Deadeye – EXCERPT

Dark and deadly adventure awaits in the old-west town of Deadeye. Vitus, a displaced Roman soldier, and Caecilia, handmaiden to a lusty goddess, must embrace a world of lustful and devious demons, in a town of high-stakes gamblers, quick and murderous gunslingers, vicious outlaws, and pretty soiled doves in order to succeed in their mission. And then there’s the hell-zombies who guard the place.

deadeye_smJustus, an incubus, is the son of the demon lord of Infernia, who also happens to own this decadent western town–a lusty sex demon who must shed his dark shadow in order to accept his destiny as a Nacraecian Dreamweaver Sorcerer, a destiny inherited from the blood of his dreamweaver mother. There’s more dangers than what’s just on the surface awaiting these three.

Three who meet, three who must face their duty to claim their destinies, three who risk everything to be free.

EXCERPT

1880s, The American West

Caecilia.

Where was she now? He’d last caught sight of her—what was it? Paris, a century ago. She’d been working on the stage at the time. Vitus had been sent there to retrieve one of Apollo’s daughters and dispense with the demi-god who had spirited her away. Vitus didn’t allow himself to dwell on Caecilia’s whereabouts too often. It did no good, served no purpose, other than to irritate the hell out of him.

The living had a way of thinking of hell in simplified terms, Vitus thought as he leaned forward in his saddle and surveyed the deadly western landscape spread out before him. The sun beat down hot and boiling. The saddle leather creaked as he leaned back, pulled out the makings and rolled himself a cigarette. He stuck it between his lips, lit it, and inhaled deeply, then released the smoke into the air. One of the simple pleasures he’d embraced from this time, and this untamed western land was one of the few places that challenged his innate warrior nature.

Gods and their vengeance. Long lasting and purely hell on earth. But even hell was only what you made it and not exactly the same for everyone. Being dropped into the court of Apollo had not led to an easy path for Vitus, but it was one he was familiar with and one he had learned to embrace.

I don’t need another lover, Roman. I want a gladiator to entertain me. I’ve become bored and I thank Diana for her most timely gift. Let us hope you prove to be worth the time. Immortality should offer plenty of opportunity for you to hone your skills. We shall see.

“Hey, stranger. You heading down there?”

Vitus tugged at the corner of his black felt hat and dipped it down lower. Fingers whispered across the handle of his Colt as he twisted around to inspect the newcomer. He liked the feel of the weapons of this age as he had the swords and daggers of his own time. In some ways they were faster and more efficient. A sword allowed for a bit more artistic endeavor, but when up against other weapons of the same caliber, one had to make do. Or die.“Ponderin’ the possibilities,” Vitus responded. Language was another thing that had turned serviceable. Earthy and practical. Lazy language that masked intention. In this land he’d had to adapt, to learn their language, assume their mannerisms, adopt their clothing. Folks were wary of people who spoke differently, had different ways about them, different rituals. So he’d adapted. The gods enjoyed this age of bloodshed, of lawlessness. They bathed endlessly in the violence.

“You know what’s down there, don’t you?” the dandified down-and-out gambler in the threadbare suit asked Vitus.

“Yep, I’ve heard.” Vitus squinted as he focused on the now fiery-tinged landscape. He felt the ferocity of that heat just beneath his skin. The pain was welcome and he absorbed its rejuvenating intensity.

“A king’s ransom at those tables in Deadeye. A poker game to beat any other, I hear.”

“So they say.” Deadly games, no matter the choice. “Surprised you didn’t take the midnight train into Deadeye. Would have been safer than crossing the desert.”

“No ticket. Ain’t easy to come by. I’ve already waited months kicking my heels in that one-horse town on the other side of the ravine. Lost my partner there when he got too antsy and tried to lift a ticket that warn’t his. Damn gunfighter shot him right between the eyes. Thought it best I hightail it outta there a’fore I was next. So, want some company?” the newcomer asked hopefully.

Deadeye. That’s what they called a shot like that in these parts. A shot like that got you respect on this side of the ravine. It gave you position, one of the fastest ways to get an audience with Zevodious.

The gambler looked so pale and cool to Vitus. He wanted to draw the gambler to him, to absorb the chilliness of his flesh. At least cooler compared to Vitus’s own flesh. But if he touched the gambler, Vitus would quench himself with the bracing human energy, like a tall icy drink of water. Attractive human energy undulated around the man. It was pretty, sexually enticing in a human sort of way. It was bright enough to light the sky in the dead of night. Not obvious to humans—but to Vitus’s kind—those of the night? He would be a beacon to the hell-zombies who would just be rising and surely ravenous. Not much flesh on the gambler—he’d obviously seen lean times. The creatures would make short shrift of him. Vitus doubted the man would make it much past sunset if he went down there right now.

“Nope. Not too keen on crossing the Saguaro at sundown. Wouldn’t advise it. You go down there now, you go it alone.”

