Alien Lockdown just released in eBook

ALIEN LOCKDOWN, by Vijaya Schartz, is now available in eBook from BWLPP at ARe, Omnilit, Smashwords, Amazon Kindle, etc. It's a kick-butt action sci-fi sizzling romance.

"The action reminded me of an INDIANA JONES movie and the romance was equally intense." - Paranormal Romance Reviews

"the fantastic anticipation only a ticking bomb can generate, I was enthralled from page one" - 4 Stars rating - Lynn Lowe - Ecataromance

"...suspenseful, gripping saga of survival, betrayal, and hope...the resourcefulness and courage that occurs when a person refuses to admit defeat and die." - 5 Angels rating - Dena - Fallen Angel Reviews


The year is 3033, and deep in the bowels of the underground galactic prison, something has gone terribly wrong. An artist at heart, Rhonda never wanted this prison medic job. When the civilians vanish and an earthquake damages the nuclear reactor, she must go down to repair it with Captain Perfect himself, Cole Riggeur, who always plays by the rules and never trusted a woman in his life. But in the underground penitentiary, the most wicked convicts in the Galaxy are loose, and a treacherous shape-shifter plans his revenge. Disconnected from the Garrison, against impossible odds, Cole and Rhonda now face their greatest challenge... trusting each other in order to survive.


The elevator shook with a metallic grind. Rhonda stepped sideways to compensate and keep her balance. The cabin stopped for a few seconds then resumed its downward course. Rhonda’s heart raced as she looked up at Riggeur. "Tremor?"

"Probably an aftershock of the big one earlier." The captain looked worried.

Although she knew the facility to be indestructible, Rhonda started to worry as well. This last two tremors had felt stronger and more dangerous than any of the previous ones that went mostly unnoticed.

The elevator door opened on Level Sixteen, the Yellow Zone. Any trace of friendliness in the captain’s expression disappeared as he tensed up like a leopard ready to pounce. He glanced right and left before stepping into the corridor.

Nothing looked amiss as Rhonda ventured after him on the yellow floor. Then she remembered to breathe and regretted it. "What’s that smell?"

The captain drew his phaser out of his thigh holster. "You’re the medic, you of all people should recognize it."

Then Rhonda identified the sweet coppery stench. "Blood!" And not just human blood. The smell reminded her of a wartime emergency ward. She drew her phaser with a trembling hand, trying to remember her training. So, that’s what it felt like to face real danger!

The captain pointed to her phaser. "Set it on kill."

"Kill?" Rhonda had never killed anyone and doubted she ever could. As a medic, she’d sworn the Hippocratic oath.

"Stun doesn’t affect the Monacks or the Juzzaar. Whoever spilled that blood, by whatever means, found a way out of his cell and could probably eat you alive. Let’s not take any chances." He patted his boot under the uniform pants as if to check his dagger.

Rhonda swallowed hard. She’d seen a few Juzzaar, hulking humanoids with pale gold skin. They had sensitive retinas from having evolved on a shadowed planet and thrived in dim places, wearing dark glasses against any kind of light. "How could one prisoner spill so much blood?" The stench was overpowering.

"There must be more than one on the loose."

A chill of dread traveled from Rhonda’s head to her toes at the thought of meeting a Monack, these shape-shifters who could grow razor-sharp claws, attacking with stealth and great speed. She gladly set her phaser on kill. "What now?"

You can find this ebook at ARe here:

And at Amazon in Kindle here:

Hope your fall season is happy.
Keep reading.

Vijaya Schartz
Award-winning Sci-Fi and Romance with a Kick

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Opening from A KNIGHT'S CAPTIVE by Lindsay Townsend

Here as an excerpt is the start of my Kensington Zebra medieval romance, 'A Knight's Captive'. In it we see the hero Marc for the first time, and the heroine Sunniva.

