Stevie Woods:author of gay romantic fiction

March 9, 2014

Apology for lapse in blogging – Brand new excerpt!

Filed under: writing — imagine647 @ 11:15 pm
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quill2It was something of a shock to realize that it’s been four weeks since I last posted on my blog! I never was one of those folk who blogged regularly but these last few months posting on my blog has become absurdly random. I would like to be able to post something new and exciting but at the moment I don’t have anything suitable. Instead I thought I’d give you an excerpt from something I wrote a while ago but never quite finished: it’s part of a sequel to my historical novella, Smoke Screen, and I never even got as far as deciding on a title, though one idea I quite liked was…

Smoke Screen - Stevie Woods2x3Drifting Smoke

Richard’s lip curled with distaste.  “I was the one robbed, expected to pay for your paramour to live in luxury.  Your brother lived off me for over a year, be grateful I did not demand the money back.  He would be in debtor’s prison instead of using some other unsuspecting husband to pay his way.”

“That is a lie!  You know Peter is not like that.”  Katerina stopped, taking deep breaths to calm herself.  “He loved me, he still does, wherever he is now.” 

Listening to the exchange, Julian wondered if Katerina really knew exactly where Peter was.  After their confrontation last year, when Katerina threatened to expose Julian’s burgeoning relationship with Richard and her husband challenged her liaison with her so-called brother, Peter had retreated with much less fuss and recrimination than either man had expected. 

Katerina too, after her first outburst, had accepted Richard’s conditions much more easily than he believed possible.  The fact that Richard and his wife each had something to hold over the other in the censorious society of London’s upper echelon, made each dangerous to the other and Julian had been on the lookout from some further threat or retaliation from Katerina, but it had never materialized.  And the quiet acquiescence of her Russian lover, Peter, in quitting the house that Richard had provided had been unforeseen.   Richard admitted to Julian later that he had been prepared to resort to bargaining to protect their deadly secret.  The only explanation they could think of was that it was more important to Katerina to keep the lifestyle she craved, even at the cost of her lover it appeared. 

No, Julian would not have been surprised if Katerina knew exactly where Peter was.

Mirroring Julian’s thoughts, Richard barked a laugh, “I am supposed to believe you don’t know where he is?  Come, Katerina, I know you better than that.  I wish I didn’t believe how duplicitous you are but…”

“Me?” she interrupted, incredulous.  “You say that to me with your lover in the room with us – your… what is the word?”

Richard stepped closer to his wife.  “I will not allow you to insult Julian.  I have made it clear before, your disagreement is with me.  Julian does not concern you.”

“I wish that were the case,” she said quietly, staring at Julian directly for the first time.  The look in her eyes did not equate to the tone of her voice and Julian felt distinctly uncomfortable.

“Oh, please,” Richard declared.  “Don’t pretend to be the injured party here, you are not.  You married me because you recognised I could introduce you into the type of society you craved, while at the same time using my funds to keep your lover in the lap of luxury.  Our marriage was never more than a sham.”

“And it meant more to you?  You used me as much for…for scenery as I did.  A way to hide your real proclivities as a Sodomite!”

Richard strode across the room to open the library door.  In an icy voice, he announced, “I will leave for the country tomorrow, Katerina.  I am sure you will enjoy yourself sampling the best that London society can offer while I am away.”

Head high and back straight, Katerina swept past him and out into the hallway without another word.

“Well that was unpleasant,” Richard said, leaning against the library door, ensuring it stayed closed.  “Come, take the sour taste from my mouth,” he added, a hand held out to Julian.

“Chard,” Julian muttered, shaking his head, but still moving towards him.  Richard gathered him in his strong arms, held him close as he searched out Julian’s oh-so-willing mouth.  The kiss was both tender and demanding as Julian opened up to let Richard plunder his mouth, both men sighing at the contact.

If you want to check out Smoke Screen, go here:  Amazon   ARe Books  Smashword

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January 30, 2014

New excerpt from First Reflection!

First_Reflection_200x300This is an excerpt from First Reflection – the prequel to On Reflection – that I’ve never shared before, hope you enjoy!

Excerpt:

He wanted to pray but couldn’t think of any prayers, and in truth, he never really believed in the Temple anyhow. Then the thought occurred that if there was truth in the legends of evil, perhaps good existed too. Though watching as the creature clutched Ettore to him and lapped the blood from the horrific wound in his neck, Andreas found it hard to believe anything could fight such evil. When the nightwalker finally released the now-dead Ettore to crumple at his feet, Andreas concluded it was too late for him to be having second thoughts.

