Thursday, May 30, 2013

Literary Pet Peeves

We've all got 'em.  Sometimes they completely ruin a book for me, sometimes I'm able to deal with it anyway.  If you ever see any of the stuff I talk about in one of my stories, please let me know asap so that I can remove it.  LOL

I've already talked about my issues with the life-threatening danger angle.  I've come to realize that what really bothers me is when the danger makes the characters realize that they love each other, I'm okay with it when it's the motivation for them actually saying the words because they were too scared to before. But it's still a pet peeve if they were about to lose each other due to neither of them saying it and then suddenly their entire relationship is fixed because she (it's always the girl) almost dies and suddenly they're saying it and everything's okay now.  The fact that they couldn't say it without that makes me rather skeptical of their emotional maturity.  Just saying.

Another pet peeve is when two characters have broken up and the woman hasn't had a single lover since the break-up and the guy's been a big playboy.  Ugh.  If both of them have been celibate and he's just been on lots of dates that make it look like he's been a playboy then that's one thing, but the whole "I'm a highly sexed male and it was just filling a need, it meant nothing so don't worry about it" b.s. gets on my nerves.  Especially when the woman doesn't get to play either.  Nothing makes me angrier than double standards when it comes to crap like that.

I'm also not a fan of the she's a virgin, he's had sex with half the female population but somehow she's totally different thing but he's still not going to commit.  Granted, there's something to be said about not falling into bed with a guy immediately.  After all, if you give yourself away cheaply and quickly then that's how you will be seen, especially by him.  So when these alpha males who are used to women throwing themselves at them come across a woman who won't and is innocent, it makes sense that he would see her in a different light, but then half of the storylines still have him only seeing the heroine as a temporary lover until she gets pregnant with his baby.  COME ON.  Either she's different or she's not.  (Can you tell I've been reading a lot of Harlequin lately?)

Secrets tearing a couple apart.  This is something that drives me absolutely nuts, especially because everyone is always so forgiving of their partner keeping secrets.  B.S.  If you're in a committed couple then certain things need to be said and your loyalty is supposed to be to your partner above other people.  Especially since the majority of these books seem to have the couple being married and keeping secrets.  And I'm not talking about hiding emotions, that's totally understandable especially when you're not sure where the other person stands - but something like your ex-girlfriend not really being your ex-girlfriend and it all being a cover up for something else.  Especially when you're still hanging out with your ex-girlfriend and yet refuse to tell your wife ANYTHING about the relationship - even after inviting said ex to the wedding and wife getting super upset.  And when the wife finds out the truth - from the "ex" - she immediately feels bad for making a scene. Um... wtf.  No woman, you stand up for your guns!  He shouldn't have hid something like that in the first place!  So much emotional anguish that could have been prevented if he had just made some kind of explanation!  Yeah, emotional angst in a book can be a good thing, but not when it's to that extent over something that stupid.  Then it just makes me angry as a reader.

They're all gay!  Seriously.  Or somehow related to the heroine.  Apparently having straight male friends is a big no-no.  UGH.  Yeah it's okay to have a cousin or brother that you're close to, or a gay male friend, that the hero gets jealous over... but it's okay to have straight male friends too.  Because the hero should TRUST the heroine.  And I'm not talking about the straight male friend who is actually secretly interested in the heroine and then shows his true colors when she starts getting involved with the hero and is therefore kicked out of her life.  Little hint... in Stronghold, Angel lives with three dudes.  All straight.  Is Adam going to be jealous? Sure.  Is he going to have to learn how to deal with it?  Hell yes he is.  Cuz he's a real man.  Not a whiny, insecure wanna-be alpha who can't handle his woman having male relationships outside of him unless the guy is either gay or related.  Just saying.

So yeah.  Those are some of the things getting on my nerves lately.  Things I would like to avoid in my own work.  Which I am working hard on... think I'm about halfway through the next chapter of Marriage Training and I've been getting a great deal of work done on Dealing With Discipline, which is going to be much longer and more involved than Birching His Bride, I can already tell.  Things are getting even more complicated than i originally outlined and it's getting rather exciting!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Story: Her Best Friend's Dad

So, this is a standalone story that I was working on in between other writings... just to get my head out of the game and think.  I didn't blog about it cuz it was taking me a long time to write since I was only working on it when I needed a break from my main stories.  It's always nice for me to be able to just write about something where I don't have to keep tons of characters straight / remember what I've already written about / etc.

Her Best Friend's Dad was submitted a couple of days ago and came out yesterday... go figure.  Crazy how fast THAT story came out when Marriage Training Ch. 6 took forever! 

At any rate,  Her Best Friend's Dad is about a virgin who auctions off her virginity on the internet and it's bought by her best friend's father.  There's been more than one story on the news in the past couple of years about young women auctioning off their virginity, and the large sums of money that are paid for that.  It's kind of fascinated me and made me wonder about what the motivation might be.  In the most recent case that I saw it seemed more like a way to make a quick buck than anything else because there was some philanthropist who offered the young woman the money / a scholarship / job or some combination thereof (I can't entirely remember) and she decided that she'd prefer to continue with her plan to sell her virginity.

And so I started wondering, what secondary motivation might there be behind the obvious motivation of the quick (and large amount of) money.  So that's where this story came from.

It's not often that the premise of my stories are motivated by real life events so this is kind of a unique one, although obviously it's still a fantasy because I gave my own spin on the motivation of both the seller and the buyer. 

There's a possibility that I might come back to these characters at some later date and continue writing about Cyana's further adventures as she becomes more and more depraved sexually.  Unlike a lot of my other standalones, I feel like I could be convinced to do that.  But first I've gotta finish Marriage Training and then I'd really like to go back to the Being the Maid characters because I think I've got a fairly decent outline plotted out for the much requested story for Samuel... so it's not something that would be happening any time soon.

But if you were wondering about my future plans for Literotica stories, I've been spinning the plot outline for Samuel and he's probably going to be next on the series list.  After that I might do Cyana or I might go back to the Victorian era... I've had a rather interesting request for that time period.  We'll see!  It'll probably depend on how well people respond to Her Best Friend's Dad.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dealing With Discipline Teaser

So... in case you didn't know, there's been a teaser up for Dealing With Discipline on the Domestic Discipline Quartet's blog page for awhile now, but I thought another teaser - this time about Eleanor and Edwin might be appropriate.  I'm having such a good time with this series... I really do love the Victorian time period and it's fun to get to do something different from the Venus/Stronghold crew (as much as I love them too). 

Here's a little tease from Dealing With Discipline (unedited):


Although Edwin’s words had the sound of a request, Eleanor knew that they were more of an order and she felt both more anxious and slightly calmer.  At least it wasn't his study, with that awful chair that seemed like it had been made to bend her over for discipline.  Not that she'd done anything that truly merited a punishment, although she was sure Edwin was quite frustrated with how elusive she'd been during the wedding celebrations. 

Reluctantly she nodded and allowed him to lead her to the library.  She swept in, ignoring the chairs in favor of standing and freedom of movement as he closed the heavy doors behind them.  They stood across the room from each other, he by the doors studying her, and her by the windows facing to the side so that she could see out of the window while still keeping an eye on him. 

He crossed over to the desk, which was behind her, forcing her to turn to face him if she wanted to keep him within her line of vision.  Despite the fact that he was several meters away, she felt rather crowded just by the sheer force of his presence.  It struck her again what an incredibly attractive man her husband was, and she could feel herself weakening towards him, wanting to touch him, kiss him, be with him.  And yet she couldn’t allow herself to do that.  Be like her mother?  Who was already being exiled to Bath now that Hugh’s wedding was over?

And who knew when her father would let her return to London again.  Yet her mother would accept it, make the best of it and pretend to be happy even as she was sighing with longing for her husband.  It didn’t matter that her father was going to accompany her, eventually he would leave her mother there and now, without Eleanor, she’d be lonelier than ever.

Well Eleanor would never find herself in that trap.  If Edwin didn’t have the same feelings for her as she did for him then she would wall her own feelings away and never let them see the light of day.

Yet part of her still hoped that perhaps there was something more to his emotions than just absent minded affection or the care a man might have for a woman he’d grown up with.  More than the passion that flared up between them.

