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Tmonique Stephens

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Another snippet from Everlasting: Descendants of Ra Book 2

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“When you leave, do you go back to Chemmis?” A cold wave hit her. His lips thinned into an angry line and his hands fisted. He nodded once. Hmm? He held no love for the place.

“I need to sleep.” She walked around him and his fingers brushed the back of her hand. A jolt of sorrow caused her entire body to seize. Then his fingers slipped into her palm. A dull ache welled in her center and spread to every cell, leaving a void in its wake. The pain wasn’t hers.

Alexis canted her head at Reign. To the world, he was a six foot eight inch warrior. Deadly to his enemies and her sense of self-preservation. Still, watching his bowed head, feeling the desolation seeping from his palm into her, she saw the truth.

Their gazes locked. Longing lay naked in the depths of his eyes. “Reign—”

He claimed her lips with a scorching kiss. Raw and hungry, her head reeled. A hand cupped her head. Another gripped her hip and gave a gentle tug. She didn’t fight him guiding her closer or the desire he ignited in her blood. His knee slipped between her thighs and he lifted her until she hooked a leg around his waist. Chest to breast, abs to abs, groin pressed against groin, she felt him lengthen. Her core blossomed. Alexis moaned and his tongue slid into her mouth. He tasted like Sunday dinner at grandma’s, Christmas morning, and Midnight on New Year’s Eve, while his body promised Disney World. His biceps flexed as his hand slid under her shirt and stroked up her back.

She moved her hand up his chest, feeling the cotton fabric, the tense muscles beneath, and the thud of his racing heartbeat. Then her fingertips brushed the bare skin of his neck.

A bundle of conflicting emotions slammed into her. Passion warred with frustration and a simmering rage. Terror and loneliness mixed with a profound hunger and a darkness no sun could penetrate. Betrayal had tainted his memories, leaving an anger that stretched centuries. All of this was woven together by bitter regret.

Questions cleared the lust from her mind. She tore her lips away, aching from pain belonging to Reign. Briefly, his hands tightened on her body. His head dropped into the crook of her neck before she could search his face for answers. Warm breath fanned her collar. She bit her lip to keep from protesting when his hands dropped to her hips and he set her on her feet.

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The New Fall Line Up

The New Fall Lineup.

I’m addicted to TV. I know, as a writer we’re supposed to askew TV in favor of a keyboard or pen and paper. But I love and need the escapism television provides, also it rejuvenates my muse.

With this in mind, there are some new fall shows I’m salivating over.

Sleepy Hollow (Fox)

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Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) partners with Sleepy Hollow’s sheriff (Nicole Beharie) to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil. The writers and producers of Fringe are at the helm of this series so I’m all in! I’m intrigued by the time travel twist and the headless horseman riding around a modern town. Though if I’m not hooked by the third episode the show will be ditched.

This show premiered on Monday September 16th and I was pleasantly surprised. Sleepy Hollow opens with Ichabod beheading a man in battle during the Revolutionary War. He dies and in the next scene we see poor Icahbod—who happens to be a stud—crawling out of an underground grave. There is the usual culture class of revolutionary man meets the modern world, but what really sets this series apart is the death of the town Sheriff in the first fifteen minutes which dumps the entire mystery in the lap of Sheriff Abby Mills. Her suitcases were packed to leave for Quantico and the FBI, but once she gets a gander at the Headless Horse, her plans change. It is refreshing to see an African American woman leading a paranormal series. Abby and Icahbod make and interesting couple and I can’t help wonder if a future romance will grow.

There are twists and turns already brewing in the plot. The Headless Horseman is one of THE HORSEMAN as in the apocalypse horsemen. Abby and her sister are somehow linked to The Horseman, and there are witches.  I plan on staying tuned. What about you?

A.G.E.N.T.S. of Shield.

CHLOE BENNET, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE, IAIN DE CAESTECKER, CLARK GREGG, MING-NA WEN, BRETT DALTON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on Marvel Universe’s fictional and secret law-enforcement agency. Avengers‘ Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen will write and executive-produce.

I loved the Avengers and love anything Joss Whedon touches. I will definitely watch and DVR this show.

Almost Human (Fox)

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This action-packed buddy cop show is set in a future in which LAPD officers like John Kennex (Karl Urban) are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids like Dorian (Michael Ealy). Fringe‘s J.H. Wyman, who will write, will reteam with Lost‘s J.J. Abrams andBryan Burk as executive producers. This made my list because I love Karl Urban. I first spied him in Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers, but he sealed the deal with my heart in REDS and both Star Trek movies. He’s a wonderful character actor.

