Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A Human Problem

Greetings and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I’m happy to report that it’s supposed to rain buckets here this weekend. We’ve been having a run of wondrous spring weather and that makes it so hard for this writer to stay indoors and write. Maybe that’s why I settled in the Pacific Northwest. Rain is the writer’s best companion, aside from the dog. And coffee.

So on to the snippet!  I’m continuing to share from Prowl, the first book in my Jacqui the Cat series.  You can read Chapter One here. Jacqui, a cat shifter, has finally met his crush, Wyatt the cop, face to face.  I skipped ahead a little from last week. Wyatt just asked Jacqui if he happened to see three missing blue pots. (The owner is missing, too)

***

“No, sorry, they’d be very hard to miss. Have you looked in her backyard? Maybe she’s just repotting. She does that a lot.”

“That’s probably it, but she’s got a high locked fence, and there’s no cause yet to break into her property.”

Hmm, fences are such a human problem.

“Well, if there is a pot thief lurking amongst us, I’m sure you’ll nab him.”

Nab? Who says nab? Holly GoDorkly?

***

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 gay fiction, Alexis Duran.

Here be the Amazon links:

Prowl

Pounce

Roam

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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!

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Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Barely People

Hello everyone and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where a bunch of really cool writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten lines or less.

We’re all pretty excited here at Chez Duran because it’s just a little over two weeks until Jacqui the Cat is unleashed on the world, and today I get to unveil the cover of Prowl, Book 1, for the first time!

I’ve been sharing from Prowl and I’m picking up right where I left off last week. Jacqui is having internal argument with his inner cat regarding the wisdom of leaving Wyatt a dead bird as a welcome to the neighborhood gift. Jacqui “speaks” first.

***

People don’t like dead birds.

How would you know? You’re a hermit.

I’m a people—more people than you.

You’re barely people. You’re a freak. You’re a half-man who dresses like a nongender-specific pirate and talks out loud to his cat self.

“Enough with the negative self-talk,” Jacqui said, and then scowled. Sure he was a freak. It wasn’t a bad thing, just…inconvenient.

***

Shout-out to Robin Ludwig Design Inc for the awesome cover

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 bestselling author (she wishes) Alexis Duran. Coming soon! **UPDATE** Coming May 29. So close. So very close.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Nice Kitty

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where authors from across the spectrum of genres share excerpts from their work in ten sentences or less- just enough to tantalize your reading taste buds. My offering this week is from my upcoming shifter mystery/romance titled Prowl. I’m almost ready to set a release date. I have the cover and I love it! Hope to do the reveal soon. In the meantime, I’m continuing  the saga of “How Jacqui met Wyatt”.  Jacqui, in his cat form, decided to spy on Wyatt, his new neighbor. Unfortunately, he was startled by a pair of barking Pomeranians and ended up taking refuge on Wyatt’s shoulders- much to Wyatt’s surprise and dismay.

***

“Would you help me extract this cat?” Wyatt asked, the note of tension in his voice growing tauter.

“He’s a sweetheart, really,” Claire said, making no move to come closer.

“She says as it tries to lacerate my jugular.” Wyatt tugged on Jacqui’s tail again. Painful, yet oddly arousing.

“Maybe if you stopped yanking on him and tried to calm him down.”

“Maybe if you got your fu—if you’d get your dogs under control.”

“Poor thing is all scared—bad dogs!” She snagged one of the beasts and hooked it up to the leash.

Wyatt stopped yanking and tugging and said, “Nice kitty,” through clenched teeth.

***

In case you’re wondering why Wyatt hasn’t dislodged Jacqui yet, imagine several of these imbedded in your flesh.

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 ~ She’s On To Us

Welcome to my little corner of  Weekend Writing Warriors. I’m continuing to share from my upcoming release, Death by Starlight, a paranormal gay romance featuring sexy elves, vindictive mermaids and nefarious nymphs.  This weeks snippet follows directly after last week’s, in which Ian received a magical message that Zeke had returned to Seattle after a long absence in the dark realm.

***

The nymph they’d been tracking had vanished the instant Ian blew his cover. In search of tourists to cajole and roll, she’d been roaming the parking area beneath the elevated viaduct that ran along the waterfront.

“She’s on to us now.” Dijeree sighed and pulled the goggles from her head. She peered at him and tugged on his sleeve. “So is Zeke all right? You look dazed.”

A good part of Ian’s mind was taken up with interpreting signals traveling along the lines connecting him to Zeke. Zeke was alive and free, and apparently robust. A hot, tingling energy coursed beneath Ian’s skin, but something was off.

