20 July 2014

SALE...TODAY ONLY!







Written in the Stars (Star Mages #1) is on sale at ARe, today only, for $1.95. If you haven’t read it yet, you can’t beat the price!

Science fantasy erotic romance
Available in print and ebook (sale is on the ebook formats)

BLURB-
On the world of Terra Set, where the night is twice as long as the day and the moon more powerful than the sun, live the Star Mages. Essential to supporting the crops that feed the masses, they are protected men, revered, yet still mistrusted.
 
An ancient myth tells of a female mage born at the Silver Minute. She holds a magic that, shared with a mate, will be unequaled. Riena is that mage.
 
A ruthless king will stop at nothing to force Riena to take his son as mate. Her life and freedom depend on one challenge—hide as a man. 

HEA-yes, VIOLENCE-moderate, LANGUAGE-moderate, SEX-sensual

01 July 2014

And yet ANOTHER new piece of art today!

And another new piece of art from Phaze Books! The tentative release date on this one is 9 Sept 2014. Just gorgeous! Looks like it's a great day for art.


New Art Today!


Just got the art for the re-release of ALL'S FAIR in from Phaze Books. The tentative release date on this book is 12 August 2014. Can't wait!

28 June 2014

NEW RELEASE, new art, and updated schedule of releases!

Back again with some great news! 



First of all, I have a new release. For readers following Kielan (one of the three Council of Worlds series), I've got a prequel story out in the world! CUBED is available in ebook and print from Mundania and Phaze sites.

BLURB-
On the Earth colony Kielan in the far future, social standing is based on two things, family affiliation and power. All power is psi. Every individual has between five and forty units of psi power, but on Kielan, soulmates and bond-siblings are a way of life. By the science of matches, power increases geometrically by finding pairs destined to you. 

When Balin Night sub Summer, a member of a bond-mated Trio, finds her bond-sister, a classless waif named Riann, she believes she has completed a bond-mated Quartet. To everyone's surprise, Riann is soulmate to the unmated single of their Trio, Lio. They have formed one of the rare Quatrels, and the untrained Riann is their cornerstone. 

But there is a secret surrounding Riann. She is a member of one of the four great houses on Kielan and not lowborn as her name would suggest, but how could such a thing occur? It is up to Lio and Talek to solve the mystery of Riann's past and help her find her way as one of the true elite of their world.
SCROLL DOWN TO READ AN EXCERPT OF CUBED!

Oh, and CUBED is less than a week old and already has a great review on it! Thanks to Cara and the Smile Somebody Loves You review blog!

I've also got an update on the upcoming release schedule.





KEIF'S PACK is scheduled to come out from Fireborn Publishing (hopefully in ebook and in print) on or about 19 July 2014. The site is still being built, but the temporary introduction page is up. As you might have heard, I'm one of the owners of Fireborn. We're looking for a truly cooperative working environment, between publisher/staff, authors, and readers. To that end, we are selling reader memberships in the venture, to crowd fund our start-up costs. The memberships come with perks, like percentage off purchases and expedited printing and shipping of print books.




RAASHH DECISIONS (Xxan War book #3) is scheduled to release from Phaze in ebook and print on 5 August 2014.

ALL'S FAIR... (It's All Greek to Me series #1) is scheduled to release from Phaze in ebook on 12 August 2014. Cover coming soon! It's already been approved.

AND IT WAS GOOD is scheduled to release from Phaze in ebook on 9 September 2014. Cover coming soon! It has also already been approved.

UNEXPECTED DADDY (Unexpected Daddies #1) is scheduled to release in ebook from Phaze on 7 October 2014.

The following books are signed and will release, most likely in Winter 2014/2015!

THE WARRIOR'S MAN (Night Warriors- Warriors books #3.5) in ebook from Phaze
DAMSEL IN DISTRESS (Night Warriors- Warriors books #3.75) in ebook from Phaze



MAHER MEN (Night Warriors- Warriors books #5) in ebook from Phaze



THE CONSORT (The Fantasy Club #1) will release in ebook from Fireborn Publishing

EXCERPT of CUBED-
Chapter One
From the Writings of Evan Silver, First Historian of Planet Kielan
October 4th, 2504

My Pappap prophesized a bitter end to my flight to freedom. His final words before I boarded the ship were, “Out of the frying pan and into the fire.”

My answer had been an angry one. I wish, now, that I could take back every unkind word I spoke.

I thought nothing could be worse than the persecution and mistrust we’d known on Earth. Life on a far-flung plant that tested as supporting of human life seemed like Heaven without death. The Earth governments, most notably the American government, were glad to see us go. Leaving was the best for everyone involved—we believed.

Woken from stasis-sleep by complete loss of ship’s power, we found ourselves in a hell we hadn’t envisioned. Scrabbling about in the dark like blind rats, we pried open doors whose mag locks no longer held them tight and spilled onto a red-dirt plain in a pouring rain.

