Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dragonwatch is Live!

The balance of power in Skanda is about to shift. As the kingdoms of the north negotiate a secret alliance, the Wytch Council attempts to discredit and replace the rebellious Wytch Kings. Can Tristin of Ysdrach and Prince Mikhyal of Rhiva get to the bottom of the plot? Or will the Northern Alliance be torn apart before the ink on the treaty is dry?




Dragonwatch, Book 4 in my MM Fantasy Romance series Wytch Kings, is now available at Amazon and Smashwords and will be coming to other retailers soon.


Book Description:

Beautiful, broken Tristin of Ysdrach would rather hide in his dragon form than live with a Wytch power that forces him to feel the pain of the past in every object he touches. Struggling to come to terms with a future he never believed he’d have, Tristin needs a reason not to surrender to the beast within.

Without Wytch power, Prince Mikhyal of Rhiva is not qualified to be his father’s heir, but newly discovered knowledge possessed by Rhiva’s allies could change that. On their journey to a secret negotiation that could shift the balance of power in Skanda, Mikhyal and his father are attacked, and Mikhyal is left bonded to an ancient sword with a mission, an attitude, and a penchant for blackberry tarts.

Even with the distractions of a royal betrothal ceremony, an enemy striking from the shadows, and the complex negotiations of alliance and rebellion, the painfully shy Tristin still manages to catch Mikhyal’s eye. The two men barely have time to acknowledge their mutual attraction before an attempt is made to end the line of Rhiva.

Can Tristin and Mikhyal get to the bottom of the plot? Or will the Northern Alliance be torn apart before the ink on the treaty is dry?

~94,000 words

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dragonwatch: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Dragonwatch, the fourth Wytch Kings book, will be available in September. This story is about Tristin of Ysdrach, the bastard cousin of Wytch King Garrik. In the last book, Shadowspire, Tristin was instrumental in foiling the Wytch Council's plot to install him on the throne of Altan as a puppet king. Now recovering from years of imprisonment and addiction at the hands of his uncle and the Council, Tristin is struggling to make peace with his past and move forward into a future he's not quite sure what to do with.




Book Description

The balance of power in Skanda is about to shift…

Beautiful, broken Tristin of Ysdrach would rather hide in his dragon form than live with a Wytch power that forces him to feel the pain of the past in every object he touches. Struggling to come to terms with a future he never believed he’d have, Tristin needs a reason not to surrender to the beast within.

Without Wytch power, Prince Mikhyal of Rhiva is not qualified to be his father’s heir, but newly discovered knowledge possessed by Rhiva’s allies could change that. On their journey to a secret negotiation that could shift the balance of power in Skanda, Mikhyal and his father are attacked, and Mikhyal is left bonded to an ancient sword with a mission, an attitude, and a penchant for blackberry tarts.

Even with the distractions of a royal betrothal ceremony, an enemy striking from the shadows, and the complex negotiations of alliance and rebellion, the painfully shy Tristin still manages to catch Mikhyal’s eye. The two men barely have time to acknowledge their mutual attraction before an attempt is made to end the line of Rhiva.

Can Tristin and Mikhyal get to the bottom of the plot? Or will the Northern Alliance be torn apart before the ink on the treaty is dry?


Excerpt

Tristin hadn’t even paused to dress before fleeing down the tower stairs with his clothing clutched against his middle. Fortunately, it was late enough that no one was about in the hall leading to the royal apartments, and Tristin reached his suite without frightening the servants or causing any unfortunate incidents. He closed the door firmly behind him and let his clothing fall to the floor.

What had he been thinking?

Well, he hadn’t been thinking, had he? He’d been half asleep, enjoying the feel of Mikhyal’s hand rubbing his head and neck. It had felt so nice to be touched, even in dragon form, that he’d let himself forget everything else.

Mikhyal must have been absolutely horrified when he’d shifted back. Tristin knew very well he was no prize. He’d avoided mirrors for the most part, but he’d caught enough glimpses to know that his body was still gaunt and wasted, and the scars…

In the brilliant wash of moonlight, there was no way Mikhyal could have missed seeing his scars. The prince wouldn’t even want to dance with him now, and he’d been so looking forward to that.

Maybe he should have stayed at Dragonwatch, after all.

