Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Assassin's Retirement Chapter 12 #gentleman #amwriting #blogstory

Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement. Switching things up. Today's installment is from Alonzo's point of view. :)

If you have stumbled onto this blog story and want to start from the beginning, I have added a Table of Contents at the bottom of this page with links to the other chapters in the story.

He wanted to walk away...
Fate wouldn't let him.

Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Twelve – Standing His Ground

No one visited Zane. As far as Alonzo could tell, Zane was friendly to the townsfolk, but he didn't have friends. Zane hadn't gotten get close to anyone to bring their scent home until today. So the arrival of the vehicle didn't bode well. With the el Chupacabra and the mysterious people Zane had dinner with, the same people who refused to give Zane their truth, Alonzo wasn't willing to take any chances. Their quiet had put Zane in danger, and that, Alonzo wouldn't allow to happen again.

He stepped out onto the front porch, the wood planks groaning softly under his bulk. The chilly wind ceased to bother Alonzo as he concentrated, and his hair thickening, protecting him from the elements. He'd told Zane he was Maricoxi, but since Zane didn't react, Alonzo was under the impression Zane didn't know what being Maricoxi meant. It made him wonder if Zane was suffering from mild shock. He was concerned about their impromptu coupling in the kitchen. But Zane had shown Alonzo what he'd needed, and Alonzo hadn't been able to deny him. He would have spent time introducing Zane to who he was if these intruders hadn't arrived. Any moment now, Zane would see the form Alonzo was born to. He would be a liar if he said he wasn't worried about Zane shunning him. Zane wasn't a part of nor had any knowledge of the paranormal world around him. How would Zane react when the information settled? Fortunately, Alonzo didn't have time to dwell on what-ifs. For now, he would do what he was born to do.

Giving his full attention to the approaching vehicle, Alonzo stepped off the porch, his bare feet sinking into the chilly, crisp snow. Within moments, he stood on the driveway, blocking the path to the cabin. He was ten feet tall and almost three hundred and fifty pounds, covered by a long, thick pelt.

Instead of screeching to a stop as soon as the driver saw Alonzo's forbidding form, the vehicle rolled to a halt several feet away. If he listened hard, he could make out six heartbeats. Only one thrummed faster than the others, but not at a rate the would indicate fear. The driver was staring at Alonzo with his mouth agape and interest in his eyes. The man's long curly black hair fell over leather clad shoulders. On the passenger side sat a Nordic blond with a full beard. His expression was wary but calculating. Alonzo frowned at him.

The driver turned off the car but left the headlights on. The rear doors opened but no one exited right away. The men conversed in low voices so Alonzo only heard a word or two of their argument. Instead of concentrating on eaves dropping, Alonzo mentally tracked Zane. Acutely aware of Zane's presence. He'd sensed Zane as soon as the man had stepped out of the house. Zane had exited, using a side door and stalked the deeper shadows along the walls until he stopped at the backside of the garage where he could watch from the corner. Obviously, Zane didn't trust the newcomers… or Alonzo's changes had scared him.

The front doors of the vehicle popped open and all six people piled out of the car, coming around the front but not moving any closer to Alonzo. Besides the two in the front, there was a black man with freckles and close-cropped hair. By the dangerous glint in his eye, Alonzo pegged him for a killer. A fractured sheen flitted over the irises, revealing the man wasn't human. The scent of loamy earth, summer mountain breezes, and lush jungles came from the dark haired Hispanic, reminding Alonzo of home with a pang of longing. Two of the men smelled of cold, windy seas and rolling verdant hills. Not one among the six were human.

Alonzo growled, the sound having nothing in common with wolf, bear, or cat. Maricoxi were an ancient people, becoming aware in a prehistoric era when the prey and predator alike were larger than modern day elephants. His noise of warning reflected that ancient lineage and a couple of the trespassers took several steps back.

The one who reminded Alonzo of his homeland inched forward, hands out in a gesture of friendship. "Mighty guardian, I am called Midnight Cordova. You are far from home. What brings you to the cold North?"

Alonzo stared hard at Midnight, wanting to trust someone who was aware of his people but knew that he could not. He stared so long Midnight shifted his feet. "This is my home," he finally said, for the first time verbally claiming ground as his. If Midnight was familiar with the Maricoxi, then he would know the significance of Alonzo's words.

Midnight's warm complexion turned ashen, his eyes darting around at the deep shadows. "Your clan is here? Why ever for?"

