The OF WAR Series by Lisa Beth Darling

The Heart of War is Book
#1 in the OF WAR Series of Epic Adult Romance Novels on the Dark Side.

01printcvrbkstrInside the Heart of every Warrior breathes the Soul of a Hero–even within The Heart of War.

Meet Ares God of War, the greatest Warrior the world has ever known. He's moody, grumpy, dominant, ravenously sexual, and above all, built like a Greek God.

Suspected of killing his Daughter in-Law, Psyche, and long in exile from Olympus, the solitude of Ares' secluded Greek Isle is interrupted when Magdalena MacLeod a plucky little Fey washes up on his shore after believing she's been shipwrecked. It's not mere fate that has brought the unlikely couple together yet it may be what tears them apart.

Get lost in this sweeping dark saga of lust, rage, revenge, and redemption. Battle Ancient Gods while falling in love with Ares God of War and Alena MacLeod. They share a love that will rock the world from the heights of Olympus to the Celtic moors.

Excerpt:

“You must have a boat.”

“No boat,” Ares grinned.  “I don’t require one.”

“Oh, yeah, right, you think you’re a God,” she muttered.

Ares was not sure what it was going to take before she believed him.  “Thirsty, Alena?” he asked snidely and held his empty hands in front of her eyes.  “Nothing up my sleeve—oh, that’s right; I’m not wearing a shirt,” he said cheerily as he gazed down at his own torso.  “Ready?  Look closely now, I don’t want you to miss anything.”

Before her bewildered eyes in one of his hands, from thin air, appeared a crystal goblet, sweat running down the glass indicating the coldness of the contents within.  “How did you do that?”  She looked up at him with wide wonder as he held the cup out to her.

“I am Ares.  This is my home.  You are my guest for a long time to come.”  He watched her take the cup from his hand and hold it to her lips.  She drank deeply of the water inside.  “You can wander around here all you like, although if I were you I’d stay away from the south end of the island.  Dangerous and wild creatures reside there.  When you’re ready, you come back to my cave.  When you’re satisfied that this is all real, we will talk further.”

Right in front of her he simply disappeared.  Maggie dropped the crystal goblet in her hand; it crashed to the rock at her feet, shattering to bits and pieces of sharp glass.  “I am crazy,” she muttered and then began to cackle wildly until the sound filled her ears and her heart with dread.

Trailer:

Child of War-A God is Born
is Book #2 in the OF WAR Series.

contest03ebooksbkgrndcvrDo you remember Damien? Raven makes that kid look like an angel.

Ares settles down with his wife, Alena, to await the birth of their son, Raven. As Alena struggles to enjoy what should be a blessed event, prophetic visions of an adult Raven haunt her dreams. Are they true visions or false ones implanted by Cernunnos who told her the boy would bring glory to Ares but only pain and agony to her? The strong but delicate Fey is relentlessly bombarded by hostility from the Olympians making her yearn to be back on Ares' secluded island home, far away from all the bickering and backstabbing that makes up Life on mighty Mount Olympus.

Before Raven is even born, Zeus outwardly despises him for his Fey blood given to him by his filthy Celtic mother. With no way out and no way to keep his family safe from his father, Zeus the God of Gods, Ares enters into a blood pact that could cost the God of War everything he holds dear.

After a harrowing birth wherein mother and son are nearly lost to Ares, it quickly becomes clear that Raven may be the most powerful and cunning Olympian ever born despite his muddled bloodline.

As Zeus, Apollo, and Aphrodite plot against the new family by carefully planting the seeds of rage and doubt in Ravens' mind, they turn son against mother. It appears as though Alena�s visions and Cernunnos' prophecy are coming to life as Raven grows to be a very angry young man.

As the true past between the Olympians and Celts is revealed, the battle for Ravens' mind and the ultimate control of Olympus begins. Before it's over, the white snows of Olympus will run red with blood.

Excerpt:

Raven scrambled up his makeshift ladder, grabbed the dagger and scrambled down again.  Then he was off and running, waving the sharp knife high in the air over his head as he hooted and shouted in victory.

“Raven!  Raven!”

The boy, at the height of joy, rounded the corner still whooping and ran straight into his Father.  Not bothering to look where he was going, he didn't even see Ares, and he barely understood what happened when the dagger in his hand sank deep into his Father's calf.  No hesitation at all, Ares reached down and snatched Raven from his little feet by the scruff of his shirt and held him high in the air as he looked down at the dagger protruding from his leg and the Ichor pooling on the floor.

Alena came rushing out of the Throne Room, stopped in her tracks and threw her hands in front of her mouth at the sight as she uttered, “Oh dear gods!”

