#VirtusSaga: The Completion – Laura Tolomei Series

The dark fantasy series about The Making of a Trio come sto a close with the release of The Princess Book 7 and The Lord Book 8


With the release of The Lord, Book 8, and The Princess, Book 7, the Virtus Saga comes to a close. Yes, it’s really over! From now on, Duncan, Chris and Ylianor will continue living in the pages of my books alone, out of my head and out of any new future releases. So this is really it!

And how fitting it should end like it does. If it all began with Duncan looking for Black Rose, his and Ylianor’s heart-home, it concludes with Chris feeling finally at home. From the first home to the last, the circle is complete, especially for the character least interested in finding a home. Unlike his two lovers, for Christopher Templeton home has never been a place but a person, so it is all the more fitting he should find it with Ylianor, Duncan and their children. Now I’ll leave them to enjoy their well-earned victory on the overbearing computer that tried to reduce their world to a sex-starved planet. From now on, they and their people will be able to progress, their children especially, taking advantage of the new opportunities created by their parents. But this is another story, one I don’t think I’ll ever get to write, ‘cause these characters will have it so much easier than their parents ever did.

The beginning of this series dates back to 2006 when I wrote the first draft of what will become the Virtus Saga. At that time, it was a very long novel entitled simply Virtus, so long that I later split it up in three separate books—The Sex, The Game and The Festival. Before I managed to find a publisher, I started writing Virtus 2, the rough basis for what will become The Leader and The Pledge. Then I moved on to Virtus 3, which turned out to be The Heat, The Princess and The Lord.

http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/htmlclient/Covers/Virtus1TheSex.jpgThrough it all, I kept submitting Virtus to various publishers, all of which turned me down. Not that I blame them any. I was a nobody at my first experience in professional writing and with an extremely long and different kind of fantasy novel. One without battles or epic competitions. No dragons. No elves, dwarves or trolls. No wondrous creatures or wizards. Just three ordinary individuals struggling to grapple with the unexplainable mysteries that were their powers, but mostly their feelings, which were far more unruly and uncontrollable than any mystifying Virt they seemed to be endowed with. No wonder nobody wanted to take a chance on it, until eXtasy Books did at the end of 2007.

For this and for all the support, help and invaluable teaching, I’ll never finish thanking them. Once eXtasy accepted it, my life changed forever, which is another reason I cannot thank them enough.

I’ll never forget what inspired this particular story of mine. I’ve said it in a lot of blogs and interviews about seeing Duncan lost in a land that was as familiar to him as the back of his hand. If it didn’t make sense then, it didn’t stop me from reaching Ylianor’s shack and discovering a woman so similar to him she could’ve easily been his twin, a twin he had never seen before in his life! That he had no memory of her whatsoever didn’t make much sense, either. But again, it didn’t stop me from following them, as if they took me by the hand and led me. Their story unfolding the way it would to any reader approaching it for the first time. I was not the author. I was just a spectator. Nothing more. Up ‘till the very end, the characters kept me in the dark, revealing only what they wanted me to know when they decided it was the right time. Like with Duncan and Ylianor, how was I to know the prince’s insufferable lover had erased her from his memory way before their phase even started? Not until I was deep into writing Virtus 2 did Chris saw fit to share this itty-bitty information! Can you imagine it?

I’m just glad that genius husband of mine second-guessed them most of the time! From the first reading of Virtus’s primordial draft, he had it all figured out, bless him! Unlike me, he understood the characters and the reasons behind their actions, to the point of knowing where they were going and how they’d get there. Like that bit about inferring Chris was in love with Ylianor after reading only their very first sex scene with Duncan, which was news to me. Not to him, evidently, and to his insightful analysis that made me understand what motivated my characters in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise, going as far as telling me how their story would unfold based on their personalities.

Oh, wow!

http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/htmlclient/Covers/Virtus2TheGame.jpgAll the things that didn’t make sense to me became suddenly clear, but I’d have never figured it out without that emotionally keyed-in husband of mine. He and his precious insights have gone through the saga not for the story, for the emotions it conveys, bringing me to a whole new level of awareness. For this, I’ll never stop thanking him, same way I’ll never stop thanking my characters for coming up with a happy ending. To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have stood for anything less.

Now I’d like to take a brief moment of your time to explain a few things I think are important about the Virtus Saga starting from the name. What does Virtus mean?

No, it’s not an imaginary name or an invented name, either. It’s a real term that comes from Latin, Virtus meaning Virtue.

Virtus was a specific virtue in Ancient Rome. It carries connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, “man”). It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors, and was personified as a deity.


Well, I think all my characters proved their undisputable valor, courage and more. So the name is quite suited for the saga and for the relation between Virtus and Virts. For Virtus is the expression of strength, something that must come from within before it can shine out. And since this is a fantasy series, I immediately turned these strengths into supernatural powers or Virts, as they are known on planet Sendar. But there’s more.

In Roman mythology, Virtus was the deity of bravery and military strength, the personification of the Roman virtue of virtus. The Greek equivalent deity was Arete.

http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/htmlclient/Covers/Virtus3TheFestival.jpgHeshe was identified with the Roman god Honos (personification of honor), and was often honored together with him. As reported in Valerius Maximus, this joint cult led to plans in 210 BC by Marcus Claudius Marcellus to erect a joint temple for them both. This led to objections from the pontifical college that, if a miracle should occur in such a temple, the priests would not know to which of the two gods to offer the sacrifice in thanks for it. Marcellus therefore erected a temple for Virtus alone which was the only way in to a separate temple of Honos, financing them both with the loot from his sacking of Syracuse and defeats of the Gauls. This temple was at the Porta Capena, and later renovated by Vespasian.

