House of Sensual Romance ™

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Paladin Blog Tour- Angela Knight

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Paladin (Graven Gods 1)
By
Angela Knight
Blog Tour

paladin about the book
paladin cover

Struggling novelist Summer St. Clare can't remember her murdered mother's face, or most of her childhood before the age of twelve. The only constant in her life is Paladin, once her imaginary childhood friend, now the handsome detective of her urban fantasy series.

There's nothing imaginary about Paladin now. Hot, seductive and dangerous, Paladin blurs the line between fantasy and reality. The passion Summer experiences in his arms makes her question what's real -- or whether she cares. 

Someone else believes in Paladin, and he wants Summer dead. Her confusion mounts when she fights off five attackers with a display of dazzling martial arts skills she doesn't remember acquiring. As she searches for answers and runs for her life, her dream lover becomes more real with every kiss.  

paladin excerpt

I sat back from my keyboard and pushed a strand of peacock-tipped hair out of my eyes with a shaking hand. This had been a particularly bad one. Not that they were ever any fun.

When Paladin had touched Moss's fetid brain, I'd seen the killer's crimes just as he had. It hadn't seemed like imagination or clever turns of phrase. I'd felt Moss's sick excitement, the sense of power killing gave the revolting little fuck. Gerald had been thoroughly powerless in the rest of his life. His jobs, when he'd had one, had always been for minimum wage, flipping burgers and delivering pizza. 

Valak had given him magic and sent him out to kill. He'd dragged the souls out of his victims' eyes and gulped them down, collecting them for his master.

Paladin had made Gerald pay, shown him just how it felt to have the life burned from his body. It still wouldn't bring any of the women back. Their children, their husbands, their parents and their friends would still grieve. The killer's death would be a chilly consolation at best.

Still, Paladin had balanced the scales. And unlike the justice system, he never convicted an innocent through error or prejudice or a witness's lies. He learned the killers' crimes from their own corrupt brains or their victims' ghosts.

Never mind the cost to Paladin himself. That didn't matter to him.

I blinked back to myself, throwing off the story's spell again. Then I caught a glimpse of one particular line, and a memory ambushed me with sick horror. I jumped up and raced to the bathroom in the back of my shop. Calliope followed, meowing in distress.

Falling to my knees before the porcelain god, I vomited up every last bite of Oreo and sip of coffee. When I was done, I braced shaking hands on the toilet seat, almost as battered from the memory of what I'd written as the violence of my heaving.

"Why do you do this to yourself?" Paladin asked roughly.

"Every time you write it down, you live it all over again. And it was ugly enough the first time."

 "If I don't write it down, it'll stay in my skull and rot. I tried it the other way, remember? I almost ate Mary's gun."

He growled, sounding pissed. I wasn't sure if he was mad at me or the situation, but either way, I was too busy yarking to care. Calliope rubbed her way around my kneeling body, meowing plaintively. 

"I'm all right," I lied to the cat, and pushed to my feet. I almost fell, managed to catch myself against the wall, and reeled to the sink. Plucking my spare toothbrush out of the water glass beside the basin, I started scrubbing out the nasty.

 Calliope jumped up on the minuscule vanity. "Rrrooow." Which was probably Cateese for "You're bugfuck crazy."

"Thank you for that news flash, Captain Noshit."

 Compelled in the same masochistic way you probe an aching tooth, I returned to the desk where my phone lay. A glance at the grandfather clock told me it was three in the afternoon. It had been 10:30 when I sat down.

 I groaned. "Fuck, I hope nobody came in while I was lost in my own head. Assuming they didn't steal me blind, they'd think I was the rudest shop keeper on the face of the planet."

 This was why I locked up anything more valuable than a dog-eared paperback. Otherwise a shoplifter could come in and clean me out, and I'd never know it was happening.

I picked the phone up and read a line at random. Murders, rapes and beatings battered his consciousness until he shuddered in revulsion.

 The horror I'd -- Paladin -- had seen in the killer's mind rushed back, black and awful. It's not real, I told myself.

 Myself wasn't buying it. It had sure as hell felt real.

 There's something wrong with me. It's not normal to feel this way about something I freakin' made up.

 I'd gone to writers' conventions where other artists talked about their creative processes. Nobody else seemed to experience their fictional worlds as a splatter-punk flick. Yeah, they imagined the action in considerable detail, but not the way I did. They didn't smell and taste the blood, or feel the anguish of innocent and hero.

 Unfortunately, I knew no other way to work. If I wasn't sane, there wasn't a fucking thing I could do about it, short of turning myself in to the nearest shrink. And I had no interest whatsoever in paying rent on a rubber room.

 After feeding the cat, I spent the next couple of hours organizing stock and waiting on customers. One was Dave Stone, who came in to buy a pack of Magic the Gathering cards. He was looking for an Unwinding Clock to add to his collection. The teen usually bought a pack once or twice a month hoping to hit one that included whichever card he was currently looking for. There were thousands of Magic cards used as weapons in the game, and you never knew what you were going to get when you bought any given pack.

