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Nail Biting Time

The days are counting down. In a couple of weeks I will be uploading my first self-published book. A series I’m writing with co-author Vina Grey – m/m vampire love story set in the Orbus Arcana world. The first book was published over two years ago. We got our rights back from the publisher because we wanted to go in a different direction with the series. To do that we had to rewrite a few scenes, develop the vampire world, and change the ending of the first book. We have since finished the second book of the series and are writing the third book.

FortheBiteofIt_200I love my publishers, and I’m not planning on strictly going the self-published route. I think it’s good to spread into different areas of publishing and have more than one publishing outlet.

It was much easier and less stressful to self-publish having a partner – because it’s a lot of work! We hired Winter Heart Designs to do our covers – and Lex was amazing! There are the ISBN numbers you need to purchase if you want control over who contacts you. And, not to mention getting the book ready for uploading to all the different sites. Again, we hired out this portion as well.

We were determined to put out a clean, professional product – and we spent many hours editing and editing and editing. Even with all of our blood, sweat and tears going into making a decent book, we need to market and get the word out. That’s a given for any book, no matter if you go with a publisher or do it yourself.

Still, it’s exciting and nail biting when a new book is released. Will it be a success? Will my readers enjoy it? Time will tell and life is an adventure so you might as well take a risk!

Love and Peace!

Viki Lyn

http://www.vikilyn.com

Viki Lyn: Award winning author of paranormal and contemporary romances. You can find all of Viki’s books at the following sites: Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and GLBT Bookshelf.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Series

The HATE:

  • The Never Ending Series – this is nothing but a blatant money grab and a disrespect for character arc. In order to sustain this series, an author has to master the art of throwing lots of shi…er…stuff at the fan while NOT advancing the actual story line.
  • The I Was Just Kidding Series – you know this one. Sing the refrain with me. This is the series that sets up a deep, rich world, replete with rules we can all understand. And then the author gleefully nukes those rules in subsequent books. Yes. You are thinking of the same person I’m thinking of whose movies are listed if you look this egregious series type up in the dictionary. He’s not the only, or even the worst, offender. Just the poster child for immeasurable fan rage.
  • The Top That Series – this series starts out well enough, but alas, it falls victim to its own success and becomes a Never Ending Series. At that point, the author, in an effort to make each story better than the last, puts the characters in increasingly ridiculous situations in order to top the last novel. Eventually, this leads to I Was Just Kidding seriesdom.

The LOVE:

  • Harry Potter – for recurring characters across a set period of time, who51oSZOESQ6L__SL160_SH30_OU01_SX135_ remained true to their arcs and to their personalities throughout. Humor, danger, stakes – this series got 90% of everything right. The gripes with series that I have I blame more on the editors not actually editing than on anything else. Also, the gripes, they are minor in the face of the awesome. Yes, of course the twins are my favorite characters.
  • Firefly (Shush! I know it’s a TV show! I know it was canceled years ago. Don’t mock my pain!) – Excellent use of recurring characters in conflict with one another, trapped by differing sets of circumstances. Smart dialog. Choices I could believe people might actually make given the options at hand. Love the slow turn up of pressure that living on the edge of ‘never having enough’ and ‘wanted by more than the law’ brought to the story.
  • Linnea Sinclair’s Dock Five Series – For two of the books, there were recurring characters, but then the stories branch out to other members of a family. It gives the series a great range of flavors (in that you see things through a number of different character lenses) all while getting to remain in the richly textured world (and the conflict therein) that’s been built. It’s not quite like getting to start a whole new series each time I pick up a new book, but it’s close.
  • Star Trek (novels – don’t much care which flavor) – I love these because it’s a testimony to the strength of established characters. Star Trek novels are rarely written by the same author more than two or three times. There are HUNDREDS of these novels out. Yet if you pick up one of those hundreds and begin reading, you’ll instantly recognize the characters and the world. Granted, there are some mighty strong controls in place to make sure no one does anything really silly.

I think I’ve already talked about the childhood trauma of never being able to find a complete series? We won’t rehash that old wound. Just suffice it to say, thank the internet for my new-found ability to buy ALL THE BOOKS in a series in one go. That, all by itself may be my greatest series love.

Series Love: Read, Relive, Rejoice

Sexy muscular man isolated on blackWell, my beloved MANhandlers, this week’s little bit o’ sexiness is here, ready for some serious appreciation. Gorgeous, isn’t he?

