Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The cover and buy details can be seen here.
Ancient Krete, 1562 B.C.
Sarmatia is a trainer for the Bull Rite, the dangerous, glamorous ceremony of bull-leaping that gave a young Kretan entry into adulthood. Fearn is healer from the distant northern Isle of Stones summoned for his skills to the sick-bed of Minos, the Kretan king. They meet on the dusty flagstones of the palace courtyard and both save a life.
A year passes. They are betrothed, but Fearn has returned home and is chosen king of his small northern country. As king, master of storms, he cannot return to Krete. Fearn writes to Sarmatia releasing her from her vows - but is this what they really want?
Sarmatia leaves Krete to search for Fearn. Many months and life-and-death adventures later, she is reunited with him. She and Fearn are still deeply in love but there is an unknown enemy working against them, one who will stop at nothing, even murder.
Krete, c.1562 BC. Summer.
Sarmatia spun away and was gone, somersaulting over her hands and landing with a soft clash of gold ankle bells. Their meeting of eyes had lasted no more than a breath, yet it kept returning to haunt her as the music shrilled to a climax and the piebald bull was let into the court. Even as the flute players left and the Bull Rite began, her gaze was drawn to the back of the courtyard.
Three of the seven had completed their Passage and two were gone: the fourth initiate should have been ready. As the bull came to a jolting stop at one end of the court, pawed restively and licked the painted flags, Sarmatia motioned to a creamy-skinned, gray-eyed girl. The youngster backed up a step. The bull raised its head, its horn scraping against a pillar. The girl blanched and looked wildly about, ready to run. In three strides Sarmatia made up the space between them and gripped her arm. Unseen by the families, she pressed the flat of her dagger into the initiate's side. Cruel to be kind, she threatened.
'This or the bull if you show your back, Pero!' she whispered, turning the blade for the girl to feel its edge. 'The only way out is through the horns.' Whatever Sarmatia's private disgust and unease, custom and the crowd demanded it. They would not forgive Pero if she failed.
'I can't!' Pero was shaking and near tears. A low murmur ran around the watching crowd like a wind through barley: the mob and the bull would not wait much longer. Pierced by pity, Sarmatia squeezed the girl's thin shoulder. 'Do you want to be a child all your life?' she asked gently.
'Sarmatia, I can't! Those horns, they're like knives, and the bull— Oh, Mother!' Pero's voice cracked. 'It's looking for me!' The bull had trotted out of the shadows at the back of the courtyard.
Sarmatia stepped in front of Pero, shielding the girl. 'Look, it's nothing.' She ran forward, clapping her hands.
The bull halted and its head slewed round towards them, a brown forelock covering one eye. 'To me!' she shouted.
The beast dropped its great horns. She heard the people applaud. With an explosion of dust the bull charged. She felt its hot, closed mind surrounding her. For an instant skill deserted her. She remembered she was too old for the Bull Rite. A blaze of gold spilled from the bull's horns, instinct returned and with it sureness. She caught the horns and let herself rise. Time and the horizon fell back, she could see the blue vault of heaven, the red-mouthed 'O' of the crowd, a flash of red-gold hair as Fearn turned his head, following her descent. Her feet touched the bony rump of the bull, she tucked in her arms and somersaulted off, running forward as she landed.
Behind her the beast gave a sulky grunt, swept this way and that with its horns and lashed its tail. Pero worked her way into its sight, swaying her hips to keep quick and supple. The piebald ambled off in the opposite direction then suddenly spun about and bore down on the girl in another burst of speed. Sarmatia moved to cover Pero's tumble and signalled to the remaining initiates to do the same. She heard the girl seize the bull's horns, with a great smack on each palm, and saw her tossed, arching like a dolphin in mid-air and rising clear of the deadly gilded horns. The time of peril would be when the girl landed. If Pero caught an ankle or winded herself, Sarmatia knew she would have to be in quickly to distract the beast.
There was a shower of dark hair and Pero touched earth to a roar from her family. Sarmatia grabbed her arm and pulled her clear, but was not fast enough: already the bull had skidded round. Too late, Sarmatia realized what the beast had seen. A child had kicked a hole in the fencing and was running out into the turbid afternoon light. No time to draw the bull off— all she could hope for was to reach the boy first.
Sprinting, her insides turning to water, Sarmatia rushed for the child. As her hands closed round his tiny—so tiny!—body and her cheek grazed the stones she thought, with terrible clarity: I promised they would be safe. I've failed.
For a second, a dark breathing shadow hung over her. Then came pain, the slow tearing punch of the horn.
* * * *
She came awake suddenly, crying out. Firm hands kept her flat against the stones.
'Peace, Kretan,' said the man crouched beside her, pressing a cloth onto the spurting wound in her side. 'There's nothing to fear.' In the sun his hair framed his broad-featured face like a nimbus, yet there was darkness behind him. The bull was still free in the courtyard.
Sarmatia wet her lips with her tongue. 'The child?'
Fearn jerked his head to one side. 'Ramose has taken his son. He's safe.' The initiates were also gone, the crowd hanging back, uncertain what to do.
They were alone in the court, except for the bull. Fearn pressed on her side again then withdrew the cloth. A dark spiral of blood pooled under Sarmatia's ribs; blood no longer pumped from the wound. She scarcely felt it as he bound the gash with a bandage made from his tunic. 'You must leave, Sir, the bull—'
She broke off, eyes widening, and Fearn whipped round. Ready to gore, the bull was lowering its huge head, its face so close that its breath stirred the bristles of Fearn's beard. Fearn threw up an arm to fend off the horns and drove a fist into the face of the beast. 'Get back!' He hit the creature a second time. 'Learn your lesson!'
The bull snorted and the healer shifted, covering Sarmatia completely with his body. He stamped the stones and shouted at the beast. ‘Go on! Go on!’
As Fearn's boot hammered the flags, there came the rumble of a distant storm, like the muffled roar of a lion. The beast started back and with a bellow turned tail and ran.
Best wishes, Lindsay
[Image of bull-leaping fresco from Wikimedia Commons.]
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Eagle and Crew were once more than lovers. They were bond mates, connected not just by a heart bond, but by a strong psychic bond that allowed them to communicate telepathically. While an older Eagle was ready for the committment of their bonding ceremony, Crew was not. Eagle pushed. They fought. Crew left, heading for the stars he longed to explore. Five years later Crew has returned and is now ready to make his committment to Eagle permanent with the bonding ceremony. But will a blazing hot encounter lead to the homecoming Crew has been dreaming about, or does Eagle have revenge on his mind?
Stepping back a bit but still keeping his arm around the younger man’s shoulders, Eagle began walking them towards the wide open doors at the other end of the building. Outside Crew could see twinkling stars in shades of aqua, pink and blue, as well as the pink and purple shrouded Oberion Nebula that filled a quarter of his world’s night sky. “Yes, where else would I live?”
“Well, I just thought that maybe…” Crew let his words trail off.
“That I would want to move so I could forget you?” Eagle finished for him. Then he looked down into Crew’s peridot colored eyes and said, “Crew, I never want to forget you. Not then and not now.”
Guilt sleeted through Crew; he had wanted to forget Eagle. He had in fact done everything he could to forget the man, even going so far as to purchase a male prostitute who was said to know some very interesting sexual techniques. In the end it hadn’t mattered, he hadn’t been able to bear even the touch of the man’s fingers against his hand. “I tried to forget you.” He whispered, his eyes lowered in shame.
“I know, I felt it when you tried to…” This time it was Eagle’s turn to let his voice trail off into nothingness.
“Nothing happened. I couldn’t even bear for him to so much as touch my hand. I ended up paying him, and sending him on his way.” Crew looked up into the older man’s face, his eyes earnest.
“Yes, I know. I saw it through your eyes.” This was said quietly and Eagle’s fingers tightened almost to the point of pain on Crew’s shoulder before they loosened and Eagle let out a sigh. “The important thing is you’re home.”
“Yes.” It was strange. Eagle wasn’t asking him if he was planning on staying or putting any pressure on him to stay. He seemed like he wanted to bond with him again, but he wasn’t trying to pressure him into a lifetime commitment as he had five years before. Of course that could be due to the fact that it had been five years since they’d last seen each other, and they had only been in each other’s presence for fifteen minutes or so. It could also be because the man wanted some kind of revenge. Still the behavior was so unlike Eagle, that Crew didn’t know what to make of it.
When they reached the tall building that housed Eagle’s apartment déjà vu overwhelmed Crew as he remembered the last time he had been here. They’d fought over the commitment ceremony or rather Crew’s unwillingness to have one until after he’d seen something of the universe. His last memory had been of Eagle standing at the glass front door watching him with pain-filled eyes as he walked away heading to the spaceport and his newly purchased ship. His final shouted words to Eagle had been, “Fuck you! I don’t need this shit! If you can’t accept me as I am, accept my dreams then you don’t deserve me!” The memory reminded him of what a hothead he’d been at twenty-one. He liked to think that five years had mellowed him somewhat, but only time would tell if that was true with regards to his relationship with Eagle. They had always set sparks off of each other, and not just in bed.
The elevator ride was over in seconds, and the hallways they traveled through though decorated differently in greens this time instead of blues were familiar as was the door to Eagle’s apartment. Unlike in their past doors could now be any shape at all from rectangular to triangular to round. Eagle had always liked his doors round, a throw back to his Native American ancestry back on their mother world, Earth.
“Why don’t you unlock the door.”
Crew threw Eagle a disbelieving look, before asking incredulously. “You mean my retina scan is still in there?”
“Yes.” Eagle stroked one long brown finger down the side of his face. “I knew you would come back home eventually.” He dropped his hand and shrugged one shoulder.
(c) Copyright 2009 by Regina Paul. All Rights Reserved.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
First, the release of Reckless Liaisons, my first new novel in over two years.
Yesterday, I learned that "Caging Kat" won the 2009 FANTASM Award for Best Overall Speculative Romance (Short Story). Additionally, my wonderful bffs Stella and Audra Price won THREE FANTASMS.
And today I discovered that Reckless Liaisons is a Recommended Read at FAR. Sandie says:
"Reckless Liaisons by Kayleigh Jamison is sure to be a favorite with every Regency reader... Ms. Jamison delivers a story that will intrigue and captivate you. Julia and Sebastian's love story sweeps you along from the halls of his stately manor to the theaters of London. The description in each scene carries you back in time to Regency London to horse drawn carriages on cobblestone streets and debutante balls, where the slightest misadventure could ruin a young lady's reputation forever. This is a fantastic read and one that you will want to revisit time and again."
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Black Lyon Publishing
(Print is available through most major retailers online, and in select bookstores – if yours doesn’t have it, ask!)
Was she a second chance at love—
or his golden opportunity for revenge?
Sebastian Cade, reclusive Duke of Rutland, has gone to great lengths to withdraw from the London society he’s come to despise. Still reeling from betrayal and tragedy, he finds himself powerfully attracted to his lovely new raven-haired ward—so much so that he begins to question the last five years of his life.
When Julia Deveraux awakens in the Duke’s rose garden, the memories flood back. A betrothal she detests. The great black horse stolen from her father. Her near escape … Now under Sebastian’s care, she sees the rumors of his disfigurement are far from true. But will her secret connection to his sworn enemy tear them apart before love brings them together?
"Kayleigh Jamison has written a Regency romance that is titillating and amusing, fast-paced and well-crafted, luscious and seductive all at once. The characters and story will quickly pull you in and leave you wanting more as you turn each page. The author has written a book that has the reader laughing one moment, and feeling hot and bothered the next. I will eagerly be looking for Ms. Jamison's next book."
Night Owl Romance
"Good read! RECKLESS LIAISONS is a well-constructed story with each character having their own voice and distinctive personality. It is a historical account of London society filled with Dukes, Earls and debutantes that makes you wish you too were a Lady or Gent. Never a dull moment, this story is engaging with its well constructed climaxes and conversational tone. This intriguing story involves all my favorites: gentlemen, galas, power, deceit, handsome faces and of course romance."
Coffee Time Romance