 "One of these days, I'm going to collect an entire set of rare cards," Dave said with a sigh, scratching Calliope under her chin as she purred in feline ecstasy. "Just as soon as I have a few thousand to spare."

 Collecting the really rare cards wasn't cheap, though you could get a new pack for ten bucks. Dave worked at McDonald's solely to fund his addiction to Magic and manga -- Japanese comic books. 

"I'm keeping an eye out for those foil cards you want," I told him, then added impulsively, "Hey, what's the deal with your mom? I swear to God, that woman acts like I terrify her." I wouldn't normally ask a question like that of a customer, but Dave and I had been friends since I'd opened the store.

"Probably has something to do with Paladin. Mom said just yesterday..." His eyes widened, and he got an odd look on his face, as if he'd just said something that would get him into trouble.

 "Your mother reads my books?" I asked, surprised. I always figured she'd be more inclined to burn them, assuming you could actually burn an e-book.

 "Uh... Yeah. I let her borrow my copies." Hastily he added, "Hey, did I tell you I gave Paladin's Favor five stars on Amazon? And not just because you're my buddy, either. I enjoyed that book." 

"Really?" I asked, diverted. Authors are like new mothers -- all you have to do to win our hearts is complement our babies.

 "Really. Paladin's seriously kickass."

 We spent the next ten minutes talking about the book. It was only after Dave left I wondered about his comment that his mother's issues with me had something to do with Paladin. What the hell had he meant?

 Huh. I'd have to harass him about that later. Speaking of Paladin... I picked up my phone again, planning to take a look at the copy I'd written.

 "Meeeeoooooooow!" Calliope shoulder-checked my hand so hard, I dropped the cell, which clattered to the desktop and almost tumbled off before I caught it. The cat gave me a narrow-eyed glare as I put it back on the desk. Before I could look at the screen again, she planted a paw on my wrist in warning. Her claws were retracted, but judging by the look on her fuzzy face, she was ready to pop them like Wolverine.

 If I didn't know better, I'd think she was warning me off another foray into my book.

 Deciding it was time for a mollifying feline bribe, I got a packet of cat treats out of the desk and fed her a couple. After a few more minutes scratching behind her ears while she purred like a Porche, I was no longer feeling masochistic enough for another PTSD flashback. When I picked up my phone again, it was to indulge in my favorite e-crack, Pinterest.

 I found several shots of half-nekkid men to pin to my "Hero Inspiration" board, hunks who might make good characters if I ever got around to writing romances. Which exercise was actually just an excuse to ogle hot guys who made my girly bits tingle.

One advantage of being a novelist is you can use research as an excuse for just about anything.

 By the time five o'clock rolled around, I still hadn't edited any of the day's pages. That was unusual for me. I'm one of those writers who has the most trouble with the first draft. Once that's done, I can spend countless happy hours playing with sentences, cutting some, restructuring others, and creating pretty phrases to salt into my prose.

 This time I was in no hurry to dive back into the psychic sewer of Paladin's battle with Gerald. 

Anyway, it was time to head for home and the Lois McMaster Bujold novel I was reading for the third time.

 It was dark when I stepped out of the shop, purse flung over my shoulder, Calliope ghosting along at my heels like a fluffy shadow. "All things considered, it wasn't that bad a day," I told her as I led the way toward the Kia I'd left parked out in the middle of the lot, leaving nearer spots for the customers. Some of the older ladies find it painful to walk very far. "I got twenty pages written, and nobody cleaned out the shop while I was catatonic."

 Calliope opened her mouth to meow, then froze, her blue eyes going round in alarm. Hissing, she crouched, ears flattening as her tail bushed. I frowned down at her, which is why I didn't immediately notice the shitstorm about to break on my hapless head.

"All right bitch, hand over the purse and maybe we won't beat you to death."

 I jerked my head up, my heart diving for my sneakers as I realized I should've listened to Mary and bought a gun. Make that an AK-47. Five men ringed me in the darkness, eyes hard over nasty smiles, looking like the chorus line of America's Most Wanted. Oh fuck, oh fuckfuckfuckfuck!

 Panicked, I looked around at them. Should I run? They were all tall, muscular, and fit enough to do some damage. Shit, they'll be on me before I make it five feet.

 "Valak, you bastard," Paladin raged in the back of my skull. "I'm going to feed you your own forked dick for this." I don't know what the fuck my back brain thought he could do -- or why he needed to do it to another figment of my imagination.

 "I... I..." I stuttered.

 A hiss of feline rage sounded. Calliope planted herself in front of me, every black hair standing out, her tail bushed and back arched. My imagination served up an image of somebody's foot sending her flying like a soccer ball. Frantic, I pounced on her, scooped her up, and spun to run. "Help! Help me! I'm being robbed!" I might as well have saved my breath.

 "Oh no, you don't, bitch!" A hard hand clamped onto my shoulder and spun me around. I dropped the cat as my captor drew back a fist, cruelty in his cold eyes.

 "Summer, listen," Paladin said, his mental voice urgent. "You're going to have to fight, baby. I can't help you. The spell won't let me take over when you're conscious."

