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Binge Reading at Thirty Thousand Feet

I can’t sleep on planes. Believe me I’ve tried. Even when I have a whole row of seats to spread out in, I still can’t sleep. I tried Melatonin. It just made me twitch. I’ve tried sleep aids. They made me twitch even more. Meditation bores me. Alcohol makes my lips numb and if I press the issue, I get a headache. For Mr. Grace you just have to say the word airplane and he falls asleep. But then he spends a lot more time on them than I do. Still, I do my fair share of crossing the pond. But no joy in Sleepy Town for me — at least not at thirty thousand feet. My solution on any long flight — I either write a good book (well a part of one, anyway) or I read a good book. Sometimes I do a bit of both.

 

I simply pretend the flight is a slumber party,  in which as you might expect, NO slumber happens. While all the ‘grown-ups’ are asleep, I’m awake being totally decadent.I f I have snacks, I graze. In fact I usually make sure there’s good grazing available for a long flight. And I make sure the attendants keep the water and Diet Coke coming. (I limit the alcohol because who need numb lips, right?) Then, oh how I indulge. For me a nine-hour binge read is a gift from the gods! It just never happens unless I’m on a long flight. So for that alone, I’m thankful for flights across the pond.

 

The thing about those long flights, as I’ve mentioned before, is there’s something magical about being quite literally outside time, as you silently, stealthily cross time zone after time zone. How can that not be inspiring? Long-haul flights are a place where you’re not really any place at all. It sometimes feels like you could open those little window shades and glance out into all times and all places at once. Or you might just open the shade and spot a horrible monster straight from Twilight Zone on the wing glaring at you. …Though said monster might actually be glaring at William Shatner.

 

Still … what better place to let the imagine run wild? I’ve been inspired, I’ve been entertained, and I’ve imagined worlds
I doubt I could have thought of in a different environment. Some of my best writing has come on long-haul flights. And some of my best reading.

 

Wherever you like to binge read — and summer is such a great time for a good book binge — eReaders are the best. I love having a whole series right at my fingertips. The only thing I love even better is having several series just waiting for the click of my finger. It’s never been a better time to be a reader.

 

 

 

 

July Binge Reading Freebies and Giveaways. 

 

 

British Bad Boys Box Set FREE!

 

 

 

 

First time! Only time! Limited time! You’ve got until closing time on the 10th to nab your copy, so don’t miss out on another fab free read! I’m very proud to have my own British Bad Boy in the box with my story In Training.

 

British Bad Boys Blurb:

Indulge yourself with this boxed set of stories written by bestselling and award-winning British romance authors. No one knows British bad boys better than they do!

Come and spend time with a dirty-talking London tattoo artist, a Scottish bad boy, a British gangster who won’t take no for an answer, and MORE! These men are all hotter than hell and have accents to die for. Whatever your desire, you’ll find it within these pages.

Packed full of brand new standalone, steamy stories with no cliff-hangers. With happily-ever-afters guaranteed, you won’t want to miss out on this limited collection, available for a short time only!

 

In Training Blurb:

Getting fit on reality TV is PR guru, Lauren Michael’s, brainchild for gym equipment and fitness company Physicality, Inc. The brilliant PR stunt involves one brave volunteer who wants to be fit badly enough to submit to the not so tender training techniques of personal trainer, Wolf Jennings, whose successful, but non-conventional, methods would make a drill sergeant look like a fluff ball. But when CEO and owner of Physicality, Inc, Claire Amos, decides her PR ace in the hole needs to walk the talk , Lauren finds herself between a kettle bell and a hard place … er a hard trainer. That’s nightmare enough, but for six weeks, 24/7 the explosive chemistry between the two will be sweated out live on camera for the whole world to see. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Download Now

 

 

FREE BOOKS forJuly and a NEW GIVEAWAY!

Win a Brand New Kindle Fire HD 8!

 

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love free books? That being the case, Romancing the Dragon has partnered with some amazing authors to bring you free books! All you have to do to claim your copies is click on link below, and then click on the images of the books to download some fab reads.

And, don’t forget to enter the huge giveaway! All participating authors have pitched in to give away a BRAND NEW Kindle Fire HD 8! You can enter this amazing giveaway by clicking on this link!

My novella, Landscapes, is one of the fab freebies in this amazing giveaway, so do make sure you saunter right on over and nab those freebies and get yourself entered for the Romancing the Dragon Giveaway!

Landscapes is one of the prequel stories to the Medusa’s Consortium series.

