Friday, July 28, 2017

Excerpt! Pride, The Abcynians Book II

TGIF! Because it's Friday, how about an excerpt for Pride, The Abcynians Book II? ICYMI, Pride is my latest indie release. Admittedly, it'd been published originally with Ellora's Cave/Cerridwen Press which evolved into EC Blush. As the publisher has closed, I was fortunate to obtain the rights and this book is the second in The Abcynians series. Persuasion is already available at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Scribd, and B&N for Nook! Both books, as the remaining in the series and those to come as The Abcynians world shifts across the Atlantic after the 4th book, are set at affordable prices! It's my hope that if you haven't read the previous incarnation of this series known as the Panthera, that you'll give The Abcynians a chance!  



As with Persuasion, Pride can be found at Amazon, Nook, Kobo, iBooks and Scribd! Copy and paste the following links to find your copy today! Happy Friday!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0744196VX
books2read.com/u/mVZ7AA

Also, since it's Friday, here's the blurb and excerpt from the first chapter of Pride! Meet Rhiannon, a mysterious woman whose memory is slowly, dangerously returning.
They have lived for centuries. An ancient, secretive race of were-panthers faced with near extinction. To assure their survival they must conceal their identities and abilities, while protecting mankind from an unimaginable, primordial evil.
Pride: The Abcynians, Book II
Plagued by headaches and memory loss after a life-threatening injury, Rhiannon has spent years confined behind the walls of a decrepit castle. When a loathsome earl attempts to earn her favor with an extravagant painting, she is inexplicably drawn to its depiction of an ancient, mythical race. Believing the Florentine artist could be the key to unlocking her past, she and her maid escape, hoping to enlist his aid. Upon reaching the Piazza della Signoria months later, she is unaware that the handsomest man amongst the lavish merchants is the one she seeks. 
Dante Luciano is considered the most renowned artist of his time. His patrons are wealthy and powerful. His charm and prowess with women legendary. Yet, as the adopted son of the king of his kind, he must guard his secrets. For he possesses the heart and soul of a panthera prince, therefore, able to shift into a lion. Taken by the discovery of a rare Abcynian female nearby, he recognizes her as his destined mate. Discovering Rhiannon is stricken with debilitating pain, he takes her home, providing the remedies, protection, and knowledge she needs to survive.
While she heals, they fall in love, beginning to plan a future together. However, when her memory returns, imminent danger looms. It’ll take all of Dante’s abilities and the Abcynians to save Rhiannon from a vicious, beastly foe.

