Craft updates for Tami Veldura and S.T. Lynn.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Release Day: Baited

The day has arrived! Baited is available everywhere ebooks are sold. If you don't have a copy yet, enter to win one below. The giveaway ends tonight!

Buy it from me: $2.99

PDF, MOBI, EPUB (all in one, bundle)

Buy it from a 3rd party: $2.99

Amazon
Smashwords
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Apple
Txtr
AllRomance

Giveaway: Free!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

5 Things about Falconry You Didn't Know

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , , , , No comments
I realized today that I've scheduled Baited to be released on Black Friday. This was not my best marketing decision, in retrospect. However, you live and learn and it's too late to back out now. So here's 5 things about falconry that didn't make it into the book.

Back in the day, the cool birds were reserved for royalty.
You'll probably be unsurprised to learn that falconry is a federally regulated sport. You need to apprentice for several years, journeyman for several years, and even when you're a Master Falconer, you are merely licensed by the government to house and exercise the birds. You cannot ever own them, even their feathers are regulated.

But you may not know that falconry has always been a regulated sport. Even during the Elizabethan era, your social rank determined which birds you were allowed to fly. Peasants may have a red-tailed hawk (considered a buzzard) while the Kings were allowed to fly Ferruginous Hawks or Eagle Owls.

Now, different breeds of hawks, owls, or eagles may require permits, but you don't need to prove your royal lineage.

Falconry benefits the wild population of predator birds
Being a baby hawk in the wild is hard. So hard, in fact, that you're more likely to die than survive your first year. Hunters, power lines, big prey, crows, bigger birds, and unsuccessful hunts can all lead to death.

Wild-caught birds in falconry are usually baited and snared in their first year. When partnered with a falconer, the bird benefits from regular food, steady practice hunting, and a chance to learn about new prey without risking going hungry that day. Some birds are more welcoming of hunting partners than others- but they're smart, too. If sticking close to the human means getting fed, they'll stick around.

Wild-caught birds are also often released back into the wild after a good long run of falconry work. If they're uninjured, a bird may return the wild 5, 10, maybe 15 years after being caught. They're expert hunters, now, and it's time to breed. As parents, these former falconry birds will teach their offspring how to hunt a wide variety of prey- not just one or two animals- giving the new generation a better chance of feeding themselves when it's time to leave the nest.

Red Tail Hawk by Len Dap
You can find falconry in the strangest places, today.


Many people think the oldest hunting sport died out with age of kings, but nothing can be further from the truth. Farm fields employ falconers to keep their crops free of mice, rabbits, and all kinds of other pests. It's common at rehabilitation facilities and zoos where educational displays help the general public understand a predator bird's role in the ecosystem.

Seaworld even employs a falconer. Why? To scare off the seagulls. Seagulls are big birds, but they're no match for a hawk. They'd rather run than fight. So Seaworld's falconer walks the campus chasing gulls, crows, and other scavenger birds off the property.

Bateleur Eagle by Derek Keats
Predator birds like to play!
Speak to any falconer and the first thing they'll tell you is their bird is not a pet. It is a wild animal with a mind of its own and should their relationship no longer benefit the bird, it could fly off during a hunt and simply decide to never come back.

However, keeping an animal as smart as a four-year-old entertained is no easy task. They have personalities, temperaments, and even favorite games. Aidan is a 9-year-old Harris' hawk I've had the pleasure of seeing in action before. His favorite game is pen. His handler takes a pen and brushes the feathers of his chest a few times, then offers him the pen. Aidan takes the pen in his beak and spins it in the air. He usually likes watching it drop to the ground instead of catching it. Personally, I think he likes watching his handler bend down and give it back.

Some hawks would rather hunt in groups.
Harris hawks (like Aidan) are social birds that prefer to live and hunt in family groups. It makes them considerably easier to train in falconry than other birds since they're inclined to work with a partner in the first place. Usually that means the falconer, but sometimes that means a hunting dog. Aidan usually goes hunting with Gossip, a wire-hair terrier.

Gossip knows her job is to get the prey out into the open so Aidan can catch it. Pheasant may be her favorite, but I got a chance to see her chase down a jackrabbit. Rabbits are fast, strong, and too big for a bird to take down on their own. However, a dog running at full speed, distracting the animal while it runs for its life makes Aidan's job easy. He swoops in from above to take the kill.

Sometimes he doesn't manage to kill the jackrabbit- they're big, remember? Those legs can kick and do a lot of damage. It's the handlers job to run in and finish the job, tempting Aidan away from his big prize with a piece of meat from her belt.

Then everyone gets to eat. Have you ever tried rabbit pot pie? It's delicious.

