books, general, guest posts, Special Guest

Special Guest: Shari Elder

Happy New Year! I do hope to have some news to share soon about my own books, but right now I’d like to welcome Shari Elder to the blog with her newest release 🙂

The Scent of Memory
Green Rising Book 2
 
Release date: December 16, 2020
 
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Erotic
 
Ebook Published with Evernight Publishing
Cover artist: Jay Aheer

BLURB:

Twelve years ago, Marisol lost Aren. Now he’s back – pointing a gun at her head and treating her like a stranger.

Rebel hacker, Marisol Martinez, never thought volunteering to keep the hospital safe from cyborgs would lead her back to the man sabotage ripped from her arms. The man she swore to avenge by any means possible.

For over a decade, Cap protected the cyborgs under his command from every danger. Until he meets an insurgent, whose scent wreaks havoc on his control. She calls him Aren and insists she knows him. But she’s wrong. He has no past, no present, no future – only orders he’s programmed to complete.

Forced together, Marisol and Cap can’t resist the passion that keeps building between them.  With time running out, Marisol must use her computer skills to restore Aren’s memories or Cap will kill all subversives on the planet – starting with her.

TEASER:

“I’ll take you there,” Marisol volunteered. “Follow me.” She rushed out of the room. He was by her side in seconds.

“Explain your interest in me.” He turned off his scent sensors to prevent himself from being sucked into the pungent turbulence of emotions spilling out in her aroma.

“We were to be married.” The gentle emotion vibrating in her voice stroked his remaining flesh like a caress. He shook it off. It was dangerous.

“Was it arranged?”

“No, we chose each other. We were living together when you were killed—abducted—after a mining accident.”

“We were intimate?” Heat roared through him. He shut it down reluctantly. He was starting to like the way he felt around her.

“You have no memories of me? Of us?” She blinked rapidly as though to force back tears threatening to spill.

He shook his head. “Cybercorp wipes our long-term memories. Periodically, a memory fragment may surface, but our systems are programmed to shut down if that occurs. If a cyborg suffers from too many of these recalls, he is decommissioned.”

“That’s brutal.”

“We’re brutal. You’d be wise to remember that.”

BUY LINKS:

Evernight The Scent of Memory by Shari Elder – Evernight Publishing

Amazon The Scent of Memory (Green Rising Book 2) – Kindle edition by Elder, Shari. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Barnes and Noble The Scent of Memory by Shari Elder | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)Kobo The Scent of Memory eBook by Shari Elder – 9780369502759 | Rakuten Kobo United States

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hello, I’m Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, get my kid to class, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.

At night, the other Shari emerges.  With a glass of wine by side, I curl up on the couch with my computer nestled in my lap and let my imagination play until stories take shape.  I also periodically check on my teen-ager, hiding out in the bedroom. Once I’ve reassured myself she’s not plotting world domination, I pull out my alter ego, who definitely is.  As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.

In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can’t resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Web:                http://sharielder.com

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/Shari-Elder-Stories-541817856021514/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/ShariElder/e/B01IMME7K6?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads:      Shari Elder (Author of Race to Redemption) | Goodreads

Twitter                        @ShariElderBooks  or https://twitter.com/sharielderbooks

Bookbub          https://www.bookbub.com/authors/shari-elder

books, Revenant Investigations, writing

An Update!

Happy Saturday! It’s been too long since I posted, I know ❤

This is a brief update to let you know that Ghosts of Kingston Cottage, the first Revenant Investigations book, is no longer available. I am giving it a freshen up and then self-publishing it~ hopefully in the first quarter of 2021.

In other writing news, I have started on a new, full-length book. I don’t want to say too much yet but wanted to let you know that new work in on the horizon!

books, guest posts, new release

Guest Spotlight: Leonard Meek

Happy Saturday, my lovelies!

