Aerie by Jon Keys (The Chinjoka Saga 01) #Spotlight #LGBT #Romance #Fantasy #NewRelease #Giveaway #Rafflecopter

Title:  Aerie

Series: The Chinjoka Saga, Book One

Author: Jon Keys

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: February 19, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 77900

Genre: Fantasy, NineStar Press, LGBT, shifters, magic, gods, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, slow burn

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Synopsis

Askari, Dhala, and Gyam grew up as childhood friends during happier days for the Chinjoka, an Iron Age people with the ability to shapeshift, but now they must learn their place among the tribe while dealing with both a devastating plague and war with the Misiq.

Ena is a young warrior for the more savage Misiq, a tribe whose cruelty exemplifies their deity—the Angry God. The Misiq, also shifters, have declared a genocidal war against the Chinjoka, blaming them for the disease devastating both tribes. As a result, they are locked in a battle for survival. But when Ena is shown compassion by those he means to harm, he begins to question all he’s ever known.

A chance meeting changes their lives, and maybe their tribes, forever.

Excerpt

Aerie
Jon Keys © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Dhala’s world overflowed with desperation as he filled a bowl with crystalline water trickling along the edge of the sky portal for Gyam’s aerie. His attempt to spot Gyam in his flyer form was thwarted by the dense early spring fog that limited the visibility of the surroundings. Even the river running along the cliff was hidden from Dhala’s sharp eyes.

Assigned to be the Saat responsible for the last two Athru, Dhala took his worker caste’s responsibility of caring for Gyam and Choro with much weight, especially since Choro was in the final throes of the deadly plague that had devastated the Chinjoka over the last few cycles. As Choro’s health diminished ever more rapidly, Dhala and Gyam had become ever more desperate until, before first light, Gyam had left on the final attempt to gain their friend and mentor more time.

A gust sent a spray onto Dhala’s face and moistened the nest of short curls framing it. With the bowl having long ago been filled, he wiped the water from his skin and sighed.

“You can’t will him to travel faster, Dhala.”

Startled from his dower mood, he grabbed the bowl of fresh water from the trickle and moved to Choro’s side. “I’m so sorry. I was lost in thought.” He dropped a soft piece of trade cloth into the liquid, squeezed it almost dry, and ran it over the man’s face. Choro’s labored breathing echoed through the room, a symptom of how far the disease had progressed. Dhala found some solace knowing they’d had no new cases for a cycle. But sadness overwhelmed him each time he allowed himself to consider Choro losing his battle against the sickness.

With a hand withered to little more than talon and sinew, Choro caught his wrist. “Dhala, I’m neither fevered nor in need of cleaning. We both know my time is limited. Gyam set himself on this task hoping to change my fate, but this sun cycle is likely my last.”

Dhala scrubbed the tears from his face and scowled at the feeble figure lying before him. With a fierce determination, he grabbed the older man’s hand between his. “Choro, you will live. Gyam will find an osa herd, and the fresh meat will give you the strength to last until we discover a healing.” Dhala glanced out the cave opening to the fog-swathed valley that stretched to the forests surrounding Mother Falls high in the mountains to the north. Nothing of Gyam was visible, but he turned to Choro filled with a stubborn glint. “Soon. He must return soon.”

Choro lay back with a rattling breath. “Fledgling, we have not cured what is killing the Chinjoka in all the cycles since it began. Each caste suffered losses. Once I am gone, Gyam is the last Athru. None of the fledglings show signs of the Athru change, and the responsibilities weigh heavily on Gyam.”

Dhala dropped his gaze as Choro reminded him of his greatest shame. But there was a gentle touch on his chin, and he lifted his head. He took the elder’s hand in his, and Choro smiled sadly.

“It’s no fault of yours that you never left the Saat caste. The Father of the Twins decides who takes to the sky, who are the protectors, and who cares for others. We are all born with the abilities of the Saat, and many become able to shift to the protective plates of the Onija. But the few who are gifted with the faculty to shift into one of the Chinjoka flyers guard us from the sky. We all stop where the Father decrees.”

Dhala sighed again but released Choro and moved the bowl aside. The elder was right. Dhala needed to accept his place and the disappointment of never becoming one of the Athru caste as his father always believed he would. He would never develop the stone-hard plate of the Onija, much less the ability to become the taloned and winged protector of the Chinjoka.

Dhala’s father held several unique beliefs, including that the earthbound Saat were as important as the soaring Athru. When he was a child, Dhala spent many hours with his friends, climbing the precipice above the village as the Athru flyers glided across the azure sky. He’d loved the time among the heights, regardless of the season, but warm summer mornings were his favorite. By afternoon, the sun would heat the rocks, making them uncomfortable, but during the early mornings, the breeze coming from the warming grasslands northward to the cutleaf forest made it easy to imagine what flight over the last Chinjoka settlement would be like.

He glanced again to the outside, thrilled at the rays of sun cutting through the dawn haze and bringing the river far below them into sharper relief. The dry-fit stone wall that formed the flight path for this aerie glowed with the golden light of morning.

“He’s fine. Gyam is the strongest Athru I’ve met during my time in the aeries. When the Father takes me, he will need your help.”

Choro’s reference to the afterlife made Dhala cringe. He and Gyam had been determined to heal Choro of the plague since his first symptoms. Anyone who’d shown signs of the disease had left on the Long Flight with no exceptions. Dhala lost far too many of his friends, as had most of the Chinjoka. But when Choro showed the difficulty breathing that was the typical first symptom, Dhala fought with ferocious determination to save his friend and advisor. Choro’s downward spiral caused Dhala and Gyam to drift apart. They’d been among the best of friends since they were fledglings, but Choro’s terminal condition left Gyam bitter and unpredictable.

The result might be different if their only Athru healer hadn’t been one of the first to die. Others tried to find a cure, including his mother who was a well-versed Saat healer. The failure to determine a cure made people doubt their skills and, in some cases, blame the spread of the disease on the Saat healers. Regardless of the truth, no healer had been successful, and most had stopped their efforts, for fear they might be blamed.

“He comes.”

Dhala glanced at Choro, who nodded toward the aerie’s sky portal. An instant later, the slow beat of wings came closer. Dhala swept the room with his gaze and found everything to his satisfaction. He moved close as Gyam landed on the rock opening. Dhala couldn’t keep from gasping in awe any time he saw Gyam.

Each smooth wing was as long as Dhala’s height. The muscles across his shoulders and down his torso flexed with each swipe of his webbed appendages. Dhala stepped away when Gyam thrust his elongated muzzle toward him and screamed a high piercing call, demanding attention. Dhala wanted to clasp his hands over his ears but knew instead he would do as Gyam demanded. Gyam tensed and released another scream.

Dhala dashed forward and grabbed the blood-dripping osa heart from Gyam’s taloned hand. The fresh organ from the small grazer still quivered with the final throes of life. He rushed to Choro’s side, ignoring Gyam’s cry.

He knelt beside the older man and offered him the fist-sized heart. Choro preferred the meat of the smaller grazers, and a freshly harvested heart was a special treat. Both Dhala and Gyam hoped it would give him more strength, but Dhala feared it was Choro’s last meal. More of Choro’s presence in this world disappeared with each breath.

But he wouldn’t give up hope. Dhala arranged Choro’s bedding to make him as comfortable as possible while he enjoyed the treat. Choro sank his teeth into the morsel with clear relish as blood coated his fingers. Dhala couldn’t help but smile at the elder attacking the tidbit with the same enjoyment as a fledgling with a sweet treat. A short time later, Choro finished and glanced around him.

Dhala squeezed out the cloth he’d been using earlier and handed it to Choro, who took it with a grin and wiped himself clean. Once he’d finished, he lay back on the bed, closed his eyes, and sighed.

His voice rolled across the room. “Delicious, Gyam. That was the best osa I’ve eaten in many seasons.”

Dhala glanced over his shoulder to find Gyam in the midst of his change from his Athru form. The webbing was absorbing into wings, which were disappearing into Gyam’s muscular body, and interlocking scales were becoming supple skin as Gyam left the form marking him as Athru. Dhala relished the beautiful body being revealed to him. When front paws and talons became work-roughened hands, Gyam made his final shift to leave his Athru form and stood nude behind him. Dhala tried not to stare but lost his struggle. Usually, Gyam covered himself, but today, he held his loincloth in one hand while watching Choro. His stout, muscular body demanded Dhala’s attention until he realized how inappropriate he was being, especially given Gyam’s current state. Dhala was painfully aware of the attraction he’d had for Gyam since they’d both grown beyond fledglings, but he would keep his role as Saat for Gyam and Choro during his time of sorrow for them all.

