Sexual Chemistry

Erupting Sexual Chemistry Between Nathaniel and Elijah in Knave of Hearts

knaveofhearts_smIn Knave of Hearts, Elijah and Nathaniel seem very different from each other. Nathaniel is high-powered and all about business and the end result. Elijah is all about emotion and people. Elijah’s guardian, Charles, the head of a very thriving business empire,  is dying of cancer. Elijah, a sound engineer, has returned to Seattle to be with him during his final days. He could care less about the business, he’s here for Charles, and is dealing with a range of emotions concerning the loss of his only family.

Nathaniel seems almost a mirror of Charles in that he also is the head of a thriving business. He’s come to Seattle to help assure the security of Charles’s empire as a transition of leadership must occur without incident. Nathaniel is all about the business and emotion does not play into his life. Not that he hasn’t had his share of lovers. But lovers in Nathaniel’s world usually involve an ulterior motive.

The twelves steps of intimacy rears its head at a most inopportune moment. At least for Elijah it is. His focus in on Charles and his guardian’s needs during these final days. His emotions have everything to do with love for his guardian, and nothing to do with sex or have a short-term affair to ease tensions. Until the night of Charles’ birthday party–his last. And everything changes when one man walks through the door of the hotel ballroom.

Chemistry is what erupts. Eye to body. When Nathaniel first lays on Nathaniel, not even knowing his name he is intrigued. Eye to eye. Interest sharply deepens when they come face to face a little later in the evening, but not close enough to speak. Yet eye contact is achieved. The eyes can say a great deal. Voice to voice. And when a moment of respite from the party brings Elijah to the reception area for a moment of quiet, he gets anything but peace when Nathaniel finally initiates a conversation between them.

“You’re with Charles Ballard.”

Elijah’s head shot up. He must be dreaming. He blinked. Nope, the image didn’t go away. He got to his feet in order to face the gorgeous stranger. No socialite clinging to his arm. He was making conversation with Elijah. Elijah took a deep, shuddering breath. Oh, shit. Had he ever been less prepared for an encounter than this?

“Uh, yeah. I am.” Now what did he say? This was not the impression he wanted to make. Where was the brunette? Was he maybe just being polite by dancing with her? Oh, man. “Are you a business associate of his?”

“You might say that. I just arrived in Seattle. I received the invitation and thought I’d stop in to the party for a bit. But as I said, I’ve only arrived in town. I was just getting ready to go back to my hotel.”

“Oh.” Too bad. “Will you be in Seattle long?” Perhaps the question was a bit too eager.

“A while. A few weeks at least. Perhaps a month. It will depend.”

Too bad Elijah was leaving with Charles, so it was kind of a moot point. Though he would have liked to get to know this man better. Then a desperation to not lose the connection kicked in. He needed something normal…like a little flirtation, to keep him sane. He saw a discarded cocktail napkin on the table. He pulled a pen out of his jacket pocket, and scribbled his name and cell number. This was not something he did every day, but these seemed to be unusual circumstances. He had no idea if the guy was interested or not. If his business had anything to do with Charles directly or not. Whether he was just trying to make small talk or find out more about Charles. Frankly, it didn’t matter. Not one whit.

“If you happen to find yourself at loose ends, why don’t you give me a call?”

The stranger glanced at the napkin, then back at Elijah. “But you’re with Charles.”

Elijah nodded. “Yeah. I have to leave or I’d ask if you wanted to go for a coffee. Charles is getting a little tired and he needs to get home. But maybe another time, while you’re in town. You gotta name?”

The stranger seemed to be sizing him up. He reached out for the napkin. “I do have a name.” He glanced down at the phone number, then slipped the napkin into his breast pocket. “Elijah.” The way he said it was slow and drawn out. His tone was low, his voice soft and deep. Elijah recognized the tone. He gave Elijah a mysterious smile. “And if I decide to call, perhaps I’ll give it to you. Goodbye for now.” And then he turned and strolled away toward the front door of the hotel.

