Cover Reveal!

COVER REVEAL
Title: Fallow Moon Boxset
Author: Suzana Susan Wylie Wilson
Release date: September 1, 2017
Publisher: Encompass Ink
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Cover art: Rebecca Poole from Dreams2media
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Feel free to stalk her:
Website: https://suzanawylie.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SparklingSu
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzanaWylie
Amazon page: http://amazon.com/author/suzanawylie
BLURB:
The shadow world of Vampyr and Varulv (werewolves) co-exists with human society in an uneasy balance of détente and secrecy. In Bittermoon, Vampyr Kesan Glendubh falls for Leo Ruggeri, a human captivated by the Vampyr’s sensuous charms, yet reluctant to accept the harsh realities of being Vampyr. As Kesan woos the young man, another appears to change the agenda from one of the sensual delights to desperate survival. Father Guillaume Arsenault, a man with a divine calling to rid the world of the blight of supernatural beings, pits his Vampyr hunting skills against Kesan in a war to win Leo’s body and soul. It is a battle destined for unholy outcomes.
In Stygian Moon, a grieving Leo must make sense of his new life as Vampyr, helped by Kesan’s “family”—Peter Marsden, the head of the family, Madeline Royston, and Jamie Tasso, who are Kesan’s sister and brother in vampire reckoning. Just as Leo begins to feel that eternity might not be the realm of grief he expects, the unexpected happens, and Leo’s life is turned upside down again. The family must deal with that circumstance and the entanglement of the Vampyr Court with the high Alpha Varulv in the matter of an alliance between their races. Each race needs help in overcoming the weakening of the bloodlines, and only through hybridizing the two can either race survive. Leo’s personal life is in turmoil and he is forced into the choice between Jamie and his former love.
In Fallow Moon, lives and relationships are torn apart as mental illness and rogue factions make themselves known. Branimir Zdrakov, known in the pack of which he is Alpha as Brindle Demon, and Madeline have managed to conceive a child—the hope of both their races. That is until a very pregnant loup-garou shows up with her rogue pack claiming Brin as the father of her child. Lies, deceit, voodoo, and mental breakdown may prove to be the death of not only those who are involved but of both races unless a solution can be found, a solution which allows Leo and Brin to remain together.

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Returning

It’s been a long time. I’ve thought I was ready to come back before, and I just wasn’t. What’s different this time? I’m writing again. (It’s OK to cheer, if you like.) I’ve been working on a revision of Bittermoon, and that’s done, in the hands of my publisher and about to be released as part of a box set of the three books in the series. I’m currently revising two books, one a contemporary M/M romcom and the other an epic fantasy saga. I really mean it with the “epic” thing—it’s running, in its unrevised form, a million and a quarter words. It won’t be that big when I’m done, but it will still be pretty long, 6 or 7 books. That one is M/F, M/F/F, M/M/F/, M/M/F/F and other wild things when the dragons involve the humans in their rituals. Also rumbling around in my head are a couple of other ideas, a sequel to Raveneye, and a stand-alone set in the Fallow Moon universe (the guys in the trilogy will likely make cameo appearances in that one.). I’m excited about writing again!

Be prepared, get ready — the Fallow Moon box set will be released on 1 September. There will be a brand-new opening to Bittermoon (book 1), some tweaks and the like to Stygian Moon and Fallow Moon, and gorgeous new art by my cover artist extraordinaire, Rebecca Poole of Dreams2Media. Look for more activity here, too. Some of it will be political, most of it not. I can’t close my eyes to the horrible things happening in this country and the world, but I will try to keep a civil tongue at least nearby if not in my head.

It’s good to be back! As always, feel free to comment. I enjoy hearing from you.

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Where…

I wake to a cold, empty bed
Alone and shivering
My soul coiling and twisting
Writhing while I, shocked
And dumbfounded, look for She Whom I Love.
She is not here.
Disarray, dishevelment
From my core to the vastness of space.
She is not here.
All my life I served her,
I lent my words, a shield, for her.
Now, she has been wrenched from me
Dragged down, away,
Taken by gibbering ignorance,
Tattered and torn,
Mocked by the cries to make her great again
Coming from the very lips
That spit upon her and all she stands for.
Vultures perch upon the ballot-tombstone
Pecking and shoving for a chance
To rend her scarred and perfect body yet again.
Where is she, my heart, my soul,
My country, my beloved?

