Tag Archives: Eight Kingdoms

Darkest Bite

To celebrate the contract being signed just this morning, and because a few lines of this were shared during #1lineWed on twitter today, enjoy a tiny Bite of Deathless!

 

Deep in the winter’s dark promise, as far from spring and his own country as he had ever been, Myrddin finally encountered something completely beyond his experience. Slim, naked, wild-haired, beautiful, a stranger was crouched by the water of a trailing spring, black as the night, black in the chill, and when he turned at Myrddin’s voice, the wide of his black eyes was the wide of the startled deer.

“Hello -” Myrddin paused, heard something riled, whispering, but it came from the air all around him and not from the stranger he had spoken to. “Where did you come from, where are you going? Will you let me stay a while, will you answer my questions?” He took two steps closer, then three. “I’ve been looking for someone. Someone to help me with a rite of spring. To invent something beautiful and take away the power overflowing my soul. Someone… Do you know anyone?”

He was answered by nothing, and at the same time by a myriad of silences, one quiet become many voiceless truths. The wideness was fading out of the dark eyes that confronted him a little at a time. The voice that answered him was soft, but it only spoke his own words with the intonation of some other power heavy behind them. “Some…one. Anyone?”

The words were halting, the sound of them almost swallowed, more a questioning echo than real speech. Myrddin took one step closer. The stranger took one step back. “Can’t you answer me? Who are you? What’s your name?”

“Your name?”

“Myrddin—my name is Myrddin. And you?”

“You…”

“Do you not have a name? Do you not know words? Who are you?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Myrddin!” But this time he started laughing and couldn’t stop—it really was like talking with an echo. Maybe this stranger didn’t know how to speak? But he was gorgeous, and the dark of some terrible, magnetic power leeched out of his skin like rain from clouds, soaking and unavoidable.

 

Lick Twice

This  Lick comes  from The Burning Season, book three of Eight Kingdoms 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 lay quiet, his eyes closed and his breathing growing slowly steady.

“When do you have to go? How soon?”

Soon, but not now.”

Bran’s hands wandered across Macsen’s chest, up to cup his jaw, drew him close so Bran could kiss him, skimmed the sides of his body. “Good. Good.” Bran reached across his hip to run his fingertips along the underside of Macsen’s cock.

“Again, Bran? Impatient and insatiable.” There were heat and amusement both in Macsen’s voice as he turned against Bran’s body, reached over to close his fingers around the swift thickening of Bran’s erection.

Yes. I want to still be feeling you when you leave.”

Macsen pressed his lips to Bran’s throat, licked the stinging punctures there, stroked him slowly. Bran turned his head again, lifted one leg over Macsen’s thighs behind him and shifted so that Macsen’s cock pressed between his buttocks.

Please.” Macsen pushed , and Bran let out a broken moan. There was no discomfort now, his body still stretched and more than ready. There was only pleasure with every inch of Macsen’s penetration. “Want it harder, Macsen—” One slow thrust after another filled him with rigid thickness, then pulled back.

If Macsen kept to this pace, slower than before, Bran might die. He tilted his head back, exposed the vulnerable curve of his throat and met Macsen’s eyes. There was more red in them than violet now, red of blood, red of fire, and beneath those things, the swirling of a winter storm.

Harder, Macsen. Please—cock in me, teeth in me, harder please.”

The more Bran begged the more he felt Macsen tensing behind him, coming closer to an edge he rarely crossed. As if he were afraid. Now, as always, Bran could tell he was holding back, and that was the opposite of what he wanted.

“It’s too much, Bran. I’ve already taken too much.”

“I want too much.” Bran rolled his hips and felt the sharp heat of Macsen’s exhalation against his back, the tightening of Macsen’s fingers at his hip. “Give me what I want, Macsen. Give me what I want, you know you can’t say no.”

In a moment, Bran was flat on his back again and empty, so empty. The glare of Macsen’s eyes blazed down at him through the fall of his hair.

“I can’t say no. I can’t, I can’t.” He spread Bran’s legs with warm hands that went cold without warning. “That means you should be careful what you ask for.” Wholly, fully, Macsen thrust deep, pulled himself forward over Bran’s body and set a pace that was fast and hard.

 

 

 

Werewolves of Dublin

To begin, may I say that the title of this post and the entirety of its contents are entirely the fault of two things?

1. I’ve been listening to “Werewolves of London” on repeat. You know, THIS lovely piece of pajama party dance track:

2. Ireland is awesome and voted gay marriage into a thing. A thing that people can do. WOO.

Because of these two things, Marcas, the faoladh who stars in Wolf of the West, decided it was time for me to write his and Connor’s wedding.  (And this blog post.) I have enough books in the works without a sequel for that one too, but I can’ t help myself. I’m under the command of numerous imaginary figments, and Marcas can howl loudly when he wants to!

So, the actual point of this post is…faoladh! Marcas is one, which is why he’s such a pain – and the rest of the wolves of the west are, too, which is why they are such a pain. The faoladh are the werewolves of Ireland (technically of the Ossory area and not really Dublin, but could YOU pass up that pun? Didn’t think so.) and unlike most werewolves, the faoladh are heroic, instead of monstrous.

Are you a child alone at night, all by yourself on your way home and afraid of the dark?  A faoladh would guide you home, protect you from predators and the the danger of the dark.  A wounded warrior, perhaps the last survivor of some honorable battle? The same goes for you, because the faoladh are the protectors of the lost, and the wounded.

Rather than being cursed lycanthropes with a lust for flesh (though we’ll see about that ‘cursed’ bit in a minute), the faoladh are people, generally associated with Ossory and the nearby regions of Ireland, who choose to take on the shape of a wolf for seven years, protecting the land.

This was of course a dangerous occupation, as nothing separated one of the faoladh in wolf-shape from a normal wolf. In some of the folklore, the faoladh had the ability to speak human language , and this could protect them – if they weren’t thought to be sidhe or stray spirits. Still, there is more than one story about faoladh being hunted down, all unknowing, by those they had sacrificed so much to protect.

Remember up there I mentioned curses? Well, part of the legend of the faoladh that was changed under the influence of Christianity relates to their origin. Rather than servants of an ancient god, or chosen protectors of man, the faoladh were men and women who had made fun of a Christian saint. (Some stories say St. Natalis of Ulster…some say St. Patrick.) Because they had howled like wolves at the saint’s sermon, they were cursed to stay in the shape of wolves for seven years.

Personally, I like the older version, which made the faoladh volunteers performing a sacred duty. Considering that in all versions, they’re good creatures, helping and protecting human beings, I like to think they came into being with some dignity!

If you want to read more about the foaladh, and ancient Irish mythology in general,  try Wolf of the West! The main character Marcas is faoladh, and I had fun exploring the folklore to come up with a consistent portrayal of my favorite kind of werewolf. After all, how often do werewolves get to do anything but eat people or kill vampires? (Not that that isn’t fun too!)

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Last Stop On The Undone Blog Tour With Belinda Burke

And I present for you the last stop on the Undone Blog Tour, at Crystal’s Many Reviewers! Read and enjoy! (And keep an eye out, because today is Friday, and that means it’s time for more…fun!)

Final Stop on the Undone Blog Tour

Week Two – Undone

This teaser of smutty goodness comes from Undone,  to celebrate the end of the blog tour, and because it’s smutty goodness. (And of course, as it’s smutty, that means NSFW!)

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You’re perfect.”

The words slipped out of Tighe’s mouth and Faelan relaxed at the sound of them, some of the tension dissolving and what remained, all sensual tightness. Tighe kicked his trousers the rest of the way off his legs and waited only for an instant. Then Faelan was over him, on him, .

Faelan’s thighs sprawled open across his hips and the length of his cock pressed tight and hot against the rigid thickness of Tighe’s own erection. Faelan pressed down, leaned forward and rolled his hips so that the slick head of his cock rubbed back and forth against the pulsing nerves in Tighe’s.

His mouth moved across Tighe’s chest, over his collarbone, licked at the red bruises he’d left. Pleasure made his eyes dark and darker, the shining flecks deepening from amber to mahogany dusk, the green near-black, barely distinguishable from Faelan’s dilated pupils.

Tighe let his head fall back against the grass and traced the lines of lean, slender muscles in Faelan’s arms while he moved over him. Faelan braced himself on one hand, reached out with the other and entwined their fingers. He leaned up again, a shift of pressure and angle that let him kiss Tighe’s mouth even as the movement of his hips drew out a gasp. Faelan moaned faintly, breathed hot words close to Tighe’s ear.

“How much more. How much more will you give me? Prince, how much more?

More. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. It’s too good to stop.”

Perfect friction, perfect touch. Tighe gave in to his own urges, reached his fingers into Faelan’s hair and pulled him down against his mouth, kissed him again and again. The fire that lived inside him was seeping to the surface of his skin, and around them he saw the air rich with luster.

“If I Said I Loved You…” Stop Three of The Undone Blog Tour At Lovebytes Reviews With Belinda Burke

Day three, and another pause on the endless road of words! Yesterday brought me to Lovebytes reviews for Stop Three on the Undone blog tour – and don’t forget, that giveaway bit means free books!

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Undone Blog Tour With Belinda Burke.

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Undone Blog Tour With Belinda Burke

I still have the power! The darting of yesterday’s day two brought me to The Novel Approach reviews for Stop Two on the Undone blog tour – click, friend, and enter!

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Undone Blog Tour With Belinda Burke.

Author Belinda Burke on Sweet Dreams, Mythology and “Undone” (tour and guest post)

As I have the power, I gather for you in one place the many posts I have written,  as I dart from place to place and day to day along my blog tour! Here, originally at “Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words”, is Stop One on the Undone blog tour!

Author Belinda Burke on Sweet Dreams, Mythology and “Undone” (tour and guest post).

Ninth Entry: The Gancanagh

gancanagh

Out of the woods, he comes as if he knew that we were there.  Dark haired, dark eyed, the sound of his voice is a song that comes faint over the shallows. Only the music carries, not the words, but that is more than enough to begin tying down the enchantment. 

He is gancanagh, love-talker, and the sweet of his words can imperil as much as the sweet of his skin. He walks the edge of the water,  slow steps that signal his readiness to stop, to wait – for the slightest reason, or no reason. It is the beginning of his game.  Already the women among us are turning to him, lifting their eyes, their hands, fingers curled as if they could touch the softness of his hair from where they stand. 

The beasts and beings that do not belong to the human world are dangerous monsters, most of them, but this one is dangerous because he is not a monster. Because he is beautiful – because, as long as he stands smiling, it is easy to believe he could be tame. 

The air turns sweet, beguiling dust moving in motes golden as honey. The taste of it flows like wine on the currents of the breeze. He stares at us, and then at one among us, and the woman who has caught his eye is still as a statue despite the deck rocking beneath her, despite the whipped up surface of the sea. 

We turn away from the shore, before the sugar in the air overcomes her – before it addicts her, turns the core of her being to nothing more than a seeker after that dust. He watches, and the sound of his laughter follows us. 

He watches, and she watches back, as we sail away toward the dusk. 

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Gancanagh References
Gancanagh Wiki
Love Talk

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

Love Talk

In the process of researching types of sidhe to play with in the Eight Kingdoms, I’ve encountered loads of interesting and obnoxious beings. Currently the ones I’m having the most fun with are the gancanagh – love talkers, it means, male fae who produce an irresistible attraction and addiction in mortals.

All it takes is one touch, and sometimes just to be in their presence for too long. Then a hapless human is infatuated, and doomed to be left heartbroken by their immortal lover when they grow bored and decide to move on to another mortal.

It’s difficult to find actual folklore about the gancanagh, as in legends with the specific names of people and places. When you look up faoladh, for instance, you’ll find dozens of references to the wolves of Ossory, the curse of Saint Patrick, and so on and so on (there will be so on, just wait ‘til I get ranting on in the next post).  Gancanagh, though….my grandmother used to warn me that if a boy was too good to be true, he probably was, and might be gancanagh – but she never had any stories to tell about them, the way she did about the Wild Hunt or the ways to escape the sidhe if you were trapped. (Eat no food, drink no drink, remember the charm of nine and pray!)

Having grown older and done the research, of course, I now wonder if maybe the stories just aren’t recorded or as well known because they’d have to be awfully raunchy. Let’s be honest here – what we’re talking about is a fae with all the cunning and beauty of the sidhe, but the intentions of an incubus (at least where it counts.) Not exactly bedtime-story-gee-thanks-grandma material!

The interesting part for me was the differences that make the gancanagh unique, rather than the things that are obviously similar, to other such seductive immortal beings. The gancanagh not only seek out mortals to seduce, but the ones they find have no choice but to give in. Touching one of them just once – a kiss, a caress, to hold their hand – is enough to invoke the ultimate addiction. Their skin secretes a substance described variously as a golden dust, or powder (pixie dust, anyone?), which completely ensnares any mortal unfortunate to come into contact with it.

Unfortunate, because while the gancanagh are supposedly fantastic lovers, the mythology suggests that any other kind of addiction would be nothing compared to this. Deprived of the gancanagh after the fae grows bored, the mortal who has been touched by a gancanagh will suffer the most terrible withdrawal.

They may go mad, accuse friends, family, or strangers of stealing their sidhe lover, attack those they’ve accused or even murder them. Those afflicted might also suffer from a less violent lovesickness, refuse to eat or drink, or wander the woods searching for their lost lover – but in the end, most simply die from the withdrawal itself.

If you want to know more about gancanagh, the best way is probably to see one in action. Check out Undone, and the exclusive excerpts at each stop of my Blog Tour!