Northern England, September 1066

"Uncle Marc! Is she not as beautiful as the sun? That is what her name means. She is Sunniva, Sun-Gift. Do you not think she is like the sun?"
"Steady, little one. You will wake your sisters. But yes, you are right. She is most comely."
Ignoring the powerful temptation to look where Alde was pointing, Marc tucked the ends of his big traveling cloak around his excited niece and encouraged the child to lie down again by doing so himself. A swift, anxious glance confirmed that Judith and Isabella were sleeping, sprawled under his cloak, their small faces sunburned with weeks of travel. Isabella was sucking her thumb. The day had been long, the riding hard and tiring. He prayed she would sleep through, free of nightmares.
Just one night, Lord Christ. As a mercy to her, and to her sisters. "Uncle Marc?" Alde whispered, tugging on her lower lip, the pupil of her left eye sliding towards her small, faintly hooked nose as she fought her body's weariness, "Can I have -" A tiny snore escaped her pouting mouth.
Marc waited a moment, watching his charges. His brother had spoken of the "fierce love" a parent feels for a child: in these past months he had come to understand what Roland meant. He would kill for these three.
Beside him a female peddler, as gnarled as the sticks she carried for sale on her back, snorted and shifted closer to the central fire. Turning carefully so as not to disturb Isabella, Marc lounged on his belly, one hand absently rubbing his aching spine as he scanned the company.
Two and twenty figures, hunched in various attitudes of slumber, some snoring, most silent, were ranged about the fire, their dun and dust-stained clothes orange in its fading glow. Outside the ruined, roofless square fort - an old Roman castle, according to their escorts - he could hear the night-guards walking and talking softly. So far, the pilgrim party he was part of had journeyed in safety, although he slept with his sword close to hand. Even main roadways such as the one they traveled on were haunted by footpads, ever-ready to prey upon the unwary or unprotected. There were rumored to be horse-thieves hereabouts in these rough lands of the north and worse still, slavers.
He knew of one who would be a great prize to such creatures. Blonde - such fair eyebrows and skin must betoken blonde hair, although he had never seen so much as a strand of it: Sunniva was a modest girl who hid her tresses under a plain russet head square. Lithe, with a tumbler's body: that much he could guess from her graceful walk, though her robe hung on her as if made for a larger woman. And her face… Marc smiled in the semi-darkness. Even at a distance, she was more than comely, she was spectacular, a prize -
"Sunniva! Damn you, wench!"
The carping voice broke into Marc's guilty day-dream, causing him to stare where he had sworn he would not. Straight across the fire from where he and his three darlings were snuggled into a corner, their backs safe against the fire-proof stone walls, a hulking scarecrow of a man sat bolt upright. Cloaks and scraps of precious cloth and even tapestry rolled off him, scattering like chaff as he whirled his beefy arms. "Here, girl, attend me! Look at me, girl! You should not be sleeping!"
"Not when my leg troubles me!" Marc finished for Cena under his
breath, clenching both hands into fists as he fought his own temper. Since he and his girls had joined the pilgrim party five days ago he had grown weary of this graybeard's mewling complaints - the Englishman moaned more readily than six-year-old Isabella.

Buy links here:

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Ashes for the Elephant God is now available in eBook!

"... a broad-stroked, magnificent picture of a lavish India of the past and the present... a vivid tale of suspense... a gripping account of a woman coming to terms with heightened awareness... a destiny that yields true fulfillment." The Book Reader
"... entertaining, fast-paces yet deeply spiritual... Here is a superior metaphysical novel!" Richard Fuller - Metaphysical Reviews

"... passionate... love, lust, faith and deception... a magnificent offering to the world of fiction..." Charlotte Austin Review
", sensual... multilayered... a thriller... magical, mystical book..." Writer's Digest

To scatter her brother's ashes over the Narmada River, Fabienne leaves France for the mysterious India of her childhood dreams. Soon, as she awakens to a newfound spirituality, unexpected visions of a former life during the Raj stir ancient yearnings for a long lost passion. Mukunda, the palace architect Fabienne loved a century and a half ago, lives again as an American engineer and works on the local dam project. As Fabienne falls in love again with India and the man of her destiny, the tapestry of her previous life unfolds. But, in the karmic land of the blue gods, a ruthless foe lies in wait. The Kali worshiper, who murdered the two lovers in a faraway past, has come back through the centuries to thwart their dream once more.




"Mukunda! Mukunda!"

The flames devouring the jungle muffled Lakshmi’s desperate call. She squinted through the smoke. The messenger said her beloved would be waiting by the hot springs, so where was he?

