This week I’m doing a blog swap (hehehe) with my favorite editor and fabulous author! Stevie Mikayne, acclaimed author of Jellicle Girl, released her second literary fiction novel, Weight of Earth, a story of generations of women seeking to utilize their exceptional gifts, while finding some semblance of normal life. Now available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.
I love Stevie because she doesn’t just fix my clumsy words, she teaches me how to make my trashy books into sparkling treasures. And she knows how to write steam too. Check out the hot excerpt I scored.
In Stevie’s words…
Growing up, I loved all sorts of literature. Mostly, I read literary fiction because the reading lists at school pointed me in that direction. Secretly though, I loved fantasy novels like The Mists of Avalon, and mystery series like Trixie Belden and The Famous Five.
As a writer, I was encouraged to follow one path—a consistent “brand” of writing, but I don’t seem able to follow a set course. Like Amelia, I have a hard time being constrained to any one box, and I like the challenge of exploring different genres. Hopefully my readers will find enough stylistic similarity to follow me for at least a few books. )
In writing Weight of Earth, I found something liberating about pushing the boundaries of believability, something I always admired about really skilled fantasy writers. As readers, we know these events couldn’t possibly happen, but we still want to believe it; we’re willing to go there with the author.
The most important thing to me was retaining a solid hold on my characters while giving them abilities and perceptions that were larger-than-life. In this excerpt, Ella, the protagonist, finds herself in a situation a little beyond her control—one that only Zeth, her new lover, can help her with…
“Food isn’t going to do it,” Sheila said wryly. “She needs a more physical grounding.”
“You’re not serious.” Zeth blushed and heat crept from his fingers all the way to Ella’s shoulder blades. Her knees buckled again, and he caught her as she stumbled against him. “Isn’t there another way?” he growled.
“What? Don’t you want to?” Sheila’s eyes danced in amusement.
“Well of course I want to! But she barely knows me.”
Sheila’s eyes darkened. “Well, let this be a lesson to you about bringing strange and powerful girls into your Circle. You must look after her now. She can’t go around ungrounded like this. Bring her back down.”
With that, she grabbed her satchel and moved off, her shadow fading into the trees and out of sight.
“What does she mean, bring me back down?”
He ran his hands through his hair. “Your energy is floating free-fall. You have to direct it toward one source. Sometimes eating and drinking will ground you, but apparently that’s not enough today.”
“So… what’s the other choice?”
He sighed heavily, refusing to look at her.
“Sex,” he muttered.
“Yes. Sex will force your energy into a… peak… and refocus it on yourself.”
Ella laughed. “Oh.”
He turned around and stared at her. “You think this is funny?”
“Well, no, but I feel really strange, like I ate special brownies or something, and I just know it’ll stop being fun soon and I’ll feel sick.”
“Damn straight you’ll feel sick. It’s dangerous, what’s happening to you.” He kicked a tree root. “Ella, I’m really sorry. I had no idea—”
“Hey!” She ran a hand up his arm. “It’s not your fault, though I will blame you if you don’t set it right.”
He took her hand gently and worked his fingers around her wrist, grasping her arms. “I don’t want to take advantage of you. I never want you to think that. I wanted to wait… to let it happen more naturally.”
“Zeth, I’m eighteen years old… definitely old enough to make up my own mind.”
The electricity from his hand made her shiver. She leaned forward and ran her hands through his hair.
He closed his eyes as she brushed his mouth with her lips, kissing him softly, parting his lips with her tongue. He ran his teeth over her bottom lip, caressing her mouth, running his fingers through her hair and down her back.
He stopped suddenly and pulled away. “Ella, I think this might be a bad idea.”
“It’s… it’s an energy thing.”
She giggled, feeling tickles up and down her leg as her thoughts pulled her up to the treetops. He grabbed her shoulder, and her mind refocused, like the tug of a string. “Sex for Sensitives is more than a physical connection. It’s an emotional energy bond. When I… start….” He faltered. “…and if you change your mind… I might not be able to stop.”
“Break the connection. Until we’re… finished.”
She saw real fear in his eyes, and stopped smiling. “Why would I change my mind? I want you. I want all of you—your mind and your soul and your body. I’ve never met anyone like you and I want us to share that.”
Zeth clenched his jaw. “You’re just so….”
“So contradictory. You have such gifts, but you don’t know how to use them, which makes you a little Sensitive newbie.”
“So… when we are together”—he blushed again—”all your powerful energy will come with you, but since you have no training—”
“You’re afraid we’re playing with fire?”
Ella ran her hand across his chest and slipped his robe from his shoulders. She trailed her fingers down his stomach and farther down, lightly stroking the front of his pants.
He groaned, closing his eyes.
“Don’t start unless you’re sure,” he growled.
She felt her own knees buckle. “I’m sure.” She wrapped her other arm around his waist, clasping him to her and kissing him deeply.
He ran his hands through her hair, kissed her face, her neck, then reached around to untie her robe. The laces relaxed and the robe fell to her waist, exposing her bare breasts.
He ran a finger up her ribcage, brushing her nipples which stood out hot and hard in the cold October chill.
She worked at his shirt. “If I’m topless, so are you.”
He stood bare-chested, his strong abs flexing as she traced his bellybutton. A jagged scar ran around his pelvic bone and she touched that lightly.
He distracted her with a kiss, putting her hands on his waist band.
She obliged, undoing his button and running her fingers under the top of the band.
He groaned and stood still. “This is supposed to be about you,” he gasped.
She just grinned. “I’m feeling better already.”
Now available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.