WIP oh my!


25 february 2018

I have just finished writing SOULMATE, the first book of a brand new gay paranormal series. I’ve always loved the idea that there is someone out there who is fated to be your one and only—the other half of your soul. Here’s my very rough and unedited blurb:

Guy Keaton doesn’t want a hookup or a soulmate or anything in between. When he lost his wife to cancer, he knew he’d be alone for the rest of his life. He has a grown son, and his woodshop, and in a world where those born with powerful gifts are few and far between, that’s all that really matters.

Theo Fraser’s empathic gift is rare and strong. He isn’t looking for love, but when he meets Guy, everything changes, because he knows that when you find your soulmate, you hold on tight and don’t let go. The only problem is that Guy thinks he’s straight, and Theo doesn’t know if he can convince a man already set in his ways to change his mind.

Will Guy be able to give up his grief and accept Theo’s love? And what happens when a terrible betrayal forces them to fight to keep each other alive?

I’ve begun writing the second book in the series, titled SEER. I love my main hero. I haven’t met the other guy yet, but I’m sure he’ll be delicious.

In other news, I’ve started work on a new menage story. No idea yet how long it will be, but it has wolf shifters! My working title is QUEEN BITCH, which I know is kind of inappropriate, but I really sort of love it. 😀 And yes, this means I’m working on two stories at once. *headdesk*


What’s next? #amwriting


19 january 2018

The Fixer, the second book of The Criminals is releasing February 2018! If you liked book one, The Nullifier, you’re sure to enjoy book two. You might remember an interesting character from The Nullifier known as Zero, hmm?

In other news, I’m working on a new book, tentatively titled Love, After. I’m not sure if this will be a standalone or part of a series. It’s a paranormal gay romance with soul-mates and bonding and special powers. This story falls firmly into the “but I thought I was straight” trope, LOL. I’m aiming for something more lighthearted, because I’ve had enough of the dark, gloom-and-doom stories for a while. 🙂


Chapter One of The Nullifier!

In honor of THE FIXER (The Criminals 2) coming sometime in February, I wanted to share Chapter One of THE NULLIFIER and possibly tease you into buying the first book of The Criminals. Enjoy!

Buy links: EvernightAmazonBookStrandSmashwords – Kobo – iBooksBarnes & Noble

Gay Romance, Suspense, Erotic Romance, Lawless, May/Dec
Word Count: 44,225
Heat Level: 4
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Contract killer Felix Zamaro isn’t looking for love—at his age, all he wants to do is retire. When he interrupts a robbery-in-progress, he stumbles into a mess: Nick Banner is in town to help his sister kick her loser boyfriend to the curb.
Nick never thought he’d meet a hot-as-hell assassin in the middle of a random coffee run, but watching Felix take down a couple of thieves in a crappy gas station has him questioning his rule against playing with straight guys.
When Felix’s next mark turns out to be none other than the boyfriend of Nick’s sister, all hell breaks loose. When Nick moves into the house next door to Felix, both men think fate is messing with them. However, it’s Nick’s unexpected career choice that really throws Felix off his game, and for a killer, that could be a fatal mistake.

Chapter One Excerpt:

“I’m too old for this shit,” Felix Zamaro muttered, setting down his binoculars. He rubbed his eyes, wishing he’d managed more than four hours of sleep last night. He peered through the open window tiredly. His target loitered at an outdoor café across the street drinking his sixth cup of coffee, two floors below the apartment building in which Felix currently sat. How the hell could one guy drink so much caffeine? Felix didn’t get it. If he did that, he’d be fucking pissing every half hour.

He picked up his binoculars and resumed staring at the man currently on the top of his to-off list. He hated this part of the job— the constant surveillance really fucked with his mood these days. Didn’t matter if it was sunny or rainy or fucking three below. The boredom really got to him. It hadn’t always been this bad. He wasn’t a man given to strong emotions, but he remembered enjoying the chase just a bit more when he’d first gotten into this business. That sense of satisfaction had long worn off. Now it was just a job, and a tedious one, at that.

The guy finally waved down a waiter for his check, and Felix breathed out a sigh of relief. “Fucking finally.” He had no idea why the contract stipulated the man had to be taken out at this particular café, and he didn’t much care as long as the money went into his account in a timely fashion. He squinted down at the mark. The guy’s hair had fluffed up in the slight breeze. He’d have to take the wind into consideration when shooting, but that was nothing new.

He exchanged his binoculars for his Ruger M77. He’d been using this type of rifle for so long, he didn’t even have to think about

what to do with his hands. It slid into position on his shoulder almost automatically, and when he squeezed the trigger, his target went down in a fraction of a second. Felix stood up and stepped back from the peeling windowsill, already shoving the rifle into its soft case. He scanned the room for any stray speck of evidence, then grunted in satisfaction. As per his usual, the place held no sign of his presence. The occupants of this grimy apartment would never even know he’d been here.

At least not until the police come knocking on their door, looking for a killer, he thought, resetting their deadbolt with his lockpicks. He walked down the hall of the apartment building at a normal pace. He felt no guilt over what they’d go through. There was enough drug paraphernalia in their nasty little place to choke a horse and his rider. The people that lived there deserved everything that would happen to them. He looked at the elevator, then decided to take the stairs. He needed the physical exertion after all the sitting around. He pushed open the door, then peeled off his gloves and shoved them into his pockets. When he reached the ground floor, he opened the outer door with his hip, careful not to touch anything with his bare hands.

“And that’s three frigging days of my life I’ll never get back,” he said under his breath, readjusting his bag on his shoulder. He spared a glance for the commotion across the street, ducking his head so the security camera on the corner wouldn’t get a good bead on him. The bullet they’d find in the guy’s head would be completely unremarkable: it was one of the most common rounds used worldwide. His rifle wasn’t expensive, either, and could be easily replaced, and therefore not easily traced. In fact, he’d replaced it several times over the past twenty years. He didn’t get attached to his equipment, not like some people did. No sense in it.

