2/13/15

I Was Married To Christian Grey


I am a domestic abuse survivor. Let me share with you what it was like.

First off, my ex orchestrated the most massive lie I've ever seen, and convinced my entire family (including extended and grandparents) that he was the opposite of what he turned out to be. He was a narcissist, abusive, manipulative, and controlling. All of which he hid before we got married.

He was laid off the week of our wedding, and ended up taking a job on the other end of the country about six months later. At first, I thought part of what was going on was the stress of a man not having a job and being able to support his family. I was ignored, and increasingly felt like I was just there for him to have sex with. And when we did have sex, he didn't give a rat's ass about whether or not I enjoyed it or whether I even finished. It was all about him, and once he had what he wanted he was done.

He didn't listen to me. Didn't care about my opinion or how I felt about things. I was constantly told to shut up, that I was stupid, and had no idea what I was talking about. I was even told one day that when I married him I ceased to be American. (He was an immigrant, and I'm not naming the country so don't ask.) He threatened multiple times to hit me, but never followed through because I would stand there and stare him down. He didn't know what to do with that reaction and it would throw him off.

I was wrong about things getting better when he had a job. When he landed the new job, things got worse. He began controlling every penny I was allowed to spend, making me account for it, chewing me out when I spent more than $20 on groceries for three weeks. On Long Island! He also refused to put me on any of his accounts, refused to open a new checking account in the state we lived in, and lied to me over and over and over about where he was and what he was doing.

He left for the new job a week before me, and I followed by driving since I had my cat. My parents came with me. On the final day, when we hit the New Jersey state line, it took everything I had not to turn around and drive back to Louisiana right that second. The closer we got to Long Island, the more I panicked. At that point, no one really believed me about how bad things were and I was starting to wonder if I was imagining some of what was happening or misreading how he was acting.

Once my parents left, he arranged things where I had no vehicle. He threatened to kill my cat. He almost broke my arm the same day he threatened to kill my cat, and that's when I called the cops. I left for a week, then went back and tried one more time to make things work. During that week apart we were supposed to move from on-site housing at his job to our own apartment.

He made the move by himself. When my parents arrived on Long Island to talk to him, it is only by the grace of God that my dad didn't kill him on the spot. And my dad told my ex that to his face! In the process of taking our things out of storage, my ex had shown so little regard for the things that were important to me that I kept finding my treasures broken and shattered in the boxes.

When I found a pen box with my favorite Ernest Hemingway quote on it, that my parents had given me as encouragement to keep writing, shattered beyond repair, I lost it. Had a total breakdown in my mom's arms. Which set her to crying, which set my dad to crying. I can count on one hand the times I've seen my dad cry, and that day was one of them.

Things got worse. My ex kept cancelling the Internet installation. He continued to leave me without a vehicle. My parents bought me a $400 Android phone for two reasons. One, because he refused to install Internet. Two, so they could file a theft report if and when he took the phone away from me. I had the county domestic violence hotline on speed dial in my phone.

My sister came up to see me a week after my parents left. My ex showed his worst side yet, scared my sister spitless, scared me spitless, and I shut down. I couldn't think to save my life. She called our mom sobbing saying if she didn't get me out of there he was going to kill me. And she was right.

So we packed my treasures up while he was at work, put them in storage so he couldn't destroy them, my sister called her BFF and had her find us a hotel by LaGuardia, and my sister got me the heck out of there. When I called to tell him where his car was, I ended up hanging up on him because he was yelling and screaming at me and telling me to get my ass back up there.

That man left soul deep scars on me. It's been five years since I left him, and four since I've had to hear his voice. I still start to panic when I see someone who looks like him, or hear someone who sounds like him. I know it's not him, because he's still in New York. But it doesn't stop the panic. I've cut all ties online with his family and friends, and if any of them ever try to contact me I'll probably file a police report.

My cat had nightmares because of him, and it was two years after leaving before she'd let strangers so much as see her. I had nightmares for months after leaving, even though I was safe at home with my parents and 1400 miles away from my ex. I'd wake up terrified he was coming for me. I have no desire to have any kind of relationship with a man. I don't want one getting that close to me again.

My issue with Fifty Shades of Grey is not the BDSM portrayed in them (badly portrayed, the BDSM community has been quite vocal in their disagreement with how the lifestyle is portrayed in these books). My issue is with Christian Grey and the message Ms. James is sending women. She's telling women that it's okay for men like Grey to treat you like shit, to isolate you and manipulate you and control you. Why? Because they say they love you, and when they apologize everything is hunky-dory again. Even though the behavior never changes. Ms. James has bought the lie, and she's told millions of women it's okay to buy the lie.

