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Viola Grace


Viola Grace was born in Manitoba, Canada where she still resides today. She really likes it there.

She has no pets and can barely keep sea monkeys alive for a reasonable amount of time.

In keeping with busy hands are happy hands, her hobbies have included cross-stitch, needlepoint, quilting, costuming, cake decorating, baking, cooking, metal work, beading, sculpting, painting, doll making, henna tattoos, chain mail, and a few others that have been forgotten. It is quite often that these hobbies make their way into her tales.

Viola’s fetishes include boots and corsetry, and her greatest weakness is her uncontrollable blush.

Her writing actively pursues the Happily Ever After that so rarely occurs in nature. It is an admirable thing and something that we should all strive for. To find one that we truly like, as well as love.

 

Email : viola@violagrace.com

Website : http://www.violagrace.com

Multiple Organisms

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Sector Guard #18
Published By: Devine Destinies

Drahali has lived her life as a freak, a woman who was far more than one of the guys. Her strength was limitless,...

“Sir, you wanted a demonstration? What did you have in mind?” She used the manners that her mother insisted on.

“I have a shuttle parked over the ridge, in the authorized zone. Nice blend of technology you have here.” He was stumbling over his own words.

Her mother puffed up with pride. “We left the city for the joys of the land. When the city opened up spreads for ecologically friendly family farming, we jumped at the chance. Now that we are situated out here, I think it would be good for Dra to see some sights among the stars.”

Drahali blinked at the swift turn of her mother’s comment. It wasn’t like Nrahali to be that direct. Like most of the Eorghani, she was the soul of etiquette and decorum.

“That may be a possibility. Shall we?” He gestured to the front of the house and she preceded him.

The spot he mentioned was fifteen minutes away. He drew even with her as they marched to his shuttle. “You don’t wear footwear?”

“Not much call for it here. My soles are tough enough to take most punishment and my talent seems to protect me from most damage.”

“How long have you had this talent? Does it strictly have to do with strength?”

“No. I can also do this.” She hopped up on a rock and stomped one bare foot. The rock shattered beneath her sole.

“Is your talent constant, or do you trigger it?” He seemed genuinely admiring.

“Constant. Is yours triggered, or is that too personal a question?” She blushed when she realized that she might have passed on a taboo.

“Considering that I am about to ask you every involved question I can think of, you have the right to reciprocate.” He smiled at her and her stomach flipped. “My talent is activated. I operate under code name, Multi.”

“That brings several images to mind, but I suppose I will learn.”

Drahali has lived her life as a freak, a woman who was far more than one of the guys. Her strength was limitless, but it doomed her to a life alone until the day the Sector Guard recruiter arrived and offered her a chance to be his partner and possibly more. Remar suffered the same fate on his home world with his body able to split into multiple incarnations of the original. Meeting a woman who was petite, adorable and could snap him in two would have frightened a lesser man, but he could be more than she could handle any time he wished.
Price: $3.99
Opalite Dare

Written By: Viola Grace, Tianna Xander
Series: D.A.R.E. Project #4
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Opalite has struggled to keep her self-contained while she travels and retrieves lost humans. Meeting up with a sh...

"Well, finding a mate is a prime concern for many, but there are few females to be found." He cleared his throat. "You and your sisters are a blessing from the universe. To have twenty females of breeding age entering society at the same time is unheard of."

"Not anymore and we are not a blessing from the universe, we are a blessing from Eiwyn. Our mother sacrificed years of her life with our father in order to bring us to the worlds." She couldn't help but give credit where it was due.

"He is not happy about the loss of his wife. We are trying to keep the complete truth of his children from him, but it has not been easy." Kros's voice was next to her as she explored the huge doorway that led into the castle.

"It has not been easy on Mother either, but it will not be forever, or so she is telling us. I wish for the day that I can meet her." Opalite whistled softly, listening to the echo within the interior.

"What do you mean you haven't met her? She is your mother."

"We were cloned. She had four embryos and they somehow were split into five sisters each. The researchers don't know why we look identical, but our eyes and personalities are all completely different."

The interior of the home was cool and comfortable. Glossy marble floors butted to matte stone walls. Huge windows were open to the breezes and couches dotted the inner rooms.

"This is a lovely place. How can you live here on your own?" The vastness of the space astonished her.

"Well, I was rather hoping you would join me." He snaked his arm around her waist and she blinked up at him.

"I need to see my sisters first."

He was coming in for a kiss and she reached up and grabbed his lips. "My sisters. Now."

Opalite has struggled to keep her self-contained while she travels and retrieves lost humans. Meeting up with a shackled dragon male has upset her attempts to keep her life under her control. When her association with him gets the attention of her handlers, the humans charge her with manhandling one of their own. Defending herself would be hard enough with one witness on her side, but alone against the humans, what chance does a dragon swan have?
Price: $3.99
Pan's Legacy

Written By: Viola Grace
Published By: Extasy Books
Heat Level:

One of the Terran Volunteers, Pandora Smythe has gotten a surprising welcome to space. Taken from her home world,...
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One of the Terran Volunteers, Pandora Smythe has gotten a surprising welcome to space. Taken from her home world, she is tossed into a survival situation on an alien planet and forced to fight for life as best she can. When her captors believe she is ready, she is taken to another world and becomes a pit fighter. Granted the chance to meet her captors, surprised is a mild word for her reaction as Huek K'ptain and T'nker Biel confront her to let her know that the tales her grandfather told of an eternal fairy and evil captain were not his imagination. Pandora has something that they want…and she has no idea what it is.
Price: $3.99
Past Tense

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Sector Guard #16
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Mayden Morningside is a Reader who works with contracts and lives a quiet life until her old recruiter from Terra...

The shuttle pilot carefully did not touch her as he escorted her out of the small ship.

“Thank you, Nef. Where to next?”

“You are expected in medical. Please follow me.” He didn’t offer to carry her bag, so she knew immediately that the young Azon had met a reader or two before.

Medical was bustling but organized. A physician met her at the door, showed her where to stow her baggage and her clothing, then led her to a series of injections that left her dopey for the insertion into a tank to allow for the remainder of the treatment to take place. It would take weeks for her transformation to conclude and the IV of fluids to deliver their altered genetic payload.

Mayden was well aware of the reason they put her in the tank, not only was she insulated from contact, but they couldn’t hear her screaming as the pain of her organs realigning took her over. The sedatives kept flowing, but she went through a world of blackouts and agony.

Time ceased to have meaning, but the waves of pain finally receded and Mayden became aware of the steady throb of the engines as it matched her heartbeat. The visitors in front of her took on a steady wave. The doctors, medical assistants and a variety of attendants gave way to military personnel and a woman with rainbow hair who used a scanner on her from head to toe.

