Sunday, December 14, 2014

New release date!

Hello again, Slashers. My Sunday here seems to come around really fast. I suppose maybe if I put it on my calendar, I wouldn't be surprised every other week. But who's to say? I'm always surprised when Christmas comes around, and that's the same day every year.

It finally turned into winter here in southern California. And by "winter", I mean rain and temperatures below 70F. For us, it's a nice change. At least when I go run my errands today, I can wear a hoodie. (I love hoodies. Just FYI.) Also on my Sunday to-do list is writing with my beloved Chris Owen. We're nearing the end of the second novel in the Never Too Early series and we have a release date, which also means a deadline. Ready? Mark your calendars..........

March 25!

The book is due to the publisher by the end of this month, and in between the holidays and family and present-wrapping, we have to find time to finish it. We wrote yesterday, we'll write today, and hopefully meet our deadline.

Just to keep you interested, here's a little snippet from it. Have a good week, everyone!

Jake snorted out a laugh and immediately regretted it. "Ow. Okay, welcome to our house. The maid hasn’t been in a while. Something about a roof."  Honestly, he thought it said something about the level of drugs in his system if he was worried about the state of the housekeeping with his head and ribs aching the way they were. He went in and headed directly to the couch, following Tor and knowing Chance was right there if he got wobbly.

He figured he had three minutes before people started arriving at the door.  Elias would be first, he could feel it in his bones.

Well, the bones that were capable of feeling anything other than intense pain.

"Easy, easy!" Tucker put a hand on his arm. "Hang on a second." He reached down and arranged the couch cushions so Jake wouldn't have to do it after he was already sitting. "Go slow. I mean it."

Jake had to sigh, then promised himself that was the last one. "Let me -- "  He grabbed Tucker’s arms and lowered himself down with a grunt he couldn’t quite stifle. "Oh, man." He was a little breathless, and had to resist the urge to rub his ribs where they ached.

This sucked, and for a brief moment he wondered if he really should have left the hospital. He wasn’t in so much pain he was ill from it, but he was far from relaxed. "Thanks," he managed to say, though.

"You need to turn so you're lying down," Chance said, sounding a little apologetic. "It will be less painful, I promise. Tor, can you get his drugs? They're in a pharmacy bag in my duffel. And he needs something to eat with them."

"Yeah, sure."  Tor hurried off, yelling over his shoulder. "Eggs, Taggart. And actual toast. Real bread."

Jake rolled his eyes. He couldn’t really care less what the food was. "Are these pills addictive? ‘Cause I don’t really care at this point."  Trying to lie down was way harder than it had ever been before in his life.

"Yes." Chance leaned over and helped Jake get his legs in the right position, and suddenly Jake could breathe again without stabbing pain. "But I promise not to let you turn into a Vicodin junkie."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rival skaters keep their relationship secret and end up on thin ice

When I first told people I was writing Cold War about two gay figure skaters, many of them pictured something like Blades of Glory. Er, not quite! Dev and Misha 

After an explosive locker room confrontation with his Russian rival ends in the most surprising and intense sex of his life, American pairs skater Dev Avira needs to refocus. He’s worked for years to win Olympic gold, and he can’t let himself—or his partner—down. Distraction in the form of steely and smoldering Mikhail Reznikov is the last thing he needs as he prepares for the biggest competition of his life.

But with the Games only days away, they can’t keep their hands off each other. Dev soon learns that beneath Mikhail’s arrogant and aloof exterior is Misha, a passionate man who warms Dev’s heart and scorches his bed. They're both determined to win, but for Misha his freedom could be on the line. Can Dev put his deepening feelings on ice as he goes for gold?
Buy now: Loose Id | All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo
KA_holding the edge_coverlg
Can Misha and Dev keep their romance under wraps this holiday?

Writing this sequel from Misha's POV was really fun. I learned a lot about Russian holiday traditions (huge thanks to Tatiana, my Russian translator and answer-er of my many, many questions), which was fascinating. They go all out for New Year's and have Orthodox Christmas in January. I love learning about other cultures, and I hope you'll enjoy reading as Misha and Dev spend their first holiday together. Here's a bit more about Holding the Edge:

Misha Reznikov has an Olympic gold—and a secret lover who just happens to be the silver medalist. Now that their competitive days are over, Misha and former rival Dev Avira are setting up house in LA and giving their relationship a shot in the real world. They agree that keeping their romance strictly under wraps is best for their pro careers and Misha's family back in Russia. So what if Dev hasn't told his parents, and they never eat out for fear of being spotted? It's not perfect, but they're together.

But as they prepare for a special holiday skating show on Christmas Eve in Dev's hometown, tension builds. How long can Misha and Dev keep their love secret—and what happens if one of them wants to stop hiding?
Buy now: Loose Id | All Romance eBooks | Amazon | iTunes

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Excerpt: Fallen

Wow! I almost forgot it was my turn to post here today. I write these things in my calendar, so after I get this done, I'll have to dig out that little green book and see what else I've missed this weekend.

Last month I promised you an excerpt. Without further ado, here is a snippet from Fallen.


Man has free will, and guardian angels have an eternal place in the holy host.

When unexpected feelings interfere with Malchediel’s guidance of a mortal being, he must decide if his love for one man is true, or the work of the devil. Charged with the soul of handsome but suicidal Bran Weller, Malchediel faces a second challenge: Bran's steadfast belief that homosexuality is not wrong despite the Church’s view of his lifestyle.

In the course of his angelic duties, Mal is tempted to turn a blind eye to long-standing rules of guardianship as he falls in love with his charge. Torn between faith in God and belief that every man deserves love, Malchediel must find a way to balance heart and soul or risk a Fall to Hell.

Note:This book was previously released but has been substantially revised and re-edited in this version.

Excerpt from chapter one:

Angels can, and do, fall from Heaven. Most of the time it is willingly, like today, but other times, they are cast down for their sins, and that fall is much, much harder. I would rather not discuss such topics. It breaks my heart to consider the rare brethren who fail so completely that they fall into the innermost circles of Hell.

A fall is not gentle or graceful, but being as immortal as a sentient creature can get, I am not harmed when I land on Earth. I can be disoriented, which has yet to get any easier with experience, but I accept this and plan my landing accordingly.

Except today.

I land in a crouch, taking the impact through my legs and up my body. A large object looms in my unfocused vision to the left. It hits me, and I sprawl across pavement.

This hurts much more than falling.

Yes, I am an angel, and yes, it is true I cannot die a mortal death. I can, however, feel pain when ensconced in a human body. I close my eyes and take a silent inventory of myself. My injuries are not severe. I will bruise, but nothing is broken. Human body, but not a human mind; I am confident of my diagnosis.

“Oh, shit. I’m so sorry.”

I open my eyes to see from where the voice emanates. A blur moves toward me from that direction.

The voice asks, “Are you okay?” The face is still fuzzy, but I am settling slowly into my human senses. “Can you move? I’ll call an ambulance.”

His words help me snap through the fog of my fall. I grab his arm as he pulls his portable phone from his pocket. “No,” I say, “I do not need an ambulance.”

I hurt, yes, but doctors would slow me down and do very little otherwise. I heal quicker than a true human, and an angel’s physical form can sometimes cause the little hairs on the back of a doctor’s neck to quiver. They know, but they do not. Professional instinct is strong, though we often appear the same as our mortal charges.

I blink, my eyes focusing on the face hovering over me. I cannot go to the hospital because I have found him. I cannot explain how I know he is the one; I am a guardian angel, and he is my charge. I know.

He is beautiful in his concern, but I recognize sorrow veiled in his deep brown eyes. “So brown,” I whisper. I blink. I had not intended to say a word.

“You’re hurt,” he says, blushing.

“I will be fine.” I sit up, and he turns his hand to take mine and assist me. I am surprised to find I need his strength to steady me. Closing my eyes, I again seek out broken bones or internal injuries. I find nothing, but I am still shaken.

“Are you sure? Look, I’m really sorry. I didn’t see you.”

When I attempt to stand, his hand is there, helping me. With his arm around my waist, I ease myself to my feet. I look up into his eyes. He did not look tall while I sat on the pavement, but now, both of us on our feet, he looks down at me. My heart pounds, and the adrenaline makes me sway on my feet.

