Category Archives: A Boon by Moonlight
I’m now getting to the point where I don’t really break a sweat until I’m somewhere in the 10-20 minute point of walking, so I think that’s a sign that my poor abused endurance is finally making a comeback. I was also able to go food shopping and stand in the kitchen for about 30-40 minutes while making garlic ginger chicken stir fry without becoming drenched in sweat or needing to sit down RIGHT NOW.
So yeah, this whole business of walking thirty minutes a day, every day, does your body good.
In writing news, I got some wordage in on King of Blades and pulled out the Christmas novella that I need to finish in September so that I can have it ready for the holiday season. I’m also extremely pleased that I sold twenty-five copies of Stealing Dmitri through Amazon and three copies through Smashwords. Seeing as it’s a five-year-old re-release, I’m really happy with those numbers and I’m already musing about a sequel.
I’m also musing about business matters, because Kristine Kathryn Rusch delivered a truth bomb today that solidified a lot of things that have been floating in my head about where I am, professionally and financially, as a writer. If you’re a writer of any sort go read her post because it’s informative as hell, but what she said, in short, is that “We are not in the publishing industry. We are in the entertainment industry.” From a business point of view, the published book shouldn’t the be-all and end-all goal of writers — it’s the story that matters, that unique chunk of intellectual property that came flaming out of your head, and there are so many ways you can take that IP and license it throughout the entertainment industry (which is yet another reason why I’m turning To My Muse into a script).
Another way to make your IP work for you is through merchandising, be that games, toys, apps, or apparel. And while I’ve had a half-assed Merchandise page languishing on this site for some time, I’ve decided that it’s time to punch it up and start getting serious about doing something with all of these nifty graphics I’ve been developing for various stories/series.
I mean, come on, wouldn’t you want a cool Mayhew Plants and Nursery t-shirt in your choice of colors? Or maybe a Trickster Tech sticker for your laptop? (I have one, and it’s gotten comments at various coffee shops.) Or an Olympic Cove “Get Wet” mug? Oh, and wait until you see the logo I’m working on for Stealing Dmitri’s spaceship/AI — think pin-up girl in Scottish gear sitting sidesaddle on an old-fashioned rocket as she’s shooting through the stars. It’s going to be AWESOME.
So yeah, I’m feeling rather pumped about the second half of 2019.
Woohoo, I’m kicking off 2019 with a double re-release! My first publications in January will be two novelettes I originally wrote for Evernight Publishing back in 2013; the rights reverted back to me in 2018, and I’m currently in the process of re-editing them and putting them together for release with Belaurient Press.
The first story, A Boon by Moonlight, is my “boy meets Sidhe/boy asks Sidhe for boon/Sidhe asks for night in boy’s bed” piece. This one has a special place in my heart because I dearly want to go out drinking with these two (Zach could be our designated driver, and Jerrek would throw back vodka like it was water and provide running snarky commentary on everyone else in the bar. It would be great). The re-release will also include the unpublished short story “Snow Day” featuring Zach and Jerrek housebound antics during a polar vortex, so there’s some added value there. It should be out on 1/15 so if you’ve never read this one before you can pick it up then.
And may I just say that I’m freaking in love with this new cover? It screams M/M fantasy romance to me (I still can’t believe I’m writing fantasy romance, but my God it’s fun). Finding the stock image of the model in fantasy garb was a real gift, and the other model works with him extremely well. I may do a couple more tweaks to the image before release day, but what you see here is primarily the finished product.
Oh, funny but true story about the cover — I sent it to a couple of writer friends for feedback. One of them writes SF/fantasy and said, “This is for a fantasy romance story? Because the woman on the right looks like a Vulcan.” I had to explain about Jerrek, after which she said, “Ohhh. In that case, it looks great.” *grin*
The other re-release is Grading the Curve, my “hot for teacher” novelette. Whereas I can get Boon out next week, Curve won’t be out for another two weeks because 1) hoo boy, I learned a lot about characterization and backstory in the last five years, which means 2) this 13K novelette is about to become a 30K novella as I gleefully apply both the Editorial Machete and the Storytelling Spackling Knife with a freaking vengeance (seriously, I re-read the original MSS and was deeply grateful that it sank without a trace. It’s not horrible, mind you, but it was clear I had no idea how to write a good, solid MF romance at that time).
