Tuesday Teaser

SURGE Teaser Tuesday


Hades Abyss MC #8

 

Motorcycle Club Romance, Bisexual, Age Gap

Date Published:  May 20, 2022

Publisher: Changeling Press


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Colette’s a sweet angel in need of saving, and like it or not, I have a hero complex. Marrying her seems like the right thing to do. Then my sometimes lover, Aidan, finds us together. The hurt in his eyes nearly guts me.

My club knows I’m bisexual. I’ve not hidden it from them. Doesn’t mean I’ve flaunted it in their faces either. So when I decided to claim Aidan and Colette, I’m not sure how it’s going to end. All I know is they both need me, and I need them too.

With human traffickers after Colette, a possible traitor in the club, and more chaos than I can handle, I do the only thing I can… I run with my new wife and husband. Once I figure out who wants Colette, I’ll do whatever it takes to destroy them. Until then, I’ll keep her safe, and Aidan too. Because they both mean more to me than I realized.

 

WARNING: Surge is part of the Hades Abyss MC series and contains bad language, violence, and content some readers may find difficult to read. Yes, Surge is bisexual, and therefore there are sexual situations involving Male-Female, Male-Male, Male-Female-Male, and Male-Male-Female sex.



 EXCERPT

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2022 Harley Wylde

 

“Don’t ask Colette to leave. S’il vous plat. She needs to be here,” he said.

I didn’t know what the hell he’d said when he wasn’t speaking English, but the tone was still clear. These two needed help. I didn’t know how they’d come to be here, but I couldn’t force them out. Not knowing if they would be okay. Although, he’d only asked me to help the woman. I didn’t know what to think.

“Start talking,” I said.

Colette got off the bed and scrambled into her clothes. Her cheeks turned pink as she glanced at me. She came closer and took Jacques’ hand.

“A man invited us,” he said. “He promised there would be food and drinks. Said we were both welcome. We can leave. We won’t cause trouble.”

“And this little display?” I asked, motioning to the bed. Her cheeks burned brighter, and she dropped her gaze. “Were you hoping to lure someone in and rob them?”

She gasped, and Jacques shook his head. “Non. We would never do such a thing. I only hoped Colette could eat something we didn’t pull from a dumpster. Your party offered us something for now, but…”

If they’d been living on the streets, it would explain the malnourished look. At least for the woman. The man might be thin, but he didn’t look like he’d missed as many meals. Had they only recently come together? Something felt off about the entire thing.

“It still doesn’t explain the rest,” I said.

“Beautiful, isn’t she?” Jacques asked. He put Colette’s hand in mine. “We always pay our way.”

My stomach twisted at the implication. No fucking way. Nope. I wasn’t about to use this pretty woman just because they’d come here to eat something.

“You’re selling her to me for a meal?” I felt her tremble and knew my words had upset her. I hated doing that to her, but I needed to be clear on what was happening. For one, if that’s what this motherfucker meant, I wanted to knock his teeth down his damn throat.


About the Author

 Harley is the international bestselling author of the Dixie Reapers and Devil’s Boneyard series.

When Harley is writing, her motto is the hotter the better. Off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place.

 

Contact Links

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Purchase Links

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Tuesday Teaser

Lead Your Team Toward a Better World


Management book / Leadership / Psychology

Date Published: May 10, 2022

Publisher:  Serapis Bey Publishing


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Drs Lies Wouters, international organizational psychologist, advisor, trainer and team coach, based in the Netherlands, introduces her unique Metaphor Map and Metaphor Model of Psychological Safety in this, her first book published in English. She shines a new light on how all leaders across the world can use specific learnt skills to create teams where people thrive, when they understand that it is up to them to create the circumstances where people feel motivated, have fun and grow. She explains the neurobiology of our behaviour and its impact on performance, collaboration, creativity, happiness, productivity and so much more. Backed by relevant science, comprehensive research, real life examples and practical exercises this book takes you step by step through the underlying processes in your brain and body to develop the skills that ensure high performance. She reveals the significance of applying these skills in the world and how we can all play an important role in making this world better, where not only teams, but everyone can thrive.


