Sunday, July 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Wolf Shifters

This is from my wolf shifter story (yes, untitled...that's just me) which I have been working on pretty heavily this week. (Even tho I SHOULD be working on my fantasy book #2). This is the same story of which there is a sex scene (Jensen and Kes) on my Pieces of Me page...please check it out. It's some hot stuff.



Jensen slid down the alley behind the bar. Even without wolf senses, he couldn’t think above the din inside. Why the hell had he let Hudson and Evan drag him out tonight? To get him away from their Alpha?
            Fuck Timmis. Fuck the whole pack.











All rights reserved; copyright © C. A. Szarek. The text within may not be reproduced in whole or in part or distributed in any form whatsoever OR SOLD without first obtaining permission from the author.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fate's Call #17

I'm pleased with how this turned out, so I really hope you guys like it. Just an FYI, I will probably wrap up the story in the next 3-4 posts I'm thinking. I'm writing it as I go, in case you're wondering. It would be awesome if it was complete and I was just sharing it w/ y'all weekly, but that's not how the my busy world works. But, I hope you like it!

           
            It wasn’t difficult to find a priest and an available chapel.

Erron shifted from foot to foot, smoothing the shimmery ivory gown Anais had insisted on buying her. The move was unnecessary as the dress was gorgeous and flawless, but she had to keep her hands busy to stave off nerves.
           
            Her long pale hair was intricately braided with flowers woven in, also courtesy of her soon-to-be-mother-in-law. Erron had never been dressed and groomed so exquisitely. And for her wedding day no less.

A day she’d long since given up on even imagining.

Her stomach fluttered.
           
            She couldn’t help but glance over her shoulder from time to time. The chapel was dim and empty save them, but was her father around the corner? Would he burst through the dark wooden doors at any moment?

Norden was the only one who could destroy Erron’s happiness.
           
            Jarek grabbed her hand and entwined their fingers, squeezing gently and flashing a smile. She’d always thought him handsome, but dressed as fancy as she for their wedding, he had her heart skipping a beat. Fine dark brown leather breeches and a matching doublet brought out the color of his eyes and the long sleeved tunic was the same hue as her dress.

The tanner would soon belong to her.
           
            Kirgan and Anais would also exchange vows this day. The older woman was glowing in the pale blue gown, her long hair loose and down her back in soft waves. The style made her look turns younger. Her dress was embroidered in shiny silver roses, making her appear ethereal as light caught the threading.

On the short walk to the chapel, Jarek had teased his father for not being able to keep his eyes off his bride, but Erron’s fiancé wouldn’t quit staring at her either. Her blush would become permanent if he kept it up.
         
            As her soon-to-be-father-in-law spoke to the priest she fidgeted against Jarek.
        
           “Love?” he whispered. “Are you all right?”
           
            “Yes,” she breathed, smiling and forcing a nod. Erron was equal parts overjoyed and paranoid that her father would appear and ruin things.
           
            Jarek smiled and leaned down. “I would kiss you right now if I could,” he said into her ear. “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
           
            Her blush intensified but she looked into his dark eyes. Tenderness and heat that made her stomach flip. What would tonight bring? The night she’d spent in Jarek’s arms in Anais’s loft was more than pleasant, but innocent. Would her new husband accept if she wasn’t ready to make love? He’d told her he would wait for her. But was she ready? If not, when would she be? She had the urge to gulp.
           
            “You haven’t changed your mind, have you?” Jarek asked, his brows drawn tight as if he could hear her thoughts. “You still want to marry me?”
           
            “Of course,” Erron said, her words rushed. “I…was…contemplating tonight.”

“Nothing will be rushed into, love.” He smiled tenderly.
           
            She grinned. “Except our marriage.”
           
            Jarek laughed, nodding. “Yes, there is that.” His expression sobered and he cupped her face. “But it’s right.”
            
            Heart speeding up, she nodded. It was perfect, despite circumstances and worries about her father.
           
            The priest cleared his throat, smiling. “Are you ready?”
           