Rhiannon stood upon a parapet looking out at the rough, dry land that seemed to have no end. Warding off a chill, she tugged at the cape draped about her shoulders, trying desperately to understand who she was.
Lifting her chin toward the sky, she breathed in. The scent of baking bread and a roasting pig from the kitchen reached her nostrils. Her mouth watered. The earth smelled of the veil of ice that dusted the land.
How odd it seemed that she could scent such simple things and know their origin, yet she could not remember her surname.
“Who am I?” Rhiannon asked aloud, closing her eyes, but balking when pain pounded within her temples. Her last bout of headaches had kept her abed for three days. She did not relish spending another day in seclusion.
“Pray tell me the answer,” she demanded of the heavens. “Why have I forgotten? Why have I been forgotten?”
Her only answer was always the same. Whenever she dreamt of the past, images of frightening beasts loomed in her mind. In truth, she feared that she’d been involved in some sort of sorcery before her memory had gone.
But it never felt right to think she was wicked. She attended church whenever she could, felt welcomed by the parish priest. If he could not detect evil within her spirit, she must be wrong. The frightening images of men and women interchanging with leopards and lions were nothing more than dreams.
“Rhiannon, you shouldn’t be outside,” Mary Baker, her maid, said from the doorway. “Come back inside. The Baron has summoned you to the salon, we dare not keep him waiting.”
“Aye, I am coming.” Rhiannon turned and headed toward Mary. With each step her feet felt heavy, her body as weak as if she’d trudged fathoms before taking the maid’s hand.
“Are you still weak, dear?” Mary asked, catching Rhiannon’s elbow and aiding her inside. “You shouldn’t have ventured far from bed if you weren’t feeling well.”
“I’m well enough,” Rhiannon insisted.
Out of habit, she shifted the golden bracelet adorning her left wrist. The delicate gold chain always felt so heavy, but she’d been schooled to wear it by her guardian.
“Soon I pray I will rid myself of illness. I am tired of feeling helpless.”
“Mayhap you should consider removing that bracelet? My husband, God rest his soul, had an aversion to milk. Whenever he drank it, he became ill.”
Rhiannon allowed Mary to lead her to an ornate wooden chair. “Are you suggesting gold is the cause of my headaches and weakness? I cannot fathom such a thing.”
“Milady, you wear more than the bracelet. I know of the necklace that adorns your throat. I’ve never seen it gone. Likewise, your ankles are so adorned.”
“Uncle Garfield insists that a noblewoman should wear fine jewelry,” Rhiannon said, staring at the bracelet on her wrist. “I shall ask him if I may remove the jewelry for short amounts of time. Mayhap we can ascertain if they’re the cause of my ailments.”
“I shall pray that he will agree.” Mary patted Rhiannon’s hand in the way an aunt or mother would, only Rhiannon always felt older than her maid. “Allow me to look at you. You are to meet the Earl of Cliffton this eve. You’ll want to look your very best.”
Stunned, Rhiannon stiffened. “What mean you, Mary? Why am I to meet him?”
“He’s the man you’re expected to marry.”
Rhiannon felt ill. She couldn’t marry someone. “How can this be?”
“Oh, my dear, I thought you understood why the Baron has afforded you a noblewoman’s education. Lord Cliffton is favored by Queen Mary. You’re likely to be taken to court before you marry. Think of it. You could finally leave the castle, as you’ve wanted for a long time.”
“Aye, I wish to travel. Mayhap leave England altogether. I have no wish to marry.”
“For nearly twenty years I have watched over you, Rhiannon.” Mary’s kindness was the one true bright spot in her haze of confusion and melancholy. “I confess, you were so sad and ill from your head injury, I feared we would lose you. Now that you have come into your own, the Earl will favor you kindly, I’m sure.”
Rhiannon glanced down. She wore a green damask gown with long sleeves, a narrow waist, split skirt, and a gold brocade underskirt. As Mary hummed and brushed her small hands down along the skirt, she took notice of her maid’s hands. They seemed less agile than they’d once been. Light brown age spots had begun to form on Mary’s fingers. Her once dark brown hair was peppered with gray.
Frowning, Rhiannon lifted her left hand. Her fingers were long and tapered to clean, trimmed nails. Her palms were unburdened by time or calluses. They were the hands of a young woman. For as long as she remembered, her almost white blonde hair had never thinned or shown strands of age. Mayhap she was cursed with a face so hideous that her body refused to age along with it.
“Mary, might I ask you something?”
“You may.”
“How long have you served at Linwood? You’ve been my only friend here. You must think me selfish for not asking before.” It was true. For as long as she could remember, the other maids and attendants in Linwood kept their distance, as if she’d had the plague.
“You’ve been battling illness since I arrived twenty years ago, dear. You needn’t think poorly of yourself. While I’ve never been fond of the Baron, I stayed to look after you and prayed for you to learn who you are. Whatever the answer, I believe you are a good woman and deserve happiness.”
“I suppose it is safe to admit that I’m trying to guess my age. When I first came here, I was young, yet I always feel old.”
“Well, when you first arrived you were believed to be about eighteen.”
“How old do I look now?” Rhiannon asked.
“Do you not know what you look like?”
“Nay, the maids who assist with my ablutions and dressing rush me from the chamber to my lessons.”
“Had I not been so busy tending to Baron Linwood’s household, I’d have realized it sooner. His lordship needs a wife, not a lady’s maid. Forgive me.”
“There’s nothing to forgive. I don’t want to look at myself anyway.”
“Why wouldn’t you?”
“The servants stare at me when you’re not around to shoo them off. The Baron rarely allows me to venture beyond Linwood Castle unless we are to attend church. Even then, people stared. I must be hideous.”
“Men stare at you?”
“Aye, and Baron Linwood is ashamed of me and wishes to marry me off to some poor, misguided man. Why else would the other maids deny me the right to a looking glass?”
“I shall correct the staff as soon as I can. Right now, I’ve proof that you are lovely,” Mary said, rushing across the room to search through clothing trunks and an armoire. When she didn’t find what she was looking for she left.
Confused, Rhiannon waited. Mary returned with a mirror in her hand, coming up and holding it at eye level. “Look at yourself. Do not be afraid.”
With Mary’s encouragement, Rhiannon met her own eyes for the first time in twenty years. “Merciful heavens!” she exclaimed, slapping her hands to her cheeks.
“You are lovely in face and form. Unlike many English beauties, your skin is like burnished gold. Your eyes are as beautiful as amber. Your nose is so elegant it reminds one of a cat’s.”
Mary was right. She was pretty. But when she looked in the mirror she saw not a cat. She saw a…female lion.
Immediately, her head pounded, warning her away from the thought. “Pray take it away. I’ve seen enough.”
“If it is your wish,” Mary said, lowering the mirror. “We mustn’t delay much longer. It’s important to make a favorable impression upon the Earl of Cliffton. It is my hope that he is sincere in his intentions toward you. If he is, you’ll be able to live your life again, far away from here.”
“I fear you may be disappointed. I’ve no intention of marrying any man until I regain my memory. Mercy, I may have been married.”
“You were not. The Baron made certain a midwife examined you when you came here. You’ve never lain with a man.”
“Dare not mention such things.” Rhiannon gasped, embarrassed to know such intimacies had been gained from her person.
“I did not mean to offend you, dear. Something is different about you this eve. I cannot ascertain what it is, but I feel as if you’re ready to confront whatever it is that’s held you back.”
“My past. I wish to reclaim it.” From the hallway, Rhiannon heard the pitter patter of a maid’s feet coming toward them. “Harriet comes.”
Mary frowned, facing the doorway. “How do you know…” Unable to finish her question, she fell silent when Harriet opened the door.
“Baron Linwood requests your presence in the great hall, milady,” the maid said from the hallway.
Aware that there was little choice, Rhiannon nodded to Harriet and allowed Mary to finish preparing her for audience with the Baron and his guest. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

New Release! Pride, The Abcynians Book II

Greetings everyone! I know it's been way too long since I've had a new release, for that I apologize. But, as summer kicked into gear and my daughter prepares to enter high school, life is busy!

That said, yes, there's a new release!!!

I'm so proud of this book. Previously published with Ellora's Cave Blush/Cerridwen Press as Rhiannon's Pride, it's taken a little work to revise and revamp it, not only with a new title Pride, but with more detail, more action, more of a paranormal feel without losing the historical setting, the Italian Renaissance. Please note, that it's the second of a multi-book series. And, though four came out through Cerridwen Press/Blush, plans are in the works for several more stories.

As with Persuasion, available now at Amazon, Kobo, Nook B&N, iBooks, and Scribd, Pride is a historical and every attempt was made to be certain that proper address, detail, words, and fashion is correct, though because The Abcynians are an ancient race they tend to be more advanced than their human counterparts about Florence, England, and Europe.

Also, characters from Persuasion return in Pride. While Dante and Rhiannon's story unfolds, their romance is unique to them, but as a reader, you may find reading Book I helpful. Both are set at reasonable prices and easy to download to your favorite reading device.

Link to Pride, The Abcynians Book II
For Nook B&N, Kobo, iBooks, and Scribd follow an easy link: books2read.com/u/mVZ7AA
For Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0744196VX

To learn more, take a look at the blurb and a short excerpt!

They have lived for centuries. An ancient, secretive race of were-panthers faced with near extinction. To assure their survival they must conceal their identities and abilities, while protecting mankind from an unimaginable, primordial evil.
Pride: The Abcynians, Book II
Plagued by headaches and memory loss after a life-threatening injury, Rhiannon has spent years confined behind the walls of a decrepit castle. When a loathsome earl attempts to earn her favor with an extravagant painting, she is inexplicably drawn to its depiction of an ancient, mythical race. Believing the Florentine artist could be the key to unlocking her past, she and her maid escape, hoping to enlist his aid. Upon reaching the Piazza della Signoria months later, she is unaware that the handsomest man amongst the lavish merchants is the one she seeks.
Dante Luciano is considered the most renowned artist of his time. His patrons are wealthy and powerful. His charm and prowess with women legendary. Yet, as the adopted son of the king of his kind, he must guard his secrets. For he possesses the heart and soul of a panthera prince, therefore, able to shift into a lion. Taken by the discovery of a rare Abcynian female nearby, he recognizes her as his destined mate. Discovering Rhiannon is stricken with debilitating pain, he takes her home, providing the remedies, protection, and knowledge she needs to survive.
While she heals, they fall in love, beginning to plan a future together. However, when her memory returns, imminent danger looms. It’ll take all of Dante’s abilities and the Abcynians to save Rhiannon from a vicious, beastly foe.

In the following excerpt, Dante meets Rhiannon for the first time! 

Dante Luciano searched the crowded piazza for Paolo Arrigo. Fortunately, he had already caught the boy’s scent.
Spotting his youngest apprentice hiding near a prosperous English merchant, he hurried through the crowd. “Paolo, there you are. It is good that I have found you,” he greeted in English so the man would not misunderstand his intent. “Why did you run?” 
“Master,” Paolo grumbled, looking away as Dante stared down at him. “I spilled blue powder. I did not mean to make you angry. I’d hoped to replace it.”
Dante placed his hand on Paolo’s stooped shoulder, guiding the boy away from the merchant, who’d taken notice of their conversation. 
“Accidents occur,” Dante said. “Next time do your best. It is all I require of you.”
“It was lapis lazuli, not azurite, Master Luciano,” Paolo confessed.
“The loss of powder matters less to me than the loss of an apprentice. You’ve great promise.”
“Are you certain? I will return home, if you wish.”
Studying Paolo’s tiny body, Dante could not let the boy come to harm. “There is a place for you in my workshop. I’d like you to stay.” He meant to say more, but something new and interesting caught his other half’s notice. Underneath his tunic, his skin warmed, responding to whatever it was that lay just beyond his reach.
Lifting his head, he looked about, inhaling a woman’s scent that was both different to him and familiar, hinting she may be one of his own kind. The piazza was filled with signori, merchants, and travelers seeking a glimpse at the artwork commissioned by Florence’s prominent leaders.
“Paolo, return to the workshop. I will speak with you later.”
The boy obeyed, allowing Dante to concentrate on searching the piazza. Trusting his superior sense of smell, he ignored the heavy perfumes and gum arabic Florentine women tended to use in their hair. This woman’s scent was appealing to the man and the panthera leo that he was. 
As he progressed toward the Palazzo Vecchio, his gaze raked the crowd, alighting upon the back of an Englishwoman. Her cassia and honeyed scent became stronger, drawing him to a sudden halt.
The mark etched upon his chest became as hot as embers, telling him much. She was so much more than an Englishwoman. Si, she was Abcynian. And, she well could be his.
Unlike Florentine women and servants who wore fabrics conveying their household’s status, she wore a faded brown dress with a linen apron. Her pale blonde hair was confined beneath a plain linen coif. How long would her tresses be, he wondered?
Incredibly, she was much taller than the other women in the courtyard. What worried him most right then was that she appeared too thin and he sensed she’d either been ill or she’d gone hungry too long.
Frowning, Dante moved close enough to pounce should she attempt to run, and far enough away to observe her without detection. As he watched, he realized why her scent, mannerisms, and movements were not the same as the Abcynian females he’d known in the past. 
She was the offspring of a converted panthera leo pair. Had she been full-blooded, he’d have sensed her the moment she stepped into the piazza. As she would’ve sensed him.
Drawing nearer, Dante found himself hesitating to introduce himself. If he spoke to her in the way of their kind, and she acknowledged him, he would claim her as his mate by right of Abcynian law.
Being mated meant he could no longer take another lover. Whether they were heavy or slight, tall or short, merchant or servant, he loved women. Their uniqueness and beauty touched his artist’s soul, making him long to become as masterful bedding them as he was with a paintbrush and chisel.
He’d lived two hundred and forty-two years. Forty-two of them as an Elder. Was it right to have one woman and ignore the rest?
With a start, his concerns became inconsequential when she turned. Lifting her chin, she revealed her face, reminding Dante of the first time he’d seen a woman naked. Back then he’d been unable do anything other than stare like a hapless youth.
This woman was neither naked nor pleasantly attired, but she was beautiful with skin the color of honey and pale blonde hair that he longed to uncover. Her face was blessed with the high cheekbones and elegant straight nose of a lioness, a firm though feminine chin, and a lush mouth that made him groan. Her lips were as ripe and plump as berries, begging for a man’s kiss. 
Yet, it wasn’t her beauty that caught his heart. It was her eyes. They were pure, haunting amber, hinting of a woman’s vulnerability, and a lioness’ curiosity. In that moment, all other women ceased to exist. 
Unwilling to delay further, Dante spoke to her with his mind. Bella, per favore viene.
Waiting, he watched her look over at an older English maid. “Mary, I think someone spoke to me,” she said.
Her voice hummed like the strings of a harpsicord, resonate, melodic, soothing his lion’s soul as nothing and no one ever had. Smiling, Dante walked toward her, continuing to speak in the way of Abcynian mates. Come si chiama, bella?
She looked about, searching the crowd. Her pretty scowl sent desire pooling low and deep in his groin. Surprised at how quickly he responded to her, he reminded himself to be patient. Right then, he realized she didn’t recognize another Abcynian.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wild Wicked Weekend is Coming!

For the last three years, I've attended an awesome reader/author meet and greet in San Antonio, Texas. Did I mention that it is awesome?

What makes it so unique and fun, is that it began as a 'naughty weekend' away, like a pajama party gone bad. Now, while still small in scale, there are only about 140 attendees (which includes by readers and authors), it is set at the remarkable Menger Hotel, right across from the Alamo! Yes, that Alamo, with Davy Crocket, William Travis, and Bowie! The hotel is also wickedly haunted, true story.