***

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.

AD_EON1_BetwixtandBetween_cover large

Edge of Night: Book 1

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

Seductive Studs ~ The Pact

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If it’s Monday it musts be time for Seductive Studs. What better way to start out the week than a sampling of snippets from some great m/m stories?

This Wednesday is release day for my new novel, Matthias: Order of the Black Knights. Although Matthias is a contemporary thriller, I thought in honor of Halloween I’d share from the magical set-up that gets Matthias into deep trouble, forever cursed to be reborn as a killer.  This is from the prologue, where Matthias meets the wizard who seals his fate:

The man pushed back his hood to reveal an ancient face plowed with deep wrinkles. His gaze cut into Matthias, sizing him up, then moved along to inspect the small crowd of peddlers and beggars who gathered before him.

“The time has come for a new king to rid your land of these invaders, to push them to the sea and beyond. Who among you would join in such a fight if given the strength and power to do so?”

This drew a laugh from some of the downtrodden men, many of whom were old, half-starved, lame, useless. Matthias felt ashamed to stand among them and know he was no better off.

“Who is this king?” Ahmed the spice merchant barked from behind his bowls of earth-toned powders. “You?”

“I cannot fight myself. I am a wizard, and I need true warriors to wield swords in my name. In return for your oath of loyalty, I can make any man a knight, any boy a warrior.” With these last words, he stared straight at Matthias, his gaze boring holes into his soul. “Sick of begging for scraps and cowering before the undeserving? I can make you invincible.” He lashed out with a staff and knocked the basket from Matthias’s arms. Matthias gaped down at the spilled charms, which looked so shoddy and worthless in the dirt. “I have real magic at my disposal.”

Matthias looked up again and was surprised to hear his own voice rise above the laughter, catcalls, and curses. “And when you become king, what then?”

“You will be richly rewarded. All will fear you. Killing your enemies will be a joy.” He lifted a pointy chin in the direction the knights had gone. “Never again will you give way, for all will give way before you.”

Despite the heat of the sun and bodies pressed around him, Matthias shivered. When the horsemen had ridden over his mother, he’d wanted to kill them so badly he could taste their blood in his mouth. When his father beat him, he longed to rise up, take the whip from his hand, and flay the drunkard’s skin until he screamed for mercy.

No. He hadn’t thought those things. Not until this moment. Not until the wizard said the words Killing your enemies will be a joy. Joy. What a strange, foreign word.

The man was promising him joy. Matthias could take his mother out of the hovel, along with his brothers and sisters. They could live in a palace. Matthias grinned at the image but kept his chin down.

Someone brighter than Matthias asked, “And what’s the price for all this power?”

“Only your loyalty and your service,” the wizard said.

“For how long?”

“Until you choose to stop being a warrior. When you choose to forgive your enemy instead of killing him.” The wizard said this with a shrug, as if he couldn’t imagine anyone choosing to do such a silly thing. He pulled a parchment from the folds of his robes and unrolled it. The expensive paper was blank. “Now, who will be the first to claim their destiny?”

Matthias kicked aside the sad little pile of his mother’s charms and stepped forward. “If your promises don’t come true, the pact is broken,” he said, feeling quite smart to negotiate.

A thin smile twisted the wizard’s lips. “I assure you that I, Moriel, never make false promises.”

He held out a long quill pen, and Matthias reached for it, still sure this was nothing more than a conjuring act like his mother, his grandmother, and his great-grandmother had all performed. But when he took the pen, a thrill coursed up his spine.

As if the market and the crowd had retreated behind a veil of shadows, Matthias saw only the scroll, now covered in elegant script, black x marks and names crisscrossing the bottom.

“Magic as great as this requires sacrifice,” Moriel said quietly, just for Matthias it seemed. “Cut yourself and dip the pen in your blood. This will seal the pact forever.”

“Forever?” Startled, Matthias looked up into Moriel’s dark, abysmal eyes.

“Well, until you decide you’re no longer interested in wealth and power.”

“Until I forgive my enemy.”

“Yes.”

Simple enough. Matthias expected he would feel very forgiving once he and his family were comfortable and safe.

He took a knife from his belt and made a small cut on his forearm. When enough blood seeped out, he dipped in the pen and carefully wrote his name as his mother had taught him.

