Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Mood Light

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.  If you’re in the States, I hope you’re enjoying the three-day weekend, and if you’re elsewhere, hope you’re enjoying whatever sort of break you get!

I’m sharing snippets from my soon-to-be-released m/m urban fantasy, Death by Starlight.  Last time, Ian and Dijeree were interrupted during their search for a wayward nymph when Ian received a signal that Zeke had returned from the underworld of the dark elves.  Ian sensed that something was amiss.

***

“How long has Zeke been MIA?” Dijeree asked.

“Six weeks. He said he’d only be away one.” Ian shouldered the heavy duffel bag and started walking toward Dijeree’s VW bug.

“Seems longer. You’re a bitch when he’s away.”

“I won’t argue with that. He keeps me grounded.”

“Yeah, that whole dark elf, light elf business. What you need is the opposite of one of those mood lights, something that beams dark, gloomy energy at you while Zeke’s away.”

***

What a Dark Mood Light might look like. Image by xX-TaintedTears-Xx from Deviant. art

Edge of Night 2: Death by Starlight    Release date July 18!

Ian and Zeke fought a battle against the queen of the dark realm in order to be together, but just when they think they might settle into as normal a life as elves living among humans might be able to expect, a new enemy threatens to tear them apart. While Zeke helps the shaman Alistair in his hunt for an elusive mermaid, Ian is called to confront a wicked nymph preying on tourists along Seattle’s waterfront. Zeke and Ian soon discover that the defeated Queen Ysolde has spread her evil into the sea realms, and danger lurks beneath every wave, but it is too late to stop an escalating series of confrontations that lead to disappearances, death and the possible end of light in this world.

As Ysolde plots revenge and a mysterious prince seeks to win Ian for himself, the ancient war between light and dark sweeps Ian and Zeke into its maelstrom of hate, testing their trust of each other to the utmost.

AD_EON1_BetwixtandBetween_cover large

Edge of Night: Book 1

Betwixt and Between: Book 1 is available at these retailers:  Amazon   Kobo   Barnes & Noble  Books2Read

This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post eight to ten sentences from a published work or perhaps their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click here or use the address: http://www.wewriwa.com

Weekend Writing Warriors~ Cautious but Curious

wewriwa

Greetings!  Time for another round of Weekend Writing Warriors, the hop where writers of all stripes and spots share awesome excerpts from their work; in progress or published.  This week I’m sharing from my upcoming release, the contemporary m/m fantasy, Betwixt and Between, which somehow in the editing process became number 1 of a series; On the Edge of Night. But don’t worry, Betwixt is a stand-alone story.  Release date is June 30th.

Last week I shared the opening ten lines. This continues right where we left off. (Note to those who haven’t read The Practically Complete Compendium of Magical Creatures, a liosa is light/sky elf).

***

The liosa’s thoughts whispered in Ezekiel’s ear. It was cautious but curious. Untrained. Ezekiel detected no significant magical protections, and thanked his lucky stars for this gift.

Don’t lap at the blood before it is spilled, he cautioned himself. Though he sensed his prey was utterly unaware of the trap, he could be spooked if Ezekiel revealed any of his power too soon. And so he played on, risking only a quick peek from beneath his eyelashes.

The liosa had paused a few steps up from the landing, just beyond the wall that blocked the view of the rest of the stairwell. He lingered in the shadows but did not radiate any fear. Ezekiel caught a glimpse of wind-tousled blond hair, large dark eyes, a lumpy coat, and battered hiking boots.

***

This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post ten sentences from a published work or perhaps their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click here or use the address: http://www.wewriwa.com

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ I’m Not Your Enemy

wewriwa

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors Blog Hop.  I missed last week because I was in Seattle channeling my fae self at Mythic Worlds, a delightful playground for authors, artists, wisdom workers and anyone who likes to dress up.  I highly recommended it, but I did have time to feel sad Sunday morning that I was missing all the fabulous fiction on WWW.

This week I’m celebrating the release of Blood of Salar this Tuesday, March 3.  I’ve posted a few snippets from the beginning of Blood here and here, so I decided a pull a scene from farther along  in the story.  Jamil’s devotion to M’lan is challenged when the monk’s powers grow and spiral out of control.  Jamil finds  himself in a fight for not only his life, but M’lan’s as well.

***

“M’lan,” Jamil whispered hoarsely. “I’m not your enemy.”

“Come to me,” M’lan said, the metallic ring in his voice echoing against the cavern’s walls.

