The sounds of Holley.

audiobook with headphones

I feel like I haven’t popped in in forever. It’s been one of those unexpectedly busy summers and I’ve been dropping the ball all over the place. I’ve taken trips to both coasts (one coast twice) and also hung out on a boat for about a week. I’ve also had a body-rattling cough for about two weeks—a gift from either the cruise ship or from the Uber driver with the phlegmy throat.

The kids are finally back in school, and though my house is a mess (which made for a somewhat mortifying appraisal experience a couple of days ago because apparently you can’t just turn off the lights and wish the dirt away), I’m finally settling back into a regular writing and admin schedule.

UnwrappingMrRothFinalAudioOne of the things I’m working on right now is trying to get audiobook versions produced for my Hearth Motel books. Hearth is one of my shorter series, thus far, which is why I’ve picked that one to start with.

Specifically, I’m putting the holiday novella Unwrapping Mr. Roth through the process first. I’m currently screening narrator auditions, and I think I’ve got some really good ones! Of course, I have voices in my mind of what I think Gillian and Nick sound like, but what’s most important to me is the actor nailing my particular brand of humor.

I’m excited to see what shakes out, and hopefully, I’ll have more news about that project soon. Once that’s locked in, I’ll start planning for Prince in Leather. Ideally, I’ll use the same narrator for the entire series, but we’ll see if the stars align.

Question for you audiobook listeners: do you prefer male or female narrators in romances with dual POV? Will you skip an audiobook if the narrator’s gender isn’t right?

Let me know! I’m so curious.

Shooting Bear – A Puppy Tale

KaLyn and Little Bear2 fav

We finally had success.

This past Sunday, I meticulously curled my hair and actually put on makeup for the first time in over a month.  Don’t judge me, it was Day 25, post hip replacement surgery. I felt prepared for my photo shoot….with Little Bear.

2016-08-21 13.48.54That day I changed his name to Little Bastard. He had found the only mud puddle in our yard, by creating one all by himself. He was so proud as he splashed and played “Can’t Catch Me” with Favorite (only) Son.

Once cleaned up, Macho Marine decided we should take the pictures in my favorite spot, my porch swing. That worked for me since I needed to sit due to the surgery.

SIDE BAR: I have discovered that controlling 65 pounds of muscle with the ADHD brain of an unrepentant child, is nearly impossible. Oh, you want me to sit here? Where? Here? Or over here? Shiny object! And he bolts until he reaches the end of his leash, jerking me to my core. Reminder: I’m Day 25 so my core isn’t what I consider stable and strong, yet.

So I sat down on the swing, and MM wrangled Little Bear onto it beside me.

He didn’t fit. His butt fell off.

More lifting, maneuvering, and repositioning. We put his head in my lap and decided that would have to work.

At this point I decided the black slacks were a poor choice on my part since Little Bear was shedding.

2016-08-21 15.01.31As I wiggled to get comfortable, the swing moved.

Did I mention that Little Bear gets car sick? Yep. About the time I heard his stomach gurgle, I warned MM to hurry up.

Needless to say, none of those pictures worked. It might have been operator error, though, but I learned many years ago you don’t mention such things to your spouse, who is doing you a favor.

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Little Bear not wanting to look at Macho Marine and the camera

Several Ginger Snaps later, we moved the photo shoot from hell inside. In case you didn’t know, the cookies help settle a dog’s stomach….and the sugar improved MM’s mood because he likes them too.

Seated in a century-old rocker given to MM’s grandparents as a wedding gift, in front of the fireplace MM and Favorite Son built last fall, we finally got Little Bear to cooperate for one, mind you just 1, good picture, out of more than two dozen.

The picture will be used as part of a national campaign promoting Dog Tags for Christmas. Noel’s Puppy Power is my contribution to the anthology with Lindsay McKenna and J.M. Madden.

