Posts tagged “teaser

A Sunday Tease…

I believe I owe you all an excerpt from my work-in-progress, Dagger of the Sun (or DotS as I affectionate like to call it).

Without further delay…here it is:

The night air was causing gooseflesh to spread over her arms and legs and the flimsy pale blue tunic wasn’t doing much to protect the rest of her either. Delphyne cursed whatever gods had brought the prince back from the barracks tonight of all nights. She judged the distance from her vantage point to the throne room’s entrance to be less than a minute, but the trick would be crossing the crowded floor without being stopped by someone interesting in hearing about a hunter’s tale.

Or I could jump from the balcony.

It honestly didn’t look that high. If she bent her knees on the landing, she would be fine. She leaned over the railing, letting her fingers encircle the cool stone.

“I would advise against it.”

Delphyne swivelled, heart nearly popping out of her chest. “Don’t scare me…I thought you were —”

Apollo raised an eyebrow.

“Nevermind,” Delphyne amended. “Where have you been?”

She had lost track of Apollo seconds after the feast had started. Apollo had noticed a poet friend of his in the crowd and wandered off. After that, it had been difficult to catch sight of him for more than a minute as he flitted around the room like a butterfly.

“Making the rounds,” Apollo said. “But I’m more interested in knowing why you’re standing here peeping at the statues?”

In the moonlight, the statues in the garden behind her looked even more lewd. Not to mention the occasional moans that drifted up from the shadowed maze.

“I was…” She paused. How could she phrase her words so that she didn’t sound like either a coward or a pervert? “I was getting some fresh air.” She finished rather lamely.

“It has gotten rather stuffy.” A pause. “More so now that the prince has arrived.”

Damn.

“You know?”

“Asclepius told me.” Apollo looked at her, a small smile forming on his lips. “Did the prince really ask you to marry him…by telling you that you’d be a good breeder?”

Delphyne gave him a look that implied she would not be discussing this at length.

“And did you really punch him in response?”

Clearly, her look got lost in translation. “I didn’t have my sword with me, so punching him was my only recourse.”

Since this is a work in progress, I am very open to criticism and feedback…any thing that will help me improve. So please, please, leave a comment or suggestion below.

Now it’s back to the writing board!

Rika Ashton (aka Book Hermit)

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Teaser Reveal: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Jeremy Keane

WARNING: Read with caution. This post contains spoilers from the Duke’s Men series, and has been updated with exclusive info from Sabrina Jeffries herself!

The cover for Dom and Jane’s story.

Who is the mysterious Jeremy Keane?

A. Scene-stealer in How the Scoundrel Seduces

B. Cousin to Zoe Keane

C. Hero of Sabrina Jeffries‘ work in progress

D. Self-proclaimed arse

If you answered all of the above, you are correct!

Ms. Jeffries recently revealed that she is hard at work on Jeremy novel and released a very small, very fun, snippet!

The following exchange takes place at Jane and Dom’s wedding, in Jeremy’s book which will begin the new series, tentatively titled The Sinful Suitors:

“Didn’t I hear that you were jilted by the bride?” Jeremy asked.

Blakeborough scowled. “Didn’t I hear that you were an arse?”

Jeremy shrugged. “That does sound like me.”

Fun, right? Makes me wish Ms. Jeffries was finished with Jeremy’s novel so I could get my hands on it already! Though there is no official title for Jeremy’s book (September 2015) or the Christmas novella (October 2015).

But we can only hope that Ms. Jeffries keeps the teasers coming!

Rika Ashton

(Exclusive Eavesdropper)


Cover Reveal: THE MASTER by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole has been hard at work on the next book of the Game Maker series, after she said via Twitter that she would be writing and releasing full-length novels for both Maksim and Dmitri – Sevastyan’s brothers – and now we have the official cover for The Master:

THE MASTER

And the blurb:

Everyone fears the Master…

Rich, irresistible politician/Mafiya boss Maksimilian Sevastyan prefers tall, obedient blondes to fulfill his…complicated desires. That is, until the icy Russian encounters a disobedient brunette whose exquisite little body threatens his legendary restraint.

Except her.

