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Tales of a Vampire Hunter - Coming Friday!

Tales of a Vampire Hunter - Out July 29th

Finally! The e-Book version of Tales of a Vampire Hunter is coming out July 29th.

Tales of a Vampire Hunter has been a labor of love spanning one short story and three novellas (and countless rewrites). As a thank you to the fans who urged me on and turned me into a best-selling author, I let them pick this hot new cover.


M.L. Doyle Review

M.L. Doyle highlights Tales of a Vampire Hunter here, in her provocative blog post about genres and books we "refuse to read" based on preconceived notions. I love a good vampire or zombie novel that breaks with convention and tells a good story (and I am not ashamed to admit it). My sales tell me that many of you agree.

M.L. writes in several genres. I love her work, but if she doesn't have anything new, I can count on her to highlight someone else with a new release I will love. Her new release, Hidden Designs, based in the Lei Crime Kindle World, features FBI Special Agent, Ken Yamada and Army Major, Chuck Mathews, two men who (in the past) were forced to make a choice between career and love. Now, ten-years later, they don’t have to choose one over the other because they don’t have to hide anymore. I can't wait to read it!


I Love Vampire Novels

I Love Vampire Novels is featuring Tales of a Vampire Hunter on their website and in their newsletter on release day (sweet!), and several reviews are in the works from authors and fans of the genre that refuses to die (pun totally intended ;>)


To celebrate, I'll be scheduling giveaways and other fun stuff in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

If you haven't already preordered your copy, get it today (FREE for Kindleunlimited or for a special release price of only $2.99 for a limited time).


BUY NOW ON AMAZON (universal Amazon link)




Break Glass if Broken

I should have known better. I should have stayed home, remained alone. I should have known better.

Once you are an adult, every story begins in the middle. Mine is no different. The unpleasant details of what had come before do not need sharing, though they had brought me to New York where I could hide.

My job allowed me to disappear. A copy editor’s work is essential, yet never as important as that of the writer. This suited me.

In a gray, padded cubicle, reliable words and rules of usage occupied my monitor or filled the space on rectangular pages. Boxed in, I was invisible. Safe. Alone.

Weeknights, I rode the subway to a tiny square apartment with metal bars on the windows and sealed myself behind a door fitted with five deadbolts. I watched the world on television or read about it online. I ate my frozen meals from plastic or cardboard containers and owned no silverware or china, no knives to cut. No glass or china to break. I possessed nothing I did not consider disposable.

Weekends, I wandered museums where I could lose myself in the crowds. Walking beside handsome students, listening to docent lectures, I took notes as if I belonged in their cozy, boisterous groups. I fell into step beside family units, close enough to smell the baby-fresh scent of the shampoo mothers used on children’s hair. So close that, when the crowd swelled along with my need for contact, my hand could drift over a father’s fingers as he held his child’s hand upon an escalator or railing.

I reached for elevator buttons at the same time others did, on purpose, knowing my shrugged and smiled apology would be accepted. Knowing those I accosted would not suspect my longing for the touch of another’s hand on mine, however fleeting, or unwanted.

Listening to strangers’ conversations, I would pretend they spoke to me, composing witty replies no one ever heard.

“So, like, the thing about acting is that, like, you can be anyone, you know? Like, I could be a warrior princess, or like a vampire and shit. Clothes, makeup, and attitude are everything, you know? I took dance too, so my coach says I have a really good shot at getting a part real soon.”

“Does he say that when you’re sucking his dick, or after?” her friend replied, as I applauded, silently.

I could blame drama girl for what happened, but I would know it had been my idea, my fault. What if I acted, I had thought. What if instead of acting like one of these vapid young girls, or pretending to be a doctor on a television show, or a cat in a play, I acted as if I was normal? As if I was not damaged. As if I was not afraid.

Though at first, I comforted myself pretending I had carefully thought the scheme over for weeks, I actually began formulating plans even then, noting the shabby hooker-like clothing these girls sported, casting my gaze around with newfound interest in what others wore, how others acted.

Would I be a woman who wore crisp, black suits or one who wore dark-washed, pressed jeans? Did I wish to be no-nonsense in kick-ass leather boots, or flirty in sandals with sky-high heels? Was I the sort of woman who wore dresses with no panties, or one who never carried a purse? Would I be bright as sunshine, cool as spring rain or would I have a metallic tang, like a penny on the tongue?

“Excuse me?” I said, to a woman at my office soon after.

Only Botox, I suspected, kept her brow from furrowing at me for bothering her. “Yes? What?”

