Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Wednesday Briefs: Denied Chapter 63

Danie’s invasion into my brain was neither painless nor left me unaware of his foreign presence. Unlike the link with Captain, this wasn’t welcome. I couldn’t stop it, just like all those other times. Like a vid that I couldn’t stop watching, my past flashed through my mind. I knew Danie was in there, seeing it too, and that pissed me off.

But then something new happened. When my anger flared, my mind latched onto Danie’s. The connection between us went both ways, and as he saw my past, I saw his. The history Freska had mentioned before he was officially switched on was horrific to experience. I’d tried to shut down my feelings, to become a robot doing only what they ordered me to do, but I’d done that on my own to survive.

Danie hadn’t had a consciousness, if that’s what was what made an A.I. actually become an artificial intelligence that was aware and everything. He’d been a shell that had basic commands and functions, and the beings around him treated him as such.

But that kernel inside him had already been growing, unbeknownst to them, so it was a true form of Hell. Or maybe that was just because I knew he was in there as they did… things to him.

My throat burned with the scream that burst out of me when Danie’s connection was yanked out of the port’s in my neck. I collapsed to my knees, one hand against the wall, and vomited.

Those memories weren’t mine, and I didn’t want them. My hand shook, and I panted, desperately trying to blink through the flood of tears streaming down my face and obscuring my vision.

“—shouldn’t kill you now?”

“I wasn’t trying to hurt him.”

“You did. He didn’t do anything to you. Why did you attack him?”

“It wasn’t an attack. I was attempting to connect so he would know the truth. So you would know the truth.”

I looked up. Captain had a weapon drawn and pointed at Danie. Freska was standing in the corridor staring at us with her mouth open and her eyes wide.

“You were inside my head, my memories,” I rasped. I shook, disgusted by the mess at my feet. I lurched upright.

Captain caught me as I stumbled, the hand holding the weapon on Danie not even wavering.

“The bond goes both ways; I wasn’t trying to read your memories and past, but there was some crossover that was unavoidable. I am sorry.” Danie looked fine, not even sick, and that pissed me off.

“How could you do that to me?” I’d never really thought the ports would make me vulnerable; not like that, not here. I put a hand over them.

Danie cocked his head. “You don’t trust me. You think I’m going to do something to hurt you, or this ship, or the mission against the Elites. Don’t think I didn’t catch the subtext of your body language and comments.”

Captain narrowed his eyes. “And this attack was your way to make us change our minds?”

“It wasn’t an attack, I already said that.” Danie turned toward Freska, and Captain’s arm lifted slightly. “Tell them I wouldn’t do that.”

“Danie, stay still and stop moving for space’s sake. Captain, I know you are scared because Kohen was scared. Please stay calm.” Freska spoke softly, and she didn’t move toward us. “But he’s okay. Danie wasn’t trying to hurt him. Linking is just shocking at first and hard to control.”

“I would never hurt Kohen. He’s like… family. The closest I may ever have.” Danie shook his head. “I just wanted him to understand.”

“I know, Danie, I know. Just stay still, okay?”

“Kohen, think back over the time you were with Danie. You were experiencing either your memories or his, right? There are no blank spaces or times?”

“What does that mean?” It’d been like a flood of images from both of us. Blank spaces and times? “Nothing felt blank.”

“Your brain is comprised of partial electronic parts. Those times you recall from your past being fuzzy, or blank, that you said you went away in? Those were times they were programming you. I know you have fears that Danie might have done something like that to me or you. But there are no blank spots in my time with him, which I can prove if I have to do a download, and I’m sure if you review what just happened, you’ll realize you don’t either. He didn’t do anything to you; he was just trying to share with you.”

“I can’t…” I shook my head. It was starting to throb, and my mouth tasted foul. “I want to go back to our quarters.”

“Okay, Kohen, okay.” Captain stroked his hand up and down my arm, holding me close. “Kohen, hit my communicator please.” I did what he asked, not caring to ask why. “Deke, I need you.”

