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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next BIG Thing!

Welcome to The Next Big Thing, this is sort of a unique take on a blog hop. Every week, a blogger posts, then tags 4 other authors who will post the following week, and they will tag four. I was tagged by Lex Valentine at Sunlight Sucks, so go check out her post too!

For me, the Next Big Thing is actually a 3 book project I'm developing. Its called The Aphrodite Project, the premise is that the goddess Aphrodite runs a security/investigation firm. The primary mission of the Aphrodite Project is to hide the existence of the gods and goddesses from humanity. If a nymph runs amok or a minor god goes rogue, Aphrodite sends out an agent to resolve the situation. In the case of this trilogy, the cases are all very close to her heart. :)

What is the Working Title of Your Book?

Its called The Tenth Muse. It is the first of the trilogy and I wanted all the titles to reflect the nature of the protagonists. For example, book 2 is called Dirty Deeds, and the final book is Mayhem, Maybe. This title describes what happens when the God of Lust (Eros) meets the son of one of the Nine Muses. Inspiration meets lust and the end result...Love. :)

Where Did Your Idea Come From For This Book?

I was working on a novella called Mayhem, Maybe, about a Greek god hunting down a rogue trickster. The more I thought about the story, the more potential the overall concept had for a series. What if the God of Effeminate Men (Hermaphroditus) falls in love with the rugged son of Hephestion and Athena? Or Chaos and Logos...I drew heavily on my background in classic mythology for this.Anyhow, I remember reading that the androgynous fashion model Andrej Pijac wanted to someday be the first male Victoria's Secret Angel. (I believe David Chiang expressed the same sentiment at some point.) Then I imagined a scenario where a rapscallion of a Greek god did just that. Who could it possibly be? Eros, of course, as he has his own set of wings. After being photographed and plastered all over the internet, Aphrodite discovers what her darling son has done and sends someone to rein him in. Since Eros is of the body, I needed a character who was cerebral, and chose a man who is from the dynasty of the muses. His name is Rees and I don't want to say much more about him. :)

What Genre Does Your Book Fall Under?

It's a m/m fantasy. It's set in modern time but there are plenty of sidetrips into other worlds.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Wow...I've been thinking of this for awhile.  Since I don't watch much TV and don't really go to the movies, I'm not familiar with many celebrities. But for this story, there's a real emphasis on the worlds of fashion and theatre. Alexander Skarsgard would be perfect for Eros, aside from being runway ready, he could convey the broad spectrum of emotion the out-of-control god experiences. And I have the feeling he'd have no problems putting on a corset and wings for a women's fashion show! Or kissing another man, for that matter. :)



 And for Rees, well, I need someone beautiful, geeky and brilliant. So Matthew Grey Gubler fits the bill for that character. Rees comes off as an unworldly innocent, but he's a hunter and is manipulating Eros into a corner. He also has that family history, from the lines of muses and Memory. People tend to love having him around, particularly the artsy sorts. Which can lead to problems...can an artist become addicted to their muse? If so, what will they do to keep the source of their inspiration?

There are a couple other very important characters in this book, both female. One is Aphrodite, aka 'Dita.' She's the Greek goddess of love, sex and fertility. And I can't think of many actresses that I can see playing her. She's lush, abundant and eminantly fuckable. Think old school: Raquel Welch, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot. She's the woman men want to see naked. In their bed.

The other character is Rosalinda. She's a runway model about to topple into obscurity, and her role in the book is vital. She's thin, elegant and  remote. Rosa is brilliant, but an addict and and at 26 years old, world weary. On the surface, she's the woman most women would like to be. I can see Anne Hathaway in the role.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

 When Eros goes rogue, a cool-headed young scholar must capture him, body and mind.


Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

The series will be represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Agency. 


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I did the first draft as my NaNoWriMo project, so it took a month. 


Who or What inspired you to write this book?

It sprung out of another project, I was matching up ideas for pairings out of the Greek pantheon. Anyhow, I remembered Andrej Pijac stating that he'd like to be the first boy Victoria's Secret Angel, and immediately visualized the first scene of the book.

What else about your book might interest the reader?

It's turning out surprisingly emotional and sticks to a theme I use a lot, which is being true to yourself. Both Eros and Rees make a journey that leads to an unexpected conclusion. Surprised me, too! You'll also get some cross-dressing, matchmaking and will meet the most divinely beautiful man in the entire Greek pantheon.


Person who tagged me: Lex Valentine (go check out her Next Big Thing!)

Suckers…erm…people I tagged:  

Christopher Koehler
Amy Lane
ZA Maxfield

E.M. Lynely 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Cover Art! Silver/Steel

This lovely bit of work is by the talented Fiona Jayde!





Silver/Steel releases December 4 at Loose Id!

http://www.loose-id.com/newest/coming-soon/arcada-2-silver-steel.html

Blurb:

When dream hunter Dylan Ryve spots a beautiful shapeshifter raising hell in a bar, he knows he wants the wild young man. But Travis Feris is more to Dylan than a few hot minutes outside in the snow; he's the assassin's ticket into the magical town of Arcada. He didn't plan to rescue the kid, but when he found the shifter being attacked, the opportunity to play hero was too good to pass up.

Through the solitude of a long winter night, Dylan walks in Travis's fevered dreams, learning about Arcada and the pack, and showing the shifter the man he'd been so very long ago. When morning comes, both men know their lives will be forever entwined.

From Dylan, Travis learns that he is a strong, valued member of the pack. The dreamwalker sees his own worth reflected back at him in the dark blue eyes of the wolf. Yet when Dylan has the chance to free himself from centuries of enslavement, can he betray the man he has come to love?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kay Berrisford: Circles of Stone






As a writer of m/m paranormal, I’m dead lucky. I’ve always lived in the southern counties of England, which overload me with inspiration.  Just fifteen minutes drive to the west, I can be in the New Forest. Not only is the forest rich in legends of fair folk and ghosts. Real medieval history twines with the mystical in bloody tales of murdered kings and princes, on whom the poor folk of the forest—or the forest itself?—have repeatedly sought revenge for strict hunting laws. The New Forest inspired my Greenwood series, but when seeking a contrasting setting for my new seasonal novella, Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone, I didn’t have to look far.

Less than an hour’s drive to the north of me is Wiltshire, home to Stonehenge and Avebury, just two of the many stone circles that haunt the misty landscapes of the south of England.  I’ve been visiting Stonehenge and Avebury for as long as I can remember.  Around the age of five, I was creeped out by the tale of a medieval barber-surgeon whose grisly remains were found crushed beneath one of the Avebury stones (though recent investigations suggest he might have been placed there after his death—and he might not have been a barber, despite the scissors he carried and which gave him his name!) Stone circles have always stirred the imagination, and the mystical beliefs that surround them are as old as they are, often lost in the fog of time.  One of the earliest known theories about Stonehenge, written down by Goeffrey of Monmouth around 1136, claims that Merlin transported the circle wholesale from Ireland on the request of the King of the Britons (I’m not up-to-date with the current Merlin TV series, but I don’t think they’ve shown him do this yet!)

Given their obscure pre-Christian origins, it is unsurprising many stone circle myths involve “immoral” activities, such as dancing, merrymaking, and even al fresco sex (always a brave activity given the grim English weather.)  Indeed, many a medieval morality tale implied that the stones themselves were the unfortunate revellers.  The Stanton Drew circle in Somerset is known locally as “The Wedding,” and is said to be an unfortunate happy couple and their guests. Having partied hard through Saturday night into the Sabbath, the devil turned up disguised as a fiddler and wrought his eternal punishment.  A fallen stone is even said to represent a tumbling, tipsy churchman.

To this late day, the true powers and meanings of places like Stonehenge continue to fascinate millions, and provide an important focus for practitioners of earth spirituality.  Given my lifelong interest, it’s unsurprising the stone circles found their way into my books. Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone is set between Thanksgiving and Christmas—with a major pit stop at the winter solstice where an important ritual is to performed at a circle, known simply as The Stones.  And yeah, despite the English weather, my MCs might just be brave or mad enough to attempt a little al fresco sex.

Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone (published by Loose Id, m/m paranormal/time travel, 45k).


