January is such a dreary month here in the UK, but one good thing about it is the January sales. Are you surprised? You know me well enough by now to know what a hermit and a curmudgeon I am. I’d rather have my eyebrows shaved and my kneecaps sanded rather than go shopping in a crowd. It’s all wasted on me. Well … almost all of it. I am in absolute heaven when January sales come around and those sales happen to involve books. Oh the ecstasy! And what better to spend a dreary January day than curled up with a hot cup of your fave and a good book.
Yup, January sales can result in escapism at its finest. If I can’t be in the warm sunshine somewhere, at least I can read about someone else who is. And even if the characters in my book of choice are not in the warm sunshine, I can still partake of their adventures vicariously from the safety of a comfy recliner. I’m convinced books are the last truly great escape. Whether I’m writing one or reading one, what happens between me and a book is an intimate thing, and it’s different for every person who reads that book. Books are the original interactive experience, just the book, the reader and her imagination. Absolute heaven. So here’s some news to brighten your January.
In The Flesh is only 99 p/c through the end of January
Of course I have ulterior motives. I want to seduce all of you Medusa’s Consortium virgins and get you hooked on the series. Book three, Buried Pleasures, is just now out and takes the tale of Magda Gardener and her Consortium on to Vegas. So of course I want to get you there.
In The Flesh is now available on Kindle Unlimited
What’s that I hear? You don’t want to pay 99 p/c when you can get books from the Kindle Unlimited library to read for FREE? Well you’re in luck then, because In The Flesh is now available on Kindle Unlimited for your reading pleasure.
In The Flesh: Book one in the Medusa’s Consortium series
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.
So cheer up this January! Read and be happy. And to tease and titillate you just a little bit, here is an all-new excerpt from In The Flesh. Enjoy.
In The Flesh Excerpt – Orgy of Death & the Capture of a Demon:
And we did. We slept, or at least I thought I slept. I thought I dreamed. I thought surely it must be Talia’s doing. I drifted for a long time, aware of the foreign presence inside me, aware that it was only Magda’s talisman that kept just enough of me safe and focused. Without it I would be easily taken over by that presence.
It was the champagne bubble effervescence coursing over my entire body that roused me from deep sleep to the place almost of waking, but not quite. The feel of a feather touch raised the fine hairs on my forearms, up my spine, on the back of my neck, goose fleshing the tops of my breasts and tightening my nipples to points.
“I’m here now, my darling girl. Don’t be afraid. It will hurt but a little, and then you will feel nothing but pleasure.”
I felt myself being lifted, cradled like a child in strong, hard arms. Then I inhaled the cold wild scent of the high fells and below it earth, solid and warmed by moss and fallen leaves, and I could have wept with relief, even as fear shot along all my nerve endings.
“Scribe, why is the vampire here with us?” The Guardian’s voice was more curious than upset.
“We’re dreaming,” I mumbled. “A dream brought on by our self-pleasure, no doubt.”
“Perhaps you don’t crave the flesh of a vampire, but I assure you, we mortals do.”
“Because vampires have what we don’t—eternal life.”
“But they are dead,” He said.
“We mortals don’t see them that way. To us they’re powerful, beautiful, because they symbolize lust and virility, and we fantasize about being taken by them.”
There was a soft chuckle next to my ear and cool fingers against my bare nape, pushing my hair aside. “I did not know,” the Guardian said. “It seems very real.”
“Powerful dreams always do. Sometimes when we’re in them, it’s very difficult to tell if they’re real or not.”
“Then how do you know that this dream is not real?”
“A vampire would have no more use for you than you do for him,” I replied. “And it was he who sent me here, remember?”
“Of course.” The Guardian didn’t question my logic further, for which I was grateful.
“We shall begin now, my darling girl,” came the voice next to my ear. “You have only to let me take you, and when I am finished, when I have emptied you completely and hold your life force within me, then I shall give it back to you, only changed.”
“Is this not the vampire from High View, scribe—the one who grovels before Magda Gardener?”
I felt a vibration against my neck that might have been a growl, might have been a purr. “It is, yes.”
“And you find him attractive?”
“It’s a dream,” I said. “Go back to sleep.”
“Careful, my darling girl, you’ll hurt my feelings.”
“I suppose he’s comely enough,” The Guardian observed. “A pity his flesh is not living. I might enjoy inhabiting such a fine, strong body.”
“Good heavens, He is irritating, isn’t He?” Alonso’s voice was soft against my ear and with a start, I realized the Guardian couldn’t hear what Alonso said to me.
