Evernight’s Holiday Hangover Blog Hop!
Happy New Year from Evernight!
Now that the Christmas cookies are gone, gifts unwrapped, and your holiday visitors have left, you’ve earned some well-deserved TLC. Evernight authors not only have the cure for your holiday hangover, they have fantastic new books for your 2015 reading list, too!
Be sure to visit every stop on the hop and answer each question. The more you blogs you hop, the more chances to win the GRAND PRIZE of an iPad Mini sponsored by Evernight Publishing (one entry per blog). Plus, hop each blog for a host of other fabulous prizes.
So sink into your favorite chair and enjoy your holiday hangover!
Hey, folks, Nicola here, and it’s time to add my personal bit to this post. We were requested to use a New Year’s or hangover theme for our post, so I thought, “What would be more appropriate than three gods sitting around a kitchen table drinking wine and commiserating”
Yes, it’s the (unedited) opening scene to Book Three in my Olympic Cove series, Deep Water. And if you want to see how it all got started, please check out Storm Season (Book One) and the newly released Breaker Zone (Book Two). Enjoy!
Three gods sat in a tidy cottage kitchen, sharing a bottle of rather fine wine.
This wasn’t an unusual occurrence for that particular kitchen. With mid-afternoon sunlight playing on its rack of copper pots and aged wooden cabinets, the room radiated a certain cheerful homeliness that could make even a divine being feel welcome. And if pressed, Poseidon (Ruler of the Sea, Earth-Shaker, Lord of Horses, et al.) was willing to admit that he felt surprisingly comfortable in his sons’ oh-so-mortal dwelling.
He definitely appreciated the vintage he was about to receive. Admiring the play of sunlight on crystal and liquid as the level of wine rose in his glass, he nodded when it had reached an acceptable amount.
The male across from him stopped pouring, putting the wine bottle back on the table. Poseidon found the simple act somewhat startling. After millennia of being served by daimons, the invisible spirits of the air that tended the gods of Olympus, he wasn’t used to corporeal hands doing something as mundane as pouring him a glass of wine.
Especially when those hands belonged to Ian West, the new Atlantian God. And, by an incredible concatenation of events that even I find hard to believe, my son-in-law.
Nonplussed, he took a sip. The rich, earthy taste of an excellent Bordeaux rolled over his tongue, and he swallowed with relieved pleasure. “From your wine cellar, I take it?” he said.
The other occupant of the table, a lean redhead with grey eyes, nodded. “I thought it would help, considering what we’re here to discuss,” the sea demigod Bythos said.
“Mm. So you have new information about the cause of Thetis’s madness?”
“We believe so,” Bythos said. “Nick was able to analyze some of her venom while she had him at her lair. He said it contained some kind of nanotechnology. That’s—”
“I know what nanotechnology is,” Poseidon said crisply. “That does come as a surprise. But it explains how she’s been able to turn various creatures into monsters.” He studied his son, whose had been briefly poisoned by the Mad Nereid’s venom. It had required Ian’s new powers, guided by Gaia, to cleanse him of the infection. “Do you know how she obtained this nanotechnology?”
“Unfortunately, no,” Bythos said. “And Nick didn’t mention any identifying marks on it.”
Dr. Nick Gardiner, a friend of Ian, had arrived at the cove a week ago after fleeing a deadly lover. He’d become the Bearer of the Rod of Asclepius in the process, and had endured his own encounter with the Mad Nereid. “Nick had to do his original analysis through Pythia and the Rod,” Ian pointed out. “Plus he had Thetis breathing down his neck. If we can get him some new samples, he might be able to ID who created the nanotech. There can’t be a lot of companies to choose from.”
Poseidon leaned back in his chair, long fingers toying with the almost full wine glass. “Best we take samples from an ilkothella, then,” he said. “It won’t be as powerful as Thetis’s venom, but it should still carry this nanotechnology.”
“Yes, except that the ilkothella has to be captured alive,” Bythos said. “Remember, they turn to sludge when killed.”
Ian shuddered. “How are we going to get one?”
“Aphros and his tritons are more experienced with the creatures,” Poseidon said. “I’ll have him set a squad on capturing one. Where would Nick wish to study it?”
“The cove would be the best place,” Bythos said, “but the protective geas would kill an ilkothella as soon as it came in. I’ll see about setting up some kind of holding pen outside the cove entrance.”
Ian grimaced. “Do we need to keep it alive once we have the sample? I mean, what if it breaks loose?”
Belatedly, Poseidon remembered that a small human town lay close to the cove. During summer, its residents would undoubtedly be spending time in the warm waters of the Atlantic, providing a veritable buffet for an ilkothella. “Make sure it does not break loose,” he ordered. “I have no wish for humans to become panicked if some of their number disappear while swimming.”
Before he could add anything else, there was a knock at the back door. It opened, revealing a lovely brunette carrying a leather messenger bag. “Aphros, are you home? I—”
She stopped as she spotted Poseidon, her bright expression changing to a bland mask. “Oh. I’ll come back later—”
Poseidon jumped to his feet. “No, wait,” he said, the words leaving his mouth before he could call them back. Embarrassed, he cleared his throat. “Aphros isn’t here, but if you wish to speak to Bythos I can step out for a moment.” He tried to smile. It didn’t come out well at all.
His consort Amphitrite glanced at their son, her expression gentling. “No, that’s all right. I just wanted to ask Aph about a recipe,” she said. “Liam wants to try making something called cassoulet. Apparently it’s Nick’s favorite dish.”
Bythos stood, crossing to his mother and kissing her cheek in greeting. “Aph is having a tactical meeting with his tritons,” he said. “He should be back in a few hours.”
Her smile returned. “Then I’ll come back at that time. Gentlemen.” She nodded at Ian and Poseidon.
Poseidon nodded back stiffly, not knowing what else to say. He waited until Bythos had walked the goddess out before dropping back into his seat. What with Nick and his mers joining, it appeared that Olympic Cove was a charmed place for those searching for their soul mates.
I curse both of you for your betrayal. May you never find happiness together.
His hand clenched at the memory, the voice still so familiar after all these centuries.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
He blinked, then glared at Ian. “I beg your pardon?”
The storm god sighed. “Look, it’s obvious you two have some long-standing problems. You’re free to tell me to fuck off, but if you want to talk about it, I’ll listen.”
For a fraction of a second Poseidon considered the offer. Then he realized how his sons’ mate was likely to respond to the revealing of his greatest failing. The very thought of it made him want to destroy something, preferably a continent.
“I … thank you,” he finally said through stiff lips. “But there is nothing on earth that can help.”
Ian’s eyes narrowed at that, but before he could say anything else Bythos came back into the kitchen. “Father, there’s a triton in the cove,” the demigod said, frowning. “He has a message for you from the Oracle.”
The Oracle of the Waters was one of the last surviving seers, the mouthpiece of the Fates themselves. “Why didn’t you bring him in?” Poseidon asked.
“There are humans on the beach launching a boat,” Bythos said, hooking a thumb over his shoulder. “It would be rather noticeable if an armored man suddenly walked out of the water. I told the triton to stay in the cove and wait for you.”
“A boat?” Ian went to the kitchen window, peering out at the beach. “That can’t be Nick’s. He doesn’t know how to sail.”
Bythos gave his mate a wry smile. “I suspect Ms. Kuttner has finally managed to rent out one of the other cottages,” he said. “It was bound to happen at some time. We’ll need to be more cautious moving in and out of the water. Speaking of that–”
He reached into thin air and pulled out a dusty bottle, handing it to Poseidon. “For the Oracle,” he said. “He does appreciate his tribute.”
Poseidon noted the bottle’s vintage, eyebrows rising in appreciation. “He does at that. Thank you, my son. This is … unexpected.”
A faint smile played over Bythos’s lips. “Let’s just say I’m hoping for good news.”
Poseidon nodded in silent agreement, then concentrated. The air molecules around his body shifted, rendering him invisible. Exiting the cottage, he spotted the crew of mortal laborers Bythos had described easing a sailboat into the calm water.
Poseidon tamped down a flicker of irritation. Passing undetected among mortals was simple enough to do, but he’d enjoyed the relative freedom of Olympic Cove and being able to move about without disguising himself. Oh, well. All good things must come to an end, I suppose.
He stepped into the warm water, moving swiftly into the depths and letting them close over him. He automatically checked the condition of the cove; the water was clean, the creatures in it healthy and thriving, and the protective geas laid on it by Bytho still held. No evil would enter the cove to threaten his sons and their mate, or their friends.
At least, not yet.
Okay, fine, I hear you say, but how do I get a chance at winning Evernight’s GRAND PRIZE of an iPad Mini and your blog prize, a saucy little plush merman doll named Dougal?
Simplement, mon ami! Just answer this question in the comments (be sure to include your email address to be eligible to win): What was your most memorable New Year’s Eve?
And now, let’s continue with your Holiday Hangover hop!
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Look what arrived in the mail today!
I stepped out to check on a storm in the distance, and found a storm on my own doorstep! The back has a blurb from The TBR Pile and the standard description of the story, and it all looks so great! Even better, I’m having lunch tomorrow with the woman who’s in the dedication so I can give her a print copy of her very own. Hmm — I’ve never autographed an erotic romance before. Better come up with something clever toot sweet.
In other news, Breaker Zone and “The Art of Grant Management” continue apace — I’m hoping to have the short story finished and submitted to the Executive Assistant antho by Monday, and I’m really pleased with the way I’m revamping Breaker Zone. In a way, having to take such a detour on it has been a good thing because it’s made me look at the three leads more closely and adjust their personalities in a more realistic fashion.
Luckily that won’t be necessary for Book Three (tentatively titled Deep Water), since the main characters in that one will be Poseidon (yes, the big man gets his own book), his consort Amphitrite, and someone who is going to turn out to have a very interesting past relationship with both of them. I hope people don’t mind that 1) I’m changing lead characters with each book, although Ian, Aphros, and Bythos will play a major role in each book, and 2) not all of the books will be M/M/M. Only the first two will be M/M/M — Book Three will be M/M/F, Book Four M/M/M/F/F (yeah, that’s gonna be interesting), Book Five M/M/F, and Book Six M/F. It’s just the way the story is working out in my head.
So I’m sitting here crying
I’m of an age where seeing my work in print is still very important to me. I love and am very grateful for e-publishing, don’t get me wrong — it’s a totally awesome publication avenue, and I take advantage of it all the time. That being said, as a writer born in the 1960s there’s still a part of me that wants to see a book in my hot little hands with my name on it in order to feel fully validated. When my first shared novel came out, I wanted to dance around Dallas in utter glee, waving it over my head like a flag, and immediately added it to my book shelf that held various anthologies with my short stories.
So when I published my first standalone novel Storm Season with Evernight last year, I was immensely proud. But there was also a tiny twinge that it would never be tangible, printed words on a page with my writing name on the cover that I could put on my bookshelf. Oh, I knew there was a chance that Evernight might add it to their print collection if it sold well enough, but it was my freshman novel, no one really knew me, and so I put it out of my mind and just concentrated on writing more stories and becoming the best damn writer I could be.
And then, this morning, I opened my email and saw something from Evernight with PRINT in the Subject line. I tell you, I felt like my heart stopped for a moment. Part of me was scared to open it, thinking that it couldn’t be what I thought it was. I was scared to hope, silly as that sounds.
But I opened it. And started crying when I read, “Your book Storm Season is now available in our print store…”
So, yeah, Storm Season is now a print book. It’s currently available directly from Evernight via CreateSpace, but will be available at Amazon in a week and other online booksellers in 6-8 weeks. I’m not saying this so that anyone feels like they have to buy it — I figure anyone who enjoys this particular genre already bought it as an ebook.
But damn. My first novel is now in print. And so, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go flail like a Muppet around the house for the next hour or so.
Mid Week Tease: Storm Season
Happy Hump Day! Here’s another delicious Mid Week Tease, courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino. This week, I’ll be sharing a teaser from my debut novel Storm Season.
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Ian West had his summer all planned out — go down to Florida, stay in his family’s beach cottage on Olympic Cove, and work on his science fiction novel. But his plans get thrown for a loop when gorgeous twin sea gods Bythos and Aphros show up in the cove and inform him he’s their fated consort. As if that wasn’t enough, something in the Gulf of Mexico is turning mermaids into legendary monsters and gods into demons. Now, Ian not only has to navigate the complicated waters of a ménage relationship with twin sea gods, he also has to stop an insane deity and save the whole damn planet. No pressure.
He grabbed the shampoo he’d bought the day before and squirted a dollop into his hair, closing his eyes as he worked it through. Memories of that first night, and his fantasy of having Bythos and Aphros in the shower with him, crossed his mind. His cock stirred at the thought.
Before he could grab the conditioner and work himself up to a halfhearted jackoff session, a baritone voice said, “You are damnably difficult to resist, beloved.”
Ian gasped in shock, sucking in droplets of shampoo foam. Frantically coughing and spitting, he stuck his face directly in the spray and scrubbed the soap away from his eyes.
And opened them on the beautiful sight of Bythos and Aphros standing in front of the enclosure, naked and waiting for him. He wiped wet hair back from his face, fighting the urge to jump out and into their arms. “You came back,” he said stupidly.
Bythos gave him a wry smile. “Yes, well, I hate to hear a grown man grovel.”
Aphros elbowed him, and the grey-eyed demigod winced. “And brother dearest here rightly pointed out that we should have explained everything more fully to you last night, before we took you to bed.”
Aphros nodded. “Love, we’re not trying to push you into anything, we swear,” he said, his face open and beseeching. “You’re absolutely right—we don’t really know you any more than you know us. And finding out about the agapetos marks was understandably a shock. It’s just the way these things work for our kind. And we’ve known about you a lot longer than you’ve known about us, so we might have gotten a little ahead of ourselves.”
“Might have?” Bythos murmured.
Aphros glared at his brother, then turned back to Ian. “But we want to get to know you, if you’ll let us. Please, love, let us.”
Ian stood there for a fraction of a second, before pulling back the glass door of the enclosure. “Get in here.”
The demigods didn’t hesitate. Suddenly he was surrounded by slick male flesh, hands touching and caressing him everywhere. Ian moaned in delight under the onslaught, and again when Bythos dropped to his knees and swallowed his half-hard cock in one gulp. The sudden shock of wet heat and a mobile velvet tongue made his knees wobble, and Aphros had to grab him around the waist and hold him securely while Bythos let his cock slide free, ducking lower and laving each ball before mouthing them.
Aphros slid long fingers under Ian’s chin, tilting his head around until their lips met. Ian lost himself in the demigod’s kiss, flickering tongue moving slick and hot against his.
Bythos turned his attention back to Ian’s cock, working what felt like magic on it. Ian came with a shout swallowed by Aphros. Bythos also swallowed, then pulled off and licked him clean. He got to his feet with a satisfied smile. “You’re delicious, beloved.”
With a groan, Ian dragged the grey-eyed demigod into his arms, kissing him and tasting his own pleasure mixed with Bythos’s unique flavor, a bittersweet combination that was irresistible. “Don’t you ever leave me again like that, you hear me?”
“We won’t, we promise,” Bythos said quietly, cupping his face. “We love you.”
Ian stopped resisting the pull he’d felt from the first moment he’d seen them in the ocean. “I love you, both of you,” he said hoarsely, feeling it resonate in his soul. “I don’t know why, but I do.”
Aphros pressed close behind, his rigid cock rubbing along the groove of Ian’s ass. “Because you belong to us,” he said. “And we belong to you, love.”
Ian let himself be pushed harder against Bythos’s chest. Aphros’s fingers slid along the cheeks of his ass, caressing the muscled curves before sliding deeper into the crease between them. He teased the tight opening for a moment, a fingertip circling the puckered muscle, before gently pressing in.
Ian panted at the sweet—and undeniably slick—penetration. “Where the hell did you get lube?” he said.
Aphros chuckled in his ear. “I conjured it down from the bedroom. Demigod, remember?” His finger slid deeper and curved in, rubbing that one delicious spot, and Ian moaned happily.
Bythos leaned down and claimed his mouth again, kissing him with a hungry ferocity. “I love you,” he muttered in between hot, wet kisses. “Oh, Gaia, I love you so much.”
“I love you, too.” Ian hung onto the demigod’s shoulders as one finger turned to two, huffing under his breath at the pain-pleasure of the stretching. Then three, until finally he felt them pull out and the thick head of Aphros’s cock pushing into him. The thick shaft filled him slowly, inch by inch, until Aphros abruptly stopped.
“No, that’s no good,” he said. “Angle’s wrong. By, some help?”
“How’s this?” Strong hands slid around Ian’s thighs, spreading them open. Suddenly he was lifted up and held against Bythos, his own hardening cock rubbing against the grey-eyed demigod’s rigid shaft. He wrapped his arms around Bythos’s neck and clung closer.
“Oh, yes, that’s much better,” Aphros said, moving faster now. Ian savored the depth the demigod achieved with each thrust, pushing him more firmly against Bythos. The rhythmic pressure kept their cocks rubbing deliciously past each other in the hot, tight space between their bodies.
The thrumming in Ian’s groin took on a rising note. “Oh, fuck yes. Harder, Aph, please.”
Aphros obeyed. His thrusts turned savage, shoving Ian hard against Bythos with each pistoning move. Lost in pleasure, Ian nuzzled Bythos’s shoulder, then bit down.
The demigod yelped, but his hips jerked as he came in a warm spurt between their bodies. That triggered Ian’s orgasm, and he threw his head back onto Aphros’s shoulder, coming hard and keening.
“Yes!” Aphros shouted. With another thrust, he exploded inside Ian.
For an endless moment the three of them leaned against one another under the now-cooling water, panting and trembling from the aftershocks. Finally, Ian got enough breath back to laugh softly.
“Well,” he said, brushing his lips across the love bite on Bythos’s shoulder, “at least this is going to make cleanup easy.”
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Folks, I need a favor from you
I just got my 3Q royalties statement from Evernight, and after I stopped flailing like a happy Muppet I sat down to study the numbers. Storm Season, unsurprisingly, has been my best seller to date, and I love each and every one of you who bought a copy.
Thing is, I need to sell a minimum of 25 copies through Evernight’s website in order for it to be considered for a print run, and I’ve only sold 20 copies so far. It’s a stupid egoboo thing, I know, but I would so very much love it if this was available in print. If you haven’t purchased Storm Season yet and want to find out how the whole Olympic Cove saga began, I would ask that you head over to the Evernight website and get it directly from the publisher. Plus, today is the last day of their 40% off everything sale, so if you buy it today you’ll get it on sale as well!
I thank you for your support!
Storm Season is almost done
Sixteen chapters down, two to go, and then I write the query letter and send it off. And it has been a most educational experience, editing a novel. I’ve finished novels before, mind you, but this is the first time I’ve ever managed to get through editing one and whipping it into submission shape. I may have to pull out those two finished novels and put them through the same process, once blood has returned to my butt and my fingers stop screaming at me.
Things what I learned whilst editing my novel:
- After realizing that I’d unconsciously followed the three act format, I learned that somehow much of Act Two wound up in Act Three and had to be transplanted. I then had to rewrite a good 40% of Act Three because what was left was so patchy as to be almost unusable. That being said, my Act Two freaking well rocks — no slow middle third of the novel here, nosiree.
- If I have a magical tattoo show up on my MCs in Act One, I kinda have to make it do something useful by Act Three.
- Not many M/M/M erotic romances also contain references to Greek gods, genetic engineering, nanotech, and Alan Turing. Go me!
- One person commented on my short story “Tied With a Bow” that the menage relationship came together too easily and cleanly. That does not happen here by a long shot, hoo boy. If I can put my boys through the wringer, I do. I’m surprised they don’t hate me by now.
- If I sit for too long, my middle back muscles knot up like a bitch. There’s a reason why I own a treadmill, and I really need to use it more often.
- I need to find better ways to pull my brain out of fifth gear so that I can get to sleep at night instead of staring at the ceiling thinking, “Wait, did I remember to add that backstory? Is that going to work or is it an infodump? Maybe if I just use more character motivation…”
Soon, my precious. Soooooon…