Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Nothing to Hide

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in short excerpts of ten sentences, and maybe a few more.

I’m sharing from my current project, a romantic gay fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. In this scene, Prince Gabriel is meeting the mysterious Lady Baltan for the first time. Last week’s snippet ended with the Lady claiming that she’d rather be alone with a book than mingle with the lords and ladies at the great feast. Gabriel speaks first:

***

“I understand all too well. Why do you think I’m hiding in here instead of hurrying down to the feast?”

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better,” Lady Baltan said and reached out with the book.  He thought of telling her to keep it, but something stopped him. Something petty and jealous, no doubt, but he wasn’t ready to let go of any bit of his mother, no matter how small or insignificant.  So he accepted the book, feeling a bit of a cad.  He was surprised to feel a resisting tug.

With both of their hands still on the book, Lady Baltan raised her gaze to look straight in his eyes.

“I am so glad you’ve finally returned. King Tristan needs his brother by his side, now more than ever.”

That’s the official ten. Here’s a bit more:

“I only hope I can be of service to him,” Gabriel said, and waited for her to release her grip.  She was sizing him up, peering into his soul, and he let her.  He had nothing to hide, although why she should care—

I’m engaged.

Tristan’s voice rang loud as a bell in his head. Gabriel was suddenly certain this Lady Baltan must be his brother’s future wife.  She released the book and he nearly dropped it, startled by the weight of it.

If this is your future sister-in-law, you really should let her take the damn book.

Instead he held it at his side and watched in silence as she stepped back, bowed again, and left the room, closing the door behind her.

***

***

Blurb in progress for Snow:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel returns home for the first time in three years, hoping for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, the new king, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. 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 power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

Don’t forget to visit all the other great writers at www.wewriwa.blogspot.com!

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A True Confession

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 fewer.  It’s been raining a lot here lately. You’d think after three months of enforced solicitude, I’d be ready for summer, but there’s something about a seriously raining day that really nourishes my creative side and allows me to sit and write all day without a twinge of guilt. I’ve been getting so much done. Wild is done, after way too long, and I’m just waiting for the final edits before I can publish.

I’m continuing to share from Wild today. This is from the opening scene, and Jacqui is trying to figure out how to live an ordinary life with his non-shifter boyfriend, Wyatt.  Of course, Jacqui and ordinary don’t mix, so his plans are surely doomed to failure.  (Note: Satan is what Wyatt calls Jacqui in his cat form)

***

Shifting on Wyatt’s patio was stupid to contemplate, but, if he was very careful, there was probably nothing to worry about. Wyatt would inevitably figure out Satan had returned—that was a given—and if Jacqui had to fall back on his nude sleeping walking excuse, well, Wyatt already knew he was weird and loved him anyway.

Jacqui’s heart cramped and sweat beaded his skin in spite of the chill in the air. Wyatt loved him. Had said so out loud in front of Cat. A true confession. Jacqui wasn’t sure what to make of this, other than it made him purr and flick his inner tail at the same time.

“A quickie,” he said, and returned to the cozy confines of the apartment. He had to be smart about this stupid thing he was about to do. He really didn’t want to shift out on the patio and Wyatt would be pissed if he got up and found the door standing open, so Jacqui cruised around for an alternative exit.

***

***

Wild: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4 coming soon! Blurb-in-progress-

Jacqui Corleone has finally met his fated mate (Newsflash: it’s Wyatt), but unlike a romance novel, reality has other plans. The dog men are back, and along with their slobber and bad manners they bring a new level of danger to Jacqui’s life, and to Wyatt’s.  Jacqui meets other cat shifters for the first time and is tantalized by a glimpse into their strange new world.  Only cats aren’t much nicer than dogs, and soon Jacqui must choose if he’s going to run again, or stand and fight against an enemy more powerful than he ever imagined. And that’s saying a lot.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A Steep Price

Hello and 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 you’re all doing well in these strange times. As an introvert, a writer, and a natural hermit, I must say this stay at home business is rather working out for me, but I feel for my extrovert friends. Someday we shall gather again and make merry, but until then, we have blog hops, zoom meetings, and books. Thank the gods for books!

Believe it or not, I’ve finally reached the end of this chapter and will be moving on to other things. But fear not, I’m making great progress on Snow now that I can set my own schedule and write as much as I darn well please.  Last week, (which you can read here) Gabriel was hit hard by the affects of working magic and Gavin Falkner, the last man he’d expect to do such a thing, offered his support.

***

For one brief moment, Gabriel experienced a fantasy of leaning into Falkner and allowing the man to support him.  He shrugged off the weak notion and blinked away the encroaching mental fog. “I’m fine, he said, and dug deep into his reserves to pull free of Falkner’s hand.

