Naughty Beasts is Now Available

This anthology with eighteen fabulous fantasies is available now at most ebook outlets.  It includes two of my Christmas Gargoyle stories, Sophie’s Christmas Gargoyle and Her Gargoyle Guardian.  Plus sixteen other wonderful stories of weres and shifters!  And it’s got one of the hottest covers I’ve ever seen.  BONUS!

 

December Releases

A couple of big things happening in December.  First my older gargoyle novella, Gargoyle’s Christmas, will be released in a rewritten, updated version.  This story was always a fan favorite, so I’m thrilled that it’s going to be re-released.  You can read an excerpt here!  Buy links will be coming in a couple of days.

In a happy convergence of timing, two of my other Christmas Gargoyle stories, Sophie’s Gargoyle and Her Gargoyle Guardian, will be released again as part of the Naughty Beasts anthology put out by the Naughty Literati.

I hope that by next Christmas, I will have at least one more Christmas Gargoyle story done and will put all of them together in one volume!

Checkmate is available!

Re-release date: August 1, 2017
Originally published as part of the Pleasure Raiders Print Anthology, November, 2005
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: Novella; Price: $1.99
Order ebook from: Amazon   B&N   iTunes   Kobo    Others

Blurb: Devonne and Raje are pirates who were once also lovers, until the revelation of secrets in his past drove them apart. But when they’re kidnapped and forced to compete in a drastic and devastating series of contests, they need to find a way to work together, or they’ll each end up with a one-way ticket to a slave labor camp.

A Note About Checkmate

Space pirates!  What’s not to love?  The novella CHECKMATE started out as part of an anthology called PLEASURE RAIDERS, released a few years ago by a publisher that is now defunct. With future technologies and galaxies and more to play with, I let my imagination run free. Space pirates with checkered pasts, well-guarded secrets, and uncertain futures? Check. Space bars and tavern fights? Check. Bizarre aliens with aggressive tendencies and strange laws? Check. A hero and heroine who are smart, strong, and capable? Check. Make them go through a series of public ‘games’ that test both their fighting and their sexual skills? Check. Finding love in the midst of all that? CHECKMATE.

Sneak Peek at Checkmate

Here’s a sneak peek from the middle of CHECKMATE, (coming August 1) when the real fun begins:

When the door opened again, two Sangari flanked a much smaller human man. By then, the sight of her lawyer sent a wave of relief through her. The sheer scale of the room, geared for the larger Sangaris, was starting to intimidate her. The lack of communication other than the formal charging process also worked on her nerves.

“You’ve gotten yourself into a bit of a fix this time, haven’t you?” Grayson Whetlock, her attorney, asked as he took the only other seat in the room. “Not exactly what I expected, though. I had to do some fast research on Sangari codexes on the way here. Couldn’t you have picked a fight with a Mascrind or a Johnsonian? Some race with a more straightforward and simple set of laws?”

She shrugged. “More billable hours for you, no doubt.”

Whetlock sighed. “Yes, well. This is a bit of a mess. Technically, under their laws, you are guilty of assault, and they’re not amused by it. There are a few options we’re looking at right now. I’ve talked to the lawyer for the other guy they’ve charged and we’re working on some things. He’s such a political hot chip that even the Sangari are a bit intimidated. “

“The other guy? Raje? They captured Raje, too?”

“Raje? Is that what they call him? Reginald Jernigan? Exiled prince and second heir of the Gambrians?”

“That’s him.”

“You picked up an interesting one there. It should help you, though. Like everyone else in this quadrant, the Sangari have an uneasy truce with the Gambrians and they don’t want to risk it. Of course, even they’re trying to figure out just what the Gambrians would actually want them to do with Prince Reg. He’s been so openly outspoken against the current regime and most of its policies that there’s some feeling they’d be just as happy to be rid of him. On the other hand, he’s still the second heir, and there is no clear-cut third. He’s also exceptionally popular among his own people, where the current emperor is not. They’ve come close to civil war more than once. The current Gambrian government might not mourn if he had an accident, but they can’t afford to let him be imprisoned or executed.”

“And how does that help me?”

“Just a moment,” he said, and looked at his p-comm. “Yes.” He pressed a couple of flat buttons on the device. “Good.”

“What?”

He turned to her. “We’ve worked out a deal. Prince Reg has agreed to it, if you will. I really think this is the best we can do here, and it should work out just fine.”

Her stomach twisted a bit. “Tell me.”

“Okay.” He drew a breath. “If you’re convicted of all the charges the Sangari have laid on you, it could mean up to twenty years in their labor prisons.” He paused briefly. “You really don’t want to go there.” Another pause. “There is an alternative, though. The Sangari love games and entertainment.”

