ANGELS WANTED

To all fallen angels. It's time. Lumi'el, Dani'el, Tazi'el, Seri'el, Sandalphon, Penemue... Your future awaits http://fallenshadow.darkbb.com/

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Wednesday Briefs- Demon Chapter One. The Door














We're here again at another Wednesday. Doesn't it come around fast? So fast in fact that I forgot to post my story until mid afternoon.

For those of you who are following Cyan, don't panic. I'm going to finish it (it only needed a bit of rounding up) and post it complete within the next few weeks (probably months. If anyone's interested then poke me if I forget)

This one crept up on me when I saw the prompt this week and I had to write it. It's about demons...who aren't.

I need to mention a few things. Ordinarily, I wouldn't, and I know it's poor form to have to explain your world, but with you getting it in such small chunks it might get confusing. This story is set in another place. Could be another world, or this one at a different time. There are strong elements to suggest a medieval setting, but don't be fooled - it isn't

Oh and tippa is a form of 'endearment' between brother and sister. It's not a very nice one and comes from the words tiny parasite, which is what Jandra used to call her brother before she shortened it, which was only a very small mercy because most people in the palace already knew what it meant.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the photograph that inspired a whole world, and the story that goes with it.


“Please. Let me see. Just a peep.”

My sister, Jandra, not breaking her stride, turns her face to me and scowls. “Go home, tippa. This place is not for you.”

I have to skip to keep up with her, and it’s embarrassing. Okay, I’m small—at least compared to her. Over six feet in height, she doesn’t need the high, pointed–heel boots she wears.

“I’m not a little one. I’m seventeen. A man now.”

Jandra laughs. She has a nice laugh, rich and full, like the aromatic wines my father imports from the south. Yet another way I fall short of her. Even though my status is higher, she never fails to make me feel inadequate.

“You are far from a man, tippa, and even further from the warrior you need be to face a demon.”

“I don’t want to ‘face’ him. I’m not planning on fighting. I just want to see.

“And see you shall—when he’s strung up in the yard, with the ravens feasting on his innards.”

Mention of the yard makes me queasy. It’s the place outside the walls of the castle where criminals are punished, and where enemies of the crown are hung in chains to die of hunger or thirst, or by the beaks of the huge ravens who live in the overlooking tower.  My bedroom is in the tower’s twin. I hate it.

I hate the ravens, whose raucous cries torment me, day and night. I hate the smell that rises from the yard and the river. Most of all, I hate the screams, the prayers to filthy gods, and the pleas for mercy from the doomed souls beneath my window. They’ll find precious little mercy at my father’s hand.

My father tells me it’s good for me, that it will prepare me for the sounds and smells of war. He’s still fooling himself that one day I’ll ride into battle at his side. As if that’s ever going to happen. I’m not built for war. I take after my mother, a princess from the North, whose people are known more for their wisdom than their warcraft. Father scorns the skills of diplomacy, tactics, and engineering. Yet the northern kingdoms, not noted for the fierceness of their warriors, or the size of their armies, are still free, and have kept the demons from our gates for generations.

That’s why I’m so excited. Father’s men have captured a demon. It’s the first to be seen in our lands during my lifetime, and I’m desperate to see for myself what the fuss is about. Of course, I’ve seen pictures, but they don’t convey the truth—they can’t. The slender, pale creatures with large eyes and delicate features don’t look dangerous at all.

“Father would have my tits for purses if I let anything happen to his precious little prince. Go back to the castle, or I’ll have you tied to a post in the yard for a few hours.”

I’d laugh if I was sure she didn’t mean it. Jandra hates me, and I don’t blame her. The day Father admits she is far fitter to lead the armies than I will be a happy day for us all. Jandra thinks of me as a pathetic weakling, and nothing but a liability. She’s right. My mother lives in perpetual fear that Father is going to throw me on a horse and whisk me off to campaign.  He will, soon enough. And as for my father—I see disappointment in his eyes every time he looks at me. And on the rare occasions he heeds my mother’s pleas to try to get to know me for who I am, the experience is excruciatingly painful for both of us.

“I’m surprised you’re so resistant. It would solve a lot of problems for both of us if you just threw me in there with him.”

Jandra stops and gives me a hard look, then tosses her head and strides off again. “You little fool. You think you know what’s going on. You know nothing.”

“Then show me.”

“Oh very well. It’s your funeral.”

My heart soars, even though she speeds up to make me jog.

