Hidden In Ashes is here!

After two years, intense editing, and redoing Sunny three times, Hidden In Ashes is finally here! I love this novel, and I love Lorin and Sunny. There's an awful lot of me in both of them. I hope you enjoy learning about their world as much as I did.

I'm guesting on some blogs this week. First up is Celebrate With A Book and The Romance Studio on 5/16, then I'm visiting Courtney J. Hall on 5/18.

You can grab your copy of the book on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, or Google Play.

Back cover:

Childhood enmity turns to love, with one problem: his heart isn't his to give.

Lorin is a daro, a Lokmane trained to make humans feel special and valued. As Prime of Arkos House, no one stands between him and the safety of the daros under his care—except his mistress. The dead one, and the new one. He needs to focus on the Essence crisis infiltrating the Houses, and his sister's safety. Not figure out how to balance his duties with falling in love.

When her mother dies, emotionally wounded Sagira Memeos becomes the Marcasian Empire’s newest High Lady. And reluctant owner of the most sought after daro in said empire. He’s her childhood nemesis, and way too sexy for his own good. With his kindness finding its way into her bruised soul, asking for his help to navigate her succession to ruling high lady probably isn't her brightest idea.

Lorin wants Sagira. But not if he has to pay for it with innocent lives. She’s a distraction he can't afford while the bedrock of Marcasian high society is under attack. Not to mention facing losing his sister to the man who wounded Sagira. If the daro houses fall, all hope of freedom goes with them.

