Friday, 4 May 2018


One guy intent on caution. One an adrenaline junkie. Love could be one risk too many. 

March is determined to lose the numbness that accompanies a history of loss and blame. Desperate to feel something—anything—the adrenaline junkie base jumps off cliffs, soars on hang gliders, and embarks on dangerous sea-borne rescue missions. But any release he feels is fleeting, and when you play Russian roulette with fate, eventually you come crashing down.

​No matter how hard Caleb tries to forget his past, a dark shadow is always behind him. When a bizarre turn of events results in him being trapped in a sea cave, Caleb wonders how his mantra—safety at all costs—could have failed him. On the point of drowning, he’s stunned when March surfaces in the cave.

​March’s disregard for the rules saves Caleb’s life but gets March into a heap of trouble. Not least of which is the guy shivering in the boat next to him. March tries to ignore Caleb but it’s already too late. Together, they take small, awkward steps toward love. But Caleb’s past is waiting to sink in its claws…and this time, it could drag him to his death.

Warning: This book contains difficult flashbacks of child abduction and sexual violence, but also the incredible perseverance of two men who never give up on love—or each other. Bring your tissues and a heart that believes in the resilience of the human spirit.


I read this book some time ago, before I started writing reviews on a regular basis. I think there’s a difference between reading a book just for the sake of it and reading to review. Or maybe it’s just that reading for a second time releases you a little from the tension and allows you to see things you might previously have skimmed over. I know, for sure, that with my favourite books I can read and re read and always find something different.

This isn’t one of my favourite books, but it’s competing with the likes of Sir Terry Pratchett so it was never going to come out on top. Having said that, I certainly won’t be stuffing it in the back of the bookcase either. (or the bottom of the kindle, or whatever)

Caleb and March are not your usual characters, and both have big issues that come out in different ways. While March is a danger junkie, Caleb is so cautious he double thinks himself crossing the road and refuses to try to keep up with March when following him in the car. March’s lust for taking risks, however, comes in handy when he goes against direct orders from his superior on the lifeboat and jumps into the water to save Caleb from a cave.

At first, both March and Caleb are reluctant to start a relationship, for very different reasons. At first, it appears that March is stuck in the closet and reluctant to admit he’s gay. While that is generally true, he is not denying it to himself, far from it. Much of his problem comes from a deep sense of loyalty to a lover he believes is dead. Caleb, on the other hand, has no problem being out and proud, but is also mourning two deceased and one almost deceased lover.

The real problem, however, arises when Caleb begins to wonder whether his past losses may have been linked and March might be next in the chain.

Despite the darkness in Caleb’s past, he’s an utterly engaging character. He’s sweet, funny and full of life. Given his love for all things wild and dangerous, March is much more cautious on a day-to-day basis. They are so, so lovely together that despite the dangerous goings on my main edge-of-the-seat moments came from their misconceptions and misunderstandings. Being privy to their thoughts makes things both better and worse.

There were some idiosyncrasies of writing that I found difficult at times. We switch back and forth between Caleb and March’s pov’s with no space or any indication of the switch. Sometimes, it led to me being slightly lost as to whose head I was in. I honesty can’t see that as a problem, though. If a moment’s confusion pulls you out of a story, then you probably weren’t that invested in it in the first place.

There is plenty of story to be invested in, for sure. Not only is there tension between March and Caleb and a huge question mark over whether their relationship is every going to get off the ground, but Caleb’s past is breathing down his neck and it’s a deadly one.

At the same time as the present-day story progresses, we have peeps back into the nightmare world Caleb inhabited from the time he was 12 years old until a few years back, and that story was running right through the middle of everything. It was a brave move and I think it paid off. It was a continual reminder of why Caleb acted in certain ways and, in some sense, how he became who he was.

I have to admit that some ways this didn’t work for me. For one thing, given not just what happened but how Caleb thought and felt at the time, I think Caleb got over it too fast and too completely. 
Apart from the odd panic attack, which he deals with remarkably well, he pretty well-adjusted given his background. March has had a far harder time dealing with his relatively less traumatic experiences, although I survivor guilt is nothing to be taken lightly.