Tristin trudged into his bedroom where he curled up on the bed and squeezed his eyes shut. The things that had pleased him so much when he’d first stepped into the room now seemed only that: things. They wouldn’t keep him company when he was lonely. Nor would they gently rub his head and neck, or tell him how beautiful he looked in the moonlight.

A hot tear trickled down his face.

“Oh, this is rich. Honestly, you two.”

Tristin started and sat up. Dirit was perched on the foot of the bed glaring at him. The little dragon was bathed in silvery moonlight, making him look like some sort of glowing spirit.

“W-what… what d-do you w-want?” Tristin stammered.

Dirit tapped a long claw on the bedpost, and a glowing ball of yellow light appeared over his head, illuminating the room. “I want you to go and speak to His Royal Restlessness. He’s been in a snit ever since he returned from the tower.” Dirit narrowed his eyes. When Tristin didn’t respond, the dragon continued, “It’s impossible to sleep with all the muttering and pacing.”

“Ah. Well. I… imagine that’s because I disgust him,” Tristin murmured.

Humans.” The dragon rolled his eyes and twitched his whiskers in apparent disgust. “So dramatic. You think you disgust him, and he’s certain he’s frightened you off. Matchmaking really isn’t part of my mandate, you know, but it appears that neither one of you is bright enough to realize that you’ve had a misunderstanding.”

Tristin stared at him, open-mouthed, as he tried to work out whom Dirit was insulting. Both of them, it sounded like.

The little dragon peered at him, eyebrow tufts drawing together in a frown. “You do know what a misunderstanding is, don’t you?”

“Of c-course I do. I’m j-just not sure what I can do about it.”

“You could start by putting some clothing on,” Dirit prodded.

Heat rushed to his face, and Tristin scrambled off of the bed and went to fetch his clothing from the main room of the suite.

“Not those.” Dirit appeared in front of him, grabbing a mouthful of Tristin’s breeches and yanking them out of his hand. He spit them out on the floor as if they tasted bad, then wrinkled his snout. “They’re all rumpled and dusty. You simply cannot go courting in dirty things.”

“Who says I’m going—”

“Have you no sense of decorum?”

“Decorum isn’t exactly a priority when you’ve been locked in a tower for most of your life,” Tristin explained. He snatched the rumpled breeches from the floor and clutched them against himself in the vain hope of preserving both modesty and dignity. “Anyway, I haven’t got anything else.”

Dirit swarmed across the floor and disappeared into the bedroom, taking the ball of light with him and leaving Tristin in darkness. A moment later, the dragon — and the light — returned. “You’ve an entire dressing room full of clothing fit for a prince. Come along, we haven’t got all night. Honestly, do I have to do everything for you?”

With Dirit’s assistance, Tristin selected a pair of dark blue breeches and a grey linen shirt. When he was dressed, he brushed his hair and tied it back with a little strip of black leather.

“Yes…” Dirit circled him, hopping up on the furniture to observe him from all angles. “Of course, a proper bath would have been better, but if I’m to get any sleep at all, we simply haven’t time. I don’t expect you’ll progress to the point where that’s really necessary, not tonight. His Royal Virtuousness is far too much of a gentleman to be invading your dignity with his most impressive royal masculinity on the first encounter.”

“Invading my dignity?” Tristin sputtered. “With his—”

“You’ll do quite nicely. That really is a charming shade of pink. Lovely contrast with the shirt. Come along, then.”

Tristin could only stare at the dragon, speechless. It wasn’t until they were entering the guest wing that he found his voice. “What if… what if he’s gone to sleep? It must be well after midnight by now.”

“A bit past two, actually,” Dirit informed him. “But he’s awake.”

“How do you know?”

Dirit’s ears flattened. “I can feel him. I’m attached to him, remember? Bonded. Cursed with constant awareness.”

Unable to think of anything else to do, Tristin followed the little dragon through the castle’s dimly lit hallways. The guardsmen posted at regular intervals said nothing, but Tristin hunched his shoulders, certain they were watching and judging. They probably thought he was off to some clandestine meeting of the most sordid kind, and he couldn’t help feeling conspicuous and rather overdressed. Face flaming, he trudged miserably down the hall after Dirit.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Dragonwatch: WIP Excerpt

So who's ready for more dragons?

Dragonwatch, book 4 of the Wytch Kings series, is on track for a September release. This one features Tristin, who was a secondary character in Shadowspire (book 3), and Prince Mikhyal of Rhiva. Tristin's cousin, Wytch King Garrik of Altan, is moving forward with his plans to unite the kingdoms of the north against the Wytch Council, but Tristin has his own problems to deal with...

* * *

Tristin blinked hard to bring down his inner eyelids. He quickly located a downdraft, a swath of cool turquoise, and rode it in a lazy, spiraling descent toward the roof of the watchtower. His landing was perfect, but it gave him no satisfaction, and he didn’t make the shift back to human form.

Wytch Master Ilya stood before him, a cloak draped over his arm. “Would you shift for me, Tristin? I would have words with you, and we cannot speak properly when you are in dragon form and I am not.”

Tristin snorted, but didn’t shift. If Ilya wanted to speak to him so badly, he could shift into dragon form. Tristin knew exactly what Ilya wished to talk about, and the thought of it made his dragon-belly writhe and twist in dread.

His gaze drifted away from the Wytch Master to the slope of the mountain beyond the watchtower. He could have been safe in his cave by now, if he hadn’t been curious and come to investigate.

“Tristin… if you insist on spending all your time in dragon form, you risk losing yourself to the beast within. You will forget your humanity entirely.”

Tristin stared down at his wicked, ruby-red claws. Forgetting his human life would not necessarily be a bad thing.

“If you lose yourself to the beast,” Ilya continued, “you will be a danger to the folk of Altan. Garrik would have no choice but to order your death, though it would grieve him to do so.”

Ilya was right, of course, and Tristin knew it. He’d already experienced signs of the beast-mind overshadowing his human mind: losing track of the days, reveling in the hunt, the smell of blood transporting him into ecstasies the likes of which he’d never known as a human man.

“Won’t you try?” Ilya coaxed. “Your cousins are both very concerned about you, as am I.”

His cousins, yes. He owed them much. His life, his freedom… and his current condition. Which, truth be told, they were trying hard to help him with.

“I know the watchtower is particularly difficult for you,” Master Ilya said. “If you’d be more comfortable, you may glide down to the courtyard, and I will meet you there.”

With a heavy sigh, Tristin dipped his head in acquiescence and nodded toward the courtyard. Ilya smiled. “Very good, then. I shall see you in a minute. Would you like to take the cloak with you?” He held it out to Tristin, laying it across outstretched arms so it would be easy for the dragon to take it. Tristin carefully wrapped his claws around it and hopped to the edge of the watchtower roof on three legs. He spread his wings and glided down to the courtyard.

Shifting back into human form was easy, but the mental onslaught that came with it was shocking. Visions of armed men running to do battle flooded his mind. Shouted commands and screams of pain filled his ears, and he felt the bite of steel on flesh and the heat of fire. The smell of smoke and the taste of blood were almost enough to choke him. It didn’t matter how many times he reminded himself it wasn’t real, the sensations were too intense for him to remember that when he was caught up in them.

The empathic resonances bled from every surface he touched, and those first moments after shifting back into human form were always overwhelming, especially after the peace he experienced in dragon form.

Dragonwatch stood on the site of an old fort which had been home to the men who guarded the kingdom of Altan from the winter raids of the mountain barbarians. The barbarian tribes were gone now, thinned out or driven off nearly a century ago, during the Ten Winters of the Dark Ice, but the empathic resonances of the men who had fought here remained. The violence, fear, and pain experienced by those ancient warriors had suffused the stones of the watchtower and the surrounding landscape as their blood had soaked the dirt.

Most people were blissfully unaware of the savage history written in the land beneath their feet.

Tristin wasn’t most people.

The fears and hopes of those long dead souls who had once defended the kingdom sliced through his head like millions of tiny daggers. Each alone was barely noticeable, a drop of rain in a raging storm. But the combined onslaught was so overwhelming that for a moment, Tristin froze, feet glued to the sun-warmed stone, hands clenching the cloak.

“Tristin?” Master Ilya’s voice broke him out of a haze of pain so intense, he forgot to hide his arms. Ilya gently uncurled his fingers from the fabric of the cloak. “You will be well again, I promise you,” Ilya said gently. “But I cannot teach you the shielding patterns if you insist on spending all your time in dragon form.”

