Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ghost in the Mythe is Live!

Exiled from his home world, Tarrin Rhivana stows away on a Federation ship, and finds himself lost in the terrifying place-between-worlds where jump ships navigate. There he meets a beautiful ghost who might be the only one who can help Tarrin save his world from outside forces that would strip it bare.

Book 3 in my M/M science fiction series, Guardians of the Pattern, is now available at Amazon, All Romance, and Smashwords. Links for other retailers coming soon.

This 104,000 word novel continues the adventures of the psions employed by the Institute for Psionic Research as they struggle to uncover a sinister plot that has much more frightening and far-reaching implications than they originally thought. From the campus of the Institute on Aurora to the Vashi Wastes on Aion, this story follows the adventures of Miko and Tarrin as they fight to prevent a disaster that threatens Tarrin's home world, and has the potential to wipe out all of the human worlds in the galaxy.

The series begins with the free short story, Facing the Mirror, and continues in Book 1: Psi Hunter and Book 2: Gremlin's Last Run. All four books are available at your favorite ebook retailer (or will be very shortly), and for the month of June, Psi Hunter is priced at $2.99.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ghost in the Mythe: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Ghost in the Mythe, Book 3 of the Guardians of the Pattern series, is nearing completion, and is on track for a June release. Chinchbug did up an awesome cover for it, and here it is:

And just to whet your appetite, here's another little taste:

It didn’t seem like very long before the flickering shades of Cameron’s concern filtered down through the depths. He felt it as a gentle tug on the thread he’d left connected to the place where his body rested.

It hadn’t been nearly long enough, not for Miko, but he forced himself to follow the currents back up. When he opened his eyes, he found Cameron sitting on one of the couches that lined two of the walls of Miko’s office.

Cameron looked tired. Dark smudges shadowed hard, brown eyes, and his usually neat auburn hair was tousled, as if he’d been running his fingers through it. The realization that he had no idea how much time had passed while he’d been drifting sent a twist of guilt through Miko’s stomach.

The moment Miko’s eyes opened, Cameron leaned forward. “Are you all right?” he asked quickly.

Miko blinked as the lights of the office and the intensity of Cameron’s concern jerked him fully out of the mythe. The transition into reality was sharp and cold, leaving his body shivering and his mind reeling.

He dipped mental fingers back into the net and flicked on the voice synth unit. Miko forced an apologetic smile and said, “Drifting.”

The synthetic voice coming from the speakers on the walls was flat. Miko rarely bothered using the inflections the software was capable of. He’d never got the hang of making the voice match what he wanted people to think he felt, and it was far too easy to be misinterpreted.

Miko’s own voice was gone, taken from him when he’d first touched the raw mythe during a routine passenger run gone horribly wrong. The ship he’d been on had been thrust into jump space unexpectedly, and Miko had been the only survivor.

He still wasn’t sure that survived was an accurate description of what had happened to him. Warped, perhaps. Changed, for certain. But survived?

Hardly. Not when all he wanted was to drift back into the mythe.

“I’m fine,” he added, realizing belatedly that Cameron needed that reassurance.

“You’ve been gone a long time. I got here just before dinner to meet with you. It’s nearly midnight now. Another hour or so and I was going to carry you down to the infirmary.”

Miko checked the net. Cameron was right — he’d been gone for hours that had felt like mere minutes. He bit his lip and looked away. He’d done it again — worried Cameron without meaning to.

“I’m sorry.”

“You were gone long enough to have me worried.”

He wasn’t sure how to respond to that. The same words could mean so many different things. Delving deeply enough into someone else’s mythe-shadow to discern an emotional context that didn’t always make sense to him was both exhausting and painful. Miko found it so uncomfortable that he’d given up trying, except where Cameron was concerned.

In the back of his mind, the soft colors and textures of the mythe beckoned, and he reached for them, entranced by the songs that touched the edges of his awareness.

Miko!” Cameron’s voice penetrated his thoughts, his mythe-shadow flaring hot and spiky with fear. It hurt, and Miko flinched.


“You went away again. I thought…” Cameron shook his head. “Never mind what I thought. Do I need to help you to bed?”

Miko had never seen the point of bed — he’d just as soon sleep here — but part of Cameron’s definition of normal included sleeping in a bed at night and eating his meals in the Institute’s communal dining room.

“I’m not sleepy,” Miko said, struggling to focus his full attention on Cameron. “I’m sorry I missed the meeting. What did you need?”

“It’s midnight, Miko.”

Miko cocked his head and frowned, unsure what the connection was.

Cameron let out an exasperated sigh. “I have to be up early, so we’ll make this brief. I’m meeting with the Command Council tomorrow to report on our progress in locating the missing psions. Have you found anything more? Anything I can legally use, I mean?”

“Anything your net could show you? No.”

