Archive for October, 2007

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, October 31st, 2007
I Got a Rock

Yes, yes, Halloween. Once my favorite holiday. Now basically just another day, as very little is done here to celebrate it. They don’t even have the kids wear costumes to school. Depressing.

And I have a headache. Bleh.

I do have some bits of news and stuff, though. First, I sold a vampire novella, Day of the Dead, to EC! I’m really excited about this one, and it is especially appropriate to announce today, as it is set on the evening of Dia de los Muertos. I have managed to combine, in one erotic novella:

Dia de los Muertos in general
voudou rituals (and Baron Samedi)
public sex in a cemetery
grave robbing
a well-preserved corpse ala Medgar Evers
lots of Spanish curse words
and, of course, Starbucks caramel frappucinos.

So I’m pleased, although the story will probably not have a fall release date. :-)

What else? Did I mention I have a headache and am grumpy? I had a whole big post planned but I cannot remember what it was about or what my evil plan was.

Oh, my next EC release, As the Lady Wishes, written with my lovely CP Anna J Evans, comes out in a few weeks and has a cover. Or should I say, Iz on ur book, wearin mah undeez:

You know, since I once had the worst cover ever (and you guys know what I’m talking about), I find I’m much more philosophical about the process now. Which is nice.

And, while I moved past the point in the wip last night, I’m still wondering if anyone knows anything about wells, especially dry ones? If you pour water into a well that’s gone dry, how fast does the aquifer absorb that water? I imagine pretty damn fast, which is why I just sent some guys down to tie up and remove the mutilated corpse in the bottom. But, you know, if anyone else has any dieas that would be good. I spent like an hour when I could have been writing, reading alternately dull/kooky websites about wells. (Dull being the gov’t sponsored ones, kooky being all those Y2K alarmist sites that are still around. My favorite mentioned the need to drill a well in secret, because your neighbors might report you, but how they’ll change their tune after New Year’s Eve and be begging you for fresh water, when it’s a commodity others will murder for ala the Adam Ant-starrer World Gone Wild. Which, he was actually not bad in if memory serves. Cute butt, too.)

And I guess that’s it for now. Happy Halloween/Samhain, everyone!

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, October 30th, 2007
If it’s Tuesday…

…I must be blogging at the League. This week we’re talking about titles here.

What Stace had to say on Monday, October 29th, 2007

So I went to Tesco this morning, and was greeted by huge “Merry Christmas” signs and aisle after aisle of Xmas decorations, food, candies, etc. Yes, since there is no Thanksgiving here to “officially” kick of the season, they start whenever they like. (Actually, the Xmas stuff started appearing last month, but today was the first day they had the aisles set up and the wrapping paper etc.)

See, stores over here run out of shit. REALLY early. You cannot shop last-minute in the UK. There will be nothing left. The first year we were here, since we didn’t have our own place until 23 November, we were stuck. We looked online. I found a website that had a great selection of Angelina Ballerina stuff (Princess was way into AB at that time).

It was December 14th. The store was closed until mid-January. So their employees could have a Christmas holiday. Admirable, but, um, stupid and irritating. A TOY store that closes for the entire Xmas season? Ooohkay.

Anyway, here’s my point. We’ve started our shopping here. We’ve picked up several things for the girls already (of course, Faerie’s birthday being December 8 forces us to move fast anyway). And I’m hunting around for myself and the hubs, as well as various Stateside folks who, let’s be honest, could buy their own gifts because it’s all cheaper and better there anyway. But I digress. (Sorry, I am irritated, because I spent several fruitless hours Saturday night trying to locate anyplace in the UK where I could buy Frye boots online, and came up zeros across the board. Grrr. I want those boots!)

I have come across some gems to share, though. I must own this. In fact, that website is filled with awesome.

Also check out these, which are a little bit of cool I’ve decided is worth the price.

I’m also looking at gifties for the hubs, which this year will include a pair of cufflinks. One thing I do love here is that men are much more likely to wear cufflinks, and I love them. I think they’re so sharp (so much so that all but, I believe, TWO of my heroes [by which I mean that I write] wear them regularly. And one of those has the excuse that he rarely wears shirts, because he is a Fae warrior.) Anyway.

Here’s the (sort of) point, which I fear is lost in all this gushy girly drivel. Hubs and I were looking at cuff links in Harrod’s. There were many, many there with diamonds or cubics or whatever, which the hubs eschewed. I asked why.

He said, “Men shouldn’t sparkle.”

And that is why I love him.

I’ve been tempted to write a pinky ring on one character, but something always held me back, and I think that’s what it is. Men shouldn’t wear watched with floating diamonds or diamond-encrusted bezels. Men shouldn’t wear big rocks. (I will accept, and hubs agrees, a tiny diamond as the “12” on a watch face, or on an otherside unadorned tie pin.) But something about it just feels…showy. Men shouldn’t need to draw attention to themselves like that.

(This does not include various items in chunky platinum, titanium, or silver. I love unadorned chains around men’s necks–especially the lumpy kind that hold dogtags–and rings are generally fine too. I like jewelry on men, even bracelets if they’re thick and plain enough, or if they’re spiked black leather. But nothing sparkly. Nothing attention-grabbing. A man’s presence should command attention without it.)

And tose are my shopping thoughts for the day.

What Stace had to say on Friday, October 26th, 2007
Oh, all sorts of things

*big sigh*

The awesome Book Bitches reference in a recent post this article in Time about the outing of Dumbledore. Which, yeah, it happened like two weeks ago, so what? I’ve been busy and in the doldrums. I am now, by virtue of having been repeatedly annoyed over the last day or so, not in the doldrums any longer.

So the gist of the article is, if JK Rowling planned to keep Dumbledore’s sexual preference out of the books, she never should have told anyone, because it’s shameful that he wasn’t allowed to be the Hollywood Montrose of Hogwarts. How dare he not swish about the castle at night dressed in pink tulle? How dare he not, in any conversations with his students, slip the fact of his homosexuality out in conversation? Because nothing is more appropriate in a discussion between Headmaster and student than revelations about buttsecks.

No, no. According to the writer, in denying Dumbledore the chance to turn Hogwarts into Big Gay Albus’s Big Gay Wizard School, Rowling has given us a bad gay male role model. And of course he’s right, because everyone knows the following facts:

1. The only defining characteristic of a gay man is his gayness. It MUST be always first and foremost in any examination of him, and he must react to all situations by waving his hands in the air and squealing.

2. A dignified gay man is a disgusting and pitiful character, because he has not allowed his inner Judy Garland out to play.

3. The sexuality of teachers can and should be an open subject for discussion among teenagers and preteens. It cannot be kept secret, no matter what sex they go to bed with, because keeping one’s bedpartners private is apparently silly when dealing with adolescents.

4. The idea that an elderly gay man may not be actively having sex is terrible.

Whatever. Personally, I don’t really care, because the sexuality of the aforesaid elderly man never interested me, just as the sexuality of none of my teachers ever interested me. (Except Mr. Reims, our eighth-grade gym teacher, because he was very handsome and we did wonder if he was gay. He had highlights, you see. And, y’know…Mr. Reims. But rumor also had it he was getting it on with the female gym teacher, whose name escapes me. Anyway.)

You’ll notice I’ve added Tionna Lee Smalls’s blog to my blogroll. Go visit her. She is the rockinest.

I’m in German!. Okay, sort of. The book is in English, but it is available on both Amazon Germany and Japan (be warned, the Japanese one doesn’t really load well without the Language Pack thing.) But still, hee! I thought that was so cool!

My buddy and fellow Deliciously Naughty Writer Sherrill Quinn has a new EC release, Demon of her Dreams! It’s her first EC release aside from a Caveman antho story, so go check it out!

I forgot…our untitled wedding story at League of Reluctant Adults is complete! And AWESOME. So go read it again here, and suggest a title for it, too!

And that’s really all I can share, although I swear I intended to link to something else today too…I’ll come back if I remember what it was.

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, October 24th, 2007
Oh, blah

I’ve been blah lately. Blah blah blah.

Actually that isn’t quite true. I’ve been working. When I’m not working I’m blah.

The new project, which I hadn’t intended to start the day after I finished The Demon Inside, just sort of…started itself, and now I’m just over 20k words in. Progress is slower than I’d like, but it’s still progress, right? I also think I have come up with the perfect title: Unholy Ghosts. I Googled it and while it has been used, that was fifteen years ago. So I feel pretty safe. (I’ll do a technorati search as well just to be sure.)

I’m pretty excited about it. I’m having fun. Most of the characters speak in this sort of street patois that I’m having a good time with. And I figured out a way to have the Red Baron make an appearance! So. Cool.

Also, you must read this. (Warning, mildly NSFW. There’s no photos or anything, but the subject matter is Adult.) Hysterical. Tionna Lee Smalls is the best advice columnist ever. Save Miss Manners, because I adore Miss Manners.

I think kiddie TV is frying my brain. With Princess of for half-term it feels like even more kiddie stuff has been happening here than usual. Also, Faerie decided at 4 am this morning that she was awake and wanted to play. I convinced her to cuddle in bed for a while but she was too wriggly for me to get back to sleep. So I’s tired. Which means I probably won’t reach my word goal today, which is 2k. It’s 2k every day. I’m averaging about half that, which sucks. Sigh.

AND, if you have a mo, trot on over to my cp/wp Anna J Evans a very happy birthday! Wheee!

How is your Wednesday?

(Oh, and btw, those who commented on Monday, I could NOT get the comments to come up yesterday for some reason, so I wasn’t able to reply, so sorry.)

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

As I mentioned yesterday, we’re doing a little round-robin wedding story this week in honor of Anton’s wedding. I’ve posted the first part, hopefully leaving my fellow Reluctant Adults plenty of room to get their creepy on (we’re improvising the whole thing.)

So go check it out, and make sure you keep checking back the rest of the week to read the whole thing!

What Stace had to say on Monday, October 22nd, 2007
Go sign the post!

My buddy and fellow League member Anton Strout got married yesterday–devastating the local female population, I’m sure–and Mark Henry took charge on the Lague blog today and posted a little, ah, video Valentine for Anton and his bride. So go check it out, and make sure you leave a comment!

Also check back every day this week. We’re doing a round-robin writing experiment, a short story about a wedding. Of course, I get to start it. I am imaginationed out, folks. I am working so hard on my shiny new WIP, and trying to come up with a new title for a novella I did (grr don’t get me started), and thinking about edits for The Demon Inside, and…oh, sigh. Let’s just say, I’m having a hard time coming up with something paranormal wedding-y that doesn’t involve bizarre sexual rituals and blood. Which I’d be happy to do, and probably Jill too, but four days of sex scenes veers off into teh porn a bit, I think. So I’ll have to come up with something this afternoon, something that won’t leave my fellow Reluctant Adults in the lurch as far as continuing the tale.

The hubs and I finished watching Season One of Heroes yesterday. A bit sad, that was. And can I just say, the scarred, severely dressed, stubbly Peter Petrelli of the future was damn hot. I dig Peter anyway, but…wooh. I’m a bit worried about Season Two, we’ve been hearing it’s not as good. Anyone watching?

What Stace had to say on Friday, October 19th, 2007
Living in Fear

Lots of things scare me. Flying. Oompa-loompas (seriously). Being trapped. The film The Changeling (watch it for Halloween). I don’t particularly like spiders or water. I am made irrationally nervous by slugs and the idea of space travel.

But you know what really scares me? Plagiarism.

Not being plagiarised myself. That doesn’t scare me because I’ll cut a bitch. But the idea of plagiarising someone else, accidentally. It terrifies me. Sometimes I write what I think is a particularly pithy sentence. Almost instantly, I think, “Is that really mine?” And then I have to Google it. (Like this sentence, for example–a sneak peek from The Demon Inside!: Starting a fight with a Gretneg was never a good idea, even if that Gretneg was staring at [character name] as though [] was the only glass pipe in the crack den and it had been hours since [] last fix. [Yeah, I removed pronouns and identifying articles, so what? You’ll have to wait to find out who it’s about.] Maybe not the greatest sentence ever, but I like it. And immediately googled about five variations of it. Which, if someone’s monitoring my internet usage, um, it’s research I swear.)