That Nathaniel, he is a smooth one all right. But don’t underestimate Elijah. He’s no pushover and he’ll give Nathaniel a run for his money–just as soon as he finds out the damned man’s name. And we still have like nine steps of intimacy to go. Oh, boy, was this story fun to write.

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Aristaeus, the Original Beekeeper of Myth

Aristaeus, the Original Beekeeper of Myth

bee_flower-9665Although Ambrosia is an original creation orchestrated with the assistance of my muse, it is based on the belief held by the ancient Greeks and Romans that honey is the nectar of the gods. Did you also know that the name for honey comes from the Hebrew word for Enchant?

Legend has it that Aristaeus was a shepherd, the son of the water nymph, Cyrene. It is said that he was the first to teach the art of beekeeping. When Aristaeus’ bees perished (it is unknown whether it was through disease or accident of nature), he went to plead help from his mother. In agreeing to assist him, Cyrene led him to the Prophet Proetus who revealed to him a ceremony he must perform that would help him to rebuild his hives. Aristaeus did as Proetus directed and his hives were restored. Hence, the first beekeeper and the origin of the legend as told through the voices of ancient belief.

The recipe I offer in this delightfully delicious story is based on the ancient art of ambrosia_smstorytelling. “What if” I combine the “nectar of the gods,” with a fickle goddess as guardian, add in an “enchanting” beesinger named Ambrosia with a vow to fulfill, and one handsome lord with a desperate mission to save his people? For flavoring, mix in the biology of bees with the reviving spirit of a sweet magical elixir, and one has the recipe for an intriguing erotic fantasy romance. My result was Ambrosia.

One last tidbit to leave you with. Did you know that honey comes in many variations of color and flavor? Several factors can influence the taste and look of honey such as the variety of flower, the soil chemistry, and the honeycomb quality. It can have the look of gold, red, or even green. What a delicious combination–sweet, colorful…and sensual. So be sure to enjoy the story…and the food.

Ambrosia, now available at these fine ebook retailers:

Find it on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9736YH
Books2Read Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/4Aglyp
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/705901

 

 

 

 

Trumpeter Swans and the Development of Swan’s Lake (Primal Magic)

Trumpeter Swans and the Development of Swan’s Lake (Primal Magic)

swans6croppedI love Trumpeter Swans. And this is prime wintering season for Trumpeter Swans here in the Pacific Northwest. Shallow wetlands being prime nesting grounds, they should feel right at home in this area of Washington.

Research and foundation are prime requisites in creating story and there must be time devoted to discover and relate elements and symbology to create an engaging and fully-realized three-dimensional story that is able to draw a reader into my world, as I see it.

“She is very beautiful.”

Reynaldo couldn’t look away from the view of the serene lake surrounded by the lush forests. So different from the barren fields and fallow grounds on the other side of the estate.

At one time, the lake had been just as stagnant as the dried up land. Before she came. But only the lake and the surrounding woodlands seemed to have been affected by her magical appearance.

He felt Satrius’s presence behind him, but Reynaldo was focused on the beauty of the swan who was about to take flight. He watched as her powerful wings extended and she glided across the lake, her mirror image reflected in the shimmering, clear blue water, and finally soared into the air. His gaze was glued to the arc of her neck as she stretched out, and he could almost feel the wind against his own face, the freedom of the sky as he followed the perfect symmetry of her form. He felt his soul reach out to her, yearning to soar with her.

swans-0748Swan pairs mate for life and usually form pair bonds on the winter grounds, often where the pen (female) was hatched. The pen will choose the nesting site, the cob (male) will defend it. A Trumpeter Swan’s life expectancy can span as much as 20 years. If one mate dies, the other with find another mate.

“He will destroy you, Martine. If you do not act soon, it will be too late and Satrius will find a way to be rid of you. Of all of us.”