“Captain!” Freska finally took a step inside the observation room.

“No. This might have been an attempt to get us to trust him, but it was a fail. I won’t harm him, but he won’t have a chance to do it again. He will be kept away from Kohen.”

Deke jogged into the room, his weapon also out and at the ready. “What is it, Captain?”

“Take Danie and Freska to their quarters, please. They are to stay there until further notice.”

“Captain Querry, our mission….”

“No, Freska. I don’t want to hear it. Not from you.” He waited for Deke to usher Danie and Freska out, then he finally put his weapon away. Cupping my face, Captain stroked my cheeks. “Are you okay?” He studied my face, his gaze drilling into me.

I put my hands over his. “I don’t know.” My head ached. “Can we go lay down?”
“Yes, of course.” Captain led me to our quarters, stripped me, and cradled me against his body in the bed. He stroked my forehead. “Try to relax.” 

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Wednesday Briefs: Denied Chapter 62

Danie approached me. I put down my fork, suddenly not as hungry as I’d been before. “Hello,” the A.I. said.

I nodded to him briefly, chewing the bite in my mouth. “Hello,” I said politely when I could finally swallow. I had to wash it down, and still it felt like a lump stuck in my throat. “What are you doing here?” That came out harsher than I intended.

“Just getting something to eat.” Danie shrugged and glanced away. “Sorry I bothered you.”

“No, I’m sorry.” I was being rude. “I didn’t mean to say it that way. I just was wondering why you were in the com if you’re an A.I. and stuff.”

“Still housed in a human body,” he said. He rubbed his belly. “It gets hungry.”

“Oh. Well, sit down.” I didn’t actually want him to sit down with me, but where else was he gonna sit? He didn’t know anyone else. Could an A.I. be uncomfortable in social situations? I was, but I knew enough of the crew to nod and say hello, mostly because of my work with Luca and Priella. Captain didn’t have to hold my hand the whole time.

I picked at my meal while Danie ate methodically. When his plate was empty, he set down his silverware and let out a breath. “That was interesting. Food flavors are so different.”

“They are. I remember some things, from before. Not much because I grew up on a really poor planet. We didn’t have much.”

“You remember growing up?” Danie leaned forward. “What was that like?”

“Um,” I said, scrunching my forehead. “Like anything else I guess.” How did someone explain growing up? “I was small, then I wasn’t? I was free, then my parents sold me? I rubbed my arms. “The memories aren’t great. I don’t like to think about it.”

“Oh, I see. I do not know how old this body is, if it grew up or not. The memories I have start when my mind came online, though Freska found things from before that time. I was able to access them once she did.”

And that was part of what freaked me out. What if there was more she hadn’t accessed? What if he’d been online longer than we knew?

What if Danie wasn’t the victim Freska thought he was, and he was a danger to the crew, to Captain?

“That would be disturbing. I know remembering my past took time. Be patient. Maybe look up meditation techniques. Those helped me.” I pushed away who’d helped me with them and focused on the good they actually did. “There are some good vids that explain the process.”

“You won’t teach me?”

I blinked, startled. “You want me to?”

“Do you do this meditation?”


“We are a lot alike, Freska says. She said I should try to get to know you. That you could help me.” Danie cocked his head. “But you don’t seem like you wish to.”

Maybe honesty was the best policy. “I don’t know if we can trust you. You are an unknown. I worry about what they might have done to me, programming and changing with my brain. You have even more parts that could be used against us.”

“I wouldn’t hurt Freska,” Danie said.

Uh-huh. I raised an eyebrow. “Just Freska?”

Danie rubbed his chest. “She’s… she’s in here. I don’t know how to explain it. When I think about it, about anything happening to her, it changes. My heart speeds up and my breath speeds up. I have a physiological response to a mental thought. It is strange.”

“That’s called nerves. Emotion.” So apparently he did have some, but he was even more disconnected from his than I was. “Why did you stare at Captain and me before?”

“You share a signature. All beings have one, and there are infinitesimally small changes to each one making them unique. But yours are so similar, I cannot find any differences. You are like one being with two forms, even when it’s clear you are not one being. It is a puzzle.”

And computers loved puzzles. Maybe there wasn’t something bad behind the way Danie stared at Captain. Maybe he wasn’t a spy.


“Let’s go for a walk.” I needed to move after eating. We took care of our dishes, ducking past a few crew members coming in to eat just as we were leaving.

“Hey, Kohen. Captain said he’d be off shift soon.” One of the crew must have just come from the bridge.

“Oh, um, thanks.” I couldn’t remember their name, but the bristly alien didn’t seem to notice and kept walking with the others after it delivered the message.

“Do you need to leave?” Danie asked.

“No. I’m fine.” Captain had left me to go confer with the crew for all the stops we needed to finish making. We’d already made two, taking on new gear and supplies. The next stop was apparently for modifications to the ship, which had Freska on edge and needing his reassurance. Before he left, we’d been very close, and the synthgar had left its place and wallowed in our mixed essences, touching both our skin as Captain held me close.

Somehow, our bond just kept growing stronger. Sometimes I thought I caught a flash of what he was thinking, feeling, even when we were apart.

“Can we stop here? I like to look out,” Danie said when we came to an alcove with a viewport.

“Sure.” It was quiet, the corridor not widely used between shift changes. “What do you and Freska think I can do to help you?”

“Well, this, for starters.” Danie’s hands clamped down on my shoulders, and one of his fingers slid open, revealing parts just like Freska’s. The tendrils snaked from his fingertips to the ports on the back of my skull before I could shout, piercing my bone and entering the brain to take control.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wednesday Briefs: Denied Chapter 61

“What did Kohen do to save the day now?” Deke asked. He raised one eyebrow when I sputtered out an objection. “Seriously, kid, you keep noticing things that none of us even begin to think of or notice. And that’s a good thing, by the way, not a complaint. We’d probably still be rescuing,” his tone made it clear exactly what he thought of what they’d been doing and how he felt about how they’d been used, “those victims just for them to be sent back into those nightmares.”

“But now they aren’t even getting to know a moment of freedom,” Kohen said. “And you don’t know that every single one was recaptured. You could have saved some.”

“My cousin, give up profit? Unlikely,” Captain said. “But without you, we never would’ve found out how deep the corruption went. We wouldn’t have this ship and what Freska found.”

Deke leaned forward. “I missed out on some really good stuff, didn’t I?”

Captain filled him in, and Deke whistled. He sat back in the chair, his face a blank for long moments. “That’s just… so unbelievable.”

“It’s true, though, you can believe me.” Captain tapped the map on the table. “And, somehow, their plan for Danie and Kohen facts right into this pattern here.”

“How did you recognize it?” Deke asked.

“It’s burned in, up here.” I tapped my head.

“Where? Under your hair?” Deke frowned. “I don’t remember you having any scars there.”

“Not literally.” I rolled my eyes. “I meant in my head. The scientists had this pattern on their devices, like it powered them. Or it’s like… holy or something. Scientists don’t worship anything, but this thing was all over. I remember seeing it on their tablets when they’d strap me down and mess with my head. The screens had the same pattern, and a light would flash going from one end to the other. Over and over, it’d pass from here to here.” I traced my finger along the map.

“We never tried to figure out who had been taken the longest or if they’d only been in the one place,” Deke said. “The rescued members weren’t questioned since the Council assured us that would happen back on Central where they had counselors ready. You’re the only one we’ve really had a lot of contact with and spoken with in depth.”

“Should have known better,” Captain muttered.

I reached out and squeezed his arm. “It’s not your fault. You would have fixed it, if you knew. You’re trying to fix it now.”

“So stop your whining.” Deke nudged Captain and snickered when he growled.

“I will have your own men clap you in restraints and set a torture device on more than tingle, you bastard.” Captain glared at Deke. “Go make yourself useful. Gather all the star charts you can find. I have a feeling these aren’t power symbols.”

“Or maybe they’re both. A symbol that conveys power and also denotes a location. Both a calling card and a map.”

I studied the jagged edges of the symbol. It was like a pointed star with tips to the edges, a burst. Were these all stations and planets where they’d held people? Where they were still holding more captives, aliens they were using for experiments, now that they’d created Danie?

And just what was at the center of that symbol? It’d been a brightly pulsing point before. Now it was a small, 3D orb. A planet? A sun with a solar system? A station or base of operations? I had no clue.

What I wasn’t surprised by was the way Captain and Deke zeroed in on it either. “We’ve been considering going after the Elites, the rumors of them on Central. But it’s too dangerous to go back there. I was afraid this map would lead us there,” Captain said. “That the pattern would centralize over it.”

“But this is farther out. Several dozen light-years from the hub of occupied space. Not quite the boonies of the wilds and unknown planets, but not far off from that either.” Deke grabbed the map’s holo projection and enhanced it off the vid screen. “Huh. Star system. Looks like we have several planets here that could be viable as a base for beings if they follow basic mammalian traits.”

“Most spacegoing species do,” I said primly. I had been doing my studies after my rescue, learning all I could about every race and species. Those who were more like the old Earth species that needed special climates, like extreme heat, cold, or even those who needed moisture or had to avoid it too much were more likely to stay on a planet. Space was just too harsh.

“So what now?” Deke asked.

“Now we do a few trades, get equipped, get as much information as Kohen remembers and Danie and Freska can tell us before we take this to them. Elites or not, all beings can die when they threaten others.” A light entered Captain’s eyes and he spoke through a clenched jaw. An implacable aura of righteous anger surrounded him. “And clearly they have forgotten that.”

A few hours later Freska, along with the other heads of the various departments, had been briefed. Aparoe muttered about supplies instantly and demanded Captain make stops, which he readily agreed to. Deke had a list as well. Several others around the table in the conference room promised to make notes of what they’d need or want.

When they all left, they had straight backs and strode off with a purpose. With a start, I realized I was watching soldiers gird for battle; these were not some random space traders or flunkies used by the Council, even if they’d been made into that role by giving up after the war had battered them.

Well, now they had plans to batter back.
With one gigantic ass ram. That ordinance Deke asked for was not legal on any system Kohen had ever heard of. 

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

eBook Spotlight: Nothing Special VI by A.E. Via

A.E. Via is a master at creating hot men with hearts of gold who can tear up the streets and sex up the sheets so no one better get between them and their men! 
Author A.E. Via
Title:  Nothing Special VI (SWAT Edition)
His Hart's Command

Series: Nothing Special Book Six

Edited by: Sue Laybourn
Cover Artist – Jay Aheer

Official Release Date: November 30, 2018

Amazon Link: https://goo.gl/UyXtTK


If you haven't read the Nothing Special series, you are definitely missing out. God and Day are something way more than special, they are AMAZING. So are the other men featured in the books in this series and the spin off series that go along with it. 

I had a feeling, when Hart was first introduced, that we'd be seeing more of him somewhere. He had "the look" of a bearded, sexy man who fills out his uniform oh so well, just like all the hotties on God and Day's team, but we have the added bonus of Hart being SWAT and commanding his own team. Countering all that manly awesomeness is a Hart (pun intended) just dying for a good snuggle and love. 

Enter Free, a man of mystery with a background that makes him leery of large men. But even he can't resist Hart's obvious charms. But nothing is ever easy, and overcoming personal battles and public enemies in the war on crime leads to an uncertain life. Sometimes you have to grab onto the good and hold on tight... or risk losing it. 

My recommendation? Read all the words. A lot. *coughs* This is my fifth read through of the entire series and spin offs and I might have read Green and Rux's story a few dozen more times. Free & Hart's story is definitely up for a reread!  This series is OH SO GOOD, if you haven't read it yet, you are definitely missing out on something special.


Lennox Freeman (Free) is one of the best hackers in the world which has caused him to spend most of his life on the run. Never able to put down roots, he couldn’t trust anyone not to take advantage of him, even his own family. If it wasn’t for his best friend, Tech, shielding him, Free’s father would’ve sold him and his skills to the highest bidding crime family when he was still a student at MIT. Free owed Tech his life; so when his friend called for him to come to Atlanta to work with him, he couldn’t say no. However, he wasn’t expecting the overprotective group of detectives that made up Atlanta PD’s most notorious task force. And he certainly wasn’t prepared for the large-and-in-charge SWAT Captain that was responsible for their safety.

Ivan Hart has lived and bled one creed all of his life: To Serve and Protect. His intense focus and determination in law enforcement has led him to finally commanding his own team. He’d worked hard to put together a squad of badasses capable of backing up a very dangerous team of detectives. Being God and Day’s last line of defense came with a lot of responsibility that he took very seriously.

After his divorce was final Hart turned right around and remarried his job. He had his good friends there in the office with him every day, so it was easier to ignore the few quiet hours he spent at home alone each night. He’d settled well into his new routine and was comfortable with it. Then God decided to disrupt everything by hiring another tech specialist for his department. A man whose brains, trendy looks, and voice would leave Hart tongue-tied and captivated at their first introduction.

Free quickly awakens a passion in Hart that he long thought was dead. An attraction he didn’t know existed. He couldn’t fathom that the sexy cyber genius could be interested in an over-sized, big-bearded brute that served criminals the bottom line for a living. No matter what his best friend, God said.

A future with Hart could be potentially dangerous and often times full of terrifyingly close calls; but little did he know that so could falling for the most hunted hacker in the world. All Lennox Freeman wants in life is security, love and protection… Hart had all that to give and more.

This novel is a part of a series and contains previously mentioned characters, but CAN BE read as a standalone. No cliffhangers.

Exclusive Excerpt

Free closed the blinds in his trailer and made sure he turned off his electric kettle. He never liked the smell of burnt tea when he returned home. The small, mobile trailer was a tight fit for him and all his equipment, but it belonged to him and he could move at the drop of a dime if he needed. With his laptop bag strapped across his back, he locked up his belongings and jogged down the couple of steps to his scooter. Tech and Steele usually rode together, only offering Free a ride if the weather was bad. Otherwise, he liked to take his bike.
He was feeling excited about today. He’d made it clear to Hart last night that he hoped to see him at work. He wondered if he should venture up to the third floor for lunch and happen by his office, or would Hart come down and make one of his regular visits to “check in”? They had a strategy meeting at nine that would probably last most of the day, but there were always breaks. He parked his scooter in the usual spot, a broad grin quickly spreading when he saw Hart’s bike already in his designated space. He had a mind to go inside the building and head straight for the elevators to take him to SWAT Command, but he refrained and went in the direction he was supposed to.

Instead of succumbing to his wants, he teased himself. Hart could pop in at any time throughout the day, and he knew the anticipation was going to drive him wild.


A.E. (Adrienne) Via has been a best-selling author in gay romance for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this beautiful genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple of great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to me. Writing.

A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, I do like to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and explore with different tropes, but I never push myself into a whole other genre. I’m head over heels for gay romance and I have tons of more hot stories to tell.
Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! https://goo.gl/GbfCyk or Go to A.E. Via’s PRETTILY POLISHED NEW official website http://authoraevia.com  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com
A.E. Amazon Author Pagehttps://goo.gl/AVpOeJ
A.E. Newsletter: https://goo.gl/hrfifS
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wednesday Briefs: Denied Chapter 60

“You need to rest,” I told Captain. He had gained new lines on his face in just the last few meetings the crew had. Worse, for all the worry and talk, no decisions had been made. The course laid in was completely random; it was drawn out to take advantage of some sources of raw, natural materials that the ship might need or could use for trade, but we weren’t moving in a direction on purpose.

We had to have a purpose first.


“No.” I grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the chair in the office off the bridge. “Come on.” I’d gathered some rations and found the quarters set aside for me and the Captain. Of course Freska hadn’t taken the largest quarters after she commandeered the ship. Instead, her closet of a room was near the central node where the heart of the ship was most active. It might have actually been a closet before.

I pushed Captain down on the bunk. “Kohen, you don’t understand—”

“Of course I do. Super bad guys who have tons of money and endless time to waste are behind all this crap, including the deaths of men and women and beings who depended on you to keep them safe. You’re angry, and sad, and on top of everything, you’re wiped out. Telling everyone else to rest while you do it all isn’t going to work.” I raised both eyebrows. “Did I forget something?”

Captain sank down on the bed, resting his head on a pillow. “Yeah, to get into the bunk with me.”

“That I can do.” I toed off the shoes I had on and climbed into the bunk. It wasn’t as nice as his but it wasn’t a narrow single either. Still, I pushed close to him, drawn to touch him as much as he seemed to be pushed to touch me. We met in the middle.

He’d always been so warm, and he still was. I reveled in the heat of his body against mine, the scratchy skin of his jaw against my forehead, and the spicy scent of his skin. My body began to make its pleasure of being in his arms known, and I tried to shift back. That wouldn’t help him rest, but he grabbed my hip.

“Where are you going?” he asked roughly.


“Nuh-uh. How about a little more skin?” He tilted my head back and looked in my eyes. I was going to object, to tell him I brought him to our room so he could take a nap, get some sleep, but the look on his face was one I had only seen a few times.

Only when we were together like this.

Some of the lines had smoothed out, and his eyes were warm and soft. His lips were parted slightly, just that shade of pink darker than normal and the barest hint of plumpness added to his bottom lip, like he’d bitten it… tempting me to do the same.

Helpless to do anything but agree, I nodded. In no time, Captain had us both stripped. He was smooth, practiced, and I felt like an awkward stick next to him with arms and legs that were too long and topped with body parts I had no idea where they should go.

But he had a fix for that too. Captain pushed me onto my back and slid on top of me, nudging my legs apart and making room for his body between my shaking thighs. I still couldn’t believe I could touch him, much less touch him like this and feel his touch in return.

The intensity ramped as soon as his erection prodded my stomach when he leaned down to kiss me. Mine nudged his balls, pushing against the heavy sac. The light fur of his hair scratched against the sensitive head, and I shuddered, groaning.

“Please!” I got out finally as he yanked his head up, breaking the kiss to pant harshly. I curled my fingers into the taut flesh of his ass. I tried to drive up, desperate for friction. I couldn’t hold it, needed to come, needed him to take me there.

“Shh, I have you.” Captain shifted so his legs straddled mine, pushing my legs together in a straight line. I could move even less, but then he spread his legs and leaned down, grasping both our shafts in one hand.

The rough callouses of his hand caught on the wrinkled skin at the head, tugging on the foreskin, pulling it up and back deliciously. I squirmed, desperate to move, unable to get more than a couple of inches to push and thrust. The harder I moved, the lighter he gripped.

I finally slumped back on the bunk, my arms at my sides. “Kill me now,” I groaned.

Captain chuckled, then twisted his wrist. I gasped and cursed. “Oh no, I’m just getting started.”

Sex, a nap, a meal, and Captain looked and acted like a new man. We sat on the bed because the inner quarters of the Captain’s rooms weren’t large enough to boast another surface wide enough set the papers except on the bed.

“Okay, so this is what we know.” He tossed down some markers for each place on the map we’d been, or plotted to stop. He used a faux gold coin to mark the central planet. “That’s where the bastards are holed up, hiding behind all this shit.”

I leaned against his side, studying the nap of the galaxy. “Has anyone ever noticed this path?” I traced the spiral of the planets and other bodies where there’d been major incidents. “The shape it leaves?”

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