Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Demons of Elysium by Jane Kindred

Prince of Tricks #1
When desire rises, angels will fall. One, by one, by one…

Over the past century, Belphagor has made a name for himself in Heaven’s Demon District as a cardsharp, thief, and charming rogue.

Though the airspirit is content with his own company, he enjoys applying the sweet sting of discipline to a willing backside. Angel, demon, even the occasional human. He’s not particular. Until a hotheaded young firespirit steals his purse—and his heart. Now he’s not sure who owns whom.

A former rent boy and cutpurse from the streets of Raqia, Vasily has never felt safer than in the arms—and at the feet—of the Prince of Tricks. He’s just not sure if Belphagor returns those feelings. There’s only one way to find out, but using a handsome, angelic duke to stir Belphagor’s jealousy backfires on them both.

When the duke frames Vasily for an attempted assassination as part of a revolutionary conspiracy, Belphagor will do whatever it takes to clear his boy’s name and expose the real traitor. Because for the first time in his life, the Prince of Tricks has something to lose.

***Warnings: Contains erotic sex: m/m, m/m/m, m/m/m/m…oh hell. Let’s just say “mmmmmm!” and be done with it. Also one m/f scene. Smart discipline meted out with a great deal of love and charm. Erotic sex acts requiring copious amounts of elbow grease.***

King of Thieves #2
There are worse things to lose than one s good name.

Belphagor can seduce demons with a look and bring angels to their knees with a single motion, but when it comes to being in love, the Prince of Tricks is out of his element.

At every turn, Vasily rebels against the discipline he claims to want, even refusing to use his safe word. But when Belphagor uses a scheme to shut down an underage brothel to test Vasily s limits, he loses Vasily s trust along with the boys he intended to set free.

Uncovering a smuggling ring that spans two worlds, Belphagor calls on a team of Nephilim mercenaries to rescue the Lost Boys from earthly gangsters. But his relationship seems beyond repair and a heartbroken Vasily beyond his reach in the arms of a sensual demon named Silk.

Belphagor has more than enough grand schemes up his sleeve to bring down the smuggling ring for good. But when it comes to putting things right with Vasily, his bag of tricks is empty. Except for trust and a plan to teach his boy a lesson neither will soon forget.

***Warning: Contains two strong-willed lovers who will test the theory that without air, there can be no fire. Expect plenty of smoke, more than a few mirrors, and an old-fashioned Russian duel. You may need a shot of vodka when you re done reading this one!***

Master of the Game #3
Love is the ultimate game changer…and this time it’s winner take all.

Now that his lover is back in his arms, Belphagor is taking his own sweet time to say the words Vasily longs to hear: “You’re my boy.” And savoring the sweet torture of driving the firespirit into a frenzy of unfulfilled need.

As the undisputed master of Heaven’s gaming tables, Belphagor never plays unless he’s certain of winning. But this time, political machinations send the game—and Vasily—tumbling to the brink of even his formidable control.

Vasily can’t deny enjoying their delightfully edgy play—until the airspirit auctions him off for a night to the one demon with a gift for taking things too far. Seductive Silk, tight-lipped about the end of his relationship with the sweet submissive Phaleg, may also be involved with a new faction threatening the pregnant queen of Heaven.

Belphagor couldn’t be less interested in the games angels play, but when angelic and demonic intrigues overlap, he’s drawn in against his will. And forced to break his one inviolable rule: Never gamble what you can’t afford to lose.

***Warning: Contains more than a mouthful of m/m ménage, with intense D/s situations featuring intricate rope work, balaklavas, and a flurry of snow.***

Prince of Tricks #1
In the gaming room of the Brimstone for the next several evenings, Belphagor kept an eye out for Vasily’s entrance without appearing to do so. He hadn’t become the best wingcasting player in Raqia by telegraphing his moves. He played exceptionally well, in fact, by maintaining an external awareness beyond the boundaries of the marble-rimmed table while projecting an air of inattentiveness to anything but his own cards. The false inward focus was contagious and tended to make his opponent forget to take note of the broader actions of the game.

When he cast the die or called his opponent’s cast, he let his attention encompass the entire establishment. This part of the game was only chance; willing the die to land on the elemental creature one had called or staring anxiously at the twelve-sided game piece as it struck the table’s rim after an opponent had called one’s own cast had no effect on the outcome. Shifting the air around the table might, of course, but that was easily done with the flick of the wrist in casting or the breath of a bored sigh. If Belphagor’s cardinal element responded more readily to his influence than it did for other airspirits, it was no coincidence.

He’d devoted years of his life—and the number was considerable for a demon who frequently fell to the world of Man where aging was far more rapid than in the pure celestial air—to understanding how to master the dominant element in his blood. The number of Fallen who literally fell was small in comparison to the demonic population, and the average demon had never experienced terrestrial magic. In Heaven, a demon—or even an angel, though they were generally too uptight to try—might manipulate his element for simple tricks and folk magic, but in the world of Man, every celestial possessed a radiant power that manifested as elemental wings.

Belphagor had first fallen when he was only fifteen years of age. He hadn’t made the discovery right away, and the Fallen he’d encountered there, in the city of Petrograd, hadn’t told him. It was only in fleeing the law some months after his arrival that he’d inadvertently found his wings. Leaping from a bridge to escape, he’d expected to swim for it and found himself instead soaring on the wind, the radiance that burst from his shoulder blades outstretched as wings of solid air that seemed to swallow up the visual range of light into their element.

“Ptarmigan,” he said absently as the die tumbled from his opponent’s fingers and struck the rim. The other demon scowled as the die landed with the ptarmigan face-up. Sometimes Belphagor’s luck was better when he put no effort into the game at all.

“It’s a loaded die,” the player accused. The demon had clearly had too much to drink.

Belphagor narrowed his gaze on the pallid-looking waterspirit. “I beg your pardon?”

“Loaded die!” He stood and delivered the accusation loudly enough for the house to hear. Any such accusation had to be taken seriously. The game was immediately halted and the pot forfeited to the house while the deck and die were confiscated for examination.

It took every ounce of Belphagor’s restraint to keep from leaping on the little worm and delivering a very unerotic beating. He’d automatically turned up the cuffs of his shirt in preparation for it without being aware he’d done so, showing his ink like an animal might show its teeth in warning.

The bluish-black tattoos that marked his fingers and the backs of his hands were the badges of his incarceration in the Russian prison system. They marked him as vor, a thief, and announced in no uncertain terms that he was not to be trifled with. The association commanded a certain level of respect in the world of Man—among the right people—that he might never have been afforded due to his less than impressive physical stature, but in Raqia it had the added intimidation factor of making it clear that he had not only dealt with the harsh prison system of the Zona but with the Seraph bounty hunters who exploited it with their own terrestrial magic.

Just as the game inspector pocketed Belphagor’s favorite wingcasting set, the street door opened, ushering in a blast of wet winter wind and admitting a party of young angelic toughs—arrogant, but breathtaking in their sterile waterspirit purity. One of them had his arm over the shoulder of a demon smartly dressed in a black velvet frock coat and tailored slacks. Despite his impressive size, had it not been for the shock of red matted locks done up in a knot just below the demon’s crown, Belphagor might actually have missed him.

The sore loser still glaring his defiance across the table at him ceased to matter in the rush of possessive desire and jealous fury that nearly knocked Belphagor off his feet.

Angels were touching his boy.

His brain dropped into his testicles, and he charged across the bar like a bull sporting bloody banderillas and struck the angelic prick right in the kisser.

The angel went down in stunned surprise, and time seemed to freeze for a moment before the rest of the angels in the fancy one’s entourage sprang forward and descended on Belphagor, dragging him upstairs to the street. Despite his stature, he was more than a match for a pair of the little bastards, or even three; prison had taught him a number of valuable skills. But he’d had the misfortune to anger a pack of them.

“Learn your place, you Fallen piece of trash.” A fist landed in his gut while he struggled, snarling, with the group of angels who had his arms, and another slammed into his cheek. As he spat blood into the snow, the angel before him raising his fist for another blow suddenly howled with pain. Behind him, Vasily had reached over the angel’s shoulder and twisted his arm into an unnatural pose.

