Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday Briefs: Mine! Part Two Chapter Two


The second week in Park's POV. I hope you'll like this half of the story as it goes along. Enjoy!

Chapter Two

I smacked my head against the head rest once Ritch was inside. I shouldn’t have touched him, not even to pat his back. It only made the want and desire to touch him in other places that much worse. Ritch was such an odd mix of vulnerable and strong male that it was hard to remember why I needed to stay focused. The first time I’d met him was only a brief contact, with him as one of several werekin moving between clans.

I’d been out of my head with grief over the loss of my brother, and I’d been focused on removing threats. We were still under threat, but it was easier to let my human spirit guide me than my tiger soul. Ritch had the full attention of both the second he’d knocked on my door though.

He was tall, with a solid build. I was taller and stronger and had more advantages as a bonded werekin. I watched him around the humans who walked into the store, and he didn’t shy away from them, but he was still leery around other werekin. Maybe it would be better to help him set up a life outside of a streak or herd once this was all over.

My tiger soul was not happy with that thought. I caught my breath, rubbing my hand over my chest. I’d just have to get used to it; my job as protector of the streak extended to him when Deke accepted him. My focus needed to be on finding the people who’d hurt my brother, transforming him into a bonded werekin with two animal souls—something that no one had ever seen before—and preventing an attack that could destroy our way of life, or worse, alert the humans to our culture in the worst way possible.

I sighed. Deke and I had talked about this a few times. The world was so technologically advanced now, making things both easier and harder for werekin. A bonded werekin couldn’t just go into town. The bone structure of our faces was subtly different, creating a muzzle with sharp cheekbones and jutting jaws. Our animal souls marked our bodies with distinctive patterns that were impossible for many to hide. For a long time, human werekin had been the face of the clans, interacting with the human world while most of the streak lived simple lives.

But now there were online schools and businesses. More bonded werekin could receive an education and have a career without revealing our kind, if they were careful. Deke did it. But how long before someone out playing with a drone caught video of one of us? Or a traffic camera? Deke and I were convinced that we’d have to reveal our existence to the humans in our lifetime. We’d discussed preparations for that—but then all hell had broken loose when Kraig was taken and Deke’s dad died. He had to grow up fast to lead the streak, and I’d taken over protecting it.

A sharp rap on my window startled me. I rolled it down. “Why’d we stop here?” Cameron kept his hood up and his hands inside his pockets. His back was to the camera, and he blocked any view into my window.

“Ritch needed some things. Once we’re done here, we’ll meet the others at the edge of our territory.”

“They won’t be happy if we’re late.”

I shrugged. “They’ll get over it. We got an early start this morning because I knew we needed to stop. I don’t think he’ll be very long.”

“Okay.” Cameron headed back to his car. Not even fifteen minutes later, Ritch came outside with several bags. He opened the passenger door and slid inside, pulling a backpack off his shoulder.

“I thought I’d need something to put it all in.”

“Good thinking. I didn’t even consider that.” He had the ability to think ahead and focus on details I lacked.

“You sure it’s okay? You didn’t tell me to buy it.” I knew Ritch was unused to anyone being nice to him, other than the cousin he’d lost. Every time I tried to do something for him, he looked at me like horns were growing out of my head.

“Of course it’s okay. Otherwise you’d have to carry your things around in plastic bags. That wouldn’t work very well.” I pulled out of the parking lot, checking to make sure Christian was behind me. “We’re meeting everyone at the border, and then we’ll head to the hotel where Christian found—” I broke off, working my jaw. I didn’t really know what to call him.

“Where Christian stopped searching,” Ritch said quietly.

I took a deep breath. “Yes.”

As I drove, Ritch packed the backpack he’d purchased. “Did you get the phone?”

“Yes.” He pulled out a box.

“Good, you can plug that in. They don’t usually come fully charged.” I dug my phone out of my pocket. I pulled up my contacts, and hit the button to add a contact. “Here. Type in your name and phone number.” As soon as he handed it back, I set him up as the second contact.

“So how long until we reach the meeting place?” Ritch fiddled with the strap of his backpack.

“About twenty minutes.”

“Will some of them ride with us?” His nervous fidgeting betrayed his anxiety.

I wanted to reach out and touch his hand, still the compulsive rubbing of the seam in the strap, but I’d felt his muscles tense when I touched his leg the day before at the meeting. Touch still seemed to inspire more anxiety than it relieved.

“No. That’s why Christian is driving the SUV. He can take several with him, and then Durant’s man will take the others. We’ll make sure the clans are split equitably to avoid… conflict.”


TBC

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday Briefs Mine! Part Two: Chapter One


You saw that right! Part Two... Chapter One! Is this a new story? Taking place in a different timeline? Nope! We're kicking right along in the same plot with the same characters, except now Park is the point of view character, and we're going to follow his and Ritch's journey as they look for the traitors trying to harm the clans. I hope you enjoy this new direction for the story!


Chapter One


I shoved another shirt in the spare bag. We really needed to stop at a store somewhere so Ritch could run in and grab some clothes. He couldn’t wear mine forever, though I liked seeing him in my clothes. I hadn’t been even remotely subtle about my interest and need to protect Ritch. That was probably why Deke had accepted him, even while he was on edge after just mating Kraig.

With everything going on, though, it wasn’t the time to say anything to Ritch. He’d been abused, used in the worst way by people who should’ve protected him, and he’d lost the only family who mattered to him. But I would show him how a human werekin should be treated.

“Hey, Ritch?”

Ritch came out of the bathroom but he stopped in the doorway before his toes could touch the bedroom carpet. “Yes?”

“Since we haven’t had a chance to take you shopping, I packed some of my clothes for you. Would you mind going down to the kitchen and grabbing some snacks and drinks? There’s a cooler in the garage and there should be a soft-sided tote on one of the shelves.”

“I can do that. Is there anything you want in particular?” Ritch rubbed his hands on his thighs.

“How about more of those sandwiches you made yesterday? They were really good.”

Ritch beamed. “The roast beef with the stone ground mustard?”

“Oh yeah.” My mouth was already watering. “A lot of them. I’m starving, and yours always taste better than mine.”

“I put mustard on both slices of bread. How long until we need to leave?” Ritch asked.

“As soon as we’re done packing. We’re going to stop at the store on our way out of town and at least get you the basics.” I

“You don’t have to do that,” Ritch protested. “I don’t want you to spend your money on me.”

“Of course, I don’t.” I stepped into the closet and pushed the clothes to one side so I could get to the safe built into the wall. “But I’m sure you’d like to have some underwear of your own, and you can pick out your own type of deodorant and shampoo so you don’t have to keep using mine if you like something else better. It’s no big deal.”

“I’ll pay you back.” Ritch said that like it was a promise.

“Not necessary. Besides, you’re helping us. The streak pays me a wage, and you will get one too. Christian’s markings can be passed off as tattoos, but mine can’t. I’m going to need your help to talk to any humans.”

Ritch’s eyes were huge. “Really?”

“Yep.” I got the safe open finally and began to pull out my guns. For most clan business, I used my strength and weapons as a bonded werekin. But in the human world, I’d need human weapons. I also found a knife in a sheath that could slid over a belt. “Here.” I stepped out and tossed the knife to Ritch. “You can never be too careful. Just make sure it’s covered when you’re among the humans.”

“A knife?” I’d only thought Ritch’s eyes were huge. Now I could nearly see the whites all around his irises.

“You don’t have claws to protect yourself.”

Ritch flinched. “Oh.” He looked down. “Right. I’ll go make those sandwiches,” he said quietly.

What just happened? He’d gone from surprised and what I thought was happy to monotone with a carefully blank face. I didn’t like it. I replayed what I said in my head, and winced. That had come out wrong, and I needed to apologize. We had to go though.

