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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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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My Fate, My Destiny – an excerpt

My Fate My Destiny

#gay #erotic romance #contemporary #paranormal #gothic

Sequel to My Soul He Seeks…
myfatemydestiny_medAfter their first introduction in Ternekill, and through the sharing of an amazingly emotional paranormal experience, Byron Shepley and Ravol Nova have remained lovers for two years. Finally, Byron has come to terms with his relationship with the mysterious Terne House and his unusual ability to connect with spirits of the past.

But circumstances change when Byron is abducted by Ravol’s fierce enemy, who will use Bryon to bring Ravol to his knees. On a night lit by a full moon, Byron may finally get his wish to witness Ravol transform from human to beast—but it may be his last wish, as two beasts clash in a life-or-death struggle. Byron may be in for more than one surprise before the night is over.

Yet, revelations may not just be about Ravol, but about Byron, too, as he comes face-to-face with what may be not only his fate, but his destiny. Can love save them, or will his fate destroy them both?

Amazon Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CXLWS75

 

EXCERPT

My attention is all on Ravol now. He comes over me, his body presses me deeper into the bed. His kiss, deep and hungry, transports me, sends the familiar zing of recognition throughout my body. As he lifts my hand, the gold cuff with the strange markings on my wrist rattles because the chain is still attached. He kisses my palm, nips at the heel with sharp teeth. His lips are slippery against mine. Blood of his prey?

“You could make me like you,” I say, just as I’ve said a hundred times before. “I’m ready. It would be easier.”

“No,” he answered sharply. “You will never be like me. You know what you would be. Just like that pelt that’s spread before the fireplace in the music room. Is that what you want?”

“But I’d be with you. You’d teach me to control the instincts. I’ve read the stories. There were some who survived and who controlled the madness.”

“I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” He leaned down and kissed me fiercely, stifling my words, and at the same time drawing blood as his sharp tooth razed my lower lip. Ravol licked it clean and then he grabbed the tube of lube from the nightstand and squirted the gel into my ass. This was about urgency, as I knew his blood was still running high and hot. His lust was always so intense when he returned to me. Ravol used his fingers to stretch me, to get me ready to take his big prick. Firm, long fingers that reached deep inside me. And then he was over me, dragging my legs wider, lifting me as though I weighed nothing at all. My arms dragged against the chains binding me. The gold cuffs scraped my wrists, the familiar tendrils of pain clawing up and into each digit of my finger, each hand wrapped around the length of chain binding me to the headboard.

And then my attention was diverted as Ravol pressed his big prick into me, stretching me even more. Pain screwed up my arms, shoulder joint to wrist, as I twisted and writhed beneath him. He stretched my ass as the head popped past the ring, fitting so sweet and familiar inside my channel. Coming home, and I couldn’t help smiling at the stupid thought. But it was true. We fit together, heart, soul, and body, the way two lovers should. I just wished I could reach down to stroke my cock, which was hard and needy. Pre-come leaked down my dick as it slapped against my belly, the liquid crawled across the bulging veins, down to drip into the dark wiry nest covering my groin.

I arched up and Ravol pushed in deeper. He grabbed my hips, his fingers digging into flesh, bruising my hipbones. I’d have more bruises when we were finished. My arms stretched taut above my head were still fastened to the headboard.

Ravol rose to his knees above me. He levered my hips, then drove deeper into me, fusing us together, his cock inserted into my ass. He shimmied farther up the bed, closer to the headboard, pushing me back and then drawing me up and into his arms. His cock split me wide. His arms around me, soothed me. Then his mouth to my lips claimed me completely. I melted against him. He owned me body and soul.

The cold, frigid air swirled around us. I dropped my head back and looked up into his eyes. “Francesco is here,” I said.

He nodded. Then he claimed my lips again in a savage kiss, his tongue—his long tongue—thrust deeply into my mouth, stopping the words, cutting off all thoughts beyond being owned by this man. Even Francesco’s chilly presence couldn’t dampen the heat of my passion.

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Don’t miss, My Soul He Seeks.

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Tracking Backstory for My Soul He Seeks

Tracking Backstory for My Soul He Seeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did I mention I love creating backstory?

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

 

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