Sunday, November 17, 2013

Guest V. L. Locey - Love of the Hunter

We have a guest post today, from the fantastic and lovely V. L. Locey! I first encountered her as the author of the hysterical Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse series (the first installment of which is in He Loves Me For My Brainsss) but she also has some amazing books out focusing on mythology, and she's here today to tell us a little about her latest!

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Ever since I was a young girl I was fascinated with mythology. There was something magical and special about the legends of Heracles, Achilles, Perseus, and Odysseus. I would spend hours reading books about the Greek pantheon. I cannot recall how many times I have watched the first Clash of the Titans movie. More times than a grown woman should, that's for sure. I am a huge fan of Edith Hamilton, and use her novels as some writers use a dictionary or a thesaurus. It always struck me as sad that some people couldn't enjoy mythology as I did, but given how it's presented in classrooms from elementary school through college, it's no wonder so many hate Greek mythology.

I've tried, through my writing, to bring the gods to life. I've gone in and blown the dust bunnies off Zeus' marble nose and ran my Swiffer over Hera's peacock feather fan. With Love of the Hunter, my M/M mythological romance, I've taken things a step further and have rewritten one of the classic Greek legends. In this book you will see how Apollo, the most Greek of all the gods, meets and falls in love with Orion, the famed archer. This new adult romance is a dramatic one, make no mistake. There is a reason they call these tales Greek tragedies. Love of the Hunter is filled with pain and suffering, but the sadness is tempered with a love so deep it was immortalized in the heavens forever.

Here's a small sample from Love of the Hunter:


"You are a shameful man!" Orion glowers then gives me another shove. I fling out an arm to block him lest he strike out again. The man is strong, and his punches rock me soundly. "What possesses you to speak to your sister – your twin – in such a reprehensible manner?"

"What is said between her and I is not your concern!" I yell in his face then stalk past him, my shoulder meeting his. Orion grunts. I do not, although the contact pained me badly. My cape snaps around my ankles as I enter my bedchamber. My lover follows me. The wolves leave in the face of my anger. The door slams shut. I rip my cape from my shoulders and throw it to the corner. Turning, I come nose to nose with Orion. Undaunted and brazen my lover is. That is why he stood and fought Helios instead of begging forgiveness.

"What is said between you and her is my concern for it centers on me!" he shouts, his green eyes alive with his ire.

"So you defend this sick attraction she has for you? Why?" I demand to know. "Are you fucking her? Is that why?"

I let him hit me. I see the huge fist coming, and I allow it. The crunch of my nose breaking is liberating. Golden ichor gushes from my nostrils. I fall back into the wall, my arms getting caught in the thick teal drapery that hangs from the posts of the bed. I grasp a post for balance. My tongue darts out to catch a bit of the godly blood flowing down over my lips and chin.

I find Orion staring at me as if horrified.

"Apollo," he pants, his meaty fist dangling by his thigh.

"Nay," I cough, swallow, and then grab the curtain up to run it under my nose. The flow will stop in a moment; I am a god after all. "You did well. There are times that I require a sound punch to the face."

"I will not hear you speak of Artemis so." Orion steps closer. I hold the drapery tightly to my face, my eyes watery as I peek over the bloody material covering my nose and mouth. "She has been a veritable blessing during the long hours that you are gone. She tends my back, brings me well-cooked game, sings and laughs with me. She tells me stories and washes my hair."

"She loves you, Orion." I raise the drapery back to my nose.

He stares at me dully. He blinks at me as if I had just said something incomprehensible. "Nay," he says, his eyes leaping from me to his feet then to me again. He shakes his head.

"Aye," I mumble into the material over my face.

"Nay, she is naught but a sister to me," he says.

I drop the teal silk. A small trickle is all that remains of the bloody nose. "That is how you see her. It is not how see looks upon you," I tell him gently. I fear a feather landing on him would send him to the floor.

He drops to the end of the bed. The thick mattress compresses under his massive body. I sit down beside him. We both stare at our feet. I sniffle occasionally.

