Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Schemes and Whispers

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less. I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a good one, and those of you who don’t, I hope you had a very nice Thursday!

I’m sharing from my current work-in-progress, a reimagined fairy tale inspired by the story of Snow White. In my world, Snow is a prince, the Huntsman is hot, but possibly evil, and dwarves are not cuddly, rosie-cheeked fellows named Happy. My first stab at a blurb is included below.

In chapter one, Prince Gabriel is returning home after a long absence. He’s traveling with his manservant, Webster, who’s having an altercation with a bee while Gabriel muses on his imminent homecoming. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

He supposed, once Webster was flung into the swirling mire of schemes and whispers that filled Castle Rosenthal’s corridors, this man too would draw away from him and regard him with suspicion, his manners poisoned by the slight veneer of contempt Rosenthal servants regularly got away with. How long before he started to call Gabriel “Snow” behind his back?

But he was a servant, so Gabriel shouldn’t care. Only, it had been pleasant to simply be master and servant for this brief journey.

“Is something the matter, your grace? Have I done something wrong—Ow!” Webster slapped his neck. “It bit me! The vicious little beastie!”

“No, Webster, I was thinking of something else.”

***

Into the swirling mire of Castle Rosenthal

***

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a scheming alchemist, the magical denizens of the bordering Black Forest are on the move, and Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil force afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient powers at work, if only Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover them.

***

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Weekend Writing Warriors ~ No Demands

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where you can sample a great selection of stories in excerpts of ten sentences or less.

I’m sharing from my work-in-progress, a reimagined fairy tale. There’s a pretty big clue at the end of this excerpt as to which fairy tale it is. In this scene, Prince Gabriel and his man servant Webster are returning to Gabriel’s home through less travelled forest roads. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

Gabriel calmly observed as a buzzing bee distracted his servant. Webster waved one hand frantically in front of his face, angering the bee and confusing the horse, who turned in an agitated circle. Webster was twenty, the same age as Gabriel. Taller and thinner to the point of being gangly, he had dark brown hair, a peppering of hairs on his pointy chin that might one day knit themselves into a beard, and pale blue eyes that found fault with everything they shrewdly took in.

He’d only served Gabriel a short while.  Lord Craigmoor, Gabriel’s uncle, had assigned Webster to him because it wasn’t proper, nor safe, for a prince to travel the forest roads alone. Not that Webster was any protection, but he was company, and had learned to set up camp fairly well, though he complained endlessly about the bugs, the dirt, the thieving jackdaws and squirrels, his disobedient horse, the weather, trees that dripped pine sap, flowers that emitted irritating pollens, and rivers that ran too swift and were too cold.

Gabriel, in contrast, was never happier than when he was out in nature. He preferred to be by himself with only the woodland creatures for company, but he’d quickly become accustomed to Webster, whose constant stream of words merged into the background noises of the forest like the chatter of a chickadee. He made no demands on Gabriel’s attention and, knowing nothing of Gabriel’s history or family, didn’t judge, gossip or look sidelong at Gabriel’s near-white hair.

***

Into the woods…

***

Next week I’ll post a blurb and maybe even a title! For those of you wondering what happened to Jacqui the Cat, Book 4, well, I’m sooooo close. The story became longer and more complicated than I’d originally intended, as stories do, but I think I’m in the home stretch. Wish me luck!

***

Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book!

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.

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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

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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).

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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

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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.

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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

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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