Wrap up and our winner – (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

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Ashavan Doyon here to wrap up and award one of you with the final give-away – an e-book copy of Gerry’s Lion.

As for my quirk? Like Leo, I love the tropical shirts… so much so that they even let me wear them as business attire at work!

LEO LOOKED through his closet. It was hopeless.

“What do I wear?”

“It’s my mama, and my sister, and some kids. Wear something comfortable. It’s not a service.”

“She’s gonna hate me,” muttered Leo, sliding hanger after hanger to one side.

Gerry grasped his arm and turned him, staring at him in that intense way that made all thought flee from his head.

“You’re telling me that John didn’t make one of these for Easter?” Gerry asked, indicating one of the tropical shirts.

“But that’s so casu—”

“It’s you, baby. That’s who I want them to meet. If they’re going to hate you anyway, at least let them hate you for who you are, not someone you make yourself in hope they’ll accept you.”

“But—”

Gerry pulled him close. “I love you, baby, but I watched Adam do this for years. It didn’t help. If it didn’t help him, what’s the point in you repeating the mistakes Adam and I made?”

Leo did have a tropical shirt for Easter. Several. He turned as Gerry released him and with two quick slides had the hanger he needed. Stark black with Fabergé-style eggs covering the surface in metallic colors. Bunnies hopped along the bottom hem. How John had justified the custom print, Leo still didn’t know. Leo pulled the shirt out and held it against his bare torso. “The neck is low. They’ll see….”

Gerry reached in and pulled out a lavender turtleneck.

Leo shook his head. “Not on your life.”

“Another color, then? That tan would match the bunny rabbits.” Gerry hung up the shirt and pulled out another. “Come on. It’s not that bad. Aren’t layers supposed to be in? Anyway, you’re wearing tropical shirts. How fashion conscious can you claim to be?”

And our winner? Denise Dechene. Please email me at ashavandoyon@gmail.com and let me know what email you use for your Dreamspinner bookshelf. We’ll get Gerry’s Lion added for you.

Thanks everyone for attending. I’ll stick around for a little while to answer any lingering questions. I hope you learned something about Gerry’s Lion and I want to take this final opportunity to ask you to buy the book:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6305 – it’s still on sale until April 28!

Brown Eggs in the Woods — (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

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Ashavan Doyon here, celebrating the release of Gerry’s Lion.

It wouldn’t be fair to talk about family traditions without speaking to my own. For me the tradition is for Easter. And while I’ve made up a lot of the traditions Gerry and Leo speak about, this one comes from my own family–so we have a little bit of an excerpt from the middle of the story:

“It’s just Easter,” Gerry said. He was trying to be reassuring. It was sweet. Also terrifying.

“Yeah. Just Easter.” Leo shook his head. “You’ve only told me about a million times how it was his mom’s favorite holiday.”

“She won’t hate you.”

“Maybe. But she’s not going to love me either.”

Gerry swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “She’ll understand.”

“Will she?”

Gerry’s voice was very quiet. “I hope so.”

Leo glared at the snow and ice. “At least we’ll be able to see the eggs.”

Gerry laughed. “She’ll just huck ’em into the woods.”

“You’re joking.”

Gerry’s laugh became a grin, and it was a broad one.

“Oh, fuck. You’re not.”

“It’ll be fun.”

“You weren’t joking, were you? She paints them brown?”

“Afraid of the bears?” asked Gerry.

“A little!”

“It’s a tradition. Don’t worry, you’re not actually expected to find any.”

“But the little kids will, won’t they?” Leo sighed.

This was a little bit of a memorial to my Grandmother. Yes, we hold an Easter egg hunt every year. And yes, the adults have to search for brown plastic eggs, hidden in the woods, with the bears. I’m totally not kidding. For the record, the hiding of these eggs in the woods (with the bears) is now my job, with the help of my husband. And the place we hide them? Black Bear Pass. You thought I was kidding about the bears, didn’t you?

I like putting these bits of myself into stories now and then, because honestly, I think it helps the stories come alive a little bit more.

So, final giveaway. The winner will receive a copy of Gerry’s Lion as an e-book (delivered to your Dreamspinner Press bookshelf): If you were writing a romance, what quality or quirk of your own would you lend to a character to help give them life? I’ll have an answer for myself at 9 pm when we wrap up, along with the winner.

