It is time to head back to the desert world of Carthago and the gladiators of the House of Galen.
Beast man. Blue. Vek. Our next Galactic Gladiators book stars the wild, blue-skinned alien rescued from the underground fight rings and small, blonde spaceship pilot Mia.
To celebrate Beast’s cover reveal I have a giveaway of an amazing 2018 gladiator calendar called Warrior. Scroll right down to the bottom to enter.
Release Date: October 31st
Cover art by the awesome Melody Simmons
Excerpt from Barbarian featuring Vek
The group stopped by a small drinking hole to rest and quench their thirst.
Vek’ker stopped as well, avoiding the ugly beasts the gladiators rode. He moved toward the small pool of water, setting his bundle down by the water’s edge.
He needed to drink, but he didn’t want to leave Mia alone. She’d been alone for weeks, lost and stolen.
Vek leaned down, and drew in a deep breath. The scent of her filled him, and he felt an uneasy, edgy part of him settle. No one was looking, so he carefully stroked her cheek. He found the color of her skin fascinating. So pink compared to his blue.
He felt a spear of longing drive through him. With a grunt, he turned to the water and scooped some into his mouth.
For so long, he’d just been a thing, an animal, a weapon. He’d fought on the whim of his captors in the underground fight rings. He’d tried to remember his life before, but the memories refused to come.
He knew people were shocked he’d survived the fight rings.
Sometimes, he was surprised. He’d been tortured, caged, and caught in vicious fights to the death. He’d had nothing to fight for, nothing to survive for.
Until Mia had stepped on the sand.
He reached down and stroked her arm. She was so soft and small. This tiny woman from a distant planet called Earth had woken something in him. Something he didn’t understand.
He touched her hair. It was the color of the sunlight, and he loved it. He’d lived without the sunlight for so very long. Her eyelashes were surprisingly dark against her skin. He willed her to open her eyes.
He looked over and saw the big gladiator, Nero, cradling his own woman. The man’s face was etched in hard lines. His woman was badly injured.
Vek had seen the way the healer had rushed in and risked her life to save them all. He hoped she recovered soon.
He felt Mia stir, and he froze, looking down at her. She opened her eyes.
She blinked a few times, focusing on his face. A small smile emerged on her lips. “Hello.”
There was no fear. She didn’t look at him like he was an animal.
“Hello, Mia.” He knew his voice sounded growly and rough. But it had been so long since he’d spoken.
Her eyes widened. Confused. “Blue? You’re talking.”
“My name is Vek’ker.”
She reached up, her fingers touching his face, and stroking his ragged beard. “Hi, Vek’ker.”
“I am…I was called Vek.”
“Did you rescue me, Vek?”
There was no fear. No disgust. He’d gotten so used to people being afraid of him. “I will come for you, wherever you are.”
“You don’t even know me,” she said quietly.
“I do.” He breathed deeply again, letting her sweet smell surround him.
She looked around Blue, and he didn’t need to turn to know that Blaine and Saff had arrived, as he had scented them.
“So glad to see you awake,” Blaine said, crouching. “How are you feeling?”
“Tired. Groggy.” Mia pushed at her hair. “Like I went a few rounds in a boxing ring.”
“What do you remember?” Blaine asked.
Mia’s brow scrunched. “I remember being abducted from the House of Galen.” Her face turned stricken. “Dayna? Winter? Are they okay?”
Vek fought the urge to wrap himself around her.
“Winter is here. She helped us rescue you.” Blaine’s face hardened.
Mia’s hand grabbed Vek’s. “And Dayna?”
Mia closed her eyes. “A man snatched Dayna and me off a desert convoy. I remember screams, weapons fire, then…nothing.”
Vek ran a hand along her back, wanting to soothe her distress.
“The man’s name was Catalyst,” Saff said. “He’s dead.”
“Good.” Mia looked around, and her gaze fell on Winter, lying in Nero’s arms. She stiffened. “Winter?”
“She saved us all,” Vek said. “She was injured.”
“She’s hurt but alive,” Blaine said. “We’ll be back in Kor Magna soon. Don’t worry. The healers will help her.”
“Be calm, Mia,” Vek said.
She looked up at him, her eyes a fascinating amber color. She touched his face again. “You need a trim.”
“For you, I will.”
“You’re free now, Vek. Free to go and do whatever you please. To find your family and your home world. I know you feel grateful to me, but—”
He shook his head. Gratitude was one emotion he felt, but there were so many things churning inside him for this woman. All he knew was that he didn’t want to be separated from her.
“Shh.” She gripped his jaw, making him look back at her. “I can see the panic on your face. Whatever happens, you have a home at the House of Galen.”
He nodded. But the only place he wanted to be was with Mia.
She sat up, looking across the desert. He saw the glimmer of tears in her eyes. “Dayna is out there, somewhere. All alone. We have to find her.”
Whatever his Mia wanted, he would get it for her. “I vow that I will find her.”
Suddenly, Mia sagged. “I’m tired.” She pressed her face against his chest and held on to him.
That simple trust broke him. He held her tight, and knew that he would die to deliver on his promise to find her friend.
“Warrior” Gladiator Calendar Giveaway
To celebrate the cover reveal of Beast, I’m giving away a 2018 Warrior Gladiator Calendar to two lucky winners.
Open internationally and closes on Sunday 22nd Oct. Winners notified by email by 29th Oct. You DO NOT have to use every option below to enter. Just select the one(s) you prefer to do.
Calendar model – Jess Vill Photographer – Salvador Pozo