Gasping, Lakshmi steadied herself with a bloody hand against the bark of a tall banyan. She wiped the sweat from her forehead, then raised her veil to cover nose and mouth. Black clouds from the blazing jungle dirtied the blue sky of May. Coconut trees, palms, sugarcane, papaya trees and banana stalks steamed and cracked ominously under the assault of the fire.

In the mounting heat, Lakshmi hitched up the red cotton sari to run, but in which direction? Down, toward the river. In her flight, strands of black hair escaped the veil, threatening to ignite at any flying spark.

Lakshmi cried out when she stumbled. Catching herself she paused, hand on her chest. A tiger! She held her breath, while the feline rushed by silently, intent on its own escape. Beneath the girl's bare feet, the jungle ground slithered with cobras, huge rats, and burrowing insects. Overhead, birds and monkeys shrieked frantic warnings as they fled. A dark crocodile shot out of a thicket. Lakshmi gasped, but the ancient beast disappeared into the underbrush. The river should flow near, but where? The pounding roar of blood rushing through her veins covered even the sound of the inferno.

Lord Ganesh, Elephant God, do with me as you please, but keep Mukunda safe!

The stink and loud trumpeting of elephants gave the girl hope. Hunters! They’d know the way out. Relief washed over Lakshmi. I’m so grateful for your help, Lord Ganesh, but please, save the man I love. Panting, the girl labored in the direction of the sound. Thorny branches snagged her sari and scratched the creamy skin of her belly, but she kept running. When she reached the clearing, half naked slaves shouted as they gathered the Rajah's herd, jerking the animals' heavy chains.

"Help me!" Lakshmi managed to yell between gasps.

Perched atop the largest elephant, the master mahout stared at her from under a turban. A dangerous smile lit up his face. Lakshmi felt her legs dissolve when she recognized the huge garnet on the man's chest. He worshiped Kali The Black with the Rajah's daughter and her murderous priests.

Spurring the big bull forward, the mahout barked an order. The old elephant trumpeted in response, answered by his herd. Within seconds, the ground shook. Saplings shattered under the charge of the pachyderms. Bellows filled the air as the herd stampeded, tearing the burning jungle asunder.

Fear constricting her throat, Lakshmi turned to run. Her foot caught on a banyan root. "Mukunda!" she called as she fell.

Lakshmi couldn't move. Lying in black mud, she looked up and saw branches crashing down in flames. Suddenly, the wide foot of an elephant blocked the gray light and descended on her face, silencing a scream.

Find it everywhere eBooks are sold. At ARE and at Smashwords
It will be in Kindle on Amazon in a day or two.

Vijaya Schartz
Romance with a Kick

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Finally Out!

Months of running into her sexy new neighbor have taken a toll on Alexis’ libido. There’s interest in his smoky gaze every time they meet, but he seems reluctant to ask her out. They never share more than a slight nod and a polite hello. She’s about to take matters into her own hands when she finds herself thrown into a situation that could end her life.

With nothing but erotic fantasies of Alexis to warm his bed at night, Reid knows he has to stay away from her until his undercover assignment is over. But when a cold-blooded initiation to prove he’s trustworthy forces him to involve her, nothing can keep him from claiming her.

Tory Richards
Ellora's Cave

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UNMASKED - New from Paige Tyler!

I'm so excited to announce that I have a hot new erotic romance out with Ellora's Cave just in time for Halloween called UNMASKED!

I always love writing holiday-themed romances, so when my editor at Ellora's Cave put out the word that her authors needed to get Halloween stories in by a certain date so she could get to them in time for the holiday, I immediately started throwing around ideas for a Halloween-themed erotic romance.

I came up with a few storylines, but kept coming back to one that takes place at a costume party. I think there's just something inherently sexy about them - you know, no one knows who you are underneath the mask, so you can do anything you want.

So, I ran with the idea about a girl going to a costume party and hooking up with a hot masked man. I had a pretty good storyline going if I do say so myself, but I wanted to make it even more intriguing, so I thought, what if the heroine goes to the costume party looking for this hot, hunky coworker she's been lusting after? Of course, she'd have to know what he's going to be dressed up as for it to work, so I settled on the phantom of Venice. Just sounds mysterious, doesn't it? To make it more fun, though, I decided to have more than one guy dressed up in the same costume, so the heroine would have to come up with some ingenious way to figure out which guy was the one she was looking for. Admittedly, that was a good idea. Really good. But I didn't stop there. I wanted the heroine to have even more fun, so instead of making the costume party a regular old Halloween party, I made it a spanking party! For some reason, that always seems to be a big theme in my books! LOL! So, what does the heroine do, you're wondering? Let every phantom of Venice she comes across spank her until she find the right one? I don't want to give too much of the story away, but trust me when I say that the heroine has a LOT of fun trying to figure out which guy is the one she's looking for!