Blurb: Simon’s holiday season is looking grim. His boyfriend’s dumped him, and his self-esteem is rock bottom. Stuck in the UK where nobody celebrates Thanksgiving, the shy, geeky student drowns his sorrows at an ancient stone circle. When a gorgeous stranger, Aubrey, shows up and attempts to seduce him, Simon is flattered but also freaked—especially when Aubrey claims to be from an historic sex cult who’d uncovered the true powers of the circle. It’s a time machine. Aubrey intended to travel back three hundred and sixty-five days, but an error propelled him forward three hundred and sixty-five years into a world alien to him.

Simon reluctantly takes the lost time traveler under his wing, and Aubrey teaches Simon the ways of sex, love, and magic. Simon’s never felt so alive, but as their bond grows, Aubrey remains determined to perform a dangerous ritual and return home at the winter solstice. Fearing he’s no more to Aubrey than a sexual sacrifice, Simon must discover the dark secrets of Aubrey’s pagan past. Only then can Simon choose between risking all for the man he loves or a lonely Christmas without him.

Excerpt:

Simon pointed. “So what’s your theory on this one?”

“This image,” said Aubrey, “symbolizes the relentless shift of time, the sun over the ring.” He slid his hand over Simon’s wrist, and Simon inhaled sharply. He ought to pull away, yet his skin tingled beneath Aubrey’s palm. The world beyond, even the crispness of the rain, seemed to fade. He found himself scrambling closer so he knelt on the Solstice Stone, letting the man manipulate him till Simon’s finger pointed to a carving similar to the first. Here the sun and the stone were bound together by what he took to be curling vines, but the sphere representing the sun had been torn in two.

“This one,” continued Aubrey, “shows us how the power of the Ancestors can tear the very fabric of time and undo the injustices that rip loved ones apart. This is andaga.”

“Eh?” Simon had never read anything about a ritual that tore the fabric of time. Then again, he recalled the words of the naked guy looming over him on this very Solstice Stone well enough. He’d said something about spinning back time, and that set Simon’s nerves jangling. “What evidence supports this theory?”

Aubrey looked to the misted horizon, clenching his jaw against a tremor that shook his body from head to toe. “The power of the Ancients remains alive in this place.”
Simon opened his mouth to snap that he needed a better answer than that, but his words jammed. As Aubrey moved, the lacing that fastened his white shirt fell loose, revealing a physique chiseled to lean perfection by either gym or hard labor, his carved chest adorned with soggy golden curls.

Simon’s throat tightened. So did his groin. Aubrey slid his gaze to Simon and lowered his lashes. He seemed to be begging a silent question, but Simon could not even start to comprehend.

“But let’s forget time tearing,” murmured Aubrey.

He stroked Simon’s sodden brown hair from where it had clumped across his eye, and Simon’s usually sharp mind dissolved to mush. He could hardly remember how to breathe. The man slid featherlight fingertips down Simon’s smoothly shaven cheek, setting his skin aflame and doing nothing to dissipate his growing hard-on. Simon sent a final, desperate message to his fingers to swipe the man away; he needed to say something, anything.

Next thing he knew, the man grabbed him and kissed him hard.

For a blissful moment Simon surrendered, and his senses reeled under the onslaught. Aubrey plundered deep into Simon’s mouth, and Simon slid his tongue against Aubrey’s, hot and slick in contrast to the chill of their skin, willing him to intensify their coupling. Aubrey worked the kiss like his life depended on it, scrubbing his coarse stubble against Simon’s chin. Simon relished the sensation even as the man’s hunger astounded him. Aubrey’s hands trembled as he splayed them across Simon’s back. Then he balled fists in the fabric of Simon’s coat as if he were a drowning mariner grasping a rope from the shore. Their bodies notched together so naturally, and something Aubrey wore—a belt, maybe, concealed beneath his clothes—dug into Simon’s stomach. Simon shifted, looping his arms about the man’s neck, his knee nudging between Aubrey’s. He reveled in the hardness of the man’s thighs, and—oh yes. The length of Aubrey’s cock pressed against Simon’s leg, with only Simon’s tight, wet jeans and Aubrey’s loose clothing between them.

What in heaven, hell, or any realm in between could have possessed this cross between a god and a soggy wolf pup to kiss him? And at a time like this?
Aubrey’s frenzy proved infectious; Simon grew needier by the second. Some awesome power bound them together, as surely as the carved vines wound about that phallic stone. His cock stiffened for this guy, his contact-starved body screaming for more, so much more. Aubrey lowered Simon till he lay flat on the stone, and Simon could not resist. He feared this strange man, but with fear came thrill—an awakening of desires that, since his experience at this very spot, he’d dared visit only in the dusky realm between nightmares and dreams.

When Aubrey broke away, both of them panted. Aubrey cupped Simon’s face and whispered in his ear. “That’s just the start of our offering, Simon. Shall we show the Ancestors how much we adore them?”

Simon gazed up at him, so turned on the man’s words were hard to comprehend. With Pete sex had been so complicated. They’d spent more time arguing about who should do what than they had actually doing it. With Aubrey their conjoined desires grew so stark that Simon bit his tongue against vocalizing his darkest cravings.
I want you to fuck me here and now. To heaven and back on the Solstice Stone.
Aubrey pulled away a moment, raking his hair—and Simon suddenly realized what had pressed into him as they embraced. Aubrey indeed wore a belt. It had shifted around as they’d kissed to reveal an old-fashioned dagger sheathed in black leather.

His common sense became deafening.

He didn’t fuck strangers, let alone ones who carried knives. Maybe he was finally starting to understand what he’d seen last Christmas. It had been a premonition.
The Ancestors warning him never to lie beneath another man on the Solstice Stone.

“Shit!” he yelped. “Get away from me!”

(NOTE: Kay will be giving away an e-book copy of Simon, Sex and the Solstice Stone OR a single title from her backlist to one lucky commenter!)

Links:
Buy it now links for all my books:

Monday, November 12, 2012

NaNoWriWhat?

Originally posted at Flirty Author Bitches:

Yeah, we’re all talking about it: that November marathon of writing mayhem that crushes egos, stresses family relationships and brings up the stock value on Starbucks and M&Ms.
National November Writing Month…NaNoWriMo.
This will mark my fourth outing. I’ve won twice. Let me rephrase that: I’ve completed the word count twice. Because with NaNoWriMo, there are not losers. Just winners and those who slink away, tail between their legs in shame.
I am here to say to you…slink no more!
NaNo can be a lot of fun, if you don’t take it too seriously. I mean, aspiring authors don’t need to crash into any more walls. Published authors don’t need the additional pressure to perform. We all know what its like to look a deadline in the eye and the consequences of not meeting it. Because we signed that thing called “a contract.”
Yeah. That.
Like always, I started late on NaNo, but strong, quickly pulling out ahead of schedule. And par for the course, I got distracted, diverted or otherwise pulled away by something shiny. Usually I can get it back together, but last year, my mother was hospitalized and nearly died in November. I spent most of the month nursing her. And contrary to my expectations, I returned to my forgotten manuscript and finished early.
This year? Dealing with the fallout of an accidental foreclosure on a property my mother owns, and of course, a real, live deadline. It’s today. And I’m behind…and writing a blog for you! Something had to give and its my NaNo masterpiece. But never fear, by Tuesday I’ll be racing to catch up again.
My message is this: do not let NaNo or deadlines or calls for submissions take the joy out of writing. Years ago when I was having a miserable time at both home and work, a supervisor said my job should be a sanctuary from the troubles at home. Unfortunately, the job was worse than my home life, but I understood the sentiment.
At that time, my shelter from both the day job and the home job was my writing. And while its my major occupation now, I fight to remember that this is what brings me joy when I’m unhappy, solace when I’m down. When I’m bored, I think up something new and I write it! In my opinion, there are few greater things than to find happiness and satisfaction in your occupation. I won’t let the intensity of NaNo take that away. At the same time, I love getting that little badge and sharing my word count on Facebook!
So write long and prosper! If you’re doing NaNo, have fun!
Happy Tails!
Belinda

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Exclusive Excerpt! Silver/Steel



Coming December 4 to Loose Id!

 
“SO YOU SAVED my son. Then you screwed him.”
Dane didn’t move, keeping his gaze on Dylan’s face.
“You saved him a second time, then ended up here, even after the town rejected you. Why is it I get the impression you’re a hell of a lot more dangerous than any of those rogues?”
“Because I am.”
Dylan wanted to move, to get away from the touch of this alpha wolf. He’d felt and been impressed by the power emanating from Lukas Blacque, but this older wolf’s energy was off the charts. And all of that amazing focus was centered on Dylan.
“How’d you know how bad it was?” He gestured to his ankle.
“Logic. Blacque told me you were old and powerful. He had Jason cuff you with steel. That kid’s cautious and edgy. If he agreed to using iron on you, then he perceives you as a threat. And old fae like you don’t take well to iron or steel.”
Dylan nodded in acknowledgment of his words. He liked Dane Blacque. In another place and time, they might have been friends. But in the here and now, Dylan had to convince the wolves to free him, to let him heal, and more important, to give him the freedom to finish his hunt.
“My son is brilliant.”
Dylan looked steadily at the alpha wolf. Most people would assume the alpha spoke of his elder son, but he knew better.
“He is. And his mind is restless. That’s why he tends to…run amok.” He couldn’t hold back the smile. Dane smiled back.
“You understand him, then. He’s more dominant than he gives himself credit for, but he doesn’t want to lead. Blacque didn’t either, but he can’t escape his own nature to be an alpha. Travis, though…his contributions will be different. Great, if he finds himself.”
“He doesn’t want to be at the bottom of the pack structure. He’s afraid of fighting, so he seeks confrontation to defy that fear. He craves structure yet is a free spirit.”
“Do you love him?” Dane leaned forward. Dylan sat up straight, fighting the urge to retreat.
“I barely know him, Dane. And he barely knows me.”
“That’s not what I asked. I know damn well the fae don’t mate like shifters do. They claim their partner. They draw blood and mark their lover. Gender isn’t an issue. Reproduction isn’t an issue. Fae like you fall hard and fast, and while you don’t have the whole ‘mate for life’ thing going on, you guys are pretty permanent. For you, love isn’t just a gift; it’s a weakness that can be exploited.”
Dylan literally felt the blood drain from his face. Dane Blacque spoke the truth, but it couldn’t be the case. He tried to recall the last time he’d been in love. It had been in another life, another world completely.
“No. I am far too old.”
He paused when Dane laughed.
“I’ve been accused of being a cradle robber, but my target was only decades younger than me. You must be older than Travis by a century, maybe more.”
“Much more,” he whispered through stiff lips. “I don’t know that I am capable of love.”
“Of course you are. That and the bite on Travis’s lip are all that’s keeping me from slapping a steel collar around your neck and dragging your ass out of town.” He let loose of Dylan’s leg. “That metal had to hurt. Badly.”
Dylan nodded.
“And I’ll bet you didn’t complain once. Not to Travis, anyway. See, you don’t want him upset. You don’t want him feeling bad for something he has no control over.”
Dylan looked away, every word lodging in his heart like iron-tainted arrows. He cursed the alpha, and he cursed Travis. He cursed himself for being so vulnerable, for falling so easily.
“You’re dominant. It oozes from your pores. Yet he commands you. Because of that, you won’t do anything to hurt my son, will you.” It wasn’t a question.
Dylan raised his chin slightly. He met Dane’s dark, sharp gaze. A brief shake of the head was all the alpha needed—and all he had to give. Because the geas was far more powerful than any love or compassion he might feel for anyone. He’d already hurt Travis; the kid just didn’t know it yet. Thanks to the wolves, he knew exactly who his prey was, knew what he looked like and where he lived.
For a moment he considered not following through, not fulfilling the hunt.
The geas screamed at the thought—the brands burned his skin. He winced, grateful the wolf would blame the iron poisoning for his pain.
“It is unlikely your son is as bonded to me as I am to him. When I am healed, I will leave.” His heart twisted at the words. It wasn’t the artificial pain of the enchantment, but true grief of his heart. He’d loved unwisely and would suffer the cost.
“Quite the sacrifice, Dylan. I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with that, then.”