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Marketing for Romance Writers is a peer mentoring group for authors. It was founded in 2006 by Kayelle Allen.

Zoom-zoom! Nope, not a bike, a book club @LoreleiConfer #Zoom #BookClub #MFRWhooks #MFRWorg

Zoom-zoom! Not a bike, a book club #Zoom #BookClub #MFRWhooks #MFRWorg

Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!

No, that's not a motorbike or your kid playing with cars. It's a Zoom Book Club, and it's fun. I'd love for you to come.

You stay home, hang out with new friends and chat about books. There is a guest author every week and you can bring a friend. There's plenty of room on the Zoom couch.

You don't have to read a book. Just show up.

This week (July 8th) it's romantic suspense, and next week (July 15th) it's sci-fi -- I'll be the guest of honor. I'd love to meet you "face-to-face" or as close as we can get these days...

Romantic Suspense author Lorelei Confer is the host, and she has author guests of every genre.

This week is romantic suspense author Kendra Elliott, who has sold over 8 million books. Wow! 8 million? I can't imagine. She's hit the Wall Street Journal top ten bestseller list eleven times, and is a three time winner of the Daphne du Maurier award. Her 2017 release, A Merciful Death was a #1 Amazon overall bestseller and has been optioned for TV.

She's an International Thrillers Writers finalist and a Romantic Times finalist. Come meet her!

Wine optional. ;)

Here's Where to Meet New Authors

Tonight 7/8/20 at 7pm EST come hang out in a Zoom Book Club.
We meet every Wednesday night.

Click this Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 865 6302 0406

Password: 325859

If you want to attend on your phone, check out the Zoom app Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. It's free. Once you're set up, you just press a button and you're in.

See you there!

Check out the other authors in this blog hop below.

Image credit for banner:  Photo by Gorbachevsergeyfoto on Pixabay.com / Design by Kayelle Allen


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.

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.

“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.

This idBot program is invading everything #Excerpt from A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

This idBot program is invading everything #Excerpt from A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Is it true that idBot sees everything?

idBot

In this scene, Luc is about to enter an elevator/lift in the Thieves' Guild. The elevator car moves up, down, and sideways to traverse the huge building. He's on his way to an important meeting.

idBot sees everything

After Luc left Tonio's office, he visited the Arcane Level library on the thirtieth floor, checking data to prepare for his meeting with Ms. Lexius. He headed for his office, but when the elevator opened, Grand Master Aerlray de Clare stood inside.

Focus, not dwell. Move forward.

Gathering his patience, Luc entered and pressed the button for his floor. "Aerlray."

"Luc Saint-Cyr." The man smiled like a predator. "The man I'm looking for."

"Oh?" Luc kept his back to the doors. "Why's that?"

"It's been brought to my attention idBot's poking its nose into our files."

"Is that so?" Floor numbers in idBot green scrolled around the top of the car as it moved downward. Ten floors to the first turn. "That phrase 'idBot sees everything' is literal."

"But it's scanning confidential data. Contracts. Personnel. Sealed adoptions."

And why was he trying to hide those? "IdBot needs to know what it's protecting."

"A lock on a door doesn't need to know what's behind the door."

"IdBot's more than a lock. It gathers intel about its surroundings. It's a living, breathing system that can actively protect its owner." He owed Shohn Lexius for that tidbit.

"I don't care about any of that." De Clare puffed himself up. "I want it to stop. Now. Pull idBot back from this invasive search, Saint-Cyr. It's setting a dangerous precedent. The Guild won't tolerate it."

He'd switched to using last names. Interesting.

Three floors.

"Aelray, if you think a threat will deter me, you don't know me."

"No threat." De Clare held up both hands. "But this idBot of yours is meddling where it doesn't belong."

"Oh?" The car slowed, shifted direction sideways. "What is there to hide?"

De Clare pointed at him. "I'm not the only councilmember who dislikes these invasive searches. This could have serious consequences if it came to a vote."

