Satin and Steel by Brantwijn Serrah

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The Book Mistress Tours

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Satin and Steel

Blood & Fire, Book 2

By

Brantwijn Serrah

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance (NC17)

Buy Link

Satin and Steel at Champagne Books

Satin and Steel on Amazon

Satin and Steel on Barnes and Noble

Book blurb

They say love ruined her. It’s time to prove them wrong.

Half a century ago, Rhiannon lost the woman she loved. Since then, unlife has held little

meaning for her, and she’s fallen from grace among the vampire nation. She once swore to

throw herself into the sun the day Aijyn died…but it turns out she’s no good at keeping

promises.

Sometimes the best cure for heartache is surrender. There’s a demon in London with new

promises: darkness to run in, pleasures to hunt, rules to break. Sent to track down a dangerous

traitor, Rhiannon is caught up in a game of murder and treachery between three warring

races…and the sinful, seductive shadow-walker who could be her redemption, or her ultimate

undoing.

Author bio

When she isn’t visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins,

Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little

Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can’t handle coffee unless there’s enough cream

and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you.

She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend

hours watching Futurama, American Horror Story or Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she

writes or draws.

In addition to her novels, Brantwijn has self-published erotic short stories available on

Smashwords or Amazon.  She’s also had a short story published in the Cleiss Press Big Book

of Orgasm and the anthology Coming Together Through The Storm. She hopes to have

several more tales to tell as time goes on.  She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon,

and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories occasionally pop up at

Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at http://brantwijn.blogspot.com.

Social links

Brantwijn’s Facebook Page: http://tinyurl.com/qf2bzwk

Foreplay and Fangs blog: http://brantwijn.blogspot.com/?zx=6ba3380c7201b326

Foreplay and Fangs on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/q2cmnep

Find Brantwijn on Google+

And on Goodreads

Say hi to her on Twitter

Book excerpt

In a blink, the demon disappeared into the silhouette of the smoke stack. Then, Rhiannon felt

slender fingers brushing along her shoulder, slow and coy. She spun to find Vivienne

lounging happily on her stomach atop another chimney, slipped there through the shadows

without a sound.

“What we have heard about you,” she said, “is far from rumor.”

Rhiannon jerked away. “Don’t touch me.”

The corner of Vivienne’s smile twitched, for a moment becoming hard, an irritated scowl.

“Your kind is only the Fourth Blood of the Drogh Lord’s kingdom,” she hissed. “The

werewolves and shadiil came long before vampires. We are older than even the oldest of your

race, gravespawn, something you and your mother would do well to keep in mind.”

Rhiannon bristled at the insult. “Older than vampires, but still the spawn of beasts,” she spat.

“Rife with a touch of madness because of it, I’d say.”

Vivienne fell silent, searching Rhiannon carefully. “They say you have been mad once.”

Rhiannon’s spine straightened. A wary prickle traveled through her shoulders and a low

growl started deep in her throat.

“Drank the blood of another vampire, didn’t you?” the shadiil purred. “Drained a rival

warrior to death, just as a rabid thrall does, and lost your pretty little mind.”

Rhiannon’s hand returned to the hilt of her blade.

“You haven’t exactly been the same since then, have you, Rhiannon Donovan?”

“It’s a lie,” she muttered. “I am not a thrall. I know my own mind and I am not rabid!”

Vivienne’s smirk returned, as if renewed by the anger she’d provoked. She slid her knees out

from under her and dropped to the rooftop, backing Rhiannon down.

“You were expected to become the first Archon in the history of the Blood Circle Council to

bear four fangs,” she said. “A vampire colder and crueler than any ever squirted out from

between her dam’s thighs. Colder and crueler than most who were sired with a bite, perhaps.

What happened to you, Rhiannon Donovan? Where did your strict, disciplined focus and

cold-blooded dedication go? Where is the tigre méchant et sanguinaire, the malicious and

bloodthirsty tiger?”

“Back away, shadiil,” the vampire spat. “I am still a Weapons master.”

Vivienne stopped, tilting her head, scanning Rhiannon up and down with giddy cruelty.

“They were wrong about you,” she said. “You are no Archon.”

“It no longer matters to me if I am.”

Green eyes glittered. “My race knows better, little Rhiannon. My queen knows better. You

will throw off every expectation the bloodsuckers have of you. You will throw off every

expectation everyone has of you. You are no Archon at heart.”

She stood close enough that her pretty, elfin nose almost touched Rhiannon’s. The vampire

realized she’d stopped growling, caught off guard by those glowing, hypnotic eyes.

“Non, non, Rhiannon. At heart, you are nothing less than a Councilwoman herself.”

Rhiannon snorted.

“You are the one who is mad, shadiil,” she muttered, turning to slip down the way she had

come. “Run off. Let me hunt in peace.”

“I am not teasing you, ma chérie,” Vivienne said with a smile. “This is what the seers have

told us: you will become the greatest vampire among all vampires.”

“Your seers are blind.”

With a cold rush of shadows, the other demon appeared out of the darkness before her,

materialized in the silhouette of the window casement.

“Enough of grand talk then, since it bothers you so,” she murmured. “Reconsider hunting

with me. We will find this beast and put it in the ground. You can go back to your race a hero

and get back on the path you pursued so hungrily before you lost your mind.”

“I didn’t lose my mind!” Rhiannon insisted, pushing past her.

“The shadiil prides of London and our werewolf allies will be far more helpful to you than

your own kind. We are not so busy prattling about the blame and covering up our blunders.

You will find us to be far more pleasant company.”

“I don’t want company.”

“Arrêtez, ma cher…wait.”

Rhiannon paused, another growl escaping her.

Vivienne strolled up to her side. “May I see your teeth, ma beau chérie?”

Rhiannon sneered. “What?”

Vivienne lunged, putting her soft hands to Rhiannon’s face and nudging her lips away from

her teeth. As the curious beast inspected the bracketed fangs in eyeteeth and canines, her

smile quirked up at the corners even more. She started to purr, her tongue peeking out to run

over her dark lips.

“Oh…they are most lovely, bastard child,” she murmured, stroking one hand along

Rhiannon’s cheek. “So lovely, I could almost bite you myself, and send you home to your

mother with my naughty teeth marks all over your tight little body.”

IN DEFENSE OF DIALOGUE TAGS

I recently read a book in which the author used no dialogue tags.

Do NOT do this.

Since becoming more active in the Indie Author Community, I hear lots of editing tips

thrown around. Some of these I’ve adopted (such as cutting waaaaaay down on my use of the

word “was”), while some I refuse to accept. One piece of advice which surely began with

sage intentions, but which I utterly loathe in its full-fledged format, is the advice to cut out

dialogue tags.

What are dialogue tags, you ask? Well, they are words to say that you said a thing, and

perhaps how you said it. Said is probably the most common dialogue tag, followed by ask.

There are hundreds more including mumbled, grumbled, shot, snapped, demanded, growled,

shouted, interjected, ejaculated (oh yeah, that’s really one of them), griped, groused, and

groaned.

Now just what’s wrong with using dialogue tags, you wonder? They seem like perfectly

normal, acceptable words, don’t they?

Well, I’m not sure when dialogue tags started getting such a bad rap, but in my personal

belief, it was the adverbs who started it all. Phrases like “he said smugly”, “she cried

happily”, “they shouted uproariously”. Adverbs are the enablers of lazy writing. The

elimination of adverbs is sensible because it encourages showing rather than telling. Instead

of relying on an adverb to describe how a person said something—for example,

angrily—creative writers ought to communicate a character’s anger through his choice of

words, body language, and/or action. The writer can “angry up” his characters’ choice of

words, adding in curses; short snappy phrasing; a harsh gesture or two. Or, he can use a

dialogue tag:

“You’re wrong,” he grated.

Now, personally, I enjoy expressive dialogue descriptions and find them perfectly legit,

assuming they are used in a reasonable and thoughtful manner. Like all language, dialogue

and its context have a rhythm and a balance, and you don’t want to overload that balance with

what we believe to be creative and original ways to describe speaking. That’s not to say you

must weed them all out, though. Long stretches of dialogue without dialogue tags becomes

choppy, strange, and rife with that cringy feel you get when it comes to comma splices. Don’t

avoid dialogue tags; use them wisely.

Strange Dialogue Tags

I absolutely believe people can say things in a purr. I can put together what it means when

someone hisses their statement, even if there’s not a lot of “s” sounds in it. I can figure out

what it means when someone sighs or breathes or even smiles their words. Howled, growled,

rumbled, thundered, keened, fumed, blustered, barked, crowed, and screeched…here are

some wonderfully evocative ways to describe how someone can say a thing. Unfortunately, it

seems like editors and academics dock even more points for tags like these. The problem

evidently comes down to a complaint that you can’t growl/grin/frown words.

Well, maybe not literally. But readers are smart cookies. I trust mine will know what is meant

when I say a woman purred something to her lover or a tired old man wheezed through his

final will and testament as his lawyer transcribed. I’m not entirely sure why metaphors are

okay elsewhere in narrative, but when it comes to dialogue we must be so very, very literal.

So I’ll just be going ahead with my metaphorical dialogue tags, personally, and I’m behind

anyone else who does. Just don’t go too wildly, melodramatically overboard.

Ultimately I say, don’t be afraid to use said. Don’t shy away from shouted or shot. Don’t

abolish bellowing, bristling, or braying. There’s nothing wrong with well-placed and

colourful dialogue tags any more than there is with well-placed and colourful similes,

epithets, and sensory words. Use the same discretion you’d use anywhere else in your

work…and just watch out for those tempting adverbs.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. brantwijn
    Oct 29, 2015 @ 13:52:29

    Thanks for hosting me, always a joy to visit you and your readers!

    Like

    Reply

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