Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Review Tuesday: Soulless by Gail Carriger - #ReviewTuesday #steampunk #paranormal

Soulless cover

Soulless by Gail Carriger
Orbit, 2014

When respectable spinster Alexia Tarabotti retires to the library for tea and treacle tart at poorly-provisioned society ball, the last thing she expects to encounter is a vampire, especially a vampire who’s not aware of her unique nature. Miss Tarabotti is a preternatural, a human without a soul whose touch neutralizes the power of vampires, werewolves, ghosts and other excessively soulful creatures. Well-educated supernaturals would normally avoid her, but the library vampire, peculiarly clueless, attacks her instead. She inadvertently kills the creature in self-defense, leading to raft of complications.

Foremost among these is the bossy, overbearing and distractingly gorgeous werewolf Lord Maccon, head of the supernatural investigation bureau. With her half-Italian heritage, dark complexion, advanced age, and lack of soul, Alexia can’t expect to attract the Scottish Alpha, but she’d deeply appreciate being taken seriously. Instead he rejects all her offers to assist in probing the strange appearances and disappearances of supernaturals that are plaguing London. Of course, Miss Tarabotti is not the sort to be put off by his refusal, so she begins some discreet inquiries on her own. They lead her to a secret cabal of scientists with a dastardly plot to destroy the supernaturals upon whom the greatness of the British Empire depends – and into grave danger not only to her own person, but to those she loves.

Soulless is the rollicking first volume of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. Set in an alternative Victorian period in which vampires and werewolves have been integrated into British society, the book seamlessly melds steam punk, fantasy, humor and romance. Miss Tarabotti is a larger than life character with a prodigious intellect, a sharp tongue and a healthy appetite for both food and the pleasures of the flesh. Needless to say, she’s a fine match for the gruff werewolf Lord Macon, and the distinctly carnal nature of their developing relationship adds spice to the plot.

I don’t want to spoil your experience by telling you more. Quite simply, I loved Soulless. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to break down and buy the next volume soon.

Monday, April 29, 2019

He'll escape captivity, or die trying... #PNR #Werewolf #Giveaway @KateHillRomance

Victor cover

Kate is giving away a $10 Amazon GC during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember there is a chance to enter everyday so be sure to follow the Blog Tour. You may find the tour schedule and locations here https://bit.ly/2G1mPye

About Fangs and Fists 3: Victor

Werewolf gladiator Victor vows to escape captivity by demons or die trying--which nearly happens when his latest opponent takes him by surprise.

Jolanda is a member of a secret pack of wolf witches who want to free their kin from the dreaded demon tower. Strengthened by the power of her pack, she defeats Victor in the arena and demands that he be given to her as a mate.

Alone, they surrender to their overwhelming lust for each other, but Jolanda needs him for more than sex. She's been sent to rescue the captive wolves and Victor is the Alpha she needs to help her. Together he and Jolanda plan a mass escape from the tower, hoping to strike a blow the demon masters will never forget.

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Futuristic, Paranormal, Romance

Buy Links

15% off any order when you shop Kate Hill

Code: Fangs-and-Fists

Will work on the entire cart, as long as there's one Kate Hill book in the cart.

Only at Changeling Press


Two demon guards clad in black body armor entered the barracks. Their red eyes glowed behind dark face shields. They approached Victor and one guard said, “Get up and come with us.”

All the guards sounded and looked alike. They were even the same height and body structure.

Victor knew better than to refuse. There would be no point in fighting, even if he was so inclined.

He guessed he would be going to one of two possible places. It would either be the punishment chamber because he’d killed Slate too quickly or -- and this was more likely -- to the demon masters who had bargained with him to kill for their entertainment.

The guards brought Victor out of the barracks and down a steel corridor to an elevator at the end. They boarded it. Except for the soft whir of the elevator descending, there was silence.

It stopped with an almost imperceptible lurch. The door opened and Victor, accompanied by the guards, stepped into a spacious room with an enormous glass ball in the center of it. Several couches surrounded it. While the upholstery resembled leather, Victor’s sense of smell told him the couches were covered with material that hadn’t come from any four-legged animal.

He’d been in this room before. Here, the demons had bargained with him for the lives of his fellow gladiators, their mates, and their cubs. Here, he’d traded his integrity and his soul for their lives.

The guards disappeared into dark corners of the room.

Since he had no intention of sitting on the foul furniture, Victor stood near the glass ball and waited.

