Because I’m notoriously terrible at remembering to regularly post in here, I’ve decided I need a weekly feature. Then I thought, “Well, I like to share stuff.” So every Sunday, I’ll be giving everyone a sneak peek at a current work in progress.
But then I said, “Why should you get all the love, Renee? God, you’re such a selfish bitch.” And feeling ashamed of my selfish need for all the glory, I decided to open Sneak Peek Sunday up to you guys as well. I’ll share my WIPs and your WIPs (if you’d like to share). When I share someone else’s WIP, I’ll also post links to their social media stuff, such as blog, Twitter, Amazon page, whatever you like, so you get a bit of promotional benefits as well. Cool? Okay, so there have to be guidelines, because I can’t go around sharing just anything and we don’t want confusion and shit. They’re as follows:
- If you want your WIP to be featured on Sneak Peek Sunday, simply email me at reneemiller (at) bell (dot) net, or say so in the comments.
- A “work in progress” means an unfinished or UNPUBLISHED piece of writing you are working on. If it’s slated for publication, that’s fine, but if you’ve signed a contract for the work with a publisher, and need to include copyright info because it’s going to be published in the near future, I need that information so I can include it in the post. (Some publishers don’t like you sharing work they’re about to publish without their permission or without mentioning their name. Check your contract.)
- I’ll need all the links you want shared in the post, as well as a short bio. Think 100 to 150 words. No more. God, your life story is for your own damn blog.
Too harsh? Sorry. Let’s move on.
- Maximum 2,000 words. This is slightly negotiable. For example, your scene is 2100 to 2500 words, and would be seriously weird without the extra words, I’ll post it. If it’s 3000 words or more, I’m probably going to ask you to pick a different scene.
- Spelling, typos, etc. should be minimal. This is going to be online, and you don’t want readers’ first impression of your work to be that it’s sloppy, even if it’s a rough draft. Edit the excerpt as much as you can to remove these things. While one or two typos is probably okay (I’ll fix them if I see just one or two, but I’m not an editor), I won’t post anything with more than that.
- Language, sex, etc. is generally not an issue. This is an adult blog, and adult content is welcome. However, because my mother reads this from time to time, let’s use common sense. For example, I’m highly unlikely to post porn, unless it’s a fantastic, mind-blowing scene that makes you forget it’s porn. So, there’s your challenge perverts. Wow me and I might just agree to share it.
- I reserve the right to decline an excerpt for whatever reason I deem reasonable. I may or may not share this reason with you. This is my blog, and if I think a piece of writing isn’t right for it, I’ll decline. If you can’t handle that, you probably shouldn’t offer to share, because you aren’t likely to get a detailed explanation, and whining about it will only make me add you to The List. If I think it just needs some edits, I’ll suggest that. If you don’t want to do said edits, so be it. We don’t have to share.
So, that’s it.
Today’s share is one of my WIPs, titled “NEFARIOUS” which is book three in my Greek gods series. The first two books, LUCKY and MENDACIOUS, will be published by Crescent Moon Press. LUCKY will be available in November 2014, while MENDACIOUS’ publication date is to be announced. I’ve finished the first draft of NEFARIOUS, but it still requires several edits.
So, here we go:
Gavin woke with a start. The apartment was quiet. He rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. The dreams he’d had the night before had been so real he still felt the teeth of the two-headed creature ripping his flesh. He rubbed his belly and winced.
It wasn’t real…
Lifting his shirt, although he knew it was silly, Gavin inspected his stomach. No marks, of course, but his skin felt so raw.
A knock at the door sent the dreams from his mind. Gavin got out of bed. The living room was as he remembered it the night before. He looked to the sofa, which was still covered in dirty clothes and books. The knock sounded again.
Gavin walked to the door. He slid the deadbolt across, and stumbled back as his visitor pushed inside. The redhead had returned. She walked past him without a word.
“Hey,” Gavin said. “Come right in.”
She turned. “I don’t have time to hold your hand, Gavin. We have a lot of work to do and we have to do it before someone realizes you’re not in Tartarus.”
He crossed his arms over his chest. So, the redhead had been real, and she knew his name. At least part of his night had actually happened.
“You’re not going to play the big, thick-skulled, stubborn guy, are you?” She sighed.
“Well, a strange woman walks into my apartment—which she shouldn’t be able to do, by the way—and tells me we have work to do. Then she talks about a mythical place as though it were real. Yeah, I’m going to be a little obstinate about this.”
She scowled. Gavin recognized something in her blue eyes. He wasn’t sure why, but he felt like he’d stared into them many times before.
“Listen,” she said. “I’m going to go over this really fast, so don’t ask questions until I’m done.”
Gavin strode to the kitchen and pulled out the coffee pot. “Mind if I make coffee while you talk?”
“Go ahead. You won’t have time to drink it.”
“I plan to try.” He said.
She sighed again. “Okay, so you are a god, or a half-god. Your father is Dionysus, although no one remembers this but me for some reason. Yesterday you were taken to Tartarus, and then Olympus, where you met some of your family.”
“So that was real?” Gavin paused his scooping of the coffee. It couldn’t be true.
“I said no questions,” She reminded him. “But yes, it was real. So was Tisiphone. The Cerberus was an illusion, which is the only reason you’re still in one piece.”
“It felt real,” Gavin touched his stomach.
“It was and it wasn’t. The pain was very real. In fact, I think a human would have died.”
“Funny you mention that, because I am human.”
“Part of you, yes, but a larger part is divine, which means you can’t be killed as easily as other humans.”
“And how did you escape from the nuthouse? Don’t they use those leg bracelets now?”
“I recall telling you I had no time for questions.” She said. “I’ve been with you since the day you were born. You didn’t know it, but I was watching over you. There are a lot of… entities that would want you dead if they knew you existed, so I promised to keep you hidden.”
He closed the lid on the coffee maker and pressed the button. Turning, Gavin stared at the woman. She was nuts. That’s the only plausible explanation. “And you are?”
“Eris, Goddess of Discord. And we have to visit Hephaestus.”
“Hephaestus is who exactly?” This was truly beyond insane.
“He’s a god. Zeus and Hera’s son.”
“I’ve read a few Greek myths, and haven’t heard of this guy.”
“Seriously? Zeus’ staff? Ares’ sword? The golden throne?”
“Well, he doesn’t live on Olympus like the others. Zeus and Hera rejected him because—it doesn’t matter. We need his help to trap them. When they’re contained, Chaos will help me make sure you gain all of your power. Then, your true destiny will reveal itself and I can release them.”
Gavin dug around inside her mind. He found a familiar darkness in her head, one he felt an instant connection to. He also confirmed she believed every word she said. What the hell did he do with her information? It was ludicrous. Impossible.
“Gavin, it’s not impossible. How do you explain your powers? The killing? The mind reading? The coercion? By the gods, you can move things with your mind. Humans can’t do these things.”
He’d always believed he’d imagined moving things, since it only happened when he was drunk, but this woman couldn’t know that.
“I know everything about you, Gavin, because I’ve been here the whole time.” She said. Apparently, she read minds too. “I’ve protected you since the day of your birth, and I am doing my best to protect you now. The Fates will determine your destiny eventually, and you’ll be tied to it. There are a few who would like to eliminate you before Fate decides anything, so let’s do what needs to be done before someone ruins everything we’ve worked to achieve.”
He stared. This was crazy. While the previous day’s events seemed real enough, Gavin couldn’t wrap his brain around it. It was easier to believe he’d dreamed it all, but if he had, how could she know everything? Why would he recognize her? He rubbed his eyes. Maybe he was still asleep.
“Fine,” He said. “Let’s go find your Heph—this guy or whatever he is. I’m curious enough to play along, and you’re hot enough that your obvious insanity might be a quirky bonus. Do I need to buy a plane ticket or are we just flashing there like all mythical beings do?”
“Hephaestus lives on an island called Lemnos in the Aegean Sea, which I must take you to. However, to reach his workshop inside the volcano, we have to pass through a portal, and that is guarded by Satyrs, who I hope recognize you as Dionysus’ son.”
Gavin’s brain revolted against the nonsense spilling out of her mouth. He sighed. “Why does it matter if they recognize me?”
“They’re not going to let me in without a very good reason. Hephaestus and I had a bit of a… falling out. It’s Aphrodite’s fault. She’s such a snob. Anyway, if they realize who you are, I’m sure they’ll let us pass. After that, we have to convince Polyphemus to let us into the workshop.”
“There’s a lot of convincing going on here. Who is Polyphemus?”
“Of course he is.” The scent of coffee filled the room and Gavin inhaled. Maybe caffeine would set his brain straight and vanquish the demon woman spinning tales. “Can I have just one cup of coffee before we leave?”
“You don’t need these human vices,” She glared.
“Well I like these human vices, so…”
“Fine. Put it in a travel mug.”