To whet your appetite for more, I've included a sexy excerpt. Hope you enjoy it! And if you pick up UNMASKED, let me know how you like it!


When Tabitha Buckley gets a chance to go to the hottest Halloween costume party in LA, she can’t turn it down, especially since the coworker she’s been lusting after is going to be there. And since she knows he’ll be dressed as the phantom of Venice, he should be easy to find. What Tabitha doesn’t know is that this isn’t the average costume party, but a spanking party. Having gotten spanked by a few boyfriends before, that doesn’t bother her as much as the fact that there’s more than one phantom of Venice on the guest list.

Not to be deterred, she decides the best way to figure out which masked
hunk is her coworker is to let each phantom spank her until she find the
man she’s looking for. And when she finds him, the night is going to end
exactly like she’s always fantasized - in bed having hot, sweaty sex!


She turned her head to see a man standing just outside the French doors there. Although he was half hidden in the shadows, the tricorn hat and cape of his costume were unmistakable. He was one of the elusive phantoms she had been looking for.

Even though she’d decided she wasn’t going to waste another minute looking for Robert, she found herself walking toward the man as if drawn to him. He was
tall with broad shoulders and dark hair, just like Robert. Though she didn’t remember her coworker being quite so tall or well built. Then again, he didn’t
often wear a cape and a tricorn hat to Sultry Records, so it was hard to tell. The costume could make him look bigger than he really was.

His sensuous lips curved into a smile. “I was wondering when you’d get around to me.”

Her breath hitched. Was this Robert? More importantly, did he know who she was? She gazed into his eyes, looking for a hint of recognition, but it was impossible to see his expression with a mask on.

“Get around to you?” she asked.

He shrugged. “I couldn’t help but notice that you seem to have a thing for the phantom of Venice.”

Her face colored at that. Had he been watching her? “There is something rather sexy about being spanked by a tall, dark, mysterious man in a cape and mask.”

He let out a soft chuckle. The deep, husky sound felt like a caress on her skin and she shivered. Was that Robert’s voice? She wasn’t sure. It definitely sounded as sexy as she remembered from the few times they’d talked.

“So do you want me to give you a spanking?” he asked softly.

Heat pooled between her thighs at the thought of him putting her over his knee. She gave him a flirtatious smile. “That is why I’m here.”

He grinned. “I was hoping you’d say that.”

Tabitha’s pulse raced as he took her hand and led her outside to the ornate stone bench on the terrace. Even though she’d gotten two spankings already that night, the possibility that this time she was actually going to have her bottom warmed by the man she’d been dreaming of, fantasizing about and lusting after forever made her pussy tingle with anticipation. God, if she got any hotter, she was going to orgasm just from thinking about it.

Sitting down on the bench, he slowly guided her over his knee, then placed a hand on her back like the other two phantoms who had spanked her. When he lightly cupped her ass through her short dress with his other hand and gave it a squeeze, Tabitha knew this spanking wasn’t going to be like the ones the others had given her.

Watch the Trailer!

Buy it at Ellora's Cave!

For more of my sexy erotic fiction and a sneak peek at my upcoming releases, visit my website at


"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!

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The Club At Cool Harbor By Christiane France ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-760-1 (Electronic)Blurb:A year ago, all private investigator Gabe Muller needed to complete his perfect life was the perfect man.Then he met fellow P.I., Raz Reynolds, the man of his dreams. The attraction was mutual, and they made a date for dinner at Raz’s house. When Gabe arrived, he found Raz on the patio having sex with another man. Although literally caught with his pants down, Raz tried to explain that things weren’t at all the way they looked, but Gabe wasn’t buying it. Hurt and disillusioned, he cut off all contact with Raz.Now, the security firm for which Gabe works is hired by the owner of Le Club, the new all gay males’ resort at Cool Harbor, to stop the leak of highly sensitive, personal information about members’ leisure-time activities. Posing as a waiter, Gabe arrives to investigate and immediately runs into Raz, also there undercover. Although Gabe is working for the owner and Raz for one of the club members, their goal is the same. For this reason, Gabe suggests they temporarily put personal differences aside and share information.For Raz, it’s the perfect opportunity to try to convince Gabe what he thought he saw a year earlier wasn’t at all what it seemed. When Gabe learns the truth, will he believe Raz, forgive him, and give the man another chance?Excerpt:...Raz grinned. “It just occurred to me that if the doms at Le Club are masked, they know who they’re flogging or subduing or whatever, but the one on the receiving end may not.”Gabe frowned. “I thought that kind of thing was an established partnership, not just a one-off. You know, one or more slaves and their regular slave master, in which case, everyone knows everyone else. Of course, I could be wrong.”“Maybe it’s different at Le Club,” Raz suggested. “You know, like a spa. They come for a few days of R&R and they get to try out all the different disciplines and toys.”“As in someone hides his identity behind a mask and practices being a dom, then gets in touch with his media buddies and says, ‘Hey, guys, you won’t believe what X likes having done to him, which is great because I really needed to fix that sucker good, and he doesn’t have a clue who I am.’ Somehow, I don’t think that’s too likely.”“Why not?” Raz looked slightly offended. “You have a problem with that theory? I’m not saying some of them don’t go to the club to find new playmates, indulge in a couple of fantasies, or learn new things because I think that was the original idea behind Le Club—somewhere way off the beaten track where they can be themselves without constantly looking over their shoulders. However, that being said, these are sane, well-educated men we’re talking about here; guys who obviously know their way around the gay scene.“I just don’t see any of them engaging in what we both know are potentially dangerous, maybe even lethal sex games with complete strangers. At least, not the kind of heavy stuff I was told has been hinted at.” Gabe laughed and ran his hand very slowly down Raz’s flat stomach, stopping a scant inch or two short of his cock. “Sorry, babe. I think you’re really reaching.”“In that case, why don’t you do the same? Reach a tiny bit lower and put me out of my misery. Please!” Raz’s dark eyes danced with what Gabe suspected were deliciously wicked thoughts, then they slid shut as Raz ran the tip of his tongue around his mouth. “Imagine you’re my slave and you have to obey my every command.”“And if I don’t?” Gabe unbuttoned Raz’s cut-offs, noticing he wasn’t wearing anything underneath them as he lowered the zipper to reveal Raz’s aroused shaft.“I’ll have to think up a suitable punishment.”Gabe pulled Raz’s cock free of confinement and rubbed his thumb over the damp and sensitive tip, loving the way Raz groaned and pushed against his hand. “What’s your pleasure, master?”“I want you to kiss me first.”“Like this?” Gabe stroked Raz’s lips with his tongue and then gently levered them apart. “Open your mouth.”Raz smiled as he reached up and ran a finger down Gabe’s cheek, a soft, butterfly touch that made Gabe even more aware of their mutual need. “You have to make me want to do that.”“Okay, master, if you say so.” Gabe pinched one of Raz’s nipples, hard. “How’s that?”“Ouch! That—” Before Raz could complete the sentence, Gabe had him pinned to the bed and his tongue was halfway down Raz’s throat.Raz tried to wrestle him off, but Gabe was the stronger and the heavier of the two. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to escape, Raz relaxed and let his body go limp. “S’okay if you want to be master,” Raz murmured as Gabe gentled his assault. “I just love a guy who knows how to take charge.”Gabe sucked on Raz’s tongue for a moment, but then Raz’s body stiffened just a little and he backed off, contenting himself with a little tongue-tango as he acquainted himself with Raz’s taste. The absolute last thing Gabe wanted to do was to rush this.He wanted tonight to be everything he’d hoped and dreamed of for what should have been their first time, the one that never happened. He wanted it to be perfect, magical even, a time of caring and sharing and getting to know one another. A time they would want to remember and build on...www.chrisgrover.ca

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NEW RELEASE! "Cuff Divers" by Giselle Renarde

My newest ebook CUFF DIVERS hits the market today, and it's a fun one! Interfering parents, awkward family gatherings, and the hot cop across the street! Why not kick off your weekend with an erotic lesbian love story?

Cuff Divers - Giselle Renarde

Parents...sheesh! Don't you just hate it when they set you up with the lesbian cop across the street? 

Christina's parents hate that she's still single. They've long accepted that their daughter is attracted to women, but wish she had someone special in her life. They're constantly looking to set her up. Nicole, the neighbors' butch granddaughter, is in the same situation. Thus begins a multi-family quest to pair up the lesbians. Christina never pictured herself settling down with a police officer--especially not one in the itinerant Underwater Search and Recovery Unit. The more she talks with Nicole, the more attractive putting down roots with her feels. Could this parental matchmaking conspiracy actually work?

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-60054-568-9
Category: FemErotica

Length: 31 pdf Pages / 4679 words

Rating: 3

Formats Available: pdf, prc, lit, zipped html,lrf, epub, RB,
Cover Price: $2.00

Buy Link:


Finally, when the coast was clear, Christina swaggered up to Nicole. Her heart pounded against her ribs, but at the same time she felt ultra-confident. “So, my mom says you’re driving me home.”

Nicole, with her copper complexion and short dark hair, smirked and asked, “Oh, am I really?”

“Yes, yes,” an eavesdropping grandmother chimed in. “Nicole, I forgot to mention, Christina lives in Bracebridge too. I figured you could give her a ride.”

The butch diver’s grin grew self-assured. Her gaze locked with Christina’s as she nodded. “I’ll give her a ride. No problem.”

Christina loved a good double-entendre. “You’re sure it’s no trouble?” she teased. “And you can take me all the way?”

Nicole nodded, crossing her arms in front of her decorated chest. “I can get you there.”

Girl looked good in that uniform. Damn good.

After hugging the hero, kindly grandparents sent them home with leftovers galore.

“I think my family likes you,” Nicole laughed as they got into her car. “They’ve never been so insistent about me going home with a girl.” She revved the engine, and they were off.

Christina’s heart jumped into her throat. Were they speeding, or was her body just crazy with desire? “Oh, so now you’re coming home with me? I thought you were just giving me a ride.”

After a moment of silent seduction, Nicole said, “Your call.”


Giselle Renarde
Canada just got hotter!

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Release Day!

Ebook or print, All the Right Moves has arrived and you can find it at The Wild Rose Press!

Men in Uniform Series

After discovering one of her patients dead in her office, Doctor Annie McCall finds herself on the run for her life. Detective Marshall Thomas isn't afraid to break the rules and offers her refuge. The only problem is who'll protect Annie from him?

Marshall hadn't counted on his primary suspect creating such a dilemma in his life. But once he discovers someone wants her dead, he is determined to keep his mind on the job in order to find the killer and to keep her safe.

As they struggle to stay one step ahead of the killer, their attraction for each other spirals out of control. And soon the only danger Annie's facing is the heat between them.

(Pages 236) Spicy
ISBN: 1-60154-824-9
Tory Richards


Annie stood back and watched as his hand curled around the brass handle, the other one raising his gun at the same time.
He glanced at her meaningfully and motioned with his head toward the doorway. It was clear he wanted her to vacate the room if he said the word.

He opened the door slowly, and then all hell broke loose. “What the hell!”

“Get out! Get out!”

Marshall swore several more times before ducking, but Annie watched a blouse or something brush across his face and over his head as Harold flew over him. Temporarily blinded, he reached up to pull the garment off his face, but it clung to the day’s worth of stubble on his chin. It was then that she recognized the white, gauzy garment as the nightgown she’d worn to bed the night before. Swearing some more, Marshall’s free hand worked frantically at pulling the thing off his face. He finally found an opening and poked his head through.

His eyes went straight to Annie. He slowly lowered his gun. “Thank God I didn’t fire,” he mumbled under his breath. His gaze landed on Harold, who was sitting on Annie’s slender shoulders.

“Are you kidding me? All this fuss over an ugly, black crow?” His tone held disgust and disbelief, nostrils flaring wildly as he sucked in air. “This is Harold?”

“I’m sorry if Harold scared you.” Annie’s lips were quivering violently as she tried to hold back from laughing. The sight of Marshall standing in her closet doorway, her nightgown hanging around his neck like a wilted Christmas wreath, struck her funny bone. He looked fit to kill. A burst of laughter escaped her before she covered it with the palm of her hand.

