Cover Reveal – Mission: Her Safety

They are a covert, black ops team known only as Team 52. Their mission: to secure and safeguard artifacts deemed highly dangerous and classified…and protect the women who capture their hearts.

Join Lachlan Hunter and his military team for their high-octane missions.

It is time to head back to some action-packed romance with the Team 52 gang! This time, it is the team’s grumpy, genius gadget-maker and scientist, Ty, who is trying to track down the mysterious woman who broke into his warehouse and lab.

I also have a giveaway of signed Team 52 paperbacks and audiobooks to celebrate the cover reveal! Scroll down to enter.

Mission: Her Safety

Team 52 #5

Release Date: Tuesday May 21st

Mission: Classified

Hero: Dr. Ty Sampson

Heroine: Ty’s mysterious intruder

Artifact: Classified

Cover artist: Melody Simmons

Photographer: Furious Fotog / Golden Czermak

Excerpt from Mission: Her Defense (Team 52 #4) featuring Ty

Ty Sampson lifted his hand as his teammates called out goodbyes. They were all outside Griffin’s, heading for their vehicles.

Hands in his pockets, he strolled down the sidewalk. Across the street, he spotted Blair and her detective. MacKade had Blair trapped against the side of his Explorer, kissing the hell out of her. They were completely wrapped up in each other.

Ty shook his head and made his way to his car.

Blair Mason was the last person he’d expected to go soft over a man. Still, he couldn’t argue that she and the detective looked damn happy.

Ty slid behind the wheel of his sleek, sporty Lexus and headed toward his place. He turned down a narrow alleyway lined by warehouses and touched the remote attached to his dash. A roller door moved upward, and he drove inside and killed the lights.

It was a single-story warehouse that had once been a body shop. When he’d bought the place, he’d renovated the front half into an apartment, but he’d left the back as a workshop with parking.

He climbed out, his boots echoing on the scarred concrete floor. Back here, he had a small lab and workshop, where he tinkered with some of his designs. He did most of his work at base, where he had a fully-equipped and decked-out laboratory. But even when he was home, he still liked to fiddle when the urge hit.

Lights clicked on. Ahead was his living area. It was cordoned off with brick and glass walls. A compact kitchen with glossy, dark granite sat in one corner, and his large, black-leather couch dominated the space.

Then he stopped. He scanned the shadowed workshop. Something wasn’t right.

He looked back toward his living area. Then he heard a noise. A door closing?

He reached into the back of his jeans and pulled out his SIG Sauer.

Someone was in his place.

Ty crept through the living area and past the kitchen, his boots silent on the polished concrete floors. He walked down the hall leading to the bedrooms—guest room, office, and his master.

He stopped at the threshold to his bedroom.

Even without the lights on, he saw it looked as it always did—warm woods and shades of gray, his big bed in the center of the room. It was neatly made, since he’d been at Area 52 all week. He was usually at the base more than he was home.

Cautiously, he walked into the room. There was no sign of anyone. He stalked toward his large, walk-in closet.

Suddenly, the doors burst open, and a figure in black surged out.

Fuck.

The intruder slammed into Ty and they hit the ground, rolling across the wooden floor. Ty grunted, wrestling to get hold of the man.

Then he felt breasts smashed against his chest.

A woman. What the hell?

An elbow connected with his jaw, snapping his head back. Ty saw stars and let out a stream of curses.

While he was dazed, his intruder leaped to her feet and ran.

Dammit to hell. Ty jumped up and gave chase.

He crashed through the living room, seeing no sign of her.

He heard something crash in his workshop and swiveled. When he charged out into the workshop, he saw her running along the top of one of his work benches. She ran straight for one wall, leaped, then clung there for a moment and began to climb the bricks. Like a damn spider.

Rushing toward her, he watched as she ascended to one of the high windows up near the ceiling. She shoved the window open, then glanced back. She wore a half mask over her face, but their gazes met for a second.

Ty felt a jolt.

Then she climbed out the window.

“Dammit!” He ran for the small door set in the roller door, shoved it open, and sprinted into the alley. He skirted around his warehouse, searching for his intruder.

Nothing. He paused. He didn’t even hear footsteps, just the distant sound of a siren.

Jaw tight, he went back inside, locking up behind him. He needed to check his goddamned security system. All those windows were wired, but she’d bypassed his system somehow.

