Asides

Sunshine and Snakes: Opening

Here’s me wasting time by writing about writing in real time.

 

I got the opening to ‘Sunshine and Snakes’ today (also the name for Ice which was Ricky. Came out of nowhere since I thought I was going to name him Ignacio and call him Cio. I might go back to this. Don’t know yet. It’s a work in progress. Stop pressuring me!)

Anyways, like in ‘Breathless’, I wanted to start this Action-Adventure Erotica with a good hook. Unlike, ‘Breathless’, the meaningless violence makes sense because this is the story of a hit-man in love (which would make a great band-name).

The scene is Seattle in late fall. Mr. Hank James, a drunk business man on a business trip from the south is on his way back to his hotel. Ricky our POV character, who seems to know more about Mr. James than he should, offers to help him hire an uber and get to his hotel safely. When Mr. James responds with racism and brandishes a hunting knife, Ricky without hesitation murders the man with his own weapon, just like Mrs. James hired him to. The premeditation and professionalism is apparent in how Ricky makes his escape and I hope gives readers a sense of Ricky’s humor and the … I don’t know… ice water in his veins.

I’m a little over 1000 words with that first chapter and I’m not doing an excerpt because it was so short. But I am thinking about the first sex scene so I’ll probably be writing that (and about that) soon. Maybe I’ll write out my outline and post that. Maybe I’ll write Burgess’ opening. You don’t know! I don’t know. My process is wildly unpredictable, so far.

 

 

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Sunshine and Snakes

So I’ve been writing about how stupidly busy I am and how I want to waste time by writing about writing in real time. I’m going to try that with this:

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While I should be working my day job, supporting my massive comic book addiction, or you know, writing the words I need to earn my degree, I will instead be writing about bad boys!

This call seems tailor-made for me. I write a lot about criminals, though I’ve never been one (that you know of). The first novel I wrote, Evasive Love, features a Bounty Hunter falls in love with a drug manufacturer he’s bringing to justice. Second thing is Uninvited Love, about Sal, a prostitute who is not glamorizing his job when he ends up kidnapped. Then came The Dishonest Lover about George, a professional thug who falls for a counterfeiter. This year alone there’s been The Scarf, a criminal shape-shifting fox and Hiring the Tiger, about an ex-bandit tiger.

I have a theme. It’s criminals.

But the one thing about all those guys above is that they are redeemable. Elliot in Evasive Love has stopped making drugs because they’re hurting people, Dimi in The Scarf is hiding refuge animals, so he’s breaking an unjust law. Sal, George, and Roy are all trying to stop being criminals. Nav is a tiger and he’ll do what he wants, bitch.

So yeah, very redeemable guys.

The thing that tickles me about this anthology is that it’s not about good guys. They want anti-heroes. I think it would be really fun to write a love story between two dudes who are unrepentantly bad. One is a hit-man and the other is in the Mafia and I love this idea that they could be criminal together. Not want to escape from crime, or bring anything to justice, just be amoral and in love with each other.

And because I’m experiencing that same spark of excitement I had the beginning of Breathless, I’m going to try this writing about the writing business.

So every day I work on this new story I’ll record thoughts on it and see how it comes together.

The frightening thing about doing with Snakes and Sunshine is that unlike Breathless where the story was contracted before I started writing it, so I knew it was going to be available to readers.  I couldn’t not write Breathless because they had already agreed to publish it.

I don’t know about Sunshine and Snakes. I can submit it and  be rejected. I can implode and stop working on it entirely because I have other writing obligations and nothing forcing me to stick with it.

The bulk of my notes on this story are in this nugget:

“How’s your flight?”

“Good. Sat across the aisle from a little kid. Played cop and robber with him.” Ice [which is not going to be his name, I promise myself] mimicked shooting an imaginary gun around his coat. He looked fucking ridiculous and Burgess had no doubt even the kid’s mom thought the man mockingly shooting her child was totally harmless. “When I got bored, I pretended I was actually dead. Kid spent the rest of the flight crying.”

Burgess laughed. Ice nodded and leaned back, sinking into the couch. That was about as much as anyone ever got from Ice. Even in prison, when he’d ended up in the infirmary with bloody knees and bruised eyes no one in the block could have told what time it had happened. He never made a sound when he got beat down. He never made a sound when he got fucked either.

Bur tapped the beer can. It wouldn’t do anyone any good if he sat around thinking about blow jobs behind bars or the nebulous consent of his cellmate. “So.  How’s Arizona?”

“Full of sunshine and snakes, asshole.” Ice leaned forward. “Listen. Are we gonna kill your Dad or not?”

