Friday, April 17, 2015

Five Influences Friday: Alive On the Inside

Alive on the Inside is one of my most controversial books and one of my first shots at writing erotic horror. It lost me a number of readers, some of it for sheer gruesomeness.

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Nick Harper has a nice life, a nice job, and a nice girl. Until Labor Day Weekend, when the Phantasmagoria Traveling Wonder Show comes to town.

Seduced by the dark and wickedly erotic charms of both the Phantasmagoria and Torturo, a man known in the freak sideshow as The Pain King, Nick embarks on a journey of self-discovery, love, and pain.

But the show is not what it seems. It changes those who come with it in ways they can never imagine, not even in their worst nightmares.

And Nick's changes are just beginning...

So where did this dark and twisted sideshow come from?

1) Peculiar MO

The town of Peculiar is very real, and I only took a few liberties with the 1986 geography (it has more than doubled in size since I moved away). Most of the locations are quite real. Most of the people are very real. Some names were changed to protect the guilty, innocent and all in-between.

Nick's duplex. This is the one that stands at his address. I lived in it for about 4 years, between the ages of 2 and 6.

Looking North on Broadway at the water tower

Looking south on Broadway, from the water tower.

First Baptist. Where Nick picked up a load of self-loathing and guilt. Readers will be pleased to know Brother Bob no longer preaches there and their pastor now is a good and compassionate man.

This is the house I used for Lisa's home. It's my old house. When I lived there it was white with black trim, and there were evergreens on each side of the door. Mom grew irises under the front window and four o'clocks under the bedroom one.

2) Freaks (1932, Tod Browning)

This movie caused mass panic in the audiences because it used actual circus performers. I was rapt. Daisy and Violet Hilton were the inspiration for Alice and Dinah (who are rather less sweet than their origins). JoJo the Dog-faced boy (not in the film) was the inspiration for Wolfgang. And Joseph/ine is the mundane version of Jene.

3) The Freakshow by Bryan Smith

I bought this from Bryan at Hypericon, ages ago. I made the mistake of starting it on Sunday. I kept stopping on the way home, reading until I hit a gross-out limit and then driving until I just had to read again. I swear that 200 mile, 4 hour drive took me 6 and I was nearly done when I got in.

The Flaherty Brothers Traveling Carnivale and Freakshow has rolled into Pleasant Hills, Tennessee, and the quiet little town will never be the same. In fact, much of the town won't survive. At first glance, the freakshow looks like so many others--lurid, rundown, decrepit. But this freakshow is definitely one of a kind...

The townspeople can't resist the lure of the tawdry spectacle, though it isn't mere morbid curiosity that draws them into the freakshow's inescapable web. What waits for them behind this curtain are hardly the usual performers and tricks. The main attractions are living nightmares, the acts center on torture and slaughter...and the stars of the show are the unsuspecting customers themselves.

4) Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset.

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same. not a book to read while pregnant. But I did.
And it imprinted itself on me enough that some of the acts, like the Pin Kid and the Geek (who form the base of Torturo's act) made it into my story.

5) Research.

There are many sites on the net devoted to sideshows. I found them quite useful.

I visited actual carnivals, including the Delta Fair which had a freak show. I paid my dollar to see what they had. There was the usual giant stuffed snake, along with a story of a Vietnam vet who was so strung out on heroin he believed the thing was his commanding officer. And several magical illusions. They nearly hired me to do the Houdini talk, since I knew the tale better than the person doing it.

The midway, with the chanting come-on of "All Alive on the Inside!"


My youngest getting a turn as Arachnea, the Spider Girl. They had a Genie in a Bottle illusion as well.

A bouncer thing they call a chupacabra.

I wrote Alive on the Inside, because part of me is still 7 and seeing the two-headed baby in a jar in a trailer full of pictures of historical freaks, uptown on Broadway on a hot summer night at  Peculiar's Bushwhacker Days.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One Day Sale

All Romance Ebooks

is having a One Day Sale.

Everything by Inkstained Succubus is 25% off.
Use the search box's drop menu for publisher and type in "inkstained."

This will take you to our entire list and we have several new releases!

Some books under $2! Nothing over $5!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Beta Readers needed

Now that I have your attention... (That's Christian Kane from Leverage, 2:2, The Tap Out Job)

Last year I gave birth to three ugly Remillard babies and a soulless one.
Cosmetic surgery and plot therapy have been enacted on our oversexed, insane Madeline, and Terror of the Frozen North is out to beta from its rewrites.