I didn’t know this until I started writing In The Flesh, book one of the Medusa novels, only to discover that Alonso and Reese are right there in the thick of it. If you’ve not read In The Flesh, be sure to before Blind-Sided comes out. I wouldn’t want you to miss any of the fun.

 

 

 

 

Here’s the blurb for Landscapes:

 

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?

Note: Landscapes has been previously released as part of the Brit Boys: On Boys boxed set.

 

 

Beach Reads Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

AAAND! The sizzling summer reading just gets better with more chances to win more freebies, including my paranormal romance, In The Flesh, book one of the Medusa’s Consortium Series. Follow The Link to enter. https://authorsxp.com/giveaways/giveaway

 

Win up to 58+ Fun Beach Read eBooks!

 

(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!

 

(58+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

 

 

 

 

In the Flesh Blurb:

When Susan Innes comes to visit her friend, Annie Rivers, in Chapel House, the deconsecrated church that Annie is renovating into a home, she discovers her outgoing friend changed, reclusive, secretive, and completely enthralled by a mysterious lover, whose presence is always felt, but never seen, a lover whom she claims is god. As her holiday turns into a nightmare, Susan must come to grips with the fact that her friend’s lover is neither imaginary nor is he human, and even worse, he’s turned his wandering eye on Susan, and he won’t be denied his prize. If Susan is to fight an inhuman stalker intent on having her as his own, she’ll need a little inhuman help.

 

Medusa in Your Head

There are lots of reasons why Medusa is the most interesting character in mythology to me, and why she inspired my
Medusa’s Consortium series. One of the biggies for me is that Medusa gets in your head in ways no one else can.

 

For Freud, she represented the male fear of castration. You’d expect that from Freud though, wouldn’t you? According to Freud, this fear is associated with that first view of mature female genitals — back in the day when muffs really were muffs – thus the association with snakes in the hair. The turning to stone is the resulting erection. Apparently there’s no evidence in the literature surrounding Medusa that she ever turned a woman to stone.

 

Medusa is also a classic example of god-bashing or in this case goddess-bashing. A conquering people often debased the gods of the conquered lands, the assumption being that they were able to conquer because ‘our-god’s-stronger-than-your-god.’ Greek mythology often shows this through the rape or seduction of someone by one of Greek pantheon – most often Zeus. Those being raped or seduced are usually local goddesses. Poor Medusa, however, gets a double whammy. She is raped by Poseidon in the temple of Athena, where she should have been under the protection of the goddess. Then, in the classic example of victim blaming, Athena curses her for debasing her temple – thus the snakes in the hair and the face that turns anyone who looks at her to stone.

 

From a feminist point of view, Medusa represents female rage. I suppose that’s as much why I chose to tell her story my way as anything. Strangely enough, I didn’t know about the feminist viewpoint when Medusa’s Consortium was conceived. I only knew that her story made me rage, that I wanted revenge for Medusa. That being the case, like everything a writer puts to pen, the story of Medusa’s anger has to be, on some level, the story of my own anger. The way Magda Gardener works through it as a modern anti-hero in my novels is, no doubt, on some level my way of working through my own issues. That, I guess, is far more Jungian than Freudian.

 

But then not everything is about penis envy. At least, for me, and from the point of view of Magda Gardener/ Medusa, it’s not the penis that is envied so much as the power it represents. It is the desire for the power and the freedom to control one’s own destiny. It’s the lack of that control that causes the rage. Magda Gardener and her consortium give me a wonderful way to retell her story in a modern setting, in a place where her revenge is ongoing, as is her redemption. And Magda Gardener’s redemption, her need for family and connection is every bit as important as her need for revenge. Here’s a little excerpt from Blind-Sided, in which Paul Danson, a New York City police detective in way over his head, meets Magda Gardener for the first time. Enjoy.

 

Blind-Sided Blurb:

 

In New York City away from those she loves, living with the enigmatic vampire, Desiree Fielding, Susan Innes struggles to come to terms with life as a vampire whose body serves as the prison for a powerful demon. When Reese Chambers arrives unexpectedly from England, desperate for her help, she discovers that Alonso Darlington, his lover and her maker, has been taken captive and Reese has been warned to tell no one but her. Before the two can make a plan, Susan receives her own message from a man calling himself just Cyrus. He not only holds her maker prisoner, but also her lover, the angel Michael, and if she wishes to see either of them alive, she’ll come to him and not tell Magda Gardener, the woman they all work for and fear. With no help coming from Magda or her Consortium, Susan and Reese must turn to the Guardian – the terrifying demon now imprisoned in her body. He alone can help them, but how can she possibly trust him after all he’s done?

