Thursday, 28 June 2012

Introducing ...


Name: Ivan
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Crimson Night/Silver Moon
Status: Peasant

Son to the blacksmith, daughter to the woman who’ll inherit the inn. Ivan is a young man with the grand dream of going off and fighting monsters. He wants to save the day, win the hearts of fair maidens everywhere and all that. Too bad he can’t handle a sword properly, the only monster nearby is also his saviour. And when it comes to fair maidens, he’s gonna get his arm broken if he touches her. Then there's the more interesting, exotic rival for her attention ...
Ivan does try to be brave and learn what he can from poor Herald – the Main Character – who’s got way too many things on his mind to be anyone’s mentor.

I love his hair. I can’t help. ^_^ Should’ve given him a smaller weapon though, I cannot stop thinking he’s going to slice off a body part.
Could you handle having him come to your rescue? Do bear in mind that he’s not going to be all that successful. You might have to save him. >_>

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Aaaaaaawardssssss!

One post three awards.

First one up: The Liebster Award. Gifted to me by Andrea Teagan at The Enchanted Writer. This is the second time I've gotten it. The last time I had just a few followers (I forget how many), now I've over 120! Thank you all for following my ramblings and thoughts.

Groovy
The rules of this award are:
  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs with 200 followers or less.
  5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog. 
I'm giving this award to these people:
Mary Chase at nulla dies sine linea
Clare Dugmore at Clare Dugmore Writes
Kayla Curry at Paranormal Lounge
Vicki Orians at Page After Page


Adorable
Award Number Two is one I've both lusted after and feared getting (how's that for dual feelings towards some pixels). Okay, that's mainly because it's a tricksy award and I'm uncertain if I can fill in the blanks.
Nevertheless, I am overjoyed to get the 7x7 Link Award. And I have Nick Wilford of Scattergun Scribblings to thanks for it. ^_^

RULE #1: Tell everyone something that no one else knows about you.

Before I met my fiancé I was quite content to become crazy cat lady.
So I kept the crazy, the cats and the guy. ^_~


RULE #2: Link to one of my posts that I personally think best fits the following categories. (Whoo. Stand back, this could get messy.)

Most Beautiful: A Picture Paints 1000 Words - Bloghop
A 1000 words, little in the way of world-building (this is me doing it on the fly, yo) and I think it came out pretty good. But while I chose this as beautiful, I mean it in the bittersweet sense. I still can't read the last bit  without tearing up a little and I wrote it.

Most Helpful & Most Popular: Synopsis - Write it First
We'll deal with the popular a bit further down. But this is probably the only piece of advice you'll see on this blog.

Most Controversial: Ah, the bit I dread.
I'm not really one for 'controversial' topics. I seldom blog is more for my reviews, my stories and blogfests. There's nothing in any of them that looks remotely controversial. I'm afraid I'll have to cheat and skip this. You all love me enough to forgive, right?

Most Surprisingly Successful: First Campaigner Challenge
I'd never done a flash fiction before. Never written within the strictures of anything other than what was imposed on me at school. So I was a little surprised to find that not only did I like flash fiction, but how much others liked what I'd written too.

Most Underrated: Headaches of a visual nature
Okay, yeah. It may not be that special. But I adored my new specs. It's like a high without actually taking anything. I adore seeing things non-fuzzed as they should. Especially my daughter's face.

Most Pride Worthy: First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest - Winners Announcement
Hey, it's the first Blogfest I've ever won. And it came via a piece of my oldest novel. Double pride going on over here. ^_^

Pass it on to seven bloggers: As I'm doing five people above and below this award, I'm gonna be sneaky here and pass this on to anyone who wants it.
See this => [Insert Name Here] <= it's your free pass to pick this baby up.
Just let me know about, okay? ^_^


Just plain Fab-u-lous
Lastly, another award I've never gotten before but enjoy reading other people's answers to: The Fabulous Blog Ribbon. This one comes to me from Jaycee DeLorenzo.

Name five of your most fabulous moments, either in real life or in the blogosphere.
I haven't many times in my life that I consider 'fabulous'. I've fond moments, but they mostly make me teary or silent. So you'll get them instead.