He wrenched his gaze to the ailing man and got a smile and quick wink. Caught staring at Gyam, Dhala dropped his attention to the floor. A slight rustling served as warning when Gyam walked past him, making the last tie on his loincloth before kneeling at the side of Choro’s pallet.

“Elder, how are you feeling? Did the osa help?” Gyam asked.

Choro smiled and tapped Gyam’s cheek. Gyam grinned, and Dhala caught a glimpse of his friend from cycles past. He leaned in to give Choro a kiss on each cheek, but Choro’s gaze included both of them.

“It was warm and delicious, exactly what I needed. We must be honest. In spite of all your work, there is no cure. I am not long for this flight. My wings are tattered and bones are brittle. I will soon be with my mate. Both of you must accept this.”

Hot tears rolled down Dhala’s cheeks as he listened. He knew the truth of Choro’s assessment. His body was failing. Dhala’s gut twisted with grief, and a sob leaked from his lips.

Gyam turned on Dhala and snarled. His face elongated and his canine teeth grew as his emotions overtook his body. But before anything happened, Choro spoke.

“That’s enough, Gyam. You two stretched my life further than any of the others who have fallen victim to this illness. For that, I thank you. But the time is here.”

Gyam motioned at Dhala as he spoke. “He’s given up. He’s letting you die.”

Choro glared and sat up. Dhala scrambled to change his bedding to make it easier, but Choro waved him away. The movement threw Choro into a coughing spell that left him gasping for air.

“Please, Elder. Don’t strain yourself. I will do as you wish,” Gyam said.

Choro again motioned them off, but not before Dhala saw the flecks of blood on his lips. He lacked none of the weight of his role as elder Athru when he turned to Gyam.

“You will be the last Athru. You need your friends. You have been together with Dhala since you both ran free of clothing during the warm moons. You’ve protected and guarded each other through your time together. Now you have let this come between you, and it must stop. Dhala is your friend even though he is Saat. You have grown up together and must regain your ability to work together. Athru, Saat, or Onija, you are all Chinjoka. This disease has almost destroyed our people. So many have died, and only one village remains. You must rebuild the people. You cannot succeed without all three castes who make up the Chinjoka.”

Choro lapsed into another coughing fit. This one left him flat on his bed, sweating and gasping for air. He covered his eyes with an arm and tried to breathe. A morning breeze curled around them, bringing a mix of scents of the Chinjoka Basin, from the verdant growth of the shortgrass plains in the south to the crisp scent of the great cutleaf trees nourished by the Pilea River. The single wisp of air reminded Dhala of everything at stake for the Chinjoka nation. Dhala moved closer, pushing an immobile Gyam aside. He checked Choro’s pulse and found a weak thread. He ran his hands down the older man’s neck, but halfway along his path, Choro grabbed his wrists with the strength of a failing butterfly. The silent command left no doubt. He met Dhala’s gaze and nodded.

“Soon. But not now.” His gaze moved to encompass both of them. “You look like the gods are testing you. Both of you should rest, but I know neither of you will listen. I plan to sleep and won’t argue with either of you any further.”

With that, Choro sank into his bed and closed his eyes. Dhala waited but worried. He moved when Choro parted his lips.

“If you check my heartbeat, Dhala, I will hurt you in ways to prevent any enjoyment with a mate for the rest of your life.”

Dhala drew away and turned at a snort from Gyam. His dark eyes twinkled as he looked at both Choro and Dhala. “He’s not making idle threats. Even as he is now. Come. We can build up the fire and plan the evening meal. I asked a group of Onija caste hunters to bring the osa carcass. We must be ready for its arrival.”

They had created a bed of glowing coals when a voice came from the passageway carved into the interior of the cliff as a way to reach the upper caves.

“I could use a little help here! Gyam picked the biggest Twins-blessed osa in the entire basin.”

