Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Striking Range

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Hi, everybody!  Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I missed last week due to blogging overload. Matthias released on the 2nd and my book tour launched this past week, so I have to admit I just ran out of words. Hate it when then happens.  But I’m back and happy to be here, carrying on for a while with Matthias.  I pick up where I left off last time.  Dylan, a reporter, is having a talk with his boss Amanda about the subject of their current investigation, Matthias Krall.

***

Dylan wisely resisted mentioning his crush on Matthias. “I had a class with him when I was a sophomore. It was an upper-level course, so I assumed he was a senior.”

“And of course you took advanced classes,” Amanda huffed. “Listen, boy wonder, the plug has been pulled on the Rising Star story—pure speculation, no hard facts, according to Marley.”

Amanda’s eyes blazed, and she looked like she wanted to hit something. Dylan rolled his chair back until he was out of striking range.

“He wasn’t registered, he just attended classes. Either he was improving his mind or preying on rich kids, or both.”

Amanda’s lips thinned as she processed this.

***

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Matthias: Order of the Black Knights ~ Release date November 2, 2016

From Louisiana swamp rat to revivalist huckster to skilled con artist, Matthias Krall clawed his way out of poverty using his natural gifts of grift and manipulation to become the leader of an exclusive retreat center. Exploiting the guise of spiritual guru, Matthias seduces the rich and powerful into turning over their lives and fortunes to his control. But wealth and a small cadre of loyal followers can’t protect Matthias from the betrayal he knows is imminent. Everyone wants what Matthias has, except for one man who wants to destroy it. Dylan Connelly is a reporter who’s determined to prove the charismatic recluse is not only a fraud but a murderer.

Irresistibly drawn to Dylan despite the warnings in his gut, Matthias lures Dylan to his island retreat, determined to destroy his enemy once and for all.

Check out this great review! “I have to commend Alexis Duran because this story truly sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. As much as I wanted to put it down, I just couldn’t. ” 5 Stars from Bayou Book Junkie

Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

Purchase on Amazon

Order of the Black Knights

Every century has seen its knights, but they are not always seen. Some of them do what must be done—getting their hands dirty when no one else is willing. Assassins and antiheroes who work from the shadows, they are called the Black Knights. From the time of the society’s creation in the 1100s, these men are cursed to repeat their lives of bloodshed. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man that waits inside and break the cycle. The question is whether or not the knight will kill his true love before he figures it out.

***

This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post eight to ten sentences from a published work or perhaps their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click here or use the address: http://www.wewriwa.com

Seductive Studs ~ The Pact

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If it’s Monday it musts be time for Seductive Studs. What better way to start out the week than a sampling of snippets from some great m/m stories?

This Wednesday is release day for my new novel, Matthias: Order of the Black Knights. Although Matthias is a contemporary thriller, I thought in honor of Halloween I’d share from the magical set-up that gets Matthias into deep trouble, forever cursed to be reborn as a killer.  This is from the prologue, where Matthias meets the wizard who seals his fate:

The man pushed back his hood to reveal an ancient face plowed with deep wrinkles. His gaze cut into Matthias, sizing him up, then moved along to inspect the small crowd of peddlers and beggars who gathered before him.

“The time has come for a new king to rid your land of these invaders, to push them to the sea and beyond. Who among you would join in such a fight if given the strength and power to do so?”

This drew a laugh from some of the downtrodden men, many of whom were old, half-starved, lame, useless. Matthias felt ashamed to stand among them and know he was no better off.

“Who is this king?” Ahmed the spice merchant barked from behind his bowls of earth-toned powders. “You?”

“I cannot fight myself. I am a wizard, and I need true warriors to wield swords in my name. In return for your oath of loyalty, I can make any man a knight, any boy a warrior.” With these last words, he stared straight at Matthias, his gaze boring holes into his soul. “Sick of begging for scraps and cowering before the undeserving? I can make you invincible.” He lashed out with a staff and knocked the basket from Matthias’s arms. Matthias gaped down at the spilled charms, which looked so shoddy and worthless in the dirt. “I have real magic at my disposal.”

Matthias looked up again and was surprised to hear his own voice rise above the laughter, catcalls, and curses. “And when you become king, what then?”

“You will be richly rewarded. All will fear you. Killing your enemies will be a joy.” He lifted a pointy chin in the direction the knights had gone. “Never again will you give way, for all will give way before you.”

Despite the heat of the sun and bodies pressed around him, Matthias shivered. When the horsemen had ridden over his mother, he’d wanted to kill them so badly he could taste their blood in his mouth. When his father beat him, he longed to rise up, take the whip from his hand, and flay the drunkard’s skin until he screamed for mercy.

No. He hadn’t thought those things. Not until this moment. Not until the wizard said the words Killing your enemies will be a joy. Joy. What a strange, foreign word.

