Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A Temporary Lapse of Sanity

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where a bunch of really awesome writers share excerpts from their work in snippets of ten sentences or less.

So, it’s December again, and the silly season is officially underway. As usual, I’m in denial, ignoring the hundred and one things I should be doing in order to write, write, write. The crazier things get out there, the more appealing it is to stay in my office in my robe and fuzzy slippers writing about the adventures of a cat shifter named Jacqui Corleone.

I blame Jacqui. He’s very insistent that I get his stories finished so I can publish early next year.  In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying these in-the-rough snippets.  I skipped a head a little from last week. Jacqui, as Cat, is taking a little stroll to spy on his new neighbor, Wyatt West. He’s now in Wyatt’s back yard.

***

Boxes filled about half the patio, and a couch had been parked in the weeds.

Wait a minute, if Wild West had lived on a sailboat, where the hell did all this shit come from? Why does he need a truck and a moving van?

Clearly, the boat episode was a temporary lapse of sanity. He had his stuff in storage somewhere and is now ready to return to the land of the sensible.

Music thudded softly out of the open patio door: classic rock—seventies—Zeppelin. Jacqui flicked his ears. He preferred classical, jazz, and when he drank too much, Prince, the Eurythmics and an embarrassing selection of Eighties hair bands. Annie Lennox had been his first fashion guru. At sixteen, he’d given himself a crew cut and died his hair neon red, only to be told by everyone he looked like an anemic bozo the clown; it was a defining moment.

***

It’s coming!

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 (you wish).

Join Jacqui (and Cat) in this new exciting and sexy gay shifter romance mystery series from bestselling author (she wishes) Alexis Duran. Coming as soon as Alexis gets her s**t together.

***

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 ~ He Was Spirit

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I’m continuing to share from my work-in-progress, a cozy gay shifter romance mystery (if only it were a historical so I could fit in all the genres!).  Working title is Prowl.  Jacqui, a fashion designer who also happens to be a cat shifter, is in the process of changing.  You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

Jacqui dropped to his hands and knees and began performing the yoga sequence of Cat-Cow—belly dropped, udders swinging, then up into an angry cat arc. It wasn’t necessary, but he found occupying his muscles like this lessened the jarring, torn from one body, thrown into another effect of the change. He let out a long, slow breath and with it, let go of his shape.

Everything in the room became more pronounced. The red satin lining of Zee’s jacket gleamed like fresh blood. The oak floorboards extended, a strip of sunlight reflecting off their waxy and endless surface. The bird song swelled, the chatter almost intelligible.

Jacqui kept up the yoga moves as his muscles contracted and his vision fractured, caught in a swirl of sunbeams casting rainbow refractions through the crystals hanging in the window. The furniture grew taller as he shrank. Every nerve burned and all the air squeezed out of his lungs and for a brief moment, he had no body—he was spirit.

***

“doomed to slink and prowl and court by night”

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 (you wish).

Join Jacqui (and Cat) in this new exciting and sexy gay shifter romance mystery series from bestselling author (she wishes) Alexis Duran. Coming as soon as Alexis gets her s**t together.

***

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 ~ The Spirit of Cat

Greetings and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where a bunch of really awesome writers share snippets from their published work or works-in-progress.

I’ve just returned from World Fantasy 2017 in San Antonio, where it was 90 degrees and balmy. Coming home to the cold and rainy Pacific Northwest has my inner cat wanting to curl up under an afghan and snooze until spring. But there are books to be written so I’ll resist the urge to hibernate. Sharing on this blog hop helps. As I was reminded at the WF convention where over 800 fellow fantasy writers gathered, it really helps to break the isolation and spend some time with the clan. So thanks for being here and participating.

I’m sharing from my work-in-progress, tentatively titled Prowl, a gay shifter romance mystery featuring Jacqui, a fashion-designer who also happens to be a shifter and excels at getting into  trouble.  Jacqui has talked himself into shifting and going for a prowl. You can read last weeks snippet here.

***

Jacqui stood with eyes closed and waited for the spirit of Cat to stretch and grow inside him. He conjured up a clear vision of himself, his human form, his eyes, then watched as his pupils narrowed and shifted from dots to slits.

He and Cat shared the same eye color, an unusual blue-green that a few observant people had noted was rather uncanny. If only they could see what happened to them when Jacqui prepared to shift. Sometimes the cat eyes looking back at him were golden and he wondered if the strange eyes might belong to one of his parents. Whenever they appeared, he held his breath and waited for a message that never came.

Tonight, his cat eyes were blue-green, a sort of teal. His blond hair thickened and spread, his outline stretched and warped.

