Top 10 Gifts for the Reader in Your Life
1- A good book, of course. If your favorite reader is a fan of Indie Authors, many of us offer signed paperbacks through our websites at prices that rival unsigned copies available at online retailers.
2- A lumbar pillow for their favorite chair, sitting all that time can be stressful on the back.
3- A soft blanket to curl up with keeping them comfy and warm while they devour their latest read.
4- Scented candle is nice to add a little atmosphere to their reading experience.
5- A book light, the good thing about these is they're usually inexpensive. You can get one that clips to the book or one that goes on their head sort of like a doctor's light.
6- An e-reader, admittedly I don't own one of these but if I did it would be a Nook or a Kobo. Adding a few books by their favorite authors is also a nice touch.
7- If your favorite reader likes to imbibe a nice bottle of Barefoot wine is always appreciated. My personal favorites are Moscato and Riesling.
8- In the alternative to #7 a sampling of herbal teas or large can of Colombian coffee for those nights when they're up late because they just can't put down the book. The coffee can also be for the morning after their binge when they have to get motivated and go to work!
9- Swag from their favorite writer (coffee cups, t-shirts, bumper stickers, rack cards).
10- While a bit impersonal, a gift card to their favorite bookstore is always nice.
The best thing about all of the above is that you can make a lovely gift basket with as many of these items as you choose. Just put them in a nice wicker basket from the local discount store, wrap it up with bright cellophane, and stick a little bow on it.
OF WAR SERIES
An Epic Journey of Love, Lust, Betrayal,
Rage, and Redemption
Lisa Beth Darling
The Complete no-box set.
Fall in Love with Ares God of War and Alena MacLeod. Together they Rock the World from the Heights of Olympus to the Celtic Moors.
In The Heart of War, Magdalena MacLeod has been on the run from Cernunnos, Great Horned God, for 200 years when she mysteriously washes ashore on secluded isle of the God of War. When the Olympians discover her presence on Ares' island, they send Apollo to the island to retrieve her while Ares is away. Diplomatically winding her way out of immediately going to Olympus and having nowhere to turn, Alena strikes a bargain with the God of War--her virginity for his protection.
Ares sees a sweeter deal; her in his bed and himself back in his rightful place on Olympus even if it means turning Alena over to Zeus. After Alena proves herself to Ares in battle and his bed, the God of War must choose between his Divinely Dysfunctional Family, his pride, and Alena.
Child of War-A God is Born Ares and Alena have settled on snowy Olympus to await the birth of their son, Raven. Before Raven is even born, Zeus outwardly despises him for his Fey blood. With only one to keep his family safe from his father, Zeus the God of Gods, Ares enters into a blood pact that could cost the God of War everything he holds dear.
After a harrowing birth wherein mother and son are nearly lost to Ares, it quickly becomes clear that Raven may be the most powerful and cunning Olympian ever born despite his muddled bloodline. Zeus, Apollo, and Aphrodite plot against the new family by carefully planting the seeds of rage and doubt in Ravens' mind, they turn son against mother. It appears as though Cernunnos' prophecy is coming to life as Raven grows to be a very angry young man.
As the true past between the Olympians and Celts is revealed, the battle for Ravens' mind and the ultimate control of Olympus begins. Before it's over, the white snows of Olympus will run red with blood.
Child of War-Rising Son sees Raven on the verge of manhood as his rampage continues and he begins the difficult path to Acceptance by his fellow Olympians. Out to prove he's as good, if not better than, any of them he bests the Trials set before him by Hades and Poseidon. This isn't enough for him, in his quest to prove to his Father, Ares, that he is an Olympian Raven preys upon the Mortals below Olympus in a time of great weakness. Enlisting the aid of his Uncle Apollo and settling for nothing less than utter Chaos, together they push the Mortals to pure anarchy. Ready to conquer the remainder of his Trials so he may take his place at the Counsel Table, and bring Ares the glory Cernunnos once prophesized, only one thing stands in his way; the night his Mother fell down the stairs.
