Tag Archives: fantasy

Review of “Hidden Cargo (Alien Captors Book 2)” – Sarah Marsh

Print Length: 133 pages

 

No good deed goes unpunished—or at least it doesn’t for Cassie Decker. Stopping to help someone on the side of the road was the decision that changed the rest of her life, and the one that found her stranded on an alien planet. Lucky for her, she was discovered by two very large, and very green rescuers that offered her a second chance at a new life. All she has to do is find the courage to reach out and grab it.

Deryc and Gage have a comfortable life on the island of Ilya, it may not be perfect, but they enjoy their work and they have each other. When fate reveals an unauthorized female has been hiding right under their noses for over a year, they know they must do their duty to bring her to their government—but can they hand her over to an unknown future when she just might be the perfect female for their clan?

The Goddess works in mysterious ways, but will Cassie and her officers realize what they have found before someone tries to alter their paths forever?

 

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Cassie washed up and changed into a nightgown as Dax settled comfortably at the foot of her bed. She turned out the light and walked over to open a window, letting the fresh air in. She’d always loved falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. Two deep voices entered on the breeze along with the sounds of the surf, causing a shiver to run up her spine, and she realized that Deryc and Gage must still be on the patio enjoying the evening. Cassie sat on the window ledge and waited for her eyes to adjust to the darkness outside. When they did, the sight before her was nothing short of decadent.

Both men were lounging on one of the large patio chairs. Deryc’s arm was around Gage’s shoulder, and his other hand cupped the other man’s cheek as he took his mouth in a slow and sensual kiss. Her breath caught in her throat as she watched Gage’s hand move leisurely up his partner’s thigh until he rubbed along the thick, hard ridge of Deryc’s arousal.

I shouldn’t be watching this, like some kind of pervert… I’m invading their privacy, but holy hell, I think this is the hottest thing I’ve ever seen.

Knowing it was wrong and willing her eyes to close were two very different things, and Cassie had to bite her lip as Deryc’s deep voice came to her on the night breeze.

“I believe you owe me a proper show of gratitude, my mate.” Deryc growled as Gage’s fingers freed the thick cock from the confines of his partner’s pants. “Or did you forget you promised me that this morning?”

“Hmm.” Gage lazily kissed along Deryc’s jaw, his hand now slowly stroking up and down his lover’s cock. “Did I say that? I can’t remember now…”

Deryc’s response was immediate, and it made Cassie gasp as he pulled away and moved to cover the other man until Gage’s wrists were held above his head in each of his strong hands, and Deryc was now straddling his mate’s hips. In the moonlight, Cassie could see his cock jutting straight from his body, the thick length an even darker shade of grey than the rest of him. He towered over Gage like an avenging god.

“Keep your arms above your head, boy.” Deryc’s tone was unforgiving now, and by the look of the large bulge in Gage’s own pants, he enjoyed this game of dominance as much as his mate did. Cassie had never experimented with any BDSM play with Peter, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t thought or fantasized about it before, and now that she had a front-row seat, her body flooded with heat at the idea of being on the submissive end of Deryc’s firm authority just like Gage was now.

Deryc’s hands released Gage and began to undress, revealing his muscular body, the dark skin seeming to almost sparkle in the moonlight. Then he began the same process of removing Gage’s clothing, and the other man bit his lip, but left his arms where they were.

“Cassie could still be awake.” Gage’s words turned into a groan as Deryc’s hand now closed around his shaft, rubbing a glistening bead of moisture over the plump head. “What if she sees?”

“Mmm, think about that, my love.” Deryc’s hand moved faster on his lover’s flesh. “Just imagine those stunning blue eyes, her gaze roving over your hard and aching flesh like a caress. Perhaps she would like to join us even? I see now why you were so enamored with her when you first spotted her. She is quite remarkable.”

Gage only moaned louder at Deryc’s words, his hips pushing harder into the other man’s grip, causing a warm chuckle to escape his mate’s lips. “I see how much you like that idea, love. I can feel your cock buck in my grip as if it were trying to get inside of her even now.”

Holy fuck! Were they fantasizing about her? This time Cassie couldn’t stifle the groan as her pussy flooded at the idea of being out there on that couch with them, and it was so loud she startled herself, jumping back from the window in case her hosts heard it as well.

She needed that shock back to reality. “Jesus, Cassie, what is wrong with you?”

She didn’t want to think she was the kind of person who couldn’t control her own urges, but the fact that she hadn’t been able to help herself from watching Gage and Deryc’s intimate display meant they had much more power over her than she’d thought. Good grief, all she could hope for at this point is that they hadn’t heard her at all.

Pervy, sex-starved human … table for one, please.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Hidden Cargo is an erotic sci-fi tale revolving around the budding romance between a human female and two alien counterparts. Unlike other aliens Cassie (human) met, the two men she fell in love with (Deryc and Gage) didn’t have 4 arms (species: Kakxis) or 6 legs (species: Gooshoo).

