Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coming Together Soon!

I'm so behind on news!!!

(I apologize in advance if the formatting on this is horrid, but I can't log into my blog from the Day Job any more, and I always forget to do these from home. So I'm emailing this in, and that always results in peculiar formatting.)

My story, "Bleeding Red", was accepted into the Coming Together Among the Stars anthology, a sci-fi themed collection being edited by my beloved Lynn. I can't believe my story is going to be featured among so many other authors that I love! Look, just look at this Table of Contents!

Introduction, "The Thrust of Curiosity; a little science friction..." - Lynn Townsend
Rose Caraway - Duali-Teaze
Annabeth Leong - Repair Mission
Lynn Townsend - Situation Normal
E.S. Wynn - A Matter of Taste
T.B. Bond - Getting Even
T.B. Bond - Love in a Space Elevator
Elizabeth Black - Longing
Zee Giovanni - Forbidden Goods of the Galaxy
Nobilis Reed - Birth of a Monster Whisperer
Essemoh Teepee - Gyozo's Mate
George Box - Yvette
Jade Waters - The Joy Ride
Nickie Jamison - S.E.T.H.
Elliot DeLocke - Sense-Think-Act 
Delilah Night - Love is a Virus 
V.L. Locey - Rose of High Barbary
Adrik Kemp - Of Gods and Men
Skilja Peregrinarius - A Fully Functional Lo^ghi
Kathleen Tudor - Navigator
Elizabeth L. Brooks - Bleeding Red
Malin James - The Power of Positive Thinking

I don't have a publication date yet, but Lynn thinks it will be by the end of the year, or very early next -- more info when I've got it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Guest Blog: Snog for Sommer

The talented and wonderful Lynn Townsend asked if I'd be willing to host her this week, and I have never been one to say no to anything Lynn wants!


Hey Elizabeth, thanks so much for having me here, I appreciate it. 

I'm participating in the Snogs for Sommer fund-raising drive and blog hop, and as a fan of both Sommer's work and my own, I thought I'd give you - and your reads - a head's up.

In support of Sommer Marsden, who's one of my personal erotica writing heroes - check out here (http://paidbytheweird.blogspot.com/2011/08/whats-your-name-little-girl.html) where I wrote about my first interaction with Sommer... (I didn't name names at the time, because I didn't want to be that weird, freaky, stalker girl. These days, I'm perfectly cool with being an avid Sommer Stalker... join the club, we'll get jackets.)

Anyway, Sommer is a dear friend and you can read all about the Snog hop and what we hope to do for Sommer...

I'm currently working on the third book of the Rainbow Connections series (Blues, book two, will be published in late March, 2015, which seems just about forever and a day away, doesn't it?) so I decided that I'd give out a little snippet of Blues for my fans to read while we raised support for Sommer, and what better to do as a give away, but to let people have a chance to read Blues early?

So, come on over to my blog (http://paidbytheweird.blogspot.com/2014/09/) and read the current kiss... and enter for a chance to win an Advanced Reader Copy of Blues.

In the meanwhile, here's a little kiss from Roll, book one.

* * * *

"I thought I heard you get up," Vin said, sliding up behind him and wrapping warm arms around Beau's stomach. "Hungry?"

Beau suppressed the urge to leap out of his own skin.

"Don't you people believe in leftovers?" Beau gestured at the industrial-sized appliance in annoyance, trying to calm his heart. He was certain that Vin could feel his heart throbbing erratically in his chest and not entirely certain what emotion it could be attributed to. Was he startled, guilty, or just excited to be up, in the dark of night, with a handsome man's arms around him?

Vin dropped a kiss lightly on Beau's shoulder, eliciting shivers. Beau let the door to the fridge slip shut and turned in Vin's embrace.

"Camilla takes it over to the homeless shelter, after dinner," Vin explained. "We always have more than we need."

Great. Add a heaping helping of feeling greedy to his already full plate of less than pleasant emotions. "You've missed out, babe," he said, "if you've never raided the fridge for a leftover turkey sandwich."

"I'm not missing out right now," Vin said. He nipped at Beau's ear. All of their own accord, Beau's arms went around his boyfriend, pulling him closer. Vin backed him up, braced against the cool steel of the fridge and gently, slowly, traced a line of kisses from Beau's ear to the corner of his mouth. The faint rasp of Vin's stubble against his upper lip drove Beau crazy.

Two thin layers -- Beau's sweatpants and Vin's silk pajamas -- weren't nearly enough to disguise the feel of Vin's erection pressed firmly against Beau's thigh. Beau slid his hands down Vin's naked back, relishing the satin flesh under his fingertips. Vin continued to tease Beau's mouth, delicate licks and nuzzles that didn't come close to slaking the growing need.