            Collectively they nodded, and Erron swallowed hard. Jarek took her hand and they stepped up to the dais next to Kirgan and Anais in front of the portly older balding priest of the Blessed Spirit.
           
            They would exchange vows at the same time and act as witnesses for each other.

The ceremony was short, Erron speaking when it was necessary and repeating the priest’s words when prompted.

Jarek’s eyes were only for her, and she couldn’t help but stare up at him as he pledged his heart, his life to her.

“I pronounce you men and wives.” The priest winked. “You may salute your brides,” he added, a grin on his bearded face.

Was this a dream? She was married? Wed to a man she’d fallen in love with?

Please let it be true. She didn’t want to wake up crushed if it wasn’t real.

Erron’s vision blurred, but she smiled, her heart leaping for joy when Jarek pulled her into his arms. She was vaguely aware that Kirgan had also drawn Anais to him, but then her husband claimed her mouth and she was lost to him.

Jarek pushed against her lips and she didn’t hesitate to open for him, her arms shooting around his neck as she pressed closer. She rubbed her tongue against his, her breasts heaving against his chest as warmth spread over her body, settling low in her belly.

He pulled away much too quickly, and Erron struggled for breath and coherent thought, never wanting to leave the circle of his arms. Jarek stared, his breathing as uneven as hers.

A chuckle broke their spell and Erron swallowed hard, forcing her gaze away from her new husband’s half-lidded dark eyes.

“Young people,” the priest said, but the smile on his face was bright.

Erron’s cheeks heated and she wanted to bury her face against Jarek’s neck.

“Save that for later, my lad,” Anais said, wearing an infectious grin.

Jarek and his father laughed and Erron’s face burned even hotter. Her husband pressed a kiss to her forehead and her lips before releasing her. “I love you. We’re married,” he whispered.

“We’re married,” Erron repeated. “I love you, too. Husband.”

“Wife,” Jarek said, his grin wide enough to split his face.

Her heart thundered as she reached for his hand and Jarek entwined their fingers. Could she really have a happily ever after?

TO BE CONTINUED...

All rights reserved; copyright © C. A. Szarek. The text within may not be reproduced in whole or in part or distributed in any form whatsoever OR SOLD without first obtaining permission from the author.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fate's Call #16

I can't BELIEVE I have been carrying this on for 16 weeks...(17 actually, since I skipped a week) and I am stoked that there's been as much interest as there has. Thank you guys! Hope you enjoy this one...we're wrapping up. I see the end in sight, but who knows how we'll get there?  *wink*

  
        
           “I don’t want you to go to Lord Rustin,” Erron blurted as she rushed into Jarek and Kirgan’s shop. Jarek, his father, and Anais were huddled not far from each other just inside the doorway.

            As she’d stared out of the window of the loft, her heart thudded with every step of her father’s retreat. He’d hurried away. Norden hadn’t even looked back. What could he be planning?

            Was he gone, out of her life, for good? It couldn’t be that simple. He’d told her many times he’d never let her go.

            Jarek rushed over and yanked her into his arms. “Love—”

            She squeezed him tightly before pulling back. “I just…want to be your wife. I…need to be done with him. I can’t…don’t want to have to tell…” her voice broke on a sob. There was no way she could testify to the Duke of Dalunas about what her father had done to her.

            “Shhh…” Her tanner pulled her against him, rocking her gently.

            “Your voices carried, my lad,” Anais said softly.

            The older woman stroked her back as her fiancé held her and Erron swallowed hard, heart pounding. She crushed her eyes shut and wiped away her tears.

            Why didn’t she want revenge on the man who should have never taken her innocence? A man who’s blood flowed through her veins?

            She should want him to rot at the work camp, but Erron only wanted to be away from her father. To be with Jarek. And…now she had both?

            “He needs to pay for what he did to you,” Jarek said into her hair.

            “The lass should have the say,” Anais answered. Her small hand continued to make soothing circles up and down Erron’s back.

            She didn’t even know the older woman, but Erron felt cherished already, and that she’d gained not one champion, but three. Family.
             Jarek released her and the four of them moved to the living quarters of the two men, separate from the shop front. Her fiancé seated her at the table while his father and stepmother-to-be disappeared into Kirgan’s sleeping room. They emerged moments later, fully dressed and groomed, Anais had gathered her long pale locks into a bun.

            Taking a seat across from Erron, Jarek’s father reached for her hand. His deep brown eyes were impossibly soft, concerned. “Lass, what that man did to you is wrong. You have a right to see him punished. The duke is a good man. He would hold a trial.”

            Erron shook her head frantically and Jarek scooted his chair closer, throwing his arm around her shoulders and pulling her against his side.

            “I just want away from him.”

            Kirgan and Jarek exchanged a look but said nothing. Anais put a plate of fresh bread and a bowl of butter on the table. She rested her hand on Erron’s shoulder.

            “You two eat and leave the lass alone. She’s made it clear how it’ll be handled.”

            Both men protested, but Erron met the older woman’s pale eyes, flashing a grateful smile. Anais caressed her cheek and smiled back.

           “You’re here now, lass. You’re safe and soon to belong to my lad. He will treat you right. Love you and care for you.”

            The blush lit her cheeks, heating her face, but Erron nodded. She believed Anais. She would finally be a part of a real family. Kirgan and the woman would be like parents to her. Erron could have a mother again. Then she could be a mother. She and Jarek would have children. Her heart skipped a beat.

            “Erron, I don’t think—”

            “Hush, you.” Anais admonished, cutting off Jarek’s statement. Her tanner’s brow drew tight, but he said nothing. “There are many types of justice,” Anais added softly.

            “Including gelding,” Jarek bit back.

            “Here, here to that,” Kirgan said.

            “I won’t let him touch you again,” Jarek growled, ignoring the glare his stepmother-to-be threw his way for ignoring her.

            “That’s enough for me,” Erron said, her voice getting stronger with each word.

            Her fiancé crossed his arms over his broad chest, his expression dark. “I don’t like it.”

           “Neither do I,” his father echoed.

            Erron was cold without his arm around her but she met his brown eyes straight on. “All I want is you.”

            His face softened and he caressed her cheek. “All I want is you, too.”

            Her heart missed a beat at the sincerity of his tone and the love in his expression. Jarek was all for her. Norden’s angry face popped into her thoughts and she suppressed a shiver. “He’ll come back for me.” Her father was the only threat to her happiness.

            Jarek’s words on the ride into town teased her memory. He’d said they would marry quickly.

            “Let him come,” Kirgan said, making a fist.

            “It won’t matter,” her tanner said at the same time, cupping her face. The intensity of his stare made her cheeks warm all over again. “Erron, will you marry me? Today?”

            “Yes,” she whispered, elation washing over her. She grinned.

            Kirgan grabbed Anais’s hand, kissing her knuckles before tugging her to his side, arm slung low around her waist. She beamed, her round cheeks pink.

            Jarek glanced at the older couple, then back at Erron. “Shall we have a wedding today? Or two?” He winked and his father grinned when Anais giggled.

            Erron’s stomach flipped.

            She would be married this very day. But when would her father reappear?



TO BE CONTINUED...

All rights reserved; copyright © C. A. Szarek. The text within may not be reproduced in whole or in part or distributed in any form whatsoever OR SOLD without first obtaining permission from the author.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fate's Call #15

Okay, so once again I am sorry for the delay, but...I think the break helped. I have a much clear pic of where the story is going now. I wasn't sure about the next few segments (in which I should be wrapping things up) but now I think I have things figured it. Hope the wait was worth it and you enjoy!  Thanx!

         

            Pounding. Yelling. What was going on?

            Jarek sat up and rubbed his eyes. With a wide yawn, he oriented himself. Ah, that’s right. Anais’s loft.

            Erron.
            He looked down at the women nestled against him. The woman he would marry. The woman he loved. Jarek smiled and leaned down, pressing a soft kiss to her mouth as she slept.

            Erron stirred and smiled, her breasts heaving with a breath. Her gorgeous sky blue eyes fluttered as she came around, tender smile still curving her full mouth.

            “Morning,” Jarek whispered.

            “Morning,” Erron echoed, slipping her arm around his waist and squeezing.

            Jarek caressed her cheek and brushed her flaxen locks from her face.

            The noise outside increased, and Jarek glanced toward the small loft window when he heard a familiar voice shouting. His father. He drew his brows tight and glanced at Erron.

            Her eyes were wide. She shoved to a sitting position and yanked the white linens to her chin. Her skin was as void of color as they were.

            “My father,” she said, her voice wobbly.

            “My father, as well.” Jarek pressed a hard quick kiss to her lips, but she didn’t react. “Stay there.”

            He slipped from the small pallet and slunk to the window. Jarek’s father was shirtless, breeches held up with a hand, glaring at Norden. The taller man had an axe in hand.

            Anais hovered in the doorway of the shop, long blonde hair loose and mussed.

            “Son of a—” Jarek cut off his curse at Erron’s whimper. No use worrying her more than she already was. He winced. Would her father use the tool as a weapon?

            The gasp as his elbow made him glance down at her. “You should have stayed in the bed, love,” Jarek admonished. There was no reason for her to witness the scene below.

            Her hand over her mouth, her eyes welled with tears. “He wouldn’t…” She paled even more than moments before.

            Putting both hands on her shoulders, Jarek squeezed gently. “Shhh. I’m going down there. But you have to promise you’ll stay here.”

            Erron swallowed hard, but nodded, her blue eyes misty and wide.

            “It’ll be all right, love,” he said. “I won’t let him hurt us or take you away.”

            He kissed her hard and fast, then stomped into his boots. Jarek raced down from the loft and out Anais’s front door. Catching his father’s gaze first, Kirgan’s eyes widened, but he said nothing.

            Erron’s father glared at him as Jarek slid between Norden and his father.

            “Give me my daughter,” the man barked.

           A wave of satisfaction rolled over him at the sight of Norden’s bruised face. The man hadn’t even bathed. Dried blood threaded throughout his beard under his nose. And it was a wonder he could see out of two swollen eyes.

            “You can return home. Erron stays with me.”

            Norden growled and launched forward, but dropped his axe. He snatched Jarek by the tunic with both fists. Kirgan uttered a protest and Anais yelled his name.

            “Unhand my son,” his father commanded.

            “Give me my daughter,” Norden repeated, spittle leaking from the corners of his mouth.

            Jarek winced as his foul breath hit his face. His stomach roiled, but he made no move to pull away from the taller, bulkier man.

            “I will not let you rape her again,” Jarek bit out.

            Anais gasped.

            Norden’s fair brows drew even tighter, but he didn’t deny Jarek’s statement. “The lass has filled your ears with tales.” His eyes—a match for Erron’s—darted over Jarek’s shoulder, from his father to Anais. The apple of his throat bobbed as he swallowed hard.

            So he didn’t want anyone to know what he’d confessed to Jarek at dinner. He threw his head back and laughed.

            Glaring, Norden released him. Jarek stepped closer, growling. “You know damn well she told me nothing. You’re a monster. Harming your child in the worst way possible. You should have been protecting her, been her father.”

            Erron’s father said nothing, but his jaw clenched and he flexed his giant fists.

            “I’m going to petition Lord Rustin this morning and file charges against you. Explain exactly what went on between you and your daughter.”

            Stumbling back, Norden’s eyes went wide and he paled, as badly as Erron had up in the loft.

            Jarek scowled. Coward bastard. Fear looked good on him.

            “Lies. All lies,” Norden muttered, shaking his head. The big man’s shoulders slumped, his bravado gone.

            Kirgan stepped forward and thrust out Norden’s axe. “Even if the lass wasn’t to marry my son, I’d never allow her to go back with you.”

            Jarek’s chest swelled. His father’s support without question gave him strength. “Expect Lord Rustin’s proclamation soon,” he told his fiancée’s father.

            Norden shook his head again, sputtering nonsensical words.

            “If he doesn’t commit you to the penal territory, I’d be shocked. And if you come after us, or lay even a finger on Erron again, I’ll kill you.”


TO BE CONTINUED... 

All rights reserved; copyright © C. A. Szarek. The text within may not be reproduced in whole or in part or distributed in any form whatsoever OR SOLD without first obtaining permission from the author.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Welcome Liz Crowe!

Everyone please welcome one of my favorite authors, Liz Crowe!

She's joined us today for a little insight to her and to talk about her newest book. And for those of you who have NOT picked up the Stewart Realty Series, GET IT NOW! It's awesomesauce!

Microbrewery owner, multi-published author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz brings years of real-world experience to her life as author. Working in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse PLUS making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has given her all the “what if?” moments she needs for many books.

When she isn’t sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications. When free time presents itself you are likely to find her walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram yoga. Her beer blog is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high powered real estate offices. Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.
 
1.  Tell us about yourself.
I am a micro-brewery owner, marketing expert, sports loving writer of "real life" erotic fiction. I have a couple of teenaged daughters and a twenty year old son, 2 standard poodles and have the worst eating habits ever. But I am addicted to Bikram yoga which sort of (but not always) balances it out.  I currently have 15 published e books including 4 that are available in print. I've been a newspaper editor, PTO president, trailing ex-pat spouse, and real estate agent at various times of my work life and have a degree in English lit from the University of Louisville.  Oh, and I have an embarrassingly high tolerance for alcohol and hold the first Saturday of May as a holy day, look it up. And am addicted to bacon, and Mad Men. 

2. Tell us about your upcoming/newest release.
Essence of Time is the 4th book in the Stewart Realty series. It goes back and captures the  history of Jack Gordon, hero of the first 3 but is actually a love story between Rob Freitag and Blake Thornton. It's a nice long (100k + words) novel of motivation and backstory for several of the characters in the original 3 Realty books.
3.  What Inspired you to write the first book?
It was the first thing I actually wrote but not the first thing I got published and has been nearly 4 years in the making.  As a realtor I had plenty of down time to think about the "what if" of many situations. I channeled them into the story of Jack and Sara and I allowed the saga to grow organically from there. 
4. How do you create your characters? How do you mold them to fit what you require for the story?

       I create situations before characters typically.  I had the idea of a couple of hot moments  between a couple of highly strung and successful realtors in my head, put them up on the laptop screen and the characters in many ways created themselves.  My characters are a reflection of the story I stick them in generally and find their own mold within it the plot arc as it unfolds.  A great example of this is Rob Freitag, who is in many ways the main male character of Essence of Time, although it is a m/m love story.  He started out as a convenient foil for Sara's brother-- a tall, blonde, French trained chef boyfriend for Blake, who's main purpose was to berate Blake for being so overprotective.  Now he has his own book and many of my biggest fans who LOVED the first 3 books claim this one is the best of them all.

5. I have personally read and loved many of your books, my favorite being the Stewart Realty Series. Can you tell us what's next for the series?

Thanks dear!
 I am waiting for edits back on Conditional Offer, the Stewart Realty novella, which is the story of Suzanne and Craig.  In the meantime I am writing the 6th book, a novel-length tale of what happens after Essence of Time, which includes a bridge to a new series: The Black Jack Gentlemen. This will be a multi-book series about a fictional Detroit-based expansion team in a fictional professional soccer league that is brought about thanks in part to the efforts of Jack Gordon.
But in my typical fashion I am going back in time and capturing another love story within it: that of Maureen Gordon (Jack's younger sister) and Brandis Taylor, his best friend from high school. It ends tragically as many readers know, but Maureen is going to get her happy ending in this book for certain-- and you can quote me on that. Essence of Time was a 3-kleenex box kind of gut wrenching read.  Escalation Clause will be uplifting in many ways for many favorite characters. 

6. What is your favorite part of the writing process? First Draft? Revisions? Editing? 

Whatever part I am NOT doing at the moment.  Each part has it's difficult moments to be certain but it's all part and parcel of the process. 

7. What do you do when you aren't writing? I hear you have quite an interesting job.

 I sell beer, manage a staff of people at my beer bar "Tap Room."  It's a cool job, but very demanding as we are growing so fast it is hard to know how to put on the brakes at times.  At the same time my writing career is really taking off thanks to the Stewart Realty series so striking that balance (beer and books) is also becoming more of a challenge.  But it could be worse--I could hate all my jobs!

8.  What  has been the best advice you have received along the way? What advice would you give someone starting out?

Never give up and never think you are "all that." I mean, I know I am all that, but only on Fridays.  Seriously you owe it to yourself as a writer to accept honest and professional editing. You will never ever get better without it, don't kid yourself. And support the colleagues (writers) who support you. 



Thanx Liz VERY much for visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts. You're my first fellow author interview and I appreciate it! I look forward to your next book!





For years, Rob Frietag has resisted anything resembling a true emotional connection, preferring instead to explore life, and his own desires, without committing to anyone for very long. The reason remains known only to a few, among them Jack Gordon, his college cohort in female conquests, and life-long friend. At thirty-seven, while he is close to achieving his career goal, head chef at a five-star restaurant in Chicago, he is still very much alone.

After an intensely emotional relationship with Suzanne Baxter in Ann Arbor, Blake's heart is left shattered. Completely broken by what he believes was his one true love, he arrives at a Chicago food and beer festival, prepared to drink his sorrow away. When the two men meet, their lives change forever. But time is of the essence. When Rob acknowledges his true feelings, he will stop at nothing to keep them together, including finding a surrogate mother for the child Blake so desperately wants.

Lila Warren is recovering from a nasty divorce, needs cash and believes carrying their baby will fulfill her in ways marriage never did. None of them could suspect that the connection they share would provide the final emotional key to their life-long puzzle.

When Rob’s secret is revealed, time becomes the one luxury they don't have, setting in motion a chain of events that destroys the fragile illusion of happiness for them, and everyone who loves them.





Sunday, July 8, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Jensen

This is the opening of the 2nd Jensen and Kes scene. (The sex scene freebie that's on my Pieces of Me Page).  Hope you like it. I WILL get back to this book someday!



          

The knock on the door jolted him awake. What the hell time was it? He turned his head to glance at the clock on his nightstand. It screamed 2:32 in bright blue as he made plans to kill whoever was at the door. Jensen looked at Kes, but she was sleeping peacefully right where she should be, in his bed. He smiled to himself as he       slipped out from under the sheets, not bothering to cover up. 


All rights reserved; copyright © C. A. Szarek. The text within may not be reproduced in whole or in part or distributed in any form whatsoever OR SOLD without first obtaining permission from the author.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fate's Call. *sowwie*

So, I apologize but the next segment of Erron and Jarek will be delayed. I think I am going to skip a week to give my brain time to recoup.
I edited my WHOLE book in a week (and then submitted it) so I think I am fried.

Then I had a four day w/end and I started the next scene Monday, got about half-way thru and stalled out.

I will continue to work on it. :)
I have to think some more and then try again.

For the several of you who msged me on FB to tell me you can't wait for the next scene....wow that makes me feel awesome. I am sorry it's delayed and I will get it done and posted as soon as I can!

*huggles*

Thanx for all the interest, support and comments!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Body Jumper

This is from something that has been floating around in my head. I *think* it would be a YA paranormal. I pulled it out of the vault. Hope it's intriguing. ;)



At least I'm male again. I always was male, but the bodies my being, soul, whatever you humans want to call it, doesn’t exercise discretion when it “chooses” where I wake up.
“Kyle?” she whispers. Honestly, I would rather she didn’t. Now the tears are rolling down her cheeks.
“Kyle, I thought you would never wake up again.



All rights reserved; copyright © C. A. Szarek. The text within may not be reproduced in whole or in part or distributed in any form whatsoever OR SOLD without first obtaining permission from the author.