Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Setting Myself Up

I might have bitten off more than I can chew.

To be honest with you, I didn't expect it to be the 29th of November and for me to have anywhere close to 50,000 words.

I rather expected that, much like I've done several times before, I'd start up the NaNoWriMo project with the best of intentions and sputter out somewhere around week 2. I've only once ever completed the project (and then I lost it all in a titanic hard drive failure), even though I've attempted it at least five times previous.

I don't know what happened this year. I have 2 more writing days in the month and I'm currently at 47,400. (I'm not done for today, mind you, just taking a break.)

However, I do have a project I want to do that's due to the editor by December 15th - a 3-6k short erotica with a fantasy theme. Which would probably be doable if (BIG if!) I wasn't going to Florida for a week, starting on Friday. However, I have the outline for Dragon Maiden written up and I'm going to take my laptop with me to Florida. Give my parents some grandchild time and I'll stay one or two mornings in the resort and get some work done. Ha. Ha ha ha. I foresee my writing like a fiend on the 11th and 12th when I get home and then badgering my beta to do a forced review. (Hi, Liz and Greg. You are warned!)

And this one? I'd love to do this project. I even have an idea. But to get it done in less than a month. Well, I might be able to. If I didn't have any other social engagements.

And I promised myself I'd finish Blood Sight, which is my NaNoWriMo project. I'm about 50K words in which will give me a technical "win" for the project, but I'm not actually done. I'm expecting the rough draft needs another 15,000 words to be actually finished.

And I have two old novel projects that I've told myself I will finish and get out the freaking door, A Marked Man is finished. I need to edit a few things in Chapters 9 - 11 and cut out about 50,000 words. (I even know where about 35,000 are going to come from!). Circle in the Sand - a VERY old project - could use some edits, have the sex scenes put back in, and then polished.

And I have the sequels/companion stories for Shadow of Kenfig to work on. I keep changing the titles, but at present they are Blister Effect (10k words estimated, 6k of which are done), Lunar Equations (10k estimated, outline drawn up), Umbral Theories (10k estimated, a one sentence hook written) and Wind Me Counterclockwise (20,000 words, outline drawn up). After Blister Effect, I think I may work on Wind Me Counterclockwise, since that premise has the most excitement for me, at the moment.

I also have a lesbian story in mind, Stealing Third, 3-5k words.

And a boylove story, Roll in the Hay, which will probably be about 10k.

And then there's the novel ideas: Blood Sight is the first of four stories that I have planned for that particular series; Blood Sight, Hunter Moon, Bad Intentions, and Grave Magic. (ish 80k words each!)

Also, I have a steampunk romance idea, The Wormwood Trade.

And that's not even including the fact that I haven't been looking for any more submission calls...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Answer to the Question

I'm going to divert off topic from the normal blatherings of this blog (namely, writing smut and arranging my life around the smut writing) to a bit of the political.

I don't usually talk much about politics, but if you're paying attention, you've probably guessed that I'm not a conservative. (We don't talk about politics much in my house because we're a mixed household; although my husband has been, lately, deciding that the Right is swinging a little more towards the Religious Right and less toward the financial conservative that he prefers. I don't know if he's quite gotten disgusted enough to vote with me instead of against me, because I don't really want to know.)

But I do want to say that this particular rant has nothing to do with Herman Cain politically. I'm not going off because he's a Republican, I'm going off about this issue...

Sexual harassment. And why it's an issue.

Let me tell you a story:

Quite a long time ago (more than ten years ago) I was the victim of sexual harassment.

About a year before I went to work there, the company was sued for racial discrimination. I heard this story from one of the other employees who was telling me that someone called another co-worker a "fucking nigger." I don't know much more about it than that, but that he attempted to resolve the issue through HR and his manager to no avail and at last sued the company for creating a hostile work environment. The company was found guilty and told to pay him compensation to the tune of $50,000, or about two years his annual salary. While I was hearing about this story, the manager in question who refused to resolve the issue and was still working at the company, came by, happened to overhear the end of the story and had this to say, "Okay, he's 50k richer, but he's still a stupid fucking nigger."

So, when I started having problems with another employee sexually harassing me, I knew complaining to the company would do no good. I mean, if that's the attitude they had about racial discrimination, what were they likely to do about me and this co-worker? Nothing.

To give you some scope of the problem: this guy left sexually explicit letters in my desk. He would come into my office and make crude comments about everything from the way I dressed to how I walked. My manager never asked him to leave, even after hearing some of the comments. A few of my OTHER co-workers, upon learning that this was happening, took it on themselves to "protect" me. If they knew "Larry" was in the office (because he wasn't, always. In fact he was only generally in the office about once every two weeks at the same time that I was) they'd take shifts staying with me up in my office, so that I wouldn't end up being alone with "Larry."

"Larry" backed me into the corner one time in the lunch room and put his hand between my legs. This was the culmination of many weeks in which he would stand in my way when I wanted to get to the copier, the file cabinets, or anything else, forcing me to either not get my work done, or brush past him when I did.

I got so paranoid and terrified about him that I would have one of my co-workers walk me down to the parking lot after work because there were too many places "Larry" could have hidden and attacked me that would have been out of sight of the office. My hours were such that I left two to three hours before most of the other employees and came in at five in the morning, most days.

Twice "Larry" tracked me down outside of work to press his advance. Once when I was meeting a girlfriend for lunch, he called her from my office (I'd already left) to tell her I wouldn't be showing up, that I had to work late and then he showed up in her place. And another time I "ran into" him at the post office when I was delivering some packages for my boss.

"Why didn't you sue?"

For one thing, can you really, seriously, imagine what it would be like to stand up in a court-room full of people and explain what happened? While a bunch of men look at you like you're some cock-tease slattern, and a white male old judge decides whether or not your sexual promiscuity in college "led him on." And if you think that doesn't happen, you clearly have not been paying attention. Slut-shaming is the number one defense technique in rape and sexual harassment trials. Go read comments in any of the articles about Herman Cain's accuser. Somewhere in there, you'll find someone commenting that she's a slut. Because, obviously, if she's ever had sex in her life and enjoyed it, she can't possibly not want sex with someone else.

I'm not saying Herman Cain is guilty of sexual harassment. Not at all. We don't know the facts, he hasn't been tried. What I am saying is that it happens, it is an issue, and no, women don't always go to the police immediately. And even when they do... not a whole hell of a lot happens that's good for the woman.

You know why I didn't file an official complaint? The belief that even if I was believed (doubtful) and even if I could prove anything, and even if, given all that, I was vindicated in a court of law, and given monetary compensation for my distress? I would never work again. I knew that. Who the hell's gonna hire me when they look up my work record and see that I sued a company for sexual harassment? I become an employment risk, even if they think that they don't have anyone in their company "who would do that." They'd doubt that it ever happened and I must be some sue happy slut that they don't want on their payroll.

I was not prepared for the consequences of that action. And that's what keeps a lot of women silent. Fear.

We are afraid. Afraid people will think we're liars. That we're sluts. That we're "trying to get attention." That we're lazy and don't want to work and want to take some hard-working company's money away from them. That we "got ourselves into this situation."

All I wanted was to get away from the situation.

"Well, she had a boyfriend, she says she told him, why didn't he do something? He must not have believed her either." They have a name for that, it's called assault and battery. It doesn't matter if the boyfriend had a reason for beating the shit out of Cain.

All we want is for it to go away.

"So why did she wait until now to bring it up? She's just trying to take him for money now that he's worth something."

Maybe. Or maybe she doesn't think someone like that should be in a position of more power.

I'm not saying Herman Cain did it. I'm not saying Sharon Bialek is telling the truth. What I am saying is that there are reasons for keeping quiet. There are reasons for just getting away from the situation. And those reasons are exactly what is going on now.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaNoWriMo Report, Week One

So, I'm running behind.

Not, however, in NaNoWriMo. I'm actually a bit more than a full day's writing ahead of schedule. If I wasn't to write a single word today, I'd still be "on schedule" to finish before the end of the month. As I don't intend to write nothing today - I'm actually looking forward to getting to start today, after I take a shower! - I'll probably continue to be at least a day ahead. If I can continue to push this pace, I might actually get ahead enough to not have to write over the Thanksgiving holiday, which is good, because we're going to North Carolina for Thanksgiving to visit with my husband's best friend.

Our best friend? Not sure really, what words describe this particular friend. We both love him to death, we got to be friends with him independently, and while he was the number one person telling BOTH of us that we should NOT date each other, he was also my husband's Best Man in our wedding. In his best man's toast admitted that he'd been wrong about that particular advice. To his credit, my husband and I had a very bad first meeting, and then entered in the weird process of falling in love while I was dating someone else. As it turned out, the someone else I was dating was having the same problem on the other side (ie, he was falling in love with someone else, my best girlfriend as a matter of fact!) and despite a painfully ugly series of breakups, everything worked out pretty much perfectly for everyone.

Anyway, good friend. And one that we don't see nearly often enough. I also adore his wife, and their daughter is about the same age as ours. And it gets me out of having to spend any family time. I love my family, I do, but I'm already spending a week with my dad in December, and it's frequently for the best that I keep my familial interactions spaced out. My Dad and I get along very well these days; certainly we have a much better relationship now than I would have ever imagined growing up. But this involves certain amounts of shutting the fuck up on both of our parts. My dad and I are a lot alike, personality-wise. Opinion wise? Not so much. If there's an opinion out there, chances are, we're going to argue about it.

That's kinda beside the point; I'm behind in everything else in my life. There are dry-goods groceries on the floor in the kitchen because I haven't taken the time to put them away. Two bags of trash that I haven't taken out. I did laundry on Tuesday, but I still had clean clothes in one basket that hadn't been folded.

So, NaNo is going well.

Life... well, you know how it is.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blog Tour and Review; Diane Alberts' Kill Me Tomorrow

About the Story

Jasmine Baruch is a jinn—a supernatural being who fights demons with fire. While that’s difficult enough, she’s got bigger problems. She’s a virgin, and in the jinn culture, that is sheer blasphemy. Jinn are supposed to be passionate, promiscuous creatures—everything she isn’t. Due to marry the next day, she takes matters into her own hands by using 1Night Stand. But, like the rest of her life, nothing is easy. The man chosen for her, though incredibly gorgeous, is a demi-sanguine; a half-human, half-demon–her enemy.

Gavin Werbato is looking for an easy night of sex. Nothing more, nothing less. Instead, he gets a gorgeous jinn convinced it is her duty to kill him. He can certainly think of better things to do with her soft hands than murder. He need only convince her of that…

Can the fire sparked when these beings collide be controlled, or will it consume their world as they know it?


Squished in amongst my other myriad duties and desires (ok, so that was a play on words for my most recent submission, which I managed to write in just three days!) I was asked to read and review Kill Me Tomorrow.

I almost didn't take it up; I am what you might call exceptionally busy. However, the premise was intriguing. I read, as you well know, quite a few historical romances. And one of the things that makes me absolutely love them is the moment of sexual awakening on the part of the heroine (I have still been tempted to try to work out a virginal hero in a historic setting, but haven't quite been able to make the idea gel.) Maybe it's because my own awakening took place so long after the loss of my virginity that I romanticize the moment. Wouldn't it be nice if...

I love those moments of first love, the trembling in the stomach and hands, the heat on cheeks, the slow stir of desire as you realize for the first time the power of a kiss.

So I'm glad I took the time to look over this short story; Jasmine is in a bit of bind. She has to be married TOMORROW to a supernatural of her choice, but if she's a virgin on her wedding night, she'll be disgraced. Jinn are supposed to be passionate and sexy, and Jasmine is anything but. She's tried, oh lord, has she tried, but no man has awakened her desires. And now, so far past her prime as to be a laughingstock, no one even looks her way.

Until she meets Gavin, and in her greatest enemy, she might be able to find her greatest desires...

A fascinating little world - and one that I'd love to see more of - with a grand premise behind it, Kill Me Tomorrow has an emotionally satisfying ending, some piquant sex scenes, and witty banter between two characters that was enjoyable from the beginning.

For more about the writer, please visit Diane Alberts website.

From the Author

What’s in a name?

When I name my characters, I do so with precision and care—ha-ha, it almost sounded true! As if I were so well thought out. *snickers*

Although, in all seriousness, if you chose the wrong name, it can throw your whole story off balance. And I often choose names that, for some unknown reason, I have a hard time typing correctly. This was not the case in my paranormal romance, Kill Me Tomorrow.

Jasmine, in Kill Me Tomorrow, was inspired by none other than Jasmine from the classic Disney movie Aladdin. I watched it over, and over, and over again growing up…and when I pictured my heroine, she looked exactly like her. Except, not animated. And a bit more deadly.

Gavin came from personal reasons, as well. For starters, I love the name. I wanted to name my son it, but it got vetoed by the husband. Hah, take that! I’ll just make him up in my head, thank you very much. But, besides that, he is inspired by Gavin DeGraw, the singer. Something about that man crooning sets me on fire.

Just as Gavin does to Jasmine. Or is it the other way around?

Kill Me Tomorrow is a paranormal romance book, in Decadent Publishing’s fabulous 1Night Stand series. The series revolves around the enigmatic Madame Eve who always seems to be able to find the perfect match for that special someone.


Jasmine Baruch is a jinn-a supernatural being who fights demons with fire. While that’s difficult enough, she’s got bigger problems. She’s a virgin, and in the jinn culture, that is sheer blasphemy. Jinn are supposed to be passionate, promiscuous creatures-everything she isn’t. Due to marry the next day, she takes matters into her own hands by using 1NS. But, like the rest of her life, nothing is easy. The man chosen for her, though incredibly gorgeous, is a demi-sanguine; a half-human, half-demon-her enemy.

Gavin Werbato is looking for an easy night of sex. Nothing more, nothing less. Instead, he gets a gorgeous jinn convinced it is her duty to kill him. He can certainly think of better things to do with her soft hands than murder. He need only convince her of that…

Can the fire sparked when these beings collide be controlled, or will it consume their world as they know it?


She’d accomplished nothing at all.


A weight sank beside her on the bed, and she shrieked. She darted a glance at the door, but it remained locked. Of course it did— portals didn’t hold back demons.

“Good punch.” He laughed and rubbed his nose. “Some men might hold a grudge—but not me. I heal too fast.”

Indeed he did. A glance at his face revealed features as gorgeous as ever. This sucked for the self-pity party she’d been trying to throw.

She preferred him bloody and not so devilishly striking.

She groaned and dropped her head into her hands. “Why won’t you just leave?” He caressed her arm in a lazy, seductive way, and she shivered. “Stop that.”

His hand stopped moving, but he didn’t remove it. “Why do I have to stop?” he murmured. “Why do I have to leave?” He traced an invisible path leading up to her shoulder. From there, he grasped a curl and twirled it between his fingers, as if testing its elasticity. Her scalp tingled at his tender tug, and a jolt of lightning shot straight to her stomach, causing her to bite back a moan.

“Because….” She lifted her head, and turned to face him.

His eyes were so blue they were nearly purple, which, combined with his light blond hair, made him a lethal opponent indeed. How could she resist such a gorgeous creature, knowing that it might be her last chance to rid herself of her virginity? Yet, how could she say yes? “Because you are half demon, and I am a jinn. We are adversaries, you and I.”

“I’m not an evil demi-sanguine,” he assured her calmly. “I don’t rape, kill, or pillage. I’m unremarkably human—plus a few small details. But you are hardly normal yourself,” he drawled with a lazy grin. “And I’d like to make love to you.”

Buy Here:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A review of "Shadow of Kenfig"

Shadow of Kenfig by Lynn Townsend

Lord Seth Maitland needs an expert on gwr (werewolves) and Dr. Poindexter Fitzhugh is the obvious choice. Seth plays his cards close to his chest, in more ways than one, to get Dex to help. A beautifully detailed picture of gas lit London clubs, clockwork prostheses and werewolves. I loved the ‘Steamies’ that have a driver and need a second coachman to shovel coal and maintain the engine. The world is so well built and clearly visualized that I am sure there will be more stories set in it, perhaps more about Seth and Dex.