Category Archives: Book launch

Love for saaaaaale–ebook re-release!

So a little while ago, my erotic dystopian Torquere Sip “We Are Such Stuff” went out of print and the rights reverted to me. It’s definitely not the best story I’ve ever written, but I have a certain fondness for it, so I went back through it, did a little editing and made a few minor changes, and I’m re-releasing it through Smashwords.

It originally sold for $1.99 but now you can have your very own spiffy DRM-free Smashwords edition in a wide variety of formats for only $.99.

Reyes is bored. A young man in a bleak future city of endless rain, he finds his entertainment in packed clubs, one-night stands, and the occasional drug. But when a mysterious young man catches his eye, he is led on a chase through a nighttime world of dreams and dreamers, a chase that could end in frustration… or a new kind of pleasure.

[HEY WHY DON’T YOU BUY ME]

And have an excerpt.

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Hellebore & Rue in print: now available!

Hellebore & Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic is finally out in print–and available for free Prime shipping, if you’re a student/faculty member with an Amazon account.

Look at that cover goddamn. You know you want a piece of that.

And I need to see if DC-area contributors want to do a reading/event thing, because I feel like getting out there and stretching my promo legs after a shitty, shitty month. And I do love to read aloud.

For a short explanation of how my story “Thin Spun” came to be–and an excerpt of the same–see the post here.

Hellebore & Rue: On sale now!

So Hellebore & Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic is finally out, and I am super excited. Not only is it out, but at the moment you can pick it up in a variety of formats for 15% off the list price–or $8.49, down from $9.99. It features a fantastic variety of takes on a theme by some really wonderful authors; big kudos to our lovely and talented editors for assembling such a diverse lineup of great fiction.

My own piece, “Thin Spun”, is a prequel of sorts to Rosetta, the sf novel that I’ve co-written. As I’ve said before, one of the wonderful things about building Rosetta’s world was the number of other stories and characters that came out of it, largely independent of the central storyline. One of these stories has been published in the MSF benefit anthology Help: Twelve Tales of Healing, and this is another.

When I decided to sit down and try to write something for this anthology, I knew it would probably be something from the world of Rosetta, and I realized fairly quickly that I wanted to explore the backstory of one of our major secondary characters (and say a brief hello to yet another, as well as to one of our heroes). I honestly don’t want to say straight out who it is, because it ends up being a slight spoiler for Rosetta itself. But regardless, it was a lot of fun to watch that story unfold, and along the way I got to meet some new characters I didn’t expect, as well as get an even fuller picture of the world in which I’ve been spending a lot of the past year.

The title itself is from John Milton’s poem “Lycidas”, one small passage of which deals with the myth of the Moirae:

But the fair Guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with th’ abhorred shears,
And slits the thin spun life.

The Moirae are only referenced once in the story, but I think they maintain a kind of constant background presence in the persons of the Aalim–the scholar-sorceresses of the Bideshi, the nomadic interstellar tribe to which the main character Lakshmi belongs. Or used to belong. “Thin Spun” is the story of the choices that led to her leaving the Bideshi and of how she finally makes peace with those choices, in the course of helping a scared girl with a stolen spaceship.

Hope you enjoy. Excerpt under the cut.

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MSF benefit anthology release

News: the Medecins Sans Frontieres benefit anthology I’m in is out.


Help: Twelve Tales of Healing

My story, Starcrossed, features Ying, who is a secondary character in the sf novel that I’ve co-written. Ying is a healer, and as the story begins she has just crawled out of her crashed ship. She didn’t just crash; she was shot down, and her attacker is in even worse shape than she is. What happens next tests whether they can trust each other at all, and brings some painful truths to light.

All profits go to MSF. Please consider picking up a copy.

Have an excerpt.

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Rumpledsilksheets (Rumpled Silk Sheets?) release

Rumpled Silk Sheets offers everything you expect in a fairy tale and in an erotic romance. These talented authors have taken some familiar tales-and a few not so familiar-in new and incredible directions.

Ride the desert sands with a girl who encounters a sexy incarnation of the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet and a Japanese maid who helps free her mistress from the human body trapping her heavenly spirit. We haven’t forgotten the witches and wolves, but you’ll also meet a Snow Bear whose gruff exterior hides a secret only a scared girl can unlock. Like a little pain with your pleasure? Then meet a delicate princess who longs for a lost lover’s firm touch instead of a traditional marriage that leaves her unmarked and unsatisfied.

Princess of Silk and Pain by Shanna Germain
Handsome and Gretel by Kilt Kilpatrick
The Art of Storm-Riding by Sunny Moraine
Red in the Hood by Vivica Lace
Hannah and the Witch by Michael Jones
Snow by Kenzie Mathews
The White Bride by G.G. Royale
Madame Blanche by Jean Roberta

They got my story slightly wrong–the woman Badra meets at the heart of the storm is cursed by Bastet, not an incarnation of her–but regardless, that is a stellar lineup right there. Pick up your copy here.

“The Art of Storm-Riding” started life as a very different story; it is actually my third attempt at a retelling of the German folktale “The White Cat”, which was a favorite of mine as a child. Both my previous attempts were decent but also much too conventional for me, and it wasn’t until I decided to radically shift the setting and the premise that it started to feel right. As it currently stands, it bears only the roughest resemblance to the original folktale, but I think what’s there is a neat twist on a classic form. I also like the idea of a fairy tale that ends in liberation for all the characters in a way that isn’t just another form of being boxed in, to marriage, to tradition, to family convention. Badra never would have stood for that and I wouldn’t have tried to force it on her.

The title comes from a poem by the Egyptian-Lebanese poet Yahia Lababidi, whose first couple of verses feel, to me, to be full of the same kind of unhinged power that sits at the heart of the story.

I could not decipher the living riddle of my body
put it to sleep when it hungered, and overfed it
when time came to dream

I nearly choked on the forked tongue of my spirit
between the real and the ideal, rejecting the one
and rejected by the other

I still have not mastered that art of storm-riding
without ears to apprehend howling winds
or eyes for rolling waves

Excerpt under the cut.

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Release: Like a Veil

Like a Veil: Erotic Tales of the Arabian Nights, which features my story “Catch and Release”, is now officially out in a variety of formats from a variety of places. It’s an awesome little collection.

My story is a science fiction retelling of the 1001 Nights story “The Fisherman and the Jinni”. It’s a very rough retelling, adopting more the spirit of the story than sticking close to the original plot, and at first I wasn’t entirely sure how to approach it. But I drew some parallels in my mind between djinn imprisoned in lamps and strange, powerful alien entities imprisoned in drifting capsules, and taking the story and giving it a scifi bent seemed like an interesting way of going after it. The story itself turned into something of a fable regarding wanting to belong while at the same time rebelling against the things that threaten to tie you down to the merely conventional. The setting of a rebuilt, futuristic Baghdad, constantly in the background, served as a nice focal point for these two warring strands of past and future, the impossibly ancient and the profoundly new.

I also love the idea of Suleiman drifting in the solar winds, picking up all the trash that our space-faring descendants would doubtlessly generate. It’s an image that’s stuck with me long after the story was done.

NSFW excerpt under the cut.

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Book release

In the Pale Moonlight, my queer medieval werewolf novella–man, that’s kind of a mouthful–is now on sale from Liquid Silver Books. You can find a sale page here, as well as an excerpt. My first release with LSB, Hieros, was pretty well received, and I hope this one will be as well, though it’s really a very different story in a lot of respects.

It’s also a much older story than Hieros… at least, much older by my standards of story age. It’s had kind of an interesting route to publication, which I talked briefly about at the LSB blog.

Regardless of the route, it’s out now–so go forth, pick yourselves up a copy, and, I hope, enjoy.

Book launch – Queerpunk

Queerpunk, which features my short story “Upload”, is now available in a variety of different formats from the following places:

Amazon Kindle store
Smashwords
Scribd
All Romance E-books

Circlet is still having shopping cart issues, but it will be up there ASAP as well.

Queer sexuality has long defied the conventional standard of sexual expression; intersecting with the tech-driven backdrop of cyberpunk, it has now rewritten the rules completely. Queerpunk, with its collection of stories that revel in a near-futuristic vision of our own time, investigates the evolution of Queer sexuality under the smog-covered umbrella of urban and technological advancement. When the human body becomes a customizable canvas, either through mechanical implants or three-dimensional internet avatars, sexuality is given even more outlets from which to evolve. As the old social order succumbs to cyberspace’s commanding hand, Queer identity finds new nooks and crannies in which to root.

The stories that follow–“Rescue Wounds,” “Blindwire,” “Upload,” “The Real Thing,” and “Virgin”–craft worlds in which human connection punctures cyberpunk’s isolationist veil. In an otherwise impersonal and anonymous world, the bonds the characters forge through sexual expression shine a small bit of light onto the smoke, and a shred of warmth that pokes through the streams and pockets of internet data. Featuring authors Kal Cobalt, Eric Del Carlo, Sunny Moraine, R.E. Bond, and Kannan Feng, Queerpunk confronts this intersection and the question of what it means to be Queer in a world where the matter of identity has been revolutionized completely.

I love cyberpunk. I have since I was a freshman in high school and watching Ghost in the Shell for the first time and just starting to work out who the fuck William Gibson was. Cyberpunk is something that lends itself naturally to transgressiveness–of place and time, of geographical borders, of identity, of what’s real. So it also lends itself naturally to sex, and in this case to sex that reaches outside the norm of a lot of what I see in erotica. There’s death in here. There are sociopathic people, and sex that has very little meaning outside of two pieces of meat slamming into each other. There’s sex that provides a kind of healing to a profoundly damaged person, with faint echoes of The Matrix. There’s technology fetishism in here, which I found especially evocative, and which made me wonder: if a lot of sexual expression is culturally constructed, what will people’s kinks look like in fifty years? In a hundred?

Almost all of these stories are also about power and resistance, which is interesting in itself. Corporate power, governmental power, the power of massive institutions, and then the power that individuals exert over each other, and the power that someone can have over themselves. The power that the past has over the present and the future. The possibility of resisting external and internal control.

My story is very blatantly about resistance–my two main characters are the leaders of a gang of anti-corporate revolutionaries–but I wanted to particularly explore how cyberspace makes place and body and identity malleable, and to look at the vanishing line between humans and machines. Nothing very new, especially not in this genre, but I think I did pretty well with it. Hopefully you’ll think so too.

This is my third anthology with Circlet Press so far, and I have to say: I think it’s my favorite. And not just because I’m a contributor. There’s just so much to love in here. Circlet always puts out quality stuff, but I really think this is top of the line even for them. This isn’t just good porn, these are great stories, and I’m very happy that mine is among them. I can’t recommend it enough.

SFW excerpt under the cut.

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Book launch – Like a Long Road Home

Like a Long Road Home, featuring my story “Neither Bird Nor Tree”, is now live in a variety of formats at the following places:

Scribd
Smashwords
All Romance EBooks

A Kindle edition will be live by the end of the week. Circlet is having issues with their website’s shopping cart, but hopefully soon it’ll be there as well.

As to the story itself, it was a lot of fun to write, but it was also my first serious attempt at writing original post-apocalyptic fiction, which was an interesting experience. I drew some on The Road in terms of not making the cause or method of the cataclysm clear–it was the first time it occurred to me that it was actually okay to do that. The cataclysm itself isn’t the point. The point is the characters, what it means to find someone else at the end of the world you knew. It’s about connection–my main protagonist is a profoundly solitary man and has been for most of his life, and it’s only with the societal collapse and devastation that accompanies whatever It is that’s happened that he finally makes a real connection with someone else. Through that connection, he feels real in a way he hasn’t before. He is real because he matters to someone. The end of the world serves primarily to bring that into sharper relief.

The title comes from a poem by Sara Teasdale, which was used to great effect in the short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury. That remains one of my favorite short stories ever, the first short story to affect me so profoundly, and I drew heavily on both it and the theme of the poem itself–that we are incidental, transient, that the world does not need us. If we vanished suddenly, it might never notice that we were gone at all, and might in fact be better for it.

What we find lasting meaning in is each other, in love and compassion for people outside ourselves.

Or it’s just some gay porn. Whatever.

And yes, the city in the story is Philadelphia. Chris lives–or lived–in South Philly.

Excerpt under the cut.

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New release: Truth & Dare

My erotic supernatural lesbian short Truth & Dare is now on sale here.

Truth & Dare started life as an attempt on my part to write sexual mind control, which is not really a Thing of mine but which I find kind of interesting in terms of the power dynamic it sets up. Like a lot of what I write, I’m not really sure where the rest of it came from, but I do know that I’m just as attracted to the idea of emotional erotic domination as I am to the physical kind, and that features here pretty strongly. Also the idea of domination and submission as fundamentally both enlightening and liberating, which is a theme I return to now and then.

Daena is actually a figure in Zoroastrian mythology, representing insight and revelation; she meets you after your death and evaluates the worthiness of your soul. It’s mostly the name that’s borrowed here, though this can also be read as the figure herself being present. She does have powers, after all.

Generally SFW excerpt under the cut.

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