1. The birth of my daughter. Yes, she was a difficult girl even then and hand to come into the world via the 'alternate exit', but that first time seeing her as they wheeled me back to the room with those dark eyes staring at me was amazing.
2. All memories that involve my old horse Ticket. He was with me for seven years before age and illness forced us to put him down. The one where he tried to drag me home after I was thrown (duck flew up in his face) and winded is my fondest.
3. The first time I accidently ended up on the back of Damir, the arab filly I was breaking in. All she did was look about for me, found I was on her back and (I swear she shrugged) obeyed me as I guided her to the nearest patch of grass with her lead rope.
4. Buying my first car. Seventeen, restricted license, unable to take it out a night without a fully licensed passenger, but man did I love my little black RVR (a small 4x4). By extension, I loved it even more when some dude rear-ending me at 100km and, though the car was wrecked (shortened by about a foot), I walked away with just a bump on the head.
5. My rescue kitten's first win at a cat show. First time travelling with us, first time being showed, first First Place. Boy took it like a champ. And he should, cause he's my FizzyWhip! Okay, so the emotion in this one is probably more one as pride, but that counts. :P

Name five things you love. Okay, I believe family (pets and all) should be a given to take up the top spot anyway, so I'll do the five below them:

1. My Stories. ^_^
2. The books invading one wall of the room. That's all 500 of them in one lump ... er ... wait, is it that many? Yeah, let's just count the ones on my keepers shelf.
3. My computer. I'd be a bit lost without it. Although there are days where I'd like to destroy it.
4. My Blue Mountain Pottery. All 35 pieces are lovely, but the horse my aunt owned is my favourite.
5. Anything with unicorns (any horse-shaped thing really), dragons or big cats.

Name five things you hate

1. People that are cruel to animals. With the exception of our current pony, all our animals are rescues. Three of our cats came right off the side of the road where some sod had dumped mother and kittens in a box.
2. Liars and Promise-breakers. 'Nuff said.
3. Being late. It doesn't matter where or what for. I can't stand being late.
4. Cold. I feel it so badly. It's a running gag in my house that I'm part lizard.
5. Housework. Necessary evil, but I abhor vacuums and dusting.

Five other bloggers:
Cheree Smith at Justified Lunacy
Jennifer Lane at Jennifer Lane's Books
Krista McLaughlin at The Jelly Beans of Writing
Tara Rendall at More Than Fiction
Rachel Schieffelbein at Writing on the Wall

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Review of Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett


Title: Carpe Jugulum
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

Oh how I adored this. From the title (Seize the Jugular ^_^), to the characters and the concept. Yes, it’s a bit similar to Lords and Ladies, but this had a more entertaining edge.
I mean, there are my favourite witches and we get vampires? And we’re poking fun at all the classic vampire movies? How could I not love? I just wish real life hadn’t gotten in the way so many times and let me read this in a sane timeframe.
It starts off quite innocent, then takes a nose dive as the vampires (sorry, vampyres) arrive in Lancre with the intent to stay and farm the local populace. Worse yet, these vamps have learned and ain’t going down to an axe on the neck, never mind a simple garlic clove. And what fun would it be if they did?
Things are completely thrown off-guard for me as I was expecting Granny to hop in and save the day. She’s Granny after all. But no, she cannot. Instead it’s left to Anges. It’s interesting to see the ‘maiden’ of the witchy trio her muddle her way through the whole scene, including fighting off the advances of Vlad, a vampire who just can’t seem to get what “sod off” means (or what a well-place elbow/knee can do ^_^).
I do think I wouldn’t have enjoyed the bits with Oats quite as much if I hadn’t already read Small Gods, but I have and enjoyed that too, so really it was more acquainting myself with an old friend and laughing at how wrong the Omnians have gotten Brutha’s words and life.
Now the Nac Mac Feegles ... I’d some trouble understanding what they were saying at first (same with Igor, though he was easier), but they grew on me. How could I not like a six-inch high pictsie who likes nothing more than drinking, fighting and stealing cattle?

Friday, 22 June 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!


Bet you’ve got that song in your head now. I know I did. ^_^
This is the heroinebloghop. A counter, if you will, for the “Oh! My Hero!” Bloghop that Jaycee DeLorenzo and Victoria Smith hosted in April. We can’t let the heroes have all the fun, now can we?

Interview a heroine of your manuscript, novel, or WIP by a fellow female counterpart also from one of your written works.  Your featured heroine can be interviewed by her best friend, a heroine from another one of your written works, a sister, the opportunities are endless!

      - Have your heroine answer at least three of the questions!
      - Post a picture of your heroine, the interviewer, or both!
      - Post a song for the theme of the interview or a song that reflects your featured heroine's personality.
For this hop, the interview will have more of a "girls chatting" type feel because after all, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!  So feel free to write it like a short scene in a book!

And I did. Sort of. Some personalities seemed to clash a bit so it got kind of long (about 2200 words). I also couldn’t let any of them sit by the wayside for this. So sit back and get comfy, this’ll take a while, there are eight of them, after all ....


Left: Clara (Dark One's Mistress), Lasil (The Rogue King) Maayin (Dragon)
Middle: June & Amisi (Both from Anubis’ Handmaiden)
Right: Sarna (Witch of Morthin), Aleena (Aelfah), Acarna (The Unborn Trilogy)


June glances about the room, frowning at the odd group of women surrounding her. “Well this is very nice and all, certainly a change from Aaru, but why are we here?”
“Um, hang on. I think she explained it ...” Sarna mumbles as she picks up a slim pile of papers sitting on the table beside her. “Aha! It says here that we’ve been gathered to answer some questions.”
“Questions, questions.” June ’s top lip quivers in a sneer. “Damn girl’s full of the damn things. Ugh!” She flicks the hair from her eyes with the jerk of her head. “How many has she got for us?”
Sarna rifles through the papers. “One ... two ...” A couple of leaves slip through her fingers to fall on the rug beside June . “There’s a number, but it also says we only need to answer three.”
“Awesome,” June scoops up the dropped sheets, flicking back and forth between the three in her hand, and settles on the top page. “Let’s see now ... How would you describe your hero? Pfft! That’s easy. Charming, tall, bronze ...”
Amisi lifts her head from the older woman’s shoulder. “... jackal-headed.”
There’s a strangled gasp from the red-haired Aleena. “I’m sorry, what?”
“You heard her,” June snaps over her shoulder. “What’s wrong with that anyhow, ponygirl? You don’t hear me criticising your choice of a man, do ya? If you can really call that hunk of horseflesh a man.”
“Scen has always been a gentleman to me, no matter his outward peculiarities.” Aleena grasps the back of the chair before her. It shakes. “But are you two saying you’re both with the same guy?”
“Not at the same time, I assure you,” Amisi replies, her cheeks darkening. “That would be somewhat impossible.”
June flaps her hand about. “It’s complicated.”
Acarna lowers her cup of tea to her lap. “Indeed. Things often get that way after the first thousand years. What is the next question?”
“Next?” June twists round to raise a brow at the woman. “So we ain’t all gonna answer these questions then? I thought that was the idea.”
“We all shall if you insist, child, though I fear you’ll find my answer lacking.”
“Your man’s a living vampire who feeds on goats, what’s so hard about that?”
The angel’s pink lips twitch into what should’ve been a smile. “You cannot define a person by the mere happenstance of their species.”
“I’m sure I could.” Lasil grins widely. The firelight glitters along her fangs. “Though, if I’m to be honest, some of it’s more a quirk of his combined traits than a defining feature.”
“What about you two?” June lifts herself off the ground a fraction and glares over Lasil’s shoulder. “You’ve both been awfully quiet. And for god’s sake, Maay, come outta the shadows. Sheesh, you’re hard enough to see without adding to it.”
Head down, Maayin quietly moves from the corner, sidling over to stand beside the fireplace.
Clara, the last of the women and near cloaked in shadows herself, folds her arms and shuffles a few steps closer to the group. “I’m not certain if my hero even qualifies as such. He’s more of an ... anti-villain.” One corner of her mouth lifts in a half smile. “Though he is sweet and oh so enchanting. In an intense sort of way, I can almost forget he kidnapped me when he smiles.”
Lasil snorts, muffling the sound with her hands. “Sounds like my dear Veng. Well, if you remove the kidnapping and throw in a bit of old romantic flair.”
June frowns. “What? Like flowers, breakfast in bed, walks along the beach and stuff?”
“That’s romance to you?” The bronze tail flicks up to stir the air before her. “I get the occasional jewel from him, but Veng usually brings me more ... entertaining things when it involves a bed.”
Aleena grimaces. “Now there’s an image I could’ve done without. Can’t image how you’d even manage it. He’s what, twice your height?”
Lasil leans forward, a cheeky puff to her cheeks. “He keeps himself very flexible,” she says with a wink before laughing. “Why Aleena, dear, I do believe you’re blushing. A married woman like you? For shame.”
“I’ve been married for some time,” says Sarna, “and my cousins can still make me blush quite well. Especially if they happen to mention my darling husband.”
“Then your men aren’t doing their jobs properly.”
“Excuse me?” Aleena snarls. “However Scen does his job is no one’s business but mine. And if either you or your husband had been born on the Aelfah homeworld, then he would’ve locked in the underprison with all the other oversexuals and you probably would’ve ended up being dragged out into the arena and punished.”
“Well then, thank the Stars that I was born on Thardrandia where such traits are accepted as being natural and not on some world where the people are forced to subdue it and the men have wait years before it’s acceptable to proposition his own wife.”
“He does not have to proposition me.”
“Of course,” June snaps. “Punish the commoner and let the noble go free. The cry through the ages.”
“That is not so. He’s tossed cars in the air with a thought. Brought down a building because they harmed me. He has to very careful to his emotions.”
“That’s right,” says Lasil. “I forget he’s of the Mark. I hear he once brought down fifty feet of newly-cultivated jungle.” Clapping her hands, she bursts out laughing. “And again she blushes!”
“Jaimin just carves me trinkets from egg shells,” Maayin whispers into the silence. “A fresh batch very year. I’ve amassed quite the collection now.” Her dark lips curve. “I think he tends to forget how many he’s gifted to me.”
“Egg shells?” Aleena leans further over the chair, arms draping either side of Sarna’s head. “Be a bit fragile wouldn’t they?”
“I make them tough. Besides, the first thing he does is carve an image of each hatchling.”
“Fair enough, girl. I’d prefer photos myself. But I suppose it’s hard to come by a good camera up in the middle of nowhere. Let the giant dragon whittle egg shells for you if it makes him happy.” June flings the top sheet of paper away. It drifts into the fire and flares into dust. “Next question: what attracted you to your hero?” She lowers the page.
Lasil leans back into the chair. “And I’d say his shoulders.”
“Shoulders?” June blurts. “You got the whole lizardy package to choose from and you pick his shoulders? Shoulders sure wouldn’t be the thing I think of.”
Lasil shrugs. “Why not? A set of wide, well-rounded shoulders are very appealing. It hints at their fighting prowess, which I’m not ashamed to admit tweaks a certain ... base reaction. What attracted you?”
“I’d like to say his cute butt,” June fires back. “Though, as a feature, it’s more something you’re more likely to see going than coming. So let’s go with I admire his butt and I’m not sure what attracted me to him.”
Acarna sniffs. “Physical attraction is not what should draw one to a prospective partner. You cannot define it, child, because it is their essence that lured you, not the form it is confined to.”
“Eh? Don’t you get all ethereal on me. You can’t deny Herald’s been confined in a mighty fine form. For a guy over twelve centuries old, he’s sure got it going on.”
Acarna raises a blonde brow. “It would not matter how many things he had ‘going on’ if his true nature was not to my tastes.”
“I do not mean to be rude,” Sarna interjects, “but I am curious as to how he could be to your tastes at all.”
“Why, dear child, I could ask the same of you. Yet you still ended up with your husband. A man from the very people who not only swore to rid the world of your kind, but to annihilate your very bloodline.”
“He was kind. He helped me. Protected me. He didn’t have to. He’d no debt to me or my family.” She stares down at her hands. “We didn’t know we were meant to be enemies until after we ...”
“Fell in love?” Aleena supplies.
Sarna nods, head tipped back to smile up at the woman. “It just ... happened along the way.”
“Same for me with Scen, sort of. Though we knew more than our parents would disapprove. He has these gorgeous blue eyes, but they were so full of pain when I first met him.” She sighs. “My only regret is that we didn’t leave Earth sooner, so that they didn’t have a chance to take him.”
“It wasn’t anything physical that drew me,” Amisi says, a smile tugging at her lips. “He was the first to treat me as more than a child.” She grabs June’s arm. “And it likely to be the reason you felt the pull.”
“It was Jaimin’s kindness that drew me.” Maayin beams. “Then he kissed me, fought for my right to choose and told me he loved me.”
“At least you got to choose,” Clara mumbles.
“Okay then,” June says. “What about you, Mistress of the Sulks? When did you first meet Lucias?”
“In his chamber, late one night. He was wearing nothing more than a towel and ...” Blushing, she gives a nervous laugh. “He was soaked, his skin gleaming in the candlelight.”
“Did you kiss him?” Lasil asks.
“No! I was trying to escape. Besides, he was holding a sword to my throat at the time.”
“Definitely should’ve kissed him then.”
“Why? Because you would’ve had that towel off of him in a heartbeat?”
Sarna looks down at the papers in her hand and tosses them all into the fire. “So I take that to mean it would be a no to letting someone kiss you on the first date?”
Aleena jerks back as if she’d been slapped. “Make that a hell no. No guy is getting anything from me on the first date.”
“Prude.”
She glares at June who sticks her tongue out. “And I suppose you would.”
“Maybe. If he’s cute.” She nudges Amisi. “My girl here made him wait several years until giving it up.”
“I did not ‘make him wait’. I wouldn’t have dared to make Anpu do anything.”
“It’s no big deal. The boy’s used to waiting. It’s not as if he’s gonna die from old age.”
“I never got a chance to try dating,” Clara grumbles. “Oh, no it was all ‘she’ll do’ and ‘into the carriage with her’ and then off the mighty Lord’s citadel we go without so much as a by your leave.”
Lasil grins. “Neither did I. But then, I allowed him to do far more than kiss me.”
“There was no date,” Sarna said, “and our first kiss was mostly accidental.”
“Mostly?” Clara shakes her head. “How can something be mostly an accident?”
“I liked him, but we didn’t outright intend to kiss. At least not then.”
“You’re all quite fortunate,” Acarna murmurs, stilling the other seven. “I was forced to endure many ‘dates’ during my lengthy imprisonment, but I needed to live and die to get my first kiss.”
“Okay, okay.” June waves the last paper in the air. “We need to answer the real serious question: would you rather see boxers or briefs on your guy?”
Sarna blushes. “I’m not even sure what those are.”
“Hmm.” Lasil rubs her chin. “I’ve vague memories.”
“They’re types of underwear,” says Aleena, then adds in a whisper, “though I suppose they don’t have such garments on Thardrandia.”
Lasil snaps her fingers. “Of course they are. And I’d have say loincloth. A short one.”
Aleena tilts her head from side to side. “Scen didn’t look all that bad in boxers. But it’s not like he wears much underwear. How is this a serious question?”
June giggles. “It’s not. Duh. Although. Seriously? Can you imagine Anpu in either? He’s way too attached to what he’s already got.”
Aleena lets out a strangled, gasping laugh.
“I could not imagine Anpu in much beyond his traditional attire.”
A whimsical smile lights up June’s face. “Yeah, not imagining him in much sounds like a plan.”
Amisi’s cheeks darken. “That wasn’t what I meant!”
“Sure it wasn’t.”
“How quickly your mind turns to that,” Acarna says, the quirk of her lips the only sign she jests. “If it is to be a choice between the two, I’d rather leave it up to him.”
“But half the fun’s in getting to choose for them.”
“Boxers, then.”
Sarna pulls away from the hushed conversation she’s has with Aleena. “Briefs?”
“I’ll choose that too,” says Clara.
“Boxers are the baggy ones, yes?” Maayin pauses for affirmation, smiling when it’s revealed she’s right. “Then I pick briefs, they’d fit better under his preferred clothing.”
“Who says they’re wearing anything else?”
“Oh, boxers then.”
It is at this point that chooses to Aldrea enter the room. “How are you getting on with my questions? Got many done?”
June points at the short woman as if levelling a sword. “GET HER!”

....

Okay, I've decided (after staring at the screen with my mind gone blank until my peak time kicked in) that I'm only doing the one song. Seriously, some picks that are right for certain character mood aren't ones that I feel encompass the whole of their personality.
On the other hand, there is one song that instantly comes to mind when I think of this heroine and I immediately think of her whenever I hear it.

Acarna - Bring Me to Life by Evanescence
Though, really I tend to hear it as more of a duet with Herald. ^_~

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Introducing ...

Name: Yadoe
Story: Witch of Morthin
Status: Queen

A queen who’s more memory and flashback than reality by the time Witch of Morthin starts. As the catalyst for so many of the things happening, both in Witch of Morthin and its sequel, I do occasionally wish she was there to help guide her daughter. Poor girl’s really on her own for a lot of it, what with daddy having gone insane and all.
But, in Witch of Morthin, dead is dead.

I freaked out when I went to find this image. Thought I’d lost it (forever as it’s an old one and I doubt I’ll ever be able to duplicate it exactly). I straight up love the glow I got off that necklace. Just how I imagined.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest - Winners Announced

Yep, the winners have been announced for the First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest. There were four winners and thirteen honourable mentions. Do check out all of Danielle's choices and pop over to see who Jackie chose and be sure to congratulate them all. No one made it easy for our dear hosts.

But wait, before you go, let me share a secret with you ...


I was one of the winners! I've been entering blogfests since the beginning of the year (as per my goal) and this is my first win! Behold! My shiny badge!
Danielle chose my kissing scene from The Rogue King. I was already over the moon about the comments it was getting (I'm not even certain if everyone realised they weren't human). And, after reading all the cute (and steamy) scenes, I didn't think my alien-lizard-looking couple had a chance. If you haven't read the entries already, you should pop over right now and check them out.

I'll be leaving you something a little sweeter ...


Friday, 15 June 2012

Knights of MicroFiction

The Knights of MicroFiction has returned!
Hosted by Jess at Write. Skate. Dream. and Kathy of Imagine Today, this prompt runs on the 13th of every month.
They reveal the prompts on that day and give until midnight on the 15th to post a reply. By the 17th, they've chosen two winners to be featured on their blogs.
Visit either link to read more flash fiction from others. Links will be in the comments.
Today's prompt is: Write a Micro-Fiction/Flash Fiction of 200 words or less beginning with these words: "Her eyes shot open..."


-------------------------------


I chose to knick a piece from The Rogue King. It's 200 words exactly.



Her eyes shot open. Flickering torchlight, near blinding in intensity, stabbed into her brain. How long had she been laying here? Where was here? She struggled to lift her head, neck sluggish in its response. The rest of her body seemed numb. Had some sick beast paralysed her then?
Awareness hit her mind as if finally realising she could feel again. She groaned at the unexplained agony in her bones. What had happened? She couldn’t recall much beyond darkness and fire. And a shadow ...
The sound of wet gravel rolling over itself filled her ears. Was it meant to be laughter? How could something sound so wrong? “Welcome back,” the voice grated.
Lasil turned her head to see the same creature she’d first met upon entering Defora. She tried to move, the clanking of metal on wood greeting her movements. A glance up revealed she was manacled to what appeared to be a table. No. A rack. She fought against the restraints, grimacing as the heavy metal bit into her wrists.
The being laughed again. “You cannot free yourself from the bonds.”
She ignored him and wriggled some more. The hard iron continued sawing its way into her yielding flesh.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest - First Kiss

