I've moved!

***Click here to visit Kim Fielding's Website***

New blog posts will appear on the new site, but I've also added a feed right below this message.

Kim Fielding Writes » Blog

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Brute on audio!

This is a small rant and then a new release pimpage.

My life is too sedentary. Both writing and my day job--university professor--involve a whole lot of sitting in front of computers. Plus I'm inherently sorta lazy. I took bowling for PE when I was in college.

But the one type of exercise I genuinely enjoy is walking. When I travel, I pound the pavement as much as possible. The two times I've lived in Croatia, I loved not having a car.  I walked for miles nearly every day, not just because I had to in order to get places, but because I wanted to. Zagreb is a fantastic place for strolling.

Here at home, though, it's hot. And booooooring. I live among subdivisions of beige stucco houses. Block after block after block of this:
 
Yawn. The big excitement on my neighborhood walks is when I see a lizard, or when I get to read informative signs like this one:



 
I guess if I really wanted some variety I could cross the canal and walk past cows, almond orchards, and cornfields instead, but I doubt that would be much more interesting.
 
So I've taken to listening to audiobooks during my walks. I recently finished hearing my first novel, Stasis, which was a lot of fun. It really makes walking enjoyable. I've sometimes even gone around the block again because the story's at an exciting point.
 
And I am thrilled to announce that today Brute became available on audio too! You can buy it here. The narrator is K.C. Kelly, who did a fantastic job. I am so looking forward to my walks now! Who cares if all I see is beige stucco? I've got Brute!


http://www.amazon.com/Brute/dp/B00LNFNJN6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1404936719&sr=8-2&keywords=brute+kim+fielding

Monday, July 7, 2014

Writing Jerks

I was going to title this entry "Writing Assholes," but decided that could be taken entirely the wrong way. And let me be clear--I'm not going to talk about writers who are jerks. I'm sure some writers are, but most of the authors I know are creative, fascinating, lovely people. What I'm going to discuss today is writing about characters who are jerks. And I don't mean the villains or exes or minor players either. I mean when a main character--a protagonist--acts like an asshole.

I don't mean sexy rogues. Han Solo is cocky and--at least initially--mercenary, but he's always likable. I mean the kind of guys who treat others badly, who make us want to punch them in the face. The kind of guys our sweet boys should just kick to the curb.

I suppose that in many genres, protagonists who are less-than-endearing are not only acceptable, but even expected. But I write romance. By definition, my protagonists fall in love. Doesn't that mean they should be lovable?

Well, sometimes. I mean, Colby in The Tin Box, he's capital-a Adorable. And what about perky Nicky from Housekeeping or sweet Goran from Pilgrimage? It's hard not to like them.

But my muse is a difficult bitch. People say that romance novel protagonists have to be handsome, so my muse gave me big, ugly Brute. And if protagonists are also supposed to be sweet--or at least broodingly appealing--my muse occasionally throws me an asshole.

For instance, there's Berhanu in Guarded. Volos is loyal and good and brave, but Berhanu treats him like shit. Even after Volos nearly dies to save him, Berhanu doesn't seem to appreciate him. I know a lot of readers were pissed off with Berhanu. Heck, so was I!

Another example of a character who's not very sympathetic, at least at first, is William in The Tin Box. He's infuriatingly uptight and he's borderline rude to cute Colby. I didn't like him much as I began to write him, even though I knew why he acted like he did, and I knew he was going to change.

I hope that by the end of the story, it's clear why Berhanu acted like he did, and I hope he redeems himself. I hope that readers fall in love with William as they get to know him, just as I did. I hope that folks agree with me that even heroes sometimes act like pricks, and that even dickheads can improve.

What are your thoughts on main characters who act like dicks?




Thursday, July 3, 2014

Haiku winners!

I am delighted to announce the winners of my gay romance haiku contest! There were some really wonderful entries, and I so enjoyed reading them.

First prize goes to Megan (@essgem) for this gem:

Later the men mused:
It had not been their best plan,
Coupling on the beach

Esepcially appropriate since I'm looking out at the ocean this very moment (look at that sunset!), and will spend the next week removing sand from my car.

And second prize goes to Angel Martinez for this very lovely poem:

Filtered sun shadows
Flashes of skin, hard muscle
Lovers intertwined


Beautiful! Congratulations to both of you.

Thanks so very much to everyone who entered. And extra special thanks to my wonderful panel of judges: Shira Anthony, Jamie Lynn Miller, Andrea Speed, and Tali Spencer. You can read more about them and their fantastic books here.