The creature turned his attention to Andreas, the smile back on his handsome face. How could Andreas consider such an evil creature to be attractive? Lords of Divinity, he had blood dripping down his chin, and Andreas daren’t give name to what was coating his clothing.

He walked to stand directly before Andreas. “You are something special. I will enjoy so much being with you.”

Andreas’ skin crawled at the suggestion, but he could do nothing but stare at the nightwalker, whose smile widened as he grabbed Andreas around the waist and tossed him over his shoulder before dashing off through the park at a dizzying speed. Andreas felt himself lifted through the air, and he realized they were sailing over the wall surrounding the far side of the park, landing on a darkened road that Andreas didn’t recognize. It was difficult for Andreas to make out much of anything from his position hanging upside down over his captor’s back. The nightwalker continued across the road and then down a dark alley, his pace never slowing. A door slammed open, and abruptly they were inside.

From what little Andreas could see as they climbed the rickety staircase, they were inside a dilapidated building, what kind he couldn’t tell. At the top of the stairs, the creature turned down a corridor, entering the first door, and Andreas noted it was better cared for than the rest of the building.

There was a desk on one wall, a comfortable chair in the middle of the room with a small side table next to it, but the nightwalker strode past them, heading for the large bed in the corner. He tossed Andreas onto it, and Andreas was surprised to discover he could move. Immediately he attempted to jump to his feet, but a hand pressed on his chest.

This time the creature grinned as he said, “Oh no, my pet. I’ve not even begun with you yet, let alone finished.”

Andreas sank back onto the bed. Inside his head, he was desperately trying to make his body obey, to run as far and as fast as he could, but instead he calmly began to unbutton his clothing and remove it piece by piece. The watching nightwalker was also removing his attire.

When they were both naked, he said, “I knew I was right in my choice. You are perfect.”

***

To discover what happens next, go here

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January 26, 2014

Shorts for only $0.99 each!

Just a reminder that I have a few short stories out there for only $0.99 which readers might like to check out:

I’ve listed links for All Romance eBooks and Smashwords. The books are also available for purchase from Amazon Kindle, but Amazon has upped the price a little to around $1.25 – not my choice I assure you:)

Festivities – contemporary/Christmas: ARe Books    Smashwords

Home For Valentines – contemporary: ARe Books   Publisher

Treasured Possessions – contemporary:  ARe Books    Smashwords

Throw Me a Bone – contemporary:  ARe Books     Smashwords

More Than Sex – contemporary:  ARe Books     Smashwords

Conversations – contemporary:  ARe Books     Smashwords

Roll of the Dice – contemporary:  ARe Books     Smashwords

Tutelary – contemporary/fantasy:  ARe Books     Smashwords

The Wrong Path – fantasy:   ARe Books     Smashwords

For more information about my publications, please visit my website:

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September 5, 2013

ON REFLECTION – a new excerpt from my vampire novel!

Filed under: writing — Stevie Woods @ 3:43 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

OnReflection_200I wanted to find a new excerpt to post from my paranormal vampire novel, On Reflection, and I found one describing one Nicolo’s earliest memories – seemed ideal for a man who lived a longer than normal life:

A tall, thin, callow boy ran along the wooden planking of the docks, the hunk of bread he’d stolen clasped tightly in his fist. Heart beating in his chest, partly from fear and partly from the exertion, Nicolo darted between a stack of crates, cargo waiting to be loaded on one of the docked ships, only to be shocked when he ran into someone.

Yelling out, half-expecting a blow, Nicolo attempted to twist past the man, but a large hand had grabbed at his tattered clothing and hung on.

“What have we here?” the man queried, pulling Nicolo back against him, one strong arm holding the boy tight against his sturdy body.

“Let go!” Nicolo squirmed, but abruptly understood the man wasn’t going to let him loose. Afraid that the man would turn him over to the baker, who would at best beat him, at worst turn him over to the watch, Nicolo looked at up at the man holding him. “Please, please let me go. I mean no harm, I’m just hungry.” Nicolo used his large dark eyes as best as he could, letting his lip tremble a little, too, knowing it made him look helpless.

