Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Techno Tuesday and some sneak peeks!

Good old DJ Tiesto.

Now, for some updates on what I'm working on!

First, we have Book 3 of the Enforcer's series. I won't say too much about this one, since the first two books aren't released yet.
Second, I am a little less than halfway through the StormLords, the first chapter of which I posted a while back. A sneak peak from the blurb:
Rowen, a handicapped young man unable to speak, was chosen as a sacrifice to bring the storms. But when they come, a man comes with them-a man named Kristoff, who claims that Rowen, too, has the power to call storms and save people from the horrible heat waves that plague the planet. 
This one is pure fantasy. 
 I am also about halfway through another story called The Chronicler, another fantasy. 
Keld has served his Master ever since he was saved as a young child. There is one ironclad rule-never be seen. His power over the will of others makes it easy for him to hide and perform his task of chronicling the events of the Duke's Keep.

Everything goes well for Keld until the Prince ofthe realm comes to visit the Keep. Prince Binden can see through Keld's power-and see Keld. 

Soon, the young Chronicler is caught up in far more than just writing down events.
And of course, another fantasy, called Shadoweyes. 

Lyssan is the hero foretold, a man with control over flame and prophesied to break the eternal Dusk that has fallen over the land. It's too bad for him that he has no clue how to do it. Prophecies have come and gone, but the latest revolves around a man called the Shadoweyes, a messenger of eternal night. 

The King wants the Shadoweyes dead, and it's possible that if Lyssan kills him, the world will be saved. The problem? The Shadoweyes is a good man who saved the King's son. Not only that, Lyssan would much rather love him than kill him. 

That's all for blurbs, but I am also in the planning stages of another story. This one involves shifters and the fairy realm! 

Which of the above sounds coolest to you?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Since I’m a writer of sci fi and fantasy, I don’t typically have stories that incorporate holidays like Valentine’s. However, here’s a sneak excerpt from Noble Magic, book 1 of the Enforcer’s series, which is set to come out in April!

