Tag Archives: mer

K is for Kel

k

Raise your hand if you were waiting for this one.

Don’t be ashamed. He’s one of my favourites, too. As someone said in a comment on my Facebook page, “The struggle is real! Between he and Aren, I’m thinking polyamory is the perfect choice.”

That commenter is not alone.

For anyone late to the party, Kel is a mer man who befriended Aren when they were both children (though Kel may be a little older). Kel’s band of merfolk are secretive about the exact extent of their territory, but it definitely covers a portion of the sea in the north of Tyrea and several lakes in its interior, which they access via a magical system of caves. It was in the caves near Glass Lake that a young and adventurous Kel met Aren, who was almost old enough to be developing a chip on his shoulder. Kel was never one to pass up a challenge, though, and found the young human interesting enough that he decided to befriend him.

Aren resisted at first, but few people have ever been able to resist Kel’s charms–certainly not a kid with no friends or family willing to show him the kind of affection that Kel tends to.

I mean yeah, Kel’s physically attractive. Like… super hot. But that’s not what makes him appealing. You see, many merfolk have some level of ability to see beneath the surface of people. Not to read their minds as Aren does, but to see into what lies beneath the teeming, confusing, contradictory swirl of thoughts. He may not know what you’re worried about, but he’ll see the depth of your concerns. You may have built up layers of emotional armour, but Kel might see the fear beneath that, and see that it’s an act that you’ve been putting on for so long that you believe it, yourself.

Not all of the merfolk are as perceptive as Kel, and even those who are don’t always care what they see. Some believe that a person’s actions are what matter, not what lies beneath. Maybe they’re right. Seeking out the bright spots in a person’s soul is a dark and sometimes dangerous journey, and not one that even Kel chooses to undertake with many people.

But once in a while, he finds someone he connects with on that deep level, as though they were destined to meet. Sometimes he meets two of them in the same family, though with slightly different outcomes. And when Kel finds that connection, his loyalty goes beyond anything most of us have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

He might not be the flashy hero, bold and brave, rushing into battle–at least, not when we’ve seen him. But Kel has saved lives.

And he will affect the course of Tyrean history.

Fun Fact: Kel’s name was originally Kai, which means “ocean.” I changed it when I realized how many YA/NA books coming out right now have characters with that name. I think this one suits him a lot better, and I apologize to him for getting it wrong.

Tell me: What character have you fallen in love with for reasons other than a hot body and a cocky smile?

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COVER REVEAL: Torn (Bound Trilogy Book 2) by Kate Sparkes

At last, the time has come!

I’m not going to tease, or make you wait any longer. I’m pleased as punch, proud as a peacock, and flipped-out as a fairy to present the cover and back-cover blurb for Torn (available now for pre-order through Amazon!)

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cover art by Ravven (www.ravven.com)

 

Aren Tiernal knows that safety is an illusion, that his cruel and powerful brother will never forgive his betrayal. Still, returning to Tyrea to challenge Severn for the throne would be suicide. It’s not until Severn himself comes to collect what’s owed to him that Aren decides to risk everything in an attempt to bring down the most powerful Sorcerer Tyrea has ever known. The mission seems doomed to fail, but it’s Aren’s only chance to save himself, his country, and the woman who thawed his heart.

Rowan Greenwood has troubles of her own. Though she should be a great Sorceress, years of being closed off from her magic have left her unable to control her incredible power. When a pair of ominous letters arrive from her home country, Rowan has to choose between her new life and a chance at saving her family—and just maybe changing an entire country’s beliefs about the evils of magic.

Torn apart by separate quests, Rowan and Aren will have to discover untapped strengths and confront their darkest fears in order to overthrow a ruler determined to destroy them both.

