Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Free Story and Free Novel For a Day!

Happy Halloween!

Without further ado, I present this year's Free Halloween Fiction! Click on over to Smashwords to download the ebook in your format of choice, or read the story at my website.

Jake has never taken Kary seriously—in his mind, she’s still his little sister’s best friend. So when Jake discovers Kary’s a witch, he doesn’t take that seriously either, and dares her to put a love spell on him. But Kary’s been waiting for this opportunity, and Jake gets a firsthand lesson on why it’s dangerous to taunt a witch. Especially a sexy witch. This story contains explicit sex and is not safe for work.

Is it an Aether Vitalis story, or is it not? I leave that up to the reader.

I've always really loved the song "I Burn For You," ever since I first heard it. It's not one of The Police's better-known songs. I don't think I've ever heard it on the radio. But in the back of my head, I thought it would make a really great love spell.

If you aren't familiar with the song, I really recommend picking it up from Amazon or iTunes or wherever you get your music. You can certainly enjoy the story without having heard the song, but I personally think it works better if you kinda have the music in the back of your head as you read.

Also in honor of Halloween, for today only you can pick up a copy of my novel Scent and Shadow for free at Smashwords with the coupon code GF52N! If you like the book, I would really appreciate it if you'd leave a comment or review at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads. Or just tell a friend! Happy reading!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Even More Stories!

Just in time for the weekend come two short stories sure to get you in the Halloween mood! Yesterday The House That Pip Built went up for sale. That was my first m/m story (as opposed to m/m/f), and it's a hot and sweet little tale of lust and loneliness. And ghosts. Or something like a ghost, anyway. Pip is available at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Today, for your reading pleasure, is The Sub Fairy. This little D/s gem is set (mostly) at a Halloween party, where the female narrator is enjoying being a costume accessory for her husband/dom. Is it exhibitionism if no one else knows you're getting worked up on it? Decide for yourself. Available at Smashwords, and soon at Amazon and B&N.

Stay safe at your Halloween parties this weekend, my lovelies, and check back on Monday for this year's Free Halloween Short Story!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More Stories!

Whew, doggie! It's been busy!

Uploaded on Friday was The Power That Dreams Have, the follow-up story to Empusa. Power was a tough one to write initially; I talk about it a bit over at my website. But once it got rolling, it was a heckuva good time. I do so love writing about uneven, unhealthy relationships. (This fact worries The Husband on occasion, but given some of his favorite movies, he has no stones to throw, hehe.) Linkage at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Yesterday saw the release of The Princess and Peony, a lesbian BDSM retelling of the Princess and the Pea. I always enjoy writing descriptions of sub-space. It's so hard to get across to non-subs... Linkage at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

And today up goes Encore! This is probably one of my most popular stories ever. The story was inspired by a concert I went to where there were two male singers, both of who were very passionate musicians. Not that those two guys were probably lovers or anything, but the energy in the room was pure electricity. I'm trying to upload to Amazon and Barnes & Noble the night before, so hopefully Encore will be available in all three channels at about the same time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Empusa Uploaded at Smashwords

And will be available at the other outlets soon, but right now you can get your fix at Smashwords for $0.99! Everyone's favorite people-eating demon is ready to seduce you...for a price.

Empusa is one of my favorite characters, and it's nice to get to share her with a wider audience. This was one of the first erotic short stories I wrote, and it is THE first menage story and the first time I wrote men having sex with each other. M/M wasn't something I expected to be writing when I dove into erotica in 2009, but damn, it's fun!

Check back tomorrow morning, when I plan to upload The Power That Dreams Have, which is the sequel to Empusa.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finally! Ebooks are Available!

Yeay! At long last, the ebooks are going up. Originally I was hoping to dump them all in at once, but since that didn't work out, instead I'm uploading a new short story each day. Check Smashwords for the latest uploads, as Amazon and Barnes & Noble take longer to verify files. (Also, for my non-American readers, the books WILL be cheaper at Smashwords or Goodreads than at Amazon, with very few exceptions.)

