Excerpt from Vampires of Noctra: Blood Bounty

Vampires of Noctra: Blood Bounty

#MM #pirates #bdsm #historical #vampires #darkfantasy #erotichorror #gayerotica

VON1_BloodBounty_smA vampire with a raging thirst for human blood and erotic pleasure; a man with a secret mission to find and destroy the undead. But lusty midnight passions defy logic. Boundaries and duty hold no sway on the decks of the Night Stalker.

Captain Dontè Lucienne is the vampire captain of the Night Stalker. His crew is human. Men who serve the vampires of Noctra, providing sustenance, as well as loyalty. They are fighters as well as lovers, and devoted to their vampire masters. They would destroy any who tried to kill their captain.

Skye Templeton is a man on a dangerous mission. Plucked from the swelling seas by the crew of the Night Stalker, he’s exactly where he needs to be. Will he come out alive? Or end up as fodder to the lust of the vampirate captain? His duty is clear—at least until he come to know this lusty crew and their magnetic captain. Until he comes under the supernatural, relentless spell of the Night Stalker.

EXCERPT

Donté stroked his tongue over Vasily’s bulging pecs, tugged on a nipple, chewing at it lightly. Vasily’s cries crescendoed and dropped, rose again and again, like surging waves lapping at the hull of the Night Stalker. Needy, in delirium, far removed from reality.

Donté’s fangs sank into the supple muscle of Vasily’s chest and the young man cried out, spurting his seed into Donté’s hand. The vampire supped on his youthful, vibrant lifeblood, his cock still buried in Vasily’s ass.

Extracting his fangs, Donté swirled his tongue over the puncture marks, leaving faint red indentations in his wake. He studied Vasily’s chest, admiring the tracks decorated across his warm human flesh. Every sailor in the vampire captain’s crew sported the vampire piercings upon their skin, each crew member having been personally handpicked by either Donté or Donté’s vampire sire, Captain Sterling Savoir, to serve as members of their respective crews.

Human, well-mannered, beautiful young men, all committed to serving the vampire masters of Noctra Island.

Donté traced the piercings, listened to the thundering heartbeat, the shallow breaths of his lover for the night. This was the second time he’d fed from Vasily in less than a fortnight and he would savor tonight. The young man’s blood was too rich, too addictive. If Donté fed from him once more before the next full moon, he was likely to draw the young man too close to the crossover. He dared not take the chance.

Easing his still hard cock from inside Vasily, Donté lifted from the bed and walked over to the table. It was early yet, hardly a stroke after midnight, and he planned to savor his young sailor until the first misty fingers of dawn cut through the night. At the rate Donté was going Vasily might not last if Donté didn’t slow down. Sips only, no more than a pint of Vasily’s blood or he’d push him too close to the edge. Donté poured some of the finely aged French burgundy into a goblet.

He took a moment to glance up, pinning the other bound man on the opposite side of the room beneath a hard stare.

“Do you see what you’re missing?” Not quite all of his crew were as well-mannered as he liked. “You could have been where he is, Velvet, if you hadn’t disobeyed my command.”

Velvet, a gunner’s mate of unique precision and fortitude, was stretched out, hands manacled high above his head, his hard cock and heavy balls harnessed, a lead weight swinging with each surge of the ship, two more weights tugged at his distended tits.

Velvet was as beautiful as any of the men on the ship, and most of the time he listened to orders. Tonight called for discipline in Velvet’s case. A hair trigger temper requiring a strong hand, he’d been less than humble, so certain he’d be the one to entertain the captain tonight. Well, Velvet was entertaining the master all right, but not in the way the rebellious young sailor expected.

Donté would not tolerate jealousy, or assumption, among his crew. The captain treated all of his mates equally and he would not have any of them attempting to usurp his authority and causing dissension on the ship. One day, Velvet would learn his place. Or else spend more time on the wall than in the captain’s bed.

