Thursday, May 17, 2018

Pact Days: Terren #ValespianPact

Welcome to Thursday's Pact Days! Today, we have the Terren.

They are talked about by those under the Valespian Pact and the worst of their history is known, giving a picture to others in the broadest of strokes. Are all humans apathetic to everything/one not of their species?


A couple of side notes: For a list of species that have been posted so far, see the The People of Valespia page. I'm placing these in alphabetical order so I won't unintentionally place importance on any specie. I will leave off information on the species that will spoil future books. My standard sheet has the same categories for all species. So there will be blank categories just because that species didn't need them.

Species: Terren
Planet: Primary Earth
Other races on the planet:
Planetary Terrain:
Patron Ryo Pardeep:

Description: Average height is 5'2" to 5'9"; small in stature than historically because of nutrient deficiency.

Vulnerable to psi attack/manipulation

The Terren Corner of the Milky Way is governed by four corporations allied un the Earth-Sun Alliance. Their sectors are comprised of colonized planets, moons, terraformed worlds, and some conquered planets.

Humans work for the companies and in return are rationed food and housing based on the type of jobs performed. The exception would be those planets that raise the food. These places are considered backwater, but they have better housing and food.

Desperate for better food, Terrens trade/barter for seeds and will grow plants in any available space they can. Land is valuable so hanging gardens and rooftop atriums are plentiful in the lower ranking parts of the cities.

The Terrens have been quarantined to their galaxy unless they acquire a license to leave. Must have very specific travel plans and are only allowed on certain flight paths. Those who do travel in space are usually employed by one of the companies.

There are other companies than the big four, but the don't have a say in what the Terrens do as a whole.

The Twenty Year War almost bankrupted the big four. They are required to pay restitution to the GyrFalconi for 400 cycles (a very long time). If the companies made war or destroyed sentient life on a planet, the galactic imperials would take over Terren space in the Milky Way and dismantle the companies.

There are places the Terrens aren't allowed to travel.

The Alliance is short for the Earth-Sun Alliance.

Qing-Nian Tech (Chinese, Russian territories)

Baldassare Operations (European, African, and Scandinavian territories)

Onocona Engineering (Originally the Native American Casinos, now covering the North, Central, and South Americas)

Democles Mining (Continent of South Africa and Antartica)

Employees are the companies customers; Elite Earth Families, reconstituted foods, consumable stores, entertainment, constructions, mining, farming, sciences.


When the ancients approached the humans about donating genetic material so they could be a part of the Valespian Pact, they were a young race on the cusp of designing a space program. The Terrens attempted to confiscate the ships and properties of the Ancients. When the Ancients easily took back what had been stolen, the human leaders offered up their shunned ones as the genetic material in recompense. These people were accepted by the Ancient and later because the Fal'Amoric specie. The humans were found to be deceptive, dishonest, and greedy. The Terrens signed the Valespian Pact, but the ones who were offered up to represent the humans evolved.

Common Occupation:
Government Systems:
Current Leader:
Council of Neighn of Member:

Allies: T'Sali, Ryden

Negotiations with the Gaziniti.

Star System: Sol Star System

Other planets occupied by species:

Military Leader:

Cultural names and terms specific to species:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter 18, Part One #amwriting #blogstory #gentleman

Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement! This chapter has been on my mind for a couple of weeks. It's a look inside Alonzo's head after Zane's altercation with Crimson Comet.

If you have stumbled onto this blog story and want to start from the beginning, I have added a Table of Contents at the bottom of this page with links to the other chapters in the story.

He wanted to walk away...
Fate wouldn't let him.

Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Eighteen – Guns Ablazin'

Alonzo vibrated with nervous tension. Last night he'd told Zane about the Maricoxi, but he hadn't explained what it meant for Zane personally. He couldn't bring himself to say anything, not yet. He wanted to enjoy belonging somewhere for a little while before it was taken away.

As he tried not to worry, he flipped a chocolate chip pancake and kept an eye on Cord and his bandmates. Alonzo's nose twitched every time Xander got close, pheromones from sex and semen clung to him like a second skin. Xander had been busy last night. Four separate scents wafted from him, not to mention Xander gave Alonzo an eye-full a couple of times while he was on watch. It was as if Xander was making a silent offer, "Come here, and I'll worship your body."

If this was a Maricoxi clan, Alonzo might have taken Xander up on that offer, once he was relieved of his duty. But this wasn't a clan. He'd lived abroad long enough to know very few places practiced or even accepted polyamorous households. Besides, clans were much larger than typical households. For a moment, Alonzo indulged himself and imagined what it would be like if this was a small, humble clan. His heart ached with a yearning he never allowed himself to feel over these long barren years. He could never be a part of a clan again, but he had Zane, and he wouldn't do something that would spoil what they could have. So when he'd made his last rounds and Xander stood there in the window with all that olive skin on displayed, Alonzo had acknowledged Xander's offer then politely turned him down. 

He wondered if Zane knew the members of Crimson Comet were lovers. When Zane had returned to the house last night, he smelled of Xander, not sexually, but as if Xander had been close enough to mark Zane with his scent. While Zane had been trying to decide what to do with the band, Alonzo had caught brief flashes of arousal from Zane. Perhaps he would ask Zane about that later.