Deryc and Gage’s skin coloring was more charcoal and pewter. Luckily for her and us, they didn’t have shark-like teeth or snake eyes (like her first abductors) because, if so, I don’t think the intimate scenes would’ve been as steamy. 

Sarah chose the right partners for Cassie and for us readers.

Now in regards to the intimate scenes, which were plenty: Let me first state, if you have read any of Sarah Marsh’s stories before, you already know her love scenes are never dull. Sarah delivered erotic moments involving M/M, M/F, and M/M/F. There was an act of voyeurism, oral gratification, anal pleasure and mé·nage à trois. In case readers of my review are wondering… YES, each sexy encounter was more arousing than the last.

Even without those explicit scenes, I found this novella very entertaining to read. Of course, I wouldn’t dare ask Sarah to omit a single sexy moment. When these three get together, in pairs or in a threesome, it was kinky as hell.

For dog lovers out there, Cassie had a companion named Dax (German Shepherd) who literally came to her rescue. I fell in love with this furry character and I’m a cat person. 😀

My final thought…… Everyone should and must read Hidden Cargo!

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤ 1/2

 

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~~ Also check out Precious Cargo (Alien Captors Book 1) ~~

Precious-Cargo-evernightpublishing-jayaheer2016-finalimage

(Under 100 pages)

What would you do if you woke up to a nightmare, complete with monsters? Alison Baker deals with it the best way she knows how—one day at a time. When it comes to her future, she’ll need to learn to open up her mind and her heart if she hopes to survive.

When Clan Drogan’s ship gets attacked by pirates, their spoils of war come in the most unexpected of packages. They’ve never met any female like Ali before, and her sweet, caring nature draws them to her like moths to a flame. But they have commitments of their own. Will the three of them be able to decide once and for all if the woman they’re promised to is right for them? Or will they risk it all on their attraction to Ali?

Ali knows that Conn, Kal, and Tannen are spoken for, but she can’t seem to help herself. They introduce her to pleasures she’s never even imagined, so how could just a taste ever be enough? Will Ali find the strength to stand up and fight for what she wants, or will she lose Clan Drogan altogether?

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Sarah Marsh was born in British Columbia, she’s only recently began her writing career finding it the perfect outlet for taking the edge off a nine to five job. She’s a science fiction and romance junkie and when her imagination started to take the characters she’d read about even further in their adventures she decided to try writing something of her own.

Her biggest weaknesses are animals of any kind…she even loves the ones that wake you up at four in the morning because they can almost see the bottom of their food dish. When it comes to life in general she’s a big believer that laughter is the best medicine and that there’s no such thing as too much love, which is why she’s such a sucker for a happy ending.

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Author Showcase – Tricia Copeland (Kingdom of the Damned: Kingdom Journals series)

Volume 1 (Kingdom Journals)

Alena’s story -$0.99 in ebook, Free on Kindle Unlimited)

He wouldn’t understand. He didn’t live in a pretend world. In truth, he did. Most beings, pure humans, walked around thinking they were the only type of people that existed.” –Alena

As a creature forbidden by both vampire and witch cultures, Alena is forced hide her identity. Her mother moves them from city to city searching for answers. When Alena finds Hunter everything changes. She believes their bond may be the. But her mother finds Theron, an equally handsome and mysterious suitor. Will the truth of his intentions be uncovered before it is too late? Or will her Mother’s kingdom be reduced to embers?

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 Volume 2 (Kingdom Journals)

Camille’s story – Free on Kindle Unlimited

“… the previous night’s vision, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. Ivy, the girl and boy recited together.” – Camille Could her dreams be real? Is she the key to freeing witches from their curse? Of course not, right? Thinking that her only chance at a normal life lay in a new treatment, Camille joins Dr. Antos and a group of teens for a month long camping trip in Iceland. There she meets Jude, a fellow schizophrenic. Dr. Antos invites Camille and Jude to extend their work with him on the island of Sardinia. Camille is suspicious of Dr. Antos’s intentions but her dad goes missing, leaving her no choice but to travel to Italy. Is she walking into a lion’s den or has her illness invaded her reality?

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Volume 3: (Kingdom Journals)

Jude’s Story: Free on Kindle Unlimited

Jude only knows one thing: he must rescue Camille. It doesn’t matter what must be done to save her from the evil coven, he will do it. But once she’s recovered, what will his role be? How does he fit into the trinity’s prophecy? Find out in this urban fantasy adventure novel that finds the Kingdom Journals characters traversing the globe in search of Camille, and the key to breaking an age-old curse.

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~ Newest Release! ~

Volume 4: Anne’s Story

Kingdom of the Damned is a stand-alone prelude to the Kingdom Journals Series.

“…he that believeth not shall be DAMNED” – Mark 16:16

In 1557, witches burn her home and family. She escapes with the help of a family friend and they hide among humans. At seventeen, another atrocity ignites Anne’s passion for justice. Circumventing the globe, she seeks to unite the vampires and build peace. Powerful enemies amass against them, but her friends number many, including a surprising and mysterious hero. In a war for survival, love feels extravagant, and heroes don’t always prevail. Can she best her enemy and find happiness at last?