 

 

We Meet At Last — Excerpt:

 

When he saw Magda Gardener for the first time, Paul was on his way back to his desk, updating Margaret on the phone. … At the sight of her, everything around him faded to background noise and he had a rabbit in the headlights moment. The only thing he wanted more than to run away before he caught her attention was to be the center of her attention. For a moment he stood unmoving, seriously fearing that he’d forgotten how to breathe. She wore faded jeans over legs that went on for miles all the way down to the black leather ankle boots that were totally soundless as she moved across the ageing tile floor with a dancer’s ease. Even in the baggy white cable knit sweater it was not difficult to tell that there were dangerous curves beneath. She had a yard of fiery golden ringlets just like in those Pre-Raphaelite paintings his mother used to love. My God, they looked almost like they lived and breathed and moved around her shoulders in adoration of the woman they belonged to, and yet, they were simply and carelessly tied back in a black ribbon. He couldn’t imagine what the eyes of a woman with such porcelain skin and such breathtaking hair must look like, and he had to imagine, because she hid them behind a pair of tortoise shell sunglasses. He didn’t know how long he’d stood there looking at her with Margaret all but shouting in his ear, asking if he was all right. It was only when she came to him, offered a smile and extended a hand that he remembered himself.

“Margaret, I’ll call you back,” he said and disconnected nearly dropping his phone as the woman’s warm fingers closed around his. For a second, he felt the room tilt and go slightly out of focus, and then her voice pulled him back.

“Detective Danson. My name is Magda Gardener. I need to talk to you about some missing persons.” She glanced around the room. “Preferably in private.”

“Of course,” he managed, nodding down the hall toward one of the empty interrogation rooms, very aware that all eyes were on them. He mumbled something about getting her a coffee or a Coke. She thanked him but declined.

“Please leave the door open,” she said when he made to pull it shut behind them. A slight flush of pink tinged her cheeks. “Afraid I’m a bit phobic where closed doors are concerned.”

He did as she asked, then pulled the chair usually reserved for suspects around to his side of the table and she settled into it, not waiting for him to ask how he could help her. “I’ve spoken to Vince Layton, and I know that the man calling himself Cyrus Rivers, has my people.”

After a couple of fish gasps, Paul responded. “You talked to Layton?”

“I did, yes. He was happy to talk to someone else who believed him, and he told me that you were the person I needed to see. Of course Desiree Fielding told me the same, but not very willingly, I’m afraid.” She offered him a warm smile that had his heart racing. “The woman means well, but she’s sometimes way too secretive. I, on the other hand, am not, Detective. I want my people back, and I want this Cyrus and the monster who pulls his chains … neutralized.”

“Neutralized.” Paul suddenly felt light-headed, like maybe he’d helped Layton finish off the bottle of Jack. “Look, Ms. Gardener, the two of us are on the same page here, and I assume you’re talking about Darlington and Weller.”

“And Susan Innes. He also has her now, though I’m sure Desiree didn’t tell you that.”

“Jesus,” he whispered, fighting the urge to hang on to the edge of the chair, which felt strangely unstable at the moment. “No she didn’t. Why not, is what I want to know?”

“Because you’ve been accusing her and Reese and Susan of … well of all sorts of things, and if you’ve talked to Layton and gotten the same responses I have then I’m sure you must understand that the three of them would like to keep the situation secret, and frankly the lives of Alonso and Michael may well have depended on it in the beginning, though now circumstances have changed.”

“And how exactly have they changed, Ms. Gardener?”

Her glasses slipped just the tiniest bit and his whole body erupted in goose flesh. He found that he desperately wanted to look away and yet at the same time, he never wanted to look away from her again. “Cyrus and his boss have my people, and they’re counting on me coming for them.” She pushed the glasses back up the bridge of her nose.

He swallowed hard with a throat that felt like it was full of sawdust. “What, you mean like an exchange – you for them?”

“More like I’m the cherry on the cake,” she said with a quirk of a smile.

He ran a hand over his stubble and puffed out a sharp breath. “So what exactly do you want from me, Ms. Gardener – a stake-out? Because if that’s the case, then you’re going to have to tell me exactly what the hell is going on before I put you, or my men, at risk.”

