Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A Commanding Presence

Hello there, and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. WWW is a blog hop where a bunch of writers share excerpts of ten sentences or less from a wide variety of genres. It’s like the sampler option at your local brew pub; you get to try a little taste of everything.

I’ve been sharing from my current work-in-progress, which is a reimagined fairy tale. In the first chapter, Prince Gabriel and his manservant Webster are returning to Gabriel’s home along a forest road. Webster, castle born and bred, is having some trouble with his mount. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

“You there,” Gabriel pointed at Webster’s horse in his most princely manner, “You must always stay three yards behind Tempest here, who is your superior. Do you understand?”

The horse, a rather skittish young chestnut, tossed its head, snorted, and took three steps back.

Webster shook his head. “I swear they do understand you, my lord.”

“They understand a commanding presence,” Gabriel said, and looked at man and horse sternly. “You must not be so polite to your mount.”

“I’ve actually been quite short with him on occasion, but it makes no difference. I’m not cut out to be a horseman, your lordship.”

“That much is clear.”

***

Well, this is much fancier than anything Gabriel would be caught dead in, but I love the artist. Ivan Bilibin. Image in public domain.

***

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 ~ No Sense of Propriety

Hello and Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.  It’s good to be back after a two week break. I attended two weekend conferences; one for writing and one for screwing my head on straight. Both were helpful, though the head still feels a bit off kilter.

Our hero, Prince Gabriel, also feels off kilter. In the last snippet, he’s on the road returning to a home he hasn’t seen in almost three years. He’s torn between nostalgia and fear at what he might find there. These snippets are from my current WIP, a reimagined fairy tale.

***

Gabriel spent a few quiet moments brooding, sinking deeper into a state of anticipatory dread, until his manservant Webster rode around the bend in the lane behind him. Being less than skilled with a horse, Webster and horse charged past Gabriel without slowing.

“I must insist you halt!” Webster shouted at his horse.  He tilted alarmingly in the saddle as the horse’s back end caught up with its front. Man and beast came to a stop ten yards down the road.

“Begging your pardon, my liege! This horse has no sense of propriety.”

Webster steered his mount back to Gabriel’s side, elbows stuck out wide, reins too long and loose in his hands. There was no point in correcting his technique, a fact Gabriel had learned on the long ride from Craigmoor.

“The horse only knows what you tell it,” he said, not bothering to hide a smile.

***

How Webster sees himself. Illustration by Ivan Bilibin (1876-1942) Image in Public Domain.

***

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 ~ First Sight

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.  This week I’m sharing from a new work-in-progress. This story is a fairy tale mash-up along the lines of Gryffon Hall, set in the same world and infested with the same monsters, gremlins and shadowy goings-on, but with different main characters. I’m not going to mention the title yet, because I have this crazy idea that leaving the fairy tale it’s based on a mystery might be kind of fun, in an evil author sort of way. This snippet is the beginning of Chapter One.

***

At the first sight of the red-tiled roof of Castle Rosenthal’s tallest tower, Prince Gabriel reined in his horse Tempest, and brought him to a halt.  The castle was still nearly half a day’s ride away, at the far end of a long valley, but because it perched on a lone hill, Gabriel could see it from the sunny top of the distant rise where he’d stopped. Today the north watchtower rose up alone out of a foggy soup that clung to the castle like ghostly tentacles. To reach it, he would have to ride into the fog blanketing the valley, and be enshrouded in its dank shadows.

Gabriel shivered. He hadn’t been home in almost three years, and now that his mother the Queen was dead, he had less desire than ever to visit. But his brother, now the king, had summoned him.

Gabriel peered into the fog, attempting to see what awaited him in that cold, shambling pile of ancient stones. Memories, some pleasant, mostly not, crept out of long buried places. Visions of his father, dead so long ago, and now his mother, came and went along with pangs of grief.

***

Home Sweet Home

***

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 ~ Strange Cat

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I’ve been sharing from my work in progress, Wild, Book 4 in the Jacqui the Cat Mysteries series.  I’m venturing dangerously close to spoiler territory, so this might be the last snippet I share from this book, at least for a while.

I believe this scene is fairly self-explanatory. We’re in Jacqui’s POV, always an interesting place to be.