Belphagor’s odds had just improved.

The angel went sprawling across the slush-dirty cobblestone while two of the angels holding Belphagor let go of him to converge on Vasily. Belphagor slammed his elbow into the throat of another on his left, simultaneously kicking sidelong against the knee of the angel on his right, dislocating it with a loud pop drowned out instantly by the angel’s shriek as he hopped backward. While the choking one on Belphagor’s left swung wildly at him, he grasped the wide-swiping arm and knocked the angel face-first into the brick wall of The Brimstone, punching him in the kidney for good measure.

He turned and saw the two angels Vasily had grabbed scrambling away, badly bloodied, while the one on the ground dragged himself across the street with one arm at an alarming angle, howling like a child. Two others that had been behind him, and the first one Belphagor had punched, who now stood on the top step, wisely took off running, shouting racial slurs over their shoulders in cowardice.

Belphagor wiped his fist across his bloody lip and met Vasily’s eyes. Flame sparked dangerously in them.

“Sukin syn,” Vasily snarled. This was not the Russian Belphagor had taught him. “You think you own me, you son of a bitch? You think you can just march up and mark your property the moment someone else takes a fancy to me?”

Belphagor’s stance was casual, but the set of his jaw was hard. “I told you.” He spoke calmly. Dangerously. “Angels are not to touch you.” Vasily had just dispatched a handful of angels in seconds, the same angels who’d been beating the snot out of Belphagor a moment before, yet his angry expression was now tinged with fear. Knowing he could strike that fear into Vasily despite his superior physical strength made Belphagor hungry to make good on the unspoken promise. “Did I not make myself clear, malchik?”

“No—I mean, yes, you—” Vasily stopped and swallowed nervously, clearly trying to pull his defiance back on. “Why?”

King of Thieves #2
Belphagor returned to the tables, amused to see Armen still at it. “Don’t you have mouths to feed at home?” he asked when they’d been paired together by Belphagor’s quick advancement through the ranks of players on his way to the master table.

“And how else do you think I feed them?” Armen laughed as Belphagor dealt the cards. He continued to chat as the round commenced, a tactical error Belphagor swiftly took advantage of, relieving Armen of nearly half his cards in the first three casts as he failed to correctly call the die, while Belphagor called all but one of his.

“A pristine Ebony Wing.” Belphagor laid down a consecutive set of First Choir cards along with the first order of the remaining three choirs in the suit of spindles. “It’s going to be a short game if you keep playing like this.”

Armen shook his head in chagrin as Belphagor collected the pot of facets and gave him the cards to deal the next round. “Actually, I was hoping to run into you again. There was something specific I wanted to discuss with you.” He spoke casually as he shuffled and dealt, but this was obviously anything but casual if he was willing to forfeit so much crystal to make it seem so.

Belphagor perused his cards. “Oh?”

“A proposal. I suppose you’ve heard of the Fletchery.”

Belphagor scowled at the demon, no longer interested in whatever game Armen was playing. The Fletchery was an underground club that professed to provide its male clientele with underage sex. The pun on the name that rhymed with lechery was that the client would be teaching a fledgling how to fly. “Fletching” was a euphemism for being the first to have a young virgin of either sex, though more often applied to the homosexual variety, as if preferring the same sex somehow equated with pederasty.

“I’ve heard of it,” he said through gritted teeth. “And it has nothing to do with me.”

“Of course not,” Armen assured him. “I wouldn’t dream of suggesting it did. But of course, my opinion isn’t necessarily of consequence.”

“And just whose is?”

“Others,” said Armen vaguely, casting the die. Belphagor let it strike the edge of the wingcasting table without calling it. “There are some who find your association with a certain young demon suspect.”

Belphagor threw down his cards and shoved back his chair as he stood. “Vasily is over the age of consent in any sphere. I don’t have to justify our ‘association’ to you or any ‘others’.”