Excerpt

The Metaphor Map


When we talk about psychological safety, we refer to the Metaphor Map of the land, a boat and water, and we ask the question, where are you? When you are on the land, you have both feet on the ground; you feel safe and comfortable. Basically, you are in your comfort zone. When you step out of your comfort zone, you get onto the boat. To step onto the boat can be exciting, but it can also be stressful. Or even both. You do something new or something very difficult. On the boat you learn new things. You can be very successful. When the project or the task turns out to be much more difficult than you thought, or when you experience a setback, you might fall out of the boat into the water. In the water is a place of overwhelm. This is a place where your brain receives a signal that you need to go into survival mode. You can no longer be as successful or creative in the water and you feel overwhelmed. Psychological safety does not mean that you remain on the land, but that you feel safe enough to get on the boat, you are not afraid to fall in the water and you have the skills to swim back to the shore. To be able to navigate is really what psychological safety is about.


About the Author

Drs. Lies Wouters is an international positive psychology expert, work and organizational psychologist, advisor, trainer and team coach, based in the Netherlands. In addition to the comprehensive research, she has conducted about happiness and resilience, she assists organizations in the areas of: mental health; optimal functioning; motivation; and positive communication. Her mission is to contribute to reducing the number of burnouts in the Netherlands by helping to make people within organizations healthier and happier; and ensuring that they thrive in psychologically safe team environments. In 2018, she published her first book in Dutch, Hoe Dan (So Then How) together with a businesswoman who wrote about how she overcame life’s struggles. In their book, Lies responds to her explaining the psychological theories of what helped and why.

Lies is the founder of her own international business, OMG! which stands for tailor-made leadership and specializes in providing leadership training and coaching. For more than ten years, Lies and her team of fellow experts have been facilitating online and onsite leaders and professionals with business related workshops. Their work is underpinned by their professional knowledge that each individual is unique and each organization is unique. Thus, they only deliver custom work.

Lies is PhD student at the Open University in the Netherlands where she is researching the topic of psychological safety. The title “Drs” stands for doctorandus which is Latin for he/she/they who should become a doctor. Her first article about psychological safety will be published in the spring of 2022. When Lies is not pursuing her professional career and helping other people to thrive at work, she loves to spend time with her husband and two children. She enjoys being outside in nature at all times of the year. She also loves dancing and enjoying good, healthy food with family and friends.


Contact Links

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Email: lies.wouters@omgadvies.nl


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Tuesday Teaser

Umbra

 

(Darkling #5)


Dark Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Date Published: April 29, 2022

 

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Jasper and Ava’s relationship has been nothing but dramatic. From werewolf hunters to demons and everything in between, a nice, normal wedding is exactly what’s needed. Their mating will not only affirm their own relationship, but help to cement the alliances between the wolf packs and the Venators.

But a rival wolf pack is dead set against Jasper and Ava’s union, and everything their love stands for. Will the couple make it to their wedding day, or will deep seated prejudices keep them apart forever?


Excerpt


All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2022 Torri Heat


Mollie peeled out of the lot, turning in the direction of Merrick’s house, and I knew exactly where she was going. She could say my upcoming nuptials was her only chance to experience a wedding of her own, but everyone who knew the two of them knew that was a lie. Mollie had Merrick wrapped around her little finger, and if Mollie wanted a wedding, she was going to have a wedding. It was only a matter of time.

I unlocked the door to the — our — apartment, and Betty immediately came running out to greet me. Having my cat with me once more really made our house feel like home. She had yet to warm up to Jasper, but we were getting somewhere, especially with Jasper’s incessant treats he would bring home.

I tossed my bag on the couch, and gave Betty a quick pet, immediately taking Mollie’s advice and heading for the shower. Jasper wasn’t home yet. With me going dress shopping, he had taken the opportunity to head onto pack lands and see the guys. I doubted they were going suit shopping. At this moment, they were probably sparring in the field like a bunch of teenagers.

The shower immediately began to steam up the bathroom, so I opened the door a crack before I stepped into the hot water. Mollie was right — as usual. The heat eased the tension in my shoulders, and I stopped overthinking. For a minute at least. I wasn’t sure I explained my emotions clearly, the intrusive thoughts churning my stomach as we shopped for dresses and called caterers. Having the “perfect” wedding felt silly when my family was filled with supernatural creatures, yes. But little things bothered me as well. Who would walk me down the aisle? Did I cover my mark so the reverend marrying us didn’t see, or was he a wolf as well?