Of course, everyone is welcome to BUY A COPY NOW at: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6305 <–25% off because of the sale going on now! or in print (sadly not on sale) http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6306

Presents! — (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

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This is Ashavan Doyon and I thought I’d spread some good cheer! I mean, giving presents is very much a part of Christmas, and the story does start with a Christmas cruise.

So, I’m giving away two prizes. I mentioned that commenters would be entered to win a giveaway! The first went randomly to a commenter on all the posts for the New Release Party up to this one. Yvonne is the winner - please contact me at ashavandoyon@gmail.com with the email you use at the Dreamspinner store. You’ve won a free copy of anything from my Dreamspinner backlist (that’s any e-book I’ve written for Dreamspinner EXCEPT my new release, Gerry’s Lion).  Pick from The King’s Mate, The Colors of Romance, I Almost Let You, The Byte of Betrayal, or A Wounded Promise.

I’ll also be giving away an e-book copy of Gerry’s Lion a little later tonight, so stay with me!

The start of Gerry’s Lion focuses on Christmas, and I think we see that both Gerry and Leo are very much drawn to their traditions. That was also part of my attraction to doing a story based around holidays, because I think those traditions can be very meaningful. For Gerry, they are so meaningful that he actually packed a small artificial Christmas tree to put up in his cabin on the cruise.

What is your most meaningful holiday (not necessarily Christmas) tradition?

EDIT: because I want to forget about this, but you know I need to remind you! PLEASE BUY THE BOOK:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6305

 

 

 

Time for an excerpt — (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

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This is Ashavan Doyon, talking about my new release Gerry’s Lion.

There’s a scene where Leo has discovered that Gerry loves art and goes to the gallery on the Sunrise. He’s trying to learn more about Gerry, and he gets a little more than he bargained for.

Leo thanked him and took the stairs down to deck six. The hallway where the art was displayed wasn’t difficult to find. It was the only one that hadn’t been specifically decked out for the holiday.

Leo walked down hesitantly, looking at the artwork. Most of the names he didn’t recognize. He studied the paintings, wishing he knew anything about the artists or art. He could spot what he liked: bold oil paintings where you could see the texture of the paints. And there were a few. But the ones on the wall were painfully melancholy. Trees about to lose their last leaf. A single leafless birch surrounded by the fiery colors of autumn. They were vivid and almost angry.

“Brilliant, aren’t they?” said a quiet voice behind him.

Leo gulped and nodded.

“They are quite a departure for this artist. He’s known for more modern abstract work. His focus is usually on color and texture as much as content, conveying location and…. Well, he’s brilliant. These were his first works on the market in a couple years. But you can tell it’s him. See the birch, lonely, white, depressed… you can see the bark peeling. Look at how it’s so much more vivid than the brilliant colors of the trees surrounding it.”

“I like the textures,” Leo said, turning to find a well-dressed man in a suit. “I don’t really understand the rest.”

“Perhaps a Christmas-themed piece?”

Leo shook his head. “I’ve met someone. And he’s into art and I like art, but I want to understand it better.”

The attendant smiled. “I’m Nate. I can help you.”

Nate walked him down the hall and stopped at each piece of art. He spoke passionately about the pieces, describing the virtues of each one. Occasionally they’d come to a piece virtually locked to the wall, and Nate would drop a name even Leo couldn’t miss. Rembrandt. Picasso. When they reached the end of the hall, Nate led him into another small room. Leo stood in the doorway, transfixed.

“That’s another Tanner,” said Nate. “It’s the last modern piece he put on the market.”

“It’s pain,” Leo said, starting at the name.

It can’t be.

“You’re close. The title of the piece is Loss.”

Leo looked at the painting, studying it. Making his way through the sweeping strokes to find the objects in the sea of white and pale blues. To make out the figures. The sweep of the strokes conveyed a line. Peaks and valleys fading and then flat. And at the end of it a figure at the door, alone. A hospital room. The painting was a hospital room. An empty bed. A weeping black figure alone.

