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Marketing for Romance Writers is a peer mentoring group for authors. It was founded in 2006 by Kayelle Allen.

How to pretend a ritual (with a human) @nitsvetov #MFRWhooks #MFRWauthor #SciFi

 

When I created the Ritual of Strength for Pietas, I acted out each part to be sure I described it accurately. My pretend ritual inspired the scene below. Later, my son helped me storyboard it using a 3D program.

The multi-step ritual will be performed as a cosplay by Nik Nitsvetov, the model I have used for Pietas from the beginning. The event will take place the first weekend in September. To see the live stream, follow Nik on Instagram. I'll be announcing it in my reader groups as well. I'll provide more links for Nik at the end of this post.

Pretending the Ritual

Before Pietas goes to war, he performs a solemn ritual. While not religious in nature, it holds great personal meaning for him. When the immortal king is caught in a storm and unable to perform it, his friend comes to the rescue. That is, if the king will unbend his stiff-necked attitude and let himself "pretend."

Pietas's long hair, full of static electricity from the wind and storm, settled over his shoulders and adhered to his neck. He could not lift his arms to gather it himself but he did not want the others to see he needed help nor did he want Six fretting over it.

The man blamed himself for the injury. Yes, Six had bound Pietas. It had been Six's duty to do so. In truth, those who had placed Pietas inside the pod and refused to release him were to blame, but no matter how often he reminded Six of that, the ghost refused to relinquish his guilt.

Six dug into his pockets. "I think I have another cloth strip." They had torn several from a ragged shirt. Six wore the biggest piece around his neck. He set down his pack and opened it.

"Six," Pietas hissed. He did not turn his head, but looked toward the others. "Leave it!"

The ghost glanced up at him, then the immortals, waiting ahead. "You want the women messing with your hair? Is that it?"

He closed his eyes, counting to ten. To a hundred would not erase this embarrassment. "No." When he beheld Six, the man had the discourtesy to smirk. "Don't look at me in that tone of voice."

The man chuckled. "We should have cut your hair before we set out." He rummaged through his kit, which held all Six owned when he'd been abandoned on this world. Little more than survival gear.

"I never cut it except in ritual."

"I know." Six withdrew a boning knife used for it.

Before every battle, Pietas performed the solemn rite to affirm superior strength and prowess. The ghost had been the first human to see it carried out, albeit the first half from a distance while hiding.

Six stood. "Maybe you could perform it now."

"How like you to see the easy solution. But there are a few elements missing. No fire. No water. No mask." He gestured toward the oncoming storm. "No time."

"Haven't you ever heard of pretending?"

"One cannot 'pretend' a ritual."

"What a boring childhood you must've had. Why not?"

Pietas opened his mouth to answer. Shut it again.

Six lifted one eyebrow. "Do you want to go into that dark hole and meet up with your people without performing it?"

"No, but there's no time."

"Rain's coming." Six jerked a thumb toward the forest. "Like I said, you have to go in there or you won't reunite with your people. Are you going to stand out here making excuses, or do this?"

"Ghost, this ritual is important. It deserves respect."

"Blah, blah, blah. That storm is bearing down on us." A few drops of rain splattered them both. "See? Or maybe you'd rather have your sister help you with your hair every morning."

"Fine!" With a resigned sigh, Pietas capitulated. "How do you propose we 'pretend' my ritual?"

Meet Nik Nitsvetov - Pietas performer



Nik Nitsvetov (left and above, as Pietas) is a photographer and award-winning cosplayer. A gamer and anime fan, he often cosplays characters from popular series. He lives in Russia and is a strong supporter of Russian Cosplay. His personal photography ranges from cosplay to portraits and often includes animals and nature. You will find him online through various social media.
https://www.instagram.com/nitsvetov/
https://www.instagram.com/nitsvetov.photo/
https://www.patreon.com/onframe/posts
https://twitter.com/nitsvetov
https://www.facebook.com/nik.nicvetov
https://www.facebook.com/OnframeCosplay/
https://worldcosplay.net/en/member/Onframe
https://vk.com/onframe

The difference between who you are and what you want to be is what you do. – Zig Ziglar

The Author's Secret - Graphic Design for AuthorsWelcome! You got here because you clicked a link for The Author’s Secret. That’s great!

Hi, I’m Kayelle Allen and I’m the founder of The Author’s Secret. In November 2011, I created a company to support other authors. It was a joy to do and it took a long time for me to decide to put it aside.

I am no longer promoting my graphic design work. Instead, I do it all for myself. I’m writing full time. If you were a client at The Author’s Secret, I still have all your files and can send you backup copies whenever you want. Just email me.

 

 

 

 

 

In this scene, Senth must meet someone at a hotel above a nightclub, and when you look as young as he does, getting in isn't that easy...

As Senth approached The Ghost, the club's beefy Kin bouncer put out a hand. "Hold up, kid. You--" She motioned toward Khyff -- "Wait over there. You..." She motioned Senth aside. "You got ID?"

Senth opened his cloak, revealing the lining with its unmistakable Thieves' Guild insignia, a skeleton key inside a slashed circle. He gave his Sen'dai's hand sign.

"Ffffftt!" The bouncer made an apologetic shrug. "Sorry. Why didn't you say you were the Man's right up front?"

"His shouldn't have to." Senth brushed a hand down the front of the cloak. "And I'm no kid."

"Sorry, sir." She opened the door for both of them and bowed.

Once inside, Khyff held out one palm, and Senth slid his down it, hooked his fingers as Khyff did, and with hands clasped, gave one downward shake.

"C'mon, Bro." Khyff led the way past the darkened foyer.

Inside, music pulsed like a living entity. Throbbing bass tickled Senth's chest, and he coughed. Drums pounded. Colored lights swept the cavernous room. Strobes flashed across the congested dance floor, highlighting bobbing heads and upflung arms. Light glinted off human bodies slick with sweat, while bared and damp Kin furskin stuck out in points, laden with glitter.

"Stay close," Khyff shouted over the pulsating music, standing next to Senth. He headed for the rear and left no chance to argue. They skirted around the crammed dance area. Senth liberated a few loose credit stubs clipped to belts and stuffed them into the pockets of his cloak.

He tried not to stare at the slakes along the wall, but their clothing and attitude declared their availability. A pair of male and female slakes bent over a low railing, their pants around their ankles. Androgs handled their bodies like merchandise.

Khyff nudged him. "Comparison shoppers."

"Not funny."

"Try being the one hanging over the railing." Khyff jerked his head. "Come on."

Females ruled on the Kin planet Felidae, and the majority who visited The Ghost had more than one male in their company. A single Kin female at the bar turned and looked Senth over from head to foot. Tall and slender, she wore brown leather the same color as her hair. She slid her tongue across her upper teeth, back and forth between her fangs, and wiggled her cute feline nose. Then she twitched her pointed ears toward Senth. A tap on his arm drew Senth's attention.

"Stay away from her, Sen." Khyff glared at the Kin. "She'll take you to bed and then eat you for breakfast. That's not a figure of speech. HalfKin who leave with her aren't seen again. She's working this floor for someone. Watch this." Khyff slid a hand down his body, giving the Kin a slow smile.

The female crooked a finger at Khyff and smiled back.

When Khyff rubbed his fingers and thumb together in a sign for money, she turned away. "Yeah, I thought so."

"You wanted her?"

His brother snorted. "You couldn't pay me enough to screw a Kin."


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

 

In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, the immortal Pietas argues with his father, who contends the war has cost billions of human lives, while as immortals, none of the Ultras has suffered a perma-death.

Freedom, Fairness, Fortune

"As usual, you discount my deaths."

"Yours don't count. You come back."

"I see." Had anything Pietas had ever done counted? Not to the man before him. "Tell me, Father." He picked up a silver circlet and toyed with it. "Would it be better if some of us had been terminated by fire, or one of the other ways to end us permanently? How many perma-deaths would suffice? Are two sufficient? A hundred? Or would mine be enough?"

"Why must you twist my words? Of course Ultras have died, but we revive in peak condition. Humans stay dead. All I'm saying is the loss is heavy on one side."

"Every war has losses. Yet you don't celebrate the victory. You count the enemy's defeat as your own."

"This is why you are unfit to lead the council. You--"

"Ah, there it is." Pietas twirled the diadem around one finger. "The real reason you're here. To whine about losing your place of power."

"That's petty and you know it. Too many mortals have died!"

"Mortals! How I tire of that word. I believe I'll start calling them Mundanes."

"Why not? It smacks of your usual disrespect and bigotry."

Pietas sputtered a laugh. "I find it incredulous that the indignant and righteous Mahikos who led our people in rebellion against humanity has fallen so far from his ideals. What happened to the motto 'Freedom, Fairness, Fortune' that rallied our people? I was four years old. We were still hidden then. No one knew Dessy and I existed except you and Mother. But you hoisted us both onto your shoulders and we stayed behind darkened glass and watched as thousands of our people cheered in the streets. You'd won them freedom, and they shouted your name. Oh, in that moment, Father, I wanted to be just like you. No, I wanted to be you. Now?" He ignored the angry twitch tugging at one eyelid. "You want us to treat humans as equals. They never treated us as such. Even now, we're hated and reviled. Putting them on the council will make them haughtier. I want nothing to do with humans."

"Then you want nothing to do with me, Son. Humans are all I care about."

And wasn't that the naked truth of his father's betrayal? He had turned his back on their people. He had turned his back on his son.

A captive of the people he loathes, the immortal Pietas is left for dead on the planet Sempervia. Six, a human soldier who is abandoned with him, offers food and water. A human, offering friendship? Surely, this is another trap, but to survive, Pietas must do that which he most detests.
Trust a human...
Bringer of Chaos series by Kayelle Allen
Amazon and Kindle Unlimited
https://books2read.com/u/4DovO7


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

It's Christmas Eve and a cop is at the door... #SweetRomance #MFRWhooks

It's Christmas Eve and a cop is at the door... #SweetRomance #MFRWhooks

Last time a cop was at Dara's door it was Christmas Eve, and he delivered news that her husband had been killed.

Now one's out there again...

From A Romance for Christmas

Dara was gaining strength daily, and would finish therapy the first week of January and return to work. Disability paid for the basics - lights, phone, water, trash collection, and she'd never bought anything on credit, refusing to dig herself into a hole she'd never escape once it got started.

She went to the closet and pulled down a box with a ball, crayons, paper, and three books. A friend had brought over a few things as well. This wasn't the grand Christmas she had wanted for her daughter, but all the other valuables had been sold. There was nothing left but her wedding ring.

She didn't wear it. Removing it had been part of saying good-bye to Jack.

They said it would help, and it had. Sort of. But not much.

Dara sank into one of the kitchen chairs and put her face in her hands.

Sometime later, when the doorbell rang, she grabbed a paper towel and dried her eyes. The clock over the stove said nine o'clock. Who would be calling at this hour on Christmas Eve? She stuffed the wet towel in her robe pocket on the way to the door.

A Romance for Christmas

A sweet feel-good holiday romance that reaffirms all you love about Christmas. It's the end of a year in which everything Dara loves was lost. Everything but her little girl and a fierce determination to survive. When a cop comes to her door on Christmas Eve, he brings a gift she never expected to get.

Universal book link https://books2read.com/u/31MNPw

It's Christmas Eve and a cop is at the door... #SweetRomance #MFRWhooks


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

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