He moved through his space, checking to see if anything was missing. Or if his intruder had left anything behind.

A quick search turned up nothing. Ty spent extra time in his lab and finally released a breath. Nothing appeared out of place. He’d still pull out his scanners and check for bugs or cameras.

He pressed his hands to his hips and ground his teeth together. Nothing looked out of place, nothing looked like it was missing.

Ty hated anyone in his space, messing with his things. It didn’t matter if it was his home or his lab.

Who was she? And what the hell did she want?

Team 52 Audiobooks

I am thrilled that the first four Team 52 books are now all available in audiobook! The amazing Stella Bloom is the narrator and she’s done an outstanding job bringing the team and their adventures to life.

More info on all my audiobooks is on my Audio page.

Audio

Team 52 Signed Paperback and Audiobook Giveaway

To celebrate the latest Team 52 cover reveal, I am giving away the first THREE books as signed paperbacks AND audiobooks: Mission: Her Protection, Mission: Her Rescue, and Mission: Her Security.

THREE winners will win a paperback and audiobook each. Open internationally, but please note, audiobook download codes are for Audible US and UK only.

You don’t need to do all options to enter. Just complete the ones you prefer. If you can’t see the giveaway widget, just click on the Rafflecopter link.

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Good luck!

Cover Reveal: Heart of Eon

The fierce warriors of the Eon Empire want nothing to do with Earth…but when ravenous insectoid aliens threaten to invade, the humans of Earth need to get the Eon warriors’ attention.

That all starts with three sisters: one sent to abduct an Eon war commander, one sent to steal sacred Eon gems, and one sent to hijack an Eon warship.

The Eon Warriors series is chock-full of my favorite things:

  • Tough heroines from Earth
  • Sexy alien warrior heroes
  • Lots of action-packed fight scenes
  • Sexy romance where our Earth heroines bring fierce warriors to their knees

Today I’m unveiling the cover for the upcoming book, Heart of Eon. This story features computer genius Wren Traynor (who’s hijacked an Eon warship) going toe-to-toe with the ship’s captain, War Commander Malax Dann-Jad.

AND because I love to give things away to celebrate, there is an awesome giveaway as well.

Heart of Eon
Eon Warriors #3
Release Date: Tuesday April 23rd

Cover art by Melody Simmons

Excerpt from Touch of Eon featuring Wren and Malax

Shit, shittity, shit.

Wren Traynor ran through the narrow maintenance conduit. She heard the rumble of voices—deep, male voices—reverberating from nearby.

She ducked into a small alcove. In the pitch darkness, she dropped to her knees, pushed open a small panel, and crawled in. She fitted the panel back into place, and turned to face the tiny space that had been her hidey-hole for the last few days.

Dropping to her butt, she leaned against the metallic wall and sighed.

She was tired. Stressed out. And she didn’t smell very good.

That’s what happens when you hijack an alien warship, Wren.

God, her life sucked. She let her head thunk back against the wall. One day, she’d been working at her tech company, creating amazing, cutting-edge programs and being a badass with a keyboard. At night, she’d done some…creative hacking. Just to keep herself busy and her skills sharp.

Then, just over five months ago, things had gone sideways. Her sister, Eve, had been imprisoned for a crime she hadn’t committed. Wren still felt the wild rush of anger at the injustice of it all.

She pushed her mass of dark curls back over her shoulder. She winced. Her hair was greasy as hell. Gah. She needed a shower and would sell her soul for one. Wet wipes weren’t cutting it anymore.

Sighing, she pulled her tablet out. The screen glowed, lighting up the small space around her. She’d been damn grateful to find this space. Tucked between some internal maintenance access conduits, she was pretty sure the warriors didn’t know it existed.

She stroked her tablet. Her baby. She’d built the device herself. It had top-of-the-line, experimental components.

With it, and her mad skills, she’d managed to sneak aboard an Eon warship, take over their systems, and take control of the ship.

She’d then spent four days sending them jumping around distant space.

The ship’s war commander and his crew had been working tirelessly to find her. Wren had spent that time ensuring they didn’t, usually by creating havoc on the ship and keeping them busy.

She needed to get the warship to the rendezvous point with Earth’s Space Corps. Her sister’s freedom depended on it. The survival of Earth depended on it. How the Space Corps planned to subdue an entire ship of pissed off Eon warriors, she had no clue. She didn’t care. Her job was to get the Rengard to the rendezvous.