Chapter One

Karnak, Marcase Prime
Earth Year: 5236

Lorin, Prime of Arkos House, sank into the hot water of his private mineral pond. Every inch of his body ached from exhaustion, despite the last twenty-four hours spent sound asleep. Mistress didn’t believe in allowing him to actually rest during his two week sabbatical every year. No. He had to keep her pleased and sated, while ignoring his own needs.
As a daro, and the Prime in charge of his House, he had legal protections other Lokmane didn’t. Not that Mistress cared about any of them, as she’d spent the last eleven Earth-years proving to him. Nor did she care he knew Taran, Prince Nicco, Princess Honor, and the emperor, and could make Mistress’s life miserable if he chose. Then again, she knew it wasn’t in him to do that. Even to the one woman alive he hated and wished dead.
He went to the side, folded his arms on the ledge, and rested his head on them with his eyes closed. Air jets kept the water moving. Soft splashing at the steps told him Cynda, his sister and caretaker, was coming in to rub his back. Three seconds later, her hands began working with slow, gentle strokes. He sighed in pleasure.
Too bad no magic hands existed to ease the soreness of his tongue.
I don’t understand why she won’t let me come with you.” Cynda focused on the knot in his neck driving him nuts.
Because she knows you’ll make her leave me alone, and she can’t have that.”
You’re a daro, Lorin. Not a common whore.”
Except when he spent time with Mistress, he felt like a common whore. Even when he was flawless, in his opinion, she found something to criticize. “Maybe she’ll drop dead. I don’t think any of the girls would care about claiming me.” He groaned as Cynda pressed into one of the knots in his shoulders. “I just want to be left alone to do my job.”
He loved being a daro—a Lokmane trained to provide a safe, intimate place for the humans of Marcasian high society. Soothing hurts, watching ignored men and women bloom under his attention, helping abuse victims move into the role of survivor, were all things he excelled at. He had a purpose larger than himself, and wasn’t locked into an identity as slave and property. Something he wanted every Lokmane on Marcase to experience.
All ability to talk disappeared for several dizzying minutes as Cynda dug her thumb into each knot. While his massage training focused on erotic pleasure, her’s was all about pain relief and relaxing him. She switched from digging knots to kneading muscles, and his powers of speech returned.How are the novices settling in?” One of the things he hated most about his forced sabbatical timing was missing the arrival of three new daros. Ones he’d chosen to complement Arkos House, and fill the gaps in his daro family.
Kell befriended one of the boys. The girl is hanging out with Keesa, thinks Garin is crude, and can’t believe any Prime would let him in a house.”
Lorin chuckled. Garin was crude, in an endearing sort of way. He almost had more clients than he could handle, despite being from the provinces and only four M-years of daro training, which made him a four in daro-speak. “And Yev’an?” The one ten he’d picked, even though he wasn’t a good candidate to be Prime one day. His personality fit Arkos.
Cynda sighed this time. “He’s a little thing, like you. I haven’t heard him speak, and he keeps to himself. I think he’s terrified.”
If I can move better after another nap, I’ll send for him. And the others.”
Good. Minton is trying to convince them you don’t care and that it’s normal for you to ignore novices.”
If he had the energy, he’d go punch Minton. He wasn’t claimed, and didn’t understand how difficult it was to balance Prime responsibilities with his obligation to Mistress. She didn’t care about his responsibilities either. “Why did I say yes when Teeg asked me?”
Cynda kissed his cheek. “Because you care, brother. You don’t think your daros exist to make you look good. I’ve heard some horror stories about other Primes letting the wrong client into a novice’s bed and breaking them.”
No one gets broken on my watch. Teeg would kill me.”
If I didn’t beat him to it.”
Lorin focused on relaxing, letting Cynda and the water do their jobs and rejuvenate his exhausted body. And mind.
Another set of feet entered his private room. The heavy tread and jingle of ankle bracelets signaled Garin’s arrival, the only daro Lorin allowed to join him in here without an invitation. Garin sat on the edge of the pool, legs dangling in the water. “Gonna live this time?”
Probably.” Lorin forced his eyes open to look at his friend. At six-six, Garin towered over him. Something about him put Lorin at ease to be himself, and he didn’t mind accepting Garin’s help when he was too tired to walk up three flights of stairs. “I asked you to keep Minton away from the novices.”
I’m doing the best I can. I can’t exactly punch him in the mouth when he starts yakking in front of everyone. Though I’d love to try.” Garin waggled his eyebrows and grinned.
Lorin laughed, as always. “Before you do, give me warning so I can sell tickets.”
Garin’s grin faded. “Kell told them about the time you dragged Camden Hart out of here by his ear. Yev’an believed it, but I’m not sure the other two did.”
Cynda said he’s little, like me.
Garin nodded. “About your height. May not be finished growing yet.” He kicked at the water, splashing it into Lorin’s hair. “He’s claimed too. He hid it well, but he was relieved when the man left.”
Lorin knew the feeling. Relief at being out of her bed gave him the strength yesterday to get in the car on his own, though Garin had carried him upstairs.
Arkos said to tell you don’t feel like you have to come down tonight.”
He says that every year. I’ve never taken him up on it and I never will, no matter how tired I am. Especially if Yev’an is so scared. I wouldn’t have made it through my first open night without Teeg.”
Garin splashed again. “I don’t understand why claimed daros are always eights and tens, and tend to be so scared. You have more protections and rights than the rest of us.”
Lorin pushed back from the ledge, moved to the built-in bench, and let his arms float so Cynda could work on them. He’d often wondered too, and the only explanation he’d come up with was the value of their training, eight M-years and ten M-years. An eternity and a fortune went into making eights and tens. “The claiming, mine in particular, removes most of those rights and protections. Which is a big part of the tension between Minton and I.”
Minton, bane of his existence. A ten who believed he’d been cheated out of his rightful place as Prime of Arkos House. Didn’t matter there was no way in hell, or every inhabited planet in the galaxy, Teeg would’ve chosen a pompous, selfish ass like Minton to lead the most respected House in Karnak.
Garin sighed. Of all the daros at Arkos, he knew the most about Lorin’s lack of protection when it came to his mistress. “I’ll never figure out the inter-house politics and all the posturing. What’s wrong with focusing on satisfied and happy clients?”
Nothing. It’s why I like you and wish to the gods I could get rid of Minton.”
Garin didn’t respond. His legs kept moving in the water, lapping waves against Lorin’s shoulders and splashing into his hair. Cynda worked on his arms for half an hour then washed his hair and rubbed conditioner in it from roots to ends. She rinsed and repeated twice more.
The stiffness and bone-deep ache were gone, but getting out took Garin’s help. He sank into the nearest lounge chair, resting his forehead on Garin’s shoulder as Cynda rubbed the straightening cream into his hair. Mistress hated his curls. The thought made him want to beg Cynda to leave it out for a change. Let him have control of something he ought to have control over.
When he stood, he wobbled. Garin picked him up and carried him to bed. He hadn’t the energy to fight it. Cynda arranged the pillows, pulled the sheet and blankets up to his chin. He closed his eyes and fell asleep again to the sound of Cynda’s bedroom door slamming shut.
Two hours later, his eyes fluttered open. Cynda sat in the chair by the window, using the sunlight to illuminate her sewing. He sighed and stretched then curled around a pillow. “What are you working on?”
She lifted her gaze for a moment to smile at him. Her cheeks were flushed, eyes sparkling. Garin had carried her off for some wild sex, no doubt. “Putting new buttons on your white shirt.” She returned her attention to her work, a faint tinge of pink creeping up her neck.
I don’t mind you being with him, Cynda. How many times do I have to say it before you believe me? I trust him to be gentle with you.”
She rubbed her hand over the scarred left side of her face. “I’m just a way to gain favor with you. I know that, and it’s okay.”
Lorin slid from between satin sheets to kneel beside his sister. He caressed the scars. Kissed her forehead. “With Garin, it’s not about me. He’s falling in love with you, Cynda. Don’t turn him away because you think you’re nothing but an avenue into my good graces.”
She turned her head to break the contact. “How do you know he’s not lying?”
He pushed to his feet, steadied himself with a hand on the back of the chair, and kissed the top of her head this time. “No one can lie to me when my tongue is in his or her mouth. You know that.” He tilted her head back to look at him. “His deepest desire is to buy his freedom and marry you.”
We all have scars, Cynda. Garin’s aren’t visible, but they’re still there. I’m not afraid of you being with him.”
As long as you’re active, Lorin, I’m not going anywhere.”
He knew better than to keep pushing when she trotted out this line, so he backed away and went to his closet for clothes. His hangup about being clothed all the time had disappeared years ago, but Yev’an no doubt used clothing as a shield. Lorin had too, eleven years ago when he arrived at Arkos House as a young man afraid he wouldn’t be able to live up to Mistress’s demands and keep his sister safe.
Once dressed in his softest cotton lounge pants and an open shirt, he paged Ali, the house schedule keeper, and asked for the novices to be sent up. He opened the drapes in his receiving room, and two of the windows to let in the summer breeze and the scent of the lush rose garden below.
A bowl of fruit sat on the coffee table, with ripe apples on top. His favorite, but the fruit would inflame the sore spots between his tongue piercings. The oranges looked good too, but then he’d have to pick pulp out of the holes and off the stud posts. He picked up an apple anyway and inhaled the sweet juicy scent, weighing whether or not he wanted to deal with the trouble.
Cynda tugged him away from the fruit. “I’ll go get something that won’t require twenty minutes with the mirror.”
Thank you.” He retrieved his tablet from the drawer in his cabinet desk and stretched out on the chaise end of the sofa to start catching up on messages while waiting for the novices and food.
Half a dozen were stupid jokes from Markos, one of his clients and a dear friend; one from Teeg with a picture of his two-year-old twins; a couple from Amun, another client and friend, asking advice on a present for his wife.
He paused at the two from Mayara, Prime of Echis House in Nubia, subject line: Essence. He groaned a little. Essence meant he had to deal with the woman, instead of deleting the messages. Knocking on the door kept him from opening it. “Yes?”
Ali poked his head in. “They’re here. One at a time?”
Please.” Lorin turned the tablet off. Tucked it between the cushion and arm of the sofa as Ali showed the first novice in. She bowed her head to him. He motioned for her to sit beside him and she did, her floor-length silk gown whispering over the rug. The side slit went halfway up her thigh and revealed a perfectly shaped leg when she sat, and a stack of silver ankle bracelets two inches high.
Welcome to Arkos House, A’rika.” He brushed her chin with the pad of his right thumb. She opened her mouth. Six copper-colored studs, the mark of the Sekhmet school. He’d hoped Keesa would take her in. Sekhmet daros tended to stick together since they weren’t as valued as Pater and Maxim daros. He leaned forward to cover her mouth with his. Field focused on her core personality, he swept his tongue across the roof of her mouth and the inside of her upper lip.
Adventurous, with a bit of a wild side. Not even a hint of fear. Excitement bubbled through her, infusing her mouth with the taste of honey. He broke the kiss and smiled at her.