"Oh, would you kiss me already, for Christ's sake?" Beau demanded, grabbing a handful of Vin's unruly hair and pulling his mouth down.

Beau's stomach let out a gurgling complaint.

"How about I get you some pie before you wake up the house," Vin said, laughing. "I know where Camilla keeps her stash."

Beau warred with his two hungers. "Kiss, first," he said.

"Now there's a deal."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

News and Art

As always I have no excuse whatsoever for my long silence.

But! I do have a reason -- several reasons, in fact! -- for my abrupt return!

Item the First:
I entered a contest over on Tumblr (feel free to look me up, but be aware that I use my Tumblr account primarily to talk about fanfic and lust obsess over Marvel movies and comics). Where was I? Oh, yes: I entered a contest. And, somewhat surprisingly, won.

What I won was an art commission, and so after looking carefully at the artist's work, I asked her to make me a painting of Taisiya, the kitsune-like fox-demon from Foxfur. She sent it to me this week, and it's so gorgeous I actually, literally started crying when I saw it. (Click on the picture to embiggen.)

She does fantastic work, especially her animals, and if you're at all in the market for original art, please let me highly recommend popping over to her Tumblr page and shooting her a query.

Item the Second:
A Princess Bound was released last month, and is now available in both ebook and print formats! (That link goes to Amazon, but it's also available from other retailers.) Among a lot of really amazing stories, the collection contains my tale, "The Dancing Princess".

Item the Third:
Just last week, I signed a contract with Hot Ink Press for "(Why Don't You) Come Between Us", a m/m/m story that invaded my brain and demanded to be written. It's currently scheduled for publication in January 2015, so you'll be hearing more about that as the date draws nearer! For now, and briefly -- it's a story about polyamorous relationship negotiation. And also really hot sex, of course!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fat Girls: Smut for Good

“Fat girls,” Christina said, “are great dates, if you’re not too squeamish. Contrary to popular assumption, it’s not expensive to take us to dinner, because we’re far too self- conscious to eat much when someone else is watching. And if you take us to do something active, you’re pretty well guaranteed to come out looking good by comparison.”

She withdrew as she spoke—a thinner person would have pulled their knees in to their chest, wrapped their arms around their shins—but Christina was too fat for that, so she just turned away. “We never ask if something looks good on us, or God forbid, whether you think we’re pretty, because we don’t know if it would be worse to know you were lying or to actually hear the truth.”

Of all the stories in Whetting the Appetite, this one may be the most brutally honest. It's also one of my favorites. You don't see a lot of fat girls in fiction at all, and certainly not in romance, but I think there should be more. We can't all be willowy and athletic, after all.

“I...don’t know,” she said, even though the image shone, bright as day, in her head, closing her throat with fear and longing.

“Now who’s lying?” Jackson said. He pinched her bottom, hard, and she squeaked in surprise. “Why won’t you tell me?” Christina closed her eyes and shook her head. “Too much to ask,” she whispered.

“Why? Because you’re not skinny?”

Miserably, Christina shrugged.

Jackson pulled her over onto her back, pinning her shoulders with his forearms as he frowned down into her tear- stained face. “What do skinny girls get to ask for that you can’t?” he demanded.

Christina turned her head. “If I tell you now, you’ll just feel obligated. I don’t want—”

Chrissy.” Jackson dropped his forehead to her breastbone for a moment, the picture of defeat, then lifted it again. “What if, just this once, you let me feel a little obligated? You’re my girl; I think I should be obligated to try something that you want, once in a while.”

Christina was silent, trying to reconcile her desire to please and her embarrassment, to convince herself that she might be worthy of such a gift as her own desire.

In honor of Whetting's release and in conjunction with the Smut for Good: Curves Rule blog hop, I'm having a contest! Comment here to enter, go "like" my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter for additional entries, or let me know that you've donated to the Smut for Good cause (link below) for three additional entries. The contest will close on April 13th, winner(s) will be announced on the 16th. Prizes are yet to be determined, depending on the number of entries I see, but will include, at minimum, an ebook and a coupon code. Here are the blog hop details and links:

Smut for Good: Curves Rule is a blog hop with prizes galore to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK as this is Parkinson’s Awareness week. To find more curves, and seek out further prizes please visit http://smutters.co.uk/smut-for-good and if you can take a minute to please visit the Smut for Good: Curves Rule Just Giving Page at http://www.justgiving.com/curvesrule and donate whatever you can to help us reach our target of £100 to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and to support the charity Parkinson’s UK http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/ who help those with the disease learn to cope with the challenges, give out information and search for a cure.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Whetting the Appetite

Whetting the Appetite is out! I'm deliriously excited -- this anthology has some really fantastic little stories in it!