Donté sauntered over to Velvet and trailed his cool fingertips over the man’s sweat-soaked chest. He hefted one of the weights in the palm of his hand and then allowed it to drop away. Velvet’s long drawn out hiss as it dragged against a tit satisfied Donté that the action reminded the man of his unhappy state.

Dropping forward, Donté razed his sharp teeth over Velvet’s flesh. Lines of red tracked his path. But he didn’t sink them into Velvet’s flesh. He didn’t feed.

“Please, Master, I’m sorry for what I did. I’ll never do it again.”

“I wish I believed you, Velvet. But this isn’t the first time, is it? Not even the second. You’re smart enough to make first gunner, but your temper and lack of self-control are your downfall. Be thankful I didn’t turn you over to Margan and have him assign you to the bilge pump tonight—wallowing in stinking water for a night might teach you a lesson. That might have been a more fitting punishment. We’ll see what a night of discipline on my wall will do for your manners.”

Donté swung away, ignoring the pleading look in the beautiful sailor’s whiskey-colored eyes. Swift discipline and heavy bondage was the only thing Velvet understood. For at least a short time. Sterling handled this one with a firmer hand. Sterling would have had him strapped to the main mast, a discipline wedge shoved up his ass, and a hundred lashes to stripe his back. Donté’s master, Savoir was a much sterner taskmaster when it came to discipline. Unfortunately, Sterling and the Black Star hadn’t been due to leave Noctra for another month and, as usual, this beautiful gunner had gotten Donté to agree to take him on. Velvet’s blood was some of the richest among the human residents of Noctra, and his skill with the cannon exceeded by few. If only his temperament better aligned with his name, they all would be much happier.

Yet both Sterling and Donté liked a challenge now and then, which is why Velvet was allowed to remain. Velvet might be a bit of a scallywag in many ways, but he was just too luscious to exile…or kill. Donté walked over to the big white cat lying on a stretch of crimson and cream Persian rug in a corner of the room. He leaned down to pet the huge Bengal outcast.

“You’ll keep him in line, won’t you? Too bad he doesn’t have your understanding of self-preservation.” The snow-white, almost totally stripeless tiger leaned into the stroke of the vampire. Few animals on the mainland accepted the touch of a vampire. But Khan was different—he was as cursed as any vampire, and his connection to the vampire was unique.

Donté turned his attention back to Vasily still stretched out on the bed, eyes closed. Picking up the goblet, Donté moved back to his lusty donor for the evening. Gently lifting Vasily’s head, he tipped the goblet and allowed some of the wine to trickle into his mouth.

Vasily’s eyelids fluttered opened and he gulped at the wine until the goblet was empty.

“That’s better, sweeting. The color is returning to your face. Are you feeling more yourself?”

Donté set the goblet on the nightstand and picked up the wet cloth from the mauve-colored porcelain basin and bathed Vasily’s stomach and flaccid penis. Returning the cloth to the bowl, he leaned toward Vasily and pressed his lips to the young man’s mouth. Vasily’s lips parted and Donté thrust his tongue deep inside. The rattle of the chains binding Vasily to the bed bled through the needy moans as the sexy young sailor shifted and arched, begging for his master’s touch. Donté heard a whimper from the other side of the room. Then a deep, warning growl from Khan. Donté ignored Velvet. There would be time enough to decide what to do about him later. For now, he was simply a decoration on his wall, reminded of his place by Khan.

“Would you like something to eat before we continue?”

Vasily gazed up at him with worshipful eyes. “Whatever you want, Captain.”

Donté couldn’t help smiling. Vasily was a good boy and very respectful. A week of serving on the Night Stalker and Vasily had no qualms about turning his back on his past life. Of offering his blood and service to the Noctra vampires.

Donté rose and stepped to the table at the center of the room where a tray of food rested. He didn’t partake, but he had to maintain the strength of his two human lovers. He picked up a thick slice of bread and a small wedge of cheese and returned to the bed. He hand-fed Vasily slowly, punctuating each serving with drugging kisses in between until his sweet supplicant finished the bread and cheese. By then, Vasily’s cock was thick and hard, bobbing against his flat abdomen. Yes, he was revived and appeared more than ready to serve his master once more.

