Repost.Us

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

UNDER BY TREATY, a surreal journey of #Scifi #EroticRomance #BDSM #ASMSG


Sex, scifi, bondage, BDSM! Meet Jaden, a powerful alpha-male, a general defending Earth from the invading K'lahn. But, the war they thought was won is now escalating...

The President just signed a treaty to appease the rulers of the K'lahn with a suitable offering. General Jaden is now the property of Ambassador Sonil, to be trained for life as a sex slave to the Empress...




Description:

He’s hers by treaty. She wants his devotion.

General Jaden is a thorn in the Qui’s side. Ambassador Sonil is on Earth to extract him by treaty. When Jaden is stripped naked then caged, he gets a taste of how far she will go to ensure he is worthy of serving the Qui Empress. Her training is ruthless and alien rules apply. Failure is not an option; saving Earth from annihilation requires Jaden’s complete surrender.
But Sonil demands more than obedience. She wants his devotion.

Under By Treaty is a bold, fast-paced adventure of femdom erotic romance, with a strong alpha hero who must submit to an alien temptress to save the human race from decimation by the conquering might of the Qui Empire.

This erotic romance novel containing BDSM themes is the first installment of a science fiction series and part of the Surrender collection.



About Kayla Stonor


The first thing to tell you is that Kayla Stonor is my pen name. I tend to write erotic romance (aiming for the ‘happy ever after/happy for now’ endings) but as I love thriller/adventure themes with a darker edge, my stories are not the usual erotic romance fare.

In real life, I’m married with two children, and I keep my erotic writing at a long arms length from my private life. So much so, marketing  my work became impossible. Thankfully, Travis Luedke, a fellow author who writes his own unique brand of paranormal erotic romance, has encouraged me to publish new editions of my original stories and he will take on the marketing aspects! Travis is not short on ideas for the storylines either, but is a very patient and insightful editor, so I am hoping readers will enjoy the new editions!

Find Kayla at
http://kaylastonor.wordpress.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6470397.Kayla_Stonor
https://twitter.com/kaylastonor
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kayla-Stonor/292929264227566

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Science Behind Scifi ~ #Scifi #Fantasy #Paranormal #ASMSG


Check out the free ASMSG Scifi Fantasy Paranormal Emagazine! Compiled and edited by Joseph Murphy!

THE SCIENCE BEHIND SCIFI:

Light Behaving Badly
What’s a Story Molecule
Guardians of the Galaxy: Science Fiction or Fantasy
Lucy: Asking the Wrong Question
Time Flow in Speculative Fiction
In the Spotlight: Tammy Salyer
Why All Writers Should Do Book Reviews


Thursday, September 4, 2014

WICKED HOT READS ~ 10 #Paranormal #Romances to heat up your ereader! Only $.99! #ASMSG

 

Wicked Hot Reads: Ten Paranormal Romances
by Shoshanna Evers, Cathryn Fox, Sarah Mäkelä, A.C. James, Jan Springer, Milly Taiden, Lisa Hughey, Jessie Donovan, Titania Ladley, and Mina Carter


Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Date of Publication: October 7, 2014

Available NOW for preorder from:

iBooks:

Book Description:

WICKED HOT READS: Ten Paranormal Romances

Indulge in ten sexy paranormal romance novels, written by New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance authors. With shifters, vampires, demons, and otherworldly creatures all looking for their own forever-loves... This box set bundle will get you in the mood for a sensual Halloween!

The books in Wicked Hot Reads: 10 Paranormal Romances would cost over $30 to buy individually. Save $29 by getting the bundle for just 99c for a limited time!

Featuring:

Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining) by NYT & USA Today bestseller Shoshanna Evers: The Beast can’t let his little Beauty go free, not while there’s still hope that she might be the one to end his decade-long curse…

Knocking on Demon's Door by NYT & USA Today bestseller Cathryn Fox: When Michelle discovers what's really going on at the resort, will her trust in a demon turn her in to one of the missing, or will he save her from the real monsters?

The Wolf Who Played With Fire by NYT & USA Today bestseller Sarah Mäkelä: Mia’s mistakes have forever changed the lives of those close to her, but when her soldier boyfriend, Ethan, goes missing on duty, she harness every magic power she possesses to get him safely back…

Fallen Ever After by NYT & USA Today bestseller A.C. James: Arie wanted Holly from the very first moment he met her, but the long-standing feud between the faeries that run the Chicago Crew puts Holly and other fledgling vampires in danger. Can they stop a vampire-fae war that’s been brewing for nearly a century?
                    
Bared to Him by NYT & USA Today bestseller Jan Springer: Human by day, and a tentacle shapeshifter by night, sexy Gray Wagner, is the last male that Miranda Bolton dreams of falling in love with, until she begins to fantasize about all the naughty things he can do to her…

A Mate's Bite by USA Today bestseller Milly Taiden: After an explosive night of passion, Karla is sure she’s a one-night stand for the man she’s wanted for years, but Nate has marked Karla. Only true love and a wolf's promise can hold together a relationship created with a bite and a hope for tomorrow.

Archangel Rafe by Lisa Hughey: Angelina’s only respite from her overwhelming life is in her dreams with a stunningly hot angel, but when an unexpected threat puts both the Angelic Realm and Earth in jeopardy, Angelina will need to accept her destiny before it’s too late...

Blaze of Secrets by Jessie Donovan: Rescued from a prison for magic users, Kiarra is now a wanted criminal and must rely on a mysterious Brit to help her evade capture. Before long, her handsome rescuer becomes much more than just her trainer…

Mark of the Serapath by Titania Ladley: After a catastrophe unleashes Josie’s Serapathian witch magic, she suspects her sexy, mysterious lover is a Kynthian vampire ordered to kill all Serapaths. Despite the risks, passion explodes between them, threatening the future of the entire world.

Dragon’s Honor by Mina Carter: Bodyguard duty. Undercover. As human. Simple. Until shadow-dragon Baron realizes the woman they’re protecting is his mate. Add in a crazy warlock…and Baron might have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her.

About the Authors:

Shoshanna Evers
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories. She is best known for The Enslaved Trilogy, The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby, Overheated, Make Me, and How to Write Hot Sex. Evers is also the cofounder of SelfPubBookCovers.com, the largest selection of premade book covers in the world.

Reviewers have called Shoshanna’s writing “sensuous, delightful, and sizzling” with stories where “the plot is fresh and the pacing excellent, the emotions…real and poignant.” Shoshanna used to work as a syndicated advice columnist and a registered nurse, but now she’s a full-time romance writer and a home-schooling mom. She lives with her family and three big dogs in Northern Idaho, and loves to connect with readers!

To learn more, visit ShoshannaEvers.com,

Shoshanna wants to stay in touch!
Sign up for her newsletter to hear about new releases first, and read excerpts you won't find in the sample pages! ShoshannaEvers.com/newsletter


Cathryn Fox
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza and red wine. She has two teenagers who keep her busy with their never ending activities, and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. Cathryn can never find balance in her life, is always trying to find time to go to the gym, can never keep up with emails, Facebook or Twitter and tries to write page-turning books that her readers will love.

Visit Cathryn at www.cathrynfox.com
Twitter: @writercatfox


Sarah Mäkelä
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy...even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.


A.C. James
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author A.C. James writes paranormal romance and erotica, including Eternal Ever After which was featured in the bestselling Spice Box anthology. She pounds out sexy scenes at her keyboard where romance is laced with horror in hot stories of vampires and bad boy werewolves. Her stories feature strong heroines and alpha heroes, with plenty of action, twists, and turns that will keep you turning pages.

A.C. resides in northeast Pennsylvania where she entertains her husband with her imaginative yarns and quirky sense of humor. She spends her time drinking large vats of coffee while taming two toddlers by day and writing by night. Recovering video game beta tester and tech geek who grew-up going to cons and watching SmackDown. There's probably some cosplay pictures around somewhere of her dressed up as Bloodberry from Saber Marionette J. Just don't tell anyone.

She loves to hear from readers on her website www.acjames.com. Please subscribe to her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ApQ7z

Jan Springer
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jan Springer writes in scenic cottage country, Ontario Canada. Hobbies include hiking, gardening, canning preserves, painting ceramics and dodging mosquitoes in the spring, summer and fall. Her best friend is an electric snow shovel in winter. She's a member of RWA, Passionate Ink and the Author's Union of Canada.

She loves hearing from her readers. Visit her site at http://www.janspringer.com

Milly Taiden
Hi! I'm Milly Taiden (AKA April Angel). I love to write sexy stories. They're usually either paranormal or contemporary with a large dose of heat. My paranormal stories can be anything from wolf-shifters (my favorites) to witches, demons and anything in between. 

I was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. Currently, I live in New York City with my hubby, the bossy kiddo and our little dog "Needy Speedy". Don't ask.

I am addicted to shoe shopping, chocolate (but who isn't, right?) and Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

Come on over and visit me! I love to meet new readers!

Like my books? Want to stay on top of all things Milly? Sign up for my newsletter at http://mad.ly/signups/87477/join

There’s a giveaways to all the emails signed up to get the latest news on my releases.

Find out more about Milly Taiden here:
Facebook Friend Page: http://www.facebook.com/milly.taiden

Lisa Hughey
Lisa Hughey has been writing romance since the fourth grade, which was also about the time she began her love affair with spies. Harriet and Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys later gave way to James Bond and Lara Croft and Jason Bourne.

Exploring the complex nature of a profession that requires subterfuge and lies fascinates her. She loves combining her two passions into fiction. As evidenced by her Black Cipher Files series.

Archangel Rafe was her first foray into the paranormal but after spending time in the Angelic Realm, it won't be her last. At their heart, the Seven novels are about the dynamics of family relationships. But the really hot Archangels don't hurt.

And recently she's been immersed in the Stone Family novellas, four stories about a blended family of brothers and sister who have a lot more in common than they realize. But of course she couldn't just write about family and romance. There are complex plots, bad guys, and suspense too.

Lisa loves to hear from readers and has various places you can connect with her, although, shh, Twitter is her favorite.

Follow Lisa on Twitter www.twitter.com/lisahughey
Visit Lisa on the Web www.lisahughey.com
Her Group Blog, the Pens Fatales www.pensfatales.com
Be Lisa's Friend on Goodreads www.goodreads/lisahughey

Jessie Donovan
Jessie Donovan wrote her first story at age five, and after discovering the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey in junior high, realized that people actually wanted to read stories like those floating around inside her head. From there on out, she was determined to tap into her over-active imagination and write a book someday.

After living abroad for five years and earning degrees in Japanese, Anthropology, and Secondary Education, she buckled down and finally wrote her first full-length book. While that story will never see the light of day, it laid the world-building groundwork of what would become her debut paranormal romance, Blaze of Secrets.

Jessie loves to interact with readers. When not reading a book or traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, can often be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Join Jessie's newsletter here: http://bit.ly/19FmZbt or visit her website for information at: www.jessiedonovan.com

Titania Ladley
Bestselling author Titania Ladley is a registered nurse and erotic romance author living in Wisconsin, USA. She is published with Ellora's Cave, Samhain Publishing, and Red Sage. Her erotic romance genres and sub-genres include menage M/M/F, menage M/F/M, lesbian, gay, paranormal, historical, contemporary, vampire, and many more including light bondage BDSM. Keep up-to-date on Titania's website or join her newsletter for news, contests, and fun extras.

She also writes under the pseudonym Roxana Blaze.

Enjoy Titania's (aka Roxana's) books! http://www.TitaniaLadley.com
Subscribe to Titania's newsletter - http://bit.ly/1gLtR7L

Mina Carter
Mina Carter is a bestselling, multi-genre author, a prolific digital artist, and a photographer. She lives in the UK with her husband, daughter and a bossy cat who prefers to sleep on her desk rather than his bed.

Connect with Mina online at:

If you’d like to be notified of new releases AND get free eBooks sign up here: http://eepurl.com/dCFGs. Your email address will never be shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.


Giveaway:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Scifi Romance PREORDER Bash! Two awesome novels at a discount! #Scifi #Romance #ASMSG


JOIN EVENT HERE: https://www.facebook.com/events/1466048123652989/


From August 24 - 30th, join the Facebook Bash for giveaways of signed paperbacks, ebooks, and more!

Scifi, Romance, Fantasy, Aliens, Sex Magic, BDSM, have it all with Kayla Stonor and Patricia Knight!


UNDER BY TREATY: General Jaden is stolen across the galaxy to the Empire of the Qui and forced into submission to an Alien Empress. He's hers by Treaty. She wants his devotion.  
Releases September 9th.
Grab UNDER BY TREATY by Kayla Stonor for only $1.99


HERS TO CLAIM: Hel, a descendant of Kings, bows low to beg for help to rid his lands of a killing blight so evil it corrupts the very ground they walk on.  His salvation lies in the hands of Adonia, a common healer whose untapped power is called upon to save all of Verdantia. 

Releases September 12th
Grab HERS TO CLAIM by Patricia Knight for only $2.99
smarturl.it/HersToClaim

Both amazing novels are on discount until September release! Grab them now!





Friday, August 22, 2014

$119 Kindle Paperwhite for $3? Yep. #Giveaway #Paranormal #Romance #ASMSG


$119.00 Kindle Paperwhite for $2.99? Yep

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ALMOST something for nothing!
To launch Pre-Orders of HERS TO CLAIM, Book 4 in the Verdantia Series, I am offering a$119.00 Kindle Paperwhite for $2.99, andGIVING AWAY signed bookmarks and an autographed paperback copy of each title in the series: Hers To Command, Hers To Choose & Hers To Cherish!

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Here's the deal:

Enter the Rafflecopter and Pre-order Hers To Claim (at the pre-order price of $2.99), email me the proof, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a new Kindle Paperwhite valued at $119.00. 

TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE PAPERWHITE, YOU MUST SEND ME AN EMAIL WITH PROOF OF PURCHASE TO:patriciaknight190@gmail.com. Please put "PROOF OF PURCHASE" in the subject line.

You can also win a signed bookmark or an authographed copy of one of these titles: Hers To Command, Hers To Choose and Hers To Cherish ~~ no purchase required ~~ just share are variety of ways on social media.

Join The Thunderclap campaign and Help spread the word!  https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/15225-hers-to-claim-preorder-blowout?locale=en

This rafflecopter begins NOW and ends SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 with the release of Hers To Claim at the normal price of $4.99.

AVAILABLE PRIZES:
>> WIN A SIGNED BOOKMARK 
>> WIN A SIGNED PAPERBACK OF HERS TO COMMAND
>> WIN A SIGNED PAPERBACK OF HERS TO CHOOSE
>> WIN A SIGNED PAPERBACK OF HERS TO CHERISH
>> WIN A KINDLE PAPERWHITE*** 

***KINDLE PAPERWHITE ENTRANTS MUST PROVIDE PROOF OF PREORDER PURCHASE


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

RECKLESS ~ Musicians, Bikers and Babes #EroticRomance #ASMSG


Go back to the days of high school and college with Crystal and Chad...

Chad is in the band Reckless. Crystal is their biggest fan, but the band treats her like she's just a groupie. Reckless isn't really going anywhere, mostly because their rhythm guitarist, Phil, plays without energy or passion.

On his own, Chad decides to replace Phil with Crystal. The rest of the band balks until they hear her play. Then they quickly forget Chad went around them and welcome Crystal to the band.

After Crystal and Chad both go through painful break-ups, Crystal is a bit jaded. Then a new musician in town, Paulie, walks into their lives. He is exactly what Crystal and Reckless need. He takes the band and Crystal's heart for a ride none of them will ever forget.

Amazon:

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18742531-reckless

 EXCERPT:

“I found the perfect rhythm guitarist,” Chad said to Andy, as he looked at me and winked.
I wrung my hands and hoped they accepted me. There were all-girl bands in our high school, but that was not the same. Joining Reckless would change things, hopefully for the better.
I closed my eyes for a few seconds and imagined playing for a crowd like Gasoline attracted. Suddenly, Tommy Fischer, their bassist, came into the vision. He was playing right next to me. Then he leaned forward and kissed me.
“Wait. I play rhythm,” Phil countered, jolting me out of my fantasy.
Andy scowled. “Why the fuck d’you keep making decisions for all of us?”
Chad ignored Andy and laughed. “Sorry, man, but you suck. We need a roadie anyway.”
“Fuck that, man!” Phil put his guitar on a stand. “You can’t just bring some guy in here after we been working all these months.” He paused a few seconds. “Hey! What’d you mean, I suck?”
Daniel was twirling a stick as he sat behind the drum set. “Well, you do, dude. None of us wanted to tell you. Guess Chad finally got the balls.”
“If we wanna play gigs, we gotta sound good,” Jay added.
Phil sat down and pouted for a minute then asked, “So where is he?”
Arms folded over his chest, Andy glared at Chad. “Yeah, where is he? Phil’s replacement could at least be on time.”
Chad grinned. “She’s here.”
“Crystal?” Andy asked. “You gotta be shitting me!” He quickly doubled over with laughter and couldn’t stop.
Daniel sighed. “We can’t have a girl in the band. No one’d take us seriously.” He tapped a cymbal. “Unless she’s gonna play naked.” His eyebrows rose.
Chad glared at Daniel for a few seconds then turned to me. “Baby.” He handed me his guitar. “Blow them away.”
I smiled widely and got in position to play. I took a deep breath and started Gasoline’s “Devil’s Boy,” playing the lead line.
When I was done, the garage was completely silent. Everyone was staring at me with their mouths open. Including Andy from the floor, where he had fallen. I grinned, more proud of myself than I had ever been.
“How the hell did you do that?” Daniel broke the silence.
Chad beamed. “She’s amazing. Ain’t she?” He kissed my cheek. “See, baby girl? Told ya.” He had never been so excited.
“I know.” I looked up at him towering over me. “You taught me well.”
Phil jumped up. “So, what’re you guys waiting for? She kicks ass! Tell her she can play!”
Andy stood up and came over to Chad and I. “I’m sorry I laughed at you.” He held his hand out. “Welcome to the band.” Obviously, he’d let go the fact that Chad pushed me on them.
I shook his hand as excitement filled me. “Cool, thanks.”
“Now let’s play ‘Fuck ’Em All.’ “ Daniel hit a snare drum. “Phil, give her your guitar.”
Phil stood up. “Get the hell outta here! I get kicked out, and she plays my Gibson. No way!”
“I got mine right here.” I walked to the back of the garage and opened a case against the back wall. When I had it plugged in, I asked, “Ready?”
Then Daniel started his intro. Soon after Chad came in, I did as well, playing a piece I had written weeks ago for the song. With Chad’s encouragement, I had written a rhythm part for every one of their songs. Phil’s were not my style. At that moment, I realized Chad planned to get me into the band all along.
“Damn!” Jay shouted when it had ended. “That was 10 times better.” He cringed and looked towards Phil who was pouting again. “Sorry, man. But she can wail.”
Phil exhaled loudly. “Yeah, I know, but you don’t gotta be so happy about it.”

We played several more songs, and they had the same reaction to them. I smiled when I realized they weren’t going to change their minds. I was really in a band. Finally!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Bella Jeanisse hails from New York City. At 10 years old, Bella picked up her first guitar. She was instantly hooked. Because of her deep passion for tall men, rock music, tattoos and motorcycles, she has gotten to know many musicians and roadies over the years—in every possible way. And although she has been writing risqué stories about musicians for many years, she has just recently taken these tales to the next level revealing, through her protagonists, the hold some of these men still have on her. They have inspired more than they ever imagined.
Now living in Florida with her three sons, she juggles domestic responsibilities, a social life, her career as an IT professional and her writing as carefully as possible. They do cross paths as you have seen in her first collection of short stories. Her life is busy and full, yet very fulfilling.
The few limits Bella puts on her love-life may be found as but a shadow in her writing. She draws from life, fantasy and inspiration to create each tale.
Bella has broadened her horizons to include short stories, Insatiable Appetites, with many more to come, some just a sentence at this point. The subjects range from military men to biker chicks to naughty doctors and much, much more.
The Triple Threat universe is growing… Wicked End 2 (Sinful Needs) is next. Gasoline 2 (Evolving Urges) and Triple Threat 3 (Dual Desires) are in process. Soon enough you’ll get to know Silverblade, Main Street and Brass Monkey too… so many hot rock stars, so little time to make them come to life.

Follow Bella on Twitter @BellaJeanisse and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Bella.Jeanisse.Books.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Been waiting for HERS TO CLAIM by Patricia Knight? GET IT NOW Preorder! #PNR #ASMSG


Amazon has given Indie authors an early Christmas present this year! PREORDERS!

Patricia Knight planned her book release for the 15th of August, but, since Amazon dropped this bomb in our laps yesterday, marketing plans were scrapped for the awesome power of preorders!

Instead, Patricia is offering her new release on discount, for $2.99! 
Get it now preorder -- price goes up to $4.99 on the new release day, September 12th.




THE BLURB:

Scornfully rejected by her desert lover and uncertain of her place in the world, Adonia travels an arduous road fraught with peril to the fabled mountain-city of Nyth Uchel. She wishes to heal their sick and dying, but in the arms of Hel—their highborn prince—Adonia discovers where she longs to belong.

Noble born, a descendant of the greatest kings their planet has known, Hel willingly bears the burden of his dying city and its people on his massive shoulders—alone. But forced to watch helplessly as a dark evil attacks the very soil under his feet, he crushes his pride to summon help. He is staggered to discover the answer to saving his city and perhaps all Verdantia might lie behind a heavy fall of chocolate hair and shy brown eyes.    

As their entire planet faces encroaching black death, Hel and Adonia, two seemingly disparate individuals, forge a partnership of love and sacrifice that alters their future forever.





HELP PATRICIA KNIGHT's new release rankings and catch a discount!

PREORDER NOW!

