A Scary Review Redux: Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall (A MelanieM Review)


Rating: 5 stars out of 5 (for story and cover)   ★★★★★

Once upon a time . . . that’s how the old stories always begin.

And so this one begins, in a land both foreign and familiar, it’s a tale of princes, and merfolk and love…of a sort.

Once upon a time there was a king of a fallen kingdom. He was just and he was beloved. Or so the numbers said. One day, he gathered together the greatest, wisest minds in all the land—not sorcerers, but scientists—and he bade them fashion him a son. A prince. A perfect prince to embody his father’s legacy. 

Sand and Gold and RuinBut as fate would have it, nothing ever turns out as planned and the golden perfect prince had other ideas for his future. After gazing upon the dances of the mer in a performance, our prince runs off to join the circus, the Cirque de la Mer.  Once there the prince trained the merfolk,  he performed with them, and  thought he was happy…for a year.

Time brought strange thoughts and emotions to the prince the closer he got to the merfolk. Then Nerites arrives, a mesmerizing merman who refused to be trained or tamed.  Nerites was something far more than the prince ever expected.  Nerites was savage and unknown.

How does the tale end?  Ah, there’s the rub.  For every prince, there exists a beast, and for every love, there exists a forever heartbreak.  Sand and Ruin and Gold has them all.

Sand and Ruin and Gold hearkens back to the olden stories.  Not the comforting ” Disneyfied” fairytales but those of Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.  Here the darkness and unknown reign supreme, not happy endings or light.  Less a tale of romance, this beautifully written short story builds an atmosphere of  creeping foreboding, a sense that not everything is as it seems.  The poetic nature of the narrative combined with an imagery that will enchant, then leave you haunted by the possibilities, make Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall a short story that refuses to be limited by category or trope.

The feeling of something just off kilter is already present at the beginning.  Hall’s prince isn’t born, he’s a genetically perfected young man, created to be the ideal heir to a “good” king who resides over a fallen land.  The clues and telling phrases are slipped in sparingly at first, then in ever increasing numbers. As new descriptions of the circus and the shows appear, a far different picture emerges from our original assumptions of the merfolk and the circumstances at the Circus.  And along with it comes the feeling one gets when the hairs rise off your arm when frightened or the queasiness that originates in your stomach when it dawns on you that something you thought was happily normal or ordinary turns out to be fearfully, horrifically wrong.

Alexis Hall understands how to build a powerfully evocative story, one that runs more along the lines of those classics passed from bard to bard, told around fires in great halls and forests alike.  Whether those bards be from the past or perhaps even our future, that is but one more chilling aspect of this story, a tale that exists in the mists and ocean eddies of the dark seas of this unknown world. But its Hall’s stylistically vivid and powerful narrative with its lush descriptions that makes this story so stunning, so poignant.  This is how it starts out:

“I must have been very young when I saw the mermaids at the Cirque de la Mer because it was the nurse who took me and her place in my life was soon surrendered to tutors. I don’t think my father ever found out.  He would not have approved.

The day is little more than a sensory haze, of pastel children, the laughter of strangers, and the burn of salt and chemicals at the back of my throat.

The mermaids, though.  They are as vivid as stained glass, even now.”

Told from the prince’s pov, we feel his assumptions of his life and the circus fall slowly away as comprehension and understanding arrive building block by building block as events unfold around him.  It is a tale of deep love faced amidst horrifying truths.  One reading will not be enough to capture all the incredible and terrifying moments as sudden realization, and insight sets in.

And then there is that ending, the one that will refuse to let you go.  Its in the words and feelings that emerge, and the tears that will run down your face as you try to decide the implications of words strung like pearls, luminescent and beyond value.  An ending that will send you back to the beginning of the story and start this tale once more.

I highly recommend this story to all readers.  This is a story that should be on everyones shelf, whether it be made of wood or eReader.  This is one of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of 2014 as is its cover.

Cover Artist:  Simone.  The artwork for Sand and Ruin and Gold is every bit as lush and haunting as the story itself. One of the best covers of the year.

Sales Links:    Riptide Publishing           All Romance (ARe)        amazon          Sand and Ruin and Gold

Book Details:

ebook, 39 pages
Published September 22nd 2014 by Riptide Publishing
edition languageEnglish

A Free Dreamer Review: Retribution (Tribute #2) by Kate Pearce


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Retribution_600x900Cheated out of his exit from the Tribute program, Kai Mexr is forced to return as a trainer for one more year. His trainee, Aled Price, is an idealistic Mitan patriot who Kai struggles not to loathe on sight, and who seems up for any challenge Kai sets him. As Aled learns to give up control and endure the program’s worst, Kai is drawn into an intense sexual game that leaves him wanting more.

But then Aled must fulfill his duty as Tribute. He must endure the Ungrich—or die.

When Aled returns, it takes Kai’s ruthless presence to pull his trainee back from the brink of madness. Surviving the Ungrich makes Aled doubt his blind allegiance to his planet—and to everything else he’d never thought to question. But with Kai at his side, Aled finds a new cause to believe in. And with the help of master trainer Akran and his partner Anna Lee, Aled and Kai forge unbreakable allegiances of blood, sex, and love that could save the entire planet from the Ungrich for good.

Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes: Dubious Consent, Non-Consent, Explicit Violence, Heavy Kink

 First of all: Please do take that warning seriously. I don’t think there was a single really consensual sex scene in this book. There was even a bit of tentacle rape, though that was rather short and non-explicit. There’s also a LOT of kink here. If any of those things bother you, this is not a book for you.

I didn’t read book one of the series but I never felt like I missed vital information. So this definitely works as a stand-alone, even if the ending has a very mean cliff hanger.

Essentially, “Retribution” is 100 pages of pure sex, with a bit of combat training mixed in. The sex was really, really hot and very kinky. I decided not to read this while out in public after a few pages. It had me all hot and bothered. 😉

I didn’t realize there would be in this, so I was a little worried when I started reading and saw the tentacles at the beginning of each chapter. Tentacle rape is so not my kind of thing, but those scenes were mercifully brief and unlike everything else, also rather non-explicit.

There was no real plot here and the world-building was pretty much non-existent. Honestly, I didn’t mind that much. The occasional bit of porn is fun and this had just the right length.

If you’re looking for a quick, hot read with tons of kink and don’t mind non-/dub-con, then you’ll like “Retribution”. Just don’t expect too much plot.

I’m not sure if I want to read part 3 as well, since that seems to be M/M/F, which I’ve never tried.

The cover by Lou Harper is quite hot, just like the story. Well done.

Sales: Riptide Publishing |  |Amazon |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages
Published October 5th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN1626492883 (ISBN13: 9781626492882)
Series: Tribute

Get All Types of Supernatural Fun with Katey Hawthorne and Jenna Rose’s Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Arms Dealers (authors interview and giveaway)


JR_KW_kanaan and tilney_coverin

Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Arms Dealers
by  Jenna Rose and Katey Hawthorne

Published by Loose id LLC
Cover artist: Dar Albert

Buy it at Loose id LLC | Amazon | All Romance (ARe)

blog tour

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Katey Hawthorne and Jenna Rose stopping by today to talk  about their new novel, Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Arms Dealers.  We decided to switch things up and asked them to interview each other for a change.  Hmmmm, can the unexpected be far  behind?

~ Katey Hawthorne and Jenna Rose Interview Each Other~

Hello, hello, and welcome to our Release Week blog tour for Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Arms Dealers. Thanks for having us, STaRW crew.  We’re Jenna Rose and Katey Hawthorne, and we’re here to interview each other. Let’s see where this goes…


Katey: So, Jenna. We had the characters of Lowell Kanaan and John Tilney already, you and I, but do you remember the moment when we were inspired to actually write a book together about them?

Jenna: I do! We were close to done writing them and realized how much we were going to miss them. Then you suggested to keep them going and turn their adventures into a book. It kinda exploded from there.

Katey: Yyyeah ‘exploded’ is a good word for it. I remember we were talking about them just investigating stuff, since that was Lowell’s thing all along. I think we were watching Supernatural soon after, too. Not that it’s at all like Supernatural, just that there are, uh, supernatural small-s elements. It’s a lot more… I can’t think of a good TV show comparison…

Jenna: Haha, neither can I, really. I guess it takes inspiration from everywhere, but I do remember us watching Supernatural at the time. And probably complaining about the lack of lbtqia+ and poc characters…

Katey: As we are wont to do, yes.