Trying to keep from crying out in utter agony as the blade wiggled within his flesh, Ares looked sternly at his Son.  “What are you doing with my knife, boy?”

Raven, dangling in the air and hearing the anger in his Father's voice, started kicking his legs as though he could find traction in mid-air and sprint away.  When he realized he couldn't, he began squirming.

“Are you all right, my Love?” Alena whispered as she dropped her hands from her mouth and rushed to her Husband's side.  Dropping to her knees, she inspected the damage.  “Do you want me to …just… pull it out?”

“If you wouldn't mind too much,” Ares grumbled as the pain throbbed.  Then he turned his smoldering eyes back to the wriggling boy in his hands.  “Those are my favorite boots,” he sneered.

With shaking hands, she grabbed hold of the hilt and, swiftly and straightly as she could, removed the blade from the thick muscle of his calf.  Dropping the bloody knife to the floor, she wrapped her hands around the wound and held it tightly to keep Ares from losing Ichor.  The knife had gone straight through the leather pants and thick leather boot below, through the skin, muscles, perhaps even bone, until the tip jutted out the other side.  Keeping up pressure on the wound, she glanced up to see Ares still holding Raven in the air.  “I told him to put it down, I tried to take it away from him but he hit me and ran off with it,” she said hurriedly.

Ares' ears only really heard three words in the entire bit of rambling; he hit me.  It was bad enough Raven plunged a dagger into his leg but… “Did you strike your mother, boy?”  Raven kept squirming and the tone of Ares' voice only served to frighten him further; his little body began turning cold in Ares' grasp.  Ares countered with a bit of heat in his palms.  “You've got a long way to go before you can take me on, boy,” Ares warned firmly.  “Answer me!  Did you hit your mother?”

“Woo-man, no!” Raven shouted, his white breath heavily hanging in mid-air as his face gnarled in anger.  His body grew colder as he struggled to escape only to have his Father's hold grow warmer in return.  “My knife!”

“MY knife,” Ares lobbed.  “MY woman.  Hit her again, boy, and I'll give a smack you won't soon forget.”

Trailer: 

Christmas Eve on Olympus
is Story #3 in the OF WAR Series.

olympusheader03finalmediumJoin, Ares, Alena, and Raven as Alena brings Yuletide and Christmas to barren Olympus in this very short holiday-themed story. Story contains graphic scenes of Christmas Sex! This short story is meant as an enhancement to the OF WAR Series. It takes place after Book #1 The Heart of War and during Book #2 Child of War-A God is Born. Those who have not yet read this series will get a nice, if not typical, introduction to the series while readers of the series will enjoy this little glimpse into a single day of life on Olympus.

Excerpt:

As her mind feverishly searched for what she'd missed, a small bit of fluffy white and green came into her view and she felt relief as a smile broke out on her pretty face. “What's that?”

“Mistletoe, I believe there's some Mortal custom about standing beneath it and then being forced into kissing.”

Alena glanced upward over her shoulder to take him in and marveled at how handsome he was. “Forced? How terrible.”

“Awful,” Ares held the mistletoe over their heads with one hand and pulled her in close with the other. He lowered his head for the kiss he'd been waiting for all night. When their lips he was not disappointed but encouraged to probe deeper with his tongue and grasp the soft red velvet surrounding her tighter as the mistletoe fell to the marble floor and he grabbed her with both arms turning her fully around to face him. Her heart raced against his stomach as even through the velvet, he felt it as she pressed against him and reached up to grab handfuls of midnight hair. “You know, if you're lucky,” Ares said breathlessly as their lips parted, “I think I might have a candy cane around here for you to suck on.”

“Oh, really? I love candy canes,” she winked up at him as she bit down on her lower lip, “where oh where could it be? Over there by the tree?”

Ares shook his head, “No,” ran his hand through her silver hair. “Guess again.”

“Did you put it in my stocking?”

“Not yet.” That made Alena giggle like a schoolgirl. He always loved it when that titter graced his ears.

Child of War-Rising Son
is Book #4 in the OF WAR Series.

01newOn the verge of manhood, Raven's rampage continues

…As he begins the difficult path to Acceptance by his fellow Olympians. Out to prove he's as good, if not better than, any of them he bests the Trials set before him by Hades and Poseidon. This isn't enough for him, in his quest to prove to his Father, Ares, that he is an Olympian Raven preys upon the Mortals below Olympus in a time of great weakness. Settling for nothing less than Chaos, he enlists the aid of his Uncle Apollo and pushes the Mortals to pure anarchy when a global financial crisis leaves the entire world destitute, in ruins, and at each other's throats. Ready to conquer his Trials, take his place at the Counsel Table, and bring Ares the glory Cernunnos once prophesized, only one thing stands in his way; the night his Mother fell down the stairs.

Alena, her body asleep in Ares' bed for four long years, is lost deep in the clutches of a never-ending dream induced by Morpheus. After years of living an illusion and becoming Morpheus Wife, Alena discovers his deception and struggles to escape her prison. Morpheus has no intentions of ever letting her go. He'll fight to the death to keep her.

Apollo, ever the Man Behind the Curtain, pulls Raven's strings like a true puppet master. It's far too late when Raven realizes all he's done to please his Father actually makes Ares look guilty of destroying the Mortal World. A little Chaos and a little Anarchy aren't enough for the Golden God, in his on-going quest to destroy Ares, Apollo sets a plague loose upon the Earth. A bio-chemical weapon stolen from the United States Government at Area 51, known commonly as Major Falls. By the time the Olympians discover what's going on twenty million people are dead with the number multiplying exponentially every day.

With only one option left to each of them, Raven and Alena turn to their unlikeliest of enemies– Aphrodite and Apollo for help. One night in the bed of the Goddess of Love can be painful but one night in the bed of the Golden God can kill and destroy all that Ares and Alena have built and endured. To ensure that her beloved Husband and her Son are not put to death she may have no other choice.

Excerpt:

“How dare you try to hide behind your Mother's skirt after what you've done?  Why don't you think on this one; if she doesn't wake, Olympian or not….”

“Yeah, you're gonna kill me,” Raven sneered as he looked back over his shoulder at the remains of Spirit Walker.  “The bitch isn't worth it,” he muttered under his breath before turning his back on Ares, exiting his bedroom on his way to the stairs.

Ares couldn't take that last act of defiance.  He stood behind Raven quaking head to toe, a thick fog of steam rising from his brawny shoulders, his hands balled into angry fists.  Ares' nostrils began flaring, just before all control was lost to him, everything before his eyes glazed over red. Slinking out of the bedroom without a sound, he watched Raven reach the top of the staircase.  On fleet feet, Ares ran at the boy like a raging wildfire.  Turning sideways, he brought his right arm in under his body and clasped his left hand around it.  When he reached Raven, the God of War let out a fierce warrior's cry just as he hit his Son squarely in the back with his braced shoulder and rammed it forward with such bone crunching force Refrigerator Perry would have given a standing ovation.  “The BITCH is my WIFE!”

Raven never knew what hit him.  He went up, up, up, arms and legs flailing in flight.  Then he crashed all the way to the first floor where he tumbled ass-over-tea-kettle and lay on the hard stone groaning.  His body screamed out in pain and indignant shock even as he stared up at his Father looming at the top of the stairs just waiting for Raven to give him another excuse for violence.  With his bones rattling and cracking, Raven dragged himself to his feet to stand unsteadily and slowly bring his strange eyes upward to meet his Father's gaze.  “You feel better now?”  Raven shook his head.  “Goddamn that hurts!”

“Does it?  My and you're half Olympian, think of how your Mother felt,” Ares fumed.  “Next time I won't pull any punches.”

“I can handle anything Zeus or you or any of them can throw at me,” Raven strongly challenged.

“Over-confidence leads to destruction; these Trials are no game, boy.  Your Grandfather wants you dead and right now so do I.”

Trailer: 

Women of War
is Book #5 in the OF WAR Series.

wowVenture on a Mystical Journey through Time and Secrets Past

Book #5 in the OF WAR Series spans four generations of women in Alena's family from her great-grandmother, Shar Draiocht the last known Queen of the Dark Kingdom to her tortured daughter Morrowind, to Maven Alena's free-spirited mother and through the lonely life of Alena MacLeod ending where “The Heart of War” begins with the night Alena washes up on Ares' shore. With intensity, lust, fear, and strength these Women of War make their way in the world revealing the hidden truths of the past and Ares true connection to his beloved Wife, Alena.

Excerpt:

In spite of, or may be because of, her mother's inability to show Maven affection, she grew to be a sweet little girl with a free spirit who was given to spending long hours dancing and playing in the open fields. Under the blue sky of the open fields, there was peace and only the birds called to each other in sweet melody.  No one was yelling.  No one was screaming.  No one was calling her nasty names.  Maven was given to making friends with anyone who said they wanted to and she was often a little overly affectionate with them, wanting always to touch, to hold hands, walk arm in arm or lie side by side in the plush green grass, gazing up at the fluffy clouds passing by.

One day when little Maven returned to the modest treetop home she shared with her mother, she found Morrowind cowering in a corner with her hands on the sides of her heads the nails sinking in deep. Before Maven could run to her mother, Morrowind shot her an angry look that froze her in her tracks. In shock and horror, little Maven watched as her mother suddenly burst into flames and burned to cinders before her eyes. Morrowind didn't move or utter a single sound as the flesh seared off her bones.

The entire village came running to her repeated screams of, “Mama! Mama! NO!”

Before taking the final plunge, Morrowind scrawled one single word upon the table by her neatly made bed:  Ares.

Trailer: 

The OF WAR Series contains scenes of graphic sex and violence. As such it is intended for MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY it is NOT recommended for the Faint of Heart. This series concludes March 29, 2014 with the OF WAR Series Finale; Kingdoms of War.

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Tell us about your book/series.  What makes it/them worth reading?

If you love big-beefy Alpha Males clad in black leather with all of the power of a Greek God then the OF WAR Series may be for you. If you also like your reading on the dark, gritty, and adult side as opposed to a light sweet read then the OF WAR Series is definitely for you.

How long have you been writing and what inspired you to do it?

I discovered that I was a writer in the  4th grade wherein we were given our first creative writing assignment. We were to write stories about a baby bird's flight and read them to the class.  I put pencil to paper and was instantly whisked away by a force I couldn't explain.  I knew that I was meant to do this very thing, this very simple act of putting pencil to paper and letting my mind free. Everyone read their happy stories to the class. I got up and told of how the baby bird flew too high, hit a plane, crashed to the ground and died. I told of how the mama bird and daddy bird cried of how even God was upset sending the rains pouring from the sky.  The class was speechless when I finished they were all just staring at me. The teacher kept me after class told me my story was very good but it was different from the others. She asked me if I'd ever heard of Icarus and did I base my story on him. But I had yet to encounter Greek Mythology or hear a whisper of Icarus.  As she let me leave class she again told me how good the story was but suggested I might want to write something happier next time. I asked her why and she had no answer.

What do you think causes people’s enduring fascination with vampires?

They're seductive. I think most people have a deeply seeded but hardly ever spoken desire to give in to seduction, to lose control, and to be able to say that nothing is your fault. In a civilized society that urge is greatly suppressed and vampires give us a way to open it up, to look at it, play with it, possibly even feel it but all from a safe distance.

What are you reading right now?  Would you recommend it?

Unfortunately, the only thing I'm reading at the moment are edits for “Kingdoms of War” the OF WAR Series Finale.  Between that and working, I don't have time to read for pleasure these days. I miss it.

The vampires are attacking!  Grab the first thing you see to your right and hit them with it!  What was it?  And how do you think you did in the ensuing fight?

Hummm…I just attacked with either my mouse or my modem. I don't think I did very well unless I can wrap the cord around their neck!

The aforementioned vampire attack didn’t go so well and you were bitten by the vampire…now what?

I turn into “Blade”, search for a cure, and hunt down those that turned me.

In the event of a zombie apocalypse what item would you make sure that you took with you to your underground safety bunker? (we will presume that your family are already safely in the bunker!) 

A flamethrower and tons of incendiary material.

You are planning an awesome dinner party. Which 3 celebrities/fictional characters/historical figures (past or present) would you add to your guest list?

Wow. At the top of my list is Stephen King because I'd do about anything to be able to pick his brain for an hour to two in a casual friendly environment. Second, I'd invite Kevin Smith—not the funny guy from the movies, the rather hunky beefy get-my-heart-pounding handsome guy who once portrayed ‘Ares' on “Hercules” and “Xena”. As to ‘why', I think that's fairly obvious. If it's not well then let's just say I'm saving him for after dinner.  The last person I'm inviting is Bruce Springsteen. I want to talk to him about…everything. I think he has incredible insights and tends to see things the same way I do. I want to know how he tells such intimate stories with his songs.

Can you give us five random facts about yourself?

1) I once had lunch with Paul Newman but was dumb enough not to realize it was him until after he left.

2) I once flatly and indiscriminately turned down the guitar player from Extreme. He was a jerk. I had no idea that he was on the verge of getting his Fifteen Minutes of Fame and wouldn't have cared if I had known. Did I mention he was a jerk?

3) I get up in the middle of the night to munch on bowls of cereal.

4) I have a love/hate relationship with my day job…I love it but, well…never mind.

5) All of the novels in the OF WAR Series save “Women of War” are dedicated to Red & Andy from Stephen King's “Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption”.

Where can readers find your books?

The best deals for paperbacks are ALWAYS on my site! http://www.moonsmusings.com

You can find me on
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Nook

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Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Thanks for sticking with me and these off-beat adult stories of mine! Storytelling is completely meaningless and futile without someone who listens.

 

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