Two and a half hours later, after traveling out of the city and dropping off his gear at his storage unit, he entered the small mini mart near his latest house rental, looking for something quick and easy to eat for dinner. They had decent sandwiches and coffee. He’d only lived here six months, and he’d be moving on soon, but even so, he recognized the cashier. She smiled at him, and he nodded, friendly and unassuming. It wouldn’t do to get pegged as a loner creep. Two shoppers on their way out, an old lady and her husband, took no note of him as he walked through the store, which was just how he liked it.

He decided to fill up the tank on his pickup while he was there, and headed toward the rear refrigerators to get his dinner first. The rattle of the bell over the door told him some new people had entered, and he automatically checked the exits at the rear of the store. It wouldn’t do to get lazy. When he turned around, hands full of turkey salad on rye, he cursed under his breath. A stupid young punk had a gun pointed at the forehead of the girl behind the counter.

“Empty the drawer and no one gets hurt.” The guy looked around nervously, hoodie falling half off his head. He shoved it back up impatiently, red shot eyes bright with adrenaline and some other illegal substance.

Felix put his sandwich down on the shelf holding bright rows of chip bags. He didn’t have any weapons on him except his pocketknife. He didn’t like to carry when he wasn’t working because men with guns had a tendency to use them, and he didn’t need the temptation or the hassle. He eased forward. The idiot with the pistol couldn’t see him from this angle. Just as he reached the end of the row of snack foods, he noticed another guy with a shotgun. Felix’s stomach growled, and he pressed his lips together. He wanted his dinner. He wanted to fill up his damn gas tank. He did not want to be dicking around with two loser punks in a mini mart. What a clusterfuck, he thought, irritated.

“Hurry up,” the one with the shotgun growled, swinging it around. “We don’t got all night.”

Felix narrowed his eyes. Mr. Shotgun didn’t have a fucking clue what he was doing with his equipment. Didn’t even have the safety off. He wasn’t sure if he felt more annoyed at the lack of professionalism, or at the amount of time it was going to take to deal with this bullshit. He edged forward, eyes on the robber with the shotgun. The moment he rounded the end cap, the guy would see him, so he’d have to act fast. Sobs from the cashier told him that she wasn’t too happy at the way her night was going, either. He paused and centered himself, pushing away the fatigue of a long, boring day. Just as he was about to crouch down and take out shotgun guy, the front door opened.

“Fuck.” His options suddenly narrowed, Felix rushed forward, grabbing the shotgun and wrestling it out of the man’s grip. He reversed it, then clubbed the asshole over the head. The guy staggered, but didn’t go down. “Stupid ox.” He tossed the shotgun

down the aisle, and it skittered under the rear refrigerators as he blocked a wild throw to his face. From the corner of his eye, he saw the man who’d opened the front door freeze, eyes wide. “Gonna be collateral fucking damage if he doesn’t move,” Felix muttered, grunting when Mr. Shotgun managed to land a punch on his hip. “Stupid.” Twisting, he swung cupped hands at the man’s head, and Mr. Shotgun screamed as his eardrums burst. He went down, writhing in pain.

A shot rang out and glass shattered, but Felix was already moving. He grabbed the guy with the smoking handgun in one swift move. Two seconds later the robber had a fractured wrist, and Felix was breaking down the gun into pieces. He put them on the counter in front of the sobbing cashier. Mr. Handgun slumped to the floor, holding his wrist and moaning.

“Jesus. Shut the fuck up. You’re not dead,” Felix said, shoving at the punk’s thigh with the tip of his boot. “It’s just a simple fracture.”

The guy blinked, but he shut his mouth once he got a good look at the annoyance on Felix’s face.

“Oh my God,” the cashier said, trembling and staring at man on the floor. “Oh my God.” She gripped the counter as if that was the only thing holding her upright.

And maybe it is, Felix thought, exasperated. “You’re all right. It’s all over,” he told her, tossing the magazine of the robber’s weapon onto the counter. “Call nine-one-one,” he told the girl, and then he turned to the front door. The man coming in hadn’t moved. Felix let his eyes catalogue the guy: jeans, a soft pullover sweater, keys in hand. No weapons. Shaggy blond hair falling across his forehead, blue eyes. Broken glass all around him. Good looking. Not a threat.

Felix turned back to the cashier. “Did you call the cops?”

She hiccupped, shaking her head. “What?” Mascara ran down her face in thick black streaks.

Felix inhaled deeply, then let it out again slowly. He couldn’t afford to lose his cool. Not now. Not ever. “Call nine-one-one,” he said again, more gently this time. The girl picked up the phone near the register with shaky hands.

“All I wanted was some damned coffee,” the blond guy near the door said, staring at the carnage. He held his right hand over his

left shoulder. Blood dripped down through his fingers. “Shit.” He grimaced.

Felix sighed and strode over. He was really fucking hungry, but he knew he wouldn’t be eating anytime soon. “Let me see.”

The blond frowned at him.

Felix impatiently pulled the man’s hand away and inspected the wound. “Grazed you. Might need stitches.” He craned his head, then nodded in satisfaction when he saw the round stuck in the column just outside the door. “It’s a clean in and out. You’ll live.”

The guy blinked. “I never thought I wouldn’t.”

Felix put the man’s hand back over the wound. “Steady pressure.” He paused, more than a little surprised by how irritated he was that the bullet had hurt an innocent bystander. The guy didn’t deserve it, but it wasn’t like Felix gave a shit. He didn’t dwell on random bullshit much. “Sorry. I had to deal with the shotgun first, or we would’ve had a bigger mess in here,” he offered, not sure why he was talking to the man.

The blond guy stared at him. “I’m not angry with you.”

Felix stepped back, inexplicably distracted. The blue sweater the guy wore was a perfect match for his eyes. “Good.” He turned as the punk with the broken wrist tried to struggle to his feet. “Stay down, dumbass.” Felix walked over and loomed over him. The other robber was still on the floor, hands over his ears. Felix knew how much burst eardrums hurt, so he wasn’t surprised that guy wasn’t trying to get up.