Everyone kept glancing up, watching for Zane as they talked. It seemed they had a holiday concert in Reno before the band headed back to the recording studio. When Xander stiffened, Alonzo listened hard, hearing one door close and then another. The band waited but Zane didn't arrive. Alonzo quickly removed the pancake before it burned completely. He set it aside for himself so it wouldn't be given to Zane.

"Do you need help?" Midnight picked up the fork for the bacon before Alonzo could reply.

He didn't say anything but watched Midnight from the corner of his eye. This man knew he was Maricoxi and a guardian. Very few Others remembered his people for they rarely revealed themselves to anyone. The Maricoxi hid, sometimes in plain sight, waiting for their God to call upon them. The world had been destroyed four times and four times their God had spared them, hiding the Maricoxi from the destruction. There where people, Others, who would take advantage of that. He wasn't comfortable with Midnight knowing who he was especially since Crimson Comet had manipulated Zane.

"I am originally from Columbia," Midnight said as he turned the bacon. "A son of La Madremonte."

Alonzo considered as he poured four more pancakes onto the griddle. Midnight's hair, black as pitch, was combed back from the forehead. It didn't touch his shoulders, but the ends curled forward, still slightly wet. His thick beard and mustache were carefully trimmed close but still looked soft to the touch. He could be who he said he was. La Madremonte, Mountain Mother, was a Colombian spirit much like an Irish banshee. Depictions of her varied, never portraying her in a favorable light. She was a powerful ally to have with her moderate control over the weather. In the past, she had caused invaders to become confused and lose their way. At night, mortals claimed they were chased by her screams and wails. If Midnight was who he claimed, then he may very well know a couple of Maricoxi clans, for some clans shared the mountains with her.

"You are far from home," he finally replied. He was suspicious of Midnight's reasons for speaking with him.

"As are you, amigo," Midnight pulled the bacon from the heat, moving the pieces to the paper towel covered plate before placing new, raw strips in the pan. "It is not natural for you to be alone." Midnight glanced at him, as if gaging Alonzo's reaction before minding the bacon again. "Xander said Zane didn't smell like you at dinner last night. You need more than one person in a clan."

"I have been living for years as mortals do and have been fine."

"But, ese, you are not mortal." Midnight leaned closer and lowered his voice. "Does Zane know you are immortal?"

Alonzo frowned and pressed his lips together. Of course Zane didn't know. He had barely touched on what Maricoxi were. Giving forty thousand years of history before bed was not feasible. Alonzo could not giveaway all their secrets, especially if Zane decided to turn him away.

He glanced out of the corner of his eye at Midnight, distrustful. Why was he even asking? But Alonzo was saved from answering such a personal question by the sound of Zane and Skyld coming down the hallway. He took the pancakes off the griddle that were ready, poured four more, and was wiping his hands on the tea towel when Zane rounded the corner.

Butterflies took flight in his stomach. Zane looked… Alonzo wasn't sure what adjective he wanted to use. It had been so long since he'd been around someone who gave him this deep sense of rightness. Everything about Zane called to him, pricking his instincts, giving him hope that he didn't have to be alone anymore. Sure, he was immortal, and Zane was not. He couldn't bring himself to care. Zane could draw his last breath tomorrow or seventy years from now. Alonzo's God could appear on the front lawn and call Alonzo to him. He would be swallowed and would not return to the world until the destruction was over. Destruction that would steal Zane away. No, there was nothing to be gained by worrying about tomorrow. The present was what mattered, and he would cherish every second he spent with Zane.

The band members of Crimson Comet all gazed at Zane with varying degrees of hunger, even Raine who sat sullenly at the dining table. Next to Alonzo, Midnight made a rough noise in his throat. "I hate it when Cord is right," Midnight muttered almost too low for Alonzo to hear.

Xander prowled like a wolf, his long curly black hair falling free to his waist. He cupped Zane's face in his hands and kissed him soundly. Alonzo waited but felt no jealousy prick him when Zane responded. He would have to explain to Zane that he was wired to see to a leader's—Zane's—and to the clan's needs… though these men were not a part of Zane's clan, he sensed the potential was there.

So when Xander back away, leaving Zane wide-eyed and panting, Alonzo gave Zane a slight nod and smile, letting him know it was all right.

"You have kissed him twice now," Anson groused before swooping in to steal one for himself.

Zane's cheeks flushed a bright red as he pushed Anson away. Rounding the island, Zane stopped before Alonzo. His gaze was direct and unwavering. Alonzo found that confidence sexy as hell.

"I woke alone. You should have to let me take a shift."

"I did not mind, bello." Alonzo couldn't keep the pleased rumble out of his voice.

"Well, I do. You don't need to carry such burdens alone." Zane's gaze held a fierce determination.

Alonzo bit back a groan of want. Did Zane realize what he was saying? No, of course not. How could he?

"Next time, I want to wake up with you."

"Okay." Alonzo didn't know how he would work it, but Zane would get his wish.

Chapter One - Retirement
Chapter Two - Normal is not supposed to be this hard
Chapter Three - Caught
Chapter Four - Crimson Comet
Chapter Five - Mountain Magic
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Six, Part 2 -
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Seven, Part 2 -
Chapter Eight, Part 1 - No such thing as heroes
Chapter Eight, Part 2 -
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Chapter Ten, Part 1 - Gathering Allies
Chapter Ten, Part 2
Chapter Eleven - Combustible
Chapter Twelve - Standing His Ground
Chapter Thirteen - Choices
Chapter Fourteen, Part 1
Chapter Fourteen, Part 2
Chapter Fifteen, Part 1 - To kill, or not to kill
Chapter Fifteen, Part 2
Chapter Sixteen - Maricoxi Guardians
Chapter Seventeen - Coincidence?
Chapter Eighteen, Part One - Guns Ablazin'
Chapter Eighterr, Part Two

Thank you for stopping by and reading!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

What's on the Reading Radar #TBR #WishList

What have I been up to? Going through the last bit of corrections the editor sent me for Caledonia Destiny before I forward the manuscript to the proofreader. 

I've also been working on the rewrites for Constant (The Valespian Pact, 3). Those aren't going as fast I want to them but it's the Valespian Pact. The world is intricate and detailed. Though I love the story and plot arc, it's a bear to write in which makes me glad that I have the weekly chapters for Assassin's Retirement. I need that break from the Valespian Pact even if it is only for a day or two weekly.

I haven't been reading as much and you can probably tell since the Radar list has shrunk to a handful of books. But all that doesn't mean that I'm not always looking for something new to read. :)

Title: Written In Red
Series: The Others, 1
Author(s): Anne Bishop
Length: 514 pages; audio: 18 hours and 32 minutes
Publisher: Roc; 1 edition (March 5, 2013)

Genre: Alternate World/ Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / Non-Romantic

Notes: This was recommended to me this week and I started it a couple days ago. I'm using it as reward at the end of my work days. This is really, really good. I didn't think I would like it this much.

Blurb: As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others. 

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

Title: Songs of the Sea
Author(s): Dean Frech
Length: 258 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Mermen


Blurb: Sartin’s amber eyes told his mother and the rest of the Sea People he was destined to become a great protector. Finding his mate at his twenty-third Winter Meeting, Sartin is overjoyed at finally being able to assume his destined role with Sommar by his side.

However, a freak storm soon takes Sartin far away from Winter Cove, and an injury to his tail prevents him from returning. Even worse, he can no longer hear the songs of his pod and his mate in his head.

Sartin finds love and acceptance from Maru, a member of the Land People, who nurses him back to health. When Maru’s people turn against him, Sartin faces a series of battles for his survival. Can the songs of Sommar and his fellow Sea People save him?

Title: The Diamond Dragon's Manny Mate
Series: The Jeweled King's Curse, 2
Author(s): Kiki Burrelli
Length: 162 pages

Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Gay / Mpreg / 

Notes: I haven't read the first one but this says it can be read as a stand alone.

Blurb: A Robin Hood conman, a cursed King and a brutal spell…

Flynn Stegman doesn’t love his life as a thief, but his nephew’s expensive asthma medication isn’t going to buy itself. Besides, after this last job, he won’t have to work again. The payoff is huge, but the danger involved is life-threatening. By impersonating another man, Flynn infiltrates the island of the recently discovered diamond dragons. He just needs to stay under the radar long enough to find the item he’s been hired to steal and to get out. Preferably before he’s found out and flung off the nearest cliff.

King Sebastian has spent the last five years in mourning. A horrible curse robbed him of his true love during childbirth and he can’t shake the grief long enough to run his country. Thankfully, his sister, the Guardian Princess Sorsha has taken control of the kingdom and keeps an eye on his daughter, but there is unrest, and a powerful old enemy is using that unrest to try to take the king’s power.

When Flynn accidentally saves the King’s daughter, his plan of staying out of sight goes horribly wrong. Five years old and full of more book smarts than should be possible in a kid her age, the little Princess has been left mostly on her own in the castle, until now. Flynn can now add, manny to a pint-sized Princess, to the list of things he’s endured while on a job. 

Sebastian can’t manage to ignore his daughter’s new manny, he feels a pull toward the man that Sebastian thought he would never feel again. A dragon doesn’t get two mates, so then why does Sebastian’s inner beast long for the sly human? Whatever the reason, Sebastian finds that simply being near Flynn is bringing him out of his grief, making him whole again. So, when he discovers that Flynn may not be who he says he is—and may actually be working with his most dangerous enemy—he’s torn between protecting the man he loves or protecting his kingdom.

The Diamond Dragon’s Manny Mate is the second book in the Jeweled King Curse series. It may be read and fully enjoyed as a standalone. In this book, you will find excitement, magic, romance and love with a HEA while two men find their true fated mates.

Title: Creature
Series: A Bureau Story, 3
Author(s): Kim Fielding 
Length: 101 pages

Genre: Contemporary Paranormal / Romantic Elements / Gay / 


Blurb: Alone in a cell and lacking memories of his past, John has no idea who—or what—he is.

Alone on the streets of 1950s Los Angeles, Harry has far too many memories of his painful past and feels simply resignation in facing his empty future.

