Dangerous, but wise? with A.J. Marcus

September 30, 2015

Dangerous, but wise?

This time we’re going to take a look at our owl shifter, Shannon O’Flaherty. Personally, I like Shannon better than the other two…don’t tell them that, we’re not supposed to play favorites. Shannon is the sheriff of Red Peak, New Mexico. He moved away from Albuquerque after a disastrous breakup. When the opportunity came along for a raise and a move, he jumped on the chance. Shannon is also an enforcer in the paranormal world. He struggles to keep the regular humans from discovering that there really are things that go bump in the night. When he answers an alarm call at one of the local residences and spies a mountain lion running off through the desert night with a backpack on, he realizes the situation calls for his enforcer position and not just his sheriff’s badge. As the situation turns out to not be a cut and dried one, he adapts quickly but is very surprised when he bonds to first Daniel, then finds Phillip fitting into their lives as well.

Shannon is a fairly stable and straightforward guy. Having the two cat shifters around upsets his life in ways he could never dream of, but he quickly finds that he welcomes the change and chaos the two men bring to his mostly quiet existence. The biggest question is if his deputy will handle things in a civilized manner, or will she shoot first and ask questions later.

Just below the surface of Shannon’s human form hovers the deadly talons of an eagle owl. Owls are found in every environment in the world, save for Antarctica. The eagle owls are the largest of the owls. Here in North America, we only have one species of eagle owl, the great horned owl. Great horned owls are the classic hoot owl. Not many people actually see them, or even know where they despite the fact there are a ton of them living in the cities around us. Great horned owls occupy the same ecological niche as red tailed hawks. It’s a fairly safe bet that if you see red tailed hawks during the day, there are great horned owls at night. They and the other owls go to great lengths to make sure the rodent populations don’t grow out of control.

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Now, let’s see how Shannon feels about things:

 

He laughed again. It felt good to laugh. Until that moment, he didn’t realize he hadn’t been doing much of that recently. “Elisa, you do have a way with words. Okay, as long as it stays fun, I’ll keep them around, if they want to be kept around.”

“So you haven’t run background checks on them yet, then? It might be a good idea. Help you find out if either one of them is keeping anything from you that could come back to bite you.”

She didn’t know about his very powerful hearing and how hard it was for people to lie to him. “No, I haven’t run background checks on them. I’m trusting them to be honest right now. I’m not you. I don’t have to know everything about everyone in my life.”

“Yeah, but those background checks can come in handy. They kept me from falling in with that sexy polygamist last year, or that biker who was wanted for armed robbery a few months ago.”

“I’d almost forgotten about those guys,” Shannon lied. He remembered all of her boyfriends. “You catch more criminals in your bed than we do in the streets. Maybe we should hang a sign on your porch to let them all know they should stop by for the night. You can become the new criminal-trap motel. Criminals check in, but they always leave in cuffs.”

So have any of you encountered owls in your journey through our world?

We’ll be back here in a little while with a few questions and a give away.

 

A Most Dangerous Cat with A.J. Marcus

September 30, 2015

A Most Dangerous Cat

We’re back with another shifter. Daniel Hernandez is a jaguar shifter who’s led a less than savory life up until he meets Phillip and Shannon. Daniel embraces the power that comes with his jaguar. He’s made his living doing jobs of various kinds for the highest bidder. He does care what the job is, as long as it pays well. He’s seeking to move up in the world and so he takes the job to steal the wolf kachina when it comes his way. It sounds like an easy job, and would’ve been if Phillip had beat him to the house.

As far as his love life goes, Daniel treats it like he does the rest of his life, fast and easy. He’s not above screwing his way in and out of various situations as long as he doesn‘t form any lasting ties to the people he’s screwing. Sex for Daniel is loose and just a way to get what he wants. He’s very surprised when Sex with Phillip and Shannon turns out to be more than just a little fling.

Inside Daniel resided, pound for pound, the most powerful big cat in the world. Jaguars might be the third largest big cat, only African lions and tigers are larger, but jaguars are the more powerful and dangerous cat. Like the cougars, jaguars are perfectly suited for their environment which extends from the desert Southwest through the jungles of South America. Like most cats the jaguar is an extreme opportunist. Its prey ranges from large hoofed stock to birds, and even reptiles. Since jaguars love swimming, they’ll often take on caimans and other crocodilians that they encounter in the tropical rivers and streams.