“No need to be unfriendly. My name’s Cuthbert. You got a name, stranger?”

Vitus didn’t even turn to look at the man. He knew the lure of gold wouldn’t keep the idealistic fool from trying to cross the Flats. Yep, sun-up as opposed to sundown would be a better time for Vitus to make his way on down to cross Temptation Flats. No reason to put himself out fighting off hell-zombies when there wasn’t a need to do such. He nudged his horse off to the right and away from Cuthbert.

“Hey, where you going?”

Vitus didn’t even slow, his mind on other matters. He’d made his intentions clear enough. Every man made his own choices, and lived or died with them.

“Well, fuck you. I’m not waiting another damned minute to get what’s coming to me. More for me when I get there.”

Get what’s coming to him. Sure enough he’d be on the receiving end of some mighty focused attention. Vitus heard the desperate bravado tingeing those words. He might have kept the gambler for the night, fucked him, enjoyed him and his cool, pale energy. Vitus could have warmed Cuthbert thoroughly with his own fire until the gambler completely forgot what he came here to do. The gods would have enjoyed the lusty exhibition—they always had enjoyed a taste for earthy. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

But the moment they navigated Temptation the gambler would only have lost his soul in Deadeye, one way or the other. Why put it off? Vitus wasn’t that needy. Not yet. Nor did he care that much what happened to the gambler. Not really. Another soul to be claimed by Zevodious.

He heard the click of the gambler’s tongue against his teeth as Cuthbert urged his horse forward and down the ridge. Vitus looked at the horizon, at the blaze of fiery orange coals stretched across the sky.

“Shit. What do you think, hoss? Let the bastards split him open and use him serviceable. Earthy and practical. Lazy language that masked intention. In this land he’d had to adapt, to learn their language, assume their mannerisms, adopt their clothing. Folks were wary of people who spoke differently, had different ways about them, different rituals. So he’d adapted. The gods enjoyed this age of bloodshed, of lawlessness. They bathed endlessly in the violence.

“You know what’s down there, don’t you?” the dandified down-and-out gambler in the threadbare suit asked Vitus.

“Yep, I’ve heard.” Vitus squinted as he focused on the now fiery-tinged landscape. He felt the ferocity of that heat just beneath his skin. The pain was welcome and he absorbed its rejuvenating intensity.

“A king’s ransom at those tables in Deadeye. A poker game to beat any other, I hear.”

“So they say.” Deadly games, no matter the choice. “Surprised you didn’t take the midnight train into Deadeye. Would have been safer than crossing the desert.”

“No ticket. Ain’t easy to come by. I’ve already waited months kicking my heels in that one-horse town on the other side of the ravine. Lost my partner there when he got too antsy and tried to lift a ticket that warn’t his. Damn gunfighter shot him right between the eyes. Thought it best I hightail it outta there a’fore I was next. So, want some company?” the newcomer asked hopefully.

Deadeye. That’s what they called a shot like that in these parts. A shot like that got you respect on this side of the ravine. It gave you position, one of the fastest ways to get an audience with Zevodious.

The gambler looked so pale and cool to Vitus. He wanted to draw the gambler to him, to absorb the chilliness of his flesh. At least cooler compared to Vitus’s own flesh. But if he touched the gambler, Vitus would quench himself with the bracing human energy, like a tall icy drink of water. Attractive human energy undulated around the man. It was pretty, sexually enticing in a human sort of way. It was bright enough to light the sky in the dead of night. Not obvious to humans—but to Vitus’s kind—those of the night? He would be a beacon to the hell-zombies who would just be rising and surely ravenous. Not much flesh on the gambler—he’d obviously seen lean times. The creatures would make short shrift of him. Vitus doubted the man would make it much past sunset if he went down there right now.

“Nope. Not too keen on crossing the Saguaro at sundown. Wouldn’t advise it. You go down there now, you go it alone.”

“No need to be unfriendly. My name’s Cuthbert. You got a name, stranger?”

Vitus didn’t even turn to look at the man. He knew the lure of gold wouldn’t keep the idealistic fool from trying to cross the Flats. Yep, sun-up as opposed to sundown would be a better time for Vitus to make his way on down to cross Temptation Flats. No reason to put himself out fighting off hell-zombies when there wasn’t a need to do such. He nudged his horse off to the right and away from Cuthbert.

“Hey, where you going?”

Vitus didn’t even slow, his mind on other matters. He’d made his intentions clear enough. Every man made his own choices, and lived or died with them.

“Well, fuck you. I’m not waiting another damned minute to get what’s coming to me. More for me when I get there.”