While I am certain that the meet and greet is closed for registration, if you're in the San Antonio or Austin area, come on by February 25, 2017 for a book fair and signing with some amazingly talented authors. There will also be hot, handsome hosts available to lend a hand in carrying your purchases, or hand out raffle prizes.

Here's the information about the signing, which is open to the public:




Believe me, you will enjoy their company. In addition, and more importantly, there are our lovely hostesses, who created Wild Wicked Weekend. They include, Desiree Holt, Dalton Diaz, Samantha Cayto, Elle James, and Brenna Zinn.

I certainly hope to meet readers who may be new to me and those who have attended WWW from the get-go. I'll have a great, big trade paperback (an anthology) titled Naughty Heatwave, which features, hot, hot, hot stories from the Naughty Literati for sale, as well as some fun surprises, including free books!

Until next time,
Frances Stockton    

Friday, January 6, 2017

Great News: My Former EC Titles Have Reverted!

Good morning everyone! And, TGIF.

I learned late yesterday, after some back and forth with Amazon (who, btw, was actually very helpful and responded within an hour of my first contact with them) that my former Ellora's Cave books have been removed from their site! Likewise, they've been removed from Ingram, iBooks, B&N/Nook, Kobo, and Google Books, etc.

That said, it is possible that some of the print versions are still being offered at some of these vendors. To my knowledge, those books are treated like used books and are predominately being sold through private persons. Before I go any further, I did want to send out a warning to all of my readers and any authors, some of those private persons have placed several of my print books on a 'bot' system, meaning that it generates an outrageous price for a book based on the idea that it is 'rare' or only a few left. New print titles should not be made available POD. The thing is, as much as I loved having those books in print, I do NOT advise anyone to purchase them. I cannot say where the money is going, and, in many cases, the 'bot' is charging more than $600.00 for a book. That is absolutely crazy. Even those books that are reasonably priced falls into this advisory, for the same reason. I am not certain who is selling them or profiting off of them, it isn't me.

As I'm predominately an indie author at the moment, though I loved being part of Naughty Literati's Naughty Heatwave multi-author anthology and may look into doing similar stories in the future, most of my revamped/reworked titles will be made available predominately in digital/ebook format because it's the best way I can offer them to readers at prices that are fair and reasonable. I write big books, I love to read big books, and it's my hope that readers, those new to me and those who have read my stories before, will enjoy my vision of happily ever after!

Trust me, I loved writing Quarterback Blitz featuring Kyran Black and Anna James. Field of Play, with Dallas McKay and Grace Daniels. Ink Master, which launched the Maddox brothers beyond secondary characters with Cuff Master and Switch MasterPlaying Doctor, my first male/male romance. Hazard's Dare, a return to both the Alexandria Griffins professional football team, and the first of the Dare, Nevada trilogy that I vow to finish. Likewise, a standalone, Pleasure Trove which, sadly, never really gained any traction as it released shortly after EC announced massive layoffs, will get a makeover, too.

What happened over the last two years is a story many know about already and I'm not going to go into it further. But, I would like to credit Ellora's Cave, especially my editor, for taking a chance on me with my first book for the Cerridwen Press imprint, later to become Blush, and continuing to accept what I'd submitted for the hotter, EC markets. I'd always planned more stories/books in the worlds/series I'd had published. And, now that my books are back where they belong, with me, I promise to update them, not only with fresh, new covers, but with new titles and new scenes, as well as renaming the series formerly known as Ink and Kink, Sexcapades, and Panthera.

It'll take a while, as I want them to be the best they can be, as I'd originally envisioned them. I'm looking forward diving back into the worlds of football, tattoos, hot, sexy romances, and writing new books. In the meantime, I have three books available at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Nook, UnMAsKed, Lipstick and Camouflage, and Persuasion. (Persuasion is the first in my revamped Panthera series now titled The Abcynians! Coming soon, Pride and book 2 of Brandt's Dozen.  Along with my indie titles, there's a quick, hot story in Naughty Heatwave. Better yet, the anthology is available for only $.99 cents at pretty much every single vendor, Amazon, Nook, Kobo, etc.

Needless to say, I'm so excited! I cannot wait to dive back into these worlds. I was proud of every single book I'd published with EC. I remain proud of them, but, yes, I want to make them better than every before.

Stay tuned for relaunch announcements and news!