Wren rubbed her brow. She had a headache forming. She rifled through her backpack and pulled out some food packs and water.

Somehow, War Commander Dann-Jad had disabled the ship’s star drive. They were now stuck at standard speed.

It was going to be a long trip to the rendezvous. She’d run out of food and water far before then. Which was no doubt what the war commander had in mind.

She munched on the bland rations, dreaming of a thick, juicy steak. And a slice of cheesecake. Fresh strawberries. So, she could either die of thirst and starvation, or she could die at the hands of an angry Eon war commander who’d likely wring her neck. And take pleasure in doing it.

Hmm. Choices, choices.

She tossed the empty wrapper in her backpack. This was why she preferred her computer lab to spending time with people. In her lab, she was queen of her domain, and the few people she allowed in were awed by her crazy-good skills.

Wren thumbed her tablet screen, and a picture of her with her sisters appeared. Eve and Lara. Love filled Wren. She was the baby, and her sisters had always protected her, looked out for her.

In the picture, her sisters had Wren squeezed in between them. Wren was laughing, Lara had an arm outstretched to take the picture. Eve was smirking and looking badass. It was over a year old, on the last vacation the three of them had managed to take. They’d sunned themselves on a beach in the Caribbean, and the rest of the time, Wren had fought their attempts to make her go parasailing and jet-skiing.

Her sisters were both taller and more athletic than Wren. They both loved space and fighting. Both were tough, accomplished, and badass.

And then there was Wren. Her nose wrinkled. She was shorter and curvier, with five pounds she couldn’t shift. Okay, so she had a serious chocolate and latte addiction that she had no intention of giving up. And she didn’t exercise—she shuddered—unless she had to.

She touched the image of Eve’s face. God, she prayed her sister was okay. The Space Corps had forced her on a dangerous mission to abduct an Eon war commander. Air whistled through Wren’s teeth. And not any Eon war commander, the deadliest one.

Not that War Commander Malax Dann-Jad was a slouch. The man was proving way more intelligent than she’d assumed.

The Space Corps had approached Wren and offered her a deal too. Hijack the Eon warship, the Rengard, and they’d recall Wren’s sister and grant Eve her freedom.

God, her sister Lara would be going crazy with worry for Eve and not knowing where Wren was.

And here she was. Stuck in the bowels of an alien ship while its war commander tore it apart to find her.

Suddenly, her tablet screen went black, plunging her into darkness. She frowned.

Then words appeared on the screen.

Terran.

Her eyebrows rose. He’d hacked her tablet? The prick. Her fingers flew.

She and the war commander had traded a few messages over the last few days. But they were messages she’d sent him when she’d tapped his system. He did not get to hack her baby.

Wren quickly checked her system and released a breath. They didn’t have a lock on her location.

She replied. War Commander.

Earth now has an alliance with the Eon. Stand down.

What? Wren chewed her lip, studying the words suspiciously.

She tapped the screen. I don’t believe you.

Stubborn woman. Your sister brokered a deal.

Wren chewed on her lip hard enough to wince. Could it be true? Was Eve okay?

Return control of my ship.

His anger practically throbbed off the screen. She didn’t need to be anywhere near the man to know he was pissed to the nth degree.

She’d seen a photo of him. Eon warriors all looked similar—big and muscled, long hair framing rugged faces. They all had hair in shades of brown. But there was something a little harsher about Malax Dann-Jad. The firm line of his square jaw, or maybe the scowl she suspected was his permanent expression.

She tapped her screen. No.

She suspected the war commander would do just about anything to get her to surrender control of his ship. Including lie to her.

You will regret your actions.

Wren snorted. I already do, but I have no choice.

There is always a choice, Terran. Relinquish control and turn yourself in. I can assure your safety.

Another snort. Yeah, right.

Woman, do not test me. You won’t like the consequences.

Okay, Wren felt a little tremor in her belly. She never, ever wanted to come face-to-face with War Commander Dann-Jad.

Don’t threaten me. I haven’t had a latte in days, and my chocolate stash ran out a long time ago.

The screen stayed blank, and she figured he wasn’t quite sure what to make of her.

Last chance. Surrender.

Annoying man. You can’t see me right now, but I’m poking my tongue out at you. I don’t follow your orders, War Commander.

