Bring the Light

I want to be a light in a darkened world. – Tell The Wolves I’m Home (the band, not the book)

ICCNC in Oakland, CA on a foggy night – the building was once a Freemason lodge.

I don’t. We have PLENTY of light. What we don’t have is protection FOR said light bringers. You know who I’m talking about. Those who have and offer unlimited compassion, those who have hearts bigger than any of us can imagine, those who attempt to offer hope when all else seems like it’s fallen to shit? Those people are an abundance thank FUCK.. Many of them are lacking in physical strength and stamina, which seems unfair to me. Many of them have clear moral beliefs and look less at the gray and more into the black and white of this existence. But who looks out for them?

Those of us who don’t mind getting our hands bloody, that’s who. I’m not talking about killing others to eradicate the bad in this world. Senseless violence sounds like fun until you’ve accidentally snubbed out the life of the person who may change your world, if not the broader world.

I’ll tell a short story. Years ago, when I still lived in Oakland, a member from another Toastmasters club visited Andeesheh (my club) and shared his story about the newly acquired gunshot wound he didn’t think was terribly fashionable. It turns out that he was catching the Number 1 bus back down E. 14th and (bad part of town) and when he sat down; he saw some young fool trying to rob this elderly couple at gunpoint. Well, our friend didn’t like this, so he tried to stop it.

With words.

The other side of Lake Merritt, near where our hero was shot.

A physical struggle ensued and as he was off-boarding the bus, he acquired his new fashion piece – a bullet hole in his stomach. Obviously, he lived, but it put him out a bit. When he came to speak with us, his story moved us. If you hear stories like that, you don’t think that someone would try to stop a crime in progress, especially when it involved firearms. Most people look the other way out of fear and cowardice. Bold action isn’t something we teach our children anymore, but that’s a separate blog post probably best left for another time.

Our friend came back to another Andeesheh meeting. Our Toastmasters chapter was (and probably still is) made up of immigrants mostly from Iran (fuck you, it hasn’t been Persia for how long? LOL!) and a handful of what I would lovingly, jokingly call miscreants. As in, we’re not Muslim, we’re not Iranian, nor do we have ties to the Middle East Wtf was I doing there? Learning to be a better communicator, like all the members of that club, of course!

When we had some time, our friend and I finally talked alone because he found out I was a published author. He was a poet (double ugh) and had shared some of his poetry with me. The words were typical to someone who recognizes the heart, even if he (me, yeah I did) ignores the message. His writing was heartfelt, an attempt to heal this world and bring it joy, bring it happiness. A thought occurred to me. I asked our amazing humanitarian the following question, knowing the answer already. “If you had a gun, would you have shot back?”

You already know what the answer was. The why? It would bother him that he had to harm someone else to stop them from doing bad. He couldn’t stand the blood on his hands. It would have made him terribly sad. Repetition of events like that would eventually break him, snuffing out his light, even if he remained alive.

You already know what to do!

Me? I’ve had shot those fuckers without even thinking about it, had a truth prepared for the law and been ready to deal with the consequences of preventing an elderly couple from being robbed and maybe killed because that’s my standard for behavior. Blood can be washed away, memories caged and events categorized and stuffed down. No, it’s not ideal, but that was thirty-three-year-old me. Those of us who aren’t bothered by the blood on our hands, as long as it’s for the greater good, exist to protect those who, for one reason or another, simply won’t take the extreme measures necessary in situations like those. Without those of us who remain comfortable in the gray areas, those who bring Light would struggle more and evil might stand a chance.

I may be dead wrong. But…food for thought.

Also, tell the other wolves, this wolf is home and putting in some work before going to see Thy Art Is Murder with After the Burial, Currents and newly discovered favorite, Brand of Sacrifice.


Someone who definitely believes in gray areas is Josef Staganov from Endangered.

A rogue werewolf with a heart of gold. An undead Queen seeking salvation. Can they work together to rescue their city from a criminal organization?

Joséf Staganov’s conscience won’t let him look the other way, even when his police department is turning a blind eye toward crime. But when he commits atrocities while under the influence of a dangerous substance used to create addicts out of shifter and vampire alike, he finds himself at the mercy of the seductive ruler of the city, and his own self-destructive regret.

Vampire Queen Livía feeds on the thrill she gets from ruling San Francisco with her own brand of justice. When a criminal organization forces a regime change, a cornered and frustrated Livía fights back until her loved ones are threatened. Lost and afraid, she finds herself seeking aid from an addict with a hero complex who constantly tests her heart.

Can Joséf and Livía fight a multi-front war, restore order and save the city while discovering unbridled passion between them, or will their struggles be in vain?

Endangered is the first thrilling tale in the Nights of Lust paranormal romance series. If you like fierce passion, tormented heroes and feisty women, then you will enjoy Sascha Illyvich’s tale.

Grab your copy on AMAZON here!

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May Masturbation (or, Blessings in Bed?)

Yup. Clickbait ahoy! The month of May is a grand month indeed. Spring weather (bleh, give me cool sunny 70s, not this 89 at 2 AM shit!) Beltane (yay Sunlight, Horned God’s time to shine!) and a personal favorite, National Masturbation Month!

ATL Black with a flute of Decoy Sparkling NV Cuvée

I won’t wax poetic too much about the benefits of said practice, nor will I bloviate about the potential for ritual to increase your magic’s potency if such a thing is for you. And if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you already know why and how the ‘holiday’ month started.

There isn’t truly too much to say at the moment. I’ve been working on Denial, the final Nights of Lust story. I’m finally setting up the back matter on my self-published titles up at Amazon, so our new readers will flow from one novel. To another and to another series, etc. I’ve been pushing as a writer since making a firm commitment and talking to the folks at Amazon Ad School. I’m pretty happy, though impatient, with results, but patience has never been my strong suit! We’re dealing with the one female we don’t get a POV from having the realization that the two POV characters are mated to each other and to the third. The story was called Denial for a reason.

Big piece of news? It’s been a year, literally, since I walked into the hospital and had my electrophysiologies to cut into my groin (yes, my groin, fucker LOL!) and run a catheter into my chest and freeze AND burn what he considered were the bad pathways so my heart would stop misfiring, trying to overwork, etc. In previous blog posts I’ve talked about how much of an improvement this has made in my life and I’m happy to report that besides a handful of other smaller changes I’ve made, I feel FUCKING GREAT!

Last week we had temperatures in the mid-80s and I had to work at the cigar shop for two days. Before the surgery, I’d go in, smoke my cigar, work, sell cigars, etc and then come home in a horrible state of exhaustion. I’d nap, maybe spend twenty minutes, then come back outside to have my at home after work cigar. To paint this picture properly, I sell cigars. That means even if we’re hella busy, it’s a small enough shop that I”m literally either in the humidor helping customers, or I’m at the register ringing them up. Of course, we’re talking, too. The industry is notorious for being friendly and awesome!

 

Our shop is small so we have our ebb and flow, but I’m not busy a good portion of the time, which allows me to dick around on social media (waste of time) or spend time on Duolingo imprisoning my Spanish and learning Russian. (More on that later – it started out as a joke) I’ve read countless romance novels at the shop, handful of motivational and personal growth books including this one, spent time taking it easy on what I’d consider one of the most rewarding jobs outside of writing romance.

The point I’m making is that I’m not busting my ass behind a bar moving product, moving between servers, customers, restocking the bar, etc.

Yet I’d come home and be exhausted.

No more. And I cannot tell you the amount of sheer relief I feel, and the amount of joy, at almost 44 years old, have. After the surgery, I apologized to my heart. I did this in part to myself. I was a furious teenager, which translated into a furious young adult. That’s part of why I began writing romance. But all that forcing down of emotions and bullshit we do to ourselves only hurts my physical heart more. So, I apologized after surgery. I apologized before surgery and said I’ll fix it.

A year later, I cracked a bottle of Decoy NV Brut Cuvée and lit up an ATL Black (new favorite) while sitting on my balcony being thankful for my fixed heart, grateful that I still have it, and grateful for all the days to come where it will no longer be a burden because I will no longer be a burden to it.

Thursday, May 5th over the lake in Kensington Village – view from the smoking lounge at the Cave

I know, ya’ll saw the headline and expected come shots, facials, jacking off, how to get the best orgasm (sleep with me!) and all that comes (haha) with Masturbation. Ya’ll didn’t expect me to hit up the heartfelt shit, did ya’ll? LOL! I didn’t either.