Good. Let it. "Why are you telling me this?"

"Because you own idBot."

"Let's say a tech company hires one of our people. Signs a contract for corporate espionage, but it's bungled. Things go badly. What's the procedure for a complaint?"

De Clare stepped back. "Why are you asking me? You know the procedure."

"That's right. I do." The car slowed, headed down again. "Procedure doesn't say 'go to the Grand Master and whine."

"What's your point?"

"When the Guild installed idBot, it came with a book of procedures in case anything went wrong. I didn't write the book, but I can guarantee you that nowhere in it does it suggest hassling members of the board or the owner."

The man stiffened, mouth set in a straight line. His usual cocky self had deteriorated into a petulant boy. "Are you going to stand there and tell me this isn't your doing?"

"What isn't my doing?"

The elevator made the last turn to the side, bypassing the Heart of the Guild. Not unlike de Clare, who could not seem to grasp the heart of the organization.

"Look, Saint-Cyr." De Clare arranged his robes of office. "This idBot of yours is poking through employee files, intake records, and financial statements. It's rifling through everything."

Excellent. More proof. Luc bared his teeth in a pseudo-smile. "You mean it's searching databases in order to back them up and provide security for every aspect of the facility?" The car slowed. "What the system was purchased to do?"

"That's exactly what I mean!" Spittle showed at the corners of de Clare's mouth.

"Why is that a problem?" The doors opened and Luc took one step outside. He wedged a foot to block the elevator from closing. "Got something to hide?"

De Clare took a full step back, shoulders against the wall. "I want it to stop." He jabbed a finger toward Luc. "Now!"

Luc released the doors. "Then call the Help Desk."

Be sure to check out the other authors in this hop at the bottom of the page.

idBot logo by Jamin Allen

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.

Done. Now comes the Hard Part #AmWriting #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Done. Now comes the Hard Part #AmWriting #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Done! I finished A Stolen Heart on 3/1/20! Release date announced soon. Now comes the hard part. Editing. Today's excerpt is a scene between two ex-lovers, one of whom mistakenly thinks the other wants to get back together.

Done does not equal "teasing"

In this scene from A Stolen Heart, Luc Saint-Cyr is dealing with his immortal ex. Those who have read about Pietas in other stories already know he's brilliant, gorgeous, and confident to the max. He's also half a smidgen from being a full-blown narcissist.

He adores Luc, who broke up with him thousands of years ago, but Pietas continually holds out hope for a return. Luc has retreated to a dressing room to calm down after an incident in which Pietas completely misread Luc's intentions, with disastrous results.

[scene subject to editing]
A note: Pietas is severely claustrophobic, and he always calls Luc "Cyken,"  his "immortal" name.

DONE. D. O. N. E.

How long Luc stood there, clutching the mangled tie, he did not know. He forced in deep breaths, held them and released, over and over, until self-loathing inundated his shame. He'd put Pietas through more than a year of hell. Luc might not have locked him into the coffin-like pod that imprisoned him, but his betrayal forged every bolt that trapped his king inside. It was his fault Pietas could barely force himself to open a closet or shut a door.

"Over the man but duty-bound to serve the king." Luc stomped over to the recycler, opened the lid, and flung the tie into it. He dragged a hand through his hair. "I hate my life."

He had Nikko to think about. He must go out. Celebrate the graduation. He must do this. From a drawer, he withdrew another tie and fastened it.

A timid knock sounded.

He stood there a moment, took one step toward the door, but halted. What if it was the child?

"Cyken?" Pietas called out.

Luc shook his head. Oh to be able to portal out of there.

"I know you're in there. I can hear you breathing. I upset you. Let me in."

Why? To take another shot at infuriating him? "Go away."

"Let me talk to you."

"Go away."

"But, if you would just--"

"No!" Luc brought up a fist, but forced himself to set it--gently--against the door. "Go. Away."

"Cyken. Talk to me."