Wren tapped the screen, found the command she wanted, and hit it. Right now, lights were turning off across the entire ship.

It was childish, but she couldn’t help herself.

Woman.

Just that single word on the screen. Wren imagined she could hear the war commander’s angry roar from here.

Game on, War Commander.

Heart of Eon Cover Reveal Giveaway

I have a super cool giveaway. Remember the awesome custom artwork of Davion and Eve from the first Eon Warriors book, Edge of Eon? Well, I am giving away a print of that picture to one lucky winner!

Just enter using the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open internationally and will be open for a week.

 

You DON’T need to do all the options below to enter. Just do the ones you’d like. If you can’t see the giveaway entry form, just click the Rafflecopter link.

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Good luck!

Cover Reveal – Hell Squad: Griff

Welcome back to Hell Squad!

It seems like forever since we checked in with Hell Squad, Squad Nine, and the Squad Three berserkers as they are busy trying to save the world from the invading aliens.

Hell Squad is sci-fi romance, with a heavy dose of action, and some post-apocalyptic, end of the world adventure, but at its heart, this series is about heroes, hope, and love.

Today I am thrilled to be showing you the cover for the next Hell Squad book, Griff. This story stars ex-cop, ex-con berserker Griff Callan and Squad Three’s bold, tattooed comms officer, Indy.

PLUS, I have an awesome giveaway to celebrate the reveal!!  Scroll down to the bottom to enter the giveaway.

But first up, to get in the Hell Squad mood, here is the trailer for the series:

Griff
Hell Squad #17
Release Date: Tuesday March 19th

Cover art by Melody Simmons

Excerpt from Manu featuring Griff and Indy

As the others headed down the corridor, Indy moved to follow them. Griff saw the tight lines bracketing her mouth. She was still worried. He gripped her arm, his hand wrapping around the bright rose tattoos on her skin.

“Manu and Kate will be all right,” he said.

She nodded. “It’s hard listening to the fighting over the comms, and not knowing if you guys will come back in one piece.”

No way he’d be able to sit behind a desk and listen to the fighting. He’d always been a guy who preferred action, a man who believed in the law, and did whatever he had to do to protect it. He’d always thought right beat wrong, good beat evil. But life had taught him that wasn’t always the case with a big fucking betrayal he’d never seen coming, followed by the damn alien invasion.

Without thinking, he tugged Indy in for a hug. She went still, then stiffened, and tried to pull back.

But Griff didn’t want any distance between them and held her in place. She was a long, curvy handful, and smelled like she had years ago—of coconut.

“Let me go,” she said.

“You’re always avoiding me.”

“No, I’m not. I see you every day.”

“You look through me. You only look at me when you’re busting my balls.”

She glared at him. “Your balls are safe from me, Griff.”

Some indefinable mix of emotion roared through him at her words, and he backed her into the wall.

Her gray eyes narrowed on his face. “Back off.”

“I think it’s time we talk about us.”

“Us?” Her dark brows rose. “There is no us.”

“Let’s talk about why you’ve been avoiding me for years.”

“Ah, you were in jail, Griff.”

“Before that,” he growled. He wanted no reminder of the years he’d spent in that hellhole.

“We grew up. You became a cop and left.”

“Indy—”

“I’m not doing this.” She shoved at him.

He grabbed her wrists, but she yanked one free and, quick as a snake, she slammed her open palm into his nose.

“Goddammit.” He staggered back, checking she hadn’t broken his nose.

“You taught me that self-defense move, remember? So I could deal with pushy guys who wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

“I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to talk.” He glared at her.

“We have nothing to talk about.”

“We are going to talk, Indy.”

With a glare hot enough to melt his skin, she stomped off down the corridor.

Griff stayed where he was, watching the sway of her ass under her tight jeans. She was fighting him, but he’d been a cop a long time. He was good at reading people. He’d seen the flare of panic in her eyes when he’d told her they’d talk.

He thought of Kate’s words to Manu. That he’d brought color to her life.

Griff had been ignoring the shades of gray around him for a very long time. Life had ground him down, but now he was finally ready to risk it all to get some color back into his world.

To get Indy back into his world.