The woman was wearing a bodysuit with a tool belt attached and had a concerned expression on her face until the doctor spoke to her in depth. The man beside her seemed to be a male Selna, but Mayden had never seen one before.

There was another visitor in the shadows just beyond her range of vision. She could feel him more than see him, but she knew he was there. He came to visit every night when the crew was at the lightest population. A strange sort of music played in her head whenever he was near, but she was peculiarly grateful for the company.

Even when she couldn’t see him, the faint song rang through her mind, lulling her into a relaxed state as she hung in the oxygenated fluid.

Mayden Morningside is a Reader who works with contracts and lives a quiet life until her old recruiter from Terra comes asking her to join the Sector Guard. She will have her body changed to match her partner’s, a strange but necessary practice when one’s partner is a dragon. Harusk is a sleeper, a dragon who chose to preserve his genes through a prolonged hibernation. Waking to find out his perfect match needs a little tinkering is surprising, but his first meetings with her captivate him beyond all of his preconceptions. Not bad for a woman in a tank who can’t even curse at the pain of the transformation process.
Price: $3.99
Pilot in Command

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Sector Guard #25
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Helen needed more from life as a pilot than the Alliance could offer. When a handsome Azon offers her a new positi...

“I have been over all of the reports from beginning to end. I watched the battle from all angles, including the civilian ships that you refused to abandon.

You are a very brave woman, Pilot Taline.”

She blushed and she knew that her tank-pale skin was turning bright red. “I did what I had to based on the situation.”

“And refused to leave until the raiders were beaten back and retreated.”

She took a look around the silent medical bay and the lone doctor that attended her. “I have been fired.”

He looked up and laughed. “No. You have not been fired. You have been offered a commendation and a sort of a promotion.”

She made sure that she was wearing a sheet before she moved and she held it to her breasts while she tried to swing her legs over to dangle off the edge of the medical bed. “What kind of promotion?”

“There is a new position in the Alliance that is about to be offered to you. It is an offer made only to exceptional members of their races and species.

You qualify for that distinction.” He watched her carefully as she slowly started to swing her legs. “How long were you in that tank?”

“Two years. I tried to work out when I could.”

Her bare legs clearly showed the ports in her skin as did her arms, chest and her temples and the base of her skull.

She had been altered to join to a warship and now that was being taken away from her. “What kind of position would this be?”

“You would be a pilot but in a smaller ship.”

“Why?”

“Because I need a pilot and you are the best there is.”

She snorted and looked at him in shock. “I am supposed to go from being a living warship to a private driver? That is considered a promotion?”

He crossed his arms and scowled. “It isn’t a bad deal. I am considered charming in some sectors.”

“It isn’t personal, but I used to be able to tear holes in space and jump across it in an instant. This will be a step down for me.”

He nodded. “I see. What do you know about Reflex ships?”

She froze in place and then started kicking her legs again. “Tell me more.”

He leaned forward with a smile lighting the sharp curve of his lips and did just that.

Helen needed more from life as a pilot than the Alliance could offer. When a handsome Azon offers her a new position, she can’t say no, to anything.
 
Helen has enjoyed her tenure as an Alliance pilot, but working with unpredictable crews is wearing on her nerves. When an incident of defense of the innocent via mutiny ends her career, controlling warships is over. Joining the Sector Guard felt right, but if she had known what was ahead of her, she may have held back when the handsome Azon doctor offered her a job.
Hyder has always known the matches that he sees are the perfect mate for the person he is speaking to. He may not know a name, or a location, but he knows what everyone’s perfect match looks like. Seeing himself as the Terran’s perfect match is a surprise, but when he looks her over, he is sure he is up to the challenge. He just has to put Pilot in command.


 
Price: $3.99
Pixies in the Park

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: The Nexus Chronicles #5
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Back at home, Abby is inundated by gifts and cards from the Magical community at large. When one gift is more of a...

With the camaraderie having run its course, the ladies left Abby alone with her thoughts as she closed her door. Well, she tried to close it, but a frantic flapping of wings stalled her. Buffy struck her squarely in the chest, squeaking in distress.

"What is it honey?" Abby tried to calm the clinging gargoyle, but it was difficult with her wings still flapping and her claws digging into Abby's skin.

"Calm down, are you hurt?" Abby carefully used her inner eye to assess Buffy's condition. Her basic energy was stable, her body was not damaged and nothing was off.

"Holy heck." Nothing except for the small, bright spot of life blooming in the gargoyle's belly.

"Where are the boys?" Carrying the little creature, she held her tightly to her chest as she went to look for the other two gargoyles in the backyard. They were up in the trees, hanging baseball caps that they had stolen from unsuspecting men the previous autumn.

"Okay, Buffy. Who is the father?" She pried her creature off her and lured her onto the kitchen counter with a cookie. "Is it Angel?" No response in the aura.

"Not Firefly?" No reaction and the little gargoyle looked away.

What did that leave? "Is it a gnome?" The flare brightened into a hot, red pulse in Buffy's aura.

"Thank goodness. I was afraid it would have been an elf. That was a close one." She held her breath for her next round of questions. "Harby? No. Good. That would have been one ugly little bugger. Skint? No. Splint? No, good that would have been tricky. Oh, lord. That leaves Bitsy."

The flaring of her aura was telling the tale. It was Bitsy.

Abby sighed. It did make a certain amount of sense. Those two had always been drawn together. But a gnome-gargoyle baby? That was a little much to take in.

"Sweetie. When did it happen?" She held onto Buffy's little hand and smiled as the fingers gripped her.

Buffy waved her hand and squeaked again. This time it sounded more like a word. "Today."

"Wow. The little one seems to draw your magic a little."

"No fly."

"Oh. That was why you crashed into me. I think I can give you some supplements to help with that. But this will be your private stash. Don't let the boys into them or they will eat them all." Abby took a cookie and poured the power of the surprise she had felt when she realized she was about to be a grandmother to a flying gnome.

"One cookie a day until the baby gets bigger and then up to three. I will put them in a special spot and get the elves to guard it for you."

Buffy's cute little face with its wild mane of fluffy hair looked happy and hopeful as the cookie replaced some of the magic she had been missing.

"There. Better?" When her little one smiled and nodded, she said, "Good. Now you can tell Bitsy if you wish to, but if you want to keep the secret from your other companions, that is your choice. Come to me once a day for a check-up and I will try to compensate for any changes in the baby's growth cycle with extra boosts. At this point, it is all I can do. I think I may give the cookies to Laura. The gnomes won't dare break in to her yard…again."

That had been a funny afternoon. The gnomes wanted to know if they could swim and had jumped into Laura's pool, promptly sinking to the bottom and making mermaid retrieval imperative. Fortunately, what they did learn was that while they could not swim, they could not drown. It was a bright side.