 "What spell? What the fuck do I do?" My frenzied mind raced back and forth like a squirrel in the headlights of an eighteen-wheeler. "I don't know what to do!"

 "Your body knows, Summer. Just let go. We've spent your whole life building muscle memory. It can save you if..."

 "Give us what we want." The thug's vicious stare gleamed with nasty anticipation. "Maybe we won't..."

 I whipped around and kicked his feet out from under him, then slammed my fist into his mouth before he even hit the ground. For a heartbeat, I stared down at the dazed and bleeding dickhead. "What the fuck just happened? Did I do that?"

 "You sure did!" Paladin crowed. "That's my girl! Told you it would work!"

 "Bitch, the hell?" Dickhead snarled up at me through bloody teeth and started to roll to his feet. Instinct drove me to stomp on his groin. He shrieked and curled around himself like a cooked shrimp. "Cunt!"

The second guy swung a fist decorated with prison tatts.

 I pivoted aside, grabbed the back of Tattboy's head, and slammed his face down into my lifted knee in the same move Paladin had used the night before. Blood flew. I dropped him on the sidewalk. For such a big guy, he didn't seem to weigh much.

 "You don't know your own strength. Don't hold back. Let the bastards have it."

 Swearing, a muscular redhead charged. The world reeled as my spinning kick plowed into his gut. He gagged, doubling over. I nailed Red with an uppercut that laid him out on his back. It felt weird, as if I was watching the fight from a distance.

 Three attackers lay bleeding on the ground now, barely conscious from blows I didn't even know how to deliver. Yet my body kept right on kicking every ass that came in view.

 Someone was screaming. Out of the corner of one eye, I saw a fourth man on the ground, howling, Calliope shredding his face with her claws.

 "What the fuck? Cats don't do that!"

 "Calliope does!" Paladin cheered. "Get 'em, Cal!"

 The fifth guy grabbed my arm, jerking me around and swinging at my face. My left arm shot up, blocking the punch as my right plowed into his jaw, which crunched like a piñata. "Eeeeewwww!" I stared down at him as he sprawled at my feet. "Oh, Jesus, did I just kill that guy?"

 "Just a fractured jaw," Paladin assured me.

 "How would you know, Dr. Fictional?"

 "Okay, whore, you're going to pay for that." Dickhead was up again. Something metallic flashed as he dove at me.

 I pivoted, grabbed his knife hand, and swung him face first into the shop wall. Dickhead hit the bricks hard enough to bounce. Behind me, I heard the creak of a car door opening. A voice snarled, "Oh no you don't, you little whore."

 I whirled. Out in the parking lot, a man emerged from a black SUV, a rifle in his hands. From twenty feet away he raised the weapon and took aim with the cool skill of a marksman. My blood turned to sleet in my veins. Dead. I'm so dead!
  
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paladin about the author
angela knight

I've been writing erotic romance since 1996, when my first novella appeared in Secrets Vol. 2. In June, 2004, Jane's Warlord, my first novel, was published, followed by FOREVER KISS in July, 2004 the antho HOT BLOODED in September, and MASTER OF THE NIGHT in October. MASTER OF THE MOON, my next book, hit the USA Today list for three weeks, much to my amazement. Since then I've been writing like a lunatic and having a wonderful time.

I've been married to a wonderful man for more than twenty years now. He's a senior investigator with our county sheriff's office. As a result, I know an awful lot of cops, which is one reason I love putting police procedural elements in my fiction. I also spent ten years as a reporter, which gave me a collection of war stories you would not believe. My husband Mike and I have one son, Anthony, who is in his twenties now.  

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ledo- Lost Gods Book 2

 This is an unedited version of Chapter 1 from Ledo's story. Coming soon.

Ledo- Lost Gods Book 2
by LaVerne Thompson
Copyrighted 2016



Chapter 1

The soft sway of the water stilled as the Fates looked on. “Are we certain this is the only way.” The shortest of the Fates asked the question but only because she questioned everything. Already knowing the answer.
“It unfolds as it should,” a slender cloaked figure replied.
“Thus far. Each must be tested and do his or her part. Even the son of Ares, no one avoids their fate.” The one standing on the far right of the pool said calmly.
“But he has always been aware,” a raspy voice countered.
“Yet, he’s lived human lives. This will require the first use of all of his powers and once they taste it they will only want more,” the shortest stated.
The others nodded in agreement.
“Sooner or later they will all be tested,” the one on the right said.
“Failure is true death,” the slender figure replied.
“For us all.”
*****

