#WIPWednesday

A two-fer kind of week.

I was all set to happily send the newest installment in the Omega series to the editor, when the Content Goddess informed me I made a mistake.

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Content Goddess explained I wrote two books and accidentally entwined them.

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Now I have to take what I thought was a wonderful, fast-paced, way packed story and split it apart. Plus, the publisher girls are pissed because they need to gear up on launching two stories at the same time, since none of us are fans of cliffhangers.

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So for the love of this sensitive writer’s sanity … please wish me luck? And if you don’t hear from me soon, send help. Preferably some that looks like this …

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#WednesdayWisdom

Romance. Romance. Romance. How much do we all need some more love in our lives right now? Our country is being led by a man who seems to eat hate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner … with a side of ketchup and treason. I hope you have someone in your life you love, whether they walk on four legs or two. Take the time to do something nice for them. Put a little more love in your heart and theirs.

MWAH!love-560783_960_720

Being a Woman

I considered talking about a few different things today. My on-going battle with procrastination to keep this blog updated more often … my horror at the state of the world … my feelings of betrayal that my favorite ice cream flavor seems to have disappeared (giving the side eye to you HaagenDaaz).

Then I saw this …

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Yes, ladies. It’s true. That is Vladimir Putin MANSPLAINING to Angela Merkel. Angela FREAKING Merkel. At first I thought, ok, so mansplaining basically happens no matter how far you rise in the world. Good to know. Then I realized how tired I was of having that accepting attitude. I seriously wish fire came out of her eyes for whatever topic was being discussed. I try to console myself with the thought that fire was coming, and she rolled her eyes to protect the free world.

Because after all, that was Angela Merkel being mansplained.

I recently did a book coach seminar for about a hundred GenZ kids. When I brought up the term (and explained it for those who couldn’t google it fast enough), they promised me that mansplaining is becoming a thing of that past. They don’t think about gender with the same stereotypes that previous generations suffered under.

Then their teacher came back from break and started to tell them that gender roles never truly get broken, and I should start to teach this class this way … blah, blah, blah, blah …

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#WednesdayWIP

Guess what’s coming? YUP. Some more from Omega Book 3, THE ICE DRAGON RISES, just for you. Get ready …

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Perhaps once again, Luke was just … not … enough.

“I left her a note in the pantry,” Sally said. “If you really wish to speak to her, go and see if it’s gone. If it is, you can try the same method.”

“A note?”

“Yes, Luke. Pen. Paper. All the new kids are doing it.”

Luke left the room, his mouth hanging open. A note. Right. What a good idea. He’d leave the girl haunting his days and nights a note. That should work. He could ask her to move into the mansion. He could tell her he was sorry he hadn’t stayed by her side during the mercenary attack. He could explain he was a sad excuse for a leader but it was all they had. He could even ask how the hells she found the Gem Warriors and why they hadn’t come to him for command.

Sure. He could ask all of those things. He just had no idea if she’d answer.

#ThrowbackThursday

I’ve posted so many pieces from The Last Dragon, I thought a piece from book two, The Tides Turn, would be a nice change. I hope you like it.aquos3-2

Sally piled the pickles on the slices of raw meat, slapped some cheese on top, rolled it together and started to chew. This baby was going to kill her. She’d never wanted to eat meat in her entire life, and now she couldn’t seem to get enough of it. Not to mention the pickles, little bombs of pure delicious salty goodness. As the flavors combined, bursting on her tongue, she moaned with joy. The baby seemed to do the same, settling for the first time in hours as he recognized she was finally giving him what it needed. Screw needed. This prince knew how to demand.

Even though he was still in her womb.

“I warned you that your disgust of flesh would eventually be overruled by the life growing within you.”

She scowled as she continued to make more of the roll-ups, ignoring the male standing behind her, clearly passing judgment. “Tamar.”

“My liege …”

“Go home.”

“I fear I cannot.”

“Why is that?”

“You have experienced your first kanji. Your dragon is quickening, my Queen. It is my sworn duty to be by your side until the King is hatched.”

Grimacing, Sally tried to push away the disgust she felt every time the dragons used the word hatched. It just felt so wrong. Somehow she was supposed to give birth to an egg, as if that wouldn’t give her alien-like nightmares every day for the rest of her life … but she was expected to pop out an egg, and then give it to Drake to watch for a whole year until the baby within was ready to break the shell and be officially born. On one hand … no midnight feedings. But on the other hand … no midnight feedings. She felt both blessed and cheated at the same exact time. Turning, she realized that not only was Tamar intruding on her private just-let-me-eat-in-peace moment, but he’d brought a friend. “Hello Hunter. Tamar, you seem to be slacking. Why is Hunter here and not guarding the portal?”

“Others have been given this task.”

“So why are you here?” She tried to push away her desire to throw the food in her hands at the intruders. If she did, she wouldn’t be able to eat it, and right now, she really wanted her child to stop kicking her inner organs. Women should be warned, when they hit puberty, what motherhood was really like. No girl would ever fall in love again, or at least not have sex. This baby had better be freaking adorable. She was eating actual meat, raw meat at that. Taking a big bite, she gestured to the two men. “Speak up. Your Queen demands it.”

“I find it humorous that you call yourself Queen only when you wish us to do something that is against our law.”

“There’s a law that the two of you have to bug me?” Hunter flinched as if she’d struck him. She let out a sigh and held up her hands. Rudeness was not royal. Or at least it wasn’t in her book. “Forgive me.” Sally took a large bite of the meat, and patted her stomach. “A hungry baby makes a hangry Queen.”

“Hangry?”

“Hungry and angry. It’s an Earth thing.”

The two men nodded as if they understood what she was saying, even though their eyes clearly reflected confusion. “Why are you here, Tamar? You never leave the limbo lands lightly, and you wouldn’t pull Hunter off the portal unless something was seriously wrong. So please explain this to me.”

“My Queen, your dragon is quickening. The future King grows stronger.”

#FridayReads

Also, sort of a #WIP, another piece of the third installment of the #OmegaChronicles, #TheIceDragonRises …

Luke was standing in the living room, flipping the remote in his hands as the minutes ticked by. He’d sent the elementals out to gather the Omega. It was time for them to talk. Blade was the first to arrive. A warrior through and through. When his commander called, the warrior clan was always ready to heed the alarm. “Angel face.”

He grimaced. He’d curse M.J. for that hideous nickname but the female was such a positive sign for all of them it didn’t feel fair. “Call me that again, Blade, and I’ll make you wish for an angel after I finish with your face.”

“Nice. Works for me.” The warrior smiled, sprawled on the leather couch, put his feet up on the distressed wood coffee table, and began to do the same flipping thing he was with the remote, though the warrior was using a dagger. They were united, Luke forced himself to remember. They no longer clung to the old ways. Each clan had a specific function on the Omega. Here they had one function. Find the answer to resurrect their world and go home. Rebuild.

This wouldn’t happen if one of them was a pre-historic beast running around the woods.

How did Mach, the only other speedster, not notice his cousin had changed into a catsu?

Stealth and Altea came in next. The mage clan, one of the most feared and xenophobic on their planet, he’d taken to coming by the house more often ever since Sally had singled him out to include him at Christmas. It was as if the Mage might only have hidden in the past because they didn’t feel they were wanted. Which made him, as the leader of their world, feel ridiculously inadequate. They joined Blade on the couch. The remote magically levitated off of his hand and over to the three men who were waiting for the rest of their people for the conference to begin. Standing where he was, he could see the effects that the tragedy was having on each of them. There were lines on their faces where there didn’t used to be. Dark shadows under their eyes. And a muting to their normal boisterous ribbing that he was profoundly uncomfortable with the first thousand years of their existence here, and now was only deeply uneasy with it, though would do anything to hear right now.

Luke went back to the pacing thing. Who was missing? He didn’t expect Aquos and M.J. to come. They were on something Sally called a honeymoon, and disturbing such an event, especially given the turmoil of their wedding day, appeared to be an absolute crime. Sally and Drake were also absent, but since Sally was growing a child and the hereditary Queen of the Dragons, he tended to let them do their own thing. Keva was still gone, lost to the winds. The destruction of the scout clan was now a crime for which he would never receive absolution. The dragon knights who moved in at the announcement of Sally’s child were next to arrive. He technically didn’t have dominion over them, this was the honor that belonged solely to Sally’s line. He gave them each a nod of welcome, which they returned. They joined the other three on the couch, who were currently watching a movie about something called Musketeers. Blade and Tamar immediately began to debate the form the actors on screen were using in their mock battle.

Where was Mach?

His humor could be of use under the worst circumstances. And since this was about his clan it seemed like the very least he could do was show up.

One of the gold elementals appeared, bowed to him, and drifted into a corner. This was clearly M.J.’s doing. She’d insisted they pick one representative and started to integrate them into the decisions and path Sanctuary took. Luke had been equally shocked to see the former servants turn smoothly into trustworthy members of their society.