Ah, the Kiss Scene.
I don't actually have that many kissing scenes. There's the one from Dragon, which was used in another blogfest.
So I'm down to The Rogue King or Golden Dawn. One of which brings me the problem of them not tending to stop at a kiss. It's not much of a kiss, but I couldn't resist the lure of my eight-foot lizardman and his teeny beloved.
So I'm going to cheat a bit here. This isn't their first kiss. On the other hand, they haven't seen each other for nine years (eighteen years in our time), with many misunderstandings and false messages between, culminating in a quest to rescue her that had him risking his life multiple times.
Surely that counts.


In this particular scene Veng is getting ready for his impending wedding.



To avoid other thoughts, Veng focused on dressing and had just finished tying the lace of his shirt when he heard a peculiar noise coming from out in the antechamber. It sounded almost like someone was systematically shutting doors. Who would be doing such a thing? The servants had done all they were required and no one else was expected up here. Not until later, when he brought Lasil to their marriage bed. Turning from the huge mirror, he paused in the entrance to the bedroom upon hearing the doors swing open.
He watched Lasil creep through the gap to silently glide about the room. The rustle of silk gave way to the rasp of his breath as his wife-to-be stopped before the end of the bed. Bronze hands reached out to caress the dark wood of a post, sliding down the elaborate carved twists to grip the bed end.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, the question bursting from his mouth as he marched into the room. “How did you even find your way?”
She jumped, head snapping round to face him. “I - I thought I’d see if I could find my way alone. I didn’t expect you to still be here. I’m sorry, I’ll leave.”
Was she blushing? He frowned, sure he’d seen her cheeks darken briefly. Was it just innocent curiosity, or more? “No, don’t go. The ceremony will be beginning soon anyway.”
She curtsied. The dress, with its lavender and gold silk, wasn’t as low cut as the ivory gown she’d teased him with. “As you wish, your majesty.”
“Don’t start that,” he snarled. The genuflection bothered him when it came from strangers, he didn’t think he could stand having the same thing from her. It didn’t help that the glimpse of the deep cleavage her bodice confined was still enough to warm him. His arms ached to embrace her, to hold her as close as possible. He had missed having her around and, even though that would only last for a few more hours, the wait for the ceremony to finish was still too long.
Laughing softly, she swung herself up onto the bed end, making little noise as she landed on the thick platform. She silently sat there, the dress shifting ever so slightly at the casual swing of her legs.
Veng turned back to the mirror. The polished surface clearly showed her watching him. He couldn’t banish the hunger gnawing in his gut. It’d been a long time since he’d last eaten, but he knew this craving well and it had nothing to do with food. He needed this day to go fast. He needed her even more. “We should go.”
Lasil nodded. Hand on the post to steady herself, she stood on the board at the foot of the bed and held out an arm in a silent plea for assistance.
Not wanting to pass up a chance to hold her, he complied. With a single arm round her waist, he intended to quickly pick her up and not fall to the temptation in his heart. Their eyes locked and her startling green-gold gaze held him. She smiled so sweetly that he had to kiss her. Just once. To remind himself what it tasted like.
Her arms tightening round his neck, she fell back onto the bed. The suddenness offset his balance and he tipped forward, fingers digging into the soft mattress as he struggled to stop himself from crushing her much smaller form.
She laughed, seemingly delighting in his distress. One hand lingered on his collar, the other rested almost casually on her bodice.
Veng shivered at the featherlike touch of her fingers caressing his neck, keenly aware his knees rested on the skirt between her thighs. “It won’t be long now, my love,” he murmured. “Only a few hours.” He took a deep breath, immersing himself in her delicate scent. How he’d missed that subtle aroma. Like white pare-par. The gentle virgin. He silently chuckled to himself as he recalled their first night. There’d been nothing gentle about this virgin.
Hands slid down his chest. There was a slight tug on his waist as she unbuckled his belt. “Why wait?” she breathed, throwing the strap to the floor.


And I'm going to stop here because, like I said, they don't. ^_^
Now you can to pop over to either Jackie's or Dannielle's blog and read other people's excerpts.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest - First Fight

The First Fight/First Kiss blogfest, hosted by  is live. Don't forget to pop over to either Dannielle's or Jackie's blog when you're finished to read other people's excerpts (or maybe you might a real life fight scene O_O).
First up: The Fight Scene.
It's a good thing it doesn't have to be a physical fight. Which is what I sort of suck at (they tend to be way too short). It's an area I'm endeavouring to improve.
I stared at my stories for ages. Flicking between this one and that. You know what I noticed? My characters bicker amongst themselves like crazy. I'm not meaning full-on rows, though there are some of those too, just bickering. Especially in my first story. ^_^


Anyhow, here's a fight, of sorts, from my current WiP: Dark One's Mistress. Here, Clara has been escorted to the training grounds after being previously kidnapped, chosen and imprisoned in the Lord's citadel.
Sorry about it being so darn long. It's not the whole chapter, really. Well ... about half. I don't like cutting things off.



Something flickered across those dark brown eyes. Bittersweet. Haunted. “You tried to escape again last night. Four times in the last five days. Does it not tire you to always fail?”
She smiled to herself. Barely a week had passed since her kidnapping, yet each attempt had gotten her out of every room they’d locked her in. “I warned you I wouldn’t stay here willingly.” Though he kept the gate to freedom closed, he could not stop her seeking another way out. She would find it.
“It surprised me to hear how easy it has been to catch you. As it did learning that your technique, weak at best, has not shown any sign of progressing.” He strode towards the waiting men, seizing the bucket one of them held. Water sloped over the edge to hit the ground with a dull hiss. A hand dipped, drawing the liquid to his face.
Clara waited for him to finish, her mouth suddenly dry. It was the heat. Had to be. The sun sat directly above them and walls cut off all wind. When had she last drunk anyway? Must have been an hour or two now. She would not ask for a drink. I’m weak? She’d fought full-grown men. Easy? Her struggling against their hold had continued until they’d been left with little choice but to release her. One had even been brought to his knees by a calculated blow.
“My men were given strict orders not to hurt you.” Flicking water from his fingers, he faced her once again. “Yet you still could not best them.”
“Then I shall endeavour to improve my efforts.” She hadn’t been trying to make it easy for them.
“Indeed. Your fighting can only be described as amateurish and pathetic. If these walls are ever breeched, I’ve little doubt that those who seek to kill me will have no qualms in also harming you. I mean to make certain that you can defend yourself should the need arise.”
“Defend,” she echoed. “Like with a knife?” Escape would be far easier if she were allowed access to some weaponry. Given a blade, she could be free within the hour.
Lucias shook his head. “Unarmed combat only.” One corner of his mouth lifted for a brief moment. “Even if I trusted you with something as simple as a dagger, you’d need more training than I’ve time to give.” Waving the men back, he beckoned her forward.
“Surely you do not expect me to fight in this.” Her dress barely let her walk freely.
A black brow rose. His lips twitched with the shadow of a smirk. “You’re wearing undergarments, are you not?”
She folded her arms over her breasts, steadfastly attempting to ignore the panels of her gown digging into her flesh. “What lies under my skirts is none of your concern.”
“I wouldn’t say that.” He chuckled, the sound heating her cheeks. “In fact, I am very interested in what’s under your skirts.” Eyes, bright with amusement, ran over her, fanning the warmth across her face. “Perhaps it is for the better if you learn within the strictures you shall be living with. Now come at me. I promise I won’t hurt you.”
He wouldn’t hurt her, would he? Well, I’m making no such promise. If she couldn’t do permanent damage here, then she could at least deter him. Do it well enough, then perhaps he’d amend his decision to keep her. She swung, fist aiming for his face.
Jerking out of the way, Lucias caught her arm. “No, no, no. You don’t want your thumb there.” Cupping her hand, he prised open her fist, unfurling the thumb from underneath the protective cocoon of her fingers. “Not unless you’re looking to break it.” He manipulated her digits, tucking the thumb against the bottom curl of her fingers. “There.” Stepping back, he spread his arms wide. “Care to try again?”
She frowned down at her hand, clenching until the ragged, bitten ends of her fingernails dug into her palm. Maybe knocking him unconscious would allow her access to the gates ... and freedom. Her gaze lifted to take in the handful of men quietly flanking their lord. What steps would they take if she did knock him out? She swung up, aiming slightly lower in imitation of the fighting on the streets. Hit his chin and he’d go down. She’d seen so many successful attempts done. It had to work.
Once again, he dodged her blow. “Better.” Grabbing her by the shoulders, he swung them round. “Now put a little more force behind it.” Grinning, he stepped back. “Also ... try not to overreach so much.”
Clara rushed at him, thumping at his chest and stomach with equal force.
He took most of her punches, grunting as they landed, only moving to deflect whatever blows she aimed higher or lower than his torso. “So easy.” Arms wrapped around her, drawing them closer together. The musky scent of drying sweat clogged her nose. “One could well believe you want to be caught.”
She pushed against him, wriggling to get free of his grip. Nothing gave. She might as well have been trying to shove a wall down.
“I wonder ...” He pulled her closer, crushing her to his chest. Cupping her chin, he tilted her head back. “Want else will you allow?” His eyes, dark enough in the noon light to be called black, lightened a shade towards brown as his head shadowed her face. “A kiss?” His lips neared hers, parting to let his hot breath caress her skin.
Shivering, she stopped trying to fight him. If he wanted to take her now, she’d no say in the matter. Nothing she did would be enough to keep him away. Her fingers brushed the hilt of his sword. Given a blade ... Her knee came up. The sword came free.
She scurried back from him, gripping the weapon tightly in both hands. The blade glittered in the light. It was heavier than she’d imagined. She could lift it. Barely.
“And what shall you do now?” Lucias asked, all trace of humour evaporating. He straightened, a hand pressed to his lower gut. “Run me through if you think it wise, I’ll still heal.” Behind him, the men drew their weapons. “By then, they will have subdued you.”
“You won’t always be in the training grounds.” She’d entered his chambers before, unwittingly yes, but she could do it again. While he slept. “And I’ll never stop trying to escape this place.” Given a blade ... “I could kill you. Anytime.” She could. As easy as any other man. Easier even. No one would know she’d done it until the next morning. She could be far from here by then.
His eyes narrowed. The sword wobbled in her hands, slipping from her grip to float across the space. “No, you won’t.” He returned the weapon to its sheath. The hiss of its passage loud.
Teeth grinding, Clara resisted the urge to scream as it came bubbling from deep inside. “You don’t think I’ve the stomach for it?” The air around her hardened, pinning her arms to her sides. Goddess. More magic. Why did he bother with this pretence of courteousness when he’d such power at hand?
Lucias stood before her, left hand holding tightly onto his sword hilt. “Oh, you’ve the stomach alright.” The unseen restraints released an arm. He took up her hand before she’d a chance to move, gently kissing the back of it. “Just not the heart.”