Most of the noise in my head is STILL GONE. What’s left is mine to deal with. I have put those sleeping demons to bed. Now it’s just a house of wolves.

Oh, and two kitties… but we’re back to clickbait again, aren’t we?

~~~Have you read ENDANGERED yet?

A rogue werewolf with a heart of gold. An undead Queen seeking salvation. Can they work together to rescue their city from a criminal organization?

Chapter One

With all the homeless people and bums milling about, one would think Joséf would be distracted, but he had a job to do. The stench of vagabonds and dirty streets was enough to make him sick. Watching the streets fill with trash, cans and an occasional body was something Joséf did not want to do, but it was part of the job when you were in law enforcement.
A vampire had provided enough distraction for him. She’d brushed up against him in a seedy club just outside the Haight. The Queen of the Night, eternal lust herself, had even made eye contact with him and smiled. Luscious breasts pillowed against his chest when he bumped into her, distracting him momentarily. That got him hard until he’d walked out of the club and reality set in. He had a deal to make. Well, not actually make it, more like kill two pushers and rob them of their prized drugs before they had a chance to infect anyone further. He did a quick bump with the men and then aimed his gun at their chests, emptying a clip into the two of them. The residual smell of smoke and gunpowder mixed with trickling blood from the wounds in his victims annoyed his senses, but let him know that he’d done his job well.
The rush of shooting the two vile men made Joséf remember why he stopped operating within the code of ethics that most cops had. All the paperwork built into the system to protect the innocent ended up costing them more money. While bodies continued to pile up, papers continued to be processed and eventually the body count outweighed the cost of keeping the innocent safe from being wrongfully accused. It was easier to kill the offenders than it was to send them to jail to await trial, prison and then be put back on the street. He was judge, jury and executioner. Killing vampires was still illegal, they were citizens under the protection of the law. Things had changed because the grand fathered vampires had earned places in a few high offices, and so the laws were written with them in mind.
Joséf shot both men coldly, killing them both with wounds to the head. He grabbed their stash and ran down out of the alleyway towards the Warf to hide the needles along with the rest of the supplies.
A thick fog set in and Joséf realized paranoia was setting in quicker than normal. The shakes were setting in faster and it gave him the willies. But after a few minutes, everything was unusually calm.
A few hours later, Joséf had come off his high. He pulled his leather jacket over his shoulders tighter as the breeze from the Warf blew over him. It couldn’t be her, he thought as he walked down the street in a huff, kicking a glass bottle several feet away. Chills raced up his spine. Joséf glanced at himself in the window of one of the shops, realized his hair was a mess and the beard he was growing would give him away as it emphasized his very Russian features.
Looking at some of the other folks on the streets, he noticed most of them were either late night tourists or vampires who walked around at night. Some of them looked too young to be vampires, but who knew how old they really were. Joséf hoped they weren’t fucked up addicts that owed a debt to the Syndicate, too. When he strolled down Market, he saw several who were and it made him sick. Vampires throwing up blood they’d just consumed, or worse. The smells made him sick and want to forget the sights as fast as possible. He needed a fix, and bad.
After bumping into the very buxom and luscious Queen of the Night, he needed to forget. She had spared his life and he was somewhat grateful in that moment. But now that reality had set in, he realized she was possibly toying with him.
Her scent wasn’t like that of other vampires, it was more primal. She reeked of lust and passion. Even before the drugs had kicked in, his senses were on overdrive, making him question if her body was really that ethereal and beautiful or if she was using magic to appear that shapely. His cock couldn’t tell the difference.
Rumors abounded that she chose her victims based on attraction or fatal accident, meaning you either looked damn good, or had pissed her off somehow. Joséf never believed any of the rumors.
She’d made eye contact with him. He’d stared into gorgeous eyes that were very arousing, but he wasn’t bespelled. Just so fucking horny that he’d probably die if he didn’t end up inside her soon. Except that she’d never fuck him, or desire him in any way whatsoever. It was pointless to even think about it. She wasn’t rumored to waste her time on men who were already dead inside.
Joséf made a B-line for the corner store, picked up a pack of smokes and walked out, his nerves on edge. He’d been followed earlier and had managed to shake his potential assailants.
Joséf looked at his watch. It was almost 3 A. M. and he was acutely aware of the fact that two female vampires had been tailing him. If they were after his life, they’d have done him in now. It didn’t matter, he’d be dead soon enough anyway.
Joséf spotted movement on the rooftop of a nearby brick building out of the corner of his eye. It was them. He didn’t bother with his pistol; it’d be too much trouble. Instead, he pulled out a knife as he walked and began toying with it, tossing it in his hands carelessly. Occasionally he’d enjoy the feel of the satiny grip, look up and smile, then continue walking. He made sure to let the streetlights reflect off the silver blade. The silver wouldn’t kill the vampires, but the holy symbol embedded in the handle would. He made sure to hold the knife by the blade just so his watchers would see the holy symbol. He swore he heard laughter, but that could have been the fog rolling in over the bay. It had that effect
Joséf crossed the street at a pretty brisk pace and noticed debris falling around him. He didn’t bother to look up. Clumsy fucking vampires! They were probably high on coke. New vamps always were. Hell, if your heart wasn’t going to explode from the rush, might as well do an eight ball a night. Of course that meant for many that they’d have to steal for their habits and it used to be his job to stop them from stealing. He remembered how he’d stake them quickly when he was an honest cop.
“Fuck this shit.” Joséf pulled a cigarette from the pack in his black leather jacket, grabbed the lighter from the same pocket and shook it. A quick flick of the wrist and he inhaled the cancerous salvation before blowing a cloud of smoke out in a long slow breath.
He thought back to earlier in the night when he bumped into the dozens of vampires at the club he’d been working. Joséf took another long pull on his cigarette and tossed the butt aside. “Was she?” he thought. “No,” he tapped his fingers against his jeans. “She wasn’t the one they called Queen of the Night.”
“It wouldn’t make sense,” he thought again. The sort of woman that had all sorts of toys and plenty of uses for them usually preferred her men sober, which at the time he wasn’t.
Joséf didn’t care that he was being watched. If his assailants were dumb enough to follow him into the Tenderloin, it was their own funeral. The way it used to be was that thugs owned this part of the town and ran it gangland style, until the vampires started muscling in. Then the rules changed, alliances were formed and broken and within months, the Syndicate sprang up as the largest crime organization in San Francisco.
Joséf didn’t stop walking, but kept aware of the energy surrounding him. It didn’t feel like Draiman or Corsetti, so whoever it was could fuck themselves until he had time to deal with them. Joséf slammed the door to his apartment open and examined his surroundings, flashing his gun around the empty room. He put a hand out and tried to feel for extra energy, opened his mouth and started to speak, but nothing came out. Hell, he couldn’t even read the presence of energy in the state he was in right now.
He had good reason to be paranoid now that the drug lords were after him. It wasn’t every day that a former junkie and pusher ripped them off and escaped alive. Or in Joséf’s case, with just a few cuts that would certainly scar. Hell, he needed medical attention. Also, he could have used therapy to get rid of his suicidal tendencies. Or was that just a front for trying to do the right thing?
He shut the door and pulled out his cigarettes. Stumbling into the tiny studio, his shoes clattered against the worn wood floors. He pulled one from the pack with his mouth, tossed the rest on a table beside the door and lit up. Joséf walked over to the window, drew down the shade. The studio apartment was dingy, rank and cold, but the cigarette warmed his hands. The rest of his body would wait just a little longer before the shakes kicked in.
Joséf drew a breath and puffed on his cigarette. He thought about how he’d been waiting all day for this as he wrapped his arm with a piece of rubber, picked up the needle and tapped it to get the air out of the syringe. He tossed his cigarette aside, set his arm on the table and found a vein. He pulled the rubber band tighter, flexed his arm and saw where he wanted the needle to go.
The shade flipped open, startling him enough to make him lose concentration on where the needle was about to gouge him. Taking a deep breath, he plunged the needle in and squirted the yellowish liquid into his body, poisoning himself with what seemed like too much heroin. The warm liquid burned at first and then tranquility set in as he pulled the needle out. His day was done. He could worry about his life tomorrow, but today he was a slave to pain and suffering. Even as his senses picked up the dull stench of the drug, he realized the taste of it had changed.
The redeeming fact of all this was that Joséf was trying to stop the pushers from pedaling their wares onto the growing number of teenagers who are obsessed with vampirism and death. He couldn’t do much about the former since anyone who wanted to become the undead, could. But the reality of becoming a vampire had a price and the powerful drug lords who reigned over the area like mafia dons knew that they could make lifelong customers out of vampires if they hired the right help – meaning something stronger and scarier than a vamp. The problem was that Joséf hadn’t lost his conscience, he merely lost his mind until he’d become addicted to the very shit he was trying to keep off the streets.
Joséf concentrated his gaze on the window and swore he saw two pairs of vicious eyes peering into his apartment. Slumping against the wall in his chair, he opened and closed his eyes until the haze replaced clear vision and Joséf drifted off to a nightmarish slumber in hopes that he’d be dead in the morning. If Corsetti or Draiman found him otherwise, he’d be in a worse state than death. Joséf had seen how they tortured new vampires who refused to pay their bills.
Joséf didn’t care if he died from the heroin overdose, he just didn’t want to be turned and tortured. That would have been the worst way to die, knowing that his captors would keep him addicted to their product and let him wish for death while they abused his body.
At one point, Joséf woke, covered in sweat. Had he been dreaming? Were those eyes staring into the windows real? Was there compassion in one set? There couldn’t have been. Hell, he couldn’t recall, but whatever was happening to him scared him enough that he had to force himself to wake up and remind himself that he was still in the same dingy studio he’d been in for the last few months. How had he fallen to the floor? He felt the floor beside him to make sure his gun was still there. The cold steel reassured him.
He was still in the same fucking rat hole that drug money bought in the worst part of the neighborhood. Joséf reminded himself that life was shit and lay back down. He slid his jacket off in an attempt to cool off, but it didn’t help. The sweat covered shirt he wore was too hot. It felt heavy. Joséf looked out the window, it was still dark but the sun would be up soon. More than likely, so would the living members of the Syndicate, and they’d be out looking for him, pronto.
Joséf rolled over, his hazy vision distorting things as he rummaged through his dresser for a clean t-shirt. He found one, slid it on and found his way to the mattress, letting his heavy body hit it with a thud.
Afraid to close his eyes, he kept his focus on the walls until in time, they faded from his vision. As sleep overtook him, the nightmares returned to haunt him.
Joséf woke hours later to the bright sunlight glaring in his eyes and a loud pounding on the door. He wasn’t hallucinating that.
Without thought, he rolled over, grabbed his pistol and pointed it at the door. “Shit!” He should have picked up the scent of company. His instincts were usually better than this, unless you counted on the drugs in his system to fuck things up.
Nothing. Joséf adjusted his jacket over his shoulders and waited as seconds passed that seemed like eternity before the door was flung off the hinges. Bright sunlight made him shield his eyes with a hand. Two men stood in front of it, guns pointed inside.
The man on Joséf’s left was shorter than the other one, dressed nicely and had a large revolver in his left hand. Black boots, wrist bands and wild hair made him look like someone straight out of a Devil worshiping service. His wry grin didn’t make Joséf feel any more comfortable.
“Draiman,” he said. “Isn’t this the punk that ripped us off?”
“Yeah,” the other man replied casually. He was taller, bald and built like a bricklayer. His presence intimidated Joséf even more as he took another step forward and his black boots clicked against the tile.
Even at 6’4”, Joséf didn’t have Draiman’s build. Draiman was nearly as tall as Joséf but worked out much more. He’d been a professional bodybuilder before discovering how much fun sleeping with the undead was. Sadly, that association led him into a life of crime and ultimately into the Syndicate as one of their lead hit men.
Joséf stood slowly, gun still in hand.
Corsetti turned his head to the side, his smile exposing missing teeth. “Now Joe, why don’t you be a good little Ruskie and drop the piece.”
Joséf didn’t flinch. “Fuck you Corsetti.”
Draiman stepped forward. “It’ll be easier this way,” he said. “Besides, I am the strongest of the two of us, remember?”
Draiman was right. A quick glance around the room reminded Joséf that he had an escape route if he planned his next move carefully.
Slowly, Joséf raised his arm with the gun pointed at the ground. “You’re right Draiman, you are the stronger of the two of us. I’ll…”
He paused. Corsetti jumped in front of Draiman as Joséf flicked his wrist and the gun was aimed, fired and thrown at Corsetti.
A bullet landed in his chest and the shorter man felt back into Draiman’s arms while Joséf took off running down the hall. He sprinted into his bathroom and jumped through the window, landing on the dirt and grass covered ground. He rolled off to one side, stood and jumped over the wire fence that separated the building from a vacant parking lot.
“Damn you Joe! Why did you have to shoot Corsetti?”
Joséf barely heard the other man’s angry footsteps hit the ground but he knew Draiman was chasing after him. He didn’t care. Joséf was damned if he was going to die today, not by mortal hands anyway.
Sweat formed at his brow and his heart beat rapid fire in tune with his footsteps. He turned down the corner and headed into the crowd. Draiman wouldn’t want the attention a crowd would have and he was just too clumsy to barrel through without similar consequences.
Amidst the sea of people, Joséf could get lost long enough to collect his thoughts. Warily, he saw other Syndicate members taking positions to surround him. Just great! Joséf reached into his pocket for his sunglasses and slid them on. He stumbled over a few bums and was slammed into a large signpost. “Hey,” he turned around and yelled. Joséf swung and dropped the large man in front of him with a blow to the jaw. When the man doubled over from Joséf’s second punch to the gut, Joséf took his chance and ran further into the crowd. He reached into his pocket for his knife and—damn!
He’d left it back at the studio.
Great. Defenseless for the time being he’d have to hope that he didn’t run into any of Amalie’s vampire drones. He’d be in trouble, otherwise.
Joséf heard someone yell out “Somebody stop that man, he stole my wallet!”
Crap. It was time to hightail it out of this area. Joséf glanced around and saw a man pointing in his direction from across the street and two other men neatly dressed in suits scrambling to make their way to where he was.
Joséf didn’t have time to think. He pushed his way past a few people and took off running, his heart beating madly in his throat. He didn’t have time for this, not now! He looked back to see three men chasing after him with guns drawn. This wasn’t good. He wanted to die, but not at someone else’s hands.
Of course it didn’t really matter how he went, did it?
That was the last thought he had before someone stopped him and hit him squarely in the side. He’d been bum rushed by a bystander.
“I got him. I got the man who stoled your wallet.”
“Get off me, bum!” Joséf struggled to free himself but the homeless man’s grip wasn’t all that weak.
“I got him,” The large man repeated but stopped when he loosened his grip on Joséf. A swift kick to the knees let Joséf break free of the man’s grip long enough to deliver a sucker punch to the man’s stomach and one to the chin.
He stumbled back and nearly tripped over his feet before looking straight at Joséf. Dark hair matted over his forehead blocked his eyes but Joséf didn’t care to stick around and examine the confusion in the man’s eyes.
“I’m sorry, you poor bastard.” Joséf shoved the man away and continued running, praying he’d not lost all that much distance.
“Stop right there,” a voice shouted out but Joséf kept running.
He glanced up at the sign, 3rd and Park Avenue. The ritzy part of town was a safer place to hide if you were a vampire because the undead had a lot of money. They were like the elderly, cheap, stingy and assholish, but they lived nicely.
If you were an ex-cop, your chances of survival depended on whom you’d killed or turned. Many of the new rich felt that becoming the undead was the ultimate way to ensure that fortunes were kept in the families. Feuds between gangs resulted in a lot of new vampires, who often hated who they were so much that they tried to spread the disease like wildfire, or until someone took them out.
Vengeance was good motivation, but once turned you were stuck like that.
Joséf continued running, all the while remembering where he could and could not go to for help. He’d killed his share of drug lords who’d come back as the undead and formed alliances with Amalie Chiroc. Most of them lived across town in the Marina.
So far, so good. Right? Except that he was still being chased.
Because of the fact that most of the rich in this part of town were undead, the only people usually out were human servants and tourists. During the day, the streets were filled with the sounds of vendors, the scents of foods and ocean brine, families who were on vacation with their whining kids and the few homeless peoples who wandered too far out of their circles. Usually, the drug lords kept their vampires and pushers out of this part of town.
Usually.
Still, Joséf knew they’d follow him for a bounty.
Joséf ran towards the large parking lot in front of him. If he remembered correctly, there was a gun shop in the mall.
“Stop that man,” the voice continued to yell out.
Joséf knew he needed to find a place to hide, and now! Another ambush and tackle sent Joséf to the floor.
“Damn, you guys are everywhere,” he yelled, shoving the man off as he stood and tried to sprint away.
“Yeah, we are.” The other man pulled a gun and pointed straight at Joséf’s head. “I wouldn’t move if I were you, Mr. Staganov.”
Joséf’s body froze. His heart caught up to him and the blood that coursed through his veins still had plenty of heroin in it. Soon the high would start all over again and this time, there wasn’t anything he could do about it.
“Look, guys. It’s just a few doses to last me until—“ Joséf took a planned step towards the strange man and with his incredibly long reach, swung a fist, knocking the man upside the head. Joséf landed two more punches and dropped the man to the ground with a swift kick to the solar plexus. The gun fell from his hands and he spit blood.
“Bastard. Leave me alone.” Joséf picked up the gun, put the barrel to the man’s head and pulled the hammer back.
He knew in that instant that the drugs had kicked in and what was about to happen wasn’t by his own doing.
The man looked up at Joséf. He couldn’t see his assailant’s eyes through the smoke and haze of whatever had been added to the heroin to make it more potent. He didn’t care.
Pull the trigger. He is useless, he heard a female voice say.
“Who is there?” Joséf turned around and pointed the gun in the direction he faced. Sadly, that was his mistake as the other man came to his feet and knocked Joséf down.
Gun still in hand, Joséf pointed at his assailant and pulled the trigger before the man was airborne. Blood poured from the man’s chest, he cried and fell onto the ground.
“That’ll teach you Syndicate punks to mess with me.” Joséf spat at the dead man’s body and noticed that he was alone. Very alone in the middle of a parking lot full of cars on a weekday. What happened to the men chasing after him? He spun around, pointing the gun in every direction he faced just to be sure that he was alone. So far, so good.
“You did it. I’m proud of you.” The voice said again.
“Who is there? Show yourself.”
Nothing but dead silence responded. That was better than someone or some thing. Right?
Deciding that nobody was around, Joséf knew he had to find somewhere to go and hide while he let the rest of the drugs run through his system. No place was safer than the methadone clinics but those didn’t exist in the rich part of town. The rich viewed drug users and pushers as evil and didn’t plan for the hypocrisies that would certainly occur when the pushers found other ways to make money and grease the palms of those in charge of the law.
Joséf knew he couldn’t run into the mall, either. Too many people, too many hallucinations and being out in the open would only get him killed by his enemies. No good.
Joséf scanned his surroundings quickly. His heartbeat picked up and his vision became blurred. The drugs were taking effect and he was going to become useless very, very quickly if he didn’t find a place to hide.