Until next time,
Frances Stockton

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Announcement! Please Do Not Buy My Ellora's Cave Titles

Happy New Year everyone! With 2016 in the History books, 2017 dawns with promise. As many readers and authors may know, my former publisher, Ellora's Cave, has closed its doors. While the rights to my titles that remained at EC reverted to me in October, and all but a few print books were removed from EC's website, it's taken a very long time for them to be pulled from 3rd party vendors.

While I have been frustrated by this, I elected not to make a big deal out of it or press those who remained at EC, primarily because I knew it wouldn't be until 2017 that I would be able to revamp, revise, re-cover, and possibly re-title all of the books that have reverted to me. Believe me, I want to get them back out to you all, however, I want them to be as I'd envisioned them from the start. Over the next year, and into 2018, I'll release them all as indie titles. I honestly can't wait to dive back into the world of hot, sexy football players, the Maddox brothers, and Dare, Nevada. Some of the series, such as Ink and Kink, will get new titles, and, while there will be crossover secondary characters, as they'd been with EC, I'm planning to write new books and create a series featuring the Alexandria Griffins football team and finish several books in the Dare series that I simply couldn't write or publish with Ellora's Cave.

Rather than get into the logistics of what happened with my former publisher, I'm now asking readers not to buy any of the following titles that might be found on third party sites such as Amazon, iBooks, Google Books, etc: Quarterback Blitz, Field of Play, Ink Master, Playing Doctor, Cuff Master, Hazard's Dare, Switch Master, Menage-a-Dare, and Pleasure Trove.

It's possible that you might see print books on various sites. This is slightly different, but, it's my understanding that these are being sold by private persons and treated like used books. They're very expensive, so I would not recommend purchasing them through any vendor.

That said, I do have indie titles available at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and B&N/Nook, set at great prices and will continue to publish both new and re-released books through indie/self-publishing for a while. It's my sincere hope that you'll check them out, starting with UnMAsKed, Lipstick and Camouflage, and Persuasion: The Abcynians Book I (previously with EC). In the New Year, look for Pride: The Abcynians Book II, and the 2nd book in my Brandt's Dozen series. Between them, Quarterback Blitz will be revamped, re-titled, and re-released. As the books are ready for publication, I'll continue to make announcements, primarily here on my blog, and post the links on social media.

Thank you so much, and, if you do see a book of mine with an EC logo or cover, kindly let me know.

Again, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and plenty of awesome books to read in 2017!

Until Next Time,
Frances Stockton

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Important News! Ellora's Cave Publishing

Good morning everyone! I've important news to share with readers. As you may know from previous blog posts (not my own), social media, and various other forums, my former publisher, Ellora's Cave Publishing has announced they will be closing at the end of December 2016. Fortunately, I'd received notification a couple of weeks ago that all of my remaining titles (I'd previously received 5) would revert to me as of October 12, 2016! While I am relieved and excited about the opportunity to re-release every title, and more that were planned but never came to be due to the stress and circumstances beyond my control since 2014, I am also very saddened by this news. I've never wished ill will toward anyone at EC, ever. In all honesty, I am grateful to the staff, editors, cover designers, and Jaid Black for creating a venue for authors to write as hot as they wanted and not feel ashamed or hide. Along the way, I've been fortunate to meet the most amazing, incredible authors, my editor, cover artists, models, and readers at RomantiCon and RT conventions, and lately, Wild Wicked Weekend. They were a blast! With thanks to Facebook and Twitter, etc, those relationships have continued, and I will be at WWW, which is always a fun time.

Currently on my to-be-released schedule is Pride, The Abcynians Book II, and the second of my Brandt's Dozen series, featuring Kristian Rodriquez. Soon after, I will begin revising, revamping, and in some cases re-titling, all of the books previously published by EC, the first of which will be Quarterback Blitz. While characters will remain the same, I intend to update the books so that they're more current, for example phones/technology/computers/social media, and the series formerly known as 'Ink and Kink', that included 6 titles, will be divided into two different series, the Alexandria Griffins and Maddox Ink  though characters such as Phalen Maddox or Alexander Grant will crossover. Likewise, the 'Dare' books will be reworked and re-titled, with two additional stories to complete the series! In other words, there are going to be a lot of books next year. Between the re-releases, Brandt's Dozen and The Abcynians will continue to thrive.

While I intend to write more for the Major Crimes Unit (MCU), it could be a while before a new one comes out, as I'll be a very busy writer in 2017 and 2018! Stay tuned for release dates, news, and up-to-date information. To my readers, thank YOU for standing by Kyran and Anna, Dallas and Grace, Phalen and Cassie, Alex and Ryan, Ethan and Morgan, Avery and Hazard, Taran and Samantha, Eve, Jaxon, and Remy, and a standalone, Pleasure Trove's, Callie and Maksim/Julian. They will all return in the future!

Until next time,
Frances Stockton  





Friday, July 15, 2016

Persuasion, The Abcynians Book I, is Available Now!

Greetings one and all! I'm so pleased and honored to announce the re-imagined world of The Abcynians with the release Persuasion!


Before I go any further, please note that Persuasion and three other books were previously published with Ellora's Cave for their Cerridwen Press/Blush lines under the series title Panthera. The rights have been returned to me, and with them, I not only intend to release the re-titled and retold series, I will be writing two new books featuring some of the more compelling characters introduced early in the series.

If you're a fan of sensual Paranormal Romance featuring hot, sexy historical heroes, and strong, courageous women, shifters, were-panthers, or stories set in the past, including Medieval, Renaissance, Golden Age of Piracy, Early and Late Georgian, Regency, and more, I hope you'll give The Abcynians a chance!

Now, let's have some fun! Here's a glimpse into Garrick and Aisley's story: Persuasion

They have lived for centuries. An ancient, secretive race of were-panthers faced with near extinction. To assure their survival they must conceal their identities and abilities, while protecting mankind from an unimaginable, primordial evil.

Persuasion: The Abcynians, Book I

As an Abcynian Elder, Garrick Forrester has survived wars, plagues, and arranged marriages. Nothing he’s experienced prepares him for the discovery of his mate living in his demesne, or for her resistance.
While aiding a child, Aisley Reeves is rescued by the Earl of Danford, whom a village healer should never dare approach without being summoned. At first, she is fascinated with the dark, mesmerizing lord who tempts her in a way no man has ever done. After he claims she’s to become his betrothed, she balks.
Already fearful her work and red hair might cause some to brand her as a witch, she believes it is best to keep her distance. When Aisley suffers a near mortal injury at the hands of his enemies, Garrick must gain her trust so that he can protect her. But can she trust her life to a man who is far more than…human?

