Friday, 24 June 2016

The Leech Trilogy by James Crawford

You can now get the complete Leech series by james crawford for only 99Cents. (All three books and just pay the one price) 

Check it out at

Caleo Leech Book 1 

Every High School has their social outcasts. The band nerds, the math geeks, the chess club, the girl that chews her hair, but at Butler High, even the creepy nose picker in the chess club is more popular than Caleo Anima. No matter what he did, his pale skin, snow white hair, and piercing blue eyes always made him an easy target. He used to think that the only way things could get worse would be if someone found out that he was gay, but that isn't even the tip of the iceberg of problems after a mysterious stranger shows up and changes Caleo’s life forever. Hidden amongst our society, a secret and magical race of people known as ‘Leeches’, have been engaging in civil war for decades. Both sides are desperately searching for a weapon with unlimited power that will give them the advantage they need to rule their world. This wouldn’t mean anything to Caleo, except for one problem...He is that weapon! Forget making it through High School. Caleo has bigger problems! As the search for him goes on, the world is quickly crumbling around him. He's now fighting for his life and the life of what little family he has left. With the help of new friends, he has little time to try and master his newly found powers as he tries to figure out who he can trust, who is trying to use him, and who just wants him dead. One wrong step and being the awkward pale outcast will be the LEAST of his worries. 

Jack Leech Book 2 

Every high school has it's social elite; the football players and cheerleaders ... you know, the popular crowd. At Butler High, Jack Barely was as close to the top as they came. Captain of the swim team, great hair, and abs that most would die for. However, that was all before the Leeches attacked, taking away everything: his popularity, his house, his grandmother, and even his best friend, Caleo, whom he secretly loved. 

Now, living in a destroyed world, popularity means nothing as Jack struggles just to keep him and his twin sister, Jillian, alive. With attacks happening more frequently, Jack starts to wonder why they are even bothering to try and hold onto the past when it just reminds him of all they have lost. Just when he has given up hope, Jack hears a rumor that Caleo is still alive and sets out on a mission to find him. But will Jack make it to finally tell Caleo how he really feels? 

Nolan Leech 3 

Every High school has its rock star. Maybe it's the quarterback, head cheerleader, or the valedictorian--the one student who outshines the rest. The one everyone knows will be successful in the years to come. For Nolan that was a lifetime ago, before he lost his sight, before he even knew what a Leech was. 

Now, all Nolan wants is to see Caleo survive to fulfill his destiny. A task that is becoming increasingly difficult as the government wades into the war, new enemies appear and the number of people trying to kill them skyrockets.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Wednesday Briefs Demon Chapter Twenty Seven

Another Wednesday comes around and a historic day approaches fast. Tomorrow Britain goes to the polls to determine whether we stay within the European Union. I'm terrified to tell the truth, but trying to comfort myself with writing. Today I take a prompt that many people will find even more terrifying but I hope I have presented her in a positive light for she is beautiful in her own way.

“Mmm.” I am warm and comfortable, my body light, as if I float in a sea of cloud that envelops me in downy arms. Everything is right. Perhaps I sleep in my lover’s arms. My lover. Tian. It has been such a little time and my feelings have grown so fast they should, perhaps, frighten me, as so many things have done in the past, but they do not. It feels absolutely right, this bond that formed inside. If I look it is there, a shining core that makes me feel…safe.
I smile. My lover calls. It is time to wake.
The good feeling lasts until I open my eyes, and for a moment longer, when I gaze into Tien’s adored eyes, but then memory floods me and I feel nauseated. What have I done?
I sit up too fast and dizziness has me on my back again. “I’m sorry,” I mumble as the slow burn of embarrassment touches my cheeks.
My father chuckles. “Easy, boy, you’ll have us all think you’re a weakling and I have had my first true confirmation that you are not. I admit that, in the past, I have found it difficult to find something to be truly proud of but I admit when I am wrong and I admit I did not look hard enough. Today you earned the right to your title and your position at my side. Rest now, and make preparations for in three days we will ride into the heart of the demons.”
“It’s called Coedwen,” Tian says quietly. “My country. My home city is Nestra.”
My father inclines his head without response. “Be prepared.”
I’m sure if I had been on my feet he would have slapped my back so hard I’d have fallen. With a grunt, he swings around and leaves the door open when he strides out. Father never closes a door.
“I still think you’re pathetic,” Jandra snorts, but she helps me to my feet and hugs me before she follows Father. I am left feeling stunned and strangely hollow. Should I not be happy? At last I have earned the respect of my family but they no longer matter. I have shown my true weakness in front of Tian. He is the only one who matters now. I cannot see Tian fainting from stress. And I was so angry with him. What a fool. What must he think of me?
Unable to face him I fix my gaze to the wall.  A spider has made a home in the intricate carving of the cross and spins a web from arm to arm. The intricate weave shimmers in the candlelight and appears to be spun of pure silver. The web is truly a thing of beauty, and yet there are so many who would call the spider ugly and would flee from it, crushing its tender body beneath their heel and sweeping away way all her hard work with one flick of a duster. A melancholic sympathy stirs in my breast. We all weave our webs and there is always someone looking to tear them down and crush us beneath their heel. I will not let that be me. I not let the be him.
I turn to find Tian regarding me with tender concern, and perhaps a touch of humour.
“I’m sorry. I was a fool. I should not have doubted you. I should not have been so angry.”
“Your feelings were high. I understand.”
And he does. I know he does. That’s what makes him so special, and what makes me feel like a spoiled child next to his calm maturity.
“You seem weary and it is very late. We should return to your chamber.”
A certain glint in his eyes makes my blood pool in my groin and I am dizzy again. The smile that breaks from me is brazen and even as I send a heated gaze in his direction my cheeks begin to burn and my heart flutters at my audacity.
Tian gasps, going very still. I stare in fascination as the tip of his tongue moistens his lips. Unlike me, he appears to have paled, although it is hard to tell with skin so fair. His reaction makes me falter. Is it attraction or merely shock that this child should play at being a man? Will it turn to disgust or condescension?
“Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?” Tian asks as he takes me in his arms. “When you look at me like that I fear I will explode as the poor shell of my body is inadequate to contain such feelings as you inspire in me.”
I shiver when Tian’s fingers ghost over my cheek. “I’m not really beautiful,” I feel obliged to point out. “You only think so because you…you….” I cannot dare speak the words I cannot dare believe them. If I speak I make myself vulnerable to a response.
“Because I what?”
I cannot look at him. The warmth that had envelops me turns to ice and I shiver in his arms. I know I should speak but fear traps my voice. I was not so afraid when I stood before the Counsel.
“Speak my love. Let me hear your acceptance. I know you struggle with belief in yourself, but never struggle with your belief in me. Speak what you know in your heart.”
It’s one of the hardest things I have ever done to force my eyes to meet his, and my voice to break free of fear’s restraints. “Because you love me?” I whisper and a smile lights his face more effectively than the candles light the room.
“Yes, I do love you. I love you with all my heart. But it is not my love that perceives your breath-taking beauty but eyes that have looked upon many men and a brain that can make a fair comparison.”
And with those words I am warm again.

Now go check out some more flashers who will make you feel warm

COVER REVEAL Cervena by Louise Lyons


When Joel Jones finds homeless Russian, Sasha, outside his gay nightclub in Prague, he cannot find it in his heart to turn him away, so he offers him a home and a job as a dancer and stripper.

Despite a fifteen-year age gap, romance develops between them, but is interrupted when Joel has to return to England for many weeks to deal with a death in the family.

Upon Joel's return, he is horrified to discover his business partner, Karel, has gambled away the club's money and put them all at risk. Joel buys him out of the club, but when Karel continues to gamble, the people he owes pursue Joel for the debt instead—and they'll stop at nothing to get paid.

Suddenly Joel and those he cares about—especially Sasha—are in danger, and Joel finds himself with no choice but to seek the help of known criminal, Vincenc Jankovic. Ensuring a happy future for himself and Sasha will mean a struggle and some difficult decisions, but Joel is determined to protect what they've built together.


“Fucking tease,” Karel responded, taking a step back.

“What the hell is going on?” I demanded. “Sasha?”

Karel muttered something as he walked away, and Sasha gave me a nervous smile. “He, um, he made a pass at me.”

“I saw. Are you okay? Karel can be pushy.” I frowned in concern. It should have occurred to me that Karel would make a move. He made passes at all the dancers at some point. The only surprise was that he’d taken so long to do it with Sasha.

“I’m okay. I told him to fuck off. Shame he doesn’t speak Russian. He probably didn’t get it.” Sasha’s smile became more genuine and his eyes twinkled.

“Oh, I’m pretty sure he got it. He doesn’t like rejection, so he probably won’t bother you again, but let me know if he does.” I made my way back to the bar, where Karel was waiting for a drink, gesturing impatiently at Kris.

“Karel.” I scowled as he turned to look at me.


“Leave Sasha alone.”

“Why?” Karel’s lips twitched up at the corners. “You’ve had a month to make your move, but you haven’t tried.”

“I don’t plan to. But I don’t want you messing with him. He’s a sweet boy. He’s not used to all this.”
Karel laughed. “He’s not a boy, Joel, he’s a man. Perfectly capable of saying no if he wants to. Which he did, by the way. So you needn’t worry, I don’t sniff around the same piece of ass twice if I don’t get anywhere the first time. He’s still available for you. But I wouldn’t wait forever.”

My face warmed, and I was grateful for the dimness and colored lights in the club to disguise my discomfort. I did want Sasha, and again I asked myself why I kept my distance. Maybe because I feared he would say no to me as he had to Karel. But my determination to keep away from Sasha diminished every time I saw him.


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Set Me Free by Kitty Stephens

Author Name: Kitty Stephens 
Book Name: Set Me Free 
Release Date: June 9, 2016 
Pages or Words: 63,000 words 
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance 
Publisher: Interlude Press 
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer

  Blurb: When an affluent college-bound boy falls for a young artist, he must choose between the life that’s been mapped out for him and the chance at true love.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Indefensible by Thomas Banks




Every leap in technology brings with it consequences. Today, drones are on the verge of demonstrating their benefit to society. Unfortunately, like all technology, they too will yield unintended consequences. 
Drones have become embedded in pop-culture and everyday life from hobbyists seeking entertainment to useful applications in business, Search and Rescue, Fire Fighting, and unmanned automated delivery of products. 
Unfortunately, like smartphones and GPS, drones will change the way we do everything…even terror specifically with regard to the asymmetric target rich nature of the United States. 
Indefensible introduces the reader to a new and frightening terror regime—Lone Wolf Technology Jihadism. Operating independently, Technology-Jihadists will be coordinated by remote leadership through social media guiding armadas of weaponized autonomous drones.  New-age Jihadists will operate invisibly within cities and towns driving their mini-vans and delivering C4 and biologic laden weapons within a few miles of their targets releasing their merciless vehicles on their autonomous journey to destruction. 
Albeit C4 laden drones are frightening. Unfortunately, the logical inclusion of biological contaminants such as Anthrax or RICIN is apocalyptic. Regardless of payload, swarms of micro-drones flying close to the ground are invisible to radar, catastrophic and indefensible. 
No target will be safe from this new-age attack system as autonomous weaponized drones swarm airliners, buildings, or outside gatherings of unwitting citizens. Drones have not only changed the tempo of warfare, they usher in a new era of remote and impersonal terror.
Indefensible doesn’t require the suspension of disbelief but rather acceptance of the inevitable.


Thomas Banks, in his debut novel Indefensible, has proven, if anything, he is a gifted and compelling storyteller.  In Indefensible, Thomas generously invites the reader to become immersed in his vision of the threats and concerns about technology, autonomous machines and corrupt agenda as western society is confronted by a plausible and impersonal threat from the east—fully autonomous micro-drone weapons platforms that are undetectable and indefensible.  
    Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator, Thomas       weaves a story not requiring time travel and
the reader’s suspension of disbelief, but rather awareness of the daily news.  A story not requiring some far off future setting but one that lays at the tips of our fingers displayed in living color on the screens of ubiquitous smartphones and tablets.  Indefensible is a story that is believable and relevant to our time—and more importantly, frightening.
Moktar Barakat, the sinister Islamic leader and antagonist represents an evil so broad and powerful one hero is simply not enough.  Offsetting Barakat’s dominance, Thomas introduces a spectrum of heroes from the highly motivated and patriotic Sheriff Graham to young Ricky Granger, often found in a Starbucks with his head buried in his iPad gaming away, each playing a pivotal role in surviving the unrelenting onslaught of automated terror.
It’s obvious storytelling is only one of Mr. Banks’ many talents as he so ably demonstrates between the covers of Indefensible.  Not only are we left with a genuine sense of fear and dread, we are reminded by the drone buzzing around outside our own windows, surveilling the neighborhood, that Indefensible is an all too real possibility needing little to set off one’s imagination.
From the first word, Thomas sidesteps the humdrum of commercial storytelling and draws upon his myriad of talents including flying, business and most importantly, technology.  Thomas literary ‘firststep’ is finely crafted in the third person providing the reader a perch high above the action.  
Indefensible introduces the reader to a new author, uniquely individual and self-sufficient leaving one with the sense that Indefensible is only the first of a future body of excellent and exciting work.
A certain fact is Thomas Banks is going places, whether here or there, in name or body, we are pleased to share this brief glimpse into his vast, agile and creative mind that has, with respect to the literary world, laid quiescent for much too long.

