Unleash the Sexy Beasts!

It’s time. No, we’re not here to celebrate the incoming season. Sorry, fellow Fall Lovers. We’ll have that party later. When it isn’t 100* F on my back porch. In the shade. On an overcast day. I’m sooo not exaggerating. That’s been my week and it SUCKS when paired with smoke from the half-dozen fires ringing the Central Valley. But enough whining about weather.

We’re here  to reunite with those drop-dead-gorgeous demigods, the incubi.

Deryck, Wolfrik, Garik, and the gang have been on hiatus for far too long. It took me a while to establish a plan of attack to get them back out in the world. Since the vampires worked so well as a serial, I’ve decided to move forward to do as promised, and every book which was previously published has been given another hefty edit to prepare it for its Patreon debut. Two weeks ago, Meghan’s story wrapped on the site. Now it’s Deryck’s turn.

Chapters one through four are live on Patreon as of 9/5. The first two chapters are Public and free to read—they’ll remain free indefinitely, so if you want a peek, go for it. Patron Only posts cost just $1 a month to access. Funds raised via the site will go toward making work more accessible with my physical disabilities.

As the bastard child of the Egyptian god Min, Deryck’s inheritance is great, vast powers . . . which frightened the gods so much, they rounded up the half-breeds like him, stripped 90% of their power, and forced them to become incubi. Yes, we’re talking about hunky dream gods here. But enslavement isn’t sexy and Deryck wants out.

 

Getting to Know: Jillian

Most readers already met Garik back when they read Enslaved, but this is the first time any of you will meet Jillian Griffin. She thinks of herself as a hotel owner with a past best left behind herway behind her. The incubi see her as something altogether different and wonderful. Let’s see what my associate, Quamaine, can dig up about Jillian before you guys meet her properly in Infliction.

Quamaine: What is your biggest fear?

Jillian: Spiders dressed like clowns. Okay, seriously? Losing the hotel. It’s been an uphill struggle to get where we are, watching it implode would kill me.

Q: What really makes you angry?

J: Not having control. I can deal with just about anything life throws at me—until my hands are tied in some way.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your career?

J: The weird family I’ve built to keep the business running smoothly.

Q: Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?

J: Mom had a boatload of nicknames for me growing up. None of which I wish to hand over to anyone as ammunition.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge?

J: A good night’s rest. Seriously, though, opening Coleridge by myself with a safety net far in my peripheral.

Q: Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?

J: I’d trade it all to ensure everyone I care for is happy. Physical appearance doesn’t mean much to me. I mean, it helps, but it’s not everything.

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?

J: I—I can’t answer this one. Let’s move on.

Q: If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

J: Warning — Contents Under Pressure

Q: What is the worst nightmare you have ever had?

J: We shouldn’t dwell on nightmares. They don’t mean anything.

Q: Who knows you the best?

J: My coffee pot.

Q: Do you see yourself doing something very different five, ten years from now?

J: Professionally, I’d like to see Coleridge doing well enough, I can open a second hotel in the city. Personally, I’m not one to count chickens before they hatch any more. Living to see tomorrow is always my goal.

Make sure you’ve read Enslaved before Infliction makes its way into our realm. 91XY8KqUEdL._SL1500_

Author Wishlist

We all do it, even those of us far below the rank of “She Who Has Encourage Fan Art.” Except, I really want fan art for one character in particular.

You guys haven’t met her yet.

Which sucks for me because I don’t want to spoil her for you guys. Just believe me when I say, you’ll fall in love with her the second she steps on stage in Infliction. Well, after you stop saying, “Holy shit.” Because it’s a plot twist I didn’t even see coming. When this awesometastic character gently rapped on my brain’s door to enter the Inbetween world, I thought for sure it was a mistake. Then I saw why she (we’ll call her B from now on) was really there. B ends up being a vital part of this world.

She deserves all your love. I’m exaggerating only a smidgen.

Unlike other characters living in my grey matter, B is fully formed–down to the way her eyelashes sweep together every time she accesses a painful memory. I want to see B face-to-face. Mostly, I want to see how you envision her. Does what I keep in my head while working with her translate? Gods, I hope so. B is by far the most beautiful person I’ve seen.

She’s real, yet not. Now I understand how some writers get far too attached to certain characters. It wasn’t until I met B that I actually hoped someone would attempt to capture her beauty visually. It’s my one author wish for the next year.

Any fellow authors have a similar wish to see how others envision their favorite character?

Getting to Know: Garik

To get you guys excited for Infliction, I’m going to start dropping breadcrumbs as we get closer to the release date. Which I still don’t know for certain, but rest assured, it’s closer than any of us think. These guys are ready to come out and play. For a little refresher, I asked my cohort, Quamaine, to interview Garik. Let you guys get reacquainted with the Inbetween’s smoothest talker. Listening to this man talk makes me blush.

Quamaine: Name a song that describes your life the best.

Garik:This Calling” by All That Remains

Q: What is one of your most painful memories?

G: My first night inside the compound. It was constantly noisy. My brethren appeared and vanished without warning—often mid-conversation. We’d been forbidden to use powers in the nursery—that much I remembered. The rest of it is a vague recalling of what they taught us, but no real memories until the first night I spent as a mature incubus.

Q: How would you change one aspect of your life to make it better?

G: It’s isolating, that’s for sure. We’re constantly surrounded by people, yet never have the time to bond with them—save a few.

Q: So what’s your day job? Does it pay well?

G: An incubus is paid in the sighs of women. It’s incredibly rewarding in its own ways.

Q: Oh, well, there’s that . . . . Now that the cat’s out of the bag, what was the first time like?

G: Terrifying. I’d been amongst the mature incubi for less than an hour. Pain I’d only felt once before—when the bonds were put in place—seared my arms. When I stepped out of the fog, I faced a nude woman. I’d never seen a woman before then.

Q: How would you describe the connection you have with your customers?

G: ‘Customer’ implies payment. My callers shaped the man I am now. Their generosity and trust means the world to me, even if they think I’m a dream.

Q:What is your absolute favorite part of a female?

G: The tremble along her inner thigh at climax.

Q: Have you ever found yourself falling in love with your clients or have feelings of intimacy toward them?

G: I love them all in a way. One can’t help it when they see so far into the soul of a person.

Q: What are the stranger things women have asked you to do?

G: Anything involving feet confuses me. Generally, so long as they’re having a good time, I am too.

Q: Why do you think women summon you?

G: Wolfrik has a theory—each caller’s heart longs for a quality certain incubi possess. I know beauty in ever woman. There are too many who don’t see what’s in the mirror in the morning. I make it easier for them to do that.

Q: Do you see yourself doing something very different five, ten years from now?

G: Deryck and Wolfrik think we’ll find a magic well of women capable of freeing us. I’m a realist. My callers will still see me every night when they lay down their heads. It’s the only truth I can guarantee for the future.

For another refresher on Garik, the gods, and the laws governing the incubi, make sure you’ve reador re-readEnslaved before Infliction is released.91XY8KqUEdL._SL1500_

 

Break Out the SPF Vampire

Spring Break is upon us. For yours truly, that means time with the family far, far away from household responsibilities.

It also means it’s giveaway time! I’ve joined up with  a slew of fellow authors, Digital Book Today, and The Kindle Book Review–The #1 Site for Reader Giveaways–and we’re giving away two (2) $200 Amazon Gift Cards. The giveaway started March 23 and goes through April 5. Check it out and enter everyday. Good luck! unnamed

Repeat After Me

There’s no such thing as a throw-away idea.

Got it? Good.

What? You’re confused? Fine, I’ll explain. *dons smart-looking writer’s cap*

In the course of planning and writing (slowly) the final book in my vampire trilogy, I’ve discovered something I find hilarious. Some of the details I thought would never amount to anything in Be Ours Forever ended up being huge parts of the other books. For instance, I tossed in a line about Caius’ cabin in the woods in BOF. That cabin, mentioned only once in the first book, became a major setting in In Too Deep and will play a minor role in the third (yet unnamed) book. I never thought twice about the cabin while writing BOF. It was an easy way to drop a quick story that’d give readers a better sense of his personality since we never saw his point of view and it was a woefully short book—no room for the type of character building I relish in now.

Little details writers add can, and often do, take on a life of their own. The incubi tattoos in my Inbetween series started the same way. I just happened to like the idea of the gods branding their playthings somehow. Boom. Tattooed hotties at my disposal. But the idea morphed, became something integral to the entire universe I’d created. Which sucks, in a way. Now I was responsible for creating a set of rules for these damn things and sticking to them.

Sometimes writing taking on a life of its own is a pain in the ass and creates more homework for us poor writers.

Yes, I’m aware my career of choice comes with a lifetime of the same sort of homework I shirked throughout high school. The irony is not lost on me. If any of my English teachers knew I decided to become a writer, they’d die . . . because they were too busy laughing to breathe properly.

The point I’m trying to make is, pay attention to the details. Often writers get stuck in a scene and can’t find a way out. My advice? Close your eyes. Step into the scene beside the characters. Look around. Is there a piece of metal that can cut the tape wrapped around the character’s ankles? How about a unlocked door to duck behind during a chase scene? A robe belt to add a bit of gentle kink to a sex scene? Is that background character at the diner giving your main character the stink-eye?

No detail is insignificant. Your mind coughed up that bit of “Why the fuck am I wasting time describing the flaking paint on this wall” for a reason. SN-Writing-Stock-ImageThe reason could be as simple as, that building is old as hell and I want readers to really understand that it could come down on the character’s head any moment. Or the flaking paint could expose a centuries-old fresco long thought destroyed.

The possibilities are endless.

But these brilliant moments only happen if you pay attention. I would’ve never looked at Caius’ cabin twice . . . until I needed a place to hide a few characters and my brain went, “Uh, dude, we got this covered.” It’s like my brain does the work for me.

Wait. That’s the point, right?

All I’m saying is, listen to your subconscious. It’s a vital part of the writing process that isn’t given due credit.

What detail can you pull from your last manuscript that’ll work in the sequel and tighten your story’s universe? Take a look. I bet you’ll be surprised what you find. And, of course, I want you to share.

Yeah, this is one of those posts. Audience participation time! Let’s see what you got.

Chicken Scratch

In Too Deep_600x900 Back in June, I spent a lovely–if not a tad toasty–weekend in Phoenix, AZ with my publisher, Jinxie, at Phoenix Comic Con. At the end of the long weekend, there was still a few books on the table with my name on them.

Light bulb.

I grabbed a pen and defaced every single copy left in Jinxie’s stock. Okay, not in a bad way. I signed those bitches and suffered a sore hand for the rest of the day. It was worth sporting a claw-like paw on the flight home. Why? Because not every reader can make it to my signing events. As a matter of fact, I’ve only had the one since beginning this whole mad scheme–the one where I become super famous from making preternatural creatures kill people and then have sex. Not with the corpses. (Shut up, Aksel.)

What does this mean for you? Signed books! Without flying thousands of miles! Duh!

Currently, Just Ink Press has a limited number of signed Enslaved and In Too Deep paperbacks available on their website. I’d love to see these books find forever homes on your bookshelves. Don’t leave the poor babies on the streets (or in Jinxie’s apartment….) much longer. Books have feelings, too.

Not to mention, who doesn’t want a copy of Deryck’s yumtastic shoulders to drool over in the privacy of their bedroom? 91XY8KqUEdL._SL1500_

I Have a Problem

No, it isn’t my obsession with everything Guardians of the Galaxy. Or my over-zealous eyebrow tweezing.

It’s book sales. Or rather, the difficulty I’ve found trying to sell books which don’t really fit into any fad genre clogging the best-seller charts.

First thing, I’m not bitter over anyone’s success. I knew out the gate, especially with Enslaved, that pitching the idea to a publisher wouldn’t be an issue. It’s readers who I cannot, for the life of me, convince to give the book a chance . . . even after they read it.

Conversations generally go like this:

Me: “Guys, I wrote a thing! Please buy it.”

Reader: “Nah. I’m gonna buy this overpriced iced coffee. Decaf. Non-fat. No whip.”

Me (Thinking, “What’s the point in that?”): “I said, please. There’s hot guys.”

Reader: “I don’t know . . . .”

Me: “Hot guys who have a lot of sex–incubi!”

Reader: “Maybe . . . .”

Me (Thinking, “Please buy so I can feed my cats.”): “It’s really a good book.”

Reader: “Fine.” (Wanders off to read.)

Five Days Later . . . .

Reader: “There’s not enough sex!”

Me: “But, meaningful plot!”

Reader: “SEX.”

Me (sigh): “Character development?”

Reader: “MORE SEX NOW.”

Me: “Okay. Fine. If you’ll buy the sequel, I’ll put in all the sex you can handle.”

Reader: “But what about plot development?”

It never ends. I spend more time justifying (if only in my head) writing decisions than actually writing or promoting the books I’ve already published so new readers can enjoy the worlds I’ve created. It’s confusing. A publisher says they love it. Ditto the editor, proof reader, and beta readers. But once that literary baby’s umbilical cord is cut, suddenly everything is wrong. No one likes it.

Writers can’t please everyone. That’d be impossible with so many variables lurking amongst genre fans. But, damn, can we please at least enough readers to make a book feel like an accomplishment and not a total failure? Publishing a book should be celebrated. Instead writers work hard for, sometimes, years on a book and in the end, nothing but reader abuse.

Wouldn’t kill anyone to include ONE nice thing with their reviews. Take that from someone who reviews TV shows and movies professionally. A little sugar makes that medicine go down easier.

Enough bitching. I have people to kill.

Fictionally.

Maybe.

Too Much Stuff

The other day, in the midst of research and promo crap and wrangling reviews for the ZSC, there came a point when my desk wasn’t big enough. Everything ended up piled on my bed. So I took a picture.

Not included: a full pot of coffee to get me through the day, equal amounts of water, All The Post-its, cell phone that wouldn’t shut up, and cats who meowed at the office door to make sure I wasn’t buried under piles of books.

Yes, the page flags are indeed shaped like severed zombie fingers.
Yes, the page flags are indeed shaped like severed zombie fingers.