“He’s dreaming, Susan. You, however, are not. You must tell me now if you do not wish me to continue, for once I have tasted you, especially in your lust and your vulnerability, there will be no turning back, and I do not wish for you to despise me for what I have done.”
With an effort that seemed colossal, I slid my arm around his neck, amazed at how soft and dark his hair was. As I pulled him to me, he stayed my efforts, but only for a moment. He kissed my cheek then held my gaze, only for a second longer, and his eyes were darker than midnight. Then he lowered his mouth to my nape, to the vein pulsing like a driving drum beat. His lips were deliciously warm, and it came as a surprise when he ran the flat of his tongue along the length of the vein, pressing, lapping like a cat tasting milk, then pressing again with the tip as though he were probing for just the right spot.
The intake of his breath was like the sigh of a summer breeze. He kissed me once, on the spot where my pulse beat the strongest, and then again.
My hand in his hair tightened to a fist. I caught my breath and held it, waiting in his embrace. It was a sharp pain, precise and doubled—just two pinpoints of pain, like a surgeon’s twin incision against the side of my throat. I had barely time to notice it before blinding pain took my breath away. The world flashed white hot around me and I panicked and began to struggle, but he held me tightly.
As the skin gave beneath his bite, as I felt my blood flooding to his lips, I heard his voice inside my head. “That is the worst of it done, my darling girl. Now you need only relax and let me take you.”
“Ouch!” came the other voice in my head, reminding me I wasn’t alone with Alonso and surprising me how badly I suddenly wanted to be. “That was not pleasant. Susan, are dreams usually so physical?”
“Talia, can you not silence him?” Alonso spoke inside my head again and, for the first time, I noticed the succubus sat at my feet, gently stroking my ankle.
She said nothing, but the Guardian gave a soft moan of contentment, or rather I did, but I knew it was His. And for the first time since He had deceived His way into my life, I was relieved that He was silent, that He couldn’t touch me, even though I felt the fullness of Him pressing gently against the inside of my chest. I needed Him to sleep and to leave me alone for a little while longer. It was with that thought I realized I was clinging to Alonso’s strong, well muscled frame and I wanted him like I had never wanted before. Christ! I wanted him to devour me, to take me completely into himself. I had never imagined it would be like this. Somehow I’d thought it would be more macabre, more solemn.
I would have writhed if I could have. I would have pulled him closer, but I was lost, drowning in the swift flowing river of my blood that he drew into his mouth in deep, thirsty gulps. That I couldn’t move, that my body was completely held in thrall to the flow of my own blood into his mouth mattered less than the fact that he fed from me, an act so powerful, so incredibly intimate, that I felt shy, awkward.
“It is all right that you feel this way, my darling Susan, for so we all feel at our making.” He spoke as though he’d read my thoughts, though in truth what I experienced was far too primal to actually be thoughts. “There is no act more intimate, no connection deeper than the taking and giving of blood. What I take now is meant to give me life, to give me your life, but only so I may give you back my own. In this act, we shall both find pleasure, and you will be more than my familiar. You will be the child of my own heart’s blood.”
There was a sudden thrashing behind my breastbone. Though I knew it wasn’t physical, it was no less real.
“Susan, you have deceived me. I shall punish you very severely for this duplicity. Do you really think a dead creature can keep me from what is mine?”
The Guardian’s voice was not raised, but in it was an edge of disquiet I’d not heard before. “For your impertinence, vampire, I shall take your succubus and use her long and hard, even if she does reek of your death.”
“You can try.” The voice that responded was different, and in my groggy, giddy state, a blurred apparition of Magda Gardener pushed aside the makeshift curtain that separated the mattress from the rest of the area. Even with her glasses still in place, her hair seemed to writhe and dance around her face, as though it lived and breathed anger and fury. “I won’t hesitate to turn the scribe and the vampire if that’s what it takes, and well you know this.”
I felt as though my whole body jerked and struggled around the still point at which Alonso’s mouth pressed against my vein, but in truth I had not physically moved. I was incapable of movement, completely enthralled by the ebb and flow of my blood and the kiss and bite of the vampire at my throat.
“That won’t be necessary, Magda,” Talia said, still caressing my ankle and my calf. “We’ve got this.”
“You shall all suffer for this deception!” The words came from Talia’s throat, but the Guardian spoke them from inside my body.
“Oh, I doubt it,” the succubus managed in the next breath, her grip secure on my leg.