IT IS NEVER OKAY!!!! NEVER!! Women are to be cherished and protected. Not abused and isolated.

When you're with a man like Christian Grey, you begin to doubt yourself. You begin to wonder if you're imagining things to be worse than they are. You start living your life in a way to minimize setting him off. You feel like you're going crazy. Even your family has a hard time believing everything that's going on. Mine did, until they saw it with their own eyes.

Men like Grey have destroyed millions of women and left us with scars no one can see. And it's these invisible ones that hurt the most and take the longest to heal. My scars are deep, and they still hurt. They will likely hurt for the rest of my life.

Christian Grey is not sexy, or a hero. He is an abuser who belongs in prison.

2/11/15

Restless In Peaceville is out in print!

Now available in print!

Blurb:

Welcome to Peaceville, population 2067 and rising...from the grave...

Luke Chester has had enough. He’s the school geek, the girls laugh at him, he’s lost his dead-end job at the pizza place, and in the midst of the world’s messiest divorce his parents don’t even know he exists. An overdose of his mom’s tranquilizers and a stomach full of whiskey should solve all his problems...

But they don’t. Instead, Luke finds himself booted out of the afterlife for not dying a natural death, with nowhere to go but back to his recently vacated corpse and reality. How the hell is he going to pass for one of the living without someone trying to blow his brains out for being one of the undead?

And it just gets worse. He’s got to fight his own desperate craving to consume the living, evade the weird supernatural hunter who’s having a field day with the new undeads rising, and there’s this creepy black shadow following him around. Add to that the distraction of female fellow undead Annabelle burning to avenge her own murder, and clearly there’s no rest for the wicked. Jeez, all he wanted to do was R.I.P.

Restless In Peaceville is a young adult zombie story with a twist, set in a Louisiana that never was and released by Lycaon Press on the 20th August, 2014. Add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE. Sign up to my no-spam newsletter HERE to stay up to date with releases, cover reveals, sales and giveaways for all my titles and more.

Suggested tags: zombies, paranormal, YA, angels, redemption, teen fiction, revenge, romance, afterlife, Louisiana




Excerpt:

A creak is all the warning I'm given before the floor gives way and I plummet through the rotten woodwork like a kingfisher diving through the water. I can't see a thing for dust and chunks of wood, but I know I've gone through the ground floor of the house when I break through a second layer of wood and hit earth. Damn, how long will this body hold up if I keep crashing like this?

I lever myself up, and find my head just above ground floor level while more dust and splinters shower down around me. I turn, looking for some way to pull myself back up...and find myself being stared at by three kids.

Oh, shit. For a moment we all just gaze at each other, no one sure what to do or who's going to do it first. Then one of the boys, maybe eight or nine and his mouth hanging open points at me and screams, "Zombie!"

What else can I do? I yank myself out of the hole and lurch at him, moaning fit to scare them to death. They don't hesitate. Each of them competing for the most piercing holler, they scarper out of the house so fast I expect to see scorch marks from the acceleration. I laugh. Seriously, it's the funniest thing I've seen since I died. Maybe I could get to enjoy this.


Bio:

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards SF category, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.







Goodreads Book Giveaway

Restless In 

Peaceville by Pippa Jay

Restless In Peaceville

by Pippa Jay

Giveaway ends February 28, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

2/5/15

SFR Brigade Showcase: The King's Mistress

sfr brigade showcase banner


Welcome to another round of The SFR Brigade Showcase! Lots of authors participating this time, so make sure you go to the Brigade blog and hit all the stops.


Today I'm sharing an exclusive excerpt from The King's Mistress. It's a long one too, so you've been warned. I'll put it in context a bit.


At the end of My Name Is A'yen, A'yen learned he's destined to be king. And he's not really okay with it. He's struggling to balance who he is with who he's expected to be. The two aren't easily compatible.