He ran his hands over his nude body. The touching helped ground him and allay his fears that Cat would take over and he’d forget all about his human side.

***

Jacqui is no ordinary house cat

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 (you wish).

Join Jacqui (and Cat) in this new exciting and sexy gay shifter romance mystery series from bestselling author (she wishes) Alexis Duran. Coming as soon as Alexis gets her s**t together.

***

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 ~ Naked In Public

Greetings and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where a bunch of really awesome writers share excerpts from their published works or works-in-progress.  I won’t be participating next week because I’ll be at the World Fantasy convention in San Antonio, TX.  I’ll be helping spread the word about an exciting new fantasy series, Labyrinth of Souls. Check it out if you enjoy dark fantasy, or stop by our table if you happen to be in San Antonio!

On to the snippet!  I’ve been sharing from a work-in-progress, which is always more exciting for me than a work that’s finished.  Prowl is a cozy gay shifter romance mystery (yup, all of that and more!).  My hero, Jacqui, is arguing with his inner cat about whether he should shift and go spy on the sexy new neighbor. I skipped ahead a little from last time.

***

It had been days since he’d changed, and the itchy, clawing creep of his inner cat wasn’t going to let him alone.

One hour.

As if.

Until midnight–at midnight, we turn into a furless pumpkin with work to do.

Jacqui dropped his hands, peeled off his shirt, tossed it in the laundry basket. His jeans (three hundred bucks at a boutique in New York) followed and soon he stood naked in the center of the room, doing his usual mental check.

Sliding door left open a crack. Key under the Buddha statue outside, just in case. Extra clothes hidden in the community tool shed, just in case. Jacqui only had to find himself stuck naked in public once to learn the lesson forever- always have extra clothes on hand and accessible.

***

As promised, here’s the blurb. This is a good example of what happens when you write a blurb by committee, possibly with wine and catnip involved.

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 (you wish).

Join Jacqui (and Cat) in this new exciting and sexy gay shifter romance mystery series from bestselling author (she wishes) Alexis Duran. Coming as soon as Alexis gets her s**t together.

***

 

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 ~ Must Prowl

Wow, is it Sunday already? Time does fly when you’re having fun and I’m having tons of fun with my newest WIP, tentatively titled Prowl. My main character is Jacqui (short for Jacquin), a fashion-designing, yoga-instructing cat shifter. Yeah, we’re having a tiny bit of fun.

Last week I introduced Jacqui as he was working on his latest creation.  Being human for too long cramps his style.

***

Right now, Jacqui had a strong urge to prowl. Now is not the time, Cat. Now is the time of toil.

He stepped out on his second story balcony and took a deep breath of fresh, slightly salty air blowing in off the water. His apartment overlooked Friday Harbor and at the cusp of sunset, both town and harbor were bathed in a pinkish glow, doing that twinkly and picturesque-as-all-get-out thing that happened on lovely summer evenings like this.

Must prowl.

No, the stitching had to be perfect. The lines exquisitely formed to Zee’s angular shape, the drape immaculate. The last version had not been up to Jacqui’s exacting standards and he’d pulled out a day’s work in a pissy rage at himself, and now he was paying for it.

You’ll be more efficient after a prowl.

***

Friday Harbor getting its twinkle on.

***

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 ~ Jacqui the Cat

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where a bunch of really great, really diverse writers share excerpts from their work.  This week I’m on to something new. Really new. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of writing a shifter character, and recently one sauntered into my brain and wrecked havoc with my writing schedule.  You ever have one of those characters who just insists on taking over and making you write their story, right now?  Well, Jacqui the Cat is one of those.  This snippet is the opening of the first novella (yes, first. Jacqui insisted on a series).  Besides being a cat shifter, Jacqui is also a fashion designer.

***

Work, work, work. Not that anything could make Jacqui a dull boy, but hours bent over his sewing table had given him a kink in his neck and a strong urge to throw aside his needle and leap out the window.

Instead he sighed dramatically, leaned against the chair back with his palms pressed into the edge of the heavy table and stretched his neck, feeling the pull of muscles on one side, and then the other. He arced his back, slouched, arced again. Not working. He stood and padded across the hard wood floor to the open glass doors of his studio apartment.

He’d been at it all day and still had two jackets to finish. Zee was arriving tomorrow to pick up the new outfits Jacqui had created and everything had to be perfect–and complete–complete and perfect and amazing. Because Zee was a rising star and when the rabble got a look at the Cat’s Eye creations adorning Zee’s nearly famous bod, Jacqui would have it made. That was the assumption, anyway. Orders would flood his inbox, gobs of money would flow into his bank account and he could hire an assistant and stop working these dog awful hours.

***

 

***

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