She turned swiftly to face one of the elder shifters, Arwen. He was a gruff old man, but beneath that she had come to determine he had a heart of gold and he meant well. He led the northern flock, those who had arrived in the first week. Yet all seemed to look to him for guidance. News traveled quickly in this magical world, and when word reached them of a strange swan maiden from the other land, they had begun arriving daily from throughout Valliana. Usually a bird or two at a time, but within Arwen’s flock there were at least eleven.

“I cannot act too quickly, Arwen. I know the urgency—you have all more than made that clear.”

“You are the chosen one. We all knew it when we heard of your arrival from the other world. What we attempt here has never been done before. For a swanshifter to mate with one outside our species—we do not know if it can even be done. Not even in Valliana.”

Martine Cullen, the swan maiden, is of of Celtic descent; Reynaldo Donata, lord of Terragatto, is a shapeshifting predator, who is lord of the castle in this realm. A dark magic has settled over Valliana, and only Martine can break the spell of Satrius, a very powerful warlock, who has cast a spell over Reynaldo.

swans-1540When I’m researching, I usually start with symbology, and in this story, I wanted to know what the swan symbol represented. What I found is this: Swan is a symbol of gracefulness and intuition. In alchemy, it is a symbol of hermaphroditism, being either male or female, It is a marriage of opposites – perfect for my story. But, of course, as any writer will, we take great liberties with the what-ifs, at least jumping one step farther. What if this, what if that? I’ve never been good at taking just one step…

She again turned toward the water and gazed out at the shifters resting there. It was then she came up with a dangerous alternative. Would any of them agree? Could she accept it, herself?

She whirled back toward Arvin. “What if we could give him what he seems to desire? It would be taking a chance, but if we can break the darkling magic it might be worth a try.” Suddenly, it all became clear. “That’s it.”

“What are you saying?”

She laughed and a weight lifted from her shoulders. There was a way to beat Satrius and possibly to break his hold over Reynaldo. “It has never been done before—not among the swanshifters.” Would it be such a sacrifice for her to accept another into the pairing? She felt a tingling begin between her thighs at the idea she was considering. It was a desperate chance, but one she was willing to take if the others could agree.

“You can’t be considering what I think you are.”

“Would it be so wrong? Help me, Arwen. You have told me how dangerous it would be for a child of Reynaldo and Belinda to be brought into this world. If it was not so, this gathering would not be taking place.”

“It is dangerous. If you have not found a cob to your liking thus far, what makes you think you will find one acceptable for the relationship you are considering?”

“I was not thinking of a cob instead of Reynaldo, but someone who would enhance our pairing. Help me find the right one. One to tempt him from Satrius—one he could not deny. Please.”

“You ask a great deal, Martine.”

“I know. I know he wants me, but he holds back. If we present him with something more, something he cannot deny, strong enough to turn him away from the evil. Offer him so much pleasure he is blinded by it. If Belinda is allowed to bear his child, the chasm of evil will rip wide open. Is that what you want?”

“No, of course not.”

“You know the flocks better than I. Help me find the right cob who could bond with two others for a lifetime. One who is strong enough to help me woo Reynaldo away from his sinister lovers. Yes, he seems to want me, but it isn’t enough.” She again turned to scan the waters. “There must be one among the many—one who would welcome this strange pairing.”

“You are asking that he submit to another. It will not be easy to find one that will accept the sharing of a pen. This is far beyond anything that has been attempted before. For you to share yourself between two—is this really what you want?”

She turned to look up at him. “I must pair with Reynaldo. To lose this chance, could mean all of our deaths.” She touched her abdomen. “In here, I know this is right. What we plan is the path I must follow. That we must follow.”

One step farther. Our Martine is a very clever woman. And it will take an adventurous, determined shapeshifter to save Reynaldo and this world, one who isn’t afraid to break boundaries, to bend mating rituals long followed in the past.

Thus, we have the story of Martine and Reynaldo, shifters who will break all the laws of their respective kinds in order to save their world.

 

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