J.F. Posthumus

J.F. Posthumus

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Virginia, United States
A computer tech and artist that thrives on writing fantasy to escape the harshness of reality.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Teaser from Banshee's Daughter

So, I've been busy doing artwork and getting over being sick.  I am SO getting the flu shot sometime soon.  I've also got to see the printer version of the artwork I did for my workplace and it looks REALLY good.  I'm sooo glad it's done, though. 

Anywhos... Here's another teaser from Banshee's Daughter.  I'm currently working on a picture book for animals that come out at night and also attempting to plot out a young adult novel.  Urban Fantasy/Fantasy, of course, revolving around our beloved Xantos and his unknown daughter.  (that should sound familiar, since we were writing another called 'warlord's daughter' and we've subsequently changed it completely.) 

As for the teaser....  For those just tuning in, Iliana is the daughter of a banshee.  She's a retriever of magical artifacts between her world and Baradwys, which is a dimension full of beings that are only found in fairy tales and where magic abounds.  It's also where Xantos resides.  Iliana has so far managed to be intercepted delivering an artifact in Baradwys by Xantos (where the highest bidder always wins), be hired to retrieve Dante from a crazed dark elf witch, and banish a djinn.  Now she's got assassins coming after her, and Xantos isn't the guilty party!  After confronting Xantos, Iliana managed to concoct a mixture that keeps Xantos from trying to seduce her or take advantage of her.  This takes place the day after the first attack on her.


In all her banshee glory, which Iliana loved but refused to admit to her mother, Ceara stepped through and into Xantos’s office. Red hair danced about her head with a life of its own, her gown a pale green that swirled around her like mist as her glowing red eyes glared with intense hatred at Xantos. Her hands were claws and only her face remained human, though, considering her red lips were pulled back into an almost-inhuman snarl, Iliana wondered who would win a battle of the magics.

It wasn’t something she was going to wager on, either.

“Momma, I’m fine. Xantos wasn’t the one who sent the attackers and he didn’t do anything,” Iliana quickly said, her words practically running together. She turned to Xantos. “Did you?”

“Don’t bother spewing out a lie, Xantos,” Ceara growled. “I can tell by the sour look beneath that smirk you’re wearing it’s the truth. Pray tell me why, in the names of all the gods, you didn’t bother informing me my daughter was here before now?”

“Because she was sleeping against me, woman... and I did not wish to disturb what may have been her most peaceful sleep in ages. Surely, a mother can appreciate that.” Xantos rejoined.

“As though you could not have informed me prior to that,” Ceara countered, stalking forward. She turned to Iliana, eyes narrowed to what Iliana considered the ‘danger zone’. “You haven’t been sleeping well? Why haven’t you said something to me?”

“I’m a grown woman, Mother; I don’t need a babysitter! I sleep well enough. As for Xantos, I can handle myself,” Iliana interjected. “Xantos, I can’t thank you enough for everything you did, but may I have my weapon back so I can return home? You and mother remind me of a pair of bickering divorcees.”

“Ironic- considering we have never mated.” Xantos mused. “As for your advanced arquebus, I have it here.”

He opened the left top drawer of his desk. Her automatic was placed on the desk top a moment later.

Iliana’s eyes brightened as she picked up her beloved weapon and practically cradled it to her, stroking it almost lovingly. She glanced at her mother and winked.

Ceara rolled her eyes, folded her arms across her chest, and began drumming her claws against her biceps. “Nor do I have any intention of being another notch on your bedpost, Xantos. As for you, my daughter; despite your teasing, there would be no possible way a child could come of my coupling with any mortal being.”

Iliana turned her attention away from her weapon, which she was carefully examining for blemishes or damage from either Xantos or the bullets. “What do you mean by that?”

Eyes still glowing red, Ceara glowered at Xantos. Completely ignoring Iliana’s question, she continued, “If you’re finished here, we need to return to our home world. You’ll be staying with me until those responsible are caught.”

“Like hells I am,” Iliana snapped. “First, I am not staying with you. Nor am I staying with Roland; he’s worse with me than his own pack’s pups. Alesio is still angry with me, so he’s out of the question.” She paused, and then smiled slyly knowing exactly what would annoy Xantos and her mother, not to mention both Roland and Alesio. “Perhaps I could ask Dante? I’m certain he wouldn’t object.”

“My, my... instead of the lesser known evils, she pines for the greater unknown.” Xantos interjected. “No wonder men are drawn to your offspring, banshee. I find myself wishing there were more like her abouts... those that were not my relatives, of course.”

Ceara’s eyes flared and Iliana could have sworn she saw sparks. “Are you saying Dante would harm my daughter?”

“Wait a minute,” Iliana interjected. “I’ve accepted a date with Dante; why in the hells would he want to harm me if he’s been badgering me for a date since he met me?”

“Perhaps you’re merely saying this to try and keep my daughter all to yourself,” Ceara added darkly. “If I could, I would forbid her from crossing between the dimensions, but even I am not that foolish.”

“Oh, such importance you place on yourselves and kin.” snorted Xantos. “Still; I can understand the penchant and need to do so. I refer to... wait... you don’t know. Ah, I cannot spoil such a delicious surprise. I agree that Dante does not intend harm upon either of you. But... as is so often the result, don’t we men usually... heh... burn the ones we love?”

“I’ve already warned her about his horns,” Ceara retorted sharply. “I approve of him, but perhaps you are right.”

“What in the hells are you two talking about? I feel as though I’m in the middle of one giant riddle. Let me guess, the sphinx has the answers to your questions?” Iliana rolled her eyes, crossing her arms angrily. “Fine, I’ll go to Alex. At least if I snuggle with him, I don’t require protection of any sort.”

“Do as you wish. I shall enjoy the spectacle. I will be at your discretion should you need more obsidian ammunition, or advice.” Xantos said from his throne. “May I consider you available for further recoveries or similar works?”

Live Chat Event...

Just stumbled upon this: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=21397 -- It's a live "chat/blog" even with Carrie Vaughn, author of the Kitty series.  Great books, too.  She just came out with a new one for young adults, called "Voices of Dragons".  GREAT book, btw.  :) 

I recommend dropping by the site at some point and snooping around.  They have daily chats with different authors and even prizes, like signed books! 

check it out!!!
Monday, March 15, 2010

The Novel that Started It All

So, I figured I'd post something from the novel that started it all.  Of course, it's also a novel that needs A LOT of editing, rewriting... and, to be honest, it needs to be picked apart for the best parts and rewritten completely.  Yes, it's THAT BAD, lol.  However, we haven't done that (though we really should at some point), but we do make references to events that occured in the novel and characters that appeared in it.  We also have a few show up in other novels, one especially, because they were such great antagonists.  The novel, Love's Betrayal.  It's all about how Xolyn met Aly and, despite being a fantasy novel, has a thick romantic subplot.  Well, to be honest, it wouldn't be a novel without Xolyn and Aly falling in love, lol.  It is also not only the introduction of Aly and Xolyn, but Xantos, also. 

Anywhos, this is the last bit in what should have been the prelude, instead of the first chapter. 


Alyssiana walked silently through the tables, her cloak still pulled tightly about her. Her eyes swept the room, knowing that though she didn’t see any guards, they had to be there. As she neared the farthest dining room, the voices became louder. She could see a light beneath the doorframe. She paused before the door and glanced down towards the floor, one hand on the doorknob, the other on the dagger at her waist.

Head held high, she opened the door and stepped inside. Shutting the door behind her she brushed the hood back to reveal her face. All the men in the room turned to see who had dared to interrupt the meeting. Her grandfather sat at the head of the table, his silver hair pulled back with a leather strap. None had expected her save her grandfather, Xantos Davoryn Zaurahel, High Lord of the Royal House of DiSendra. She stood silently, as one of Xantos’s servants removed the cloak from her shoulders and withdrew from the room.

“Stop standing and sit, child. You’re wasting time.” Xantos’s voice was cold and emotionless.

“As you wish, Grandfather.” Alyssiana nodded once then walked around the table, aware of the eyes that followed her. Each man in the room had a gleam in their eyes and, though she knew her abilities, she was thankful for her position as Xantos’s granddaughter and not just another hireling. She slid into the vacant seat to the right of her grandfather.

Xantos raised his eyes from his ledger and glared around the table at the men before him. His expression was cold and daring. The men lowered their eyes back to the papers before them as Xantos slid a note to his granddaughter.

Alyssiana remained silent throughout the rest of the meeting and remained seated after they had left. The note remained on the table beneath her folded hands.

The silence that ensued was more than Alyssiana wanted to put up with. “Why did you summon me here, Grandfather?” She waited for a response, certain that it wouldn’t be something she would want to hear.

“You realize that by doing this…task…you are playing into his hands. My enemy: Your enemy. And he will exploit you further, given the chance.” Xantos made no effort to hide his displeasure.

“Considering all that I know you to be capable of, Grandfather, I can see why you are enemies. You are so similar in how you live, and do business.”

The elder Docelfar smiled coolly. His constant air of knowing more than everyone else, even if she had used that character flaw to her advantage from time to time, irritated her. Alyssiana braced herself, not sure if he would continue, or if she had finally found the breaking point. He could kill her, here, and no one would make a gesture to stop it.

“Even if your presumptions of me were correct,” Xantos began, “there is one divergence between us: I care for you, and consider your death to be an unpleasant event which should be avoided. He has no such discretion.”

Abruptly, she stood. How many of the deaths that haunted her were by his hand? If not his own, then someone from the massive host in his employ or servitude? Her teeth were bared, gray eyes blazing down at her grandfather. The questions and accusations wanted to pour from her lips. She had come to accept and honor her heritage; what more did he want? Must she try to kill him before he was satiated?

The cold smile stayed put. Alyssiana considered her options, and sat once more. Let him finish what he has to say. I will not be goaded from my position. She promised herself.

Speaking once more, Xantos lowered his voice to a secretive whisper. “In a year’s time, perhaps less, I will move against the dahnri, and he will be mine. You can find other obligations to serve until then, or take your place at the House of DiSendra. I would even fund a personal quest. Take your pick, my child.”

“I have made my decision.” Alyssiana countered. She got up again, and this time, she moved next to Xantos. The smile had faded from his lips, just a bit. He clapped his hands, and the servant returned, bearing her cloak. The man held it out for her, and she slipped into the comforting folds. Alyssiana moved to leave when her grandfather’s voice stopped her a final time.

“Consider all that has come before, Aly. Think of what you know, and what the possibilities are. You may find yourself realizing what I have tried to warn you of.”

His words rang in her ears during her walk to the inn. The voice did not cease to echo in her mind as she summoned another portal and changed at Xantos’s house. Memories played in her dreams as she slept in the rented bed at the inn. In the morning, she thought she was, at last, free of those words. After a meal, she packed and began to travel once more. It took very little time in the quiet outdoors for her mind to unlock the hated door Xantos had built.

Consider all that has come before…there is so much…
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A bit of Romance....

Here’s something from “Gifts of the Gods”. Our fantasy novel with a romantic storyline. Of course, we’re still trying to cut out about 48k from it, so it’ll be interesting to see what all ends up getting nixed. (We were having a bit too much fun with this one! LoL.) Anyways, I thought I’d post something completely different. (That’s what I get for reading the current fantasy novels I have – like Karen Chance….)

Backstory: Aeryn is the daughter of Shamazu, goddess of fire and lust, and a mortal. She’s been banished after arguing with her mother about Sham’s attitude and treatment of the mortals so she can get to know the mortals better. Aeryn takes a job as a hostess at a casino in her mother’s city, Blysia Caer; a city devoted to fulfilling one’s every desire. Aeryn has not only inherited her mother’s beauty, but also a great many of her mom’s immortal abilities. The casino is now one of the most influent and prosperous hotel/casinos in Blysia Caer and the majority come to see the hostess who is as beautiful as a goddess but far more gracious and kind. Baudin has his own reasons to seek out Aeryn, and they’re not all good intentions.

The below takes place after Baudin meets Aeryn initially and a few sparks (of the good sort) fly:

"Shall we wait for the bath?" Baudin asked innocently. "I would hate to be interrupted if you have... specific plans for tonight..." His eyes held hers in a smoldering, lustful gaze.

Aeryn inhaled sharply and her eyes closed halfway at his words. "I have no specific plans for tonight," Aeryn replied huskily. "A bath sounds very... enticing."

Shifting her weight from one foot to the other, she watched Baudin from the doorway, wanting to go to him, yet her nervousness kept her feet from moving.

He lifted one hand to her. "May I invite you to join me? We may relax while we wait for the servers to bring the hot water for the bath..." He smiled at her. "You may keep your clothing on, if you wish."

"I... that is..." Aeryn suddenly found herself unable to articulate her words. She closed her eyes and drew a deep breath. Opening them once more, she took slow, silent steps towards him, keeping his gaze as she slowly took his hand. She whispered hesitantly, "Do you want me to keep them on?"

"I want you to be at ease, Aeryn." Baudin said, and his eyes showed nothing but concern and truth. "I will remain covered by these exceptional sheets that Daun has provided, and you may keep your clothing on, until and unless you are comfortable removing it. I have no interest in pushing you, or attempting to force you. I don't wish to be cooked, after all." He gave her a playful wink.

Aeryn blushed deeply as she said softly, "I wouldn't 'cook' you, Baudin. I couldn't." She knew she was being shy, but she couldn't help it. She lowered her lashes and smiled at him from beneath them. "No one else has ever affected me like you do."

"Nor have I been touched by anyone as you have touched me." He blushed a little, and amended his statement. "Touched my soul, I mean, not... well, you know...” he blushed deeper.

Aeryn giggled softly. "I will warn you," she said shyly, turning her gaze from him as she sat on the edge of the bed next to him, "it... has been a while since..." She trailed off, her face growing warmer and uncertain of how he would take her admittance that it had been a while since she had taken a lover.

"I do not care." Baudin said soothingly. "Not of your past, nor how many lovers you have or had. I care about spending time with you, and pleasing you. Is that weak of me to admit?" His hand slid into her right and squeezed gently.

"No, not weak at all." Aeryn replied warmly. She leaned forward, her eyes searching his as she lowered her lips to his in a soft kiss.

"I'm glad you agree." He whispered, and met her lips with his own.

The kiss enveloped all of her senses, and when she felt her mouth open, inviting his tongue to explore with her own, she was only a little shocked at her boldness. The deeper kiss felt even more natural to her than the beginning, when their lips only pressed together. As the kiss continued, and her hand found its way into his soft hair, she let herself drown in the warmth and pleasure.

When the kisses finally ended, she fell back a little bit from him, breathless and swooning. Her half-lidded eyes took Baudin in, and she saw that he was the same as her; breathing hard, almost disoriented, and trying not to fall over.

Reaching up with a slightly trembling hand, Baudin stroked her cheek. "Perhaps we should just lay here and talk until the bath arrives?" He asked in an uneven voice. He slid a little away from her and patted bed. "Please, just lay here, atop the sheets, and we can talk... and recover from that kiss!"

Aeryn leaned into the caress, drawing several deep, equally shaky breaths. Slowly reclining onto the bed, she swung her legs onto the mattress and snuggled closer to him. A playful smile curled her lips as she laid her head against his chest.

"What shall we talk about?" She asked with an impish smile.

"Tell me about your day, Aeryn." He asked still breathless. "I would know how you wiled away the hours until you came to this room." Aeryn heard his words, but once he had begun to speak, she had snuggled in closer, and her eyes had drifted towards the foot of the bed. Her gaze had stopped, however, when she noticed how aroused he had become during their kiss, and was still aroused. The soft, silken covers outlined his body perfectly, showing the gentle, slight movement of the covers as his hardened manhood touched and slid against the black satin sheets. It was as though it had a life of its own; which, in her opinion, it did.