I hope you all are well ❤ Today I am pleased to spotlight Sweet Gum, the new historical gay romance by Leonard Meek~ a dear friend of mine. I cannot wait for you all to read this book as well as get to know Leonard 🙂

Without further ado…

~~~

AMAZON

BLURB:

In Mississippi in the 1800s two men fall in love.

One man a slave and the other his potential master.

As their love blooms Lennox and Caleb learn to carefully navigate their love. Due to the unforeseen design of slavery (even though it is forbidden) their families develop a connection, a dependency, a contorted love for one another. As the horror and cruelty of slavery consumes their lives, events take place that further complicate their connection that not only deepens their divide but binds them closer together as they struggle to coexistence in the American south of slavery. Living in the irony that is the braided tapestry of master and slavery, both families must learn to accept or not to accept their bond and the love that exists between their sons.

~~~

Leonard Meek’s second book is an exploration of the impossible loves that take place during human bondage. “Slavery”.

In America in the 1800s the enslavement of Blacks was the law of the land. Especially in the deep south of Natchez, Mississippi. On the Halcyon Plantation, a formidable plantation of its time, love blossoms in unusual ways. A slave and his potential master form a bond that grows into a love that is so deep that it cannot stay hidden. Both the slave family and the family that “owns” them, watch as their love grows, not fully understanding what it means, and are powerless to stop it. Their love will either force the families to be more than slave and master. Or make their divide wider. In the end, the lovers must decide their own fate. Will they live what the dictates of America says is the construct for blacks and whites, males and females. Or will they take a path that will allow their love to grow and persevere?

The beauty of this novel is that it obliges us to rethink slavery and love during slavery. It reveals how interracial love between the same sex and opposite sexes is nothing new. It illustrates that love is love and won’t be denied.

 

~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

You can learn more about Leonard~ author and dancer~ on his website:

https://www.leonardmeek.com/

 

 

books, guest posts, Special Guest

Special Guest: Beth D. Carter

I’m pleased to welcome Beth D Carter to the blog!

~~~

 

1.What was your inspiration behind this book?

I love writing about dystopian worlds because you can basically create your own version of the future. And since I happen to like writing about women who don’t know their own strength, this genre lets my imagination soar.

  1. Do you ever find yourself slipping away and becoming so immersed in your story it affects how you relate to others?

Yes.  I’m an introvert to begin with, but when my brain is filled with how to write the next scene I can go for days and forget to call my mom or put off grocery shopping until the next day, and then the next day after that.  Before I know it, a week has gone by without shaving my legs.  Gross.

  1. Are you in any of your books?

There’s a little bit of me in every book, I think.  Maybe it’s just a random thought or a gesture, but something of me is in all my characters.

 

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Total pantser, although in my mind I do have an idea of where the story is headed.  My characters always surprise me when they make a one eighty from where I thought the story was going.  But as a writer you should always listen to your characters, because they’re basically your muse talking to you.

 

  1. What is your favorite line, or scene, that you wrote in Come With Me?

 

I had a difficult time coming up with a title for this story. I wanted something clever but one line kept jumping from the page: Come with me. Nolan says it several times to Lainey. I eventually reached a point where I realized that one phrase meant everything.

 

  1. If you could choose, which published author would you like to brainstorm with and why?

 

Lisa Kleypas because I love how she paces her novels and I’d love to pick her brain on how she plots them out. Or Julia Quinn because she’s hilarious and I have a feeling she likes wine like I do.

 

 

  1. When you were little, did you ever think you’d be a published author? What was your “dream” job as a child?

 

My dream job as a child was being Indiana Jones.  When that didn’t pan out, I became responsible by going into the medical field. Being an author was always in the world of fantasy. I grew up in the early Eighties in the backwoods of Missouri, so no, I never thought in a million years I’d be a published author.  Thank holy heck for modern technology!  Ebook publishing opened up doors to me, and to many talented authors, to make our dreams possible.

 

 

  1. What was the worst job you ever had while working towards being a published author?

 

I worked one day as an assistant to a urologist. I thought seeing penises all day long would be cool but come to find out, there’s a big different between thirty year old penises and seventy year old ones.

 

 

  1. And last, do you have anything you would like to say to your current readers or to those that haven’t yet read your work(s)?

 

First, I’m a really funny person but my humor is dry, bordering on sarcastic. I put a lot of that in my stories, usually in the form of a sidekick or secondary character. Second, I write stories because I want people to read them.  I write for the love of writing.  And I love feedback.  Yes, I’m trying to make a living but nothing makes me happier than to get an email from someone saying they liked something I wrote (or if you didn’t like it, please nicely tell me why it sucked).  So drop me a line anytime to say hi…you can find me on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram:

https://twitter.com/BethDCarter
https://www.facebook.com/bethdcarterauthor

https://www.instagram.com/bethdcarter/

 

 

Name 5 pet peeves that simply drive you insane.

My 5 writing pet peeves…

  1. My job. When I go to my day job I have to put my writer brain on hold and sometimes that is so irritating, especially when I get an epiphany about the plot.
  2. Insomnia. You’d think staying up at night would be a great time to write, but insomnia turns your brain to mush and renders it unable to string coherent words together.
  3. Social Media. Need I say more?
  4. My muse. I’m hard at work trying to write out a complicated and scene and she’s like “Wait! I’ve got this awesome idea for another story!” Most of the time she wakes me up at three am.  Bitch.
  5. Character changes. Most of the time I can envision the beginning and ending to a story, but every once in a while the ending slips away, due to the direction of where the characters take me. When that happens I struggle a lot to maintain the plot.  I’ve shelved some great stories because of this.

 

BLURB:

 

Those Who Survived Part One

Lainey is one of the few that survived the virus that ravaged the human population. In order to remain safe, she stays away from people, preferring to live on her own. Not trusting anyone. Until one night she’s attacked and rescued by a stranger who insists that there’s still good in the world.

Nolan has a fantastical story of a new civilization in Canada, and urges her to go with him. Lainey doesn’t know if she believes him or not, but the unknown is enough to scare her away. Yet day after day he slowly breaks down her walls, opening her up to the possibility that she might be strong enough to take a chance not only on him, but herself as well.

 

 

Excerpt:

“You’ve amassed quite a bit of provisions.”

“I scavenged the homes of people who left. I never went into the ones where the dead were.”

“Because the houses had become tombs?”

She sat down on the couch. “For a while, when the wind would blow a certain way, I would catch a whiff of the dead. It made me want to throw-up. I think the remaining people made an exodus out of here because of the smell.”

He sat down next to her. “Why didn’t you go with them?”

“Didn’t really have anywhere to go,” she replied with a shrug. “I’ve thought about leaving for a long time but always wondered where would I go? What would I face out there? Without a solid plan, it just seemed too risky.”

“And you don’t take risks,” he concluded.

“No, I don’t.”

“I was a risk.” He tapped his chest. “Bringing a stranger into your sanctuary was a huge risk.”

“You had a dozen times you could’ve hurt me,” she said, taking a deep breath. “Something tells me I can trust you and my instincts are rarely wrong. You can help me put the fence up so I’ll be protected, and then you can continue on your journey.”

“There’s another option you know.”

She cocked her head. “What’s that?”

“You can come with me.”

This was the second time he’d mentioned that, and like the last time, she shook her head. “I’m not cut out for that type of unknown. Besides, I don’t know you.”

“You know me more than you think you do. Come on, name three things you know about me.”

“I don’t-”

“I bet you could quote just about every English lit novel ever written,” he said, interrupting her. “You don’t trust that easily, but when you do, your devotion is complete.” He folded his arms across his chest. “And your least favorite color is red because it reminds you of blood.”

She blinked, completely taken aback. “How could you possibly know all that?”

He shrugged. “Observation. Come on, say three things about me now.”

“You…used to be in the navy. And you’re from Arizona.”

He nodded. “And?”

“I, uh, don’t know your least favorite color. Or your favorite.”

“I like green and hate purple,” he said. “But you got two out of three. That’s a start.”

She admired his confidence but didn’t hold out much hope he’d be around long enough for her to learn anything else about him. All the while, ignoring a little voice that had been gaining volume in her head, pushing her to do that very thing. To run. Escape. Yet fear held her back.

“You’re wrong, you know,” he murmured. “The person who would bike ride all the way

 

