Monday, August 25, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Tour: Vorgell the Barbarian Tells (Almost) All

Lovely fellow author Elyzabeth VaLey tapped me on theshoulder for this blog tour. Most of my characters fled at my approach, all but one….

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Welcome, Vorgell. Thank you for stopping by to answer a few questions.

V: It’s the least I can do in exchange for all the wine I can drink and a tray of cookies! These are very good.


Please, eat them all. I can’t eat cookies anyway.

V: Has a wizard cursed you? I know someone who can remedy that.

No, no. It’s punishment for a lifelong love affair with sweets. Besides, we want to know more about you. After your adventure with a unicorn horn—

V: You promised not to talk about that.

I’m not. But the… encounter left you with an unusual appetite for sex. How’s that going for you?

V: Very well, other than walking around with intense erections and, as a result, a great deal of frustration. My partner, Madd, understands my affliction and accommodates me often enough to keep me reasonably happy. That he forbids me from pleasuring him in certain ways I think would be greatly satisfying is something I must live with.

Madd being on the bottom, you mean?

V: His ass is enchanting. See? I’m hard just thinking about it.

Let’s get off that topic. When we left you and Madd in Thick as Thieves, you were working for Tagard, the thief king, and owed a favor to the witch Ibeena. Is that still the situation in the next book, Thick as Ice?

V: Yes, but not for long. For one thing, Ibeena calls in her favor and that’s all it takes to turn our lives inside out. Next thing you know, it’s up to us to stop a war. And a wedding.

What is Ibeena’s favor?

V: We’re to fetch her mother. Laugh if you dare. I laughed too, at first. But if you think Ibeena was bad, that is only because you have not yet met her mother. Thanks to Ibeena, we cross paths with many interesting people, including a hermit wizard whose fiend thinks it is a dog, and an evil duke who is romancing our friend Reannry’s sister, Gillja. We can’t put a finger on it, but neither Madd nor I trust him—nor does Petal, who hisses whenever we say his name.

Then Petal is still with you? She didn’t run off and join the other basilisks wherever basilisks live?

V: Why, Petal is the most loyal of friends! Other than Madd, of course, a man I trust with my back and my purse. Petal appears determined to stay with me. Madd claims she thinks I am her mother. Or possibly a lover, given how jealous she can be. It’s difficult to know what basilisks believe. She has been growing lately and shedding her skin more often. Also there are these odd bumps on her shoulders that she insists on having me scratch.

Do you run into any other magical creatures?

V: None as lovely as Petal. But our world has a great variety of creatures, and most are dangerous. In the next book I nearly get frozen by an ice harpy, drowned by winter goblins, do battle with a kraken, and encounter a unicorn.

A unicorn? Surely you didn’t—

V: Wolves’ breath, no! I know enough now to tell the difference between a unicorn and a deer. No, I do not harm it, even though… well, the creature behaved strangely. I believe it… it thinks it knows me.

Oh.

V: Do I have cause to be afraid?

by J. Lubrano
Whos afraid of unicorns? Moving on. Do you and Madd have any relationship moments for readers to look forward to?

V: A few. We’re still figuring things out. Madd thinks I’m overprotective and perhaps I am. I know how when I first met him I assumed because he is small and finely made, and pretty, he must of course be used sexually. Isn’t that what small, pretty men are for? So I… know too well what other men are thinking.

I am learning to respect Madd’s restrictions. He needs them. But he has begun to lower his defenses on occasion. From time to time he shows me a part of him that other men damaged, and that is when I have the chance to show him I can be there with him, that he has someone who will not leave him. For that, I think, we are even stronger together than ever.

Can I share a little of that together time?

V: May I have more cookies?

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Excerpt from Thick as Ice:

Although warm and sour, the mead slid like golden honey down Madd’s throat. He didn’t really like the swill, but drink made certain things come easier. Like giving Vorgell those smiles.

After several months as partners, he’d been doing a lot of nonsense like that, though most of the time he tried to hide it. It was more than just that he found his oversized partner useful, and Vorgell’s semen a ready source of magic. Saying he only wanted Vorgell around for the magic felt more like a lie every day. He actually enjoyed the man’s company, and not just when they were working together. He even liked the sex. Something was going on with him, something scary, and the best defense Madd had found against fear was to drown it in magic and mead.

It didn’t help that having Vorgell at hand allowed him to behave in ways he might not otherwise have dared.

Hell, he could dress like a lord, show himself off in the worst quarter of the city, flirt with strangers he had no intention in the world of bedding, and offer himself as brazenly as any whore. And he could do this because giant, sword brandishing Vorgell was sitting just feet away with his pals, looking like a battle god come to earth while keeping eye on him with the territorial gaze of a wolf. It was uncanny how the drunker Madd got, the more sober Vorgell seemed to become. Like now, for instance. Vorgell appeared to be damn near clear-headed.

Madd put his mug down for the last time. Another round with his cup might cost him the ability to walk. Being slung over Vorgell’s shoulder for the trip back to their accommodations would be humiliating.

“Let’s go home,” he said.

Vorgell’s companions looked annoyed, but they didn’t try to stop the big man from rising to join Madd.

“You good to walk?”

“Of course.” Madd proceeded to prove the point. Even with mead in his blood he was more coordinated than most people. Vorgell reaching an arm around his shoulder to steady him really wasn’t necessary.

They reached street level and were immediately wrapped in darkness and summer’s oppressive swelter. Gurgh’s rivers made sure of the latter. The thick air was enough to clog a man’s lungs. And the stench… Madd forced his stomach back down his throat. The fetid stink of the river didn’t mix well with the mead sitting in his gut.

“Aw, Madd, you’re not going to puke again, are you?”

He was glad for Vorgell’s arm now, guiding him along the street and making it easy for him to walk with his eyes closed. He trusted Vorgell to spy any threats. “I don’t puke. I never puke unless I ate something foul. I told you, my Gran taught me a spell against excess drink and, thanks to you, I have all the magic in the world.”

“Yes, well, you’re letting me lead you.”

“Only because drink makes me fuzzy a little. But I won’t puke.” They walked more or less in a straight line down a street half paved with rough stones. In one of the doorways two figures grappled and moaned and bumped loudly enough to have awakened the inhabitants, who shouted for them to cease.

“Whenever you drink, I end up fighting someone.”

“Yes, me. Because you always step in before I finish anyone off.” Madd knew why Vorgell did it, but knowing didn’t make him like it better.

“Tagard put us on notice. I’ve been trying to restrain myself but when I see men beset you, I feel only an urge to crush their skulls. It doesn’t help that when you drink, you flirt like a man in search of a bounce in bed.”

“I don’t flirt with just anyone, only with you. I can’t help it other men mistake my target.”

“Me? Since when?”

“Since… I don’t know. Do you really expect me to be able to answer questions coherently right now? Besides”—Madd swam against the swirl inside his head—“I want you to trust me to fend for myself. I can handle a blade. I always could use a knife and now you taught me to use a sword and that damn axe you’re so fond of—”

“At which you are terrifying. The only thing you ever killed with it was a head of lettuce.”

True. He’d been aiming for a practice dummy Vorgell had set up in the garden of their most recent abode. Which reminded him…

“I think we can afford a better neighborhood. Tomorrow I’ll fence another ruby and we can buy one of those fancy houses in the Nightingale quarter. We can get servants and be respectable.”

“That won’t arouse anyone’s suspicions.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Many thanks to Vorgell for being brave enough to be interviewed. When I left him, he was polishing off a second plate of cookies and sharpening his ax.

Next Monday the following lovely authors will be sharing their characters:

Rob Colton (hmmm... could it be from his hot new Degan universe WIP?)
Kazy Reed (be sure to check out Kazy’s photolog while visiting)
Nephylim (such gorgeous artwork on her site, in addition to her stories)
Jim Dunaway (a new writer with lots of free stories to offer)
Ravon Silvius (science fiction and fantasy)

Any questions for Vorgell? He’ll answer anything as long as I keep bringing the cookies. :D

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cover Reveal: Lex Chase's Americana Fairy Tale

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Americana Fairy Tale by Lex Chase

Genre: M/M Fairy Tale Urban Fantasy Length: Novel, 340 Pages Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb

Modern fairy-tale princess Taylor Hatfield has problems. One: He’s a guy. Two: His perfect brother Atticus is the reincarnation of Snow White. Three: Taylor has no idea which princess he is supposed to be. Four: Taylor just left his prince (a girl) at the altar. Despite his enchanted lineage, Taylor is desperate to find his Happily Ever After away from magic, witches, and stuffy traditions. Regrettably, destiny has other plans for him. Dammit.

When word reaches Taylor that Idi the Witchking has captured Atticus, Taylor is determined to save his brother. He enlists the help of rakish and insufferable Corentin Devereaux, likewise of enchanted lineage. A malicious spell sends Taylor and Corentin on a road trip through the kitschy nostalgia of roadside Americana. To save Atticus, they must solve the puzzles put forth by Idi the Witchking. As they struggle, Taylor and Corentin’s volatile partnership sparks a flash of something more. But princesses have many enemies, and Taylor must keep his wits about him because there’s nothing worse than losing your heart… or your head.   pink-swirl-divider goodreads-badge-add
Pre-order from Dreamspinner Press in eBook and Paperback
Available September 12th, 2014
Paperbacks ordered through Dreamspinner Press qualifies for Free Shipping to GRL for pick-up!
Use code: GRL2014
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Excerpt

Still flustered and confused, with no time to contemplate what had just come over him, Corentin tossed out his hand and gestured to the open road. “Do you see signs for I-85 North anywhere, genius?”

“Man, you’re really bitchy,” Ringo said, crossing his arms. “Have enough water today? Hydration is important.”

“Why should I trust you anyway? You could be getting us lost on purpose,” Taylor said. There was a sneer in his tone, and he glared in the rearview. “I’m not counting out we nearly died three seconds ago.”

“I was avoiding a tire in the road,” Corentin lied. “And I am not getting us lost.” His irritation grew as he tried to puzzle through everything that had just transpired. “I’m keeping my promise. You’re useless to me, so we’re going to go save your brother and kill Idi instead.”

“Woooooah,” Ringo said, holding up his hands in surrender. “You didn’t tell me this was Idi we were up against.”

“Someone fill me in,” Taylor said in a demanding tone.

Corentin gritted his teeth. Just like all princesses, Taylor was a pretty spoiled brat.

“Idi is the Witchking,” Corentin said simply. He braced himself for the oncoming flurry of questions. Which he wouldn’t know how to answer in the simplest of terms.

“Idi’s bad juju,” Ringo said. “The worst of all witches.”

“And we’re going to kill him?” Taylor asked.

Corentin caught him arching a brow and making a doubtful expression in the rearview. “That’s the plan.”

“And save Atticus,” Taylor said.

That’s the plan,” Corentin repeated tersely.

“What’s in it for you?” Taylor asked. Something in his tone suggested his mistrust had hit its limit.

Before Corentin could come up with an expert lie, he was unfortunately saved by the GPS popping with sizzles and showering sparks over the cabin of the truck. Ringo zipped behind the passenger seat, and Taylor yelped in a half squeal. The truck fishtailed over two lanes and came dangerously close to clipping a car.

Corentin acted fast, ripping the melting device from its dash mount and chucking it out the window. Taylor turned to look out the back window, and Corentin caught the bright orange flame as the thing exploded like a grenade. When the spots cleared from Corentin’s eyes, he muttered a curse under his breath as the truck passed from a clear division of daylight into the dead of night. He clicked the headlights on and waited for his eyes to adjust.

“What the hell is going on?” Taylor asked, leaning up to the back window.

“Idi’s fucking with us,” Corentin said. “It seems like he’s trying to delay us as much as possible.”

“He knows we’re onto him,” Taylor said. “Way to go for discussing the super-secret squirrel plan out loud.”

“You know…,” Corentin said, glaring in the rearview. “You are a lot more pleasant when you’re passed out, snoring.”

Taylor huffed. “I don’t snore.”

“You bleat like a dying hyena,” Ringo said, then spit a giggle.

Taylor’s attention snapped to the pixie. “What is this? Asshole day?”

Corentin caught his eerie pink glare in the rearview. “Dude, just get off at the nearest exit. We should be near Birmingham by now.”

“All right, all right,” Corentin said, and it was a pleasant reprieve that Taylor kept his mouth shut for more than five minutes. It didn’t last.

“Hey, hey!” Taylor said and pointed at a green-and-white interstate exit sign in the distance. “Talladega! Turn here. I can get us to Atlanta from here. We’re not that far off.”

Corentin guided the truck up the exit ramp and frowned. Something was wrong—flat-topped mesas came into view.

“What the…?” Taylor whispered and watched the rolling dunes of the Painted Desert.

“Uuuh…,” Ringo added and pressed himself to the windshield. The occasional cactus whisked by. “Wow, Talladega’s having a hard time with the drought this season,” Ringo said through their awestruck silence.

“That’s not a drought,” Corentin said softly. Taylor squinted into the distance. “Does ‘Welcome to Arizona, the Grand Canyon State’ answer your question?”

Ringo pasted his face to the windshield. “How do you even see—” Ringo squeaked when the state sign of Arizona blurred by. “Oh my Storyteller!”

Corentin remained tense, trying to get his thoughts together. Taylor, however, seemed to not be able to resist blurting out his opinion. “It seems this Eddie guy is doing more than just fucking with us.”

Idi,” Corentin said and realized how terse he sounded. “I think he wants to do more than just delay us.”

Ringo peeled himself from the windshield. He slapped his hands to his cheeks in horror. “He wants us to die out here?” he croaked.

“Panicking is not going to help,” Corentin said firmly.

“Easy for you to say,” Taylor snapped. “We just need to stop somewhere and ask for directions. We’ll get back on the right road in no time.”

Corentin sighed. Taylor’s hope was admirable, but Ringo was only half right. They would die out here, but only one of them. This was Corentin’s first trial. Now he was here, in the middle of nowhere, with Taylor to do with what he will. As soon as that was over, Idi would release him and he’d be on his way, but only until the next time Idi summoned him to do his bidding.

They drove on, again in a long-hanging silence. The interstate lay barren, not a single car or scrap of civilization to be seen. The pavement bore veins of black tar from years of shoddy repair. Corentin caught Taylor’s pink gaze in the rearview, and his feral eyes seemed to gleam in the dark. The princess shifted from one side of the backseat to the other. He seemed to look for anything that would help. He cupped his hands around the glass and peeked out into the night.

“I can’t see anything out there. It’s just desert,” Taylor muttered.

Ringo turned to Corentin, “How are we on ga—”

Don’t say it!” Corentin and Taylor shouted in unison. Ringo held up his hands and pursed his lips.

“Got it…. Uh… why?”

“I assume Eddie is listening in to everything,” Taylor said.

Idi,” Corentin corrected Taylor again. “I think sir princess is right. It seems the second we’ve said anything, something’s gone wrong.”

Ringo fluttered over to the dash and rested his chin in his palm. “You know… it could be all a coincidence….”

Corentin and Taylor glared angrily at Ringo in silence while the hum of the pavement whooshed as Corentin drove. Ringo waved his hands. “By Titania’s tatas, guys, I was just kidding!”

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Giveaway

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About the author
  LXC_FlamesLex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting too.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure and epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.

Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine now residing in the burbs of Northwest Florida, where it could be 80F and she’d still be a popsicle. She is grateful for and humbled by all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback. You can find in the Intarwebz here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LXChase Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lex_Chase Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/westbaylen

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Unicorn Rescue! Chris T. Kat on Mythological Creatures and a Giveaway

Unicorns? Did someone say unicorns? *perk*  First off, look at that gorgeous cover. Second, Chris T. Kat is here to talk about her latest book and its mythological title creature. 

And Chris is holding a GIVEAWAY! Check at the end of the post for details on winning a cute Unicorn Rescue coin purse.


Mythological Creatures
Tali, thank you very much for the opportunity to be a guest on your blog. eXtasy books published my new release, Unicorn Rescue, on August 15th.
Unicorn Rescue is, you've guessed correctly, about the rescue of a group of unicorns. I've always been fond of unicorns and wanted to write a story which included them for a long time already. But of course they're not the only well-known mythological creatures. So far I've written stories that included unicorns, mermaids (or in this case, merman) and harpies (those have been a fan fiction story). But what about some other well-known creatures? How about:
1.      Phoenix:
He’s the mythical firebird and is portrayed as a bird that dies in fire and is reborn of it. A popular Phoenix in literature is Fawkes in the Harry Potter books.
2.      Minotaur:
The Minotaur is described as having the upper body of a bull and the lower body of a man.
3.      Banshee:
Banshees are usually seen as female spirits, sometimes they're called fairies. It's described that Banshees wail when someone is about to die, which is why they're considered to be omens of death.
4.      Griffin / Gryphon:
This creature is depicted as a lion with the head and wings of an eagle. The Griffin is a majestic creature, that's supposed to be particularly strong and the protector of the divine.
5.      Giant:
A giant is a fairly common mythological creature. It's usually described as either a human or a monster of great strength and size. Often they're associated with chaos.
Which mythological creature would you like to read about? Do you have a favorite book with mythological creatures? Please recommend them in the comments.

Thank you! :)



Buy links:
All Romance Ebooks:
Amazon:
Blurb:
A search for missing unicorns reveals a Fate that Samuel has only dreamed of before.
When they first meet, Jordan takes Samuel’s breath away—but not in a good way. Jordan knocks Samuel, a gatekeeper from a world called Eden, flat on his ass. In Jordan’s defense, Samuel did freak him out, appearing out of thin air the way he did. Luckily, the appearance of the unicorns preempts a possible fight.
Relieved to have found Eden’s unicorns, Samuel is astonished that Jordan knows about them, despite the fact that their horns have been concealed by magic. Attempting to remove the halters that bind them, Samuel is rendered unconscious.
The question now is how to get the unicorns back to Eden, as well as solve the mystery of who has stolen them to begin with. But just maybe Samuel and Jordan need to deal with this attraction between them that seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Are their feelings tied in with the mystery of the unicorns?