Friday, 8 June 2012

DOM. DOM. DOM. DOM!

Check it. Another "cover" ^_^

Dark One’s Mistress, meet the 30k mark. ^_^

I always love the feel of hitting this point in writing. The ability to look back and see how the characters have changed and the story has flowed. I’ve always thought of it as the half-way mark, though in terms of numbers, I’ve 5,000 more to go. Pittance number-wise when seen against the 70,000 I’m aiming for and it’ll take me another chapter before I’m near it.
But, while I’m feeling good with the story so far and know where it leads ... my plotting has now slowed to a crawl. It's down to rehashing and refining what I've got lined up for my characters. I know that feeling. It means the whole story is plotted and my muse is just waiting for me to get it type all up so I can get on with the editing.
See, every time I’ve written a chunk of story, especially if it’s near the end of a chapter, I’ll get out my calculator and do the same thing: find out how many words I’m averaging per chapter (believe me, it changes each time) and how many chapters I’d get if I keep up at the same rate over what I’ve plotted.
The numbers I have right now don’t sit well with the numbers side of me. According to the figures, I’m on a nice stride for twenty-seven chapters. In fact, my original aim was twenty-seven chapters at a nice, steady pace. My plotting, however, doesn’t seem to be aiming for twenty-seven chapters.
As of last week, I have twenty-two chapters all planned. Which I suppose isn't all that bad for what equates to sixteen days. Yes, the whole story takes that much time. Frankly, I'm amazed I've gotten this far on one pov (I've never done that before for more than 30,000 words).
Usually, my plotting only has to go so far as giving me a few chapters at the beginning and the end. I’m all “know where your ending’s at and go for it” when it comes to a first draft. But the chapters have always mystically filled up as I get near them. Those five chapters are defying my natural flow. And they're sitting there right where my plotting says they cannot be, resisting any attempt at having a plot stick.
The longer I stare at them, the more I’m agreeing that they'll have to be removed. Adding chapters would be quite illogical to the story and will slow the plot. In which case, the middle of the story happened one chapter ago. Not sure how to feel about that. It's like knowing there was a book fair the day after.
Anyhow, it's playing merry-hell with my rational side as I cannot be in the second half now when it’s meant to be ahead. My mindset’s all screwed up because of five silly chapters and a plot that doesn’t need them.

See, brain. I can confuzz you gud too.
Wait ... what?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Introducing ...

Name: Lokter Kiana
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Shadow Prince
Status: Lord

As father to one of the Main Character's love interests, there's more hearing about Lokter than actual seeing. There once was a scene where the prospective son-in-law came face-to-face with him and his wife, but now ... it's just a few mentions and a report of daddy being seen at this place and that trying to track down his daughter. But then, arriving to pick up your eldest child only to find she’s been 'kidnapped' by a man belonging to a group who are legendary for murdering women, amongst other things, would have you do that.
Though his part was diminished, I quite like how the traditions of his kind went through each rewrite unchanged. ^_^

I'm in love with his earrings, even though you can’t see them all that well. Sometimes I wish I'd made all my characters this species just so I could adorn them with earrings. Although, they took me forever to get them looking right and, after the fourth one, it made me wonder why I gave him so many darn kids.