Jaguars often come into contact with humans as their territory shrinks and the human world expands. Although jaguars can do incredible amounts of damage to humans, any conflict with man ultimately ends up to the determent of the cats. Luckily there are still vast stretches of rainforest and desert for the jaguars to call home.

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Let’s take a look at a scene from Daniel’s POV.

Seconds later Daniel closed the bedroom door. He didn’t bother turning on the light as he pulled out his cell phone. He hit Two and Send. When he lay back on the bed, Shannon’s musky scent engulfed him like a worn, familiar comfortable blanket.

The call was answered on the second ring. “Daniel, where are you? Are you in trouble? I know something’s wrong.”

“Aunt Louisa, it’s good to hear your voice. I’m fine. Well, not really. I need to ask you some questions.”

“Questions? What kind of questions do you have? I can’t get you out of trouble again. I don’t have the cash.”

Daniel shook his head. She knew she was the first person he called when he was in trouble. And she always said she didn’t have the money to save his ass, but she never failed to save him, no matter how bad things were. “I don’t need cash. I’m not in jail or anything. Yeah, a job went bad, but I’m working through that. Some other stuff has happened, and I need some advice. I’ve met somebody, and I can’t stop thinking about him. I’m not even acting like a rude-ass punk around him. It’s like he’s family already.”

Thanks to his sensitive hearing, he could pick up the sound of her long lacquered nails tapping on the Formica tabletop in her kitchen. “Is he a jaguar like you are?”

“He’s a wer, but not a jaguar.”

“What is he?”

“An owl.” Daniel smiled at the vision of Shannon flying off into the night.

“An owl? Where on earth did you find a wereowl?”

“Northern New Mexico, but where isn’t important. Why is my attitude changing?”

More silence except for the tapping, which stopped a second or so before she spoke again. “Is the attitude change just when he’s around, or is it affecting you with everyone?”

Daniel thought about it for a moment. He hadn’t even hurt Phillip at the idea of him flirting with Shannon. “At first it was just around him, but it’s spreading.”

“If I know you, the two of you have already had sex.”

“Yeah. I mean, not all the way, but yeah.” He loved his aunt, and they had a great relationship, but he wasn’t about to actually split hairs about a blow job versus an ass pounding.

“It sounds like you might be bonding to him. A mate bond is unusual cross-species like that, especially two very different species like jaguar and owl. Now if he was something like a mountain lion, the chances would be a lot more possible.”

Daniel rolled his eyes, then stared up at the dark ceiling. Do I really want to bond to Shannon? He’s cool and all, really sexy, but can I see myself with a police officer for the rest of my life? “How can I tell for sure?”

“If you were close by me, I’d tell you to come over and let me take a look at the two of you, but no, you have to be all the way across the state when you call your dear auntie for help in this matter.”

“Aunt Louisa, how can I tell if we’re bonding?” He tried not to sound too impatient.

“You didn’t swear at me, my darling Daniel. Even from here I can tell a change in you. Look within yourself, and see what you find there. Talk to your cat and listen to him. Your cat will know for sure, even if you don’t.”

 

Check back in a little while and learn a bit about Shannon, find out what makes him tick.

The Not-so Cowardly Mountain Lion with A.J. Marcus

September 30, 2015

These next couple of posts, we’ll explore different characters in “The Kachina Job” and the animals inside them. The first character we meet in the book is Phillip Two Hands, he’s a young Navaho Indian who has become a thief and is hired to steal a really ugly wolf kachina. At 25, Phillip still lives on the reservation with his grandparents who haven’t bothered to teach him much about being a Mountain Lion shifter after his parents were killed by hunters. Phillip is desperate to fit in somewhere, after he was dumped by the boyfriend who taught him to be a thief, he’s been making a living stealing things while he waits for something to come along and lead him down his life’s calling. Without giving too much away, he finds it by the end of the book.

The cat inside Phillip is an interesting one. Mountain lions range across the Americas, from the Arctic Circle down to the tip of South America. They are highly adaptable cats and in some parts of their range are considered nuisance animals. In other parts, like the south end of Florida, the Florida panther, is highly endangered. Mountain lions are known by many names, mountain lions, puma, cougar, catamount, and panther are the main ones.

In the mountains and the desert areas, the cat’s tawny coat is perfect camouflage for it to blend into its surrounds. This natural ability to blend makes it very hard to spot a mountain lion. Here in Colorado, we say that if you see a mountain lion, it’s been watching you for quite some time. You can live in the mountains for years and never see them. Our neighbors have spotted them on our place, but we’ve never seen more than the very rare paw print. It’s both scary and cool at the same time.

