Smashwords End of Year Sale – Free & Discounted

SmashwordsSale_DANo better way to finish off the year than with a book sale, and even better when some of those books are free. Smashwords is having an End Of Year Sale from December 25th-January 1st. This might be a great time to catch up with those reads you haven’t had a chance to get to.

Wind down with a good book, grab a cup of what makes you happy, and enjoy some of these free and discounted books on me. Readers are the best and I hope you’re having a great holiday season and all the best for an outstanding 2019!

On to what’s free and discounted and the codes to get these special holiday deals:

Use code SS100 for these free books:

  • Come Into My Parlor
  • Blood Games: Talent Scout (excerpt)
  • Siren’s Nocturne (excerpt)

Use code SEY50 for these 50% off discounted books:

 

Here’s the link to check out these and my other books currently listed with Smashwords. Hope you enjoy.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DarcyAbriel

Excerpt from Run To Ground

Run To Ground

(#darkfantasy, #MM, #shapeshifter, #werewolves, #eroticromance, #secondchance)
In the savage and ancient breed of mythic wuv, two men fight for their clan, their lives, and to reclaim the passion one threw away…

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, his 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?

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EXCERPT

Tallin turned away from the place they’d chosen to consummate the werevaria claiming. He forced his animal down. A large paw-like hand settled upon his shoulder, the claws digging into his human flesh. He turned to gaze up at Emmanuel’s man-beast visage.

“You want something that is not our nature,” he said in a deep throaty voice. His red-hued eyes glittered. “I need your help. I need your…commitment.”

Tallin felt the possession of the claws on his shoulder, drawing his blood. The warm crimson liquid that spilled down his shoulder.

“It shouldn’t be this difficult,” Tallin said, “but something is different between us–something has changed. You and I…” He couldn’t help but be truthful, though he would prefer to remain silent and follow orders as he was bred to do. Emmanuel’s grip tightened, but so quickly he transformed back to human form and his claws no longer dug into Tallin’s shoulder. His human grip seemed just as firm.

“Tell me,” Emmanuel said in his human tone.

“It all comes so easily to you,” Tallin said. “Watching you change is breathtaking, almost rapturous, waiting for your beast to emerge. But it’s not so much a beast–wolfish alone–it’s that blend of otherwordly creature that mesmerizes me. When I transform there is no sophistication, no purity to the shift. We are so different.”

“You’re of my line’s blood. You were made by a Grimshaw.”

“I know all that. The blood we share forced my allegiance to your family. That’s why…when you left I–”

“Do you think what I do here is because I fault you on your allegiance to Hirmes?”

Tallin shook his head. It was so much more complicated than that. “It’s not that. You and I–it was more. And now…” How did he come up with the right words? “You say you want to change and make us more civilized so that we can abide among humans. With Hirmes it was different. With you I want monogamy. It’s important in a way it never was before. I know it’s not possible, especially concerning the direness of the situation. And they’re in a position to force your hand in this.”

Emmanuel seemed to consider. “You realize without their loyalty there’s little chance I can succeed in my challenge. I need them at my back. Just as I need you at my side.”

“I know that.” Tallin was being a fool. He had no proper claim. He wasn’t even blood-born. He was rikochetji. These petty human jealousies had to stop or he could cost Emmanuel his life and the clan’s leadership position. “I’m a fool. It’s of no consequence.”

He was a mongrel and mongrels had no standing. They took the scraps that were offered and licked the hand that offered the choicest pieces of reward, even if it was followed by a kick to the ribs. Such had been the way with the Zhalazti and the riko. Such would be the way with Emmanuel.

He tipped his head to the side baring his bloodied throat. “Your will, Alpha. I’m yours to command.”

Emmanuel seemed to study him for long moments, his eyes went to the puncture marks on Tallin’s neck. “We are not a civilized race at heart, are we?” he said as he trailed his fingers through the blood, then brought them to his lips and painted them red. He leaned forward and kissed Tallin. The primal taste of Tallin’s blood melded them together. He pulled back. “You are not a mongrel in my eyes. You are my equal. Because I seek to be chief makes you no less.” He gripped Tallin’s head. “I have always loved you. I need their loyalty, their allegiance. The history of our kind leaves me no choice. But, Tallin, know this–you are mine in a way none of the rest can ever be. You are my mate. I left because of the depth of my emotions and my inability to deal with such strong passions. The beast would not rest when you were near. I couldn’t control it.”

He stroked the scarred side of Tallin’s face. “My lack of control almost killed you. I’m back to save our clan from a brute. I can’t allow my personal human feelings to sway what I must do to secure my pack. You brought me here; you knew what it would take to secure their commitment. We all make sacrifices for the well being of the clan. Tell me you didn’t accept our fate when you came for me.”

“Do what you must, Alpha. I’ll support you.” Emmanuel was right. This had to play out, and in order for Emmanuel to show a strong front he needed the intimate ties that bonding with these werevaria would give him. One by one he would claim his pack, and at one level Tallin had to respect that commitment.

He felt his beast rear. There was only one way to properly support his alpha. Slowly the shift consumed him. He howled. Emmanuel shifted much more quickly. And then they turned to face the others. The low rumble resembled the roll of thunder across the sky, growing louder and louder.

Emmanuel surged forward, fangs bared as he confronted Valmont, the first who would submit and swear allegiance.

NOW AVAILABLE

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Silver – an excerpt

Silver

“…intensely sexual… a story comprised of contradictions – justice/revenge, male/female, slave/master, human/machine, dominant/submissive, science/supernatural…”

#GLBT #scifantasy #intersex #erotic
Born to freedom. Molded into submission. Pleasure is her only weapon.

Silver, born female, is now an owned gender-mated trinex thanks to the edicts of the Politico Judicalati and time imprisoned at the Factorium. She must choose between her charismatic power-elite, secretive owner, Minister of Acquisitions & Antiquities, Lel Kesselbaum, and a seductive revolutionary, Entreus, a humanotic who tempts her with freedom.

Not all is as it seems–allies who may be traitors, lovers who are more than they appear. A power-mad government, a machine known as the Elite Logical Life Core that uses human intelligence for its knowledge source. The Factorium that acquires humans as research fodder for their experiments and then spits them out when they are of no further use. Sex used as a tool to unearth enemies and traitors, and intimately align allies. Love that is not simple, relationships that are dangerously complex. This is Silver’s highly-complex world.

One misstep in the fight for freedom could mean death for them all.

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EXCERPT

Minister Lel Kesselbaum was not where common masses would have expected a government minister to be. But most of the Politico nobility held interests far beyond their public duty to serve. He sat in the private office on the second floor of the exclusive Music Box Saloon, overlooking the dance floor below where six platforms replicated music boxes. A scantily clad dancer gyrated atop each one, the sound of light, tinkling music a strange, rather bizarre contrast to the dancers’ erotic undulations.

The Music Box catered to humanotic fetishists. Every employee was at least one percent robotized, several being as much as forty-nine percent, just shy of the slender fraction of a percentage that turned a human into possessable chattel under the laws of the current government. All employees of the Music Box were free citizens and had free choice insofar as it went— Lel made certain of it. They could choose to work at the saloon, or not. But, situations being what they were in Quentopolis, common citizens grappled for what steady work they could find. Working at the Music Box was better than starving in the workhouses. And Kesselbaum’s saloon offered a cleaner, more lucrative means of gainful employment than other sex trade work—or other limited, legal choices that involved harder, often dangerous labor at the various institutions and murky private establishments throughout the city.

Three of the dancers were female-fused humanotics, their names chosen to titillate the interest of the elite patrons. Tonight, Coral Doll was outfitted as a ballerina, Lily Lovely as a Politico Regulate, Candy Sweet as an educatory factor. Then there were the men, Lel’s particular addiction, which included Rod Ebony outfitted as an E.L.L.C. engineer, Dandy Sugar dressed as an earthy fire containment waterboy and Dick Daring rigged out in black leather equipment appropriate for a carriage team.

Each dancer also wore the delicate wire-net cap Lel had designed, allowing them to communicate with the patrons of the Music Box. The round, gleaming, black-and-white checkerboard tables placed around the perimeter of each platform contained small silver-plated communication horns that allowed patrons to listen to or speak to the dancer. A silver vacuum tube connected from the table to the base of the platform, allowing patrons to tip the dancers.

There was no touching of the dancers during public performance at the Music Box. But a patron could request private audience for a weighty additional fee.

As Lel watched, Ebony released the minuscule leather triangle barely covering his thick, rigid prick, apparently in response to a request from table fifteen. The ambassador seated at the table placed several gold coins into the tube that were then sucked into the locked box beneath Ebony’s platform. Ebony smiled at the man, thrust his hips and proceeded to masturbate in as lewd a fashion as he could manage.

Lel’s cock surged to a rock-hard bulge, pressing prominently against the front of his trousers. He was not one to deny himself the pleasures of the flesh, but in recent months, since the acquisition of his trinex, he’d found that his desire to receive service from any of the humanotics at the saloon had lessened. At some level he found that realization slightly troubling. He favored variety—or at least he had before her acquisition. For a man in his position, it was dangerous to focus his attentions on one sex chattel—both to his position in the Dominatae and to himself personally. Let alone to the chattel. By his nature, different than that of other Dominatae, Lel’s unusually voracious appetite and need for sufficient infusion of sexual energy was not conducive to confining himself to one chattel. He’d found in the past it was dangerous to their well-being.

