Author of the suspenseful, paranormal romances in my Stranger Creatures series. Also writing poetry, science fiction, and fiction. Sharing info about new book releases by different authors, poems, contests, and more
Short story Nyarlathotep’s Journey (the Yadira Chronicles book 1) by C.L. Hart is a Lovecraftian style fantasy romance by C.L. Clark.
This story reveals the origins of the ancient cosmic sorceress Yadira Root, daughter of the Outer God Nyarlathotep, and Queen Nathicana of the doomed world of Zaïs. It provides a unique interpretation of Nyarlathotep, the most nuanced and intelligent of H.P. Lovecraft’s Outer Gods.
“I am Nyarlathotep the traveler, son of Azathoth,” Nyarlathotep revealed, his voice barely louder than the evening breeze.
“I am Nathicana, ruler of this land,” the woman replied in a voice melodious as the tinkling of a thousand small bells. “I sensed you, Nyarlathotep, and I felt your longing. You are rightfully pleased with your strengths, but you walk eternally alone. I know the isolation you feel. O’er all the cosmos I am at once revered and despised. For you see, it is my duty to weave the threads of time and fate into the fabric of the cosmos. I have known more of sorrow and of cruelty than any being should have to.”
“Then allow me to assist you so you no longer need to bear this burden alone,” Nyarlathotep insisted. “I am certain that my abilities can reinforce yours. It will be my honor to work at your side, dear Nathicana, and it is my fervent hope that I can bring comfort to your weary heart.”
“It is my belief that you are the only one who can,” Nathicana stated. “Will you join me in my tower so I can show you the nature of my tasks?”
“I shall follow where you lead, my Queen,” Nyarlathotep replied.
Nyarlathotep followed Nathicana into an imposing black tower and up a narrow, winding staircase into an impressive observatory filled with telescopes, viewing screens, scrying bowls, crystal balls, and globes and maps filled with pushpins and interconnecting threads. Nathicana stood in the middle of the room and closed her eyes.
Stars whirled into blurs outside the observatory dome and threads began to fly up from spindles. As Nyarlathotep watched, scenes from multiple worlds and lifetimes played out on the view screens. The globes spun and a cacophony of pleading voices and distressed wails filled the room.
Nathicana reached out her hands and grabbed a thread. She whirled about, swayed to and fro, and danced to the array of globes and maps. She thrust a large pin into a star chart with a slightly smaller pin beside it, then took up a dozen even smaller pins and thrust each of these into the star chart surrounding the larger pins.
Nathicana sang in an ululating vibrato. The shape of the pins altered, and a new binary star system surrounded by a dozen planets appeared on the star chart. The mournful wailing of the spirits quieted, and as Nyarlathotep watched, millions of sparks of light converged on the star system.
Nathicana opened her eyes and her body wavered. Nyarlathotep guided her to a chair.
C.L. Hart is a 57-year-old disabled former nurse living in a remote town on the plains of Northeastern Colorado with her adult son and three cats. When not writing gloomy Lovecraftian fantasy or doomy dystopian fiction, Ms. Hart enjoys baking (results may vary) and drawing (admissibly badly.)
Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.
Russell’s marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons’ lives. In his Internet wanderings, he’s found feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what’s happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down. What Russell doesn’t know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?
Marisol started for the Sweet Spot coffee shop across the street, but hesitated when a silver Lexus squealed a U-turn in the center of Main, screeching to a stop and blocking her little rental there in its parking place. The door flew open, practically ejecting a tall, well-built man in jeans and a blue cotton shirt. His full attention focused on the vehicle in front of Marisol’s.
She couldn’t move as she belatedly recognized his large dark eyes and something in the piqued set of his jaw.
His hair wasn’t as solidly black as she’d remembered from the summer she left town. The jeans, no longer slim cut, though he wasn’t overweight. But it was him.
Nausea tumbled like panicked butterflies in her stomach. One hand slipped to her middle, almost trying to reassure her insides not to make her throw up right here. She never expected a sudden confrontation. She hadn’t prepared. But as she watched him, she saw she didn’t need to worry. He wasn’t interested in her in the least.
He marched over to the SUV and parked himself against its shiny fender. After several tries, she forced her feet to move, at least far enough to retreat inside the gazebo. She sat on the interior edge of the fence, half hidden behind a painted support beam, the shade from the maples overhead helping to conceal her. She couldn’t help it. She could have walked away, just left her vehicle and come back for it later, but the situation was a car wreck waiting to happen. She could tell by the tension in his shoulders and his hands, clenched into fists. No way she would miss whatever occurred next.
Soon after, Tiffany and the boys, one of whom looked about Mark’s age, one a little younger, returned from the shop. Tiffany, thin to the point of anorexia, stopped several yards from her car when she saw Russell there. The boys hung back behind their mother, affecting bored poses of crossed arms and blank skyward stares. “What do you want, Rusty?” Her voice carried clearly to the gazebo.
“To say hello to Jon and Barret. Since you haven’t let them come see me for the last three months.” He didn’t move off the car. “Hey, boys, come give your old dad a hug, hmm?”
The boys mumbled something Marisol couldn’t hear. If anything, they retreated toward the store, and finally the younger of the two, who looked maybe fifteen, bolted, heading back inside.
“That’s fabulous, Tiffy, just fabulous. What a great mother you are. So much for what our order says, right? That we’re supposed to encourage the children to love and honor the other parent?”
Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years, after working as a pizza maker, a floral designer, a journalist and a family law attorney. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. She writes romance and suspense as Alana Lorens, and sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal mystery as Lyndi Alexander. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.
The Journeyman’s Trial (The Toymaker’s Guild book 2) by Lisabet Sarai is now available!
If she builds it, will they come?
Technically brilliant and thoroughly wanton, Gillian Smith has found her vocation: designing innovative erotic devices for the Toymakers Guild. Lust is a lubricant to creativity at Randerley Hall. But what happens when two Toymakers fall in love?
If you like intelligent, lusty women and kinky steam punk sex toys, pick up a copy of The Journeyman’s Trial.
Christmas at Randerley was a more sedate affair than Gillian had expected, partly because the Master had invited the entire household. As the apprentices and journeymen gathered around the gaily decked tree on Christmas morning, they were joined by Henderson the butler, Mrs Jones from the kitchen, her scullery boy Jim, Pete Murphy, and a compactly built young woman with a crown of ash-blond braids, wearing a grey uniform with a white collar and apron. Gillian had assumed that the steam-powered robots that hurtled up and down Randerley’s corridors handled all the cleaning, but perhaps this girl was responsible for the more complicated aspects of domestic management.
The Master, with his characteristic discernment, noticed Gillian’s curiosity. He gestured at the young and rather pretty stranger. “I gather you’ve not met Emily. She joined us a few weeks ago.”
Given that Gillian had spent the bulk of her time over the last month working in the laboratory, her failure to notice the new maid was not that surprising. She gave the young woman a warm smile. “I’m pleased to meet you, Emily. I’m Gillian Smith.”
Emily’s eyes focused intently on Gillian’s face. After a short pause, she nodded and returned the smile, but not the greeting. Gillian glanced at the Master.
“Emily comes from a village west of here,” he commented. “A childhood fever left her unable to hear, and she’s quite reluctant to speak. However, she can understand what we say by reading our lips.”
A deaf-mute servant! That was certainly convenient for protecting Randerley’s secrets! Gillian’s initial sympathy for the maid quickly transformed into admiration as the girl circulated among the Guild and household members with a tray of eggnog. Emily moved with quiet grace, a self-assured presence that made her a delight to watch. Very likely she knew that she was fortunate to have found work here. Gillian did not doubt that the Master paid her generously.
Rafe sidled up and slipped an arm around Gillian’s waist, distracting her from Emily’s trim figure. He planted a quick, nutmeg-flavoured kiss on her lips, but somewhat to Gillian’s regret did not take further liberties. More quickly than she would have liked, he released her. Slipping his hand into his trousers pocket, he extracted a box about three inches long and half as deep, wrapped in brown paper and tied with green twine.
He offered her the diminutive parcel. “Happy Christmas to you, Jill.”
“Oh, Rafe! That’s very sweet of you, but really, you should not have gone to the trouble.” Guilty embarrassment made her blush. In fact, she’d been so focused on her work that the question of Christmas gifts had never even entered her mind.
She shifted the package from one hand to the other. It was unexpectedly heavy. What could it be? She hoped he hadn’t spent a lot of money on her. Thankfully, the box was the wrong shape for a ring. Last night she’d told him she loved him. The declaration had been sincere, but still, she couldn’t possibly accept a ring as a gift, given the implications.
“Open it,” he urged.
Gillian glanced around the drawing room. Everyone seemed engrossed in their own conversations, sipping their eggnog and nibbling the gingerbread fingers Mrs. Jones had provided. The Master sat on the chaise near the tree, Amelia at his right hand and Roderick on the left. Both of them half-turned toward him as if to catch some words of wisdom. Jia was ensconced in one of the wingback chairs by the fire, with Ian perched on one arm, Tug on the other, and Archie on the ottoman by her feet. Lucy gestured dramatically as she related some funny story to Pete Murphy and Emily. The groundskeeper chuckled, while the tidy little maid nodded and smiled.