The park behind the mall was usually unoccupied during the day and had plenty of benches for him to rest on until nightfall when hopefully he could go back to ending his nightmare by his own hands.
Joséf wandered over towards the park, stumbling as he walked. His vision blurred further with each step. Trees swayed and faded from his sight. He hoped he could make it before the others from the Syndicate found their crony dead. He didn’t want to be alive when they did.
A bench was in sight. Good. It looked solid.
Joséf made slow, semi sure steps towards the bench and he fell down when he reached it. He picked himself off the ground and lay over the wooden slats and closed his eyes. It was time for sleepless rest. He didn’t even care that he’d been spied on throughout the chase. It was probably the same vampires as before, but the drug haze kicked in before he could care.

Find out more and grab YOUR copy of ENDANGERED to join in the madness!

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May means Beltane!

I may have mentioned I’m a practicing witch. Oh, I didn’t? I think an article in I Love Vampires back in December mentioned something about it when I wrote an article for them entitled “Wake Up Dead.” The article had little to do with my pagan/Wiccan leanings and more to do with talking to our ancestors. Many of you might follow me on Facebook and see me referencing “Her” from time to time.

The loved one who died in 2018 is who I’m referring to. I bring this up simply because Beltane is coming up and while I don’t practice as often as other students of the Olde Path; I do try. I’ve made more attempts in the last four years to really hone my education in Wicca and Witchcraft.

The Altar for the Full Moon back in June

I attended a weekly call series with Ethony at the end of last year. I believe it was a basic primer to witchcraft. Very informative stuff, even if the Zoom calls left me feeling off kilter. Truth be told, I was only on Zoom with video for one reason.

I’ve acquired more books. I’ve dug deeper into my Tarot education. I’ve been trying to keep an altar but the only one I can maintain is an altar that wasn’t set up on purpose – as another tribute in the form of love to a relationship that’s since shifted. The reason that altar stays?

I have fucking cats.

It’s always fucking cats.

Kel is a little bit of a scamp and has figured out that if he truly wants attention, the younger lover won’t get up and move fast enough, but I will. So, the altar was on top of my dresser and he’d jump on it and start knocking shit around when he was a baby kitty because he knew it’d get him attention. So I moved it to my nightstand. Same problem. I finally dismantled it and once we’ve settled things here legally, I’ll try to put it back up. Maybe in part on one of my bookshelves where neither cat can get to. Lover Mine had some stuff on that altar and those things really belong in my office if they’re going to be up, anyway. But as time has passed, I’ve acquired more tools (you don’t need them) and realized the need to let go of old beliefs about why I can’t, and start accepting why “I” should. One thing I’m struggling with is the journey to connect with ancestors. I feel Her here sometimes in Ritual but I don’t think I’m in tune enough to feel or be aware of my other actual blood relatives.

Or maybe it’s because I wrote one Opeth Pack book and set the wolves in Hungary, then shit talked the heritage, then wrote another book set in Hungary and shit talked my heritage and, well there’s six books in the series. You get the point. Oh, FYI, it’s not top of my list, but I have pulled up the Magyar language on Duolingo. Spanish first, Russian next, and then my country of origin!

Point is, my ancestral connections feel weak and I might be the cause. NO idea right yet.

I have been writing. I started the fourth installment of Nights of Lust – Denial. It’ll be the last book and it’s Lucian’s (Dave) book and will feature a different take on darkness that I hope you’ll find more humorous in a sick way more than anything. I think honestly? I’m going to listen to more Cannibal Corpse while I write, since they’re all about gore. Don’t worry, the book won’t be gory, at least not with overkill. I have his two heroines plotted out loosely, but the newer one needs some work. As of this post, I started writing from her POV yesterday but I’m probably scrapping that bit because frankly?

Corpsegrinder sings some of the most disgusting lyrics known to man. Hell, the PMRC doesn’t like Cannibal Corpse (fucking assholes)! But he’s a big kid when it comes to things outside of Cannibal.

I fucking hate it.

“Gah-bage” as they say.

I’ve been playing with the AMZN ad copy on the book pages for His Reign and Endangered after another Ad School five day challenge. Those books are older, especially Endangered, but that doesn’t mean they suck. If Red Sage took and published Endangered before going belly up five years later, the book had promise and I can’t wait for you to see it and actually finish the entire four book series.

And I’ve talked at length about His Reign. The Opeth Pack Saga is good. No, it’s not my favorite, but again, this isn’t me doing art for art’s sake, this is me as a business alpha.

So you’ll get Endangered, followed by what was once An Alpha Torn which is soon to be re-titled, Cursed, and Denial will wrap up the four book series. I’ll go on later about how I fully intended for this to mimic Laurel. K. Ha Milton’s Anita Blake series and after growing and pivoting in my career, I didn’t want to have 420.69 books in the same series unless ya’ll want that. It’s fun but shit. I’m bored. And money I want, but this is still for me.

Alex, the bassist from Cannibal Corpse!

It will take up to 30 days, but I shut down my Patreon. It served me well and I’m grateful for all who contributed to my aid and art since 2015. Thank you.

I’ve blathered on enough for this post. I hope if you’re receiving my newsletter that you’re enjoying the books I’m sharing. Yes, newsletter swap times ahead. I met some of those folks at RAM and they’ve been kind enough to give me a boost.

Also, not sure when yet, but in time? That little short between Max and Shayla you get if you subscribe to the newsletter? It’s getting an expansion. Not full on novel size, but enough to make you happier readers.

Tell me, what plans do you have for Beltane? We’re about to have a lunar eclipse too, so that’s exciting!

Speaking of His Reign:

A destiny he never desired. When death stalks the heart mates he abandoned, can he find the strength to return before their lives end in slaughter?

Jozsi never wanted to lead the pack. And though it means walking away from those who fill his heart, for the sake of his sanity he deserts the dying tribe. But even as he sets out on a fresh path, an issued challenge demands he return to face his destiny.

Pack law states a challenge issued much be answered. When the old pack leader threatens the lives of his heartmates, Józsi must face the life he’s fought to avoid. His loss means certain death.

Will Jozsi save his own future, or will the cries of his lovers pull him back?

Grab your copy of His Reign today and start the journey of this luscious series!

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Continuing with the fun of the move

If you’ve been following the Sascha Illyvich Move Saga (I swear I’ll eventually have a title that sticks) then you’ve been aware of all the drama with living here the last few years. From fires to roaches, to rats (yes, fucking fats, I’ve had to kill two of them in the old unit) it’s been a clusterfuck since the new management took over the first time.

Enter new management as I said in my previous post. They seem to be making moves in the complex but I’m not seeing them gut units out yet. They did redo the lake by the apartment here And attempted to die it but that sadly, didn’t stick.

But the latest shit was the bug infestation. Did I mention that? Oh, wait I know I said something about it up top. About two months back, I opened one of my cabinets to discover a handful of these large German fat fuck roaches just hanging out. Needless to say, I was disgusted. There’s a reason I used to be such a clean freak and this was it, despite having been told by other pest control people that they didn’t come because I was a slob, they came because food and other factors somewhat out of my control.

Seriously? This is an ant hill…

We called the apartment and had them put us on pest control every Friday. And for the past few months, every Friday almost, I’ve been woken up earlier than I’d like for someone to come in, spray a border, offer to put down sticky traps and then leave. The fucking bugs have to CROSS THAT SHIT TO Get POISONED!

They’ve overrun the younger lover’s desk, started to invade mine, but were slowly decreasing after all the repeated attempts from these fools here. Thing is, it wasn’t happening fast enough and the fuckers were spreading. Short story? We fucking brought in our OWN pest control.

It’s been less than a week and I’m still seeing them here and there, but put it this way. When THAT dude sprayed behind my fridge (where they’re hanging out because heat) he kept doing the rest. Of the apartment and I started seeing them trying to escape, only to die on the walls because nerve agents are fun.

The girlfriend was at work and I had both kitties locked up in our bedroom. Two hours later, the carnage had slowed and while I felt like leaving and going somewhere else to get work done, enjoy a beer and smoke a cigar, I thought better to stay here.

The last problem is that it’s halfway through April as of this post and we’re STILL waiting on these knuckleheads to get us our lease to sign so we can renew for a full year at a slightly elevated rent. I’ve called a few times and will probably call again as of the week of this post to ask where y shit is so we can sign. Because if there isn’t anything in place by May 1st? I’m not giving them anything more than the current rent until there’s paperwork in place.

Sick of this shit.

On a different front? New tattoo!

Very wolf-moon-rose times ahead
Very beautiful new artwork on my left forearm. I”lol post another blog about why and what this signifies, but let’s say I’m in love and can’t wait to take off the protective covering!

Oh, and I had a dilemma earlier in the weekend. Did I start writing/plotting the third and final Covenant of Wolves book? Or do I keep myself in the world of Nights of Lust and finish that series instead? Well, yesterday I’d finished my office stuff and decided to see if everything on the iPad had synced up and was open for me to switch between this device and my laptop. And an opening came to me. More on the greater theme of the final novel, but let’s say it’ll be dark humor and you can probably blame Cannibal Corpse and that ilk of death metal for it.

You may notice that one eye is green….remind you of anything?

Until next time, Lovelies!

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Fuck, the SPAM!

This post will be tongue in cheek because I noticed my spam filter’s contents and EVERY single one of them had some form of medical shit from the science research perspective. I’m not even talking about the covid, lies, truths or other bullshit. Literally, they looked like this:

Here’s a man in a kilt. Oh wait, it’s ME! It’s less confusing than the spam folder for my WP.

