Tuesday, September 25, 2012

From the Ashes

A couple of years ago at the urging of a friend, I started writing slash fan fiction. At that time, I also started a Facebook account so she and I could post yaoi and slash links and photos for each other. Somewhere along the way a few authors sent me friend requests. I was a little startled, but since they were fine with my interests, I added them.

Linda Reilly was an m/m author and encouraged me to continue writing. Next, Rebecca Leigh who liked my slash and said I should keep up with it.  AB Gayle helped me with POV. The support of these ladies kept me writing once I finished the slash and I'm deeply appreciative of that.

I had only written a few chapters of my Samurai Champloo slash (Infinite Infatuation) when Linda pointed out that Samhain Publishing had a call for m/m fairy tale submissions. I remember thinking, "Yeah right! They wouldn't be interested in anything from me." But that set my mind to working and I came up with a plausible Cinderfella.

Cinder insisted that I tell his story Right Now even though I was in the middle of a chapter of my slash. So I sat down and wrote half the story in one night! About 4:00am, I decided I should really get some sleep before I had to get up in the morning for work. Big mistake! I seriously pissed Cinder off and he wouldn't talk to me for the next couple of nights. I did finally finish the story in spite of that.

Recently, Deanna Wadsworth, the queen of gab, pushed me to add to the story and submit for publication. I'm glad she did. I'm actually very pleased with the nearly finished WIP. With many thanks to Cinder's godmothers, you know who you are ladies!

I'm on the second round of edits and unfortunately do not have a cover to display yet, but I think maybe a little excerpt might be in order.

Cinder never thought that he could rise from the ashes of his life, but an unexpected encounter with a woman claiming to be his fairy godmother may be just what he needs. Finding himself flung into his very own fairy tale, she sends him off to meet his Prince Charming. But was the gown really necessary?

Cinder glanced around. Paper lanterns floated in the trees, lined the walks, and graced the gazebo near the reflecting pool, giving the grounds a mystical air. Their warm glow caught the dancing jets of the fountain splashing merrily to his right. The musical, crystalline tones carried on the night wind’s breath. He was reminded of the enchanted gardens in the fairy tales his father had read to him when he was a child. What would happen to him if he dared walk there?

Henri led him toward the gazebo. Soon he would find out.

The cool breeze caressed his uncovered neck. Cinder shivered at the ethereal touch. Henri turned to him, the question clear in his eyes, but he didn’t know how to answer. Instead he breathed in the tangible scent of rich earth and flowing water, hoping to calm his bounding heart.

Henri lightly stroked his arm. Cinder’s breath caught at the silky brush of the other man’s fingers. He drew another shaky breath. Henri may have meant to soothe him, instead his touch set Cinder’s wayward body aflame.

They left the last of the courtiers behind as they entered the dim interior of the fanciful pavilion. Vines climbed its intricately carved posts, perfuming the air within. The music and voices of the aristocrats faded away. Only a single intrepid nightingale could be heard over the cheerful babbling of the fountain. Hidden from the rest of the court, an unworldly sense of peace filled him. Was his very own fairy tale about to come true?

Bespelled and bemused, he could feel the magic in every beat of his heart, in every trembling breath he drew.

Once inside the bower, Henri reached to cup Cinder's cheek. Unused to being touched, he nearly flinched away but managed to still, heart pounding, before giving himself away. The older man's thumb slid across his cheekbone and came to rest lightly on his mouth. Why did he want to lean into that caress?

The other man's warm, slightly musky scent filled his nostrils, drowning his senses.

Henri's other hand wrapped around his waist and drew him close while tipping his face upwards. Cinder's breath left him in a rush, stirring the noble’s hair. Henri was all that he could see, his mouth slowly, carefully descending toward Cinder’s. If he allowed this, the other man might discover his deception. He couldn’t risk that, so why then did he ache to feel Henri’s kiss? Their lips brushed, light as thistle down.

Surprisingly, Henri's mouth was soft and warm upon his own. After a moment, Henri's pressed more firmly against his. Something fluttered in his chest, trying to get out.

Cinder didn't think to pull away until he felt Henri's tongue seeking entrance. The hand on his face slipped to his nape and held firm. He froze in shock, not even daring to breathe, as flames rushed through his body. The very beat of his heart betrayed him.

The questing tongue stroked his lips and pushed between them. It slid over his teeth, seeking to enter. When he protested, Henri's tongue swept in and began a lazy, sensuous exploration that left him breathless.

Soon he found himself stroking Henri's tongue with his own. Henri responded to his fledgling attempts by pulling him closer and moaning into his mouth. He had never experienced anything so deeply sensual and erotic. He fed his own needy pleas to the other man one at a time.

Finally they separated slightly, Cinder panting heavily, trying to catch his breath. Was Henri as affected by their kiss as he was? A quick glance confirmed Cinder was not alone in his arousal. Flushed and gasping, Henri gazed at him with eyes full of wonder and something unnamed smoldering in their depths.

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