Monday, May 18, 2015

Excerpt from Daniel’s Fork by Zeecé Lugo


Excerpt from Daniel’s Fork by Zeecé Lugo

I’ve previously read and reviewed this book and you can read what I thought here. I really loved the characters and Zecce knows how to write very memorably sex scenes.  Honestly, she’s one of the best erotic writer’s I’ve read.  I wish I had half her talent.  This is definitely a series you want to follow. Smile


When spurned suitor Alex Neville swears to the lovely Susanna, “They’ll keep on dying. I can wait forever,” she knows he is pronouncing a death sentence on every lover she’ll ever have. It's no wonder that when the dashing and powerful new lord shows admiration for the beautiful girl, she sees him as the answer to her prayers: a man not easily killed.

Will Evers, new lord of Daniel’s Fork, detests the village ‘witch,’ as he calls Setiyah, the healer. She has declared him the ‘wrong man for the job,’ quickly becoming the thorn in his side. At the town pub, he meets and romances the lovely Susanna, thereby becoming the target of her murderous suitor. Drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse, Evers soon realizes the magnitude of the cunning evil he faces. Determined to catch the vicious killer, the handsome lord is forced to seek the ‘dratted witch’s’ help, as he sets a trap to catch a cunning killer, using himself as bait!

Set in a future where our technology has disappeared, and humanity lives once again by the light of torch and hearth, this post-apocalyptic, dystopian mystery is a real genre bender. Written in light, flowing prose, it blends humor, eroticism, mystery, romance, and science fiction into one highly entertaining story.


Chapter Excerpt

  “Commander,” slurred Captain Salvo. Needless to say, the few ladies that worked the pub were at this point, ravishingly beautiful. The men, having made it back before sundown two hours earlier, were now deep in their cups and becoming quite friendly. “It’s none of anyone's business for sure, but Susie has been giving you special attention all evening and making it obvious that she wants your special attention. I'm just a tad worried that Captain Toussant will take offense, if you know what I mean.”

“Don't you worry about Gabby, now.” Will Evers looked over across the table to where Gabby and Carlos sat at the bar, deep in drinks, heads close. Soon, they would leave together. “It's not like that between us. In fact, she prefers Carlos Delacruz.”

“But we have all been thinking that she's with you.”

“Sometimes she is but make no mistake. Gabby is here because she's a damn good soldier and a loyal friend. We’re family, all four of us. We've been together for years. Still, when it comes to women, I’ll have no ownership, both ways. I keep it that way with all females. I let them know clearly that I want no mates, no wives, no steady lovers, and no children. I’m a career warrior.” Will Evers downed his shot and poured himself another.

“That's a fine sentiment,” said Captain Mora, weighing Carlos and thinking him a much easier rival than his commander, “but the ladies see it their way. A woman will agree to anything you say and then claim you’re her baby's pa and try to get you to wed her. At the least, she’ll get the babe's keep from you. Eighteen years is a long time.”

“Well, that won't happen because I don't make babes.”

“Oh, you have our sympathies, Commander,” said the far from sober Captain Salvo, sadly. “Was it a field injury?”

Jonas burst out laughing. Will Evers had a brief moment of confusion before the meaning of the question dawned on him, and then he chuckled too. “No, no, you get me wrong. I just practice careful control.”

“That is a lot of control to have. I'm just not that good.” Captain Danesson looked dejectedly into his drink. “I'm one of those who will be paying till he drops dead.”

“Yes!” Captain Mora gave his friend an exuberant slap in the back. “Troy here has four children. All girls. All from different mothers. He just looks at a girl, and she gets a belly.”

“I'm beginning to worry that if a girl is looking to put a father to her late period, she gets me to tumble her and names me the father. It's getting so bad, I'm looking at celibacy with a twinkle in my eye. If there were still monks around, I’d be thinking of joining them.”

They all burst out in laughter, which drew the eye of the luscious Susanna, and she strolled over to the table to lean lush, overflowing breasts over the lord’s shoulder. “My gentlemen all seem to be having a gay time. Is there anything else I can get for you? Another bottle? A bowl of stew to keep the tummies settled? Maybe a loaf of bread and cheese? Surely, I have something to tempt you, my lord?” she asked enticingly.