“As in?”

“Just about anything and everything you can think of.”

“They like fighting,” Devonne added.

“Yes, that certainly. But also contests of strength and will and perseverance. And, well, almost anything.”

“So how does this affect me?” She fought to control her impatience and nervousness.

“If you’ll agree to enter a challenge match, the Sangari will dismiss all charges against you.”

“Wait a minute. This presupposes that I think I would lose my case at the Tribunal. The damn Sangari started the whole thing. He knocked my arm, and then he tried to hit me. I was defending myself, damn it!”

Whetlock looked lugubrious. “I know, but it doesn’t matter. Under the terms of their judicial code you’ll almost certainly be found guilty.”

“I will.” She felt like grabbing a weapon and doing something worth being found guilty of. “Blackmailing SOBs. This whole business is really about getting new meat for their ‘challenges’, whatever those involve. Isn’t it?”

The lawyer shrugged. “Perhaps. But the fact remains, you face the possibility—“

“I get it.” She stood up and paced across the room and back a couple of times. “But my choices are fairly—wait a minute. Why did I have to agree before Raje would? What’s he got to do with it?”

The lawyer licked his lips. “Um…well, you see, they want a pair of humans in this particular challenge match.”

“What? Why? What does ‘this particular’ challenge match involve?”

He shrugged. “I have no idea. I just know they specified that the two of you would have to agree to enter as a team.”

“A team. Raje and I. Oh, that’s rich.” She made no attempt to keep the bitterness out of her voice.

“I gather you and he didn’t part on the best of terms after your last meeting?”

“You could say that.” She sighed deeply. “I don’t suppose I have much choice here, though.”

“Not much,” the lawyer agreed. “I really can’t recommend trying your luck with the Tribunal. They don’t have much regard for aliens.”

“No shit. I really would like to know more about what this ‘challenge’ would involve.”

“So would I,” the lawyer answered. “But they refuse to tell me anything specific. I’ve looked over the previous cycle’s schedule of challenges, and they seem to encompass everything from foot races to knife-fights to the death.”

Devonne swung sharply to look at him. “To the death? Raje and I might have to try to kill each other?”

“It’s not all that common. More often they have you fight to first blood. Or fight other things. They’re um… also quite fascinated by… sexual matters, including some rather… how shall I say this? Some rather kinky human proclivities.”

“Things? How many ‘challenges’ are we required to do? I thought it was just one?”

“Just one challenge. It’s ten rounds. One a day for ten days is their usual procedure.”

“Ten rounds.” She sighed. “Would I be fighting Raje through all of them?”

Whetlock shrugged. “Or having sex with him? I don’t know. I doubt it. Sometimes they have people fight animals or machines, sometimes they’re contests of throwing or hitting things or eating things that… Well, you can guess.”

Playing with History – Edward, The Black Prince

I did a blog post for the Naughty Literati on how I used (and abused) historical facts in the last of my Passions series of Medieval Historical Romances, Healing Passion.  You can read it here.

I talked about some of the liberties I’d taken with the history and personages of the times. Mostly with a real, historical character, Edward of Woodstock (1330-1376), son of Edward III, also known as the Black Prince.

I said I’d share a few interesting facts about The Black Prince in this post, so here goes.

  1. I had a chance to visit his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral.  It’s an impressive sarcophagus, and unusual in that most members of the royal family are buried in either Westminster Cathedral or on the grounds of Windsor Castle. But it was the prince’s own choice to be interred at Canterbury.  It made some sense since his wife was of Kentish origin.
  2. Although he was the oldest son and heir of Edward III, he never became king. He died about a year before his father did, probably of dysentery, likely contracted during one of his many campaigns on the continent. His son ruled later as Richard II.
  3. He was an exceptionally tall man for his time, standing about six foot four.
  4. His wife Joan, known as “the Fair Maid of Kent” had an incredibly tangled marital history. She’d been married twice before her marriage to the prince, although it’s questionable whether the second one was valid since her first husband was still living at the time.
  5. The traditional view of The Black Prince was that he was pretty vicious and tyrannical, but documents have recently come to light that call that judgement into question. He was certainly a good general with considerable aptitude for leadership and tactics.
  6. He actually spent most of his adult life on the continent, in what is now France, leading troops in battle and part of the time as the Prince of Aquitaine.
  7. No contemporary references refer to Edward as “The Black Prince.” That name doesn’t appear in the historical record until a couple of hundred years after his death and no one knows why he might have been so called.
  8. If you’ve seen the movie “A Knight’s Tale,” the prince that the hero jousts with when no one else will and who later saves him, is supposed to be Edward, the Black Prince.  (Note that he is shown in black clothing.)