Hopefully, you won’t hear about this until August when I’ll have a mostly written first draft of my thesis novel and maybe a minute or two to write Sunshine and Snakes.

 

Longo Out!

 

 

It’s Here! Crazy Little Spring Called Love is Available!

This delightful fantasy romance anthology features eight magical stories inspired by the awakenings and renewal of springtime. If you love gods and goddesses, fairies, djinn, druids, mermaids, dryads, and magic of all varieties, Crazy Little Spring Called Love delivers!

And you can buy it now!

Amazon iBooks | Kobo


 Traci Douglass – “When Hermes Met Eos”

One night. Two star-crossed immortals. Will their vibrant connection survive beyond sunrise?

Sheri Queen – “The Girl with a Broken Wing”

A story of courage and sacrifice–and finding love where you never thought to look.

Cara McKinnon – “Love at Dawn”

Sometimes mortals need a little push from a god and goddess to fall in love…

M.T. DeSantis – “A Hunt for Love”

Can a djinn and a clueless guy beat the clock, avoid the curse, and maybe even find true love?

L.J. Longo – “Seaweed and Silk”

A mermaid: hundreds of miles from her home on the ice, on a ship with a troll, a goblin wizard, and a pack of wolves. What else can go wrong? Oh, right. A flippin’ sea monster.

Mary Rogers – “Spring Fling”

A druid’s bargain gives Carson revenge against his former lover Carrie–at the price of her memories of them together. But did she truly steal his magic all those years ago? Or was the real theft his heart?

Elsa Carruthers – “Welded”
Welding Witch, Rena, is on the run. She’s not looking for love, but all the magic in the world can’t keep the sparks from flying when her rivals, Nate and Duke, find her.

Heather Bythesea – “Cherry Blossoms in the Wind”

A dryad denied roots. A man from across the sea. A forbidden love that becomes a story for the ages.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR AUTHORS

STARS AND STONE BOOKS: http://starsandstonebooks.com/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34686292-crazy-little-spring-called-love

FACEBOOK RELEASE PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/2062183134008615/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/starsstonebooks

ANTHOLOGY WEBSITE: http://starsandstonebooks.com/crazy-little-spring-called-love

 

First Chapter of “The Scarf”

I’m so excited to be part of Evernight Publishing’s new anthology: Owned by the Alpha Manlove Edition, that I thought I’d post the first chapter of my story here. Buckle up, bitches, here’s “The Scarf.”


Chapter One

 If I threw money at fights—and unless I’m in them, I don’t—I’d bet a lioness would beat an ogre. Don’t misunderstand, Chief Uzegar is no lightweight, but against a full-grown lioness with her claws out…

The lioness showed up a few minutes ago outside my office building, yowling for half the shifters of Matawon to hear. Of course, the police station is just across the street and the chief is a hands-on fella. So five stories below my window, there’s an ogre brandishing a cudgel, two humans holding a blanket like a shield, and a lioness coated in blood. Her back is shredded, but Uzegar didn’t do that kind of damage. If she doesn’t back down or attack, she’s going to bleed to death.

I raise my window to get her attention. When she looks, the humans get the blanket over her and force her transformation. Uzegar body-slams her changed form, though on two legs she’s still big enough to cause trouble. He gets his big green arm around her throat and she goes down.

“I need help, you bastard!” the lioness shouts.

Shit, she’s only a teenager. Can’t be more than fifteen.

What does a shifter lioness need protection from? I guess her witch, but a witch isn’t going to leave blood like that. Not even on a run-away familiar.

“Why the hell—” Uzegar stops himself from yelling at a kid. “We were understandably afraid, miss. We’ll get you medical attention. Who attacked you?”

“Wolves.”

The ogre looks up at my window. “How many?”

“There’s a pack of them … eight or nine. They’ve got all the shifters in Down-City afraid for their lives. The smaller ones they beat. The strong ones … they kill. They make us run their drugs… Sell our time.”

What kind of sicko is buyin’ a teenager’s time? I guess the kind that wants to whip her back until she’s a bloody mess. Hope he got what he paid for and she gutted him.

Uzegar helps the kid to her feet. “Come on. Let’s get you inside. Have a witch heal—”

“No witches!” The lioness jerks away from Uzegar’s hand. She staggers, turns her face upward. “Hey, you’re Truman Wolf, ain’t ya?”

I straighten a little in the window. “Yeah.”

“You’re only half with them.” She sneers and thumbs at Uzegar. The blanket slips. She’s about to turn lion again, except Uzegar takes her shoulders and steadies her. “You gotta fix Down-City.”