“Would you like to explain your behavior this morning?” Edwin asked, his voice deceptively calm.  She could feel every one of her muscles tense, the skin on the back of her neck crawling.  A casual observer, one who had not grown up with Edwin, wouldn’t have heard the danger in that tone.  Wouldn’t see the stubborn set of his shoulders, the authoritative tilt of his head.   

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said airily as she swept to the other side of the room, keeping the desk between them and lengthening the amount of space.  Part of her knew that she shouldn’t needle him like this, that she should at least acknowledge that she’d been making him chase her all around Hugh and Irene’s wedding brunch.  At the very least she should ask him what he was talking about, but no, she had to phrase it in such a way that made it clear she was avoiding the issue.  That she was baiting him.

There had to be something wrong with her, because intellectually she knew what the best course of action was and yet she poked at him instead.  It was like poking a tiger with a stick.  All fun and games until the tiger realized that the door to its cage was open.

“I’m sure that you do,” Edwin said, his voice taking on a darker, more dangerous edge, no longer quite so placid or calm.  “You certainly led me a merry dance around the brunch until your Father took you in hand.”

Eleanor sniffed.  “I was just being sociable.  A good hostess.  I don’t understand what that has to do with you, whatever you imagined you shouldn’t take it so personally.”  Stop it, she wanted to yell at herself.  And yet at the same time she was too fascinated by toying with him.  Wanting to push him.  Wanting a reaction that was something other than controlled and dignified.

Wondering if perhaps pushing him to a place beyond his control would reveal something of his true feelings for her.

Her husband took a step towards her and Eleanor eyed him warily, her clenched fists hidden in her skirts.  She didn’t want him to see what an effort this pose was for her.

“I took it personally, madam, because you spent the entire morning avoiding me while I wanted to spend it with my wife on my arm.”  The taut anger in his voice was more than a warning sign and yet she found herself recklessly enjoying it.

Shrugging one shoulder elegantly, she tipped up her nose at him.  “Perhaps your wife was not so interested in spending the morning with you.”

Now Edwin began walking around the desk and Eleanor swiftly began walking in the other direction, keeping the distance between them.  He stopped immediately, scowling.  And he even looked attractive doing that.  Attractive and foreboding.  Her heart was starting to beat faster, a prelude to passion… or a warning of imminent danger.

“And why might that be?” he asked.  Eleanor noted the fists clenched at his sides, the way the tendons stood out in his neck above his cravat.  It sounded like his teeth were actually grinding together and yet he did not continue to chase her, he just stood there and asked questions as if he expected her to behave illogically, expected her to be a brat.

So she threw all caution to the wind and put her hands on her hips, rolling her eyes as if in exasperation.  His own lack of reaction, his self-control, was feeding her impulsiveness, making her reckless.

“Why must we always be arm in arm?  Other couples amongst the ton aren’t like that.  Grace didn’t even come to the wedding today because Lord Brooke was there.  Why must you always follow me around?”

“It seemed to me that you originally wanted a husband who would follow you around,” he accused in a silky voice, his eyes hard as he began to circle around the desk again.  Staring back at him, heart fluttering in her throat, Eleanor was unsure whether she felt fear or arousal as she began to move, doing her best to keep the desk between them.  “A husband who would beg for your attention.  Is that what you’re doing Eleanor?  Trying to make me into your puppy dog, to follow and beg for you?  You think to teach me to do tricks?”

“N-n-n-o,” she stuttered.  She certainly had never thought that she’d be able to make Edwin into the kind of husband that she’d originally wanted, that her other suitors would have made.  Or had she?  Was that what she had been trying to prove today?  There had been something immensely satisfying about making Edwin follow her all around the room, something she would have never expected to be able to force her confident, elegant husband to do.  Even if he had stopped the chase once her father had sat her down.  She was suddenly confused, wondering if she’d truly thought through her tactics.

Now he was chasing her again, but in closed quarters with no one around.  A much more volatile situation, one almost guaranteed not to go her way.  And yet… she felt almost excited by it.  Excited and frightened.  This, like so many of her other plans, was not going her way.  She could see that this little game of cat and mouse was rousing Edwin’s passions, he was looking at her the same way he did before he undressed her at night, but she already knew that he desired her.  The goal had been to discover what softer feelings he might have for her.

Frustrated, Edwin stopped stalking her and planted his hands on the desk.  “Come here Nell.”

