13 February 2012

Anecdotes and Anthologies



Greetings, Kittens!


This was originally meant to be a lovely post on the changes that have happened in erotic romance and romance in general over my four short years in the business. That's not going to happen. I'm just not well enough. Instead, you get an anecdote and a lovely excerpt from my newest TherianWorld Valentine's Day release, ITS SWEETEST FORM, part of the LOVE NOTES Anthology at Musa Publishing.


First, the anecdote. Five years ago last Saturday, (February 4th) I heard back on the very first thing I ever submitted, the TherianWorld novella SHIFTING PASSIONS. It was just a word of encouragement that the editor had enjoyed it and was passing it up the chain. This was followed by a contract offer and release one year later on February 26th, 2008. 


This February 4th, I heard back on my first erotic urban fantasy BLOODSPRITE. Again encouraging words that were followed by a contract offer, and publication will be later this year. 


It's not just the dates that make this stand out. BloodSprite was written first. I finished it in January of 2007 and two weeks later, I saw the open call at Samhain Publishing. I wanted to clear my mind of the grit and gunshots of urban fantasy and dive into a short paranormal romance in the same Therian World. Shifting Passions was born.


I fell headlong into the world of paranormal romance and making the relationships the focus of a story. It even invaded BloodSprite when I begin edits and revision of it. But in the end, no matter how much I felt that BloodSprite was a paranormal romance at heart, it still read as more of an urban fantasy and I just didn't run in those circles. 


People wanted possessive alpha males, and more accommodating females than Dante projects. And for god's sake, give her a feminine name already! But I refused to believe that the story could only be told with gendernormative characters and a more monogamous leaning. I gave a lot, but there were simply things I wasn't ready to give up, things I believed in. 


Fast forward five years and my beta male, femdom, sexually fluid, mildly genderqueer, intimate poly network, erotic urban paranormal fantasy romance, (see what I did there), is signed and ready to meet the world. And it's the first in a series, so there's much more to come!


I dedicate this Valentine's Day to the love of perseverance. Regardless of how the market changes or remains the same, there is, and always has been, the right editor and audience for every story you have to tell or wish to hear told. So hold on and hold out and keep moving forward. It might mean two years between your first and second book as it did for me. But as in my case, that can quickly be followed by three more immediately and four upcoming--I call that worth it. 


But enough of my fevered, (literally), ramblings and onto the blurby and excerpty goodness. 


Enjoy. 


LOVE NOTES Blurb:
Sometimes words on paper are magical, especially when lovers meet again and again.

Love is never a lost cause, and sometimes all it takes is a few special words written down to make all the difference in the world. Wayward cupids, lonely vampires, long-lost loves, and mysterious strangers come together in this collection sure to warm to your heart and steam up your screen. Read our Love Notes--four Valentine's stories from four outstanding romance authors Sam Cheever, Helen Hardt, Sloane Taylor and Xakara and then maybe write a few letters of your own!



ITS SWEETEST FORM Excerpt:
Brahm tried to ignore the similarities. College buddies wasn’t the same as growing up next door to each other, and roommate intimacy wasn’t the same as four years of homoerotic ad campaigns that paid for college, but it all hit a little close to home, especially being discussed in bed with his best friend pressed up against him and their best friend curled up behind her. He tried to say something intelligent.


“I get what you’re saying and I see where you’re going with it, but it’s not that simple. I’m not paying attention to his hands or mine. Unless he pulls away or flinches every time our hands brush, I don’t really care where he is. He’s a prop, and like any good wingman, he knows that. And I know he’s thinking the same thing about me. In your scenario, the only thing I probably don’t do is directly reach for him, because I don’t know how he’ll take it. But the moment I’m inside you and it’s all moving forward, all bets are off. If I’m in a position that I have to use him to brace for leverage, I’m going to. I’m not going to diminish my pleasure trying to triple check that he’s neither heebeed nor jeebied. He shouldn’t have gotten in the bed if he’s that sensitive. And on my end of things, unless he directly fondles my balls, I’m oblivious to any action that doesn’t add or detract from my own pleasures. Hell, depending on his timing, I might not notice that. He’d have to get his welcome and do not enter signs mixed up to make my radar in any kind of pull-back way.” 


He felt Eaton staring at him. “What? It’s true.” He shrugged off the scrutiny.

“I didn’t say nothing.” Eaton laughed and buried his face in the curve of Tessa’s neck.

“Why are you laughing, then?” Brahm’s mouth went a little dry but he refused to look away. He needed Eaton’s answer more than he cared to admit.

“Because it’s funny.” He lifted his head. “The whole thing is. If someone had asked about my first night back, I couldn’t have begun to come up with this scenario. But it feels completely normal. This is my life and that’s joyously hilarious. Even more, I completely agree. Depending on the moment, anything short of mounting me is going to go pretty much unnoticed. And on the Vampire side of things, if I’m in the middle of a blood haze at the time, I might not notice he did that until the next day when I’m sober again. If he did it right, I might not even say anything because I honestly wouldn’t know whose idea it had been at the time.”



You can comment to win a copy of the anthology LOVE NOTES featuring the most recent TherianWorld release ITS SWEETEST FORM at the TRS Valentine's Day Party. Or click any of the buy links above.


And you can find a complete list of TherianWorld Stories at Xakara.com

Fevered Ramble ~ Done, Kittens!


~Xakara
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