“Fuck you,” the guy at Felix’s feet said, glaring.

Felix sighed, then put his boot on the man’s thigh. “I can break your knee, too.”

The man’s eyes went wide with rage, but he went still. “Asshole,” he muttered.

Felix shrugged. “Yeah. Yeah, I am. So, don’t push me. I’m already in a bad fucking mood.” He looked towards the door as the sound of sirens in the distance grew louder. “You doing okay?” He asked the guy with the arm injury. “Not feeling dizzy?”

The blond shrugged, then winced. He’d slumped against the doorjamb, and looked tired. “I’m fine.”

Felix glanced at the cashier. She nodded at him, phone still against her ear. He looked back down at the jerk at his feet, tempted to break the man’s knee just because. He really just wanted a fucking

sandwich. And then he wanted to go home and crack open a cold beer while he checked to make sure all the money he was owed went into the proper accounts.

“We’re going to be here a while, aren’t we?” the blond guy asked.

Felix stepped back from the man on the floor, taking himself away from temptation. The cops were already going to be all over him for breaking the guy’s wrist. “Yeah,” he said, resigned to going hungry for at least a few hours. “We are.”

Nick Banner’s left arm throbbed, even after the shot of

anesthetic the EMT had given him before she’d sewn him up. He hadn’t wanted to go to the hospital, so she’d stitched him up and told him to get himself to his doctor for antibiotics. Now, he sat on the curb outside the mini mart, waiting for the cop grilling his hero to stop being an asshole.

“I told you, I saw the guy with the pistol first. When the guy with the shotgun tackled me, I grabbed it and hit him over the head with it. He kept coming. My training kicked in. End of story,” the man was explaining. Again.

Nick watched the expression on the guy’s face grow increasingly colder as the idiot cop repeated the same questions for the fifth time, as if that would get him a different answer. Nick needed his caffeine fix. And he desperately wanted to be the hell away from here, preferably with tall, dark, and handsome joining him. The guy was just his type: thick, dark hair a man could grab onto, and a beard that highlighted the dude’s excellent jaw line. Piercing hazel eyes held a multitude of secrets. Nick shook his head. He had to stop staring, or the guy would catch on to how badly he wanted in his pants, and he was almost one hundred percent sure the man was straight. And if Nick had one rule it was this one: don’t fuck straight guys. That was a good way to get your heart broken.

And very possibly my face, too, he thought, remembering that one time in college and the black eye it’d taken weeks to heal. He wasn’t likely to lose a fight these days, but he still preferred to avoid confrontations if he could. He was more of a silent but deadly type than a showman.

“Look, I’m done here. You have my info.” The guy walked away in the middle of the cop’s question.

Damn. Guy’s got balls to spare, Nick thought, amused. When the man neared him, he struggled to his feet, trying to ignore the pain in his bicep. “Hey,” he said. His voice cracked. The guy stood at least four inches taller than he did. He cleared his throat. “Thanks for saving my life.” He held out his right hand.

The guy frowned at him. “I didn’t save your life.”

Nick persisted. “Okay, but you probably saved the cashier’s life. That guy looked seriously tweaked out on something.” He kept his hand extended. He wanted to see what the man did. Nick was an excellent judge of character, especially when he had the opportunity to interact with a person. “I’m Nick. Nice to meet you.”

Slowly, the man reached out and shook his hand. “Felix.”

Nick smiled. Felix’s hand was warm and slightly calloused, as if the guy did a fair amount of work with some sort of tool. Golf? Weights? A shovel? he wondered, making sure to not clasp the guy’s hand for too long. Nope. Probably military something or other, with those moves he pulled on the robbers. He resisted the urge to ask the man out for dinner. He hadn’t moved back to his hometown to start dating. He was here to help his sister for a few months, and then he’d be gone again, long before the homophobic gossips could start anything. “Anyway, thanks, man.” Before Felix could respond, the cop that had been questioning him interrupted.

“Mr. Cooper, we aren’t done speaking with you yet.” The policeman grabbed Felix’s arm and hauled him around.

Nick could barely believe the fat policeman had the strength to budge the guy. He glanced at the cop’s partner slowly stepping closer. She had the sense to look nervous in the face of so much muscular testosterone. She took a deep breath and marched over determinedly.

“Arnold,” she said, clearly working to keep her tone calm. The cop ignored her. She glanced at Nick.

He shrugged, then immediately wished he hadn’t when the wound in his arm throbbed, even with the numbing medicine.

“You didn’t answer all of my questions,” Fat Cop said to Felix, as if his partner wasn’t even there. He thrust his chin out belligerently.

Nick watched anger flash across Felix’s face, but almost immediately, his expression smoothed into a perfectly controlled mask. Interesting. That’s some impressive self-control there.

“I told you I was done answering questions,” Felix said,

shrugging off the cop’s grip.
The fat cop’s face reddened. “Now, see here—”
“Is he under arrest?” Nick asked, opening his mouth to insert

his foot. What the hell am I doing? No drama, remember? That’s your motto, he told himself, even as he continued talking. “I mean, this guy saved us from those losers.” He gestured to the cop car where the two robbers sat handcuffed in the back. Total amateurs, he thought, disgusted. They were due to head to the hospital, but since neither man’s injuries was life-threatening, the police had opted to question the witnesses before driving the men to the emergency room. “You’re questioning the wrong guy. You should be asking them why they thought robbing a mini mart and terrorizing the poor girl who works here was a good idea.”

“I don’t need any advice on how to do my job.” The cop turned to Nick, scowling. “We already have your statement.”

Nick blinked at this example of utter stupidity. “Yes. I know. Are you going to answer my question?”

The female officer intervened again, this time putting a hand on her partner’s arm. “I think we’re done here, right, Arnold? If Mr. Cooper or Mr. Banner—” She nodded at Nick. “—have any more information, they’ll call us. Right?”

Not even if all the pigs in New Jersey learn to fly, Nick thought, but he nodded, eager to not be involved in some random clusterfuck with the cops. “Of course.” He stepped back before Fat Cop could get any ideas about his involvement in the situation.