Apollo, ever the Man Behind the Curtain, pulls Raven's strings like a true puppet master. It's far too late when Raven realizes all he's done in hopes of pleasing his Father actually makes Ares look guilty of destroying the Mortal World. A little Chaos and a little Anarchy aren't enough for the Golden God, in his on-going quest to destroy Ares, Apollo sets a plague loose upon the embroiled Earth. By the time the Olympians discover what's going on twenty million people are dead with the number multiplying exponentially every day.
Women of War gives us a brief reprieve from the death and darkness as we journey backward in time spanning four generations of women in Alena's family. From her great-grandmother, Shar Draiocht the last known Queen of the Dark Kingdom to her tortured daughter Morrowind, to Maven Alena's free-spirited mother and through the lonely life of Alena MacLeod ending where The Heart of War begins with the night Alena washes up on Ares' shore. With intensity, lust, fear, and strength these Women of War make their way in the world revealing the hidden truths of the past and Ares true connection to his beloved Wife, Alena.
Kingdoms of War, the OF WAR Series Finale, sees nearly four billion souls lost to the ravages of Anarchy and the dreaded disease Major Falls. Ares, Athena, and Raven journey the Mortal World vainly reaching for a sliver of what was only to discover what will be. From the fiery wreckage a new world is slowly arising one where the descendants of Olympians, Celts, Dark Fae, and all manner of Magickal Being will rule.
Ares and Athena wander the world, hoping to curtail further damage by obliterating weapons of mass destruction the Wolf inside the God of War slowly succumbs to Major Falls. A rabid God of War is not a pretty sight. Soon it becomes clear that Ares may not live to see the glory of Olympus restored.
By the time Ares' fevered body is brought to Olympus, Apollo's descent into madness is utterly complete. The Gold God is quite insane as he expertly kills off the members of his Divinely Dysfunctional Family. Yet, Alena's greatest nemesis holds the key to saving Ares' life. The price is high and, should she pay it, Alena can't be sure Ares would ever be able to forgive her.
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The Heart of War
Lisa Beth Darling
dark romance/erotica, suspense/action/drama,
Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing
Date of Publication: December 2010
Number of pages: 597
Word Count: 200,000
Inside the Heart of every Warrior breathes the Soul of a Hero--even within The Heart of War.
Meet Ares God of War, the greatest Warrior the world has ever known. He's moody, grumpy, dominant, ravenously sexual, and above all, built like a Greek God.
Suspected of killing his Daughter in-Law, Psyche, and long in exile from Olympus, the solitude of Ares' island is interrupted when Magdalena MacLeod a brash and sometimes manipulative Fey washes up on Ares' island after believing she's been shipwrecked. It's not mere fate that has brought the unlikely couple together yet it may be what tears them apart.
Branded with a golden chastity belt bearing the mark of Cernunnos, Celtic God of the Forest and Death, Alena has been on the run from her husband the Great Horned God for 200 years. When the Olympians discover her presence on Ares' island, they send Apollo to the island while Ares is away with orders to bring her to Olympus. Diplomatically winding her way out of immediately going to Olympus, when Ares returns and with nowhere to turn, Alena strikes a bargain with the God of War--her virginity for his protection.
Ares sees a sweeter deal; her in his bed and himself back in his rightful place on Olympus even if it means turning Alena over to Zeus. After Alena proves herself to Ares in battle and his bed, the God of War must choose between his Divinely Dysfunctional Family, his pride, and Alena. Get lost in this sweeping dark saga battling Ancient Gods while falling in love with Ares God of War and Alena MacLeod. Ares and Alena share a love that will rock the world from the heights of Olympus to the Celtic moors but; will it be enough? Will love triumph, or will revenge and rage win the battle for the Heart of War?
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ai8maYw89s
Excerpt The Heart of War
Ares was in a foul mood and suffering from a splitting headache when he arrived back on the island with Alena. "Go inside." He said gruffly and pointed toward the cliffs and the cave above.