Donté picked up the oil to prepare Vasily’s passage once again. A snarl curled his lip when a knock sounded at the door. Donté glared at the root of his irritation. Who dared to interrupt? Swift punishment would be exacted for the defiance of his standing orders…unless it was an emergency. He set down the bottle of oil to the side and rose from the bed.

“Enter,” he roared with the force of a fierce gale. After a moment of hesitation, the door slowly opened. It was Jupiter, his first mate, who edged his way into the cabin. He looked straight at the captain, neither sliding a sidelong glance toward Velvet, nor toward the bed where Vasily, his second mate, was stretched out.

“Permission to speak, Cap’n.”

Donté waved a hand in the air. “What is it? This better be important.”

“We’ve spied someone in the water, sir. The men are about to bring him on board. I thought you’d want to be informed.”

All of Donté’s crew had preternatural eyesight—one of the dark gifts of human service to the vampires of Noctra. Although the black sloop skimmed through the ocean in the dead of night, it might as well have been daylight for their sharp eyesight.

“Does he look promising?” Donté dressed quickly, donning a pair of black breeches and then pulling on a white linen shirt.

“Hard to tell, sir. He was a ways out. Margan send two men out to retrieve him. Looks to be a survivor from another downed ship.”

Was there any other kind this far out to sea? Most of Donté’s crew were survivors from sacrifices to the dangerous, unpredictable seas. Many on the very verge of drowning or being eaten alive by hungry sharks, or worse. Men who’d been thankful for the captain’s beneficence in saving them from a fate far worse than their untimely death in the surging waters.

There’d been a storm the previous night, which might cause a ship to founder. Donté straightened after pulling on the second black leather thigh-high boot.

“Have Liam see to my men, Jupiter.” He glanced over at Velvet. “Leave him for another hour and then release him. In the meantime, take gentle care of Vasily. I’ve fed well and he may be light-headed. I don’t want him up and around before he’s recovered.”

Jupiter nodded. “Yes, Cap’n.”

Donté returned to the bed, leaned down, and kissed Vasily. “Another night, sweeting.” Then he strode out of the cabin, along the passage and headed to the main deck.

As Donté stepped onto the deck Margan and Onyx hauled a very bedraggled man onto the deck with help from several of the sailors. The stranger collapsed against the railing, salt water splashing onto the deck. It was hard to tell much about him considering the exhausted state of the man, but from first glance he certainly looked…intriguing.

The crew made way for the captain to get through. Several of the men held torches, providing a soft glow of light. Donté nudged the half-drowned man with the point of his well-polished black boot. The eyelids of the young man splayed out on the deck fluttered opened. What stunning blue eyes, was Donté first thought. Clear and sparkling like the sea, framed with long sooty lashes. Yes, definitely worth an interrupted hour of his time.

The young man staring up at Donté looked shaken, yet alert.

“What’s your name, lad?”

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An Excerpt from Deadeye

Deadeye

(#darkfantasy #erotica #MMF #MM #bisexual #romance #paranormal #erotichorror #western)

deadeye_smDark and deadly adventure awaits in Deadeye.

Vitus and Caecilia must embrace a world of lustful and devious demons in order to succeed in their mission. And Justus, an incubus, half-breed son of the demon lord of Infernia and a Dreamweaver Sorceress, must shed his dark shadow in order to accept his destiny as a Nacraecian Dreamweaver Sorcerer. Three who meet, three who must face their duty, three who risk everything to be free.

CAUTION: This dark fantasy, dark romance, story contains explicit sexual situations and strong language. Content may be objectionable and beyond comfort zones to some readers and includes dubious consent, multiple sex partners, bisexual activity, some elements of BDSM, involving hot demons, sexy cowboys, seductive soiled doves, as well as titillating satyrs, dominating gods and goddesses, and confronting flesh-craving zombies. Whew! You must be over the age of 18 years of age to read this story.

EXCERPT

Vitus entered the Dark Seducer Saloon, looked around and then walked to the curved mahogany bar. He lifted his saddlebags off his shoulder and dropped them onto the counter.

“Whiskey,” he said.

The bartender brought him a glass, set it down, and poured out a measure. Vitus’s arm shot out to stay the bartender as he was about to replace the bottle back on the shelf.

“Leave it,” Vitus said.

The bartender nodded, set the half-full bottle onto the bar, and stepped away.

Vitus downed the shot, poured another, then turned away from the bar to face the stage. His attention was caught by the performers there. He downed the whiskey. Intrigued by the stage act, he scooped up the bottle and the glass, grabbed his saddlebags, and sauntered toward an empty table.

The young man on stage was quite beautiful and quite obviously from the tone of his skin color, demon. With him were two pale human beauties—one man, one woman. And a tall, portly gentleman with a black waxed handlebar mustache and neatly trimmed beard, orange fire in his eyes.

The demon was naked, the young woman and the other young man were fully clothed, but looking nervous and scared.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the older man began, “Lucy and James lost heavily at the tables and, as agreed, they will perform for us this evening as they have nothing else with which to wager.” He turned to the young couple. “Well? Prepare yourself for the fucking of your lives. And I expect good entertainment for our paying guests.” He waved to someone off stage and two scantily clad women stepped into the spotlight, each going to one of the pair.

As Vitus watched, Lucy and James were slowly undressed by the women, making a good show of stripping them for the crowd, until the quivering pair were equally as bare as the demon. James was escorted to the iron frame at the center rear of the stage. He was shackled arms and legs to the frame by the saloon girls.

“Which shall it be first, Justus, lad? Lucy or James?” asked the older man.

Justus stroked his demon’s cock. Lucy’s eyes widened at the sight. He swaggered across the stage to stand in front of her. Vitus watched her body visibly loosen, the trembling lessened, as she stared into Justus’s vivid blue eyes. Vitus knew exactly what was happening. Justus was using his demon’s glamour to quiet her before the actual seduction commenced.

“I’ll have the girl first,” he said. Reaching out, he clasped the woman’s arm and yanked her forward. A fiddle player sitting near the stage began playing as Justus took Lucy into his arms, plastering her naked body to his. For a moment they rocked back and forth in place. Justus rubbed himself against her; he reached around to cup her heart-shaped ass. He turned until her back faced the audience. As they undulated, he slipped a long finger between her cheeks, slowly sliding it into her anus.

Her gasp was audible. The digit sank deeper and deeper into her tight channel as the couple undulated and danced on the stage. For the next act, Justus brought her to a halt at the center of the stage. He whispered something in her ear and she shifted her legs slightly wider. Justus slid his cock between her thighs, working his way slowly between them. Finally, the audience could see the twin heads peek from beneath her firm young buttocks.

Justus turned sideways, so the audience could watch as he began to work both his finger and cock inside and against the woman in a seductive manner. She closed her eyes, her head tilted back as she gave herself up to his masterful control.

“Fuck her!” came the catcalls from the audience.

But Justus was a performer who had learned from the best. He stretched out the anticipation until his audience was just as completely seduced as the woman on stage.

In the audience soiled doves, gunslingers, and gamblers found their partners, even as they watched the performance on stage. Pants lowered, skirts raised, men with women, men with men, women with women, and every combination in between copulated with abandon.

Justus’s complete focus was on the woman—on preparing her for when he finally did choose to penetrate her with his cock. His actions mirrored the rhythm of the music.

“Don’t do this to her,” James pleaded, trying to break free of the chains that imprisoned him. “I was the one who cheated, not her. Please let her go.”

“Too late for that,” the old man with the black beard said. “You wagered, you lost. She agreed to pay the price along with you. I could have simply released you to find your way on the flats. At midnight. By the time you reached the forest you’d have a fine party of hell-zombies waiting on your company. Is that what you would have preferred?”

“No. But, please, Lucy only came with me because I said I’d come here without her. She’s not responsible for what I did.”

“Should have thought of that before coming to Deadeye. She’s agreed, same as you. She claimed her ticket, same as you. Now shut your mouth before I put it to better use. Your turn will come.”

Lucy was now twisting, writhing, rubbing against Justus, pleading for him to fuck her. She moved against Justus, back and forth, her enthusiasm and arousal quite telling in her actions. Justus moved faster, more deliberately. He began to shift her backward, toward a bench near the front edge of the stage. One that would allow the boisterous audience full view of what came next. Although, most of the audience was now engaged in their own interpretations of the lusty demonstration taking place on stage.

Vitus poured himself another drink, lifted it, and swallowed the contents of the glass. A pale female hand covered his larger, tanned one, then removed the glass. She drew his attention away from the stage.

“He puts on quite a show, doesn’t he? And he certainly has a way of firing up his audience.” Vitus studied the woman dressed in white who seated herself at the table. He noted the necklace. She still wore it and the sight of his ring pleased him. A surge of possessiveness erupted inside him, pooling in his groin, arousing him in a way the stage performance had failed. The burn of desire steadily grew brighter. Caecilia reached up to curl her fingers around the ring in almost a protective fashion. Her hand rested about the curve of her voluptuous breasts. She caught his eye, slowly unfurled her fingers and released the ring. It caught the gaslight of the room as the ring dangled against her skin, finally nestling happily in the valley between her breasts.

It took effort for Vitus to lift his gaze to meet hers. He’d not seen her in a hundred years and, as it always did, the sight of her aroused him to heights he found difficult to wrangle into submission. Emotions clashed and sparked inside him. He watched as she poured the whiskey, turned the glass to the spot from which he’d just drunk. She lifted it, licked the rim, watched him, dipped the tip of her pink tongue into the golden liquid, then licked her lips.

“Caecilia.” His tone was one of warning.

She dipped the end of her finger into the glass, then thrust the tip into her mouth. Her cheeks hollowed as she sucked on the digit. Vitus’s cock jerked, hardened, as he watched her. He damned Apollo, he damned Aphrodite, he damned Diana. But most of all he damned himself for wanting Caecilia as much as he had when he’d first seen her on the banks of the Tiber. She tipped the glass and swallowed the contents. It took every last bit of his self-control not to reach for her, to stroke her slender throat, to press his lips to the beautiful column, to claim what her lips promised.

She smiled, grabbed the bottle and poured another shot of the whiskey into Vitus’s glass. She lifted it and swallowed the fiery liquid. “It’s been a while, Vitus. It’s good to see you.”

“Is it? Why tempt me, Caecilia, when you know what the punishment would be?”

She shrugged. “After all these years maybe I’m just tired of fighting.” She leaned over the table, her plump breasts pale and enticing. “Don’t you want to forget them all, just for one night? Wouldn’t one night of just us be worth whatever punishment they meted out?”

He took her hand between both of his. He stroked his thumb across the silk of her flesh. “You don’t have a clue what it would mean to become a source for Infernia. I do. There will come a time when we’ll be together. I vow to you. One day this weight—this pain—will be gone.”

Something in her eyes shifted. He saw the need, the yearning. He released her hand. She drew away.

“Of course, Vitus. You’re a Roman warrior, after all. You’re used to deprivation. You think to save me from myself, but I think it’s slowly destroying us both. How much of your humanity is left, Vitus? After Apollo? After Zevodious? Can you even feel anything anymore?”

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Just a quick like side note here. The background for the banner is the design I created representing the brand that Vitus carries, with an eye and the letter “Z.”

Pandemonia: Combustible – Discounted 65% Today

Pandemonia: Combustible will be available on Amazon at a 65% discounted price – February 18th – gete it for only .99!

Combustible (Pandemonia)

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

Combustible_smEarth 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.

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Currently a #kindleunlimited selection

Read an excerpt

Best Friends Forever…

Best Friends Forever…

EyeforthePrize_cover_smThere’s something about childhood friendships.  I don’t know if it’s that as children, we possess that sheen of innocence, that certain unquestioning acceptance about the people who are a part of the formative years of our lives.  But there’s also a fear of losing special friendships if we reveal too much of what is in our deepest heart.  The moment is lost and we live with the regret of things not said. Sometimes we move on as we mature to new friendship spheres, and then sometimes not.  And we’re left with that lingering question in the back of our mind, “what if”?

Perhaps we have to move on, experience other things, follow different adventures before, maturing into our true self, like Dorothy discovering where the home of her heart truly lay, we recognize that one person who undeniably touches us heart and soul, giving breadth to our lives in a way we would never know without them.

Eye For the Prize is a discovery not just of an odd, supernatural object, but the rediscovery of friendship, of love, and perhaps the one person that makes anywhere truly home.  What would you give up to be united with that one true soulmate?  How far would you go?  And what if it came down to a choice between the man you love, or the family who raised you, whose blood you shared?  And there was no middle ground.  And what if the incident you’ve been set to investigate will eventually be the thing that changes your whole life?

In every object is a story, in every story there is a pulse of truth.  Finding the truth is Detective Larke Ava’s job.  Finding the object is Zhalazti researcher Roan Dwellen’s purpose. Reuniting with the boyhood friend who completed you was never part of the plan for either man.

Mystery, danger, heritage, and love.  Was there ever a more explosive combination?

Read an excerpt from Eye for the Prize

Buy link on Amazon

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Scars and Baggage and Small Towns

Ternekill is a small sleepy town in the Catskill Mountains of New York, with a lot of secrets and I love writing about small towns. Having grown up in a small upstate New York kind of town I know what’s it like living there. I am intimately familiar with small towns and with a writer’s imagination, I take this fictional small town of Ternekill and expose just a few of the secrets riding my two favorite guys from “My Soul He Seeks,” Ravol Nova and Byron Shepley. “My Fate, My Destiny” takes you a little further into their relationship and the depth of their commitment, one to the other. They do face challenges. But then again, it would be a pretty boring story if they didn’t.

MyFateMyDestiny_smRavol is a werewolf, no secret there. He’s been very up front with Byron about that part of his background. But up to this point Ravol has refused to allow Byron to witness his change from human to werewolf. Nor will Ravol agree to change Byron into a werewolf. Just one bone of contention between the two lovers.

Ravol carries a lot of baggage, including the death of his first love, Francesco. He’s a secretive man who tries to keep his life compartmentalized, but Byron is making that harder and harder to maintain. Notwithstanding, Ravol has a lot of baggage because of who he is – a part of the ancient Zhalazti tribe nobility that carries with it a great deal of responsibility and tradition.

Byron may be human, but he has his own set of secrets and full load of baggage he carries around with him, not the least of which is that he can communicate with the Ternekill House ghostly ancestors. Ghosts that are a sure part of his heritage and tie him quite closely to the town of Ternekill. More so than either Byron or Ravol knows.

But soon, some of those dark secrets for both Byron and for Ravol are about to be revealed Some revelations are expected, others not quite so much. Ravol’s past is about to meet his present with a life-altering, perhaps murderous climax. Secrets, if left to fester can kill. Secrets if finally revealed and faced can ultimately heal.

I love genealogy and dabble in it regarding my own family. Digging into the families of Ravol and Bryon and doing the research, fictional and not-so fictional is always exciting. And Ternekill reminds me of some of those smaller town in New York that were lost in the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Sandy that destroyed forever certain quint towns where I picnicked, and did some steamy parking too.

Oh, yes, there are secrets among those back roads and small towns. And in “My Fate, My Destiny,” a few more of Ravol’s and Byron’s dangerous secrets will be revealed as the past merges with the present.

 

Read an excerpt from “My Fate, My Destiny.”