And all of this wasn’t even getting into the bigger issues. What had the demon meant when they called me “storm summoner”? The name rang in my head, day in and day out. I couldn’t make sense of it. The taste of the dream still lingered on my tongue, a vision that felt more like a memory. Watching the dark clouds roll in, as Jasper stood there in awe. How could the demon know of my dreams? The only person I had ever mentioned them to was Jasper. So the only conclusion I could draw was that I was missing something, and the problem with missing something was that it usually led to danger. I didn’t need any more danger than necessary with my supposed “perfect” wedding looming on the horizon. Storm summoner…

“Penny for your thoughts.”

Startled, I jumped, catching myself on the side of the shower before I slipped and fell on my ass. One perk of Venator training? My reflexes had never been better. On the other side of the glass door stood Jasper with a smirk, arms crossed over his thick chest. “Shit, Jasp, some warning would be nice!”

He shrugged, rolling his lip between his teeth. “I was enjoying the view. Also I called your name when I got home, and you didn’t answer. Obviously too deep into whatever you’re thinking about.”

“Just… everything.” I sighed. My chest tightened. “How were the guys?”

“Good.” Jasper tugged his T-shirt over his head, leaving me ogling his cut abs. It had been an unseasonably warm fall, and to be honest I was surprised he was wearing a shirt at all.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

Jasper shoved his sweatpants over his hips with a crooked grin. “Conserving water. I’m sweaty as anything, and you were kind enough to start a shower for me. Figured we could solve each other’s problems with one solution.”

 


Author Contact Links

Twitter: @torriheat

Instagram: @torriheat


Follow the Publisher on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @changelingpress


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Tuesday Teaser

Protecting His Prince

 

LGBTQ Romantic Suspense

Date Published: April 29, 2022

Publisher: Changeling Press

 

Aaron has escaped his past with scars and strength. But when he is targeted again for his looks and his talent, his belief in the goodness of the world and the power of love are challenged.

Jason knows there’s something wrong with his husband, but Aaron won’t talk about it. Will Aaron’s refusal tear them apart? Can Jason keep his temper or will his need to protect Aaron destroy their love?

 

Warning: Jason and Aaron’s story deals with issues of PTSD, M/M rape, hate crimes, stalking, kidnapping, and torture. Jason and Aaron’s stories may be triggers for some readers.

 

Excerpt

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2022 Emily Carrington

 

Aaron stirred the soup and hummed, aware he was a little off key but not caring. No one was home, and his husband, Jason, said he liked Aaron’s not-quite-on-pitch humming because, according to Jason, it was “resonant and heartfelt.”

He was humming a song from the musical they’d seen about three months ago. It had been Jason’s birthday present for Aaron, and even though his birthday was in December, this musical was the one they both wanted to see.

Aaron’s last five presents for Jason had all been paintings. The walls of their bedroom were almost full. The last painting had been of Jason’s entire family, from his oldest brother, Christopher, all the way down to his youngest sibling.

Anniversaries got paintings. Birthdays got paintings. Aaron would have felt guilty about not being able to give more than his art except Jason honestly seemed to love each one. His delight was infectious, and Aaron was already planning what to paint him for their ten-year anniversary, which was coming up at the end of this year.

The kitchen was full of the smell of baking bread and bean soup. Aaron’s mouth watered as he idly stirred the soup to keep the beans near the bottom of the pot from burning. Jason should be home in a few minutes and then they could eat.

The front door to their little apartment they shared with another couple burst open, and Jason literally waltzed in, turning and holding his hands out as if he was dancing with an invisible partner. He was singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” at close to full volume. Unlike Aaron’s humming, Jason was always perfectly on pitch.

Having Jason come in singing was slightly unusual, but dancing was another level of strange. Aaron found himself grinning in anticipation of something wonderful. He didn’t interrupt Jason’s song to ask and when Jason caught him by the waist and pulled him into the dance, he fell into easy step. They waltzed around the small kitchen, Jason leading.

When his husband stopped singing, they continued to dance. Aaron started to ask what had put such a spring in Jason’s step, but Jason kissed him, and Aaron went weak at the knees. He opened his mouth to Jason’s tongue, letting his lover explore. Jason tasted of coffee and something sweet, not quite chocolate.

There was a bubbling sound and Aaron turned toward the stove to stir the soup, having to let go of his lover to do so. He stirred and then tasted the concoction. It was excellent, if he did say so himself. He’d settled into cooking for the four of them: himself, Jason, and the couple they lived with. He’d been doing it for over nine years and his skills had improved.

Jason stepped up behind him and hugged him, resting his chin on Aaron’s shoulder. He smelled incredibly good, like summer heat and subtle cologne almost overshadowed by his shampoo. He smelled like Jason.