This deity was represented in a variety of ways — for example, on the coins of Tetricus, it can appear as a matron, an old man, or a young man, with a javelin or only clothed in a cape. Within the realm of funerary reliefs Virtus is never shown without a male companion. Often her presence within this realm of art is to compliment and provide assistance to the protagonist of the relief during a scene of intense masculinity or bravery.

Modern era

In 1776, Virtus was made the central figure in Seal of Virginia and the subsequent state’s flag which features the seal. The Virginia Four-Dollar Note, a Continental currency, had a similar Virtus pictured on its obverse.


http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/htmlclient/Covers/Virtus4TheLeader.jpgThis I find even more interesting. It relates perfectly to Computer Virtus’s feelings. It thinks of itself as a god, which is what stalls planet Sendar in its technological advancement. And then they say computers improve our lives! Go figure! Then again, and the tribute is absolutely necessary, my Computer Virtus is too much like Computer Hal of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (and the rightly famous movie by Stanley Kubrick) for me not to draw your attention on the similarities.

Like Virtus, other terms in the saga have special significance, for instance Stella, Sendar’s sun, which is Latin for star, or the Nephis Valley. Sendar’s most sacred place—ironically also the seat of its most technologically advanced device—owes its name to the Arabic language.

Nafs is an Arabic word (cognate of the Hebrew word “Nefesh” נפש) which occurs in the Qur’an and means self, psyche, ego or soul. In its unrefined state, “the ego (nafs) is the lowest dimension of man’s inward existence, his animal and satanic nature.” Nafs is an important concept in the Islamic tradition, especially within Sufism and the discipline of gnosis (Irfan) in Shia Islam Tradition.


When I first heard the word during my visit of Jordan, I thought it was just perfect to describe the place I already had in mind. Then I went to Petra, and it literally blew my mind away. The long, winding passageway that leads to the city (the one also used by Steven Spielberg in the movie Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade) seemed to highlight the secretiveness and the depth one must reach in order to find one’s soul. This matched the name and concept of the Nephis Valley, like nothing else I’ve ever seen. So Petra’s hidden passageway became an integral part of Sendar’s Nephis Valley. And there’s not a moment I write of it that doesn’t throw me back in the magic of Petra.

http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/htmlclient/Covers/Virtus5ThePledge.jpgMy Jordan journey also inspired me as far as deserts and mountains went. The Wadirum Desert my characters have to cross on their first journey together is in Jordan, and it’s also quite famous as Lawrence of Arabia’s desert.

In the 100 years since British army officer T.E. Lawrence traversed Jordan’s desert and the half century since David Lean set out to capture it for his cinematic epic “Lawrence of Arabia,” the blood red landscape that entranced both men has scarcely changed. Still “vast, echoing and God-like” — as Lawrence wrote in his account of his war experiences “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” — the desert’s hidden gems are now accessible to all.

Wadi Rum

When Lawrence, as a junior officer, was first sent out into the desert to locate the Hashemite rebels who he would join in revolt against the Ottoman Empire, he found himself in a vast gorge, where red rock monoliths rose more than 800m into the air around thin sand corridors.


Another place I frequently mention are the Jeruashi Mountains. In Sendar, this mountain chain connects the Hall to the Nephis Valley. In real life, it’s an Ancient Roman city, Jerash, founded in Jordan.

Jerash is famous for its ancient Roman architecture, with colonnaded streets, Corinthian arches, outdoor Roman Theaters and the Oval Plaza.

[Wikipedia ]

http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/htmlclient/Covers/Virtus6TheHeat.jpgThe names of the various estates have also special significance. Not just Black Rose, which is to homage the Caldwells’ dark beauty, or Fair Haven for the Templetons’ fairer one. Belleview, Carl Strepton’s home, where Chris and Duncan’s phase began, means Beautiful View, which is what a gorgeous pair like Duncan and Chris make whenever they’re together. No need, instead, to explain about Blue Oasis, Cecilia’s home. Set as it is in a desert and built with blue stones, the name seemed kind of a given. Or Darkley, the Lenz’s home. With a depressed weather controller for a master, the name seemed quite apt.

Finally, I’d like readers to be aware that the language used in these books is a rough translation of Sendar’s vernacular, particularly when it comes to dialogues. Some words just don’t exist on Sendar. Words like buy, sell, priceless, bet or similar have no place in a society that has no money, where economy is based on barter and that has no sense of private property. If I used them at times, it was because I couldn’t find a meaningful translation to what the characters wanted to convey.

Bastard is another word that has no place in a world where pledges control births, where no child can be born without knowing exactly who both his parents are. When I did use it within the story, it was just because I do not know how to translate the equivalent Sendarian insult. Also bitch has no place in the idiom of a society where sex is the highest form of achievement. Again, I just used it to convey Chris’s initial scorn of women in a way that would make it understandable to readers.

Similarly, words like shoot or anything relating to offensive actions have no place in a violence-free society. These I was very careful to avoid, even if at times nothing better came to me. My fault for living in a world that doesn’t condemn violence like Sendar does, but I hope readers understand I did it just to enhance their comprehension, not because these words actually exist on Sendar.

As you read abouve, the writing of the Virtus Saga has been a long and sometimes arduous task that has taken me the better part of eight years. But the important thing is that it has a definite ending. I just apologize with all my readers that it has taken me so long to finish it, but if you read the other blog, you’ll understand why. Safe to say, I wanted to give a credible ending, not an easy way out for Duncan, rather something that made sense in the logic I’ve built of planet Sendar. And without false modesty, I believe I’ve accomplished just that!

http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/htmlclient/Covers/Virtus7ThePrincess.jpgThis was important to me. Virtus the Saga is not just a series of sex-filled books. It’s a true dark fantasy saga that has its share of good versus evil, even if neither takes the form of dragons, elves, fairies, goblins or whatever else conventional fantasy manufactures. Duncan, Chris and Ylianor’s struggles are real fights for survival, even if they lack the epic connotations usually associated with fantasy battles. That’s why this particular ending is so very fitting with everything they worked for in order to insure a better future to their world and to their children.

Yes, their children—who you’ill know in the Epilogue of The Lord—will give you the measure of how life will be like on planet Sendar from now on. So don’t miss it, also because they are so cute and interesting, they almost make me wish I hadn’t decided to stop writing Virtus the Saga!

One thing I’m real glad is that the final two books are all about the two characters who are most dissimilar yet most attracted to one another. Like fire to water, such is the force of their magnetism, and I think readers will have no problem picking it up from these last two books, if they haven’t already. The BDSM scenes, in particular, give off their heat like nothing else I’ve written about them, just like Chris’s final acceptance of a love that has been in the making since the beginning of The Sex, Book 1 of the Virtus Saga. But please don’t take my word for it. Read the many excerpts I’ve taken from the last two books, The Princess and The Lord, and judge for yourself. You can also download the first chapters in PDF, just to set you on the right track of the last of the Virtus Saga, plus don’t forget you can download them also for all the previous books as well!

For all those who have no idea of what I’m talking about, look at the series trailer, and just go through the various pages on this website dedicated to this very unique dark fantasy, paranormal and extremely romantic series. It might give you an idea of how structured and vibrantly alive this romantic saga has become, before you actually get to read the first word about it.

And for my fans and all the lovers of the Virtus Saga, don’t forget the exclusive wallpapers and bookmarks available as free downloads. Here are all the links:

The secret of the Virtus Saga? Us is sex! Don’t miss the explosive ending of the darkest and most erotic fantasy series on the web!

http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/htmlclient/Covers/Virtus8TheLord.jpgThe Lord

AUTHOR: Laura Tolomei

SERIES: Virtus Saga Book 8

GENRE: Erotica, BDSM, Gay, GLBT, Ménage à Trois/Quatre, Multiple Partners, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Series, m/m, m/m/f

ISBN# 9781487400781


HEAT LEVEL: 4 flames

PAGES# 359

WORD# 102.541

RELEASE DATE: 1 October 2014

PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books

COVER: Angela Waters


Lord Christopher Templeton: Angel or Demon? Angel and Demon! Two faces. One fucking gorgeous man! And only two people to switch him either way. Now Lord Christopher Templeton is going to prove himself to the entire universe. The past in his power. The present in his lust. The future in his temper. Because he is The Lord. Because us is sex!


Erotic MMF Chapter One, Ylianor steals the show, From now on you are a slave PG, Erotic BDSM Multiple Partner, it’s just a fuck sleeping beauty, Shall we tell our infuriating angel-demon what he means to both of us? Erotic MMF, Amazing Amazon


Publisher eXtasy, Amazon KindleLallaGatta

The book that reconnects it all—the love, the sex, the lust, but also the princess and her amazing power. Don’t miss the latest chapter of this ongoing dark fantasy series, the Virtus Saga.

http://www.lallagatta.com/eng/htmlclient/Covers/Virtus7ThePrincess.jpgThe Princess

AUTHOR: Laura Tolomei

SERIES: Virtus Saga Book 7

GENRE: Erotica, Gay, GLBT, Ménage à Trois/Quatre, Multiple Partner, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Series, m/m, m/m/f

ISBN# 9781487400415


HEAT LEVEL: 4 flames

PAGES# 479

WORD# 132.764

RELEASE DATE: 15 September 2014

PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books

COVER: Angela Waters


Alone. The future of his world on his shoulders, Prince Duncan Caldwell has to connect the dots. To pick up the pieces of broken love. Before the new edition of the Game. Before the terrible loss awaiting him at Black Rose. But not alone. Not without his angel. Certainly not without his princess. For only her power will save him.


Chris needs a lesson!, Ylianor is back! Erotic MMF, Meet Mistress Ylianor! Erotic, Amazing Amazon – Leave your review on Goodreads


Pubisher eXtasy, Amazon KindleLallaGatta


Series TrailerThank you PrincessWho’s Who in the Virtus SagaWho is Christopher Templeton? – Virtus THE Saga on FacebookVirtus Saga on Goodreads


The Sex, Book 1The Game, Book 2 – The Festival, Book 3The Leader, Book 4The Pledge, Book 5The Heat, Book 6The Princess, Book 7 – The Lord, Book 8


The Leader Wallpapers and BookmarksThe Pledge Wallpapers and BookmarksThe Princess Wallpapers and Bookmarks

Unconventional Desires by Victoria Louise Sadler

Some desires are thoughts that are fleeting, often idle musings of no consequence, gone completely almost in the moment of their conception. Others though are true desires and some are distressing, obsessively hidden from others but impossible to hide from one’s self. Particularly when those desires are sexually motivated and unconventional in their nature. They have a way of being obsessively pursued, driven by the compulsion to have them satiated.

