Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fallow by Jordan L Hawk

When Griffin’s past collides with his present, will it cost the lives of everyone he loves?

Between the threat of a world-ending invasion from the Outside and unwelcome revelations about his own nature, Percival Endicott Whyborne is under a great deal of strain. His husband, Griffin Flaherty, wants to help—but how can he, when Whyborne won’t tell him what’s wrong?

When a man from Griffin’s past murders a sorcerer, the situation grows even more dire. Once a simple farmer from Griffin’s hometown of Fallow, the assassin now bears a terrifying magical corruption, one whose nature even Whyborne can’t explain.

To keep Griffin’s estranged mother safe, they must travel to a dying town in Kansas. But as drought withers the crops of Fallow, a sinister cult sinks its roots deep into the arid soil. And if the cult’s foul harvest isn’t stopped in time, Fallow will be only the first city to fall.

Fallow is the eighth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.

Click Here to Check Out the Whyborne & Griffin Series #1-5

What can I say about Fallow and not give away any spoilers?  Let's see what I can come up with.  Whyborne and Griffin just keep getting better and better, if that is even possible, throw in Christine and Iskander and what you have is off the charts.  Our little group goes to Griffin's hometown of Fallow, Kansas where life is not as he recalls from his youth.  Whyborne's plan to leave Griffin in Kansas, which he sees as a way to keep Griffin safe, breaks your heart and every time his inner monologue debates the plan I found myself screaming at my Kindle "Just talk to him!!"  Well, have faith, Jordan L Hawk has never steered her readers wrong and Fallow is no different.  If you are already a Whyborne & Griffin fan then you'll be in paranormal romantic suspense heaven and if you haven't checked them out before, don't let there being 8 books in the series scare you away.  Trust me, whether there is only 8 or 108 entries in the series, it's well worth the time,  they are fantabulous! A must read for magic lovers.


Chapter 1
Widdershins always knows its own.

Welcome home.

The wind strengthened from over the ocean, coiling around the slender figure standing atop a craggy rock. She might have been some barbaric sea goddess, dressed in nothing but golden jewelry and a skirt of knotted seaweed. Dark swirls marked her pearlescent skin like war paint, and the stinging tendrils of her hair writhed as the autumnal breeze grew into a gale.

I kept a grip on my hat to prevent it from flying off. Even though I stood well back from the water in an attempt to preserve my suit, dampness flecked my exposed skin. I licked my lips and tasted salt.

The wind died away, just as quickly as it had arisen. My twin sister let her arms fall and turned to me, mouth splitting into a grin and revealing rows of shark’s teeth. “I told you I’ve been practicing.”

I crossed the strand to her, my shoes sinking into the moist sand. “Well done,” I said as she climbed down from the rock. “You’re as good as I am at drawing power from the maelstrom now.” Which was only natural, I supposed, given our relationship to the magical vortex lying beneath Widdershins.

“Better,” she countered. Her tentacle hair flicked out in a sudden blur and sent my hat flying from my head.

“Persephone!” I snatched it up, brushing sand off the brim. “This is serious. Not a time for-for childish pranks. We’re preparing for war, in case you’ve forgotten.”

Two months ago, the Fideles cult had used the power of the maelstrom to send a sorcerous beacon through the veil separating our world and the Outside. They meant to summon back the ancient masters who had ruled the earth thousands of years ago, who had created the ketoi and the umbrae, and twisted the arcane lines to form the maelstrom.

We’d failed to stop them from sending the signal and beginning what they called the Restoration. Eventually the inhuman masters would return, and if we failed a second time…

It didn’t bear contemplating. The ketoi and umbrae would either be killed or enslaved, and I doubted humanity would fare much better.

“It doesn’t mean we can never laugh again,” Griffin said as he approached, the light of his lantern gleaming off Persephone’s sleek skin.

I folded my arms over my chest. “I didn’t say that,” I replied, trying to conceal my annoyance. Judging from the look on his face, I failed.

Griffin didn’t understand. How could he? He didn’t know the truth about the maelstrom.

About me.

Oh, he thought he did. He’d seen…something…during our battle against the Fideles cult in July. And of course he already knew about my ketoi blood.

But I couldn’t tell him worst of it, the thing I’d realized when I briefly touched the consciousness of the maelstrom. The vortex beneath Widdershins wasn’t just a feature of the landscape, like a river or mountain. It was magic, and alive in a way I didn’t entirely understand. It wanted things and acted to get them.

Chiefly, it wanted not to be used by the masters upon their return. And Persephone and I were the keys to its plan, its attempt to touch and understand the world, to give it hands and eyes and hearts to work its will.

In the end, my sister and I were the ones responsible for preventing the return of the masters. The sheer weight of our obligation threatened to overwhelm me at times. I’d spent every waking moment searching for any way to halt the Restoration and the return of the masters.

“Did you see?” Persephone asked Griffin.

“I did.” He meant it literally—Griffin had returned from our Alaskan expedition with shadowsight, the ability to perceive magic. “You burned like a candle when you pulled on the maelstrom. Just as your brother does.”

Persephone grinned happily. I tightened my arms across my chest and hunched my shoulders forward slightly. I was used to being the only one Griffin described in such a way, and I wasn’t certain I cared to share it, even with my sister.

He looked handsome tonight—well, he always did, but his new suit from Dryden & Sons complimented his figure nicely. The rust-colored vest in particular brought out the brown threads in his green eyes and the russet in his hair.

“What did the spell look like?” Persephone asked. She crouched on the sand, the fins on her arms jutting out awkwardly.

Griffin’s eyes went slightly unfocused as he considered. “The glare from the arcane line running under the beach can make it hard to see,” he said. “But it was as though you took a needle and thread, and punched them through the fabric of the world. Then you drew the cloth together, and the wind came.”

Persephone frowned, an expression far less ferocious than her smile. “We don’t sew cloth beneath the sea,” she reminded him.

“Of course.” He grimaced. “It wasn’t the most accurate description anyway. Think of it as weaving a net, then, to catch the wind.”

I drew out my pocket watch and was startled at the time. “We should leave. I have work in the morning, after all.”

Persephone perked up slightly. “You will see Maggie there?”

“Of course. Miss Parkhurst is my secretary.” They’d met during the awfulness in July and struck up something of a friendship.

Persephone detached a pouch at her waist. “Will you take this to her?” she asked, passing it to me without opening it.

Even through the knotted seaweed, I could sense its faint call. “A summoning stone?” I asked blankly. “What on earth for? I can’t imagine any reason Miss Parkhurst would need to summon ketoi—”

“One never knows,” Griffin interrupted. “Before we go, may I ask the two of you to try something?”

“Yes!” Persephone said hastily, rising to her feet.

I looked pointedly at my watch again, but they both ignored me. Griffin gestured in the direction of the rock, where Persephone had cast her spell. “Have you tried working a spell in tandem?”

“No,” I replied slowly. “Why?”

“What would happen? Would it be more powerful, or…?”

I hadn’t the slightest idea. My damnable cousins, Theo and Fiona Endicott, had performed sorcery together to raise a tidal wave in an attempt to destroy Widdershins, so I knew it was at least theoretically possible.

“Let’s try!” Persephone said eagerly.

“All right, but I’m not climbing on that boulder,” I said. “I haven’t the shoes for it.”

She looked disappointed, but followed me a bit further up the beach. The slow pulse of magic through the veins of the earth throbbed against the soles of my feet. “Here. We’re still on the arcane line, so it will be easy for us to draw on the maelstrom.”

“What should we do?”

I had only the vaguest idea. “Cast the spell at the same time, I suppose.”

“Would touching help?” Griffin asked. He stood a short distance back. He’d once touched me while I pulled arcane power from the lines, an experience neither of us wanted to repeat. Its effects hadn’t been permanent, but it had hurt him at the time, bursting capillaries in his eyes and sending him reeling into unconsciousness.

Human bodies weren’t meant to touch such power directly. But the maelstrom had spent years changing probabilities, nudging the odds this way and that, until Persephone and I were born. Sorcerers of ketoi blood, who could channel the magic directly without harm.

Persephone took my hand. Her skin was cool and slick against mine, the points of her claws pressing lightly as our fingers twined together.

“We’ll summon the wind again,” I said. “On three.”

She nodded, her expression determined. “One,” she said.

I took a deep breath, centering myself. The world seemed to still around me.


My awareness of the power beneath our feet sharpened.


I reached for the magic, shaping it with my will. Arcane energy surged through our bodies, and the scars on my right arm burned. I felt my sister beside me, her breathing and heartbeat matching mine.

We touched the world, and the world responded.

Wind roared in from the open ocean, a wall of force that knocked me to the ground. An instant later, the ocean answered the sky with a roar of its own. A massive wave rushed into the cove, bursting over the strand and nearly reaching the cliff. It surged around me, the greedy, cold water seeking to drag me into the sea.

I let out a surprised shout, clawing at sand that washed away beneath my fingers as quickly as I could grasp it. Then the wave receded, leaving me soaked to the bone and covered in seaweed, my shoes filled with sand.

I rose to my feet and wiped ineffectually at my suit. My hat was gone, probably blown all the way to Boston on the wind we’d summoned. A fish flopped on the beach beside me. Persephone picked it up and tossed it back into the surf.

“Well,” I said, turning to Griffin. “That was…oh.”

He stood dripping wet from head to toe, his new suit soaked in seawater. A strand of seaweed clung to his hair, and his hat had joined mine somewhere a few counties over.

“Yes,” he said, plucking sadly at his ruined vest. “It certainly was.”

~ * ~

“I’m so sorry,” I said yet again as Griffin unlocked the door to our home.

Our journey from the beach had been uncomfortable. It was impossible to remove all the sand from our shoes and clothes. Salt stiffened our suits and crusted our skin. Once back in Widdershins proper, we’d attempted to hire a cab, but the driver had taken one look at our sodden state and left us on the curb. For the first time, I found myself regretting the destruction of Griffin’s motor car.

“Stop apologizing,” Griffin said, holding the door open for me. Once inside, he locked it again, then began to peel off his coat. “It isn’t as though you knew what would happen.”

“What did happen?” I asked. “From your point of view, I mean.”

Griffin bit his lip, his eyes going thoughtful. “It isn’t easy to describe. Your spells…resonated? Overlay each other? I wonder if perhaps the spells the Endicotts and other sorcerers do together are handled in a different fashion. Each one contributing a piece to a more complex whole.”

That made sense. “Judging from what I’ve read in the Arcanorum and other magical texts, you’re probably right.”

“Could you and Persephone learn to perform spells like that?”

“Of course,” I said, more sharply than I intended.

“I don’t mean to cast aspersions on your abilities, my dear.” Griffin offered me a smile as he unbuttoned his salt-stained vest. “But from what little I know of the matter, you and Persephone aren’t quite the same as other sorcerers. You learn spells, yes, but they’re something of a crutch that you can discard after a while. When was the last time you had to draw a sigil to summon wind, or chant to make frost appear?”

“It’s only a matter of will for everyone,” I insisted. Griffin didn’t look as if he believed me.

I didn’t believe myself. But the conversation was getting too close to things I didn’t want to discuss with anyone except Persephone.

It wasn’t that I wished to keep secrets from the man I called husband. But if he knew the terrible truth I’d learned in July, when I touched the maelstrom and perceived the world as it did…

He’d be furious, and rightfully so.

“I am sorry about the suit,” I said, hoping to distract him. “It was brand new, and it looked so fine on you.”

By unspoken consent, we’d remained in the hallway to remove our ruined clothing. No sense scattering sand and dripping water through the house. He peeled off his trousers and stood clad only in his drawers. His eyes followed my movements as I did the same. “You appreciated how it looked, did you?” he asked, and I recognized the low note in his voice.

“Very much so.” I stepped closer, and he rested his hands on my hips, just above the edge of my drawers. His fingers felt chilled against my skin.

A slow smile curled his lips. “In that case, it’s a shame to have lost it so soon.” His grip on me tightened. “You’ll have to make it up to me, I think.”

“However shall I do that?” I murmured.

“You can start on your knees.”

Author Bio:
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in the wilds of North Carolina, where she was raised on stories of haints and mountain magic by her bootlegging granny and single mother. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to spinning tales. She weaves together couples who need to fall in love, then throws in some evil sorcerers and undead just to make sure they want it bad enough. In Jordan’s world, love might conquer all, but it just as easily could end up in the grave.



Role Play by AR Von

Title: Role Play
Author: AR Von
Genre: Taboo/Erotic Romance
Release Date: June 4, 2016
Publisher: Dream Z Dragon Publishing
Cover Design: Wicked Muse Design
An erotic, fun, taboo novel by A.R. Von

Any relationship worth its weight, takes work, patience, communication and so much more. It also pays to pay attention to what makes your partner happy. After all, a happy partner, a happy you!
Tempest wants to make her boyfriend, Ryan, a very happy man this coming holiday. She has big plans for a big surprise that she hopes will curl his toes, make him feel things he’s not yet felt and burn a permanent etching into his memory forever.

Ryan is in deep with Tempest. He still has secrets he’s yet to reveal to her. They will all be revealed in time. But for now, he wants to give her something special. Something different and something he knows they’ll both enjoy. He just hopes it’ll lead to better and brighter things and not have an adverse effect on their relationship. Either way, he’s willing to risk it just to give her a fantasy come true…

Aiden sits quietly—patiently waiting for his dreams to come true and for opportunity to present itself. After years of being alone, will he finally get his heart’s desire and be with the one he’s loved deeply for more years than he cares to admit and another he’s fallen for in just a couple of years’ time?

Can something so taboo, so forbidden, be a happily ever after?

***WARNING 18+ ONLY: Adult content due to language, Pseudo-Incest, sexual content and sexual situations. (MMF/MFM/MM content)***

Author Bio:
A.R. is an animal lover who was born and raised in Bronx, NY and is the oldest daughter of two girls. She holds an Associate's Degree in Computer Science and Information Technology, which was only briefly used. She's a mother of two entertaining teen boys (as well as a lovely fawn Chihuahua, whom she considers her furry daughter.) She's also a wife to a delightfully handsome and amazingly funny man-beast. She loves anything dragon and fantasy related. In her free time she enjoys exercising, listening to music, hiking, cooking, dancing and writing. She also loves a great adventure in and out of a book!

She writes to free her mind of its constant wondering and priceless clutter. She thrives on the fact she can share some of it with readers that have the same passion for a great story.

She also loves to hear from her reader's and chat away, so feel free to reach out to her any time.



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