Like home.

“So?” Aaron asked as he turned off the burner under the pot. “What’s happened?”

“I got offered a job.”

Aaron frowned in confusion. He twisted in the circle of Jason’s arms and lifted his head slightly so he could meet Jason’s hazel eyed gaze. “But you love your middle school students. That’s not something every teacher can say.”

“Don’t you even want to hear where the job is?”

Still frowning, Aaron nodded.

“I’ve been offered a job in Colton, Pennsylvania.”

Aaron’s heartbeat picked up. Colton was the college town nearest to Marisburg. But then his excitement died. “You can’t take a lower paying job just to make me happy.”

“Who said it’s a lower paying job? I’m being offered the position as head of the math department at Colton University.”

Aaron gaped. “When did you apply?”

“I didn’t. Nearest I can figure is someone here works in Pennsylvania, or vice versa. Someone I know, maybe, or someone who’s…” He shrugged and a little of his enthusiasm faded. “Does it matter?”

 

 

About the Author

Emily Carrington is a multipublished author of male/male and transgender erotica. Seeking a world made of equality, she created SearchLight to live out her dreams. But even SearchLight has its problems, and Emily is looking forward to working all of these out with a host of characters from dragons and genies to psychic vampires.

Fantasy creatures not your thing? Emily has also created a contemporary romance world, called Sticks and Stones, where she explores being “different” in a small town.


Contact Links

Twitter: @CarringtonEmily

Facebook: @emily.carrington.370


Follow the Publisher on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @changelingpress


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Tuesday Teaser

The Way of the Tracker

 

Natural Health / Self Development / Kinesiology / Healing / Holistic Health / Wellbeing / Fulfillment

Releasing April 2022

Publisher: Serapis Bey Publishing

 

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This book takes you on an adventure of personal development through the detective work of Creative Kinesiology.  Muscle testing gives us the powerful tool we need to delve into any problem. It allows the body to show us what is going on physically, emotionally and in our feelings, with the mind and the spiritual self. Using maps of the body, subtle energies and clues to the problem gives the tracker the direction of healing.  Working creatively with the person and their intent for healing gives us all we need for healing and inner work to begin and continue. We look at the way the latest discoveries from the scientific world add new perspectives on the way the body systems work – or don’t.  Plumbing the depths of our being takes us to the reasons for our stress and anxiety – the traumas, large and small that can create problems in any part of us, including the digestive system, the brain and the nervous system. We may have lost our ability to look forward and reach for our visions and dreams. Help is there for us; in the exercises and techniques we can use for ourselves; some are introduced in the book.  Increasing our awareness of the body’s messages can give us the healing impetus to help ourselves and can take us to practitioners, both in the natural health world and in the medical profession.


Discover this gentle and powerful approach to healing and health for yourself as you read the book – a healing journey in itself.



Excerpt from the Book


We all have at least 42 muscles that we can test when we are gathering information in a Creative ~Kinesiology session.  Each muscle test gives us masses of data. We can also use an indicator muscle to glean additional information.  Muscle testing responds to thoughts, memories and information with a binary Yes/No response.  Given that every part of us is connected to every other part, we can choose any muscle to do this for us.

The indicator muscle can be any muscle in the body.  The body simply has to decide that this particular muscle can do the job of indicating a positive or negative to us, a Yes or a No, as such an agreement or a disagreement. Once we have this decision, we can make statements and discover whether the body responds with a Yes or No to them. When touching a painful area, we can check the indicator muscle and see if the body says Yes, it’s okay.  Or, when we monitor our indicator we find a No, it’s not okay, and the muscle unlocks. This way of working gives us a response we call switched-on, where the muscle holds its position or a switched-off response, where the muscle cannot hold in place. This is the simplicity and the complexity of muscle testing. It is both the science and the art of this approach, which when used with expertise is the brilliant tool we use in kinesiology.


About the Author

Carrie Jost started her working life as a town planner and after having two beautiful daughters she moved on to become a community worker. When this work was coming to an end, she changed direction to work in the field of natural health and wellbeing and has continued ever since. Carrie has been a practitioner and teacher since 1987. She describes herself as a kinesiologist and has also trained as a psychotherapist and shamanic healer, as well as studying many other bodywork and energy work methods. Bringing these different approaches to health and wellbeing together has been her life’s work and vocation for more than thirty years.

