Title: The Scorpion's Empress
Author: Yoshiyuki Ly
Cover Art: Michele Crocker
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
After years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled empress of the city’s oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city. The Scorpion’s Empress is intimately written through the eyes of both twenty-seven year old women.
Videl’s loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs, and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl’s loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her empress.
“God, you’ve sent me to a soul who is lost,” said Ser Videl. “I worry for her. She seems lonely on her throne, as if her reign is incomplete. Her passions well within without a way to let them out. I’ve allowed her to watch me while I hold back. I want to protect her, to thank her some way, but she won’t let me. I did a terrible thing to Kurtz, and now he suffers for me. I have to learn the power of forgiveness…”
I didn’t mean to say the words out loud: “You have a beautiful soul, Videl.”
“Empress!” she said, bolting to her feet. She bowed to me. “I didn’t know you were here…”
“Take it easy,” I replied, smiling. “I had a terrible night up until I found you. You’ve got this habit of makin’ my days brighter. I’ve gotta wonder…have you really been holdin’ back?”
Videl stared at me with that controlled, focused want. “There is so much I’d like to do for you,” she answered.
“But I feel like I can’t. The voices in the shadows taunt you. They have your attention most of the time. I can’t compete with them. I’m trying to be patient about this.”
“Voices in the shadows… That got somethin’ to do with me bein’ lost?”
“I think you’re haunted by your enemies,” she said, moving closer to me.
“You don’t want me to know this much about your affairs. Anyone else would be oblivious to them. But I know, Empress.” Heat rushed to my face and neck; my head pounded in-time with my stresses, my wants. I knew she’d find some way to make me let go, whether I was ready for it or not. Videl held my hands in hers—gentle touch and gentler intentions. “You won’t let me find out more about your rival, will you? I feel like you made that decision days ago.”
Was I that easy to read? “I don’t want you gettin’ hurt on account of me,” I admitted. “You know how to look out for yourself. I get that. She likes her mind games, Videl. This ain’t somethin’ your sword can keep you safe from. You’ve gotta trust me on this.”
Videl didn’t hide her disappointment. “I understand,” she replied. “I just wish I could help you…”
“I’ve got it covered, Videl. You don’t need to worry about me. I’ll handle it.”
“And I believe you, Empress. There is still a part of me that longs to know you more. I feel like I’m not welcome in your world yet—only at this distance. It isn’t like me to rush in where I’m not invited. I’ll…keep being patient if that’s what you prefer.”
“Oh, this is so good!” exclaimed Satya. “It sounds like such a classic story—the Holy Knight from Eden finding the Queen of Beggars from Elysium, bringing the two parts together as a whole Tynan. But your idea seems unfinished… Do they work together to unify the city? Or do they run off into the sunset together and leave it behind?”
IHeartReading.net - "The romance between both women has a BDSM aspect – dominant/submissive, which adds another interesting touch to the book. I also liked how the conspiracy/politics played an important part too. It wasn’t just romance, a lot was going on. The protagonists were interesting, and I must say, I liked Videl the most. An intriguing, sizzling erotic romance. I look forward to reading more books by this author."
Books On Fire Tours - "Never in my life have I been so in love with characters and their names! This book has the best names for characters I have read in at least 10 years, lending even more to it's originality and it's uniqueness.In a world of make believe, two forces of nature collide. Each have her own strength. Each have an agenda. Each have multiple enemies. This book has it all! Paladins and Knights. An Empress fighting to save a destitute nation. A warrior out to seek revenge and protect her baby sister. The suspense just about killed me, as I couldn't decide who was hunting who. I couldn't wait for the "Scorpion" warrior to catch up with the Empress!!! But through it all, gripping sub plots and fascinating back stories filled each page, demanding my undivided attention and getting it. There were some scenes that weren't very realistic, but this is in a world of make believe, remember? Apart from that I found it to be tasteful, not over the top compared to other Sub/Dom, Lesbian Erotica I have read. This is a love story, filled with passion long since forgotten by most authors. This is true gay fiction. This is your next read if you don't want to miss out on really good writing, perfect timing and a world so rich, your imagination is tested to it's limits!"
Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. She lived there until moving away to college. In high school, she began writing fanfiction as a serious hobby. Her pen name is representative of her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that is reflective in her work. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in philosophy, she spent her free time reading the works of Virginia Woolf, Soren Kierkegaard and Simone de Beauvoir. She then spent the next years honing her craft to become a published author.
I’m Yoshiyuki Ly and for today’s guest post, I decided to write about alternate endings for The Scorpion’s Empress. I’ll avoid spoilers.
My ideas kept changing as I wrote the book. I started with high, emotional concepts for key scenes, most of which I ended up not writing. The core idea was always for Raj and Videl to eventually come up with a solution to the political crisis in their city.
The first idea I had was a more personal ending for Videl and Raj. There were other plot ideas I threw out. Toward the last few chapters, the main characters were supposed to get in a terrible argument. I wanted to have Videl return to Eden with her sister, and for Raj to chase after her. The ending from there would have been Raj and Videl resolving the situation and coming back together. This was also the backbone of my original ideas for the whole story.
The second idea I had for the ending was predictable—a typical happy ending for Eden and Elysium. This didn’t feel satisfying. Thinking about it made me anxious. I couldn’t build up to this ending. I stepped away from the manuscript for two months while I let better ideas come to me organically.
In the end, the last chapter wrote itself. Once I stopped worrying over the details, everything settled down. If you’d like to see if the actual ending paid off, be on the lookout for my book here.
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