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Joss Avaton, a character in books by Kayelle Allen. She is the narrator in An Immortal’s Guide to Tarth and a major character in the Bringer of Chaos series.

Joss and Pietas meet (from Forged in Fire, a sweet scifi romance) #excerpt #Scifi

I’m writing the sequel to book one in the Bringer of Chaos series. The first was Origin of Pietas, the second is Forged in Fire. In it, we get a lovely flashback of his first love. When Joss and Pietas meet for the first time, he is young, isolated, and alone. This is from the work in progress. May have final edits before being released. Currently, it’s on track for Sept 2017.

Joss and Pietas Meet (Excerpt)

Joss and Pietas meet (from Forged in Fire, a sweet scifi romance) #excerpt #MFRWhooks @kayelleallen

Pietas didn’t sleep with Joss until he was twenty, but he fell in love with her at first sight.

He was sixteen. She was ageless.

The older woman had plucked him off the streets, fed and clothed him, given him a job and dignity. That wasn’t why he’d slept with her. It had taken several years to become her lover because he didn’t know how to ask. She told him later he’d been too young to know what he wanted and she’d promised herself she wouldn’t make the first move. This time, he knew how it was done, he had no intention of waiting, and he knew exactly what he wanted. Her.

As he hiked beside her, he recalled that first meeting. He’d been starving, standing in lines to join work crews. For days. No one would hire him. He had no identification. No money. His father had thrown him out with nothing. Obtaining his own weapons hadn’t been difficult. He’d wagered his skill to gain those. But a job? He had no war campaigns to claim and no ID to acquire passage for one. He was too proud to steal and far too proud to beg. He refused to buy falsified documents. He’d either earn his keep the right way or he’d starve.

Once you sell your honor, nothing else has value.

Once you sell your honor, nothing else has value. -- Pietas #Quotes Click To Tweet

The day had grown late and it had started raining. He ducked into a covered alley and huddled against the wall for protection from the wind. The greasy food cooking at the diner across the street had started smelling good two days ago. Skinny Ultras stopped by the diner’s back door every night and accepted a handful of scraps. A few picked through leavings. He would bear stomach cramps forever before he’d do that.

A female soldier passing by slowed, looked him up and down, and then stopped. She wore an officer’s uniform: simple black jacket, white blouse, black skirt, shiny shoes. “Hello.”

He stood taller. Finger-combing his hair, he smiled at her. “Hello.”

“Are you looking for work?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She entered the alley, gesturing for him to accompany her.

He turned to follow, staggering with dizziness. No matter what kind of work she needed done, he would find a way to do it, hungry or not. Once they reached the alley’s deepest end, she pulled up her skirt and held out paper money.

It took a moment for it to register what she expected him to do. He’d never been around any women other than his mother and sister. Did people…do that…in an alley? Surely not. He must be mistaken. Surely she needed something else and he had misunderstood.

When he just stood there, she gestured with the money. “I don’t have all day, do you want this or not?”

He turned and fled and didn’t slow down until he reached the Ultra’s union hall. There, he dropped onto the ground in the drizzling rain, back against the wall. Arms resting on upraised knees, he hung his head, sopping wet, cold and miserable.

“Hello?” called a gentle voice.

“I am not for sale!” He clenched his teeth and glared up at her.

“That’s good to know.” The woman looking down at him was not the one who’d offered to buy him earlier.

Pietas clambered to his feet.

Unlike his platinum blond, her hair held tones of gold. Kind blue eyes seemed to look right through him. The rain had ceased and a beam of sunlight illuminated her. Seeing her, a man could believe in angels.

He pushed hair out of his face. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be. Are you Pietas?”

“I am.” Was this someone who could hire him? It wouldn’t do to look sloppy in front of her. He drew back his sodden hair into a tail and tossed it over his shoulder. Wiping wet hands on wetter clothes, he held himself in militarily correct posture. “How do you know me?”

“From your mother’s description.”

“My mother?” A wave of homesickness arose in him so strong he lost his breath. He might be new to the greater Ultra world, but he hadn’t been raised a fool. He kept his distance. “How do you know her?”

“Helia and I were created at the same time. She was scientist class and I was warrior, but we became friends. I introduced her to Mahikos. Thankfully, she doesn’t hold that against me.” A wry smile tilted her mouth. “She called me, told me she had a son named Pietas and a daughter named Dessy. She said you and your father had a fight and asked me to look for you. She sends her love.”

“You must be Joss!”

“That’s right.”

“Growing up, Mother told me all about you. She said you were the sister she never had.”

“Did she?” Her amusement came through the aether, as warm and embracing as his mother’s had ever been. “I’m glad to know that. I wish she’d told me about you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. That isn’t your fault.”

“Is Mother here? Have you seen her?”

“No. But she was worried so I said I’d try to find you. Looks like I did. She said to try the work halls. This should have been the first place I looked.” Smiling, she spread her hands. “But I finally found you.”

Surely it wasn’t wrong to fall in love so fast. Mother had said not to trust strange women, and from his experience with the one earlier, she’d been right. But this was Joss. Her friend and sister. Pietas took two steps toward her, stopped himself and stuck his hands in his pockets.

Joss offered her hand. When he shook it, she clasped both of hers around his.

The moment she touched him he knew he would survive. He could do anything. His life was not over before it began. He’d had no idea then she was using her gift of Clarity to help him see his path. All he knew was this amazing woman cared about him.