Dhala recognized the voice as another of their friends. Askari was of the Onija caste and one of the most successful hunters among the Chinjoka, but as a warrior, he was unequaled in the village. The plates he formed as Onija were as strong as iron but as mobile as Dhala’s soft skin. Dhala should have known it would be him who retrieved Gyam’s kill. That the three of them had been inseparable since they began to walk made it even more certain that Askari would be the one who would retrieve Gyam’s take. Even though the Father had spread his gifts through the castes as they went through puberty, bodies changing in line with their castes, their friendships had remained. They rushed to the path and found Askari balanced precariously while gripping the carcass he’d thrown across one shoulder. Dhala moved down the first few steps, grabbed the carcass by the stag’s straight-spiraling horns, heaved it upward, and settled it onto his shoulder. Once the body was securely in place, he carried it into the aerie.

Askari followed a few steps behind him, and as they reentered, he spared a glance toward Choro’s sleeping form before turning to the other men. Dhala stripped to his breechcloth and used his long knife to cut openings in the hind legs’ tendons so he could hang the osa from the tripod kept for that purpose. With practiced knife work, he peeled the hide from one side while Gyam worked on the other. With a soft crackle, he pulled the skin loose around the neck and glanced toward Askari. The plates from his Onija shift were still prominently displayed over his torso and brow. While scales proved invaluable in protecting one from the Onija caste during battle or hunting, they limited Askari’s finger mobility. The limitation made tasks requiring fine dexterity more difficult. Askari maintained his distance from the work being done, but Dhala knew his friend too well to allow him to avoid the dirty work of butchering the carcass.

“Askari, wake up and shift back from your Onija form. You can help.” He gestured his knife toward Gyam. “We want osa for dinner. The rest needs to be spread on a drying rack.”

Askari closed his eyes and skewed his face in an expression Dhala recognized as he shifted from his warrior form. Once Askari began, it took little time before his skin was as smooth, flexible—and vulnerable—as Dhala’s. He flexed his fingers a few times before pulling his side knife. Askari’s skill with a blade was evident by the speed the meat was prepared. With the three of them working together, butchering proceeded with well-practiced efficiency. As often as the three of them had hunted together, they should be skilled at sharing the work.

Dhala checked on Choro and saw his chest rising and falling. Signs of life, even if his breathing was shallow, gave Dhala hope. He had the urge to evaluate further but considered Choro’s earlier threat. He found the others cleaning the osa blood from their hands. Askari held out the bowl of water he’d filled earlier.

“Here, use what’s left, and I’ll get more.”

Dhala nodded and let Askari pour the cool liquid over his hands. He rubbed them together to loosen the drying bits from his skin. Once that was done, Askari splashed more water onto Dhala’s hands. After a few repetitions, Dhala was clean, and the pottery bowl was empty. He dried himself on his tunic and nodded to Askari.

“Thank you. We appreciate your help.”

Gyam glanced up and one brow lifted. But a moment later, he returned to the task he was trying to complete. His knife flashed in the light as he sliced the loin free from the backbone, cut the meat into thick slices, and threaded them onto fire-hardened skewers before hanging them over crimson coals. The meat was soon sizzling and filled the aerie with delicious aromas.

They tended the meat, constantly turning it to get a perfect sear on all sides. But while they did, Dhala kept a continual watch on Choro. All three friends worked to carve what remained into thin strips and hang them from the drying rack Dhala put in the small fire’s draft. The sun approached its peak when they finished. The skewered loin had cooked to perfection. Askari had always claimed a talent for cooking. He’d often said if Gyam had no choice but to eat his own cooking, he would learn how to do a decent job with its preparation. The smells of food had Dhala’s stomach growling, but he checked on Choro first to see if he might be interested in eating.

He walked over and squatted beside Choro’s bed. When he leaned forward to shake him awake, Choro’s eyes fluttered open.

“I’m still here, Dhala. The aroma of cooking osa was enough to keep me. It smells delicious. I haven’t eaten a meal from Askari in too many moons.”

“You will enjoy his cooking many more—” Dhala’s throat tightened, and he could not complete what he and Choro both knew was a lie. The older man patted his hand and smiled sadly.

“I relish sharing this meal with you. Bring me a piece of that delicious meat, fledgling. Invite the others to join us. I think we’ll have the best meal we’ve had in seasons.” He studied Dhala and continued. “Be certain to put out an offering of the osa to the gods, especially the Father. Their favor is needed by all of us.”

Dhala rushed away, glad to be focused on anything other than Choro’s rapid decline. The others turned to him as he approached. He glanced at them as he brought his emotions under control.

“Choro says the meat smells delicious and would like for us to share the meal with him,” Dhala said.

Askari leaned closer and whispered, “How is he?”

Dhala motioned toward the sleeping area. “He asked me to assure the offerings from the successful hunt. I will take care of their placement on the fire. Go. Sit with Choro and enjoy sharing our meal with him.”

Dhala drew his blade and carefully sliced thick pieces from the osa’s mineral-rich liver. After adding more wood to the fire, he dropped the raw meat into the searing hot coals. As the scent of the roasting delicacy filled the aerie, Dhala began a simple chant of thanks every Chinjoka was taught before their first blooding. As the last of the flesh turned dark, a breeze blew across the fire, hiding it in the smoke. Once Dhala’s sight returned, no trace of the meat remained. He hesitated but then joined the others with a shake of his head.

The three young men gathered the food they had prepared and sat on the floor surrounding their elder. Dhala brought small drinking bowls, one for each of them, filled with clear water Askari had brought from the river while they cooked. The mood was somber; everyone had seen the disease progress too many times. Choro only nibbled at his meat before setting it to one side. He lowered himself into the bedding and stared toward the open sky as they finished the rest of the meal.

“There are so few of us left. I don’t know how the Chinjoka can survive. Our gods have deserted us and the sickness destroyed the tribe until we are tempting targets to our enemies,” Choro whispered. The others fell silent as they explored their own dark memories. Blood-laced saliva and the gradual failure of the victims’ ability to breathe were the symptoms burned into the memory of any Chinjoka. The number of people Dhala had eased onto their Long Flight left him numb. Even at his young age, he remembered when the plague began. Hysteria made a bad situation worse. Early, when so many were dying, terror ruled people’s actions. Saat healers suggested any possible cure or at least a way to stop its spread. Its progression was slow but always fatal. It didn’t seem to spread through contact. In many cases, some members of a family would not develop symptoms, while their fathers, mothers, brothers, or sisters perished. The Athru healer who might have been able to develop a cure died in the first wave of fatalities. Saat healers could do nothing, but ignorance and malice caused them to be blamed for the disease. The first season was devastating for the Chinjoka, physically and emotionally.

One village had thrown a Saat healer from the burial heights in a confused effort to gain attention from the Father. Choro, and the other Athru caste who lived then, championed the Saat healers. But people still feared the illness that was wiping out entire villages, and the healers’ fear of retribution led them to stop aiding, not only those afflicted with the plague but other diseases normally not considered serious. This caused more deaths, this time from lack of rudimentary healing. The last of the plague victims received the best possible care. But even with the finest healing, like Choro was given, the ending was too predictable. And too tragic.

The small group finished their meal, and Dhala cleared the remains, dropping them into the cooking fire. The other two sat near Choro to fulfill any request. Dhala studied them, trying to think of anything to make Choro more comfortable. But he’d done all he could. To give Dhala something to occupy his thoughts, he began the work of tanning the osa hide. First, he brought a frame from the storage room. He cut a thin strip from the outer edge of the skin and made small slits along the edge. With care, he laced the pelt to the frame, stretching it into place.

“You have a skill to appreciate, Dhala. Don’t forget others take note of your labor,” Choro said.

Dhala faltered at his task. Tears flowed again as he met the gaze of the elder. He broke contact to refocus on his task even though emotions overwhelmed him. One thing he had learned early in life, emotional and fragile Chinjoka suffered short and miserable lives. He nurtured the strength to continue even when overwhelmed with impending loss. This was no different as he focused on scraping the hide clean, fingerwidth by fingerwidth.

But his walls broke and loneliness poured into Dhala. Too overwhelmed to continue, he let his hands drop to his side as he wept. No one chastised him for his lack of control, even though it was certain everyone heard. His strength waned as his sorrow leaked out as salty tears.

A light touch shocked Dhala, and he turned to find Gyam standing beside him. He stiffened, expecting a reprimand. But no rebuke came. Gyam instead knelt beside him and hugged him. Dhala returned his embrace. During that moment, his friend since birth returned, and the formal Athru of recent seasons vanished.

“He will be fine. I think the fresh meat brought him new energy. He will recover. Don’t grieve for him.”