There are some big surprises at the end of the book. Some I saw coming a mile away, some I didn’t. The reader is being asked to suspend disbelief on one or two things and I was more than happy to do so, given the reward. Others might be sniffier and purist about it and for them it might go beyond the realms of the believable. That would be a shame because they’d miss seeing the sun by focussing too hard on the cloud.

I was utterly charmed by this book and its characters. Caleb and March are the most adorable couple I’ve read in a long while, partly because they are so real with all their flaws and uncertainties, but also so bright and alive in their approach to life, the universe and everything. Caleb, in particular has such a sharp, witty, even sarcastic personality that absolutely blows me away. He’s that slightly weird friend that everyone wants to sit next to at the party because he makes them laugh and always has something funny and intelligent to say. March, on the other hand, is the one holding back slightly with a proud and loving expression on his face making sure no one who might spoil his vibe gets within shouting distance.

I know a damn good story when I read one, and this was a damn good story and a half.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Wednesday Briefs The Faery of Beacon Lake Part 12

“Damn, you’re freezing. You’ll be ill. Here.”
He shucked out of his coat and wrapped it around Bran’s shoulders. Bran snuggled into its warmth with a little sigh and Owen couldn’t mourn its warmth even though the cold cut into him like knives slicing his skin.
“I don’t like being cold,” Bran announced as they picked their way along the sheep track. It was slow going as Bran had no shoes and kept complaining that his feet hurt.
“Isn’t it cold in the water? You didn’t seem cold when you were sitting naked on a rock.”
“It’s never cold in the water, hot either. It’s always the same. And when I was on the rock, I was wrapped in a spell. Until today, I have never set foot outside the barrier as a human. I have never been cold before.”
“Then lets hurry. The sooner we get home, the sooner you can sit by the fire and have some hot chocolate to warm up.”
“What is hot chocolate?”
“Have you never had it?”
Bran shook his head.
“It’s the best, and my grandmother makes the best of the best. You’ll see.”
“Is it far? My feet hurt.”
“Almost as far as the last time you asked about five minutes ago. I’m hurrying as much as I can, but it’s still a way off.”
“I can’t walk much further.” As if to prove a point, he stumbled over the tussock and had to cling to Owen for support.
“You should have worn shoes.”
“I cannot. I can bring nothing with me from the other shore.”
“Oh damn. Well, hurry up then.”
Owen practically dragged Bran along the path, his mind whirling. More and more consequences forced themselves into his racing mind. What the hell was he going to tell people? How would he explain Bran? Where would Bran live? What would he do? It wasn’t as if Owen was in any position to take care of him. He was barely able to take care of himself.
Owen stopped at the plaintive cry. He realized he’d been so caught up in his head he’d fallen into his usual pattern and pace and had left Bran behind. Frustrated, he hurried back to the struggling faery.
“I thought the fey were supposed to be at home out of doors, flitting around the mountains and luring unwary travellers into fairy rings.”
“I-I’ve never been out of the water, not on land. I don’t know what other fey do.” He ducked his head and bit his lip. “I’m not going to deny the luring part though. The water needs life force sometimes.”
Owen froze and stared at Bran, who squirmed under the scrutiny. “What do you mean?”
Bran shrugged, glancing at him nervously. He looked away and shuffled his feet, wincing as sharp stones and grass stems dug into the tender flesh of his feet.
“Tell me.”
Owen’s voice came out harsher than he’d intended, and Bran took a step back. He looked frightened.
“Tell me.” Owen repeated, advancing.
“I don’t know what you want me to say.”
“You’ve lured people into the water, haven’t you? To their deaths. You’ve drowned people.”
Bran licked his lips and flicked his eyes up. “Not me.”
“But your people, your family?”
Bran nodded, his eyes wide and filled with uncertainty.
“You’re murderers.”
“The water requires life force sometimes; sacrifice.” Bran swallowed and rallied drawing himself straighter. “It didn’t used to – until humans came and stole its purity.”
“Stole its purity?” Owen sneered. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means, human, that you make the water dirty, you poison everything in it. You even poison yourselves. The water is as much alive as the land, and you poison that too. There has to be balance. You take the life force from the water and the water has to take it back or we all die.”
“You stand there talking to me about murder as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.”
“It is not murder. Murder is wasteful. It’s sacrifice.”
“Semantics. You and your family are murderers. Shit. I should have listened to Aggie.”
“Who’s Aggie?”
Owen ignored Bran and turned for home. Squaring his shoulders against the cold wind and the pleading cries from behind, he walked as fast as he could and didn’t stop until he’d slammed the cottage door behind him.
Aggie looked up from her seat by the fireside.
“Didn’t go well then. Well, I tried to warn you but you didn't listen. How did you get out of it?”
“I didn’t.”
Aggie raised an eyebrow.
“He’s a monster,” Owen burst out. “He admitted to murdering people. Well…not him, but his family. Sacrifice, he calls it but the end result is the same. He’s been watching me since I was a child - every time I went to the lake. I suppose I’m lucky he didn’t see me as a sacrifice. He tricked me. It was all a trap. Probably so he could leave the water and spy on us on land. They don’t like humans, at least his father doesn’t. None of them trust us.”
“Do you blame them?”
Owen glared at Aggie, but couldn’t keep still long enough to keep the focus. He started to pace.
“What am I going to do? What have I done?”
“I don’t know. Why don’t you start by telling me what you’ve done?”
Owen quickly recounted what had happened at the lake, with Aggie growing more and more alarmed.
“Where is he?” she interrupted while Owen was in full flow complaining about Bran’s constant whining.
Owen blinked, annoyed. “I don’t know. Still fumbling about on the mountain I guess. He’s the bloody faery, he can find his own way.”
“Are you insane?” Aggie surged from her seat and loomed over him. “I have often thought you to be a foolish boy, but I have never imagined you could be such a cruel one. Go to your room and wait for me there.”
“What? Am I five?”
“Go to your room.”
Owen opened his mouth, but no words came. Aggie was furious. Owen had never seen her quite so angry, at least not when the anger was directed at him. The old woman seemed to increase in size, looming over him. He swallowed hard and backed away.

