June 2019 Check-In & My July Goals

Hey, Sweet Peas! How’s it all going with you guys? I hope you all are having a great Summer, although in my neck of the woods I’n debating calling this weather Spring.

Since it has been awhile since I’ve been around the webverse, I decided it was probably time for a check in with my blog friends, fellow readers, writers, and crafting enthusiast.  So here is the quick and dirty version of the last two months. *Please beware, this is a long post. If you want to know just what my July goals are? Just click here. *

What Happened in my Life in May & June

Our usually busy May turned into crazy busy when my dad got sick around Mid-May.  Since we don’t live too close by, it was a lot of driving time to their house and back. And  with the kids still in school and having their end of school programs and awards, it was a scheduling nightmare. Shortly after my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he passed away. I’m still trying to process it all nearly a month after the funeral.

Because the bad weather in May carried into June *It snowed about mid-June. Yikes!*, I had to keep the tomato plants that a friend gave us inside. About mid-June, I finally broke down and planted them into pots so I could take them outside in the day and bring them in each night until better weather allowed me to keep them out all the time. I also decided to do a little companion planting and added some bean plants to one tomato pot and lettuce to another. We’ll see how they do. I’m not much of a gardener. Keeping houseplants and established outside plants alive aren’t a problem, planting things from seed and I usually kill them.

My view from the tractor while dragging the meadow.

We also fell behind with the Ranch work because of the weather and ended up having to push it to stay on schedule. And because Ranch work comes before almost everything else, my poor flower beds are being neglected and in serious need of a good weeding. But with all the pollen floating around in June because of the late start in the season, my allergies are making me miserable. Add swollen tonsils and it’s not happening for awhile. *The Doctor told me that if we can’t get the swollen tonsils down, I might have to have them removed.  At my age, that would suck a monkey’s poopy butt.*

Anyhoo, after school ended, I was surprised with a Summer Band Camp for the kids in band which I needed to take my Little Miss K to as she will be playing her dad’s clarinet next year. That lasted for the first two weeks of June. And since we live so far from town, it meant spending most of the day there and getting little done. Well, that’s not completely true, I added more color rows to the afghan my daughter has been bugging me to finish for her. She choose the pattern and the colors for it.

Not only was I able to finish up some small crochet projects, but I was also able to solidify and tweak my plans for my blog, my shop, my writing, and my crafting. In April, my blogging plans was to gear my posts more towards all the different areas in my life and my shop plans were to release a product every week to two weeks until I had everything in stock listed.

Now, while most of those plans haven’t changed too drastically, a reassessment of my goals and planned tasks helped me see some of the problems that I would face,  figure out what I might be wasting time with, and what I could do differently before I jump straight back into work. In years past, I would have stressed over getting back on track with everything, but I’ve decided not to worry this time around.

It would be too much of a push to catch up with three months of missing work and still get what I planned out as well. Since I’m not working for anyone, except myself, and other than one client job, I don’t have anyone relying on me to get stuff done for them, I have time to work at my own pace. Plus, I don’t need the headache of unneeded stress. 😀

So the plan is to start working from the point I’m at going forward at the same pace I had decided would be sustainable and would make me happy. Which leads me to my working on my slightly neglected Etsy Shop at the end of June. I was able to finish the  pattern for the Crocheted Light Woodland Shawl that I started in May. I listed it on Etsy during the last week of June.

Light Woodland Shawl Pattern (Printable PDF) $4.95

If anyone is interested in buying the pattern or a finished shawl from me instead of buying it on Etsy, please email me.

The writing bug bit me in the ass the last week of June and I’ve been itching to tackle the Lost Heir Series. The only reason I put the story aside in the first place is that it wanted to be told a certain way and I doubted my ability to do it at the time.

Recently, I feel confident enough to work on it again. So for the last last few days I’ve been working on updating my Series Binder, tracking the  various story threads and character arcs through the series of books, and writing scenes that inspired me. We’ll see how it is going in about two weeks when I post a update about my writing.

The months without writing have put a few things into perspective for me, like as much as I love writing and being a writer, I don’t like the business side of things. So when I indie publish my stories, it’s for me and those who like my stories. I will not be announcing them anywhere else expect here and on my Facebook Page for those interested.

My Goals for July 2019

There are several things that I hope to accomplish in July and set up for August.

Personal Goals

Take the kids to the pool, library, or the water park at least once a week until School starts again: This isn’t always possible, but I try to take the kids to one of these three places each week. This gives them time to play with other kids and hang out somewhere that isn’t home, with each other, or the temptation of electronic devices.

Get back into the habit of walking once to twice a day: Last year, I had gotten into the habit of going on a walk twice a day. Once the snow started flying, the lane became too dangerous for me to walk down and exercise moved indoors. So far this year, my exercise routine hasn’t moved outside yet and I’m missing it.