The Wytch Master’s pale blue eyes fixed on Tristin, his expression remaining calm and composed. He didn’t look the least bit disgusted at the sight of Tristin’s gaunt frame, or the terrible scars on his arms.

Though he wanted to tear the cloak from Ilya’s hands and whip it around himself to cover his body, Tristin forced himself to wait while the Wytch Master gently draped it over his shoulders. When the cloak was in place, Tristin pulled it tight, holding it closed with shaking hands in an attempt to cover as much of himself as possible.

“Come on. You’ll feel better once you’re inside.” The Wytch Master’s voice was cool, a soothing contrast to the hot mess of empathic resonance swirling in Tristin’s head.

By the time they reached the school’s entry hall — the new hall, built from freshly hewn planks, thank the Dragon Mother — Tristin’s skin was slick with cold sweat. The moment his bare feet touched the smooth, polished floorboards, the sensations absorbed by the stones in the courtyard faded to a dim noise in the background, leaving him weak-kneed and trembling.

Master Ilya escorted him to his suite and waited in the sitting room while Tristin staggered into his bedroom to find something more suitable to wear than a cloak.

Now that the worst of the resonances were blocked by the relatively new wood, Tristin’s mind was a quiet as it ever got. He dressed quickly, in breeches and a shirt with sleeves long enough to hide his scars.

Outside, the sky was a clear, lavender blue, and Tristin took a moment to stare longingly at it. He could be out the window and gliding, pain-free, through the sky in a moment, if he dared.

The Wytch Master’s words threaded through his mind: Garrik would have no choice but to order your death…

For one brief moment, he thought perhaps that was the answer. But no — Tristin wasn’t quite ready to give up yet. Not quite. Though he feared if things didn’t improve soon, he might quickly reach that point.

With one last, longing look at the sky, he left his bedroom.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Closing the Circle - Series Finale - Is Live

Closing the Circle (Guardians of the Pattern, Book 6), the final volume of the Guardians of the Pattern series, is now live at Smashwords and Amazon, and will be coming to other retailers soon.

This book not only marks the end of a series that's been alive in my head for literally decades, but also puts me at over a million words published since I started this journey in 2013. I think I need to celebrate... after I've collapsed in an exhausted heap. This is my favorite of the bunch. Hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Slave. Assassin. Bodyguard. Draven has played many roles within the notorious Sapphire Guild, but one man has always controlled his destiny. After the man who shaped his world betrays him, Draven exacts his revenge and flees, pinning all his hopes on a promise of sanctuary made long ago.

Director Cameron Asada is responsible for the safety of every psion affiliated with the Institute for Psionic Research. When a vid-clip of a psion destroying an industrial installation goes viral, the citizens of the Federation demand action. With anti-psion sentiment spreading too fast to contain, the last thing Cam needs is for a dangerous figure from his past to show up, drug-addicted, psi-damaged, and seeking to redeem a reckless promise Cam never should have made.

Sheltering Draven could cost Cam everything he’s worked for, but Cam owes the man his life, and Draven might be just what Cam needs to protect his people from an increasingly hostile government. When it becomes clear that it may take more than a job offer to secure Draven’s trust, Cam finds himself walking a dangerous line as he struggles to reconcile his conflicting loyalties. Can Cam be the man Draven needs? Or is everything he’s worked for destined to go up in flames?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Closing the Circle: Cover Reveal

Closing the Circle is the sixth and final novel of my m/m sci fi series, Guardians of the Pattern. This is my favorite of the bunch, and I've been looking forward to it since I started this series with Facing the Mirror, back in 2013. In this story, we come full circle (see what I did there?) as the viewpoint characters are the three main characters from Facing the Mirror: Cameron, Draven, and Miko. This story finds our heroes dealing with a Federation in crisis: video of a psion destroying a research base has gone viral, and the public is demanding that the Federation Senate do something about the "psion menace". This story is over 120,000 words long and will be available in May of 2017. Not long now! *rubs hands together and cackles with glee*

The cover boy this time is Draven (Cam and Miko already had their shot), and as usual, Chinchbug did a fantastic job translating my vague hand-waving and babbling into an Actual Visual Thing:


Book Description:

Slave. Assassin. Bodyguard. Draven has played many roles within the notorious Sapphire Guild, but one man has always controlled his destiny. After the man who shaped his world betrays him, Draven exacts his revenge and flees, pinning all his hopes on a promise of sanctuary made long ago.