Choosing character traits for characters can be a struggle for an author. How does one convey a painting if one doesn’t paint? How does one convey the taste of a delicacy? The exhilaration of life on a motorcycle? I tried to pull Leo’s discovery of appreciating the artwork into his feelings for Gerry–important because for Gerry that artwork is very tied into Adam and Gerry’s loss.

Is there something innocuous that you associate with loss? For me it’s a cologne. A whiff can send me spiraling for days.

Sailing on the Sunrise — (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

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This is Ashavan Doyon, here talking about the release of Gerry’s Lion.

I have a confession. This story originally started life as a submission for the Advent Calendar. I wrote it in the middle of my vacation in July two years ago. Competition for the advent calendar is really tough, and when it didn’t make it, I was heart broken. I loved the story of Gerry and his lost love Adam. For months it drove me nuts, until I finally just sat down and said to myself, what if this is the middle of the story. And I tried starting the story at Thanksgiving instead. For anyone who thinks this version has too much angst, try to imagine the Gerry that emerged in THAT story.

With Thanksgiving not working, I turned instead to the next holiday–Valentine’s Day. It was here, I think, where Gerry really started to shine again, and the angst balanced out enough to work. But I owe this story, in many ways, to a cruise I took with my long suffering husband, who endured me writing over 17 thousand words on a one week cruise to Bermuda.

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I chose holidays to focus the scenes of this story around because they are moments of glorious potential drama, and that is magnified for many LGBT folks, as there’s additional layers of acceptance or lack thereof with their families. And we see a lot of that nuance in this story – from the angsty Christmas cruise that starts it, to the nervous wrangling of traditions for Valentines Day, to the mystery Easter egg hunt where they hunt for eggs painted brown and hidden in the woods. I actually found focusing on holidays a good way to move the story and also to jump it forward every so often, and I think it helped a lot with pacing the story.

What’s your favorite vacation/holiday story (either personal or in a romance?) I’ll be using the comments to help determine who wins the prizes!

Don’t forget to buy the book: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6305 (or in print) http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6306

–> my vacation story: On this infamous cruise, I was in one of the bars on the cruise ship in the middle of the day (it was almost completely empty) when I was approached by one of the other cruisers, who asked what I was doing. I explained that I was an author, writing gay romances. She blithely explained how those were her favorite, while her husband got redder and redder, sure she hadn’t heard me say “gay” romances. To this day I don’t know if she did, but I gave her my card, it would have been hard NOT to tell from that.

About the Cover — (Gerry’s Lion)

April 24, 2015

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This is Ashavan Doyon again, here to talk to you about Gerry’s Lion.

Covers matter, a LOT. Often it is only the cover that first attracts a reader into taking the moments to read the blurb, and so it is an element, I think, that tortures authors. We want a cover that says EVERYTHING there is to say about our story. But it can’t. And if it tries, it can break the conventions of the genre so badly that no one will read it. I’ve seen incredible stories that just didn’t perform as expected, and sometimes I have to wonder if the cover is the reason.

Gerry’s Lion breaks the pattern for my covers with Dreamspinner. All my previous covers have been either photographs or photo montages. This one was drawn, which brought a new element into trying to find the perfect cover. When you submit an art request you give a brief character description, and that’s really almost all the artist has to figure out the best model for the character. They have that and a very brief synopsis. And a brief statement about the dream cover that you most want to see.

I described Leo like this: Leo Ystrabov is on the lower side of average height (about 5’6″), blue eyes, black hair. As a [spoiler redacted], he’s exceptionally well built and muscular. He favors tropical shirts.

And for my dream cover? This is what I asked for: An art gallery… the walls are white, but the room is dark shadows, a light shining on a single piece of art. It was radiant, like the sun. Yellows and reds and oranges, a mane of light around a dark figure, dancing–Gerry, engulfed by his lion. A man is seen from behind looking at the painting – this could be either Gerry, Leo, or the two of them together, all three situations happen in the book [minor spoiler redacted].

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I think I got pretty lucky, that comes really close. My experience has been getting a couple of covers built from watermarked stock images that give an impression of what the cover artist is going for. With a drawn cover it was quite different. I received sketches to show those ideas, and then the one I chose was drawn. Most of my editorial decisions once I’d picked which of the sketches I wanted were limited to how the title would be displayed.