The ball glowed faintly at first. Then it brightened. From within, two demon masters -- one male and one female -- stared at him. He knew they weren’t actually there. The ball was similar to television. He could see and hear them, but they were far away.

The male had ink-black, elbow-length hair. Tall and slim, he was dressed from head to foot in red. The female had short white hair. Her skin was nearly as pale as her form-fitting white dress. Both demons stared at him with black eyes.

Your game has improved, Victor,” said the male, “but I’m afraid you still haven’t mastered the art of performing. Your kills aren’t entertaining enough, but for now that’s beside the point. We haven’t called you here to critique your style, but for another reason.”

We have something special planned for you,” the female continued. “There’s a new contender in the tower -- one who has seen you fight and wishes to face you in the arena.”

Other Books in the Series:

Fangs and Fists 1: Bolt

Fangs and Fists 2: Grit

About the Author

The child of a painter and a psychic dreamer, Kate Hill feels spirituality and storytelling go hand-in-hand. She loves the scent of gardenia, the sound of wind chimes and the taste of honey. By listening to what isn’t said, she creates works based on unspoken desires. Kate prefers blurred gender lines and many varieties of romance. In a world where passion must at times be restrained, she believes erotica is a pleasure to be shared. With her stories she would like to make her fantasies yours and hopes you enjoy the ride. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby. 

Please visit her online at:

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Charity Sunday: Against Hate - @afsc_org #HateCrimes #CharitySunday #FreeRomance

Charity Sunday banner

I’m sick at heart today. I just read about the synagogue shooting near San Diego. The story woke dark memories of the Pittsburgh synagogue attacks exactly six months ago, last month’s horrific massacre at Christchurch’s mosques, the Easter church bombings in Sri Lanka... the list of hate crimes targeting people because of their religion gets longer all the time.

Honestly, I cannot fathom how someone could perpetrate such horrors. I simply can’t imagine the mental state required to coldly murder one’s fellow human beings just because their spiritual beliefs and traditions happen to be different from your own. Indeed, it seems bizarre to consider that the individuals responsible for these crimes could have any sort of belief in a higher power at all.

What can we do about the explosion in hate crimes? Of course, there are practical actions that can be undertaken, like working to ban assault weapons or increasing security at places of worship. But preventing this sort of violence requires a deeper transformation. Only a change in values can reduce the hate –recognizing our shared humanity and the fostering of a sense of inclusion and safety for everyone. Education and advocacy – standing witness and choosing peaceful conflict resolution over violent confrontation – providing role models for peace and fostering inter-group dialogue – these are the only long term strategies that can have an effect. To prevent hate crimes you must somehow heal the haters.

Hence, for today’s Charity Sunday I’m focusing on the American FriendsService Committee (AFSC), an organization that has been working for peace, justice, human rights and human dignity for more than 100 years. AFSC campaigns in a holistic way, at the level of individual communities as well as at the national level, to fight discrimination, uphold human rights, and foster peace.

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts about how to heal the hate. For each comment, I will donate one dollar to AFSC. Also, I will give a free ebook copy of my dystopian multicultural romance Divided We Fall to each commenter. Just include your email address if you want the book.

I’ve got an excerpt from the book below.

I don’t want to be here. I’ve got no confidence my truce flag will buy me any kind of safety. But what can I do? My little brother’s disappeared, last seen headed toward the black ghetto. We searched every corner of Viet Village. Unless he’s deliberately hiding―not likely given his age and his usual good behavior― he must have wandered outside the bounds.

The many kinds of harm he might meet scroll through my mind like credits for some old movie. I force myself to slow down as I approach the West Century intersection, the only un-mined street leading east into Niggertown. Gripping my flag in one hand, I raise the other high to show I’m unarmed. It’s true, aside from the switchblade hidden my boot. I don’t step out of the abandoned grocery my family calls home without that knife. When I sleep, it hangs from cord around my neck, nestled between my breasts. Older Brother calls me Blade-Heart. He thinks it’s a joke, but his nickname suits me. I might ask Uncle Pham to tattoo it on my bicep.

Freeze, bitch.”

I’m expecting the challenge, but still, my stomach does a queasy flip. I remain motionless, as instructed, keeping both hands visible. A tall, lean figure steps out from behind some pollution-rusted shrubbery in front of a ruined apartment building. He carries his Kalashnikov like it’s another limb, one which he points directly at me. Funny how there’s never enough food, but no problem getting guns.

What you doin’ here? This ain’t your territory. You get your gook ass back ‘cross the street before I kick it back!”