Technically, it was released by the publisher on March 22 or 23, but it was only available at the publisher's site for the first week. Lynn and I did a Facebook release party on the 23rd -- which is why I posted all the postcards then. But now it's been released to distributors, yay! So let's post All The Links!

Publisher's link (also includes some exerpts): http://tinyurl.com/n9cy2uf
Amazon/Kindle: http://smarturl.it/BrooksTownsend
All Romance eBooks: http://tinyurl.com/lu8vbbc (your choice of format)
Barnes & Noble/Nook: http://tinyurl.com/kz2z2xx

Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zoei6y1AP4
Postcards:  http://everyworldneedslove.blogspot.com/2014/03/postcards-from-edge.html (each of the 44 cards includes an excerpt from its story! You can taste test the entire table of contents with these!)
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21792973-whetting-the-appetite

If you pick it up, please, please, please consider posting a rating or a review at Amazon or Goodreads or wherever you bought it; nothing, but nothing helps book sales as much as reviews. And Lynn and I would really love to sell enough copies of this to make it into a print edition!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Postcards from the Edge

...from the edge of my sanity, that is. Here's what happened:

Lynn and I planned a Facebook "release party" for Whetting the Appetite -- an online chat, basically. I decided it would be fun to make up a promotional postcard-style graphic for each story in the anthology, and post them randomly throughout the day.

It took me over nine hours to make all the postcards (the anthology has 46 stories -- even compressing the three-parter into one postcard still left me with 44 to make!)... and at the end, I was feeling pretty proud of them, actually.

And then, the morning of the release party... my internet died.

Well, of course it did.

So I'm going to post them here -- all 46 of them. (I'll put them behind a jump break, to save your sanity, if you're on an RSS feed -- and if you're reading this from one of the repost sites that doesn't preserve images, please come check out the original post at
http://everyworldneedslove.blogspot.com/2014/03/postcards-from-edge.html )

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guest Blogger: BA Tortuga - Fistfights and Foreplay

Y'all, I've got the amazing BA Tortuga on my blog today, and when she contacted me to ask for a guest blog spot, I'm pretty sure I squee'd in delight. I'm not entirely sure who's doing whom the favor, here, because I've never read a single BA story that I didn't love, and she's one of the very sweetest, nicest, most fun people I've been privileged to work with since I started the whole writing-and-editing gig, which given how awesome everyone else I've met has been, is really saying something.


Fistfights and Foreplay- Or how you can’t write Texans without a fight sometimes

Hey, y’all! I want to thank Ms Liz for having me. I love working with her, laughing with her, and sharing the geekiness. :D

You might have noticed my tagline is because sometimes fistfights are foreplay. Well, they tell you to find something that’s in all your books, a running thread.



I’m SO proud. ;-)

Today I bring it up because my new book, Terms of Release, is about my old stomping grounds in East Texas, and has more than its share of fistfights in it.

Sage, one of my heroes, has a bit of a checkered past, and a lot of folks gunning for him. He tried hard to make like smoke and disappear, but there are times when a man has to stand his ground. He gets his share of beat up, but he also throws down with his brother in law, a handful of rednecks trying to kill him and his friend Wilma outside a diner, and ends up on the bad side of a tornado, where he has a scuffle in the hospital.

What is it about East Texas and fistfights? I’d say it’s in the water. I’ve never been to a wedding or funeral where someone didn’t get to fighting, and my daddy works as a bouncer in the bar on his free time. For fun.

Does this mean we’re less evolved than the rest of the country? Probably. It also means that emotions run high in Texans, making us damned fun to write about. If it’s not worth fighting for, well then, it’s not worth it. Period.

Says the woman who can’t go to Wal-Mart anywhere within a hundred mile radius of Dallas without getting into a screaming match, at the very least.


Sage and Win from Terms of Release, they have a lot that’s worth fighting for, and it takes a lot for Sage to work up the courage to brazen it out. That’s only one of the reasons I love this book so much. I hope y’all do, too.

The Terms of Release is releasing March 24, 2014 from Dreamspinner Press and I’m proud enough to bust.

Official Blurb:

They say a man can always come home. So after doing hard time, Sage Redding heads to his family’s northeast Texas ranch to help his ailing daddy with the cutting horses.

Adam (Win) Winchester is a county deputy and the cousin of one of the men killed in the incident that sent Sage to prison for almost a decade. While Win's uncles, Jim and Teddy, are determined to make Sage and the entire Redding family pay for their loss, Win just figures Sage has paid his dues and maybe needs a friend. Maybe he needs more than a friend. In fact, Win’s counting on it.

No one’s denying Sage is an ex-con who went to prison for manslaughter. Regardless of the love he has for his father, he’s returned knowing things will likely go badly for him. Maybe a man can always come home, but he may not be able to stay.

Paperback buy link (first 20 copies come signed): http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4820

Ebook buy link:

Where to find BA:
http://www.batortuga.com -- website
batortuga.blogspot.com – blog
@batortuga on twitter

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Whetting the Appetite - Cover Reveal (...belated)

I thought I showed you guys this cover weeks ago, but I just went back through my posts, and... not so much, 'cause I suck.

I can't believe it, either, because OH. MY. GOD. You guys, this is the best cover ever. I always say that, I know, but SRSLY, look at it!

I mean, it was amazing enough to get to share an anthology with one of my very favorite writers, who also happens to be one of my best friends. And to have the brilliant V.L. Locey agree to write a forward for it. And to have that anthology accepted for publication by the fantastic J.M. of JMS Books. And to have it be edited by Belea Keeney, who forever holds a place in my heart as my very first professional editor and is one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet (and also, incidentally, is the one who introduced me to J.M., and in a roundabout way got me started on this whole editing gig, as well).

All of that wasn't swoon-worthy enough, apparently. No, in addition to all that, I get this simply brilliant cover to add to my catalog. (And if we sell enough ebooks, it will go to print publication, and I'm so excited about that possibility that I can't even words.)

When? Why, I'm glad you asked! Whetting the Appetite will be available from JMS Books (and the usual complement of ebook distributors) on March 23rd! I did my final proofread of the ebook just the other day, and there are still stories in there -- despite many reviews and revisions and knowing them all like the back of my hand -- that make me tear up, shiver, laugh out loud, and sigh with contentment. You are not going to want to miss this book, I promise!

Lynn and I are probably going to have a Facebook release "party" that day or close to it, so if you enjoy that sort of thing, make sure you're following one of us on Facebook. And I expect there will be some blog touring and such as well, so stay tuned!

Here's the official blurb:
Romance and erotica authors Lynn Townsend and Elizabeth L. Brooks have joined forces to assemble this collection of "flash-fiction" ultra-shorts (most under 2000 words), generated in response to prompts offered by our fans and friends and touching on dozens of aspects of lust, love, and desire.

Subgenres in the collection span contemporary, historical, steampunk, fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, taking you from a modern living room, to the high seas, to Victorian London, to planets and times at the edge of imagination. These stories explore relationships all along the romantic and erotic spectrums, including the thrill of a one-night stand, the fierce burn of rivalry, the heady flush of new romance, the intense trust of BDSM, and all the pros and cons of long-term partnerships. The characters defy conventional gender boundaries, including a preoperative transmale, several aliens, and a few characters whose genders are left open to reader interpretation. Sexual orientations on display vary nearly as widely, with groupings that include m/f, m/m, f/f, and f/f/m -- not to mention those aliens!

With forty-six stories to choose from, there's something here for every moment and mood, something to whet any appetite.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Guest Post: Lynn Townsend

My darling Lynn's first full-length novel, Roll, was released yesterday, and even if I wasn't her beta reader and editor, I couldn't be more proud or excited. This is really a fantastic, sweet book about two college-age boys, with brilliantly real characters (not just the main characters, but the entire amazing cast of supporting characters as well). So of course I jumped at the chance to host an "interview" with one of those characters.

Everyone, meet Vinyl Elvis Reyes, known to his friends as Vin:

Aren't you a little old to be an undergrad?

I'm not that far behind, really. I'll graduate when I'm twenty-five. But, if you want to know the truth, I had some... issues, when I was a kid. My mom died when I was really young and it traumatized me -- a bit. I was in a foster home for a while, and then my grandparents came and got me. I should have started school right then, but... Grams calls it catatonic. I didn't talk. I had nightmares all the time, so my sleep schedule was erratic. I went through periods where I didn't eat. Schoolwork was right out of the question. My grandparents decided to hold me back that year.

So, I was six before I started school at all. And I still wasn't talking. Kindergarten was fine, you know. Coloring and crafts. After a while, teachers stopped asking me questions because I'd just stare at them until I started crying, which kinda freaked them out a bit. My grandparents had enough money that no one really wanted to piss them off. So, I passed. And I went on to first grade, which was more of the same.

