Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review Roundup

So last week was kind of busy, what with the MarsCon report and my guest blog and all, so this week, I want to squee over some great reviews I've seen lately! (A note to my LiveJournal friends -- there are links in this post that won't be visible to you because of the crosspost process. For these and all review links, please visit my Reviews page at

Duty and Desire got a 4-star rating from Night Owl Reviews. The reviewer said:
This collection of short stories provides both a stimulating collection of erotic tales and a thumbnail sketch of the various challenges that face the men and women who serve their country by being part of the military. The different perspectives provided by this talented group of authors vividly paint a moment in time that gives an opportunity for lovers to escape the harsh reality of war and separation, sometimes even though they are miles apart figuratively or literally. Many of these authors were new to me but all of them have penned a concise and entertaining read.

Seductress got a 5-star rating from Vanessa at Intense Sensations. She said:
D.L. King has done a wonderful job because she has brought together in one book some of the finest contemporary erotic writers and given them a theme that has evidently inspired them to new heights. So if you’ve never thought about sex with a succubus and you’d like to know more, this is a good place to start. If, like me, you’ve thought of it often and consider yourself something of an expert, this book will take you to the next level. Believe me, it really is that good!

And over on Goodreads, a reviewer for Affaire de Coeur* magazine gave a 4-star rating to He Loves Me For My Brainsss, saying:
...a romantic, funny, sexy, and in some cases, even thought provoking - in an undead sort of way - anthology. I loved the tongue-in-cheek humor and the creativity of the authors, some whose writing I plan to read more of.
* The link goes to the magazine front page; the review either isn't posted yet or will only be in the print version. The Goodreads review is at

I'm very excited to have seen so much great press for the collections I've been part of!

Next week, perhaps, a taste from my most recent story submission, "The Dancing Princess".

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Appearance: Guest Blog!

Three days in a row that I have something to post?! Don't get used to it. ;-)

As it happens, I'm a guest blogger today on V. L. Locey's blog, Thoughts From a Yodeling Goatherder. V. L. wrote "Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse...", one of the stories in the He Loves Me For My Brainsss anthology, and has been featuring guest bloggers every Thursday this month to celebrate the release.

So I'm there today, talking about something even scarier than zombies:
I'm not going to talk about zombies, actually. If I could write coherently about zombies -- if I could be as eerie and elegant as Lynn was in last week's guest post, or as funny as V.L. is, in her story in He Loves Me For My Brainsss -- I'd have written a story about zombies, instead of deciding to edit an anthology about them. (I've written an erotica/horror story, but it's about succubi, not zombies. And "Dead On Her Feet" sounds like it should be a zombie story, but it's really just about a very tired soldier.)

I'm going to talk about blurbs and titles.
Check it out at:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Contact High

Wow, MarsCon was a blast.

The overall con report is on my personal blog, but let me tell you about the writing and editing stuff in particular.

There are people you admire from afar. You think, "I could never be that clever and talented and cool."

Sometimes, you're lucky enough to meet those people in person, and sometimes, you're lucky enough that they're just as clever and friendly in person as they seem to be on their Facebook page (or whatever). And then it seems they actually like you back and are genuinely amused by your anecdotes and interested in your opinion, and your mind... it is blown.

That was my whole weekend.

Every panel I was on included Helen Madden (aka Cynical Woman) and she was snarky and funny and brilliant, and she spent the whole weekend crocheting a devil-doughnut and taunting me with her adorable amigurumi books and making me want to run out to the craft store right now. (I challenged her to have a panel next year on kinky crafts. I'm not sure, but she may have accepted that challenge.)

I sat on three panels with Shokolada, trading quips and talking about the differences between self-publishing and editing for a publisher, and the differences between erotica and erotic romance. Later, his lovely ladyfriend stopped me in the hall to tell me that she'd really enjoyed them. (And apparently she also asked a friend of mine whether I was a dom or a sub, which I found incredibly flattering.)

I was in a writing contest against Kathryn Lively, and there was actually a smidge of doubt as to the winner. (I posted my story yesterday, if you missed it.)

I sat in a plotbuilding workshop with Allen Wold, who is practically a professional writing workshop instructor and who never fails to teach me a lot. In the room with me were at least two would-be writers who'd been at some of my panels the night before and who were obviously building stories that were better than mine could ever hope to be.

AR Moler stopped Lynn and I in the hallway and we made plans to all go out for coffee sometime soon.

JM Snyder and I spent a good chunk of one panel entertaining the audience with our favorite editing nightmares. I got to use the line, "My safeword is Oxford comma," and it got a fantastic reaction from the room.

I handed out business cards and postcards and bookmarks and collected many of the same. I'm absolutely positive there's someone I'm leaving out of this report that I will kick myself later for forgetting.

I came home exhausted from lack of sleep and aching from all the walking (seriously, someone with a pedometer clocked it at nearly a quarter of a mile from the Con Suite to the dealer's room)... and I already can't wait for next year's.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Iron Chef Erotica

One of the events I participated in at MarsCon this year was called Iron Chef Erotica -- writers who were challenged to write a flash-fic smut story based on a "secret ingredient". Y'all know I love writing promptfics; this seemed like a natural event for me to be in.

The winner is supposed to go on to Balticon to compete against the winners from several other small cons. Since I can't go to Balticon this year, I was originally assigned a judging position, but when a lot of folks had to drop out at the last minute, they brought me back in as a writer.

Good thing, too, as there were even more last-minute dropouts, and it turned out to be just me and Kathryn Lively writing. She won the contest, but it was moderately close, so I feel okay about it. Here's my (very) short and puntastic result:
Prompt word: Bridge

Kristen threw down her cards. "I am not going to understand this game in a million years," she grumbled. "Why can't your mother play something that makes sense, like Monopoly?"

"Would you really want to spend enough time with my mother to play a whole game of Monopoly?" Sean asked.

Kristen sighed. "Bridge it is," she said. "Tell me about no-trump again."

Sean put his own cards on the table. "It may be time for a break," he said.

Kristen knew the look on his face. "What sort of break?"

Sean drew her closer. "I was thinking about fewer spades and more hearts," Sean said, sliding out of his chair and sitting on the edge of the table.

Kristen leaned back in her chair. "I think you're thinking of your club."

Sean knelt between Kristen's legs. Watching her face, he slid his hands along her thighs, pushing her skirt up as he sought the soft, warm skin underneath. Her eyes closed and she purred quietly as his thumbs caressed her.

"No panties?" he said. "Aces."

"If you don't stop with the puns..." Kristen warned.

Sean chuckled. "I'll have to find something else to occupy my mouth, then." He ducked under her rumpled skirt and breathed warmly over her clit, until she let out a moan.

"More," she said.

More it was, the pressure of his tongue firm and rhythmic. Kristen clutched at the arm's of the chair, gasps turning into whimpers that spiraled into a thready keen of climax.

As Sean emerged, she gave him a thin smile. "Now THAT was a trump."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Let me remind you -- I'm going to be a guest at MarsCon this weekend, in my hometown of Williamsburg, VA, so if you're at all local and like sci-fi/fantasty conventions, you should definitely drop by and say hi!

I'm going to be participating in three panels and one contest. Here's the details on those:
Friday, 8 PM – The Horror, the Horror: The Life of an Erotica Editor
Elizabeth Brooks, Kathryn Lively, Michael O'Brien, Helen Madden
Sure, it's hot and steamy once it's on the bookshelf, but did you ever wonder what goes into compiling an erotica anthology? Our authors and editors will give you a behind-the-scenes look on the process of curating an erotica anthology. From query letters that will make your hair stand on end to endless formatting nightmares, the roller coaster ride of story selections to the tragedy of writing rejection letters, they will peel away the sexy veneer and show you the dark side of editing erotica.

Friday, 10 PM – An Alien inside Me
Elizabeth Brooks, Sapphire Phelan, Michael O'Brien, Helen Madden
Discussion panel: Erotica from alien points of view and orientations other than your own.

Saturday, 9 PM – Afraid of the Dark?
Elizabeth Brooks, JM Snyder, Michael O'Brien, Helen Madden
How far is too far for erotic genre romance? Our panel of erotica writers explores the limits of what readers, and publishers, will take.

Saturday, 11 PM – Erotica a la Carte: Iron Chef
Nobilis Reed, Helen Madden, Leigh Ellwood, Elizabeth Brooks, JM Snyder
MarsCon’s erotica writers put their creativity and quickness to the test as they compete for a spot in the finals of this multi-Con writing event. Competitors are given a secret ingredient, and twenty minutes to write a piece of smutty flash fiction using their ingredient. When the time is up, stories are read aloud. Winners are judged by audience acclamation so come pick your smutty favorites in an hour of fast-paced fun.

And that's just the stuff I'll be in! There's tons of other stuff to do, from the family-friendly (magic show, no-sew costuming and crafts, face painting, pirate sing-a-long) to the no-fooling ID-checked-at-the-door adults-only (Steampunk sex toys, 50 Shades fanfic). There are geeky panels and activities for writers, readers, anime-fans, movie-fans, gamers, artists, and crafters. There are comedy, costume, and dance shows, and tons of geek-oriented music (including the awesome Jonah Knight, who let me use one of his songs for my book trailer for Brainsss). There are presentations from NASA on the future in space exploration. There are self-defense workshops from a local dojo. And there's the best damned Con Suite in the history of cons. Ever. Ever. Seriously, if you've ever even thought about going to a sci-fi con and are remotely in the area, check out the website at -- look at the programming, look at the photos from years past, and come out!

And if you do come, find me and say hi! I'll have books for sale and postcards and bookmarks for free, and I'd love to chat!
I'm gonna be a busy woman.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I talked in detail about my new year's resolution(s) over on my personal blog, last week. The writing and editing summary is that, well, every day is different, and every week is different, and making a resolution like, "I will write for at least one hour every day" or even, "I will write for at least three hours every week" is asking -- nay, begging -- for failure. Because sometimes, I just can't.

So, because I'm trying to train myself to plan to take time for myself, but without letting it disappear into mindless TV (or movie, or YouTube) watching, I'm making myself a productivity list every morning. The list starts with the day's caveats: whether I have the kids, whether I have social plans, how heavy my Day Job's workload is expected to be. And then I make a list of what I need to do to call it a productive day. Some of those items are for the Day Job, some are household chores, and some are for my personal and social life. And some are for writing and editing. What items go on a day's list depends on a lot of factors, but to borrow a phrase from one of the managers in my office -- they're the wolves closest to my sled. Because things tend to pop up throughout the day, I don't try to assign tasks for any day except today, because I never know what the priorities are going to be tomorrow -- but I keep a running list of possible tasks (and their due-dates, if they have any), and add them to each day's list as it seems reasonable.

And when I do tasks that I hadn't counted on doing, I add them to the bottom of the list. So far, they haven't interfered with my completing the original assigned list, but I can envision that as a possibility. The Day Job tends to be crisis-driven, to a certain extent.

The goal is not to fill every waking moment, but to get to the end of the day and look at the list and think, "Yes, this was a day that I did something worthwhile." Which is why social activities and reading are, in fact, valid productivity tasks.

So far, at least, it seems to be working. Monday, I did some editing, and also finished my first, very rough draft of a story. (And also worked a minor crisis with Brainsss that turned out, eventually, not to be quite as much of a crisis as expected, but we still had to re-generate all the e-book files, because the TOC was wrong. Again.) Yesterday, I did some more editing, and some editing administrivia. Today's plan is to tackle the slush pile, attempt a prompt fic for the project Lynn and I are doing*, and start working on a flyer to take with me to MarsCon.

And, I will note, I have spent some time on YouTube, but I don't think I've turned on the TV except for the kids in over a week.

And now, having slogged through that, let me reward you with a snippet from the story I finished drafting on Monday:
I fought to maintain my dignity, casting my thoughts for any topic of conversation that might bring him back to the grave but polite lover he had been during the feast. His hand was rising toward me; I could not predict its course, but knew that I must -- must! -- stave off his touch, or be, somehow, lost. "Why me?" I ejaculated.

His hand halted in its course, paused, and fell. His eyebrows raised, questioning, and I pressed onward. "Why not one of my elder sisters? You might have been prince-consort!"

That knowing smile lingered on his lips, and he shook his head. "I do not want to be a prince," he said softly, "or a duke, or an earl. I wanted..." Caught in his eyes, I had not noticed his hand moving again; he captured my hand and lifted it to his lips. Recalling the kiss with which he wed me, I shivered at his touch and barely suppressed a whimper of fear. But the brush of his lips over my knuckles was as soft as a rose petal, and I shivered again in relief.

He drew nearer still, until I could feel his breath ghosting across the bare skin of my neck. "I wanted you."

* Prompts! I almost forgot! Lynn and I are doing a prompt a week, each, from now until summer, which we hope to collect and publish. If you'd like to leave prompts for us, here or on my Facebook page, we will credit you when/if we get the collection published. (Lynn would like prompts to consist of one noun, one verb, one adjective, and 2 other words of your choice. I'm not nearly that picky; three or four words of any variety will do for me.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Zombie New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had amazing, fantastic holidays, filled with love and presents and beautiful things and fun, and I hope you continue to have all those things throughout the new year. I'm going to put up a post eventually about my resolutions, but today, I have to celebrate!

Today is release day for He Loves Me for My Brainsss, my zombie anthology! It's mine, in that I edited it. I actually did not write any of these stories, though I had a story notion ready to go in case I needed filler. But I didn't need filler, and that's good, because my story would have really had no place at all along with these, either in content or quality.

I know, one doesn't generally think of zombies and erotica together, but these stories make it work, I promise. And there's something for everyone! A little dark and scary? Done. Over-the-top camp and silly? Got it. Makes you think about the nature of human existence? Right here. I've got six stories here (well, five stories and one novella) and each one of them elicited a deep, visceral reaction from me when I read them, and I hope you'll give them a try, too. Here's the individual blurb rundown:

W.O.L. by Lynn Townsend: In a distant, post-apocalyptic future, walled populations are protected from the lazar hordes by the roaming Knights of the Red Cross. But when Knight Korin meets Doctor Avesy, he is forced to reconsider the sacrifices that every Knight must make and to wonder if the cure might not be worse than the disease.

The Domesticated Zombie by Rob Rosen: The Great Zombie War is finally over, leaving hordes of newly domesticated zombies. One such domestic, Jake, starts to show signs that he's not entirely dead, and Max, his owner, gets more than he bargained for in the process.

Fox Spirit by Alyx Shaw: Karl loves Kenny, even though he's never really understood Kenny's fondness for, and fascination with, foxes. But one stormy night, the oldest of their foxes dies. Kenny asks Karl to bury the old fox, but it's late and it's raining, and Karl decides to wait until morning...

Delicious Caleb by Damian Serbu: Could transforming into a zombie actually set you free? Living in the closet at a conservative college meant hiding his lust for men until his zombie state forced him to face reality and accept assistance and maybe more from his one-time (and very adorable) student, Caleb.

Violet by K.C. Morgan: Josh's world crumbled when he came out to his parents with disastrous results. Little did Josh know that the rest of the world was about to end, as well.

Two Guys Walk into an Apocalypse... by V.L. Locey: Paul and Gordon face off against zombies with only a cat named after a famous city, an old man with a fondness for Tennyson, and their love and killer wit as weapons.

These are fantastic stories, and I couldn't be more proud of this book if I'd written every word myself. It's available right now as an ebook (it's up at Torquere's store, but not at the distributor sites yet -- but I expect it to be up by the end of the day in all the usual places), and in a couple of weeks, it will be available from Amazon in print format!