Mega Kindle Countdown Deals!

I’m busy this week so I’m just gonna post the links– all $.99.  Forgive me for being so short.

Come Back To Me, A New Adult Romance

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Daughters of Persephone, Book One Exile

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Daughters of Persephone, Book Two Return

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Daughters of Persephone, Book Three Reborn

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Daughters of Persephone, Book Four The Red Demon

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In the Flesh

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Enjoy!

Freebie – Daughters of Persephone, Book Four, The Red Demon.

I seem to be running a day behind.  Sigh…

The Red Demon is FREE on Amazon.  See here!

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There is a reason Tem is called the Red Demon. She does what she wants when she wants. No one controls her. Time and space do not hinder her. Worshipped on ancient Earth as a goddess among many people in many different lands, nobody opposes her, except her creations, Issa Bokinan and Kane Tirol.
Having left her own daughters behind on Earth as seed stock for future generations, Tem had hoped to make a life with Kane. That is not to be. Rejected, alone and broken, she seeks comfort in the past with the Empress Ya, on Persephone, promising to behave and keep her identity a secret. Tem is hard pressed to control her worst impulses when she’s caught riding the Empress’ prize stallion. 
Horse Master, Aytan Kirrae, cannot believe his eyes. A small Red Woman has just ridden off on the stallion named for him, a horse bred for the Empress Ya. He waits for her return, flipping her over his knee, meting out what he thinks will be a kinder punishment than she would receive from the Magistrate. He has no idea the small Red Woman can kill him with a single drop of her blood.
Pulled along to the future against his will, Aytan thinks he’s dreaming, until he must share the Blood Bond with Tem to save her life. Once he does, his own life will never be the same.

An excerpt:

She’d been wise to return to Persephone. The Empress spoke the truth. Tem did need to find a place for herself, and perhaps once she did a life would follow.

“I need to settle upon one man and one time, the same as Aja and Ennat, and even Issa,” she murmured.

The anger she’d felt at Issa’s abandonment had dissipated. She no longer pined after Kane. Again, the Empress had been correct. Tem had always admired the older woman’s wisdom, now more than ever.

Kane Tirol was Issa’s true mate, Blood of her Blood. There was no sense in pretending otherwise.

Tem tossed her hair back and laughed out loud at the irony, the sound of her laughter echoing back from a nearby grove of trees. She’d been obsessed with men and women who didn’t even exist yet. Tem always thought of them as alive and well, and inhabiting the same moment in time she did.

“Well, when you can walk through time as you walk down a lane, it makes no difference.”

Tem threaded her hands through the grass, running her fingers along the stems, stripping them of their rough ripe seeds. She gazed down at the blond nuggets. The grass seeds reminded her of the rich gold-yellow hair of the people of Calen, descendants of the men and women who would settle that planet in another hundred years or so.

Lifting her palm to catch the wind, Tem watched the seeds drift away.

I am like the seed heads. I have nowhere to go, nowhere to be, no bloodline to manipulate, no human race to save.

She unbuckled her belt and tossed both the belt and her knife in its leather sheath onto a nearby rock. The horses always shied at the faint scent of blood on her knife so she had to discard it.

She stepped into the middle of the meadow and waited.

Tem felt vibrations through the soles of her bare feet and her smile widened. This was what she’d hoped for. Blood pounded in her ears.

She knew the stallion and his mares would remember her. She’d decided she would learn to ride on her own and she’d found her way to the Empress’s grand herd shortly after her arrival on the planet, but she hadn’t found the time to ride in ages.

The vibrations beneath Tem’s feet became thunder; the thunder gave way to a great roar. The ground shook beneath the force of their hooves. A thick cloud of dust moved in her direction and within seconds, she spied the mass of sleek, smooth, muscular bodies bearing down on her.

The Kirrae.

“Yes,” Tem whispered. She stood still, entranced by the sight of so much power.

Tem stepped in front of the great herd and closed her eyes. Relying upon her inner sight, she spread her arms. As the herd drew close, Tem stretched out her hands and the animals parted. The horses wove their way around her like water flowing around a boulder in the middle of a riverbed.

Tem dug her toes into the grass and forced herself to remain upright. The strength of the herd transported her, lifting her out of her body, sending her soul soaring up to her own private Nirvana.

She sensed the herd had passed her by, but now they began to circle back, cautious. Humans rarely approached them, let alone called them.

Hearing the stomp of his heavy hoofed foot, Tem smiled and opened her eyes. He nosed her outstretched hand.

The magnificent dappled gray stallion remembered her.

“What in the seven hells are you doing, woman? You’ll get yourself trampled to death.”

Tem turned around to look at the man striding towards her from the riverbank. She garnered his name in a single glance, Aytan Kirrae. Still smiling, Tem returned her attention to the horse. “I think not. He’s gentle as a kitten.”

To prove her point, she ran a hand along the stallion’s velvet nose. “Birat,” she said. “He’s called Birat.”

The man snorted. “The stallion has no name and you have trespassed into the Royal Grasslands. I’ll escort you back to the palace grounds. I’m sure you’ve left much work behind in the kitchens or the laundry. This is no place for the likes of you. Come.” He thrust an impatient hand in her direction.

Tem swallowed the obscenity on her tongue. It wouldn’t do to let the idiot know he’d managed to rile her. Instead she concentrated on the feel of the stallion’s breath, hot against her hair. The horse pawed the ground. Perhaps she should encourage him to kick the man.

“I’ll return to the palace later,” Tem said. She twisted her hands in the horse’s thick, white mane and vaulted onto his back. Squeezing her legs into the stallion’s flanks, horse and rider dashed off through the waving grass. Without hesitation, the mares followed.

“Godsdamn it, woman,” Kirrae shouted after her.

Tem dared a glance back. If looks could kill, she would be very dead. Kirrae appeared furious, but at least he had the good sense to stay put. He’d bred this stallion and he knew as well as she did he’d never catch her.

Tem made sure he caught sight of her grin before she turned away. She had all afternoon and she could play hide and seek with the best of them.

Wicked Wednesday – A Space Opera!

It’s a damn good thing I have a bunch of books out there because I’m getting NO work done.  I am, however, getting sick again which pisses the hell outta me.

On the bright side, the second volume of my Space Opera, Daughters Of Persephone– Exile – is free on Amazon for the rest of the week.  See here.

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A wicked excerpt:

Ennat reached over and closed Karna’s open mouth.

“By a gack’s shit, is that how all you women fly?”

“Of course.” Ennat grinned at him. “You’ve never flown with a Woman of the Blood. You must try it.”

“I’ve heard stories of my gran, but I didn’t believe them. I thought my father was simply telling tales.”

“Your gran?” Ennat’s eyes opened wide. “That was what Kyr meant? She was a pilot?”

“Yes. She flew the route between Calen and Matsu.”

Ennat closed her eyes. “How did I miss it?”

“Miss what?”

“Your smell. I should have smelled it. You are of the Blood. Why didn’t I know this?”

Karna laughed. “I should hope I don’t smell like you. You smell far too pretty.”

“Karna, I’m not teasing. Only a Woman of the Blood can fly between Calen and Matsu through the Tionay Nebula. That’s the route she took, isn’t it?”

“So says my da.”

“Let’s test it,” said Ennat. She reached for Karna’s hand. “Fly with me and we’ll see if you’re of the Blood. Let’s take the Glory to the repair station. I’ll pilot.”

“You’ll pilot?”

“Of course. You saw Aja take off in that tiny craft. You watched her flash right above our heads. Exactly who do you think trained with whom? Your brother seems to have no problem with her, with the way we fly.”

Karna considered her words for a moment. He wasn’t so certain his stomach would hold up under those turns. He had no desire to appear less than a man in front of his woman. Davi Fedd had described at length how sick he’d been with Aja at the controls.

“All right, just let me settle—”

“It’s all settled, they’re all settled. They’ll be leaving to gather their troops. Arms shipments won’t arrive until tomorrow. Let’s have a bit of fun together.”

Karna raised an eyebrow. “What we do in my bunk isn’t enough fun for you?”

Ennat laughed. “Oh yes, that is most very fun. But I haven’t flown in weeks and I love it. It’s so thrilling, so exhilarating. Please? Please, Karna, fly with me.”

“Now you sound like a woman begging for a new gown.”

“Hah. As if a gown matters to me. I’d rather be dressed like you. Your weave is far more comfortable than this clothing. I hate formal garb. I find it so restrictive.”

Karna dragged her against him. “Restrictive? I like the way it restricts certain parts of your anatomy. But I must say, I didn’t notice you putting on any undergarments. All I need do is lift up that skirt…”

“Stop trying to distract me.”

“But it’s working, isn’t it?”

Karna stared at her exposed cleavage. He watched as Ennat’s breathing became ragged and she shoved her breasts forward, giving him a more pronounced view.

He led her to his quarters wondering what is this thing that happens between a man and a woman of the Blood? This overwhelming desire, this lust that seems to increase even more once you’ve shared the Blood?

All Karna had to do was look at Ennat in a certain way and he knew he could make her tremble with desire for him. He was certain this warrior woman had never felt this kind of weakness in all her born days. Despite his own weakness where she was concerned, he’d never felt more of a man.

When they reached his cabin, Karna kicked the door shut behind them. His nostrils flared with raw desire.

“I can smell your heat,” he said, blunt as ever. “Gods, it smells like you’re on fire for me.”

Ennat didn’t protest when his big hands lifted her skirt and his palms slid upward along the inside of her thighs. Ennat sagged in his arms.

“Stand up, woman. Don’t you dare fall.”

Ennat began to whimper, and Karna knew he had her. She was trapped by her own desire for him exactly as he’d been caught by her the moment he’d seen her, sword raised, drenched in sweat, eyes on fire when she challenged him to fight her.

“You may be able to best me with a sword or a knife, you may be the better pilot, but woman, you belong to me. Never forget it. And remember…” He laid his lips against her ear. “Always leave off the undergarments.”

“Bloody male chauvinist.”

“Yes I am.” Karna was unrepentant. “And that’s why you love me. You may be able to slice me six ways to Solsday on the battlefield, but…” He pressed his erection against her. “Only I can do this to you.”

Of all the books I’ve written… Captured is the closest to my heart.

Captured is my favorite.  It won a lovely award – Booksellers Best First Book, 2011.  You can purchase it here and here.

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Maybe it’s hard to believe, but I did indeed dream Mari and Ekkatt’s story from start to finish.  The book ends where the dream ended.  Still waiting for that second dream to continue their intergalactic love story.

Your non-Wicked Wednesday excerpt:

Mari studied Ekkatt and learned to read his expressions, his moods.  She knew when to sit in her cage and shut up. She began to sense when he felt reasonable.  Mari didn’t believe she suffered from Stockholm Syndrome as many kidnap victims did when they began to identify with their captors.  She hoped that if Ekkatt could begin to see her as a sentient being  he’d think twice about who she was sold to…if he had that kind of influence over his superiors.  She couldn’t allow herself to wonder about the fate of the other women.  She harbored no illusions about her limitations in that regard.  Ekkat and Pana and the above decks crew had no intention of returning a single one of them to their homes.  Nothing she said or did would change that.

There were periods of times when the two of them were alone in the cargo hold.   Ekkatt seemed a bit more open then. He’d converse with her in his stilted English.  She’d listened hard to his conversations with Pana and struggled to pick out individual words. Their language sounded Semitic. It reminded her of the time she’d attended a wedding at an Ethiopian Coptic Church.  She’d understood quite a bit of the service.  Listening to the men talk to each other was like having a word right on the edge of her tongue, a word she couldn’t quite get out.  Given enough time, she could learn their language.

Ekkatt humored her, as one would humor a child, as if she amused him. He taught her a few words in his own tongue like come, stay, sit, hungry, food, drink, and move your ass.  She began to learn the difference between his tolerant laugh and his grunt that meant – get the hell out of my sight you filthy animal.  He even brought her a tunic without her asking for it. 

He’d seen her shivering and commented, “If you sleep, you will not feel the cold of space.”

Mari shook her head.  But, she had fallen asleep for just  a brief period of time. When she awakened a threadbare tunic had been thrown over her.  Mari had been so grateful that she’d cried.  She’d huddled in a corner of her cage and kept her back to the men so they wouldn’t see her tears and realize how close she verged on breaking down every single moment.   

Pana had actually growled when he’d seen her approach wearing the oversized garment.  He’d had words with Ekkatt over it.  Finally he’d stormed off and shoved her out of the way, saying, “You stink, beast.  You’re stench follows me above decks.”

Mari rose to her feet cautiously, eyes fixed on Ekkatt.  “If you allow me to bathe properly,” she said, “I will not stink.”

“You will be cleaned…you will all be cleaned, when we reach our destination.  We haven’t the facilities to bathe an animal.”

“If you came to my home,” said Mari, speaking clearly, “I would treat you with respect and dignity.  I would not call you an animal simply because you are not human.”

Ekkatt shot her a hard look.  “This ship is not my home, and on this ship you are nothing to me but cargo, valuable, but very filthy, cargo.”

“Then why have you learned my language?  Why have you bothered if I’m nothing but filthy cargo?  You and Pana?”

Ekkatt motioned to the sleeping women.  “When they wake they will need direction.  There will be fewer problems if they hear their own tongue.  Even your Earth cattle need to be herded, do they not?”

“Not all of them speak English,” said Mari.  “You have women here from all over my planet and some from other places, not only from earth.  Do you speak their languages too?”

“Yes, puppy, I do.”

Mari addressed Ekkatt in Japanese and he replied.  She tried French, and again, he responded to her question.  He didn’t know Latin or Greek, but he knew Spanish, Italian, Russian, Hebrew, Hindi and some Arabic. 

“What does she speak?”  Mari pointed to a woman who was definitely not human.

“Ciri,” replied Ekkatt.

“How do you know so many languages?”

“How do you?” he retorted.

“I…I lived many places growing up and I studied.  My father was…my father was in the military.  Do you understand?”

“Your father was a warrior?”

Mari latched onto this.  From the tone in his voice, Mari guessed that Ekkatt’s species respected warriors.  “Yes, he was a warrior.”

Ekkatt grunted.  A grunt Mari had come to recognize as an acknowledgement of sorts.

“Where was he when I took you?”

“What?”

“If your father is a warrior then where was he when I took you from that house of eggs?  A warrior does not leave his females unprotected.”

Mari didn’t answer.  She gazed around at all the women in cages.  “My father is dead,” she replied.  “He was killed in battle.”

“He should have given you to another, one who could protect you.”  Ekkatt’s voice was terse.

“It’s not our custom.  Women on my planet try to protect themselves.”

“You did not stand a chance,” he snorted.

“How do you know so many languages?” Mari repeated her question.

Ekkatt sighed.  “If I tell you, will you go to your cage and sit quietly?”

“Yes.”

“An implant in my brain.”

“You mean like a computer chip?”

Ekkatt appeared to think for a moment.  “You have this sort of thing in your world?”

“Not exactly.  We have computer chips. They can be used for many things, but not this, not yet.”

“Go.  Sit.”  Ekkatt dismissed her in his own language.

Mari obeyed. 

 

 

Spotlight Review– My Problem With Doors, by Scott D. Southard.

Jacob's life changed in a single moment when, as a toddler, he walked through his bedroom door only to find himself in the office of a British officer in Capetown, 1870. This would begin a thirty-year journey which would take him from ancient to future civilizations, and innumerable places and times in between. Through all of his travels, Jacob seeks for the purpose of his predicament, the significance of his life with all of its joys and suffering, loneliness and impermanence.

Jacob’s life changed in a single moment when, as a toddler, he walked through his bedroom door only to find himself in the office of a British officer in Capetown, 1870. This would begin a thirty-year journey which would take him from ancient to future civilizations, and innumerable places and times in between. Through all of his travels, Jacob seeks for the purpose of his predicament, the significance of his life with all of its joys and suffering, loneliness and impermanence.

Another author, T.W. Dittmer, pointed me in the direction of Scott D. Southerd, an author who also happens to write a killer blog.  I enjoyed his blog-style so much I picked up his book, My Problem With Doors.

This book is tough to categorize.  Yes, it could be considered YA in somewhat the same way The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is YA, yet just like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the story is bigger than YA because of its existential themes, the adult questions posed by the story, and the answers sought by the main character, Jacob.

My Problem With Doors is a fantasy.  It involves time travel and pirates– I’m a sucker for time travel.  Pirates… eh.  Some of you are more into pirates than I am, but that’s neither here nor there.  (The book contains far more than pirates.  Jacob’s experience during The Children’s Crusade is quite remarkable.)

What makes this a good book–  (As a point of reference I can’t help but compare it to other time-travel novels I’ve read relatively recently.)

Remember Replay, by Ken Grimwood?  Remember that book?  Brilliant book.  I loved it.  But in Replay no matter how hard he tried, Jeff, the protagonist, could not alter the past.  This construct was prefect for Replay.

In My Problem With Doors Jacob does alter the past.  Not in a larger sense, not in any way that would alert the future time police, but in a way that, oh gosh… for lack of a better descriptive word, humanizes the past.  With the knowledge he gains via his time travel, Jacob tries to do the right thing regardless of the confusing circumstances in which he finds himself.

Jacob skips through time, much like Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife, but while Henry couldn’t remember anything that hadn’t yet happened, Jacob grows and matures in a more linear fashion.  He remembers.  He learns.  Each jump, while it may propel him backwards in time, propels him forward as a human being.  From my perspective it makes him a more compelling character than Henry could ever be.  Where Henry was helpless, a victim of his genetic disability, Jacob is far from helpless.  He’s a survivor.

Therein lies the appeal of My Problem With Doors– Hope remains, even if contained in something as tiny and fragile as a tomato seed.  When I finished The Time Traveler’s Wife I was so pissed off I threw the book against the wall.  When I finished My Problem With Doors I sobbed.

Here’s the Amazon link:  My Problem With Doors, by Scott D. Southard

You can read a sample and find a buy link for the ebook here- My Problem With Doors.