The eagle-eyed among you may have noted the extra name on this cover and want to know who the heck Natasha Stark is. Well, she’s me — as of 2019 I’m using that nom de plume for all of my contemporary romances (and yes, there will be more of them — I’ve got at least four romcoms in mind), and this is my way of introducing her. It’s mainly for marketing purposes, since there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of overlap between contemporary romance readers and SF/fantasy/PN romance readers. I want to make it easy for people to find (and ideally buy) what they want to read, so SF, fantasy, or paranormal romance readers can stick with Nicola’s books, and contemporary romance readers can focus on Natasha’s books.
Oh, God. I’m going to have to set up a totally separate website/social media presence at some point for Natasha, aren’t I? I need a drink…
Meanwhile I’m also working on King of Blades (Two Thrones 4) and Natasha’s next romcom, tentatively titled Screen Kiss, so those should be out in March or so. So many books to write, so little time…
Today’s writing project was Cross Current and despite not one, not two, but THREE cats insisting on jumping into my lap to help I finally finished knocking out 3K on it, bringing my total word count up to 6,409 words. I’m also very pleased to announce that I get to use one of my very first characters in this novel — yes, for fans of my novelette A Boon by Moonlight I’m bringing back Lord Jerrek of House Carwin as a consultant for the Olympic Cove crew on how to handle the runaway selkie prince who just landed on their shores. As it turns out Jerrek owes Poseidon a favor or two, and he’s being deliciously snarky as usual as he negotiates the trade of information with my two lead characters.
Oh, and Ceit? Your namesake just made her first appearance (in discussion, at least). The beautiful, brilliant Lady Ceitlin of House Selbach is waiting for her wayward groom to get his ass back to the pod and go through their marriage ceremony. But will that be the end of it? Oh, hell no — things just get more interesting from here on in.
Also, apropos of nothing I’ve somehow managed to wash all of the master bedroom bedding today. Considering that we sleep with a ridiculous amount of bedclothes (all my fault — Ramón calls me the Greater American Nesting Female) that’s about seven loads of laundry, plus I carried all the clean clothes upstairs and put them away. I think I can take the rest of the night off, yes?
That’s right! It’s Evernight’s birthday but YOU get the presents…
• Apple Watch Sport
• NEW Kindle Paperwhite
• Fitbit Flex
• Evernight, Amazon, and ARe Gift Certificates
Plus, each author on the hop will offer his/her own special prize!
I personally want to wish Evernight Publishing a wonderful and very happy fifth birthday, and a huge thank you for taking a chance on me and publishing what is turning into the fantasy erotic romance equivalent of Harry Potter (I swear, Storm Season was supposed to be short and sweet. Next thing I know, I have a six-book epic series in progress. I ask you).
Speaking of my books with Evernight, here’s a look at my first Evernight title and my latest release in said epic series:
Ex-Marine Zach Mayhew is willing to do anything for his dying grandmother, even find a fairy ring and beg that she be allowed to spend her last days in Faerie.
But when a gorgeous Sidhe noble demands a night in his bed in return, Zach learns that a boon asked by moonlight can have unexpected consequences for his heart.
“You’re wearing entirely too many clothes,” Jerrek said, rubbing his naked groin against Zach’s still clothed one. “Take them off at once.”
Zach couldn’t help grinning at the order. “Are you always this bossy?”
“I prefer to think of it as authoritative. What part of ‘sidhe lord’ didn’t you grasp?”
Poseidon, God of the Sea, has spent millennia alone due to a single terrible act. His consort Amphitrite has sworn never to forgive him, and he’s forced to live with the knowledge that he drove an innocent girl to her doom.
But when one of the Olympic Cove cottages gets an occupant with an all-too-familiar soul, Poseidon discovers that the Fates have given him a second chance. Now he must try to right the wrongs of the past and win back both his beloved consort and the mate he betrayed.
Assuming, of course, that the Mad Nereid Thetis doesn’t interfere…
“I’ll be quite honest with you—I’m exceedingly rich,” Poseidon said. “I don’t know how to cook because I have people to do that for me. My wealth gives me the great luxury of doing what I choose to do. And I choose to protect what I love as best I can against the degradation of mankind.”
“Oh, great,” Griffin sighed. “You’re Batman.”
In addition to all the nifty prizes from Evernight, I’m also offering a personal blog prize of a $25 Amazon gift certificate. To enter, just leave a comment here and tell me about your dream birthday (all-expenses-paid spa day? Cruising in the Bahamas? Dinner and birthday cake with Michael Fassbender? Eating birthday cake off Michael Fassbender? Go wild).
