Blast From The Past

I was listening to the end of this on the radio today, and suddenly got angry at the song for being over – or well, at the radio for being on the wrong station and not letting me catch the whole thing. Of course the magic of youtube meant that didn’t matter as soon as I got home…but youtube being what it is, I got thinking as soon as I was halfway through the song.

The damned thing was perfect for a scene in a WIP that I haven’t even started yet – it’s just a tiny flicker of an idea, attached to the massive doom project that is Holy. But at the same time, I was surprised – I don’t have lots of classic rock songs in my inspiration playlists, and I figured I must be missing out, because one perfectly inspiring song doesn’t come out of nowhere, or exist in a vacuum, or…well, whatever other aphorism, really.

So I went on a quest looking for other songs from ye olde days (not that olde, I suppose, but still) that might help with my current WIPs, because let’s face it – book four in editing, deathless (hopefully) soon to be in editing, draft two of Holy, draft one of book five, draft one of Undone’s sequel, draft two of Earthbound…I need all the help I can get!

Considering as I’m not the only person reading my books (thank monkeys for that) and that I’m definitely not the only person writing books (thank monkeys for that), I decided to share the results of my quest with you glorious beings!

I remember THIS song, I Think We’re Alone Now, playing on the oldies station of my nightlight-radio when I was a much younger version of myself. It leads to cuddling lovers and laughing chases in the rain. This isn’t surprising, of course, considering the song, but I love the little heartbeat-sound pauses in the melody line.

There’s also Heart’s Magic Man, which is currently playing repeat, now that I’ve found it again. Matti (the one who stars in Holy, of whom Artemio is Accidental Master) likes it, so I will probably be listening to it until I start editing book four tomorrow. Actually, Matti isn’t the only one, Macsen loves this song too – my quest found it in the playlist I used to write book two of Eight Kingdoms.  That probably has something to do with his obsession for blue-eyed men, but you know. I take what I can get!

Finally, at least for now, I have a minor fetish for funky sounding fun songs that actually have horrible deranged lyrics. Like that Pumped Up Kicks song, which sounds happy until you actually pay attention? Yeeeah. So this one, Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer, goes in that category, as the lyrics are supposed to be the inner thoughts of a serial killer.

Most of my villain like this song, but that is probably because half of them are psycho killers…even if they don’t want to admit it!

If you got an oldie but goodie that you love to write to, or that inspires you in general, I’d love to hear it, so leave a link in the comments!

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Lost Bite

To celebrate the upcoming blog tour accompanying its full release, enjoy this exclusive Bite of Undone!

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Tighe wandered through Summer, and the wood wound a path to nowhere, because that was his desire. Nowhere was a lake he didn’t know, a quiet river and the warm sun on the green grass beckoning him forward. He lay there, drowsing by the water, and let the silence and the sun’s reflection soothe his new and not unexpected heartbreak.

It was his own fault. Maybe by now he should have learned to look away, close his eyes, not listen when someone said things he couldn’t bear. He should have learned to live with the lie, but it was the same every time. He couldn’t do it, and now here he was again.

He wasn’t focused on Nuala. She would fade fast enough from memory, just like the others who’d been in her place in the past. But the things he missed when he was alone—a warm companion, someone to hold and hold him, pleasure and teasing and conversation… His thoughts turned to those things one at a time, then all at once. Each one was its own small torment.

More than all other things, he hated to be alone, unless he was working. There were only so many hours he could spend in his workshop, and what then?

“What now?” He closed his eyes and sighed. Maybe because of the sun, maybe because of the silence that came to him on the breeze, Tighe fell asleep there by the water, and only woke to the sound of splashing and a sudden gasp. He jerked himself upright and blinked into wary wakefulness in an instant. There was a screen of brush between him and the water, and he peered between the leaves, still but for his stare.

He saw a stranger, shedding drops of water like shining scales, his hair dark with dampness and the silk of his trousers clinging to his skin as he came out of the deep water and into the shallows.

Upcoming Events!

With the recent release of The Burning Season and the upcoming release of Undone (June 9th! Woo!) I’ve started appearing all over the place!

For now, you can check out Once Upon A Time, a short piece about inspiration, fairy tales, and what they’re doing in our world. (Though for some reason they posted Undone’s cover with The Burning Season’s blurb. Don’t be confused!)

A new Bite that is actually from Undone will be out later today, in anticipation of my upcoming Blog Tour!

Speaking of which, take note! On June 9th,  visit with me at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue words. On the 10th, I’ll be with The Novel Approach. The 11th sees me with Love Bytes Reviews, and finally, on the 12th, I’ll be finishing up at Crystal’s Many Reviews! I’ve been hard at work on guest posts covering everything from where gancanagh come from to LGBT characters in modern fairy tales, and each stop on the tour comes with it’s own exclusive excerpt from Undone!

Accompanying this lovely little tour are a couple of interviews (fates preserve me), which will be wild in the world on Tuesday the 9th and Friday the 12th…and, finally, to wrap it all up, keep an eye out for an upcoming giveaway of signed copies of The Burning Season, Eight Kingdoms book three!

Inspirational Omens

For reasons unknown to me, the last three days have seen me use this particular bit of the Genji Monogatari Sennenki OST  as inspiration for EVERY SINGLE WIP.

That means book five of Eight Kingdoms got some words out of this (Macsen is being tortured. He likes it. Don’t ask, don’t ask. Yet.). Holy got some words out of this too, although I’m having issues keeping a poor, innocent waiter alive now because of that. Even Gorgoneion, a short story from the perspective of Medusa’s severed head, got words! I thought perhaps it was an omen, and decided that the best use of omens is to share them wildly, widely, and without restraint.

So! Here, have my inspiration – and if you’re feeling up to it, share some of yours!

Lick the Sun

This  Lick comes from book two of the Eight Kingdoms series, The Circle Unbroken! Remember, Licks are NSFW, so read carefully – and look forward to another erotic excerpt on the smutty seventeenth of next month!

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Bran reached out and ran his hands through Macsen’s hair.

“The Red King on his knees in front of me—I wonder how much some would pay for that?”

Cool hands caressed the bare skin of Bran’s thighs, cold enough to set him shivering but not to dull his lust.

“Never enough—but I want you now, Bran.”

He leaned forward with the words still on his tongue and wrapped his lips around Bran’s cock. Cool. Velvet. Bran tightened his fingers in Macsen’s hair, leaned forward and groaned, guided his erection back and forth over the roughness of Macsen’s tongue, the softness of his lips. Now and then the dangerous teeth glided over his skin, just enough to tease, to remind Bran who was really in control, always.

“Back, Bran. Lie back.”

Macsen was already reaching for the sweet oil they kept by the bedside.

“So I don’t get anything I want after all?”

He would have said more, just to tease, but Macsen poured the oil over Bran’s erection, smoothed it with his fingers, his fist moving up, down, up… Then it stopped, and Macsen stood, stared down at him.

“Move back, Bran. The middle of the bed—yes.”

Bran obeyed, then looked down his body and saw Macsen crawling up over him, slow movements, every stretch, every inch he covered sensual panic, perfect—gorgeous he was, lust in his eyes, his smile pure sex. He settled himself on Bran’s belly, just above the head of his cock, and pressed back enough that Bran’s cock slid between his buttocks, and Bran groaned. So close, so close to where he wanted to be, but not close enough.

He pressed upward, ran his hands over Macsen’s thighs, his hips, dragged his fingers over Macsen’s erection.

“Is this what you wanted, Bran?” Macsen lifted himself just a little then pressed down on Bran’s cock.

Oh yes.”

Tightness, but not heat, satin sinking over him, drawing a groan out of his lungs, long noise of breath—Macsen’s hands on his chest, the weight of him, his thighs pressed close to Bran’s thighs… Slowly, he rocked up and back, took a little more of Bran inside him each time—it took all Bran’s willpower not to use his grip on Macsen’s hips to pull him down, flush against his body, bury himself all the way inside.

Inside you, Macsen. I want— I want to—”

Macsen settled on top of him, his buttocks flush against Bran’s thighs, and Bran finally gave in to his urge and let his hips jerk upward. Macsen leaned back, open pleasure on his face as he lifted himself and sank down again and again.

At first Bran lifted his hips to meet him, drove little cries out of Macsen’s lips, gorgeous, so arousing, until Macsen leaned forward again, forward until only the head of Bran’s cock was inside him, and he could speak just beside Bran’s ear.

“Are you going to take what you want?”

Broken Bite

The first Tale of the Eight Kingdoms, Undone, is now on early release through Totally Bound! As such, it seems like a good time to give you all a taste of Tighe’s story – enjoy!

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Chapter One

“It’s over between us, whatever it was that we had.”

The Summer air was bright, but the beauty of the day did nothing to soften the words that Tighe had come to say to his lover. Blinking, shaken, Nuala stared back at him with something shimmering in her eyes, maybe almost-tears, not quite. “Tighe, you don’t mean it. You can’t!”

“I do.”

“But I love you!”

“You don’t.” He watched her for a long moment, daring her to speak. She said nothing, and he shrugged, almost smiling. They always say nothing. He reached out to the curve of her cheek. “You might want to or wish you did. You don’t. Why would you say you do when you don’t?” He pulled back his hand and shrugged again. “Goodbye, Nuala.”

“Tighe!”

He walked away and didn’t turn back to face her. She would be watching for him to do just that, for any sign that he would give in and return to her. But I won’t, Nuala. Over between us, he’d said, and he’d meant it. She had come to him years ago seeking the secrets and the strangeness of the son of her mistress, her queen. She had been so sure of her own beauty, her own charm, that she had been laughing and unafraid, at least at first. There had been no worry in her when she’d met his eyes.

She had been unafraid until she had learned the truth. Until she knew what it was he was really seeing, the secret heart of her, essence and echo. Fear had grown from that seed, had hidden a no behind every yes. I saw everything you are, Nuala. Ever since you have been pulling away, and now—

The lie had been in her voice. He hadn’t even needed to look at her to see the truth, but it was right there, right in front of him. The only lie he couldn’t forgive. So now it’s over, and in a day or a month or a year of Summer time, she’ll be healed of me, while I go on forgetting how to forget.

He could keep no one. He would be alone without her, as he had been alone before. I knew it would happen. Already he was missing her. If only there was someone else…but who would bother? He had grown famous in Summer, and for a while it had seemed as if he’d never have a shortage of partners. There were so many eager to try their luck. But luck wasn’t with him—or them.

It occurred to him that it might be time to leave Summer again, wander out of the hidden kingdoms of the west and travel into the gray, to seek some other secret world—the silk lands, the dream lands, the Yaksha kingdom or the ships of the middle sea. But that was running away, and he knew it.

Instead, he walked around the front of the palace, entered the great gates and strode through the gleam of the entrance hall looking for his mother. She was in her throne room, alone in her high seat and smiling. Even when she looked up and saw him she was smiling, not a flicker of distress. It was disturbing.

Not since the first time he had met her, a boy of twelve, had she failed to react to the peering curse of his glance. Now all he saw in her was softness and a loving glow. “I thought you should know. Nuala won’t be happy for a while.”

“You left her? Tighe.” She sighed.

Eighth Entry: The Redcap

 

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The castle should be empty, but as we pass through open doors, the sound of iron-shod feet confronts us, pattering madly. We came wondering, but not, perhaps, believing – now, we know the story to be true. It is the Redcap, haunt and horror, too fast to escape and so we do not move. 

We stay together, watchful, wary, and when the sun sets, hear the screams and run together, but we know what the creature will do.  The sound of feet, the sound of mad, dark laughter – we watch, from a distance, wishing to inspire no more death, as he bends over a body.

An old, small man he seems, but armed with a long iron pike that he grips in talons fiercer than a predator bird’s. His feet beat against the ground while he stands, one then the other, heel then toe.  His cap is in his hand, and he drains blood with it, the red invisible in the dark. He hums, but the melody is nothing human.

Having been witness to the horror, we retreat, but slowly. If the blood begins to dry, he’ll seek another victim. If we run, we might go far, but never fast enough. 

Better not to be noticed. Better to hold our breaths.

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Cockatrice References

Redcap Wiki
Redcaps at Mysterious Britain

Image Credit: JB Monge

Have a suggestion for a creature that belongs in the Bestiary? Leave it in the comments!