“Thank you for looking for me. Finding me.”

“My pleasure.” She slid her fingertips down his jaw, out to the dimple in his chin and released him. “Now, let’s get you off these streets, into some dry clothes, and find you a meal. If you want to, you can call your mother.”

(download a pdf of the Joss and Pietas meet excerpt taken from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, sweet science fiction romance – coming soon)

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We’ll call that one Trouble #MFRWhooks #SciFi

In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, Pietas discovers a different sort of trouble. The good kind.


This one is Trouble

We'll call that one Trouble #MFRWhooks #SciFiJoss unfastened her hair, let it fall around her shoulders and shook it loose. The blond waves caught the fading light and gave her the soft glow of a goddess, as feminine and powerful as if she radiated sunlight. She combed her fingers through it, giving him an odd look.

Pietas coughed. “Um… What’s up?”

She gestured to herself. “You’re asking me ‘what’s up’?”

What had he missed? “Yes. Why?”

“Because I asked you what was up, and you just stared at me.”

“I did? Sorry. I was lost in thought.”

“I see.” Her coy smile said she did indeed. “So, Pietas, what’s up?

Now she was teasing him with double meanings and ambiguities. He’d love to join her in play, but until he’d learned what he needed, he ignored the temptation.

“Dessy says you’re in charge of camp security.”

“True.”

“Has my father returned, or attempted to?”

“No. I’ve kept a close watch. The twins reported no sightings. He’s laying low.” She pulled back her hair and fastened it again. “But we’re not the sole source of security. I don’t see him getting past them.”

“Them? Who is ‘them’?”

“I’ll show you.” She motioned for him to follow. “Look over there.”

On a promontory overlooking the pods, a panther sat beside a bare tree, scanning the area.

“You’re referring to the cat?”

“Yes. Now look over there.” She pointed in the other direction. On that side, another cat prowled beneath a tree on the trail leading to the pods. “They’ve been there all day. They switch every few hours. Every time they do, the big one that attacked your father stands on the edge of the caldera where you first saw the pods. After the cats change places, it goes away. It’s the changing of the guard. I can see what they’re doing and I’m grateful for it, but they’re so intelligent it scares me. They bump noses and then take up the position of the cat they’re replacing. I think they might be telepathic, but with each other, not me. I don’t pick up anything.”

“They’ve done this all day?”

“Like clockwork. You know what this means, don’t you?”

“Yes. I can get some sleep tonight.” A yawn overtook him.

“I was going to say we should name them.”

Pietas nudged his chin toward a cat. “We’ll call that one Trouble.”

Forged in Fire…

Love Romances Cafe Best in Science Fiction/Futuristic Nominee
When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that’s the problem.
He’s not.
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped inside their pods and it’s up to Pietas to free them. He can’t release one at a time. It’s all or nothing. He’s facing over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals who will call on him for rescue and he has no way to answer.
It’s not all bad. The beautiful telepathic warrior he’s loved for lifetimes is at his side. He’s bonded with a sentient panther. He hates humans but the one dumped on this planet with him has become a trusted friend.
Before Pietas can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he’s fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.
Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever…

Warning: Contains angst, humor, sweet romance, betrayal, vengeance… a ginormous, sentient panther who wants to be Pietas’s “kitty,” and a different kind of trouble with the rest of the panther tribe…
Amazon http://amzn.to/2ABIcCI


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Unwanted Attention from a Telepath #SciFi #Pietas #MFRWhooks

Unwanted Attention from a Telepath #SciFi #Pietas #MFRWhooksIn this scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, Pietas and the search party sent to find him have stopped their upward mountain trek for a short break. Prior to their reunion the previous day, Pietas had spent a year in confinement, hands bound behind him. He’d been starved to the point of death, but because he’s immortal, he could not die. Although he’s healed since, the brutality left a lasting toll on his once robust physical body. As they prepare to get underway, he unwittingly reveals the impairment and becomes the focus of unwanted attention from a telepath.

Unwanted Attention

Wincing, Pietas stretched to ease cramps in his back.

“Tas!” His sister had started using her childhood name for him since they’d reconnected the day before. “Are you hurt?”

Before he could answer Dessy, a quick telepathic scan from Joss swept over him. Pietas had still been a teenager when she’d trained him to shield his mind from those with her gift. Not that he’d ever been able to block her. She was far too powerful, but today, she’d read him with no more difficulty than a hunter spying trail signs. He’d been near no Ultra telepaths for over a year.

His affinity with Six had made him careless and he’d neglected the basic lessons Joss had taught him.

It wasn’t a lack of trust. Trust had never been an issue with Joss.

He treasured her, but he ought not to have been so unguarded and open. Vulnerable.

“Pietas.” Joss stood. The waves of emotion he picked up from her held love and concern in equal measure. And a bit of disappointment. “You’re injured.”

He ducked his head like a schoolboy who’d forgotten his lessons. Admit mortals had damaged him? Never. Neither would he lie about it. He’d take better care to hide the pain.

“Don’t worry about me.” Whistling, he circled a finger in the air. “Let’s go! Long climb ahead. Joss, you lead.” Last thing he wanted was her behind him, using him as an object of focus. He loved her, but this was unwanted attention.

What telepaths focused upon, they controlled.


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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 published books by possibly new-to-you authors.

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