IY: Fantasy Creatures – Vampires – Club Night


Welp! I’ve been talking about it and working on it, so I think it makes sense to give you guys the opening of the short story I’m writing for my new friends over at the local college. The piece is tentatively named ‘Club Night’ and was received with encouraging enthusiasm by the 200 ish studends I read it to. Woohoo!

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

This is a stupid idea. We’re going to get caught. No one sneaks into Lunar without getting caught.

Cheryl glared at the mirror and kept her depressing thoughts to herself. Instead, she nodded at her reflection, happy with the makeup and curly afro hair it showed. “That will do.”

Her friend, Maxine, fair haired and heavily made up, frowned and shook her head. “Wrong. Purple suits you better.” She handed over a tube of dark lipstick. “Try that. And hurry up, we’re gonna be late.”

Though unsure of the colour choice, Cheryl trusted Maxine. Just. Besides, she couldn’t see her reflection properly anyway. The sudden rush of her new vampire powers left her eyesight fantastic in all situations except in front of a mirror. Which sucked.

As she put on the new colour, Maxine checked the door to their shared bedroom. A moment later, soft footsteps approached and Ishaan stepped through.

“You ladies ready?” he asked, arms folded tight across his skinny chest. Yeah, skinny, but strong. Like most werewolves, there was more to him than his gentle looks. He was dressed for a hot night out, tight jeans and pale shirt with the sleeves rolled back. “Hey, Chez.”

“Don’t call me that.” Cheryl watched him in the mirror. “Did you get us clearance for the club?”

He grinned, and his eyes, though usually brown, shone with a golden light. “Do wolves eat helpless little lambs?”

“Gross!” Maxine smacked his arm, flirting like always, chest thrust out, full lips pouting. Hard to believe she was the oldest of the group. She lowered the neck of her top—not that it needed it—and flicked out her black skirt before sitting on the end of the bed like some sort of magazine model.

Cheryl shook her head. Though she loved her friend, Maxine seemed desperate to prove herself the vampire stereotype. All she needed was black lipstick and a widow’s peak to match her pale skin.

Ishaan ignored Maxine and moved closer to Cheryl, flipping the mirror up so she could no longer see it. “You don’t need that. I think you look great.” Ishaan smiled and pushed a chunk of curly hair off her face. “You look . . . vampish.”

She rolled her eyes. “I don’t need to look vampish, I am vampish.”

“Not until you graduate.” With a giggle, Maxine dragged the conversation back to herself. Like always. “Not long now, though, fifteen months? Anyway, Lunar is an adult club, you need to look more than vampish, you need to look . . .”

“Adult?” Ishaan offered. Not that he’d have much trouble. He looked much older than sixteen, probably because of the tattoo on the side of his neck. But all the young wolves had those, it was just their pack symbol. Besides, Lunar was a werewolf club, surely they wouldn’t turn him away.

Maxine leapt off the bed and landed by the door seven feet away. “Ready?”

“Yeah, let’s do this.” Cheryl swallowed her nerves, tightened the corset-style cord at the back of her dress and pulled on her boots.

Ishaan took the lead at the door. He cocked his head, one hand cupped around his ear. “Professor Sharra is in her study. I can hear her pacing.” A pause. “Sergeant Reaper is patrolling far end of the back corridor, but he’s blind and half deaf, he’ll never hear us.” With that, he shot off, a dark streak against the hall’s wooden panelling.

Maxine followed, making no sound on the hardwood floors as she darted along in Ishaan’s shadow.

Cheryl licked her lips.

My turn. Right. Okay, I can do this. Of course I can do this.

She closed the bedroom door.

She could hear other students in the academy, some sleeping, some studying, all in their rooms like good little supernaturals. How she let Maxine convince her to sneak out was a mystery, but now there was little to do but get on with it.

She stepped into the corridor.

A floorboard creaked.

At the other end, standing by the window, Maxine shot her a furious stare. “Shut up!” she mouthed.

“Sorry.” Cheryl just couldn’t move that quietly. Or that fast. Her vampire powers only came in three months ago and the blurry-speed-thing took practise. Still, she made it to the end of the corridor without knocking anything and only two of the boards creaked.