from Malibu to Sherman Oaks is completely up for an unknown adventure.”

 

 

Buy Links:

 

Evernight: https://www.evernightpublishing.com/come-with-me-by-beth-d-carter/

 

 

 

 

Bio:

I began reading my mom’s Harlequin Presents in the fifth grade, and from the first story I knew I wanted to write romance novels. I like writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so my heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors or corporate highrollers.  I try to write characters who aren’t cookie cutters and push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box.  I love writing characters who are real, complex and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love. You can find me on the web at:

http://bethdcarter.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/BethDCarter
https://www.facebook.com/bethdcarterauthor

https://www.instagram.com/bethdcarter/

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/beth-d-carter

Amazon author page:  http://www.amazon.com/BethD.Carter/e/B00EOTD1T0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1385417145&sr=8-1

books, guest posts, Special Guest

Special Guest: C.R. Moss

I am pleased to welcome C.R. Moss to the blog with her latest release!

****

~ About the Book ~

Katrina Foster has survived a life no one dreams about and most don’t want to know about. Escaping to a ranch in Texas she used to visit during the summers of her childhood and rekindling an old relationship with Dakota Remington, she hopes to leave the nightmare of her past behind her. At first, all seems well, but when strange things begin to happen, she wonders if history’s about to repeat itself.

Dakota Remington has devoted his life to working at Gateway Ranch. He’s excited when Kat, his former sweetheart, returns and looks forward to reuniting with her. He finds she’s changed, though, and he’s not sure if it’s for the better. But he’s up for the challenge of the puzzle that is Kat.

 

~ Excerpt ~

The hard composite of her firearm shifted against her lower back.

Well, if push comes to shove, I can protect myself. I’ll shoot the bastard if he shows up and tries anything.

Eventually, her nerves calmed enough so she could move without feeling ill.

She rose and stripped out of her clothes, put her weapon on the counter, then stepped into the shower. The hard and hot spray beat on her, helping her to feel something other than worry about potential rumors or her ex finding her. Kat bowed her head, placed her hands above the faucets. The water sluiced down her hair, cascaded in wide streams over her back. More time passed. Relaxed and clear headed, she finished her shower and was about to open the door when a thud and click sounded on the other side.

Gripping the towel wrapped around her body, she snatched her weapon, opened the door, and cautiously looked out into the room.

Dakota lounged on the bed, one leg bent, his hat propped on that leg’s knee. His hair stuck up in clumpy spikes. He ran a dirty hand through his dark brown locks.

Kat released a pent-up breath, lowered her weapon, and placed the Glock on a counter next to the bathroom door. “How’d you get in here?”

Tired eyes gazed at her. “I’m manager on duty while the Taggerts are away, ’member? Got a bunch of master keys.” Dak held up the ring of them. “You okay? When you didn’t come back, I got worried.”

“I’m fine. I think the humidity got to me. Along with the dirt.”

“Sure. The humidity. You tell me that you’re afraid a man is going to come after you, or rather us. We hear about the vehicle. You turn white as one of our ghosts and run off. Who was in the car, Kat?”

“Hell if I know. I’ve been with you all day. I didn’t see the fancy black car or who was in it.”

“You don’t have a clue as to who was in the car? I’m not buying it.”

“Buy it or don’t.” She crossed her arms over her stomach. “I really don’t know. It could have been Nero. It could have been his goons. It could have been a neighbor of yours or one of the party guests Kent mentioned. I. Wasn’t. There. I. Didn’t. See.”

Dakota flung himself off the bed and slammed the hat on his head. “Get dressed. You’ll come with me while I get cleaned up then we’ll go hang out in the rec hall.”

“You know what, Dak? I appreciate the Boy Scout approach, and how you’re trying to get a merit badge for babysitting, but all I want is to lie down and take a nap.”

“Kat, please. I’m hot, dirty, and tired. I don’t want to argue.” He strode to the door. “Get dressed so we can get going.” His gaze flashed darkly, roamed over her with an appraising glance. A slow grin tipped up the corner of his lips.

~Buy~

https://books2read.com/ToBeYours

 

~ About the Series ~

Nestled within the hills of central Texas is a special ranch. A place that defies the laws of physics—that of time, space, and dimensions. It’s a place where normal morphs with the paranormal and supernatural. A place that seems to know what a person’s true desires and needs are, and then allows the right circumstances to occur to fulfill those wishes.

Welcome to the Gateway Ranch.

Your gateway to all things possible…

~

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An eccentric and eclectic writer, C.R. Moss pens stories for the mainstream and erotic romance markets, giving readers a choice of sweet, savory or spicy reads, usually within a sub-genre or two — paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy, time travel, or western flare. She also has a passion for penning dark fiction. Writing as Casey Moss, she delves into the darker aspects of life in her work, sometimes basing the stories on reality, sometimes on myth. No matter the path, her stories will take you on a journey from the lighthearted paranormal to dark things unspeakable. What waits around the corner? Come explore…

Find C.R. Moss here…
Amazon Author Page | Blog/Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube: Book Trailer | More Gateway Ranch books

Uncategorized

Quick Book Update

Hello, my lovelies!

I know you are all hoping for NEW book news, but I unfortunately don’t have anything to share right now. I am still working on new material. I just don’t have news right now ❤

However, some of you may have noticed that An Island Christmas is now unavailable. This is because the rights have reverted back to me. I gave it a quick refresh, and am hoping to have news in the coming months about its re-release (whether self-pub or with a new publisher).

As always, thank you for your patience and stay tuned! ❤ ❤ ❤

books, Son of Thunder

SALE ALERT: Son of Thunder

Hello everyone! One of my publishers, Entangled Publishing, is having a paranormal romance sale for ONE WEEK ONLY. What does this mean? Lots of amazing stories for you 🙂

Son of Thunder is part of this sale and will be $0.99 until November 4th!

Amazon US – Barnes and Noble – iTunes – Kobo – Entangled Publishing

BLURB:

Rune is the grandson of Thor, and just as strong. Exiled to the realm of Earth for nearly killing his brother–it was a little misunderstanding– he has to find a way to redeem himself so he can get back to Asgard. And when he lands—literally—in the bed of a fiery redhead with an FBI badge, he realizes that she may be the key to going home. But helping Liv hunt a killer has one big consequence—chemistry. He can’t keep his hands off her, and there’s no way they can ever be together.

Six years ago, FBI Special Agent Liv Winter’s best friend was murdered. Since then, she’s taken a two-week vacation around the anniversary of the death to try and solve the case. She’s used every available resource. Yet, her friend’s killer is still on the loose. She refuses to give up—willing to do almost anything to bring the person to justice.

Apparently, almost anything includes trusting a god. And while she might need Rune’s help with her case, there’s no way she’ll ever trust him with her heart.