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Between the Pages: Monday's Link UP - Children/YA/Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Between the Pages: Monday's Link UP - Children/YA/Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Struck By Conscience--A YA story in the Faery Guardian series by C.K. Green

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Hidden Gold - an excerpt from 'A Knight's Enchantment'

People have always hidden and lost treasure. In my novel, 'A Knight's Enchantment,' - which takes place during the reign of the unfortunate King John, who lost most of his crown jewels - the heroine Joanna discovers a hoard of hidden gold hidden by a Viking adventurer. Here’s the excerpt. Joanna and Hugh have been forced to spend the night together, out of doors in a small cave. This action takes place the following morning:


Hugh tethered and tended Lucifer, roughed a little with Beowulf, cut reeds for bedding, collected firewood and kept a sharp eye on Joanna. She made no move to flee from the cave, which surprised him, and met him at the cave mouth with his armload of reeds, which astonished him.

"What is it?" he asked. Her eyes were wide and her color high, lighting up her tanned face, making her very pretty. This would be how she would look in love-making, he realized, and felt a mingled twist of desire and jealousy. "Well?" he demanded, now using a hated phrase of his father's, "Must I wait for doomsday before you speak?"

"I know what the runes say, and we must dig." She was clearly too excited to notice his rudeness. "There is treasure here! Viking gold! Look -"

She caught his hand in hers and fairly dragged him back with her, careless of whether he smacked his head on the low cave roof. Crook-backed, he let her guide him, enjoying the feel of her small fingers round his palm.

"Look!" She dropped to her knees beside the maze of marks he had found at the back of the cave years earlier. The setting sun blazed into the small dry space - had it always been this small? - turning rock and stone golden. The runes on one darker-hued stone close to the cave floor seemed faded to Hugh's eyes, but his eager companion read them easily.

"Orri's horde is here. A mighty gift." She pointed to an X shaped rune. "This rune, Gebo, means gift." She touched three straight lines with her foot. "Three, then dig, it goes on."

She stepped three paces from the cave wall and began to hack at the earth floor with her knife.

"Wait!" She was wilder than he was, in a fight, Hugh thought, astonished by this whirl of activity. "You will blunt your blade. I have something better."

He looked amongst his things and found the small hammer he used to drive in tent and baggage pegs and the metal file he used to sharpen his sword. He set to work, driving the file into the hard-packed soil where Joanna was laboring, and in a few moments struck something that rang out like a broken bell.

"Let me -" Joanna had her fingers probing and tearing at the loosened earth and now she sat back on her heels, a great smile of pleasure breaking on her face. "We have it!"

Down by her knees was a torn bag, gray-black and half-rotten, no more than wisps of cloth. But through the tangle of fraying threads he saw the unmistakable gleam of gold.

"Orri's hoard," Joanna said softly. "He must have left it here for safety and never come back."

She moved but Hugh was swifter, scooping the coins and rings out of the dirt and onto his cloak.


Fairness made him look at her and offer her a ring: a pretty one, he thought. "Thank you," he said. "That will be most useful."

Joanna stared at the ring without taking it. "You do not think we should share?"

He smiled at the question. "What use would you have for old coins? Your lord gives you all you need, but I must make my own way."

Her eyes narrowed. "You do not think I have expenses? Debts?"

"Take the ring, and this golden chain," he urged, shrugging off her questions, dismissing them as girlish folly. "Both would look well on you, I think. Were I your bishop, it would give me pleasure to see you wearing them."

'Thank you, my lord." She took them, almost a snatch, and retreated to the very back of the cave, leaving him to make up their rough reed mattresses, and a fire.

"Will you leave scrabbling for more messages and condescend to help me a little?" he demanded, some time later, as the fire began to smoke. "Feed this while I find food to feed us."

"I thought you preferred to do all things yourself," she retorted. "Besides, you do not have enough kindling."

"If you can do better, do so." Hugh left her sulking over the crackling flames and stamped off outside again. When he returned, Joanna was nowhere to be seen and the fire was a glowing, growing mass of orange. Even as he stared in amazement, the whole mass exploded into more flames and gushed a fog-bank of purple smoke.

Best wishes, Lindsay Townsend

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