You can pre-order Dog Tags for Christmas here:

Top 5 Reasons Everyone Has a Secret Amnesia Wish (according to Sara Daniel)

banner Bride Worth Fighting For

  1. You can forget about that douche who dumped/cheated on you. A chance to forget about your lousy ex? Heck, yeah. Sign me up now!
  1. You can forget about all those bills left over from the holidays. The new toys are broken or out of batteries. Your new sweater got put in the dryer and is too small for a Chihuahua. And you’re pretty sure the Chihuahua’s to blame for your missing left glove too. But the credit card bill refuses to give up on those regrettable must-haves. If you can’t make them go away, at least you can forget about them for a while…or forever.
  1. You can forget about that relative who totally ruined your holiday too. Speaking of the holidays, you can’t stop replaying that scene in your head where little Timmy ran around the house with your vibrator and Uncle Sicko suggested you to give a family demonstration. Pass the brain bleach, please.
  1. You can ask for help re-learning all those things you were too embarrassed to admit you didn’t know how to do. Let’s face it. You have no clue how the TV-Blu-Ray setup in your living room works. All you know is it has more cords and remote controls than a spaceship. But now you have the chance to learn how to operate it, so you can pop in While You Were Sleeping without your significant other rolling his eyes. Plus, you need to see the movie again because you don’t remember anything about the story.
  1. You get to fall in love again for the first time. There’s nothing quite like falling in love with that special someone you plan to spend the rest of your life with. But a few years into happily ever after, the relationship becomes bogged in the middle of a giant game of keep away. Dirty dishes, laundry, the day job, bills, and kids all work together to keep the spark that drew you two together away from you. But throw in some amnesia, and now you have to discover who this person is that you’ve pledged your life to. And that matters a lot more than a few mountains of laundry. Plus, the toe-curling, heart-pounding, cheek-flushing thrill of new love is an experience that will reward you every day for years to come.

Since I don’t recommending knocking yourself over in the head in hopes of sampling the rewards of amnesia, go for the vicarious experience, courtesy of Gwen Fairfax in A Bride Worth Fighting For.

ABrideWorthFightingForFinal_200x300If she remembers the past, they won’t have a future.

Gwen Fairfax awakens in a hospital, deluged by stabbing head pain and unable to remember anything about her past, especially the man who claims to be her fiancé. A trip to the Wiccan Haus is her only hope to discover the woman she used to be, understand her mysterious dreams about a resort, and fall in love with the man she’s supposed to marry.

To stop his stepmother’s land development schemes from ruining the natural habitat he’s dedicated his life to preserving, Tucker Wilde is willing to do anything, even pretend to be engaged to the woman his brother left at the altar. But he isn’t prepared for the sweet, vulnerable woman to tempt him at every turn until he longs to give in to the temptation.

The more Gwen gets to know Tucker, the more she’s certain he’s a man worth remembering. But if the Wiccan Haus heals her memory, he’ll have to fight to keep his bride.

 

Excerpt:

“This week is for you, Gwen, not me.”

She shook her head as they stepped into the elevator. “It’s for both of us. Just because you’re helping me get my memory back doesn’t mean you should have any less of a vacation.”

If he wasn’t enjoying himself, why would he want to share his life with her? Up until dinner, his complete focus had been on her, but his eyes didn’t shine when he looked at her the way they did when he talked about his conservation efforts.

Just because they were engaged didn’t mean their relationship had been perfect before she’d lost her memory. By paying attention to what he loved, she could strengthen their bond or discover if they were right for each other at all.

As the elevator crawled upward, she glanced at him, unable to believe he wasn’t right for her. Not only was she comfortable with him, their chemistry compounded with every passing moment. The real question was if she fit with him, but she didn’t know herself well enough to answer.

The elevator doors opened, and Tucker placed his palm against her back as they exited. A few steps later, they stopped in front of her room. “This is you,” he said.

“Yeah.” Now what? She had no idea how to wrap up the evening and no past experience to fall back on. “Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee?”

He raised an eyebrow. “Is that a euphemism for something else?”