“O-okay.” He turned and fled.

The other flashers who are going all out to entertain you today, are 

Friday, 27 April 2018

RELEASE DAY Alpha (Tamed & Trained #2)

Title: Alpha (Tamed & Trained #2): Sequel to Puppy (
Authors: R. Phoenix & M.A. Innes
Length: Approximately 39k words
Buy Link:(only $2.99 for a limited time; also available on KU):
Release Date: April 27, 2018


Zain was just a dog walker. It was an unconventional job for a werewolf, even a brand new one, but he liked dogs and they liked him. It only seemed to make sense… right up until the point a vampire called him in to take care of his human pup. When his life collided with Liam and Caleb’s, none of them were prepared for the directions it could take.

Especially Zain.

But between the sexy pup and the vampire’s creativity, the power struggles pitting dominance against submission — and acceptance — the two might be too intriguing to just walk away from… 

When M.A. Innes, bestselling author of sweet taboo romance, and R. Phoenix, author of playful dark erotica, paranormal romance, and horror team up, you should leave your expectations at the door. The duo responsible for Almost Strangers, a sweet contemporary romance with more than a few taboo themes, has collaborated again to bring you something from the other side of the force.

That said, here are a few notes from Raissa:

This is not an alpha / omega / beta tale, at least not in the usual sense (designation at birth, slick, heats, mpreg, primary focus on the werewolf part, etc.). Alas, “Alpha” in this universe is completely different and refers more to status. I hope you’ll give it a shot anyway, but please don’t expect A/B/O dynamics! (Though there are plenty of Big Os in here. Just saying.) 

To M.A. Innes’s Readers:
I’ve temporarily corrupted your favorite author. Don’t worry; it isn’t permanent. Seriously, though, please do not go into this book thinking it is a typical M.A. Innes book. It isn’t. Innes is writing in my world — and my world is a much darker place. The warnings are there for a reason, darlings!

To R. Phoenix’s Readers:
Hello, my loves! It’s great to (finally!) get back to Caleb and Liam. Thanks so much for being patient. I know it’s been a while, but I hope you’ll agree this was worth the wait. You know the drill — this is playful dark erotica, emphasis on the dark. If you’ve read Puppy, you’re (probably) ready for Alpha. ;-) Give a warm welcome to Zain!

