Friday, December 12, 2014

Double Release Day!

Merry Christmas!  I wrote a holiday story for you guys.  It's just a short piece (4,000 words) about Jamie-boy throwing a Christmas party that leads to sexytimez. It's 99 cents or free through Kindle Unlimited.

I don't plan on making the entire series available on KU, but this one is because I'm trying to reel in some new readers.  It is written with new readers in mind so there's gonna be a bit of backstory I wouldn't normally give in a new installment. Apologies for that, but the sex scene is pretty fun.

I think I'm going to re-do all the covers.  This new cover is a much cleaner design.

Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Amazon UK



"Goodenough" is a high fantasy romance based in the Kingless Lands Universe. (Also containing "Barrendack" and "Dragon's Bride.")  It is the first of three inter-connected books.  The first already published books are stand-alone, though "Goodenough" mentions the events in both.

Nore Goodenough is a maid in Barrendack manor, but she has a secret: dragon blood runs in her veins. She is also the last of the Goodenoughs, who once ruled one of the twelve baronies in the Kingless Lands.  Milo Barrendack is not a Barrendack by blood--his mother had an affair with an unknown man.  He is a magician and recognizes the magic within Nore immediately.

Milo takes Nore on as an apprentice, even though she is too old and a woman.  He brings her back to his home which sits on the edge of Goodenough land, now ruled by the wicked Gault (who is planning war against Milo's benefactor, Lord Rockbell).

As Nore's magic (and her love for Milo) blossoms she longs to take control of her lost destiny and take back her family's lost land, but when her chance finally comes will love and duty prevent her from fighting for her home?

This is a 37,000 word novella (yep--a long one!) and will be listed as fantasy romance.  Don't worry though--it still contains graphic sex scenes.

Buy from Amazon
Buy from Amazon UK

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The First Fruits of Nanowrimo

This has probably been the most productive and least stressful NanoWrimo I've ever done, and I've been at it for about 10 years now.  The first week was rough--I had a crazy work schedule and a cold--but I wrote steadily after that and even though pretty much the whole month was spent playing catch-up, I did well.


I finished 3 stories that had been sitting on my hard drive for forever (one for over a year). I completed one new short story, and wrote parts of 4 others.  I'm very happy with myself right now.

I plan on releasing TWO Leigh Wilder stories this month since I didn't get one last month. The first will be up by the end of the week, the next hopefully before Xmas.

Some of the things I wrote last month are already up.  They are both available through the Kindle Unlimited program for free.  Check out:

Lady Red's BDSM Dating Service #1: Kira and Luce

Under my Rosalyn Coleman name.  It's my first F/M Femdom story and I'm really happy with it. You'll probably like it even if you're not into BDSM because it's pretty romantic. And dont you just adore the logo?

Amazon
Amazon UK




Alone in the Winter

Pubbed under Dominic Rod. This is a very short piece (2.5k) I started for an anthology last year and never finished. (Bad author!) Well, I finished it, and it's not bad, but there's not a lot of story to it. A nice tidbit of M/M Bear erotica in a historical setting (Canadian fur traders!).

Amazon
Amazon UK



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Advice to the New Self-Publisher

A lot of writers new to the self-publishing world come to me for advice on Twitter. This blows me away a little because I don't really think of myself as someone who knows what they're talking about. I have, however, been at this self-publishing thing for over two years now. I'm not making a living at it, but I'm getting there.

So today a tweep asked me for advice and she had a long list of questions. It was easier for me to write a blog post than reply on Twitter, and now you all can benefit. I've never considered writing a how-to book because there's a ton already out there, but if I flesh this out and publish it I can count it in my Nano wordcount...so...that's an idea. :) So, in vague order, here's a bunch of stuff I was asked. It's not a complete guide, at least not yet. Anything else anyone wants to know/have a question about/want to add to, message me on Twitter @leighwilder42. (Don't DM--I never read them.)

Copyright in the United States pertaining to your book: 
 As soon as you’ve put a thought to paper it automatically belongs to you. You do not need to purchase a copyright for your work. In the old days the best way to prove you owned a work was to mail a copy of it to yourself and keep the envelope sealed, the postmark essentially giving you a governmental date stamp. These days our computer files are all encoded with the times they were created and edited, making life much easier for all.

 When you upload a book onto a publisher’s site, the publisher knows which book came first. Amazon also screens incoming books for plagiarism, so if someone tries to rip-off your book they will get caught and have their account deleted. All you have to do to copyright your work is type “Copyright 2014 by Author McAuthorson” on the front page of your work. If you’re writing under a pseudonym you can still use that name if you’d like, or your own.

 Editing your book: 
 There are many many ways to go about this. There are independent editors by the thousands available online. They’re all over Twitter. Prices vary, but its usually at least a couple bucks per page. This can get expensive fast but have no fear! There are other ways. I use http://prowritingaid.com, which has free editing software. You can also try Grammarly, but I can’t vouch for that one. A literate friend with a red pen is also a helpful and free editor.

 Formatting: 
 Unless you’re clueless and have a graphic-heavy book, there is no need to hire someone else to format your book. I follow the Smashwords Style Guide for all of my books, regardless of where I publish them.

 To sum it up succinctly:
--You need a Microsoft Word document.
 --Center your title, byline, and front matter. If you want to re-size it bigger you can, but no more than 16 pts.
--Insert a page break after your front matter.
--For the body of your work, do not use a space between paragraphs. To indent go to “Paragraph” and set it to indent the first line automatically. DO NOT use the Tab key.
 --Insert page breaks after each chapter.
--You can insert hyperlinks into your front and back matter to link to your other books, social media accounts, and web site.

 And that’s really all there is to it. Piece of cake.

 Covers: 
 Stock photos can be had for $20 or less through hundreds of sites. If you’re going to be needing more than one image buying them in bulk is a good idea. I usually spend between $2 and $5 on cover art. If you have a good eye for design you can make your covers yourself for free. I use an online editor called PicMonkey, and an offline editor called Paint.net. Both are free editors. If you have a good stock image and a good font, you can make a good cover for very little money. Fiverr is also a great place to go for cheap covers, usually in the $5 to $30 range.
 DONT use the Amazon Cover creator.
DONT use a photo you took yourself unless you are a professional photographer with professional equipment.
DONT use a font that comes standard on your machine--there are tons of free fonts available for download online. This goes doubly for Comic Sans and Papyrus. Make sure your title is readable on a thumbnail image.


 Where to Sell your Book:
The two big places are Amazon and Smashwords. Smashwords distributes your book to about a dozen online retailers, including Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Sony. You can list your book in both places.

 The accounts are easy to sign up for--you Amazon publishing account links straight to your normal Amazon account. You will need to give both sites your SSN# for tax purposes. They will send you tax forms at the end of the year. It’s a simple process. As for payments both sites will send you checks when you get to a certain threshold. Amazon does direct deposit into your bank account. Smashwords pays via Paypal.