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Raveneye is live and I’m giving away stuff! I’m a Rafflecopter virgin, so I’m not quite sure how this is working, since I have multiple prizes, but if it doesn’t work properly, I’ll set up separate giveaways for each prize. The prizes are:
$5 Amazon gift card
Copy of Roman (Saints and Sinners) by Kennedy Streath
Copy of the box set Burns mysteries by Erin O’Quinn
Copy of your choice of books by Sessha Batto
$25 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m SO excited!

raveneye-promo-three

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Guess What?

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be running a giveaway here on my blog in conjunction with the release of my new book, Raveneye! It will run through the end of the week (until October 28, midnight CST) and the prizes are great – Amazon gift cards, copies of my book Raveneye, a copy of Roman (Saints and Sinners) by Kennedy Streath, and gorgeous silver chopsticks from Sessha Batto! There will be more than one gift card and more than one copy of my book. (Only one from Kennedy and only one set of chopsticks, so cross your fingers hard!

Here’s a bit of the book to whet your appetite. [WARNING: 18+ only]

Edie laughed and retreated to her station. After a few minutes, she looked up and said, “He checked out early. Did you know that?”
“What?”
“At least you didn’t say, ‘who’. He had booked a month here, Teo, but he left after… Teo, he was only here four days. He checked out on the twelfth.”
The day after I saw him in the desert. Damn.
“Something happened while he was here.” She turned to stare at Teo again. “Do you know what it was? You do, don’t you? Oh my God, Teo, did he try something funny with you?”
“No! He’s straight, Edie, as he was at pains to let me know.”
“Oohh. Did you try something funny with him, then?”
“Do you want those drinks or not?”
“You know I do, sweets.” She glanced up at the clock. “In fact, the late shift should be here any minute. You ready to go?”
“I need to change.”
“Go on and do that. I’ll meet you there, all right?”
He nodded, shut down his computer, and headed for his cottage, arguing with himself until he was standing in his bedroom, jeans and a tee in hand. Why did I agree to drinks? I don’t want to do this. I can’t tell her what happened. Damn. We’ve smoked together often enough over the years, and the peyote isn’t exactly secret from her either, but Raveneye? No, I can’t tell her that. I won’t go. But I can’t stand her up. I’ll have one shot, then make an excuse and come home. I could call her and cancel. I need to know what the gossip mill is churning out. I need to know why he left. My God, he left! Because he saw a bird in the desert? It was more than that. He made us… Raveneye welcome to perch with him. We should have… I should have… damn!
The mirror he’d been avoiding confirmed Edie’s assessment. There were dark circles under his eyes, and his favorite jeans slipped low on his hips. Rode hard, and put away wet, if at all. I can’t let him get to me like this. He was threading a belt through the loops on his jeans when the knock sounded.
“It’s me, Teo.”
“It’s open, Edie.”
“Brought us a bottle, baby. No need to get all dolled up. Or all GI Joe’d up in your case. Shot glasses in the same place?”
“Yeah. Thanks. Be out in a few.”
“Oh, you’re not dressed? I’ll be right there. I know I can’t have any, but I can look, can’t I?” She walked into the bedroom. “Teo, what the hell is that?”
Teo scrambled for his t-shirt and yanked it over his head. “Don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Edie stood close enough to pull up the tee and run her fingers over the marks. “Teo, those are wounds on your pecs. They look like claw marks. Oh, God, have you let some asshole hurt you?”
“No!”
Edie raised a brow.
“Okay, yes, but the asshole was me, all right?”
“No, not all right.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the living area. “We’re doing twofer shots until you start talking.”
Teo let himself be dragged to the counter while Edie lined up an entire set of shot glasses, and began filling them. She held up a small bag of limes and said, “Wedge them,” as she rummaged in the cabinet for the coarse salt. “Counter?”
“You know I’d rather sit on the floor.”
“Good. It’ll give you a chance to look up my skirt and see I’m not as much a woman yet as you think I am.”
In spite of himself, Teo chuckled. Edie could lighten the atmosphere without really working at it.