Jenna: What about Lowell and John made you feel they’d translate well into a book?

Katey: They’re so different. Like, on the surface, they have nothing in common, but at the same time their main interests fit together like puzzle pieces. Lowell solving mysteries to help people, John writing mysteries that require skills of observation and organization.

Jenna: I could never get over how well they hit it off. Like, right from the start.

Katey: Right? Lowell is all survival instinct, too, and John has like, none.

Jenna: And Lowell is so not a people person, whereas John is. They balance each other out.

Katey: Also true. So in that way they supply each other’s weaknesses, and that’s a really good thing to have in a couple you’re writing. Just the opportunity to show them making each other stronger and better people–which all my favorite couples do.

Jenna: Mine too! As you already know very well.

Katey: Do I ever, darling! Okay so John was sort of initially my creation, but by the end of the novel you knew him and how to write him as well as I did, certainly. What’s your favorite thing about being in the driver’s seat with him, when it’s your turn?

Jenna: That’s a good question! The tone of the writing. I love my grouchy Lowell, but John is much more, uh, colorful? and it is a lot of fun. It means getting to write so many crazy and clever things.

Katey: Colorful, that’s a word he’d like, too! Putting it, uh, nicely.

Jenna: I love that weirdo, okay.

As someone who is demisexual, it was great having my hand in helping develop a demisexual character too. I want to see more ace-spectrum characters out there.

Katey: Yeah that was really important to me, too, and I was so pleased you were into it, with John. That’s one of my favorite things about the book in general.

Jenna: Mine too. I was really happy when you mentioned you were considering writing John as demi. Representation for ace people is hard to find. I know I, for one, went a very long time not even knowing asexuality was a thing. So, it’s important to me to, I dunno, put characters out there that someone might be able to relate to, I guess.

But, enough about me! What about writing Lowell was your favorite?

Katey: I am glad you asked that! What I love about Lowell is that his actions show more than his words say, always. So writing him is a lot of fun in that way. He’s pretty clammed up, but also his every little move or thought says volumes.

Jenna: And is just one more thing about them that is so different! Lowell is more show than tell, and John, who wears his heart on his brightly-colored sleeve, is the other way around. It works really well for them.

Katey: Also true. That stuff really does make it so much fun when writing–and even more when writing back and forth with  you. Then there’s always a slight element of surprise, even though we know where the scene is going in general.

Jenna: That’s one of my favorite things about co-writing. As is, characters tend to surprise you when you’re writing on your own, but throw another person in the mix and the results are even better. You end up with dialogue or perspective you may never would have otherwise.

Katey: Totally. It’s more of an adventure that way.

Okay so my last question: We’ve got Necromorphs, Terrans, Elementalists, Beasts, and Psychogenics, in terms of powers. John is an Elementalist, in particular, he’s pyrokinetic. Lowell is a Beast, a wolf-shifter. But what’s your actual favorite kind of power in the praeternatural community Kanaan & Tilney inhabit?

Jenna: That’s a tough one. They all have cool aspects to them, but I’d probably have to say Beast. Being able to turn into something like a wolf is awesome. Or maybe a Terran? My least favorite, or, rather, the one I’d never want to have, is Psychogenic. I sooo want nothing to do with telepathy or mind-control or talking to ghosts.

What about you?

Katey: Yeah as much as I’d love to be able to throw fire or rocks or whatever like an Elementalist, I have way too much of a temper to be trusted with that, sorry to say. I’d probably go Terran. I like the idea of being sort of interlinked with nature in a more explicit way than humanity is even now, you know? Also I am apparently a big old hippie on the inside… the vegetarianism was a giveaway, maybe…

Jenna: That’s what I like about Terrans too.

So, last question from me! What’s something in the Kanaan & Tilney world that we haven’t written about yet that you would like to?

Katey: Oh man, that’s good. This now officially a plotting session! Now I think of it, I’d like to deal with how the non-praeternaturals explain away a lot of the things that go on. Like, we kinda go into Cryptids being their explanation for shifted Beast sightings. Having a non-praeternatural perspective could be entertaining. What do you think?

Jenna: That’d be awesome! I’d love to see more of how the two worlds collide, or for a human to become of a world they had no idea existed. It would be fun to see how much is because humans just convince themselves of something, and how much is because praeternaturals actively cover things up too.

Katey: Yeah it’s a thing we’re kind of skirting, waiting for it to become plot relevant so we can delve in, really. We should totally find an excuse to go there.

Jenna: I agree. And I’m sure we’ll find one. We always do. Haha!

Katey: Just like we always find a way to make puns relevant.

Jenna: It’s true. Any excuse, really.

Thanks, Jenna and Katey, that was spectacular.  Now for more about Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Arms Dealers, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.


JR_KW_kanaan and tilney_coverinJohn Tilney–praeternatural pyrokinetic and mystery author–has noticed the bottom dropping out of the market for his usual gothic fare, so he goes to Lowell Kanaan, PI, for a crash course in noir. Lowell, the cranky wolf-shifter detective, isn’t sure why he agrees to let John shadow him–though it might have something to do with John’s weirdly endearing honesty… and pretty lips. John thinks he’s found the perfect detective novel hero in Lowell, but it isn’t long before he realizes he doesn’t want Lowell for his book, but for himself.

As they become entangled in a supernatural whodunnit involving the Zombie Mafia, black market body parts, and shady insurance deals, their partnership grows closer–and hotter. But when it comes down to the wire, Lowell’s wolfy protective side threatens to drive John around the bend, or at least out of the office. Good thing John’s as much sunshine as he is fire; hopefully it’s enough to help them catch a murderer before they end up in literal pieces, too.


Author Bios

 Jenna Rose is an avid reader and writer, particularly when it comes to science-fiction and fantasy.  Currently, she works as a receptionist, but her real love is writing. In her free time, she likes to read comic books, play video games, and waste time on the internet. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her dog, Harley.
Katey Hawthorne is a reader and writer of superpowered romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio. In her spare time she enjoys comic books, B-movies, loud music, Epiphones, and Bushmills.

Both authors can be contacted at:

Katey Hawthorne:

Website: http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hawthornetaylor
Tumblr: http://hawthornetaylor.tumblr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katey.hawthorne.33

Jenna Rose:



Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the authors.  Good luck everyone!

GIVEAWAY: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MzEwNTUzNWQxNzFmNmFhYmFmNTkxNGFhNTJjNjlkOjI=/?

The Sin City Uniform Men are Back in Morticia Knight’s ‘Negotiating Love’ (Excerpt and giveaway)



Negotiating Love (Sin City Uniforms #5) by Morticia Knight
Release Date: October 27, 2015

Goodreads Link
: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh



Can the kinky billionaire owner of Dark Fantasy Resort Casino capture the heart of a muscled SWAT officer with a secret fetish?

SWAT Team Hostage Negotiator, Steve, wonders why he can’t stay away from the spoiled rich Allistair, owner of Dark Fantasy Resort Casino. They have mutual kinks – ones Steve can’t find with other lovers—but there’s something else about the emotionally detached, beautiful man that calls to him.

Billionaire Allistair stays alone in his luxury penthouse apartment at the top of Dark Fantasy, terrified of the real world and of opening himself up to genuine emotions. He takes lover after lover, all of them allowing him to do whatever he wants to their bodies, in the hopes that they can scam something from him.

One night is all he ever shares with a plaything—he knows they only want the money and luxury he can offer them and nothing more. But the down to earth Steve is different. They share the same kinks and are explosive when together. But could the muscled law officer ever want more than the lust-filled encounters that have become such an addiction?

As they grow closer, they discover they also have to find a balance between Steve’s everyday world and Allistair’s entitled world before they can truly find an ever after. They also have to make sure Allistair stays safe. Filthy rich playboys are too tempting to those who seek the ultimate payday—and who aren’t afraid of hurting someone to get it.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of BDSM and fetishism.


Pages or Words: 50,851 words
Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Erotica, M/M Romance, Mystery


Steve pulled a surprised Allistair into his arms, embracing him in a strong hold. They’d never hugged. It wasn’t anything Steve had planned, but Allistair’s words reinforced the conclusion Steve had come to about the casino owner—he was in desperate need of being treated with care and affection.
Maybe I am too.
The extreme tension in Allistair melted the longer Steve held him. He didn’t pat or stroke his back, he kept them still, the rate of their breathing eventually matching.
“What if you use me all afternoon until I’m wrung dry? Then I’ll undoubtedly need sustenance for later on tonight. If we get to a restaurant early enough, we’ll be able to enjoy the view while it’s still light out.”
A light rumble from Allistair’s laugh vibrated against his chest. “You’re amazing. That sounds perfect, but I need to add one thing.”
Steve pulled back enough to see Allistair’s expression, without completely letting go. “I hope it’s something filthy. You’ve been unusually well behaved since we left the penthouse.”
The smile Allistair beamed at him was stunning. It made him even more beautiful and Steve could detect a glimpse of what the real Allistair might be like.
“Just our shared kink.”
“They’re in my bag. I’ll wear whichever one you choose.”
Steve was aware of his cock filling right as Allistair hardened, his pupils widening.
“Pour the champagne, Steve. Then peel off your clothes for me, slowly.” Allistair’s breathing sped up. “Very slow when you get to your jeans.”
“Anything for you, Allistair. Whatever you want.”

Buy the book 

Pride Publishing | Amazon US |Amazon UK | B&N  | ARe


Meet the Author

Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after.

If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011.

Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.


Where to find the author:



Giveaway Factoid: 3. Allistair has a secret camera system in Club Seduction that allows him to pick out his evening’s entertainment.

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Signed paperback and a Halloween goodie bag. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Dates & Stops:

26-Oct: Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Foxylutely Book Reviews

27-Oct: Nautical Star Books, Nephy Hart

28-Oct: Velvet Panic, Bike Book Reviews

29-Oct: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Divine Magazine

30-Oct: Just Love Romance

2-Nov: Mikky’s World of Books, Bayou Book Junkie

3-Nov: Havan Fellows

4-Nov: My Fiction Nook, Jessie G. Books

5-Nov: Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

6-Nov: Happily Ever Chapter

9-Nov: Love Bytes

10-Nov: MM Good Book Reviews

11-Nov: Prism Book Alliance

12-Nov: V’s Reads, Inked Rainbow Reads

13-Nov: Parker Williams

15-Nov: The Hat Party

16-Nov: Decadent Delights

17-Nov: The Novel Approach

18-Nov: 3 Chicks After Dark

19-Nov: TTC Books and More

19-Nov: BFD Book Blog

20-Nov: Molly Lolly



Coffee Sip and Book Break: ‘Enigma’ by Nephy Hart‏ (excerpt and contest)



Enigma by Nephy Hart
Publisher: Flying with Red Haircrow
Cover Artist: Red Haircrow



Troubled residents come and go at the Care House where River Caulfield is a caregiver, working towards fulfilling his dream of becoming a nurse. When Silver arrives, a patient found on a roadside near death after suffering terrible abuse, River finds his previous personal detachment is compromised. Seeking to help the mysterious and enigmatic young man locked inside his own mind and memories, River finds his professionalism slipping as Silver begins to open up and live again.

But as their relationship begins to blossom, the roots of Silver’s past abuse and the abuser who forced him into such a mental state sends forth new shoots of darkness enveloping them in dangers threatening not only Silver’s sanity, but their very lives. With River’s devotion and help, will Silver finally be able to break away from his past? The answer lies in the words of a priest, a painting and a long walk through a churchyard harbouring the secrets of the enigma that is Silver.


Pages or Words: 98,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance


Feeling more confident and realising that I have to ‘project a confident and professional air to reassure the resident and help to ease them into the new surrounding and routine that mark their transition from the institutional environment and the radically different routine and environment of a residential setting’, I compose myself. Yeah, I know, I’m a geek with a photographic memory, although knowing the rules doesn’t necessarily mean I always follow them.

“Silver,” I say softly as I shake him gently by the shoulder. I wonder how many times he has heard a smirk in the voice that calls him by name. I know that I have, often enough.

With a sigh the figure in the bed turns over, flinging out an arm with a soft moan. I freeze. Fucking hell… I mean what the fuck…. fucking HELL.

He is nothing like I had expected, not that I had really been expecting anything, but with a name like Silver I had kind of expected him to be fair; ash blonde or something. But he isn’t. He’s dark, very dark. His hair is jet black and long, and even tangled and dry as it is; it makes me want to run my fingers through it. I can imagine myself gently tugging out the knots and running conditioner down the length of it, strand by strand. It would be soft and silky and….

Shit! And that’s just his hair. The things I want to do with those lips. Fuck. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined…. Gods he is beautiful; not just cute like Max, not handsome or pretty or any of the other words used to describe how someone looks; he isn’t even drop dead gorgeous: he is beautiful, simple as. Lying there with his hair all over the place, his long coal black lashes trembling on his milk white cheeks, one arm thrown out revealing the creamy skin and well defined muscles of his bare shoulders and chest he is a fucking angel… a real, living, breathing, flesh and blood angel.

Gods damn them; they knew. The bastards knew the effect he would have on me and all the giggling and snickering now make sense. Shit, I am practically creaming my pants just looking at him. I shake my head and laugh at myself. Get a grip, River. Just keep your mind above your waist and remember that this is a resident, a patient, a sick person who needs you to be strictly professional and… Ah fuck, why did he have to stir right at this moment? Why did he have to let out that cute little sigh that parts his lips and makes me want to… to… Shit!!!!

Moving his head from side to side drowsily on the pillow, Silver gives a sleepy little grunty moan thing and yawns showing absolutely perfect white teeth… of course, although I notice that there is a gap right at the back on the bottom. I don’t know why but that makes me smile; somehow, something that mars that perfection, even to such a slight degree, is a huge relief.

Just when I am managing to get myself under control and have a goofy smile on my face, Silver opens his eyes. If I had thought that Silver with his eyes closed was beautiful, Silver with his eyes open is… unreal. At least now I understand why he is called Silver. His eyes are grey, a strange pale silvery grey with an almost metallic sheen, like mercury. For a full minute I just stare at him and he stares back. There is no curiosity in his eyes, no fear, no challenge; no anything. I have never seen eyes that are so blank.

Quite suddenly it occurs to me that I am staring and really not being very professional at all. I force myself to smile, a tight professional smile and not the goofy grin that is threatening to break out at any moment.

“Hello Silver, my name is River, did you sleep well?”

The silver grey eyes regard me steadily but there is no indication that he has even heard me let alone understood me. I broaden my smile and try again.

“It’s morning, Silver, time to get up. Do you need me to help you with that?”

At last there is a reaction, just a tiny shake of the head. The silver eyes flicker and with a sigh he throws back the quilt and I am blinded. At least I wish I had gone blind because if I had I wouldn’t have been staring at that body with quite so much raw hunger. Fuck he is beautiful all over.

Turning away I walk to the chest of drawers, hoping that he had brought some clothes with him. The first drawer contains pyjamas and I wonder why the hell they hadn’t put any on him last night, although a moment’s reflection supplies the answer: bastard.

Trying to keep my face turned and my eyes well above the waist I hand Silver the pyjamas.

“Can you put these on?”

Without making a sound he takes the clothes from my hands and slips them on. I have to watch, I just can’t help it. I don’t know what kind of condition he was in before whatever happened, happened, or when he woke up out of the coma but those physiotherapists have sure done one amazing job over the past six months. He is slender, even thin, but so well defined that, even through the cotton pyjamas it is possible to see that he is toned to perfection, every muscle group well defined.

Shit, he’s fucking perfect in every way. And when he starts to walk…

My great grandmother used to be a dancer, way back in the twenties. She was something of a celebrity back then, and I can remember my grandfather talking about her with fierce pride on his face. When he was a child he used to go to the theatre to watch her practice and perform and he would say that even when she was not on the stage, even when she was just walking down the street, across a room, getting on a train; she was always dancing. He used to say she ‘walked lightly on the earth’. I have always remembered that phrase – walked lightly on the earth – and I thought I knew what he meant… until now.

Damn those physiotherapists have done a good job, a great job, there isn’t so much as a hint of a limp and he stands very erect with his head up and… walks lightly on the earth. It’s hard to describe, but he flows, hardly making a sound, so lightly that it makes you feel that he wouldn’t make a footprint in snow.

He pauses in the doorway, waiting. I am staring again. “Do you dance Silver?” The words just slip out. I forget that he doesn’t know, that he doesn’t want to know; it’s just that the way he walks makes me think so much of my great grandmother that I am suddenly sure that he must be a dancer too.

Buy the book: Amazon UK |Amazon US | Smashwords |ARe


Meet the Author

Nephy Hart was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Nephy has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Nephy became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Nephy lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, hamster and two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art.


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