Other Notes:
*This is the sequel to Puppy by R. Phoenix, which should be read first. Sorry, loves, it’s definitely not a standalone.
*(Warnings/Potential Spoilers) Prepare for M/M/M, puppy play, body modification, humiliation, dehumanization, and other stuff I’m forgetting about right now. Not every dynamic or element is 100% consensual.

Social Media Info:


M.A. Innes

M.A. Innes is the pseudonym for best-selling author Shaw Montgomery. While Shaw writes femdom and m/m erotic romance. M.A. Innes is the side of Shaw that wants to write about topics that are more taboo. If you liked the book, please leave a short review. It is greatly appreciated.

Do you want to join the newsletter? Help with character names and get free sneak peeks at what’s coming up? Just click on the link.

You can also get information on upcoming books and ideas on Shaw’s website:

R. Phoenix

R. Phoenix (code name: Raissa) has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, humor and pain, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes love can corrupt, power can redeem and that the best of intentions can cast shadows while the worst can create light. She agrees with those who say that the truth is best told through fiction — even though fiction has to make sense while reality can be utterly baffling.

She loves chatting with readers, though she often awkwardly rambles. No matter how much she tries to keep her bad and often perverted sense of humor in check, it seems to escape at the most inconvenient moments. (Thanks, universe.) Feel free to friend Raissa on Facebook and chat or send her an email!

Facebook Profile:

Facebook Page:

Twitter: @RaissaPhoenix

Email: raissa(dot)phoenix(at)gmail(dot)com

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Wednesday Briefs. The Faery of Beacon Lake Part 11

Its been something of a strange week, between one thing and another. I've been busy and it's been a challenge to fit everything in. fortunately, one thing I managed to fit in was my flash and here it is. Bran, as usual, totally encompases the meaning of the word.

Owen drew himself up as tall as he could. The shadow of his grandmother stood at his shoulder telling him what a fool he was, but he ignored her because she was just a shadow and Bran was a blinding light.

“What do I have to do?”

The queen regarded him intently and he was surprised to find there seemed to be a great deal of sadness in her expression.

“I believe you will do your best by our son,” she said, with the clear implication that his best could never be good enough. “Are you sure?” She turned to Bran, who nodded.

“You know it can be no other way,” he whispered, and Owen was shocked to realize that Bran was as nervous and out of his depth as he was. “I fought it as long as I could. I waited, as you asked. Don’t make me wait any longer.”

The queen nodded once, then turned her attention back to Owen. “Then I ask again, do you promise to care for our son, Bran, Prince of the Mountain Lakes and Guardian of the Gateway? Do you promise to honour him and never to raise a hand against him in violence?”

Owen glanced at Bran, then out at the lake. Something about the stillness of the water and moonlit path across its surface calmed and soothed him. He nodded. “Yes. I promise.”

“As for the bargain, Prince Bran will bring with him as dowry—” she reeled of a list of things Owen barely listened to because he’d caught and been captured by Bran’s eyes which glowed so brightly they diminished the light of the moon.

“Human boy?”


The queen sighed and stamped her foot. “Do agree the dowry?”

“Er…yeah. I don’t need a dowry.”

The queen’s lips pursed. She was clearly frustrated, and afraid she might think he wasn’t taking things seriously, Owen squared his shoulders and met her gaze directly. “Yes, I agree. I’m fine with it.”

“Very well. For your part of the bargain you will promise to care for Bran, to provide him with food, clothing and shelter, to lead him through the pathways of your world and never to be far from his side. You will promise to treat him with kindness and to never raise your hand against him in anger. Should you do so three times, the bargain will be broken, and Bran will return to the lake, taking whatever might remain from the dowry with him. Is this clearly understood?”

“Yes, I understand, and I promise. I’ll take care of him, give him everything he needs, and I will never, ever raise a hand in anger. Why would I? I’m not that kind of person.”

The queen waved a dismissive hand. She drew Bran forward and took his hand. Raising it, she held it out toward Owen. For a moment, he was confused, then he took a few quick step forwards and placed his hand over hers. As he gazed into Bran’s dazzling smile, the queen slipped away, and when he next looked up they were alone on the banks of the lake.