"That is none of your concern," Alonzo rumbled. "Why are you here? You were not invited."

The male with sides of his head shaved and smelled of salty sea grumbled, clearly impatient before he snapped, "We came because—"

"Shut up, Raine!" Midnight moved to block Raine's view.

"All we came to do was make sure the el Chupacabra didn't follow Zane home. Obviously, they didn't and if they had—" Raine flung his hand in Alonzo's direction. "The giant would take care of them."

Fear entered Midnight's expression and he darted a pained glance at Alonzo.

"What is wrong with you?" Raine snapped, his expression twisted in annoyance as he pushed Midnight out of his way, oblivious to Alonzo's soft rumbles of warning.

Alonzo seethed, his breaths coming in quick pants. "You," he snarled, staring at Raine, waiting from the man to give Alonzo his full attention. "Zane shared a meal with you this evening, yes?"

"Uh…" Raine looked at his companions and shrugged. "Yes, he had dinner with us."

Alonzo breathed in and held his breath. Raine's eyes widened when Alonzo grew in height and breadth.

"Someone was shot at," Alonzo continued, his gaze going from man to man.

The Nordic blond with the beard regarded Alonzo with a wide almost covetous gaze while the others shuffled their feet, different shades of guilt crossing their features.

Midnight swallowed audibly and stepped away from the group. "I… Yes, someone shot at me."

Alonzo's jurassic rumbling became louder and he took a step toward them. "And you did not warn him?" his voice grew louder the hotter his anger burned. "You allowed him to go into the night, chasing a shooter when… how many of you could scented the el Chupacabra?" Every one of them refused to meet his gaze. "You knew the danger and sent an unwary human against them? What kind of men are you?"

"He wasn't alone!" snapped the one with long blond hair. Of all of them, he dressed as if he came from wealth and stood with a regal bearing. "I, too, hunted the shooter."

"Stop it, Prince!" Midnight snarled. "You are only making things worse."

"How can this get any worse? Zane wasn't harmed," Prince volleyed back.

Alonzo drew in another breath and grew again. "How?" he boomed. "I will tell you how. Zane put what he thought were dead bodies in his truck and brought them home to dispose of them. Imagine his surprise when two of them came back to life!"

"How were we to know he would take them?" Prince boldly moved closer to Alonzo, ire burning in his eyes.

"He told me he asked for answers. Tell me, Formorian, what did you say?"

"How do you know what I am?" Prince snapped before his mouth clacked shut.

"You set him up!" Alonzo released his rage, his body hair shaking out as he experimentally swung his arms and then charged.

The man with the long, dark curly hair darted as quick as a wolf, grabbing up Prince and running. Alonzo barely missed them with his kick. His foot hit the grill of the SUV and it was as if he kicked a football. The vehicle lifted off the ground, rising high in the air in a graceful arch before coming back down somewhere on the lower slopes. Silence reigned for several heartbeats.

"Holy shit!" Raine exclaimed. "How are we supposed to get home now?"

"You don't need to worry about that," Alonzo promised. "You'll be buried on this mountain before dawn."

Table of Contents
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Chapter Ten, Part 1 - Gathering Allies

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

What's on the Reading Radar #wishlist #TBR

What am I doing? Writing on Bespoken and Assassin's Retirement. I'm also world building in the I.O.N. world. Staying fairly busy.

Reading on the other hand has been hit and miss. Nothing is holding my attention. I don't know if it's because I'm so tired or what. I feel a gaming season coming on...

Title: Wolf and the Holly
Series: (The Rowan Harbor Cycle Book 2)
Author(s): Sam Burns
Length: 199 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay /

Notes: Already read this but leaving it here. Good series.

Blurb: Five years ago, Jesse dropped out of college and came home to Rowan Harbor to find safety with his pack. A broken man, he’s been living as though the world is ending—allergic to responsibility and spending most of his nights at the local bar.

But he can’t avoid growing up forever. On the night of his thirtieth birthday party, he finds his childhood friend Isla unconscious, attacked in the middle of their peaceful hometown. The wolf inside him wants to protect its people from the slick-haired, smooth-talking vampire who’s brought trouble to town, and Jesse can’t run from his instincts any longer.

Now that his inner wolf is out of its cage, it’s picked the most inconvenient moment to find its mate. Sean Anderson—recently back from college and much changed from the skinny preteen Jesse once knew—is just what he never knew he needed.

