My apologies to Raine & Siôn on the lateness of this post. I've been travelling, and unfortunately my internet connection where I am isn't as reliable as I wish it was. So without further ado, Alchemy Ever After!
The city of New Alexandria is filled with powerful magicians-in-training and mechanical follies, the world’s largest library, and marvels beyond compare. The allure of this modern metropolis draws young people from all over the world, but Idrian has come instead for the opportunity to learn the new art of alchemy.
He’s been taken as an apprentice by Maketh, a scholar experimenting with new ways to combine technology and the ancient mystic arts. Together they’ve animated a living ice sculpture. Idrian cannot wait to unveil the sculpture alongside the other wonders at the annual Spring Festival.
After witnessing his master in a passionate embrace with another student, Idrian’s mind drifts to things beyond alchemy. And when a warm touch accidentally awakens the consciousness within the living sculpture, Idrian learns firsthand about physicality and the magic of passion.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Raine O'Tierney lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow Dreamspinner Press author, Siôn O'Tierney. When she's not writing, she's either asleep or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers! Writing for 20+ years (with the last 10 spent on M/M) Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you're interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!
LGBT Author Interviews: http://raineotierneyhatparty.blogspot.com/
Siôn O’Tierney is a philosopher and gamer, but above all else, a consumer of stories. The best decision Siôn ever made was marrying his high-school sweetheart a week after graduation. (For the stories, and the sweet, sweet author monies.) These days, Siôn lives in Kansas City with his wife and writing partner, Raine O’Tierney. His free time is spent editing and walking the family's long-haired dachshund, Iron Klaus (maybe that’s not free time after all).
DSP Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/sion-otierney
Strengths & Weaknesses: A Writing Partner's Perspective
There are as many ways to approach writing as there are stories to tell, and every writer has their own ideas about the subject. My personal view is that writing a story is like building a stone arch. You build up your characters and you build up your world and the higher they rise, the more they draw together. Finally, the two meet and if the weight of the characters is in balance with the weight of the world, they stand, and you can pass through the archway into a story that nearly writes itself.
Worldbuilding is as important to a good story as establishing shots are to a good movie. You have to know what's going on under the surface in order to set the stage properly. The characters can be developed apart from the world, but once you bring the two together you start to get a real idea of who they are and what their place in the world really is.
The best part of collaborating with Raine is that we are each stronger on one side of the arch, and our strengths and weaknesses complement each other. We slide her characters into my world and then see how the world and the characters change in reaction to each other. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had making art.
Pushing through his fear, Idrian put his palm against the frigid thigh—marveling that the warmth of his hand did not melt the ice. The artisan his master had commissioned was quite talented. The sculpture was crafted into the perfect likeness of a man. Broad shoulders, tight with hard, corded muscles, and a strong, lovely face. The sheet contoured to its body, hiding nothing of its form. Idrian stared for a long time. Did his master feel that the student Raj was lovely, as well? The way he kissed Raj—the hunger in it—Idrian thought he must. Was that all it took? Being in the presence of someone quite lovely?
Idrian would like to know what a kiss felt like.
Made bold by the privacy of the room and his titillated disquiet, Idrian decided he’d try, just once. And so, hair falling in his face, he leaned over the low table and with only a hesitant little gasp, placed his lips against the hand-chiseled lips of the living sculpture. It was as one might imagine kissing ice would be: numbingly cold with none of the passion he’d earlier witnessed. But as he made to pull away, he found his lips stuck for a brief moment as hot skin will stick to ice. Then it was skin to skin. The sculpture had caught Idrian’s bottom lip and pulled it firmly into his mouth. Sucking at it. Nibbling it.
Idrian gasped and tried to yank free, but found an icy arm snaked around his waist, pulling him down onto the slab, holding him there, trapped.
“You… are… warm.” The living sculpture, which should not have even been able to speak, breathed against him.
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