Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Guest Blogger: Kirsten Saell (KIS!)

You all know Kirsten--she comments here as "kis" and has done for a couple of years now. So when I found out she'd made a sale I leapt on the chance to get here guest blogging here, since we all know and love her but have never gotten more from her than replies. She's a woman of mystery, our kis. But here's your chance to ask her questions and bug her and stuff. Use it wisely, o pals.

Hey, everybody! December graciously invited me to guest blog about the release of my very first published book, Crossing Swords, out today from Samhain, yay! But oddly, underneath all the excitement and fevered anticipation of my first release, I’m feeling a tad maudlin. Why, why, for the love of all that is true and good, why, you ask? I am now a published author. And no matter how many hundred best-selling novels I am obviously destined to write, no matter how many release days are in my future, this moment will never come again.
Like another significant *ahem* milestone in life, a writer's first foray into the world of published authorhood is often nerve-wracking, painful, thrilling, embarrassing, sweaty, occasionally clumsy and ultimately--one hopes—fulfilling. Fulfilling or not, though, once that authorial hymen is torn asunder, well, it’s done. There’s no taking it back. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure readers will find Crossing Swords more satisfying than…well, never mind that.
Here’s the blurbage:
One duel. Easy money. Then Gil fell for his opponent.
A straight duel to the death. A professional opponent who’s paying him to win. This was going to be the easiest money Gil had ever earned. Except he never counted on his opponent being a woman. And he never counted on falling for her.
After avenging the brutal murder of her lover, all Lianon wants is to die a clean death. Too bad the man she hired doesn’t do women, and he’s furious over her deception. Not only does he renege on their contract, he has the gall to lock her up in his apartment—naked, no less!—to punish her for her ruse.
If she could just get her mind out of the gutter, she’d cut him a new smile. But ever since he saw through her boy’s clothes, all she can think about is getting him naked, too.
But just when she’s found something to live for, the father of her lover’s murderer surfaces. He wants Lianon to die screaming—and he’s all too happy to take Gil down with her.

Here’s the disclaimer:
Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, including f/f; bad language; violence; bland, rubbery veal; a little sexual healing; and one killer blowjob.

Here’s the trailer:

And here’s the excerpt:

Gil continued to press his advantage, slamming his sword onto his opponent’s finer blade, pushing him further and further into the deepest patches of snow. And then, with a series of moves that took Gil completely off guard, the boy dove under Gil’s arcing sword and rolled twice in the snow, to spring to his feet back within the circle of watchers. His entire body was completely caked with white and he had begun to shiver at last, but he had the better ground. With impatient swipes of his forearm, he cleared the worst of the snow from his face, knocking his headcloth off in the process. The wind immediately snatched at his damp blond hair and plastered it to his skin.

Shit. Shit. The timing of that dive was absolutely flawless—anything less than perfection would have resulted in a fatal cut. By god, this boy was an artist! Gil was seriously beginning to wonder if he would survive this duel. It was a rare feeling, and one not indulged lightly. He’d always known there would be someone better someday—Emissaries of his ilk did not usually live much past thirty-five or forty—but to be outmatched by this puppy? Rat had been right. Gil should never have let himself get drawn in by this fucking boy’s story. Now he was stuck. He had accepted the terms. If he backed out at this point it would get around. His patrons would drop him like a hot brick, and there wouldn’t be any more to take their place. His reputation would be worth shit. Less than shit.

His vision narrowing, he squared his shoulders and trudged back to the ring. The boy backed away and let him in, an extravagant courtesy. Not what Gil would have done, but there was no arrogance in the youth’s face. Just wariness and the unmistakable beginnings of hypothermia. His teeth were chattering—he was probably soaked to the skin under that crust of snow. His eyelids had started to droop as his strength leeched away along with his body heat, but his sword was perfectly poised.

Gil crushed down the pity he couldn’t afford to feel. Swept his blade up in a wide arc intended to provoke overcompensation. The boy was too cold and too weary to see it for the trap it was. Took too broad a step to the right, and couldn’t quite bring his blade up to block Gil’s backswing. The crowd oohed at the blood that flowered on the young man’s sleeve, staining the snow that still clung to it. A good cut, clean and deep, to his forearm—more importantly, his sword arm.

With a muttered curse, the boy switched hands, hefting the blade in his left with unexpected proficiency. Blood dripped down onto the packed snow at his feet, but he ignored the wound and held his injured arm out behind him for balance. He smiled fiercely. “Come on, then!” he hissed.

With a salute, Gil obliged him, launching into an attack that should have hammered a weakened opponent to his knees. The boy, left-handed, parried and blocked like mad, heedless of the life that was now pouring out of his right arm. Sustained a second cut to his shoulder. Not severe—indeed, he didn’t seem to have felt it. Was strong enough still to begin a complex assault of his own, all the more lethal because he fought with his left. His blade sliced a razor-cut along Gil’s collarbone, just shy of his throat. A gasp rose and fell, but Gil wasn’t listening anymore. Heedless of the sting at his throat, he stabbed in at an opening, waited for the parry, then hammered his left fist into the boy’s face.

Between the blow, his weariness and the uneven footing, the boy went down, his sword tumbling from his numb grasp. Gil kicked it out of reach and moved to stand over him.
Gray eyes, filled with tears, met his. Dirty blond hair fanned out like a halo around a face already turning blue from the cold. His head lay at an odd angle, the fine cords of his neck standing out. At the sight, something clenched in Gil’s gut, nagging at his memory. He glanced up at Viera where she stood with her hand at her mouth, a stricken expression on her normally amiable face. A memory of her with the boy’s hand up her skirt. And the boy himself…that nagging sense from the very beginning that something just wasn’t right.

“Do it,” the boy whispered. “Send me to her.”

Gil’s cock had been hard, watching the boy bring Viera off. The boy’s had not.

“Do it!” the boy hissed, his chest heaving with the beginnings of real panic.

Gil shook his head with wonder. His eyes raked up and down the youth’s prone body—lean muscles, small feet, delicate hands, no throat-knot. The eyes, now pouring tears, only confirmed it.

“Fucking bitch,” he said softly, tossing his blade into a snow bank.

Her face changed, became a mask of anguish. “No! No! It was agreed! Do it! You fucking bastard, do what you promised! Do what you fucking promised!”

The crowd had started to mutter in shock and glee, titillated by this bizarre turn of events. Gil turned to Rat, whose eyes looked like they might drop out of their sockets at any moment. “Help me get her inside.”

Well, there you go. Love at first sight, complete with exclamations of undying affection! Well, eventually…

Thanks for having me, D. You are the cat’s pajamas to a blogless dinosaur like me.

Thanks kis! Great to have you here!


December/Stacia said...

He had me at "Fucking bitch", kis. He had me at "Fucking bitch."

Robyn said...

Rubbery veal? Forget it, then. You offend me.

Seriously though- really interesting premise. Sounds like a great story, and congratulations.

kirsten saell said...

D, you would not believe how hard it was to find a thousand word excerpt for the Samhain website! It needed to be PG-13--no sex, no F-bomb. I think there was only one, and thankfully it was near the beginning of the story.

I hope "fucking bastard" clinched it for you!

Thanks, Robyn! I'm quite proud of my "veal of unusual texture" scene. There's almost always one "really bad food" scene in any story I write. Comes from being a waitress and former cook.

Demon Hunter said...

I loved your excerpt! :*) This sounds like a winner...

Anonymous said...

Your analogy cracks me up, kis.

Congratulations on losing your cherry. Here's to many more -book sales. It is always cool to see good things happen to good people. -V95

Charles Gramlich said...

I liked this, particularly the excerpt. As a writer of heroic fantasy myself, althoguh without the erotic edge, I enjoy a good sword fight.

Stacia said...

You know, Charles, when we see the "erotic" and "I enjoy a good sword fight" in the same sentence... :-)

kirsten saell said...

Thanks, dh! I think Lianon and Gil got off to an auspicous beginning.

Thanks, V95, and yeah, the paralells are there. I just hope in a month I don't end up lying in bed with my royalty statement, smoking a cigarette and thinking "Well, that was lame..."

Hey, Charles, fantasy is totally my bag. I've got about a dozen related stories on the go set in the same world as Crossing, plus a huge (not quite George R.R. Martin huge, mind you), multilayered epic I just need to revise and finish. Of course, it's got its share of teh sexxOring (did I spell that right?) as well. Guess I just have a dirty mind.

Speaking of swords...

Anonymous said...

Wow KIS!

I sure hope that my entrance back into the world is as wicked cool!

You are just everywhere lately!!

Congrats! I can't wait to read more!

kirsten saell said...

Thanks, Seeley, and yeah, I feel like I'm everywhere! All I can say is "My editor made me do it." If I were left to my own devices, I'd probably be living in a cave somewhere without even a phone.

And hey, all you gotta do is start blogging again. Come on. Come onnnnnn! Do it. You know you want to...

BernardL said...

Congratulations on your first book! That was a very captivating preview.

Debra said...

Hi Kirsten, congratulations on your book being published and thanks for letting us read an excerpt. I'll definitely be putting this one on my Amazon wish list. Can't wait to find out what happens next! :)

kirsten saell said...

Thanks, Bernard and Debra!

It's out in ebook right now, and the print version should start showing up in stores in three months or so. Yay! I can't wait to have those author copies in my hot little hand to sign and give away!

Bernita said...

Now that is an exciting piece of writing!

kirsten saell said...

Thanks, Bernita!