Meeting Moriah #excerpt #WIP #update

I'm working on edits for Capturing Their Flame at the moment. I'm also nearing the last of A Cougar's mates. Three more plot points to go, which is exciting. I've got Penny all plotted and ready to go. The only thing I need to do is print it out and put it in the binder that I'm using to help plan the day's work.

Today, I thought that I'd share a bit from the start of the Stone Passions II. Right now, I'm just calling it Moriah's Story. (This start and the title will change because it needs a sharper beginning, but that will wait until revisions.

Dante stared at the woman sitting at the table with the Agali Callista Vincente and Callista’s brother, William Vincente.  He’d heard the two Branal introduce themselves to their woman, Moriah.  The name suited her, exotic and beautiful.

Moriah looked young.  By appearance, he thought she was about twenty three.  Golden hair hung just past her shoulders.  Although an apron covered her from chest to midthigh, the swell of her breasts and a curve of her hips provided ample evidence of her sweet figure.  She was theirs.

“You know I should slam your hand ride into this wall.  This is all because you had to go and say that the Fates loved you.  After a remark like that, the tricky witches had to do something to you.” Cael turned to glare at him.

Dante shook his head.  Cael had a point.  He should have known better than to play around with fate.  On the other hand, he never thought there was a chance in hell that their mate would be a Branal.  Relationships between gargoyles and the Branal were very rare.  With two female Branal known to be mates to other groups within their community, he had thought that he was safe making that claim.

“Yeah, I’d rather you not do that right now.  She’s already looking at us as if we’re alien creatures.  Who knows what she and think of us if you slam into my head into the wall.” Dante returned his attention to the woman at the table.

She glanced up at him.  He stared into the brilliant emerald green of her eyes.  He hadn’t expected to be so drawn to her.  He’d known he would want her physically, but he hadn’t thought he’d want to know everything about her.

“I don’t think that it’s us necessarily.  So many things are being thrown at her right now.  I’m surprised she’s not screaming.  And she doesn’t know the important part, yet.” Cael leaned back against the wall.

“I’m close to screaming. You know what this means.” Dante stared at the group of people over at the table.

“And that’s why I want to slam your head into something.” Cael elbowed him.

They had to leave her here. They had to court her. Her business was in neutral territory. They couldn’t pick her up and take her back to the community. Those fates had really screwed them over.

“Yeah, I want to smack my head against something for that, too.” Dante exhaled and stared at their woman. They hadn’t even been formally introduced yet.

He leaned back and watched and listened. He wouldn’t leave this place without talking to her. She was their mate. All he wanted to do was pick her up and take her home with him. Yet, because of the rules and freaking politics he had to leave her here.

“So, I go to visit your people and learn to handle my power. My cousin will visit their people and learn to handle his. So why are there so many other people here and why are those two staring at me?” She glanced over at Cael and him.

Dante smiled at her. She tilted her head and frowned. She was one confused woman. That would change though once they actually were able to talk to her. She’d at least know why they were staring at her.

“Yes, um, them, they have a reason for staring at you. The others. Well, the woman, Naomi was in here once and noticed that there was a person here that didn’t feel human. She told someone and because of the location we’re all here. There are specific territories for each of our groups and an area where both can go without any problems.” William lifted a shoulder. “This place is in the neutral territory.”

“So why are they staring at me?” Moriah asked.

“Um, Callista, you want to explain that to her?” William looked over at the blonde beside him.

Callista sighed and shook her head. “You know you’re going to have to do all of this after today. just like telling a Branal about what it means.”

“Yeah, I never did that when I was at Ryan’s. I always had an older woman do it for the females and older man do it for the males. Hell, I haven’t found mine. How am I supposed to know what to say to them?” William shook his head.

“You know the signs.  Don’t try to play that off.  These are your people now.” Callista scowled at her brother.  “You take care of them.  You guide them.”

Her brother held up his hands.  “All right, I get it.  Can you do it this time?”

“Yes, I can.” Callista nodded.  She turned her attention to Moriah.  “You’re attracted to those two men, aren’t you?”

Moriah flinched and drew back.  The question obviously made her uncomfortable.  Dante take a step forward.  Callista held up her hand.  She must have seen the movement.  Dante hesitated.  He didn’t want Moriah afraid of what was between them.