Ishaan had already opened the window and stood on the narrow platform of the fire escape outside it. “You sound like a herd of elephants, Chez.

“Sorry. And don’t call me ‘Chez.’”

Maxine rolled her eyes. “Stop being sorry about everything. You don’t want to be apologising to any of the guys at Lunar. They’ll eat you alive. Literally.” Her lip quirked. “Just, you know, be more like . . . like . . .”

“You?”

“Yeah.” Her smile faded. “Wait, Cheryl, you’re sweating.”

Until that moment, Cheryl hadn’t noticed the wetness on her forehead. Now, when she touched her skin, her fingers gleamed with the it. “Uh oh.” Her arms began to prickle, the flesh on her right side heating up. “Ramni’s coming.”

Since discovering her vampire abilities, Cheryl had learned enough to recognise the feeling of her mentor. Normally she didn’t mind seeing him. At six foot, dark haired, dark skinned and gorgeous, Ramni was the very picture of what a vampire should be. A male one anyway.

But now, sneaking out of the Academy to visit an illegal werewolf club, he was the last person she wanted to see.
Maxine shoved her way out the window, with panic in her eyes. “We need to get out of here. Go, go.”

Ishaan jumped off the fire escape on to the grassy area at the back of the Academy’s dormitories.

Cheryl swallowed a spiky lump of nerves. The prickle on her skin became stronger. Sweat dripped down the back of her neck.
Maxine leapt on to the handrail. “Follow me.”

“No, no, wait—”

But Maxine was already gone. She hit the grass, rolled and bounded to her feet. “Get down here, Cheryl!”

This is insane, she thought.

Cheryl stepped out the window, onto the rail.

I can’t do this.

The stiff curls of her hair flew in the wind. Goosebumps prickled up and down her bare arms.

What if I break my neck? I don’t have all the healing powers yet.

“Chez, come on.” Ishaan’s voice held a hint of panic. “I think Vestas is coming.”

Thought Principle Vestas tightened Cheryl’s stomach. Vestas was nothing like Ramni: short, bald, old—even for a warlock—with the worst temper she had ever seen. His punishments were not unlike torture and everybody across the Academy talked about him in hushed tones. Even the teachers avoided him if they could.

Cheryl closed her eyes. Spread her arms. Before she could jump, two strong hands closed about her waist and dragged her back through the window. The hands held her a full foot off the ground, spinning her round to meet a pair of huge purple eyes, framed by an angry frown. “Where do you think you’re going?” said Ramni.

Oh. Cheryl sighed. Busted.

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RS Bonus Blog: Shhh, The Kids Are Sleeping!, Out Now (#Giveaway)


Ticking along nicely here.

Announcing the fourth tale in my Smexxy Snippets series, this one named ‘Shh, The Kids Are Sleeping!’

Not to deny that I’ve drawn from real life on this one, but seriously . . . gettin’ on daaayywn with kids around is hard work. I felt a strong desire to write about this and let folk now that it is possible.

. . . Just. 😉

Sleep when the baby sleeps? Naaaah!

Getting twin girls Jenna and Josie to sleep during the day is a task Charlotte is determined to master. Not only will she able to—finally!—have a long, hot shower, but she may also be able to deal with the stack of washing-up that refuses to go down, despite her best efforts.

Seems a perfect plan, except her husband Tom returns early from work with some fantastic news and he wants nothing more than to celebrate. Despite Charlotte’s insistence that they can’t go out, Tom soon explains that he had other more home-based activities in mind.

Soon the pair of them are shucking their clothes, touching each other in a way neither has had time or energy for since Jenna’s birth. As their new-found passion tasks them upstairs, soft whimpers from the babies’ room remind Charlotte of the need to be as quiet as possible.

After all, they don’t want to wake the babies.

Amazon US |  Amazon UK  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

I’m also pleased to say that I’ll be giving away a copy of this Smexxy Snippet and all the ones previous to one lucky winner. All you need do is comment on this post, before March 31, describing the most irritating interruption to sexy times that you can think of.

Draw from real life if you like, make it up if you prefer, but the most creative answer will win Smexxy Snippets One, Two, Three and Four in the format of their choosing (epub / mobi / pdf).