Dhala schooled his expression before meeting Gyam’s gaze. Unable to lie, he spoke a different truth. “I believe Choro is one of the strongest Chinjoka I’ve ever met. If anyone can conquer the disease killing us, it will be him.”

Gyam patted his shoulder and flashed a smile at Dhala.

“Exactly. Now, one of us will sit with him so we are close if he needs anything. Otherwise, we will continue our day.”

“Of course, Gyam.”

Dhala tried to add more, but his knowledge of the Saat healing was too limited to enable him to sense the state of Choro’s rapidly deteriorating health. He nodded and turned to his work.

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Meet the Author

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in, he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, Native American, westerns and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

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.@GoIndiMarketing #BlogTour: Gift of the Blood God:Drawn by Sydney Whyte #Romance #GuestPost

Please welcome Sydney Whyte to Moonbeams over Atlanta with a guest post and an excerpt that you must be over 18 to read.

The Anatomy of Fae

Fae, faeries, fairies…

So much to choose from, so much lore to explore.  From the Roman household deities – penates, lares and even genii, to the simple Norse and Teutonic traditions of Valkyries, elves and disir to the much more rounded and vaunted Arthurian tales and Celtic legends, fairies abound in every way, shape and form.  Minor deities, long-lived, immortal, human-like but powerful, light elves, dark elves, dwarves, all rendered ‘Fairies’ to some culture or civilisation…  Malignant, benign, monstrous or fair, they populate writings from ancient to modern in abundance, and never, it would appear, do we grow tired of them.

Fae encompasses so many different notions, beliefs and traditions, that for my world and my purpose I dared to strip them bare.

A fantasy, paranormal, erotic fusion encompassing an unknown world, unknown peoples, religion, beliefs, required a mesh of myth and influence that was fresh.  I wanted a paranormal being that was sexy, powerful and lethal.

Book one of the Gift of the Blood God – Drawn, but touches upon these creatures that inhabited the world of Abod le A’nor before the advent of humankind.  They are lost, they are cursed, they are trapped.  But one of them has a plan…

 

Excerpt

(Please be aware, the contents of this excerpt is considered R18)

 

“Open your eyes!” The words slithered beneath her distraction, a breath of wind whispered in her ear, hoarse, harsh with need. “Come back to me!”

“Nay, nay… Ahhh!” The heat pressed closer, hotter, her clit aflame with a surging passion, digging, growing in her lower belly, “Don’t… Ahhh, I… I can’t… Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh!”  She felt herself explode, ripple and she screamed as if in pain, the most tumultuously exquisite pain.

Her eyes opened, finally obedient.  The shroud of darkness and light encapsulated Melan. The roof of the cave so high above her was lost from sight, the earth a forbidding mantle that threatened incarceration, and yet this was what all called the Shining Lair, the temple of the Blue Heartstone, and the dwelling place of Wyrm power; the clash of pure earth essence and air.  A pale patina of blue light filtered into the shadows given off by the large gem that sat proud upon its sconce – the Faeling’s beautiful prison.  It was familiar, as was the brilliant bright white light of a ‘Pillar of Power’ searing the ground stone and burgeoning straight into the void above, blinding and intense to look upon.  It filled the cavern’s centre, and yet even its potency could not force all shadows back.

Melan knew she had been here all along filled with lust and fantasies. Quickly she looked down her body as she lay naked upon the bundle of furs, cushions and silken throws.  Her legs lay open to the mouth that sucked one last jolt of passion from the quiver of her singing clit and she gasped again, her hips uncontrollably undulating to press closer.  The black eyes looked up at her from the shadow of his face, a smile of satisfaction spreading the fullness of his lips, lips so blue she could barely believe the heat they caused as they played with her intimate flesh.

How had it come to this?  How had she even considered it?  The being between her legs was no man.  It was a Shade; the shadow of a Faeling and yet his attention elicited nothing but lust.  His was smoke and illusion but he felt of heat and weight and power as he teased at her sex.  She had not known the danger, had been unable to deny him.

“I would to dip into your honeyed well, my Priestess,” the Shade whispered though his lips did not move, the sound of his voice no more than an insistent caress to her mind.