Handmade Work Goals

Most of what I need to do include taking photos, writing descriptions, figuring out pricing and shipping prices, and listing several finished items that I’ve taken from my stash. If anyone is interested in purchasing any of the items below from me rather than Etsy, please email me and let me know.

List my Woodland Hoods: I finished several Woodland Hoods for adults and small children, using the yarn in the bowl to the right of the adult size Woodland Hood on my paper mache head below. There are 6 adults and 6 children hoods.

Woodland Hoods: small kids – $25 & adults – $40

Listing Seasonal Place Mats: I’m also going to be adding a listing for the table place mats that I created a pattern for and have had a few requests for them. I want to pick out a few seasonal colors and even sizes to choose from. The prices will vary depending on the size, but the 17” x 12” place mats will be $25 each.

List various dish towels from my stash on Etsy: I love these dish/tea towels and I’m looking forward to them getting to a great home. These hand embroidered towels are stitched on Premium Quality Flour Sack Dish Towels and are larger then the normal at around 32″ x 36″. The Farm Inspired towels that I stitched last year cost $10.97 each while the Frogs that I entered into the County Fair are $70.

   

Listing two cross-stitch projects on Etsy: One is a professional framed project and the other was finished at the beginning of the year and still needs to be framed. I still need to take pictures of them.

Finish the lettering on a set of dish towels and prep them for listing next month: I finally picked out a color for the lettering on the 7 floral dish towels I finished hand embroidering in June.  Thank you everyone who left a comment what they thought the color choice should be on my Facebook Page.

Weekly Flower Dish Towels – $70

Finish the Border of the Full-Sized Octagon Afghan: This is a scrap yarn afghan that I’ve been working on for several years, and started put together last year. It just needs two octagons attached and a border crocheted on. I probably won’t list it until next month.

Sketching out Owl transfers for dish towels: I had a request for a set of owl dish towels that I’m sketching out and looking forward to creating once my towels arrive. If anyone has suggestions for designs for dish towel, let me know below.

I want to finish setting up my Online Shop but…: Since opening my Etsy shop in April, I knew I wanted to create an online shop here on my website too. The process ended up taking more time then I planned and mostly because I’m having a hard time finding a reliable, seamless payment process system that doesn’t cost an arm, a leg, and my first born child. At the moment, I’m not making enough to pay the price they are asking.

Before anyone tells me about the various ecommerce websites or that I can upload a plugin. My website isn’t hosted on a place that accepts plugins with the plan I have. If I want that, I need to pay more and like I mentioned above, I don’t have the money to do that at the moment and make a sustainable business. So I’ll stick with an online shop links to each item’s page and have people to contact me to buy something or buy from Etsy. It wouldn’t be much different from the book cover designing I do.

Writing Goals

Finish editing the Goddess of Love: This book needed editing and I really want to finish it so that I can send it to a better editor then the first one I paid to do it. I’m not sure when this will come back out, but I really want to put it back on the market in August.

Writing The Lost Heir Series: Finish updating my Series Binder, tracking the  various story threads and character arcs through the series of books, and plan out each book so that I know what happens and can utilize the over 186k words already written. Then, if I have time I can start filling in the scenes I need to finish each book and move on.


Now that you know what’s going on in my life and my goals for July, what about you guys? What’s happening with you guys? What goals do you have this month?

Wishing you the best,

Stephannie Beman

PS: Next week’s blog will be all about what books I’ve read (and enjoyed) and what am currently reading.

{Story Sample} One of my Favorite Scenes from Death’s Lover

Now that I’m done writing the story and have it published, I thought it would be fun to post a series of story samples from Death’s Lover.

The Story Sample:

She wanted Than in a way she’d never wanted any man before. It was more than sexual desire. It was something she had no name for and no words to describe.

Straightening, she leaned over him, not quite touching. His eyes snapped open. His hands grabbed her, their bodies twisting. She cried out, shocked and afraid.

His eyes focused. His arms closed tightly around her. His scent filled her senses.

The world blackened a second before she’d have hit the stone floor, and she stumbled, disoriented. She blinked several times. She was standing, her hands holding his shirt tightly.

She glanced toward the bed-like furniture several feet away. She should have hit the floor. The force behind his move should have broken bone. How did they get here?

“I’m sorry,” Than whispered into her neck, his hand stroking her hair much like a man with a skittish foal, although she had a feeling it was more to reassure himself than to calm her. “I didn’t hear you. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

She frowned and pulled back to meet his eyes. “I’m not hurt. I should have known better than to wake a warrior in such a way.”

He grimaced, concern still in his eyes. “I’m not a warrior. I can’t wield a sword, at least not with any skill. Hades tried to teach me once. I was more a danger to myself than others.”

“But. . . I’ve seen the way you move, Than. You move like the best warrior, like a predator.”

He released her, moving several steps back, and she reluctantly let him go. She didn’t like the look on his face. There was such hatred and sorrow in those purple-blue eyes.