His detailed writing makes you feel like you are in the story

“Thomas Banks could write a screenplay for a movie, his detailed writing makes you feel like you are in the story. The story held my interest even though it is not my typical genre! I found the role of social media in the novel very interesting; it really makes you think about how influential and dangerous social media could be. I found the younger characters in the novel very relatable, I think that social media has become so prevalent these days that we don't think about the dangers that could possibly ensue. I felt like I was watching the news and seeing a live behind the scenes documentary- it was like I was finally privy to all the top secret information! Highly recommend this novel and can't wait to see more from this author!”
“What a scary, scary concept! Banks, not only has thought of a previously unimaginable future - but one that is totally likely. And he obviously knows all of the technical information that would make this scenario possible. The future he predicts is frightening. While the book is positioned and reads like a novel, it really his prediction of our future. Read it and you'll think differently about the near future and about how technology and terrorism are coming together.

I’m looking forward to the movie!

“I’m frightened. Banks creates a world in which drones and cyber warriors dominate us in the not so distant future. It’s scary to think of this happening. Even though this is a novel, it felt like this could be the world we live in in the next ten years. Banks does a great job of creating a believable and frightening sci-fi novel. I’m already looking forward to the movie!”

An axe is a tool, until it is used as a weapon. A Drone is a tool, until ...

“Indefensible is a very compelling story about a future that may materialize any day or any week. New technology on its face is neutral with the potential for both good and bad. With drones, we see the entertaining aerial videos, the use for remote police surveillance, and the future potential of Amazon package delivery. The author weaves a fascinating narrative around the darker side of drone use that is captivating, absorbing and … terrifying. There are 5 books on my night stand ½ finished after I lost interest – this book was not one of them. This was a real page turner that was difficult to put down since it felt like I was reading next week’s newspaper. Though this is a fictional story, you WILL be reading about the accounts in this book … either in the newspaper when these event actually occur or by reading about it here. Highly recommend.” 

I pay more attention to drone news now

“Banks take a relatively safe hobby item, sold in stores and mall kiosks, couples it with modern technology, men with twisted belief system, and voilà, we have a terrifying look at tomorrow’s headlines! This is an exciting, technically solid forte into the all too real future. I couldn't put this one down, and can't wait for his next offering!!”  

The premise of this book is brilliant, important and totally feasible

“The premise of this book is brilliant, important and totally feasible. I wondered throughout the book, 'is the author revealing something he shouldn't?'. I have referred this book to a number of friends, but is seems those who love technology or who work in tech are truly absorbed by it. Good job Mr. Banks!”

Recently the world’s leading scientists and technologists signed an open letter issuing this warning: “Humanity’s next great threat—autonomous weapons. They believe their versatility and capability will make autonomous weapons the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow.”

LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA, Sept. 25 —  Thomas Banks, an Orange County computer technology executive debuted his geo-political thriller, INDEFENSIBLE available on  INDEFENSIBLE explores the threat posed by autonomous micro-drones as stealthy C4 and biologic laden weapons of mass destruction.  “I believe this discussion has to begin.  In INDEFENSIBLE I bring to light the looming threat of advancing technology represented by autonomous personal drones deployed by lone-wolf embedded Islamic extremists,” said Banks.  “INDEFENSIBLE reveals a frightening strategy that is intrinsically stealthy, undetectable and more importantly, indefensible,” added Banks.
INDEFENSIBLE’s setting is global, as Moktar Barakat the terrorist leader highjacks a corporate jet carrying leading autonomous drone engineers.  One quiet morning America is awakened to Barakat’s plan as an airliner arriving into Southern California is destroyed.  Soon you learn no place and no one are safe. 

INDEFENSIBLE doesn’t require the suspension of disbelief but rather acceptance of the inevitable.
As one Kindle reader of INDEFENSIBLE wrote: “…the future he predicts is frightening. While the book is positioned and reads like a novel, it really is his prediction of our future…”
Banks is available for interviews, appearances, speaking engagements, media appearances, and book signings.

Contact Information


 Where to buy: Available in Kindle and Paperback from


In a nutshell, Thomas Banks is a 30-year business professional with specific experience in marketing, sales, software design in disciplines ranging from healthcare to mobile gaming.   Banks at his core a serial technology entrepreneur demonstrating vision, command, and insight and incomparable communication and management skills — an innovator and heavy lifter that eagerly takes the lead on any project and shepherds it from concept to market.  Simply, Banks is a rare breed, a visionary with an eye for detail and a get-it-done attitude.
In the past decade Banks has been the CEO of a public healthcare information management company and more recently a mobile gaming start-up ( demonstrating his solid foundation in accounting and audit procedures as well as the much maligned public company reporting process.  Bottom line, as a business professional Banks knows what it means to “own” a P&L understanding capital, its importance and its formation for he has personally raised over $20 million in development capital for a number of the companies he founded.

Banks is unique by the fact that he clearly enjoys exploring and exploiting uncharted territory.  As a highly experienced instrument and multi-engine rated private pilot with over 1,800hour in the cockpit Banks demonstrates his capacity for planning and mission critical decision making.  Decision making that matters. When it comes to business, Banks draws upon a broad spectrum of experience to manage the dynamic and fluid demands of business.  

Friday, 17 June 2016

Cover Reveal. Cosmic Inception by Alicia Nordwell


I'm so happy to be able to help reveal this cover because don't you think it's utterly beautiful?

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Christine Griffin

Pre-order Release Date: 6/17/2016
Official Release Date: 7/18/2016

Genre: MM Science Fiction
Length: 288 Pages/110k
Rating: Adult/Mature

Buy Links:

Their journey will span the universe and back, but there’s no guarantee they’ll make it together.

Though Nick and Fieo are drawn to each other, their relationship has never been easy. Their differences go beyond their races, but they’ve managed to work together to prevent the spread of corruption, growing closer along the way. Nick still battles the effects of years of loneliness, fear, and pain but surprises everyone when he refuses to stay behind when Fieo is sent on a vital mission to find the Collectors. Fieo objects, but there’s no stopping Nick when he sets his mind to something. Over the course of their mission, it becomes clear Nick is more than anyone ever imagined, but the mystery of his past threatens to derail his future.

The search for the truth will take Fieo and Nick far from Caeorleia, to worlds both familiar and completely alien, and put stress on their already tenuous relationship. It’s a journey that will either tear them apart or finally bring them together.

Chapter One

“Look at you.” The humid warmth of the garden enveloped and welcomed me. I stroked one finger across the fluffy yellow pod of a waist-high flower. The small strands curled in and then opened back into a wider puff, sending out a glowing powder that drifted high into the night sky. I chuckled. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the small flower was ticklish. I rubbed the pollen off against my shorts, glad I hadn’t tried to smell it. “You haven’t told me about these yet, Jirulm.”