Armen held up his hand. “You misunderstand me, Belphagor. Please. Sit down and hear me out.” Belphagor remained standing, arms folded as he glowered at the other demon. “It’s not that it isn’t clear he’s of age now. It’s the fact that he’s been with you for some time and your tendency to call him your ‘boy’ that gives the impression to some that perhaps your patronage of him could be considered slightly…unsavory. I only mention this because you have a reputation at the tables, and it would be a shame if your privileges at the Brimstone were revoked for impropriety.”

“You son of a bitch.”

“Oh, come now, Belphagor. I’m not saying it. It’s just that some might. I would of course stand by you if anyone were to cast such aspersions. And I might be in a position to ensure that no one else does, in fact. If you were amenable to my proposal.” He smiled, shuffling cards as Belphagor continued to stare daggers at him. “Please sit.”

A number of patrons were looking their way, prurient curiosity in their unabashed stares as if they were hoping for a scandal. Other players were always hoping to catch him cheating. He sat on the edge of his chair, his entire being seething.

“I really think you’ll find this quite interesting.” Armen dealt once more as if they’d agreed to play another round. “My plan is to gather information on some of the Fletchery’s more prestigious clientele—angelic, to be precise—and turn that information into profit. But I need someone on the inside.”

“The inside?” Belphagor gripped the edge of his seat to keep from leaping up in outrage. “If you expect me to patronize the establishment so you can collect your blackmail, you can forget it.”

“Only to give the appearance of doing so. And they’re very discreet. Which is why I haven’t been able to gather enough information to be lucrative yet. But I’ve enlisted someone who will pose as the object of your attentions, so there’ll be no need for you to compromise your…principles.”

Belphagor snorted with disgust. “Some boy you’ve dragged into this? Now who’s the pedophile?”

“Not a boy.” Armen gave him a look of disdain. “Any more than your own is a boy.” He crooked his finger toward the bar, and a young demon stepped forward out of the shadows. “Meet my young friend, Khai.”

Belphagor sucked in an angry breath and clenched his teeth around the name. “Mikhail.”

The half-angel gave him an exaggerated bow. “At your service, m’lord.” He grinned as he straightened. “Literally.” He licked his lips as if still savoring what he’d swallowed earlier.

“I hardly think anyone will take your ‘friend’ here for a fledgling,” Belphagor sneered. “He’s undoubtedly had his share of patrons who’d know better.”

“Why, sir.” Khai put a hand to his chest in mock dismay. “Are you impugning my virtue?”

“No more than they’d take your boy for one,” Armen interrupted. “Which is why we will use a simple glamour that some of your generation use as a youth tonic.” There was an obvious dig in that, as if Belphagor were past his prime. “It just takes off a couple of years. And that’s all either of them need, isn’t it?”

Belphagor clenched his fists at his sides. “Either of them?”

“Khai. And your boy.” He waved a dismissive hand when Belphagor sprang to his feet. “Don’t bore me with a protracted argument about his virtue, for the love of Heaven, Belphagor. The story of you dragging him away from a party of rambunctious youths having a good time with him in the Devil’s Doorstep after you first took him in is legendary. Even if they’d fletched him that very night, the number who had him at that gathering alone would exceed the experience most decent demons have in a lifetime.” The memory of that night made Belphagor’s skin go cold. A group of rough demons Vasily had run with had gotten him so drunk he was barely conscious when his so-called friends assaulted him.

Sublimating his fury into a deadly calm, Belphagor leaned over the wingcasting table, hands against the rim. “If you so much as hint at disparaging my boy again, Armen, I will slice you open, disembowel you and feed you your own entrails.” He let his mouth curve into a smile that promised he was crazy enough to do it. “Try me.”

Armen had the good sense to look nervous. “No need for threats of violence. I was merely making a point. Both Khai and your Vasily will be perfectly capable of holding their own among the clientele of the Fletchery, and you’ll be there to see that nothing gets out of hand. But I warn you, Belphagor, if you spurn this opportunity, Khai here is prepared to implicate you in the very thing I’m trying to spare you from.”

Khai smiled innocently. “I can describe certain identifying marks on your skin that only someone intimate with those body parts would know. And if I happen to say my acquaintance with them was made some years ago instead of this afternoon, who’s going to question me? I might have had a respectable career in gambling had it not been for the demon who fletched me and put me on the street with no option but to sell myself.”

No one would truly believe Khai’s story, but there were plenty in Raqia who’d be happy to say they did, if only to witness the downfall of the player they blamed for their own poor skills at the game.

“I can just as easily give Khai the glamour I mentioned before he makes his accusation,” said Armen. “I’m offering you a lucrative opportunity. You’ll take forty percent of the payoff for you and your boy.”

Belphagor dug his black-lacquered nails into the rim of the table, resisting the urge to wipe the floor with the smarmy bastard. Armen was a better player than he’d let on. But perhaps something good could come of the enterprise if it managed to cripple the Fletchery. “I’ll take sixty if I’m the one doing all the work.”

“Fifty-fifty split,” Armen countered. Khai turned to glare at him with a hand on his hip. “And each of us to divide our share as we see fit with our apprentices.”

Master of the Game #3
“You.” The Power came into the room and stood in front of Belphagor to intimidate him with his height. “And you might be?”
“My name is Belphagor. I’m a resident of the Brimstone.”

The angel’s eyes narrowed. “I’ve heard about you. Not surprised to find you in the thick of this. You’ll come with me.”

“Just a damned minute,” Vasily protested. The angel tried to hide a nervous flinch.

“It’s all right, Vasya.” Belphagor put a hand on his arm, silently willing him not to show the fire in his eyes. While such elemental demonstrations weren’t exactly against celestial law, most angels, if they believed in it, considered it a kind of sorcery, which wouldn’t help their cause. “If the officer has questions, I’m happy to answer them.” He let the angel take him by the arm and escort him through the door.

In the parlor, soldiers were roughing up the rent boys, demanding proof of age from those who looked younger, and most of the patrons had scattered. Those who remained and those who couldn’t convince the officers of their professed ages were hustled outside, persuaded by fists and clubs to the head and chest.

“Where are you taking them?” Silk demanded as the officer bound Belphagor’s wrists behind his back. Belphagor had to stifle the urge to critique the angel’s knot making. “They’ve broken no laws.”

The angel swung about toward the younger demon and cuffed him. “Unless you want to join them, you little ponce, I suggest you back off.” Behind them, Vasily stood in the doorway, fists at his sides, and Belphagor shook his head in warning, but Vasily wasn’t in submissive mode anymore.

The firespirit barreled into the parlor and swung at the angel, but before his fist even came close, a trio of Powers descended on him and tackled him to the ground. Bound and held firmly by the arresting officer, Belphagor could do nothing but watch as the angels punched and kicked Vasily. Just stop, sweet boy, he thought urgently. Don’t resist. He wanted to say it aloud, but experience had taught him it would only make matters worse. Silk, on the other hand, was shouting at them but staying well back. He’d obviously had run-ins of his own with the law.

After several agonizing moments, Vasily stopped struggling and the angels spat on him and moved out toward the door. The last thing Belphagor saw of him before being yanked outside was Silk throwing himself to his knees beside Vasily in concern. Knowing he was in Silk’s hands would have to suffice.

Explanations and answers were not forthcoming. The demons being arrested were herded through Raqia and across the Acheron River that separated the lively squalor of the Demon District from the stately, pristine streets of Elysium. While angelic mothers watched wide-eyed and gathered their golden-haired children to their skirts to protect them from the dangerous handful of bound rent boys and patrons surrounded by a patrol of imposing Powers, the demons were led up Palace Avenue to the gray stone Conciliary just west of the Winter Palace. At least there was no Kresty Prison here in Heaven. No prisons at all, in fact—just the gallows for those found guilty of violating celestial law.

Belphagor sat on the cold stone floor beside the others, waiting for his turn to be interrogated. One by one they were taken into an adjoining room, from which none of the demons returned. When it was Belphagor’s turn, he went without protest and let the angels shove him onto the hard wooden stool before the table. On the other side sat the officer who’d arrested him.

“So.” The angel looked him up and down. “You’re the infamous Prince of Tricks.”

Belphagor raised an eyebrow. “I had no idea my reputation had made it past the Acheron.”

“Don’t be modest. Every angel with a fondness for gambling knows of your reputation.”

Belphagor shrugged. He had no idea what angels knew about him. “I thought I was here to refute your charge of trafficking in underage sex.”

The angel clasped his fingers together on the tabletop. “You own the Stone Horse.”

“I do.”

“And you own the demon they call Silk.”

“I don’t own him. He’s a free demon. He works for me. And that’s his name.”

“You deny that you purchased him from his former owner at the Fletchery?”

Belphagor’s gaze hardened. The Fletchery had been an actual underage brothel operating not only in Raqia but selling its wares to the world of Man once they’d been “fletched”—a crass term for giving a young celestial his metaphorical wings. “I ransomed Silk from the peddler he was sold to after I exposed the Fletchery and had it shut down. But I did not purchase him.”

“And what about the twelve boys who live with this Silk? Right next door to your perverse house of ill repute.”

The Lost Boys were another matter. They’d been the last of the Fletchery’s “unsullied merchandise”. When Belphagor had tracked them down, sold to a gangster in the world of Man to be offloaded to clients who relished not only molesting children but violating what they believed to be angels, he’d been compelled to free them and bring them back to Raqia where they belonged. That they were under his guardianship was certainly true, but by celestial law, a male demon could not foster demonic children. It was considered unsavory. Yet owning them outright was an unquestionable privilege of any demon who could afford to buy them.

The angel was still waiting. “Do you deny you own these youths?”

“Legally,” said Belphagor thinly.


“Legally, I am their owner, yes. But they have nothing to do with the Stone Horse or any other trade.” This wasn’t, strictly speaking, true. But the trade he was training them in involved more pedestrian crime—such as any respectable demon might deal in. He was teaching them the fine art of picking pockets, cutting purses, and gathering useful information.

The angel lifted his hands from a pile of papers stacked neatly beneath them on the table and picked up one of the vellum sheets. “And these boys arrested with you… None of them are your underage slaves, then? You aren’t pimping them out to the perverted lot who frequent your establishment?”

Skin prickling with needles of anger, Belphagor shot to his feet but was swiftly pushed back onto the stool by the guard who’d brought him in. “My boys are not slaves,” he growled. “And they are not working at the Horse.”

“Your ‘boys’.” The angel’s lip curled with distaste. “Then you merely partake of them yourself. Not a crime, of course, so you needn’t prevaricate.”

“I do not partake of them. I am their patron. In the strict, financial sense of the term. And I don’t appreciate your vile accusations.” Beside him, the guard cuffed him without warning, and Belphagor nearly tumbled from the stool without his arms free for balance.

“You are here,” said the angel with careful control, “because you are suspected of illicit dealings. You will suffer any and all accusations I put forth, and you will answer my questions without elaboration unless I ask for it.” He stacked the papers once more in front of him. “To reiterate, you assert that you own the establishment known as the Stone Horse, you employ the demon known as Silk—for whom you paid a ‘ransom’ but did not purchase—as its proprietor, you own twelve underage demons who are not employed as whores at your perversion of a brothel, though they reside next door to it with its proprietor, and none of the demons who are in your employ as whores are under the age of consent decreed by celestial law.”

Belphagor took in a steady breath and exhaled. Put together, it certainly sounded suspicious. But the angel had merely enumerated the facts he’d confirmed. “That’s correct.”

“And how many of these have ties to the Union of Liberation?”

“I beg your pardon?” He’d missed a sharp turn of the angel’s mental carriage somewhere.

“Don’t pretend not to understand me. You were acquainted with several members of that treasonous society before Duke Elyon of the House of Arcadia met his untimely end at the gallows—and his fellow Unionists along with him. And you maintain at the present time an association with a certain officer who recanted his membership before the society was exposed. In fact, my sources tell me this officer stood for you as your second in a recent unlawfully conducted duel.”

Belphagor set his lips together in a tight line. There was no way he could answer this accusation without implicating his sole friend among the Host.

His interrogator obviously knew it and didn’t wait for him to confirm the statement. “Among those detained with you this evening was a small faction of Unionist sympathizers—liberationists, to be more precise, as that unlawful association is no more. These angels have confessed to using your establishment as cover for their meetings with Fallen agitators posing as whores.”

“What?” Belphagor leaned forward on the stool, planting his feet firmly on the ground, making the guard behind him drop a firm grip on his shoulder.

“Interesting.” The angel observed him. “You seem surprised. Your boy Silk is rumored to be arranging these liaisons.” He lifted his brows. “And that surprises you as well.”

Could Silk actually…? “That’s preposterous. Silk is no revolutionary.”

“More than one brought in this evening attested to it.”

Belphagor dismissed the idea with a snort of derision, but the angel remained unmoved. He considered his interrogator. “If this is about Unionists and agitators, why all the insinuations about underage pandering?”

The angel smiled. “Merely to remind you that you are in a precarious position, and that it would behoove you to cooperate with the newly established Elysian Office of the Peace in our investigation, lest that position tip in a direction you will not like.”

Blackmail. Again. Fabulous.

Author Bio:
Jane Kindred is the author of epic fantasy series The House of Arkhangel’sk, Demons of Elysium, and Looking Glass Gods. She spent her formative years ruining her eyes reading romance novels in the Tucson sun and watching Star Trek marathons in the dark. She now writes to the sound of San Francisco foghorns while two cats slowly but surely edge her off the side of the bed.


Prince of Tricks #1

King of Thieves #2

Master of the Game #3

Paint the Sky Audio by Lily G Blunt

Title: Paint the Sky
Author: Lily G Blunt
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Release Date: September 3, 2015
Language: English
Length: 6 hours and 4 minutes(Unabridged)
A love of art... A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment. Starry, starry night... Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest... and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas. But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads. Hold tight to your dreams... Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.

Vinnie led me across the room, pulling me by the shirt. “Lie back on the sofa for me and I'll paint you.” As if in a dream, I settled my head against one arm of the sofa, my legs dangling over the other end, scarcely breathing now. Vinnie knelt on the floor beside me with an open pot of paint in his hand. Teasingly, he dipped his index finger into the dark blue paint as if it were cream he would lick off. His finger connected with my skin and he made short strokes across my chest, the coldness of the paint making me shiver. Mesmerised by the closeness of his beautiful face, the view of the night sky through the window, and the picture forming upon my chest, I watched as dab after dab and stroke after stroke he built up a mix of shades, until a dark night sky with the moon and stars were there to be seen—a masterpiece, drying on the warmth of my blazing skin, a transient thing of beauty. His fingers skimmed my skin causing gooseflesh to ripple in waves down my arms and thighs. My nipples pebbled in response to his touch. And when he was done, his lips met mine in a languid kiss; how our first kiss should have been—sweet, innocent, and full of promise. He pulled away, smiling down at me.

This was the beginning of something special.

Author Bio:
Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance and erotica. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page—there never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!

Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon. She later published short stories with Torquere Press and Wayward Ink Publishing. Lily is excited about joining Pride Publishing for her upcoming story, The Handyman Can.

Easily distracted from her writing, Lily makes videos using clips from gay-themed movies and posts gorgeous pictures of men kissing or making out on her tumblr and Facebook pages. Lily is also an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all. She was recently a steward for Pride in London.

Lily lives in central England with her rather bemused husband and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog called Barney.

About the Narrator
Joel Leslie was a pleasure to work with throughout.
I love his narration of my story and the way he brought the various characters to life.
Check out his others works below.


Joel Leslie

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If you sign up to Audible for at least two months and Paint the Sky
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The author is offering a choice of either a signed paperback copy of Paint the Sky,
an A5 or A6 notebook with a Paint the Sky cover to three lucky winners.
To enter the giveaway please comment on the post on Lily G Blunt's blog
saying which of the three gifts you would prefer.
Three winners will be randomly chosen on 3rd October when the
Paint the Sky Audiobook Blog Tour has finished.

Click Here for Giveaway