Ledo opened his eyes to stare into the blaze of the sun. Immediately he closed them, the movement caused pain to bang behind his shut lids, into his skull until it echoed throughout his body. Unsure why he could see the sun, or where he was for that matter. He moaned. Where the fuck was he? What happened? The last thing he remembered was transing and chasing after Ze’s lightning bolt. He caught it in his talons adding his own powers to guide it where it needed to go. Right into the entrance of Tartarus in an attempt to destroy it. He remembered the explosion and an endless sensation of his atoms being ripped apart as he was wrenched from his vulture form. After that it was all a blur.
An ice wind blew across his naked body, he shivered and tried to sit up. His human ass was freezing. It was so fucking cold. How long had he been out? The temperature shouldn’t affect him like this. Where was he? He glanced around and realized lay in the middle of a white sea of ice and blowing snow as far as his eyes could see. Was this the North Pole? Is this where the entrance had been hidden, deep beneath the ice?
That made sense, but no, not the North, the magnetic energy felt more like the South. Antartica. That’s where he was. Actually, what he was was fucked. While he could change his form he couldn’t create clothes and when he changed his clothes were destroyed. Usually he was able to make it back home or to some place where he’d stash clothes, not this time. Sometimes it really sucked being the son of a god. He shivered, normally the cold wouldn’t bother him but this was a bitter cold and he’d exerted a lot of energy. He also feared he might have lost quite a bit of time.
His bird form won’t help him here, he needed something that would function better in this stark environment. The other form he inherited from dear dad, one that’s part dog part wolf. With a thought his body shimmered, his bones seeming to liquefy before contorting changing in less than a nano second, he went from man to a dark gray wolf dog with a white patch on his head. He raised his nose and scented the air. In this form his senses were heightened ten fold. There. He caught a whiff of humans. Humans meant warmth, fire. He took off at a dead run following his nose.
Ledo was larger than any dog or wolf, stronger and faster, still by the time he arrived at his destination the sun was just getting ready for bed. He circled the place. It was the equivalent of a double wide mobile home, three of them in the boxed shape of an L. With his enhanced hearing, he listened in on the conversation. Some sort of scientific expedition instead of an adventure for shits and giggles group. Figures, they were studying the weather phenomena, trying to figure out what had been happening all over the world for the last month. The hole in the ozone layer was already three times the size of the US and getting larger.
The good news what he and Ze had done should put a stop to it. But he didn’t kid himself, it was merely a stop gab measure they’d done. They’d merely stunned Cronus. Hopefully, it would be long enough for Ze to gather some of the descendants of the Olympians to put a permanent hurt to Cronus once and for all. Meanwhile, he needed to get to a main town and try to contact Ze. This was one time he wished he and Ze were linked, or that he was telepathic. Instinct had led him to find Zeus in the first place, perhaps instinct would lead Ze to him. He’d keep focusing on the once god and maybe that would be enough.
First things first, Ledo needed food and warmth, even in his enhanced body his balls were freeziing. He was surprised not to see any dog sleds at the station, but they did have a helicopter and a couple of snow mobiles and it also looked like they had a generator attached to the mobile station. The top of the station had what looked like a triangular slanted umbrella over it, probably making it easier for the snow to slide off to one side and protect the transmitter up there. Good maybe he could use whatever kind of communications device they had to send out a call to Ze.
He decided the best approach was usually the direct one, he didn’t think they’d buy the idea of a naked man in the middle of the Antarctic in minus 52 Celsius weather, but a dog was another matter. He moved to the side of the helicopter, threw back his head and howled so the wind would carry it toward the structure. And he hoped no one came out with a shotgun to try to plug his sorry ass.
****

