Monday, June 17, 2013

WIP Excerpt: Human Strengths

I've been really excited and humbled by the positive response Human Frailties has been getting from the Goodreads crowd. I've had people asking me about the sequel, and yes, I am hard at work on it! I'm working on the rewrite at the moment, and hoping to have it out to my beta readers in a couple of weeks (which is all depending on how much more ass-kicking allergy season does to me... the last week? Miserable.)

At any rate, since I had so much fun posting teasers for Human Frailties over on Goodreads, I've decided to post a teaser for the sequel. From Human Strengths (mostly unedited, so no promises about whether this bit will make the final cut):

Ignoring the pain in his ankle, Tor scrambled back until his hip hit the stone lid of the sarcophagus. He spared a glance behind him, reaching for the sword just as the rhyx began its charge.

“Tor!” Ash’s cry of warning barely registered. The moment his fingers closed around the leather-wrapped hilt, something huge unfolded in his mind. Tor froze. There was a split-second of intense cold and then something ghosted through him, a tingling that moved outward from his core to his fingertips in one quick pulse. His limbs exploded into motion and his grip on the sword shifted as he charged the rhyx.

The creature screamed as he met it in mid-leap. The blade penetrated fur, skin, and muscle. There was a brief feeling of resistance before their combined momentum drove the blade deep into the animal’s chest. The rhyx dropped to the floor with a gurgling breath and Tor, unable to let go of the sword, crashed to the floor with it.

Whatever it was that had possessed him suddenly let go. Swearing and gasping for breath, Tor struggled to get away. The panic that burned through him was so thick it nearly choked him. Before he could scramble to his feet, the cold light of the leythe surrounded him and seared through him, an icy, burning shock. It felt exactly like what Lucano had done to him, and the screams that tore from his throat were as much terror as pain.

He tried to drop the sword, but his fingers tightened on the hilt instead. The cold burned into him. Every muscle in his body locked and Tor’s back arched as he screamed again. He couldn’t feel the bond, couldn’t feel the sword in his hands, couldn’t feel anything except that freezing pain that burned him in places no one should have been able to touch.

The cold was abruptly replaced by a flow of healing warmth. The nameless places inside him that hurt beyond all bearing drew in that warmth and slowly faded from his awareness.

I am Blackfang of the Azhani, and you are my bond-mate. There was a long pause followed by a strong sense of disbelief before the voice continued, sounding much less sure of itself: Oh… you’re not a princess…

“Princess…?” Tor echoed faintly, and then everything went fuzzy and darkness closed in over his head.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Human Frailties Available Now

I’m pleased (and excited) to say that Human Frailties, the story I wrote for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s 2013 Love Has No Boundaries event, is now available on Goodreads. You can read it on-line here if you are on Goodreads and are a member of the M/M Romance Group. The story is also available for download in PDF, epub, and mobi formats at the M/M Romance Group’s website. You can reach the downloadable version using the link posted at the beginning of the story thread.

Stories from this event will be posted in the group's Love Has No Boundaries Stories thread all through June and July, so be sure to check them out. I've been following a lot of the writers' threads since March, and it looks like there's going to be some great reading coming up!

Genre: fantasy, other world
Tags: sorcerer, angels/demons/gods, magic users, soulmates or bonded, slave, prisoner, psychic ability, snarky banter
Content warnings: dubious consent
Word count: 39,489

I will be getting the story up on Smashwords later this summer, assuming I can figure out all the tech stuff. (Formatting an ebook? Me? How scary is that? Apparently not scary enough, because I’m up to my eyebrows in learning how!) Once that's done, I'll post a link here in The Swamp.

A sequel, tentatively titled Human Strengths is in the works. The first draft has already been written, and I’m currently trying very hard to keep my grubby paws off of it. This is the hardest part of the process for me, because I desperately want to play with it right now, but I need another week or so for it to cool down so that I’m able to give it an objective look and figure out what more it needs from me.

Once it’s done, I’ll be publishing it on Smashwords.

Yeah. This is gonna be one of those Tech Stupid Nightmares.

I can tell.