She established the UK’s School of Creative Kinesiology in 1990 and was involved in setting up the Kinesiology Federation in the UK in 1991.

Carrie has worked with hundreds of people during the years; has trained many practitioners and teachers; and thoroughly enjoyed the entire process. Even though she is now an elder, she still sees clients and teaches. She also plays a part in the continuing journey of Creative Kinesiology.


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Tuesday Teaser

Unwanted Complication



Dark Romance/Mafia Romance

Date Published: April 15, 2022

 

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I’m the monster in the dark. The Boogeyman. I shouldn’t touch her. Shouldn’t keep her. But I will.

Raina — A man took me from my home in Tahiti when I was only five. They called it an adoption, but I know the truth. My parents sold me, pure and simple. My life has been one nightmare after another, a living hell that I can’t escape. When my owner gives me as payment to Feliks Sobol, I think it’s just like any other time. But it’s not. He’s different. Under the darkness and danger, there’s a tenderness I’ve never experienced. I want him. I shouldn’t, but I do. He might be the one who ends up breaking me.

Feliks — I’m the monster in the shadows, the man everyone fears. I’ve done unspeakable things, and I will do them again without a hint of remorse. I’m Bratva, born and bred. Hard. Unyielding. Yet when I’m around Raina, there’s another side of me that emerges. One that’s weaker. Wanting her could get me killed. Yet I can’t let her go. Until my brigadier demands I choose. Raina, or the woman I wish to marry. I decide to hold on to the power I’ll gain by marrying Natalia Gorev. I didn’t realize it was too late. Raina is already under my skin, and when she’s taken, I know I’ve made the wrong choice. I’ll bathe the city in blood if that’s what it takes to get her back. I only hope she can forgive me.


WARNING: This is a dark romance suitable for those 18+ and contains strong language, graphic violence, sexual situations, human trafficking, and a dark undertone that some may find objectionable.



Excerpt


*Trigger Warning – Dark Content*

 

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2022 Harley Wylde & Paige Warren


Someone once told me, “As long as you’re hurting, you know you’re alive.” If so, I was definitely alive. My wrists and ankles ached from the constant presence of the shackles that bound me. I preferred that pain over the other, though. I just didn’t understand why anyone would want to live like this. I’d prefer to die than continue in this hell.

“There’s my little slut.”

I cringed as I turned to face the man who had adopted me. I liked to think my family wouldn’t have given me away if they’d known why he’d paid so much. Maybe it was a fantasy. My parents could have been just as awful as the man who’d bought me.

“Come here. Now.”

I walked over, knowing my chains would reach as far as the doorway. He grabbed my chin as I stopped in front of him. I knew better than to look him in the eye. Nothing good ever came of it. He’d punish me for such insolence.

“It’s time to get you clean and prepped. I have a special guest coming.”

Which translated into he owed someone money or a favor, and the best way to pay them back was to let them use me how they saw fit. He’d turned me into his personal whore, and if I dared to disobey or fight back, then it got much worse. In the twisted mind of Gary Leeds, I owed him for the food he gave me and the roof over my head. And he took payment however he wanted, whenever he wanted.

He pulled the keys from his pocket and unfastened my cuffs. The first time they’d rusted, he’d cursed about me costing him additional money. Now he freed me when it was shower time, but I didn’t dare try to run away. I rubbed at my wrists as he hauled me to my feet and began shoving me in the direction of the bathroom.

Gary twisted the shower knob, only the cold one. He got a perverse pleasure out of watching my nipples get hard under the icy spray. With a grin stretching his lips, he jabbed me until I stumbled under the water, then reached for the soap. Every time he washed me, I went somewhere else in my mind. His hands lingered in places I tried not to think about. When the water turned off, I quickly dried myself, braided my long hair, then went back into the bedroom. He’d said this was a special client, which meant he’d take me to the playroom.

Gary put another set of cuffs on me, prettier ones to showcase his merchandise, then led me downstairs. He unlocked the door to my worst nightmare, then pushed me inside. The lights came on, nearly blinding me, and I tried not to look at everything in the room. I already knew what was here. I’d experienced it all firsthand.

He led me over to the waist-high table, then forced me over it. Once he’d secured my hands at the middle of my back and anchored me to the table, he kicked my legs apart and fastened my ankles to two O-rings on the floor. Shackled and unable to move, I stood bent over the bench and spread wide for whatever his guest wanted to do. It also would give them access to my mouth. I hated Gary. Hated his friends. Hated my life.