Aria sat in her room and took out her journal, since power was at a premium here she’d bought several paper journals with her to keep a personal log of her adventure. She always did. And so far it had been an adventure. She read over what she’d written from the time she’d been added as part of the research team.
As a new PHD candidate the competition to be part of the six person team with one of the foremost physicist of their time was…well the odds were NOT good. But she had a  slight advantage, one of her favorite professors at the University of Chicago was the team leader’s sister. So she’d known about the expedition before it had been made public and was one of the first to express interest. It also helped she’d already switched her research and was studying why the rules of physics had been suddenly turned upside down.
It wasn’t just the weird weather, and expansion of the hole in the ozone layer, the magnetism of the poles had been changing, abnormal energy waves had been coming from the South Pole, having a direct effect on the weather. The strange thing was as strong as the emissions were, they couldn’t find the source, the heart of it. But they were close.
She made the day’s entry in her journal and looked back over her others, pausing on the one made three months ago. In a few minutes she’d put in a scheduled call to Michael. He’d asked her to marry him and stay before she’d left. She hadn’t said no she couldn’t marry him, she’d wanted to and he must have known that. His clue should have been the fact they hadn’t had sex in months and they didn’t live together. More her doing than his. He asked her not to answer him then, just think about it.
He’d been angry she accepted the chance to be part of ground breaking science. He was a scientist himself and had applied to be part of the expedition. It would have been unheard of for them both to have been on the same team. Most relationships don’t survive on these types of expeditions. At least not the ones she knew about. But, she made it, he didn’t. She got the feeling part of the reason he asked her to marry him was to stop her from going.
After four years of dating he’d never once talked about them getting married. In fact, he thought marriage was archaic. That all they needed was an understanding. She’d agreed, until she didn’t. Realizing she wanted something more. Her own parents had divorced when she was young, she spent summers and holidays with both of them, but each had remarried and their spouses had kids. Suddenly, she went from being an only child to a step-child. Is it any wonder she buried herself in books? Science could never hurt her. Science was based on fact, things that can be proven. Numbers never lied, never disappointed.
Yet, it had no longer become enough. She wasn’t sure when that had happened, but it had. Maybe because she was tweny-five and spent way too much time with her mentor, Susan and saw first hand what a real committed relationship was like. She and her husband had no kids, but had been married for thirty years and had sort of adopted Aria.
Placing her journal down, she took a deep breath and reached for her phone. The cell phones were hit or miss for the last few days, today was no different. No service. She rose to go and try the communications consul near the kitchen and hoped she’d have some privacy. The sound of a howl had her dropping the phone still in her hand. “What?”
She went running out of her room and meet Jenkins out in the kitchen area. Dr Jenkins was the leader of the expedition.
“What the hell is that? Didn’t sound like the wind.” Jenkins remarked.
“Sounds like a wolf or a dog, but that can’t be,” Aria said. “Not all the way out here.”
Sam and Henry, other scientist came out to join them, they stood near Jenkins staring out of the viewer. They didn’t have many windows in the place, only two, both unconventional, they helped to keep heat in and the cold out. The window in the kitchen area was triple paned and enhanced. It was also only less than 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide and had a lip on the front to keep the snow off of it. They called it the viewer, because all they viewed from there was white snow. It would be dark soon and the wind was picking up, snow was being blown around so they couldn’t see much.
“There are no dogs in Antarctica, not any more,” Jenkins stated. “Sled dogs have been banded years ago from the continent because of the fear they’d bring diseases to the indigenous animals in the area. So after decades of expeditions dependence on sled dogs they were eventually banned, so a dog way out here is impossible.”
“So that’s why we came by helicopter and the building was brought out by truck,” Aria said.
“Yep, and that’s why I don’t think it’s a dog,” Jenkins insisted. “Probably just the wind.”
“Maybe it got loose from someone who brought it in on some tourist excursion,” Sam stated.
“All the way out here,” Aria said. “I don’t think so, we’re several miles from anywhere. The closest excursion would be to Mt Sidley and who’d take a dog to climb a mountain.”
“I agree,” Henry chimed in. He was the oldest of their crew about sixty but probably in better shape than any of them. They had an area set aside for a gym and he spent as much time there as he did on his instruments and conducting experiments.
The howl came again. For some reason it sounded sad to Aria, resonating with her on some primitive level. Without another thought she turned to go back to her room to add more layers to venture outside.
“Where are you going?” Jenkins asked.
“It sounds like it’s hurt. I know it’s cold. I’m going to go check on it.”
“I’ll come with you,” Jenkins offered.
“Me too,” Henry chimed in.
“Thanks. I’ll only be a minute.”
She passed Chris, the engineer, on the way back to her room.
“What’s up?” Chris asked.
“We think there’s a dog outside and are going out to check it out.”
She opened her door and entered closing it behind her. Her room wasn’t much. Large enough for a bed that could fit two if they slept wrapped around each other, a side table and chair. As the only female on the expedition she had her own room. The other men had to share a room, all except Jenkins. As the leader of the expedition he warranted his own room.
When she got back Jenkins and Henry were dressed and waiting for her, so was Chris. Bob their communications expert and pilot had also joined them.
“Sure about this?” Bob asked.

Jenkins shrugged.
“Since we’re all up I’ll fire up some tea or coffee if anyone wants to stay awake,” Sam said.
“Tea’s fine for me thanks,” Aria said. And the other men echoed her sentiments. She moved toward one of the cupboards and opened it.
“What are you doing?” Chris asked.
“Looking for something to entice the dog.”
“Entice it to do what?” Sam asked.
“To come inside.”
“What the hell!” Sam said.
She swung in his direction. “We can’t leave it outside in this weather, it could die.”
“We have no idea what condition it’s in, for all we know it’s rabid,” Sam argued.
When Jenkins stepped toward the rear door she noticed the rifle at his side and the gun in Henry’s hand. “Is that really necessary?” She shook her head. “Never mind.” She knew it was, she didn’t like it but best to be careful. While the dog wolf or whatever it was out there sounded sad and hurt to her, Sam was right, it could also be a wild thing. Best to be safe.
“Just give me some time to assess the situation before either of you go shooting at it.”
“Fine,” Henry said.
She found some beef jerky and put it in her pocket. They finished bundling up and Jenkins opened the door. As soon as he did the wind kicked up and flew into the small patches of exposed skin on her face. Damn it was biting out there. There was a reason they did any outside work when the sun was at its height. Although in the last few weeks they had more sunlight and the hole in the ozone seemed to have retracted to what it had been three months ago. No one had an explanation for how.
“There,” Chris said, swinging the flashlight he carried in the direction of the helicopter. Both Chris and Bob could fly. They’d been trying to teach her, it was definitely something she’d look into once she got back home to Pennsylvania.

She stared in the direction of the light and thought she saw something move in the shadows. Slowly, she headed in that direction.

Monday, June 27, 2016


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Children of the Waves Collection


CHILDREN OF THE WAVES
COLLECTION
BOOKS 1-3

Now available on Pre-order and for a limited time 99 cents. Print also coming soon.



                                                                                                                                         
     
                                                                                                       




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

My Past Shadow- Ode to C.