I heard you don’t choose from Sekhmet often. I’m honored to be here.” The words came out a little breathless, as usual after a first kiss from him. Eleven years and he still had it.
I liked what I saw. Do you have any preferences?”
Studs clinked against her teeth. He shook his head. “You can chip a tooth doing that. I don’t recommend it.”
Her cheeks flushed and she glanced at her lap. “I don’t have any that I know of.”
If it changes with experience, tell me. I was told Keesa has taken you in. Take questions to her first, and if it needs to come to me, she’ll tell you. Unless you have problems with a client. The moment they’re formed enough to speak, bring those concerns to me.
She nodded. “Minton said—”
Ninety percent of what Minton says is a lie. I’m your Prime, which means I’m here to help you and protect you.” He smoothed hair from her face and smiled. “I take my responsibilities seriously.”
Is my dress acceptable for a debut?” She stood and turned a slow circle. The blue silk fell in sheer waves from a high waistband.
It’s perfect. There’s a house jewel collection for you to use until yours is built. I’ll see you in a couple more hours.”
Another nod and she left the room with the graceful walk of a daro who excelled at dancing.
He repeated everything with Emrys, who preferred women but was willing to take men if they showed true interest. Eight black tongue studs showed he’d been to Maxim. Paired with Kell was perfect, since he’d been at Maxim too. Something about Emrys made Lorin hesitate, though. The boy harbored a great deal of anger. He hid it well, but Lorin’s ability to find lies with a kiss meant none of his daros could hide their true feelings from him for long. He’d have to get to know the boy before he could find the source of the anger, though.
Lorin stayed in his seat because, like Garin, Emrys towered over him at six-five. Not only was he the youngest reigning Prime in the empire, but he was the shortest active male daro. Every male daro he met made him feel like a shrimp.
Until Yev’an entered, trying to hide in his clothes. He pressed his back against the door, eyes darting back and forth, chest moving in a rhythm Lorin recognized—concealed panic. He stood and held his hand out. Gentled his voice and tried to keep the bedroom timbre out of it. “It’s all right, Yev’an. I don’t bite.”
Yev’an swallowed hard, but left the door and slid his hand into Lorin’s. He squeezed. Turned his head for Yev’an to see the gold coil pierced along the outer edge of his left ear, another sign he was claimed, in addition to the gold collar around his throat instead of the daro chain necklace. The boy collapsed onto the sofa, rubbing his coil with his left hand. “I hate him,” he whispered.
I hate mine too. I’ve never met a claimed daro who feels any different.” Lorin didn’t need to kiss this one to know fear ruled him. One harsh word from a client and he’d shatter. “What do you want?”
To never be touched by another man as long as I live.”
Done.” Lorin released his hand. “But I can’t keep you from your master. I wish I could.”
Yev’an relaxed a little, leaning into the cushions.
Do you have your own caretaker?”
Yev’an shook his head. “He wouldn’t let me.”
Lorin swallowed his anger. As a ten Yev’an, had earned the right to choose his own and have one already familiar with his needs and how to relax him. A year from now, he’d have the clients, gifts, and wardrobe to require his own. “We’ll find you one.”
Studs clinked against teeth. This time, Lorin stayed silent. The boy might not react well to being chided during their first meeting. He needed gentle, tender care to build his confidence. There was one I wanted, and nobody picked her. She’ll be too old next time, won’t she?”
Probably. We’ll find her, and if she’s willing, mine will finish training her.”
Yev’an smiled. Some of the fear left, and he straightened.
Lorin returned it. “Have you had sex with a woman before?”
Once.” He fixed his gaze on his knees. “I wasn’t very good at it.”
The first few times are always awkward, no matter how much training you have. Mine was a disaster and I was so upset when the floor didn’t open and swallow me. I have the perfect person in mind for you. If she doesn’t come tonight, you can keep an empty bed if you like.”
His head came up and blue eyes widened. “Really?”
Really. You’re safe here, Yev’an. I will never pair you with someone capable of hurting you.”
But you’re so young.” His neck flushed and he looked down again.
Lorin lifted Yev’an’s head with a finger to his chin. Showed him all seventeen gold studs pierced through his tongue. “I may be young, but I know what I’m doing. All I need to figure out what a client wants is one kiss. My prime taught me how to do it, and I’ll teach you, if you want. The better your client list, the easier it is to petition for your freedom.”
Unless you were owned by High Lady Lapis Memeos. Damn that woman, holding him so tight it was a miracle he hadn’t suffocated. Drop dead, bitch, please.
I’ll think about it.” Yev’an smoothed his silk pants. “Do I have to change?”
No.” But who he could pair the boy with for the night? Garin’s clients would scare him spitless. Minton would lie to him. Kell ignored women. The number of people Lorin needed to greet tonight made him a bad choice. Braith was perfect, but not due back from his sabbatical—a real one—for another week. Damn. “Is there anyone you feel comfortable shadowing tonight?”
Garin seems nice. He scared my master into leaving early, and helped me choose a room. And he didn’t touch me.”
Too bad Garin was ineligible for Prime; he had a knack for soothing nervous daros. “All right. For now, you can share a caretaker with him and Kell. She’s very calm and sweet, and they do whatever she says.”
Yev’an nodded and stood. His shoulders were straighter, his eyes a little less haunted. With protection and time, he’d come out of his shell and become very popular. Though his unwillingness to see men made grooming him as a possible successor for Arkos almost impossible.
I’ll see you in an hour.”
Yev’an left. Two minutes later Cynda came in with food. The Essence messages would have to wait.


