Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Clans of Kalquor 6: Alien Redemption

Just a little over two weeks away!  Almost there, folks.  So what happens when Erybet and Sletran learn their Imdiko has a secret love?

            He rehearsed what he would say to his clanmates the entire way home.  It was with nervous hopefulness that he entered their quarters and went in search of the other two.  He found them sitting on the balcony on weatherproof seating, silently watching the sun set over the ocean.  Both wore gloomier looks than usual.  Conyod hoped his news would lift their spirits a little.
            The men looked at him as he came out on the balcony, murmuring greetings.  Conyod went to the low wall of the balcony, but was too excited to appreciate the way the setting sun tinged the green-hued sea with amber highlights.  He faced his clanmates.
            He searched their eyes, as he always did these days, for a glimmer of warmth as they gazed at him.  It was that bare touch of affection that kept him from completely giving up on the altered pair and running away.  He found it.  They still cared for him; they were simply too lost in their misery to display much of it these days.
            Erybet even managed a ghost of a smile.  “My Imdiko is home from work before dark for a change.  This is a special occasion.”
            Conyod clasped his hands behind his back to conceal their slight tremor.  Undoubtedly, Sletran had already detected his nervousness, but Erybet might not have.  Since it was his Dramok who had to be handled carefully in the matter, Conyod didn’t want to give Erybet any reason to refuse considering Rachel.  He worried his leader would do so out of spite because of the hard time Conyod had given him over the other Mataras.  The old Erybet wouldn’t have, but now…
            He smiled back at Erybet.  “Actually, it is a special occasion.  Do you remember Rachel?  My patient you met last night, the one who had just begun to speak?”
            Erybet eyed him carefully.  Okay, Conyod’s words had come out a little too fast, a bit too high-pitched to convey the casualness he’d planned on.  But Erybet didn’t comment on that.  Instead he answered, “Such a beautiful girl.  Who could forget a face like hers?”
            Sletran added, “She was the brave one who opposed her government.  Did she speak more today?”  He too was managing a hint of a smile, his gaze warming on the Imdiko.
            “Much more.  Govi is ecstatic over her progress.”  Conyod swallowed.  His next words came out in a rush.  “So much so that she is to be released soon from the hospital and will be going into the lottery system.  She wishes our clan to present its case for her first.”
            The eyes on him widened.  His clanmates exchanged a look with each other, their expressions becoming careful.
            It was the Nobek who quietly asked, “You’re her primary therapist, aren’t you?  Will considering her for clanship be allowed?”
            “Maybe.  Govi is looking into the matter and will give me an answer tomorrow.”  Conyod caught Erybet’s gaze and held it.  To hell with pretense.  His Dramok would have deduced already how important this was to Conyod.  “I beg you to consider it.”
            Erybet leaned forward in his seat, his stare never leaving Conyod’s face.  “You’ve had no interest in previous Mataras.”
            Conyod couldn’t continue to match that intense gaze.  Erybet had a look that made him feel like he could read every thought in the Imdiko’s head.  He dropped his eyes.  “I have a confession to make, my Dramok.  I didn’t want any of the others.  I only wanted Ray-Ray.”
            There was a long beat of silence.  Conyod could feel those eyes boring into him.  Under the weight of that gaze, something inside his heart shrank.  Erybet was going to say no.
            Sletran spoke, giving Conyod a small reprieve from the other man’s scrutiny.  “Are you in love with her, Conyod?”
            Conyod looked at his Nobek.  As always, Sletran regarded him with gentle strength, a look the fierce warrior reserved for him alone.  It gave Conyod the resolve he needed to answer, “Yes.  With all my heart.  She says she loves me too.”
            Erybet said, “There are two other men in this clan, men she will have to want as well as you.”
            The Imdiko dared to look at his clan leader.  The look Erybet gave him, one that was almost as caring as Sletran’s, allowed Conyod to take a breath.
            He said, “I know, Erybet.  She’s intelligent, though.  She’ll see what good clanmates you’d be to her.”  He hoped.  “If you only get to know her, you will want her as much as I do.  She’s smart and caring and courageous and perfect…”
            Conyod had to pause to take a breath from the recitation of all that made Rachel wonderful.  In that moment of silence, Sletran laughed.  It was the first time Conyod had heard him do so since he’d returned home from the war.
             “Conyod, you’ll be writing poetry next.” Sletran shook his head, but his smile was indulgent.  For a moment he was so much like the Nobek Conyod had known, the Nobek he’d been overjoyed to clan with.
            Maybe Erybet was right.  Maybe having a Matara will be enough to snap Sletran out of his trauma.  Crazier things have happened, right?