“Actually,” she stood and moved to pace the room, “I want to know what you know, Detective, and if you tell me what you know, I’ll tell you what you don’t know.” He was about to say that it didn’t work that way, when she continued. “For instance, I know that you and the lovely Dr. Margaret – she is delightful by the way – are battling with the fact that there just might be vampires in the world. I’ll make it easier for you. There are, lots of them, and yes both Desiree and Susan are vampires and Reese is the lover of one – Alonso Darlington. Though I reckon you’ve probably already figured that out – I mean about the two being lovers, since you’ve been in touch with the Cumbrian authorities.”

Paul heard everything after there are vampires in the world through a loud ringing in his ears, and the woman pacing back and forth in front of him seemed suddenly out of focus. She turned and settled herself on the edge of the desk looking down at him. “If you struggle with the existence of vampires, Detective, then the rest of the story is going to be a very hard pill for you to swallow.” The smile she offered him was empathetic and, to his surprise, she reached out and took his hand. “Detective you already know the monsters are real. You encounter them every day. While Desiree was shocked that she couldn’t glamour you, she shouldn’t have been. You have the capacity to understand the darkness better than most, Paul. I know this about you. I’ve done my research. You have the capacity to look for answers that others doubt, that others don’t believe possible. That being the case, why wouldn’t you be able to figure out for yourself that there are vampires and things much, much worse in the world? She gave his hand a squeeze and settled back on the desk. Her hair swayed as though it were suddenly caught in a breeze, “much worse.” Her voice was little more than a whisper and the look on her face was one of deep sadness. Paul just sat there. How could he respond to that? How could he respond to any of it?

“What do you want from me?” He managed at last, realizing that it was the question she should be asking him.

“I want you to help me find where Cyrus is keeping my people. I want you to take me to this place where you found Mr. Layton. I may be able to pick up something from it that you missed.” When he made no answer, she raised a golden eyebrow. “Detective?”

“She really did pull that man’s head off? Susan Innes did?”

“She did, yes, and that man was no man.”

“And she …”

“She healed Reese Chambers with her own blood, yes.”

“Jesus.” About now he was seriously wishing for his own bottle of Jack. “I can’t … How can I bring in the department on this? How can I get anyone to take me seriously about what you just told me – they already think I was drunk on my ass that night and that I went home with some bimbo.”

“It’s simple, Paul, you can’t bring them in.” She waved a hand dismissively, “Believe me it’s better that way. I have my own people and they’re prepared to deal with this sort of thing.”

“This sort of thing?” he snorted. “It happens often, does it?”

“More often that you would imagine. I clued you in because you basically already know, and because you can help. But you have to believe me when I tell you that stepping in yourself or bringing anyone else in will just get someone killed. I don’t want anyone killed, and I don’t want anything making us monsters look like the bad guys.”

“Us monsters?” he managed.

She gave him a bored look. “You knew that the moment you saw me, didn’t you?” She heaved a deep sigh and
shrugged her sweater down over her hips, “Look Paul, I can take from you what I need, and unlike Desiree, you won’t be able to stop me. I’m the one Cyrus and his people want for reasons that don’t concern you, reasons you and your whole department are far better off not knowing. What does concern you is that I can help you understand what’s going on and help you end it. What does concern you is that you’ll know the truth and if I believe you can live with it, which I do, then I won’t take it away from you when everyone is safe, and warm and happy at home again.” She gave him a look that felt like a warm buzz across his body and then she added. “There aren’t many people who really want the truth, Paul, but you do, and I believe you’re capable of handling it. What I want is your help to find the place where Cyrus is holding my people. The rest I can handle, and trust me, when I say, its better that way.”

 

Filtering Our Lives

From the archives

(This post first published on Erotic Readers and Writers blog March 2015)

 

I’m in the States at the moment having a wonderful visit with my nephew, his wife and their four lovely daughters, but I have been thinking about the filters through which we view the world — mostly social media and VR and this post seemed appropriate. Enjoy

 

I’ve been thinking about filters lately, going through one of my periodic stages of resenting smart phones, social networking and all things techno. That may well be in part because I’ve only ever managed to master what it takes to survive in that online world. I’m a klutz on my best days. But sometimes I’m an angry luddite wannabe, who grumbles incessantly while I bury my nose in my kindle to lose myself in a good book … Oh the neuroses of my life!

 

When I’m lost in the world of navel gazing and trying to connect to what matters without losing myself in the detritus and the trivia of a world online, I often find myself thinking about the filters we live our lives through, and what being once removed from everything, while at the same time up close and personal with the whole world and all the information in it means to us as a civilization – to me as an individual.