Moriah exhaled heavily.  She glanced over at Cael and him.  He didn’t need her to answer Callista’s question.  The curiosity and desire was there in her green eyes.

“Well, they are hot.” Moriah shrugged.

“From the way your eyes glowed, I’m sure there’s more there than simple admiration for their physique.” Callista folded her hands on the table and sat back in the chair.

Moriah stared for a moment, her eyes wide.  “My eyes glowed?”

“Yes, your eyes glowed.  That’s what happens when Branal encounter their mates.  You only have to get close to them for it to happen.” Callista glanced over at Cim Sin.  “I don’t know if you noticed, because it’s easy to miss.  There was probably a little heat in your eyes at the time.”

Moriah worried at her lower lip.  “Well, I did feel some irritation, but I thought it was dry eyes.”
“That I can understand.  When I first felt it, I thought it was the glare of lights.  It took me a little while to realize what exactly was happening.” Callista nodded.

“So, the eye thing means that I found the person I should that I should be with.  How do I know who it is?” Moriah leaned forward.

“Well, if it was a Branal in a crowded room, there might be a little difficulty.  Eventually, they’d work it out after repeated meetings.  But, in your case, it’s a gargoyle.  Well, more than one.  You’ll have to talk to them to get the details.  Gargoyles can scent their mates.  They’ve known exactly what you are to them since they walked into your bakery.” Callista turned to face Cael and Dante.

“Them?” Moriah glanced at them and lowered her eyes.  “Wait.  More than one husband?  That’s not legal.”

“Legally, you’d marry one of them.” Callista lifted a shoulder. “And you’d have to talk to them to discover if it’s just them or if there might be another one.”

“Another one? You implied that you had a mate. Where is he?” Moriah tilted her head.

“Yes, I’ve encountered part of them. They’re gargoyles, but their set isn’t complete. There are two, but know there should be three. Until they find the third, we won’t complete the mating.” Callista exhaled heavily.

“So do all relationships have two or three men with gargoyles? And just because my eyes do that thing is it set in stone that I have to be with them?” Moriah leaned forward.

“Some Branal choose to mate with a Branal that’s not the one for them, but I haven’t ever heard of anyone not mating when gargoyles are involved.” Callista lifted a shoulder. 

“That would be because gargoyles never quit even if we have to do things in a way other than the normal.” Cim Sin strolled over to the table. “Why don’t you go talk with them? You’re never going to know how you feel about them until you talk to them.”

Moriah glanced over at them and bit her lip. She nodded and slowly rose to her feet and began walking over to them. Dante didn’t move. He didn’t want to scare her into walking away from them.

Happy Reading!

Capturing Their Flame #coverreveal

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday. It's started out to be a great day. Well, today's post is going to be relatively short. So without further ado, I present to you the cover for Capturing Their Flame  Stone Passions 1.

Harris Channing did this cover and I love it!

 Naomi Hardin heads into gargoyle territory to see a play without a second thought.  She never expected to run into any gargoyles, much less two men who claim she’s their mate. She’s drawn to the two gargoyles, but will escape from them. Although they’re gorgeous, she has plans for her life and they don’t include biologically chosen mates.
Neil Conrad and Isaac Phillips are thrilled to discover their mate at a theater. Although she’s not happy, she’s trespassed into gargoyle territory and is fair game. They take her home to show her they belong together, but discover they’ve brought her right into the path of danger. Someone is targeting the gargoyle.
They must gain her trust and love while they learn to trust her as well, because they’ll need her help against some of the attacks coming at them. They’ll have to face the trouble coming for them in order to claim her love and begin their life together.

Scheduled to release on November 21

I'll keep you updated and post the pre-order link as soon as I have it!

Happy Reading!

October update: Stone Passions and bullet journaling #amwriting

So I wanted to do an update.

First up, the really great news. I published this on my facebook page, but also wanted to do it here. I recently signed a contract with Siren Publishing for Capturing Their Flame: Stone Passions 1.

In Capturing Their Flame, two gargoyle males find their mate and bring her home. But danger has targeted the gargoyle and they'll have to protect her to keep her.

So the 1 on the end of that title. Yes, it means that it's a series right off the bat. I already have the second plotted out and ready to go.