Trigger Warning: discussion of past abuse.

This novel is intended for adult audiences, and contains swearing and sex.

This is the second of nine books in The Rowan Harbor Cycle, not a standalone. It continues where the first book left off. Jesse and Sean will return in book five to continue their story, so this book contains a HFN, not their HEA.

Title: Fool for You
Author(s): Asta Idonea, Ava Kelly, Daria Defore, Helena Maeve, Kashmira Majumdar, L.J. Hamlin, Laurin Kelly, Melissa Snowdon
Length: 100k

Publisher: LT3 Press

Genre: Romance / Anthology / Bisexual / Contemporary / Fantasy / Gay/ Genderqueer / Lesbian / Pansexual / Poly / Steampunk/ Urban Fantasy



Wagered & Won by Helena Maeve—Nearly caught picking pockets at a casino in Silvergarde, Kathra owes her closest getaway yet to the mysterious Cecily, a bewitching gambler with a lethal secret. Over the course of a single night and a high-stakes card game, Kathra is drawn into a web from which she may not wish to escape.

Toils & Tricks by Asta Idonea—Centuries ago, the gods grew tired of being forever on call, and so they hired counterparts to be their representatives. When Sverrir, Loki's representative, is called on to foil a blackmail scheme, he think it will be a simple task...

Whiskey & Pixie Dust by L.J. Hamlin—Shane loves and hates his best friend, a mischief demon, in equal measure. But when the demon takes it upon himself to play matchmaker, Shane thinks the hate might just win out.

Sussicran: A Love Story by Melissa Snowdon—Eager to escape an otherworldly bet, mirror demon Llednew determines to steal the life of a lonely young man. But executing his brilliant idea proves to be more difficult than anticpated.

A Spell for Luck by Daria Defore—When he's forced to spend the summer studying magic at his aunt's house, a bored Tom promptly starts looking for any way to escape. He probably shouldn't resort to making a deal with an extremely friendly demon, but he's too curious to say no...

Kneadful Things by Laurin Kelly—When Adam answers an ad for work at a local bakery, he has no idea what he's in for. Despite the storefront's dilapidated condition and isolated location, a steady stream of customers come through hoping to find what they're looking for from Jin, the mysterious owner.

How to Trick a Trickster by Ava Kelly—Eric is a trickster working for the Corps of Undercover Passion Instigators and Distributors. His latest assignment takes him to a bookstore where he has to bring together Ivo Newton and Tom Euler. What he's not supposed to do is fall in love with both his targets.

The Great Coke Robbery by Kashmira Majumdar—Charlie and Jack used to be the best in the business in the heist business. And then Charlie fell in love and settled down. Ten years later, Jack is debt-ridden and down on his luck, and in walks Charlie, proposing to pull off the most outrageous job of their lives.

Title: Loving Kit
Author(s): LM Brown
Length: 350 pages
Publisher: Fireborn Publishing (February 19, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Aliens / Inter-species relationship / Gay / Mpreg / Poly / 

Notes: Read this one last week. It was really good. 

Blurb: Logan McRae expected to wake on the spacecraft Mercury, ready to pilot the ship to New Earth. Instead, he finds himself facing two aliens whose help he'll need if he wants to find his people.

Kit doesn't know what sort of creature he has accidentally purchased, but it's definitely male and not completely different from him and his lover, Halor. The language barrier might be a problem, but Kit knows the language of love doesn't always need words.

Halor has been reluctant to expand his nest, but he'll do anything to give Kit the happiness he deserves, even invite another man into their bed.

Logan has no idea that Kit isn't quite like other men until their passion results in unexpected consequences. Now he must choose between his mission and the two men who have given him everything he has ever wanted, as well as things he never dreamed of.

NOTE: There is an error on some of the sale pages that state this title is BDSM. It is not. Please be aware. We are working with Amazon to correct this error.

Title: Inconvenient Mate
Series: Mate of the Tyger Prince, 6
Author(s): Shannon West
Length: 260 pages

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Mpreg / Gay / Aliens / Inter-species relationship /


Blurb: After a long stint in the training camps, Prince Derrick and his best friend Kylar are finally coming home to Tygeria. Celebrating on the lawless moon Belline, the run into Drex pirates and a wild brawl ensues. When the smoke clears and the dust settles, a friendly drink with a gorgeous young man named Egan leads to more than they bargained for. 