“Where did they go?”

Owen glanced back at Bran to find a naked boy whose only glow came from the moonlight striking 
off a single silver earring in the shape of a seashell. Owen decided he liked him better this way.

“So…we’re married now?”

“That is the closest human equivalent, I believe.”

“So…what do we do?”

“Whatever you wish, but I would like for it to be somewhere warm. I have never been cold before, and I don’t like it.”

“You’ve never been cold? But you live— You’ve always been naked.”

Bran ducked his head. “I felt no chill within the spell and as for my nakedness, well….” He glanced up again and smiled. “That was for you.”

Shock hit Owen like a bucket of icy water. “You what?”

“Do you really think you could catch a fey if they do not wish to be caught? Do you think you could see one if they do not want to be seen?”

“It was a trick? You lured me in.”

“No trick, human boy. A lure? Perhaps. I have been watching you.”

“Watching me? For how long?” Owen began to feel uncomfortable. Bran’s glance seemed more sly than coy now.

“Since you were a child, sitting on the bank, just over there, making stones jump over the water. I saw your first kiss and watched your heart broke when you were going away.”

Owen gasped. Anger, hurt and confusion punched into him like a fist in his chest. “You spied on me.”

“I watched you. I wanted you. I did nothing to force you. I….” Bran bit his lip and dropped his eyes 
again. “I felt for you.”

“Felt for me? Felt what?”

Bran shrugged. “Perhaps I am in love with you?”

“You don’t know?”

“I don’t know what love is.” He raised his eyes again, more curious than anything else now. “Do you?”

“I…. Sure, I know.”

“Tell me.” Bran stepped into his space, his eyes burning, eager. Owen took a step back. Bran froze. 

“Do you not love me? Do you not wish to hold me? To kiss me? You did before.”

“Look, this is all moving way too fast. I’m married to someone I hardly know, someone who’s admitted to spying on me for years and luring me into this… situation. At the moment I have no idea what to think. If I’m being completely honest, I feel… trapped.”

Bran winced but nodded. “Then take me home. You can think while we walk.”


“Please, Owen. I am very cold.”

Owen blinked and for the first time realized that the blue tinge to Bran’s skin no longer came from the faery light, but from sheer cold.

And the other flashers this week are 


Monday, 23 April 2018


FINALLY! I'm happy with the new theme, I've got to grips with design and content and the Newsletter is ready to go. I will post on Friday so you have 4 days to sign up. This edition is packed with information, teasers, excerpts and a great Giveaway.

Don't miss it. Sign up now!

(You can sign up here or on my website)

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Blog Tour - Gaming and IRL Boss Fights by Alina Popescu

Title: Gaming and IRL Boss Fights

Series: Famous on the Internet, Book Three

Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance

Length: Novella (38,000+ words)


An internet famous geek. A sexy landlord who hates him. An unlikely duo with slim chances of beating the romance game.

Simon Cromfield’s life seems perfect from the outside. His gaming channels made him an internet celebrity, he has great friends, and he’s just moved into a luxurious apartment. Yet his gorgeous landlord did a one-eighty turn and decided he hates Simon, his family thinks he’s a total failure, and some of his fans act like they own him.

Branden Dahlman has enough on his plate. He doesn’t need that pest, Simon, who became the bane of Branden’s existence on top of a large estate he never wanted and a family that drives him insane. As he unleashes his resentment on Simon, the sexy bastard insists on proving Branden wrong about everything.

In an unlikely turn of events, when Simon hits his lowest, Branden is there to support him. But will this new-found thing between them last when the pressures of Simon’s world come crashing in?

Gaming and IRL Boss Fights is the third book in the contemporary gay romance series Famous on the Internet. If you like geeks, binge-watching online content, and enemies-to-lovers tropes, then you will love Alina Popescu’s online celebrity protagonists.


Okay, I have to start by saying that I’m reviewing an ARC as part of a blog tour. If you don’t know me, you won’t know that I have absolutely zero qualms calling things as I see them, whether I buy the book or I’m reviewing for a blog tour.