~~~~Tetrastack: Colloidal diamond-inspired structure with omnidirectional photonic band gap for low refractive index. Sometimes they are able to discover methods to help the particular person regulate to changes of their ability to think. Obviously those sufferers presenting with a rash that itches present much less of a diagnostic concern Common itchy rashes in the aged include but are not limited to; – endogenous dermatitis (atopic, seborrhoeic, nummular, pompholyx) –~~~

I half expected some political spam since I posted Let’s Go…and I have to imagine that’s a popular catchphrase. Unless I missed the memeing on it, which I probably did. But #FJB didn’t catch any spam either.

So, Covid and #FJB aren’t memes anymore, the time has passed on those things. Do I need to mention that one country and that idiot invading to get relevant spam?

Oh, and the first page of my Spam filter has them all spamming Tina Donahue’s post. I adore that woman, but when did I post her release info? Wasn’t that back before the new year? Nope, wait. That post went up in 2019 right before I attended bartending school. Wow!

I went back through my stats and I’ll throw up the long form post later why I’m leaving THAT world, but the short version is because of growth, personal and professional, I will no longer be affiliated with the BDSM community. Not for business, anyway. Hell, I haven’t even been to our local dungeon in Atlanta, and I’ve been here since 2015. (Shit, the only mention of that move was here!) I think the last story I wrote in that world involved me ghostwriting something of an older male, younger (in her twenties) female situation, somehow involved Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, an MC, politicians turned BDSM bikers…and it was for cash up front. It was a glorious mess!

Most likely, I won’t be back to DragonCON or Frolicon, either. Those will probably be in the same post as my leaving BDSM professionally. Fuck, maybe mentioning those three terms in bold will get more traffic to my website. Gods know I could use it.

There’s an awful lot of moving parts to a Sascha Illyvich and each cog is getting the proper care to make sure it’s in the right place at the right time, because I AM a career author. I’ve seen a lot and I’ll probably document that in another long form post. I actually enjoy sharing them with you, particularly those of you who have been with me since 2000 or thereabouts when I started this journey. Jesus, was I really barely 22? Had I just come back from Hungary/Italy on my 21st birthday? Was I really in my first poly shit show of a relationship and on my way to live in California?

Fuck yeah I was.

And now? Georgia, but, the fuck if it’s the final stop!

I know, I know…I really need to update this blog more. I promise, I have plenty of updates coming. There’s the Sascha Illyvich move saga, book release stuff, Kel and Ember stuff….my hopeful retreats to Valencia, Spain…and maybe even a resurrection of my YouTube channel. I will not lie (here, heh heh heh), some of these long form posts have brief posts in my newsletter because I’m doing newsletter swaps with the wonderful women I met at RAM last year. Having a release from Decadent Publishing, the first in maybe five years, reminded me I need to use some of the older marketing techniques to spread the word about my books, especially the releases I’m considering much higher quality than when I first started publishing.

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My Tarot Journey

Did you know I’ve been reading Tarot since around 2005? I started with the Spiral Tarot Deck as a gift from my ex and, of course, the infamous ten card Celtic Cross spread while using the book. Over the last almost 20 years, I’ve continued to read cards for myself, for loved ones and the occasional client while deepening my relationship with what some may consider Source or Divinity. If you’ve been following my Instagram account, you have seen me post images from one of many decks I use to either get a bead on my reality, or look for guidance from Oracle decks like Ganesha or The Moon.

Uh-oh. DId someone cause a problem and did it resolve with sexy times? LOL!

I can’t quite remember how I gained an interest in the Tarot. On my mother’s side, her mother used to read the cards for my mother, but she used a regular playing deck. I don’t know how much is truth, especially with sites like 23AndMe.com now providing more details about our DNA, but I liked to at least pretend there was Romany in her blood because that’s the images I had of her while growing up. It fascinates me to think I come by my intuition naturally, whether it’s true. For most cards in the Spiral Tarot, I no longer have to look them up. The Court Cards still throw me a little, but what I find intriguing about the cards is how they seem to change meaning over time.

I don’t mean iconic cards like Death—which—rarely means a literal death, anyway. Cards like the 5 of Wands show struggle. When I first pulled this card, and until several years ago, it held a negative connotation. Struggle. A fight was ahead. Tough times, perhaps. When I reoriented my focus on the cards with serious renewed interest and began looking at other sources of information, education, my bias was confirmed with a big BUT. The thing I may have missed with this card is that the struggle itself might not be so serious. It might be a waste of time. Dig deeper into the card’s meaning and look beyond the superficial. It might be a mock struggle. Because I have a tendency to throw numerology into the mix, the card seemed chaotic, but years of note taking showed a less serious meaning.