So, anyone willing to beta read? Give us a 3rd an 4th opinion on the problems with these books? Let us know what works and should be kept? 

Anthony is missing something. Not even our content editor knows for sure. I suspect it's his soul. He has his father's eyes. This is the prequel to Nikolai, contains m/m sex and knifeplay.

Dirty Toes is much more medically fragile. It's an Urban Fantasy, in which a PI with minimal magical talent (wonky Sight and weirdness magnet) gets stuck handling a serial killer case the police don't want. It suffers from the Left Behind problem, in which Buck Williams, Greatest Investigative Reporter of All Time, never files a single story or does one bit of investigating as the biggest event in human history unfold around him. I know the main problem. I need to know what elements work. No sex, secondhand gore.

The Sweet Science of Bruising is steampunk erotica, and needs total Jack-forming. Everything has to be stripped away and the core bits isolated and built on. I need steampunk-friendly readers who know the history and tropes and aren't going to balk at our heroine building vibrators. I need to know what works in the story. Lots of m/f sex, some f/f.

Leave a message in the comments (they're screened at my LiveJournal but not here) with your email and which you'd like a crack at.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One Week Sale

For One Week, 4/1 through 4/7, Amber Quill is running all Brooks and Sparrow titles at 50% off.

Horrific carnivals and kinky contemporaries! Escaped murderers and roaring 20s adventurerers!

All of these titles are half price!



Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Sexy Saturday: Their Sexy Talk

This week’s theme is Their Sexy Talk and it’s all about how lovers talk to each other. We know you’ve noticed it. Whenever you get into a room of people, where there are other couples, notice how they talk to each other. Sometimes you can tell when there’s tension, other times you wonder just what makes them so happy and there are others still when their happiness is practically contagious.

There's one couple perfect for this challenge. Tom and Pelton from "Five Time Loser" collected in Into Dark Waters.

Tom is a truck driver with a woman and an apartment he rarely ever sees. One night a voice comes over the CB -- the Midnight Flyer, and before long he and Tom are flirting and exchanging pictures. What Tom doesn't know is that the Midnight Flyer, Pelton, is practicing the dark arts, trying to get rid of all the things that keep him and Tom apart.

The girlfriend, the apartment, the trailer on his truck, his job, one by one they all disappear until Tom is a five-time loser. Which is when the Midnight Flyer takes him in. There are more surprises for Tom, though. There's more to Pelton than meets the eye, and Tom might just end up a winner in the end.

Your Seven Sexy Paragraphs:

Tom turned down Ozzy and the boys and picked up the mike at that. “Hello, Teddy Bear. Need a ride? What exit do I take to get to Jackson Street, 229?” he asked, quoting the song.

The voice laughed at the reference, impossibly sexy. “This is the Midnight Flyer. I'm just stuck at home sick, and hoped somebody would want to talk at this obscene hour.”

“You got the Rainbow Rider. If you want to be obscene, come on back.”

The Flyer laughed. “Hi Rainbow. What's the weather?”

“All clear all night. Lotsa stars, a big fat moon and not a bear in sight.”

“Uh, Rainbow?” came another voice, sounding distant and crackly, “And all you westbounders on 70. You got a picture-taker 'bout two miles this side of the Missouri line. Comb your hair and smile pretty now.”

“Thank you, driver,” Rainbow said. “Now, Midnight, does your daddy know you're up this late and playing with his CB?”

Other Lovely People:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Question of money

Are there enough people who would be willing to kick in for me to run a denture kickstarter? I know I still owe from last summer's. (Still working on getting even one of the books acceptable for publication)

I have dental insurance, but it's going to be several thousand dollars to get the rest of my teeth pulled (and the roots of the ones that have crumbled away removed).

I can't chew. I have literally 3/4 of a molar on the bottom and 2 on 
the opposite top sides. My bottom front teeth need to come out too. I'll want the mid-priced dentures, because the bottom ones are dull as spoons. (I've had a partial in the cheapest style and have had problems biting into things for years)

This is the most recent bit that broke off. Not very big, but makes a huge difference. Now, I don't have two molars on the right. I have 3/4 of one and 1/4 of another. And the remnants of a root canal on the top keep jabbing me in the lower gum, since the crown has broken off.


I look a proper witch, but living on soup is not my idea of a pleasant life. I can't chew cole-slaw!

So, any possibility of help, or is everyone stretched much too thin themselves?

Talking about the Clean Reader app is a piece of work that censors your ebooks for you. Comers in three levels, "Clean. cleaner and squeaky clean."

So I downloaded it to see what it would do to my work. After all, shouldn't knock it until you try it.

So if any of you delicate fainting flowers who get your knickers knotted over the slightest four letter word are still reading my hardcore, gay science fiction and fantasy, here's how it looks.

Well foo. I got it all downloaded and now I can't figure out how to import my books into it.

For the Record, Nikolai Revenant contains:
2 uses of damn
1 of damned ("Some men were worth being damned for.")
8 hells, 2 as an actual place name
29 fucks: 7 uses as interjection,  15 verb,  6 adjective and 1 noun.
3 shits
3 bastard, one used to describe illegitimate children
5 balls, only 1 as a metaphor
4 of bitch

57 uses in 245 pages.  23 of them used properly and not as swearing.
(I'm not even counting cock and ass. those are only used as body parts)

I'm a fan of properly-used vulgarity. Few of my characters use profanity. They are either entirely too religious or not religious enough to swear by a deity.

So if you can handle
“Strip,” came Ligatos' soft command, and Nick stopped his hand from going to his own buttons when he realized Ligatos had not directed it at him. “Hands behind your back, on your knees on the bed, facing me.”

Nick ducked past the doorway, trying to be invisible. He pressed against the wall on the far side of it, and listened to David beg for a blindfold, then the sound of leather on skin and a yelp. He didn’t want to look. 

When he finally mustered the courage to steal a glimpse, he saw David flat on his back, blindfolded, hands beneath him, and weighted clamps on his nipples. Nick felt his cock go hard, although he could only see to David's waist. David bit his lips shut, clearly trying to stifle his whimpering. Ligatos stepped to his side, stripping out of his own clothing, concentrating entirely on the man in his bed. He watched as Ligatos straddled his teacher’s chest, and then fled to the front room.

I feel you should be able to handle

He couldn’t concentrate on the Italian. The shrieks, screams and moans from the bedroom distracted him. He found himself imagining what was happening and getting hard. He imagined it happening to him, pretended it was his voice saying “Fuck me, darling. Please?” instead of David’s. He didn’t dare rub off. He just sat, miserably hard, in Ligatos’ chair, smelling his Sir all around him, and wishing.

But, at base, if you want the Clean Reader, go for it. If you've paid for my book, I don't care what you do with it. Read it. Throw it across the room. Forget it on a shelf. I got the money.

Hells, you can make a Christmas angel out of it for all I care.



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Five Influences: Curse of the Pharaoh's Manicurists

This week's Five Influences blog should be fun. Because Curse of the Pharaoh's Manicurists is just a fun book. I'm trying to keep some of the fun as I finish up the sequel. But Terror of the Frozen North is a lot darker.

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In the roaring '20s, Charlie Doyle, the ink still wet on his Dartmouth journalism degree, answers an ad for a job as secretary to Edward Kilsby, Lord Withycombe and renowned flying ace of the Great War. The ad leads him to expect excitement, but Charlie never expects quite so much.

When Edward is hired to find missing archaeologist Sir Alexander Spencer, Charlie is about to go for the ride of his life. A whirlwind tour of London, the Paris nightlife, a kidnapping by Edward's jilted fiancée and rival, Cairo, the Valley of the Kings, even the Orient Express all pale compared to what awaits Charlie and Edward in the tomb of Ni-ankh-khnum and Khnum-ho-tep, Overseers of the Manicurists in the Palace of the King.

But not mummies nor jilted lovers, not malaria nor Anubis himself can stop their quest...or their growing love for each other...

Five Influences:

1) Errol Flynn.

Naomi was rocking a Flynn muse at this time. We'd been binge-watching his movies, and had both read My Wicked Wicked Ways and a few other autobiographical things. As Jack Warner had before us, we found he looked dashing atop a horse or in a plane, but also had a fine hand with quieter pieces. (Four's a Crowd and Cry Wolf are very underrated movies)

You'll find him in a variety of books, Heart of a Forest, obviously, but also Alive on the InsideShowdown at Yellowstone RiverMan Huntand Long term

But most of all, he is Edward Kilsby, Lord Withycombe. WWI flying ace, with a voracious appetite for anything that comes his way, be it food, alcohol, tobacco, men, women or cars. (he's also one of the few characters in m/m fiction who smokes) In keeping with the muse, Edward is promiscuous and precocious. He's sent off to school at barely 13, after a scandal with a village girl.

(Bad photoshop is my middle name)

In my head, Charlie is a Nick, and hence an Aaron Stanford muse. But if we were to cast the movie, with entirely period actors, he would be James Mason. Nigel would be David Niven (Flynn's good friend and long-time roommate at Cirrhosis by the Sea). Sarah Brown would be Joan Crawford or Barbara Stanwyck. This works in my head.

2) Young Sherlock Holmes. 

This 1985 movie was a grand adventure. (and I understand Nicholas Rowe, Sherlock, will be returning to acting for the forthcoming Mr. Holmes, which stars Sir Ian McKellan) It shaped how I view London, and it informs the structure of the books. 

In Terror, Charlie even makes up a dream that sounds suspiciously like Watson's pastry shop one. (also Edward smokes a brand of tobacco called Sherlock Holmes.)


3) Edgar Rice Burroughs.
I have been reading Burroughs since I was 9. He gives me my feel for swashbuckling. The original title was Lord Withycombe and the Curse of the Pharaoh's Manicurists, which my publisher found unwieldy. The prologue, in which I, myself, find my great-uncle Charlie's journal and decide to publish his adventures, is lifted wholesale from the Martian books.

4) The tomb of Ni-ankh-khnum and Khnum-ho-tep. 

Yes, the men on the cover are real. is a virtual tour of their tomb.

"On the eastern wall of the offering chamber, the identical pair are shown in the most intimate embrace possible within the canons of ancient Egyptian art. Niankhkhnum is on the right grasping his companion's right forearm; Khnumhotep, on the left, has his left arm across the other man's back, tightly clasping his shoulder. Again the tips of the men's noses are touching and this time their torsos are so close together that the knots on the belts of their kilts appear to be touching, perhaps even tied together. Here, in the innermost private part of their joint-tomb, the two men stand in an embrace meant to last for eternity."

I found this in some long-forgotten web search and KNEW I had to write about them.

5) Young Lady Chatterly

(yes, that's the whole movie)

A soft core 1970s porn might seem an odd influence. But I was watching it last night and facepalming over how much of it made its way in. The adorable maids, who are fighting for attention. The competent housekeeper. The fancy car and wickedly beautiful stable boy.

So there are your five influences.
If you want a sample of what the music of the time sounds like, including Charlie's favorite, "Roses of Picardy," here's the playlist: 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fill and Thrill coming to FroliCon

I'm doing a Fill and Thrill promotion, because I have a con over Easter weekend. With each book purchased, the customer gets a plastic egg.
There are goodies in the egg.

I'm thinking a 10% next purchase coupon, redeemable online or immediately (not for the book they just bought but on the next one).
Candy in all of them.

There should be something else.
A token to claim a grab-bag in some of them?
A coupon for a free paperback or ebook?
A flash drive with all the InkySooky backlist?
One with my backlist?

What would you, con-going book-buyers want?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Sexy Saturday: Our Sexy Tomorrow

This week’s theme is Our Sexy Tomorrow and there are a lot of ways an author can define this theme. It could be about a couple who’ve been together a long time. It could be about a couple who is heading into a sexy tomorrow for the first time. It could lovers having one last time for whatever reason.

This week's is from "Plumbing the Depths," collected in Into Dark Waters. When Frank Stett died on an alien world, Cliff and Jake, his surviving husbands, had to figure out how to make their tri-bond work as a pair. Each has been too wrapped up in his own injuries and grief to care about the other, until a mission requires them to work together.

Your Seven Sexy Sentences:

He wrapped one arm around Jake and they walked down the ramp to face the world’s questions. Until finally a reporter asked the one Cliff had been waiting to hear.

“Commander Cody, what are you going to do now?”

Cliff squeezed Jake in a little tighter and looked down into Jake's blue glass eyes. Jake nodded. Cliff smiled, then looked at the reporter. “I’m going to go home and make love to my husband.”