Unconventional Desires is the diary of Victoria, whom has two sides to her character. Her public persona is that of an ordinary girl, a biology graduate with an ordinary job. The other side to her persona is a character which is deeply buried in a desire that she considers dark and obfuscates it from her friends, family and most of all from herself. She fears this darkness that lives deep inside her mind, she does not understand it and cannot accept its nature. So she represses it out of fear, fear of losing herself to it and the fear of being rejected by those she knows and loves if they ever saw it.

The darkness though is given light by a simple fictional story she reads. This leads to a place where others live in this same darkness. A darkness that most would consider unconventional if not abominable. Her journey begins the moment she walks through the virtual door of an internet chat room, a room which she knows very surely having passed into, she can never leave and close the door behind her never to return. This room allows her to open her mind to her desires. Brightening the light of her darkness and giving motivation to her unconventional desire, the desire to submit to a man, to be controlled by him and to feel pain at his hands for his pleasure and in that giving receive her own pleasure.

She ultimately finds such a man to meet her desires and fill the void in her darkness. He wines and dines her, brings her flowers and chocolates, and is ever the gentleman, he opens doors for her. Doors that lead her in to places where she is willing suffer for him. Satisfying his need to control her and in return gaining the control she needs to fulfil her desire. The physical objects of her desire are the collars, gags, restraints, and whips he uses to meet her physical and psychological needs, allowing her to accept him as her master and lover.

Unconventional Desires

Title: Unconventional Desires: A Diary of discovery… Domination, Submission, Sadism and Masochism

Author: Victoria Louise Sadler

Category: Adult Romance

Format: E-Book


Publish Date: 6th August 2014

To Buy Unconventional Desires: A Diary of discovery… Domination, Submission, Sadism and Masochism



Unconventional Desires: A diary of discovery… Domination, Submission, Sadism and Masochism  by Victoria Louise Sadler

Authors Contacts Email: victorialsadler@outlook.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/viclsad


Unconventional Desires by Victoria L. Sadler

Brita’s Birthday Treasure Hunt


I have a milestone birthday this month and rather than getting gifts, I thought I’d have a treasure hunt which will give authors and bloggers some exposure and treasure hunters the opportunity to win tons of books, sway, and a few surprises.

If you’d would like to join the hunt, which will take place on February 17th, please go to my website where the registration form is located. http://britaaddams.net You’ll receive all details when the time comes.

If you’re an author or a blogger and you’d like to add your website to the long list of those who will hide a birthday image on their site and welcome treasure hunters, please contact me at britaaddams@gmail.com. If you’d like to add to the huge giveaway as well, I welcome that too.




WDA Publishing’s MANGO BOVEL Division is proud to present Suzanne Carroll’s new book – STARCROSSED.

A desperate student deprived by an assignment of her computer and her smart-phone, begs her mother for advice on how to go through life with out Apps or search engines; and ends up learning about the power of persistence, and the lengths an inventive mind and a constant heart and will go to find it’s other half.

After all, Romeo and Juliet didn’t have Twitter…

Australian Author Suzanne Carroll has gifted us with a delicious love story, and a very relevant parable on the power of love in a society dependant on instant communication, and the world-wide web.

STARCROSSED is based on Suzanne Carroll’s original short fiction “The Thunderstorm”, which won the First Prize in the 2012 AUDIO GO Original Fiction Contest.

Suzanne is a successful novelist who lives in Sydney with her husband and children.

By day she works in an office where she quietly scribbles story ideas on yellow sticky notes and hopes they don’t accidentally end up on the departmental monthly report; by night she writes her delightful stories. This is Suzanne’s second published work, and rumour has it that there is another one in the works…


Fish and chips on the pier.  Art.  Music.  Moonlit walks along the beach.  For the busker and the art student it’s the perfect summer romance. Until it ends suddenly with a savage thunderstorm.

A heartbroken Georgia thinks she’ll never see Tom again.  But Tom doesn’t give up easily and months later they find each other in the most unexpected place…

In the days before search engines and social networks, what lengths would you go to, to find the love you lost?