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Coming March 31, 2015. Pre-order here!
And as an “author’s birthday, so why the heck not” celebration, Bound is now on sale on all retailers (Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo) for 99 cents! The sale is only on for a week, so if you or anyone you know has been waiting for this, now would be a great time to grab it.
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Special thanks to everyone who’s helping out with the cover reveal today (yay, you guys!). If you want to stop by and say hello to these wonderful folks, here are the links. Shares and re-blogs are always appreciated!
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WIPpet Wednesday: The Not-So-Triumphant Return

So I’m working in Word now. Yaaay.

No, I don’t mind not being able to jump to whatever chapter and scene I want, like I can in Scrivener. Scrolling is fun. *eyelid twitch*

Many thanks to everyone who has helped me figure things out so far (like how to highlight the whole document so I could format– never picked that trick up on my own). I think I have it formatted correctly for editing. Now I just need to finish this read-through, and wait for my editor to say that it’s time.

For WIPpet Wedensday, here’s the last twelve lines (in my WordPress editor, anyway) that I read over. The math? 26th, minus 14 for the year. Because I’m reasonable like that.

Oh, context… mer man (hello!) was just visiting with Aren and Rowan, and he and Aren (POV character in this scene) are trying to figure out how to help Rowan. Kel (mer dude) is getting ready to change forms and go back to the water. Aren is refusing to acknowledge that he has feelings for Rowan, because… well, long story.

We reached the dock, and he stepped out of his clothes and handed them to me. I put everything in one of the wooden crates in case he needed it again.

Kel looked out over the dull gray water. “Try to be honest with yourself about what you’re feeling for her.”

“I don’t—”

He held up one hand to stop me. “I know, you don’t want to. It’s against your family’s religion or something.”

“No, I mean I can’t let anything like that happen. I told her I’d try to help her. You know as well as I do that she’s not safe as long as she’s with me.”

Kel looked back at me and raised an eyebrow. “You think safe is what she wants?” I didn’t answer. I had no idea what she wanted, and I doubted she knew, either. “I’ll see what I can do for her, if you’re sure that’s what’s best. It’ll be up to her, though.”

“Of course. Thank you.” I turned and walked back up the path, and heard Kel splash into the water behind me. I suddenly felt more alone than I had since I was a child, and hurried toward the light of the house.

Yes, there’s quite a bit of casual nudity in this book, what with people changing physical forms and all. I haven’t had any complaints so far.  😉

For more WIPpet Wednesday goodness, stop by and see our host KL Schwengel and click on the link near the top right corner to find everyone else.

ROW80 UPDATE

Like I said, I’m just trying to be ready to send this thing off. After that, I’ll be reading, and going back to that plan of trying to finish Resurrection. I’m feeling a little better about things than I was a few days ago. I just wish I enjoyed challenges more, you know? I’m happiest when things are easy and I can be lazy.

There, I said it. I wish I were different, but that’s me. I haaate challenges. Does that mean I get bonus points for going ahead with one?

I think I need to get back to working in my office. I’ve been upstairs too much lately. Need my own space.

Um… I think that’s it for my update, actually. Oh, but in other news, Krista Walsh’s Evensong is on sale for 99 cents this week for e-books. If you haven’t got it yet and think you might be interested in a fantastic fantasy adventure that involves an author being transported into the world he writes about (and facing the characters lives he’s been ruining), go get it now! Links here. It’s a great read, well worth a buck and a few hours of your time.

 


Oh, the Wednesdayness

SO much Wednesday.

I didn’t link my WIPpet Wednesday offering back to the linkie-poo last week, because I knew I wouldn’t have time to visit everyone, and it seemed unfair to link and run. I’m going to make time this week, though, even if it kills me.

Okay, maybe not if it kills me. But even if it kills my productivity. 😉

ROW80

Hey, speaking of productivity… I worked out a tentative schedule for next year, involving the release of two books, participating in two writing events (NaNoWriMo and JuNoWriMo), and drafting a third novel. I even colour-coded this plan so I could see what I’d be working on each month, and I scheduled in “read over edits, cry, regroup” at the end of February, just to be safe. I AM SO ORGANIZED.

It’s doable. It’s insane, but it’s possible. It’s also subject to change. If my TMJ is caused by stress, the next year won’t help, but what the heck. I said I was going to do this. I’m going to do it.

*hyperventilates*

I got nothing done this past weekend. I think December is going to be a month of rest, once I finish this draft of Torn (one scene to go!). There’s just too much else going on. And that’s okay. January is going to be nuts, what with revising and pre-editorial edits for Bound HOLY CRAP WHAT AM I DOING.

*breathes into paper bag*

I may have gone into the wrong business.

WIPpet Wednesday

Moving on…

Remember the character I (sort of) introduced a few weeks back? This week’s snippet is from her again. Nox has just gone for a sunset walk in the woods with a man she hardly knows, against her better judgement. She got a little weirded out when he said he wanted to go swimming…

…and got quite a surprise when he resurfaced and revealed that he’s not human. In his defense, this is not an easy thing to tell a woman you’re growing fond of.

I know it needs work yet, but I kind of love this moment. Nox is usually such a hard-ass.

11 paragraphs for the 11th, and two bonus paragraphs because… um… I like them?

Suddenly I felt shy. “Can I see it?”

Kel grinned, then pulled himself out of the water and onto the rock. He rested his chin on his crossed arms and flicked his tail. “Go ahead.”

He was unlike anything I had ever imagined when people spoke of the mer-folk. There was no clear place where man ended and mer began. My gaze moved over the greyish skin that stretched over sleek shoulder muscles, then along the valley of his spine to that incredible tail. It was longer than his legs had been, ending in a thick, notched fluke that he moved slowly, rippling the surface of the water where it touched.

“Can I-”

“Mm-hmm,” he said, and closed his eyes. I reached out, hesitant, and placed my hand flat against his hip. His skin was as smooth as it looked, as flawless as his face and the rest of his body, except for a scar that curved diagonally around the side half-way down his tail. I traced the scar with my finger, and found it just barely raised over the rest of the skin.

“That was a net,” he said. “I was young and didn’t know any better. I got tangled, and the rope dug in. It only scarred because I was stuck for so long. We’re quite hardy, usually.”

“That must have been frightening,” I whispered, not wanting to disturb the near perfect silence of the forest. I shifted myself toward the end of Kel’s tail and he lifted it out of the water. I ran my hand over the fluke, then back up the centre of the tail toward his back. I could feel the bones there, just under the skin. He shivered, and I pulled my hand away.

“No, don’t stop,” he said. “It’s nice. Odd to have a human touching me when I’m like this, but good.”

I put my hand back where it had been and continued up. Strange how his body became more human as it got closer to the middle. I’d seen pictures of something called a dolfin, and its tail looked like his, but it didn’t have the narrowing at the waist, above what would have been his-

I jerked my hand away. I just touched his butt.

Kel rolled onto his side, propped himself up on one arm and gave me a lazy grin. “Time to get back? You must be getting cold.”

“Um, yes.” I was actually feeling fairly warm, but he didn’t need to know that. “I’ll wait for you to get dressed.”

I sneaked one more look before I left. His front was more impressive than the back. Stomach muscles strong from swimming drew my gaze toward his tail, which was flat and a lighter grey on the underside.

I wonder how–

I cut that thought off before it could start, and walked back into the woods far enough to give him privacy to change and dress. I’d have to be careful with this one.

I know how. I don’t think that’s appropriate to discuss here and now, though. Jeez, think of the children, guys.

So, WIPpet Wednesday. Swing by to see our host, K.L. Schwengel here, and find the other WIPpeteers here, adding their lovely goodies as the day progresses. Check early, and check often. If you want to join in… well, most of you know the rules. I really need a post to link to every week. Post a snippet of your work in progress on your own blog, make sure it relates to today’s date (somehow… heh), and link back. Make sure you like and/or comment on other WIPpeteers’ posts, too! What goes around comes around and all of that. 🙂

In other news: Snow. Yay.

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