This scene is his arrival in the Hidden, a small habitable planet in the Morrow nebula not far from Baray where escaped Lokmane have built a civilization. A'yen's task is to start building a bridge between the Hidden and the rest of the Lokmane so they can become a united people and keep their coming freedom



 Spring caressed A’yen’s face when he stepped out of the ship and onto free soil. Finally, a place where the slave laws didn’t follow him. Where the majority of residents didn’t even know them.
A hush fell over the crowd. Every set of eyes focused on him. Sucking in a deep breath, he let his gaze roam over the people. His people. More of them in one place than he’d ever seen. And not a single collar anywhere out there.
Many of the men wore long sleeves like Ro. A’yen had purposely chosen to be seen in short sleeves. The established Hidden were important, yes. But not more important than the newly-freed and those who’d escaped after being marked. It was them A’yen fought for.
Quite a few of the men pushed their sleeves up, exposing the ink. Lots of brown, some green. No blue though. A’yen smiled and continued down the ramp.
A murmur moved through the crowd. One word stuck out. Human. Fae pressed into him. He released her hand and slid his left arm around her waist.
The man standing beside Na’var must be Salem. Lifted chin, stiff posture. Like a caged tiger. No wonder Dad was so worried.
A’yen stopped, keeping his gaze level with, and locked on, Salem. Feedback from Ro looped into his mind while Na’var blocked someone else. Tension in the Més too? Great. Ro’s markings would make it worse. So much for hoping this wouldn’t be as bad as he imagined.
Salem stepped forward, right hand extended. “On behalf of the citizens here, I welcome you.”
A’yen shook the offered hand, but didn’t linger. This man draped a sense of darkness around him. The same unease he’d felt the last time with Tala clawed up his throat. Salem could not be trusted. With anything. “Thank you.”
Salem’s gaze moved to Fae. Turned hostile. “And this is?”
“My wife, Farran.”
His eyes narrowed. “I was under the impression that out there she’s nothing more than a mistress. Is that the proper word?”
Scary eerie calm invaded him. One of these days he’d snap again, and it would not end well. But not here, not in front of all these people. Pete’s hand brushed against his back as he moved to stand on A’yen’s right. Another signal to play it calm and collected. “It’s one word for it. Legally, however, she is my wife and has been for three months.”
“Oh. I was informed marriages involving us aren’t permitted on the outside.”
“You’ve been misinformed, I’m afraid. A different word is used, yes, but the results are the same.”
A man about the same age as Salem stepped into view. He wore the clothes of a working man, with scarred hands to match. Brown markings covered his arms, a pattern A’yen had never seen before. “I think you make a charming couple.” He held out his hand. “Sa’nar Jenkins. And it’s all right to laugh. I know it sounds weird.”
Rough skin and a firm grip met A’yen’s as he shook the man’s hand. A human woman held Jenkins’s other hand, and her smile banished some of Salem’s darkness. “I giggle every time someone else says it. I’m Iris, and it’s a pleasure to finally meet both of you.” She poked her husband with her elbow. “What he forgot to mention is, he’s a Regent.”
A’yen clamped down on the inside of his bottom lip to keep his face straight as Sa’nar Jenkins rolled his eyes and shook his head. “No, Iris. I’m a mechanic, married to a smuggler, and I got stuck with a regent’s robe. Big difference.”
Fae relaxed beside him, and he did too. “I totally get it. I’m a cartographer stuck with a crown and she’s an archaeologist.”
Sa’nar turned his attention to Fae. “I look forward to your presentation. Home is something I’ve dreamed of all my life. To finally have it so close…” He took his wife’s hand, squeezed it. “It’s almost too good to be true.”
“I assure you, it’s very true and very real. It’s a beautiful place, and we won’t stop fighting for it.” Fae released her death grip on A’yen’s hand and reached for the regent’s.
When she let go, A’yen bent his head and whispered in her ear. “See, you can do this.”
Her elbow dug into his ribs, though hidden by her body so no one saw it.
He whispered again. “You’re going to pay for that later.”
She turned her face to him, the most angelic smile he’d ever seen contrasting with the glint in her eyes. “I’d like to see you try.”
The heat in her voice kindled heat in his ink. This was what he craved, what he missed, what he needed. What Tala never gave him, and Master excelled at. He glanced at Salem again. Another someone who didn’t understand the power of love.
More introductions were made, and he filed the names and faces away in his memory. Na’var and Ro kept most of the deep reactions away from him. There would be time to deal with the suspicion and distrust later.
Children’s laughter rang around him. Fathers held their little ones. A’yen’s arms ached for his daughter.

Intrigued? You can get it here: KindleKoboNookiBooksGoogle PlayAll Romance Ebooks

1/28/15

Cover reveal for Keir by Pippa Jay

I am beyond excited to be participating in the cover reveal for the re-issue of Keir by Pippa Jay. Keir was the first SFR I read in 2012, and I fell in love with him on the first page. He's everything I want my hero to be: tragic, wounded, and struggling to find a reason to live.

Isn't it awesome? Yes, Keir is blue.Here's the blurb.

A demon waiting to die...

An outcast reviled for his discolored skin and rumors of black magic, Keirlan de Corizi sees no hope for redemption. Imprisoned beneath the palace that was once his home, the legendary 'Blue Demon of Adalucian' waits for death to finally free him of his curse. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise.

A woman determined to save him.

Able to cross space and time with a wave of her hand, Tarquin Secker has spent eternity on a hopeless quest. Drawn by a compulsion she can't explain, she risks her apparent immortality to save Keir, and offers him sanctuary on her home-world, Lyagnius. But Quin has secrets of her own.

When Keir mistakenly unleashes the dormant alien powers within him and earns exile from Lyagnius, Quin chooses to stand by him. Can he master his newfound abilities in time to save Quin from the darkness that seeks to possess her?

Keir is Book One of the Redemption series and part of the Travellers Universe. Previously released by Lyrical Press Inc. 7th May 2012 and a SFR Galaxy Award for SciFi Romance for Best May-December Romance (2012), Aspen Gold Readers Choice Award 3rd place finalist (2013), Readers' Favorite International Book Award finalist(2012), The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book Awards Nominee for Best SciFi/Fantasy (2013).

Please add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE, or sign up HERE for my no-spam newsletter for special previews on cover reveals, new releases, the latest giveaways and discounts, and upcoming news.


Here's Pippa's bio. (And check out the rest of her stuff! She's got a great variety out right now and is one of my favorite authors, in addition to being a friend.)

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at 
Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

1/19/15

The King's Mistress tour schedule

The King's Mistress is here! I am now a multi-published author, though just barely. Here's all the stops on the two tour, a mix of info about the book, a couple of interviews, and a couple of interviews.

But first, here's all the buy links. All are DRM free except iBooks and Nook. And My Name Is A'yen is on sale for $2.99 until 2/3.

Kindle
Nook
Kobo
Google Play
iBooks
All Romance Ebooks (epub, mobi, and PDF)


1/19: Liza O'Connor interviews A'yen
1/20: Lisa Atherton's blog
1/21: Why I Wrote The King's Mistress, hosted by Pauline Baird Jones
1/21: Amber Daulton's blog
1/21: The King's Mistress excerpt, Coffee Time Romance
1/22: Love Languages and Creating Heroes, Coffee Time Romance
1/22: Why I Write SFR at Literary Escapism
1/23: Zhurrat Reviews, The King's Mistress
1/25: Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog
1/26: #SFRMonday with Jessica Subject (long excerpt from the book!)
1/26: Belinda's Bookshelf review of The King's Mistress
1/27: Ingenious Indie Promotions blog
1/29: Katrina O'Brien's blog
1/30: My Writing Space, hosted by Sheila Kell
1/31: The Healing Power of Words, Paths to Publishing series with Melissa Snark
1/31: Deal Sharing Aunt blog
2/1:  Me and Creative Hobbies, hosted by Laura Patterson
2/3:  Babu's Bookshelf review of The King's Mistress
2/3:  Hooked On Books review of The King's Mistress
2/3:  Interview with Terry Odell

1/1/15

The Importance of Meeting Reader Expectations

Happy New Year, everyone! This is a long post, and probably controversial. You have been warned.

I write science fiction romance. It's a genre with something for everyone and is one of the most diverse romance sub-genres you'll ever encounter. It's fun to explore. But there are a couple of problems I've noticed in my reading the last few months and they're really bugging me.

The first is reader expectation. I'm not just a romance author, I'm a romance reader. As a romance reader I have certain expectations when I pick up a book labeled as romance. The most important one is that the book centers on the hero and heroine's developing romance. They are the main characters and everything else is secondary. Including the other characters. If you remove the romance the entire story falls apart. The romance is the foundation of the novel.

I'm starting to think there's a lack of understanding within SFR about what a romance really is. The one I most recently finished was billed to me as a romance. It wasn't. It was romantic at best. When I pick up something billed as a romance I expect the focus to be on the hero and heroine, watching them fall in love, deal with their issues, and conquer the conflict keeping them apart.

When you tell me something is a romance, and yet I read it and there's no romance, the author has lied to her readers. That's a great way to turn people off on a genre. Especially when it happens several times in a row. As it did with me last month. I've maintained for two years now that in order for SFR to take off we have to get the true romance reader hooked. That's not going to happen if the romance reader's expectations aren't met.