And if that’s not enough, it’s a great time for an Evernight shopping spree because all Evernight titles are 25% off through October 9th at AllRomance eBooks!
Click here and enter to win the Grand Prizes using Rafflecopter! And once you’re done with that, hop on over to the next blog!
The Breaker Zone blog tour is going quite well and it’s racking up some nice reviews so that’s all good, and I currently have Deep Water (Olympic Cove 3) and a Trickster sequel on the writing deck, plus there’s the MMF Victorian steampunk series yet to be written as well as some OC novellas, the sequels to A Boon by Moonlight and Two to Tango, and various other things that are slipping into my WIP list when I’m not looking. So yeah, lots of Cameron-style paranormal/fantasy erotic romance coming down the pike here.
That being said, I have a question and I would like some honest feedback on it. As you may know (Bob), I was a science fiction writer before I branched out into erotic romance, and I actually wrote two SF books that were never published that, after MUCH editing and revision, I would like to take a crack at putting on the market. My question is, would any of you be interested in reading a non-erotic romance novel by me? The first one is a straight-up time travel adventure where a British physicist and a Chicago cop have to travel to 1870 Oxford to find a thief who stole time travel technology and find themselves accidentally involved with Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell, and Ukrainian art thieves. There would be romance-like elements to the book (the physicist is female and the cop is male, and there is MUCH bantering going on throughout), but no sex and it’s definitely more along the lines of Connie Willis than J.D. Robb.
So, yeah, let me know if something like that would interest you. Thanks!
Happy Hump Day! Let’s celebrate it with a Mid Week Tease, courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino. This week, I’ll be sharing a teaser from my Romance on the Go story A Boon by Moonlight, which has been nominated for a Evernight Reader’s Choice award this year in Best of Category: Erotic. So if you like Zach and Jerrek, please do go vote for them here!
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Ex-Marine Zach Mayhew is willing to do anything for his dying grandmother, even find a fairy ring and beg that she be allowed to spend her last days in Faerie. But when a gorgeous Sidhe noble demands a night in his bed in return, Zach learns that a boon asked by moonlight can have unexpected consequences for his heart.
“I swear to Danu,” Jerrek huffed, “I’m going to wake the Sleeping King himself if you don’t get up here and fuck me.”
“All right, fine.” Zach crawled back up his body, only pausing long enough to give the sidhe a sizzling kiss before flopping to the side and rooting around in his nightstand.
He finally fished out the small plastic bottle of lube and a condom, when he noticed Jerrek’s frown. “What’s wrong?”
“What are those?” the sidhe asked, nodding at the items in his hand.
Zach blinked at the question. And then a horrible thought occurred to him. “You — look, you do use some kind of lubrication when you fuck a guy, right?”
“Of course,” Jerrek snorted. “I’m not a barbarian. I always use saliva, or sometimes oil if it’s handy.”
“Oh, my God.” Safe sex lectures tumbled through Zach’s mind, and he shook his head. “Welcome to the 21st Century,” he said, clicking open the top and squirting out a healthy dollop onto his fingers. “I think you’re going to like this.”
Nudging the sidhe’s leg over his hip, he reached down and massaged the lube into Jerrek’s rim, gently pressing. The muscle twitched, then let in his fingertip.
The sidhe’s irritation drained away, and he wriggled. “Oooooh. That’s much better than oil,” he gasped.
“You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Slowly, Zach added another finger, and then a third, working Jerrek open and driving the tall sidhe out of his mind in the process. When Jerrek started panting loudly, he pulled his fingers out and fumbled for the condom packet. Ripping open the foil, he rolled on the latex, adding more lube before scrambling between the sidhe’s splayed thighs. “Is this position good for you?”
In response, Jerrek hitched his hips up, wrapping long legs around Zach’s waist. “What do you think?” he gasped.
“Got it.” Angling his pelvis, Zach pressed against the slick rim, feeling the loosened muscle stretch around the head of his cock. And then he was in an intensely tight, hot squeeze that made him want to roll his eyes back in his head from sheer pleasure. Despite his brain screaming at him to bottom out in the sidhe’s body, he forced himself to pause, trying to give the other man a chance to get used to him.
Jerrek had other ideas, and tried to thrust his hips up. “Gods, what are you waiting for?” he demanded.
“For you to loosen up, goddamn it,” Zach said through gritted teeth. “If I start moving now, I’m going to hurt you. Push back against me, from inside, and take a deep breath.”
