Tag Archives: Eight Kingdoms

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!

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.

…And Three is the Number You Shall Count To! (Unless You’re Insane)

I have a terrible dilemma. It’s a daily doom that follows me around like some kind of creeping shadow – only it’s not. If it was, I would just blame it on Merlin. He’s well known for creeping shadows, almost as much so as Peter Pan.

No, this doom is something different. It is…ideas. Called by some plot bunnies, by others death (I call them death) I am overwhelmed by impossible possibilities! This is not so bad, when, like now, I have just submitted a novel and a novella and have no real deadlines looming over my head.

On the other hand, I’m simultaneously researching Assyrian gods and sacrifices, Zoroastrianism, 17th and 18th century France,  the city of San Xing Dui and China circa 1500 BC…and, of course, doing continued work into the mythologies of Ireland, Britain, and King Arthur which is necessary for the Eight Kingdoms series.

The first and second are connected to Holy, which is the work in progress most likely to be finished next. Ahura Mazda and the yazata are an interesting study – and Matti is now Sraosha, which is Obedience. Bwaha.

France…well…I’ve a long term, slow building WIP about a somewhat deranged wizard named Loup de Moreau, and he wants to live, so I’ve been reading up for him.

Anyone who’s read the doom of my LAST author rant, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Doom,  knows that San Xing Dui and most ancient China go together with Earthbound – you can find a tiny excerpt of the prologue of  that here.

So here’s my question to you – what do YOU do when the universe decides to send the flood of forty days and forty nights into your brain?

I tend to wildly waffle between writing one scene and another, until I have four scrivener files open at once and two half finished cups of coffee, neither of which I can find.

Anyone got a better plan – or some holy hand grenades for when I’m back in the trenches with the plot bunnies?

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.

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…”