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from Hers To Claim by Patricia Knight:

Chapter Two

Adonia Corvus shook off the peculiar agitation that had engulfed her body when she locked eyes with Prince DeHelios and followed Ari, Doral and Fleur through the halls toward Ari’s office. She pulled her soft wrap closer around her bony shoulders with a convulsive shiver. Until almost two years ago, she had known nothing but the searing heat of the Oshtesh wastelands. Even the temperate climate of Sylvan Mintoth chilled her tall, spare, twenty-eight year old body.
Doral murmured something to his queen and she flashed a glance toward Adonia.
“Adonia, are you cold, again? The trees still hold their leaves. It is a warm fall day. However did you survive last winter?” Queen Constante laughed at her healer’s answering shudder and grimace. “You have been at the High Enclave for over a year. Your blood must have thickened a little.”
 “It seems not, Ma’am.” Adonia schooled the tartness out of her voice. With two attentive lovers, Fleur would never know the coldness of isolation or lack the warmth of human contact. Adonia’s eyes shifted enviously to the ice-bear pelts wrapping Prince DeHelios and she sighed inwardly. I could put those heavy furs to good use. Drawn by some inexorable attraction, her eyes tracked upward and the same hyper-awareness as in the audience hall sparked through her as she met his gaze. By the Goddess! The man winked at me. She hurried to stay even with Fleur.
“I had a high compliment about you, today,” Fleur teased, craning her neck to meet Adonia’s gaze.
“Oh?”
“Yes, from the Senior Medicus of the High Enclave.”
“The senior medicus?”
“Yes. Elder Beckton said he’d never before had a student with such a voracious capacity for learning. He told me you’d flown through the basic and intermediate material on applying healing magicks and were well into the advanced uses.” Fleur smiled as her head bobbed in time with Doral’s steps.
“He’s a good teacher.” Adonia’s voice fell to almost a whisper. “It is my heart’s desire to be able to apply the magicks in my healing, but I cannot use the diaman crystals. My learning is all theoretical.”
“You are an exceptional medica—even without the magicks,” Fleur maintained stoutly.
Yes, but if not for my common blood, I could do so much more. Adonia dropped her gaze to the floor and shrugged. “Thank you, Ma’am. I do what I can.”    
She counted everyday spent with the medicae of the High Enclave a blessing. Her skill with the healing arts had increased tenfold as she gorged her mind on the practical knowledge in the High Enclave’s great library.
Practical knowledge did nothing to assuage her obsessive fascination with the magickal rites—the sexual rites the highborn with their prized genetics used to energize diaman crystals to power their working of the healing magicks. But, that knowledge was of dubious use to her. Elder Beckton had shaken his head in apology. “Only the highborn need learn this. You waste your time with those books.”
Her innermost yearning could never be realized. She resigned herself to be an onlooker, never a participant. She lacked the inherited talents bred into the noble houses for over five hundred years. Probably not a bad thing. The Great Rite is said to be arduous—dangerous to a woman’s sanity. I’d likely wind up like that poor insane creature whose cries filter through the hall near my rooms. A tendril of fear snaked up her spine. Still…I wonder…
“Your practical skills serve well, Adonia, and I am grateful that Eric and Sophi were willing to part with you.” Doral’s low voice brought a flush to her face. She hadn’t realized the Segundo took note of her existence. I should know by now that nothing associated with our queen goes unnoticed by Ari or Doral.
Her close friendship with the Fleur exposed her to the indelible bond between the Tetriarch. At times, she had to turn away beset by want, overwhelmed by the love that flowed between the three. I have love to give a man. But two years ago, she’d buried those desires deep and had thrown herself into her studies. She gave her love to her patients. It was too painful to do otherwise.
As the group settled itself into the comfortable leather furnishings of Ari’s office, Adonia shook off her troublesome thoughts and composed herself to listen. A pungent smell stung her nostrils. She turned her head, sniffing, lifting her chin to follow the smell—and came eye to eye with the hulk that proclaimed himself DeHelios. She dropped her head and turned away at his observant grin.
“I’ve had no time for the luxury of a bath, Lady. I expect I’m rather ripe.”
“More like something long dead and rotting.” she muttered under her breath.
The hulk leaned over and whispered, “It must be the bear pelts you smell, Lady. Every part of me is alive.”
He’d heard her! Adonia shot him a sharp glance then faced forward. Did her flirt with her? Surely not. Unthinkable. She snuck a peek out of the corner of her eye. By Her light. The grin had vanished but his eyes still laughed at her above a face obscured by curly black hair. She fidgeted with the two-headed phoenix charm on the chain around her neck and concentrated her attention on Ari.
“State your business, Prince DeHelios. You said something about a magistra, a healer and brite-weed.”
 DeHelios stood and shrugged off his heavy outwear before he addressed the room, turning in a semi-circle as he spoke their names. “High Lord DeTano, Your Majesty, Visconte DeLorion, Lord Ramsey, Lieutenant Colonel…”
“Oh, by Her stars, Sir. Let’s not stand on ceremony.” Queen Constante interrupted DeHelios with a smile. “I am Fleur.” Her arm gestured to her right and then to her left. “Ari and Doral. Ramsey and Steffania. My medica, Adonia. And you are?”
“Hel.”
“Yes, yes, but your first name is?” Silence settled into the room. “Sir?” said the queen.
“Just Hel.”
“Your mother named you Hel?”
“Just call me “Hel.” DeHelios folded his arms and scowled.
With a rueful shake of her head, Fleur conceded. “All right, just Hel. Continue.”
The man gathered his thoughts for a moment then frowned. “I suppose it all began with the Haarb invasion of Nyth Uchel and the massacre of House DeHelios. Their armies took the city completely by surprise.”
“I understand the Haarb attacked you early in the war. Most Verdantians were unaware we had been invaded,” said Doral.
“Yes. And our estates are more isolated than most.” Hel gazed off at some unseen horizon. “My younger brother and I had gone down our mountain to track and verify the rumor of war and invasion. We returned to discover that war and invasion had come to us.” Hel walked to a window and looked out. Every eye followed him. “The Haarb looted the city and massacred the living. In the weeks that followed, survivors filtered back into Nyth Uchel but at the time of our return, all we saw was death.
“For the first time in our history, Torre Bianca stood dark against the sky, her diamantorre shattered.  Nyth Uchel and the city below lay in ruins. Partially consumed bodies lay everywhere, the wolves and other scavengers so glutted they had eaten only the choicest parts.” Hel tapped on the stone sill while he spoke. “My brother and I buried my entire family—my older brother, his wife and their three children, my mother, my father, my wife and,” Hel paused and took a deep breath, “my six-year old son and two-year old daughter.”
Adonia ached at the heartbreak poorly concealed in his flat voice. With a tiny, almost inaudible moan, Fleur slipped her hand into Ari’s. Her other reached up and found Doral’s resting on the back of her chair.
Hel turned to face the room, his arms loosely crossed, his hip cocked on the window casement. He gazed unseeing at the floor. “In the years that followed, I haunted the Haarb patrols that trespassed onto my mountain and made them pay.”
Doral spoke into the pause. “Very early in the war, I heard tales of the bás dtost of Nyth Uchel—the ‘silent death’—of Haarb soldiers gutted and left hanging from trees by their intestines. We were never sure if it was a superstitious tale or fact. That was you.”
Hel’s eyes held Doral’s and Adonia didn’t think she’d ever seen a face so bleak.
“Yes. That was me. I thought that death befitting for it was what they had done to me. Their screams were poor compensation for my loss.”
“Another lull settled into the room until Hel gave a sigh and a shrug. “Finally, the Haarb stopped coming and the news of their defeat reached even the isolation of Nyth Uchel. I returned to my shattered city, my people, and we tried to rebuild.”
 “It was during that time that I noticed…” Hel frowned and gave a puzzled shake of his head. “…dead zones in the forest surrounding Nyth Uchel—pockets of death where nothing lived, no animal, no green growth. A foul blight polluted the soil. Since that time, the areas of blight have expanded unchecked and one now threatens the western border of Nyth Uchel. This unnatural contagion kills the soil and all that grows in it and it is slowly killing my people. I don’t know how it spreads, but the foulness attacks a person’s soul, their spirit, their anima, feeding on their life force until the afflicted simply lose the desire to live. My people call it fading.”
 “Is there a cure for this fading? Is there some way to impede the blight?” The gentle voice of Fleur broke into his pause.
“Brite-weed administered early and often can sometimes stop death, but it is an uncertain cure. Energized diaman crystals halt the spread of the contagion on the ground—confine it. We established a diaman perimeter around Nyth Uchel, but the contagion continually threatens. My warden tells me the blight has penetrated the western border.”
Hel paused, closed his eyes and his head fell back. Adonia could see the fatigue that worry and hardship had inflicted in the way he half-sat, half-stood, propped on the window casement, a man at the end of his resources.
The desire to help this beleaguered soul who had taken so much upon himself grew inside Adonia. This descendent of kings had stripped himself of all pride to obtain assistance for those dependent on him. She knew something about losing one’s pride. “You must care deeply for your people.”
Hel frowned at her. “I am DeHelios.” His statement implied an obvious answer to an unnecessary question and she felt the hot flush of embarrassment. With a slow exhale, Hel continued. “Our quarries labored night and day to replace Torre Bianca’s shattered diamantorre. We heard of DeTano’s defeat of the Haarb and then watched brilliance light the horizons as Verdantia’s sigil towers regained life.
Now, I lack only a magistra to partner me in the Great Rite and the White Tower will once more blaze in Verdantia’s night sky. I am hopeful, once re-vitalized, Torre Bianca’s energy will combat the evil menacing Nyth Uchel.”
Ari cleared his throat. “Would that we could help you, but the ugly truth is we have no magistras—not of sufficient age to perform the Great Rite. Other than our queen and Sophi, Doral’s sister, our oldest magistra is thirteen years of age. She lacks a decade to be of use to you.” Ari nodded at Hel’s appalled exclamation. “Yes. The Haarb repeated the massacre inflicted on Nyth Uchel throughout all of Verdantia. They learned of the crucial role our magistras played in our magicks and they targeted them. The Haarb’s elimination of all our magickal practitioners was horrifically thorough. Our noble houses number a mere handful.”
“But, how did all the sigil towers…?” Hel faltered to a stop.
“We are a true Tetriarch,” Fleur said. “Just as with your ancestors, Primo Federago, Segundo Agentio and Prima Isolde, the First Tetriarch, Mother Verdantia has gifted the three of us with the ability to empower all the sigil towers on the face of Verdantia when we make love.”
Comprehension dawned across Hel’s face and he scanned the room, his eyes setting first on Fleur, then Ari and finally, Doral.
“How did you think the towers were empowered?” Doral asked, his voice benign.
Adonia sat bolt upright and paid close attention. She’d heard that tone from Doral before and it usually preceded something lethal. Ramsey and Steffania in their positions near the door had straightened also.
“I thought it done in the conventional manner, a magistra and magister performed the Great Rite. I never considered the much-heralded Second Tetriarch a true triad. How could you be? You aren’t of the DeHelios bloodline.” Hel’s eyes swung to Fleur and unease furrowed his brow. “I…thought our Constante queen hot-blooded, desirous of variety…perhaps, one lover insufficient for her...” His voice trailed off.
He extended a hand toward Fleur but a low growl from Doral cut off what Hel might have said next.
The High Lord of Verdantia’s eyes held heat and his clipped words threw down a challenge. “The Senzienza called to us. There was no mistaking Her message. Once the three of us came together, there was no mistaking the authenticity of the Second Tetriarch.”
“Stop it. Both of you. He didn’t know. He meant no insult.” Fleur’s eyes lifted to hold Hel’s with a slight frown. “You didn’t, did you? Mean to insult me?”
Adonia could have hugged the young woman. Fleur’s sweet nature defused a potentially lethal confrontation between three proud men.
Hel straightened and stood stiffly. “Your Majesty, I—.”
He never completed his thought as Fleur’s hands shooed him into silence. “Never mind. It’s not important. Tell us how we can help you and Nyth Uchel.”
Hel bridged his temple with his hand and rubbed. “I, ah, I need to sit down,” and proceeded to collapse into the chair next to Adonia. “So…no magistra. My problem is more ominous than I thought.” He dropped his face into his hands and Adonia wanted to put a hand out to comfort him—but didn’t. She didn’t know if this proud man would accept it or embarrass her again by shrugging it off.
Hel exhaled heavily, sat up and faced Ari. “As soon as the Haarb retreated from Verdantia, we rebuilt the shattered diamantorre. If you re-energized all of the sigil towers on Verdantia, then Torre Bianca should be lit like a star in the night sky.
Ari pursed his mouth in thought. “We have always regretted the absence of Torre Bianca’s light in the eastern skies. Our planetary shield is weak in one quarter of the western hemisphere without her. We assumed white tower destroyed. We meant to send a party to explore why she remained dark, but…”
Hel nodded. “We are not easy to reach, particularly during winter.”
“Your damned mountain is impossible during winter. A man on foot, perhaps, but not a work party,” Doral murmured.
Ari grunted an agreement. “Since the coronation of our queen, the Tetriarch has performed the Great Rite at least once a month—barring those months when our queen’s pregnancies excluded her. Torre Bianca should be as a star dropped from heaven. There is some other malignancy at work.”
Hel sagged in the chair, his devastation apparent. He scrubbed his face with his hands for a moment and then stood, pacing to the window. “I still have need of a healer and brite-weed.”
Adonia spoke before thinking. “I will go with him. I would like to see the fabled Nyth Uchel and the celebrated Torre Bianca. I would like to help in whatever way I can.” She rose from her chair and stepped toward Fleur. “You have many skilled medicae to attend you, Ma’am. While not as advanced as some, I am a skilled healer and I’m used to hardship. I have studied with all the medicae at the High Enclave. From the sounds of conditions, I’d give ninety percent of them a week, or less, before they retreated to Sylvan Mintoth—if they even finished the journey to Nyth Uchel.”
“Are you sure, Adonia? It will be arduous and quite possibly dangerous.” Fleur's delicate brow knit with concern.
Adonia met Fleur’s eyes. She would miss the young queen. Other than Sophi DeStroia, her former flight leader, this was her only woman friend—well, actually, her only friend in Sylvan Mintoth—but this opportunity was unprecedented. “My Queen, I was medica and First Arrow of Falcon Flight. I am a skilled archer and highly trained in mounted combat. We of the desert-dwelling Oshtesh fought in the last Haarb battle of Vergaza alongside several of those in this chamber. I have known the hard life of the arid wastelands and have traveled the long road from Sh’r Un Kree to Sylvan Mintoth. I am not afraid of the danger or the hardship. If Prince DeHelios will have me, I want to go.” Adonia felt the weight of Hel’s perusal and turned to face him. After a long, anxious moment watching him silently evaluate her, he lifted his chin and brought it down decisively.
“Yes. I will have you.”
The peculiar, slow twist Hel gave to his words made Adonia wonder if he intended another meaning, but she shook the thought away as ridiculous. He couldn’t want her that way. Klaran’s damning words rang in her memory as clearly as if her lover had spoken them yesterday instead of almost two years ago.
“What is it you don’t understand? I’m done with you. You got me into service with Ducca DeStroia and out of Sh’r Un Kree—for that, I thank you. But, did you seriously expect me to stay with you when I had a choice? There is nothing womanly about you. From your body to your soul you are a hard creature.” Her former intended’s furiously hurled words had stripped her soul bare and the lush-figured, doe-eyed beauty who had replaced Adonia in his arms had loosed the killing shot. “No man wants between the legs of a gawky, stick figure reeking of some vile concoction.”
Adonia had fled to Sylvan Mintoth under the guise of advancing her medical knowledge. The compassion in Eric and Sophi DeStroia’s eyes when they released her from their service had been the ultimate humiliation. She’d run like a whipped dog.
“Lord Ramsey, I would like you to go with Adonia.” Fleur glanced across the room to Ramsey DeKieran and Adonia disguised a laugh with a cough when he abruptly straightened after a hard poke from his wife. While the rest of the party sat in the comfortable sofas and chairs around Ari’s office, DeKieran and his new wife had remained lounging, side-by-side, against the wall by the door. Adonia had caught the intense stares and occasional murmurs Ram and Steffania had exchanged throughout the past hour. From the blush that crept up Steffania’s cheeks when Ramsey fingered her exquisite choker of beaten gold, Adonia doubted that either had heard much of what had transpired in the last few minutes.
“Huh? What? Um, pardon me, Ma’am. I didn’t catch what you said.”
From the mischief in Fleur’s eyes, Adonia revised her assumption. Perhaps she was not the only one to catch their interchange of heated looks and whispers. “I wish you to accompany Adonia to Nyth Uchel and stay until she is ready to return. She will need an escort home and I don’t want her dependent upon Prince DeHelios or his people to provide one.”
Fleur’s gaze returned to Hel. “No disrespect intended but should Adonia wish to leave at any time, I want her free to do so.” The queen’s gaze then found Adonia. “And Adonia, while you are most capable, you will travel through country with unknown dangers. It will ease my heart to know you have a strong blade at your side.”
 “So, Lord Ramsey? Will you go?”
“To Nyth Uchel?” Ram blinked several times. “With him?”
Hel looked affronted. Doral laughed softly and then murmured something to Ari and a grin split the High Lord’s solemn face. Adonia would give anything to know what Doral had said.