Check out an excerpt!
“Come one, come all! Merchant and peasant, come one, come all!”
From within her small cottage, Aisley heard a stranger’s beckoning. Curious, she went to the door, opening it, listening. Something felt terribly wrong.
“For a coin, no more than a farthing or two, lend your ears to my traveling minstrel. Five pence will earn merriment with a jester trained amongst the best in London. Peruse the candles, spices and incense found in the most exotic lands. Come one, come all!”
Finding it odd a stranger had entered the village soon after a rainstorm, she grew more concerned. The gray sky was getting darker, the clouds obscuring the moon’s glow.
Leaving the safety of the doorway, she hesitated to look back at the woods separating her home from Danford Manor. The Earl had recently returned after spending years at war with France. It was his duty to protect the people living and serving on his land.
Alas, she did not know him other than by title. Few did, though she was certain he would send guards if the stranger meant anyone harm.
Years ago, her father had served Lord Danford as the physician to his household and tenants. She’d been so proud, often begging Papa to tell her of life inside the manor house. For unknown reasons, she’d always been curious about the lord that other villagers spoke of in whispers.
When she grew to marriageable age, Papa ceased telling her fanciful tales, reminding her to not to be petulant and mind her lessons. Yet, she’d often wondered about the Earl, saying her nightly prayers for his wellbeing and safe return.
Realizing she was spending too much time thinking about matters that were not her concern, she rushed onward to the village common.
“Come one, come all! For I have yet to reveal the best of all. A glimpse will cost each of you a penny. Full reveal will take a shilling.”
Finally, she spotted villagers circling around the caller a bit warily. Horse-drawn wagons rested in a straight line. Aisley spied unlit torches attached to the wagons. Did the stranger plan to stay when it was dark?
Two older villagers, Howard Jones and his wife, inspected the wares and concoctions displayed on a market stand. A handful of coins were tossed to the ground and a small lad scuttled to pick them up.
In a thrice, a jester danced about the villagers. His antics induced a trickle of laughter from them but a chill of fear along her spine. At the same time, an eerie grumble emanated from the forest, lifting the tiny hairs on the back of her neck.
Frightened, she rushed for the safety of the crowd and it wasn’t long before she stood amongst them.
“Pay your tribute to Ruck, dear friends,” the stranger touted, swinging his right arm about as the jester continued to dance. Coins sprinkled the dirt almost as fast as the boy swiped them into a purse. “The finale is near. You have my word, one and all, Sedgewick Haywood will not fail your call.”
Aisley hesitated to admit she was intrigued by what was to be revealed. Pennies were spread on the ground at Haywood’s feet. How odd that the villagers would give up their coin.
“Wait!” Aisley called out, stepping forward. “What brings you to our village on such a night as this?”
“I mean no one harm,” Haywood promised. His smile was little more than a gap-toothed leer. Repulsed, she stepped back, only to have the rumbling sound she’d heard from the forest grow impossibly louder.
Looking back toward the trees, she tried to determine if an animal hovered nearby, hoping it wasn’t a pack of wolves. They were said to prey upon people, namely the weak and injured. Unable to see anything other than blackness, she turned back to the wagons.
“I have traveled far through the day’s rain in the hope of warding away your troubles for at least a night,” Haywood contended, leering at her. “Might I inquire as to whom quells my efforts?”
“Aisley, a healer, and I speak not for myself. This village has not gone unscathed by plague. I would not wish for the sickness to return.”
“Nor would I, fair lady.” Feigning elegance, the man bowed at the hips. The expense of his green and tan robe and the silk of his gypon made him appear a man of means. At the hem of his robe, Aisley caught a glimpse of a sword. “I am free of plague. You may inspect me for lesions if it would set your mind at ease.”
The rumbling she’d heard grew more prominent, frightening. It felt as if the beast was warning her against touching the man. Oddly, no one else seemed to hear it.
“I think it best if you leave,” she said.
Inspecting this man would require three areas, the armpit, neck and the inner thighs. Touching him was not something she relished, regardless of her vow to attend those in need.
“Aisley, do not rush him off. He promises to reveal the creature behind that curtain, and I, for one, have paid to see it,” Howard Jones argued.
It was difficult to avoid staring at the curtained stage resting behind the stranger. The jester had tumbled his way to one side of the wheeled contraption. The minstrel strolled toward the opposite.
“Throwing away coin can only lead to trouble,” Aisley warned.
“How is it that a woman speaks so bold?” Sedgewick Haywood demanded.
“It is common for Aisley to do so,” Andrew White answered. “Her father was the trusted physician for the Earl of Danford. She is valued amongst us.”
“Then why have you given what this man has asked for?” Aisley wondered aloud.
“Curiosity.”
“We want to see what he has to offer.”
“Worry not, Aisley. All will be well.”
The villagers relayed their wishes and Aisley stepped back. She could not deny them a few moments pleasure. More coins hit the ground as Sedgewick demanded. Apparently pleased with the villagers, the visitor bowed once again in acceptance.
“Ah, at last my performers will grant your due,” Haywood pronounced. Proudly, he moved to the side.
Both the minstrel and the jester beckoned to the crowd and the curtain before them. Whispers filled the air, but they could not mask the eerie sawing drawing ever closer to the village. Did no one else hear the beast? It sounded as if he boomed from a mountaintop.
“Is someone cutting branches in the forest?” she asked.
“I hear nothing of the sort, Aisley,” Howard said.
Cease, little one, only you can hear me. I am close. Do not provoke the strangers, I will protect you and my tenants, someone said, a man, with a deep, gruff voice spoken so close to her ear, she swore his breath brushed her ear.
Unbidden, the scent of cinnamon tickled her nose, the memory it triggered bittersweet. Her father had always favored it in his porridge, a rarity to be certain, as it’d been a gift from Lord Danford in return for his physician’s fealty.
You like cinnamon, I shall procure some from the kitchens for you by the morrow. Ease your worry, it will be all right. Again, that voice, so compelling, so distinct and male, reached her.
“Who spoke to me of cinnamon?” Aisley demanded, glancing about. The villagers stared back as though she’d gone mad.
“Your attention, healer,” Haywood insisted. “To one and all, I give you living proof of werewolves in England!”
“Werewolves…are you mad, Haywood?” Andrew asked.
“Nay, I tell you true, feast your eyes on a werewolf’s babe.” Sedgewick swept his right hand toward the jester, who sliced a rope and the curtain shushed to the ground.

If you'd like to read Persuasion, you can find it at Amazon, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Scribd! FYI: Scribd is a subscription service and they're having a trial offer for 14 days. Below, I'll include links to each vendor! 

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1134367874

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/persuasion-frances-stockton/1124098352;jsessionid=C8C9A5266DA39D8BF500C09904087F5C.prodny_store01-atgap02?ean=2940153338590

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/persuasion-214

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/318252879/Persuasion-The-Abcynians-1

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IG0OW90#nav-subnav

Thank you for giving Garrick and Aisley and The Abcynians a chance! I'm on Facebook and Twitter, too! http://www.twitter.com/francesstockton and https://www.facebook.com/frances.stockton or my author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorFrancesStockton/