Articles

Teaser Thursday- Love Like Vampires

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By the time they went back inside, Shane was breathing easily and the tightness in his chest had let up. None of the arguments among the band had become too serious, at least not with their current lineup, but he was always afraid they might, and then everything would fall apart. He and Thaniel had been through it with five different guys already, guys who wanted to write songs that didn’t match the band’s style, or who were pissy because Thaniel let Shane have too much say in how the band ran.

Thaniel had always had his back, even when their first drummer had called Shane a “fucking faggot” the day Shane came out. Shane had had to hold Thaniel back from beating the shit out of the guy.

Good times. Shane hadn’t exactly enjoyed being treated crappy merely because he’d finally had the guts to admit something most people had figured out years earlier. Having Thaniel not only accept it but defend him had helped.

Right now, the band had it pretty good. Their current lineup gelled, and everyone agreed on musical style and where they wanted the band to go. Bryan and Jace were too laid back, and Todd was too busy, to care who ran things, as long as they didn’t have to. They all had about the same level of skills, and none of them gave a damn about each other’s sexuality.

But something was broken. Shane couldn’t put his finger on it and didn’t really want to. He only knew the band wasn’t as connected as they had been, and that might mean Love Like Vampires would fall apart.

He took another breath as he and Todd followed Thaniel to the area they’d been assigned to hang out in during Jareth’s part of the show. The argument had ended. Everything was cool.

Bryan and Jace were already in the designated spot, sipping bottles of water and talking to one of Jareth’s musicians. Both of them stood mostly still, mellow expressions on their faces. At least Jace wouldn’t get on anyone’s nerves for a while.

“Ready for this?” Bryan asked as they took their seats. “This is where we’re heading in a year or two if we keep it up.”

“I sure as fuck hope so.” Thaniel slid down in his seat and grabbed a bottle from the cooler between his chair and Bryan’s. “Two albums and a ton of frigging shows, and we still aren’t hitting what we should be.”

“We’ll get there.” Shane took the seat on the other side of Thaniel and mentally prepared the usual pep talk. Every single time they played a show, Thaniel ended up griping about what they should have been doing. From the second the guy had said, “Hey, we should start a band,” he’d had plans. The plans hadn’t worked out yet, and it irked the hell out of Thaniel.

Teaser Thursday- Love Like Vampires

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They dropped off Todd first, since his home in Falmouth wasn’t far out of the way to Jace’s place. He muttered something that might have been a thank-you as he jumped out of the van. Before Shane put the van in gear, the door to the house opened and Todd’s woman started yelling at him.

“I hope he quits,” Bryan muttered. “Honestly. He doesn’t practice enough to keep up at shows, and that isn’t going to change as long as he’s with her.”

“We need him.” Shane turned to look over his shoulder as he backed down the driveway. “He might not completely keep up, but at least he knows the music. And he has talent.”

“Talent that’s going to waste because he never practices,” Bryan said.

“Shush,” Jace mumbled. “Sleeping.”

Shane shook his head and headed up the road.

Thaniel leaned back and closed his eyes. A nap before talking to Shane would be good but not likely. By the time they dropped off Jace and got back to their apartment, he wouldn’t want to put off the conversation any longer. His head buzzed with questions. Where did things stand between him and his best friend?

Were they even friends?

If not, what the fuck were they?

They reached Jace’s house fifteen minutes later and persuaded the kid out of the back seat. He stretched and did a few toe touches before peering up at Thaniel with glassy eyes. “Shit.”

“You took some shit, I’d say.” Thaniel bit back the lecture he wanted to give. Jace wouldn’t listen even if he comprehended a word Thaniel said. “Next time stick to something safe.”

“Yeah. My parents are going to fucking kill me.” Jace yawned. “Not supposed to touch anything besides weed. Not even that, really.”

“Then you’d better brace yourself, because anyone can tell you took something.” Thaniel sighed. “Kid, smarten up. Partying’s great, but you can’t party if you’re dead.”

“Says the guy who smokes weed like a fucking chimney.” Jace rolled his eyes. “Thanks for the lecture. Practice tomorrow, right?”

“Yeah.” Thaniel glanced at the back of the van. “We’ll wait until then to unload the instruments, but do you want yours?”

Jace shook his head and winced. “Fuck. That kills. I’m going to bed. Won’t need the keyboards until rehearsal. I have my old one I can practice on tomorrow before you guys show up.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Thaniel hadn’t been looking forward to the idea of unloading all the equipment anyway, especially without Todd’s help. The guy might have been overweight and bitchy, but he was strong.

“Should we walk you in?” Shane stood near the front of the van, facing the house.

“I’ll handle it.” Jace took a step and grimaced. “Yeah. This isn’t going to be pretty. Thanks, guys.”

“Yeah. Next time be more careful,” Thaniel said.

Jace nodded, flinched, and walked toward the house slowly, with slumped shoulders.

“Lesson learned, hopefully.” Shane turned toward Thaniel and his face brightened. “Okay. So drop-offs are done. Let’s go home.”

“Yeah.”

Thaniel climbed back into the passenger seat of the van and ignored a comment he didn’t completely hear from Bryan. When they got home, everything would change between him and Shane.

Everything.

Teaser Thursday- Tempeh for Two

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The metallic tang of silver filled my nose.

Silver bullets would kill me.

My heart pounded and a scream rose in my throat. I trembled, and my bladder nearly let go. A normal gun was no threat to me, but this gun was filled with silver. I’d been shot with a silver bullet once.