“Because I am.”

She grunted. The daemon didn’t make sense. He declared himself not a warrior one moment and changed his mind the next. “Either you are or you’re not a warrior.”

“I’m not a warrior. I’m a predator. One of the few truly dangerous ones.”

She shivered. The statement was matter-of-fact, and he was completely convinced of the truth in his words. Nothing he’d done so far could convince her that he was dangerous to her. “What are you, Than?”

“A daemon, or have you forgotten?”

A chance meeting changed the course of their lives…
Thanatos is no stranger to death. He’s seen every possible way there was to die. He’s lived with it day after day, century upon century, collecting the souls of dead mortals and taking them to the Underworld for judgment. An endless routine of tiresome duty and resounding loneliness that echoed in his heart, until she came into his life…

A second meeting will change their hearts and souls…
Saved by a stranger, Lilith never forgot the mysterious man who gave her the chance to blossom into the strong woman with a spirit of fire and a heart of ice, anymore than she can the lessons of the past. She must hide her secrets deep and never get close to anyone. Sex is merely a means to an end, and pleasure isn’t something to share with a lover, until he came back into her life…

What happens next will change the Underworld….
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.

You can read more Story Samples from Death’s Lover, visit my Story Notes on Death’s Lover to read about the inspiration behind the book, or buy the eBook at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Published © August 2014 by Stephannie Beman
Cover and Layout copyright © 2013 by Ruis Publishing
Cover design by Stephannie Beman/Ruis Publishing
Cover art copyright © Veronika Galkina and Zastavkin | Dreamstime.com

{Story Sample} The World of Death’s Lover

Now that I’m done writing the story and have it published, I thought it would be fun to post a series of story samples from Death’s Lover. Welcome to Thanatos’ World.

The Story Sample:

The Hall of Judgment was a massive marble monstrosity of pillars, motifs, and slabs of black, gray, and white rock that was at once a reminder of the torments of Tartarus and the blessed peace of the Elysian Fields. Every soul that came to the Underworld passed through the colossal doors to the room beyond. The long, gloomy room seemed to stretch on and on, until one reached the fire burning near the end and the three thrones that rested just within the ring of light.

Upon the thrones sat the three Judges, tall and thin Minos, short and fat Aeacus, and Rhadamanthys who looked as old as time itself, and before each rested a book of names and deeds. Written within those pages were the accomplishments, both good and bad, of every soul that came before them. These were the actions upon which every man, woman, and child were judged and sentenced.

It was the duty of the guards standing beside the interior pillars to escort the souls to their final resting place. Some were escorted to the Elysian Fields to enjoy their own personal paradise. There were those who were taken to the River of Lethe, to drink the water that would make them forget the evils done to them in life. Others, whose crimes did not condemn them to Tartarus or bless them with paradise, were returned to the Asphodel Fields to wander in the mist, lost and alone, for a time. Then there were those evil souls whose crimes were deemed so heinous that their punishment could only be carried out in the prison cells of Tartarus.

Those souls Thanatos had to deal with, and he did so with the greatest pleasure. Men and women such as these creatures did not deserve the life Persephone had granted them, or the joys found in the Elysian Fields. Such souls deserved the torment that awaited them in Tartarus.

The shade before him cursed and screamed, fighting against the Chains of the Damned that bound him. They only tightened more, holding him. There would be no pardon for him.

“Silence!” Minos commanded.

The man’s mouth snapped shut with enough force to crack his teeth.

“For your crimes against the children of Junos and Hyeria, daughter of Hyperion, you have been sentenced to a thousand years of torment in the Pits of Tartarus. Your cell has been prepared for you, and your punishment is to relive your victim’s pain as if it were your own. May the Lord Hades and the Lady Persephone have mercy on your corrupt soul.”

The book slammed shut, and the judges rose from their thrones of lustrous white, muted gray, and murky black. They turned their backs on the man, a sign of their contempt for a shade that deserved to be destroyed.

Thanatos tugged on the chains, dragging the man from the Hall and down the black path to Tartarus. The shade followed behind, jerking against the chains, fighting every step, not that it did him any good. The enchanted Chains of the Damned would draw him like a moth to a flame. He was the moth and the Pits of Tartarus was flame. There was no escape, not for a murdering bastard like him.

The craggy black fortress loomed before them, growing ever nearer and larger. Tartarus was carved from the very stone around it and reeked of the evil housed inside. The ground became barren and blackened, unable to support the life Persephone had given to the Underworld.

The heavy gates swung soundlessly open, and the man fought harder. Thanatos ignored him, they always struggled. This one was no different than the others he’d brought here.

But there was a difference in the air around him. The pain and desperation, the hopelessness and sorrow that was almost a living creature around Tartarus, was tainted by a hint of anticipation and conviction.