Neither knowing the author nor being part of a blog tour has had any effect whatsoever on the fact that I absolutely loved this book. No, that was the way the author brought to life the trials and tribulations of the professional, gaming, You Tuber. It’s strange to think there are whole generations out there who have no idea of what a professional You Tuber is, and I suppose I should be one of them. I probably would have been if not for the fact that I’ve been an mmorpg gamer since the whole thing started in the stone age, and my son is also a massive fan, as well as a fan of You Tubers.

I particularly like You Tubers because their videos and stream are short, and I can fit them in between working, during snack or procrastination time. I have my favourites who I follow closely, both gamers and more general (yes, I do love Dan and Phil).

This book brings the world to life on the other side of the camera and shows both the sheer amount of work that goes into it and the massive rewards, only part of which are financial.

History is full of mothers who think their children do not have “proper jobs”. Actors and actresses, artists, musicians…the list goes on. You Tubers are the new generation of deadbeats who live in the shadow of the “proper job brigade”. Thankfully, they’re not taking any more notice than their predecessors.

The characterisation is wonderful. I loved Simon to bits. He was such a hot mess. And I want a friend like Salma. Hell, I’d love to be a friend like Salma. Branden, I have more reservations about. Don’t get me wrong, he’s well written but he’s a complete dick and I didn’t warm to him until the end. Considering the way the alpha male (not in the shifter sense) he was by far the brattier. That being said, it all worked out in the end.

I have to admit that being a gamer myself coloured my opinion of the book as I found it totally relatable. The con, in particular, brought back some good memories. However, I don’t think that a background or any knowledge about gaming is required to fall in love with this book and everyone in it.

Gaming and IRL Boss Fights is part of a series “Famous on the Internet” but it can totally be read as a standalone.

Buy your copy of Gaming and IRL Boss Fights today to join the game.

Buy Links

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon DE:

Amazon AU:

The Famous on the Internet Series

Book One – Br0th3rly

Tristan’s love life has one simple rule: his brother, Trevor, is off limits.

To fight his relentless love for Trevor, Tristan left for college at sixteen. A new city, building a new life for himself, and making new friends were not enough to give up what he considers sick, twisted feelings. Tristan even started an anonymous blog to cope with his love for his older brother. It made him famous on the Internet, but it wasn’t enough to get over his obsession.

Every time he goes home, a quick glance at Trevor brings it all flooding back.

When commitment-phobe Trevor introduces his serious boyfriend on one of Tristan’s rare visits home, things get a whole lot more complicated for the adoring kid brother. How far can Tristan run this time before he runs out of places to hide from his feelings?

Disclaimer: the main characters in the story are not blood relatives, the two boys were only raised as siblings.

Buy links

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon DE:

Amazon AU:

Book Two – Travel and Spice

Famous travel blogger returns home to have his life thrown off balance by his high school crush.

Dante Sandford is at the top of his game. He’s paid to travel the world and share his spicy stories on his blog. He’s still young, gorgeous, and confident. When Dante’s high school reunion knocks on his door, he’s reminded of everything he’s lacking. More so when his old crush, Tommy Clancy, makes a pass at him. Or when the hot romance blows in Dante’s face because of his lifestyle.

Tommy has always been the hottest man in Riverbrook. Possibly the world. He’s stunning, smart, and the kindest soul Dante has ever known. He’s also read Dante’s blog along with all his steamy encounters. No wonder Tommy doesn’t trust Dante for anything more than a casual hookup.

Dante returns to hometown Riverbrook to face his past of bullying and feeling like a misfit. He instead ends up dealing with the reality of being a travel blogger: relationships are close to impossible. That won’t stop Dante from trying to convince Tommy his short-lived flings are not by design.

Buy links

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon DE:

Amazon AU:

About the Author

Alina Popescu is an author, traveler, and coffee addict. She has published several paranormal, science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary series, many of them having reached the Amazon bestseller lists for their genres. Her stories often fall under the LGBTQ fiction and romance subgenres.

Born and raised in Romania, Alina has been writing for most of her life. She’s an avid consumer of stories in all their forms. She’s fascinated by myths, folk tales, and other creators’ visions of the future. She finds her inspiration in books of all genres, movies, and the occasional TV shows or anime binges.

Alina is a proud geek and needs her fast internet connection and assortment of gadgets more than she needs air.

