Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Without Warning

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. Before we get down to business, I have a word of wisdom for those of you who might know this: December is not the best time to take in a semi-feral kitten.  Especially a semi-feral kitten who has a personal vendetta against paper of any kind. No presents under the tree for us this year!

On to the snippet.  I’m sharing from my current work-in-progress, a revisited fairy tale titled Snow.  Last week, as Prince Gabriel and his servant Webster were riding through the woods toward home, a mysterious shape began to form in the fog, accompanied by ominous sounds.

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Without warning, a large deer burst from the mist right beside them. The stag veered sharply to avoid Tempest, hooves digging into the dirt, nostrils flared and eyes wild as it sprang past them and crashed into a narrow gap in the woody thicket on the other side of the road.

Gabriel rode up to the gap and peered along a nearly invisible tunnel through the brambles. This well-worn animal track was the only way for something as large as a deer to penetrate the woods.

Webster squeaked in alarm and Gabriel shifted his gaze in time to see the deer’s pursuers emerge from the fog. Several large black hunting dogs charged him, focused only on pursuit.

“Halt!” Gabriel shouted. The pack broke ranks. Only one dog ran past Tempest into the gap. The others loped up and down the road, still baying, panting and milling in an agitated swarm.

***

Ivan Bilibin (1876-1942) Image in Public Domain

Blurb-in-progress:

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 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!

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Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Deep Within

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share excerpts of their work in ten sentences or less. Travel the world and the universe without leaving the comfort of your current hidey-hole.

I’m sharing from one of my current projects–I always have a few stories brewing–titled Snow. It’s a reimagined fairy tale based on Snow White, with a handsome prince in the lead role.  Currently Prince Gabriel is traveling home on horseback after a long absence. HIs only companion is Webster, his manservant. Webster was stung by a bee and is having some allergic (probably imagined) reactions.  Gabriel speaks first.  You can read last week’s snippet here.

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“That’s the castle there—see the flag? Only a few more hours ride. I suppose you’ll make it that far, in time to be seen by the herbalist. Or, I’ve heard my brother has engaged an alchemist.”

“Looks lovely,” Webster said in a strangled voice.

“It looks nothing of the sort.”  Gabriel nudged Tempest forward, and Webster followed, whispering prayers to whatever gods he worshipped beneath his breath.

They had only gone a few more yards, to the point where the road was about to dip into the fog, when the sharp yap of a dog, then many dogs, reached Gabriel’s ear. This was soon accompanied by the thunder of pounding hooves.

Deep within the fog, a roiling black mass began to take shape.

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Blurb-in-progress:

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 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 ~ Death by Bee

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less. A literary smorgasbord, to be sure.

I’ve been sharing from my current work-in-progress and will continue to do so until I run out of words or another project captures my fevered imagination. Snow is a re-imagined fairy tale with a prince in the title role. In this scene, Prince Gabriel and his manservant Webster are traveling home to Castle Rosenthal after a long absence. Webster, neither horseman nor outdoorsman, has been stung by a bee.  He’s the first to speak.  (You can read last week’s snippet here.)

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“Are bees poisonous? I feel a little faint.”

“Not usually, though some people puff up and find they can’t breathe after being stung.”

“I, ah, my breathing is a little…” Webster patted his chest and wheezed.

“Nothing to worry about, I suspect.” Gabriel turned to look down the road again. The fog had thickened. Only a flapping black and white flag on top of the tower was visible now. “Though some people do die from bee stings.”

“Rare, though, isn’t it? Death by bee?”

****

I like bees. It was probably a wasp that stung Webster.

Blurb-in-progress:

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.

****

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 ~ 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.

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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

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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.

***

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.

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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.

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Into the woods…

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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!

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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 ~ Come and Get Me

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers share excerpts from their work in ten snippets or less, and readers get to hop around and read all sorts of fun stuff! Did I mention it’s free? It’s like channel surfing for book junkies.

So here I am, back to the world of Jacqui the Cat. I’m a little trepidatious about sharing from Book 4, which is still in a raw, rather lumpy state, but I’ve found sharing here is great motivation to clean, polish, and get that book out there! Working title Wild, Book 4 in the Jacqui the Cat Mysteries series, takes Jacqui deeper into the world of shifters, a world that does not match up to his romantic fantasies.

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The Dog Men cometh.

Of that, Jacqui had no doubt. They would come with their fangs, their drool and their fleas, armed with tranquilizer guns and iron cat traps. The only question was when.

Jacqui shivered and stepped out onto Wyatt’s back patio. It was 3:30 a.m.  He couldn’t sleep. Didn’t want to sleep.  He wanted to shift and prowl the moon-drenched streets of Friday Harbor. He wanted to scour every yard for enemies, dig in gardens for buried threats, howl at the top of his lungs, Come and get me, Dogs.

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As you might have guessed from the snippet, in Roam, Book 3, Jacqui had a little run in with some dog shifters. It didn’t go well, and he’s been a little uneasy ever since.

 

Jacqui the Cat Mysteries, the cozy gay shifter romance mystery series the world has  been waiting for~

Jacqui Corleone is a fashion designer, a yoga-instructor and a concerned citizen who selflessly helps the police solve crimes. Oh, and he occasionally turns into a small wild cat. Probably due to a wizard’s curse or an evil government plot to create super warriors.

Or, he’s a cat cursed to turn into a human and only the bite of a sexy alpha lion will allow him to remain in his superior form of Cat.

Jacqui does not have a split personality, but sometimes his cat personality can get rather loud.

Loud? You’re loud.

Jacqui Corleone is a cat shifter who doesn’t know why or how he turns into a cat. He lives a solitary life in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. He’s not afraid of intimacy (yes, he is) but sensibly refrains from potentially awkward entanglements. Unfortunately, the sexy new deputy sheriff just moved in across the street and Jacqui’s vow not to get mixed up with island dudes is sorely challenged.

When the mysterious disappearance of three blue pots draws Jacqui to investigate, he’s drawn ever deeper into danger–and into the muscular but not too bulgy or veiny arms of deputy Wyatt West (he wishes).

Join Jacqui (and Cat) in this new exciting and sexy gay shifter romance mystery series from author of fantastical romantic fiction, Alexis Duran.

Here be the Amazon links:

Prowl

Pounce

Roam

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I’ve had some inquiries if my books are available in formats other than Kindle. At this time, only Gryffon Hall is out there on B&N, Apple, etc. One reason is because I’m re-releasing all my Loose ID titles and am just flat out overwhelmed. The other reason is that I’m experimenting with Kindle Unlimited to see how that goes., which means if you have a Kindle you can read the books for free! When the KDP select term is up, I’ll distribute the books to other retailers. If you’d like to know when that happens, you can sign up for my nifty newsletter here!

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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!

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Thanks to Robin Ludwig Design, Inc. for the fabulous covers!