Which brings me to my other point. When the book's description tells me a certain character is the main character, and yet that character is the one with the least POV space, you're once again lying to your potential readers. The one I most recently finished, and that set this post off, was billed to me by the book description as the thing I love best: a hero-centric romance.

That's not what I got. I didn't get a romance. I didn't get significant time in the hero's head. I didn't even get any plot resolution. It ended on a massive, massive, massive cliffhanger. One with no hope these two people who are supposedly in love ever getting back together. I don't buy their romance, because it didn't go through any of the things a romance reader expects. And there's no book two.

We read romances for the intimate moments of watching two people fall in love. It can be fast, it can be slow, it can be love at first sight, it can be soul mates, it can be star-crossed lovers. Doesn't matter. No matter how it happens, there are still things we expect to see.

I only give so many chances. When my expectations as a romance reader aren't met, I'm gone. And I'm not coming back. I'll also tell other romance readers to steer clear of a certain title.

There's nothing wrong with being an SF writer first. But there is something wrong with not taking the time to understand what truly makes a romance work. In order to have a successful SFR that gains mass appeal and hooks romance readers, you can't shortchange the romance reader's expectations.

We romance readers are the bulk of the fiction readership in the United States. For SFR to survive and thrive, you have to take us seriously and meet our expectations.

*Image courtesy of photostockFreeDigitalPhotos.net

12/11/14

SFR Brigade Showcase: Meet Ro




Welcome to the SFR Brigade Showcase! Click on the banner above to see the full list of participants.


Book two in A'yen's Legacy, The King's Mistress, releases on January 20th, so I thought I'd introduce you to the character who appeared in chapter two and stole my heart. His name is Da'Ro, and he goes by Ro. He is a point of view character, and plays a prominent role in #3, To Save A Life.  In fact, he's the life A'yen is dead-set on saving. No matter what.

If you've read the first one, My Name Is A'yen, you learned Lokmane men are telepathic. If you haven't read the first one, this isn't really a spoiler. There are two types, one is common and one is rare. Ro falls in the latter category.

He's known all his life he was different from everyone else, and it made life dangerous. He spent his childhood hiding what he could do and praying no one would discover him. Ones like him are used by humans as spies and various other things. Poor thing never learned how to play and can count his good memories on one hand.

Unfortunately for Ro, he was found. By Fae's father. He was sent to The Institute, where his strong telepathy and his ability to see emotions as colors, was twisted into a weapon. He's a mind-hopper, the strongest ever produced because he can get in via emotions. You'll have to read the book to find out exactly what a mind-hopper does.

Ro was also the first truly broken character I've ever created. In his own words, he's been shattered and stitched back together so many times he no longer knows who he is. He keeps to himself, doesn't make friends, doesn't talk to people, and doesn't like to be touched. No one trusts him either. He's driven by a need for revenge on the man he holds responsible for most of his torment.

He comes into the story because his field (what I call their telepathy) links with A'yen's. Which means Ro is his personal bodyguard. A'yen turns him inside out because he trusts Ro.

Here's a peek at A'yen and Ro's first one-on-one interaction.


A’yen motioned toward the kitchen. “Thirsty?”
Ro nodded again. Followed him through the hall. A’yen made another mug of tea and started more coffee for Fae. Ro looked around the kitchen and moved to stand with his back to the wall. The way he walked, the way he hugged himself, the way he didn’t take his jacket off, all screamed his fear. Fear A’yen didn’t understand. “What do you want to drink?” He paused at the cabinet holding all the glasses and mugs and removed a tall glass. “Name it and Fae probably has it stashed somewhere.”
Just water.”
A’yen quirked an eyebrow. “Do you want anything in it?”
Ro bit his lip. Released his death grip on himself. “Strawberries?”
Crushed, sliced, or whole?” A’yen moved to the cooling unit and pulled open the drawer Fae kept filled with berries of all kinds, one of her favorite snacks.
Crushed?”
Sure.” He grabbed a handful of berries, closed the door, dropped the berries in the glass, and crushed them with a spoon. Filled it with cool water and gave it to Ro. He took it without touching A’yen’s fingers and took a long sip from it.
The corners of Ro’s mouth twitched. “Thanks.” He left the wall for the puddle of sunshine by the table, set his glass down, and removed his jacket. Long sleeves hid his markings, until he rolled them up to his elbows. Dark blue braided lines with points resembling thorns. Fitting, since they caused so much pain.
The coffee finished. A’yen pulled the carafe out to pour a cup for Fae. He’d never developed a taste for it, but the scent was nice. He twisted the lid off. A second later Ro’s glass shattered on the floor. Ro backed into the nearest corner, eyes wide and chest heaving, hands in fists and trembling from head to toe.
A’yen abandoned the carafe and went to Ro. Something about the look in his eyes said he wasn’t seeing Fae’s kitchen. He brushed his hand down Ro’s arm. Ro tensed. “Don’t touch me.” He shoved past A’yen and ran. A second later feet pounded up the stairs.

You can preorder it here:
Kindle
Kobo
Nook
iBooks



Freedom has a cost. Can A’yen pay it without losing his soul?

Liberation of the enslaved Lokmane begins with the king. A’yen and Fae agree to visit the Hidden, a group of escaped Lokmane, to protect his identity while the Shadows make their move with emancipation acts. But he's not prepared for the prejudice rampant in the Hidden, or their lack of patience for him. And his new linked bodyguard is unstable to the point A'yen fears for the young man's sanity.

Upon returning to Titan, A'yen is kidnapped and taken to the largest breeding farm in the galaxy. This time he'll be himself even if it kills him. His resolve to unite his people grows as he wonders if he'll live long enough to do it.

With A'yen kidnapped, Fae returns to the Lokmane homeworld seeking the final pieces of what happened two thousand years ago when they were conquered and enslaved. Getting as far away from her father as possible is the only way to keep her from disappearing too.

Separated by light years, A'yen and Fae have to stand alone and fight for their right to live in freedom. No matter the cost.


Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter so you never miss anything important about the series.

11/6/14

SFR Brigade Showcase: My Name Is A'yen


It's time for another SFR Brigade Showcase! Make sure to visit the Showcase page and hit all the participants.

Last month I shared A'yen and Fae's first kiss. This month I'm sharing from a scene earlier in the book, where A'yen is teaching Fae how to swim. He's starting to notice her, but is still hung up on the fact she's a Breeder's daughter. This is also one of my editor's favorite scenes.

 Her lower lip disappeared between her teeth. Again, the desire to kiss her swept through him. If anyone was going to bite her lip, it ought to be him. He pressed his tongue against the back of his teeth to keep it in check. He missed necking, among other things. There were so many ways to feel loved.
“I don’t know how to swim.”
His jaw dropped. “How can you not know how to swim?”
Arms crossed, her eyes narrowed. “Desert planet. Large bodies of water don’t exist.”
“Right. But you spent ten years on Titan and still didn’t learn?”
“I didn’t have time.” One leg moved a few inches further, then the other followed.
“I’ll teach you.”
Her eyes widened, big as an ancient Earth coin he’d once seen in a museum, and filled her face with an expression of awe. “Really?”
“Of course.” He extended his hand, but she didn’t take it. Instead she chewed on her thumbnail. “Come on.”
“I’m scared.” Whispered words, almost lost in the melody of water and birdsong.
Three steps and he stood in front of her, pulled her hand away from her mouth, stared into her heart-stopping green eyes. “So am I. Do you trust me?”
“I want to.”
“I won’t let you drown.” He held his empty hand out and she filled it with hers. Slowly he backed up, leading her further into the water. Her grip tightened every time the water moved up her body, until his fingers began tingling as it reached her ribcage. She froze, body tense, hands white from the force of her grip.
“I won’t let you drown. Try to relax.” With a gentle tug, he led her further into the water until she froze again. “Relax, Farran.”
Her gaze locked on his face, her body began to obey. Except for her grip on his hands.
“As long as you stay relaxed, you won’t drown.”
She nodded, gaze never leaving his face.
“I’m going to help you float first. I have to let go of your hands, but I will not let you drown. Stay relaxed.”
A deep breath moved her chest up and she released his hands. He slipped behind her, settled his hands around her waist. It had been so long since he’d touched someone like this that his body’s reaction took him by surprise. Warm tingles flooded the ink, adding more cement to the growing bond he didn’t want.
“Let me hold your weight. Lift your feet and lean back.”
She did, and he moved his hands to cradle her back. Eyes closed, she relaxed into him. The slope of her neck begged to be tasted. He let his gaze trace it down to where her breasts moved in the water as she breathed. A one-piece swimsuit covered her stomach, but he had no trouble imagining how soft and smooth it would be under his hands.

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I'm in edits for book two, The King's Mistress. The December and January Showcases will feature scenes from that book.