When Harry is given a chance to achieve his only dream—to become an agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs—all he has to do is prove his worth. Yet nothing has ever come easy for him. Now he must offer himself and John as bait, enticing a man who wants to conquer death. But first he and John must learn what distinguishes a monster from a man—and what a monster truly wants.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Pact Days: Syrryn #ValepsianPact

Welcome to Thursday's Pact Days! Today, we have the Syrryn.

They haven't been introduce yet and play a part in Bespoken. Their society and structure isn't a part of the plot for the Valespian Pact so I was able to leave a good deal of information on the sheet. 


A couple of side notes: For a list of species that have been posted so far, see the The People of Valespia page. I'm placing these in alphabetical order so I won't unintentionally place importance on any specie. I will leave off information on the species that will spoil future books. My standard sheet has the same categories for all species. So there will be blank categories just because that species didn't need them.

Species: Syrryn
Planet: Syrrys Whyte
Other races on the planet:
Planetary Terrain:
Capitol: Jaynsuh
Patron Ryo Pardeep:

Description: average height 5'9 to 7'8". Hive mentality.

Three (3) distinct life stages to physical and mental development: Drone, Secondary, Primary

Drones: they have no individuality but are a part of a hive mind which serves both the Secondary, and the Primary who laid the eggs. Drones are blue-skinned, black eyes, and sexless.

Secondary: At a certain stage of development (usually 50 years of age unless the parent Primary chooses to initiate it artificially) the Drone will enter a chrysalis stage which they will eventually emerge as a secondary.

Secondaries, although more independent of thought and action, still live to serve the primary. Secondaries still have blue skin, but it is lighter in color and they are taller than the drones. Sometimes they have eye color other than black. However, they are still sexless.

Primary: Bald with unique spots and/or stripes running from their foreheads down their backs. Their eyes are large and pupil-less. Nose and ears are small. Their hands have elongated fingers with a 4th knuckle on each finger.

The primary is fully capable of independent thought and action. They are able to lay eggs in clutches. Since Syrryns never lay more clutches than they need servants and assistants, Syrryns may lay only one clutch in their lifetime, although they can still lay multiple clutches.

Syrryns see well into the infa-red range, and use heat variations to distinguish their environments rather than reflect light as humans do. Their sense of smell and hearing are not as developed as other races. Even though most Syrryns have a form of psi ability (how the hive communicates), they are completely incapable of mentalist abilities. Their average life span is 500 years.

Their culture focuses on science and the ways of science. Exploration, research, and physical analysis are the most important things to the typical Syrryn. No matter what an individual Syrryn's chosen field of study, they will go to virtually any lengths in order to advance personal knowledge and transmit that knowledge home. As a consequence, they will often consider their own life and lives of their colleagues to be expendable in the pursuit of such knowledge. However, they are not suicidal and will not go out of their way to destroy themselves. They are simply incredibly single-minded and determined.

Fond of the Terren Victorian age of clothing.

Common Occupation: Science Oriented, xenobiologist, exoanthropologist, planetary science, xeno medicine, engineer

Government Systems: Super Hive

Current Leader:

Council of Neighn of Member:

Allies: Gaziniti, Giante, Minotauri, Chi-Lin, Chtichlian,

Star System: Merydyan Star System

Other planets occupied by species:

Military Leader: they don't have their own military, only a planetary security force.

Cultural names and terms specific to species:

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter 17 #amwriting #Gentleman #blogstory

Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement! This isn't an actiony chapter but more character development. Scyld and Zane have some more bonding time. :)

If you have stumbled onto this blog story and want to start from the beginning, I have added a Table of Contents at the bottom of this page with links to the other chapters in the story.

He wanted to walk away...

Fate wouldn't let him.

Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Seventeen – Coincidence?

When Zane woke the next morning, he was disappointingly alone. Why hadn't Alonzo woken him for this watch? Rolling onto his stomach, he spread his arms and legs, inhaling Skyld's and Alonzo's lingering scent on his sheets. His thought back to the night before and realized neither one had mentioned anything about Zane taking a watch. Idiots.

His stomach growled loudly at the delicious smell of breakfast slipping under the door, prompting Zane to get out of bed. His dinner had been interrupted before he could finish. He would be damned if he let anyone keep him from his breakfast.

In the walk-in closet, Zane pulled on layers over the various knives strapped against his skin. After careful deliberation, he added an ankle holster. One could never to be too careful. He took longer than he liked selecting his sweater. He'd always maintained a well-kept appearance, but he'd never actually dressed for the purpose of drawing someone's amorous attentions. To seduce them then kill them, yes. But for his own pleasure and purpose, no.

Today would also be a day of revelations, learning about a world he lived in but never actually saw. Alonzo's origins were no longer a mystery. But there was a question Zane wanted to ask. Alonzo seemed worried that he would reject Alonzo after learning about the Maricoxi. Why would he think that?

At the back of the closet, Zane opened a hidden panel and the secret door slid silently open. The house was soundproofed. A great feature to keep intruders from easily detecting where Zane was, but a negative feature for Zane if he had to figure out where intruders were.

He stepped into the concealed room. His private armory was on the left wall and to the right a bank of monitors. There were concealed cameras everywhere in the house and on the property. Currently, the band was either at the bar that separated the kitchen from the dining space or at the dining table talking. Alonzo stood at the stove making breakfast. Zane could listen in if he wanted but he kept the sound off. He'd rather join then than lurk. 

