Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Small Giving Of Thanks To Two Outstanding Books

I'm happy to welcome Lisa from The Novel Approach back to my blog for this month's Booyah Books.

Hi everyone! I hope you all had an wonderful November and that whichever holiday it is you celebrate as we speed headlong into the month of December, it brings you a multitude of joyous moments.

This month’s installment of the Booyah! may not interest everyone. I totally get that in this realm of M/M romance where all our favorite authors consistently and skillfully deliver the erotic, Young Adult fiction might have a very limited appeal. But let me tell you, I just read two books last month that are easily a couple of the best, YA or otherwise, I’ve ever read. And that’s saying something, because I read a lot.

The first of the two is by an author who’s new to the M/M genre, J.C. Lillis, and her book is called How to Repair a Mechanical Heart. I’m just going to say, no lies, this book is unlike any I’ve ever read. Now, having said that, maybe it’s just because I haven’t been looking, but regardless, this one’s an original, and I can’t recommend it aggressively enough.

This is a story that deals with Brandon Page’s coming out, and all the ways he struggles with his very vocal Catholic conscience. But here’s the thing; J.C. handles this in such a humorous and kind of heart-tugging way that it never once delves into the preachy. In fact, Brandon’s inner monologues are almost like another character in the book, which totally endeared him to me because it’s so much a part of who he is.

But the thing that makes this book original is the backdrop it’s set against. This is a road-trip story about three friends: Brandon, his BFF, Bec, and his fellow vlogger and love interest, Abel McNaughton—who’s out and proud and funny and charming—everything that could possibly attract Brandon to him. Brandon and Abel are serious, we’re talking serious, fans of a show called “Castaway Planet”, and the three friends are traveling RV-style around the country to attend a variety of cons featuring the show’s cast. Along the way, you’ll meet a unique cast of show ‘shippers, ranging anywhere from rabid purists to the fanficcers who think the show’s stars, Captain Cadmus and Sim (an android), should just go ahead and get it on. There’s also a certain segment of the fandom who think Brandon and Abel should get it on too, and that’s where the romance—and the conflict—begin.

And there you have it. Just when I’ve become complacent in the belief there can’t possibly be any more original ways to tell me a coming-of-age story, J.C. Lillis happens along and not only tells it but sells it in a colorfully wrapped package of humor and pop-cultural icon worship and maybe even just a smidgen of satire, then plops a big red bow of characters I unashamedly fell in love with smack-dab on top of this ginormous gift.

Brandon, Abel, their fabulous friend Bec, and perhaps the most prominent character of all, Brandon’s hyperactive and very vocal conscience, shared a story with me that made me laugh, brought a lump to my throat, and tweaked the part of me that made me want to hug Brandon close and tell him that love is never wrong.

If you like YA even a little bit, give this one a read.

Buy How to Repair a Mechanical Heart HERE.

The second book, John Goode’s End of the Innocence, is no less amazing, but in a very different way. Simply put, his book broke my heart.

For those not familiar with Harmony Ink, this is the Young Adult press started up earlier this year by Dreamspinner. When I first found John’s “Tales From Foster High” series, it was offered as three separate novellas on the DSP site. Well, now you can find those first three stories in one book, titled simply Tales from Foster High, where the invisible boy, Kyle Stilleno, and his fresh-out-of-the-closet jock boyfriend, Brad Greymark, are introduced and quickly become the most visible couple at their small Foster, Texas high school, as they take on the establishment and the bullies-that-be who are trying to make things as difficult as humanly possible for the boys.

End of the Innocence is a continuation of their story and shouldn’t be read as a standalone. Their background and all these two boys have gone through, and are still going through to be together, is critical to loving them. Theirs is a story of courage and of standing up for the right to dignity and to love honestly, and is a story about standing firm and uniting against the bullies who would try to push them, and anyone else who is deemed different, back into the shadows.