The sidhe muttered under his breath but obeyed. The clamping sensation around Zach’s cock loosened a bit. “When was the last time you bottomed, anyway?” he asked.
“Decades, possibly centuries,” Jerrek panted, licking his lips. “I’m starting to think—ah!—such a long interval might have been—hah!—a mistake.”
“You think?” Zach held himself up, trying not to think of the incredible heat and tightness of Jerrek’s body around him. “Just try to relax, okay?”
Almost infinitesimally, the sidhe’s muscles eased, and Jerrek began to rock back and forth, eyes closed as he concentrated. Finally, he was sliding freely on Zach’s shaft. “I — yes, I think you can try moving now,” he said shakily.
“Okay.” Zach tried a short, shallow thrust, watching Jerrek for any signs of pain. The sidhe’s eyes flew open and his face lit up in surprised pleasure.
All right, then. He started a slow, easy pace, letting Jerrek get reacquainted with the sensation of having another man inside him. Fucking the tall, handsome sidhe wasn’t a hardship at all. He loved the heat and the tight flutter of Jerrek’s inner muscles, massaging his cock on every stroke. And when he leaned down and claimed Jerrek’s mouth, the sidhe eagerly opened to him, tasting like sunshine and spring and sex.
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I just got the loveliest 4 Kisses review for A Boon by Moonlight from Top 2 Bottom Reviews: “Although A Boon by Moonlight is a really short story, it is totally satisfying! Recommended!” Yay!
I also just got the cover for Storm Season. Holy mother of Zeus:
I literally screamed and started clapping like a 12-year old Belieber when I saw this cover. I cannot tell you how perfect it is — not only do the twins look the way I pictured Bythos and Aphros, but the color, the format, everything is spot-on accurate for the tone and plot of the book. Sour Cherry Designs, which do all of Evernight Publishing’s covers, are in the will for this one.
Most of today was spent putting together the general outline for Behind the Iron Cross, then shifting around various chapters and chapter contents to fit said outline. I’ve come up with the Act One and Two climaxes — still working on how to present the Act Two midpoint, when Friedrich has his little come-to-Jesus epiphany about what he’s doing with Sam and Kat, but it’ll all work out. And once again, I am so damn glad I spent out and bought Scrivener — it’s just so much easier to compare/contrast, shift stuff around, and keep detailed notes about each chapter than with Word.
Of course, some of Scrivener’s features can get you in trouble. Frex, the husband walked up behind me last night while I was working on Cross. Scrivener has a split screen feature that allows you to load whatever you like into each screen — different chapters, different sections of a chapter, or reference pictures. In my case, I had a rather nice topless picture of the actor whom I mentally cast as Friedrich. So when the husband came up behind me and went quiet when he saw Tall, Blue-eyed and German/Irish, I thought, “Uh-oh.”
“It’s just for inspiration,” I explained.
“It doesn’t mean anything,” I said.
“I mean, I’m old enough to have babysat him,” I added.
The husband chuckled and kissed me on the head. “He’s pretty. Have fun writing.”
Heh. I have the best damn spouse in the world.
I also got a very nice review for “A Boon by Moonlight” from Love Books! Book Reviews, plus I made the reviewer cry a little at the end. She’s the third person who cried while reading “Boon” — I wanted a little drama and tension, yes, but I swear to God making the readers cry wasn’t my intention when I wrote it!
I opened up the random number generator and pulled out three numbers correlating to the comments in my Release Day post, and we have three winners!
Barefootlady – EP Gift Certificate
Brian Jackson – Amazon Gift Certificate
Jillian DeMarco – Willow Tree pendant
Jillian, if you can get me a reliable mailing address, I’ll get the pendant out in the mail to you today. BFL and Brian, your gift certificates will be emailed to you forthwith.
Thanks for playing!
It has been brought to my attention that some readers wish “A Boon by Moonlight” was longer. The problem with that is, it was written for Evernight Publishing’s Romance on the Go™ line, which has a specific 12,000 word cut-off. I was pushing the envelope as it was with length, but that’s why the story is only novelette length.
But never let it be said that I don’t listen to my readers. So here’s the deal — if you buy a copy of “A Boon by Moonlight,” I would ask that you leave a review at Evernight Publishing, Amazon, All Romance E-Books, or Bookstrand. If the overall response is positive, I will write a full-length (90K minimum) novel about Zach and Jerrek, and I will make sure it’s published one way or the other.
After all, there’s a reason why Jerrek is avoiding Faerie right now…