By that time, my grandparents had me in like six different kinds of therapy. Emotional. Speech. Learning disabilities. I was on a couple different drugs for a while -- people thought I was autistic. There wasn't anything wrong with my brain -- yeah, shut up -- and from my screaming at night, it's not like I couldn't speak. I just didn't. I had a therapist for a while who liked to pinch my upper arms; he figured I wouldn't tell anyone, and if I did, then Bam! Cured.

Obviously, eventually, I started talking -- shut up! -- but I was so far behind that I failed out of fifth grade. I had a teacher that year who wasn't scared of my grandparents money and insisted I actually do the work...

Sooo.... I'm behind. A bit.

Who's your role model? Why?

I don't really do the role model thing. You know, if you go digging deep enough, most people are kinda assholes underneath. But there are some people I admire. One of them is David Pritchard. My driver slash bodyguard slash flunky. First off, have you seen the man? Oh my my my, he is fine. Couple years back, we got into a rough one -- some idiot actually tried to mug me. Me? Seriously. I couldn't believe it myself.

But that guy, he can really rock and roll. There's something about men of action, you know. And it's not like it is in the movies. David moves fast, and he's not playing pretty. If he can gain an advantage by pulling someone around by their hair, he'll do that. Watched him break that mugger's nose by swinging him around by the pony-tail and introducing him to a telephone pole. Fight went out of him real quick.

David's an okay guy; it's not his fault my grandparents think I need looking after. I pay him extra to keep his distance. He only really insists when I'm alone. Thus, the need to cultivate rather a lot of friends to hang out with.

To be honest, I think he watches me a lot closer than I'm really comfortable with. He seems to show up really fast when I need a ride.

What's your greatest fear?

Being alone. Stupid, huh? With all the friends I have. But I don't have anybody else. My grandparents are old, my mom is dead, and no one knows what happened to my father. My grandfather had a brother, my Great Uncle Ethan, but he passed on about eight years ago or so. I never knew him particularly well anyway. My grandfather has business partners and my grandmother has all those ladies charities that she works with, but I never seemed to have all those uncles and cousins and siblings that everyone else seems to have. Grams gets upset about it sometimes, seems to think that I won't ever have any children and that the company will be taken over by a board of directors when I'm gone.

You have no idea how sad that makes me, worrying about the company.

I've heard you've always been "out of the closet." Tell us about that.

You know, when I was a kid, I used to watch this show, Sabrina the teenaged witch, because I had a huge crush on an actor named Nate Richert? He played Harvey Kinkle. I used to entertain all sorts of daydreams that Sabrina had accidentally cast a spell on him that made him straight, and then if I actually met him, the spell would break and he'd be my boyfriend.

Take that look off your face and try to tell me you didn't think the same thing about Seeley Booth in Bones...

To be honest, I think my grandparents were so relieved that I'd started talking and mostly acting normal that it never occurred to them to worry about it that I was gay. It wasn't like I came out of the closet. I was never in there. When I crushed on someone, I just said so. I didn't really learn discretion until later.

So, what's your favorite band? Movie? Food?

Only if you don't make fun. I'm a big fan of James Blunt. He's got such a smooth voice, and it just... and Maroon 5. Have you seen Adam Levine's videos? That guy is trippy. I'm also a fan of a band called Rusted Root. One of my friends works at the campus radio station, she does some cool shows; she's a lot more musically educated than I am, but her show's on from 8 to 10 on Wednesdays. You should give it a listen.

Movies.... hmmm. I really like Stranger Than Fiction. Of course, anything with Emma Thompson in it tends to earn a watch-through from me, even that horrible thing where she plays a grouchy Mary Poppins... Nanny McFee or something like that.

Food? I'm easy. If it doesn't run away and I don't have to cook it, I'll eat what's put in front of me. Although I'll admit to a preference for anything that has barbeque sauce on it.


Roll is available now from Torquere Press, Amazon.Com, and other distributors, and will be available in print soon from Amazon.Com.

A farm boy from Tennessee, Beau Watkins spent high school living the dream: the cute girl, the popular, jock lifestyle, a loving family. As a freshman at an out-of-state college, he's determined to find out who he really is behind the Fake It 'Til You Make It attitude. He joins Rainbow Connection, the gay student alliance, hoping to find himself. Instead, he finds Vin Reyes. Raised by his grandparents and heir to a prosperous company, Vin has been out of the closet since he figured out what that meant. He has it all: fashionable clothing, fancy cars, huge houses, a real party lifestyle, and even a bodyguard. Most of all, he has a secret.

