Friday Snippet: Love Conquers All!

Love is Love AlwaysToday, I rejoice at the Supreme Court’s historic decision to legalize gay marriage, and I look forward to watching the Seattle Gay Pride Parade this coming Sunday. The forecast is sunny and fabulous.

To celebrate this glorious day, I will post a longer excerpt from my upcoming paranormal title, The Lonely Wolf, the sixth in The Immortals series, and a love story between a werewolf, the mighty alpha Quintilius, and the new-elected archangel, Ludwig. Lovers for more than two thousand years, but separated by racism and politics, Quin and Ludwig will fight for their right to be together…

From The Lonely WolfQuin and Ludwig meets for the first time:

Quintilius hated Tuesdays with the same intensity the rest of the world hated Mondays. Since he didn’t care about Sundays, the beginning of the week wasn’t a hardship to him. But the day after, he usually was in such a state his employees had learned to give him a wide berth.

His aversion for Tuesdays wasn’t new. In fact, it had started in the long lost imperial times of Rome when he owned a taberna in Testaccio neighborhood. The eatery was closed on Mondays, and he used the day to restock the cellars. One luminous spring morning, he was buying wine from Laurentius in the Trajan Market and his wolf suddenly went into a frenzy, forcing him to stop his dealings with the merchant at once.

Never before had he lost control over his wolf. It was unheard for an alpha and something he wanted to keep to himself, so he walked away from the Roman Forum and sought some privacy. The wolf wouldn’t give him respite. The more he moved away from the market, the more his beast opposed his will. A few shifters strolling through the stalls turned his way, and Quintilius decided that it would be safer to let his wolf dictate where to go if it calmed him.

Taking his wolf’s mood swings as a compass, Quintilius circled the Forum twice before his beast gave him clear indication he wanted Quintilius to stop before the Public Baths. He had heard of the true soul mate calling, but had never experienced any of the symptoms described by the werewolves in his clan and thought he would have rather avoided the whole thing.

Taking a long breath, he entered the Baths and paid a sesterx for his admission while he admonished his wolf to behave. Still following his wolf’s whims, he doffed his toga and donned a large towel around his waist, then moved to the tepidarium, the pool with the warm water. As he stepped into the scented pool, presently deserted besides one other patron, his heart started beating so fast, he was scared at first.

Then he realized his wolf was deliriously happy, and the feeling became his as well when he set eyes on the large shape of the man sitting at the other end of the pool. The warm fog shrouding the tepidarium in eucalyptus vapors dissipated, and the man’s features came into focus.

Deep gray eyes locked with Quintilius’s, and the most incredible emotion took root in Quintilius’s heart that had now stilled. Belonging. His feet moved on their own accord, and he entered the water, wading through as if a magnet pulled him toward the man staring at him with those stormy eyes.

Finally, he stopped before the stranger. “Vale,” he greeted the man as in his mind his wolf rolled on his back, showing his tummy.

Vale,” the stranger replied, and Quintilius could see in the man’s countenance he was equally disconcerted.

“May I sit there?” Quintilius pointed at the spot beside the man.

“Of course,” the man answered as if it was the most natural thing to crowd that corner when spots were aplenty.

Quintilius felt lightheaded as he slowly lowered himself to the marble seat. He risked a brief glance to the side and took in the man’s chiseled body and strong features. An attraction that bordered on insanity flared through Quintilius, and he had to control his primal instincts, least he would sink his teeth into the man’s shoulder.

“What are you?” Quintilius could see the man’s aura illuminating him like a halo, and he had his answer before the man spoke.

“I’m an angel, wolf.” The man smiled, and his eyes’ radiance blinded Quintilius for a moment.

Worried he would voice one of the many thoughts swimming in his addled brain, Quintilius stilled his hand on his thigh, squeezing his flesh to snap out of the lustful haze. All the while, his wolf didn’t give him respite, asking to taste the angel’s skin, to lick the salt perspiring in the hollow of his throat, to stroke him slowly with his tongue.

“Care to fly somewhere else?”

The angel’s question took Quintilius by surprise, and he didn’t answer because he didn’t want to hear his trembling voice say, “Anywhere with you.”

The angel stood then, revealing what the vapors had hidden. Massive, the representation of male perfection, the beauty of his body left Quintilius panting. Rivulets of water cascaded along the angel’s pectorals and pooled in the springy red-blond curls at the junction of his muscular legs. The man didn’t go for the towel sitting folded at the edge of the pool, but kept still, goading Quintilius’s eyes to linger where the white cloth would have rested.

Ashamed of his reaction, Quintilius averted his treacherous eyes that couldn’t seem to have enough of the sight. Nudity wasn’t the issue. Not everyone covered themselves in the baths. Men often displayed their bodies, strolled around naked, and even ate and conversed without wearing much. But never before had Quintilius ogled another patron with such hunger. His wolf nudged at him with renewed insistence, demanding with a low growl to be let out.

Sometimes to be a full-fledged alpha wasn’t helpful. In general, werewolves had to contend with their beasts once a month. Betas and even omegas managed them quite easily. But once alphas came into power, they had to keep their wolves on check constantly. Even among alphas, Quintilius, who had blossomed in his early twenties, was different because his wolf was stronger and more independent-thinking than most.

The angel regarded him with a knowing smile, then turned and stepped onto the pool’s edge. “Are you coming or not?”

Fascinated by the sculpted lines of his equally breathtaking backside, Quintilius said, “Yes,” raising from the pool. On shaky legs, he climbed up onto the marble landing, then walked toward the man but stopped before closing the distance between them. His wolf didn’t agree with his decision, but Quintilius’s resolve was stronger, albeit short.

The angel grabbed his arm and pulled Quintilius close to him. “Are you afraid of heights?”

“No. I am not.” Then something possessed him, and Quintilius stepped even closer to the angel, tilted his chin up and whispered to his lips, “Are you afraid of wolves?”

The angel’s mouth descended on his fast. Before Quintilius could think of the consequences, he opened his lips, accepting the urgent strokes of the angel’s tongue and reciprocating in earnest. Voices from the antechamber intruded in their private haven, and the angel leaned away, interrupting the kiss.

“Does that answer your question, wolf?”

“Loud and clear, angel.”

Friday Snippet: Love Conquers All!

Saturday Snippet, just because editing is a tyrant

Raphael simplified designI’ve been working on Raphael’s edits like there’s no tomorrow and promptly forgotten all about Friday Snippets and other promises I made. But, here I am, the next day, with a brand new snippet, and the simplified version of the cover I posted last week.

From Raphael:

Slowly getting up, Raphael stretched his arms and looked around, only to spot the colossal frame of the Controller. “Great Wolf—”

The demon had his back to him, talking on a cell phone. Of all the places the man could be stalking in Rome, he had to be walking around Quartiere Coppedè.

“Happy sweet sixteen to me.” Raphael was sure there was a cosmic joke somewhere to be found, but was too hard-pressed to appreciate the humor in his current predicament.

Forcing himself to slow his pace, he stepped away from the fountain and reached the side of the Fairy House, now in the shadow. His heart throbbed in his throat as he cleared the corner and kept walking toward the bridged archway delimiting the neighborhood. A red bus slowed down and stopped at the curb on Tagliamento Street. With a leisure jog, he passed the arch and reached the bus stop, then hopped on the running board as soon as the bus exit doors opened.

Passengers stepping out complained, but Raphael pushed through the crowd until he was safely ensconced in the middle of the cabin, sandwiched between the afternoon commuters. He dared one peep out of the large window and saw the Controller staring at him. The man shook his head with a pronounced grimace on his face. As the bus lurched forward, Raphael waved at the demon. “See ya.”

Then a sweet scent he had never forgotten hit his nostrils and he turned, his heart beating as fast as his wolf’ as he faced a familiar pair of green eyes. A feeling of belonging descended upon him like a warm blanket.

“Hi,” the girl of his dreams said.

Two years had passed since the night of the botched robbery, but he thought of her every day. “You’re my mate and I’m in love with you,” he hurried to say, in case she would disappear again. It had been love at first scent for him, and he had known the truth since then that he would never love anyone else in his life. His wolf pranced around to be acknowledged.

Her eyebrows shot up and her lips curved in an amused smile revealing dimples on her cheeks. “It’s nice to see you.”

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered. His wolf demanded he nuzzled her throat, and Raphael’s breath hitched at the image.

At the same time, the girl’s eyes lit and widened, casting a spell on Raphael who couldn’t see anything else but her.

Saturday Snippet, just because editing is a tyrant

Resurrecting the Friday Snippet

Raphael Book  Final design

I can’t remember when I posted a Friday snippet last, but it’s about time to start doing it again. Yesterday, I finished writing Raphael, the first title in The Immortal Youth series (which I’ve been posting chapter by chapter on WriteOn), and I feel in a celebratory mood because it was quite the gestation. I also finished working on the cover and I want to show it off along the snippet.

From Raphael:

Prologue

Rome, 2011

Raphael zigzagged in and out of the back alley he entered to lose the enforcer. The sucker had been on Raphael’s tail for a while, and so far, he had managed to escape the long hand of the law. Running at full speed, he glanced right and left looking for a secluded spot he could hide and take a breather. A soft glow illuminated the ancient cobblestones paving the street, and dew covered the ground, which made his frantic jog a loud affair where stealth was required. His trainer soles squeaked and squealed every time he changed direction. The annoying noise reminded him of that one time he played basketball with some mortal kids. Lanky as only tall genes and neglect can assure, and turned fourteen a few weeks earlier, Raphael proved to be a natural. At the recent memory, a smile tugged at his lips, but booted steps echoed from the right and he dove left under a marble arch.

As an architecture enthusiast, he liked the Ghetto neighborhood, but it wasn’t built for midnight cops and robbers games. Too many dead ends, like the brick wall covered in ivy he found himself facing after his last turn. His wolf growled in displeasure.

“I don’t like it either.” He steadied himself against what remained of a Roman column turned pedestal. The fat, black and white cat resting on top of the ruin raised a paw and licked it, as if taunting Raphael’s wolf, who growled louder. “Would you behave?” For once, he hoped it were full moon to be able to turn and run away using his wolf’s speed…

Resurrecting the Friday Snippet

Friday Snippet, Valentine’s Day Edition

 

Love is Love AlwaysHappy Valentine’s Day, everybody.

I am halfway through writing my first paranormal romance novel and in the best spirit I’ve been in a long time. Changing my method, I have outlined the whole story, down to writing what went in every chapter. My productivity has increased tenfold and I have had days where I reached 5k words without having a brain stroke. Soon, I’ll be starting working on the cover and the blurb.

In other news, Marie’s Journey has gathered two 5 stars reviews from two readers who are loyal to The Ginecean Chronicles.

Linda of the Night’s free promo is still on, and several people told me they enjoyed the short read.

Now, for this romantic day, I’ve chosen a small excerpt from The Last Centurion:

“Did I do something wrong, little thing?” He brushed her eyes with his lips, his hands caressing her body in long soothing caresses.

She lowered her head to his chest, too overwhelmed to find the words to answer him.

“Diana?” He raised her chin with a finger, then left a chaste peck on her closed lips. “Are you okay?”

She nodded and he lowered his head to kiss her again. When he gently pushed at her lips to coax them open, a rush of pleasure made her lightheaded, and she anchored herself to him, grabbing his arms circling her.

He misunderstood her gesture and leaned his upper body away from her. “May I kiss you?”

Diana saw the intensity in his stare, and heard the pleading tone in his voice. She knew he thought he would perish if she denied him that kiss and so she had to tell him her secret. “It was my first kiss.”

It took a moment for him to react to her statement, but his eyes became liquid.

She had to lower hers. “I’ve never been kissed before.”

Without letting go of her, Marcus fell on his knees and pressed his face against her belly, his strong back shaking, his arms tightening around her waist. She passed her fingers through his hair and let her tears flow, then kneeled before him and laid her forehead against his. “Kiss me as you’ve never kissed a woman before.”

Friday Snippet, Valentine’s Day Edition

Friday Snippet #?

I can’t remember when it was last time I posted a snippet, so I’ll leave the question mark instead of the number. I’ll come back later to add it. I’ll also come back to add an image as well.

Marie’s Journey’s promo ended with a solid 450 copies downloaded all around the world, and for a book with no reviews it is a great result. It stayed for three days at number 2 of its category, Teen Romance Dystopian, and that gave it a certain visibility. Now, I can only wait for the readers to pick it up, and hopefully like it and leave a review on Amazon.

I am writing again! After brief, but intense, consideration, I decided to change the way I work, and mapped a whole story, chapter by chapter. So far, I have been able to put down a solid 2k words per day. For a slow writer like me, it’s a serious achievement. Also, I am incorporating my research on the Romans in the story, which is an added bonus. Happy Chinese New Year, y’all.

The Lost Centurion:

Marcus whistled, two fingers in his mouth as his father had taught him, and the two men—no more than boys—raised their faces toward him. “Get it over with and leave.” He didn’t move from where he was sitting, his hand caressing the growth on his jaw back and forth until it rested under his chin.

Two heads peeped out of the passengers’ windows of both cars at the same time, Marcus heard young, feminine voices calling the boys’ names, and a minute later the two cars had left the scene. He had barely raised his voice to carry his words to the two hotheads. It worked every time. His voice was a gift. He had been told countless times how with a voice like his he was destined to become a centurion. “You have a commanding voice, but you never command me,” Aurelia had used to say to him, purred more than said, that brilliant light of hers shining only for him when she was in his arms. Fighting the sadness that usually accompanied those memories, Marcus decided a night out would be what he needed.

Friday Snippet #?

Friday Snippet #53

Once Upon a TimeOutside, foggy and cold. Inside, two cups of espresso already consumed and a tea on the way; Painter doesn’t want to work; Artrage requested one more time a registrations key to start; my neck is aching; my patience is dwindling. Plus, I hate complaining.

But, my dad is coming to visit and that makes everything better.

Summary of the week:

One of my didlr paintings, the fairy tale drawing above, was featured on the main didlr page. If nothing else works, that’s plan B through Z—drawing on a touch screen that is.

Gaia’s cover is being made as I write. Elios is in the editor’s hands again. Marie’s Journey’s first edit is done and it is in my court now. I wrote the blurbs for both Gaia and Elios.

I ventured outside in the mist and the rain, and walked every day with Nero while reading three new books.  I think that’s it.

From Marie’s Journey:

Zena didn’t hesitate to answer. “Yes, I was here.” She took one chair by the armrest and went to sit close to the window. “I was in my twenties when the Massacre happened.”

“Did you lose anybody?” Marie asked. This time, she knew she shouldn’t have asked.

But Zena surprised her once more by answering. “I did. We were in love and we were planning on adopting a kid. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time and took a bullet not meant for her.”

Rane, who had been warming some water at the little portable stove, came back carrying three steaming cups by the handles. “The soldiers shot on the crowd?”

The nurse’s mouth thinned and her eyes went dark. “Yes, they did, but the bullet that killed Bianca was mine.”

The nurse’s words left both Rane and Marie speechless.

Zena raised her cup to the ceiling. “Cheers to Ginecea’s fall. If I’m lucky, I’ll still be alive when it happens.”

A few minutes of silence passed, none in the room able to say anything. The nurse finally broke the spell. “I had it easy. You can’t imagine what they did to the heterosexual couples.”

Friday Snippet #53

Friday Snippet #52

Zucca Karla 2013Autumn is in full bloom in the Pacific Northwest, and everywhere I look is red, orange, and yellow. Some green is left here and there.

Today, I haven’t done a lot in terms of writing and editing, but I went for a two hours walk, and I painted the first pumpkin of the 2013 batch.

Waiting on the cover for Gaia, going through edits with Elios, and halfway through with Marie’s Journey as well. Crossing fingers, I might be able to publish three titles before the year ends.

From Elios:

“I have something to tell you.” I added two of the couches from the dorms to the cafeteria’s furniture and sat on the edge of the closest one to me.

Kam stood by the food counter, ready for seconds. “I’m listening.”

I tried to keep my eyes on his face. “I’m sorry for what I did last time.”

He turned toward me, his right hand in mid-air, palm up. “Well, I would be lying if I told you it didn’t affect me.”

Sweat formed on my forehead. “I know, and I’m truly sorry.”

He was back at the counter. “Why would you refuse a Share?”

I lowered my head and then forced myself to face him. “It’s a long story.”

Kam slowly looked around. “We have all the time in the universe here.”

Right. I opened my mouth to talk, but nothing came out. I cleared my throat twice before I was able to whisper, “I didn’t want to share with you that I have feelings for a human.”

Kam’s loaded tray disappeared from his hands. “What did you say?”

I cleared my voice a third time and then repeated, “I have feelings for a human.”

“You’re serious.” After a moment of hesitation, he went to sit on the coach opposite mine.

I waited a moment to confess the rest. I was feeling dizzy.

Kam’s expression changed. “Are you okay?”

“Why—?”

His eyes followed my body from feet to head and then back.

I looked at my hands and gasped. My astral projection was unfocused. It was more a ghost of my Earthly image than a proper solid projection.

Friday Snippet #52