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Blog hop posts. Hops are joint efforts by multiple bloggers to share.

Luc gets his first taste of fatherhood #Excerpt A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Luc gets his first taste of fatherhood #Excerpt A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Luc finds out what fatherhood is like first-hand.

Fatherhood - a lot of work

After rescuing a toddler, Luc must now oversee his care. He managed dinner with the help of his house-droids and the five young thieves who are part of his Thieves' Guild "family."

Luc has managed to give Senthys a bath. Next up, tucking the three-year-old into bed.

And this is where Luc gets his first taste of fatherhood.

With his hair flat against his head, Senthys resembled a wet cat and looked half his usual size. Shivering, the boy stood quietly while Luc dried him. Unlike Kin, the toddler had human feet without claws. After dressing him in a clean t-shirt and underpants, Luc wrapped Senthys in one of Nikko's old button-down sweaters as a robe and rolled up the sleeves. The garment swallowed the tousle-haired moppet.

Luc had hair like the boy's. A comb would never go through such tangles. "I don't want to pull your hair, so we'll leave it alone."

Senthys took Luc's face in his hands and looked into his eyes. "Thank you."

"Welcome. Let's get you into bed." When he re-entered the bedroom with the boy, Nikko was waiting.

"Hey, Luc. I got the bed ready for you, Senth." His Deshai pulled down the covers.

Senthys hopped in excitement. "A real bed!"

Nikko helped him climb onto it. "It's comfortable too."

"I get to sleep up here?"

"You sure do." Nikko fluffed the pillow. "I'll be right over there on the couch if you need me."

"Okay. Hug, Nikko?"

Nikko bent over and hugged him. After turning around, he mouthed, "So cute!"

"Hug?" Senthys held out his arms.

Luc gestured to himself.

"Uh huh." Senthys waited.

How was it Luc was back to feeling like he was the student trying to please the teacher? "All right." He bent closer.

The boy threw his arms around Luc and kissed him on the cheek. "Night night, Sen'dai."

Touching his cheek, Luc stepped back. He'd supervised bedtimes for his older Deshai. What did one do with a toddler?

The paper gift bag on the floor caught his attention, and he picked it up.

"The house-droids sent up something for you." He sat on the edge of the bed. "Shall we see what it is?" Luc cracked open the top, peeked inside, and snapped it shut.

Senthys sat up and grabbed the blanket with both hands, looking like a cat spying a toy. "What's in there?"

"Maybe you should find out." Luc passed him the bag.

After opening it, Senthys peeked in and then squealed. "Pocket!" He pulled out the bear. "You fixed him!" He clasped the mended bear to his chest and rocked back and forth. "Thank you!" The boy clambered out from under the covers and threw his arms around Luc's neck.

"You're welcome." He hugged back.

"You have the best house-droids ever!" Senthys stood on the bed, holding the bear's arms and dancing around with him.

"Careful!" Luc guided him to a seated position. "I'll make sure to thank them for you."

"Look, Nikko!" Senthys held out Pocket. "They fixed my bear!"

"Cool!" After getting a closer look at the scraggly toy, Nikko's eyebrows shot up. "This is fixed?"

Luc nudged him. "Trust me."

"Wow."

Hugging Pocket, Senthys climbed under the covers. He nestled his head against the pillows. "Pocket is sleepy now."

Luc smoothed covers over him and on impulse, over the bear.

"Hey, Senth," Nikko asked, "should I leave the light on in the bathroom?"

"Are--" He swallowed. "Are you scareded of the dark?"

"I used to be. But what if Pocket needs the light on 'cause he's in a new house? What do you think?"

Senthys held out the bear at arm's length, looked him over, and then tucked him back under the covers. "He says you're right."

"Good deal."

"Nikko?" Senthys yawned. "Pocket says thank you."

The young Deshai grinned. "Glad to help him out."

"Me too," the boy murmured, eyes drifting shut.

Be sure to check out all the other authors in this blog hop by clicking the links below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

“What’s the rule?” Can first-time-father Luc teach one? #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

"What's the rule?" Can first-time-father Luc teach one? #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Luc teaches a safety rule to Senthys.

What is the rule?

In the hoversine on the way to shop, Luc taught Senthys an important rule to protect him. Now that they've arrived, how well did the first-time-father get it across?

At the entrance, two women who were leaving both greeted the boy. One wiggled her fingers at the tyke, and each gave Luc an appreciative once over.

He'd grown used to that over the years, but this appraisal had a different impact.

More sweet than sensual.

Interesting. Women found a man attractive because he was with a child. How had he missed knowing that?

Inside, the store had a clean smell, like freshly pressed linen and well-oiled wood, with an undertone of vanilla.

Senthys drew in a lungful. "I want some cookies."

"It does smell like cookies in here, doesn't it?"

A selection of clothing displayed various sizes and colors of sportswear, casualwear, and in the back, a sign designated formalwear. Formalwear for kids? Did boys need tuxes?

Before Luc could investigate, Senthys tugged at his hand and pointed to a play area near the front of the store. "I wanna go see that."

"What was the rule?"

The boy stuck a finger into his mouth, rocking himself side to side. "Stay with you."

"That's right."

"If you go see it, I can see it." He tilted his head. "Please?"

Luc could find no fault in that logic, nor resist the appeal. "Since you asked politely. Let's go see." Holding the boy's hand, he entered the play area.

Be sure to check out the other authors in this hop below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

The truth about Kaydn devastates Luc #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

How can Luc make this right for Kaydn #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Kaydn shares an emotionally shattering secret.

Luc learns the truth about Kaydn

In this scene, Luc has gone three days without sleep already, and it's late at night, but he'd promised to talk with his Deshai (apprentice), Kaydn. After an apology for mouthing off at Luc, Kaydn tells him why he'd been so angry at finding out Luc had fostered a young child.

"All right, Kaydn. What is it you think I should know about the Guild?"

"No way to sugarcoat this. The Guild targets gifted children, kidnaps them, and master thieves pay to adopt them as Deshai."

Luc considered how well he knew Kaydn. Impulsive? His image should be in the dictionary next to the word, but he did not dwell in a fantasy world. "You think our Guild does this."

"I know they do. They steal toddlers from their families, tell them their parents are dead, and then they change the kid's last name, bring them in and palm them off as orphans. Master thieves pay to take them on as Deshai. The Guild pockets the money. And then because they're Guild-trained, they keep a portion of their income and on top of that, make them pay dues."

This dovetailed right into what Luc had uncovered about the girl he'd traced for Pietas. "Such an accusation runs counter to everything the Guild stands for. We've protected homeless children for generations. Given them homes and taught them careers."

"I didn't want buy it either, until I saw it myself."

"Prove it, Kaydn." What had Luc told the Grand Master that morning? "You can't accuse the Guild of such a heinous crime without proof."

"I know." Kaydn scrubbed both hands over his face. "I can."

"How?"

"I told you. I saw it myself."

"Where?"

"Orella--" Kaydn's voice broke, and he paused. "Orella Vettov is my sister. She found me a month ago. My parents died, never knowing what happened to me."

Luc drew back. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying--" His voice wavered. "My real last name is Vettov. I'm one of the kids the Guild kidnapped."

(continued next week...)

 

Be sure to check out the other authors in this blog hop below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Luc must plan how to right a wrong #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

The truth about Kaydn devastates Luc #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

After learning that his apprentice had been stolen from his family, Luc vows to never let it happen to anyone else. How can he plan to make this right?

A plan to make it right. How?

In this scene (continued from last week), Luc must dig deeper into the truth. The words he heard were heartbreaking. Kaydn had been stolen from his family as a toddler.

Luc and Kaydn talked most of the night. His Deshai showed him evidence gathered by the older sister Kaydn had never known. While Kaydn had been learning how to circumvent the law, Orella Vettov had learned to enforce it. First as a cop, and then as a detective specializing in missing children. She'd supplied her kidnapped brother with names, dates, and statistics.

It wasn't only Kaydn who'd been taken. There were at least fifteen others, and Vettov wasn't through digging.

The realization that this had begun while he was Grand Master struck Luc down in shame. It was his duty and responsibility to know everything the Guild did under his command, and he'd failed to flag it.

Kaydn was right. Luc not only wanted to burn down the Thieves' Guild, he wanted to crush it to the last ember.

Three mortal lifetimes he'd invested in that institution: first as Cyr de Tomasson, centuries ago, then in his previous life as Neene St. Thomas, and now as Luc Saint-Cyr. Lives spent hiding his true nature to carry out the mission: protect humanity.

Different identities. Same skill. Same talent. Same passion. Same utter devotion.

Someone had tarnished everything he'd lived for. And for what?

"Kaydn." Swallowing hard against the breath lodged in his throat, Luc clasped his Deshai's hand. "I didn't do this to you, but I apologize for it."

"I know." He braced his other arm alongside Luc's. "Right now, I hate the Guild. But Sen'dai, I know the Guild could go back to what it was. We're thieves, but honorable." Kaydn pulled away. "I can't stay. It's not personal."

"I'd want to leave, too, in your situation. I can't. Not until I fix this."

"What are we going to do, Sen'dai? It's not like we can invite the police to investigate the Guild."

"I can imagine how that would go over. I'll think of something. I have contacts and there's idBot."

"Sen'dai, I don't want to destroy everything you and my brothers have worked for. And I wouldn't skip Nikko's graduation for anything."

"Until I can dig into this and figure out who knew what, don't do anything different. Take some time off. Let me do what I do best. I'll know more by Nikko's big day."

"Luc." Kaydn pointed toward the door. "What if that little HalfKin was taken?" The agony on his Deshai's face crushed Luc's heart. "What if my brothers were?"

"I'll find out." Luc set a hand on Kaydn's shoulder. "I will stop this. Nothing I can say or do will make up for being torn from your family, but I will try to make it right."

Kaydn gave him a soul-searching look, and then moved in close and embraced him. He stepped back. "I trust you."

 

Be sure to check out the other authors in this blog hop below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Color the Characters: Read the Books #ColoringBook #MFRWhooks #MFRWauthor

Click this image to download as a full sized printable PDF to color
Color the Characters Read the Books #ColoringBook

So nice to relax and play with crayons, pens, and pencils. Try it!

De-stress and color!

Are you an adult who likes to color? You are in luck. This week, I'm sharing giveaways that I developed with my son Jamin Allen, who's a graphic designer. You can download, print and color the banner in today's post. Click it to open the PDF, then either download or print directly from the browser.

The image is Pietas (model Nik Nitsvetov).

Together, Jamin and I created coloring books for my various books and characters. You can download seven of them for free on this page on my website.

The first, Unstoppable Heroes and Heroines, features characters found in almost every one of my books. The Antonello Brothers has characters found in At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and For Women Only.

Peril -- the Immortal's Game is a unique coloring book. It has characters but also a maze and multi-sided dice to color.

Pietas -- the Bringer of Chaos has over a dozen dragons. Pietas dreams about dragons and their symbolism appears in his stories. In a future book, he will bond with one. Do you like flowers and butterflies? There are two coloring books that showcase those.

Color the Characters: Read the Books #ColoringBook #MFRWhooks #MFRWauthorColoring Pencils/Pens

You can pick up inexpensive boxes of crayons and take yourself back to your childhood. I have several sets of colored pencils and pens. My favorite type is gel because the colors are so rich and bright. The Eparon gel pen set has 40 unique colors and they're only $6.99. If you have Amazon Prime you can get them without shipping fees. There are 4 standard coloring pens, 6 neon, 5 mixed pastel, 5 solid pastel, 10 glitter, and 10 metallic. They are acid-free, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly. My advice is to get this set in addition to another with simpler colors. That way you have a variety.

Want to know when more free coloring books are added? Join one of my Reader Groups now and you’ll have first dibs on new ones. You’ll also be first to know when a next book is released, plus you’ll get access to exclusive content limited to members.

Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments. Do you like coloring? What is your favorite type of drawing?

Check the links below to find more authors in this blog hop.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

 
 
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