This is a book that also illustrates the sad and heartbreaking reality that sometimes the bullies win, but that the war continues and it goes on because what touches others can also rock the very foundation of who you are and what you believe in, and change is worth fighting for.

Kyle and Brad are without a doubt in the upper stratosphere of my all-time favorite characters, simply because John Goode has made them so. He has a great gift for telling a story that is, by all accounts, a means of delivering the sweet promise of a love story designed to make me believe in forever, blended with clever dialogue and sharp prose, added to that a powerful message that shares both tragedy and hope.

I could gush on and on about this book and this series. It is easily one of the most outstanding examples of realistic Young Adult fiction I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Sometimes the message is that real life sucks hard, but then again, sometimes the message is that when enough people care to band together for the sake of change, change is inevitable for the sake of those who care enough to make it happen.

Let me tell you, this book isn’t easy on the heart or the tear ducts, but is so very, very worth the journey if you’re willing to heed the word.

Buy End of the Innocence HERE.

And that's it for this month's YA themed installment of the Booyah! Until next time, happy reading!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The blob ate my morning

It's no secret that I hate November. Seriously. The only good thing about it is Thanksgiving. Its my birthday month and that's some of it because its cursed. I own a copy of The Secret Language of Birthdays and my day is The Day of the Reformer. Its a fun book and mine's like a first edition so you know I was all into it but really it doesn't make the day any cooler. Or November any better.

For whatever reason, as I've bored you with before, October is my power month. My husband will tell you it's because I'm a witch and he doesn't mean that in a nice cool wiccan way either. But so I come off the high of October to the low of November and no matter what my step-mother says about a self-fulfilling prophesy (she's always positive which I didn't' used to appreciate but I do now) I really do think the damn month is cursed. Today was seriously the cherry on the cake of the month.

I woke up and was going to make coffee and proceeded to drop the coffee grounds from the paper filter All Over My Kitchen. And it's wet and clumpy and I scared the cat who's always annoying and underfoot but was smart enough to beat it out of there. So there's grounds and the smell and that oily sticky globby-blobby mess and one kid needs cereal and  lunch made and the other kid needs a bagel and lunch as well. So there's cleaning and the regular morning and no coffee being made and then my husband who swore he would iron his own shirts wakes up late and yeah, needs a shirt ironed. Grrrr....

I don't iron well. I can't cook. I kind of suck at domestic tasks. I can load the washer and the dishwasher, the dryer, sweeping, mopping, I'm your girl but ironing is just vile. But I do it and then there is frost on the windows and did I buy a scraper? I'm sorry, my Honda is in the garage and we moved from Hawaii. What in the world do I need a scraper for?

Okay so my husband has to scrape the car, I run the first kid to school and guess who forgot his lunch? So school, home, and back to school and then home. And the whole time I'm telling myself, don't forget the second kid's lunch when you have to take her to school. But did I remember? Oh hell no. So again, school, home, school, home...and by this time I'm a whiny mess right? So I stop on the way back from delivering the second lunch to go to the store. I get a scraper, snacks for lunches, a sandwich for my lunch later, a blueberry muffin and stop at the Starbucks to get the coffee I need. Muah hah hah! Guess where that cup went? Yes, on the snugly coat that's fake fur and makes me look like a bear. I thought it was kicky. Turns out it makes me look fatter then I already am!

On the way up the stairs at home, I miss the step, and bang my knee. Once I'm inside, in a house that reeks of day old coffee grounds, I use the electric kettle to boil water and make tea and finally I sit and have my muffin. It's cranberry, not blueberry. All this before nine-thirty in the morning. And I only recount the horror to drive home the point about the heinousness of November. I would like to thank Cardeno C. who listened to my tale of woe this morning, commiserated and offered an upbeat theory as to why it all went south. Amy Lane who wrote a ficlet that made me feel better but also cry which was cathartic. And Ellis Carrington who said it was just the full moon and promised that it would pass with a very needed there-there thrown in for good measure.

Are there worse days? Heaven's yes. Am I whiny? Very. Is everything better now at close to ten at night? Yes. But can I just say? Bring on December. Damn. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day

Hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crucible of Fate is out

Today, Wednesday November 21st, Domin's book is out and ready (crosses fingers) to be loved. Let me know what you thought, I look forward to hearing comments.

Final Round

This is the very last round and all you have to do is comment on Elisa's post, you don't even have to log in. So would everyone please pop over there and vote for Anne Cain's amazing cover of Acrobat. I promise this is the last time I'll big you about this all year. :)

Cover Contest

Monday, November 19, 2012

Amber Kell's 2012 Birthday Bash

Part #19
By: Amber Kell

It turned out Cebrus didn’t get a chance to escape. As he dressed for his big departure Silvan returned from wherever he’d wandered off to.
“Good you’re dressed. We can get going after we eat.”
Silvan planted a kiss on Cebrus’s mouth as if he had every right to take control.
“I’m not marrying you,” Cebrus blurted out.
Instead of looking offended Silvan smiled. “We’ll see. I figure I have several weeks to change your mind.”
Cebrus sighed. Maybe when they were travelling Silvan would learn how obnoxious Cebrus could be and give up the idea of marriage.
The dining hall had the feel of a party about it. Soldiers laughed and dined, couriers ran from back to deliver messages and ladies in waiting flirted with the men.
This could be his future. Cebrus didn’t know if he should be excited or start to make plans for his grand escape.
“Here have something to eat,” Silvan pulled out Cebrus’s chair as if seating a fine lady. Cebrus shook his head and gave a snort.
“I’m not a girl you know you don’t have to hover.”
Silvan nodded. “Trust me I’m completely aware of your masculinity.”
Cebrus pointedly ignored the prince while he ate. The rolls were fluffy the meat made a nice crunch in his mouth and the soldiers talking around them made a nice cheerful chatter.
Relaxing for the first time in weeks, Cebrus enjoyed his meal.
“I’ve got supplies loaded onto the horses, we can leave after our meal.”
Cebrus didn’t need a bunch of supplies and soldiers following him but he supposed you couldn’t take a prince of the realm and traipse through the countryside without protection. Somehow his small quest to find a new type of wood turned into a princely outing.
“I don’t suppose I could go do my quest and return.” Cebrus asked hopefully.
Silvan laughed. “No love. You will never travel alone again.”
“But I’m a wand maker. Part of my job is to go from kingdom to kingdom and help people with their wands. How am I going to do that if you make me stay here?” Cebrus could already feel the bars closing in on him, a caring, comfortable cage but a cage nonetheless.
“I don’t want to oppress you love. I’m not going to stop you from traveling, I’ll just insist you take guards with you whenever you go,” Silvan assured him.
Cebrus with nodded. He would reserve judgment until they reached that point. He still had hope for their trip. He liked Silvan but he wasn’t ready to bond with anyone yet.

Cebrus climbed up on the horse and watched Silvan’s fine ass as he slid onto his mount. There were many things he objected to about the prince but the man’s build wasn’t one of them.
Although there wouldn’t be a lot of opportunity for privacy on the trip Cebrus was certain he could find a secluded spot to enjoy the prince. Just because he wasn’t in a hurry to get married didn’t mean he wouldn’t be interested in a little sampling.
Just the idea of seeing Silvan stripped naked would make the entire quest worthwhile.
Somehow his solo quest went from a single person walking to a group of six people on horses. Cebrus felt a little bad about dragging everyone off to the north but he knew the prince wouldn’t be convinced otherwise.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Contest for Crucible of Fate

There is a contest for Crucible of Fate that the lovely Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos is running right now. So if you have a moment, pop over there and leave a comment.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A slice of Jin & Logan

So this is the second ficlet I wrote for the  
mmarvelous group and this one is between books. Just a typical Saturday at Jin and Logan's house.

