Political Rant – Not what you’d expect

Can you believe 2023 is almost around the corner? We have one more month of political bullshit as there’s a lame ass runoff in Georgia. That probably means one more month of fucking mailers and annoying as shit text messages asking If I’m voting, who I’m voting for, telling me I should vote one way or the other, and me responding with “shove it up your ass candidate I don’t like.”

Or my personal favorite: “Democracy is in trouble (no it’s not, you’re a liar and an asshole) so will you vote for XYZ candidate?”

My response: No. Because that’s a conflict of interest because I did XZY candidate’s mom up the ass while daddy watched and cried.

I can hear it now.

Why are you so disgusting and rude?

I used to shrug it off. Then during the 2012 elections I noticed the flurry of mail from both sides. I was like, okay, you both get one. But it wasn’t just Obama and whoever the hell ran against him in 2012. I forgot. Wasn’t my guy in that party anyway and people called me ridiculous for writing in Yellow Angry Bird Chuck… Then came the flurry of mailers for local races. State and local shit. Two years later, it worsened. Because they won’t fucking STOP! It can’t just be one side, either. It’s FUCKING BOTH SIDES You know how much paper you’re wasting, for those who claim to care about this planet? How many trees did you slaughter so you could create a cardboard piece of junk with your junk message on it that’s just going to end up..in my junk bin. Or set on fire for the ‘Gram while I tag you and your party and rip you a new one for the waste. Or worse. Force myself on Tiktok to do the same thing…

While nobody really cares about the Libertarian party, know what I like?

EVERYTHING. (Not talking platforms here – this isn’t THAT type of political post)

I don’t know who the candidates are unless I want to look at other options. I don’t know their platform unless I choose to go in a different direction and I do my research. Mailers don’t bombard my mailbox along with those useless marketing fliers advertising shit sales at shit grocery stores with shitty fast food coupons for humans so they can commit slow suicide. See a pattern here?

Walker’s mailers=30 in a month, maybe slightly more.

Warnock’s mailers=about the same.

FUCK OFF! And don’t get me started on TV. I don’t own a TV and what visual entertainment I DO watch comes from a slightly higher paying tier on NFLX so I get to avoid all that garbage. But I’ve heard stories that it’s EVERYWHERE.

While we’re at it? I think we should ban campaign fund raising. Or strictly limit it. You either have the capital through your own intelligence to run, or you don’t. I know, that puts the kibosh on potentially qualified candidates but seriously? Who the fuck is electing them? If they were practical with solutions and had enough reach, they’d be elected. Don’t blame the two party system. Blame the candidate. Musicians tour the country in a van for days on end to do shows for little pay just to play and live out their dreams before a minority make it big. Fallujah, probably my FAVORITE tech-death metal band, had to eat at gas stations the last time they were leaving Atlanta. I offered to feed them next time they’re in town. (They have to be nice to my kitties…) And they’ve gained some fame, through touring. All over the golden state before someone recognized their talent.

My point is Word of Mouth about a charismatic candidate who has practical solutions is far more effective than a shit ton of mailers by talking heads that frustrate BOTH sides to the point where many of us are beginning to think “fuck your vote. I aint doing NOTHING.” Just to spite you. Of course, that undermines the point of democracy and no one would seriously do that, but boy am I tempted. Next thing you know, I’ll be in line for a death metal show and the candidate himself will just walk up and ask “Hey, vote for me, yeah?”

Fucker may even follow me into the mosh pit. Good gods, I’d love to knock some politicians around in the pit. Before any of you blast me for calling for violence on politicians, remember the Pit has RULES. NO ONE LEAVES TRULY HURT. And yeah, if you lift the fucking politician up to let his ass (or her, we can equally do this shit…) crowd surf and you drop them…pick them the fuck UP. Knock’em to the ground? Pick them UP!

Shit, before you know it (clickbait SEO ahead) those jabs they’re all attempting to force on us may have microchips. Not as trackers, but as POLITICAL ADS! FUCK!

I don’t even think mainstream religions is this up your ass about new followers.

During the last (or was it 2016) we heard about Gary Johnson, the Libertarian. Know how I found out? It wasn’t the media! It wasn’t a fucking mailer, or a text, or a phone call at 11:35 PM when I was busy masturbating (what, goddamn I love me!) or a door to door person or smoke signals. It wasn’t a sponsored tweet that repeated itself over and over again. Hell, it wasn’t even a FB ad.

Nope. Buddy of mine leans center and posted her support for him. I looked him up. Thought he was a chump but good for him NOT bombarding me then thousand times a day with shit. I’m too busy writing. I’m too busy at this point playing with my cats or paying bills or involved in a situation, or in the abovementioned scenario (you know you do too, it’s healthy!) to have one more thing to do. Yeah, it’s tiny. And if it were like, a few times in the months leading up to the election? Annoying, but cool. You do you, politician. I heard you. Maybe I forgot about you for a moment so you sent a reminder at the appropriate time. Now, you could have sent flowers (roses, the good ones you cheap bastard), chocolate (I like 88% dark cacao). or tickets to my favorite concert. Hell, read the blog you’ll figure out who that it is and it’s NOT expensive. And maybe a few weeks later, you just send a gentle reminder. “Hey, I’m still here. Can I count on you? Because you can count on me. I’m here.”

“I love you.”

No, if they said that I’d question their drug usage and ask where they got that shit from and why they aren’t sharing.

But every other day and multiple texts a day?

Eat a fucking bag of dicks, you rotting, soulless fuckers.

I hear some of you who may still be reading. You write romance. Couldn’t you articulate this better ? Couldn’t you be less caustic with your language? Could you be more kind? Could you be less of a dick?

No. Because it’s ridiculous the campaigning during Political Season. And it needs to stop.

*for those wondering how I can get away with this – I’m probably going to lose some people with the vitriol but… I DIDN’T ENDORSE ANYONE!

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Tower Times Translates to The Work

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” – T Harv. Ecker. Interesting #tower#tarot concept when I listen to #thework by @riversofnihil – so much of this album deals with doing work, the work. Job work, relationship work, inner work, and I feel my interpretation of #thetower, regardless of #deck, fits this with #change and #growth. So many powerful #lyrics to illustrate this #welcome#destruction.

There is #magic in doing #thework as the work itself is magic. Most of us are too busy being caught up in the drastic changes to observe the beauty of the #fires forcing a crumbling of the tower and all of crap that we miss what happens when the last of the embers stop smoldering and it’s time to move on with what’s left, what’s still strong, what’s become stronger and what we’ve gained.

Even more, some of us are too distracted that we can’t ask for others to “Do the work with me.”
Not FOR me. That’s a subtle, but powerful difference.

This lyric, while so subtle, is just as powerful as the chorus. But we often miss it.

“Are we really who we’re meant to be?
Slow down, just do this work with me.”

This was a (modified) post from my Instagram (get it girl!) some time back and it’s becoming the foundation of my being as I grow older. The song itself talks a great deal about all of the work we must do. Daily. I talked with a fan at the Fallujah show back in Sept who happened to be at the Rivers show too and we’d had a good, solid discussion about the album as a concept, as a life lesson, even as the band has their own interpretation of what they wrote.


Writers are the same. Just like Briggs and Utterly wrote “This is a look back asking if we’re happy with what we’ve done.” {sic}

Ember Kitty because you need some levity.

We write our books with blood, sweat, and tears (in many cases, literal on all fronts) and on a purely artistic path, “our work is never ending.” There’s always stories for us to write. Always tales to tell. And if you look at the song structure, the frantic beginning once our vocals kick in mimics a LOT of writers.

Many of us have odd sleep cycles. I’m still on mine, despite not being a night writer at the time of this writing. Some of us have demons that can’t sleep, won’t sleep, won’t let us sleep. And we’ll stay at those keyboards unable to stay awake, but write anyway, only to find the next morning that what we wrote wasn’t total shit.

He’s right. Winter isn’t forgiving.

Back to change and “The Work.”

The Tower crumbles, you’ve seen it all before. You see those cards on my shirt are all Tower cards from the decks I own, all of which were gifts from past and eternal love. From top Left’s Spiral Deck, that Tower is crumbling among a mass of destruction, hell fire, brimstone, bodies falling down from the Highs. Top Right, our 78 Mythical Tower is aflame, burning. Did you ever imagine you could set stone on fire?

You can.

That stone tower should have been the strongest, at first glance, right?

Our Spanish (Rider Waite) Tower is again being struck, desecrated by the Higher Ups, and people are falling out of windows like it’s the 1987 Crash (Oct 19th was the anniversary…) and when we finally come to our Dark Wood Tower, made again of the strongest stone, we find it engulfed in flames. All of this I chose to surround “The Work.” Es importante que veamos el fuego de vida limpiando los desechos innecesarios incluso cuando no lo quermos.

You know I’ve been wearing this shirt off and on since the show and I JUST noticed the fucking burning tower in the distance? Fuck me, LOL! Standing in the cold distance in an uninviting landscape that just happens to have a frozen cottage in the distance where it appears light and warmth may reside. Off beyond our safety cottage and our burning tower lies, what? Openness. The Universe.

Chris Cornell had Jesus Christ Pose, Ember Kitty has Cute Girl Pose.

When we’re doing that work, because it never stops, we’re growing. It’s painful. Our Towers have shown us, death, decay, destruction. All for what?

You’ve been following me, you know my old musical mantra. “All for the High.”

But what if that’s not enough?

What if there’s something more?

What if, in reading, in my love of death metal, in my love of attempting to bring these feelings to you, these thoughts, so they’re coherent, rather than my angry yelling and drunken rage, you’re getting the message I’ve been preaching since I figured out I was wrong once?

What if you’re finally buying the hope I’ve been selling you?

He’s a broken ex-spy who survives by not getting involved. She’s a high-profile singer who needs his protection.

Puma-shifter Derrick is plagued by nightmares from his days as a spy. Still struggling to cope with the traumatic memories, he throws himself into work to stay sane. But his latest gig protecting a gorgeous death metal vocalist has all his worst demons screaming with desire. Worse, she’s his fated mate.

Sonja is no stranger to ominous threats. With a voice that can control shifters and humans alike, she knows she’s a powerful weapon… in the wrong hands. And tired of always looking over her shoulder, she’s happy to put her trust in her sexy new guard and do her best to ignore their red-hot chemistry.

Intent on defending the stunning singer and her unique magic, Derrick’s past mistakes come back to haunt him when she is kidnapped. And when Sonja finds herself at the mercy of the dangerous Anti-Shifter League, her only way to save everyone’s skin could lie in the power of her magical songs.

Can Derrick and Sonja pick up the beat and drive hard to the ultimate happily ever after?

Protecting the Siren is the thrilling first book in the Shifter Spies Paranormal Romance series. If you like smoking-hot attractions, wild women, and broody heroes, then you’ll adore Sascha Illyvich’s luscious tale of unexpected love.

Buy Protecting the Siren to rock out to passion’s power today!

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More Music for Shifter Spies Series

It was 2011, I was walking with headphones in from my iPod knockoff and listening to Celldwellwe, while on my way to San Francisco to attend the Cybernet Expo as a presenter when the idea for book two came to me. Because they all happen like that, while on the go, walking, taking the BART, MUNI, or here, the MARTA, and that’s how writers get ideas! We pluck them from the bowels of shit of mass transit LOL!

Oh, the shit graffiti on the phone pole back in 2011, Oakland!

Seriously, I’d been batting the idea around with a heartmate who once edited for a decent publisher before they folded, about a bourbon drinking, shapeshifting puma who might be a former spy. When I finally set pen to paper, I came up with Protecting the Siren – my newest release. Derrick was my bourbon drinking puma who left the spook business but he needed a heroine. I’d recently been turned on to Devildriver, loved their version of melo-death and aggression, hence our heroine was born.

“Stay With Me (Unlikely) was playing in my AirPod knockoffs and I thought “This could be the idea to start the second book.”

Hence, Saint in Sinner’s Eyes, now titled…you’ll have to wait for it.

Fast forward well over ten years and I was told, “Sascha, if you wanna be ‘ard, Star, you need dem trilogies.”

Okay, to the British woman didn’t sound like Benji Webber of Skindred (mon!) but she did say I needed to consider completing this as a trilogy once we did the rebrand. And I had planned on a third book just in case. Which, as of this writing, I’m literally 10 days from finishing, or about 15,000 words left to complete this first draft. That’s on top of the next 15k I’m writing for you all as a bonus/thank you for being readers and signing up to my newsletter – which will start going out again soon.

Yup, old heart pills, a shitty ass old apartment with a shitty ass landlord who can rot…but damn, that wolf is a PIMP!

My music choices on the first two books consisted of Celldweller, James Labrie not Mullmuzer) Devildriver, Katatonia, and a few odd tracks from Cranes, Soilwork, but mostly Devildriver and Celldweller because that’s what I was heavily into at the time.

Like any good writer, something motivates me to a story idea and it gets thrown on repeat for EVER!

The third book?

Warforged, Infected Rain, Rogue, Loathe, Sentinels, Fit for an Autopsy, Vildhjarta, Werewolves, that’s the list. And honestly, the last Vildhjarta album and I: Voices by Warforged sometimes get thrown on from start to finish because of the aural atmosphere created by the masterpieces. Why the difference?

The older stuff kept with a theme in the first two novels back ten plus years ago. Now? Things have changed, I’ve changed, my characters have changed. Trying to re-capture that feeling didn’t quite work out with the old soundtracks. This book should be more about movement of the story since it HAS been ten years and I’ve grown as a writer. Hopefully, you’ll feel the same.

For now, let’s lean into Fall with something hot to read.

He wants a quiet life. She’s about to turn up the volume…

Puma-shifter Derrick is plagued by nightmares from his days as a spy. Still struggling to cope with the traumatic memories, he throws himself into work to stay sane. But his latest gig protecting a gorgeous death metal vocalist has all his worst demons screaming with desire.

Sonja is no stranger to ominous threats. With a voice that can control shifters and humans alike, she knows she’s a powerful weapon… in the wrong hands. And tired of always looking over her shoulder, she’s happy to put her trust in her sexy new guard and do her best to ignore their red-hot chemistry.

Intent on defending the stunning singer and her unique magic, Derrick’s past mistakes come back to haunt him when she is kidnapped. And when Sonja finds herself at the mercy of the dangerous Anti-Shifter League, her only way to save everyone’s skin could lie in the power of her magical songs.

Can Derrick and Sonja pick up the beat and drive hard to the ultimate happily ever after?

The Bodyguard is the thrilling first book in the Burning Desires paranormal romance series. If you like smoking-hot attractions, wild women, and broody heroes, then you’ll adore Sascha Illyvich’s luscious tale of unexpected love.

Buy The Bodyguard to rock out to passion’s power today!

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Protecting the Siren – a Fated Mates Paranormal Shifter Romance (Shifter Spies Book One)

He wants a quiet life. She’s about to turn up the volume…

Puma-shifter Derrick is plagued by nightmares from his days as a spy. Still struggling to cope with the traumatic memories, he throws himself into work to stay sane. But his latest gig protecting a gorgeous death metal vocalist has all his worst demons screaming with desire.

Sonja is no stranger to ominous threats. With a voice that can control shifters and humans alike, she knows she’s a powerful weapon… in the wrong hands. And tired of always looking over her shoulder, she’s happy to put her trust in her sexy new guard and do her best to ignore their red-hot chemistry.

Intent on defending the stunning singer and her unique magic, Derrick’s past mistakes come back to haunt him when she is kidnapped. And when Sonja finds herself at the mercy of the dangerous Anti-Shifter League, her only way to save everyone’s skin could lie in the power of her magical songs.

Can Derrick and Sonja pick up the beat and drive hard to the ultimate happily ever after?

Protecting the Siren is the thrilling first book in the Shifter Spies Paranormal Romance series. If you like smoking-hot attractions, wild women, and broody heroes, then you’ll adore Sascha Illyvich’s luscious tale of unexpected love.

Buy Protecting the Siren to rock out to passion’s power today!

Excerpt from Chapter One

Rob escorted Derrick past the bar and down a long dark hallway. Fans ran on high and sent an obvious chill through the bartender. Derrick’s leather proved no match for the warmth of puma fur.
“Here’s her room. Remember, she shouldn’t know I hired you to protect her. Nor does she need to know about the note threatening her life. The guys typically head into the hidden cellar here for a shower.”
“Right, we’re just old friends from school. Took some of the same classes and I’m in town visiting.”
Rob nodded. “Right.”
Derrick rubbed his chin. “You said something went wrong when she sang and began pulling shifters toward the stage. What did you mean?”
“You’ll see in a moment.” Rob pushed the door open.
Behind the wooden slab that passed for a door, dimmed lights illuminated the area. Derrick made out the leather couch and the sounds of muffled cries. He rushed in and scanned the area.
Senses on high alert, Derrick spotted the tiny woman with her head buried in her arms on the couch. She curled up in a tight ball against the corner, sobbing…and clad in only hip-hugging panties and a bra that pushed luscious curves upward.
Alabaster skin glistened with sweat against the black leather couch. Her hair hid her face and muffled her sobs. Derrick sighed but caught a whiff of something.
Heavy, dark.
“Sonja?” Rob stepped in and knelt at her side. He reached out but didn’t quite touch her. “Come here, Derrick. If I’m right…” Rob didn’t finish his statement.
Derrick stepped inside and scratched his head.
Rob met Derrick’s gaze dead on. “Now, please.”
The urgency in Rob’s voice matched his concerned expression. Sonja’s sobs continued to tear at his heart. He wanted to know who made her cry and why. Then he wanted to pummel them. Vengeance filled him instantly.
Rob’s voice floated through the rage and managed to ground Derrick back to reality. “Calm down, Derrick. It’s not what you think. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and touch her. Please.”
Derrick knelt, ran a hand through his hair, and sighed, letting all the worry slip away from his mind. He found that calm place in the forest where the puma inside loved running free, and went there. Luscious smells confronted his sensitive nose. Colors sharpened. Then he returned to reality. Rob moved beside Sonja. His eyes filled with despair. “Touch her, please.”
Derrick didn’t miss the pain in Rob’s voice. What is going on here?
He reached for Sonja, touched a hand along her thigh. Smooth, soft skin met his.
Her thigh twitched and she stiffened against his hand.
Derrick started to withdraw but met Rob’s gaze.
“Not yet.”
Derrick nodded. Sexual energy along with something else crackled between them and sent a shudder through his body.
Sonja must have felt it, too, because she shifted and straightened. Her eyes widened.
Derrick slid his leather trench coat off and used it to cover her.
She sniffled and lifted her head to meet his gaze. “Thank you.”
Intense silver-blue eyes stared back at him with such force they threatened to knock him back. He struggled to hold his ground, remaining unsure of whether to remove his hand.
She answered that question by cupping his hand with hers and offering a weak smile. “You’re tranquil,” she whispered.
Derrick nodded and smiled weakly. “Sometimes. What’s going on?”
Sonja shifted again, rolled her head back and forth. She swept a hand through her red hair and brushed it over her shoulders. “I’m…empathic, and in this crowd there was so much hatred. It’s overwhelming. I picked up on it instantly and it inundated me.”
Blinking, Derrick looked at Rob. “It’s like she was thrust in the middle of the mosh pit before it started?”
Before Rob could answer, Sonja nodded. “You’re a shifter. Your feelings are heavier than most. Let me just touch you back.” She leaned forward and the jacket slid down her body, exposing a black bra.
Her hand caressed his cheek, then slid down his neck and stopped at his heart. She pressed the palm of her hand against him and closed her eyes.
It hit him then, the pressure of all he kept buried inside. Swamped with that weight, he staggered forward, reached out for the couch, and found the warmth of Sonja’s body wrapped around his.
Her sweet voice echoed in his ear. “You’re…missing something.”
Inside, Derrick’s mind went on high alert. She’d hit a trigger but his training kept him from showing any emotion other than what he wanted her to see.
Rob coughed.
Derrick looked to see Rob standing, Sonja glaring at him. Her brows furrowed, lips pursed together in a thin line. “Brother, please.”
Derrick stiffened and narrowed his eyes at Rob. “Brother? You didn’t tell me that, Rob.”
Rob sighed and nodded. “Yes, I did. Night before last.”
Derrick frowned.
Sonya wrapped her arms around Derrick’s waist and pulled him into softness that complimented each hard bit of his body.
He felt right sitting awkwardly in Sonja’s lap, but had to ask about the tears. He wasn’t a total cad, though his body’s reaction certainly made itself known. “So the tears were a reaction to the crowd?”
She nodded and spoke in a whisper, “The crowd in this genre of music is so lonely, so angry, so displaced. Add in a few shifters and it becomes burdensome when mixed with all the normal pent-up aggression metal heads carry around. Sadly—or not, some say—I absorb that burden in the music, with my voice.”
His heart felt heavier.
Her hand pressed harder against his chest.
Derrick felt a weight lift off his shoulders. “It’s not—”
Two slender fingers pressed against his lips. Eyelashes batted enticingly at him.
Derrick groaned. He wanted to stretch her out on the couch and spread her legs apart while exploring her with his tongue and lips. Her scent, sweat mixed with heady heat, wafted past his nose. Yet he couldn’t make another move.
She was a goddess. His nerves felt unsteady, his body was on fire.
Sonja adjusted herself on the couch, pressing herself deeper between his spread thighs.
“I’d hate to be confused for a groupie.” He went for humor, letting his natural sarcasm come through.
She chuckled. “I haven’t any groupies.”
Derrick arched a brow. He wouldn’t point out the obvious to her yet, figuring she’d heard it all the time. Instead, he went for subtle. “You’re a beautiful death metal singer. Surely you have groupies.”
“Nope.” She shook her head and leaned against the couch, pushing her breasts into his chest. “None. I mean there are boys and girls who have a silly attraction to me, but it’s not returned.”
“Good to know.” He couldn’t keep the growl from his voice.
“Ahem.” Rob coughed again. “I should leave you two alone.” He glared hard at Derrick. “Be nice to my sister. She’s rather special, puma.”
The unmentioned threat hung in the air. Not that it mattered, Derrick was hired to do a job, not to fraternize with the severely attractive client. He smiled. “I understand.”
Rob glowered and backed out of the room, shutting the door.
Sonja slid one leg from beneath her, giving Derrick a view of very creamy skin and shapely thigh. She tilted her head slightly. “He’s very protective. I’m sorry.”
He shrugged again. “I would be, too. You’re an attractive woman, and I may be a shifter but I’m still a man. I was…”
“Dying to meet me?” Her eyes twinkled with something that looked like lust.
He shrugged and grinned. “Yeah. Sort of.”
“How do you know my brother?”
“Friends from school.” Derrick leaned back while not breaking the physical contact.
A brow quirked. “I see. Funny, he never mentioned you.”
“Yeah, we lost touch after graduation. I had a thing overseas. Real hush-hush.” Half-truth.
Sonja stretched her other leg out from beneath her and shifted in her seat, giving Derrick a fabulous view of her contours.
Instantly, he wondered why she was practically nude after the show. “Are you that hot and sweaty up there on stage?”
She rolled her shoulders and shook out her hands. “A little, yes. But the problem I have is that not only do I pick up the feelings, they mold to my clothing. Especially with the previous band pushing a message of hatred, I picked up a lot of negative rage. When I came back here, I stripped off the clothes.”
He licked his lips. “So your underwear doesn’t pick things up? I’m very much enjoying the physical contact.”
She smirked. “All clothing I wear picks up some semblance of emotion, it’s part of my nature. But I’m not a slut. And that clothing is hot. I mean, we wear all black.”
He chuckled. “I’d never think that of you. I can only imagine what it’s like to be in the limelight and need the break. And I’ll mention again, I’m certainly enjoying the view.”
Sonja flipped her hair off to one side, showing the pale curve of her neck. “I figured you would. I sort of sought you out.” A light blush crept up her cheeks.
“Oh?” He cocked a brow. If she knew his purpose, she hadn’t let on yet. “Why?”
She leaned forward, giving him an even better view of ample cleavage. “I don’t know. You felt…safe.” She closed her eyes, puckered her lips, and made a popping sound before returning her focus on him.
“Honey, I’m anything but.” He let his voice drop, watching her expression slowly change.
The deep-blue shade of her eyes intensified, the silver irises appeared to swirl. Energy poured out from her so fast that it slammed into Derrick like a freight train.
Memories, screams, visceral images all bombarded him. The instant message his mind received had only one thing: bleak blackness so heavy, so dark it made the winter night sky look like the middle of a sunny summer day.
He slid off the couch, stumbled back. Hands at his sides, he tried to brace himself for the next wave but it hit him too fast. Nausea settled in his stomach and all of those Manhattans he’d drunk earlier threatened to come up, bringing bile with them.
The sensation dizzied him, brought him to his knees.
All the agony he kept buried and all the trepidation the puma had about killing—even though nature said otherwise—made him howl out. He opened his eyes and saw the sight of himself being forced to burn a village because some government jackass was breathing orders to eliminate the warlords of that village by whatever means necessary down his neck.
That meant force. A lot of force because the villagers had been trained in guerrilla warfare and wouldn’t hesitate to shoot the foreign shifter menace.
Derrick had no idea what was waiting for him or his brother once they arrived.
Max hadn’t slept any more soundly than Derrick since their return, and Derrick left that mission in the past with all the other ghosts that haunted him.
Or at least he thought he’d buried the dead. He opened his mouth to scream but nothing came out. Not even a puma cry.
Just then, soft arms surrounded him and forced him back to reality. Sonja held him to her, whispering sweet words while the energy pulled back from him. “I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry. Relax, please. Calm down, babe. Let me help you.”

Click to download your copy of Protecting the Siren to rock out to these two lovers today!

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Cover Reveal (Shifter Spies Series)

I said it. I said I was going to do it! And look, now? I’ve done it! After much finagling with the cover, the title, the series title, my trilogy (book three on the way!) formerly called Burning Desires, that dealt with puma shifters who were former spies, finally has a new cover, new series title and new book titles. Oh, and I did retool the ending…

I present to you: Protecting the Siren

He wants a quiet life. She’s about to turn up the volume…

Puma-shifter Derrick is plagued by nightmares from his days as a spy. Still struggling to cope with the traumatic memories, he throws himself into work to stay sane. But his latest gig protecting a gorgeous death metal vocalist has all his worst demons screaming with desire.

Sonja is no stranger to ominous threats. With a voice that can control shifters and humans alike, she knows she’s a powerful weapon… in the wrong hands. And tired of always looking over her shoulder, she’s happy to put her trust in her sexy new guard and do her best to ignore their red-hot chemistry.

Intent on defending the stunning singer and her unique magic, Derrick’s past mistakes come back to haunt him when she is kidnapped. And when Sonja finds herself at the mercy of the dangerous Anti-Shifter League, her only way to save everyone’s skin could lie in the power of her magical songs.

Can Derrick and Sonja pick up the beat and drive hard to the ultimate happily ever after?

The Bodyguard is the thrilling first book in the Burning Desires paranormal romance series. If you like smoking-hot attractions, wild women, and broody heroes, then you’ll adore Sascha Illyvich’s luscious tale of unexpected love.

Buy The Bodyguard to rock out to passion’s power today!

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Upcoming Releases/Writing Plans

Oakland, before it became a warzone.

I haven’t done a long form work post in forever. I know, slacking but again, RAM/RWA and some late Bob Proctor helped me DECIDE to get my ass in gear and move this shit! As it is, I started a novel in the middle of plotting because I knew how I wanted to open the damn book! I love it when that happens! We’ve been dealing with the cockroach saga here, indulging the landlord’s slowness on this shit show of a redevelopment project, though there is movement. I’m attempting to find regular work again and yet again, becoming discouraged by the process. More on that in another post. My biggest bitch was not getting my mushroom coffee on time due to the fucking shit post office here in Decatur!

When I was given control of my books back, I had a LOT of unfinished series stuff that needed resolutions. Not simply for sales purposes, but for me, the author. Nights of Lust needed a satisfying ending, considering all the heavy emotional stuff I put the characters through. Vampires and werewolves deserved a happy ending because I write romance and because there’s a lot of shit in the world that’s broken.

At the beginning of the year, I finished the second book in what was previously called my Covenant of Wolves series – which will have details coming soon. I’m probably releasing that entire trilogy in 2023, but to jog your memory, or for my new readers, Covenant of Wolves was my “Gone with the Wind (I typed wine…heheeee) Meets Terminator 2 meets Faeries and Wolves type novel. It should have had a lot more BDSM in it, but alas, the bondage and dominance didn’t make the cut. What came out was a complete rewrite of the first novel based on Crone’s feedback after she read feedback from another editor my then agent sent the MS to.

I’m two books into that series and once I finish the next thing I talk about, I’ll start and finish the final novel in this world. Imagine a world of Faery where instead of dark magic, beautiful disasters, trickery, magic beyond what you can conceive, glorious dances, ale, cakes, and the dangers that come with Faery, you ended up eradicating all of that for a land of wires, propaganda, disinformation, and a State Run Society. Then, bring our characters into that and have them attempt to dismantle it while fighting natural urges that draw them together. Yeah, that’s the short version.

Speaking of that thing I have to finish? Well, in the next blog post, we’re getting a cover reveal. That’s right, what was once Slow Burn, which became The Bodyguard (ugh) is now a new series altogether. One that fits the romance trope AND the cover is MUCH more on point. Book Two, Saint in Sinner’s Eyes (never changed titles) is getting an adjustment and in Oct will have a new cover. Book One’s cover reveal is Sept 15th!

You say that’s three months to release two books? Nope! In late June I started Protecting the Saint, the third and final book in the new series of shapeshifting former spies. I’m also expanding the current short origin story detailing how Max and Shayla met. It may become the free gift after finishing the first novel, a free download just because, or I don’t know yet. BUT I have more to tell for you, FREE! Same world, two characters who were bit parts in two books get some page time too. I’ll get on that ASAP.

I’m curious. Last year, I wrote a novel about a Demon who deals drugs with the intent to fix the humans in society who can restore beauty to this world – the important people who wound up down on their luck, using, addicted, couldn’t figure out the path ahead, but once they did? They’d radically change the world for the better. His back story involves events that occurred a few hundred years before the book opens but my question is, would you want to see that as a full out e-book? Or would you enjoy reading that through something like Vella via Kindle? Do you read serialized fiction on apps? It’s a standalone with potential to be a trilogy, but it needs edits. While I’m planning that out, I’d like to hear from you.

Until then, here’s the start of a series that IS complete, available for reading NOW on Kindle Unlimited! Don’t worry, they’ll get new covers!

His Reign – Opeth Pack Saga Book One

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.

Determined to cling to his freedom, the rebel wolf refuses the call. But when the current leader counters with threats of slaughtering his cherished lovers if he continues to refuse the challenge, Józsi resolves to save them, even if it means facing certain death.

Will Józsi prevail, or will he lose his life to fang and claw? Download His Reign now and jump into the fray with our hero!

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Writing Checks I can’t cash…

The title is a bit misleading: as I CAN cash said checks but…WHEN. And if you’re wondering what the ever loving fuck I’m going on about, it has to do with my writing schedule and trying to handle all these releases. In previous posts I’ve always blathering on about how much I have written and what’s in this stage of edits or what’s in that stage of draft or where my fucking head’s at while I’m trying to come up with another story idea…

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

And now, this week, we were told we NEED to get something written for Harlequin because not only do they need content but I CAN write for them. An author friend of mine pulled a switcharoo on her writing and it’s landed her in a mess of enough money to live on while writing. Her expenses are low, like mine.

And to be honest, I’ve been trying to write for Harlequin for YEARS. The beginning of my career was predicated on the concept of someday submitting to Harlequin so I could have my name on several of those pretty mass market sized books, just like my heroes. And honestly, while it’s currently not doing shit but sitting on my harddrive as an out of print e-book that’ll eventually get a NICE cover (and maybe an update), A Christmas Favor WAS written with the contemporary romance market in mind. At the same time, I was in the middle of writing Mistress Kitty and all the trials and tribulations of her pet, Trent, for the now defunct Males In Slavery Stories website, I had grand designs of having a budding author career. Hell, my first novel (which eventually became Paula’s Craving) was a contemporary because I couldn’t fathom the paranormal realm in romance yet. Shit, I was sixteen!

Before I moved to California, I had started working on a Harlequin novel targeting their now defunct BLAZE line. I had a powerful CEO who came from nothing, controlled a lot of money and power, and a heroine who was struggling and hated the rich because *insert bullshit beliefs about money here* so conflict wasn’t a problem.

I wrote the damn thing. Finished it even. Then the e-book industry exploded and I found myself chasing calls for submissions from eXtasy, Totally Bound, and anyone who I thought I could write for, plus? I quickly discovered paranormal AND thanks to my *coughbitchcouch* ex, got caught up on Paranormal movies. I’m ashamed to admit (not really, I don’t understand words like “shame” but whatevs) that I didn’t see Lost Boys until 2006. I STILL haven’t seen Interview with a Vampire. But she caught me up to speed on the important movies and music, fiction, all the good stuff.

Goddamn, will this thing EVER DIE? Wait, only if you all buy 1,000,000 copies. Probably.

Attempt number two sometime between 2009 and 2011, and literally, the same story, told from the same point of views, with the same characters, only updating ‘magazine’ because those things don’t exist anymore. I get 5k to the end, realize the last 3k I wrote was total SHIT, and I lose my own shit to a friend in a cigar spot, get drunk, then come home, lose my shit to said ex for like…the first time, and table that project.

Here, it’s almost 2023 and I’ve been told as of last year, “get your ass in gear, they want you, they want content…you can do this.”

You all know about the (mostly) self-imposed bullshit in my life the last few years. And even as of last year, I tried to write two novels at once. I’m not sure that’s the way I can work. As it is, I hate editing something and then writing something at the same time. Managing my time with what’s on my plate, including finding ‘real’ employment for the time being, isn’t easy. But, I looked at the release schedule I set up for myself based on what I could afford from my awesome cover artist Glowing Moon Designs. And it’s not like writing for Harlequin is difficult for me.

In the middle of August, I came up with a loose plot to replace what I had started last year. I realized I needed to redo the first ten thousand words, I needed secrets to help with the conflict, AND I needed to keep in mind that this story needs to fucking MOVE. It won’t have the same heavy, slowness that ENDANGERED has, or the downer notes of the Opeth Pack Saga.

I’ve got my hero. He needs either a dirty secret that would crush him if it got out, or something really stupid that still leads to conflict with our heroine. And I’ve got a heroine. She HAS a secret that would crush her if she ever found out, and once she does, she only doubles down on her stance against our hero, but not because of said secret. I simply need to put pen to paper.

Photo copyright belongs to the original owner.

That’s the goal this week. Put that plot together firmly in place, and get those first 10k words written. They can suck. It’s okay. I’ll target HQ with them once I speak with my friend over there. Oh, then come up with a series idea – which I’m pretty sure I have in my head based on some older novels I have in my backlist that have yet to see the light of day. Two of which were written for #OwnHerHeart and BOTH of them need revamping, seriously. My contemporary needs more conflict and I need to dig more into the Romantic Suspense aspects for that first one. The second one? Seriously, I know we were kinky, but I’m stripping the hardcore BDSM out of the book. Unless she tells me otherwise (and we’ve covered my witchy ways…she can), I’m making it more of a contemporary romance. BUT, the idea for a series involves Second Chance at Love tropes. I love the idea of having hot passion, sparks flying, but being young and retarded, only to regroup some time later and get it right both in the sheets and in the hearts of our characters. I have some strong ideas that would fit for a series at Harlequin…And I do have a 30k piece involving a 2nd chance long distance love involving a beautiful Romanian woman who was once an exchange student in the high school where our bartender soon to be down on his luck (maybe?) in San Francisco works…

Then I still have this third novel in the Covenant of Wolves series to start this week…so, dual plotting!

Oh, and fuck me. Last night, as I was going to bed, realized that maybe puma shifters and ex spies Derrick, Max and Roman should all be fucking brothers…

Fuck my life, right? LOL!

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Three months from June 21st and I’ve FINALLY finished Protecting the Saint, the third in my Shifter Spies Fated Mates trilogy. I’ll have more information about that entire trilogy soon. But, you’re going to be happier with the overall progression of the three couples, and no doubt have noticed that you now have to click “Blog” to get to my posts.

Damn it feels good to be a gangster.

That’s because I’m automating, business-making, and putting solid plans into place for my publishing career. You don’t care about that shit, so I’ll get to it.

It’s just clickbait for you to read this post!

Roman, AKA Honey Badger left the spy game as soon as the CIA disbanded the Shifter Agency, their covert ops shifter division. He didn’t look back, but the nightmares plagued him as they did all the members of the team. Unlike Derrick, who found a mate with the ability to calm his mind and still the horrific reels replaying the shit they did allegedly for Uncle Sam, Roman only has memories of the woman he’d been involved with – the woman who helped him rip off an asset linked to politicians with nefarious agendas for the Shifter Agency. And boy did he have memories…

Ada, a high level thief unknowingly turned CIA asset in the last heist she’d preformed watched in horror as the man she’d had an affair with during the last heist died in an explosion during their last heist. Fast forward five years later and she made a mistake that led a former enemy to track her down with vengeance. Now, back in the states, she seeks out a last Hail Mary in trying to find Roman, the puma shifter she’d worked with, believing him to be the last hope she has for avoiding certain death at the hands of a malicious drug lord.

Secrets abound on all sides. But will the stakes include love, as well as life, for Roman and Ada?

Protecting the Saint – Release date sometime Mid Winter of 2022!

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Interesting Dracula Times

Quick Thing: The Free Story WILL be back – things are changing for the better and EVERYONE signed up or who signs up will get it as a download once things are done. Trust me 😉

Fucking SEO, right? I did some reading on Amazon Keywords, those seven keywords we pick out to help our books become discovered. A Best Practices blog (or seven) suggested my blogs and website should reflect those themes I write about when it comes to the paranormal. I’m allowed to cover vampires, wolves, witchcraft, the Fae, all manner of things. I can even expand into music and vice because of the novels I’ve written!

So, that means more cigar and booze related posts, despite this one!

Look, if I’m not entertained when I write these blogs, then you probably won’t be either. And since it’s been suggested that I start doing newsletter swaps to promote my Decadent Publishing release, I need entertaining content for those nights when I get drunk and nostalgic.

I know, I’m spending all this time on Endangered and my Nights of Lust series, yet I’m pushing the Vampire MC! CRAZY, no?

Oh, I’m the only author who does that? LOL! Kidding.

It dawned on me when I was reworking parts of Riding Tempest, and when I started writing Cursed and Denied. The latter two set about with some of the traditional Dracula heritage I think at one point or another, Isabella referred to Dracula’s practice of staking bodies outside the castle as deterrents to oncoming attackers. Later, I make a Castlevania reference, where Livia suggests wanting to burn drug infested areas of San Francisco in a Dracula-Style slash and burn style rage to inspire terror and again, squash thoughts of rebellion. Oh, and the Night Hordes (yes, I ripped that off too) were NOT Dear old Dracula’s creation.

Of course, he’d been mentioned in Denied as having been around longer than the Mistresses of the series, and once again, his death plays a role in the lore used to create an even more vile organization that is a pawn in the games during my Nights of Lust series.

That will be out in completion in the next year. Books three and four are in editing stages right now since I wrote them BOTH this year!

Again with Dracula lore but in my Undead Souls Vampire MC trilogy, I went a different direction. Dracula was the creator, the original vampire but when I built up Faery, I built up another dimension for the vampires to return to if they chose, after riding the lands of Faery and solving their problems.

I have more vampire novels in my head, on the way. With those novels will come more research, some different spins. I think Decadent Publishing is eventually going to release my two Dystopian short novellas Finding Eternity, and its follow-up, The Awakening. While the heroine in Finding Eternity is a vampire, her offspring in the next story is only half, I believe. If there’s an Alucard outside of Castlevania, I’ll look to pull from that.

Credit goes to the original photographer and model, cosplaying my favorite vampire heroine, Lenore. If you know who to credit, please let me know so I can do the same.

Since I did mention it above, I finally chose a new title for what was once An Alpha Torn – it simply needs me to have the funds for a cover. The Nights of Lust series, which I originally intended to string out like Laurel K. Hamilton has with her Anita Blake and Merry Gentry stuff, ends at four novels, three of which are over 90k. The second one is around 70k or so. The reading order will be as follows:


Unless something changes drastically, the market tells me otherwise, or I get a wild hair, I probably am done with ménage romances for a while. I’ve tossed around the idea of a sequel series to the Opeth Pack Saga, and the potential for that to be as emotionally heavy and dark as the original exists. It’d be the offspring, if I did. But for now? I couldn’t even keep all my vampires and wolves separate in Endangered. The mixing of the species, oh no! LOL! Trying to figure out the dynamics is hard enough in real life because it doesn’t have to make sense, but on paper? Everything has to be tight, which means more work, even though it’s enjoyable. When I get a hankering again, I’ll definitely spend more time researching Dear Old Dracula for something. In the meantime, I have Wolves and Fae, Vampires and Fae…it’s fucking raining Otherworld Creatures up in this bitch! BWAHAHAHAHA!