 

 

Foreword

The LORD God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,

cursed are you above all cattle,

and above all wild animals;

upon your belly you shall go,

and dust you shall eat

all the days of your life.”

Genesis 3:14

 

The Edict of Châteaubriant, signed 27 June 1551 by King Henry II of France, censored Protestant rhetoric and enabled seizure of funds for punishment. The Edict of Compiègne, of 24 July 1557, allowed the death penalty for crimes of heresy. The witch community, garbed in the Catholic faith, hunted and killed vampires under the guise of bringing the pagans to justice.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Mabon – The Fall Equinox – 21 September 1557, France, during the reign of King Henry II

 

A vampire has memories from the time they are born. I recall my mother’s face and her warm skin, the sound of her voice. I’ll see you tonight in your beautiful red dress. I love you. She kisses my forehead.

In the evening, I slide the garment over my head, and Elizabeth curls my hair with a hot iron rod. She fits the sash around my waist and into a large bow on my back. I sit in a chair, waiting for the sun to set as she dresses her children for the party. Her daughter Elle twirls in a circle, making her skirt fan out. Even though Elle is older, I am as tall as her, because she and her brother, Hank, are halflings.

Hank is two like me, but not as big or smart. He fiddles with his collar buttoned tight around his neck. As the sky grows dark, I climb atop the chair near the window, impatient to be united with my family and to begin the festivities. An orange glow rises over the hill where my house lies in the next valley. The color looks different than any sunset I remember.

I run to Elizabeth. “Elizabeth, the sky.”

“What child?”

“Come see.” I grab her hand and pull her to the window.

As I push up on my toes to look out the glass, I see flames shooting above the ridge. Men carrying torches summit the hill and race towards us. At one’s signal, they circle the house, making a ring around Elizabeth’s cottage.

“Finn!” Elizabeth yells.

“There’s no way out.” Finn’s eyes dart around the room. I can smell the fear rolling off his skin.

Elizabeth points out the window to a tall tree. “When we open the door, run.”

Wide-eyed, I nod. Elizabeth scoops up Elle, and Finn grabs Hank. Opening the door, they sprint towards the forest. I dart off in the opposite direction. A large dog barks on my heels, but I am fast and reach the tree before the animal overtakes me. Low branches form stairs, and I jump to the first. I feel a tug at my skirt and hear it rip as I reach for the second limb. I catch it and swing to a higher branch. The beast jumps and yelps, but I focus on the limbs above. The branches become thinner, and the space between them shorter as I climb, hand over foot, until I feel the trunk sway with my weight.

Looking down, I see the men with the torches have surrounded Elizabeth and her family. Flames close in on them, engulfing the group in smoke. A bitter smell assaults my nose. The men douse the flames, and when the air clears, I see forms lying on the charred ground. I watch as the men retreat, leaving Elizabeth and her family lying atop the charred grass.

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Tricia lives in Colorado with her family and four-legged friends. She writes young and new adult fiction including fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, and romance titles. If not out on the trail, you can find Tricia on your favorite social media!
Find Tricia and her books at www.triciacopeland.com or on your favorite social media.

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Review of “Eat the Rich” – Renee Miller

When Ed Anderson discards his life to become a homeless person, he has no idea of the shit storm about to happen. Almost overnight, the city’s homeless population spikes.

So does the murder rate.

Ed learns that aliens posing as homeless people are eating the city’s wealthiest residents. he tries to warn the police, but they think he’s crazy.

The situation is worse than Ed describes, though.

He’s right about the aliens. They’re here to free humans from wealth and poverty. The flesh of the rich is just a tasty reward for their hard work. And if humans refuse to embrace the utopia imagined for them, there is a Plan B:

KILL EVERYONE.

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“Jahd and Dahl did well,” Senz said. He laid beside Ren, naked and filthy from head to toe. “This place is bountiful. Almost like home, but without the screaming and the imminent death.” He chuckled. “Yet.”

“We told you to put clothes on, Senz. It is how things are done here.”

“If a man cannot be naked in his own home, then what has the world come to?”

“Man?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Seriously, you have to wear clothes. We do not want to draw attention. So far, they have accepted us here. If someone starts complaining to the authorities about us, perhaps saying we are exhibitionists or perverts, they will force us to move on, or worse, they will notice you have a couple of noticeably inhuman parts and we will have to escalate the plan. Dahl would be displeased should that happen. We may even have to return home.”

“So? It would be nice to go home once in a century; do you not think so?”

“We cannot move on until we have done what we came here to do. It would be selfish of us to leave them to their misguided ways when we know how much better their lives could be.”

Senz sighed. He picked up the pants he’d discarded with his shirt on the ground beside him and sat up. As he put his legs into the coarse material of the pants, he nodded at the cooler tucked into Ren’s tent. “Did you eat it all, or will you share?”