What were the other two drawings? I don’t think I’m allowed to show you but there were two alternates. One depicted Leo, pulling off his shirt, in front of an abstract background of empty frames. The other showed Gerry, with Leo craning his neck over Gerry’s shoulder in front of a row of frames. I confess I had a hard time deciding, in part because Gerry’s character is African-American; I think there’s value in showing that on the cover. Unfortunately the depiction of Gerry just didn’t feel right to me (he was too tall, too muscular, the character didn’t make me think of the Gerry from my story) and I elected to go with the final cover shown here.

What makes a good cover, and what good stories do you think may not have been as popular because of the cover? Don’t forget–Responses will be used to help decide on a winner for one of the e-books I’m giving away!

And before I forget: BUY THE BOOK. PLEASE, PLEASE BUY THE BOOK:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6305

or in print:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6306

(in the interests of making people happy: the e-book version is part of the Wet Dream sale from today until 4/28 – 25% off)

Rebecca Cohen Writes It All!

April 7, 2015

Today we interview the multi-genre writing Rebecca Cohen!

Dreamspinner Press: What is the most erotic scene you’ve ever written?

In Duty to the Crown (the second of my Elizabethan historical series, The Crofton Chronicles), I have Sebastian Hewel pretending to be prostitute, hanging around the seedy backstreets of South Bank in London. He’d slipped Anthony Redbourn note and told him to meet him. Anthony arrives and is more than happy to play along with Sebastian’s game. Especially as Sebastian has procured a room for their use at a nearby tavern. They act out their roles, Anthony tying Sebastian to the bed with his hose, and promising to get his money’s worth from Sebastian. Which he certainly does.

Dreamspinenr Press: Your new novel is a science-fiction gay romance. What were some joys and challenges writing a romance set in a sci-fi world?

In Under Glass I wanted to play with the idea that for certain people true love is genetically determined. I’m a biology geek, and so I created a concept called psychogenetics to describe how Ollie and Kai, the main characters in ‘Under Glass’, are linked and how the link is mediated by a special organ called the caerellon. Only in science fiction could I get to play and run away with such ideas. Another joy was making Kai a novice planet builder. His species creates planets, one of which is where Ollie was spirited away to by his mother as a young child. New races and planets mean I get to shape the evolution of a species and create their mythology, and that is so much fun. But there are things to be mindful of and it is a challenge to keep the balance right. ‘Under Glass’ is a romance, its focus is on the relationship between Ollie and Kai so the world building and background needs to support and not overwhelm the story. I’m also very aware not to drown the reader in jargon or make them think they’ve accidentally wandered into a lecture.UnderGlass

Dreamspinner Press: Do you listen to music when you write? Snack? Drink tea/coffee/vodka?

I’m very fortunate that I can write pretty much wherever and don’t need specific places or rituals. I tend to curl up on the sofa so I can still be the same room as my family and don’t have to lock myself away. My hubby does provide tea on demand and the odd glass of wine when I’m writing after dinner.

Dreamspinner Press: How did you begin writing gay romance?

I didn’t set out to write gay romance. In fact, I didn’t realise it was a separate genre. I was writing a high fantasy novel and the only way the plot would work was if the two male main characters were in a romantic relationship. When I came to try and get it published I started looking around for a suitable publisher and market and discovered that gay romance was a genre in its own right. The high fantasy story was ‘Servitude’, my first published novel with Dreamspinner Press.

Dreamspinner Press: What are you working on next for readers?

One glance at my back catalogue and you’ll see I like to play in different genres. I’ve written historicals, contemporaries, fantasy and sci fi, and where I’m heading next is a contemporary novella series based around an amateur dramatics society. The series is called ‘Treading the Boards’ and the first novella, ‘Overlay Dramatic’, is already contracted to DSP (tentative release this summer). I submitted the second, ‘Summer Season’, at the end of March and I’m currently writing the final one – a Christmas story called ‘He’s Behind You’ – which I plan to submit before my summer holiday at the beginning of June. They are romantic comedies, each with a different leading couple. The first one includes a papier-mâché goat and a very bad play called ‘Whoops, Vicar. There Goes My Trousers’.

_____________________________

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Wrapping it up folks!