The monitors shared a wall with the panic room. A small hallway lead to the door of the panic room on the right and at the far, left end was the back door to the walk-in freezer that sat at the rear of the pantry. He quickly checked to make sure that door was locked. Sometimes he used the route to go to the kitchen, but while he had quests he would take the long way around. Grabbing what he needed from the armory he locked the room up tight.

After spending some time in front of the mirror combing his hair, he wished he had some styling products only to get perturbed with himself. When did he become worried about his looks? One of the reasons why he was good at assassination was because he was forgettable. He would never have a handsome face or striking features. But then the memory of Alonzo's smile and Xander's hungry gaze reminded him why he suddenly cared. Disgruntled with himself, he left his bedroom, ensuring it was locked. The voices from the kitchen carried just enough to let him know that everyone was still near the kitchen with Alonzo.

Across the hallway, the door to the music room sat ajar and he frowned. He was sure he'd shut it last night. Pushing the door inward on well-greased hinges, he was surprised to see Skyld standing in front of his large cork board.

"Your father was obsessed with Grendel's Mother." Skyld didn't glance over his shoulder, as if he already knew Zane stood in the doorway. "He used to rage that The Church murdered its way through peoples, cultures, and opposing religions, obliterating all in its path. What they couldn't wipe out, they absorbed or did their level best to erase."

Zane stepped inside and closed the door before crossing to stand beside Skyld, trying to see what Skyld did. "This is one thing I remember about my father that is vivid, not fuzzed by time." Zane smiled, remembering how excited his father sounded, the generous curl of his lip when he smiled with genuine mirth, how happy he was when talking about the ancient poem of Beowulf. "He was obsessed with mistranslations of ancient literature where women were mischaracterized. Grendel's Mother was one who was demonized for having a son like Grendel and then avenged his death, which by the law of the era, had been her right. Beowulf's pursuit of her was wrong and unjustified, and it took the act of two Gods to save his life when she bested him."

Zane stopped, snapping his mouth shut, flushing uncomfortably. He hadn't talked about his work with anyone other than his manager, and he found that having an interested audience uncharacteristically loosened his tongue. Perhaps he'd inherited a little bit of his father's passion.

"Have you taken up…" Skyld's expression was unexpectedly open, wistful and vulnerable and something else Zane couldn't put a finger on. It was almost as if Skyld struggled, as if he wanted to tell Zane something but was unsure. Sklyd was never unsure of anything. "Have you taken up his work?"

Zane thought about delving in and making Skyld confess what was on his mind, but decided against it. He already suspected the morning would be hard enough. He could put his curiously about this on the back shelf, for now.

He turned his attention to the board where he'd tacked up songs in progress, many of them exemplifying characters like Grendel's Mother whose identity had been erased by men. "Maybe in my own way. He was much more academic, whereas my work is more… art, I guess."

Skyld uncovered the pencil sketch Zane had done, a doodle, really, of his interpretation of Grendel's Mother's grand underwater court. "Does it strike you as odd that you have written songs about Grendel's Mother and now someone sent a Grendel to you?"

Zane stiffened, his gaze sharpening as he looked over his board. Had someone been in his home? Rifled through his work? Or had they been watching the songs he sold? But they wouldn't need to because Zane had long conversations with his agent. She knew his work, his intention because he had told her.


Table of Contents

Chapter One - Retirement
Chapter Two - Normal is not supposed to be this hard
Chapter Three - Caught
Chapter Four - Crimson Comet
Chapter Five - Mountain Magic
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Six, Part 2 -
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Seven, Part 2 -
Chapter Eight, Part 1 - No such thing as heroes
Chapter Eight, Part 2 -
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Chapter Ten, Part 1 - Gathering Allies
Chapter Ten, Part 2
Chapter Eleven - Combustible
Chapter Twelve - Standing His Ground
Chapter Thirteen - Choices
Chapter Fourteen, Part 1
Chapter Fourteen, Part 2
Chapter Fifteen, Part 1 - To kill, or not to kill
Chapter Fifteen, Part 2

Chapter Sixteen - Maricoxi Guardians
Chapter Seventeen - Coincidence?

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Pact Days: Shia'Marr #ValespaiPact

Welcome to Thursday's Pact Days! Today, we have the Shia'Marr.

The Shia'Marr was introduced in Alpha Trine with the character Abechan who was their communications expert. He's a bit snooty and very vain about his dorsal ridge with he keeps highly polished. 


A couple of side notes: For a list of species that have been posted so far, see the The People of Valespia page. I'm placing these in alphabetical order so I won't unintentionally place importance on any specie. I will leave off information on the species that will spoil future books. My standard sheet has the same categories for all species. So there will be blank categories just because that species didn't need them.

Species: Shia'Marr
Planet: J'Carta
Other races on the planet:
Planetary Terrain:
Capitol: Elohi (where village heads meet for council)
Patron Ryo Pardeep:

Description: average height 4'9" to 7'5", lean erect dino-like body. Biped reptilian form. Three-fingered with opposable thumbs on all 4 limbs. Leathery, hairless skin. Their feet are just as useful as their hands. Ridge of bony plates that are very colorful and unique to the individual. The ridge begins at the apex of the forehead, following the spine all the way to the tip of their tail. They are quite vain about their ridge and will spend chunks of time polishing and decorating it.