For a free taste of her writing, visit her website at, subscribe to her newsletter and get a free copy of her military gay romance, Mission: Protect the Ex.

Connect with Alina on social media:






Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The Faery of Beacon Lake Part 10

Life has been a struggle lately, but the very bright side of the coin is that my long, long writing draught seems to be over and I'm writing again, albeit more slowly than usual. Hopefully, this will continue to grow and expand and I can finally get back to working on all the WIP's that are hanging around waiting for attention. In the meantime, enjoy the next instalment of "Beacon Lake"

“You are the human who presumes to claim my son.” The king’s voice was like waves crashing against rocks in a storm. Although white-haired, he didn’t look old, neither did the queen, certainly not old enough to have a son Bran’s age. A brief flutter of unease had him wondering how old Bran was. They fey lived long lives.
“I… um….” He stuttered when he realized he was expected to speak.
“Speak up, boy.” The king turned to Bran. “Are you sure? This one seems defective.”
“Hush dear.” The queen’s voice was more like a bubbling spring brook and she smiled gently at Owen. “You’re frightening him. I told you all this” – she waved her hand to encompass the warriors and maidens – “was too much.”
“Nonsense. I will not give my son to a wishy washy human boy. I will have a warrior. I will have a leader among men.”
“You will have no one, dear. This is about Bran, not you.”
“But I am his father and I have the right—”
“You have the right to many things, but as we agreed, you do not have the right to your son’s happiness. Bran has chosen, not you.”
The king growled and glared at Owen who had the impression this wasn’t the first time the conversation had taken place in much the same form. It was, however, the first time the king had Owen to pass the buck to.
“How do I know you will care for my son? How do I know you have honour?”
Owen opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He swallowed.
“You see?” the king thundered. “He has no answer. He—”
“He’s still a frightened child, and you’re not helping.” She turned to Owen. “How did you know about the bread, dear? Do have a connection with the fey? A forest spirit, perhaps? You have the feel of the deep woods about you.”
“I…no. It was my grandmother who told me about the bread. I think…I think she knew because of…of stories.” He finished lamely because, to be honest, he had no idea where his grandmother got her information.
“Ah, stories. Stories are powerful things. Not many humans are still aware of this. Your grandmother is wise.”
Turning to Bran, the queen held out her hand. Bran stared at it for a moment, an expression of shock on his face, then took it and stepped forward. A shudder ran through him when he set foot on the shore, and his outline seemed to ripple for a moment as if he’d walked through a heat haze.
“Do you wish to give yourself to this human?”
“I do, Mother.”
“Do you understand that for as long as the bargain holds you must remain on land and the moment the bargain is broken you must return to the water and never set foot on land again?”
“I do, Mother.”
With two fingers under his chin, she tilted his face upward. “Do you love him?” she murmured.
“I do, Mother.”
“But….” Owen paused. It somehow felt wrong to interrupt what seemed like a very private moment, but he seemed to be heading very quickly into something he wasn’t sure he wanted and had no idea how to get out of. “What bargain?” He hated how pathetic he sounded, but he was lost and out of control.
“I’m coming to that, dear.”
“I do not think this human boy is worthy. He has no courage, and no commitment. He seeks to wriggle out of the bargain before it is made.”
“I know what you, think, my love. You have told me many times. The bargain.” Her voice changed on the last two words as she drew herself up and snapped her fingers. One of the handmaidens, while careful to keep her toes in the water, handed the queen a scroll, bound with a silver thread. The queen carefully unrolled it and raised her eyes to Owen.
“Human boy, do you promise to care for our son, Bran, Prince of the Mountain Lakes and Guardian of the Gateway? Do you promise to honour him and never to raise a hand against him in violence?”
“See? He cannot even promise this.”
“Be quiet, dear. Give the boy some time. Our ways are not his ways.”
“The thing is…. The thing is, I didn’t expect…. I didn’t expect to marry him.”
The queen’s smile didn’t slip an iota. “I understand that things are different in your world, but you must understand what you are asking of our son? If he comes to you he will be alone in a world that is not kind to us. For as long as the bargain holds he will never be able to return home and the only person he will have is you. I cannot allow my son to take such an enormous step unless I am sure you will take care of him and treat him well.”
“Of course I would. I’d never hurt him.”
The queen smiled sadly. “Such things always begin with good intentions. The bargain is clear. The choice is yours. Seek within your heart. Will you take my son’s life into your keeping, or will you hand it back to me and never see him again?”
Owen’s heart stuttered. He was torn. Part of him was angry that he was being forced into making a life changing decision when he wasn’t ready. Then he glanced at Bran.
Bran was standing quietly, with his hands at his sides and an impassive expression on his face. His head was slightly bowed, but his eyes never left Owen and when Owen caught his gaze he gave a faint, hesitant smile. That’s what undid him. If Bran had been his usual brash self he might have thought longer, might even have walked away. But that smile was so small and hopeful, and Bran’s eyes so bright Owen could no more imagine walking away from him than tearing his heart from his chest and throwing it at his feet. Although, perhaps that’s exactly what he was about to do.