The man laughed heartily. “Oh, but you’re a smart rascal, too, aren’t you?” Still not letting him go, the man looked Nicolo over carefully, even turning him a little to push up his torn tunic and look at his back. “Avoided most of the bruises, I see. Smart and quick. The captain could make good use of you, I think,” he added thoughtfully.

Nicolo frowned, not understanding what the man was talking about, but afraid he might have run from the frying pan into the fire. “What do you want with me? Don’t hurt me, please. I won’t make any trouble.” Nicolo kept his voice low, not knowing why, but sensing he ought to be careful with this stranger.

“I’m not going to hurt you, boy. I’m offering you a chance to get off these streets, to do honest work. Sleep in a bed and have regular meals in return. You can earn a little payment, too, in time, when you can pull your own weight. Isn’t that better than thieving just to live, and risk ending up at the end of a rope or on the execution block for your pains?”

“Not my fault I have to steal,” Nicolo grumbled, not being taken in by the promised future. It was too much, too easy. “They threw me out when I got too big; they said I ate too much. I was only twelve. Is it my doing I’m big for my age, I ask you?”

“The foundling home?” There was sympathy in the stranger’s voice.

Nicolo looked up at the man again, searching his eyes, trying to decide what he really wanted. “Yes,” Nicolo answered. “They were always talking about how lucky I was to be looked after, how I was a fortunate child that the Divinity had saved. If I was so fortunate, why didn’t I have any parents? Why was I abandoned without even a name of my own? Found on Santa Nicholas Street, I was, so they call me Nicolo.” The memory still stung; it seemed to Nicolo that he was destined to be forever abandoned.

“Still, I’m pleased to meet you, Nicolo d’Volenzkya.” The man released Nicolo, holding his gaze as he continued, “My name is Phillipe Donato, and I am second mate on the clipper Oreole. Will you accept my offer; make a better way in this life?”

Nicolo looked at Phillipe, disbelief gnawing at him, even as hope grew in his heart. “You meant what you said? A place of my own to sleep, food to eat? For good, honest work?”

“Yes, I meant every word. Someone was kind to me once when I really needed it, and I swore to repay the favor one day.”

“And you—you don’t want—anything else from me? I…” Nicolo backed away a little. “Someone tried. I’m not that kind of…”

“No, Nicolo, I’m not that kind either,” Phillipe interrupted sharply. “You won’t be touched, I swear.” Phillipe actually smiled then. “Unless you earn the captain’s wrath, but that’s something we all risk. Come with me on board the ship. You will earn your keep, I assure you. The work is hard and you have much to learn, but one day you can proudly say that you are a sailor.”

“A sailor? I have dreamed of seeing other places. I saw pictures in a book once of far away lands. They are real? You have seen these places?” Nicolo asked excitedly.

Phillipe took hold of Nicolo’s arm, but gently, as he led the ragged boy out from among the crates and back onto the dock. Nicolo darted a look around, praying the baker was no longer looking for him.

“Oh, I’ve seen more places than you have ever heard of, boy,” Phillipe was saying. “The stories I could tell you.” He grinned then. “But Captain Costalla, he’s been to places you’ve never even dreamed of.”

Nicolo looked at the mate with fascination now. He’d heard all his life that Volenzkya was the center of the world, the capital city of a vast empire, but all he ever saw were the same dirty streets and the poor folk eking out a living in the shadow of the huge, grand buildings where people lived like lords. Places people like him couldn’t get near, let alone enter. The ‘world’ he heard talk of might just as well be across the wide blue sea that he could see from the top of the foundling home, for all the good it did him.

But still he could dream of something better, and he had long wished to escape the drudgery of his life for the adventure to be found on the large ships that swept in and out of the harbor day after day. It was one of the reasons he used the docks to hide out and make his base after he was thrown out of the foundling home. Hoping that, one day, he could leave on one of those ships and see the world beyond his tiny portion of it. Now, it looked as his long-held dream was about to become reality.

ON REFLECTION is available in eBook and Print from MLR Press – and all the other usual avenues:)

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July 22, 2013

Another Secret – another review!

AnotherSecret_medI was delighted to learn that Mrs Condit and Friend’s site had reviewed my dark fantasy / shifter novella, Another Secret.  In part she said:

“While approaching Drew’s house, he finds that Drew has got a secret of his own, and it’s a doozy. When they talk, they find out that secrets never go away, that they always find a way to come out in the end. And sometimes with disastrous results.”