Despite the pain, Jamil willed himself to crawl upward until he could stretch out on M’lan again. Everywhere they touched, searing cold bit and tore into Jamil’s skin. M’lan’s fingers inched downward until they held Jamil’s biceps. Jamil’s muscles trembled, and sweat dripped from him as he resisted the serpent’s energy.

“Stop, please.”

“You’re in my way, Major,” M’lan said.

***

BloodOfSalar

 

Here’s the blurb for Blood of Salar, Release date March 3:

M’lan, headmaster of the order of Ka’alar and Jamil Jarka, king’s assassin, find their impossible love challenged to the utmost as a rebellion sweeps them apart, sending Jamil on a dangerous mission to assassinate the rebel leader, General Charvat. Unknown to anyone, Charvat is on his way to the temple to exploit the headmaster’s magical abilities.

When the rebel army arrives, M’lan is thrust into a struggle against political and sexual dominance as Charvat attempts to break his resistance. Violence and death mount, awakening within M’lan both the powers of destruction and the desire for revenge.

On the trail of his prey, Jamil begins to question his devotion to M’lan as his once innocent lover transforms into a mage and invades the assassin’s thoughts and dreams. The closer Jamil draws to M’lan, the more he puts his life and his very soul at risk. Jamil soon realizes that his lover might prove to be more deadly than the man he was sent to kill.

A final confrontation between assassin and monk might destroy them both, but Jamil is relentless in his determination to rescue M’lan, knowing that only his love can master the mage.

Info:

FYI, I’m participating in the Cold Nights…Hot Reads Blog Hop.  There are a bunch of chances to win cool giveaways, including the grand prize of $125 Gift Card!  I’m giving away a copy of the first book in the Masters and Mages series, Touch of Salar. Check it out, warm up your tootsies by the heat of some steamy reads, and win stuff. What’s not to like?

Weekend Writing Warriors #39

wewriwa

Welcome to another round of Weekend Writing Warriors.  Today I get to announce the release of the next book in the Masters and Mages series!  Blood of Salar is set to release on March 3rd, 2015.  To celebrate I’m going to share a snippet from the first chapter.  Things are getting dangerous in the land of Rakkan and M’lan the monk and Jamil the assassin are challenged to maintain their relationship while a rebellion swirls around them.  After months apart, they find themselves at odds regarding Jamil’s work.

M’lan is the first to speak:

***

“Kings and lords always claim to have the ear of at least one god.”

“Much like monks.”

M’lan’s cheeks burned. He sensed Jamil slipping away from him, back into his previous enslavement to the court and its devious methods.

“The king’s sorcerers still have a dark hook in your heart,” he pronounced. He regretted it when he saw the affect of his words.

Jamil’s eyes narrowed and his face achieved a hardness M’lan hadn’t seen since before the monk healed him.

“If anyone has hooks in me, it’s you, Headmaster M’lan.”

***

This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post eight sentences from a published work or perhaps their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click here or use the address: http://www.wewriwa.com

 

Happy Monday~ Hop Winner~Interview

Hey, here’s a quickie post to say thanks to everyone for playing along on the Halloween Hop, My Book Blast and The Haunted House of Manlove Flash Hop. It’s been a busy week!

The winner of my Halloween Hop is JeanMP!  Jean wins a lovely $10 Gift Certificate from Loose Id.

There’s still time to enter My Book Blast Giveaway.  Visit Pride Promotions here.

And last but not least, today I’m interviewed by K. Ferrin over on her website. Check it out here.  Next monday, I’ll be interviewing K. so don’t forget to stop by.

 

Howloween Hop

Blog Hop Button.4

 

Welcome to the Howloween Paranormal Romance blog hop, hosted by Hops With Heart (www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com).  Don’t forget to keep on hopping to discover amazing writers, enter to win prizes, and sign-up for the grand prize drawing of a $50 Amazon gift card!  Enter my own give-away by leaving a comment with your email below my post.  I’ll randomly draw a winner after the hop is over.

 

 

Release date October 28th!

Release date October 28th!

 

True love or wicked trickster? In my new novel, To Catch a Threeve, two men play a game of dark desire, neither knowing if the other offers danger or deliverance, love or death.  My Howloween post considers the allure of  falling in love with the enemy~

 

Dark Desire by Alexis Duran

“Love is giving someone the power to destroy you but trusting them not to.” Unknown.