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Nightingale – an excerpt

Nightingale

(#darkfantasy, #angels, #MM, #eroticromance)

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…

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EXCERPT

Annatoly’s blood tasted rich and Fabienne sucked deeply, until Annatoly gently pulled his arm away. Fabienne licked his lips. His emotions evened out.

“Not too much,” Annatoly said.

Fabienne looked up at Annatoly. “Haven’t I paid enough penance for my thirst for vengeance?”

“First we need Geraint’s composition to complete the demands of the cycle. You must face and accept that which has been your vulnerability. You need his music.”

Fabienne rose from the table and cupped Annatoly’s cool cheek. “Summon him to us then. Perhaps it’s only here that he’ll be able to complete his composition. I want this over.”

“Soon enough,” Annatoly answered softly.

Fabienne walked to the window and stared out across the darkened raw volcanic landscape, a gray dawn hovered at the fringes of night. Fabienne recalled how the world had been ready to fall at his feet. At nineteen, his first legitimate appearance on stage using the name Fabienne Brunetto, he had performed at the request of a cardinal of Rome. The night had been perfect. Coin in his pocket, discussion of an engagement in Rome, and a powerful man ready to give Fabienne anything he wanted. Strutting back to the conservatorio after the dinner party, the world his, was when Carlo and his bravos had accosted Fabienne. And his destiny was brutally ripped from him. The last thing he recalled hearing was the echo of ducats spilling from the pockets of his fine blue velvet coat onto the empty streets. But long-awaited vindication would soon be his.

Fabienne removed the hood from the nightingale perched in the golden cage next to the window. “Sing for me, Lodo, sing. Remind me of my youth when I could mimic so well the nocturnal trills of your song. How I envy the perfect instrument of your voice.” The nightingale peered up at Fabienne and then the notes lifted into the silvery sky. So beautiful it brought tears to his eyes. Both the haunting memories and the music.

He felt Annatoly move closer and they watched as the sky grew lighter.

“It’s only through Geraint’s music and your voice combined that this curse binding you both will be broken.” Fate tied them together. Fabienne could have immortality, he could belong to the gios. But in order to heal completely he needed Geraint and that damned composition.

“Damn him and his whole accursed line,” Fabienne said, a guttural cry of deep bitterness.

“Geraint has taken a lover by the name of Dandrae Edmund,” Annatoly said at last.

“And?” Apparently another complication.

Annatoly pressed a kiss to the side of Fabienne’s neck. “It’s believed he’s attached to the Accademia degli Incogniti and that the Incogniti now align themselves with the Diadune. Zabrael thinks that since they can’t kill Geraint, they’ll somehow attempt to influence the music and in that way nullify the ceremony. They know that without the balance—his composition and your words, the exchange cannot be effected successfully.”

“I thought the Incogniti had all died out, especially after the inquisition, not much was heard of them.” The Accademia degli Incogniti, or Academy of the Unknowns, had consisted of prominent citizens of Venice, including historians, poets and librettists who follow Aristotalian teachings toward a disbelief in the immortal soul, grounded instead only in the pleasures of the moment.

“It seems some members have resurfaced. They aren’t as visible as they once were. Zabrael thinks Smopheus has instigated this resurgence. He’ll attempt to use them for his own purposes. Nevertheless, on my visit to Venice to complete the preparations, I’ll see what I can discover about Smopheus’s actions and any resurgence of the Incogniti.”

“You shouldn’t go. It’s too dangerous. Send someone else,” Fabienne said. “Let me accompany you.”

“I must go, and you are safer here surrounded by the Viadine sentries. We can’t trust anyone to deliver this package. The blood of Geraint’s ancestors could never be replaced and all would be lost. I must be certain matters are handled correctly in Venice.”

“I think there’s more that draws you to Venice than the preparations. Ever since Paris I’ve known you were attracted to the composer. Are you in love with him, Annatoly? Have you become infatuated with my enemy?”

 

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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.

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