Tuesday Taste – Discordant Lights – Available Now!


 

When Chaos rules, only the fiercest love survives.

Bright City is growing increasingly discordant. Something dark and treacherous is stalking Rabb and Brant, creating havoc in both of their worlds. The Vampire Council is putting pressure on Brant to become an elder, using Rabb as bait to force him to comply. All the while, Rabb battles deadly fractures in pack alliances and fights his own personal vampire skirmish.

Will the packs fight an internal war to replace Rabb? Will the vampires force Brant to choose sides? War is on the horizon, and it might not only ravage the supes in Bright City, but also devastate the human population living ignorant and helpless among them.

~~*~~

Brant stood on the stone patio of the mayor’s mansion and looked up at the stars. He held a warmed glass of pig’s blood in his hand and his thoughts were scattered, filled with all the problems he needed to resolve.

The moon was full and bright, casting a warm glow over the rolling, wooded grounds. Beyond the light, moving silently through the shadows, Rabb’s men were on constant watch for trouble.

Trouble was something he and Rabb had in abundance. And it was coming from so many different directions, it was hard to focus on any one issue long enough to solve it.

Foremost on his mind was Rabb. Despite agreeing to join the council to protect his lover, Brant didn’t trust the vamps to keep their word. He’d witnessed too many broken off conversations…too many glances across space when the council discussed relations with the shifter community.

The members of the council were up to something.

A soft whistle throbbed on the night and Brant’s gaze slid toward the sound, his senses sharpening. He focused his preternatural vision in the direction of the sound and the shadows brightened, showing…nothing.

No guard, no intruder.

Brant settled his glass onto the table and started forward, his built-in alarm system screaming. He sharpened his hearing as he approached the spot where the guard should have been. The dull thud, thud, thud of a laboring heartbeat filled his hearing. Hard on the heels of that damaged heartbeat was the sweet, metallic aroma of freshly spilled blood.

Brant’s pulse picked up, his fingernails lengthening to claws as his vamp came out in a big way. His cock twitched as the blood trail summoned him closer and all sense of caution slipped away.

Gone was cautious, thoughtful humanity. Brant became the predator searching for his next meal.

He stepped under the trees and saw the telltale glistening of blood on the grass. The aroma beckoned him…drawing him forward even as a tiny portion of his mind screamed for him to stop and retreat.

He slammed the door closed on that bit of conscious thought and dropped to his knees on the grass, inch-long fangs dripping saliva as he opened his mouth to growl his need.

A low groan had his head whipping around and he shot to his feet, his preternatural gaze sliding upward. A large body hung, limp and bleeding, over a high branch. The wind shifted the smaller branches around the injured man and the moon showed through. The silvery light wrapped the bleeding shifter in an aura, making him appear to glow.

Brant growled again, his claws digging holes in his palms as a small part of him screamed in warning. The shifter might as well have been wearing a neon sign with Brant’s name on it. His blood was a drug Brant found impossible to resist.

Yet, Brant had just enough humanity left to let a single thought slide in to nudge aside the ravening need.

Someone had set a trap for him.

 

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Friday Flash – Perfect for the Job


Here’s the premise. You’re interviewing for a new job — angel in Heaven or demon in Hell:

 

I rearranged my hair, discreetly pulling it up over the sharp tips of my horns.

The dark-eyed clerk across the desk smiled.  “So…which job posting are you applying for?”

I didn’t hesitate. “Angel.”

He lifted a dark eyebrow. “Angel?”

My forked tail shifted beneath my trousers. I squirmed to situate it between my butt cheeks. “Yes.”

He typed something on his keyboard. “May I ask what your qualifications are?”

“I’m too sexy for my wings.”

He barked out a laugh, lifted the other eyebrow, and typed something else onto his keyboard.

I looked around the office, wondering how long before he kicked my demon ass right out of HR.

“Do you have any experience…helping people?”

Before I could stop myself, I blew him a raspberry. “Yeah…no.”

He got up, walked around his desk, and dropped his delectable ass on a corner to look down at me. “You sure you don’t want to apply for the demon job?”

I twisted my lips. “No bennies.”

“But you’re a demon.” He looked genuinely amused.

I frowned, “Shit. What gave me away?”

He shifted his gaze downward, to the impressive hardon I’d been sporting since coming into the room. “You have horns.”

I grinned, sliding my gaze over a very interesting bulge at the juncture of his muscular thighs. “It didn’t stop you.”

 

Coming Soon!

When chaos rules, only the fiercest love survives.

Bright City is growing increasingly discordant. Something dark and treacherous is stalking Rabb and Brant, creating havoc in both of their worlds. The Vampire Council is putting pressure on Brant to become an elder, using Rabb as bait to force him to comply. All the while, Rabb battles deadly fractures in pack alliances and fights his own personal vampire skirmish.

Will the packs fight an internal war to replace Rabb? Will the vampires force Brant to choose sides? War is on the horizon, and it might not only ravage the supes in Bright City, but also devastate the human population living ignorant and helpless among them.

 

 

 

Monday Musings – Does Social Media Bring us Closer? Or Drag us Farther Apart?


Until recently, I always kind of agreed with the general wisdom that social media was robbing us of the ability to interact human to human. But then I read something from a well-known and very entertaining social media maven, Kristen Lamb, that made me reconsider. In her book, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World, Lamb put social media into historical perspective, which was a fascinating exercise. She believes that social media is a natural result of our short attention spans, and that it is part of a natural evolution from an earlier time, when lengthy tomes like War and Peace were the norm. But more importantly, Lamb posits that social media has allowed us to interact better because we can now reach out to millions of people around the world, instantaneously connecting and sharing. It’s easy to see where a shy person, safely hidden behind the anonymity of a user name and an Avatar, could enjoy much more human interaction than before social media. Writers are a perfect example of that! Most of us tend to be introverts and if left to our own devices would probably never leave the safety and comfort of our own little spheres. But with social media we can reach out and connect with readers, other authors, and people who share our interests.

Yes, some conversations that might otherwise have been conducted face to face are now happening on a broader, much more public stage. And there is definitely a danger in hiding behind anonymity. It’s much easier to treat people badly if you don’t have to look them in the eye. It’s a danger we all need to guard against. But what we lose in physical touch, maybe we can make that up in emotional gains. While a Facebook friend is not necessarily the type of friend who will help you move or bring you chicken soup when you’re sick, if you treat that friend right…with human kindness and consideration…there’s no reason the friendship can’t gain that type of gravitas over time.

Have we connected online? If not, what are we waiting for? #:0)

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Amazon Author Page

 

 

Monday Musings – Help! The World is Upside Down!


It happened gradually. Incrementally. But somewhere along the line the world became a far different place than the one I grew up in. I’m not talking about technology, although that’s certainly changed for the better. I mean, grocery  shopping was a LOT harder when my list was chiseled on stone. #:0) I’m not even talking geographically, though the world is on fire beyond our borders, with changing boundaries and falling governments. It’s all very unsettling.

I’m talking about the culture. It’s changing. From my perspective not in a good way. People are no longer polite or even kind. We’re completely insensitive in some ways and uber-sensitive in others. The things we once considered right are now viewed as wrong…and vice versa. But the worst part? Over the last several years we’ve divided ourselves into groups, each one competing with and deploring the other. Rich vs poor; black vs white vs  brown; male vs female; conservative vs liberal; fat vs skinny; Christian vs Muslim vs Jewish. The ways we divide ourselves are endless. It’s not good. Nothing good ever came from division.  We’ll never survive if we don’t stop pulling ourselves apart into factions. We need to pull together, address the decay that rots us by the roots, and learn to love each others’ differences again.

If we all work together, we can turn the world right side up again.

 

Friday Flash – Crowded Cell


You’re in jail for indulging in public sex. What happens next is…well…let’s see:

“What are you doing in my cell?”

The cop shrugged, stretching his long legs to frame mine. “You seemed like a guy who liked…company.”

My eyes widened. “Sorry. I was looking forward to some alone time to consider my sins.”

The cop snorted. “Yeah. I could tell when you were ridin’ that guy in the elevator that you were the religious sort.”

I pressed my hands together, fixing him with a pious gaze. “I’ll find heaven my way and you can find it yours.”

He leaned forward and nibbled my pinkies. “You know any good hymns?”

I frowned, my mind going kind of wonky as he licked his way along the sides of my hands. “Um…maybe. Why?”

The cute cop yanked me closer, until I was straddling his legs. “ ‘Cause you’re about to enter a holy place. And I wanted to make sure you were properly prepared.”

I sucked in a breath as he unzipped his pants and showed me the steeple.

Hallelujah!

Monday Musings – Fishing for Benevolence


It seems that the world consists of two kinds of people, the givers and the takers. It’s easy to look down on the takers and love the givers. On the surface that makes a lot of sense. But it’s not really that simple. I’m afraid the givers have to take some responsibility for the fact that the takers get what they want. Sound harsh? Maybe it is…a little bit. But it’s true. For every taker there’s a giver who is an enabler. You probably don’t need to look much further than your own family for proof of this. Do you have a sister, brother, aunt or uncle who always seems to be there with his or her hand out when you come into a little cash? Is there a relative who always jumps to the front of the line when there’s a death in the family…looking for the most treasured items, the highest value goods from the estate?

You probably talk about this person don’t you? How ugly her actions are. How insensitive. How selfish. But what do you do when this person puts his hand out? Do you simply step aside? Give in? Allow him to get exactly what he wants? Or do you even take it a step further and offer cash or your recently deceased grandma’s antique china to him before he even asks?

If so, you’re an enabler. We all are to a certain extent. I’m just as guilty as the next guy. I like to think of myself as a giver. I’m always the last one to put up my hand for stuff, preferring to earn my own way. I don’t like to feel like I owe anybody anything. But I have a friend who is very poor. She’s always in need of some kind of help. And since she’s a nice lady, she always gets the help she needs. I’ve given her cash. I’ve given her clothes and furniture. I’ve bought her stuff. And, to be honest I don’t regret a bit of it. I believe we should take care of people who need our help. But there’s always the concern that by giving stuff we help people stay weak. It’s so much easier to take what is given us with good will, then to go out and find a way to work for it.

It’s easy. But is it good for emotional health? Does it teach the right messages? Is it smart in the long run?

No on all fronts. It isn’t good for their psyches, it doesn’t teach the right message, and it isn’t smart. It’s human nature to want to help, and I’m not suggesting in any way that we shouldn’t help each other. We should always help. But maybe we need to change the way we help so we don’t enable the wrong behaviors, locking people forever into dependency. Because dependency sucks.

Remember the old adage: Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.

Sounds like good advice to me!