A really BIG welcome to fellow gay romance author Deanna Wadsworth. She and I have both written stories featuring Cupids for this year’s Valentine’s Day and I can see right now we’re both up against it with these bossy characters!
Just read her interview with Lio, and see what I mean! Hell, a girl could get better treatment at the hairdresser’s!
I think Deanna deserves a hug!
Thank you, Eva for inviting me and my cupid onto your blog today.
For an interesting twist, Eva and I decided that we would interview our own characters. Today I brought along, Lio, a cupid who works for the IDAC—Interdimensional Association Cupids. He first appeared in my book A CUPID’S WAGER from Dreamspinner Press.
“How’s it going Lio?”
Lio rolled his eyes and glared me. “How do you think is going? You’ve left me hanging here for over a year.”
“Um, you talking about?”
He burst with laughter. “Are you kidding me? You know exactly what I’m talking about. Even your reviewers know what I’m talking about.”
Was I actually being scolded by one of my own characters?
“Yes, Deanna, you are being scolded by one of your own characters.”
I gave a guiltily swallow.
Lio waved his arms around. “Deanna, two Valentine’s ago, you started my story in A CUPID’S WAGER. That night, I met this amazeballs Aztec god named Ethan. Something wild and unexplainable happened between us.”
It was my turn to roll my eyes. “Excuse me, you’re the one bailed on him at the end of the story.”
“Of course I did! I have issues.”
“And I’m running out of tissues, buddy. Make up your mind. Do you want me to set you back up with Ethan or do you want to forget the whole thing?”
He squirmed in his seat. “Well, it’s been a while and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him. Something happened between us…”
“Yeah, you guys were spying on two humans getting it on after you got busted for having an illegal gaydar.”
Lio blustered. “Details, details. You know that Ethan and I had a connection.”
Now I knew what Lio was after. “And you want to know why?”
“Of course I do! Like, why did he let me have my gaydar back? And why did all that weird stuff happen? He filled me with his magic. You know that’s not how it’s supposed to work!”
That made me smirk. “Isn’t it?”
“What are you not telling me, Deanna? What do you know?”
“I know a lot of things. I have so many of my characters in my head telling me their stories. I barely know which one to tell first. It’s not like I have all the free time in the world to devote to every story that pops into my head. I have deadlines. I have a house to clean. I have an evil day job to go to—”
“Enough! I don’t care about your kitchen or other characters. When am I getting my story? I want to know why Ethan did what he did, and why he let me off the hook.”
“You are so wishy-washy, Lio.”
“Of course I am. I’m a cupid. We’re all wishy-washy. Yeah sure, the connection Ethan and I had freaked me out and I left, but I have a lot of history—which you haven’t told the readers about. So are you gonna write it, or not?”
“Lio, I have an April 1 deadline on another story. But trust me, I haven’t forgotten about you.”
“Trust me, she says. Well, I’ve been trusting you to finish my story for two years. You’re walking on thin ice now, buttercup.”
“Well, you’re not necessarily gonna like what happens.”
He sat up straight. “Why? What are you not telling me?”
“You’ll only find out if I finish your story? Do you really want me to? You say all the time that you don’t even believe in love. So why so eager for a happily ever after of your own?”
“Don’t psychoanalyze me. Just tell the story, would ya? Enquiring minds wanna know.”
“Okay, if that’s how you wanna play this, I’ll let you off the hook. Heed my warning, the road to your happily ever after is going to get pretty rocky, Lio. If I get to work on it in April, I can promise by the end of summer you will have your story.”
“Then chop, chop, Deanna. Finish up this nonsense with your teenage characters. Everybody knows my story will be better anyway. I mean, when you write with your new penname K.D. Worth there isn’t even any sex! Who wants to read that?”
“Okay, you got a deal, Lio. And now that I’m putting it out there on the Internet I guess I have to write your story next.”
“It’s about time!”
Whew! That was brutal. But I guess all you writers out there understand what it’s like to be badgered by your characters. And seeing as Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I suppose I can start plotting out a wonderful, horrible at times, but definitely sexy HEA for my cupid Lio.
Have you read the beginning of Lio’s story, A CUPID’S WAGER? Just in case you haven’t, I brought along an excerpt.
Thanks for hosting us, Eva!
The name’s Lio, and I’m a cupid working for the Gay Division of the Inter-Dimensional Association of Cupids. An Aztec god, whose modern name, Ethan, doesn’t make him any less scary, just busted me shooting a closeted human with a gay lust arrow. I might find him sexy with all those tattoos and piercings, if I didn’t have a rule against getting it on with other supernaturals—especially ones working for the Straight Division. Now, to save my butt I’ll have to strike a bargain with this tough god. But what I didn’t see coming was my little wager not only risks my career, but places my broken heart completely in Ethan’s hands.
I was so gonna get my ass chewed for this.
And not in the good way.
I snapped my fingers, and my quiver of arrows disappeared into the cosmic nothingness where magical things went when demigods snapped their fingers. No clue where that nothingness was, and in my hundreds of years of existence, I’d never bothered to find out.
However, right then, such mysteries were the furthest thing from my mind because I had just nailed another cupid’s mark. Now the glittering trail of purple dust from my lust arrow was like the laser sight of a sharpshooter’s rifle, pinpointing my exact location.
I was so fucked.
Again, not in the good way.
The explosion of both purple and red dust in the street below meant the aftershock of my lust arrow striking the human first had deflected a love arrow. I was pretty sure the owner of said arrow would be coming to bitch me out any second. Cupids could be such whiny little cunts when they wanted to be.
Believe me, I would know.
I’m a cupid.
The name’s Philomenus, but I answer to Lio.
Just one of Eros’s many, many offspring, I’m employed for eternity by the Inter-Dimensional Association of Cupids, or the IDAC. Contrary to what paintings and sculptures depicted, cupids are not fat, naked baby boys in diapers. While on the small side, we look just like regular folks. No wings either. Involved in every aspect of love, from puppy love and first kisses to weddings, the IDAC is militantly organized. They take their task of giving the humans love very seriously—like a supernatural FBI, complete with orders, rules, and procedures.
And I just broke about a hundred of each.
Before I could conjure a location to send myself, a pop sounded behind me.
Huge steellike hands grabbed the collar of my leather jacket and yanked me around.
“What the hell, Lio?”
Bodily shoved against the ledge of the rooftop, I let out a tiny yelp of surprise when the magic inside my body surged white-hot, almost as if it recognized something…. WTF?
That had never happened before.
Then again, I’d never been busted shooting closeted gay men with Class 4G lust arrows either.
Righting myself, I flipped unruly blond curls out of my eyes and faced my attacker, arms out in a show of surrender. “Hey, ease up, pal.”
“What the hell?” that menacing voice growled again.
Thanks to all the gossipy cupids in the IDAC, I recognized the god immediately, though I’d never seen him before.
Éhecatl, the Aztec god of the winds.
All I knew about him—beside rumor or speculation—was that he preferred to be called Ethan in this century, and he was the powerful younger brother to one of the big, primordial Aztec deities, Quetzalcóatl. Long ago, Ethan fell in love with a human woman named Mayahuel, and he gave his people the ability to love so she would return his passion, much the way Eros had lit the flame of love with his bow and arrow on the other side of the world. Ethan’s gift of love makes him a love god, too, but his party-boy cousin, Xochipilli, holds the official title of the Aztec god of love. I have no clue why he got back into the love business and joined the IDAC a century ago. Especially since Mayahuel ended up marrying the flamingly gay Xochipilli. Why a wind god would want to slum it with us cupids when he’d have more bragging rights within an uppity weather god association was beyond me.
But then again, I have a hard enough time keeping track of all the drama in my own pantheon, I wasn’t gonna bother to try to figure out Ethan’s.
Few had ever seen the notorious loner, let alone spoken to him. Cupids heard about Ethan from someone who knew someone else who claimed to have met him. Decked out in all black leather, except for the skintight mesh shirt with a green-and-red feather design, he looked as ferocious as advertised.
Ancient warrior gone Goth.
If he pulled a tire iron on me at that exact moment, I wouldn’t have been surprised.
I tried to play it cool. “Hi, Ethan.”
“Do not ‘Hi, Ethan’ me!” His eyes literally flashed gold. “What were you thinking, interfering with my mark?”
Magical power radiated off him, and for some crazy reason, my own snapped in response. Like strobe lights in a nightclub, it pulsed wildly inside my chest. Weirdly familiar, yet not.
Probably just a glitch.
Being a mere demigod with unpredictable powers on a good day, there was no way I could escape a full-fledged love god.
My only option was to sweet-talk my way out of this.
I ran my fingers through my hair, letting the curls spring back into place and doing my best to come across as innocent and adorable. “Oh, was that arrow yours? I didn’t know.”
“Do not play cute, Lio. Not after that stunt you just pulled!” The giant god stepped out of the shadows, and my chest tightened when the aura of the city below illuminated his face.
A gold bar pierced each sharp eyebrow, and wooden dowels, intricately carved with some kind of birdlike symbol, gauged his ears. His ebony hair had been cropped close on the sides, longer on top and in the back—a fauxhawk, I think they called it. His skin, coffee with just a dash of cream. Pure gold twinkled in the depths of his pale-gray eyes, and the heavy fringe of black lashes sweeping them gave the appearance he wore eyeliner—wait! Yup, he actually did have on guyliner.
His ferocity and power made my insides tremble. “I didn’t know he was your mark.”
How should I know the human had been scheduled to be shot with a love arrow? The twenty-year-old man set my gaydar readings off the charts, but he’d arrived at the bar with a woman. Lying little bastard. I saw him eye fucking the Asian dude in the corner when he thought his girlfriend wasn’t looking. So I gave him a little nudge in the right direction. Shook things up a bit. But if I’d known he’d been scheduled for a hit from the uptight straight boys, I never would’ve dared.
My extracurricular activities weren’t exactly on the up-and-up.
“Look,” I began, trying to remain light so he didn’t shoot me with a lightning bolt or something equally unpleasant. “It was an accident. I was aiming for someone else and missed.”
He crossed his arms, and the edge of a tattoo peeked out from his shirt collar. “Philomenus does not miss. Ever.”
That surprised me. Sure, I had been in the IDAC a lot longer than Ethan had, but we played for different teams, in more ways than one. Yet he knew not only my name but of my prowess with a bow. “My reputation precedes me.”
He scoffed. “You know it does.”
An inexplicable surge of pride washed over me, and I tossed him an arrogant shrug. “It’s true. I don’t miss. You should sample some of my other talents.”
“This is not a joke, Lio.” Taking a warning step closer, he pointed a long finger in my face. His nails were painted black, not my usual cup of tea, but it looked good on him. “Raymond Jerome and Samantha Portman were scheduled to be hit with Class 1S love arrows tonight.”
My brows shot up. Those were true love arrows, and only the highest-ranking were authorized to shoot them. It should’ve come as no surprise the bureaucratic red tape had been shortened to move a big god up in the ranks. The head cupids were always kissing their asses, forgetting who had founded the organization, and that gods from other pantheons had come to us for sanctuary, not the other way around. But that’s the nature of my species. Needy little bitches always looking for approval.
Well, except me. I didn’t need anybody.
“I didn’t know you were promoted,” I said. “Congrats.”
“And now I know why you were demoted.”
At one time I’d had the privilege to use love arrows, and even the supposedly unbreakable true love ones. But at the end of each shift, the IDAC expected us to catalog our arrows and report every discharge. Unable to explain why my count kept coming up short Class 4G lusts, I was forced to say bye-bye to all my love arrows. My demotion wasn’t supposed to be common knowledge, but cupids—and apparently Aztec gods—gossiped like old ladies in a beauty parlor.
So naturally, everyone knew.
“You’ve been looking into my files?” I put my hand to my chest in an affected swoon. “Why, Ethan! I never knew you cared.”
“Stop trying to be cute.”
All cupids were beautiful, and no exception had been made for me. I twirled a finger around one of my curls. “Aww, you think I’m cute?”
“Stop changing the subject. We must fix this.” Ethan chewed irritably on the taunting gold hoop in his lower lip and began to pace. Despite the situation, his intimidating size and powerful presence made me kinda warm in my no-no places. Of course, those skintight leather pants with the nice package up front didn’t hurt either.
Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.