No one was paying any heed to her and Rafe.
With a touch of trepidation, she pulled on the end of the twine. The bow came loose and the paper unfolded, revealing a box of unvarnished wood. She turned it over several times, as Rafe grinned. “What is it?” she asked finally.
“Check the front panel,” he told her. Sure enough, there was a barely visible depression near the bottom edge on one side. She centred her thumb in the dent and pushed away from her. The thin wooden sheet slid upward along a pair of grooves. Nestled in the soft red wool lining was a miniature hourglass.
She extracted the instrument and cradled it in her palm, a bit puzzled. “It’s lovely,” she told him. The sand inside was white as the snow outside. “Thank you.”
“I made it especially for you. Blew the glass and brazed the enclosure.”
“You made it? Oh my!” She examined the item with more care, noting a few minor imperfections that marked it as handmade. A comfortable warmth settled in her chest and her residual guilt evaporated. “Your versatility continues to amaze me, Rafe. But why?”
“I wanted to give you a Christmas gift.”
“No, I mean, why an hourglass?”
Taking the artefact from her, he turned it on its end and placed it on a nearby occasional table. Sand flowed smoothly from the top orb to the bottom through the narrow waist. “To continue your lessons in patience,” he told her, arching an eyebrow. “For instance, I won’t touch you again until all the sand has collected in the bottom.”
Gillian burst into laughter. “That’s hardly a lesson,” she countered. “I doubt it will take more than a minute to empty the top chamber.”
“Well, that depends.” He lifted the device, fiddled with a tiny thumbscrew between the two globes, then set it down again. The flow of sand slowed to the point that it was almost imperceptible. “Now what do you think?” he asked. “Can you wait until the sand runs out?”
Gillian gazed into his dark eyes, full of love and challenge. “You rogue!” She licked her lips. “Can you?”
She yearned to grab him, despite their very public situation. She wanted to drag his mouth to hers and run her hands along his muscled back, down to his firm buttocks. He could tease her, could pretend he’d mastered his own lust, but now she knew better.
I’m sharing info for another giveaway contest below. Good luck and have fun discovering some fabulous authors!
Enter NOW for your chance to win $500 at your choice AMAZON or Barnes & Nobel Gift Card. The Rules are simple…Follow as many Authors as you would like…the more points you get, the better your chances are of winning! Good Luck! Enter Here: https://bit.ly/BookBubGiveaway-Rafflecopter before 11:59pm 12/15/21 #Bookbub #Giveaway #Authors #Readers #SciFi #PNR #TimeTravelRomance #Fantasy #Romance #ParanormalRomance #Bookstagram #ILoveBooks #Bookish #BookBlog #ReadMore
I’m almost finished writing a short book of poetry that is sort of in story form but I wanted to share this poem about those moments that light up the world around me and help me remember the reasons and the joy in life.
Discover some fabulous authors in genres such as urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction, YA fantasy, sci-fi romance, cyberpunk, and more. You can enter for your chance to win some great prizes at C.L. Cannon’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi Book Fair! Just click on the link below.
Rekindling the flames of love has never burned so hot.
Lies. Betrayal. A million-dollar bounty.
After an undercover mission goes awry, DEA agent Jarrett Brandt hides out in the last place he wants to be—his hometown. Now he’s stuck with his judgmental parents and the memory of his perfect brother hanging over his head. His one bright light? Marissa Reinn Brandt—his high school sweetheart and former sister-in-law.
Marissa lost Jarrett once before. No way will she let him back in; then her son offers him their guestroom. His wicked charm and smoldering stares are hard to resist, but she’ll make him work to reclaim his spot in her bed.
When his enemies close in, how will Jarrett keep Marissa and her son safe, or will he lose his shot at redemption?
– Triggers: drug use (discussed) and a brief assault of the heroine
– A Hero’s Heart is a smoking hot second chance, romantic suspense novella. No cheating. HEA guaranteed.
– Second edition. Newly revised and edited.
“You can trust me, Jarrett. I won’t tell your parents anything you don’t want me to.” She sighed and stood as well. “You used to tell me everything. We never kept secrets.”
Jarrett paced between the coffee table and fireplace. “My parents’ opinion doesn’t matter. Dad would still throw up my juvie record or the fact that I’m not a cop, even if I was a model citizen. I’m not that lost, angry kid anymore. I know who I am now, and it’s not someone you’d want to know.”
“God, you don’t understand. Marissa, I’ve missed you so damn much. I’ve laid awake so many nights wondering what my life would’ve been like if I’d stayed here.” When he made love to other women, he imagined Marissa beneath him or above him, panting his name. When the nightmares of blood and gore faded, he dreamed of her. Those bittersweet memories and what if scenarios were almost worse than the nightmares. “I’ve done things I’m not proud of.”
“I hated you after you left, but I’ve gotten over it. Everyone feels regret and guilt over something. It’s all about being human.” She dashed away her tears. “I told you mine last night. Will you please show me the same courtesy?”
“At least tell me what you did last Christmas. Jason made it crystal clear that he didn’t want you alone. He wants you to have a tree.” She pointed at the Douglas fir. “Well, there you go. What did you do last year?”
Jarrett licked his dry lips, heat swelling in his cheeks.
He’d joined the Consuelo gang last December and spent the holiday in a slummy apartment with five thugs who sold cocaine on the streets of Albuquerque. Living around his drug of choice had nearly destroyed him.
“What about your last birthday?” Marissa blocked his path and braced her hands on her hips. “Did you have cake or go out with a bunch of buddies and get drunk? Did something horrible happen? Why won’t you tell me anything?”
He shoved a hand through his hair. “Damn it, Marissa. Yeah, I got drunk. A few of us went to a strip club where I fucked two dancers in a backroom. Is that what you wanted to hear?”
Her eyes widened as she stepped back.
Way to go, you fucking idiot. He brushed his shaky hands on his button-down shirt to steady them. “Marissa—”
She strode past him with a high head and left the room.
Her cold shoulder skewered him, but he didn’t deserve better.
Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.
Tiger’s Last Chance is on SALE for $1.99 on Amazon through October, 2021! Her smile did awful things to his composure. He wasn’t prepared to love her. But he did. Will it be too late? https://www.amazon.com/dp/b088p6mydb
In the strange town of Great Oaks, VA, the road to love is full of surprises. Each book in my Stranger Creatures series features a different couple on their search for happily ever after. Tiger’s Last Chance (Stranger Creatures book 3) is Sean and Nikki’s story.
Blurb: An investigation into missing shifters leads Detective Nikki Jackson to the discovery of a radical political group’s horrifying plot for dominance. Traitors are embedded within the very organizations meant to keep shifters safe. As the list of people she can trust dwindles, she calls on private investigator Sean Whitman to help her unravel a web of deceit. As Nikki and Sean fight for survival, his fear of losing her could become a reality. Will he get one last chance to show her he loves her?
Excerpt: For the briefest moment, Nikki felt the depth to which Sean might be capable of pushing her. His kiss was crushing and brutal. His tongue pushed past her lips and his grip in her hair tightened. If desire were a vine, it would have wrapped itself around her veins and encased her heart. The heat between them flooded her. There was a sweetness, too, in his kiss, and the sweetness made her burn hotter. A polite cough from inside the waiting car put a quick end to things. Sean pulled away and met her gaze. No words, but she got the message. She wasn’t alone. Comfort and friendship; he’d probably meant the kiss to comfort her and had gotten carried away in the heat of the moment. He’d carried her away with him, and she wanted to take him so much further into the unknown. With each second, each step towards the waiting car, she tried to find reasons and more reasons to ignore her growing attraction to Sean. The number one reason to forget about the kiss they’d shared—relationships were trouble. She had plenty of other amazing things in her life, including her career, her volunteer work, and her band, even though the band rarely played anywhere because the members had trouble aligning their schedules. She didn’t need a man. Besides, he was probably still messed up over Sydney. Also, he was a regular. Or mostly regular. Not to mention he lived over a thousand miles away in Texas. She should tell him the kiss was a mistake. One look at him and she couldn’t bring herself to say the words. The kiss they shared had been anything but a mistake.
Here’s what I’m working on now for the Stranger Creatures series: Books 4 and 5 of the Stranger Creatures series are in progress! (Having kids in virtual school for a year and a quarter made my writing a little slower, and some days non-existent). Lately, I’ve been working on Luke and Jordan’s story. After surviving a battle with cancer, Jordan decides life should be about taking chances. She’s never met another person with psy abilities before, until Luke. Though she’s still nowhere as bold as she wishes she could be, she comes up with an idea that would allow her spend more time with him. Luke agrees to Jordan’s plan to spend the holidays together and even though he wants something more permanent than their current holiday arrangement, he vows to keep that thought to himself. Would Jordan still want him if she knew his past? Can they stop an elusive research company from experimenting on vulnerable people or will Luke and Jordan’s time together be over too soon?