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 Click here for the full list of participants and genres, though I think some of the latter are a bit out-of-date.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.

“Wasting the Dawn” Released

Wasting the Dawn is officially out from Forbidden Publications. 😀

Also, I’ve gotten 99% of the stuff from the old emdrake.com moved over to the new site. I’ve got two articles to put up, then I’m done. (The only reason they haven’t been put up yet is because they have connected/sub articles, and I’m not sure how I want to handle that in WordPress.) Which means I then get to figure out what I want to put up for new content.

On the off-chance that someone might actually have an opinion on this *grins*, is there anything you’d like to see on the site?

Coming Soon… (Okay. Really soon.)

Wasting the DawnIf you remember me talking about the erotic short story I was working on for Forbidden Publications… this is the cover. Dayna designed it for me; isn’t it cool? 😀

A bit about the story:

Five years after Irina’s death in a tragic accident, Gareth and Rhiannon still grieve for the loss of the woman they both loved. Every year, they stand vigil upon the anniversary of her death.

But when a freak occurrence brings Irina back from the grave for one night only, all three must face their regrets and unspoken passions–before darkness claims her forever.

It’s coming out January 29th (Monday!) along with the rest of the books in FP’s Valentine’s Day collection:

Sela Carsen: The Virgin Courtesan (historical; sensual)
Stacy Dawn: Apple of His Eye (contemporary; mainstream (aka nonerotic)
CJ England: Angel Eyes and Demon Lies (paranormal; carnal)
Dayna Hart: Wings of Love (fantasy; mainstream)
Loribelle Hunt: Be Mine (contemporary; sensual)
Crystal Jordan: Twice in a Blue Moon (paranormal; carnal)
Jennifer Leeland: Naughty Notions (contemporary; carnal)
JT Schultz: Cupid’s Target (paranormal; sensual)
Shelli Stevens: Cabin Fever (contemporary; carnal)

A Few Changes

I’ve been meaning to set up a “real” website for several months now. I kept saying that I’d get around to learning CSS and building something pretty, but… as much as I’d love to be able to design my own site, it’s not feasible. I don’t have the CSS knowledge, but moreover, I don’t have the graphics knowledge to make it “pretty.” Sure, I could learn, but I don’t have that much effective time, and it seems pointless to waste weeks on a website.

Eventually, I intend to get something custom commissioned, but we don’t have the money for that right now. So I found this theme for WordPress and asked Morgan to make a few modifications. Namely, the drop-down bars. He worked at it all last night to get it set up for me. Much love for my male. 🙂

Yup, that means my blog and my website are now–well, not quite one, but take a look at http://www.emdrake.com and you’ll see what I mean. (If you’ve visited recently, you may need to clear your cache.) I’m still working on converting a lot of stuff over from the static HTML pages to WordPress pages… so please excuse the dust while I get everything sorted out. 😉

This also means that my blog URL has changed. Right now, the male has it set up to forward, so if you’re visiting http://nonny.windsofstorm.net/wordpress or getting a feed from there, it should work for awhile longer. That’s not going to be permanent, though, so please: UPDATE YOUR LINKS TO http://www.emdrake.com/blog.

A Passion Draconic Available Now!

A Passion DraconicA Passion Draconic has been released from Liquid Silver Books. (YAY! *squee*) The blurb:

Healer-Priestess Shaiandral would rather let the Dragonlord rot than save him. But when her Healer’s oath is called upon, she must rise above the contention between their two shifter tribes and travel to his realm.

When she arrives, the Dragonlord Veren is dying of a magical toxin. Shaiandral makes a sacrifice of her own blood to raise the required energy for healing, but her actions raise a demon from Veren’s flesh. A demon that can become incorporeal at will and is impossible to fight.

The demon gives her two options. She can either sacrifice her Oath-bound virginity to heal Veren–or she can become his new host. At first Shaiandral refuses, but faced with a choice between losing her virginal power or losing herself, she chooses the lesser of two evils. Taking hold of the rising energies, she threads them into a complex weave. Just when she thinks she’s failed, Veren takes a deep breath, returning to life. Using the power released in her orgasm, Shaiandral forces the demon into a wilting red rose, binding him forevermore.

Except Shaiandral has caused more problems than she’s solved. The sacrifice has left her with a sudden, consuming lust–and an inexplicable attraction to Veren, a man she should hate. Now, a demonic infiltration threatens both their realms. Can they overcome their differences and work together to stop this threat before the demons take hold once more?

Interested in an excerpt? Clicky!

(I’ll have a contest of some kind up in a couple days or so. ;))

One down…

I finished my short story for Forbidden Publications’ Valentine’s Day collection yesterday. It ended up about 8k long — so much for my 5k estimate — and I’m rather pleased with it. There’s some things I want to go over and punch up, but overall, I think it came out quite nicely. 🙂

Now that that’s done, I’m back to working on Stronger than the Night, as well as preparing what equates to a series plan. I need to figure some things out on that end first, though. All in all, I’m a busy kitty. 😉

So much for compulsively Googling myself…

Yeah, I know everyone says you shouldn’t Google yourself for book reviews. (Though I have to wonder how many of those people actually follow their own advice. ^_^) I don’t do it that often, myself. Maybe once every couple of weeks or so. But there seems to be a rule that if a new review is available, the website must be down as soon as I find it.

Seriously. This is, like, the third time it’s happened. I’m beginning to think this might be the Powers That Be giving me a hint whapping me upside the head with a clue-x-4. 😈

The male’s appt…

Since at least one person wanted an update 😉 … Morgan’s appointment went decently well. She scripted him a muscle relaxant to deal with the tension from the almost constant migraines, and referred him to several different specialists. He needs to see a neurologist for the migraines, a rheumatologist for the possible fibro/arthritis, and a cardiologist for the hypotension.

My poor male is going to be in and out of Boston a lot this next couple months. 😕

Hopefully, they manage to find something out. On the bright side, he took the Baby (read: laptop) with him since he has a half hour train ride and about forty-five minutes of train/bus to get there (and that’s just one-way). While on various forms of public transit, he wrote some 1700 words. This from my male who usually writes 300-600 at a stretch. He’s not too happy with my suggestion that he should go to the doctor if only for the word count. LOL.