Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter 34, Part 2 #amwriting #ION #gentleman #blogstory

Welcome Back to Assassin's Retirement. Finally! What are mantles? So it begins. :D

Copyright Lexi Ander

Skyld's grunt was filled with disgust. "We will find a way to get rid of him before he can do anything with what he knows. Even if I have to follow the ION agents back to San Diego, we will eliminate the threat he poses."

Zane hoped so, otherwise the body count would climb with every person Duvan came in contact with outside Denise, Beck, and Diego.

"There is nothing we can do about him now. Let's take a look at these mantles. I might be able to identify where some of them belong before I contact grandfather."

Zane agreed, though he hated having a threat like Duvan unresolved. He placed two of the cases on the floor, leaving one on the desk.

"These are runes, aren't they?" Zane indicated the symbols made by the brass tacks in the leather.

"They are protection runes, keeping magic practitioners from divining what the cases hold," Skyld replied.

"It doesn't hamper that murmuring," he commented, examining the latch for a trap. He wouldn't put it past Elle to have some kind of poison trigger.

"Since you and I are of the blood of scions, we will always be able to hear the call of unclaimed mantles. These protections are dampening the sounds, muddling the words so only those this close can hear them. That we can hear them at all is a testament to how powerful the mantles are." The more Skyld spoke, the angrier he became.

"Then I guess we need to get them back to where they belong." Determining there wasn't anything odd with the latch, Zane flicked it and the murmuring went suddenly quiet. But when he flipped the lid up, he staggered back at the sudden boom of numerous exclamations. That quiet murmur had turned into a cacophony of desperation that caused Zane to want to draw his guns and start shooting. They were all speaking at once, demanding Zane's attention.

"Please hear us, Scion!"


"We are saved!"

"Help us!"

"I want to go home!"

"Where is my family? They are unprotected without me!"

"Please help!"

"Where are we?"

"No, where is she?"

"We must escape!"

"Hurry, before she returns!"

A headache bloomed in Zane's temples. For every plea he understood there were six more he could not comprehend. "Enough!" he snapped, unable to take any more.

Unexpectedly, the voices stopped, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Prying his eyes open, he glanced at Skyld who looked ghostly pale.

Feeling as if he should explain things, he looked into the interior of the case. The black velvet was hidden by dozens of smaller boxes of various shapes. "Elle is gone," he started, felling like an idiot, but he continued. "She is dead, and I have been given the task of making sure you are returned to your… families."

"Not to House of Odin's Runes?" one voice queried.

"Defiantly not them," he responded.

Realizing this was going to more complicated than he had anticipated, Zane glanced at the monitors. He should return to his guests soon and sorting the mantles felt like a day long endeavor. Skyld could help him, but ultimately, Anatha had made him responsible.

"For right now, we are going to pull you out of these cases. When I have more time, I will sit down with you and contact your families."

"Oh, thank you. We hate being locked up."

Skyld helped Zane empty the three cases onto the desk. Since they anticipated the rush of excited voices from the other two case, they were better able to deal with and subdue them. Those already freed helped, and Zane experienced a surreal moment he couldn't shake when the inanimate objects talked to each other. Eventually, Zane came to the end of what he could endure and rushed from the room after promising to return.

Skyld was on his heels, and when he closed the door, they were standing in the freezer. Zane stopped and took a second to gather himself, breathing in the chilled are as if he had been holding his breath. Of everything that had happened, that was the hardest to wrap his mind around. His headache only grew each time he tried.

"When I was a child, I used to love to listen to our mantles speak to each other," Skyld said, watching Zane closely, reaching over to squeeze Zane's neck. "I grew up with the natural phenomenon. But even I was overwhelmed by their need and fear."

"I have never heard your mantle… err… say anything." Zane glanced down at Skyld's wrists where the wide leather bands rested.

"She doesn't say much. Mantles, once they choose a scion, typically only speak with their person. Unclaimed mantles are the chatty ones. But when Paul sent you to me, I asked her to be careful. There wasn't a reason to say anything when there wasn't a chance of you claiming a mantle of your own when you came of age." Skyld sounded worried, as if he expected Zane to be angry. He wasn't, well, at least not at Skyld. Elle's house, on the other hand, he was furious with.

