Monday, December 31, 2012

Homosexuality in My PNRs

I've gotten quite a few emails since beginning the After the Reveal story arc (The Other Half and There's a Fine Line) questioning my "excessive" use of gay relationships amongst the vampires and elves. It was puzzling to me that, other than the insane amount of focus placed on first Kris and now Alicia to get pregnant, the sexual orientation of some of the tertiary characters was so upsetting to some readers. These stories were written for a (for want of a better term) porn site and I suppose I expected a bit more open-mindedness when it came to sexuality.

Yes, there is a category for gay males or females but I would never split the chapters into different categories as that makes it too damned hard to follow and find. I also wouldn't place the entire stories in the "gay" category as the underlying theme and motivating factor of both tales are the non-human aspects. The existence of these paranormal beings and how they've integrated into human society was the focus for The Other Half - not any of the characters' sexuality, primary or tertiary. The adjustment of a once-human girl to the discovery that she's not only the mate of a vampire but also more than human herself is the focus for There's a Fine Line. Again, the fact that there were a few same sex relationships in the story was just another glimpse of reality. I live in a small town (~35K) in the deep south and gay couples are fairly commonplace. The men catch more hell than the women though it's not always a walk in the park for anyone; however, it is reality as we know it today.

Johannes is bi-sexual with a preference for men though he prefers his female mate above all. He was a bi-sexual human and he turned into a bi-sexual vampire. Becoming a vampire didn't change who he was, simply gave him a bad case of the fangy nibbles. Francisco, too, was a bi-sexual human with little preference towards either sex though he preferred female Dominants. Devereux is a pure hedonist - he simply enjoys sex in all its many forms. He likes couples because that is the easiest way for him to experience a pleasurable sensory overload of sorts - hard male muscles, soft female curves, the welcome violation of a man's penis along with the welcoming heat of a woman's vagina are all a bit of heaven on earth for him.

I remember reading Anne Rice's vampire series not long after it first came out and, other than thinking that Louis was a bit of a whiny prick, one thing stood out to me. If you live forever, you will do one of two things: outgrow your prejudices or cling to them with vicious determination. I'd like to think that most people would see that love and beauty and the joy of a relationship isn't determined by your partner's genitals but by their hearts and minds and, if you believe in it, their souls. I'd think that most vampires (and elves and djinn and celestials) over the centuries would take some time for experimentation with a member of the same sex, or multiple partners, or different races because, eventually, the taboo will seem foolish or "human."

So, I suppose what I'm saying in this insanely long post is that, in a question about sexual preferences, most of my non-humans  would simply answer "as often as possible." :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

TAFL Ch 14 is Live everywhere - wheee

Yup, what the title says. Chapter 14 is up this morning on Literotica as well as the Blog. It's not a nice chapter, but then again, few were in this story, it seems. I'm over halfway through Ch 15. Hurrah for not doing much for the holidays and having an entire day to goof off, write, play Facebook games, write, and oh yeah, write! It was great to spend so much time with my kid since her work schedule is a bit screwy.

In other news...

There is no other news. I just got up and my brain is mushy. Enjoy the story, folks lol

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday TaFL Teaser

It's Wednesday and I've been a good little girl, typing like mad on There's a Fine Line. Chapter 14 is back from my amazing beta readers - Mokkelke, Jaisen, and Mostera1 - and my wonderful "red pen of doom" editor - Archangel_M and is being prepped for submission to Lit on Saturday. If the world is still here because, you know...Mayans and stuff. But, in case the doomsayers are correct and the Mayans didn't just run out of rock or end the Seventh Cycle and we all go *poof* on Friday, at least you'll be happy in knowing that you've read a SNIPPET of the next chapter of There's a Fine Line.

I confess that this chapter will bear yet another Graphic Violence warning though it should be the last one for some time. Even with two major battles left, they won't contain the rather vivid imagery that these last few chapters have had. I'm even more confident now that the story will wrap up near the Chapter 20 mark (give or take a chapter or two) so there's not much left at all before everyone holds hands and rides off into the sunset singing Kumbaya. Can't picture Blake doing that? Yeah, neither can I but I bet Sapphire would try to make him!

In other news, I'll be launching a new website in the next month or two in preparation for publishing the NaNovel That Shouldn't Have Been - Embrace the Wolf - under a new pen name: Elaina M. Roberts. This blog will remain, along with this user name, for my racier stories while all of my published works (when there are some!) will be on the other site. I'll post links and beg and plead for you all to join me there as I prepare to embark on the terrifying journey of publishing my first book.

Thanks a lot to everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TaFL Ch13 is Live!

I had thought it'd go live yesterday but it was as stubborn as a certain vampire and waited it out until today. There's a Fine Line, Chapter 13 has gone live on Lit and I encourage everyone to read, comment, and vote if you feel the urge. I've also published it to the blog where I also encourage reading and commenting. This is another rather gruesome chapter which deals with the aftermath of the attack on the Simons Enterprises building. One new character is introduced while others return from Hawaii where they attended the mating ceremony and ritual of the Ifrit Warlord, Micipsa Zakhara, to his human mate, Kristiana Latimer (as detailed in The Other Half).

Chapter 14 should be the last with such explicit blood and gore (I think...there are a few battles left but none that I can see requiring such vivid descriptions) and centers primarily around Alicia just as this one centers around Blake. We are steadily moving towards a conclusion which should fall somewhere near the 20 chapter mark, give or take. And yes, there are still some surprises left in store.

Story Links are

  • LITEROTICA (website not safe for work or browsing around small children or your mother-in-law)
  • BLOG (safer though my content doesn't change lol)
As you can see from the box to the right, I'm moving right along with the chapters. Almost finished with ch14 and then will start the next one immediately afterwards. I'll probably have to edit one while writing the other but I'm determined to get back on schedule! Thanks again to everyone for their patience during NaNo.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday TaFL Teaser!

Yup, you read correctly! I've spent the last few days busting my rear to get a new chapter of  Fine Line ready for submission and it's almost ready. The chapter itself is still with the editor but I've decided to post a partially edited snippet tonight. THIS is the very first bit of the chapter and Blake is a that his mate is missing. He also finds poor Francisco. This chapter is a bit of a roller coaster on emotions so be prepared. It's also graphically violent in parts (but that should be expected by now).

There's an introduction of a new character, a return of some older ones, and some planning made. The next chapter will focus primarily on Alicia and the conflicts she has to suffer through while in the hands of greater demons of Lust and Violence. There will be a happy ending through it all but that will be rather far down the line. Hang in there!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

TaFL - Update

As you might have noticed, there is now an actual word count in the Chapter 13 box of the Fine Line posting schedule. Yup, I've been working feverishly on it for the past few days in an effort to get back on track. This chapter is slightly shorter than some of my others but I did want to get something out there instead of leaving everyone hanging for even longer. There will be one new character introduced that I hope hasn't come across as too "out there." He is an important part of the story on many levels but I don't want him to become a caricature or comic bookish. I may need to add more to the chapter for it to make sense which may affect the proposed posting date. It's all dependent on how the beta readers feel about it as it now stands. I may do a teaser prior to editing if the beta readers' comments come back as favorable.

Chapter 14 is next on the agenda as some of it is already written (was going to use it in another chapter but it didn't fit - it totally fits now, though). I hope to complete three to four chapters fairly soon so that I can get another backlog of finished and edited chapters and thus avoid a second delay in posting. I'm still going to try to work on Embrace the Wolf, my NaNovel that wasn't supposed to be, during this but Fine Line will have priority until it's finished. Sitting at a revised 37.6K words and only four chapters in, it still has a long way to go before it's ready for release.

So, yeah, that's the update for the day. At least it's something, right? :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Lookit! Lookit!

Yup, I was sweating it these past few days but the label on the right does not lie - I made my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo. I am slightly disappointed that the story I had planned to do wasn't the one I ended up working on; however, that story is still there in my head and I think it will evolve better once I can focus on it and not a deadline.

What I ended up working on is a paranormal romance involving an entirely new world of shifters, meaning these have nothing to do with The Other Half or There's a Fine Line. Entitled Embrace the Wolf, it centers around a young woman who was forcibly turned and then traumatized by a rogue pack. After living alone and in wolf form for nearly five years, she meets a pack totally unlike what she's seen before which enables her to heal. Doesn't hurt that the alpha is attractive and has an enticingly delicious scent, either. This story will not go on Literotica as it isn't suitable for that audience. It's not going to be an erotic story and it does have some dragons lurking in some corners. It may go on Amazon as a self-published story unless I decide to shop it around to some publishers. I'm not sure yet.

The Bokkenrijder Curse is not getting cancelled. It is still a project near and dear to my heart but I was simply overwhelmed by Felicity's story and how easily it flowed. Once Fine Line is through, I will return to the Bokkenrijders.

Which brings me to my final point. With two projects on the horizon that are unsuitable for Literotica publication, I'll be taking a short hiatus from the site (unless something just begs to be written). Fine Line should wrap up 99% of the loose ends from both of the stories in that world, leaving only a few tales that could be told but aren't necessary to enjoy the original stories. I'm not completely leaving the site, but I have stories that want to be written that simply aren't a good fit for such a site. Just bear with me. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TaFL Ch12 is Live

This chapter of There's a Fine Line sees a return to the darker side of the story and I fear there's little light in sight for some time. Things are moving towards the end but there's plenty of drama left before we get there. Though there's more to come, this is a major turning point in the story, both for our couple and for the plot.

This was a difficult chapter for me to write. When you've reached the end, you'll understand just how difficult. I fought writing it for a couple of weeks. I tried everything I could NOT to write this chapter even though I knew it had to be written. My beta readers agreed with me that it was necessary though none of us liked it. Oh the joys of doing the painful things in order to enjoy the happier times even more.

Unfortunately, NaNo is causing issues with my posting schedule and Chapter 13 could be delayed. I'm hoping by no more than a week or so but I can't be certain. I'm hoping to have a chance to work on it during the month but I simply don't know. Working on three stories at once may well make my head explode. lol

On the NaNo front, I've given in and accepted that I'm writing two stories instead of one. The first is The Bokkenrijder Curse, an alternative history, urban fantasy story with elements of mystery, and the second is tentatively titled The Lone Wolf, a paranormal romance about a turned wolf trying to find her place in the shifter world. The two combined make up my word count since I've been alternating writing one then the other since Day One. If I'm going to work on both, I might as well count both. Yeah, I'm a rebel.

Thank you to everyone for their support on NaNo. I appreciate it greatly!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Teaser & NaNo Update

First off, even though I'm in the midst of NaNoWriMo, There's a Fine Line will post next week as scheduled. Mainly, this is due to the fact that this chapter has been finished for about three weeks. Therefore, you all get a lovely teaser on schedule! Check out THIS SNIPPET and see what you think. I have to warn you, however, that again this is the nice part of the chapter. Blake gets his hands on Mathewson in the main portion of the chapter and it's not a pretty sight. Yes, there'll be a disclaimer and if you're not up to reading about physical torture, I'll ask that you skim most of the mid-section of the chapter. Blake's a good guy, for the most part, but he's a dark, scary vamp who takes few shortcuts in getting the information he wants.

As for the NaNo Update, I'd like to take a moment to squeal like a teenaged girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Part of NaNo is a project called 30 Covers in 30 Days where they get professional artists to volunteer to knock out the cover art for a chosen synopsis per day. The art isn't for publication purposes since it's not the proper size, etc, but it's cool to get nonetheless. They pick 3 synopses per artist and I was thrilled to get chosen to be one of those three. Then today I got the email saying my NaNovel was chosen to get a cover. Imagine the squee! The following is the blurb about the artist who designed the cover for my NaNovel,  The Bokkenrijder Curse:
Alberto Rigau was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Exposure to his father’s architectural practice motivated an early freelancing career which later transformed into Estudio Interlínea and the publishing imprint Editorial Revés. Alberto’s work has been recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, exhibited in Puerto Rico, the United States, Portugal and Spain, and published in various magazines and books. He currently lectures on design thinking methodologies and creativity as a tool to ignite meaningful cultural experiences.
And now, the cover he created:
I like it. I think it fits. I did a little dance around the house. XD Now to get back to writing it!

Enjoy the snippet!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Back from the Trip from Hell

As most folks know, the daughter and I were stranded in NYC during Hurricane Sandy. We'd gone up to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and drool over the exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art. Only one goal was accomplished. We did get to see Phantom (which was beyond awesome, btw), but the Metro system was shutting down on Sunday and we didn't want to get stranded at the Met so decided to forego the museum. We were scheduled to fly on Monday out of LaGuardia. Yeah, that wasn't happening. Sandy decided to flood LaGuardia with a crap-ton of water and cut their power. Cue a change of airports. We decided to try JFK and managed to fly out on Wednesday, two days after our scheduled return. All in all, however, the trip was lovely and we remained safe, dry, and with power so the only thing we were out was extra money.

While we were gone, There's a Fine Line Chapter 11 posted to Literotica. It was a few days early since I submitted it on the Thursday before we left, but it was either that or be late. Really late with the storm running through. I also posted it to the blog but couldn't figure out how to post links from the phone so I just published the file and left it there. For those who wanted to read it on the blog and aren't subscribed to the story's page, Chapter 11 can be found in THIS direct link.

Now that I'm back and all is well, NaNoWriMo has pounced and I'm brain dead from the stress and travelling. Don't expect the word count to jump any time soon until I have the opportunity to decompress, do the laundry, put away the souvenirs, and generally get back into the groove of things. I really hope I don't accomplish that just as the Thanksgiving holidays roll around and hubby wants us to drive to Oklahoma to spend the holiday with the in-laws. *sighs* Hurrah.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Teaser Time!

Yup, boys and girls, it's that time again. Time to get a brief glimpse of the upcoming chapter of There's a Fine Line. In this week's episode, Sapphire pushes her luck with a dangerous vampire while Blake continues to search for the Councilman that's working with Malphas. You can find a preview of the chapter HERE. The chapter will be submitted either Friday morning or late Thursday night due to my trip (SQUEEEEEE Phantom on Broadway!) and therefore will probably post to Lit earlier than the estimated post date. I've already uploaded the chapter to the blog and should be able to post from my phone while in NYC (have I SQUEEEE'd enough already?) so there are no gaps between posting on Lit and here.

One other good thing about me going to won't be spammed with anymore posts until I get back and gush over the trip! Score! lol Enjoy the snippet and the chapter when it goes live.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Oh, the things I should be doing. You know. Those things I should be doing but I'm not? Yeah, those things. I'm not prepacking for my trip. I'm not working on my outline for my NaNovel. I'm not working on Chapter 13 of There's a Fine Line. No, I'm not doing any of that because...I'm making pendants.

In my defense, I only made the first pendants because I wanted to put them in a swap package for NaNo. Then, I discovered I'd mixed too much epoxy. Well, I can't just throw it out. It's jeweler's grade and slightly pricey ($12 for 30ml). So I went scrambling for something to use the leftover epoxy in.

My craft room looks like a tornado went through on the heels of a hurricane on a good day and it's not seen a good day in some time. So I'm poking and prodding and trying to come up with something to use this epoxy in when it hits me (not literally, thank goodness, or I'd never used the epoxy before it set!). I have a crap-ton of fired shell casings. I have a lovely set of natural quartz crystals. Why not combine the two for some groovy pendants? So I did. They're still drying (takes 24 hours) and they're going to need a really good clean and polish but here's a sneak preview (click the thumbnails for larger pics):

Beautiful Death 3, A WIP of a .45 caliber shell (silver color) set with a natural quartz crystal. The crystal is set using jeweler's epoxy. Beautiful Death 2, A WIP of a .45 caliber shell (silver color) set with a natural quartz crystal. The crystal is set using jeweler's epoxy. Beautiful Death, A WIP of a .38 caliber brass shell set with a natural quartz crystal. The crystal is set using jeweler's epoxy and slightly weighted with nickel BBs to add height to the crystal.
I know they look the same but, truly, there are three different ones. The first two are nickel and the last one is brass. I'm going to add some wire wrapping to the tops to create the bails but I think they'll look nice with a rather chunky chain. One of my Viking Weave ones should do nicely!

Monday, October 22, 2012

TaFL Progress and NYC!

After an extremely productive writing day on Sunday, I've completed chapter 12 of There's a Fine Line. Again, it's not a happy chapter but, again, I feel it was a necessary one. Things will definitely be moving towards its eventual conclusion though I don't see the end for several more chapters yet (not sure if it'll go as far as 20 chapter but it might). There are changes in the air - some good, some not so good, some that were very hard for me to write. I hope you enjoy the overall journey even if some of the stops along the way have been bumpy.

Unfortunately, as productive as Sunday has been, this still puts me at least a chapter behind where I'd like to be before November. Unless I can knock out chapter 13 in the next few days, I'll be working on Fine Line in between the Bokkenrijder story for NaNo. This is not a good scenario for me as I don't like splitting my attention. Usually one is granted more attention to the detriment of the other. I don't want that to happen so I'm hoping inspiration will strike for chapter 13. Like lightning.

To top it all off, the last free weekend before NaNo will be spent in NYC. Watching Phantom of the Opera. I'll be squealing like a little phangirl the entire time, I promise you, only it'll be on the inside. I don't want to get thrown into a NYC jail and/or insane asylum. This is a Bucket List item, for those who are thinking "so what?" If you don't know what a Bucket List is, then check the link above or watch the movie that made the term famous. I've been to NYC before, have seen Ground Zero and gone to the top of the Empire State Building, but we didn't watch the musical on Broadway that I've been dying to see for over 25 years. Thus, this trip. It'll just be my daughter and I, which is scary, but it should be the experience of a lifetime. It's also why Fine Line will post early for Lit and late-ish for the blog. I can't wait. SQUEE!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

TaFL Ch10 is Live

After feeling like death warmed over in a microwave for most of the weekend, I finally managed to get Chapter 10 of There's a Fine Line submitted to Lit on Monday. Because of my delay in submitting, there was  an equal delay in posting so it finally went live today. Things have slowed a bit from the atrocities of the previous chapter though that doesn't mean it's all sunshine and butterflies from here on out. The demons are still hanging around being demonic, Blake is still an arrogant, dominating ass, and Alicia is still sassy and independent. Not always a smooth mix.

I'm still desperately trying to build up another chapter buffer to tide me over during November and the insanity that is NaNoWriMo but it's been slow going. I think part of it is planning the NaNo story, part is being sick, part is excitement over the NYC trip, while some is pure writer's....well, not really a block as I know what I want to say, it's just not coming out right. If you check the progress on the right, you'll see the word count is being passed by crippled snails. That's how slow it's been going. :(

Friday, October 12, 2012

Innocent Deceptions - Edited and Reposted

Of the stories I have written, only two have not appeared on Literotica. The first is Innocent Deceptions, a Phantom of the Opera fanfic with a distinctly darker tone than anything else I've written (except, perhaps, certain portions of There's a Fine Line). The second is Bonded, another Phantom fanfic that mixes nonhuman elements into the classic story and stageplay. Unfortunately, Bonded is, at this time, either on hiatus or abandoned - however you want to view it - and I didn't wish to place an unfinished story on the blog.

With such a wonderful editor at my disposal, I asked Archangel to take a look at the twenty chapters that comprises Innocent Deceptions and wield his Red Pen of Doom with impunity. He did so and I was eternally grateful....and then I forgot to update the chapters here on the blog. I've finally done so and thus, this post is born. All twenty chapters have been replaced with the edited versions. It's a harsh tale with a dark side of Erik that's popped up in both Blake and the demons in some form. If you get a chance, and don't mind a bit of evil in your stories, then give it a try.

To get there, just click on the tabs above or use THIS LINK to go directly to chapter one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Teaser

This week's teaser is the beginning of Chapter 10 of There's a Fine Line. A pleasant diversion from the previous chapter, Blake's and Alicia's relationship continues to evolve as they grow closer. They are playful at times and exasperated with each other at others. They can be serious and whimsical. They can be loving one moment and ready to kill each other the next. In short, a pretty typical newly-formed couple. This chapter, though not the snippet, will also give some of Blake's background so we get an idea of the era in which he was born and turned. It's kind of a "bridge" chapter, as it gives hints of and leads into things to come, but still a nice look into the budding relationship.

On the writing front...NaNo has already sapped a ton of my time. Dammit. I am working on Chapter 12 (see side bar over ---->> there for progress) but I keep getting sidetracked with ironing out details on the Bokkenrijder project. Things keep distracting me. Namely researching Torture. And kitties. (Not researching kitties, but cute pictures of kitties.) No, I'm not researching the torture of kitties because that would be wrong. (Ok, the kitties aren't in the story but Tan and I were talking about them and they were soooo cute that they served as a distraction). Oh, and chocolate. (Actually, the chocolate isn't in there either...but it was tasty.) Anyway, the chapter is coming slowly but surely so that's good, right?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Revised NaNo Story Synopsis

Ok, so I've been researching like crazy...but for the wrong story. I NEED to be researching torture techniques but instead I'm trying to work the Templars into a story that begins 300 years after their dissolution. I believe I have it so here's the new synopsis:

The Bokkenrijder Curse

Over two-hundred years ago, members of a revived Knights Templar captured, tortured, and executed ten men in a tiny rural village for being members of a Satanic band of criminals known as the Bokkenrijders. None of them were guilty of the crime and proof of their innocence was discarded and ignored.
After inheriting her grandmother's journal, Evelyn Chambliss learns that one of her ancestors was amongst those ten men. Armed with the journals and a last request, she travels to the Netherlands to learn the truth. Though many records have been destroyed, she pores over village documents, listens to folk tales and legends, and even visits the haunted ruins of the Templar Priory in an effort to clear her ancestor's name.
While deep within the dusty halls of the once grand temple, she makes a startling discovery that will alter the way the villagers view the Priory and the men it persecuted. Though she is met with otherworldly resistance, she also finds aid in an unexpected individual whose connection to the riders, the Templars, and the executions are much closer than she could have ever dreamed.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

TaFL Trivia!

Yeah, I've gone a bit loopy but thought this might be a fun game for those who want to give it a try. Below will be a list of lines of dialogue or maybe situations or descriptions (I'll know more once I find all the excerpts) from upcoming chapters. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to try to guess who said/did/was described. Bonus tribbles for those who accurately guess to whom the dialogue was being spoken, etc. Some will be fairly easy. Some might be a bit harder. Some may surprise you (I hope). Get them all right and you win!

So, if this is a trivia thingie, what are the prizes? *cue drum roll* Today's prizes will be a congratulatory post in this very blog along with a link to your own blog if you have one (and if you want me to link to it) AND I will place you (using the name/description you give me via email) in a future chapter of TaFL. Doubtful you'll be Alicia's BFF, but you could always be Dev's. He'd love a new toy to play with. I will make every attempt not to kill you off, but there are no guarantees. The demons are getting antsy., for the immortality of being placed in a future chapter of There's a Fine Line, here are your choices (yeah, some are gimmes but that's ok too):

Quotes - (bonus points for correctly guessing to whom it is being said)
1. “That leaves us with but one question: Who on the Council wants you dead badly enough to work with a demon?”
2. "Villages burned at the stake the fey who once blessed their crops. Wolves were being slaughtered by the thousands. It was a dark era for more than just the humans."
3. “What’s got your tighty-whities in a bunch?”
4. "Well, he was just standing outside the building trying not to look like he was watching it which meant he looked even more like he was watching it because, you know, when someone tries not to look like he’s spying it makes him look even more like a spy.”
5. “Yeah, I’m gonna vote ‘no’ for that scenario.” 

Situations/Descriptions (name the person or persons being described or involved in the situation):

1. When she could finally breathe, her knees had turned to goo and she was clinging to his broad shoulders like some blonde bimbo from a chick-flick.
2. Instead of a shirt, his toned, smooth chest was covered by a vest made of nothing but fine silver chains.
3. In some crazed corner of her mind, she hoped this wasn't a load-bearing support or she'd just caused some massive structural issues for the night club.
4. If they made it to the parking lot before they ravished each other, he’d be surprised.
5. Along with the small sheets of tin, steel, and aluminum; piles of brick, stone, and cinderblock; and wooden boards of every size and wood type, she’d added nails, a hammer, duct tape, wood glue, wire, and a wire cutter. She was either going to do magic or a woodshop project.

Also, these are in no particular order so just because it's listed first doesn't mean it's not in a later chapter than something listed last. I tried not to list anything that would give major portions of the plot away. Nor did I list any dialogue that's spoken by an un-introduced character. Have fun and good luck!

ETA- Absolute Cut Off is October 31, 2012. I'll be concentrating on NaNoWriMo then and will have time afterwards to work a new someone in.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

28 Days Until NaNoWriMo!

Yup! Just as it says, less than a month until NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month for the less crazed. For the entire month of November, writers are encouraged to attempt to create at least 50,000 words of a novel. There are forums for help. You can have writing buddies. There are prizes if that sort of thing is your motivation.  I'm stoked and terrified all at once.

This will be my first year attempting NaNoWriMo and I've been bouncing ideas off Mokkelke for about three months now. I had a good firm idea of what I wanted to do. I did research. I created characters. I made an outline. I scrapped all of that back in August for another super idea I had. It, too, has characters and outline and will probably be my focus after NaNo and There's a Fine Line is completed. The story haunts my dreams. However, it was the last idea that has really caught my imagination. Based around the legend of the Bokkenrijders, a (supposed) group of Satan-worshipers who rode flying goats and robbed farms and churches, it's more urban-fantasy than romance and features not a single vampire though there may be ghosts involved. I do have a synopsis ready, since I just placed it on my NaNo page, and will place it here for folks to read and snicker at:

The Bokkenrijder Curse
Two-hundred and twenty years ago, the Knights Templar captured, tortured, and executed ten men in a tiny rural village for being members of a Satanic band of criminals known as the Bokkenrijders. None of them were guilty of any crime.
After inheriting her grandmother's journal, Evelyn Chambliss travels to Belgium to learn the truth of the men accused of being members of the infamous Bokkenrijders. Over the centuries, all but one has been exonerated. Though many records have been destroyed, she pores over village records, listens to every folk tale and legend, and even visits the haunted ruins of the Templar Priory in an effort to clear her ancestor's name. While deep within the dusty halls of the one grand temple, she finds aid in an unexpected individual whose connection to the riders, the Templars, and the executions are much closer than she could have ever dreamed.
So, there you have it, the basis of the new story I'm working on in between maintaining TaFL. This one, if it turns out well, may be submitted to publishers or self-published. It all depends on if I finish it or not or if I think it could hold its own in the world of Urban Fantasy (if there's any romance in it, it will be very secondary). What do you think? Does it sound like something you'd read?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

TaFL Ch09 is Live!

Lit decided to be super speedy and post the next chapter to Fine Line much earlier than I expected. Again, heed warnings if things make you squeamish or dive in if you want to see just how evil my demons like to be. I've already posted the chapter on the blog so if you'd prefer to read it here, then check the tabs above or follow THIS BIG LINK. I'd say "enjoy" but I don't really feel that's appropriate for this chapter, so I'll just leave you to it.

I've started posting word counts on the schedule to the right ----------------------->>  Hopefully, that'll give folks a decent idea as to how long each chapter is...if you care about that sort of thing. *shrugs*

Project Time!

Those on Twitter know that I've been busy helping my only child with her first-ever CosPlay outfit for AWA 2012 (Anime Weekend Atlanta), an anime con she's attending with a dozen or more of her friends. She chose the character Yuya Shiina from the manga Samurai Deeper Kyo (I dunno, I just type what she told me). Anyway, she picked out the materials, bought the pattern and begged mom for help making the costume. The character looks like this:
Yuya Shiina

The costume, done in a steampunk fashion, would replace the traditional obi with a leather corset and her three barrel pistol with one mounted to an arm bracer. I think the results, especially for a first attempt, turned out quite nice. IF (big if) I did this correctly, the pictures should be clickable to larger versions. If not, well, oops. 

Steampunk Yuya Shiina - closeup, Close-up of the costume (minus the boots). The goggles were the only things purchased and unaltered. The altered kimono was sewn by my daughter while we both worked on the corset/obi.
Daughter as Yuya Shiina
Corset - Front, Close-up of the front of the leather corset/obi. The daughter cut and stained the leather. I designed the gear yin yang and sealed it with a jeweler's grade epoxy, hubby laced the corset together and set the copper surrounding plate. Truly a family creation!Corset - Left side, Left-side close-up of the leather corset/obi. We had hoped to put grommets in the lacing holes but the ones I had were too short and there was no time before the con to search for longer ones.3-Barrel gun, The Anime character Yuya Shiina's 3-barrel gun recreated for a steampunk version. The "gun" is primarily made of copper with antique brass accessories and brass rivets. The armguard is dyed and polyurethaned leather with brass buckles. There is a church-key style embellishment on the side.
Left pic is of the leather corset/obi. Center pic is the tooling on the side of the corset/obi. Right pic is the 3 barreled pistol.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesdays are for teasing...

Ok, so I debated whether or not to even have a teaser for chapter 9 of There's a Fine Line. I almost didn't. Then, I couldn't decide what part to pull from the story to snip and showcase. Now, normally I snip the lead in segment, make sure it has a good snippet-to-chapter word ratio, and go with that. I decided not to this time. For this chapter's snippet, the segment comes after around 1700 words of lead in information. I wanted to give folks a chance to see just what they might encounter with the chapter since I've been giving dire warnings for weeks now. For those who have issues with certain scenarios, this may enable you to decide if you wish to continue reading or wait until chapter 10.

Again, check tags and disclaimers. The snippet can be found HERE.

ETA: I will be submitting either Saturday or Sunday with an estimated post date of October 1-2.

Monday, September 17, 2012

TaFL ch08 is Live!

Even though I sent it in a bit later than expected, Chapter 8 of There's a Fine Line has gone live a bit early. If you want to read it on Lit, you can find it HERE or you can read it on the blog HERE. Or do both. Whatever makes you happy! :)

So, here it is. The mating chapter. This is nearly 8000 words of pure, unadulterated hawt BDSM sex. Yes, there are spankings and hair pullings and nipple clamps and ropes and chains so if you don't like a bit of bondage or some sadomasochism in your play time, then perhaps you should accept that Blake and Alicia have done the wild thang and moved on to the next chapter...which will be ugly and disturbing and perhaps a worse one to come back to. Yeah, I put two really intense chapters back to back. Sorry about that (not really, but it felt like the right thing to say).

I promise that things will level out soon but this isn't really a calm or collected story. It has some raw edges. It has some dark and dirty skellies in the closet. It also has some really hot vamps. lol I hope you all stay along for the ride even though it will get bumpier before it smooths out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Afternoon Teaser

Got some Wednesday afternoon teasing for everyone in the form of There's a Fine Line Chapter 8. This is the hottest chapter I've ever written, in my opinion, and was one of the hardest. It's also extremely steeped in BDSM practices in a variety of ways from bondage, to sadomasochism, to D/s. If none of those are your cup o' tea, then this may not be the chapter for you. Blake can play nice but this isn't the time for it. The snippet is just shy of 1800 words of a 7900 word chapter. Not the longest but not the shortest I've written either.

The chapter will be submitted to Literotica on Saturday, 15Sep12, with a hopeful posting date of the 18th. It could go live sooner or later depending on Lit's traffic, contests, etc. There will be a disclaimer for the nature of the sex found within as well as an author's note at the end for the upcoming chapter.

Chapter 9 will be extremely dark, ugly, uncomfortable, etc. To be totally honest, I'm not sure Lit will allow it to post as written. It still amazes me that they have a "NonConsent" section and yet "Rape" and "Murder" are not allowed as TAGS on their stories. Just some of those things that boggles the mind. Anyway, Chapter 9 is a dark chapter. Please heed the warnings and disclaimers if you have anything that makes you squick.

As for progress on future chapters...Chapter 10 gained some 1200 words in edits and revisions and is back with the beta-readers and the editor. Chapter 11 has been started but it's only a few hundred words into it for now. I'm desperately seeking to regain the chapter buffer I had at the beginning without sacrificing the quality of the writing or the story itself. I hope I succeed.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Progress and Schedules

Finally, finally, FINALLY finished chapter 10 of There's a Fine Line today. It's with my beta readers now and, once they have given it their stamp of approval, it will go to Archangel's Red Pen of Doom. If they don't give their approval, it's back to the drawing board for me.  :P I think it'll be ok. It feels done and that has to count for something, right? Right? Please?

Anyway, since I was feeling pretty chipper about being finished with Ch 10, I decided to plot out and begin Chapter 11. Don't get too excited, I have a whole 300 words down so far. But I do have a plan for it and it will set the ball rolling towards the eventual grand finale. You'll finally discover the badguy vamp's identity and get some more Devereux loving. If you thought he dressed outrageously for the interview with Blake, wait until he's goes clubbing! Rawr!

For those who are wondering at the time frame, Chapter 11 will coincide with the week leading up to, and include the weekend of, Micipsa's and Kris' mating ceremony and ritual from The Other Half. That means no elves, no Elizabeth and Johannes, and no pixies. Yes, I actually have a calendar to keep things straight. I'm anal-retentive that way.

I also needed to point out a small issue with the proposed posting schedule. As it stands, the schedule looks like this:

Chapter 8  - complete - content warning ~18 Sep 2012
Chapter 9  - complete - extreme content warning ~2 Oct 2012
Chapter 10 - complete  ~16 Oct 2012
Chapter 11 - started   ~30 Oct 2012

Please note that the tilda ( that little squiggly before the date) is recognized as the symbol representing APPROXIMATE. That means that all dates are approximate and not written in stone. I still have a problem, though. I will be in New York City the weekend before the 30th. The same weekend I need to be submitting the story to Lit in order for it to post on time. I will not be bringing my laptop with me. This means I will either need to submit the chapter before I leave (making it post 2-3 days early) or after I return (3-4 days late).

Since I expect Chapter 11 to be rather long and Chapter 10 ended up being rather short, I'm voting on submitting it early. I'd rather leave a long chapter up for a longer amount of time than a short chapter. I will try to have everything in place to post the chapter to the blog from my phone when it goes live on Lit but can't make any guarantees. It may be that those few who read the chapter on the blog will have to wait until I return. At least it won't be as long of a wait due to not having a delay between submitting and posting.

And now, since this post was really rambly, I'll add a sneak peek inspirational picture of the demon we all love to hate. I'm working on a bio for him to post later but I'll add him here now.

The picture is from artist Rochelle Green from her Elfwood site. The title is Maelmadoc - Belmordha. She's an amazing artist, so please check out her stuff!

Monday, September 3, 2012

There's a Fine Line Ch07 is LIVE

Well, I woke up late this morning. Really late. And by the time I stumbled to my laptop, I noticed that Chapter 7 of Fine Line had posted on Lit. Hurrah! Last night before I went to bed, I told myself that I should have prepped this to post today but I didn't.  Poo on me.

Chapter 7 is slightly dark as we finally get to hear Elizabeth's story from her perspective. It also shows things to come as we watch Alicia accept her bond to Blake as well as work to discover what she is. The next chapter sizzles so be prepared!

If you'd rather read on the blog than on Lit, you can click on the tab above or this link. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Morning Teaser

Yup, it's that time again. (and if that makes you think of Pinky and the Brain, that makes you awesome!) No, it's not time to take over the world. It's time for a new teaser!!! Chapter Seven is a lead in to the next stage in our heroes' relationship. It also focuses almost entirely on Alicia. It's not an entirely "nice" chapter, but it is what it is and I was happy with it.

I plan to submit the chapter over the weekend for an early week posting on Lit. I may submit it on Saturday as I'm not sure how they handle US holidays.

As for the rest of the story, Chapter Ten is still plodding along like a slow thing that plods slowly. Snails are passing it. But it's about half-way there and I hope to zoom through Chapter Eleven to make up for my snail-ishness. One can only hope.

If you need to catch up on the story, click on the tab above or follow THIS LINK. If you're all caught up and thinking just post the damn link already!!  then you can find the snippet HERE.

Oh, and a last thought. I had my loverly editor, Archangel_M, look over Innocent Deceptions and will be replacing the old version with the edited one over the next few days. It's another Phantom fanfic but much darker than Help Me Say Goodbye. Give it a few days and check out it's shiny new edited status or check it out now and groan at the errors lol

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

There's a Fine Line Ch06 is Live!

Things are moving right along on the story front...well, the posting side of it, that is. Chapter 10 is still being a bit of an ass but it'll get there. I hope. For now, Chapter Six of There's a Fine Line is available both on Literotica and the blog. You'll get to meet the fashion-forward Councilman, Devereux Armentage who's living proof that you can't judge a book by its cover (yeah, terrible cliche, I know). You'll also get another look at the bad guys and a better clue as to what they're capable of. Future chapters will get darker but I promise you that there is light at the end of the tunnel (woo hoo! another cliche!). I'm fairly certain it's not a train.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Morning Teaser

Well, it's that time again! Time for a SNEAK PEAK into the next chapter of There's a Fine Line. In this chapter, Alicia confronts Blake about the attack, you get to meet a brand new yummy character - Devereux Armentage, and you get learn a bit more about our resident bad guys - Malphas and Andrealphus. The teaser, however, only covers part of the confrontation between our protagonists. As this is a rather short chapter, I didn't want to put a bunch into the teaser and make posting the chapter rather anticlimactic. Therefore, the teaser is shorter than usual even for me at less than 1000 words.

Also, you might have noticed a missing tab (or maybe you didn't, but it's still missing). I've removed the links to Laelah's Folly since it's become clear to me that I won't have time to work on it for a while. Between Fine Line and the upcoming NaNoWriMo, Laelah is getting pushed further and further into the background. I may revive it. I may not. At this point, I'm uncertain so I've removed the links until I decide which direction I'm going.

Monday, August 6, 2012

There's a Fine Line Ch 05 is Live!

After a failed ambush on Blake, information about Malphas starts to trickle in with Chapter 05 of There's a Fine Line (also found here on Literotica). Lysavar returns with some miniature helpers while aid comes from an unexpected source as the protagonists grow closer to discovering the truth of what Malphas is and what his plans are for Alicia. Meanwhile, she's trying to come to terms with her submissive and masochistic needs as well as her growing physical changes and abilities. Throw in an over-protective and dominating vampire mate and her life has been fully turned on its head. Things are going to start moving at a good clip from this point on.

Though I've said it before, I do want to reiterate that this story isn't all sunshine and butterflies. There are dark segments that some may find disturbing or outright unpleasant. This is deliberate and I won't apologize for that fact. It is mostly contained in a single chapter (nine) for now, but will probably bleed over into others as the story evolves. Remember: not all bad guys are misunderstood - some are pure evil.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Bio Available - Devereux Armentage

This is a quickie as I'm supposed to be getting ready for the party. Here's another of the Councilmen (and thus a suspect) that you'll meet in There's a Fine Line.

Devereux Armentage is flamboyant, flashy, and sinfully hedonistic but is he a traitor to his race? You'll meet him in Chapter Six but here's a taste of this delectable vampire.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday Night Teaser

Tomorrow night I have a party to attend for the daughter of a very close friend. This family has accepted our version of crazy for over 20 years and are more like family than mere friends. Their daughter is graduating from college with an Engineering degree and so we're going to be there to celebrate in their kind of crazy. We'll watch her walk on Saturday.

Since I'll be spending most of tomorrow hunting for those last minute gag gifts I should have gotten this week, I figured I'd post the Teaser a mite early. The chapter should still get submitted on Sunday which will put it at a Tuesday/Wednesday posting date on Lit. In this chapter, the good guys finally start learning more about the bad guys' plans and you'll meet a few new folks from the Northeastern Council. You'll also see a return of the pixies, Sapphire and Opal though they don't appear in the teaser snippet. It runs just over 9k words; the teaser comes it at around 1400 words.

As for the story's progress, I've started chapter ten. I don't much like what I've got now and all of it could change but it has been started. lol Hopefully, inspiration will strike soon.

I posted the following on my Lit bio and I think it should be shared here as well. This is the proposed schedule for There's a Fine Line. None of the dates are set in stone, however. Also, please note the warning posted in paragraph two. I'm not a fan of story disclaimers but this one has some significantly dark aspects that might be unpleasant for many readers. The warnings are there for a reason!

There's a Fine Line - NonHuman category
This story will be posted biweekly (every two weeks) give or take a day here and there. Should I fully complete the story while there's still a significant amount left unposted, I *might* shift to a weekly schedule. Don't hold your breath.

Also, this story will contain many situations that readers may find disturbing. These include, but aren't limited to, aspects of BDSM (namely sadomasochism), graphic violence, demonology and the occult, sexual abuse, rape, ritualistic murder, and torture (physical and mental). Please check the story tags and heed any warnings if any of these things might trigger unpleasantness.
Any date other than for a Live Chapter is an approximation only based on current posting schedule and subject to change without notice or explanation.

Chapter 4  - is live! 24 July 2012
Chapter 5  - complete ~7 Aug 2012
Chapter 6  - complete ~21 Aug 2012
Chapter 7  - complete - content warning ~4 Sep 2012
Chapter 8  - complete - content warning ~18 Sep 2012
Chapter 9  - complete - extreme content warning ~2 Oct 2012
Chapter 10 - started  ~16 Oct 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

There's a Fine Line - Ch 04 is Live!

In line with their recent speediness, Literotica has posted Chapter 4 of There's a Fine Line about 24 hours earlier than expected. If you'd like to leave a comment or vote, check it out over there. If you prefer the blog, I've posted it here as well. I like comments, so feel free to scribble here even if you hated it...or especially if you hated it. It's the only way I'll learn. This is the first opportunity to see Malphas in his true form as well as get a hint as to his plans for Alicia.

I'm almost finished with Chapter 9 and I know it will cause several issues and potentially lose me a lot of readers. Therefore, I'm going to take this opportunity to say that, in my world, bad guys are bad. Sometimes just a little bad; sometimes a lot bad. And then there are those that fall into the "make your skin crawl, take a shower in battery acid to remove the disgusting feeling" bad. Malphas and his crew fall under that last umbrella of bad. They are demons. They are evil. They will do things that are extremely unpleasant to read (just as they were disturbingly unpleasant to write). Never believe that all bad guys are simply misunderstood. Some bad guys are pure evil and enjoy being evil and wallow in their evil. My demons are that kind of bad. You are warned.

In other news, I've joined a few other writing sites in the hopes of making my writing better. I'll be applying some of what I'm learning to (at least) Chapter 09. I might go back and rework earlier chapters if I have time or may simply go forward. I haven't decided yet. A lot will depend on any kind of writing block - if I get stuck, that would be an excellent time to review/edit an older chapter to get me back into the flow. Hopefully, the writing will have changed for the better. I'd hate to think it'd get worse lol

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Thursday Morning Snippet

So, we all know I'm impatient, right? I tend to post things early, submit things early, and generally screw up my own schedule. Just to stay true to form, I did the same thing today. Chapter Four of There's a Fine Line will be submitted to Lit on Sunday (Sunday, I tell you! I am NOT going to do it Saturday...and definitely not Friday. SUNDAY!) *ahem* anyway, so I'm throwing out an early Chapter Four Teaser because I can. Which means I might submit the chapter early...or not. Depends on how busy my weekend is. The teaser is fairly short, as is the chapter, but it does show another side of Blake and Alicia's growing relationship. The chapter itself will reintroduce our antagonist, General Daevas Malphas, and the reader will finally get to see him in all his evil glory even if the protagonists remain clueless for the time being.

The rest of the story is plugging right along. I'm currently working on chapter nine and have about a third of it in very rough draft form. Some ideas have thrown me off track and I spent several days trying to decide if I could incorporate them into the story but I'm not sure I can. The only way I feel that I can work in certain aspects that were suggested is through a Deus Ex Machina and I'm determined not to pull that. It's trite and overused and an insult to the readers' intelligence. While I loved many of the ideas and suggestions of what Alicia's other half actually is, my favorite will have to remain a thought for another story.

So, for now, enjoy the snippet and I'll try to get back to working on Chapter Nine!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where do your protagonists live?

Warning...Rambling post ahead...

Ok, so I get some of the strangest ideas just after going to, not those kinds of ideas, Tan, behave yourself! Well, ok, some of those too but that's another post for another time. Last night's thoughts centered around story locales and how they affect the reader, the characters or the story in general. I'll explain.

Location in stories rely upon the same rules as most real estate in the real world - it's all about location, location, location. For example, you wouldn't place your billionaire hero in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere without a reason because of what is generally accepted as billionaire living arrangements. Most billionaires are generally portrayed as living in the lap of luxury in a resort town, tucked away on an acres-wide estate near a suitably large metropolis and the luxuries they crave, or at the top of the tallest skyscraper of their conglomerate empire. They do not live in tiny podunk villages surrounded by peons without a good reason: reclusive, hiding from the mob, blood-thirsty vamp looking for a town to enthrall, etc.

So...if you are, like me, actually from one of those little blink-and-you-miss-it towns, where do you situate your protagonists if you want more options than the local Wal-Mart and the Carmiked 12?

1. Use a real city - aka 'Research Like Mad'. This is either the easiest route to take, especially if you live in a goodly sized city that would support your story (like NYC, San Fran, Paris, London, etc), or the hardest. If you aren't from the area, you run the risk of getting minor details wrong and simply annoying your readers (that shopping mall was turned into theme park years ago!) or getting major details wrong and alienating your readers (WTF? you have no idea what you're talking about *insert rant here*). Since I live in a rather small central Alabama town of only 35K, I rarely use real cities as evidenced by the fact that I've only done so in three of my stories thus far:
  • Emeralds & Ice was set in Victorian era London. I spent several weeks poring over appropriate era maps of the city and had to return to them often in order to get street names, etc, correct. This was easier, in my opinion, than in using a modern-day London simply because there's no chance that the building listed on the map I'm using is no longer in business (though some are) or doesn't want to be mentioned in my story and will thus send me a C&D. It's hard because there are people who get degrees in the history of that era and could easily tear my descriptions to shreds.
  • Innocent Deceptions is the second that was set in an actual city: Paris of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Though the protagonists rarely leave Erik's underground home beneath the opera house, there were roads that had to be verified as well as surrounding cities in order to lend the illusion of accuracy. And it is an illusion. This one was far less researched than even Emeralds and wouldn't stand up under intense scrutiny.
  • The Other Half is only partially set in an actual location and only in the latter half of the tale. When I settled on how to perform the mating ritual between Micipsa and Kris, I had to find an active volcano which led me to Mount Kilauea in Hawaii. It's the most active volcano on the planet and has been erupting since the 90s. Amazing stuff but I digress. Once I'd decided on that, I spent months researching the area - cities, activities, airports, the volcano itself. I learned more about that area of Hawaii than I know about my own state. But it could easily be torn apart by someone who actually lived there because I haven't.
I see using a real-life city as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, many people will love to see their home town immortalized in a story and will be able to relate more personally to your tale. They may feel a bond with your protagonists simply because they're from the same old stomping grounds. HOWEVER...these will be the same readers who will crucify your story if you deviate too far from their idea of how their city should be represented. Couple that with poor research and your tale is doomed from the outset. It's why I use them so sparingly.

2. Create a city - different from #3 below in that you create an entire city from scratch with a name, streets, industry, entertainment, etc. You are the master of SimCity to the Nth degree and your protagonists live happily in their Pretendville. From what I've seen and read, most Pretendvilles are based on larger easily-recognized cities like NYC or London without the worry that someone will discount your research or lack thereof. A New Yorker could argue that NYC doesn't have a harbor deep enough to hide a Soviet submarine; however, their argument is invalid if you use Pretendville even if it's blatantly based on NYC. The problem here, as I see it, is one of time vs reward. How long will it take to create Pretendville vs how long it would take to simply research an appropriate existing city? How long will it take you to convince your readers that Pretendville isn't just NYC-lite? Will you even try?

I've yet to try this though it will be done eventually in There's a Fine Line. As much as I could care less about my hometown, I don't think I want to place them under the sway of a violence demon just yet. It will also be used, by necessity, in Laelah's Folly. Since there isn't a planet of Malar for me to visit (dammit), I have to not only create the city, but an entire planet. It's a daunting task.

3. Be Ambiguous! - ok, so maybe this is the lazy way out but it's the route I've chosen to take for most of my stories. Essentially, you don't create a city, you don't use a city, it just is. Your city isn't named or described in many ways except those parts you need for the story. I say it's a cop out and believe it is even if I use it. It's a cop out because it requires the least amount of effort on the side of the writer. An ambiguous setting places no restrictions upon a writer because it can have anything and everything the hero or villain needs. An ambiguous setting adapts to the story instead of the story adapting to the setting. It is my goal to eradicate ambiguous settings in my stories some day but until then...just know that my heroes and heroines, villains and villanesses all live...somewhere.

Monday, July 9, 2012

There's a Fine Line - Ch 03 is Live!

Lit is on fire with its posting lately, this time taking just around 48 hours for the third chapter in There's a Fine Line to go from submission to live. This chapter is pretty steamy with some revelations for our Dominant vamp and his mostly human mate. The reader will get a bit more information as to what she's capable of doing as well as a tantalizing glimpse into what he'd love to do to her. You'll also see a bit of Blake's more tender side as he comforts his mate in a time of great confusion.

This is also the point where I state that if you don't like any or all of the aspects of BDSM, you might want to search for another story.

I fine tuned this chapter quite a bit with help from both my sounding board and brainstorming buddy, Mokkelke, as well as one of the first authors I ever favorited on Lit: Jaisen. Both of these ladies ensured  Blake and Alicia's play time was both "hawt" and believable and for that I can't thank them enough. As I stated before on this blog, I think one part in making a fantasy element in a story really work is to ensure the rest of the story is as believable and true to life as one can make it. I'm really hoping I succeeded with this chapter.

Please, read, comment, vote, review, whichever suits you best. Good or bad, I read all comments and try to respond if needed.

FirstWind Publishing

This is a reposting of a thread, with some additions, that I started on Lit. Since not everyone reads the forums there, I decided to move it here as well. Recently, I was contacted through Lit's feedback/contact page with the following email:

Hi, I've been perusing some of your work on the site here, and wow! You really know what you are doing.

I represent an independent publishing consultancy firm, FirstWind Publishing. We have extremely powerful publishing strategies which, combined with the right author, are capable of generating astronomical sales figures on Amazon, B&N, and SmashWords.

I want to make an investment in you in the form of hiring an editor, format conversions, graphic design, promotion, and execution of my publishing strategy. I'll take care of everything so you can just focus on your writing.

Sound good? Get in touch with any questions you have. I look forward to hearing from you!


Adam Miller
Managing Partner, FirstWind Publishing
Granted, at first I was tickled pink; however, we all know the old saying: "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is." So, after I did a tiny dance, I sat down with my good buddy Google to discover just what kind of publishing house FirstWind truly is.

The first thing that tipped me off was a distinct lack of internet presence. The publisher had no website that I could find, not even a free blogger style of site, and no Amazon presence. I did manage to find two sites that carried what I assumed to be their business model and I was unimpressed. They were both identical descriptions (not a problem) but one was at CraigsList and the other at a site called Booksie. What I read over at Booksie was definitely not the sort of publishing house I'd ever wish to use.

They are looking to glut the market with mediocre to good work, valuing speed and quantity over quality: I am looking for good writers who can produce good stories fast, not great authors who produce great stories slowly. [...] I can't stress enough the importance of being able to produce good content at a good pace. I'm not talking deadlines here, you just need to be able to keep good content coming in without huge gaps in production. The more stories I can get out there the more money we make, and there is nothing else required on your end except to keep creating easy-flowing, novel content.

They will not publish under your name or even your chosen pen name but under one they choose: The content will usually be out there under branded pen names, not under your real name. The titles will be reconfigured in most cases to generate maximum immediate interest.

Now, under this profile, there is nothing listed in the "Published Books" tab which makes me wonder just how he knows that he has "developed a skill for marketing and monetizing medium to high quality fiction (and some non-fiction)." If he's not published anything, then this is all theory, not fact. If he has published something, then list it.

I posted on Lit because it appears he's data-mining Lit authors. It is my guess that he's targeting those in the "Hall of Fame" segment as I know of a few other non-human authors who have received similar emails from this individual.

I am not discouraging anyone from utilizing this publisher if that is your desire but this is not someone I would ever dream of using.

I have also responded to his email with my concerns over copyright as well as pointing out that I didn't feel we were compatible. He did not respond.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's a red-hot snippet!

Since the weather down here is hotter than Satan's balls in leather pants, I've decided to post a hawt snippet of Chapter Three of There's a Fine Line. Blake and Alicia are going on their dinner date but things get a little sidetracked. You'll get to see their dynamic at work as well as learn a bit more about what exactly Alicia is. I wanted to give the teaser a bit more time before the story went live so it won't be submitted until Sunday. Try not to kill me for that. :)

As for the story, I finally got over my massive block with Chapter 8 so everything is still on schedule as long as NaNoWriMo doesn't totally set me back.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012!!

Ok, so I know it's still  four months away, but I'm already gearing up for my first stab at NaNoWriMo and I'd love to have some writing buddies! The main idea is, during the month of November, to write a novel with a goal of at least 50,000 words. It should be all new material - no using a half-finished piece that already has 15K words completed - but encompasses any and all genres and levels of ability. The forums are there to provide inspiration, help if stuck, a place to vent and moan (and we know how we all love to vent and moan!), as well as post contest support on things like editing, etc. 

There are prizes to be won, if that's something that'll help your motivation, and I'd really love some writing buddies! lol My username there is Mazuri (go figure) and I'm using my little metal birdie for an avatar. Let's hook up and do this!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

There's a Fine Line: Ch 02 Live

Lit posted early so I'm scrambling to get everything in place lol Chapter Two of There's a Fine Line is also available on the blog for those who prefer it here. Please read, review, vote, whatever is appropriate on whichever site you choose. Let me know what you think and how you like it, hate it, or find it simply not to your tastes. I'm currently working on chapter 8 so things are going smoothly in the story and there's already another brewing in my head...though I might actually dip my toe into publishing with it. Or not. I'm undecided at this time :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Snippet Time!

Since the two week mark from the date I submitted TaFL: Ch01 is steadily approaching, I'm going to throw the snippet out today as well as submit the second chapter to Lit. This chapter is a bit darker than the first but continues to develop the characters as well as give a peek into the mysterious Daevas Malphas. The snippet can be found in the Teasers tab or you could just click HERE for instant gratification. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Realism in a Fantasy Setting

In two separate conversations with two separate nonhuman authors from Lit, the subject of realism came up. Mainly: how much realism is needed to overcome the fantasy aspects of a story involving creatures like werewolves, vampires, demons, and djinni. All three of us seemed to agree that "as much as possible" was the right answer. For us. YMMV.

I know that I have trouble with a suspension of disbelief when the ridiculous far outweighs the plausible. Unless the entire thing is intrinsically silly, the disconnect of reality and fantasy makes a piece (movie, book, whatever) unentertaining for me. Yes, I like fantasy settings but the people should be believable as people; their actions should be logical and 'normal' for want of a better term. I also love fantasy creatures in real settings, but again, there must be an offset. The creatures can be powerful but should have some semblance of humanity or something gets lost for me.

This is probably why I never could really get into Superman. He is essentially perfect. Strong, handsome, chivalrous, innately good, honest, caring, etc etc etc... Oh, and he can't be killed or hurt. At all. It was only in later books that the writers introduced Kryptonite. His world was also fairly black and white. The good guys were generally good; the bad guys were generally really bad. There was little, if any, shade of grey (not in the 50 Shades of Grey Twilight fanfic sort of way) which made the entire thing totally unrealistic and, therefore, unentertaining for me. In Superman's defense, the story was written in a time when almost everything followed the same formula. TV shows were about perfect families, books were about perfect heroes, etc. It really only chafed when they added the supernatural element to it as that just highlighted the lack of realism and broke the already fragile veil of the story.

Maybe I'm rambling now.

In The Other Half, I tried to place my nonhuman creatures into a world as fraught with varying shades of the moral spectrum as the one in which we live. There are good guys doing bad things and thinking they're right to do so. There are bad guys doing bad things - some believe they're doing it for the 'greater good' and some because they truly enjoy being bad. There are hate groups and support groups and groups that try to cash in on both angles. There is fear and love and hatred and acceptance. There is tolerance and xenophobia. It is the world we know and see every day on our local news and that grounds the fact that the current focus isn't white vs black, straight vs gay, or religion vs atheism - it's human vs nonhuman.

In Jaisen's More Than Just a Fairy Tale, her werewolves lead normal lives. They have jobs and go to school and deal with family matters just like everyone else. The fact that they turn furry every so often is almost a side issue. I love the sheer normalcy of the setting as it makes the rest so much more believable. There is no mating bond to pull their other half to them - they date and marry and divorce. It's refreshing and normal with just enough fantasy to titillate the senses without bashing you over the head with it.

So, before I ramble even more than I already have, I'll sum it up in this way: FOR ME (notice the emphasis there, again, ymmv), the best way to ensure that a fantasy story (movie, book, tv show, etc) is wholly able to suspend my disbelief is write it in such a way that, if you removed the fantasy element from the characters, the story could stand on its own. MTJaFT succeeded in a way TOH did not. The fantasy element is too intrinsic to the basic premise for TOH to survive without it. There's a Fine Line might do better...time will tell.

Yeah, I'm totally rambling at this point but I think you get the general idea. Opinions are most welcome.

Monday, June 11, 2012

There's a Fine Line Teaser

Yup, I'm impatient. It's a major failing of mine. What this means is that I've posted up the teaser for Chapter One of There's a Fine Line a few days early. There's also a bit of a contest included that I hope you enjoy. The chapter will be submitted to Lit today which should put it going live sometime on or around the 15th, my projected publish date.

Posting schedule is currently set for every other week or the 1st and 15th of the month, whichever works out best for me. The only things that will change that will be if I run into severe writer's block and eat through the chapter 'padding' I currently have (making the posting times longer, as seen with The Other Half) or if I finish the tale entirely (possibly making the posting times shorter). Otherwise, every other week is the plan.

Thanks and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Shake up on the blog

With the posting date for chapter one of There's a Fine Line looming ever closer, I spent the first part of my morning revamping a few things on the old blog. What had originally been the tab for Fine Line is now the Character Bios tab. Since it is likely that I will, in the future, wish to add more bios other than characters only contained in Fine Line, I thought it best to have a spot just for them. Also, once the story starts getting posted, it might clutter things up to have a chapter, then a bio, then a chapter, etc. I don't like clutter. All the links in the older posts should have been fixed up but, if not, please let me know and I'll fix them.

I've also added a Teasers tab. Again, I thought it would be useful to have a place just for those snippets before a story/chapter goes live. Since I do plan to write something beyond Fine Line, and since I don't want to clutter a story's page with snippets, I gave them their own home. Teasers will probably get posted when a chapter is submitted to Lit (or elsewhere if I decide to post elsewhere) so that they're only a few days early. Not much of a wait, really. There might be ways to win earlier snippets or entire chapters before they go live and that, too, would be posted here. Yes, I'm a sucker for trying to pull more folks to the blog. So sue me.

A note on the background: the artwork that serves at the background for the Teasers tab is a diagram for an orrery. I thought it appropriate to have a blueprint style background since you're only seeing parts of a story. And I think the artwork is simply cool.

Next, There's a Fine Line gets its own new, shiny tab. There's nothing in it yet, of course, but I do plan to begin posting towards the middle of the month. I'm still working on personalizing it so the look and feel of the page will change as I get more and more comfortable with fiddling with blogger.

And finally...I haven't forgotten Laelah's Folly, it simply isn't high on my list of priorities at the moment. My main goal is to get Fine Line off the ground and posting and to maintain enough of an excess chapter inventory that, if I were to suffer horrible writer's block, I won't miss a posting deadline. During those times when I just want to nuke Blake and Alicia will be when Laelah and Khraygor will resurface. I apologize if that upsets anyone but I did warn folks at the beginning that it wasn't my primary focus at this time.

Wow, that was wordy. Thanks for making it to the bottom. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New bio available - Elizabeth

Wrote up the background for Elizabeth Pierce and now I'm wishing I had time to write her story in its entirety. I kinda liked it. lol As for There's a Fine Line, I've finalized chapter five, I believe, so I'm still on track to start posting sometime in June unless I run into some major writer's block. I'm not sure there's a desire for previews or teasers, so let me know if that's something anyone would want to see.

Also, Blake, Alicia, and Malphas will be getting their own spot in the bio pages but not until the story is posted. Their backgrounds might give too much away at the moment and I don't want to post spoilers before the first chapter goes live.

As for now, enjoy learning more about the other people in the story!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Holidays will kill you

So...hubby, child and I go from BFE, AL, up to Indiana to meet up with the in-laws for the extended holiday weekend. It's the first long trip in the new Saturn and I'm hoping we get good gas mileage and a safe trip. Needless to say, the first was pretty good...the second, not so much.

Before we ever left the state, I got to see my life flash before my eyes. For anyone who's ever driven in Birmingham, AL, first off, I apologize on behalf of my state. Secondly, where I-65 crosses over I-20 (I believe it was) is a totally messed up area. I65 acquires traffic from two on-ramps - one on each side - so traffic is merging from both the left and the right. Also, there is an exit about a mile from these ramps. Well, we're driving along on I-65 when a semi carrying cinder blocks merges from our left. He, of course, needs that first exit. So, without looking to ensure he's not the only creature on the interstate at that particular moment, he crosses four lanes of traffic in order to get into his turn lane. I'm nearly standing my poor car up on its nose to keep from losing it to that obliviot. [Obliviot - contraction of the words 'oblivious' and 'idiot', it is a noun used to denote people who do stupid things while seeming to notice their environment] 

Then we get to Nashville. Again, for those who've driven north on I-65 through Nashville, I deeply sympathize. That route was designed by a brain-dead monkey engineer on crack-laced meth. The roads split about four times as you go through the city and, each time, I65 splits from a different direction. The first time, you have to be in the left two lanes; the next time, the right two. And don't get me started on lanes that simply disappear without warning! Of course, this is the same state that, four years ago, told us for three miles worth of construction that the right lane was going to end but, when it finally did, it was the LEFT that went away. Talk about a clusterfuck!

Kentucky merely had stealthy cops on the prowl. One was in the high median grass looking like a tiger stalking his prey. Being that the car was mostly black, perhaps that should have been a panther? Whatever it was, it did give me a bit of a giggle (especially since I was doing 80 and didn't get stopped by his prowly self). We were kinda bummed to realize that GeoWoodstock was going on the day we were driving through Louisville. If we hadn't been on such a schedule, we would have stopped. As it was, we met and talked to some cachers at a Cracker Barrel near Georgetown and I got to sign someone's jeep! Yes, their jeep. They had it set up like a cache and the driver kept Sharpies so you could sign it. I got a front fender. Too cool.

Our second brush with death was just inside Indiana. Again, it involved a semi. What is up with you guys? You used to be the best drivers on the road and then it all went to hell somehow. Anyway, Mr. Semi had gotten caught up behind a 1000 year old woman who shouldn't be driving a Hover-Round much less a car and was doing 50 on the interstate. Where are those cops when you need them, hmmm? Stalking the prairies, I suppose. Well, there was a gap in front of this Chevy Blazer in front of us about the size of a Smart car. The trucker decided to use it and zipped over...nearly claiming the Blazer's bumper as a souvenir. The Blazer nearly took to the grass, I'm standing on my brakes again while praying I don't get rear-ended, and the granny is cheerfully oblivious to the chaos around her.

It would take far more words than I want to use to describe my disgust with Illinois drivers so I won't even start. Needless to folks need help. 'Nuff said.

Gas wasn't the problem I'd thought it'd be until we reached Indiana. In our town, we gassed up at $3.21 on Friday morning. In TN/KY, we cringed at the $3.45 for the second fill. Indiana made us want to cry. The lowest we found was $3.76, a full 55cents higher per gallon than at home. We learned that it'd been outrageous for some time and not just the holidays. We also learned that the Indy 500 was running that weekend and they were whining about how HOT it was going to be. *snort* It was barely 95F in areas of concrete/asphalt - definitely not HOT. They whined; we sniggered. It wasn't nice of us, but there you have it. lol

On the way home, there were fewer moments of hair-raising terror. Tennessee has learned their right from their left. Stalker cops were stalking...but thankfully had prey other than my little Ion on their minds and in their sights. The only really bad thing that happened as we headed back south was a nasty nasty looking wreck on I65 northbound just south of Silver Hills, TN. From what we could deduce, a semi had wrecked in a spectacular fashion and was causing all three lanes to be blocked. Traffic was at a dead stop. The trailer was being doused by the fire department. Cops and ambulances were on hand. Not pretty.

We made it home in one piece - no wrecks, no tickets. Today, I unpack, wash, and pray I don't have to get in my car any more than necessary.

But Illinois drivers...yeah, get classes.