~~~

To check out the nearly 200 titles, click the photo below ❤

 

Happy Reading!

books, Special Guest

Special Guest: D.A. Maddox

Happy Tuesday! I’m pleased to spotlight D.A. Maddox and his new release, Piper’s Price 🙂

****

AMAZON ~ EVERNIGHT PUBLISHING

BLURB:

Consequences, Live 1

To the world, Robbie McNeal is a young man to be envied. A senator’s son, raised in wealth and privilege, he’s got everything—but all he really wants is the courage to ask out the girl in his government class. He has reached the age of transition, the final four years before all of society’s secrets are unveiled, along with the rights of full citizenship. He’s new to college, new to adulthood, and totally unprepared for the penalty he must pay when he makes one very bad decision.

Madison Piper, a fellow freshman and art class model—and the subject of Robbie’s unshakable crush—will be instrumental in his discipline.

The punishment will be televised. The show, born from a law written by Robbie’s own father, is in its second year. The audience needs something new—and the common people can’t wait to see Robbie pay the piper.

 

****

EXCERPT:

“Professor,” she said, “you may proceed.”

Professor Mack stepped onto the platform with Robbie, started unsnapping his shoulder buttons as she addressed the audience. “Well, you’ve all had just an hour of basic tutoring on outlining and black and white shading,” she said. “Time to see who’s been harboring a hidden talent all their lives.”

