Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday: from Book One of the Chronicles of Shanjambia

An Unedited Excerpt from The Virgin Prince

The first thing William realized as he woke was that his mouth tasted like a mile of badly kept road in the midst of a three year drought, baked dry and then stirred to throat choking dust with the passage of too many carriages. He cringed, coughed, and forced his gummy eyes open. Roland sprawled in the chair next to the bed he lay in, soot streaked across his cheek and brow, his raven dark curls tumbling about his face in a tangled mess. The sight of his obsessively tidy servant in a torn and muddied shirt, with soot of all things marking the high cheekbones and broad brow of his well tanned face—
William stilled. Roland’s face was more than well tanned. The prince blinked, scrubbed a hand ever so quietly across his eyes, and blinked again. Heat rushed into his cheeks. His throat grew tight. Roland was handsome. The heat in William’s cheeks receded. That warmth slid down his tight throat and pooled in his belly. His mouth fell open, and he found himself fighting to keep his breathing steady.
Roland’s shirt was unlaced at the throat. Indeed, the laces of his shirt were indecently loose, showing the smooth reddish-gold expanse of his thickly muscled chest. The ache in William’s belly slid down to pool in his groin just as Roland’s clear green eyes slid open.
“My Prince… you are awake.”
William tore his gaze forcibly away from the tantalizing expanse of skin visible in the gaping vee where the laces did not snug the linen of his shirt together. He swallowed thickly, attempted to answer and broke into a wracking cough. Roland surged to his feet, strode across the room to a stout oaken sideboard and poured out a cup of water. He returned to William’s side in moments, wrapped a strong arm around the prince and eased him up and back against the headboard.
“Here, my Prince, sip slowly. You breathed in a great deal of smoke before I pulled you from the room last night.” Roland’s lips curved up ever so slightly at the corners.
William glanced down, then quickly up again. He reached to grasp the beaten metal cup and hold it on his own, but Roland did not release his grasp, instead tilting the cup gently against his prince’s lips. As cool water eased the dryness of his throat, William’s face flamed as hotly as the tapestries from the night before. Tiny shivers of feeling tingled through the skin of his hand everywhere that Roland touched him.
“I. Thank you, Roland, you may release the cup now.” William was very proud of the steady lilt of his voice.
“Yes, my Prince.” The deep timbre of Roland’s voice grew a touch huskier. The curve of his lips deepened. He did not release the cup. Instead, he pulled the water away, bending at the waist to set cup and water on the floor with an audible clinking noise. William watched him, mesmerized. Then Roland straightened partially. He slid his arm behind William again, and the prince assumed his manservant intended to ease him back down in the bed.
Roland leaned closer, his arm tightening around his prince’s slender back. His large, callused hand eased up along William’s neck. It nearly tickled the soft skin at the prince’s nape before Roland’s long fingers slid into the prince’s white-gold curls. He palmed the back of the prince’s head. His grip tightened in William’s hair as his smile grew pronounced enough to flash one wicked dimple at the astonished prince. “Open your mouth, my Prince.”  
William gaped up at the larger man, caught in the clear green of his eyes as they drew close enough to fill the whole of his sight. “What—what do you—mmmpf!”
Roland eased down until he sat upon the edge of William’s bed, his mouth pressed hard against William’s, his tongue slipping past William’s lips to push right into the startled depths of the prince’s mouth. The slick heat of his mouth drew William in. Thoughts of propriety, class and station fell away from William with every wicked pass of Roland’s tongue against his own. William twinned his arms around the sturdy column of Roland’s neck, using the strength he found there to anchor himself.
Roland pulled the prince’s torso tight against his own, both arms wrapped tight around the other man’s shoulders. William arched into the hold, a sense of rightness spiraling through him. His eyes had fallen shut the moment Roland’s lips touched his own. As the kiss continued, sounds began to grow distant. William began to float away. Roland eased back. He stared down at William, a strange light dancing in the depths of his eyes. A shudder rippled along William’s spine. Roland eased one hand lazily up and down the entire length of the prince’s back, making shushing noises like those the royal stable master made to fractious horses. William found his hands were fisted in the front of Roland’s shirt. He realized this at the exact moment he realized he was also making a distressed sounding whimpering sort of noise that eased with each pass of Roland’s hand along his back and each low humming, shushing sound. He bit down on his lip and forced his fingers to ease their grip on Roland’s shirt. Roland’s smile grew again, flashing bright and white across his face before he spoke. “There. Now that is better, my Prince, is it not?”