There is a simple truth in my life: I’m a literary series whore. Yes, yes. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. I’m a total Alpha leader in the SLUT regime. (SLUT = Series Lovers Uniting Together). I read my first series in college and was hooked. The book? Outlander by the infamous Diana Gabaldon. Again, I know it’s shocking. I blame her for my series love, and rightly so.

Three of my favorite series of all times are Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld (LotU) and Larissa Ione’s Demonica and Lords of Deliverance series. Why? Recurring characters done well. When I get into a series, I’m almost obsessive compulsive about it. I have to real All the Books. But there are some series I just can’t get into. I won’t name names because it’s pointless — it’s just my taste and says nothing about the quality of the authors’ works. Knowing I’m going to get a little nutty about reading everything in a series (and in order, thanks), I tend to be a little snobbish about the series I pick up. But Gena and Larissa? Doesn’t matter what they write — I’ll read it. And if it’s in a series, new or old, I’m all over it.

Pile of books on a black backgroundThe greatest thrill for me in reading a series is meeting secondary characters who, at some point, get their own books. It’s like literary foreplay, isn’t it? Teasing and tempting and yet waiting for the big payoff? And when it gets there, and it’s done right, it’s so worth the wait! I typically go through and re-read the series when a new book is coming out, just so I’m emotionally connected to the players. It’s just my modus operandi. The appeal that a series is so well-written that I can read and re-read it and still receive ridiculous satisfaction? That’s a long-term love affair right there.

As for writing, I’ve found series flip my switch. I fall in love with the characters in a much more intimate way and want to play in their world agains. I love to create secondary characters readers want stories for (hello, Darius fans!). My aim is to scratch that itch at some point. Always.

I’m seriously interested in finding out whether or not I’m on a sparsely populated island of series lovers or if the world is rich with them. Give me a shout out and let me know what you think about the value of series. Cheers!

Favorite Love Scene

I’m in the business of reading and writing tons of love scenes and one of the favorite ones I’ve ever come across would have to be the first love scene between Teyla and Logan in The Pleasure Girl – Book 1 of my Desperadoes series (Siren Bookstrand).

Teyla is a pleasure girl in a post-catastrophic world where electricity has been knocked out and the world’s climate has gotten colder. In order to survive women do things they’d never ordinarily do. Logan has come to Teyla’s secluded farmhouse looking for a warm bed and a sexy lover for himself and two of his friends. He plans on being with her alone for one night before his friends arrive.

Here’s a snippet of a prelude to a love scene that some readers have told me they loved because it was unique because of the hero’s request of wanting to be shaved…down there. LOL

jsp-td-pleasuregirl3 (1)

Excerpt:

“Do you have a special man in your life?” The question erupted from the bathroom, rocking her world.

“Excuse me?” she called out, wondering exactly what he meant by that question.

“A boyfriend? Husband? Someone you’re dating?”

“N…no.”

“Good. I prefer a woman who is available.”

Teyla blinked in astonishment. Odd comment coming from a guy who wanted to share her with two other guys. Three guys and her? Oh, lord, she’d better not think about it.

“Do you do this often?” she blurted, instantly regretting asking the question, realizing it was none of her business. But it was the first thing that popped into her mind, and when she was nervous, she did have the tendency to say stupid things.

He appeared at the doorway, shaving utensils and a couple of facecloths laid out on a folded towel in his hand. That damned bottle and two glasses clutched in his other hand.

He was smiling at her. That hot, sexy shadow made him look both dangerous and erotic at the same time. He wore that same crooked smile as when he’d caught her watching him at the window earlier. The smile made the sides of his eyes crinkle, and she noticed tiny laugh lines at the corners of his mouth also. The knowledge that he appeared to be used to laughing made her feel so much better. Safer, too.

“Why do you ask?” he asked. “Are you jealous already?”

His sense of humor was a definite asset.

“Maybe,” she teased, feeling some of the tension ease out of her shoulders.

He strolled to her dresser with the mirror and placed the glasses and the bottle, which she noted as whiskey, and the utensils and towel down beside her pitcher.

“Before we begin, I want you to shave me,” he said softly as he prepared the items, laying them out on the dresser.

