Sneak Peek at Tail Me No Lies

I’m in the home stretch for Tail Me No Lies so it’s high time I shared the first chatper with you. The usual warning about typoes and things changing during edits apply.

It took me a minute to find this book’s voice, but I’m excited to share Ruth and Nox with you.

About Tail Me No Lies

Can a villain earn his happy ending?

Nox doubled crossed the wrong people and now he’s on the run. Celestial Mates offers to place him with a young widow on a backwater planet. It seems the human female needs someone to plow her field.

As a mail order husband?

Farming isn’t his thing but it won’t be any hardship to work the land during the day and keep the tempting female’s bed warm at night.

When his past catches up and threatens their happy little homestead, will Nox do what he does best and run? Or will he stay and fight for the female who carries his heart?

Tail Me No Lies has an HEA, no cliffhangers, and the villain gets the girl.

Tail Me No Lies is available to pre-order now.

Chapter One


“You’re going to need more solvent if you want to dispose of a body,” the alien woman behind the counter said.

“Hardy-har-har,” Ruth replied in a dry tone, setting the second jug of paint solvent on the counter. “You’re hilarious.”

“Yes,” Serene agreed in a bright tone. She gave a toothy smile, tail dancing behind her. In the two years since Ruth left Earth and settled on Corra, Serene was her only friend. They lived in a small rural community, the kind people generously called close-knit and when they meant insular. The locals gave newcomers the cold shoulder and a generous helping of side-eye. After two years, Ruth thought people would have warmed up to her by now, but no. She could have stayed there for the rest of her life and she’d still be an outsider.

Except Serene was a new-comer, too. When she was very young, her family fled her war-torn planet to settle on Corra. Why they set up a country general store in the middle of nowhere, Ruth couldn’t say. Those details were fuzzy. What was clear, however, was that despite Serene having lived there nearly her entire life, she was still regarded with suspicion. She basically pounced on Ruth when she arrived. Being her friend wasn’t an option.

“Everyone knows that this far out in the country, you dump a body at a pig farm.” Look, Ruth’s mood was foul and she had considered the best way to get rid of a body. Pigs seemed the way to go. She’d need way more acid to do the job properly. Like, a lot more. The town was too small to do anything discreetly, and even if she was besties with the woman who ran the general store, people would notice.

“Oh, what’s a pig? Are they dangerous?” Serene asked.

“An Earth livestock animal. They’ll eat anything,” Ruth answered, neatly ignoring her impulse to launch into a lecture about wild boars vs domesticated swine, pet pigs, and how the flesh was similar enough to humans that it could be used for research purposes. As much as Ruth would love to distract herself with some agricultural trivia, Serene didn’t want to know all that. Instead, she said, “Someone vandalized the Professor’s house.”

Serene’s tail stilled and her ears went back. Before she could say anything, the bell above the door jingled as a customer entered.

A Corravian man entered, covered in dust. “Did my order come in?”

Ruth didn’t recognize him but he recognized her, judging by the way his entire posture stiffened when he saw her. “I did not know you kept company with undesirables, Miss Serene,” he said, his voice dripping with disdain.

Was everyone in town against her?

“No,” Serene said, slapping a hand on the counter. “We are not doing this. Leave. Get out of my store.”

The man drew his shoulders back.

Before he could protest, Serene said, “Then you can drive to the next town over but I wouldn’t be surprised if you encounter the same problem, seeing as how that’s my cousin’s store. Should I call him now? Tell him that a male who insulted my friend requires special treatment?” Serene asked in a deceptively sweet tone.

The male shuffled his feet. “I’ll come back tomorrow.”

“That suits me just fine.”

Serene said not another word the rude man left, staring daggers at his retreating back. When the bell above the door jingled, she muttered, “Someone needs to snatch the ears off his head. Prick.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” Ruth said, even though her heart ached with gratitude. Her friend stood up for her. Two years on this planet, two years of being the constant outsider, always mistrusted, whispered about, always feeling alone and now she had someone in her corner.

Serene’s ears twitched. “I have never liked that male. He is too…” She waved a hand, as if searching for the correct word.

“Ignorant? Judgemental? Willing to believe what others tell him?” Ruth kept listing negative qualities.

“Tall,” Serene said.


“Yes. Always looking down on others.” Serene’s ears twitched again. “Tell me more about what this someone did to your house. Or should we save ourselves the time and agree it was Geral?”

“Who else?” Ruth shrugged a shoulder, desperately trying to act like it didn’t bother her. The truth was, she woke that morning to discover her security system had been disabled and a massive painted black spider on her front door. It rattled her more than she wanted to admit.

Ruth pulled out a small tablet, called up the images she took that morning, and showed the screen to Serene. The crude spider was a lopsided circle with six string legs, and adorable like a child’s drawing.

Or the drawing of an alien who’s never seen an Earth spider.

“What is an ebony widow?” Serene asked.

“He means a black widow. It’s an Earth arachnid that eats its mate.” How Geral even knew about black widows, Ruth had no idea.

Her friend gasped. “He’s gone too far. Show this to the authorities.”

“The cameras were all taken off line. I don’t have proof it was Geral.” But she knew. He had a grudge against her since she inherited his father’s property. Yes, the Professor’s health had been poor, but she didn’t know he changed his will.

Her sudden windfall set tongues wagging in town. She knew what they said about her. Or, rather, what Geral said about her. She came from Earth to this planet, to this small rural community, for the sole purpose of robbing an old man. She used her strange human powers of seduction– she really wanted to know what those were supposed to be because she was the least seductive person she knew– and caught the old professor in her trap.

She worked for the Professor. That was the extent of their relationship. His research intersected with her own interests and she respected the man. He was a mentor and almost a friend. That was all.

Now she had… a farm that made more work than one person could ever do on their own. An obligation to finish the Professor’s research. An entire community that hated her. 

Some inheritance. 

“I don’t even know why he’s so bothered,” Ruth said. “He never expressed any interest in the farm while his father was alive. And honestly, the land isn’t worth that much. It’s not like I stole a fortune from him.”

“He is a spoiled kit, throwing a tantrum.”

Yeah, but this was more than a tantrum. This was something far more insidious. Geral had been at the house last night, outside her door, and she had no idea.

Rather than share her unease, Ruth unloaded the rest of her purchase. In addition to the cleaning solvent to remove the paint, she had her regular shopping list.

“You should not be alone,” Serene said, scanning the rest of the items. 

“I tried hiring a farmhand. No one’s interested,” Ruth replied. The wage she offered was more than generous, including room and board. There were always farms needing labor and usually enough people to fill the positions. Still, not a single person applied. “Geral’s turned the town against me.”

“So hire someone from out of town.”

Ruth’s shoulders slumped. That was the obvious solution, but just the idea of advertising and scheduling interviews exhausted her. She already needed more hours in the day just to maintain the farm, forget about interviews and background checks. “Is there an agency that can do this for me?”

Serene’s entire body perked.

“Oh no,” Ruth said. She knew that look. That was the look of trouble.

“Oh yes,” Serene replied. “I have the best idea.”

“Serene, no.”

“Ruth, yes. You are about to be amazed. Prepare yourself,” Serene said in a grandiose voice. She reached over the counter and pulled Ruth in, the counter top digging into Ruth’s gut. Serene waved a hand, the tips of her claws catching the shop’s light. “You need a mate,” she announced.

“Oh, hell no.” Ruth pushed away. “I am not marrying some random dude.”

“Why not? You’re an attractive female. A matchmaking agency will find you a mate who wants to work the farm and plow your fields.” She winked.

Serene’s ears twitched with amusement. “Is that not the correct euphemism for sex? I know humans are very prudish.”

“I’m not prudish,” Ruth protested, knowing this was the wrong move. No matter what she said, she’d come off sounding up tight and in desperate need of getting laid. Which was accurate, but none of Serene’s damn business. “It’s a terrible pun. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“Oh, the shame on my family is immense,” Serene agreed in a good-natured tone. “If you do not like the idea of mating a stranger, I have a cousin–“

“Tell me more about this agency,” Ruth said quickly. Serene’s cousin was probably a lovely person, but if they didn’t get along or the romance soured, she didn’t want that to ruin her relationship with her only friend. 

“This is a good decision,” Serene said. 

Somehow Ruth doubted that. 


Nox leaned against the counter. He managed to flash his most charming smile. He could be extraordinarily charming when he put his mind to it, even when the red heat of bloodlust clawed at him. He was more than his instincts and remained in control. And if the target remained immune, he had enough credits to sway the most noble of hearts.

What was the point of wealth if he couldn’t use it to get his way?

“No. Absolutely not.” The human female crossed her arms over her chest and shook her head.

“You do not know the purpose of my visit,” he said. “Perhaps I seek the pleasure of your company at dinner?”

“I know who you are and you’re not here to ask me out. If you were, the answer’s the same. No.”

Notoriety had its perks. It also had its difficulties. He had been sent to this station to cause a distraction. Easy enough. Distraction made. Now he needed to leave the station fast, and his face was too well-known. If he could purchase a ticket with a false identity, he would already be on a ship. His options for escape were down to hiring a smuggler and hoping he poured enough credits into the smuggler’s account to not be betrayed, or this scheme.

Nox disliked having limited options. They were a sign of the failed imagination of a desperate male and he loathed being desperate. An alternative option dropped into his lap last night, which is how he found himself in the Celestial Mates office.

“You are too law-abiding to know me,” he said, still laying on the charm. His tail swayed behind him. He noticed how the female’s eyes followed the movement. He had a very nice tail, after all.

The female rolled her eyes. “The agency screens all applicants, so you’re out of luck.” 

“I had a chat with our mutual friend Distinction.”

“Ugh, that man,” she said with disgust. 

Nox nodded. “Yes. Indeed. He must have been difficult to match.”

“You have no idea. Too old, too young, too fat, too thin, too human, too far away, too smiley.” She held up a hand, ticking off reasons on her fingers. “Absolutely impossible but Celestial Mates believes that your perfect match is out there and we found it for him.”

He admired the way she stuck to the company line. It was misguided but adorable. 

“Distinction is scheduled to leave for Corra in–” Nox took a theatrical look at his wrist comm. “Three hours. He has decided not to go.”

“What? He signed a contract!” She slapped her hand on the desk. “If that asshole shows up here tomorrow wanting another match, he can–“

“He is most inconsiderate. I understand there was a bonus,” Nox said, pouring on the sympathy. After all, he’d recently been screwed on a business deal, too. 

“My bonus. It’s already in my account. I’ll have to pay it back.” She ran a hand through her hair. “I was counting on it.” 

 “He has left you in a bad situation. Fortunately, I have the solution that will benefit us both,” he said smoothly. 

She gave him a dubious look but said, “I’m listening.” 

“I will take his place.”

“No. Absolutely not. Get out. I’m calling security.” She stood and pointed to the door. 

“It is a good solution. A mate will be delivered. The contract honored,” he said. He placed an unmarked, untraceable credit chip on the counter between them and said in a darker tone, “No bonuses have to be taken away.” 

Her eyes flared with indignation. For a moment, Nox believed he miscalculated and the female would call security. 

With a sigh, she grabbed the chip and sat back down, her shoulders slumped.  “I shouldn’t. You’re… you.”

“Yes, I am. Thank you.” 

She tossed him a sharp look. “It’s not right unleashing you on some poor, unsuspecting widow. She wants a husband, not whatever scheme you have planned.” 

“I need to leave this station. Discretely. That is all.  It is a matter of substituting my face for Distinction’s on the boarding pass. I will disappear once I get to Corra and the widow will think her mate never got on the shuttle, which will be true.”

“You just need a ticket down to the surface?” she asked. 

Nox’s tail swayed happily behind him and he did not mind the display of emotion. He had convinced the female. He would be on a shuttle to Corra in less than three hours. He’d figure out his next move from there. 


A tall man leaned against Ruth’s vehicle. A wide brimmed hat shaded his face and curling horns protruding from the top of the hat marked him as Corravian, but Ruth recognized her nemesis immediately.

Geral had a wide-shoulder, strong build that was honed from farm work but gone soft in his middle years. Not Ruth could judge. Her entire physique was soft from sitting on her butt and thinking all day.

His tail flicked against the side of the vehicle, knocking away flakes of rust. He sipped a drink from a travel cup, looking thoroughly pleased with himself.

The worst thing about Geral was that he wasn’t bad looking. His face looked honest. Or maybe Ruth was biased because he looked like her professor, but young. Too bad he was rotten on the inside.

“Got a big project?” Geral asked, nodding towards the jugs of cleaning solution at her feet.

Ugh. He might as well be twirling his villain mustache.

“Don’t you have a job or something better to do?” Ruth asked, not bothering to hide her annoyance.

“Kava break.” He took another painfully slow sip.

Ruth wanted to knock the cup out of his hands but she had no doubt that Geral would file an assault charge. He had friends all over town and Ruth was just a newcomer. He had enough money and influence to make her life difficult, so she kept her hands to herself. She wasn’t about to give Geral the ammunition to file an assault charge. Instead, she loaded her purchases into the back of the vehicle. No drama.

That was her: Dr. Ruth “No Drama” Washington.

Fuck. She didn’t want drama, it just sort of found her and leaned against her car, drinking kava with a smirk on his face.

Unable to ignore him, she snapped, “Can I help you with something, Geral?”

He pushed off the side of the vehicle. “I wanted to encourage you to take my very generous offer to buy my father’s property.”

“Unbelievable. You sue me over the will and you offer to buy, which means you must understand that the farm is legally mine.” And the offer wasn’t that generous. Not that it mattered. Ruth wouldn’t sell. Not yet.

“It’s a fair price. I know funds are tight.”

Thanks to him, having tied up the estate with a frivolous lawsuit that cost her a pretty penny to resolve. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing how badly her bank account wept. 

“You could have the credits deposited in your account tonight,” he said, as if he could sense her thoughts. “Be reasonable and accept. You’re not planning on staying. That land has been in my family for generations. We both know I’ll win.”

He almost had a compelling argument. Ruth didn’t plan on staying. Not for the long term, at least. She had a project to finish. At the moment, the results were fantastic. She could be finished by the fall. If not, she’d spend the winter analyzing the failure and try again. Just like she and the Professor did last year and the year before. 

She could give Geral a time frame and do a handshake deal to sell him the land, but there was something about the guy that she didn’t like. It could be the sneer on his face when he spoke to her, like she stepped in manure, or just that he kept pestering her. 

Learn to take no for an answer, bub. Honestly. 

“The Professor was of sound mind when he changed the will,” Ruth said. 

“And why, exactly, did he do that, hmm?” 

Ah, there it was. The reason Ruth wouldn’t sell to Geral. The not-so-subtle hints that she seduced the Professor to steal his vast, vast fortune. So vast that she was stuck driving a rusted out hunk of junk. 

“Does it matter why? He made his decision,” she said. 

“It wasn’t his to give away,” Geral growled. “That farm was my mother’s. It was always meant for me.”

“I don’t know how inheritance works on Corra, but on Earth, any property goes to the surviving spouse.”

Geral snorted. “He had some nerve bringing in a human assistant and flaunting her,” he spat the world, like it was code for something worse.

Right. Why waste her time being reasonable when Geral went straight to the personal attacks? If he thought he’d shame or guilt her into selling, he wasn’t just barking up the wrong tree. He was in the wrong damn forest. 

“I won’t sell. Not for any price. Stop asking. Desperate is not a good look on you,” Ruth said.

His face flushed red, probably from anger but it could also be from the heat. He might have grown up a farm boy, but nowadays he worked in a climate controlled office. “The next time I ask, the offer won’t be so generous.”

“It’s not generous now. I might not be a farmer but I know what you are offering is an insult.”

“The old Sarl place went for half that.”

And had sat vacant since spring.

“The Sarls’ also have a mournclaw infestation. Anyone dumb enough to buy that property is going to spend a fortune exterminating them.”

Geral fumed, growing redder. 

“Oh, was that you? I’m surprised you have the money to waste,” she said, which was a lie. Geral had money, which was the real reason he was a pain in her butt. He had clout and the credits to back him. 

“It’s not a waste if it gets rid of you,” he snapped. “You think about that when you’re scrubbing off the house’s new decorations.” 

Fuck this guy. He was a cartoon villain and as subtle as a mallet to the head. 

“How do you know about the graffiti?”

“I heard someone mention it.”

“No one knows, just Serene. Are you admitting to vandalizing my house?”

My house.”

“My house,” she repeated. 

“For now. Enjoy it while you can.” 


Ruth had plenty of time to fume on the drive back to the farm. Geral’s smug face and Serene’s words about finding a mate played in her head.  

By the end of the evening, she filled out the Celestial Mates application. Fury motivated her to act before thinking. After dinner and some time to calm down, she hesitated to submit the form. 

It wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t. 

Lots of people used matchmaking agencies. This so wasn’t a big deal. 

She couldn’t work the farm alone. That was a fact.  She wouldn’t give it up, either. The Professor’s work– their work– was vital. It would save lives and right now that work was growing in the fields. She couldn’t pack up the lab. Not yet. After the harvest, she could move. Until then, the crops needed to be tested with real-world conditions and survive the extreme Corravian weather. An agri-pod or greenhouse would not do. Leaving wasn’t an option. 

She could still contact an employment agency, but Serene’s words about finding a mate struck a chord in her. 

Why shouldn’t she find a man interested in marrying her? 

She had several perfectly reasonable explanations.

One, the farm was isolated. Comms didn’t always work. Bad weather often made travel difficult. Safety demanded that there be someone else on the farm.

Two, needed another pair of hands. There was too much work for one person. A partner would lighten the load.

Three, she’d have to go to the next town over if she wanted to find that partner. There weren’t enough hours in the day to get the bare minimum done, how was she going to drive for hours to woo someone? Her old clunker might be able to make the trip anyway. 

Four, and this was the long-shot, she was thirty-six. She didn’t expect to immediately fall in love with whoever the agency sent, but she expected that they’d have the same goals. She wanted a partner and children. Waiting when she knew what she wanted seemed silly. Love would be an added benefit.

Five… She didn’t have to explain herself.

She submitted the application before she could doubt herself. 


She couldn’t leave the farm and abandon the Professor’s– now her– research. She needed a partner to come to her, which wasn’t usually the way of things. The phrase was mail-order-bride, not mail-order-husband. It probably wouldn’t happen anyway. Who wanted to come to Corra, a planet on the fringe of settled space and not convenient to anywhere, and one of the most isolated regions of Corra?

If this didn’t pan out, Serene always had her cousin. 

Excited? Let me know what you think in the comments?

Can a villain earn his happy ending?

Nox doubled crossed the wrong people and now he’s on the run. Celestial Mates offers to place him with a young widow on a backwater planet. It seems the human female needs someone to plow her field.

As a mail order husband?

Farming isn’t his thing but it won’t be any hardship to work the land during the day and keep the tempting female’s bed warm at night.

When his past catches up and threatens their happy little homestead, will Nox do what he does best and run? Or will he stay and fight for the female who carries his heart?

Tail Me No Lies has an HEA, no cliffhangers, and the villain gets the girl.

One thought on “Sneak Peek at Tail Me No Lies

  1. The chapter one teaser was enough to get my attention. It’s the type of book that I read as I long as human women aren’t kidnapped and enslaved until the hero rescues her and they live happily ever after. That theme has been done to death!!


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