Cameron leaned forward again, his expression eager. “Anything it couldn’t?”

“Echoes and shadows. Whispers in the mythe.”

“Nothing solid, then.”

“Connections… but… deep inside of data structures that exist mostly in the mythe. Your net only sees the simplest of the shapes and patterns. The tip of the iceberg. Your Command Council… they want things that human senses understand… surveillance vids and tracking logs. You can’t put the color of a thread or the flavor of a whisper in your report.”

“No. I can’t.” Cameron’s mythe-shadow shimmered with the colors of disappointment.

“I’m sorry.” Miko forced a smile. “I’ll keep trying.” He hated letting Cameron down. He did his best to please the man who had been his savior. Cameron had sacrificed much to free Miko from the hell of slavery: career, livelihood, reputation… all those things that Miko couldn’t quite grasp the importance of.

All the same, he did his best to go through the motions of being human so that Cameron would believe he was normal. And happy. Even though Miko knew he never would be.

He loved Cameron for wanting those things for him.

And he hated him for it, too.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

WIP Excerpt: Leythe Blade

Here's a little taste of Leythe Blade, the M/M fantasy I'm planning to have out by the end of the summer. And check back in a couple of weeks for the cover reveal for Ghost in the Mythe, which will be released in June.

Jace turned around and stalked back to the bedding. He grabbed up his clothing and dressed quickly, hauled on his boots, and buckled on his sword belt.

“Don’t let his sacrifice be for nothing, Jace,” Gwydion’s voice came from behind him, gentle but firm.

Sacrifice?” Jace spun around to face him. “What have you Seen?”

“Nothing clear. Nothing certain. And too many possible futures to have any idea whether or not this course will lead to an outcome we desire.”

“So you chose to let Fate decide,” Jace said bitterly.

“I chose to let Sasha decide. He’s a grown man, Jace, not a child. He can make his own choices. And live with the consequences.”

“Or die by them.”

“Have you so little faith in him?”

“I have little faith that Karn will give up. Or show him any kind of mercy. I’m going after him. I only hope I’m not too late.”

“What of your vow to Arrik?”

Jace narrowed his eyes. “You were quick enough to follow me when I went after him at Cliffwatch.”

“The path was clear to me then. It is… unclear now. Going after Sasha could be the death of us all.”

“What does that even mean?” Jace tugged at his own hair, wanting only to leave this place and hunt down Sasha. He wouldn’t rest easy until he had the man in his arms again.

“It means that it’s more important for us to escape Tallin than it is for us to rescue Sasha. Whether that means Sasha will rescue himself, or whether that means that my role in future events is more important than his, I cannot tell you. All I know for certain is that my gut feeling is that you and I should head for the border as quickly as possible.”

“You,” Jace spat, “are the most manipulative son of a bitch I know.”

Gwydion gave him a pained look. “Believe me, it does not do my heart any good to do this. It feels as if we are abandoning him. But going after him feels worse. I’m sorry I can’t be any more explicit than that. I’ve explained to you before how frustrating the Sight can be.”

Jace closed his eyes in defeat. His heart yearned to go after Sasha, but his duty was to see Gwydion to safety. “Fine. We’ll pack up and be on our way. But the minute I have you safely across the border, I’m heading back here. I’m not leaving him.”

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Update, March 2015

1. Ghost in the Mythe
I'm about halfway through the big content edit on this story. I expect it'll run around 90-95,000 words when it's done, and I'm aiming to have it out in May. This one has taken longer than I'd like, but it's Miko's story, and if you've been following the Guardians of the Pattern series, you know that Miko is both complicated and damaged. This one has been hard to write.

2. Leythe Blade
This is my next fantasy story. It's a stand-alone, and it fits in with the Guardians of the Leythe novels, but is also going to lead in to a fantasy trilogy I have in the works, tentatively titled Kingmakers. The first draft on this story is done, and I expect it to run around 65,000 words, about the same length as Burn the Sky. This will probably be available late summer or early fall.

3. Facing the Mirror
Amazon has very kindly price-matched Facing the Mirror, so you can now download it for free there.

4. Wildfire Psi
Book four in the Guardians of the Pattern series is Wildfire Psi. This is Luka's story, and I'm hoping to have it out at the end of this year or the beginning of next. The first draft is done, but it needs some work before it's ready.

5. The Big Picture
If you've read all my stories, you might have noticed that there's an underlying interconnectedness there. Little hints that all of these stories fit together somehow. I'm currently putting together a timeline for all the books so you can see how the puzzle might look when it's finished. Assuming, of course, that it ever is... The ideas keep coming, and I'm nowhere near done with this world yet.

