heehee that excites me. :D
Giveaway works same as always, leave a comment telling us you'd like to enter, don't forget your email so we can contact you... fine details at the bottom of the post. We'll run this jewel thru Sunday, 9:00pm PST.
And now I turn the Place over to... DC Juris.
In my m/m werewolf/werecat romance, "Omarati," the story is set on a fictional world full of magic, elves, dwarves, and animal/human shape shifters. I make this place up as I go along. Sounds like fun, eh? But world building isn't as easy as it seems - it's a delicate balance.
The thing with making everything up as you go along is that you have to keep track of everything. If you establish foreign words, you have to make sure you use them consistently. The same with titles, foods, and all that stuff.
These new words have to be recognizable enough, at least in the context you put them in, so that the reader knows what they are.
"He picked up a paratratoris," doesn't make any sense because that could mean anything! You have to give more information, but without dumping in too much info.
"He picked up a paratratoris and stared at the little numbers running along its edge, wondering just how much nine human inches was."
From that, you can gather that a paratratoris is some kind of measuring device, possibly resembling a ruler.
At the same time, though, you can't inundate the reader with too much foreign detail:
"He picked up a paratratoris and stared at the little dicheti running along its edge." This doesn't make any sense, especially without the reference to human inches.
It's not just words you have to worry about, though. There's weather. Customs. Government. Laws and penalties for breaking them. Religion. Not to mention the social structure - what are their social dos and don'ts? Why?
And you have to be careful that you're not just taking Earth history and giving it a new spin.
So, the next time you pick up a fantasy or science fiction book, pay close attention to the effort the author put into the world. It can make or break the whole thing!
Omarati by D.C. Juris
Blurb: Everything changed for werewolf Calliph after the Shifter War. Now nothing more than a slave and plaything to human Prince Obyn, Calliph finds himself on the Golden Magus, sailing across the sea with his owner. But fate has something more in mind for Calliph in the form of Ship's First Mate Mateo - who just happens to be Calliph's Omarati - his soul mate... and a werecat.
Heartbroken, Calliph knows he can't stay with Mateo - he is forced to follow wherever Obyn leads. Years later, when an attack at sea lands Mateo in the hands of vicious pirates, the cat discovers that, though time has changed some things, his bond with Calliph is eternal.
"I see no wheel," Obyn observed.
Calliph followed Obyn and Captain Ba'Tal up the walkway to the deck of the Golden Magus. His nostrils twitched, catching a hint of something. Something crisp and clean that he could have mistaken for the smell of the sea itself. There were undertones, though—subtle hints of sweat, musk, and the sharp tang of manhood. The scent mingled with his own, blended harmoniously. He swallowed back a growl. The smell of a mate, another shifter, but not one of his own kind. No. A cat. And no little tabby, either. The pheromone belonged to a panther.
"No," Ba'Tal said. "These damned elf ships are all controlled by magic nowadays."
"Yes, well, you still need someone to keep her on course."
Calliph looked toward the owner of the voice . . . the owner of that heavenly scent. The most beautiful man he'd ever laid eyes on. He was short—Calliph had a least a foot on him—with a slender, lithe body, and long, dark hair. Strong, firm muscles rippled beneath sun-tanned skin.
"That there'd be my first mate, Mateo," Ba'Tal said. "This is Obyn and his wolf, Caliph."
"Calliph is not my wolf."
"Begging your pardon, my prince. I thought the queen said he was a shifter."
"He is a shifter. However, 'wolf' is a term reserved for the free of his kind, and he is not free. Calliph is merely a dog."
Calliph swallowed down the words he knew he'd regret.
Mateo turned. A dizzying, hot wind swirled around Calliph as his eyes locked with the man's amber gaze. Time seemed to halt, as the deck seemed to spin in a lazy circle, Calliph in the middle. His head felt heavy and wobbly; his neck and shoulders lacked the strength to support it.
Calliph struggled to make sense of what was happening as a jolt of recognition raced up his spine, even though he had never met Mateo. His feet seemed to move of their own volition, carrying him forward—answering a call he heard in his heart and felt deep in his bones. Made no sense, yet Calliph kept walking.
"Where do you think you're going?" Obyn demanded, tugging sharply on Calliph's leash.
Calliph's head snapped back and his steps faltered. Obyn. He had somehow actually forgotten about the jerk. "To see how it works." He recovered quickly. "With your permission, I'd like to learn the steering mechanism in the event danger should befall our voyage."
Obyn's eyes narrowed and he glanced at Mateo. "Fine. I expect you below deck in an hour."
Ba'Tal lead Obyn away, and Calliph closed the distance to Mateo. "May I?" He nodded toward the steering column.
"Be my guest." Mateo guided Calliph's hand. "Magic controls the orb. Feel that?"
Calliph felt something, but nothing to do with the ship. Mateo's hand on his burned. He fought against the desire to pull Mateo close and smother him with kisses. "What is it?" he asked, not referring to the mechanism.
"You're connected. The magic regulates the pitch of the ship. Left and right—back and forth. Keeps the deck level. Simple, really. You just have to get the feel of it." Mateo pressed his hand down on Calliph's and moved them both slowly from side to side. "There. See? Just a slow, soft touch."
Calliph wasn't interested in the orb—wasn't even looking at it. Mateo tilted his head toward him, bringing their lips inches apart. Calliph's mind reeled. Mateo had moved closer; his grip had tightened . . . his breathing had quickened. He felt it too. Calliph's gaze dipped to Mateo's lips, parted ever so slightly. Mateo must've licked them a moment ago, because they looked moist. Calliph imagined those lips were soft and warm as well. Oh, so soft and warm. Gods, he wanted to kiss them. Calliph's cock twitched and hardened and he marveled, almost having forgotten what an erection felt like.
Something nudged Calliph's leg, and he looked down. A tail. Mateo moved his head; his hair shifted, revealing the sharp upward curve of his ears. Cat though he might have been, Mateo's tail should've been nonexistent, and his ears should've been human ears. Calliph noticed other things then: the fine dusting of dark fur on the backs of Mateo's hands, the not quite feline but not quite human shape of his nose and his eyes.
"They're permanent," Mateo interrupted with a sigh and a frown, obviously used to being questioned.
"How?" Calliph frowned as well, knowing of no explanation.
"The Shifter War."
Calliph snarled. "Alchemists did this to you?"
Mateo nodded and hung his head.
"Nothing to be ashamed of. Can you shift?"
"I can but not for long. The transformation is painful and leaves me exhausted."
That Mateo had shared such a fact with him thrilled Calliph. "You feel it too?"
Mateo's face flushed; he was panting, trembling. "I do. We're Omarati."
Omarati. An ancient term. No common translation existed; the best Calliph had heard was "soul mate." Far beyond that, Omarati were shifters who were created—literally created—for each other, drawn together by a bond unbreakable, unending. Animal, age, gender—none of that mattered, for Omarati were compatible by design, made to accept and overlook any flaws in favor of their bond. Their hearts and their souls knew each other already, even if their minds had a bit of catching up to do. A connection like this, as far as Calliph knew, existed between no other beings. Mateo's small hand slid into his.
"What are we going to do?" Mateo asked.
Calliph ran a finger under his collar. What indeed.
The fine details...
- Giveaway is for an PDF copy.
- Contest closes 9:00PM PST, July 31st, 2011
- To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me you’d like to be entered in the giveaway.
- Please include a valid email address or I won’t know where to contact you.
- Winners will be selected at random using Random.org
- If the chosen winners do not respond to my email within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.
- Contest is open worldwide.
- Must be 18 yrs. old or older.