Director Cameron Asada is responsible for the safety of every psion affiliated with the Institute for Psionic Research. When a vid-clip of a psion destroying an industrial installation goes viral, the citizens of the Federation demand action. With anti-psion sentiment spreading too fast to contain, the last thing Cam needs is for a dangerous figure from his past to show up, drug-addicted, psi-damaged, and seeking to redeem a reckless promise Cam never should have made.

Sheltering Draven could cost Cam everything he’s worked for, but Cam owes the man his life, and Draven might be just what Cam needs to protect his people from an increasingly hostile government. When it becomes clear that it may take more than a job offer to secure Draven’s trust, Cam finds himself walking a dangerous line as he struggles to reconcile his conflicting loyalties. Can Cam be the man Draven needs? Or is everything he’s worked for destined to go up in flames?


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Read an Ebook Week Sale on Smashwords

I'm participating in Smashwords Read an Ebook Week sale, which runs from March 5 - 11. During this time, the following titles are on sale:

Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, Book 1), Gremlin's Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern, Book 2), and Leythe Blade, a stand-alone fantasy novel, are all 50% off using coupon code RAE50 at checkout.

Burn the Sky (Wytch Kings, Book 1) is 75% off using coupon code RAE75 at checkout.

Human Frailties, Human Strengths is free using coupon code SFREE at checkout.

While you're there, check out all the other books on sale here.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Closing the Circle: A Snippet

Coming in May is Closing the Circle, the final episode of the Guardians of the Pattern series. This one features Cameron and Draven, who first met way back in the prequel short story, Facing the Mirror. At end of Facing the Mirror, Cam makes a promise. At the beginning of Closing the Circle, he's called on to make good on that promise.

Here's a tiny taste to keep you going until May...



The decision to act was frighteningly easy to make, which Draven took to be a sign that his judgment was already badly compromised where Cam was concerned. He considered the pros and cons, weighed the risks, then grabbed his coat and stood by the door, waiting.

“What are you doing?” Cam asked.

“Coming with you. You said Miko wanted to see me. Once we’ve taken him to safety, you can give me a ride back to the campus.”

“For what? What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to fix it.”

“How?”

Draven gave him a faint smile and shook his head. “What you don’t know, you can’t be forced to tell to a Federation investigator. Or Cottrell, if he starts asking inconvenient questions.”

“Draven—”

“You do your job, Asada. Let me do mine.”

“What job?” Cam asked faintly.

“I’m your feral dog, aren’t I? Isn’t that what you told Cottrell?”

“How did you—?”

“I was in your mind. You let me in.”

“I let you in,” Cam murmured.

“Don’t worry.” Draven moved behind Cam’s chair, where he set his hands on Cam’s shoulders and leaned down to whisper, “The blood won’t be on your hands. That’s what I’m for.”

Cam shuddered. “I wish there didn’t have to be blood.” He leaned his head back against Draven’s chest and closed his eyes.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Shadowspire is Live!


Shadowspire, the third book in my M/M fantasy series, Wytch Kings, is now available at Amazon and Smashwords, and will be coming to other retailers soon.

If you used to shop at All Romance, please note that I have the same formats ARe used to carry (mobi, epub, and pdf) available at Smashwords.

Book Description:
Shy and bookish Prince Jaire of Altan is not particularly enthralled with the idea of marrying the simpering Lady Bria of Irilan, but Altan needs to renew its ties with the neighboring kingdom. For the sake of the alliance, Jaire is willing to do his duty, even if he would much rather marry a prince.

Sole survivor of the massacre now called the Irilan Rebellion, Prince Vayne of Irilan disappeared so long ago, no one even remembers his name. Trapped in the mythe to protect a secret that could change the balance of power in Skanda, Vayne has been fighting to retain his sanity for centuries.

When Jaire sees the ghost of a handsome young man dressed in fashions centuries old, he fears he might be losing his mind. But the ghost proves to be far more than a restless spirit, and might just hold the key to Altan’s future, as well as the key to Jaire’s heart.