"Please, Alena, just do as I ask. Go."
She didn't want to leave him here, alone, on the beach but it didn't appear Ares was wanted company, not hers anyway. In the face of his Father and the other Olympians, Ares stood tall and strong. He'd come to her aid just as he said he would and kept his promise. Alena was stunned. When Zeus said he would return Ares' property and his station to him, she felt sure the God of War would sell her down the river. She wanted to thank him, wanted to ask why he had done it but she held her tongue. "Yes, my Lord." Hiking up the hem of the dress, she turned to make her way up the long strange stairs leading from the beach to the top of the cliff. With a heavy heart, she walked a few steps until she got to the base of the stairs and there she turned around. Ares was sitting on the sand facing the water and the setting sun. He had thrown off the belt with the heavy sword and his thick leather vest; they were in the sand next to him as he sat there with his head down in his hands. She could not leave him there. Quietly coming up behind him, Alena sat down, wrapped one arm over his left shoulder and the other under his right lacing her fingers together and pulling him backward. Alena expected him to balk or to fight but, instead, Ares settled backward into her arms, rested his head in the crook between her neck and shoulder as he let out an exhausted sigh. "I'm sorry I'm so much trouble, my Lord." She whispered as she nestled her face into his hair.
Letting the softness of her touch and the warmth of her body comfort him, Ares closed his eyes and drew in the peaceful shelter she offered. "It's not you. It's Them."
The Olympians were quite the Divinely Dysfunctional Family. Alena had never seen or heard so much bitter bickering from one clan. If that was her Family, she might be damn happy that she lived in Exile on a beautiful island such as this. "They're awful." She whispered in his ear careful not to let any prying ears overhear. Ares gave out a deep chuckle and then another sigh as his hand rose up to caress her arm. She thought of how brave, how daring, and even dashing, Ares had been as he stood there telling all of them they could not have her. When she listened to him speak of Artemis, Alena nearly cried. Then she had been stunned into silence having expected the God of War to hand her over, maybe not with ease but readily enough, in return for his crown and scepter. "Thank you for keeping your promise."
"You expected this chauvinistic pig to do less." Ares mused still with his eyes closed. "Everyone does."
Child of War-A God is Born
Lisa Beth Darling
Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing
Date of Publication: November, 2011
Number of pages: 386
Word Count: 150,000
Do you remember Damien? Raven makes that kid look like an angel.
In book #2 of the OF WAR Series, Ares settles down with his wife, Alena, to await the birth of their son, Raven. As Alena struggles to enjoy what should be a blessed event, prophetic visions of an adult Raven haunt her dreams. Are they true visions or false ones implanted by Cernunnos who told her the boy would bring glory to Ares but only pain and agony to her? The strong but delicate Fey is relentlessly bombarded by hostility from the Olympians making her yearn to be back on Ares' secluded island home, far away from all the bickering and backstabbing that makes up Life on mighty Mount Olympus.
Before Raven is even born, Zeus outwardly despises him for his Fey blood given to him by his filthy Celtic mother. With no way out and no way to keep his family safe from his father, Zeus the God of Gods, Ares enters into a blood pact that could cost the God of War everything he holds dear.
After a harrowing birth wherein mother and son are nearly lost to Ares, it quickly becomes clear that Raven may be the most powerful and cunning Olympian ever born despite his muddled bloodline.
As Zeus, Apollo, and Aphrodite plot against the new family by carefully planting the seeds of rage and doubt in Ravens' mind, they turn son against mother. It appears as though Alenas' visions and Cernunnos' prophecy are coming to life as Raven grows to be a very angry young man.