My throat closed, choking off the scream, and I wasn’t sure I could even speak.

Andrew didn’t pull the trigger. His hands shook. He wasn’t a violent man, and he didn’t want to hurt me. But the command planted in his brain overrode his usual thoughts and conscience.

“Andrew, put it down.” The words came from me in a voice I barely recognized. A voice which barely shook. I would have been proud of myself if I’d been able to spare the brain power. “You don’t want to do this.”

I put compulsion into the words, and ran into the same block I had with the wolf. Someone else had planted compulsion, or perhaps even a full geas, in Andrew’s mind.

“Put it down,” I said again, increasing the compulsion.

Kyle stood beside me, appearing to have no reaction at all to the presence of a silver-loaded gun pointed at his mate. But appearances could be deceiving. He trembled too, and his body was tensed and ready. He was waiting to see if I persuaded Andrew to lose the gun. If not, Kyle would act.

That would endanger him. Silver bullets would do just as much, if not more, damage to my lover than to me. But if I tried to physically disarm Andrew, I would definitely be shot. At point-blank range.

“Andrew, listen to me.” I lowered my voice to the calm, soothing tone which in the past had persuaded humans and werewolves alike to follow my commands. “You do not want to shoot me. You do not want to hurt me.”

His hands shook more and his gaze darted around the room. “Shut up.”

“Put down the gun,” I said.

“No!”

His shaking stopped and he leveled the gun directly at my heart.

Kyle leapt.

Andrew landed on the floor with a loud crack as his head hit the side of the desk. Kyle was on top of him, snarling.

I stood, and for a frantic moment I couldn’t find my voice.

Andrew raised the gun and pressed it to the side of Kyle’s head. Kyle slammed Andrew’s arm to the floor and knelt on it. Andrew screamed.

“Stop!” I shouted, and somehow made it to the floor beside Kyle, who had Andrew’s head in his hands. Squeezing. The man’s screams grew louder.

“Kyle, no!” I poured all the compulsion I could manage into the words.

But compulsion didn’t work on Kyle. Another crack filled the room as Kyle broke Andrew’s neck.

Spotlight on Pippa Jay

We kick off Breathless Press day this time around with author Pippa Jay. Welcome!

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She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?

For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

EXCERPT:

A thrill of excitement shivered down her spine as she backed away a few steps with Zander following. He shrugged off his formal outer robes, and for the first time she could appreciate the broad expanse of his chest, the close-fitting fabric stretched over well-defined muscles. It appeared he hadn’t allowed his physique to slacken, despite leaving the Galactic Commission.

“Are you ready?” she asked.

Zander spread his hands in an open gesture to say that he was.

So why is he just standing there like a defunct Manikin instead of poised to fight?

Tyree took her combat position and Zander matched her, just as the Manikin had done. She’d never fought a human in combat practice before. This should be interesting.

She sprang forward and aimed two rapid punches at his face. Zander evaded both with a speed and grace totally out of proportion to his bulk. Her third he blocked with little effort, and she stepped back to reassess her strategy. But only for an instant.

A quick step forward and she lashed upward with her foot, snapping his head back. Zander staggered but didn’t fall. Her second kick failed as he grabbed her ankle and jerked her off balance. She twisted as she dropped and caught him hard in the knee. Zander collapsed. Both rolled aside, and then jumped up to face each other again.

Not bad.

Tyree bit back a laugh as they exchanged blows, each faster than the last. Zander blocked or evaded most, but not all. His skill almost matched hers, yet his defenses were just a fraction too slow. Each move she made tested his reach, his reflexes and his stamina until she could sense him struggling a little.

Time for the kill.

She floored him with a kick to the chest, the full weight of her augmented density behind it, but as she moved in to finish the fight he dove into her. Tyree landed on her back hard enough to drive the breath from her lungs.

Zander had her pinned to the ground. She bucked but couldn’t shift him. The triumphant smile on his face sent rage blazing through her gut. With hardly a whisper, she Misted out and went through him. Golden warmth filled her for a second before she pulled free. Zander pushed to his feet and spun to meet her, but she cranked up her molecular density and punched him hard in the chest. He collapsed, gasping and coughing. In one fluid movement she sat astride him at full density, and the air whumphed out of his lungs. She pinioned his arms with her hands, her face hovering mere centimeters above his.

As her breathing slowed to normal, a huge grin split her face. She’d made a vow to herself to jump him, and she’d done it. Perhaps it was childish, but it warmed her heart.

“Your…reputation…is well deserved,” he gasped.

“You’re not so bad yourself,” she complimented him. He’d fought well, but perhaps not quite with the determination—and certainly not the desperation—of most opponents she’d faced. “For a human.”

“Thank you. Perhaps we could try this again tomorrow?”

Tyree laughed. As much as he could irritate the hell out of her, he was equally amusing. “If you want to spend most of your morning on the floor…”

He gazed up at her with that easy smile, making no effort to struggle. Most humans, without the influence of her pheromones and the distraction of her naked body writhing above theirs, would not have been so trusting. So compliant. She found herself staring at his mouth. What would it be like to kiss him, without the use of her talents? Would it be as satisfying? As sensual? The warmth of him, the firmness of his body beneath hers, sent heat spiraling through her abdomen.

“Perhaps you could let me up now?” His words jerked her from such musings. What the hell was she thinking?

 

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After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way, a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. She’s a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Readers Favorite Contest, the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place), and a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards.

Teaser Thursday- Bishie Sparkles

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The thing about manga that appealed most to Grant was that it didn’t exist only for kids. Despite the detractors who called the books “comic books” and sneered at the adults who read them.

If those detractors had any idea what was contained within the covers of the manga books Grant chose, they would know the books weren’t just comics. Comic books didn’t contain full frontal nudity and scenes of sexual encounters. The Japanese had the right idea, as far as Grant was concerned. Tame manga for kids, explicit for adults.

He would never dream of showing anyone the books he read. Aside from the full frontal nudity and blatant sex, there was the tiny fact that he was a fan of yaoi. Beautiful men fucking other beautiful men. There was no way in hell he wanted Joe Public on the Boston T train or bus seeing that kind of thing. He’d heard about too many gay bashings as it was, and he had no desire to be a victim of one. Sometimes he thought it might be[A1]  nice to be able to read during his commute home from downtown Boston, but he didn’t quite dare to take out one of his yaoi books where everyone might see.

So the night he bought Flower Glove, he waited until he got home to start reading. He’d bought the book at the chain bookstore in Downtown Crossing on his walk from the HMO where he worked to the subway. The title was completely weird, which he’d come to expect from manga, but the picture on the front cover had caught his eye in the bookstore. The picture showed a brown-haired man embracing a blond one. The blond was a bishonen, a manga “pretty boy” whose face was as beautiful as that of any female model.

He was clearly male, though, and Grant had barely been able to take his eyes off the picture long enough to pay for the book and let the cashier put it in a paper bag for him.

When he finally walked into the tiny studio apartment he rented above an elderly couple’s garage in Revere, he took the book out of the bag before he even closed the door. The last bit of October sunlight filtered through the window, and it glinted off the book’s cover, making the bishonen’s hair glow.

“Right.” Grant barely realized he was talking out loud to himself. With no one else in the apartment, he did that frequently. “Of course his hair’s glowing. This is a magical book, and if I wish really, really hard, he’ll come to life and suck my dick.”

He wouldn’t have turned the guy down if that had happened. Which, of course, it wouldn’t, since it was completely impossible.

 

Spotlight on Wanda Kay Fittro

The second Breathless Press spotlight of today is author Wanda Kay Fittro with her book Beyond the Horizon, available on the Breathless Press website.. Welcome!

Katie and Josh, both desperately seeking redemption from their past, discover passion in each other’s arms. With danger just around the corner, will love survive?

When Katie Sullivan makes the hasty decision to run away from an abusive relationship, she has no clue what is ahead of her. She only knows it has to be better than her life up until now. Her boyfriend is a powerful drug dealer who will stop at nothing to get her back. She knows too much. Car trouble leaves her stranded in the middle of Kansas, with little money, and a growing fear of failure.

Widower Josh Warner works and lives on an elderly couples’ farm. He juggles the responsibilities of raising his young son and his passion for the rodeo. Unable to let go of his deceased wife’s memory and on the rebound from a misguided affair, he has no desire for another relationship. But, when Katie appears out of nowhere, everything changes.

Against all reason, Katie and Josh find themselves drawn to each other. If the past catches up to them, their newfound passion, and their lives could be in jeopardy. Can their love win against the evil headed their way?

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EXCERPT:

“You know, it’s a nice night for this time of year. Would you like to sit on the front porch for a while? I can meet you out there after I get Chad settled in.”

“I don’t know…”

“Hate to waste a nice night, especially with winter just around the corner, but suit yourself.”

Katie sat alone for a few minutes after he left. What the heck. Why shouldn’t I enjoy an evening on the porch? She went upstairs to get her sweater. Whether Josh showed up or not didn’t matter. She could use the fresh air. Surely it’s worth putting up with him for a little while if he does join her.

In her room, she attempted to check her phone for messages, then remembered it hadn’t worked since she dropped it on the floor. Just as well. Katie felt her neck and shoulders relax a little. At least she wouldn’t have the constant worry of what message Rick would leave next. She really didn’t want to hear his threats or how close he was to finding her. All she wanted was some peace and quiet. Maybe a nice evening on the front porch would be just the ticket.

When she stepped out, Josh stood on the top step looking at the stars. “I love a crisp fall night. It’s like you can see clear across the universe. Look how close the Milky Way seems.” He reached out his hand as if to touch it.

Katie sat on the wooden swing. The rusty chain squeaked as she moved back and forth.

“Do you know a lot about the stars?”

Josh stepped up, leaned on the porch rail, and faced her. He crossed his long legs, placing his hands on each side. A feeling of ease flowed from him.

“A little. Lisa and I used to stargaze at night on the balcony of our apartment. She bought me a book for one of my birthdays that showed all the names and positions of the constellations. I still don’t know where she got it. There aren’t any bookstores for miles around.” He shook his head and turned back around toward the yard.

Katie fell silent. There really wasn’t anything to say. She knew the pain of his loss must run deep.

“The tree frogs and the crickets are really strumming their tunes tonight.” Josh broke the awkward silence between them.

Katie stopped the movement of the swing to listen. “That’s a sound you don’t hear in the city. You don’t see a night sky like this either.”

“I can’t imagine living somewhere without the sights and sounds of nature around. It gives rhythm to a person’s life, you know?”

Katie didn’t know quite how to answer that. His words were so profound and heartfelt it startled her. Maybe there is more to him than rodeos and wheat fields.