“Sure. Help yourself.”

“I only received the entrails last night. Not very filling and they taste terrible.” “A meal is a meal.”

“Meh,” Senz zipped his pants and then reached for the cooler. “Little too rich for me.”

He laughed at his own joke.

Ren shook his head. “There is no such thing as too rich.”

“Unless you are one of them.”

“We will be heading out again tonight, so do not eat too much. Dahl has put you on the list.”

“Praise the human lord.” Senz removed a long, tubular package wrapped in brown butcher’s paper. He opened it. “I gave up hope on getting the first taste.”

“We said we would rotate so everyone gets to enjoy a fresh kill. Dahl has prepared a schedule. It should be smooth sailing from here.”

“There are lots of them here, eh? It will take a while to do them all.”

“It will,” Ren said. “But we have time. The second wave arrives soon. Dahl says the General’s unit is docking in a place called California. I heard there are even more of them there. Must be nice to have rank so you can pluck the juiciest fruit.”

“You will get there. Dahl likes you.” Senz winked.

“Do not be a… dick.”

“Is that a new insult?”

“Yes. It means you are being mean and annoying.”

“Huh.” Senz bit off a piece of meat, chewed, and then swallowed. “I like it. I hope I have the opportunity to use it soon.”

“Just do not call Dahl or Jahd a dick. They are not in the mood for humor these days.”

“Always like that in the early stages of a renovation.”

“Renovation?”

“Yes, it means restoring or repairing something. Making it new or upgrading.

Is that not what we are doing?”

“It is. Renovation… so many words in this language that mean the same thing.”

“Gopher is teaching me the ins and outs of it. They also like words that are not words.”

“Slang. I know.” Ren scowled. “Do not become fond of Gopher.”

“I find that impossible. He is thoroughly entertaining.”

Ren sometimes wished he’d been put on the General’s fleet, where they weren’t allowed fraternizing and all that mattered was the mission. “By the way,” he said. “A disturbingly hairy man at the church said California has wealthy morsels on every corner. He said they bleed money out there. Tehn thinks he knows something. I did not allow him to kill the man, though. As he is not wealthy, I figured Dahl should approve it first.”

“He was not being literal,” Senz said. “Another ‘figure of speech’ in this language. Makes my head hurt, which is why I am grateful for the education

Gopher is providing.”

“I suppose he is useful.”

“And I, too, heard the General’s city is wealthier than this one. This is a good start, though.” He bit into the meat nestled in the brown paper again. “Look who is back.”

Ren looked to where he pointed. A short man with a hook in place of his right hand, and a good year’s growth of facial hair matted around his chin walked toward them, cup in hand: Gopher. “You must remember he is not one of us. Put some distance between yourself and him. If the mission goes wrong, he will not survive.”

“Jahd says we will need liaisons. They will trust what other humans say or something.”

“The fact that we did not eat them should be enough to make them grateful.”

Senz shrugged. “These creatures are strange. They do not behave in a way that is logical.”

“True. Still, I think Dahl’s original plan was better. Tell them how it will be and kill anyone who does not fall in line. Seems a faster way to get things done.”

“I disagree. We must cultivate relationships. Make them see we mean to help them, instead of bullying them into doing things our way. If they like and respect us, then they will work with us. The renovation will be successful, and we can go home sooner.” Senz put the last of the meat in his mouth and swallowed it without chewing. “What do I know, though? I am only a soldier who is fond of a human that smokes plants and scratches his genitals with unseemly regularity. I am not a great and powerful leader who knows all because of my rank.”

Ren picked a speck of dust from his pants. “Are you speaking of Dahl?”

“Never,” Senz said. “I was merely voicing an opinion. I would not mind keeping one, though. Perhaps I will be permitted to bring Gopher back. It has been done before. The bums at the shelter are hilarious as well, and they do not judge.”

“All humans judge.”

“You are wrong. I told them I eat the rich when times are tough, and they asked for recipes.” Senz laughed. “If they knew the truth, I imagine they would… what is the phrase? Shit in their pants, I think.”

Ren didn’t bother telling Senz they weren’t supposed to reveal themselves or how they survived. He’d been told enough times. Dahl would have to know about the security breach. Senz might not get a chance at fresh meat after all.

“Hey,” Gopher waved at Ren. “Your buddy Judd said to tell you soup’s on.” He shook the can.

Ren smiled. He waited until Gopher knelt and then pulled a dollar bill from the can. Senz did the same and they both inhaled the scent of the money. Ren saw the donor clearly in his mind. He looked at Senz. “Care to do some reconnaissance with me?”

“Do we get to eat this reconnaissance?”

“Eventually.”

“All right. Let’s go.”

“You guys are fucking odd,” Gopher said.

Ren smiled. “I found you a new dog.”

“Is that right?”

“Yes,” Ren said. “You were so upset about the old one that got crushed by the bus, I thought you might like a new one.”