The elderly Caeorleian was mumbling as he plucked clusters of hard orange buds off spindly stalks. I’d picked up the habit of talking to the plants from him, and it wasn’t hard to see why. They were so alive.
I had flowers, and fruit, and vegetables. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get to live on a planet with wild flora. My schooling and job training had focused on creating new strains of food crops that were grown in chemical vats in the midst of a planet covered in metal and concrete.
Not exactly natural. Or very appetizing, if you knew where they got the basic building blocks for the food. No one had ever questioned it—I hadn’t either, until I’d taken the job with the Federal Food Service Corp after I couldn’t find a job anywhere else. Horrified when I learned the truth, I’d spent a few days unable to choke more than few mouthfuls down at a time, and they rarely stayed down. My mistake had been telling a coworker my plans to reveal everything to the public.
Of course when you’re a prisoner and starving, you tend to ignore the fact your food was grown from cells harvested from composted humans, and you ate it anyway. Beggars couldn’t be choosers.
And I’d begged. A lot. At least five years spent on a spaceship as the experiement of scientists had sucked all hope from me. But then the military scientists’ plans had gone wrong. Ryker and Seral had been sent to the planet in a bid for more information. The doctors assumed the Caeorleians would blame Ryker, one of the hated nelho scum they named the human soldiers waging war on their planet. Instead, something completely unexpected happened. Seral joined in besedad with Ryker, bonding them together.
In a daring attack against the human military, using the nanos they filled Ryker with to spy on the Caeorleians, Seral had brought down the scientists’ enormous ship and spread the reengieeered nanos like a plague to the rest of the fleet. Along they way, they also rescued Dade and me, the only other two survivors of the scientists’ experiments.
And once again, I was wide awake in the middle of the night. The memory of the moments right before rescue came, when I was forced to watch as the human scientists cut the alien woman open, and listen as the sadistic doctors planned to cut my belly open to compare organs, disturbed my sleep almost nightly and left me sweating and shuddering in my bed.
I didn’t mind being awake in the early morning hours all that much. Some of the flowers in my garden only bloomed at night. Besides, I didn’t have much to do, so I could nap during the heat of the day. With a planet this tropical, it made sense for Caeorleians to be seminocturnal. Night was the only time I could count on finding Jirulm, the gardener who taught me about the plants in my garden. Ovrumi suggested I would enjoy gardening when he caught me wandering in the corridors, flinching away from the others passing by.
“It’ll be time to prune those soon, Nicklaus,” Jirulm said. The hum of his voice was low, nearly indistinguishable from the light wind rustling through the plants.
“But they’re just barely blooming.” Sure, flowers indoors brightened up the rather plain walls of the Residence, but all the ones in my suite were potted. I didn’t like to snuff out their already brief lives.
“Good thing, too.” He examined the flowers, pulling at one of the fluffy heads. “When agvarali have absorbed enough energy to glow, the heads detach during the final bloom and migrate along the breeze.”
“Oh, I bet that’s beautiful.” I could just imagine the small glowing fluff balls floating along a soft night wind, though I wasn’t sure if I’d get to see it. Fieo, the stubborn ass, refused to believe I’d be going to find the Collectors with his team, so I had no idea when the departure was planned. I’d assumed sooner rather than later, but maybe I’d still get to see the final bloom—some of the heads were already glowing a faint yellow.
Jirulm snorted. “Beautiful… and dangerous.”
I cocked my head sideways. “What do you mean?” Sometimes getting information out of the old alien was like pulling teeth. But when he did speak, he knew basically everything there was to know about plants on Caeorleia.
“They gather energy, like sampanga trees, but so much in such a small sphere means when they touch something—or something touches them, like a careless finger—they explode.”
I snatched my hand back. “Explode?”
His lips twitched at the corners. It was probably the closest I’d come to seeing a smile on his face. “Oh, not enough to kill you, but you could easily lose a finger in the energy jolt that spreads the seeds. Luckily, these blooms are harmless.”
“That doesn’t sound harmless! Why plant these in a garden if they’re so dangerous?” I couldn’t believe they were actually cultivating the damn things.
“They attract insects to pollinate the other plants.” Jirulm tapped one long stem, and one of the creepy flying bugs crawled out of a waving puffball and flew to another vine a few beds over. “See.”
That was one aspect of gardening I could do without. I did not like bugs. I had nightmares of them crawling inside my ears and laying eggs that would hatch into little buggy babies just dying to burrow into my brain. I backed away from the agvarali. “Well, feel free to prune these while I’m gone.”
Thoughts of going into space again on the mission kept crowding into my mind, disturbing the peace I usually found in my garden. I tried pushing them away and succeeded for a while as Jirulm rambled on. After checking the natural spring fountain in the center of the garden that fed the irrigation lines, he left me alone. There was a small carpet of grass around it, the blades a dull gray in the silver light of the moons. Nighttime lent a certain somber feel to the garden, muting the usually vibrant displays; I sighed as I settled on the grass to stare up at the stars twinkling.
There was a lot of beauty in the darkness.

About the Author
Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find something interesting to read one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started ... Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out.

Fortunately for readers, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing. Now you can find her stories both free and e-published!She can be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on under her online nickname, Cia.

Oh yeah, she's a wife, mom of two, and lives in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course!    

Find her at: 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Carefully Taught...we were taught to hate.

