 5)
Author(s): Jaye McKenna
Length: 258 pgaes
Publisher:
Mythe Weaver Press (August 22, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Dragons / Gay /

Notes:

Blurb: Newly released from his bondage to the Wytch Council, Prince Shaine of Rhiva strives to prove that he can be trusted. Burdened by guilt and shame, but determined to help the Northern Alliance win the coming war against the Wytch Council, Shaine ventures into the Iceshards to investigate an ancient ruin rumored to contain a hidden cache of powerful weapons. He doesn’t get far before being badly wounded by a deadly mountain predator.

Son of the hunt leader of his village, Vorri is destined to one day lead his people, a group of exiled shifters from Rhiva who have survived in the dangerous Iceshards for nearly three hundred years. When the hunters who keep the village fed begin disappearing, the fearful village elders forbid anyone to seek them out. Determined to save the missing hunters, his own brother and sister among them, Vorri disobeys, and sets off alone to find them.

When Vorri saves Shaine from certain death, the two young men strike a bargain: Vorri will help Shaine find the ruin, and Shaine will aid Vorri in his search for his kin. But fulfilling the bargain turns out to be far from simple, and in the end, Shaine and Vorri’s actions could change both the course of the war and the future of Vorri’s people.





Title: Long Black Cadillac

Series: 

Author(s): BA Tortuga

Length: 210 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 2 edition (October 12, 2018)



Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Vampires / Gay /



Notes: 



Blurb: When cop-turned-vampire-hunter Vance is sent to eliminate a bloodsucker from the Louisiana swamps, he figures it’s just another day at the office.

But he has no idea what he’s getting into.

Clay is no ordinary vampire, and the spark he lights in battle-scarred Vance is anything but average. Clay should be the enemy, but Vance is powerless to fight something that feels so right… and so damn good. In Clay’s expert hands, Vance might realize he’s misjudged vampires and that donating a little blood can be sexy as hell.

Clay might even ride to the rescue and save his new love when Vance’s mission goes south and Vance becomes the hunted instead of the hunter. Along with his human familiar, a crazy Cajun named Remy, and the enigmatic older vampire Gryphon, Clay must get to Vance before it’s too late. Then they can find the man who betrayed Vance and take their revenge.

But faced with lies and motives darker than they ever imagined, they’ll have to wade through blood and fight their way to a happily ever after…. 




Title: The Alien Assassin's Convenient Wife

Series: An 'In The Stars' Romance Novella

Author(s): Ruby Dixon

Length: 120 pages

Publisher: 



Genre: Romantic Comendy / Sci-Fi / 


Notes: 


Blurb: One half of an intergalactic assassin team, Jadzion heads to New Mexico for his target while his brother Heriot heads to California. They've traveled millions of miles and through star systems to find their targets, who are gun-runners on a galactic scale. Now, though, Jadzion has a problem. He's waited until the last minute to go planetside, and his target's at a couples retreat.

Jadzion is solo.

The solution is obvious - Jadzion needs a wife. Just for the weekend, of course.


Using a thing called a 'dating app' he finds a woman named Jenna. He tells her he needs to marry her, right away. Jenna, naturally, is confused. But the longer she's around Jadzion, the more she thinks he's not from around here...and that he just might be the one for her.


Thank you for stopping by and reading!!