Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Something a little different

Today for #WIPWednesday I'm changing lanes a bit and sharing something from my first foray into lesbian romance. (No worries if that's not your genre--we'll be back to gay romance next week with more from my werewolves, Tate and Adrian!)

Not only is it a lesbian romance, it's a Regency historical, which is also something new for me. It's a novelette, so it was a low-stress way for me to dip my toe into both genres. I had a blast with it and it has been well received, so it likely won't be my last. *g*

This is also my first time self-publishing something, so I don't have my usual channels to get the word out about a new release. (If you have any tips, drop me a line!)

Heart's Thaw

Release date: Dec. 4, 2016

Calliope snickered, earning herself a dark look from Helena that only served to make her laugh harder. It really was quite amusing. On her end of things, at any rate.
“I told you not to bait him, but you did it anyway,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest, hoping the restriction would help her gain her breath and stop chuckling.
Helena’s lips pursed but she didn't respond to Calliope’s taunt. It was something Calliope could get used to, and a fresh gale of laughter threatened.
 But Helena’s reflexes were still her own, afflicted as she was, and Calliope barely had time to duck before a riding boot went soaring over her head, smacking into the wall behind her with a loud thump.
“Do you want to rouse Baron Thane?” Calliope asked, lifting an eyebrow challengingly.
Helena’s teeth clicked together as she bit back a retort, her blue eyes cold as steel as she glared out from under a wispy fringe of long, blonde locks that had escaped their binding and framed her face. Smooth, soft cheeks that were usually rouged and powdered when Calliope saw them twitched with the effort of her restraint. Her lips had been bitten to a fetching cherry-red, pressed into a pout that looked more seductive than quelling.
Calliope straightened her back, unsuccessfully trying to school her features into a look of regret. How long had she fantasized about this? Having Helena beat down her door at all hours, hair in wild disarray and eyes sparkling with lust?
Of course, in the fantasies, things went a bit differently. Fantasy Helena was there because she truly desired Calliope, not because an angry incubus had bespelled her with a curse that she trusted no one other than Calliope to help her lift. In her fantasies, she and Helena shared long, intimate chats tangled up together in the bedclothes, enjoying the afterglow.
More importantly, in the fantasies, Helena wasn't half-mad with panic. She barely looked like herself, her hair mussed and falling from the meticulous braid that Calliope knew Helena's maid twisted it into nightly. Helena looked like a caricature of herself standing there in her plain night shift, her chest heaving and cheeks flushed from her frantic dash from her own quarters to Calliope’s.
She also looked a good five years younger. Calliope had never seen Helena without the careful coif and artfully applied paint that Helena usually wore like armor. Standing there freshly scrubbed and clad in plain cotton that didn't look any fancier than what Calliope herself was wearing, Helena could have been mistaken for one of the chamber maids.
Except for her sharp tongue. That was definitely the same. The story Helena had just woven in her usual soft, lilting tones—marred by a gratuitous use of profanity and several completely unnecessary affronts on Calliope’s intellect and general person that assured Calliope that Helena was indeed herself—seemed too far-fetched to be believable.
In fact, had Calliope not been with Helena when the two of them had come upon a comely young gentleman in the woods during their late afternoon ride, Calliope wouldn't have believed her.
But Calliope remembered well how eagerly the man bid for Helena's attention, and how shocked and angry he had been when he had been primly rebuked. He had the look of someone who'd had never had his advances rejected before, and given his ethereal beauty and fine linens, Calliope thought he probably hadn't.
Helena hadn't held her tongue then, either. By the time she'd finished dressing the gentleman down for having the gall to speak so frankly to someone of Helena's station, the man's face had practically been puce.
Calliope had thought it a trick of light when his features changed, but one look at Helena's terrified face had put paid to that. Somehow they'd had the luck to stumble across an incubus, and Her Ladyship, daughter and only child of the Duke of Keering, Helena Alexandra Gertrude Heart, had mortally offended him.
He'd flashed to Helena's side before Calliope could even pull the dagger she wore at her belt whenever they left the safety of the estate, but he didn't strike. He merely whispered something to her, something that had Helena's face draining of what little color it had left.
She and Calliope had fled, of course. And even with his preternatural grace, the incubus hadn't been able to catch them as they'd galloped away on their mounts, two of the stables' most reliable and fleet-footed steeds. Calliope had assumed they'd escaped him, but apparently she'd been wrong. Perhaps he hadn't given chase not because he knew he couldn't catch them, but because he'd already exacted his revenge. Not that Calliope could get Helena to tell her exactly what the spell was. She'd said only that she it was base and abominable and that she needed Calliope to help her break it before the effects became permanent.
You can find out what happens by picking up Heart's Thaw for .99 cents on Amazon!
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