Monday, August 01, 2011

Wookie says 'Follow Me!'

I was sitting here, trying to find some of the short stories I'd written a few years back. You see, I started out as a short story writer. Yep and not only that but I wrote Science Fiction or Fantasy with Romantic Elements. Not Romance, just Romantic Elements. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that. Lots of writers have gone that way (I like to think I was the vanguard, lol, but we didn't call it that back then.)

And that made me wonder: Does a genre become validated when it has a name?

Wookie arrived at just about the same time this question came to mind. Wookie, as you know, is my alien kitten who doubles as my muse and writing partner. She keeps me grounded with her short, one-line answers.

"Mrrpp?" usually means 'Are you kidding me?' Which was the answer to the validation question ie. No, Romantic Elements did not need a name to be validated. That's the gospel according to Wookie...and I'm glad to hear it since I'm putting together a collection of my short fiction. Now comes the question - should I combine the urban fantasy types with the SF types with the horror types? Decisions, decisions.

Wookie usually just gives me the old feline stink eye when I waffle around like that, lol. So I'll conclude by giving you an excerpt from Altered Destiny (available for the Kindle and Nook)

Altered Destiny Excerpt

Some disturbance, some primal hormonal instinct, sizzled over her skin.  She knew, without turning, Devyn stood behind her.  Her breath quickened and grew shallow at the same time and she ordered herself to stop it.  Not that it did any good.

“I should move the cooler into your room, aye?  For these late night feedings.”  Devyn, in his long blue robe, joined her.  He flicked a switch and the kitchen brightened.  “The drapes are drawn so it’s safe to have a wee bit of light.”

She didn’t know what to say.  Didn’t know if she should berate him or apologize.  Instead, she bit into the cold potato.

“Ach.”  Devyn wrestled the plate from her and put it into the counter-top oven.  “Nae need to eat it cold, lass.”

He pressed the controls.  The oven hummed loudly.

He slanted a brief look at her while he filled the teapot.  “Ye’re in luck, ya ken.  Morag cooked for us.  She doesna do that so offen any more.”

Liane popped the rest of the potato in her mouth while Devyn fussed with the teapot, then pulled silverware from a drawer.  She shifted as he reached into an overhead cupboard and retrieved two cups.  “She’s been like a mother to me.”

Liane realized suddenly that his brogue deepened when he spoke to her or Morag, as if he felt comfortable in their presence.  And why not?  Morag doted on him while Liane was just a gowky woman he didn’t want and probably planned to get rid of as soon as possible.  After all, he and Earvin were competing for the same woman, weren’t they?  Men were such idiots.

“Fetch the cream, if ya will.”

She debated it but, as an act of rebellion, it didn’t hit the mark.  Setting the bottle on the counter, she studied him.  His green eyes darted toward her and his jaw twitched as if he was going to speak.  Instead, he sighed, turned to open a drawer and pulled out a cloth napkin that he put next to the silverware on the counter.  

“Morag’s an opinionated woman.”  He leaned back against the counter, folded his arms over his broad chest and studied his toes.  “And fierce as a dragon protecting its nest.”

Liane had to agree with that assessment.

“You’re a good bit like her.”  He thought, then added,  “Ye’re bonnier, though.”

There was something intimate about being in a kitchen with a bare-footed man.  His feet were long and angular, the toes dusted with red-gold hair.  When he crossed one ankle over the other, his robe parted for a second to reveal a muscular calf with slightly darker auburn hair.  Deep brackets on either side of his sensuous mouth could be lines of fatigue.  Weariness. 

She broke her silence.  “Don’t flirt.”

“Who said I was flirtin’?” 

The teapot whistled.  Devyn pulled it from the heat.  After opening a canister, he dropped spoonfuls of shredded tea leaves into the water.  The timer dinged.  He took a towel and retrieved the plate.  Putting it beside the silverware, he said, “Go ahead.  Eat, lass.  The tea will need a few moments more.” 

Liane didn’t need an engraved invitation.  Circling the counter, she hooked a foot in a stool and sat.  She felt safer with the counter between them.  Less apt to make a fool of herself.  Studiously, she cut a bite of meat.

After a minute, he poured the tea.  “Sugar?  Cream?”

“No.  Can I ask you a question?”

He sent a swift look in her direction.  “Aye.”

“Lord Gabriel said you work for them.  Doing what?”

He seemed to take an extra long time to add two lumps of sugar to his cup.  “I do what a Bard must do.”

The burr slid away from his voice. She imagined she could see him withdrawing, see him erecting a wall between them.  She swallowed a bite of carrot.  “Which is what?”

“Teach the history, the law.  Make sure the holders are kept informed.”  One shoulder lifted and fell.  Cradling his cup, he leaned against the sink.  “We record marriages, deaths, births.  Distribution of goods and property.”

She spent a moment eating while she thought.  “What else?”

“Perform.  We sing and play for our suppers and sometimes a place to sleep.”  His smile flashed briefly.  “It’s a fair trade.”

“And everyone’s happy?”

His eyes narrowed.  His nostrils flared slightly.  “Why not?  The Qui’arel have been very generous to us.”

“They steal your children.”  At his lifted brow, she added, “Well, not yours, exactly.”

“I’m grateful to have that clear.  I’ve nae children and nae desire for them.”  He’d been staring into his cup but now lifted his eyes, raising them slowly and speculatively.  His mouth broadened into a wolfish grin that brought her hormones to sizzling alert.  “Though I might be persuaded...”

The words dangled in the air, absorbing the oxygen and leaving her breathless.  Devyn put his cup down and slowly leaned his elbows on the counter across from her.  His robe gaped at the neck to reveal auburn-red chest hair and the steady pulse of his heartbeat.  Deep in her abdomen, a curious fluttery, tingly, mind-boggling warmth caused her blood to pound.

He took her hand, rubbing his thumb over her palm, and sending rills of sensation streaking up her arm.  His green eyes sought hers.  “Who are you, Annie?”



Diane Davis White said...

Love your voice! Short stories or full manuscripts you are great!

I'll be back for more, Lynda!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Diane! Thanks for the great compliment and for stopping by!

Linda Andrews said...

Combine them all. I would read it.

Sookie Bear said...

Yes, put them all together. I'd buy it!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Linda and Sookie Bear,

I might just do that - combine them all. Thanks for your input!