Get what’s coming to him. Sure enough he’d be on the receiving end of some mighty focused attention. Vitus heard the desperate bravado tingeing those words. He might have kept the gambler for the night, fucked him, enjoyed him and his cool, pale energy. Vitus could have warmed Cuthbert thoroughly with his own fire until the gambler completely forgot what he came here to do. The gods would have enjoyed the lusty exhibition—they always had enjoyed a taste for earthy. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

But the moment they navigated Temptation the gambler would only have lost his soul in Deadeye, one way or the other. Why put it off? Vitus wasn’t that needy. Not yet. Nor did he care that much what happened to the gambler. Not really. Another soul to be claimed by Zevodious.

He heard the click of the gambler’s tongue against his teeth as Cuthbert urged his horse forward and down the ridge. Vitus looked at the horizon, at the blaze of fiery orange coals stretched across the sky.

“Shit. What do you think, hoss? Let the bastards split him open and use him as an appetizer? Or try to save his sorry gambler ass? And for what? He’ll just put himself right in the path of killing in some other damned fashion? But hell-zombies—there could be an easier way, I reckon.”

Storm tossed his head, eyes of crimson flame rolling back. The silver bridle jangled, sharp hooves stomped impatiently.

“I was afraid you’d say that.” Vitus tossed the remains of his cigarette. He opened his black duster and checked each of the pockets, considering which of the array of weapons would get the job done the fastest. He checked the special bullets in the twin silver-plated five-shot Colt pistols. He checked the keen edge on the single-edged hunting cleaver. And then there was his favorite—the three-pointed African iron-forged throwing knife gifted to him by a chief several years back when he’d saved the man’s son. Yep, his personal arsenal was in order.

He nudged Storm forward and down the slope just as he heard the first muffled scream. The gambler’s terrified horse, eyes rolling back, galloped past them headed back up the ridge. The second scream echoed through the darkened sky. “Come on, hoss, sounds like ole Cuthbert needs some help. Zevodious’s hell-boys are getting ready to have themselves some fun tonight.”

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Run To Ground – An Excerpt

A savage and passionate breed of mythic wuv. Two men—alpha and mate, fight for their clan, and their lives, and to reclaim the passion one threw away when he left. Loyalty might be earned, but could trust be regained? There are no half-measures in the world of the Zhalazti. One will rule; one will submit. A new pack will arise. It is the law of their species and all will obey. Submit or die.

Tallin Undine, human-made savage wolfish creature. He was once human, now wuv-beast—a creature ruled by the moon—made through moon-madness and savagery, his human family slaughtered. It is a continual struggle to hold on to some bit of his humanity. Scarred by his former lover, a Zhalazti Luminarian of noble and ancient heritage, during a rite of passage, who then abandoned him, Tallin has clawed his way to some measure of standing. But now the vaida, his Zhalazti clan chief, his accepted alpha, has been killed, and the security of his adoptive nation is at risk. His mission—to bring back the man who must battle to claim his position as rightful chief against a Negraluna cursed usurper to the position. One problem – Emmanuel Grimshaw is the very man Tallin does not want to see again. It was Emmanuel who mated him so long ago, and then left Tallin to pick up the pieces of what was left of his life. But Tallin has little choice.

Emmanuel Grimshaw, of the Zhalazti Natasia, a Luminarian, born of full-moon royal heritage, walked away from his clan, his mate, because of the savageness with which he claimed, and maimed, a man he loved, when he was too young to control his beast. He’d gone in search of his humanity, and a way to tame the wuv within. But when Tallin unexpectedly arrives, any peace he thought he’d found with his human companion, Niles, vanishes. And it isn’t long before Emmanuel’s beast within rises and in a savage mating, he reclaims Tallin—binding him, once again.

Zhalazti wuvs, like no other; a mysterious nomadic tribe—not the werewolf of loriRunToGround_medc myth. Descendants of a Sumarian god and his consort, who birthed the gods of the underworld, and evil demons. Emmanuel will do his duty, but not without the human stray, Tallin, at his side. A battle for survival and love is about to begin. Who will triumph?

EXCERPT

All things were dead in the garden, curled up, brown, brittle. Except there was a certain beauty to it in the thin veneer of frost that covered everything. From wilted brittle vine to defeated rose. The crystalline sparkle made it seem as though one stood in a vastly different world than that of human.

Tallin had waited. Upon his arrival in Vienna he’d taken rooms at a hostelry on the outskirts, near a densely wooded area, allowing him freedom to run when his animal urged him to flee the confines of the city. Mostly it occurred in the twilight hours. But it was early morning now as he stood in the garden, behind the elm waiting for Emmanuel to emerge. Having watched him for the last three days, Tallin had discerned his routine.
A smoke in the morning in the garden, to the university for lectures until mid-afternoon. Home to fuck his pet and take tea, not leaving the house again until twilight, and then off to the opera or some social event. Home again at two or three in the morning to fuck his pet again, before turning in for a few hours of rest. Emmanuel rose early, his pet later, obviously exhausted by the long grueling schedule Emmanuel set for them each day. So this was the best time of day to catch him alone. Today Tallin would confront him and then he would know what his next move must be.

He pulled out his pocket watch, flipped it open to check the time, closed it and repocketed it. Any moment now and Emmanuel would step out into the briskness of the winter morn. Being Zhalazti, the chill would not affect him keenly as it did humans. Nor did it affect Tallin in quite the same way. In fact, their kind thrived in the colder climes.
He scented the smoke of the cigar before he actually saw Emmanuel emerge from the house. Dressed in dark trousers and a white shirt unbuttoned at the neck, black leather shoes polished to an unmarred shine. His shirt sleeves were rolled back to reveal his dark, densely pelted arms. He turned away from where Tallin stood at the corner of the garden and stared up at the lightening sky.

He took the cigar out of his mouth, released a line of smoke into the cold stillness. Still a fine fashion of a man as he stood astride. Broad shoulders stretching the white shirt to its limits, tapering to narrow hips, muscular buttocks and thighs—a measure of the beast that thrived in his Lunaria blood. This morning he looked…human. More so than he ever had back in France. He looked almost tamed, so refined. A gentleman. Perhaps even more charismatic and seductive than Tallin had ever seen him.

“I know you’re there,” Emmanuel suddenly said. “You might as well come out of hiding. I can smell you. One does not mistake the scent of wuv blood—even if it is diluted blood.” He spun around to face exactly where Tallin stood. Tallin stepped out from behind the tree. Emmanuel’s eyes flashed, his focus going immediately to the eye patch and the scars on his face. Tallin didn’t flinch.

Emmanuel nodded. “I thought it was you. Why are you here, Tallin? I’m not returning. I’ve found some balance here. Some peace.”

“With your jijo? I take it he serves you well.”

Emmanuel’s eyes flashed angrily, a growl erupted from his throat. “Leave Niles out of this. He’s human and he’s fragile.

Tallin stepped more fully into the garden. “I know exactly how fragile humans are. I do recall something of their humanity.”

Emmanuel lifted the cigar to his lips and studied Tallin silently for a long time. The tip of the cigar glowed orange as he sucked. Tallin recalled Emmanuel’s special skill at sucking.

“You still have a fondness for cigars.”

Emmanuel released a cloud of smoke to meld with the frigid air. He set the cigar on the edge of the table he stood next to. “You should know. You were the one who stole the first box from Shiri. Have you lost your fondness for savoring fine things?”

“I have tempered somewhat.”

“I heard you have been named a captain in Hirmes’ war pack. You have come far in a short time. Few possessed ever—”

“Survive as long as I have?” Tallin said mildly. He should have died in the rite of passage but he hadn’t. He’d lived and thus gained some measure of respect. Of course, he’d not survived without cost.

“I wasn’t going to say that. We both know the reason humans are made wuv. It’s no secret,” Emmanuel said.

“Exactly. I was trained for it, wasn’t I? Treated little less than a slave—humans—jijos—were treated better than I was. But rikos are the expendable ones, aren’t they?”

“I helped you train, Tallin. I wanted you to survive, you know that.”

Tallin smiled bitterly. “What you did was give with one hand and take with the other. I never really knew where I stood with you until the hunt. Then we both knew, didn’t we?”
Emmanuel spun away. “Why are you here? Everything you speak of is in the past. It serves no purpose in bringing it up now.”

Tallin tamped down the beast and the memories. His wounded eye itched, the scars on his face throbbed with the memory. “Hirmes is dead, Emmanuel…”

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Nightingale – an excerpt

From the Journals of the Viadine…

They Walk the Earth Among Mortal Men…

The Fallen, having descended to earth, vulnerable to all manner of earthly pleasure and sin, were barred forevermore from Heaven. Easily seduced by the beauty of humankind, henceforth they divided, light and dark, order and chaos, lovers and destroyers of mankind. Being now branded as the Phratry, or Brotherhood, of the Fallen—henceforth eternally earthbound, divided and marked as Viadine and Diadune. Thus fashioned from the ashes of desolation a choir of men, offering a measure of serenity and renewal for those who seek order and light—henceforth known as the Gios of the Nightingale—men gifted with the voices of angels, poignant reminder of an existence now lost forever to the Phratry of the Fallen…
— Rahuael, First Chronicler, Viadine Secretorum

Nightingale_banner

An earthly balance is at stake. Nothing happens by chance. And fate, here on Earth, will demand its bloody tribute no matter how high the cost…

The thirst for deliverance and absolution are transformed into explosive flames of forbidden passion when a mysteriously charismatic masked man encounters a brilliant and handsome composer. Their lives are intertwined with those of two others, and only the ultimate sacrifice will satisfy the greedy appetite of fate…

Retribution is his only desire…Fabienne Brunetto, a 17th-Century castrato of amazing vocal talent, is brutally attacked by a twisted enemy. But agonizing death is not his destiny. He is saved by Annatoly Constantine, the immortal hand of a brotherhood of fallen angels devoted to protection, balance, and order on Earth. But Fabienne bears the scars of his terrible encounter, and his song has been extinguished forever—at least until a rite of redemption can come to culmination. He must wait two hundred years before his hunger for deliverance can fully be sated.

