Tag Archives: belinda burke

Lick of Fire

This  Lick completes the teaser  from The Burning Season, currently available here! Remember, Licks are NSFW excerpts, so read carefully – and look forward to another erotic excerpt on the smutty seventeenth of next month!

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Bran let his head drop back against the bed, cried out and bucked into Macsen’s touch. There was nowhere to go, no escape from those hands, that mouth sucking against his flesh, but escape wasn’t what he wanted.

He wanted more, and more. More than the languid stroking of Macsen’s thumb against the head of his cock, more even than the rush that was the sharing of Macsen’s deepest nature. The dark of it came over him like he thought his own heat must come over Macsen, sudden, full, undeniable.

“Macsen, more, please, I need more.”

The words came aching from his mouth, and Macsen pulled away, licked his teeth and looked up with blood on his lips still. The sight made Bran tighten his grasp against the bedclothes. The fingers pulled out of him, and warm hands spread Bran’s thighs apart farther, left him empty, needing, feeling his pulse in the hundred marks Macsen had left on his body. He felt a soft tongue on the wound Macsen’s teeth had left in his thigh, soothing, reminding…still not enough.

Not nearly enough.

Now that his hands were free, Bran reached down to tug at Macsen’s hair, pull him up. Yes, up. He didn’t have the strength to move his lover, not if he didn’t want to be moved, but Macsen was pliant, let Bran tug him into place between his thighs, nuzzled his cheek against Bran’s cock.

Macsen, please, suck—”

His tongue lapped around the head, pulled Bran a little at a time into his mouth. Slow. So slow that Bran could feel every stroke of tongue, the coolness of Macsen’s breath, the softness of his lips. “Oh yes—yes.

Before he knew what he was doing, Bran was holding Macsen’s hair tight in his fists, guiding the movement of his head, thrusting his cock up into Macsen’s mouth. Red-violet, heavy-lidded, pupils wide, Macsen stared up at him, and Bran’s gaze traveled between that wanton look and the way Macsen’s mouth stretched around his cock.

Again, Macsen pulled back, and this time all Bran’s tugging was for nothing. “Macsen—”

“Have I proved yet that I’m the patient one?”

Bran sucked in a breath, scowled but couldn’t sustain the expression. “You—”

Macsen only grinned. “I.” He leaned forward, lapped at the underside of Bran’s erection, laughed huskily at the sound of Bran’s groan and closed his mouth over the head of his cock again. His tongue moved in darting patterns, and no matter how Bran pulled at his hair or bucked his hips upward, there was no more than that—only a tease.

A minute, two, and Bran tensed, so close, not close enough. Easily, Macsen’s fingers slipped inside him again, and that was more than enough to prod his nerves higher, always higher, but not enough to bring him the release he craved.

There was heat at the curve of his hip, the dip of his pelvis, Macsen’s mouth, one kiss after another. Macsen’s tongue drew wet lines of desire across his skin, along the length of his cock. He spoke in a murmur, close to Bran’s skin.

“I want the taste of you to bring with me, Bran.”

The words licked at him like that wicked tongue, sent a jolt through him and invoked a new flush of flame.

Fourth Entry: The Mermaid

 

the mermaid, bestiary 4

 “I didn’t mean to hurt you –

The skin of the sailor in her arms is blue with silence. Blue silence, blue eyes, blue, endless, entrancing, the captive perjury of the sea, the dark eternity of broken promises; blue, but her hair is as black as the deepest grotto and entangling as the swaying, twisting weeds.

I was just so lonely –

Her own eyes are green; green shadow, yellow in them, the hue of deadly venom. She carries piercing deadliness with her in those eyes, the lively flicker of the deep, the shimmer that comes from sun on scales.

So lonely!

No movement. Silence; lapping of the surface water in the silence, too omnipresent to be noise. Like atmospheric weight. She lashes out at him, drags him under; pale arms, gray-shadowed beneath the surface of the water, long fingers, long nails, long tail –

Merflesh.

She speaks and now, below the surface, we cannot hear her, only see her moving lips. She gets no answer. The last stream of bubbles went up from his cold lips long ago. She turns away angry, flounces like a spurned queen back to the surface. The cove is calm, but her presence roughs the water into roiling. She sees our ship, and at the railing she sees us staring out to sea.

She calls to us, and we know it is time to leave. She sings, as the ship is turning, and we listen but we do not turn back.

We do not answer.

We do not speak.

~~~~

Mermaid References

Mermaid Wiki
Mermaids at Northstar Gallery

Image Credit: Serena-Kenobi

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

Third Entry: The Yuki-onna

 

the yuki onna, bestiary 3

We came upon her in the snow, crouched in a field empty of all things but the white glare of the moon on the ice. Her hair was darkness cut out of the night, darkness out of the heart of a cave, and her skin and her robe were as white as the reflected night.

She called to us, but we did not dare go closer. In the frigid air her words showed no breath, and her red lips were the color of spilled blood, not paint. When the sun came up, she became like icy mist, turned to smoke and faded from our sight.

We left her behind, and turned our faces to the southern wind.

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Yuki Onna References

Yuki Onna Wiki
A Story of Yuki Onna from Musashi Province
General Information

Image Credit: rennerei

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

Lick of Fire Teaser

This  Lick is a teaser from The Burning Season, currently available for pre-order here! Remember, Licks are NSFW excerpts, so read carefully – and look forward to the rest of this excerpt on the smutty seventeenth!

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Bran let his head drop back against the bed, cried out and bucked into Macsen’s touch. There was nowhere to go, no escape from those hands, that mouth sucking against his flesh, but escape wasn’t what he wanted.

He wanted more, and more. More than the languid stroking of Macsen’s thumb against the head of his cock, more even than the rush that was the sharing of Macsen’s deepest nature. The dark of it came over him like he thought his own heat must come over Macsen, sudden, full, undeniable.

“Macsen, more, please, I need more.”

The words came aching from his mouth, and Macsen pulled away, licked his teeth and looked up with blood on his lips still. The sight made Bran tighten his grasp against the bedclothes. The fingers pulled out of him, and warm hands spread Bran’s thighs apart farther, left him empty, needing, feeling his pulse in the hundred marks Macsen had left on his body. He felt a soft tongue on the wound Macsen’s teeth had left in his thigh, soothing, reminding…still not enough.

Not nearly enough.

Burning Bite

Pre-order for The Burning Season  starts Friday! As promised,  I thus deliver to you this second Bite, which continues from where Summer Bite left off!  And of course, keep an eye out for a tiny, exclusive preview of this month’s Lick, to be posted tomorrow!

Winter’s love is blood and chaos…but fire isn’t all that smolders at Summer’s heart.
Winter’s love is blood and chaos…but fire isn’t all that smolders at Summer’s heart.

 

From Chapter One

Macsen opened his eyes and stared up at the golden ceiling of Bran’s room for only a moment before he was blinded by dazzling reflections. He covered his face with his arm again. There would be time enough for those thoughts. For now…he would have to think of a proper good-bye. Bran wouldn’t like it, but he had responsibilities… And Summer isn’t good to me.

He knew the first thing Bran would suggest, but Macsen couldn’t bring Bran with him, not this time—not so soon, and not when his intentions were to make a point that couldn’t be questioned. “It will be sharp and deadly…at least for you, Elenn.” His smile gained teeth. I promised you pain. I always keep my promises, always.

“Macsen, you can’t kill my mother.”

He turned and caught Bran looking at him, wide-awake and a smirk on his face to match the tone of his words.

“How long have you been up, Bran?”

“Long enough.”

“Summer’s made you sneaky.”

Bran snickered at him. ”Like that means anything coming from you. What are you thinking? I thought you said you’d be good.”

It was Macsen’s turn to laugh. “Good? Me? Never.” He turned and took Bran into his arms. “I wasn’t really thinking about your mother, I was thinking about you. About courting you, and what her face will look like when she’s forced to acknowledge me as yours.”

Bran blinked at him. “Don’t you mean acknowledge me as yours?”

“No. It will be far worse for her to know that you have chosen me. After all, she already knows you are precious.” Macsen drew his fingers across Bran’s chest, up past his throat and tangled them into his hair. “Just like I know it.” Macsen kissed him, pressed closer. Bran was heat and eagerness in his hands, and Macsen took full advantage of his willingness to deepen the kiss, nip at his lips.

“Too soon I’ll miss you, Bran…”

Second Entry: The Fenghuang

 

fenghuang, bestiary 2

The Fenghuang flies the night like a falling star. Her cry is not more than the wind, but it is not less. It sings to those who hear it, those who are awake, those who are waiting for anything. It is the cry of the firefly, the cry of all bliss, the melody of the Queen of Birds. 

What sight is more beautiful than she? Knowing this, the eyes sting with tears. We see her once but not again – perhaps some other sky a hundred years from now will know her. When the omens are ripe. When the future gleams afresh with golden promise.

All grace, all fire, the breath of life in its most primal shape, she is still singing as she crosses the horizon, seeking the sun. 

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Fenghuang References

Fenghuang Wiki
Fenghuang at the Encyclopedia Britannica

Image Credit: suwoh5

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

First Entry: The Unicorn

the unicorn, bestiary 1

 

The unicorn is the stallion, the glade dark with greens, the glowing velvet of lush growth at its peak. The unicorn is fruit ripening on the bough and the scent of the wood, the musk of power.

He is alone, diamond chips his glinting eyes and his horn polished bone, the first spiral – nothing like any mortal material, nothing like the bone of any other life. Magic and dust, ash and fire twisted into breathing shape, he is the powers of the world given form

Then, a  stamping hoof. A flash of gold and the spark among the green, beautiful and deadly as the wildfire. He vanishes.

We’ll not see him again.

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Unicorn References
Unicorn Wiki
General Information

Image Credit: Rubis Firenos

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

Summer Bite

As the pre-order date for The Burning Season draws closer (April 10th!) snippets and bits – and thus bites! – shall begin to appear. This first one comes from the very beginning, which is always the best place to start! 

To claim Bran forever, Macsen has begun the ancient ritual of sidhe courtship—but such a rite is a trial in more ways than one. Tradition requires that Macsen seek Bran’s favor in his own country, and a Summer courtship is teasing and promising. More than that, Summer’s Queen will come between Macsen and her son however she can. But despite his mother’s disapproval, Bran’s will is bent to the same purpose as his Macsen’s—the achievement of four proofs of love, proofs that only Bran can determine or acknowledge. One step at a time, they come closer to a day when nothing will be able to separate them—but a familiar foe is more than willing to try. In the mortal world, the year has continued to pass without a hint of green. The Green King has prevented the spring, and thus all seasons but winter…but it’s Macsen whom Dealla blames, and all her plans for violent retribution are directed at him. Failure may cost her everything, but that is a price she has long been willing to pay.  In the wake of her invasion, Macsen is left with a dilemma that might not be easy to solve. Love, or vengeance—which should he choose? Can they live together in the same heart?
This is that shiny, shiny cover I was bragging about – Beautiful, Bran!

 

Chapter One

Macsen lay unmoving, not sleeping, a hand over his eyes to block out the damned and brilliant sun. He was as the wolf in his winter coat, oppressed by the Summer swelter, but he endured for Bran’s sake. He had made a promise to stay, despite his discomfort in a place ruled by the sun. He had kept it, would keep it, but the time had come to go back to his own place. To return to the Red Kingdom, even if only for a little while.

He smiled to himself. Yes, only a little while. Then I will return for you, Bran. The last time Macsen had come here had been for him, too. For the oath that almost shattered us…but nothing will come between us now. He bared his teeth. Despite himself, he knew that nothing wore the shape of the Summer Queen. Your mother does not want me to have you, lover.

Privately, he considered that she might have good reason for her fear and suspicions. The last few times he had come here had been for Bran, love on his mind, but long before, he had come here in response to a challenge. He closed his eyes, and the memories were there within him, waiting. Winter chill superimposed over the green of the leaves. The great lake frozen and red with blood, and all the blossoms fallen under the weight of snow.

If there was one thing that was the same, it was that even then, he had come for a son of the Summer Queen…

Goddess

As accompaniment to my latest Rant, have this snippet, which comes to you from the first draft (ooooo! scary!) of the prologue of Earthbound!

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Pine for me, and I will return from the moon to love, brown earth and green leaves and the flowing water. Pine for me, but that means to remember my name.

Tell me, beloved, how do you forget what you cannot remember? I have been drawn to you from the beginning. Timeless, I am still enamored of time, and all its passing shadows…you are those shadows.

What lives in them is a man, and a woman. You and I, beloved. Shall I tell you their story? Once, it was for her, not the world, that he would have done all things, any thing. And so it was for her, not for the world, he shot the sky. His arrow past the moon, white-shining in a world made clear as glass by the fall of night.

The sun rose. The sun rose. The sun rose and rose and rose and rose until the face of the earth heaved and flame rode its curves and settled in the hollow throat of the world and cried out from the curled and hidden core, hidden at last in its own petals.

“Enough, enough, we can bear no more!”

He heard. You heard. Hou Yi, the archer. Did you know then? No… But the price of heroism would be steeper than the mountain, steeper than the curve of the sky. Nine times, you lifted your bow to heaven. Nine times, slew the sons of the brightest light. So that the fire fell, gleaming, bolts brighter than lightning piercing heaven and earth together…and not to be undone.

Your reward was your punishment. To put on the robe of heaven is to forget the world left behind, and you, you forget even now what you have done that was forbidden, even in the name of saving the whole of the earth. I remember, what you do not. That is my punishment.

To slay a god with mortal hands…

But this is not the first time I have told this story. This is the last, because you do not understand it, do not hear me, and you are the one it is for.

What speaks the shadow to the one who casts it, what speaks the shadow to the sun? Ages of ardor and ages of agony, and they were mine – as I was like you, doomed from that first stretch of the bow. 

Now I must acknowledge having planted temptation in your path – but in the manner of all good things, what I give is no more, no less than I sought. Whatever you suffered in the light, yes, all those eons in which I begged and you did not listen, do you suffer more in the darkness?

What are the thousand woes of your new existence? Are you still the lord of frigid stars? Are you still my darkest king?

What are you?

Crouching Tiger, Hidden…Doom?

Having just finished draft two of book four (Woo!) I find myself wondering what it’s time to write now – because there’s the obvious – book five; the less obvious – Glass House; and the completely insane, why am I doing this to myself, why did I DO this to myself.

Earthbound.

You see, Earthbound is my beautiful baby. My gorgeous wunderkind. My masterpiece – or at least, it is so far. It’s a bit like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets Alice in Wonderland – if Alice was a bronze age Chinese princess and the Hatter was the outcast god of stars.

Aha.

The trouble is, it’s…one hundred ninety thousand words long. And a bit. I rounded…um…down. Now, the truth is that this monstrosity of a manuscript is really possibly TWO books (and that’s half the problem). Therefore, whenever I go to start editing, I’ve been having the exact opposite of my usual writing nemesis, Blank Page Syndrome. You know it – that thing that happens when you have all the ideas in the world, and the words are at your fingertips, and you feel your soul swelling with creative impulses…and then…

The Page.

Is.

BLANK.

So much space! So much pressure! So much! Something! It’s evil. But anyway, the problem with Earthbound is the exact opposite of this. It’s so many words! What do I DO with them? As I stare, they start to waver on the page until they turn into a tiny army of spear-wielding word-natives, desperate for my soul.

I need my soul, so as you can see, this might be a problem. But – I digress. The real truth is, I’m doomed to Earthbound, and because of that it is time for Project: Immersion!

You see, Earthbound takes place in the mysterious past of China’s Sichuan region, where the ruins called “San Xing Dui”, linked to the long-lost ancient kingdom of Shu, hold terrible secrets!

What this means, of course, is that I must take my brain OUT of the west, out of Irish Mythology and into the shadows of China’s most ancient past. This means movies, music, books, everything has to change so my poor brain can recover from the doom that is the Eight Kingdoms.

I’ve watched some excellent documentaries today, detailing the fine bronze, gold, jade, and ivory pieces that have been discovered and cataloged – as well as some scary truths about flooding and ancient human sacrifices!

I think my next step is to re-read Genji Monogatari, for ambience, then watch Takahata’s Kaguya-hime, which is a Japanese retelling of the Chinese mythology that Earthbound addresses. And perhaps then, the Dream of the Red Chamber?

Because beauty and agony, that’s why. Beauty and agony!

Wish me luck! (And if you have any suggestions for Chinese movies, books, or music, that will help me get in the spirit of San Xing Dui, send them along in the comments!)