Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Sexy Saturday: Our Sexy Life

You’ve seen these characters. They are the founding couple of a pack, an investigation unit, a rag-tag bunch of soldiers out to save the universe. These are the ones readers can’t get enough of and want to know what happens to them even if they aren’t the couple in the forefront. Share with us those sexy couples and let us know how their happily-ever-after stacks up against the rest of those couples out there.

There's only one couple suitable for this...
And alas they don't end well at all.  (This may change. Niko-Chan is getting a total rewrite after we finish the book that belongs between it and Nikolai)



From Niko-Chan (Out of Print):


"Valerio, lovely, did you really spend your life-savings on me?” He bit his lip as Valerio nodded and popped the beer. David bent in and kissed his cheek. “Would you like them back? Here, in Europe, I have
several fortunes. They do me no good as I am.”

"No regrets. Yer worth it,” Val said, taking a drink. He ducked out of David’s arms and went
to sit.

"A quiet arrangement, man to man. I reimburse you, you keep me." David sounded almost
pleading.

Val shook his head. David kissed him again, his mouth soft on Val’s. Val took control of the kiss, hungry for the taste of his man. He set the beer down and ran his big hands over David’s body.

"Yours,” David whispered. Val kissed him again, harder, splitting his lip until they both tasted blood. David moaned and pressed closer. When Val released him, he stripped out of the whites, very fast, standing before Val in only the collar.

Val watched, biting his lip. “Valerio? What's wrong, love?” David asked.

"Want you. Too much, sometimes.”




Friday, August 22, 2014

Finally, Print!

Spellbound Desire is out in print today from Ellora's Cave.

Come help P.I. DJ Admire and combat mage Bran McKay save the world from a demon in charge of oath-breaking

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ten Influential Books

On Facebook, I was tagged to List 10 books that have affected you in some way. They don’t need to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature. Tag 10 friends including me: (Basically, if you want to do it, TAG)

 1) Julian May's Pliocene Exile series (all 4 books, but especially The Many Colored Land) We just figured out how much this influenced my Eight Thrones series. She also introduced me to gay characters as part of the landscape. From riverboatmen to nuns to aircraft engineers, they were everywhere.

 2) Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars series, the first three, and Mastermind of Mars. There is more than a little of Ras Thavis in my Davids.

 3) Brian Dailey's Han Solo trilogy. Taught me about writing action, backstory and generally how to keep a plot rolling.

 4) Friday by Robert Heinlein. Lots of worldbuilding here that has influnced a great deal of my own future visions. Like many SF geeks, I suffer from Heinlein damage and think polygamy might not be terrible if you can pull it off.

 5) The Windflower by Laura London. My favorite pirate romance ever. Also my first introduction to subtext.

 6) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I never read this as a dystopia. Everyone had a job they were well suited to do. Plenty of sex, plenty of entertainment in a world free from pain, illness, poverty and age. I'm glad I'm a Beta...

 7) 1984 by George Orwell. The big bad granddaddy of all dystopias.

 8) The Stories of Ray Bradbury. The man is a master of horror, SF, and even slice of life. Everything I know about writing short stories from this and 9. I can still quote a great many of them. And I am overdue for a re-read

 9) Strange Wine by Harlan Ellison. Brilliant, angry short story writer. Ellison engages love, death, terror and modernity in this collection. "From A to Z in the chocolate alphabet" is my favorite.

 10) The Stand by Stephen King. The post-apoc book that started it all. I learned more about human nature reading this book than I did in 2 semester of psych class.

Honorable mentions:
Lord of the Rings
The Chronicles of Narnia
Calvin Miller's The Singer, The Song and The Finale
A MidSummer Night's Dream
The Myth-Adventures of Aahz and Skeeve
Ray Harry Harrison's Deathworld Trilogy
A Stainless Steel Rat
The Dragonlance Twins trilogy
Slavegirl of Gor. (bad influence. I threw it across the room, announced I could write better smutty fantasy and DID)
Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape by Susan Brownmiller (not one of the better places to get your sex ed)
The Hite Report on Female Sexuality (I know, I know, terrible methodology, but a revelation to an isolated bi-girl in rural 1980s America)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Books, Rights and Last Call

A year ago, August 1, Naomi and I petitioned Ellora's Cave for our rights back. Last spring, they gave back "For Love of Etarin," and "Raising the Dead."

Yesterday, they gave back Heart of a Forest, Privateer's Treasure and Glad Hands.
If you want these in their current form, click the cover. Glad Hands is already gone


Glad Hands will be given a new cover, some corrections will be made and it will be re-issued where it belongs, as Book Three of the Eight Thrones Cycle.

Heart of a Forest will also be re-issued, with a new cover and some edits.

The privateer ship, Kestrel, however, is sailing into mothballs until after the first of the year. Naomi and I will decide then what to do with it.

Now, for Spellbound Desire so I can get DJ all under one publishing roof.  And Heart's Bounty, to round it out. I'd really like "Cherry tart" back so I can do a steampunk collection, but they'll hold that until the eagle screams. "Eight Days Ablaze," not much attached to.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Time Casting

I watched House of the Long Shadows (1983) last night. It's the story of a writer who makes a bet with his publisher that he can write a book (20,000 words in the original George M Cohen play, which I have stage managed) in 24 hours. Desi Arnez Jr. is the writer. Richard Todd is the publisher who packs him off to a deserted manor house to write. And Wackiness--of the sort that involves John Carradine, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and Peter Cushing--ensues.  It's the only time those four gentlemen ever worked together, and the last time Lee and Cushing worked together.

And it struck me watching how much Vincent Price there is in David. Davids are always John Glover in my head, a function of combining Smallville and Brimstone. But there is a LOT of Vincent's attitude, mannerisms and even his queenliness. Because when Vincent--who was bisexual in real life--takes it into his head to swish, he does so in grand style. (The movie above is worth watching for no other reason than the tiff he and Lee have at the end which has Price flouncing off with a catty, "bitch" thrown over his shoulder at Lee)

I mean who else could deliver the line "Don't interrupt me when I'm soliloquizing!" and make it convincing? Those two gentlemen alone, I suspect


I got to thinking, as today entailed much driving. What would the cast of Nikolai look like in various cinematic eras?

The answer is a pic heavy post at my LJ.



Thursday, August 7, 2014

How I spent my summer vacation

Except for the part where it wasn't a vacation.

In February and March, I completed my 13th novel, Anthony, the prequel to Nikolai. It is in edits now.

In ensuing months, there has been a Nikolai rewrite, tying in the new character and making a lot of changes, mostly to Tanis, whom I have never liked and who always seemed too unstable and self-indulgent to be part of the secret rulers of the universe.

And last night, we started Master Anton, the book that needs to happen between Nikolai and Nikochan,
in which the Disunited States goes to hell and James loses his mind.

(this in addition to finishing my 14-16th novels, and editing a short story, writing a proposal for another and working two jobs)

The new edition of Nikolai is called Nikolai Revenant. It will be offered free for a brief period so that loyal readers may replace their outdated copies.




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Silver Anniversary Extravaganza Claiming Post

Here's How To Play


1) Go to Silver Anniversary Extravaganza Dream Making Post and decide which of our lovely showcase prizes suits you best. Non-US folks, you can play too. (I do not trust the coffee mug to international mail, however) Fair warning: this puts you on my holiday card list and my newsletter mailing list. (which comes out about every 2 years)

 2) Leave a comment here: http://valarltd.livejournal.com/2025754.html  DO NOT COMMENT HERE AT BLOGGER
All comments at LJ are screened. Leave your name, your email and your top three to five prize choices. If you have a physical object, leave your mailing address. Nobody can see this but me.

 3) Wait. I will send ebooks tomorrow, and the physical prizes I have on hand. The bookmarks may take a bit. I stitch slowly.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Dream On Post

These are the prize packages for the Silver Anniversary Extravaganza

DO NOT LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST (they are disabled)

Comments are to be made on August 5th. A link to that post will be provided.