Lastly, Mach showed. “Brother.”

He shrugged. The speedster didn’t bother bowing, or even verbally acknowledging everyone assembled. He just slipped into one of the club chairs and turned blind eyes to the screen with the others. Before, Mach was one of the most vocal of their group. He should be calling them each names they hated, and making references to horrible movies and brain numbing games.

This change in the speedster wasn’t due to the tragedy. It had happened before that.

When Turbo and he were taken, it was only due to Sally’s miracle that they managed to get them both back. But Turbo had died in the explosion and Sally, or Sally’s child, had to resurrect him. This was when things changed for the speed clan. Luke just didn’t realize how much it changed, and how deep the danger the rest of them would be in because of it. “Mach. Where’s Turbo?”dragon-1829827_1920

 

#WednesdayWIP

The Ice Dragon Rises is probably my favorite project so far. Check it out:

Sally almost danced into the kitchen thinking of all the things she wanted to put on a tray and send up to her room. Once upon a time, most of the tray would have been for her husband, but after the orgasm she just had, she needed massive amounts of sustenance. Food. Yummy, yummy food. She wanted salty and sweet and large amounts of cheesy. Grabbing a loaf of bread, she slathered the pieces with the butter. One of the elementals had recreated an automatic butter melter dispenser thing and times like this it truly came in handy. Retrieving the blocks of cheddar and muenster, she hummed to herself as she covered the slices with cheese and slipped it under the broiler.

While the oven got busy with the melty thing, she sat down to write a note. If Avaris was coming into the house to get food, she wanted her to know Sally would like to see her. Maybe even sit down and have a chat? A cup of coffee? Well, she’d have to drink herbal tea because apparently baby doesn’t like coffee, but she’s still a good chatter.

“Find Sally, damn it. I need to see Sally, now.”

M.J.’s voice echoed out from

behind the freezer door that should have been sound proof. Sally rushed over to the freezer, concerned M.J. and Aquos got locked inside while exploring some of their more adventurous honeymoon dreams. Why someone would want to have sex in the freezer escaped her but her husband did have an unnatural love of having sex in water so who was she to judge?

Speaking of which, she was really going to have to talk to Drake about Tamar not using the underground spring where he could walk in on them at any time.

“I said find Sally,” M.J. repeated as she opened the door.

“Right here, silly.”

Everyone turned around at her announcement so fast she was surprised they didn’t topple like dominoes. “Squirt’s sick.”

Nodding, she stepped inside and shuddered when the chill hit her. Stealth pulled off his sweater and draped it over her shoulders. “What’s wrong with Squirt? And why is she inside the freezer?”

“It’s where she wanted to go,” Tamar explained.

“You don’t let someone half out of their minds with fever decide where they should sleep or how they’re treated. Pick her up and take her to her room.” The guys all stood there with dumbfounded looks on their faces. M.J. held Squirt’s hand in both of hers. “She’s your sister, this can be your choice if you want.”

“I don’t know.”

Sally shook her head. Moving closer to Squirt she was shocked when Luke caught her arm to prevent her from touching the girl. “Sall—Queen Salvation,” he cast a look at Ser Tamar. Super. What the hell did Tamar do this time? “Queen Salvation, the girl has the same disease we do. Are you sure you can risk this?”

“The girl—Squirt—is one of us. I declared her dragon, it doesn’t make her Omega, Luke.”

“Nevertheless, these are the same symptoms we suffer from.”

“And you fear for my baby.”

Luke nodded. Glancing at the other clan lords she realized they each had concerned expressions. “I just thought you should know.”

“Being near all of you hasn’t harmed me. I can’t possibly risk this girl’s life on a chance.”

“Damn it Sally-mine, how can you possibly be walking?”

Sally’s cheeks filled with color at her husband’s roar from the other room. “I went to get provisions.”

“You are burning your cheese sandwiches! These are not proper nourishment for an exhausted dragon queen.”

While her husband was distracted taking care of her snack, Sally reached out for Squirt and covered her head and chest with her open palms. Nothing. Maybe because it was so cold in here?

“Your majesty? You must try to regulate your temperature.”

Her royal counselor’s suggestion only made her scowl. She couldn’t do that while her child was sleeping. She was definitely going to continue to call it sleeping until—God forgive—someone gave her a diagnosis that was different. Putting one hand on her tummy, she reached out to him in her heart. Come on, little man. Mommy needs you. We want Auntie Squirt to get better. She’s going to make a really wonderful aunt to you. Reaching out to Squirt, she felt a small stream of energy from her mid-section, through her arms, and into the girl sleeping like some frozen princess.