“No.” She backed further away.  They’d rotated around the room so that she was now closer to the door, Edwin behind the desk with his back to the windows.  Her backwards momentum was stymied when she ran into one of the bookshelves and she put out a hand to steady herself.

His voice lowered, almost coaxing, although no less dangerous for its gentleness.  “Come here Eleanor.”

“NO.”  Frustrated she practically threw the word at him.  She didn’t want passion, or she did but she that wasn’t her goal at the moment and she didn’t want to be distracted.  Her emotions were chaotic, frustrated, and she was acting out of sheer instinct at this point.

“Eleanor I’m tired of this game.”  Edwin’s dark eyes skewered her, accusing, almost hurt and it ripped at her, but she couldn’t make herself go to him.  She couldn’t give in.  That’s what her mother would do, wanting to soothe the man she loved, whatever the cost to herself.  But Eleanor wasn’t her mother and if Edwin knew how much she cared, the way her father did, and still discarded her or sent her off to live in the country without him, like her father did with her mother, she could not bear it.  Better he not know.  Better she keep something back from him until she knew if she could trust him with her heart.  “Come here.”

“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” she practically wailed, a sentiment straight from her heart.  She didn’t meant that she wanted him to leave her alone really, just that she couldn’t take much more of this uncertainty about his feelings towards her.  That right at this moment she couldn’t bear to have him force her to reveal her feelings by coming to him when she had no idea whether they were returned.  It felt as if she was standing on a precipice and he was urging her to jump, without promising that he would be there to catch her.

He jerked as if she’d slapped him, looking incredibly startled.  Who knew what would have happened then, how he might have reacted, if Eleanor hadn’t been so far gone in her own torrent of emotions that she did something monumentally stupid.

Grasping the first thing that came to hand, an ornamental bookend on the shelf she’d been grasping, she threw it at him.  Right at his stubborn, incomprehensible, unreadable head.

Her aim had always been good and it was only his quick reflexes that allowed him to duck out of the way.  Watching in horror as the heavy wooden decoration flew across the room, Eleanor’s hands covered her mouth as she stared in shock.  Edwin whirled back around to stare at her as the bookend clattered to the floor behind him.  She didn’t think, she just ran.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Marriage Training Ch. 6

Chapter 6 of Marriage Training is now available on Literotica - YAY!

Took them a bit to get it out but that's okay, at least it finally is!  Been working on the next chapter... looking forward to seeing Lord Cranborne again =) Fun stuff.

In the meantime been hard at work on Dealing With Discipline and starting off Stronghold...

Look for a Dealing With Discipline teaser here on the blog sometime next week!

Hope everyone has a happy  Memorial Day weekend! (For those celebrating ;)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Looking at Domestic Discipline

Okay, I know that everyone's feeling very interested in Stronghold right now - can't blame you, I am too - but I know that Dealing With Discipline is going to be out before Stronghold.  And I'm excited about that too!

To try and get us back into the whole Victorian / Domestic Discipline Quartet mindset I figured I'd do a little blog about the series since the first book is out and we've met all but one of the main characters.

The idea for the quartet came about because of what I felt was a lack of erotic romantic domestic discipline books set in the Victorian era.  It's a great era for all sorts of punishments and BDSM, because corporeal punishment was a really big thing back then, people were hiding all sorts of fetishes and crazy sex lives behind prim and proper exteriors, and that all makes for a great kind of erotic fantasy.  Granted, I'm pretty sure the reality wasn't so great, but for now, for us, it's a good fantasy.  Especially when it comes to things like domestic discipline, since that was actually a well utilized tool during that time period.

I've got an array of different characters, from different backgrounds, with different ideas about sex and spanking and what they want from their marriages.  So much drama can be had from simple things like arranged marriages, the lack of information given to unwed women about sex, and the use of domestic discipline!

I didn't finish Edwin and Eleanor's story in Birching His Bride for a couple of reasons.  The first is that Birching His Bride was supposed to be an introduction book to the series and its characters rather than a completely self-contained book.  The second is because Eleanor is going to get into so much more trouble once her brother's new wife, Irene, is in similar circumstances to her own.  I do feel like Birching is a complete book, although with a cliff hanger, since by the end of it Eleanor has realized that she can't control love and her focus / goals have gone through a complete changeover.  Dealing With Discipline will focus on the effects of her epiphany as well as Irene and Hugh's story.  And, lastly, Irene and Hugh will be out of London for the beginning of the book on their honeymoon and having Edwin and Eleanor's story continue allows me to jump back to London easily for the events that are going on there.  Eleanor and Irene's stories are going to intersect, something that wouldn't be possible if Eleanor and Edwin's story had been contained to one book.  I know that the double cliffhanger got on some people's nerves, but I do believe it was necessary for the overall series arch.

One reviewer wondered what Book 4 could possibly be about since there are only three male main characters introduced in Birching His Bride.  That's true... but the fourth male character is mentioned in the book more than once although we didn't meet him yet. ;)  He's going to play a pretty major part in Dealing With Discipline which I'm excited about.

I am hopeful that I may be getting this book out by the end of June... we'll see.  Definitely sometime in July at the latest, but I'd like to aim for the end of June so that I can hopefully have Stronghold following soon after!

Keep an eye out for Marriage Training Ch. 6... I'll announce on here and twitter when it's out of course.  Should be any day now!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Post Venus

Wow... I kind of can't believe that I have completely finished the Venus Rising series.  At this time last year I hadn't even started publishing anything on Amazon, wasn't even thinking about it, and now I've completed both the Poker Loser Trilogy and the Venus Rising Quartet.  That's kind of insane.  And awesome.  But insane.  I have to say, I'm thrilled that people enjoy my work so much.  Wow... I just looked at Literotica.  At this time last year, I was only halfway through writing Venus School of Sex.  Crazy!

Thank you to everyone who has left a review on Venus Transcendent so far, I really appreciate it!  Please keep letting me know what you think =)

Now that Venus is done I've been concentrating on getting the next chapter of Marriage Training completed for Lit.  I'm going to be submitting it tonight so it should (hopefully) be out later this week, dependent on Lit's submission pace.  I'm also getting my focus back into Dealing With Discipline and I'm getting back into working on Stronghold.

Dealing With Discipline will be coming out before Stronghold though, although it's possible they won't be far apart in release dates.  It really depends on how fast each of them come along.  I had already done some work on Stronghold months ago, and although it needs a little editing to accommodate how Adam has developed and a few changes that I decided to make for Angel's character, I've already basically completed the first couple chapters.  Woo!

Now, I really do read every single comment / review that gets left on Amazon or my blog and I just thought I'd address some things people had mentioned...

I realize that Venus Transcendent doesn't really have a definitive "the end."  There are several reasons for this, the first of which is that I didn't want to force a wedding (or two weddings) just to feel like I'd "ended" the story.  The second of which is that their stories are going to continue throughout the Stronghold series.  So the end of Rising isn't really a goodbye, it's a "we'll see you later."  And I'm looking forward to the later even though we won't be seeing it from the Venus character's points of view anymore.  The final reason is that I can't stand it when characters get pushed to wrap things up in a neat little bow at the end of the series, even if they don't really seem ready for it.  Jessica and Hilary have decided what they want, they've overcome the obstacles that were set up for them in their books, and while I suppose I could manufacture new obstacles for them it would feel like just that... manufactured.   I'd much rather just watch them through their friend's eyes while they go through their own stories.  Trust me, we'll be seeing a lot of all the characters in the subsequent books.  And I will probably be writing novellas for them in the future, but they won't be full out books.

The reason Master Adam is next in line is because, well... it's his turn.  Even though he didn't really want it to be.  Although Master Rick is more actively looking for a sub, he's not ready to find one yet.  I totally understand why it seems like Lexie and Patrick's story should be next, but they're not ready yet either.  There's a lot of conflict going on there and things are going to come to a much bigger boil before their book - something that I'm really looking forward to in the next couple of books.

I have a lot of things that I'm really excited about upcoming stories, in both series. I wish I could write a million times faster than I physically can, but I got the Quartet done in under a year and I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to keep up the pace for future releases!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Venus is Out - Freebie Day May 18th

Okay... Venus Transcendent is now available on Amazon!

However I couldn't get the promotion together in time for it to be free on Friday unfortunately, so Saturday May 18th will be its freebie day.