Catarina Marín was a well-off young wife until her world fell apart. Now she’s hiding out, forced to start working as an escort in Miami. Her very first client is beyond gorgeous, but when he tells her what he plans to do to her, Cat almost walks out of the door.
If pleasure is a game, play to win.
After their mind-blowing encounter burns out of control, the lovers crave more. If they escape the deadly threats surrounding them, can Maksim overcome his past–to offer Cat his future? Only then will she tempt him with what he really wants: her, all tied up with a bow,
Ms. Cole’s next erotic romance releases in January 2015.

Rika Ashton

(aka Cover Lover)


Who is Iris Smythe-Smith?

The final novel of the Smythe-Smith Quartet has a title! Julia Quinn has been hard at work on The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy for a while, but it’ll be some time before we actually get to read Iris and Richard’s story since the release date is tentatively set for January 2015.

Which begs the question…who are Richard and Iris?

Richard is a new-to-us, but well-known to Ms. Quinn hero…though she has revealed very little about him so far. In fact, all we know about him is his first and last name…as well as the fact that he will fall undeniably in love with Iris by the end of his story, or maybe even before that.

As for Iris – she’s the sarcastic, younger cousin of the Smythe-Smith family who makes her first appearance in Just Like Heaven, the book one of the series:

Marcus’s appearance the day before had been discussed, dissected, analyzed, and—by Lady Sarah Pleinsworth, Honoria’s cousin and one of her closest friends—rendered into poetry.

“He came in the rain,” Sarah intoned. “The day had been plain.”

Honoria nearly spit out her tea.

“It was muddy, this lane—”

Cecily Royle smiled slyly over her teacup. “Have you considered free verse?”

“—our heroine, in pain—”

“I was cold,” Honoria put in.

Iris Smythe-Smith, another of Honoria’s cousins, looked up with her signature dry expression. “I am in pain,” she stated. “Specifically, my ears.”

Honoria shot Iris a look that said clearly, Be polite. Iris just shrugged.

“—her distress, she did feign—”

“Not true!” Honoria protested.

“You can’t interfere with genius,” Iris said sweetly.

“—her schemes, not in vain—”

“This poem is devolving rapidly,” Honoria stated.

“I am beginning to enjoy it,” said Cecily.

“—her existence, a bane . . .”

Honoria let out a snort. “Oh, come now!”

“I think she’s doing an admirable job,” Iris said, “given the limitations of the rhyming structure.” She looked over at Sarah, who had gone quite suddenly silent. Iris cocked her head to the side; so did Honoria and Sarah. Sarah’s lips were parted, and her left hand was still outstretched with great drama, but she appeared to have run out of words.

“Cane?” Cecily suggested. “Main?”

“Insane?” offered Iris.

“Any moment now,” Honoria said tartly, “if I’m trapped here much longer with you lot.”

More of Iris’ sarcasm can be found in the rest of the Smythe-Smith backlist, including  A Night Like This and The Sum of All Kisses.

Rika Ashton

(aka The Self-Proclaimed Smythe-Smith)

 


Stealthy Sneak Peeks!

Excerpts, teasers and (maybe) spoilers galore!

Here’s the latest in the world of paranormal romance/urban fantasy:

  • Nalini Singh released excerpt two of Shield of Winter. (Excerpt one can now be found on her website.) Ms. Singh is also hard at work on the Kaleb and Sahara short story, and it will presumably be released with her next newsletter on June 3rd.
  • Kresley Cole’s Dead of Winter cover has been revealed!
  • Jennifer Ashley’s next Shifters Unbound story is titled, Alpha’s Mate. (Ms. Ashley is also writing another Shareem novel, called Keiran, and has posted a short teaser on her website, and she’s promised more Stormwalker novels!)
  • The Beautiful Ashes, an upcoming New Adult novel by Jeaniene Frost also has a new excerpt. (Ms. Frost also previously revealed that the title for the final Night Prince novel is Bound by Flames.)
  • The second Sentinels book by Alexandra Ivy is titled Blood Assassin.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

If you’ve got any more release dates or excerpts/teasers to share, please do!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Novel Insider)


Sneak Peek: SHIELD OF WINTER by Nalini Singh

Going to keep this really short…I promise!

I’ve just come briefly out of my hermit cave to say that Nalini Singh sent out her March newsletter this morning and, as promised, it included an excerpt of Shield of Winter. This excerpt is for all of chapter one from the novel. (And next month, she’s promised us chapter two! I can only hope this means we get to meet Ivy Jane.)