Melan eased further back into her bedding and opened her legs the wider, quivering at the last touch of his hot tongue to the folds of her pussy as he pushed his now solid length up the contours of her body, brushing what should have been untouchable along the sensitivity of her pale skin.  The undeniable weight of his broad chest pressed to the fall of her swollen breasts and she sighed and waited with impatience as the threat of his shaft pressed to the wet welcome of her opening.  She moved against the tempting heat, her loins afire with anticipation.  “Do it. Do it.”

She could not believe how different it was from the first flush of disgust she had felt at his touch; confused, revolted.  She had come back from her reunion with Falric, her husband, her first love, her heart’s desire – denied her by the Guardian of ‘The People’, by the stipulations of her position – but the forbidden assignation had been at the wondrous Shade’s behest. She could not refuse, did not want to.  Melan had caressed the much-loved, gleaming gem, ready to thank it for its bounteous instruction.  Never had she enjoyed so much a command from the Heartstone.

It was not the first time that she had laid eyes on the shadow creature that could rise from the heart of the blue jewel but it had been the first time Melan realised that it was not as ephemeral as first believed.  At her touch the Shade slid forth and she gasped at its beauty; broad, naked, perfectly formed.  The hair on its head brushed the length of its bulging back to the slim tightness of its waist, but it was male, definitely male and she could not help but stare at the bulk of its loins cushioned beneath the blue-black curls of pubic hair.  Her face had burned hot and she had tried to step back as it came closer.

“Did you as bid, my Priestess? Has my plan gained momentum?” The voice had filled her mind.

Melan had stared into its black eyes as it ventured nearer, so close it – he – would have been able to feel her trembling, suddenly disquieted by his proximity.  She had nodded mutely and gasped as the large hand reached forth to stroke her cheek with a touch of heat, so solid and real she hardly credited her own senses.  The kiss to her lips was as hot and heavy as any she had shared with Falric though the touch was a mere caress, and she pulled instantly back, suddenly wary for her own safety.

“We shall see. We shall see…”

 

Author: Sydney Whyte

Title:  Gift of the Blood God: Drawn

Series Title and Number: Faelings Doom – Book 1

Publisher:  B King

Release Date:  March 2015

Genre:  Erotic Fantasy

Tags:  Mystical world, magic, world building, romance

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: Male/Female

Length: 73,000 words

Purchase Links:

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Book Blurb:

The world of Abod le A’nor stood waiting…

From the near new city of the civilised Oremen, to the wild untamed clans of the warrior nations of the Ancients, to the primitive quiet villages of a long lived and isolated people; their Dreamers dreamed and sensed the streams of time eddying and calling.  The Gift was coming, and all eyes turned to the rugged climes of the southlands.

Two women struggled through the new day, through vast tracts of dark and ominous wilderness.  Shocked and confused in the aftermath of what should have been a near fatal accident, twins Lorrie and Melory found themselves stumbling into a fate nothing in their previously sheltered lives had prepared them for.  Nothing was familiar and even the comfort they found in each other’s company could not keep the fear or panic at bay.

Where were they?

In a world imbued with strange powers and lingering passions, the past machinations of the doomed Faeling will irrevocably change forever the Neilson sisters’ future.

Thus begins the journey of the sisters’ awakening.

Please note: – this series contains swearing, sexual content and adult themes – suitable for persons over the age of 18 years

 

Author Bio

 

Sydney Whyte is a ground breaking new talent to arise in New Zealand erotic literature.  A vivacious reader and passionate creative writer since early childhood, she began writing paranormal and fantasy stories as early as ten years old. As a shy and reserved child, she immersed herself in writing complex, fantastical worlds full of magic, mystery and intrigue as a means of escapism. When she reached her teenage years, thoughts of love and romance entered her life with an obsession known only to the hormonal and young, her writing took a significantly saucier (although highly naive) turn. Her increasingly shy demeanour and strict upbringing allowed her few opportunities to openly explore her youthful sexuality; writing became an important means for shaping her philosophies on love, men and romance. As she set out on her own into the world she never ceased to write, but her life, prose and perspective changed drastically. Widowed at twenty-three, re married by twenty-seven, and a single mother of two before thirty five, her untainted youthful outlook on love, life and sex gave way to the exploration of the interconnectedness between beauty and pain, sensuality and shame, and love and despair, that shapes the unique human experience.

