Archive for January, 2008

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What Stace had to say on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
I forget what I was going to call this one.

I am so forgetful, I swear I would forget my head if it wasn’t attached. I’m also a little behind on emails, so if you’ve emailed me recently and haven’t gotten a response, I’ll get to it. If you don’t get a reply by the end of the week please email again, because my gmail is acting up a bit and has been, actually, for a couple of weeks. (I love the way we say that. Like our emails are toddlers who get cranky and just sit and scream and refuse to tell us what they want.) Rumor has it we’re in a Mercury retrograde. :-)

An email conversation with Mr. Fabulous, also known as Mark Henry, (hey Mark, did you know there’s a professional wrestler with your name too?) has started me thinking. Would anyone be interested in my thoughts on writing sexy and/or interesting male characters, especially heroes Using examples from my own books)? I know I’m not usually a writing advice giver, and I know I’ve said before that I probably wouldn’t give writing advice. But this is a little different, because it’s basically just going to be about how I personally do it, how I create male characters I love, and not a “This is how you write sexy men” type of thing.

Anyway, if you would be interested, let me know, and I’ll do a short series on it week after next or so. It’s about time we do another post series around here, isn’t it? Ooh, and I just realized, it would coincide with Burt Reynolds Day! (Remember Macho Week? Ah, good times.)

There’s lots going on at the League, too! Come check our blog, where we’re in the middle of our book club discussion of C.E. Murphy’s Heart of Stone. C.E. herself is stopping by to chat with readers, so please come on over!

We’re also lining up tons of fun for next month, including a plethora of guest bloggers. And possibly some special V-Day fun, too. Tell your friends!

I’m also going to have two fun guest bloggers here at my blog next month. Boys!! So get ready. No points for guessing who, it’s really not that hard if you think about Men I Know Who Have Books Coming Out Next Month. And two more in March! Along with more teaser snippets from Personal Demons! I feel like a cheerleader on speed with all these exclamation points!!

Another review has come in for Demon’s Triad, from Literary Nymphs (fun name, huh?). Reviewer Chocolate Nymph says:

“…December Quinn and Anna J. Evans created a phenomenal plot of intricate events, a sprinkle of humor and scorching sex scenes with enough variety to intrigue most readers. This story has a publisher’s rating of Extreme, yes it is that and more, I enjoyed Demon’s Triad immensely.”

You can read the full review here.

And I have a release in February too, that I’m very pleased about because it’s the re-release of The Black Dragon (which has now been retitled simply Black Dragon) February 21 from Cerridwen Press. It’s already up on their Coming Soon page! With its lovely new cover, without some of the scenes I decided ran on too long, and with about 6-7k words of new stuff. The original release didn’t do very well–although I have of course had reason to doubt that after we learned so many authors were lied to about the extent of their sales with that publisher, and after more people claimed to have bought it than I was actually paid for (which, oh well, I’m just glad people read it)–but I’m hoping it will in its new home, even though it’s still not an erotic romance. It was certainly a different book for me, although my basic themes–alienation, self-hatred, personal responsibility, that stuff–are all there. Anyway, I’m happy about it.

And I guess that’s it. The hubs is off for the next six days, so we’re looking forward to having some lazing-around time.

What Stace had to say on Monday, January 28th, 2008
Playing with the boys

So, I’ve always liked men better than women.

That isn’t to say I don’t like women. There are several women I like a lot. (Hey, some of my best friends are women…Actually they are. But still.) But I tend to shy away from friendships with women, and always have. Finding a woman to be friends with has always been difficult for me, whereas I’ve very rarely met a man I don’t like.

Maybe because I have a big brother? Or because on the street where I grew up there was only one girl my age but three boys, and we all played together? (I was always Daisy Duke.)

I don’t know. But I dig the men. It’s always been easier for me to make friends with men. Not as easy now, of course, when I’m married and so are they, for the most part. It’s a little wierd then to be always hanging around with some other guy.

The point is, though, that today I want to say a special thanks to the men who read my blog. Who even read my books, which absolutely blows me away. I guess because we think of women as being the ones who mostly read romance, when I hear a male reader say he bought and read one of my books–like Bernard did, a few weeks back–and even liked it, it’s special. Like I managed to write a female character or a story well-rounded enough to appeal to people beyond those who would automatically “get” her.