As the true past between the Olympians and Celts is revealed, the battle for Ravens; mind and the ultimate control of Olympus begins. Before its over, the white snows of Olympus will run red with blood.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et3HZTTVJno
Excerpt Child of War-A God is Born
Alena, daughter of a warrior and wife to one as well, had no objections and she joined them in the basement daily. Ares wholeheartedly approved, as he believed it was high time Alena worked with her own powers and skills. Even though she was the boy's mother, since her powers were bound for so long, they were very evenly matched and sparred well together, Raven with spear and she with the staff Ares made for her.
Having the complete run of the cavernous basement, they sparred and chased each other around as Ares shouted out encouragement and strategies to them. Alena was only a few inches taller than Raven but his arms were already longer than hers, and that gave him an advantage when thrusting and swinging out with the spear. Alena almost always seemed to sense such moves and jumped over the spear as though she were playing double-dutch. The smacking of wood on wood clattered throughout the Fortress. Raven gave it his all but Alena treated the matches more like a game; when she struck out it wasn't with all of her force and a few times Ares caught her letting Raven best her. He took great exception to that. An opponent either won or lost in battle; there was no mercy. A few times, late at night in their bed, Alena told him it was good for Raven's self-esteem if she let him win once or twice, but that only made him angrier as he told her self-esteem was earned and not given like a toy. Raven would learn nothing if she let him win; he had to learn how to be victorious on his own, or when it came time for a real battle he would be unprepared.
From that night on, Alena won every match between her and Raven, though the last few had been very close and Raven was catching on to his mother's moves and strategies. It turned sour yesterday as they sparred and Raven chased his mother into the small meat locker where their meat was either cured by smoking or roasted in the huge stone pit. The pit was five feet deep and seven feet across, surrounded on three sides by stone four feet high that came together in an arch at the center. A drop from the top to the bottom wouldn't prove fatal, but it was certainly deterrent enough when Raven cornered his mother up there. Alena was going to jump to the top and then down the other side to use the stone walls as cover, but Raven was faster than she thought. By the time her foot landed on the uppermost stone, Raven was already waiting for her on the other side, sharp point of the spear thrust upward toward her throat. "Yield!" Raven commanded, feeling victory in his fingertips for the first time.
Ares still didn't know just how she managed it. Alena swung out with one foot as she pivoted on the other, knocking the spear safely away from her as she turned, silver hair flying out behind her like the mane of a steed, to make the jump to the other side and safety. When she came around the corner with her staff at the ready, Raven, angry at having been cheated, let an ice ball five inches thick fly from the palm of his hand to hit her squarely in the jaw. Alena was knocked back by the force, her lips split open, gums bleeding, nose broken. Raven loomed over her, his eyes vacant and empty as he held the sharp spear to her throat. "Yield, bitch." It was no command-it was a threat.
Before Ares could shout to his Son that was enough, a great gust of wind swirled around in the small room. It blew back his hair and then pushed against him with such force he had to fight to stand his place. Alena's beautiful gray eyes closed as her arms splayed out at her sides, one with the palm open and the other choking the staff. The point of the spear wavered in the strong wind as Raven struggled to stay pitched forward as the growing gale threatened to lift him off his knees and toss him across the room. Raven countered, his young hands glowing with an eerie blue light as they began freezing to the staff, the new ice ball growing between them. This one was twice the size of the other and if he hit her with it at this close range, Raven might well kill his mother.
Without any warning, the wind seemed to turn on Alena; it lifted her body upward from the small of her back to her shoulders, bringing her throat dangerously close to the tip of the spear. Suddenly her eyes opened to reveal only the whites. As though she could see through them, they shifted to Raven's hands and then back to his face. Amazingly, Alena's lips turned into a cold grin that fixed Raven's stare to her face while she lifted the staff and then brought it crashing down to the marble floor with such force the echo was deafening. Raven flew off her. The staff left his stunned hand, the ice ball retreated, and he hit the stones of the fire pit with such force that they shattered. Before the boy or his Father knew what was happening, Alena, her eyes still showing only the whites, was standing over Raven with her staff pointing at his throat and her foot on his heart. "Yield," she whispered as the wind whipped around them, tossing bits of dust into Ares' eyes.
Angry at having had victory snatched so cruelly from his grasp, Raven stared up her as he shielded his eyes from the biting wind. "Uncle," he spat.
It took a few moments but the wind subsided, Alena stumbled backward on unsteady feet before the whites of her eyes rolled down and she looked out at the world through those luminescent pearls of gray.
"Wow," Ares muttered, stroking his beard trying to digest everything he'd seen. Magick was not normally part of Alena and Raven's sparring routine; she was afraid to use it even though he'd tried to tell her that he could counter any damage she might do. No matter what he did he couldn't coax her into it, so magick was off-limits when they sparred. Today when Raven unexpectedly threatened her with it, Alena didn't hesitate to answer the call.
Catching her breath and feeling a wave of nausea wash over her, Alena looked down at Raven, who looked up her angry and afraid. "Are you ok?" She reached out a hand to him but Raven batted it away.
"Fine, mom." Jumping to his feet in a quick move, he brushed off the dirt and debris from his bare skin. Instead of stepping up and congratulating his mother, when she turned her back to him to look at Ares, Raven let an ice ball fly from his hand to strike her in the back of the head, splitting it open as it brought her to her knees. "Take that, you whore."
Ares didn't hesitate, he didn't even know he was doing it; all he did know was that one moment Raven was standing there with that snide smug look on his face and the next he was screaming as flames surrounded him. He stumbled in the fire a few moments before turning his whole body to ice and putting out the flames. When Raven returned to normal, he was lightly singed but otherwise unharmed. "Don't ever do that again, boy."
Christmas Eve on Olympus
Lisa Beth Darling
Genre: Holiday, Romance, Fluff
Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing
Date of Publication: December, 2011
Number of pages: 20
Word Count: 10,000
This holiday themed short story is meant as an enhancement to the OF WAR Series. Join Ares, Alena, and Raven as she brings Christmas and Yuletide to Olympus. This bit of romantic happiness contains graphic adult material.
Excerpt Christmas Eve on Olympus:
As her mind feverishly searched for what she'd missed, a small bit of fluffy white and green came into her view and she felt relief as a smile broke out on her pretty face. "What's that?"
"Mistletoe, I believe there's some Mortal custom about standing beneath it and then being forced into kissing."
Alena glanced upward over her shoulder to take him in and marveled at how handsome he was. "Forced? How terrible."
"Awful," Ares held the mistletoe over their heads with one hand and pulled her in close with the other. He lowered his head for the kiss he'd been waiting for all night. When their lips he was not disappointed but encouraged to probe deeper with his tongue and grasp the soft red velvet surrounding her tighter as the mistletoe fell to the marble floor and he grabbed her with both arms turning her fully around to face him. Her heart raced against his stomach, even through the velvet, he felt it as she pressed against him and reached up to grab handfuls of midnight hair. "You know, if you're lucky," Ares said breathlessly as their lips parted, "I think I might have a candy cane around here for you to suck on."
"Oh, really? I love candy canes," she winked up at him as she bit down on her lower lip, "where oh where could it be? Over there by the tree?"
Ares shook his head as he ran a hand through her silky silver tresses, "No. Guess again."
"Did you put it in my stocking?"
"Not yet." Ares crooned making Alena giggle like a schoolgirl.
Child of War-Rising Son
Lisa Beth Darling
Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing
Date of Publication: November, 2012
Number of pages: 396
Word Count: 151,000
On the Verge of manhood, Raven's rampage continues
as he begins the difficult path to Acceptance by his fellow Olympians. Out to prove he's as good, if not better than, any of them he bests the Trials set before him by Hades and Poseidon. This isn't enough for him, in his quest to prove to his Father, Ares, that he is an Olympian Raven preys upon the Mortals below Olympus in a time of great weakness. Settling for nothing less than Chaos, he enlists the aid of his Uncle Apollo and pushes the Mortals to pure anarchy when a global financial crisis leaves the entire world destitute, in ruins, and at each other's throats. Ready to conquer his Trials, take his place at the Counsel Table, and bring Ares the glory Cernunnos once prophesized, only one thing stands in his way; the night his Mother fell down the stairs.
