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Dark Succession

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I’ve Been Tagged! Lucky 7 – #blogging #writers

So last week, while I was out of town (sneaky people that you are) I got tagged to participate in the Lucky 7!  And not once, but TWICE.  First was Candice Bundy and the second was TJMichaels, but oddly enough I can’t find that tag on TJ’s blog.  I saw her announcement fly by on facebook while I was rushing out to my cousin’s wedding!  (More on that to come later this week or next)   So does that mean I have to tag 14 people?  Wouldn’t that be scary? I think I’ll stick with 7, but I guess to prove I love all you folks, I’ll give you TWO excerpts from 2 different manuscripts.  Does that sound fair?  :borg:

The rules for this one are quite simple:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 other victims, …er, authors.


OK, So, since I get to share TWO manuscripts, I’m going to start with the one that published on the 27th, since, well, it was technically still a manuscript when I was Tagged. :D

So, for my first one – from Lone Wolf, I went to page 77, copied 7 lines.  I promise, I didn’t fudge this at all!

Two men. Two voices. Krystal held her eyes closed, studying her situation. She was in a sitting position, her hands above and held at either side of her head. She could feel the hard edge of steel cuffs about her wrists. Cold, hard cement was beneath her. The room smelled of dank animal scents and straw. The urge to cover her nose was overwhelming, but she didn’t want to let the bastards know she was awake.

“Good. The tiger experiment failed. This one will work.”

Can you GET a more intriguing 7 lines by pure luck?

The second one was harder, because my program doesn’t count the pages unless I set it up to print.  So, for the sake of this, I set it up to print. :)  Just for you guys.  The work?  It’s Cougar’s Fate, the 3rd in the Maxey Wizards series.  Again, talk about lucky on the 7th line of page 77!

Jared snarled when Conrad smirked at his pain and fury.  Jared dragged himself upright, wishing the bastard would step closer.  Just two feet nearer, so he could rip that damned electrical rod out of his hand. If he could get control of his magick, he could send a bout of his newly learned fire, burning the bastard’s clothes.  But with the obviously bespelled cuffs around his ankles and wrists, as well as the electricity still bouncing through the cells in his body, there was no way he could focus.

But he wasn’t above trying.  Jared reached for his magick, swallowing the pain and need to gasp for air.

Yes, that’s seven lines in my program.  Now maybe that’s why this is the lucky 7. I have some great lines on pages 77 and line 7. LOL.  Wooohoo!

Ok, now who to pick?  Letssseeeee.

  1.  Vivienne Westlake -Of whom I’m just terribly jealous of her beauty (and hair).
  2. Crista McHugh who is my husband’s FAVORITE author.  Yes, he said that.  Sad, isn’t it?  I’m not even his favorite!
  3. Alexia Reed – who had to tolerate me at a conference as I was dying from a cold (Yes, I always feel like a cold is killing me).  I’m such a whiner.
  4. Kristen Koster, of Impulsive Hearts -  I just LOVE her writing!!  You’ll have to check out all of her page to see it!
  5. Elise Logan or Emily Ryan Davis.  I’m putting them both here as one, because I know they share their blog and are always working on projects together.  You have to check out their books, folks!  Really!
  6. Jodi Henley – My roommate for two RWA conferences so far, and she hasn’t even killed me yet!  Is that awesome or what?  Course after this…. Ya never know.  But if you want to learn to write, Jodi is the gal for you! She’s got great ideas on the art of the craft!
  7. Stephanie Draven – last but definitely not least, the Rita Award Nominee, Stephanie Draven!  Course you may have to wait to see her post until she comes down from the clouds.  And also, let me offer my BIG TIME CONGRATS for her to be so honored!  Stephanie, we love you!  Sorry I can’t be there this year to see you win!

There you have it!  Now to catch these ladies’ attention and let them know they’ve been tagged!

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Let’s talk about characters.

I was thinking today about the different characters I’ve created, and the things that make them “individual” and not cardboard figures.  In SheWolf, my heroine was a veterinarian.  She thought about animals all the time.  She thought about her job, and how stupid white coats were when you worked with animals.  How the dirt and dog hair were always obvious.  We see her at work, with her employees, and how they bond like their own pack.  Her hero, Kieran, identifies himself entirely by his failures until he meets his mate.  The death of his parents.  The death of his first wife.  They all play on his mind and guide his every action.  But once life begins to change. Kieran identifies himself entirely as a mate.  It’s a touching and unusual role to see an alpha male take.

Then there’s Ryland, with Dark Succession.  A man who has to fight for everything, to prove himself, to be what he wants to be.  To be what his brother thinks he should be.  He can’t even control his life enough to know who his parents truly are.  His past has created a powerful, yet edgy alpha male.  One thrown into a world he’d rather not be in, but must fight to keep it.  His heroine identifies herself as nothing more than an alpha’s daughter.  A woman who isn’t attractive in her own eyes, tired of being courted for her position instead of who and what she is.  A college girl, struggling to avoid what she believes to be her future – a loveless mating. 

In Tigress by the tail, we were more with Lance, who was the youngest brother of a family of 5 kids.  How he looked up to his brothers and identified not so much with himself, but what his brothers made him.  Cassie, however is more than confident if not a little bit innocent.  The ultimate college diva, from money.  She identifies herself more as a shifter than as a woman.

In Lone Wolf, Krystal is a movie buff.  You can tell because she is constantly comparing her brothers, or events to movies.  References to Underworld, Fantastic Four, and Matrix are throughout her thought processes.  Krystal was fun for me.  My favorite line in the movie is “The Matrix, in living color.  Times Four.”  A reference to her four brothers, all wearing black trench coats.  It made me smile every time I saw it.  She considers herself the weakest of the Maxey children.  And damn it, she’s going to prove herself even if it gets her killed.  Damon, however, identifies himself as a man without a past, who fears for his future.  It’s there, in everything he says and does. 

Now I’m working on Cougar’s Fate, and our hero, Jared, has trouble identifying himself as little more than the typical “Middle child syndrome”.  The third child in a group of five, he isn’t the oldest.  He isn’t the youngest.  He isn’t the smartest and he isn’t the most powerful.  Those titles all belong to his siblings.  He isn’t even the most “Sensitive”, as he describes his next oldest brother.  At this point in the story, he has at last met a woman who will draw him to be more than “the middle child”.  More than the less than powerful Maxey brother.  I can’t wait to see what she draws out of him.  What power, or strength he develops because of her love. 

So tell me about your favorite characters.  What makes them special?  How do they identify themselves?  How does it differ from the beginning of the story to the end?  Does your favorite develop into something OTHER than what they were in the beginning? or did they simply develop more of that identification till they truly knew who and what they were?

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A little taste of the future

Sorry I’ve been lax lately, but that’s because I’ve been busy.  Writing.  Among other things.  So what am I writing?  The third book in the Maxey Wizard series, of course.  The working title is Cougar’s Fate, and it looks like it’s going to have a few surprises for folks.  It seems the Cougar isn’t the only shifter in the book.  But of course I can’t give away my secrets, that would ruin the book!  For you and for me.

But, Cougar’s Fate isn’t all I’m working on.  Slowly but surely, Dark Succession gets closer and closer to release.  And since that is my current favorite book (with very good reason), I thought I’d share a little bit from the pages of Dark Succession.

Dark Succession - coming soon from Freya’s Bower

Nora Hunt is the daughter of former pack leader Sean Hunt and niece to Kieran Hunt.  Emotionally and physically scarred after being held captive for weeks, she’s finally ready to move on with her life.  But when she meets Ryland, she discovers not only a world of darkness and pain, but discovers Ryland may not be any better than those who held her captive all those weeks.

When Ryland Keegan steps in as Alpha of his dead brother’s pack, he inherits a pack of savage rogue wolven, as well as a legacy of violence, lies and five women held captive within the pack’s confines.

But when Ryland’s pack members start dying one at a time, he must decide if Nora is the catalyst or the killer.  Can he trust his True Mate? Or will he be relegated to a life of leading the dregs of Wolven society?

“What do you want?”  Nora was tall compared to most shewolves, at almost six feet, one inch, yet still he towered over her. He moved slowly, giving her every opportunity to run, his eyes watching her every move. Running almost seemed like a good idea. But then again, he might give chase, and she wouldn’t stand a chance. She tilted her head back to stare into his eyes. She lost her balance and was forced to step back.

“I want to know,” he leaned in, whispering, “why you were in the bar.”

“My car broke down.” His scent moved from her lungs to her blood. The mix of masculine power and leather worked like an aphrodisiac, striking with a force that nearly brought her to her knees. His heat burned against her flesh, though they were still inches apart. Nora longed to lean forward, hungry for more.

“Why did you run?” He cocked his head, curiosity shining in those glittering eyes.

She wasn’t about to tell him it was because she’d caught his scent and had found it shockingly attractive, something that had never happened to her before. “I didn’t want to infringe on another wolven’s territory.” Well, it was true. To a point.

His nostrils flared, he inched closer, his breath whispered against her ear. He rumbled low in his chest.

“I don’t believe you,” he murmured. His breath played across her skin and goose bumps rose. “I think you’re like all the rest.”

She narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean?”

“You’re like all the other shewolves who come through town, looking for an alpha to fuck, in hopes he’ll offer to mate.”

His words splashed over her like cold water. He was wrong. And she would tell him so.

Just as soon as her breath returned.

His sharp fangs grazed the side of her neck, and she fought the urge to offer tilt her head in offering.

She shook her head. “I’m not like the others.”  Small, powerless words.

His taunting, soft laugher rolled through her, her muscles turning to water.

“You want me, you know you do. You can’t hide it.” He inhaled deeply, his nostrils flaring. “So what’s it to be, little rabbit? Do I fuck you and send you on your way?”

He was taunting her, pushing her, and, while she knew what he was doing, she couldn’t stop the cold flush of anger. “I’m different from the others. I don’t want you.”

“Really?”  He cocked his head and met her gaze.

Her hands drew up to his massive chest. Hard, powerful muscle lay beneath his black shirt. It was almost distracting enough to make her forget her goal. Higher and higher her palms slid.

His eyes narrowed, watching. Waiting.

“Yes, really.”  She gasped the words, took in a deep breath, and continued, her voice stronger. “Unlike those mangy bitches, I have a brain, and my brain says no.”  With her hands on his shoulders, she slammed her knee upward. He twisted to the side, and she just missed his groin. Nora drew her arm back and let loose, the sharp crack of her palm against his cheek so gratifying.

His eyes widened, and he stepped back, the dull red imprint of her hand evident on his face.

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