One of the oldest races and long lived. Most stop counting their age after 300 years. No concept of sexual bonding. They will meet up every 100 years or so to fertilize eggs. The next mothers raise the hatchling because the egg donor and sperm donors never stick around.

Naturally curious and loves to gather information. Strong belief in self-discipline and control. Slow working metabolism and able to put themselves in meditative/hibernation state for years at a time.

Ritual Mentalis: Ritual Weavers
Weavers can sense and manipulate the energy of the M'Cathian crystals. The crystals are made into jewelry or sown into clothing. The deeper the color of the crystal the richer the energy/charge the gem stone carries. Once used up, the clear crystals are trader to jewelers. The crystals are in abundance on the Chi-Lin homeworld as well as the GyrFalconi homeworld. (the Chi-lin psi cannot use the crystal)

There are three Mentalist categories: Psionics, Ritual Magician (Weaver), and Elementalist.

A Psionic's body produces a great amount of energy which their mind can manipulate. This is why if a psi goes to the Battion homeworld they have to have protection, otherwise they get terribly sick/dead. They are cut off from a vital part of themselves, the energy.

Ritual Magicians (aka Ritual Weavers) do not produce energy but can utilize energy in certain crystals like the above mentioned M'Cathaian Crystals. Items like these crystals put out an energy Weavers can see, and through ritual weave to perform "magic". They often use their weaving for defense and protection. Abechan, the Shia'Marr on the Oethra 7 is a Ritual Magician. These weavers can also be found on Catalan, and the GyrFalconi homeworld. Those are also the homeworlds that have something similar to the M'Cathaian Crystals.

The third Mentalist ability is Elementalist. They can see and manipulate the energy caused by elements like fire and water.

So to answer your question, someone who is psi can only manipulate only their own body's energy. Their abilities are different from a Ritual Magician in not only how/what energy they handle but in what they are able to do. They can be one or the other, the cannot be both. :)

Additional Info revealed for the question: There is a story behind the term "ritual magician". It came from the 20 Year War. When the humans fought against the dreaded Shia'Marr, the zealots looked at the Shia'Marr's dino-like bodies and their ability to create shimmering shields and other things, they dubbed the Shia'Marr demons and their ability as 'magic'. There is a faction of certain psi who sneer at the 'weaker' abilities of Weavers, thinking Weavers are inferior, and use Ritual Magician as a slur against Weavers. A portion of the Chi-Lin population carries this bigotry.

Common Occupation: Starship scientist, ritual mentalist

Ritual Weaver core abilities/knowledge: animal lore, apothecary, charm/con, essence/spirit cast, library use/research, linguistics, make/use/distill poison, occult studies/theology, performance, plant lore/herbalist, quick cast, read/write, ritual design, ritual cast, spirit lore

See binder for how-to rituals for Abechan

Government Systems: No social system larger than a village and nests. Loners.

Current Leader:

Council of Neighn of Member: Dike

Allies: Gaziniti, Giante, Conti'Quan, Chtichlian, L'Eema, Ryden, Alpha-zetamite, Aetherian, Chi-Lin, GyrFalconi,

Star System: Capella Halo System

Other planets occupied by species:

Military Leader: Relies on Galactic Partol

Cultural names and terms specific to species:

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Assassin's Retirement Chapter 16 #gentleman #amwriting #blogstory

Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement! I almost fell behind with this. Other projects have been taking up my time and I ended up scrambling to write chapter sixteen. This is sort of a pivotal point in the story. Since I'm pantsing it, the many avenues it can go from here have been hounding me because I am having a hard time deciding. So, I just started writing. I have a better idea what is going to happen in the next two chapters, which is good. I suspected a few chapters back that the romance for such a large poly group was going to take some time. Slow burn (even though the lust is there) so that the relationship develops in an organic way. Plus, you know, Crimson Comet really screwed up dealing with Zane and that takes time to fix.

If you have stumbled onto this blog story and want to start from the beginning, I have added a Table of Contents at the bottom of this page with links to the other chapters in the story.

He wanted to walk away...

Fate wouldn't let him.

Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Sixteen – Maricoxi Guardians

As much as Zane wanted to stay up and talk to Skyld, he was relieved when his mentor encouraged him to go to bed. Without knocking, Alonzo entered the music room, his gaze traveling up Skyld's arm to where he embraced Zane. His lips pressed flat, and he scowled. Zane thought he should be annoyed with how Alonzo barged in without permission, but instead his body tightened at the possessive heat reflected in Alonzo's eyes.

"We can talk tomorrow. I'll take first watch," Skyld squeezed Zane's nape again, smirking at Alonzo.

"I'll wake Alonzo for second watch, so don't keep him up too late." Skyld shook Zane gently, affectionately, before releasing him and brushing by Alonzo.

Surprisingly, Alonzo didn't immediately cross to him. Uncertainty filled his expression. "I could go back to my cabin."

Zane suppressed a grin. "Do you want to leave?"

Alonzo's shoulders sagged with obvious relief. "No, but I didn't want to presume. You might not want me after you know more about my people."