Breaking Headboards and Resolutions #PNRLovers Scavenger Hunt!

Winner is Dominique!

Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to my online home, where every romance is about the hero. Thanks so much for playing through on our awesome scavenger hunt.

You should've arrived from Kallysten's website. My resolution is hidden on my website, and I'm giving you a clue for it, so keep reading!

As a reminder, all of the rules can be found here. And the answer form is here.

Your clue for my resolution is: A'yen's Legacy.

Head up to my pages there on the strip of dark purple. If you don't see a list of links, look for three horizontal bars on the right of your screen and click it. Good luck!

BONUS: I'm also giving away a copy of the featured novel, Freedom's Embrace. To enter, answer this question and leave your email address. Who's your favorite romance hero?


Fall Into Romance Hop

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Sexy Scribblers Fall Into Romance Hop. I'm sharing my Mimi's pumpkin pie recipe with you, and the world of A'yen's Legacy.

I'm also giving away ONE copy of my just released box set of the first three books of A'yen's Legacy. Keep reading for instructions on how to enter my giveaway.

First up, my recipe. I love pumpkin pie. As easy as it is to make, I don't understand why anyone would buy one. My Mimi's recipe is the perfect pumpkin pie, in my opinion.

Mimi's Pumpkin Pie
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I usually do a little more than called for on all the spices)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups pumpkin (equal to one can)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c milk (if using fresh pumpkin, omit milk)
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Combine all ingredients, mix thoroughly, pour into unbaked deep dish pie shell. Bake at 425 for 45 minutes.

There's more to fall than just awesome food at Thanksgiving, though. There's also fall color. Which I love. And wouldn't you know it, I live in a state where we don't really get any. But I wouldn't trade living in Louisiana for anything!

A'yen's Legacy is futuristic romance, set 3,000 years in the future after humanity has spread through our galaxy. They also met an alien species, the Lokmane. A'yen, the main character in the first three books, is one of these aliens.

When the first book opens, A'yen's homeworld has been lost for millennia. No one believes it ever existed. Except his new mistress, archaeologist Farran Hart. They leave on an expedition to a habitable planet with no signs of life. Because Farran thinks it's A'yen's lost homeworld. She's right.