We could talk in the car.

I pulled out another knife and threaded it on my belt. Maybe that would help.



The windows of my SUV were as dark as legally possible, but I still made sure to pull into a shadowed spot instead of under a light. I reached into my pocket for my wallet. “Here.” I pulled out a card. “Make sure you pick up a wallet too.”

“What’s this?”

“I had an extra card for my account. This is yours so you can buy what you need. If we got separated, you’d need money.” I held on to the card when Ritch grabbed it. “About what I said earlier. I didn’t mean it like how it sounded. I carry a knife when I leave the compound too. It’s not bad that you don’t have claws, but it does make me want to make sure you have a way to defend yourself. That’s all.”

Ritch’s shoulders relaxed. “I’m sorry. I know you’re not like the guys I grew up with. Being a human werekin isn’t a bad thing to you.”

“It really isn’t, but I’ll try not to say insensitive things if it bothers you.” I let go of the card.

“Thank you.”

“I said I’ll try. Deke isn’t the only one who has trouble saying the wrong thing.”

Ritch smiled. “I’ll try not to take offense.”

“Appreciate it.” My phone beeped with a text alert. “Oh, make sure you pick up one of those loadable phones too. You’ll need a way to communicate.”

“That’s too expensive,” Ritch protested.

“No, it’s just smart. Everyone needs to be able to stay in contact. We’re looking for traitors who are hurting human werekin. You saw what they did to Kraig, to my dad. You’re a human werekin. I want you to be able to call for help if anything happens. Otherwise I’m going to worry about you.”

“Okay, okay, I get it.”

“I expect you to have enough clothes for at least a week, along with anything else you need. And a sturdy pair of boots. Those sneakers you have aren’t adequate. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve set up their sick experiments in a remote location.”

“Do you want anything?”

“Slim Jims. I’m craving some salty meat.”

Ritch choked, and I pounded on his back. “You okay?”


TBC

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Interview with Leona Windwalker, Author of Accused

Today I'm happy to share an interview with Leona Wildwalker, the author of Accused, Book number one in The Talani Trade Alliance. Don't forget to enter her contest too!



Interview

What’s something personal about you people might be surprised to know?
A lot of people have this idea about authors in general, that we hole up and stare at our typewriters or computers all day, willing the words to come. I think romance writers are often seen as daydreamers, too. I often get asked what my favorite chick flicks are and people assume I’ve watched something or other on the Lifetime Channel. In reality, I like to play games—both board games and on my laptop (or on our games console). If I do each a movie or TV show, it is usually science fiction, fantasy, or something like NCIS, Hawaii Five-O, or vintage TV such as Andy Griffith, Bewitched, Ironsides, or Columbo. I also love to cook, especially baking, and can also be found sewing some project or other on one of the vintage Singer sewing machines I’ve collected.


Where do you get your ideas?
The opening scenes literally pop into my head, full-fledged. Afterwards, I can sometimes see what might have influenced the genesis, but not always. It all just suddenly comes, not as a vague idea, but the very words themselves, dialogue and all. Once I have it down, the rest just flows.


Is there any quote or saying about writing that resonates with you?
Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
-E. L. Doctorow


Is your writing process a daily word count goal or more of a burst of inspiration writing flurry?
I set a basic word count goal and sit myself down especially for that. if I exceed it, great. If not, I met my goal or was very close to it.  If I have the urge to write because the Muse is already whispering the next part of the story, I do get in a frenzy to put that down as well, but I do not count that towards that day’s writing goal. It’s like a bonus extra. Either way, I sit until the words stop revealing themselves.

What’s the first thing you do when you start to write a story?
I make sure that I have someone listening for the door and phone, get my snacks ready, my coffee in a covered insulated mug (I have a ceramic Hello Kitty one that I prefer to use), and sit down with my headphones on. I start my playlist, open my Open office document, and read the last couple of paragraphs that I wrote. Then I just let my fingers type the words that come. I write from beginning to end, in a linear fashion, just like that.

