Thursday, February 7, 2019

Available Now! Second Chance Inn

I am pleased and happy to announce a new release! Allow me to apologize for the suddenness of this release, as it came together quite quickly after several delays due to the terrible loss of my father in December.

As Second Chance Inn is truly the book and series of my heart, it features a host of new characters set for their own happily ever afters. There's also an introduction to a familiar hero from the past, who first appeared in Quarterback Blitz and then later Ink Master, previously published with Ellora's Cave. Fear not! Phalen Maddox and his brothers will return in a re-imagined series of their own. More on that another day.

For now, here's a glimpse at Second Chance Inn 

Currently, it's available at Amazon and Kobo, but it will soon be available at Nook, iBooks, and more.  Plus, there will be a print version at Amazon, as well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Coming Soon: Second Chance Inn!

Welcome to the Second Chance Inn! If you’re in need of a cold beer, pub grub, rock and roll, a game of poker, or a place to hang your hat, come on in and stay awhile. Be sure to ask about our B&B and Happy Hour Specials!   

In need of a new start, Bostonian accountant Mackenzie Chance arrives in Hawthorn, South Dakota determined to restore the rustic inn she’s inherited from her grandfather. She never expects world renowned rocker Ace Blackburn, her unrequited first love, to turn up at the door just as a blizzard begins. Much less the irresistible attraction they share when she welcomes him inside.
While the snow piles up, they bare their souls, soon becoming lovers as they plan to turn the Second Chance Inn into a place where employees, customers, and tourists can renew or reinvent themselves.
But when the storm ends, will they see their plans come to fruition, or lose everything when the past she’s left behind returns with a vengeance?

Chapter One
Second Chance Inn—Hawthorn, South Dakota
A cold, February wind bit through Mackenzie’s parka as she stood before the ramshackle inn that had become her home for the foreseeable future!
“Grandpa, did you really want me to save your bar?” she asked no one, looking up at the gray sky. The winds kicked higher, the howl in the distance through mountains, trees, brush, and the Cheyenne River seeming to warn her to turn back while she still could.
No, she was not going to be scared away from her new home. She was not going to turn back or overthink or let her maternal grandparents guilt her into returning to Boston because they’d never approved of Grandpa Gunnar.
In its heyday, the Second Chance Inn had been frequented by locals, bikers, truckers, hikers, veterans, tourists, and campers wanting a break from the road on their way to either Deadwood or Sturgis. Her grandfather had also offered lodging, hot showers, pub-grub at night, and the biggest grand slam breakfast in the county.
Now, it was hard to see through the years of age to the beauty of the yellow pine and oak facade. Modeled to resemble a combination saloon and hotel dating back to the Wild West, the original building was three stories high and expansive, with a balcony atop the front door and a boarding house added ten years ago.
Closing her eyes, she inhaled. The scents of pine and pending snowfall made her long for a warm fire and a game of checkers or chess with Grandpa Gunnar. Or, if it were warm, they’d sit on the front porch and talk about anything and everything.
Oh, the memories that washed over her from the times she’d spent with him growing up, especially the summer before she’d gone to college when she’d experienced her first love and heartbreak.
Where was Ace Blackburn now, she wondered? When they’d first met had not only been in college, he’d been destined for far greater things than the simple life in Hawthorn, South Dakota. If she’d known how famous he’d become at the time, she might not have crushed on him as hard. Or set herself up to disappointment when she’d stumbled upon him with a woman on a great big Harley.
Still, as she opened her eyes, finding herself looking up at dark, gray skies, she wished she was seventeen again. If she was, her parents would still be alive. Perhaps she’d have made better decisions, career choices, relationships, she didn’t know.
The bite of wind against her face had her looking back at the older-model Chevy conversion van she’d bunked down in during her drive from Boston. Behind the van was an enclosed trailer packed with everything she’d need to make the inn her home until she could reopen it to its former glory. 
In hindsight, it’d been a wise decision to sell her BMW to buy the van, trailer, and supplies outright. As she’d stayed at campgrounds, she’d been able to save on hotel expenses, got a month-to-month smartphone, and used cash to pay for gasoline.
It wasn’t that she’d done anything wrong or needed to avoid a paper trail. She’d simply wanted a clean break from New England. When she was settled and had the chance to look about the inn, she’d plan the next phase of her life. 
Looking way up to the roof, she laughed. Her grandfather had had a wicked sense of humor. After the First Chance Inn burned down, he’d moved way out in the middle of nowhere, turned to the community to rebuild, then had a gigantic sign placed as high as possible so truckers and drivers could spy it a mile off the main highway. Over time, it’d read SECOND CHANCE ‘N, as the I and the first N had worn away and he’d never had it fixed. Maybe she’d get a new one, maybe she wouldn’t, time would tell.
“I hope you’re up there in Heaven, Grandpa. If I take a wrong step, guide me to the right path, okay?”
       At that moment, snow began to fall. To her, it was a sign that Grandpa Gunnar heard her. There’d been nothing he loved more than winter and everything that went with it. 

