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  • Wolf Creek
    Wolf Creek
    by Nikko Lee

    Life as a gay omega werewolf is no fairytale.

  • NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    by Gary Budgen, Julian Darius, Richard Greico Jr, Nikko Lee, K. A. Opperman, Alice Renard, Rose Banks, Paul St. John Mackintosh, Michael Seese

    Contains Instabiable by Nikko Lee

  • Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    by Carol Hightshoe, Cynthia Ward, Terry M. West, Christie Meierz, Dana Bell, Mary E. Lowd, Patrick J. Hurley, Francis W. Alexander, Liam Hogan

    Brainatarian by Nikko Lee

  • Coming Back
    Coming Back
    by James Arthur Anderson, Brian Barnett, Dave Fragments, Shawna Galvin, Vince Darcangelo, Ken Goldman, Michael Lindquist

    Contains A Mother Knows by Nikko Lee (paperback available at Lulu.com)

  • Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    by Jonathan W. Thurston

    Contains Great Mother Wolf by Michelle Knowlton

  • People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    by Frank Larnerd, Tony Peak, Geoff Gander, Shenoa Caroll-Bradd, Robert Hart, Nikko Lee, Kyle Yadlosky, Edward Martin III

    Contains Bouillon de Bebe by Nikko Lee

  • Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    by Nicole Gestalt, Crysta Coburn, J.T Seate, Nikko Lee, V.C., Zak Jane Keir, Blair, Regina Kammer, Jim Lee

    Contains Boson's Mate by Nikko Lee

  • The Big Book of Bizarro
    The Big Book of Bizarro
    by Rich Bottles Jr.

    Contains Honey-Do by Nikko Lee

  • Between Love and Lust
    Between Love and Lust
    by Nikko Lee

    E-book

    Print-on-demand paperback

  • Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    by J. Troy Seate, Patricia McCarthy, Nikke Lee, Andrea Saavedra, James Hartley, Edward McKeown, Mike Graves, J.E. Gurley, Zakk Erikson, David Bernstein C.C. Blake

    Contains Pure Delight by Nikko Lee

Sunday
Apr242016

Writing Worry #36: Maintaining professional connections

Writing is by it's nature a solitary process. Publishing, however, requires knowing the right people at the right time. Living in Downeast Maine is a mixed blessing for establishing and maintaining professional writing and publishing connections. We have some great authors who either live in or summer in the area who make themselves available through workshops or authors talks at the local libraries. Yet the opportunities for those workshops and writing conferences is limited.

One of the ways I have enjoyed making writing and publishing connections has been the Maine Crime Wave. This would have been it's third year. Unfortunately, attendance wasn't enough to allow the organizers to go ahead with it. Hopefully, it will return next year since it was the closest writing-related conference to me at about a 3 hour drive.

I've looked into other fan, author and writing conferences with the closest ones being in Boston and New York city. Both require a lot more travel and expense – not to mention time – than I currently have available.

There are several writing groups in the area and I've been attending a semi-private one that has really helped with consistency of reviewing. Cynthia Thayer is giving a dialog workshop in Belfast in June that promises to be educational. I've attended a workshop by her before and found it incredibly valuable.

So back to focusing on writing and getting Safe Word edited and to beta readers no later than October. I have no idea when editing for Spar will begin but it's scheduled for release in October. November promises to be the start of another busy period for me where writing is going to have to take a back seat. Until then I have 5 months to get done what I can before another hiatus.

There are a couple of excellent authors visiting the local libraries. I just have to get out and not be shy. The only way I am going to make connections is by talking to people as a person first and an author second.

Friday
Mar112016

Writing Worry #35: The endless manuscript

I first had the idea for Safe Word nearly 10 years ago. I was on vacation with my mother and sister in the Dominican Republic at an all inclusive resort. Normally, I'm the type of person who likes to be busy. The idea of sleeping in past 7AM or spending the entire day lounging just runs against my grain. My mother and sister didn't have as much of a problem with the need to be busy as I had.

I worked out at the resorts basic gym. I swam in the ocean. I took Spanish lessons. I did a lot of walking. The things about being bored is that it lets your mind wander. When I joined my mother and sister pool side, I read and started outlining Safe Word.

After vacation was over, I had a partial outline and some character profiles. However, other writing projects needed my attention. I had to finish my trunked dark fantasy series. Then there was Wolf Creek. But the idea of writing a crime story with BDSM elements had taken hold.

So when NaNoWriMo rolled around in 2013 and I needed a new story to start on, I pulled out my partial draft outline.

Flash forward to 2016, where is Safe Word? Shortly after I started submitting queries for Wolf Creek, I began the editing process for Safe Word. I've done several drafts. Added point of view characters. I've re-worked the plot and fleshed out some minor characters. My main female character has had a name change and background change.

In between, I published Wolf Creek (new adult paranormal fantasy) and recently signed a contract for Spar (M/M martial arts erotic romance) - hooray! And still there is much editing to do on Safe Word. I fear it is become the endless manuscript. Normally I like to had off my manuscript to beta readers a year after I start editing. That's the goal anyways.

There are a couple of reasons Safe Word is plaguing me. I love the concept and don't want to sell it short. This is my first foray into writing a novel that has neither explicit sex - although there is a strong BDSM component - nor paranormal creatures. So I am doubting myself. The feedback I've received from workshops and writing groups has been lukewarm at best. No one else seems to find the characters or plot as engaging as I do. Have I missed the mark?

More self-doubt. More professional doubt.

D.B Jackson wrote a blog post recently about the need to submit rather than sit on a finished manuscript. I'm accepting the challenge. By next October, Safe Word will be submitted. I have two more scenes to write and nearly half of the manuscript to edit before I can even contemplate harassing beta readers.

So what's it about?

Dr. Jacob Rile is used to being in control, especially in the bedroom. When two former sexual partners are murdered, Jacob must help Detective Catherine St. Onge find the killer before he becomes the prime suspect.

Whether it's reporting a politically connected detective for discharging his weapon or ignoring her ex-boyfriend warnings about investigating a case she hasn't been assigned, Catherine is determined to make senior detective without anyone’s help. To solve two suspiciously similar homicide cases, she must delve into a world of desires she has denied herself.

To get Catherine into the BDSM club where the murderer is finding victims, Jacob will have to pass her off as his submissive. But is she willing to let her guard down enough to be vulnerable? As Jacob and Catherine struggle to find common ground, a jilted ex-submissive chooses Catherine as her next victim. Can Jacob atone for his past arrogance before someone else dies?

Wednesday
Mar092016

My four-legged hiking partner

Every now and again, I try to stretch my writing muscles beyond my comfort zone of paranormal romance and erotica. Safe Word is definitely testing my creative flexibility by forcing my deadly plot into a real world scenario where the only monsters come in human form.

Aside from my work and this blog, I occasionally write about my experiences and topics that interest me. Usually that comes in the form of blogs about writing, hiking, science or motherhood. Very rarely do I reflect on my past experiences and the road that has brought me to who I am today.

I'm currently working on a very short piece about how hiking with an always eager malamute mix helped me get over a fairly traumatic relationship. When I think of how much my dog Bruno has meant to me over the years, I feel I at least owe him an essay.

Sometimes standoffish. Often hand to control. Always willing to go for a walk/hike/ski/bike-jor.

Bruno forced me to overcome my shyness to strangers by greeting them before our paths crossed so he wouldn't act overly protective.

Bruno required me to get off my butt and hike. He was rarely content with a half hour or even hour long walk. On weekends we tackled mountains. Or skijored. Or bikejored.

Bruno was my introduction into the Downeast dogscouts. Many of whom have become good friends.

Now that Bruno is beyond 10 years old and slowing down, I know that I have fewer years left with him. He's still rambunctious, but he now does his fair share of napping. He still loves to be outside, unless it's raining or below 20F.

I never knew him as a puppy since I adopted him when he was two. But I always think of him with that perpetual smile on his face and a spring in his steps whenever we step outside for a walk.

Thursday
Mar032016

Raw Silk by Lisabet Sarai

In a foreign land, a woman discovers exotic new realms of the senses.

Lisabet Sarai has had a busy start to the winter. First the publication of The Gazillionaire and the Virgin (see my review) and now her first BDSM novel Raw Silk is being re-released in an expanded edition. So why not spread the word? Especially when it's available for only 99c (until March 8th, so hurry). I've snagged my copy for reading on these long winter evenings with spring just around the corner. Besides I've always been a sucker for 'The King and I'.


Here's some more information about Raw Silk and it's author.

About Raw Silk:

When software engineer Kate O’Neill leaves her lover David to take a job in Thailand, she becomes sexually involved with two very different men—a handsome and debauched member of the Thai aristocracy, and the charismatic proprietor of a sex bar.

Each touches her in a different way, each teaches her different things about her body and her heart.

Then David comes to Bangkok, and Kate realizes that, finally, she must choose one of the three men who all desire her.

About Lisabet Sarai:

LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

A Deeper Need

Erotic romance (including the all-too-famous trilogy) sometimes treats BDSM rather superficially. As I see it, BDSM is not about doing things: spanking, whipping, bondage, forced exhibitionism, or whatever. Power exchange is more a state of being, an ongoing psychic connection between the top and bottom which amplifies sensation and emotion regardless of who is doing what to whom.

I know there are some subs who seek pain for its own sake, but I have a deeper need: the need to totally surrender to a powerful other, to trust him (or her) not just with my body but with my spirit. For me, BDSM is transformational and healing, more about devotion and respect, honesty and intimacy, than about pain or even pleasure. Meanwhile, in order to feel whole, a true dominant requires the sub's willing acquiescence to being controlled and used.  Complementary needs, complementary fantasies—like pieces of a puzzle, each partner in the power exchange.

Excerpt:

“But come. Let us make our way down to the quay. I have hired a converted rice barge to take us upriver. I think that you will find life along the Chao Phaya quite a contrast to this scene of royal eccentricity.”

The barge was waiting, a broad wooden craft with a central cabin and open decks at either end. A convex roof covered the whole length of the barge, shading the decks. They were met by a handsome youth with a shy smile, who helped them across the gangplank and onto the forward deck.

Then he cast off from the mooring and disappeared to the stern. Kate felt the barge vibrate as the engine started. Soon they were headed upstream, moving smoothly through the muddy water.

They lounged comfortably on the cushioned benches that lined the sides

of the boat. A young woman in traditional dress appeared with refreshments—ice cold lemon juice and an array of tropical fruit. Somtow picked up a spear of pineapple, dipped it into a dish of white and red powder that sat in the middle of the fruit platter, and offered it to Kate. “This is the typical way that Thais eat fruit,” he said. “With salt and chili. I know that it may sound odd to you, but try it.”

She took a bite. The complex of sweetness, saltiness and spiciness was quite remarkable. “That’s fantastic. Like nothing I have ever tasted before. But whatever inspired the Thais to try this in the first place?”

“Just our natural creativity,” said Somtow with a grin. “Or perhaps our craving for new and exciting sensations.” He leaned forward and kissed her, his taste adding to other flavors mingling on her tongue.


Monday
Feb222016

Writing Worry #34: Finding good beta readers

After losing count of the number of revisions on a manuscript, it's easy to become edit-blind. At some point, every author has to turn their beloved fledgling story over to someone else to read. Before venturing into the deep end of queries and submissions, beta readers are an author's best friends.

These rare and elusive readers are willing to accept a completed manuscript that may still be an diamond in the rough and give feed back about what they liked or didn't and what they found interesting or confusion.

I admit it. I seek out beta readers. I solicit my friends and family. I read at writing groups. I make general pleas on my Facebook account. I even offer to exchange manuscripts with kindred authors I meet on the off chance that they are as desperate as I am for beta readers.

When all the revisions and edits are done, I'm always struck with the fear that no one will want to read what I've spent months, years usually, working on. As an author, it's hard to tell if I've been able to transfer the story and characters that have fermented in my brain onto the page.

Beta readers come in all varieties and serve multiple purposes.

-The 'I liked/loved it' beta is a great confidence booster.

-The Line Editor beta can catch many of the typos and mistakes the author no longer sees.

-The Big Picture beta often makes suggestions about characters or the plot that can make the difference between an okay storyand a truly satisfying one.

-The 'I stopped reading' beta can be the most valuable because they can give an author insight as to where the reader's attention is being lost.

Over the last month, I've received numerous comments from beta readers of Spar (M/M erotic romance set in a karate dojo). The corrections and suggestions helped me polish the manuscript enough for submission. Big thankyous to everyone who read. Look for exciting news about Spar in the near future.

If you have a chance, beta read for a new author. Be kind, but be honest. It can make the difference between staying in the purgatory of submission and getting accepted for publication.