Gary leaned over me, his breath against my ear, his cock pressing against me. “Let’s get you ready, shall we?”

I stared blankly at the wall ahead of me. He took great pleasure in lubing me, then inserting the largest anal plug he owned. It was silver, and the metal was cold as it entered me. I winced as it burned and stretched me, but crying out only gave him a thrill. He loved to make me suffer.

A knock at the door drew Gary’s attention. I heard a murmur of voices when he went to the hallway. He typically liked to leave me like this for a while before anyone arrived. He’d look at me, touch me, let his favorite guards do the same. After his guest finished with me, he’d allow any of his staff to fuck me.

The room was chilly, and my nipples were so hard they hurt. That was the main reason for the temperature of the room. Gary loved seeing the tips of my breasts harden into peaks. Even if it wasn’t from desire, he got off on it. Enjoyed touching them.

I heard a loud voice drawing nearer and realized the man had a thick accent. Russian? Oh, hell. My nape prickled. If Gary had borrowed money from the Bratva, I didn’t think the offer of my body would be enough. I’d heard stories of how ruthless they were. The man entered the room. I didn’t dare look at him, but I was aware of his presence. It was a tangible thing, his voice like a caress against my skin.

“What is the meaning of this?” the man demanded. “I can have a whore without relieving your debts. Did you forget the Bratva-owned brothels are the best in this city?”

“Of course not, Mr. Sobol. I meant no disrespect. I’ve had many compliments over Raina and thought only to offer her to you as a down payment on the amount I owe. As a kryshas for Mr. Petrov, I thought perhaps we could come to an agreement. In exchange for an hour with her in the playroom, you lessen my debt by, say… one thousand?” Gary asked.

The Russian snorted. “Nyet.”



Author Contact Links

Instagram: @harleywylde

Facebook: @harleywylde

Twitter: @HarleyW_Writer


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Tuesday Teaser

Commanded

 

Erotic Paranormal Romance

Release Day: 04/15/2022

 

Ka’Sen, Prince of Planets, Leader of the Union of Worlds, can have anything he wants — except magic.

His to Command: Those on Rosrel protect the mystical forces from outsiders. Ka’Sen must convince the Rosrel princess to become his wife and give him a child of magic. As Princess Val’Trea’s most trusted personal servant, Brisa never dreamed the princess would command her to wed on her behalf.

Command the Stars: Brisa never dreamed she’d travel through the stars — or be caught in a war between ideologies. When Ka’Sen takes his new wife into his bed he’s bewitched by something more commanding than sorcery. Love. But now that he knows his wife lied to him from the first moment they met, he definitely can’t allow himself to trust in her…

Command His Heart: At the mercy of her kidnappers — and her new mother-in-law — Brisa needs to find her place in the universe. She’s been a pawn her whole life, but this is her chance to choose her path. Freedom? Or return to Ka’Sen’s side? Can she free the man who seeks to imprison her? When the only happiness you’ve ever had is slipping from reach, how do you find the courage to save worlds?

Command His Soul: As her belly swells with their child, Brisa’s heart has begun to shrink as she learns the terrible truth about her husband’s thirst for power. She knows she can unlock Ka’Sen’s magic, but she fears the truth may destroy him.



Publisher’s Note: Commanded (Box Set) contains the previously published novellas His to Command, Command the Stars, Command His Heart, and Command His Soul.


Excerpt

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2022 Ashlynn Monroe


When all the girls, even Meglena, were sleeping, Brisa stood and left as quietly as she could. Twilight’s orange sunset was burning off into the gray light before nightfall. The stones were damp under her feet and the cold reached through the thin fabric of her slippers. Some houses were still dark, but most had the warm light of hearth fires lit. The shops were closed as the villagers tucked in for the night. Brisa hurried through the village to find Lee. He was a good man. He would help.

“Hey,” called the baker’s son. “Safety in the sleeping hours.”

Brisa stumbled over to him and gave him a nod. “Safe sleep to you, as well.”

He nodded back. “Take this to Meglena, please.” He handed her a wrapped loaf.

She tried to hide her grin. They’d be a good match, this chubby, ruddy-faced boy, and her friend. He had a promising future. “I will. Thank you. Have you seen Lee?”

“He’s over at the tavern. Cards.”

She’d heard of his skill, but she’d never been inside the tavern. “Could you ask him to come see me at the temple?”

