Tag Archive: Dreamspinner Press


wellspring

Hello, Snippetteers! — this Snippet needs a little bit of setup, but I don’t want to give too much away, either. (Not to mention that it always feels a little bit like cheating, to spend a whole paragraph setting up my six (well, seven) sentences…) Basically, Terry (the POV character here) has just disappeared from reality as everyone else currently in the story recognizes it, after going along with Maelduin’s request that he step into a mysterious circle of light and try to sense the magick in it. From his perspective, he’s inside a blurry, shifting cylinder of light, unable to get out, or even to make himself heard outside the cylinder. And it’s just occurred to him that maybe this was exactly what Maelduin (who had just revealed himself to be a Fae) intended all along.

********

He wouldn’t do this on purpose. He wouldn’t.

There was no reason for that to be true, of course. People did shit to one another all the time. He’d dumped Josh for a fast talker with a practiced smile, a platinum AmEx, and the social skills of a Tasmanian devil with mange. And Bryce had, in turn, put him out on the street with nothing but a suitcase. The last seven or eight years of Terry’s life had been a case study in the care and feeding of bad decisions.

********

And finally, a couple of links —

Rainbow Snippets, your home on Facebook for this and many other LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And as close as I have to a Christmas story — WOLF, BECOMING — which grew out of a Dreamspinner Advent Calendar story a couple of years ago and still has a touch of Christmas at its heart: http://ow.ly/3mVg3070reF

Studio

Good afternoon, Snippetteers! I’m moving ahead with SoulShares #8, STONE COLD, and this snippet is from a scene in which Terry Miller, a chacter we first met in GALE FORCE (SoulShares #2) is standing in the middle of what will soon become a state-of-the-art dance and fitness studio he’s going to be sharing with Garrett Templar, Lochlann Doran’s SoulShare and Purgatory’s hottest pole dancer. (Though, of course, Terry doesn’t know anything about SoulShares, or Fae. Yet.) He’s excited about having his own studio, and maybe rebuilding the trockadero (all-male) ballet company he had when he lived in New York City. Which, of course, gets him thinking, just a little bit, about the Good Old Days, when he and Josh LaFontaine were living and working together…

*********

The best old days had been the days with Josh, before Bryce had entered the picture. Terry knew that, now that it was years too late to do anything about it. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with Josh in their hole-in-the-wall tattoo parlor, running out for midday classes and rehearsals. Performances, a season of three performances here, four there, and the chaotic Nutcracker season when the company earned most of its working budget for the rest of the year.

And coming home to Josh every night, or in the chill clear hour before dawn, when even New York City held its breath. Giddy with the joy of another performance, and Josh grinning with delight at Terry’s happiness.

*********

And a couple of links, as per usual —

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, for more LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And… in the wake of Orlando, for one more day, through the end of today (Saturday), Dreamspinner is donating 20 percent of its profits to the LGBT support organizations of central Florida. I don’t have much at Dreamspinner — only WOLF, BECOMING — but I’m donating all my royalties from this week’s sales as well. http://ow.ly/wWo2301oJfF

Maelduin1

Good afternoon, Snippetteers! — my publisher likes to include the first chapter of the next SoulShares book at the end of the book just coming out. So I’ve just finished the first chapter of STONE COLD, and you’re the first to get a look at a piece of it!

This lovely gentleFae, incidentally, is Maelduin, a Fae obsessed with avenging his father’s murder. But there are a few things he doesn’t know about the male he’s sworn to kill…

********

By my own hand and will, I do resign to you all rights and titles and magicks falling to me as Head of House...

The ancient words were pretty, but carried little true meaning, at least the part about the magicks of a Head of House. Some of the Great Houses, the lap-dogs of the Royals, invested their Lords and Ladies with unique magicks. His own House had been poor even before its fall, and now possessed little more than its pride. Which had been destroyed, utterly, before Maelduin had been born.

And which he was now going to reclaim.

********

My usual couple of links for you —

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, your home for all snippets LGBTQIA+ —

And WOLF, BECOMING, my Russian shapeshifter novella, at the brand-spanking-new (ahem) Dreamspinner site — http://ow.ly/9bhj301a5xX

WolfBecoming-final

It’s here! — it’s release day for

WOLF, BECOMING

You met Volyk and Ilya in “Ilya and the Wolf.” Now hear their whole story.

Volyk – oboroten’, wolf by nature and human by magick…
Ilya Borisovich, the gentle, luckless third son of a modern-day merchant prince…

********

Chapter One

Eighteen years ago

All tales have a beginning. Some have more than one.

East of the sun and west of the moon, in the long-ago days when magick still filled the world, there lived in the trackless steppes great beasts with the power to assume the shapes of men at will. Even after the magick withdrew itself to its secret fastnesses, those beasts and their descendants carried the gift of the change in their blood. And the stories were passed down, from one generation to the next, until they became legends. Legends told by living legends, all unknowing….

********

Ilya’s touch made Volyk’s heart race. “The skins. Need to come off.” Volyk managed that much, before taking the kiss for which Ilya’s mouth begged.

Ilya laughed, a little unsteadily. Volyk could taste the laughter.

“Help me with them.” Ilya caught at Volyk’s hands.

“I would, if I knew how.”

“Here, I’ll show you.” Ilya guided Volyk’s fingers to the first of a series of small disks and showed him how to slip them through openings in the heavy material.

“Why do you want me to do this?” Volyk bit his lip in concentration, moving from one disk to the next in response to Ilya’s urging. “When it would be so much simpler for you?”

“Because I want to feel your hands on me.”

Something in Ilya’s voice made Volyk look up. And something in the human’s eyes spoke directly to the wolf’s soul.

Mine.

********

Dreamspinner: http://ow.ly/YGbVm
Amazon: http://ow.ly/YGbZk
ARe: http://ow.ly/YGc7t
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/YGcnd
Kobo: http://ow.ly/YGcqN

Remember when summer was about sleeping as late as you could get away with, biking to the library once a week, and spending as much of the remaining time as you could curled up in your secret private reading nook, devouring one book after another at a pace that made the librarian assume you were the supplier for your entire family?

I wish that had been my summer. Really. Instead, mostly I just heaved a great big ol’ sigh of relief when I tore August off the calendar. Here’s why…

My original contract for the SoulShares was for four books — Hard as Stone, Gale Force, Deep Plunge, and Firestorm. And it specified that I had 15 months to turn in all four books. Now, if I were able to write full-time, that would have been no sweat. But between the Evil Day Job and my family obligations, I generally only have a few hours a night to write. So after four books in 15 months (plus a couple of novellas), I was a great big stressball. But I had a new publisher who really, really wanted the fifth SoulShares novel, so I kept pushing, and turned in the manuscript for Blowing Smoke at the beginning of June. Then there was a short story to write, to submit for a Dreamspinner Press anthology (look for “Ilya and the Wolf” in Celebrate! — the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calendar anthology, and also as a stand-alone story, the beginning of December!). (Yes, it’s shifters. *grins* You’re welcome.)

Then July happened. I had to move, and downsized from a house to an apartment in a suburb a half-hour’s drive away, chosen because it was close enough to my son’s college that he could commute by bus and because they would let me keep my elderly golden-retriever mix, Fiona, and my Cornish Rex kitty, Grace O’Malley. One (small) carload at a time, we moved that house, all through the month of July. Three days before the final move, Fiona died. (Needless to say, between being burned out and dealing with the move and my sweet girl, not much writing happened in July…)

Then August happened. I started writing again (Bound in Oak, Tales of the Grove #3). The publisher with which Blowing Smoke had been resting comfortably since June announced that it was terminating all its freelance editors, including mine, and that all outstanding manuscripts would be reassigned to its staff of in-house editors. Now, there’s a very good reason why I became a lawyer rather than an accountant, but some numbers even I can crunch, and I realized that I would undoubtedly be an old(er) gray(er) lady by the time SoulShares #5, which had not yet gotten as far as first edits, saw the light of day. So I exercised my contractual right to pull the manuscript… and on Labor Day I sent it off to another potential home. Any and all crossed fingers, good wishes, prayers, and the like will be greatly appreciated, and hopefully I’ll have good news to report in a couple of months!

Now it’s September. I’m still working away at Bound in Oak (which may end up being a working title only, as Ellora’s Cave only wants titles to contain the word “Bound” if they’re BDSM titles, which this definitely isn’t), which I hope to have done by mid-October. And come visit me at the Midwestern Book Lovers Unite Conference, September 26 to 28, at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott — http://midwesternbookloversunite.wordpress.com/ — I’m hosting a table at the Dinner with the Authors, and I know this really great Mongolian restaurant five minutes from the hotel….

And finally… you’ve been waiting so long, and so patiently, for Blowing Smoke, it would be remiss of me not to leave you with at least a taste. Enjoy! — and comment!

 

 

Chapter Four

Greenwich Village
New York City

The first thing Lasair saw when he opened his eyes in the human world was an ass. A very nice, scantily-clad ass, although he might have been more appreciative if his face wasn’t bumping into it every few seconds. And if he felt even a little less as if he’d just been run over by the King’s best racing chariot and its entire eight-horse team. Over the thunder of his heartbeat in his own ears, he heard a muffled thumping noise and occasional grunts.

And a whimper. Culin was somewhere nearby.

Tipping his head back, Lasair saw a staircase, dull grey wood. Arching back as far as he could–not far, thanks to the chains–he could see as far as the floor at the bottom of the stairs.

He blinked. The floor glowed faintly, in the auroral hue of pure unbound magick. Not possible.

“Great, you’re awake.” The baritone voice was slightly out of breath, and the speaker sounded more than slightly put out. “Would you mind holding still until I get you upstairs? I’d rather not drop you on your head, you’d probably pull me down with you.”

I beg your pardon for occupying space. Lasair bit his tongue, kept the words to himself, and let his head drop. He could feel an arm now, wrapped around his thighs.

The jarring stopped, and he heard the creak of a door opening. His own personal scenery remained pretty much the same, but with poorer lighting. Then another door. Light. Furniture half-glimpsed, and other doors.

“Oh, fuck. The one door I forgot about.”

The floor suddenly came a head closer, and Lasair got a glimpse of beautifully muscled calves as his bearer bent his knees. There was a click, and another door opening.

Then, suddenly, Lasair was lying on his back, with Culin at his side. On a bed, he presumed. He was getting tired of presuming. The chains were bad enough–truesilver chains were forged to burn in the presence of a channeling, and they surely did–but being trussed like a roast made it much worse. He strained to sit up, but the chains made it impossible to do more than raise his head and shoulders.

Which was enough to let him see where he was, and who had carried him up the stairs. He was in a small bed-chamber, lit by pale sunlight from a single window. The first human male he had ever seen looked down at him, wearing nothing but short trousers of some soft fabric and a deep frown. His hair was nearly dark enough to be chort-gruag, bark-hair, like the tree folk out of legend. But on this male, it was nothing to be scorned. It suited him. So did his mustache, a rarity among Fae. Eyes of dark green watched him warily, glancing every so often at Culin.

He must be ravishing when he smiles.

“Do you have a key to those chains, or do I need to cut them off?” The male’s voice was rough, almost harsh.

“If I had a key, believe me, I wouldn’t be in this situation.” Lasair winced. He didn’t remember most of his transition, other than the agony of the beginning of it, but whatever had happened to him after that had left his head feeling as hollow as the inside of a great bell. And any word, any sound from him was a mallet pounding on the bell.

“All right. Wait here.” The male’s stare raked him from his head to his feet; he put up a dark brow, turned, and left the bedchamber.

Culin whined softly.

“It’s all right.” Lasair murmured. “It’s going to be all right, tréan-cú.” He had called Culin strong, a strong hound, since the pup’s birth. Names channeled power, even names given by one with little magick of his own.

Now all I have to do is be right.

When the male reappeared, he was carrying a long-handled pincers with a metal beak. This he fitted to the chains, and started to bear down on the handles. Doing so brought out splendidly defined arm muscles and a thin sheen of sweat. I would give my left nut not to feel like I’ve been pounded flat and scraped up off the stable floor right now.

“These are stronger than they look.” The male checked the wicked beak of the pincers, running long, slender fingers over the cutting edges as if he expected to find them notched by the chain.

Humans were very different from the way Fae lore drew them, at least if they were all like this one. This male was as handsome as any Fae, in his way, and the measuring intelligence in his gaze was as exciting as his strange beauty. “They’re meant to be. But you ought to be able to cut them.” Now that the links had no magick running through them, and had been given no new purpose to know.

One dark brow went up as the male re-set the pincers. “Mind if I ask what you were doing chained up in my basement at six in the morning?”

“Yes.” Shit, I should have expected that. One thing the old stories weren’t going to tell him was what humans thought of Fae, several thousand years after their parting of ways. Even the most trusting Fae–assuming such an exotic creature existed anywhere–would be skeptical under the circumstances. And he had even less reason to be trusting than most.

Why had he forgotten that?