A Bit of the Romantik
In between work, editing, and life in general, I’ve been sucked into a game called Dorf Romantik.
It’s a soothing puzzle game with fun graphics and progressive achievements. The more achievements you unlock the more cute and different graphics you get in the game. There are different game modes as well. Overall, it’s been a great stress reliever. The game play is quick. Usually 30-60 mins, which is awesome for a lunch break or a writing break. One of the other modes lets you save a game and continue building. I haven’t done that yet, but I might if I play a game and particularly like the layout I created.
Don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned Planet Crafters. It takes time to get the last two achievements so I’m grinding away on that. Though I recently unlocked outdoor butterfly gardens so now my pretties are free to roam the planet.
But you didn’t come here just for the interesting personal bits. . . (promise cute dog photos will be in the next newsletter)
Sales & Preorders!
Right now, all my eBooks are $0.99 each on your favorite platforms!
To celebrate, I’m also launching a new cover for Rare Temptations. Because you’re signed up to my newsletter, you get to see it here first!
It was created by Joanne Kwan, the same cover artist that’s worked with me on the Saint George covers. If you’d like to find out more, check out their linktree.
The version of Rare Temptations with the new cover should be available soon. I have a ton of places to update it, so if I miss one, let me know. It should finish rolling out by 11.20.22.
In addition to the new cover, I have preorders available for next year’s releases!
The Saint George Chronicles: The Dragon’s Lance picks up where Gregor and Xavior left off. This story takes their relationship beyond the boundaries they created while they were working together. If you thought volume one was steamy, well, this one’s a scorcher. Also, for readers that didn’t pick up the first book because of their roles as public safety officers, this book, and subsequent books in the series, depart from that.
Prince’s Tide was a month long fever dream about merfolk I wrote, then decided it would be a great book, then rewrote it so it could be an awesome book. I’m hoping to do a cover reveal soon. I’m excited for this book because the characters are so sweet. It’s main tropes are found family and second chance romance (besides monster f*cking). If I ever came close to writing a fluffy romance, it’s probably this one, and yet, it still has some dark moments.
This is an excerpt from “The Saint George Chronicles: The Dragon’s Lance” currently in editing. Preorders are available now and the release is scheduled for March 23, 2023.
“Let's talk about the final issue at hand.” Lang cleared his throat. “The imager footage was reviewed. The department did a spectral and magical analysis of the incident and what no one can figure out is how, you,” Lang looked right at me, “Lyndon, suddenly generated magic.”
The worry shifted to alarm bells. I had not disclosed my magical ability, because it was limited to a specific action which did not met the need to disclose. However, since my co-worker was, in fact, what could trigger my magic. I should have disclosed it.
“While Brantley's misjudgment put him in harm's way, no one can figure out how a knife with no magical properties managed to injure Brantley. Would you care to offer an explanation?”
Fuck. This was not good. Xavior fidgeted, hands clasping at his sides. If I didn't speak up, he'd try to fix this. It was my fault to begin with. I reached out to touch Xavior's arm, and he settled, hopefully sensing the resolve I had to see this through. I opened the department to liability. It was my job to take responsibility. Hopefully they would let Xav keep his job so he could manage his obsession.
“I have genetic ties to an order which historically hunted, and now legally executes dragons under judicial orders. We have a particular kind of magic that can activate under the right circumstances. While I was disavowed when I was nineteen, I still retain the magical ability because it's passed genetically to family members.”
Lang was silent for what seemed like forever before he spoke. “You didn't think to disclose this information to the department when Brantley was assigned as your partner?”
“I thought it posed little risk given our usual work assignments in General Support.” I saw Xavior wince. It was half a lie, because it wasn’t me that thought there was little risk, it was Xavior. Though I had gone alone with it since I didn’t want to be associated with The Order at work. It was bad enough to be associated at all.
“That's unacceptable, Lyndon. You put your fellow officer and members of the public at risk. It was your job as the senior officer to come to me with this, not decide for yourself that it was an acceptable risk.”