 Royalties: 
Amazon pays 35% royalties on all ebooks listed for less than $2.99. They pay 70% royalties on books at $2.99 and over. This is why $2.99 is usually a sweet spot for indie writers. You should price your work based on length--shorter stories should cost less.

Smashwords pays at least 50%, but up to 80% depending on a bunch of factors.

Amazon’s Kindle Programs: 
There are a lot of plusses and minuses to the KDP Select program. The biggest minus is that you are not allowed to sell your book anywhere else if it’s enrolled in KDP Select. Amazon wants as much of your profit as it can get its hands on, and forbidding you from using other retailers is one way to do it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use KDP Select. Here are the plus sides:

Five free giveaway days a quarter. This is useful if you have more than one book out. If you give away a book and the reader likes it, they’ll come back for more. If you give a book away but there’s nothing else for them to buy, they will forget you LONG before you get your next book out.

Kindle Unlimited. Basically, Amazon puts a couple million dollars in a pot at the beginning of the month. Readers download your book and if they read at least 10% of your book, you get paid for the download. How much you get paid depends on how much money is in the pot (it goes up every so often) and how many books amazon sold as a whole for the month. Right now authors are getting about $1.50 per download, but we all expect this number to shrink, likely to the point where it’s not lucrative to sign up your book. But right now it is, and you have the option of pulling your book every 3 months. I see Kindle Unlimited ultimately only being useful for any book that would normally be listed for less than $2.99 because of the 35% royalty rule.

About the Author: 
They don’t need your life’s story. Keep it short and sweet. You don’t have to put a picture in the back if you don’t want to, but it cant hurt. Just remember that studio photographs are technically copyrighted by the photographer, even if they are picture’s of you. Ask permission--likely they'll be fine with it as long as you credit them.

Reviews: 
A general rule of thumb is DONT PAY FOR REVIEWS. Offer free copies on Goodreads and visit review sites--they’ll have a submission page. You can find hundreds of review sites on Twitter/Facebook.

You should only pay attention to bad reviews if you get a lot of them and they all say the same thing. If every review you get complains about the same plot hole, or the same editing errors, you might need to re-evaluate your book. People give bad reviews over the stupidest things, but it usually boils down to taste. I have gotten several bad reviews because the reader didn’t actually *read* the description and were horrified to discover my books had gay sex in them. People don’t give bad reviews over one or two honest editing mistakes. They give bad reviews to bad books with zero editing. Relax and don’t worry about your reviews. In fact, its probably best to just not read them at all.

Don’t give your book to family and friends to review. They will likely not give an honest one, and that’s not fair to other readers.

Internet Presence and Marketing:
The best way to get your book out there is to be out there. You should be on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. You should have a blog and you should have a mailing list. You should not use these things to publish ads about your books non-stop. Yes, plug your book. Once or twice a day. Don’t flood your followers feeds with advertisements. CONTENT is key. Post about normal everyday things on Twitter and Facebook. INTERACT with your followers. Make friends.

As for Blog content, you need a theme based on the genre you write in, and blog about those things. Comment on news stories related to your books, review books of the same genre (but don’t give bad reviews--authors who badmouth other authors get into all kinds of trouble). If you write sex stories talk about sex. If you write murder mysteries talk about murder. You can post microfiction. You can simply talk about your life. Talk about writing, about publishing, about reading.

As for paying for advertising, I'm not a fan, personally. I'm sure it works for some people. Participating in blog tours are a good idea, though I've never done it. I think the review sites are gonna be your best bet for getting out there.

Avoiding Scams:
Really the biggest scam is that there are hundreds of companies out there charging for things you can do yourself. If you have money to spend on your book spend it on an editor and cover design. Make sure you do your research. If their website looks tacky, don’t trust them. If they promise big success, it will probably be a let-down.

****

So...that's nowhere near everything there is to know about self-publishing.  I think I will write that how-to.  It'll be called, "How to Publish your Book for Nothing."  Sure to be a best-seller.

Monday, October 13, 2014

New Release: "Snowdrop"

This story is different from what I normally write.  It's got some stuff in it that some readers might not be into, but I've been wanting to write a creepy lesbian version of Snow White for a billion years now, and I finally did it.

Snow White is just a creepy tale in general, as many of the German fairy tales are, especially when you start throwing sexual undertones into it.  This goes back to an earlier version where Snow White (or Snowdrop depending on the translation) ends up hanging out with a group of robbers instead of dwarfs. Not that dwarfs can't be sexy, but that's for another story.

I will spell it out for you here, if not in the Amazon description because god knows they love to censor indie authors: this story does contain creepy dubious consent lesbian vampire sex.  I make no apologies for it--it's just how the tale turned out. It also contains M/F, also not exactly...normal consent but its not non-consent either.  Guys, I don't know what the hell I wrote.  I listed it in fairy tales and horror (note, this is NOT romance), but it's got sex all over the place.  It's 11,700 words long and costs $1.49.

Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Amazon UK
Buy it on Smashwords

Description (from Smashwords):
This is a dark/horror/erotic retelling of "Snow White." It contains sexual situations and violence. It is not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

 Lavinia married Snowdrop's father for one reason--to take possession of his beautiful daughter. Calling for the death of any man who dares to look at the innocent girl she quickly earns her the name "Blood Queen."

Four years after the wedding Snowdrop has no idea her relationship with her stepmother is anything but normal. Still, she has grown pale and sickly, and has a hard time remembering things. A chance encounter with a robber in the woods forces Snowdrop to look at her stepmother with a critical eye...and she begins to wonder exactly what Lavinia is. Something sinister, and something strong. She realizes escape to her robber's arms is the only way to survive, but Lavinia will not let go of her treasure so easily.

Contains: F/F, M/F, bloodplay, dubcon, defloration.

ALSO!!
I just wanted to remind you that I'm publishing under a few other names now. One, Rosalyn Coleman, has just released two historical novellas-- A Pirate's Life and Miss Catherine Stewart's Fortnight of Debauchery.  Pirate's Life is a converted "Pirate's of the Carribean" fanfic I wrote in 2006. Fortnight of Debauchery is about a Regency-era orgy. Check them out along with my other work under the name Rosalyn Coleman.  Almost all of it is available for FREE through Amazon Unlimited.

Friday, September 12, 2014

New Release!

Over the next few months I plan on taking a bunch of 1/2 finished and nearly finished works and getting them out there under various pseudonyms, depending on the type and quality of the story.  (You can check out more of my work in the "other pseudonyms" link up top there.)

This week I salvaged this story from my 2012 Nanowrimo word count.  I discovered it was really easy to get your words in when you were just writing one sex scene after another and things...got out of hand.

What "Miss Catherine Stewart's Fortnight of Debauchery" lacks in complex plot, it makes up for with an insane amount of sex.  I think it's probably at least 50% of the 33,000 word novella.  So if you're a fan of my sex scenes (and I know many people are) it's definitely worth checking out.  It contains M/F, F/F, and M/M scenes.  There is some light to moderate BDSM, some rough sex (thats the M/M stuff), various toys, some seduction, some reluctance, a fisting scene...just everything. EVERYTHING.

Description:
Miss Catherine Stewart is visiting the home of Edward Linley with the express purpose of landing a husband. But she was invited there to be the plaything of his other guests. There is Miss Fay, who wears men's clothing, and Lavender, who seems to be having relations with everyone but her absent husband. There's Mr. Hale, and of course Edward, so kind and understanding of her naivete.

Catherine finds herself falling into the trap of pleasure and lust, doing things no proper lady would do. When Lavender's sadist husband appears the party takes a sinister turn, one Catherine is determined to survive with her sense of propriety (what's left of it) intact.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon UK

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Bookshelf

I cleaned my office recently, a major undertaking since for the last year I'd been using it simply as a depository for all of my junk.  (It looked like a room from that hoarders show.)  It took me over 5 hours, when all was said and done, but it's totally worth it. I can now sit in it, write in it, watch movies in it...all far, far away from my fiance because as much as I love him, we've been spending WAY too much time in the same room since he lost his job.

One of my undertakings was um, putting all the books back on the shelves.  The piles of books in that room were pretty impressive, I must say.   And not all of them were books I was planning to keep either. Those went down to the basement with the several boxes of "books to eventually get around to selling."

My book shelves were so pretty when I was done, I just had to take a picture and brag about them:

And now you're saying "Leigh, that's it?"  Yep, I'm afraid so.  I used to have hundreds of books. Really, HUNDREDS.  They overflowed 4 large book cases, into closets, into boxes. I hoarded them. I had every book I had ever gotten since about the 3rd grade. (That's when I became a book worm.)

Alas, I lost my job and then had to walk away from an up-side-down mortgage (I bought my house about a year before the market collapse) and ended up homeless for 6 months (well, I was on my grandma's couch). It wreaked havoc on my book collection.  I sold about 400 of them to a book seller for a nickle each, and I ended up leaving a few hundred behind when I had to leave.  (Foreclose on my house? You're gonna have one hell of a mess to clean up. I left almost everything behind.) And this is what I have left, even after 3 years of "recovery."

The two small shelves hold my non-fiction (the sparse one on the left) and my myth/legend/fairy tale section.  Highlights of that collection include a picture-filled biography of Arthur Rackham and a 1930's copy of Anderson's Fairy Tales, which has the most gorgeous illustrations. I've had it since I was a kid and its where I got my love of fairy tales.

The big wooden shelf I got when I was around 12 or 13.  A neighbor of my uncle's passed away and her relatives told him he could go through her stuff. Well, when he saw how many books she had (several layers against more than one wall), he called me. I took home a hundred at least that day, along with this shelf. I wish I'd taken all of them.  I also saw my first Playgirl that day (she was an eclectic old lady).

I have a mix of American and British paperbacks of Harry Potter. I got rid of my first edition hardbacks because they took up a lot of space. I hear they can be worth a lot of money, but mine were terribly battered.  A handful of my teenage books survived the move and most of them are here. M. E. Kerr was a big favorite, Margaret Mahy, and Paul Zindel. I have a 1970's boxed set of a few of his books on the top there.

 This shelf as a few random books, but it also has some of my most prized books. My Robin McKinley books are on the left, including a very early printing (possibly first paperback but I'm not sure) of Beauty. I've gone through 4 copies of that book since the age of 12 and I read it every year.

On the right are my Bordertown books. I discovered them when I was 13. It's a shared universe fantasy world from the 80s/90s created by Terri Windling full of runaway kids and punk elves on motorcycles. Half of them were already out of print when I discovered them so one was stolen (but paid for) from the library and over the years I've paid outrageous sums for a few battered paperbacks. A few years ago they released a new collection for the first time since 1998 and I cried real tears. Some of the novels have since been re-released too, but the cover art on the old ones are better.  Oh, also here are my My Little Ponies. This is collection #2. The first one was lost when I lost my house--I had about a hundred (all vintage), many of them rare too.  With the new show prices have gone up and I just can't bring myself to start collecting again...but I have a few.

I don't have a lot of comic books.  I'm not a
fan of super heroes and as a result just never got deeply into them in general, though I love pictures with my stories. I have the complete Sandman collection, and a couple of the Sandman books Jill Thompson wrote and illustrated. I think those are out of print. I only have some of Neil's books, but I am a big fan.

I have Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan series, which I have read over and over.  I have Alan Moore's controversial Lost Girls series. It is beautiful and sexy.  I have some Buffy and Firefly comics but honestly season 8 was just kinda creepy.  I have the single-issue comics from when the show was still on the air too, but they're in my special Buffy collection in the closet. (I had a thing...) Oh, and Tank Girl. Actually I love the art but hate the writing. The movie was better.


Here's a few really old books. My prized possession is an 1898 copy of Study in Scarlet (the bottom one). The middle is a 1920's A Christmas Carol and the top is an 1860's (I think) copy of Merchant of Venice.

I used to have lots more old books, but all are gone now. There is a box of children's books in my closet, my very favorites that I can't get rid of. They include my boxed set of the Little House books.

Losing nearly everything I owned (what I had left all fit in a mini-van, and that included 3 cats in carriers, 3 people & a 50cc motor scooter) has really changed my idea of stuff.  I only keep books I really love. These books pictured are either 'To be read' or 'will read again.'  Most research is done with library books and the internet instead of buying more books.  If I can get it on kindle for free/cheap, I'll just have a digital copy.

Sometimes I really miss having an irrational number of books, but then, I miss a lot of things that I left behind. I try not to dwell on it too much. So these are my books. I hope you enjoyed the tour. What's your bookshelf like?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Release: "The Photographer's Muse"

First off, there's a new page on the site, "Other Pseudonyms." Check it out for more stories of mine you might not have read.

This is my work, but it isn't a Leigh Wilder release, so feel free to skip over it if you're only interested in fantasy and vampires and romance. If you're looking for hot BDSM action, on the other hand, you're in the right place.

"The Photographer's Muse" is contemporary M/M erotica with lots of BDSM, rough sex, and dirty talk. It is 8,500 words.

Buy it on Amazon FREE with a Kindle Unlimited account
Buy it on Amazon UK




Description:
Nick lives a solitary existence in NYC. Invisible. Alone. Until a photographer walks up to him in the park one day and asks to take his picture. Esteban lives in a world of art, sex, and domination. Nick is introduced to this world and he falls in love with it...and Esteban.

Excerpt:
“Are you ready?” Esteban asked. Nick stared at the setup and nodded slightly. “Look, I might have to say or do things that might make you uncomfortable in order to get the shots I need. I promise not to hurt you or molest you, but I might hit or pinch you lightly or say some not nice things. Are you okay with that?” “Yeah.” As long as those not nice things were sexual he was more than okay with it.

“Do you have any triggers?” he asked, and when Nick looked at him blankly he continued. “Words or actions that might provoke a panic attack--anything that might remind you specifically of something bad that might have happened to you in the past.”Nick remembered the sad story in Esteban’s bio. He shook his head. “Nothing ever happens to me.”

Esteban gave him a smile. “Until now."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Library Books

For a life-long book lover and writer, I am terrible when it comes to library books. In 1992 (I was 9) I checked out a pile of books from the library a mere 4 blocks from my house (and this was 1992 so a kid could walk 4 blocks without their parents getting arrested for child endangerment) and I didn't return them for 6 years. I remember it was a handful of Boxcar Children mysteries and a collection of ghost stories.

 For 6 years these books sat on my shelf, not lost, perfectly safe. Finally in high school, when it became my own responsibility to buy my books and not my mother's, I returned the books (with some weird looks from the librarian) and got my card re-instated. But I couldn't hold on to that card to save my life and eventually the refused to give me a new one and they had to look me up in the computer every time I came in.

 Don't even get me started on the library policy at the university I went to. You could keep books all fucking semester, so there was no rush or reminder that they needed to go back. I would find the books in the middle of the summer from early on the semester before. I had to pay fines before they would let me graduate.

 As soon as I moved to Columbus I got a library card and made one trip, but it was kind of far away and Columbus traffic makes me nervous. Long story short, I was eventually sent a letter from a collection agency. I paid it, and I haven't been back since. Okay, full disclosure: Akron library has sent me to collections once or twice too. I'm thinking if I ever get a library card again it should probably be only to borrow ebooks. :/ I'm a terrible person. Forgive me. (And think of all the money I've given the library all these years to buy new books.)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Re-release: Depression, Love, & Swimming Pools

I wrote this story in 2012. It was a response to a call for submission from Storm Moon Press, looking for brother-on-brother incest erotica. I did the best I could, writing a story that had a sex scene in it, but definitely defied the over-all tone of most erotica.

They bought it, but the editors wanted me to change the ending. Everyone who read the anthology it appeared in hated it. I have a feeling they didn't have enough quality submissions to publish and they took mine simply because it was coherent. Not that its a bad story. I think it's a very good story. I had BBC's Sherlock and John in my head as I was writing it, and I took a lot of my own emotions (not the incest part, the depression part) and put them into the characters.

But this isn't a happy romance. When the call said incest I automatically knew it couldn't be happy. You will never catch me trying to claim incest is natural, no matter how often I write about it.  Its really not. But this is fiction, not real life, and that means anything can happen. But I wanted it to feel real. I wanted to write about broken characters, and I wanted the most broken part of their relationship to be the start of the healing process.

I don't have this listed under 'erotica' on Amazon, because it isn't.  It isn't a romance either, not really. It is a story of two fucked up brothers trying to be better. There just happens to be incestuous sex in it.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon UK

Description:
Cale might be the younger brother, but he is also the rescuer, the one who fixes everything. When he comes home for a visit he finds his brother Derrick floating in the pool their father killed himself in years before, unwilling to leave. Cale confronts his brother's depression head-on while dealing with his own demons, leading them to an unexpected shift in their relationship.  Cale and Derrick will never be the same again...and maybe that's okay.

This piece confronts the topics of suicide, depression, loss, recovery, and incest.  It contains graphic scenes. Not intended for young readers.

This is a 9,000 word short story.  This story was previously published in Storm Moon Press's "Fraternal Devotion" anthology.

ALSO AVAILABLE NOW
Like the Chartreuse Fairy Book, I'm releasing a collection of contemporary erotic tales. These are my early works (mostly pre-Deadly Liaisons) and are kind of motley.  It's $3.49 and contains:

Saturday Night (M/M)
Depression, Love, and Swimming Pools (M/M)
Brian is Gay (and so am I) (M/M)
Boy (F/F)
In the Dark (M/F)
The Beauty and the Beast (M/F)
The Red Shoes (M/F)

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Smashwords

Sunday, July 27, 2014

New Releases! Fairy Lights/Chartreuse Fairy Book

This is a double announcement.  First off, my new story, Fairy Lights, is out.  This story plays with lots of concepts of folklore from a few hundred years ago.  People who disappeared without a trace were taken by the fairies. Children born with birth defects were actually changelings--fairy children who had replaced the stricken child.

Also available in the collection mentioned below!

Description:
Lawry was born...different from others. He is aware he is nothing more than a scientifically explainable defect of nature, like a six or seven-toed cat, but the rest of the world calls him demon, monster...changeling.  When his mother tells him that in fact, his father is a fairy, he finds the whole idea ludicrous. But the eve of the Midsummer Night Ball is upon them, and that night everything changes.  He meets a fairy prince, who promises to take him home.

This is a M/M erotica piece. It is 5,300 words long.

Second, if you want a good deal on my stories, now is your chance.  I'm compiling the following stories into a single $3.49 volume called The Chartreuse Fairy Book.  (This is of course a play on Andrew Lang's colored fairy books.)  It is 30,000 words total, all of the stand-alone fantasy and fairy tale stories I've written so far.
1. Fairy Lights (M/M)
2. Roses White, Roses Red (M/M)
3. Price to be Paid (F/M)
4. Battle of the Dragon Slayer (F/F/M Dragon)
5. Goblin Market (F/F)
6. The Summoner & the Satyr (F/M Satyr)
7. Fancy & the Mechanical Man (F/M)



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Release! "Another Full Moon: Deadly Liaisons SCD #1"`

Warning: there isnt a single sex scene in this story.  Sorry about that.  My aunt has been bugging me about writing a Detective Nova story, so here it is.  #1 of who knows how many stories. We'll see what happens.

Let me make it quite clear that police procedurals are not my thing. I very much struggle with writing crime-solving, so of course DL has been quite heavy in it.  So why don't I write a story about a cop?

We get into the background of the werewolves in this story & Damian, Jamie-boy, and Simon make cameos.

I wrote this under the assumption that the reader hasn't necessarily read Deadly Liaisons. It's a completely different genre after all. Apologies for any redundant info. This is a 7,000 word short story.


Buy on Amazon US
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Smashwords

Description:
Detective Julie Nova's life was ruined three years ago when she was bitten by a werewolf. Now she's the lead detective in New Franklin, Pennsylvania's Supernatural Crimes Division. A vamp tramp (someone who enjoys being bitten by vampires) is found ripped to pieces after a full moon. It's up to an exhausted Julie Nova to fight her urges for a snack and a nap, and bring the wolfish killer to justice.

Excerpt:
...Will post in the morning. I'm on the wrong computer.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Release: Deadly Liaisons #5: Daybreak

I swear I did not forget about this series.  This took a long time to write. And I'm very sorry. It's also a little different from the rest of the series because it has a 3rd POV.  I don't know if this will happen again. It might, but it might not. I'm sure you won't really mind.

So! Here it is. It's 24,000 words long, which makes it the longest yet (though not by much) and the most important part--a whole bunch of stuff is on sale this week!

Drain Me Dry--FREE (as always) on Amazon US, and Smashwords.  UK, if you report to Amazon that you got this title free at smashwords that would be awesome--getting this story free in the UK would boost my sales a LOT.

The Punishment--FREE on Smashwords.

Deadly Liaisons Volume 1 (the first 3 stories)--Only $2.99

Bloodlines (book 4)--Only $1.99

DAYBREAK
Buy it on Amazon
Buy it on Amazon UK
Buy it on Smashwords

Description:
Both Jamie-boy and Damian have been suffering since their break-up, but they are thrown together when a vampire is brutally murdered. Damian is too depressed to care and ready to let the cops deal with it--Jamie-boy is willing to do some investigating on his own. And then there's Lucas, a vamp tramp with a Daybreaker's tattoo on his neck. Whose side is he on? How many people is he willing to hurt to get what he wants? This is a M/M romantica containing explicit sex, rough sex, BDSM, blood play, and violence.

Excerpt:
Hot blood thinned with alcohol gushed into Damian’s mouth. He drank deep, not even savoring the intoxicating flavor. He didn’t know the name of the half-dressed young man under him and didn’t particularly care. Just some vamp tramp looking to get in with the vampire in charge. He still wore his t-shirt, his jeans around one ankle. Damian had fucked him hard, the boy coming even as he moaned in pain.
The human was gasping in pleasure now as Damian drank long and deep, the alcohol in the boy’s blood adding to what already coursed through his system. He wasn’t sure he even remembered what sober felt like. It wasn’t a state of being Damian was particularly comfortable with anymore.
He took one last gulp and pulled away, not taking much care and ripping the flesh around the two puncture wounds left by his fangs. The tramp lay on the bed, a smile on his face. He didn’t even notice Damian tucking himself back into his pants and leaving the room, not bothering to shut the door behind him.
Veronica met him at the base of the stairs. “Where’s your friend?”
“Taking a nap,” he answered and walked on.
“That isn’t how the rules are supposed to work,” she called after him, but he ignored her.
The club was overflowing with people. It was Saturday night, winter was setting in. Vampires were fond of winter. Longer nights meant more time on the streets, more chances to find someone tasty to spend the night with. The band that night, The Pack, played heavy death core, and members of their mostly werewolf and human fan-base added to the usual crowd.
Damian sat down at the bar feeling heavy and full. Jilly finished filling two pitchers of beer and sent them off with a pair of vamp tramps before turning her attention to him. “The usual,” he said.
“Your old usual or your new one?” she questioned, giving him a disapproving look. “Because I’m not sure you’ll be able to stand if I put much more booze in you.”
“Just get me a drink.”
“No need to yell,” she huffed and waltzed back down the bar, returning with a wine glass dark with blood. He took a sip. There was barely enough vodka in it to call it a bloody driver. He sighed and sipped at it anyway.
Simon joined him. “The same as he’s having, but triple the alcohol,” he ordered.
“You’re cut off,” Jilly told him.
“You can’t do that. Damian, tell her she can’t do that.”
“She’s the bartender,” Damian said. “She makes the rules.”
“You’re cut off too,” she said.
“You can’t do that. I’m the boss.”
“And I’m the bartender.” She stalked away. Damn, the fledglings were getting uppity lately. Of course, Jilly had more sense than the rest of them combined, so Damian let her get away with it.
Jilly returned with a glass of blood and set it down in front of Simon. “What’s wrong with you tonight anyway?” she demanded of Simon. “I got enough trouble dealing with his drunken ass all the time.” She cocked her head in Damian’s direction.
“Has no one ever told you to respect your elders?” he asked.
“Yeah. But my elders need to give me good reason.”
“It’s November thirteenth.” Simon said, answering her original question.
“So? What does that mean?”
Damian knew. He’d forgotten what day it was, but the date November thirteenth would always be burned into his mind. “The Philly Riot of sixty-four,” he answered for Simon.
“You were there?” she asked Simon, slightly impressed. “I thought all the vampires in that riot were killed.”
“All but two,” Damian said.
“He pulled me out,” Simon told her, sipping on his drink. “I would have stayed and gotten myself killed.”
“Why?”
“Angela.”
“His sire was one of the ones killed.” Damian left out the part where she was the one who orchestrated the entire massacre. Fifty-one vampires and a hundred and fourteen humans, all dead.
“I’m very sorry,” she said. “That must be terrible for you.” She reached under the bar and gabbed a bottle of vodka, pouring a generous shot into Simon’s drink. Damian held his glass out, but she ignored it.
“He only knew her for three weeks,” Damian said, annoyed.
“Man, don’t think I won’t fight you,” Simon snapped.
“Boys,” Jilly warned. “If you don’t behave yourselves I’ll cut both of you off for a week. How do you feel about that?”
“I’m in charge,” Damian protested again.
“And I’m…almost in charge,” Simon agreed.
Bartender.”
Her long brown ponytail flew around her head and she turned briskly and marched away. Damian watched her make drinks with efficient precision, passing them out and collecting cash. Maybe he needed a new protégé. Simon was all grown up now. He could handle himself in any situation and was as capable of running this town as Damian. Maybe he needed a new project to get him out of this rut. Jilly could be that project…she was cute too, in a bitchy sort of way. Maybe she could be two projects at once.
The phone at the bar rang and Jilly picked up. He watched her entire body language change in an instant, from relaxed and playful to tense and still. Damian was on his feet before he could process what he was seeing, and Simon followed suit, stumbling as he got off his stool and knocking into Damian. What a graceful pair of idiots, Damian thought.
Jilly hung up the phone and waved one of the waitresses over to her. Rachelle took Jilly’s place behind the bar and Jilly walked over to them. “That was Detective Nova. Someone’s killed a vampire.”
“Where?” Damian demanded, but instead of answering him Jilly’s hand shot out to unclip his keys from the belt loop of his jeans. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Driving you,” she answered. She waved at Rachelle, who stepped over to their end of the bar. “He’s cut off,” she said pointing to Simon.

“Fuck it,” he said. “I’m coming too.”

Sunday, April 27, 2014

New Release: The Price to be Paid

See, I did manage an April release.  It's been a busy month. I'm working on two (hopefully) novel-length pieces and putting the finishing edits on DL 5, Daybreak (out mid-May).

This is another fairy tale retelling, and an unusual one, I think. Rumplestiltskin.  I don't think very many people have tried to tackle this from a romantic POV before, but I've given it a shot.  It's a 6,800 word short. The price is 99 cents.

Buy from Amazon
Buy from Amazon UK

Description:
Dairymaid Kay's life is trial after another, mostly caused by her father's drinking. When he drunkenly brags of her ability to spin straw into gold (she can't even spin wool) he attracts the attention of the cruel king. She has two options. Spin the straw into gold...or off with her head. Fortunately she has some help...but is the price to save her life too high?  This is an adult fairy tale and contains sexual situations.  Short. 6,800 words.

Excerpt:
He stopped spinning. Bits of straw fell to the floor. “That’s right. You don’t get something for nothing. Now, what can you offer me?”
Kay looked down helplessly. She wore a plain brown wool dress, darned stockings and dusty boots. She didn’t have so much as a coin or ring on her. “I have nothing. You can have some of the gold,” she said, “Or…the king couldn’t possibly have been serious about making me queen.”
“I don’t see why not. You would look quite regal in a tiara, and the man could do worse.”
Me? Regal? Kay was attractive, but pretty enough to be queen? She chased away the thought, as quickly as it came. Beheading was so permanent, so…dead. Yet marrying the king would be vile. Still, where there was life there was hope, and sooner or later someone would be brave enough to assassinate him. Dead she couldn’t help her family. Living and married to the king, she would never have to worry about them again. Sacrifice. It was all she knew. “When I am queen. I can get you anything you want.”
“I don’t take credit,” he told her. “There is a price to be paid for any service. But there are so many things of greater worth than shiny bits of metal and rock.”
“What do you want?” she cried out in frustration. “I’m just a milkmaid. If there’s anything I have, it’s yours, but I have nothing.”
He gave her a sly look from under his eyelashes. “There is something you can give me.”
“What is it?” she asked.
“A kiss.”
She hesitated. It was an odd request. “Just a kiss?”
“Are you afraid?”
“I’m more afraid of losing my head.”

“Come to me.” Something in his voice seemed to pull her towards him. She didn’t like it. What if he put a spell on her and turned her into a frog? Its just a kiss, she told herself. A kiss to save your life

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Birthday Deals!

Today is my birthday and I'm celebrating it by giving you all gifts.  If you want to give me gifts too, I won't say no. I like expensive tea and chocolate, and I like it when people buy my books.

Barrendack  is .99 cents on Amazon today.

The Summoner and the Satyr is FREE on Amazon on 4/21 and 4/22.

Deadly Liaisons Volume 1 (Books 1-3) is 2.99 on Amazon today OR in print for 6.00

Deadly Liaisons: The Punishment is FREE on Smashwords today. (The first book, "Drain Me Dry", is always free.)

Goblin Market is FREE on Smashwords today.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Genre: A Ramble

After months of toil, I'm finally in the home stretch of Deadly Liaisons #5: Daybreak.  It's been a job of work, fighting this story into shape. It is a little different from the rest of the series because I've added a 3rd POV, a necessity for story clarity.  I think it works, but it annoys me that I've done it.

Another thing about this story, and the series as a whole, is the amount of sex. I've been marketing this story as erotica. I feel like I have to because the sex scenes are definitely not vanilla, and surprise!bloodplay isn't on the list of things your average reader wants to see.

So it's not erotica, but there are erotic bits.  And it's not a romance either.  Romances are about people finding each other and falling for them. Damian and Jamie-boy have gone and found each other. The stories are about the ups and downs of their relationship. I tried to keep crime-solving story lines as the driving force, but of course that doesn't happen in Bloodlines and it's all just relationship stuff there.  So I can't call it a crime series either.

And then there is the social bits, where I write about poverty, depression, and abuse.  Yeah. That fits in well with a romantic tale. And since Jamie-boy is only 19/20 in the series, it also falls into the category of New Adult.  Deadly Liaisons defies genre, and I know I'm not helping sales when it comes to this.

When I first started this crazy self-publishing scheme I didn't have much of a plan on what I was going to write.  I had a handful of mainstream, moderately kinky stuff already sitting on my computer, and then I wrote a few more. Drain Me Dry was just a Halloween thing that kinda took on a life of its own.

Paranormal and Fantasy have always been the genres I've been the most drawn to.  As you can see from the last year, my releases have reflected that.  They're also starting to focus more on story, less on sex. I started writing erotica because I'm good at it, and because it seemed like the easiest money maker (I know, I'm terrible) but the longer I'm at this the less I'm interested in sex as the focus of my work.  I still like writing sex, don't get me wrong, but I don't want it to be what the stories are about. "Roses White, Roses Red" didn't even have a sex scene to start with--I just slipped it in before publication to keep things consistent (not that the sex was out of place--it works just fine).

There are only two sex scenes in Daybreak, and neither of them are long and drawn out. (Don't worry, they're still hot.)  There's a lot of drama, and some violence, and lots of other fun stuff (including a flashback!), but it's not erotica.  I hope you guys are still cool with that.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Release: Roses White, Roses Red

What? Multiple releases in one month? Astounding! Amazing!

No doubt this will bite me in the ass later when next month comes around and I have nothing finished to give you guys.  I admit, it is greed that made me do it--this is a M/M fairy tale and you people love that shit.  It's gonna make me maybe even 5 bucks. :)

Seriously though, this is a retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales, Snow White and Rose Red.  I wrote most of this it back in December and it's a winter story, so of course I'm publishing it in the first week of spring. Makes perfect sense.

It's a nice little fairy tale, very traditional in its telling. The story is pretty simple. Boy meets cursed shape-shifting bear, Boy falls in love with cursed shape-shifting bear...the usual.

It's a 4,000 word short, so it's only $0.99.  (I know I priced Barrendack higher than usual, but its also 3x as long as the stories I usually charge a dollar for.)

And is the cover not lurvly? (I'm a little sleep deprived as I write this, btw.)  I'm very proud of this cover, mostly because I successfully manipulated the image to fit what i needed it to be, and none of my test audience noticed.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Smashwords

Description:
Following the death of his father and only companion, Reynard lived alone in the woods. He encounters a bear, out in the cold in the middle of winter, and his entire life changes. Bringing the creature home, Reynard and Bear become fast companions. Reynard's happiness is only marred by dreams of a nude stranger in his bed...which turn out to not be dreams at all. Bear is no animal, but a man under a spell. A man Reynard finds himself falling in love with...

This is a M/M retelling of the German fairy tale "Snow White, Rose Red" and contains explicit material. This is a 4,000 word short.

Excerpt:
Reynard walked until his nose was frozen on his face and his feet were cold all the way through. He knew he needed to turn around, but he walked a little bit further until he caught sight of a great, dark, looming shape--a bear floundering through the snow, his thick pelt frosted over with ice so that he glittered silver in the sun.

Reynard quickly drew his bow, but paused. The beast should have been hibernating safe and warm in his den, not freezing in the cold air. He approached the bear with caution, his bow aloft. The bear raised his head to look at him. To Reynard’s shock he saw the bear had blue eyes despite his shaggy brown coat. The creature’s expression was one of defeat and sorrow. Almost human. He took a step forward, stumbled, and fell.

The bear didn’t move.

Anger flashed unexpectedly through Reynard’s body. “Get up!” he yelled, running towards the bear. “Get up and walk you stupid beast. Don’t give up and die there!” His bow fell from his hands and Reynard threw himself against the bear, pushing and punching at it, kicking it. “Live,” he cried, unexpected hot tears falling down his face. “Don’t give up.”

He fell to his knees beside the bear. “I don’t want to be alone.” The bear lifted his head and nudged Reynard’s shoulder with its nose. Reynard wiped away his tears with the back of his mitten. “I don’t want to be alone anymore,” he repeated to the bear.

The bear pushed his heavy body to his feet and managed a few slow steps forward, following the path in the snow Reynard’s snowshoes had made. It turned and looked back at him, as if to say, “Are you coming?”



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

FREE Project

I've mentioned before that I used to write serialized web fiction.  For a few years it was the only thing I wrote, fueled only by readers' comments and the occasional donation. Mostly they were YA/New Adult soap-opera style pieces.  One was a fairy tale, one was a super hero story. One was "Dead End Streets," a teenage vampire story that introduced the Deadly Liaisons characters of Jamie-boy, Damian, and Rita.  (If there are any DES readers still around reading this--you are awesome.)

Web serials are fun to write. You get to tell a long, rambling, television-like story with lots of characters, and because you have to keep to a schedule you are forced to make a habit out of writing. The readers get to know the characters over a long period of time, and you might even end up with a novel when you're finished. (Or several. DES had 3 distinct plot-lines. One of them is planned for release in ebook and print sometime this year.)

My last serial crashed and burned a few years ago when I lost my house and became too depressed to write.  I feel a little guilty because I kind of just disappeared on the readers (I later found out they were worried I was dead) so I haven't tried to do it again for a long time.

But now is the time.  This is the year when all my shit is coming together. My productivity has soared since last November and I'm feeling really good about where my writing career is going. So I'm ready to try again.

It's called "House of the Dewy Trollop" and it's about steampunk whores. Remember 'Fancy and the Mechanical Man'? The characters are back for more.  It's going to be a drama, and there will be plenty of sex in it, but sex is not the main focus of the story. It's an ensemble piece with lots of characters.

I've been working on this project for about two weeks now. The first three chapters are up and available. This story will be free to read online for the entire duration of the writing process.  I will also be selling it for $0.99 a chapter on Amazon, which you are under no obligation to purchase, though if you can spare the dollar it's always appreciated.  Each chapter will be made up of 3 to 10 parts, posted once a week online. All the info you need to know about it is on the site, so go check it out and take a look.



Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Release: Barrendack

Where to begin...I love everything about this novella. It's a very simple story without a heavy plot, and nothing epic happens in it, but it is lovely all the same.

I wrote it quickly--in less than two weeks. The story told itself with very little effort.  I wanted to write twincest and I wanted to write a gothic romance. While I was mulling over ideas I remembered I had started a gothic romance about 7 years ago and abandoned it. Time to pick it back up!

As the new version took shape it became more medieval than the classic 19th century settings of gothic novels, but I still think it has an...optimistically gothic feel. I set it in a universe I have been toying with since last summer. (Working on the possibility of a novel-length story set in the universe.)  This story takes place in the same world as "The Dragon's Bride."

A bit on the cover--I adore this cover.  The art is by Pre-Raphelite painter Gabriel Rossetti, who also did the drawing on the cover of "Goblin Market." I love this genre of painting and, public domain bitches! :) Free art ftw! One of my pen-names has taken to only writing historicals so I can just use classic works of art for the covers. Note: Smashwords doesn't care if your nudity is DaVinci, you still gotta cover that shit up.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Smashwords

Description:
Treated with indifference (at best) by her own family, Giselle is frightened but optimistic about marrying one of the Barrendack sons, whom she has never met. When a sudden illness strikes her father en route to Barrendack Manor she finds herself helpless and nearly alone when she arrives. To complicate matters, the two sons are identical twins who enjoy torturing her by constantly trading places. The brothers eventually prove themselves, supporting her as she cares for her ailing father, yet now she is faced with a new problem. How can she marry only one twin, when she may have fallen for them both?

This is a romantica piece intended for those 18 years or older. Contains heavy M/M/F and light M/M interaction. May offend some readers. [This is my fancy way of saying twincest, btw] 15,000 words.

Excerpt:
Lord Barrendack was a stout man of about forty-five. He had a greasy dark beard and tiny, beady dark eyes. Giselle took an immediate dislike of her future father in law, especially when he did not rise or stop eating to greet her. She stepped further into the room and stood near him, close to the fire. “I've been told there’s been an accident,” he said.

“My father had an attack of the humors,” she admitted, her voice shaky. “I apologize for any disruption to your household.”

“Is he well yet?”

“I’m afraid not, Sir,” she said.

He picked up a goblet and gulped noisily from it, wine dribbling out the corner of his mouth. This wasn't what she had expected, not at all. What if his sons took after their father in looks and manners? “The leech is being sent for,” he said. “All will be done for the old chap. Come here then, girl. Let me look at you. I’m a bit short-sighted, so come close.”

Giselle stepped next to the table, close enough to know her future father in law wasn't fond of bathing either. He squinted his little eyes at her. She didn't like being studied inch by inch. Giselle was shapely, neither fat nor thin, and stood tall and straight not because she wanted to impress this man, but because her nurse had always slapped her whenever she slouched as a child. She did wish he wasn't seeing her in her dull traveling dress, but rather the expensive burgundy velvet her father had made up for the occasion.

“How are your teeth?” he demanded.

“Fine,” she answered, a little shocked he would be so forward.

Lord Barrendack nodded. “Strong, healthy looking girl. You’ll do for my son.”

“Sir…” she said uncertainly, knowing this was not a conversation they would be having if her father were well, “which son?”

“That’s the rub of it, isn't it?” he said with a laugh, standing. He was shorter than Giselle by nearly a head and she had an instant fear of a dwarf husband. “I have two sons,” he stated. “I had a third, an older boy, but...well. The Lord is mysterious in his ways, isn't he?” He turned his head in the direction of another doorway. “Boys!”

Presently his sons entered the room. First Giselle sighed with relief. Neither were short, nor did they share any resemblance to their father. But she saw quickly why their father had laughed. The two young men before her eyes were exact copies of each other. Both were blond and clean shaven, with a fortunate aquiline nose and blue eyes. They stood shoulder to shoulder in matching blue jackets and black trousers. Identical twins.

“Which one of you is Drue?” Lord Barrendack asked. The twin on the right stepped forward. “Ah. And that makes the other one Eduard. If only your brother were alive things would be so simple,” he lamented to his sons, and turned back to Giselle. “I have no idea which one is the elder,” he admitted. “They weren't even named until we were sure they would live. I don’t suppose you have a preference.”

Eyes wide, Giselle shook her head.

“Anyway, this is the Lady Giselle of Stillwater,” he continued. “If one of you boys wanted to volunteer to marry her…”

“And should he marry her,” Eduard interrupted, “I would be stricken.”

Both twins bowed at the same time, their motions seemingly that of one man, and they greeted her in unison. “Your service, my lady.” It was too much. Too much had happened, and Giselle began to tremble.

“I...am...pleased to meet you,” she managed to mutter, grabbing on to a dining chair to remain standing.

“She’s overcome with joy,” Drue said.

 “Or weak with fear for her father’s life,” Eduard said. “Dear lady, let me show you to your chamber so you may rest.” Giselle nodded, and when he offered his arm she took it gratefully. As they walked away, however, she noted Eduard turn and give his brother a rueful smile.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Release: The Dragon's Bride

I've been working on this one forever, mostly because last month I was writing tons of stories, and this month my SAD got to me.  After writing "Battle of the Dragon Slayer" I still felt like I hadn't properly written my dragon porn...so I decided to try again.  (Also, dragon!sex seems to sell really well.)

I tried to write porn, I really did, but the characters got the better of me again. It also turned a bit Beauty and the Beast-esque, which isn't a surprise. I write that on accident all the time. This one is a Shifter story, which I don't write a lot of. It will appeal to a more mainstream reader than "Battle."

Buy at Smashwords
Buy at Amazon
Buy at Amazon UK

Plot: In the town of Paradise everything is perfect, thanks to the magic of a dragon.  Every year the town must pay tribute in the form of gold, jewels, and a daughter of the town.  Fiona's perfect life is a bore--void of adventure and love. At first being taken captive by the dragon is terrifying, but once he establishes that he has no intention of eating her, she begins to warm to the idea of being his bride.

18+ fantasy erotica. m/f, shifter. 6,000 words.

Excerpt:
Massive gold chandeliers lit the room. Cold blue fire burned giving off light but no heat emitted from the fireplace spanning an entire wall. Dinner was laid out on a long table. This was it. He was going to eat her now.
Instead he pulled out a chair and motioned for her to sit. “Please. Eat.”
On shaking legs Fiona sat down.  Looking up, the dragon was even more enormous than before.  “What will you have?” he asked, and she stared as he started serving her himself, ham, pheasant, fresh vegetables and fruit, flaky fish perfectly prepared.
“Where does it all come from?” she asked.
“Why, the taxes of course. You didn't think I just sat up here on a pile of gold and virgins, did you?”
That was exactly what she thought, but she found herself too ravenous to think for much longer.  She ate every food he put in front of her and had two glasses of very fine wine. The dragon watched her eat, but did not partake himself. “You are going to eat me!” she accused when she noticed this.
“You seem quite set on this notion. I cannot eat food in this form,” he informed her. “In fact, it has been quite difficult to remain in it for this long.”
She blinked. For a moment she had forgotten he was a beast and not a man at all. “What do you really look like?” she asked, knowing she would regret it.
The dragon stood up and stepped away from the table. He spread his great wings out wide and his shape began to grow.  Human skin disappeared beneath shiny black scales in iridescent purple and gold.  The dragon fell to his knees with a great groan that became a roar.  His wings wrapped around his body and he began to writhe.
Gone was the beautiful human face, hands, legs. When he rose from the floor he was all beast, twice as large as before.  “My true form,” he said, his voice unchanged. “My name is Ithel.”
Fiona scrambled from her chair in a panic. He was too large, too frightening. A man was a man, but this...creature...was more than she could have been prepared for. She backed up before turning and rushing for the exit. But the dragon--Ithel--was fast, so fast. He moved to block the exit, stretching his full height.  His scales glittered in the firelight, his claws shined like black glass.  “You cannot run from me,” he said. “Those who do, die.”
Her legs were weak from fear; only sheer will forced her to remain standing. “You kill them?”
“Mostly they fall. There is no easy path down the mountain.”
“What are you going to do to me?”
“I have lived in this palace for a thousand years almost always alone, save for my own magic.  Every year I bring back a girl from Paradise. You call her a sacrifice, and I let you because it is important for the balance of power to remain intact.
“You think you are a sacrifice. In my eyes, you are my bride.”

Friday, February 14, 2014

V-Day Freebie

Special days call for special gifts, and I have one for you.  I'm offering "The Beauty and the Beast" up for free today.  It's more romantic than some of my other stories, and thus fitting.  The cover is also properly red with roses and all that.

It's available for free at Smashwords
While you're there you can download a bunch of other free stories too: Drain Me Dry, Boy, Saturday Night, and In the Dark are all free downloads from smashwords.

Now, as for your valentines gift to me, I like the expensive chocolates. Kay? :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The February Ramble

This post isn't really about books or writing.

February is my worst month.  It's the last month of winter (well, March technically is, but as this is Ohio, you never know what you're going to get in March) and usually the snowiest. We had a bad storm yesterday.  At ten o' clock at night it was bright enough outside to read a book, thanks to all of the white snow reflecting city lights. (Light pollution: sometimes helpful, sometimes obnoxious, and sometimes just weird.)

This time of the year last year I was probably staring blankly at the TV at best, or at worst breaking down into tears of misery over the hell that was my life.  I was working full-time at a low-paying job I hated.  This time last year "Addicted to the Bite" was just out, and I had only a handful of short stories up on Amazon, and they weren't exactly selling.

What a difference a year makes.  I've had a 100% sales increase on my books. I have a semi-successful series. One person paid outrageous shipping costs just to have my autograph in my book. I was a guest star on a freaking podcast. (I don't have a voice for radio, btw.) Between this past November to January I've clocked in a lot of words. (Most of them not for the Leigh Wilder brand though. Leigh Wilder is having a really hard time getting her next book finished.)

After 12 years of near-crippling depression I realized I was too introverted to keep working full-time with the public.  I now work between 10 and 20 hours a week.  I still dislike my job and I'm still under-paid, but the anxiety and misery that enveloped and exhausted me is mostly gone.  I still consider myself suffering from depression. Happy isn't much of a thing for me. But neutral, neutral is something that gives me more relief than I can possibly say.

I have no money.  My monthly income is between $500 and $600. That's with my day job and my writing.  I don't mind too much, but there are a few things I'd like to change. Ideally, I'd like to live someplace cheaper so I can put more money back for things that I want or need. (Mostly need.)

Right now I'm suffering from February.  Writing is hard. It's hard to stay focused. It's hard to be excited about what I'm producing. Everything around me seems boring, dull, pointless. I want to go somewhere and do something. I'm not talking about simply leaving the house (that's the last thing I want to do).  I want to LEAVE. I want to take my computer and some clothes in a backpack and go somewhere for a few months.  If I was young and unattached I could do that.  But I am old.  I have responsibilities. Not my job. Screw my job. I have two cats, a fiance, and two sick grandmothers already living 100 miles away.  Buggering off to San Francisco until Ohio decides to be warm again isn't much of an option, but I really, really wish it was.

I'm doing my best to get through. At least I'm not curled up in a ball crying, but god do I hate February.