To read the full review, go here

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July 21, 2013

Who Will Not See – a Meandering Thoughts free read!

Filed under: Free Read,writing — Stevie Woods @ 12:31 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

MeanderingThoughts

I look at him; I see him.

Have you ever looked up the word ‘see’? Compared to ‘look’? Perhaps you should. There’s a difference, you know.

I have to admit that I found that out because of Paul, though not from any dictionary. From that very first mission Paul saw me, the real me that I believed no one ever saw, yet I was never hidden from him though it took me a while to understand that.  He saw me better than anyone ever had, better than my wife ever did.  He saw my pain, my despair but he also saw my need.  A need I didn’t even know I had.

I know now that I reacted to him because of his special awareness of me, because I was – ever so slowly – learning to see him. I think that eventually I saw him better than anyone ever had.

When I realized that, I became afraid.  To see someone that clearly puts a responsibility on you and somehow gives them an odd kind of power over you. Weigh that against the knowledge that they see you just as clearly and you are balancing over a precipice. Either you will fall or you will grab each other for support.

So what do I do now? A lot of time has gone past. I have a sense that perhaps at last the time has come. I have to be sure though. I want him to grab me, to hold on to me for support, yet I’m afraid he will let me fall.

I’m watching him now.

He’s just standing there talking the way he does with his hands almost as much as with his voice.  I’m hanging on to each and every word, though if you asked me later to explain what he was talking about I couldn’t tell you. It wasn’t what he said as much as how he said it.

That voice, warm and soothing, yet tinged with excitement. Like his expression. Once I caught sight of his eyes my description of him changed from excited to passionate. In my mind, where Paul is concerned, they are indistinguishable, the man just exudes passion.

Which is rather my problem because I wanted that passion aimed at me. I know how much he cares; I’m just not sure he cares that way. I’m not even sure that he thinks about love or sex, not since he lost his partner. I think he buried all such thoughts and he purposely lost himself in his work.

Which, even putting my own desires aside, is so sad. Never has a man had so much to give.

Then suddenly, he stopped talking, his mouth slightly open. He snapped it shut and dipped his eyes for a moment. I frowned because I didn’t understand why he stopped mid-sentence.

Then he raised his eyes staring directly at me and I felt a tightening in my stomach, a thudding in my chest and all at once I was afraid to meet the gaze of my best friend and I dropped my eyes. I was afraid that he already knew what I wanted, what I desired – what I feared.

He breathed my name and almost unwillingly I lifted my gaze to meet his bright blue eyes. They were sparkling and his lips were curved in an odd, almost embarrassed smile.

Then I remembered something and I smiled. For a while I had forgotten that when he looks at me; he sees me.

For a short while, I had been blind. Now, once again, I can see.

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July 15, 2013

New excerpt from historical novel, CONFLICT!

conflict200x300Here’s a new excerpt from my historical novel, CONFLICT, sequel to CANE, which takes the story into the Civil War.

BLURB:

Two men, one war. Can love survive when each takes a different side?

Leaving his lover behind to support the abolitionist cause, Piet Van Leyden finds himself leading one of the first all-black Union troops into the heart of battle. Reuniting with free slave and former love Joss brings some comfort, but will his presence tempt Piet into forgetting the love waiting for him at home?

Sebastian Cane wonders how he’s able to go on without Piet by his side. When a series of unfortunate events lands him a prisoner of the Union, Seb knows he must rely on his wits and his love for Piet to survive…and get home to him.

EXCERPT:

It was cold in the tent; damn it, was cold nearly all the time. It seemed forever since Pieter had actually been inside a brick building. He pulled the blanket off his cot and wrapped it around him. Pieter could hardly remember the last time he had felt really comfortable and cozy. Then he suddenly remembered one warm day, sitting on a veranda eating a picnic lunch. It had only been a couple of days after he’d arrived at Morning Star. Sebastian had been showing him around the vast plantation when they took a rest and ate. They’d sat comfortably on the wooden veranda of the old Blue Bayou plantation house, sharing a basket of food, while his new employer had told him of the history of his family and the plantation. Even then, Pieter had known he was in love with the man.

Smiling, Pieter knew it was the emotion inside that had made him feel warm that day as much as the sun beating down on them. That feeling was still there, deep inside, and as he allowed the sense memory to flow over him, Pieter’s heart beat faster. His cock filled as he imagined Sebastian’s lips on his, and his hands caressing his body. It had been so long and he missed his lover terribly.

