Sunday, March 7, 2010

Snakeshifters and Male Love

Hey all,

It's Sunday, so you know what that means... Yep! Promo Time. And today we have a genre I've only done one story in, but plan to do more.

When I was asked to do a Manlove romance, I was at first hesitant. Did I want to stretch out this way? Could I do justice to two men finding each other and falling in love? Would I make it too smaltsy and turn men off, even while I brought in women readers who look for romance?

I wasn't sure, but I knew I wanted to give it a try and I found myself writing a story that had been rolling around in my head ever since I read my first shapeshifter book way back when I was a teenager. (yes...I got a dirty mind very young. *grin*)

Since it was only a short story, it was even more difficult. You all know how I like to delve into my characters and bring out their full flavor. But I did it. And Kobrai...The Serpent King was hatched.

Since I retain the rights to this story, even though UTM can sell it in their anthology, I am going to expand and do a snakeshifter series on this world. Kobrai and his lover Devin have more to tell and the supporting characters all were shouting for their own books.

So take a look at this story and enjoy the strange relationship between two men from very different worlds.

Devin has longed to explore the galaxy and see new worlds, but an obscure genetic defect makes it impossible for him to breathe the air of other worlds. He is relegated to flying surveying runs, mapping those worlds he can never set foot on. He never expects to crash land on a planet and discover a whole new race.

Kobrai is the leader of the Maji people, a group of shapeshifters who can change into snakes. He is curious about the possibility of worlds beyond the stars, and when an unconscious alien is brought to him, he is excited to discover his beliefs have foundation.

As Kobrai nurses the injured Devin back to health, they discover a desire that can't be denied. Both their worlds allow men to come together in passion, but falling for a different species is another thing all together. Can they push through the fear, doubt and distrust of both their races to themselves to find a love that is true?


Suddenly, there was a huge flash of light. The explosion rocked the Starbird and Devin closed his eyes to prevent being blinded. Clang. Ping. Crack. The ship shook viciously as it was peppered by dozens of tiny objects. Then, without warning, it fell like a stone.

Cursing, Devin grabbed the stick, but the controls shook madly in his hand. His heart raced as he tried to regain command of the ship. He didn’t have time to grieve that his friend’s ship had just been blown out of the sky. Right now, his own survival was paramount.

He flicked on the Com, just in case someone from StarQuest could hear him. “This is Starbird zero-eight-zero. I’ve been hit by debris! I’m going down!” Frantically, he keyed in his last coordinates, just as the plane hit the upper atmosphere. The nose erupted into smoke and flames.

“Shit!” he cursed as the cockpit of the ship heated rapidly. Working quickly, he sent more power to his shields, breathing a sigh of relief when the temperature dropped back to tolerable.
His hands moved furiously over the control panel. No matter what he did, even with the automated deceleration thrusters, he wasn’t slowing down. Devin stared out the windshield of the ship as it plummeted closer and closer to the alien planet. Suddenly, he laughed. He was getting his wish after all. He would be the first one to set foot on an unexplored planet. There was only one problem.

Once he did…he’d be dead.

* * * * *

His own groaning and the smell of burning metal woke him. His eyes blinked open and he found himself staring into a verdant canopy of trees. Smoke drifted over him and he coughed, his lungs straining to bring in oxygen.

Slowly, he rolled over and belly-crawled away from his destroyed ship. His body ached and there was a stinging in his eyes, nose and throat that told him the genetic disorder that afflicted his lungs was alive and well. He might not have died from the crash, but the inability to breathe this air would eventually kill him.

Groggily, Devin got to his feet, leaning on a tree to regain his equilibrium. The ship was a total loss, lying in several pieces along the ground. No way was he going anywhere in that. He glanced up at the sky. He could only hope his message had gotten through.

A rustling in the brush made him go still He crouched slightly, staring around the small glade as adrenaline rushed through his veins. Just what he needed; some curious animal checking to see if there was anything of interest to nibble on.

He didn’t see it coming. All he felt was the rush of air as it dropped from above him, encircling his still sluggish body. Devin fought, but he stood no chance against a predator from the trees. Slowly, it began to squeeze him, tightening around him until his already abused lungs gasped for breath.

His vision grayed as he continued to struggle. Would he die here, not from the shipwreck or even his disorder, but from some unknown creature? He coughed, blood trickling out of the corner of his mouth as he felt his ribs break. The thing holding him undulated wickedly.

Barely conscious, he watched as the flat triangular head of a huge snake lifted to meet his eyes. Expecting the serpent to open its mouth and swallow him whole, any breath he had left disappeared when the snake’s head suddenly changed. It shifted, melting into the features of something else entirely. Something, he would have never expected to find on this uninhabited, unmapped planet

His last conscious thought was…oh my God…I’m going to be eaten by a man.

*end of excerpt*

Buy an autographed copy of Sacred Bands with CJ's story Kobrai...The Serpent King at

Come back tomorrow and see my blogs answer to the lack of romance books in Singapore!!!!!



Anonymous said...

Hi CJ,
First amoeba's, now Snakes! Been having some strange dreams lately CJ? Hm-m-m???
Great excerpt. M/M's not my cup of tea, for this lifetime anyway. I have no doubt that you'll have your signature success in this genre too.
Best Wishes,
Sara J. ~ : - ]

Phylis said...

Hadn't had a chance to read this one. I'm sure it's as fantastic as all your others!