Kenneth sat in the chair Thorn had slept in the night before, the books on the floor by his feet. “I’ve never seen someone before who’s afraid of mages.”
“Who isn’t?” Thorn asked. “You guys could kill with a word.”
Kenneth shook his head. “Most magi can’t do that.” He quickly realized that wasn’t helping his case. “I just…I always assumed you were…angry.”
“Anger and fear are kind of the same thing here.” Thorn raised his hand in the air as though to emphasize his point. “After the war, we’re pissed that you’re still in power, but we also know to fear you. It’s stupid not to fear the people who have all the power.”
Kenneth stood and sat next to Thorn. “You’re not afraid of me.”
Thorn kissed his chin, the bed creaking. “I’m not angry with you, either.” Kenneth captured his lips, the kiss deepening, the bed creaking more loudly as Kenneth found himself pushed onto his back.
“Ever since I saw you, that arrogant, beautiful mage on a fancy horse, I wanted you.” The wind howled outside, Kenneth raising his chin and closing his eyes as Thorn kissed his neck, laving his throat. His erection swelled, the kisses growing faster. Thorn blinked lust-glazed eyes at him. “I didn’t know you were a noble then, but after finding out…I wanted you more.”
Kenneth pulled him down into a kiss, letting up immediately when Thorn grabbed his hand and pinned it down onto the bed. His grip was strong, stronger than Kenneth could ever match, and it no longer mattered why. Kenneth’s body thrilled underneath the inventor’s forceful touch, cold air sending goosebumps prickling when Thorn pulled off his robes. Fancy clasps and buttons scattered onto the floor.
Thorn’s calloused hand rubbed his chest, then his abdomen, dipping lower and lower to his weeping erection. Precum beaded, then dripped, Thorn smiling as he paused to lick it off his good hand.
He moved off of Kenneth then, briefly, to disrobe. Kenneth gasped at the other man’s body. Thorn had perfect muscles and light brown hair on his chest that trailed down to his proud erection. His engorged maleness was magnificent, larger and thicker than Kenneth’s, and he reached out a trembling hand.
“It’s different.” He ran his hand over the loose skin, gliding, Thorn sighing his pleasure.
“You’ve never been with a talentless before, have you?” Thorn closed his hand around Kenneth’s, guiding it, sighing and closing his eyes for a moment as Kenneth stroked the foreskin. “We don’t cut that part. No magical initiation when we’re young—we get to keep it.”
“It’s…” Kenneth’s mouth watered. “I want it.”
“Then take it.” Thorn grabbed Kenneth’s jaw, stroking it, Kenneth allowing the finger to be thrust inside, letting his saliva coat it. Then he leaned forward, Thorn removed his hand and grabbing his hair, guiding him to take his erection into his mouth. Kenneth had to admit, he loved Thorn’s power, his control.
“Kenneth…ngh, so good.” Kenneth ran his tongue over the hardness immediately, closing his eyes and relaxing his throat, sucking tight. He bobbed his head, enjoying the feeling of Thorn’s hand in his hair, exploring the foreskin with his tongue and letting Thorn’s gasps and moans guide him.
Every sound Thorn made sent a shock of pleasure through him, and he hummed his own enjoyment. The foreskin was new to him, and he moved his tongue over it, sliding the loose skin back and forth, then exploring underneath, pushing the skin back and licking the head.
Thorn gasped, the hand in his hair tightening and pulling almost to the point of pain. Kenneth licked harder, swirling his tongue around the foreskin and head, and suddenly Thorn choked out, “I’m coming.”
Kenneth licked a few more times, pulling with his lips as Thorn released his hair, and then creamy, viscous liquid pumped into his mouth. He kept licking, swallowing until the pulsing ceased, licking the slit when it was over, Thorn’s moans urging him on.
“Kenneth…” Thorn gave a shuddering breath. Kenneth released Thorn’s cock and pulled the man closer. “That was great,” Thorn said before kissing the blond mage again.
Kenneth briefly wondered if that was all before Thorn rolled over suddenly and pinned him down once more. “But I think it’s your turn now. What do you want?”
Kenneth found it difficult to look away from Thorn’s penis. Even flaccid, the skin settled up over the head, it intrigued him, his own cock spurting precum at the sight.
Thorn followed his gaze and grinned. “Come on, tell me what you want.”
Kenneth met Thorn’s eyes and the answer was clear. “Your hands. Both of them. On me. Please.”
Thorn’s smile curved into a smirk. “Of course, Lord Victeni.”
Heat surged from his loins, Thorn gripping his erection tightly in his good hand, the automated one stroking his balls, the featherlight touch sending intermittent tingles of pleasure as the firm stroke built him toward climax.
“Thorn, ah!” Kenneth arched his back, hips trembling, and his eyes fluttered closed. Thorn leaned over him, the bed creaking, his hand moving faster. Precum dribbled onto Kenneth’s stomach, the heat and tightness building.
He forced his eyes open, meeting Thorn’s blue ones, just as his muscles tensed, and he shuddered, and shuddered again, back arching. Cum fountained over Thorn’s hand, and he kept stroking, kneading Kenneth’s balls with his other hand, driving each wave of the orgasm to further heights.
Kenneth relaxed, suddenly heavy, fine sweat breaking out over his body. Every memory of the cold from the night before was forgotten. Thorn lay next to him, his flaccid penis warm and sticky next to his thigh. Their heavy breathing recovered into soft pants and gasps as they kissed, Thorn finally resting his head on Kenneth’s shoulder. The wind outside still howled.
Kenneth stroked Thorn’s back, marveling at the firm muscles. “That was wonderful,” he said after a pause.
“Do I give better handjobs than the magi you’ve been with?”
Kenneth laughed. “Sure.” The question made him think of ways he could use his magic to make the next time even better for Thorn. And of course, he wanted the inventor’s cock in him. The beautiful uncut cock…he smiled thinking of it, his own spent penis twitching slightly.
“I have to admit, I never actually thought I’d ever be with someone like you,” Thorn said. “A noble magi? And you’re amazing. Skilled tongue.” He kissed Kenneth’s cheek, and lay back down.
Kenneth sighed, closing his eyes, Thorn’s breathing lulling him. No noble magi would ever typically consider a dalliance with a talentless, and the ones who would would limit it to just that. Magi had surnames, lineages, for a reason. He had never thought he’d ever be with someone like Thorn either.
Screw tradition, and other magi. He wanted this romance with Thorn to last.
Once he dealt with Alder, and told his father about how Thorn had helped him, maybe he would intervene. He could help the talentless, or at least give them more freedoms. No more spells that would limit their work, or harm them if they raised a hand against magi. Things would be fair. If he became a governor, or a respected alchemy professor, he could change things.
Sleep stole over him as he planned a future with Thorn. In his dreams, his magic thrummed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Techno Tuesday

I love music. My favorite genre is techno, although I'm not the clearest on actual musical definitions. But electronica, techno, and anything that sounds like it, I usually enjoy.

This particular song is called Cities of the Future, by Infected Mushroom. It makes me think of the Perils of Forgotten Pain series.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ugh, health insurance

A brief rant about health insurance.

 I get health insurance through my lab, at a specific institution. However, while I am paid through the institution, I am not actually a student there, but a visiting doctoral student. I am a matriculated doctoral student at another institution.

Apparently, the institution where I work is changing their policy. I now have to pay for their health insurance out of pocket, since I am not a student there. I can't afford this.

My other option is to enroll in the health insurance program at the institution in which I am a registered student. However, I can't, because I am not paid through that institution.

I would go off health insurance entirely, since I am lucky enough to be very healthy and stupid enough not to worry about the future, but doing so is illegal. My parents cannot afford me back as a dependent.

I am in health insurance limbo, and it sucks.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A thought on agents and editors

            I write a lot, and that means sending out a lot of queries to agents, submissions to editors, the whole nine yards. Before I found my home at Extasy, I got a lot of rejections.  Every writer does (Or so I’d like to think ;)).

            Other writers go through this too, and I hear a ton of things from them. “What does an agent want? What do editors want? My manuscript is technically perfect, why does it keep getting rejected? This is good enough to be published, so why can’t I find an agent?  "My writing is way better than XYZ!" If this agent likes paranormal, why did she reject me?”

            I was thinking about all of this, and I came up with something that’s not an answer, but a small thought experiment that will hopefully help.

            Imagine your favorite food. Let’s say chocolate, because I have a lot of experience with it. As a child, I ate any chocolate I could get my hands on. Hershey bars, Dove bars, Symphony bars fudge, dark, milk, anything. I ate all of it and enjoyed it thoroughly.

            As I got older, though, I found things that I thought were better. Lindtt. Cadbury. Sees Candy. Gertrude Hawke’s. And as I ate those and enjoyed them, I found I couldn’t quite go back to plain old Hershey’s. I had developed taste due to exposure.

            Now think about an agent or editor. They read constantly. Query after query, submission after submission. If they have specific guidelines, such as mentioning they are actively acquiring X genre, then they are getting hammered with that genre. I imagine reading through slush piles is like eating candy bar after candy bar with no label-good, but the greats are few and far between.

            Also keep in mind that agents and editors have more knowledge of what makes good, gripping writing than many others do. It’s hard to swallow, but it’s most likely true. As I learned to write, I began enjoying certain stories less as mistakes like passive writing and telling began to jump out at me. I couldn’t slip into the world of the story as easily since the writing would keep me at a distance. This is probably far worse for someone who does nothing but read fiction constantly. Again, it is taste developed and refined due to exposure, and few people get more exposure to fiction than agents and editors.

            What I think agents and editors are looking for? A book that will do for them what your first, favorite book did for you as a kid. Suck them into the world so well that any writing mistakes get glossed over. A book that will make them feel so immersed that they emerge on the other side of it having forgotten that this is something they are reading for work, or were reading at all. A good book is an experience, not just a book. It's that first bite of a chocolate bar, back when you didn't know any food could be that good, but now that chocolate bar has to the best to elicit that experience.

            What does this mean? It means that just being good enough isn’t good enough. You have to stand out from not just the crowd who are sending coffee stained manuscripts rife with spelling errors, but from the crowd who also send manuscripts with solid foundations and ideas. It means you have to be a little lucky and catch an agent or editor who enjoys reading things the way you write them.

            But on the flip side, if you are lucky enough to get an agent or a contract, it means you found someone who can see something in your writing that takes them out of their office and into the world of your story, and that’s something to be proud of.