Thank the heavens it’s not far. Jandra can walk forever, but I can’t. Another way I embarrass my father. She’s strong and energetic. I’m…not. I have the endurance of an asthmatic mouse, and physical exertion tires me quickly. When I was younger, Father had me seen by many doctors, but their advice was always the same. I’m not ill, just ‘delicate’, and no matter what I do, that will never change.

“Stay here,” Jandra says, coming to a dead stop. “Give me five minutes, then you can look through the bars. Do not open the door, for any reason. Understand?”

“What if he’s killing you?”

“Then call for the guard. What do you think you could do?”

I drop my head at her scornful words. “Nothing.”

Although we have prison cells inside the castle, the most dangerous prisoners are kept here, well away from the castle walls, in cells cut into the side of a hill. A long row of doors set into a blank concrete face is the bland exterior to a nightmare beyond my comprehension. Even now an occasional scream from inside makes me jump.

I watch Jandra until the door swallows her. Dancing with anticipation, I creep closer. There’s no sound from within.

I peer cautiously through the bars. The windowless cell is dim, lit only by a single, pale light, and it takes a moment for my eyes to become accustomed. Jandra is standing over a kneeling figure, chained to the wall.

Almost in the moment my gaze falls upon the figure, it raises its head and our eyes meet. A bolt of electricity hits me in the middle of my forehead, and throws me backwards, to sprawl in the dust. 

Above me, a bright blue sky tilts absurdly, and winks into darkness.



Now go check out the rest of the brilliant stories this week.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Suicide is not the only answer: Not the only way

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been sickened and saddened by the news stories of teen suicides that have burdened us of late, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I could quote statistics but what's the point. We all know the score. We're losing our children, and that's just not acceptable. What kind of world have we created in which our children can bear to live? It is our responsibility as adults to change that, to make our children safe.

On my Young Adult blog Rainbow Warriors, I've compiled a list of resources for young people who are being bullied, abused or simply feeling the pressure. Young people who can't see a way out. Please share, add to and make available, if not this list then resources of your own.

If young people don't feel they can reach out to us, then we must reach out to them

Check out http://cherylheadford.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/suicide-is-not-only-answer-not-only-way.html and even if you cut and paste the resources, please do something.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Wayward Ink Publishing Mad March Sale



Wayward Ink Publishing is offering 25% off ALL titles (including new releases) for the whole of the month of March,

Don't miss out. Get shopping now!!

http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/march-madness-sale/

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Wednesday Briefs - Here Be Dragons



For the second time, I looked at the picture prompts and thought - wouldn't it be fun to do a story incorporating all of these. So I did. Hope you enjoy