Want to read the sneak peek, click here!

I also previously posted some possible spoilers for this book here. But if you’ve heard some more spoilers please do share – inquiring minds want to know!

Are you more excited than ever to read this book or what? And what do we think of Vasic?

Rika Ashton

(aka The Stealthy Sneak Peeker)


Connecting the DOTS

As most of you might already know DOTS (aka Dagger of the Sun) is undergoing some changes. The more time I spend in my fictionalized version of Ancient Greece, the more the world expands – in particular, the Underworld. The Underworld in DOTS is actually a world within a world, and in my version it existed long before Hades claimed it for the dead. And unlike the surface world of mortal Greece, which with the exception of supernatural elements, is mostly true to history – the Underworld is almost 99% a fictionalized landscape. I’m having loads of fun naming places and coming up with groups of people who inhabit the different landscapes of the Underworld.

Best of all, I actually get to stretch my creative muscles a bit and create a map of the Underworld. I actually get to draw! (Or at least I like to call all the chicken scratch I’m throwing on paper “drawing.”)

Of course, not all of the terrain with be revealed in the first book, so I don’t get to draw a complete map…otherwise that would be some major spoilage for book two, but what I do get to include is very detailed.

But I have to say: PLEASE, DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH from this map – I am NOT an artist and therefore, it’s going to be a very amateurish attempt at drawing a map.

However, despite the fact that it will be a very embarrassing attempt, I will still swallow my pride and share on the blog.

And for those of you still not deterred and unafraid of having your eyes bleed, I do have a very bad rough draft.

To make up for my bad mapping skills, I’ll share a teaser from DOTS. This is a scene that happens way later in the novel, and features Bae and Kael. The gentlemen are discussing Bae’s rigorous training schedule for Delphyne.

Ben Hill, my inspiration for Bae.

“Do you think I’m being too hard on her?” Bae asked.

Kael thought about the still-healing cut that he had seen running down the length of Delphyne’s right arm. The fabric of the bandage she’d hastily wrapped around the wound had been soaked through. He had been ready to drive his fist though Bae’s face last night, but had been halted by the words Delphyne had whispered to him in the flickering candlelight of their bedchamber.

“I’m still alive, aren’t I?” She had shrugged, not without flinching. “And as incredible as this may seem at the moment, I do plan to stay that way.”

“I think it’s good for her,” Bae continued, dunking his hands into a basin full of water. He splashed a handful of the water on his face, using the clear liquid to rub away the dirt and sweat of the day’s training session. “But I figured if you’re itching to slit my throat, you might as well get it over with so we can both move on.”

A river of fire. That’s how Delphyne’s wound had looked the night before. A vermilion streak over sun-kissed skin. This morning it had been the finest white line. It was healing. Fast.

So much faster than before.

“No,” said Kael. “I don’t want to slit your throat for hurting my wife.”

Bae looked at him in surprise. 

“I want you to keep training her…until she’s strong enough to slit your throat on her own.”

And there you have it! I had to cut out some parts from the scene – because some things that Kael says are spoilers – but I felt relatively safe uploading this.

Hopefully you enjoyed the little snippet, and now I have to get back to writing! 😀

Rika Ashton

(aka The Mapmaker)


A Special ‘Thank You’ and a Teaser

I’m going to try and keep this post short…mostly because I have to get back to writing, but I thought it might be time for a new teaser from Dagger of the Sun. (And this one will be slightly longer than one line, I promise!)

But first I need to give a special shout out to my critique partners, June Hur and Priscilla Shay, for keeping me motivated through the new draft. I have really high expectations for this novel, but sometimes they don’t always translate well on paper. Yet the advice these ladies have given me makes me want to keep writing…even when I feel like tearing my hair out because none of my characters will do what I want.

It seems silly to say this, because aren’t they just characters? But I dare you to write a novel featuring both Apollo (aka Arrogant Sun God) and Delphyne (aka Madame Huntress Extraordinaire) and see how far you get before you want to throw your computer out the window.

The most surprising part is that Kael, my anti-hero, is the only one doing what he’s told…I think he just really wants me to get this novel published so he can share his magnificence with the world. 😉

And he’s not the only one. I also want to get this novel out there as soon as possible so that I can start on the next one. I even have a title: Throne of the Sun…and yes, the acronym is TOTS because I am awesome. But the acronym for the third novel won’t be as fun – Empire of the Sun…EOTS just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Of course, these are just working titles and might change, but for now I like them and I want to get on with these stories…

But I just remember my promise to keep this post short, so no more ranting today.

If anyone has actually read this far, it’s only because they finally want me to get to the teaser, so here it is:

“Isadora talks to me,” Asclepius had said a moment later, mentioning the Spartan war widow who owned

The late Andy Whitfield, my inspiration for Asclepius.

The late Andy Whitfield, my inspiration for Asclepius.

one of the farms near their home.

“Isadora also talks to her plants.”

But he’d shrugged. “She said it helps them grow.”

Delphyne had slanted her head and narrowed her gaze at him. Then she’d smiled and said, “You like her.”

Although he had reminded himself that grown men didn’t blush, he’d felt heat creeping into his cheeks. “No, I don’t,” he remembered saying.

Delphyne had given him that look – the one with a slow smile and narrow-eyed determination. It was the look she got whenever her mind was running through a series of schemes that were likely to spell trouble for him. He had been intimately acquainted with that look since Delphyne had been ten summers old and had begun smiling again. 

The above teaser, completely unedited, is from chapter four in DOTS…the one chapter that was giving me the most trouble, but I’m done with the new draft and I’ll be sending the chapter to my critique partners soon.

Rika Ashton

(aka The Very Grateful)


Life at the Drawing Board and a Teaser from DOTS

It’s back to writing and revamping Dagger of the Sun (DOTS) – yes, I also feel like I do this A LOT!

I felt like I had to revamp my story before submissions for a few very important reasons:

1. Delphyne had no real motive to be involved in any of the action. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to give her a motive. (i.e: She’s Apollo’s friend so she cares, dammit!) But in the end, this wasn’t enough – in Booklandia, friendship can only take a character so far.

2. I HATED the ending. So for obvious reasons this had to change. 

3. I jumped into the action too fast. Great for plot development, not so great for character development – hence, I needed to find the book’s Zen balance. 

4. My cousin – aka Book Critique #1 – told me the first chapter was too bloody, so if someone was reading it and eating at the same time…well, you get the picture. 

5. My other cousin – aka Self-Proclaimed Book Critique #2 – told me the title was too funky. (But I’m not changing this…NOT again. Besides it’s a working title and I don’t have time to agonize over it yet.)

So what’s up with the new DOTS?

Well, in addition to the above changes, I also have to move around all the chapter so they would fit with the new life story I gave Delphyne. (I ended up completely overhauling her life, but I’m satisfied with the new story – it feels right.) Apollo gets a later introduction, but his sons arrive earlier. Delphyne also has a new mentor. Some minor changes included switching the spelling of Lord Kaelus’ name from “Kale” to “Kael.”

I also upgraded some of the armour and weapons in the book. (I was inspired by Kellan Lutz’s upcoming film, The Legend of Hercules.)

Finally, after much agony and torment, I decided on a new first line for the novel – which is actually today’s teaser:

Delphyne woke to the metallic taste of blood in her mouth and the suffocating scent of death. 

So are you tempted to read more?

And now it’s back to the drawing board – although, I don’t really get to draw anything. *sigh*

Rika Ashton

(aka The “Writer”)


Dagger of the Sun Update!

Hi folks,

I’ve finally got some time to write yesterday, so I thought why not post another short teaser from DOTS?

The city center, marketplace and all, was burning – flames ravenously engulfing the landscape. The agora itself was a pit of bright, orange fire. Smoke, that hadn’t been visible from within the alley, was rising into the air like a dark cloud.

And there were more reptilian creatures.

Hundreds.

Behind her, Delphyne heard the clatter of a sword being tossed aside, which prompted her to action.

She had to find Apollo; if anyone knew what was going on, it would be him.

Unfortunately it was easier said than done.

More of the smoke was beginning to rise, mixing with the summer heat, making her eyes water as she ran blindly towards where she had seen Apollo land earlier.

As always, feel free to make predictions about what you think will happen next by leaving a comment below?

Rika Ashton

(aka “I’m so happy to be writing again!”)

P. S: I found a picture of Delphyne the Gorgon – this comes from the Marvel comic book, Incredible Hercules.