He scanned the area around him, picking out the minute details. The sword lying on the ground beside the boulder. The lack of guards who usually came to greet him and inquire about the prisoner. The archers who did not appear on the wall.

He reached out with his other senses, seeking out the daemons, monsters, and shades. Few were where they were supposed to be. He found daemon guards in the cells and the shades walking free.

The prisoners, some of the worst monsters ever to walk the Earth, had been liberated, and it was up to him to get more information on the situation. He needed to know who they were up against if he was to keep his daughters and Lilith safe. He just prayed Adman wasn’t one of the freed. That was a disaster he could do without.

He kept moving, tracking the movements around him. If they thought him trapped just because they had him surrounded, they were more foolish then he suspected. But then they were human shades, unknowing in the ways of daemons and gods.

“Welcome to my prison, Thanatos.”

A chance meeting changed the course of their lives…
Thanatos is no stranger to death. He’s seen every possible way there was to die. He’s lived with it day after day, century upon century, collecting the souls of dead mortals and taking them to the Underworld for judgment. An endless routine of tiresome duty and resounding loneliness that echoed in his heart, until she came into his life…

A second meeting will change their hearts and souls…
Saved by a stranger, Lilith never forgot the mysterious man who gave her the chance to blossom into the strong woman with a spirit of fire and a heart of ice, anymore than she can the lessons of the past. She must hide her secrets deep and never get close to anyone. Sex is merely a means to an end, and pleasure isn’t something to share with a lover, until he came back into her life…

What happens next will change the Underworld….
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.

Buy the eBook at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Published © August 2014 by Stephannie Beman
Cover and Layout copyright © 2013 by Ruis Publishing
Cover design by Stephannie Beman/Ruis Publishing
Cover art copyright © Veronika Galkina and Zastavkin | Dreamstime.com

{Story Sample} The Villains of Death’s Lover

Now that I’m done writing the story and have it published, I thought it would be fun to post a series of story samples from Death’s Lover. Today I thought I’d introduce you to the villains of the book, yes there are two.

One has made a previous appearance in My Lord Hades. His name was Adman, an evil warlord. The second is Nadral, the man who owns her during his life and haunts her through his death.

The Story Sample:

She heard the raised voices before she reached the building that had been her home for the last five years.

“Don’t insult me!” Nadral shouted. “I could easily get twice as much for her!”

She reached for the latch.

“It’s all you’ll get from me,” a man growled, and the voice chilled her to her soul.

She snatched her hand back, ready to run. She needed to hide before they saw her. But already it was too late.

The door swung open, and a large man stood in the doorway, staring down at her. He hadn’t changed in five years. He was still a handsome man. His frame was fit and lean, clothed in supple leathers. His body was strong and taller than most men. Her fingers itched to release his long, sandy blond hair from its tie and run her hands through the silky length. It was his only outward show of vanity. Many of the warriors in the ranks of his army cut their hair short. But he refused after she’d once admired the color and mentioned loving longer hair on her men.

Her body warmed at the memory of long nights in his bed. Sex with Adman had been adventurous and beyond pleasant.

“Lilith?” he breathed, stepping closer to her. His brown eyes warmed, and the backs of his fingers brushed lightly against her cheek. A gesture that was both tender and possessive. “Kar’ela par’ja.

Lover of my heart.

Her heart flipped in her chest at his words and for one moment she deluded herself into thinking that he meant it. This was the man who’d come to take her from this life of slavery. She could be his again. She could be free of Nadral. All she had to do was betray everything she believed and held dear. She’d have to go with a murderer of innocent people.

“She’s mine,” Nadral snarled, grabbing her arm.

His punishing grip twisted her arm, and tears sprang to her eyes. He jerked her to his side, and she stumbled, nearly falling to her knees before regaining her feet. She dared a glance at Adman beneath her lowered eyelashes, and fear rose to swallow her whole.

His youthful face, innocent in appearance, could not hide the coldness of his soul. His look said it all. He would have her. He would destroy everything to possess her. And he would kill anyone standing between him and what he wanted.

She laid a calming hand on his arm. “Nadral, please—”

His hand struck her cheek, silencing her warning. “This is between men!” He shoved her through the doorway and she fell to her knees.

Adman, her warlord lover, the true father of her child, knew everything about her. He knew what she was capable of and what she had done to survive on the streets she’d found herself on to protect Eva. So when she didn’t retaliate for Nadral’s treatment of her by killing him, Adman’s eyes narrowed. His hand flexed at his side, reaching for the weapon that wasn’t there. Not that he needed it to take her. The villagers would not protest, and one hit would kill Nadral.

She didn’t pretend that Adman loved her; no more than he loved his horse or his sword. He loved no one besides himself. He was angry because, in his eyes, she was his property, and Nadral had marked her. While she cared nothing for Nadral or his miserable life, she knew beyond a doubt that Adman would come for her and everyone would die. It wouldn’t be the first time.

She bowed her head and let the tears fall. Her sorrow was short-lived. Nadral joined her in the house and she could feel his anger like a living breathing dragon.

“He was willing to pay a lot for you. Why?”

She shook her head. “I don’t know.” The lie stung her throat.

She didn’t know why Adman wanted her, but she could guess. She was his. She knew his secrets. He knew who she was and what she was capable of doing to survive. He knew the truth about her, and that knowledge might save the village, but it would condemn her to death.

Wrenching pain shot through her scalp as she was lifted off her knees. She scrambled to her feet, relieving most of the pressure, and met Nadral’s angry eyes. “He knows you, Lilith. He knows more about you than I do.”

A chance meeting changed the course of their lives…
Thanatos is no stranger to death. He’s seen every possible way there was to die. He’s lived with it day after day, century upon century, collecting the souls of dead mortals and taking them to the Underworld for judgment. An endless routine of tiresome duty and resounding loneliness that echoed in his heart, until she came into his life…

A second meeting will change their hearts and souls…
Saved by a stranger, Lilith never forgot the mysterious man who gave her the chance to blossom into the strong woman with a spirit of fire and a heart of ice, anymore than she can the lessons of the past. She must hide her secrets deep and never get close to anyone. Sex is merely a means to an end, and pleasure isn’t something to share with a lover, until he came back into her life…

What happens next will change the Underworld….
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.

You can read more Story Samples from Death’s Lover, visit my Story Notes on Death’s Lover to read about the inspiration behind the book, or buy the eBook at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Published © August 2014 by Stephannie Beman
Cover and Layout copyright © 2013 by Ruis Publishing
Cover design by Stephannie Beman/Ruis Publishing
Cover art copyright © Veronika Galkina and Zastavkin | Dreamstime.com

{Story Sample} Lilith, the Heroine of Death’s Lover

Now that I’m done writing the story and have it published, I thought it would be fun to post a series of story samples from Death’s Lover. This one is one of my favorite scenes with Lilith in it.

The Story Sample:

“My Lady?”

Lilith frowned at the guard bowing before her. The same guard who’d brought her to the throne room of Hades and Persephone. “Yes?”

He glanced up at her and then away. “Please, my Lady. You are needed. Thanatos. . . he’s gone mad.”

She frowned. What did he expect her to do? She was a mortal as everyone kept pointing out.

If not for the fear in the daemon’s eyes, she would have refused him. She didn’t really want to see Thanatos. Her emotions were too confused about him and his confession. She’d almost wished he’d kept it to himself, only the fact that he loved her made the idea that nothing could happen between them easier to bare. Although not by much.

She followed the guard to Thanatos’ tent, listened to his halting description of Thanatos’ rage, and became increasingly uncomfortable with the glances of the daemons and shades around her. There was a sense of awe and reverence in their behavior that hadn’t been there an hour ago.

The guard opened the tent flap for her, and she stepped into the nearly dark tent. A single light flickered faintly, leaving far more shadows than she liked. She moved further into the room, wincing at the path of destruction in the tent. Thanatos had torn everything apart from the furniture to the bedding.

“Why are you here?” Thanatos growled from somewhere to her right.

“Because I was told you were throwing a childish tantrum, and people who care about you were worried. I think they believe that you wouldn’t hurt me, unlike the daemons who tried to keep you from hurting yourself.”

“They got in my way.”

She turned toward his voice, still unable to see him, and arched a brow. “So you beat them?”

“Yes. Why is that so surprising, Lilith? I am a daemon after all.” He stepped from the shadows that appeared to twist and cling to his body like tar. “A monster used to frighten little children.”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “You don’t frighten me, Thanatos. You never have.”

He loomed over her, his breath reeking of alcohol. “Why not? Why aren’t you afraid of Death? You, just like every other mortal in this world, will die, and I will reap your soul. I’ll bring you here for Judgment, and I will take you to your new home. Is your soul unstained? Is it so pure that you don’t fear being cast into a pit in Tartarus? Or wandering the Asphodel Fields?”

“No. But if that is to be my punishment for the life I’ve lived. Then it is what I deserve.” She moved closer, and he stepped back. His legs hit the bed. “How about you, Thanatos? Do you have regrets for the life you led? Do you wish for what you cannot have? Does the thought of the years stretching out before you leave you cold?” She pressed forward, and he sat abruptly on the torn bed. She leaned over him, caressing his cheek. “I see you. The stranger who would not leave a child to die, the daemon who will protect those he loves, and the man who wants what all men do.”

“And what is that?”

“To love and be loved. I see your loneliness and the fear in your eyes.”

“Go away, Lilith.”

She shook her head, bunching her skirt around her legs and straddling his thighs. She gently pushed him, and he flopped back onto the bed, staring up at her in shock.