The Seven of Swords in this deck pictures a man running with swords in his hand, as though he stole his lot. Maybe he did. Maybe he has his secrets and has good reason.

The Ten of Wands in this deck shows a woman hunched down in front of a brick wall with ten wands that appear to weigh her down. When drawing this card, I used to think the burden was coming and it would be heavy. Truth had it that yes, a burden existed but another view, perhaps a wiser one, shows that yes, the burden is here and it’s at an end. The cycle (tens) has run its course.

Who is taking the piss here? Me because the 4 of Pentacles fell out and I’m stuck? Or me, because the damn card I pulled shows me possibly on the defensive?

Some years ago, a loved one bought a second deck and gifted it to me. You may have seen me post about the 78 Mythical Tarot – a unique deck where artists came up with their interpretations of each card and crafted a visual piece around that vision. Imagine my shock at the beauty of these cards for one! Second, I don’t know how many of these artists are tarot readers, but I know they offered me another view entirely of the cards I know so well.

Looking at other interpretations also gave me insight into the details I’d miss looking at the Spiral Tarot because my eyes aren’t trained to look at visuals. I’m a writer, not an artist. (I know. Sod off! Don’t @ me!) Take The Lovers. Yes, an iconic card, but never had I realized the woman was looking above the man while he stared at her. I didn’t miss the more obvious symbolism. A humorous shocker was when both my sister and I were heavier drinkers, Temperance would always come up. Now, outside of the obvious, we would laugh at ourselves and realize that yes, we needed to cut back on our alcohol consumption. As we’ve done that, the car comes up and maybe it’s age and wisdom, maybe it’s intuition? I don’t know. But the card begs me to look past the superficial (drink) and ask much better questions to cut to the heart of things.

I’m not aiming to make a business out of reading Tarot. It’s nice for the occasional bottle of wine money or cigar money, but I’m a romance author. There are plenty of legitimate skilled tarot readers around. If you want my expertise, hit me up and I’ll do my best to provide my vision of an answer to your dilemma. If you want to see my card pulls, follow me on Instagram. Understand that for me, tarot is like my spirituality- it’s mainly for me and my personal growth. I won’t lie, I’ve experimented with writing a series based around the Tarot. It’s a somewhat common theme in romance. Maybe that’ll be another project some day.

Have you picked up your copy of Paula’s Craving yet? Let me ask you, would you take it, if offered a second chance at true love?

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Update AND Preorder Paula’s Craving!

First, an update because you may follow The Illyvich Apartment Saga. It continues here. (Hey, I should write that, ha!) It’s definitely been some time and what a fucking ride it’s been! By that I mean, did ya’ll see my FB post the other day about the fucking FIRE in this complex? No? Oh, let me share a pic of the third building in this complex to burn down in five years. First, it was the building literally 100 feet from mine, if even THAT far, that caught. Remember that? I came home from the cigar club and flames engulfed the entire fucking thing.

That was fun. There was another building, literally in front of the one I currently live in that caught 7 months to the DAY of that first fire. Oh, and someone said shit caught fire in 2015. GFY.

That’s The Villages at Kensington, Kensington Villages formerly known as Oak Tree Villas. I met the owner the other day and was told that they’re renovating this complex and it’s going to be a big job. Like, no shit? You inherited a shit show. Trust me, I’ve been around. The curious person/writer person in me has been through most of these buildings and seen just how much of a shit show actually exists. It’s astounding that someone can let something go on so horribly for so long doing nothing.

That isn’t how you make money.

Again, fuck the new WordPress editor.

Then, we ended up receiving a notice stating our lease was month to month and would either need to be renewed by May 1st/April 30th for a year at the new rent of $1,254 (no, fuck you) or go month to month at $1,454. Also, big fuck you. The new owner told me they were repairing, construction was commencing, and things would be better. Honestly? I’d love to believe them. The last owners were moving and grooving and then the covid shit hit, halting construction. I get that for a time, people needed to isolate, but after enough time had passed and we realized we needed to get back to work? I’m not even talking about six months AFTER. Fuck, take a fucking year if you need, but shit. Get back to work.

The scary thing was, I only have photos of the aftermath. I heard that someone slept through the first two hours of a two alarm fire and ended up stranded on their balcony. Or that the forest behind the fucking building caught. Or that a fire truck caught fire too. (How the fuck does that happen?) My Crone suggested electrical issues, then suggested if one building has them, they probably ALL have them.

But now? I’ve lost faith in rehabbing property unless it’s something I’m in charge of. So, we’re expediting our search for a new apartment to house us and the two kitties. I promised Ember and Kel we’d have a wonderful home for them.

You know what’s NOT bullshit though? This re-release from Decadent Publishing. You remember I had a handful of short stories that weren’t really suitable for me to spend all that time on doing the self-publishing work myself, nor spending the money on cover art. Instead, I submitted them to Decadent Publishing because they’d not only get a suitable home, but keep me engaged in publishing.I’m proud to announce that Paula’s Craving, the rewrite of my very first romance novel is available for preorder on Amazon right now! It will be released on March 17th!

Adversity brought them together, insecurity tore them apart. Can passion reunite Paula and Ryan, or will they both end up devastated?

With parents who preferred the needle to their only son, Ryan didn’t stand a chance to graduate high school. Until he met Paula and their friendship gave him the strength to fight. Their talk of the future together gave him hope until she left for college. Ryan did the only thing he knew how; he disappeared, unaware of his impact on Paula.

Fifteen years later, Ryan is at the top of his game as a developer in Real Estate. A chance encounter reunites him with Paula, but their one night of passion can only be that; one night. He’s damaged goods, and he knows it.

When Paula wakes up alone the morning after an amazing night with her former high school sweetheart, she vows to find him and demand to know why he left after sharing such incredible passion.

When Paula finally tracks Ryan down, she dares him to prove to her just how imperfect they are. Will giving his entire heart to her free him from the demons in his past, or will he break both of their hearts?

Chapter One

Paula wrapped her legs around Ryan’s hips, enjoying the friction of him pistoning inside her. His body blanketed hers. When he dipped his head down to claim her mouth, she tasted whiskey, smelled the heady, masculine scent mixed with the aroma of their lovemaking.

Trailing kisses down her chin, Ryan nibbled over her flesh, making each nerve stand and beg for his attention.

She tightened her thighs, gripped his broad shoulders, and let him fill her to the brim repeatedly while he caressed her breast.

He pinched and drew the nipple into his mouth, forcing a moan from her.

She arched upward, loving the slick action of his lips and the flick of his tongue over her nipple.

He caressed her hips, glided in and out, rocking against her so he hit her clit just the right way.

Tightness swelled in her belly; every bit of her burned for him. She tangled fingers in his long blond hair and tried to bring his mouth to hers.

He murmured something against her then licked a trail of heat up her chest, her collarbone, before finally stopping at her ear.

“Baby, I’m so glad.” Her chest heaved with each word. “Finally!”

Ryan stopped mid thrust, stiffened against her, and jerked his head up.

“What?” She opened her eyes and met his gaze, finding the fierceness and some other emotion in the depths of his admiral-blue irises.

The mask returned to his face, and Ryan started moving rhythmically.

Paula’s breath hitched, and she dug her nails into his arms. Moving her hands jerkily down until she reached his waist, she clenched onto him, urging him to thrust harder.

“So close.” She threw her head back, eyes focused on his. “So close. Come with me, Ryan. Come with me!”

He took advantage of her open mouth and captured her lips, thrusting his tongue at the same speed as his cock.

Every movement seemed to be for her. Hell, even after all this time apart, she swore they fit together perfectly.

She clawed at him, urging him toward release while each thrust opened her heart more to the man she knew was meant for her.

He impaled her once more, sending her over the edge.

Paula stiffened, moaning his name while caressing Ryan’s large frame. “Come, baby!”

He did, his release jetting deep inside.

She squeezed him harder, digging her heels into his ass while she ran her fingers through his thick, blond hair and stroked him.

He settled down, heart thundering against her chest when he relaxed into her. His eyelashes fluttered against her skin, tickling her.