If you could give advice to yourself when you first started writing, what would it be? Believe in your Muse.

What do you think makes your story stand out compared to other “similar” stories?
I tend to ignore tropes, and I have found readers really respond to that. They may love to read stories in particular sub-genres, but they want new stories, not the same one with new names and locations plugged in. It is, ironically, the very differences that make me extremely nervous come release time. Luckily so far, readers by and large seem to like me doing my own thing.

How important are the names (characters/locations/new terms) to you in a story?
They’re very important. Names can tell us a lot about a person. It can tell us what region they are from and even when they might have been born as names change in popularity by year, even by decade, and by geographical location. I try to look up names that haven’t been used in recent releases and that fit when they were born and where they are from.


About the Book
Matthias Reynolds loves his life. He's starting to make it as a graphic artist at last and has a job he really likes at a local café that pays the bills. When a night out clubbing leads to an awkward morning after, he's embarrassed and more than ready to forget  all about it. When Talani Enforcers show up at the café, he doesn't know what to make of it all as he's led away in restraints.

Standing accused of crimes he struggles to understand, he finds he has an unexpected champion: the Talani warrior and war hero J'nah Quislin. J'nah knows that Matty is his. All J'nah has to do is keep Matty safe from those who engineered Matty's charges and sentencing. That, and get Matty to accept that universe always intended them to be together as one. All it requires is for Matty to return J'nah's devotion and offer his willing submission. Can Matty do it, with all that it will mean for his future?






Author Bio
Leona is a longtime staunch supporter of human rights and environmental causes. Her favourite genre to read is M/M fiction and she particularly enjoys science fiction, fantasy, and action/suspense subgenres—especially if they have a nice seasoning of romance. She has far too many books on her Kindle, has overloaded her phone with even more and, when not reading, writing, being driven to distraction by her children, or being overlorded by her three cats, can be found trying to locate the portal that the sock monster uses to steal socks from her dryer.

Recently head-reeling news for her included her novel Jared:Urban Wolves #1 being nominated for an Indie Award from Metamorph and placing as a finalist in the 2016 Rainbow Awards, earning an Honorable Mention. She's still suspicious that it's all been a dream, but as long as her readers are happy and she can find at least one of the missing socks, she's happy.

You’ll find her books on Amazon (universal link is http://author.to/LeonaWindwalker), including on Kindle Unlimited. You’ll also find her on Facebook at Leona Windwalker, where you can keep up on news regarding current, new, and upcoming releases.


Contest

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wednesday Briefs Mine! Chapter 34


This week's flash is inspired by a picture of French toast. Enjoy it!!



Chapter 34

“It’s driving you nuts, isn’t it?” Kraig asked. He was sitting on the couch in my office while I paced from wall to wall. Park had been gone just one day, and I was already antsy for his progress reports. He’s send them to all the alphas, but I instructed him to let me know of any leads he found, not just the ones that panned out.

“Don’t pretend that you don’t feel the need to hunt down those bastards too.”

Kraig eyed his claws and ran his tongue over his sharp fangs. That horrible stench came from him again, the hatred he felt when he thought of the doctors. At first I’d been relieved that Kraig’s natural scent was coming back, after whatever drugs he’d been given had suppressed it. But I hated it when his scent went bitter, and it made me desperate to cover it up with my scent to make it go away. “You’re right.” He looked up. “But I don’t know what to do with these instincts. It’s hard to control them.”

“Those are your animal souls. Never forget, we’re not human, at least, not all human. With a hunter’s nature, it’s against your instincts to let the chase go. Mine too. That’s maybe the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn since my father died.”

Kraig stood up. It’d been just a few weeks, but he’d put on weight and his hair was beginning to grow out. His sharply jutting jaw and the black marks on his cheeks and around his eyes made his stare intense. “You’re the alpha, so you’ll stay behind to protect your streak. To protect me.”

