Monthly Archives: February 2014

Seventy Pages to Go

I’m still plugging away on the edits for Sanguine.  Less than 70 pages to go but I’m into the stuff that’s harder to fix now and I am currently hating this whole section.

(Of course, I seem to go through that with every novel that I write and edit.)

At the moment I’m trying to find a balance between emotion and melodrama — and between background info and info-dump — all in the same scene.

Yay for melodramatic info-dumps!

Um, no.  I’m working against that. 

(This is what editing does to a writer after a while. You start to argue with yourself. And you start liking stuff you shouldn’t and not liking stuff  you should, and you stay up too late because there are only X number of pages left to go and you can finish it, you know you can!)

I lost a fair amount of time on Thursday doing the Thursday Thread challenge.  Writing a short story using the prompt isn’t the problem – getting it down to 250 words is.  I had over 500 words when I finished and had to cut over half of them.  I liked the story though, so I might put the words back and polish it up to put on Watt Pad or something.

So, it’s been a bit slower going than I had thought it would be, but it is still progress.  I hope to have it done by the end of the day today, but I’m not making any sort of promise to myself, especially as I’ll be losing part of the day by taking my car to its doctor to for repairs.  (The handle for the hatch broke last Saturday and has been held on with electrical tape all week.  I wouldn’t be overly concerned about it except 1) I can’t get my hatch open and 2) it holds the lights for my license plate.)

On a brighter note, Word now recognizes Kaen’s and Gregor’s names again.  I have no idea why it refused to acknowledge them before (just in one paragraph) but I’m blaming retrograde Mercury.

Actually, I’m blaming retrograde Mercury for everything.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Sanguine: Progress Toward Publication

I’m actually quite pleased with the weekend’s progress, all things considered.  I’m going through a phase where I wake up every couple hours all night long, so between that and my job (I’m in the middle of six in a row) I’ve been feeling pretty tired and dragged out.

Anyhow…

I have managed to fix a few things at the beginning of the book that one beta reader said were problematic.  For instance, I slipped in some more background information for character development for those who aren’t good at reading between the lines.

There are a few more scenes to fix later in the book, things that are bothering me but that the beta readers never got to.

One is strictly character related.  Mirela needs more fire.  Currently she’s a weak, weepy mess, and not the strong, fun-loving, adventurous woman that I had envisioned her to be.

And while I’m adjusting secondary characters, Gavril needs a darker tone.

And then there are a few shaky leaps of logic that need to be shored up.

Actually, Gavril and the logic flaws will be the most time-consuming to fix.  They are related, the result of a late-appearing plot bunny masquerading as a flash of inspiration, and are going to take some sorting out and rethinking.

(Inspiration for what, I’m not certain. And there is still a chance that I might change that part.  We’ll see how the next (hopefully final!) round of edits goes.

(It really did seem like a great idea at the time…)

But right now I’m facing a potentially bigger issue.  For some reason Word is not recognizing its dictionary.  As a fantasy writer, that is worrisome…

3 Comments

Filed under writing

Sunday Excerpt — February 23, 2014

More from Sanguine, a science fiction novel (still in progress) with elements of semi-paranormal M/M romance.

(I am done with beta readers, and Sanguine is in next-to-final-edit stage, so this is still a work in progress and the following lines may or may not have been hacked and recombined and creatively punctuated to fit into 10 sentences.)

Kaen and Gregor have finished their shower and Kaen is making Gregor drink another glass of a health drink.

 

Gregor took a sip, then drank more deeply as his body accepted it and hungered for it almost the way it hungered for his Master.

“Good?”  Kaen asked.

“It doesn’t matter what it tastes like,” Gregor replied. “I would drink it by the gallon if it would get me strong enough for you to feed from and to… enjoy.”

Kaen smiled. “Ah, Gregor… I do enjoy you.” 

“You know what I mean.” Gregor looked away.  Had he misread everything about Kaen?

“Say it,” Kaen said, his voice soft.  “I need to hear you say it.”

There was something lost and pleading in his tone and Gregor turned to look at him, then gently reached up and touched his face, remembering that Kaen had been alone for a very long time, lost and wandering for centuries that had turned into millennia.

 

 

Check out Sunday Snippets for great stuff from other writers.

My other novel, Song and Sword is currently available for Kindle and all other e-readers. 

Song and Sword cover

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for all other e-readers.

14 Comments

Filed under writing

Preparing to Publish Sanguine

Well, it’s time…

My weekend project will be to get Sanguine fixed up so I can get it printed for what I hope will be the final edit.

One beta reader gave me comments on the first chapter or so and I will be taking some of her suggestions, but other than that I’m on my own.  (Unless I can catch a couple of the other beta readers online tomorrow before I go to work and get just a quick overview/general reaction type feedback from them.)

Anyhow, Sanguine is going to be my project through the weekend.  I doubt that I’ll get it printed before Wednesday, though, which means I’m most likely not going to make my goal of having it come out this month, as it will have to be edited, corrected, and formatted.

Oh, and I need to make a cover for it.

And write a blurb. I hate writing blurbs.

And all of the front stuff:  copyright, acknowledgements, disclaimer, etc.  Not hard, just annoying.

*sigh* This is the first time that making a list of stuff I need to do is making it seem worse than it actually is.

It should go a little more smoothly than my formatting for Song and Sword, though.  I hope.

For one thing, I didn’t double space between paragraphs (and I have gone through all of my current projects and fixed the ones where I did) so all I’ll have to do will be insert the indentations and “remove space before paragraphs.”

And I am not going to give myself the headache of chapter links.  They had me tearing my hair out last time and there is one that is still a problem for Smashwords, even though I deleted the chapter links. (I should completely reformat it and start over.  Maybe I’ll do that after I get Sanguine done.)

I wonder if hitting that button to publish the second novel will be as frightening as it was for the first one?  Only one way to find out…

Once Sanguine is published, and Song and Sword is fixed, I can focus on The Other Mages trilogy.  I still have a goal of getting it finished and released this year, although I think that the Academy of the Accord series is going to get pushed back.  Again.

For The Other Mages I’m thinking of flying solo — no beta readers.

But we’ll see.  I’ll probably have a crisis of confidence before it gets finished and published and will be looking for a second opinion again.

Which I probably won’t get and I’ll swear off beta readers again.

Until next time.

 

2 Comments

Filed under writing

Results of a New Job

I started a new job on Monday, working in a nursing home. (I’m an LPN.)  My body has been launching serious objections, but I survived the first week.  One more week of orientation and then I’ll probably be cut down to part time hours.  This will make my body happy: my checkbook, not so much.  But anyhow…

How is this going to affect my writing time?

In a perfect example of the perverse logic that is my life, working will actually make me more productive as far as writing goes.  If the last nearly 6 months has been any indication, the more time I have to write, the less writing I actually do.

I’m not good at self-imposed deadlines either, which is why NaNoWriMo is so great for productivity.  Oh, sure, nothing bad will happen if I don’t win, but since I haven’t lost yet it’s a matter of pride now.

I am good at finding time and making time.  And if I have to find it or make it I use it.  But when I have huge blocks of time I find that I’m not good at using it.

I don’t have as much time to think about storylines at this job, or as much (any!) downtime to scribble a few lines of story, but I also have a ten minute round trip commute vs. two hour round trip commute.

I need routine, and I’m not good at creating one and making myself stick to it. But now that I have an outside schedule to stick to I can write around it.

As soon as my body stops screaming.

1 Comment

Filed under writing

Sunday Excerpt — February 16, 2014

More from Sanguine, a science fiction novel (still in progress) with elements of semi-paranormal M/M romance.

(Sanguine is out to my beta readers now, but still being refined and revised, so this is still a work in progress and the following lines may or may not have been hacked and recombined and creatively punctuated to fit into 10 sentences.)

If you want to pick up from the beginning, I started weekly excerpts from this in October.

Continuing from last week.  Kaen is helping Gregor into the shower.

Gregor choked back a giggle and let Kaen help him out of his clothes and into the shower.  Kaen’s clothes joined Gregor’s on the floor and he surrendered to Kaen’s hands as they washed him, leaning back against his Master’s broad chest, his eyes closing as Kaen’s hands roamed his body. 

“Gregor, this is bad,” Kaen murmured, his lips brushing against the man’s flesh. “Every time I am near you I want to feed… I can’t get enough of you…” 

“Then feed,” Gregor replied, his voice dreamy.  “Do you think I don’t like it?”

“No,” Kaen chuckled. “I know you like it.  But I want to have you for a very long time – I do not want to risk your health, your life…”

Abruptly Kaen turned off the water and wrapped Gregor in a towel, then lifted him easily and carried him out to the bed.  

 

   

Check out Weekend Writing Warriors  and Sunday Snippets for great stuff from other writers.

My other novel, Song and Sword is currently available for Kindle and all other e-readers. 

Song and Sword cover

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for all other e-readers.

16 Comments

Filed under writing

Romance Happens

First: an announcement:
The winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Certificate from Love Spanks weekend is:
Louisa!
Congrats and enjoy!

I now return you to my regularly scheduled blog post… 

Since it’s Valentine’s Day I thought I’d write about romance.

There’s just one problem: I’m not a romance writer.

Oh, sure, there is the M/M relationship in Sanguine.  And while the relationship is essential to the characters (and thus to the plot) I can’t really classify it as a romance novel.

And in the novel without a real name yet that I took an excerpt from for Love Spanks there is a relationship between two female characters, but, again, it is not really the crux of the plot.

There is romance (for lack of a better word) in Song and Sword, but, once again, it’s not the focus of the novel.

The Other Mages trilogy is (so far!) romance free, depending on how Book Three works out in the rewrite.

The Academy of the Accord is… Well… I’m not sure I would call the relationships in any of the books “romantic.”  Sensual and sexual and loving, but they don’t really fit into the “romance” category… there is no wooing or dating or anything like that.

(That brings up a good question for the future, though:  What makes romance “romance”?)

Wait a minute.  I said I didn’t write romance.  What’s up with all of these relationships?

I don’t write romance, but I do write relationships.

My writing tends to be very character driven.  I may (sometimes) start with a basic idea for a world or setting or story, but almost everything grows up around the characters.

And characters don’t exist in a vacuum.

(This past NaNoWriMo I tried a bit of an experiment. I focused on just one character and made everyone else secondary – very secondary.  In fact, there is a large section of the book where Taliya is alone on her spaceship, just her, the ship, and the occasional person shooting at her.  And that is why The Onyx Sun is hidden away somewhere being ignored until I can deal with a nearly total rewrite. It just didn’t work for me.)

So, characters who don’t exist in a vacuum have relationships with other characters.  Sometimes friendships, sometimes something more than friendships.

And sometimes – oftentimes – relationships between the characters are not planned in advance.

For instance, in what is now Book 5 of The Academy of the Accord series, I had no idea that two of my male warriors were lovers until one of them joined the other in bed.  That worked out really well, though, and I went back and worked it into earlier scenes in that book and developed it through preceding books.

(I also had no idea when I started writing the series that a Warder’s bond with his wizard often resulted in physical intimacy, but it’s given me a wonderful opportunity to play with various pairings and explore the nuances of masculine vs feminine continuum.)

So, no, I don’t write romance, but romance happens because

People.

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Control Freak

Love Spanks weekend is officially over.  It was fun and slightly insane and highly educational.

Among other things, I have learned that I am a control freak.

I probably already knew that, but it really hit home to me over this past weekend.

I think that one of the reasons I self-published was that I didn’t want to lose control of my work. Where does editing (other than grammatical stuff) become someone else’s voice instead of the writer’s? (I struggled with that in a creative writing class, too.  Just because that was how the prof thought it should be written didn’t make it right.)

And that’s why, if anything I write ever becomes a movie, I want to write the screenplay and have final say in everything. It’s my vision.

(Over-possessive? Maybe. But I can’t shake the horror of Bladerunner from my mind — it bore no resemblance whatsoever to the book that it was supposedly based on, and I don’t want anything like that to happen to my creation.)

That is also why I’ve been leery of having guest posts on my blog: I want to be in control of the content.

Yep. I’m a control freak.

This whole Love Spanks weekend brought it fully into focus, though.

I love Ana dearly — she’s a great person and a terrific author. And an incredible organizer of awesome events. (Seriously!  She should give classes in organizing online events.)

But…

(Yes, there is always a “but” isn’t there?)

I discovered that I am even more possessive of my blog than I had first thought.

Possessive and territorial.

It was bad enough that I was posting the Love Spanks logo which was totally outside of my genre and the image (brand) that I am trying to build.  I don’t mind stepping outside my genre (it’s good for a writer to get out of his or her comfort zone) but the intrusion of foreign objects into my blog space was far more difficult for me to handle than I had expected.  (See? I told you it was educational – I learned something about myself.)

(It wasn’t the “sexiness” of the picture that bothered me, by the way – it was the spanking part.  That is so far out of what I write that it might as well come from another planet.)

And then came a template for the event.

Four hundred fifty words that aren’t mine and that don’t relate at all to what I write.

Four hundred fifty words that belong to someone else before you even get to mine.

I wanted to cry.
I wanted to blow something up.
I wanted to flip tables and rage quit.

But I didn’t.

I put them there and I hated myself for doing it.

(And I promised myself that I would work on getting a second blog up:  an erotica blog, a blog that more closely matches the theme and brand of the event, a blog that won’t be as intensely close to my heart as this one is so that the next time – if I get invited back for another event – I won’t go through this again.)

At the time, I felt like I was selling out, although now that I’ve had more time to think it through I realized that I wasn’t – what I was doing was following through on a commitment of sorts.

(Granted, I had no idea when this started that I’d be putting someone else’s pictures and words on my blog, which is why, when I do a science fiction and fantasy blog hop thingie later this year – probably in May – I’m going to have stuff available as options/suggestions/ideas, but not as requirements.)

So, yeah, I’m a possessive, territorial control freak.

Which leads me to a question for other writers out there who may be reading this:

Am I the only one who feels like this or do others struggle with the same issues?  If you do, how do you deal with them?

And if I am the only one, why doesn’t it bother anyone else?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Sunday Excerpt — February 9, 2014

This is my regular Sunday Snippet post, an excerpt from Sanguine, a science fiction novel (still in progress) with elements of semi-paranormal M/M romance.

If you’re looking for the   “Love Spanks” entry, click here or on the logo at the bottom.
(You’re free to read and comment here, too, but only comments on the “Love Spanks” entry count toward the prizes.)

(Sanguine is still out to my beta readers now, but still being refined and revised, so this is still a work in progress and the following lines may or may not have been hacked and recombined and creatively punctuated to fit into 10 sentences.)

If you want to pick up from the beginning, I started weekly excerpts from this in October.

Continuing from last week – Kaen has fed from Gregor too soon, and is trying to get him to stay in bed while he deals with people coming to the ship to discuss interior design.

“Rest,” Kaen said softly, reluctantly pulling himself away.  “The decorators do not need to come in here.”

“I want… to be with you,” Gregor said, struggling to sit up.  “Just let me get… cleaned up…”

Kaen smiled and shook his head.  “Gregor, I drank from you too soon…”

“No. You did not drink as much this time – I will be all right.”

Kaen looked at him with a combination of amusement and respect. “You are a stubborn one, aren’t you?”

“I thought you admired that about me,” Gregor muttered, struggling to his feet. 

Kaen caught him, held him until the world stopped spinning and he was steadier on his feet.  “I do,” Kaen said, helping him to the shower. “But there’s no need to be a bloody fool about it.”

 

love spanks banner

 

 Check out Weekend Writing Warriors  and Sunday Snippets for great stuff from other writers.

My other novel, Song and Sword is currently available for Kindle and all other e-readers. 

Song and Sword cover

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for all other e-readers.

13 Comments

Filed under writing

Love Spanks Weekend 2014

love spanks banner

Love Spanks 2014 is finally here! You’ve tasted us, and now you get to sample free stories from top F/F authors. Please visit Governing Ana for the prize list, sign-up sheet, and free books. You can win from a prize pool valued at over $1,000, including a Kindle Fire or Nook HD!

Many authors will also be offering a contest on their individual blogs.  Your comment on their blogs automatically enters you in both the main contest and the individual contests!

What’s the catch?  Absolutely nothing!  We love writing for you and want to thank you for your readership.  Perhaps someone might get a spanking or two, but that’s a reward rather than a catch, right?

How do you play?

  1. Visit each blog between Friday, February 7 and Sunday, February 9 to read the posted stories and excerpts.
  2. Leave a comment answering the story question on each blog.  You will receive one entry per blog for the grand prize drawing.  You will also be automatically entered in that author’s individual contest, if she has one.
  3. If you have visited all of the blogs, visit Ana’s blog to sign up for FIVE bonus entries to the grand prize.
  4. Deadline is midnight EST (UTC -5) on February 9!!
  5. If you successfully completed a previous challenge (Spank or Treat 2013, Spankee Doodle 2013, Love Spanks 2013, or Spank or Treat 2012), you may add “VIP” to your comments.  You will earn THREE bonus entries toward the grand prize.  (Yes, we will be doing this again.  Yes, if you successfully complete the Love Spanks 2014 challenge you can become a VIP for our next activity!)
  6. If you are a F/F author or thinking of becoming one, please add “FF” to your comments. That way, your name will be entered in the special F/F author prize drawings.
  7. If you are Love Spanks 2014 Ambassador, please add “Amb” to your comments to receive your extra prize drawing.
  8. Visit any of the participating blogs on Friday, February 14 to find out the lucky winners.  Will it be you?

Like these events? Want to support your friendly F/F authors? Become a Love Spanks Ambassador! In exchange for promoting this event, you will receive one extra prize entry, AND you are still eligible to participate and win prizes! To find out the details, send an email to tarafinneganromance@gmail.com, with the subject line “Love Spanks Ambassador.”

For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please visit Anastasia Vitsky’s blog.

Like Love Spanks on Facebook!

Tweet #lovespanks on Twitter!

For more spanking fun, visit Saturday Spankings for additional snippets.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The following is an excerpt from a work in progress.   It was called Disturbed Magic, which doesn’t really fit it at all, and the file itself is just called “Kel and Tirza” (which is far more helpful than the names on most of my Word docs.)

The characters:

Kel is a Sword Dancer, which is an outlawed form of swordsmanship.  That’s the second strike against her:  the first is that she is female, and women are not permitted to take up the sword or train as warriors.  She has spent most of her life masquerading as a male.

Tirza is a wannabe wizard.  However, she comes from a race where magic is frowned upon and not accepted, even though the ability runs strongly in her family.  (A spell, attempted without proper training, backfired on her mother and Tirza was born during her death throes.)  Tirza has left her homeland in search of her father, a man she has never met.

Kel rescued Tirza from some less than honorable men and somehow found herself agreeing to guide her through the Easthalt Marshes to the Eastonesse Barrens, where her father is reported to live.  Along the way, Kel began to have feelings for Tirza – who thinks that Kel is male.

They found his home, and Tirza went to speak to him alone, leaving Kel in the nearby village, promising to return long before dark.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 As the afternoon wore on, Kel felt sure that things had gone well for Tirza, and was both glad for her and sorry for herself:  it would be hard to leave her. But as the sky began to darken, Kel grew concerned, and started along the road to meet her. The Barrens were not a place for the unarmed and unprepared once darkness fell.

She reached the path that the tavern keeper had told them about with no sign of Tirza, so she turned and entered the yard, listening.  Children’s voices rang through the early evening as they were being herded to bed, and she smiled as she knocked on the door, expecting to find Tirza, caught up in meeting her new family.

A heavy-set balding man opened the door and stared down at Kel.  “What do you want?”

“Eannis?” Kel asked, and the man nodded.  “I’m looking for Tirza.  She was coming to see you earlier today and has not yet returned.”

“What’s it to you?”

Something in the man’s manner irritated Kel, but for Tirza’s sake she forced herself to remain patient.  “I have escorted her from Antion.  She wished to come to meet you on her own, but she is overdue for her return, and I am concerned for her safety.”

The man gave a harsh laugh. “I wouldn’t worry about her.  She’s a half-breed bastard and not worth wasting your talents on.  Although her mother was a good lay so you might enjoy her on that score.”

“So, she’s not here?”

“Of course not. I sent her packing right off.”

“Do you know which way she went?”

“Nope and don’t care, as long as I don’t see her ever again.”

Kel’s eyes hardened and she turned on her heel and left, feeling fear rising in her throat. Tirza was out here alone somewhere, no doubt hurting and scared and lost and darkness was rapidly falling.

She followed the path back to the road, trying to read the tracks in it, but her own boots had blurred any sign of Tirza’s passing.   “Tirza!” she called, even though she knew it was hopeless. Silence and the call of an early-rising night bird was all that came back to her.  “Tirza, where are you?” she pleaded silently, trying to calm her mind to listen for an answer. 

The Bond Blade at her hip seemed to send a sense of warmth through her and she took a deep breath and started walking, alert for any sign of Tirza or signal from her sword.  Impulsively, she drew the blade and let it guide her – it seemed to turn in her hand and she turned with it and could see the broken branches where something – or someone – had pushed through the scrub at the edge of the woods.

“Tirza,” she whispered, and started into the forest after her.  Her heart rose into her throat when she heard the river and she sheathed her blade, breaking into a run, terrified of finding… nothing.

 

Tirza had lain on the river bank until she had sobbed herself out, then slowly came back to herself and began trying to work out what to do next.  She could go back to the village, find Kel, tell the warrior that all had gone well, send him on his way to wherever he wanted to go – and then what?   She looked at the river and nodded.  Once Kel was free of her, she would give herself to the river.

Unbidden, the vampire’s image appeared in her mind.  Or to Gansek.  Her breath caught in her throat at the thought, both terrified and entranced by the idea.  Gansek wanted her, and death from his fangs would not be unpleasant.

She heard someone coming and scrambled to her feet, her heart in her throat.  If it was Gansek, would he let her bargain for time, time to get Kel safely away?

 

Panic subsided as Kel saw a form crumpled next to the river, and when Tirza rose to meet her she almost cried with relief.

“Tirza.”

“Kel, what – what are you doing here?”

“I came to look for you.  It was getting late and you weren’t back yet. I was worried.”

“I – I’m all right.”

“You’ve been crying,” Kel said softly, and held out her hand.  “Come, my lady.  Let’s get back to the village before it gets much later.”

Tirza nodded and let Kel lead her back to the road.

“He – he doesn’t want me, Kel.”

“I know.  I went there looking for you.”

“He doesn’t want me. My mother’s family doesn’t want me but at least now I know why.”  She choked back a sob. “He – he said that no one would ever want me, that I’m just a stinking Kalalni half-breed bastard.” 

“That is not true, my lady,” Kel said, stopping and turning her to face her.  She tilted Tirza’s chin up and looked down, losing herself in the depths of her brown eyes.

Tirza closed her eyes, unable to face Kel. She felt one of Kel’s arms encircle her waist, and her eyes flew open when she felt Kel’s lips on her own.  With a soft sob she yielded to the kiss, her arms encircling the warrior, her hands resting on his shoulder blades.

“Kel,” she whispered, her breathing labored. Then she pulled away.  “You already knew.”

Kel nodded. “Your father was not exactly shy about expressing his opinions.”  She pulled Tirza back to her and kissed her again, her lips hungry and passionate. 

“Kel…”

Kel pulled back, taking a deep breath.  “I’m sorry, Tirza… my lady.” Kel bowed. “Come. Let’s get back while we still can.”

“Kel.” 

The warrior turned and Tirza bowed her head. “I know what he must have said to you, and it’s all right.  I – I don’t care.  If that’s all that I am…”

“No, Tirza.  What your father said has no bearing on my feelings for you.”  Kel brushed her cheek gently with the back of her fingers. “I am the one who is sorry, my lady.  This was not the best timing to show you how I feel.”  Kel kissed her again, gently this time. “You are hurting and vulnerable, and it would not be right for me to take advantage of that.”

Tirza looked at the warrior, confused.  Kel had cared for her – cared about her – before this?  And still did?  Even knowing?

“Kel…”  She wrapped her arms around the warrior and leaned against him for a moment, her face against the leather of his tabard, relaxing as the warrior’s hands rubbed her back, soothing her.

“Come,” Kel urged gently.  “We have already been out too long.”

Tirza nodded.  “Thank you, Kel.  For… for coming to find me.”

“How could I not?”

Tirza smiled and rested her hand on the warrior’s arm, desperately needing to feel him.  He wanted her.  Before what her father had said and despite what her father had said, Kel wanted her.  And not just for pleasure.  Tirza’s eyes filled with tears – the first tears of happiness she had ever known.

“You are crying, my lady.”

Tirza shook her head.  “I — I have just never felt this… this happy and… and wanted… and…”  She stopped, not wanting to say it.

“And loved?”

“Yes.”

Kel stopped and turned Tirza to face her, smiling down at her for a moment before pulling her against her, holding her tightly. She knew she shouldn’t.  She knew she should stop now before it was too late.  And she knew it was already too late — it had become too late when she had kissed Tirza in the forest, when she had yielded to feelings and passions that she had never known existed.

“I do love you, my lady.  Never forget that. No matter what happens.  Never forget and never doubt that my feelings for you are deep and true and more real than anything I’ve ever known.”

Something in the warrior’s words sent a chill of fear down her spine.  “Kel?”  She pulled back to look up at him, but the warrior shook his head.

“It’s all right, my lady.”  Kel cupped her cheek with one hand, then turned and continued toward the village.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, if you’ve read this far, prove it by leaving a comment below that that answers the following question.  (Doing so will enter you in a drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate, so be sure to leave your email.  (I’ll notify the winner of my contest Monday evening.)  (The comment will also serve as your entry into the main contest.)

The question:  What do you think is going to happen when Tirza learns that Kel is  a woman?

Now, go forth and visit the other blogs and spread the love!

For a complete list of participating authors, please click here.

100 Comments

Filed under writing