Silver3_smComplicating his current state of affairs was the fact that Silver was still settled at the Factorium for her latest modifications. He found his domicilia uncomfortably silent without her presence. Thus, in her absence, he’d taken to spending more and more time at the saloon, watching his dancers—but in the end not actually playing with them. They could not satisfy his more refined tastes for a special brand of humanotic—one he had designed himself. All he could think of was his trinex and the feel of her tight passage wrapped around his dick. He forced the thought away. He was of the Dominatae, and sexual variety for his class was almost a law.

Silver’s modifications at the Factorium were taking longer than he’d expected, but he was assured the adjustments had been successful and that tomorrow she would be delivered to his residence.

A knock sounded on the door to his private office, and he turned away from the erotic scene acted out on the main floor.

 

NOW AVAILABLE

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074PB91BV
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Read another excerpt from Silver

Come Into My Parlor – an excerpt

Come Into My Parlor

( #erotica #darkromance #mystery #contemporary #MF)

Murder. Will he solve the crime or succumb to the widow’s seduction?

The murder victim had been discovered naked and handcuffed to a bed. Pandora Edwina Willmington was Detective Alex Johnson’s prime suspect. He was certain she was guilty as sin. Coming face to face with the beautiful, sensual suspect fueled far different thoughts than escorting the young, wealthy widow to jail.

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EXCERPT

He mounted the steps and rang the bell. As he waited for someone to answer the door, he turned around to survey the well-manicured grounds. Neatly trimmed shrubs bordered the circular drive; the fountain at the heart of the lush green lawn with the naked statue of Pan spouted a steady stream of clear, bubbling liquid. It was peaceful, serene even, but Alex sensed something about the place – an undercurrent of some sort. A click sounded behind him and he swiveled back toward the entrance.

He hid his surprise as the door was opened by a young, dusky-skinned man neatly dressed in tight black pants, black silk shirt, and shining leather boots. He was a head shorter than Alex’s six-foot frame and his dark eyes surveyed Alex with curiosity.

“Can I help you?” he asked with a hint of Latin shrouding the edges of his question.

Alex whipped out his badge and displayed it to him. He waited patiently while the man studied it, attempting to size him up, figure out his position in the household. He didn’t look like the typical butler for a place like this. A creature from an old monster movie would have fit in here perfectly. This guy, no. He belonged on a movie set, or maybe in a bull ring down in Spain. But he sure didn’t belong in this setting.

But then neither did Pandora Willmington, by his estimation, from all he’d heard about her.

He handed the badge back to Alex and stepped back from the door.

“Was Mrs. Willmington expecting you?” he asked as Alex stepped past him into the marble-floored foyer.

Damn, talk about opulent. He shifted around to face the young man who looked about half his age -maybe nineteen or twenty. “No, she’s not expecting me, but I have a few questions I’d like to ask her if she has time.” He whipped out his notebook and a pen. “By the way, what=s your name and who are you?”

“His name is Arturo and he’s my personal assistant, Detective,” a husky, sensual voice that reeked fuck-me, its effect floating downward landing somewhere in the vicinity of his groin, informed him.

If he’d been anyone else he probably would have swallowed his tongue and someone would have had to call for emergency assistance when he turned to look at the owner of that voice. He should have been prepared. He felt like he=d slammed into a brick wall, and his cock rose hard and fast to attention. Nothing could have prepared him for this hot number. Nothing on this planet.

This had to be the infamous Pandora Willmington. He smoothed his expression, attempted to gain control of his misplaced lust. Mine. It was something that shouldn’t have crossed through his mind. He might want her, more than he=d ever wanted anything in his life -but he couldn’t have her. Too bad if he could taste the want, the need to feel his cock burrowing deep into her cunt. He was here to do a job.

He couldn’t help stroking her with his eyes, and his thoughts. Blonde hair clung to the silk of a satin black robe with oriental markings that draped open revealing pale flesh only superficially hidden beneath a black lace camisole. Long legs, bare, creamy, and smooth, culminated in shapely feet encased in black satin four-inch stilettos. Crimson lips, wet, pouty, sensual, kissable, a half smile of invitation, and bedroom eyes the color of expensive whiskey. Way out of his league. He licked his lips, anticipating the taste of her on his tongue.

One slender hand rested at the curve of the banister where she hovered about mid-way up the sloping staircase. Once she was sure she had his full attention she floated down the remaining steps. Arturo hurried to the foot of the stairs and waited. He clasped her hand when she reached the last few steps and gallantly guided her down to the main floor. She stopped next to him, and Alex could see the nipples of her upthrust breasts vividly outlined, pressing against the silk. His cock throbbed painfully at the front of his pants.

She turned to Arturo and brushed against his side like a female cat in heat. One of her hands drifted around to curl possessively over the hard curve of his ass and Alex saw the muscles tighten beneath the thin black material. Arturo’s eyes smoldered and Alex could almost smell the smoke rising between the two of them. He felt like a voyeur witnessing the lustful exchange – and wanted to join in. Arturo raised her hand to his lips and placed a passionate kiss on her palm. Evidence of his arousal was more than prominently displayed against the front of his tight trousers.

Pandora raised a hand to stroke the side of his face. “Thank you, Arturo. You’re superb,” she purred. She turned to gaze at Alex through slitted eyes. “I’ll handle our guest from here.”

Alex was certain he saw a flicker of something in the young man=s eyes as he released her hand. “As you wish, Mrs. Willmington. If you need me, just ring.” He pivoted around, piercing Alex with a burning, hate-filled looked before he strode from the room.

Alex struggled to remember what he was here for and turned back to study the lethal woman that dripped sex. It was a surprise to him after all this time that his previously benumbed senses allowed him to respond so strongly. His ex-wife had done quite a number on him and he=d had a hard time evincing the least glimmer of interest in pursuing another relationship. Until today.

What role did Arturo really play in her life? Had he possibly resented the appearance of Korvanti? Had he been the one to kill him in a jealous rage? That young man harbored a lot of intense emotion below the surface. Or had he followed an order from the mistress of the house by disposing of a problem she wanted gone?

Something to think about. He filed it away.

 

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Excerpt from Blood for Blood (Zytarri) – Exam and Recognize Your Mate

Blood for Blood (a tale of Zytarri)

#futuristic #fantasy #vampires #aliens #erotic romance #science fiction #MF

The Past…

bloodforblood_med1Leora Saguna has become what her kind fear most—a blood huntress. Fueled by a lust for revenge for the assassination of her Alpha, she has violated every Sangorrian law to track the murderers down. And one day return to her infant daughter, Katriel.

Each time Noah Chisca watches his mark take macabre delight in her task, he is one dead bandit closer to earning the highest bounty of his career. Yet he can’t deny the desire that twists his gut. He takes her captive; she takes him as her mate.

The Present…

Katriel knows bonding with the mate her mother has chosen will ensure her future as heir. But the memory of the forbidden warrior monk who stole her heart haunts her, and she rebels.

Valyn’s identity is hidden until he’s proven himself worthy of Katriel. But fighting a deadly dragon is only the beginning of their nightmare, as sinister forces conspire to shake the foundations of Sangorrian society and unleash a reign of blood that may destroy them all.

Amazon Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BWP7QHP

 

EXCERPT

Leora again studied him silently for a long time. Slowly she rose to her feet and walked around the side of the desk. “Disrobe, please. I wish to confirm the replica was not altered concerning your suitability and lack of abnormalities.”

He had known this was coming. A part of him rebelled at being ordered to disrobe before her, but he raised his hands and unbuttoned the brown robe, allowing it to drop to the floor at his feet. He then returned to the stance of respect and waited, focusing his attention on the window just past where Noah stood.

Leora walked toward him. He felt her assessing gaze as it roved over him and refused to let it shake him or respond to it.

She slowly circuited him, apparently studying him from every angle. She stopped to examine the long slashing wound on his arm, seemed to assess each bruise and cut, categorizing every nuance of his body.

Finally, she halted in front of him and nodded. “Your wounds are a reflection of your bravery. It is my opinion that you are well-suited as a mate for my daughter. Your conduct and bravery have already shown you will be a good protector. You may …”

The door to her office burst open, interrupting her words.

“Mother, please …” a frantic feminine voice spoke from behind him, then stopped abruptly.

Valyn, unashamed of his nakedness, turned his head to see who was there and was shocked to find himself staring into the startled gaze of his soon-to-be mate. She was everything he had remembered, and more so. Her long dark hair fell in dishevelment about her face, her breasts heaved with agitation, and her pale pink lips were rounded in apparent shock. But what surprised him most was the dilated dark smoky depths of her eyes. Darkened with what could only be lust.

She had eyes for no one else in the room once she saw him standing there. He saw tears pool within their depths, the startled recognition. “What is your name?” she whispered hoarsely.

He turned toward her, and her mouth gaped wider; her eyes dilated more intensely, and he saw her hands clench at her side.

“My name is Valyn, Lady. I have come for you as I vowed I would.”

“Valyn,” she repeated. Her small pink tongue licked at her succulent lips, tears trailing down her face. He felt his cock take on a life of its own. “You have come. It is truly you? How can this be?”

“I made you a promise, and it has led me to this path.”

“Katri, you should not be here,” her mother protested.

Katriel turned to look at her mother with panicked, glazed eyes. “I need him, Mother. How you found him, I do not know, but I need him desperately.” She glanced back at him.

He took a step toward her and stopped, not wanting to frighten her. Instead, she stepped to where he waited. Valyn could smell her arousal as she neared him. He cupped her face and lowered his head. She closed her eyes and sighed as he dropped forward to capture her lips. Nothing and no one else in this room mattered. Only the woman who offered herself to him — the woman he had yearned for all these years, and for whom he had prepared himself to take.

Had anything ever tasted as sweet, and had any woman felt like such absolute bliss? Deepening the kiss, she opened to him, and he felt her hands inch upward along his bare chest, felt a sharp prick as her nails dug into his flesh. Ah, sweet pain. Unlike the ache of battle, this intensity of feeling was far different. He wanted more, needed to feel her fangs piercing him as he sank his cock into her pussy.

Thrusting his tongue into her mouth, he tasted her, grazed against her petite incisor and tasted his own blood as it filled her mouth. As though galvanized, she sucked, then sucked harder, opened her eyes wide, staring at him as his lifeblood spilled into her. She curled closer to his body, her nails digging deeper into his chest.

Yes, oh gods, yes. If only we were alone. It was not true pain he felt but an aching need to claim her, to burrow his cock deep inside her hot, tight channel. He wanted to feel her pulsing around him, clasping him, wanted —

He lifted his head to gaze down at her. She moaned, her claws retracted from his chest, and she collapsed in his arms, her eyelids fluttering closed. He caught her and lifted her into his arms, carrying her to the lounge chair he had seen upon entering the office.

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Eye for the Prize – an excerpt

Eye for the Prize

(#contemporary #MM #gayromance #mystery #paranormal #detective)

eyefortheprize_cover_medDetective Larke Ava doesn’t believe in magic or the paranormal. And he joined the Seattle PD in order to uncover and expose the unscrupulous, those like his mother and his brothers. Larke has few cherished memories of growing up on Vashon Island, except for the time he spent with his best friend, Roan Dwellen. But Roan, the adventurer, with a belief in the magical running deep in his veins, left the island when he was eighteen on a mission for his family—his Roma tribe—leaving Larke behind.

Now a part of Seattle’s newly-organized precinct, Larke has been assigned to discover the secrets behind a recovered stolen artifact named the Eye of Anu. Little does Larke realize the unique artifact is about to change his life. Not only will it reunite him with the boyhood friend he has never forgotten, but it also draws the attention of dangerous foes, including his own family, who will stop at nothing to acquire it.

Soon, caught between the family he’s always tried to love but couldn’t, and the best friend he could not stop loving but doesn’t necessarily trust, and all the while tempered by his duty to the city he serves, Larke’s next move could mean live or death—especially his own.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JQ5TCDL

EXCERPT

“The damned thing won’t bite you, Ava.”

Larke glanced at his sergeant. Keep an open mind, Ava. “No, I don’t expect it will,” he responded. Gingerly, he reached for the object, and suddenly the oyster shell popped opened to reveal a fucking reptilian eyeball inside. Larke jerked his arm back. Spring latch of some sort? Must be. Some kind of motion sensor built into it? Possibly.

“And that is why this case has been shipped down here,” Sergeant Carver said.

Larke had seen this object before. Not physically, but it was reminiscent of a picture he’d seen when he was a kid. Like the domino effect, one memory toppled into another, faster and faster, all the walls tumbling down around that particular memory.

Roan.

“You say you found it on a homeless guy?” Larke ask his sergeant as he stared at the gleaming yellow eyeball in the oyster shell casing. The steady, fixed gaze of the eye locked on Larke, like the bead of a sniper’s rifle. The sergeant reached forward and snapped the case shut, cutting off the eerie sensation that had gripped Larke by the throat. He blinked and turned his attention to the sergeant.

“And you called me in here why?” Larke asked. He didn’t want this case. Something about the thing set him on edge. He glanced at the luminescent shell, closed now, looking more like some fancy jewel case. Nothing scary on the surface. But he still didn’t want the assignment.

“Your case now, Ava,” the sergeant said as though he could read Larke’s mind. Larke probably shouldn’t have been surprised. The 0-13 was that sort of precinct. They got all the odd ones, that’s why it had been formed. A specialized unit. And in Seattle there were a fucking lot of odd, unexplainable cases. And it was only guys like Larke who got assigned to them.

Handpicked by some government hack in the chief’s office. An array of oddballs, the ones who didn’t like following the rules, didn’t really fit anywhere else. With an array of backgrounds that make them uniquely qualified to man the “oddball unit,” as they were lovingly referred to by the other precincts.

Larke guessed you could say that description fit him pretty well. And his background hadn’t helped either. Gypsy blood. The type of guy who supposedly understood what couldn’t be seen. Hell, he grew up with that sort of thing in the house out on Maury Island where his mom read tarot for some of the most influential men in Seattle, and hand built an illicit empire through information she gleaned from her elite clientele to quietly amass a fortune. Living circumspectly on an island that was a step back in time suited her quite well.

But it wasn’t in his own boyhood home Larke saw the picture. It was something Roan had brought to their summer fort project when they were kids. A drawing really. Roan had sneaked it out of his grandfather’s chest in the basement of his family’s farmhouse. Larke had brought the Snickers bars, and Roan had brought the treasure for them to examine. He’d called it a prize because he’d managed to sneak it out of his house without getting caught. Larke had been a bit disappointed. He’d hoped Roan was bringing one of his uncle’s smuggled Cuban cigars.

“This,” Roan said as he had pointed to the weird looking object, like an oyster shell and an eyeball smack in the center, “is what I’m going to hunt for when I get older. It’s my mission, Uncle Apollo says so. He says I have an eye for the prize. He says I’m a natural. A talented finder of lost treasures.”

“Nah, you’re not,” Larke had said. “It ain’t real. You’ve just been lucky at finding things.” Even back then Larke hadn’t allowed himself to believe in all the supernatural crap his mother had touted. He’d known then where his talent would lie. And it wasn’t tracking down supernatural artifacts. It was rooted in facts and figures. And his gift had always been in filtering out the bullshit.

Roan had squashed up the paper and stuffed it back into the pocket of his windbreaker. It had begun to rain and water dripped through the slats in the temporary roof of branches and leaves they’d strung together. Larke had handed Roan a prized Snickers. They’d opened the wrappers at the same time and bitten into the bars. Now those were prizes worth hunting for.

“Gotta go,” Larke had said, once he’d finished his candy bar. He hadn’t liked believing in all that magic stuff. He stuffed the wrapper in his pocket. They never left garbage hanging around.

“You’re wrong about this,” Roan said as he tapped his jacket pocket.

Larke had stood. “Whatever,” he said. He had stared out at the water, yearning for a sight of the city. He spent a lot of time down on the West Seattle ferry docks just staring off at the outline of Seattle. But not that particular day. It had been too foggy that day to see much of anything beyond a hand in front of your face. But it hadn’t mattered because that’s where he was going one day. Feet firmly planted to the ground, focused on facts, on ferreting out the truth.

In some ways he and Roan had been the same, but in a lot of ways they were very different. He wasn’t going to work on the ferries, like his father had done, and his grandfather before him. Larke wasn’t going do like his dad had done, get so drunk he’d lost his footing and fell overboard when he’d been out fishing with Larke’s uncle, and drowned. That wasn’t going to be him. He didn’t drink like that, or do really stupid stuff, and he sure as hell didn’t believe in no magic crap that would save the day.

Larke forced himself back to the present. He’d told the captain that very thing back when he was advised about his reassignment to the newly established 0-13th.

“Don’t matter,” the captain had said. “It’s either that, or find a new profession. Orders from above. I hear they’re looking for security guards up at the Needle though, if you have a preference for that.” No choice. So here he fucking stayed. He guessed one could say he’d landed pretty much where he started. Right back in the lap of magic. He fucking hated it.

Sergeant Carver leaned back in his chair.

“I want this handled quietly. That homeless John Doe is in the psych ward over at Northwest for evaluation. Involuntary detention. Everything’s in the file. He’s talking gibberish. Can’t even figure what language he’s talking. It all seemed too weird to the investigating officer so he made the call to take the guy into protective custody. Now we have to find the owner of this thing and figure out if our John Doe stole it, or if it was someone else. Let alone figure out who the fuck he is. And you’re next up on the roster. So this baby is yours.”

Larke stared down at the closed shell. Fuck. Larke didn’t have a clue where to begin. “Fine. I’ll get on it,” he said.

“Ava, for someone with your background, you should be putting more muscle into this. I know damned well you’ve got connections. This should be a piece of cake for you.”

Larke expected it should have, but since he tended to keep his family contact to a minimum, for damned good reason, whatever connections he used to have weren’t all that great. Larke hated what he was going to have to do next. But if he wanted to keep his job Larke was going to have to suck it up on this one.

He gingerly scooped up the oyster shell and stuffed it into the small blue velvet pouch that had been lying next to it on the sergeant’s desk. “I’ll get this down to evidence, then I’ll follow-up. You got the file?”

The sergeant slid a folder across the desk. “All yours, Ava. Fingerprints have already been run on your John Doe, nothing’s come up in the system, no criminal record. No DNA matches, nothing. He’s a zero out there. “

Fucking great. Larke exited the sergeant’s office with the file and the oyster shell.

Because of the nature of the investigations at the 0-13th, the whole unit was housed in a brick building down near the waterfront, in the heart of where the majority of cases had sprung up in recent years. Having housed a bank at one time, the vault in the basement was a perfect place to keep odd and curious evidence. Paranormal crap has to be locked away for the good of the city, whether it was real or not. The last organization that the building had housed was an investment firm, but that had gone belly-up during the last economic meltdown. So the evidence locker was downstairs in the vault, and empty safe deposit boxes now served as evidence lock-ups. Larke signed the oyster shell in and then went back to his desk to review the file.

Nothing too odd. An old homeless man walking the dock down by Pike’s Market early in the A.M. acting crazy, saying he had to ride the carousel, and banging on the glass causing a couple of early-arriving workers to call for assistance. The object was recognized as one of the “oddball shit,” better handled by the 0-13th when it snapped open and the officer got a gander at the eyeball inside. Most of these type cases turned out to be just normal stuff, nothing charmed about it except in the eye of the guy who snatched it. But sometimes, like maybe now, there might be something to it. Something eerie, something strange, although Larke wasn’t ready to admit that just yet.

Larke had taken a picture of the thing with his phone, and he turned to the computer terminal on his desk. He spent the next few hours searching for something—for anything. And it took a while, but he was a man of patience if not unusual tenaciousness when it came to getting the job done. He stared at the image on the screen. Checked the photo. Yup, that was it.

Apparently it was called Anu’s Eye. Anu being a powerful sky god of Babylonian mythology. Anu and his first consort, Antu, supposedly produced the demon gods of the underworld. In the wrong hands the Eye could wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans. The wrong hands being anyone of common birth, or not of a descendent of the tribe of Anu, so to speak. In the right hands it was an instrument of great knowledge and could give the possessor a glimpse into the past and into the future, offering the chance at untold wealth…and wisdom of the ages. Larke peered closer at the photo on the website. His heart did a little jiggle. It couldn’t be.

He zoomed in. It surely was. Last known owner of Anu’s Eye was Roan Dwellen. Roan, Larke’s boyhood friend, his first crush, who’d left Vashon Island when he was eighteen to set out on his adventure, to pursue his so-called destiny. A man Larke hadn’t seen in fifteen years. If the Eye was here, did that mean Roan was as well? Or had he sold it to someone else?

Larke turned away from the computer screen and pocketed his cell phone. His stomach churned. This was going to lead him down a very uncomfortable memory road. Memories were something he tried not to contend with on even a good day. He kept himself always looking ahead, not behind. And memories of Roan, particularly raw, had been locked away from the moment Larke’s best friend stepped foot on that Port Defiance ferry and never looked back.

An eye for the prize.

Apparently, Roan had found exactly what he’d set out to find. This was not something Larke wanted to revisit. But he knew he wasn’t going to get a choice.

Fuck!

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Don’t for get to check out, Run To Ground, and learn more about the history of Anu and how the myth forged a shapeshifting tribe.

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Pandemonia: Combustible – an excerpt

Pandemonia: Combustible

(#MM, #futuristic, #dystopian, #menage #erotic romance, #BDSM)

combustible_medEarth of 4035 is a wasteland populated with sectors of penal colonies, seeded through the generations by its life-long inhabitants of criminals, lunatics, political prisoners, and DNA-spliced mutants, all ruled by a powerful conglomerate of scientific researchers called the Nucleate.

One such sector, Pandemonia, is situated on the former European continent in the vicinity of Paris, now a hunting ground of a world gone horribly awry.

Drayce Eth, of dragogen-spliced DNA creation, rules one quandrant of Old Paris with a strong hand. He has never mated, never taken a long-term lover, and has always denied the instincts of his dragogen-spliced DNA. But then he encounters an attractive disciple and slave of his arch-enemy, Dr. Francois Beljon, and a simple game of poke-the-bear to relieve his ennui may just result in more than Drayce ever expected. It may also be exactly what he needs when his mating instincts are aroused by this least likely of potential mates.