Alena, her body asleep in Ares' bed for four long years, is lost deep in the clutches of a never-ending dream induced by Morpheus. After years of living an illusion and becoming Morpheus Wife, Alena discovers his deception and struggles to escape her prison. Morpheus has no intentions of ever letting her go. He'll fight to the death to keep her.
Apollo, ever the Man Behind the Curtain, pulls Raven's strings like a true puppet master. It's far too late when Raven realizes all he's done to please his Father actually makes Ares look guilty of destroying the Mortal World. A little Chaos and a little Anarchy aren't enough for the Golden God, in his on-going quest to destroy Ares, Apollo sets a plague loose upon the Earth. A bio-chemical weapon stolen from the United States Government at Area 51, known commonly as Major Falls. By the time the Olympians discover what's going on twenty million people are dead with the number multiplying exponentially every day.
With only one option left to each of them, Raven and Alena turn to their unlikeliest of enemies-- Aphrodite and Apollo for help. One night in the bed of the Goddess of Love can be painful but one night in the bed of the Golden God can kill and destroy all that Ares and Alena have built and endured. To ensure that her beloved Husband and her Son are not put to death she may have no other choice.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-hhoBlX3_k
Excerpt Child of War-Rising Son:
"Trinity?" He called out.
"HERE!" They all called back.
"No, not you. Her! Trinity! Look at me I want to help you. I want to get you out of here but you have to help me do it. Turn around, please. Turn around."
In the cage near the middle of them all, the girl who sat still and quite with her head resting unnaturally on her shoulder turned around and watched him gasp. "What?" Trinity asked through lips nothing more than shredded meat. She stared him, her head on her shoulder, her face smashed in, and one eyeball bulging out of its socket. When he flinched, she gave a smile nearly hideous enough to freeze the raging river below her.
Raven found it very hard to look at her, he wanted to turn away, wanted to run away. There was nowhere to go and nothing to do but stand back and fully appreciate his handy work all over her face. What a jagged little pill, but Raven swallowed it the best he could before he opened his mouth. "I'm gonna throw this to you, you catch it, you tie it around the bars and then I'm going to swing you this way and pull you down, got it?"
"Why? What do you care? Why should I trust you?"
"You're gonna burn in that river," Raven warned.
"So what?" She turned away from him again.
"So what? What...so....so you don't deserve that, do you? You didn't do anything. Let me help you, I'll take you back to the Fields where you'll be happy."
"I was happy on Olympus," she mumbled. "You were my Brother, you were supposed to protect me, look out for me not kill me. You're only doing this so you can rule Olympus one day."
"I want to help you, please, Trin, I'm gonna throw this, we'll only get one shot if the rope lands in the river it's gone. So get up and catch it. Let me help, let me get you out of that cage." Raven waited but she didn't turn around and she didn't say anything. "I'm sorry," he muttered looking down at the rope in his hands and feeling the nasty sensation of guilt run through him. "I never should have…I'm sorry, Trin." Words he never thought he would utter fell out of his lips, "Please forgive me."
Women of War
Lisa Beth Darling
dark romance/erotica, suspense/action/drama,
Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing
Date of Publication: February, 2013
Number of pages: 206
Word Count: 58,000
Venture on a Mystical Journey through Time and Secrets Past This story spans four generations of women in Alena's family from her great-grandmother, Shar Draïocht the last known Queen of the Dark Kingdom. Morrowind, her tortured daughter. Maven, Alena's free spirited mother. And ends the night Alena washed up on Ares' shore. With intensity, lust, fear, and strength these Women of War make their way in the world revealing the hidden truths of the past and Ares true connection to his beloved Wife, Alena.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02WcvnLy8-8
Excerpt Women of War:
Sitting in the dank cell hour after hour and day after day, time lost all meaning. Not even the rancid food came to him on anything that resembled a steady basis. All Ares knew for sure was that one moment he'd been doing his best to sleep on the tilting cot with his knees hanging over the foot of it when the cell door burst open and a full battalion of the Queen's Guard rushed him. Wrestling him to the ground, they clasped him in chains and dragged him to the center of their little underground village. The whole town gathered to witness, torches, staffs, and readily available throwing items in hand. They hissed at him, cursed him, and tossed their stones while guards led him up to a round platform with a pillar of granite jutting out of the middle. Ares needed no introduction to the structure or to learn its intended purpose, after all he invented the whipping post.
