Ooh, P.S. I’m over at Lindsay’s Romantics Blog today: http://lindsaysromantics.blogspot.com/
Here’s a preview of a very naked man!
No, really, there is a naked man, excuse me…there are naked men, in my science fiction romance series, Daughters of Persephone, and they are delicious!
You all know the myth of Persephone, right? The daughter of Demeter (Goddess of the Earth) and Zeus…kidnapped by Hades, the God of the Underworld…forced to stay in the underworld six months of the year because she ate six pomegranate seeds. You see, the rule was, if you ate anything in the Underworld, you had to stay there. Thus we have the death of the seasons and winter, when Persephone resides below, and the rebirth of the seasons and summer when Persephone rejoins the land of the living.
So in Daughters of Persephone, I’ve created a race of kick-ass genetically enhanced women who were originally bred to save the human race from itself. At a certain point in the breeding program, the women developed the capacity to make their own genetic adaptations and mutations within a single generation, including the ability to find their way through time. It is their duty to lead the human race out of the darkness and into the light.
The first release contains books one and two, Exile and Return. The second release contains two more stories, Reborn and The Red Demon.
Excerpt, Book One, Exile:
Captain Aram scooted to the edge of his bed to eat the meal Aja had left for him. He was feeling much more like himself, wondering if he dared a shower. He didn’t want to use the sonic shower as that would leave a power signature, but the ship was built to hold backup water tanks. The thought of water pouring over his body was inviting, even if the water was the same temperature as the outside air.
Suddenly ravenous, the man tore the cover off the bowl and found a stew of meat and reconstituted freeze-dried root vegetables. He reached for the hunk of dryebread she’d left and hurriedly crumbled it into the bowl. He used a spoon to shovel the lukewarm mess into his mouth. It tasted heavenly. She’d prepared the stew with some herbs he’d never eaten before and he wondered briefly where she’d found them, but he quickly forgot, feeling his strength return rapidly with each spoonful. She’d left him two jugs of water and he downed both. Finally, he reached for a cup of snowberries she’d set on his table and he practically poured them into his mouth, appreciating their sweet tang as never before. He knew he hadn’t brought any aboard so she must have found some in the canyon. Had she said they’d landed in a canyon? She’d said ravine. No matter. Finally, the captain lay back, very satisfied. But he stunk like a man who’d been sick and he needed to scrub the stink off.
He climbed out of bed, surprised at the steadiness of his legs. Just yesterday, he’d felt like death warmed over. Had that been yesterday? His first stop was the head, where he found himself almost giddy to be able to piss without any help. He used the toothpowder and tooth brush to clean his teeth. The taste of a clean mouth was delightful. He retrieved fresh clothing from a set of drawers built into the wall of his cabin, dropped the items on his bunk, and strode through the door, a cloth wrapped around his waist, a cake of soap in his hand, and he headed for the decontamination unit outside the ship. He could shower there.
Kyr found Davi Fedd and Chief Wyer busy with repairs. He stopped to assess the damage. Both men looked down at him, surprised to see him up and about.
“Could have been worse,” said the captain. “I heard that you had a nasty bit of flying, Mr. Fedd.”
“Yeah, tore some skin off, but we got her down in one piece. You look a new man.”
“Seems like I’ll live,” grinned the captain. “Right now I need to wash the stink of that sickness off me. I’ll be under the shower in the decontamination unit. Wyer, how long do you speculate before we can leave this rock?”
“Another day or two, Captain. This is a makeshift job. We’ll have to get her reskinned once we reach home.”
“Will she make it that far?”
“Should hold up, barring another encounter with the military.”
“Mr. Fedd, any sign that they’ve sent scouting parties down to search for wreckage?”
“Not so far, but I’m being careful about scans. Don’t want to set off any alarms. I’m hoping they think we fried and there’s no wreckage to find.”
“They may be waiting for us when we pull out. We’ll have to open the channels to listen in before we leave. I want to make sure there’s not an entire fleet just outside the atmosphere. Where’d you find the gravity skin?”
Davi and Wyer glanced at each other. “Borrowed some from a transport last night. Didn’t want to take a chance that someone in the settlement might call the authorities about two strangers looking to buy parts,” said Wyer.
The captain nodded his agreement. The crew of the transport would assume some settlers had helped themselves. A common occurrence on these distant outposts.
“Off on one of her damn hikes,” said Wyer scornfully. “Let’s hope the stupid ishat knows enough to keep her head down. I don’t like a woman on a ship, Captain. You know that. Bad luck.”
Kyr saw Davi shoot him a quick glance. The captain knew Davi had caught the flash of anger on his face, but Wyer hadn’t bothered to turn around.
“Superstitious nonsense, Chief. We’ve ferried women before.”
“Whores and healers. This one makes me nervous. I’d just as soon off-load her here. Especially if there might be a battleship waiting for us.”
Kyr frowned, but he kept his voice light. “And lose the coin? Your case of nerves will vanish when you’re paid.”
“When’s that?” the man asked. “I thought I’d have half the coin by now.”
“You want it, come to my cabin later. You’ll get it,” Captain Aram replied brusquely. He strode off wondering why the man was so touchy.
Wyer had been with him two years. He’d picked him up from a trading vessel after his own engineer had been killed during a raid by interstellar pirates. As the ancient saying went, the man could spin gold from straw, but still, Wyer’s loyalty would always be to the coin he received, not to his captain and not to the crew. Knowing that, Kyr had always paid the man promptly. It hadn’t seemed like a big issue before, but then, this mission wasn’t one of their usual smuggling operations. The outcome of this mission had consequences for the entire galaxy. Wyer didn’t realize their cargo was more precious than any amount of coin and Kyr suddenly knew with crystal clarity that the man had better not find out. Maybe he should have left Wyer behind on Kesa with the rest of the crew, but if he had, then they could be stranded here for weeks. He and Davi could make the repairs themselves, but not with the same speed and skill. Wyer’s repair would hold until they could get home.
Kyr ducked beneath the ship and kept his head down until he reached the decontamination unit. He could stand upright there. They’d built it big enough for two large men. Two shower heads. In Kyr’s view chemical decontaminates were a waste of money. His crew made do with recycled water. He tossed the cloth onto a rock so it would stay dry, loosened the knot he assumed Aja had put in his waist-length braids to keep them from tangling, and he pulled the switch. The captain leaned back and closed his eyes as tepid water poured over his body. He scrubbed vigorously with the cake of soap he’d brought, washing every body part twice, including his hair. Gods in heaven, that felt good. Finally, feeling as if he’d cleansed every pore of viral stink, Kyr stepped out from beneath the hull, dripping, carrying the cloth in his wet hand. He shook his long hair, spraying everything nearby with water. As he began to dry off, his skin prickled and he felt eyes on him. He quickly lifted his head. Aja knelt on a flat, rocky outcropping, twenty feet away, watching him with undisguised interest.
Kyr hadn’t felt any embarrassment the entire time he was ill and she’d had to help him with everything. She’d seen every damn naked inch of him. Now he blushed. He felt like his entire body was turning red and he quickly covered himself with the cloth, although there was no way a drying cloth could disguise his sudden erection. Fuck.
“If I had known you had a decontamination unit, I would have showered,” called Aja, pretending she hadn’t seen what she’d just obviously seen, politely ignoring the evident bulge beneath the cloth. “I didn’t mean to surprise you. I just returned and I… I’m… forgive me,” he noticed her pink cheeks. “I couldn’t resist.”
Kyr tried to stop his mind from going where it was going. A Princess of the Blood was supposed to remain pure until her marriage. At least that’s what he’d been told. He had no business thinking those thoughts of Aja.
“I’ll go now,” she said, her voice soft.. She picked up a bag and slung it over her shoulder. Still barefoot, she jumped off the ledge with ease. The captain watched her disappear around the side of the ship, hips swaying beneath the loose trousers. He needed to find her some shoes before she cut her feet, he thought, wondering how long it would take his erection to go away and if he should make it go away with his fist. As sick as he’d been, he was a bit surprised that he’d gotten so hard so fast.
Kyr picked up the cake of soap and followed her. She’d gone around the ship opposite the side Davi and Wyer were repairing. Kyr passed her in the galley as he returned to his quarters to dress. She kept her back to him while he did his best to ignore her. He entered his cabin and locked the door behind him. Yes, he decided, as he realized the hard on wasn’t going to go away on its own, his fist would be necessary.