 

I can go online and hear the background microwaves that are the remnants of the Big Bang, the beginning of the universe. I have done, have listened over and over with goose bumps crawling up my arms.

 

I can go to Facebook or Twitter and have meaningful conversations with friends all over the world, people I’ve never met physically and yet I’ve connected with and feel somehow a kin to.

 

I can keep up on films and stars and gossip, I can join any group, be a fan girl, talk trash, be a part of any organisation with any cause imaginable – political, religious, medical, physical, magical, practical, any hobby, any sport, any obsession. It’s all there. All I have to do is log on. Easy.

 

When we were in Dubrovnik over Christmas last year, we found ourselves in a random café for lunch one day. The cafes that were open in the dead of winter were happy for customers, and when we arrived, we were the only ones there. About halfway through the meal a young man came in, eyes glued to his smart phone. He asked us if we’d read the reviews for this particular café. We said no, we’d just dropped in. The food was lovely. We had a local beer, local specialties, and the owners of the restaurant were friendly, and patient with us as we practiced our rusty Croatian on them. Meanwhile the man ordered without looking at the waitress, ate without looking at the food, all the time lost in communion with his phone. We left him that way.

 

Back out on the streets, after a wonderful walk in the sunshine around the medieval city wall, we stopped for coffee and once again were astounded by the number of tourists gripped by their phones even as they walked, obliviously, down the main street of the Jewel of the Adriatic, the sea the colour of sapphire and the sky a shade darker still, contrasting with the red tile roofs.

 

A few weeks ago we went out for lunch and observed three very lovely young women who came in and sat down at a near-by table, again completely caught up in whatever was happening on their phones. They barely spoke to each other during the course of their meal and never put their devices down.

 

I recently received an email from a friend of mine in the States, and I was saddened when the rather extensive epistle was all about what series she was now watching on telly. I know for a fact this woman used to be a librarian. We used to spend our time talking about books.

 

All of these events, and lots of others leave me slightly queasy, even as I sit here writing this blog post, hoping that a lot of people will go online to my blog and read this post. It’s the filters that leave me feeling this way. They leave me wondering about our connection with the real world, about MY connections with the real world. I wonder if we’re now more connected, and I just don’t ‘get it’, or are we less connected because we’re joined at the hip with our devices. I’m guessing it’s probably a combination of the two.

 

The world I live in is totally dominated by the technology my profession depends upon. The first thing I do in the morning is get up my laptop and see what I missed over night. I do what I need to do for PR on twitter and Facebook, I see what I need to do for the rest of the day, and some days that involves a good deal of being online and interacting with social media. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy that I have some control over the promotion and sales of my books, no matter how little that may be. The feel that I’m at least doing something is worth a lot, even if it is at times only the placebo affect. In a time when publishing is entering the strange new world of self-pub, when the gatekeepers are no longer the guardians of all things literary, when the gates are quite literally wide open, I see how important it is to be present online. But I fear very much that being present online often costs me the simple pleasure of just being present.

 

I remember when I launched Interviewing Wade after a day spent mostly in promo, looking at reviews spending time on Twitter and Facebook and blogging, at last I went into the darkened kitchen to reheat the pasta from lunch for dinner and discovered something truly amazing. Through the kitchen window, I had the most exquisite view of the thinnest sliver of a new moon in conjunction with brilliant Venus, and for a few minutes there was the added pleasure of red Mars just about to sink below the rooftops of the neighboring houses. I was stunned. I couldn’t take my eyes off what I saw. I reached for the binoculars for a closer look

 

The moon was illuminated with earthshine and, through the binoculars, the darkened areas were visible with the brilliance of the sunlit crescent making the whole look almost dark purple, huge and 3D. As I tried to focus on the bright smudge of Venus, my heart beat kept jarring the binoculars, so I couldn’t resolve the phase, but I’m sure it was as close to full as Venus ever gets.

 

Venus is always in phase. How amazing is that! We never see the full face of Venus because it’s in between us and the sun, and it’s only full when it’s on the far side of the sun from us – something that’s only true with the inner two planets. Mars dipped quickly and was gone, but I stood for ages, trying to hold my breath and brace my elbows so I could look. But no matter how hard I tried, Venus constantly quivered through the binoculars with the steady beat, beat, beat of my pulse. I shifted back and forth between the shiver of Venus and the pock marked darkened surface of the moon with its crescent of brilliance at the bottom edge. When my arms got tired of holding the binoculars, still I stood.

 

It was one of those rare moments of being in focus, of standing with nothing in between me and my little sliver of the universe; experiencing a moment, one raw, naked, aching moment without anything in between me and my heart. That tiny shred of time felt like skin freshly formed over an abrasion. And I wanted to stay there forever in that little sliver of
the present with nothing in between.

 

I couldn’t, of course. The moon set, and I had work to do. It occurred to me as I nuked dinner, that even that incredible few minutes of focus were filtered, brought closer through the lens of my binoculars. We’ve been filtering our world for probably as long as we’ve walked upright. Perhaps we can only be safe in – and from our little slice of the universe when we filter it, analyze it, look at it through eyes – and heart — well protected.

 

The next morning, online, there were more images of Venus and the New Moon in conjunction than I had time to look at. I was far from the only one bringing that moment into myself through filters that helped make sense of it, helped make it personal and, clearly, I was far from the only person needing to share it. Somehow that makes the world community seem just a little bit smaller, just a little bit closer. Somehow that makes the filtering of my universe and all the contradictions that involves set just a little bit easier in my mind. That and the knowing at least for a little while that earthshine, that sliver of moonlight, that conjunction with bright Venus was mine. All mine.

 

 

 

Solstice Heat

 

Happy Solstice, my Lovelies! Here in England it’s a hot one. With no AC in the house and this kind of heat so unusual
here, we tend to get up close and personal with our Heat Waves and everyone finds relief in different ways. Personally I prefer a cold drink in the shade, when there’s shade to be had. Somehow being out in it makes me feel like a willing participant rather than a wilted victim.

 

 

And really, why not celebrate? This is the fecund time of year. Seeds become plants that bud and make fruit, and lordy, lordy, don’t we eat like kings on that delicious succulent summer fruit? Plants grow like mad. I swear I can almost see my sweet corn growing. I half expect to hear it whisper urgently, ‘feed me, KD’ as the neighbors and their dogs slowly begin to disappear. The old saying ‘Knee high by the 4th of July?’ Well mine is already that and more! Anticipation! An-ti-ci-pa-a-a-tion!

 

 

 

 

Lots of things grow and come to fruition in the heat. I suppose as a writer I love the idea of the whole growth cycle – a seed is planted, it sprouts, then grows into a plant, which sets blossoms, then produces fruit. For those of us who write, that fruit is often the source of new seed as well.

 

 

 

 

Being caught up in the world of Medusa’s Consortium with Blind-Sided and Buried Pleasures at the moment, the excitement of ripe fruit is more than just me checking out my crops in the veg patch every day and eating enough British strawberries to sink a battleship. But this time of year always reminds me that I live and move and grow and change within the cycle. The heat, that intense push to growth and maturity is a part of all our lives, and I do wonder at times if we are actually the metaphor for the wonderful turning of the year, for the ebb and flow that grounds us, even when it roasts us.

 

 

 

 

British Summer is notoriously fickle. Everyone who lives here will tell you that. But it’s also in-your-face brilliant, filled with birdsong, long hours of daylight, and more shades of green than the eye can take in. And if you don’t take full advantage, it’ll turn it’s back and howl in a storm. Mind you it will anyway, but that’s just a part of the adventure. “It was a dark and stormy night” is just the flip side of the “summer lovin’” coin. I get a good bit of both writing paranormal, and I appreciate both, even as I grumble about them.

 

Happy Solstice everyone! Smell the roses, dance in the water sprinkler, have a cold drink and read a good book in the shade. Can’t you just feel the growth?

 

Don’t forget Landscapes, my Medusa’s Consortium M/M novella, is a FREE Download!download at the moment. Landscaper, Reese Chambers, is just the kind of bloke who would appreciate the fecund British Summer. So be sure to download if you haven’t already. Then grab a cold drink, a spot of shade and enjoy the heat.

 

 

 

 

Landscapes Blurb:

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?

Note: Landscapes has been previously released as part of the Brit Boys: On Boys boxed set.

 

Landscapes Excerpt:

The moonlight was bright and Reese’s night vision was good, but the path was rocky and steep. He stumbled and went down on his arse, catching himself on one elbow and cursing as the sensation of pins and needles shot up his arm. He forced his way to his feet slipping and sliding the last hundred meters on the dew-drenched stones. He was just about to call out, just about to shout Alonso’s name when the man moaned softly and Reese stopped in his tracks. Not only was Alonso no longer curled on his side, but the man was naked. He lay flat on his back, his knees bent, bare feet resting on the bench, one arm flung over his face, the other curved down low across his belly, his fisted hand moving up and down the length of his cock.