I built the planet off of two things. The Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, and my love of fall color. The trees on Lok'ma come in golds, russets, reds, yellows, blues, purples, oranges, and some green. It's their normal color. In my mind, it's a beautiful planet. And one A'yen doesn't want to leave.

Now for the giveaways! First up is the Rafflecopter for the Sexy Scribblers giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter my personal giveaway, follow these instructions! If you don't, you won't be entered. Answer this question, and leave an email address: Who's your favorite romance hero?

Here's the rest of the participants in the hop, so have fun!

Valerie Twombly
Lena Hart
Anne Lange
JA Coffey
Robyn Neeley
Kishan Paul
Rachel Leigh Smith
Winter Austin
Aubrey Wynne
Caroline Lee
Kris Calvert
Dena Garson
Tracey L. Clark
Angie Daniels
Maureen Bonatch
Anna Durand
Mina Khan
Luanna Stewart
K McCullough
Sexy Scribblers


Freedom's Embrace Is Here!

It's here! Book four of A'yen's Legacy, starring Taran and Ro's sister Da'Renna. Get it at Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Google Play.

They made the wrong choice. Putting it right requires going into a war.

A'yen's Reign: Year Two
Taran has served Nicco, prince of Marcase, for twenty-three years. While on a fact-finding mission to Corsica--a planet annexed by the empire thirteen years ago--Taran and Nicco are kidnapped by the Freedom Alliance and taken deep into the Corsican hardwood forests.

Da'Renna, sister to King A'yen's linked bodyguard, has loved Taran since the moment he saw her. Leaving him behind wasn't easy, but her brother needed her more. Hearing about Taran's kidnapping makes her wonder if she made the right choice.

With the help of a friend from Corsica, Da'Renna and her brother sneak in to find Taran. When mercenaries take her hostage, Taran must make the choice he dreads most: his master, or his soul-mate.

If Taran loses his girl, he'll never find his way to freedom.

Note: This novel stands alone and is a great entry point into the A'yen's Legacy futuristic romance series.

I also present to you an excerpt from the novel, the first time Taran sees Ren.

 Nic’s driver parked three blocks from the brothel in question, as instructed earlier. Taran gripped the handle. “Stay here. I’ll be back with the samples in thirty minutes, tops.”
“Yes, Mother.”
Taran slipped out, stuffed his hands in his jacket pockets to keep them warm, and headed for the brothel. This was the biggest Morrison house in town, and one block outside the boundary of upper South Market. Why couldn’t Nic tumble with daros? Or be on a Favored list somewhere? Getting in and out of daro houses didn’t require facing memories Taran wanted to forget. Didn’t keep him scanning every face looking for his brother.
He slipped into the brothel and waited for his eyes to adjust to the dim light. This one tried to emulate a daro house, but he wasn’t fooled. He’d been in real ones. Everything about this building was a cheap imitation. Daros created true intimacy, and cared about their clients as people.
“Can I help you?” A hulking human male crossed his arms, probably to make his muscles bulge. Which they did, straining at the sleeves of his shirt.
“I’m here to investigate the claim one of the women had a child by Prince Nicco.”
The human cocked his head, staring at him. “And you are?”
Taran lifted his chin and stepped into the circle of light from the fixture above. Green and gold threads, the Faroukh royal colors, were woven into his hair above his left temple. His collar bore an etching of a lotus blossom—the Faroukh family crest. His clothes were tailored and of the highest quality fabrics available, just like Nic’s. “Taran, the prince’s steward.”
“Follow me.”
The human led him into a small sitting room, indicated he should sit, and left. Taran didn’t sit. He stood in the middle of the room, unzipped his jacket, and studied the furnishings. Everything looked expensive, and most were probably fooled by it. But to someone who lived in true luxury, surrounded by marble and precious metals, he knew it was a front. One hiding Loks men and women who wished for death.
Heels clicked in the hall, and a woman’s voice drifted through the closed door. At least he didn’t have to deal with Morrison.
The knob turned, and the door creaked open. Taran almost stopped breathing at the vision making eye contact with him. Luscious honey-blonde hair a man’s fingers could get lost in. Legs stretching for miles. Delicate hands.
She closed the door, and the sound made him jerk in a breath. “Lights on. I’m sorry you were left in the dark.”
Sweet Isis! The most beautiful woman he’d ever seen stood ten feet from him. Her eyes were darkest blue, with a ring of lighter blue around her pupils. A full mouth begged to be kissed.
“I’m Da’Renna. You must be Taran.”
“Yes.” It came out more like a croak, which made her lips twitch.
“Is something wrong?”
He shook his head. “No. Nothing’s wrong. Uhm… I’m here about the girl…”
Da’Renna pressed her lips together. “Are you always so tongue-tied in front of women?” Amusement filled her tone.
Another shake of his head. Geez, he was going to give her the impression he was a blithering idiot if he didn’t get it together.
She came closer, and her perfume—jasmine and violets—filled his head. “It’s kind of nice to meet someone who’s dumbstruck by me, instead of trying to rip my clothes off.”
He scanned her body, hugged by skin-tight leather pants with red lacing up the sides showing bare skin underneath, and a matching top with more red lacing holding her breasts in. Which were a little too big, in his opinion, and detracted from her beauty. “I’m usually more suave than this. I do belong to the biggest womanizer in town, after all.”