Hell Squad: Griff Cover Reveal Giveaway

I have an exciting giveaway for you today. ONE lucky winner is going to win a prize pack of a signed paperback of the first berserker book, Hemi, *and* a signed paperback of Michelle M. Pillow’s latest sci-fi romance, Dragon Prince PLUS the cutest pair of handmade dinosaur bite earrings. I got myself a pair of these too!!

Two runner-up winners will also win a signed Hell Squad paperback each.

In case you haven’t read any of Michelle’s books, here is the info for Dragon Prince:

  • Breathes Fire
  • Saves on Airfare
  • Will Defend his Mate with Every Last Fiery Breath in his Sexy Body
  • Part of the Bestselling Qurilixen World Collection

Grier’s fiery passion for Salena might be everything his dragon ever wanted but loving her might lead to the destruction of everything he’s trying to save.

More Info

 

The giveaway is open internationally, enter using the rafflecopter below, and you DON’T have to do every option to enter. Just select the ones you prefer.

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Edge of Eon Audiobook

For the audio fans, in case you missed it, Edge of Eon (Eon Warriors #1) is now available in audio, narrated by the amazing Vivienne Leheny!

More Audio Info

Cover Reveal – Mission: Her Defense

They are a covert, black ops team known only as Team 52. Their mission: to secure and safeguard artifacts deemed highly dangerous and classified…and protect the women who capture their hearts.

Join Lachlan Hunter and his military team for their high-octane missions.

I have a brand new Team 52 cover to show you. This time it is former Marine Blair Mason’s turn and she is going head to head with Las Vegas police detective, Luke MacKade.

I also have a giveaway of signed Team 52 paperbacks to celebrate the cover reveal. Scroll down to enter.

Mission: Her Defense

Team 52 #4

Release Date: Tuesday February 12th

Mission: Classified

Heroine: Former special forces Marine Blair Mason

Hero: LVMPD Detective Luke MacKade

Artifact: Classified

Cover artist: Melody Simmons

Photographer: Wander Aguiar

Excerpt from Mission: Her Security (Team 52 #3) featuring Blair

Blair Mason watched through the doorway as Smith sat beside Kinsey’s bed.

The big man was murmuring quietly, and even though Kinsey looked small and pale propped up on the pillows, she was smiling.

It wasn’t her usual beaming smile, but it was something.

Thank God. Kinsey was fine and Smith looked alive again.

During the tense hours in the waiting room, Smith had been like a statue—cold and still. His brown eyes had been devoid of…everything.

Blair watched as he leaned over and kissed Kinsey.

Jesus. Blair felt her heart clench. They were so damn cute together. Smith was a big, tough guy. Blair had fought alongside him so many times, and trusted him with her life. She knew he loved his solitude and his cabin near the mountains. Knew he loved nothing more than the serene beauty of the Colorado mountains.

She never, ever imagined seeing him like this. In love.

Blair had watched three of her teammates—three of the toughest guys she knew—fall in love. First Lachlan, then Seth, and now Smith. They were all unashamed to show how they felt about the women who’d captured their hearts.

Blair had always thought she wanted that. A man who loved her inside and out, for exactly who she was, and wasn’t afraid to show it.

And yet… That kind of man was hard to find. And she’d spent the last few hours sitting in the waiting room down the hall, watching Smith being torn to shreds.

Maybe love wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

“You called it.” Lachlan appeared beside her. “The bigger they are…”

“Yeah.” Blair pushed her maudlin thoughts away. Besides, she’d never met a man who made her feel anything remotely close to love. In fact, most men—after a quick, pleasant tussle—annoyed her.

Anyway, she had zero time to date. She couldn’t really share the truth of her work with a man, and she found most guys…kinda boring.

“The artifact?” she asked Lachlan.

Her best friend lifted his chin. “All packed up. Seth’s guarding it at the X8 until we’re ready to head home. It’s beaten up. Arlo and Ty are going to have a shit hemorrhage.”

“Ty will fix it.” Blair paused. “So, another mission over.”

“Yeah. The military police from Cheyenne Mountain took all the surviving Cosca Unita people into custody. Mission’s over and we can go home.”

For Lachlan now, home meant his woman, Rowan. Blair was happy as hell for him.

Lachlan’s golden gaze moved to Smith and Kinsey. “Could have done without Kinsey taking a bullet to the gut, though.”

“She’s okay.”

“Yeah. And so is Smith.”

“Well, once we get home, we’ll have to enjoy some downtime before we need to save the world again,” Blair said.

Lachlan tossed an arm around her shoulders. He’d been her best friend for years, from their time in Force Recon. Why were all the best men she knew her friends and colleagues? Guys who were like brothers to her?

“You won our last poker game,” Lachlan said, interrupting her thoughts. “I want a chance to win some money back.”

Blair grinned. “No such luck. You are going down, Hunter.”

He smiled back.

Blair kept her smile plastered on her face. She had good friends and work she loved. She didn’t need a man.

Team 52 Audiobooks

I am thrilled that the first three Team 52 books are now all available in audiobook! The amazing Stella Bloom is the narrator and she’s done an outstanding job bringing the team and their adventures to life.

Unexplored, the third book in Treasure Hunter Security is also now available.

More info on all my audiobooks is on my Audio page.

Audio

Team 52 Signed Paperback Giveaway

To celebrate the latest Team 52 cover reveal, I am giving away a set of THREE signed paperbacks of Mission: Her Protection, Mission: Her Rescue, and Mission: Her Security – ONE winner gets three books. Open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

A Free Galactic Gladiators Christmas Short Story

If you’ve been celebrating the holidays, I hope you’ve been having a wonderful time. I took a few days off to eat, drink, and build way too much Lego with my boys (my fingers are numb!)

But during that time, I also jotted down a short Galactic Gladiators story! More about that in a second.

Farewell to 2018

In 2018, I was so incredibly fortunate to have so many wonderful readers enjoying all my books. I released 11 short novels, an one novella as part of an anthology. Those books came out across five different series AND I launched two new series (Team 52 and Eon Warriors). I also had 13 books come out as audiobooks this year. That all adds up to over half a million words written and over 65 hours of audio 😀

I’ve seen some people write that authors today are forced to write fast and are burning out, but I love what I do! Sitting down every day to write (even when it is hard work) brings me so much joy. Knowing that I have readers waiting for the next book in their favorite series leaves me inspired.

Hello to 2019

I’m so excited for the new year! I have lots more stories in my head — so expect books from Hell Squad, Eon Warriors, Team 52, and more Galactic Gladiators! Also expect more audiobooks. More Hell Squad audiobooks are on the way, as well as the continuation of Team 52 and Treasure Hunter Security, plus the launch of Eon Warriors in audio.

You can keep up to date on what books I have coming on the horizon on my Coming Soon page.

I always have a couple of new stories and series brewing in the back of my head. Whether any manage to sneak in during 2019…well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I wish you all the best for 2019 and hope it is a great year for you. I am a big goal setter, and at the beginning of the year, I set all my goals and then split them into quarterly, monthly, and weekly chunks. Life, of course, likes to throw a few curve balls in there, but having a plan helps me stay on course. Taking small actions daily — whether it is exercise, writing, reading, or whatever your goal is — is absolutely vital. Those small steps add up over time.

2019 will kick off with the next Eon Warriors book, Touch of Eon. That’s just over 10 days away!!

Touch of Eon

Eon Warriors #2

Release Date: Tuesday January 8th

Special Forces Space Marine Lara Traynor will do anything to free her sister and save the Earth from invasion…even if she’s blackmailed into stealing sacred Eon artifacts. And even if a dark, deadly warrior is sent to hunt her down.

Excerpt from Edge of Eon (Eon Warriors #1) featuring Lara

Lara Traynor squeezed out of the narrow tunnel and came out on top of the wall. She crouched there, balanced high above the temple forecourt.

The temple was sturdy. It had a masculine feel, with lots of straight lines, blocky towers, and large, regular columns. She liked it a lot. The Eon were good at more than just creating badass warriors and technology.

And here she was, sneaking into another Eon temple. Not exactly how she’d seen her career going, but Lara liked getting her missions done—no matter what.

She swiveled, and pressed her special climbing gloves and boots to the slick rock. She started making her way down the stone wall.

She already had one of the sacred Eon gems in her possession. The gorgeous, seafoam-colored stone, the Ston gem, was hidden on her stealth ship. The amazing jewel actually had a live, alien symbiont inside it. Incredible.

Now she was after her second target—the Alqin gem.

As she climbed down the wall, her thoughts turned to her sister.

Was Eve still alive? Heat shot through Lara, leaving a bad taste in her mouth. Fucking Space Corps. They’d fucked her family over so many times, and now they’d sent Eve on a suicide mission. It made Lara want to punch someone in the face. Preferably an admiral or two.

And here she was, blackmailed into this insane mission.

Her boots touched stone, and she turned away from the wall. She crouched down and held her breath, studying the shadowed courtyard and listening for any sound.

Just the tinkle of a water fountain and the faint glow from lights inside. After she had gem number two, she just needed the third and final one, then she was going to find out what the hell had happened to Eve.

She rose, heading toward the statue in the very center of the courtyard. The gem rested on the crown of the god.

“Bad choice, Terran.”

The deep voice made her spin. It was cold and dark, and sent shivers up her spine.

She flipped one arm out, her blade dropping from her forearm holder and into her hand. She scanned the darkness but couldn’t see him.

Then he stepped out of the shadows.

Holy cow. He was huge. An Eon warrior wearing full, black-scale armor.

He had a raw, masculine face with a hard edge. It looked like it had been carved from granite. And cold eyes.

Their gazes locked, and tension wound between them. His eyes were black as night, with thin threads of silver through them.

At the same time, they launched at each other.

Lara slashed out with her knife. He blocked her blow, and she veered away. Then, he swung a punch at her, and she ducked. She kicked, aiming for his legs, but he jumped, leaping over her leg.

They both spun away, circling each other. She watched as a long, blue sword formed on his arm. Oh, man. She’d heard about the symbiont-formed weapons. Damn thing was gorgeous. She wanted one.

He charged and Lara rushed to meet him.

They traded hits and kicks. She put all her effort into avoiding that glowing sword. The warrior was big, strong, and well-trained, but Lara had been born to fight, and her job had honed her abilities.

She leaped up and kicked. Her boot connected with his strong jaw, and his head snapped back.

Lara smirked. “Like that?”

The warrior growled and swung out with his sword. She dodged, the blade slamming into a pillar.

She lifted her head and laughed. “What was that? A love tap?”

Now, she felt a throb of annoyance and anger off Mr. Cool. They launched into another deadly dance. They passed the pond, and Lara leaped over the water and its lily pads. The warrior followed her.

It didn’t take her long to see he wasn’t using his full strength against her. That pissed her off.

“You’re holding back,” she snapped.

“Eve asked me not to hurt you.”

Lara stilled. “Eve?” A flood of emotion tightened Lara’s throat. “She’s alive?”

“Yes.” One cool word.

If that was true, then she was a prisoner of the Eon. Could she trust this deadly warrior?

Lara stroked her blade, working through all the scenarios. This changed nothing. She still needed to complete her mission.

Lara quickly snatched a StrikeBolt off her belt. She tossed it through the air.

It made a small whistling sound and the warrior dodged. But he was a shade too slow, and the small device caught his side. Small prongs flared, digging into him.

Blue electricity raced over his body. She saw his jaw lock and he dropped to his knees.

Lara sauntered over and snatched up the gem of Alqin.

“It’s been a good time, warrior.”

“I’ll… Come for you.” He pushed the words out through gritted teeth.

Lara had felt the effects of the StrikeBolt in training. She’d passed out within seconds. She’d never seen anyone stay conscious this long.

“You’ll…feel my breath… Back of your neck. I’ll hunt you to the end of the galaxy.”

Lara felt a cold shiver. “You can try.”

With the electricity holding him still, she raced across the courtyard and back to the wall. She braced a hand against the stone and glanced back.

His black-and-silver eyes were locked on her.

She tossed him a salute and started climbing.

Now, she needed to get off this planet and head to the temple on a small moon of Ath. Two gems down, one to go.

She needed to finish her mission, and save Earth and her sisters.

And on top of that, she also now needed to avoid one very angry Eon warrior.

Lara smiled grimly. Should be child’s play.

Free Galactic Gladiators Christmas Short Story

Like I mentioned, on my days off I couldn’t help visiting with the Galactic Gladiators and seeing what they were up to! The short story is from the point of view of Imperator Magnus Rone as the survivors of Earth show him and all the gladiators of the House of Galen the meaning of Christmas. Warning: if you haven’t read all the Galactic Gladiators books, there are spoilers in the story. It fits in after the novella Desert Hunter from the Embrace the Passion anthology.

To read the story, head over to my Galactic Gladiators Extras page.

Galactic Gladiators Extras

Happy New Year to you!