Though the guard talks tough, I can see he’s young, maybe younger than I am. He fixes me with a belligerent glare and brandishes his weapon like he’d just as soon shoot me as not, but there’s a softness to his mouth that lets me imagine him smiling. Using his left hand to draw an ugly blade from his belt, he strides in my direction.

He wears threadbare jeans and a faded camouflage shirt, open to the waist. The inky skin on his bare chest gleams with sweat, despite the brisk wind. The paler flesh of a scar slashes across his chest, just above his left nipple. That must have been a dire wound, close to fatal. He might be young, but he’s no stranger to battle. None of us is, these days.

You hear me, bitch?” he growls and jabs at me with his knife.

Instinct taking over, I shrink backward, then recover. He mustn’t think I’m afraid. Straightening my spine, I raise my flag a bit higher.

I claim the right of truce.” I make my voice low, even, and respectful. But not subservient. “I’m looking for my three-year old brother. He wandered out of our territory earlier today. Someone said he might be in Niggertown.”

You better hope he’s not.” The guard gives me an evil grin. “Me and my boys just love a bit of barbecue.”

I ignore his jibe. He’s just trying to pull my chain. I hope. “Can I have a look around? Please?”

Any gooks enterin’ Niggertown got to pay the toll.” His leer widens, his white teeth a shocking contrast to his soot-dark complexion.

Of course.” I’d expected something like this. I jerk my thumb toward my backpack. “May I...? I’ve got veggies, from my mother’s garden. Cucumbers, green beans and kale. Chilies, too.” Money wasn’t much use in the barrios. Fresh vegetables, though—they were hard to come by, and I’d heard the soil in Niggertown was even more contaminated than ours.

He steps closer, until he’s looming over me. The point of his knife grazes my throat. Unflinching, I meet his eyes, brown as the muddy water of the Mekong in Mother’s old photos. His blade travels down my chest, pausing between my breasts. “I want something hot,” he murmurs. “But it ain’t chilies.”

You think you’ll rape me?” Amazed at my own daring, I grasp his wrist and drag it to one side, until the blade’s a safe distance from my flesh. He doesn’t resist. Dropping his hand, I give the little kick I’ve practiced so many times and flip the switchblade into my hand, already open. “I’ll kill you first, boy.”

Don’t you call me that, bitch!” I’m ready for him to hit me—I expect the toll to include some blood—but he holds back. “Anyway, I wouldn’t rape your skinny yellow ass. Nah, I’m gonna wait till you beg for it!”

I burst into laughter. I just can’t help it. “Right. That’ll happen the same day the pigs lay off the barrios and the Tower collapses.”

He tries to look fierce, but he can’t quite pull it off. “Just you wait,” he warns. “You gonna be on your knees. Beggin’ for me to put my big thing between your legs. An’ me, I’m just gonna leave you there!”

Okay, okay. If you say so. Now can I come in and look for Little Brother?”

Remembering his responsibilities, he gestures with his rifle. “Gimme the blade, girl, and show me the veggies.”

Snapping the knife shut, I drop it back into my boot. “Nobody touches my blade. But you can get the vegetables yourself, if you want.”

I turn, offering him access to the pack, a gesture of trust that I hope isn’t misplaced. He could easily throttle me, or simply shoot me in the back. I’ve got to move this forward, though. Every minute I delay increases my brother’s danger.

What if you got a bomb inside?” He’s no fool. That would be my first thought, too.

That would be pretty stupid, wouldn’t it? What would I gain from blowing us both up?” I face him once again. “Want me to open it, then?

Dunno. Could be you got a gun or something.” He scans the broad, vacant street. The wind rattles the trash piled in the gutters. “Maybe there’s more of you gooks out there, waitin’.”

His caution is rational, but my concern for Little Brother makes me impatient. “Look—what if l give you the pack. You can put it somewhere safe for now. Open it when I’m gone. Just let me inside so I can look for Duy.”

His eyes widen. It’s a fine bag, made of some tough, waterproof fabric you can’t get anymore—not since all the trade was shut down. Worth many times the value of its contents. I’ll miss it, but it’s nothing compared to Duy’s life.

* * *

Please leave me a comment, with your email. I’d love to share this book with you. And every comment helps build a bit more peace.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

A dramatic Victorian romance - #MargaretTanner #MarriageOfConvenience #HistoricalRomance

Lily cover

Lily sacrificed everything for her younger sister who then turned against her.

Now she has lost everything, her home, her family and her reputation.

Matt is desperately in need of a young woman to help him care for his recently orphaned niece, and a marriage of convenience would be the solution to all their problems.