Understanding their intention, Ares fought as mightily as he could with his ankles and wrists bound together. "I'm a GOD! How dare you try to whip me?" he railed as he threw off the guards to deliver double axe handle blows upon them, but they were so damn small and agile that he kept missing them. This infuriated him mostly because he was so large they couldn't help but land their return blows on his half-naked frame. It wasn't long before the Queen's Guards knocked his legs out from under him with a heavy blow of a study staff. Once on his knees, blows landed on his head, shoulders, and jaw. Ares discovered that tiny fists hurt a great deal. Bloody and dazed, they shoved him down on all fours and attached the chains on his wrists to the post.
Looking out at the crowd with seething eyes, he cursed them. "You're going to regret this."
"I think not," replied a soft but stern voice from behind him.
Ares looked back over his shoulder to see Shar Draiocht standing there, whip in hand, ready to dole out the punishment they thought he so rightly deserved. "Unusual for a Queen to get her hands so dirty," he snarled.
"It's a special occasion," she hissed back as she brought the whip forward with a practiced wrist. It licked between his shoulder blades and split open a wide swatch of his olive flesh.
Each time the whip sliced through his perfect flesh, Ares snarled, "You bitch!"
With every crack of the whip the crowd shouted out, "Hazzar!" They raised their staffs in victory.
Queen Shar gave Ares God of War fifty lashes before she dropped it to the floor and took her leave in silence. The guards left him tied to the post, sweating, bleeding and in agony for the next five days.
Kingdoms of War
Lisa Beth Darling
dark romance/erotica, suspense/action/drama,
Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing
Date of Publication: June, 2014
Number of pages: 496
Word Count: 190,000
With nearly four billion souls lost to the ravages of anarchy and the dreaded disease Major Falls, Ares and Raven journey the Mortal World vainly reaching for a sliver of what was only to discover what will be. Unleashed by Apollo, Major Falls—a weaponized version of the flu and rabies-- has wiped out every person of watery Mortal Blood.
From the fiery wreckage a new world is slowly arising one where the descendants of Olympians, Celts, Dark Fae, and all manner of Magickal Being will rule. For the last millennium the Dark Kingdom has sent small legions of its Daughters in search of its Lost Queen. Among their number is Lenora, a sharp tongued Dark Fae who joins up with ARES hoping to get close to its leader, Raven. And she does.
The Wolf inside the God of War contracts Major Falls. As Ares and Athena wander the world hoping to curtail further damage by obliterating weapons of mass destruction he slowly succumbs to the sickness taking over his fevered rabid mind. Ares may not live to see the glory of Olympus restored nor fight to keep his Wife. If he does, how high will be the price for Ares' life? How long will Alena have to keep paying Apollo even once Ares is crowned King of Olympus?
With devastating consequences shattering their lives will Ares ever be able to swallow his pride and forgive Alena when the truth is revealed or will she take her place on the Throne of the Dark Kingdom leaving Olympus and Ares behind forever?
Excerpt Kingdoms of War:
Apollo looked off into the distance and to the glittering reflection of stars dancing on the ocean surface. "Just thought I'd check in and see how things are going." He glanced back to the opening of the cave. "I take it they're not going well."
"A hundred million dead aren't enough for you? You have to come here and watch three more die?"
