Weekend Writing Warrior ~ New Year, New Book

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Happy New Year!  Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I hope 2017 finds you happy, healthy and inspired.  2016 ended on a bit of down beat, for many reasons, but I’m feeling optimistic and reenergized after a rather unproductive December.  Sometimes even manic writers have to take a break.

I’m starting off the new year by sharing from my new WIP, which is nearing completion.  It’s the second in the Edge of Night series, featuring Ian and Ezekiel, light and dark elves who somehow manage to form an unbreakable bond.  Betwixt and Between is the first in the series. If my excerpt does the trick and intrigues you, you can click the link for more info.

These ten lines are from the opening scene of Book 2 (working title Death by Starlight):

***

The skyline of Seattle reared up in a blaze of lights, metal and chrome. Overhead, traffic clattered and roared across the Freemont Bridge, headlights and taillights a stream of silver and red. Ezekiel Stormshadow narrowed his eyes to dim the affect. After so long in the dark realm, such a garish display stabbed into his brain, slicing away the last comfortable strands of shadows linking him to his homeland.

Standing on the edge of the Ballard Locks, he breathed in the mix of gasoline fumes, fresh cut grass and a slight hint of salt water blowing in from Puget Sound. A row of houseboats creaked and bobbed in front of him.

By the position of the moon in the partly cloudy sky, he guessed it was nearly midnight.   The date was a murkier thing to calculate. He’d roamed the dark realm for several nights, but time passed differently here in the world of humans, and he suspected he’d been gone much longer than a week or two.

A prickle of concern brought a scowl to his face.

***

Here’s the info on Book 1.  Next week I’ll put up the blurb for Edge of Night 2:Death by Starlight.

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The Blurb:

Obsessed with magical creatures since childhood, tabloid reporter Ian Evers never experiences satisfying proof that the magical realm actually exists until he falls into an entrapment spell set by a handsome but dangerous elf.  Barely escaping with his soul intact, Ian is able to undo the hex, but he can’t escape the very real infatuation he’s developed for the fierce elf.

Ezekiel Stormshadow is a svarta, a dark elf who serves the queen of the dark realm. The realm of darkness needs the power of light to survive, and while hunting the last few magical beings on earth, Ezekiel discovers Ian, a light elf who’s unaware of his true nature and ripe for the plucking.  Their brief encounter awakens a great hunger in Ezekiel, and he’s determined to feast on the light elf’s power and body before the queen intervenes and claims Ian for herself.

Driven apart by the ancient imbalance between the dark and light realms, an evil queen starved for power, and their fear of each other, Ian and Ezekiel are relentlessly drawn together even though their union might destroy them both.

***

Available at these retailers:  Amazon   Kobo   Barnes & Noble

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

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Weekend Writing Warriors ~ And now for something completely different

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Hi! Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.  I’ve been MIA way too long and my list of excuses is even longer, so I’ll spare you the sob story and move on to the snippet.

This week I’m excited to announce the release of the anthology ShadowSpinners: A Collection of Dark Tales.  No erotica, but plenty of chills.  My snippet is the first ten lines from my story Reduce Reuse Recycle.

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JAKE WONDERED WHY HE WAS IN THE BATHTUB with his clothes on. Icy moonlight wavered in the through the obscuring glass and stroked the ceiling with crystalline wave patterns. The faucet dripped a rhythm he couldn’t quite place. His fingers curled stiff and blue against the white porcelain. He hadn’t planned on dying so young, but then he hadn’t planned on being a drug-addicted sex worker either.

Alternately aware and unaware of his surroundings, his skin tingled and then went numb. His heart fluttered then stalled. Droplets from imaginary steam slid down blue tiled walls and collected on his eyelashes. He tried moving, but that didn’t pan out. He relived the choices that led to this moment, this pathetic death in a stranger’s bathtub.

***

Yeah, it’s a little dark.  If you like fiction with an edge, A Collection of Dark Tales is now available in both print and ebook versions on Amazon.  ShadowSpinners is an amazing group of writers and I’m pretty tickled to have been included.

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View on Amazon

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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 ~ 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?

My Sexy Saturday ~ This Sea of Magic

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This week on My Sexy Saturday, we’re exploring the theme “My Sexy Addiction”, with these lines from the song “Addicted to Love” for inspiration ~ Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love.  Doesn’t that apply to all of us who love romance?  It certainly applies to the main characters in my new m/m fantasy novel, Blood of Salar (release date March 3).  In the case of this fantasy world, their love for each other is not only entrancing, consuming and dangerous, but it is necessary for their survival.  My sexy seven is from a scene where they finally begin to accept this truth.

***

“You are my anchor in this sea of magic,” M’lan said.

“So it appears.” Jamil sat up, straightened his clothing, and looked around for M’lan’s. “Maybe that’s what the mages of old were missing.”

“Love?” M’lan whispered. He appeared so fascinated by this theory, eyes wide, that Jamil’s heart clenched.

“Someone to put them in their place,” he said gruffly.

M’lan got up on his knees, took Jamil’s face in his hands, and kissed him—a deep, warm kiss rough with the force of ownership. He pulled back.