“I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there for the exhibition. I tried my best to get away, but it’s my last day at work before our holiday, and everyone wanted a piece of me. You’d swear I was abandoning them for good, not four weeks.”
“They’ll manage fine without you,” Ven said, pressing full length against Avon. “Have I told you how sexy you look in your suit?”
“Frequently. And have I told you how sexy you look in your birthday suit?”
“Frequently, but you’re going to have to wait.”
“How unreasonable of you! I thought you art students were up for anything, any place, anywhere.”
“Pretty much, but I have my own reasons for keeping my clothes on right now. One of them is a little lady, dressed all in white, waiting patiently for us down by the sea. I won’t believe this holiday is actually happening, and I’m going to have you all to myself, until we’re waving goodbye to the shore.”
Avon bent his head to capture the lips of his beautiful young lover, and teased them with his tongue. “We’d better get going then,” he whispered, “or I swear I’m going to tear those pants off you right here and now. You know I’m not joking.”
A shiver ran through the slender young man, and Ven gasped. “I know.”
Avon ran his hands over Ven’s buttocks and Ven shuddered again, but when Avon tried to slip his hand down between his legs, Ven danced away, laughing.
“Later, mon cher,” he said, grinning. “Race you to the car.”
 An hour and a half later, they were watching the shoreline disappear from the deck of Avon’s yacht, the Isabella.  Avon draped his arms around the slender shoulders of his young lover and pulled him close.  A steady breeze lifted Ven’s golden hair and fanned it out behind him.
“It’s beautiful,” Ven breathed, but Avon had no eyes for the lights of the town, or the glorious golden–orange sunset over the sea. All he could see was a beautiful face atop a lithe, athletic body, and all he wanted to do was see those glorious green eyes flutter as he pumped into the taut body, watching it writhe, and hearing the delicious moans and whimpers before he made Ven scream his name.
“It’s getting chilly. We should go downstairs.”
“We need to make harbour first. We can’t let Isabella sail herself while we…” Ven blushed, still unable to say the words aloud, even after a year with Avon.
“Fuck our brains out?” Avon said, and Ven’s blush deepened.
Avon tightened his arm around Ven’s shoulders and hugged him close to his side as Isabelle bounced across a choppy ocean, exhilarating them with the crisp salt breeze and glowing sunset.
Within half an hour, they made anchor in a quiet cove, and Avon followed Ven, who’d preceded him downstairs some minutes before. He was surprised to hear the sound of hammering as he slipped down the steps.
“What the heck are you doing?”
“Putting up a chart.”
“Hammering it to the wall?”
“No, not really. I just couldn’t press the pins in so I improvised.”
“Shouldn’t the charts be up front?”
“Not this one. I made this one.”
“Oh, you clever boy.”
The map was beautiful, delicately drawn and inked, with their planned route marked with a chain of tiny yachts. Mermaids chased sea monsters around the edge.
“What does it say?” Avon peered closer at a row of beautifully rendered curl of writing. Here be dragons? That’s right about where we are now. Are you expecting us to get eaten by sea monsters tonight?”
“Quite the opposite,” Ven said, his voice brimming with laughter. “I’m hoping it’s the monster who’ll get eaten.”
“Only if you’re the monster.” Avon’s body tightened as he drew Ven close and kissed him, but Ven disappointed him by pulling out of his arms.
“I prepared a special meal for our anniversary. It just needs to be heated. It’s turkey. I caught and plucked it myself. It surrendered willingly to death, honoured to be sacrificed to our love.”
Avon snorted. “Can we have dessert first, and dinner later?”
“If we have dessert now, we won’t eat dinner, because we’ll fall asleep straight after and be eating turkey for breakfast.”
“The turkey can wait. I can’t.”
“Show some restraint man. You’re the high-powered lawyer, remember, and I’m the flaky art student.”
Avon laughed. “That might be true, but this high powered lawyer is routinely turned into a needy, desperate mess by this beautiful, sexy, but flaky artist.”
“Art student.”
“Artist. You know my opinion on that.”
“I know your opinion on everything,” Ven teased lightly, his eyes dancing as they always did. It was that light which had first attracted Avon—was it really only a year ago?
“Oh, alright, you’ve talked me into it. Go get undressed. I have something to take care of.”
Avon quirked an eyebrow. It was all he had to do. Ven laughed. “It’s your anniversary present.”
“I don’t need a present. You’re present enough.”
“Trust me, you’ll want this one. I had it specially made just for you. It was part of my exhibition.”
Eagerly, Avon hurried into their small bedroom and quickly stripped off his clothes. Lying on the bed, with his hands behind his head, he relaxed into Isabella’s gentle bobbing and let his mind wander back over the last year, which had been one of the best of his life.
He was brought abruptly back to the present when the door opened and Ven stood there, in all his naked glory, a magazine held loosely in front of his genitals.
“Are you my present?” Avon breathed. “I approve your choice.”
“Not exactly,” Ven said, a broad grin spreading across his face. “Here be dragons,” he said, and dropped the magazine. “How do you feel about eating a sea monster?”

Now take a look at all the other amazing stories we have for you this week

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Burning Up by Silvia Violet


Book 3 of the ‘Fitting In’ Series. ‘Burning Up’ can be read as a standalone, but does reference characters from previous books.


Author Name: Silvia Violet
Author Bio:

Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, sci fi, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like "Do you write children's books?" She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she's actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully d[elicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

Where to find the author:
Publisher: Self-published
Cover Artist: Photo by Dan Skinner, Cover by Meredith Russell

Blurb(s):




Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Menage/Poly, M/M Romance, Firefighters, Romance

Excerpt:

They’re watching you again,” Mason spoke in a low voice as he whizzed past Bryce, carrying drinks to the opposite end of the bar.
“You’re imagining things again.” Ever since Mason swore that Toby and Matt, who’d become regulars at the bar after Bryce started working there, were gay and interested in Bryce, he’d been teasing Bryce about their interest.
Bryce told himself not to look, but he couldn’t help glancing toward the corner booth where they always preferred to sit before going back to wiping down the bar. Did they sit there because it gave them a good view of the bar? Bryce scowled. No way in hell were his hands shaking. No way in hell was he letting himself get his hopes up. Even if they were gay, even if they were interested in him, starting something with two guys from work would be the pinnacle of idiocy. Hell, getting involved with more than one guy was insane from the start. Just because Mason and his boyfriends had made a threesome work didn’t make it realistic for Bryce. There was an exception to every rule.
“You’re wrong,” Bryce said as he passed Mason on his way to take a customer’s order.
Mason snorted in reply.
Bryce was glad to see the bar was filling up. He did not need to spend the next hour telling himself not to look at Toby and Matt. He did plenty of that at the firehouse. Toby’s smile could heat up and entire room and Bryce never wanted to look away from it, unless it was to contemplate running his hands through Matt’s wavy brown hair while staring into his dark eyes.
But if Mason was right and they were gay, maybe they really were lovers. If so, he had no business approaching them, whether they were watching him or not. Just because they liked to look didn’t mean they wanted to play. They didn’t need him fucking up whatever they had going.
Plus, they worked together. They were a team, with people's lives on the line.
The line at the bar grew long, and Bryce got busy taking orders, making drinks, and ringing people up at the register. When things finally slowed down, he needed a bathroom break. As he headed to the back, he noticed Matt and Toby playing pool with a couple of guys he recognized as regulars. Toby waved and he waved back, hating the way his pulse accelerated. What the hell was wrong with him?
He pushed open the door of the restroom but failed to check his instinct to glance back over his shoulder. Toby’s eyes were glued to his ass. There was no doubt about it this time. He whirled back around before their gazes had a chance to meet.
So Toby wasn’t straight. Bryce had to admit that now. He was gay or at least bi, but he was just appreciating the scenery. That didn’t mean anything. Bryce appreciated guys’ asses all the time.
When Bryce left the bathroom, Toby and Matt were leaning in close, talking, arguing actually based on the angry expressions on their faces. Bryce hurried back to work, glad he didn’t have to decide whether to speak to them or not. Several minutes later, Toby appeared at the bar. Mason, the little bastard, wasn’t busy, but he made no move to take Toby’s order.
“What can I get you?” Bryce asked.
“Just cashing out our tab.” Our? Maybe Toby was just buying that night.
“Sure.” Bryce looked Toby’s name up in the register, ran his card, and handed him the receipt to sign.
“Thanks,” Toby said, flashing a smile that made his eyes twinkle. How was it that he made that single word sound flirtatious? Bryce was supposed to be the one who flirted, the one in control of a situation, but despite Toby being so much younger, Bryce ended up flustered every time they spoke.

Pages or Words: 45,000 Words



Tour Dates/Stops:
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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Razor by John Keys



Hi! Thanks for having me today. Razor’s my latest story and was released by Decadent Publishing on Feb 6th. It’s my first urban fantasy and I’m excited to share it with everyone. It’s part of Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales collection. Razor is a retelling of The Little Folk from Brother’s Grimm. Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. J I hope everyone enjoys Razor as much as I do.
~ Jon ~

blurb

When the world crashes down around your ears, sometimes all you can do is punt and hope for the best. That’s exactly what James and Micah decide to do when one of them is diagnosed with cancer, and the other discovers a serious heart defect. When the doctor tells them to start working on their bucket lists, the two take a trip in an effort to create some good memories, and forget the ugly truths, while they focus on their time in each other’s arms.

Their vacation turns into much more than they anticipated when they find themselves drawn to a club like sailors to a siren. Several sexy waiters, some unforgettable lap dances, and one whip-wielding stud later, they stumble upon the answer to their prayers. Their sex is wild again, and the pair find themselves living for tomorrow. But with every answer comes questions, and Micah’s search for more may destroy them both.

Will they be able to recover from his thirst for the truth? Or will the men always live walking on the edge of a Razor?

eBook Link: 


Excerpt from Razor.

Micah made the landing and stood watching James ascend. A few seconds later, he reached the top and looked around. They found themselves outside a door almost as dark as the night, set into a wall of Cimmerian brick that disappeared into the gloom on either side. The doorman standing beside it was equally striking. He stood taller than James’s six feet, and wore only a black leather kilt and heavy boots that seemed to consume the lower part of his muscular legs. No one would dare challenge the man. His torso rippled in ways James had never seen before. His face was rugged, covered with a few days’ scruff trimmed precisely along his jawline. Before he could think of what they should do, the doorman spoke.

“Welcome to Razor. What’s your pleasure tonight?”

James stood speechless as the deep bass of the man’s voice resonated through the night. “The music. The music is wonderful. We caught it from a few blocks off and wanted to hear more.”