Felix didn’t nod. He didn’t retreat. He just stared steely eyed and controlled right at Fat Cop’s face until the moron backed up, readjusting his utility belt as if that gave him some sort of authority. His face had turned red with anger or embarrassment, or possibly some unsavory combination of the two emotions. Nick didn’t much care. He was busy enjoying the way Felix loomed.

Fat Cop doesn’t have a chance. Nick bit back a smile.

“Don’t leave town,” Fat Cop warned, then pivoted and stalked away, handcuffs jingling from his belt.

His partner sighed. “Thanks for your patience,” she said, and then she followed her partner back to the patrol car.

Nick rolled his eyes, amused. “I didn’t know I was going to end up as a sidekick in a bad cop movie when I woke up this morning.”

To his surprise, Felix laughed. “You never know when a situation is going to go sideways.”

Nick blinked. The smile had transformed Felix’s face from handsome to stunning. He swallowed, willing his dick to behave. “Truth, man.”

Felix rolled his shoulders. “All I wanted was a damned sandwich.”

“I just wanted a coffee.” Nick grinned. Suddenly, Felix didn’t seem so unapproachable. “Shit happens.”

“That it does.” Felix nodded at him, then turned back towards the mini mart. “Take care.” He strode away before Nick could respond.

Well damn. He sure knows how to end a conversation. Nick watched him head inside and grab some food, drop a few bills on the counter, and head out to a black pickup in under five minutes. On his way out of the parking lot, Felix tapped his forehead in a rough salute to Nick from the open window of his truck, and then he drove off down the road.

“And there goes any chance at ever asking out the man of my dreams,” Nick said under his breath, half smiling.

“What did you say?” Fat Cop asked him.

Nick startled, not realizing the cop had walked back over to him. Shit. Pay attention to your surroundings, Nick. You know better than that, he told himself. “Was just wondering if there’s anywhere else I could get a coffee around here. It looks like the cashier isn’t going to be able to take my order anytime soon.” He nodded to the girl still quietly sobbing on the back of the ambulance rig. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in town.”

Fat Cop frowned. “Try Daisy’s. That’s where I go.” He held out a small business card. “Call me if you remember anything more from today.”

Nick took the card and pocketed it without looking at it. Given his line of work, it’d be a cold day in hell before he’d call the police, but there was no need to be rude about it. “Daisy’s. Got it.” He’d been there before. In fact, he’d been there plenty of times, all throughout high school. He remembered the old red and white checked tile and the shiny leather booths quite well. He remembered that one winter when he’d come home on break from college, boyfriend in tow, eager to show his new guy his favorite childhood places. And he also

remembered being thrown out of the diner, bits of egg literally stuck to his face, when his buddies from high school had discovered he was gay. Yeah, nope. Not a fucking chance am I going to set foot in that place.

Fat Cop nodded. “Take care, Mr. Banner.” He walked back to his patrol vehicle and got in on the driver’s side.

Nick stared at the cop car as it pulled away, remembering how the local officers had done absolutely nothing to help him when he’d tried to file assault charges all those years ago. “Good times,” he muttered, abruptly feeling a lot less optimistic about the next few months.

All the buy links for The Nullifier!

THE NULLIFIER is up everywhere! And it’s a BookStrand May/Dec bestseller! Yay! Also, I’m hard at work on book two: THE FIXER. Almost done!

Buy links: EvernightAmazonBookStrandSmashwords – Kobo – iBooksBarnes & Noble

Gay Romance, Suspense, Erotic Romance, Lawless, May/Dec
Word Count: 44,225
Heat Level: 4
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Contract killer Felix Zamaro isn’t looking for love—at his age, all he wants to do is retire. When he interrupts a robbery-in-progress, he stumbles into a mess: Nick Banner is in town to help his sister kick her loser boyfriend to the curb.
Nick never thought he’d meet a hot-as-hell assassin in the middle of a random coffee run, but watching Felix take down a couple of thieves in a crappy gas station has him questioning his rule against playing with straight guys.
When Felix’s next mark turns out to be none other than the boyfriend of Nick’s sister, all hell breaks loose. When Nick moves into the house next door to Felix, both men think fate is messing with them. However, it’s Nick’s unexpected career choice that really throws Felix off his game, and for a killer, that could be a fatal mistake.

Story Excerpt:

“Can’t sleep?” Nick murmured, rolling over.

Felix grunted. What the fuck was wrong with him? Just the sound of Nick’s low, sleepy voice sparked another surge of heat.

“Still trying to convince yourself that you’re straight?” Nick asked, sounding more awake.

Felix frowned, head turning towards Nick. “What the hell are you talking about?”

Nick sighed, pushing the covers down to his waist. “I’ve seen you looking at me.”

Felix sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. “I’m going out to walk the perimeter.”

Before he could stand up, Nick’s hand landed on his shoulder. “No, you’re not.” His voice was low and soft. Unthreatening.

Felix’s muscles tightened anyway. Nick’s hand was warm and heavy. His training told him that he could grab Nick’s wrist and break his elbow, or twist him around and rip out his throat, but the strange tension flaring through his body wouldn’t let him move. “You don’t want to do this, Nick,” he said, gritting his teeth.

“Do what?” Nick pulled him back down to the mattress. “Touch you? Make you feel good?” He pressed Felix’s wrists down, hard.

Felix flexed his biceps. In the dark, Nick was a dark shape looming over him. Instead of fear, or anger, Felix’s emotions jumped wildly from arousal to confusion. “I could break your neck.”

“That knowledge just makes it sweeter,” Nick murmured.

“Makes what sweeter?” Felix asked, voice raspy. He couldn’t seem to breathe right. Is this a panic attack? he asked himself. He’d never experienced anything like this. His entire life had been a systematic observation of facts and rational decisions. Nothing much bothered him—not killing, not violence, not sex. Boredom was a problem, but he certainly wasn’t fucking bored at the moment. I’m screwed, he thought, still not throwing Nick’s ass to the floor.

“This,” Nick said, leaning down and kissing the side of Felix’s jaw. “Jesus, you smell good.”

Felix flexed his arms, pushing up against Nick. “Stop. You know I’m straight.”

“Make me.” Nick moved his lips down Felix’s shoulder and pressed his lips to the crook of his elbow.

Felix froze. He couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think.

“You’re not straight, and you don’t want me to stop, Felix,” Nick said, and then he bit the soft skin of his arm.

Felix groaned. Just that one sharp touch brought him right to the edge. “Fuck.” His hips strained upwards as his balls drew into his body. His cock hurt.

“No, no fucking yet. Tonight, I’m going to blow you.” Nick shoved down Felix’s sweatpants and took his cock in his hand. “I can’t wait to suck you off. I bet you’ll try and keep quiet. I bet I can make you come so hard you won’t know where you are anymore.”

“Jesus Christ.” Felix gripped the sheets. He’d never wanted a mouth on his dick so bad before. Nick’s voice had him shaking. “What the hell are you doing to me?”

Nick chuckled. “I’m not doing anything yet.” He leaned in and blew along Felix’s erection. “This isn’t just about me, straight boy. This is about you. You’ve suppressed your sexuality for so long that you don’t have a damn clue about what you like and don’t like. You’ve been fucking the wrong gender your whole life.”

“Screw you. I’ve been straight for decades. I’ve fucked plenty of women,” Felix ground out, not wanting to admit how hot Nick’s touch made him. You’re going to eat your words, a small voice in the back of his head told him.

Nick slid his thumb over the top of Felix’s erection and rubbed the pre-cum welling from the tip in a tight circle. “And every one of those women left you empty. Missing something. I bet you haven’t even bothered to pick someone up for the past few years. You haven’t hooked up with anyone lately, have you?”

Felix shuddered, but didn’t reply. Nick was right. He hadn’t even attempted to get laid recently. Why bother? The women always wanted more from him than he was willing to give, and the rote mechanics of sex bored him lately. “Just get on with it,” he grated out, not in the mood for a psychoanalytical mind-fuck at the moment.

Nick laughed. “Oh no, my friend. My blowjobs are works of art. I am going to go slow, and I am going to drive you out of your fucking mind.”

What am I working on now? #amwriting


8 november 2017

I can’t believe I haven’t updated my Work-In-Progress page since July. Bad writer. No cookie for me.

The Nullifier, the first book of my brand new series is releasing December 1, 2017! Yay! You know what that means, right? Yup. I’m hard at work on book two of The Criminals: The Fixer. We first met Zero in The Nullifier, where his life took an unexpected dive into violence. Now, Zero’s been a fixer for a long time, and he’s no stranger to making hard choices, but having someone put a hole in his lung tends to make him very, very cranky. Revenge for this trauma is on the top of his list, but when love comes knocking on his door, what is a man supposed to do? Ignore it? Nope. Zero is a guy with many talents. He can multi-task. Spilling blood has never been so romantic…


Day (Stronghold 4) #FirstChapter Excerpt!

This is how Bruno and Amy’s story begins….

Bruno Day knows the moment he sets eyes on Amy that he won’t be able to stay away from her, but he doesn’t want to drag her into his dangerous life—his duty is to save humanity. She may help them survive if he makes her his mate, but what if the price is her death?

Amy Roderick never expects Bruno Day to show up at her house and ask for her help. She’s just an ordinary person, and he’s the larger-than-life leader of the Sentries. What could she possibly do to help? And why are her instincts telling her they’re meant for each other?

Power and determination have kept them safe for years, but now Bruno and his brothers must face the ultimate battle: an alien swarm that could devour the entire planet. Everything depends on the decision of one young woman: will Amy follow her heart or sacrifice her life for duty?

buy links: EvernightAmazonBookStrandSmashwordsKobo – iBooksBarnes & Noble


First Chapter Excerpt:

Bruno Day stood at the window of his penthouse in midtown Manhattan. The thunderstorm rolling up the East River threw lightning at the horizon like a vengeful child while ominous clouds billowed over the Statue of Liberty in the distance. He couldn’t help but think of the storm as a portent of doom.

The silver shield ring he held chilled his palm, so he closed his fingers around it to warm the special alloy. He didn’t usually have time to stand around idle, but today he’d somehow managed to squeeze out thirty minutes of blank space in the midst of his insanely busy day. He wished he hadn’t. Nothing good ever came of giving himself time to brood. When the elevator doors to his floor opened on the far wall, he turned in relief. His mind had been circling the same problem with no solution for days now.

“Bruno? I have the briefing on your next appointment ready,” his assistant, Eileen Parker, said as she stepped out of the lift. As usual, she wore her hair scraped back into a tight ponytail. Her suit jacket and slacks were immaculately pressed. If he didn’t know better, he’d almost think she was an automaton, but the photos of her daughter and husband on her office desk two floors down belied her professional exterior. He’d seen her with her family, and his empathic gift gave him more intimate details of the people he met than they realized. He knew Eileen’s emotions well. He knew her kindness and loyalty. He counted on them. And her efficiency continued to impress him.

“Thank you,” Bruno said, walking toward her. They met in the middle of the vast space, near the Stronghold pillar that dominated the center of the room.

She unclipped a paper from her clipboard and handed it to him. “This should be a fairly routine meeting. Fifteen minutes tops,” she said.

Bruno nodded and scanned the information. “The President sent his favorite hacker to interrogate me? For what?”

“Because he can.” Eileen laughed. “If that’s what you want to call his cyber-security chief.”

Bruno sighed softly. “I hope they don’t still think that the Stronghold net has somehow compromised the government’s networks.”

“They long for something damaging that will force the Sentries under their control. Something that will force you, as the most visible Sentry, to answer to them.” Eileen reshuffled the rest of the papers on her board, then tucked it between her arm and torso. “Human nature and all that.”

“I know, but that will never happen. They couldn’t force us to do their bidding if they tried. My brothers and I must remain outside and above human governments,” Bruno said, rescanning the brief. As he did so, he absently rolled his shield ring around his palm. He glanced up to find Eileen frowning at him, and closed the ring inside his fist. “What?”