"Orion, she has loved you for quite some time. Do you not recall her saying she had watched you before meeting you? I know her -- she is smitten."

"But she knows I am your lover," he mutters. I sit straighter and glance over at him.

"Yes, she does." I reach over to take the hands hanging like dead fish over his knees in mine. "And that I cannot abide. You are mine. I will not share you with anyone. I will not allow her infatuation with you to grow. I should have been firmer about it before this, but I worried about leaving you here sickly and alone."

"You do not need worry for me," he says, bristling at the jab at his masculinity. I squeeze his hands.

"Orion, you are still pale. Even if you were returned to robust health, I would worry when you were gone from my side," I tell him, lifting his hands to my lips. I kiss each scarred knuckle. His jade eyes rise from his feet to meet mine. "Look upon our hands," I say, rolling his over then showing him mine. "I have no scars upon me. You do." I press my lips against a raised white welt that runs across the back of his right hand. "You are only half god. Your blood is not gold, it is red. Death will come for you and take you from me. This is unavoidable. So I worry. I will worry each time I cannot place my sight upon you. It is not a slur against your manhood or virility, it is simply the knowledge that I cannot die and you can. I would postpone your demise as long as I possibly can."

"Your tongue is gilded and golden, Apollo," he smiles weakly. "How does a man talk a man who just hit him in the face from his anger? How do you make me long for nothing aside from being in your arms?"

"I am the god of poetry and rhyme, my love," I counter seeing his gaze shift from my mouth to my amber eyes. I nod.

He leans in to capture my mouth. We fall back onto the bed, our mouths moving over each other’s slowly. We lay side by side, kissing, exploring, touching and cupping, stroking and teasing. We strip each other slowly, kissing each exposure of flesh.


You can pick up your copy of Love of the Hunter at the Torquere Press website:

Yours in love and laughter,
V.L. Locey

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-
My blog-

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chained Mages 101

Though Foxfur features sections from the point of view of both of the characters central to the romance (as well as a few interludes from the villain!) this is really Cheng's story -- he's the one who is in the most danger, and the one who undergoes the most growth.

But that means that you really don't get a solid handle on Jin during this book (there's the seed of a sequel germinating in the back of my mind that might drag him further into the spotlight). In particular, though it's not information you need to understand this story, the Chained Mages (of which Jin is one) are left in the dark. So I thought you might like a peek into their workings.

Gaena is a world of magic. Some thousands of years ago, there was a great war -- the Magewar -- that resulted in the corruption of the world's magic. The end result of the corruption is a magnification of the wielder's id and subconscious, a quiet "whisper" in the back of the wielder's mind urging them to simply take whatever they want, to indulge in shows of anger or give rein to fantasies of revenge.

The time following the Magewar was dark, indeed.

Eventually, a fraternity formed of mages who were strong-willed enough to resist those dark whispers. They developed artifacts -- Chains -- that magnify the ego and superego, bolstering willpower against the corruption. So armed, they made it their purpose to rescue and reclaim their fellow mages. Over the centuries, they have learned other techniques and tricks, and they became the Chained Brotherhood, a separate nation whose citizenship depends not on birth or residence, but inborn ability and willingness to submit to an apprenticeship that culminates with the donning of Chains.

Each set of Chains is sealed to its owner with devotion to a particular force or concept: knowledge, or justice, or love, to name only a few. This concept is one that the mage finds particularly useful in suppressing or resisting magic's corrupted call, and the mage's mastery of that concept is enhanced by the innate magic of his or her Chains.

Jin -- the mage in Foxfur -- is bound to the concept of balance.

The lissa lunged forward again, and the world tipped and swayed. Startled, Cheng barely had time to tighten his grip on the cage bars. The lissa growled and cursed as she slipped in the puddle of vomit. She fell sideways and clanged into the cell doors. Jin hadn't moved; he still stood where he had before, not even leaning against the sudden and unnatural angle of the world.

