Monday, September 7, 2015

Umbral Coil Chronicles III: Moonlit Night

In the mysterious undermountain village of Shejnal, oaths thought lost to time are practiced still. For her hand in fates of the dead men walking, the blood debt is handed down to the centaur charged with caring for what is believed to be the sole survivor of the two men to enter this dark realm.

Hidden away in the deepest reaches of the grand Shejnal Temple, the half-snake lamia divinity's lust for the man she has taken for her own is far from sated.

Yet as all ease into their new lives with those who now accompany them, this sheltered peace may not last for long...

I'd put off doing the author feature for this one a while for a number of reasons that led to forgetting about doing it entirely while instead working on the next project that should show up soon. This series began as what I intended to be an Amazon exclusive serial, as I've mentioned in previous posts, but all these ebook subscription services are quickly discovering that what works for music and movies with a much more finite market does not work for books in the modern day.

So essentially everything has, once again, been on fire, yo. How they handle this stupidly obvious hindsight has been funny in cases. Scribd, I think - it may be Oyster or some other cashgrab startup - just culled most of it's romance genre cause what? People are USING our service? SHUT IT DOWN!

Amazon took a more kind of snide and knowing approach, sugarcoated with bullshit that doesn't add up because they know people at large won't know or care for the difference. Short version is they've changed things to devalue "shorter" works, so rather than actively culling them, they just gave authors of shorter, often erotic works no incentive to stay, benevolently offering a get the fuck opt-out option when the change went live. 

Yes, I'm sure rewarding the authors that put up a 500,000 word book on a system that would horribly undercut the value was a good incentive too, and that's cool, I like that people are supposed to be rewarded appropriately, but it was sure as hell geared to disincentive shorter erotic and serial works so readers don't just think "Isn't Kindle Unlimited just for smut shorts?" cause hell, while sex money is big money, no one wants to be associated with it. They cut it without openly admitting it exists - hands clean again.

So anyway, the point is for this third installation of the Umbral Coil, it's gone global on all the usual storefronts. Dhampyre has also gone global, which I'll be returning to at some point soon. Dhampyre served as one of a few experiments that has since been shifted to the back burner to clear out all the stuff I have in the forefront, but I'm getting there. 

With that said, Umbral Coil will continue at the pace it has been for releases, the lack of its being a subscription experiment doesn't really change matters too much in the end. There may be things I can use Kindle Unlimited for in the future but for now that's a dead avenue. I want to keep the pace running as much because this series is really one of the groundworks for my world at large that all high fantasy stories are set in.

It's also been potentially a bit confusing with how I'm doing things from two separate perspectives after the men from the first book were separated and even renamed. Messing with identity is asking for trouble when it's one of your bigger narrative tools, but the trouble is meant to be reigned and focused inward as a part of the world. There's meant to be deceit and confusion, but not so much caused to the reader, so I always hope I can keep those lines clear.

So beyond that, and more importantly, in addition to its developments, this volume contains more wonderful violet night snake. Mmm, snek. There's some development into her divine lamia being, but behind the constricting force and power, there's a softer underside that really fills this volume with some gentler dominance, coddling the man she all but wrung the life out of back to health with - and I admit I had to look up the term - a tender nursing handjob scene. 

After all, breastfeeding is a fun extension for breast play and proved popular previously, so given his weakened state, it seemed fitting for Najae to mother him a bit this volume. I've always been one to work with progressive plots under lovely erotic scenes, and that melds back and forth in this volume perfectly to set up a big shift coming in the next volume that'll really get into what's been set up. That'll be coming soon, so thank you for reading and all the support that's made this series possible!

Excerpt follows the pagebreak:

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Darkfallen: Making Jacob

Far and away from the minds of the people, Sarandin Isle stands as host and home to countless demonic beings, locked away within its prison walls. Amongst them rests many of those foolish enough to venture onto the isle in search of wealth and fame, only to find darkness and corruption.

The fates of many amongst them may never be known, yet amongst the many are few whom catch the interest of their captors. Amongst them stands Jacob, a man once overwhelmed and taken by the whims of the powerful succubus Kynthia within those walls.

Now, Kynthia has returned with a new friend to show off her work to. As both enter Jacob’s cell, the already emasculated man will learn he has had only a taste of the succubus’ ability to warp and change the body. This time, Kynthia will do more than take him; she will make Jacob anew, and introduce him into a whole new world.

It's time for another visit to the expansive fetish hub of stories spun off from the prison island of Daemonique, and more so, a return to a no longer very familiar face in Jacob, who began it all. This time, as carefully safe worded synopsis may imply, things are going all the way. It's fun to see how things have shaped up, in the beginning I hadn't implicitly intended for characters to become such a strongly recurring point between volumes, but inherent force of habit and want for solidarity wins out.

It works well in Making Jacob since there's already a precedence for what his identity "was", though the previous volume isn't strictly necessary to enjoy this one, it gives some root to just how and why things are changing, and identity is really key in the sort of fetishes this volume covers.

Beyond the gratuitous and demonic femdom delivered by two wicked women - one our returning succubus Kynthia, endowed with a cock of her own, stolen from Jacob, the other another familiar face in Elena, with voluptuous curves perfect for smothering him under - his being is going to be warped from what little remains of his male identity into a female, leaving him to struggle with resisting the newfound pleasures and what they make of him, now her. 

It's a very special sort of corruption and struggle against humiliation rather unique to MtF transformation and bodyswap fetishes that I really enjoyed getting a chance to work out in this demonic prison where anything and everything could happen.

Excerpt follows the pagebreak.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Umbral Coil Chronicles: Nightfall

Left to the shifting sands for dead, fate has chosen a different course for the men exiled to the remorseless desert’s nightfall. Retracing the steps of events among the living, a new perspective is given to the moment of wakening for one of the two men rescued and brought to the thriving, cavern village of Shejnal.

There, in the safe of the deep dark, the monstrous divine being bearing rich, purple skin and a seemingly endless half-snake body – Najae Noc’teria, surrounded by other lamia sharing in her image – will rekindle the flame of life and lust within the waking man, binding him in her endless coil for the long night to come.

I've held off a bit on doing the feature for this one for a number of reasons, for one to see how well the Kindle Unlimited feature works out that this series is a serial flagship test for, and I think it's going well, really. There's definitely support for it, so if I can get things out on a faster basis, we'll have something good - and, effectively, free with less risk to take interest in for applicable readers - running, and that's great. Getting these erotic stories out and being able to really live on the passion is one thing, being able to do all that more accessibly is even better. 

As mentioned last time, this series will later be bound into novel format and released in both paperback and on other avenues for sake of bringing that accessibility back to a broader market with all the usual fanfare.

With that said, this second volume brings in something that's been requested from various sources for some time - lamia. While Deity of the Desert / Goddess of Sands had some, it was... on a different scale and style to the sort people want to see and that I've wanted to get into writing, and it's as difficult to get a good position going as I'd expected. 

Lamiae are very neat and fun, but after a few twists, that big snake-bind length of a lower body kind of gets in the way. While to some extents it lives and acts as the point of contact itself, it's not really the same or as good as upfront touching and feeling from fingers and the lamia's more humanoid half. It's a real delicate balance, one that I may one day have to mull over with Centaurs who suffer a similar concern.

Combining those two extremities has worked out well in Nightfall, in part due to the sheer incapacitated nature of the man dragged back from the dead. It's okay if all his motion and changes of position are done by support of the lamia's lower body interaction, because he doesn't have the strength back to move himself. So over the course of the night, her body massages and squeezes some life back into him whilst also binding and holding him up for her entertainment.

As a side-note, I'd really like to thank Firaxis and X-Com for highlighting said difficulties, I mean look at her, she wraps around him maybe twice and bam, barely any space left to play with him! It's also awesome since they went with the same hooded cobra design. While mine is a different colour palette, a more humanoid face and upper body with hood frill running up the back, seeing more love of lamia and other mythical monster lady sorts is awesome.

Really awesome.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Daemonique VI: The Desire Within

As Lord William Eldin works to unravel the secrets of the black book his beloved, possessed Lady brought to his attention, dark powers are shifting beyond sight. Whilst the holy Priestess Katelin of the Eternal Mother's teaching believes herself touched and blessed by the Goddess herself, it is a darker whisper that teases her ear.

Amidst it all in the tranquil town of Kinsgard, on the distant shore to the cursed Sarandin Isle, an innocent serving girl will give herself up to temptation, setting lose a chain of events that may just give others a glimpse into a long-forgotten past, and set them on a darker path as desires swirl and grow around them all.

It always feels good to get back into one of my core fantasy world building series, and Daemonique is really at the heart of all that. This volume went through a number of iterations in my head of exactly how, where and what I wanted everything to be, and as per usual, the end result was to run away with inspiration and largely ignore the outlined plan. 

It still follows intent, but some of what I'd expected to do with it has been pushed back in favour of that natural growth. In the end, I can't stay mad at my methods, as this way it lets me focus a little more intently on each phase or step, and that's nice.

So last we left off with Daemonique, Lord William Eldin was keeping Lady Elizabeth Vernan in a suitably erotic dungeon with a declaration of love. The thought of demonic possession and the mysterious book had brought them together just as Lady Vernan wished, and so now things in that town of Kinsgard move forward for them together.

Therefore this volume covers looking at some of the characters in the town once more, touching a little on their past and present, why they are where they are and are doing what they do. Then it really starts to tease some of the deeper, harder history of the world out. In the first Daemonique arc, "The Darkest" books I-IV, later rebound in "Darkfall", the titled namesake was not given presence until the very end. 

Now that we know that the Daemonique is a thing, its contents and power can be investigated, which is something Lord William Eldin devotes himself to in hopes of better understanding his love's possession and the nature of demons. Reading such an ancient tome isn't quite so straightforward however, and his desire affects those around him. 

Having the plot interweave with hard, erotic scenes has always been a hallmark of Daemonique, and while it may be ramping up more subtly in this volume as a backlight to the interactions and lives of humans, it's soon going to launch straight back into the fantastical and demonically erotic. Enjoy the peace while it lasts! 

Excerpt follows the pagebreak.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Second Year Geared in the Rear

Two years...

It's really that time again already. A time to make Starcraft SCV puns of the title and wax lyrical about the history and future of everything that is my world of writing. First and foremost though, it's a time for me to celebrate the way I do, sat at my desk in the low-lit wonder of my evil abode complete with festively decorated floating brain casement.
That's how we roll.
Aw yeah. It's apparently also a time to accidentally scrape my arm with a nail, hm. Well don't say I never bleed for you.

So on a more serious note, I've been thinking about this post all day and, honestly, since January where I decided against doing a new years post. It's that time when everyone reminisces on the year gone by, so I say with the full intent of making it sound rather hipster so I can throw in more fun doodles.
For me, at least from a standpoint of "I should talk about everything that's happened and how awesome people are", the 'new year' really starts on March 1st, but I wouldn't expect you to have heard of the Leona New Year, it's a very obsc-okay, I'll stop.

But yes, this is the day when I took that first full step into publishing. Now here's the part where I argue with the multitude of characters and hats inside my head, since to be fair I did start having a look at writing daily for a purpose in January, and the whole concept was brought to light in December when I was really in a low spot in life.

From there, the pieces all fell into place like the sort of thing people look back on and call fate and destiny because it's more romantic that way and all in all was just a sequence of events that wouldn't have felt the same any other way. Now, would they have happened at all? Most likely yes, but the combination of causes and effects is one reason to not hold so strongly to regrets and the past -- for better or worse, everything that we are shapes everything that we become.

For me, that meant picking up a new way of life that had been a part of my life since childhood... wait, writing, the erotic disposition was something very adolescent and beyond. There's no dark past here, only dark humour. I'm still not very good at talking like this, huh.

So perhaps I could write something in the New Years, but March 1st was the day it really became a real, official name in Author highlights thing, and when I first appeared on the scene. I still have my 2013 calendar laying around with the first few books and sales marked on it. I still remember back then when a new sale would prompt loading the celebratory M. Bison clip.

Two years later and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Most importantly; I'm still here, and still ecstatic over the show of support and success that's come with it. I make a point of this in the Author Note of every book but really none of it would be possible without such a wealth of awesome readers out there who take an interest in what I do. I know not everyone finds success or happiness in their writing, but I really do in thanks to the people it reaches. There's not a day I'm not thankful for every one of you changing the life I have to what it is now. It's for sharing in that love and passion that I'm still here.

Thank you.

So on the coat-tails of being heartwarming, I should talk some about what's happened during this past year and what's happening going forward. It's been an interesting year full of ups and downs, of constant experiments and iterations. One reason for the tangent on time is exactly because of those experiments and diversions, and whether any were great ideas or wholly efficient.

At the end of the day, has it been good? Has it been for the best? Could it have been better? Answers to reflections are very transient things that can't be held down for weight on their own. What's done is done and all you can do in life is take the hits and keep moving forward. That's how I'm still here, and that's how I'm going to keep moving forward. It may not be perfect, it may not keep everyone running alongside, but it's how I've walked this path and where I go with it is on my own shoulders.
The very first cover.

So the important thing to take from any reflective answer is painting a picture of just how I'm going to be moving forward with the lessons learned. To start with, I'll admit I still have a lot of ends to tie up. So before really starting anything new, I'm going to be tying those up. This includes Huntsman, Lusty Maid, Shoes of Glass, Hide, and to some extents my big flagship in Daemonique. When I start something, it will be seen through to the end.

Daemonique is where it all really started and serves as a sort of core for my fantasy world that's constantly expanding and changing. I have flash cards and books going on two years old full of notes and lofty musings about how big it could be, and I've never lost any of that scope and scale for intensity.

The fine details change a lot -- even my recent Huntsman volume was near wholly different from the original concepts I had for that installment -- but the end goals, the backing lore, language and visions remain. Being able to create those is really what makes this special.

Going forward from here is going to be stronger, bigger and better. I'm past the crushing weights of doubts and fears, the dragging and gnawing that I touched on in the previous year's post. I still may not be very good with social media like twitter, but that's a beast of its own nature that clashes ideas of what I imagine people expect to see and what I would post being entirely different and potentially alienating things. I still don't know if I should really care to be drawing those lines in the sand at all.

Everything works itself out at its own pace, though, and the moral of all this is that two years in is still really just the start of this journey for me. Where I take it from here is something for us all to really sit back and see, but if it's anything like what I have in mind, it's going to be great.

Best of all, two years from now, I'll still be here, building, expanding, binding and perfecting it all. Here's to you, who makes it possible, and here's to moving forward with everything learned. Thank you for making a great first two years, and ensuring there can be many more to come.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Huntsman II: Queen

What began as a night of rest between secret lovers is quickly turning to chaos. While the great hounds of the wild are restless and out for blood, fighting them off will prove to be the least of the Huntsman’s worries.

The widowed Queen Olvang has received word of the affair with her daughter, and offers but one chance for freedom for the Huntsman. Come to her chambers instead, and learn of a true woman’s prowess and dominance over her subjects. Yet unbeknownst to all, this turn of events has all been to Princess Katalyne’s design. As her plan unfolds within the castle walls, very little will remain as it seems.

What lays beyond is a gamble of faith with the future of the Olvang kingdom on the line.

I tell you what, looking at it now, this synopsis is a little longer than usual. I don't think that's really a bad thing, maybe I'll trim a bit off later, but this has certainly been one of those stories that just wasn't so easy to lay out. Sections of it have been in my mind since the original inception of the Huntsman series, and I know where it's going, but it's how you get there that really matters.

It's a bit difficult to talk about without really spoiling much but suffice to say it brings together a bunch of plots and characters that may not even be immediately obvious. Some of them are seemingly innocent occlusions from between series, even. The hows and wheres of some supporting cast machinations are handled in the sister series, The Lusty Dark Elven Maid, while the "plots above a maid's station to worry about" are squarely the scene set in Huntsman. 

It's not to say you'll miss out if you don't read both series, I'm just perhaps excessively happy and proud of the dual-lined story I have going on. It also lets me run different gears of sexual intensity while still in the same developing story scene.

So, with that said, the second volume of Huntsman rolls in. With this volume, we get a little look into Princess Katalyne's past, the odd circumstances they met under and more notes of things such as how the Northlands society is run and just how harsh and dark a land it is. From there it moves back into Castle Olvang and introducing the Princesses Mother and Queen, who has her own thoughts and restrictions on matters with a whole Kingdom on her shoulders.

The one out for freedom she gives the Huntsman on learning just what he's been doing is the real central point of the story's erotic edge, and one I had a bit of trouble with. While you may say orders are orders, I wasn't really 100% on having the Huntsman sleep with them both. I mean "Like Mother like Daughter" would have been a funny line to slip in, but it left too much a feel of cheating. 

So, if nothing else I can assure you that doesn't happen. I had a number of options on hand to redirect it away from that, and while strange, I like the way it's unfolded the best. It's always something that's easy to forget about fiction that so long as you can make it a believable concept, you can absolutely write magical and fictitious things.

And that's one reason I write fantasy, you can write things on such a grand and mythical scale that would never be possible otherwise. If that's not some of the magic and charm of writing fiction, then I don't know what is.

Excerpt follows the pagebreak.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Umbral Coil Chronicles I: Dusk

Exiled to the harsh wastes of the Zo’qeth desert by its mythical monarch Kassopeia – avatar of the Heavens given life to rule – two men will find comradery in one another that lasts into the deadly night, whence terrors stalk the sky.

Yet just as the sun sets each day, this is not the end of their tale, but a beginning to the night, of wandering another world where carnal encounters are not exempt as method of payment. What begins as the day of exile is but the first steps on a much longer journey than either could ever have imagined.

This is but the dusk to a perfect night.

[Amazon | UK]

News of my demise is greatly exaggerated. 

Now, I'll be the first to admit I've been really out of it the past months. It hasn't been the best of times - nothing too extreme like a death in the family or anything, but personally I haven't been in the best. Brief reminder that self-diagnosis is rarely a good idea. It wasn't lupus, and I wouldn't call it narcolepsy either, but it was sure something. I'm inclined to blame the winter cold coupled with the boiler trying to destroy itself again doing nothing to help matters.

That said, the support I've recieved throughout is really what keeps things going. It's said that it's not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep going forward. I'm the only one that's really taken a hit from this whole ordeal, and I'm the one that's taking it and moving forward for the sake of all the awesome people who really make it possible.

So enough about me. Dusk, the first volume of the Umbral Coil Chronicles is a new storyline set in the monstrous deserts of Zo'qeth. While you might know the name from Deity of the Desert and Goddess of Sands, this is set in a different time period and locale to those. There's a lot I really want to say about it but can't since that really spoils how it ties in with other books and my vision of this world and its vast desert kingdom.

What I can say is that this is the first in a little experiment of mine with Kindle Unlimited - Amazon's relatively new look into 'subscription service'. So I think to myself, okay, normalising prices and royalty to a subscription service. Subscriptions tend to imply a constant beat of content, and it struck me that that's largely what I, and likely many others, aim to do with serial volume releases. You get that constant beat of what you could call premium subscription content 

So, with the majority of my audience congregating and utilising the Amazon storefront for its sheer force of content, search engine and rank quality, why don't I try to work with this new system and create a sort of subscription content in part for people with Kindle Unlimited. That's what I'm aiming for with the Umbral Coil Chronicles. To people without, it's available all the same as any other publication, if limited to Amazon, and down the road I'll be releasing the novel format of all volumes at a reduced cumulative price that tells the entire story. It may not all happen as fast as it could but I have several great stories to tie up first before I can really get into it - this is a sort of pilot run.

That said, this first volume is a lot about setting the stage and introducing some of the characters that will really make up this story, including the Pharaoh Kassopeia, said to be an avatar of the gods. It begins with an exile into expected death, but sometimes things don't work out how you expect, and sometimes, even in the underworld, things can take a wholly erotic turn.

Excerpt follows the pagebreak.