However, after that escapade, Laura banned them from her yard unless Abby was there to babysit. It was a nice, safe place for power cookies.

She made the call and pressed one of her five cookie jars into service. She would leave it in the backyard in one of the small alcoves that was built into the reed hut that acted as a cabana.

Seesee had left her plenty of cookies, so she charged up a dozen and put them in the jar. Now, the only problem was sneaking over to Laura's without the gnomes seeing her.

A thought broke over her and she smiled at the simplicity. Laura was currently alone, so Abby had a few minutes until Verne came over for their date.

She knocked on the door, cookie jar in hand and simply gave it to Laura with instructions on where to put it. Buffy was sitting comfortably on Abby's shoulder and smiled brilliantly at the mermaid as she greeted her.

"Do you have the goods?" The dark and spooky voice Laura was using belied her bright grin.

In her own version of spy talk she whispered, "I've got the jar. Stash the goodies and all will be well."

A canny look came to the mermaid's eyes. "What will I get in return?"

Abby drew herself up straight. "I will order the gnomes to stop putting fish food in your tea and your juice and your salad." She had gotten enough amusement out of it anyway. Having minions had its good points.

"Deal." Laura extended her hands and took the cookie jar, not commenting on the teddy bear holding an Eat Me sign. "I look forward to doing business with you again, Nexus. Buffy, congratulations."

The little gargoyle extended her wings, stood up on Abby's shoulder and bowed. She squeaked her thanks and then settled back into her perching position.

The two bipedals shook hands and with a jaunty wave, Abby left her friend's yard just as Verne was making his way to his lady's sidewalk.

"Good evening, Verne."

"Evening, Nexus. Taking the gargoyle out for a walk?"

His question was just silly. "Of course I am. I can't ride her, now can I?"

Back at home, Abby is inundated by gifts and cards from the Magical community at large. When one gift is more of a surprise than anticipated, the occupants of Oak Point are going to have their hands full finding the first kidnapped Nexus in history. Abby fights for freedom in her own small way, while Xander goes out of his mind to find her. Join the new creatures, new characters and new villains as they try to help, commiserate and destroy Abby in turn.
Price: $6.99
Power of Learning

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #15
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Wisdom comes at a cost, but if knowledge can be shared, it might not kill her.   Yavil suffers from a...

Showering and getting dressed felt very peculiar, but she was up at Morganti dawn and trolling through the data system with glee. The specs for the halls were easily memorized, and she found the food court with ease.

Carefully, she eased out of her comfortable environment and into the hall where other Citadel occupants were heading for breakfast.

She met two cheerful women—Iyanna and Vesa—and they hauled her along for the meal.

When she saw the robes everyone was wearing, she blushed. She had forgotten to put it on over the bodysuit.

Iyanna patted her hand and smiled. Her smile faded, and she gave Vesa a sharp look. “So, you are an educator by trade?”

“I am or was. I am not sure what the Citadel wants me to do, but there was no future for me back home, so here I am.” She shrugged and ate the grain mix she had put on her tray. “What does an assessment officer do?”

“This and that. I check new intakes and try to see the potential of their talent, enrolling them in the appropriate classes to help bring that potential to the surface.”

Yavil ate another bite of the cereal. “So, what did you read when you scanned me?”

Iyanna blushed. “Sorry, occupational habit. I read that your talent is twofold, your mind and your voice combine to be a very powerful combination. You already have control over your talent, so you can proceed directly to instruction of large groups.”

“That is what I thought would happen.” Yavil continued to eat and tidied up her tray when she was done.

She checked a chronometer on the wall and decided that she still had enough time to make it back to her quarters to grab the robes before she joined Turnari.

Yavil made her goodbyes and promised to have breakfast the next day if she was able and quickly moved through the halls back to her room. She had just lifted the robes out of the wardrobe when a knock sounded.

She shivered and slid the robes over her shoulders, flicking them until they were straight. The knock sounded again. “Just a minute.”

Turnari was standing at her door, and he seemed surprised to see her awake. “I was just coming to see how you were.”

Yavil could see interest in his eyes. She held up her hand. “I have been up, had breakfast, met some nice personnel and am now ready for our meeting.”

He sighed. “Too bad. It would have been easier if no one had seen you.”

Wisdom comes at a cost, but if knowledge can be shared, it might not kill her.
 
Yavil suffers from an intellectual infection. Her mind absorbs every detail of everything she sees, and she can force understanding on her students when she goes into lecture mode. Her brainstorms have gotten the attention of the Alliance, and after she speaks with one of their representatives from Citadel Morganti, she is on her way to working as an educator to the best and brightest of talents.
Hosh is a first aid instructor assigned to Citadel Morganti, and when he listens to Yavil’s lecture on the local flora and clotting properties of minerals on Tebr, he is filled with complete understanding of the topic. This is a new experience for him, so he signs up for the entire series of lectures, and by the time they are complete, he knows more than just how to grow plants in a vacuum, he knows that Yavil is the group educator that the Sector Guard has been looking for.
Price: $3.99
Powered Up

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Sector Guard #11
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Ilsa Kimoni has spent the last three years saving her own people in privacy, locked away in the seizure centre on...

“What brings the Sector Guard to my door, so to speak?” She kept eye contact with him, but it was difficult. Her dark brown gaze was no match for his silver one.

“We have received a report that you are exhibiting symptoms of being a candidate for the Sector Guard.”

She blinked. “Who are you?”

His cheeks bronzed even more. “I am sorry, my name is Razer. I am one of the Guardsmen out of Udell Base.”

“What report could you possibly have gotten on me?” She was curious. She drummed her fingers on the edge of the chair.

“That you have a talent for animating large pieces of equipment.”

Ilsa’s lips twitched in an effort to squelch the run of amusement that his statement caused. The double entendre was only in her mind. “I have never declared any such thing. What could have possibly triggered a report?”

He looked at her legs for a moment. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Certainly.”

“What is wrong with your legs?”

She giggled. It was nice that he was direct. “Nothing. Well, they are a little weak, but there is no reason for the chair.”

“Then why are you in it?”

“Because they are afraid I will have a seizure when I am standing, so they have alarmed the chair to keep me from falling. It’s stupid, but I can’t check out under my own steam.” She snorted and wiggled her toes, but when she shifted her weight, the chair chirped a warning. “See?”

“So, they are imprisoning you here?” His voice took on a harsh tone that was endearing to her and seemed to surprise him.

“Yes and no. If I go without a seizure for six months I will be free to go.”

His lips twitched. “Why can’t you?”

“Because, for example, if I did have talent, it might read as a seizure and my body might be locked in an unconscious state. Hypothetically.”

He smiled outright. “Indeed. Hypothetically.” He chuckled, a rusty sound that made her wish she was out of that chair and preening for his attention so that the smile would bathe her in its light.