I'm writing on Les right now and trying to get myself back in the flow. I've had a lull in productivity and am working on getting back to the routine that worked.

I'm revising Love's Bounty now. I need to do some world building for this story. As I wrote it, the focus changed and I need to flesh that out.

I'm still working on daily pages and mindful exercise.

I've also been trying a little planning and tracking in a bullet journal. I still track words and other things in excel. I heard about the bullet journal on one of the loops I'm on and decided to give it a try. At the moment, I'm not using anything other than a normal notebook I had lying around. There are some notebooks that some people recommend for it. Before I buy one, I wanted to make sure this was a good fit for me.

(I've tried several planning and organizing methods over the course of this year, trying to find something I like enough to keep doing. Some didn't last very long. Some I pushed myself to keep going on even when it caused me more time and effort than it saved to make sure that I give it a fair chance. One overwhelmed me and made everything I wanted to do seem more daunting than when I first started it.)

I'm still giving it time, but I do like it. I'm adding stuff to it to help it be more useful to me. Sort of a cross between bullet journal/writing notebook. And that's what I've been doing.

Happy Reading!

The sweetest words and update #amwriting

I typed those sweet words on Fiery Bliss earlier. It's a wonderful feeling. (Still not sure about that title. I don't think it suits, but I'm putting off changing it until I get into the revisions. I'll give more thought to the themes, the characters, and action and work out what does fit with that story.) I'll put it aside and revisit it as soon as I can.

It will be a little while before I actually say hello to the characters in the stone Passions 2 story. For the next few days, I'll probably work exclusively on Leslie. The plot for that story is done, but there are some things I want to work on in the notebook before I get into the story. I have some handwritten notes that I haven't transferred over yet. Those need to make it in before the kitty who rips paper decides those look yummy and in need of a big hole in them.

A Cougar's Mates (Leslie's Story) is moving along. Most of the scenes haven't given me any problem at all, but you know there has to be one or two to throw a kink in the works.

I still haven't received an inkling about who should be after Leslie other than Penny, so I'm plotting out her book. Shonna and Dixie have been very quiet about their mates. Well, I do think I know one of Dixie's mates, but he isn't even in the city yet. She hasn't met him. He won't make an appearance until the next book if the characters behave.

I'm also trying to decide which witch to work on next in the Moon Witch stories and trying to discover which man will soon meet his match. I know which one deserves this chance, not only at love, but at a little payback for what was done to her.  I'll have to do some more digging and thinking about which sister to choose and her man.

Aside from the revisions, that's almost all that's going on at the moment. More on what else is in the works in a later post

Happy Reading!

First Excerpt: A Cougar's Mates (WIP) #amwriting

Today, I'd like to share an excerpt of A Cougar's Mates. I'm still writing this story. This is about one thousand words from Chapter One. I hope you enjoy!

Leslie tossed back her drink and looked around the bar. The Wild Beat was rocking tonight and packed with cougar females. That was because she’d set up a plan. She couldn’t avoid the Chief forever. His brothers were home now or they would be soon. She wasn’t sure.

They added to the factor of possibly running into one of them when she was out. She did not want to run into one of them and go to their home to find it smelling like another woman. She felt possessive of them and because she’d caught John’s scent, her body had kicked into high gear.

She was pumping out pheromones, but luckily, they didn’t affect every male. They’d only heighten the arousal of her mates as theirs would for hers. Although other shifters around her would realize something was different about her.

In the last week, she hadn’t been comfortable. Not just because everything within her pushed her to go find her mate. No, she’d worried she might run into John every time she left her house. She knew he didn’t do traffic patrol much, but he had been known to take a shift. She hadn’t been able to enjoy driving within the city since she’d caught the man’s scent.

She wanted him to realize he didn’t need to look for a mate, that he had a mate and she was right here in the town. There was nothing to slow a male cat’s roll like realizing he had a mate. On the other hand, she didn’t want the man to realize who exactly that mate was yet. She was still pissed about the almost daily turnover of lovers in his bed. So she’d enlisted the help of almost every cougar female she knew.

Chloe’s mates came by to see her almost every girls’ night they had. Today, Logan would definitely be by to see her. He’d worked nights last week and had just started the morning shift. So he hadn’t seen her all day. He’d come by just to see her and then he’d join Jason and the others at another bar. Leslie hoped John would be able to catch her scent off Logan, because she planned to make sure he had the scent of other cougar females on him as well.

“So, plan Man whore Take-down is in full swing?” Chloe met Leslie’s eyes.

Chloe was resplendent in a green and black top and a black skirt tonight. She looked good with her red hair falling down her back. The slight frown when she thought no one was looking did concern Les, as did the tightness in her shoulders and jaw.

There was something going on with that girl. Well, other than the whole trying to get pregnant thing and having enough sex to make every woman around her jealous. She wasn’t pregnant yet and last week, she’d been upset about that. But she’d seemed to have calmed down about that by the end of the conversation with them. So why was she tense and quiet tonight?

“Yeah, with luck and your big man’s unknowing cooperation, the big manwhore will realize he has a mate, but not know who the hell she is. I’ve got a few friends here and they’ll come into contact with Logan as he comes over here and as he leaves.” Les smiled at the thought. She’d like him to feel something close to the frustration she’d felt over the last weeks. She adjusted the position of the straps on her sleeveless violet top.

“You’re lucky I like you or I might get a little upset about the thought of other women touching my Logan.” Chloe narrowed her eyes on Leslie. “Anyone else suggests allowing women to bump into him and rub against him and I might have to bounce them across the parking lot. The only thing saving them is the fact that I know they’re doing it to help you leash that tomcat.”

“Thank you for being so cooperative.” Leslie smiled. “I can assure you that they don’t have any designs on your man, even if he is gorgeous, and are doing it only because I’m their friend.”

“Have you heard anything from said gorgeous man?” Shonna asked.

“Not—” Chloe’s voice cut off as her text tone cut through the lull of noise between songs. “Well, this is from him. He says he’ll be here in about five minutes and he’d like a big kiss since a quickie in the back room is out of the question.”

“More information than I ever needed to know about that.” Dixie scowled at Chloe.

“Maybe I should feel sorry about tormenting you, but I don’t. Mainly because you revel in doing the same to me.” Chloe grinned and took a long drink of her nonalcoholic cocktail. Wild Beats had become inventive with their offerings in that variety since Chloe had decided to get pregnant.

“Yeah, enjoy it, girlfriend, because I will be getting you back.” Dixie folded her arms across her chest.

“Will you?” Shonna glanced to Dixie. “You know you haven’t found your mates yet. There’s still the anxiety and issues that come with doing that. I’m sure she’ll enjoy watching you go through that the same as you did her.”

“And you’re in the same boat. You haven’t found your man.” Dixie turned glare at Shonna.

“Yeah, but I’ll only have to deal with one. Much easier and fewer issues.” Shonna chuckled. “I totally don’t envy you bears and cats that part.”

Two people stopped by the table. Les turned her head and smiled widely. She’d hoped the black-haired woman would stop by. She didn’t recognize the human woman beside her, but that wasn’t a surprise. She normally saw Maggie when they were at Pride functions.

“Everyone, I’d like to introduce Magdalena Black. She’s the sister to our illustrious alpha cat.” Leslie glanced over at her friends. “And she’s a good friend. I’ve known her since we were both kits in the same child care center.”

The others said hello, but Les saw them glance to the woman with Maggie.

“Hi, you can call me, Maggie. Almost everyone does. This is my friend, Penelope Steele. She goes by Penny though. This girl helped me get through college calculus.” Maggie gestured to the woman at her side.

Penny said hello. “Hi, I hope you don’t mind me being here. When Maggie told me what was up with the calling together of the cougar females, I had to meet you. A couple of my friends got hit by the John Dark sex them and kick them to the curb train. They totally weren’t expecting one night and then nothing more.”

“You have some experience with male cats?” Leslie tilted her head. The girl didn’t strike her as the type of woman who chased shifters for sex.

“Ah, no, Maggie clued me in early about shifters only getting serious with their mates. I’ve never been one for casual sex so if someone showed interest, I didn’t give them any encouragement. From what I know of mating, I was pretty sure that they’d let me know if they were my mate.” Penny smiled.

“Yeah, they would, but until they meet that woman, a good portion of shifter males are man whores.” Les shook her head.

“And afterward, they’re just stupid.” Maggie slid a glance at her friend.

Happy Reading!