Discover the epic Principality series, where love stories are interwoven in a classic adventure.
Assassins are on their way, young Prince Jaimin has been told in a dream. But the royals are not the only ones in danger: a fourteen-year-old Destaurian rebel has risked her life to warn the Arrans of an imminent attack by a mysterious, fire-wielding army. One war is not yet over, and another looks set to begin.
Despite the new threats, Elaina must begin her larger mission: to rescue Princess Eleonora from a desert prison, and then to turn the ruthless Destaurian king to the light. Jaimin, Alessa, Elaina and Makias lead an expedition across the wild eastern wilderness to progress Elaina’s mission.
Meanwhile, Nastasha, Jaimin’s advisor, continues to make sacrifices for her country and those she loves. Will her sacrifices, and those of so many others, be enough to unwind an ancient curse and restore peace?
Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe… until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead.
A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged, mining tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he.
Sixteen-year-old Amethyst Treasure loathes the idea of spending the summer away from her bustling city life to rot on her father’s ranch, but when a handsome young man shows up claiming to be her secret half-brother, her curiosity is piqued. He’s clever, street smart, and has no qualms jumping into the brawl between the Treasures and Horans. Caught in the middle, Horan kidnaps Amethyst, and all she gets is this lousy bullet through her heart.
When Clark brings her back to life, however, the real action starts, and Amethyst joins him in his fight against the Horan clan—whatever the cost. Defeating the Horans may seem easy at first, but going up against men with the same fighting vengeance as Clark, and a Senator with power he’s obtained by brainwashing the masses?
Well, Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.
In this romantic, highly-rated adventure from New Zealand, a trio of teens must unravel the deepest secrets of their kingdom’s court in time to stop a war.
When a bitter evil threatens to destroy the kingdom of Arra, a nineteen-year-old farm girl, the orphan Elaina, finds her life entangled with that of the prince. Through her adventures in the royal court, Elaina learns who she truly is, what happened to her parents, and why the king himself is afraid of her. She also learns that only she can save the region from disaster.
Eliza Kempe Dorley is always left in the background. As a female, being top inventor for the Alliance of Silver and Steam has as many draw backs as perks. She’s in charge of the creation of the many tools the Alliance uses in pursuit of the demons that run lose in the London Underground, which means without her, the demons would be harder to put down. It also means she misses all of the action and has never had the chance to really use any of her inventions.
Lucius Cooley Willan is a Nightmare Demon with a penchant for gambling and sleeping with women he shouldn’t’t and it’s landed him in hot water. Now he spends his nights slinking in humans dreams and unleashing terrors so strong it kills them so he can capture their soul for his boss. But when he’s ordered to attack the group that hunts his kind he’s enthralled by the feisty inventor he comes upon.
Eliza’s victim to Lucius in a way no others have been, a sensual dream that she can’t shake when she wakes up. When he bumps into her at the trains she’s an addiction he can’t shake. When he outright disobeys the demon who controls him for some out of dreams interactions with the Eliza, it will be up to him to save her from the nightmare he’s put her in.
Wilder Harding is a bloodhound, created by the Guild to hunt down and kill vampires on America’s frontier. His enhanced abilities come with a high price: on the full moon, he becomes capable of savagery beyond telling, while the new moon brings a sexual hunger that borders on madness.
Rescuing a weapons inventor from undead kidnappers is just another assignment, though one with an added complication–keeping his hands off the man’s pretty young apprentice, who insists on tagging along.
At odds with polite society, Satira’s only constant has been the aging weapons inventor who treats her like a daughter. She isn’t going to trust Wilder with Nathaniel’s life, not when the Guild might decide the old man isn’t worth saving. Besides, if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that brains are more important than brawn.
As the search stretches far longer than Wilder planned, he finds himself fighting against time. If Satira is still at his side when the new moon comes, nothing will stop him from claiming her. Worse, she seems all too willing. If their passion unlocks the beast inside, no one will be safe. Not even the man they’re fighting to save.
Warning: This book contains a crude, gun-slinging, vampire-hunting hero who howls at the full moon and a smart, stubborn heroine who invents mad-scientist weapons. Also included: wild frontier adventures, brothels, danger, betrayal and a good dose of wicked loving in an alternate Wild West.
When Ardis discovers a man bleeding to death on the battlefield, she knows she has to walk away.
1913. In her work as a mercenary for Austria-Hungary, Ardis has killed many men without hesitation. One more man shouldn’t matter, even if he manages to be a charming bastard while he stands dying in the snow.
But when he raises the dead to fight for him, she realizes she must save his life.
If a necromancer like Wendel dies, he will return as a monster–or so the rumors say. Ardis decides to play it safe and rescues him. What she doesn’t expect is Wendel falling to one knee and swearing fealty. Ardis never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer, but it’s too late now.