He made it back to the meadow where the horses were without falling on his face and was relieved to hear excited chatter about the great white stag and the blessing of the gods.  As he put his foot in the stirrup and swung onto Tempest’s back, he considered for the first time that Tristan might be right, in a fashion. Maybe the forest gods had indeed favored him— not Tristan, but Gabriel, the one who had stopped the killing of the divine emissary. Immediately, his mother’s voice interrupted this line of thought, warning him against hubris.  When the gods meddle in the affairs of humans, she’d always said, trouble is never far behind. Their gifts come with a steep price.

***

© Jakub Krechowicz | Dreamstime.com

Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

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 mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. 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 power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

****

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 ~ Blood and Bones

Hello and 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 you’re doing well,  and staying safe and sane in these strange times. For me, the sane part is the hardest. Thank goodness for writing and the company of my characters!

I’m particularly fond of Prince Gabriel, the MC featured in my waiting-in-the-wings project Snow, which I’ve been sharing from while toiling on my next Jacqui the Cat mystery in the background. I’m excited that I’ll finally be able to turn my full attention to Gabriel’s story.  Currently, he’s dealing with the aftermath of having wielded forbidden magic, and he hasn’t even arrived at his destination yet; his home of Rosenthal Castle. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

After a last look at where the great white stag had stood, Gabriel turned and trailed after the rest of the hunting party.  He found it hard to lift his feet, the physical toll of wielding magic still working its way through his blood and bones. With his gaze focused on the patch of forest floor directly before him, he walked carefully to avoid stumbling over roots. The thought of the ride to Rosenthal Castle exhausted him, and that was just the beginning of the evening. He would have to present himself in the grand hall to all the ministers, lords and ladies gathered there. He was, after all, a prince returned to his realm, expected to officially declare his support for his brother and to properly grieve his mother’s death at her tomb.

All he wanted to do was sleep. Darkness invaded the corners of his mind and he slowed.

A strong hand gripped his arm from behind, steadying him.

“Are you all right?” Falkner asked in a low voice.

***

© breakermaximus | Dreamstime.com

***

Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

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 mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. 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 power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

****

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 ~ Sleeping Nightmares

Hello and 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 you’re staying safe and sane, and of course reading is a great way to do both.

I’m sharing from my current work-in-progress, a gay romantic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. In last week’s snippet, King Tristan announced that the appearance of the white stag was a good omen sent in support of his rule and Gabriel was only too happy to go along with it, in order to keep his unstable brother happy. So it appears the extraordinary events of the day will be swept under the rug. Or will they?

***

“Are we to return empty-handed then?” Bryce asked.

“Empty handed but full of heart,” Tristan said, sounding almost like his old self. “We have been blessed by Astrid, goddess of the hunt.”

His men grinned, slapped each other on the back, and followed him into the trees, not one of them sparing a glance for Gabriel. Surely they looked forward to being the bearers of such good tidings. Was his brother correct in presuming none of them would spread dark rumors about the arrow stopped in mid-flight?

His mother’s voice came to him in a soft whisper: blame it on the gods.

Whenever inconvenient occurrences of magic cast a shadow over her benevolent image, his mother pointed to the new gods of the North.  The people were only too happy to have their fears redirected to a more distant, less intimate source of supernatural interference than the forest that bordered their lands.  Let sleeping nightmares lie, the queen always said.

***

© Igor Goriachev | Dreamstime.com

Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

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 mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. 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 power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

****

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 ~ Truth

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I hope you’re faring well in these strange times. One excellent way to cope is to seek out some engaging fiction, so don’t forget to visit the other authors participating in the blog hop by clicking the link above. You’re sure to find an irresistible story or two or three.

I’m sharing from my current WIP, a reimagined fairy tale inspired by the take of Snow White.  I’m nearing the end of this scene. I know it seems like I’ve been saying that forever, but it’s coming! And then I’ll move on to other things, but for now, Gabriel is having reality pulled out from under him. And like most victims of gaslighting, he’s just fine with that, as long as it keeps the perpetrator happy.  You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

Gabriel scanned the line of men nodding their heads. They were all Tristan’s men, none of the visiting lords had lasted this long into the hunt, and so the story could be retold in a version more flattering for Tristan. Gabriel didn’t mind, and actually hoped that Tristan came to believe it himself. That jealous rage in his brother’s eyes had unsettled him deeply.

And then there was the arrow—Tristan’s arrow. He forced away the treacherous thought. It hadn’t happened, just as the stag had not appeared before him, but before Tristan.

One man was not nodding. Gavin Falkner watched Gabriel closely, and when their gazes met, an acknowledgement of the truth passed between them.

***

***

Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

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 mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. 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 power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

****

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.