This is both a difficult blog to write as well as one full of hope. Two months ago while I was at the RT Convention, my dog of 11 years died. It’s taken me a while to even be able to talk about it, only my closest friends knew, so this post is cathartic for me. My sweet little dog was my shadow,
my constant companion, especially after the girls left for college. She was always by my side and lifted my spirits. Her death was unexpected, shocking, surprising, you name it. You see, she hadn’t been sick. She’d had a full check up two months before she died. I left a happy healthy dog and a few days later watched her die.

I got a call one afternoon from my sitter to tell me the dog had blood in her stool. An hour after that call she was taken to the vet, diagnosed with a bacterial infection, maybe from something she ate and placed on antibiotics. 24 hours after seeing the vet she died. We’ll never know for sure the cause of death, we didn’t do an autopsy, believe me I wanted to but it was all after hours and since we’d have to wait it would be a moot point. Trust me I had words with the vet who saw her.

Anyone who has a pet knows the closeness you can share with these little animals. How special they
truly are. No they might not be people, still they can love you just as fiercely and I was her people. She was my shadow. I had no intentions of getting another pet anytime soon. I needed time to grieve. Her memories were all over this house. I still listen for the sound of her claws on the stairs. But I had another pet to consider. I knew the cat of the house would need a companion and eventually after enough time I thought I'd be ready to get another dog.

Unfortunately, said cat took his companion’s death pretty hard, to the point he was very possessive of me and a little aggressive. I knew if I was going to add a dog to the household I’d need to do this sooner rather than later to nip such behavior in the bud.

Still, I dragged my feet. Enter my youngest daughter who pushed me to go with her to a rescue adoption event at our local pet store, a place where she had volunteered to help with the adoptions in the past. To my pleasant surprise, I found a dog. One that I adored on sight. It took two weeks to go through the adoption process and I was able to adopt her. However, three hours after I got her, she managed to get away from me and bolted. Yeah, the next several hours was spent searching for her. Mind you, I was also operating on about 4 hours of sleep. See, I took the red eye home to arrive the day of her adoption when she was turned over to me.


She was missing for less than 20 hours. Through the good will of others and my quick thinking to put the info about a lost dog on the local animal shelter’s website, someone found her, 2 ½ miles from home and was able to find me through the website. So lost dog is back home safe and sound. Needless to say, she will be on a leash for the next few weeks inside and out.

The latest addition to the family is very welcome.     

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Featured Author Dariel Raye





Destiny’s Favor (Orlosian Warriors Bk. 2)
Destiny’s Favor synopsis
His world shifted the moment she was born. Now, nothing can stop him from making her his.

Imagine meeting a man who looks like an angel, wings and all? What would you do if this man told you he existed with only one purpose – to claim you and only you?

Destiny Carter is a feisty, take charge, Rubinesque beauty with a tough façade, who finds herself in that age old quandary, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” A string of lackluster relationships leave her hopeless and ready to settle…Until she meets Japheth, the man her fiancé claims is his best friend! Japheth’s arrival is heralded by an attack on Destiny’s life, and instinctively, she knows this is just the beginning.

Born more than 200 years ago, Japheth looks like an angel but he’s far from it. In his world, the ratio of men to women is 500 to 1, and although he’s a superior being, he’s willing to break the most sacred law of his brothers, even drink human blood, to have one meant for him alone.
When he meets Destiny, he knows she’s the one he’s been searching for. To claim her, he will have to betray a friend, risk his life, and hardest of all, humble himself enough to win her love.


Only $0.99 for a limited time
 Get a FREE review copy of “Calm Assurance (Orlosian Warriors Bk. 1) to catch up on the series now! Enter the Rafflecopter below to find out how to get your free copy + win other prizes!




Calm Assurance (Orlosian Warriors Bk. 1)
Calm Assurance synopsis
Two hearts, two different worlds, uncompromising love.

A straight-laced Nephilim-descendant and a human trouble-magnet?

When Asriel - Orlosian Warrior, descendant of Nephilim, law enforcer – is sent to guard Malina, a human with a penchant for drawing trouble like a tornado, she becomes his obsession.

With no hope of finding love in his dimension, he breaks the cardinal rule, leaving his home to protect her, but she has also drawn the attention of his enemies, and he is forced to face demons from his past. If Asriel chooses to stay with Malina, not only does he risk forfeiting his right to ever return to his dimension, but he will need her blood to survive.

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Dariel Raye
Dariel is an animal lover who writes IR/MC (interracial/multi-cultural) paranormal and dark urban fantasy romance. She is presently writing a shifter series, “Dark Sentinels,” a reluctant hell-dweller series, “Kushiel’s Keep,” two Nephilim series with vampire-like heroes, “Orlosian Warriors” and “Cain’s Progeny,” “Lifegivers,” a paranormal romance series with a variety of beings, a crossover paranormal thriller shifter trilogy with romantic elements, “Gateway,” and an erotic fantasy newsletter serial. To learn more about Dariel and her books, visit her blogjoin her newsletter, and follow her on Amazon.

Dariel on the Web




Monday, May 09, 2016

A Little Something I'm Working on #amwritingfantasy

This story started out as a stand alone. Then I made the mistake of mentioning it to an author friend who said, "Friends don't let friends write stand alones." lol Thus Lost God became Lost Gods and the first book of 3 is Ze's story. Here's the first chapter and part of 2 and NOTE it has NOT been edited. I hope to have the work finished by the end of the month then on to my betas and critique partners then finally to my editors.

Ze- Lost Gods
by LaVerne Thompson

Copyrighted 2016


CHAPTER 1

“He can never remember.” The collective entity making up the Fates warned Kratos.
He never raised his head to look at the four identical beautiful beings, shrouded in shimming white cloth from head to toe, with the planes of their faces barely visible, even then their features were ever changing. Seemingly to represent all the peoples of the world. At times all four appeared feminine, but others he was not so sure all were female. It mattered not. “Tell me nothing of what can or can not come to pass. Would that I could have that gift or curse to forget. Forget we no longer have the powers we once did. Have been all but forgotten.”
“It is as the world should be Kratos. You know this. Humans must make their own decisions, be the makers of their own will. Not that of the gods. No matter how powerful.”
He scoffed. “Yes. The gods.” He placed his hand in the water swirling it and dispersing the image they’d been looking upon. At one who in another age, other times had been the most powerful amongst them. Reason enough for the Fates to condemn Zeus. The Father of them all and a god he himself had killed, his body dispersed down to dust, carried off unto the four winds and mixed amongst all matter. Yet, never completely destroyed, pieces of him being reborn over the ages. God no more, each time just a man.
A fate worse than death for one such as he. Unfortunately, for them all, Zeus’ destruction had created a chain of events opening the world to chaos, the fall of Olympus and everything they had once known. The Fates had no choice but to take control and punish them all. Perhaps their plan all along and the excuse they needed. There could be none more powerful than they. Still Zeus must be called forth once more.
Kratos, pulled the black hood over his even darker locks, walked out of the obsidian hall into the crumbled ruins of what had once been Olympus, home of the gods. Even with his eyes open he could still see the opulence of the buildings as they once stood. The gleaming golden doors twelve feet tall, the music that lulled and pleased ones senses filling the halls. Gone. All of it. And he no longer had the power to change any of it.
He would wish the Fates to a mortal hell, but they’d already placed him there and there was no release for his soul. His body melded into the dark matter making up the night, and he returned to the nothingness he was.
The four who remained behind continued to watch the water in the pond as it settled. Returning to its calm state and the vision came once more.
“He can not remember, everything.” The husky whisper came from the center form.
“No. That would not bode well for what he must yet do,” the tallest of the four stated.
“As the son destroyed the father so to must the father destroy the son,” one whispered.
“For all the powers the All Father had he too came to his inevitable end. Death comes for all, even a god,” the final sister pronounced shaking her head.
“All the gods are dead. Long live the gods.” The cry came in unison vibrating with the power of the Fates.

****
“Hey Ze, you ready, man?”
Eyes the color of a summer storm zeroed in on the tall man standing at the door. “Sorry, Linc.” Ze shut his laptop, pushing his chair away from his desk, he stood. All six five of him, situated on a solidly built frame.
“Is that the Chinese?”
“Yeah.” Linc, his president of operations and right arm, refereed to the latest deal his company, Lightning Enterprises was working on.
Linc would be shocked if he knew not only had Ze not been working on any last minute tweaking of their deal but he hadn’t been working on anything related to business legit or otherwise. Since at times they straddled the gray. Instead, Ze’d been dreaming.
He wanted to rub his throbbing temples, but he’d show weakness in front of no one, not even his oldest and most trusted friend. The visions no longer came to him at night, when his eyes were closed and his defenses down. In the last month he’d been wide awake, eyes wide open, yet still dreaming. He didn’t know what else to call it, no matter how real they seemed, it couldn’t be, but shit had to stop. Too much was at stake.
Linc frowned. “What’s wrong?”
He almost smiled, his friend knew him too well. They’d spent a lot of time in hell together. Linc was the only one who knew he’d been to see a doctor but even Linc didn’t know why.
At first he’d gone to his doctor for sleeping pills, fuck lot of good that shit did. Only took him under deeper to some seriously fucked up shit. Where he’d turn into a big ass white eagle, at least he thought it was an eagle who knew they could be white. But that was not the only thing he could do in these visions, he could also call lightning down from the sky in the form of a thunderbolt. Which he’d hold in his hand and toss at an army of beasts, misshapen dinosaur looking creatures in front of him. All stuff he could never tell anyone. They’d either lock his ass up or someone would put him out of his misery with a bullet to the head. Show no weakness. That mantra kept him alive these 34 years.
He rubbed his hand across his face, lingering a little at his small dark brown goatee. It matched the color of his short cropped hair. The darkness of his hair in sharp contrast to the color of his eyes something women loved. Friends and enemies just called him a silver eyed son of a bitch. Once he fucked a women though they called him a god, the men just call him bastard. He grinned banishing his headache.
“Zeus.”
The sharpness in Linc’s voice told him of his concern. He grinned even more. Damn straight with a name like Zeus he better have no weakness. His adopted mother loved Greek mythology and thought his gray eyes reminded her of lightning storms. “I’m fine. No worries.”
“So?” Linc prompted. Don’t leave me hanging. You have to leave now but we can walk and talk.”
Ze shook his head. “Nothing to talk about. I’ll be flying out soon and in twenty-four hours this deal will be locked and we’ll have in roads into a billion strong market. The money we sank into the Asian lobbying firms worked.”
“For a fucking change it will be our products in the Chinese market and not the other way around.” Not that they always conducted business within the red tape, this time it was the only way to go since it also meant dealing with the Triad. He did whatever was necessary for the country or products he dealt with.
“I hear that. The planes all ready, the pilot’s on board.”
“Good.” Most of the time Ze preferred to drive himself, but since he was heading for the airport and planned to be gone for about a month. Two weeks in China and Hong Kong, then another couple of weeks in their office in London, he let Linc take him to go over anything last minute.
“Oh, I almost forgot you’ve got a passenger.”
“What?”
“Remember, we signed up as part of the Angels In The Air Program, if we’re flying anywhere in the world where someone needs to go for medical care we agree to give them a free ride.”
“Yeah, right,” Ze nodded. “Brilliant move on my part. It was part of the deal that got us those medical contracts.” Along with the very timely death of their chief competitor. Something that Ze had nothing to do with, this time. “Okay. I hope it’s not a sick kid flying by themselves, shouldn’t at least one parent be with them?”
Linc shook his head. “Yes, all minors are required to travel with a parent or adult guardian.” He pulled out his phone and must have checked the information he had on the passenger. “In this case it’s an adult. Kassia Jamison. She’s twenty-eight and terminal. There’s a doctor in China who’s had good results with a radical treatment the US and other countries haven’t approved yet.”
“Figures. All right.”
“So try to be charming.”
Ze snorted. “Like hell. I’m going to be busy going over my notes. I’m assuming she’ll be settled in the front of the plane and leave me alone in the rear to work.” He’d had the plane outfitted so that the rear was almost like an office. Everything he’d need to work. And if he needed to take a nap on the flight there were eight seats that unfolded into beds to choose from. Four toward the front near the cock pit there was also a kitchen and bathroom there, the flight attendant sat up there. Then four seats in the center, then a bedroom and office area in the rear, with its own bathroom.
Once he was on board he planned to say the obligatory, hello, to his passenger  move to the back and get in a few hours of work, then sleep for a couple before they landed. He had his pills with him and hoped this time around when he closed his eyes sleep would claim him for a few. In the last month, he had a collective total of maybe a hundred hours, but he did manage to get a lot of work done and things finalized for this deal with the Chinese government. However, those sleepless nights were starting to show.
At six five and two hundred pounds of muscle even his frame was beginning to show signs of fatigue. Those lines at the corners of his eyes and around his mouth weren’t from stress but lack of sleep. He rubbed his hand over his face and glanced at the airport terminal coming into view.
  

CHAPTER 2

Ze and Linc took care of some last minute details then shook hands. He took the few steps needed to get him to the plane and climbed up. The captain and second pilot who also acted as steward were there to greet him as soon as he stepped on board.
“Morning, sir, welcome aboard,” Dick Peterson his captain said.
“Thank you. Good to see you Dick, hi Pilar how’s the family?” He’d flown with both many times over the last two years since he’d bought the jet.
“Doing great, sir. Thanks for asking. Our passenger is on board. After you get settled is there anything you’d like me to bring you.”
“I’m good for now, but maybe some of those sweet crescents in about an hour.”
They both nodded. “Well I’ll let the tower know we’re ready,” Peterson said and moved back to the controls.
Moving past them Ze spied someone sitting toward the middle of the plane in one of the window seats, the passenger no doubt. He sighed inwardly, he hoped she didn’t expect him to keep her company during the flight. He hated social chit chat, even when he had to do it for business. He was just about to offer a quick hello and let her know if she needed anything just ask Pilar.
His words wouldn’t come out. The woman was leaning forward, a mop of short curly hair adorned her head, her face turned toward the wing of the plane so away from him. His first thought was pleasure, at least she wasn’t bald and he liked the short curls the way they caught the early rays of the sun tinting it red, gold, and brown. He wondered if they’d be soft to the touch. What the fuck?
Just as he drew in breath she turned, for some reason he forgot to let the air out of his lungs. He didn’t know if he blinked or not but suddenly the plane, even the woman in front of him disappeared and he stood before a lake. No longer did he hear the soft hum of classical music piped through the sound system, in fact he was no longer even on the plane.

The sun was just setting, casting its shadowy fire to dance upon rippling waves. He stood at the edge of a lake, he’d been there before yet how could he? He stared hard as the ripples it looked like real flames blazing across the surface then the flames slowed, dying down, revealing for him the reflection of a woman. He spun around thinking she stood behind him, but he must have blinked because he was back on the plane. Staring at the features of the woman whose reflection was that of the woman in the water, but this one was of flesh and bone. What the fuck?

Copyrighted 2016 LaVerne Thompson