Contest Day 15 = Toni Meilleur, Utter Cupidity

590Please Welcome Toni Meilleur with her book, Utter Cupidity. Buy it here!

1. How did you get started with your writing?

After I read a fabulous book that was written by a Samhain author. It was only then did I decide to sit down and write one of my own. Something I’d been meaning to do for years.

2. What/who is your biggest muse?

I would have to say my own rampant brain.

3. Is there a character in one of your books you connect with the most?

Curiously enough the Alpha Males in my stories.

4. What do you like to do in your free time other than write?

I love to do theatre.

5. What are some of your favorite books? Any genre or author.

Servant of the Bones, by Anne Rice. I love Karen Marie Moning, Jaid Black, Katie McAllister, Christine Feehan to name a few.

6. Where is your writing sanctuary?

My bedroom. It’s the most noise-free, un-kid friendly place which is what I love about it.

7. How did you celebrate “selling” your first book?

I lit up a cigar in my garage, then decided a margarita tasted much better

8. What is your favorite thing about Samhain?

The support they give to their authors, and how the company never forget their customers are their bread and butter. There’s always something for the reader to jump in and get involved in.

9. Is there something you would like to see more of in RomanceLand?

Just in general I would like a lot more females to be the direct counterpart for the males. Instead of the man saving the woman, pursuing the woman, how about they save each other throughout the book? What if the woman was the aggressor a lot more?

 

Excerpt/Chapter One

The hotel room reeked of stale alcohol. The figure, though swift and sure-footed, doubted even he could avoid all the beer cans and empty liquor bottles strewn without care throughout the suite. The man in white tennis shoes with pure gold wings somehow embroidered into them tried with great stealth to maneuver around the obstacles. A partially clad woman with more of her body hanging off the couch than on it snored lightly. He wrinkled his nose to ward off the offending smell of old alcohol, then settled for putting his arm across his nose instead. His keen vision located the sleeping area and he headed that way. Realizing what a futile endeavor it was to avoid the beer cans, he gave in to simply kicking them out of his way—it wasn’t like the inhabitants were going to wake up from the noise. He knew it would take nothing short of a jackhammer to wake the passed out occupants.

The object of his mission lay sandwiched between two naked women. Each one had thrown a rather possessive arm around him. Even in his sleep the man seemed to have a mischievous grin on his face. The life of a scoundrel; he shook his head in disappointment. Dreading the news he had to tell him, he leaned over the bed and shook the sleeping man. Once, twice, and then in frustration, he slapped him perhaps a little harder than necessary. Blue eyes shot open in indignation, albeit a little bloodshot, but no less an incredible blue. The expression changed from anger to a roguish familiar grin.

“Herm, old friend!” He sat up, running a hand through his long, curly, sun-blond hair. “At last giving in to your more carnal side?” Somehow he managed to disengage himself from the grasp of the two women and stood without regard to his naked form in front of his best friend.

“Get dressed, we have to go,” Hermes said grimly, well used to the antics of his friend.

“Can’t do, Herm. I promised these three ladies a weekend of debauchery, and so far we’re only into day one.” He seemed to look around for the third one then shrugged it off. He looked around in curiosity before he went to the mini-bar and grunted in dissatisfaction at its empty contents. “Want to go on a beer run with me?”

“There will be no beer runs, old pal. You have to go. I was sent to retrieve you by any means necessary.”

“Did my mother send you? I told you don’t listen to her, I’ll talk to her when I’m good and ready.” In a blink of an eye he was dressed in a form-fitting black T-shirt and jeans. “Really, since when do you do her bidding anyway?”

“It’s not her who sent me. The Council sent me.” There! Hermes said it and waited for the impact of his words. His friend squinted at him. “They were tired of their summons being ignored. You really need to come with me, I can’t leave without you.”

“What is this about? Has something happened to my mother? Or did my delightful wife find yet another way to make life miserable for the Council?”

“I’m not allowed to talk about the nature of the meeting, only…”

“Only what? This is unlike you, Hermes. Tell me what’s going on.”

“I wish I could, but I am under a strict and personal order from the Big Guy.”

“He’s just blowing a lot of hot air. He’s full of himself. Look, why don’t you and

I—” Before he could finish, Hermes locked him into a bear hug and moved faster than anything on earth could ever dream of doing.

Within moments, he found himself standing in front of a fully assembled Council. Cupid was a little dizzy and sick from the flight, because even he couldn’t move that fast. He laid his hands on his thighs and took a deep breath before he looked upon the Council again—this time Hermes was seated. Cupid acknowledged each of the eleven members with a nod. When he got to the twelfth, he bowed in demanded custom, hating every second of it.

“You may rise,” a voice boomed. When he rose from his bowed position, the Big Guy began.

“You have been found guilty of neglect of your duty. Each Council member here has agreed that drastic action must be taken to maintain the integrity of our positions as a whole. You have ignored our summonses and displayed utter disregard to your superiors. In the past this was tolerated, but it is no longer. It has gotten, as they say, ‘out of hand’. In order to maintain the benefits that your birthright has given you, you have been sentenced to a task that you have exactly one month from tomorrow to complete. If you fail this task, you will be stripped of all privileges and maintain a common life.”

A sickening feeling settled into the pit of Cupid’s stomach. Every member of the Council, including his own mother, looked upon him without pity. One month to complete a task? How hard could it be? What did Zeus mean by “maintaining a common life”? He couldn’t possibly mean…

“Yes, that’s right, I see that understanding is now upon you. If you fail to meet the challenge of this task you will be stripped of your immortality and your divine gift.”

“You would make me human?” he spat out, disgusted with the avenue the meeting was traveling on.

“Yes, without hesitation!” the Big Guy roared back, irritated at having been interrupted. Not intimidated, despite the knowledge that the Big Guy could indeed do that. Cupid warily pressed his next question.

“What is this task you demand of me?”

Zeus immediately looked smug as he settled himself a little more in his throne. Despite knowing what was about to happen, every Council member leaned forward in anticipation. His mother had a worried look upon her face that wasn’t there when the meeting first began. She began wringing her hands together; whatever was going on, she didn’t look as if she approved of it. But then again, she was never known for looking at the fine print for anything.

“I wasn’t aware of—” she started to say then was silenced by the eldest god.

“I have no tolerance for you today. You were given a full report on the proceedings here. Perhaps you should spend just a little bit more time reading than getting laid, hmm?” he challenged her. “As for you—” he directed his piercing gaze to Cupid, “—in order to maintain your position you must prove that you still have what it takes to keep it. You must get a mortal to agree to marry you within one month.”

It took him a moment to digest the words, before laughter threatened to bubble up and cascade out of his mouth at an alarming rate. Were they kidding? Perhaps these people spent much too much time with their heads in the clouds.

“I hate to break this to you, but I thought it was common knowledge that I’m already married. Not the happiest man, but married all the same.” It took great effort keep the smugness out of his voice.

“Which brings us to the other matter at hand,” Zeus stated, still looking as sly as a fox that had caught more than one hen. “Your wife has petitioned, and I have granted her, what is it they call it? Ah yes, a divorce.”

“What?” His ears rang a bit. He didn’t hear that. No god had ever gotten a divorce. It was unheard of. It was behavior like that of the common people. “She divorced me? I’m no longer married?”

“Yes indeed,” Zeus proclaimed. Even his mother looked happy at that news, no-brainer there. His mother had never liked his wife. “Cupid, your wife, Psyche, has divorced you. You would have known this had you answered any of the summonses sent to you in the last year or so. I had no choice but to give her her freedom. This, of course, works in nicely with your task.”

“Wait a second. I’m divorced and you want me to get married right away?”

“That’s right—to a mortal woman,” 

The hotel room reeked of stale alcohol. The figure, though swift and sure-footed, doubted even he could avoid all the beer cans and empty liquor bottles strewn without care throughout the suite. The man in white tennis shoes with pure gold wings somehow embroidered into them tried with great stealth to maneuver around the obstacles. A partially clad woman with more of her body hanging off the couch than on it snored lightly. He wrinkled his nose to ward off the offending smell of old alcohol, then settled for putting his arm across his nose instead. His keen vision located the sleeping area and he headed that way. Realizing what a futile endeavor it was to avoid the beer cans, he gave in to simply kicking them out of his way—it wasn’t like the inhabitants were going to wake up from the noise. He knew it would take nothing short of a jackhammer to wake the passed out occupants.

The object of his mission lay sandwiched between two naked women. Each one had thrown a rather possessive arm around him. Even in his sleep the man seemed to have a mischievous grin on his face. The life of a scoundrel; he shook his head in disappointment. Dreading the news he had to tell him, he leaned over the bed and shook the sleeping man. Once, twice, and then in frustration, he slapped him perhaps a little harder than necessary. Blue eyes shot open in indignation, albeit a little bloodshot, but no less an incredible blue. The expression changed from anger to a roguish familiar grin.

“Herm, old friend!” He sat up, running a hand through his long, curly, sun-blond hair. “At last giving in to your more carnal side?” Somehow he managed to disengage himself from the grasp of the two women and stood without regard to his naked form in front of his best friend.

“Get dressed, we have to go,” Hermes said grimly, well used to the antics of his friend.

“Can’t do, Herm. I promised these three ladies a weekend of debauchery, and so far we’re only into day one.” He seemed to look around for the third one then shrugged it off. He looked around in curiosity before he went to the mini-bar and grunted in dissatisfaction at its empty contents. “Want to go on a beer run with me?”

“There will be no beer runs, old pal. You have to go. I was sent to retrieve you by any means necessary.”

“Did my mother send you? I told you don’t listen to her, I’ll talk to her when I’m good and ready.” In a blink of an eye he was dressed in a form-fitting black T-shirt and jeans. “Really, since when do you do her bidding anyway?”

“It’s not her who sent me. The Council sent me.” There! Hermes said it and waited for the impact of his words. His friend squinted at him. “They were tired of their summons being ignored. You really need to come with me, I can’t leave without you.”

“What is this about? Has something happened to my mother? Or did my delightful wife find yet another way to make life miserable for the Council?”

“I’m not allowed to talk about the nature of the meeting, only…”

“Only what? This is unlike you, Hermes. Tell me what’s going on.”

“I wish I could, but I am under a strict and personal order from the Big Guy.”

“He’s just blowing a lot of hot air. He’s full of himself. Look, why don’t you and

I—” Before he could finish, Hermes locked him into a bear hug and moved faster than anything on earth could ever dream of doing.

Within moments, he found himself standing in front of a fully assembled Council. Cupid was a little dizzy and sick from the flight, because even he couldn’t move that fast. He laid his hands on his thighs and took a deep breath before he looked upon the Council again—this time Hermes was seated. Cupid acknowledged each of the eleven members with a nod. When he got to the twelfth, he bowed in demanded custom, hating every second of it.

“You may rise,” a voice boomed. When he rose from his bowed position, the Big Guy began.

“You have been found guilty of neglect of your duty. Each Council member here has agreed that drastic action must be taken to maintain the integrity of our positions as a whole. You have ignored our summonses and displayed utter disregard to your superiors. In the past this was tolerated, but it is no longer. It has gotten, as they say, ‘out of hand’. In order to maintain the benefits that your birthright has given you, you have been sentenced to a task that you have exactly one month from tomorrow to complete. If you fail this task, you will be stripped of all privileges and maintain a common life.”

A sickening feeling settled into the pit of Cupid’s stomach. Every member of the Council, including his own mother, looked upon him without pity. One month to complete a task? How hard could it be? What did Zeus mean by “maintaining a common life”? He couldn’t possibly mean…

“Yes, that’s right, I see that understanding is now upon you. If you fail to meet the challenge of this task you will be stripped of your immortality and your divine gift.”

“You would make me human?” he spat out, disgusted with the avenue the meeting was traveling on.

“Yes, without hesitation!” the Big Guy roared back, irritated at having been interrupted. Not intimidated, despite the knowledge that the Big Guy could indeed do that. Cupid warily pressed his next question.

“What is this task you demand of me?”

Zeus immediately looked smug as he settled himself a little more in his throne. Despite knowing what was about to happen, every Council member leaned forward in anticipation. His mother had a worried look upon her face that wasn’t there when the meeting first began. She began wringing her hands together; whatever was going on, she didn’t look as if she approved of it. But then again, she was never known for looking at the fine print for anything.

“I wasn’t aware of—” she started to say then was silenced by the eldest god.

“I have no tolerance for you today. You were given a full report on the proceedings here. Perhaps you should spend just a little bit more time reading than getting laid, hmm?” he challenged her. “As for you—” he directed his piercing gaze to Cupid, “—in order to maintain your position you must prove that you still have what it takes to keep it. You must get a mortal to agree to marry you within one month.”

It took him a moment to digest the words, before laughter threatened to bubble up and cascade out of his mouth at an alarming rate. Were they kidding? Perhaps these people spent much too much time with their heads in the clouds.

“I hate to break this to you, but I thought it was common knowledge that I’m already married. Not the happiest man, but married all the same.” It took great effort keep the smugness out of his voice.

“Which brings us to the other matter at hand,” Zeus stated, still looking as sly as a fox that had caught more than one hen. “Your wife has petitioned, and I have granted her, what is it they call it? Ah yes, a divorce.”

“What?” His ears rang a bit. He didn’t hear that. No god had ever gotten a divorce. It was unheard of. It was behavior like that of the common people. “She divorced me? I’m no longer married?”

“Yes indeed,” Zeus proclaimed. Even his mother looked happy at that news, no-brainer there. His mother had never liked his wife. “Cupid, your wife, Psyche, has divorced you. You would have known this had you answered any of the summonses sent to you in the last year or so. I had no choice but to give her her freedom. This, of course, works in nicely with your task.”

“Wait a second. I’m divorced and you want me to get married right away?”

“That’s right—to a mortal woman.”

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5 Comments

Filed under Books and Authors, Editing, Promotion

5 responses to “Contest Day 15 = Toni Meilleur, Utter Cupidity

  1. Amy S.

    Great interview and excerpt!

  2. Judy Cox

    I really enjoyed the interview and the excerpt was fantastic!!

  3. Lynda

    Great excerpt! I was left wondering if he’s going to wind up getting back together with Psyche. Surely not one of the women on the bed! Who else would take someone like Cupid though?

  4. Afshan N

    Great Interview And Excerpt!!!
    Poor Cupid it’s sounds like he’s got his work cut out for him.
    ~Afshan

  5. Karin

    I’m intrigued by the excerpt. The idea of Cupid and Psyche getting divorced is very interesting…especially when it’s part of the plan to make Cupid get back to his duty.

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