Archive for the ‘October 2012’ Category

In Samantha Kane’s sensual tale of wicked passion, a desperate woman must resort to burglary—but the beautiful thief ends up stealing the heart of a rogue.

The daughter of a reformed jewel thief, Julianna Harte knows a thing or two about stealth. When the foundling home she provides for finds itself in dire financial straits, Julianna is forced to do the unthinkable. In a bit of misguided Robin Hood derring-do, she slips through the window of a wealthy rake to search for a treasure she knows is there: an invaluable pearl. But when the towering and very naked occupant of the moonlit bedroom ambushes her with a bargain—a night in his bed in exchange for the pearl—Julianna doesn’t know if it’s masculine heat or sheer desperation that makes his terms so tempting.

Alasdair Sharpe had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain. Planning to offer his little cat burglar carte blanche instead, he promptly loses himself in the delights of unexpected pleasure. But when he awakes the next morning to find his family heirloom gone, fury quickly replaces sensual languor. Of course, Alasdair is more than willing to use seduction to reclaim his stolen pearl—and find the key to Julianna’s heart.


Hello, I’m Samantha Kane and I’m addicted to the sarcastic one-liner.

I realized I had a problem when I was re-reading my upcoming release, The Devil’s Thief. Both my hero Alasdair and my heroine Julianna tend to be a little…sarcastic. Okay, maybe a lot. And their friends aren’t much better.

When Julianna is caught by Alasdair in his bedroom stealing his pearl, he makes an amused comment about what she might find irresistible in his room in the middle of the night. “Let me reassure you that it was the Stewart Pearl I found irresistible,” she retorted, “and nothing else.” Ouch. Sorry, Alasdair.

After she sneaks home the next morning with Alasdair’s pearl, she sits down to breakfast with her father, who has no idea what she’s been up. He begins talking about a dinner party her stepmother is going to have to introduce her to yet another barrister, the fourth in as many months. “How delightful,” Julianna drawled, and her sarcasm was not lost on her father.

Later, Alasdair goes to his friends for help. Sir Hilary St. John, a Sherlock Holmes type character who solves mysteries for fun, is also the unofficial leader of their group of rakish friends, The Saint’s Devils. Sir Hilary observes that despite his attempts at newfound respectability, Alasdair is still a Devil at heart. “So it would seem,” Alasdair replied wryly, thinking of why he’d come to Hil for help. Indeed, Alasdair, since you’ve just lost your family heirloom to a mysterious thief with whom you spent the night without even learning her real name.

Of course, his friend and fellow Devil Roger Templeton finds the whole affair incredibly amusing. “So glad I could oblige.” Alasdair let his sarcasm show. I probably didn’t need to add that last part.

And when Alasdair confesses he wishes he didn’t have to reveal his colossal stupidity, Roger assures him, “I exist merely to enjoy the colossal stupidity of others.” And he does. He really does. And like the good Devil his is, it’s not the loss of the pearl Roger finds the most shocking. Roger sat forward, his eyes wide with disbelief. “Good God, man! There was a virgin left in London?” (I think he’s been hanging out with the wrong people.)

I like the sarcastic one-liner because it can lighten a scene that might otherwise be too dark or serious. It also interjects what the characters are thinking or feeling without too much navel-gazing. And it’s a way to remind readers that certain characters are still in a scene when they haven’t had much dialogue yet. What about you? Do you like the sarcastic one-liner?


For more information, visit samanthakane.us. And for a chance to win a NetGalley preview copy of The Devil’s Thief, just leave a comment answering Samantha’s question. Good luck!

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Jillian Cardiff came to this remote mountain town to forget the demon attack that almost killed her. Instead, she rescues-and falls for-a gorgeous stranger who has no memory of anything other than his name. Handsome, charming, and protective, Reseph seems like the kind of man whom Jillian can trust. But with hints of a troubling history of his own, he’s also the kind of man who can be very dangerous . . .

Reseph may not know why he mysteriously appeared in Jillian’s life, but he knows he wants to stay. Yet when Jillian’s neighbors are killed, and demon hunters arrive on the scene, Reseph fears that he’s putting Jillian in danger. And once it’s revealed that Reseph is also Pestilence, the Horseman responsible for ravaging the world, he and Jillian must face the greatest challenge of all: Can they forget the horrors of a chilling past to save the future they both desire?


NT: Redeeming the bad boy is popular topic in romance but it would be hard to find a badder boy than Reseph. As Pestilence, he did some horrible things. Was writing Rogue Rider more of a challenge because of that or was it one you looked forward to?

Larissa: Good question! And you know, writing Rogue Rider was definitely one I looked forward to. I LOVE the challenge of making someone the reader hates into someone they can root for. I also love torturing characters (I have a touch of sadist in me, I think!*g*) So I enjoyed writing Reseph’s story, especially because he’s a fun character whether he’s evil or good!


NT: There is a pretty big secret (shh! We aren’t telling what it is 😉 ) revealed in Rogue Rider. Did you know it was coming from the beginning or was it a surprise to you, too?

Larissa: I’ve known since Sin Undone! It was funny though, because when I told my editor during a discussion of Eternal Rider revisions, she actually gasped. Loved that! So I’m hoping readers will be surprised (pleasantly,) though I know that enough hints have been thrown out that many readers already suspect.


NT: What’s next? You’ve mentioned that the next book will be set in the Demonica world. Will it be part of the Demonica series or a new spin-off series with a new name?

Larissa: It’s a Demonica book that will transition from the Lords of Deliverance series back into the Demonica series. Really, they are pretty much the same series, but we’re getting back to using the Demonica designation.

NT: A big thank-you to Larissa for joining us today and answering our questions! To find out more about Rouge Rider and the Lords of Deliverance series, visit larissaione.com. And for a chance to win all four books in the series, just leave a comment below. Open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!

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Cassidy Clarke once climbed the world’s highest mountains, but after an unexpected illness ends her career she’s back in her hometown, broke and hoping for a little luck. But the townsfolk aren’t exactly putting out a welcome mat for the woman who once snubbed them in the media, despite her apologies now.

Mitch Anders knows someone has set up camp on the grounds of his plant nursery, and he’s surprised to find his sexy high school crush ducking questions about where she’s staying. Though he’s sworn to stop cleaning up other people’s messes, Mitch offers Cassidy a job and a place to stay—his place. Bedsharing optional, but definitely welcome.

Out of options and too attracted to Mitch to keep things platonic, Cassidy says yes to his offer. She wants to get back on her feet financially and start a new career. She never expects to suffer a different kind of fall, one that has her believing Mitch just might bring her something bigger and better than luck.


Thank you for having me here today to talk about my newest release, LEAN ON ME. This book is the second in a series set in the fictional town of Holloway, West Virginia.


I love writing connected books.  Books tied by characters and a growing sense of community.  Now, sometimes in communities some folks are friendlier than others. And sometimes those folks have a reason not to be open and friendly right from the beginning. That was the case here. Cassidy, the heroine, said some nasty things about the town after she left. She regrets them but, unfortunately, some in town remember them.


One of the people who isn’t immediately won over by Cassidy is a close friend and associate of Mitch, the hero. Having that dynamic – the “I’m not sure I like your new girlfriend” thing – allowed me to explore one of my favorite parts of a romance novel…the buddy relationship. Man, I love when romance novels highlight male friendships. There’s just something about the way they talk to each other, the loyalty and the bond that makes the hero even more compelling.


But that friend can cause trouble in the budding romance between the hero and heroine. Like here:


“She barely hit town and the grumbling started,” Spence said.

Mitch wasn’t sure how that was Cassidy’s fault, but Spence didn’t seem to be in the mood for a smack of common sense. “Your point?”

“I know you used to have a thing for her—”

“Do you blame me?” Attraction, heat. Mitch experienced a heavy dose of both in her presence back then and right now. “Look at her.”

“—but she’s always been a chilly one. The type to sleep alone, if you know what I mean.”

The air blew right out of Mitch with that comment. He looked to Travis for help but he just shook his head at Spence’s cryptic remark. “I have no clue what that means.”

Don’t worry, Cassidy wins Spence over eventually.  And Spence pays a little bit for being difficult when he gets his own story in WE’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, my December release.


For more information, including an excerpt, visit www.helenkaydimon.com. And for a chance to win a digital copy of LEAN ON ME, leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀

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Take one arrogant Spanish banking and property billionaire, dress him up in smelly rubber boots, then splatter him with manure when he’s not looking. Then acquire one English farmer’s daughter, make her over with designer clothes and jewels before throwing her to a pack of camera-brandishing paparazzi in Ibiza town. Yeah, why not …?

One of the great pleasures of being an author is making things up as you go along and having some fun with your characters. Certain themes or tropes in a romance also add a certain spice to the mischief making – take different worlds or a fish out of water theme as a starting point and you have a perfect way to get the hero and heroine sparking off each other nicely from the very start of the book. Fun, huh? I think so, and then I can make their developing relationship still more explosive by upping the stakes and conflicts even more.

If the hero and heroine come from completely different worlds, they’re going to have natural obstacles to overcome when I throw them together.  There’s rich potential for misunderstandings and distrust. There may be a language barrier. Society itself may even decree that these two people can’t be together, and yet somehow they must have a happy ending all of their own because it’s a romance novel. It’s my job to make that happen, whatever it takes, and I just love being able to do that day after day.

In The Spanish Billionaire’s Hired Bride I tried to push billionaire playboy Ricardo to the limits of his endurance and patience with his sham bride, Helen. She makes him do things he would never dream of doing normally, like eating a messy paper-wrapped kebab in the street and other much naughtier things …

Want to know exactly what Helen and Ricardo get up to? Well, here’s your chance: one lucky commenter will win a free eBook copy of The Spanish Billionaire’s Hired Bride on Monday November 5th.  All you have to do is to put a ‘fish out of water’ for me by the end of Sunday 4th November. Give me a hero or heroine and make life difficult for them. For example: ‘Diamond merchant millionaire, Aristotle, is forced to wear flip-flops and catch a bus to an important meeting.’ Why, how or when, it doesn’t matter – the comment that makes me laugh the most wins. Easy!  I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


He bought her with cold, hard cash, but can she stop him from stealing her heart?

Blackmailed to marry against his will, Ricardo Almanza needs a wife before he’s thirty, and time is running out. A notorious playboy, marriage is the last thing he wants, but his stepmother’s sexy, debt-ridden personal assistant is the perfect solution. He makes her a business deal she can’t refuse—one million euros for three months as his wife. He might even enjoy being married to her … if she doesn’t kick the crap out of him again.

Helen Marshall can’t believe she’s considering Almanza’s outrageous proposal, but she must help clear her parents’ debts or they face financial ruin. The small print on the marriage contract changes to read three months as his wife in every way—including in the bedroom. Has she gotten in too deep, or will she need a new contract addendum, extending their marriage forever?

Buy links:




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Myths and legends are more than just passing interests for Sonia Agostino. She holds degrees in folklore and anthropology, and she comes from a family of Keepers, humans charged with helping paranormal creatures survive in the modern world.

Recently, her research—and her intuition—have led her to Chicago’s Inhibitions nightclub. Its enigmatic owner, known only as Damek, could be the one paranormal creature she has never seen. A vampire. Except he won’t see her.

Damek has good reason to refuse an audience with Sonia. One look at her and his gut reaction is she’s a serious threat to the simple, highly disciplined routine that keeps his bloodlust in check. Worse, she has unwittingly led vampire hunters far too close for comfort.

Yet when she stubbornly shows up at the nightclub a second time, he cannot refuse her. The force of their attraction explodes with erotic power—and danger. For when Sonia discovers that her suspicions were true, she finds her loyalties unexpectedly tested. And her choice will forever change both their lives.


I sit quietly and stare out over the cavernous space, which is empty other than the two people working behind the long bar dominating one side of the room. With the music silent and the overhead lights on it resembles more of warehouse than one of the most popular nightclubs in Chicago—Inhibitions. I’m thrilled that the owner of the club has agreed to see me. Just because Damek and I know one another doesn’t mean my welcome here is assured. He likes to keep to himself. Always has.


The surge of power hits me and jerks my head around. Dressed, as always, in a designer suit tailored to his lithe build, Damek strides toward me. His black, shoulder-length hair is smooth as silk and gleams in the light. The firm set of his lips bothers me and I wonder if he’ll even talk to me.


NJW: Thanks for seeing me.


He slides into the seat across from me and studies me with his dark, hypnotic eyes. I glance away.


DAMEK: You said you wished to interview me.


NJW: I’d like to ask you a few questions, to allow readers to get a better insight into you and the way you think.


DAMEK: Is that wise?


He raises one eyebrow and leans back nonchalantly against the back of the leather bench seat. Not for one second do I believe he’s relaxed. Beneath his suit, his muscles are coiled and ready to attack at a moment’s notice. I swallow hard.
NJW: I think so.


He inclines his head in a gracious nod, but I can sense his irritation. I’ve always been able to sense his moods.


DAMEK: Ask away.


I want to start with the question most asked by readers, but I hesitate, not sure how he’ll react. Still, I did promise to do this interview. I take a deep breath and plunge onward.


NJW: You’re good friends with Craig Lawton. A lot of readers wonder why you didn’t end up with him.


A deep chill filled the air around me at the first mention of Craig’s name and I wonder if I’ve gone too far. I know how protective he feels about that particular human. He frowns and then a slow smile momentarily crosses his lips, giving me the briefest glimpse of sharp, pearly fangs.


DAMEK: I’ve always found humans fascinating. After all, I used to be one. But it is hard to watch friends die out one by one as the centuries pass and it became easier to allow no one close. Craig is different, his mind agile, his loyalty unsurpassed. As for ending up with him…I am attracted to his mind, not his body. I much prefer females when it comes to sex.


Okay, so I navigated that particular minefield without having it explode. I decide it’s best to move on to the next question.


NJW: You’re a vampire, a species that usually keeps to itself. But you’re also friends with the Striker brothers and the Haven werewolf pack. How did you become friends with them?


Damek tilts his head to one side and studies me.


DAMEK: Such an inquisitive mind.


I shrug, unable to deny his claim.


NJW: If I weren’t, your story would never have been told.


DAMEK: True enough. The story is personal and not one I’m willing to get into, but let’s just say that times have changed in the past century. With the rise of technology, the paranormal bounty hunters have been able to mobilize better, which is not a good thing for either species. Joshua and Isaiah Striker passed along some information to me back nineteen nineties that was instrumental to my avoiding a pack of rabid vampire hunters. I owed them.


NJW: But it’s more than that.


DAMEK: It is. I find I like the damn troublesome werewolves. Plus, there is no denying their impeccable taste in women.


One corner of his mouth turns up in a smile and I can feel how much he likes the werewolves…and the women.


NJW: Yet, the wolves haven’t always extended trust to you.


I know I’ve hit a sore spot when his smile fades and his eyes tinge with red. I swallow hard and try to slow the racing of my heart.


DAMEK: Tread carefully.


NJW: Sorry, but it’s true. And it’s unfair.


I’m indignant on his behalf. Damek’s done nothing but protect and help the wolves, and when he needed their absolute trust, he didn’t get it, at least not from everyone. The red fades from his eyes and they warm slightly. I know that he’s read my thoughts and I feel my face heating under his regard.


DAMEK: Thank you.


NJW: You’re welcome.


I don’t want to push my luck and decide it’s time to wrap up this interview.


NJW: One final question. Your life has changed a lot in recent days. Are you planning on staying in Chicago or are you going to relocate anytime soon?