When the secrets Matt and Lily harbor are finally exposed, will their union end in happiness or despair?

Get your copy today!

About the Author

Margaret Tanner is an award winning, multi-published Australian author, who writes Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, and Western Romance with a small dose of sizzle.

Margaret has had many jobs throughout her working career - Army Reservist, Government Worker, Postwoman (On several occasions she has ridden along with a dog hanging off the back of her leg), An Army Major's Secretary, Medical Audio-typist, Electoral Office Worker, Doctor's Receptionist and Primary School Principal's Secretary.

She loves delving into the pages of history as she carries out research for her historical novels. No book is too old or tattered for her to trawl through, no museum too dusty, or website too hard to navigate. Many of her novels have been inspired by true events, with one being written around the hardships and triumphs of her pioneering ancestors in frontier Australia. She once spent a couple of hours in an old goal cell so she could feel the chilling cold and fear

She has now fallen in love with writing Western Historical novellas, and found it an easy transition. Frontier Australia and frontier America, have many similarities - isolated communities living in a harsh, unforgiving environment, a large single male population, and a lack of marriageable women.

Her stories are drama laden. Her heroes hide behind a rough exterior. They are tough men who are prepared to face danger and overwhelming odds for the women they love. Her heroines are brave, resourceful women willing to endure hardship and danger in the untamed West, if it means they can win the heart of the men they love.

She has always loved Westerns, soaking up all the Western TV shows and movies when she was young. Bonanza was her all-time favourite show. Little Joe Cartwright was her hero. Western Author, Zane Grey was her favourite author at that time.

Margaret is married and has three grown up sons, and two gorgeous little granddaughters. 

Outside of her family and friends, writing is her passion.

Margaret was also invited to participate in the American Mail Order Bride Series, 50 brides from 50 states, from 45 different authors. Her story is Edwina, Bride of Connecticut which is Book No 5 in the series.

Friday, April 26, 2019

New Release! #lesbian #audiobook #WordWooze

Burn, Baby audio cover
Exciting news! Burn, Baby: A Sapphic Six Pack, my collection of lesbian erotica, is now available as an audio-book from WordWooze.

You can get the book free, if you sign up for an account at Audible.com. Just click here and get started listening.


Six-alarm lesbian lust.

Desire burns hot in these six sizzling tales by Lisabet Sarai. A high-powered executive and a Goth rocker collide on a rainy Manhattan night and succumb to the attraction of opposites. An unorthodox therapist rekindles the libido of a traumatized firefighter. A nun fights her forbidden lust for the voluptuous hooker resident at her women’s shelter. Burn, Baby includes many of Lisabet’s lesbian favorites as well as a searing, shocking new tale, “Countertransference”. 

From “Her Own Devices”

A fingertip brushing her clit roused Chris Burton from her post-coital lethargy. She moaned in delight before bolting upright. “What in bloody hell do you think you're doing?” Her strong fingers clamped down on Lin's wrist and dragged the invading hand out of her trousers.

Lin's jade eyes were wide with shock. She didn't even attempt to free herself. “You're—you're a woman!”

So?” A ghost of Burton's trademark grin illuminated her face. “I still made you come, did I not? Twice, if I am not mistaken.”

But your cock—it felt so real. It reacted to my motions just like a man's. I felt it swelling. I felt it pumping.”

Just clever clockwork, my dear.” Burton pushed her trousers down to her ankles to display a bewildering array of tubes and wires connected to the still-engorged phallus. “A tiny steam engine fed by my body heat. Electrostatic sensors. Pneumatic systems for fluid delivery and hydraulics for motion.”

You are a genius,” said Lin, admiration evident in her voice.

You're right. I am.” Burton pulled off the rest of her clothing and stood naked before the still-astounded Chinese woman. Chris Burton was sturdily built, with muscular thighs, small breasts sporting nipples the size of pennies and ample hips that had been hidden by her male garb. A pale scar crossed her chest from left shoulder to her sternum, souvenir of one of her more dangerous voyages. Another marred her belly. Her pubic hair was as silver as the pelt on her head. She shrugged and smiled wryly. “But what good does it do me when I can't be myself?”

What do you mean?”

I've been masquerading as male most of my life. My parents succumbed to typhoid in Rajasthan when I was twelve. I knew that I'd have to become a boy to survive and to do all the things I wanted to do. I have had forty years of adventures: expeditions, inventions, seductions. Lately, though, wearing the mask has become a bit tiresome.”