Reese froze, unable to move, unable to breathe. Alonso Darlington was beautiful, like no one he’d ever seen. His body was sculpted, not like polished marble, but with the ruggedness of the rocks of the fells, like he labored to be free from himself, like one of Michelangelo’s prisoners. The muscles of his belly tensed and relaxed and convulsed and relaxed again in response to his stroking. The movement of muscle beneath skin on his biceps and his forearms, on the rise and fall of his chest, on the tensing of the chorded muscles in his neck and throat as he swallowed was like a hypnotic dance. The muscles in his thighs twitched and bulged as he rocked and arched upward until Reese could see the clenched half-domes of his buttocks. He could smell the nutmeg and yeast scent of his heat, charged through with the crackle of ozone. He stood frozen on the spot, his own cock responding to the sensory overload, even as his brain demanded he give the man his privacy, demanded with a sense of half-frightened urgency that he leave as quietly as he could, but it was too late.

Alonso’s arm fell away from his face and Reese could feel the nearly physical press of his gaze.

I’m sorry,’ he managed around a tongue that felt too big for his mouth. ‘I saw you, and I thought that … I’ll go now,’ but even as he said it, Reese stepped forward, feeling reeled into the man like a fish on a line. Alonso eased himself up on one elbow, not taking his hand off his cock, not taking his eyes off Reese. ‘I should leave,’ Reese croaked, but instead he stepped nearer.

In a move that was not quite human in its grace, Alonso sat up and nodded to the bench next to him.

Cautiously Reese sat down struggling to keep his eyes off the man’s cock. He could still feel Alonso’s gaze on him as though he were the one who was naked. ‘I thought … When I saw you out here, lying on the bench at this hour … I was worried.’

 

‘That’s very kind of you, Reese, but there’s nothing wrong with me. My … afflictions, don’t trouble me much. I’m not ill. In truth, I’m the epitome of health. I’m just … different.’

‘I’m sorry. Of course you would be out after dark. I didn’t mean to offend you. I’ll go now.’ But before he could stand, Alonso’s hand shot behind his head with lightning speed, fingers curling in Reese’s sleep-mussed hair, and in that instant of reaction, the second Reese gasped for his breath, the man’s mouth was on his, warm and hard and terrifying in its command, a command Reese could do little but respond to. Even as fear battled lust low in his belly, he parted his lips, opened his mouth, welcomed the search and conquest of Alonso’s tongue, his own the white flag that instinctively yielded all else beyond the breach, all territories beyond the invasion.

 

 

 

Landscapes: FREE M/M Download in Anticipation of More Medusa!

FREE Download!

I’m elated to offer Landscape as a little pressie to all my lovely readers because this is one of my very favourite novellas with two of the most complex, most intriguing characters that I’ve ever written, if I do say so myself, and two that just keep right on surprising me.

As you know, I’ll be releasing Blind-Sided, book two of the Medusa’s Consortium Series this summer, with book three, Buried Pleasures, hot on its tail. That being the case, I’m starting the celebration early by offering a FREE download of one of the prequel novellas to the Consortium series, Landscapes! I originally wrote this novella for a wonderful anthology of sexy M/M stories called Brit Boys: On Boys boxed set. It was my first ever M/M and my first ever vampire story.

 

To say I fell in love with Alonso and Reese would be an understatement. I hope their story doesn’t cause a meltdown on your device because they’re players in a much, much larger story you won’t want to miss out on. I didn’t know this until I started writing In The Flesh, book one of the Medusa novels, only to discover Alonso and Reese right there in the thick of it. (if you’ve not read In The Flesh, be sure to before Blind-Sided comes out. I wouldn’t want you to miss any of the fun.) Needless to say, that hasn’t changed. Because Alonso and Reese are right in the middle of all the trouble in Blind-Sided as well. So I thought an introduction to these two sexy men was a great way to introduce all of you to a couple of guys who are so amazing that Medusa herself wants them on her team.

 

 

Here’s the blurb for Landscapes:

 

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?

Note: Landscapes has been previously released as part of the Brit Boys: On Boys boxed set.

 

More About Medusa’s Consortium Series:

 

Contrary to popular belief, Medusa is alive and well. Ever since she escaped Greece and the Olympians, Medusa/AKA
Magda Gardener has been secretly kicking ass and taking names.

 

Scheming to keep one step ahead of the Olympians and the havoc they wreak, Magda is a rescuer of monsters and demons and a thief of all things sacred to the gods who betrayed her. She is irreverent, powerful, rich and has her own agenda in which the lines between right and wrong are not always clearly drawn. For those she helps, those she draws to herself, life will never be the same. Like the Godfather, those who owe Magda Gardener never know when she’ll call in the debt, nor what will be required of them when she does. But the price for those who cross her, for those who hurt the ones under her protection, is worse than death.

 

As her Consortium of powerful misfits grows into a cohesive family, as plotting from Olympus threatens the modern world, it Magda finds it more and more difficult to keep herself apart from the lives of those she has drawn to her. Perhaps the Gorgon doesn’t have a heart of stone after all.

Here are Blurbs for the first three books of Medusa’s Consortium:

 

Book I – In The Flesh Blurb:

When Susan Innes comes to visit her friend, Annie Rivers, in Chapel House, the deconsecrated church that Annie is renovating into a home, she discovers her outgoing friend changed, reclusive, secretive, and completely enthralled by a mysterious lover, whose presence is always felt, but never seen, a lover whom she claims is god. As her holiday turns into a nightmare, Susan must come to grips with the fact that her friend’s lover is neither imaginary nor is he human, and even worse, he’s turned his wandering eye on Susan, and he won’t be denied his prize. If Susan is to fight an inhuman stalker intent on having her as his own, she’ll need a little inhuman help.

 


Book II – Blind-Sided Blurb:

In New York City away from those she loves, living with the enigmatic vampire, Desiree Fielding, Susan Innes struggles to come to terms with life as a vampire whose body serves as the prison for a powerful demon. When Reese Chambers arrives unexpectedly from England, desperate for her help, she discovers that Alonso Darlington, his lover and her maker, has been taken captive and Reese has been warned to tell no one but her. Before the two can make a plan, Susan receives her own message from a man calling himself just Cyrus. He not only holds her maker prisoner, but also her lover, the angel Michael, and if she wishes to see either of them alive, she’ll come to him and not tell Magda Gardener, the woman they all work for and fear. With no help coming from Magda or her Consortium, Susan and Reese must turn to the Guardian – the terrifying demon now imprisoned in her body. He alone can help them, but how can she possibly trust Him after all he’s done?

 

Book III – Buried Pleasures Blurb:

The neon and glitz of Las Vegas is no vacation for SAMANTHA BLACK. All SAM wants is to get her friend, EVIE HOLT, away from ruthless magician, DARIAN FOX, who wants Sam to perform at his club, Illusions. A neon circus tent of strange and mystical acts, Illusions is one of the biggest draws in Vegas, and he’s hell-bent on including Sam in the program, holding Evie in his seductive thrall in an attempt to make that happen. But Fox isn’t the only one who wants Sam. The reclusive MR GRAVES, owner of Buried Pleasures, the most exclusive, and most mysterious casino in Sin City wants Sam. Behind every powerful man, there’s a woman, and MAGDA GARDENER is the shadowy woman behind Graves. Magda has her own reason for wanting Sam. Everyone wants Samantha Black because Samantha Black’s got talent! Besides the seductive musical genius she was born with, Samantha Black can literally kill with her song.

 

As the threat Sam lives under becomes darker and more violent, her only ally seems to be JON, the enigmatic homeless

man who lives in the storm tunnels beneath Vegas with his ginormous dog, GUS. When Jon gives Sam a poker chip from Buried Pleasures worth a fortune, and Magda Gardener is willing to do almost anything to keep her from cashing it in, Sam’s world turns upside down as she discovers what the chilling power of her voice really means. With Jon’s help, she learns to walk the line between life and death and comes to realize that it’s only her voice and her affinity with death that can get to the bottom of the horrors surrounding the outrageous success of Darian Fox and his magic.

 

As her feelings deepen for Jon and she becomes more and more fascinated with his underground world in the storm tunnels, she soon learns Jon has his own secrets. Too late she realizes that not only is she walking the line between life and death, but she may actually be falling in love with Death himself, and the poker chip she holds on to may well be the only thing keeping her in the world of the living. Death is taking no holiday in Vega. His reasons for being there are not pleasure. As powerful as Death is, there’s someone even he fears. If Sam is to understand her heritage and win the battle against Darian Fox, the stakes will be higher than she could have ever imagines, and not only will she have to work hand in hand with Death, but they’ll both have to work for the true queen of the darkness, Medusa herself, if they are to accomplish their task.

 

 

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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