***

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Matthias: Order of the Black Knights ~ Release date November 2, 2016

From Louisiana swamp rat to revivalist huckster to skilled con artist, Matthias Krall clawed his way out of poverty using his natural gifts of grift and manipulation to become the leader of an exclusive retreat center. Exploiting the guise of spiritual guru, Matthias seduces the rich and powerful into turning over their lives and fortunes to his control. But wealth and a small cadre of loyal followers can’t protect Matthias from the betrayal he knows is imminent. Everyone wants what Matthias has, except for one man who wants to destroy it. Dylan Connelly is a reporter who’s determined to prove the charismatic recluse is not only a fraud but a murderer.

Irresistibly drawn to Dylan despite the warnings in his gut, Matthias lures Dylan to his island retreat, determined to destroy his enemy once and for all.

Preorder at Dreamspinner Press!

Preorder on Amazon!

Order of the Black Knights

Every century has seen its knights, but they are not always seen. Some of them do what must be done—getting their hands dirty when no one else is willing. Assassins and antiheroes who work from the shadows, they are called the Black Knights. From the time of the society’s creation in the 1100s, these men are cursed to repeat their lives of bloodshed. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man that waits inside and break the cycle. The question is whether or not the knight will kill his true love before he figures it out.

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Don’t forget to continue the hop at Seductive Studs!

 

Seductive Studs ~ Wed This Very Night

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A new week, a new round of Seductive Studs.  I’m sharing from my new release, Gryffon Hall, a fantasy inspired by Beauty and the Beast and spiced up with an m/m romance.  In this scene, Wryler has arrived at Gryffon Hall with his aunt Otillia. They’ve found out over breakfast that Rouchet insists on proceeding with the ceremony right away.  Wryler speaks first.

***

“Lord Rouchet—”

“Please. We’re to be wed this very night. Call me Aeric.”

Mouth suddenly quite dry, Wryler looked up at Rouchet. Wed this very night. He licked his lips and formed the word with difficulty.

“Aeric.” He’d forgotten what he was going to ask.

“That sounds much nicer.” Rouchet had a hand on the back of his chair and with the other reached out for one of Wryler’s. Wryler nearly jumped in surprise but held still, blushing only a little. Rouchet’s hand was rough and hot and could snap all of Wryler’s fingers with a squeeze, yet his grip was gentle. “You have a request? Whatever you wish, I will do my utmost to satisfy.”

“I… It’s nothing, really. I wondered if I might see the library.”

“Wryler!” Otillia exclaimed. “You have no time for sightseeing. Now that Lord Rouchet insists on having the ceremony tonight, we must away at once to your chamber to finish your—”

“I would be delighted to escort you there myself, Wryler,” Rouchet said, speaking over Otillia as if she hadn’t uttered a peep. Wryler’s aunt flushed a deep red, and Farina’s eyes looked like they might pop out of her head. “Please excuse us, Lady Otillia. It will only be a brief excursion, and I will return your nephew to you in ample time. Unless you wish to join us?”

“As if I had a moment to spare!” Otillia looked like she might leap to her feet, but sighed and reached for another jam tart. “If you’re not at my door in an hour’s time, Wryler, I’ll send that useless manservant of yours to fetch you. If I can find him.” She shook her head and muttered, “So much to do in one day.”

Rouchet stepped back and gestured for Wryler to walk ahead of him. Wryler bowed to his aunt, who released him with a testy wave. He walked stiffly down the long stretch of the room, aware of Rouchet on his heels. He’d wanted to escape to the library, to be alone with his favorite people—dead scholars in books—and gather his thoughts. He’d certainly had no intention of prolonging his contact with Rouchet. It was damn awkward, is what it was.

Get through the wedding night. Submit to whatever has to happen, and then hopefully Rouchet will go on his way, ignoring his spouse like so many husbands do.

**

Ah, little chance of that Wryler.

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Fated to be born the useless fourth son of the Lord of Glimmerveen, Wryler dreams of getting married and escaping the rustic confines of his father’s castle. A wealthy merchant’s son seems to hold the key to Wryler’s safe if somewhat dreary future. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger on the eve of Wryler’s betrothal sends his plans into disarray and Wryler finds himself traded off in marriage to one of the most notorious rogues in the land.

Is Lord Aeric Rouchet the scoundrel he appears to be, or is he something much worse? Separated from his family and thrust into a strange and dangerous new life at the foreboding Gryffon Hall, Wryler must unravel the secret of his husband’s shadowed life and defeat the curse which threatens not only his growing affection for the barbarian in his bed, but the lives of everyone the Lord of Gryffon Hall is sworn to protect.

Buy on Amazon 

ARe

Loose Id

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Don’t forget to continue the hop at Seductive Studs for more sweet and sexy m/m goodness.