Sunday, July 29, 2018

The winds are a changing...

Back a few years ago, I didn't publish 11-12 books a year. However, I did make more money with the fewer books I published.

This appears to be the opposite of what you would expect because everyone will tell you the secret to publishing is to publish more.

Now there should be a caveat that the books need to be WELL WRITTEN BOOKS. But given my ratings, I'm comfortable that by the time my books arrive on Amazon, they are in good shape thanks to my pre-readers efforts and my editor's efforts.

However, I have noticed a few changes that are impacting my sales. First of all, promotions used to bring me triple digits for a 99c sale. They also charged much less to buy a slot than they do now. And they would reliably sign me up, whereas now, it's hit or miss.

Now the major promotions only get me 50 or 60 book sales, so once I pay for their promos, I'm still in the red. And the small promos stopped breaking even, last year.

I should observe that since that my books only sell on Amazon, and most of my books are not best-sellers, Book Bub won't promo me. While I've heard authors complain that Book Bub doesn't bring as much as it used to, at least most authors can still make some money, rather than losing money if they can get a slot.

I've some thoughts as to why promotions don't work as well now.

In the last three years, the number of authors has swelled dramatically. Thus, all the major promotional sites significantly raised their prices. This also encouraged new promoters to show up, and some of them were not very honest ones. 

The result was all promoters have upped their prices to a point many of us have no shot to make a dime.

The dishonest promotions caused some authors to stop using them, while other authors just bit the bullet and they continue to pay whatever the price. 

Seeing how much the dishonest promotions were making, the legitimate promotions then raised their prices even higher since there seemed to be no limit to what desperate authors would do to be noticed.

Beyond the excessive cost of promotions, there is also an issue of proof of promotion (did it even go out???) and another problem began to occur: you can no longer reliably secure the date you want.  So instead of getting a good date for a promotion, they will often change your day to a slow day instead with half results.

This year, it all came to a head for me. I had a mass of promos lined up for the first half of the year and NONE of them paid off. So, as of now, I'm off the 99 cent promo train. If you can't afford to buy my books for $3.99, then join KU. Then you can read them for free.

The stress of coordinating dates on Amazon for monthly promotions has become too much work for no payback. I'm better off spending that time writing more books. Writing is pure pleasure!  Promos--a nightmare.

Without question, I will miss those who no longer read my books because they are not priced at 99 cents. However, $3.99 is a fair and reasonable price. It's very close to the price of a Big Mac, and once you eat your Big Mac, it's gone. If you buy my book, you can enjoy it as many times as you wish.

So I hope you will still read me and my many books. Because I love to have my books read and enjoyed.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Liza interrogates Alison Aimes's Taken Hunk.

Today, I'm going to interrogate someone, because NOTHING says hello, like an interrogation.

Potential Subjects to be interrogated:
Author Alison Aimes
Female Protagonist: Ava Davies
Male Protagonist: Hunter Valdus
Decision process:
Which do I have pictures of...
Alison Aimes
If she seems a bit leery, that could be because I've interrogated her before.
My other choices are....
Very hot Hunter Valdus
whose muscles even have muscles.

Or Ava...being groped by a possessive hand.
I've decided to interrogate....
Hunky Hunter!
Liza: Hunter, were you always so hot, or is this a side effect of being dropped into a steamy prison.
Hunter: *Shrug* I wouldn’t know about hot. I’ve only got one focus. I’ve done what I’ve had to do to survive and keep my team alive. Down here only the strongest and most ruthless make it. It’s no joke. If you want flirtation, female, you should look to my teammates Ryker or Griffin. Me, I’m all about survival. Or, at least I was… Until her.
Liza: Why did you take Ava under your protection?
Hunter: Protection? Where’d you get that idea? She’s bait. Nothing more. Nothing less. And whatever else she may or may not make me feel. It doesn’t matter. It can’t.
Liza: Any chance you two will escape this prison?
Hunter: I will do whatever it takes to free my men and keep my promise to them. No matter what else the cost. No matter who else it costs.
Liza: How about falling in love. Any chance there?
Hunter: No chance at all. I lost that part of my humanity a long time ago. And, even if I hadn’t, love is a weakness no one down here can afford. Least of all me.

Title: TAKEN
Author: Alison Aimes
Release date: 7/31/2018

"Alison Aimes has dragged me into the darkest, hottest, most dangerous pits of desire--and I never want to see the light again...Seriously brutal heroes, kick ass heroines, & filthy, hot sex." -Five stars. E. Hart, Goodreads. 

TAKEN, Book Two in the Condemned Series, is a steamy, stand-alone, prison planet romance that burrows to the deepest, hottest recesses of the globe to explore what happens when revenge and lust, redemption and love, collide.

Run-away breeder Ava Davies only wanted to live life on her own terms. Now she’s captive in a labor camp deep within Dragath25’s core, a sweltering maze of caves overrun by brutal prisoners-turned-slaves. Her only chance for survival? Appeasing the leader of the most powerful subterranean gang: a man from her past with his own score to settle.

Two years ago, Resistance fighter Hunter Valdus and his men were sentenced by the Council to live and die as slaves. Now a beautiful, desperate female from his past has landed in his grasp. A woman who just might be the key to his crew’s escape and his revenge. All he has to do is keep her alive and at a distance until he can use her for his own dark purposes.

But raw, blood-pounding lust is a potent force. Forgiveness and love even stronger. And the best-laid plans can be laid to waste, especially on Dragath25.

Buy Links:

Excerpt from TAKEN:
Massive hands wrapped around her forearms and spun her, her tiptoes barely reaching the ground. “You can’t let down your guard here,” her captor roared. “Not even for an instant.”
Stunned, she could only blink.
Everything down here was mixed up. As unstable as the shifting plates beneath her feet. Those who should have been her allies were her enemies. While the killer who saw her only as bait kept protecting her time and again.
Nothing made sense.
“Did he touch you?” Her captor’s words were a rough bark, jerking her from her thoughts. “Hurt you?”
“No.” The single word was a croaked whisper.
“People get fucked down here every nanosegment of every rotation.” He half shoved, half carried her through an opening even smaller than the last, hiding them from sight as rough hands flexed around her shoulders. “It doesn’t make them any less dangerous. Hell, if anything, it makes them more so.”
Her back hit the rocky wall. Her captor’s brutish, beautiful face appeared inches from her own.
“He…he seemed so broken.” Her explanation sounded na├»ve even to her own ears. And breathless. Too breathless. The heat cycling up another dreaded level.
She needed that damn pill and she needed it now.
“You can’t waste time on pity,” he snarled. “It will only get you killed that much faster.”
“I don’t want to live like that.” She’d spent too many years thinking only of herself and how to avoid pain at any expense. Too many years becoming the shiny, numb ornament Hollisworth wanted her to be. “Too many of my kind have lived that way, and I won’t be one of them.”
He stilled, his gaze boring into her—as if seeing her for the first time.
Her breathing hitched, afraid of what he’d perceive.
“You can’t be any other way down here.” He shook her once, but the anger had seeped from his voice. Replaced by a cold resignation that hurt to hear. “Not if you want to stay alive.”
But staying alive and living weren’t the same thing. She’d learned that well under Hollisworth’s tutelage.
“I-I need to get out of here.” The weight of rock and dirt pressed down on her chest, flattening her lungs and stealing her breath.
His hold tightened. “The panic will pass. Just breathe.”
Shame seared through her. He thought she was having a simple panic attack.
But this was a thousand times worse. She was losing it. Slipping into what Hollisworth and his nanotechnology had made her. Good for one thing.
Her fingers clenched as she fought to stop herself from yanking at the closures of her uniform, from pressing her burning flesh against her captor’s, from wrapping her thighs around his hips.
The shame of it made her dizzy. That thing—that bundle of carnal urges and sexual heat—was not who she was. Not who she wanted to be.
“Shhh.” The press of his thumb against her lower lip was a shock of heat, and her first clue that she’d begun making low, needy sounds in the back of her throat. “Breathe in and out. In and out.”
She willed her lungs to listen.
“It’s not all bad down here, captive.” His voice rumbled once more down her spine. “There’s beauty here, too. You just have to know where to look.”
He grasped her chin as if he had the right, titling her gaze upward.
She sucked in an awed breath.
In her panic, she hadn’t registered her surroundings. But she did now. Flickering, glowing lights bobbed at the end of silken threads from the cave ceiling as far as the eye could see, twinkling like stars in the night sky. The chemist in her knew instantly what they were. But it was the woman in her that responded to them now. Exquisite. Magical. Ripe with possibility. They made her feel as if she were above ground and free. As if she could go anywhere and be anything she wanted.
“They’re alive down here. Alive and thriving.” His words brushed across her skin like a caress. His mouth hovering a fraction above the frantic pulse at her neck. “Remember that when it starts to feel like too much. Beautiful, fragile things survive down here despite all the odds.”
Astonishment whispered through her.
He was handing her hope.
Never once in all her years with Hollisworth had he ever done anything like that.
A new, unfamiliar sensation mixed with the heat.
More vivid than anything she’d experienced before.
“You can’t let this place get to you.” The husky timbre of her captor’s voice pulled her like a magnet.
Her gaze shifted from the ceiling to find crystal blue eyes locked on her—and blazing with that now-familiar heat.
She’d dismissed him as a cold, savage beast, but his actions suggested he was far more.
Her breath caught, a warm tug starting low in her lower belly, every nerve firing to alert as awareness crackled along her skin. Different than the hormonal fever. More organic. Real.
He wanted her.
But even more astonishing, a part of her wanted him, too.
The slow, sensual glide of his thumb along her lower lip sending tingles of pleasure down her spine. No fear. No repulsion. Just the slow, rising burn of want.
Ensnared, she leaned into his touch.
“Anytime you feel the walls closing in, look up.” His voice wove around her like a siren, his thumb never ceasing its slow, sensual claim as it glided down the tendon of her neck to toy with the hollows of her throat. “There’s no more beautiful night sky in the world. Even back on New Earth.”
Was this what men and women usually did? Was this seduction?
For an insane heartbeat, she wanted it to be him who saved her from the breeder heat. Who fought with her to thwart Hollisworth’s twisted legacy.
As if her fingers had a will of their own, her bound hand rose.
Slowly, oh so slowly, she reached out. Fingers trembling, they brushed his strong jaw. The rough bristle against her fingertips another shock of tantalizing sensation. The Councilman had been smooth and hairless. Like a child. The beast was all male. Primitive. Fierce. Determined. Terrifying. But that was what was needed down here to survive, a being as brutal and beautiful as their surroundings.
“Is that how you endure this place?” She barely recognized the throaty yearning in her voice. “Find something beautiful to hold on to?”
He froze, his thumb arresting in midswipe—as if he’d been caught doing something wrong.
The heated look in his eyes disappeared. Replaced by familiar ice.
“No.” His hand dropped away. “I survive by dreaming of revenge. By putting aside all mercy. By thinking only of my men and the promise I made them to escape. By letting nothing get in the way of their survival.”
His withdrawal stung like a lash.
“If you were smart,” he took a step back, “you’d do the same and shut down those overactive emotions. Keeping alive a helpless Council breeder is going to be hard enough without you undercutting my plan.”
“I’m not helpless.” She stood taller. Breathed through the foolish crush of pain and self-contempt. No wonder he thought her weak. She was letting the heat win. “I know more than you can ever imagine about getting out of here.”
“Hasn’t your kind already overpromised enough?” He took another step back, the bind connecting them going taut. Stretched to the breaking point. Like her.
“Hasn’t yours learned anything from all the useless imprisonments and deaths? You can’t fight him head-on.”
“Enough time wasted. We need to move. My men will be waiting for us.”
His men? Soon there’d be more of them. And, Janus knows what would happen to her then. He might be too repulsed by who she was to give his lust free reign, but the others might not be so discerning.
The horrific image of being passed from one to the next while her captor looked on with indifference slammed through her.
No. She couldn’t survive something like that.
But time was running out. If she didn’t take the pill now, she’d have no choice. Like always.
The instant he turned, she acted.


Alison Aimes is the award-winning author of the sexy, sci-fi romance Condemned series as well as the sizzling, contemporary romance Billionaire Bad Boys Collection. A romance fanatic with a PhD in Modern history, she’s an all-over-the-map kind of woman with a love for dramatic stories and great books, no matter the era. Now, she’s creating her own stories full of intrigue and passion, but always with a happy-ever-after ending. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two kids, and her dog. When not in front of the computer, she can be found hanging with family and friends, hiking, or, last but not least, sitting on the couch imagining her characters’ next great adventures.
Alison can be found at

Connect with Alison Aimes:

Monday, July 23, 2018

Darick: A Badari Warrior by Veronica Scott

by Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me as your guest!
Always a pleasure to be on your Multiverses blog.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with this new series of mine, about the Badari warriors, genetically engineered soldiers in the far future, and the human women who love them. Fortunately for me and my warriors, the readers seem to be enjoying the stories as well, so I’m planning to continue writing them. I have a whole queue of new adventures and new heroes and heroines in mind.

I did take about a month off from writing this series, to do my story for the next Pets In Space anthology instead, which comes out October 9th. That story is set back on my Nebula  Zephyr interstellar cruise liner in the Sectors itself (as opposed to the Badari series, which is connected to the Sectors but occurs outside their borders) and deals with a mysterious dancer who might be a jewel thief…or a long lost princess. I had so much fun with it! 
We’re in the pre-order phase – here’s the link:

The gorgeous hawt cover is another gem from the talented Fiona Jayde.

But now that I’ve sent the Pets story on to my editor, I’m hard at work on the next Badari book. For today, however, I’m talking about DARIK, which I just recently released.

The blurb for DARIK:

Nicolle James is far from her home in the human Sectors, kidnapped by alien scientists to be the subject of horrifying experiments.  Her only hope might be a mysterious soldier she’d glimpsed outside the laboratory fence. She’d managed to sneak a few words of conversation with him when her captors weren’t watching but now the aliens were taking her inside the lab to begin the experiments.

Darik, a warrior of the genetically engineered Badari pack, is on a solo recon mission to check out a mysterious new lab high in the mountains. His orders are strict – do not engage. But when he has a chance meeting with the woman who might be his mate, he vows not to abandon her, orders or no orders.

Can he get inside an underground lab, find Nicolle and rescue her without getting captured himself? And when he learns the lab’s deadly secrets, can he get word to his pack about the new dangers?
Because the ruthless alien scientist running the experiments wants to get her hands on him too and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.

The excerpt:

Nicolle stood with her back to the stream running unimpeded through the invisible fence, clutching a forked stick she’d grabbed from the ground as she slipped and scrambled to get away from the beast she was now facing. Holding the unwieldy branch like a trident, she tried to make herself appear bigger and more fierce. A human not to be messed with. Her throat ached from the first few screams of terror, but the sounds only seemed to intrigue the beast, so she bit her lip until she tasted blood. Not a good idea either, Nicolle. Blood probably entices the creature even more.

On all fours now, the animal studied her, sniffing the air as its massive head swayed from side to side.

Will anyone come to help me? But, even if Greer and the others heard her scream and followed her tracks, what could unarmed humans do against this terrifying beast? When the creature stood on its trunk-like hind legs, it was easily 7’ high and the dinner plate sized paws carried multiple hooked claws. Its coat was an odd mix of white, silver and gray, in a camouflage-style pattern that made the animal hard to focus on and the fangs were like daggers. She sidled sideways a foot or so and the creature tracked her movements, stubby ears flattening on its skull. Nicolle stopped, searching desperately for a crevice, anything she could use to shelter or hide. She’d never make it to the sparse tree growth in the direction she’d come originally. Damn beast can probably climb better than I can anyway.

Nothing helpful presented itself to her desperate gaze.

The pretty stream flowed through a meadow. The berries had lured Nicolle here as the Khagrish rations upset her stomach but, apparently, the wild animal had been breakfasting on the berries as well.

And now it wants me for a meal too.

Raising its outsized head, the predator sniffed the air and took a step in her direction. Rising to its hind legs and towering over her, the animal roared a challenge before dropping to all fours again and coming toward her, moving faster as it approached.

Frozen, hand clenched on the nearly useless forked stick, Nicolle had a vague idea of throwing herself into the creek or falling to the ground and playing dead.

A roar sounded from behind her, across the water, maybe even from outside the force barrier. Startled, she screamed and slipped on the mossy rocks, barely keeping her footing. The animal in front of her rose to its full height again, bellowing and displaying an impressive array of sharp teeth, as well as yellowed claws on its massive front paws. Nicolle cowered, but the beast wasn’t paying any attention to her now. All its attention was on whatever was beyond the stream.

The next roar from behind her was even more impressive. It sounded almost…human?

Ears flattened, the beast pivoted, dropped to all fours, and scrambled away from Nicolle as fast as it could go, bushy tail tucked away between its legs.

Breathing shakily, she steeled herself to turn, hoping this new threat was outside the force barrier and couldn’t get in.

Having wheeled to face the other direction, at first she couldn’t believe her eyes. Nothing but one man stood across the force barrier from her. Granted, he was incredibly tall and well built under his camouflage uniform, but there was nothing about him to suggest the ability to utterly terrify a creature like the one recently slavering to eat her. Had the beast been frightened off by the sight of his lethal pulse rifle? But then who or what had been roaring? 

“Thank you,” she said, her vocal cords barely working. “Who are you?”

“A friend.”

DARIK Buy Links:
 Amazon    iBooks    Nook      Google     Kobo

Author Bio and Links:
USA Today Best Selling Author
“SciFi Encounters” columnist for 
the USA Today Happy Ever After blog
 Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!

She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Friday, July 20, 2018

Calan by Christine Myers, Aledan Series Bk 6

Calan: The Psion Factor Son,
Aledan Series Book 6

Calan is a smart, sexy psion with a talent for making people see things his way. Parlor tricks, he calls them.


Ajha Lann, a dawning psion grew up under the wing of an older girl. Together they scrounged for food and avoided capture by the gangers in the ruins of Farringay. Left on her own when Mikki is captured by gangers, the voices in her head seemed to get louder but one presence is stronger than the others. It gives her hope of something better for her future.

Calan Narcaza’s mother, the former Michelle Marlow was born in the ruins Farringay outside the Starport Compound. Little had changed since his father went to Earth to find Chelle and claim her as his mate. Calan knows the dangers, but he has felt Ajha Lann reaching out to him for several years. He knew that for her to reach him over such interstellar distance could only mean that she was his psion mate.

His brother Jamerin brings Calan to Earth in his starship, though he is skeptical about leaving his baby brother on his own. Then they find a cyborg in stasis at the industrial complex that Calan bought to give refuge to the people struggling to survive in the city ruins. They wake him.

Calan and cyborg Rax Ven become allies building the Refuge together and facing off with the Overlords and gangers in a final showdown.

Author Page: 

Twitter: @Crisanne1 


“I see your female has arrived,” Rax said as Calan shuffled into Unit Five of the first six flats.

“My female?”

“Your one true mate,” Rax replied. “We cyborgs call her our female.”

“Yes, in that sense, she is my female. We are psion mates.”

“You’re a minder?” Rax said with a touch of awe.

“Some people call us that. I am a multifaceted psion. I read minds, can send thought, and am a psionic healer as well as a physician,” he said. “Is that a problem?”

“No, I just knew there was something different about you and your brother and his mate. Cyborgs have something similar through our cybernetics,” he explained. “But we can’t move things with our minds.”

“But you have other useful skills,” Calan said.

“They called us killing machines in the news archives. I spent some time catching up on what’s happened in the world since I was created,” Rax said.

“We have a lot more in common than you think,” Calan told him. “I was conceived in vitro as part of a research project my father was doing. I would have been grown in a nurturing tank like a cyborg, but my mother wouldn’t hear of it.”
“What did she do?”

“She made him put me into her body so I would grow inside her the same way my brother and sister did,” Calan said. “To this day, they use a modern version of the nurturing tanks they used to grow cyborgs to grow embryos outside a mother’s womb. But we don’t accelerate them like they did cyborgs. They come out as babies.”

“I had a virtual childhood,” Rax said. “It seemed real to me. They sent me to virtual military school.”

“But your subroutine has been revised for the security of a large facility.”

“I also downloaded protocols for maintenance of a facility such as this,” Rax said. “So far there is not much to secure.”

“That may change as we start filling this place. There’s bound to be conflict,” Calan said. “You should probably research negotiation practices for future reference.”

“For when we start filling this place up.” Rax finished attaching the last waterline. “Can you read me?”

“I can,” Calan whispered the thought into his mind.

“Wow!” Rax gave a slight jerk of his head. “That will be helpful.”
“It is.”

“I just have my flat left to hook up to water and power. The bots are cleaning the rest of this wing of the building including the rooms that are sectioned off.”

“We’re making progress. I’m guessing some of the rooms were offices and the others were special departments. I have the schematics of this building from when the cyborgs worked from here.”

“I reviewed them,” said Rax. “They didn’t make many changes.”

“Where there are rooms sectioned off, we will convert them into living space. We will put my clinic in the second apartment and an infirmary in the west wing.” Calan continued. “When you finish your quarters, we can start on the rooms in the front section---getting water and power to them.”
“Yes, Calan.”

“But there is no rush on it. As we get people to join our community, we will teach them how to pitch in and help.”

“How are you going to get them to come?”

“I’m going to open my mind and send out an invitation.”

“Of course, you are.”

Calan grinned at the cyborg and walked back to his flat. Ajha was still asleep, but he sensed she was restless and she wanted him to come to her. As he felt her distress, he jogged the rest of the way back to his flat and went into her room.

“Mikki! Mikki, no!” she murmured and cried in her sleep.

Calan picked her up off the bed then sat down with her in his arms. “Ajha, you’re dreaming sweetheart,” he murmured, holding her cuddled in his arms.

“Calan?” Her eyes fluttered open, and she looked up at him, searching his face anxiously. “You’re real! I did find you.”

“Yes, you did,” he said, savoring the feel of her in his arms. “If you hadn’t I would be looking for you right now.”

“Those bastards took Mikki,” she sniffled. “And I don’t know where she is.”

“Do you know who took her?”

“I don’t. They were probably going to use her in one of the overlord’s sex houses. Redmyn Berke controls most of them,” she told him. “But I don’t dare go near the place, or they’d grab me too.”

“Redmyn Berke. Who would have thought he’d still be that powerful after all these years?”

“You know him?”

“My mother did before she met my father. She tried to leave him, and he sent three guys after her. Berke let them have her for the night.”

“And she told you this?”

“Mom and Dad didn’t want me to come here because it’s so dangerous. When Dad came to get her, Berke had one of his henchmen shoot my father. Mom barely found him in time to save him. She is a healer like me.”

“But you came anyway,” she said.

“Because I felt you reaching out to me just like you did just now,” Calan said. “That’s how I convinced them that I had to come back to Earth.”

Ajha smiled faintly at him, wishing he would kiss her. He smiled back and lowered his lips to hers in a tender caress. At least it started that way, but desire quickly flared between them, a passion that had been simmering for a few years since their minds first touched.

She opened her mouth and tentatively probed his lips with her tongue. He opened and swirled his tongue around hers, deepening the kiss.

Ajha wound her arms around his neck and caressed his head and neck. She moaned softly as she felt the love emanating from his mind---not in words but pure emotion rippling through her mind. Combined with their growing arousal, Calan knew he could not wait to claim her as he planned.

Her physical need to couple with him was thoroughly entwined with her emotional need. They helped each other off with their clothes then lay back in the bed together and went back to kissing as they pressed their naked bodies together.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Rand, Son of Tallav, Sons of Tallav#3 by Cailin Briste

Two shamed souls, a mutual enemy and an attraction they can't control...

Randolph Meryon is a man no woman can resist despite the whip he brandishes. Compelled to return home after his sister’s death, he struggles to fit new responsibilities into the hedonistic lifestyle he prefers to live. It’s a task he finds difficult enough without adding in the tangle of unanswered questions his sister has left behind and the sugar-cookie sweet nanny caring for his niece. He hasn’t had a taste of sweet in a very long time.

Jen O'Malley, shunned by her family, struggles to find work without their backing, meeting barriers wherever she turns. A position as nanny with the scandal-riddled Meryons seems like a lifeline. She’s relieved until she arrives and becomes enmeshed in a web of intrigue, unable to discern the identity of the spider at the center.

Rand: Son of Tallav, Book #3 Sons of Tallav

Cailin Briste

Universal Buy and Pre-order Link: 

Briarcliff, Tallav
The slender slice of moon did little to light the edge of the cliff over which the desperate bleating of a lamb sounded. Rhiannon, Tallav’s second moon, had yet to rise and brighten the night sky. Why the gardener’s boy sought Penny out on the patio rather than running to get the overseer, she didn’t question. He was a child and probably ran for the nearest adult. Peering over, she could make out a patch of dirty white caught in a bush. At least the lamb had slid into the branches, it’s fall blocked from the vertical plunge of the cliff to the river below.

How had it gotten here? The early lambs weren’t old enough to be out of the lambing shed, which was nowhere near the cliff. She slid carefully down the slight grade of the rim and tried to calm the animal while she waited for help to arrive. She’d sent the boy on to the overseer with a request to bring rope.

Careful to stay out of range of the lamb’s thrashing, she spoke to it in gentle, crooning tones. The animal quieted, no longer flailing but still bleating plaintively. The creamy tan color of the lamb’s body was more difficult to see in the dark, but the face, white with black speckles, stood out. To her horror, she noticed one of those dark marks was in the shape of a heart. This was the orphan lamb the overseer had allowed Sophie to help feed. That lamb was bedded down every night by the overseer himself in the enclosure built next to his office in the main barn. Someone had to have brought this lamb out here. She’d damn well find out as soon as she rescued it from its precarious predicament.

Above her, loose rock skittered with the sound of someone descending. She tipped her head back and shouted, “Don’t come down. Just drop the end of the rope.”

“We won’t need a rope.”

The low, throaty words confused her. That wasn’t the overseer. She lost sight of the darkened form above her when she sat up to roll over on the clumps of rock and grass beneath her to get a better look. A solid thud struck her back, sending pain lancing along her spine and around her rib cage. The lamb renewed its thrashing when she slid into it, knocking it backward. Squealing in terror, it tumbled out of view.

Heart pumping, Penny windmilled in a futile attempt to keep from falling forward. She straddled the bush with her legs, the sharp ends of broken stems lacerating her exposed face and hands, snagging in the long-sleeved pajamas she wore. For an instant, her momentum stopped. In desperation she clamped her fists onto the bush’s base, ignoring the sting of abrasion.

A second strike from her assailant’s booted foot hit her high to one side of her backbone.

Something snapped inside.

Pain flooded her shoulder.

Jarred forward, she began a slow-motion tumble headfirst over the bush.

Fingers and palms tore while branches slid through her grasp until the strain on her good shoulder from the somersault forced her to let go.

Oh God. I’m falling. Sophie. Oh God. I can’t die and leave Sophie.

Her temple struck a jutting rock, and darkness claimed her.

Above, a figure scrambled to the top of the cliff, humming a cheery tune. The wordless melody stopped at the sound of someone rushing toward the precipice. By the time the overseer arrived, the spot was empty. No lamb. No Penny. Just moonlight casting the side of the cliff in shadow in the waning heat from a late summer day. With an exclamation of frustration and an oath that he’d see to that boy for pulling pranks, the overseer left.

It wasn’t until the next day, when no one could find Penny, that the overseer mentioned his fruitless trip to the cliff edge. Her body lay on the rocks, half in and half out of the river. Officially she was a casualty of misadventure.

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About Cailin:
Cailin Briste writes science fiction suspense romance. Her first series is set in the Tallavan sector of the Federation where the men of Tallav are the marshals that provide protection and justice to the planets in this far off the beaten path are of space. While fighting crime, they also must come to terms with matriarchal system of their home planet, Tallav. Tricky because each is heavily involved in the BDSM lifestyle. Book one is her Dom and book two is her male submissive.

Her second series, A Thief in Love Suspense Romance series, began with a cat burglar who puts together a team to steal priceless art and antiquities from other thieves. Sebastian is a Robin Hood character whose Maid Marion is his equal on the rooftops of their futuristic city. The second in the series is the love story of two others on his team, Cade and Bassinae. Once again the team are breaking into someone’s home to take back something that rightfully belongs to someone else, but this time they are also trying to stop a murder.

More books in each series are coming as is a new series about a pair of dragon shifters hatched from the same egg and the man they love, bounty hunter Brody Simmons.

Cailin’s Links:

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