A'yen's First Birthday!

As you can see, I'm celebrating this weekend. My Name Is A'yen has been out for one year, which makes it A'yen's birthday and my first anniversary as a published author.

To celebrate, ALL THREE books in the series are on sale for 99 cents! The King's Mistress and To Save A Life don't go on sale very often, so don't miss your chance to snag them for pennies. Each of the links will take you to the series landing page at that retailer and you can choose which book you want, or get all three. 

Store Links:

(Psst! If you buy them at Kobo, you can put them in your shopping cart and only have one charge on your credit card. Pretty cool, huh? They're also DRM free at Kobo.)


Labor of Love Blog Hop

From sweet to dark, divas of romance work their fingers to the bone for your reading pleasure in the Labor of Love Blog hop from 9/4-9/6. Come join me and enter to win a Kindle with new, heart-pounding titles just for you! Make sure you join us on Facebook too.

Happily ever afters only come after heart-breaking work, and this Labor Day weekend, we are celebrating our written labors of love by giving our readers a chance to win a brand-spankin' new Kindle with our personal bests. That's right, you could win all of our books! Aren't you excited? We are! Keep reading for your chance to enter!

The book I'm featuring is My Name Is A'yen, my debut novel and what was truly a labor of love. In 2010, I had to run from a marriage that had turned abusive. I went from someone who wrote every day, to someone who didn't write a single word for the next eleven months. It was torture. Writing is how I deal with the world and what happens to me.

Then, on the night of May 16th, 2012, what should have been my third wedding anniversary, I dreamed about this humanoid alien walking through the forest saying two words over and over and over. When I woke up, he told me his name. I made some notes while I ate breakfast, opened a new document that afternoon, titled it My Name Is A'yen, and off I went. 86 days later I had a finished novel.

As I wrote A'yen's happy ending, and all the hard work it took for him to get there, I slowly started to believe happy endings were possible for me again one day. 

The A'yen's Legacy series continues to be a labor of love for me, and I'm preparing to release book four, Freedom's Embrace, in October. But right now, here's an excerpt from My Name Is A'yen.