He yanked open the door.

Pietas jerked back.

"Go away. We are done." Refusing to take so much as one step closer, Luc stabbed a finger at the ground. "Get that through your head. We are over. D-O-N-E. Done. Finished. Go. Away."

After clearing his throat, Pietas folded his hands before him, hesitant in his movements. "I crossed a line." From the man's expression, he sought confirmation.

"You didn't even know, did you?" Luc threw up one hand. "I swear, you have the sensitivity of lava. You push your way forward and shove aside anything that gets in your path. Well I'm not budging."

"Technically, lava burns through things, so--"

Seething, Luc slammed the door, shoved his back against it and clenched both fists. He sucked in a shallow breath. "Serve the mission," he murmured. "Serve the mission."

"Cyken." Less timid knock this time. "That lava comment was stupid. I shouldn't have said that."

"You think!" No. Never engage an enemy on his terms. You didn't fight a word battle with a pedantic narcissistic.

"Can you hear me?" Another knock. A pause. "Cyken? Are you still in there?"

Silence. Never give an enemy what he expects.

Pietas heaved an overly dramatic sigh. "Stupid question. You don't have a portal. There's no other door in there." Quiet. "Wait. Is there?"

The sound of footsteps came to him. There was another door, but it led to the bathroom which then led back to the bedroom. No escape there.

More silence. Footsteps back.

Would the man never give up? Luc jammed his fingers against his brow.

Another knock. "Cyken, come out. Please? Talk to me. I'm sorry."

With a resigned sigh, he tilted back his head. This man was persistence personified. Luc opened the door. Stood there. Said nothing.

"Thank you for opening the door."

He made no response.

"You were right." Pietas bit his lips, studying the carpet. Peeking back up, he rubbed the back of his neck. "I was insensitive. I know what I did was stupid, because it hurt you, and I didn't mean to do that. I thought you were teasing. You know, the way we used to when we were lovers, and you'd say no, and I'd--" He broke off, started a new sentence, then another, but completed neither of them.

Luc made no attempt to rescue him.

"I'm sorry," the man said finally. "I was a fool."

"Don't expect me to contradict you."

After showing surprise, Pietas twitched one shoulder. "I suppose I deserved that."

Crossing his arms, Luc remained silent.

"I wasn't trying to force myself on you. Please believe that." A look of such pain crossed his king's face that Luc softened toward him. "Cyken, I would never do that. I wouldn't violate your agency. I wouldn't do that to anyone, even my worst enemy. Certainly not to someone I love."

Luc unfolded his arms. "I believe you."

Pietas looked at him, hopeful.

"But you went too far. When someone says stop, you stop. You don't keep pushing!"

"I was stupid." He held up both hands. "I've missed you so much. I saw what I wanted to see, not what was real. I'm sorry."

Luc gave a single nod.

Pietas took another step back. "Come out of there."

"No."

"All right." Pietas studied the room as if searching for written words. "Then... Can I-- May I-- Will you let me come in?"

"You want to come inside a small room like this?"

Pietas peered around Luc, gave a fine shudder. "No," he admitted, "but I want to be where you are."

---

Be sure to scroll down and visit other authors in this hop!

A Stolen Heart

Scruffy Grumpy and Oh So Lovable #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi @KayelleAllenAfter rescuing a half-alien / half-human child who's running for his life, warrior-turned-entrepreneur Luc Saint-Cyr stumbles onto a conspiracy at the highest levels of the powerful Thieves' Guild. Complicating matters, Luc's immortal ex might be involved.

Now Luc must deal with his ex, find a home for the child, squelch the flames of conspiracy and eradicate its perpetrators. As if that's not enough, an unseen enemy is undoing every good thing Luc accomplishes.

But when it comes time to give up the child to a family who can care for him, how will Luc bear to part with the adorable little boy who has stolen his heart...

The Antonello Brothers Series

~ visit the series page ~

You'll find Luc and Pietas 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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