Whee!

It’s been a hectic weekend. First off, it’s looking like we need to replace our car sooner than we’d anticipated, so my plans to go to RWA Nationals this year are more than a bit moot, unless Morgan should manage to get a significantly better job in the next couple months (given his recent health, not very likely). Needless to say, I’m pretty bummed about that. 🙁

We went to Boskone, a local science fiction and fantasy convention, with a couple friends. Unfortunately, due to a fubar on Boston’s part (parts of the subway line we needed to take were shut down for this weekend only), we didn’t get to the con until 4pm on Saturday, so I missed quite a bit of the panels I’d wanted to see. Still a lot of fun, though, and I got to meet up with some people I hadn’t seen in a year or more.

I might be going to Lunacon next month. Smudge and Pen are going and offered to split a room with me and the male. Morgan has had to take a lot of time off work, so he wouldn’t be able to, but Pen lives close enough that we can probably carpool. It’d be a lot of fun–and hey, it’s in New York, which is one place I haven’t been to yet. Not that I’d do much besides hang around folks at the con, but still!

In other news, I’ve received a few awesome reviews these past couple days. Cocktail Reviews, a new review blog, gave The Twilight Deception five champagne flutes (their second highest rating!) and Wasting the Dawn four flutes. A couple quotes:

“What an utterly fantastic read. I haven’t read a book that has affected me in this way for a while.” — Wilga Hill Boomerang on Twilight.

“Ms. Drake has an exceptional voice and a unique ‘thing’ that just shines from the page.” — White Russian on Wasting.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd…

About a month or so ago, I sent a query to Mrs. Giggles for The Twilight Deception. I happened to check the website today, not so much because I wanted to check, but because I love her site… and she’d posted the review.

She rated it an 83.

For Mrs. Giggles, this is high praise, indeed. I’m still bouncing off the walls. A long-ish quote: “Elisabeth Drake has an interesting alternate world in this story. Vampires and witches are nothing new, but the otherworldly vampires here are not the usual vampires and their ability to pass themselves off as humans even in broad daylight allows some interesting possibilities. The author also knows how to tell a story in an entertaining manner – this short story has excellent build-up and ends most satisfactorily despite the book being only 75 pages long. I don’t feel that the story is rushed to a conclusion.”

I’d hoped she would like it, but… this is Mrs. Giggles. She is known for char-broiling manuscripts. While I’ve had several picky people crit/beta read my work, much less editors, I’m not going to assume that someone won’t think it’s crap anyway. ^_^

So, yeah, bouncing off walls. Whee!

Romance Divas eBook Challenge: Transformation

(Note: Argh! I posted this the other day and for some reason, the blog program I posted from marked it as private even though it wasn’t supposed to be. >_< Better late than never, I guess…)

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m participating in Romance Divas’ eBook Challenge. Click here for the full list of participants and genres, though I think some of the latter are a bit out-of-date. (Gotta love it when you change your mind about what you’re writing, LOL.)

Here’s a short excerpt from the story I’ve contributed, Transformation. I should mention that the story isn’t a romance. It’s dark urban fantasy with a different spin on werewolves and vampires. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I hope you enjoy reading it! 🙂

 

Chill air surrounded me, shadows of souls long since passed haunting its crisp essence. Goosebumps rose across my flesh, tingling; I shivered. Surrounded by death, Kestrel. You will always be surrounded by death. My grandmother’s last words rang through my head. My face paled. The bouquet of flowers I had brought her dropped from my hand to the grave below.

What would she think? I could do naught but stare down at it as night’s mist wrapped around me. I loved my grandmother very much… perhaps almost too much. It’d been five years since her death, and still, I brought her lilies every anniversary of her death.

And now these are soiled by the touch of another soul. I could, of course, pick them up and take them to Grandmother’s grave anyway–but both she and I would know the truth. She haunted my dreams enough. I did not need to give her cause to do so further.

Apprehension roiled in my stomach as the howl of my brethren pierced night’s flimsy armor. Nearly time. Clouds moved, and the moon shone down, through withered scarecrow trees. My heart beat fast, and my gut clenched.

So close. I hadn’t realized…

“Houndfather’s bloody kill!” I swore, but anger disguised confusion within. With the full moon so high, I should already have felt the alterform stirring within me, claws scraping beneath my skin, tearing at the mask of humanity. Perhaps even have already entered the beginnings of the transformation–body hair multiplying in patches, fingernails sharpening, enlarging, sense of smell increasing …

But I felt nothing but my own fear.

Wanna read the rest? Click here!

Okay, so…

(cross-posted from the Livejournal)

I had to do my annual bra-and-underwear shopping today. Usually I don’t do it more than once a year, because it is a pain in the fucking ass. But, things get old, cats and kittens shred them, gremlins steal them for transvestite parties… end result is: Nonny needs to buy more.

Underwear isn’t that bad, really. The main problem is finding something in black. I have no idea why white and cotton candy pink seem to be the most popular colors considering that most women bleed once a month. And, y’know, pads and tampons are great and wonderful and all that, but they aren’t 100% protective. Blood leaks through and stains undies (if you wear them).

So why, by Lucifer’s navel lint, do people feel the need to stock 90% of women’s underwear in pink or white???

Of course, size 6 underwear in the brand and style (Hanes Body Creations microfiber, bikini style; most comfortable panties evar!) also seems to be the rarest. I could find plenty of panties in size 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and above. Hell, there were even several pairs of 0 and 2 underwear. 6? Apparently someone got confused about the Number of the Beast and thinks it’s “6” and not “666,” because I had to dig like a puppy dog on crack to find any in the style I like. (Oh, if only I could stand to wear regular cotton…)

Since I’ve lost a bit of weight since the last time I bought underwear, I bought a size 5. Hopefully those fit well enough. *sigh*

Now, bras … um. Forewarning: Profanity abounds. (Like this is any motherfucking news.)

It is apparently fucking impossible for a woman with 36B cup tits to find a bra that isn’t a cocksucking push-up bra. (Yes, they’re selling talented multi-tasking bras these days.) If you’re a C, D, DD, or above cup, there’s fucking plenty of non-padded, non-pushup pretty lacy bras. WTF do they think, that anyone who has a fucking B rack is insecure and needs to fucking compensate?

I like my tits the size they are. I don’t need a push-up bra to make myself look good. Hell, I had enough people comment on the cleavage from my wedding pictures, and I wasn’t wearing a bra then. The only fucking reason I buy the goddamn things in the first place is because I have some nice shirts and dresses that don’t look right without them. 99% of the time, I don’t bother to wear the things. (Ask Morgan if you don’t believe me.)

Sure, they had sports bras that would “fit” — as much as any sports bra ever does. They fucking crush my tits and hurt my back. Supportive, my ass. I could probably go to a specialty store like Vickie’s and find something, but I don’t want to drop $50 on a piece of clothing I never fucking wear. It’s not that important.

After scouring the racks, I found two bras that might be acceptable — non-underwire, shaped like a normal bra; I think the fabric probably won’t agree with me, but I’ll give it a try. Then I thought about it and decided to look in the girl’s section. I used to find 36B there before, and I thought there was a decent chance I’d find something more acceptable.

Okay… am I the only person who thinks there is something FUNDAMENTALLY FUCKING WRONG when the only thing I can find in the GIRL’S SECTION is push-up bras??????? They didn’t even have the little training bras I used to get; just a few sports bras, and the rest were all push-up or padded.

I am deeply disturbed.

And I am fucking glad I don’t have to do this for another motherfucking year.

Multi-genre Authors + Pen Names = We Can’t Win

I read a post earlier this morning on Romancing the Blog, Genre-Jumping Authors: Love ‘Em Or Leave ‘Em? Basically, whether or not readers like authors who write in multiple sub/genres or not. The comments, to be frank, fucking disturbed me.

Several people said outright that if an author they considered “auto-buy” deviated from her norm and published a different book than they expected, they would drop her like a hot potato. If the book in question is not a romance but is labeled as one, then they have every right to be fucking pissed. But some of these people were saying that romance writers should use different pen names per sub-genre, much less for other genres like mystery or fantasy. WTF?

I’m not understanding how somebody can not realize that a book isn’t a romance.

  1. If you’re in a bookstore or library, the book very well may be shelved somewhere other than romance. This ought be a dead giveaway.
  2. The spine will usually say something else besides “romance.”
  3. The back cover copy should also be a clue.
  4. If you mainly order online, most romance authors will mention books are in different genres on their website.

If both the publisher and the author are deliberately misleading, then yes, you should be pissed. But I truly do not understand the thought process behind “use a different name.” People say you can cross-promote, but it isn’t always that easy. Promotion for one pen name takes a lot of time, much less multiple. If you’re print published, most readers are going to pick books up based on author name or cover art. If you’re using a different name, readers aren’t going to recognize your name. As far as they’re concerned, you’re another new author. Very few writers who use pen names get to put “Mary Sue writing as Dora Delany” on the cover. What you’re left with is people who read the bios in the back of the book, and those who read your website.

What about authors like myself, who have a setting they use for multiple genres? The Twilight Deception is a paranormal romance, but I also have an urban fantasy novel (in progress) and an epic fantasy (on hold) in the same setting, along with many other stories. It’s going to look very damn odd if what appears to be two different authors reference things from the same setting.

And for all the readers who complain about authors who don’t use pen names, there are readers who complain about ones who do.

We can’t fucking win.