She glares at the police. “That’s what you people are supposed to do, ain’t it? Fix the rotten places?”

“Let’s fix you up first, okay?” Uzegar turns her toward the station doors with all the daintiness an ogre with a cudgel can muster.

She flings him off like he’s a feather, and then turns to me. “The wolves mauled a swan and the police didn’t do nothing. The wolves put a lynx in the hospital and the police didn’t do nothing.”

I’ve never seen so much anger mixed with so much frailty as in this kid.

“A couple months ago, the ravens asked me to get outside help. They said, oh that Truman Wolf tracked down at a missing bear cub. Maybe he can help.”

The lioness pauses—blood loss or shame. “But I told the ravens I didn’t have a problem. I didn’t need nothing to change, did I?”

She laughs, a dark disturbed sound. Chills my bones. “A lioness can protect herself, right?”

Uzegar catches her as she falls and he sinks with her to the pavement. He orders his men, “Get in there and bring Miss Denise out here. Make sure she brings her books.”

The lioness points up at me. “You fix Down-City, wolf. I got the scents you need. Left ’em by the dumpster.”

There’s a plastic bag flapping in the wind. “I’ll see ’em.”

She uses the last bit of her strength to roar at me. “You fix it, wolf.”

I nod and that calms her down. She passes out, and I guess that’s fine, ’cause that’s the only way the charity witch is going to get near her.

****

“These two and the alpha are the ones who attacked her.” Uzegar compares the contents of the plastic bags with the report Joyce-Lynn—that’s the lioness—gave. “The sleeve belongs to a dog named Staid.”

It’s a green and white scrap of flannel drenched in blood, but a wolf doesn’t go in for my line of work if he can’t stomach the scent of gore. Staid was terrified when Joyce got his sleeve. And though the best of dogs has a right to cower when a half-grown lioness bats at his head, the acrid salt scent of fear soaks through his clothes. Not a brave man, this Staid.

“Got him.” I put the cloth aside.

“Gus.” Uzegar chucks a black tank-top my way. “Joyce got the whole shirt because he launched at her as a wolf.”

“Bold fella.” I sniff then recoil from the noxious tang. “Stupid fella. This stinks of sky-seed. Must’ve been high as a god-damned moonbeam.”

The chief’s gray-green face breaks into a smirk. “I’ll check his record.”

“I’ll probably find him first.” Gus must’ve broken his nose to tolerate his own stink. “I got him. Not likely to forget him either. Do we have the alpha?”

“Lioness says he’s all over Down-City.” Uzegar reaches into his coat to bring out an evidence bag. “Had to wrestle this from her.”

“What is it?” Something sky-blue and blood-brown is inside the plastic.

“Scarf. She got help on her way out. Won’t tell us about it, but…” Uzegar scans his report. “Figure it’s a place to start.”

Joyce’s blood soaks one end of the scarf. Otherwise it’s soft and clean as I bring it to my nose and sniff. That may be the last sane thought I’ll ever have.

The scent strangles me with longing.

Fox. Cedar-rose cologne. Touch of magic. Notes of wine. Clean, deeply arousing fragrance. Not that I have a thing for foxes. Not that I would think twice about cedar-rose cologne—applied sparingly, just enough to mask the animal musk for humans—if I passed a shifter wearing it in the street. Except, if I passed this fox in the street, I’d have to haul him into the nearest dark place and fuck the shit out of him.

Uzegar doesn’t notice. “You done?”

“No.” I breathe deep at the scarf. I’m not giving this back. I need this smell. Need to hold it in my lungs until I can hold that fox. “It’s, uh, faint and … important. I need to keep the scarf.”

Uzegar shrugs. “There’s a history of wolf attacks below Tenth Street.”

I don’t care about wolf attacks. The lioness, her blood, and desperation, are a distant memory. My world has turned into the scent of a fox. He wore this scarf often. Days of his life are imprinted in the slippery silk.

Uzegar is still talking. What about?

“…sniff around Down-City. See if there’s anything to her story.”

My fox is effeminate, the type of man who wears women’s scarves. He needs my protection. Maybe he’s scared … alone. He’ll catch my scent. He’ll want me. He’ll trust me.

“Tru, you listening?”

“Uh…” My head swims and my eyes hurt from too much light. My cock throbs and I’m in awe Uzegar can’t hear my heart banging.

His eyes narrow. “You mad or something?”

Mad? Sure. Stark-raving mad. Wild-animal-who-shouldn’t-live-in-a-city mad. “No, I hear ya. I just need…”

To find and fuck this fox. Right now.