And now go check out the rest of the flashers this week. There are some amazing stories going on

Saturday, 14 April 2018

RELEASE DAY Hidden Embers by Jane Burrelli

Title: Hidden Embers (Book 1 Bride of Fire)

Author: Jane Burrelli

Release Date: 14/04/2018


What happens when the forbidden is fated?

Can an exiled princess rise from the ashes?

Would the flames destroy me or forge me stronger than ever...

After all, fire and ice don’t mix. Or do they?

Sales Blurb

When the gods breathed life into us, they blessed us with an element. It's a pity they didn’t care to bless anything else.

The Empress of the Throne of Flames is assassinated. Acting as a decoy to protect the next Empress, the undervalued Princess Nymira flees to the north. She must now carry the sacred sword, the symbol of her people and rejoin the Empress.

It is a mission Mira cannot fail but first, she must traverse the Western wastelands. The journey is perilous and the once sheltered princess finds herself rescued by the Ice Lord, Zorren. The leader of the Iceari, the natural enemy to Firelanders.

Zorren is reputed to be a ruthless leader and Mira fights the attraction that blazes between them. Resulting in a clash of not only their wills but also their elements. After all, fire and ice don’t mix. Or do they?

This is book one of the new Bride of Fire series. Join the journey to a mystical world and the adventure and romance that awaits.

Publisher’s Note: This fantasy romance is intended for adults only and contains elements of danger, suspense, mystery, adventure, and sensual scenes set in an apocalyptic world.


Blue eyes twinkling, the Icer set the kindling on the ground and offered me his free hand as he straightened. I took it, grimacing as my side protested at the stretch. Worry furrowed his brow. “Are you hurt?” “No.” I tried to snatch my hand back, but he held on, turning me slightly. His heavy hand connected with my rump and I yelped as he dusted the snow off my backside with a little more vigor than strictly required. “Hey!” He grinned unrepentantly, and with a final, and in my opinion, wholly unnecessary swat that had me leaping forward he released me. “That is a taster if you ever feel the need to leave camp again on your own without telling anyone.” Stooping, he gathered the kindling while I stood there vigorously rubbing the injured spot and gaping like a fish. It felt like his handprint had been branded onto my buttock. “Y… you’re… you’re not serious?” I spluttered. That blond eyebrow rose a bit more. 
“Very. Is this how the slaver’s caught you unawares before?” My face heated and I found something fascinating on the ground wishing it would swallow me whole. “I thought so.”

Purchase Links

Amazon Author Page UK:

Author Bio

When I realised that the world was not hiring for a ‘sarcastic but benign Supreme Ruler of the Universe’ I’ve decided to focus on my passion. By day I work in a UK company’s finance department and by night I become my alter ego Scribble Girl or as my good friends have affectionately dubbed me the 'sex author'. Always armed with a notepad and pen in the black hole I call a handbag, I have been writing never-ending stories since the age of 11 and this all stemmed from my love of reading. 

I love reading. Period! 

I’m part of the Harry Potter generation and while waiting between books would literally devour any book I could get my hands on. Let’s put it this way J.K Rowling has a lot to answer for. I adore that there is no end in sight to where your own imagination can take you and that between the pages of a book you are transported to another world. 

Happy Reading! 

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