Like all cats, mountain lions prey on anything they can get their teeth and claws into. They are supremely opportunistic. Their favorite meal, is deer. One of the big reasons that people are encouraged to not feed deer is that it attracts mountain lions. This can be detrimental to both the cat and the people. If you actually get to see a mountain lion in the wild, consider yourself lucky and if possible, take lots of pictures.

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This is Tawney, one of the mountain lions that lives at CARE.

 

Now, let’s have a short scene from Phillip’s POV:

Phillip Twohands made his way quietly through the large dog door. Easing into the mudroom, he let the plastic flap trail along his backpack and slowly lowered his tail so that no sound betrayed his passage. I hope my information is right and the family’s out, he thought, moving from the mudroom into the kitchen. The whole place smelled overly clean, but beyond some old food, there were no recent scents of people or dogs. He relaxed.

The kitchen was as expensively outfitted as the rest of the place. High-end stainless steel appliances sat among black marble countertops. The black marble was also on the floor tiles that muffled his padded footfalls. Week-old pizza was the only thing that registered on his sense of smell, other than the recent use of ammonia cleaners.

From the kitchen he headed to the living room. The black tiles gave way to mahogany hardwood. Phillip stayed silent as he moved across the wood. His claws were retracted, and the heavy pads of his feet didn’t make a sound as he walked to the display cabinet next to the massive stone fireplace. Just as the information said, the shelves behind the glass held a selection of Hopi kachinas.

He quickly spotted the one that had a wolf’s head with real wolf fur around the neck. He shivered. This has to be the ugliest kachina I’ve ever seen. But I’m not being paid to be an art critic. I’m being paid to steal this thing and get it back to Francis Mendoza. I still don’t know why he couldn’t just send a member of his pack for it.

Phillip turned from the display case and looked around the living room. He shook his head. No obvious cameras. With all the ones outside, I’m surprised by that.

Taking a deep centering breath, Phillip willed himself to drop his puma form and become human. The wood floor was colder on his bare feet than it had been on his paws. The air conditioner blew cold air that raised goose pimples on his arms. He wondered why they had to keep things so cold in the rich houses.

He shivered as he took his backpack off and opened it. The soft silk cloth he’d been given to transport the thing unfolded easily in his hands. Phillip hung it over his arm as he pulled on the display case door. It didn’t budge. He glared at it. Just my luck. I knew this was going too easily. I bet he’s got the key on him too.

After setting the backpack on the floor in front of the case, then draping the silk over it so he could still access the side pocket, he pulled out a lockpicking kit. He selected two picks and made short work of the lock.

As he opened the case, an alarm rang out, and every light in the house came on. “Shit!”

Phillip grabbed the wolf-headed kachina and quickly wrapped it in the silk. He still had plenty of room in the backpack, so he grabbed a few of the other figures as well but didn’t bother wrapping them. Even as he slipped the backpack over his shoulders and snapped its waistband shut, he shifted back to his puma form.

Once again on four paws, Phillip ran for the dog door. Every few feet, the sound of a well-hidden still camera clicking was louder than the alarm. He didn’t care how he’d managed to miss it previously. How will they be able to track a mountain lion with a backpack on? And who would believe them anyway? Lions don’t wear backpacks and break into houses to steal things.

Phillip made it almost all the way across the side yard and to the safety of the desert when a loud roar overpowered the alarms from the house. The sound caused him to stumble. Who the hell is that?

Something moved from behind a large rock where the manicured lawn gave way to desert scrub. Phillip tried to dodge, but it caught him in the hip and spun him around as he scrambled to stay on his feet.

The bright lights from the house and porch momentarily blinded him. Phillip blinked. A large sleek silhouette inserted itself between him and the house. It was a huge cat, nearly twice his size.

 

I’ll be back in a bit and we’ll talk about Daniel Hernandez, our Jaguar, until then, tell what you think about mountain lions. Have you had any encounters with them in the past, either in the wild, or in zoos, or nature centers? They are one of the cats that really touch my soul.

Mountain Lions, Jaguars, and Owls, oh my! with A.J. Marcus

September 30, 2015

Hey readers! Looks like I’m taking over the Dreamspinner blog for a few hours. I’m A.J. Marcus, and this is all to promote my new release “The Kachina Job.” This book marks the first time, although not the last time, that I’ve ventured into the world of shifter romance. I decided to go with some shifters that aren’t well explored in M/M romance and also decided to try my hand at a ménage story at the same time. When I got the responses back from my beta readers, I knew I’d done something right. And with the reviews I’ve seen so far…yes I read some reviews…the readers are pleased with the story and we might have to come back and explore some of the ideas I’ve tossed out in the world in future books.

Over the next few hours, with my series of posts, I’ll explore the various characters and the animals that inspired them. For folks who are familiar with my writing, you know that the animals are as important in my books as the people, and in a world where the people can become animals, it opens up a whole new palate of opportunities. I love what a lot of writers do with shifters, and then there are writers that make me cringe with what they do with shifters. I urge people to please study the animals they write about be it real animals or fantasy shifters. Understanding makes things that much more real.

In the case of the shifters in “The Kachina Job”, I’ve worked with both birds of prey and big cats in the past. I’ve had birds in my life for years, they are incredibly fascinating and even as a master falconer, I still learn things every day, when I choose to listen. With the big cats, I spent several years while I lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex being photographer for the Bridgeport Nature Center, now called CARE, Center for Animal Research and Education. The big cats are awesome, but I do urge folks not to try and make them pets. They are wild animals. A lion or tiger in your house will eat your couch, dog, and possibly you. At least with most raptors, they can learn to tolerate the silly humans they share the world with.

I tried to bring some of my knowledge of these incredible animals to my story with the three hunky shifters as they struggle to find the missing kachina and work out their feelings toward each other all before the evil werewolf can claim the power that will reshape the shifter world in his dark image.

Here’s the cover and the blurb for “The Kachina Job”

TheKachinaJob-Preview

Phillip Twohands is a thief and a weremountain lion. When he takes a job stealing an ugly kachina, he never realizes it will change his life forever. Daniel Hernandez is a werejaguar who is hired to steal the same kachina by the same werewolf who hired Phillip. When their paths cross, it becomes clear the tension between them is not all about rivalry.
The local sheriff, Shannon O’Flaherty, catches them in the act and has no choice but to take the two into his personal custody, which quickly ends up with the three of them in bed together.
When they learn the kachina has an ancient wolf spirit trapped inside, they rally to prevent it from transferring its power to the werewolf who hired them, but it will take all the strength in their new bond to succeed.

Here’s the buy link for “The Kachina Job”

Next post we’ll look at Phillip as a character and the mountain lion inside him.

In the Face of Danger with Shelter Somerset

September 27, 2015
Inthefaceofdanger

Hi everyone, my name is Shelter Somerset, a writer with Dreamspinner Press since 2011. Thank you for wanting to learn more about my latest novel, Predator in Paradise, due out Sept. 25.

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Are you intrigued by the novel’s cover? I hope so. I like to think it’s an exciting tale that ventures a little outside of what you might expect for this genre.

Owen Underwood and Dwayne Bosco, basically the only characters in my novel, have been together a little over 10 years. Like many couples together a long time, they are growing apart. Work gives them little time to sort out their differences. So Owen leads Dwayne into the California wilderness for a chance to reexamine their relationship. Neither expects to come face to face with terror.

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This is my eighth novel, and I have to admit, writing it was no easy task. I truly immersed myself in Owen and Dwayne’s harrowing experience. Midway through, I broke out in hives! That never happened to me before. After numerous trips to the doctors and even the emergency room, no one could figure out the cause. I can only guess the stress of writing Owen and Dwayne’s story was to blame. But don’t let that scare you off! I’ve never heard of a reader getting sick from a book—at least not literally.

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One of the fun things about adventure stories is you can “referee” while you read; in other words, you get to figure out what you would do in place of the characters’ actions, or maybe you agree with them. If you get a chance to read the novel, I’d love to hear how you would have survived Owen and Dwayne’s ordeal, and what you would have done differently. Did you think their actions were appropriate? Did you see a way out that maybe they missed? What did you think of their relationship?

Thank you for your interest in Predator in Paradise, and I look forward to reading your thoughts and to share some more of my own.

Best Wishes,

Shelter Somerset

Where to buy Predator in Paradise:

You can follow me on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ShelterSomerset

For the Love of Flying with EM Lynley

August 17, 2015

For the Love of (1)

I’m EM Lynley and today I’m thrilled to be talking about my brand new release ONE MARINE, HERO.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

This book is one I’m particularly proud of and I hope you’ll find it as enjoyable to read as it was to write.

The spark for this book hit me last fall during San Francisco’s Fleet Week.

If you’ve never been to a Fleet Week, you are missing out! You’ll find a dozen ships, even more aircraft, and tens of thousands of sailors and Marines all converge on the city. And since the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, it’s even crazier here in San Francisco.

But most of all, I love visiting the ships during Fleet Week. This year I visited the newly commissioned USS America, an amphibious assault ship. I didn’t know quite what that meant until I arrived. Basically, this ship serves as a support base for Marine units to stage an attack.

After making my way past displays of armored vehicles and light assault vehicles (tanks, to the rest of us), I arrived on the lower deck, where a number of helicopters were displayed. Pilots and members of the air crew answered questions from visitors. I was listening to other people (mostly men) asking questions, when it hit me that helicopters were a hell of a lot more interesting than I’d realized.

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In fact, a helicopter pilot would make a fantastic main character for a book.

Up on the flight deck, about a dozen smaller helicopters were on display. Now I started taking notes and asking my own questions. To my surprise, the pilots were really thrilled to answer questions, talk about the capabilities of their aircraft, and even let visitors climb inside a few different ones. I happily spent about three hours moving between Cobras, Hueys, Super Stallions, and more. I took a lot of photos and, of course, asked how I could get to fly on a Marine helo. (The answer is, you can’t. Even the pilots’ own families can’t get on board, partly for security reasons and partly because the demand would be incredible.)

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By the time I got home, I was dying to include a Marine pilot in a story.

And that’s when I got the idea of writing about a former combat pilot who comes home to fly Marine One, ferrying US government officials around and dealing with the drastic transition between those two jobs.

If you’ve read one of my books before, you know I love to do research. Not much can beat spending several hours talking with Marine pilots, but I can tell you that flying a helicopter definitely does. I took a couple of helicopter flying lessons while working on this book, and it has been one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done in my life!

EM Lynley_Helicopter lesson

 

Why Marine One?

That answer takes us a bit farther back than last fall.

I’ve never followed politics much, but like nearly everyone around the world who watches international news, I had a strong image of the President of the United States getting into a green-and-white helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House and being whisked away to attend to some vital presidential business. I had a vague notion of the helicopter being called Marine One, but beyond that, I never thought much about it.

That changed when I was lucky enough to get a job at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Though the offices are located in the Old Executive Office next to the White House, we were part of the White House complex. It was a thrill to be so close to the inner workings of Washington.

Even more exciting were the perks that came with the job, including attending any ceremony on the White House lawn, including welcoming receptions for visiting heads of state where the president and the foreign leader would inspect US troops and color guards and military bands.

And maybe one of the coolest is getting to stand on the South Lawn when the helicopter lands

One of my favorite Marine One touchdowns was when my mother came for a visit. I knew that Marine One was due to land shortly after her arrival, so I whisked her from the airport and to the White House. She was surprised (and impressed) that after being in DC for an hour she was already seeing the president live at the White House.

I was just as thrilled at being able to include her in such a special opportunity. I think at some level she doubted I could get her into the West Wing and then to the South Lawn. She was really proud of me that day too.

I hope that you’ll feel some of the excitement of both the helicopters and White House events when you read One Marine, Hero.

***

And you knew there was going to be a contest, right?

Are you a fan of military men? Tell me why and which branch of military you like best for a chance to win one of my backlist titles.

Thanks for stopping by today!

I love getting e-mails from readers, so don’t be shy.

You can also visit me online

E-mail: emlynley@gmail.com

Website: http://www.emlynley.com

Blog: http://emlynley.livejournal.com

Twitter: @emlynley

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emlynley

Jana Denardo: The Inner Workings of a Demon Hunting Team

August 16, 2015

Probably the best way to get to know the boys is to let them tell you what it’s like to be part of a Soldiers of the Sun team, especially one waiting to be assigned a new member so I’ll let them take it away.

Caleb – I’m the leader of the group and it’s something I take seriously out there. I expect all the members to be their best but ultimately I’m the one who has to make the toughest choices. It’s good though because I can trust Agni and Temple to do what they do best. They have never disappointed me.

Agni – Good to know. Sometimes the hardest part is remembering a team only works when we work together. I don’t have the ego that says I can’t take orders. I’ve seen teams like that and they are usually quick to lose a member. I worried a little about that when I first met Temple since he’s so loud and always in motion. I worried about nothing. The hardest part of dealing with Temple is getting him to exercise. He’d rather just depend on his big gun to get him out of trouble.

Temple –You’re such a wet smack, Agni. It is tough working in a team sometimes because your teammates pick on you until you think about feeding them to the demons.

Caleb – Temple, Agni, must you?

Temple – Of course we must. To be fair, the teasing isn’t out there in the field. I know I can trust them. My biggest fear there is accidentally plugging my partners. That chopper of mine puts out so many bullets, it’s a real danger. And I’m really worried about our new partner. We know nothing about him.

Caleb – General Taglioferro hasn’t even told me yet what to expect. I think our new partner will be another long range fighter like Temple as Agni and I do better close up. It always helps to have a balance in styles.

Temple – I’m also worried about the new partner finding out about us pitching woo. That could kill the team instantly.

Agni – Always so positive but you make a good point.

Caleb – We’re careful. I don’t think we have much to worry about there. Temple might just have to put the kibosh on his flirting for a while.

Temple – With you two, yes of course. But does that mean I can’t flirt with the muffins?

Agni – Could we stop you?

Temple – Absolutely not!

Caleb – We knew that.

 

Jana: With that, I’ll leave these three to get back to work. Let’s do the novel giveaway now to top off the night. We all have our favorite character tropes and group dynamics. Temple allowed me to combine characters of two like working with, the sarcastic wit and someone trying to cope with a rough childhood. I also love working with diverse groups which is what I could do with this team. So what are your favorite sorts of characters? I’ll leave the giveaway open til morning. And sorry for not sharing pictures of them. Half way through the pictures stopped showing even though they were fine earlier even if I had to use more than one method. Ah technology.

Thanks for being here with me tonight!

Soldiers of the Sun – eBook http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6759

Soldiers of the Sun- paperback – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6760

Jana Denardo – Soldiers of the Sun Excerpt #2

August 16, 2015

“That was not how the New Year should be welcomed.” Temple sighed, undoing his bow tie. He and his partners shuffled through the quiet corridors of one of the male wings of the Soldiers of the Sun’s home base.

“I definitely had other ideas myself,” Agni said, and Temple looked back over his shoulder at him.

“Oh, really? And here I thought you were the staid, boring type who probably turned in at nine.”

Caleb suppressed a grin. That baiting sounded much more like the Temple he knew so well.

Agni huffed. “I suppose that means you don’t want to see what I would have done. My blood’s up a little too much to go right to sleep.”

Temple’s green eyes lit up. “I didn’t say that.”

“So I’m not getting sleep anytime soon?” Caleb eyed his partner as he unlocked the door to his apartment. Sometimes Agni surprised him. Caleb thought Agni only entered into this three-way partnership because Caleb asked, but he was beginning to think Agni truly enjoyed having sex with Temple too.

Temple stuffed his tie into his pocket. “You can sleep on the couch, I suppose.”

“As noisy as you are, if I chose that option, do you really think I’d get a moment’s rest?” Caleb slipped out of his overcoat and dress jacket, putting both on the coat rack by his door.

“Then you’ll have to join us.” Temple ran his hand across Caleb’s shoulders.

“Naturally.” Caleb turned and studied Temple’s face. “Are you okay?”

Temple shrugged. “I’m not perfect, but I will be eventually. Don’t want to talk about it now.” He fisted his fingers in Caleb’s starched shirt, pulling him forward into a kiss. “And I get the middle tonight since I earned it. All you did in the fight was stand there looking pretty.”

“And how was I to know which way the demons would run?” Caleb protested, breaking free. He caught Agni’s hand, tugging him toward his bedroom.

Temple followed behind them. “You’re smart. It sounds planned to me.”

“Keep talking, Temple, and your boyfriend for tonight will be found at the end of your wrist,” Caleb volleyed back.

Temple pouted, but he didn’t look particularly sad. “Ouch, you can be so mean.”

Caleb couldn’t hide his grin. If baiting Temple made him less morose, Caleb was happy to do it. It was so very easy to get his goat, anyhow. “You love it when I am.”

“Do not.” Temple’s sulk deepened.

“I have to side with Caleb. You thrive on us being hard on you.” Agni reached back to swat Temple’s arm.

Temple narrowed his green eyes. “I’m beginning to think my hand is the better choice.”

“At least your hand wouldn’t be mean to you,” Caleb agreed.

“And it would do exactly what you want.” Agni grinned.

“You two are just lucky I like you,” Temple huffed. “And I know you’re both damaged, and this is the only way you can show affection.”

Agni wiggled free of Caleb’s grasp, heading for the nightstand. He got out the jar of lubricant and put it in Temple’s hand. “Have fun.”
“And I’m not damaged. I barely remember being at the not-so-nice orphanage,” Caleb said.
“I was thinking more that someone at the orphanage dropped you on your head as a baby,” Temple said, taking off his ichor-splattered dress shirt, dropping it to the floor. His nipples stood up in the chill of the room. He went over and played with the heater controls.
“Go enjoy that jar.” Caleb shoved him.
Temple tossed the jar onto the bed, then tackled Caleb back onto the mattress.

Jana Denardo: Soldiers of the Sun: Let’s have a little music.

August 16, 2015

I’m very much a listen to music type of writer. I love having a sound track to write to. Part of the inspiration for this story had to be the swing band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. I listened to a lot of their songs as I worked on both Snowbound and Soldiers of the Sun. As I researched music from the actual time period the series is set in, I found some pretty surprising offerings. For example, one of the songs Temple takes a stab at in the novel is far older than I expected. Who knew Just a Gigolo was originally sung by Bing Crosby?

 

 

Not only did I find a plenty of really interesting music, I also came across electro-swing. It seems the swing revival of the 90s morphed into something that has a lot of high energy music. There is even a revival of a Charleston-like dance.

 

That fact led to Temple’s enjoyment of dance, seen in Snowbound and getting more depth in Soldiers of the Sun. Temple is the dancer of the group. He absolutely loves it. He’s tried to teach Agni and Caleb how to dance but they are a couple of dead hoofers. Temple is hoping his new partner can cut a rug.

Music is threaded through the story. There are a few dances, some of which even allow for some relaxation and fun time for the team. Others have demons.

What’s your current ear worm? Have a good song to share? It doesn’t have to be of the 1930s era. I’m always on the look out for something good to listen to, so share!

Jana Denardo: Soldiers of the Sun: Meet the Soldiers

August 16, 2015

Let me introduce you to the characters because they’re who we’re here to see.

 

Caleb Davies is the team leader. He’s an orphan from Wales originally. The Soldiers of the Sun routinely search for kids who can see demons and Caleb was adopted by an officer. He’s been raised within the organization since he was a kid and was close to his adoptive father. He was put together with Agni and Temple in London a few years back before being sent to America to fill the greater need for soldiers there.

 

Caleb takes his responsibilities as leader seriously even though he feels like he’s herding cats when it comes to getting Agni and Temple to cooperate. He’s bright, outgoing and thoughtful. He doesn’t mind the research and is highly skilled with swordplay and hand to hand combat. He likes sports, misses cricket something awful in the States. He’s a huge movie buff and goes whenever he gets a chance.

 

Agni Pradesh is the scientist of the group. Originally from Bombay, he was sent to London by his family when the Soldiers asked for someone from his family to join the London branch. His family have been demon fighters for generations. He’s the reader of the group. He’s never met a research project he didn’t want to dig into and he works with the scientific branch whenever he can just for the fun of it.  Agni misses his home but loves where he is at the same time. His apartment reflects his Hindu beliefs and culture which he loves sharing with Caleb and Temple. He’s the quiet, stoic one, though he enjoys winding Temple up.

 

 

TempleChevalier is from Paris. His family has been in the Knights Templar from the very beginning as far as they can tell. His upbringing was harsh, suffering abuse from a family member that he never told anyone about. He ran away from home at sixteen and joined up with the Soldiers in London. Their more inclusive and forgiving system of doing things suited him better. Caleb has described Temple as a human Irish Setter and that isn’t just because of his auburn hair. Temple is all enthusiasm and friendliness. He’s the talker and joker of the group and he’s not quite aware that his partners realize he does this in part to hide the emotional pain he’s in. Temple suffers from PTSD and hypersexuality syndrome, neither of which would have been well understood in the 1930s.

 

Temple is extremely outgoing by nature and is the one bisexual in the group. He does have a reputation a ladies man and his partners are willing to look past that, thinking it’s part of his attempts to cover up his pain. He truly loves is radio dramas, music and dancing. Never interrupt one of his dramas and dance with him when he asks and he’s a happy man.

 

 

 

So if you have any questions on how the gentlemen live their daily lives this is the time!