Oh gosh. She might not have a memory, but she understood what she’d implied. She forced a laugh to cover her embarrassment and deflect the sex offer she definitely wasn’t ready for him to take her up on. “Apparently, you’ve gotten engaged to a clichéd and trite woman. I fell asleep so fast earlier, I didn’t notice if the room had a coffee pot.”

His lips twitched. “I would never get engaged to a cliché. Don’t sell yourself short.”

She rubbed her temples. If he’d been attracted to something unique and special about her, she’d like a clue what that thing might be. She enjoyed getting reacquainted with him, but getting to know herself proved far more unsettling. “Okay, no coffee and no euphemistic coffee. Uh, good night?”

“A goodnight kiss?” he suggested.

She dropped her gaze to his full pink lips. How many times had those lips kissed hers before? She wanted to remember, but she couldn’t handle the intimacy of a full, deep kiss when who she was remained elusive.

Rising on her tiptoes, she brushed her lips over his cheek, scratchy with his customary beard stubble. The touch warmed her, inviting her to linger and explore his face. Instead, she pulled away.

A Bride Worth Fighting For

Wiccan Haus Series
ISBN: 978-1-61333-888-9
Length: 32,000 words

Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

all 3 from DominiqueSara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to steamy and everything in between. She grew up in a small town and was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. She loses her car keys three times a day, occasionally loses her husband, but never, ever loses her laptop.  Subscribe to Sara’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/rx_AL Visit her website: http://www.SaraDaniel.com
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Sinner Free at Amazon! Manhandled on Sale for $.99!

Now’s the time to pick up Sinner FREE at Amazon for a limited time only! And Manhandled is just $.99!!!

Here are the purchase links and remember Sinner is FREE:

https://www.amazon.com/Sinner-Hades-Squad-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00SAVCYZK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1471279768&sr=1-1&keywords=sinner+by+carlo#nav-subnav

https://www.amazon.com/Manhandled-Wind-Dancer-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01836GW5O/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

Excerpt from Manhandled:

Rolan Anthony Paxton’s dawn fantasy had him in a state of rapture.Manhandled-Jianne_Carlo-200x320

“Rolan, sweetie?”

Stifling an automatic wince, he lifted one eyelid and looked at the blonde servicing him. Cindy-something, great boobs and a god-awful, high-pitched, nails-on-the-blackboard voice. He should have picked the other one.

“Hmmh?”

The yacht’s engines hummed to life, and the boat vibrated and rocked. An open porthole let Mediterranean brine into the room, along with an unexpected morning chill. Monte Carlo’s perpetual traffic buzzed in the background.

At least she hadn’t stopped using those wonderful hands, but that happy thought evaporated with the dig of a nail.

“Ouch,” he winced and glanced down. “Watch the nails, babe.”

“Oops, sorry.” She cupped a hand over her mouth to suppress a nervous giggle.

A barrage of firm knocks hit the cabin door, and he cut to the sound, mood souring and lips curling.

Figured—it took him longer and longer these days, and the slightest mishap turned him off. Age, it had to be, since he was thirty-one and tired of the same old, same old.

Money, fame, success—he had it all and nothing counted anymore.

He knew he should be grateful. How many athletes made it to the championship, not once, not twice, but three times?

Startled out of his brooding by a repeat of rapping on the burnished mahogany door, he shot a look at the blonde and ordered, “Cover up.”

In a louder tone, he called, “Come in.”

Without looking up, he snagged the cover sheet and began drawing it over his calves. He stopped when an audibly gasped “Oh, no” penetrated the silence.

His head snapped up, and a stunned paralysis claimed his limbs.

He’d never forgotten those eyes, the color of liquid caramel, that wild hair, every shade of a fiery sunset, and a bottom lip so plump, so inviting that one night he hadn’t been able to resist nibbling on it for hours.

Sarita Khan, the nose-in-a-book classmate he’d been forced to serve four Saturdays of detention with during his last year in high school. The girl whose virginity he’d taken on prom night after breaking up with the captain of the cheerleading team. Those sweet elfin features haunted his dreams intermittently over the last twelve years. Adrenalin surged in his veins, and his heartbeat accelerated.