See, I read a lot. As I’m sure do all of you. I have books I’ve read over and over until I’ve memorized them. I’ve had books I’ve read over and over until I’ve internalized them. How do I know something isn’t creeping in? How do I know the line I just wrote isn’t some long-forgotten-by-my-conscious-mind line by someone else?

I’m pretty confident at this point. I think after you’re written for a while you get past that sort of thing. As my own voice becomes more clear and I grow more confident, I also become far more certain that what I write is mine, and only mine.

But the fear is still there, always. I can’t imagine anything more horrifying than having someone recognize my words as actually coming from someone else. I can’t imagine my reaction as being anything other than tears of shame and horror and the desire to remove every trace of the work from anywhere it’s ever been, hide, and apologize profusely.

I like to think this is because I’m a rational person who cares about writing as a process, as a craft.

But maybe that’s just me.

A few announcements:

Blood Will Tell has received 4 1/2 kisses (our of five) from Romance Divas!

“This book has everything a reader could want–scorching hot sex, captivating plotline and explosive action. Ms Quinn writes a wonderful story with a sensuous, confident hero and strong, independent and resourceful heroine who is his match.”

Read the full review here.

Juno Books is doing a fun werewolf contest here. Identify some excerpts from wolfie books, win free stuff. (Yes, I’m sure you got that when I said “contest”.) Anyway, give it a go! Contest closes October 30.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, October 18th, 2007

I’m stuckI’mstuckI’mstuck! BLAAAH!

I’m about to start Chapter Seven, and since I had to turn my old Chapter One into Chapter Six, because my CP didn’t like my Chapter One (and I thought not enough happened in it either), I’ve written a new Chapter One that I’m not sure I like, and I hate it when it feels like the whole freaking project is just falling down around my ears! And I thought it was good and now I think it stinks.

This is why I can NOT take time away from a project in the first half. I totally lose it all and I don’t feel like getting it back.

(Oh, and yesterday’s post was #300.)

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
Eighth Wand is released!

Okay, well, Blogger won’t let me upload my cover image, but Eighth Wand is releaed today at Ellora’s Cave!

Buy it here.

The tarot card Prudence finds at a Wiccan Beltane festival promises passion, travel, and the end of a stagnant, dull situation. She has no idea that the card’s prediction is about to come true in the form of Royd, a warrior of the Fae on Earth to retrieve the eighth wand of his people’s lands, stolen from them by Prudence’s grandmother.

Royd wants only to take the wand back home, until he sees Prudence and is instantly captivated by her vibrancy and life. Together they must fight to send him safely back with his prize, but perhaps in Prudence he’s found something just as valuable…and just as hard to lose.

Chapter One

The problem with the women of the Bright Moon coven was that they insisted on doing outdoor rituals without shoes on. Prudence knew it could be worse. The thought of going skyclad—naked—filled her with horror.
But now the circle had ended and Prudence, unable to find her sandals, was picking her way through the woods to find fuel for the bonfire while pebbles and sticks scraped and poked her feet.
Good thing it was Beltane and almost summer. She couldn’t imagine doing this at Samhain in the October chill. They better have the fire ready before the ritual then. If she was still in the coven.
Ignoring the large logs she couldn’t easily carry, Pru filled her arms with smaller sticks. One load down. She’d head back, drop these off and—
“Where is it?”
Pru gasped and spun around, dropping the sticks. One of them landed squarely on her poor bare foot.
“Ouch! Damn it, shit!” She stepped forward with her good leg, reaching down to hold her injured foot, and fell over. Something sharp stabbed her in the shoulder. “Ow!” Struggling to sit, she glared at the man standing a few feet away. “You scared the crap out of me.”
“Enough games. Where is it?”
“Excuse me?” The sun had almost set. All Pru could see of the stranger was his shadowy outline, large and solid. Blue-black highlights shone in his hair where the last rays of light came through the trees.
She’d thought he was one of the men from the ritual. It seemed she was wrong. She would have remembered those broad shoulders and that thick, long hair.
“Where is the wand?”
Those rays highlighted the clear lines of some impressive muscles as well. Prudence rose from the ground, her fingers curled around one of the thickest of the fallen sticks. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You lie.”
“Hey! Who do you think you are?” Brandishing the stick, Pru started inching her way backward, feeling carefully with her toes to make sure she didn’t trip. “If you want a wand so bad, you should have come in time for the festival and bought one. All the booths are closed now, it’s time for the bonfire.”
Something else flitted through her mind, but she ignored it. So she’d found a tarot card earlier, so what? The eight of wands didn’t mean anything to anyone, really. Of course, it had meanings—travel, all-consuming passion, freedom from a stagnant situation—but finding the card meant nothing. The man couldn’t possibly be talking about that.
Could he?
“But you have been near it,” he said. “I see it in your aura.”
“Don’t look at my aura, that’s private.” Had she ever uttered a stupider sentence? Probably not. Not even “Of course I can eat a whole gallon of ice cream at once”.
At least she’d stumped him. He stood there staring at her—she could feel his gaze on her skin—for so long she almost managed to edge all the way out of the clearing before he moved.
He must have moved, anyway. One minute he stood opposite her, the next—the next he loomed over her, his chest only inches from her nose. Damn, he was tall.
And just as well-built as he’d appeared at first. Slim, but defined. An intricate black tattoo decorated his entire chest, snaking over the expanse of muscles, hiding his nipples. She couldn’t make out the pattern—wings? A chalice of some kind?—but she could smell the earthy scent of his skin and see the thin leather cord wrapped around his upper arm.
Heart pounding, she forced herself to look up. A brave woman, a strong woman, would look him in the eyes, and brave and strong was what Prudence knew deep down she could be.
So she met his eyes, those black holes set deep in the man’s sharp-boned face. Her mouth fell open. Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew the brave and strong woman didn’t gape at men like she’d never seen one before, but it was impossible to stop herself, not when her entire body leaned forward as if she could climb into him and never leave.
It wasn’t simply how handsome he was, although she could honestly say she’d never seen a man as striking. Something in his eyes…called her. Promised her something. She couldn’t explain it any better than that, even to herself.
“Your aura cannot hide, even if your words try to,” he said, and his voice poured over her like spiced wine. “Where have you hidden it? If you give it to me now, my people may not seek revenge. If you delay—”
“I told you, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She yanked herself away, struggling as if he held her physically. “Leave me—”
He grabbed her. Despite the warmth of the evening, goose bumps erupted on her skin. He might as well have given her an electric shock. His sharp intake of breath echoed in her ears. He tilted his head. “Beltane.”
“Sex crawls across your skin. You have not had a man in a long time. Too long.”
“Now that’s none of your business! How dare you—”
He ignored her, instead loosening his grip on her arm and sliding his hands up her skin, so lightly it almost tickled. He’d spoken of her aura. Now she could almost see it too, as if he touched it and not her skin. Despite her anger and irritation, she shivered. Her nipples, bare under her loose gown, hardened and poked against the thin fabric. She was certain he could see it, even if he somehow couldn’t read her reaction in the way her breath caught in her throat.
Dear Goddess, what was happening here? Why weren’t any of the other coven members coming to find her? The sun was only a thin, bright line of gold on the horizon, barely visible through the trees. Darkness wrapped around them, darkness and the stillness of a forest on the edge of night. Didn’t they notice she wasn’t there?
Hell, didn’t they at least need the wood she carried?
She swallowed. “How dare you speak to me like that.” She’d meant to sound forceful. Instead the words came out in a rush of breath. She sounded like a young girl trying to talk to her first crush.
“I propose a trade,” he said. “I need the wand. You need a man. Why not allow me to pleasure you in exchange?”