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.

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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.

***

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

***

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

 

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Better Get Packing

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Greetings and welcome to another round of Weekend Writing Warriors.

I’m forging ahead with a scene from my new release, Gryffon Hall.  Wryler has just found out that he’s been betrothed to a stranger, the notorious Lord Aeric Rouchet.  The arrangement is very advantageous for Wryler’s father, but that’s cold comfort to Wryler.  The “they” in the first sentence is Wryler’s father and a government minister.

***

They both smiled broadly, completely unconcerned with Wryler’s feelings or the terrifying fate they’d bound him to.

Wryler lifted his chin and put back his shoulders. “And when is the ceremony set to occur? Sometime in the summer?” he asked, mind racing. There was still a chance he could talk to Rouchet and explain that Wryler had no interest in marrying him, that he loved—or at least was fond of—another. Maybe MacFarlane would reject the Arsburry offer and Wryler’s father could be persuaded to reconsider—

“Seven days hence at Gryffon Hall. Lord Rouchet has already taken his leave in order to prepare his household. You’re to follow in three days. Better get packing.”

***

AD_GryffonHall

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

***

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 ~ No Turning Back

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the  blog hop where a bunch of really great writers share from their published works, works in progress or whatever has just fallen out of their brain pan. Don’t be alarmed–it’s fun!

This week I’m excited to share my cover for the first time as well as a snippet from Gryffon Hall, my m/m fantasy which is being released on Tuesday!  Yes, this Tuesday.  Nothing like getting promotional materials three days before release to get a writer’s heart a-pounding. But I digress.  Wryler has just been informed by his father that he’s been betrothed to the notorious Lord Aeric Rouchet and has expressed misgivings (to put it lightly). If you’d like to read the scene leading up to this, you can find snippets here, here and here.

***

Minister Cook, who had yet to utter a sound, cleared his throat and said, “If it will ease your mind, Master Wryler, consider the likelihood that the tales of monsters have been kept alive by the Rouchets themselves, in order to guard their borders and enhance their prestige. If we really believed centaurs and gryffons still roamed the woods, we’d hardly risk sending a heavily laden caravan through the forest, with or without Rouchet’s guidance.”

Wryler chewed his lower lip—it wasn’t the monsters in the forest that concerned him.

“And if I refuse?”

Lord Glimmerveen laughed heartily and slapped Wryler on the shoulder. “If you refuse, I’ll escort you to Gryffon Hall at swordpoint myself. The ink on the contract has dried. There’s no turning back. Think of all the new stars you’ll see without the fog and dust of the valley to obscure your sky peeper.”

“It’s called a telescope,” Wryler groused.

***

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Cover art by April Martinez

 

Gryffon Hall ~ Release date August 30, 2016

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.

***

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 ~ A Very Logical Impulse

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What better way to kick off the week than a little juicy m/m goodness? Welcome to Seductive Studs and our new Monday launch time.  I received the contract for Gryffon Hall this morning, so I thought I’d celebrate with a snippet.  Gryffon Hall is a fantasy inspired by the fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast.  In this scene, Wryler has married his beast and is suffering through the wedding feast on pins and needles, anticipating the night to come.

~~~

Wryler mostly ignored the conversation and jokes. His mind was consumed by what awaited him that evening. Every nerve was so tightly wound he couldn’t tell if he was terrified or stirred by a level of lust he’d never experienced before. He hadn’t been jesting about wanting to tear his clothes off and found himself desperately anxious to see Rouchet undressed.

He told himself this was a very logical impulse to put everything into its proper perspective, to put to rest the ridiculous stories he’d been told, and get the whole thing over with. He drank too much too fast, which unfortunately fueled his impatient flames and made his hand want to creep along Rouchet’s thigh. He was in a fight against this impulse when Rouchet leaned against him and whispered, “Time for us to depart.”

Wryler hiccupped. “So soon?” He looked around and noticed many of the candles had burned down more than half way, but the servants were too drunk to change them out. Several guests slumped over their plates, snoozing loudly. Here and there cousins had simply stretched out on the floor. Dancers stepped over them most incautiously, laughing as they kicked or stepped on their insensible relatives.

Rouchet chuckled and helped, or rather, lifted Wryler to his feet and led him away toward the side door the servants used. “Let’s depart without fanfare,” Rouchet said after the deed was done.

“Yes, let’s.” Wryler struggled to walk steadily and match Rouchet’s stride. He tried not to cling too tightly to his husband’s muscular arm or lean on him too noticeably. Determined to keep his dignity, he met the long curving staircase with stern resolve.

“Would you like me to carry you?” Rouchet asked, an annoyingly sober twinkle in his forest green eyes.

“What? No!” Wryler released Rouchet’s arm, took two steps up and fell forward onto his hands and knees. He barely had time to curse before Rouchet wrapped an arm around his waist, pulled him to his feet and then lifted Wryler into his arms.

~~~

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Unofficial blurb:

Gryffon Hall

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 barbarian 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.

***

Seductive Studs offers a range of m/m fiction, ranging from sweet to smexy and everything in between. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the hop at www.seductivestuds.blogspot.com