Sarita, his Sarita.

That bronze-dusted complexion paled beneath his scrutiny and she swayed. The breakfast tray balanced on her forearms listed back and forth. She swallowed, slapped a palm onto the table cemented to the left, and squeezed her eyes shut.

“Are you okay?” He hopped out of the bed, oblivious to his nudity, and stalked forward. “Here, let me take that.”

For a few seconds she gripped the tray tighter, but she didn’t lift her lids. Then her hold slackened.

He tugged the tray away and set it on the table. Eyes Krazy Glued to her delicate, heart-shaped face, raking a quick assessment of the changes over the last twelve years, he forgot Cindy, the boat, the injuries plaguing his career—everything save Sarita and sweet memories. The compulsion to trace the soft curve of her cheek, cup her face, and suck that lower lip was defeated only by a nervous giggle in the background. Rolan stifled an internal groan, and he fisted his hands.

Excerpt from Sinner:

The first kitchen cabinet she opened yielded ten packs of candles. By the time Lincoln Sinner-Jianne_Carlo-200x320returned, Destiny had finished her list, and a dozen flickering candles imbued a soft golden glow to the main cabin.

Surveying the room, she sighed.

Wasn’t this every woman’s fantasy?

Stuck in a warm cabin in the mountains with a hunk who looked like he knew more about sex than Antonio Banderas. So he thought she was easy. It wasn’t as if they’d ever meet again in real life. And he didn’t seem to have any problem with her being ten pounds overweight. Okay, okay, maybe fifteen. But who would know? In four months she turned twenty-seven, and she’d never had torrid sex, never had a hot affair.

The wind howled and lifted the top of a snowdrift into the air when Lincoln, carrying a bundle of logs, kicked the door open. An icy finger sailed on the gust, trailing a chill around Destiny’s neck. She wished she’d packed a scarf, and tugged the blanket over one ear.

Lincoln used his boot to slam the door shut.

“Why didn’t you start a fire?”

“With what?” She’d held a dozen lit matches to one log, and the wood didn’t even catch a spark.

He looked to the ceiling.

“The normal tools—paper, logs.”

“Bite me,” Destiny snapped. All dreams of a romantic snowed-in couple of days went poof. What a bully.

He stacked the logs on the other side of the fireplace and, in less time than it took her to inhale, or so it seemed, had a blazing fire crackling and spewing sparks. The scent of pine infused the air.

“I will.” He stood and unzipped his parka. “You like it rough, I take it?”

Lincoln shrugged out of his jacket, stowed the garment on the three-hook wooden coat stand to the right of the door, turned to face her, and smiled.

She shivered. The man had a bone-melting, devil-may-care grin.

“What?” He couldn’t mean….

“You like to be bitten?” A forefinger stroked the cleft of his chin.

“None of your business. What are you? Into kink?”

“Depends on the kink. I’m not into pain, but I’m not averse to a love bite here and there. Or a few spanks.”

Spanks? She was in over her head. Cripes, she’d always wondered about that. Pervasive guilt from Sunday school lessons and spending three hours in a porn superstore made her blurt, “Look, let’s get a few points cleared up. Those toys and DVDs weren’t for me. I don’t do that kind of stuff.” She paused, trying to erase the image from her pupils of her over his knees.

“And here I was hoping that deep throat was your specialty.” He started unbuttoning his shirt. “Do we have food?”

***

Hope this starts your Magic Monday!

Cheers,

Jianne

 

Tami Lund Asks: Bearded or Unbearded

Bearded or unbearded?

This was a teasing comment from a post that—initially—had nothing to do with exactly what you are thinking right now. But I couldn’t help it—I started to think—exactly what you are thinking right now.

Bearded or unbearded?

I’m old enough to know that once upon a time, sexy pics didn’t necessarily equate non-bearded pics.