A few minutes passed. Paula shifted Ryan off of her, tugged off the used condom, and discarded it. Someday, she’d like to feel him explode inside her.

Padding over to the bathroom, she grabbed a washcloth, cleaned herself off, and sauntered back to the bed in her Vegas hotel room. Looking at Ryan’s muscular body made her heart flutter. The fall of his hair over his face softened his features.

It had been fifteen years since they’d seen each other, but she’d never forgotten the man who stole her heart in high school. She’d seen through his enigmatic, morose personality when they’d first started talking.

He’d been real with her, something the rest of the world hadn’t been at the time.

Paula crawled back into bed beside him, and he clutched her possessively. His legs entwined with hers and he pressed his body against her, wrapping himself around her.

A smile crossed her lips as she closed her eyes and let the sound of his even breathing send her into dreamland.

***

The next morning, Paula woke up to an empty space beside her. No note, no remnants that he’d even been there, nothing.

Ryan had disappeared.

Again.

She clenched her teeth and bit back tears at the thought that he’d give her an incredible time then have no problem leaving without so much as a kiss goodbye.

That didn’t seem like the Ryan she’d known from high school. Well, on the one hand, he seemed like his old self, but the other bit? Him leaving after he’d bared his soul to her?

Words weren’t said, but his touches spoke volumes to her heart more than anything.

Running into him at a fundraising event her company had provided wine for had made her heart skip a beat. After all this time, he’d grown into a very handsome man. His long hair, formerly shaggy and in his face, had been pulled back loosely; her fingers itched to stroke it and feel it over her body. He’d traded in his grunge/metal clothing for tailored suits he’d filled out quite nicely.

When she’d approached him, he turned, offering her the same smile he’d given her in high school. Her heart continued to pound against her chest until she forced herself to calm down.

The look in his eyes revealed just how much he’d missed her, too. Yes, those bright-blue eyes sparkled like diamonds. For the event Ryan had to put on a show as a major donor so he was smiles and waves for the camera. She didn’t miss the sadness, though, or the longing.

It made her wonder why he continued to run from the very people who loved him.

They’d talked. Or rather, he’d talked. Said things in a new voice.

It looked like he’d found some semblance of confidence.

The deep timbre of his voice had made her mouth dry and liquid pool between her thighs.

When the band struck up a tune she liked, he’d automatically taken her hand and asked for a dance.

She couldn’t refuse. In fact, spending so much time so close to him only made her feel like he’d held her soul, not just her body or libido.

By the way he moved, she assumed he had to feel it, too.

When he dipped his head to kiss her, the reaction of his body to hers confirmed her thoughts. His kiss penetrated her essence, marking her as his. Even with the softness of his mouth on hers, that male possessiveness came through, soaking her panties.

Then he asked if she wanted to leave.

Paula could only nod.

After a magnificent three-day romp, she swore they’d reconnected, but as he’d done before, he left.

Paula sat up and wiped away tears she couldn’t stop and steadied her resolve. After fifteen years of lost time, they’d finally reunited, and her heart felt the happiest it had in forever. “You’re not getting away from me, Ryan.”

Preorder for a March 17th delivery on Amazon

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Rabbit Rabbit and Covid!

Yup, Your boy got the coof. Two days of being down, asleep in bed for much of the day, coughing, exhaustion and fever. It started last Wednesday night. I started off with a shit day because my main large monitor finally kicked the bucket. So, on top of my HP CPU fan having an issue, the monitor dies, leaving me to teach and write/edit on my ThinkPad.

Now that machine is a BEAST, but it’s still a 14-inch monitor and it’s great, but I’m still visuallyendangered-2020 impaired. It caused a strain on my eyes and I thought I simply had a headache at the end of the night. By the time I finished watching Tastytrade and my nightly cigar, I was shaking. The good thing that came out of Wednesday was this ginger, turmeric chicken soup I made in my wok! So much aroma floating around the apartment! Yay!

We went to bed and the next morning, Crone and I speculated how I could have gotten sick and if it was in fact the Covid. I kept saying no. Friday I woke up starving. I got out of bed, fed both kitties and pull out beef stew meat because I was DYING for red meat and the only thing I could fathom might have been Hungarian Goulash.

Saturday I felt better. Still foggy in the head, that lasted until Sunday. By this time, younger lover had developed symptoms and on Monday took a home test. It read positive for the Coof and she said we both have it. Well, I had it. Now, I have this annoying cough that’s lingering because I’m a cigar smoker and it’s been cold outside. Oh, and this damn rash, too. But other than that, fluids, tea, Quercetin, Zinc etc. and more food. Plus, I started drinking two cups of bone broth a day. I need the micronutrients and collagen.

Younger lover hasn’t been so lucky, but that’s another tale.

Heels - Skirt- ass

Because you didn’t expect this? It’s ME!

This past weekend I started writing again. I was itching to get back to making the words, so I started Istvan and Isabella’s book, formally book two in my Nights of Lust series. Long time readers know this book initially had been written back in 2006 but never saw publication. Endangered had been published by the now defunct Venus Press, then Red Sage, then the now defunct City Lights, before I finally asked Lia Davis to create a cover for the vampire/werewolf novel so I could put it back up.While Endangered has gone through a myriad of edits and changes, Cursed was the story I wrote that needed to be ripped apart and dissected. So, I said fuck it! Time to rewrite from the ground up with all the new knowledge I’d gained at RWA on creating characters with emotional flaws I could exploit during sex to ramp up the inner conflicts! Yay tormented characters! LOL!

In between Endangered and Cursed, I wrote a novel that started out life as “Separated Self” and finally became An Alpha Torn. The quick and dirty synopsis is:

After waking his beast and realizing he needed training to control his violent impulses, Josef is escorted to Hungary to be part of a dying pack where he must fight for every scrap of dignity, every morsel of food. His only solace? The pack omega, a sweet, damaged girl who bonded to him the instant he set foot on Lake Balaton land. But there’s danger afoot when Syndicate thugs have followed Josef to cause chaos wherever he is.

How will Josef balance his training with his newfound heart relationships? Will he forsake Livia and Isabella for Kissa? Can he save the pack from impending vampire threats?

It’s an equally hard novel just like Endangered, but it’s shorter (by about thirty thousand words) and has more sweet moments. It’ll explain a lot when you read Cursed. And I’ll release it once I can afford to grab a cover for it from Lia Davis.

Oh, that was something fun today too! Before I drew my daily Tarot card, my Crone called, and we had a brainstorming session about Cursed that has me pumped to write the story and even more so to release it for your pleasure. I had plenty of internal conflict developed despite the characters being seventeen years old, but my external conflict needed some assistance and I really think you’ll dig where this story goes. Also, I upped the violence. Vampires and wolves get their hands dirty, and not just by throwing magic at their opponents. Think Dracula’s rampage in season one of Castlevania. Blood, guts, gore, it’s all on the page. Don’t worry, it won’t be overblown, but as pissed as I am about so many things…well, this is the outlet I can legally use to push those demons away.

There’s a good chance that on top of this novel, I plan to start what’s currently titled Razed in Lustre, the third and final book in the Protectors Trilogy since I finished Crossing the Rubicon back in Dec. My Fae/werewolves will see the light of publication soon!

Oh, one last piece of news. I finally published Riding Tempest. You can grab your copy here.

Riding Temptest-HighResAbout Riding Tempest: Tempest needs one more payday to stop hauling cargo on the violent roads in Faery. Biker gang violence forces Tempest to ally herself with the very MC originally trying to steal her cargo. Can she trust Jonas to protect her or will he turn out to be another dirtbag outlaw who breaks her heart?

In order to save his ailing sister, Jonas, thief of the Undead Souls MC, must find a Halfling vampire-faery for her blood. His luck comes up when word arrives that one such faery is hauling valuable cargo, motorcycles with multidimensional travel capabilities that can aid the MC in returning to their realm. Can he convince Tempest to help his sister while remaining loyal to his MC? Or will newfound passion turn deadly?

Happy February and Blessed Imbolc!

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Let’s go, Let’s go, Kel and Ember Kitty!

Ha! You probably expected that other popular slogan, didn’t you? I will say if there was a meme slogan that identified how I feel about the new WordPress editor, I’d use it. But both cats are happy and healthy, making me a responsible adult as we sail into 2022!

Kel rarely cuddles, but at 3:15 on the 29th, she crawled into my lap.
Ember rarely cuddles, but at 3:15 on the 29th, she crawled into my lap.