“What would your talent be, hypothetically?”

He already knew, she could see it in his face. “Well, if I were to have a seizure, as they call it…I would send my conscious mind into a mobile machine and use it like my own body.” She smiled. “Hypothetically.”

“What kind of machines?”

“Walkers, transports, boats, anything that can move, but you knew that already.” She squinted at him and he grinned again.

“I do. Would you be willing to leave Pahnnan?” It was a formal request and she read it as such.

“I would. There is nothing left for me here.” Once her parents had died, there was no one left to miss her.

“Excellent. I will make the arrangements.” He rose and bowed to her.

She smiled. “That’s it?”

“That is it. You have already been cleared to leave the surface and the training centre at Udell is awaiting a woman’s touch.” His lips were twitching again.

Ilsa Kimoni has spent the last three years saving her own people in privacy, locked away in the seizure centre on Pahnnan. When a member of the Sector Guard request and demands her skills, she has no choice but to say yes. Controlling technology is her talent, but she will need skill and patience to deal with her new partner, Razer. Born of the warlike mercenary race, Kozue, he is appalled at her lack of physical skills but captivated by her deep brown eyes. What could Commander have been thinking to pair him with such a soft, golden, sexy female? She would be more distraction than assistance. When she powers up, she proves her worth, and still distracts the hell out of him.
Price: $3.99
Psyche's Caress

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Sector Guard #10
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Roha Excelter - code named Psyche - is on assignment on Marketh. She had a simple investigation planned until some...

This was ridiculous. She set the controls to follow the beacon at three thousand feet and went to the emergency supplies. She hooked the mask on and felt immediate relief as her preferred atmosphere blend came into her lungs.

Her ship rocked as something struck the side and she staggered back to the helm as quickly as she could.

"You are not authorized to enter this airspace. Please drop to fifteen hundred feet and wait for additional escort."

She pulled the breather from her face. "I am authorized to be in this airspace, I am a representative of the Sector Guard and you have just assaulted my ship."

A small craft was on her left side bearing the marks of impact with her ship.

"I don't have any record of your clearance. Where are you going?"

"Asher Prime. Please contact the ground control for the authorization specs." She snapped the mask back into place.

He was quiet for a moment and then he said, "Land. Land now! The Asher Prime signal was highjacked and your shuttle has been coated with acid. I don't even want to know if they got something into your ship."

She did a hull integrity check as she started to lose altitude. He was right. She had been coated with acid. A quick check of the interior of the shuttle showed more than a tolerable share of toxins. If she had been a Terran or Azon, she would have been dead. Her placement of the breather had probably saved her life.

She dropped out of the sky as fast as she could. Alarms sounded on every instrument she had and it was a controlled crash that skidded her hundreds of yards before her ship rocked to a halt.

The Archer was dead.

Moving as quickly as she could, she stuffed all of her equipment into a duffel, grabbed her away bag and blew the emergency exit. She took a few steps back, then sprinted through the hole, tumbled on the ground and ran as far away from the hulk of her ship as she could.

The small craft was landing nearby and she approached slowly, her hands out at her sides, carrying her bags.

A man exited the ship and held an object toward her. "Kneel."

She knelt and waited as he approached. The object he was holding was a palm scanner. "You have ingested quite a bit of toxic gasses. I am amazed you are still up and functioning. Nice landing, by the way."

She kept her mask on and watched him as he reached for her wrist. She jerked her arm back.

"Don't worry. This is just to flush your system. It's saline based and shouldn't have too great an effect on you, even with your physiology."

"You're a doctor?" She kept her arm against her chest and glared at him.

"What?"

Oh, her mask. Right. She pulled it away from her face and his eyes widened in surprise. "You're a doctor?"

"I have some medical training. Enough to tell that you aren't from around here." His golden eyes in his smoke grey face were smiling.

She extended her arm and waited for the rush of his emotions and thoughts. She was surprised when his warm, strong fingers made contact. He was calm, relaxed and concerned for her. With this man, instead of drowning in the ocean of emotion, she was standing on the shore and wanted to wade further in.

His black hair waved off his forehead and a lock slipped across his face, making him blow it upward as he tried to clear it. He was holding her wrist with one hand and administering a hypo to her skin with the other.

"What is your name?" Her voice was husky and soft to her own ears. She cleared her throat self-consciously.

"Ruar. Ruar Asher." His lips were curved in a charming smile as he looked into her eyes.

"I am Sector Guardsman Psyche out of Station 13."

"We have been expecting you."

Roha Excelter - code named Psyche - is on assignment on Marketh. She had a simple investigation planned until someone tried to kill her. Twice. The simple problem turned out to be a conspiracy to keep volunteers imprisoned and the population in general, ignorant. Working with the Marketh council she has to uncover the seedy details of the confinement and find a way to bring the prisoners back to dignity. Once a third attempt on her life is made and she is saved by the same man for a second time...she begins to realize that Ruar might be a good candidate for the Sector Guard.
Price: $3.99
Rain of Tears

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #22
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Needing help to free her creation, Rain turns to an agricultural specialist who has more than furrows on his mind....

The dust puffed up with every step Reyan took. She shook her head at the arid landscape. They had really let this place go to hell since she was last here.

Three hundred years ago, the inhabitants had begged for her help when their weather-control machine had stalled out. The rest of the world of Jarko suffered because the people of this small corner of the continent liked to screw with nature. Reyan considered it her personal mission to keep the weather patterns even so that everyone got a chance at a harvest.

The people of Nekahar were jerks, there was no doubt about it, but the predictable weather brought settlers by the hundreds.

Reyan stopped and drank some water, hitched the bottle back onto her belt and walked into the city.

The guards at the gate stopped her. “Halt, we are on water rations. If you need food or water, you will have to pay.”

She grinned. “I accept your conditions, now let me pass.”

They could only see the lower half of her face. The marks that the Ichadran scientists had designed her with were an experiment and were also worn by her younger sister, the Destroyer. Her forehead was dotted with a very feminine pattern and her cheeks were streaked with silvery tears. Combine it with her pale blue eyes with their dark blue rings and her pale lavender hair, there was only one person she could be, the Rain.

There were three worlds in this system and Jarko was where she was able to do her best because of their screwy weather system.

The guards let her in after telling her that free food and water would be available in the central arena as a method of calling the rain.

As she passed through the city, she noted the signs of poverty, the abuse of authority and the degradation of society that always came with the drought. Those who couldn’t run, rotted.

She would do what she could, but unless they let nature take its course, they were doomed to repeat the cycle.

 

“As you know, we have fallen on hard times. Our efforts to repair the weather unit have failed and help is still months away. All we can do is beg the rain to return and hope that it will stay with us until the harvest is in. One good season is all we need, so rain, if you are listening, come to us!”

