Haevyn and Emotional Cost

 

Haevyn_smIn Quentopolis women have been relegated to secondary status in many cases. Women of the working class society, lead very difficult lives. The Elite are treated more as pampered dolls, cosseted and spoiled, to be seen but not heard, with some similarity to that experienced in the 19th century. Yet, as with any society, there are some who do not tow the line, who break from this suffocating sort of bondage.

There are women–some surviving by their wits and intelligence, some by courage and an adventurous spirit–these are women who strive to break free. Some, like Silver from the first book in this series, end up paying a high price, including human and personal freedom. For some, such as the courtesan madam, Violette Goldswan, they wield their power through different, more shadowy avenues. And some, like Haevyn Breina, will attempt to rise through the more public ranks, clawing their way to a position where they have a chance of gaining societal acceptance as an equal, and gaining respect in the more demanding arena of this male-dominated society. None of this is accomplished without emotional cost. None of these women face and accept the challenges of this rather brutal society in quite the same way. For Haevyn, the rewards are worth the steep price. She does not back down from doing what must be done.

In Quentopolis, sexual relations and sexuality are very open and accepted parts of this society. For some it is about pleasure, for some it is a tool to rise through the ranks. Sex is used for negotiation; it is also a shared bond between friends. And it is also an art form, highly prized by a nobility class known as the Dominatae.

Haevyn Breina is of the Moondown Water District working class. Her parents were killed in a factory fire, leaving the care of her younger brother, Bhrett, in her hands. Responsibility came to her at a young age and she accepted it, along with every hardship and payment that security demanded. She gave up her virginity to a higher purpose and though it left her bruised and battered, she has never regretted her choices. When a brand new arm of the Regulate opens up to females, she jumps at the chance, even though strictly speaking the Compsociate Branch is considered by many to be simply a finely labeled government sanctioned army of courtesans in service to the upper Regulate officers. Haevyn accepts the challenge determined to rise within the ranks, but it is not without additional damage to her psyche.

Her lover and friend, Grisha, has served as her anchor, her “calm, safe haven” throughout her life. A simple fisherman, he is far distanced from the machinations of the political arena. But Grisha, more wise than Haevyn realizes, knows there is more that his lovely, wounded lover needs than the warmth and healing of his loving embrace. He knows very well how close to the edge she really is. But so is his other lover, an expatriate Orictan warrior by the name of Entreus.

In any world an emotional cost must attach, though all creatures deal with trauma differently. Some will splinter, some will rise to meet the challenge of adversity and fashion it into their strength. Some bear an anger or rage–they try to ignore or funnel through some other channel. Entreus funnels his rage and frustration through the illegal Cockrage events. Haevyn tries to bury her anger beneath a veneer of tightly-held control. Grisha knows this about each of them and has a sense of their needs.

How these three people adapt, grow, and hopefully heal is at the emotional core of this story. The journey is complicated by a very dangerous and deadly enemy to the city-state whom they must battle.

This is the world of Humanotica. Read an excerpt from “Haevyn,” the second book in the Humanotica series…

Read an excerpt from Silver, the first book in the Humanotica series.

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Haevyn buy links:

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078C51G5Z
Smashwords Buy Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/816536
Books2Read Universal Link (B&N, Kobo, etc.): https://www.books2read.com/u/4DowAQ

 

 

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Silver buy links:

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074PB91BV
Books2Read Universal Link (B&N, Kobo, etc.): https://www.books2read.com/u/mvjP6X
Smashwords Buy Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/772872

 

Tracking Backstory for My Soul He Seeks

Tracking Backstory for My Soul He Seeks

MySoulHeSeeks_smBrainstorming for this story started with word association. No, back up, it didn’t start there. It began with the image of a man. Hispanic, gypsy. What did he do? What’s in his soul? And so I dug deeper. Music is in his soul. What kind of music? There was no other answer. Flamenco. In researching, one line resonated with me, and with Ravol. Flamenco is at the very heart of the gitano culture with strong roots in Andalusia. And thus Ravol Nova was born.

Ravol possesses a dark and mysterious history. Rumors about his relationship, and the murder of his lover, Francesco, haunt him unceasingly. For me, this past came to life through a video on Youtube. Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=Y6slgaVCSxM. A duel of guitars in a sense. But for my story the duel started between a young Flamenco guitarist and a Flamenco dancer. What better inspiration could I find for the dancer than this Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXBctPuGIfU. Joaquim Cortes. Wow. Perfect. I had the passion and the pain of my backstory.

The foundation of Ravol’s dark haunting, is the murder of his passionate lover, Francesco, that has colored his life so deeply. But there was more, a lot more, because as I got into writing the story, I realized Ravol actually was a descendant of a lost gypsy tribe, the Zhalazti, which has its roots in Babylonian origins. (My story, “Run to Ground”, provides the foundation for the Zhalazti in more detail.)  And thus there is magic– a special magic he must harness and use in an effort to bring peace to his life. And he will use any means to find that peace. To that end, he acquires a special musical instrument. Enter, the young, auction house researcher, Byron Shepley, who has a very dark and somewhat disturbing history with the mansion Ravol now lives in. And it is on a dark and stormy night these two men will finally meet.

These fictional facts represent the foundation of “My Soul He Seeks,” as both Ravol and Byron, in seeking resolution to their past histories, may discover a light of love shining through the darkness shading each of their souls, even though there is nothing remotely simple about the attraction they soon share.

“My Soul He Seeks” is a story of redemption and resolution in many ways. It is also about sacrifice and revenge.

One last little tidbit about this story. I needed to name my town…something special. Ternekill wasn’t just something I pulled from my black hat and pasted into the story. I starting researching names. I thought about the town and the story and the people.  The word “terne” I discovered is a Delaware Native American word for…wolf. What better name could I choose? Especially with Ravol’s history as descending from the werewolf clan, the Zhalazti? Having grown up in central New York near the Catskills, I finished off the name of the town with the word, “kill.” Two meanings, one the obvious–to murder, or kill. The other goes back to the roots of the area, and the early settlers of New York – the Dutch. Kill refers to a river or a creek. Kille, meaning riverbed or channel. Thus, the town’s name of Ternekill. There is reference in the story to a dark spot in Ternekill history regarding the Ternekill Creek.

Did I mention I love creating backstory?

Read the excerpt I posted last month for “My Soul He Seeks.”  Discover where this all leads in the sequel, “My Fate, My Destiny,” releasing June 26, and currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

 

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Hot Satin & Blood-Red Silk – an excerpt

Blurb:

HotSatinandBloodRedSilk_smOlivia once yearned for love and the perfect marriage. She thought she’d found it when she wed sweet, handsome Ethan, never dreaming his romantic demeanor masked an abusive demon. Through her dreams, Olivia found the courage to leave him. Now, on a cold Valentine’s night, still recovering after the divorce yet feeling empowered once again, Olivia enjoys her freedom from love, with no wish to share this otherwise romantic evening with anyone. But freedom comes at a cost, and Olivia’s frozen heart and hungry soul possess a thirst for something she’s afraid to name. In answer to the call she cannot deny, Martin, her vampire mentor, finally returns to claim his chosen mate. And Olivia is more than ready to pay the price for her darkest passions, and to gain immortality. Karma can be a bitch–just ask Olivia’s ex-husband. But will her bargain with a vampire bring her everything she desires on Valentine’s Day?

EXCERPT:

It was a decadent display with scatters of black lace inset at the most provocative places. Olivia reached out to touch the molten creation, wanting to convince herself it wasn’t made of liquid fire, the way it shimmered beneath the lone spotlight above.

She closed her eyes as she absorbed its ethereal texture, imagined what it would feel like sliding against her own skin. But reality broke through. When would she ever have the nerve to wear something like this? Why would she want to? It was a garment meant to entice, and that was something she had absolutely no interest in doing. Her glance landed on her hand, on her ring finger, which still showed a shadow of the ring she’d once worn. Alas, she let her hand fall away and the silken mass drifted back to embrace the shapely leg of the inanimate model posed on the dais.

And yet, Olivia couldn’t bring herself to turn away; her feet seemed glued to the spot. She imagined the look of the man she would be willing to don such a sinful garment for. The perfect man–the embodiment of all she had once fantasized about. Before she’d met Ethan. Before he’d dashed all her dreams with the first punch to her stomach.

A whisper of an image formed inside her head. She tried to shove it away. Her skin grew hot at the thought of the touch of her fantasy lover. For the first time in many months her pussy grew wet at the thought of a man touching her. She fought against the image, tightened her thighs, tried to force the sexual heat back into its frozen compartment.

Try it on, Olivia. You’d look beautiful wearing it. Wearing it, and nothing else.

Olivia whipped around, searching for whomever it was that had spoken in that European-accented, sexy voice.

She saw him standing near the jewelry counter. It had to be him. Exquisitely dressed in a black suit, a white silk shirt. Pale skin, glossy black hair, mesmerizing black eyes. Her heartbeat quickened as she met his gaze. Recognition was just beginning to claw its way to the surface of her mind.

Ethan had been blond with light blue eyes and an all-too-easy smile. This man was nothing like Ethan. Ethan had never looked as dangerous as the man staring back at her from the other side of the store. Ethan’s rages had come out of nowhere, always catching her off guard. This man–no one could ever take for granted. Everything about him screamed dangerous.

Predator.

Run, Olivia, run. Her own voice screamed inside her head.

Too late.

The dressing room, Olivia. Go there now.

She knew him. She recognized that voice. Her whole body recognized that voice, not just her mind. She couldn’t help responding. Primed like Pavlov’s dog. This man was inside her mind. Not a new presence, but one that had remained in hibernation all these many months, the memory shielded from awareness.

He hadn’t said a word. She never saw his lips move. And yet she felt compelled–compelled to go to the dressing room. Compelled to do as she was told. Without question.

“Closing time in fifteen minutes. Please complete your shopping and make your way to a cashier.”

Olivia heard the announcement, but it seemed to bear no relationship to her. Instead she moved toward the dressing rooms. None of the sales clerks stopped her. None of them looked at her as she passed them. She focused on making it to the farthest cubicle from the activity in the store.

Silence. Barely a whisper of sound. Perfect.

Olivia slipped inside, closed and locked the door, shutting out the last vestiges of the voices of the clerks and the echoing footsteps of straggling customers in the store. She closed her eyes, took a deep shuddering breath, then opened them again, and stared into the mirror, gazed at her own reflection. He didn’t have to tell her. This was it. She’d waited a long time. Slowly she removed her clothing.

Olivia dropped her purse and then her gloves. Her coat followed. Her black cotton shirt, her black and white checked wool skirt, her white nylon slip.

She stared at her reflection in the mirror–at the lacy white bra and matching satin bikini panties, the nude colored pantyhose. She took inventory of the scars at her hips, her shoulder, her thigh. The slender expensive gold watch on her wrist. A gift from Ethan after her last stay in the hospital for her broken shoulder. She heard the loud chiming of the antique clock at the center of the store. Cinderella came to mind. Time no longer mattered. She didn’t shudder when a cold draft of air skimmed across her skin, like ghosts trampling across her grave. Her nipples puckered. Excitement mounted.

All of it, Olivia. Every last piece.

She lifted her chin, straightened her shoulders, glared at her reflection. No fear. Never again.

Her pussy was still wet, soaking the satin of her panties, her lips engorged with blood, sensitive and puffy. It had been a long time since she’d felt this aroused. A very long time. Olivia’s heart was still safely frozen, but her body–her body was on fire.

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Now available at these ebook outlets:

Amazon buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075DHNZKB

Books2Read Universal Link (B&N, Kobo, etc.): https://www.books2read.com/u/3J02Ge

Smashwords Buy Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/772864

Gulietta – an excerpt

Blurb:

guliettasmallThe lovely and seductive Gulietta requires sex on an inhumanly frequent basis. It isn’t until the Roman immortal, Quintus, barrels into her life, revealing the identity of her father, that suddenly she’s dropped into a magical world populated with atyrs, fairies, and shapeshifters. It seems her “problem” is not rooted in human sexual dysfunction after all. Gulietta finally discovers who and what her father is–as well as what she is. And Quintus has made it clear he is the man who can provide exactly what she needs. That is, if her father’s game plan doesn’t get in the way…

 

EXCERPT:

Satyr’s Court, Reate, Italy

The wide braided red leather collars were a striking improvement over the boring black of her father’s court. The father of whom she’d only recently learned the identity.

Red marked the members of her newly-appointed attendants. Gulietta rose from the green vine-entangled cedar throne. She pulled a succulent purple grape from the wooden tray and popped it into her mouth. As she bit down, sweet juice flooded her mouth. Gulietta’s gaze drifted around the courtyard as she stepped off the dais. Dancing stopped. Flute music and drums ceased as all eyes turned to her. Who would have thought this was where she would end up? Who could have known that her curiosity about the big black door in the photograph would lead to her destiny? This was certainly not what she had envisioned for herself.

She brushed a hand down the curve of her naked hip. She pushed her long black hair over her shoulder. In this land, behind the black door, clothing was optional. An afterthought.

“Continue with the music,” she said as she strode across the garden, elves and fairies and lesser satyrs of the court making a path. Immediately the sound of music filled the courtyard once again. The fauns and nymphs began to dance, twirling and swaying to the light, cheerful music.

“Take care, Gulietta. You push me too far.”

The smile was wiped from her lush lips. Her horns tingled. A rack of antlers, feminine, yet deadly. She whirled around to face the tall Roman who shadowed her every move.

“Your duty is finished, Quintus. You have returned me to my supposedly rightful place. You have done your duty to my father. Why are you still here?”

Without warning he fastened his hand to her slender hips and yanked her toward him. Too close for her to drop forward and use her horns. She beat her hands against his iron-hard chest.

“Let me go. I’ve let you bully me as much as I’m going to.”

He shoved her backward until her back was against a stone wall. Only then did he remove one hand from her waist and fist it into her hair, effectively stilling her movements.

“Bullied you? I’ve protected you. I’ve guided you.” He leaned closer until his hot breath brushed across her ear. “I’ve claimed you. And now you belong to me, Sabine woman. Your father promised you to me if I brought you back safely.”
She struggled against him to no avail. That was the whole problem. Gulietta was a duty and nothing more. A means to an end for Quintus. More than a thousand years had passed since Sabine women had first been the coin of prosperity for Romulus, nothing but a way to populate Rome.

Gulietta beat her fists against Quintus’s chest, he arched her head to the side, exposing her neck, taut and bare. His mouth fastened onto her flesh, fangs scraping across and then piercing her skin. She felt the rush of hot connection as he quelled her anger, forcing her to submit.

His tongue licked across the aching wounds as she felt her resistance ebb away. And yet the blood rushed hotly through her veins. When he finally raised his head and forced her to look at him, his eyes burned like molten steel newly forged in fire. His expression dark and lusty. This man–no, this immortal Roman guardian–a servant to her father–dug deep into her heart. And she hated that she could not find the strength to resist him. She would give anything to not want him–to not need him–as badly as she did.

She felt the familiar pain, a tug of lust that shot straight down to her vulva. She throbbed with desire, a need that thus far she had been unable to deny. And that only Quintus could ease.

“Quintus.” His name, an ache of longing. The smell of him. She leaned forward and licked at a nipple, tasting him, then suddenly drove her teeth into his flesh.

 

Now available at these ebook retail outlets:

Universal link for other bookstores (B&N, KOBO, etc.) : http://books2read.com/gulietta

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E0U0DIY

Smashwords Buy Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/678748