Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mid Week Tease - A Centaur's Solstice Wish - Backup


Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for a new year, literally, of Mid Week Tease hosted by Sandra Bunino.

Authors: this is a great opportunity to spotlight a few lines or even a paragraph or two from a new release or backlisted title. Readers: you get to sample some delicious snippets! We’ll do our best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.

Today I'm offering snippets from my new release A Centaur's Solstice Wish, a sweet M/M fantasy romance, and Book 2 in the Rifts series. Sedgewick is in the infirmary on Christmas Eve and Bethany, from Take the Reins, is talking to Sedgewick about friendship and backup.

"Hey, Sedgewick. How are you feeling tonight?"
Bethany stopped beside his window and gave him a warm smile.
"I'm feeling better tonight, Master Healer. Thank you."
"Oh, you can call me Bethany. It's Christmas Eve. No need to stand on ceremony tonight." She tilted her head with a small frown. "Are you having trouble sleeping? Is the pain bothering you?"
"No, MaBethany." He grimaced at his slip. "I heard you singing."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize it had been that loud. I just get into the spirit of the season and lose track of where I am." She shook her head. "I should remember to be quieter."
"No, no, it was beautiful. Peaceful and yet wistful. Are the songs from your home?"
"The Christmas tunes? Yes. Things we used to sing as kids. We'd go caroling from house to house when my mothermy dam was alive." The Master Healer smiled as she set a lit candle down on the windowsill. "It was damn cold, but the singing kept us warm and there was always hot cider or cocoa waiting for us when we got home."
"That sounds like a pleasant memory." He grimaced as his shoulder twinged. "Full of magic."
"It's a magical time of year."
Sedgewick snorted and shook his head. "Not magical, just harder. Colder. Darker."
"That's why we have candles and cheery fires, and after the solstice, the days get longer again." Bethany gave him an understanding smile. "But it can be a lonely time without loved ones." She sighed a little. "I miss my brother most of all."
Sedgewick heard the sorrow in her voice. "Has your brother returned to the Goddess?"
"What? Oh, no. At least, not that I've heard." She shook her head. "I just don't get to see him much, and now, not at all."
"Why is that, Master Healer?"
"He's a soldier, a fairly elite one, and he's always off saving the world. It's impossible to know if he'll be home for Christmas, and most of the time he's deployed somewhere exotic." She snorted with amusement. "The lucky jerk usually gets to go somewhere warm in the southern hemisphere.” But her smile fell away. “Unfortunately, he doesn't get to have fun there. He's a sniper." She paused. "Do you know what a sniper is?"
Sedgewick frowned and shook his head. "I'm not familiar with the term."
Bethany bit her bottom lip in thought. "He's really sneaky and quiet, and usually takes the enemy out by long range...bow shots. He's too far away for them to see him."
"That doesn't seem like an honorable way to fight."
Bethany nodded. "No, but it's a good way to keep his team safe and to facilitate rescue operations. He's their backup." She smiled a little. "Still, I send prayers up each year to keep him safe. I'm his backup."


Available now at Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading. If you want to read more from other authors, click the link and enjoy...

Monday, January 26, 2015

**RELEASE DAY** - A Centaur's Solstice Wish


Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for the release of A Centaur's Solstice Wish, book 2 in the Rifts series. I'm so thrilled with the release of this tale because it came out of nowhere and insisted it be written. I don't normally write Christmas/Holiday tales, but Sedgewick and Ronin marched into my world and hung out until I could get their story down. Here's the blurb:

When making wishes on the Hunter’s star...

It will take more than wishes to improve Sedgewick Icetrotter’s Solstice. After being sent to the infirmary, again, for dislocating his shoulder while stringing his bow, he figures he’s got a snowball’s chance in hell to impress the centaur he loves. Until Corporal Ronin Creekjumper brings in two injured centaurs suffering from unusual insect bites, and Sedgewick knows how to treat them.

Ronin can’t believe his good luck when Sedgewick saves his men. It also gives him a chance to do more than light candles for his injured friend. Ronin takes the chance and invites Sedgewick to spend the Solistice holiday together. Just the two of them.

And a pack of hungry dire wolves who’d like to put Sedgewick on the menu. Who says Solstice can’t be exciting?

A Centaur's Solstice Wish is available now at Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords
And should be on Barnes & Noble, and Kobo Books soon. Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite for more:

Ronin had never been so glad to see his injured soldier in his life. Sedgewick Icetrotter constituted one of the worst soldiers he'd ever trained, but he'd shown determination and persistence despite his setbacks. When he'd dislocated his left shoulder trying to string a bow, Ronin had seen the defeat in the younger centaur's face along with the pain. Ronin's heart ached for him, but he'd kept his words to himself. No need to compound his shame.

Now Sedgewick stepped forward, arm in a sling, with more confidence Ronin than had ever seen him display, and some of his tension melted away. By the Goddess, let him be able to do this. Ronin rarely prayed, but he wanted the best for Sedgewick. The man had a gentleness and beauty Ronin had never seen in any other centaur, and some part of him wanted to preserve that. It would be ruined by fighting and war.

"What do we do, Sedgewick?" Bethany fixed her green-brown gaze on the buckskin stallion. "Do you know what caused the welts?"

"Yes, Master Bethany. They're called winter lace stars and they have a bad toxin that shuts down the organs if there are enough of them." Sedgewick ran his hands lightly over the welts on Navarro's arm and the man groaned. "We're going to have to make an antidotal salve and smooth it over each of them."

"Do you know what goes into the salve?"
"Yes. My granddam taught me." He grimaced and wouldn't meet Ronin's gaze. "The problem is I can't make it with only one arm."
 Ronin gripped Sedgewick's shoulder. "I'll help you. Just tell me what you need done and I can be your extra hands."
Both Bethany and Sedgewick gaped at Ronin for a moment. Hellfire, he'd surprised himself with the outburst, but he wouldn't go back on his offer. His men needed him and he'd do anything he could. And if you're really honest with yourself, you'd admit you want to spend a little time with Sedgewick.
Bethany was the first to recover. "Thank you, Corporal. That will be very helpful." She nodded to the injured men. "First, I'll need you to get these men stripped so we can see the extent of the damage."
Ronin stuffed his disappointment behind a sharp nod. "Will do."
"Good. Sedgewick, please show me what you need and let's get started."
While Ronin helped the other soldiers to undress Navarro and Colver, he kept Sedgewick in sight as the buckskin directed Bethany in a soft but sure voice. The men moaned when they lifted their shirts and armor, and he cringed in sympathy. Great, swollen welts spread across their backs from skull to tail, disfiguring them in red sores.
Medicinal scents accompanied the grind of a pestle against a mortar bowl, and Ronin turned just as Bethany called for him.
"Can you please grind this while I prepare the salve base, Corporal?"
"Yes, of course, Master Healer."
Ronin took the pestle as the human woman gave him a friendly smile and he tried to smile back, but Sedgewick's presence beside him made it difficult. Oh, for the love of Epona, I should be able to do one simple task. He bent to it, putting his strength and focus into the action of grinding the medicinal herbs. He almost jumped when someone laid a hand on his forearm.
"Firmly, but gently, Corporal. Marble isn't as good as the herbs for healing." Sedgewick's voice held amusement as well as warmth.
Heat blossomed across Ronin's cheeks and chest. "Forgive me, Sedgewick. My concern is with my men."
Sedgewick lost his smile and nodded, releasing Ronin. "Of course, Corporal. But if you grind them too much, they lose potency." Sedgewick nodded to the mortar. "I think they're ready. Bring them to the fire, please."
Ronin regretted his words immediately and cursed himself for a nervous fool, but dutifully followed the buckskin soldier and swept the crushed herbs into a pot of boiling water. Sedgewick nodded and stirred them with a soothing rhythm, his good arm flexing in ways that set Ronin's heart galloping. Sweet Goddess, what I'd give to feel his arms around me.
Ronin mentally balked at the uncharacteristically tender thoughts and shook his head. "Must you keep stirring?" The question came out harsh, but Sedgewick smiled.
"Yes. It's necessary to boil them down to their essences." He shrugged. "Long work, but worth the effort."
He stood beside Sedgewick, watching him stir the pot of herbs in a companionable silence. His motions added a level of comfort to Ronin's world, an unusual sensation, and one he'd sorely missed. It reminded him of times spent with his dam while just a wee colt, when she'd ruffled his hair and told him he'd someday find a mare of his own to stable.
Ronin mentally shook his head. Despite his mother's prediction, he'd never been interested in mares or mating. His focus had been on the military life with his brothers-in-arms. He'd striven to be the best soldier and leader to those who depended on him. It had been all he needed.
Until now.

A Centaur’s Solstice Wish
Copyright © 2015 Siobhan Muir
All Rights Reserved

In case you're wondering, this is a sweet male/male fantasy romance, fantasy because it involves centaurs. Can't get more fantasy than that, although they'd argue we're the mythical beasts. If you're looking for male/female romance, the first book in this series, Take the Reins, is on sale this week for only a dollar at Smashwords (Code: XE38G) and All Romance eBooks.

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snippet Sunday - A Centaur's Solstice Wish - When you Wish Upon a Star


Welcome to the Snippet Sunday on the Weird, the Wild, and the Wicked. Thank you so much for visiting. If you choose to comment today, I really appreciate it. The snippets are from my upcoming release, A Centaur's Solstice Wish, a companion tale to Take the Reins, Book 1 in the Rifts series. This new story is a sweet male/male fantasy romance and will be released on Monday, January 26, 2015.

In this snippet, Sedgewick is in the infirmary on Christmas Eve, nursing a dislocated shoulder. Bethany has suggested he send up his wishes and prayers since the magic is strong at this time of year.

He sighed and straightened his shoulders as he faced the window, mentally shaking his head at his whimsy, but still incapable of not trying.
Sweetest Epona, Goddess of all the Herds, please hear my prayer. Please let me find my heart's desire tonight. He paused, trying to visualize what that would be. He closed his eyes, imagining himself working on something with great skill and proficiency, enough to garner admiration for his abilities from the community. At the last second as his mind's eyes swung around the crowd, Ronin appeared beside him and wrapped a burly arm around Sedgewick's shoulders, squeezing in a proprietary manner. Oh, yes, please.
He opened his eyes and the Hunter's Point winked at him. At least he thought it did, though stars sparkled all the time. I'm just imagining things.

When you wish upon a star... ;) There are several great authors on the Weekend Writer Warriors list and in the Snippet Sunday Facebook group. A few of my favorites are Charley Descoteaux, SJ Maylee, Gem Sivad, Goran Zidar, Veronica Scott, and Sarah Wesson.

Here's the blurb to A Centaur's Solstice Wish, Book 2 in the Rifts series:

When making wishes on the Hunter’s star...

It will take more than wishes to improve Sedgewick Icetrotter’s Solstice. After being sent to the infirmary, again, for dislocating his shoulder while stringing his bow, he figures he’s got a snowball’s chance in hell to impress the centaur he loves. Until Corporal Ronin Creekjumper brings in two injured centaurs suffering from unusual insect bites, and Sedgewick knows how to treat them.

Ronin can’t believe his good luck when Sedgewick saves his men. It also gives him a chance to do more than light candles for his injured friend. Ronin takes the chance and invites Sedgewick to spend the Solistice holiday together. Just the two of them.

And a pack of hungry dire wolves who’d like to put Sedgewick on the menu. Who says Solstice can’t be exciting?