“It is beautiful out here,” Katie pulled her sweater around her shoulders tighter. “If I was staying much longer though, I would need a heavier coat. That’s something I didn’t bring with me.”

Josh turned back around to face her. “Looks like you packed in a hurry.”

“Yeah, I wasn’t thinking very far ahead I guess.” Uncomfortable with the turn of the conversation, she changed the subject. “Chad seems to be a really good kid. And smart. He whizzed through his math homework in no time. You should be really proud.”

“I am.”

A shiver ran through her as a crisp breeze blew onto the porch. Josh sat on the swing, took off his jacket, and placed it around her shoulders. He let his arm rest behind her. Katie resisted the urge to protest. His arm felt comfortable and safe…like it belonged there.

BIO:

Wanda Kay Fittro lives in the beautiful Ozark Mountains in Southwest Missouri. Being born and raised in a small town community gave her an appreciation for that lifestyle, and provides the inspiration for her novels. A love affair with books started early on while reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under her bed covers. She won the prestigious Missouri Literary Festival Reader’s Choice award in 2011 for her Civil War short story One, Two, Three.

You can find and follow her at:

http://awritercalledwanda.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/wandakayfittro

https://twitter.com/WandaFittro

 

Spotlight on Mia Epsilon

The first Breathless Press spotlight today is on Mia Epsilon and her new book Wedding Belle Blues, available on the Breathless Press website. Welcome!

What do you do when the woman you love is marrying the wrong man? Sabotage the wedding!

Anna is planning the perfect wedding, but she doesn’t anticipate her future mother-in-law’s offer of help which translates into take over. Her groom-to-be avoids her and insists their growing problems are just “bridal nerves.” Worst of all, her best friend, Robin, begins to act strange. Everyone around her has his or her own agenda. What’s a girl to do when she begins to realize the perfect life she envisioned is all a lie?

Robin has two great loves in his life: his best friend Anna and his motorcycle. Not one to make a scene, he supports Anna in her plan to marry the wrong man and regrets she can’t accept his dare devil lifestyle. But when push comes to shove, he’s more than willing to make the necessary sacrifice and prove he is the man she needs.

As the wedding date draws near and plans shift into high gear, Robin and Anna grow closer and not just as friends. Each must decide what the perfect life truly means while trying to negotiate the maze of wedding plans, secrets, and hidden motives. Will someone be left singing the blues?

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EXCERPT:

“Chasing you would be a wasted effort.” Robin waved the half eaten slice before he set the crust back in the box.

Anna slammed the lid on his hand. “What do you mean? I’m not worth the chase?”

“Hey, starving teacher here.” He knocked on the inside of the box and glared at her. “And don’t be ridiculous. Of course you’re worth a chase, but even I can recognize a no win situation regardless if I can’t fully give up on it or you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He was hiding something, besides his hand in the box. “Robin?”

The liquid blue fire in his eyes singed her as he spoke. “I didn’t give the let’s-forget-this-ever-happened-and-just-be-friends speech. I didn’t stay too afraid to see where our relationship might have gone. No win situation.”

Stunned, she gaped at him. “I thought…but you never said…I mean, we’d…”

He just stared at her, face unmoving, his chest rising and falling as his breaths increased. He was, she realized, getting angrier by the second.

She swallowed and tried to find words, any words, to defuse the tension. “I couldn’t bear to think of losing you as my friend. We did the best thing for us.””We did the best thing for you.”

“But you…you agreed with me. You said you didn’t want to risk our friendship either.”

“What the hell could I say?” He shot to his feet, knocking the pizza box to the floor. “You didn’t give me a choice. Either be your friend, only your friend, or leave your life.”

“I never said we couldn’t be friends or you had to leave my life.” She whispered the words. Yet it had been close. The next morning, after one incredible night, she’d told him: Robin, we can’t let this happen again. I love you, as a friend. I don’t want to risk our friendship on meaningless sex. Let’s just put it behind us and stay the way we were before it happened. That’s all I can give you. Please? He’d agreed.

He paced in front of her. “Maybe it’s not the correct time to bring all this up, but it needs to be said. The only reason I agreed was because it was what you wanted. The only reason. Because you asked.”

No. This couldn’t be happening, Robin saying everything she’d wanted to hear before she started dating Doug, before she’d accepted the ring. So Anna shied away from it, as she had then. “Tell me why you said ‘Doug invited Kassie instead of you’ in your shocked tone.”

“Even now you won’t face it.” He muttered a curse which shocked her with the anger behind it. “Will you? You won’t admit maybe we could have—”

“I faced it the morning after. I’m not an idiot, Robin. When you date a woman, it’s like your skydiving adventures. You have a thrill, anything goes, and it’s awesome and you’re on the high of it all. Then you land and it’s over. You never talk to the woman again, let alone have a friendship with her. I didn’t want our friendship to be over. I still don’t. I can’t give more than I am. I can’t.”

“Why, Anna?” He stopped right in front of her, hands on his hips balled into fists. “Why can’t you give more? Because of Doug Dufuss?”

“No. Because I can’t just have sex with you and then watch you leave!”

 

BIO:

Mia Epsilon lives with her enduring soul mate hubby in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, USA. She’s an avid reader of almost anything, but particularly romance. She also is a never-miss-an-episode viewer of Doctor Who and Sherlock, and happily suffers coffee and chocolate addictions. She can most often be found at her computer, spinning new stories, or in a quiet padded nook with her e-reader. Mia loves to hear from readers and maintains a mostly current blog at miaepsilon.blogspot.com and a Facebook page under the name MiaEwrites.

 

Special Guest Rebekah Lewis

Welcoming back Breathless Press author Rebekah Lewis today. Thanks for stopping by!

Heroes are Stubborn Sometimes

Every so often authors tell you their stories came to them upon the spring breeze and then magic flowed through their fingertips thus creating this fantastical piece of awesome that transcends space and time. Okay, maybe that happens on occasion, and I do have characters that are easy to write as they are very vocal, but not all characters want to share their feelings. Sometimes they are just plain stubborn. Sometimes the hero of your story is nothing short of an A-hole that wants nothing more than to see you suffer as they have suffered in their fictional past.

The hero of Under the Satyr Moon was so stubborn that the entire series was created as a means to keep myself writing around his refusal to cooperate. Ariston’s book was going to be a standalone novel. And when he gave me trouble, I started digging into his back story and Pan’s book came to mind. When I got the bright idea to make Pan the Jersey Devil, I told Ariston to suck it and wrote Pan’s book first instead. And then when I finished, and it was time to return to Ariston, I was met with the same resistance.

“Why do you hate me?” I would ask my work in progress, staring at a bright, white, blank page with a blinking cursor. What do you do when your character doesn’t want to tell you his story?

Short answer: throw more obstacles at him until you get him so annoyed that he starts mouthing off and digging himself into a pit in front of his heroine. Let him get bit by animals/demigods. Let the gods smite him. And let other characters call him on everything he is refusing to do. Until he gets so fed up that he has no choice but to cooperate.

Miraculously, it worked. Once the character realized he was coming across as a dodo he got it together and did what he was supposed to, mostly.

Mind you, I love Ariston. He’s one of my most honest, and overall good, characters I have written. But he knows he was a pain in the rear from day one. A lot of his scenes had to be worked on in revisions because the first draft was not going to ever be finished if I waited on him to work with me. I am a plotter for the most part, but I only plot main actions and events and let the characters get there on their own to see how they react and play off of that. But it goes to show it won’t always be so easy. I had to come up with methods around it, and hopefully it will be helpful to other writers who read this post that have similar issues.

  1. Throw obstacles at him until he reacts and gives you something to work with (as stated above.) Proved the most effective in this case.
  2. Write from other character POVs more often in the first draft. This way the story still keeps its flow and you don’t get stumped. Upon revision, build on the hero’s POV. See if you can take some of the Heroine’s POV and rewrite it from the Hero’s. You have the scene there, but you are seeing it from a new perspective. It’s a little more work, but sometimes when you do this the scene is much stronger in the end as you are not trying to build the scene anymore, just the character.
  3. Jump to later parts of the book. If you are OCD like me, and like to write in a linear, beginning to end fashion, this is not an easy task. When I finally called Ariston some very ugly words, stopped a third of the way in, and wrote the last 60 pages of the book, it helped a lot. I understood where I needed to get Ariston in terms of character development by the end because I had it written out. I knew where he was going before he knew it himself, and was able to whip him into shape when writing the middle of the book.
  4. I didn’t do it for this book, but when having trouble with character voice in my creative writing class we would write scenes not in our story with characters they may or may not interact with. Kind of like deleted scenes or flashbacks, etc. Make him respond. Make him react. Get him to express himself until you can get the feel of him for the book. Don’t discard these, as you can make them into some fun blog posts or special material for readers at a later time if you want.

And there it is. Does anyone else have characters that don’t want to do as they are told, or have they experienced it before? Do you do anything different to get around it?

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Rebekah Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She is an award-winning cover artist for digital publishers, and enjoys every minute of it when not immersed in a world of satyrs and Greek gods. Always feeling the need to be productive, she can be found creating something whether with words or images, or with arts and crafts. She resides in Savannah, GA with her cat, Bagheera.

If you would like to follow Rebekah on social media or contact via email, use the following information:

Website: www.rebekah-lewis.com

Email: lewis.rebekah@rocketmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RebekahLewisAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6537317.Rebekah_Lewis

Twitter: @RebekahLLewis

 

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BLURB:

Under the Satyr Moon a curse was wrought, and under the same moon shall it be reversed…

…if the Fates allow.

A freelance photography job goes downhill fast when Lily Anders’ boyfriend dumps her and disappears from the campsite, leaving her stranded in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Feeling lost, heartbroken, and afraid, Lily follows a mysterious melody through the wilderness. She never would have guessed the source of the music would reveal that legendary figures of Greek mythology really existed, and she could be one of them.

Ever since he was cursed, Ariston has only wanted one thing—to be human again. He has searched the globe for a nymph to free him, but over three thousand years of failure has pushed him into a life of solitude. Ariston believes he’s finally found the salvation he’s longed for when he catches Lily spying on him in the forest. Unfortunately, he has to convince her to like him first.

What seems to be the Fates bringing them together in time for the Satyr Moon proves to be an elaborate scheme with macabre intentions. Dionysus has sent Ariston’s estranged brother, Adonis, to ensure the curse cannot be broken, and nothing tosses cold water over the flame of seduction like a twin seeking vengeance.

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EXCERPT:

“Oh God. Oh God. I’m hallucinating, probably have a fever, and I need to get out of here now.” She nodded as she said the last word as if it finalized her babbling, confirming an inner argument of some sort.

“I don’t think you’re suffering any ailments. You can keep gawking at me all you like. Although, I would prefer if you looked a little higher than my feet.” Much more impressive, that. At least, no one had ever complained before.

She made a derogatory noise in the back of her throat. “Please tell me you’re some D&D nerd in a really well-made costume and you mean me no harm. Also, if you have a cell phone, I would really appreciate it if you don’t take my previous comment personally and let me borrow it for a moment.” Ah, well, that solved one of his concerns; if she had no phone, she couldn’t have sent evidence or contacted anyone about what she’d seen. Unless, of course, she had a camera stashed somewhere. I should probably frisk her to find out.

He crossed his arms. “This is not a costume.” Ariston narrowed his eyes, a thought occurring to him. “I didn’t sense you being attracted by my song like I did the blonde. Are you a magical being? Who are you? A deity? A demigoddess?” He was on to something there, but wasn’t sure what. Had she brought the freak thunderstorm the night before? There had been no sign of rain, yet rained it had. And hailed on top of it.

“Right… Maybe you should let me hold that phone I mentioned before. I think it could bring help for both of us.”

“I don’t have a phone on me. Where would I put it? In my leg hair?” He lifted a hoof and waved it in a counterclockwise motion. Brunette’s eyes widened once more. Why did everyone get all worked up over the hooves, but not the horns? Those mostly received a pffft reaction followed by a series of retorts about his nature of “horniness.” It’s not like he would start making goat noises and chewing on buttons. The only part of his anatomy of any real importance hung heavily between his legs, and that was as human as any mortal man. Except he liked to think he was better endowed.

“In your, uh, gun holster?” Brunette pointed to his panpipes.

“What about it?” Ariston asked.

“You asked where you would put a cellphone. There is a large pocket on your strappy purse thingy.” She nibbled her full bottom lip, an act that shot fire to his groin.

“It’s not a purse. How could you even say that? It’s very manly.”

“Uh huh. Of course.”

“It is.” The twinge of lust faded out as he noticed the blood spotted bandage across the palm of her hand. “How were you injured?” Ariston took an unconscious step toward her. He had medical supplies at the cabin. Though he healed at phenomenal speeds, his blood still made a mess when it flowed on the wrong side of his skin. He could patch her up in no time.

She glanced at her palm, almost surprised to see the bandage there. Then she shook her head and said, “Yeah, this is the weirdest conversation ever. Sorry, but…gotta dash.” She darted off in the opposite direction. As she sprinted away, stinging drops of water began to bombard his skin. Brunette had to be the one manipulating the rain, but how? What was she? It must be linked to her emotions somehow, and it made him wonder what had happened to provoke the furious assault from the elements the night before.

Ariston snapped out of his stupor and chased after her. “Hey, not so fast!” A thought started taking root in his mind. He’d been excited about her before, but if he was right… Gods, he couldn’t let her escape. Not if there was a chance.

Brunette was magical in nature, affecting the elements. The timing was too good to be true. Ariston had sought one of her kind for as long as he’d been a satyr, and if she turned out being a nymph, she was also his savior. Unfortunately, his salvation continued putting distance between them. She may have the upper hand in the rain, but he knew the forest well. He’d capture her like the legends of old, and she’d be his. Mine!

She had revealed herself to him. Perhaps not intentionally, yet she had. All he needed was Brunette to desire him enough to take him as a lover under the Satyr Moon. He smiled. Ariston was rusty when it came to true seduction, without the use of magic, but he enjoyed a challenge. He could be free, mortal, could finally have a family, grow old, and live a normal human life.

Teaser Thursday- Their Home Port

This novel is available from Jupiter Gardens Press.

Home Port 200

 

“There’s a lot more to this than just driving the boat.” Reesa saw a smaller motorboat off to her side and waved. A little boy on board jumped up and down as he waved back. “It’s fun, though.”

“For you,” Micah said. “You just have to sit there while I steer. So anyway, did I freak you out completely, or just a little bit?”

“You mean with the marriage stuff?” She didn’t even want to think about it. Knowing that they’d keep seeing each other told her enough about the future. She didn’t want to think any farther ahead than that. Bad enough he had clothes and a toothbrush at her apartment, and that had been her idea.

“I wasn’t proposing,” he explained. “Just saying, someday we might end up there. Or we might move in together, or we might just keep things as they are now. Don’t worry so much, honey. I’m not trying to make you make any decisions about the rest of your life. I just mentioned it because it’s something I’ve thought about. Not specifically with you. I mean…shit, I’m screwing this all up, aren’t I?”

“Kind of,” she agreed. Then she decided to cut him some slack. “I do understand what you’re saying. You’re one of those white-picket-fence, two and half kids and a dog sort of people, right?”

He laughed. “Yeah, that kind of sums it up. Growing up, I used to imagine what the right woman would be like. And then I never found her. I’m thirty-two, which isn’t exactly ancient or anything, but most of the people I went to school with are married now. Some are even divorced, which isn’t really what I’d want. The point is, I thought I’d have found someone by now. Honestly, I’d almost given up.”

“And then you met me?” she said sarcastically.

“And then I met you.” He looked at her solemnly. “I haven’t known you long enough to say you’re ‘the one’ or anything like that.” He made air quotes. “I know that you and I get along better than anyone else I’ve ever dated. And you don’t mind the work schedule, which is a plus. If you aren’t ‘the one,’ you’re pretty darn close.”