The man was promising him joy. Matthias could take his mother out of the hovel, along with his brothers and sisters. They could live in a palace. Matthias grinned at the image but kept his chin down.

Someone brighter than Matthias asked, “And what’s the price for all this power?”

“Only your loyalty and your service,” the wizard said.

“For how long?”

“Until you choose to stop being a warrior. When you choose to forgive your enemy instead of killing him.” The wizard said this with a shrug, as if he couldn’t imagine anyone choosing to do such a silly thing. He pulled a parchment from the folds of his robes and unrolled it. The expensive paper was blank. “Now, who will be the first to claim their destiny?”

Matthias kicked aside the sad little pile of his mother’s charms and stepped forward. “If your promises don’t come true, the pact is broken,” he said, feeling quite smart to negotiate.

A thin smile twisted the wizard’s lips. “I assure you that I, Moriel, never make false promises.”

He held out a long quill pen, and Matthias reached for it, still sure this was nothing more than a conjuring act like his mother, his grandmother, and his great-grandmother had all performed. But when he took the pen, a thrill coursed up his spine.

As if the market and the crowd had retreated behind a veil of shadows, Matthias saw only the scroll, now covered in elegant script, black x marks and names crisscrossing the bottom.

“Magic as great as this requires sacrifice,” Moriel said quietly, just for Matthias it seemed. “Cut yourself and dip the pen in your blood. This will seal the pact forever.”

“Forever?” Startled, Matthias looked up into Moriel’s dark, abysmal eyes.

“Well, until you decide you’re no longer interested in wealth and power.”

“Until I forgive my enemy.”

“Yes.”

Simple enough. Matthias expected he would feel very forgiving once he and his family were comfortable and safe.

He took a knife from his belt and made a small cut on his forearm. When enough blood seeped out, he dipped in the pen and carefully wrote his name as his mother had taught him.

***

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Matthias: Order of the Black Knights ~ Release date November 2, 2016

From Louisiana swamp rat to revivalist huckster to skilled con artist, Matthias Krall clawed his way out of poverty using his natural gifts of grift and manipulation to become the leader of an exclusive retreat center. Exploiting the guise of spiritual guru, Matthias seduces the rich and powerful into turning over their lives and fortunes to his control. But wealth and a small cadre of loyal followers can’t protect Matthias from the betrayal he knows is imminent. Everyone wants what Matthias has, except for one man who wants to destroy it. Dylan Connelly is a reporter who’s determined to prove the charismatic recluse is not only a fraud but a murderer.

Irresistibly drawn to Dylan despite the warnings in his gut, Matthias lures Dylan to his island retreat, determined to destroy his enemy once and for all.

Preorder at Dreamspinner Press!

Preorder on Amazon!

Order of the Black Knights

Every century has seen its knights, but they are not always seen. Some of them do what must be done—getting their hands dirty when no one else is willing. Assassins and antiheroes who work from the shadows, they are called the Black Knights. From the time of the society’s creation in the 1100s, these men are cursed to repeat their lives of bloodshed. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man that waits inside and break the cycle. The question is whether or not the knight will kill his true love before he figures it out.

***

Don’t forget to continue the hop at Seductive Studs!

 

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ All Yours

Hi! Another week has flown by and it’s Weekend Writing Warriors time again. The only solace to time moving so quickly is that I get to find out what happened on all the great snippets that left me hanging last week.  Here in my little corner of WWW, I’m continuing to share from Matthias, my contemporary m/m thriller that’s coming out this Wednesday.

Dylan is a reporter who’s been assigned to do research on the leader of an exclusive resort, Matthias Krall. He was surprised to find out he knew Matthias in college, but not that Matthias’s current activities are suspicious enough to warrant investigation.

***

The loose papers on Dylan’s desk lifted and skittered sideways in the tidal force generated by Amanda as she marched up behind him and dropped a fat stack of file folders on his keyboard.

“All yours,” she said and continued walking toward her office.

“Hey, hang on,” Dylan called after her. The tall, honey-skinned woman spun around. By the glare and the tight lips, Dylan guessed her interview with editor in chief Marley Hawkins hadn’t gone well.

“I knew Matthias Krall in college,” he said, hoping to distract her from whatever argument still brought rose-colored splashes to her cheeks.

“I don’t give a shit,” she said. She blinked a few times as her reporter’s instincts kicked in. “I never found anything about Krall attending UW.”

“There’s no mistaking him.”

***

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Matthias: Order of the Black Knights ~ Release date November 2, 2016

From Louisiana swamp rat to revivalist huckster to skilled con artist, Matthias Krall clawed his way out of poverty using his natural gifts of grift and manipulation to become the leader of an exclusive retreat center. Exploiting the guise of spiritual guru, Matthias seduces the rich and powerful into turning over their lives and fortunes to his control. But wealth and a small cadre of loyal followers can’t protect Matthias from the betrayal he knows is imminent. Everyone wants what Matthias has, except for one man who wants to destroy it. Dylan Connelly is a reporter who’s determined to prove the charismatic recluse is not only a fraud but a murderer.

Irresistibly drawn to Dylan despite the warnings in his gut, Matthias lures Dylan to his island retreat, determined to destroy his enemy once and for all.

Preorder at Dreamspinner Press!

Preorder on Amazon!

Order of the Black Knights

Every century has seen its knights, but they are not always seen. Some of them do what must be done—getting their hands dirty when no one else is willing. Assassins and antiheroes who work from the shadows, they are called the Black Knights. From the time of the society’s creation in the 1100s, these men are cursed to repeat their lives of bloodshed. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man that waits inside and break the cycle. The question is whether or not the knight will kill his true love before he figures it out.

***

This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post eight to ten sentences from a published work or perhaps their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click here or use the address: http://www.wewriwa.com

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Stalker-In-Training

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Welcome to another round of Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where a bunch of really awesome writers share excerpts from their work in ten lines or less. I’ve been sharing from  Matthias: Order of the Black Knights, due to hit the virtual shelves on November 2nd.  Dylan, a reporter, discovers he’s been assigned to help investigate an old acquaintance of his, Matthias Krall.  Matthias was a mystery man back in college, and things haven’t changed much. (For previous snippets, click here and here.)

***

Matthias kept a low profile even while he mingled with jet-setters. Most of the photos Dylan uncovered were thanks to tabloid coverage of Matthias’s brief affair with Jason Vaughn. A few others showed him with senators, CEOs, and movie stars. All were incidental. Matthias was never the focus of the shot, merely a bystander.

Dylan had lost track of Matthias, had tried to put him out of his mind, but now that Amanda had stirred the slumbering coals of his obsession, he was determined to find out what he couldn’t back in college. Who was Matthias, and what the hell was he up to?

As a journalism major and stalker-in-training, Dylan had quickly discovered that, although Matthias attended classes, he wasn’t a registered student at UW. That was as far as Dylan’s research got. Matthias had disappeared from campus and from Dylan’s life, until now.

***

matthiasfs_v2

Matthias: Order of the Black Knights ~ Release date November 2, 2016

From Louisiana swamp rat to revivalist huckster to skilled con artist, Matthias Krall clawed his way out of poverty using his natural gifts of grift and manipulation to become the leader of an exclusive retreat center. Exploiting the guise of spiritual guru, Matthias seduces the rich and powerful into turning over their lives and fortunes to his control. But wealth and a small cadre of loyal followers can’t protect Matthias from the betrayal he knows is imminent. Everyone wants what Matthias has, except for one man who wants to destroy it. Dylan Connelly is a reporter who’s determined to prove the charismatic recluse is not only a fraud but a murderer.

Irresistibly drawn to Dylan despite the warnings in his gut, Matthias lures Dylan to his island retreat, determined to destroy his enemy once and for all.

Preorder at Dreamspinner Press!

Preorder on Amazon!

Order of the Black Knights

Every century has seen its knights, but they are not always seen. Some of them do what must be done—getting their hands dirty when no one else is willing. Assassins and antiheroes who work from the shadows, they are called the Black Knights. From the time of the society’s creation in the 1100s, these men are cursed to repeat their lives of bloodshed. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man that waits inside and break the cycle. The question is whether or not the knight will kill his true love before he figures it out.

***

This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post eight to ten sentences from a published work or perhaps their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click here or use the address: http://www.wewriwa.com

Seductive Studs ~ Unfortunate Encounter

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Hello and welcome to Seductive Studs, the hop that celebrates m/m romance in all its many wonderful forms.  This week I’m sharing a snippet from my latest release, Gryffon Hall, a fantasy inspired by Beauty and the Beast.

***

Morning arrived on the plodding feet of ill-tempered giants. Glimmerveen Castle ground into a tumultuous, clanging upheaval as the harsh light of day crept over the castle’s outer walls and poured into Wryler’s window with relentless persistence.

He sat in bed with his hands wrapped around a mug of tea, recounting the evils of alcohol and swearing off the foul brew for the rest of his days. Amster snored loudly, stretched out on the settee beneath the window. Wryler had to summon a kitchen maid to bring him his breakfast—hot, spiced tea, dry bread, and a few sad-looking pieces of fruit. He nibbled on the bread and listened to fifty-odd guests loading their carriages, shouting at the servants, and generally making a very pointless racket. He wondered if Lord Rouchet was among those leaving and, with a creeping dread, recalled their unfortunate encounter.