Steffania whispered something to Lord DeKieran and he performed a sketchy bow. “Ah, if you ask it, Ma’am.” An expression of disgust flashed across Ramsey’s face and with hands on hips, he turned to Hel. “I suppose you want your horse back.”
~ ~ ~
Adonia could see the stars dotting the night sky through the windows of the sitting area in her room. Diaman crystal globes illuminated the spacious accommodations and a bronze brazier filled with glowing crystals radiated heat enough to warm an area twice its size. A small leather duffle sat in one of the chairs. It had taken little time to pack her few possessions—a medica’s robe and two changes of clothing, a hairbrush and some ties to bind her hair. Her medicines took far longer, and she knelt on the floor as, for a third time, she ran through the inventory of medicines and herbs she intended to take. A sharp rap on her door jerked her upright. Who? At this advanced hour? Had someone fallen sick? She opened the door and drew back in surprise.
“High Lord! Come in, come in.”
Ari entered with a bundle of plush black fur in his arms and stopped in the middle of her room. “We want you to have this.” He held up the fur and the glorious item unfurled. Its silky hairs reflected the light in a thousand blue-black sparkling glitters and Adonia exclaimed in wonder.
“Mynx! By the Mother, I have never seen an entire garment of it.” Ari held out a full-length coat of the exotic alien fur. “Sir! This fur is brought from off-world. One tiny pelt is impossibly expensive—to have an entire coat! It is far too valuable. I cannot take this.”
Ari crossed behind her and placed the coat on her shoulders. The gossamer fur waved from just the passage of her breath across it.
“Put it on. Let me see if it will fit.”
Adonia reluctantly put her arms into the sleeves and allowed Ari to snug the coat up to her neck and fasten the clips that held it closed—then he stood back and observed her. “Good. It is not too long. The shoulders are big, but that will allow for extra layers underneath.”
She laughed at the four inches extending beyond her fingertips. “I suppose I could cuff them.” Adonia held her hands to her face and nestled her nose and cheeks into the thick, black pile. She luxuriated in its extraordinary softness and then raised her face with a sigh. “Sir, I cannot accept this. This is a garment for heads of state—or those with enough money to buy planets. While I appreciate the queen’s generosity, I cannot take it.”
“It’s not from the queen.” The High Lord smiled and his expression softened to one of pleasure. “I gave it as a gift to Doral. Since he is going nowhere for many months, he wants you to have it. He says you suffer from the cold more than most.” Ari laughed at her expression. “The things he notices amaze me, also. If nothing else, consider it a gift of thanks for your tender care of our queen. She values your friendship. Because of her position, it is hard for her to have true friends. She counts you among the few.” Adonia dropped her gaze and looked away uncertain what to do. Ari snorted in mock irritation. “If you won’t take it, you will have to return it to Doral. I don’t dare tell him I failed in his errand.” Ari leaned over and whispered, “He’s a scary man. I fear to cross him.”
Recognizing a blatant lie—Doral was a ‘scary man,’ but Ari crossed him with impunity all the time—Adonia addressed him with skeptical eyes. Of their own volition, her palms stroked the silky fur and her fingers sank into its thick pelt. In this garment, she felt distinguished, like royalty, and it would be so warm. Nothing she owned approached it on any level. With a heavy sigh, wishing she weren’t so weak, she surrendered to the temptation. “Thank Segundo DeLorion for me. Tell him that I’ll borrow it and return it when I come back.”
The High Lord’s smile left his face and he studied her in silence for a long moment. “If you come back. DeHelios needs a wife and from the way he looks at you, I shouldn’t be surprised if he intends to keep you.”
Adonia’s eyes widened. “He is highborn, a prince of the first noble House of Verdantia. I’m common—an ordinary Oshtesh woman from the desert. He would never consider me for a wife.”
The High Lord’s eyes lingered on her. He wore the strangest smile on his handsome face. “Do you really regard yourself as common?” But before Adonia could summon the courage to ask him what that cryptic comment meant, he bowed, wished her, “Safe journey,” and left.
As she stroked the luxurious fur, Adonia considered his remark. She’d always taken comfort from the thought she was a common desert woman. She’d never questioned the rightness of her way of life with the Oshtesh until her encounter with Doral’s sister, Sophi, and her now-husband, Eric DeStroia. After the cataclysmic events surrounding the battle of Vergaza, Adonia had realized prejudice and ignorance warped much of what she’d been taught growing up.
The small religious sect her parents belonged to had indoctrinated Adonia with a scornful contempt for the aristocracy but in a matter of months, she’d shed their influence and opened her mind to a different way of thinking. She’d been wrong about many things. The realization had hurt, but she’d swallowed her pride, owned up to her prejudices and set about changing how she thought and behaved. Throughout her internal upheaval, she’d clung to one certainty—Klaran cared for her. She had a place. She was Klaran’s betrothed, his future wife.
It had taken Klaran mere moments to obliterate her self-worth and years later, she still bled from the gaping wound. Klaran’s words had done more than strip her of any sense she was desirable. His betrayal had obliterated her identity, her confidence in where she belonged in the world. When he’d rejected her, nothing remained of her previous life and she’d no sense of her place in a new one. Maybe she would know where she belonged at the end of this journey. Nyth Uchel’s healer? Yes. She could take pride in being Nyth Uchel’s healer.



About the Author:


Patricia A. Knight is the pen name for an eternal romantic who lives in Dallas, Texas with her horses, dogs and the best man on the face of the earth – oh yeah, and the most enormous bullfrogs you will ever see. Word to the wise: don’t swim in the pool after dark.

I love to hear from my readers and can be reached at Troll River Publishing or My Website.  Or send me an email at patriciaknight190@gmail.com.  Check out my “Hot Hunk of the Day” and latest releases, contests and other fun stuff on my Facebook Page. 

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