Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Long Tail of Liberty...

A rather long and thoughtful post…skip if you're in the mood for sexy hijinks! (Go, hijinks!)

I’m no legal historian. In fact, I’m no kind of historian, unless it’s an armchair one.  Or, rather, computer-chair.  My research amuses myself, and informs my stories, that’s all.

That said, I have musings.  And sometimes, current events impinge directly on my historical sensibilities.

I write stories set in the middle ages. For a good portion of that period, liberty was dependent on how much money you could afford to pay the king or local nobleman for his 'goodwill,' or how well you fought in a ring (or again, how much money to had to hire a champion to do it for you), or how well you floated in water, or, most commonly, if the Sherriff of Nottingham was your local law-keeper (bad news for you), or some other local strong-arm was in the mood to plunder. People had very few recognized rights, and they could be compelled to do any number of things, depending on the will of the more powerful.

It was not until King Henry II that the concept of 'common law'--laws that applied to all, and could restrict the king & his agents' actions--came to be an accepted government policy. Next came Magna Carta (based on a charter of liberties from King Henry I), further restricted the government. And so on.

These were hard-fought, and hard-won victories. They were fundamental expansions of the notion of personal liberty and a curb on State's rights, & were therefore core redistributions of power.

Might did not necessarily make right anymore, at least legally.

Liberty requires strong checks on the powers of a State. 

This includes surveillance powers.  It also includes the power to compel private individuals (& companies) to engage in particular actions.

And that is the reason I hope Apple does (& think they should) win their 'appeal' against the FBI's current attempt to force Apple to give them backdoor access so the FBI can bruteforce open the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

In short, this: There will always be crime. There will not always be liberty.

In fact, in the course of human history, liberty has been a rare and precious commodity for a citizenry against powerful, militarized State.

Be careful what powers you give your government, in a state of fear or anger, to encroach on the civil liberties of its citizens, even to "combat crime."  Because next time, it's going to be your civil liberties.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Release!

Warriors and Celts and sexytimes, oh my!

It's out!


An anthology from four bestselling & award-winning authors, with four completely new stories of sweeping adventure and reckless romance that span the ages from 1193 to 1817.   And for a little extra special fun, a jeweled dagger runs through all the stories!

Only $0.99 for a limited time.

Let me unpack the perhaps hidden tropes in the anthology:

  • There are warriors.
  • There are Celts. Three Scotsman and an Irishman. But wait, there's more!
  • There are abductions.
  • There is an abundance of sexytimes. Let me repeat: abundance.
  • Things are said like: 
“Lass, you do not want what I have.” As if to prove it, he overturned his hand and dragged a calloused thumb roughly across her bottom lip.

All the breath came out of her in a hot rush. “Oh.”

From The King's Outlaw, my story in the antho, a scorching hot novella of last hopes and second chances.

He has one last hope...
Outlawed and on the run, Irishman Tadhg O’Malley has a single mission: escape with the valuable dagger of Jerusalem before a brutal nobleman hunts him down.   Trapped and almost cornered, his plan is simple: kidnap the innocent merchant with the long hair and complicated eyes and use her as camoflague to sneak through the guarded gates.  
She's given up on hope...
Once winsome and reckless, Magdalena the Tailor has had pragmatism thrust upon her.  Widowed now and barely scraping by, she pays her bills--and the extortions of corrupt officials--with reluctant goodwill, telling herself she is grateful just to be alive.  
One night, she fights back, and that changes everything.   A handsome, dangerous stranger saves her, then seduces her, then abducts her, shaking her belief about who she is, and who she can be.
Can love give them a second chance at everything? 
When a snowstorm traps them in a secluded hut, their undeniable passion flares, and their connection becomes far deeper that either ever thought possible.  As the hunters close in and danger mounts, Tadhg will have to choose between the mission he's pledged his life to, and the woman who's stolen his heart.
So...yes, right??

by Kris Kennedy
by Eliza Knight
by Vonda Sinclair
by Jennifer Haymore

Go get yourself some warrior fun!!