 I don’t have a choice.” The statement rung hollow even to him.
You don’t believe that anymore than I do. You’re just tired of fighting and it’s easier to give in.”
Get out of my head, Senna.”
She pulled her hand away and whatever link she’d opened closed. “Done. I love you, A’yen, but I’m not going to be the helpless female you have to swoop in and save. I promise I’ll be careful, and you or Tam will always know when I’m with him. Take it or leave it.”
He could choose to trust her. Or not. If he didn’t trust her, he was past saving. “Okay. But I still don’t like it.”
Once again she threaded her fingers through his. They walked the rest of the way to base camp in silence and he took her straight to Tam’s geology building.
Fae. He needed to hold her. Remind himself why he let Reston do this. He slipped into the archaeology building, kicked his shoes off again, padded to her office on silent feet. Her back faced him as she bent over a magnifier.
Starved for affection. Only way to describe these growing feelings. He didn’t miss sex or kissing or being pursued or teasing. Well, he really did, but there was more to it. He missed the little things. Like a touch to his arm, a secret glance or smile hidden from everyone else, being caught in his love’s gaze from across the room. Hearing “I love you” whispered in his ear.
He crossed the floor, stood behind her, hands hovering without touching. There’d been a few more kisses in the last fifteen days, but very little other contact. And he needed it. Sucking in a deep breath, he let his hands slide down her back and wrap around her waist. Bent over, he kissed her neck, right beneath her ear, then settled his cheek against hers and joined her in staring through the magnifier.
Her hand came up to rest on his cheek, stilling the breath in his lungs.

Here's the blurb for the book:

They've taken everything from him. Except his name.
The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant of the galaxy.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches, and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened, he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeders Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

Get it on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, and All Romance Ebooks. If you win the Kindle giveaway, you get the book as part of the prize.

Ready to enter the giveaway? Here you go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And make sure you hit all the participants.

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SFR Brigade Summer Cafe

Welcome to the SFR Brigade's Summer Cafe! I hope you're having fun hopping around and seeing all the cool stuff.

As you may have guessed, this year's event is centered on the idea of food and recipes. Food is something I've had a lot of fun playing with in A'yen's Legacy. My family enjoys spicy things, and cinnamon, so when I discovered A'yen was a tea drinker there was no doubt in my mind what kind of tea he drinks.

In my universe, he was born on the planet Athen Three. It's a small planet, known for its lakes and oceans. There are a lot of resorts there and it's a popular vacation place. There's a native berry there called the spiceberry. It's A'yen's favorite thing ever. Spiceberry jam, spiceberry tea, spiceberry cookies. Basically, stick spiceberries in it and he's all over it.

The flavor of A'yen's tea isn't just a figment of my imagination. It's a mix my mom made all the time when I was growing up. I'm sharing it with you.

A'yen's Tea

Mix together:
2 cups instant tea with lemon
2 cups sugar
1 pkg of lemonade mix (we used Kool-Aid)
1 1/2 tsp EACH of cinnamon, allspice, & nutmeg

Measure to taste in a mug and pour in boiling water.

I'm not just going to talk about tea, though. This week's theme is Androids & Aliens. A'yen is an alien. Which shocked the hell out of me when he walked into my head three years ago. I was Least Likely To Write Science Fiction in my family, even though there are only two writers out of the six of us.

It was so much fun discovering all the things that make A'yen an alien. And all the things that make him like us. The most obvious alien characteristic is his face shape. The Face of Boe from Doctor Who is as close as I could get to what I see in my head, but minus the floaty tentacle thingies. And of course A'yen and his species have bodies. You can have a look at it here.

Another thing I discovered is his species, the Lokmane, is telepathic. That was fun! I spent an afternoon doing research on it to find a way to explain it with science instead of paranormal. I settled on their bodies processing electromagnetic waves differently from humans. Thoughts are nothing more than electromagnetic signals in our brains. Adjust how a body interprets them, and voila! Telepathy.

There's also some other cool stuff, but I'm not going to tell you. You'll have to read the books.

Prize Pack! Keep scrolling to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget the rest of this week's stops! Check them out below.

My Name Is A'yen
book 1 of A'yen's Legacy 

They've taken everything from him. Except his name. 

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant of the galaxy.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted. 

Hidden rooms, information caches, and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened, he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeders Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart. 

Get it here: Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Google Play |iBooks | All Romance Ebooks 
Also available through Scribd


My Name Is A'yen 99 cent sale!

I'm running my very first 99 cent sale for My Name Is A'yen. The dates are 5/1 through 5/10. It's to celebrate the release of #3, To Save A Life.

Sale price is available at these stores:

All Romance Ebooks
Coffee Time Romance

I want more books available before I start playing with sales on Google Play.

They've taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches, and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened, he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeders Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.