“Sniff around Down-City. Look for a protection racket. Got it?”

****

I jet across the street, slam the door to my room behind me, and pop open my trousers. My cock shoots out like it’s been suffocating. The open air makes the throbbing more painful so I wrap my fingers around the shaft to deal with my unreasonable lust.

I drape the scarf over my face, sip that remarkable scent. Cedar-rose, wine, fox. My own personal love poison.

My fox would be lithe, move like smoke. Hair red as sunrise. Pretty face. Small build. His scarf—this scarf before the blood—would trail after him, float as he darts.

I imagine him running across the street in the police station, the scarf a silken tail. He looks over his shoulder and smiles. We’re playing. Lean hips swerve, strong legs leap. He navigates over the desks, waste bins, and scrying pools. I barrel after him. There’s a trace of lust on the wind, stronger when he turns down the dead-end past evidence. He lets me catch him. His face angles down, red hair wild. His eyes—got to be green—lift with innocent longing. Unknowingly sensual, his hands caress the dusty brick behind him as I close in.

His fragile body flutters and melts under my strength. When he moans, his voice is a song. Lust overwhelms the cedar-rose cologne. He wants me with the same maddening desire. I’ll break his little body with sex, make him mine through raw force, spray all over his back and ass and claim him.

He’ll cling to me when I finish. I’ll take him across the street to my apartment where he’d live now because he belongs to me. I’ll fuck him until my lust is sated.

Then I’ll ask his name.


That’s all for now, folks. Hope you enjoyed Chapter One of “The Scarf”.  Be sure to follow me so I can send you details about where to find Owned by the Alpha Manlove anthology (which is full of similar goodies by fantastic authors).

Cover Reveal! Crazy Little Spring Called Love

CRAZY LITTLE SPRING CALLED LOVE
Eight Magical Stories of Fantasy Romance
Stars and Stone Books

Featuring: Heather Bythesea, Elsa Carruthers, M.T. DeSantis, Traci Douglass, L.J. Longo, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, and Mary Rogers

Spring 07 Ebook Final 01

Traci Douglass – “When Hermes Met Eos”
One night. Two star-crossed immortals. Will their vibrant connection survive beyond sunrise?

Sheri Queen – “The Girl with a Broken Wing”
A story of courage and sacrifice–and finding love where you never thought to look.

Cara McKinnon – “Love at Dawn”
Sometimes mortals need a little push from a god and goddess to fall in love…

M.T. DeSantis – “A Hunt for Love”
Can a djinn and a clueless guy beat the clock, avoid the curse, and maybe even find true love?

L.J. Longo – “Seaweed and Silk”
A mermaid: hundreds of miles from her home on the ice, on a ship with a troll, a goblin wizard, and a pack of wolves. What else can go wrong? Oh, right. A flippin’ sea monster.

Mary Rogers – “Spring Fling”
A druid’s bargain gives Carson revenge against his former lover Carrie–at the price of her memories of them together. But did she truly steal his magic all those years ago? Or was the real theft his heart?

PLUS TWO MORE STORIES INSPIRED BY THE AWAKENINGS AND RENEWAL OF SPRING

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR AUTHORS


Find the anthology on social media and online:

STARS AND STONE BOOKS: http://starsandstonebooks.com/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34686292-crazy-little-spring-called-love
FACEBOOK RELEASE PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/2062183134008615/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/starsstonebooks
ANTHOLOGY WEBSITE: http://starsandstonebooks.com/crazy-little-spring-called -love

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The Dishonest Lover is an Editor’s Pick

Just found out in this latest round of edits, that my soon-to-be-released novel, The Dishonest Lover is an editor’s pick at Evernight Press!

I’m so excited to share this story with the world!

I’ll be honest… I’m not entirely sure what Editor’s Pick means.  I asked Evernight. It’s that seal on the cover because an editor really liked the novel. Personally, I’m choosing to believe due to the season, that this is a major award and my particular story single-handedly ushered some highly-imaginative, dazed but clearly precocious editor into the dawning of her sexual life.

Probably major… Like the most major award ever… The Majorest!

ARe Best Seller

So I got this in my inbox today:

Congratulations!

Dark Captive: Manlove Edition has just hit the Allromance.com Bestseller List!

You can check out all of the Allromance.com Bestsellers here: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/bestsellers.html.

Sincerely,

All Romance eBooks

BestsellerIcon100X100-1

They also gave me this icon to use to proudly display the fact that I am now at least 1/6th a best selling author!