“You must never leave me,” he commanded.

Again, Jamil thought of his dream, of the imprisonment he feared. But this, this bondage he could endure. Gladly.

***

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?

Midwinter Madness Flash Hop

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Welcome to another flash fiction blog hop hosted by the magnificent House of Manlove.  Click this link to find more awesome winter/holiday themed short reads for your enjoyment!

Flash fiction is quite the challenge for me, and when I first wrote The Wrong Elf, it was way over the 1200 word limit.  Rather than abandon the longer version, I had the brilliant idea to “flesh it out” and offer it as a free holiday giveaway!  So, if you like the flash version, please click this link to download the Xtended version from Amazon. And if you know anyone who enjoys steamy m/m reads, please feel free to pass the word. It will be free through Christmas Day.

Now, the story. Flash version.

The Wrong Elf

By Alexis Duran

 

Ordering at the last minute from a discount catalogue exposed a person to certain risks. Out of stock. Wrong color. Doesn’t fit. None of those disappointments compared to this cock-up.

Avery knelt in the torn wrapping paper and snowdrift of packing peanuts, still gripping the scissors. He considered cutting his throat with them. Another miserable, lonely Christmas, and all because he’d wasted his holiday money on a stupid elf.

It had seemed like an awesome way to counter a pathetic winter break spent alone in his fraternity house. He’d specified male on the order form. No substitutions. And yet, here before him stood a female elf and not even a particularly attractive one. She was stocky and sported the hint of a mustache. She reminded him of his eighth grade gym teacher.

He reread the order form. The tag line under Your Very Own Elf! said Guaranteed to make wishes come true.

This elf didn’t even speak English.

“Here’s my wish,” Avery said. “Turn yourself into a hot guy elf.”

She grinned at him, the tassel on her cap bobbing as she rocked onto the toes of her pointy shoes.

He shook out the papers and discovered a pamphlet that appeared to be the instruction manual, written in a language he didn’t recognize.

He sighed. The elf watched his every move, cheerful as the moment he’d unwound her bubble wrap.

“How about getting me a pizza?” he suggested. She cocked her head to the side and walked around him, thoughtful now.

“Back in the box, elf. If I hurry I can get Fed Ex to pick you up before they close.” He hesitated over refund or replacement. Was it worth the trouble of trying again?

“Nothing personal, but you’re not what I had in mind, so stand still, okay?” Avery held up a sheet of bubble wrap and smiled at her. She shook her head, grinned and before he could stop her, waltzed out the door.

“Hey!” He ran into the hall, but she’d vanished. “What about my refund?”

It hadn’t occurred to him an elf he’d bought and paid for might just up and leave. He wasn’t responsible for a malfunctioning product, was he? Not only did she not grant wishes, she didn’t even follow simple orders. He decided to call the company’s help line and complain. Even on Christmas Eve some drone would be manning the phones.

 

Avery was flat on his back in bed with the phone pressed to his ear, listening to “Frosty the Snowman” for the hundredth time, when a commotion in the hall drew his attention. There was a couple thuds, a grunt, some singing in a lilting foreign language, and then his door burst open, kicked by his wayward elf, whom he’d discovered from the packing material was called Griselda 1819191.

She had a large sack over her shoulder. It wasn’t pizza.

Avery sat up, alarmed. The sack was moving.

“Griselda, what did you do?”

She grinned and dumped the writhing sack on the floor. The sack grunted. Avery winced. Griselda bowed.

“Take it back,” he commanded. She rocked onto her toes and back again.

“Oh, this can’t be good.” Avery slid from the bed to kneel beside the sack. Growling sounds emerged. Better get this over with, Avery thought. He untied the knot at the top and pulled down the sides.

Furious brown eyes glared at him. The mouth was duct tapped. Dylan from Art History. Crap. Sure he’d fantasized about Dylan, but kidnapping wasn’t in his erotic repertoire.   His heart sank into his slippers.

He gripped the edge of the tape and jerked it loose.

“I’m so sorry. The elf malfunctioned.”

“Get me out of this bag,” Dylan said in a menacingly calm voice.

Avery grabbed the end of the bag and dragged it away. Griselda had wound duct tape all around Dylan, pinning his arms to his sides and his legs together. He wore flannel pjs and a t-shirt.

“Untape me, Avery.”

He knows who I am? Avery’s elation was quickly replaced by fear. He knows who I am!

He scrounged for the scissors and began cutting away the tape, careful not to nick the skin. “I don’t know what happened, honest. The elf is broken and the manual is in some foreign language.”

Dylan fumed silently until he was freed. He tore the last strips of tape from his clothes and leapt to his feet. “Expect a visit from the cops,” he said and made for the door. Griselda blocked his way.

“Call off your elf.”

“Let him go,” Avery pleaded. Griselda leaned against the door, looking very immovable.

“She’s one strong fucking elf,” Dylan commented. “Where’s the manual?”

Avery held it up. “It’s in Russian or something.” Dylan snatched it from him.

“It’s in Czech. You ordered an elf from a company called We B Wishes?”

“They had a bunch of five star reviews.”