March 27, 2015

One of the fun things about writing a book is that I can make playlists for it or identify unofficial theme songs. For “The Serpent and the Angel,” there is a song by Falconer called “Wings of Serenity” that is such a perfect fit, it’s eerie. If Tobias could sing, that would be his song for Angel.

 

Here it is and it is work safe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-lTBVsaZ2I

You can find the lyrics here: http://www.metrolyrics.com/wings-of-serenity-lyrics-falconer.html

 

I love his voice, I love the lyrics, I love the music… everything! This is the sort of music I listen to frequently.

 

I don’t always find a theme song or a love song from one character to another, but when I do, it’s magical!!

 

That about wraps it up for me this time around. I’ll probably be back when “Predator and Prey” is ready to be released. One of my favorite things about writing is coming up with the titles for the stories. Sometimes I already know the title even before I start to write and other times I have to edit the story a few times before the title reveals itself. It can be the most frustrating part, yet also the most gratifying especially when I come up with that perfect title.

 

I enjoy this title because of the contrast—”serpent” often means evil and “angel” often means good. But nothing is ever so black and white, there are always shades of grey (and no, I’m not talking about that book).

 

May dragons guard your dreams,

-M.D.

Series plan and another excerpt!

March 27, 2015

Find “The Serpent and the Angel” here! http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6201

 

Remember, while this might be Book 8 of my series, it is also book 2 of my Part 2 of the series. I have 5 parts planned and while the entire series should be seen as a cohesive whole, to make my life easier, I split the books into parts to make sure I stayed on track and told the story that needed to be told.

 

It’s certainly a struggle to balance the romance with furthering the overall plot, but I welcome the challenge. I feel that with every book I grow stronger in my writing skills (and research skills), and I really enjoying seeing my series unfold and reveal itself. Every single book offers me at least one surprising moment.

 

That is the struggle with these later books since the dominoes need to start falling as the series unfolds. Part one (Psychic Moon through Master’s Blood) was more of the introduction to my universe, and the characters and the groups I will be dealing with for the rest of the series. Now the rest of the parts will be focused on the various romances (of course) but also the workings of the villain Arcas and his allies. But the core of the series is still love and how each couple tries to save the day and prevent Arcas from reaching his goals.

 

Another excerpt!

 

 

The snake slowly slid out of the small hole it had been coiled in. Flicking its tongue, sensing no danger, it slithered and scraped over rocks and boulders, easily finding a path out of the rubble. It was hungry, but it didn’t smell any prey, which caused it to focus on finding an exit out of the tunnel. For some reason it didn’t want to hide and wait for prey, it wanted to find open air. Always going with instinct, the snake never questioned or doubted its senses. The long serpent easily made its way down the open tunnel, seeming to glide over the uneven ground and disjointed tracks. It wound around the mine carts, past the fallen pickaxes, constantly flicking its tongue.

It began to feel cool air over its scales and hesitated. Slithering to the side of the tunnel, the snake eyed the opening, flicking its tongue, again sensing no danger. It moved slower now, wary of the open air, the lack of protection. But something inside it urged it out, into the open; something seemed to push it forward. Keeping close to the side of the tunnel, it peeked out of the opening, into the dark. The moon was high, the stars shining, but the snake paid it no mind. All it saw was the wide expanse of land, and all it thought about was food and shelter.

But even as it was about to move across the darkened land, it sensed movement just outside the tunnel. Coiling into itself, the snake lifted its tail and lowered its face. Sound followed the movement, and the cause of that sound formed a shadow across the land. The snake flicked its tongue out, tasting the air, oddly familiar with the scent upon it. It wasn’t prey. It wasn’t predator. What was it?

A creature walked into sight. Again, there was an odd sense of familiarity. The known scent grew stronger as the creature seemed to notice the snake. The snake coiled tighter, muscles trembling. Its rattle shook louder.

“Never seen a rattlesnake as big as you before,” the creature said.

The snake didn’t understand. But Tobias did. It felt as though he surged upward, as if he was rising out of water toward the surface, straining for air. He saw through his snake’s eyes, smelled Angel’s scent. The snake fought, of course it fought, but Tobias knew he’d win. The snake wasn’t stronger than he was. It had never been stronger.

The snake shuddered as if in pain, and the rattle stopped moving.

