Thursday, November 23, 2017

Privilege and The Craving

Happy Thanksgiving! May you have the blessing of being able to appreciate the good in your life and the world... for that is a privilege I wish for all.

Privilege is a buzzword with a lot of weight behind it. According to the Oxford dictionaries, privilege is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

We think of skin color and money allowing us the biggest privileges. Many benefits can be boiled down into those two definers. (Not that there isn’t other ways one can gain/have privilege).

The Craving allowed me to explore the concept of privilege.

Riva Quinton is a product of the radiated rock of a planet called Feri. He grew up with the love of his parents and siblings in a harsh environment where life was short and death expectancy was certain. There was a lack of everything, especially knowledge. Riva fights extremely hard to overcome everything he doesn’t know, but sometimes he doesn’t know the questions he needs to ask. At times, he lacks the basic foundation in which to store the information he is absorbing from those around him.

This is an excerpt demonstrating what he’s up against:

Eros rescued him. “Also around the same age. The procedure of the ruler assigning a soul mate is in name only. This goes back to when people believed the ruler had certain spiritual and god-like powers.”
Wait! What? Riva had to state, “His Greatness does have god-like powers.” He stared at Eros, then Yoshio. They both frowned. “Um, doesn’t he?”
Yoshio nodded. “Oh, on some planets his position is still revered as destined by the universe, but—”
Riva nodded but could no longer process what was coming out of his friend’s mouth. He’d studied the sacred texts that gave the ruler supreme power over all things. Hours a day were spent memorizing the chants of gratitude to honor the shining star of the Xantha star system. When he had sung the holy words, he didn’t stutter. Wasn’t that spiritual proof? “I… I don’t understand.”
Riva stumbled over and stared out at the passing stars. How was all this not by divine order due to His Greatness? He collapsed into the softness of a chair. How could there not be some predestined order to the universe and meaning to all the suffering?
Eros rushed to his side and crawled into his lap. “That’s not to say there isn’t divinity, spirituality, afterworld, and a purpose for us all.”
Yoshio plopped down next to him.
Riva simply couldn’t process this information. “So most other planets don’t see the ruler as all-knowing and destined to rule?”
            Eros hugged him closer, giving him his answer.

Riva is tired of people treating him like there’s something wrong because he’s always a step behind. He worked hard to build the framework to understand the incredible amount of information.

Writing his part of the story reminded me how difficult it can be to walk in someone else’s shoes if you have more privilege. How easy is it to judge someone harshly because we forget they may not have had the same advantages we’ve had. We assume people in our world have the same information, skills, and chances in life that we’ve had, but that may not be true.

Thankfully, Riva has friends that don’t judge him for it and were willing to help him succeed.

The Craving Blurb:
The craving is an undeniable urge that drives K’Dane citizens to find their life mates—if only to sate their uncontrollable physical longings.

Thrilled at being named a Chosen, Phoenix Dotir leaves K’Dane to become an artist-monk who will create dimensional art capable of changing worlds. Living by the monastery’s Principles of Purity will surely help him overcome the craving. But he never accounted for star chaser Zadra Solav.

Zadra doesn’t believe in rules and makes his own future. Fate separates him from the man he loves, but one touch renders him helpless to his own desires. Bonding with a monk is forbidden, and Zadra’s family sends him to deep space to avoid disgrace. Unable to give up, Zadra must find a way reunite with his Chosen.

Tormented by enforced separation, Initiate Riva Quinton struggles with his vow of chastity and risks all to rescue his lover. Together with his Eros, he stows away on board a star craft to follow his heart.

Four men defy destiny and tradition for love… but their love is a crime punishable by death.

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Hugs, Z 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Magical Unicorns and Talking Caterpillars... in M/M romance?

This excerpt involves Phillip (the rake) spying/stalking on Tristan (the librarian) while he’s doing Sleepy Time Reads. Keep in mind Phillip’s happy endings usually require a swallow. But seeing Tristan read about a magical unicorn and a talking caterpillar starts to change his mind.

I was curious about this fictional children’s book that Tristan is reading so I decided to figure out what Carlos Sirus Broominschmeckle and Sierra looked like. Here’s my best attempt:

Excerpt for The Librarian’s Rake:
Tristan sat on a small stool, reading a book to twelve little library patrons who sat on the floor, leaning forward on their cushions with their mouths open.
“Mr. Cooper, please read that again. Mica was talking.” A little girl in a pink jean jacket frowned at the chatterbox next to her.
“Okay, Melody.” Tristan flipped one page back and whinnied like a horse. “Sierra. That’s a funny name for a talking caterpillar.”
Tristan did his best caterpillar glare until the kids all giggled and attempted the expression too. “Hmphf! As if Carlos Sirus Broominschmeckle is a good name for a magical unicorn.”
Tristan’s delivery was absolutely charming. The kids roared with laughter.
Phillip swallowed hard. Love was just a way to dress up lust. But as the story continued and the man did voices of talking caterpillars and magical unicorns, Phillip decided he wanted to have Tristan’s babies. He saw their fictional children. Three of them playing in the front yard, each one perfect little replicas of Tristan and—
Whispers from the parents, guardians, and probably some singles hot for the librarian ringing the perimeter of the group told him he wasn’t the only one to notice Tristan’s charisma. Several adults were casting hungry looks with pervy intentions in his librarian’s direction. There were a couple of men. Yeah, well, Jimmy might have two daddies, but he didn’t need a third. Nor did Jimmy’s two daddies need a private librarian to shelve things.
“And that’s why you’re my best friend, Carlos Sirus Broominschmeckle!” The story’s exciting climax caused a mayhem of clapping and chattering little ones. Several of them hugged Tristan and had a lot to discuss about the plot twists during the saga the magical caterpillars and unicorns took.
Phillip wanted to talk to Tristan, but a quick schedule check showed he had one last appointment. He needed to book it back to the salon.

The Librarian’s Rake Blurb
Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?
Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to and quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free.
Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever afters. Experience has taught him not to hope for more— until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.
With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might and the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives....

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