“Well thanks. I do miss ol’ Goober, so I ain’t gonna say no to a new friend.

Where is he?”

“Dahl has him. We did not know if you wanted him skinned or not, so we have left him alive for now.”

“Skinned? For fuck’s sake, don’t skin the poor thing. What good is a dead dog?”

“He is alive…” Ren was confused. He’d seen animals in the homes of others and wondered at the way they treated them like family. “I thought your kind ate animals.”

“Christ, not dogs.”

“Do you not breed cattle and pigs and other animals for the purpose of eating?”

“Yeah.”

“Why not dogs? They too have meat that is edible.”

“Because we’re not savages.”

“And you think we are odd?”

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(review request submitted by the publisher for an honest critique) 

Renee prayed on the fear some people have (alien invasion) but also gave us something new to consider. It’s not what we see coming that we should worry about… it’s what we don’t see, what could be lurking out there, we should fear.

Many folks believe in aliens. They also believe one day aliens will invade us. However, I don’t imagine most individuals envision the otherworldly beings integrating themselves so seamlessly into our society. Unfortunately, a vast number of people turn a blind eye to the homeless so posing as of them was one helluva, brilliant disguise.

I liked many points in this story. No, I don’t mean I like aliens eating us Earth dwellers. What I mean is… I enjoyed how Renee wrote the scenes were the aliens learned about our society, the inventiveness on how to blend in, and the reason why the aliens felt the need to bring us Earthlings back to basics.

Yes, they were disgusting beings doing horrific things but this story was more than just a planet take-over.

Of course, some humans revolted and this is where my score dropped a point. The ending…. I didn’t quite grasp it.

What will become of Ed? What’s the ‘visitors’ next course of action? The end didn’t feel like an end but a set-up for another installment.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Renee Miller has published stories in the crime/suspense, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy/horror/comedy, and erotic horror genres. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, or on her blog.

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Author Showcase – Jeffrey L. Kohanek (The Arcane Ward: Wardens of Issalia, Book Two)

A dark enemy rises, driven by radical beliefs and armed with destructive weapons. The Wardens must respond.

Urgency forces ICON to accelerate the training of their new recruits, for a new Empire has captured the eastern kingdoms and seeks to conquer all of Issalia. Although a raw and untested squad, the Wardens might be the only hope of stopping this imposing threat.

Everson is a gadgeteer, tasked with harnessing a magical power source. Leveraging his brilliance, he enhances existing machines and creates new inventions that astound his superiors. His next amazing discovery might save lives…or it could destroy them.

Destined to become an espion, Quinn hones her skills in preparation of her first mission. Intense training, combined with her fierce determination and fearless nature, transforms her into something more…something lethal. However, skills of a different nature are required when she finds herself alone and surrounded by enemies in a land far from home.

Joined by magic-wielding royal twins and a small group of veterans, these individuals shall become Issalia’s shield against monsters and tyranny. Regardless of what occurs, ICON must remain vigilant, for the machinations of their enemy extend far beyond what anyone suspects.

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Parker Thanes pushed the tavern door open, stepped inside, and was greeted by a cacophony of cheers and laughter. The smell of salt air mixed with stale beer and unwashed bodies made him grimace. I don’t understand why she likes these places.

He pushed through the crowd as he headed toward the bar. Jostled sailors, spilled drinks, and a trail of curses followed in his wake. Ignoring the upset men, he scanned the crowded tavern until he approached his destination.

A hefty woman in her middle years stood behind the bar. The brunette filled a pair of tankards, turned, and placed them before two bearded men, one of whom had a pale scar on his tanned face, the wound running from his forehead to his cheek. After pocketing two coppers, she shifted her focus to Parker.

“Hello, Tess,” Parker greeted the barkeep.

“I’m glad you showed. Things are getting out of hand.”


Parker frowned. “Where is she?”


Tess flipped her head to the side. “Around back. You might want to hurry.”


Stifling a sigh, Parker forced his way around the far end of the bar. He turned the corner and found a thick crowd – the source of the cheers that arose earlier. Another round of shouts erupted, fists pumping into the air. He forced his way into the mass of bodies, emerging to find the back area open but for two people.

A man – tall and sinewy, with shorn dark stubble on his head and cheeks – stood facing a woman. She was short, even for a female. With blond hair that ran to her shoulders, she was dressed in a simple tunic, cinched at the waist with a studded belt. Her brown breeches were tucked into tall black boots, each with a knife strapped to them, matching the knives strapped to each thigh. Between the two was a round table with a dozen mugs on it. The man lifted a mug and drank, foam running to his chin as he chugged the ale. When finished, he tipped the mug upside down and slammed it on the table, where it joined the other empty tankards. Cheers rose up from the crowd while the man shook his head to clear it.

As the crowd quieted, the woman grabbed the last full mug and lifted it to her lips, emptying its contents without pausing for a breath. When finished, she lowered it, stumbled, and blinked, her blue eyes glazing over. A mixture of laughter and mutters came from the crowd until she flipped the mug over and slammed it down beside the others.