Coming Next – A Very Different Story

Now that the Passions series of Medieval historical romances are all published, my next release will mark a major change of direction.  I go from well in the past to well in the future with CHECKMATE, a stand-alone novella. This is a wild ride without the domestic discipline or spanking scenarios of my other books, though it has plenty of kink!

It was originally published as part of the space pirates anthology titled PLEASURE RAIDERS, and then on its own. When my contract with the previous publisher expired I asked for and was granted the rights back to this one.

The cover is in development now and I hope to have it in a couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, here’s a fun blurb I wrote for it a while back:

Space pirates!  What’s not to love?  The novella CHECKMATE started out as part of an anthology called PLEASURE RAIDERS, released a few years ago by a publisher that is now defunct. With future technologies and galaxies and more to play with, I let my imagination run free. Space pirates with checkered pasts, well-guarded secrets, and uncertain futures? Check. Space bars and tavern fights? Check. Bizarre aliens with aggressive tendencies and strange laws? Check. A hero and heroine who are smart, strong, and capable? Check. Make them go through a series of public ‘games’ that test both their fighting and their sexual skills? Check. Finding love in the midst of all that? CHECKMATE.

You can read the first chapter here.

A juicier sneak peak will be coming in a few days.

All of the Passions Novels are Now Available

The last in the four-book series of Passions novels is now available.  Healing Passion released yesterday!

Re-release date June 1, 2017
Genre: Medieval historical, domestic discipline, BDSM
Length: Novel
Order eBook from:  Amazon    B&N    Kobo    iTunes

Read an Excerpt

Tag Line: The attraction between Lady Juliana and the king’s messenger, Sir Thomas Carlwick, is powerful, but he may not want her once he learns her devastating secret.

 

Short Blurb The king has charged Sir Thomas Carlwick with learning what became of Baron Groswick. No one has seen or heard from the man for more than a year. Thomas’ inquiries have so far turned up no sign of the Baron. When he goes to Groswick Keep, he gets a mixed reception. Young, lovely Lady Juliana welcomes him graciously, but that evening someone tries to kill him by firing a crossbow at him. Juliana apologizes and tends his injury. She also tells him she has no idea what happened to her husband, but she’s beginning to accept that he’s dead.

Thomas is attracted to Juliana, finding in her everything he’s wanted in a woman. Despite a past that was nearly destroyed by a woman’s lies, Thomas is ready to settle down again, and he believes Juliana is exactly what he’s looking for. As soon as he can prove Baron Groswick is dead, Juliana will be free to marry him.

But he may not want her anymore when he learns what really happened to Baron Groswick.

Dissecting the Covers for the Passions Series

Several readers have asked me about the gorgeous set of new covers for my Passions series. I’m so much happier with these covers than any of the ones they ever had in their previous incarnations.

I worked extensively with the cover designer to get exactly the look I wanted. We had several discussions over the “feel” of the design. She was incredibly patient, trying out various filigree border designs for the silver pieces at the top and bottom until we found just the right one. And then she tried out many shades of red to find the one that worked for me.

We agreed that my name should be in the same font and orientation she used on my Suburban Dominants series and the positioning of both the name and title would correlate. The font for the title though needed to look more historical, so she found one that had a very old English look.

That was the easy part. Finding the right images for the covers was a challenge. I must have looked at a gazillion stock photos to find just the ones I wanted. It isn’t easy to find stock photos of people in Medieval garb that don’t look too ridiculously fake, awkwardly posed or painfully inappropriate.

I went back and forth with the designer because not all of the pictures would work in the context of a cover. Some of them couldn’t be cropped to fit in the space, the model’s poses were wrong, or the colors clashed with the background. I didn’t like a lot of the models she suggested – they just didn’t seem right. We finally found three couples that worked well for the three novels and decided to go with just the armor and sword for the short story that leads off the series.

And the whip, of course. Sharp-sighted readers have noticed that there’s a whip in each of the covers. I wanted to convey somehow that these books contain BDSM, spanking, and domestic discipline as part of their theme.

There were compromises because of the limited number of models I found acceptable. The cover model of the knight on Ruling Passion has short blond hair, while Lord Jeoffrey’s hair is long. And the model on the cover of Binding Passion doesn’t have Philip’s curly hair, though we did find one with his neatly clipped beard.

Nonetheless, I’m more than happy with the way these covers came out.