Wounded and shamed…Annatoly Constantine, whom centuries before was also a man, is the protector of the Gios of Nightingales, a choir of immortal voices created to soothe and heal the world. Annatoly has always been destined to lose what he loves, never able to fully offer himself to a lover. Until Carne Giraint, a gifted composer, appears in his life, making him yearn for something more, something exquisitely forbidden.

A composer marked by the cursed blood of his ancestors…Carne Giraint is a mortal of extraordinary talent, tapped by the brotherhood of angels to accept his destiny as composer to the gios. Carne’s greatest passion has never been ignited until he encounters a masked man known to him only as Maître. One night of fiery desire leaves him ravenous for the touch of Maître, a man he cannot forget.

A greedy man willing to give his soul for power and money…Dandrae, a slave to the dark beings who seek to alter the course of Fabienne’s and Carne’s destinies, is tasked with quashing Carne’s mystical gift for composition.

An earthly balance is at stake. Nothing happens by chance. And fate, here on Earth, will demand its bloody tribute no matter how high the cost…

EXCERPT

Carne removed the mask and tossed it toward Maître, who deftly caught it, caressed it, and then gently set it aside. Carne stood poised in the firelight, completely vulnerable, his cock thick with arousal, the sheen of pre-come glazing the tip, his balls heavy.

Maître walked to Carne. He circled slowly, minutely inspecting Carne. Carne’s nerves stretched taut as his desire mounted. Would he find Carne lacking? Maître completed his inspection and returned to face Carne. With his gloved hand he cupped Carne’s testicles, weighing them, stroking them.

“Lovely,” he murmured.

He slid his hand up Carne’s erect shaft, brushed over the engorged knob of his prick. “Precious. A set of manly jewels to be prized by any lover. I wonder, have you the fortitude of a well-hung young stallion as well?” The hue of Carne’s cock deepened, the flesh stretched and hardened, his balls already drawing up close to his body at Maître’s handling and obvious appreciation. With his fingers curled around Carne’s erection, Maître drew him forward. Carne could feel the unyielding presence of the mask against his cheek.

“You like being ordered, don’t you? You like men.” His voice was a steamy intimate whisper against Carne’s ear. “My touching you is arousing. How many men have you been with, Geraint? And women? Have you a patron among them?”

There would be no prevarication. This man, in some supernatural way, would peel Carne’s secrets from his soul. And Carne couldn’t stop it from happening, he could do none other than yield himself. “I-I think you know my preference, Maître. I think you know it well enough.”

His mother had thought it was the music tutor who had ruined him. She blamed herself for Carne’s eccentricities. But Carne had known from an early age, when he’d secretly watched the actors changing backstage, when it had been the men who he fantasized about, not the women. He had understood his predilection for men before his mother’s latest lover had seduced him. But he never told her the truth before she died of consumptionNightingale_sm in the poor house. He never absolved her of her false guilt.

“But the women give you fine jewels, don’t they? Little gifts because you please them so very much. They yearn for you to spend time in their bed, they are eager for you to sleep with them, to show them even more of your secret magic. To ply your command of… instrument in a much more personal and intimate fashion.”

“Yes, but I don’t give them what they want. I’ll sire no bastards. Ever.” He was never going to subject a child to what he had suffered. And since he had no plans to marry, nor a desire to lie with women, he offered them no encouragement to pursue him.

“So maybe they want me more because of it. But the men. They can be even more generous than the women.” Perhaps so generous because they sought to assuage their guilt for wanting him instead of the beautiful actresses for whom he composed his arias to make their voices shine.

“They can also be more brutal. Is that what you like about them?”

Carne didn’t respond right away. It was that, but there was more as well. “Not all of them are brutal,” Carne finally responded.

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An Excerpt from Run To Ground

Run To Ground

(#darkfantasy, #MM, #shapeshifter, #werewolves, #eroticromance, #secondchance #kindleunlimited)

Blurb:

RunToGround_medA savage and passionate breed of mythic wuv. Two men—alpha and mate, fight for their clan, and their lives, and to reclaim the passion one threw away when he left. Loyalty might be earned, but could trust be regained? There are no half-measures in the world of the Zhalazti. One will rule; one will submit. A new pack will arise. It is the law of their species and all will obey. Submit or die.