The man scowled, twisting a tanned face marked by a gold ring through one nostril. “Now, we will see who is better.”

He pulled a dagger from the sheath on his hip and gripped it by the blade. Turning away from the crowd, the man cocked his arm back and threw the knife, striking a hair below the intersection of an X carved into a wooden post fifteen feet away. He drew and threw another knife, which landed just above the first, the two hilts touching one another. When he turned back, his grin revealed the noticeable gap of a missing tooth.

“Your turn, Tenzi. Let’s see if a sodden girl like you can even hit that post.”

The woman moved toward the man, stumbling as she pushed him aside. As Tenzi stared at him, swaying, a satisfied smirk crossed the man’s face.

“Watch this,” Tenzi mumbled.

Her eyes seemed to transform, her half-mast lids narrowing with intensity as she stared at the man. Tenzi spun about, her hands a blur as a dagger appeared in each and flew toward the post. Without pausing, she unleashed the daggers strapped to her legs and they joined the first pair. A bend and a flick sent the two knives from her boots into the post. She then reached behind her back, pulled a blade from her belt, and flung it.

The seven knives perfectly formed an X, with the last blade landing directly on the intersection of the carved target, somehow fitting between the man’s two thrown blades. The crowd fell silent, the moment lasting a few breaths before loud cheers and shouts erupted. Heads shook in amazement as the men and women surrounding Parker began exchanging coins from bets placed.

Tenzi held her open palm toward the man. “Pay up, Ridley.”

The man snarled. “Leave off, Tenzi. I’m keeping my silver.”

In a flash, Tenzi had a knife in her hand and pressed against the man’s throat. “Didn’t know I had a blade strapped to my upper back, huh? I find it wise to always have an extra, just in case.”

With narrowed eyes, Ridley glared for a long moment before his lips pressed together and he slowly dug out a coin purse. Tenzi pulled the blade away and held out her other hand. After setting five silvers in her palm, he shook his head.

“Another ale and I would have had you.”


Tenzi smirked, gripping the coins in her fist. “Perhaps. Not today, though.”


The crowd began to disburse with many heading toward the bar for another drink. Parker shifted closer to Tenzi, frowning at her grin.


“Why do you spend time in these seedy places?”


Tenzi shrugged. “A girl’s gotta have a little fun now and then.”


Parker snorted. “I know you. Nothing you do is little.”


She moved toward the post and began retrieving her blades. “Why are you here? I thought you were staying on the ship tonight.”


“I was, but Joely and Hex came back early. They said that four others got into a fight at The Wind Sock tavern and were arrested.”


Tenzi slid two daggers back into the sheaths on her thighs, rolled her eyes, and grabbed the last three knives. “Again? Why can’t they stay out of trouble?”


Parker raised a brow. “I wonder who may have taught them to cause trouble.”


“You’re hilarious.” Tenzi slid a knife up each sleeve and waved toward Parker. “Let’s go. It looks like Ridley’s silver is going toward bail money, straight from him to the city coffers.”

Parker turned and squirmed through the crowd with the much smaller Tenzi in his wake. When he stepped out into the alley, the noise of the bar quieted and was replaced by a distant boom, followed by shouts and screams. With a furrowed brow, he led Tenzi down the alley and to the lit street.

People ran past in all directions, some heading toward the city wall, others toward the docks. Cries filled the air only to be engulfed by the boom of a distant explosion.

“To the docks!” Tenzi broke into a run.

Parker ran after her as she weaved her way through the foot traffic and around carts. They emerged from Downside – the portion of the Sol Polis that lay between the city wall and the docks – and found people crowding onto the pier. A flash of green flames erupted from a ship moored to the docks. People on the pier screamed and tried to reverse direction as the flames on the ship turned from green to orange.

“Flashbombs!” Parker shouted. “Someone is launching flash bombs!”


“That was a fleet ship,” Tenzi said. “We have to get the fleet out of the harbor.”

Fighting against the crowd, Parker and Tenzi pushed their way through oncoming traffic and onto the pier. An explosion blasted water into the air, sending two nearby ships rocking as seawater rained down on them. Running, Parker led Tenzi down the pier, running beside a handful of sailors trying to get to their ships.

“Why did we have to moor on the end this time?” Parker groaned as he ran.

They ran past the ship on fire. The flames had burned the length of the mooring rope and were licking the post tied to it. An explosion to the other side knocked them off their feet, Parker almost falling into the water as he gripped the pier edge. He sat up and turned toward the ship that had been struck. A wall of green flames raged upon it, turning orange as it spread. Burning debris lay scattered on the pier. Body parts as well. Tenzi cried out and frantically swatted the smoldering leg of her breeches.

Parker’s focus shifted toward the shoreline, and he saw armed soldiers running toward the pier. His eyes widened and he grabbed Tenzi’s wrist. “We need to run!”

Following his gaze, she saw the force collide with the crowd, cutting through them without resistance. Parker and Tenzi scrambled to their feet and ran toward the ship at the end of the pier. While Parker had never moved faster, he seemed be running in slow motion, the distance between him and the ship closing at an agonizingly slow pace. Until, finally, they reached it.

“What’s happening?” Shashi called out from the rail.


“Sol Polis is under attack.” Tenzi shouted. “Make ready to set sail!”


Parker reached the plank first and ran up it, heading straight for the pilot deck. Behind him, Tenzi shouted.


“I need Stein. Is he here?”

“Yes. Below deck,” Joely replied.

“Get him up here. Now!”

Sailors scrambled about the ship, some untying it from the mooring while others began preparing the lines. Parker turned toward shore and found dozens of armed men charging the pier.

Joely reappeared with Stein in tow, the latter rubbing sleep from his eyes.

“Stein. We need to take down the pier before those men reach us.” Tenzi pointed toward the soldiers and Stein’s jaw dropped. Without a word, he ran down the plank.

Parker unshouldered his bow and drew an arrow. He nocked it and prepared to fire. His gaze landed on Stein and found the man kneeling on the pier, tracing a rune with a chunk of glowstone. An explosion sent a thump into Parker’s chest as a wall of green flames blasted from the nearest ship. Again, flaming debris rained upon the pier and into the sea. Stein scrambled to his feet and ran up the plank as the enemy soldiers stormed down the pier. The moment Stein was on board, Shashi kicked the plank aside and it fell into the water. With its lines untied, New Horizons, the flagship of the Kalimar Navy, drifted from its mooring.

“Climb the rigging!” Tenzi called orders as she scrambled to the quarterdeck. “Raise mainsails!” She turned to Parker. “I’ll steer. You shoot.”

Nodding, he shifted away from the wheel and shot, the arrow arcing before it fell. A soldier in the vanguard stumbled to his knees and was bowled over by his companions. Another arrow launched as the rune on the dock began to glow a bright red. The rune pulsed while a third arrow found a target, striking a soldier who spun around and fell into the water. A fourth arrow struck an enemy soldier in the throat as the force reached the end of the pier. Archers stopped and raised bows toward the ship as the glow beneath them faded, the rune falling dark.

In a violent blast, the closest half of the pier exploded, launching debris and bodies into the air. Parts of both rained into the sea while angry red energy crackled and sizzled in glowing bolts that arced across the broken pier and the surface of the water. The portion of the pier that lay closer to shore remained, as did the soldiers who hadn’t made it any further.

As New Horizons gained speed and sailed out from Sol Polis, another explosion emerged from within the city. Based on its location, Parker surmised that the tower of flames came from the citadel. The city was lost. The capital of Kalimar had fallen in surprise attack. Again.

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Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all.

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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (The Tiger’s Rage)

A magical night of sexual abandon turns into a nightmare for Marni. She passes out in the hotel room of a man she has just met while in the grip of a drug induced fog of sexual bliss. She wakes days later to learn the man has abducted her and taken her to another world. Marni soon discovers she has been changed dramatically in outward appearance, as well as internally. Her new life is filled with people who care deeply for her and those who would use her ruthlessly. **The Tiger’s Rage is filled with action, adventure, humor, and descriptive sexual encounters.** 

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Excerpt: for the 18+ reader: strong language, descriptive sex scenes and graphic violence.

 

He was just finishing breakfast in the cafeteria three weeks later when the watch on his arm vibrated its attention signal. He pressed one of the buttons on the side of it. The watch hands vanished to be replaced with a blank screen then a message began to scroll across it.

Come to the operating room, the words read. She is ready to be moved. Kara.

Komel took a final sip of his drink, dumped his tray and cup in the slot for soiled utensils located in the wall, then headed down the hall toward the operation room. Kara admitted him when he knocked on the door and after greeting her, Komel gazed down at Marni. The woman he viewed appeared a lot different than the one he had carried in this room. The IVs in her arms were gone and the straps on her limbs had been removed. Komel swallowed his anger. This wasn’t the first time he had witness the results of Kara’s surgical alterations to the women he brought here from Earth. Even so, each time left him with a feeling of disgust at seeing what had been done to them just to please the sick and twisted ideals of the emperor.

Kara had elongated the corners of Marni’s eyes and surgically applied permanent makeup to highlight them. The tip of her nose was black, and her lips were black traced with white. Colored sequins of red, orange and white were embedded between her elongated eye sockets and her temples in a spreading spray pattern. Three long black whiskers were attached above her upper lip on each side.

“Her whiskers look so real,” he said.

“They are real,” Kara said. “They’re even attached to her central nervous system and will provide sensory signals just like a real feline.” Proudly Kara pried one of Marni’s eyes open to reveal that they were still green, but the pupils were elongated into points at the top and bottom.

“Contacts?” he asked although he knew better.

“No, they’ve been surgically altered. When she is finished, she will resemble an Earth tiger as much as possible and still remain human. I realize tigers don’t have pointed pupils, hers are more like a domestic cat, but it goes with her enhanced nocturnal vision.”

Komel winced.

Kara brushed Marni’s hair back to show that the woman’s ears were long and pointed now. Komel’s gaze drifted downward and saw that Kara’s alterations hadn’t been restricted to Marni’s face. Her pubic patch was gone. A plastic ornament resembling two tiny plastic hands encircled her enlarged clitoris holding the covering hood back and making it always available for stimulation. Komel couldn’t resist grazing his hand over the smooth skin of her arm. Not a hint of the fine hair remained on them.

“The visible changes I’ve made to her appearance are small in comparison to what my medications have done inside her. These changes are still taking place. Her bone structure is being altered, lightened and yet strengthened, her lung capacity is increased, her heart is larger and more efficient. She has greater flexibility and strength than she ever had. She will never grow body hair again not even the follicles remain. The one exception is the hair on her head. Her night vision has been vastly improved to go with her feline shaped eyes.”

“And yet you say she is still human?”

“In many ways yes, but in others she is more than human. Pick her up we need to take her to another room to continue her transformation.”

Komel lifted her in his arms and a long tail brushed against his knees. He glanced at the naked woman he held and saw the tail originated where her human tailbone had been. He raised an eyebrow.

“The tail is real, just like her whiskers,” Kara said to answer his unspoken question.

Kara strode to the door and he followed carrying Marni. They paced down the hall and descended a flight of steps to another room. This room he was familiar with and disliked. It was a prisoner torture chamber.

“I hate this place,” he said.

“She will not be tortured. Attach her to that H railing so we can further prepare her.”

While seething inside, Komel attached restraints to Marni’s wrists and ankles so that she was suspended in a spread-eagle manor. A man, pushing a cart, joined them. He examined Marni top to bottom and front and rear, while touching her several times, but not in a sexual manor.

“This is a magnificent canvas to work with,” he said. “She will not come to?” he asked.

“She will not regain conscious until I administer medication to end her comatose state.”

“Then I’ll call you when she is done,” he said.

Komel climbed the steps with Kara.

“When the artist calls me, I’ll call you. When he is finished, her transformation will be almost complete.”

They separated and Komel went to perform his other duties. Late in the afternoon Kara sent him a text and he joined her in front of the door leading into the torture chamber. When they entered the room, he saw that a woman had joined the artist. Next, he looked at Marni and sucked in his breath. Her throat, most of her breasts, stomach, core and inner thighs were white. The rest of her, including most of her face and tail was orange with black strips. Her hair was snow-white and with her head tilted back the way it was, reached to her waist.

The artist was spraying a clear substance on her which he explained, “When this spray dries in a few minutes it will make the paint I have applied permanent. I think she looks beautiful, if I do say so myself. The hair extension my assistant has applied is also permanent without the application of the proper chemical.”

Kara walked around Marni inspecting her for any spots the artist had missed painting. “I feel certain his majesty will be pleased with her,” she told the man. “Dismissed.”

The artist and his assistant left the room. Kara shifted her attention to him while they waited for the glistening spray to dry. “She is a beautiful specimen. I hope you agree. Carry her to her room.”

Komel released Marni’s restraints and lifted her into his arms tenderly. He followed Kara to Marni’s room and after fitting his eye to the scanner to activate the locking mechanism, waited for Kara to open the door. She held it open then strode past him to turn down the bedding. He laid Marni on the bed and pulled up the sheet to cover her.

Kara took a large syringe from her pocket and plunged the needle in Marni’s arm. “In forty-eight hours she will wake and be ravenously hungry.”

“And madder than hell,” Komel added. “Look what has been done to her. I think I know her well enough to say she’ll tear things apart in rage.”

“I’ve thought of that. Give me your watch.”

He unstrapped it and handed it to Kara. She pressed buttons on the small keyboard entering a code. “The software I just uploaded allows you to control the implant I’ve installed in her. It does two things. If she displays any aggressive action, you can trigger it with the touch of this button.” She pointed it out on the keyboard. “It will suspend all of her motor functions except her heart and breathing for fifteen minutes. She will be incapable of moving. Her implant will also cause her body to release calming endorphins that will overcome aggressive thoughts. His majesty also has the ability to control her implant.”

“Lucky for his majesty. During the short time I’ve known her, I get the impression Marni is stubborn and has a fiery temper.”

 

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Normally zany and often naughty talking, G. E. has a serious and compassionate side if you can find it. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He is terrified of heights so hasn’t braved the tramway ride in his home town. He lives in the southwest while longing to live by the sea. He often says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”

He heeds the call of the many characters that pop into his mind and demand to have their stories put in print. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author his stories cover many genres including contemporary romance, paranormal romance and science fiction. His stories are both erotic and non-erotic in nature. G.E. is the leader of a local writers group and in addition hosts a meeting of his own locally on fiction writing bi-monthly.

G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.

Website / Blog
Personal Facebook Page / Facebook Author Page
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Goodreads / Google+

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