Both Kylar and Derrick wake up the next morning in the brothel upstairs, bleary-eyed, hung-over and knowing that something significant happened to each of them—they just aren't sure what it was. Running to catch their shuttle, they slip away from their wild night not knowing that the handsome and dangerous Rhaegar Barbosa, the pirate king himself, has claimed Derrick as his mate.

Teaming up to find the men who they now claim as their own, Rhaegar and Egan head to Tygeria. Rhaegar takes matters into his own hands and kidnaps Derrick, along with several members of the royal family. When threats begin to mount from all sides, Rhaegar realizes he may have to give up everything if he hopes to keep the one man he can't live without.

Title: Shoot the Messenger
Series: (Messenger Chronicles Book 1)
Author(s): Pippa DaCosta
Length: 285 pages
Publisher: Crazy Ace Publishing (February 22, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Reverse Harem / Poly / Fae / 


Blurb: A new space fantasy reverse harem series where the guys are hot, the perils are many, and one rebel messenger holds the key to the survival of the human race.

Lies aren't her only weapons against the fae...

In the Halow system, one of Earth’s three sister star systems, tek and magic—humans and fae—are at war.

Kesh Lasota is a ghost in the machine. Invisible to tek, she’s hired by the criminal underworld to carry illegal messages through the Halow system. But when one of those messages kills its recipient, Kesh finds herself on the run with a bounty on her head and a quick-witted marshal on her tail.

Proving her innocence should be straightforward. Until a warfae steals the evidence she needs. The fae haven’t been seen in Halow in over a thousand years. And this one—a brutally efficient killer able to wield tek—should not exist. But neither should Kesh.

As Kesh’s carefully crafted lie of a life crumbles around her, she knows being invisible is no longer an option. To hunt the warfae, to stop him from destroying a thousand-year fragile peace, she must resurrect the horrors of her past.

Kesh Lasota was a ghost. Now she’s back, and there’s only one thing she knows for certain: Nobody shoots the messenger and gets away with it.

IMPORTANT: The Messenger series is a reverse harem. The harem elements develop during the series. This series does NOT feature a love triangle.

Full length novel: 80,000 words. Book #1 Messenger Chronicles. Science-fantasy.

Title: Trees Take the Long View
Series: (shifters and partners Book 17)
Author(s): Hollis Shiloh
Length: 145 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / 


Blurb: Alec dropped out of the shifters and partners program, disillusioned forever with the police. Now an unfairly handsome troubleshooter is here to try to tempt him back. To complicate matters, he might just be Alec's mate. 

Despite their differences, Alec wants to make it work (as mates—not partners). But it'll take time for Dean to figure out what he wants. No matter the attraction between them, it might take an awfully long time.

Fortunately, Alec can be as patient as a tree...even if he can't keep his nose out of Dean's job...

A shifters and partners novel (standalone)
52,000 words
Low heat

Title: Lovers & Liches
Author(s): GD Penman
Length: 43 pages
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (February 17, 2018)

Genre: Romance / Contemporary / Gay / 

Notes: The blurb had me at "half-orc"

Blurb: Korgulg Skulltaker is a swarthy half-orc barbarian with a hunger for battle and a lust to match. Lady Leithianel Stormsong is a beautiful elven wizard of great power and wit. Both are on an epic quest to destroy the evil Lich Voldridas and save the world from his tyranny.

Their players, Greg and Gabriel, have been friends since they were teenagers, but while they have the bravery to explore dark dungeons and slay terrible dragons at their friend’s dining room table, they can’t muster up the courage to tell one another how they feel.

Every week for the last decade, they have gathered with their friends to play games of adventure and magic together, without ever letting their real fantasies come to life. But all of that could change with just a roll of the dice.

Title: Moon Burned
Series: (The Wolf Wars Book 1)
Author(s): HD Gordon
Length: 282 pages

Genre: Romance / Kiss-Ass Female Lead / Dystopia / Paranormal / Fighting Ring / 


Blurb: Shift, Fight, Survive—Those are the rules of The Ring. Two wolves enter, one wolf leaves. 

My name is Rukiya Moonborn. I am a slave, a werewolf whose master forces me and many others to fight to the death for the entertainment of the wealthy.

Named 'Dogs' after the lesser beasts, wolves like me live short, violent lives. The masters dangle the illusion of hope in front of us by insisting any wolf who survives 100 fights in The Ring can win his or her freedom.

I am on my eighteenth fight against the West Coast Champion—the biggest she-wolf anyone has ever seen. As if this weren't enough, I find a wolf pup who is destined for slavery as a Dog, and help the child escape the master's clutches—a crime easily punishable by death.

When Ryker—the master's handsome right-hand—catches me in the act, I embark on a journey that will be the ultimate test of my courage and strength.

“If you like Patricia Briggs, Sarah J Maas, and Ilona Andrews, you’ll LOVE H. D. Gordon’s strong female heroines and the magical worlds she builds.

Title: Mage of Inconvenience
Author(s): Parker Faye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Genre: Romance / Marriage of Convenience / Paranormal / Mage / Gay /


Blurb: Can they find the magic in a practical union?

West is on the run from his werewolf pack, but if he cannot renew his magical defenses, he won’t get far. What he needs is a mage….

Julian is part of a wealthy and ancient family, and one day, his legacy will include his mother’s vast library of spell books—and the knowledge he needs to correct his past mistakes. But his inheritance comes with a stipulation: he has to be married before he can collect. What he needs is a husband….

West and Julian can help each other, and at first they don’t want anything further. But as they dodge meddling cousins, jealous rivals, and an insidious drug, it becomes clear that their lives are entwined in ways they never imagined—and they’re in greater danger than they thought possible.

Title: The Wolf's Man Friday
Series: Nose and Tail, Inc. 2
Author(s): Julia Talbot
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay /


Blurb: A Nose to Tail Novel 

The last thing Sebastian Zeller wants is to be pack Alpha. But when the pack leader, his uncle Ron, is attacked, he has no choice but to leave his beloved Colorado mountains and fulfill his duty as Ron’s heir—at least until his uncle recovers. In the meantime, he intends to lure the attacker out… and make them pay.

When Ron gets wind of Sebastian’s plan to catch the attacker, he doesn’t like the idea of risking his heir.That’s where Jaxon Reedis comes in—he’ll balance protecting the dark and sexy werewolf with pretending to be his personal assistant. He’s walking a fine line that requires all his foxy wit and craftiness… and that’s on top of the inescapable feeling that he and Sebastian are meant for each other. When the attacker returns, will they be able to maintain their deepening bond when danger threatens to tear down everything they’re building?

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pact Days: Numina #Valespian Pact

Welcome to Thursday's Pact Days! Today, we have the Numina.

Since the Numina have yet to be introduced, I had to withhold a good deal of information. 
No spoilers! Enjoy!  

A couple of side notes: For a list of species that have been posted so far, see the The People of Valespia page. I'm placing these in alphabetical order so I won't unintentionally place importance on any specie. I will leave off information on the species that will spoil future books. My standard sheet has the same categories for all species. So there will be blank categories just because that species didn't need them.

Species: Numina (extinct)
Planet: Atlainticia, Valespia
Other races on the planet: Mar'Sani, Chimera, People of the Longing,
Planetary Terrain: large ocean, mountains, jungle, desert, volcanic lands
Capitol: Thrace
Patron Ryo Pardeep: Light Bringer, Poseidon, Whirlwind

Description: No two Numina look alike. They come in many shapes and sizes. Some could go on land while others were waterbound.

In the oral tradition, Poseidon fathered many children, in and out of the water. After the Artho War, his remaining children scattered, and Poseidon found a barren world to claim for himself and naming it Atlainticia. Over time, he had many more offspring in the Waters of Poseidon. After many centuries, his oldest water children became curious about the distant shores. The boldest of them, Pegasus the Explorer, left the waters. Later he returned to regale his siblings of the wonders he found on dry land. More and more children left the sea to explore, many never returning to their families.

The great underwater cities were reduced, many abandoned. Their inhabitants were gone either to live on the shores or moved vast distances to be with others of their kind.

Those who took to the land called themselves Meirsonoi—fruit of the land.

But after a time, the Mar'Sani land dwellers bore children born with The Longing. They returned to the Waters of Poseidon, claiming the unoccupied cities as their own. 

What happened to Pegasus? He saw the broad skies and desired to soar the expanse. But that, is another story.