Uncomfortable with Vin's generosity, Beau fights his growing attraction for the president of Rainbow Connection, chasing instead a series of shallow affairs. Vin's never been denied anything that he wants, though, and now he wants Beau. But it's not until an old rival puts Beau in the hospital that Vin realizes that Beau means more to him than a simple love affair. Can the two of them bridge the gap between their worlds and roll with the all the punches life will throw at them?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Most writers have been told that the passive voice is a big no-no.

It's not always wrong, mind. It's particularly useful in technical reports when the subject is actually unimportant to the narrative and there's a desire for brevity, e.g.: The software was installed on the server.

And it can occasionally be useful in fiction to convey a feeling of helplessness or inability, e.g.: His measurements were taken, material and color decided upon, and the order was placed.

But too much passive voice tends to grate at readers, even if they're not sure why they're getting annoyed. In particular, I get jumped out of the narrative when I run into passive voice, largely because of something Lynn told me a while back.

She said that she learned to recognize passive voice by tacking "...by zombies" onto the end of a clause -- if it forms a useable sentence, then it's passive.

The comics were read... by zombies

For instance: "The comic book was read... by zombies" does.

That lesson lodged in my brain as amusing and useful, and now whenever I spot a passive statement, I automatically tack "...by zombies" onto the end of it. Which, given my usual editing material, leads to some pretty hysterical results.
Blankets were tugged around them... by zombies.

The hair was brushed from the back of his neck... by zombies.

His shirt was pushed over his head, his jeans and briefs tugged down... by zombies.

Warm kisses were pressed to his ass... by zombies.

His cock was squeezed in a firm, hot grip... by zombies.

I'm just saying, here, that if I'm your editor and you get a note from me in the margin pointing out that something is in the passive voice, I've mentally rewritten your scene to include some zombies.

So you might want to do something about that.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I spent several hours writing up a recap of MarsCon for my personal blog (http://wherelizlives.blogspot.com/2014/01/marscon-2014-report.html) so if you want the general report, that's where to go. This'll be a quick review of the panels/activities for which I was an official guest, plus a little treat at the end. ;-)

But before I dive into that, a little announcement. Last week, Lynn and I submitted the collection of flashfic that we spent most of last year working on, and only a couple of hours later, it was accepted! It looks like Whetting the Appetite is going to be out sometime in March from JMS Books, and if we sell enough copies of the ebook, then it will be scheduled for print publication! Whoohoo!

Anyway, MarsCon:

The number of erotica/romance authors was fairly small this year, so most of us wound up on the same panels over and over together, but that was okay. Sadly, neither Helen Madden nor JM Snyder made it this year, but I got to sit with Kat Lively and Michael O'Brien (Shokolada) again, and my new authorial friend this year was Nobilis Reed, who was a bit at loose ends, not knowing too many people at the Con, so we sort of scooped him up on a few occasions.

Friday night started with the "adult" version of Match Game, which was sort of like Cards Against Humanity, only without the actual cards to keep us in check. A sample: "The Blue Fairy is a dominatrix now. She told Pinocchio to stick his nose in ______ and lie."

We had some pretty raunchy fun with that, oh yes we did.

And when that was done, we had the "adult" version of Fairy Tale Rewrites. Each author chose a story, and then the audience provided some additional bits to work in. We wrote for about twenty minutes while the MC led the audience through a sexy MadLibs game (...I'm so mad at myself that I forgot to get a copy of that! but maybe Lynn kept hers?). Then we read our stories out loud to general amusement. They weren't judged, but I can tell you that I'm pretty sure Michael would've gotten first place, but I think I had a fair shot at second.

I'll post my story for you at the end of this post. (That's the treat.)

Saturday afternoon, I spent about an hour sitting in the signing room, which was mostly a wash, as the only book I sold was a pity sale to a friend, and I could've just as easily have sold that book while wandering the halls. Oh, well.

After that, I sat on a panel to discuss the Hunger Games (book and/or movie). That went very well, actually -- the other panelists were well-prepared and thoughtful and insightful, and the audience was lively and participatory (a couple of them maybe a little too participatory, as they had to be reined in to let the others get a word in edgewise once or twice).

That night was four hours of panels about erotica and romance and writing and publishing. The first couple were pretty simple -- talking about publishing and finding a home for your work; the second was a discussion of why erotic fairy tales are so popular. The third panel on the schedule was "Erotic Role-Play" and we decided that we didn't really want to get too deeply into bedroom roleplay, so instead we talked about introducing sexual situations in roleplaying games. And the last panel was supposed to be about masturbation, but from what I was told, the person who proposed that panel and offered to run it dropped out... so we just talked about whatever we felt like talking about, really, taking audience questions and moderating discussions. It was good. But boy, were we wiped by the end of it!

Sunday, I did another Fairy Tale Rewrites (this time PG); the results of that can be found on my personal blog report (link up at the top). Once again, not judged, though I think the solid winner would have been Danny Birt (and that once again, I'd have been a solid contender for second place).

I think this year went even better than last year, though, and I'm looking forward to next year already, so very much!

And in celebration, I have a coupon code that's good all the way through Friday this week -- enter "MarsCon2014" at checkout at torquerebooks.com or prizmbooks.com and get 20% off your entire purchase!

And now, for your patience... an erotic retelling of The Princess and the Frog.

I chose the fairy tale; the audience selected for me:

A person: a Frenchman
A sexy situation: accidental nudity
A location: Central Park
An object: butter

And keeping in mind that we only had 20 minutes to write (I've fixed typos here, but nothing else), the story:

Agnes sat by the pond in Central Park, weeping.

"Whah are you weeping, ma chere?" said a voice.

Agnes looked up and blinked away her tears, then rubbed at her eyes, not certain she had seen correctly. The man was wearing a ragged coat over a dirty striped shirt, and trousers rolled to his knees, soaking wet to mid-thigh. Despite his unkempt appearance, however, his face was strikingly handsome, with full lips and bright green eyes. A long pole stretched over his shoulder; at the end of it was a tightly-woven net containing a dozen or more frog carcasses.

"I... I dropped my golden ball in the pond," she responded. "I can't find it!"

The man's face lit up. "Ze ball!" he exclaimed. "I have found zis! One of mah frogs had swallowed eet!" But then he paused. "And what are joo giving moi, for your treasure?"

Agnes bit her lip. "Anything," she gasped. "Oh, anything!"

The Frenchman took Agnes' chin. "Anything?" he asked archly. Agnes trembled in his grasp as he leaned in for a kiss.

Startled by her own longing, Agnes stepped back -- and tripped over a branch, falling into the pond. As she fell, Agnes' summer dress, caught on the branch and tore, revealing what she wore underneath -- which is to say, nothing.

She wiped mud from her face and looked up at the Frenchman with wide eyes, lip trembling.

"Ah, ma chere," the Frenchman murmured. "Come, come with me, and we shall see you properly settled."

He helped her from the mud and muck and tucked her arm through his, leading her through the park to a secluded spot covered with cardboard. He lit a fire in a small grate and helped Agnes remove her soaked dress. While she warmed herself, he tossed the frogs into a pot to cook. "Will you dine with me?"

Agnes could not help but grimace. "No, thank you."

"Ah, ma chere," the Frenchman chided, "you must not turn up your nose. In France, we know that enough garlic and butter makes *anysing* delicious." Agnes did not want to be rude to her host, so she tried a bite -- and was soon devouring the delectable frog legs, melted butter running down her chin and over her breasts.

The Frenchman smiled as they finished their feast. "Will you come and lay upon my pillow?" he asked, gesturing to a nest of blankets.

Agnes hesitated again, but before she could refuse, the Frenchman took her hand and led her to the nest. The blankets were amazingly soft, and Agnes forgot all as the Frenchman dipped his head to lick the butter from her breasts. Agnes gasped softly, and forgot all her protests.

The Frenchman roused her to climax once, twice, thrice, before sinking into her to sate his own desires. She fell asleep in his arms.

She woke to the sight of the sun, a golden ball rising to reveal her Frenchman wearing a fancy suit and Gucci loafers that could never have stepped in mud. Behind him was not a cardboard hovel, but a magnificent brownstone. "Joo have freed me," he exclaimed. "I thought I would be trapped as a frog-gigger forever, but for joo! Marry me, ma chere, and joo shall never want for whatever baubles -- or butter -- you desire."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grammar an' Gunk

One quick reminder: MarsCon is this weekend -- if you're planning to come, please find a minute to look me up and say hi! (My schedule is at http://everyworldneedslove.blogspot.com/2014/01/happy-new-year-are-we-ready-for-marscon.html if you need it; more info at http://www.marscon.net/).

Let's talk about the use of family words today!

By "family words", I mean exactly what it sounds like: words such as "mom" and "father" and "grandmother" and "cousin".