Excerpt:
“What the fuck?” Samuel groaned. After locating the unicorns on Earth, he’d opened a gate at night and stepped through it, not expecting any trouble while retrieving the unicorns.
But something had gone wrong because he found himself sprawled on the soft grass, rubbing his aching jaw. The darkness around him wasn’t absolute—a sparse scattering of stars in the sky illuminated his surroundings. As he searched for his gate, he came up empty. There had been no time to stabilize it and, annoyed, he conceded that it probably had collapsed.
“Who are you? Or should I ask what are you?”
Samuel opened and closed his mouth several times, wondering whether he needed a healer or if an ice-pack would be sufficient. He sat up and observed the man who’d knocked him to the ground. The same man he’d seen in Selina’s crystal ball.
“I asked you a question!”
“Well, it would’ve been easier to ask your question first instead of knocking me out. Just a well-meant piece of advice for next time.” Samuel hauled himself to his feet and shook his head to clear it. His jaw would sport a wonderful bruise tomorrow if he didn’t do something about it. This guy sure had a powerful fist.
“I didn’t allow you to get up!”
Samuel fixed his gaze on the man, taking stock of him. He’d seemed small in the crystal ball but that didn’t have to mean anything. Still, even in real life he came across as small but lean, with bright blue eyes that looked rather huge in his finely chiseled face. Pretty. Really pretty.
“I’m talking to you!”
“You’re not talking, you’re screaming,” Samuel said. “Scared?”
“Why would I be scared of someone who stepped out of nothingness? Although it looked like some kind of opening, which is all kinds of weird and… and… who are you?”
“I’m Samuel, nice to meet you…?” Samuel smiled and extended his hand, knowing he’d surprised the other man with his casual manner.
“Jordan.”
“Hello, Jordan. Now, how about we start again? I think we got off on the wrong foot.” Samuel clasped Jordan’s trembling hand in his. “Don’t be afraid.”
“Afraid? No, no, I’m not. I mean, why would I be? It’s an everyday thing that people show up out of thin air. Haha! See? I’m not afraid.”
“Ah, yes, I noticed how not afraid you are.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chris T. Kat
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there's any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

Links:

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Chris-T.-Kat/e/B008FQQH2Q

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GIVEAWAY!

Chris is giving away two Unicorn Rescue coin purses to two lucky winners. The giveaway runs from August 13th to August 21st. All you have to do is to leave a comment on one of her stops. Please make sure to leave Chris an email addy to contact you. 

She'll pick the winner on August 22nd.

The tour dates are here:
August 13th: Tempeste O'Riley
August 14th: The Blogger Girls
August 16th: Jon Keys
August 17th: Julie Lynn Hayes
August 18th: MA Church

August 19th: Tali Spencer

Monday, August 18, 2014

What About Me? The Fabulous Five Blog Post

Gillian St. Kevern tagged me for this talk-about-myself blog hop. The hop invited me to answer the five questions below. I encourage you to check out Gillians blog to find out what shes up to. As for me:

What am I working on?

My current project, Thick as Ice, is nearly finished. The book continues the adventures of Vorgell and Madd from Thick as Thieves. Vorgell takes on winter goblins—in the heat of summer—and gets closer to Madd’s ass. I really enjoy this pair’s company, and their growing relationship plucks at my jaded heartstrings. Fans will be happy to learn Petal continues to be fierce, is now a teenager, and has mysterious bumps on her shoulders. Here’s a snippet of the boys:

~~~~~~~~~~

Taking advantage of one of the shadows, Madd pressed Vorgell toward a building wall. It was a clumsy move, as much a product of mead as of lust, but he brazened it by cupping his friend’s well-endowed groin and grinning when what felt like a serpent moved under his hand.

“You can’t resist me, you know.”

“Never could. And tonight I can’t get you to a bed fast enough. This way.” Vorgell dragged him out of the shadow and cast a watchful glance in every direction. Thieves Wart boasted a surplus of villains.

“It’s better in moonlight.”

“What is?”

“Cock sucking, you oaf. It’s better then. All cocks are pretty in moonlight.”

“I do not think you could be any drunker and still walk on two legs.”

~~~~~~~~~~

I’m also writing a standalone short for the boys. It should appear later this year in a charity anthology.

But wait! There’s more! I’m writing another short—about a spider shifter—for an April Fool’s Anthology early next year. I’ve set the story on a remote island in northern Wisconsin where the natives are hostile to newcomers, especially those they invite to join them for dinner.  After that? Let’s just say I don’t lack for WIPs needing attention.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Other people can probably answer that better than I can. No writer sees their own work clearly. One thing I bring to my work is long experience with reading and writing science fiction and fantasy. I learned my craft at the knees of some amazing editors and writers and I’m pretty exacting about genre elements. My magic systems aren’t flimsy. My settings are detailed. But so are those of other writers and I couldn’t tell you precisely how mine differ. 

My main love is building worlds and invoking a sense of wonder and place. My readers will enter lush worlds, fully developed societies with clear rules, and inhabited by characters who fit seamlessly into their surroundings. They belong there and the story belongs there. I think that’s true even for my recent contemporary story, The Last Cannoli.

Oh, and there’s humor, some books more than others. But rumor has it Thick as Thieves and The Last Cannoli have made people laugh.

* By the way, if you know a way my work differs from others, could you please tell me in a comment? I would be eternally grateful.

Why do I write what I do?

I spent my childhood being continually uprooted. We moved from place to place, state to state, and I never lived in the same place more than two years. Every time I made friends I had to leave them behind. One reason I started making up my own worlds was to have control over something. In addition to accumulating a rich trove of landscapes, people, and social values, I devised a certain way of looking at the world. I was always the other. The new kid. The outsider. Imagine being the tallest (and blondest) person when walking through crowds in Bolivia. So I became fascinated by otherness. My favorite stories still feature characters in unfamiliar settings, or from exotic backgrounds. After I discovered The Lord of the Rings and the books of Thomas Burnette Swann, I was hooked. Fantasy and science fiction completely suited me.