Crispen Wills is a product of the mean streets. He’s a survivor—a dancer, a liar, a scavenger, and whatever else will serve to keep him alive. But when he becomes a desirable pawn in a treacherous game, it could easily cost him his life. What Crispen never expects is to fall in love with the powerful dragogen that his master has sent him to destroy.

Passions mix with danger in a highly flammable game devoid of rules and safe words, where all’s fair in love, lust…and death. Only a fool would dare to risk everything for a fleeting chance at love, especially when that lover could easily barbecue you should you make one false step.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079674H85

 

EXCERPT

“Have Ion send the boy to me after his performance tonight. Let’s see if we can squeeze any more information out of him than he’s deigned to share thus far. Any tidbit we can discern about the running of the cathedral gives us ammunition for future consideration.”

“I can have Taylor beat it out of him,” Zadrian suggested.

Ever since the loss of his lover, Zadrian had become even more bloodthirsty in his tactics. Sometimes he took some reining in. His canine nature was beginning to consume his humazoid side. It had been over a year since he’d lost Jazz to the Nucleate. He had to repair himself. He needed a new focus.

“Zadrian, reel it in. I said not yet. Just send the whelp to me.”

Zadrian saluted. “As you command, boss.”

“Fuck you,” Drayce responded.

Zadrian grinned, exposing his sharp teeth, but the amusement never entered his eyes. It never did these days. “Hell, you want him, you might as well take him. That is what you want, isn’t it? You want to fuck him. That’s why you’re dragging your spikes on this one. Shall I tell Ion to deliver him with a bottle of barbecue sauce?”

Drayce ignored the last taunt. Sometimes Zadrian overstepped. But then the captain had been around a long time. There was no point in lying. Zadrian would see right through that and think less of him for doing it.

“What I want and what I’ll take are two different things entirely. You know that. The whelp is here for one reason.”

“Do you really think Beljon will barter for his return? Beljon has no concern for human life. He’ll just replace this one with another. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’ll just kill or use it for experimentation. And then destroy it when it goes bad.”

Drayce glared at Zadrian. “Jazz again.”

And now there was emotion in Zadrian’s eyes. Pain flared and Drayce heard the low rumbling growl in his throat.

“We almost lost you as well, if you’ll recall, when they went after him to get to you. That’s all that was about—getting to you. They would have killed him anyway. He was never strong enough to survive here. Even with you protecting him.”

“Fine. But you should remember as well. The weak ones don’t survive long. The whelp is a pretty little thing, but he can’t last long. Use him up, entertain yourself, but I wouldn’t recommend getting attached. He won’t survive either.”

If he was truly weak as he pretended to be, Drayce would agree. But Drayce had watched Crispen these last nights, and Crispen was far from weak. In fact, there was an undercurrent about him that told Drayce above all else, he was a survivor. A devious sort of survivor. Not at all what he appeared. And only a strong, steady hand could bring him to heel. But Drayce didn’t have the time to take on a pet. And Zadrian was right about one thing. In their world, pets didn’t really survive very long. There were traitors in every sector, and the Rouge was no exception. And it was the weak ones on whom they preyed.

Zadrian stared back at him, neither man relenting, nor looking away. In another man, Drayce would have considered it a challenge to be met and the upper hand forced. But then, as though knowing he had to be first, Zadrian looked away. He nodded. “All right, Drayce. Have it your way. But we can’t wait forever. We’ll only look weak. We’re going to have to do something. Toy with it and then finish this thing.”

“I’m not felinogen in that respect. Just remember that. I don’t toy without a purpose. You just be careful it’s not strictly revenge you’re after, and you lose your head and your life because of it.”

Zadrian stared at him with a bleak look. “I lost my life a year ago, Drayce. There really isn’t much left for me to lose. Beljon made his point very clearly.” He spun about and stalked out the door.

Drayce felt for the man. He’d lost his mate, and the DNA in Zadrian’s blood probably wouldn’t let him accept another, at least not easily. It was the way the caninogens were marked. One life, one mate. Dragogens, on the other hand, had no problem keeping a herd full of amusements. Like felinogens in some ways, they were fond of dominating multiple partners. Maybe he was too much like Beljon, and that was a truly distasteful thought. Or maybe Beljon had a bit of dragogen DNA in his make-up. Yeah, that was a much more palatable thought.

Drayce hadn’t built a herd of his own. That sort of thing made a man vulnerable in a place like this. Instead, with running an establishment like the Rouge, he had a plentiful supply of dancers who came and went in his bed when he felt a particular itch, flitting in and out as he wanted. Which is why he couldn’t figure out why he was so fixated on this whelp. He didn’t need him, but damned if he didn’t want him. Far more than he should.

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