Phoenix Rising Book 1
by Alexandra Christian
Genre: SciFi Romance
OUT OF THE STACKS
Librarian Phoebe Addison has lived her entire life within a seventy-five mile radius of her small Louisiana town, but when she receives a strange medallion from her adventurous, off-world sister, reality tilts toward the bizarre. Everything Phoe thought she knew is…well, wrong. Dead wrong. But bone-numbing fear has no place in this brave new world—nor by the side of the dangerous, exquisite man who saves her life.
…AND INTO THE FIRE
Following the tragic slaughter of his family, operative Macijah “Cage” St. John understands evil in a way no man ever should. He traded happiness for a magnificent and terrible power, and fate isn’t done with him yet. He wasn’t looking for comfort. He didn’t need tenderness. But today he’ll play hero to a damsel in distress, and his quest will deliver him to the uncanny Martian colony of New London—and his heart to the demure Phoebe Addison. The bookish beauty’s hidden talents and deep abiding love just might save Cage from himself.
“Hey…” she sighed, taking the curve of his jaw in the palm of her hand and raising his eyes to meet hers. “I’m okay. You saved my life. For like… the millionth time.” He didn’t move, so she didn’t pull away, finally able to observe him. His jaw was set, tense as he stared at her with those dusky, changeable eyes. But Phoe could feel a tremble there. A fear lurking underneath that she would never have expected a man like Cage to possess. “I’m fine.”
“And what in hell were you doing?” he said, snapping his head up to glare at her. “I told you to run away and you did exactly the opposite of what I said! You could have been killed! Or worse, bitten! You just… you don’t understand, Phoe. I’m supposed to protect you, and I didn’t protect you. I can’t lose another…” His words trailed off. She could tell he wanted to say more but wouldn’t. She held his gaze, but he looked away, as if he were hiding some weakness he couldn’t stand for her to see. There was some trauma lurking there.
“What are you talking about?” she said. “Help me understand.”
“I can’t,” he said, pulling back and shaking his head as if to clear it. “I won’t.”
He rolled back on his heels and rose quickly, his shoulder brushing against the bedside table and nearly toppling the glass of tea, an uncharacteristically clumsy movement. “Just leave it alone, Phoe. My demons are my own.” The weakness was gone, and now that hard-edged, barely contained anger returned. She knew if she pressed him that he would lash out. She was starting to understand, to be able to read his moods that had seemed so random and mysterious when they’d first met. There was a scab, healed over but still burning. “Rest up,” he said, turning to walk away. “We’ll leave at sunset. Addie has a car.”
Swallowing her nausea, she threw back the blanket and stumbled out of the bed toward him. “Wait… Cage…”
He stopped but didn’t turn.
“Look, I don’t know what’s happened to you in your past. But we all have demons. Some of us, more than most people. I get it.” She lay a hand on his shoulder, feeling the tremble of muscles pulled tight. The sensation of gentle touch had evidently become a foreign concept, and his first reaction was to flee. His head turned, staring down at where the cool, pearlescent flesh of her fingertips rested against him. Such a profile, his eyes gazing downward and just the faint glisten of a single tear resting just under his eyelashes. Phoe’s heart broke for him. “You can trust me.”
“I do trust you, Phoe.” She slid her arm along his shoulder, and he turned, enveloping her body in a gentle embrace. He brushed a hand over her brow, smoothing back the stray locks that fell around her face. Being so close to him, she felt small and skittish. If he loosened his grasp even just a little, she feared she would retreat. He took her hand, bringing it to his lips and then pressing her palm against his cheek. Instantly his body relaxed, as if her touch were some sort of calming drug. Phoebe could actually feel the tension melting from his embrace. His eyes were full of fire and his breathing labored. Phoe couldn’t believe that it was her doing this to him. That all of this was for her. “I don’t trust me,” he went on. She was mesmerized by the curves of his lips as he spoke and without even realizing, she’d moved closer. Only a breath between them, and then their lips touched. He kissed her, lightly at first then more insistent. Phoe was stiff, the sensation so unfamiliar as his sumptuous mouth caressed her lower lip, worrying it gently, teaching her what to do. She melted into his embrace, and he teased the crease of her mouth with the tip of his tongue, coaxing it open before taking possession. Cage stole her breath and then offered his own. His arms tightened around her waist as he pulled her in against him, letting his hands rest on her hips as their kiss went on and on. When he let her go, Phoe stumbled, holding her dizzy head. A fluttery feeling rose in the pit of her belly, and all she wanted to do was kiss him again.
Phoenix Rising Book 2
Macijah “Cage” St. John’ didn’t want the spy life anymore. He would have been thrilled to spend every morning lying in the field behind Phoe’s home in smalltown Louisiana watching the clouds roll by. But his Miss Addison wanted to spread her wings, literally. So Cage accepted a mission that teamed him up with his lady love. If only he had trusted her.
TO THE FUTURE
Everything about being a spy was a million times more exciting, and scarier, than the books she’d read in her former life as a librarian. When her first mission with Cage turned into a colossal clusterf*ck because he withheld information and kept secrets, Phoebe’s world narrowed into a long tunnel of betrayal. Captured by space pirates and delivered to a horrible fate, she wished the last words between them had been of love, because she was certain she would never see Cage St. John again.
In NeoGeisha, Alexandra Christian returns to the intriguing, post-apocalyptic world she created in Naked. Cage and Phoe continue to build their relationship, but not without complications. Romantic conflict and fast-paced action keep the pages turning, right down to the satisfying ending. ~ Nancy Northcott, Author of the Light Mage Wars series
NeoGeisha hit all my personal high points: wild adventure, sheet-scorching sex, killer machines, thousands-to-two odds and a vampire shape-shitfting James Bond in space. ~Vivien Jackson, Author of Wanted and Wired series
Phoebe stood there letting the steaming water pour down over her body, wishing it would wash away the doubt. She didn’t hear the swish of the door opening so when Cage stepped into the shower behind her she screamed, coming at him with the tiny penknife she kept on hand at all times.
“Whoa,” he chuckled, grabbing her wrist. “Calm down. It’s me.” She held firm to the hilt of the knife for a few seconds before letting him slip it from her grasp. “You’re all right.”
He nodded. “You’re always safe with me, love.”
“Is that a promise?” She met his gaze, searching for sincerity in it.
“Always.” He leaned in and pressed his lips to her forehead. “You really must stop taking weapons into the shower. That’s a nasty accident waiting to happen.”
All the pent-up emotion and stress from the last several weeks bubbled to the surface and she crumpled against him, her tears mixing with the falling water in a mixture of relief and fear, exhilaration and uncertainty. “There now, baby. You’re all right.” He wrapped his arms around her, brushing the matted tendrils away from her ear and kissing her lightly at the small hollow beneath. It made her feel small and protected. She craved the strength she felt in the hard muscles cording through his arms and chest.
“Is it like this every time?” she sniffled.
He chuckled. “You get used to it.”
“I didn’t think you were supposed to be afraid.”
“Where on earth would you get that idea?” he said. “Fear keeps us on our toes.”
“It didn’t do so well for me,” she replied, rubbing at her burning eyes. “I fucked up everything.”
“No you didn’t. It isn’t anyone’s fault. It just happened.”
“If you hadn’t been there…” she sniffled. “I’d… I…”
He took her chin between his fingertips and forced her head up. “You would have figured a way out. You’re smart and managed to keep your cool. As soon as the antidote took hold, you were able to shift. That confusion you created saved both our skins. So no more of this doubt, all right? You need to not worry so much,” he purred, nudging her back under the spray. The steam was a comfort, wrapping her in a blanket of humid warmth and she began to relax. “You’re so tense.” He turned her around brushing his fingertips along her spine.
“You know I’m a worrier,” she muttered.
“It’s a useless endeavor, I’m afraid.” His fingers came to rest at the swell of her ass and began tracing circles at the base of her spine. The callouses at the tips tickled at her skin and she shivered. He pulled her against him, so close that she could feel his lips fluttering against the cuff of her ear. “You have to let that go. Let me help you forget all about the wolves in the dark.”
She leaned back, luxuriating in the sensation of his hands slip-sliding over her body. Her skin was slick with the water and the remnants of expensive bath oil. “I think you’re trying to seduce me, Mr. St. John.”
“Of course I am,” he replied, pushing her hair away from her neck so that he could feather gentle kisses under her hairline. “Do you mind?”
“I’ll tell you when I mind,” she mumbled with a groan as he pinched her fleshy earlobe between his teeth. She reached back, tangling her fingers in the soft curls at the base of his skull. They were short, but long enough to wrap around a fingertip and tug lightly. She could feel his body so close behind her, hard against her softness. The contrast was so erotic that she was breathless even before his hands slid over her breasts.
“It isn’t fair,” she sighed as the blunt edge of his thumbnail slid over her nipple. “To let me get all clean only to make me dirty again.”
“I’ll gladly scrub anything you have, Miss Addison.”
Phoenix Rising Book 3
ALL INCLUSIVE VICTORIANA & STEAMPUNK
Interplanetary master spies, Macijah “Cage” St. John and Phoebe Addison are forced to take vacation time, and she wants to go to Absinthia, an off-world all inclusive interactive vacay planet set up as Victorian London, but with all the future comforts. Cage doesn’t do down time, but their boss has other ideas, so begrudgingly, Cage agrees to go to Absinthia. Within a day of their arrival, they get embroiled in a Ripper copy cat series of murders complete with séances, “altered” humans, kidnapping, and affairs of the heart – their hearts, which will always belong to each other.
“Cage. Help. I’m stuck.”
Cage could see her arms waving around over the top of the dressing room door. “You have to let me in, love.”
She fumbled around, banging into the door a few times with a series of crashes until finally Cage heard the lock click so that he could come inside. He glanced over his shoulder to be sure no one was watching and then barreled on through the door.
“What are you doing?”
“This…corset…is a little…too…small,” she heaved, flailing wildly as she tried to break free of the unforgiving fabric.
Cage couldn’t help laughing as his fingers fumbled with the complicated system of strings, gussets, and hooks that she had somehow managed to get herself tangled up in.
“Stop being hilarious,” he snorted, tugging at the satin bodice.
“It isn’t funny,” she whined.
“Just…turn around…” he ordered with a grunt. He helped her turn around, pulling at the front of the undergarment. “How did you get into this thing, anyway?”
“It’s supposed to go over your head. Then you tighten it with the hook and eyes.”
Cage pulled at the hooks, squeezing her nipples roughly in the process.
“Sorry.” Finally, they heard an ominous ripping sound and Phoe’s bosom spilled out of the front of the corset.
“Oh no,” she cried, pushing the corset down over her hips until it fell at her feet. She stepped out of it and surveyed the damage. From the front, the garment looked fine, albeit a little wrinkly from all the pulling and tugging. But the back was ripped almost completely in two. “Well good job, St. John. Now we have to buy a damaged corset that doesn’t even fit.”
“It’s not my fault that you have a dangerous bosom.”
“So it’s my fault?”
Cage looked down at her breasts, now fully exposed, and offered a mischievous smile. “Yeah, kinda. You were too much for that prim little thing.” He pulled her into his arms, pressing her body tightly against him. “You’ve got wild breasts, love.”
Phoe giggled and stretched up for a kiss. Hungrily, he captured her mouth and was immediately aroused. The feel of her warm, soft body rubbing so insistently against his was enough to ignite the fire of his passion. Her breasts with their hard little nubs seemed to swell against the muscle of his chest. The contrast was something he’d come to appreciate over the course of their relationship. While his wife Corinne had been shy about her sexuality, Phoe had grown bolder with the passage of time. Cage found it so exciting that when they were together, all he wanted to do was throw her against the nearest wall and have his way with her.
“You’re such an animal,” Phoe moaned. “Remember we said no shifting in public this trip.”
“I can’t help it,” he whispered against her ear. “You bring out the creature inside.” He slid a hand down her back, cupping her bottom for a moment and then pulling her leg over his hip. Both were still clothed, but he could feel how warm and wet she was.
“Well, put it back,” she giggled. “We’re in public.”
“There’s a door there,” he noted. “You’ll have to be quiet.” Emphasizing his point, he bit down into the soft spot at the base of her throat.
“Cage,” she gasped. “Stop it now.”
“You’re the one who asked me in here…”
“Excuse me. The dressing rooms are for one occupant only.”
“Oops,” Phoe whispered. “We’ve been caught.”
“I could probably kill her really quietly.”
“Do you need any help in there?”
“No, thank you,” Phoe called. “We’re all fine here. Thanks.” She turned back to Cage, her lips pursed so tightly that they were almost invisible. “Now shoo. Get out of here before we get thrown out.”
“Well what am I supposed to do about this?” Grabbing Phoe’s hand, he pressed it to his crotch where his desire was evident.
She blushed, giggling nervously. “Go…jump in a fountain or something.” He leaned in for another kiss and she pushed his face back.
Out of Ashes
Phoenix Rising Book 4
THE LOVE YOU TAKE IS EQUAL TO THE LOVE YOU MAKE
Phoebe Addison and Macijah “Cage” St. John have so much going on they can barely take a breath. Interplanetary master spies who generally drive their boss crazy, they are now trying to track down the person – is a skin walker a person? – who tried to kill him at their engagement party. Yeah, they were talked into returning to Louisiana so the whole town could show up and gawk at Cage. But they have bigger problems than usual when tracking an assassin. Secrets that have been buried for too many years are about to be uncovered if Cage and Phoe can survive the people, vampires and “things” that are trying to kill them. And to top if off, Phoe has a secret she’s sure will send Cage into a tailspin. But, as with everything they have lived through to be together, their love is the constant that is its own reward.
Cage opened the refrigerator and gazed inside. In the car, he’d realized how incredibly hungry he was. While in St. Francisville, finding blood was not an easy task, so he had to conserve his supply as much as possible. “A-ha,” he said, pulling the narrow, stainless steel bottle from the back of the shelf. He opened it up and the lid made a hissing sound as the seal let go. Immediately, his mouth began to water, and his jaw felt tight. He turned up the bottle and drank deeply. The coppery flavor was a relief. He could already feel the warmth flooding his system. The exhaustion drained away almost instantly, and his eyelids fluttered with the overwhelming rush.
“Ava is such a gift,” Phoe said.
Cage opened his eyes. “She is, but how so this time?”
Phoe gestured to the neatly packed containers stacked on the counters. “She packed up all the leftovers for us.” She opened one of the containers and gasped. “Oooh…her famous tiny cupcakes.” Phoe took one of the cupcakes and peeled the lacy wrapper off. “These are delicious. She used to make them for us when I was in her class.” She hopped up on the counter and sank her teeth into the cake. “Mmm…you have to taste this.”
Cage came over to where Phoe was perched on the countertop. Her legs were open, and he slid between them, placing his hands on either side of her thighs. “Are you going to give me a taste?” he asked, his voice a low purr.
Phoe offered a mischievous grin. Her tongue sneaked out to sweep away a tiny crumb stuck to the plump swell of her lip. “Do you want to taste my cupcake?”
“I can assure you, Miss Addison, nothing would please me more than to taste your cupcake.” He leaned in for a kiss, but as he opened his mouth, she pressed the cupcake against his tongue. The fluffy white frosting was so sweet. He licked at it, almost sucking the cake into his mouth whole.
“It’s good, isn’t it?” Phoe whispered. She took another cupcake and offered it to him.
“Mmm,” he replied. “We must remember to thank Ava for being so generous.” He gathered the frosting onto his index finger and dabbed a bit of it on Phoe’s lips. He leaned in and lapped at the sweet smear.
“More,” she cooed, opening her mouth.
Alexandra Christian is an author of mostly romance with a speculative slant. Her love of Stephen King and sweet tea has flavored her fiction with a Southern Gothic sensibility that reeks of Spanish moss and deep fried eccentricity. As one-half of the writing team at Little Red Hen Romance, she’s committed to bringing exciting stories and sapiosexual love monkeys to intelligent readers everywhere. Lexx also likes to keep her fingers in lots of different pies having written everything from sci-fi and horror to Sherlock Holmes adventures. Her alter-ego, A.C. Thompson, is also the editor of the highly successful Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series of anthologies from Mocha Memoirs Press. A.C. will also pen several Shadow Council Archives novellas starring everyone’s favorite sidekick, Dr. John Watson, coming soon from Falstaff Books.
A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and her husband, author Tally Johnson. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Broad Universe—an organization that supports female authors of speculative fiction.
Top Five Favorite Books
As a writer, one of the most important things you can do to hone your skills is to read. As a great man once said, “if you don’t have time to read, then you don’t have time to write.” I’ve always taken that to heart and tried my best to read not only in my own genre, but also across others. Here are some of my favorite books, in no particular order—
- Pet Sematary by Stephen King: This is possibly my favorite book of all time. I’ve read it countless times and enjoy it more every time. In fact, it’s the first book I downloaded on my first kindle so that I could always have it with me. It’s really a study in how to construct a story that’s engrossing, heart-wrenching, and at the same time scary as hell.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: I came to this book later than most. I read it on my own in college when I was going through a deeply gothic romantic phase. The language is among the most beautiful in all of literature, in my opinion. And of course the tragic romance of Heathcliff and Catherine is sexual and sad and cathartic. There’s also a ghost story woven through that adds a twinge of creepy that we can still see in good gothic paranormal romances today.
- Beauty’s Punishment by Anne Rice (writing as Anne Roquelaire): I would strongly recommend that anyone who is interested in writing erotic romance or erotica read the Beauty series. Beauty’s Punishment is the 2nd in the series and is my favorite, but all three of the original series is good (Rice released a 4th a couple of years ago and it was really tame in comparison). Fair warning, nothing is taboo in these books. There are incidents of heavy bondage, bestiality, power exchange, discipline, horseplay, dubious consent, group sex, obscure fetishes—whatever you can think of, it’s probably graphically detailed in the story. However, Rice’s gift for language makes even the raunchiest of acts sensual and gorgeous. Another warning—THIS BOOK IS NOT AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL. E.L. James got a lot of flack (and rightly so) for her depiction of BDSM in her 50 Shades series. The BDSM acts and sexual slavery that are depicted in the Beauty books are functions of the world in which the fairy tale takes place. It’s safe to say that you shouldn’t try any of this at home, kids.
- The Bride by Julie Garwood: An old school romance in every sense of the word. At times it teeters on the edge of bodice ripping, but it’s sooooo good. It was one of my mother’s favorite books and I must have inherited the gene. It’s a costume Scottish historical ( I mean, don’t go looking for extreme accuracy here) with an arranged marriage, an English virgin, and a sexy laird in a kilt. Need I say more? Diana Gabaldon probably owes quite a bit to this story and if you like that sort of dynamic, you’ll love this book. It’s also hilariously funny, which I always appreciate in a romance.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling: I’m a total Potterhead (Go Ravenclaw!). I love every one of the books, but the story of Snape and Lily Potter is what elevates this one above all the others for me. A lot of people may poo-poo the Potter series as being kiddie books, but most writers of “adult” fiction could learn a lot from reading them. Rowling is the master of leaving clues for the reader, making pieces fit together, and having a through-line arc for the series that comes to a satisfying conclusion while also telling satisfying, individual stories within that arc. I’ve read so many series where there’s all this build up to the endgame over the course of several books only to have it fizzle. By the time Harry faces Voldemort at the end of Deathly Hallows, the reader is ready for an epic battle and it does not disappoint.
There. I hope I’ve given you some fodder for your TBR pile. This list could go on and on. There were so many I left out, but I tend to be long-winded, so I’ll hush now. Just remember to find those books you love and tell everyone about them.
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