Facebook Page / Goodreads

 Twitter  / Website

To add to your TBR List 


It was one of those days.
The traffic was impossible and the weather miserable, all grey skies and a drizzle that reflected Georgia’s mood. The afternoon’s meeting had gone on way too long; the clients wanted to change the floor plan again, she’d have to re-do all the drawings, completely re-work the kitchen, and the Project Manager had brought the deadline forward a week.  But right now Georgia didn’t want to think about all that.  All she wanted was to get home, and find a few minutes to have a glass of wine, and put on some music.  Mozart, she thought, would be nice.
            The endless line of red tail lights gradually broke up and the roads cleared as she finally made her way out of the city, and deep into the suburbs of London.  The train would have been so much quicker. Some days, having a designated parking space at the office didn’t seem worth it.  But a little while later, Georgia smiled and her body began to relax as she pulled into her driveway and switched off the engine.  Leaning back against the headrest, she took a moment, breathing and deep. She let her mind wander, taking her away from meeting rooms and peak hour gridlock, down a different path.  Her thoughts led her back to the art exhibition she’d snuck out to see during yesterday’s stolen lunch break and she smiled as she revisited that precious half hour of luminous colour and subtle shadows in the small gallery next to the wine bar.  And that took her to thoughts of her old easel, tucked away in the attic, collecting dust.  It had been so long since she’d painted anything except her fingernails…
Georgia stared down at her perfectly manicured hands and remembered when they used to wear smudges of oils and inks.  Back in the days when her auburn hair was long, and her skirts were short.  Now it was the other way round.  Though her sapphire eyes still held the fire they had always had.
Georgia’s thoughts scattered, and she looked up quickly. The front door was open and Sophie stood on the top step with her panic face on, twisting her dark curls with one hand, laptop clutched to her chest with the other.  “Mum, help! I need you!”
Georgia sighed and climbed out of the car, bracing herself for whatever new drama had befallen her teenage daughter.
“What’s up, sweetheart?”  She kissed Sophie’s forehead before hanging up her coat and dropping her bag onto the hall stand.  “Something happen at school?” 
“You were alive before the internet, right?”
Georgia bit back a smile.  “It wasn’t that long ago, Soph.”  Although, Georgia knew that, at forty-three, she probably seemed almost elderly to her seventeen-year-old daughter.  “Why?  What’s happ…”
“You’re not going to believe what my English teacher, Mr Gormsby, has done,” Sophie interrupted, then paused, taking a deep breath before announcing, “He’s set us an assignment and we’re not allowed to use or refer to the internet or social media, at all.  In any capacity.  Apparently, according to him, my generation is too dependent on search engines and social networking, can you believe it?”
Actually, Georgia could believe it.  Sophie’s head was almost permanently bent over her phone or laptop and it was the same with her brothers, Alec and Max. Though this afternoon it sounded like the fifteen-year-old twins had their video games fired up; the faint sounds of a zombie apocalypse floated down from upstairs. But Georgia kept her traitorous opinion to herself and hid another smile before calling out hello to her sons and asking if they’d had a good day.  They called hello back, and yes they had.  Then Georgia suggested she and Sophie go to the kitchen for a cup of tea and a chat.  Mozart and wine would have to wait. 
While Georgia filled the kettle and got out the mugs and teabags, Sophie pulled up a stool and set her laptop and her phone on the counter, glaring at them like they’d offended her somehow. “You know,” Georgia said,  “Your father and I survived school and university without the internet.  It’s not that hard.”
“Oh!  I nearly forgot.”  Sophie looked up suddenly and glanced at the phone on the wall.  “Dad called a while ago.  He’s going to be late tonight, but he’ll pick up a curry for dinner on the way.”
Georgia paused at the fridge, milk carton in her hand, and wondered why her husband had rung the home number, and not her mobile like he usually would.  “Did he say why he’ll be late?”
“Something about…I can’t remember. Picking something up?”
“Something apart from the curry?”
 “I think so.  I don’t know.  Maybe.”
“Sophie…” Georgia shook her head as she moved to the counter and splashed a small amount of milk into each cup.  “How hard is it to take down a simple message?”
“It’s not my fault he was so vague.  If it was important he would have texted.”
 Georgia rolled her eyes.  That was the way with Sophie; if it wasn’t in a text, it wasn’t worth remembering.  Mr Gormsby definitely had a point.  “What’s the assignment about?” Georgia asked.  Her question was answered with another dramatic sigh.
“Short essay on popular culture in modern fiction.”
“Without using the internet for research?  That shouldn’t be too diffi…”
Sophie held her hand up sharply.  “Wait, that’s not all.  We also have to write a short story about searching for something and it has to be set before 1995, so the characters can’t turn to the internet for help. No Google, no Facebook, no Twitter.”
“Searching without search engines, huh?  Actually, that sounds like fun.  And you like writing, you’re good at it.”
Sophie groaned and rubbed her hands over her face.  “I know but this is…ugh.  Jenn’s doing a detective piece.  Rex is writing about someone looking for their birth parents and I have no clue what to do.”
Georgia chuckled as she passed Sophie a steaming cup and stirred some sugar into her own.  “And I suppose that’s where I come in?”
Sophie gave her a hopeful smile.  “Yes, please,” she said eagerly.  “Tell me what it was like before the internet. Did you ever have to search for something?  Or someone?”
Georgia stopped stirring.  Goosebumps prickled her skin as memories began to stir, taking her back over twenty years, to a boy on a beach. She wondered how different things might have been, if they’d had smart phones and Facebook back then.
“Actually, I did try to find someone, once,” she said quietly, staring down at her tea. Even now, her heart fluttered as she remembered.  “But my search started with a necklace.  And a TV talent show.”
            Sophie’s eyes widened, and she leaned forward. “Oh my God, really?  Who were you searching for?”
            “A boy.”  Georgia hesitated a little.  “He…he was called TJ.”
            “TJ.”  Sophie tried out the name.  “Who was he?  What necklace?  What show?”
            “It’s a long story.  And you’d have to turn your phone off while I tell you.”
            Sophie’s face reflected a brief internal struggle, but she did as her mother asked.  “Okay, phone’s off, and I’m listening,” she said.  “When was this?”
            “In 1991.  It started on a Sunday night, when I was supposed to be studying…”


Announcing the Release of Starcrossed by Suzanne Carroll.