A smile emerged on the man’s face and changed him from executioner to guardian. “Of course, the music. You’ve found the right place. Just in time, too. Tonight is drawing to a close.”

He grasped the bronze door pull that was easily as long and thick as James’s forearm and opened the massive door with little apparent effort. He motioned them into the portal with a wave. “Go. Enjoy yourself.”

The pair moved toward the opening and peered inside. The room was dim, except for an empty stage bathed in warm light. James noticed the musical trio creating the instrumentals that had lured them through the foggy night. They glanced back to the grinning bouncer who encouraged them forward with a nod.

They stepped into the room and paused to take it in. From the elaborately carved dark mahogany bar lined with every imaginable type of liqueur, to the lovingly worn floor that had seen thousands of pairs of feet during its existence, it was all club. The couple moved inside as the door closed behind them with scarcely a whisper.

As they studied the room, two things struck James. First, they were the only customers. Second, everyone else in the room wore very little and were male. Their smiling waiter stepped to their table. James swallowed hard as he looked at the man standing before him. He dressed in the same boots as the bouncer, which were buckled to just below his knees. The remainder of the waiter’s clothing consisted of a black leather jockstrap filled to capacity.

Bio:

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.




Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Phoenix Embryo by Jeanne Marcella


Book One of the Seasons of the Phoenix Series





Jeanne Marcella was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Granted unlimited access to books at a very early age via the library, she quickly acquired a fondness for creating her own stories through word and drawing.

Going against the grain of mainstream top ten fantasy, she writes eccentric, GLBTQ dark fantasy dramas not for the faint of heart. 

Currently, she reworks her first novel about half-breed centaurs into a 2nd edition.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeanne.marcella.98 (I unpublished my FB fan page as it did not draw ANY traffic.)

Publisher: Jeanne Marcella
Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics

Blurb(s):




Excerpt:
Acanthus danced around in a chaotic circle, waving his arms and pointing out the window. “Dee! He took Minos. He had wings! He flew! Priests! By Staritti, there were adults in Regrets!”

“Shh. Shhh. It’s all right.”

“How can it be all right?” Acanthus yelled. He paced. He prowled. He was helpless. Edward made no move to restrain him. “They throw us away, ignore us, and then pick us off! How much more can we endure? You know we’ll never see Minos again, Dee! We’ll never see him again! Just like all the others!”

“I know,” Edward answered in a helpless, grating whisper.

“Minos didn’t have anyone,” Acanthus said to himself. “No one, for the last seven years. I feel so bad; I could’ve done something. I could’ve been his friend.”

“You can’t blame yourself.”

Horror washed through him. “Yes, I can. This is my fault. I wanted to break something today. I broke Minos.”
Edward put a calming hand to his shoulder. “Dearest, it’s not your fault.”

“We don’t know that for certain. We all should know better by now. All of us. We have to stick together, make sure everyone’s okay.”






Sales Links:

Review

I wasn't entirely sure about this book when I started. A group of children have been imprisoned within a forcefield by the adults, and one of them is trying to escape. What happens next is confusing, and it took me a while to get to grips with it. However, it was worth it. 

As the book progressed it became more complex and more compelling. I won't tell you anything about the story because I really don't know how to start. Suffice it to say, the phoenix in the title is surprising, fascinating and bloody scary.

If you like high fantasy, you'll love this story. The world building is delicate and complex but builds a picture of a society very unlike our own, and unlike any other I've read. 

Tension is palpable throughout, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat. for most of the time I was as clueless at Cat but that was okay, because I felt more connection with him because of it, and I was enlightened along with him.

This book is delicate, well written, scary, funny, confusing, enlightening, frustrating and uplifting. It's quite a journey and I would recommend you go on it for a great read and a very satisfying experience.

FACTOID

Some little snippets of information that may or may not be in the Rafflecopter 

56 – You’ve been bitten by something radioactive. What power do you get from it? It would probably be a radioactive cat. Then I would rejoice in the ability to not give a f***. Lol. 

57 – Eat out or dine in? It depends upon the mood and how tired I am. 

58 – What is the best gift you’ve ever received? I think it’s the gift of someone(s) believing in my ability as a writer. It’s been long-awaited.

59 – Best gift you ever gave? The best *gift* I ever gave was helping out family when they were in a bind. 

60 – What’s your favorite cookie? Chocolate chip, but I can’t eat them anymore. 



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