When he finished, he looked at her, and his intense gaze made her catch her breath. She didn’t want him to lose that erotic-looking five o’clock shadow. It made him look so sexy and dangerous. The look excited her. But he was paying her. If he wanted a shave, so be it.

She made a move to stand, but he ordered her to remain sitting as he whipped up the lather. When it was a frothy cream, he turned to her, and to her surprise, his hand fell to the stud on his jeans.

Nervousness fluttered through her again. Gosh, she thought she would have a few minutes more before they had sex. Or did he want her to shave him while they were having sex? Lordy, now that would be interesting.

“I…I thought you wanted a shave?”

Her eyes latched onto his fingers as he unzipped.

“I do.”

She swallowed as he lowered his jeans. His package pressed boldly against his white briefs. Definitely big. Very big. Oh boy. Oh boy. Dr. Liz, girl, what have you gotten me into?

“I want you to shave me down here,” he said and stroked the outline of his big erection.

Her eyes widened at his words.

Down there? Oh my God.

“I’ll pass you the items. I want you to just sit right where you are.” His voice had gone deeper, hoarser. His eyes darker. They glistened with fire. His body scent, strong and dominant, whispered along her nerve endings, making her very aware of her sexuality. Very aware of him.

“Pull down my underwear. So we can get started.”

Both their breaths shot through the silent air like rockets, and her fingers trembled as she did as he asked. His flesh felt scorching hot to her touch as she slipped her fingers beneath the waistband of his briefs. Tugging, she inhaled sharply as…

Here’s a bit more as the scene continues a couple of paragraphs later…

Anxiety almost overwhelmed her as she began to shave him, and she found herself scrambling for something to say. But what did one say while shaving a man in such an intimate area on his body?

“Have you done this before?” he asked, his voice sounding strangled, as if he were maybe afraid? Well, maybe he should have asked before she’d gotten started.

“It’s a little late to be asking that question, isn’t it?” She couldn’t help but laugh.

“I hope not,” he retorted, amusement lacing his voice. There was that humor again. She smiled and lifted her gaze from his magnificent size to peer up at his face. She shouldn’t have looked up because his eyes were so dark with desire she could barely stand the spear of need bursting inside her lower belly.

The tips of his luscious lips tilted upward again and his smile zeroed in on her like a heat-seeking missile. Suddenly she just wanted to be swept away into his strong arms. To be held. To be taken by him.

Oh, boy. He was a client, for God’s sake! Becoming emotionally involved, even thinking emotional things was taboo! Men looked at her like an object. Nothing more. She shouldn’t want to have Logan holding her and making love to her. This is just sex, remember that, Teyla.

She continued with the shave, going slowly and carefully and keeping her mouth shut. Thankfully, he said no more, and when she finished, she wiped him with the wet face cloth he handed her. A couple of rinses later, he was as clean as a newborn.  

“I assume you wish to supply the condoms?” he asked after he returned the shaving items to the nearby dresser. She nodded and pointed to the night table beside the bed.

“In there. Pick your size.” He slid the drawer open and skimmed the several boxes with his fingertips. Obviously, he knew the drill with pleasure girls. Most preferred to supply the condoms. She was one of them.

Condoms were expensive, just like everything else these days, but well worth the expense to ensure her condoms were fresh and hadn’t been tampered with or inadvertently damaged. Men tended to keep them folded in wallets or in areas where tiny holes were inadvertently poked into the protection. The last thing she needed was a sexually transmitted disease or a baby without a dad.

He lifted out a box of condoms, opened it, but didn’t take any out.

“Before we begin, let’s get a little more acquainted. You’ve touched me and seen some of me. Now it’s my turn. Let your breasts free.”

To her surprise, she creamed at his instruction. She liked the expectant look on his face, and for some odd reason, he didn’t make her feel like she was dirty as most of her clients did. He didn’t make her feel like an object. He just made her feel kind of sexy and shy.

Her fingers trembled as she reached for the small, delicate buttons on the negligee. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he watched…

I hoped you enjoyed the excerpts to the prelude to one of my favorite love scenes.

More info on The Pleasure Girl .

Happy Reading!

Jan

Oscars?! What Oscars? Have A Book Give-Away Instead!

I’m supposed to talk about award winning movies. I love the movies, but very, very rarely have the same opinions as the people who decide who wins the Oscars. I enjoyed “Silence of the Lambs” and have devoured “The Return of the King” more often than is probably healthy. But I haven’t seen any of the winning movies for a very long time. I don’t really think “My Fair Lady” (1964) really counts.

So, instead of trying to say something interesting about a film, I’m going to give away some books:).

Tangled Indulgence, book 3 in my Celestial Surrender series, came out yesterday.

tangledindulgence_msr

Reassigned to the nether-end of the galaxy and facing her last night on the planet, Adira has had better days. She shouldn’t have ruffled so many feathers with her investigation, but the trail of missing people was too important to ignore.

She knows exactly how to spend her evening. At an exclusive sex club, she’s determined to confront the Vampire who’s never far from her mind. She only has a few hours, but surely she can entice the sexy bartender to share them with her.

Malachy is more than he appears. Working undercover has him ready for anything… except Adira. The moment he laid eyes on the Sentinel he knew he’d found his lifemate. Unfortunately, the prickly mortal has a wall as hard as a spaceship’s hull around her heart.

Only hours remain to convince her she belongs in his arms, and his bed. As the heated night turns molten, duty and desire collide. Following their hearts will only complicate matters.

Inside Scoop: Our heroine gets the shock of her life when she discovers her voyeuristic nature, and the fact that it is the male-on-male action, as opposed to a ménage, that really gets her juices flowing.

Adira has a bit of an eye-opening experience, learning something unexpected about herself. If you’d asked me six months ago I would have told you I am a dog person, no question. Now, after a few months with my lovely Emma, I have to say I am a ca-do person. If I’m ever in the position to look after a dog with my job and everything, I will add one to my family. But am seeing a cat in my future for a considerable time;).

Tell me when you’ve realised something about yourself that surprised you. Tell me in the comments here or here. The first winner, chosen by numbers.org, can choose any of my four books in your preferred eformat, and the second winner receives a copy of Tangled Indulgence. Tell me about the moment you discovered you enjoy deep-fried brussel sprouts or the moment you discovered you like being tied up in bed. Your choice;)! The contest is open until Thursday 7th March.

Enjoy your weekend!

A Little Wrath Goes a Long, Dark Way

For my fellow MANhandlers, I’m posting a picture of more delectable numiness. Feel free to ogle a bit before you move on to the post.

I’ll wait…

But, truly, I’ve got to move on…

C’mon, my friends, let’s talk about some serious sexy: the dark hero. (See? I got your attention. Devious writer, I am one.)

A great example, for me, is Wrath from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Wrath is a vampire torn between leading his people or rejecting the role of king. He has no interest in ruling and zero respect for humans, and this includes children sired by vampires on human women. He’s crass, unsophisticated and ginormously sexy. When he’s called on to step up and see a half-vampire child through her transition, he balks. Okay. That’s not true. His answer is basically, “Hell. No.” But circumstances intervene, Fate plays her cards and the dark hero is born.

What is it that’s so appealing about a dark hero? Is it his unwillingness to be a hero that makes him so desirable? Is it his ability to make me love him and loathe him in one paragraph–one sentence even? Or is it deeper than that? Maybe it’s the fact he seems irredeemable, and we worry he’s crossed the line too far into the dark to be pulled back to the light. Regardless of the “why” of it, the point is this: the dark hero appeals to us on a variety of levels, many of them deeply personal.

There’s something about a dark hero that absolutely flips my switch. I want to  know he’s walking that fine line of good and evil, and that both sides speak to him. He’s a richer character for his dark flaws, and there are a thousand reasons this could be true for each of us as both writers and readers. But what it comes down to, for me as an author is this: it’s the reader’s interpretation of what the hero is after the author sets out his proverbial “pros and cons” list that makes that character work/not work. When an author is able to create a hero you love to hate, to put on the page a fictional character you fantasize about or who makes you wish you were starring opposite him–the author’s done the job of pulling the reader in and done it well. I’m in the process of creating my own dark hero and let me tell you, it’s not easy. He’s the hardest character I’ve ever written, and dark heroes are sort of my specialty. Yeah, I’ve got a hang-up. I love them passionately, grandly and without apology.

Now I want to turn the tables and ask you who your Wrath is? Who’s (in case you missed my last post) your Cain? Don’t be shy. Jump in and let other readers know if there’s a character/series that does it for you. You never know when you might get them started on a new series they love. It’s how I found Wrath and all the luscious brothers. 😉  Thank you, J.R. Ward. Thank you.

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