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesdays with Tian: Open to Suggestion

I know, I know. Ive been promising Tuesdays with Tian of a bit now, haven't I? Promising and not delivering is *not* something I want to be known for, but right now I have to admit I'm a bit stymied! I need folks for Tian to interview, and questions you'd like to see him tackle.

So... help? Please? Everyone who comes up with a Topic for Tian that actually gets used between now and the end of the year will automatically get a Romance Trading Card (featuring the amazing artwork of Reese Dante) and be entered to win a signed copy of the print version of Tian's Hero, the first book in the Akanti series.

The trading card is very pretty... very. Heh. It looks just like the book cover, but smaller---> see?

*happy sigh* I do love these boys.

Oh, er, yes. Help me come up with Topics for my sweet Akanti boy to discuss, and please feel free to suggest guests you'd like to see Tian interview. Tian and I, we'll make everything after that happen, okay?


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sneaky Peaky of New Art by AJ Corza!

This  cover is a thing of beauty! Go AJ!

I thought the above cover could not get any better...
and then A.J. blew my tiny mind again. Holy Hotness, Batman, with the amazing art of A.J. Corza ever stop getting better? Apparently not... Yeah, she just makes all the rigmarole of tweaking covers damn fun. And astonishing. And wow! Ya know?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I Have New Pretties!!

They will be available at GRL... 
and *possibly in a contest or two before then...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Think Tank

Not much of a note here today. Just want to give you this... whatever it is you want to do to fulfill your dreams... just do it. You know, within reasonable limits. But hey, don't forget to adjust your aim... and absolutely NO evil meanie-butt stuff. It's bad for your karma, and bad for whoever you're dumping it on. That's all.
 Oh, and here's the key to getting it right. Stop trying to please everyone. Just do what you love, and love what you do. For me that means I've decided I'm going to get really good at working this internet madness. Make peace with the mighty photoshop guru in the sky, learn to make my blog pretty as can be and to do other fun stuff. Format my books like a pro. Eh, perhaps like a professional protozoan, but I will wave my single flagella at the great internet heavens and persevere. I'll conquer the whys and wherefores of the-stuff-that-would-make-promoting-myself-way-easier and then (heh, in an bit and when I get to it) watch out world! :)

That's my thing to conquer. I'd make it my New Year's resolution, but I'm too eager to start understanding stuff more... so I guess I'll just start now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday: Another Point of View

Some of the research I've done while working on the Sequel to Shadow Dance has been amazingly interesting and enjoyable...
A Folk Lullaby
Out of Jenkins Hollow 2

My Jenkins Hollow boys are not meant to represent every person in the south, nor every person in Appalachia... they are only meant to be a trio of boys who grew up together in one of the few remote areas left in the US, and made more remote by family attitudes and grinding poverty.

Not everyone from the south is from Appalachia, and not everyone from Appalachia is like my boys, nor like the men in this video... That's why the stories I write are classified a fiction. If you enjoy them, then that's a gift to us both, and if you don't, well, there's a whole world of folk writing stories out here. I reckon you can find someone who writes stories you like.

Work in Progress Wednesday Means...

I need to write so I have something to post next Wednesday.

Eh, I'll leave you with a working kitteh, and get to writing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday Tales

Today was full of things. Yup, things.

Things like 4am flooded kitchens and a sleepy, nearly zombiefied kidlet muttering about how she didn't mean to drop the whole gallon of ice water on the kitchen floor when she woke up thirsty... and no, this wasn't my kitchen... it just felt like it.

Things like having to leave my little brother at the train station by himself, and driving home worried because he's off by himself, and it's his first trip solo since he lost his vision, and I was a grumpy grouchy wench when I was helping him pack and when I was driving him there and I even told him why--it was really hard to take him when I was supposed to go on the same trip myself, and had to cancel due to familial obligations... sigh. And then I had to leave him sitting there and I worried. I worried because he was sitting alone, and I know how blind people are more likely to feel isolated, and I *was* a cranky hag right before he left... and even though I said why I was cranky I still felt like a mean old beep...

Things like the ac unit spilling water all over the floor when the guys came to take it away... heh, on the bright side it made me mop my floor today. And that made me really happy after it was done.

Things like hanging out with my kidlet and sharing a yummy dessert and laughing about silly stuff together.

Things like a conversation with my best friend (and adopted sister) in the world where she told me the nephew I worry about daily made good, good choices...

Things like *happy happy things* time to write!

... and that is what I am off to do.