Sighing, Pieter couldn’t deny that he regretted leaving his lover back in Louisiana, but he was honest enough to admit that he could never have stayed there in the circumstances. He wished every day that Seb could have come with him, but as much as he wished it could be otherwise, he couldn’t blame Sebastian for clinging to the only life he knew.

Belatedly, he realized that yet again his hand was in his pocket and he was running the small silver button between his fingers. He stopped the movement, grasping the button tightly and pulling it free. It rested in the palm of his hand, glinting slightly in the flickering candlelight. It was all he had of Sebastian with him and it had long been a kind of talisman. A constant reminder of the man he loved, the man he missed so very much.

Pieter could still see the look in Sebastian’s eyes as he dropped the button into his hand when he left to travel north. He had never forgotten the trust Sebastian placed in him, knowing that he would come home some day. To Pieter, wherever Sebastian was, that was home.

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July 6, 2013

Another excerpt from ANOTHER SECRET!

AnotherSecret_medI thought it was time I posted another excerpt from my dark fantasy/werewolf novella, Another Secret:

Drew slammed the door behind him and hurried toward his bathroom. The wolf part helped him fight the cold slicing through him as he’d made his way home, but his human body was desperately in need of heat. As usual, he’d left his clothes in the outhouse on the edge of his property, but this time he bypassed them to get home as soon as he could to check out his wounds. He’d never been hurt like that before and he was unnerved.

He turned on the shower, stepping under it as soon as it was hot. He sucked in a breath as the hot water hit his icy skin, sighing as the warmth slowly spread through his body. He was relieved to see his injuries were healing well and would likely be gone by the time he was dried and dressed. As soon as he felt wholly human again, he got out of the shower, wrapped himself in a big bath towel and headed for the main room. The fire was banked, but he quickly threw a few logs onto it, knowing it would soon be blazing.

Then he hurried to his bedroom, where he rubbed himself down with the towel before getting dressed. He hastened to the kitchen and was soon back in front of the fire warming his hands around his coffee mug. He sat on the rug, leaning back against his sofa and staring into the flames as they danced before him. When had his life become so complicated? He tipped his head back and stared at the ceiling. He knew the answer and hated it.

He closed his eyes and allowed the images to form…let the memory flow. For a time, he’d fought against the recollection, as if trying to forget could change anything. Then he learned the power of those memories and drawing on them kept him focused. Part of him hated that so much of his energy was centered on the need for revenge, but even his human side accepted James should pay for what he’d done; for what he might do to some other unsuspecting soul who let his defenses down enough to trust him. Though Drew couldn’t deny his own culpability, he’d gone looking for someone strong and sexy he could lose himself in. His mistake had been in choosing James.

Drew remembered walking into Pascoe’s Club in Huntington that Friday night, same as he did about every four to six weeks when his itch needed a particular kind of scratching. He’d argued with Leland that afternoon, nothing dramatic, but it was the last straw after a particularly demanding week and Drew knew what he needed. He wished it was something he could share with Leland, but that day seemed as far off as ever.

Available from Amber Quill Press:
http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/AnotherSecret.html

 

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July 2, 2013

First review for Another Secret!

AnotherSecret_medMMGoodbook Reviews gave a very positive review for my gay dark fantasy/werewolf novella, Another Secret:

“I recommend this if you want a basic shifter story, forgiveness, hidden love, hot sex, a touch of danger, vengeance sought and a happy ending when the secrets are revealed.”

To read the full review go here

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June 9, 2013

Coming Soon – Another Secret!

I just realized that it’s only two weeks now until the release of my novella, Another SAnotherSecret_medecret. The book is described as gay dark fantasy/werewolf and is my first foray into writing a werewolf story.

Here’s an idea of what the story is about:

Leland is afraid to confess his secret to his best friend, Drew, but knows it isn’t something he can hide any longer. On his way to talk with Drew he is shocked to discover that Drew has a secret too, one Leland’s not sure how to deal with: Drew is a werewolf.

The book is also part of the Amber Allure Pax: I Know What You Did! All the books are released individually on the same day, but there is a discount if you purchase all five:)

I love the cover for Another Secret, it fits perfectly with the way I see the character of Drew:)  Keep an eye on the Amber Quill Press site on 23rd July for its release.

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