Title: The Warrior’s Assassin
Series: Born in Sin, Book One
Author: Nikki McCoy
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 08/30/2021
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, mythical creatures (fae, jinn), incarceration, soulmates/bonding, revenge, prison escape, cliffhanger
For over a century, Kita has paid for his sins in innocence and blood. The sin of being born, for daring to exist, and for polluting the fae race with his tainted, mixed heritage. Half fae and half human, he is an abomination belonging to neither race, yet caught in the midst of their feuding.
After winning his freedom from a lifetime of slavery to the fae, a ghost from his past has come to pull him back into the depths of hell. And this time, there will be no escape.
To the world, Jacen McKenna is a gang leader, arms and drug trafficker, slaver. Labels he wears proudly to cover his true intentions. He is a warrior among his kind, dealing justice to his enemies and mercy to those without hope. He’d thought getting thrown into Babylon, a prison notorious for its inescapability, was the ultimate low point in his life. He was wrong.
From the second he laid eyes on Kita, he knew fate wasn’t done screwing him over. Beautiful, wild, and defiant, Kita brought out every protective instinct he possessed; ravaged him with emotions he never thought himself capable of. He tried to keep his distance, but fate, yet again, had other plans.
Caught in an impossible situation, they both have to learn to trust each other. But trust was a precious commodity in a world that had turned its back on them. Together, they must fight if they want to survive the war brewing in their midst.
The Warrior’s Assassin
Nikki McCoy © 2021
All Rights Reserved
Kita shook himself to clear his head, wondering what had made him think of that night so many years ago. Normally, his repressed memories came to him in dreams. Or, rather, nightmares.
At thirteen, he’d been foolish enough to desperately believe in Bergiese’s vision despite his cynicism. Later, he had learned to see the truth behind the pretty lie. There was no savior or salvation waiting for him somewhere down the path of his life. There was only misery and pain, and he was so incredibly sick of it all that his mind had begun to slip back into the state of bleak abjection he’d carried in his youth.
The future was a yawning maw empty of anything that made life worth living. What few reasons for happiness he’d found had faded quickly, leaving him raw and desolate. He knew it was time to end everything, yet he couldn’t bring himself to put a gun to his head and pull the trigger.
Funny how a person with no pride could consider suicide to be cowardly.
He drew back into the shadows of the alleyway when the door to the abandoned hotel opened. Nicolas Gordon, Nicki as he was known on the streets, walked out followed by a shorter man wearing a trench coat. The hood of Nicki’s sweatshirt was pulled down low to hide most of his face. Not that his poor attempts at anonymity over the past week had worked in his favor. He’d been found, and he would die tonight.
The two men spoke quietly, the steam of their breath curling in the frigid night air. They began to walk rapidly in the other direction. Kita slipped from his cover and entered the building, the squealing of rusted hinges on the door the only sound.
The area was mostly deserted, although not as run down as some of the neighborhoods he had seen. This small town, like so many scattered across the country, had had the misfortune of being located near a Crown Federation military base.
During the Islandar Civil War, more than a century ago, all of the bases had been targeted and summarily disabled. Some still lay in ruins from domestic terrorist attacks while others had been taken apart from the inside and left to rot in the wake of espionage and independent financial ruin.
Overall, Okasis fared decently in comparison. Its Federation base still functioned, which was a boon to the town’s economy, such as it was—struggling and on the constant verge of collapse.
He reached within himself for his power of pyrokinesis and sparked a small flame at his fingertip. With it, he searched the rooms on the first floor for Nicki’s belongings. If the reports were true, Nicki carried on him a laptop with information potentially disastrous to the Federation. Kita had been charged with confiscating the laptop and killing him.
Pinard, his keeper in the ISBF, Internal Security Branch of the Federation, had told him in no uncertain terms not to go through the laptop himself. However, the unusually avid interest in this mission had drawn his curiosity. The order had come from General Laurs, head of security, and was highly classified.
That in itself threw up a red flag.
Why would an insignificant peon on the low rung of society’s ladder be such a high‒profile target? The Federation didn’t send its dog on assassinations anyone could pull off. It just didn’t add up, even if the man was a renegade jinn.
He found the meager belongings in the last room amid layers of decay and rat droppings. In the duffel bag was a battered laptop one would hardly expect to find classified intel on. With the decryption device he’d liberated from Pinard’s desk, he easily hacked through its security. Two documents in particular stood out to him.
What he read in them made his blood run cold. It had to be some kind of mistake or propaganda to use against the Federation.
Yet, the more he read, the faster it became obvious this wasn’t a hoax. Most of the information contained in the documents correlated with events only the ISBF knew about. Critical threats against the Federation made over the past several decades that had been swept under the rug.
Briefly, he scrunched his eyes shut. He had hoped for something to hold against Pinard, but this… This was well beyond the limits of anything he could handle on his own.
Of all the endless ways this information could be used, only one outcome was certain. Their country would be plunged into another civil war. Serving these documents up to the general would only exacerbate the situation and quicken the inevitable outcome.
“Shit,” he hissed.
Meet the Author
Nikki McCoy lives in the vast, open spaces of Wyoming where the wind is a beast and the snow dominates for 10 months out of the year. But the night are filled with magic and mystery.
It’s during these nights that her world becomes a collage of cunning intrigue, edgy mysteries and sexy, sometimes brutal men. She loves to let her imagination run away with her. The darker the fantasy, the greater the spoils.
Title: The Coup and the Prince
Author: Mell Eight
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 05/17/2021
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, royalty, kidnapping, war, poverty, law enforcement, military, revenge, prostitution
The coup should have been simple: oust the tyrannical regents and restore the rightful heir to the throne. No one expected the rightful heir to be dead, or for his younger brother to be missing. The search for the missing prince is important, but not as important as putting the destroyed country back together. At least, that’s what Aiden thinks until he stumbles on a terrible crime ring and a pair of beautiful green eyes that might just derail everything he’s been working towards.
The Coup and the Prince
Mell Eight © 2021
All Rights Reserved
Meetings, meetings, meetings! His whole life was meetings!
Aiden was going to go mad, screaming and hair pulling included, if he had to go to another meeting. As if that weren’t bad enough, after the endless rounds of meetings, he had paperwork. Endless bloody stacks of paperwork. For every piece he finished, another fucking dozen appeared on his desk. He couldn’t escape from it all. He was a frigging soldier, not a paper pusher, and he hated sitting still. His new position as captain of the guard required he attend to his new duties, rather than actually being out in the city where the real work was, but Aiden was thinking of stuffing it all and running away.
In fact, that sounded like a great idea. Fuck them all anyway. He deserved a long weekend off. Aiden slammed his pen down on his desk, glad to have his decision made, and stood with a violent shove of his chair.
“I’m done for the day,” he snapped to his shocked-looking secretary across the room.
Ernest nodded. Aiden had worked with Ernest long enough to know Ernest would have blindly agreed even if Aiden had declared he was off to fuck a duck, but Ernest didn’t mind the damned paperwork, so Aiden kept the kid around anyway.
“It’s after midnight, sir,” Ernest replied softly. “Shall I hold your appointments until tomorrow afternoon?”
Aiden winced at the thought of having any more meetings. “Push them until Monday morning. I should be able to think straight by then.” If he had to go to another meeting any earlier than Monday, he might actually snap and strangle someone.
Ernest nodded in agreement again and quickly made a note in the ledger on his desk before jumping up to help Aiden with his coat.
“What should I tell Major Trell, sir, if he comes calling?” Ernest asked before Aiden could fasten his buttons and get out the door to freedom.
“Tell the old bastard that he should have planned a little better before he threw his coup, and anything that goes wrong in my absence is his fault,” Aiden snapped as he wrenched the door open and slammed it behind him.
A muffled “Yes, sir” sounded from behind the door.
“And take tomorrow off too, Ernest,” Aiden yelled before stomping off.
Aiden didn’t go to his rooms in the castle. He could easily be found there and dragged off to something “vitally important” that Aiden didn’t give a fuck about. He needed to be out there doing, not sitting on his ass.
Before the coup, Aiden had led men. He had been in charge of keeping the city safe, catching criminals and murderers and putting them behind bars so people felt safe at night. He had loved the job and the men and women he had commanded. Trell, the bastard, had promised Aiden he could have his job back after the coup. Hell, that was one of the reasons Aiden had joined with Trell in the first place.
The coup had been a disaster, plain and simple. They had taken power back from the regents, yes, but instead of reinstating the heir like they had originally planned, they were stuck putting the country back together themselves.
Ten years before the coup, the king had started forgetting things. It was only recent edicts, meeting times, and simple things in the beginning, but five years ago, when he forgot the names of his wife and two sons, the physicians declared the king needed to be sequestered for his own safety.
The king’s oldest child was only fifteen at the time, so the council had chosen the grand duke and the queen to act as joint regents on behalf of the heir until he came of age. Given how quickly the councilors chose two people mostly unsuited for the task, Aiden had little doubt they had been bribed. Aiden would have let it go—that was politics after all—except then the council had allowed the regents’ excess to take over.
For the subsequent five years of the regents’ rule, food, goods, and a lot of money had gone into the castle and only bodies had come out. Taxes were raised, and the crown stopped paying for the goods it consumed. Prices for wheat skyrocketed after a late-summer storm wiped out much of one year’s crops, and the crown demanded more instead of helping the people it served.
The last straw for Aiden had been when the city guard had been disbanded. His beloved troops were left penniless and without prospects, as was he for that matter. When Trell approached Aiden, Aiden had been more than happy to lend his influence to the coup.
The queen and the grand duke had been killed in the fighting. The king had survived the coup, somehow. Trell and Aiden had gone to see him once the castle was secured and found a clueless and helpless child in place of the strong man Aiden remembered.
Trell had always planned to reinstate the king’s heir to the throne, not take power himself—which was why he was still considered a major despite the fact he was basically running the country—but when they broke into the heir’s room, they had found him lying in bed, dead. His body had been left where he had been murdered, and when Trell’s soldiers entered the room months later, they found a bloated and decaying mass of nearly indistinguishable flesh. No doubt the regents had claimed he was “indisposed” or something equally indelicate to keep anyone from asking questions, and removing the prince from the picture had also removed anyone who might have had the power to protest the regents’ actions.
The king’s younger son and only other child had never been located, had in fact been missing since the regents took power, which meant the task of putting the city and country back together after five years of mismanagement fell to Trell and Aiden. It also meant that, while the city guard had been reinstated, Aiden couldn’t be there for his troops until everything else had also been cleaned up. Instead, he was stuck with the bloody paperwork.
Still, one night walking the beat would go far to lift his spirits. Aiden couldn’t stop a small smile from stretching his lips at the thought. One night to remind him what he was working so bloody hard to achieve might even reground him. The sooner he finally got through those endless fucking piles of paperwork, the sooner he could return to the job he actually liked.
He did try to keep abreast of some of the cases that were baffling his troops. Ernest put together a weekly report for him, and Aiden always found the time to read it. The most distressing one on the list was the ring of underage prostitutes. Ordinarily it would be easy enough to find the pimp and arrest him and then find safe homes for the kids being abused, but there were mitigating circumstances. No one could actually locate the pimp, for one, and for another, any time one of the kids actually spoke to the guard they were found with their throats slit the next morning.
Aiden wasn’t in uniform, and it had been quite a few years since he had been able to patrol the lower city; maybe his face wouldn’t be recognized. He could easily pretend to be just another man out looking for a suck and a poke.
With his plans firmly in mind, Aiden finished sneaking out of the castle and headed into the city proper. He had a small townhouse where he would change clothes into something more disreputable and then go see what delights the lower city had to offer him.
Meet the Author
When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.