***

He and Cat were more than ready. With a dizzying shimmer he shed unnecessary bulk and height.  For one heart-stopping moment he had no shape and then, as if he’d flung himself off a cliff, he plummeted. His perception altered, colors faded but details sharpened, and everything grew in size around him.

Blinking a few times, he stretched to his full length, arched his back and shook all over. Then, he jumped onto the dryer and slid out the window in a flash. A thick rhododendron bush grew right outside—not the easiest shrub to navigate, but he rustled through it and soon stood on the street, scanning up and down for threats.

No one was in view, except for a possum rooting around a few yards over and a bat darting in the air above him. With Cat’s nose, a thousand new smells crowded in on him.

Strange cat on the prowl, up the hill.

***

Okay, not exactly Friday Harbor, but the mood is right.

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

***

I’ve had some inquiries if my books are available in formats other than Kindle. At this time, only Gryffon Hall and Matthias (DreamSpinners Press) are 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!

***

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!

***

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

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Go Wild

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors again! I almost forgot to sign up this week. I was surprised by Saturday, surprised by the end of September, basically just surprised that time continues to roll along even when I’m seriously stuck in denial and clinging futilely to the last warm days of autumn. Where did summer go? Well, as usual, I had my nose buried deeply in a book, a book I am writing. As usual when I’m engrossed in a WIP and don’t have anything new coming out, I tend to isolate, spend half my weekend in my PJs sitting at the keyboard, and ignoring life. So I’m very grateful that WWW gives me the chance to reach out, connect with other writers and readers, and let the world know that yes, I’m still here. Still writing. Still making up stories about a man who turns into a cat.

The Work-in-progress that refuses to get finished is Wild, Book 4 in the Jacqui the Cat mysteries. I’ve been sharing from the first chapter and will continue on until I get to the juicy, spoiler bits. At present, Jacqui has decided to take a chance and change into his cat form while still at his boyfriend’s place. For those of you new to this story, Wyatt doesn’t know Jacqui is a cat shifter. No one does. This is a world that doesn’t believe in such things, for now.

***

Jacqui quietly closed the door and listened for sounds of a hunky man moving around upstairs. He heard nothing, nothing except the thud of his heart.

Admit it—you enjoy the thrill.

Maybe a little.

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, centering himself in his body. He didn’t have time or room for his normal meditative, yoga shifting ritual, so he just shook out his arms and gave the command to his muscles to relax. Relax and let go.

Let go of his shape, his humanity, his over-sized brain full of man concerns and man anxieties. Let Cat take over. Shrink, compact, go wild.

***

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

***

I’ve had some inquiries if my books are available in formats other than Kindle. At this time, only Gryffon Hall and Matthias (DreamSpinners Press) are 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!

***

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!

***

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

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Under The Covers

Welcome to my corner of Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide range of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.

I’m sharing from my Work-in-progress, Book 4 in the Jacqui the Cat Mysteries series. The working title is Wild. My dreams of publishing this book in September are dwindling on the vine, kind of like all those overripe tomatoes I don’t know what to do with. However, things are moving along and Jacqui is getting himself into bigger trouble than ever. (I knew I could rely on him.) Getting him out of trouble is what’s taking so long!

In this chapter, Jacqui has been contemplating the issues of being a cat in a human’s world, having an ordinary human boyfriend, and wondering if it’s time to move on. But enough thinking, it’s time to get moving and find some trouble.

***

Jacqui lifted one bare foot from the cold concrete and wriggled his toes. With September came the chill northern winds whipping down the Salish Sea, bringing in salty air from the harbor and a smoky smell from wood stoves burning all across the island.

Must shift.

Jacqui was excruciatingly careful about when and where and how long he turned into Cat these days.  He never appeared in daylight and kept to himself.  Wyatt, in his well-meaning way, had attempted to relocate Cat, or Satan, as Wyatt called him, to the “wilds” of San Juan Island’s southern shore area. Jacqui had found his way home in a day or two, but hadn’t let Wyatt, or anyone else, see him in his cat form since. The villagers were out to get him. To cage him and maybe even put him down.

Shift, explore the hood, check out the new cat, and be safely tucked under the covers before Wyatt notices we were gone.

***

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

***

I’ve had some inquiries if my books are available in formats other than Kindle. At this time, only Gryffon Hall and Matthias (DreamSpinners Press) are 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!

***

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!

***

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