“Mate? Why are you inside the freezer with four males?”

Turning to the doorway she smiled at her husband. Poor thing. He was standing there with two … no, four veins pulsing so strongly in his forehead he looked like a topographical map. A dark, dangerous, beautiful man who was trying desperately to not yell at her right now. “Squirt’s sick, Drake. We’re trying to help her.”

“Of course you are.” He sighed, joined them, and wrapped his body around her.

Instantly the bitter cold was beaten back. Hiding her smile by bending her head and letting her hair mask her face, Sally put her hands on Squirt again. “Come on, Miss Squirt. You’re the fiercest girl I know. You’ve kicked every man’s ass in this room either through sheer bravado or words or your brilliant mind. Please wake up?”

#FridayFeeling

The Ice Dragon rises is set to be released in June … check out some of the sizzle.

“You shouldn’t be here.”

Four words. That was always how they started. Squirt would come down the hall, holding her blanket and pillow, and he would greet her with four words. Squirt smiled. She’d spent weeks with the other Omega doing everything they could to get her attention, offer her every treasure they could find, and yet the one she kept seeking out was the man who would only offer her these four words as a gift. “Why do you keep saying that?”

“It’s true.”

“And yet,” Squirt arranged the blanket before the door. “I keep coming back.” She laid on it looking at him with saddened eyes.

Turbo moved his own blanket to the bars and joined her. In any other situation they would be side by side, with nothing between them but insecurities and doubt. The bars kept them physically apart, and yet, there was something evaporating the fears they’d carried all of her life. “Squirt, this fever you fight is not going to get better on this stone floor.”

“You don’t understand.” She turned over and gave him her back. “How can you not understand?”

“Explain it to me, love.”

“My entire life, I’ve felt like a bag of skin, filled with all these broken pieces. Holes, sharp edges. I was never soft like M.J. Or gentle like my mom.” She felt his hand on her hair and stretched to give him better access. “Now this fever, I feel like I’m on actual fire.” She turned over to face him. “Except with you, Turbo.”photo-of-sensual-kissing-couple

#ThrowbackThursday

When Sally woke up the next time it felt like her lucky day. Drake was fast asleep, making the cutest little panting noises. While she could, she managed to slip into the bathroom and start a shower. There was no way he was getting in the way of her taking a moment to do a complete change of her appearance. Aquos’s mirror was great, but there was no way it was enough.

She was blow-drying her hair when he confronted her. The fierce look in his eyes did little to scare her. “What?”

“You were supposed to be resting.”

“I’m resting better knowing I’m clean and my hair’s pretty.”

“Your hair is always pretty,” he snapped at her. Without a word, he snatched the dryer out of her hands and turned it off. Picking her up, Sally wrapped her arms around his neck with a small sigh. “I wasn’t done yet.”

#TBThursday

“First thing first. I would have you know the real me.”

“Okay,” she was helped to her feet by his assistance, though her legs were so shaky from the roller coaster of desire he’d placed her on that it was evident to both of them. Her body felt like a pulsing force of endless need. Sally decided it was wiser to ignore his laughter over her weakness. “Just hurry this up, funny man.”

“I pray you continue to think that when we are done.”

Sally tried for sheer bravado to deal with the simmering cauldron of terror she had in her gut. Her imagination was providing her with one more nightmarish sequence after another. “Drake, the suspense here is killing me.”

“I pray your reaction does not kill me.” Drake pulled out a new thick pair of socks from his dresser to add to her body. It might be summer but the night was chilled. She would not suffer from this experience. He guided her to the bed to sit and knelt before her. Sally put her hand out to stop him, “Drake, what are you doing?”

“You need something for your feet.”

“I can put on my own socks.”

His eyes glowed neon orange as he gazed up at her. “Tending you is my honor and right, woman.” Sally leaned forward and brushed a kiss against his lips. He had to tense all his muscles to keep from leaping on top of her. His response was an out of control fire with a mere hint of a spark from her. This was another sign his patience was wise; she was beginning to initiate contact. Reach out to him. “Your feet will grow cold if we do not cover them.”

Sally let him continue, her toes wiggling in the thick wool of the socks as he secured them. “Where have you been all my life?”

“Looking for you,” his answer came so swift he could not keep it back.