“Are you the only gay man in the world without a tray in his kitchen? Help me carry all this to that thing you use for a coffee table.”
“It is a coffee table. A table anyway,” Teo protested as he stacked the plate of lime wedges atop the bowl of salt, and did a finger-dip-and-grip with three of the shot glasses. Edie grabbed the others and followed him to the low table that was simply two planks on cinder blocks, covered with his grandmother’s Navajo blanket. “And don’t start. I know, you want to do that ‘decorate’ thing, but this suits me.”
“Wasn’t going to say a word.” She folded herself neatly tailor-fashion, leaning back against the utilitarian futon Teo was certain she would call ‘boring’. She lifted a shot glass, tipped it toward him and said, “To friends who listen.”
He grunted. “To friends who don’t pry,” he replied and slammed the shot back.
“Another, dude. It’s going to take a lot to get you to spill it.”
“Edie, I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You do. You just want me to persuade you. Drink that.”
Four shots later, Teo found himself wishing he’d eaten. Today. Maybe yesterday would have been a good idea, too. The tequila was buzzing between his ears, warm in his belly, and loosening his slurring tongue.
“He’s… It was hard… tough, having him there on my table, naked. I want him, Edie. Shit, I want him.”
“Don’t blame you. Day-yum.”
“No, no, not like that. OK, like that, but after I looked at him with my Other Eyes, it was worse.”
“Other eyes?”
“Yeah, the ones that see the deep stuff, the real and true.”
“I have no clue what you’re talking about, but keeping talking. Maybe I’ll catch on.”
“He’s so beautiful, Edie. And so different. Nobody’s like him.”
“Nobody’s like anybody else.”
“Not him. He’s not-like-anybody-else-r than… anybody else.”
Edie laughed, and the tequila she was pouring sloshed over the edge of Teo’s shot glass.
“Hey, don’t waste that! You brought the good stuff.”
“‘Course I did. Not gonna get my best friend drunk on the stomach-chewers.”
“Am I?”
“Am you what?”
“My best friend. Your best friend.”
“Oh, fuck, yes, honey. You accept me, like no one else does. And that’s why… why something. Oh, yeah, why I want to help you. You’re gonna let me help you, aren’t you, doll?” She leaned toward Teo and laid a hand on his arm. “Tell me what happened. Why you hurt yourself.”
Teo focused with an effort, and looked into her eyes. “It hurts, Edie. It hurt then and it hurts worse every day. The only way to make it stop was to… to try to dig the hurting place out. It didn’t work. I quit before I got deep enough.”
“Oh my god, Teo, you were trying to claw the pain in your heart out?”
He nodded.
“Were you tripping?”
“I… not exactly.” I can’t tell her those were Raveneye’s talons. She’ll want to take him away. If he ever forgives me for forcing him to do that.
“You either were or you weren’t. It’s like being pregnant. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. It’s yes or no. Drink this and tell me which it was.”
“I don’t think I can do another, baby.”
Her raised eyebrow told him she hadn’t missed the ‘baby.’ “Sure you can.”
It was futile to argue with her. Or maybe I really need to get out of my mind drunk. He tossed it back. “Set ‘em up again.”
“Good for you. Now, tripping?”
“Coming down. Coming… damn I wish I’d been coming.”
“I can make that happen for you, doll.”
“Shit, Edie, that sounds good. But friends shouldn’t…”
“Bullshit. Friends are the best fuck buddies.” She leaned closer, brushing his lips with her own. “I want it, too, Teo. All my junk is still there, baby. It’s just the boobs, and they’re nice and small.”
“Can you still… I mean, the hormones…”
“I haven’t been on them long. Can I get it up? Touch me and see.” She took his hand and slid it under the skirt that had inched up far enough he’d quit wondering about the surgery and lingerie choices. Commando seemed to be her preference.
“Oh, god, Edie. You’re hard.”
“Yes, baby. Hard for you.” She whispered into his ear. He shivered and she went on, “Yes, Teo, yes. Pull it out, baby. Let me see. God, let me get it good and wet before you fuck me with it.”
“Edie, I…”
“You need it. I need it. What’s the problem?” She fumbled with his belt buckle.
“We work together. We shouldn’t.”
“That’s not stopping you from taking a good grip. And it’s not going to stop me from riding you.” She kissed him, demanding his mouth, as she swung a leg over his lap to straddle him.
Teo groaned. “Don’t. Don’t take that cock out of my hand.”
She threw her head back and ground against him, and Teo was lost.

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First Meeting… and “Dayyum”

Here’s the first chapter of Raveneye, which will introduce you to the three main characters and their interactions, as well as a peek into Teo’s unusual beliefs and practices. Enjoy! And feel free to comment. I welcome your input, and ask only that you be polite, even if you have something unpleasant to say.

“Hey, Teo, your 2 o’clock’s here, and dayyum.”
“Gracias, chica.” Teo grinned at the lanky blonde standing at the doorway to the candlelit massage room. “I’m ready.”
“Uh, no, Teo, I don’t think you are. Wait till you see this one.”
“Just show…” Teo glanced at the appointment sheet, “…Mr. Sokolov in, Edie.”
“That won’t be necessary,” a deep voice sounded from behind Edie. “I’m already in.” The man eased his way past her.
Edie was right. This guy merited a ‘dayyum.’ Not a body-builder, but his fitness was obvious in the long lean lines of his torso, tapering from invitingly broad shoulders to slender hips. High cheekbones, different than Teo’s own, but still pronounced. The man’s eyes were a deep tawny brown, with flecks of gold scattered through the irises, and Teo was sure they could read him as if he were a—not even a book. Maybe a children’s book. Few words, but lots of simple lines and interesting shapes and colors.
“Dusan Sokolov. They didn’t tell me your name when I made the arrangements.” His accent was subtle, but it was there. Even without the name, the voice would have confirmed one of the Eastern Bloc nations as his home. A hint of a smile tugged at the corners of the man’s wide mouth. His grip as they shook hands was firm, his hand an odd mix of soft and rough, as if he worked with his hands, but also took pains to care for them.
“I apologize, Mr. Sokolov. I’m Mateo Velasco, but everyone calls me ‘Teo’, sir.”
“Teo. Where do I undress?”
“Here is fine, Mr. Sokolov. I’ll step out to give you some privacy. I’ll knock after a few minutes.” Teo headed for the door.
“All right.”
Teo closed the door behind him and leaned heavily against it. Edie looked over at him from the reception area and winked. “Told you,” she mouthed.
“Where’s his jacket?” Teo pushed away from the door and looked around for the file folder that should have been on the reception counter.
“Well, that’s the thing. There’s not one. Management said not to worry about it.” Edie shrugged. “Some important person on the down-low, I figure. Can’t be his real name, so I didn’t google him.”
Teo nodded. “It’s not that unusual. Many of our guests don’t want it known they’re gay, after all.”
Edie grinned. “You’ve kneaded some famous backsides, all right. And some whose congregations would give a lot to know about it.”
“I don’t like that look, Edie.”
“Teo, you know I’m not going to jeopardize these cushy digs. Living at a resort? Not gonna risk losing that. It’s just that little devil in me, enjoying thinking about it.”
“Is that the bit that hasn’t had the surgery yet?” Others might gossip about where she was in the transition process, but Teo saw no point in changing the way they interacted simply because Edie was no longer Ed.
“Beast!”
“You’re into fur?”
Edie grinned and pantomimed throwing a pen at him. “If I didn’t think you’d be busy later…”
“Too much woman for me, girl.”
“What’s a lady have to do to find something to stick her dick in around here?”
“Not a question I’ve ever needed the answer to.” He brought his mental shutters down. Edie was a friend, a work-friend, but he needed the solitude inside his own head to get himself under control before working on Sokolov, or he’d be too close to a line he would not cross. Massage wasn’t about sex. It never had been, and never would be. Not for Teo. If that’s what his clients wanted, they left with blue balls. What happened in the massage room was sacred, and he wouldn’t profane it with the sweaty slapping of flesh on flesh. If they were attractive, and offered, he might meet them later. But never in the room, and never, ever for money. I’m not a whore, he repeated to himself. I’m not. But Raveneye, my friend, sometimes I wish I were.
In the space between his ears, a raven croaked. An avian chuckle, perhaps. It could be hard to know, unless they were—
The door opened. “Teo.”
Edie peered around him, but Teo carefully blocked her view. Not that there was one. When he stepped into the room, his client was already sitting on the table, draw sheet across his lap. Sokolov moved fast. Maybe there was more than his obvious attractiveness about this client that would require careful handling.
Teo led Sokolov through the pre-massage questions about temperature, lighting and music preferences, about areas that needed particular work. They were questions he asked every client. Comfort and relaxation were key, after all, and while he was especially gifted at detecting trouble areas before touching the client, it was good practice to know where they thought the problems were, even if they were wildly wrong. How anyone could fail to recognize the body as a whole that works as a whole was beyond Teo. It was obvious, just as it was obvious the spirit world is a whole and works as a whole. But many couldn’t see that either.
The last question was always, “What do you hope to gain from massage?” Sometimes the client would mention sex at this point, or sometimes that would come later as he worked certain areas. Most often, sex wasn’t mentioned at all.
Sokolov’s answers had been terse. Not rude, simply direct. Like Teo’s own nature, though he had learned early to wear what he called his ‘robe of sociable’ at work. The answer to this question wasn’t exactly terse.
“You need to know something, Teo. I’m straight. I have no interest in sex with a man. None. And that’s not going to change.”
“And yet you’re staying at Aguajero Azul, a gay resort.”
“This is a good area to withdraw and recharge, so it makes no difference. I’m straight. Do you understand that?”
“Certainly. It’s unusual, but I have no trouble understanding either the need to recharge or that you don’t want sex with me.”
“There is a line with this massage, Teo. If you cross it, you will regret it.”
“Never, Mr. Sokolov. I’ve never crossed that line in this holy place—the massage room.”
“Holy place? Did you say holy place?”
Teo cursed himself. He rarely used profanity and almost never in a holy place. He could see the affect of the words after all, and once someone had seen that, they were much more careful about how they spoke in anger or frustration, especially in the sacred places. Sokolov refused to look away from Teo’s eyes. There would be no bull—no evasion with this one.
“Yes, sir.”
“This is just a room with candles and incense and music. What makes it a holy place?”
Teo sighed. “It’s not what a place looks like that makes it holy, Mr. Sokolov, or what’s in it, or not in it. It’s what happens in a place.“
Sokolov nodded slowly. “And what happens in this room that makes it holy?” He seemed intent on pressing for an explanation.
“My work, sir.”
“Rubbing backs is holy?”
“Massage is more than that. At least it is to me. Sir, could I explain this to you as I work? I don’t mean to be rude, but I have a 3:30 scheduled and—“
Sokolov grunted and swung his legs onto the table.
“I’ll work on your back first, please, sir.”
As Sokolov turned and lay down on his belly, Teo continued. “The body is only one aspect of a person. It’s connected with a person’s spirit in ways that many people don’t understand. What I do with a body, I also do with the tensions and injuries of the spirit. Because of that, massages are… perhaps sacred is a better word than holy.”
“And you believe that, do you?”
“I don’t have to believe it, sir. I know it. There’s a difference.”
Sokolov snorted softly. “That’s woo-woo nonsense, surely.”
Teo bristled. He didn’t discuss his spiritual practices for that very reason. They were sacred. He knew some religious figure his mother had tried to tell him about, probably Jesus, said a thing about tossing pearls before swine. It fit. Though Sokolov was hardly a pig. Teo pulled his hands away from the man’s neck.
“Why are you stopping?”
“Because you have insulted me and though you may be a client, there is nothing in my job description that says I have to touch a man who insults me.”
“I have paid you for an hour massage.”
“No, sir, you haven’t. I’ll see you’re not charged for it.”
Sokolov raised his head and turned to look at Teo. “You mean that.”