Common Occupation:

Government Systems:

Current Leader

Council of Neighn of Member:

Allies: Asani, Kracciam, Ophion, Reasaian

Star System: Portunus Star System

Other planets occupied by species:

Military Leader: Canry Vondorian

Cultural names and terms specific to species:
Triton, Rhodas, Lelex, Belus, Areion, Antaeus, Theseus, Mygdon, Eirene, Mideia, Sithon, Astacus, Ancaeus

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Assassin's Retirement Chapter 11 #gentleman #amwriting #blogstory NSFW

Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement. Now that I made the announcement about the I.O.N. world this past Saturday (see blog post here), I can say that Assassin's Retirement takes place in the world of I.O.N. It's not an part of the I.O.N. series, just a story that set in the same the same world, exploring a different aspect of it. 

If you have stumbled onto this blog story and want to start from the beginning, I have added a Table of Contents at the bottom of this page with links to the other chapters in the story.

He wanted to walk away...
Fate wouldn't let him.

Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Eleven – Combustible

Zane couldn't believe he bumbled so spectacularly with Alonzo. Would he like Alonzo traipsing around his home mostly nude? That was a, hell yes! Was it the appropriate time to get involved with someone? No, but his mouth hadn't cared. That there was an el Chupacabra tied up in his guest bedroom, he'd chased an assassin, his dinner companions were shifty and obviously wanted something from him were all things he needed to handle, not ignoring even for sex. He couldn't forget the band held secrets, making Zane wonder if they were something other, something like the el Chupacabra… not human. Alonzo confessed he was Maricoxi as if what he was separated from humans. And, oh yes, the most serious issue of the night, because it impacted Zane personally, his nice agent, Ella Shuler, knew who he used to be, and she had revealed it to others.

The chubby Zane had been sporting since Alonzo stepped in the shower suddenly went away. No, trying to feel out if Alonzo was interested in him had no place among his current affairs. He should be planning how to kill Ella and discover who she told about him… and killing them as well. Although, planning to murder innocents didn't sit well with him. The other option would be to find out where she got her information, destroy it, bury her, and then vanish… again.

Zane looked around his too large cabin, the place he not only called home but felt like home and realized he loathed to give up what he had built. He should have never gotten attached. Hadn't he known this solace couldn't last?

Alonzo walked into the kitchen carrying his shirt. Another pang went through Zane as he realized what else he'd have to leave behind. He wasn't naive. Alonzo was showing off for him, putting his work-hardened form on display. Zane would have loved to run his hands over Alonzo's hairy body. The times he'd watched Alonzo from afar this past week, he'd been completely covered. When Alonzo had undressed to wash el Chupacabra, revealing the thick pelt of hair that covered most of his body, Zane's mouth had watered. Was it as soft as it looked? Alonzo's forearms sported dense hair, but it turned sparse further up his biceps. His chest and belly… Zane bit back a groan as he took in every square inch of exposed skin. His fingertips tinged to trace the darkest area over Alonzo's pecs, down the center of his abdomen where it disappeared under the pants. Dear God in Heaven.

Placing the shirt onto the island, Alonzo prowled… yes, that was the word, prowled like some kind of jungle predator, across the floor and didn't stop until Zane had backed into the counter.

"You keep looking at me with that invitation in your eyes and I will think you want me to put my hands on you." Alonzo's voice was soft, his accent so thick it was as if he was purring each word.

"That would be… would be…" Zane couldn't believe he was even thinking of saying yes. But with every step Alonzo had taken toward him, his reasons to keep his distance slipped away. He suddenly couldn't remember why sex was a bad idea. "Just touch me already!" he snapped, and it was like he'd loosed the only tether restraining a wild animal.

Alonzo descended with a swift surety but Zane didn't cower from the hungry look in Alonzo's gaze. He reached out and grabbed Alonzo's waist. Alonzo's mouth covered his, the kiss searing and deep. Zane returned the fervor with his own, squirming when Alonzo's hands gripped his ass and lifted him, plopping him down on the countertop. Alonzo was taller than Zane but sitting on the counter should have made Zane's height superior. Instead of looking down at Alonzo, inexplicably Zane was eye to eye with him. It shouldn't have been possible. Alonzo wasn't that tall, was he? Zane shoved the curiosity away and wrapped his arms around Alonzo's neck as if grabbing a lifeline. He attacked Alonzo's mouth, licking and tasting and… just fucking needing. Needing everything right now. Not in a slow torturous hour. Not tomorrow when the crazy shit had settled down. Now, right that second. It was as if Alonzo could read him, knew what Zane desperately needed and was ready to give Zane everything without question.

Zane's shirt flipped up, causing him to lean back so Alonzo could pull it off. He growled against Alonzo's ear as his skin came in contact with Alonzo's. The stinging bite Alonzo gave Zane's neck in return made him shudder, eyes rolling up. "Do that again," he groaned.

Alonzo bit him harder, deeper and then sucked. Zane writhed, panting. A high whine that he'd never made before escaped his lips. Alonzo was making noises as well, as if a monster lurked under Alonzo's skin, giving voice to a primal pleasure that couldn't be contained. All of it made Zane so hard he didn't care where they were or what had already happened that day. He only wanted to get his hands on Alonzo and bask in their mutual pleasure.

His fingers scrabbled with Alonzo's rodeo buckle, finally freeing his belt, tearing open the fly. Zane delved his hand down in to Alonzo's jeans. Oh, God, no underwear—then he curled his fingers around Alonzo's heavy girth. Hot damn.

"Yes," Alonzo's guttural plea urged Zane on before Alonzo clamped his mouth over Zane's again.

Fingers tore at his own jeans but before he could let go of Alonzo in order to take the pants off himself, he was lifted and the jeans pushed to his knees. Zane hated how the material kept him from pressing flush with Alonzo. He wore lace-up hiking boots that were impossible to simple kick off. Snarling, he didn't have the presence of mind or patience to remove them properly.

Alonzo's staying hand kept Zane from hopping off the counter. Reaching down, Alonzo hooked his fingers behind the laces and yanked… the shoestrings snapped as if they were lengths of spaghetti. That shoe was removed and the jeans yanked off the one leg, allowing Alonzo to step back in between Zane's thighs.

Looking wild and smelling like a fertile jungle, Alonzo trembled slightly as he ran his hands over Zane's skin. Zane swept an admiring gaze down Alonzo's frame. Dear God, Alonzo was gorgeously covered in hair. The thatch at the root of Alonzo's cock begged for Zane's touch. When he pushed Alonzo's jeans further down his legs, Alonzo helped, hurriedly pushing them to his knees. Zane wrapped his legs around Alonzo, drawing him back. He gave into what he wanted, sliding his hand down Alonzo's girth to run his fingers through the thick, dark hair. He wrapped his other hand around Alonzo's nape and pulled him in for more delectable kisses.

Warm callous fingers wrapped around Zane's cock, making him moan into Alonzo's mouth. He lost all track of time as they explored each other. Zane didn't want to stop. He'd never experienced so much pleasure at the hands of another before. All his sexual experiences were with groping in dark corners or quick couplings at someone's home. The encounters were always just enough to take the edge off. He could never indulge himself fully, claim a lover of his own. His life had been too dangerous. He couldn’t allow someone to become his weakness. Now he had something else—someone—he didn't want to leave behind if he had to disappear.

Anger burbled just under the surface of his skin, but just as suddenly it evaporated when Alonzo gripped both of their cocks, bringing them together in his big, capable hand. Alonzo pumped, finding a rhythm that had Zane panting on the edge of orgasm. Alonzo bit Zane on the meaty part of his shoulder. Zane yelped, coming so hard he was sure he bruised Alonzo's arms where Zane gripped him. Alonzo's whole body tensed and he bellowed against Zane's shoulder, warm come coating Zane's stomach. He panted, smiling to hear how Alonzo's heavy breathing matched his own.

"Would you think badly of me if I said let's do that again?" Zane teased, yet hopeful Alonzo felt this connection and wanted more, too.

Alonzo pulled him close, the burn from his stubble stinging Zane's cheeks. "Yes. Any time, any place. I am yours."

That sounded like something more than a desire for more sex. But before Zane could inquire, Alonzo lifted his head and looked in the direction of the road leading to the cabin. Zane's parameter alarm sounded, the beeping mimicked the noise of an alarm clock. The TV screen on the kitchen counter flickered on and the camera for the drive showed a dark colored SUV making its way toward the house.

Alonzo's gaze narrowed, the promise of violence reflected in his eyes as he pulled away from Zane, but not before he planted a possessive kiss on Zane's mouth. Stepping back, Alonzo removed his jeans completely before he turned, striding to the front door totally nude. With every step, he seemed to grow. Taller. Wider. Zane watched in utter amazement until Alonzo opened the front door and stepped into the cold night air.

Cussing at himself, Zane grabbed some paper towels and hurriedly wiped away the cooling come. He hopped-walked out of the kitchen, pulling his pants back on the one leg and slipping his foot in the mangled hiking boot. How was he going to explain the giant on his front porch? He reached under the couch table and detached the fully loaded sig. Answer: he didn't have to explain shit. He'd just shoot everyone who laid eyes on his giant.

Table of Contents

Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Eight, Part 1 - No such thing as heroes 
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Ten, Part 1 - Gathering Allies

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Soul searching: What do I want? #ION

I have been meaning to write this blog post for a couple weeks now, but I wasn't sure where to start. Currently, I have two series that I'm working on wrapping up. 

The Valespian Pact and I.O.N.

In some circles, I.O.N. has been slow to catch on. Ruby Red Booty Shorts and a Louisville Slugger was a story that I wrote by the seat of my pants, and then later extensively revised it. Then it was followed by Werewolf's Tale and a Druid's Sword, which again I pantsed. I knew where I wanted the series plot arc to go, and I knew the day would be won by a group of friends. But how they would get there kept fluctuating. Then my inspiration got derailed. Some of it came from a personal nature, some of it came from the lack of series sales--which is so unlike me. I don't normally track sales because I'm simply grateful someone bought a book. But I felt like I was treading water and not getting anywhere quick, so I put together and spreadsheet and I wished I hadn't.

I thought some changes were in order. I took a look at my world notes (and honestly, they were really slim, which just goes to show how much I pantsed the stories) and reassessed what needed to happen to complete the plot arc. I'd originally planned for I.O.N. to be six books--four to set up the characters and plot, one to wrap up ,and one to give a certain someone a HEA. I moved the last one to be written as a standalone-- if people were interested in that person's HEA. Then I moved puzzle pieces around and shaved off things that didn't deal with the plot arc. (I was going to show Beck and Diego working cases for I.O.N. and such.) Then I.O.N. was only four books and two of them were already published so that left two to write.

Even though I knew the plot arc and pinpointed things that needed to happen in book three, the romance element was... Stephen was flipflopping on who he liked and didn't like. I personally wanted to stab Grant in the eye so I was looking for a different love interest and eventually landed on a solution. I figured that if the idea didn't work out as I wrote the story, then I would let it work itself out organically (pansting, LOL).

Then I put I.O.N. aside to wrap up Sumeria's Sons and get somethings off my desktop that were finished and just needed some expert advice. Then things got messy, depressing, and last year I temporarily shelved everything I attempted to work on because I wanted to set fire to all of it.

October came around and I was a little excited about writing again, bringing out Bespoken and then writing a couple of Valespian Pact flash fictions that turned into the 3rd book of the series, Constant. To replace the flash fictions, I thought I would write a short blog series called Gentleman's Holiday. I took the assassin for Keeping Faith and thought I'd give a cute fluffy romance and retirement in the I.O.N. world. I thought it would be cool to pants a chapter every week and post it. Well the "fluffy" romance took all kinds of fun turns and I retitled it Assassin's Retirement. This "little" fun blog story rekindled my love for the I.O.N. world. It's really strange because it's like I had forgotten everything I loved about I.O.N. I had all these plans for different standalones that explored the different aspects of this paranormal/urban fantasy world and then it was like they fell off the face of the earth for a couple of years. 

The last few weeks,  I've been taking another look at the series and what I wanted to do with it. I am so in love with the characters from Assassin's Retirement that I looked at I.O.N. with new eyes. I dusted off the notes for standalone stories in the I.O.N. world and got excited about them again. I got a story for an I.O.N. profiler, for a man who was accidentally changed into a shifter, and exploring the lore of the Americas... well, you get the point. I had--have--big plans for books that are set in this world and I am chomping at the bit to do some serious world and character building.  

I pulled all my notes together over the last couple of weeks and will be making sure all these books will connect, even though they can be read by themselves (all but those in the main I.O.N. series). I will be plotting the books and planning some crossover characters here and there. I'm at the point where I want to share my notes so badly!! There is no one around except my dogs and they sleep through everything I say.

This is what I wanted to write. Something a little different from the norm but still in the same genres that I love. I'd forgotten my own personal "motto" (I can't think of a different word at the moment) Write what I want to read, write what speaks to me, and everything will fall into line. 

Now. I just need to write faster... LOL!

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!