What’s so great about fantasy and science fiction is that any idea is possible and can be developed, examined, and explored. A completely frozen world. An imprisoned god. Women who need men for only one thing—and it isn’t reproduction. Humanity meeting a form of life it cannot subdue. And it’s not necessary to leave human emotions and passions behind. Human characters, in any setting, will fight, love, fear, and strive for something. We can crawl inside the alien, visit societies Earth has never seen. Every story I write is a model used to explore and show the immense power of being human, of finding those other people we can trust and love.

And then there’s sex. Every permutation of human sexuality is beautiful and worthy of being explored, including the way sex is misunderstood and manipulated. In fact, sexual landscapes can be among the most challenging, and rewarding, to visit. Once you get past physical attraction, what really pulls another person in and makes them want to share their bodies and secrets not just for a night but forever? The combinations are endless.

How does my writing process work?

A story usually begins with a character. Almost always the character has a problem. In one of my MF WIPs, when the heroine meets the hero, she’s pregnant with another man’s child. Can a pregnant woman attract a hot man? Thick as Thieves germinated from the idea of a perpetually oversexed barbarian (how much fun could I have with that!?) who falls for a prickly male witch. The main character and narrator in The Last Cannoli was suggested by a prompt, but I knew I had my story when I envisioned a relocated Midwesterner finding work at a Philadelphia Italian bakery famed for its cannoli. His problem was stepping into a business run by a family of passionate Italian Americans. Trust me, that’s a problem—it took me a couple years to figure out the one I married into.

Naturally, there are exceptions, but in most cases once I have a character I create a conflict. Because conflicts provide direction. A fun conflict guarantees a fun story. An intense conflict, or a sexy one, creates a different kind of story. With every story I make a conscious decision what kind of story I want it to be, and devise a suitable conflict. If the story is deeply focused on the main characters, I make the conflict be about them. They are part of the conflict. What they do, why they do it, what happens as a result, all comes from some flaw or virtue within them that drives everything else. Sean Whelan, in The Last Cannoli, wants to express his creative side—and then wants to help the bakery he’s come to love by using his creative side—and the end result is a cannoli war. Madd Moondark doesn’t want to be controlled by anyone, which is why he puts the brakes on Vorgell’s lusty pursuit and also why they end up in a creepy castle trying to find a way to rid Madd of a cursed love collar that puts him in the bad guy’s power. Conflicts are the engine of the story.

Everything after that is gravy. I’m a pantser and it’s a bit like I’m in a video game, following my characters around, meeting new characters, and creating environments suitable for their adventures. I custom make worlds to suit the characters, rather than fit my characters to a world I’ve created. The exception, of course, is a series. The Uttor books all have the same world in common.

Setting is the third pillar. I pull landscapes from my memory and use them as foundations. The Prince of Winds owes its sweeping settings to the Andes of Bolivia and Peru, where I lived for a time as a young adult. Sorcerer’s Knot’s desolate storm swept island was inspired by cruises to St. John, New Brunswick, supplemented with research on the Faroe Islands. The Last Cannoli? I worked in a bakery in high school and did research here in Philly. Settings frame a story, give it color, shape, and meaning. The oak groves in Thick as Thieves represent natural power and interconnectivity. Madd’s connection to the oaks and the moon—to the setting—roots him deeply into the story. Vorgell is a visitor to Madd’s world. He is my alter ego, the Other.

And if I am giving the impression I’m very deliberate… I’m not. I’ve just been around long enough to have figured out what I do. My writing is terrifyingly spontaneous. Sometimes I come up with ideas or images in advance, but more often than not I create them on the spot, as needed. My heroes could use a bath and it would be fun to get them naked, of course, and clean, and have sexy fun—so how do I do that? I come up with a bath that also introduces a new character and advances the plot, because everything must advance the plot. My heroine is competent and her society accepting of such, but I need a way to show it. Let’s see… the hero can see her adjudicating a difficult case that—you got it—advances the plot. Writing is a constant process of finding solutions that move the story forward.

That said, I often get amazing ideas—even entire scenes or complete dialogues—when in the shower. Those end up getting scribbled on scraps of paper by an unclothed, dripping author. For everything else? I’m probably wearing jeans and sipping coffee.

Who’s Next on the Blog Hop?

Anyone who wants to be! I must be late to the game because I’m having trouble finding friends who haven’t already been tagged. Just saying this is a fun event and I encourage folks to join in.

Remember to comment if you can tell me how my work differs from those of other writers in my genres. That question really does come up a lot and I never have a good answer! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Welcome Lex Chase! The Shape of Things to Come: Glass Moon

ChasingSunrise_BlogTour_S

Hello everyone! I'm Lex Chase and I want to give a big thank you to Tali for hosting me today on the final stop on Chasing Sunrise Blog Tour! Chasing Sunrise paranormal urban fantasy featuring people eating vampires that definitely don't sparkle, Ancient Roman shifters, torture, war, genocide, and a love story that causes irrevocable consequences. It's definitely not your standard fluffy paranormal. It's dark, and leads readers to places that they never thought capable.

Now that Chasing Sunrise has been out for just about three weeks, I'd like to say over at Dreamspinner Press, it's #1 in Urban Fantasy and #1 in Vampires! WOOHOO! I'm pretty excited! But now... What's next? Well, first thing to tide you over in September, the first book in an all new series is launching called Americana Fairy Tale. The short version a modern day fairy tale princess guy who is a total fuckup of a human being, hooks up with a dirty, nasty Creole huntsman out of New Orleans, and they go on a road trip quest to defeat the witch. And there's the World's Largest Ball of Twine. I am just sayin'. It's the first in the Fairy Tales of the Open Road which will alternate in release with the Darkmore Saga. Now, the for the Darkmore Saga, the second book in that is called Glass Moon and is due out early 2015. I know. 2015! AUGH!