A lot has gone on since my last long-form post. Our living situation has gone from annoying to bad enough that I no longer want to be in this apartment. The cats are fine. The younger lover recovered fully from her surgery and is back to work. I hate comma splices. I’ve started the year off with a bang. Thank you Four-Sigmatic Perform Coffee and Bulletproof Brain Octane! Everything was golden on the 4th. I went over some Skye Warren materials for my career roadmap, began digging deeper into what I wanted to release this year, and began playing with plot and characterization, despite the fan in my HP needing a replacement. Thank gods I have an iPad Pro and my old ThinkPad T430. The 5th of January, I woke up, started making coffee for myself, only to open the cupboard to retrieve our Bulletproof Collagen protein and discover the start of a nest of bugs. We’ve been getting them steadily over time, but it was one here, one there. Then it became an everyday occurrence. If you lived with me, you’d know that I sacrificed being a cleaning Nazi to just keeping the apartment clean enough that my head remains clear. But that sight yesterday disgusted me.

We were aiming for a Charlotte/Asheville move, but the younger lover’s job is forcing her to come into the offices in Norcross. I finally told her that “Fuck it, we’ve been having a difficult time finding a place in this area within our price range, or one that’s close to mass transit. If you can find us places in Norcross or the surrounding area that work out for the time being, let’s do it.”

It would be a sacrifice in that I don’t currently drive and that area of the Atlanta suburbs isn’t as highly populated with any sort of cigar or bar scene I know of, at least not compared to Decatur. Mass transit is a fucking joke, too. I will get my driver’s license and hopefully not have to fight for my class M. And no, I don’t want to hear it, no one knows what I can see and cannot see outside of me. I had a license in Texas, and I had one in California. Remember, I had to suffer through Driver’s Ed at 38 years of age and to not only sit in a classroom where I shouldn’t discuss my previous evening plans, but the students weren’t even born when Princess Di passed.

Kel is a happy kitty too and says yes to 2022!

At least the school was near a Five-Guys burger joint.

That’s the only way a move will make sense. But I’m tired of the nonsense of living in this dead complex. The Oak Tree Villas, now The Villages at Kensington, have been problematic way before I was a tenant. Hopefully, they’re bulldozing this fucking land and putting up condos to sell. I will miss my lake view, ducks and geese, and large beautiful woods of old, but with staff changes, no new construction, fucking bugs? Not all of my electrical outlets work. Nor do I need to go on about the paint that SUCKS. It’s a pleasant color, but you can’t clean it for shit. It comes off too easily. As of this post; the complex doesn’t have hot water. Don’t get me started on the talk I had with security and the dead bodies, along with coked up bitches he’s pulled out of empty units. Or the gunshots that, while don’t come from this complex anymore, still happen because fools wanna fool. It all messes with one’s mind and I can only kill off so many characters in a novel at one given time! Believe me, when I was working on Addicted to You (Remix) I tried to drop as many bodies as realistically feasible to the plot while still satisfying my newfound enjoyment of Cannibal Corpse.

In the meantime?

I feel confident that not only do I have the tools to help, but I have three releases planned for this year, with maybe a fourth, depending on what I decide. The first novel will be an updated re-release of my Undead Souls MC novel, Riding Tempest, that came out with the I Love Vampire Novels boxed set back in 2018. I’m adding new content to the story because while I felt it was solid as it was, it can be a more passionate tale between Tempest, the half vampire-faery, and Jonas, the vampire biker thief for the Undead Souls MC.  

Here’s the original blurb:

In order to save his ailing sister, Jonas, the thief of the Undead Souls MC must find a halfling vampire-faery for her blood. His luck comes up when word arrives that one such faery is hauling valuable cargo, motorcycles with multidimensional travel capabilities that can aid the MC in returning to their realm. Can he convince Tempest to help his sister while remaining loyal to his MC?
 
Tempest needs one more payday to stop hauling cargo on the violent roads in Faery. Biker gang violence forces Tempest to ally herself with the very MC originally trying to steal her cargo. Can she trust Jonas to protect her or will he turn out to be another dirtbag outlaw who breaks her heart?

I know some time back; I did a cover reveal. It will get an update. The blurb will get an update. I realized while working on Skye’s material that I already had a trilogy that simply needed editing and cover art. After RWA, I purchased ProWritingAid and while it isn’t perfect, it’ll still put my mind in the right frame to work on editing. And in writing the followup stories in the Undead Souls MC trilogy, I think I grew as a writer and learned a lot about my process. My plotting style has shifted too.

The first book in my Nights of Lust series

I’ll be working with the fabulous Lia Davis to get covers for the Undead Souls trilogy. Oh, a decision I came to while at RAM? Nicholas from Endangered/An Alpha Torn will get his story finally. It’ll be fun to see how he and Isabella butt heads! I will complete that trilogy of vampire/werewolf passion. More on that in another post. If you were curious about Honey Badger One in my Burning Desires series (The Bodyguard, Saint in Sinner’s Eyes,) he’s also getting a story. I have a lot to put together, but I’m super thrilled to be back to work on these projects.

Once I get a few sheckles, I’ll pick up modern HQN Desires releases to get a better feel for their style. I still have a heart in contemporary erotic romance. You’ll be able to find me actively online starting January 12th in the Author Ad School FB group, helping and going through Amazon Ads again. Oh, and I may be found locally at Fellaship-ATL on the 14th for the One Year birthday of ATL Cigar Co.

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RWA 2021

Shit like this ( #RWA2012 ) always leaves me in a bit of an emotional state because the support is overwhelming. I’ve been a lone wolf for my ENTIRE CAREER as a Male Romance Author. I mean I’ve had help, soulmates who can and have helped, publishing industry folks who have helped (I’ve got a sub for you, Lori Perkins) and forwarded my career, but at the end of the day?Me and Kel

It’s me.

First off, let’s make this about me so I don’t start crying over how wonderful RWA was.

My class went swimmingly. It was pre-recorded because I’m a Johnny and I wanted to make them proud to have had me. I was able to chat in real-time with attendees and answer questions. Plus, they gave me some things to think about for my full-length Male POV class, and while in the shower, I had a few a-ha moments. But then again, my students are always great. The zoom Q/A portion was smooth once we figured out why I was upside down, but I apologize for being caffeinated. Next time, I’m going to do it with notes, and do it live. But, live and learn. Thanks to my moderator.

I had a packed schedule because this was my first time. I enjoyed the virtual aspect for numerous reasons but I’m hoping to be an in-person presenter next year. So many seminars, a lot of overlap because that’s writing. You need to understand characterization for Male POV, sexual tension, plot…etc. But the presenters were fun. Naimi Simone was a HOOT! OH! And did I mention I was able to talk to TWO of the women who inspired me to get into this business?

YES! Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rebecca York (Susan is a BLAST!) are romance authors I read when I first started and both gave some great information. Like, ya’ll know me. I’m the No. 1 badass Alpha. I own everything, I’m the G.O.A.T.

290720131673I log in and see S. E. P. and I’m like EEEEEE!!!!!!!!! It didn’t get any better with Rebecca York because again, EEEE!!!! SO COOL! So much for G.O.A.T. status LOL! I have a LOT to think about. A LOT to do this week.

OH! And HOPEFULLY, especially after seeing her talk, I get to cross a thing off my bucket list and work with Brenda Chin. I swore 18 years ago maybe?, I’d someday be someone she edited and taught. Plus, her talk was dope AF, as the kids say.

While the speakers were incredible, what was also cool was finding some folks who graduated before I did from the SAME HIGH SCHOOL! What are the odds?

In the past, I’ve done what I suppose I’ll consider “fuck off conventions.” Shit that strokes my ego. Sometimes literally…

Industry conventions I’ve always been an outsider to and even then, those made me emotional because I was there on business for Radio Dentata, but the overwhelming support can make even the hardest alpha (me) get in his feels. I’m possibly doing a FB Live this week and I’ll tell the story about Diane Whiteside, Kate Douglas and troublemaker, Treva Harte and how I almost lost my shit because again, MY heroes at an industry con were pushing me, welcoming me.

They had a tough job, the RWA staff. Did a damn fine job though.  And I couldn’t be busier even though it’s Thanksgiving week!  Add that in with all the work I have planned thanks to the wonderful folks at #RAM2021 and yeah, can you say busy as fuck author?

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