That made Zane remember what Midnight had said. "Are there more of you on the mountain?"

Sorrow, sharp and poignant, crossed Alonzo's features before his expression turned into a blank mask.

"Don't to that," Zane finally crossed to Alonzo, giving into the urge to touch hum. At Alonzo's confusion, he elaborated. "Don't hide from me. I want to get to know you better."

He cupped Alonzo's elbow and gently led him across the hall to the master suite. After locking the door behind him, he navigated the spacious room solely by the light of the moon. The only window just so happened to look out over Alonzo's cabin. Since Alonzo had ushered the last of the hunters off the mountainside, Zane would lay in bed at the end of the day and watched the lights go out. He'd spent too much time wondering what Alonzo did behind closed doors.

When he released Alonzo, Zane pulled the sweater over his head. He hoped the dark would make Alonzo more comfortable talking to him. Perhaps if he didn't feel as if his every expression was on display, he could relax. As Zane, readied for bed, he waited to see what Alonzo would do.

"I feel as if I'm only adding to your burdens," Alonzo finally murmured.

Zane pushed his jeans down his legs before sitting at the foot of the bed to untie the one still-laced boot before kicking both shoes off. "This thing you have with wanting to protect me, it's fucking sexy as hell. Other than Skyld, no one had tried to shield me, and he didn't dare protect me much because I needed to quickly learn how to survive. So even though I relish how you are with me, I need you to let me be the judge of what is burdensome."

He stood and kicked off his pants and underwear. "You want to take a quick shower with me?" He didn't attempt to hide he was half hard. He wouldn't be able to get a true erection again tonight, but he was excited by the thought of Alonzo in bed with him. Since he had no long-time lovers, he'd never slept next to another before. Skyld didn't count.

Crossing to the bathroom, he still didn't turn on the overhead lamps, relying on the two security lights he installed to see by. When he turned on the shower, he was pleased to see Alonzo had followed, removing his pants.

Zane never lingered in the shower, he didn't see a reason to. But sharing the space with another… all that slick skin and brushing against him as they washed, Zane was definitely going to do this again when he wasn't dead on his feet and already sated. But that didn't stop him from admiring Alonzo in the ambient light.

"Do you like looking at me, Zane?"

He forced his gaze away from the dark hair covering the play of muscle over Alonzo's chest. He swallowed hard. "I think you already know I do."

With the next breath, Zane was lifted and encouraged to wrap his legs around Alonzo's waist before he was pressed into the corner. Soft lips sealed over his. Zane loved how Alonzo took his time, in no hurry to leave. Just kissing. Zane explored as well, loving how Alonzo tasted, the feel of that hairy body rubbing against his, Zane savored it all. When Alonzo finally put him down, he was out of breath and wishing he wasn't so damned tired. The next morning he would have to get down to business and deal with an assassin in his territory as well as plan to eliminate the threat Elle posed to him. Not that he wanted Crimsons Comet gone. Zane stilled as he was drying off, the idea of all of them in a ridiculously large bed, touching each other, touching him. A shudder worked its way up his spine. Though his mind knew it was an impossible dream, his body didn't get the memo.

He hung the towel on the rack and quickly brushed his teeth, digging in the drawer for the spare toothbrush for Alonzo. He bit down on his because even Alonzo brushing his teeth was sexy.

What was up with his libido? He'd gone months without sex before, his hand his only companion, and he had never been this… on edge, sexually aware of everyone around him. First it was the members of Crimson Comet who stirred this heightened lust in him. Xander's introductory kiss had been out of this world. His blood thrummed knowing he was viscerally attracted to all of them, even perpetually pissed off Raine. Normally, Zane didn't give someone like that a second thought. But there was something about all of them that drew him, and he had to wonder if his attraction had to do with them being Other. It was something to be considered.

When Zane crawled into bed, he was pleased when Alonzo followed. But then he froze. What was bed etiquette? Did one snuggle, spoon, or keep an imaginary line between them that should only be crossed when having sex? Before anxiety could rise, Alonzo rolled over and threw an arm and leg over Zane. He had a sudden worry that his movements would be too hampered, but he quickly shoved the thought down. He wanted to experience this closeness. He had an excellent security system and Scyld was on watch. He could let his guard down this once.

"Among the Maricoxi," Alonzo whispered, "I am known as a guardian. Those like me choose a clan to protect based on the worthiness of the patron. The stronger the leader, the more guardians they have, the more connected the clan members. You have to understand, my people, the members of the clan are not related. The patron attracts different Maricoxi to them. The clans are what society nowadays would call polyamorous… family, though family isn't necessarily a correct term. Any children born will eventually leave the clan to find a patron they would commit to and serve."

Alonzo paused, running his palm down Zane's stomach in a petting motion, almost as if he was trying to sooth himself. Zane had so many questions but suspected that if he asked, Alonzo would close up.

"My clan leader betrayed our God. In return, our God tasked me with… I took back what which my patron stole," Alonzo rasped. Zane moved to wrap his arms around him, awkwardly trying to give comfort. "Guardians… it is in our character to care for our leader in all ways. We forge bonds with the rest of the clan but always the patron comes first in everything we do."

And Zane understood. Alonzo's God (and holy shit, Gods were real beings?) had required Alonzo to fix his leader's betrayal and that had hurt Alonzo in a way Zane didn't quite comprehend.

"Because I chose to follow our God's command, my patron was no longer my main focus. I broke a covenant between me, my patron, and my clan. Though a new leader took over, I wasn't their guardian. They could not trust me even though the patron's betrayal was unprecedented and devastating to all Maricoxi, mine was more so and unforgivable in their eyes. So no, there are no other Maricoxi living on the mountain. I am clanless."

Zane squeezed Alonzo tighter. Well, that explained Alonzo's protectiveness. He'd been denied someone to care for. Zane had not heard of Alonzo dating or taking a lover and he spent much of the year escorting hunters on the mountainside. That Alonzo showed protectiveness of Zane was a bit disconcerting, since he now thought he understood the motivation, but also very gratifying in a way Zane had never experienced.

"Did you not look to join another clan?" he asked, saddened to think Alonzo had given up without trying again.

"I did. But by the time I found a patron who called to me, word had spread about what had happened. A guardian should only be concerned with the patron's welfare and happiness. Though she understood, knew that I could not disobey our God, I had become untouchable. She let me stay because Maricoxi yearn to be surrounded by a clan. Being without one can be torturous. Over time, I realized I couldn't be a part of any clan, not as I was meant to be, so I moved across countries to work for an organization that polices Others all over the world." Alonzo shrugged as if uncomfortable, his voice tight. Zane wondered what happened at the job to make him uneasy or perhaps he was reading too much into Alonzo's body language. "I left a few years ago, and luckily landed the job as a guide on the ranch."

A yawn cracked Zane's jaw even as he tried to stifle it. "You've been hiding on the mountainside since," he said, not accusatory, just stating a fact as he saw it. "That had to be hard for you. You came from a… communal background. You need people, right?"

Alonzo laughed softly into Zane's hair. "I was fine until you moved in. There is something about you I cannot deny," he whispered.

Zane closed his eyes, his body turning heavy. In case he couldn't take care of the person who leaked his identity, he would have to disappear. Just thinking about leaving without Alonzo made him physically hurt in his bones. "If I had to leave, would you come me?" But as soon as the words were out of his mouth he knew it was a stupid question. He didn't really know Alonzo and he immediately wished he could take the words back.

Alonzo's arms around Zane tightened almost painfully. "Yes." His answer was spoken so softly Zane almost didn't hear him.

Huh. Zane's whole body warmed, and he had a feeling that if he hadn't been so tired, he would have been alarmed.


Zane didn't remember falling asleep but he woke with a jolt when Alonzo moved.

"And you'll stay with him," Alonzo whispered.

"Where are you going?" Zane rasped even as he rolled over to see who Alonzo spoke to. He reached under his pillow toward the headboard where he kept a holstered gun hidden.

Skyld stood at the foot of the bed, pulling his shirt over his head. Zane smelled snow and the smokiness of a fire.

"I'll stay," Skyld murmured, but Zane heard the smirk in his voice.

When Alonzo slid from under the covers, Zane fisted his hands to keep from grabbing Alonzo. As if sensing Zane's reluctance, Alonzo turned and kissed him. "I won't be far," he reassured.

He flopped back down onto the bed, disgruntled. For the first time since he was a kid, he felt a bit pouty. If he didn't do something quickly to hide his emotions, Skyld would take great pleasure in teasing him. Alonzo quickly dressed, watching Skyld closely as he pulled off his jeans, leaving his boxers on before slipping in the warm spot left by Alonzo. "Oh God," Skyld practically moaned. "You're like a furnace."

Zane snickered as he watched Alonzo round the bed now fully dressed. The next kiss was possessive, and Zane smiled into it. He would have to explain Skyld posed no threat. He was like a father, brother, and best friend all rolled into one person.

After Alonzo left the room, Skyld turned his back to Zane. "You know the rules. You steal the covers and I'll kick you out of bed. You attempt to cuddle, and not only will I kick you out of bed, I'll throw you in a cold shower."

Zane rolled onto his stomach and buried his face in the pillow to hide his grin. Despite everything going on and this weirdness of Others, Zane was… happy. Strange but true, and he wasn't going to pick it apart. Now he might feel differently in the morning, but for the moment, he wasn't going to borrow trouble. He fell asleep listening to the familiar cadence of Skyld's soft snores.

Table of Contents

Chapter One - Retirement
Chapter Two - Normal is not supposed to be this hard
Chapter Three - Caught
Chapter Four - Crimson Comet
Chapter Five - Mountain Magic
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Six, Part 2 -
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Seven, Part 2 -
Chapter Eight, Part 1 - No such thing as heroes
Chapter Eight, Part 2 -
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Chapter Ten, Part 1 - Gathering Allies
Chapter Ten, Part 2
Chapter Eleven - Combustible
Chapter Twelve - Standing His Ground
Chapter Thirteen - Choices
Chapter Fourteen, Part 1
Chapter Fourteen, Part 2
Chapter Fifteen, Part 1 - To kill, or not to kill
Chapter Fifteen, Part 2

Chapter Sixteen - Maricoxi Guardians

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!