NaNo 2017

Oh, look, it’s November again, which must mean NaNoWriMo is back!

I haven’t had a lot of success with forward planning this year, so I’m not at all sure how well this is going to go, but I shall make an attempt anyway. By now I had hoped to have finished Burning Sky (Dragonlands #4), leaving me free to launch into Aquila’s War (Wingborn #5). Alas, this hasn’t happened. Although I’ve been inching along with Sky, I’ve been struggling to get the plot to the point where I’m free to let loose and run away with it. Mostly because I haven’t had the time or been in the right head space to simply sit back and think about it all. As for AW, while I know where I wanted it to go and what’s vaguely going to happen, details have yet to emerge.

At least that’s where I was with it all last weekend, when I decided to put Sky aside for now and focus on AW instead. Then a new plot idea started jumping up and down for Sky, although I’m not sure yet how I can get to it from where I left things in Chapter 7. Now, after reading through Wingborn #4, ideas for AW are busily poking at my brain, and I also have a long abandoned book waving fresh ideas from the dusty archives. All of which leaves me in something of a quandary.

So this year’s NaNo attempt isn’t to write 50K words of a novel. It’s to write as many words as possible on two, possibly three books, and hope I might actually finish one of them. 50,000 words would be good, even more would be great, but I’m making no promises and setting no targets. I have them in my head, but I’m only counting the things that I actually get done. Hopefully that way I won’t jinx myself and ruin it all.

Updates to come as and when I have anything of worth to report.

For now…

DAY ONE
Aquila’s War Prologue + 1/2 Ch 1

Riders filled the northern horizon.

Prologue, 1st line

Overall – 2489 words

Here’s hoping tomorrow goes as well. Although I do have the dentist, so I’m definitely not making any promises.

Good luck to all who are also taking part!

 

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Update and Dog News

I think it’s time I finally admitted that plans and me this year just aren’t working. It’s only taken me ten months, but still, it’s progress. Of a sort.

Since my last update and discussion of plans in August’s progress report, I have released Storm Rising, finished the Dragongift serial and… done nothing much else. This is not for want of trying, but real life keeps intruding. Like having the new bathroom fitted and it taking two weeks(!). It’s a very nice bathroom and I’m happy with it, but the disruption was not great.

However, the really big change came in mid-September when I sadly lost my collie, Beren. He was fourteen years old and he’d been sick on and off since Christmas, but it was still awful when I had to choose to let him go. All his life he’d been really healthy and hadn’t shown his age. In fact, he looked great and was still bouncing around like a puppy. But in early December, my little lab x had a stroke and had to be put to sleep. Thyme and Beren had been lifelong companions and partners in crime, and not barely two weeks later Beren was at the vets and I really thought that was it.

He pulled through that time, but he was changed. He was an old dog now, finally showing his age. He was still bright eyed and affectionate, loving his walks and playing, but he was stiffer and slower, his walks got shorter and shorter, and he started falling sick. We muddled through together right up until his fourteenth birthday, then he could no longer keep any food down and stopped trying to eat altogether. I didn’t want to lose him, but I wasn’t going to let him suffer. And, since I was convinced he wasn’t going to make it at Christmas, at least I got nine more months with him.

The next few weeks were a struggle. I’ve lost three dogs over the last eighteen months, because they were all getting old at the same time, and I really, really miss them. I still have two, but Willow is fifteen and I have no idea what is still keeping her going since her back legs are so wobbly you’d think she was going to fall over any second. But she doesn’t and her appetite is enormous. Still, she can’t last forever and I didn’t want my other dog, Mushu, to be alone. So I started looking for a puppy.

Not being at all sure how Mushu would react to a new dog, I wanted something young that she could get used to, which ruled out rehoming – most of which weren’t suitable anyway because they needed to be only dogs. I wanted a male, because I miss Beren and Woody. I preferably wanted something with either collie or lab in it, but I really didn’t want a pedigree because the only dogs I’ve had with life long health issues have all been pedigrees. I knew what I didn’t want, but was open to any interesting ideas as long as it would be quite big. Yet, despite there being ridiculous amounts of pugs and French bulldogs, chihuahuas and spaniels, labs and various doodles (all crossed with mini poodles) available, nothing was suitable.

I looked and I looked and I looked, growing mildly obsessed and wishing I lived with my sister in South Wales because there were some amazing sounding puppies up there, but I didn’t want to spend more than two hours in the car bringing the puppy home – for its sake as much as anyone else’s. Although, after three weeks, I was starting to get desperate and contemplating searching much further afield.

But there was one litter I’d seen advertised a few times. Border collie x New Zealand Huntaway. I’d never heard of a huntaway, so I looked it up and was intrigued. They’re sheepdogs that herd by barking, which could be a worry although they can be trained when not to bark, and I wasn’t sure I wanted anything that lively anyway, despite Beren having been no trouble at all. It was a farm litter too, which can have their behavioural quirks – sometimes for the good, occasionally for the bad. They were a curious looking bunch, with a couple of blue merle puppies that looked like little snow leopards, a couple with blue merle coats and tan patches, one brown and tan and one black and white. But I put them out of my mind, because I was sure something else would come up.

It didn’t. The collie/huntaways were updated with newer photos. I dithered, then said no, because crazy collies need so much exercise and there’s the barking thing and they probably didn’t have that much huntaway in them anyway.

But it had been three weeks and there was a more recent photo and the black and white puppy was just calling me…

Bruin 2.JPG

8 weeks old

His name is Bruin and he’s half collie, half huntaway and pure mischief. His favourite things are playing with Mushu, eating my shoes (preferably when still on my feet), chewing rocks and sticks and furniture, and barking at Willow.

Bruin 4.JPG

9 weeks old

He’s ridiculously cute and so much fun. At first he wasn’t toilet trained at all, but he’s getting there, and best of all he’s slept through the night without any crying, barking or whining since day one. He kicks up a ridiculous fuss during the day when I leave him downstairs, but I can cope with that.

DSC_0512.JPG

9 weeks old

He’s growing so fast. He’s not even twelve weeks old yet and already as tall as Mushu, although it’ll be a while before he’s as long as her mutant Bassett body. He can sit on command and does a fantastically flamboyant flounce when asked to lie down – one leg up and flump!

DSC_0532

10 weeks old

He fits in perfectly.

DSC_0602.JPG

11 weeks old

And although there are still moments and days when I miss Beren and Thyme so much it makes my heart hurt and things hard to get through, I love my newest little monster and I already can’t imagine life without him. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

DSC_0599

More chatter about books and NaNo and stuff to come soon. For now, I hope you’re all well, my lovelies. Merry Monday!

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A Courtship of Dragons: Part 44

Courtship Banner 1

A Courtship of Dragons is a M/M Romance short novel (approximately 60,000 words) told in short scenes, between two young dragons, Estenarven kin Boulderforce Clan Stoneheart and Mastekh kin Rainstorm Clan Flowflight. It’s pure fluff ‘n’ stuff and not intended to be anything other than that.

|| First Part || All Parts || Last Part ||

What is love without a little risk?


44
Risk

21st Storm Month

MASTEKH WOKE UP cold and alone. Which wasn’t unusual across the course of his life, but it was unexpected after enjoying two mornings in a row of waking with his own personal Boulderforce furnace. Dazed and still a little drowsy after another late night of waiting on Elder Goryal, Mastekh yawned as he looked around Estenarven’s cramped room.

It didn’t take very long, and since there was no possible place for a Boulderforce to hide, he soon realised his lover was gone.

Disappointed, he dropped back onto the bed with a grunt and snuggled back amongst the covers. He knew he should get up, he just didn’t want to. A few more moments wouldn’t hurt.

Something scratched against his cheek and he tried to ignore it, but the irritation broke through his sleepiness and woke him fully.

Sighing in defeat, he swiped the offending thing away and sat up, frowning as a piece of paper fluttered to the floor. He bent over to retrieve it, squinting and twisting the page this way and that until he could make sense of Estenarven’s terrible scrawl. 

Puddle,
Ive gone to fetch your final gift. EB doesnt need us.
See you later.
Love,
Pebble 

Mastekh stared at the word love, tracing it with his fingertip. It was all very well for Estenarven to say such things in the dark and the quiet where no one would hear him, possibly not even Mastekh himself, but to put it into words… He smiled and read the note again.

Then gasped and fought his way free of the blankets. If Estenarven was out fetching his final gift, then Mastekh had to get a move on. Even though he already knew what he wanted for Estenarven’s last present, he still had to actually get it.

Racing across the suite to his own room, he washed his face in the basin and straightened his robe before digging through his meagre belongings for the old foraging bag he used to use in his home forest. Tattered and frayed, held together by knots, it nevertheless would do. He slicked his hand over his hair, smoothing it away from his eyes and hurried back into the main room of the suite.

Elder Blazeborn sat in a chair beside the fireplace, sipping at a cup of tea. “Seventh gift?” he enquired, in the face of Mastekh’s disarray.

“Yes.”

“Know what you’re getting?”

“Y-yes.”

“Try not to get killed. Good aides are hard to find.”

Mastekh gave a distracted nod and ran for the door. He was halfway down the hallway before he registered what Elder Blazeborn had said.

He stopped dead. Good aides are hard to find. Aides, plural. Meaning him as well as Estenarven.

Heat rushed to his face even though no one else was around and he patted a hand against his fluttering heart. It hadn’t been an easy adjustment for either him or his elder, but to know that Elder Blazeborn valued him…

“Oh.”

A smile crept over his face and warmth filled him. Then he started running again. He had a seventh gift to find and, according to Goryal’s advice, he had to battle through the foul weather to the top of this mountain to reach it.

Arriving at the nearest platform, he stepped out into the rain and looked up. Lightning split the sky, followed almost immediately by a heavy growl of thunder.

Perfect.

Shedding his human form, Mastekh uncurled his long body and picked up his raggedy foraging bag once more. Wings open, he slithered off the platform and merged with the storm.

It took no time at all for him to swim his way between the bolts, up and up, right to the mountaintop above Highstrike, where the storm was at its thickest. Vast clouds squatted over the ridgeline, spitting out light and sound and fury and force, but Mastekh was too focused to flinch. Not even when a bolt narrowly missed his wing and showered him with rock shards.

Instead he waited for the worst of the smoke to clear, turned mid-air and pounced on the spot. Blackened rock and charred earth. Useless.

Grumbling, he landed and tucked in his wings, using his claws to pick around the dirt. Nothing of interest caught his attention and he sighed. Overhead the sky snarled, drawing his attention to the highest part of the ridge. The clouds were thickest there, but not so impenetrable that he couldn’t make out the flashes coming at short, sharp intervals.

Just as Goryal had promised.

Flexing his wings, Mastekh folded them in tight against his back and scurried over the broken ground. Sharp stones dug into his paws, but at least the rain streamed straight off his scales. When he reached the bottom of the ridge, he looked up at the broken slope and sighed.

A narrow gully led all the way to the top, jagged and rough but protected from the worst of the lightning flashing about. It was also too narrow for even a slender Rainstorm to fit inside.

Well, it wasn’t supposed to be easy, he reminded himself, forcing his comfortable dragon form to slide away, leaving him shivering and exposed as a human wrapped in silk. Nor would staring at it make it any easier. Sighing, he pulled the strap of his foraging bag over his head, clambered into the gully and began to climb. Digging his claws into the silt and dirt, he hoped that Goryal’s advice would prove worth all this effort.

Lightning spat against the edges of the gully, but Mastekh ignored it and continued to climb. Nothing would stop him from fetching this final gift and completing his courtship. Nothing.

Although, when he crawled, dirty, sodden and panting out of the gully at the top of the ridge, the swirling clouds, pounding rain, howling wind and flashing lightning made him pause. The seventh gift was supposed to be difficult to obtain, but no one had bothered to mentioned it might also be dangerous. Resting on his knees, he studied the storm ahead and gulped, wondering if Goryal’s word could really be trusted. After all, anyone could predict that the storm would be fiercest at the top of the mountain. That didn’t mean the rest of Goryal’s promises were true.

Then he caught sight of flames and rainbow sparks flourishing the highest point.

Just as Goryal had promised.

So maybe there was some truth in the old Starshine yet. All the hopes of his seventh gift and courtship were now resting on it. Clenching his hands in the knotted rope of his bag strap, Mastekh straightened his shoulders, took a deep breath and walked into the heart of the storm.


Courtship 7More next week.Courtship 7

If, like Mastekh, you’re ready to reach the end, you can download the ebook now – it’s free!

Whatever you choose to do, take care, my lovelies.

Posted in Books, Free Fiction, Overworld, Serial, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Courtship of Dragons: Part 43

Courtship Banner 1

A Courtship of Dragons is a M/M Romance short novel (approximately 60,000 words) told in short scenes, between two young dragons, Estenarven kin Boulderforce Clan Stoneheart and Mastekh kin Rainstorm Clan Flowflight. It’s pure fluff ‘n’ stuff and not intended to be anything other than that.

|| First Part || All Parts || Last Part ||

Sorry. Not a great week.

Still, at least Esten’s happy.


43
Tease

20th Storm Month

ESTENARVEN SPENT THE next day in a happy haze, uncaring that he was back in meetings and once more serving Elder Blazeborn at dinner. Not only had he spent the last two nights sleeping with Mastekh beside him, but his Puddle had finally relaxed enough to let them explore each other. Just a little, just enough to give them both a taste of what they might one day have. Compared to his previous lovers, some would deem it fairly tame stuff, but Estenarven was giddy with it all. Mastekh was becoming more and more his with each passing day, allowing him closer, trusting him more deeply. Their courtship was progressing beautifully.

With that thought in mind, he smiled as he brushed a hand against his hip pocket, where his sixth gift now resided. The thought and effort that Mastekh had gone to in order to replace Estenarven’s battered old wooden figure with a new one handmade by his Puddle… Estenarven hadn’t known his heart could hurt with happiness. Even now it still felt a little too big for his chest, inflated with all the feelings Mastekh stirred within him.

“Ugh, Sister Storm, do you have to ooze?”

Estenarven jerked away from the wall he’d been leaning against and looked down to find Jesral scowling at him. He glanced at his hands and the floor, but he was a Boulderforce, he didn’t ooze.

He frowned in confusion. “What?”

“You. You’re so happy, it’s practically dripping off you.” She waved her hand in front of her face as though dispersing a bad smell. “Stop it.”

Reglian snorted from his desk behind the pair of them, where he was once again getting out of having to serve at dinner by pretending to take notes on the conversation. “Don’t be jealous, Jesral. It’s unbecoming.”

The Lightstorm sneered at the Thunderwing, who smirked back. Just because the two dragons shared a Clan, didn’t mean they liked each other.

Not in the mood to get between the pair of them and one of their bickering spats, Estenarven shook his head. “I thought you were my friend, Jessie.”

Jesral paused her glaring at Reglian to sniff in his direction. “I am.”

“Then you should be happy that I’m happy.”

“I would, but you’re just so nauseating about it. Smiling all the time.”

“I’m a smiley person,” he protested.

“Not like this,” Jesral argued. “You look like you’ve taken one too many hits on the head with a boulder.”

“He’s a Boulderforce,” Reglian interjected, chuckling. “They’re all like that.”

Both Estenarven and Jesral shot him a withering look. He didn’t seem to care, twirling a quill between his fingers and smiling benignly.

“All I’m saying is, can you be a little less distracted, please?” Jesral said, turning her attention back to Estenarven. “If I have to hit you one more time to prompt you to serve the next course, I’m going to break my hand.”

“Maybe you could try not hitting me?” Estenarven suggested.

She glared at him instead, so he opted for Reglian’s solution and smiled.

“Lovebirds,” she growled in disgust. “I thought you of all dragons would never fall for any of that romantic nonsense. Now look at you. A good flirt, ruined.”

“Aw, I’ll still flirt with you, Jessie,” he promised, batting his eyelashes.

She looked at him like he was something disgusting she’d accidentally stepped in. “Save it for Mastekh,” she retorted, flicking her hair over her shoulder and stalking away to stand with someone else.

Estenarven watched her go, shaking his head and sighing, wondering if he would ever understand what was wrong with her.

“Don’t worry, Esten, she’ll get over it,” Reglian said, putting down his quill and linking his fingers together. “Unfortunately for you.”

“What’s the problem between you two anyway?” Estenarven demanded, resting a hip against Reglian’s desk and reading his notes upside down. They looked more like a handful of games of noughts and crosses to him.

Reglian hurriedly covered up his games and shrugged. “Thunderwings and Lightstorms have never got along. Blame that age old question, which came first the thunder or the lightning? We’re simply not meant to be friends.”

“Sounds foolish to me,” Estenarven said, shrugging himself.

“Which is a bit rich coming from a kin Boulderforce, who all the Overworld knows can’t stand the rest of your Clan.”

“I can’t help it if the other Stoneheart kin are full of rubble brains and eroded integrity.”

“Mm,” Reglian agreed, twirling his quill again as the next course was brought in and Estenarven had to step away and serve his elder. By the time he returned, the Thunderwing actually appeared to be doing some work, so he rested his hip against the desk and tried some more upside down reading.

“You missed a bit,” he said, indicating a few runes that had only been half-completed, changing their meaning completely. “Unless you meant to compare Elder Cloudflight to a bat, in which case carry on.”

Reglian growled softly, making the correction and tucking the page out of sight. “Have you exchanged your sixth gifts yet?” he asked, changing the subject before Estenarven could ask about the interesting notes he’d just glimpsed on Elder Blazeborn’s attempts to turn back the Cloud Curse – and the lack of help he’d received so far from his fellow elders.

The subject of his courtship with Mastekh was something which Estenarven was more than happy to be diverted onto and he felt another soppy smile creep over his face. Thank the Family Jesral wasn’t around to see it.

“We have,” he admitted, fully aware that he sounded besotted but not caring because he was. The look of awe on Mastekh’s face when Estenarven had presented him with the gold-veined quartz would remain one of his favourite memories for the rest of his life. His dear Puddle had literally melted over the gift, unable to believe that anyone would give him something so beautiful. Estenarven felt the same way about everything Mastekh had given him, so he knew they were even.

“And the seventh? Have you fetched it yet?”

Estenarven scowled at having his happy memories interrupted again and rubbed his neck. “When would I have had the time?”

“You had yesterday off,” Reglian pointed out. “Surely it didn’t take you all day to exchange your sixth gifts.”

“Not all day, no.” Estenarven sighed, sinking back into memories of what had led up to the gift giving and all the gratitude that had followed. Sibling Stone, if only all free days could be so wonderful…

“So when?” Reglian once more prodded him back to the present.

“I don’t know,” Estenarven growled. “When these meetings end or Elder Blazeborn takes pity on us again, I suppose. Not that it’s any of your business.”

“Ah, but it is, remember.” Reglian raised an eyebrow and tapped a golden claw against the pocket where his little betting book resided.

Estenarven narrowed his eyes. “You shouldn’t remind me about that,” he warned. “I’m still angry with you and Goryal.”

“If you’re truly angry with Goryal then you’d best speed things up. You know they’ve bet on your courtship wrapping up on the twenty-fourth of this month. No one else has gone longer, so even if you and Mastekh exchange your seventh gifts after that, they’ll still win the pot.”

Estenarven growled again.

Reglian smiled. “Better get a move on then, hadn’t you.”

Estenarven gave a sharp nod and plotted how he might convince Elder Blazeborn to give them another day off, preferably tomorrow. He was so preoccupied, in fact, that he forgot to ask Reglian who would win if Goryal was thwarted.

Still, as he curled up with Mastekh in his narrow bed that night, smiling at Khennik’s promise not to need either of them on the morrow, he decided he didn’t care. All that really mattered was securing his seventh gift so that he could make Mastekh his forever.

And if they happened to ruin Goryal’s win along the way, that was just a bonus.


Courtship 7~ Next chapter ~Courtship 7

If, like Reglian, you’re impatient to reach the end, you can download the ebook now – it’s free!

Whatever you choose to do, take care, my lovelies.

Posted in Books, Overworld, Serial, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Storm Rising Price Rise

This will be the last time I talk about this for a while, I promise. But!

Storm Rising 5 A quick and final reminder that the price is going up today from 0.99 to 2.99 (£1.99 GBP/AU$3.99). It will take a little while for it to filter through all the various retailers, so you can probably still grab it at the lower price if you’re quick.

Amazon: US || UK || AUS || DE || CAN
Smashwords || B&N || iBooks || Kobo

Cheers!

Posted in Overworld, Updates | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Courtship of Dragons: Part 42

Courtship Banner 1

A Courtship of Dragons is a M/M Romance short novel (approximately 60,000 words) told in short scenes, between two young dragons, Estenarven kin Boulderforce Clan Stoneheart and Mastekh kin Rainstorm Clan Flowflight. It’s pure fluff ‘n’ stuff and not intended to be anything other than that.

|| First Part || All Parts || Last Part ||

Finally, a little private time together.


42
Scales

19th Storm Month

MASTEKH WOKE FROM the most wonderful dream, where he’d slept the whole night in Estenarven’s arms, dozing against that strong, broad chest.

Sibling Water, what he wouldn’t give for that to be true, he thought, stretching and yawning, opening his eyes —

And finding that it was true.

“Whuh?” His arms shot out, lifting him above Estenarven’s rock solid chest.

Rock solid, bare chest.

On which he’d been sleeping and… drooling?

Mastekh closed his eyes against the glistening patch on Estenarven’s superbly muscled chest and prepared to move. It would be a struggle, but by the Family, the poor dragon had been used as a pillow all night. He deserved a little consideration.

Before Mastekh could talk himself into doing what he really didn’t want to, strong hands curled around his elbows, drawing him down again.

Mastekh’s eyes shot open and found a sleepy smile awaiting him.

“Morning, Puddle,” Estenarven rasped, his voice rough with slumber. He pressed firm lips against Mastekh’s, drawing the affection out into a long, easy kiss that ended with Mastekh once more sprawled all over him. When Estenarven finally released him, the Boulderforce’s smile was a smug as the Jewelwing who got the diamond. “What a way to wake up.”

Mastekh could only nod in agreement, his hands busy petting their way across Estenarven’s granite hard muscles, enjoying the vital warmth beneath his cool palms. Such a delicious contrast, like the places where Estenarven’s hands had snuck inside Mastekh’s own loosened robe and were resting against his back.

When one of Mastekh’s wandering hands slid along Estenarven’s side and found an unexpectedly ticklish spot, the Boulderforce made a sound of surprise. When Mastekh returned to that same spot, he breathed in deep, arched his hips ever so slightly and flexed his hands. Those same hands that were big enough to span from Mastekh’s waist all the way down to a sensitive patch of his own.

“Ah,” Estenarven chuckled, his left hand rubbing down from the base of Mastekh’s ribs to the top of his backside, pausing to circle over a particularly smooth patch. “There they are.”

As the Boulderforce ran his thumb over the sinuous spiral of scales, Mastekh shuddered from head to toe. No one had ever touched his scale patches before and he’d had no idea how wonderful it would feel.

“Sensitive?” Estenarven murmured, blowing a teasing stream of warm air against Mastekh’s flushed face.

“V-v-very.”

“Good.” He played with the scale patch until Mastekh was a trembling puddle of desire, his claws digging ever-so-slightly into the muscles of Estenarven’s chest.

Then the infuriating Boulderforce stopped.

“I’ll keep it in mind for later. Please tell me you have another patch somewhere else.” Estenarven sat up, chuckling as Mastekh slid off him like melting ice.

Sprawled on his back in the covers, Mastekh stared as his Boulderforce leant over and stole a kiss.

“Puddle?” he murmured, stroking his nose over Mastekh’s burning face, which was no doubt currently a deep green shade. “Scales?”

Sensations running too high to form words, Mastekh took hold of Estenarven’s hand and placed it where his robe gaped widely open. There on his rather less than spectacular chest, slightly to the left of centre, a ragged-edged area just a little smaller than palm-sized formed a silky patch on his cool skin.

Estenarven’s smile turned tender as his fingertips traced the edges of the scales before he flattened his hand over the top. “May I?” he asked, touching the edge of Mastekh’s robe.

He swallowed hard, but nodded permission. Nudity wasn’t a taboo amongst dragons, who only wore robes to protect their frail human skins rather than because of any sense of modesty, but Estenarven had always made him feel shy. The Boulderforce was so beautiful and striking and strong, while Mastekh was… not. Just a skinny streak of human skin. His dragon form was sleek and swift, especially when he was in the water, but his human shape was underwhelming in all ways. He really didn’t want to disappoint Estenarven, but with his Boulderforce being so generous with his own body, Mastekh didn’t think it fair to keep hiding. Nor did he want to, not really. He wanted to be touched, even if he would never be admired. He wanted to press his skin against Estenarven’s, to feel his heat everywhere. So he held still when Estenarven brushed aside the edge of his robe and tried not to cringe when those dark eyes roamed all over him.

“Oh, Puddle,” Estenarven breathed, staring down at his pale, skinny, slightly clammy chest.

Mastekh peered down himself, wondering what it was the Boulderforce could possibly be taking so long to look at. His scale patch did look rather nice, actually, shimmering with iridescent hues beneath the golden light of the globe. Mastekh had never spent much time looking at it, but the blues and greens were quite pretty, shifting and shining as he breathed.

“Beautiful,” the Boulderforce sighed, pressing his lips right on the scale patch.

“Oh!” Mastekh arched at the unexpected jolt of sensation. “I – I -” His chest heaved as he tried to breathe after electricity had zapped through every part of his body.

“Very sensitive,” Estenarven purred, licking the scales and chuckling deeply as Mastekh whimpered with pleasure. “Excellent.”

“Sh-shouldn’t we be g-g-getting up?” Mastekh asked weakly, chest heaving, a fine sheen of moisture breaking out across his entire body as he tried to process all that he was feeling. It didn’t help that Estenarven was stroking teasing fingers across his whole chest now and slowly peeling the edges of his robe apart so that he could explore further – and lower. “Esten!”

Estenarven waited for him to collapse back against the covers before nuzzling the opposite side of Mastekh’s chest from the scale patch he’d just licked. Again.

“Not today,” he murmured. “We don’t have anywhere to be today.” He tested Mastekh’s thin layer of muscle with his teeth, nipped a little harder and licked away the sting. Then he looked up to grin. “Elder Blazeborn has given us all the day off.”

“Oooooh,” Mastekh sighed, while Estenarven returned to his explorations. “That’s… that’s very k-k-kind of him.”

“Isn’t it?” Estenarven chuckled, shifting to make himself more comfortable as he moved a little further down Mastekh’s body. “Now all we have to do is find a way to amuse ourselves. Any ideas?”

Mastekh’s reply was a squeak, followed by a moan, followed by a sigh as he surrendered to his delicious fate.


Courtship 7~ Next Chapter ~Courtship 7

If, like Estenarven, you want more, then you can get the ebook – it’s free!

Whatever you choose to do, take care, my lovelies.

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Dragon Sulks

Also known as Storm Rising: Chapter 2. In which Estenarven is grumpy after getting in trouble, again.

If you missed them, Chapter 1: Part 1 and Part 2 are also available.

Or you can buy the whole book now if you’d rather read it all at once.

This is also a friendly reminder that the price will rise from 0.99 to 2.99 this Wednesday! So you have only a few days left to get it cheap.

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Storm Rising is Out! (Snippet #2)

Storm Rising 5Since I’m still celebrating the (much delayed) release of Storm Rising, I thought now might be a good time to share another excerpt – Chapter 1, Part 2.

If you missed the first part, you can find it here. Along with an insight into what Riders do when they’re bored. Well, what Nera and Teka do anyway. It might also contain an over-sized Boulderforce playmate.

Now it’s time to gauge Khennik’s take on proceedings. Oh, what a surprise, Elder Blazeborn is not amused…
(But I am ;)

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A Courtship of Dragons: Part 41

Courtship Banner 1

A Courtship of Dragons is a M/M Romance short novel (approximately 60,000 words) told in short scenes, between two young dragons, Estenarven kin Boulderforce Clan Stoneheart and Mastekh kin Rainstorm Clan Flowflight. It’s pure fluff ‘n’ stuff and not intended to be anything other than that.

|| First Part || All Parts || Last Part ||

Even in amongst all the Storm Rising stuff, I haven’t forgotten about you, my dear ol’ Courtship readers. Especially not when Khennik’s about to put his foot down.


41
Enough

“I AM SORRY about this, you know,” Elder Blazeborn said, as he and Estenarven walked back to their suite. “I had no idea this would turn into so many meetings. I’m not even certain what they’re discussing anymore.”

The elder had never been one for trade diplomacy. Not that Estenarven could blame him. He hadn’t been able to work out what all the meetings were about either, until he’d caught a glimpse of Reglian’s betting book and discovered Goryal’s stake in the proceedings.

“It’s not your fault,” Estenarven said, entirely truthfully.

Elder Blazeborn rubbed a hand over his head and blew out a weary sigh. “Perhaps not, but since neither of you will help yourselves, I’m putting my foot down. We’re all taking tomorrow off.”

“But the meetings…” Estenarven protested, a little less forcefully than he probably should.

“Burn them. I have nothing to contribute and won’t be missed. And if I’m not there, nor will you be. Let them fetch their own blasted food and drinks for once. My patience has ended.”

A huge smile of relief broke through Estenarven’s tiredness. The Blazeborn elder had never been well known for his patience, but while he continued to attend it was up to Estenarven – and Mastekh – to support him. But if he wasn’t there…

“Thank you.”

Khennik waved a dismissive hand and pushed open the door to their suite. “Just don’t wake me in the morning. In fact, I don’t want to see either of you all day long. Finish your courtship. I have sleep to catch up on.” So saying, the grumpy elder walked into his private room and shoved the door shut behind him.

Estenarven watched him go with a fond smile. Khennik would never be the friendliest of dragons, but beneath his grumps and growls, there was a good heart. Even if it wasn’t particular gracious at accepting gratitude.

“Thank you,” he murmured again, yawning as he glanced over at the closed door to Mastekh’s room. He’d noticed his Puddle slipping out early from the dinner and sighed with disappointment. So much for coaxing Mastekh into a cuddle or two before bedtime. Ah well, he wouldn’t disturb him now. His poor Rainstorm had been run ragged over recent days, back and forth to the kitchen, up and down the stairs. Estenarven would let him sleep. He could surprise him with the news of their reprieve in the morning.

Rubbing his hands together in anticipation, another yawn overtook his smile and he rubbed his hands over his eyes instead.

“Time for bed,” he muttered, pushing into his room and collapsing onto his blankets.

“Wuh!”

“Ah!”

Not only was his bed not nearly as soft as he remembered, it also contained a frenzy of thrashing limbs. Estenarven jerked back and hit the floor with a bone-rattling thud.

“What the blazes!” Khennik arrived in a swirl of fire and light – and froze in the doorway, taking in the sight before him.

Estenarven lay sprawled on the floor, wincing as he sat up on his tender backside. Meanwhile, the pile of blankets on the bed continued to thrash and moan, until Mastekh’s head popped out, squinting at the bright glow of Elder Blazeborn’s power.

“Mastekh?” Estenarven and Khennik asked together, one slightly more incredulously than the other.

Moaning, Mastekh pressed his arm over his eyes and curled up tighter, wincing as he moved his legs. Estenarven winced in sympathy, remembering how heavily he’d fallen on his bed. Because he’d expected it to be empty. He’d thought he was alone.

“Ah, ahem, well,” Elder Blazeborn cleared his throat awkwardly and Estenarven looked at him properly for the first time since his arrival. Bronze skin glowing with power, Khennik’s robe hung half off his shoulders, the silk still smoking. It seemed like they’d given their elder as much of a shock as they’d given themselves.

“I’ll just leave this here, I think.” Khennik let a small golden globe drop from his fingers. “Good night.”

“N-n-night,” Mastekh whimpered from the bed.

“Good night,” Estenarven called, picking up the globe and gingerly climbing to his feet to shut the door. “And thank you!”

Khennik made a grumbling reply about keeping it down as he returned to his own room. Leaving Estenarven alone with Mastekh. Finally.

“Puddle?” he murmured, placing the glow globe on a high shelf and crawling onto the bed. “Are you all right? Did I hurt you? Speak to me.”

Silk sighed as Mastekh shook his head, his face still hidden by his arm. “Sur-p-prised,” he mumbled.

Estenarven snorted in agreement and carefully eased down until he was lying alongside the other dragon. “You and me both, Puddle.” He pulled his Rainstorm closer.

Mastekh flinched and rolled away, hugging his knees tight against his chest, back to Estenarven. “I’m s-s-sorry,” he gasped, covering his head with his arm again.

“I’m not,” Estenarven grumbled, inching closer. Mastekh inched away. Estenarven followed and, since he was on the wall-side of the exceedingly narrow bed, Mastekh swiftly ran out of space and was caught. Estenarven pressed his chest against Mastekh’s back and buried his face against the nape of his neck. He sighed. “You’re in my bed. Best surprise I’ve had all century.”

Trembling, Mastekh uncurled a fraction and peered over his shoulder. “T-t-truly?”

Estenarven took advantage of the slight softening and wrapped his arms around Mastekh’s waist, hauling him as close as possible. “Truly,” he rumbled in reply, kissing his Puddle’s wet cheek. “As long as you’re not hurt.”

“I’m not h-hurt. Just em-b-barrassed.”

“Mm,” Estenarven hummed, yawning against Mastekh’s shoulder. “Never mind now. Leave it to tomorrow. Sleep.”

Mastekh hummed in agreement, shifting around until he could tuck his head against Estenarven’s chest. “You’re not h-hurt?” he whispered.

Ignoring the throbbing in his tail bone, Estenarven breathed in a lungful of Rainstorm scent and smiled. “No.”

“G-g-good,” Mastekh yawned, and went boneless with relaxation.

Running a hand up his back to stroke the Rainstorm’s soft cloud of hair, Estenarven wondered if he should offer to take Mastekh back to his own room. Except his Puddle seemed exceedingly comfortable where he was and Estenarven was in no mood to move either. He wanted to sleep, needed to sleep, and having Mastekh in his arms made everything ten times better.

So he closed his eyes and breathed deeply, aware that tomorrow was a free day in which he didn’t have to do anything. Neither of them did. They could stay in bed all day if they wished.

Bliss.

Mastekh snuggled deeper into his arms and made a sound of contentment as he wriggled his way beneath Estenarven’s robe and pressed his cheek against bare skin. The Rainstorm was cool to the touch but perfect. Utterly perfect.

Estenarven released the last of the day’s tension and sank into the depths of sleep.


Courtship 7~ Next Part ~Courtship 7

If, like Khennik, you’re fed up of waiting to find out what happens next, get the ebook – it’s free!

Whatever you choose to do, take care, my lovelies.

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Storm Rising

Storm Rising 5

Trouble stirs in the Dragonlands and Elder Khennik kin Blazeborn seems trapped at the very heart of it. After a disastrous stay with the Stormdrake kin, it’s time for the human delegation to visit the Skystorm Clan, yet their welcome is less friendly than anticipated.

Whispers and accusations fly, but something is definitely not right inside the Clan. And with the Dragon Moot fast approaching, can the Rift Riders and dragons sort things out swiftly enough to save the Khennik from another catastrophe?

The Cloud Curse is changing – but is anyone willing to listen to reason? Or will politics and arrogance combine to bring down all the kins and Clans for good?

Available Now!
Amazon: US || UK || AUS || DE || CAN
Smashwords || B&N || iBooks || Kobo

Read on for the first part of Chapter One.

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