Thank you to those of you who have already hunted it down and started buying it... you amaze and flatter me.  Like, seriously... you have no idea how much it thrills me and makes me feel all warm and gooshy inside that people are that darn eager to read my stuff.

Please please please don't forget to leave a review!  They help me tremendously and I read every single one that I get.  Especially since I'm going to be continuing this series (albeit focusing on different characters) with the Stronghold series, it's always good to know what people loved and what they thought needed work. 

Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Venus Transcendent Has Been Submitted!

YAY!

I submitted the final book in the Venus Quartet to Amazon tonight!

Amazon is usually pretty quick so there's a good chance that it will be out tomorrow... in which case it will have its freebie day on Friday.  If that's the case then I'll announce that on Friday morning of course, although you can always keep an eye out for it yourself if you don't feel like waiting for me ;)

I'm really close to being finished with the next chapter of Marriage Training, that should hopefully be submitted by early next week and (if I'm lucky) out later next week.

I'm away this weekend though, doing some awesome rafting and outdoor adventuring which I'm looking forward to.  Maybe will help with the storyline that I'm putting together for the next Literotica contest ;) Woo! hahaha. Although I've already got a pretty good idea - more than one person suggested a camping theme to me and I've taken specifics from all those suggestions to put together a pretty awesome plotline (I think).  Now I just have to write it! LOL

Feeling really good about Venus Transcendent... Hopefully it'll come out quick!

Monday, May 13, 2013

By the End of This Week

By the end of this week, Venus Transcendent will be available.

I'm working on editing at the moment and am trying to do a better initial job rather than pushing the book to get out faster.  It's always a toss up between making people wait longer for the release and taking more time to do a more thorough editing job.  I'm lucky in that I've got a couple other eyes looking at Transcendent for me in addition to my own, which should help matters.  But it's done... finished... caput. WOO! And I should hopefully be able to do the editing quickly AND thoroughly.  My goal is to have it submitted to Amazon by Wednesday evening so that it will hopefully be available by sometime on Thursday and have its Freebie day on Friday.

That's the goal at the moment!

The other nice thing is that now I can focus a bit more on getting the next chapter of Marriage Training out as well, for all the patiently waiting Lit. readers.  Sorry!  Shouldn't have another long wait like that hopefully.  And I'll be able to get back into doing more writing for Dealing With Discipline as well since I'm hoping to get that one out by the end of June / early July.

I'm super excited for the advent of Stronghold later this summer too.  There will be a teaser at the end of Venus Transcendent and next week I'll post a secondary teaser here on the blog, just to give everyone an idea of what we have to look forward to in the world of Stronghold.  =)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!!!  I had a wonderful time with my Mom and family doing some hiking and being outdoors. Gorgeous weather fortunately!  Although, seeing all the little kids running around on Mother's Day did not make me eager to join the ranks of celebrating Moms lol.   I am so not ready for that job yet!

Friday, May 10, 2013

One Chapter Away!

I am one chapter and one epilogue away from completing Venus Transcendent! Soooooooo excited.  I've poured a lot of work into it the past couple of weeks.  The whole catching up with my writing after the crazy busyness at work for the past few months has been kind of brutal.  Obviously I haven't been able to do as much output with Marriage Training while I'm trying to get Venus out in a timely manner.

But soon I'll be back to my usual prolific self with Literotica since I'll be focusing equally on Marriage Training and Dealing with Discipline.  YAY!

Wrapping up the Venus series is an interesting experience for me because I've literally been involved with these characters for close to a year now... and also because their stories are going to continue beyond the series. Unlike the Poker Loser trilogy, I don't plan on ending this series with a wedding, because I don't feel like the characters are there yet.  But the main focus on them has ended, although of course we'll still be seeing plenty of them in the Stronghold series.

Also, I'm now setting myself up on Goodreads thanks to a fan who pointed out to me that I needed to get on there.  Going to be doing that this weekend when I'm not busy apartment hunting, celebrating Mother's Day, seeing a friend from out of town and editing Venus.  Yeah... gonna be a little busy. Which is why my goal is to finish the book today.  Hopefully the one chapter won't morph into two... but either way I'm going to try to finish it up today!

WOO!

Hope everyone has a good weekend =)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Enough With the Life-Threatening Danger Already!

GAH.

Biggest pet peeve as a reader. 

I was really getting into a story that I'd downloaded for free on Kindle.  The love story was interesting, two guys vying for girl's attention, little bit of a mystery, and just a hint of danger... and then BOOM. all of the sudden the guy that's supposed to be the normal dude (okay, super sexy and alpha male, but not royalty) turns out to be even MORE important than the Prince that has been showing interest in the heroine... he turns out to be Prince's big brother but he's been hiding out from his royal heritage and now the King and Queen are incensed because the heroine isn't their idea of marriage material for one of their sons and so now they're trying to kill her. 

Completely disgusted, I deleted the book from my Kindle immediately and went to check things out online.  It's got two more books of the King and Queen trying to chase her down and put an end to the "problem" permanently.  A lot of people really liked it, going by the reviews, but I have just been completely wrung out by the number of books that have to throw in some crazy danger in order to make the story "exciting." It was already exciting darn it! I was excited by the love triangle and the fact that I thought the "normal" every day man was going to win out over the prince for once! (which, also, gave me a story idea).

This morning I was checking out a sample on my Kindle for a book that seemed super interesting about a town way out in rural England where people still basically acted like a Medieval town and every so often there is a "finding year" where new people can be introduced to and brought into the community.  The heroine is on her way in, hired by the Lord of the town, and she's about to find out exactly what it's like to be beholden to an alpha-male heavy-handed spanker.  WOO! Super exciting right? And then comes the other two perspectives in the book, both jealous females, both "hating" the heroine upon appearance and one of them already planning to do dastardly deeds. 

I lost interest.

Sure these elements of danger add to the plot somewhat, but they also tend to (in my opinion) take away from the character / romance development.  What's the easiest way to make an alpha male who's sworn off love admit to his feelings? Make the heroine almost die so that he has to face what life would be like without her!  

Does it work? Sure. But it also covers a multitude of sins, the biggest being that of not enough romance development. Instead of having to work to win the regard of the girl when he's been pushing her away the whole book, they BOTH get to suddenly realize that life is short and they should make the most of it.  Personally I'd rather see the guy have to work to open up and let the heroine in, to woo her in the manner she deserves. 

I know that's just a personal preference... but I felt like ranting about it.  

This is why even though Bridget and Garrett were effected by the showdown with Patrick in Being the Maid, it didn't immediately bring them together as a couple.  Because I feel like it's a bandaid over an emotional problem rather than a true fix.  There are a few storylines in my head that I'd like to write that do have danger in them, possibly life-threatening, but it's because of the nature of the careers the characters have chosen... and also, I'm going to do my best to keep it from ever effecting the emotional progress of the characters.  If I even get around to writing those books because every time I get annoyed with a book for doing that it makes me want to focus on my books that have no crazy life threatening issues. 

There are, of course, authors that do it well and whose stories I enjoy.  Stephanie Laurens and Lexie Blake spring to mind as two of my favorite authors whose characters are often in some sort of danger at some point during their books.  But for the most part, I wish there were more books that were just focused on the romance / character development and didn't feel the need to nearly kill the heroine in order to get the hero to commit. Ya know?!

Anyway.  Going on in my own world - Venus Transcendent is so close to being done, but it probably won't be out till next week because I've accepted a very kind offer to help me with editing.  The first version put out still won't be perfect but we'll be cleaning it up and putting out a new version not long afterwards - and people who have already bought it are able to download subsequent versions easily which is the nice thing about Amazon.  I just finished Chapter 16 today. I think I have four more to go. My goal is to write a chapter a day for the rest of this week, get as much editing done over the weekend and the beginning of next week as possible and then get this baby out there. Woo!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Poker Loser Trilogy Now Available on Smashwords

Okay...

So I had to pull books 1 & 2 of the Poker Loser Trilogy from Smashwords when I went back through them and did a bunch of editing so that I could re-offer them for a freebie day on Amazon / make it possible for them to be borrowed for a few months. They are no longer borrowable from Amazon, but they are now available, along with #3, on Smashwords for all the non-Kindle readers =)

Here's the link

At the moment it's looking like I'm not going to have Venus Transcendent finished by this weekend, but it should be done sometime next week if I keep up the pace that I have going (which I plan to). WOO!!!!