Wednesday Briefs. Demon Chapter Twenty Six

So we find ourselves at another Wednesday and here I am flashing my briefs. As to this week's promt? Kudos to those who can guess :D

My heart breaks that my prince should doubt me so. It breaks double that he should doubt himself. His loss of trust in me is hardly surprising as I kept from him an important secret, especially as I knew it would hurt his confidence when he discovered it. His lack of faith in himself is not only entirely unfounded but might very well be disastrous for us all. This is a crucial time for relations between our peoples and strong leadership is vital. I have no idea what went on within the Counsel chamber but I have no doubt my prince showed strong leadership. I saw it still in the way he dismissed his sister.
And yet… I cannot say it was a façade because I do not believe for one moment that it was, but it is a side of my love that has been cruelly crushed and will take time to nourish and heal. Time we do not have.
castien’s glance shies away and he will not meet my eyes. I pull him close and embrace him tightly.
“You are a great man, and you will be a great leader. When you doubt this, I will always be at your side to remind you.”
For the longest time, castien pressed his face to my shoulder and his slender body trembles with the force of the struggle I know goes on within him. So many conflicting emotions. He wants to trust; I know he does –  me and himself.
“No more lies. No more secrets,” he says, his voice muffled.
“I swear it.”
castien raises his face. I had expected to see tears but there are none. He searches my eyes, then gives a deep sigh. “I believe you.”
We sit and I try to tempt castien to eat. He steadfastly refuses. He seems deeply weary but he will not return to his chamber.
“They will come,” he says, “and I will be ready, not roused from sleep and standing before them in my night clothes.”
“Who will come?”
castien shakes his head and wilts, his hands hanging between his knees. It hurts to see him so. I lay my arm across his shoulders and pull him close. He does not resist.
It takes an hour but, as my prince predicted, they come. Their voices reach us first. I hear them approach from a distance, which says much as the castle walls are thick and the tapestries also dampen the transmission of sound.
castien rises to his feet. I do not miss his slight sway before he rights himself and straightens his back. I rise to stand at his side and lace my fingers with his. He glances at me and smiles. His complexion is very pale, and his eyes bright. I fear this day will prove too much for him. jandra’s words haunt me. Better she would listen to her own advice.
The door bursts inwards and the king strides in followed immediately by his daughter.
“What in the name of all the Gods did you think you were doing?” the king roars at castien. The prince’s fingers twitch in mine but this is the only sign of his alarm.
“What had to be done.”
“Reckless fool. You could have wrecked months of careful negotiation.”
“But I didn’t. They will posture and complain but the will fall in behind whatever plan we make. I have made it impossible for them to do otherwise.”
“Stupid child,” jandra spits at him. “How could you imagine for one moment you were fit to speak before the High Counsel? Not even I would dare do such a thing uninvited. And you disturbed a crucial meeting. How could you have embarrassed Father so? If I were he I would have you flogged for your insubordination.”
castien’s fingers tremble and I can tell that it is only rigid control that prevents his body from visibly shaking. I doubt he could speak now. His hand has turned icy and his face waxen. I have seen men look like this before and I am mindful of his delicate condition. I promise myself that if his lips turn blue I will take him from this place and these people who would so badly hurt one of their own when they know he struggles with his constitution.
jandra was not finished. She took two quick steps forward before the king put out his hand to stay her. It did not stay her words though. “Do you know what you have done? From what I overheard you not only spoke, you commanded; demanded. They were furious; outraged.”
Words fail her and silence falls, into which I resolve to pour my defence. castien must not believe he stands alone. I am a prince too. It is time I began acting like one.
Before I can open my mouth the king begins to laugh. It would appear that everyone is as shocked as I.
“They were, weren’t they?” The king spluttered, laughter quite overcoming him. “I was concerned chancellor badbury would have a fit. And lord grace.” Laughter robbed his words again and I an quite puzzled as to why he would consider the situation amusing.
“They’re a load of old goats and it was time they were shaken up.” The king sobered. “You have done me a service today. You have opened my eyes to the power of words over swords. I have…not been entirely fair to you, it seems.” The king’s entire demeanour changes and his words soften. “Well done, lad. Well done.”
“Be silent jandra. The time comes when all need think long and hard on our misconceptions. This family is no exception. Remember, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
“You’ve gone insane. castien was a little brat and he gets praise?”
“We all get what we deserve sooner or later.”

“I….” castien whispers, his grip on my hand tightening, then he crumples to the ground in a dead faint.

Now check out the other flashers. There are some gems this week