A Kiss Snip! Also, Queries and Titles and New Releases

Query! Yes, it's query time...

I've sent out one. Only one... But I did participate in Mindy's Saturday Slash and I'll be tweaking my letter based on her super-helpful comments. Hope over and slash - er, comment - if you like.

Also, Adam Heine's query, with which he got his agent, is up for your viewing pleasure over at Matthew's, along with some great background info and discussion.

Medeia participated in a fun blogfest the other day - the almost kiss.
I've got just such a scene in Rosa's story, Out of the Water, which I shared a draft of on Carol Riggs' blog.
Here's the final version of the scene:

Rosa put a hand to the wreath in her hair, intending to pull it off, but Baha's hand came over hers.

"Don't remove it for their sake," he said quietly. Once out of earshot, below decks, he raised his voice. "You look like a peri."

They stood before his cabin, his hand still holding hers at her side. The door was open; Arcturus had not returned.

"What's a peri?"

"I think you'd know them as hada. Spirits of good or evil, from fairytales and legends." His thumb brushed the back of her knuckles. "Will you visit the dragon in his cave, beautiful Peri?"

She nodded, not trusting her voice, and went in, intending to take a seat on the stool. But his hand had not left hers, and he pulled her beside him to sit on the berth. She kept her eyes on her hands, clasped together on her lap. Was it because the ceiling was so low that he leaned in close to her, and rested his chin on her shoulder?

She cast about for something to say. Her mind was full of images from the carnival; the jugglers, jesters and fortune tellers; the cakes they hadn't stopped eating; the ladies and their expensive clothing. The drums tattooed in her ears.

"What are you dreaming of?" he asked quietly.

"Colours," she whispered. "All the women had such pretty gowns today. I can't remember the last time I –"

His arms came about her, and his lips rested on the nape of her neck. "You're beautiful in your own colours, Peri," he murmured. "But we'll find a gown for you at the next port, if you like." His fingers pushed aside her shawl and kisses moved along her collarbone.

"What are you doing?" she asked, again in a whisper. His lips lingered on her skin, for a moment, and then the kisses resumed.

"You've cast a spell on me, Peri. The dragon has turned into a man."

She let the fingers of her right hand move, slowly, and land on his knee. His breath had quickened; hers as well. She shifted, ever so slightly, so that his lips approached hers, grazing along her cheek.

Footsteps pounded on the deck above their heads. Loud cries echoed from bow to stern. The others had returned.

She pulled away and rose, shakily, to her feet. Her wreath had fallen over one ear. She slipped it off and met his gaze. He had one hand outstretched still, as though he would tug her back to him, keep her in his cave. Yet he said, "fly away, Peri, fly away. The dragon won't try to keep you."

She held herself steady until she was back in her own cabin, then collapsed on the berth, shaking, clutching her wreath.

"I wanted to stay," she said aloud into her pillow.

No, no, I'm not avoiding my ROW80 goals. I have been editing!

At the moment, I'm editing Ayten's story, which for now I'm calling Rome, Rhymes and Risk (thank you, Zan Marie! I wish I could use raspberries, Sara - I love the flow of a tri-syllabic word at the end).

I've still got two short stories to edit as well, one of which I hope to submit to Vine Leaves Literary Journal. The first issue is out now!

And, you can preorder Kristen Callihan's Ember, the prequel short story to Firelight!

Meanwhile, according to The Guardian: "Tolkien was nominated [for the Nobel prize] by CS Lewis, that was the first thing I saw ... Lewis was a professor of literature, and hence qualified to nominate. However, the short commentary from Anders Österling, the dominant literature critic in the academy, was fairly sour. He basically just said about the [Lord of the Rings] trilogy: 'the result has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality'."

But I won't repeat myself here. Instead, here's a shot of the night sky on 5 April 1493, when Rosa and Brother Arcturus sat on a rooftop and worried about what to do if her husband Baha did not recover from his illness. This is from the Planetarium app that you can get on Google Chrome.


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