I’m not even talking about girls, either. Let’s focus on the guys for a minute.

….

Oops, sorry, I was distracted. Thinking about guys. First, the obvious beard: facial hair. Me? I’m all for it. My husband is a high school football official. It’s his side gig, something he does for fun, yet he takes as seriously (or more so) as his day job. Last fall, in an effort to prove how badly they wanted to work the finals (the gold medal of football officiating, if you will), his crew all went clean shaven for the season.

I’m not sure who was more obnoxious about our displeasure—me or my daughter. He’s had an extended goatee since she was a baby, and she’s eleven now. She was probably unhappy due to the change. Me, I just like the facial hair.

Mens-Beard-Guide-Infographic-Real-Men-Real-Style-700

Pic Courtesy of “Men’s Guide to 16 Beards” – http://www.realmenrealstyle.com/beard-infographic/

Now, let’s travel south. Naked torsos. Yeah, let’s stop there for a while.

Chiseled muscles. Six-pack abs. That V… Me, I could care less if it’s bearded or not. Actually, that’s not true. I kinda want a little beard. It feels more… real. Less porn.

Now, let’s head even farther south… Still with me? I figured you were. I’m not the only one who’s dying to find out what that V is pointing at.

Beard or no beard? That’s a legitimate question. Let’s face it; most guys probably have an abundance of…beard. I mean, guys are hairy creatures. They just are. Often more so on points south of their shiny bald heads.

There are places I’d rather not see a beard. Like on a guy’s back. So I suppose that means I don’t want one everywhere.

tumblr_ma63abskc01rpzwfno1_1280
I’m okay if it’s a bit thick down… there. I was born in the seventies. Started having sex in the nineties. Fell in love with my first rock star back when Jon Bon Jovi still had a hairy chest. A really hairy chest.

So I suppose I’d say I’m kinda used to it. But times change. People grow. And shave. And wax. And laser. And I’m a flexible kind of girl. I go wih the flow. I’ve adapted to this new, bearded, yet often beardless society. I think I’m happy either way-or with the best of both worlds.

How about you? Beard or no beard? Or all of the above?

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is a writer and wine drinker who ponders the strangest things. Head on over to her website for more interesting reads…. www.tamilund.com.

The Problem with Puppies

Noel's Puppy PowerAs I write Noel’s Puppy Power, the antics of my own 7-month-old puppy, Little Bear, continue to appear.

2016-04-12 12.18.19

When Little Bear was about three months old, he and I visited the Granddoll and Favorite (only) Daughter. He destroyed the carpet in the guest bedroom.

2016-07-01 21.21.44We needed to go to Florida when Little Bear was six months old  so I discussed his carsickness problem with the vet. He gave us magic pills.  Or, maybe it was the fact we took the motorhome. I don’t care, he didn’t get sick and rode like a champ.

I personally love the weather in East Tennessee. It’s been in the 90’s lately so Bear prefers to spend his days inside with me while I write, face over top the register enjoying the air conditioning. The other day I heard a clunk. Then a clink. Followed by Little Bear’s clanking dog tags…but the sound wasn’t quite right. I found him in the bathroom, pawing at the floor register which was stuck on his dog tags, hanging around his neck like a huge prize.

Now that I’ve shared some of my dog stories, please COMMENT below with your puppy stories. 

>>Someone will be selected at Random to WIN a COPY of Noel’s Puppy Power!!!

Get 3 Books in 1
Dog Tags for Christmas

Pre-order TODAY!!

Noel’s Puppy Power by KaLyn Cooper

Tanner Hill is better at communicating with animals than women. That might be why he hasn’t had a second date in over two years. He’s also been extremely busy with his kennel that has become the premier training facility, specializing in supplying dogs to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Then again, there is this psychologist he can’t get out of his head, or his heart.

Dr. Bailey Conrad would never allow the loss of half her right leg to an IED in Iraq to stop her. Every day at the VA hospital, she sees patients who have lost so much more to the war effort. It’s her goal in life to help as many vets as possible to find a ‘new normal’, because she knows firsthand, it’s the internal scars that can be the most difficult to heal.

