Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Clans of Kalquor 6: Alien Redemption

Just a little over two weeks away!  Almost there, folks.  So what happens when Erybet and Sletran learn their Imdiko has a secret love?

            He rehearsed what he would say to his clanmates the entire way home.  It was with nervous hopefulness that he entered their quarters and went in search of the other two.  He found them sitting on the balcony on weatherproof seating, silently watching the sun set over the ocean.  Both wore gloomier looks than usual.  Conyod hoped his news would lift their spirits a little.
            The men looked at him as he came out on the balcony, murmuring greetings.  Conyod went to the low wall of the balcony, but was too excited to appreciate the way the setting sun tinged the green-hued sea with amber highlights.  He faced his clanmates.
            He searched their eyes, as he always did these days, for a glimmer of warmth as they gazed at him.  It was that bare touch of affection that kept him from completely giving up on the altered pair and running away.  He found it.  They still cared for him; they were simply too lost in their misery to display much of it these days.
            Erybet even managed a ghost of a smile.  “My Imdiko is home from work before dark for a change.  This is a special occasion.”
            Conyod clasped his hands behind his back to conceal their slight tremor.  Undoubtedly, Sletran had already detected his nervousness, but Erybet might not have.  Since it was his Dramok who had to be handled carefully in the matter, Conyod didn’t want to give Erybet any reason to refuse considering Rachel.  He worried his leader would do so out of spite because of the hard time Conyod had given him over the other Mataras.  The old Erybet wouldn’t have, but now…
            He smiled back at Erybet.  “Actually, it is a special occasion.  Do you remember Rachel?  My patient you met last night, the one who had just begun to speak?”
            Erybet eyed him carefully.  Okay, Conyod’s words had come out a little too fast, a bit too high-pitched to convey the casualness he’d planned on.  But Erybet didn’t comment on that.  Instead he answered, “Such a beautiful girl.  Who could forget a face like hers?”
            Sletran added, “She was the brave one who opposed her government.  Did she speak more today?”  He too was managing a hint of a smile, his gaze warming on the Imdiko.
            “Much more.  Govi is ecstatic over her progress.”  Conyod swallowed.  His next words came out in a rush.  “So much so that she is to be released soon from the hospital and will be going into the lottery system.  She wishes our clan to present its case for her first.”
            The eyes on him widened.  His clanmates exchanged a look with each other, their expressions becoming careful.
            It was the Nobek who quietly asked, “You’re her primary therapist, aren’t you?  Will considering her for clanship be allowed?”
            “Maybe.  Govi is looking into the matter and will give me an answer tomorrow.”  Conyod caught Erybet’s gaze and held it.  To hell with pretense.  His Dramok would have deduced already how important this was to Conyod.  “I beg you to consider it.”
            Erybet leaned forward in his seat, his stare never leaving Conyod’s face.  “You’ve had no interest in previous Mataras.”
            Conyod couldn’t continue to match that intense gaze.  Erybet had a look that made him feel like he could read every thought in the Imdiko’s head.  He dropped his eyes.  “I have a confession to make, my Dramok.  I didn’t want any of the others.  I only wanted Ray-Ray.”
            There was a long beat of silence.  Conyod could feel those eyes boring into him.  Under the weight of that gaze, something inside his heart shrank.  Erybet was going to say no.
            Sletran spoke, giving Conyod a small reprieve from the other man’s scrutiny.  “Are you in love with her, Conyod?”
            Conyod looked at his Nobek.  As always, Sletran regarded him with gentle strength, a look the fierce warrior reserved for him alone.  It gave Conyod the resolve he needed to answer, “Yes.  With all my heart.  She says she loves me too.”
            Erybet said, “There are two other men in this clan, men she will have to want as well as you.”
            The Imdiko dared to look at his clan leader.  The look Erybet gave him, one that was almost as caring as Sletran’s, allowed Conyod to take a breath.
            He said, “I know, Erybet.  She’s intelligent, though.  She’ll see what good clanmates you’d be to her.”  He hoped.  “If you only get to know her, you will want her as much as I do.  She’s smart and caring and courageous and perfect…”
            Conyod had to pause to take a breath from the recitation of all that made Rachel wonderful.  In that moment of silence, Sletran laughed.  It was the first time Conyod had heard him do so since he’d returned home from the war.
             “Conyod, you’ll be writing poetry next.” Sletran shook his head, but his smile was indulgent.  For a moment he was so much like the Nobek Conyod had known, the Nobek he’d been overjoyed to clan with.
            Maybe Erybet was right.  Maybe having a Matara will be enough to snap Sletran out of his trauma.  Crazier things have happened, right?

Releasing November 16

Monday, October 29, 2012

When Children Help You Write

As I picked up the notes I'd begun making for the second Clan Beginnings story, I discovered my six year old had added onto them. This could be serious trouble for Kalquor.

Shalia's Diary Post

We have a Kalquorian sighting.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Unholy Union

            “The blessing was eventful, to say the least,” Thomas said.  “There was a barn loft that had apparently been used for Satanic worship.”
            James’ bushy eyebrows raised.  “Did something happen?”
            “I was nearly bitten by a snake.”
            James bookmarked the page he was reading and closed the book, signifying his interest had been piqued. 

Available from Amazon Kindle, Amazon UK, Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords,

Friday, October 26, 2012

First Five Friday - Netherworld II: Blood Potion No. 9

Chapter 6

            I brought myself under control with a lot of effort.  When I had a handle on my upset, I saw that Tristan had sat down on the leather couch in the periodicals section of the room.  I moved to stand close to him. 
            He watched me with a look I couldn’t quite read.  I didn’t dare speak first. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Clan Beginnings 1: To Clan and Conquer

            “Look at me.”
            Degorsk’s obedience was pure instinct.  He gasped even as he met Tranis’ narrowed stare.  It had nothing to do with the first officer’s rank or the hand on his leg.  He automatically responded to the power of a strong Dramok’s command.  His heart sped up, the trickle of fear making his sexes ache for the other man’s touch all the more. 

Releasing December or January

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Poll results and Random Thoughts

Hey, thanks to those of you for participating in the polls and satisfying my curiosity.  It seems most everyone would like to join Clan Tranis ... he, Degorsk, and Lidon each edged out the other members of their breeds to be the favorites.  No wonder so many say they are looking forward to the first installment of the new Clan Beginnings series To Clan and Conquer which features the trio.  That book, by the way, is in its first round of editing.  The original release of January may be getting moved up as I’m ahead of schedule.  Clan Tranis for Christmas?  Could be!

I’m still feeling bad about not putting Krijero in the poll. I love my sweetly awkward Imdiko.  He and his clanmates Gelan and Wynhod will be in the second Clan Beginnings book.  It looks like I’ll begin outlining that one in the next couple of weeks.  Here’s a funny bit of trivia for you regarding the Clans of Kalquor book they were featured in, Alien Slave.  Take a look at heroine Dani on the cover art.  Whoever the model was that she was based on could be a secret twin I never knew about.  In profile, that looks just like my face.  It’s been a source of amusement for me ever since the book first came out.  Now if my body matched that, I would be a happy gal indeed.  And if I was being held like that by a Kalquorian clan ... okay, enough.  You get the idea.  To be on the cover of my own book -- or at least someone who looks enough like me to give that impression -- has been a lark.

We’re four weeks from Clans of Kalquor 6:  Alien Redemption.  Yes, it feels like forever even to me.  I have the cover saved on my desktop and am constantly sighing to the men on it, “Soon.  Soon.”  I’m always worried when waiting for the proofreader to give me a book’s corrections, expecting to discover the latest story is a train wreck of a novel.  The longer the wait, the higher the anxiety.  Especially this one, which is the most elaborate of the series thus far.  Erotica, space opera, and murder thriller all rolled up in one book -- eek.  Did I pull it off?  The suspense is killing me.  I have gnawed all my fingernails down to nothing.

Make sure you check out the next WIP Wednesday, which will have some biographical notes regarding the clan of Clans of Kalquor 7:  Alien Refuge.  It will include some pics that I think represent the main characters pretty well, which I will also be posting on The Clans page of this blog.  I’ve just about finished outlining this story, which means I’ll plunge into the first draft in a couple of days.  While Alien Redemption looks like Homecoming Week with appearances from members of previous clans, Alien Refuge is all new with no familiar faces.  I know this sometimes peeves a few of you, but you get to see a new facet of Kalquorian society and the uneasy blending with Earthers that happens in a colony setting.  Plus, the ‘Basma’ will be showing his face ... the man behind the Kalquorian resistance that tried to have Empress Jessica kidnapped in Alien Interludes’ ‘The Abduction’.

Okay, I think I’ve rambled enough for today.  Take care, everyone.

Friday, October 19, 2012

First Five Friday - Netherworld: Drop Dead Sexy

Chapter 17

            Being pulled from one place to another against my will was nothing like the hopping around I do with Dan.  Much like Erica Ford’s earlier attack, this was more akin to being hooked in the belly by a sadistic fisherman and reeled in through a lake of molten lava.  In short, it hurt.  A lot.