6. Other projects
I've also had a couple of large, ugly plot rats start gnawing on my leg and bugging me to write other stories, one of which is Draven's (working title: Tangled Threads). I imagine I'll be compelled to write it sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, I don't get to have cute, furry little plot bunnies like the other writers. No, I'm stuck with these hungry, hairy rodents with glowing red eyes, scaly tails, and sharp, pointy teeth. I suspect it's got something to do with karma, but I'm hesitant to investigate.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ghost in the Mythe: WIP Excerpt

Now that I'm into the edits on Ghost in the Mythe, Book 3 of the Guardians of the Pattern series, it's time to share a snippet. This is unedited, subject to change, blah blah blah...

Miko clenched his hands into fists. He shouldn’t have come here, should just close his eyes and not look. But he couldn’t look away. Tarrin’s sword dance was the most beautiful thing Miko had ever seen, and even if watching him did make Miko feel like his blood was on fire, not watching would be worse.

Wouldn’t it?

Tarrin continued to move through his routine, faster now, muscles stretching and flexing as he worked, a thin sheen of sweat glistening on that golden skin. Miko licked his lips and wondered what it would feel like to lick the sweat from Tarrin’s skin. Heat pooled low in his belly for a moment until he remembered where he was and what he was doing. His chest tightened painfully, and he clapped a hand over his mouth.

How could he even think something like that?

That was sex he was thinking about. DeMira had made him do things like that, and even the seemingly harmless things that didn’t hurt had always led to pain. Sex, in Miko’s experience, always ended up hurting, even if it started out feeling good.

He scooted deeper under the pile of mats on belly and elbows, folded his arms in front of him, and buried his head, determined that he wasn’t going to watch anymore.

It was only a few moments before he lifted his head to peek again, unable to keep his eyes off of Tarrin.

Except Tarrin wasn’t moving anymore. He was standing in the center of the gym, sword lowered, eyes narrowed as they scanned the pile of mats in front of him.

Miko worried his lower lip between his teeth. Had he let his mythe-shadow slip loose when he was imagining the taste of Tarrin’s skin?

Tarrin set the sword down on the floor and strode across the gym, straight toward Miko. He stopped right in front of Miko’s hiding place and peered in. “I know you’re in there, Miko. You can come out. I don’t mind you watching me.”

Miko froze. His face felt hot, and he could feel the shakes starting. He scooted forward and slipped out. Tarrin took his hand and helped him to his feet, then looked down at him, a crooked grin on his face.

“Was there something you wanted, or do you just like watching me?” Tarrin asked in a voice that sounded soft and easy, not sharp or biting.

Miko thought fast while he loosed his mythe-shadow and sensed, with relief, that there wasn’t any anger spiking through Tarrin. Amusement, perhaps, though Miko wasn’t sure what was funny. And something else — something warm and glowing that Miko couldn’t quite read.

<Will you teach me?> Miko asked, hoping to shift Tarrin’s attention away from the fact that he’d been spying on him.

Tarrin raised an eyebrow. “Teach you?”

<How to move like you do. How to fight with a sword.>

“Why do you want to learn to fight?”

Miko set his jaw and hoped his face wasn’t as red as it felt like it was. <So nobody can hurt me.>

Tarrin nodded, his expression grave, belying the prickles of excitement Miko could feel lancing through his mythe-shadow. “I can teach you how to fight, but I don’t think a sword is the best weapon for you. They’re heavy, and you’d have to be a bit stronger and taller to use one effectively. A sword isn’t the sort of weapon you’d be allowed to carry with you all the time, either, not in the Federation. You’re more suited to learning to fight with a knife or a dagger, and those can be concealed quite easily.”

<So you’ll teach me?>

“I’ll teach you. Shall we begin now?”

Miko nodded slowly. Anything to keep Tarrin’s mind off of why he’d been watching him.

“Then the first thing we should do is get your hair out of the way. May I braid it for you?”

Miko blinked and nodded again. Tarrin moved behind him and began running his fingers through Miko’s hair. Usually such close contact with another person was uncomfortable for Miko, often to the point of pain. All he felt now was the intoxicating song of Tarrin’s mythe-shadow as it mingled with his own.

There was a gentle, calm feeling about Tarrin as he stroked Miko’s hair, massaging his scalp with strong fingers. It felt good, and Miko closed his eyes and leaned into the touch.

The massage didn’t continue nearly long enough before Tarrin swiftly divided Miko’s hair into sections and began weaving them together. Miko had to fight the impulse to turn his head and watch what Tarrin was doing.

When Tarrin was satisfied that Miko’s hair was out of the way, he moved back to the center of the gym and pointed to the spot where he’d been standing. “Come, then.”

While Miko made his way across the gym floor, Tarrin bent to pick up his sword and carried it to the wall where he’d left his clothes and the sheath. When he returned, he stood before Miko and looked him up and down, studying him with a faint frown. Miko looked down at himself. He wasn’t wearing anything different—a pair of white jeans, a T-shirt, and a pair of battered sneakers that were too comfortable to throw away, even though Cameron kept hinting that he should order new ones.