This was Jin's magic, he realized, not petty tricks of fire and illusion, but the manipulation -- the violation -- of the universe's most basic principles. Jin had changed of the direction of down. The world heaved again, and the demon slid closer to Cheng, venomous claws scrabbling for purchase on the rocky floor and iron bars of the cells.

Find out more about Foxfur at Torquere Press:


I've always delighted in exploring causes and effects, on both small and grand scales. It's a skill I developed in my late teens, when I started building a setting in which to run an AD&D game and found myself becoming obsessed with first its geography ("What if I put mountains here? How would that change the flow of these rivers?") and then by geopolitical factors ("What would be a good site for the capital? Here on the river where it would be a good trade route? Or in this valley where it would be easier to defend from invaders?") and then down the rabbit hole of socioeconomics ("How do the people who live here make their livings? What sort of society does that lead to -- mostly small villages, or cities?")

(If only I'd had the internet available to me at the time, I would have been a walking example of the benefits of self-directed study, but that's a blog post for another day.)

My love for these kinds of questions led me to a minor in cultural anthropology, in fact, but I kept coming back and applying my growing knowledge and understanding to this same fictional setting -- Gaena -- causing it to evolve over the years. And not only did it evolve, but it flat-out grew, as well, as the number of stories and cultures I wanted to include in it grew.

While it's true that many of the cultures in Gaena take Earth cultures as their starting points (Shaoda, the setting for Foxfur, is a loose interpretation of feudal China, for example) I felt it was important to take Gaena's unique history into account, and to contemplate the ways each culture would shift and change as events occurred.

I'd graduated from the effects of geography to variables without real-world examples to draw from. What if the gods occasionally -- but provably -- meddled directly in mundane matters? What if magic was real -- and then, what if it suddenly became unequivocally evil?

This is the world my characters inhabit now: a world where the ability to control magic is given to maybe one in ten thousand -- and of those, only a few are able to resist its corrupting influence without assistance. Mages, as a result, are hated and feared, obeyed or avoided -- but never befriended.

And now, another question bubbles up out of the depths of my brain, on a smaller scale, this time: What sort of person would fall in love with one?

Foxfur is one of the answers to that question.

Check it out today at Torquere Press:

Foxfur excerpt

You know I wouldn't let a release day go by without an excerpt that isn't available anywhere else, right? Let's just dive right in on Chapter One, then... (Probably NSFW, this scene is m/f.)

Chapter One: The Red-Haired Woman

The red-haired woman woke Cheng with a soft stroke of her fingertips along his spine. He shivered to wakefulness and suppressed a sigh as he glanced at the night-candle. He'd been asleep for less than an hour.

The red-haired woman put a finger over her lips and laid a hand on Cheng's shoulder, aborting his attempt to sit up. "Leave now, I," she whispered in her broken Shaodanai.

Cheng blinked in surprise. "You're leaving now, mistress? But it's after midnight. The Dog Star--"

The red-haired woman smiled with genuine amusement. "Fear not the stars, I. Night travel happy, I." Her soft fingers traced the skin at the base of Cheng's throat, just at the edge of his slave's collar. He closed his eyes and tried not to shiver. Of all the touches he endured as a waystation pleasure-slave, this was the one he found most difficult to accept with grace. "Too long here," the red-haired woman was saying. "Long travel, many nights." The fingers left Cheng's throat, to his relief, trailing down his chest. She leaned closer, her breath puffing softly on his face. "Kiss," she commanded, so he did.

Three nights, the red-haired woman had tarried at the waystation, recovering from the journey across the mountainous border between Shaoda and her home country of Khadya. Each of those nights, she had paid for Cheng's attendance. He had been a pleasure-slave for more than a dozen years, but never had he entertained a woman -- or a man, for that matter -- as insatiable as this flame-haired Khadyan beauty. Each of the three nights he had practiced his art to the utmost, bringing the red-haired woman to shuddering, gasping release again and again. Each time, the sweat had not even dried on her brow before her hands were on him again, demanding. Urging. Arousing.

Cheng had prided himself on his training and his stamina, but at midnight the third night, every trick he had learned from his former mistress, the Courtesan Mihai, had failed him. Aware of his failing but too worn out to dredge up the proper sense of shame, he had collapsed into exhausted slumber. But even now, as he kissed her, his cock stirred to sluggish life. It was raw and oversensitive from too much arousal, too many orgasms, in too brief a span, but it filled slowly, moving toward a hardness that Cheng thought was as likely to make him whimper in pain as sigh with pleasure.

The red-haired woman released him as the kiss ended, though, and stood to draw on her clothes. "Too long," she murmured again. "Leave, I."

Cheng hid his relief, watching her dress from under his lashes. "Will you come back this way, mistress, when you return to Khadya?"

Her violet eyes blazed with sudden fury. "Not return, I! Never!"

Startled, Cheng bowed deeply, letting her unexpected anger rush over him like a river. Most Khadyans did not expect the instant and unquestioning obedience that his Shaodanai clients demanded, but he had found that it was unwise for a slave to show true defiance of any sort. "Forgive this unworthy one his impertinence, mistress."

The red-haired woman frowned at him, perhaps puzzling out the meaning of his words, then smiled slightly and stroked Cheng's hair. "Meet again, we," she promised. "Kovarstvo. Soul tied."

She had insisted from their first night that the two of them were linked, though it had taken half a mark's pantomime and stilted conversation before he had haltingly taught her the word for "soul". Cheng had been amused, and obscurely pleased -- it was said that Khadyans tended to the romantic, but those who came through Master Dewei's waystation were mostly traders and couriers, more pragmatic than fanciful.

Dressed, she tied her copper-colored hair back into a tail, then sat again on the edge of the bed. She laid one hand almost gingerly over Cheng's cock, which had gone limp again. "Good service, this," she teased. "Mine now."

Cheng grunted softly at her touch and forced himself not to groan at the combined rush of pain and arousal. "Yours always," he promised, though it was necessarily a lie. Cheng belonged to Dewei Kan, and his cock and skill as a courtesan-trained bedslave belonged to whatever traveler offered Master Dewei the most coin for them.

The red-haired woman donned her shoes and gathered up her pack, then dropped a final kiss on Cheng's forehead. "Dream, I," she said solemnly. "Dream, you. Soul joins."

Cheng had no idea what she meant, but he nodded just as soberly. "Of course, mistress."

Then she was gone. Cheng listened as she padded in near-silence into the hallway and down the stairs. He waited until he was certain she had left the waystation's yard, and then let himself fall back into wearied slumber.

Read more at Torquere Press:

Release Day: Foxfur!

Foxfur has arrived! I love this story -- I love its setting, I love its story, I love the characters, and I loved writing it.

Pleasure-slave Cheng takes no particular note of the red-haired woman when she purchases his services. But the morning after her departure, Cheng is taken into custody by the Emperor's own guards and brought before one of the rare and terrifying Chained Mages. Already frightened and confused, things go from bad to worse for Cheng when the mage reveals the demonic nature of the red-haired woman. Now not only Cheng's life, but the lives of everyone around him, depend on their finding the fox-demon as soon as possible.

As a Chained Mage, Jin is at best feared, and at worst, despised. But he can't allow his personal feelings to interfere with his mission, not even when his admiration for the slave deepens. In fact, Jin's love may result in a disaster. The fox-demon has placed a spell in Cheng, a spell designed to turn his sexual energy to a murderous ends, endangering himself and everyone around him. And worst of all, they're not the only hunters on the fox-demon's trail!

I've got some posts queued up for later today about my slightly obsessive worldbuilding and a little bit about how magic works in this world. I'll be bouncing around on a blog tour for much of the next week, as well, so make sure you've "liked" my Facebook page at so you can grab those links as I get them!

Foxfur is available now at Torquere Press: