Quite some time ago, a friend of mine - Jonah Knight, I'm sure I've talked about him before. Anyway, he and a friend decided they were going to open a small publishing house, and would I be interested in submitting something? He sent out the call, and as I'm wont to do, I looked it over, saw the deadline was in January, and said "Yeah, that sounds cool."
In my head I have plenty of time....
Astonishingly enough, I did actually finish the story in time for the deadline, despite a bit of procrastinating, some complete changes to what I was doing, and eventually I put together about a 3k short story about ghosts... with a twist.
This'll be a first for me; there's no erotica in this story (sorry!) and no actual central love story. It's a story about ghosts. I think it's a very sweet story and I'm very pleased with it. If nothing else, it was really fun to stretch my writing muscles and do something completely different...
I'll keep you posted, you'll know more when I know more....
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
|Not the actual cover|
As you probably know, Elizabeth L. Brooks and I started a short story project last year. It was a double challenge; the first part of the challenge was "could we write a short story, consistently, every week?" The second part of the challenge was "could I get my words under control enough to write SHORT SHORT stories?"
We were... mostly successful. There were a few weeks that she skipped; a few weeks that I skipped. Life happens. And while I do have... three... stories in the collection that capped out over 2,000 words, most of them are in the under 2k limit. (We originally set a 1,500 word limit, but that I was almost completely incapable of...)
We ended with 46 usable stories. We each had one that got trashed immediately for being depressing as all shit. (Both Liz and I sometimes have some serious self-esteem issues, and independently of each other, we wrote some hideous "I hate myself" pieces...) Around June or so, we got stuck; it didn't seem how much we wrote, we weren't getting any closer to our goal... we wanted at least 40,000 words so the collection could go to print. And then we realized there were some errors in the spreadsheet. Once those were fixed, we had about 56,000 words. Yay us!
We let it sit for a while, then back in October, I started editing Liz's stories. I wanted them off my plate for NaNoWriMo, so they were all done by Nov 1. Liz took a little longer (this is not a complaint, since like I said, Liz works as a professional editor for not one, but two different publishing companies, and she ends up with a crapton of work.) Finally, around the end of December, we got everything edited, back to each other, and did our corrections. We let it sit for another week, then did final edits.
Oddly enough, a few weeks ago, we changed the title. If you might recall, I've been referring to the project as Promptly, or sometimes Promptly Hot, for quite a while... I was doing final read-throughs and while we do have a number of extremely hot sex scenes, we also have a number of stories that stop just outside the bedroom door, leaving you wondering just what's going to happen now. (Although, in the end, I did take my shapeshifters to bed. They were quite insistent... and now THAT story is a bit long for the collection. Oh well... ) So, now it's Whetting the Appetite.
I've only once had a story picked up faster; Pistols & Guns was only "out" for about four hours before I got my acceptance.
Whetting the Appetite was out for less than 24 hours before JMS Books, LLC picked it up.
And, just to make my life fun and interesting; it's going to be released.... in March.
Thanks to everyone who provided writing prompts; we've thanked you officially in the collection as well. (First name, last initial, but you know who you are... I hope. Because if you don't know who you are... well, the IRS is probably mad at you.)
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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?
Released February 26th!
So, I'm excited. This is my first full length novel to be published. (I don't have lots of time to be excited, tho, since I'm having literary twins, so to speak, and my second full length novel will be out in March!)
The eventual plan for the Rainbow Connection novels is thus:
Blues, almost finished the first draft, plan to submit end of February '14 for publication in '15 (Thanks to my editor for the heads-up about how full my publisher's novel release schedule is...)
Classic, some headwork done, plan to submit by the end of '14 for publication in '16
All That Jazz, novella (side story about Hector)
Rhymes and Reasons, novella (side story about Ann-Marie)
These two stories may be put forth as ~20,000 word novellas, or combined into a 60,000 word novel, depending on how the work goes. I'm still headworking it. Especially since while I know what Ann-Marie is up to and what her story looks like, I have no idea what to do with Hector. He's just a lovely character who refuses to Shut Up.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The two best men in my life are my husband (because he's just awesome) and my brother (he's not, really, blood related. We're very close and one of the things that has made it possible for us to be as close as we are is that there's never been the slightest spark of romantic interest between us.)
Oddly enough, the two of them have some remarkable similarities; not the least of which is that I hated both of them from the get-go and it took a while to actually stop being angry with them for existing. Powerful first impressions aren't always a good thing... later, of course, my husband became my best friend and eventually we got married. And my brother became... well, my brother. (Also, he's my Big Brother in the service fraternity that we both belonged to in college...)
While we're not blood-related, my brother and I are fairly sibling-like. We bicker, we enjoy spending time together (but not too much time!) and we're both mildly uncomfortable about the other's sexuality...
And last weekend, he got married to another good friend of mine. I introduced my brother to his lovely bride about... I want to say a year and a half ago, maybe? (Completely random side note, I've had a few really HOT woman ask me for my match-up service recently, and astonishingly enough, I've run out of single guys... how odd is that??)
My brother has been there for the worst times in my life - and astonishingly enough, he's also been there for the best times in my life. I don't know if it's just me, but I find that my more casual friends don't desert me when things are going badly, but they're damned hard to find when things are going well for me... like, they can pity and sympathize, but they can't be happy for me when I'm happy?? And I have some casual friends that I call Landing Pad friends; they show up in my life when shit is wrong with their world, and as soon as things are going well, poof, they're gone.... He did vanish on me for a while when he was married to a horrible, horrible person that I didn't like, and who didn't like me in exchange, and while yes, I think it was wretched of him to abandon me because of it, I'll get over it.
In any case, he was my best man in my wedding. And this weekend, I returned the favor and was his "Gentlemen's Master" was the term they came up with... which is good, because Gentlemen's Mistress, while an awesome title, implies some things that just are not true...
About four months ago, joking around, I said "Well, since I'm your Best Person, I'm going to be doing the Stag Party, right? We should go to a strip club."
He laughed, then looked serious. "I've never actually been."
"Well, we should fix that."
Personally, I'd never been to a strip club before either. And it was something I wanted to do; as an erotica writer, I think I should explore, find out, discover, and continue to learn about sexuality. Personally, I'd have loved to been able to talk more with the strippers; but this was a no lap dance, no touching club, and the music was really, really loud, so there wasn't much opportunity to chat.
We ended up going in a middling sized, mixed-gender group. Me and my husband, my brother and his fiancee (she wanted to go, he didn't object...), my other-other best friend and her boyfriend (who I also set up together... and they went ring shopping this weekend... so that's a 2/3 success rate for my matching services...) and the other groomsman, whose girlfriend was not yet in town for the wedding and I'm not sure she would have wanted to go anyway... she's a little high strung and kinda... well, not as sexually open as most of the rest of us. But I gotta say, my group of friends are, for the most part, pretty sexually open. It's hard for us not to be, really. My group of friends is like the Kevin Bacon game of sexual partners... I slept with K who slept with B who slept with D; D's slept with C, who slept with J, who slept with E, who slept with M, who slept with me... Yes, I really do think we go all the way around in some sort of incestual circle... and for the most part, we're all still friends, with certain amounts of insane emotional baggage.
We hit up a fairly nice club - I was meticulous in my planning and checked reviews and locations and whatever information I could dredge up because I really didn't want to go someplace with roaches (yes, one of the reviews complained about them...) or anyplace really skeezy that our bride-to-be would be desperately uncomfortable.
The rest of the audience was a pretty good mix, too; couples and single guys. There were only two audience creepers and George, who was turned out for being too drunk...
The performers all had stage names that were different from their real names; I know this for a fact because "Anastasia" went on stage, and later introduced herself to me as "Katie." Or maybe "Kitty." It was hard to tell, the music was loud. I had a small bit of chat with one dancer who had a Horde tattoo on her shoulder. I told her I felt sort of uncomfortable tipping the Horde. Her face lit up and she said "Oh, you're Alliance! Well, good thing this isn't a PvP bar..." Another dancer had a Darth Vader in a Saint's Niche tattoo on her thigh. I felt oddly vindicated and happy to see geek chicks on the stage. Maybe it's because there's no way these ladies are pretending to be geeks "to get guys." They're STRIPPERS for fuck's sake. They can get all the guys they want without tattooing Lords of the Sith on their bodies...
(Also, people who think there are such things as "fake geek girls." Differentiate between geek girls and booth babes - fans versus hired to stand around and look pretty... and then go the FUCK away. I don't want you here, geek girls don't want you at the cons, and the rest of the men hanging around who are actually men would like you to go away, too, because you're making them look bad. Okay? Glad we got that straight!)
When they came out, two performers would be on the stage, one in the cage, and one on the bar. We stayed at the stage for our outing. Each "set" would be about three or four songs - mostly rap or hip hop. I did not find the musical choices particularly sexy, but that was all right, I suppose, as the dancers didn't actually dance in time with the music. We got a lot of gyrating and pole-play without much in the way of rhythm. One of the particularly flexible performers incorporated quite a few yoga moves into her routine. (Reminded of Vince Vaughn's interview about the "fucking yoga class")
We stayed about two hours - essentially until we all ran out of money - and then came back to my house where we played Cards Against Humanity until almost 3am.
In any case, I rather enjoyed it. I found the dancers lovely, but also not intimidating. The nice thing about a strip club is that the women can be good looking, but they can't be photo-shopped in real life. So, while they were - mostly - thin and athletic, they also have tummy rolls and skin blemishes and chipped toenail paint. These things I find much more appealing than a photo-shopped model who doesn't look quite real. (Similar that I don't like the idea of a "fake" geek girl, I also don't like the whole "real women" meme that's going around... the only women who aren't real are the ones who have been made over by a graphics artist whose job it is to manipulate pixels into submission to meet some esoteric ideal of beauty... and the person behind the picture is just as real as I am, with their own hopes, dreams, and feelings.)
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Terry’s had a crush on his second cousin Justin for what seems like forever. He’s hidden it as well as possible, knowing that the other man is out of bounds, forbidden fruit. Second cousins getting together isn’t actually illegal, but for Justin the relationship is too close—he just can’t contemplate them being together.
But when some new information comes to light about Terry’s birth and his place in the family, the whole game changes. Suddenly the relationship isn’t so impossible, and things soon begin to get hot and heavy.
Sony Ebook Store
Add it to your Goodreads shelves
Terry deliberately averted his gaze as Justin tugged off his T-shirt and dove into the pool. The last thing he needed was to see him topless. His libido was already in overdrive and he was having trouble not jumping Justin’s bones. In fact, the only thing that held him back was the fact that Justin was his second cousin. They hadn’t been brought up particularly closely, so it wasn’t as if he were lusting after someone he considered to be a brother, but still. They were related and it was weird. Or it would be weird if anything happened between them, which it wouldn’t, of course. It would be wrong and they both knew it.
Terry assumed that was the reason Justin was avoiding him, anyway. They got on well and there was an obvious spark between them, but nothing inappropriate had ever taken place. For the most part, they acted as cousins should. Every now and again, though, he’d catch Justin looking at him. Equally, Terry would drink his fill of his cousin when no one else was looking. Apparently it was getting increasingly difficult for Justin, too.
Right now, at the annual summer get together at Terry’s grandparents’ massive house in rural Warwickshire, the tension between them had never been higher.
What made the whole thing ten times worse was that neither of them had come out. So ending up together would be a double whammy for their families. He could see it now. Hey, everyone! I’m gay—and so is he. We’re together. Now as you were.
He didn’t know whether the reaction would be favorable or not.
He also knew that part of his frustration about the situation was because he hadn’t yet seen any point in coming out. His feelings for Justin ran deeper than he cared to admit, and for that reason he hadn’t been in a relationship with anyone—ever. Not a homosexual relationship, anyway. He’d had girlfriends back in the days when he hadn’t realized what his urges meant, but since then he’d been by himself and remained a virgin. He was surprised, actually, that no one in his family had asked whether he was gay. He could only assume that because he was so private generally, they thought he would only introduce them to someone when he felt it was absolutely right. That was his plan, in fact. To come out and introduce his partner at the same time. But until he got over this damn infatuation with Justin, he was never going to be any farther forward.
His thoughts ran on for several minutes until he was interrupted—and startled—by droplets of cold water falling onto his bare shoulder. He turned. Justin stood there, shaking his blond head and sending the droplets flying around. Apparently he wasn’t avoiding Terry anymore.
It was hot and he was wearing casual clothes, so Terry wasn’t bothered about getting wet, but for some reason, he snapped at Justin. “For fuck’s sake, do you have to do that here?”
Immediately Justin stopped and stared at him. They’d never had a cross word between them, not even when they were children. “Sorry, mate. I was just messing around. I didn’t think it would piss you off.”
His blue eyes were wide and Terry felt his irritation dissipating rapidly. He continued to rake his gaze down Justin’s half-naked form. His broad shoulders and wide chest, which was sprinkled with a handful of pale hairs. His toned stomach, the six-pack nicely defined but not too body-builderish. His arms were thickly muscled but suited his athletic frame. Deep-blue swimming trunks hid the area he most wanted to see but he relied on the glimpses he’d had over the years and his overripe imagination.
Thick thighs and calves and, unbelievably, nice feet—he didn’t generally like feet—finished off the package of perfection and Terry was suddenly extremely glad he had a book in his lap, because his cock was beginning to swell and press against the inside of his swimming shorts. He realized that a dip in the pool would be a pretty good antidote—the chilly water should take the heat from his cock. And if not, at least no one would be able to see the bulge unless they swam underwater.
It was stupid, really, trying to hide his erection from Justin. They both knew there was something between them, and he wanted to bury his hard cock inside Justin’s mouth or arse, not hide it beneath a fucking book.
He began to wonder whether they should just get together, and to hell with the consequences. It wasn’t illegal.
Justin sat down on the sun bed next to Terry and flashed him a smile. “Am I forgiven, then? I haven’t got your book wet, have I?” He reached out to grab the book, presumably to try to dry it, but Terry slammed his hand down quickly, catching Justin’s fingers beneath his in the process, not to mention giving his cock a bit of a smack.
“No,” he ground out, wondering how he’d managed to get even a single word to fall from his lips. As soon as their fingers had touched he’d felt a spark that had run straight up his arm and multiplied throughout his entire body. His ebbing erection had immediately jumped back to attention, lifting the book slightly. He hoped against all hope that Justin hadn’t noticed but he had no such luck.
The blond’s gaze dropped to their still-touching fingers and, presumably, to the book and the thing beneath it that had caused the movement. He stared for a few seconds that felt like hours, then looked back up at Terry’s face. He opened his mouth then closed it again. For the first time ever, it seemed Justin was speechless.
A huge splash and a series of laughs from the pool broke the spell between them. Justin snatched his hand back and raked it through his hair. He opened and closed his mouth again, but for the second time nothing came out. He let out a heavy sigh and stood up looking dazed. He appeared to have trouble putting one foot in front of the other, as though he were drunk or had just woken from a very deep sleep. Of course, only the two of them knew the real reason for Justin’s behavior.
Finally Justin got his limbs to cooperate, and he made his way across to the table that held food and drinks, sheltered from the bright sunlight by a large, green gazebo.
Terry watched him go, a tumult of emotions running through his brain. Disappointment, confusion, anger, lust…they all assaulted him, though admittedly the last was screaming the loudest, a fact certainly not helped by Justin’s damp and topless state.
Now a feeling of despair took hold of him. What the fuck was he going to do?
Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over eighty publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women's Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9