General chuckling. Robbie’s shirt dropped to his feet. He looked over his chest, down the length of his arms. He couldn’t help but feel even more awkward and exposed with practically all of his body hair shaven off. His skin had a sheen to it still, slightly ruddy. He directed his gaze down, but Professor Mack was having none of that.

“Head straight,” she said to him.

Robbie obeyed, taking in his audience all at once. They were delighted. Transfixed. They chattered together, their voices low—but it was a small room, and Robbie missed none of it.

“Poor thing. He’s blushing all over.”

“…might be the most fun I’ve ever had following up on a story.”

“Pretty good pecs for a college boy. Cute nipples, too.”

“Perky, for a guy.”

“Can’t wait to have my hands on him, do a little performance art.”

Hands? Robbie thought. No one said anything about hands.

And that had come from old Mrs. Merriweather, the freakin’ organ player.

“Okay, okay,” Professor Mack cut in, her right hand exploring his back, the curvature of his spine. “Our time is limited, so let’s get down to it. We’ll rotate the platform ninety degrees every fifteen minutes. You’ll notice your sketch paper is quartered for you to make an attempt from four different angles. Just an outline of his form to begin with, down to the core. Fill in once you’ve got it completely defined. After that’s done, raise your hand and I’ll see what you’ve got.”

Then her hand went to the lever at the side of the X-frame and shifted it. Robbie’s arms and legs spread, the Vitruvian Punk in Position Number Two. The strips of cloth covering his penis, testicles, and the center of his buttocks fluttered but remained in place.

“When one of us has an acceptable start and is ready to move on,” Professor Mack continued, “then I’ll show you what Robbie’s got. Don’t worry—I’ll give everyone a heads-up before I denude him completely—just in case any of you have second thoughts. If all goes well, he’ll be presented for full rendering, by … three o’clock or so.”

Michael hadn’t been put through this, Robbie reflected with some bitterness. He’d volunteered, gotten paid, and he hadn’t gone through anything close to this. Michael, who wasn’t even body-conscious, hadn’t been stripped to a dinner napkin in front of mentors and reporters and family friends. He had posed for a room full of anonymous students, just a handful in a population of thousands. Strangers all.

Well, except for Robbie himself. Michael hadn’t minded one bit. And yet Robbie had pitied him, somehow—probably because Robbie hadn’t needed to find work on campus, hadn’t needed to degrade himself. Now, finding himself exposed within breathing distance of a host of familiar, older women, the shame was transcendent. And his cock was starting to feel restless.

No! God, no—please.

If he got hard now, his wang would carry that cloth straight up and off to the side, like attempting to raise a flag and failing. He tried to make his mind wander, or to focus on something else, on anything but the way Professor Mack and Mrs. Fenwick and Mrs. Merriweather were staring at him in his public, televised degradation.

The counter on the wall read six million, four hundred twenty-two thousand, three hundred fifty-two—ticking ever upwards by scores of viewers at a time.

But then the women started drawing, and the impending threat of an involuntary erection subsided as the room fell quiet. The soft sound of pencils on paper actually calmed him, and after a minute or two, soothed him. The delighted, devilish stares that had greeted him were quickly replaced by clinical study, actual effort—which Robbie understood. It had been the same with him after the first few minutes of Michael’s session. Whether it was bogus or not, the women started behaving like they had a job that needed doing. And that wasn’t so bad, was it?

No, Robbie thought. Not so bad.

From where he was mounted, he had a clear look at the time. Whatever else was going to happen to him, it would be over in less than three hours—and the first day of his penance would be in the books, one-third of his debt to society paid.

At two-fifteen, the platform rotated. A couple of the women got up to stretch for a minute before resuming their places and starting the second quarter of their sketch page.

At two-thirty, it rotated again. A couple of complaints about not having enough time, minor grumblings.

At two-forty, while the platform was centered right in front of her, Mrs. Fenwick raised her hand.

Robbie had a fleeting vision—a memory—of her as Professor Mack went to her to observe the work she had done so far. Robbie recalled apologizing to her the morning after a sleepover he’d had at her house, celebrating her son’s birthday—Ashton, one of Robbie’s longest-standing childhood friends. Robbie had said he was sorry for acting like an idiot and being loud the night before. Robbie had no trouble remembering that apology, although he couldn’t remember with any specificity what he’d actually done to inspire it.