Releasing November 16

Monday, October 29, 2012

When Children Help You Write

As I picked up the notes I'd begun making for the second Clan Beginnings story, I discovered my six year old had added onto them. This could be serious trouble for Kalquor.

Shalia's Diary Post

We have a Kalquorian sighting.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Unholy Union

            “The blessing was eventful, to say the least,” Thomas said.  “There was a barn loft that had apparently been used for Satanic worship.”
            James’ bushy eyebrows raised.  “Did something happen?”
            “I was nearly bitten by a snake.”
            James bookmarked the page he was reading and closed the book, signifying his interest had been piqued. 

Available from Amazon Kindle, Amazon UK, Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords,

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Separating Fantasy from Real Life

Here we go again.  Fifty Shades of Grey.  People have lost their minds over it.  And while I’m all for you pushing your boundaries in the bedroom by taking a few cues from popular fiction, it is time for a word of caution. 

I’ve never felt the need to ask my readers to proceed carefully when it comes to sex.  After all, I deal in sci-fi and the paranormal, realms that are definitely not of this world.  I don’t have to tell any of you to choose your alien clan, vampire, or werewolf with care.  You can easily separate fantasy from reality with my work.  However, with the world of kink hitting the mainstream bestseller list and people pushing their limits in the bedroom as a result, I am worried about those of you not yet in committed, trusting relationships.  That you are out there searching for your Doms and Masters with perhaps only fiction to guide your journey concerns me.

Fiction moves at a lightning pace.  It has to in order to get all the story in.  In erotica, people fall into bed rather quickly.  In BDSM erotica, the paddles and ropes come out fast.  This is fantasy, folks.  This is not real life.  You do not go to your local munch or club, find the  Dom of your dreams, and let the whip fly.  No, no, no, no.

Real life BDSM takes a lot of trust.  After all, the sub is putting her/himself at another’s mercy.  And while you may be titillated with romantic ideas of kneeling at someone’s feet, the truth is, BDSM has its share of predators ... just like in the vanilla world.  Not only should you proceed into the kinky relationship as you would a vanilla, you must be more careful because of the pretenders out there.

Get to know that other person who makes naughty thoughts tumble in your head.  Have dinner.  Date.  Hold hands and walk on the beach.  Do all these things before you put out your wrists for those cuffs.  Most of you don’t fall into bed for regular sex the first thing, do you?  BDSM is no different.  And if someone professing to be a Dom says it is normal to get right to the funny business, run.  Run very fast and lock your doors.  That isn’t a Dom.  That is someone looking out for only his own pleasure, which could end very badly for you.

A real Dom or Master knows he must earn your trust.  He’s not going to be after you right away to put your ass under his paddle.  A real Dom gets to know you well, all your quirks, limits, and insecurities ... the better to discipline you with later, my dears.  He is going to take his time with you.  He is going to become very important to you, a real partner in your sexual journey rather than just someone giving you orders.  Real Masters aren’t going to rush you into anything you’re not ready for.  They don’t take advantage of your burning curiosity and the desire to find your own Mr. Grey.

In short, use sense when finding your perfect Dom.  Remember the vanilla Mr. Right you were after before you realized those secret bondage fantasies weren’t so crazy after all?  That’s how you proceed as you look for that special, strong, kinky man.  Date him, have long conversations with him, get used to having his arms around you and making you feel safe.  Meet his friends, know his dreams and hopes and worries, spend lots of time together.  Then, and only then, do you put yourself in his caring but exacting hands.

Be careful out there, sweethearts.  Please.

Friday, October 26, 2012

First Five Friday - Netherworld II: Blood Potion No. 9

Chapter 6

            I brought myself under control with a lot of effort.  When I had a handle on my upset, I saw that Tristan had sat down on the leather couch in the periodicals section of the room.  I moved to stand close to him. 
            He watched me with a look I couldn’t quite read.  I didn’t dare speak first. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Meet Clan Ospar from Clans of Kalquor 7: Alien Refuge

I have begun the first draft for this one, so I thought I’d trot out the new clan for your inspection.  This batch of men are strong, mature, and assured of themselves ... exactly what a Matara in distress needs when overwhelmed by adversity.

Dramok Ospar

Ospar is  the Kalquorian governor of the Earther colony of Haven, which is located within the Empire.  He can be a bit overbearing, but his heart is in the right place.  He has to do a balancing act that entails keeping the Earthers safe as they get their feet under them, without stepping on any toes.  As you might imagine, things rarely run smoothly on the colony where the Earthers appreciate Kalquorian aid but want to do things their way and on their own.

Nobek Jol

Nobek Jol is head of Haven security and Ospar’s main bodyguard.  He does step on toes, especially when a child and his mother’s welfare are involved.  He might be a bit overprotective, but he’s a Nobek.  What did you expect?  Generous to a fault, Jol is a man dedicated to keeping the people under his watch safe.  

Imdiko Rivek

Imdiko Rivek is a temple priest, devoted to the principles of the Book of Life.  Clearheaded and kindhearted, he sees adversity as an invitation to better himself.  Challenges are to be met head-on rather than avoided, and every situation is present to teach the worthy something new.  Rivek is also a badass martial arts expert.  Yep, an Imdiko that will hand you your butt if you force him to. 

Matara Iris and son Thomas

Iris Jenson has endured hardships in many forms:  she is the single parent of an amazing but challenged special-needs child.  She has endured abuse at the hands of her husband who was presumably killed in Armageddon.  She copes with threats from the newly formed group, the E.I.K. (Earthers for Independence from Kalquor).  Iris barely scrapes together a living for herself and her son on Haven Colony.  Yet she lives with quiet dignity, asking for nothing and giving everything she has to make a decent home for her child.

Thomas Jenson is six-years old and autistic.  Hyper-sensitive to his environment, his frequent outbursts and impulsive behavior make him difficult for many to understand.   Yet those who see past the surface behavior find an incredibly intelligent, creative child with unlimited potential and an endless ability to love.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Clan Beginnings 1: To Clan and Conquer

            “Look at me.”
            Degorsk’s obedience was pure instinct.  He gasped even as he met Tranis’ narrowed stare.  It had nothing to do with the first officer’s rank or the hand on his leg.  He automatically responded to the power of a strong Dramok’s command.  His heart sped up, the trickle of fear making his sexes ache for the other man’s touch all the more. 

Releasing December or January

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Poll results and Random Thoughts

Hey, thanks to those of you for participating in the polls and satisfying my curiosity.  It seems most everyone would like to join Clan Tranis ... he, Degorsk, and Lidon each edged out the other members of their breeds to be the favorites.  No wonder so many say they are looking forward to the first installment of the new Clan Beginnings series To Clan and Conquer which features the trio.  That book, by the way, is in its first round of editing.  The original release of January may be getting moved up as I’m ahead of schedule.  Clan Tranis for Christmas?  Could be!

I’m still feeling bad about not putting Krijero in the poll. I love my sweetly awkward Imdiko.  He and his clanmates Gelan and Wynhod will be in the second Clan Beginnings book.  It looks like I’ll begin outlining that one in the next couple of weeks.  Here’s a funny bit of trivia for you regarding the Clans of Kalquor book they were featured in, Alien Slave.  Take a look at heroine Dani on the cover art.  Whoever the model was that she was based on could be a secret twin I never knew about.  In profile, that looks just like my face.  It’s been a source of amusement for me ever since the book first came out.  Now if my body matched that, I would be a happy gal indeed.  And if I was being held like that by a Kalquorian clan ... okay, enough.  You get the idea.  To be on the cover of my own book -- or at least someone who looks enough like me to give that impression -- has been a lark.

We’re four weeks from Clans of Kalquor 6:  Alien Redemption.  Yes, it feels like forever even to me.  I have the cover saved on my desktop and am constantly sighing to the men on it, “Soon.  Soon.”  I’m always worried when waiting for the proofreader to give me a book’s corrections, expecting to discover the latest story is a train wreck of a novel.  The longer the wait, the higher the anxiety.  Especially this one, which is the most elaborate of the series thus far.  Erotica, space opera, and murder thriller all rolled up in one book -- eek.  Did I pull it off?  The suspense is killing me.  I have gnawed all my fingernails down to nothing.

Make sure you check out the next WIP Wednesday, which will have some biographical notes regarding the clan of Clans of Kalquor 7:  Alien Refuge.  It will include some pics that I think represent the main characters pretty well, which I will also be posting on The Clans page of this blog.  I’ve just about finished outlining this story, which means I’ll plunge into the first draft in a couple of days.  While Alien Redemption looks like Homecoming Week with appearances from members of previous clans, Alien Refuge is all new with no familiar faces.  I know this sometimes peeves a few of you, but you get to see a new facet of Kalquorian society and the uneasy blending with Earthers that happens in a colony setting.  Plus, the ‘Basma’ will be showing his face ... the man behind the Kalquorian resistance that tried to have Empress Jessica kidnapped in Alien Interludes’ ‘The Abduction’.

Okay, I think I’ve rambled enough for today.  Take care, everyone.