Ardis and Wendel forge an uneasy alliance underscored with sexual tension. Together, they confront rebels, assassins, and a conspiracy involving a military secret: robotically-enhanced soldiers for a world on the brink of war. But as Ardis starts to fall for Wendel, she realizes the scars from his past run more deeply than she ever imagined. Can Ardis stop Wendel before his thirst for revenge destroys him and everyone else around him?
Airship pilot Bailey Jo wasn’t actively seeking trouble. She really wasn’t. But, when a pack of altered henchmen attacks her ship and threatens to kill her, trouble finds her all the same.
Now, with the help of a sweet and handsomely perplexing street performer named Ollie Arkwright, Bailey sets out on a desert journey to find a legendary flying city, hoping to make good on a childhood promise and escape the horrible creatures on her tail.
But things aren’t always as they seem.
And, as Bailey is quick to learn, what a pilot doesn’t know can get her killed.
London, 1897: Lady Christiana Harker once committed a grave sin against her kind when she saved Inspector Elijah Drexler’s life by turning him into a vampire.
Christiana’s bold act has only driven Elijah deeper into an impenetrable darkness, fueled by morphine, nightmares, and a constant thirst for blood. Elijah has no room left in his heart for anything but his quest for vengeance against his childhood tormentor, a quest that he fully expects to end with his own death.
But when the mysterious Duke of Brightlingsea requests Elijah’s help in locating a doomsday device that could level half of London, Elijah’s personal vendetta becomes entangled with a secret war being waged among the immortal Elders.
Just when Christiana finally accepts that her long-held love for the Inspector will forever be unrequited, however, a catastrophe brings them together, forcing Elijah to finally confront his feelings for Christiana.
But will Christiana’s love be strong enough to weather the terrible truths buried deep in Elijah’s past? And will Elijah find the strength of will to finally cast off his demons and let love into his dark heart?
This Victorian steampunk romance is recommended for adult audiences.
Arthur Tudor has made his existence as a vampire bearable for over three hundred years by immersing himself in blood and debauchery. Aboard an airship gala, he meets Avalon, an aspiring vampire slayer who sparks fire into Arthur’s shriveled heart. Together they try to solve the mystery of several horrendous murders on the dark streets of London. Cultures clash and pressures rise in this sexy Steampunk Romance.
Junior technician Ensie Thalanquin is the odd girl out in the Aerial squad. Building flying machines should be an exciting life, but years of being alternately teased and ignored by her fellow Petronauts have turned it into a grind.
Cooper Carper is a hard-working machinist whose boss has made him his personal whipping boy.
Love was the last thing they were looking for when they went to work. But sometimes love pops up in the most unlikely places…
Can they keep a relationship afloat despite the differences in their backgrounds, the meddling of their superiors, and the pressure of a dangerous flight test a few short weeks away?
I’m an author, actor and dad living outside Washington, DC with my wife, baby girl, and a brawling pair of cats.
My current projects are the humorous fantasy series “Mechanized Wizardry” and a related series of medium/short length pieces called “Petronaut Tales.” The Petronaut Tales are set in the same fantasy world, but give me license to play with new characters and genres, including romance.
With “Aloft,” I was inspired to write a romance about characters who weren’t especially beautiful, and who spent most of the lives feeling overlooked and out of place. Meeting each other is what lifts them up to do great things, even through adversity and danger.
Why not write about a passion-fest between two supermodels? Because most of the world’s passion-fests are between ordinary folks. I wanted to explore the reactions of two characters who didn’t ever imagine themselves capable of feeling a love that strong, let alone inspiring it in someone else. And I wanted to show how love can make people stronger, which was easier to do with characters starting from a lower-status place.
Sample from Book:
Ensie smoothed out the dog-eared corner of the blueprints for the dozenth time. She shifted her weight on the bench, feeling the warmth of the sun on the back of her neck. She was too poor to own a watch, but she resisted the temptation to duck out into the hallway again and check the sepia-faced clock mounted on the wall. It had been 10:20 on the spot when she’d checked it moments ago. That meant that, by now, twenty-five minutes at most had passed since she’d left Mister Upforth and the rest of his team. And Upforth had said Cooper—or was it Carper?—would meet her in fifteen minutes. But the drafting room might be hard to find, for a civilian who’d never seen the Aerial compound before. And there had been an awful lot of wood left in that cart for just one person to move quickly. Even someone so tall, with those big arms and broad shoulders…
“You need to get a hold of yourself,” she said aloud, pressing her palm against the desk. She closed her eyes.
You’re an Aerial technician. Your ‘naut wants a consultation from a civilian firm. You’ve been trusted with getting information vital to the success of your project. This is Business with a capital B. Not some kind of private—
—and don’t you dare even finish that thought, because seriously: this is Business.
She scratched the space between her too-thick eyebrows as she looked at the door.
And even if it wasn’t Business, the morose thought crept through her defenses, it’s not as if anything’s going to happen. Any friendly vibes you’re getting are because he’s good at his job. Do you really think that there’s anything about you that would inspire unprofessional thoughts in a civilian guy like him? When he’s meeting all the other wisecracking Aerial girls and the Parade squad knockouts on the same day? Count yourself lucky you’re getting to talk to him at all. You’re just—
The door inched open. Ensie leapt to her feet behind the desk. There he was.
“There you are,” she said, rubbing her hands against her hips.
“So sorry,” he mumbled, turning sideways to come through the narrow door. He sounded a little out of breath. “I… I thought I heard you say ‘third building on the right,’ but I must have misheard. That’s actually the, uh, fuel center, I learned, where you guys are doing some crazy things with petrolatum…”
“Oh, gosh, you went to the refinery?”
“Yeah, through a back door. Got a little turned around with the fumes. But then someone—I forgot his name—pointed me here…”
“Spheres, I led you to the refinery without a mask! I am so sorry. I don’t know why I… I meant to say ‘first building on your—’”
“You did. I’m sure you did. I just heard it wrong—”
“No, no, I’m sure I said… I don’t know what I said!”
“Listen, with these ears, all bets are off. It’s a miracle I’m here at all.”
They stood facing each other with their hands flat against their hips. The sunlight illuminated the lower halves of their bodies.
“I’m Ensie,” she said, for no reason.
Why, oh why, oh why do I speak?
He smiled at her. His teeth were a little small and his gums were a little long, so when he smiled he looked like a kid, with a child’s whole-hearted good humor. “That makes, what, the third time we’ve done introductions?”
“I’m sure, probably,” she laughed. She touched her fingertips to the desk and found herself leaning towards him. “My third time, at least. And somehow I’m still not sure what your name is! Carper? Cooper? Caper?”
“Cooper Carper, actually.”
She felt herself smiling like a porpoise. She ordered her lips to stand down. Business. “Nice to meet you, Mister Carper,” she said, very professionally.
“You too, technician.”
She tilted her head at him. ‘Technician?’ Who are you, Sir Tomas? “You can call me Ensie.”
“Well, then,” he said, pressing the door closed behind him with a click, “you can call me Cooper.”
“I’m on a project now for a concept craft called the Flicker,” she said, brushing the blueprints with her hands as she stared fixedly at the parchment. Cooper came over to the side of the desk to look. His hands floated in space for a moment as he considered resting a big palm on top of the desk to lean over the plans, as she was doing, which would have brought their heads very close together. But instead his hands interlocked behind his back in a sort of parade rest and he just bent his head to look down. Ensie tried not to watch him as she folded the dog-eared corner back into place for the thirteenth time.
She laid out the specifications for the grasshopper-like craft, discussing fuel projections, the airflow models they’d run, and the properties of the alloys they’d debated for the hollow, curved wings. Cooper’s head bobbed up and down, and he offered a succession of mmm’s and I see’s at appropriate times. As she heard herself talk, she fidgeted with the bottom edge of the desk and only allowed herself quick glances up at his face. It was hard to tell if he was following the run-down at all, which gave her a heavy feeling in her stomach.
Burn me. Maybe Mister Upforth had a good reason for wanting that woman Skye to be the one to talk to me…
“So,” he said at last, shifting his weight. She looked up at him. “What exactly do you need us for?”
“Just wanted to, uh, forge a partnership with Upforth’s for a consultation on our ranine apparatus. That’s all.”
Cooper nodded. His forehead was wrinkled with vigorous thought. Ensie folded her hands together and tried not to let her disappointment show. He had the look of someone at an absolute loss for the right thing to say. Please, please, don’t be stupid.
“Honestly?” Cooper said.
“Mmm-hmm?” she said, tucking one of her bangs back into her hairnet.
For a long moment, he just looked at the plans. Then he shook his head and gave a heavy sigh. His hands reappeared from behind his back and he leaned down so quickly their foreheads almost brushed.
“Mister Upforth’s going to kill me,” he said, “but I don’t think you need us at all. The ranine designs you already deploy don’t have any trouble getting a Bulwark Petronaut off the ground, do they? And a Bulwark ‘naut in full armor’s gotta be eighty percent of the weight of this Flicker; maybe even the same, if their suits are steel and this alloy of yours is as light as all that. And I can’t imagine your test pilots are bulked-up the way Bulwark grunts are. I mean, who flies your things?”
“Knighted ‘nauts and expert techs, mostly,” Ensie said, her eyes widening. There was a whole new energy to him.
“So, right! When I think of a burly man or woman in armor jumping through the air no problem, and then I envision someone on the svelte side—like you—piloting a Flicker that, all things being equal, is the same weight but with, you know, better airflow?”
“Hang on,” she said.
“Sure. Sorry. I know I don’t have the right terminology—”
“Did you say, uh.”
She pressed her lips together. Business! But there was no hope.
“Did you say I’m ‘on the svelte side?’”
Cooper’s looked down at her. His face went gray with horror.
“I hope that word means what I think it means,” he whispered.
She looked to the far wall. Cute? Petite? Is that what you meant? She longed to ask him that like a Parade squad nymph would say it, drifting towards him with an archly raised eyebrow and a lazy, kissable half-smile. But just playacting through the line in her head set a swarm of nervous giggles buzzing around in her throat, perilously close to her voice box, and it was all she could do to keep a lid on them.
“You’re.” Was that my voice? The word was a mortifying squeak.
Ensie swallowed and tried again. “You’re right that the aerodynamic profile of the Flicker sure beats an armored ‘naut,” she said, folding the corner of the blueprints back for the fourteenth time. “And weights are comparable. But the jumping action we’re thinking of is on a different scale.”
“Ah, okay. Higher elevations.”
“Yes, but more importantly, jumping’s the primary locomotion for the Flicker. A ‘naut can leap around from time to time, sure, but most of what they do is run. A totally different use of the coils and their, uh, built-in suspensions. Their legs.”
“Whereas the Flicker does nothing but jump,” Cooper said, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Jump, and glide, and jump, and glide. You see? That’s why we need to make sure the coil box we build can handle tons of impacts, and launch with tons of force; but not so much force that the pilot loses control. See? It’s tricky.”
“It’s tricky,” he agreed. Cooper raised his hands. “To be honest, though, I’d trust you Aerials more to make it work right than I’d trust us.”
“But, uh.” Was he really going to walk out of her life because he was too honest to land his company a contract? Keep him. Keep him here! a hungry voice blared out somewhere inside her.
“You must have done something this size before,” she said, hurriedly.
“Oh, sure. We’ve worked big carriage suspensions. A motorized dais that raised and lowered, too, and had a bunch of dancers leaping around on it for, uh, a play or something.”
“See? So Upforth’s could lend experience with scale, while we figure out the whole ‘aloft’ part.”
“Ensie. I just want to be sure we wouldn’t waste your time.”
Ensie took a deep breath through her nose. “It would take a lot of time,” she said slowly. She curled her hands into little fists, rubbing her thumbs against her fingers as she looked up at him. No giggling. No giggling!
“We’d have to meet, uh… quite a few times, probably.”
Cooper looked down at her. His hands unlocked from behind his back and floated to his sides. “Quite a few times?” he said, quietly.
“Oh, yeah. A big project like this could take hours and hours of collaboration.”
He nodded. One of his large fingers pointed to the desk. “Here?”
As he tapped the surface of the desk, Ensie thought of purposes for the wide flat surface that had never even crossed her mind before. She’d never wanted to get started on a collaboration so badly.
“Or your workshop,” she said. “You know. Whichever sounds more productive.”
“Either sounds good to me.”
“Great. Can I say—”
“I just want to—”
They both spoke up simultaneously, and leaned a little closer at the same time. It brought them many centimeters closer than either had meant independently. Ensie froze there. He was so close that her hairnet was almost brushing the center of his chest. She turned her face up to him and saw something very interesting in his eyes.
“You first,” she whispered.
Cooper took a long moment before speaking. “Can I just tell you that I’m looking forward to working with you?”
“Likewise…” Ensie shifted her hand so their fingertips on the desk were touching. “Cooper.”
He shifted his hand on top of hers. Warm pressure, skin-to-skin, flooded up her arm and into her chest. The contours of his rough palm were fascinating as she explored them through the fine hairs and delicate nerves of the back of her hand. Her vision went a little blurry as she dedicated all her brainpower to experiencing his touch against her skin.
A massive noise clattered through the hallway just outside. Ensie recoiled before she recognized the sound of the tool cart for what it was. Cooper started too, raising his hand up and away. He flushed the color of an overripe apple and he refused to meet her eyes as the tech outside pushed the noisy cart from one workroom to the next.
“I.” Ensie brushed the nonexistent dust off the blueprints again, trying to get her voice under control again. Cooper slowly put his hands behind his back.
“That, uh.” He cleared his throat. “I’m sorry. That was unprofessional of me, and I’m sorry.”
She looked up at him.
“I shouldn’t have… I mean, I didn’t mean anything by, by touching you.”
“Well, I… it’s not… There’s a time and a place, that’s all. Unprofessional,” he rambled, shaking his head.
Ensie felt the grain of the desk beneath her hand. “I made you think unprofessional thoughts,” she murmured.
Their eyes met.
“It’ll never happen again,” he said, something low coloring his voice.
Ensie raised one eyebrow in an unspoken ‘really?’ she would have been very proud of if she had been able to see herself.
Sunlight flooded the room as their lips pressed together.