She’d been so understanding, so kind, and so dismissive of the whole thing. “Just boys being boys,” she’d said, ruffling his hair.

Professor Mack nodded her approval at Mrs. Fenwick’s handiwork, and Mrs. Fenwick beamed with pride.

“Oh, good,” she said. “Finish undressing him, then, please.”

Professor Mack turned from her and approached Robbie, a smirk curling the corner of her lips. “Deep breath,” she said. “It’ll be all right.”

Robbie could only stand there, fixed in place, saying nothing as she ran her finger down the side of his ribcage to the string that supported the last of his modesty. And to his horror, he found that his “modesty” was now “supporting” the cloth, rising up against his will before Professor Mack’s finger reached the knot.

“Last chance,” she said—to the assemblage of sketchers, not to him. “Time for the big reveal.”

Beneath the cloth, Robbie’s nuts were fully visible. He could feel the air conditioning down there. His sack was a tight plum with the texture of a basketball, swelling with expectation. He regarded his audience, his eyes darting from one face to another, seeking solace, wondering if any would leave.

None of them did. They leaned forward. Their eyes were wide—all except the senator’s, who narrowed hers. Mrs. Merriweather batted her lashes at him. But of all of them, it was hardest for him to accept having this done to him in the presence of Mrs. Fenwick, the one who had just ordered his final stripping.

Go! he wanted to shout. Get out of here! Please!

But he kept quiet, even when the knot came undone between Professor Mack’s thumb and forefinger and the cloth fell away. There he was, the Vitruvian Punk, not just on camera but before a live civilian audience, many of them women he had known his whole life, sporting a boner the size of Florida at low tide. Professor Mack held the cloth up to his face, making sure he got a good look at what he wasn’t wearing anymore. He moaned.

Moaning was okay. He was allowed inarticulate exclamations. He wouldn’t have to pay for them later, so long as he didn’t overdo it. He moaned again.

“Oh, boy,” Professor Mack said, studying his erection. “Can’t have that, can we? This is ‘The Human Form,’ not porn.” Then, to the crowd, “A little help?”

What? Robbie though, aghast. What kind of “help” are you talking about?

He locked eyes with Nurse Reyes-Garcia. Please, Matron, he wanted to plead with her. Couldn’t you come over here and just flick it, or something?

She stared back at him, offering nothing.

“Come on,” Professor Mack cajoled. “We all knew this might happen. We talked about it.”

Mrs. Fenwick regrettably sighed. “Harvey would kill me,” she said. “Sorry. Was all I could do to talk him into letting me be here.”

“He definitely looks like he needs it,” said Mrs. Crop, the reporter, “but I just report the news. I’m not supposed to be the news.”

“Too awkward,” said one, a friend of his mother’s.

“It would feel wrong,” said another, a former babysitter. “That would be crossing the line, I think.”

Go down, Robbie silently commanded his penis. You’ve got to go down. You know what’s coming.

His penis, however, was perfectly happy to remain at attention. It tightened under their scrutiny. It swelled. Heat spread through his core like thick, warm milk spilled slowly.

“I’ll do it,” crooned Mrs. Merriweather, rising from her chair. “Poor boy’s suffering, can’t you see? If none of you younger lot will step forward…”

None of them did, so she came to him.

Robbie stared off to the side, disbelieving, as she knelt in front of him and took him in hand. She had painted nails, Mrs. Merriweather did, but she was careful with them. She held his cock first to one side, then the other. She gave it a preliminary pump or two, ran her hand under his balls.

I’m not going to last long, Robbie thought, heart thudding. God, why? Was I really bad enough to deserve this?

Her hand was so warm, so soft.

“How lovely,” she said, kissing the tip, forcing a gasp. “May I suckle him?”

Professor Mack seemed unsure, looking from one officer to the other.

Nurse Reyes-Garcia nodded—but it was the younger officer, Kersey, who said, “If you’re willing to do that in front of eight million viewers, feel free.”