So thanks, men. It totally brightens my days to have you guys here.

(Not that the ladies don’t deserve special thanks too. Everybody who actually takes the time to read my random thoughts or my books deserves thanks–and gets them, in my head, every day. I just wanted to say something special to the guys today.)

And apparently it isn’t just the guys who like my stuff! Mrs. Giggles reviewed Demon’s Triad yesterday, and gave it an 85! The review made me laugh out loud. I especially liked this last line:

Demon’s Triad is like the no-holds-barred B-grade sexy horror movie after my own heart.

You can read the whole review here. I highly recommend you do, because Mrs. G is extremely funny.

Simply Romance Reviews gave the book a grade A and said:

Wow!!! Demon’s Triad was a great, fast-paced book! With two authors writing this book it was seamless! I knew there would be some dark parts but they were well written. They weren’t dwelled upon but they were explained and out of the darkness came something wonderful. Bravo!!!

You can read that whole review here.

(I know there was another review somewhere but I can’t find it, darn!)

Oh, and those of you who’ve been following the saga of my dry, sensitive skin (and I know there was another post or two in there somewhere) might be interested to know I’ve found a new soap that I think is quite nice. It’s Malki Dead Sea soap and so far it’s working very nicely. Over the last couple of months my skin has gotten so dry and sensitive that even the Burt’s Bees Green Lettuce soap I usually use and love has been making it go red. The Malki soap lathers really easily and thickly, and my skin isn’t red at all when I’ve rinsed it off–it hardly feels like I need to moisturize. (I still do of course). It’s loaded with a bunch of oils, so it might be too heavy for warm weather, but so far I am terribly pleased. I got it at the Whole Foods Market in Bristol a few weeks ago. So we’ll see if it continues to please.

What Stace had to say on Friday, January 25th, 2008
My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon

First, I must confirm the rumors are true. Evil Editor and I got engaged last night, at the release party over at the Church Lady’s blog.

EE, quite taken by my charm, wit, and beauty, proposed* and pursued me relentlessly, until I, overcome by his ardent, tender onslaught**, said yes, blushing and giggling***. It was a beautiful moment.****

Even the hubs is pleased for me. When I bashfully informed him of my engagement, he said, and I quote:

*yawn* Congratulations.

Seriously, if you didn’t make it by there yesterday you missed a fun party. Hanging otu with EE and everyone else was a good time, and I needed to have a good time yesterday.

Now, I have a review! For you! And you! Yay!

I fially got my slim little exiled-in-England hands on a copy of My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, a collection of short stories by, as the Amazon listing says, “[an] all-star collection” of today’s hottest paranormal writers. Nine stories, to be exact, which are pretty evenly split between ones I loved and ones I didn’t love so much, with only two not really working well for me.

Y’all know I’m not generally a short story fan, so I wasn’t sure exactly how well the book would work for me. But I really enjoyed it.

It seems only fair that I add a disclaimer, because I’m about to rave about Caitlin Kittredge‘s story Newlydeads, that not only is Caitlin my fwend but I was lucky enough to read the novel she’s written about the characters in this story. I personally don’t think knowing the characters made much difference in my enjoyment, but of course I can’t say for 100% sure, so there you go. All I do know is the story was creepy and fun, extremely well written (of course) and atmospheric. One of the hardest things to pull off in a short story is to give us a fully rounded sense of character and setting, and Newlydeads managed it neatly. Plus, not only was there some fun personal conflict in there too, which I liked, the hero is soooo sexy. Really. So, so sexy.

I also particularly enjoyed Jim Butcher’s Heorot. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never read and Dresden novels–hey, this stuff isn’t easy to come by where I live–but had always meant to. Now I have to! Again, time and place and character were all there, there was a bit of spark and innuendo, some action, some twists. Most of all, it felt like a complete story, which I appreciated (as did all the stories I most enjoyed).

The other standouts for me: Where the Heart Lives by Marjorie Liu. Beautifully written, haunting, lovely. Apparently it’s a sort of prequel to a series, and on that level–as well as others–it worked extremely well. Lucy was a character I understood and felt for from the first page, and I was completely drawn in.
Half of Being Married by Lilith Saintcrow. I wasn’t 100% crazy about this one, but I think that was more a personal quirk of mine. It certainly wasn’t the fault of the writing, which in typical Saintcrow fashion is superb. Just superb. That woman can write the paint off a fence, folks. I also loved the little twist at the end, because I love twists like that. (There were two twists, actually, one I saw coming and one I didn’t. I especially love it when I don’t see it coming.) Charming characters and a fun setting, too.

I also enjoyed Katie MacAllister’s Cat Got Your Tongue, which was a surprise for me because I’m not really a fan of her novels (personal taste, nothing against her work itself). I liked Kelley Atmstrong’s Stalked, but not as much as I like the novels of hers I’ve read. Perhaps some of this is because I’m simply not a fan of weres and never have been. I’ll read books with weres, sure, but they don’t usually end up as my favorites. P.N. Elrond’s Her Mother’s Daughter was also a lot of fun. Not my favorite in the collection, but definitely a very good story.

So there you go! Absolutely worth a read, grab your copy today and see what you think. Come back here and let me know! We don’t talk about books enough here, do we?

You know, it really is harder to write good reviews. Sheesh.

* I proposed to him.
** He said no because I’m a Conan fan, then finally agreed when I told him I thanked him in the Acknowledgements for Personal Demons. Which is true.
*** I squealed “Yaay!” Because EE is, as we all know, the Sexiness. Even if he actually looked like the gray-headed, mutton-chopped Ben Franklin character whose image he uses. As whats-her-face said in Amadeus, “Looks don’t concern me, Maestro. Only talent interests a woman of taste.”
**** Especially when he was gallant enough to imply he thinks I’m pretty when he saw my pictures on Livejournal.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, January 24th, 2008
Contest!

Today, for those of you who haven’t checked over at the League, is Anton Strout’s birthday! And to celebrate we’re having a little contest.

Pre-order Dead to Me today, or if you already have, let me know. Email me with a copy of the relevant part of your Amazon or B&N receipt (I don’t want or need your credit card or home address details, of course), and I will enter you in a contest for another of my Yezer magnets!

****And Mr. Mark Henry is chipping in a signed copy of Happy Hour of the Damned! So c’mon! Enter!****

You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain, so preorder now!

(This is what I’m looking for:

Dispatch estimate for these items: 3 Jan 2008 1 “Flunkeys and Scullions: Life Below Stairs in Georgian England”
Pamela Horn; Hardcover; £14.00

So send it along! You can use my League contact email, or Staciakane AT gmail.)

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
2008 Hates Us All

Wow.

So the first month of the year is barely halfway finished, and we’ve had a major plagiarism scandal, more major floods here in England, the death of a beloved TV star (Suzanne Pleshette), and the deaths of two talented young actors. I am stunned.

I was going to do a book review today, but I was too busy watching all the coverage last night to read. How sad. The hubs and I were really excited about Dark Knight; we still are, but this is going to make the experience very different.

Not to mention the total creepiness of the fact that I bogged about celebrity deaths and book character deaths yesterday at the League.

So I actually don’t have much to say today. It’s just sad. I’ve honestly only seen one Heath Ledger film (10 Things I Hate About You, which I believe my best friend loaned me along with a few other movies once when I had a horrible toothache. It was okay, I think. Certainly not as bad as one of the other films, which was American Pie, which I thought was absolute crap. Perhaps my toothache kept me from seeing the humor in it, but I’ve never been a fan of grossout humor. Anyway.)

I didn’t intend to blog about a subject already being covered everywhere, but the day has gotten away from me so I’m still not done reading the book I was going to review, and I’m kind of zonked with all the heavy coverage everywhere anyway.

I will say this, though. It really bothers me when there is a death and everyone immediately assumes it was related to drug addiction. Especially in this case when it’s beginning to look like a tragic accident. Everyone has to one-up each other and be more cynical and snarky than everyone else. It’s depressing. Perhaps that’s what’s bothering me so much about this–it’s tragic that a talented young father lost his life, but it’s even worse when vultures start swooping in and saying he deserved it because he was a junkie or “everyone knew this was coming” or whatever. You don’t have to care. Heck, if it weren’t for the Dark Knight I probably wouldn’t care that much either, because like I said I’m not terrifically familiar with the man or his work. But it bothers me to see the gleeful schadenfreude spreading like rancid cooking oil all over the internet.

And that’s it. I may blog tomorrow, but if not I’ll be back on Friday with some cheerful things to say, I promise.

What Stace had to say on Monday, January 21st, 2008
All sorts of fun stuff

Why are you looking at those pictures, you might ask?

Because when I think of Evil Editor, those are what I picture him looking like. Either-or, depending on my mood. Or maybe a combo of the two.

And why am I posting that?

Because The Man himself will be over at The Church Lady’s blog this Thursday to promote “Novel Deviations 3”, and everyone should stop by! All the cool kids are doing it. And really, what’s more fun that hanging out with EE?

Next is that meme everyone’s doing. I’m a follower, so…

1. Your genre(s)?
Urban fantasy. Scary things. Crazy things. Sexy things.

2. How many books have you completed?
Oh, boy. Um. Okay. Nine. Nine that have been or will be published. One more I have my fingers crossed on big-time. Plus a few novellas and shorts.

3. How many books are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a novella I owe EC, plus vaguely plotting a new historical UF series and the next two Unholy Ghosts books (so I have something if there’s actually interest from someone in an agenty capacity.) Depending on that I’ll know what to start next.

4. Are you a linear or chunk writer?
I am not chunky. I’ve lost sixteen pounds and I wear size 4 jeans (okay, from Old Navy, so actually they’d be a six anywhere else. Still.)
I write start to finish. I only allow myself to skip if I am absolutely stuck for more than a couple of weeks. It’s only happened once.

5. The POV you’re most partial to?
Third. I don’t like to write in first. I don’t read much in first either, although I won’t not read a book I’m interested in because of POV. But a book I haven’t heard anything about that I pick up in a store…if it’s in first, chances are I’ll put it back down.

6. The themes that keep cropping up in your books?
*rubs hands together* Oooh, this is fun! Isolation. Loneliness. Depression. Rejection. Emotional damage. Self-hatred. Self-medication. Self-injury. Self-reliance. That love means wanting people to have their independence too. That being happy isn’t as important as being strong.
They’re fun books. :-)

(Actually I think they are fun, really. They’re not as depressing as that makes them seem. It’s just that’s sort of what I always come back to. I can’t write happy people because I don’t understand happy people; there’s no conflict.)

7. How many days a week do you write?
I try to write every day. Lately I’ve been on a little break, after doing two books back-to-back while simulatenously doing several novellas and shorts. So I’ve taken a few weeks off and I’m just about to get back in the saddle.

8. What time of day do you get your best writing done?
Late morning, and at night. Really, I’ve had to learn to work any time I can because of the kids. I can’t always work when I want to or when I feel most productive.

9. Who are your inspirations?
I hate questions like that. It sounds kiss-assy. Pass.

10. Who are your favorite authors to read? (different from mentors)
Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters. Stephen King. Herman Wouk. Neil Gaiman. Jeph Loeb. I used to love Elizabeth George but I won’t read her books anymore. Same with Patricia Cornwell, although Cornwell didn’t betray me like George did. Florence King. Sharon Kay Penman.

BTW, if you head over to my livejournal there’s some pictures of me in the next-to-newest entry, portrait attempts for my Juno bio.

What Stace had to say on Saturday, January 19th, 2008
Busy like a bee

I’ve posted an interview I did with the lovely and charming Heather Osborn, acquiring editor at Tor, on the League of Reluctant Adults blog, so make sure you check it out!

And I am over at Plot Monkeys too!

What Stace had to say on Friday, January 18th, 2008
Your Homework

(or, some links and random stuff because I’m tired and lazy and can’t think of a good fun post.)

First, a cautionary tale for those of us who read or write the erotic stuff:

The Fabulous Book Bitches did a post about a man with a, um, 9.5-inch appendage. There are no pictures of the appendage on the actual blog post, but there’s a link. The link didn’t work for me, so, purely in the interests of authorial reasearch and for no other reason, I did a (NOT WORK SAFE) Google image search. Ladies and gentlemen, if you choose to click on the link (the ones you’re looking for are all, um, of the non-excited man, particularly the one where he poses so as to show how it and his forearm are roughly the same size), pay close attention. THAT is 9.5 inches. It almost reaches his knees. (Apparently when aroused he hits 13 inches.) Let’s consider this for a moment, next time we read a scene where this number is mentioned, and it’s mentioned more often than we think. Let’s doubly consider it if we are writers and are tempted to place an exact measurement on our hero.

Personally I never give an actual size. It destroys the mystique. I’d rather use adjectives like “huge”, “gorgeous”, “thick”, that sort of thing. The closest I’ve come of late is borrowing Mrs. Patrick Campbell’s famous assessment of her new husband, “Six feet four and everything in proportion”. (I didn’t directly attribute my source, btw, but mentioned that it was a famous quote. In case anyone is interested.) (Even six feet four was an estimate.)

But seriously. Let’s be more realistic. Let’s not go down that dark, dark road.

Okay, next. Has everyone gone over to the League of Reluctant Adults blog and Suggested a book for our next Book Club? Because you need to do that.

Also, don’t forget I will be guest blogging tomorrow at the Plot Monkeys blog, about choosing a publisher and warning signs and all that good stuff, and I’d love it if you guys could stop by. Please?

So lookie, a blog post after all! Yay me!

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
Release Day!


The super-dark, super-sexy, X-rated erotic romance Anna J. Evans and I wrote together, Demon’s Triad, releases today from Ellora’s Cave! (You’ll be able to buy it later in the day when the page updates.)

I had a bit of a difficult time choosing an excerpt for this one, because did I mention it’s X-rated and super sexy? But I’m also mindful that a lot of you read from work, and after a gentle reminder from some of my beloved men readers that, ah, reading explicit material at work can cause problems, I wanted to grab something a little less…well, a little less erotic.

Blurbage:
What’s a witch to do when her coven has been cursed with a celibacy spell?

Break it. By any means necessary.

Aleeza dips into grey magic to scratch the itch that’s been driving her crazy. She never dreams deviating from the ‘white magic only’ policy of her coven will land her in the middle of a serial murder investigation…or in the arms of two magnetic men.

Ferrin and Dorand plan to find their woman’s murderer and make them pay—with their lives. But when a spell to communicate with her spirit awakens a forbidden lust, their quest to catch a killer becomes even deadlier.

A legacy of demonic evil two thousand years in the making is about to rise. One misstep and innocent passion becomes tainted desire, and three true lovers…a demon’s triad.

ADVISORY: Contains scenes of male/male sexual contact. This book is not for the faint of heart and contains non-gratuitous scenes of rape and incest.

The scene I’ve chosen takes place the morning after Aleeza breaks the celibacy curse and, coincidentally, loses her virginity to a man in the Amiantos forests. Now she’s with the head of her Coven (Gunera) to be briefed about a new investigation…

“Gunera Bounty and Investigations has its second job. At this rate we’re going to need more people certified, pronto. I’m putting you in charge of finding volunteers. And don’t tell me you can’t find them. Let them know how much cash you’re getting for this and they’ll be jumping at the chance.”
Aleeza hadn’t even finished closing the door behind her before Gavyn spoke, waving a thick manila folder in her direction. “Here.” The sunlight streaming in the frosted glass window behind him cast an odd whitish glow around his dark head, like the glow of Dorand’s energy the night before had made his skin gleam. Aleeza shivered and hurried to take the file from Gavyn, making sure their fingers didn’t touch.
“Good morning to you too. And how much money am I getting for this job anyway?”
“What’s wrong with you? Are you sick?” Gavyn’s smile faded and his green eyes narrowed. He held on to the file more tightly.
For a second Aleeza thought he might pull her over the desk into his lap and make her sit there and say “ah”. Gavyn was their coven’s strongest healer and had basically been her pediatrician when she was growing up. Aleeza had learned every healing spell she knew from him and had known he would be able to sense something off with her energy. She shouldn’t have come here, should have made him fill her in over the phone and picked up the damn file later after she’d had a nice long nap.
“Nothing’s wrong. Give me a break, Gavyn. I haven’t been sick in ten years,” she said, rolling her eyes and pulling the file from his grip with a firm yank. Play it off, she just had to play it off and get out of here ASAP.
“Don’t bullshit me, there’s something wrong,” Gavyn said. “You seem different somehow.”
Aleeza sat down in one of the cracked leather chairs and shrugged, keeping her eyes down, scanning the words on the folder without reading them. “Nothing. I guess I’m just tired. I had a late night.”
“No, your energy feels off, like it’s been tampered with. Maybe—”
“What’s the case, Gavyn? The sooner you tell me about it, the sooner I can start, and the sooner we get paid.”
“I like that you’re eager.” Gavyn gave her another hard look, then leaned back in his own, much nicer chair, and put his feet up on the mess of paper covering his desk. Every Gunera Aleeza knew had offered to help him organize the office at least once, but Gavyn insisted he had a system. “But this is a challenging job, and if there’s any question about your health—”
“Cut the crap, Gavyn. You’d send me out while I was in the middle of giving birth if the job paid well enough.”
Now why had she said that? Giving birth? Idiot.
Gavyn smiled and rubbed his own ever-rounding belly. “Funny you mention that, Al. I’m sending you up to the Pekora Forest for this one.”
Only the powerful shields Aleeza had built up since heading for the office kept her from betraying her emotions. Did Gavyn know where she’d been last night? She wouldn’t put it past the old man to fuck with her a little before he dealt out a punishment. But surely he wouldn’t be so blasé if he’d known what she’d been up to in the woods. Best to keep playing dumb and give out as little information as possible. “Oh? What’s up there, except a bunch of Amiantos?”
“That’s right. The Amiantos have hired us for this one. I’m sure you can’t wait to get better acquainted. Might be your chance to finally meet that special someone.” The words were ripe with sarcasm. If Gavyn had ever been married, Aleeza didn’t know about it, and he certainly knew how she felt about the undefiled coven.
“You know I don’t want to meet any damned Amiantos. I’m surprised you even took a job from them. Are you sure it’s not a trap? They might be working with the human police.”
“No, the job is legit. The question is, are you? I don’t want to send a frustrated virgin up there to be swept off her feet by some blond god and make our company, and our coven, look like a bunch of fools.”
“What are you talking about, Gavyn? I still feel the same way I always have about them,” Aleeza said, her heart beating fast in her throat. He knew. Shit, he had to know, and now she was going to be in the biggest trouble of her life. She might be kicked out of the coven or worse, she might be—
“Really? Because I’ve been hearing some things. Like maybe you’re getting a little too frustrated with celibacy. I heard you ended up on your ass in an alley last night so desperate you were going to let that living dildo Keller into your pants.” He stood up, all six feet of him looming over her from behind his desk. He was a big man in every sense of the word and the closest thing she’d had to a father since her own disappeared. Looking into his angry face and not spilling everything wasn’t the easiest thing she’d ever done, but she met his green eyes with her dark brown ones and willed a look of complete innocence onto her features.
“Not to mention, you reek of male. How many guys were you with last night?”
“W-What?” Goddess help her, she’d almost said, “only one.” “What are you talking about?”
“I think you know what I’m talking about.”
Shit. Shitshitshit. “Fine, Gavyn. Yes. I tried to pick up two different guys last night. I thought maybe if the guys weren’t supers I could make it work. It didn’t. The experience left me drained so I did a spell to charge back up and it’s made me a little high. Then my mom pumped me full of herbs this morning to ‘even out my humors’ and I’m about to throw up on your desk. I just need a shower and a nap, and I’ll be ready to go. I don’t want an Amiantos man any more than I ever did, and I’ve never, never, embarrassed this company.”
He gave her a hard look, then took a deep breath and sat back down. He’d bought it, at least for now. “No, you haven’t, but I’m warning you, Al—”
“Can we just get to the briefing so I can go home and clean up before I head into enemy territory?” All that training paid off. Lies came so easily to her now.
“They’re not my favorite coven either, but they’re the client and I expect you to treat them with respect. Amiantos might not be our friends, but neither are they the enemy.”
“They might as well be.”
“You can’t really believe that, Al. Sometimes it works out between the Gunera and the Amiantos. Just because your father—”
“Damn it, Gavyn, are you going to brief me or not?” She stood up, anger suddenly boiling in her chest. How dare he, how dare he talk like this? Who did he think he was? She wanted to hit him, to punch him, to slice his throat with her nails and let his blood run—the desire was so strong for a minute she thought she’d done it. She saw Gavyn’s limp body on the floor, saw herself standing over him, laughing, sucking his power into her body…
What the hell?!
“Aleeza? Aleeza! Are you okay?” Gavyn’s hands squeezed her arms so hard it hurt. Her vision cleared and she saw that his face, only inches away from hers, was thankfully unmarked. Had she really seen that? Goddess, had she really imagined doing something so terrible to Gavyn, her coven leader, her friend?
Her legs shook as she sank back into the chair. “I’m fine.”
“You don’t look fine.”
“I am, I’m just…I’m just tired. Could you get me something to drink, please? Preferably something with caffeine?”
“Caffeine might not be a good idea if you’re unbalanced today,” he said, actually looking as if he might regret having given her such a hard time. “I have—”
“Just anything. Please.” Please, let him leave her alone for a minute. He needed to leave her alone for a minute. Because the image of his broken body still shone in her head like a bright new penny and she had no idea why, but the thought of hurting him made her throb.
Something was definitely wrong, horribly wrong.
The feeling of foreboding didn’t disappear when Gavyn brought her some orange juice and started briefing her on the new job.
“Three witches murdered,” he said. “All on Fire Festivals. The first was Rimer Lorcan, at the Spring Equinox. Rimer was a loner, a petty criminal. He’d been covenless for years, and pissed off more people, super and human, than you can count on two hands. Everyone assumed it was a revenge killing until they did postmortem.” The picture she pulled from the file was so lurid with blood Aleeza had to close her eyes for a second. “They found evidence of ritual murder. Magical symbols carved into his organs—the ones they didn’t take, anyway.” Aleeza swallowed hard.
“Next was Carantha Smoler, on Beltane. This one was better documented than the first, more pictures, close ups of the symbols in the organs.” A picture of a woman’s battered, broken body seemed to leap out of the file at Aleeza. Tears sprang to her eyes. The woman was lovely—had been lovely. For a moment it was almost as if she could see her smiling, laughing…Aleeza shook her head. She was more tired than she’d thought. She’d never had psychic flashes like these before.
Unless the sex spell had opened her up somehow. She didn’t even want to think about that, couldn’t think about things like that until she was far away from Gavyn.
Whatever that odd flash was, it didn’t happen with the next picture.
“Lymera Brown.” Gavyn shifted on the arm of her chair. “Lammas. The Amiantos have no leads. Since the murders all took place in the forest, they’ve been the ones responsible for investigating, even though only two of the victims—Rimer and Carantha—were theirs. Lymera was Phillias coven, but she was going to marry an Amiantos, so they feel she was theirs too.”
“And now they want us to find the killer?”
Gavyn nodded. “Not only that. They want us to prevent the next murder, which if the perps follow their pattern will take place on Samhain…not quite a month away.”

What Stace had to say on Monday, January 14th, 2008
Some questions, some news, some stuff.

Some questions:

What would you do?

Something occurred to me yesterday, while I was thinking (as things often do.) I’ve done my publishing posts and I’ve expressed my opinions about newbie publishers and ineffective agents, but I’ve never really thought about what to do when someone you know sells to a bad publisher or signs with an agent with no sales (or no sales to publishers who don’t require an agent). What do you do? What if it’s someone you don’t know well, is that different from when it’s someone you do?

Do you say something? If so, what?

Also, I have a question for the ladies. Do you sleep in a bra? I always have but apparently that’s wierd.

Some news:

Anna J. and I have a release on Wednesday, our X-rated menage novel Demon’s Triad. So I’ll be posting an excerpt on Tuesday or Wednesday, in an attempt to get people to buy it. Because seriously? We’re really proud of this one. It’s very dark. It’s violent. It’s very, very sexy. We want people to read it.

We’re playing with our posting order this week at the League, shaking things up. Oooh, who’ll be posting today? Tomorrow? What about? You’ll have to go check and see!

Speaking of blogging, *I* will be guest blogging this Saturday at Plot Monkeys, a blog hosted by these fabulous ladies: Julie Leto, Carly Phillips, Leslie Kelly, and Janelle Denison. I’ll be doing a slightly revamped version of my very first “Choose the right publisher” post, and sticking around all day to answer questions. (I’ll do it again next month, too.) Maybe some of you can stop by over there? I’m terrified readers are going to say “Who the hell is she?” and click away from the page. :-)

Is that it? I thought I had some stuff too. I guess not. Oh, wait, yes I do! I created some Personal Demons web icons and put them on the website here. I’ve also enlarged the fonts and added an excerpt, basically the same one you saw but the new edited version. So there’s some stuff.



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