When Xavior opened his mouth, I tried to stop him with a glare, but he was undeterred. “With all due respect, Captain, he's been with the service for ten years. He had no reason to believe he'd be a danger to the public or me. He disclosed his status when we met, and I deemed it an acceptable risk.”
“You deemed it?” Lang didn't yell, but his tone implied Xavior had overreached his authority. “You knew about Lyndon's ability this entire time?”
“Yes, Captain,” Xavior said. He had to know that admission doomed us both. I had wondered if this relationship could cost me my career when we started dating. I had made up my mind that Xavior was worth it, though I hadn't expected it to be so soon.
“You weren't in any position to deem anything acceptable, Brantley. And furthermore, the implications of the two of you in a relationship make the situation even worse. The coven could, justifiably so, see your partnership as some kind of vendetta or vigilante action.”
Lang sighed. “In light of this information, I have no choice but to release you both from service. This is not an easy decision to make given both your records. The public’s trust is important. You must have known that working together created a risk which needed oversight.”
“I did.” Lang nodded in response to my admission and taking responsibility for my actions.
If I had told Lang the day he assigned me as Xavior’s partner instead of keeping my secret, we’d still have our jobs. I would have kept my distance and never knew Xavior. I’d be alone, and still hiding who I was, even from myself. While I knew that, logically, losing my career was a blow I felt in my gut. Glancing at Xavior, he was shocked and a little concerned. He caught my gaze and the full weight of his concern made sense. It wasn’t for himself, it was for me. He understood what my career meant to me. For him, it was one more on his long list of things he’s done over several lifetimes. Lang brought our attention back to the holovid.
“Is there something I could have done differently which would have encouraged you to bring this to me once you were aware of the risk?”
“What would you have done if you had known, Captain?” Xavior asked.
“At minimum, I would have assigned you other partners and made sure to minimize the risk initially, but I might have had one of you reassigned to another headquarters to reduce it completely.”
I glanced at Xavior, and he smiled. “Meeting Gregor has been one of the most exhilarating and rewarding moments of my life. I can tell you that regardless of what you did, I would have sought him out.”
My imagination tried to picture what it would have been like without Xavior as a partner, instead having him pursuing me in an effort to understand me. If I was more like my mother, I would have outright rejected him, maybe even threatened him. My career was important to me, but not as much as being near him. He was my childhood dreams brought to life. Over the last year we worked together, I was more myself than I had been in the last decade. Still, losing my job hurt more than I wanted to admit.
Lang shrugged. “Even so, Brantley, at least the department would have had some forewarning.” He paused a moment before he continued. “In light of your collective contributions to the service, I was able to negotiate two weeks leave before the service files severance papers. Expect that you'll both be put on the public service registry with do-not-hire status. It was the best I could do with the review committee given the circumstances. Some diplomatic representatives of the community wanted more severe actions taken in light of the non-disclosure.”
His words hung in the air between Xavior and I. Do not hire. That was it. There were appeal processes and other options for civil service, private operations, or volunteering. Still, I'd devoted ten years of my life to public service. And like that, it was over. I only had myself to blame.
“Understood, Captain,” I said. I could feel Xavior's eyes on me. He wanted to fight, to protest, but we were in the wrong. We'd been in the wrong the whole time. Especially me.
“Good day, gentlemen,” Lang said.
“Captain.” Xavior reached out and, with a hand swipe, ended the call.
Whew! Intense, but also endings lead to new beginnings. Or that’s how I like to think of them.
November Deals & Sales
If you haven’t checked out my November deals and sales blog post, you can find it here. I have queer KU reads, steamy monster reads, and all the vampires recs you might desire.
Speaking of vampires, I just finished a very kick ass vampire novel called “Kiss of the Fallen” by Kharma Kelley. I’ll talk more about it in next month’s blog post, but if you’re curious, here’s the goodreads link.
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