DAMEK: Much has changed, but I like this city. I enjoy the people who live here and have no plans to leave in the near future.


I note he doesn’t mention the Haven pack or Craig Lawton specifically. Nor does he mention Sonia Agostino, but I can see by the warning in his dark gaze that she is totally off limits for discussion. That’s okay by me. I want readers to delve into his book and discover that particular story for themselves.


NJW: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.


DAMEK: My pleasure.


He rises, inclines his head in a courtly gesture and leaves me seated at the table. He stops at the bar momentarily before heading to his office.


My interview with Damek is done and I release a slow breath. As much as I love him, he’s not an easy man to be around. Not surprising considering he’s a one thousand year old vampire. There is so much he could tell me about the history of the world. He’s lived it. But he keeps his thoughts to himself, self contained and powerful, a necessity that’s kept him alive as long as it has.


I look up as I sense someone approaching the table. One of the bartenders places a glass of red wine on the table in front of me. “Compliments of the boss,” she tells me before walking away. I pick up the glass and sip. The wine is fruity and full-bodied, with just a touch of something I can’t quite place…



NOTE: If you want to find out more, check out Damek’s Redemption by N.J. Walters, now available from Samhain Publishing.


LINK: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/dameks-redemption-p-7045.html



N.J. has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.


Visit me at:

Website: http://www.njwalters.com

Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com

Newsletter Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/awakeningdesires/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Nj-Walters/714113604

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor


For a chance to win a digital copy of DAMEK’S REDEMPTION, just leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀

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It wouldn’t be release day if I weren’t sitting on Fatin’s virtual couch! Thanks so much for having me back to talk about the two November releases I have.


Yes, two. One is the mass-market re-release of the anthology Lords of Passion, which first came out in December 2010. I share the title with the fabulous writers Kate Pearce and Virginia Henley, and the cover got changed just a little from the original trade paperback.  Sensible Pru and scoundrel Darius are the h/h in my story, “Not Quite a Courtesan.” Reviews at the time called it “delicious” and “…funny. Really funny.”


I’m so excited to be out in mass-market—in these days when every penny counts, mm books are more affordable than trade paperbacks. As an author, I don’t get to set pricing, unfortunately. But I hope readers like my books enough to shell out a little extra for Lord Gray’s List, the first book in my new London List series. Lords are everywhere this November!


Early reviews for Lord Gray’s List say it’s “sexy, smart and fun”, “witty,” “pure fun,” and “the perfect blend of heart, wit, charm and heat.”  Evangeline Ramsey has been skewering her old love Benton Gray on the front page of her newspaper, and needless to say, he’s sick of it. When he tries to stop her, they discover not everything is black and white. I had such a blast with independent, trouser-wearing Evie and bad boy Ben.


My grandmother always said it was vulgar to talk about money in public, but she passed away long ago. In an ideal world, what price point do you think is perfect for a paperback? How about an electronic addition? We’ll have an unscientific survey. I’ll give away Lords of Passion ($6.99) to one commenter and Lord Gray’s List (discounted on Amazon to $11.18) to another!


Back cover blurb for Lord Gray’s List:

From duchesses to chamber maids, everybody’s reading it. Each Tuesday, The London List appears, filled with gossip and scandal, offering job postings and matches for the lovelorn–and most enticing of all, telling the tales and selling the wares a more modest publication wouldn’t touch.

The creation of Evangeline Ramsey, the London List saved her and her ailing father from destitution. But the paper has given Evie more than financial relief. As its publisher, she lives as a man, dressed in masculine garb, free to pursue and report whatever she likes–especially the latest disgraces besmirching Lord Benton Gray. It’s only fair she hang his dirty laundry, given that it was his youthful ardor that put her off marriage for good.

Lord Gray–Ben–isn’t about to stand by while all of London laughs at his peccadilloes week after week. But once he discovers that the publisher is none other than pretty Evie Ramsey with her curls lopped short, his worries turn to desires–and not a one of them fit to print.

Back cover blurb for Lords of Passion:

Sensible bluestocking Prudence Thorne has been too busy keeping her cousin Sophy out of trouble to experience any adventures of her own. But when Sophy begs Prudence’s help in saving her marriage, Pru encounters handsome, worldly Darius Shaw. And under Darius’s skilled tutelage, Pru learns just how delightful a little scandal can be…


For a chance to win LORD GRAY’S LIST and LORDS OF PASSION, just leave a comment below. And to find out more about Maggie Robinson, visit www.maggierobinson.net.

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Jessi Gage

wins TIP OF THE SPEAR by Marie Harte in kindle format


Cathy V

wins HEIRESS AT HEART by Jennifer Delamere


Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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A youthful indiscretion has cost Lizzie Poole more than just her honor. After five years living in exile, she’s finally returning home, but she’s still living a secret life. Her best friend Ria’s dying wish was for Lizzie to assume her identity, return to London, and make amends that Ria herself would never live to make. Bearing a striking resemblance to her friend, and harboring more secrets than ever before, Lizzie embarks on a journey that tempts her reckless heart once again . . .

A committed clergyman, Geoffrey Somerville’s world is upended when he suddenly inherits the title of Lord Somerville. Now he’s invited to every ball and sought after by the matchmaking mothers of London society. Yet the only woman to capture his heart is the one he cannot have: his brother’s young widow, Ria. Duty demands he deny his feelings, but his heart longs for the mysterious beauty. With both their futures at stake, will Lizzie be able to keep up her façade? Or will she find the strength to share her secret and put her faith in true love?



Have you ever read about a time in the past that sounded so fascinating that you wished you could have experienced it for yourself? I enjoy reading books about history, and so this happens to me a lot!


That’s why I love writing historical fiction—it’s a way for me to immerse myself in the details of a time and place and imagine myself there—to step into that world, so to speak.


I chose 1851 London for the setting of An Heiress at Heart because during that year an event took place that was one of the high points for England in the nineteenth century. That event was the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, now generally referred to as the Great Exhibition of 1851. Sometimes it is also described as the very first world’s fair.


Imagine taking a summertime stroll through Hyde Park, one of the largest parks in London. You are walking along a path by a long and narrow lake known as the Serpentine, enjoying the sight of ducks swimming at the water’s edge. You come around a bend in the path and see something truly startling in the distance: it is a giant building made of glass! It is the length of six football fields, and yet the park is so large that there are still open stretches of green all around it—plenty of room for the many people who are coming and going from the building. Its roof is three stories high and trimmed with colorful flags, and one section is arched to accommodate the 90-ft elm trees inside.


When you walk inside, sunlight pours through the glass onto plants, statuary, and bright banners. Birds twitter in the live trees. The building is filled with engineering marvels of all kinds, from steam engines and cotton spinning machines to the “latest” invention: photography! You can also find displays of fine art and gaze at the Hope Diamond. You can spend a whole day here and still not see all of the thousands of items brought in from around the world. It’s no wonder it captured the imagination of the people of the time. Charlotte Bronte visited the Exhibition and later wrote, “It seems as if only magic could have gathered this mass of wealth from all the ends of the earth.” It captured my imagination too, which is why several scenes in An Heiress at Heart are set at the Great Exhibition. I hope you will enjoy visiting 1851 London as much as I enjoyed writing about it.


How about you? Is there some time or place in history that you would love to see for yourself if you could? Would you want to stay there permanently, or simply visit?


Jennifer Delamere


Twitter: @JenDelamere




For a chance to win HEIRESS AT HEART by Jennifer Delamere, just leave a comment below. Good luck!


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Amazon warrior meets bounty hunter in a future where electricity no longer works, women are scarce, and people live and die by the way they treat the land. That’s the premise for Tip of the Spear, the first of four books chronicling the journey of four Amazons on a quest to retrieve a stolen crown.


I love the Old West. Everything about it, except the hygiene maybe. (grin) It was a time when men and women were fierce, fighting to live in a harsh world where only the strong survived. Food and treasures were hard fought, and nature wasn’t filled with mechanical monstrosities overtaking every blade of grass. There was a raw purity to those simpler days, and it’s that minimalism which fascinates me most.


But I don’t like the might-makes-right ideology. Where men ruled, women served, and ignorance often reigned. So of course, I toyed with the Old West and made it new again. Meteors strike the planet and crush most of mankind, so that it’s centuries later before “civilization” has restarted. Electricity no longer works, at least, not in the Western Territories. The sky rocks mutated not only the land, but also beasts and even some humans. And steam is making a comeback in the East as a source of power.


Now toss in revenge, lust, love, and the hunt for justice and you have Tip of the Spear.


Here’s a blurb, followed by an excerpt.

Year 1156 NB, the New Beginning. Welcome to the New West, where the Nature Laws dictate who lives and dies by the way they treat the land, carnivorous horses and blood trees are accepted mutations courtesy of the sky rocks, and the Impact Zone separates the earth-friendly territories of the West from a more sophisticated, steam-powered East. Women are rare commodities, living in extended families with more than one husband, and children are a necessity in a world where sterility is often the norm. Life is full of challenge, romance and adventure. Something one courageous, wounded Amazon will find out firsthand.



Thais studied the painted woman before her with unease. Kitty wore her sexuality like a moth-eaten cloak. Such age and pain could not be covered by the cloying paints these whores used. In the four years she and her sisters had spent acclimating to the Territories, Thais had come across some strange things. But this driving need men, and apparently women, had for sex baffled her.

“So you want to know if I’ve seen who?” Kitty paused to take a puff of a smoke that smelled of clove and another substance Thais couldn’t identify.

Yara would know what it is. Thais missed her friends dearly. They’d parted two months ago, and in the time since, Thais felt more alone than she’d ever been. Or at least she had, before she’d run into that male, a warrior with light blue eyes.

When Kitty raised her hand in front of Thais’s face, Thais coughed through the smoke and apologized. “I’m sorry, Kitty. I’m not used to such libation,” she said haltingly, not sure if she used the right word. It had taken her two years to conquer the Territory language, and she still misused words when she took the time to speak them.

“My clove cigarettes?” Kitty laughed. “Honey, that’s not libation. That’s good clean medicine. The clove helps me to swallow. Numbs my throat.”  She winked, as if sharing a joke. Thais had no idea what she was talking about. “The filler is homegrown leaf. The damned UTO outlawed tobacco ages ago. One of our last great vices.” She sighed. “It was organic, but toxic. Well, shee-it. Who the hell wants to live forever, anyway?”

Not sure what to say, Thais tried to regroup. “I am looking for a man.”

“Ain’t we all,” Kitty muttered and took a long drag.

“This one goes by the name Aaron Bartel. He’s very rich. His chest is broad, and he stands this high.” She held a hand slightly above her own head. “He also has dirty yellow hair and dead eyes. He’s a leader of men like him.” Murderers and rapists and thieves.

“Hmm, Bartel, you say?” Kitty puffed away on her cigarette. “Why are you looking for him?”

The sharp look on the woman’s face urged caution.

“I think he may be traveling with a few women I know. The warrior—ah, women would be like me. Tall and strong, maybe with darker skin than many of you here, from time spent in the sun.”

“I’d bet they talk funny, too, eh? Like you. One of ‘em have a purple flower with a yellow dot inked on her cheek, just under her eye?”

Pilar. Thais’s heart pounded. The traitorous Amazon would lead her to Bartel. She knew it.

Kitty smashed her cigarette on a ceramic plate. She blew out a residual puff of clover scented smoke, and Thais fought the urge to gag. “What’s it worth to you?”

“What do you need?”

Her quick answer took Kitty by surprise. “Hmm, what do I need?” She eyed Thais up and down. “Take off that hat and lose the bandana.”

Thais grudgingly did so.

“Holy shit, honey, you’re a beauty. Now take off that vest and open a few buttons.”

Thais had a bad feeling Kitty would demand of her something she refused to give. She slowly took off her vest and unfastened a few buttons.

“You binding ‘em?” Kitty nodded at her chest.


“Thought so. You have a build that screams sex, you know.”

“No, I do not.” Not sex. Never that.

Not sure if it was her tone or her stillness, Thais watched as compassion replaced the speculation on Kitty’s face. “Oh, okay, hon. You can’t gimme another girl to use. I get it. What about currency?”

Thais buttoned up her shirt and donned the vest again. The thin barrier of clothing made her feel safe. As if cotton and leather would protect her from the evils of men.

“I have some gold, but I think it will not be enough. Is there some service I might perform instead?” Realizing how Kitty might interpret that, she hastily amended, “Some man who has wronged you? Someone you wish dead?”

Kitty stared in surprise. “You a merc?”

“A merc,” she tested the word. Chow Yen had taught them much when they’d reached the Territories, but apparently the little man hadn’t taught them enough. She learned something new every day.

“A mercenary. You a killer for hire?”

“No, but to learn of Bartel, I would right a wrong done you.” To balance the scales of justice. The Goddess encouraged right. Death was a natural part of balance, an accepted occurrence in Thais’s scattered world.

“Right a wrong, hmm? You know, honey, I think you and me just might have a deal.”

Not only did they have a deal, but Kitty added in a room and a meal for Thais’s promised service. Considering what Kitty wanted done, Thais would have done the job for free. But she needed information about Bartel.

As Thais settled in for a night’s sleep, she tried to tune out the moans and groans around her. The rooms in this building had thin walls. Conversations droned like the buzzing of bees, low and insistent despite her closed door. The constant banging of something against her wall and the accompanying moaning of both a man and a woman made her think, surprisingly, of the tall stranger she’d encountered twice today.

He’d led her here to Kitty House with the expectation that she’d service him the way the women here pleasured their customers. Despite what had happened to her village four years ago, Thais didn’t hate men. Chow Yen had seen to that. She didn’t necessarily like them, nor did she anticipate ever mating with one of them. Though from what she’d heard, sexual intercourse wasn’t always painful, and most men seemed to derive pleasure from it.

To hear Kitty tell it, nothing satisfied like a good ride from the right man, whatever that meant. Though well-intentioned, Kitty’s offer to help Thais get over her discomfort with sex—and she still didn’t know how she’d been so transparent—bothered the hell out of her. Thais couldn’t imagine spreading her legs for a man, surrendering to his control. Still, today when the warrior had asked her to thank him, she’d felt a stirring of… something. Unfamiliar yet exciting.  Her heart raced, her breath grew shorter, and her face heated. Nerves, not anxiety. A kind of interest, she supposed.

And why not? Even Mother consented to lying with a male once. Besides, he’s the first decent looking warrior you’ve seen out here in the land the Goddess forgot.

Taller than Thais and strong of form, he’d impressed her at first with his stillness and steady reserve. As he’d drawn closer on his vore, she’d sworn she sensed an answering wildness in not just the beast he rode, but in the man as well. Shoulder length black hair so dark it shone blue under the sunlight had captivated her, but his eyes had held her attention like nothing could. An exact match to the crystalline blue waters in the Goddess Cave, those orbs possessed unfathomable depths.

His voice, when he spoke, sounded rich. Like the rumble of a jaguar, yet clear of intent and strong. Unlike most of the filthy men in the Territories, he smelled of sweat and power. The burning energy in his gaze discomfited her, the way the guardians at home could unnerve the enemy with just a look.

He handled a rifle with ease and sat atop a vore as if he’d been born in the saddle, as she’d heard many a man comment about natural-born riders. Thais herself didn’t care for horseback. Riding a vore, on the other hand, appealed to her, maybe because vores were rumored to be nearly as intelligent as people, or because they could never be fully tamed. Oddly enough, the vore and the man reminded her of home. And she began to dream…


To read more about Tip of the Spear, you can stop by my website or check it out on Amazon.

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Marie Harte
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