It’s been a hectic week. I’ve bought a house, Blood on Sand was published on the second of June, and today I got the news that my flash Apart From You will be included in Queer Sci-Fi’s anthology, Discovery. The e-book will be sold at different sites and at Rainbow con for fundraising and publicity purposes for QSF.
But today I wanted to talk a little about Blood on Sand, my contribution to this year’s Don’t Read in the Closet event Love is an Open Road.
Zoe is an enslaved lizard shifter. Every week he has to fight in an arena much like a modern gladiator. Wojtek is the alpha of the werewolf pack running the arena, he’s also Zoe’s owner. Wojtek can’t see the lizards as anything other than pawns to be used to bring in money to the pack. But when Zoe tries to force Wojtek into killing him things change.
This yearly event is organised by Goodreads M/M Romance Group. 200 stories are published between the first of June and the first of September. And they’re all free!
If you’re a member of the group, you can go here to download them. Many of the stories make their way to Amazon and Smashwords as well.
Now to a little snippet!
Zoe fell to his knees. Every wheezing breath burned in his chest, but he couldn’t find it in himself to care. It would all be over soon. The harsh glare from the spotlight made it hard to see anything beyond the blood-soaked sand in front of him, but it didn’t matter. If he could endure only a few more seconds, a few more agonising breaths, it would all be over.
The cheering and booing turned into a buzzing sound and faded into the background. Spots swam before his eyes, and he could no longer see what was happening around him. It didn’t matter. He’d done what he set out to do, and now he would die.
His opponent coughed and gasped behind him, still crawling around, but unable to get to his feet. He would live—if his master let him. Zoe lowered his wooden shield and broken spear, and waited for the strike to come. He kept his gaze down; he didn’t need to see the top dog’s face to know he was furious. His powerful claws were probably curled around the stone railing separating the spectators from the combatants at that very moment. The heavily muscled arms, or whatever they called their forelimbs, could snap his neck. He didn’t think that would happen, though. Using his claws to rip Zoe’s throat out would be far more entertaining—and people came here to be amused. Blood splatter would fly through the air, raining down on the viewers closest to him while he twitched and bled out on the arena floor. They would cheer in their growly way, and everyone would be happy with the result. Almost everyone. Even his hazy mind could sort out that the Alpha wouldn’t be pleased.
He lowered his head and waited. Could he have done anything differently? It seemed like an awful lot of work just to get killed. He could have just cheated, stopped defending himself, but his pride wouldn’t let him. This too was cheating in a way; fights were always to the death and he hadn’t killed, nor had he been killed, yet. This felt more honourable in some way. Why he even cared, he didn’t know.
The snarls coming from the first row of the tiered seating penetrated the buzzing in his head. He didn’t understand these beasts in their changed forms, but he could sense their wrath.
What was taking them so long? It should be over by now. He’d forced their hand, and there was no other way out. They would have to kill him. If they didn’t, they would lose face, and he knew they’d never let that happen. He would’ve smiled if he’d been able to in his lizard form. But he wasn’t, and it didn’t matter anyway. It would soon be over. He would finally be free.
If you want to continue reading you’ll find Blood on Sand here: