Monday, August 22, 2011


Are you itching to read my new e-book Pandora's Box?  Have you already bought it?  Read it or are reading it?  If so, why not have a chance at getting something out of it?  As a THANKS from me for purchasing and reading my book, FIVE of you will win one of the following items pictured below. This is NOT a promotion from me asking you to buy the book. This is ONLY for those who already want or plan to purchase Pandora's Box.

Here's what you gotta do...

1.  Purchase Pandora's Box from one of the online distributors (Decadent Publishing, Amazon, ARe OR Barnes & Noble--IF they list it before the contest ends), send me a copy of the receipt at with "PB CONTEST" as the subject line (I will NOT share any personal information) and I'll enter you to win one of the following pieces of skull jewelry.

2.  Give me a review (good or bad--I want and expect HONESTY) and provide me with the review link, you'll receive an extra entry into the contest.

3.  If you're a guy reading Pandora's Box and you wish to participate and not receive the jewelry, I'll give you a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card instead if you're drawn as the winner.

4.  You have ONE month to participate, contest ends September 22, 2011.

There will be 5 winners drawn. The first winner picks from the following items, second winner picks from the remainder, and so on.

ONLY those who've made valid purchases are qualified to enter this contest. International individuals are encouraged to participate. 

Baby Blue Skull Cameo Bracelet

Large Black on Gray Skull Cameo Pendant

Blue on Black Skull Earrings

White on Black Skull Cameo Choker

Pink on Brown Skull Cameo Ring

Mahalia Levey's NEW Release!

Please Welcome Mahalia Levey with my blog with her Upcoming Release Makhi Available Aug 22 from LiquidSilverBooks

Where did you get the concept for this series?
That’s a great question. I had a prologue for a species Leader of another realm who angered Azazel lord of the Underworld on Earth and penance was to lose their realm and live under his thumb, not enslaved but not able to return to their plane of existence.
From there the Enforcers came about. A governing body to watch over their kind and also watch over the lower levels of Hell.

How many books will be in this series?
As of now there are seven planned. You’ll get to meet the enforcers in this book and those around them that they directly deal with.
Are all of the Enforcers male?
Where would the fun be in that? LOL There’s a mixture of male and female Enforcers.
You mentioned Species. What kind of species are they demonic?
The Enforcers are Incubus and Succubus beings by nature.
Is this series tied to a previous world build?
It’s an additional section yes. Prophesies Implied Trilogy is based on the upper levels of Hell and the Princes of the Underworld. You could say the Enforcers would be an upper middle class society.
I hear you have an exciting description of each level and the culture. Can you indulge us a bit?
Aside from the Badlands shown in Demonic Persuasion, there are good neighborhoods and ones to steer clear from. All I can say is it’s all about survival of the fittest in areas.
That’s about it! I hope you all go pick up your own copy of Makhi Incubus Enforcers Book One to enter my world of demonic pleasures.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Coming August 22 From Liquid Silver Books 
 Enforcer Makhi didn’t expect to fall for a woman. However, one look at the new female in need of defending brings out the dead emotions of his incubus. Be it the fates will to bless him as her counterpart, he plans to teach her the fine art of self-control and satisfy her on every level imaginable.
Kamaria Valentin is scared for her life. Blackouts, strange cravings for violence and blood have plagued her for the last two years. Add hot sex dreams with a nameless face and she’s one hot mess. Ready to break, the need for answers pushes her to free herself from the prison holding her a drugged captive.

Caedon Bolton searches for the lost. Deities looking for home, for sanctuary. One night a vulnerable soul screams out to him in her dreams, he must find her and save her from the brink of death. Once he has Kama in his arms, Caedon realizes only he can give her the emotional support she craves.

