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What’s it about? (The Viking Queen’s Men edition)

Afotama Legacy logo erotic paranormal romance series
I realized yesterday that I’ve been promoting The Viking Queen’s Men (and thus Vikings Unleashed) without actually telling you what it’s about.

I mean, yeah, there’s a blurb:

TVQM cover teaseContessa Dahl has spent most of her life in a haze. A rudderless orphan, most decisions involved her fists and feet: should she fight or should she run? At twenty-eight, she’s ready to clean up her act, but Tess might be a bit premature because she’s destined to be a special kind of leader.

Born into a group of desert-dwelling telepathic descendants of Vikings, Tess was meant to become a link for them all—their queen and conduit. Her kidnapping and the subsequent death of her parents meant her people, the Afótama, have had a hole in their web for too long. Now that she’s back at home, it’s Tess’s job to mend it. But, she can’t do it alone.

She needs a perfect mate to fill in her psychic gaps, and two men claim to be fated for the job. Harvey Lang, her childhood champion, and the group outsider Oliver Gilisson would fight to the death to win her. However, to gain full control of her considerable power, she must find a way to keep them both.

But, what is it ABOUT?

I’ll break it down as simply as I can, though that’s no easy for a series like this that has a bunch of threaded plots.

Tess and her people, the Afótama, are American Vikings (not Viking-American, though that’s probably a quibbling distinction). They live in the New Mexican desert in an isolated community. They’re telepathic, and more or less peaceful.

Tess is the “queen” of the group. It’s not just an honorific, but like a queen bee, she has a specific role in ensuring the longevity of the clan. She’s the psychic conduit who links them all.

She’s not very good at it. She’s only half Afótama. Her father was from a clan that settled in Nevada and who aren’t necessarily the friendliest bunch. There are a few of these Viking clans scattered around the US. They mostly avoid each other for a variety of reasons. They all have different skills. The Afótama are the strongest psychics. Tess’s lover Ollie’s clan has the best fighters. There are other groups I haven’t identified yet, but each will be a bit different.

Tess learns that many Afótama children were kidnapped by an unidentified entity. She was one of them. Many of the Afótama are still missing. It’s Tess’s job to find them, who kidnapped them, and learn why. That doesn’t get resolved in the first book, or even the second. There’s also a plot line about Tess’s older brother who went rogue a decade ago which will become more important in the second book.

Tess ends up with two lovers because of the nature of her power. This isn’t a typical thing in their world, but there’s this line that those nearest the queen have to be the strongest…and Tess may not be the only Afótama woman who needs two men to control contain complement her.

So, there you have it in a nutshell.

Remember, right now you can get TVQM for the cheapest it’ll ever be. The Vikings Unleashed boxed set is 99¢ THROUGH TOMORROW, and you’ll not only get TVQM, but eight other alpha male romances by some really terrific authors. On Monday, the price will go up to $2.99.

Here are the links to where you can get it:

All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Vikings Unleashed story covers

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Limited time deals and release news

Because the internet is more like a highway than a racetrack, I need to remember that stating something once just isn’t enough. Naturally, I don’t want to devolve into a spam-bot, so I’m trying to find the right balance of repeating news so that folks don’t get weary of it. That said – here are some expiring discounts you need to be mindful of:

1. Vikings Unleased bundle
Vikings Unleashed, currently priced at 99¢, will increase in price to $2.99 after the 19th. (That’s this coming Sunday.) $2.99 is still a damned good deal for nine brand-new erotic romances, but if you want to get more bang for your buck (pun absolutely intended), grab it now.

Remember – my story is the MFM ménage in the middle. ;)

The Viking Queen’s Men will eventually be released on its own, but not until the new year. The second book (the MMF continuation of the story) will probably be out around Christmas. Then story three (Nadia’s) will be out in the spring in the planets align accordingly.

In case you don’t know what to expect from this bundle (or if you’re not a hard-core history geek), let me set your mind at ease. Vikings Unleashed is first and foremost an erotic paranormal romance collection. The theme just happens to be Vikings. Most of the stories in the collection are contemporary or futuristic, so you don’t need to get distracted wondering if our dirty alpha males are bathing frequently.


2. Back to Storafalt by Holley Trent
Musa Publishing is celebrating its third anniversary by discounting titles in their webstore by 30% through October 31.

That includes these titles by yours truly:

-Back to Storafalt (normally $2.99, currently $2.09)
-Executive Decision (normally 99¢, currently 69¢)
-Her Resident Jester (normally $1.99, currently $1.39)
-Love by Premonition (normally $4.99, currently $3.49)
-Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas (normally $2.99, currently $2.09)
-Teaching the Cowboy (normally $4.99, currently $3.49)

All of these stories stand alone, however Back to Storafalt and Teaching the Cowboy are set in the same world.