Dylan shook his head and stared at the manual. Avery was reminded of all the hours spent last semester staring at the blond sophomore as Dylan poured over the text book, taking notes and occasionally nibbling delectably on the end of his pen. He looked especially sexy all messed up and sweaty from his recent abduction. Avery had to admit, he had wished for a hot encounter with Dylan, but not like this. He wanted Avery to want him, not hate him. Stupid elf.

“Says here, guaranteed to make wishes come true.” Dylan narrowed his eyes at Avery. “What did you wish for?”

“You read Czech?”

“Answer the question.”

“I, uh,” Avery swallowed a growing lump in his throat. “I sure didn’t say it out loud. I wanted company. Hot company. I swear on Santa’s beard I did not ask Griselda to kidnap you.”

Dylan dropped his eyes and thumbed through the manual. “She could’ve just asked.”

“I told you. She’s defective.”

“Or hyper-efficient.”

Avery stood and brushed peanuts from his knees. “What are you still doing on campus?”

“No family to speak of. Thought I might as well get some work done. It says here you can get her to go to sleep by saying, uh, not sure how to pronounce it, jit spat.”

Griselda crossed her arms over her chest, slid to the floor and fell promptly to sleep leaning against the door.

“We can drag her out of the way,” Avery said. “Maybe get her back in the box.”

“You’re going to send her back?”

“She’s dangerous! Besides.” It was Avery’s turn to blush. “She was supposed to be male.”

“That’s what you wish for?” Dylan cocked an eyebrow. “A discount elf?”

“I thought I did. I guess a magic elf knows better. I wished for—” The small bedroom suddenly felt cramped and overheated. “You.” His cheeks flamed red and he stared down at Dylan’s bare feet. The oddly perfect toes curled and uncurled. Dylan rocked up on them until he could look straight into Avery’s eyes, then down again. He was rather elf like, Avery decided.

“In an odd coincidence, when Griselda broke into my room, I was online with Santa’s Wish Shop, placing a request for the cute guy in Art History to ask me out.”

Avery’s pulse pounded so loud in his ears he thought he might have misheard.

“You forgive me for the duct tape and sack episode?”

“I’m willing to blame the elf, if you promise to ask nice next time.”

“I swear.” Avery put his hand over his thudding heart and decided next time was now. “Dylan, would you like to spend Christmas Eve with me?”

“Well, since I’m here—” He sat on the bed and leaned back on his elbows. Avery sat beside him and looked gratefully at the snoozing Griselda. Maybe he hadn’t been sent the wrong elf after all.

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Click the cover to download the Xtended version and find out what happens next! Free through Christmas Day.

For more free fun, don’t forget to check out the rest of the flashers on today’s blog hop:

Azalea Moone

Jennah Scott

N.D. Wylders – M/M Author

Seductive Studs and Sirens Blog Hop

Well, this could be fun. long_SeductiveSnS_rednblack

Today is my first time participating in the Seductive Studs and Sirens hop, featuring LGBT erotica and romance.  Don’t forget to check out the other steamy snippets by clicking the link and continuing the hop. I’m sharing a short excerpt from my recent release, Touch of Salar, an erotic, m/m fantasy.  In this excerpt, M’lan, a monk with healing powers, is about to meet his new patient, known only as The Major, for the first time.

Touch of Salar

The entry chimes sounded, and M’lan bowed his head, as was custom when nobility entered. The patient wore a black silk robe, head covered with a hood. He moved with grace and a lightness of foot, unlike most of the warriors M’lan worked on, who tended to be heavyset and muscle-bound. By the tang of sulfur salts, M’lan knew the man had already warmed up with exercise and soaked in the healing pools.

The man crossed the tiled floor without a sound and stepped up to the table. From behind him, M’lan watched the silk robe drop to the floor before he raised his eyes, ready to assess what he saw.

His breath caught. Even though he was used to seeing well-sculpted, muscular bodies, this one was exceptional. Faint scars crisscrossed the truly beautiful almond skin but were obscured by the swirls and tangled vines of an elaborate tattoo that climbed from the crease beneath the man’s left buttock to the base of his neck.

 

Official Blurb:

In a world ruled by tyrannical kings and fickle gods, the young monk M’lan finds himself at the center of royal intrigue as his healing powers attract the attention of his superiors. When he learns the handsome warrior whose body he’s tending to is not only a noble, but a king’s assassin, any attachment to him might prove fatal. Despite the danger, he can’t stop himself from falling in love. Can he risk the abandon of passion when a slip of the tongue might force his lover to execute him?

Major Jamil Jarka comes to the temple with one intention—heal his wounds so he can return to the fight against the rebellion. When the monk assigned to him turns out to be stunningly attractive, he sees this as a pleasant distraction, no more. But soon he finds himself becoming obsessed with M’lan and is torn between the fear of betrayal and the lure of love.

Sinister forces strive to turn the monk and the warrior against each other—a conflict neither will survive if they cannot trust their lives to love and the healing power of Salar.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Touch-Salar-Masters-Mages-Book-ebook/dp/B00L2PA4QC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403808298&sr=1-1&keywords=Alexis+Duran