“I love that suit, and your shoes, and scarf and, well, just everything you have on.” My palms sweat.

It was the most I had said to anyone, anywhere, since suffering through the interview required to land my job. “Where do you shop?” I forged on, braver now that the words were out, though she stared at me as if I had lost my mind. Maybe I had.

“SoHo or the Lower East has the best boutiques for accessories. Fifth Avenue for serious clothes and shoes. I don’t remember where I bought everything, but the suit’s Ann Taylor.”

I watched her, and others like her, until I had a list. Until I knew just who I wanted to be.

Suit – gray, skirt just above the knee, slim fitted jacket, pants with no pleats, low on the hips, falling just so (tailoring a must for correct length with shoes)

Shoes – sling-back, heels (not too high or too short), leather, expensive, pointy

T-shirts – cut simply but made of really good cotton or silk, snug fitting, boat neck

Belt – wide or skinny (I still couldn’t figure that one out), expensive, metal clasp

Bag – red or another color, expensive

Simple, gold jewelry

Trench coat – black, good material, not too heavy

Scarves – the only patterns allowed. Nothing loud or flashy

Very sexy lingerie under it all (this I guessed), expensive

It was not easy or pleasurable, finding these items, but soon I had them all. I ate Top Ramen and hot dogs for a month, but now I owned something sharp. Heels.

At work, I continued to wear shapeless shift dresses and cardigans, pants that sagged at the knees and sensible flats. No one commented on the new blonde highlights in my hair, worn in my customary, messy bun; maybe no one noticed. Nor did anyone notice the injections that plumped my lips and smoothed my frown lines, or my skin, tinted self-tanner gold.

I remained invisible, or so I thought.

This was my first mistake, but mistakes are like lies; they always multiply. The first ones are easy and often go unnoticed.

“Hello, my name is Susan. Hello, my name is Frances. Hello, I’m Briana,” I practiced in front of my bathroom mirror. “Yes, I’d love a drink. No, I am waiting for someone. Why don’t you just fuck off? Fuck me.”

The more I practiced, the more I realized it was true; I could be anyone I wanted to be, anyone I wanted people to think I was.

“I’m a writer. I write erotica. I write romance novels. I am an editor, a doctor, a lawyer. I head up an investment firm in Paris. I live in Tribeca. I am from Milan, Japan, Italy, here on business. No, I don’t want to talk about it. I want you to fuck me.”

A woman who wants to get laid, and presents herself as someone without baggage, without strings attached, can find a man to do the deed just about anywhere.

I wasn’t stupid. I knew better than to go into singles bars or bad parts of town. I avoided places sure to attract the despondent, the alcoholic, motorcycle riders, or those with prison records, tattoos, or facial piercings. I was in the market for a very specific type of man. I needed a man too nice to come looking for me later, too nice to hurt me, too nice to say no. The sort of man who was clean and carried condoms with him.

The bar at The Ritz Carlton, near Wall Street, the Stock Exchange, and Battery Park was perfect. The restaurant made a nice cover. The setting meant I didn’t have to be from New York, yet many people who frequented the place lived in the up- and-coming neighborhood or were tourists themselves.

Drinking from a martini glass, I tipped the bartender generously. He knew, no matter what I ordered, to fill my glass with nothing more than water. A twist of lemon rind completed the illusion. All night, that first time, I sat and picked at a Blackberry, frowned at galley proofs, and fended off would-be suitors.

I tried all my stories, all my names, but told all the men (and a few women), “No,” until he walked in.

He was the Ken to my Barbie, the scratch to my itch. I knew it, and he knew it. Watching us, anyone would have thought we’d arranged to meet there, were husband and wife, lovers, friends. My knees parted slightly in welcome.

He slid into the spot I created for him as if he belonged. “Hello, pretty.”

“Hi, handsome,” I replied.

“Say you have a room.” He did not touch me with his hands, but his strong thighs eased my knees wider apart, and his eyes caressed the newly exposed expanse of my legs.

“I will, once you check in.”

“Perfect. I’ll be right back.” Before he left, he turned his shoulder to the room, slid his hand under my skirt, and cupped my cunt through soaked silk panties.

The bartender looked away.

My heart pounded. It was happening. He had touched me. I had been cool, calm, a woman of the world. I didn’t even know his name! He didn’t know mine. No stories had been required. We would fuck. I would leave. Perfect.

~****~

“You don’t have to do that, you know,” the friendly bartender said, many weeks later.

