Today sees the release of DARK SECRETS: A PARANORMAL NOIR ANTHOLOGY!
I’m so privileged to join this group of terrific writers, who’ve all written just stellar stories. And the talented Rachel Caine made this fab book trailer, too. Whee!
Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.
HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy, a Twelve Kingdoms novella
A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name.
Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix.
With broken vows, anguish and dark secrets between them, Cavan and Nix struggle to find the magic to restore what’s gone terribly wrong… if it ever can be.
Buy the Book
I’m over at the Word-Whores bordello, starting a story of forbidden desire. I’ve left Monday Word Whore James A. Moore with a dilemma!
Last spring, at the RT Convention, I gave a workshop on Walking the Line of Consent. (I also teach it online or can visit to give it – description here.) This is a topic I’ve been interested in for a long time, one that I’ve written and talked about a fair amount. And one I’ve gotten grief for. In fact, when I proposed this workshop, a couple of author friends warned me against doing it. They said I might get myself in trouble.
And the RT book reviews website asked me to write a short article about my thoughts on the topic, which generated good conversations. Another author, however, started a bit of a witch hunt among her followers against me, making me out to be a terrible person for championing anything less that full consent.
Which I do, in real life. I maintain that fiction is something else, a place where all fantasies are acceptable.
At any rate, the workshop went off amazingly well. A gratifying number of people attended and they all stayed for the whole thing! After the fact, one of the gals who attended, Aeon Magazine, and asked if she could quote me since I said such smart things about it., contacted me and said she was writing an article on the topic for
How could I say no to that?
So today the article came out and it’s so good. She articulates a lot of the same ideas I’ve had about romance novels for most of my life. In an era where the media loves to sling about terms like “bodice ripper” and “mommy porn,” just to up the click rate, it’s terrific to read something both smart and romance-positive.
I’m flattered to be included!
David got this pic of me, without my knowledge, with a video surveillance camera he was playing with. Which is why the colors are so stark. Always interesting to see a view of myself when my attention is totally on something totally other than being photographed – in this case, on getting the photograph *I* wanted.
I want to tell you all a story. I think I’ve referenced it before, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never told the whole thing. I’ver written it in my head enough times that I’m not sure, however. It starts with 8th Grade.
See, I had English as the last class of the day, every day. I had kind of a love/hate relationship with English class in general, especially in middle school. On the one hand, I got to READ, for school, even! And I loved to write. Both were very easy for me, so much so that I almost held them in contempt. Surely something so easy wasn’t worthwhile. Also, while my math and science teachers gave me accelerated assignments to work on, to keep me interested, there wasn’t anything like that in English. I was bored a lot of the time. And, because I was 13, I didn’t have the sense or poise to disguise that fact. I also had started menstruating when I was 12 and I was full of sexual feelings. Feelings for which I had little outlet, beyond masturbation and illicit reading. It did come out in the poems I had to write for English class, probably much more so that I realized. I don’t think my stuff was at all graphic – I mean, we had to read them out loud – but it was full of sensual language. I know because I kept a list of “good words,” many of which I still use today in writing erotic scenes. I also had all kinds of adolescent sexual energy behind what I wrote.
Looking back, at the fact that I’ve become a writer, not a scientist, this all makes perfect sense. But I didn’t understand it at the time. Also, being a 13-year-old girl, I had zero idea how to handle boys.
There was a group of boys in that class – four or five of them that were friends, all football players. I remember two clearly. One I’ll call John, a gentle guy who I had a bit of a crush on, and the other was a guy I’ll call Doug Smith. Now, Doug was quite the star. Athlete, tall, dark hair – all the girls liked him. He was the leader of this little group. And for whatever reason, they fixed on me. This all goes back to the thing of “when boys like a girl, they tease her.” Well, they did more than tease. Every day after class ended, they would follow me out of class and grab my ass.
This is one of those montage things. It felt like it went on forever. It felt like they all tried to grab me, put their hands between my legs. Doug Smith did the most. I tried various tactics. Waiting to talk to the teacher, leaving class really fast. If I managed to evade them, their laughter would follow me.
No, I never told anybody about it. Not even my friends.
If my mom is reading this, she’s probably all upset that I never told her.
Why didn’t I? I don’t know. It was that shame thing. I didn’t understand why they were doing it, only that I felt terrible and wanted them to stop. I didn’t want anyone else to know about it because that would only make it worse, for people to know.
And that’s not even the relevant part of the story. It came to an end, probably because we graduated 8th grade or they moved on to some other target. I think I got better at fighting it – I kicked one of them once, pretty hard. I even rode rides at the amusement park for 8th grade graduation with my crush John, though that never went anywhere. Doug Smith went on to be the high school superstar in many ways and I fell out of his orbit of notice, thankfully.
The weird part of this story is that, about a year or so ago, Doug Smith sent me a Facebook friend request.
Right? Like a bolt from the blue. And all those awful feelings rushed back, though I have the maturity now know to process them and know them for what they were. So, turns out Doug is an artist these days. As a career. After sitting on the request, and mentioning the history obliquely to a few friends, I finally accepted the request. I kind of wanted to see what he’s about, these three decades later. He’s very chipper on Facebook – about both his art and my writing. He sometimes comments about my various successes and invites me to attend his shows.
He’s working the social media, you know?
And I find myself wondering – does he remember what he and his pack did to me? Maybe they thought nothing of it. I might have been some pretty girl they thought they were flirting with. When I read stories about people confronting their childhood bullies as adults, it seems that a lot of the time the bully had no concept of their impact. Mostly I try to reconcile this very macho, dick-swinging, callous teen with who appears to be a thoughtful and sensitive artist today. I sometimes wonder if he’s gay and out now, and that all that meanness and sexually related cruelty came from his struggles with that.
I don’t have an answer to any of it. Probably there are none. I think mostly I’m mulling this idea I have that a person who’s an artist can’t also be cruel, which I think is wrong. I also believe people can change and obviously that was a long time ago. I’m not the girl I was then. He’s clearly not the guy he was.
But I’ve never replied to him on Facebook. I just watch, and think about this.
I’m over at Word Whores, kicking off a week of synopsis-writing tips and tricks from the pros!
RT Book Reviews has unveiled it today! Along with delicious blurb. Hie thee on over to check it out!
There was talk of doing a Facebook party for the launch of DARK SECRETS: A PARANORMAL NOIR ANTHOLOGY – and a lot of resistance from us cranky authors. This video is the result. I think it’s hysterical! 🙂
Yes, this is the tagline for THE PAGES OF THE MIND.
From the seriously gorgeous cover!! Yes, yes – I know I’m a tease. YOU people know I’m a tease! But the cover reveal is coming Thursday, September 17, via RT Book Reviews. But look at it on Amazon – even MORE Of a tease there, I think.
Only two more days!!!! I can’t wait for you all to see it. 🙂
In other news, look for a really fun thing tomorrow, from the DARK SECRETS crew. Rachel Caine is lovely, enthusiastic and a brilliant writer, but when she asked us about doing a FaceBook party… well, you’ll just have to see the results. There may be video evidence.
If you’re in an around the Denver area, there’s still time and room to register for the Reading Until Dawn Conference. I’ll be road-tripping up with my buddy Darynda Jones, which should be a kick. I’ll be the one drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity. There’s also a signing open to the public, Saturday, October 10, 3-5:30pm, if you’re in the ‘hood and want to drop by!
Finally, I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be at the Tucson Festival of Books this spring, March 11-12. This is the 4th largest book festival in the U.S. and will be crazy fun. I might be a fangirl puddle by the time the weekend is over. Plus my mom, stepdad, stepsister, brother-in-law and nephews are all there, too. Spring break in Arizona + family fun + Books! What more can a girl ask for?
Well, lemon-drop martinis, but I’m sure I’ll get those, too. 😀
I still get a total thrill when people send me pics of my books on the shelves. Maybe one day I’ll get over it, but not so far. Could be I’m getting tiresome about it because I showed my mom a pic on my phone that someone sent and said, “photos like this make me so happy!” And she said, “I know,” in that *tone* people get, like when you’ve said something too many times.
But, hey. Look! Me and Guy Gavriel Kay!
Hee hee hee.
I’m over at Word Whores today, trying to explain more about my process and why I don’t really care about learning to pre-plot my books.
You can read the other excerpts at the following links:
“I’m very glad that I found you.”
He was starting to wonder if the blonde was crazy. Such a pity. To be that gorgeous and insane. Waste. But he kept his expression blank and asked her, “Want to tell me just why you came to my office today?” Why you were looking for me?
His shoulders tensed.
“Murder is such a nasty business.” Her gaze seemed to turn distant, almost as if she were seeing right through him. “There is no need for the kills to go this way. Certainly not in my town.”
He was leaning more and more toward the insanity idea with her. Unfortunately. “Have you…committed murder?” Mick asked her carefully.
She gave a little laugh, one that slid right over his skin like a caress. “I’m not here about my crimes.”
Oh, shit. That hadn’t exactly been a reassuring answer.
Add DARK SECRETS to your TBR!
We are now on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26135577-dark-secrets-a-paranormal-noir-anthology