New historical romance release – Her Timeless Obsession – Brita Addams

Her Timeless Obsession

Brita Addams


Here is an excerpt from my newest historical romance.

During a lifetime spent at Danby Terrace, Honoria Danby, Honey

to those who knew her best, had excitedly explored the secret

passageways and hiding places that made living in the red-bricked

townhouse worthwhile. As mistress of the old pile, she intended to restore

some of the old charm the place must have once held.

With an autumnal storm blowing sheets of rain against the windows,

Honey answered the call of her curiosity, as she had often done on such

days during her childhood. She’d spent hours alone amid the relics of years

gone by. The high-ceilinged attic beckoned her to poke around amongst

paintings by the dozens, statues, and fine china. She had, over the years,

restored furniture used by Danby ancestors and filled the rooms downstairs

with them.

“Come on, Maizie,” she said to her less than thrilled maid. “Let’s explore

that corner with all the trunks.”

“Yes’m. I’ll get the kerosene lamp.”

Honey changed into a work dress and met Maizie at the foot of the stairs.

“I’ve been dying to explore those trunks. What about you?”

“I don’t like the dust. Now, you know that.”

“I know, but think of the treasures we might find.”

Maizie grumbled as she lit the lamp, and the dark attic took on light.

With the dim recesses lit, Honey strode past covered furniture, rusted

rifles, a patinaed garden bench, and an entire dining room set.

“Look here. How have I missed these in all our explorations?” Honey

pulled back the sheets that covered paintings of animals, expressionless

people, and admirably executed still lifes, “We’ll take some of these down to

hang in the dining room.”

While Maizie stacked the paintings by the stairs, Honey delved deeper

into the corner. Against the rough-hewn beams rested an age-stained oilclothwrapped

mystery that had somehow escaped her frequent explorations.

On creaking floorboards, she advanced on the corner, distracted for

several moments by copies of old magazines and a marble bust of a bald,

bearded man that looked like her grandfather.

She hung the lamp on a nail in the beam. “Maizie, come help me

uncover this.”

As they lifted the heavy cloth, dust motes clouded the airless attic as she

and a sneezing Maizie unveiled a life-size portrait, well-preserved in a dull

gilt frame.

Honoria slid her finger over the textured deep scarlet of the subject’s

uniform, over the braided cords at his shoulders, and then higher. She

shone the light on his handsome angular face—square jaw with a hint

of a shadow. Unsmiling, he stared straight ahead, as though through the

painter. “Oh, my, who do we have here?”

She lowered the lamp to the dusty brass plaque at the lower edge of the

frame. With a moistened thumb, she cleaned the filthy piece of metal.

Captain Jeremy Saintaubin, Marquess of Galmore, 1803.

Honey stared at the ribbons on the captain’s scarlet coat and imagined

his pride as he received them. The hem of his eternally creased black

trousers disappeared into his highly polished Wellington boots. His

stylish curly black hair, perfectly coifed, did nothing to soften his stiff,

broad-shouldered stance.

Honey’s heart skipped a beat when she studied his face. A man’s eyes

had always enthralled her, especially those that held a hint of mystery. “He’s

handsome, isn’t he, Maizie?”

Her maid held her apron to her face. “Yes’m.” She sneezed again.

Though the captain’s eyes bored through to her soul, Honey tore her

gaze from the visage of the handsome Lord Galmore to root amongst the

old trunks that lined a darkened wall and peek beneath dust-laden cloths at

the discarded remnants of another century.

A swath of blue drew her attention to a blue-and-cream striped

Hepplewhite sofa and matching chairs. “Even at a hundred years old, these

are in good repair.”

Maizie batted away the dust and mumbled a reply.

“We’ll take these downstairs. We can clean them up, can’t we?”

Maizie coughed. “I suppose we can.”

“You should keep your face covered so the dust doesn’t affect you like that.”

“Yes, miss.”

With Maizie’s help, Honey tugged the furniture out of the way and

settled before the first of many trunks that lined the darkest wall. After

leveraging one rusted clasp open, she giggled with glee. “Oh look, Maizie.

Old clothes.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Honey sat on the plain wood floor and pulled dresses and bonnets from

the trunk—silks, satins, cambric, and muslins in styles that had long since

lost favor. “They are remarkably unspoiled.”

Maizie sneezed several times, but she managed a weak, “That’s nice.”

“We need to get you out of this attic. Will you go get Frederick and Paul,

and they can take these trunks and that huge portrait downstairs? I want

to see it in a better light”

“Yes, ma’am.”

While Honey dug even deeper in one of the trunks, Frederick and Paul

appeared. “I’d like to have these trunks, this beautiful portrait, and the blue

Hepplewhite furniture taken downstairs. You can put them in the corridor

until I decide what else to do with them.”

Honey supervised the removals, prodding as much as she dared, eager

to see everything in the stark light of day and electrical lighting.

“What do we do with the portrait, ma’am?” Frederick asked.

Honey ran her fingers through a thick coating of dust. “After Maizie

dusts it, bring it and this trunk into my bedchamber. The furniture goes to

my drawing room.”

Honey paced her chamber floor, her impatience on a short tether. She’d

grown used to her aloneness, save for the presence of the servants, preferring

it to the silly chatter of women her age. She loved her books, music, and her

historical research. She often spent hours in the library, reading accounts of

battles and the lives of everyday people in different eras.