NOTE: you need to know how to side-load or email e-books to your reading device if you purchase from the Musa store. All three major formats are available: epub, mobi, and pdf.


3.Winterball mm erotic romance by Holley Trent
I haven’t said much about my Den of Sin M/M novella Winterball for a variety of reasons, but I should make known that it’s currently available for preorder at $1.49 at Amazon. It’s due out on 11/4, and will remain at that introductory price for ONE WEEK. On 11/11, the price will go up to $2.99 and that’s where it’ll stay for the most part.

Winterball will NOT be my only DoS novella this season. It’s just the one that has a sure release date right now. Three Strikes–the continuation of Max and Giselle’s Story–will also be out sometime in November. Right now, that story is giving me fits and I’m trying to do right by it. When it has a release date, I’ll announce it widely.


4. extraordinary love paranormal romance boxed set
Crimson Romance’s Extraordinary Love paranormal romance boxed set–which includes my novel A Demon in Waiting (Sons of Gulielmus I) is still available for 99¢, but it will be pulled from the vendor sites come February.

Sons of Gulielmus is a complete series, but a new novella set in that world is coming out next month. Catch up now so you know who Mark and Sweetie are and know why their happily-ever-after is so long overdue.


I think that’s it!

Happy reading.

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A li’l clean-up.

You know, the more books I write, the clearer my brand becomes to me. It’s taken me a while to hit my stride and figure out what my sweet spot is. You might have noticed that earlier this year, I swapped out my lovey-dovey Cardinals for the the hot pepper mouth on my main page. That was because I figured out that my brand wasn’t sassy Southern romances (although I certainly do write those), but snark + heat. I do love me a dirty, mouthy heroine.

SoldAsIs200I had a lot of fun writing books like Sold As Is and the Natural Beauty series, but there’s a certain restrained quality about the stories that I can recognize now because I’ve got some distance from them.

Now, I don’t mean they’re clean. They’re not clean. There’s definitely sex, adult humor, and swearing. What I mean is that compared to my newer stuff, they’re downright staid. When I was writing those, I put a pretty big damper on my natural voice, because I didn’t know how far I could push the envelope. I didn’t know what the boundaries of mainstream were. I still don’t know where mainstream ends because it changes with each passing day, but I can happily write in that blur zone.

You’ll note there’s a huge difference been a story like On the Ropes (coming next year) and the first book in the Hearts and Minds series, Saint and Scholar. I don’t mean just the heat levels, though it’s true: Saint and Scholar is decidedly sensual. I think there’s a sex scene and a half, and my editor had to really drag it out of me because I was terrified of scandalizing someone!

Accounting for Cole coverPffffft. What a difference two years makes in a series, huh?

I’m still trying to figure out what my hard limits are, but I know for certain I can’t write books for folks who like sweet and folks who like down-and-dirty at the same time. I gotta pick a team and stay on it…at least as far as this pen name goes.

I choose hotter, edgier, snarkier, because that’s ME in real life (well, the hot part…not so much on my yoga-pants-and-bathrobe days). So. I’m just gonna tidy up the back list a little bit.

Some of my freebie short stories may disappear soon. (I’ll archive anything that doesn’t tie into a series.) The Natural Beauty series will be available through the end of the year–the bundled collection at Amazon and as individual titles everywhere else–and in January I’m archiving it. Any sweet-to-sensual stories that I have with a publisher will stay with the publisher. I just won’t be adding any new stories to the worlds.

I gotta say it feels good to know the direction you’re being blown in.

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Tess and her Vikings are here!

The Viking Queen’s Men lives! But it wasn’t easy, y’all. I hint at why in the author’s note I included in the Vikings Unleashed collection:

The Viking Queen's Men author note

What I don’t mention in that note is that when I wrote the first couple of versions of Afótama 1 and 2, there was a love triangle between Tess, Ollie, and Harvey. In the end, she only ended up with one of them.

I hated it. HATED it. But, I didn’t know I could do anything differently. At the time, I didn’t know ménage romances existed (especially not in urban fantasy). I suppose I’m glad I waited all these years now!

Remember – TVQM is a full novel at around 67,000 words and is exclusive to the VU bundle for a few months. None of the stories in the Vikings Unleashed collection have cliff-hangers, though many are part of ongoing series. Grab the boxed set now for a buck and get your ménage fix starting at the 33% point. ;)

Buy it at one of these fine e-book retailers:
All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Vikings Unleased bundle

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M-what?