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Please welcome Andrew Q. Gordon!

A Closed Door - Part of the Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust Anthology

From Wayward Ink Publishing

  LLLL Banner FB

First, thank you, Kim for letting me use your blog to talk about my newest story.

With the progress of LGBT rights, the challenges of gay men and their coming out is also changing.  Once upon a time—like when I came out 27 years ago—you were considered among the lucky if your family didn't disown you or freak out.  Have them accept your boyfriend and you were even luckier. It was the rare person who would come out in high school and usually it was because they had no choice, not because they'd made a choice.

But as more and more people accept us as we are, as we now start to marry in numbers, have children—either through adoption or surrogacy—it isn't uncommon for gay men to be completely accepted and supported at home. I won't say it's easy, or that no one is rejected—because sadly there are still far too many cases of those—but suddenly it's not some 'fantasy' that a person comes out in high school or college and finds acceptance among his family and friends.

In LGBT fiction and MM Romance in particular, this creates a new dynamic. Happy, well adjusted and well accepted characters are cropping up where the tension and conflict has nothing to do with gay bashing, being disowned, bullied or rejected. Now we're more likely to see main characters struggle with problems everyone else has, the difficulties of dating, work, school, and relationships.

In my entry in the Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust anthology, the main character—Orin Merritt—has the full and total support of his family and friends—well his college and beyond friends at least.  The tension and conflict in the story revolves around the loss of Orin's family and how he deals with his one time best friend who struggled coming out.  Moving forward I expect we'll see more stories where the main source of conflict won't be the struggles of coming out. Instead we'll see a broader swath of stories where the MCs deal with situations more mundane, but no less stressful—dating and relationships and how difficult those are all on their own.  It's something of a brave new world and I for one look forward to this changing face of our main characters.

Blurb:

LLLL Andrew Q Gordon

A Closed Door; by Andrew Q. Gordon


Orin Merritt left home after high school hoping to escape the hell his life had become since he'd been outted at thirteen.  When a tornado destroys his childhood home and kill his parents, Orin finds a new kind of hell. Blaming himself for failing the two people who always loved and supported him, he returns home and confronts his past in the person of his one time best friend, Thomas Kennett.  Thomas not only rejected Orin when he came out, he led the group that caused him to leave.  As he struggles to deal with his grief , he tries to fulfill a pledge he made to his parents before their death.  In the process, Orin learns that sometimes when you leave to find something, you might have left what you're looking for behind.
    LLLL Thumbnail

Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust Anthology, by Wayward Ink Publishing.


We’ve all loved.

We’ve all laughed.

Sadly, we’ve also probably all known loss in one form or another.

And, yes, we at Wayward Ink are sure we’ve all experienced lust!

In Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust, you’ll experience one or more of the “L”s as we take you on a roller coaster of emotions. Whether you like to sigh over the sweet, cry for the broken-hearted, enjoy a good laugh, or get a little hot and bothered, there’s something for everyone in this collection.

Buy Links:









Giveaway:


As part of the release of the new Anthology, Wayward Ink is holding a giveaway.  Just click the code below for a chance to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card. Two people will also win a paperback copy of the book, and three people will win a WIP USB Extension Cord and Fridge Magnet.  There are 11 ways to enter and you can earn up to 20 chances to win.


About the Author:


Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog.  In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. 'insiders', Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day and not get the shakes.

Social Media Links:


You can find his books at




Follow Andrew on his website: www.andrewqgordon.com,


On Twitter:  @andrewqgordon,

Or just email him: andrewqgordon@gmail.com

 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Update

Hi folks! I have not disappeared from the face of the earth. I am actually halfway through a family vacation--which is lots of fun, but doesn't lead to much productivity.

We had some fantastic entries in the haiku contest! The lovely judges are currently doing their jobs. I'll announce the winner next week.

If you haven't done so already, you can download my novella Guarded for free. You can also buy my newest short, "The Border". And everything at Dreamspinner Press is on sale through the 30th!

Right now I'm working on two winter holiday stories and a short sequel to Guarded, this one focusing on Mato. In August, my Bosnian novella, The Pillar, will be available--with an amazing cover by Shobana Appavu (who also did the cover for Venetian Masks). I'm about to begin edits on my two October releases: the third Bones book, called Bone Dry; and my novella The Dance in the second Gothika anthology (this one has a vodou theme!).

I'm also in the planning stages of a website redesign. I'll have a new logo, a new look, and some new features. Which brings me to a question: what features would you like to see on my website? Are there things that could make your browsing experience easier, more fun, or more informative? Please let me know in the comments!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Haiku contest judges

I'd like to introduce you to the wonderful people who will be judging the haiku contest (There's still time to enter! Click here for details.)

The judging panel is:

Shira Anthony
Jamie Lynn Miller
Andrea Speed
Tali Spencer

I'm a big fan of all these authors and so excited that they've agreed to judge!

Here's more information on them. If you havent already, go check out their books!

***


In her last incarnation, Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as ToscaPagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle. 

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children.  When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 35’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Shira can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter (@WriterShira) or on her web site, http://www.shiraanthony.com. You can also contact her at shiraanthony@hotmail.com. You can find all of Shira’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and All Romance Ebooks.


Blue Notes Series: Contemporary gay romances set in the world of music and musicians. Each Blue Notes novel is a standalone story, and books in the series can be read in any order.

Blame it on jet lag. Jason Greene thought he had everything: a dream job as a partner in a large Philadelphia law firm, a beautiful fiancĂ©e, and more money than he could ever hope to spend. Then he finds his future wife in bed with another man, and he’s forced to rethink his life and his choices. On a moment’s notice, he runs away to Paris, hoping to make peace with his life.

But Jason’s leave of absence becomes a true journey of the heart when he meets Jules, a struggling jazz violinist with his own cross to bear. In the City of Love, it doesn’t take them long to fall into bed, but as they’re both about to learn, they can’t run from the past. Sooner or later, they’ll have to face the music.

Mermen of Ea Series: High fantasy, high romance, set on the high seas.  Taren Laxley has never known anything but life as a slave. When a lusty pirate kidnaps him and holds him prisoner on his ship, Taren embraces the chance to realize his dream of a seagoing life. Not only does the pirate captain offer him freedom in exchange for three years of labor and sexual servitude, but the pleasures Taren finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.

Then, during a storm, Taren dives overboard to save another sailor and is lost at sea. He’s rescued by Ian Dunaidh, the enigmatic and seemingly ageless captain of a rival ship, the Phantom, and Taren feels an overwhelming attraction to Ian that Ian appears to share. Soon Taren learns a secret that will change his life forever: Ian and his people are Ea, shape-shifting merfolk… and Taren is one of them too. Bound to each other by a fierce passion neither can explain or deny, Taren and Ian are soon embroiled in a war and forced to fight for a future—not only for themselves but for all their kind.



****
Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.

Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.

If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.

BURNIN' FOR YOU BLURB: Lucas Taylor is a New York City fireman at Station 127, dedicated to his job, even though it has brought him heartrending tragedy - the loss of his lover, Ryan, in an explosion.

Evan Singer is the new guy in town, a paramedic transferred into Station 127 and he sets his eyes on Lucas from the get-go.

Neither knowing who the other is, their first meeting is a night of passion and desire that awakens something inside Lucas he never thought he’d feel again.

But when Lucas discovers that Evan is a paramedic, it all comes crashing down. For despite the feelings he has for Evan, Lucas has vowed to never again get involved with someone on the job, after losing Ryan to it.

Can Evan convince Lucas to open up his heart and take a chance on love again, despite who Evan is?

Includes the sequel – Where There’s Smoke!

Things turn explosive at the FDNY when a young man Lucas rescues from a fire becomes an obsessed stalker, and Evan's altercation with a victim's husband threatens to end his career.

CONTACT INFO:
jamielynnmiller@live.com
http://www.jamielynnm.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/jamielynn.miller.3


BUY LINKS:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ng25ocw
LuLu (Paperback and epub): http://tinyurl.com/ndxvae7
Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/nvj3toh
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/ow92qj2
Dreamspinner: http://tinyurl.com/kvuj9on

***

Andrea Speed writes way too much. She is the writer of the Infected series for Dreamspinner Press and is Editor In Chief of CxPulp.com, where she reviews comics as well as movies and other stuff. She won a Rainbow Award for best horror/paranormal novel in 2012, and feels she may be ubiquitous on the web. But she is not (sadly) the Italian DJ of the same name that often comes up first in Google searches.

Andrea's newest story:  http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/collections/my-haunted-blender




***

Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college, enjoyed a series of interesting careers, and raised three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to medical research, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.

Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
E-mail: tali.spencer1@gmail.com
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer
Twitter: @tali_spencer

Blurb for Thick as Thieves:

After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.





 

 

 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Haiku contest! Prizes!

Two events coincided these last couple of days.

First off, I passed 1000 Twitter followers! Yay! My 14-year-old daughter says this means I am officially cool. So there's that. And I wanted to celebrate being cool because, well, it doesn't happen all that often. Sure, the next time someone cuts me off in traffic or an administrator at my day job does something obnoxious, I can think at them, "Yeah. But I bet you don't have 1000 Twitter followers."

Still, I wanted a slightly more public celebration.  A contest, perhaps.

The second thing is that I joined some friends for dinner in San Francisco. Got to hang out in the Mission. Had ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery and bought stuff at the pirate store. Eavesdropped on hipsters. Enjoyed perfect, 70-degree sunshine.

But getting to the Mission meant a 95 mile drive, followed by a BART ride. Then the reverse on my way home. So I had time to think.

Ta-dah!! Haiku!!

Here's the contest.

You write a haiku about m/m romance. You can make it about the genre in general, about your fave characters or your fave books or your fave author--whatever you want. But it must conform to traditional haiku standards: 5-syllable line, 7-syllable line, 5-syllable line. Like this:

Chris is grateful that
He is allergic to cats
But not to canines

or

Have you read Guarded?
It is a free novella
You can download now

Post your masterpiece to Twitter--making sure you use the hashtag #kfieldinghaiku. If you don't Tweet, you can post it here or on my FB page instead. Here's a rundown of the rules/procedure:

1. Post a haiku with an m/m romance theme
2. Haiku must follow 5/7/5 format
3. Post it to Twitter using #kfieldinghaiku hashtag, or here, or to my FB wall
4. You may submit as many entries as you wish
5. Entries need not be in English
6. All entries are due June 23 at noon PDT
7. Entries will be judged by a fabulous guest judge panel
8. Judges' decision is final
9. The winner will receive: all three books in my Ennek trilogy (in print if you're in the US; in Kindle versions if you're elsewhere); a $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate; a $10 donation to the LGBT organization of your choice; naming rights to one minor character in a future story; AND a special surprise from Oregon (where the Bones books are set).
10. If there are more than 30 entries, I'll do a second prize winner as well: a print copy of either Pilgrimage, Motel. Pool. or Stasis (the first Ennek book), plus a special surprise from Oregon.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thoughts on Marriage

Today is our wedding anniversary. We got married so long ago that we rode a woolly mammoth to our honeymoon. Okay, not quite--but our car did have an 8-track player. (Our honeymoon destination? Exotic Lincoln, Nebraska, where we were about to relocate for grad school). And we've known each other forever. We met when I was 15 and he was 17. I remember him calling me the first night after we'd met, and we talked for hours. He was making all sorts of plans for what we could do during the summer, and I was thinking, How presumptuous to assume we'll still be together then! And here we are, three states, six houses, two kids, and many gray hairs later.

My husband has his annoying quirks (like a football obsession), but he's a wonderful man. He's willing to hold down the fort when I travel ("Okey-doke, hon. You stay here with the job and the kids and the bathroom remodel while I go live in Europe for six weeks. Bye!"). He's patient. Last night, one of the smoke alarm batteries started chirping at nearly midnight. Older daughter and I couldn't figure out how to wrench the damn thing out of the ceiling to replace the battery. Despite the late hour and a recent back injury, hubby schlepped downstairs, climbed the ladder, and disabled the thing, all with  only minor complaints. And he's hugely supportive of my writing. He generally doesn't read much but sports and finance stuff, but he reads my books. And he pimps them to people he knows, and he makes me lovely spreadsheets to keep track of my sales. He even occasionally serves as consultant on Man Matters, as well as on specific issues such as playing blackjack (Motel. Pool.) or home improvement (the Bones books).

He surprised me when he proposed to me at an Italian restaurant while I was in college. And since then, he's surprised me with a fantastic car, a Mexican cruise, and a night at the Grand Canyon.

As we celebrate our anniversary this year, I'm particularly pleased to know that in so many places, marriages have recently become more inclusive. It makes us so happy that our LGBT friends and family members can now also enter into the bondage of matrimony the joys of married life.

Some folks are content having a "partner"--and there's nothing at all wrong with that. But I think for many of us, "spouse" implies a bit more. It means optimism about a shared life. It means a commitment to forever. It means a willingness to climb ladders at midnight with a sore back, and to give up on going anywhere on Sundays from August through early February.

Happy anniversary, honey!



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guarded illustration

Have you read my new novella, Guarded? If so, you might enjoy this artwork by my 11-year-old daughter:



That dragon is sleeping, not dead. :-) She produced it on commission for me, which is fitting for the family artist. Hubby's great with numbers and mechanical things, and Older Daughter and I do words. We make a good team.

If you haven't read Guarded yet, it's free!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Free novella & an interview

So the last 24 hours have been quite busy for me!

Last night I got to have dinner with the wonderful Amy Lane and her amazing family. So much fun! Her kids (and her husband too!) are really fantastic.

Then this morning, Amy and I were interviewed on Capital Public Radio. You can listen to our segment here: http://www.capradio.org/news/insight/2014/06/09/insight-060914/

Amy is such a fabulous person. Plus we got to hang in the green room with a band called Kumyn, and the band members were really nice. And, of course, for the near future I can begin all conversations by saying, "Well, when I was hanging out in the green room with Amy Lane and the band...."

And also this morning, my novella Guarded released! It's free! If you're a member of the Goodreads M/M Romance group (also free) you can read it here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1857162-guarded-by-kim-fielding-6-9  It'll be available to everyone for download within 5 days.

So today you can hear me and read me. :-) And it's supposed to hit 105F here today and I think I need a nap.



Hell & High Water by Charlie Cochet-- cover reveal!





Hell and High Water 
(Thirds Series, Bk #1)
By Charlie Cochet

Blurb: 
When homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony helps send his partner away for murder, the consequences—and the media frenzy—aren't far behind. He soon finds himself sans boyfriend, sans friends, and, after an unpleasant encounter in a parking garage after the trial, he’s lucky he doesn't find himself sans teeth. Dex fears he’ll get transferred from the Human Police Force’s Sixth Precinct, or worse, get dismissed. Instead, his adoptive father—a sergeant at the Therian-Human Intelligence Recon Defense Squadron otherwise known as the THIRDS—pulls a few strings, and Dex gets recruited as a Defense Agent.

Dex is determined to get his life back on track and eager to get started in his new job. But his first meeting with Team Leader Sloane Brodie, who also happens to be his new jaguar Therian partner, turns disastrous. When the team is called to investigate the murders of three HumaniTherian activists, it soon becomes clear to Dex that getting his partner and the rest of the tightknit team to accept him will be a lot harder than catching the killer—and every bit as dangerous.


Available for Pre-Order at 



Excerpt


Sloane observed Dex as he made his way to the center of the mat. The guy had a nice ass too. On that note, maybe it was time for Sloane to get laid. It had been way too long since he’d picked anyone up, but then, the only thing that seemed to interest him these days was the job. Why the hell was he thinking about sex now? He followed Dex onto the blue mat and stopped a few feet away from him, pushing any and all sexual thoughts out of his mind. He had work to do. A lot of work to do.

Dex readied himself, stretching his neck and back. Despite his disastrous introduction, the guy actually had excellent poise. He balanced perfectly on one leg while he pulled the opposite knee up to stretch then swapped and did the same with the other. He bent over and grabbed his ankles with ease then slowly rolled his back to stand upright again. Rotating his shoulders, he shook himself off and hopped on his toes for a few seconds to warm up. His movements revealed he was lithe and flexible, yet Sloane couldn't understand how this was the same guy who had scored top of his class during the training run. It was true he didn't know much about Dex, but he’d read the file the moment he’d been informed of the decision.

Both parents had been killed during the riots when he was five years old. He’d been adopted by his father’s friend and work partner, Anthony Maddock. A year later, his baby Therian brother was rescued and adopted. Went to Berkeley at eighteen for four years, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies, and joined the HPF a year later. Four years after that, was promoted to homicide detective. Dexter J. Daley, thirty-three years old, unmarried, and recently testified against his Human partner in a murder trial. Sloane was still figuring out what to think about that last part.

Dex took his stance, bending his knees, his left leg a little farther up than the right, and his fists up near his face.

“Your stance is good,” Sloane murmured, ignoring Dex’s surprised look. Taking up his own fighting stance, Sloane motioned for Dex to advance. “Okay. Come at me.”

Dex shook his head. “No.”

Sloane paused. Was the rookie messing with him? “What do you mean ‘no’?”
“How about you come at me.”

“That’s not how this works.”

“I’ve seen what attacking you head on does. You want to see what I can do? You’ll have to work for it.”

Sloane arched an eyebrow. Well, if nothing else, the guy had balls. “Okay. Remember, you asked for it.” He advanced, faked with his right to land a left hook to Dex’s ribs. A swipe to his left foot brought Dex crashing down to the mat.

“Fuck,” Dex moaned, rolling out of the way. He jumped to his feet and rounded his shoulders. “Okay.” Bouncing on his toes, he circled Sloane. “Let’s try this again.”

This match was over. Rookie just didn’t know it yet. Sloane was good at exposing weaknesses, and he was already working on discovering his new partner’s.

They slowly circled each other, and Sloane got closer to Dex with each step until he was close enough to throw a punch. Dex blocked it, his concentration focused on keeping Sloane from landing a hit. He was studying Sloane, trying to get a handle on his technique so he could formulate a plan of attack. Rookie was using his head—that was good—but he was taking too long to decide on his course of action and that was bad. Hesitation was something his Human partner couldn’t afford out in the field, not when dealing with Therians. As a species, Therians were faster, stronger, healed quicker, and had a higher level of tolerance when it came to pain.

Dex blocked a left hook to the ribs with his right elbow tucked up against his body, but in anticipation of Sloane faking a right, he tucked his left elbow in as well, leaving his head exposed. Sloane took advantage and clipped Dex under his chin. His head came up, once again leaving himself exposed long enough for Sloane to give his cheek a smack. Dex shuffled back, eyes wide.

“What the fuck was that?”

“I’m sorry. Did I smear your makeup?” Sloane held back a smile at Dex’s glare. This was too easy. Forgetting all about keeping his distance, Dex charged him.

A fierce combination of hooks, jabs, and an attempt at an uppercut were nicely executed, but still not enough to catch Sloane off guard. He blocked Dex’s advances, ducked under a right hook, and grabbed Dex’s leg. With a forceful pull, Dex was once again sprawled on his back.

“I haven’t spent this much time on my back since college.”

Sloane laughed. “It’s a good look for you, Rookie.”

“You asking me out on a date? Because I don’t date assholes,” Dex grumbled, sitting up.

“I may be an asshole, but even I’ve got standards.”

With a smirk, Dex hung his head and held an arm out.

“Giving up already? How disappointing.” Sloane reached out and took Dex’s hand, ready to pull him up when Dex twisted his torso and kicked a leg out, catching Sloane on the side of his knee and sending him down onto it. He was jerked forward and Dex’s legs wrapped around his waist. He twisted his lower body to throw Sloane onto his back. Dex landed on him, his hands pinning Sloane’s wrists to the mat beneath them, their faces inches away from each other.

“So, about that date,” Dex said, laughing breathlessly. His eyes shifted to Sloane’s lips before moving back up and his smile grew wider. The little shit was taunting him.

Sloane didn't know what pissed him off more, that he’d been caught by surprise, or that he was enjoying it. His anger started bubbling up inside him and that pissed him off even more. He didn't get angry. Anger meant the rookie was getting to him.

With a pleasant smile, Sloane jerked his left wrist free to snatch Dex’s in a tight grip. He looped his arm around Dex’s neck, forcing Dex’s arm to come up and around as well. With a swift yank, Dex spun off him and onto the mat.

That was better. Sloane casually got to his feet with a satisfied grin. He took a deep breath to regain his calm and turned, frowning at the sight of Dex on his stomach, his back arching as he let out a frustrated groan. He ignored the curve of the rookie’s spine and the way he looked when he got onto his hands and knees. Jesus, what was wrong with him? It was time to put a stop to this… distraction.

Come on,” Sloane snarled. “Get up. I’m not here to be your Xbox buddy.”

“Come on, Dex!” Cael sat on the floor a few feet away, and Sloane tilted his head, his bottom lip jutting out in a pout as he teased Dex.

“Aw, isn't that cute? Baby brother is cheering for you.”

Dex lunged at him, throwing his arms around Sloane’s waist in an inane attempt to knock him over. Sloane didn’t go down. He was bigger, stronger, and heavier than Dex, but to the rookie’s credit, he managed to get in a nice jab to the ribs. With a well-maneuvered twist of his body, Sloane was out of Dex’s grip and holding him in a headlock. Instead of punching him, he delivered another slap to his cheek. Dex let out a frustrated growl and tried to push away from him.

“Stop doing that!”

“Ooh, Rookie’s got a bit of a temper.” Sloane ruffled Dex’s hair, pissing him off further.

“Aw, isn't he cute,” Ash teased from the end of the mat.

“Fuck you, Simba!”

Rosa burst into laughter and Ash glared at her. “Are you fucking serious?” He turned back to Sloane with a scowl. “You better kick his ass.”

Dex struggled in Sloane’s grip. “Come on, Rookie. Is this the best you got?”

“This isn't fighting,” Dex spat out. “This is you being a prick.”

Sloane shrugged. “Either way, I've seen what you can do and I gotta say, it’s pretty uninspiring.”

“Uninspiring, huh?” Dex pulled back a fist and Sloane released him, jumping back and narrowly missing Dex’s fist, his knuckles brushing Sloane’s crotch. Sloane gaped at Dex.

“You were going to punch me in the nuts?”

“You said it yourself. This isn't a fight, so yeah. And I would have enjoyed it too.”

“Hey, watch it.” Sloane stormed up to Dex who held his ground, his chin lifted defiantly. Rookie had nerve, but he needed to learn his place. Sloane grabbed him, hauled him off his feet and slammed him into the mat. “Stay the fuck down, if you know what’s good for you.”

Dex ignored him, his breath coming out heavy as he got back on his feet and threw a punch. Stupid little bastard didn't know when to quit. Sloane ducked, grabbed Dex around the waist and once again slammed him back down on the mat. With a low groan, Dex rolled onto his side and pushed himself onto his hands and knees. Sloane wiped the sweat off his brow with the back of his hand as he circled Dex. He’d lost count of how many times he’d dropped Dex, yet the guy kept getting back up. Granted, each time took a little longer than the last, but he pushed himself to his feet regardless. Sloane didn't know whether to be impressed or aggravated.

“You’re not cut out for this, Rookie.”

Dex didn't reply, simply glared at him. He charged Sloane with a growl, ducking under Sloane’s right hook and landing a jab to Sloane’s exposed ribs. Gritting his teeth against the pain, Sloane used the adrenaline pumping through his veins to keep going and bring his fists down onto Dex’s back. Dex hit the mat painfully, his head smacking against it.

Fuck. Sloane touched his ribs and winced. Damn, the rookie had gotten him pretty good. “Why don’t you stay down? It’s only going to get worse.”

With a humorless laugh, Dex rolled onto his back, his chest rising and falling rapidly. “Let me guess. This is the part where I’m supposed to go crying home to Daddy. “Ooh, my new partner hates me. Boo-hoo.”’ Sloane could see the strain on the rookie’s face as he struggled to stand, sucking in a sharp breath when he straightened. “Well fuck you. Here’s a little FYI for you. I would rather fucking bleed to death than give you the satisfaction, you prick.”

Sloane arched an eyebrow at him. “Charming.”

“I am fucking charming!” Dex shouted, his entire face going beet red. “I am the most charming motherfucker you will ever know, so kiss my perfectly perky ass!”

After some consideration, Sloane cocked his head to one side and shrugged. “I've seen better.”

“Oh, now you’re insulting my ass?”

Sloane opened his mouth when a booming voice came over the speaker system.

“Destructive Delta, please report to briefing room “A” in one hour as per Sergeant Maddock’s orders.”

“Looks like you were saved by daddy after all.” Sloane turned to his team and clapped his hands together. “Okay, hit the showers. See you upstairs.” Everyone headed out, and Sloane made his way to the towel rack. He grabbed himself one to wipe his face, and when he turned, he almost ran into Dex, his rig hanging from one hand.

“Well, let’s see it.”

Sloane threw his towel over his shoulder. “See what?”

“You know.”

“Are you asking me to go feral or whip out my dick?”

Dex looked like he was actually considering it. “Come on. I want to see the alpha beneath the asshole. We’ve got lions, and tigers, and….” Dex shifted his gaze to Sloane’s neck, a strange little smile coming onto his face as he looked back up at Sloane. “Jaguar. Oh my.”

Holy shit, the guy was serious.

Dex shrugged. “I don’t see what the big deal is. You’re my partner, we’re in a wide open space, and there are vending machines down the hall for post shift. We’ve got time before we need to get to the briefing room. It’s my turn to see what I’m dealing with.”

Sloane mulled it over. “Okay.”

“Yeah?”

“Sure.” Sloane circled Dex and crowded him, making him retreat until his back hit the wall. With his arms to the sides of Dex’s head, he watched Dex’s Adam’s apple bob as his new partner swallowed hard. Just as Sloane suspected, Dex was clearly having second thoughts about seeing the “big bad alpha.” He leaned in close, his lips inches away from Dex’s jaw as he inhaled deeply. “Do you know why jaguar Therians are the most lethal of the Felids?”

“Um….”

“My Therian bite has twice the strength of a lion’s. I can use a deep-throat, bite-and-suffocation technique where my fangs pierce through the temporal bones of your skull, right between your ears and pierce your brain.” Sloane gave a little demonstration with his fingers on Dex’s scalp, earning him a scowl. Sloane laughed then whispered in Dex’s ear. “I bet the only word you heard from all that was deep-throat.”

Dex lifted his chin, his eyes dropping once again to Sloane’s mouth before moving back up to meet his gaze. He licked his lips, his eyes clouding over. “Your pupils are dilated. Does that mean you want to fuck me or eat me? Because I might have a problem with one of those.”



About the Author


Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn't writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers. 





You can find Charlie at 

               


 Giveaway




Friday, June 6, 2014

Tune in next week....

So. This coming Monday (June 9) at 9 am PDT, the amazing Amy Lane and I will be interviewed on the radio. We'll be on Insight, on Capital Public Radio in the Sacramento area. If you're in the Sac region, you can listen to us live. Or anyone can listen later online.

I got us into this. I meant to get just Amy into this because I knew she lives 'round here, and because she's wonderful and funny and I thought, I'd love to hear Amy interviewed on this show. But I ended up roping myself too, so I will try hard not to mumble incoherently. I am nervous.

God, at least it's not TV!

Although radio means you all will miss out on my fabulous, freshly dyed red and blue hair. You can picture it while you listen.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

More teasing! Second excerpt from Guarded.

My newest novella will be available soon--and it will be free! You'll be able to read it at the Goodreads M/M Romance group, and then later it'll be downloadable from the web. In the meantime, I'm teasing you with a second excerpt:
 
 
 
The king made a small noise deep in his throat. “I understand you lost your own family to the Kozari.”

The sharp pang never dulled, not even decades later. Even before the war had begun, Volos’s father— an ardent advocate for peace— had been forced to flee Kozar. He hadn’t been safe in Wedeyta, though. Kozari assassins had tracked him down eventually. While Volos hid in terror inside a cupboard, the men had murdered everyone. They’d likely have sought out Volos and killed him too, but a neighbor had been visiting at the time— a sweet boy who was friends with one of Volos’s sisters— and the assassins had mistaken the child for Volos.

“Yes, sir,” Volos said evenly. “My parents and my siblings.”

“How do you feel about the Kozari?” asked Prince Chidehu.

“I don’t…” Volos scratched at his hair. “I killed a lot of them during the war.”

“And?”

“And… it didn’t bring my family back to life.” Did admitting this amount to treason?

“It never does,” the king replied sadly. Then his gaze sharpened. “How far does your loyalty to the crown go?”

“As far as it needs to.” Volos’s heart began to pound heavily, although he wasn’t sure why.

“You’ve risked your life in service to this country. Would you do it again?”

“Of course, Your Majesty.”

“Why?”

“I… I took an oath, sir.”

The king continued to stare at him. “An oath is only words.”

“No, it’s—” Volos stopped himself. Took a deep breath. The ground beneath him now felt more dangerous than any battlefield. “I beg your pardon, Your Majesty. But to me, an oath is much more than that. My promise is… apart from my sword, it’s the only thing of value I possess. And even the best sword can be replaced. My… my integrity cannot.”

It was an honest answer, and perhaps also the right one, because something in the king’s eyes softened slightly, and he nodded. But he wasn’t through with the interrogation. “Captain Hiwot informs me that Berhanu’s display in this room was hardly the first time he’s treated you with… scorn.”

“I’m sorry, Your Majesty. I’ve tried to behave respectfully toward him, and—”

“Yes. Your captain tells me this as well. She says your restraint has been quite admirable, in fact.”

Another shift of the floor beneath him. Volos wished he had something to hold on to for balance. “Thank you, sir.”

“Volos Perun, does your loyalty to the crown extend to Prince Berhanu? Would you risk your life for him as well?”

“Yes, sir,” Volos answered immediately, even though his tongue was thick.

King Tafari and Prince Chidehu exchanged a very long look, clearly having a silent conversation. Perhaps they reached an agreement, because they both turned to him at once.

“I’m glad to hear you say that,” said Chidehu. “Because you may very well end up dying on my brother’s behalf.”

***

PS--Next Monday you can listen to the amazing Amy Lane and me being interviewed  on the radio. If you're in the Sacramento region you can listen live, 9am on June 9. Or anyone can listen later online here.