Friday Kiss – New (1/17/2020)

FK HOLD

Friday Kiss is one of many weekly Twitter writing challenges. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to the challenges, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Fridays.

Today’s theme is: Hold.

From my work in progress, the short romance, Slant Rhyme (#ownvoice, #contemporary romance, #amdrafting).

A more incendiary form of curiosity took #hold of me as his hands pressed against my back, imprisoning me against the hard lines of his body, against every swell and bulge that signaled that he wanted me.” #FridayKiss #amrevising #amwritingromance

About Slant Rhyme:

*I updated the blurb and will likely do so again by the time it’s done. Also, this is likely the last #FridayKiss I do for this WIP. Cover reveal for the collection containing this story coming soon!

Belmira Saez (Bel) is a poet who struggles with chronic anxiety.

Daniel Parker is an engineer whose life is at a crossroads. 

Two very different lives in flux when Daniel stumbles into a bookstore during Bel’s poetry reading. 

Two ordinary people in need of an extraordinary connection.

 

Featuring Belmira Saez’s original poems.



 

Shadow Woman

woman-994737_1920Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Shadow Woman

I ask the darkness

What is woman?

I have no map to that country,

Etched in the moon’s blood.

When mother left, she took the compass with her.

I have not received

Such secrets as pass

From mother to daughter.

What else is there to find but a changeling.

A poor facsimile made of barely-sculpted clay

Abandoned in an unused kiln,

The form fashioned from an absent mold

Painted by the hand of an artist

Who only just recalls

The fleeting beauty of her model.

By Sera Taino

Friday Kiss – New (1/10/2020)

Friday Kiss is one of many weekly Twitter writing challenges. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to the challenges, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Fridays.

Today’s theme is: New.

From my work in progress, the short romance, Slant Rhyme (#ownvoice, #contemporary romance, #amdrafting).

“He was restless, his eyes flickering from my lips to my hair before sliding away to land on his drink. It was the first time I admitted to myself the possibility of kissing him. Once this #new idea settled in my mind, it grew deep roots and refused to let go.” #fridaykiss

About Slant Rhyme:

Belmira Saez (Bel) is a poet who struggles with chronic anxiety.

Daniel Parker is an engineer whose life is at a crossroads.

Two very different lives in flux when Daniel stumbles into a bookstore
during Bel’s poetry reading.

Two very different people in need of that little bit of courage to chase
after their heart’s desire.

Featuring Belmira Saez’s original poems.

Coming soon on Valentine’s Day! Check back for more details.



Thursday Words – "Many" (1/9/2020)

Image by Aimee Valentine from Pixabay

Thurds is one of many free Twitter writing events designed to motivate writers to show their best work. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to this challenge, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Thursday.

From my work in progress, tentatively titled “Slant Rhyme.”

“I glowed beneath the fairy lights, caught snatches of odd conversation like sea-tinted perfume, and relished the bombardments of pleasure this night had gifted me. “Love is a many-splendored thing,” I quipped, but it was no joke. I’d never been more serious in all my life. #Thurds

About “Slant Rhyme

Belmira Saez (Bel) is a poet who struggles with chronic anxiety.

Daniel Parker is an engineer whose life is at a crossroads.

Two very different lives in flux when Daniel stumbles into a bookstore
during Bel’s poetry reading.

Two very different people in need of that little bit of courage to chase
after their heart’s desire.

Featuring Belmira Saez’s original poems.

Coming soon on Valentine’s Day! Check back for more details.



Phases

nature-3194001_1920

Image by Florian Kurz from Pixabay

Phases

There are two of you,

Training ground for how to be

Both whole and fragmented.

I am me but I am also your mother.

I belong to me but I also belong to you.

There is enough of me for a multitude,

But sometimes, I am barely enough for myself.

The moon goes through phases –

New, waxing, full, waning,

With some quarters and halves in between –

So is the trajectory of my love,

The heart that empties,

Knowing it will grow full again.

Sera Taíno

WIP Wednesday – (1/8/2020)

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

WIP Wednesdays is one of many weekly Twitter writing challenges designed to motivate writers to show their best work. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to this challenge, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Wednesdays.

From my work in progress, tentatively titled “Slant Rhyme.”

“The bridge possessed the same quality as the streets we walked along, everything bathed in ornamental light, while the Atlantic sloshed against the pillars, conspiring with me against its wilder nature to gift me this moment of rare, undulating serenity.”

About Slant Rhyme:

Belmira Saez (Bel) is a poet who struggles with chronic anxiety.

Daniel Parker is an engineer whose life is at a crossroads.

Two very different lives in flux when Daniel stumbles into a bookstore
during Bel’s poetry reading.

Two very different people in need of that little bit of courage to chase
after their heart’s desire.

Featuring Belmira Saez’s original poems.

Coming soon on Valentine’s Day! Check back for more details.

Mounting Butterflies

red-4500348_1920(1)

Mounting Butterflies

There was nothing remarkable about the way they died-
The usual love-hate-fight-leave-comeback lovedance,
The comfy dysfunction, the bruises and curses,
The scattered pictures, toys and books,
trappings of some shared yesterday.

But most deaths do not expose such fractured domesticity
Nor lay the burning embers of a humiliating need
To the examination of public opinion
or the recriminations of those who always know better.

So goes the reconstruction:
Another rejection, her firm resolve,
His refusal, a chase across the living room,
Flip-flops flung in flimsy flight,

A plea,
A scream,

And three bullets launched from the metal casing of darkness
Into the soft craniums of blood clots and love knots.

Not just two bodies sprawled on the yellow-tiled floor,
But love desiccated and pinned on its dried back
To be examined, buried, exhumed, and x-rayed
Under the righteous derision of youthful dreams.

Originally published in BellaOnline Literary Magazine, Winter Solstice Issue, 2017

Friday Kiss – Goodbye (12/27/19)

Friday Kiss is one of many weekly Twitter writing challenges. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to the challenges, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Fridays.

Today’s theme is: Goodbye.

From my completed manuscript, Incomparable (#ownvoice, #contemporary romance, #amquerying).

“They said their goodbyes, after which Val stood for a minute longer in the kitchen, holding and releasing as much air as her lungs could take. She willed herself to come back down to earth and seek out her father, the only person who could ground her in reality. ”

About Incomparable:

When Val Navarro meets Philip in a club in East Ward, the only thing she knows about him is that he can’t dance, loves Star Wars and is irresistible in every way. Little does she know that they are on the opposite sides of a multi-billion-dollar property development project that might make – or break – her urban neighborhood.

Philip Wagner is the son of a legendary property developer. He’s spent his whole life working his way to the top to be worthy of a place at his father’s side. But his attraction to Val threatens to make him forget everything that matter to him except one – to have her, any way he can.

Take one Puerto Rican restaurant owner and one billionaire property developer. Add two sides of a multi-billion-dollar development deal. Season with equal parts chemistry and simmer until you have the potential for love- or disaster.

Review – Whisper of Shadow & Flame (Book 2, Earthsinger Series)

Whisper

From the publisher:

The Mantle that separates the kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall. And life will drastically change for both kingdoms.

Born with a deadly magic she cannot control, Kyara is forced to become an assassin. Known as the Poison Flame in the kingdom of Lagrimar, she is notorious and lethal, but secretly seeks freedom from both her untamed power and the blood spell that commands her. She is tasked with capturing the legendary rebel called the Shadowfox, but everything changes when she learns her target’s true identity.

Darvyn ol-Tahlyro may be the most powerful Earthsinger in generations, but guilt over those he couldn’t save tortures him daily. He isn’t sure he can trust the mysterious young woman who claims to need his help, but when he discovers Kyara can unlock the secrets of his past, he can’t stay away.

Kyara and Darvyn grapple with betrayal, old promises, and older prophecies—all while trying to stop a war. And when a new threat emerges, they must beat the odds to save both kingdoms.

Review:

Note: I have not read the first book of the series.

A great epic fantasy captures you in an alternative world and envelopes you in its magic, but also delivers characters who live up to the call to adventure and the pursuit of goals that require resilience and self-sacrifice. L. Penelope’s Whispers of Shadow and Flame does exactly that. In book 2 of the Earthsinger Chronicles, the world-building is internally consistent but the characters of Kyara and Darvyn ol-Tahlyro are so well written, you have no choice but to follow helplessly in their wake.

One thing I always look for is excellent writing and L. Penelope’s writing is perfect for the story she writes. She builds a world that is on the edge of war, the tension razor sharp at every turn. The scenes are tautly written and no one is as they appear. As a romance reader, I was also deeply satisfied with the primary romance. The protagonists are the epitome of opposites – Kyara is a Poison Flame and Darvyn is the most powerful Earthsinger in the Kingdom, which makes their relationship fraught with all the contradictions of bringing life and death together in the bond of love. Watching them come together was an intense experience.

Plus, the covers!

Highly recommend this series.

I received an ARC courtesy of Net Galley.

Where to buy:

 

 

 

Useful Things

coffee-1974841_1920Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Useful Things

The brown ceramic cups
Decorated in painted flowers
Peonies in amber
Meant for your morning tea
We found a pair of them while searching through the used shop
Rummaging for something useful
Something, but I no longer remember what
The memory has long been
Swallowed up in the recollection of those peony fields
Pink on bronze
Hairline chip
On the bottom
Slim handle
Easy to hold
Easier than holding onto you

The fissures inside us were too deep to keep us together
When you left, you took the unmarred one with you

Somewhere, in this boundless world
On a dawning day soaked in rain
Watering bouquets in the heart of spring
I will sip from my chipped cup
At the same time you sip from your whole one
And remember the smell of mold from the shop’s wooden shelves.

Originally published in BellaOnline Literary Magazine, Summer Solstice 2018 Issue