When, four years before, her parents had succumbed to influenza within

weeks of each other, she inherited a considerable sum, including the Danby

family home on Upper Brook Street in Mayfair. She adored the old pile, and

with her desire to restore it to another time, she suspected she’d landed in

the wrong century.

The old carved friezes and mammoth staircases set her imagination to

reeling. Her mother had filled the built-in curio cabinets with more treasures

than Honey could catalog. During another attic expedition, she found, and

had restored to their former glory, a collection of porcelain statuettes. She

displayed them in the parlor, on tables.

In an old trunk, she found a well-preserved white and luster gold

porcelain tea set, which held an honored place in a built-in cabinet in the

parlor. Often, in her quieter moments, she conjured parties given in the

rambling drawing room, dinners in the dining room she’d forsaken years

before, and her ancestors serving tea to London’s finest in the parlor.

At last, the two footmen brought the overlarge portrait to her.

Two more servants groaned beneath the weight of the old fusty

trunk. “Put the portrait against this wall.” She pointed to a space beside

the fireplace.

Again alone, she studied the likeness. The gallant soldier’s gaze followed

her every step as she paced before the painting that showed signs of drying,

with hair-thin cracks throughout. Several areas had blackened, as well. She

rubbed a finger through layers of dirt she dared not clean away, lest she

damage the portrait further.

Saintaubin stood at considerable height, judging from his proximity to

the desk beside him. Honey leaned in closer to view the bicorne hat with a

jaunty green plume that lay just out of Saintaubin’s reach. Expressionless,

he stared straight ahead, his left hand tucked into his uniform pocket.

She knelt before the trunk and lifted the lid on stiff un-oiled hinges. The

strong odor of mildew slapped her in the face when she settled the lid fully

open. An array of straw bonnets sat on top, each with plumes and ribbons, all

in need of replacement or chucking. She put the unprotected headwear on

the floor beside her and dug deeper amongst a number of parcels wrapped

in brown paper and bound with string.

Beneath layers of paper and heavy fabric of the largest package lay a

yellowed but magnificent ocean-blue silk gown, exquisitely embroidered

with vining green leaves and small cornflowers just above the scalloped

hem. She fingered the surprisingly pristine ivory Belgian lace at the square

low-cut neckline.

She imagined its owner wearing it to a fashionable ball, swishing about

the dance floor in the arms of a handsome soldier, perhaps. No doubt they’d

turned heads.

A trove of treasures made up the other bundles—gloves, matching

slippers, and a silk and ivory fan decorated with hundreds of seed pearls.

She fell in love with a gorgeous bandeau, much wider than the current

fashion. The two attached ivory ostrich feathers fell over her crown and

jauntily bobbed just over her brow.

With alacrity, she shed her high-neck pink silk dress with leg-o’-mutton

sleeves and bust bodice. “How different the styles.” She tossed her dress on

her bed.

Over her corset, she dropped the blue gown and modeled before the

cheval mirror. The garment fit as though made for her. In a matter of

minutes, she’d transformed herself from one century to another. Anxious

to complete the look, she donned the gloves and finally the blue kid slippers

and fan.

To her amazement, beneath the rest, she discovered a perfectly preserved

pearl-beaded reticule. Tucked inside was a neatly folded monogrammed

lace handkerchief with the initials J.S. embroidered in one corner.

“This belonged to him.” She brought it to her cheek. Perhaps Jeremy

Saintaubin carried it in his pocket and gave it to his ladylove, perhaps her

grandmother or great grandmother.

She put her record of the Bridal Veil Waltz on her gramophone and

turned the large horn toward the middle of the room. With a glance

toward the portrait, she placed her hand on the invisible shoulder of

Jeremy Saintaubin and her other in the warmth of his gloved hand.

Together, they twirled across her f loor, her room transformed into the

finest ballroom in all of London, with brightly lit crystal chandeliers,

large mirrors along the walls, an orchestra of violins seated discreetly

out of the way.

The music waned, but Honey held fast to her partner, until the needle

scratched and broke the spell. She bowed before the portrait. “Thank you,

sir, for the wonderful dance. You are so very light on your feet.”

Beneath the wrapped parcels of clothing, she found a bundle of letters

written in a neat cursive hand and addressed to Jeremy Saintaubin. Her

hands shook with excitement as she settled herself on a chaise longue, still

wearing the beautiful blue gown. She untied the faded blue ribbon and

opened the first letter, dated May 5, 1810.


Marquess of Galmore

Galmore Hall, Kent

My dearest love,

Though it has been but a few days, I cannot begin to express

how I miss you. At every turn, I expect you to walk into the room,

and when you don’t, I’m sadder than ever before, though your

absence is a tangle of my own making.

I do pray for your swift return. I look forward to our

conversations, and as always, I savor thoughts of your lips on my

own. As promised, when you return, I will have more to share with

you. I quiver with want of your arms around me.

Forgive me, my love, for my melancholy. I miss you so and

long to hear the rumble of carriage wheels in front of our home, the

wheels that carry you back to me.

All my love.



You can find Her Timeless Obsession at:


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Angel or Demon? New Release – Chariss K Walker

Crescent City (An Alec Winters Series, Book 1)
by Chariss K. Walker

Angel or Demon?