The commander reached down and surreptitiously ran his hand down the back of her thigh. In the half-light of the pub, no one could see the caress, and she accepted it with a smile.

“Beautiful, luscious, tempting Susanna. We've been talking about the ladies. It would be refreshing to have your opinion, if you will give it.”

“If it will please you, sir.”

“It’s my habit and pleasure to bed any willing lady that appeals to me, provided she’s not bonded to any male by word or contract.”

“Sounds perfectly fair to me. You respect bonds spoken or written, and all else is fair game.” She answered happily, visions of their naked bodies passionately entwined, dancing in her head.

“I also make it very clear to any woman who wants me that I’m good for tumbling and not much else. I want and make no promises, no commitments, no expectations of affection or love, and I give no seed as I want no children. I often bed several different ladies a week. I’m as generous with my attentions as I am with my kindness.”

“Makes sense, my lord. With all your duties and responsibilities, any woman should be able to accept that. The pleasure of your passion should be enough for any red-blooded girl.” She leaned over to gather empty mugs, understanding that he was stating his terms and doing so with plenty of witnesses. Oh, well, she thought, many a man has started by giving his terms and ended up madly in love with the woman. That also meant that the lovely Captain Toussant had no claim on him.

“My lovely Susanna, do you have a man who can claim you as his girl, lover, fiancé, mate, or contracted wife?” he asked loud enough for anyone at the table to hear.

“Absolutely not,” answered the young woman indignantly, “and anyone who says I have, is a liar.” But she looked nervously at the back dark corner of the room where a man sat over a pint of beer, silently watching and listening to all. The locals who were listening also looked back and whispered nervously to each other.

But William noticed nothing wrong at all, and when the man got up, dropped his coin on the table, and walked out, Lord Evers was unaware of it. Later that night as the men walked home, having stabled their mounts earlier, Captain Mora kept company with William and Jonas. Before bidding them goodnight at the door, he pulled the commander aside.

“Commander, I think you should be warned. It’s about the girl, Susanna. She did not lie about not belonging to any man. But, she doesn't tell the whole tale, and it's dangerous not to know the whole tale, if you get my drift.” He looked down the dark street as if afraid that someone was watching or listening.

“Oh? Dangerous how?” asked the Commander, intrigued now.

“Well, sir, men have died over the years. All were healthy, strong, able young men. Two were found murdered in the woods, stabbed many times, and no one was taken or tried for the murders. Another disappeared, and no one has seen or heard from him, and no body has been found. Some people think that maybe he left and went wildering, but he left an aging mother and a young sister he loved very much, unprovided for and unprotected. Me, I think he's dead too.”

“What does this have to do with the girl?”

“Ask me rather what these men had in common.”

“All right, what did these men have in common, Captain Mora?”

“They all warmed her bed or were trying to.”

“Are you saying she killed them?”

“Oh, no, sir, nothing like that. Susanna wouldn’t kill a small roach. But there is a man that bears watching. He was there tonight, sitting at a table in a dark, back corner. He was listening and watching, commander, and he was watching you very hard. You see, he has wanted Susie for years, and she has denied him.”

“I see,” murmured William thoughtfully.

“Hopefully, you do. Especially since you can bet that the lady will come looking for you soon.”

“Yes, well, thank you, Captain. I appreciate your warning and will take it to heart, I assure you. Good night.”

“Good night, Commander.”

Will Evers watched Captain Mora walk away until his silhouette faded in the dark. The town square was now totally dark; only moonlight and bright starlight filtered through the branches and fronds that quivered in the breeze to dapple the floor below with a constantly changing pattern of light and shadow. The moon would be full in a couple of days, and the night’s sky was clear and full of stars. Instead of going into the house, he stepped away, crossed the street, and entered the square itself. He stood at the center of the desolate but beautiful place and raised his face to view the perfect sky and feel the cool night breeze. He lingered a few seconds. He knew that to someone watching, he made a perfect target. He turned quickly, crossed to the far side of the square, walking noiselessly and quickly down the opposite street, and making the first turn into the dark alley between two houses. Having excellent night vision, he darted behind the first hedge he found and squatted down low and still.

It didn't take long. Something moved in the shadows at the end of the alley, by the square. William waited in silence, patiently, not moving a finger. Soon he heard the very light, cautious tread of a booted foot. A dog barked somewhere down the street. The tread stopped feet from where Will was crouched in stillness. After a few seconds, the figure continued down the alley, silent and cautious as a cat hunting a mouse. William waited until the man had passed and slowly inched his way up, careful not to crunch a twig or roll a pebble. The figure, shrouded in shadows, seemed to be a male above average height with a dark hood over his head. In the middle of a warm summer, he wore a cloak. Now, that was interesting and telling.

With the first northern winds of autumn, all the cloaks now hanging from pegs would come out. The cloak, being made of one single cut of cloth and requiring little shaping and minimum waste of precious fabric, had easily replaced the coat of old. Made with tightly woven wool, it was virtually impermeable. Wide and flowing, it doubled as a blanket in the road. Lined with fleece, it would keep you against the coldest wind. It never went out of style and was virtually indestructible. Will himself owned several; a couple made light for spring, and one lined with silk for festive occasions, but none to be worn in summer.

Will turned and, quickly but silently, returned home. He had some planning to do, but he needed to talk to a few people. Then, he would catch himself a killer. It might take time, but he would do it. Turning the key at the door, William found the house already silent, his companions snug in their beds. He took the time to make sure that all windows and doors were secure. Evil's best friend was opportunity. He went to bed and lay there wide-awake for quite a while, his mind full of plans and strategies.
When the breakfast club arrived, Will Evers was already up and dressed in his sharp blacks, hair neatly tied back and braided. He answered the door. “Ladies, welcome again. Is this going to be a habit? For if it is, I’m going to be a very happy man indeed.”

“Of course not, my lord. What do you take us for? Fools? Today is the last time. If you want breakfast served tomorrow, you better hire the help.” Becca was of course, at her morning best.

“Oh, I see. Extortion it’s going to be. Give me a taste of the candy and then pull the sweet away until I pay.”

“Well, one does what one has to do. Why should the farmer buy the cow if he can get the milk for free?”

“Is that not the same sentiment one hears from ladies of the night?”

“They sell theirs, and I sell mine. I'll have you know, you can find a woman on every corner who will trounce around on your bed, especially with a man as handsome, strong, and well endowed as you are, my lord, which I’m blessed to have seen firsthand.” She batted scanty eyelashes at him. “But tell them they have to do your wash, your ironing, your cleaning, and your breakfast at six o'clock in the morning and see how fast they run.”

“Woman, the day you wake me up at six in the morning to eat breakfast, is the day I throw your wide rump out on the street.”

“At what time will you be wanting your breakfast then, sir? Also, does that mean that we’re hired?” Becca was swift on the uptake.

“Yes, you’re hired. I spoke with the healer, and she convinced me that I could not go another day without your help. You and your cohort can start moving in immediately. I’m sure I can get Captain Salvo to send a couple of men and a cart to bring your things. There's enough room in the loft that you should be able to keep all your belongings and not get rid of anything dear to you.”

“Thank you, sir. That was a worry of ours. Now, let's get you all fed. While Mary and I are serving, Flora will check the back, tend to the hearth, and make sure there's hot water.” Soon everyone was up and at the table. Becca and Mary were busy serving, pouring, and removing plates to the kitchen.

“So, what do you think of Daniel’s Pub?” Will threw out to the table at large.

“Very nice,” Carlos looked up. “As nice as any you'd find back home. It’s clean, serves good food, and is not cramped.”

“It has atmosphere. I like atmosphere.” Gabby spoke as she stuffed her mouth. She always ate with gusto, the perpetually hungry orphan.

“You seemed to enjoy the service especially,” observed Jonas.

“Aaah, yes, the service. The luscious, plump, lovely Susanna,” said Will thoughtfully.

“I don't think you'll have to wait long before she comes calling,” said Gabby. “Will probably show up today with a special pie she's baked or a bottle of new wine.”

“Yes, she will, and when she does, I’ll be most attentive and appreciative. On the risk of shocking you all, I intend to be more accommodating than usual and may even begin to express a strong interest in the lady publicly.” His friends all looked up at once, jaws dropping in shock at his words.

“Do tell that the buxom, softly rounded Susanna has done what none other has done before. Surely, you’re not smitten with the lovely lady in question?”

“No, Jonas, I’m not. But a story there is to tell that is rather bothersome.” The lord pushed his plate away. “Becca, I would like your thoughts after I tell the tale.”

“Yes, sir, if it will help any.”

“It seems that in Daniel's Fork, two men have been murdered in the last few years, and a third one has gone missing.” Will repeated the story as told to him and then described the episode that followed in the alley. “It seems I have a problem inherited from my predecessor. Why did Lord Strongheart not take action on this? It’s a valid question, and one I must ask.”

“He truly did,” Becca replied. “But try as hard as he did, he never could lay the crime at the man's door. No one could pin anything on the man in question.”

“Who is this man?” asked Carlos. “If he was at the pub, which one was he?”

“He sat at one of the corner tables in the back, in the dark and unnoticed, unless you knew to look for him. Tony saw him because he knew to watch for him. Now that I think about it, there was a moment when the girl raised her head to look to the back and seemed afraid.”

“The girl is the key, you know.” Jonas pointed out. “You want him, you get him through her. That's what you mean to do, isn't it?”

“That could prove very dangerous. It could get you killed.” Gabby raised her voice in alarm. “Now, the girl, she’s every bit as guilty as he is, knowing as she does that three of her suitors have been killed. She knew full well that he was there watching all, and she was still willing to risk your life. A selfish bitch, she is.” Gabby was furious. “I may have many faults, but I would never play with some innocent man's life.”

“Love, calm down. You know I’ll not play stupid. When I catch this man, I’ll do it with you all as my backup. I’ll take no chances, not with my life or with any of yours.”

“My lord,” said Becca, “Susie isn’t mean. She’s just desperate. There isn’t a man in the village that will look at her anymore. A girl whose father owns the town's best pub, practically a gold mine, and she’s the only heir. Yet, she will never have a lover or marry or have children because this man holds her life hostage. Unless she marries him, she marries no one, and she hates him. Always has.”

“Then she marries no one and accepts her lot, but she doesn't go on getting men killed.” Gabby argued heatedly. “I would have waited for him in some dark alley and killed him myself.”

“I agree with you entirely. I’m not making excuses for her, just explaining how she feels. She sees our lord come to town, lusty, strong, and powerful. He’s surely not easy to kill. She’s hoping he will save her. Now me, I would have done exactly what you say, but women are different as night and day, and most are meek as mice. She’s a mouse; you’re a tigress.”

It was quiet, seldom-heard Mary who spoke up. “Sir, you should go speak with the healer. She can tell you far more than anyone can, for our old lord confided everything to her. She can tell you all he discovered and why the suspect is still free and unhindered. She can also tell you about other deaths, years back when Susie was but a young girl, that have not been accounted to him.”

“Oh, God, no!” groaned William. “Not another trip to the healer. I'd rather eat rocks. She flings insults at me, uses sarcasm, and berates me as if I was a not-too-bright first grader.” He proceeded to bang his head on the table in a humorous play of frustration. Becca came over to pat his back in commiseration.

“Now, now, my lord. You’re a big boy. You can handle the healer. Have some more bacon.”

Author Bio


Zeecé Lugo was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Brooklyn, and lived in many places. She spent seven years in the U.S. Air force, taught for many years in Miami, and even spent a year working for the IRS.

Her early love was reading. The worlds of Pern, Middle-earth, St. Mary Mead, and Shrewsbury Abbey had an incredible influence and hold on her imagination.

She wrote her first novel, Daniel’s Fork, in two months, spending long hours at her task. During that time, she ensconced herself in her bedroom with her computer, barely coming out to grab a cup of coffee or a snack. One day, her nearest neighbor came desperately knocking at her bedroom window, afraid that Zeecé might be dead; no one had seen her for days!

Daniel’s Fork was meant to be the first book in a romantic trilogy. Little did Zeecé know that stories have a way of going where they want to go. Daniel’s Fork turned out to be a journey to the future past! It is a sexy mystery set in the future, giving birth to a fictional universe: the Daniel’s Fork universe.

You can connect with Zeecé Lugo at:
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Blog / website:
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