“Tomorrow, wear something looser,” Tarrin said. “Sweats or shorts. Something you can move around in easily. Today, I’m just going to show you some basic positions. We’ll do some warm-ups first. For now, try to mirror me.”

Miko watched Tarrin move and tried to copy his movements. It quickly became apparent to him that what looked as easy as breathing when Tarrin did it was not so easy at all. Miko hadn’t ever done much in the way of exercise. He spent most of his time hiding in the net, so he was sweating and panting and after only a few stretches.

Tarrin didn’t say anything about how out of shape he was. He set his feet a little bit apart, one forward a little, one back, and bent his knees slightly, saying, “This is a good, loose stance—knees bent a little, with your weight resting on the balls of your feet. Feel how stable you are.”

Miko studied Tarrin’s stance and attempted to copy it.

Tarrin shook his head. “You need to distribute your weight more evenly, otherwise you’re off-balance, and it will be too easy for your opponent to knock you over.” He moved toward Miko and set his hands on Miko’s hips, shifting him a little.

The moment Tarrin put his hands on him, something wild and wanting flared through Miko, and something in Tarrin’s mythe-shadow answered. Miko’s groin felt hot and tight, and his breath quickened. He needed... needed...

He stared up at Tarrin, and saw heat and hunger flaring in the blazing violet eyes that locked onto his own. Flames twisted through Tarrin’s mythe-shadow and spilled over into Miko’s, licking along his limbs and making him want so badly he could hardly stand it.

Tarrin’s hands tightened, gripping his hips as he drew Miko closer. “Miko...” he whispered.

Miko could only stare at him in horror. The burning-needing-wanting that twisted through Tarrin’s mythe-shadow was far too familiar. It was the same thing DeMira and his men had felt when they looked at him, and it had always led to pain and humiliation.

But it was Miko’s own feelings that frightened him the most. Because there was a part of him, deep inside, that wanted Tarrin’s hands on him, wanted nothing between them but skin.

His body burned with the same feelings he’d had when DeMira had drugged him, except this time there were no drugs—everything he was feeling was coming from inside himself. His own body was betraying him, and the only way Miko knew to stop it was to get away from the thing that was making him feel so crazy with want.

With a cry that made no sound, but cut through the mythe in a keening wail of anguish, Miko wrenched himself from Tarrin’s grip and fled. He heard Tarrin’s bare feet slapping against the floor, heard him call, “Miko! Wait!”

But he couldn’t wait. He couldn’t bear to be near Tarrin for one more moment. The things his body wanted right now could only lead to pain. The last thing he wanted was to watch the colors of pain and suffering infusing Tarrin’s beautiful mythe-shadow. He couldn’t stand the thought of hurting Tarrin, and he couldn’t understand how people could possibly want to do those things to each other.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Burn the Sky is Live!

What begins as a simple teaching assignment becomes both an affair of the heart and a life-and-death struggle. Cold-hearted Wytch Master Ilya must teach headstrong Prince Garrik how to control his dangerous Wytch power--or put him down, for the safety of all.

My M/M fantasy novel, Burn the Sky, is now available at Amazon, All Romance and Smashwords.

This is a 65,000 word stand-alone novel, but I do have ideas for more stories about these characters kicking around in my brain. This story takes place in the Kingdoms of Skanda, which is part of the same world as my other fantasy stories (Human Frailties, Human Strengths, and Human Choices).

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Update, January 2015

1. Burn the Sky is set for a mid-January release. It's back from my copy editor, and I'm doing the final proofread now. Then I get to spend a day in Formatting Heaven. *happy sigh* (yeah, I'm weird... so sue me...)

2. Ghost in the Mythe (Book 3 in the Guardians of the Pattern Series) is in the rewrite stage (77,000 words out of a projected 100,000 words as of this morning). It's in much better shape than the last two were (she says hopefully), so I'm thinking I might be able to get it out for beta reading by mid-January.

3. Leythe-Blade. NaNo Project. Epic. Fail. But that's okay--it was meant to be a distraction during the early part of the month so I could think about something other than Husband Beast's upcoming Super-Scary Brain Surgery Adventure. I did get 17K into the story. This is another Guardians of the Leythe novel, and I'm guessing it will end up around 50K, time I've had my way with it. The whole thing is outlined, and I'll pick it up again later this month, while Ghost in the Mythe is out for beta reading.

4. Adventures in Brain Surgery. Went surprisingly smoothly and successfully, much to the relief of all concerned. Seriously, who would have thought one could come home three days after brain surgery? Husband Beast is well on the way to recovery, and should be getting back to work soon. It'll be a relief to have things back to normal (or as normal as they ever are around here!).