Amazon Paperback Ready to Read

Kindle eBook Release Date: March 30, 2015
PreOder Now!

Book Blurb:
Alec Winters quietly moves through the streets of New Orleans, the Crescent City, looking for predators—those who destroy and prey on innocence. Trained in close-hand combat, he uses these skills when necessary to kill the offenders. Sometimes, his military training isn’t needed at all. Sometimes, the only thing it takes to end the lives of wicked, evil men is one look at him.
After two suspicious murders in only a short time, the main problem Alec faces in his quest of redemption is a nosy reporter. Vivien Simon came to the metropolitan area to do a series on the effects of Hurricane Katrina—with crime rates on the rise, her interests are drawn to the seedier aspects of the city. She’s hoping to get the story that will make her career. When she discovers that both murder victims were pedophiles, Vivien begins a newspaper and blog campaign that frightens parents and turns the city upside down.
Some say the perpetrator of the murders is an angel while others insist it’s a devil. With contrasting accounts, Vivien wonders if a vigilante is on the loose—or worse, a serial killer. She’s hell-bent on discovering the truth, but her persistence and stubbornness might bring her closer to death and damnation than she ever imagined.
No one can stop the Angel of God…and they wouldn’t want to get in his way.

***Author’s Note: This novel includes A for Angel-Avenger; D for Demon-Destroyer; E for Explicit; G for Graphic and Gritty; L for Language; M for Murder and Mayhem; P for Punishment of Pedophiles and Rapist; R for Retribution; V for Vengeance and Violence. Often, perpetrators don’t get punished for their atrocious crimes. Alec Winters gives these sexual predators exactly what they deserve.

Editorial Review:
“This dark modern fantasy is fast paced and well crafted. It follows Alec, a handsome avenging angel, who’s bent on retributive justice. Sometimes explicit, sometimes violent, this novel is definitely a mischievous escape from the everyday.” – JustKindleBooks


5 or 5 Stars:Fantastic! A captivating, thrilling, dramatic, suspense story that mixes supernatural, religion (just a bit) real life crime/drama/suspense. A perfect blend that made for a fantastic all night read. I highly recommend Crescent City to those who like dark/fantasy (angels).~~Sheri A. Wilkenson

5 of 5 Stars: Crescent City is a dramatic and explicit depiction of good and evil. Alec Winter is handsome avenger with a kind and gentle demeanor. He has the amazing ability to read peoples’ aura which often leads him in the direction of pending evil. He is an avenging angel to defend the innocent and a demon to destroy evil. His quest to stop evil, which is often violent and graphically described , will keep you turning the pages to find out what or who is next. Can’t wait to see what will transpire in Mobile.~~ Marty L. Parker

Book Excerpt ~~ Read 1st Chapter 


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New Release ~ The Heist, by Adriana Kraft

A heist? A murder? It’s villain’s choice.

TheHeist_MEDThe Heist

July, 2014

B&B Publishing

ASIN: B00LNE7366

Romantic Suspense, 81,000 words

Heat rating: Three Flames (Warnings: explicit sex, m/f; light bdsm; sex toys)


Five stars at Goodreads: “The sex is hot and I loved the phone sex scenes. Never did I expect the ending. It was brilliant. The Heist is a winner!” Sheila G.

Five stars at Amazon: “Very hot…engaging, entertaining, funny and serious, well written and extremely enjoyable to read.” Donna H.

BUY LINK   http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LNE7366


A special-order art theft? Tedious, but seamless – until small town museum director Kara Daniels calls in the experts. Furious her favorite trio of priceless impressionist paintings has been stolen from its traveling exhibit on her watch, Kara is determined to save not only the paintings, but her future in the art world. She’ll stop at nothing to entrap the thief.

Ted Springs knows the underbelly of the criminal world a little closer than he might like—but he’s turned it to good advantage, first as a police officer, and now as detective for the Upper Midwest Arts Council. His job? To guarantee the security of the valuable paintings in the Council’s traveling exhibits.

Heat sizzles when Ted and Kara collide—can they work together, before it’s too late?


“I and my staff have already done fairly thorough background checks on all the museum employees,” Ted said.

“Oh.” Kara scowled. “I’m not sure I like that.”

“But you expected it?”

“Of course. At some point.”

“I believe in being efficient. Even before certain added incentives.”

“I can always change my mind. I don’t know a thing about you.”

“You know enough. I have large hands.” Ted chuckled when she winced. “I’ve worked for the Upper Midwest Arts Council for five years.”

“And before that?”

“I was a Chicago cop.”


“I went into the army right out of high school and completed my BA degree at U.I.C. while on the force. Funny, isn’t it? While you were working on your MA at the University of Chicago, I was patrolling the streets of Hyde Park and South Chicago.”


“That’s right.”

“Maybe we bumped into each other.”

“I highly doubt that. I wouldn’t forget bumping into you. Remember?”

“Oh, right.” Kara’s flush returned.


Adriana Kraft is the pen name for a husband/wife team writing sizzling romantic suspense and erotic romance. The award-winning pair has published over thirty romance novels and novellas to outstanding reviews. Romantic pairings include straight m/f, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory, in both contemporary and paranormal settings.


Website: http://adrianakraft.com
Blog: http://adrianakraft.com/blog
Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adriana-Kraft/182846025133440
Twitter http://twitter.com/AdrianaKraft
GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/1578571.Adriana_Kraft
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