         I wasn’t sure what to say so I just kept quiet. As soon as I came up with something reasonable, I was going say it. The problem was was that nothing was coming to mind.
    “Tell me again,” Logan ordered Avery Cadim the new sheseru of our tribe.
    Well, new wasn’t really all that accurate. He had been in the position for six months already.
    “Me, Artem and ten of your khatyu were escorting Jin, your parents, Delphine and Markel to the mating ceremony of the Calloway girl.”
    “I know that part,” he said and his voice was flat and cold.
    I saw Delphine wince and Markel bump her with his elbow.
    She turned to look at him and he widened his eyes.
    “You two have something to share?” Logan’s voice got loud.
    “No my semel,” Markel said quickly.
    “Logan,” Delphine began patiently. “It’s not a big deal. No one was hurt and––”
    “No?” He barked at her, turning whip fast and moving over to his mother, her mother, and lifting up Eva’s hand that was wrapped in gauze. “This looks hurt to me!”
    “Honey,” Eva began, reaching for her son. “It wasn’t––”
    “Enough!” Logan growled and the room went silent again.
    It would have been funny if he wasn’t so mad. We were all sitting around him on couches and loveseats like children waiting to be punished. And normally he would have never raised his voice to his mother but he was the semel now and not her son.
    When the front door opened and Peter Church, his father walked in, I groaned and leaned back against the couch. Artem Varda, Avery’s second in command, was sitting beside me. He had a black eye and a split lip and was holding an ice pack to the left side of his face. He was one of the first to go down.
    Technically the whole mess was my fault because I had gone to the mating ceremony. If I hadn’t, there wouldn’t have been any interest in seeing me so the jostling to get close, the first shove that occurred followed by a thrown elbow and then a fist, would have never happened. It was me, in attendance, the reah, the nekhene cat, that had turned a regular engagement party into a riot.
    “Eva!” Peter called to his wife.
    “Oh for goodness sake,” she sighed heavily. “I’m fine. When I fell there was some broken glass and I cut my hand. No one stepped on me or punched or hit me...none of that happened. Jin was right there on top of me making sure I didn’t get––”
    “Jin,” Logan said ominously, cutting her off.
    Her head turned to me and I gave her a wincing smile.  She was really not helping.
    “Nice going Mom,” Delphine muttered under her breath.
    Realizing her mistake, she closed her eyes.
    “Jin saved you,” Logan snarled out before turning to face Artem. “Jin dragged you out of a pile of people as well right?”
    He cleared his throat. “Yes my semel.”
    “And you,” Logan rounded on Markel.
    “I uhm––” Markel coughed, “––would have helped but I had to take care of Delphine.”
    “As well you should,” he agreed his tone even more frightening for the calm infusing it. “She’s your mate. That’s what mate’s do. But you see me, as the semel of my tribe; I don’t have that luxury. I find myself unable to attend every event that my mate must. So I have to be able to put the care of my mate in the hands of others. I have to make sure that my sheseru and my sylvan are always able to protect and defend my mate.”
    The way he kept enunciating my title at the same time his voice got louder and louder, was making his intent and frustration clear to everyone.
    “My semel––” Avery began.
    “No,” he stopped him cold. “It’s hard, I know. Yuri himself failed in this very house to keep my mate from harm. So it’s not as though you have failed where he did not. I just realize now that I allowed something that I should not have. This is on no one but me.”
    My eyes met his and I saw the pain there as he stepped in close and then knelt down on one knee.
    I smiled at him as his hand went to my cheek, his palm warm as I leaned into it.
    “I can’t bear to see bruises on you,” he said quickly and I saw how brittle his control was as his eyes narrowed to raw slits of burnished gold. “I will end up hurting those who mean only to offer you their best intentions. I want to be a man who is caring and kind but I won’t be if this ever happens again. Do you understand?”
    I nodded before I turned my head and kissed his palm.
    “Good,” he said softly, gently, taking my hand and lifting me from between Artem and Avery to stand beside him. His arm curled around my shoulder, drawing me close. I wrapped mine around his waist and heard him take a breath, the first, it seemed, since he’d come home.
    “Logan,” his father began. “Jin must attend so many different functions, it violates all the rules of hospitality if he does not so how––”
    “Koren’s going to help me.”