(Fun fact: Gossip is featured in Baited!)

Want to know more? Enter the giveaway for a free copy of Baited!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Or preorder Baited at any of these fine locations:
Buy it from me: $2.99 (AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER)
Buy it from a 3rd party: $2.99 (AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER)
Note: If you buy Baited from a third party and want the other formats, email me your receipt and I will give you the other formats for free.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday: I'm starting to draft!

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , , , , No comments
Well, it's not a NaNo project, but I'm finally getting words down on paper (as it were) for my
Muslim/Trans dragon story that really needs a better working title. How about Transformation. Which may or may not be too foreshadowing of the Major Plot Twist but I don't care. I have maybe a hundred words down and my outline has already come in handy for planting things early on that will come up later.

My entire cast is black which is a (good) shift for me. I'm going to get things wrong, though, just because the black experience is not my experience. I'm hardly even tangential to that experience. I've already started looking for beta readers who are black and/or Muslim to help me keep things straight. (If that's you, send me an email!)

I'm not totally living in the world yet. That will kick in after I've been writing on the story for several days in a row. I look forward to it, though.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Member Choice Awards Nomination!

Stealing Serenity has been nominated at the M/M Romance Goodreads group Member Choice
Awards for Best Profession: Visual Artist!

The book is available for .99 at Bottom Drawer Publications, so go get it now while it's on sale!

Voting starts in December.
Blurb:
“Serenity,” a photograph worth four million dollars, was sold at auction to an anonymous bidder. Stealing it will represent the largest payday Daniel will have ever had. To make that happen, he poses as a photography curator to attract the attention of Kearin, the auction house owner.

Kearin takes Daniel under his wing to work in the non-profit branch of his business, but it’s a cover for his desire to see Daniel naked, bound, and needy for the camera. Kearin has a client interested in a very specific portfolio—filling the request would put him at the top of his field.

Daniel thinks he can use the modeling to get closer to “Serenity.” What he doesn't expect is to fall for Kearin's brand of intensity instead. So does he go for the photograph or Kearin's heart? He wouldn't call himself a master thief if he couldn't steal both.
Praise:
"The strength of the book is in the attention to detail that gave a sense of realism to Daniel's activity as a master thief. The references to the small things–such as Daniel being aware of the presence of layers of dust showing no-one was likely to find his hidden devices–and the other information given, gave... insight into Daniel's profession..." Nic, 4 Stars

"Veldura is a good author, she uses language uniquely and well and her characters are memorable and special - this story is anything but ordinary." Julia, 4 Stars

"So, this novella is interesting. There is a killer ton of sexual tension and not an ounce of sex..." Veronica, 4 Stars
"I've never read a BDSM story that only focused on the erotic play of bondage and the genre is not something I read often. The author did a wonderful job in her description of the bondage play... The attraction between Kearin and Daniel was lovely to read, it was enjoyable to see them fight what they both wanted. I was looking forward to the moment they both would give in. The ending was well done. I liked that the author left a little something to the readers imagination. There was a bit of mystery there..." Blub, 4 Stars

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Scorpion's Nature: Part 95

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , , No comments
Original photo by jGlidePhotoATL
This flash fiction is part of a series. Follow Alex Drake from the day he joins Zodiac, through the trials of basic training, broken and mended hearts, to the day he becomes Motocross, elite Scorpio sniper. Start at Part One.

Part 95

Through the rifle, Alex watched Thresher slide out of the water, restrain the guard, and tape his mouth shut in less than ten seconds. Hog-tied on the ground, the drug farmer wouldn't go anywhere soon. The dots tracking Lodon and Mako moved out of the forest. Mako diverted toward the lean-to, Lodon disappeared behind the house to gain entrances to the garage, Thresher popped the electrical panel on the cabin wall and flipped the master breaker.

Alex panned his rifle across the house to Mako. She unscrewed the clutch cables on both the dirt bike and the quadrunner, effectively reducing them to giant paperweights. By then, Lodon unlocked the doors and let everyone inside.

Alex brought his rifle up to the second story window and watched his team's progress via the visor, instead. His heart beat hard. The radio echoed with silence. All three dots converged up the stairs and cleared rooms one by one.

Mako's voice popped. "Cabin is clear. All five hostiles are contained. Ready for pickup, Dall."

"Confirmed."

Alex took a deep breath and let it out with a shake. His chest stretched. Not being able to see them in the cabin was more stressful than he expected.

"How did we look, Scorpio?" Thresher asked.

Alex pinched the radio, "Honestly? A little boring."

Dall laughed.