“When are you going to see her?” She looked pointedly at his closed hand.

Bruno stared at his assistant. He knew better than to assume Eileen didn’t know what was happening. He knew she’d spoken to his brother Greyson’s wife, Eva, just yesterday. If Eileen was asking this question, that meant all of his brothers and their paired mates knew everything. “You spoke with Eva?” he asked, stalling for time.

“Of course.”

Bruno exhaled. “There’s no rush to go see Saige’s friend.”

“No?” Eileen tilted her head. “Saige is a good person. I’m glad Isaac found her.” She narrowed her eyes. “But she isn’t in Flagstaff anymore. Isaac took her out to Alpha Centauri in one of the starships, remember? If her friend Amy needs protection, shouldn’t you give that ring to her?” She nodded at his fist.

“Amy Roderick is safe. She has Isaac’s ring.” Bruno didn’t elaborate. He didn’t have to. Eileen understood enough to know he was being uncharacteristically reluctant with her.

“But the ring Amy has is meant for Saige, right? It’s for Isaac’s wife, not for her best friend to carry around,” Eileen pointed out.

Bruno sensed her honest concern, and suppressed his frustration. He’d foreseen this exact moment in a dream over two hundred years ago, and one would think that having that much time to chew over an event was long enough to get used to the idea of meeting one’s mate. It wasn’t. He had no desire to put an innocent young woman’s life at risk, even if it meant he’d finally have someone to share his life with. “I need you to clear my schedule for the next few weeks,” he heard himself say, as if from a great distance.

Eileen’s eyes widened with surprise. “Weeks? Are you serious?”

Bruno nodded, understanding her shock. He never took time off, and certainly never that long a stretch at a time. “I’m sorry. I know what a mess that will cause.” But I can’t run from my fate any longer. The world’s survival depends on me. And on Amy, though she doesn’t know it yet.

“I’ll do my best,” Eileen said as worry seeped into her expression. “What’s happening?”

Bruno shook his head. “Nothing is happening right now. No incursions or swarms, so you can rest easy, Eileen. I am merely taking your advice.” He showed her the ring he still held. “I may not be gone for that long. I may be able to resolve things sooner.” He lifted a shoulder. “But I can’t promise it.” He squeezed his fingers around the silver ring so tightly that it hurt his joints.

Eileen stared at him for a long moment, and then her expression eased. “Bruno, if you want a rest, you should take all the time you need. You have never taken even one day off since I first started working for you twenty years ago.”

“Sentries do not take time off.” Bruno knew the words sounded pompous the moment they left his mouth, but they were true, nonetheless. He smiled wryly as he caught Eileen’s smirk.

“Tell that to Greyson. He hid in his woods for what? Decades?” Eileen smiled. “That’s a lot of time off.”

Bruno folded the briefing notes in half and then in half again. “My brother had good reason to hide away. And he has different duties to fulfill.”

Eileen raised an eyebrow at him.

Bruno pursed his lips, and then decided to tell her a secret that she surely suspected after working with him so long. “You know that Sentries have certain abilities, yes?” he asked, watching her for the merest hint of confusion. “Beyond the technology we use to safeguard Earth from the Spiders.”

She nodded. “Yes. I figured that out in the first year I worked for you.” Eileen glanced at the pillar in the center of the room. “And you have some impressive technology, but that’s not what you mean, is it?”

“The abilities I refer to are biological tech. Long ago, a group of benevolent aliens tampered with our DNA,” he explained.

“Everyone knows that,” Eileen said, frowning. “But the Others have been gone for a long time, right?”

If only she knew, Bruno thought, remembering the alien he’d fought with his brother, Isaac, just a few short weeks ago. “Yes. They are extinct,” he said, not wishing to explain the situation that had led to a single, surviving, rogue Other attacking his brother and his paired mate. The creature was dead now, anyway. “What no one knows is that we have a heightened sense of empathy,” he continued, watching her closely for signs of disbelief. There were none.

Eileen waited a moment, then nodded when he didn’t elaborate. “Well, I assumed you had some sort of enhanced intuition, given the way you interact with politicians and the like. I know that you are gifted. No one else could keep all these crazy leaders from blowing each other up.”

“Humans can be very trying.” Bruno grimaced. “What I have is more than simple intuition. It’s an energy-based ability to read and sometimes influence the emotions of other people.”

Eileen blinked. “You can literally sense my emotions?”

“Yes.” Bruno smiled. “Right now, you are feeling surprise, but also satisfaction. I have confirmed something you suspected but did not know how to articulate.” He exhaled. “I’m relieved that you’re not afraid.”

“I’ve known you too long to fear you,” she said slowly. “However, what does this have to do with Greyson and his short temper? And why he hid himself away in a forest for so long?”

Bruno swept out a hand. “Imagine being able to sense the emotions of everyone around you. Then imagine being in the midst of one of the largest concentrations of sentient beings on the planet.” He looked out of the windows at the storm drenching the city. “Imagine feeling all of Manhattan inside your brain.”

Eileen blanched. “Oh.” She followed his gaze, then put a hand to her throat. “Dear God.” She glanced back at him. “How do you function? I assume you can feel … everyone.”

“I can, and it’s often quite uncomfortable.” He ran two fingers along the crease in the paper he still held. “I have developed some coping mechanisms after so long among so many humans, but Greyson’s work requires him to remain more open. He requires solitude.”

“Open? Open to what?” Eileen asked, then visibly gathered her wits. “Wait. He’s an engineer. He creates a lot of your tech, and he uses this ability to help him do that,” she reasoned.

Bruno didn’t interrupt her musing. His assistant was a highly intelligent woman, and she’d already gotten to the point he didn’t have to explain aloud.

“And that leaves his mind exposed, since he’s manipulating energy, right? He’s grumpy because he feels too much.”

“Precisely,” Bruno said, not surprised that she’d put it together so quickly.

Eileen frowned. “And you all have this ability?”