Tallin Undine, human-made savage wolfish creature. He was once human, now wuv-beast—a creature ruled by the moon—made through moon-madness and savagery, his human family slaughtered. It is a continual struggle to hold on to some bit of his humanity. Scarred by his former lover, a Zhalazti Luminarian of noble and ancient heritage, during a rite of passage, who then abandoned him, Tallin has clawed his way to some measure of standing. But now the vaida, his Zhalazti clan chief, his accepted alpha, has been killed, and the security of his adoptive nation is at risk. His mission—to bring back the man who must battle to claim his position as rightful chief against a Negraluna cursed usurper to the position. One problem – Emmanuel Grimshaw is the very man Tallin does not want to see again. It was Emmanuel who mated him so long ago, and then left Tallin to pick up the pieces of what was left of his life. But Tallin has little choice.

Emmanuel Grimshaw, of the Zhalazti Natasia, a Luminarian, born of full-moon royal heritage, walked away from his clan, his mate, because of the savageness with which he claimed, and maimed, a man he loved, when he was too young to control his beast. He’d gone in search of his humanity, and a way to tame the wuv within. But when Tallin unexpectedly arrives, any peace he thought he’d found with his human companion, Niles, vanishes. And it isn’t long before Emmanuel’s beast within rises and in a savage mating, he reclaims Tallin—binding him, once again.

Zhalazti wuvs, like no other; a mysterious nomadic tribe—not the werewolf of loric myth. Descendants of a Sumarian god and his consort, who birthed the gods of the underworld, and evil demons. Emmanuel will do his duty, but not without the human stray, Tallin, at his side. A battle for survival and love is about to begin. Who will triumph?

EXCERPT:

All things were dead in the garden, curled up, brown, brittle. Except there was a certain beauty to it in the thin veneer of frost that covered everything. From wilted brittle vine to defeated rose. The crystalline sparkle made it seem as though one stood in a vastly different world than that of human.

Tallin had waited. Upon his arrival in Vienna he’d taken rooms at a hostelry on the outskirts, near a densely wooded area, allowing him freedom to run when his animal urged him to flee the confines of the city. Mostly it occurred in the twilight hours. But it was early morning now as he stood in the garden, behind the elm waiting for Emmanuel to emerge. Having watched him for the last three days, Tallin had discerned his routine.
A smoke in the morning in the garden, to the university for lectures until mid-afternoon. Home to fuck his pet and take tea, not leaving the house again until twilight, and then off to the opera or some social event. Home again at two or three in the morning to fuck his pet again, before turning in for a few hours of rest. Emmanuel rose early, his pet later, obviously exhausted by the long grueling schedule Emmanuel set for them each day. So this was the best time of day to catch him alone. Today Tallin would confront him and then he would know what his next move must be.

He pulled out his pocket watch, flipped it open to check the time, closed it and repocketed it. Any moment now and Emmanuel would step out into the briskness of the winter morn. Being Zhalazti, the chill would not affect him keenly as it did humans. Nor did it affect Tallin in quite the same way. In fact, their kind thrived in the colder climes.
He scented the smoke of the cigar before he actually saw Emmanuel emerge from the house. Dressed in dark trousers and a white shirt unbuttoned at the neck, black leather shoes polished to an unmarred shine. His shirt sleeves were rolled back to reveal his dark, densely pelted arms. He turned away from where Tallin stood at the corner of the garden and stared up at the lightening sky.

He took the cigar out of his mouth, released a line of smoke into the cold stillness. Still a fine fashion of a man as he stood astride. Broad shoulders stretching the white shirt to its limits, tapering to narrow hips, muscular buttocks and thighs—a measure of the beast that thrived in his Lunaria blood. This morning he looked…human. More so than he ever had back in France. He looked almost tamed, so refined. A gentleman. Perhaps even more charismatic and seductive than Tallin had ever seen him.

“I know you’re there,” Emmanuel suddenly said. “You might as well come out of hiding. I can smell you. One does not mistake the scent of wuv blood—even if it is diluted blood.” He spun around to face exactly where Tallin stood. Tallin stepped out from behind the tree. Emmanuel’s eyes flashed, his focus going immediately to the eye patch and the scars on his face. Tallin didn’t flinch.

Emmanuel nodded. “I thought it was you. Why are you here, Tallin? I’m not returning. I’ve found some balance here. Some peace.”

“With your jijo? I take it he serves you well.”

Emmanuel’s eyes flashed angrily, a growl erupted from his throat. “Leave Niles out of this. He’s human and he’s fragile.

Tallin stepped more fully into the garden. “I know exactly how fragile humans are. I do recall something of their humanity.”

Emmanuel lifted the cigar to his lips and studied Tallin silently for a long time. The tip of the cigar glowed orange as he sucked. Tallin recalled Emmanuel’s special skill at sucking.
“You still have a fondness for cigars.”

Emmanuel released a cloud of smoke to meld with the frigid air. He set the cigar on the edge of the table he stood next to. “You should know. You were the one who stole the first box from Shiri. Have you lost your fondness for savoring fine things?”

“I have tempered somewhat.”