“Yes, sir. I don’t speak untruths in my holy place. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll leave so you can dress.”
Sokolov grabbed his wrist as he passed the table. His grip was surprising, what some would call an iron grip, but Teo’s father had called it the talons of the eagle, and shown him how it could be used to control a man who had a desire to harm him. Does this man wish me harm, Raveneye?
“No. Don’t leave.”
“Let me go.” The skreigh of a raptor fluttered through Teo’s command. There were barbs in it.
Sokolov loosed his grip. “Don’t leave. Please.” He pushed up to a sitting position, letting the sheet slide away. “I apologize. I should not have spoken so harshly of something I do not understand. Please, stay. Finish the massage, and tell me more about how you know with such surety. Tell me about your people. Where do they come from? What are their beliefs?”
Teo raised an eyebrow. His wrist ached, but he’d not give the man the satisfaction of rubbing it in his presence. “Why?”
“Why should you stay, or why do I ask?”
“Both.”
“They are the same, truly. Because I am genuinely interested in what other people believe and where belief itself comes from.”
Teo studied the man’s eyes, the soul-lookers. It was there, the thing he said, wanting to know about things of the spirit. Raveneye, my friend, my companion, guide me in this speaking, that I may honor life, and preserve what is sacred.
“What you ask is complex. It cannot be spoken all at once. It’s a journey, and journeys are made of steps.”
“Then tell me the first step.”
“You aren’t ready. I’ll show you that I know, that I do see into both worlds. If you wish after that, I’ll complete the massage. If you want to take that first step, seek me out. When you’re ready. Then… we’ll see.”
“You make me no promises.”
“No, I don’t. You’re a stranger. We’re very careful with strangers.”
“We?”
“Native Americans. I’m Navajo as well as Latino.”
“I see.” Sokolov was silent for a moment. “I understand that. I spent my early years in Transylvania.”
Teo smiled. “I get Tonto, you get Dracula.”
“Exactly.”
“Here’s how you will know that I know.” Teo closed his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath. When he felt the raven within, he re-opened his eyes. Then he opened his other eyes, the ones that see what is, and not what appears to be. He ran his gaze over Sokolov seeing rather than his well-muscled and unblemished body, the flow of his energy.
He laid a hand on Sokolov’s shoulder. “Here, you have a knot of tension. Not unusual.”
Next, he touched his lower back, just above the pelvis, on the right side. “Here, a nearly recovered pulled muscle. You were reaching for something. Something you wore on your back. It was out of place, just beyond your reach. You stretched badly.”
Sokolov drew in a breath.
“Here, a bruise. Eighth rib, not ninth. Not from the same incident. You slipped, likely on something damp on your kitchen floor, and stopped your fall when you caught the corner of the counter.”
Sokolov’s eyes rounded. “You… you cannot know that.”
“But I do. Lie down. I’ll finish your massage.”
“You said you could see wounds to the spirit.”
“I can, but there are rituals necessary that I won’t perform here, certainly not with another client due in little more than an hour. Lie down. Let my truth as well as my hands speak to you. When you know enough to put words to your questions, I will answer.”
Sokolov huffed, but settled onto the table again. The remainder of the allotted time passed in silence, as Teo worked his client’s tensions away with his hands and with his own energy flow. He watched with both sets of eyes as he worked down from his back, then up from his calves. Rather than tensing when Teo drew his hands lightly over the smooth globes of Sokolov’s ass, the man took a deep breath and held it, longer than most people untrained in yogic breathing could manage.
This man knows things most do not. And he is pleasing to my eyes, warm and yielding to my hands. He would be salt-sweet to my tongue. I want him, Raveneye. Shame at profaning the sacred work with his lust tightened the sinews of his arms.
Sokolov’s head came up and he rolled over. Teo jerked his hands away and stepped back, making sounds of regret and apology as Sokolov levered himself to sit on the edge of the table. Teo saw the path of his eyes, followed his gaze down his own torso.
“I… I’ll leave,” he stammered.
“Why? Because you are aroused, or because I know that you are aroused?”
“I am not—”
“You have told me you do not speak untruth in your holy place. Will you now make yourself a liar?” Sokolov’s voice was flint, and yet spoken as softly as the feathers that line a nest.
Teo’s shook his head. “No. My saying was that I am not clear within myself which it is. You see my desire. I feel shame.” He held up a hand. “Perhaps because I am aroused in my holy place, or perhaps because I cannot control that I am aroused.”
“Why is that shameful? You have surely been aroused by clients before.”
“No. Not like this.”
Sokolov lifted a brow toward the ceiling, even as he allowed his eyes to drop to Teo’s tented pants again. Teo squirmed under the pressure of this desirable man’s scrutiny, as his traitor cock stiffened into an even more pronounced tent pole. Finally Sokolov lifted his eyes to Teo’s and said, “I see no reason for you to feel shame. You find me attractive. Though I’ve told you I have no interest in sex with you, that does not mean I’m repulsed by your desire. I find it flattering. As you can see,” he looked down at his own motionless groin, pulling Teo’s gaze with him, “I don’t find it arousing, but I assure you, I am not repulsed by it. Stay. Finish the massage. You have already eased much of the tension, and yes, the pain also. Complete the work. Please.”
Perhaps I could speak about it more clearly, Teo thought, but I won’t try. Especially not after seeing… He cut off his thoughts abruptly. Dwelling on the thick dark curls nestling an uncut cock and tempting balls would serve neither man’s best interests. He gestured for his client to lie down once more. “No, Mr. Sokolov, lie on your back, please.” Help me, Raveneye, to put aside this desire. It is time to test my resolve.
Sokolov permitted a small smile and a twinkle in his eye. He laid back and made no move to cover his genitals with the sheet.
Is he tormenting me? Teo moved to the head of the table and began, as always, with his client’s scalp and facial muscles, working his way downward, working first one arm and then the other. He forced his thoughts toward only the energy flow and the alternately knotted and relaxed muscles he worked, until his erection was all but non-existent. It remained that way as he began on Sokolov’s chest, his fingers gliding easily over the dusting of dark hair that marked the beginning of a trail downward. He had reached his client’s abs when the talons of the eagle once again made themselves felt as Sokolov grabbed his wrist.
“Cover me,” he spoke gruffly.
Teo reached for the sheet and drew it across the man’s groin. He kept the smile to himself as he noted that Sokolov’s cock wasn’t quite as uninterested as it had been previously. The tightness around his client’s eyes and mouth made it clear that there had been nothing to see, that if Teo thought he had seen something, he had been mistaken. Fine, Mr. Sokolov. Not telling lies does not mean that everything must be spoken.
When the massage was complete, Teo slipped out quietly to prepare himself for his next client. Edie knew better than to speak to him as he shed the energies of one client in order to be fresh for the next.
When the door to his room opened, Teo looked away. Clients were often uncomfortable meeting his eyes after a session. Much is written on the pages of the body and some of the phrases aren’t pleasant. Sokolov walked up to him and stood, waiting silently for him to make eye contact.
“I want more,” he said after a moment.
“Edie will—” Teo looked up.
“Not just of that. The other, too. But not today. You were correct. I am not ready. Where can I reach you?”
‘The other, too?’ What other? Your disguised arousal? “When you are ready, close your eyes. Be still in your mind. Look for me with the eyes of your spirit. They will see me. Follow them.”
“Your schedule…”
“When you are ready, come. I will be waiting.”
Sokolov drew back. “An hour ago, I would have said that was psychic bullshit. Now, I am no longer certain. You are an unusual man.”
“As you yourself are, Mr. Sokolov.”
“Dusan. Call me Dusan, Teo.”
With that he was gone.

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The Cast of Characters

There are some interesting characters in Raveneye and I’d like to introduce at least some of them to you.

The first words of the novel are spoken by Edie Newsome. Edie is in the process of transitioning from Edward to Edie. She’s been a woman all her life, but as she puts it, “My damned body was too stupid to know that.” Edie’s lived outwardly as a woman for a couple of years, as part of the transition process suggested by her doctors and therapist, but is only just beginning the actual transition, beginning hormones in preparation for the needed surgical procedures yet to come. She’s outspoken, has an unusual sense of humor, laughs easily, especially at herself, and is fearless.

This is Edie.
edie1

And this is Edie:

“Where’s his file jacket?” Teo pushed away from the door and looked around for the file folder that should have been on the reception counter.
“Well, that’s the thing. There’s not one. Management said not to worry about it.” Edie shrugged. “Some important person on the down-low, I figure. Can’t be his real name, so I didn’t google him.”
Teo nodded. “It’s not that unusual. Many of our guests don’t want it known they’re gay, after all.”
Edie grinned. “You’ve kneaded some famous backsides, all right. And some whose congregations would give a lot to know about it.”
“I don’t like that look, Edie.”
“Teo, you know I’m not going to jeopardize these cushy digs. Living at a resort? Not gonna risk losing that. It’s just that little devil in me, enjoying thinking about it.”
“Is that the bit that hasn’t had the surgery yet?” Others might gossip about where she was in the transition process, but Teo saw no point in changing the way they interacted simply because Edie was no longer Ed.
“Beast!”
“You’re into fur?”
Edie grinned and pantomimed throwing a pen at him. “If I didn’t think you’d be busy later…”
“Too much woman for me, girl.”
“What’s a lady have to do to find something to stick her dick in around here?”

That’s Edie! Let’s take a look at Teo next.

Teo is Latino and Native American (US American), the son of a medicine man and a young Latina woman who defied her parents in marrying his father. His past is dominated by hard work and even harder play, trouble and separation. He has had little direction in life. Estranged from his father, raised by his migrant worker mother until he came out at 16 and she tossed him to the street. His grandfather on his father’s side took him in and for the first time, Teo developed goals and dreams, finally going on a quest, both spiritual and physical, to locate his father. It was his found-father who started him on the peyote road and the two were very close until was killed in an accident. Once more alone, Teo sought a spirit guide and found Gaagli, Navajo for Raveneye. Teo unites with Raveneye under the influence of peyote and continues his quest for wisdom and understanding. He trains as a massage therapist and goes to work at Aguajero Azul, a semi-secret resort primarily for gay men, but open to anyone who isn’t homophobic as well as lesbians, bi- and a-sexuals, transgender persons, and those who truly have no idea who they are.
Teo is quiet, reserved, and somewhat slow to speak, though not truly reticent. He simply ponders things before giving his opinion. He’s very hot-blooded and impulsive by nature, his hispanic genes at war with his NA genes. Control will always be an issue — he wants the dom role, but he needs the sub role instead. His history of poor choices means he’d rather let someone else give him instructions, lay out his day when he is working. He needs a clear understanding of expectations. When he retreats or is off, he needs no direction or control, though he may need reminding about chores.
He takes pleasure at times with clients, but avoids sex during massage, meeting them later, since massage is spiritual and sacred to him.
His tastes are simple — minimalist furnishings, mostly repurposed items. Art is spiritual if he has it at all. The few decorative objects he has are meaningful personally. He avoids TV — too easily sucked in as he was by nightlife when he was younger. He cooks most of the time — simple meals of rice and beans, with meat a rare splurge & he always feels guilty for eating flesh. He juices, avoids alcohol, though not marijuana and peyote.

This is Teo.
teo1

That leaves us with Dusan. I won’t say much about him, since some of the discoveries of who and what he is are part of the plot.
He’s Bulgarian, and has no clear recollection of his age or early life. He knows, though he keeps that hidden from Teo, what he does for a living. He understands that his being an assassin will not set well with Teo. A couple of paragraphs from the book:

“Not a body-builder, but his fitness was obvious in the long lean lines of his torso, tapering from invitingly broad shoulders to slender hips. High cheekbones, different than Teo’s own, but still pronounced. The man’s eyes were a deep tawny brown, with flecks of gold scattered through the irises, and Teo was sure they could read him as if he were a—not even a book. Maybe a children’s book. Few words, but lots of simple lines and interesting shapes and colors.
‘I’m Dusan Sokolov. They didn’t tell me your name when I made the arrangements.’ His accent was subtle, but it was there. Even without the name, the voice would have confirmed one of the Eastern Bloc nations as his home. A hint of a smile tugged at the corners of the man’s wide mouth. His grip as they shook hands was firm, his hand an odd mix of soft and rough, as if he worked with his hands, but also took pains to care for them.

This is Dusan.dusan1

I hope you’re as fascinated by these three as I’ve become! October 24th you’ll be able to find out more about all three and the other characters I haven’t mentioned here.

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