***An Hour Later***
As she dusted the bar with Pledge, lifting and moving her electronics, making a quick pass with her Swiffer behind it so she could relocate her bags and bins from the middle of the floor, Ace Blackburn continued to sing, his lead guitar riffs second to none, keeping her company as the wind blew against the inn. Fortunately, the foundation was sound, she had food, shelter, warmth, and everything she’d need to wait out a snowstorm. As a native New Englander, she was more than capable of fending for herself during bad weather. 
With her tummy growling almost as loudly as her music, Kenzie picked up her dust mop. Promising herself to take a break for a late-day lunch and text her friend Payton, she walked to the far side of the room and began sweeping. 
Enjoying the rock music that accompanied her task, she completed the first pass of the floor. Though looking at the microfiber cloth, it was going to take several passes before she could break out the steam mop! With that in mind, she traced her way back to the kitchen for a fresh microfiber cloth.
Still singing along with Dead Man’s Hand, she jumped clear out of her skin when loud banging resounded from the front door. Who would be at her doorstep when it was snowing outside?
Why worry? It wasn’t as if Hawthorn was a hotbed of illegal activity. She was sure there was crime and troublemakers, but more than likely it was the town’s mayor or a neighbor checking in.
More pounding sounded at the door, this time met with a voice that she never, ever, in her wildest dreams thought would overpower the playlist on her laptop. “Hey, Mackenzie Chance? It’s Ace Blackburn. I used to work for your grandfather, remember? Can you open the door? Come on now, it’s freezing out here.”
No! No way. It was her imagination. He was not at her door.
“Mackenzie? You okay in there? Please tell me I don’t need to call for an ambulance or something.”
Certain she was going to find nothing but cold wind and a face full of snow, Kenzie took her mop with her. What she’d do with it, she’d no idea, especially as she heard a curious rumble outside. Was that thunder?
“Hold on a sec,” she shouted, uncertain it was necessary, though the howl against the windowpanes increased. As did the rumbling, rolling thunder. Holy cow, it really was thundering.
Quickly, she unbarred the door, cracking it open, only to discover that it wasn’t her imagination. Ace Blackburn stood in the doorway, his long dark hair and badass leather jacket covered in snow.
“Hi, you gonna let me in, sugar?” he asked in that sexy, gravelly voice that could tempt a saint to sin. “Or are you about to beat me with that stick?”
“What stick?”
“In your hand. What the hell is that?”
“It’s called a sweeper or a dust mop, whichever you prefer. I’ve been cleaning the floor.”
“Okay. You gonna open the door all the way or hit me with that thing? If you choose the second option, please don’t hit anything vital. Someday, I’d like to have kids.”
“What?” Completely stunned, she was certain he was some sort of an apparition made from a snowstorm that was, in fact blowing, howling, and sending icy flakes through the door into her face.
“Never mind, sorry. Please, invite me in, the storm’s getting worse. Swear, I won’t hurt you.”
“I know,” she said.
“In that case, lower the sweeper thing and let’s make nice.”
“Not making anything with you,” she murmured, hoping the rush of wind and ice prevented him from hearing her suddenly pounding heartbeat.
Telling herself to calm down, she stepped back and let the door swing wide. In a flash, he was inside, the door closed and barred as he stomped snow off his boots.
“Let’s start over,” he said, sticking his hand out, the sleeve of his jacket riding up some, exposing an array of tattoos running from the back of his hand upward, beneath his sleeve.
Holy moly, did he have to be so hot, even when his straight shoulder length raven-black hair was dusted with snow? With his chiseled, devilish features and a seriously sexy well-trimmed mustache and goatee, she wondered if he hadn’t just fallen out of heaven itself. Even his deep brown eyes were molten.
“Nice to see you again, Mackenzie,” he went on, the ink catching her attention was the two black eights, two black aces, and unknown hole card, fanned out on the back of his hand. Known as poker’s dead man’s hand, the cards were supposedly held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was shot in Deadwood. Ow, hell, just when she thought she was going to handle this without freaking out, the lack of lunch and the heavy lifting made her feel dizzy. Next thing she knew, the world went gray, then black.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Update! News! Still Here!

Hello everyone!
I know it's been ages since I've posted. My sincere apologies, life with a teenager a couple of years away from college and decision to go back to school have caused some crazy busy days.

Since my last post, I've several releases to announce. Most recently, I teamed up with six talented Erotica/Erotic Romance authors for an anthology with WLK Media! Each story is hot, the price is fixed at $.99, and it's available in digital format at Amazon, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords! My story is titled Birthday Cuffs, featuring a hardened vice detective and his kink-curious neighbor who bakes him up a seductive birthday surprise.

In addition, I've the third book in my Abcynians series available at only $2.99! Here's the cover, and like the anthology, it's available at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes and Nobel for Nook!

Along with Redemption, you can add Book 1, Persuasion, and Book II, Pride to your Kindle, Nook, or e-reader. Stay tuned for the fourth book in the series set predominately in England. In the meantime, prices are soon to change so they'll be in sale!

Again, I apologize for the delay since my last post. As life gets complicated, and my return to school nears, please know that I'm still writing, still planning books, and I've a brand new Contemporary Romance series featuring Second Chances coming soon!!!

Until Next Time,
Frances Stockton 

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!

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:
For Amazon:

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