Bruno sighed. “To a certain extent, yes. We can all heal a little bit, and use our energy against the Spiders, but our abilities are most focused where our interests lie.” He waved a hand at his home in the middle of one of the biggest cities on the planet. “I am good with people.” He had other gifts, but they weren’t something he felt comfortable sharing. Even his younger brothers didn’t know everything about him. They’d all inherited their abilities from their parents, but his father had tinkered with him when he’d been born, boosting his personal energy beyond natural levels. When he fully bonded with his paired mate, her power would match his. It was another reason he’d been so reluctant to claim Amy: he didn’t want her to have to deal with such a difficult responsibility.

Eileen raised her eyebrows, obviously recalling numerous incidents over the years when his private anger had bled through his extremely composed exterior. He didn’t bother to explain. He’d done nothing more than stalk around in private, even at his most angered. No politician had ever seen him less than composed. One thing he prided himself on was his self-discipline. A man in his position could not afford to lose control. Ever. He continued his explanation. “And when we pair, our mates gain the ability, too, because their DNA is irrevocably changed during the process.”

Eileen went still for a moment, and then she tilted her head. “You feel more than Greyson, don’t you?”

Bruno stared at her. She deserves at least some of the truth. “No one knows this.”

“I’ve known you for almost my entire adult life, Bruno. You’re over two hundred years old.” Eileen ran a hand over her face. “Jesus. I thought living forever was a curse. This is worse.”

He laughed shortly. “It is also a gift.”

She shook her head. “No. Now I definitely know you need time off.” She flapped her hands at him. “Go. I’ll take care of all your meetings.”

“Thank you,” Bruno glanced outside. He’d go tomorrow. Perhaps startling the girl on a Saturday would be less stressful for both of them. And she’d likely be home, not at work.

“Do you need a driver?” Eileen asked.

“No. I don’t think showing up with an entourage would endear me to her,” he replied.

“Oh, I don’t know. If the most powerful man in the world showed up at my door with all of his minions, I’d probably be pretty damn impressed,” Eileen retorted, eyes twinkling. “I might even swoon on my doorstep.”

Oh, hell no. Never. Bruno made a face. “I did show up at your door one day. Your daughter vomited all over my shoes. I had to throw them out. I had no idea that human bile could destroy leather.”

“That’s because you insisted on coming to see if we were all right. I told you to stay away that day. We all had the plague.” She rolled her eyes. “And anyway, that was years ago. Many years ago. Martha’s all grown up and off at college. She knows how to throw up in a toilet now.”

Bruno smiled, pleased that Eileen wasn’t treating him any differently after the past few minutes’ disclosures. What she didn’t know was that he’d used his healing abilities on her and her family that day, so long ago. When he’d shown up at her house, he’d wanted to make sure that they hadn’t contracted a particularly virulent form of ‘flu, and a bit of discreet healing had assured him that they would be okay. He didn’t regret the vomit, not that he’d admit that to her. He had to maintain his stern image, after all. “If Amy is still in Arizona, I’ll use a starship. If she’s back on the east coast, I’ll take my motorcycle,” he said instead of elaborating on that particular visit.

“The Harley?” Eileen laughed. “Oh, Amy’s mother is going to love you.”

Bruno narrowed his eyes. At that moment, a loud roll of thunder echoed across the room as rain started pelting the floor-to-ceiling windows when the wind changed direction.

Eileen shook her head, still smiling. “Enjoy the briefing, if you can. And then enjoy your time off. You deserve it.” She checked her watch. “I’m heading out for the day, but if you need anything—”

“I know how to text, Eileen. You forced me to learn how several years ago, remember?” He walked her to the elevator.

“Yes, yes. But still. I know you. If you need anything, I’m only a phone call away.”

“It’s a good thing your husband trusts you,” Bruno muttered.

“He’s met you, remember? I think he told me that you would never be so crass as to steal another man’s woman,” Eileen said, stepping on the elevator. She grinned at him.

Bruno refrained from yet another sigh. He didn’t mean to come off so stuffy. He simply had a great deal of responsibility, and never enough time to handle most of the problems that fell across his desk. He’d considered hiring more assistants, but almost immediately dismissed the thought because more people close to him would only weaken the security of the Stronghold net he and his brothers maintained. They had to remain vigilant, as the non-sentient Spiders continued to send swarms down to the surface of the planet every so often. He slid the shield ring into his pocket. No, he’d manage. He always did. And he didn’t want a crowd of folks following him around all day, every day. It was bad enough living in the middle of one of the largest cities on the planet.

“Have a lovely weekend, Eileen.” He pushed the button to send the elevator down to her office level.

“You, too,” she said, as the doors closed.

Bruno ran a hand over his face, sensing her amusement fading as she descended, and then he checked the time again. He had approximately seven minutes until the briefing, just enough time to check in with Isaac. He went to the Stronghold pillar and put a hand on the smooth white surface. An interactive window opened, but he didn’t bother trying to establish a video connection. His brother and his new wife, Saige, were out on the edge of the solar system, heading for Alpha Centauri. The Sentry tech could send text over interstellar distances, but not video. He typed an inquiry into the interface as more thunder rolled across the room. The summer storm darkened the view of the city, and overhead lights clicked on automatically as he waited for his brother’s response. He didn’t have to wait long.

Isaac: Bruno. Hey, what’s up?

Bruno: I am going to exchange the shield rings tomorrow. Is she still in Flagstaff? He knew his brother would immediately know he was talking about Saige’s best friend, Amy, so he didn’t bother with explanations. He’d put off the exchange for long enough already.

Isaac: Nope. She’s back with her mom in New Jersey. She graduated, remember?

Bruno frowned, suspecting as much. He’d have to drive. New Jersey was too close to warrant taking a starship. Address?

Isaac: Dude. You’re not seriously going to her mother’s house, are you?

Bruno: Yes. And don’t call me “dude.”

Isaac: I can give you her phone number. This is Saige, here, btw.

Bruno took a breath. He had a feeling Saige was going to give him a hard time. I don’t want her number. I want her address.

Isaac: You have to give her time to prepare!

Prepare for what? Bruno wondered. He checked the time again. He had maybe a minute left before his meeting. No time to be nice to his new sister-in-law. Address.

Isaac: OMG she’s never going to forgive me if I give you her address.

Bruno hated to annoy her, but he had no choice. Saige would understand. Eventually. Put Isaac back on.

Isaac: !!! Fine. 985 Manito Lane, Oakland, NJ. Don’t tell Amy I told you her address or she’ll kill me.

That response startled a smile out of Bruno. He could almost sense her disgruntlement. She’ll know anyway.

Isaac: Shut up. You suck.

Bruno: Isaac has been a poor influence on you, my new sister.

Isaac: I can be irked at you all by myself, Sentry Day.

Bruno grinned. He liked Saige, not that he’d ever tell her that directly. He had a reputation to maintain, after all.

Isaac: Good luck, brother.

Bruno knew that last message was from Isaac. Saige still didn’t feel comfortable calling him “brother”. Thank you. Be safe, out in the universe.

Isaac: The stars are quiet. All is well.

At least there’s that, Bruno thought, relieved that Saige’s first jaunt into deep space was a noneventful one. They didn’t need any Spider incursions right now. Bruno touched the corner of his eye, even though he knew his brother couldn’t see the symbolic gesture. The connection dissolved, and the pillar returned to a seamless white sheen just as his elevator door opened once more. Men walked out, scanning the room for threats and who knew what else. Bruno put on his diplomat’s face, and turned to welcome his last appointment of the day even as rain chased the last of the light into darkness.

Day (Stronghold 4) Coffeehouse Teaser Peek

DAY is now available!

Scroll down for a peek into the time right after DAWN (Stronghold 3), before Bruno Day meets his match. The coffee is hot, but none of them are going to get to drink any.

buy links: EvernightAmazonBookStrandSmashwordsKobo – iBooksBarnes & Noble

Erotic Romance (MF), May/Dec, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Suspense
Word Count: 41,070
Heat Level: 3
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Bruno Day knows the moment he sets eyes on Amy that he won’t be able to stay away from her, but he doesn’t want to drag her into his dangerous life—his duty is to save humanity. She may help them survive if he makes her his mate, but what if the price is her death?

Amy Roderick never expects Bruno Day to show up at her house and ask for her help. She’s just an ordinary person, and he’s the larger-than-life leader of the Sentries. What could she possibly do to help? And why are her instincts telling her they’re meant for each other?

Power and determination have kept them safe for years, but now Bruno and his brothers must face the ultimate battle: an alien swarm that could devour the entire planet. Everything depends on the decision of one young woman: will Amy follow her heart or sacrifice her life for duty?

Coffeehouse Teaser Peek:

Bruno stopped just inside the coffeehouse. “This is a bad idea.” The midmorning crowd filled the small space, and he winced as their emotions battered against his mental walls. Sometimes, being an empath was more of a liability than a gift.

“Doesn’t matter. I’m in desperate need of caffeine.” Isaac pushed past him into the crowd and got in line. Solomon followed.

“He didn’t even try to disguise his appearance,” Bruno muttered.

“You know how Isaac gets without his coffee in the morning.” Greyson scowled as he hung back at Bruno’s side.

Bruno jammed his baseball cap further down on his head. He usually wore a suit and tie in public, but today his worn jeans and leather jacket might keep him from being recognized. He saw people staring at Solomon and Isaac, but so far, he and Greyson seemed to be escaping attention. “We could have made our own coffee. We didn’t have to come here.”

“When Eva gets an idea in her head, it’s best to listen. They wanted to put together a picnic, and they took over the kitchen.” Greyson shrugged. “It is what it is.”

“Isaac could have convinced Saige to let us—” Bruno broke off as Greyson laughed. His gruff younger brother rarely displayed that much emotion.

“You think any of us can argue with our paired mates? You are delusional.” Greyson’s eyes twinkled. “You’ll see.”

“I don’t think so.” Bruno frowned. He knew who his paired mate was, and he had no intention of dragging her into his life. “No woman deserves to wake up every day knowing that the entire world is watching her,” he told his brother. “Ah. Our brothers have been discovered.” He lifted an eyebrow at Greyson, watching Isaac and Solomon slowly back away from the counter as a cluster of young people accosted them. “We are next, you realize.”

Greyson sighed noisily. “Eva really wanted that latte I promised her.”

Bruno shrugged. “It’s not going to happen.”

“Oh my God! It’s Bruno Day,” a girl screamed, grabbing her friend’s arm. “Holy crap, he’s wearing *leather*,” she added, voice rising.

Greyson winced. “You should have worn a ski mask over your face, not that stupid cap.” He stepped behind Bruno as if to hide.

“Coward.” Bruno removed his hat as the girls rushed towards them. He ran his hands through his hair and straightened his shoulders. It wouldn’t do to appear anything less than supremely in control of himself.

“I’m going to slip out the back,” Greyson said.

“Don’t you dare,” Bruno replied, grabbing his arm. His brothers thought they could wander around in public with impunity, but he knew better. A practiced smile slid over his face. “Smile, Greyson. It is time to earn your pay.”

“You don’t pay me,” Greyson said, but he stepped forward to help.

“This is also part of our job,” Bruno told him.

“When you meet your woman, I’m going to tell her you are a cruel man,” Greyson said.

“You seem very sure that I am going to meet someone,” Bruno signed the notebook one of the girls thrust at him, then posed for a selfie.

“It happened to me, and you know how long I fought it,” Greyson replied. “Fate is a stubborn mistress.”

Bruno glanced at his brother. Greyson tried to stare him down, but Bruno had centuries of practice at looking inscrutable. The only way he would ever claim the woman he knew was destined to be his was if the fate of the entire world was at stake. “Fate can be fooled,” he finally said.

Greyson frowned, but he looked away. Bruno signed another notebook. He smiled for another selfie. He very carefully did not think about the woman he’d spent his entire life ensuring he would never have to meet.