A stab of sorrow hit me. I stopped right in front of him. Cupping his cheek, I stared into his eyes. “I missed you every single day you were gone. I didn’t protect you back then, and I let your dad hurt you again, but I swear, I will do everything in my power to keep you safe.”

Kraig curled his hand over mine. “I know.”

“Park will find out who was working with the doctor, and the people who killed your father. Then we’ll decide how to handle them. I wish I could be out there, hunting down the people who kept us apart for so long, but this is my life.” I made a face. “I’ve become responsible.”  

“The curse of growing up. Kraig lifted an eyebrow. “You did have three calls this morning about streak matters, and there’s a mountain paperwork on your desk.”

“Let’s play hooky. I hate paperwork, and my dad always said to maintain a balance. Besides, none of that is important. It seems everyone is behaving themselves right now.” I glanced out the window. It was a nice day, and we’d been cooped up inside my office all morning. “You know, we never had a chance to go on that picnic I promised you.” I let go of his face and pulled him closer to me with my free hand on his low back. “Sunshine, food, privacy….”

Kraig snorted. “There’s not much of that to go around right now.” Lydia was staying with us, which made Park and Kraig more relaxed, and I couldn’t say I minded the delicious meals she made. Besides, she seemed to like the distraction of taking care of us. It was hard to be quiet, though, when all I wanted to do was lose myself with my mate. Bonded werekin hearing was just too acute.

“What do you want to eat?”

“Speak of the devil,” I whispered.

“I heard that.” Okay, so Lydia didn’t just have bonded werekin hearing… she had those mom ears that heard everything. “Sandwiches?”

A wicked idea came to me. “How about some French toast?”

“Really?” Lydia sounded skeptical.  

“Oh yeah.”

“All right.” She kept muttering as she headed into the kitchen.

Kraig looked at me strangely. I slipped my hand under his shirt to stroke the smooth muscles of his back. “It’s your favorite. Think about it. Crispy toast. Warm butter. Syrup.” Kraig’s eyes flared and then went to half-mast. Oh yeah, he knew exactly what I was thinking.

“Wonder if that spot we found by the lake is still a secret?” he said.

“Of course it isn’t,” Lydia called out. “You think you guys were the first to roam the streak’s property?”

I made a face.

“Shouldn’t be anyone out there now though.”

“Good. Thanks, Mom,” Kraig called. He pulled me really close, putting his lips right next to my ear. “I hope she doesn’t bother with plates or silverware. I don’t think we’re going to need them.”
The End

*Don't worry, the story continues, but I need to shift POV. Can you guess who?

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Regeneration Cover Reveal

Today I'm happy to take part in the cover reveal blitz for Louise Lyon's new eBook, Regeneration! Make sure you put Regeneration on your TBR list or pre-order your copy with the links below.


Release date: January 15, 2017
Genre: Gay fiction, science fiction, MM romance
Length: 75,000 words
Cover design: Simon Searle

Blurb
In the 23rd Century in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, Kim Fortune was the first surviving experimental enhanced human—a regenerate. Aged fifteen, he escaped the lab and years later, his failings as a regenerate and the suspicion of regular humans, leave him lonely and lacking in self-worth. Stranded on an abandoned planet, the arrival of a stricken ship and its crew give him hope that he may finally find what he always longed for—love.
Christian Novak is a successful regenerate with all the intended attributes—including lack of human emotion. Despite their immediate attraction to each other, Kim's failing confidence, and Christian's inability to empathize are a recipe for disaster. But war, imprisonment, and danger throw them together, and after each saves the other's life, their feelings begin to change.
Can a seemingly unsuitable pair ever find love, or is a future together destined to fail?

Pre-Order Links



Author Bio
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.
Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing "hobby" more seriously.
Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Social Media
Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com