Reyan milled with the other travellers who had arrived in the city. She asked the man next to her, “Do you know how often they do this?”

“They started last year when the machine first malfunctioned. When did you get in?”

“This afternoon. Why?”

“They have a special treat for newcomers, but you can only claim it once.” He moved away from her, and she could see him radiating fear.

Cocking her head, she noted the guards who had seen her in were pointing her out to arena staff.

This was what she had been waiting for. The horror that had been whispered through the nearby areas, spread by those who had run, told of brutality in an effort to bring the rain.

Needing help to free her creation, Rain turns to an agricultural specialist who has more than furrows on his mind.
 
After centuries of waiting, Rain has an opportunity to retrieve a creation that she designed and it means far more than a simple machine should. Her memories are wound around the weather machine and it has been used to destroy the natural order of Jarko.
When she completes her introduction to the local mayor, he ends up leaving office suddenly and his replacement is first a member of the Citadel before he is acting mayor. He is more than willing to help her with the weather machine. Of course, being from the Citadel, there will be a price, but Rain has learned that there always is when it is for something she really wants.
Price: $3.99
Raven Dexter Paranormal Midwife

Written By: Viola Grace
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Raven Dexter chose to pursue midwifery the moment she helped a teen friend deliver her baby. Fed up with unconcern...

Either he was telling the truth about goblins or she had gone off the deep end and was rapidly going under. Perhaps she was at home drowning in a warm bubbly bath.

“Your patient is this way.” He parked the car and escorted her through alleys that held strange and hostile smells, but Eyleno moved calmly and quickly and all too soon, they were passing creatures that were even less human looking than her elfin guide.

“Goblins?” She swallowed. There was an acrid scent in the air, similar to sweat but very different. Her mind accepted it as the smell of a different race with a different diet.

“Goblins.” His word was calm and confirming.

The large house that they entered was full of the creatures, each more hideous than the last. Afraid to be caught staring, Raven walked right behind Eyleno, so close that when he stopped, she ran straight into him. As she righted herself, she couldn’t help noticing that he smelled really nice, like autumn and the sun altogether.

“Here are the women’s quarters. The maid will take you through.” He handed the bags to the four-armed woman and Raven blankly followed her bright blue and pink luggage.

Females filled the labour room. The woman on the bed was hideous with fangs exposed in pain. Raven immediately introduced herself.

“Thank the burning sun that you are here. The child is almost here.” The woman grimaced, a truly frightening sight.

Raven got to work, the anatomy she faced blessedly familiar. The woman was indeed ready to give birth. The dark head was becoming visible. When the small son came sliding into the world, Raven caught him with practiced hands. As she turned him over her arm to clear his lungs, a prickling sensation started and then the little bugger munched down on her arm with all his might.

“Son of a bitch!” She didn’t want to shake her arm, but it was hard keeping still until he released of his own accord. As quickly as she could, Raven handed him over to his mother and took care of the afterbirth and making sure that the bleeding was not excessive.

Her own bleeding was continuing from her forearm as the punctures were still sluggishly giving up their bounty. Hissing, she dumped alcohol on the wounds and bound it with gauze. When the proud father came into the room and licked the child clean, she had had enough. Raven passed out.

Raven Dexter chose to pursue midwifery the moment she helped a teen friend deliver her baby. Fed up with unconcerned physicians, she studied until she could open her small practice in a moderately sized town. Her practice was slowly growing until the night a strange man demanded she come with her to attend a birth. Her introduction to the paranormal society was in the venue of delivering a small goblin baby that quickly took a chunk out of her arm. The elf that took her to her first delivery moves in without even asking, taking care of everything from her appointments to making her meals, Eyleno Miz rapidly becomes indispensable and then becomes something more.
Price: $3.99
Red Run

Written By: Viola Grace
Published By: Extasy Books
Heat Level:

Sophie Redding is one of the few humans to have dodged the evacuation of the shapeshifting Sethen. She is on a jou...
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Sophie Redding is one of the few humans to have dodged the evacuation of the shapeshifting Sethen. She is on a journey to the Northlands, in a ridiculous outfit and on foot, leaving a trail a mile wide. Commander T'bir is in charge of cleaning out the towns and villages to let his people's city rise from the ground. When a detachment of trackers is unable to capture the human in the red dress, his interest is piqued and he goes on the hunt. Capturing this human may be the tipping point for his people, and her own.
Price: $1.59
Resurrecting Flame

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Sector Guard #14
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Jenya has spent days leading one hundred prisoners to freedom through a tunnel of her own making. She succeeds in...

The tunnel was pressing on her, but she couldn't stop to enjoy the sensation of blind panic that it was engendering. Jenya sent her talent forward, inch by inch, eating away at the rock and dirt of the walls of her prison.

The prisoners who had followed her into the tunnel were now her prime concern. They trusted her to deliver them from the persecution of the Lekark regime and she was going to die trying.

Teachers, doctors, musicians--there were close to one hundred who agreed to follow her if she could bore a hole through the rock.

She inched forward and drew on her inner reserves to evaporate the rock. Jenya knew that her power was failing, but she couldn't trap them in here with her. She had to give everything she had if they were to make it out alive.

Jenya shoved herself right to the edge of the stone and blasted forward with furious intensity. She rode the adrenaline and did the same shockwave of power over and over until finally, after what felt like six hours of crawling, they struck daylight.

She fell out of the hole and tumbled to the ground. Hands grabbed her and pulled her aside. The light of day blinded her and she couldn't see who had a grip on her. If it was the polizai again, she was just going to let herself die.

A voice called to her, but it was far away. In the sun, finally free of the oppression that had almost taken her life, she looked into the daylight and let her mind relax.

A face blocked the sunlight. If she was dreaming of an escort to the afterlife, this face would not be the one she would pick. Braids banded with metal swung and clashed around his face. Silver eyes in a bronze face were the only celestial markers. The rest of him was all warrior and firmly grounded to the earth.

A light slap to her face got her to focus. "What?"

"Are you all right? Can you sit up?" The man seemed angry.

She sat up and her head spun. "I am up. But if you want me to dance, you are going to have to buy me a drink."

Jenya's eyes were shielded by the scowling wall of muscle at her side. She saw the endless dispensing of the escapees from the narrow hole in the side of the rock face. "We made it."

He looked down at her and kind warmth with a touch of pride filled his gaze. "Yes, Digger, you did."

"Can I sleep now?" She sighed. It would not be a sleep she wanted to return from. She had depleted herself entirely digging them out.

He nodded absently as someone caught his attention for the emerging folk.

She scooted so that she was leaning against the wall and relaxed. Just a little rest and it would all be over.

* * * *

The staging area was going nuts with the influx of ninety-four refugees and Vornan was trying to make sure that they all got the attention they needed.

Razer and Tech were in the process of attacking the totalitarian government that had taken over this minimally populated world, and the rebels that they were rescuing were already free.

"Razer, this is Flame. The majority of the rebels have been freed and are receiving medical attention." He waited for the double click that acknowledged and returned to attending the medical needs of those who had fallen out of the wall.

He went from cot to cot until finally a woman grabbed his arm. "How is Jenya?"

He checked the roster. There was no Jenya in the medical tent. "Who?"

"Jenya. She led us through the darkness. She made that tunnel as we went. It took so long." The woman's face was oddly clean. As what she had said sunk in, a chill ran through him. He looked around the room and noted that aside from some grass stains and dirt on hands and knees, their faces were clean.

"How long did you crawl through the tunnels?" He checked her vitals and the bandage on her wrist that seemed to be the most common injury.

"It was a dark forever, but I think it was somewhere between six and twelve hours."

"Was the tunnel already there?"

"No. I told you, Jenya made it as we went." She lay back and looked up at him with exhausted eyes, "Is she all right?"

He didn't answer, Helsin was on this assignment and he checked with the physician. "How long were they underground?"

"Based on pupil response and dehydration, two days. The investigations have shown that the tunnel is over six miles long."

Helsin may have said something else, but Flame was running.

She was slumped against the wall where he had left her, her body quiet and smudged with dirt. He had called her Digger as a joke, but as he searched her body for signs of life, he came to the conclusion he hadn't bothered to look for.

She had offered her life to free her people, and he had left her here to die.

Jenya has spent days leading one hundred prisoners to freedom through a tunnel of her own making. She succeeds in her task and is ready to rest, but the arrival of the Sector Guard throws a wrench in her plans to fade away. Green flames pull her back into the living world and the silver eyes of a Kozue Guardsman are the first things she sees when she wakes. As Digger, she is offered a place in the Sector Guard and put through her paces with Flame and Guardian watching carefully. What possible use could her talent for burrowing through rock be to the Sector Guard?
Price: $3.99
Rhoe's Request

Written By: Viola Grace
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A half-breed swan chases a dream of flight and finds love in the arms of a dark swan shifter of her very own. ...

Her mother sighed. “We have had all the time I can reasonably explain. I look forward to seeing your success, daughter.”

Rhoe got to her feet with her mother. They hugged again, and when they parted, Rhoe had to find the captain who would take her on a tour of the facility.

She put on her pack and opened the door to find a broad back staring her in the face. “Captain?”

He turned, and she looked up to see a male dark swan that was not from her settlement. “You are Cadet Rhoe?”

She nodded.

“I am Captain Hiiron. Come with me, I will show you your quarters and then help you find your way around the training centre.” He inclined his head slightly.

“Thank you, Captain. Am I taking you away from anything important?”

He blinked and shook his head. “No. I am on medical leave, light duties. This qualifies.”

Rhoe tried to control her reaction, but she had never been this close to another dark swan that she wasn’t related to in some way. Her heart pounded, and she blinked furiously. “Well, thank you for being on duty today.”

“It is no trouble. Come with me.” He nodded over her shoulder. “Colonel.”

“Captain. Take care of her. I don’t want her lost.”

“Yes, Colonel Whisk.” He nodded again and jerked his head at Rhoe. “Let’s go.”

She followed him, her head high and her back straight. She gave the colonel a small wave and got down to business. It was time to learn the ins and outs of her new home.

Two hours of touring, a visit to the quartermaster and registration later, Rhoe was sitting alone in the commissary and eating her first meal not prepared by hands that were related to her own.

It wasn’t bad, but it was going down as just another thing she would have to endure to get to her dream of flight.

A half-breed swan chases a dream of flight and finds love in the arms of a dark swan shifter of her very own.

Rhoe wants to fly but being born a half-breed dark swan; feathers are not something she can ever achieve. She asks her father for permission to join the flight academy of the planetary defense corps and to her surprise, he agrees.
Her father gives her more than his agreement, he tells her about her mother and warns her that she may run into the legendary pilot herself.
Rhoe runs into more than her mother, she meets a captain who sends her heart fluttering, and it is that first flutter that will carry her into the sky.
Price: $1.99
Ripped and Roar

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Sector Guard #21
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Cila Wen has lived her life unable to speak for fear destroying those around her. The Sector Guard has offered her...

Grinning, Cila walked to her quarters and noted that her bags were missing. What?

“I took your satchels to the ship and stowed them. We are ready to leave anytime.” Arkhov gestured for her to precede him.

The hooks on his inner wrists were obvious, but she ignored them and led the way back to his ship. If he wasn’t going to mention them, she wasn’t going to mention them. She had no idea of his species, but it was closely related to the Azon with something spiky thrown in.

She stopped at the exterior hatch. It wasn’t yet keyed to her bio print, so she had to wait for Ripper.

He pressed his hand to the pad, the claws on the tips of his fingers clicking lightly against the plate. “I will get you registered for entry to the ship. Just take a seat at the control panel and I will be with you as soon as I seal the hatch.”

Cila walked into the huge, open space and raised an eyebrow at the small bulkheads that delineated the areas that could hold cargo, the tiny dining area as well as wide bunks that folded up against the wall. She gave a mental snort as she took in enough living and running-around space to fill the tiny relay station. This was more space than she had ever had to herself or even to share with one person than had ever been at her disposal.

“Do you like it?”

She turned to face Arkhov and he was inches from her. Waves of heat were coming from him and she held her breath when his scent started to spike her attention. She backed up half a step and signed. Wow, lots of space.

“The Sector Guard gets to do shakedowns of quite a few new designs for spacecraft. It’s one of the perks.”

You get to fly around in untested ships?

“More or less. They are tested by our technicians and inventors and then we are given the go ahead to fly them on assignment. You will be meeting with Fixer. She and Beast have crafted this particular ship with his wingspan in mind.”

Will I meet them?

“Fixer, most certainly. She will be on the team trying to help you gain control over this mysterious talent of yours.”

She smiled, twisting her lips to one side. There is no mystery. I emanate concussive sonic force. I can do it with my body, but my voice is my most powerful outlet.

He laughed. “As are the voices of most of the women of the Sector Guard, mind you, most of them could not shatter bone with a simple whisper.”

Cila Wen has lived her life unable to speak for fear destroying those around her. The Sector Guard has offered her a position and assistance in controlling her talent, but Cila is not sure if that is even possible. Ripper, her soon-to-be partner, is convinced otherwise and does everything in his power to help her out of her shell and into his bed.

 
Price: $3.99
Ruby D.A.R.E.

Written By: Viola Grace, Tianna Xander
Series: D.A.R.E. Project #1
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Born of two dragons but raised in a lab, Ruby has lived a life of quiet regulation, waiting until the project prop...