    I turned to look at him as his brother walked into the room, so like Logan, the bearing and towering height, the blond hair and hard, heavy muscles. Where the similarities ended was when you reached the eyes. It wasn’t only the color, Logan’s gold instead of Koren’s olive green, but in what you noticed, or didn’t, behind them. All Logan’s spirit was right there in his gaze. You were held, like a moth on a pin, when it settled on you. The weight of it could make you squirm if you weren’t sure who lived inside your skin. If you were certain, knew who you were, what you believed in, who you loved, you could look back and hold the golden gaze. And he liked that, he admired strength in others because he so rarely found it.
    None of that sense of self was present in his brother. Koren was outwardly strong, and he was changing, growing, but there was more to be done and you could see it if you looked. Koren was so charming, and used it to his advantage, Logan was simply power and energy and heat.
    “What do you mean?” His father asked him.
    “Koren’s going to cut back at work as he’s hired several new brokers so that he can take on the duties of my maahen,” his voice rumbled, “as she takes over first Jin’s protection and then the protection of Jin and my unborn child.”
    Everyone turned to look at Yusuke Narae who stood by the mantle in heels, white slacks, and a black and white polka dot blouse accented by a strand of pearls at her throat. She did not look at all scary. Even the white eye patch she wore didn’t add to any feelings of menace. But I knew better. The woman was terrifying.
    “I don’t understand,” Avery said to Logan. “I’m your sheseru. I––”
    “And you’re a good one,” Logan assured him. “If your semel’s mate were a yareah, I would need no other protection but that’s not the case. The mate of your semel is a reah and as such even has their own companion named to them for counsel and protection.”
    “The beset.”
    “Then name a new beset for Jin and––”
    “No,” I blurted out. “Crane’s my beset and that won’t ever change.”
    “No it won’t,” Logan tightened his hold on me, rubbing his cheek over my hair, scent marking me without even consciously thinking about it. “But we will remedy it.”
    I looked up at him. “Logan?”
    “My house is in disorder because I strove to meet the needs of the new semel-aten. I wanted him to be safe, to have the best possible start. I made a mistake.”
    “What mistake?”
    “By allowing Crane to leave I created a hole through which you could be hurt. So now, Yusuke, because she’s the strongest after me, will fill that spot and Koren hers, until I can retrieve Crane Adams from Sobek.”
    You could have dropped a pin in the room and it would have sounded like thunder.
    “But you can’t. Logan you can’t,” I pleaded. “Crane’s the maahes of the first tribe, of the tribe of the semel-aten...he’s Domin’s right hand and––”
    “Domin has Yuri, Domin has Mikhail, he has Taj and probably others I don’t even know about. Crane is replaceable there, but not here, at your side. I suspect if you were to ask him what he wanted right now that coming home would be at the top of his list.”
    “I suspect you would be right my semel,” Yusuke agreed.
    I looked at her and saw the faint blush before her gaze dropped to the floor.
    What the hell was going on?
    “But Logan you can’t just––”
    “I can’t, it’s his choice because I made a mistake and allowed it to be. But I am going to Egypt to speak to him and Domin.”
    “Once he’s back, Koren can return and take his place as heir, Yusuke her place as maahen, but until he’s back, my house is not in order.”
    I turned to face him, my hands curling into his shirt. “Logan taking Crane away––”
    “Taking Crane away from something his heart is not in is not a bad thing Jin.” He sighed curling a long strand of hair around my ear. “I honestly thought that you were just friends. I mean, the best of friends, more like brothers, but still, I didn’t understand that he was vital. I wanted to be your only touchstone, the only one you needed.”
    I tried to say something but he shook his head.
    “For a yareah, I could be. I could be everything. But for a reah, a companion of your own is necessary. Crane offers insight, he calms you, he cautions you, and he nurtures you. I get it now because you know, I can grow too right?”
    God he was magnificent. “I really love you.”
    “And I love you back,” he said before he bent and kissed me.
    I wasn’t ready for him to turn a simple kiss into ravishment in front of everyone. But it was his home, he could do as he pleased, and stealing my breath and leaving me panting and clinging to him seemed to be what he was after.
    His rumbling laugher as he looked down at me was dear instead of teasing and as always I was putty in the man’s hands.
    “Would you like to go with me to Egypt?”
    My smile, I was certain, was huge. “Yes my semel.”
    “You know Domin might say no,” I told my mate.
    Logan arched one eyebrow for me just for fun. “He might.”
    But we both knew it was a lie.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Some Domin & Yuri

Okay so awhile ago I wrote some free fic for the mmarvelous yahoo group that I'm in with Amy Lane, Ariel Tachna and Andrew Grey. It's fun, I'm the only M. We should have probably called it Three A's and an M. Sounds like a bad cover band. But so I wrote a short fic that was between the end of Honored Vow and the beginning of Crucible of Fate, which I'll share next and this one which is in the world of Honored Vow. It's from Domin's POV after he and Yuri retired the last night tht everyone was in Mongolia. Enjoy.:)

There was a layer of felt over the hard flat rock, then a thick area rug before the various animal pelts. It reminded me of a lair and the part of me that was an animal, liked that. Along with the scents of sandalwood and amber, there were faint traces of earth and smoke in the room, and that too was welcome. Pictures had been carved into the walls but still, there was something very primal about the home of the semel of the tribe of Khertet. Life was unchanged there in Mongolia and I understood, as I had even from the first, why the priest chose such a far removed place for the sepat. Sometimes we all had to be reminded that we were animals, as well as human beings. As I watched him though, the man I was going to make my mate, I realized that I saw him with the eyes of a predator. He looked good enough to eat. In the flickering candlelight, he was beautiful.
    His head turned when I moved closer and I realized he had not heard me behind him as he had been concentrating instead on pouring wine. In the low light, the thick red liquid looked black.
    “You order me to your quarters and then don’t show up,” he smiled lazily. “I thought perhaps you were taking Shahid up on his offer.”
    An old flame that he had seen me rebuff right there in front of him should not have given him a moment of concern.
    “You can have your pick now semel-aten.”
    The words were meant to be teasing, playful, but I wasn’t in the mood. I had no idea I could feel as I had hours earlier. Up until that moment I had thought that I was the one in control, not him.
    “What are you thinking?” Yuri asked softly, his clear blue eyes on my face.
    My gaze narrowed as I stood there, staring at him.
    “His scent is all over you,” I ground out. “Chuluun was aroused when he rubbed his chin over your shoulder and marked you.”
    He tried really hard not to look pleased but I saw the curve of his lips, heard the quick intake of breath and realized that I had just tripped myself up.
    “This is not––”
    “You’re jealous.”
    “No,” I snapped at him because of course I was.
    “And you surprised yourself,” Yuri’s voice was husky and low as he took a step forward.
    I took one back.
    “You don’t like me smelling like him... change it. Make me smell like you.”
    He had no idea how badly I needed to do that.
    My mouth had gone dry. I would not be in the same place I had been with Koren Church for all those years. The person who loved more had none of the power and––
    “You surprised yourself didn’t you?”
    Yuri Kosa did not get to read my mind; this was not how I had things planned. I would be cold and distant and would never let him see the depth of my feelings or know what simply seeing him did to my heart.
    “Say something.”
    I pointed at the two goblets he had been tending to. “Do I get any of that wine?”
    “No,” he shook his head. “I just decided you had enough. Don’t want you blaming anything on alcohol.”
    “Your feelings.”
    “I have no idea what you’re––”
    “You are so terrified right now,” his grin made his eyes warm, and unlike mine, did not look wicked or evil, just kind. There was never a doubt about Yuri, even when we were young. Everything you ever wanted to know was right there to see. It was very comforting.
    “You think you know me so well,” I was defiant.
    He chuckled. “Yeah I do, and if you could see your face right now...God, you’re giving me heart palpitations.”
    I felt my skin heat as I took another step back.
    “Come here,” he said, reaching for me.
    Again I moved back. I couldn’t fight with him; I knew that my beast, the one who lived in me, could hurt him. So my only option was the second one, flight. “I won’t have anything else taken from me.”
    “I know,” his voice soothed me. “You’ve had enough stripped away in your lifetime, family, tribe, love...but no more.”
    Nothing. Ever.
    “I’ll protect you and your heart.”
    He was so different from every lover I’d ever had. I didn’t have to guess if the words and the actions would match. There was no doubt.
    “Why are you worried?”
    “I’m not!” I said much too fast and far too defensively.
    “Love,” he sighed as his hands took hold of my face.
    The tremble was involuntary.
    “Tell me, it wasn’t simply Chuluun was it?”
    “I will rip out his throat and paint the walls with his blood if he ever puts his hands on you again!” I snarled at him, pulling free, my voice rising.
    He reached for me and even though I tried to maneuver away, I didn’t make it. The movement was fast and sometimes I forgot how quickly Yuri could react for a man so big and covered in heavy, meaty muscle. 
    I was yanked forward at the same time he stepped into me. We collided.
    “You’re forgetting who I am.”
     “Yes,” he nodded, lifting my chin, exhaling softly. “For just a moment you did.”
    I made myself breathe.
    “Everything here,” he said, putting his hand over his heart. “Is yours. There’s nothing left for anyone else and there never will be.”
    My eyes searched his.
    “You know me.”
    And I did. He wasn’t the problem, I was.
    He bent towards me and I lifted at the same time because I needed the kiss, needed him, more than I was even ready to confess. His taste was becoming familiar as much as I’d been mauling him lately and as my tongue slipped inside his hot mouth, I moaned deeply.
    We fell together down onto the furs and when I rolled him to his back, I had to break the kiss so I could see him.
    “You like looking down at me.”
    Yes I did.
    “Take off your robes semel-aten.”
    I rolled off of him and began frantically pulling and yanking until I was just as naked as he was. Both of us had been in a rush.
    Looking at Yuri Kosa, at his sharp, chiseled features, deep-set eyes blue eyes and pale skin was always a pleasure. He took my breath away.
    “I know what it is. I know why you’re scared.”
    I was barely listening, too caught up in staring at him, shivering with the idea that those strong, veined hands were going to touch me. 
    “You’re terrified that you’re going to fuck this up, being semel-aten, and then everything will be stripped away from you all over again.”
    He was the only one in the world I knew I could tell. “Yes.”
    “Well stop,” Yuri told me, rolling me over on my stomach, fingers stroking down the length of my spine. “You’re second-guessing my semel.”
    I looked over my shoulder at him. “What are you talking about?”
    “Logan Church,” he grinned at me. “He’s my semel.”
    “Yes I know that, but what––”
    “Logan knows his limits better than anyone. He knows exactly what he can and cannot do. So it stands to reason that if he thought he would have made the best semel-aten, he would have stepped up and done it. The man doesn’t know how to shirk responsibility.”
    It was true. “So you’re saying he actually thought I was the best one to do this?”
    “That’s what I’m saying,” he said, and I felt his lips on the small of my back.
    “Oh God,” I groaned, loving the way the man loved me. No one had ever made me believe that I was beautiful, and wanted, and more than anything, needed. He annihilated me.
    “You’re the one, Domin Thorne.”
    I rolled over to look up at the beautiful man above me. Yuri Kosa was a mountain of hard, rippling muscle, powerful and strong and every part of him, every piece, belonged to me; He was mine for the taking if I would just claim him.
    “Ride me,” I told him.
    “Yes semel-aten,” he smiled wickedly in the low light. “Pass me the lube.”
    “Above your head.”
    I reached back and it was there, stuffed under the pillow between the furs. “Are you always this prepared?”
    “I’m a sheseru; we leave nothing to chance in a fight.”
    “This is a fight?”
    “Oh yes, and one I plan to win so I can claim my prize.”
    I watched him as I handed him the bottle, saw him drizzle lube over my already hard, seeping cock, and stroke me until I begged him to take my length inside of him.
    “Domin,” he breathed out my name as he rose above me.
    “Am I your prize? Am I what you want to win?”
    “Oh yes,” he exhaled and I saw the flush spread across his skin, the blown pupils and savored the clutch of his rough hands on my chest.
    He was so tight and hot and the look on his face as he sank down over me, the shudder that consumed him and his head dropping back on his shoulders made me jolt up into him. How I had missed him for so long, not seen him, was beyond me.
    “Domin,” again he said my name, full of longing and love.
    Fully sheathed in his body, feeling the channel ripple around me, fist me in velvet heat; I was ready to fill him with my seed that fast.
    “Oh,” he moaned as he rolled his hips forward, seating himself deeper as his thighs pressed tight against me.
    I reached for his shaft, curling my fingers around it, thumb and forefinger unable to meet around the girth of his cock. “This is as massive as the rest of you,” I told him. “And soon, I want it inside me.”
    “Whatever you want,” he whispered, the eyes now locked on mine devoid of rational thought, only passion, only the edge of his orgasm mattering.
    As I stroked him, loving the feel of his dick throbbing in my hand, I felt his inner muscles tightening, clutching and I knew I was close to losing myself.
    “What will you say tomorrow?” He asked me, his voice cracking with the strain of holding his orgasm at bay. “To Logan, what will you say? Who will you ask for?”
    I didn’t answer, I bucked up against him instead, straining, pushing, and he was lost, neither of us able to speak anymore.
    I could have told him not to worry that I had already made a decision about what he would be, where he would go and who he would belong to. I could have, but I didn’t. The morning would come soon enough and then he’d know because really, I wasn’t the prize. It was him.

Update: The excerpt is up at DSP. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rainbow Awards Cover Contest Round 6

Hey all! Thank you to everyone who voted in the last round and if you all would vote one more time....please...I would be so very thankful. I still have 4 covers in the final 25 (Honored Vow is out) so if you would all pop over there again...would be awesome. Anne Cain and Reese Dante are both so very deserving.

Cover Contest Round 6

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Crucible of Fate

Hey everyone, just a head's up that Domin's book ,
Crucible of Fate, has a release date of Wednesday,  
November 21st and I'm very excited. Terrified, but excited. 
Here's the blurb:

In the secret city of Sobek, Domin Thorne is making his way as the newly chosen semel-aten, the leader of the werepanther world. He aspires to make sweeping changes—he’s set goals for himself and the people he chose to bring with him, modeling his reign after that of his friend, Logan Church. But Domin may have set too lofty a goal: his normal leadership style isn’t working.

While juggling a homesick Crane, a moody Mikhail, a bullwhip-wielding Taj, servants with murderous intentions, a visiting ex, and a mate on a dangerous goodwill mission, Domin has to figure out his new role alone. He also must determine how to deal with a conspiracy, all the while falling hard for a man who, for the first time in Domin’s life, reciprocates that love. Whether Domin is ready or not, Fate has stepped in to teach him a lesson: internal threats are just as dangerous as external ones.

And didn't Anne Cain do her usual fantastic job with the cover?