This week’s Guest is Kayelle Allen with her New book A Stolen Heart. I absolutely loved this book and this series so Join Kayelle and see if you are worthy of following Pietas.
Are you worthy of following Pietas?
There are several factions among immortals. Their proper name is Ultra, a genetically enhanced race created by humans. Ultra now refers to a faction that betrayed the others and currently manipulates mankind in the Terran Crescent, near Earth. Sempervian refers to Pietas and his followers, who were not only expelled from Earth, but later also from Sempervia, their planet of exile.
Just under a thousand Sempervians claim Pietas as their king. If you want to follow him, you must first prove you’re immortal, and then that you’re loyal. After all, Pietas has had more than his share of traitors. He only wants subjects who are loyal to the bone. Here’s how he knows you’re worthy.
You must come back from the dead.
This is a foolproof method for weeding out pretenders. Humans can and do follow Pietas, and he protects them, but if you think to pretend you’re immortal, you are mistaken. If you die and don’t rise from the dead, the Sempervians will bury and forget you. If you spontaneously resurrect, you prove what you are. But you must also prove yourself worthy.
You must be willing to take part in Peril.
Peril, a role-playing game the Sempervians take part in is a way to guide mankind, relieve boredom, and interact with peers. Played in real-time, Peril allows forty years for a full game. Shorter games might be a week, a month, or a few years. Peril is part of an overall strategy to direct and care for mankind. Each role meets goals pertaining to the overall mission: protect mankind.
You must be willing to accept an assignment where you’re needed.
There are hundreds of human-inhabitable worlds in the Milky Way, with immortals on many. If local situations warrant interaction (or interference), Pietas may assign a game there. Each game will have the main goal of correcting an issue (stopping a war), redirecting on a different path (protecting the environment, avoiding extinction), or encouraging positive growth (curing disease, better technology, etc.).
You must protect the Chosen.
The human Chosen smooth a Sempervian’s transition into various worlds, and protect their identities. Before a Sempervian arrives, the Chosen begin fabricating records. When the immortal appears, there will be a history, background, and sometimes, “inherited” property. Other Chosen might fill-in until the immortal arrives, creating a sense of having “met” the person before they are on site. For this reason, Sempervians consider the Chosen and their work absolutely vital, and will protect and care for them no matter what it takes. Once a person is Chosen, their spouse must also be involved. Although a Chosen can leave service, Sempervians still protect and care for them. Their vow is eternal.
You must protect mankind at all costs.
When the immortals were first created, they were servant/guardians of mankind. Because mankind treated them with contempt and disregard, the immortals rebelled. A long war resulted, during which time Pietas rose to power. His hatred of mankind was legendary. Traitors among the immortals staged a coup, resulting in the expulsion and exile of Pietas and over half a million immortals. A human called Six had been assigned to guard Pietas, and against all odds, Six eventually became his friend. He helped Pietas save his people from certain destruction, and proved humans were worthy. To honor Six, Pietas has fought for millennia to protect mankind. Any who follow Pietas must be willing to swear the same oath.
In A Stolen Heart, Pietas is the immortal king and the hero’s ex.
Title: A Stolen Heart
Antonello Brothers Series
Author: Kayelle Allen
Romance Lives Forever Books
Cover artist: GermanCreative on Fiverr.com
Genre/heat rating Sci-Fi, Science Fiction, MM / PG 13
When he rescues a half-human orphan, a glorified space pirate turned entrepreneur sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to topple the powerful Thieves’ Guild he once led.
Multiple layers of conspiracy unfold, reaching all the way to Luc’s immortal ex–the king. Behind each solved mystery looms an unseen foe, undoing the good Luc accomplishes. For the sake of this child, Luc must postpone his own freedom and master his desire for revenge or he will violate an ancient vow. Worse, he’ll put the toddler at risk.
At war with his compassion for the vulnerable child, loyalty to the king, duty to the Guild, and the bright lure of freedom he’s coveted for centuries, Luc seeks the right path. Will he choose liberty and unparalleled success, or restore the Thieves’ Guild to its former glory while overseeing the child’s training?
A hard choice for any man. For an immortal whose inner monster can destroy on sight? Impossible.
A pirate with a monstrous past can never be trusted with an innocent child. Luc must ensure the child is protected, safe, nowhere near danger. Nowhere near him. Even if this little boy has already stolen his heart…
In this scene from A Stolen Heart, Luc is meeting with his ex — the immortal king, Pietas. This king is known for many things, such as never lying, and always getting what he wants, no matter how long it takes him to get it.
“Surprised I’m here?” Pietas scooted in closer and then slipped one hand across Luc’s shoulders. He then slid that hand down Luc’s back.
The man’s touch had no right to feel this good. Twisting toward him, Luc cleared his throat. “Yes. I worried something happened.”
“I’m touched.” A playful smile lit Pietas’s face. “You worried about me?”
“I worry whenever you do something different.”
“Let’s see.” Luc ticked items off his fingers. “Send troops over a border. Incite a riot. Invade a planet. Invade some king’s daughters. Or his sons… Shall I go on?”
Pietas chuckled. “You worry a lot.”
To increase his personal space, Luc adjusted the hang of his jacket. “You’re in a good mood.”
“Yes, yes.” Pietas brushed a dismissive hand through the air. “I haven’t triggered a war, if that’s what you’re fretting about. I’m not sending you out of the Empire, and I’m not planning to feed you to my cat.”
“No,” Pietas agreed, with a bemused expression. “Although if there’s someone you want to be rid of…” He lifted one brow.
“No, no, quite capable of making people disappear on my own, my lord, but I’ll keep a personal dose of panther justice in mind.”
“Panther justice!” Laughing, Pietas laid a hand on his chest. “How I’ve missed your sense of humor. I don’t recall the last time I laughed out loud.” He looked down, toying with a turquoise ring.
The fat nugget of fractured stone occupied his left forefinger. The silver setting evoked a dragon’s open mouth, a gift from Luc hundreds of years ago. Pietas rarely removed it.
Did he cling to their past relationship, or wear it to show Luc he hoped for the future? Either way, Luc could not reconcile being with this man with the desire for freedom. To give birth to one meant the death of the other.
“You know,” Pietas twisted the ring, “I think the last time I laughed, I was with you.”
Universal buy link https://books2read.com/u/mZK1zB
(Isn’t this a cute cover? https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3382881830?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
Meet Kayelle Allen
Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.
You can Find Kayelle Allen here
In the Antonello Brothers series: A Stolen Heart, Bro, At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, For Women Only
In the Bringer of Chaos series: Lights Out (free to newsletter subscribers) Origin of Pietas, Forged in Fire
Other books in the same overall universe include Tales of the Chosen, The Last Vhalgenn, Trailing Kaiwulf, Human Perfect, Tarthian Empire Companion, An Immortal’s Guide to Tarth, and a contemporary holiday called A Romance for Christmas. Subscribers also get several illustrated books.
I’m working on Surrender Trust, which is a sequel to Surrender Love, currently out of print. I plan to release both books at the same time, with a bonus of the short story Forbid My Heart.
Thanks for allowing me to come share with your readers. I hope they’ll take advantage of the offer of books and sign up for my newsletter. Each edition is packed with recommended sci-fi and fantasy books, as well as links to related evnts and book giveaways.
~ Kayelle Allen