Tuesday, 29 January 2013

2+2=2 for Tray Ellis



I thought DD #6 was the last, but I had a late Challenge come in - from a snowboarding fanatic, which was an additional challenge for me!

So here is Double Drabble #7

This is Tray's Challenge.

Her names are Ewan and Jack, and her sentences are in bold.

Ewan had spent the day in the park, working on his backside 360s off the rollers, and occasionally playing around grinding some sweet kinked rails. He was headed for the bar and a well deserved beer, when he noticed a familiar bright blue jacket, and was pretty sure he'd seen the guy lay down a 540 with a stalefish grab.

He knew the man--well, he knew his name, though they'd not been introduced. Jack Prentiss, one of the park's best riders. It wasn't only Jack's skill on the board that had caught Ewan's attention. It was his hawklike profile, long lean legs and taut ass. Jack had noticed him right back, and Ewan had hopes.

Suddenly Jack turned and strode quickly toward Ewan, looking over his shoulder. They collided in the doorway.

"Sorry," Jack said, grabbing Ewan's arms for support. His eyes widened and he smiled. "See that tall blonde girl at the bar? Ever since I told her she needs to ride a man's stick, she's been chasing me. Help me show her I'm not a good choice?"

"Sure," Ewan began. Then Jack kissed him. They needed to discuss this somewhere private, Ewan decided happily, like his room...

~ * ~

Friday, 25 January 2013

2+2=2 for Shirley Frances



Double Drabble #6 and last one for now


This is Shirley's Challenge. Her names are Julian and Max, and her sentences are in bold.

Julian looked over his shoulder to the man and the life he was leaving behind, and took a breath. His voice cracked when he looked at Max and said, "Just say the word, Max, and I'll stay."

"I can't," Max answered quietly. Bonny leaned against his leg and sighed. She recognized the pain under Max's words as easily as Julian. "We both know you have to do this. If you stay, you'll always wonder, what if... and blame me."

"No!" Julian protested. But he knew Max was right. "Come with me," he added desperately. Even as he spoke, he realized his stupidity. No way could Max and Bonny cope out there. Earthquakes and political unrest meant Eritrea wasn't a haven of safety.

Max's smile spoke of love, of understanding and loss. It dazzled Julian, and his own grief stung his eyes.

"Don't be dumb," Max drawled. "Now go, or you'll miss your flight."

Julian wavered. One phone call, and he could stay...

"Go," Max ordered. "You're a Doctor Without a Border, remember."

Julian nodded, though he knew Max wouldn't see.

"I'll be back," he vowed, and walked away from Max and his guide dog, his own eyes blind with tears.

~ * ~

Well, that's all for now, folks. I'll be sending out another 2+2=2 Challenge for names and sentences in a few month's time. This has been fun - well, I've enjoyed it, and I hope you have as well *g*

Thursday, 24 January 2013

2+2=2 Challenge for Cindi Sulken


Double Drabble #5


This is Cindi's Challenge. Her sentences are in bold. [Sorry, Cindi, I couldn't find an appropriate pic in my library... *g*] 

They had already said their goodbyes, and Stephen was checking the posts on his Facebook account. Seemingly out of nowhere, Michael grabbed Stephen's face, brought their mouths together and kissed him with all of the pent up frustration that had been building all weekend. He wasn't going to let Stephen ignore the sexual charge that flowed between them any longer.
At their first meeting Friday afternoon, Michael had seen Stephen's tells: expanded pupils, slight flush, fine beads of sweat on his upper lip. But in their social hours since then, the convivial, easygoing man whose infectious laugh lifted Michael's heart, became virtually silent when Michael joined the group. He'd learned Stephen was single, knew they worked in the same city. But despite his giveaway signs, Stephen didn't respond to Michael's cautious overtures. Now he was done with caution.
Stephen flailed his arms, off-balance. For a fleeting second Michael thought he'd get a fist swung at him. Or a law suit for assault. But then Stephen turned into him, strong arms locking around his ribs.
"You've got more guts than me," Stephen whispered. "I've been wanting to do that since Friday."
"Dinner?" Michael asked. "Tomorrow?"
"Yes!"
They were beginning something good.

~ * ~

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

2+2=2 for Pender Mackie



Double Drabble ~4

This is Pender's Challenge. Her names were Louis and Beau, and her sentences are in bold.

The bedspread was a horrid shade of pink. The spider snoozing in the bathtub looked bigger than the complimentary bar of soap. And the mold --don't get me started on the thick black lines on the grouting. If any place could be described as a passion killer, this was it. The spider woke up and waved its front legs at me. That was more than flesh and blood could stand. I took a fast step back. Louis was right behind me and I cannoned into him.
"Whoa," he said, wrapping his arms around my waist. "What's up?" He rocked his hips against my ass, and I could feel what was up as far as he was concerned. Any upward tendencies my anatomy might have produced were deflated by that monster in the tub.
"Nothing," I assured him, my voice an unaccustomed falsetto. We'd been dating for a few weeks now, and this was the first time we'd be sharing a bed. But Shelob in the tub... I shuddered.
"Beau?" he queried. Then he must have seen the uninvited and unwanted. "Oh. Do you want me to kill it?"
"No! Just--get rid of it!"
So he did. My hero...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

2+2=2 for Sue Laybourn

Double Drabble #3

This is Sue's Challenge - her sentences are in bold, and the names she gave me were Mark and Jonathan. 

All I had was the clothes on my back and a pocketful of loose change. Neither were much use in the cold downpour that washed bomb debris down the broken street. Not all the wreckage was down to me. The Taliban had already killed or driven out everyone. I took a deep breath, ignoring the aches in my ribs and back. I was alive, relatively undamaged, and my task was done. The hidden watching post and its state of the art surveillance equipment were destroyed.  Now I had to stay alive and get out of there.

To be honest, I hadn't expected to survive this, my last mission. Black ops personnel aren't exactly expendable, but our survival rate isn't high. That goes double for the Ghost Squad. And I was a ghost, the blackest of black ops operatives.

"Mark," Jon had said on our last night before I left, "for God's sake, stay alive." We'd clung together in the darkness, too aware of all that could go wrong, how much was at stake.

"I'll do my best," I promised. Then, "Jonathan Laybourn, will you marry me?"

"God, yes!"

Twenty hours later, Jon pulled me into the chopper at the rendezvous.

~~~ * ~~~

Monday, 21 January 2013

2+2=2 for Margaret Turner

Double Drabble #2

This is Margaret's Challenge - her sentences are in bold, and the names she gave me were Thomas and Ashley.

Alberta was bloody cold this time of year and his tour didn't end until the spring. Still, at least he had more than warm thoughts to keep him going. Lecturing on his archaeological dig in mainland Greece provided memories of sundrenched days, and nights of heat and passion. Thomas cleared his throat and pressed the cue button. On the huge screen behind him, the aerial shot of the dig was replaced by an image of a large excavation. An archaeologist worked on one small area.
 
A murmur rippled through the students. Most were responding to the truly beautiful mosaic in the foreground, but Thomas heard appreciative whispers of, "Tasty!" and, "Oh, he's hot!" 

 
Ashley had been caught in the act of reaching across to place a find in the collection tray. He was, in the jargon of the students Thomas was lecturing, drop dead gorgeous.

 
Thomas briefly touched his wedding band. That excavation, where they’d discovered the Greco-Roman villa outside Pella, had doubled as their honeymoon. He looked up to the top row of the lecture theater. Ashley was there, anonymous in the dark, but Thomas could feel the warmth of his gaze, and his smile.

 
Alberta had its perks.


~~~ * ~~~

Sunday, 20 January 2013

2+2=2 Diane Adams #2

Diane wanted to know about poor Leon - so here's Leon's Double Drabble *g*



"--the President on his way to crisis talks with Germany's--" Leon hit standby on the remote, not interested in the fleeting image of his President's lean form striding up the steps of Air Force One, followed by his security detail. He had a crisis of his own that was far more important than international relations. Where the fuck was Jax? And why wasn't he answering any calls? Leon swore and threw the remote onto the couch.

He'd been sure that something special was happening between them over the last month. They had enough in common that their differences seemed like perfect synchronicities. And Jax was hot. Average height, average build--until he stripped off, then all that well-proportioned muscle made him anything but. His features, too, were pleasant rather than strikingly handsome, yet when he smiled Leon was mesmerized.

Abruptly Leon froze in his tracks. Something... he'd seen... He lunged for the couch and grabbed the remote, flicked through channels until he found another news station. Once more the President climbed the steps. So did his security, and there at their head was Jax.

Leon understood immediately. He'd be here when Leon returned. They could make this work.

~~~ * ~~~

2+2=2 for Diane Adams



Double Drabble #1

Diane Challenged me, and her two sentences are in bold... 

Jax stared into the distance lost in thought. He had so much to do, but all he could think of was Leon and wonder what could have come of things if timing had been better. He gave himself a mental kick in the ass. Concentrate! Lives could depend on this, not least his own. Afterward, when he got back, he'd explain the situation and hope Leon would understand, give them a chance to explore their embryonic relationship. That steadied him as nothing else could, and allowed his years of training to kick in.
               
Forms were filled out, files signed off and handed on to his replacement. A final debrief, then he was being ferried to the rendezvous to join his new team. Once there it was a case of hurry up and wait. Jax spent some of the time on last minute checks of the communications equipment and weaponry. They'd already been passed by Tech Support, of course, but he never left such things entirely to others.
                              
Jax wished he'd told Leon how very important he'd become. Too late now. The signal flashed and with his team following, he climbed the metal steps.

"Welcome aboard Air Force One, Commander Adams."

~~~ * ~~~

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Two + Two = 2 Challenge



Ever thought of challenging an author?


Ever wondered what triggers their imaginations, what word, phrase or image sets their creativity on fire? Now is the chance for you to find out.

Give me a two sentence starting point and two names, and I'll write a Double Drabble of 200 words from them.

Who knows? Your challenge might be the one to inspire more than just the drabble  - one of mine ended up being my novel Aloes, and several more are waiting in my Ideas folder to be expanded into longer stories.

So bring it, people, the more the merrier! I'll do my damnedest to meet the challenges *g* and I'll post one Double Drabble a day.

***Definition from Wikipedia - A drabble is an extremely short work of fiction of exactly one hundred words in length, not necessarily including the title. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.***

~~~ * ~~~

Monday, 14 January 2013

FOOL'S ODYSSEY COMPLETED

The third and final part of this award-winning trilogy is due for release on February 1st 2013 from the Manifold Press site!

Xavi has changed - oh, how he has changed! But how much has he learned - about life, about himself, about what - and who - he needs? 



Fool's Rush

from Manifold Press - release date February 1st 2013 

Third in the Fool Trilogy - Father Esteve hires Xavi to trace the true owners of the gold found in the crypt of San Pedro-by-the-Wall, but it's an old and tangled web. Someone has an agenda and a rising tide of anti-vampire reaction sweeps Barcelona. It's focused on Xavi and Andreas, which causes additional problems with the vampires of Renaissance. Then Xavi meets a handsome young man who isn't all he seems, and that's when things become even more complicated...



~ * ~

Short Excerpt - 


Andreas knew the house was empty the moment he opened the front door and acknowledged his disappointment with a wry smile. Usually when Xavi went out, the note propped against the coffee percolator would read variations on the 'gone to the gym/pool/clinic' theme. This one was different and not in his usual scrawl. Care had been taken with it:



I felt like a night on the town. Care to join me? I'll be somewhere on Las Ramblas if you think you can track me down before I get bored.



Andreas frowned. A bored Xavier Escudero tended to find trouble. If he was prowling through the nightlife of Barcelona, the trouble would be swiftly found. His frown deepened. After the event of the council meeting, Andreas would have preferred a quiet night home to think things through and assess all the ramifications, preferably with his lover close to his side. But Xavi clearly expected – wanted – him to follow, and the challenge in the carefully scribed lines was unmistakable. Therefore, knowing how the Escudero mind worked, that challenge would probably be sexual. Xavi wanted him to think he was out hunting for a pick-up. But there was far more to it than that.

Irritation and amusement struggled for dominance, and the latter won by a hairsbreadth. If he had to guess, Xavi was out cruising to discover how far Andreas would let him run before he tightened the leash.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Manifold's February 1st Releases Are...

Advance Announcement - Manifold Press's releases due on February 1st 2013 are... *drumroll*


BETWEEN NOW AND THEN


BNAT smallby Adam Fitzroy


It’s 1991, and a group of English football fans are driving across Belgium; their trip takes them through the site of a former battle, and that’s when a strange sequence of events begins. For Dennis and Allan, colleagues who cordially dislike each other, this means journeying further still – into what appears to be the past, and into the lives of two men who travelled this way seventy-five years earlier, whose unfinished love-affair remains to be played out in full. As they move backwards and forwards in time Dennis and Allan have only themselves to rely on, no markers to show them where they’re going, and no real certainty of ever finding their way home again.


~~~ * ~~~


 rush smallFOOL’S RUSH


The third and final part of the Fool’s Odyssey trilogy

by Chris Quinton

Father Esteve hires Xavi to trace the true owners of the gold found in the crypt of San Pedro-by-the-Wall, but it’s an old and tangled web. Someone has an undisclosed agenda, and a rising tide of anti-vampire reaction sweeps through Barcelona. It’s focused on Xavi and Andreas, which causes additional problems with the vampires of Renaissance. Then Xavi meets a handsome young man who isn’t all he seems, and that’s when things begin to get even more complicated…
 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Looking Back and Forward Again

For the last three New Years' Resolutions, I followed [or tried to follow] a Threefold Path of Intent;

I hereby state that my New Year's Resolutions are: I Will NOT Procrastinate. I Will NOT Be Distracted. I WILL Have Self-Discipline. With whips if necessary. So there, Brain. Cough up the goods.

So how did I do? Same as last year - Pretty damned well on some fronts, not so good on others.

1. Health issues that began late in 2011 and were diagnosed as Type 2 Diabetes in early 2012 kind of threw my writing schedule off track. The diabetes isn't going to go away, ever, so in an effort to avoid taking the medication, a drastic readjustment to my diet was needed. So far it is working, in that my glucose levels are low-ish and stable, and my weight has dropped. It took a little while before I was settled enough in my own mind to get back into the swing of writing.

2. Had eight stories published, from novel-length to a self-published short story;

Fox Hunt - Manifold Press
Sullivan's Yard - Silver Publishing
Paradox - Silver Publishing
Finders, Keepers - Silver Publishing
The Cameraman's Tale in the Hearts of England Anthology - Siver Publishing
Falling Again - self-pubbed
Dark Waters - a rerelease - Silver Publishing
The Fitzwarren Inheritance Trilogy - all three stories from me, RJ Scott and Sue Brown - Silver Publishing


3. I did well on the kudos front in 2012 *g*
But I've already crowed blogged about them, so I won't blather on again.


4. On the upside, I have finally finished Fool's Rush, the final book in the Fool's Odyssey Trilogy, and it will be released by Manilfold Press on February 1st. I've had a short story - Never Too Late - accepted for the anthology Love Is Love, due for release from Silver on February 9th.

On the downside, or rather the potentially good side if I get my finger out, I have a list of WiPs to work on;

Top priority is Carlyle's Crossing

Second priority is Caravaggio's Angel - or maybe Over The Wall

Then, still lurking in the wings are, in no particular order:
Starfall: Second Contact - first refusal to Silver Publishing
Spiked
Cause and Effect
The Carandor Interface
The Lennox Selkie
Tribulation
Amethyst
Bennett's Folly
Taking A Chance
and sundry other wisps of ideas not yet solidified into a plot line.

5. This year I cannot backslide and let myself be distracted. 
Some of those WiPs *have* to be finished and submitted.

SO 2013's NY Res?? Exactly the same:

I Will NOT Procrastinate. I Will NOT Be Distracted. I WILL Have Self-Discipline. With whips if necessary. So there, Brain. You *can* do it - after all, you didn't do too shabbily in 2012.

~ * ~

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Fool's Odyssey

Yesterday, the Paranormal Romance Guild gave the first two parts of my Fool's Odyssey trilogy a Third Place in their Best of 2012 Alternative Series category. To say I am delighted is probably the British Understatement of the year - thank you to all who voted for me, and congratulations to all the winners.

Fool's Rush, the final part of this trilogy, will be released on February 1st 2013, and I am keeping all my appendages crossed that it will be as well-received as its siblings.


rush small

FOOL’S RUSH


The third and final part of the Fool’s Odyssey trilogy
by Chris Quinton

Father Esteve hires Xavi to trace the true owners of the gold found in the crypt of San Pedro-by-the-Wall, but it’s an old and tangled web. Someone has an undisclosed agenda, and a rising tide of anti-vampire reaction sweeps through Barcelona. It’s focused on Xavi and Andreas, which causes additional problems with the vampires of Renaissance. Then Xavi meets a handsome young man who isn’t all he seems, and that’s when things begin to get even more complicated…

~ * ~ 


FOOL'S OATH

Second in the FOOL'S ODYSSEY Trilogy from Manifold Press



Xavi gives his word - and breaks it. In a rush of over-confidence on his part, a friend dies bloodily and he is forced to face the reality of his new nature and the depth of his relationship with Andreas. And then there's the gold hidden in the walled-up crypt of the church...


~ * ~



FOOL'S ERRAND 

from Manifold Press


First in the Fool’s Odyssey Trilogy


Xavi is a sometime hooker, sometime gigolo, working the rich pickings of wealthy tourists and bored socialites of Barcelona in 2042. His current meal ticket is Sophia Matas, the wife of a prominent politician. Then Sophia is assassinated and he’s the only witness. Within hours, Xavi finds himself in protective custody and in a safe house. His guardian is Andreas, a vampire liaising with the Barcelona police.

Andreas needs to exert control - of himself, his abilities, and his relationships. Now he must keep Xavi safe. If he can keep Xavi in one place long enough. They embark on an affair that will define who and what they are, played out in an deadly dance of kill-or-be-killed danger.



~ * ~