Sex and violence. Love and hate. Trust and fear. Protagonist and antagonist. Hero and villain. When opposites collide, sparks fly. All we have to do is look at two of the most popular TV shows of all time, Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, to see how popular those conflict-generated sparks are. There’s no arguing that these elements are intricately entwined within the human soul and so naturally, they make their way into our stories. As a writer of erotica drawn to explore the dark side of desire, I’ve occasionally questioned the value of such stories.

As early as my pre-teens, I remember flinging my sister’s Harlequin romances and “bodice-rippers” against the wall in disgust when the so-called “heroes” forced themselves on simpering heroines who then promptly fell madly in love with their abusers. Rubbish! Crap! Horror!

Imagine my embarrassment when the editor of my new novella Touch of Salar informed me that one of my sex scenes was actually a rape, and that Loose Id prefers their romantic heroes not to be rapists. Apparently no does mean no. A few subtle shifts of language and voila, acceptability is attained. But how in the world did this come about? Why did I write my characters into such a situation? Why would a writer who should know better feel compelled to send her characters into the murky realms of sexual violence?

I decided it was time to take a look at the role of villainous lovers, submissive heroes and what happens when combatants fall in lust.

Dark Fiction takes us into the breach and over the cliff on our own writer’s journey through hell and damnation. Others on ShadowSpinners* have explored the function of horror, mayhem and death in fiction. They found value in the impulse to endanger lives, threaten comforts, kill off gods, upend reality and kick over rocks, and so too have I found rewards in the risky behavior so often present in dark erotica.

In fiction we can safely press beyond the confines of reason, rationality, common sense, political correctness. We can send our characters back into the haunted house or into the arms of Mr. Oh-So-Wrong. What if the protagonist falls in love with the antagonist? Now there is some delicious conflict.

When I first allowed myself to write about terribly flawed characters with a penchant for dangerous partners, I discovered that the challenges of loving a villain, of forcing my characters to the edge of reason, is every bit as compelling as threatening them with death, loss, and destruction in other areas of their lives. There’s no scene quite so intimate, so revealing, as a sexual encounter that challenges everything a character believes about themselves and the other person. They know it’s “wrong” and they do it anyway. Through this self-sacrifice and self-abandonment, perhaps the hero will learn the truth and come out stronger.

And what about the villain/lover? Is she a flawed hero? A wounded aspect of the protagonist? A dangerous other who threatens to bring out the worst in everyone they encounter? The Dark Man or Dark Woman does not have to be a malevolent outside force but a catalyst, a key to unlock passions buried within, a mirror of repressed longing. The dark lover might be the one person who can help the hero experience a sexual freedom they cannot achieve themselves.

And so we conscript our characters to wrestle with deeply buried desires that can’t be acknowledged by the rational mind. There are a hundred reasons not to give in to the dark lover, but reason has little to do with the decision to risk everything. Our characters can be stupid. Our characters can be scandalous.   Our characters can embrace vulnerability and overcome fear. Usually it is society that must be defied, along with constraints of fear, shame and propriety, but often it is one’s very own demons blocking the road to liberation and any author worth her salt knows the benefits of confronting those bastards.

***

So do you love it or hate it when the hero falls for the bad guy?  Leave a comment and you’ll be automatically entered into a highly scientific Names in the Hat drawing for a $10 gift certificate to Loose Id!  

Don’t forget to enter  the grand prize drawing : here’s the link to the  Grand Prize Drawing Rafflecopter Dingus!

Continue the hop with more chances to win neat stuff at Hops With Heart!

 

***

*This post was first published on ShadowSpinners.Wordpress.com

***

Official Blurb for To Catch a Threeve ~ Release date October 28th ~

Axel Blackwood catches a thief and is astounded to see that he closely resembles Liam Alloway, the love he lost seven years ago in an attack by the evil woodland folk known as threeves. Axel suspects he’s fallen prey to dark magic, but can’t help becoming infatuated with his prisoner. He’s overwhelmed with the hope that he can at last bring his lost lover home, despite everything that warns him it’s all a diabolical trick.

Bryn Darrow, the half-threeve, half human orphan sent to trick Axel and rob him of much more than a simple gem finds himself equally as fascinated with his handsome human captor and the lure of someplace to call home, but he knows deep down that the constable is in love with a dangerous illusion. When he’s commanded by the threeves to murder Axel and steal a witch’s powerful grimoire, he’s forced to decide between the only family he’s ever known and the one person who might rescue him from a life of isolation and pain.

Will Axel and Bryn be forced into a deadly confrontation before they can discover the truth?