Author Links

Facebook | Sydney Whyte Blog

 

 

 

Official Tour Host

*CONTEST ALERT* Sensuous Promo’s Presents: Book Tour for Darkest Magic by Eva Lefoy

Welcome to Sensuous Promo’s Darkest Magic Tour.

Witches vs. Weres – who’s stronger?

Witches or weres – who would you pick to win in a battle? I’ve read enough Urban Fantasy that I’ve seen it done both ways. Sometimes the werewolf overpowers the witch and other times, the witch lays waste to the shifter. Both are equally convincing outcomes. In a battle to the death, who would you pick to win?

But maybe the question isn’t that simple. A single battle doesn’t always win the war and in the battle between good and evil – between good magic and bad magic – winning the battle just means you live to fight another day. Because if there’s anything fairy tales have shown us, it’s that the battle between good and evil takes many forms and is ongoing. A never-ending war that must be waged continually, else the world slides into darkness and mankind loses his light.

Didn’t that sound poetic? * grins *

In Darkest Flowers, my new Beyond Fairytales release from Decadent Publishing, the battle between good and evil is alive and well. Our hero is a beta wolf named Nik and he’s firmly on the good side. But his alpha’s mate, Petrina is secretly an evil witch. Nik must protect the pack from her, his alpha, and his love interest Caroline. He gets help from a good witch and her husband, a dwarf. Unbeknownst to Nik and Caroline, the good witch and the dwarf are protectors of the forest. They, like many fairy tale characters, are no strangers to the concept of good and evil. In the end, when the good side wins and the evil witch is run off, we know in our hearts that the victory is only temporary. Nik and his new mate must stay vigilant, lest the witches win the next round!

For more on Darkest Magic, see below.

Thanks for reading!

Eva

 

EXCERPT: The dwarf lectures Nik on good vs. evil

 

Nik towered over the dwarf, his arms crossed just under his chest.

“It’s not like that,” Otis said. “Evil never fully disappears. Even children know that much. What I’m telling you is true. One day, Petrina or another witch like her will rear her head and cause havoc.”

“How does that relate to me?” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Caroline emerge from the tree house heading their way. His heart galloped at the sight of her. Inside, his wolf cried for more mating time. Down, boy.

“The forest needs a protector and Estrella and I want to retire.” He dug the blue bag from within the folds of his velvet green jacket. Holding it out toward Nik, he continued. “Take this and use it. It will give you all the power you need to do the job.”

“You mean you want me to become a dwarf?”

Otis snorted. “Of course not. I was born a dwarf, you jackass.”

Caroline came to stand beside him and his nerves settled. Having her near meant he could relax a little and focus on the subject at hand. Sort of. Her fingertips grazed the skin on his shoulder and, embarrassingly, his cock started to harden. Having it right at Otis’s eye level might prove hazardous. He cleared his throat and thought about tofu. “Look, Otis, as beta of a full grown pack of wolves, I have a lot of responsibility already. Why would I want to take on more?”

Otis didn’t seem the least bit bothered by his question. Lifting his chin, he said his next words looking at Caroline, though they were clearly directed at Nik. “Because of her.”

Copyright © Eva Lefoy

Synopsis:

Nik Epperstein’s alpha lost his mate two years ago and took an evil witch as his new bride. Ever since then, Eli’s leadership has become violent, bordering on insane. When Eli attacks him, Nik’s healing powers mysteriously vanish. He can’t defend himself, nor protect the wolf he secretly loves. Only through the help of a foul-mouthed witch and an overly-dramatic dwarf will he save her – but their assistance comes at a price.

Caroline has tried for two years to lure Nik into her bed and can’t understand his hesitation.  After all, she senses their mating bond loud and clear. Then Nik disappears. She confronts her father who tells her Nik is dead, and she’s next on his chopping block.  Without Nik to protect her, she flees the pack and is kidnapped by a man half her size.

Reunited at last, the young wolves have one last chance to ignite their bond. But love must wait when battle looms. Eli and his wife attack, and aren’t above using dirty tricks to win. If Nik and Caroline survive the battle, the dwarf and his wife will require them to make a promise that will change their lives forever…

 

Author Bio and Contact:

Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers.

Author Links: Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook Page | Pinterest

Purchase Links Decadent Publishing | ARe | AmazonAmazon UK

 

** CONTEST ALERT **

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