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:

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“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.

***

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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 ~ The Perfect Opportunity

Greetings 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, and maybe a few more to round out the scene.

I’m continuing to share from my latest release, Shameless In Seattle, a contemporary gay romance. I might spend a few more weeks on Shameless, and then switch to my new project, as soon as I decide what that is! I’m suffering from the pandoldrums, in which continued isolation gnaws away at my creativity. Luckily I have digital stacks of dusty first drafts that I can nibble away at and trick myself into writing. I recently opened an old file, thought ‘hey, this doesn’t suck’, and soon found myself with sixty fresh pages. I’m hoping the enthusiasm lasts.

On to the snippet! In this chapter, Aaron meets up with his ex-boyfriend, who is also a cop, at the Seattle music festival Bumbershoot. He’s hoping Martine can help him flush out Olympia Konstantin, the mysteries writer who seems to know everything about him.

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Martine speaks first:

“What are the odds on your stalker showing up here?”

“I have no idea. She or he knows where I eat, where I take Humphrey to get groomed, where I shop, where I buy my clothes, who I sleep with.” He sucked in a deep breath. “I announced online I was going to be here today. Seems like the perfect opportunity to spy and find out what beer I drink, right?”

“Sure, if they’re as active a stalker as they seem to be.” Martine accepted a plastic cup of amber beer while Aaron paid. They pushed their way back out of the mob. “Would have worked better if we weren’t together.”

That’s ten. Here’s a few more:

“I suppose, but it was hard to explain in a text.”

“There’s this new invention called voice mail, Aaron.” Martine sipped his beer. “Also, time to look over the photos and run background checks would’ve been helpful.”

“I know. It’s just—” Aaron glared up at the Space Needle looming above them. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to drag you into this. I don’t feel threatened by this person, only violated, like I have no privacy. I didn’t want to waste too much of your time.”

“Admit it. You wanted to see me and get me drunk.” Martine grinned and slapped him on the back.

“If you’d had time to think about it, you would’ve recruited half the department to set up a perimeter around the center. Then the stalker wouldn’t show up and I’d be even more embarrassed than I already am.”

“Poor Aaron, always so worried about what people think.”

“I’d rather Seattle PD doesn’t think I’m a flake.”

****

A taste of Bumbershoot, so you can see what they’re up against.

Shameless In Seattle is now available. Click here to view on Amazon.

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages of Shameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that might change both of their lives.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Totally Addicted

Hello and welcome to another round of Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences, with maybe a few more added on for your reading pleasure.

I’ve been sharing from my upcoming release Shameless in Seattle, and I’m excited to share the cover for the first time, below the excerpt. Aaron, a reporter in Seattle, is meeting with his friend Melanie, who has a big juicy secret that has something to do with her new favorite romance series. Melanie speaks first.

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“It’s the latest in the Shameless in Seattle series.  I’m totally addicted. Hot, hot, hot.”

“It looks ridiculous.”

“Don’t let the cover throw you. The retro look is an homage to old school romances, according to the dedication. The story is luscious, and funny.  And the action happens in places we know; places we know real well, like this place.” She waved the book over her head.

“Pioneer Square?”

That’s ten. Here’s a few more to get us to Melanie’s big reveal.

“No, silly.  This bar. The Waterworks. And Martini Heaven. All the usual spots, and even unusual ones like Squid Row on Capital Hill and the offices at the courthouse.”

“Really? Do you know the author?”

“No. She’s apparently a bit of a recluse. And the name is a pseudonym, obviously.”

Aaron noted the name on the cover for the first time.  Olympia Konstantin.  He lifted his gaze to stare into Mel’s too happy green eyes.

“Are you Olympia? Are you writing this trash?”

“What? Me?”  She hooted so loud other tables of drinkers looked over.  “No! But you must know the writer.”

“Why?”

“Because this guy—” She waved her hand across the muscled torso on the cover like Vanna White displaying the wonders of a brand new mini-van. “Is you.”

***

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Shameless in Seattle – Coming soon! Blurb in progress:

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages of Shameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that will change his life.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Seattle Burned

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, with maybe a little more tacked on for your reading pleasure.

I’m sharing from my upcoming release, Shameless in Seattle. Our hero Aaron is enjoying a drink with his bestie, Melanie, who’s hinted that she has some tantalizing gossip to share. I’ve skipped over some witty banter to get to the juicy bits. You can read last week’s snippet here.

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Aaron sipped his beer and felt better.  Tension eased off him.  He’d worked late again, getting a story in just under deadline. A diverting drink with Mel kept him from brooding at home, and Pioneer Square was hopping on a warm summer evening.  He suspected it might be Friday night.  He checked his phone rather than ask Mel and open himself up to ridicule about the dire state of his social life. Yup. Friday the 13th.  Oh, swell.

“I don’t suppose you read many romances, do you?” she asked nonchalantly.

That’s ten. Here’s a bit more if you’re so inclined:

“Oh, sure. I’ve got stacks of them hidden in the closet. Why?”

“Well.”  She looked around furtively before reaching into her enormous handbag and removing a paperback with a garishly bright cover. Further inspection revealed a glossy, embossed image of a male model posing as a tough guy of some sort, shirt open to his belly button, wielding a huge gun. A buxom blond clung to his back but managed to contort in a way designed to expose maximum amounts of her impressive cleavage. In the background, the skyline of Seattle burned.

“What the hell?”

***

So there’s this whole thing where regular people recreate romance covers. Awesome!

Blurb in progress:

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages of Shameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that will change his life forever.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Runaway Train

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 fewer, or more. But don’t worry, there’s a “more” warning, in case your time is precious.

I’ve started sharing from my soon to be released contemporary gay romance, Shameless in Seattle. Aaron Schafer, reporter for the Seattle Times, is meeting with his pal Melanie for a drink in Pioneer Square. She’s hinted that she has some personal intel for him. He doubts that it’s anything good. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

“Oh, no, no more blind dates with hapless clients, Mel.  I don’t care how hot or hung he is.”

“Nothing like that, I swear.  So how are you, Aaron? Order a drink or two, then we’ll talk.”

He shook his head, leaned back and tried to relax.  He’d half expected her to have another potential mate sitting beside her when he arrived, so he took a moment to be thankful she was alone. Ever since his misguided fling with Melanie Parker, she’d adopted him as her pet project.  Instead of taking his decision to stick strictly with men personal, she’d rallied to the cause and seemed determined to hook him up with desperate ex-cons.  Her job as a defense lawyer gave her an endless supply.

That’s ten. Here’s a bit more if you’re so inclined:

He nodded at the waiter, Vic, who nodded back and bee-lined for the bar. “I’m fine,” he said.

“Fucked-up, Insecure, Neurotic and Egotistical? How nice.  Glad nothing’s changed.”

“Why am I here?” he asked.

“Because you love me.  I know you’re still pining, poor dear.” She patted his forearm and slurped her drink. Truth was, Mel was like the nosy older sister he already had and didn’t need any more of. Still, she was compelling, like a runaway train headed straight for him.  He couldn’t quite make himself jump off the track.

***

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Blurb in progress:

Aaron Schafer, star reporter for the Seattle Times, is shocked to find out he’s the inspiration for a series of bodice-ripper romances written by a reclusive author no one has met.  He’s even more surprised, and disturbed, on discovering intimate secrets from his past buried in the pages of Shameless in Seattle. Who is this mystery author, who has clearly been stalking him and stealing details from his life? Are they dangerous? And worse, will they reveal Aaron’s darkest secret to the world? Aaron decides to stalk the stalker, a decision that will change his life forever.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ You Ain’t Them

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in ten sentences or fewer. However we now have a new rule which lets us add a bit more to round out the post, so I’m abusing that privilege today! I’m going to start sharing from my upcoming release soon, so only a few more Jacqui excerpts to go.

I’ve skipped ahead from last week, because I want to get a big revelation that affects everything that happens next. Jacqui is grilling Reggie about where he came from. Reggie speaks first.

***

“The head of my clowder is a total asshole, so I split. I ran. Been running ever since. New York, Munich, Casablanca. There are more wild domestics than you’d think. They treat us the worst, I guess. Say, what breed are you, anyway?”

Jacqui had prepared for this question all his life.

“I’m a caracal. A wild African—”

*That’s ten, but I wanted to finish out this part of the conversation, in which Jacqui learns something disturbing about “his people”.

“No, you’re not. I met some caracals when I was in Morocco and you ain’t them. They’re bigger and their ear tufts are longer. I thought I knew all the tribes but you look kind of like, uh…holy shit.” Reggie blanched and his buggy eyes got wider. Even though they were alone, he dropped his voice to a whisper and asked, “You’re a mixed breed, aren’t you?”

At a loss, Jacqui glared at him.

Yeah. Probably. Maybe. So what?

“Got a problem with that, Reggie?”

“Me? No! Not at all. It’s just that, uh, they usually kill mutts—I mean—mixed breeds, at birth, so I’ve never met one.” His big eyes shifted around nervously. Clearly he regretted bringing it up, giving Jacqui the chance to have another internal mental meltdown.

Kill at birth. Reject. Outsider. Loner. Mutt.

We’re still alone.

Everything he didn’t want to be. Everything he thought would end when he met “his people”.

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PS To those also frustrated by WordPress’ new block editor, I discovered that if you start a post, save it and go out, you then have the option to edit with “Classic Editor”, which gets you back to the format to which we are accustomed! The only draw back is that every time you press save a message box pops up to ask if you’re sure you want to use classic. Worth it if you’re tired of struggling with the new format.

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I’m doing the book tour thing, featuring the entire Jacqui the Cat Mysteries line up. You can click here to read up on all the books and enter a giveaway for an Amazon gift card!

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Wild: Jacqui the Cat Mysteries #4 ~ Available Now!

Cat Shifter Jacqui Corleone has finally met his fated mate, but unlike in a romance novel, reality has other plans. For one thing, Wyatt doesn’t know Jacqui is a shifter. For another thing, the dog men are back, and along with their slobber and their bad breath they bring a new level of danger to Jacqui’s life, and to Wyatt’s. When Jacqui meets other cat shifters for the first time, he’s tantalized by a glimpse into their strange new world, but cats aren’t much nicer than dogs, and soon Jacqui must decide if he’s going to run again, or stand and fight against an enemy more powerful than he ever imagined.

Click Here to buy on Amazon.