Wryler’s body stirred, and he grimly ordered it to calm down. Thank goodness he hadn’t succumbed to Rouchet’s impetuous advances. It was a small miracle the brute hadn’t taken advantage of Wryler’s obvious drunkenness. He dimly recalled Rouchet threatening to hoist Wryler over his shoulder and carry him off to ravish him, at which point Wryler had said something devastating enough to send the barbarian running off into the night.

To his extreme irritation this muddled memory did nothing to soothe his body. His troublesome cock just kept growing harder and harder no matter how much Wryler conjured terrifying images of being abducted by the lord, manhandled, forced to do… Well, his imagination wasn’t that lurid… Oh dear, yes it was.

He nearly dumped the tea in his lap when someone thumped loudly on his door, and for a second he thought it might be Rouchet come to make good on his threats.

Then the door burst open and his father marched in, followed closely by his first minister, Fenwale Cook. They were both smiling, which made Wryler want to leap from the bed and throw himself out the window. No good ever came from his father smiling.

***

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Fated to be born the useless fourth son of the Lord of Glimmerveen, Wryler dreams of getting married and escaping the rustic confines of his father’s castle. A wealthy merchant’s son seems to hold the key to Wryler’s safe if somewhat dreary future. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger on the eve of Wryler’s betrothal sends his plans into disarray and Wryler finds himself traded off in marriage to one of the most notorious rogues in the land.

Is Lord Aeric Rouchet the scoundrel he appears to be, or is he something much worse? Separated from his family and thrust into a strange and dangerous new life at the foreboding Gryffon Hall, Wryler must unravel the secret of his husband’s shadowed life and defeat the curse which threatens not only his growing affection for the barbarian in his bed, but the lives of everyone the Lord of Gryffon Hall is sworn to protect.

***

Check out the great review on Diverse Reader.

Amazon 

ARe

Loose Id

***

Don’t forget to continue the hop at Seductive Studs for more steamy m/m goodness.

My Sexy Saturday ~ A Touch More Monstrous

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Welcome to the 160th Week of My Sexy Saturday.  This week’s theme is Sexy Has It’s Way.  I don’t know about you, but I keep reading that as Sexy GETS It’s Way.  And it usually does, doesn’t it? In this scene from Gryffon Hall, Lord Aeric Rouchet definitely thinks he’s going get his way.

***

“Never mind Formister,” the lord of the manor said as he followed Wryler out. “He was quite the rogue in his day. He only pretends to be offended.”

“But he had every right to be. Really, Lord Rouchet, your behavior is less than decorous.” Shame still writhed in Wryler’s innards. He couldn’t get away from the librarian and his smirks fast enough.

“Ah, we’re back to Lord Rouchet, are we?” Rouchet grabbed Wryler’s arm and stopped him. Wryler didn’t like the mischievous gleam in Rouchet’s eye one bit. “As far as rude behavior goes, you haven’t seen anything yet. I’ll have you on every flat surface in this castle before the year’s out.”

This time Wryler managed to keep his head and jerked free, chin held high. “That’s your right, as my lord, but I have one more day of freedom, and I ask you to respect my person until that time as I have no say in matter.”

“I’m sorry if you feel that our marriage is a prison sentence for you, but I have to say your fiery gaze and your words only enflame my passions. I quite look forward to being your lord and abusing everything our bond entitles me to.” Rouchet grinned, and Wryler had to admit the flash of white teeth made him look quite handsome and a touch more monstrous. Odd that the two things didn’t seem to conflict. But Aunt Otillia was right. Wryler must establish himself as someone to be respected, not only with the servants but the master of the house as well.

“I would kindly request that you keep your distance until we meet at the altar tonight. Until then, I bid you good day.” Wryler bowed stiffly and then marched down the hall, half expecting Rouchet to pounce on him from behind. Instead Rouchet laughed again and called after him.

“Don’t get lost now, Sir Wryler. I can’t bear the thought of delaying our union a single moment.”

***

AD_GryffonHall_coverin

 

Fated to be born the useless fourth son of the Lord of Glimmerveen, Wryler dreams of getting married and escaping the rustic confines of his father’s castle. A wealthy merchant’s son seems to hold the key to Wryler’s safe if somewhat dreary future. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger on the eve of Wryler’s betrothal sends his plans into disarray and Wryler finds himself traded off in marriage to one of the most notorious rogues in the land.

Is Lord Aeric Rouchet the scoundrel he appears to be, or is he something much worse? Separated from his family and thrust into a strange and dangerous new life at the foreboding Gryffon Hall, Wryler must unravel the secret of his husband’s shadowed life and defeat the curse which threatens not only his growing affection for the barbarian in his bed, but the lives of everyone the Lord of Gryffon Hall is sworn to protect.

***

Check out the great review on Diverse Reader.

Amazon 

ARe

Loose Id

***

Don’t forget to continue the hop at My Sexy Saturday for more steamy snippets.