The boy laughed. “My father would kill me for going in there. Den of reprobates he calls it. Sorry.”

She shrugged. “Thank you for your kindness to Meglena. She is my heart sister.”

He nodded. “You have done many things I would call kindness concerning our village. My gifting food to a pretty girl is purely selfish.” He grinned broadly. “But I’m sure you already know I wish to court her.”

She sensed he was asking her permission, even though she had no right to expect it. The gesture made her like him even more. “You can court her, and if she’s smart, she’ll let you.”

His face reddened brighter than its naturally jolly color.

Brisa put her hand on his shoulder. “I’ll see she knows who to thank for the gift. She’s a bit under the weather, but when she feels better, I’m sure she’ll come see you.”

“Under the weather? What ails her?” His concern was intense and proved his feelings.

“It’s fever. Please keep this between us. You know how illness panics. I need Lee to help me get them wood to stay warm.”

“They’re all sick?” Now he sounded worried for more than just Meglena.

“No,” she lied. “It’s just that the littles are so small. I was hoping Lee could help with the chore, that’s all.”

He let go of a breath, and his shoulders sagged. “That’s good. I’m sorry I can’t go get him for you.”

“I’m glad you are obedient to your father. On the morrow.”

“On the morrow, Lady Brisa.”

She bristled at the honorary title, but hid the reaction with a polite smile before rushing off toward the tavern.

Laughter and noise streamed out of the well lit stone building. Women of low reputation walked with men down the path, and she saw a stable boy watering the horses of a newcomer. She paused, nervous about going farther, but her littles needed her to have courage. She wasn’t a child anymore for Goddess’s sake. Straightening her shoulders, she walked ahead as if this was a normal visit for her.

Lee. Thinking of him made her smile. He’d be surprised to see her in the tavern. Lee. So reliable. Such a good friend. He’d been helping her since the beginning. He’d seen her trying to carry a little boy who was almost as tall as she was. He’d taken him from her arms and helped her get him to the temple where she’d managed to save his frozen legs. That little boy was a farm hand now, but he often brought the temple children fresh food. He knew her favorite was rabbit and always snared one for her when he came. Without Lee, she might not have been able to save him.

As they’d grown older, she’d expected him to marry, but he hadn’t. She wasn’t sure why, but his marital status mattered to her more than it had the right to. She never doubted he’d be there for her, but if he wed that would need to change.

Nervousness fluttered in her stomach as she stepped up onto the long porch and took hold of the heavy door handle to gain entrance into the drinking establishment. She’d never been inside the busy gathering place. It was not the kind of place princesses or ladies went. Lucky for her littles, she was neither.

Peering through the doorway, she tried not to be noticed, but it was clear this was a male domain. Lee. His blond head bobbed. He needed a haircut. She watched his handsome face morph into a huge smile as he threw his hand down on the table. His companions wore angry or miserable expressions. When he glanced up, he gave a double take in her direction before grabbing his mug and draining the contents. Half standing, he scraped the money in the center of the table into a pile before shoving fistfuls into his pockets.

One of the angry looking men grabbed his arm. “Hey! Give me the chance to win it back.”

Lee glared at the hand, and the man let go. Lee scowled. “Later.” He hurried over to her, guiding her out into the darkness. “That’s no place for you. I was starting to worry. Another day and I’d have stormed the castle.”

“I’m fine. It’s just been very busy.”

“I heard. A sky ruler is coming here. Never thought I’d see that. They’ve been banned for so long I’m surprised the king will allow it.”

“My mistress is excited. Considering how badly the tech worlds want magic I suspect the king needs money. Val’Trea has been getting fitted for new dresses and very focused on the attention, but I don’t think she understands why the king is lavishing so many resources on her. I believe there will be a match.”

Lee’s blue eyes narrowed. “Would she force you to leave?”

“Yes. Unless by the grace of the Mother Goddess this sky ruler doesn’t allow her to bring me. We don’t know their culture. Maybe a lady’s maiden isn’t important in his land.”

“If it comes to it, run with me. I will protect you.” His words froze in the chilly air. When he took her face in his hands, his fingers were warm despite the cold. “I refuse to lose you.”

Heat burned in her cheeks. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying run with me. Be mine. The king has a long shadow, but every shadow is chased by the sun. We’ll find someplace, far from here, where we can live in the brightness. I want you for my wife. Don’t go back to the castle tonight.”