And has no one ever discovered the truth before?” Burton could see the wheels turning in Lin's brain. She grabbed the Chinese girl's arm and twisted it to the back, pulling the scantily-clad body tight against her own.

No one who lived.” With her other hand, Burton reached for Lin's overskirt. She fished out the knife and traced the tip along Lin's cheek. “I can't trust anyone to keep my secret. So there have been a few who have carried it to the grave.”


Get your copy today!

Audio Book – Audible (get it free with sign-up!): https://www.audible.com/pd/Burn-Baby-A-Sapphic-Six-Pack-Audiobook/B07QYX8LGT


Goodreads: https://www.good

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Your stay in purgatory has only just begun... #HighlanderRomance #ScottishWarsofIndependence #HistoricalFiction

The Devil Take You cover

By H K Carlton (Guest Blogger)

Thank you so much for hosting, today. I’m excited to once again share this story with readers. The Devil Take You, is a bit different for a historical romance. Though it’s still heaped with historical significance of the time—set in 1307 during the Scottish Wars of Independence and the story also focuses on, of course, a romance, but the ‘hero’ is the villain.

I wanted to create an anti-hero, a severely flawed, cruel, and malevolent character with no hope of redemption.

Meet Gard Marschand—known in the Highlands as the legendary devil—an evildoer of epic proportions. Marauder, murderer, thief, a man hell bent on revenge. He is prepared to do anything, no matter how heinous to accomplish his goals. This man is nobody's hero. But even in his wickedness, he still holds to his own moral code, skewed as it may seem to decent folk.

So, how then, do we create a romance when the protagonist is such a deplorable character?

Place a feisty Scottish lass—with a few secrets of her own—in the devil's path, of course!

This story was challenging right from the beginning, and I knew that I had to create the right woman with a combination of strength, resilience and an overabundance of, if not understanding, at the very least acceptance, for a man who has no remorse for any of his wrongdoings and with no inclination or desire to change. Braelynn Galbraith began as the woman in the wrong place at the wrong time, but she eventually evolved into a character that could stand toe-to-toe with the devil and hold her own.

I hope you’ll enjoy, The Devil Take You


Braelynn Galbraith wants peace for her beloved Scotland, marriage to her childhood sweetheart, and a house full of children. In that order. But evil incarnate, in the form of Gard Marschand, turns her life inside out and destroys all hope of a decent marriage.

Known in the Highlands as the legendary devil, Gard Marschand raids his way across Scotland and England amassing power and property in his malevolent wake. He will stop at nothing in his pursuit to regain what is lost even conceal his true identity and associate with his enemies. His determination is all-consuming until he and his men lay siege to Ross-shire holding and one feisty Scottish lass obliterates his single-minded purpose.

Can Gard abandon his deep-seated need for revenge for a love that just might save his rotten soul? Or will he succumb to the demons that hound him and surrender to the devil within?

I believe your stay in purgatory has only just begun

This story has been previously published

Add it to your Goodreads TBR List

What readers are saying

What a fabulous, well crafted story! I could hardly put it down. I love Brae as much as I loved Holly in the Always Cambridge series. They’re not the same character at all, but Brae is just as spunky, brave, creative, smart and grounded.

This book was wonderful in so many ways. Feisty heroine, brooding hero, historical facts woven into the plot, descriptions of sweeping landscapes, drama and intrigue...well-deserved praise!

I love a good historical romance, especially those set in Scotland. With a spirited young miss in Brae and a rogue in Gard, HK Carlton has created two of my favorite characters in The Devil Take You. With a story that ranks with those of Jude Deveraux and Nora Roberts, HK's tale will sweep you up in a tide of passion and intrigue that will keep you turning pages.


Brae slept until the noise of the camp rising woke her.

She dressed, then packed her gear and waited for Marschand’s tent to come down, and the day’s travel to begin.

She was unsure with whom she would ride this day, Llach or Marschand. Or if she would have to walk. She could not march too far without eating. She was starving.

Half and hour later, Brae waited outside, where Marschand’s quarters had stood only moments before.

Did you eat?” Without a sound, Marschand appeared at her side.

She jumped. “Nay.”

Why not? Do you think if you do not consume, that in death, you will escape me?”

Nay, it had no’ occurred ta me, but it is somethin’ ta keep in mind. Thank ya for the suggestion.”

His lips tightened.

As usual I am no’ allowed ta leave your quarters, but no one brings me food,” she explained. “And you are off doin’ wha’e’er it is tha’ ya do. I’d think ya might be nicer ta the one ye need ta rely on.”

