October Book Of The Month
The Barbary Lion
Once a king and now a police detective and always a hunter, Atlas Leonidus dreamed of his mate and knew the instant her foot touched the soil of his country. In order to secure her cooperation, he drugs, kidnaps, and imprisons his mate who had come to Italy for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. He's handsome and charming and utterly ruthless: a man who's 1,600 years old doesn't thrive for centuries without believing himself superior to everyone else and doing pretty much as he pleases.
Chloe cannot believe what her captor says, though the changes wrought in her own body give evidence to his wild words. Isolated, she becomes depressed. Rebellious, she breaks beneath his autocratic rule. But Chloe's smart and she's no doormat. Beneath the veil of meek obedience, she plots and schemes: all it takes is one mistake, one moment of inattention, to escape.
Upon discovering her escape, Atlas realizes what his cruelty has cost. He sends a hunter after her when he fails to find her. Dmitry, the hunter, has been searching for a mate for 800 years; he's lonely, too. Atlas hopes that Dmitry never learns that he did not complete the bonding ritual and that Chloe can still be claimed.
Tiger in the Snow
Tiger shifter Dmitry disgraced himself. Fleeing his disgrace, he travels to the Appalachian Trail and rescues the woman his tiger recognizes as his mate and claims her. Tessa acknowledges the blazing chemistry between them, but she's not sure she wants to be tied to this big, dominant male for eternity. Dmitry seeks redemption, but will he find it through Tessa?
People called to one another in short bursts of sound. Singly and in small groups they raced to the stone building where the shelter was obviously sturdier than the awning that flapped in the storm wind and where, she understood, the concert would continue. Clutching her purse, she followed the general trickle of people inside.
People pushed and shoved, trying to get in out of the sudden summer storm. She felt a tug at her shoulder and then a sudden lightness. She gasped and shouted, trying to pursue the thief.
“Stop! Thief!” she called to no avail.
But he was too fast and her pretty sandals weren’t made for running. She cursed under her breath. At least she’d had the foresight to keep most of her money and her identification in a money belt. Trudging back toward the building, she squeezed past several people who were nearly as wet as she. Rain pelted the pavement. She looked around a corner of a stone wall and gasped to witness a struggle, the orange burst of gunfire as lightning cracked overhead, and a man collapse onto wet flagstone. Another shot rang out, that time not obscured by the sounds of the storm. Screams erupted and people pushed and shoved — their good-natured jostling for a dry spot vanished — to flee.
She flattened herself against the stone wall in an effort to avoid being trampled. Her lungs heaved wet air scented with cordite, ozone, and panic. She yelped when a hand wrapped around her upper arm.
“My apologies for startling you,” said the man attached to that hand grasping her arm. His voice was charmingly accented. Dimly, she realized he spoke English. “You are American, yes?”
“Er, yes,” she said, wondering how he could know.
“You saw the shooting?”
She cocked her head, glanced at his hand on her arm. He obligingly removed it. She wrapped her arms around herself as though to contain her shivering.
“And you are?” she prompted.
He flashed a badge at her and said, “I am a detective with the city police.” He gave her a short bow and his name, “Detective Atlas Leonidus.”
She nodded curtly and replied in a trembling voice, “Yes, I saw the shooting. My name is Chloe Gardner.”
“You are cold,” he observed as she trembled. “Come, we will get some coffee and you will tell me what you saw.”
He saw the wariness in her eyes, but she accompanied him without balking. They dashed from overhang to awning to doorway and into a small shop redolent with the rich aroma of coffee. The detective guided her to a small table and bade her take a seat. She did and he walked to the counter to purchase their beverages. She took the opportunity to observe him: taller than the average Italian with tawny blonde hair worn long and caught at the nape of his neck in a short ponytail. His broad shoulders narrowed to a trim waist and taut ass. He moved with coiled strength, like an athlete or big cat.
The Whitemoon Warriors Series Book #1
Centuries of waiting...
For four hundred years, Charlie Matthews has waited for his revenge, becoming the very creature he seeks to destroy. When he finally returns to his Maker’s mansion, he knows the time is close. And only one thing stands between what he wants, and what he never knew he needed.
Leads to a single moment…
On Nessie Robinson’s eighteenth birthday, she gets an unexpected surprise. Her ex-best friend. Emphasis on “ex.” Since he left ten years ago, she’s had to deal with the overbearing power of their Master. With his return comes tragedy, and feelings she doesn’t want to face. But every moment makes them harder to ignore.
That changes everything
With one bite, Charlie and Nessie are forced to run for their lives. Leaving behind everything they’ve known, fighting for survival, freedom, and a chance at a future neither of them ever imagined.
I hate this room. Nessie dragged her feet through the door and entered her least favorite place on the entire estate. The white furniture and rugs only served to make her more anxious. One little accident, which would, of course, be her fault, and she’d spend the next several hours on her hands and knees scrubbing the entire room.
“Don’t slouch, Vanessa,” her mother chided from behind her.
She narrowed her eyes, ready to stick out her tongue at her mother until Master entered the room. Immediately lowering her gaze to the floor, the two of them bowed their heads as he passed them. She noticed a second pair of feet cross in front of her vision a few moments after and her stomach cramped. Logan, the younger male who usually fed from her, had wandering hands and a penchant for sinking his teeth to the bone. Vampires were assholes like that.
“C’mon, I haven’t got all day!” Master bellowed as he lounged on the sofa across the room.
She scrambled over to sit on the cushion beside Logan, her eyes focusing on her fiddling hands in her lap. Any moment now he’d snatch up her wrist and dig his ugly fangs into her vein. Her breaths came unevenly, her heart racing, her body bracing for the coming pain.
“You seem uneasy,” the man next to her said.
Her breath hitched as her gaze shot up. Not Logan. Definitely not Logan. That face, like a distant memory, yet so familiar. It was him. The vampire she had once called friend. Best friend, if she was being honest with herself. Before he disappeared on her, never to be seen or heard from for the last ten years. The one who’d left her here to rot like a forgotten piece of garbage. Vampires were assholes like that.
“It’s alright,” he said, reaching for her hand, which she snatched out of reach without a thought.
His eyebrows raised in surprise.
Shit. Slaves don’t behave like that. Your hand isn’t your hand when you’re a slave. She slowly held out her hand, staring at him. His face was exactly as she remembered. Dark, stormy eyes under thick brows that matched his perfectly styled black hair. His nose slightly veered to one side, and his lips were a tad too big for his face.
He glanced down at her offered hand. “Are you sure? You don’t seem like you want me to,” he asked, shocking the shit out of her. She wouldn’t be surprised if her jaw just fell off her face.
“Are you daft, man? You don’t ask her permission. She’s a fucking slave, for gods’ sake! What did those council members teach you!” Master’s eyes landed on her, and her body froze. “Come here, girl,” he commanded in a low tone that made her knees wobble as she crossed the room. Shit, now she’d done it. You couldn’t just hand over your hand like a good little slave, could ya, Ness?
As soon as she was within reach, he snatched her arm. She could already feel it bruising beneath his grasp. He yanked her down onto the unoccupied cushion, his other hand gripping her thigh to hold her in place. As his fangs jabbed into her wrist, she yelped. Even Logan’s bite had never been that bad. Like someone jabbing a needle into your vein and twisting. She clenched her teeth as Master took long, painful pulls. Don’t cry. Tears are weakness. Thankfully, it didn’t last long.
When Master released her, he shoved her off the couch. She landed on her ass on the pristine white rug. Son of a bitch! Now, there was a big red mark on the floor. “There. That’s how it’s done, boy!”
She risked a glance up at Charlie’s face. He seemed perfectly calm except for the slight ticking in his jaw. Was he upset at her ill-treatment? Or was it just a muscle spasm? Probably the latter. He hadn’t cared the last ten years, why care now, right?
It began with a bang: busy-busy-busy that crashed to a dead halt. I kept busy, sending proposals for freelance gigs, toying with a manuscript that just isn't capturing my interest, marketing the Winter Book Fair, and disappointment.
I don't normally take this long to latch onto another book idea. Maybe it's a sign that I've squeezed this turnip dry and need to rest the old brain for a a while. Book fair registrations aren't coming in as quickly as I'd hoped; however, we have plenty of time. That's what I keep telling myself. Registration doesn't end until the spots are filled or December 31: whichever comes first. And none of this week's proposals has received a response. In fact, I'm coming across those dreaded, poorly written, "write me a book for poverty wages" requests more and more frequently. See below.
If a writer didn't feel utterly unappreciated and undervalued before, then requests like this will certain do the trick.
On September 1, I moved my horse to a stable for training. The trainer missed the start date. She had to fill in for her barn manager who was hospitalized. OK. I understand that. No worries. I can be patient. A week later I called her. The barn manager was still in the hospital. OK. I understand that. I can be patient. Two weeks passed. I called and left messages. No response. Three weeks passed. I called and left messages. No response. My patience ended. At the end of the fourth week, I moved my horse to another training stable on September 28.
The new trainer requested two weeks of owner absence in order to have time for her to get to know the horse and the horse to get to know her. OK. I understand that. At a week in, I went into drop off a tube of dewormer and a copy of the horse's registration papers. The trainer wasn't there. I visited with the horse for a while and left. Another week has passed. I called to discuss how the horse is coming along. The trainer's voicemail wasn't taking messages, so I sent an email message. No response. I called again, stating that I wanted to speak with her and that I intended to visit my horse.
Do you see a pattern here?
If I treated my clients like that, I'd have no clients.
Two highlights this week, because we all have to look for those silver linings, however thin they may be: My husband found someone genuinely interested in buying the AVL loom, a monstrous thing. I made contact with someone who's interested in the pony. Fingers are crossed.
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is happy to reciprocate Blog Swaps in 2019.
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Book Of The Month