“I heard you have been named a captain in Hirmes’ war pack. You have come far in a short time. Few possessed ever—”

“Survive as long as I have?” Tallin said mildly. He should have died in the rite of passage but he hadn’t. He’d lived and thus gained some measure of respect. Of course, he’d not survived without cost.

“I wasn’t going to say that. We both know the reason humans are made wuv. It’s no secret,” Emmanuel said.

“Exactly. I was trained for it, wasn’t I? Treated little less than a slave—humans—jijos—were treated better than I was. But rikos are the expendable ones, aren’t they?”

“I helped you train, Tallin. I wanted you to survive, you know that.”

Tallin smiled bitterly. “What you did was give with one hand and take with the other. I never really knew where I stood with you until the hunt. Then we both knew, didn’t we?”
Emmanuel spun away. “Why are you here? Everything you speak of is in the past. It serves no purpose in bringing it up now.”

Tallin tamped down the beast and the memories. His wounded eye itched, the scars on his face throbbed with the memory. “Hirmes is dead, Emmanuel…”

 

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Now available on Amazon and, for a short time,

as a #kindleunlimited selection.

 

Find more exclusive information and to stay informed of what’s coming next, access to ARCs, backstory, maps, worldbuilding, WIPS, and more, visit my #Patreon site…

 Become a Patron!

New Year, New Content, New Site. Now Live

I heard about the #Patreon site several weeks ago and decided to explore it.  Adventure and research is part of the game when it comes to writing.

I have been contemplating over the last few months the best way to share a lot of what I do creatively. I had some ideas, but couldn’t quite get to the point I needed to get to and then a writing friend of mine pointed me in the direction of #Patreon.

There are so many changes in the publishing world these days, I’ve lost my three main publishers, and things are in flux. How do I proceed? I want to share what I write, but what might be the best way to do that in an organized fashion?

Perhaps today it isn’t just about creating and sharing the final product, but in sharing the process, and the life, and digging into the brain and environment of a writer. Perhaps, especially when a lot of worldbuilding is involved which allows for the creating of involved backstory, character development, mapmaking, language development, and so much more.  There’s story writing, there’s writing craft, there’s the writer’s journey. Being someone who outlines and storyboards, there are writing templates I use, processes I’ve developed for character creation, for worldbuilding. And then there’s the whole experimental writing I like to do, mixing genres, worlds, etc. I like to play with words, with experiences, with environments, with what-ifs.

So many people see writing as foremost a business. But that’s not where I originate from. For me, writing is not strictly something I do, writing is who I am, and a storyteller is what I have been from as far back as I can remember.  There isn’t a separation. The business of writing is a necessary part of that, but the writing comes first.

This technology age that we are currently in is now allowing writers to share so much more of themselves and their writing. It’s no longer just selling a book, it’s selling a world, an environment, a place of being and becoming.  Making choices in this dizzying social world of how to be available, how to share, how to take the writing journey into the world of a business endeavor is a tricky journey.

We make many stops along the way in a writer’s journey, some end up being vacation spots, temporary living quarters, an exploration of possibility.  Being on that journey has taken me to #Patreon and a slightly different way of share my world and my stories.  I hope you get a chance to stop by and check it out. The journey starts here: https://www.patreon.com/darcyabriel

Run To Ground now available on Amazon and a #kindleunlimited selection.

Tallin Undine was once human, but is now a wuv-beast, a creature of the Zhalazti clan, ruled by the moon, and made through moon-madness and savagery. With his human family slaughtered, Tallin continually struggles to hold on to some bit of his humanity. After being scarred by a former lover, Tallin has clawed his way to some measure of standing. But now, hRunToGround_medis clan chief has been killed, and the security of his adoptive nation is at risk. His mission is to bring back the man who must battle to claim his position as rightful chief. Yet there’s one problem—Emmanuel Grimshaw is the very man Tallin does not want to see again, who savagely mated him so long ago, then left him to pick up the pieces of his life.

When he was too young to fully control his inner-beast, Emmanuel Grimshaw claimed—and maimed—a man he loved. After fleeing his clan, he’d gone in search of his humanity, and a way to tame the wuv within. But when Tallin unexpectedly arrives, any peace Emmanuel thought he’d found with a human companion vanishes. And it isn’t long before Emmanuel’s inner-beast rises and he reclaims Tallin, binding him once again.

Now, Emmanuel will do his duty, but not without Tallin at his side. A battle for survival and love is about to begin. Who will triumph?

Hot Satin & Blood-Red Silk, an excerpt

Temperature high here today is set for 48F. Let’s see if we can heat up the week by starting with an excerpt from “Hot Satin & Blood-Red Silk.”

Hot Satin & Blood-Red Silk

Olivia once yearned for love and the perfect marriage. She thought she’d found it when HotSatinandBloodRedSilk_smshe 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.

 

Now available on Amazon (currently a #kindleunlimited selection): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075DHNZKB

 

 

Eternity – an excerpt

In the end he begged to serve the demonic vampire who made him. Maximilian Wolffe was unwillingly turned vampire in 1570. A brutal master should always beware of what he creates.

