Friday, February 28, 2014

Erotic Cyborg Short Stories: update

Hello all,

Sorry for missing teaser Tuesday this week--I spent the whole day moving to a new apartment, and getting internet set up was a chore!

Right now, I have several short stories that are waiting to be released--but I'm working on cover art first! But I'll tell you a little about the world.

The stories are all set in the same setting--the world of the future, with cyborg technology, except the war that set off the events of Remembrance and Perils of Forgotten Pain never happened. In this alternate world, cyborg technology is used not to fight wars, but to augment interstellar travel and help people endure living in zero-G or on new planets.

Cyborgs still work for the government, but are men and women who choose to undergo modifications so that they can perform off-planet jobs or go on long, exploratory missions into deep space. They routinely travel back to Earth to get new assignments or to relax after a long mission--which can consist of years off-planet.

The series of stories are short, erotic romps about cyborgs finding love and pleasure with each other and with unmodifed humans. Each story has a hint about upcoming stories, too.

I hope, once I secure cover art for the series, to release the first one soon. You can pick them up in singles or, once I've released a fair number, as an anthology. Keep an eye on the blog for an announcement on release dates!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mental Health in characters

I've always been interested in mental health, and how it interacts with personality. Tackling characters with psychological or mood disorders is tough, but worth the challenge when the result is a much more well rounded, interesting character who works with or works to overcome that aspect of their psyche.

You have to tread carefully, though, if you're going to write characters with mental illness. One of the most frustrating things I see in novels, especially lately, is to have a character be defined completely by whatever mental quirk the author chose to give them. It's like starting out with a Flanderized character. (For the definition of Flanderized, I refer you to TVtropes: Flanderization). If you're going to have a character who is depressed, autistic, has OCD, or some other illness or quirk, don't make that character revolve completely around that aspect. People with mental illnesses have a ton to offer besides just being constantly anxious or neurotic or what have you.

It also helps to have other characters react believably to whatever manifestation of mental illness your character displays. Many people don't understand mental illness, and may act unsympathetic. Others may want to help. Yet others may not even realize there's a problem--and trust me, as someone who used to have ever present anxiety, its shocking how most people will not even notice when you're in the middle of a panic attack at the mall. But the point is, how other characters react and how your character deals with their reactions is a way to flesh out both the mentally ill and the supporting characters.

Last, and this probably goes without saying, but it helps to get mental illness accurate. It can be downright offensive if an author portrays a character as having a certain illness, but nothing about the illness is correct.

It was tough getting Aldric, a soldier with PTSD, to be accurate and well-rounded. It's even tougher now getting Frederick, a stressed and depressed college student facing the real world, accurate. But to do so, it helps not only to know the character but know about the illness they have and how it affects them as a person.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: A short scene from Capture

Hello all,

I'm going to start something a little new on the blog. I used to have techno tuesdays, but now I'm going to start Teaser Tuesdays--Just a little 500-1000 word excerpt from one of my books. Today it's Capture, my newest release.

The other Enforcers’ words had sucked any enjoyment of the capital city out of Kenneth’s mind. He didn’t notice the glowing evening lights, the thrumming power, or the intoxicating scents that emanated from buildings they walked past, promising pleasure of all varieties. 

He had known Ariel’s words were true. He never would have said it to Thorn like that, calling him a weak link, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t true. Thorn had the earring, and even now his presence thrummed in Kenneth’s mind. But it didn’t give him magic. Against a powerful mage, man-to- man, he was helpless, especially a mage as vicious as Alder. His pistol wouldn’t help against a paralysis spell. 

How had the talentless done so well in the war? Kenneth couldn’t imagine it. Then again, he didn’t have to. They had lost in the end. Talentless were...he hated to think it. But they were weak. 

He would have to protect Thorn. That was all there was to it. 

Thorn had been mostly quiet since meeting with Sasha and Ariel, and every so often his hand traveled to his hip, where the pistol would be if he wore it. He was frightened, though he would never admit it. 

Sasha and Ariel had heard nothing unusual about the Circle of Ten. And despite wandering all over Arktaine and paying careful attention to what people said, they had not seen a single sign of the Circle of Ten having more influence than would be expected. According to them, the Circle had not been present when they gave their own report on their investigations, which had involved talentless losing their memories mysteriously.
In a way, it was comforting, as there was no sign they were being hunted, but it also frustrated Kenneth to not have any leads whatsoever. All he had received all day was the usual fawning over a noble mage, and when they didn’t fawn over his noble status, it was over his status as an Enforcer. 

It got old fast when all he wanted was information. 

Kenneth was too lost in thought to notice when a man dressed in leathers and an overcoat nearly crashed into him. A hammer fell from the man’s hand, and his face went white when it struck the ground near Kenneth’s foot. 

The man flung himself into the street, next to a one wheeled carriage. It took Kenneth a moment to realize he was probably repairing it. 

“I’m sorry, my lord!” he babbled. “It was an accident!” 

Kenneth blinked. “It’s alright—”

“Please!” The man crawled forward. “I...”

Thorn knelt down and hefted the man to his feet. “Relax,
man,” he said. “No harm’s been done, see? The hammer didn’t touch him. The wards aren’t going off.” 
The man turned pop eyes onto the hammer, then to Kenneth. “I...thank you.” He let out a shaky breath. “I thought...I thought I was gone.” 

“Gone?” Thorn asked. 

“Don’t you know?” the man told Thorn. “Attack a mage here, and you’re dead in seconds.” 

Thorn’s face went pale, and his eyes met Kenneth’s. Kenneth’s stomach dropped. 

“Don’t worry. Arktaine is the safest city in the world.” His father’s words to his mother echoed in his mind, from a time when he was a child. “No talentless, not even the remains of the army, will harm me there. The new wards will kill any talentless who tries anything.” 
How could he have forgotten?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Capture: Book 4 of the Enforcer's series, released today! Special offer!

Hello all!

Book 4 of the Enforcer's series is released today over at Extasy Books!! To celebrate, the first person to sign up for my new mailing list will get a free copy of the book!

Sign up for the list and leave a comment on this post to enter! :D

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book 4 of Enforcers, and a mailing list!

Hello all!

First up, we have the cover and the blurb for Book 4 of the Enforcers series!

Kenneth and Thorn have put a stop to Alder’s cruel experiments on Talentless, but their work as Enforcers is far from over. In the heart of the magi capital, they find out that Alder is part of a larger organization—and Alder has allies that are quite upset with Enforcers who think they can put a stop to their plans.

Kenneth assumes Thorn, a talentless, is the one who is most vulnerable—but when Kenneth is the one put in danger, Thorn will have to find a way to save his lover.

Second major announcement of the day today: I have a mailing list! If you want to hear about new releases from me, including new releases in the Enforcers series, short stories, and new projects, please do sign up! Just click over to the "mailing list" tab!