Alabama Institute for Addiction Recovery
“Please, come and get me Mama, I promise to be good this time. I promise, I won’t attack anyone--come get me. Home is safe. Let me come home,” Kamaria whispered into the receiver. She sat huddled against the wall in the reception area, gripping the wall phone so tight in her hand that if it wasn’t metal she’d have crushed it without a thought. A deep shudder ran through her as she became aware of her actions, aware of self. "Oh God." Dropping the phone, she bit her nail. One month of sheer, unavoidable agony had passed since her parents committed her to AIFAR. Rocking in her white mandatory patient scrubs, she waited for a voice which would never utter the words she desperately pleaded for.
Nausea welled up in her. She saw the phone that was in her hand moments ago wasn’t connected to a landline and plucked the receiver from where she’d discarded it. When would the madness end? During lucid moments, she understood why they placed her here. On the floor, she hugged her knees and tears slid down her face. Her skin tingled with anticipation as her reality shifted. His scent wafted, bringing brightness to her eclipsed world. Dropping the phone again, she rose from the wall to run an unsteady hand through her wild hair to tame it into place. A quick wiggle and adjustment smoothed out her wrinkled scrubs.
“Time for nighttime meds, get in line.” Darcy, the male nurse, stood the female patients in the correct order. “Kamaria Valentin, tongue out.” He placed the eighty milligram Haldol pill on her tongue. “Swallow and drink.” Handing her a small paper cup of water, he put his hands on her face, opened her mouth and did a quick sweep.
“You may go to the recreation room or to your own room.” He moved on to the next in line. His scent triggered the change within her, and his gentle touch completed it.
Joy left her and emptiness engulfed her once more. Every evening after a brief glimpse of him, an ache prickled in her loins. A primal attraction to Darcy grew with every whiff of his scent. The darkness in her beckoned, tempting her to exploit him, though she fought the impulse for now. The darkness always landed her in dire straits. But how divine it would be for him to touch her. The thought made her smile. Soon, very soon. Under her control, she’d get her taste of him and be able to rub her body against the lean length of his.
Supported by the pale green walls, Kamaria edged toward her room. Her thoughts remained wrapped around the young male employee. She trailed her fingers over grooves and indentions in the mortar. Her haggard nails scrapping against the gritty compound.
One-two-three doors down, hers opened automatically, slamming hard and clicking behind her. Gum placed in the jamb earlier prevented the lock from securing. Kamaria gagged and vomited the ingested pill. Two weeks of continual vomiting after meds wreaked havoc with her esophagus and her stomach lining. I did it, no meds. Have to get out, have to get out. Whispers in her mind grew louder, insistent. The skin on her body burned white hot. Sitting on the bed, she rocked while scratching her hair. Intense unwanted cravings assailed her aching body, making it hard for her to shake the repetitive images showing her what to do for alleviation.
Kamaria attempted to stanch the flow by thinking of Darcy and failed. Unbidden, the scent of fresh rain assailed her, her mind concocting picturesque meadows filled with fragrant blooms, so sweet she could taste them. Each depicted vision made her itch to get out. She didn’t understand the whys, only that a period of darkness descended soon after, and her muscles committed involuntary actions as her brain fought to regain control, only to have migraines split her world in two. She learned it was so much easier to just let what may happen, happen.
Darcy touched her each time he placed the pill in her mouth, comforting her body for a moment. His presence gave her an escape from the lonely existence sucking the life out of her. Darkness normally fled in his presence, only now he was part of a plan. Picking up a brush, she began humming while grooming for the night’s adventure. The face looking back at her smiled wickedly. The distorted surface from the metal mirror prevented her from seeing a clear reflection while making herself pretty. She’d be home soon and Daddy and his friends would regret locking her up in the hospital again. Her plans for the Forty-Second Police Station in Atlanta, Georgia, were ready to be initiated. A heady excitement bubbled up at the thought of exacting her depraved act of revenge. On the other side of her door she heard the lights out call and finished her primping for the evening. Like clockwork, she situated her bedding and slipped under the sheets to bide her time.
Midnight came and with it the guard’s tap on the hard plastic passing for a window pane into her small space. His flashlight momentarily blinded her. When she was young, her parents carted her to the physician for sunglasses in an effort to correct her sensitivity to light. Their efforts failed as the sun’s rays continued to irritate her corneas. Bright light always hurt, though her vision became crystal clear in total dark. Kamaria winced and huddled in her bed, turning her face the other way to avoid the sting for a second time.
In the early hours of the morning, she woke up and began checking and finalizing her plan of action. Everyone who’d played a part in hiding her away would pay. Forgiveness wasn’t an option, not with how they locked up and left her, left her without checking in on her well-being, written her off as a political nightmare. Making commissioner status had been more important than her being a part of her parent’s everyday lives. As an adult they should’ve trusted her. Instead, they went behind her back, obtaining a court order to retain medical power of attorney to give her mental stability. But they didn’t know how solitude destroyed her mind or how not feeling the rain fall on her skin affected her on a baser level. In truth, the pain that lanced her heart numbed with time. They’d pay for denying her, for abandoning her, making it so she never existed to them.
Rocking into a sitting position, a maniacal laugh broke free.
Bad.Bad.Bad. Kamaria the bad apple. Endless tears and punishments for inappropriate behavior had landed her in more therapist offices than she cared to think about. The psychoanalysis made no difference. One therapist, two or a hundred, eventually she got caught rubbing her face against their necks. No one liked her scratches or nips against their skin. Skin to skin contact, the ultimate crave, the driving force making her bend against her own will. Unable to shut the voice out, she stripped to rub against any warm body, male or female.
They didn’t understand. No one understood. Her brain felt fried and her body tired. In the silent hallway, the orderly had turned out the main light once again. No one understood what it was like when the voices in the head took over. Tired of fighting, she listened. Just maybe this time change would be different--this time maybe just maybe going along with her madness would make her life turn out better. Kamaria stifled a yawn and stretched out the kinks in her muscles. The pulsating beat of her heart quickened. Heightened senses enabled her to smell the man she sought, the provider of her freedom. Under her blanket, strategically placed pillows and extra bedding formed a plump body. One step at a time, she moved on autopilot inch by inch, padding softly over to the door.
Flip flops in hand, she worked the knob until it opened without making the rattling sound. The shift change underway offered her the opportune moment to slip out. A peek out the window gave her the go ahead that the coast was clear. Her ward sat near the stairwell. She palmed the keys lifted from Stanley and Phineas, the two police officers who came to take care of her needs. The voice inside her promised her an escape route. Kama prayed for good luck. Getting caught would land her in solitude with a straight jacket.
On pins and needles, she glided down the hall past the other rooms, not trusting the voice providing her with an out, and held a bated breath another employee wouldn’t happen on her. Though the purr inside told her not to worry, she wasn’t sure everything would be okay as promised. The same voice landing her in cuffs, left bloody messes, and she was listening to it again, unable to ignore it, to stop following its cruel instructions. Promise me no one gets hurt, Kama mouthed silently, walking the last few steps to the stairwell, afraid the voice would just laugh. A marionette to its bidding, she went along for what she knew from past occurrences to be a disastrous ride.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


That's fireflies in the jar in the photo above. And right now in my
neck of the woods--central Alabama--fireflies are a nightly sight! 

TOUR RULES to get out of the way before we have some fun:

1) Invite all of your friends and spread the word!  Extra entries will be given to those who spread the word and leave verifiable links below in the comment section or via email to where they shared the blog hop.

2) This tour starts on Monday, August 22, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
This tour ends on Monday, August 29, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
Winners will be drawn and posted August 30th! ♥♥

3) Meet and mingle with all of the authors. Experience a new hunt at every stop. Participate in every blog contest and be entered for chances to win multiple prizes. Every blog visited is another opportunity to win!!

4)  You MUST be 18 years of age or older to enter MY contest, but not all of the contests on this tour. If you’re under 18, leave now, as the content on this blog is adult oriented!

5) By entering this contest, you agree to the rules and are stating that you agree to abide by all the terms and conditions.

6) Have fun and good luck!!

♥♥♥Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules

Rated PG
When we first started brainstorming for this hop and sultry summer nights was thrown out as a possible theme, all I could think of was the Grease song, Summer Nights. Just in case you don’t remember the tune, here’s the Youtube video:

And then I got to thinking, WHY did the blog hop have to be about steamy nights of love? There are things people are passionate about that can turn an evening into sultry summer nights without lust being involved. In my recently released Decadent Publishing e-book, Pandora’s Box, book one in the Road to Hell series, my heroine, Madison, is passionate about defeating a King of Hell. In order to help their cause, she and her six year old son descend into the Cave of Crystal Giants in the Naica region near Chihuahua, Mexico to bust a good immortal creature from one of the crystal beams. If you’ve never heard of Cave of Crystal Giants, it is a very real place! The Discovery channel ran a special on it. The locals refer to it as the Highway to Hell because of the oppressive heat, temperatures in excess of one hundred twenty degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity at one-hundred percent. I'd call that sultry nights, how about you?  No one can withstand the environment of the cave without special equipment (sometimes I feel that way about our dog-days of summer in Alabama too lol), and even then only for very short periods of time. But the scenery is beautiful!

Amazing isn't it!

The crystals are made of gypsum selenite.

Some beams are larger than a football field!! Can you believe that?

Just look at the size of the beams compared to the people!

Superman’s Fortress of Solitude hideout doesn’t compare to this natural wonder! At least not in my opinion. Madison and her son suffer through the crystal jungle’s sultry heat in order to help their advantage against the enemy. After looking at those photos, can’t you visualize an immortal creature suspended in one of those monstrous manmade joists? I can!

Here’s part of the scene from Pandora's Box…

After nearly two hours of hiking through the “Crystal Jungle,” Amos came to a halt, staring at the biggest selenite they’d seen thus far. Easily six feet wide and a football field in length, this particular gypsum beam didn’t protrude at the odd angles of all the others. Positioned in a perfect, vertical line, it spiked and disappeared into both the ceiling and floor of the cave. No telling what its true dimensions were.
The sight of a man frozen inside the perpendicular beam staggered Madison. No mortal being could survive like that. She knew he lived, because his frantic eyes, apparently the only parts of him not in stasis, followed their movement.
 What creature generated enough strength to trap him inside? Had he been placed there because he posed a danger to humanity? Or maybe he threatened the supernatural community? 
Instinct propelled her backward, away from the male and his intense stare. Nothing about him seemed imposing. Hands curled into fists at his sides, as if frozen just before he executed a release of the power he channeled. Short for a man, no taller than five-nine, a half inch shorter than her maybe. A lithe, runnerlike frame without an impressive muscular build. 
No, nothing physically imposing about him caused her to backpedal. Rather, the taste of harsh metals hitting her tongue, suggestive of magnificent, uncontrollable power.

Leave me a comment for a chance to win….

First place winner - Their choice of TWO of my e-books or some swag! =D

Second place winner – Their choice between ONE of my e-books, Fairy Casanova  or Elfin Blood, or some swag.

Third place winner – various swag.

I’d love for you to join my Road to Hell series fan page on Facebook, but it’s not a requirement to enter this contest: Click HERE to join. 

I can be found at these places and I’m always eager to meet new people (click the title to be taken there):

Facebook (I spend too much time there) 
Twitter (I’m there occasionally)
Goodreads (Fan 
or friend me) 


Good luck to everyone and I hope you’re having fun blog hopping!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Checkbook Cover Contest WINNER

Everyone who left comments on the Life Lessons were qualified to be entered in the checkbook cover contest. I plugged everyone's name into the number of times you commented. For some that was all 26 lessons, but not for others.

The winner of the draw is...


Congrats, Kristina!!


Pandora's Box AVAILABLE NOW!


Where does the road to Hell begin?

What happens when your son turns homicidal overnight and your husband disappears on his way to work? Do you cower in fear or fight for your life? Madison Wescott fights against the odds. Distrustful of a God she doesn't believe in, she finds herself face-to-face with a world she didn't know existed and discovers her own soul is darkened with demonic connections.

With good intentions? Or by demonic design?

Phoenix Birmingham bursts into Madison’s life in a whirlwind of sarcasm and sexual appeal. A hero for the masses—and for her jaded heart—but few will ever know the sacrifices he has made or the sacrifices to come. Discovering her entire life has been influenced by multifaceted paranormal beings, Madison is determined to defeat the apocalyptic blueprint fate has decreed, but only one man dares to challenge the supernatural forces manipulating them. Even with Phoenix's aid, can destiny be denied? Or will demonic design prevail while they pay the crucial price with their souls?

In a small, sleepy Alabama town the battlefor mankind's liberty has begun...

“May I?” He held up the medical supplies.
She nodded and watched as he doused gauze with antiseptic. “Dr. Nix at your service,” he said with a grin, two adorable dimples charming her where words failed.
Madison rolled her eyes, and tipped her head to the side to give him better access. He brushed her hair off her neck, back behind her shoulder. Such a simple gesture, yet it felt terribly personal. The air grew thick and sticky with her awareness of him. She shifted in her seat and crossed her legs.
Madison stared into his eyes. Green, she thought, his eyes were green, gorgeous and intense, with ridiculously long eyelashes women would fantasize about. If they didn’t, they should. A flicker of compassion, concern, and something else she couldn’t identify flashed in his eyes.
“Ready?” he asked.
The husky tenor of his voice forced her gaze to shift to his mouth. Nice, sexy lips, designed for kissing. She gave a mental shake but couldn’t resist wondering how his mouth would feel on hers.
“Madison?” Humor deepened his voice, a touch of a smile tilted the edges of the lips she’d been fantasizing about, and she realized she still stared at them. “You ready?” he asked again, and her eyes widened in embarrassment over her foolish stupor.
She swallowed hard. “Yeah.” She whispered past the lump in her throat and forced her vision to lock on the wall over his shoulder. Good God, what was wrong with her? Her pulse throbbed like crazy, and she felt woozy. Loss of blood! Must be why she reacted that way. No other explanation made sense.
Even though the antiseptic stung like hell, the gentle touch coming from such a gruff man surprised her. “It’s not bad,” he said, dabbing the blood away. “Just a nick.”
Well, she could nix the blood loss theory. Exhaustion and stress were the only other excuses she could come up with. “I’ve suffered worse.” Her voice sounded off, kind of hoarse. She tried to clear her throat delicately, but he must have noticed her unease, because his perceptive eyes met hers. Again, she thought she caught the edge of concern reflected in their green depths.
“This isn’t the first time he’s attacked you?”
“No. It’s the first time he’s tried to seriously kill me, though.” She sighed as she closed her eyes, ready to give up fighting, the sudden tears threatening to fall. Okay, woozy and acting strange because of strain…not because of him. Seriously, as far as first impressions went, she wasn’t impressed.

Released by Decadent Publishing TODAY!

Newlywed Lady Rose’s curiosity is inflamed when a mysterious airship captain shows up extending an honorary invitation for her and her husband, Lord William, to join the Mile High Airship Club. A club she has never heard mention of in polite society. Rose is excited for the trip. It will be her first time aboard an airship. However, Rose is modestly unaware of the trials she will endure to acquire a membership in this pleasure club!

Don't ya just love this photo of Nishi Serrano? 
I think it's freakin' awesome and has so much character!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Warning:  This scene contains content that some may find offensive. Please read with caution.

Eighteen hours after Micah walked out the door for work, he still hadn’t returned home. His secretary, Nicole, said she hadn’t seen him all day and that the hearing he claimed to have never made it to his calendar. It must have been an emergency hearing, but either way, Nicole couldn’t find a single judge that said Micah had appeared in their courtroom that day. Not even for an emergency hearing.

When Madison called Micah’s cell phone, it went straight to voice mail indicating it was off or he ignored her call.

In a state of panic, she packed Amos into his toddler car seat and sped to the police station only to discover a missing person’s report couldn’t be issued until twenty-four hours passed.

Madison paced the parking lot of the station as she put in a call to Micah’s college buddy, Senator Matt Bromleigh, at his home in Alabama. Twenty minutes later, he’d ignited early fires beneath reluctant feet and she’d never been so glad to know someone in a position of power as she was then.

Sent home to await a call from the police when they knew more, she spent the night pacing the living room floor. What if he were lying dead in a ditch from a car accident? Or if one of his former criminal clients murdered him? But why would they want to? He’d never lost a case.

Collapsing on the sofa, she allowed her emotions freedom and cried into her hands. Her worst fear was that Micah lay dead somewhere. That he might have died alone, not knowing how much she wanted to make their marriage work. Maybe not realizing how much he meant to her. She’d failed him as a wife and she regretted letting him down more than ever. He’d vested himself in her with his whole heart, while she’d repeatedly withheld herself. He’d taken a chance on marrying her and told her every day he loved her, even when she failed to be receptive.

Madison sobbed into her hands. Please let him be okay. Please…please…please…I’ll do everything different. I’ll give him all of me. I won’t pull back for fear of giving him too much, for fear of making him hate me, or for fear of proving my daddy right.

But who would hear her prayer? She hadn’t talked to God since she was fifteen and couldn’t bring herself to believe in him anyway. That meant there was nothing out there to answer her entreaties. Micah was on his own in whatever situation he’d landed in.

But why had he lied about the court appearance? And vanished after he walked out the door? Not a trace of him, no witnesses to his whereabouts and even his cell had been turned off. So much for tracking him with its signal. Sitting up, she swiped the tears aside. She’d never known him to lie to her, so why start now? Dread scuttled up her spine, reminding her of the disappointment she’d seen in his eyes as she denied him the bed partner he wanted.

Every time she looked at her son, she saw Micah in his features. The very tangible fear that her husband wouldn’t be coming home tickled the edges of her reality, but she pushed the thoughts aside faster than she could hit the escape button on the computer. He had to return home. I need him. Amos needs him.

Chewing her nails to the quick, she leaned on Matt Bromleigh over the next several days and chatted with officers more than once. Amos was too young to understand why there were so many guests in their home. Amos missed his daddy and she held him as he cried himself to sleep every night since Micah’s disappearance. As morning dawned on the fourth day, blues showed up at her home and requested she ride with them to the police station. Matt convinced them to let him drive her there after she took Amos to a neighbor’s house.

“What’s the purpose of Madison coming to the station?” Matt Bromleigh demanded the moment they entered the interrogation room.

“Please take a seat.” Detective Miles motioned to the chair.

“We’re not here for a tea party, so I’ll stand.”

The police officer shrugged and directed his comments to Madison. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Dominus, but we’ve been forced to turn this investigation over to the Feds—”

“Why?” the Senator demanded.

“After your parent’s untimely death—” he cleared his throat and shrugged, as he looked around nervously, but she understood what he implied. Her parents had died in a car accident six months after her marriage. There had been an investigation into their demise, with her as the prime suspect, as if she knew how to tamper with the brakes of a car to kill her parents. Her hefty inheritance had been sufficient motive and there were many in town that believed she were guilty. Still believed in her guilt. “—well, you can imagine how it looks now with your husband missing and all the things we’ve learned about him since his disappearance.”

Ignoring the obvious implications they believed she was to blame, she could only focus on locating her husband. Nothing else mattered. “What things are you talking about?”

“Are you charging her with something?” Matt stood beside her chair and eyed the detective.

The officer glanced at the mirrored glass. “Not yet.”

“Formally charge her. Until then, she has nothing to say.” Matt slammed a hand on the table, meeting the detective’s stare head-on. Madison didn’t need hard balling; she needed answers to her husband’s whereabouts. “We’re leaving, Madison.”

The officer didn’t give up that easily. “Mrs. Dominus, are you aware Micah Dominus does not exist? Anywhere? He has no birth records—”

“Let’s go.” Matt’s fingers curled around her upper arm and he yanked her from the chair.

“—no social security number, school records…just nada. It’s like he’s a ghost.”

“But Micah and Matt went to college together. Tell him, Matt.”

Silent, with his features pinched in anger, their family friend drug her toward the door. The detective went on as if she hadn’t spoken or that Matt attempted to make a hasty exit. “His so-called parents are from the 1700s and never had any children.”

Madison jerked her arm out of Matt’s grip as he opened the door. “You’re lying,” she whispered, facing the detective.

If Micah Dominus didn’t exist, who was her husband? Dear God, who could she have married if he wasn’t who he’d said he was? What had been his purpose for winning her over? Because looking back on their relationship, he’d courted her very clearly from the beginning. Even if he hadn’t pushed at first, he’d still been a much older man after a fifteen year old girl. An adolescent with so many problems, no man in his right mind would’ve taken her on. Yet, he had fought to be the champion of all her troubles.

“We have video footage of your husband from the Atlanta, Georgia airport booking a flight to Rio. He was using an alias with a very real U.S. passport.”

Matt tried to pull her through the door, but she resisted. Her heartbeat pounded faster than the tempo of the chant of “no, no, no” in her mind, making it hard to concentrate on what was being said. None of this made sense.

“I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.” Detective Miles held out a manila envelope. “Take it with you. Call me when you’ve had a chance to look it over.”

Hands shaking, she took the envelope and stared at it, fearing the contents would alter not just her life, but her opinion of the one man she’d placed every ounce of her faith in.

Micah isn’t…Micah? It couldn’t be true! The next words out of the cop’s mouth snatched her gaze up to meet his. “I imagine the Feds are going to have a lot of questions about the billions of dollars in your name in overseas accounts.”

Matt dragged her out of the interrogation room with a hissed, “Don’t say another goddamn word until we’re in my vehicle.”

Numb, she finally allowed him to guide her down the scuffed up linoleum hallway, beneath the flickering fluorescent lights. She felt like she was in a nightmare she couldn’t wake up from. Or at the very least her life had turned into a really bad Lifetime movie drama.

Billions of dollars in her name? In overseas accounts? That was crazy talk! Her parents hadn’t left her anywhere near that amount. A little over a million, but there was no way Micah could’ve turned that into billions.

Bile slammed to the back of her throat, choking her, but she managed to swallow it down. Not only was Micah possibly someone else, she feared she didn’t know him at all.

The Senator guided her to his Escalade, and her entire body trembled as she wrenched the passenger door open and fell into the leather.

“My God….” As blackness hazed her vision, she dropped her face into her hands. “My God, I had a child with him. A child with a man who might not exist.” She looked at Matt and he tossed her an edgy glance as he shut his door.

“Calm down.” The keys rattled as he jammed one into the ignition. “You know Micah is who he claims. And you know how much he loves you.”

“Do I? Detective Miles seemed pretty convinced Micah isn’t Micah. Gave me a file—” she waggled it at him “—proving his case. Who does that unless they’ve got hard facts to back them up?”

“We have no idea what’s in there. Until we do, we’re only speculating.”

“If he’s not Micah Dominus, who could he be?” Matt’s gaze flinched away and she suddenly wondered if he’d been in on Micah’s subterfuge. “Did you have any idea he wasn’t who he claimed to be?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Answer me straight, Matt.”

“No.” He rubbed his forehead. “I’ve only ever known him as Micah Dominus. You know we met in college and have been friends ever since. For God’s sake, I roomed with him, took classes with him and we were in a study group together.”

So help me God, if he is lying to me….

Madison ripped open the envelope and yanked the documents out. As she scanned the paperwork, her world turned upside down and anger sliced through her breastbone. For a long terrifying moment she couldn’t catch her breath. Cold hard evidence in the palm of her hand confirmed everything Detective Miles said.

Her stomach cramped and she choked on a sob that burned her sinuses. Unbelievable. My entire life has been a lie. The man I love isn’t who he claims.

What was he hiding?

“Take me home.” Her voice came out scratchy as she crumpled the paperwork against her leg to stop her hand from shaking.


“Just take me home!” Before I lose it. To think she’d worried about his welfare and he was catching flights to Rio under another identity. Probably to start a new life, with a new career and a new wife. The very thought sickened her. “Please, just take me home,” she whispered staring out the window blindly, tears thickening her voice. She needed to hold her son, needed to know something was still real in her life.

Why? Why had he deceived her?

Matt cranked the vehicle and pulled out of the parking lot. Her thoughts rehashed her life with Micah, from Christmas morning when they first met in her father’s church and coming full circle to their final evening together. They’d made love and she’d disappointed him again, because she couldn’t be the woman he wanted, wouldn’t allow her defenses to lower enough to enjoy his sexual favors. Every time Micah took her to their bed, her father’s words haunted her, reminding her that she was a whore. Words spoken from the lips of a dead man had still been very much alive in her head.

Her head spun thinking of Micah’s words after he’d taken her the last time. All his sweet talk about loving her and protecting her, he’d said every word knowing he planned to leave her and Amos. They’d been lies! Deceived from the beginning to the end of their relationship, only to wind up having her heart betrayed by the one man she’d placed above all others.

She sniffled and swiped at the tears blurring her vision. I’ll trust no one ever again. Not after this.

“We’ll work this out.”

Madison didn’t want Matt’s comfort. She wanted to hug her child and figure out how she went on from here.

I hate Micah. Dear God, how she hated him! She leaned her forehead against the cool glass as the tears coursed down her face.

© Gracen Miller 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Gracen Miller.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Warning:  This scene contains  sexual content that some may find offensive. Please read with caution.

Four months later

Micah stared at his reflection in the mirror. The furrows on his brow created heavy lines. Madison had cried herself to sleep while he held her, swearing it’d get better. He resisted the urge to punch the mirror.

January first was supposed to be the beginning of a new year, but also the first day of the rest of their lives together. A cold, brisk southern morning dawned and snow had been falling by lunch time, creating a glittering backdrop to their marriage. Elias had stood at his side as Micah’s best man and pride like he’d never known bloomed in Micah’s chest when Madison walked down the aisle in her stark white gown. The wedding had gone as planned and they’d toasted to their future together, covenanting their lives to one another for an eternity.

They’d taken a private jet to Paris and he’d been eager to get her into their honeymoon suite. Thoughts of stripping and loving her slowly died as he caught the excited gleam in her eyes and the first patch of her flesh was exposed. Lust too far gone and she’d smelled so damn divine, he’d taken her quickly and much too roughly. To make matters worse, he hadn’t realized his mistake until she turned her head aside and tears streaked her cheeks. A very hollow feeling settled in his gut as he finished inside her, his wife having enjoyed none of the process. She’d rolled away from him afterward and dragged the covers to her chin.

He’d wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tight against his frame. “I’m sorry. It’ll get better, kitten.” But he’d felt her mental withdrawal like a protective barrier against further suffering.

Virgins weren’t a commodity he enjoyed often. Neither had his sexual partner’s pleasure hadn’t been his focus before tonight. Failure was a unique novelty and something he could happily never deal with again. Goddamn it, he’d needed her virginity to seal their cosmic deal.

Micah took a deep breath and exhaled it. “I will make it good for her next time,” he told his reflection.

Their next time ended just as badly. And a very real tenseness settled into their honeymoon. He had no idea how to proceed and feared he only made matters worse each time he touched her. If only he knew how to rectify his error.

Two years later

A son! She had a son. Labor had been long and she’d denied an epidural. Every second of it was worth the perfect little creature nestled in her arms, nursing at her breast. Amos Ross Dominus…the single most wonderful thing that happened in her life.

All the godawful sex was worth getting him too. But she wouldn’t think of that now. Not when her joy was too great. And Micah was pleased, he couldn’t stop smiling. She just wished things could go back to the days before their marriage, when they’d been comfortable with one another. Now every time he touched her, hugged or kissed her, she worried he’d want sex. Too bad she wasn’t the whore her father said she’d be. She displeased Micah and she desperately wanted to make him happy, but she couldn’t even bring herself to pretend she enjoyed making love with him.

Two years later

Micah stared at the Azura stones, an ancient prophetic device used by his Father. Please her or leave her. Displeased with the prophecy, he disliked the actions he’d be forced to take. He tucked the stones away and was placing them into his bedside table when Madison entered their bedroom.

“Amos asleep?” he asked as she walked toward her closet.


A few minutes later she emerged in a white silk gown. Beautiful woman. His. Bound to him for life and she detested his touch.

He went to her and clasped her face between his hands. “I wish to make love to you tonight.” Her blue eyes grew cloudy. “Don’t, kitten, please don’t. I’m sorry for the way I took you on our honeymoon. I wish I could do it all over again.” He’d damn sure tried to make things better in the four years since their wedding.

Madison swallowed. “I want to be what you need me to be, but….”

“Let me try, Madison. Just allow me to try.” But you’ll have to open up to me as well. 

She’d once enjoyed his kisses. If he could just get her to recapture her youth, he could succeed. He knew he could and then he wouldn’t have to follow the advice of the Azura stones.

A hesitant nod, but he could tell she was afraid. He kissed her slow and with patience, taking his time to arouse her. Only when she began to return his kisses, did he deepen them.

“Help me remove my clothes.” Not something he’d ever asked of her before. And her hands shook as she lifted them to unbutton his shirt. He caught her wrists after she tugged the material free of his slacks. “You know I don’t bite. This is me, kitten. The same man you loved before we married.”

“I still love you, Micah.”

“Then show me.”

She did, or she tried. And she’d seemed to be enjoying his caresses and kisses. He went down on her—not something ever tolerated by her before—and she’d nearly came, but she shoved his head aside before the fireworks could claim her. Easing over her, he’d thrust easily into her, marveling that it’d been one of the few times lubrication hadn’t been necessary. Again, he felt her rising release and her lips parted, her eyes widening—in surprise?—as she neared a very real climax. The first ever with him.

Then something altered. A frown flitted across her brow and she’d bitten her bottom lip, as a sad shudder emerged from her lungs. He felt a mental shift because he felt her disconnect from him in an emotional sense. Fear turned her eyes shiny, brimming with tears and she whispered, “You’ll hate me.”

What the hell? Hate her for what? Nothing she ever did could bring about his hate.

Just that fast her arousal died away and her orgasm never surfaced. Frustrated, Micah finished, burying his face in the curve between her neck and shoulder as he released. It didn’t seem right to groan his release too loudly, when she hadn’t enjoyed it.

He had his answer. He knew what he must do. Tears burned his eyes and he’d never shed a tear for anyone. No one had ever been that important to him, not even his bastard of a Father.

Micah rolled off her onto his back. “Tonight marks a new beginning, Madison.”

She sniffled but didn’t look at him. He fiddled with her hair, wishing he possessed another alternative. Goddamn, he wanted a different choice than the one he was presented with.

“It’ll eventually work out, kitten.” Her gaze walloped him, doubt stark in her eyes. “Do you trust me?” She nodded. “Then trust me when I tell you we will work it out.” But she’d need to evolve first. That had been clear in the Azura stones. “You’re my future, no other will suffice.”

“I don’t want to lose you.” Madison snuggled against him, resting her head on his shoulder. Even though her tears were warm against his flesh, he relished the way she turned to him for comfort. Her rock. Her foundation for seven years. Maybe that’d been his mistake, solving all of her problems for her. “Will you help me be what you need?” She asked in a small voice and her uncertainty broke his heart.

“You’re already what I need.” He hugged her tight against him. “I love you and nothing will ever alter that. Remember that, okay?” Regardless of the nasty things I will be forced to do. She nodded, but he needed to see her eyes, to know she truly meant it. He placed a finger beneath her chin and tilted her head back until their gazes touched. “Regardless what happens, promise me you’ll never forget I love you more than anything. You are my world, kitten. I’ll always protect you, now and forever, even if it seems that I’m not. Promise me you believe me and that you won’t forget, Madison.”

Her voice sounded rusty as it emerged, “I promise.”

The next morning, Micah descended the stairs as always, but his mood was cautious. When Madison finally slumbered last night, he’d exited the bed and consulted the Azura stones once more. He hoped they’d give him an alternative course.

The prophecy was as dire the second time as the first. He perched on a crossroads. If Madison were cool toward him this morning, his mission was likely doomed. He’d been uncertain how he would handle the situation if that occurred. If she uttered words of encouragement, there was hope. A fifty-fifty chance his plan would succeed. To up those odds, he’d have to commit difficult actions toward her, but all would be necessary to push her in the direction she must go. Madison had to evolve or he would lose everything, not just his ultimate endgame, but her as well.

As he entered the kitchen, his stomach churned with uncertainty. Madison cooked a typical southern breakfast—bacon, fried eggs, biscuits and grits. He adored her cooking and his belly grumbled at the scents wafting to him.

Amos sat in a chair on his knees, giggling at the pup he’d received for his birthday wallowing on her back making grunting and groaning noises. The blue Great Dane—Amos named Dixie—would protect him, and that was all Micah cared about.

“Morning, kitten,” he said as he walked up beside her to snag a piece of bacon. She hugged him and gave him a peck on the cheek. His eyebrows flashed upward at the flush on her face. “You’re practically glowing this morning.” Beautiful.

Madison adjusted his tie and her shyness cramped his gut with nostalgia. After all this time she continued to worry about his reception.

She peeked at him through her lashes. “I wish to try again tonight.”

All is not lost! Hope surged inside him and he buried his hand in her hair, angling her head back to stare into her eyes. She didn’t flinch away as he’d expected.

“You almost came last night,” he whispered low so Amos wouldn’t hear. “A first.”

An adorable blush infused her cheeks. “Yes.”

“You weren’t disgusted?”

“No.” A frown hit her forehead. “Is that what you thought all these years?”

“It doesn’t matter what I thought.” He kissed her cheeks. “All that is of importance is our future.”

He and Amos chatted as they ate breakfast, most of the conversation centered on the Great Dane, how she hogged the bed and begged for loving, but he didn’t mind because they were friends.  Dixie whined for food and he realized halfway through the meal that his son snuck bits of biscuit to her.

“Give her a whole one, Amos.” He nodded at the platter of biscuits. Amos’s blue eyes lit up and he scrambled halfway across the table in order to reach one. The delight of such simple things warmed his heart and they’d be missed.

He looked at Madison as he pressed a napkin to his mouth. She smiled.

My beautiful family. So precious and so far from where they need to be.

Micah slid back his chair. “I have an early morning hearing. I need to run.”

He scuffed his fingers in Amos’s hair and then drew Madison out of her chair into his arms for a lingering kiss.

“Good luck in court,” she said. He grinned. Luck had nothing to do with his success. She straightened his tie. “I love you, Micah.”

He tipped her chin back with a fingertip beneath her chin. “And I am so in love with you, kitten.”

Micah snagged his briefcase out of the kitchen chair and left.

© Gracen Miller 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Gracen Miller.