Paricularly, let's talk about capitalization. I see a lot of these, both of which are wrong:
  • Bob waved to his Mom across the room.
  •  I handed mom a napkin.
Here's a rule of thumb: Substitute the word "cat" (or "dog", if you prefer) into the sentence for the relative with no other adjustments. If the sentence is grammatically correct (though possibly silly), then the family word should not be capitalized.If it reads awkwardly, then you're using the family word as a name and it should be capitalized. Like so:
  • Bob waved to his cat from across the room. That seems perfectly reasonable, and therefore, the correct sentence is: Bob waved to his mom from across the room.
  • I handed cat a napkin. Not only is that silly, but "I handed cat" just doesn't sound right, unless "Cat" is the cat's name. In which case, this is being used as a name and it should be "I handed Mom a napkin."
An exception: If the family name is prepended to a proper name and they're used together as a set (e.g., "Uncle Dave",  "Grandma Jean", or "Cousin George") then you always capitalize the family name.
  • Bob waved to his Uncle Dave from across the room.
  • I handed Cousin George a napkin.
Got it? Leave your questions and special cases and nitpicks in the comments!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ugly History

It's a joke I see pretty often, in various incarnations: Friends help you clean up after a party.  Real friends help you clean up after a murder. Best friends promise to clean up your browser history after you die.

And boy, am I going to need that.

So far today, I have researched:
  • Scotch (the drink)
  • Billy Joel
  • Bösendorfer pianos
  • Straightjackets
Which is a weird little list, but not all that terrible, I suppose. But then earlier this week, I was researching butt plugs, dildos, and cock cages.

I don't even have a boyfriend.

As might be assumed from the fact that about two weeks ago, I spent a half-hour or so trying to ascertain a reasonable, ball-park rate for a rent boy who makes housecalls. (Fact-checking that story also led me into some research on the gay porn industry and -- bizarrely -- custom-built refrigerators.)

Also in December: breeds of roses, recipes for red velvet cake, and military tour/leave policies.

I suppose it could be worse.

I could be editing murder mysteries.

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

    Happy New Year! Are We Ready for MarsCon?

    Holy crap, have I really not blogged since mid-November?

    The end of the year just destroys me, it really does.

    I hope you all had a great holiday season, then, whatever that entails for you! (For me, it includes my birthday, Thanksgiving, my son's birthday, and Christmas, most of which include multiple gatherings and events. This is why I have not blogged since mid-November!)

    I can't recall if I'd posted it here before, but I'm going to be a guest at MarsCon again this year.

    Back in late October or early November, the organizer sent around a list of panels and things and asked people to let them know what they were interested in doing.

    Last week, they sent me my schedule. Apparently, when I'd marked stuff as "I'd be willing to do this," they'd taken it all as, "I really want to do this!" because I'm booked for nine hours of panels and contests and events across all three days! Plus an optional, additional hour if I want to sit in on the book signing.

    So are you coming to MarsCon? Because if you are, chances are good that you'll be seeing me! And just to make sure you can find me if you're looking for me, here's my schedule:

    Friday (17 Jan):
    10-11 PM - Adult Guest Match
    We play TV’s old Match Game but with a MarsCon genre twist. Our guests will fill in the blanks, you try to guess what they will say. Match the most guests and take away a MarsBucks prize. This is an adults-only event, so expect raunchy fun.

    11 PM - 12:30 AM - Erotic Fairy-Tale Rewrites
    The host will give our writers prompts, the audience will give each some naughty element to include, and then keyboards will clatter and pens will fly as the writers race to create the best erotic fairy tales.

    Saturday (18 Jan):
    2-3 PM - Author Signing (maybe, if I can squeeze it in!)
    Get books signed by the MarsCon Guests of Honor and other participating writing guests.

    3-4 PM - Hunger Games Roundtable
    Did the second movie Catch Fire or fizzle? What’s the best thing about the Hunger Games trilogy? Join other fans for a roundtable discussion of The Hunger Games books and films.(Note: This is my only event that's not adults-only!)

    Genre erotica publishing block (no descriptions given, but the titles should be pretty self-explanatory):
    8-9 PM - Publishing Erotica: Finding and Accessing Markets for Your Work
    9-10 PM - Fairy Tail: The Popularity and Practice of Writing Fairy Tale Erotica
    10-11 PM - Role Playing Games for the Bedroom
    11 PM - 12AM - Hands Solo: The Erotic Possibilities of Self Pleasure

    Sunday (19 Jan):
    12-1:30 PM - Twice Upon a Time: Fairy Tale Re-Writes Game
    The host will gather improvisational prompts from the audience and then our writers are off, building improvisational fairy tales based on your favorites but with new characters, settings, and events thrown in at every step along the way.

    As you can see, I'm going to be insanely busy, but to be honest, they all sound like so much fun that I couldn't bring myself to ask the organizer to drop me from anything! (Though if you'd like to drop in to that four-hour block on Saturday night to bring me snacks or water, I'd probably be very grateful!)