SEAL’s Christmas Dream by J.M. Madden

When Veterinarian Willow James’ office is broken into, it’s natural that she turn to her soul mate, former Navy SEAL K9 handler Joe Flynn, to track down the culprits. The trail leads to a notorious Pit-Bull fighting ring. It may take a Christmas miracle and a helpful nudge from an old partner to get everyone home safely.

Snowflake’s Gift by Lindsay McKenna

Two veterans—one human,one canine—have returned to Montana to recover from the traumas of war. FormerArmy Ranger Nick Conway depended on his WMD dog Snowflake to help him navigateIEDs on the battlefield. Now he needs his best friend to help him cope with hisPTSD and acclimate to civilian life. When he meets Holly McGuire and agrees to help her deliver meals to the elderly, her inner light calls to him, but his demons hold him back from giving in to his attraction. But Snowflake takes an immediate shine to the kindhearted Holly—and he has never led Nick down the wrong path.

Buy Links

Locke and Blade – Lynn’s New Release!

LockeandBlade_WD Here’s the latest release from me. It’s really a re-release, and not much has changed. It’s been edited a bit, so if you already have it, skip it, unless you love the new cover. I want to thank MLR Press for letting me republish this novella. It’s one of my favorites.

Blurb – When Locke and Blade must work together to solve crimes, but will dislike turn to attraction in the heat of fighting their enemies?

Christopher Locke is a man with a tarnished reputation. When he’s transferred to Waterford Station to serve as inspector, he meets Jonathan Blade, his new partner. Jonathan thinks Christopher is a brute. Chris thinks Jonathan is a snob. Both think the other is more than attractive, which might be more dangerous than the enemies they must face.

Except – Jonathan Blade slammed the door of his office, crossed to his desk, and fell into his chair.
“The God be damned!” He ran a hand over his face and then leaned back and closed his eyes.

What had Wilson been thinking, bringing that big brute here to Waterford? They were two men short, true, but Locke? He looked a ruffian, every inch of him, never mind the way the man’s muscles strained at his uniform, or the way the scar on his chin piqued Blade’s interest. Why hadn’t the healers removed the jagged line? Why leave it to mar the man’s rugged good looks?

Was it a symbol of something? A reminder? A vanity?

A man such as Locke would, no doubt, try to take charge; perhaps try to win Blade’s spot as second-in-command. He might try to test his skills against Blade’s, but Blade knew he’d win in that contest. No man or woman had bested him during their station’s competitions, or in actual battle.

Blade always got his man. Always.

Locke’s dismissal—well, not a true dismissal from the force, but a transfer—had been all the talk around the mess tables. Gossip moved fast through the small patroller community; some bloke at Locke’s old station knew someone here, or perhaps the addler’s network carried the information, but no matter how, theories buzzed around like flies on a dead rat, and none of them good.

Blade had heard the man had beaten a suspect to death with those huge hands of his. The thought of that sent a shudder down Blade’s spine. Physical violence was nearly unheard of in their world, unlike the world they’d separated from two hundred years ago. That world had been vicious, brutal, and terrified of majik . Still was, for all they knew. Not many had crossed the portals and lived to tell the tale. Their best majikians had banded together to split the world apart, majik and non-majik, created the portals and fled that world for this one, where majik and civility ruled.

Had Locke come from off-world, crossed one of the hidden portals and managed to inveigle himself into their society? Perhaps that explained the scar.
Blade sat up and pulled open one of his drawers. There had been a missive from headquarters a few months ago about a new training program, one that incorporated physical means with majik.

In the back of the drawer, behind his notebooks, he found the crumpled bit of parchment. He pulled it out and smoothed it down on his desk blotter.
He’d dismissed it at the time, but now, with the arrival of Locke, he began to wonder if Wilson had brought the man here to train them all in the new fighting techniques. Surely Wilson would have told him, his second, about those plans?