He claimed her as his servitess. In 1872 Venice, Max and Claudio hunt the streets of Venice. What Max finds is not what he expects–a woman to equal his passion. He claims her and then one day, abandons her. To save her. The memory of his vampiress may be the only thing that saves him from the beast within.

And now he’s back to claim what is his.

 

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EXCERPT:

Lena pulled back the black curtain and looked out the window. Torchlight illuminated what looked like a courtyard beyond the thorn-entwined wooden gate that was being raised by a couple of long-toothed, big furry beasts.
“I still can’t believe there are such creatures as werewolves. Over the years, you’ve certainly turned my belief system upside down, Max.”

“These wolves have been sentries of the land surrounding the castle for centuries. They have served the Conastrata descendants since the castle was built. And they keep the vampire hunters away. A very useful species.”

The horses’ hooves clattered over the cobblestones as they entered the courtyard.

“How old is this place?”

“It dates back to the fifteenth century, constructed in medieval times.”

“Kind of like you.”

She heard him chuckle. “Yes, I guess you might say that.”

Finally the carriage came to a halt in the courtyard. Max waved a hand, the door opened, and he stepped out and then he handed Lena out.

Tonight her gown was in shades of gold and black shot through with crimson thread, split at the front. Rubies had been sewn into the black overskirt. Red lace at the bodice barely concealed her dusky nipples. The caplet and underskirt were gold. Beneath the black silk corset and a multitude of black, gold, and crimson petticoats, she wore no undergarments, no bustle. And she felt decadently bare and wicked beneath the voluminous skirt and petticoats. Her thighs were slick with anticipation as the silk and lace rubbed against her skin.

“I need time alone with you, Max.”

A head taller than Lena, Max looked down at her as they awaited Claudio and Werner’s arrival.

“There’s no need for secrecy here, my dear. You may be quite shocked by the openness of the festivities. The body is to be admired and enjoyment of the flesh is to be openly worshiped.”

“You mean, there is no privacy?”

“As much as you would like, cara. Or as little. I have kept you rather sequestered since turning you. It all may be rather overwhelming for you at first.”

“I think I can handle it. I’ll just follow your lead, darling Max.”

Just then Claudio’s carriage clattered into the courtyard and came to a halt. Claudio stepped from the coach. The vampire was dressed quite elegantly in midnight blue velvet and silver. As he stepped down he tugged on a thick silver-colored chain.

Lena’s jaw dropped when she saw Werner. Oh, she’d seen him naked before, but never like this.

“He let you do that to him? It is Werner, isn’t it?”

“It is. He had no choice. He’s a servitor, he does as I say. As a human there are certain rules to follow. He has the smell of human. If he doesn’t want to end up in another vampire’s coffin, he’ll do exactly as I say. Isn’t that right, pet?”

Werner’s head was completely encased in some sort of black hood. Lena could see his eyes. And there seemed to be a slit for his nose, but there was a buttoned closing over his mouth. All he could do was nod in answer to Claudio’s inquiry.

The hem of the hood was attached by silver rings to a wide iron collar. There were strips of black leather crisscrossing his chest, and decorative chain hanging from a wide leather belt that seemed to serve little purpose. And more straps, with rolled leather edges, running up between his legs, displaying his softened penis.

Cuffs of iron encircled his wrists and ankles, and chain looped through them, soaring upward through the iron collar. The collar was decorated with slender, curved pieces of iron interlaced in a woven pattern. All of the chains seemed to come together culminating in the leash that Claudio held in his hand.

Lena was shocked to see a brand at the center of Werner’s chest that looked quite sore. “What is that? When did you do it?”

“My mark. I should have had him marked long before this, but since we haven’t attended any type of formal gathering, I didn’t think it necessary. Max and I have tended to circuit away from formal vampire affairs in the past. But nevertheless, the brand was accomplished last night. I have used herbs to cement it and help it to heal quickly. You will find all the servitors marked here. Servitors require a great deal of attention. You should think long and hard before deciding to acquire one.”

“As if I would.”

“You never know. One of these dedicants may just appeal to you.”

Lena slid a glance to Max. She couldn’t imagine doing to anyone what Claudio had obviously done to Werner. She glanced again at Werner.

Attired as he was, made him look…anonymous. The depilation was a surprise, but this was far more shocking. Anonymous was the only word she could think of. Indistinct. And yet—

She walked to Werner and reached out, then hesitated, first looking at Claudio. For the first time she found something intriguing about her husband. Was she changing that much in her tastes?

“May I?” Some undefined instinct made her ask permission to touch Werner. Even though technically the man was her husband. And he was a baron. Looking at him, one would never think of him as nobility in his present condition.

“Of course, my dear. What’s mine is yours.”

 

Now available on Amazon and currently a #kindleunlimited selection