We found ourselves on a world wholly unlike Terra Tres should have been. Where we have come to rest is an uncertain thing. A hull breach had destroyed the last hope we had of learning where we were; by that, I mean it killed the few pilots on their six-month rotation out of stasis-sleep, their spouses and children.

The world is not ideal, but it supports human life. Thank the Lady for that small favor! No electric machines work here; we cannot even use our diagnostic machines to postulate on why the essential systems do not function.

Without the ship’s systems, we have no star maps, no medical facilities, and no way to leave this cursed place. I have no voicecorder to commit this to history, and so I am writing this in the old style, with parchment and pen kept as a child’s art supplies.

We do not even know how this sad state came about. Without the computer logs, the only evidence we have are starfire burns on the ship’s hull and the manual thrusters our doomed pilots fired to slow our descent onto this plain. How we came to be so near a star when the preprogrammed guidance systems should have prevented it—and the pilots should have had ample time to correct any errors in the system—is yet another unsolvable mystery.

For now, survival is our only goal. The animals from stasis have been released into pens or to fend for themselves in the alien terrain. Test crops have been seeded with a small portion of our seed stores.

The future is uncertain. We’ve lost two of the twenty horses in the last three days, half the cattle, and one of the chickens. Birds seem to fare best in this new environ, but with no foreknowledge of the seasons, our lot in life may change tomorrow. Fear stalks our steps.

Survival is most important... And our technicians are now useless to us. Historical players, those with knowledge of pre-electrical life, may hold our only hope of survival. The ones who love history and our strongest psi talents...

****

April 1st, 3755

Riann Brook ran a shaking hand over her forehead. She needed rest, both physical and mental. She needed water and time out of the hot sun of Kielan. The ten-hour workday allowed by the psi-labor laws had come and gone more than an hour before, with none of her allowed breaks. If any of Jerelen Winter’s other employees noticed, they were too frightened of the old Lord to comment in her favor.

Still, Riann couldn’t complain to Winter about his treatment of her. The money she’d earn literally meant the food in her stomach and the roof over her head that night. Worse, if Winter gave her a poor reference—or gods forbid, blackballed her—she’d be reduced to scut-work day labor as her father had all those years since her mother died.

Galen was dead, now—gone nearly a year. She was a Brook, one of the lowest families on the planet, let alone in the city of Hanford. With no bonds to raise her status, she was the lowest of the low. She had attended three nerve-wracking meeting days and found no bonds. Not that she’d expected to, as a Brook. The odds were stacked against her.

She didn’t have the money to travel to other towns for meeting days like the upper classes did, and even the highest level she had searched hadn’t been happy to have a Brook, in her work browns and scuffed boots, at their meeting day. Her father had insisted that she stand, and he’d seemed more upset than she that Riann hadn’t found a bond that day.

Riann couldn’t afford to lose this job yet. If she left without a backup firmly in place or upset Winter in the leaving, he could easily find another to take her place while he saw to it that she went hungry.

The rich had that power. She’d heard enough whispered conversations between Galen and Uncle Tydl to know that her father had crossed a Lord once. He’d paid for that mistake, whatever it was, until the day he died. She didn’t know the details, only that the Lord had been a madman. Still, he was a powerful madman from a respected family.

Riann managed a weak smile. She could find a way to get arrested again. At least in prison, she’d have bread and soy milk in her stomach and a dry bed for a few nights.

No. Her mother and father had taught her better than that.

In addition, getting arrested had landed her this job with Winter. He’d offered the job in repayment for his mistake in accusing her, and she had snapped up the chance of a steady income from a respected shop. She should have known the Lady could not be so kind to the likes of her.

She hefted the next crate carefully, every muscle in her body throbbing in time with her head. She had to be careful. If anything was damaged, it would come from her pay. She breathed a sigh of relief as the crate landed softly atop the growing pile in the dooryard then turned to the dwindling pile in the back of the cargo transport.

****

Balin Night-sub-Summer stopped and ran a hand over her forehead, wondering at the wave of exhaustion that washed over her, gone almost before she realized it had come. She wasn’t tired, and surely it wasn’t her soulmate, Talek.

True, she was pregnant with her second child, another girl that she and Talek had decided to name Celli. She was in town bartering for clothing that would appeal to Celli when the first wave had made itself known. There had been two more since then, but it wasn’t the pregnancy that was causing this. It wasn’t anything inside herself and certainly nothing from her unborn daughter, her older daughter, or her mate.

At a little over four months along, she and Celli had exchanged loving thoughts often enough for Balin to be certain of the nature of her younger daughter’s mental touch. Even the few occasions when Celli had been in mild distress had not been comparable to this. Whatever this was, it wasn’t anyone she had a known connection to.

She shielded herself from Talek. He would surely demand she lie down at home and see a healer if he felt her exhaustion and upset. She had to know from where this sensation came before she made such a move.