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A little bit about it, we pick up five years after Chasing Sunrise, and Jack and Sevon are still mapping out their relationship. Without blowing the whole thing for a book that's only been out three weeks, I'll sum it up as, Sevon's still trying to figure himself out and who he is as a person. With all the secrets of his heritage revealed, he struggles to know where he stands in the world. Things weren't easy before, and they're now even more dangerous. Jack can only ride out Sevon's storms, and be there when he comes out of them.

Jack will never leave Sevon's side, and remain loyal until the wheels fall off. Together, they find themselves at the epicenter of a crisis brought on by Chasing Sunrise and it's uncertain they're going to make it. Before Jack and Sevon will ever know peace, they'll have to dive back into war once again. An ancient foe has come to finish off the lovers once and for all, but Jack and Sevon are up to the task. Even if they are in emotional shambles, their duty to the subjects of Darkmore and Priagust come first. They say the bravest man is actually not brave at all. He is just brave for five minutes longer. Want an excerpt? Here you go.

Glass Moon Excerpt

Sevon watched Mirabelle as she explained. “They protect shores via hellburners.”

“Hellburners?” Jack asked. Sevon gritted his teeth. “I know what those are. I read about them in my studies. An abandoned ship loaded with explosives and shrapnel. They sail into a harbor and armed with a timer to detonate.” Jack looked over his shoulder at the expanse of the Priagust lake. “And the lake is definitely deep enough to sail a boat in here.”

“The camp should be built further inland, just to be safe,” Mirabelle said and once again Sevon watched her strict sense of maintaining the discussion.

“Shouldn’t we wait?” Sevon asked. “We have no way of knowing they’ll use one now.”

He knitted his brows as he caught the sound of Mirabelle muttering in the back of her throat. “Do you want to wait to find out? They used one on Priagust proper two months ago.”

“What?” Jack asked, his face drawn into horror. “Why didn’t you come for us sooner?”

Mirabelle slapped her thigh, the rage burned in her gaze. “We were still figuring it out at the time! Do you think I wanted to open the Veil with the methods we used? Isnale and her makre spawn forced our hand!”

Sevon fell silent. His stomach clenched and his wound burned with the consuming sadness for the children that gave their lives. They bled into the very waters that made Priagust beautiful. Now only to be corrupted by the horrific events by a people driven to the brink. He traced his fingertips over the scar upon his sternum. He too knew what it was like to be the sacrifice to the Veil’s energies. Sevon was just a toddler, and his mind protected him from the trauma. Sevon now had no choice accept what was done was done and find solutions. They would bring peace to Priagust once again. He wouldn’t let another kingdom fall. Sevon vowed he would follow his father’s core values and make himself into just as great of a man. He would recover his own self-respect and the respect of his people.

“So, there’s no supplies we can barter for in Priagust?” Jack asked and snapped Sevon from his thoughts.

“Whatever can be scavenged.” Mirabelle’s tone bordered on frustration.

“We’ll organize a party to head out at dawn,” Sevon said, feeling the need to challenge Mirabelle’s shortness. She had been through much, but he couldn’t forgive her desire for allegiance only to deny it. He stood and masked his pain with a discreet breath. “Best to use the light of day to our advantage.”

Mirabelle slapped her hand over Sevon’s wrist, and he jerked with the uninvited contact. He stared at her, confused over how dare she lay a hand on him.

“That won’t stop them,” she said flatly.

Sevon snatched his hand away and held it close to his chest. “Don’t touch me again.” That was the only warning Mirabelle needed and Sevon glared at Jack, making sure he understood his point.

“Be. Careful,” Mirabelle said, her irritation bloomed to the surface.

Sevon pressed his lips together as he felt his face heat in indignation. He danced the dangerously close edge to explaining where she can go and who she could fuck starting with herself. But he held it down. They needed her. They also needed every able-bodied shifter in the workforce.

“The dead are still there,” she said and averted her eyes as if asking for forgiveness instead of verbally apologizing.

Jack explained for her. “The makre eat them.”  

Glass Moon: The Darkmore Saga Book Two
Coming 2015
 

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Genre: Vampires, Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series: The Darkmore Saga: Book One
Length: Novel
Published: July 25, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-62798-776-9

Buy: Paperback or eBook

Blurb: Chasing Sunrise The Darkmore Saga: Book One

On the Coastal Bend of Texas, a hidden kingdom called Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon Maraté is trapped. Using Sevon as a mouthpiece and a scapegoat, Lord Dominic rules from the shadows. Sevon copes with the unrelenting abuse by dressing in women's finery and casting an image of graceful nobility. Born of royal verkolai blood and as beautiful as he is lethal, he possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift is his chance to escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous land of Priagust.

Only a select few know the mythic kingdom of shifters exists. Sevon is out of options for his people’s survival, and cooperating with Dominic is his only chance. On their foray into Priagust, Dominic's men kidnap and interrogate a shifter named Jack. Even under torture, Jack's loyalty to his kind never wavers. But as Jack’s knowledge about Darkmore’s king and its history unsettles Sevon, a curious bond begins to form.

Despite Sevon’s mistrust, Jack is determined to tame Sevon’s wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom. As invasion looms, Sevon wonders if trusting Jack will lead him into another trap or if he should forget about chasing the sunrise and remain Dominic's compliant prisoner.


Chasing Sunrise Excerpt

The United States of America called Hurricane Gert an act of a cruel and terrible God. The Kingdom of Darkmore called the storm divine retribution for the sins of their ancestors. The subjects of Darkmore had consulted the broadcasts of American humans.

The humans made preparations against the angry hurricane aiming for the Texas coast. They muttered to themselves in their common tongue that it was a shame about Port Isabel—the coastal city wouldn’t stand a chance.

A shame about Port Isabel? The declaration angered the Darkmore citizens. The furious wind and rain crippled their own capital city. At least the storm would hit in the daylight, the humans explained in their grating voices. Daylight was the worst possible time for Darkmore. When the citizens hunkered in their cellars and basements, any shaft of light that stabbed through the cracks would destroy them. The wind, hail, or rain wouldn’t eradicate them, but the sun waited behind the churning clouds for its moment to bleach Darkmore’s subjects from existence and out of America’s shadows. Deep in their bones, the citizens of Darkmore feared the sun from the moment they awakened into their new lives as aisa.