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?

Did you notice the subtle shifts in this cover?

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’re sure to enjoy Sascha Illyvich’s tale.

Buy ENDANGERED to jump into this page turner today!

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Soundtrack to the Voices in my Head

Who was that pimp wolf back in 2005?

Have you ever wondered about the soundtracks for lengthy book series? Does JR Ward continue to blast gangster rap throughout the entire, what book are we on now, Black Dagger Brotherhood series? How about Laurel K. Hamilton’s entire Anita Blake series?

For me, it’s taken almost twenty years to complete my Nights of Lust series and the soundtrack to the last book definitely wasn’t what the previous three books were. In fact, I made a complete break from the original soundtrack. When I first created the series, I had this tortured hero in mind based loosely on what I’d read of some of the darker vampire romance authors of the time. This was back in 2005 when bands like Korn and Linkin Park were highly relevant and Nu-Metal was appreciating a second wave of success. The soundtrack for my tortured characters, all three of them in the ménage I planned to write as an ongoing series because Laurel K. Hamilton was my personal hero at the time.

The playlist (Modified because of Spotify) can be listened to here.

Bands included are

Linkin Park
VNV Nation
Slipknot (Volume 3: The Subliminal Verse – STILL a great album)
The Gathering (Anneke years)
Killswitch Engage (Howard Jones years mostly)

That’s the basics and nothing from Korn is on that list after 2005. My head was in a dark space during the move to California, during my time in the Golden State and when I was working on that novel because it allowed me to get out aggression in a healthy manner. Or so I say, anyway. I wanted tormented feelings to come across in my characters, so it carried forward from ENDANGERED, to TORN and finally CURSED, which I finished earlier this year.

Fast forward a few weeks after I finished CURSED and I wanted to start DENIED, the final book in this series. Endangered was written and published first by Venus Press (Thanks Marie LaCroix) back in maybe 2005/06, but the company folded and I ended up with the rights back before Red Sage acquired it, then folded a few years back. Somewhere in there, I think TORN (formerly An Alpha Torn) was published, unpublished, then published by the now defunct romance arm of Wolfpack Publishing. During that time, I realized I needed to finish this series proper and with original artistic integrity. I know, ya’ll can stop laughing now.

Dave/Lucian is NOT my usual (for this series) depressed, heavy as hell on the heart, hero. His mates Severine and Breña aren’t, either. Korn wasn’t going to cut it for me. Neither was anything save the section of the old playlist that dealt with sex scenes.

The new playlist features more modern metal cuts and shies away from the lyrical heaviness of the old by focusing more on the musical rhythms that get me into the zone. So, some oddities made that list which can be heard here.

Cannibal Corpse’s George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer

3rd Secret (there’s a shock…for those who know, you know)
Fallujah (super stoked having seen them twice now!)
Fit For An Autopsy (Great live band!)
Shadow of Intent
Legends Shall Fall
Rivers of Nihil (Ya’ll saw that post!)
Cannibal Corpse/Corpsegrinder (that post too…)

And the like. The only carryover as mentioned, had been the music I write sex scenes to and I figured out a progressive order that works out to move with the ebb and flow of intensity during the story. Each sex scene increases in intensity and passion, but if I did my job right? You’ll have to wait for the books to come out. They need editors now, and covers!

The same with The Bodyguard and Saint in Sinner’s Eyes – That soundtrack had a lot of Devildriver and Katatonia. I’m working on the third book now but much of that soundtrack is literally the last Warforged album. Or Fallujah. Or some random melodic progressive Death metal album with SOME Devildriver thrown in for good measure, to retain the original feelings I had when I wrote that series. Oh, and maybe James Labrie’s side project. (Self, not Mulmuzzler)

I’m enjoying the evolution of my books and characters, as well as the soundtracks. I hope you will too. For now?

I don’t care for classic rock in the Biker world and my bikers are vampires of old who have advanced music tastes, despite a few of the members being born in a time when you were either a Norman or a Saxon. Some of the vampires were born before WWI but they all became bikers after the first Great War, forming a bond unlike any other until discovering another realm filled with vampires. Their time on earth ended shortly after being tasked by the Queen of Vampires to find her husband’s killer, leading the vampires to Faery where mystery and intrigue pissed them all off, but lead one biker in particular to a potential cure for his ailing sister.

She’s ready for some peace. He’s desperate to save his sister. Can they survive vamps, fae, and bikers long enough to win each other’s hearts?

Hell-bent on saving his ailing sister, Jonas, the thief of the Undead Souls Motorcycle Club is searching far and wide searching for a half-ling in order to harvest their blood.

But when arrives when he meets a sexy vampire-fae, he’s shocked to discover she’s hauling valuable cargo; he’s shocked when an undeniable attraction clouds his laser focus.

Bone weary of the constant threats on her life as a trucker, Tempest needs one more payday to retire into a very peaceful lifestyle.

Except hauling the Queen’s motorcycles makes her a prime target. When biker gang violence forces her to ally herself with the very MC originally trying to seal her cargo, she meets the one vampire who ticks all the annoying boxes. Cocky, yup. Smart-assed, in spades. Drop dead gorgeous? To a flaw. Can she trust Jonas to protect her and her cargo, or will he turn out to be another dirtbag biker who breaks her heart and shatters her dreams?

Riding Tempest is the harrowing first installment in the Undead Souls Motorcycle paranormal romance trilogy. If you enjoy heart-driven heroes and gutsy heroines, then you’ll enjoy Sascha Illyvich’s fast-paced tale.

Grab your copy of Riding Tempest and hold on for the ride of your life!

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