Just decide what you would like.

There are also 10 ebooks of your choice, with hand-made bookmarks.



 



 


 

 

 



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Silver Anniversary Extravaganza, coming soon!

I have been married for 25 years. This calls for a party!

On August 1, I will post a list of Awesome Prizes of Awesomeness, 25 in all.

On August 5, my anniversary, you will go to my Livejournal (I can screen comments there and keep your contact info safe) and tell me what you would like to have.

First claimant gets the prize, so have a couple of alternates.

Keep watching for more information!

Guest Blogger: Mary Caelsto

I've known Mary for a number of years and published several pieces through Pink Petal Press/Jupiter Gardens. Welcome her to have tea in the Gazebo and talk about:

Researching Publishers For Author Sanity

by Mary Caelsto

Another week in the blogosphere, word of yet another publisher folding. Some go quietly. Some go with large implosions that seem to last for weeks and spew much vitriol across the internet. No matter how it happens it sucks for the authors, and those of us who have seen it happen or been through it feel for them.
Yet authors can protect themselves, and I am still surprised that some choose not to. Of course, no matter how diligent the research things can happen. Nothing is a perfect safeguard. Yet, a bit of legwork before the submissions process can save a lot of stress down the road.

The first step in researching publishers should always be checking sites like Absolute Write, Preditors and Editors, HiPiers (Piers Anthony’s site), EREC, and other watchdogs. Because it is possible for false reports to be filed, each step in the research process should be taken in conjunction with the others. This means if one site shows a problem, but everything else checks out, and the problem appears to be isolated, an author may choose to go forward. For some authors, even one report is one too many, and I confess that I fall into that camp as well.

Next a targeted web search should be completed. Researching the publisher’s name is one thing; however, the smart author is looking for specific items. Looking for the publisher’s name in quotes plus the word problems or issues will showcase those specific blogs or articles. Additional credence needs to be given to those mentions in high visibility places like Publisher’s Weekly, Locus, Dear Author, or other large industry blogs or magazines. Again, a single author’s problem may be something very specific to that publisher-author relationship or it may herald a bigger issue. Sometimes it is difficult to tell and authors will need to use their own judgment.

Asking for references, reading books, and even a perusal of the publisher’s website and social media platforms are all great next steps to take.

Why am I saying that authors should do this for their sanity?

Because let’s face it, many of us put a lot of time into our books. We write our first drafts, edit, polish, and tweak some more before we send the book off to a publisher. We’re signing contracts for as few as a couple of years or as many as seven. That’s a long time to be stuck in a bad relationship. And no, it doesn’t have to be a bad relationship; that’s why authors need to research publishers. A bit more forethought and a slower rush to get published will help save authors from a lot of difficulties and give them a solid foundation upon which to build their careers.

# # #

If you’re interested in learning more, join Mary starting August 20, 2014 for Smart Publisher Evaluation for Career-Minded Authors. This week-long course will dive deep into the art of evaluating publishers so authors can avoid trouble, find the best fit for them, and know that they, and their work, will be supported. Learn more and register here: http://musecharmer.com/musestore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=75&products_id=212

Bio: Mary lives in the Ozarks with her husband, three spoiled horses, an office rabbit, an opinionated parrot, a not-so-itty-bitty kitty committee, and a charmed chicken (rooster). She’s been published since 2002, working for some of the biggest and best digital-first publishers. Three years ago, she began The Muse Charmer to share her insights from being in the publishing industry for so long with authors. Her belief: it can be easy to be an author today. To that end, she offers classes, news, and information authors can use to navigate today’s ever-changing publishing industry.

Visit her website at www.musecharmer.com to get her free video presentation Tap Into Your Muse Power to learn exactly how an author’s muse is the most important tool for today’s working author.
Website: http://www.musecharmer.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/harmoniczen
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/musecharmer

Additional Resources:
Daily Writing Inspiration: http://www.dailywritinginspiration.com
Circle of Muses: http://www.circleofmuses.com
Muse Camp: http://www.musecamp.com