Eiwyn threw the covers back. The rustle of the sheets seemed loud in the quiet of the room. Slowly, she placed her feet on the cold wooden floor and slid out of bed. Draven rolled over, his hand resting on her pillow. Heart pounding, she tiptoed her way to the door. Grabbing the knob, she thanked everything holy that she hadn't latched it when she came to bed.

Draven let out a long snore. His hand moved over her empty pillow as though searching for her. Please don't let him wake up. Eiwyn opened the door a little more than a crack and slipped through. If she woke her husband, he would see to it that she went nowhere. She couldn't let him stop her. She knew he would try. He had put his foot down and she was sneaking under it.

Barefoot, she padded her way down to the room they reserved for opening their portals. Two months ago, she'd had a vision, one she couldn't ignore. If what she had seen was true, the future of the entire universe was at stake. Now was the time to act.

Someone, somewhere, played with forces they didn't understand. One couldn't jump from dimension to dimension willy-nilly without consequences. Her people could, but they were the only exception. They didn't need the help of machines, energy or chemicals to open a dimensional rift. They merely needed the power stored within their bodies since birth. Yet, someone had started to do just that and it was ripping holes in the very fabric of the universe. She had to do something and with her sight, she may be the only person who could.

Entering the room, she closed and locked the door. The thick wood wouldn't keep Draven out, but it would slow him down just enough. Waving her arms nervously, she hummed a soft tune and the air rippled in front of her. Soon, the other side of the room blurred as the transparent rift opened before her.

A loud roar had her looking toward the door with tears in her eyes. It would be years before she would see Draven again. Yet, Eiwyn knew what she must do. It was for the good of all. The entire universe depended on her ability to escape her home and jump to the correct world. Eiwyn blew a kiss toward the door. Tears filled her eyes as she heard the pounding of her husband's feet upon the wooden floor. "I'll be back, my love…eventually."

She stepped through the rift confident that the energy would take the path of least resistance directly to the world she needed to visit. One jump, one world, a few decades and with luck, all would soon be put right.

Born of two dragons but raised in a lab, Ruby has lived a life of quiet regulation, waiting until the project proposed decades earlier can be started. When Dimensional Arrest, Retrieval and Extraction gets underway, her innate ability to jump dimensions puts her on the front lines with her sisters, retrieving people from earth whose presence is tearing their home world apart. Each assignment takes Ruby to another world to retrieve scholars, criminals, researchers, and escapees. The freedom she feels on the new worlds is cruelly taken away when she has to return to earth over and over again. Meeting one of her own kind is a shock, but his determination to help her gain her freedom is even more of a stunning revelation. He offers her a life without walls, in the sun, and wind in her hair. What dragon could resist?
Price: $3.99
Running Wyld

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Sector Guard #2
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Agreha Wyld had a good life, friends, family and a place she was accepted. When the Sector Guard call for exceptio...

If a Dhemon walks into your bar, you know you are in trouble, but when he asks for you by name, it's time to run. Agreha Wyld made her way right past the offending Dhemon. He didn't see her, but that was only because Aggie had put on her makeup.

Shifting her features was painful, but if it was only for a few seconds, she was willing to do it. Outside the bar, she let her face go back to normal and stretched her features to relax them. She was halfway down the block, winding her way through crowds and waving at friends in the market, when she noticed that the Dhemon was exiting the bar. His cloak was too heavy for the warm afternoon sun, but he kept it closed as he turned to follow her.

"Aw hells." There was nothing for it. She shifted her legs into a more efficient running configuration and laid on the speed. Moving with the speed of a four-legged animal, she sprinted for safety. She didn't know what the Dhemon wanted, but with the stringent morals of his species, she was sure that she had offended someone somehow. Avoiding him was the best solution.

She wasn't even breathing heavily when she looked back to see no trace of her pursuer, it made it easier for her to slam into the living brick wall in front of her.

He sighed heavily and crossed his arms over his chest, all patience and hard muscle. "Aggie, what have I told you about running through the market?"

She looked up from her vantage point on the ground. "To not do it? To do it when the market is empty? Sorry, Avatar. I was trying to avoid someone." The Avatar was the personification of the planet Cor. Cor used the body to carry his consciousness around when there were negotiations in the works regarding his planetary resources. The rest of the time, Avatar Lio was free to live a life and even flirt. Now was not one of those times.

It was Cor who spoke. "The Dhemon who was looking for you?"

"How did you know?" She stood up, brushing her skirt off and returning her legs to normal configuration.

"I sent him to you. He has a proposition that I believe will appeal to you."

"Well, I think I lost him so better luck next time." She straightened her halter top and smoothed everything down.

"You didn't lose me. I simply tracked you until you stopped moving."

Agreha Wyld had a good life, friends, family and a place she was accepted. When the Sector Guard call for exceptional beings goes out, her planet nominates her and it is over a year later before they get a response. The response's name is Haaro Denler, telepathic Dhemon and Aggie's destined mate. A marriage of convenience is her initial reaction, but her mind swiftly wanders down other paths when she sees the Dhemon's wingspan. During her first assignment on a tech-free world, she embraces her new duties as a Sector Guard, and decides to embrace her husband with the same enthusiasm. Won't he be surprised?
Price: $3.99
Sacrifice to the Stars

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Hashka Chronicles #1
Published By: Extasy Books
Heat Level:

Tia’s life has been defined by avoiding the priesthood, so when she finds herself on a foreign world with se...
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Tia’s life has been defined by avoiding the priesthood, so when she finds herself on a foreign world with seductively familiar males, she is conflicted. General Jenner Mathwin is striking and his voice sends her body into a full-on riot. Can she trust him when it comes to offering her for sacrifice or will the Lassing priesthood tear her to pieces? She really hopes that her trust is earned because when she offers herself to the star’s avatar, she will be tied hand and foot in a public forum. It may be a little late to change her mind once they bind her…
Price: $3.99
Sapphire Dare

Written By: Viola Grace, Tianna Xander
Series: D.A.R.E. Project #5
Published By: Devine Destinies

Instead of going back to Earth after one of her targets shoots her with a poison-tipped dart, Sapphire takes her m...

“Hello, lady.”

 

Heart in her throat, Sapphire spun around at the sound of the deep voice. She couldn’t help it. She wasn’t sure if it was the poison in her system or if she was just struck dumb by the sight of the male standing before her.

 

He was beautiful…and large. He stood a good six and a half feet tall, his blond hair brushing his shoulders. His black vest barley covered his wide, muscular chest and did nothing to cover the light swirls of chest hair as it swirled and dipped below the wide leather belt at his waist.

 

Green eyes similar in color to her sister, Emerald’s, stared down at her with the most mischievous-looking twinkle she’d ever seen. Arms as big as tree limbs crossed his chest.

 

As he stood examining her, she couldn’t help but notice he had markings similar to hers.

 

“Hello,” Sapphire replied warily. “Do you know how I can contact Galen?”

 

The man held his hands out to his sides and grinned. “Why would you search out another male, when you have one so handy already?” He waggled his brows. “Believe me when I say I would service you in any way you need, lady.”

 

“I need a healer.” Her vision blurred and she felt her body give way to a bout of the cold sweats. Swiping her arm across her brow, she began to pant. Flipping her hair back over her shoulder, she raised a hand to her wound and pointed. “I’ve been shot with an arrow tipped with poison. I must see him immediately.”

 

“Let me help you, lady.” The suddenly serious male stepped forward and made to take her in his arms.

 

Sapphire stepped back with a snarl, her scowl fierce. She may be injured, but she was still well enough to fight if this male attempted to kidnap her for his own. She would be no man’s possession. Lifting her chin, she stubbornly stared him down. “I will allow only Galen to touch me.”

 

Smiling, the man shook his head. “I am not certain how I have garnered such trust in one I have never met, but I thank you, lady.” He bowed with a flourish. “I am Galen, at your service. Now…will you allow me to help you before you collapse, or shall I wait until you do so?”

 

“No one told me you were a tease.”

Instead of going back to Earth after one of her targets shoots her with a poison-tipped dart, Sapphire takes her mother’s advice and seeks out the greatest healer their people have. How was she to know that just being near him would send her senses reeling and tie her stomach into knots? When five males arrive to convince her that Galen is not the right dragon for her, will Sapphire run for cover or will she fight alongside the dragon male who saved her life and preserved her freedom to choose?

 
Price: $2.99
Scorched Heart

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #25
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A woman with a talent for destruction is partnered with a Guardsman with a flair for bringing things to life. ...

Winera swallowed hard and pulled at her collar. The neckline of her tunic made her feel hot, but everyone was wearing their best. A chance at a full Alliance education, a job and an opportunity to see the universe was in that sensor’s hands.

Loshosh wasn’t so much a poor world, as unutterably dull. There were two ways off. You could wait until either you had acquired enough money to travel or you could be chosen for the Citadel. There were no other ways out.

Winera stepped forward another position. One of the men ahead of her got the nod, and he was allowed to go to the left instead of the right. She felt flushed and crossed her fingers that she had a dormant talent inside. The power sensor would know and he would tell her whether she was acceptable or not.

No one in Winera’s family ever got the nod but everyone still tried. It was the nature of the population of Loshosh; they were both optimistic and realistic at the same time.

There were three people between her and the sensor. With each slide of skin against scale, her heart pounded until she was facing him and he extended his hands to her.

“Please place your hands on mine, palms down.”

Winera extended her hands to him, slowly lowering her palms to his. She heard a sizzle a moment before he shouted, “Containment!”

A woman broke from the conversation she had been having with the organizer and was at Winera’s side in an instant.

The hug was surprising, but the pull of the woman’s arms broke the contact with the sensor.

Another robed Citadel member rushed to his side and placed their hands over his.

“Calm down, miss. I am going to walk you to the edge of the grounds. You can send out a pulse from there.”

“A what?” Winera was confused. Did I pass or fail and why is she holding me?

“Oh dear. Well, we are going to take a walk and I am going to explain a few things to you. My designation is Container Nehad. You can call me Needy.” The woman chuckled but kept walking with her arms around Winera.

“Well, Needy. I appreciate meeting new people, but why are you hugging me?”

“You have a talent that just woke up under the stress of the determination. Based on the smell, you burned the sensor. Don’t worry. We keep a healer with us for just such occasions.”

“So, I am a talent but I just assaulted the power sensor. Where does that leave me?”

They swayed together as they made it to the edge of the property.

“Well, you need training. Heat talents are always needed for many different applications. You will be a wealthy woman by the end of your career.”

They exited through the door in the fence and Needy tugged her to one side, with her own back to the wall.

“What precisely is it that you are doing, Needy?”

“Well, my talent shields me from yours, but we need the stone wall at our backs to protect all the people at the selection event. With the amount of heat you put out during a handshake, you would not be good for their health.” Needy settled herself and slowly lowered her arms.

Winera was nervous. “What do I do?”

“Step away from me until the heat returns, and when it does, because it will, it will course out of you. Aim it at the mountains and away from any buildings in the distance. You might be more powerful than you think, so pick the safest spot you can.”

Winera took a few steps and looked back at Needy. The woman’s birdlike features and feathered skin and beaked nose were surprisingly comforting. Her dark brown eyes were kind as she waved Winera off.

At twenty paces from Needy, Winera felt the rising heat once again. She let it come.

 

She shivered on the ground, kneeling on a scorched piece of earth. Needy was at her side in a moment, clucking in comfort and covering her with the Citadel robes that she had been wearing. “It’s all right, child. You will be fine. We have you now. You are joining the Citadel. What is your name by the way?”

“Winera. Winera Eckerhart.” She huddled in the warmth of the robes.

“How old are you, Winera?” The soft hand stroked her forehead and calmed her.

“Twelve, Container Nehad. I just turned twelve.” She dozed against the feathered touch and didn’t look around as she was lifted and carried to the shuttle.

 

“Mr. and Mrs. Eckerhart, your daughter Winera is one of the strongest Scorchers that I have ever seen.” Power Sensor Riskin was trying to break things gently to the couple.

The couple were clinging to each other and looking around them with wide eyes.

Mrs. Eckerhart spoke up, “Where is my daughter?”

“I will be frank. Do you see that dark mark on the hillside below?”

It was a three-mile-wide span of scorched earth and vegetation that had flashed from living to crisp in seconds.

“Your daughter’s power manifested during the power sensing. She got nervous and this is what happened. Now that she has activated, there is no way that you will be able to train and contain her.”

Her mother straightened her shoulders. “What do we need to do to make sure that she is safe?”

“Sign this contract and authorize the Citadel to make all decisions regarding her training and employment.”

A woman with a talent for destruction is partnered with a Guardsman with a flair for bringing things to life.
Winera showed her talent as a Scorcher in a spectacular first display of heat and destruction. The Citadel welcomed her with open arms.
Years after joining the Citadel, she is finally a full-fledged Scorcher and ready for her first official mission with a member of the Sector Guard. She had no idea that she was getting more than just a partner when a bundle of feathery fluff claims her as his own, much to her new partner’s amusement.
Hyl has been waiting for the matchmaker to find him a partner that he can do more than go into battle with. One look at Winera and he knows that this fiery woman could set his senses ablaze.
Smudge is a Yaluthu who has been patiently waiting for his person. When he sees the woman of fire, he knows she is the one that he is destined to be with, and he flings himself into her arms.
Let’s not talk about the ship. She has too much attitude.
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