Go for it!

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RS: I Haz Planz 21/03/16


Eeeeeeeeeeeeeerm . . . I don’t even know. Let’s have a look:

Actions This Past Fortnight

~Finish drafting ‘It’s Fun To Share’checking off feedback
Nope. I haven’t been doing my 15 minutes a day. I’ve barely done anything per day, Ileandra took over, then DSB realised how mentally and physically good-for-you a daily, 40 minute walk can be. That has reeeeeeeeeally squished my writing time, almost completely out of existence. Couple that with the fact that, for some reason, I’m just not feeling this story, I’m finding it hard to finish. Grr.

~Draft half of ‘So I Bought A New Toy’
. . . NEXT! 😦

Activities For This Fortnight

  1. Finish drafting ‘It’s Fun To Share’

Thoughts . . .

thinking-boyClearly I need a break. I need to reel it back and think more on how to balance health with work. It’s not out of control or anything, but I think if I’m having trouble meeting simple goals across a two week period, something needs a bit of a tweak.

That aside, the Easter holidays are coming up, meaning The Sprogs will be around and one half of DSB’s family, including young, shouty siblings, will be visit across the Easter weekend.

Defo time to reel it all back and expect a little less from myself.

And y’know what? I’m fine with that. ^_^

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RS: The ‘SM’ In #BDSM – Part Four, Safety


I suppose it would be kind to leave a warning here before you start. Many, if not all, of the links (and pictures) in this series of posts are totally NSFW. If you want to have a look, do, by all means, but don’t be surprised if you find naked boy bits at the other end . . . or girl bits.
Happy? Let’s go.

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

Here we are, right at the end of my series on BDSM and I figure now is as good a time as any to talk about safety. Part of me feels I perhaps shouldn’t have put this at the end, the rest of me feels, that the subject is important enough that it required a whole post of its own.

Safe Words

Everybody—after FSoG I’m not afraid to say ‘everybody’—probably understands the concept of safe words (mostly because Ana didn’t have them—*grr, rage, I’m NOT having this rant again today*). In its most literal sense, a safe word is something a person says or does that can be mistaken for nothing except ‘Stop, I’ve had enough.’ It’s a word that puts a stop to all play for any number of reasons, including (but not exclusive to) too much pain, needing a break, ‘real life’ interruptions. This ‘safe word’ needn’t be a mere word, it can be a phrase, or a tune, a gesture or a set of eye blinks. I’ve discussed numerous times over the last few months that those involved in BDSM activities may be physically restricted, blindfolded or gagged. This means that speaking may not be a simple thing. Having a number of ways to communicate your true desire to stop is important on both sides of any BDSM play (yes, even Dom/mes need safe words!).

After Care

Something else I’ve discovered while researching this topic is that ‘after care’ is of mega important. Depend in on the sorts of experience both dominant and submissive have, there is a ‘come down’ period afterwards were the real world filters back in, pleasure dies off and people need to be coaxed carefully into their bodies. I hesitate to say ‘as a result of an out of body experience’ but ‘subspace’ is a very real thing that can temporarily alter the mind space of those there. To (over) simplify, compare it to being drunk: when inebriated, a person is not quite themselves, unable to think clearly and/or rationally and should not be left in charge of huge decisions. Subspace is similar in that an overload of certain endorphins and hormones can make it difficult to act and be as you are in the every day world.

Consent

Perhaps I should have talked about this first, but I’m tired and sore today, my brain isn’t doing what it should be. However, consent is the one of the first and most important pillars of BDSM. Anything and everything that happens to/with/for someone must happen with their clear, coherent, informed and obvious consent. Without that, most BDSM activities would fall under the banner of abuse and even rape. There are many different ways consent can be obtained, but that does lead me neatly into the last little heading for today.

Communication

All relationships require this, but BDSM ones perhaps more than others. Across any part of the spectrum people are playing (quite intensely) with others on a physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological level. It is important to be able to talk through how one feels, and what one needs. Honesty and the ability to talk candidly about likes and dislikes are things that some people find difficult, but without frank conversations before, after and often during any BDSM activities, it would be easy to make mistakes or do harm where none is intended.

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

Wow, okay, and that brings me to the end of the SM in BDSM and the end of my BDSM series as a whole.

I’ve learned so much through talking about these things and yet I know there is still so much to know. Once upon a time I may have been intimidated by that, instead, as I reach the end of this series of posts, I realise I’ve met and spoken with a bunch of incredibly interesting, honest and helpful people, without whom I never would have been able to complete the series.

I’d like to take this moment to say thank you to everyone who has spoken to me in some small form and/or been involved with this series of posts. Your help has been invaluable and I hope my future attempts to write fiction in this area reflect the help you’ve given me.

Kisses!

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IY: Mah Plans 14/03/16


Another Monday, another round up. It turned out to be a mad fortnight when I realised how much needed to be done to meet some of the goals I set. I’ve done it, so that’s good, but I was glad of the break when the weekend hit!

Actions Over The Past Fortnight

~Complete final read of Crossroads
Done. Cracked it this time, mwaah ah aha h ahaaaa! Feeling pretty bad for Michael right now. :p

~Format Crossroads
Also done. I’m finding the formatting much easier to do these days. Still would prefer to be writing, but, I guess, until I can hire a team of backgroundy folk, that sort of job remains mind. Dern indie publishing! :p

~Approach my panel of Beta Readers
Yes and this is where the extra work came in. I sent out the message, as usual and promised readers that they would have the manuscript ready to read by Sunday 13 (yesterday). I wanted to give people the whole of April to get through the novel and another two weeks if I could. But I sent the email on Monday 7, which really didn’t get me much time to do the last read, prepare the file and get it gone.

Ha! So follows a week of digging deep into Saar’s Legacy and forgetting everything else. I think I was breathing god-touched by the time I reached Friday, which is when I finished going through the novel.

There are still some niggles, things that bother me, as an author, but I’ve left the manuscript alone now. Time to see if those same things bother readers as much as they bother me. I figure, if they do, then I’ll change them. If not, I’ll need to spend some time assessing if it’s my mad drive for perfection that’s bothering me, or if the issue is a real one. Heh, that should be fun.

~Put together cover brief for Dave Johnson and send
Also done. I adore Dave and his work. I’m so, so pleased to be working with him for these books and I admire his talent and creative vision. This is my first time working so closely with an illustrator and now, as we near the end of this project, we’re looking to start another. Not too many details yet, but I’m hoping that we’ll be working together more closely and more regularly in months to come. ^_^

Activities This Fortnight

  • List Crossroads on Amazon and Smashwords
  • Come up with four basic ideas that will each carry a novel, featuring characters from the ‘Dead And Alive’ serial (Kailah Turner, Michael Garran and Diavian Hatara)
  • DON’T TOUCH ‘ON A KNIFE POINT’ . . . DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!
  • Complete the short story I began for the students over at the local college

Thoughts…

thinking boy, black and white, with questions marks around his head

Credit: ryanlerch at OpenClipArt

I’ve put leaving ‘OAKP’ alone because I know how bad I am at panicking when betas have my words. I’ll be scouring it, searching for things to change, instead of putting it from my mind and letting folk enjoy it (or not, as the case may be. Who knows?!). The challenge will be to allow myself to get on with other things so I don’t dwell on what people might be saying.

That is why I’ve added the short story into this fortnight’s tasks.

I visited a local school for World Book Day, talking to two large groups of Year Nine students (13/14 years old) about what drives me to write, my process and how I began. I also did some (loud and exciting!) exercises with them to create a teeny weeny story, and prove that any old idea can give you a base to build on. When I visited them, I was asked to bring something to read and, since most of my words are decidedly adult, I wrote something especially for them called ‘Club Night.’ Only 1,000 words, but they enjoyed it so much that I promised I would finish the story and get it to them when it was done (!).

This is my first taste of writing any sort of YA and, though I’m a little nervous about that, my audience is already there and waiting: 200 or so lovely, enthusiastic students who are keen to see how my werewolves, vampires and pixies finish sneaking out of school to visit the local club. 😉 I reckon that should be enough to keep my mind of ‘On A Knife Point,’ right?

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