 


About the Author

Ashlynn Monroe is a busy working mom. She loves her kids and family. Her greatest joy is creating stories to entertain others, and she hopes they bring a little more romance into the world. She’s been writing since her teens for her own enjoyment but decided in her thirties to share her imagination with readers. Ashlynn enjoys biking, camping, reading, video games, and filling her home and life with love. If she’s not working or chasing children, you can find her daydreaming up her next tale of romance.


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Tuesday Teaser

The Extraordinary World of Cats


Children’s Books

Date Published: 03-26-2022

Publisher: Dixi Books


The Extraordinary World of Cats is an ode to the magnificent lives enjoyed by wild cats in our fast disappearing forest. The book makes an attempt to introduce some of the fascinating big cats of the animal kingdom to children around the world. Where do these cats live? Why are they so special? What are their defining characteristics? What sets them apart from each other? Why are they under threat? Why must they be saved from extinction? The Extraordinary World of Cats makes an appeal to all kids to love these marvellous felines and cherish their existence while they can.



About the Author

Born in India, Chandrakant Bhonsle is a qualified lawyer and a writer currently based in the Netherlands. He is the author of the children’s picture book “The World Belongs to Animals”, which is the part of the official reading lists of leading wildlife organisations such as Panthera and PETA among others.


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Tuesday Teaser

The Layover

 

Contemporary / Gay Romance

Date Published: 4/1/22

 

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Inside the cockpit, Captain Paul Miller is always in control. But on the ground, he constantly feels adrift. His marriage is crumbling, and life has become much too complicated.

Jamey Conley has worked hard to make his café in the Frisco airport a successful venture. He loves his work – and especially the airport scenery. He goes gaga over guys in uniform, but when he meets Paul, sparks really fly. Too bad his ideal man is married — and straight.


 

Excerpt

 

“Paul?” Jamey came running up. “My friend called. He can’t make it. Can I share a taxi with you?”

Almost as if it were fate, a cab pulled up at that very moment.

No! “Sure.”

Paul slid across the leather seat, and Jamey followed him inside.

The driver turned sideways, and looked over his shoulder. “Where to?”

“Gateway Suites,” Paul said.

The cabbie nodded, and started to turn away.

“Wait.” Paul looked at Jamey. “Tell him where you’re going.”

“Gateway Suites.”

“No.” Paul shook his head. “No, he’s not going there. No.”

“I’m going to the Gateway,” Jamey insisted.

The driver snorted derisively. “I’m not getting in the middle of a lover’s quarrel. You wanna get out here, or go to the Gateway?”

“The Gateway,” Jamey said.

Paul swore under his breath. The cab pulled away from the curb.

Paul tried to keep his voice low. “What kind of game are you playing?”

“I don’t play games, Paul.”

“Then stop acting like a kid,” Paul said in a hoarse whisper. “I don’t want to fuck you.”

Jamey’s eyebrows shot up, and hid themselves under a lock of caramel hair. “Who said anything about fucking?”

The driver turned with a big grin on his face.

“Keep your eyes on the road,” Paul yelled, before facing Jamey. “Damn it, keep your voice down.”

“But now that you mention it…” Jamey cupped Paul’s crotch, and rubbed.

Paul intended to push him away, but Jamey’s lips were so close to his. One heated look and they both knew what was coming. Their lips met as if magnetized and it was magic.

Jamey’s mouth was so warm, so soft, much softer than Paul had imagined, and he opened his mouth with a low moan. Jamey slipped his tongue inside. It was just like the movies. Time stopped. Everything disappeared, even the nosy driver. It was just him and Jamey. Until they pulled apart.

Paul sighed. He drew back and studied Jamey’s face. Jamey stared back, his feelings showed plainly on his face. He was thrilled beyond words to be the recipient of Paul’s affection.

Damn, damn, damn. Paul was completely unprepared for the feelings that kiss stirred in him, but he couldn’t bring himself to admit it. He feigned a disgusted look and shook his head. “Sorry, Jamey. I had too much to drink tonight. You’re a great guy, but I’m not gay.”

Jamey’s happy expression faded. “You know what I think, Paul?” Jamey moved away. “I think you’re lying. To me. And most of all to yourself.” Jamey tapped the driver on the shoulder. “Take me to Dartmouth Street please.”

 

 

About the Author


Gale Stanley grew up in Philadelphia PA. She was the kid who always had her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, and her hands on a pad and pencil.

Some things never change.


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