“A shame about Port Isabel,” the humans croaked like bullfrogs.

Anna Maria seethed. What about us, she wanted to snarl into the sweating fleshbag’s face. What about us! The answer crushed her. Humans didn’t know they existed.

A shame about Port Isabel. A travesty about Darkmore. The capital city would be gutted like a rabbit and the entrails plucked by her enemies.


Buy Now From:

Gold Sunset

Click to enter Lex's Bundle O' Books Rafflecopter Here!

You can win one personally signed copy of the Chasing Sunrise Paperback!

Or an eBook copy of Chasing Sunrise!

Ooooor hey, hey, I did write a series about superheroes before! Yes! You too can win the entire Checkmate Trilogy!


LXC_Flames

About the Author:

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure, epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.

Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ’burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d be a popsicle. She is grateful and humbled for all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.

You can find her on those social media things at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LXChase

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lex_Chase

Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com

 Find her blog at http://lexchase.com or drop her an e-mail at lex.a.chase@gmail.com.


Chasing Sunrise Tour Stops:

7/13 - Chris T. Kat - The Power of Androgyny
7/17 - Michael Rupured - Whispering for Help: Chasing Sunrise Goes Viral
7/19 - Lily Velden - Don't Lose Your Way
7/20 - Jaime Samms - Screw Sparklepires! Meet the Aisa
7/22 - Aidee Ladnier - Were...what? Meet the Shifters! 
7/24 - Grace Duncan - Walking the Runway with Sevon
7/25 - Chasing Sunrise Release Day!
7/26 - Shira Anthony - When Disaster Strikes: Natural Disasters in Fiction
7/29 - Dreamspinner Twitter Takeover with Charlie Cochet
7/30 - It's About The Book - "I loved you before Nazareth." Meet Bianca and Chaney
8/2 - Chat at the Dreamspinner Press Facebook Page
8/8 - Charlie Cochet - The Catharsis of Lovers Shirts
8/13 - Gay List Book Reviews - The Necessity of Brutality
8/16 - Tali Spencer - The Shape of Things to Come: Glass Moon

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

And the Winner Is...

Last week I hosted Michael Rupured's tour for HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, with one winner to come from this blog's comments.

So, without further ado...

DEBBY!


Congratulations, Debbie! Michael will be contacting you to make sure you get your copy of the book. And thanks to everyone who commented. This is a wonderful book and I hope everyone gets a chance to read and love it.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Guest Author: Jon Keys Talks a Lot of Bull

Welcome to Jon Keys… wait, Ben? He’s here to talk about Jon’s newest story, “Showstring”, in the Rode Hard anthology. Cowboys in love? Oh yeah!

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Hi Tali, thanks for letting me visit! This is Ben. Surprise! I’m taking over the blog hop from Jon. I’m having so much fun that I told Jon I’d handle it. He was cool with that. I’ll be staying on top of things and tell his readers about some stuff I’d know, but Jon wouldn’t. He thought that would work.

Showstring is about how Jayden and I met. It’s coming out as part of the Rode Hard anthology from Torquere Press. It’s about hot cowboys, like me. ( Yes, I’m really modest. LOL) But there’s also a lot of drama from the crap Jayden went through. Since Jayden told the story to Jon, I thought I’d fill in a little on my side and explain about showing cattle.

I thought some of you might be interested in what it takes to get a bull the size of Norman so he’d let you lead him around like a puppy. I show Angus, which are raised for beef. You know, those certified Angus steaks. Anyway, you’d think it would be easier to teach them when they’re little guys. But the calves stay with their mother until they’re weaned, so they weigh five or six-hundred pounds by then. You’re not going to just flip a halter on their heads at that point and pull them around. So it takes time.

First, getting them use to having a halter on takes awhile. If you’ve ever watched them show beef cattle, you might have noticed it’s a pretty simple leather halter with a chain that runs under their chin. It’s a nice looking setup, but not what you teach one of them to lead in. We start out with a nice soft cotton halter, because they are not going to like it. Not because it hurts, just because it’s different.
So first we tie them to a strong fence so they can get use to the halter, but can’t hurt themselves. You work with getting them comfortable with people too. So you spend time brushing and talking to them until they get comfortable. They find out I’m the one who brings them food, water and treats. Norman has a weakness for treats.

Once they’re calm about being around me. We start taking little walks around the pen. The first one is to their feed bucket. Think about training a six hundred pound puppy, and you get the idea. The more treats, the better. So, from there it just takes patience and soon they will cooperate. Things go wrong sometimes, but you’ll have to read the story to find out more.

~ Ben ~



Blurb

Jayden Laine has spent his life in the city, dreaming of cowboys and cattle ranches. He looks forward to each fall when his life is exchanged for his dreams when the state fair opens.

This year when he steps into the barns he’s greeted by the sights he’s come to see, and one additional sight of Ben Ramos fighting to move a two-thousand pound bull that’s decided he doesn’t want to move. What happens next starts a juggernaut of emotions in Jayden that turn his world upside down. Now all he has to do is reevaluate his entire life and decide who to believe. And he has only a few days to do it.

Excerpt from Showstring.
Stepping into the barns from the bright sunshine, I paused for a moment to let my eyes adjust. The earthy scent of cattle merged with the sweet odor of hay and the sharp bite of pine shavings to play across my senses while I waited. I lost myself in this world each fall during the state fair. It always took a little sneaking around so my father didn’t know how I was spending my time. If he figured out my desire for cowboys hadn’t changed, he’d send me off for treatment again, or worse. But this was my time to dream I was normal, to pretend I didn’t know I was damaged.
Locking my guilt away, I moved down the aisle, determined to allow myself a few moments of peace. The neat rows of cattle lying contentedly on immaculately groomed beds of wood chips revived the world I lost myself in each time I could. While forming an important part of my fantasy life, the cattle intimidated me. They were huge, but I still dreamed of working with them.
“Sorry, excuse me.”
Startled I glanced up to find myself in the way of a guy who looked only a few years older than me, leading a massive black animal. Scrambling out of the, the heat of my clumsy embarrassment burned across my face. “Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.”
The tanned cowboy gave me a bright smile. “If it wasn’t for old fat ass Norman here, it wouldn’t be a problem. But he doesn’t like to be led. So taking him out is a chore.”
He planted his worn boots against the walkway and heaved at the lead rope. The animal took one slow step and stopped again. Exasperation filled the guy’s face. “Holy crap! I’d so make you into hamburger if you weren’t the best bull we’ve had in a while.”

eBook Link: 

Bio:

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

If You Read French...