Apollo looked down at his feet and kicked his feet around a little. "Actually, we're closer to two hundred million-left alive that is," Apollo proudly crooned before raising his golden eyes back to the sea to wonder aloud.
That couldn't possibly be right. There was no way nearly six billion people dropped dead in a few short months. Apollo was playing her. "You're lying, you always lie."
"Awww, Maggie, you wound me." The Golden God hung his golden head but his eyes didn't stop shining as they stayed fixed on her. Holding her stormy stare firmly Apollo let his head roll up on his long neck as he wondered aloud. "Maybe those women in there don't have to die? Maybe I can help."
Ragging flooded through Alena's small frame. The fine tea cup in her hand tumbled to the ground at her feet and shattered as she reached out for his throat. "There is a cure? You son of a bitch!"
Apollo stood there unflinchingly but at the last second he batted away her angry talons as though she were no more than a fly. "Maybe, but you won't find out that way."
Knowing he couldn't be trusted, Alena took a step back and away from him, a step toward the edge of the cliff. "You're still lying! You're trying to get into my head, that's all. You don't have a cure. This is just another mind game of yours."
"Is it?" Apollo muttered thoughtfully. "Hmmmmm. Maybe. Maybe not."
Surely there was some pact with the devil to be made here and Alena wasn't interested in signing on the dotted line. "Get out of here. Nothing that comes from your venomous lips is the truth. You're just a nasty little boy with a wide cruel streak."
Apollo kept his voice tight as he bit back the sting of her barb. "Look into my eyes little Fae then tell me I'm lying," Apollo challenged as he took a purposeful step toward her. "As for my cruel streak, you haven't seen the worst of it yet." He glanced down at her hip hidden below the tight fitting blue jeans. "What did you tell my Brother about the scar? I know you didn't tell him it was me or I'd be dead. Is that because you dream of me in the night? This…nasty little boy," Apollo whispered seductively. "Now that the belt is no longer between us do you lay awake aching to know how I'd feel inside you?"
Instinct took over and Alena's little hand curled up into a tight little fist as she landed a right hook across Apollo's smug face. "You're a pig!" Alena spat and took another step away from him, another step closer to plunging off the cliff. "Get out!"
Apollo rubbed his cheek and ran his tongue along the inside to catch the salty taste of his Ichor. His golden eyes rolled in her direction, the rage in them unveiled. He wanted to hit her back but that wouldn't get him what he wanted. It wouldn't do him any good if she fell off the cliff either still he ventured one more step. Alena backed up, lost her footing and began to topple just as he slipped his arm around her waist to catch her. "Fine," he whispered, holding her close, "but when their eyes are glazed and the fever hits their brains, when they're foaming at the mouth, snarling, trying to bite everything that comes into view as they twist and turn in agony, " he glanced off toward the cave's opening and then smiled slyly, "don't say I didn't offer." Twirling her swiftly back to safety, Apollo chuckled and then disappeared from the cliff.
About the Author:
It was in the 4th grade when Lisa discovered she was a naturally gifted writer. The teacher asked the class to pen a story about a baby bird's first flight and read them to the class. Putting pencil to paper, Lisa was instantly whisked away by a force she couldn't explain. When they were finished, all of the children read their happy stories to the class.
Not Lisa. She got up and told of how the baby bird flew too high, hit a plane, crashed to the ground and died. She told of how the mama bird and daddy bird cried of how even God was upset sending the rains pouring from the sky. The class was speechless when she finished all they could do was stare at her. The teacher kept her after class told her the story was very good but it was different from the others. She asked Lisa if she'd ever heard of Icarus and did she base her story on him. Lisa had yet to encounter Greek Mythology or hear a whisper of Icarus. As Lisa left the classroom the teacher again told her how good the story was but suggested she might want to write something happier next time. When Lisa asked her teacher why she had no answer. Luckily for us, Lisa I never took her advice.
Lisa Beth Darling is 49 years-old, lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of nearly 30 years, Roy. She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books.