She looked around her at the light crowd milling between the white-tex plaster storefronts in the uptown marketplace of Hanford. The plaster was pristine, save the red stains of Kielan’s native dirt even the most affluent shopkeepers had long since given up trying to clean off, trusting that the nightly rains and frequent painting would keep them looking respectable.

The shop signs were carved wood, painted in bright colors, but never red. They all saw enough red on a daily basis. The carvings were repeated on the wax-sealed wood doors, and the richest shops had small redglass windows in those heavy doors. Balin had seen pictls of marketplaces on old Earth with great clear glass windows. “Window-shopping” was what they called strolling along the marketplace then.

The exhaustion assaulted her again, stronger this time, and she followed the sensation down a dingy alley between two stores. The sensation faded, and Balin stopped. Had she found her bond-sister at last? She had to know for sure. She was concerned now. The one she was sensing was in a dire state.

Balin sighed. This was too slow. As when she found Talek at her first meeting day, intense emotion and proximity were her only keys to finding a bond. If she lost her bond-sister now, she might never happen upon her in a moment of stress again. Even in the same town, there was that chance, and her presence here didn’t mean that the other woman lived in Hanford. If she were a visitor, they might never cross paths again.

When the sensation struck Balin again, she could feel the desperation and struggle underlying the exhaustion. She hurried down the alley, heedless of the complaints her body made at the movement, and spied a ragged young woman in brown work cover—the rough synthetic tunic and trews of the lowest classes. Her red curls glinted in the harsh sunlight that beat down on her uncovered head.

She will need hats to protect her sun-touched skin—and clothes that fit her new station.

She lifted a heavy crate from a cargo transport to the back of a clotherie. The exertion of what she was doing beat at Balin. She was too tired to detect or rebuff Balin’s questing touch on her mind.

While Balin watched, the woman placed the crate imperfectly on the pile in the clotherie dooryard. Her concentration faltered, and the crate slipped off the pile, landing heavily in the red dirt lane.

The young woman pushed her hair back from the brown work cover and looked at the crate in dismay; Balin bit back tears along with her. Her bond-sister rubbed her temples with shaking fingers. She couldn’t lift the crate again without rest.
Balin felt her own shield falter as she searched for the words to approach the woman.

[What is wrong, Love?] Talek’s mind sought hers at the first sign of her distress.

I need you. Please, Talek.

[What is the problem?] His concern washed over her, followed by his calming touch.

I cannot. There were reasons. She had to secure the woman, but if Talek knew of her bond-sister’s treatment, he would be uncontrolled in her defense, for Balin’s sake. This treatment was illegal. At the least, the Council would be advised.

[I am on my way. Lio has Siri.]

Thank you, Talek. Balin sighed in relief. Lio was Talek’s bond-brother and the third in their Trio. He would care for his bond-daughter well while Talek came to their aid.

She moved toward her bond-sister, hurting with her, feeling her hopelessness. Balin was suddenly glad that the woman wouldn’t be subjected to this treatment any longer. As bond-sister, the woman was part of Balin’s family. She would never be forced to labor to the point of collapse again.

Balin gasped in shock as she felt the impact to the woman’s face, and she planted her feet to keep from stumbling back in reaction.

The other woman’s red hair fanned over her brown work cover as her head rocked back. She stumbled, landing awkwardly on the hard-packed loading strip. She wiped a drop of blood from beneath her nose with a shaking hand.

“Incompetent,” Jerelen Winter thundered as he rounded the pile. His hand flicked back, prepared to strike the woman again, a crude representation of the telekinesis he was about to employ.

Balin had never cared for Anaca Winter’s mate, though the Lady herself was gracious and kind. Sometimes, Balin wondered what the gods could be thinking when they matched mates or bonds. She was never quite sure why pale, haunted Anaca stayed where she seemed so unhappy. Not that the Winters and Summers often mingled.

The woman on the ground looked at him wearily. “No,” she pleaded. She put her hand up as if to ward off the attack.

“No,” Balin echoed her.

Her bond-sister in danger, Balin felt the interface solidify between them, despite the fact that they had yet to touch. Even in the woman’s weakened state, the force of their bond-release propelled Jerelen into the wall behind him. Most of the force came from Balin. The other woman was too weak to contribute much, though Balin felt her unconscious call for help and her pull at Balin’s mind for that help.

The woman looked at her hand in confusion and crumpled to the dirt, surrendering to unconsciousness. Balin rushed to her, seeking out her pulse frantically and sighing in relief as she found that it was strong and sure.

“Night!” Jerelen raged at Balin. “How dare you launch an attack on my person?”

Balin managed a weak smile. She had directed the attack, and the other woman’s psi outlay had added so little that Winter had missed it entirely. Naturally, he assumed the attack was all Balin’s doing. She was glad for that. Bonds were a private thing until they were secured.

“Consider your words carefully, Winter. You will pay for this mistreatment. I intend to petition the Council on this matter.” No matter what this woman’s class or job, Winter’s treatment carried fines and the possibility of prison time.

“What matter? You think the Council will take the word of that worthless rag against me?”

Balin bristled. She had always hated that term. “They will when I stand with her.”

“Be careful what enemies you seek to make, Night.”

Talek’s voice came from the alley behind her, hard and cold. “Perhaps you should heed your own advice, Winter. Do not forget who you address, mated!”

Winter’s face darkened. He was a simple mated, not a Trio as their family was that morning. With the addition of the woman at her feet, they would either be a bond-joined Quartet or a rare Quatrel—if the woman didn’t refuse her place. All depended on whether or not the woman was soulmate to Lio.

Jerelen couldn’t know that. All he knew was that he was facing a Trio—still his betters, though she and Talek were both of lower birth family than Winter was.
Winter shook his head in seeming disgust. “Why do you take the side of this incompetent rag?”

Talek wrapped Balin in his arms when she would have physically attacked the brute. Her mate sent a warning look at Jerelen. [What is it, Love? Does his brutality disturb you?]

Yes, but it’s...more than that. Please, Talek. Help me take her from here before he can harm her further.

[As you wish. If it disturbs you this much, I’ll do as you request.] Talek released her, sweeping his cloak off his shoulders and settling it on the ground next to Balin’s exhausted bond-sister. He lifted the woman into it, then to his chest as he would with Siri when taking her to bed.

She looked up into his troubled brown eyes, thankful for his aid.

Jerelen laughed. “You will allow yourself to be seen with that rag?”

Balin tried to bury her fury, but it was not buried deep enough for her mate to miss it.

Talek sent Winter a venomous look before motioning Balin away and issuing his final warning. “The Council will contact you, Winter. You will regret this day.”

At their transport, Talek settled Balin inside, then laid the young woman in the seat behind them.

“Do you have water in the storage hatch?” she asked her mate urgently.

“Of course.” He got it for her immediately, mistaking her need as for herself and the babe within her.

He shot her a look of surprise, as Balin leaned her seat back and cradled the young woman’s head to offer her the cold liquid. She drank slowly, cupping her sun-reddened and dirty fingers over Balin’s hand. Finally, she pushed the drink away and settled her cheek to the seat again.

Balin nodded and prepared her seat for travel. She met Talek’s questioning look sheepishly. “I will explain in time, Talek. Ask Lio to have Marovan prepare food and a guest room, please.”

“Can you not explain now?”

Talek couldn’t hide his frustration from her. It was unlike them not to share disturbing events. Talek was unschooled in the concept of not knowing why she was upset and why she was acting as she was.

For some bonds, it was a way of life to share only what they must, when they must. It wasn’t the way of their Trio. Few bonds and mates hid themselves from each other; when people did close portions of their minds to the others, it hurt the interface.

“Soon. I promise.” When we are not in danger of your arrest for assault on Winter. When I have had the chance to speak with my bond-sister. Bonding is a private thing. Bond first, then other concerns. All of this, Balin buried deep behind her shield.

Talek nodded, trusting that his mate had not lost her senses completely. He piloted the transport back to their residence. He settled their guest in the smaller guestroom and left Balin with her—unhappily bending to her wishes.

13 May 2014

NEW Release and Upcoming Schedule of Releases!


NEW OUT TODAY from Phaze Books! Daughters of Man: Claiming a Princess
$2.99  science fiction erotic romance

BLURB- It's a tradition as old as recorded history. The eldest prince chooses his bride from among the genetically strongest toddlers, and she is raised to be his princess. Though he doesn't believe a true bond can form between them that way, Sakkriel chooses an enchanting child that grows to be an exasperating young woman. Now all he has to do is prove himself the god-descendant he is to claim her.

EXCERPT-

Prologue

~From the Tenth Book of Sky~

And it came to pass that Sky was lonely. Watching the children he and World had created wasn’t enough. The young ones were close to World and revered her for her bounty, but they’d forgotten that Sky was also responsible for their creation.

“I will show myself,” he decided. “I will take one of the females to mate and sire young gods among them. My sons and daughters will take to the clouds on wings. In that way, they will be close to me.”

Sky watched and waited for the perfect woman to be his mate. At last, he found her.

Sakkri was fair and kind. Her smile charmed the beasts. She had hair feathers the color of sunlight and eyes the color of the coming sunset sky.

When she was a tiny, toddling child, he sent one of his loyal priests to her sire, King Rass, with word that Sky had claimed Sakkri as his bride.

In the blink of a god’s eye, she was a young woman. Sky went to her father in the form of a man and sought to take her as mate as he’d decreed. But Rass was a disbeliever of gods and their powers. In the intervening years, he’d promised Sakkri to another.

Rass set a seemingly impossible task. Sky had a single sa-sen to prove a claim on Sakkri without breaching her virgin body or alerting the king’s guards to his intents.

Rass should not have doubted a god.

Sky slipped unseen past Rass’s guards, night after night. Sakkri believed him at first to be an erotic dream and then accepted him as her lover. In time, she came to know him and love him. But Sky never breached her body. He spilled his potent seed at the entrance to her lush body and brought her to climax after climax.

Before the end of the allotted sa-sen, Sakkri fell ill, and healers were sent for. To Rass’s dismay, his daughter was bearing...but still virginal.

When pressed to name her lover, Sakkri could not, and her father was angry. He distrusted the tale she spun of the male who appeared—as if by magic—in her chamber every night, whether her chamber was locked or not and without being seen by the guards set to keep such a thing from happening.

Sensing that the moment was right, Sky appeared in Sakkri’s chamber. She pointed him out to her father and named him the only possible sire for the young one she carried. His claim proven—and any hope of marrying her to another while she carried Sky’s son extinguished—Rass grudgingly conceded Sky’s victory. Sky claimed his bride and spilled her blood on her white virgin’s sheets, before taking her to the castle he’d had built for her.

Over the years, their love grew. Sakkri bore Sky five sons and five daughters. All fully-winged, their young flew to greet Sky in the clouds, honoring both World and Sky as no Sakk had before them.

Chapter One

Sakkriel peered down at the dais from the royal box, bored beyond words. It was his third meeting and his first claim day. Already, he knew why his uncle had broken with tradition and taken an Earth match at a scandalously young age for a second son.

If anything is scandalous, it is this zadeki tradition. He was seventeen and just past the first advance of his pre-prime hungers. That meant it was time for him to choose the mate who would be raised to be his.

If he’d been born a second or third son, he’d simply choose which he wanted at thirty or more years of age. But Sakkriel was heir, and so his mate was to be raised for him from early childhood.

He’d met two Sakk-born females already. The first had been a very spoiled and obstinate child of five yans. The other was so shy, she’d spent the entire ‘meeting’ hiding her face in her sire’s cuzta. Neither had appealed to Sakkriel at all.

None of them will. They were babies. He was becoming a man. How could a bond possibly form between them?

The chilling thought that this would be a mating for show turned his stomach. Since it was a given no bond could form between them, what did it matter which he chose? All the young he met would be fully-winged and genetically superior in all ways. One was like any other.

Yet it did matter. He’d refused the first two, because Sakkriel couldn’t imagine spending a lifetime with either a shrew or someone who feared him. When he chose a mate, she would be special. Unique on all the world.

“What do you think of this one, Sakkriel?” his sire inquired.

His head still reeling from the internal argument, he focused on the match leading her winged young one up the stairs to the dais. The babe was younger than the others had been, certainly younger than three yans. Fully-winged female young conceived on a seed world usually came to Sakk with their mothers shortly after their second yan, but the trip could take up to five sa-sen.

This one could not have been much more than two yans, which meant she’d come from one of the closer seed worlds. Each high step was still a struggle for her tiny legs, and her chubby hand held tight to her dame’s.

What difference does her age make? Or her toddling steps? It didn’t, and yet he assessed every movement, searching for clues to her personality.

Though the young one should have been in a training cazta, hers was ankle-length to match her dame’s presentation dress. While Sakkriel watched, the babe tripped on the hem.

The uproar was immediate and intense. Males close to the dais shot forward, arms out to steady the young one or to catch her, should she slip off the edge of the stairs. The cynic in Sakkriel opined that they intended to try for the dame and set out to impress the claim maker with what devoted sires they would be to the young one the dame’s mate was expected to take on as his own child.

His tensing muscles called him a liar. She was a young female in danger. It was instinct for their males to protect females and young. The babe was both.

As if in confirmation of that fact, one of the males gathered a loop of her long cazta and secured it at her wrist, bringing the rest to her knees. He backed away from the stairs with a bow, letting the dame and child continue on their way.

With the cazta raised, Sakkriel could see the precise but unsteady little steps she took. There was something endearing about how a baby walked.

“Sakkriel?” his sire prodded him.

“What color are her eyes?” He wasn’t sure why he asked it, save that he’d always had a fondness for light eyes.

“Green,” the master claim maker offered promptly.

Sakkriel swallowed, his mouth inexplicably dry.

On the dais, the dame was speaking down to her babe, most likely counseling her to be still.

“Sakkriel?” his sire spoke up again.

“She is mine.” He pivoted on his heel and rushed down the stairs to the main floor, his personal guards in his wake.

The claim maker overseeing the ceremony waved the prize match toward the edge of the dais. It wasn’t his mate’s dame; she was the secondary prize of the claim day. The first was a short-flight female.

“A winged female,” the claim maker shouted out. He looked around at the crowd, meeting Sakkriel’s eyes. He paled a bit. The introduction ended that simply, and he waved the prize match back into line.

Her brow furrowed, but she complied.

A murmur of confusion and distress rose in the crowd. Males started searching for a cause for the delay. One by one, they noticed Sakkriel and fell silent. As he topped the dais, the loudest sound was the rustling of his mate’s little wings.

The claim priest offered a deep bow, and Sakkriel waved him off.

The young one didn’t notice him immediately. She was busy trying to free her wrist from the cazta, baring her training wrap in the process.

Sakkriel knelt, but he was still a head taller than she was. At last, she looked up at him, her green eyes wide and curious, her blond hair feathers arranged in presentation curls that matched her dame’s.

“What is her name?” he asked.

“Katia, Sakkriel,” her dame supplied.

The babe bounced on the balls of her feet. “Kat. Kat.” She smiled, revealing perfect little teeth.

He returned the smile. “Katia. It is a beautiful name.”

“My thanks, Sakkriel,” the dame breathed.

Sakkriel removed his Kieta and placed it around Katia’s neck. He leaned down, kissing one cheek and then the other as a sign of his claim on her. “Sakkri Katia,” he breathed, greeting her formally for the first time.

His heart hammered in excitement. He’d done it. He’d claimed her as his own.

Katia touched the Kieta with her tiny fingers. She smiled sweetly and rose on tiptoe to press a kiss to his lips.

It was an innocent move, and yet his errant body tightened. One of the palace widows was going to have a wild ride when he returned home.

“Tell me about the match,” Zebu intoned.

Sakkriel rose, his mind spinning pleasantly. Katia waved to him, and he reached a hand out, letting her grasp his fingers.

“Wingless, as you can plainly see, of a wingless pair. Yet she produced a fully-winged young one from a short-flight male. A quick catch. One of the first in her group. Her interests are in cooking, weaving, and painting.”

Zebu nodded. “I claim this female under rights of Sakk’s guard.”

Sakkriel stared at him, shocked beyond words. He knew one of the heir’s personal guards often chose to invoke the law when the chosen princess came from a seed world, but he’d never expected the master of his own guard to do it.

He has been with me since the cradle. What would life be like without Zebu?
The claim maker nodded his agreement and started entering information on the comm pad he held.

Zebu cleared his throat, and Sakkriel released Katia’s hand and stepped back. The huge, battle-hardened male scooped the babe up on one arm and wrapped the other around the dame. Katia stared at her new sire solemnly, then wrapped both miniature hands around his face and kissed his cheek with a pronounced smack of her dark lips.

The master general’s surprise would have been comical under other circumstances. After a moment, Zebu laughed. Katia clapped and kissed him a second time.

An inexplicable wave of jealousy washed over Sakkriel at that. Katia was his.
But Zebu will raise her. A traitorous rational voice in his mind opined that Katia would be safer with Zebu than she would be with any other sire on the planet.

He tipped his head in acceptance and did something he’d never thought would be hard for him. Sakkriel walked away, knowing full well he wouldn’t meet his mate again until she’d reached her adulthood. It was extremely difficult to do it. He looked back at her one last time.

Zebu guided his mate down the stairs, carrying Sakkri Katia. He was surrounded by a full squad of warrior priests, priests who would be responsible for Katia’s safety in the years to come.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Now, for the upcoming schedule of releases!

Cubed
CUBED: A KIELAN PREQUEL NOVEL will release in print and ebook
Tentative release date- 24 June 2014 from Phaze Books!

RAASH DECISIONS (Xxan War #3) will release in print and ebook
Tentative release date- 5 August 2014 from Phaze Books!

ALL'S FAIR... (It's All Greek to Me #1) will re-release in ebook
Tentative release date- 12 August from Phaze Books!

AND IT WAS GOOD will re-release in ebook
Tentative release date- 9 September 2014 from Phaze Books!

UNEXPECTED DADDY (Unexpected Daddies #1) will re-release in ebook
Tentative release date- 7 October 2014 from Phaze Books!



Coming in late 2014/early 2015

THE WARRIOR'S MAN (Night Warriors Series- Warriors stories #3.5) will release in ebook
Tentative release date still to come!

28 April 2014

What have I been up to?

It's been a while, and I'm sure people thought I dropped off the face of the Earth. Thankfully, that's not so. I've been writing up a storm, publishing, facing dissolution of a publisher, and...well, I'll save that surprise for last!

So, what's new from me? 

For the Angel-Wing Saga fans...

Sons of Heaven: Unexpected Mates is available in ebook from Phaze Books.

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Meredith has been advocating for foster children for her entire career, so when the courts and child services conspire to remove an Earth-born Sakk child's wings, she'll risk jail to keep that from happening. She goes to the Sakk consulate seeking asylum for Alice and finds herself partaking of the same.

Hayley and Holly are as different as night and day, but the sisters have never been apart. When Hayley decides to indulge one of her younger sister's flights of fancy, little does she know they are going to become the belles of the Sakk ball.

When Beldon and Jannie return to Sakk, Sakkra (the younger Sakk prince) becomes emissary to the humans. Little does he know how difficult the job will be. Between armed attacks and political nightmares, it seems the prince can't even eat a meal without interruption. Enter Amy. She doesn't want to test as a match; she's happily engaged and happily human. She's only at the consulate to offer support to a friend who is testing, but when her friend turns out to be very human and Amy turns out not to be, her life falls apart. 

When Amy's other cousins tested as too human to be matches, Jolene didn't bother. A one-night stand with Rietin (a wingless Sakk tracker and Amy's personal guard) ends with an unexpected pregnancy, but can Jo overcome her belief that Sakk men see all women as alike and find happiness with him? 

Sandy has had a lousy year. Her POS boyfriend dumped her when she got pregnant. Her step-father kicked her out of the house, leaving her homeless. The shelter has only let her stay as long as she has, because she's pregnant. And now...the final straw. Her sonogram shows the baby she's carrying has wings. Her last chance for safety and stability is finding a home with the Sakk. 


Sons of Heaven: Print Volume One contains Sons of Heaven: Beldon and Sons of Heaven: Unexpected Mates. It's available from Phaze Books.


Coming in ebook on 6 May from Phaze Books.


I also re-released Carson Cousins #1, All I Want for Christmas is You, with Phaze



The Prophecy serial got a new cover and was re-released as a self-published in ebook and print. 


And for Rapture...


I dusted off a prequel short I wrote to the original serial and put it out as a free read. Warning: It will make a lot more sense to people who have read the original books.


I also put out a sneak peek for the next book coming as a free read.




In case you missed it, In Her Ladyship's Service from the Kegin series has released as an audio book!

For the Xxan War fans...  RAASH DECISIONS will be releasing from Phaze this summer.

For the Kielan fans... CUBED will be releasing from Phaze this summer.

I really don't need to go into detail on the dissolution of the publisher I was working for/with. It's been all over the Internet, and I'd rather not sully a good-news post with bad news. We can leave that discussion with the two pieces of good news to come out of it.

The first is that I've signed all three of my former books from said publisher to Phaze. Look forward to UNEXPECTED DADDY, ALL'S FAIR..., and AND IT WAS GOOD to release from Phaze late this year/early next year.

The second is the surprise. People have asked me for years when I was going to do it, and I'm going to give it a shot. What is it?



I've teamed up with some former coworkers of mine, and we're starting a publishing house together. I know, I'll probably be beating my head off the desk later, but we've got a good head of steam, and we're trying something new.


Fireborn is going to be a true cooperative company. To that end, we are crowd funding our start-up costs and offering our members perks when we open for business. If you want to find out more about becoming a member, check out our ecwid store! It takes PayPal and also uses a PayPal cart to take debit or credit cards.


We've also got a Facebook page for the company up and running. Once we have enough crowd funding, we're going to start building the main site. Can't wait.

03 September 2013

NEW RELEASES!

It's that time again! New releases up for sale!

First up? 


BLUTJAGDFRAU LOST (A Night Warriors History) is available in ebook from Phaze.

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Rajicorin's mate has gone beast and released the Stone to the traitors.

The only way she'll live to hold her son is if she leaves the Warrior village behind and keeps herself hidden from both sides.

The war refugees believe Raji is a great sorceress, and legends of her spread. But the Stone is playing one of Her twisted games. Raji is carrying not just a son but also a daughter.

Orphaned at birth and left to be raised by the barbarian refugees, Korji and Ahdia have no idea which dark giants are friends and which are foes. It is up to Taigh and his family to win their trust and bring the lost children of Ani home to the Warriors.

And...


MAGMON'S LOVER (Fire and Ice #2) is also available in ebook from Phaze.

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Before Karliss Furia, Magmon's Vessel, was presented to his Ician, he had to be trained to seduce a skittish virgin.

Rostana Renald was gods-crafted for such pursuits. Rostana came to the temple in Magmalen, hoping to be trained by the priests in lovemaking, but when Zaden is less than pleased about her pursuits, she finds herself in the arms of Zaden's father, Councilor Gabel Tiben. He's a man nearly three times her age, but he's fire between the sheets.

While Rostana is sure society will prevent such a match, Gabel will not be denied. After knowing the touch of a god, Rostana responds to him. What more proof does anyone need that she is destined for him?


Phaze should additionally be re-releasing the first book in the Fire and Ice Series, Magmon's Hunger, with a new matching cover soon. Isn't it gorgeous?

15 August 2013

The Perception of Romance and Sexism

I read a great article today! You can find the link to it here. I applaud the writers. I hope they continue with their study. Ladies... You've hit the nail on the head but not gone far enough. Let me give you some examples.

When my first novel (a two-book serial novel) was released, I overhead one of my beta readers (a gent with degrees in foreign languages and English) tell a friend on the phone: "Yes, there is a romance IN it, but you just have to read this plot." When I entered a SF/F/H contest that had recently added a romance category, I found myself unable to enter in that category, though my book had a romance co-plot, because their definition of romance included: "There are two POV characters in the book. The characters are rather two-dimensional and are not changed significantly by the experiences they have in the book."

 

You see, there exists a series of gross misconceptions surrounding romance. To be specific...
 

1. "Romance has a standard plotline (the formula), chosen from a short list of popular formulas." People liken writing romance to tossing a bowling ball down a lane with bumpers. That's not true. A more accurate description of writing romance, just as when writing ANY genre of work, is that you have a football field worth of room and can move in any direction. The idea that romance will have a HEA/HFN and will involve a romantic couple is no more restrictive than the idea that a mystery will involve a crime that is successfully solved.

2. "Romance is lacking in characterization." Beyond the fact that any successful romance MUST have solid characterization and realistic goals and motivations, you're not even limited to two main characters (or one or two more if it's erotic romance with menage). With writers like myself, who write in heavily cross-genre worlds, you may find books that span the epic fantasy line and contain (as my first book did) in excess of 20 POV characters, only two of whom were in a romantic relationship (though they were the two of the four central characters in the book).

3. "Romance is fluffy, brainless tripe." Mind you, I had one reader (who clearly expected that sort of book) complain to me that my books made her think too much. I never thought it was possible to think too much. To over think a situation? Yes. To think too much? Not so much. As for fluffy? Also not true. I have written a novella that ended up with a review stating: "This is definitely not a "feel good" light kind of read. This story is filled with tortured souls, lost love, and the inhumanity of man. It explores the darker part of life; from torture, bought women, and the struggle for power, we gain an insight of how a favored warrior can become a beast." (Chere Gruver for Sensual Romance) Moreover, I met a professional reviewer who'd reviewed one of my non-HEA love stories (for RT Magazine) THREE YEARS earlier. She not only remembered the details of the book, but she said: "I cried at the drop of a hat for three weeks. The book was so good, I read it four times in those three weeks." (Not every romance genre reader is looking for escapist fiction, and darker romance does exist in the market.) I once wrote a novel in which every main character was dead at the end, and it was the happiest thing that could have happened to them...sort of an atypical HEA. The book was described by a reviewer as: "the story of love, honor and betrayal unfolding against the ruthless backdrop of the warriors’ lives, mortal risks and immortal souls being at the stake." (Daria for Romance Junkies- 4 Ribbons)

And it's not just me writing gritty, realistic romance. Sherrilyn Kenyon took grief for the amount of torture in ACHERON, from some quarters. It was over the top, but his life of suffering was supposed to be over the top. I compare the people who complain about that book to the ones shocked and horrified at "The Red Wedding" in Game of Thrones. Personally, I saw the rebound on Robb Stark coming a mile away and knew it would be ugly when it landed. Mind you, though most of my books are romance cross-genres, I consider myself a SF/F/H/P author first and romance author second, but my readers come primarily from the romance pool.

4. "Romance writers write it because they can't write other genres." This also includes the "it's easy" concept. That is clearly written by people who want to believe it. It's not true of every romance writer. I started off writing poetry and non-fiction articles. I moved from there into short stories, none of which were romance. Romance and novels are the two late-comers to a very long writing life for me. I have written plenty of work that was not romance in nature, including straight genre SF/F/H. In fact, the world building in my romance cross-genres is no less strenuous than it is in my straight-genre writing. I've written straight-genre stories in my romance cross-genre worlds, and I write in 24 series worlds (including an overarching universe that contains 3 of those worlds), 23 of which already have books out on them (12 releases out in the most populated one so far).

Now... Why do these things continue? They continue because some of the more-established genres (like SF/F/H) still have an "old guard" of well-known males dominating the airwaves. I'm not anti-men or anything like that, but when there are entire blogs dedicated to how female authors in the field are "ruining" their male institution of writing in "their" genre, a war of the sexes has the stage ready set. If you read the statistics kept by BroadUniverse, you will find that sexism in the genre continues today. Since those voices already have a ready-made audience hanging on their every word, it is easy for these persons to perpetuate old stereotypes. The latest SFWA blow-up about sexism is a good example. As a woman, I was not offended by the initial picture and comments in the bulletin (by Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg), though some were. But when they responded to the flurry, they made it worse and instead of saying something as simple (and probably true) as: "We didn't realize what we said would be taken as offensive.", they used their popularity and platform to attack all women who WERE offended instead. That comes off as misogynistic and high-handed. dismissive of the feelings of others (and certainly of their work, seeing as how they worded their attack on writing women), and that's the way I see the issue of dismissing everything written by women and for women as well.

How can we stop it? We live in a rape culture, where women's rights to proper medical care are at stake, where women STILL do not earn equal pay for equal work, and we wonder why we can't stop demeaning statements about a woman's work in an established field? I don't see an end to it in the near future, sadly. Destroying these established stereotypes means destroying the mindset behind them, and bigotry is hard to burn out of a culture.


Quick additional edit: I know many MEN who write in the M/F romance field (and women who write M/M, as well), some with female pen names, some with male, and some with gender non-specific or leading initials, obscuring gender identification. Keep in mind that the backlash against romance is unilateral, whether the author is male, female, or undisclosed.