“I don’t fear what you can do, or what you’ve done, or what you will do. I don’t fear Death. I never have. You are the one constant thing in my life that I can rely on. Whether you are the daemon who brings souls to the Underworld or that man who has watched over me since the first moment he saw me.”

She leaned over him, her face inches from his own. His blue-purple eyes darkened with desire, and she could feel his cock hardening beneath her. He wanted her, and that gave her an advantage.

A chance meeting changed the course of their lives…
Thanatos is no stranger to death. He’s seen every possible way there was to die. He’s lived with it day after day, century upon century, collecting the souls of dead mortals and taking them to the Underworld for judgment. An endless routine of tiresome duty and resounding loneliness that echoed in his heart, until she came into his life…

A second meeting will change their hearts and souls…
Saved by a stranger, Lilith never forgot the mysterious man who gave her the chance to blossom into the strong woman with a spirit of fire and a heart of ice, anymore than she can the lessons of the past. She must hide her secrets deep and never get close to anyone. Sex is merely a means to an end, and pleasure isn’t something to share with a lover, until he came back into her life…

What happens next will change the Underworld….
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.

You can read more Story Samples from Death’s Lover, visit my Story Notes on Death’s Lover to read about the inspiration behind the book, or buy the eBook at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Published © August 2014 by Stephannie Beman
Cover and Layout copyright © 2013 by Ruis Publishing
Cover design by Stephannie Beman/Ruis Publishing
Cover art copyright © Veronika Galkina and Zastavkin | Dreamstime.com

{Story Sample} Thanatos, the Hero of Death’s Lover

Now that I’m done writing the story and have it published, I thought it would be fun to post a series of story samples from Death’s Lover and talk about what inspired the scenes. To start off this inspirational series I want to share the scene that inspired the entire book. Which is actually in My Lord Hades, but also shows up in Death’s Lover in Lilith’s point of view and is about 20 chapters into the book…

The Story Sample:

Thanatos was no stranger to death.

He’d seen every possible way there was to die. He lived with it day after day, century upon century. But even a feral predator such as himself knew that the outright destruction such as the scene before him wasn’t natural. It couldn’t even be considered war.

He’d seen war. He’d even participated in battles. War had never bothered him, but the utter devastation and meaningless loss of life he saw as he stood outside the small village, sickened him to his darkened soul.

There was no reason for it. This was no natural disaster with Rhea sending warning signs of impending doom that had been ignored because the people thought the signs read in sheep intestines were more reliable. No flood by Okeanos’ unpredictable mood. Coronus was too busy being tortured in Tartarus with his Titan allies to destroy creatures he saw as beneath his notice. This wasn’t a bid for survival.

What lay before him was a slaughter.

The men had died horribly in the defense of their women and children, clutching farm implements, knives, and dull axes. Many lay where they fell. Others were strung up on display for everyone who passed this village to see. But the fighters were not the only dead.

Women had died shielding their children. A spear driven through a young woman’s back had pierced through the child, pinning them both to the side of a home. The women had died with their men, their children and infants slaughtered like diseased cattle. The unborn ripped from their mothers’ wombs.

Covering his mouth and nose with a cloth from his belt, he tied it behind his head and wished it could mask the stink of so many dead. The scent of iron was long gone, even if the dark stains and sticky pools of red-black blood were not. The stink of so many dead bodies, charred by fire and baking in the noonday sun, became a stomach-turning stench of decay and rot.

A woman with empty eye sockets and a hole torn through her stomach lay in his path. She’d probably been killed with a sword to the gut. The wild animals had started their work. The birds had taken the eyes. The scavengers had torn into the damaged flesh to feed their bellies. The insects buzzed around her.

Stepping over the woman’s body, he moved swiftly through the fire blackened village, searching for the souls of the dead.

Only he found nothing. Not a single soul.

Usually he found them sitting beside their bodies in a state of confusion as they tried to piece together what had happened and what they were to do next. Sometimes larger groups huddled together, a form of comfort from their mortal lives. They sought the familiar.

But there were no souls here for him to collect, only the ghosts of memories burned into the very ground he walked. Images that haunted his vision. Children playing in the streets, chasing each other, and shouting their victory. The giggling groups of young women watching the young men strut and demonstrate their prowess as providers. The stolen kisses of soon-to-be lovers. Mothers cuddling their babes and smiling at the antics of the young. The elders reminiscing of their youth, when everything was different and life was better. There was even the occasional tender moment between mates who’d aged together, loved and bore the hardships of life. The celebration of the tribe with the birth of a child and the group mourning at the passing of a loved one.

Their whole lives and their horrible screaming deaths played out before him like a gruesome play that Ares’ might convince the Muses to do.

These people were farmers, tilling the ground for food and raising wild beasts for meat. They weren’t warriors. They had no weapons to defend themselves except the knives they butchered their livestock with and the scythe they used to cut their harvest. They hadn’t a chance against the force that sweep through their village.

The first to die and those who fought until their last breaths had been lucky compared to those who sought mercy at the hands of their murderers. Because there was no mercy in the war-like men and women who thought it easier to kill than gather their own food for the coming season. They were the type to prey upon the unsuspecting population of dirt grubbers, revel in torture, and drink in the pain and death like elixir. They would rather massacre an entire village, burn the fields to soil, and steal what they wanted than work for what they needed.

He witnessed the tortures of the men sliced to pieces and the raping of the women until the fight left their eyes. He watched the killers bathe in the blood of the dead and dying. He watched them perform unspeakable acts upon their victims that would probably impress the ever bloodthirsty Furies and his own daughters by Kerena, the Keres.

He became their witness.

And when the killers finally met him, he would make sure there was a special place in Tartarus waiting. They would soon know the pain and suffering they inflicted upon their victims. They would understand fear.

Walking past a mostly intact hovel, Thanatos at last found the shades. They were standing at the edge of the village, watching something he couldn’t quite see through the mass of their diaphanous bodies. A man, bent with age and a wasting disease that would have taken his life within months had he lived, turned toward him, his eyes bright, as if he was crying. Slowly the others faced him, sensing his presence among them.

This was the moment he hated, because there was no way to explain to the newly dead, who rarely understood their new roles, that the gods they prayed to had abandoned them. That they cared about humans as long as it suited their needs. That upon their death they were now under the guardianship of the Queen of the Underworld and that she, of all the gods on Mount Othyrs and Mount Olympus, had willingly accepted her fate as their guardian. That she’d taken stewardship over the shades once condemned to roam the world, confused and scared, and created a haven for them. They could follow him to the Underworld and a chance at happiness, or they could remain lost souls, forever wandering.

He couldn’t force them. His Queen forbade it. They had to follow him willingly into the darkness and judgment. They had to accept their deaths and move on, maybe even decide to be reborn into the world. She would only accept those who came willingly and criminals who could not be left to roam the world.

A few refused his offer, wishing instead to cling to a life that held no solace for them, and continue as if nothing happened. No matter how he explained it, they would not move on, and he hated to see them ruin the lives of the living they loved by remaining behind. It never ended well.

These shades were different. Their energy thrummed with power. Their souls glowed red. They understood what happened to them. They’d accepted it.

They knew who he was and why he was there. He could see it in the expressions on their faces. And he knew beyond a doubt they would not come with him.

The looks of determination implored him to understand, to leave them to the fate they’d chosen. The question was why. They had nothing left to stay for. They couldn’t even enact the revenge they sought. Everyone was dead or gone.

If they wanted to remain for those who’d been captured and taken, they wouldn’t be here now. Which made him wonder why. Why did they stay? Why would they risk eternity trapped on the mortal plane? Why would they risk angering the goddess of death they so feared?

Not that Persephone was all that fearsome when it came to the free will of her creations. She’d created the Underworld for them, a place where the lost could reside. It didn’t mean that she was a pushover either. She hadn’t earned the title of the Iron Queen for nothing.

He was so distracted by the souls he barely reacted to the woman stalking toward him with a look of deadly determination on her lovely face. Black haired, dark-eyed, small in stature, and pale of skin, the blood-splattered, soot-covered woman-child struck out with a wicked-looking knife, cutting through his tunic and almost decapitating him with the bloody scythe in her other hand. He danced out of her reach as searing pain blossomed from his neck.

A chance meeting changed the course of their lives…
Thanatos is no stranger to death. He’s seen every possible way there was to die. He’s lived with it day after day, century upon century, collecting the souls of dead mortals and taking them to the Underworld for judgment. An endless routine of tiresome duty and resounding loneliness that echoed in his heart, until she came into his life…

A second meeting will change their hearts and souls…
Saved by a stranger, Lilith never forgot the mysterious man who gave her the chance to blossom into the strong woman with a spirit of fire and a heart of ice, anymore than she can the lessons of the past. She must hide her secrets deep and never get close to anyone. Sex is merely a means to an end, and pleasure isn’t something to share with a lover, until he came back into her life…

What happens next will change the Underworld….
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.

You can read more Story Samples from Death’s Lover, visit my Story Notes on Death’s Lover to read about the inspiration behind the book, or buy the eBook at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Published © August 2014 by Stephannie Beman
Cover and Layout copyright © 2013 by Ruis Publishing
Cover design by Stephannie Beman/Ruis Publishing
Cover art copyright © Veronika Galkina and Zastavkin | Dreamstime.com

{Story Sample} Scene that Inspired Death’s Lover

Now that Death’s Lover is published, I thought it would be fun to post a series of story samples from the book. Today I want to share the scene that inspired the entire book. Which is actually in My Lord Hades, but also shows up in Death’s Lover in Lilith’s point of view and is about 20 chapters into the book…

The Story Sample:

Lilith jerked her shoulder out from under the hand of the King of the Underworld. “Was that necessary?” she snapped.

He frowned down at her, towering over her like a giant pillar. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

She glared up at the overbearing idiot. “Why are men so blind?!”

He grinned at her, his uncertainty clear in his eyes. “Because women are rarely clear in their speech.”

“Tearing his heart out of his chest would have been less painful than what you just did to him.”

“I’m not the one who nearly took his arm off with a scythe.”

She shook her head. “It’s not the first time.”

“Really?” His look of interest caused her to scowl harder at him.

She turned away with a grunt. “I tried to kill him when we met at the village. It was just after Adman killed everyone, including my son, to get to me.” She stomped several paces away from him and then back. “Is he really your friend?”

“The closest a man like me has.”

A laugh burst from her throat, and she slapped her hand over mouth, glancing at the overbearing god. He was watching her like she was some strange puzzle he was trying to figure out. She wanted to hate him, she really did, but she had a feeling that Hades hadn’t meant to hurt his friend. He was just such a stickler for the rules that he hadn’t realized what he did.

“He’s a good friend to have.” She waved her hand around the hall. “So where is this Queen of yours?”

If she wanted to help Thanatos, and possibly get him out of the trouble he’d created for himself because of her, then she really needed to find this Persephone. Maybe she would have some sway over the King.

Lilith’s grandmother had always told her that Persephone was a decent and fair woman for a goddess. She doubted she’d changed much in fifteen years. Gods weren’t known for changing at all.

Hades left her with a daemon and went in search of his Queen, something about asking her if she didn’t mind the task of watching Lilith rather than springing it upon her. Lilith thought that was a rather sweet sentiment. Than was the only man who’d ever thought to ask her opinion on anything that involved her life.

After a few moment’s wait, the daemon grabbed her arm and started to lead her in the same direction Hades had gone. They moved no more than three steps before she had him on the floor. “Don’t touch me!”

He growled at her, coming to his feet and glaring down at her. “I will do what I want, mortal!”

She placed her hand on her hips and glared back at him. “I don’t think you would like what will happen if you do. Hades would be rather angry if I was hurt, and I know a friend who would make Hades temper look like a child’s tantrum.”

The man scoffed. “Who?”

“I’m sure you’ve heard of my lover, Thanatos.”

“Impossible!”

She smiled. “Are you willing to bet your life on it?”

His look said he didn’t. “Hades wants us in the Throne room.”

Lilith turned in the direction he indicated and followed him through the halls to the Throne Room. They entered the room, and Lilith flushed. She wasn’t sure if it was embarrassment for intruding on such an intimate moment or longing to have a man treat her with the love Hades had for this woman. If Thanatos wasn’t so fearful of the consequences of a relationship with her, would he be the same with her?

Hades knelt before a woman sitting on one of the two thrones, her fingers tangled in his hair. He turned his head and kissed the woman’s thigh through her dress.

The guard cleared his throat, and she wanted to bash him on the head. “Am I interrupting? I’ll wait until you’re done if that is the case.”

She settled for kicking him in the shin. “Oaf.”

Hades rose to his feet. Persephone peered around his lean frame at them. Her expression was inquisitive and almost cold.

“Nothing that shouldn’t wait,” Persephone told the guard. “I believe there is rebellion that needs crushing.” She stood and stepped off the dais, her eyes locked onto Lilith. “Why don’t we retire to the andronitis while the men discuss their war plans?”

A chance meeting changed the course of their lives…
Thanatos is no stranger to death. He’s seen every possible way there was to die. He’s lived with it day after day, century upon century, collecting the souls of dead mortals and taking them to the Underworld for judgment. An endless routine of tiresome duty and resounding loneliness that echoed in his heart, until she came into his life…

A second meeting will change their hearts and souls…
Saved by a stranger, Lilith never forgot the mysterious man who gave her the chance to blossom into the strong woman with a spirit of fire and a heart of ice, anymore than she can the lessons of the past. She must hide her secrets deep and never get close to anyone. Sex is merely a means to an end, and pleasure isn’t something to share with a lover, until he came back into her life…

What happens next will change the Underworld….
Lilith’s ability to see a person’s death has attracted the attention of the warlord, Adman, and seals her fate. He will do anything, kill anyone, to possess her talent. And the only one standing between him and Lilith is Death himself. Thanatos will break every ancient law, and even a few newer ones, to save her, and in the end it might cost them both their lives.

You can read more Story Samples from Death’s Lover, visit my Story Notes on Death’s Lover to read about the inspiration behind the book, or buy the eBook at Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo

Published © August 2014 by Stephannie Beman
Cover and Layout copyright © 2013 by Ruis Publishing
Cover design by Stephannie Beman/Ruis Publishing
Cover art copyright © Veronika Galkina and Zastavkin | Dreamstime.com