Monday, June 24, 2013

Update on the Highlander & a Quick Excerpt

So my maximum word count was supposed to be 12k and I'm currently at 8399. Really, the story is just getting started but it needs to be completed this week to allow for a beta read or two and editing, in order to hit my July 15th deadline.

What to do? What to do?

The only thing I can do right now is hammer out and solidify the relationship piece in order to meet the requirements of the "Dear Author" letter. The full length novel that will finish out the plot. As it is, the relationship story will not be complete by word number 12,000 but that is okay. If it's a little over I can deal with that as long as I can wrap it up.

A couple of research results for you to consider:

Before the design of the modern day walking kilt started in the 1720s, Scots wore what is nowadays referred to as "the great kilt". I've read some pretty offensive material on Scottish clothing by reenactment groups that claimed that Scots didn't wear pants and preferred to go without shoes. Now have you ever looked at Scottish weather? Anyone who believes the Scots ran pellmell without shoes in forty degree weather is delusional. Scotts wore leggings under their kilts, not to be mistaken for hose. Pants where difficult and expensive. Leggings were linen (made from flax), wool, or leather wrapped around the legs and tied at the thighs. They then wore a tunic, called a leine, the length varied from just below the waist down to the knee. And yes, they wore a type of shoe close to a type of moccasin. The kilt was material 8 yards long and 60 inches (4 yards) wide. The tartan patterns weren't cataloged until the 1800s with some of the older families claiming their colors and patterns go back a thousand years. But having a kilt in the clann weave was expensive and not many Scots could afford the cost so they did not have tartan colors in their kilt.

Here's a fact that causes me to give a little lift of the lip in a sneer at the "Scotland" movies. Kilts were not worn in battle. The men took off their kilts and wore belted tunics and legging and any armor they could afford, usually of leather. If you think about it, it makes sense. The kilt was very expensive and would get in the way. It is the one article of clothing they couldn't do without.

How did they identify friend from foe in battle? By the color of ribbon on their caps. Tartan colors were not used to identify people in battle until after the walking kilt came about and the British government made some changes.


My eyelids fluttered closed at the sound of Ewen's voice. Of all the times I seen the man in my dreams, I never heard him speak until today. Gods above. How he affected me. What would Ewen do once he discovered I preferred men to women? Surely he had obligations, a wife and children. Even if Ewen didn't turn away what I could offer, where would I fit in this noble guardian's life? I knew I no longer belonged anywhere but I wanted to belong to him, be with him, stand by his side. And yet, I dared not speak of it, for I feared he wouldn't understand. How could he. I have known him all of my life and he knew me not at all.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

LHND - Untitled Highlander Story

Okay peeps. Insomnia is a good thing... at least it is today. Went to bed at 8 woke up at 10. I was able to write the first 2500 words. Research is grueling, especially when online reference material cannot answer my very specific questions. We're going back in time 1000 years and so much has changed in the that period of time. Deforestation, the increase in the moors from the deforestation, climate changes, water level changes, burgh politics, clann politics, mixed religious practices... you get the picture. The only saving grace for me is that Ewen comes from shifter stalk which makes this an alternate reality but I'm attempting to keep historical accuracy. I'm definitely not Diana Gabbledon. She takes two years to write her books and have less than 30 days.

Here is one of the tidbits that I got wrong. "Laird" I believed to be equal to an English Barron. Nope. Laird is simply a Scottish land holder. Clann Chiefs didn't have to be Lairds nor did they have to be Thanes. A Thane was appointed by the King. But a Scotsman could be a Thane, a Laird, and a Clann Chief. So Lucy and Kevin do get their Laird and Thane. *waggles eye brows*

Complete deforestation of the Caledonia Forrest wasn't achieved until the 16-1700s. It was that time period that sheep herds dominated in the Scottish landscape.

The date is 1064 when Somerled mac Gillebride, King of the Isles, shuttled 15,000 troops to the mainland to battle Malcolm IV, King of Scotland. It is called the Battle of Renfrow. This is the beginning of story of how Ewen and Roi meet.

Now that I have blathered on about the little knowledge I have gleaned in the last couple of days here's an excerpt. I hope you like it. It's unedited so please over look the oopses. I'm tired now so I'm going back to bed!


The man in the flowing red garb wore no discernible armor that I could see. He wielded a sword and shield with a fierceness that closely matched my own. But before I came close enough to engage him, the golden-haired warrior veered off, and there before me stood Somerled himself. Young Malcolm, King of Scotland, came up on my right side. Somerled's eyes flared with an ambitious light under his protective helm when he spotted Malcolm. Little did he know, he would have to go through me first, if he aspired to kill my king.

The last several days we had watched Somerled, those of us who fought at the side of Malcolm convened at the end of the day to relay what we had observed. Those about the King of the Isle kept him insulated and he rarely lifted the sword in battle. I was well aware that the man I faced was fresh and not battle weary, yet he still wouldn't be a match for me and the beast contained under my skin.

At the moment when I stepped in front of Somerled to face off with him, I caught the scent of another. The beast and I snarled together, the red haze of the berserker rage that stayed at the edge of vision during battle intensified as the creature within me attempted to answer the call of protection. The limited control I had over the beast's actions slipped away leaving me utterly animalistic in mind, even if not in body, as I engaged Somerled with a single minded ferocity that caused my kinsmen to give us a wide berth. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Alpha Trine Update

I do have some delayed news for the fans of Alpha Trine. Less Than Three Press has picked up the first book of The Valespian Pact series!! 

I have already signed the contract. So you'll see some promotional stuff come out again for Trine and I'll definitely will post the re-release date as soon as I have it. 

I'm working on the next book, Striker, Lord of Thunder and about a quarter of the way through with it. I'm so glad I found a good press to send The Valespian Pact series to.

Beware, with the official publishing of Alpha Trine, the release date of Striker, Lord of Thunder, that was tentatively scheduled for the end of August, will definitely be pushed back. Heads up, the free downloads for Alpha Trine will be coming down.

A BIG Thank You for everyone who wrote me about how much you loved Alpha Trine. It was those letters that prompted me to think maybe the story was good enough for a professional press. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. All of your kind words inspired me to believe. *Big Hugs*

Monday, June 17, 2013

Love Has No Bounds - Story #2

An emergency prompt went up on Sunday. Someone was unable to finish their story and they reopened the prompt for takers. I couldn't help myself. After verifying what the due date would be I volunteered to take the story.

So now I have another LHNB story due on July 15th but I'll try to get in before.  The dear author letter from Lucy and Kevin goes like this:

"Dear Author, Please help this poor Laird. He's a warrior and a leader, always alone. Now he's fallen in love with the enemy and his clan won't allow it. Please don't make him time travel, but he can shift for sure. Hugs and please make sure he has an HEA He deserves one. This is for Kevin and his incredible highlander addiction. "

The picture is of a sexy, scruffy-cheeked, bare-chested man. His head is shaved, he has tattoos on his left shoulder and above his right pec. He is wearing a red kilt and leather bracers on his forearms.

I haven't come up with a title yet. I'll mull that over as I write. Here is the tentative blurb.

The year of Our Lord, 1164, Thane of Raineach, Ewen Meinnear, stood on the battlefield of Renfrew, gazing down at the golden head of a man who had unknowingly pulled Ewen out of his berserker rage. Kneeling, staff lying at Ewen's feet, the enemy held his arms wide with his head bowed baring his neck waiting for the death blow. But Ewen couldn't raise his hand and take the life the enemy freely gave. Ancient tattoos in blue woad stirred memories of a warning given him long ago by his graundfather. Now he must choose between king and enemy, the path promising to alter the very course of Ewen's solitary life.

Roi Iain of Clann mhic Leoid spent three years under the thumb of the Somerled, King of the Isles. Taken from the Temple of the Moune at Callanish before it burned to the ground, Roi had been forced to stay at the side of the Christian king who took pleasure in ridiculing him in the presence of his court but privately utilized Roi's pagan skills to pursue his own agenda. Required to fight at the king's side, Roi only wished to join his goddess and offered himself up to the enemy's strongest warrior, the man who had haunted Roi's dreams since entering Callanish. Surely this man who had the aura of a powerful guardian beast would release him from the shackles of his oppressed life.

Ewen released Roi but not in the way he'd anticipated. The promise of a lasting happiness is threatened when the clann chief learns of Ewen's deception. Will Ewen be able to protect Roi or will Roi join his goddess as he'd originally dreamed?

Love Has No Bounds - Playing For Keeps

The Story Is Finally UP!!

If you're not familiar with it, Love Has No Bounds is this years GoodReads M/M Romance Groups writing event. Back in March members posted pictures with Dear Author letters and anyone could grab one to write a story. There are many first timers this year that have done a fantastic job with their stories. Plus the stories are free and offered for download later on.

This is my first year to participate. At the end there, I had a slew of issues with corrupted files and a temperamental computer, among other things that delayed my submission by a couple of days.

But it's all good. I don't typically write contemporary. I have one other modern days story in the Love is Love anthology and that one is a pluffy short story. Playing For Keeps is longer and deals with a more serious subject matter. Don't get me wrong, they get there happy ever after but it's slightly angsty. I can never do really angsty because I always hear my mom's voice, "Snap out of it!"

I think the story turned out great, a little idealistic at the end but good. Later this year, I plan to back up the timeline and write a full novel about the boys.

Make sure you stop buy and check out the event. CLICK HERE


College running back, Trent Harte, has been living with his lovers, AJ Barnes and Brock Everett, for two years. Caught in a compromising position, rumors abound. It's hard enough to be an openly gay football player, but gossip and snide comments only adds to his stress. Threats against his partners causes Trent wonder if he should step back from the relationship.

AJ and Brock knows there is something wrong when Trent begins to pull away. A call from Trent's father only adds to the distress. AJ and Brock refuse to let him shoulder the responsibility alone and they call for help. Will Trent find the strength to withstand the pressure and hold on to those he loves? Or will AJ and Brock be too late to convince Trent that they are playing for keeps?