#Paying It Forward
Paying it forward.
An expression with a living heart in this realm known as romantic fiction writing. Who would have thought authors of the romance genre would be so generous? You’d think we pen-slaves would be cut-throat in our battle to capture our reading audiences. We want to sell our books, we need to sell our books. Our livelihoods depend on it. Romance writers should be like crabs in a barrel, yanking down the competition as she reaches the crowning apex of her success, her pinchy feet dirty from grinding into the backs of her competitors.
Yet, this is so not the case. Time and again, I’m shown my fellow authors’ altruism in their willingness to help out their writing colleagues. It’s as though, in this world of romantic fiction, there is a ‘circle the wagons’ mentality, a joining of forces that makes us stronger.
The longer I’m part of this wagon-train beast, the deeper I see into its belly, and I’ve discovered it’s no dark and dank cavern. Just the opposite. Hope blooms eternally upon these vast fields of romance, and as long as we authors keep crafting, our readers keep buying—thereby making room for us all. Despite the plethora of romance books on the market, there is a continuous demand. Who knew so many readers gobbled this stuff up? It’s like a secret society. Nobody talks about romance books, but by God, you can bet they’re reading them.
I love it! Because it means there is room for every writer, which is an apparent secret among the authors of this titanic genre. Before I’d been welcomed into the fold, I was ignorant that such a network existed, that it ran so strong and hard in the underground of the publishing business.
I’m proud to admit we pay it forward. Just as I’m doing today. On the right hand side of this posting, you’ll find four fellow romance authors who have done me a good turn. Now it’s my chance to give back. Scroll down to check them out and grab the chance to pay it forward, too. The authors, in order, are:
Lisabet Sarai, Margay Roberge, V.S. Nelson, and Destiny Blaine.
Thank you, Readers, for your insatiable appetites, and thank you, my fellow Romance Novelists, who are always sharing. Open hearts abound—within the pages and behind them!
M/M Paranormal Erotic Romance
Both power and love can lead to madness.
Nineteen year old Kyle sees visions of disasters, visions that tear his world apart. Everyone assumes that he is schizophrenic, but Rob, the cop who picks him up off the street, knows better. Rob’s own experience has taught him that psychic powers are real, and potentially devastating.
Since his telepathic sister’s brutal murder, Rob wants nothing to do with “gifted” individuals like Kyle. Yet he can’t deny his attraction to the beautiful, tortured young man — an attraction that appears to be mutual. When a brilliant, sadistic practitioner of the black arts lures Kyle into his clutches, Rob faces the possibility that once again he may lose the person he loves most to the forces of darkness.
“Kitchen’s here, with the door out to the back porch. Only one bathroom, I’m afraid. Here’s the guest room-your room. The closet’s empty; you’re welcome to put your stuff in there.”
Rob led Kyle through his apartment, fussing and clucking like a mother hen. He wondered for the hundredth time whether this was a mistake. The guy was just so damned beautiful. Rob could hardly bear to be close to him. Driving the few miles from St. Vincent’s to his building, Rob had tried to pay attention to the road, but he couldn’t help sneaking sidelong glances at the mysterious, sensual face of his companion. Kyle seemed to be brooding. Maybe he had his doubts, too.
“What stuff?” Kyle spread his arms, a half-smile on his plump lips. “Everything I own is on my back.”
“I’ll take you over to Greendale Mall so you can pick up some new clothes. Loan you some cash until you get on your feet.”
“What makes you think I’ll ever ‘get on my feet’, Sergeant Murphy?”
“Okay, Rob.” Kyle stared at the mostly bare maple outside the guest room window, before turning back to confront him. “Why should anything be different now?” Rob heard the bitterness in his voice. “I have a disease, and I don’t mean the ulcer. I’m cursed. I see terrible things, and I can’t stop them. It’s getting worse all the time. There are only two possibilities. Either I’ll kill myself, or I’ll truly go insane.”
Rob suppressed the urge to take the man in his arms. Instead, he settled for an avuncular pat on the shoulder. “It’s only your imagination, Kyle. Your mind playing tricks on you. Once you understand that, maybe you can suppress the visions. Or control them.”
Kyle sank down onto the bed. His dark eyes burnt under exquisitely arched brows. “My imagination? You know that’s not true.”
Rob lowered himself onto the desk chair. He wished that he were somewhere else. He wanted to help Kyle, but he really didn’t like where the conversation was going.
“What else could it be? These spells-they’re like seizures. Storms of random activity in your brain that make you see things. I was there at the hospital, remember, when it hit you yesterday. You were completely out of touch, yelling about the brake, the gas tank, groaning and crying. You were delusional.”
“It was a crash,” Kyle intoned. “At least five cars. Glass everywhere. The screech of rubber, the stink of leaking gasoline, and then the explosion and the smell of charred fleshâ€¦ Check the papers, Rob. Call the police station. If it hasn’t happened yet, it will soon.”
“You really believe that your hallucinations foretell the future?” Rob remembered the night he’d picked Kyle up, the narrowly averted catastrophe at the address Kyle had seen.
“I only wish that they didn’t. All I ever see is violence and pain.” Kyle buried his face in his hands.
Rob moved to the bed, next to his guest, and put his arm around the denim-clad shoulders. He couldn’t help himself. “Look, that’s crazy. This isn’t some kind of horror movie. This is real life. There’s a rational explanation for everything.” He was trying to convince himself as much as Kyle. He didn’t want anything more to do with psychic abilities. Never again.
Kyle skewered him with a dark stare, hurt and angry. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I thought that you wanted to help me.”
Rob tensed. Kyle was so close. The funk of his old sweat rose from the worn jacket, along with a trace of disinfectant. Rob could see the pulse beating in the boy’s pale temple. He felt his own blood rush to his cock.
Kyle trembled. His nostrils flared. His eyes gleamed. Rob felt the pull, a magnet focused on his groin. It would be so easy to gather that taut young body to his chest, to fasten his mouth on Kyle’s ripe lips, to take control. But that wasn’t what the man needed. Kyle needed responsible strength. Logic. Maturity. With a heroic effort, Rob smothered his fantasies.
“I do want to help. If I didn’t, do you think I would have taken you in? I just want you to be realistic. To recognise that even when you think you’re seeing future events, that’s a delusion.”
Kyle wasn’t listening, not really. Rob could see him adjust his face, hiding his emotions, shuttering those bright eyes, donning a false smile. Putting on a mask. “Whatever you say, Rob. Maybe you’re right. After all, most nut cases think their visions are real.”
“You’re not a ‘nut case’, Kyle.”
“Are you sure?” He giggled. “You can’t have it both ways, you know. Either I’m prescient, or I’m insane.” He stood, stretching, then grinned at the sight of Rob’s obvious concern. “Hey, lighten up. Either way, I’m not going to stab you in your bed.”
Rob shuddered, despite himself.
Kyle rested a light hand on Rob’s shoulder. “I’m sorry to give you a hard time. I really do appreciate you giving me a place to crash.”
The casual touch re-ignited Rob’s carefully suppressed desire. Fortunately, the phone rang. “Excuse me,” he muttered, beating a hasty retreat to the hall.
Shiloh nearly leapt off the sill as his hand touched her knee. It took every ounce of willpower she possessed to remain seated and appear undaunted by the gesture. “I am…much better now…thank you,” she said, becoming more unnerved by the presence of his hand by the minute. Oh, this was not good, not good at all. The longer it remained there, the stronger her impulse to bolt became. Oh, no…
What was it about this man that rattled her so and with so little effort on his part? Sharing the same air with him was enough to send her pulses to the moon—and her mind somewhere else, something new for her. Being this attracted to a man was beyond her realm of experience. She didn’t know what to do with it—or about it. Should she do anything? Should she pretend indifference? And why wasn’t he so deeply affected? It wasn’t fair.
Still confused, she gave him a weak smile, intent on backing up her previous claim with the gesture. She feared it failed miserably. When Micah returned her smile and lifted his hand from her knee, she felt precisely one second of relief before he shook her world again by caressing her face in parting. She stumbled
back against the frame of the window, her lips parting on a startled breath as a lightning bolt shot through her at his touch. Something flickered in his eyes at her reaction—pain, perhaps—and he retracted his hand, balling it into a fist as he turned away from her, preparing to depart.
In an instant, she realized her mistake. Along with it came the knowledge she couldn’t let him go away angry or upset. After everything he and his family had done for her, she owed him that much. She grabbed him by the shirtfront to stop him, and a shock of awareness shot from her hand directly into his heart, just beneath it. She could see it in the gaze he leveled on her then, could hear it in his breath trapped within his lungs, feel it in the missed beat of his heart. But then, all sense abandoned her, and her heart skipped a beat as he held her hand firmly to his chest with one of his own and lifted the other to her head, anchoring it against the window frame. Slowly, his eyes never straying from hers, he leaned across the space separating them. His lips brushed hers, like a whisper, before he withdrew, tilted his head to the side, and advanced again. This time the kiss was fuller, penetrating her every defense, both physical and emotional, but still not long enough for her. He retreated once again after a fraction of time and hovered before her, scarcely an inch away. Watching her. Waiting.
Her heart beating a frantic tempo now, Shiloh abandoned all of her reservations and her good sense to swoop in for a more vigorous kiss. So vigorous, in fact, she knocked him off his perch through the open window. Only quick reflexes honed to perfection at the Institute prevented her from tumbling after him.
Bracing herself against the sill, she leaned out the window as far as she was able and watched his descent from the slanted roof to the ground below. She lost sight of him the moment he slid beyond the reach of the light from her window. But then she heard him land with a thud —and a howl—on the ground in front of the back porch when he failed to catch himself on the roof edge. She clasped a hand over her mouth to silence her reaction and waited. When he didn’t rouse right away, panic shot through her and she leaned out another few inches.
“Micah? Are you okay?”
“Fine,” he answered after a few moments, appearing beyond the overhang of the roof as if to prove it to her. “Nothing hurt but what’s left of my pride.”
Relief coursed through her at his statement, and she allowed herself the laugh she’d literally held back before. Her mirth was cut short, however, by his next words.
“Hey, Shiloh! We’ve got to stop falling for each other like this.”
His laughter followed her as she ducked back into the room. She could still hear it even after she closed the window, though not as well. Oh, Lord. She rested against the cool pane of glass and touched her still-tingling lips with shaky fingers. Was she? Falling for him? Was that what this crazy-mad feeling inside of her was?
The question plagued her long into the night.
Margay Leah Justice
Elemental Humans: Water: http://www.textnovel.com/story/Elemental-Humans:-Water/8877/
The Jane Austen Society Pages: http://textnovel.com/stories_list_detail.php?story_id=1347
Author of adult sensual paranormal romance series “Sekhmet’s Guardians.”
Eternal Nights – Sekhmet’s Guardians – Book Two
Back cover blurb:
With each passing day Jessica’s consciousness grew stronger. For twenty years she was content to remain as she was—trapped inside another. The life she led came to an abrupt end the moment she laid eyes on Raphael. At first she suspected they were destined to be together–his gentle touch confirmed it. Although he didn’t know it, he ignited waves of a fiery passion that burned deep into her soul. It became brighter every day, giving her the strength she needed. Somehow she would find a way to free herself from her grandmother’s powerful magic.
Since her birth she learned vicariously from observing others of her kind and until now she was satisfied with the life she led. She had everything one would need to live a meaningful life without the stress the human world inflicts on its inhabitants. With each passing day her obsession to be more than she was, intensified. Jessica knew she was gifted with her race’s abilities to communicate with others but until now she had never used them. They say practice makes perfect and she was at a point now where she could make her presence known—at least to him.
Virginia S. Nelson writing as V.S.Nelson
Ancient Legends – New Worlds – Humans weren’t the only ones to migrate to America
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Trilogy of a Wolf’s Endowment, including Savage Release is available from eXtasy Books
Tagline: One beast may die, but another one will rise. And his savage ways will live on forever.
Two members of the Moonlight Clan Council are abducted. After they’re pulled away from their East Tennessee pack and shipped to Canada, they awaken only to find themselves surrounded by the snow-covered peaks of the Northern Rocky Mountains. To make matters worse, a formidable enemy stands before them and challenges them in a battle for their lives.
Fighting their way to freedom, Len and Ray come face to face with Sable, another wolf-shifter defending their pack’s enemy, Corey Marshall. Once Sable learns she supported the wrong wolf, she realizes how much she stands to lose.
Drawn to their attacker in a way that doesn’t make sense, Len and Ray see vivid images as the trilogy of endowment unfolds before them. They embrace their mating call, but the young woman is quite a handful. And Sable isn’t prepared for Len’s idea of a first mating. After Len and Ray unleash their building passion, Sable is left with only one choice—complete surrender.