“Shit. I really think we should get you to the hospital.” He catches me, though I am not falling. Not any longer anyway.

I pat his arm. “Really, I will be fine. I need a moment to orient myself.”

“Did you hit your head?” His eyes widen. “You might have a concussion.”

“Please, I am sincere.”

I look around me, around us. We have not drawn any attention. Good. No witnesses to my sudden appearance. It is bad enough I have mistimed my fall. I have only fallen twice before, and neither resulted in my charge hovering over me like a protector. Neither resulted in me talking to my charge at all.

It does not matter. Now I must focus on my duty. We are in a parking lot. It would seem that I fell behind his vehicle as he backed out of a space. I do not understand how I could make such a mistake, but even angels are fallible. Only God is not.


When I look at him again, he ceases his objection and says, “I want to do something.” He looks me over. “I’ll have that coat cleaned. It’s my fault that it’s so filthy.” He reaches for his wallet, but I wave a hand, declining. I have no need for money or the services of a dry cleaner. I only need to will the coat clean. As soon as it is not likely to cause him to question.

“If you wish to do something for me, I have one request.”

He nods, eager to make things right. “Sure. What?”

“I am new in town.” I pause; a tickle of tissue repairing itself in one leg distracts me, but only momentarily. “I am craving a cheeseburger. Could you point me in the direction of a restaurant that makes a good…burger?” I hesitate to use any slang at all because I have doubts about my understanding of such words. Their use can be tricky. I have been warned that without slang, I stand out just as much as if I use it improperly, so I try. He does not react as if I said anything wrong, but he does hesitate before answering.

“That’s it? A burger? Well, the least I can do is drive you to the restaurant.”

“I would enjoy the company,” I say. My work would be easier over a meal.

“Company? Oh, um…”

“Did you already eat?” Perhaps I misunderstood his offer.

“Well, no, but I was about to…” The sorrow I saw before flashes behind his eyes again, reminding me I must be careful and caring with this beautiful man in my charge. “I should go to the grocery store.” He shrugged once, and I do not understand the gesture, only the words.

“I do not want to keep you from your responsibilities. A ride to a suitable place would be more than sufficient.” I cannot push him even if he does need my help, which he most definitely does. Man has free will, and I cannot interfere; I can only guide.

He shifts from foot to foot and rubs the back of his neck. When he looks at me, he smiles, but the sadness never leaves his eyes. This hurts me in a way I do not fully understand. I know and recognize pain, not unlike an empathic person, but his burrows into me in a way with which I am unfamiliar. Angels do feel, but we must keep ourselves distanced from it. Mortals refer to this as professional detachment. A guardian without the ability to care for his charge would be just as dangerous as one who cares too much and loses sight of his goals.

“Are you sure you don’t want to talk to a doctor?” he asks. “I’ll cover it if you don’t have insurance.”

I put my hand on his shoulder, intending to reassure him. Medical insurance has been a common concern for mankind lately, so now I understand why he suspects I may be avoiding the hospital. “I am better already,” I say, not needing to hedge the truth. We cannot lie, but we can come close. This is neither; I have already healed what little injury I suffered.

A vehicle—a car—rolls by. The driver shouts out his window about blocking traffic. I reply that he has room to drive by even as he does. He continues with the answer of a gesture I have learned is meant to be an insult. I am not insulted, but instead curious that he should be offended by me.

My charge forgets his concern for my health and laughs, shaking his head. “It’s not the best parking job,” he says, waving at his car parked halfway out of the straight white lines. Then he adds, “Come on. I’ll buy you dinner.”

Copyright © Pia Veleno

Interested?? You can download your favorite format from Loose Id directly by clicking here:, where it's on sale for only $2.39!

And, of course, Fallen is also available at your favorite third-party retailer. If you must download your ebooks directly from Amazon, or need every purchase to count toward your buy ten freebie at ARe, Fallen can be found at those other sites too. Just not on sale.... 

Happy reading! Have a wonderful December, and holiday of your choice.

~Pia Veleno

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