An uneasy feeling crept over Blade as he read.

The letter described how they leaped and rolled, firing wands at will, and teleporting in and out of the field of battle to gain strategic advantage. How they’d learned physical combat methods also. It went on to say the Avalon Patrol Station had trained all their patrollers and inspectors in this new form of combat and it had been highly successful in fighting Lord Blackmoor’s men.

Blade didn’t like it when he’d read about it then and he didn’t like it now. Majik was subtle, beautiful in its use, and elegant in form. The wand was a gentleman’s weapon, and only the most skilled inspector could wield it with deadly effect. He’d killed men before in the line of duty, cleanly, with his wand, without using a blood weapon or his soiling his hands. He could imagine that great brute Locke using his fists to beat some poor farmer into submission, and Blade refused to be reduced to the same low element.

If Wilson thought they’d all become hooligans, bravos, and villains in order to fight the new crime wave, he’d have to do it without Inspector Jonathan Blade. And to be saddled with the man as his partner? Wilson had surely lost his mind.

And yet…there was something intensely attractive about Christopher Locke. Something drew Blade to him, like a bee to clover, but he couldn’t put his finger on what it might be. Something in his eyes, something painful and filled with sorrow, a hunger, perhaps.

Blade snorted.

More likely the sheer size of the man. Although Locke was only a few inches taller than Blade, the man weighed more, and by the size of the muscles in his arms and thighs, he would be more powerful.

But only physically. Blade was unwavering in his belief that in terms of majik skill and power, he would win.

Would Locke’s speed and strength win over Blade’s majik?

Not bloody likely.

Well, whatever this new method was, he wasn’t interested in using his fists. The very idea was beneath him and the rank of inspector of the patrol.
A voice niggled in the back of his mind. You’re attracted to him…admit it.

Bloody hell, he couldn’t think that way. First, the patrol frowned on fraternization among staff and secondly, their society did not approve of men desiring men. It wasn’t outlawed, but it certainly wasn’t the norm. Still, he’d heard rumors of some stations where inspectors were more than friends.

Lovers.

That word raised the hair on his arms and the back of his neck.

Men couldn’t be lovers, could they? They could share their bodies, he’d heard whispers, but what of their hearts? He’d never seen it, not in his thirty years, and as a man who desired men he’d come to accept he’d have to keep to himself, squelch those needs, keep them buried for the rest of his life.

That longing had been there ever since the first time he’d noticed one of the young grooms on his father’s estate. and fFelt that first hardening of his cock at the sight of the lad’s half-naked body as he jumped into the small creek running through their lands.

The boy’s hair had dripped wet and dark down sun-tanned skin, his teeth showed white as he laughed, and Blade had felt that first throbbing pull of attraction. He’d promptly shoved it down inside his very soul, terrified to admit it to himself or let anyone else know about it.

Luckily, his older brother would be the one to create the next heir, and Blade had been left to pursue his dreams of being in the patrol service.
Now his life was the patrol, the One God, this station, and he’d do nothing to jeopardize it. Not even for the pleasures of the flesh or the hope of a lifelong companion.

The One God had no written commandments forbidding men to lie together and he knew it happened in some corners of their society. There were whispers that among the holy fathers, friendships deepened into more.

Blade knew his own body’s urges and he sated them alone, in his room, picturing vague male bodies entwined, as if seen through a veil of gauze, imagining everything from touching to rubbing, even kissing. What more could men share?

Certainly not what men shared with women. His father and older brother had told him of that…his father to educate; his brother to brag.

Just thinking of that young man of his youth made his cock grow stiff. He adjusted it in his trousers, shifting in his chair. The touch of his hand sent a wave of pleasure through him.

A knock sounded on his door and he jerked his hand away.

“Enter!” he called out, snatching up his quill pen.

The door opened and Christopher Locke stood there.

To win a copy of the ebook, comment here. I’ll wait until Wednesday to pick a winner.

Here are some of the buy links –
MLR Press
Amazon
ARe