His dark eyebrows knitted. “You grant yourself too much importance.”

Unable to help herself, even after Hudson’s warning, she said, “Ye ne’er ken when I could reword your correspondence, or jus’ plain no’ read the whole o’ it. Puttin’ ya in a bad position.” She challenged, returning his scowl. “Ya migh’ want ta think aboot tha’ the next time ye be dolin’ oot your punishments. I can be vindictive, too. ’Twould seem ya have a whole lot more ta lose than I do.” She tried to walk away, but he snaked his hand out and grabbed her braid, hauling her backward.

His black eyes glittered as he yanked on her hair so hard, she had no choice but to face him. “Why do you not learn?” he sneered.

And why dinna ye learn? I think I jus’ made meself perfectly clear.” Slowly and deliberately, she reached downward in hope that neither Marschand nor his men would detect the measured movement.

And if you are of no use to me,” Marschand countered, “then I have no use for you. Do not bite the hand that feeds you, Mistress Galbraith, is that not what you once said?”

No one feeds me, Marschand, be tha’ no’ wha’ precipitated this particular argument?”

And perhaps the withholding of food may continue, Miss...” He stopped speaking when she pressed the blade from his own dirk against his skin. A trickle of blood ran down his neck. His mouth quirked, and his eyes lit from within.

He is the most confounding man! If she did not know better, she’d think he was proud of her. “Ya see, Marschand, I am learnin’. Soon ya willna be able ta push me aroond.”

You need to be willing to use it, Braelynn.” With lightening speed, he took hold of her wrist and applied enough pressure that she was forced to drop the blade. “Or I will continue to push you around all I wish.” He ground his hips against her, leaving her no doubt as to what kind of pushing he meant. “But it was a splendid attempt.” He winked. The carefree action surprised her—so at odds with his severe nature. “However, I did enjoy the bloodletting.”

Copyright © 2019 H.K. Carlton
104K words

Buy Links:
Now available @ Apple, B&N and Smashwords 
Coming to other vendors soon

I hope you enjoyed the extract!

If you’d like to sample another snippet, head on over to my blog Pick a Genre Already and read the first chapter.

Happy Reading!


About the Author

H K Carlton is a multi-genre Canadian author of romance, with over thirty titles in publication. From naughty to nice, historical to contemporary, time travel to space travel, and everything in between.

Variety is creativitys playgroundIts where youll find me

Author Links
Outrageous Girls (contributor)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Celebrating Poetry - #NationalPoetryMonth #EroticPoetry

National Poetry Month banner

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Here it is, the last week of the month, and I haven’t done anything to celebrate!

So I thought I’d share a very old poem. It’s by no means my best work, but for some reason it has been running through my mind for the past few days. This was born of some real heartache. Like all good authors, though, I’ve taken the experience and used it in a novel. In Miranda’s Masks, my heroine is loved by a foreigner visiting her town, who all at once disappears from her life.

Also – I have been working on a FF short story based on one of my favorite poems, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. I’ve always loved the atmosphere of this piece, as well as the rhythm:

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.   
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.   
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,   
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

You can practically here the horse’s hooves beating against the cobblestones of the road.

Noyes’ poem is a tragic ballad. However, I intend to give my tale a happy ending. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile here’s my poem for you. If you want to read more of my verse, visit my free reading page on my website.

To Save My First Betrayer

By Lisabet Sarai

(Summer, 1975 - to DV)

you, too, I guess,
should be immortalized,
you with your foreign flairs,
your furry thighs,
and all your river-words
(your liquid lies)
that surged around me,
through me -

true, we
never mentioned
promises, no, never any -
sweaty, heavy velvet
dangled hours
were not so silent.

you in me,
such perfect style
and awkwardness in consort
grows to grace.
and how am I
to blotter out your face,
pieced out of the gloom
and hanging hair,
a hovered mask
of pleasure poised and rare
while down your words cascade
(a litany)
and shower
all my opening
like April?

every inch of English
I enjoyed,
every taste Italian,
every ride
upon your board, New Yorker
surfer boy...
too many
how could I ever know,
keep track of you,
believe that you would go?

(you at one gulp, too much for my innocent brain,
and meanwhile you had mind-washed me with rain.)

all in all, and always after this,
I think I'm learning what my problem is:
I look at things too simply, can't play chess;
I still think flesh is holy, more or less;
we fit so well, I thought that we would stick;
I want and give too fast, I melt too quick.

I replay all your loving, on and on -
my problem is, betrayer, that you're gone.