Anyone here fluent in French? If so, could you tell me if this blurb and excerpt are as wonderful in French as they are in English? You see, my good friend MA Church’s novella, Priceless, has been translated into French! How cool is that?

Take a gander:


Buy Link: French translation link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5340

Blurb:
Des étincelles jaillissent quand Cupidon vise deux mortels à Las Vegas : Randy Jones, un homme ordinaire, en voyage d’affaires, croise le regard de Garrett Shiffler à une table de craps et le temps s’arrête alors. Rejetant tout ce en quoi il croit, Randy se lance dans une aventure torride de deux nuits avec lui, avant de paniquer en réalisant qu’il est tombé amoureux. 

Le milliardaire cynique Garrett Shiffler a tout ce que l’argent peut acheter, et la plupart des hommes avec qui il sort, n’arrivent pas à voir plus loin que son portefeuille. La vie lui a appris que l’innocence et l’amour ne sont que le fruit d’une imagination collective. Mais quand Randy disparaît, emportant avec lui des sentiments que Garrett n’imaginait même pas avoir, il s’engage dans la bataille la plus importante de sa vie pour gagner son amour. Mais cette fois-ci, il se bat avec son cœur, et non son compte en banque. 

Pendant ce temps, Cupidon se demande ce qui s’est passé. Ses flèches dorées ne ratent jamais leur cible habituellement, sauf quand le Destin intervient. Si Garrett veut récupérer Randy, il va devoir le faire seul, car le Destin a d’autres plans en réserve pour Cupidon.

Excerpt:
APRÈS S’ÊTRE encore fait demander sa carte d’identité, l’homme à l’allure juvénile entra dans le casino. Ses yeux brillaient d’une lueur espiègle alors qu’il scrutait la foule de gens. Il écarta quelques mèches blondes et bouclées de son front, cherchant cette fois un certain type d’individu. Il avait maintenant juste besoin d’inspiration pour frapper, et ses flèches loyales étaient prêtes à l’emploi. Se déplaçant dans la foule, il regarda autour de lui. Il avait le choix parmi tant d'hommes solitaires qui avaient besoin d'amour dans leur vie.

Il était connu sous bien des noms, mais il préférait Cupidon, le nom que sa mère lui avait donné. Mythologie grecque, mythologie romaine… Il haussa les épaules. Les humains ne savaient pas à quel point ils avaient massacré le panthéon, non pas que cela importe de toute manière. Il connaissait la vérité, tout comme ceux de son espèce la connaissaient.

Ses yeux scrutèrent à nouveau le casino… là ! Il avait trouvé ce qu’il cherchait. Cet homme. Avec un large sourire, il se fraya un chemin à travers la foule.


GARRETT REGARDAIT la foule du casino ‘Palms’ de Las Vegas d’un air ennuyé et nonchalant, ses yeux ne voyant rien de ce qui se passait autour de lui. Il était agité, et même l’excitation habituelle du jeu n’arrivait pas à piquer son intérêt. Il fit négligemment sauter le dé dans sa main, ne s’intéressant pas aux montants élevés des mises de la partie de craps qu’il était en train de jouer. La foule autour de lui eut le souffle coupé en voyant que sa chance avait tourné, et qu’il venait de perdre plus d’argent en un seul coup de dé que ce que certaines personnes gagnaient en un an. Mais même cela ne parvint pas à le tirer de son humeur morose. Soudain, la chance lui sourit de nouveau avec le coup de dés suivant.

Son corps fut parcouru d’un frisson et ses cheveux se dressèrent sur sa nuque. Quelque chose, un changement dans l’atmosphère peut-être, attira son attention. Une fois encore, il examina la foule autour de la table de craps, cherchant… quelque chose. Il plissa les yeux et se concentra sur l’homme en face de lui, de l’autre côté de la table. Le temps sembla ralentir, et se figer. Le brouhaha agaçant du casino devint un simple bruit de fond jusqu’à ce qu’il n’entende ni ne voie plus rien… à part, lui.

Le cœur de Garrett rata un battement et augmenta rapidement, accélérant soudain, puis prit une courte pause avant de battre à un rythme effréné. Son esprit imagina une série de scènes en Technicolor qui exigeait que l’homme en face de lui prenne la pose, se penche et s’étire dans un nombre de positions érotiques et explicites. Les yeux de Garrett le scrutèrent jusqu’à ce qu’ils rencontrent des prunelles surprises, de couleur gris acier, et un autre frisson traversa rapidement son corps.

Ces yeux brillaient d’une douce lueur innocente comme Garrett en avait rarement vue et qu’il ne croyait pas exister encore aujourd’hui. Son esprit restait incrédule. Personne ne pouvait être aussi innocent, personne. Mais une partie de son âme longuement réprimée chuchota… ‘Et si’ ? Et si cet homme n’était pas un simulateur et qu’il était réellement ce qu’il semblait être ? Surpris par la réaction de son corps, il décida d’en avoir le cœur net. Il fixa l’homme de l’autre côté de la table de son regard glacé. Un petit sourire en coin flotta sur les lèvres de Garrett alors qu’il faisait signe à l’homme de venir à ses côtés.

M.A. Church
M.A. Church lives in the southern United States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football, racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.

But her most beloved hobby is reading. From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would write a book.
By sheer chance she stumbled across a gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.

My links:
Twitter @nomoretears00