"No worries," Zane replied, making sure to meet Skyld's eyes, allowing him to see he spoke the truth. With a sigh of relief, Skyld squeezed Zane's neck again.

Before leaving the freezer, Zane grabbed some items to thaw. He had many people to feed for the next few days. He hoped that doing something mundane and domestic would help calm his nerves. Sometimes he did his best thinking while doing simple tasks.

Back in the kitchen, he loaded the instapot with one of the frozen roasts. He searched the refrigerator for root vegetables, washed them, and set out the cutting board. As he chopped, his mind wondered. Perhaps he could use el Chupacabra to lure the Grendel hunter out into the open? While he took care of the psychopath, Skyld could put down the el Chupacabra. Zane grinned to himself and popped a hunk of carrot into his mouth. See, it was already working. By the end of the day, he would have a great plan that would tie up all loose ends.

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
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part Three
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part Four
Chapter Thirty, Part One
Chapter Thirty, Part Two
Chapter Thirty-One
Chapter Thirty-One, Part Two
Chapter Thirty-Two
Chapter Thirty-Three, Part One
Chapter Thirty-Three, Part Two
Chapter Thirty-Three, Part Three
Chapter Thirty-Four, Part One
Chapter Thirty-Four Part Two
Chapter Thirty Five

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

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

What am I doing? Well, I'm not on vacation anymore, which was half taken up with me being sick. Great but not great, if you know what I mean. :) 

Next week I will be jumping back into the last third of Constant rewrites. I got some ideas of some additional content I want to add to the very end, but I won't know if it will work until I get to a certain place.

This week I wrote a couple of chapters on Assassin's Retirement. Every time I think I know where it's going, something happens. Not that I'm complaining. It's one of the things I enjoy about writing by the seat-of-my-pants. For instance, last weekend I thought the story would be in the home stretch with some 20k words to go. But about Tuesday, I couple of ideas came to me about what the story needed but would also add more words. On one hand, I'm about ready to switch up the story. On the other hand, the story isn't finished and I'm struggling to find where I should stop it.

And there is always the books to read!

Title: Spare Parts
Author: TJ Land
Length: 333 pages
Publisher: NineStar Press (October 22, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Poly / Gay


Blurb: Ugh, organics are revolting. Damp, inefficient, prone to leaking—everything Meteor despises. The last thing he and his accomplices Gloss and Spike want to do is set foot on a planet infested with billions of the horrible things. To add insult to injury, to escape detection while on Earth, they’ve no choice but to disguise themselves as the aforementioned moist bipeds. The indignity is almost more than his circuits can bear.

But there’s no alternative. For centuries, Meteor, Gloss, and Spike were nothing more than three of thousands of robots programmed to serve the whims of a hyper-advanced intergalactic species. If they want to avoid being recaptured by their old owners, they need to find a weapon hidden millennia ago in Earth’s soil. Meteor’s ambitions, however, don’t stop at merely escaping capture. He’s got big plans for the species that built him to be a slave. Big, violent plans. And it’ll all work out perfectly provided he can keep reminding the other two of what they’re on Earth to do.

What they’re not there to do is have fun. But flighty, excitable Spike quickly forgets that.

What they’re not there to do is learn about kissing. But cold, analytical Gloss finds his attention drawn that way regardless.

What they’re not there to do is become human. But Meteor has spent several hundred years bored out of his mind and humans…well, damp as they are, they’re not boring. Which is a problem, because Meteor can’t afford distractions—not with their owners searching the galaxy for them and getting closer every day.

Title: Stallion Mage: Secret Omega
Author: A.O. Spade
Length: 155 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Fantasy / Gay

Notes: This is different and sounds intriguing... and I read it yesterday. I'm not a fan of epithets (which this story uses a ton of) but the storyline is interesting. No instalust, no instalove, and the mage is not an incapable omega. I started the second book last night after I finished the first. There really isn't any romance either and I'm thinking that will come, maybe, in the last book of this trilogy. There is only one POV and that has worked fine so far. 

Blurb: Book 1 of a 3-part gay mpreg shifter series set in an Stone Age fantasy world.

In a tribe of stallion shifters, Alvarr is smaller and more delicate than the rest of his tribe-brothers. But he is also a rare stallion mage, a male shifter who can perform magic... a talent only found in mares.

The other tribe members mistrust Alvarr and his powers over the earth. Though the Elder stallions view the mage as something precious, they are the only ones who value him. Even the strong, commanding lead stallion, Laren, keeps his distance.

The leader's rejection of the smaller mage hurts, until the Time of Mating brings them together. Two nights in the woods change the course of their lives forever.

This story contains M/M shifter romance / sex scenes. Mature readers only.

Title: Stallion Assassin
Author: Stephanie Park
Length: 64 pages
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (December 15, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay /


Blurb: The bastard Valde Fitzroy has but one purpose in life: to serve his unacknowledged father, Lord Royan, by slaying his enemies. He has performed this duty for many years, amid the endless intrigues of the were-horse clans.

Yet when Lord Royan dies, Valde is left without purpose. He finds himself following his last target, Raneld Orley, the youngest son of the new king. He doesn’t understand why, nor does he understand why he alternately rages against and is drawn to the oh-so-perfect prince. But as his fate begins to unfold, the curse that drives him becomes clear.

Fate may twist in strange ways, though. So what happens when a cursed assassin comes to lust after -- and love -- his intended target?

Title: The Gladiator's Downfall
Series: (Age of the Andinna Book 1)
Author: Kristen Banet
Length: 437 pages

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Action  Adventure / Paranormal / Poly / Reverse Harem /

Notes: There is triggering content in this series including but not limited to: abuse, violence, mature language, and sexual content. 

Blurb: Mave knows where she stands in life. 

She’s an Andinna. A member of the winged, horned, and tailed warrior race that the Elvasi Empire defeated in the Hundred Year War and then enslaved. She’s a slave, and has been one for a thousand years, the personal property of the Empress of the Elvasi Empire, since the end of the War. She’s a gladiator, thrown onto the sands of the Colosseum to die, though it backfired on those who wanted her dead. She’s the Champion of the Colosseum, and has been for roughly nine hundred years.

All of these things have marked her as an outcast among her own people. Hated, distrusted, and despised, she knows the name of her people, but not much else.

But she knows where she stands. Keeping her head down and her blades sharp has carried her this far, and she refuses to acknowledge the deepest wishes she holds in her heart. Those will only get her killed.

Alone, she’s stood against everything they have ever thrown at her, refusing to give them what they want.

What Mave doesn’t know is that it’s all about to change.

The Gladiator’s Downfall is a 129,000+, full-length novel.
Age of the Andinna is a reverse harem epic fantasy series. The female lead will collect her lovers as the series progresses.

Title: Nomad's Dream
Author: August Li
Length: 192 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (January 29, 2019)

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay / 

Notes: releases Jan 29

Blurb: Two men, each with a hidden destiny. Can they defeat a web of deceit and dark magic to ensure their fates intertwine?

Bedouin Isra al-Grayjaab’s dreams lead him to Janan, an amnesiac beggar on the street of Qena—one who steals his heart and starts him on a seemingly hopeless quest. With only their wits, Isra’s knowledge of the desert’s secrets, and the aid of a mercurial djinn, they must recover Janan’s past. But neither can predict his true identity or the lengths others will go to see that his mind remains broken and his true power out of his reach.

In a sweeping romantic adventure that takes them across the Eastern Desert to the modern streets of Cairo and on to the luxurious Red Sea Coast, Janan and Isra seek a truth that will either bring them into each other’s arms or tear them apart forever.

Title: Moon Shadows
Author: Neena Jaydon
Length: 225 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press, LLC (October 31, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Urban Fantasy / Gay / 


Blurb: Not every werewolf can lead the pack, and that suits Theo just fine. He's built a quiet life as a game tester, and has no desire to change it. But when he pulls Anastasia from a river, it thrusts him right into the public spotlight he dreads—and brings him to the attention of Max, Anastasia's brother.

Like Theo, Max has a secret: he can communicate with ghosts and spirits. When life-draining spirits begin to stalk Fort Rivers, it will take them both to save the day. And as the case continues, Max starts to see a man he wants, and Theo a man he might be able to truly trust. But before they figure out what they could be to each other, an even darker threat comes to Fort Rivers...

Title: Devouring Flame
Author: EJ Russell
Length: 225 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; None edition (January 8, 2019)

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay /


Blurb: An Enchanted Occasions Story

Reunited and reignited.

While cutting through the Interstices—the post-creation gap between realms—Smith, half-demon tech specialist for Enchanted Occasions Event Planning, spies the person he yearns for daily but dreads seeing again: the ifrit, Hashim of the Windrider clan.

On their one literally smoldering night together, Smith, stupidly besotted, revealed his true name—a demon’s greatest vulnerability. When Hashim didn’t return the favor, then split the next morning with no word? Message received, loud and clear: Thanks but no, thanks.

Although Hashim had burned to return Smith’s trust, it was impossible. The wizard who conjured him holds his true name in secret, and unless Hashim discovers it, he’ll never be free.

When their attraction sparks once more, the two unite to search for Hashim’s hidden name—which would be a hell of a lot easier if they didn’t have to contend with a convention full of food-crazed vampires on the one day out of the century they can consume something other than blood.

But if they fail, Hashim will be doomed to eternal slavery, and their reignited love will collapse in the ashes.

Luckily Smith is the guy who gets shit done. And Hashim is never afraid to heat things up.

Title: The Dragon's Doorstep Baby
Series: (Dragons of Cinderhollow Book 3)
Author: Hawke Oakley
Length: 218 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Shifters / Gay / 

Notes: I'm not sure this can be read as a standalone, but it sounds like it can.

Blurb: No alpha wants Scar.

Wolf omega Scar abandoned his old name along with the traumas of his past fifteen years ago. The pain rendered him bitter and tough - to protect the gentle soul he keeps secret from the world. Now the owner of the Drunken Dragon bar in Cinderhollow tribe, his life is safe but unfulfilling. Scar desperately wants a child of his own. But with every stare on the street and cruel words spoken under breath, Scar knows his disfigured body isn't what anyone wants to see - especially not an alpha seeking a mate.

Scar is running out of time. He's not the young omega he used to be, and if an alpha can't see him for who he is inside soon, he might not ever have a family - or a reason to live again.

No omega wants Ryu.

It's hard being an alpha dragon who can't even get a date, especially when all of Ryu's friends have mates and children already. Business at Ryu's magic school is slow, but the loneliness is even worse. All Ryu wants is an omega - and maybe a baby - to hold dear. Ryu knows there must be someone out there who can love him, and his serpentine Eastern dragon form, for what he is.

But when Ryu finally begins dating a young omega he met at a bar, he doesn't feel as happy as he should. Instead, he can't stop thinking about the bar's mysterious owner, an omega named Scar. But Scar is cold and bitter, and he only pushes Ryu away. So why does that make Ryu want him even more?

No one wants baby Angel.

Scar's life turns upside down when an abandoned baby turns up on The Drunken Dragon’s doorstep one night. Confused and afraid, Scar seeks the help of the kindest alpha he knows - Ryu. Baby Angel is helpless, and the two wildly different men must cooperate to save her. But will an unexpected baby pull them together, or push them apart - forever?

The Dragon’s Doorstep Baby is a full-length novel with steamy scenes and a HEA. It is the third book in the Dragons of Cinderhollow series.

Title: Adrian
Series: Seattle Betas Book 1
Author: Meyari McFarland
Publisher: MDR Publishing (November 22, 2018)

Genre: Romance / paranormal / Shifter / Gay / 

Notes: The font on this cover was hard to read. I'm interested in this book because Betas are overlooked.

Blurb: Adrian loved his sister Michi but her marriage was going to drive him crazy. Once she was off on her way to Montana to start a new shifter pack with her mate Sal, he could relax. Heck, once he got them all off to the reception he'd be done.

At the reception, Adrian discovered Leslie hiding in the kitchen bathroom. Their quiet talk on the back steps led to a job offer and an old lover at both their throats.

Dealing with international smuggling rings and Evan's threats was simpler than sorting out what to do about their rising attraction to each other.

The question wasn't could they be good together.

It was what divided Beta from Alpha? And did it matter with so much on the line?

Adrian is a MM shifter romance that features past partner abuse, attempted murder, smuggling rings and wolf packs with All The Kids. These queer shifters falling in love is a guaranteed winner. Don't miss out—get Adrian now!

Title: Not an Elf
Series: Fae in Cardiff, 1
Author: AR Moler

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Fantasy / Gay /


Blurb: Part of the Fae in Cardiff world

Artist Zephariah Lewis runs from his terminal cancer diagnosis to a friend's remote cabin in the mountains. While contemplating his last likely option, he runs into an attractive and unusual man dressed in archaic clothes and carrying archery equipment. Who is this strange alluring man? Llyr isn't what he seems. He's fae and finds the human fascinating. But just how long will he be able to get to know Zeph? The clock is ticking.

Title: Pythen
Series: (Galactic Order Book 1)
Author: Erin Raegan
Length: 248 pages

Genre: Alien Romance 


Blurb: Peyton

I was having a cold coffee with my best friend Vivian when the whole world went upside down.

Now there are gazelle-glowing-like-a-light-bulb aliens running around eating everybody, and enormous dark purply colored aliens that have a strong resemblance to bats, dive bombing from the sky.
One of the bats says I'm his and I need to ease his mating rage. 

Yeah, not happening.

Except, they tell me the fate of my world comes down to me sacrificing myself to him. Maybe this won't go like I planned. But I figure, if I have to bend to the big guy's will, I'm damn well getting something out of it.


My Pythe is a human. 

Weak as they are, I cannot fathom how she was chosen for me. The Commander of all Dahk. 

But then she rises up for her species and I cannot help but notice her fierce heart.

I will slaughter all who dare harm her and her species, and she will be mine.

***Warninig. For readers 18 years and older. Contains explicit sexual situations, possible triggers, dark themes, and violence. Start of a series featuring these characters and multiple others.

Title: Remember Tomorrow
Series: Mnevermind Trilogy Collection
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Length: 482 pages

Genre: Romantic Elements / Distopia / Futuristic / 


Blurb: When artificial memories are everywhere, how can you tell what’s real?

Daniel was a hotshot memorysmith, a major innovator in the field of recreational memories—until his father, Big Dan, suffered a freak persistent memory that sent their business into a tailspin. Now Daniel labors behind the scenes, seeking only to cure the persistent false memory and salvage their failing shop.

Elijah is the most talented mind in the memory industry, but because that mind is far from neurotypical, his potential is wasted teaching beginners at the mall. When his cobbled-together gear projects him into one of Daniel’s memory programs, a colorful but challenging relationship sparks to life.

The two men are an unlikely pair, but they have so much in common. Each is fiercely driven. Each is stunningly creative. And when Daniel and Elijah finally connect, each one realizes just how desperately he’s been searching for someone who truly understands him.

Most of all, they’re utterly committed to curing the persistent false memory. Daniel finally gives up his workaholic smokescreen. Elijah fends off the advice of everyone he trusts and joins forces with Daniel. Even Big Dan says he’s on board with their plan…but will he remember tomorrow?

This collection contains the novels The Persistence of Memory, Forget Me Not, and Life is Awesome.

Title: The Dragon Mistress
Series: The Dragon Mistress, 1 
(The Eburosi Chronicles 8)Author: R.A. Steffan
Length: 231 pages

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Poly / 

Notes: You do not have to read the other two series in order to read this one. I finished this last week and really liked it. The next one is coming soon. 

Blurb: They’re the last five dragons in existence.

To survive, they must form soul-bonds with five humans who are pure of heart and resolute of spirit. Too bad they’re stuck with us instead.

The angry drunk. The shameless man-whore. The coward who ran away and got his comrades killed. The ice-cold assassin for hire. And me, the girl with abandonment issues as deep and wide as the Southern Sea.

I left home in search of adventure. Instead, I stumbled into the middle of a desperate struggle for survival.

Five people. Five mythical beasts.

If we manage to get through this mess, it’s going to be a miracle.

Title: Night's Fall
Series: The Mystic Bay Series, 1
Author: MA Church
Length: 204 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Urban Fantasy / Gay / 

Notes: I read this book this week. I vaguely recall the first version that I read about  years ago. There are some changes and it's been expanded from what I remember. Good story.

Blurb: Things do go bump in the night.

Running from a tragic loss, worrying over a missing brother, and flustered about dreams he can’t explain, Michael James searches for a peaceful place to call home. A quaint little town on the Florida coast promises to be just what he needs to start a new life.

Then myth clashes with reality, and Michael’s life is upended. Vampires, werewolves, and other magical paranormals prowl the city of Mystic Bay, his new home.

And not all of them are friendly.

Clayton Night, a seductive, powerful vampire, desires more than Michael’s blood—he wants Michael for eternity. The mighty
Clay Night has fallen, but can his love keep Michael safe from an enemy seeking revenge?

As darkness closes in, Michael has a choice to make—a short mortal life or an eternity of love and danger?

*Previously published as Darkness Awaits. This book has been revised and expanded considerably from its original version to alter both characters and plot events to enhance the reader’s enjoyment.

Title: The Mercenary's Mate
Series: Blue Solice, 1
Author: CW GRay
Length: 210 pages

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Alien / Gay / Omega / Mpreg / 

Notes: This was recommended to me. It is sweet, endearing, and funny. It is a feel-good read that I didn't put down once I started. I have since read the next two books in the series. 

Blurb: Welcome to the mercenary ship, The Blue Solace:

Leti Ando needs off planet and fast. He has a best friend and a new half-sister to rescue, and he needs to be sneaky about it. Unfortunately sneaky isn't really his thing. With the help of a friend, Leti and his menagerie, along with his two companions, stow away aboard a mystery ship. Little does he know that The Blue Solace belongs to the infamous mercenary, Captain Will Hackett, a man he'll come to love with everything inside him.

Will has been in a bitchy ass mood for the past six months. He's restless and grumpy, but doesn't know why. He knows he needs something and he can't find it, but his crew are out of patience and insist on some R &R back home at Charybdis Station.

Then Hack finds a stow away angel and everything changes. Leti is his mate and he'll do anything to keep him safe and happy, even smile.

The galaxy's not a safe place, though, and The Blue Solace has a job to do: pick up a renowned scientist and his mysterious artifact. Then get them safely back to Charybdis Station. Hack and Leti don't realize their romance story is about to get hijacked by Concord mercenaries. Their love is easy, it happens just like that. Staying alive and keeping the galaxy safe? That's a little harder.

Author's Note: 41,801 words. (Previously published as "Happens Just Like That"). This is a m/m love story with no angst and no cheating, just a HEA. There is lots of action, sex, mpreg, and a few potty mouths involved in the story. 18+ readers only, please. It is also the first of two books about this specific couple.

Follow me at @cwgrayauthor on facebook.

Title: Lord Seabolt
Series: The Four Families, 2
Author: Megan Derr
Length: 65 pages
Publisher: LT3 Press

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Bisexual / Gay / 


Blurb: Eighteen years ago, Goss was nearly murdered as a baby—by his own parents, who wanted to sacrifice him to strengthen the Seabolt bloodline's magic. Thankfully, he was rescued by his guardian Shaw, and a Finder, Tolan, who was unwittingly dragged into the mess. Since then, they have raised him to someday reclaim the Seabolt title.

But much to his fathers' dismay, Goss has Tolan's temper and Shaw's affinity for trouble, and a terrible incident from three years ago has left him with zero friends, constant harassment, unable to finish his magical training, and the possible loss of the title he's waited so long to reclaim.

And while Goss isn't remotely sorry for the choices he made, he desperately wishes that someone, anyone, would look beyond his miserable past, his infamous fathers, and a terrible accident that isn't at all what it seems...

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

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

Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Thirty-Four

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zane scoffed. "I am retired."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Table of Contents

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

Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 2