Dracula (NBC)

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Inspired by the classic Bram Stoker novel, this drama stars The Tudors’ Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the title role. Based on a script from co-executive producer Cole Haddon, this version finds Dracula in London posing as an American entrepreneur who wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. But his true plan — to seek revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries ago. I loved Meyers in The Tudors’ and a new take on Dracula is always welcomed.

The Originals (CW)

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This Vampire Diaries spin-off focuses on the show’s Original Family. Klaus (Joseph Morgan) returns to New Orleans — a town he helped build centuries ago — to reunite with his diabolical former protégé Marcel (Charles Michael Davis). My daughter got me hooked on Vampire Diaries. Though the love triangle plot is tried, I love the bad boys and Klaus is a terrific villain. I’m looking forward to him taking charge in Nawhleans.

I have a few favorites that I can’t wait to return. Top 2 are The Walking Dead in October and Game of Thrones next year. Along with Person of Interest, Supernatural, and The Voice, my TV dance card will be full. As you can see, I lean heavily towards paranormal and fantasy shows.

So what will you be watching this fall?

Hump Day Hottie!! August 21, 2013

I don’t know his name, but boy I want too! This guy is super hot hero material. 

His body was made for romance covers. Anyway, feel free to drool on your 

laptops!

 

 

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kellen Jamison

Sneak Peek Sunday Cinco De Mayo! Villains Need Love Too.

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I’m continuing with the scene from last week.  Everlasting, is the second novel in my Egyptian God series.

 

 

SET, The God of All Evil, needs love and affection, just like a regular guy.

SET drew his expanded self together and calmed, reined in his darkness. Once composed, a tendril wrapped around her waist and dragged her limp body to the edge. He transformed from his preferred state to a more solid form, his dark swirling essences, momentarily trapped beneath a barrier of thin, translucent skin. He could be any-thing, male, female, or animal, but he made himself into a form he knew she would desire; a tall, muscular male. He looked down and studied his member jutting proudly forward. Cylindrical, the appendage had none of the features that completed the male anatomy. No sacs containing DNA, no veiny sinews, and no bulbous head with a slit opening.

Not his favorite form, he tolerated it for Nephythys. His gaseous state was much more functional. The boundaries of flesh disturbed him. Limited him. Made him vulnerable to all the vagaries humans suffered. Never would he bind himself into human form. She would have to accept this substitute.

SET spread her legs apart and studied her opening. Dry, no moisture wept for him. In his gaseous form, her arousal didn’t matter. He could penetrate every part of her body, simultaneously filling, repeatedly until all his frustrations were excised.  He touched the jutting part of him to her opening and felt her shriveled membranes brace. This will hurt, he thought with a cruel grin. His essences pulsed beneath the translucent skin, taking pleasure at the thought of her pain. But physical pain healed while a wounded heart festered.

Somewhere on the island, her spirit waited for his departure and the ritual cleansing to be completed. Once the Nulls removed all evidence of his presence, only then would she rejoin her body. Nothing of his visit would remain. Angry, he thrust inside and buried as deep as the appendage allowed. Something pricked his eyes, and a bead of moisture rolled down the slope of his face. He touched the strangeness, smoothed it between his fingers.

Tears. He jerked away from his wife and reverted to his gaseous state. This is why he never took the disgusting form. Quivering in annoyance—or maybe fright—he fled the destroyed room and ended up in the alcove.

Thank Ra she wasn’t here to witness the display. It would give her pleasure to see him so weak. Her laughter would ring in the council chamber. The God of Evil would not suffer humiliation. Agitated, he swirled about the room, brushing every surface, filling every microscopic crevice. He brushed something. The remnants of man.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Weekend Writing Warriors April 28, 2013

 

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Meet SET, The Egyptian God Of All Evil. One of the villains in Everlasting.

Though he is evil, he loves and seeks to be loved in return. Unfortunately, he wife’s love is reserved for another. 

SET wanted nothing more than to feel life in the body of his wife. A smoky tendril stretched out from his gaseous form and skimmed the empty shell she’d left him, but what a beautiful shell. Her dusty pink nipples topped globes of taunt flesh.  A flat abdomen led to trim hips and a smooth mons. If only her legs would willingly open, cradle him, welcome him into her dark recess and their sensual embrace.  Angry, he vibrated, and a jagged strike of red lightning flared in the center of his mass.

Per their agreement, for three millennia he abstained from enjoying carnal delights with his wife. At council meetings, her sparkling presence reminded him of what he didn’t have—never had.

Who is SET’s wife? Nephythys, The Goddess of The Dead. 

Everlasting, coming in June.

What NOT to Do When Beginning Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents

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What NOT to Do When Beginning Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents.

 

 

What NOT to Do When Beginning Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents

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GIVEAWAY: I am very excited to again give away a free book to a random commenter. The winner can choose either CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORMor the 2013 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS. Commenters must live in the US/Canada; comment within one week to win. Good luck!

In a previous Writer Unboxed column, I discussed the value ofstarting your story strong and how an “inside-out” approach to narrative action can help your case. But just as important as knowing what to do when beginning your novel is knowing what not to do.

No one reads more prospective novel beginnings than literary agents. They’re the ones on the front lines — sifting through inboxes and slush piles. And they’re the ones who can tell us which Chapter 1 approaches are overused and cliche, as well as which techniques just plain don’t work. Below find a smattering of feedback from experienced literary agents on what they hate to see the first pages of a writer’s submission. Avoid these problems and tighten your submission!

FALSE BEGINNINGS

“I don’t like it when the main character dies at the end of Chapter 1. Why did I just spend all this time with this character? I feel cheated.”
– Cricket Freeman, The August Agency

“I dislike opening scenes that you think are real, then the protagonist wakes up. It makes me feel cheated.”
– Laurie McLean, Foreword Literary

IN SCIENCE FICTION

“A sci-fi novel that spends the first two pages describing the strange landscape.”
– Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary

PROLOGUES

“I’m not a fan of prologues, preferring to find myself in the midst of a moving plot on page 1 rather than being kept outside of it, or eased into it.”
– Michelle Andelman, Regal Literary

“Most agents hate prologues. Just make the first chapter relevant and well written.”
– Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

“Prologues are usually a lazy way to give back-story chunks to the reader and can be handled with more finesse throughout the story. Damn the prologue, full speed ahead!”
– Laurie McLean, Foreword Literary

EXPOSITION/DESCRIPTION

“Perhaps my biggest pet peeve with an opening chapter is when an author features too much exposition – when they go beyond what is necessary for simply ‘setting the scene.’ I want to feel as if I’m in the hands of a master storyteller, and starting a story with long, flowery, overly-descriptive sentences (kind of like this one) makes the writer seem amateurish and the story contrived. Of course, an equally jarring beginning can be nearly as off-putting, and I hesitate to read on if I’m feeling disoriented by the fifth page. I enjoy when writers can find a good balance between exposition and mystery. Too much accounting always ruins the mystery of a novel, and the unknown is what propels us to read further.”
– Peter Miller, PMA Literary and Film Management

“The [adjective] [adjective] sun rose in the [adjective] [adjective] sky, shedding its [adjective] light across the [adjective] [adjective] [adjective] land.”
– Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary

“I dislike endless ‘laundry list’ character descriptions. For example: ‘She had eyes the color of a summer sky and long blonde hair that fell in ringlets past her shoulders. Her petite nose was the perfect size for her heart-shaped face. Her azure dress—with the empire waist and long, tight sleeves—sported tiny pearl buttons down the bodice. Ivory lace peeked out of the hem in front, blah, blah.’ Who cares! Work it into the story.”
– Laurie McLean, Foreword Literary

STARTING TOO SLOW

“Characters that are moving around doing little things, but essentially nothing. Washing dishes & thinking, staring out the window & thinking, tying shoes, thinking.”
– Dan Lazar, Writers House

“I don’t really like ‘first day of school’ beginnings, ‘from the beginning of time,’ or ‘once upon a time.’ Specifically, I dislike a Chapter 1 in which nothing happens.”
– Jessica Regel, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency

IN CRIME FICTION

“Someone squinting into the sunlight with a hangover in a crime novel. Good grief — been done a million times.”
– Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary

IN FANTASY

“Cliché openings in fantasy can include an opening scene set in a battle (and my peeve is that I don’t know any of the characters yet so why should I care about this battle) or with a pastoral scene where the protagonist is gathering herbs (I didn’t realize how common this is).”
– Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary

VOICE

“I know this may sound obvious, but too much ‘telling’ vs. ‘showing’ in the first chapter is a definite warning sign for me. The first chapter should present a compelling scene, not a road map for the rest of the book. The goal is to make the reader curious about your characters, fill their heads with questions that must be answered, not fill them in on exactly where, when, who and how.”
– Emily Sylvan Kim, Prospect Agency

“I hate reading purple prose – describing something so beautifully that has nothing to do with the actual story.”
– Cherry Weiner, Cherry Weiner Literary

“A cheesy hook drives me nuts. They say ‘Open with a hook!’ to grab the reader. That’s true, but there’s a fine line between an intriguing hook and one that’s just silly. An example of a silly hook would be opening with a line of overtly sexual dialogue.”
– Daniel Lazar, Writers House

“I don’t like an opening line that’s ‘My name is…,’ introducing the narrator to the reader so blatantly. There are far better ways in Chapter 1 to establish an instant connection between narrator and reader.”
– Michelle Andelman, Regal Literary

“Sometimes a reasonably good writer will create an interesting character and describe him in a compelling way, but then he’ll turn out to be some unimportant bit player.”
– Ellen Pepus, Signature Literary Agency

IN ROMANCE

“In romance, I can’t stand this scenario: A woman is awakened to find a strange man in her bedroom—and then automatically finds him attractive. I’m sorry, but if I awoke to a strange man in my bedroom, I’d be reaching for a weapon—not admiring the view.”
– Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

IN A CHRISTIAN NOVEL

“A rape scene in a Christian novel in the first chapter.”
– Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary

CHARACTERS AND BACKSTORY

“I don’t like descriptions of the characters where writers make them too perfect. Heroines (and heroes) who are described physically as being virtually unflawed come across as unrelatable and boring. No ‘flowing, wind-swept golden locks’; no ‘eyes as blue as the sky’; no ‘willowy, perfect figures.’ ”
– Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency

“Many writers express the character’s backstory before they get to the plot. Good writers will go back and cut that stuff out and get right to the plot. The character’s backstory stays with them—it’s in their DNA.”
– Adam Chromy, Movable Type Management

“I’m turned off when a writer feels the need to fill in all the backstory before starting the story; a story that opens on the protagonist’s mental reflection of their situation is a red flag.”
– Stephany Evans, FinePrint Literary Management

“One of the biggest problems is the ‘information dump’ in the first few pages, where the author is trying to tell us everything we supposedly need to know to understand the story. Getting to know characters in a story is like getting to know people in real life. You find out their personality and details of their life over time.”
– Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary

GIVEAWAY: I am very excited to again give away a free book to a random commenter. The winner can choose either CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM or the 2013 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS. Commenters must live in the US/Canada; comment within one week to win. Good luck!

 Have you read any story beginnings that didn’t sit well with you? We’d love to hear about it in comments!

Other posts by Chuck Sambuchino:

 

Weekend Writing Warrior

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Greetings, welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.

Here are eight sentences from my upcoming novel, Everlasting, the sequel to my debut novel Eternity.

 

         His firm lips kissed the delicate spot above her collarbone. Did he know that would drive her crazy? She grabbed his broad shoulders. Her nipples tightened. Desire coiled low in her groin. His long, midnight hair brushed the back of  her hand. She threaded her fingers through the silky strands and arched, bringing her nipples into contact with his hard pecs. Need shot through her. 

Is it a dream? Or is he really there? You’ll have to read Everlasting to find out.

 

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ROMAN NICOLIS

Cursed for 2000 years, Roman Nicolis has tracked his lovers’ soul through each reincarnation only to lose her horribly every time. Reclaiming their love is his only salvation. He’s been her friend, her father, her neighbor, but never again her lover . . . until now.

 STELLA WALKER

A late night walk home throws her into the path of a killer. The last thing she remembers are the deep blue eyes of the man trying to kill her—and the first things she sees after a seven day coma are the same blue eyes in the handsome face of the man hired to protect her. Is he truly the owner of a security firm or the man who wants to finish her off? Is it fears she feels when Roman touches her or the memory of something sweeter?

Past secrets haunt them. An angry demon stalks them. 

Roman will do anything to recover what they once had. Though Stella’s ruined childhood has made her close her heart and body to any man, he must get past the walls around her to gain her love and trust, for it will take their union to defeat an unexpected enemy sent from the Egyptian Gods. A man Romans respects, and Stella trusts.

TWO HEARTS.ONE SOUL. FOR ALL ETERNITY.

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Weekend Writing Warriors. 4/14/13

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This is my first time post for Weekend Writing Warriors. I’m so glad to be here with a group of fantastic authors. This is an excerpt from Everlasting, coming soon.

Damn the Gods.

The feel of Alexis’  solid form blasted through Reign’s petrified center. He hadn’t realized how much he missed this. Human contact. The simple act of touching and being touched. Warmth and the softness of a woman. So long denied, now he feasted.

He buried his face in her mass of curly hair and inhaled jasmine and honey. A moan ripe with longing ripped from his throat and he fitted her lush curves more intimately to him.

I hope you’ve enjoyed it.