By now, I’d grown into my power, and my autonomy. I’d relaxed. My second mistake or maybe my third. I’m losing count.

Giving the bartender only the coolness of my gaze as a reply, I turned back to the room, and that’s when it happened. My make-believe world turned into a house of cards, and I knew I had made a terrible error.

“Vera,” my boss said, briskly, as if we had arranged to meet.

Alarm fluttered against my ribs, as violent as the wings of a dying bird trapped in a cage. “Mr. Blunt.”

Under his stern brows, steely blue eyes watched as I gathered my trappings of confidence and returned them to my bag. I chewed my bottom lip until his frown stopped me.

He tossed a large bill onto the bar top. Shame flooded my stomach until I realized it was meant for the bartender, not for what was to come. What I would do.

I followed him, swallowing my questions. What did it matter how he knew, how long he had known or why he’d come for me now? We both knew what I pretended to be was, at heart, no act. We both knew I wanted it.

In the elevator, he pushed me to my knees and let me nuzzle my cheek to his custom tailored, wool-suit-covered cock. Before my eyes closed, his wedding band winked at me.

Of course, no one else boarded the elevator, and the hallway was empty when we alighted.

“Crawl,” he said.

The carpet bit my nylon covered knees, and I felt the burn of scrapes as they formed. There would be blood. As there should be.

The spacious gold-and-green room behind the door he opened boasted a sweeping view of the water surrounding the Statue of Liberty. Harbor-view rooms came with their own telescopes. Handy for the voyeur and stargazer alike, I imaged the marketing copy boasting.

Though he did not pay me, I was his whore. Though he did not ask it of me, I gave him everything left of that girl in the bar. He kissed the tears I wept for her away and held my hands above my head as he grunted over me.

~****~

I should have known better, stayed home, and remained alone. I should have known better, and now, I do.

Every story should begin at the end; the unpleasant details of what came before do not need sharing. Mine had brought me to the mountains of Colorado, where I could hide.

Working from home, in an office with walls painted uncertain gray, reliable words and rules of usage occupy my monitor. Boxed in, I am invisible. Safe. Alone.

From Amaranthine Rain (a Short-Story Collection) 

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On Transgression, Taboo Subjects, and Censorship

sculpture at Khajuraho Temple

Transgression, Rule-breaking and Paradoxes of the Human Condition


As a storyteller, I used to say my first mission was to entertain, and I have written many fun, little stories. But taboo subjects are, by far, more interesting to write.

Looking for ways to question, overturn assumptions, startle moral codes, and catch readers—and myself—off guard, I examine each work before I begin to decide how to best accomplish these things, for they have become the very point of most of my stories.

The Satanic CalveryFelicien Rops
My short fiction can be shocking, or controversial; my characters mean or ugly, but what entertains more than that which inspires fear, shock, denial, uncertainty, mystery, or gives us a glimpse at subjects we think we know (presented in a new way), or at worlds completely foreign to us?

I enjoy flipping expectations on their heads by the end of my tales, having led the reader through the dark and scary forest maze of transgression, into the safe clearing on the other side, sometimes with a new set of feelings and understanding of my subject.

Original writing is not born on the non-offensive-to-anyone-politically-correct middle ground, but always at the fringe. Taboo subjects make us think and can bring about changed minds. Or show us new worlds. Or close doors. It shows us who we, and others, really are. So why write a boring story when you can do all that?

Taboo Subjects and Themes, Creativity, and Censorship


Writing requires not only freedom but also the assumption of freedom. If a writer is afraid of the penalties of their creative choices, themes, or treatment of subjects, then their work will not be formed by their talent or creativity, but by fear.

When censorship hinders writing, it becomes the subject; the writing is stamped “censored or banned”, and that is how the world sees it forever. The censored work is believed to have earned and deserved censorship. The censor’s falsehood replaces the writer’s truth. Other’s beliefs and preferences control the writer, and the reader’s perception of the work is formed before it is read because of a label.


Now, I know writing need not only entertain. At its best, good writing is ground-breaking. Revolutionary. Writers should have no barriers to creativity, and no subject should be off-limits. Publishers must be braver; retailers and readers have a right not to buy or read things they have no interest in. Not to have their perspectives touched. But, again, how boring is that world?

That said, as a mom, I believe in controls over accessibility for minors and on clear labeling to inform, not incite judgment or condemn. That’s where it gets tricky.

The Free Expression Policy Project (a think tank on artistic and intellectual freedom) provides research and advocacy on free speech, copyright, and media democracy issues to protect the rights of writers and readers worldwide.

Links and Resources