QSFer Wendy Rathbone has a new MM fantasy book out in her Fantastic Immortals series:
When I throw the lightning and summon the thunder, it isn’t always out of anger, but often from a love so all-consuming it could only be the effect of Eros himself. Yes, he is beautiful. Of course he is. How could he be otherwise, with hair the color of sunlight and white-feathered wings that drape to the floor? And he is as ancient as the myth of time itself, an immortal with powers and glamour beyond my ability to imagine. He struggles to teach me wisdom, control, strategy, yet I sit here babbling like a child, for all I can think of is how I might try – at least let me try! – to prove myself to him in some way that will cause him to crave my company and my touch, just as I crave his.
I do not yet know how to be a god, for I am only 18 and still just a silly boy who has fallen in love with Love himself, while my father Cronus plots and schemes to lock me in his dungeon and make me his slave forever.
A male/male romance.
While Zeus: Conquering His Heart is the second book in “The Fantastic Immortals” series, each novel in the series can be read as a standalone.
“Mirrors can teach. Mirrors do not lie. You have never had the chance to really look upon yourself. Today’s lesson: I command you look. Here. At every aspect of yourself. Get to know it. See your beauty but do not fall into it.”
Zeus frowned. Fall into his own beauty? He didn’t think so. He could barely focus. Besides, he didn’t think he was beautiful. Not compared to Eros and his Erotes. He was so different from Eros, un-winged for one thing, and still feeling awkward, stupid, uncontrolled. He did not want to look at himself. Couldn’t bear it.
“I don’t want this.” He turned his head aside.
The grip on his hand tightened. “Do not look away from yourself. That is the first way to becoming irrevocably lost.”
Eros let go of him, and moved slightly behind Zeus, hands on his head to turn him back to face the mirror, then the hands move to his shoulders.
“Look. Just look. No judgment. No expectation. The boy you are has become a man. A god. You need to look. To know. To understand how you are, what you are, and all the ways you respond and react to become the whole total of yourself. It will take a long, long time. You are many things, many aspects of a self. But first: the body.”
Eros ran his hands down Zeus’s arms from his shoulders to his elbows. At every touch, the flame in Zeus licked, heated, and grew. Zeus thought himself unremarkable, until Eros touched him. Then he saw how the fingertips of the god seemed, as if by magic, to sculpt him. As if he had not come into being until the teacher shaped him. He saw how the muscles of his upper arms curved beneath the dark bronze of his skin, how that skin began to take on a sheen of dimension, not just a flat sun-brown tone.
Slowly, Eros’s hands came back up and wove through the black hair that draped Zeus’s shoulders, pulling it back, letting the fringe of it brush his forearms. His hair against Eros’s arms took on a gloss he’d never noticed; the wave of his hair parted at his forehead a little to the left curving against his face and reflecting diamond and blue shades from the room’s dim light like a black liquid.
Eros pushed his palms up to Zeus’s face, framing it, and suddenly Zeus saw his eyes come alive, lit as if from within with a sparkle, as if the stars themselves lay behind the blackness of iris and pupils. He saw his own cheeks, full with youth, but not babyish, lighten, lift, and the jaw firm and hard, two lines angled toward an almost square chin.
Eros’s hands smoothed over Zeus’s chest and he saw the delineation of muscles and deep lines beneath his pecks, ribs, and his flat stomach quivering as he tried to keep his breathing steady, slow. His skin seemed to waver in its heat, its sensitivity to touch, its alive-ness apparent. His cock began to fill.
He thought about being embarrassed but he was more focused now, and Eros had already seen him at all levels of emotional upset: drama, tears, fury, drunkenness, and arousal. He could not hide from him. Never had been able to.
“Look.” Eros’s voice whispered over him, softer now, everything effortless, the stresses momentarily gone, the fire in Zeus quenched for the moment into mere lightning-bug sparks, only the tiniest of burns now deep inside his chest.
The reason I write romance these days is because the overwhelming power of falling in love (which has been proven to heal even cancer) is a game-changer. It makes sad people instantly happy. It makes bleak reality look sun-warmed and friendly again.
I have written in all genres: scifi, fantasy, horror, paranormal, contemporary, erotica, romance. My poetry has won awards, publishing contracts, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart. I am a hybrid writer, publishing both indie (under my press name Eye Scry Designs) and with publishers, most recently with Dreamspinner Press.
I keep coming back to romance. Gay romance. Male/male romance. Maybe it was the wonderful start I got when I was very young in Star Trek slash fanfiction. Something about that stuck. The idea of two men falling in love in a society that has winced at that sort of thing for far too long (when in ancient times and other cultures it is considered normal) is alluring. The forbidden is imminently appealing and erotic to me. Many of my themes involve abduction, pleasure slavery, indentured servitude, imprisonment. It’s like, with my writing, I’m constantly breaking out of some self-imposed cage and letting my wings unfurl until I can finally fly.
This is why I write. This is what makes me burn.
All my books are available on Kindle and Createspace.