Angel knelt in front of the snake, at a safe distance from a potential strike. Tobias stared into Angel’s face, using it as an anchor. He knew that face. He liked that face. When he’d changed, he’d been too scared, nearly panicked with the thought of death, that he hadn’t fully prepared himself mentally for the change. This caused his snake to take over fully, for him to lose who he was, his memories, his purpose, his personality. But now he fought, and he knew he would win. But he couldn’t allow Angel to see him change back. He couldn’t even allow himself to consider the outcome of that travesty.

Tobias took full control of his snake and struck out at Angel, never intending to bite, but trying to scare Angel away. Angel jerked back in shock with a yelp. Then Tobias turned and shot down the tunnel, into the dark. But even as he did, and as Angel’s scent faded, his snake began to fight back. Tobias held onto Angel’s face, his voice, his scent, and kept control. But he couldn’t hold the snake’s form as he kept remembering what it was like to be a human. He could only move past the first corner of the mine before the air shimmered. His skin rippled violently, and he fell to the ground, a human once more.

Gasping, shaking, Tobias’s skin flashed hot then cold. He was going to be ill; he knew he was, just like the first time. He curled into himself, his throat dry, his lungs heavy. He must have made enough noise to draw attention, because he suddenly heard someone running down the tunnel. It wasn’t long before Angel ran around the corner and skidded to a stop. They stared at each other for a long, humming moment before Angel dropped to his knees and yanked off his own coat, wrapping it around Tobias.

Then, to Tobias’s great shock, Angel pulled him into his arms and hugged him hard.

“Oh, thank the spirits. I knew it, I knew you had survived.” Angel’s voice was thick with tears as he rocked them both, his arms in an unbreakable hold.

Tobias didn’t know what to say. He still felt ill and was becoming more so by the minute. But right then, he closed his eyes and allowed himself to indulge for a moment. He took a deep breath, coughed, but still relished the scent of his deputy. Angel was so warm, the kind of warmth Tobias’s skin had never exuded. He curled into his deputy, remembering acutely the reunion with his parents so many years ago. It had been so different from this. He’d been slapped by his mother, yelled at by his father. His arm had been grabbed, and he’d been dragged to their carriage and berated the entire way home. There’d been no tears, no words of relief or joy.

He didn’t know what to make of Angel’s obvious affection or how to handle it.

Angel suddenly pulled back, and their eyes met again. Tobias’s eyes had adjusted to the darkness, and he could see his deputy’s face well enough to see something in his eyes that sent a spike of fear down Tobias’s spine.

“It was you,” Angel whispered. “You were the rattlesnake.”

 

 

Want to learn more? My website is here: www.mdgrimmwrites.com

 

Do you like long series (20+ books) or would you rather a short one (under 10?) or do you prefer trilogies?

 

-M.D. Grimm

Inspiration for “The Serpent and the Angel”

March 27, 2015

You can find “The Serpent and the Angel” here! http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6201

 

For those late comers, I’m promoting the 9th book in my The Shifters series. You can find the rest of the series here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/md-grimm

 

I suggest reading them in order from book 1 since they do depend on each other, but if you read them out of order you’ll still get the gist.

 

The inspiration for this story actually came from a blog prompt I did a couple of years ago. I wanted a strange couple pairing and wrote a cute little story. It’s nothing like the finished product, but I enjoyed the concept so much, I kept it.

 

What to read it? Here it is: (EXPLICIT)

 

 

It was typical. There he was, winding his way through the sand, slithering around rocks, looking for some tasty rodents, and a fucking eagle thought he would be the tasty one.  Serp saw the shadow above him and didn’t think much of it until the shadow got bigger. Serp slithered quickly over the ground, trying to find a good nook to hide in. But the eagle was quicker.

Serp felt claws pierce his skin and he was suddenly lifted from the ground.  Knowing he had no choice, unless he wanted to be eaten, Serp shifted.

He was slow at it, he didn’t spend his time as human much. It was too complicated. Snakes were easy and he loved being a rattler. But not when he was about to be disemboweled by a hungry eagle.

Serp managed to shift and that had the predictable effect of the eagle dropping him to the ground. Serp grunted as he smashed to the ground and rolled over the rocks and weeds. Serp groaned and managed to roll to his knees. He had expected that.

But he hadn’t expected the eagle to fall from the sky with him. Seems he shocked the eagle enough the proud bird lost air and crashed beside him. But what Serp really didn’t expect was for the bird to hop to its feet, stare at him with eerie intelligence, then shift.

Into a human.

Serp felt his jaw drop. A golden-haired, hazel-eyed, regal angel was standing in front of him. His skin was gold as well.

For himself, Serp felt skinnier than usual. His hair was brown, his skin was pale. He wasn’t the most attractive man ever. But from the way the eagle shifter was looking at him, Serp felt like a god. Serp had never met another shifter before. But he knew there were more.

The man smiled. “I knew you were a shifter. You didn’t smell like a rattlesnake. Not completely, at least.”

Serp didn’t know what to say. “So, what were you trying to do? Eat me or…”

The angel’s grin grew bigger. “Oh, I was certainly wanting to eat you.”

The angel leapt and shoved Serp on the ground on his back. The angel straddled him and licked his pink lips. Serp felt his little-used dick grow hard. He wasn’t a virgin but he wasn’t a stud either.

“Wha-what is your name?” Serp managed to ask.

“Don’t have one.” the angel on top of him said. His lips drifted over Serp’s neck and rose up to his chin, nibbling at the skin.

“I’m Serp. As in serpent.”

The angel pulled back and grinned. “I like it.” then he kissed Serp. Heat shot through Serp’s body and he no longer felt the rough and rocky ground beneath him. He didn’t feel the hot sun beating down on his skin. All he felt was Angel’s warm and willing body and he decided to only focus on that.

Serp’s hands slid along Angel’s back and his mouth worked energetically against Angel’s. Angel groaned and pressed harder into him. Serp’s hands had a mind of their own as they slid between Angel’s legs and wrapped around his cock. Angel groaned and pulled away slightly.

“You are so sexy,” Angel said, his voice deep and rough. Angel nipped Serp’s lips.

“No, you are.” Serp grunted when Angel cupped his balls.

“I always did like eating snakes,” Angel said with a sly grin that made Serp’s heart jump in his chest.

In a flash, Angel moved lower along Serp’s body and slipped Serp’s entire cock into his mouth. Serp’s body bowed and he gasped in shock. It was so sudden, and rough. Angel’s mouth was heavenly as it sucked and that tongue slid over the tip. Angel squeezed his balls and Serp gripped Angel’s hair, the smooth locks sliding between his fingers.

It was quick and satisfying. And incredibly hot. Serp came with a groan and Angel groaned and swallowed. Angel moved up Serp’s body and flicked his tongue over Serp’s nipple.

“My turn,” Angel said.

“Oh, yeah,” Serp gripped Angel’s long and beautiful cock and stroked. Angel’s eyes never left Serp’s face and his pupils were dilated to an extent that the hazel irises could barely be seen. His face was flushed and Serp couldn’t resist a kiss. Angel gripped his face and kissed him hard. Serp stroked Angel harder and faster and relished in the groan and the wetness that covered his hand when Angel came.

They both lay back on the ground, panting.

“We’re not done, Angel.” Serp said, still wanting more.

The eagle shifter turned his head to look at Serp. Surprise was on his face but then a warm, appreciative smile spread across it.

“Angel. I like it. No one has ever cared enough to give me a name.”

Serp rolled on top of Angel and knew that his isolated life was about to change.

“I care. And I’m yours if you’ll have me.”

Angel wrapped strong arms around Serp and nuzzled his neck. “A serpent and an angel. Perfect.”

 

 

Silly, I know, but it was fun, and Tobias and Angel came out of it.

 

It’s a trick sometimes to balance the “human” side with the “animal” side of a shape-shifter. I have to decide early on how much one side influences the other. I don’t want to do the same thing every time; I want to keep each story fresh and engaging. That’s why I made Tobias cold like his snake, and Angel was actually more easy-going and “talks” to his eagle a lot. He describes them as a team. But because Tobias is odd comparatively, I wanted the snake to influence his personality more, and not always in the best way.

 

What odd shifter would you like to see in a story? A cuttlefish, a unicorn, a parrot…?

 

-M.D.