O for Two by Holley TrentThe Viking Queen's Men contemporary paranormal menage romance by Holley TrentWinterball mm erotic romance by Holley Trent
I know every now and then my readers of one subgenre will cross over to another because they like my voice (thanks! love ya!). It’s flattering when my readers who normally wouldn’t touch a paranormal romance will give one of mine a try.

Truth is, I don’t really expect a lot of crossover, though it’s nice to see it happen. I do like to be clear about what readers are getting in each product because sometimes I change the game. Not everything is going to be straightforward M/F romance, and I figured I’d make a post so you can tell what you’re getting in my books.

MOST of my books are M/F – that is to say there’s a romance between one male and one female. Currently, all of my traditionally published books are M/F (that may/will probably change in the future).

I also have erotic MMF and MFM stories. Some readers will read both kinds, and some are more comfortable with MFM because it’s the more similar of the two to traditional M/F.

What’s the difference between MMF and MFM? Well, in MMF, everyone touches. Guy touches girl. Girl touches both guys. Guys touch each other (they’re bisexual or sexually fluid). Ménage à Troys and O for Two are MMF stories.

In MFM, girl touches both guys. Guys pleasure the girl only (notice I didn’t say they TOUCH the girl only–when you have three people in a bed, chances are good some skin is going to skim, whether intentionally or not). MFM romances are not to be confused with love triangles. In those, one character is waffling back and forth and trying to make a decision about which of two love interests he or she wants. MFM romances are predicated on the fact the three parties will end up in a permanent ménage scenario. The Viking Queen’s Men is an MFM story.

Oh. There’s also M/M, which you can probably guess is male-male. No chicks in sight. The men may be gay. They may be bi. They may be curious and/or confused. (In the scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter much except in “issue” books.) Winterball is M/M.

I’m always pretty clear about labeling books that aren’t M/F, either here on my website or on the book’s product description (I tend to put a tag at the end of the blurb). I appreciate when readers will take a chance on everything I write, but I know folks have comfort zones and I respect those. If you’re not clear on what a story is, just drop me a line! I’ll be glad to de-muddle.

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A nine-fecta of Viking UNF.

These little beauties (courtesy of the fabulous Amber Lin), were posted during Hero Wars on the Love Between the Sheets Facebook page this week, and I’m sharing them here for posterity. Probably NSFW because VIKINGS.

Oh! Don’t forget – Vikings Unleashed is available for preorder now. Grab it so it’ll be waiting on your e-reader early Tuesday morning.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Got me geeking: Cajun werewolves

Got Me Geeking Holley TrentSo…I’ve been doing my fair share of procrastinating the past couple of weeks. It’s a coping strategy, really. Gotta shuck off some stress somehow, whether it’s by watching television show marathons or vacuuming my mattress. I’ve got deadlines on top of deadlines (which isn’t unusual for me, I guess, so I shouldn’t use it as an excuse), am working feverishly to get the Den of Sin website back up by 10/1 for the season launch, I’m wrangling October promo for my demon brothers, and gearing up for next week’s release of the dirty Vikings.

Actually, it’s those distracting Vikings who are providing the bulk of my procrastination fodder right about now. As I mentioned, I’m making my way through the collection and getting sucked into people’s backlists. Last week, it was Kate Pearce. Later this week, it’ll probably be Crystal Jordan. Right now, though, I’m totally wrecked by Anne Marsh’s Blue Moon Brides series.

In a nutshell: extra-alpha 300+-year-old Cajun werewolves.

Dirty, cranky, broody bastards.

*sigh*

I’m hooked. And I’m all out of reading material for the moment. I finished #4 last night, and #5 won’t be out until 10/15.

Anne Marsh Captured by the Pack werewolf romance

Dammit. This is why I don’t start series until they’re done.

(By the way – the first three Blue Moon Brides books are available in a 99¢ bundle.)

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The Romance Hive Mind

The Power of Three MMF romance by Kate PearceSo, I’m making my way through the Vikings Unleashed boxed set reading the other contributions (and getting distracted because OH, LOOK, THIS IS A SERIES LET ME GO READ EVERY OTHER BOOK IN THE SERIES BEFORE I CONTINUE), and last week I had a mega “derp” moment.

I read Kate Pearce’s Triad Series, and I noticed something very interesting in an “Oh, shit, bad coincidence” kind of way.

Two of my characters from The Viking Queen’s Men (in the boxed set) share names with characters from The Power of Three (not in the boxed set, but the first book in the same series Kate’s boxed set story is from). Lang and Dahl.

Chances are, most folks who read through my book and TPoT won’t notice. Even with the occasional nod to Norse mythology and the telepathy, the two worlds are very different. I wrote my story before reading the Triad Series, so this is one of those reminders that no matter how hard you try to create unique content, SOMETHING is going to seem similar to what someone else has already published. Eagle-eyed folks may note the similarities and ding you on them in reviews “THIS IS JUST LIKE ____!” (that happened to me once with a novella).

*flail*

Anyhow. If you’re a ménage fan, I heartily suggest you start the Triad Series this weekend. It’s hot with plot and has some great world-building. It starts with The Power of Three and continues with The Power of Persuasion. The third installment (the one with the Viking!) will be out in the boxed set on 10/7.

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Not. Gonna. Do it.

Calculated Exposure by Holley TrentNaNoWriMo is creeping up, and this is about the time of year I start thinking about what project I’m going to fast-draft come November. In 2012, I wrote Calculated Exposure and wrote half of what became Teaching the Cowboy. Last year, I started Following Fabian (and got waylaid because of other commitments).

This year, though…I’m sitting the event out. I’m a huge proponent of NaNo, but I’ve decided to take November “off.” I’ve been trying to stay on top of aggressive deadlines for the past six months or so, and I need to do some self care.

Now, when I say “off,” I mean I’m not starting anything new and I’m not adding words to any projects that aren’t more or less done. I’ll probably/definitely be working on edits for some projects that are already in the queue–I’ve got a Storafalt holiday story, for one, and the second Afótama Legacy novel. I may finish some things that have been stagnating because of other commitments in 2014 (like finishing Following Fabian which is only 8k from conclusion).

I feel like I need to do a bit of an author detox/slate-clearing before the end of the year.

I’ll miss being part of the NaNo energy, but…yo. Contrary to what the NaNo tagline says, the world does not need my novel. ;)

Good luck to everyone taking the leap!

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And so it ends.

Okay. That title is extra dramatic, but it’s been one of those mornings.

It’s here! The last installment of the Sons of Gulielmus series. (Sort of.) Let’s just take a moment to bask in Claude’s scruffy splendor. Mm. Mm. MMM.
A Demon Bewitched paranormal romance

You can get him his story here:
Adams Media Bookstore | All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Google Play | iBooks

I’ve already mentioned that there are other stories planned for this world. They just won’t be under the Sons of Gulielmus banner. It’s not my intention to let this world sprawl unfettered. *steps out of way of lightning strike*

Since you’re here, how about a dirty little excerpt from A Demon Bewitched? Make sure your boss isn’t standing behind you.

Easing behind her, he grabbed her by the waist and gave her one hard yank toward him, jostling her back to the here and now.

“You asked for it, so pay attention.”

“Don’t phone it in, then.”

“You’ll get it for that.” He pushed himself into her in one slow, but continuous thrust, gritting his teeth against the agonizing friction and kneading his fingertips into the flesh of her hips.

In to the hilt, he’d barely gotten himself settled when she clenched around him and tried to pull away. Fuck, it’d been so long since he’d foregone condom use. He’d forgotten what it felt like to have skin against skin. She felt amazing, and he didn’t think he was going to last.

That couldn’t keep happening. He was a goddamned incubus. He’d endured all-night orgies in the past, so outlasting her imminent orgasm should have been a piece of cake. It wouldn’t be, and unfortunately, there was no magic for that.

He pulled her back hard, and grabbed the base of her ponytail. Yanking it, he said, “You dropped the reins. You left them for me to pick up, and I get to crack the whip.”

She sighed, but stopped her squirming.

He released her ponytail and slid his hand down her back, letting it rest at the base of her spine as he resumed his thrusts.

He tried to think vanilla thoughts as her breathing sped. He thought of holding hands and chaste picnics and watching PG-13 movies in theaters.

“Claude …” she said on a labored exhale.

And he thought of blindfolds and gags and paddles. God, he wanted to play. When was the last time he’d gotten to play? Back when he lived in Austin, maybe. There’d been a club—“Fuck.”

“Please do. Don’t hold back.”

Right. Don’t hold back. They were in a fucking barn where the hard floor tortured his knees and he couldn’t see a damned thing beyond her curvy outlines. This was so wrong. They were fucking like desperate teenagers afraid of getting caught, and the truth was, even if they had gotten caught, neither of them would care, probably. Maybe that would add to the exhilaration.

As if they needed more of that.

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