“You sound an awful lot like you’re looking for more of a commitment than we’ve already agreed to.” If they hadn’t been out in the middle of the ocean, she would have walked away from him. She didn’t like to be pressured, and even though she doubted he intended it that way, he certainly did seem to be pressuring her. Maybe it had just been way too long since he’d had a serious girlfriend and he’d become overexcited about the idea.

Maybe she was the one with the issues, and she needed to just listen to him and accept that he was only expressing his opinion, not trying to force her into anything. Some women would love hearing a man say he might want to spend the rest of his life with them. They wouldn’t see it as a trap, they’d see it as proof that they deserved something that good.

She was thirty years old and the most serious relationship she’d ever had had been with Kent. And that had only happened because it had seemed like the right time to have a relationship, not because Kent had seemed like the right man to do it with.

“I’m not looking for anything more than you’re willing to give,” Micah assured her. “Look, I know I’m botching this up. We’ve already established I’m awkward with the whole dating thing. I’m not professing undying love for you or anything like that. I’m just saying that I do love you, and I won’t mind if things do wind up with us having a stronger commitment. I also won’t mind if we don’t. I just want to have you around. Okay?”

“You are pretty damn awkward.” Reesa stared out the windshield. “I think I understand. Just realize, I do have issues, even though I look like I have it together. So yeah, I’m going to freak out a little if you start talking moving in and marriage and all that stuff. Doesn’t mean I don’t want it someday. I used to daydream about it too. Too much has happened in my life for me to have a very positive outlook about it right now, though. So how about if we just agree that we love each other, we’re seeing each other, and whatever happens, happens?”

“Yeah, I think that’s what I meant to say,” he said slowly. “You’re much better at this talking thing than I am. Maybe I should hire you to translate me.”

“Except that I’m the one you need to be translated for,” she pointed out.

“I think you understand me very well.” He put his hand on her knee. “You and I seem to think along the same lines sometimes.”

“Yeah, we do.”

For a while, Micah drove the boat around, keeping an eye out for any trouble. All the boaters they passed waved, and some called hellos. Reesa sat back and enjoyed the wind flowing through her hair as the boat continued through the water. Despite the choppy waves, she loved being out, away from land and away from all the crap she’d dealt with. Something about the ocean made it all seem to go away.

Special Guest Shauna Aura Knight

Welcoming fellow Jupiter Gardens Press author Shauna Aura Knight today. Thanks for stopping by!

When and why did you start writing romance?

You might laugh. I wrote my first novel when I was 12, and I think I started writing my first romance when I was about 14. I started sneaking and reading my mom’s romance novels at that age, and my stories just seemed to make so much more sense with a romantic component.

I should point out that I was 13 going on 30—I was generally more mature than my peers. I was actually running a small business at that age making artwork and crafts and selling them to save up for a sword at the Renaissance Faire. Now, I should also point out that those first stories really sucked. But, I hear that there’s a piece of wisdom that you have to write a million words of crap, so I like to think that I got that out of the way!

As I wrote more, whether that was epic and urban fantasy with a romantic component, or actual Paranormal romances, the stories just always made more sense to me with sexual tension.

 

What’s the strangest thing that’s inspired one of your stories?

Most of my stories are inspired by dreams, so I have a lot of weird ideas, but probably the strangest story idea is encapsulated by this working title: “Cowboy Templars in Space with a Priestess.” I think that’s about as close to a western as I’ll ever get.

 

Have you ever based a character on someone you know? If so, did you tell them? If not, is there someone in your life you’d like to base a character on?

Sometimes I take pieces of myself, and pieces of other people I know, and stitch those together to make a character more realistic. I never base an entire character off of one person, unless it’s a really brief sketch of someone that isn’t really a core part of the story.

For instance, a character might be thinking about a bad situation in her past with an ex, and often that’s something I’ve been through, or something a friend of mine has been through. Often it falls into the category of, “crap I couldn’t make up if I tried.” I’ve taken inspiration from the character Chaucer in the movie A Knight’s Tale. Chaucer says something to some bad guys about how he really gets the best vengeance because he will eviscerate and immortalize them in his fiction.

Other times, I just borrow certain harmless quirks from different people I’ve observed.  For instance, if I’m ever describing nailpolish, heels, or anything excessively girly, that’s probably something I had to either observe in someone else or do research and ask.

 

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it? If not, do people in your “real life” know that you write romance?

Sort of. I’m very public about all the writing that I do. Shauna Aura is my first and middle name (my parents were total hippies), Knight is a last name that I took for myself when I started traveling and teaching leadership, facilitation, and personal growth work in the metaphysical/Pagan/spiritual seeking communities. Knight is less of a pen name and more of a chosen name.

At present, I have no plans to take a separate pen name. I write my fiction, as well as my nonfiction, under the same name. I chose “Knight” because I have spent most of my life inspired by myths like the Grail quest. Also, I teach leadership, and the word Knight originally meant, “to serve,” and I believe that leadership is service. It’s evocative of myth and heroes and the worlds of our imagination, which is exactly what I’m going for with my fiction.

 

Tell us about your latest book.

Ellie moves to a spiritual retreat center tries to figure out her life while doing a lot of labor out in the woods. She has a huge crush on Kyle and Jake, who run the catering kitchen. As it turns out they’ve been holding back from seducing her in part because they are werewolves. I bet them being werewolves won’t come as a surprise, given the title is Werewolves in the Kitchen! When all three of them end up in bed together it’s scorchingly hot, but there are some unintended consequences.

While Ellie tries to wrap her brain around both the threesome, and them being werewolves, Jake, and Kyle tart to go a little hormonally mad as the shapeshifter magic links all three of their libidos together. The only way to help Ellie answer her questions is to invite another human/werewolf mated pair to the SpiralStone retreat center, but that puts Jake and Kyle in danger from a pack of werewolves that are out for their blood.

CoverWerewolvesIntheKitchen

 

Is there a plot you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t been able to yet?

I have dozens and dozens of stories that I have started writing but haven’t finished because I’m just not able to figure out part of the story. Usually I have a great idea for the middle of the story, but then I don’t know either how they got there, or, where it’s going. Sometimes I just have to wait for the bolt of lightning that lets me know what the story is really about so I can go from there.

 

What books do you have available now (title and publisher)?

Werewolves in the Kitchen, Jupiter Gardens Press, and A Winter Knight’s Vigil, Pagan Writers Press. I also have a few nonfiction books available.

 

What books do you have coming soon?

I have two novellas coming out in the next months. A Fading Amaranth is a Paranormal/Vampire Romance; at least part of the book will be available as a free download. Alexandra’s psychic abilities make it impossible for her to be in a relationship until she meets Nathaniel, a vampire who has lost his muse. They accidentally end up helping some local mages stalk a Faerie monster so there’s a mixture of spice and adventure.

Another is an Urban Fantasy The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. Jack and Meredith fall in love at a festival, but Meredith has dreamed her own death.

Other longer works that I’m finishing up include two Paranormal Romances. In A Golden Heart of Glass, Angel begins working with the goddess Aphrodite and is then surprised when that magic begins to fill her with desire, as well as attract the monsters that hide in the alleys. In Twelve Drops of Blood, a young woman and a 4,000 year old vampire work to solve one of the riddles of the Grail Quest before a Cabal of half-human monsters can capture them.

 

How do you come up with the ideas for your stories?

Most of my story ideas come from dreams. The story for Werewolves in the Kitchen came while I was doing laundry while working at a retreat center similar to the one described in the book. It was really lonely work, and my mind wandered a lot. I wondered, what if there were three lonely people here…and off my brain went with the story.

 

What genre are most of your stories? Why did you choose that genre?

My work always has some kind of fantasy component. Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian. If there aren’t swordfights, spaceships, or magical duels, I’m generally not interested in watching the movie or reading the book, and it’s the same with my own writing. I don’t know what it is, but big epic battles, people with magic powers, chthonic creatures, vampires, werewolves, spaceships…all that stuff has always inspired me.

 

Web Site: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com
Fiction Blog: https://shaunaknightauthorartist.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShaunaKnightAuthorArtist

 

Excerpt:

Jake turned the shower on while Kyle kissed her senseless. Ellie threaded her fingers into Kyle’s short blond curls, and suddenly Jake was behind her, untying her shorts. Kyle drew her top up, and she could feel Jake’s bare chest against her back.

She was just in her bra and panties when Kyle released her to pop the button on his jeans. Then he kissed her again, nipping his way down her body.

Jake made an appreciative noise from behind her, and she turned her head. He kissed her, grinding his hips against her buttocks. Distracted by Jake kissing her, she gasped when Kyle brushed his fingers over her mound, rubbing her through her panties. He nipped at her hip, and she felt him dragging her underwear down. She tugged him up and kissed him.

“Shower first,” she murmured.

Kyle grinned, placing her hands on the waistband of his jeans to tug them off. Her jaw dropped just a little as his length sprung out. “Oh my,” she whispered.

He drew her to him and into the steaming shower, kissing her. Jake closed the glass shower door behind him; it was just big enough for three. She took them both in before they drew closer.

Jake tipped her head back into the water to wet it before he began lathering up her hair, his fingers massaging her scalp as she blissed out.

Kyle grabbed a washcloth and washed her from shoulders to feet until she shivered. Ellie blushed and protested when his fingers slipped between her folds until she moaned. Jake claimed her lips as Kyle began to circle her pearl where she was slick with arousal. “So wet, baby.”

Jake slid his hands over her body, down to her buttocks, lathering up her back with body wash as Kyle drove two fingers into her pussy.

She cried out into Jake’s mouth at the sensation. She’d never been kissed like this before—the hot water falling on them, Jake’s tongue lapping at her lips even as Kyle was pleasuring her where she’d been swollen and hot for them for so long.

Ellie moaned, thrusting down onto Kyle’s fingers. How many times had she blushed, fantasizing about them doing this to her? She was already on the edge of orgasm from the thrill of having them both totally focused on her pleasure and so many days without release.

Kyle circling her pearl had her gasping for breath against Jake’s lips. “That’s it,” he murmured, stroking in and out.

Their touches finally drove her over the edge. Ellie cried out, bucking, and they had to hold her up as her knees gave. Jake kissed her, and then Kyle kissed her, and she threaded her fingers through both their hair while they murmured sweet things, petting her.

“Feel a little better?” Kyle asked, and she blushed.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Jake grinned.

She panted, knowing the two of them were not done with her yet.

To buy Werewolves in the Kitchen:

Jupiter Gardens Press: http://jupitergardenspress.com/shop/werewolves-in-the-kitchen

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Werewolves-Kitchen-Shauna-Aura-Knight-ebook/dp/B00HVJMUSI

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/werewolves-in-the-kitchen-shauna-aura-knight/1118063246