On Monday, up went my 2009 Free Halloween story, A Wild Hunt. This is an updated and slightly expanded version of the novella, with a fantabulous cover (if I do say so myself!). It also includes the first chapter of my new never-before-published novel, Scent and Shadow. Like all the Halloween stories, A Wild Hunt is free. At least, it is on Smashwords and Goodreads. I've submitted the lower price at Smashwords to Amazon, but I can't control if they'll actually lower the price. If there's a way to get B&N to lower the price too, let me know!

Also on Monday, Scent and Shadow was released! YEAY!!!! After so many years, it feels good to send Gabriel and Amanda out into the world. (Wait a minute. Gabriel's a monster. That should not sound right...) Scent and Shadow retails for $4.99. This novel explores Madison, Wisconsin in the Aether Vitalis universe, explaining such bizarre things as why anyone would build a major city (okay, major for Wisconsin) on an isthmus of all freaking places, and why a city with such a limited footprint has laws limiting how high the buildings can be. I just had to find an explanation for that one! Also available at Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.

And check out this great review of Scent and Shadow from author Jesi Lea Ryan at her blog Diary of a Bibliophile! Thanks Jesi Lea, I'm glad you liked the book!

Yesterday I uploaded the 2010 Free Halloween story, Not Quite Casper. This baby is free at Smashwords and at Goodreads, and for not-free-yet at B&N and Amazon. This is a short and spicy Aether Vitalis story about a very naughty ghost. Thank you to Sir's Kitten for the unbelievably quick review! I'm glad you liked the story!

And just uploaded tonight, my BDSM erotic romance Floggers Last Longer Than Flowers, a short story which originally appeared at the now-defunct MainstreamErotica.com. It's currently only available at Smashwords, but should show up at the other websites in a day or two. This story retails for $0.99, as will most of the rest of the short stories.

Keep checking back to see which short story gets uploaded next! There will be a new short story uploaded each weekday until Halloween, when the 2011 Free Halloween short story goes up!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What is Aether Vitalis?

Aether Vitalis is the series name for my stories wherein the rules of the universe work in specific ways. You'll see the name attached to stories as the stories become available as single titles. The series does not, as a whole, follow any particular character or set of characters, although some characters will recur frequently.

A lot of my stories have paranormal elements, but not all of them do. Truthfully, any story set in the reality we're all used to could be an Aether Vitalis story, but the stories marked as Aether Vitalis are stories where the there is a definite touch of the paranormal consistent with the rules of the Aether Vitalis universe.

And just what are the rules?

When I started figuring all this stuff out, I decided I wanted a story universe that explained the real world. I tried to reason out exactly how (insert supernatural thingie here) would work in the real universe, assuming things like conservation of energy and mass, and postulating additional factors like aether (think dark matter, or neutrinos) and vitality (life). I won't go into the minutiae here, mostly because I suffer from world-builder's disease and I doubt many of you care about how quantum physics relates to my fiction. (Although eventually I will have a webpage for stuff like that.) Instead, here are some things that you can count on from an Aether Vitalis story:

Vampires kill people. A lot. In fact, they have to, especially when they're young. There are no vampires who feed on animals, or through blood banks, or on fake blood. Vampires are a very specialized predator/parasite, and need not only blood but human energy in order to survive. They are also territorial, so you don't get big bunches of them hanging out together and plotting how to take over the world, although a few can coexist in the same city if it's a very large city and the vampires are all hunting different demographics. (And for you folklore fans, they do have reflections, but the sun sets them on fire. Also, no soulmates. I promise.)

The most common type of shapeshifter (though certainly not the only kind) are the skinshifters. (Although they're called pookhas in Britain and other names in other places.) The skinshifters are a type of faerie, whose ancestors broke away from the control of the gentry, the faerie ruling class. Unfortunately, as part of the breaking away, the skinshifters became mortal. Their forms were also limited. Before, they were purely aethereal-bodied creatures and could be anything. Now, most skinshifters are born with two skins, and the rest have to be "acquired." While they still have their aethereal form, it's rare for a skinshifter to spend much time in it, as they become ridiculously susceptible to magic while out of their skins. On the upside, they handle metal and technology better than most of the other fae.

Speaking of magic, there are a lot of different kinds of magic. (Magic being the generic term for the act of using purely energical means to influence matter, energy, vitality, or probability, regardless of method.) The generic term for a magic-user is mage. Beyond that, it depends on where you get the energy from, and what you do with it, and how you do it: sorcery, necromancy, theurgy, witchery, demonology, voodoo, shamanism...

Separate from magic (especially if you ask the mages) is psionics. Psionics are human psychic gifts, and they come in three main flavors: Extrapathy – energy influencing other energy or vitality (ie the mind or the soul); Extracognition – energy gathering information (not from vitality); and Extrakinesis – energy influencing matter or probability. Of course, I have the lexicon; the characters don't, so they are often less precise with their terminology. Extrapathic gifts are the most common, and extrakinetic gifts the most rare, based purely on genetics.

And there are gods. There are the gods that we would call gods, and then there are the gods that our gods call gods.

Of course, there's lots that I haven't touched on yet (especially in Faerie!) but this should give you some idea of the kinds of creatures and forces you might encounter in an Aether Vitalis story.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just a Brief Note

I've been attempting to stay sane and stay in touch with people outside of my own head, which means that I'm not quite done with all the formatting and covers yet. Go figure. But Scent and Shadow and A Wild Hunt are pretty much done, so we'll see. I may upload those first and then upload the shorts as I finish them, or I may wait and just do it all on Monday. Of course, just because it's uploaded doesn't mean it'll be available right away, but I'll let you all know as soon as I know, of course. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Close to Launch

Edits are all done. Most of the formatting is done. I still need to convert everything to HTML and then clean up the code, and I still need to finish the covers. I have keywords for everything, but not back cover copy (although the descriptions I have on my website already will do in a pinch for most of the short stories).

I'm shooting to upload Friday night or Saturday morning.

Am I insane? Maybe. But I want to be done. I have other things I need to move on to.

I'm really excited about getting Scent and Shadow out there. Not just because I've been working on it for a long time, but because it's a book I would want to read, if I hadn't written it. (I'm hoping I'll want to read it myself in a year or two, but right now I've read it a bit too much. I'm weird, I re-read my own fiction the same as I re-read other people's fiction.)

For those of you who've read "A Wild Hunt," you'll recognize Madison's resident vampire, Gabriel Chapel. He's not your daughter's vampire heartthrob; he's a ruthless killer and he likes it that way.

Scent and Shadow takes place about ten years before "A Wild Hunt." You also get to meet Ariane's dad, Martin Conant, as well as other members of Madison's supernatural community.

If you haven't read "A Wild Hunt," don't worry! It'll be available, expanded and updated, as a free ebook with a really cool cover, and will also have the first chapter of Scent and Shadow as a sneak peek! Plus last year's Halloween story, "Not Quite Casper," and this year's Halloween story will both available as free ebooks as well.

Friday, October 7, 2011

100 Words About: Football

(And yes, I mean American Football.)

I only got into football last year, which I totally blame on Scott Sigler's GFL series. Despite living amidst some of the most fanatic football fans in the nation (Badger fans and Packer fans), I had never pursued the sport. I enjoyed it when it happened to be on, but (like all other sports, except local roller derby) I never sought it out.

And, of course, now that I have the NFL Rewind and the Krakens jersey and the fantasy football team, I'm too busy to watch it. Even though I can watch it darn near whenever I want.

Ahh, the things we sacrifice for art.

I take comfort in the fact that the season runs for longer than this current flurry of activity will. I've got edits done on all the short stories, and now I need to do blurbs for all of them and finish the covers, but I'm still on track.

Which is good, 'cause roller derby starts up in December!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Covers Covers Covers

I'm having a lot of fun going through photo sites and figuring out what I want to do for book covers. Short stories don't take too long to format, but covers take more time. I like piecing together several photos into something new. Granted, it's more time-consuming than just finding one picture, but given the fact that I've had good luck finding a mix of free and very cheap photos, it's a lot less expensive than buying something more ready-made.

I just started looking at fonts last night. Wow. I don't know why it's so fascinating, but I get the same giddy feeling looking through the font websites that I do when I walk into a used book store. Oh, the possibilities! Pathetic, no?

I start a class on Photoshop on Friday, which I'm pretty excited about. One of my friends helped me out with a couple of the covers I'd already started, and wow! Some of those tools are just awesome! I can't wait to get into the nuts and bolts of things.

Here's hoping I can not get so caught up in covers that I don't get any writing done...