Monday, 18 January 2016

Excerpt from To Target the Heart

What It Says On the Tin

I don't want to give too much of a set-up because you'll probably skip this anyway, but this piece is likely to be about halfway to two-thirds of the way through and, basically, the scene that drove me to flesh out the story...


The sudden disturbance of his bed partner woke Darshan with a jolt. Not again. He laid still, his heart hammering, as he tried to distinguish Hamish's figure in the faint, pre-dawn light. Every morning since they left Tirglas, he woke to this hurried attempt at dressing. He'd hoped it would've gotten better the further they were from the man's homeland. It hadn't.
There he was, busily creeping across the inn floor, gathering his clothes as he went. His hurried panting filled the otherwise silence.
Darshan slid across the mattress, slowly so as to not startle the man. "Hamish?" he whispered.
The silhouette straightened. The ragged panting lessened, but didn't fade completely. Hamish came closer to sit, rather heavily, on the bed.
His fingers brushed the man's light undershirt, already damp with sweat. He felt his way up Hamish's side to wrap his arms around the broad shoulders. "It's all right," he mumbled into the man's neck. "You're safe. Your family can't reach you here."
The body in his grasp shuddered. "Dar…"
"Hush." He wrapped his legs around Hamish's waist, holding tight least the hairy beast of a man decided he knew better. "Just be still for a bit. Let your body calm down."
The muscles under his arms stiffened. "But—"
"I said, hush." He burrowed his face into the man's neck, seeking the damp skin beneath the shirt to adorn it in little kisses. "I'm not going anywhere. And no one is coming to spirit you away. I promise."
His head lifted as Hamish took a deep breath and sighed. "I'm sorry."
He pressed his lips together, trying not to let his irritation show. It wasn't Hamish's fault that waking in a room other than his royal suite set off a once very real fear of being dragged out of bed by his mother's guards and locked in his chambers. "There is nothing to forgive, my love." There had to be a way to rid him of this lingering terror. They would find it. Together.
"I didn't mean to wake you."
He chuckled. He'd always been a light sleeper. Thank the gods for small mercies. Who knew where Hamish would wind up before common sense got the best of him? "Sleep is overrated." His gaze drifted to the window. "Besides, an early start will give us a great deal of time on the road. We could reach the palace by evening."
This bit of news was greeted by silence.
" 'Mish?"
Again, Hamish sighed. This time, it was weary. "I don't understand why you're so eager to reach Minamist. You can't expect me to believe your father will be pleased."
No. Not pleased would be an understatement. Darshan patted his husband's chest. "Let me worry about that." It was going to take a fair bit of talking to convince his father, Emperor of all Udynea and mighty hammer of the south, that he couldn't fix what he'd no doubt see as his son's blatant disregard of his duties with an endless supply of assassins.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

When You've Three Possible Endings

What One Do You Take?

Last time I posted, I mentioned a fifth Spellster Novel rearing its little head, which is friggin' fantastic... Not... Okay, maybe a little, but the rate these plots just pop up is terrible. There's already quite a queue forming, my muse doesn't seem to understand that I can't always do things a mile a minute.

Most of the plotlines seem content to lay dormant, but this new one... Down the Path of Shadows... It doesn't call to me to write quite as sharply as In Pain and Blood did, it just niggles in the back of my mind. I have a rough plot (if not names and places) and it mostly reads as romance, naturally, until I reach the end...

And that's the niggle. The ending lends itself very easily to being tragic, whether in an "all guns blazing" sort of way or an "I'm alone" path as well as the traditional romance happy. And, whilst I know that the Spellster Series are, at the heart of it, all standalone novels, I still worry about taking that leap. The other stories may have hardship and pain, but the endings remain on the boundaries of a typical romance plot. To suddenly, after what'll be four other books, insert a tragedy... I don't know...

Through Smoke and Fire, In Pain and Blood, To Target the Heart, Burning Beneath the Sun, Down the Path of Shadows... Why you gotta break the stride, DtPoS?

Friday, 8 January 2016

Trailers! Trailers Everywhere...

So, what have I been up to these last few days of the brand new year? Well, apart from a day of writing and a few days of having total chaos rule my house (aka: daughter's sleepover) and a glutton of Star Wars movies... I've been making trailers for the Spellster Series. It's helped me figure out where all the stories are going and flesh out the blurbs, which really helped me nail down the outline for TSaF. Which is also cool because the plot for the TTtH book basically starts affecting the story of TSaF and that's exactly the sort of intertwining I wanted, characters that never meet being affected by each other.

Even though the "Coming Soon" at the end is likely to be some years from now, I feel like sharing...

There's currently a fifth plotline in the works, but I haven't a title, nevermind a cover...

Thursday, 7 January 2016

2015 on Reflection

Last year sort of sucked for me. I spent a lot of it in pain or stressed over our finances. I had a goal that was to get The Shadow Prince published. I'd even started to save a nice sum for its editing and cover. Sadly, a series of events conspired to not let that be so. I've mixed feeling on that, as I am now in process of adding the AToCaH chapters.

I had to let go of my car as it just started swallowing money. I've been driving my father's secondary vehicle ever since my daughter switched schools, which is a bit of a blessing as the other car would've also been heinously expensive to travel back and forth in all the time. We do have another car, but we're still working on making that road legal.

Our debts are finally settling. We've now got a working internet connection that doesn't cost the earth. Paying $99 for 12GB is, quite frankly, ridiculous, especially when our five-person house managed to chew through $600's worth in one month... Now we pay $99 for a month. And it doesn't throw hissy fits if it rains. Yay!

I discovered I'm lactose intolerant now. Years of eating the stuff and, after a suspected ulcer, my body goes "nope!" But it's amazing how much I don't miss a lot of things (although it's equally surprising what does have lactose in it) and how I actually enjoy rabbit food... I mean, salads. Some of them, anyway. I'm not a full convert.

I haven't had caffeine for a whole year as I now drink mostly water and decaffeinated tea. I got addicted to apples. Specifically the Envy variety, of which no one stocks here until later on in the year. Red Delicious just isn't the same, but they'll do.

So yeah... that's been my year.

Here's to hoping I actually reach a damn goal this year, because I'm gunning for getting one of these damn books published.