Tag Archives: Love Spanks

Romance Happens

First: an announcement:
The winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Certificate from Love Spanks weekend is:
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



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Love Spanks Weekend 2014

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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.

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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.

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 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.


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


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?”


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.

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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.


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