Mako invited him down to the cabin for pickup. Alex slung his rifle over one shoulder and picked his way downhill through the forest.

--//--

Read more in this series every Monday.
If you enjoy this story, please consider supporting it on Patreon.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Islamic Dragons and Historic Africa

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , , No comments
My NaNoWriMo plans have... not become reality yet. I have a new story half outlined based in historic west Africa that really has me excited. Let me tell you about it.

Mali. The Dogon ethnic group. 1200's. Islam is the prevailing religion. The local language is Bambara.

A settled village of 1000ish people are visited annually by two dark dragons from the sandstone cliffs in the distance. They take two women from the village every year. The village participates in the sacrifice to avoid being wiped from the earth, but they hold no love for dragons.

Moussa: a man of the village who has always entertained the idea of crafting pottery, designing hair braids, and learning the patterns of henna ink- all traditionally women's crafts.

Seydou: Moussa's best friend and confidant. He has a secret. Seydou is pretty sure he loves men, not women, and it tears him up inside. He doesn't think his attraction to Moussa is wrong, but the village as a whole does.

The night before the dragons arrive, Seydou confesses to Moussa. The following day, the dragons take Moussa away.

A man has been taken from the village, not a woman as agreed, and Seydou knows it's his fault. He volunteers to lead a small group to the sandstone cliffs. It's time the dragons learned what man can do.

It's a trans story with a very pro-woman feel. I won't reveal the surprise at the end (you'll just have to read the book) but I'll tell you the dragons are also Islamic. :D

I've been doing a LOT of research into the Muslim faith, behaviors, observed rites and rules, because I know exactly nothing about it. I'm agnostic, I have no working knowledge of any faith. but this isn't a Muslim story, it's a trans story, and that's going to be the focus. Learning about gender, transitioning, teaching others about transition, and finally feeling confident in one's own skin.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Scorpion's Nature: Part 94

Original photo by jGlidePhotoATL
This flash fiction is part of a series. Follow Alex Drake from the day he joins Zodiac, through the trials of basic training, broken and mended hearts, to the day he becomes Motocross, elite Scorpio sniper. Start at Part One.

Part 94

Alex felt his breath settle. This was exactly like training. Stay quiet, stay still, and keep eyes open. He watched the two-story house through his binoculars, everything varying shades of green. Every five minutes a single man hunched around the west corner, kicked a cinderblock on the lean-to, and disappeared again around the front of the house. Some algorithm back at the Zodiac campus projected the man's expected path with a transparent blue line and counted down to his next walk around the building.

Then a light upstairs blew out his night vision. Alex clicked over to infrared. The house glowed warmer at the top but he couldn't see any details. He clicked the binoculars to sonic and frowned at the hazy image that came back to him. Alex tipped his binoculars down and realized the whole valley was shrouded in mist, come up from the forest as the night cooled. The binoculars had a final setting: ultraviolet. Unfortunately, Alex couldn't make heads or tails of what came back on that filter. The light upstairs went out without him learning anything new.

He reset his binoculars to night vision. A light downstairs turned on. Blue numbers counted down to zero and the guard walked around the west corner of the building. Alex checked the time. Five minutes until shift change.

The time crawled. Alex wiped his forehead and wished for a hat or beanie of some kind; it was chilly out here.

The light in the kitchen went out. The guard didn't walk around the west corner. Instead, a new man, taller, walked around the east corner instead. The shift changed.

Alex pocketed the binoculars. He leaned into his rifle instead- shades of green showing him the details. The new guard sauntered past the dock on a second walk-around. Thresher slipped out of the water.

--//--

Read more in this series every Monday at 9am.
Next: Part 95 or All Chapters



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Zodiac Forces French Translation

I am VERY Pleased to announce Closer Than That Touch and Spring Tide-have-been translated into English Both Will Be together and released in January of next year!

Published by  Fine Queens
Translated by  Malin Domitilla

This is super exciting. My first foreign language translation and would you look at that cover? Look at it!

The book is listed on GoodReads ( here ) If that's something you're into. Otherwise stay tuned for the release!

--//--

Tome 1 : Dans la peau

Deia est un opérateur des Gémeaux, un agent secret destiné à ne travailler qu’avec un seul partenaire, liés de par leurs combinaisons nanotechnologiques. Deia a survécu à la mort de son autre moitié. Deux fois. Les autres soldats l’appellent la Veuve noire, mais Deia ne va pas laisser ce nom lui coller à la peau. Il demande un transfert vers Scorpion, où le travail solo est encouragé.

Le commandant de Deia refuse de le muter pour le moment car il a une nouvelle recrue prometteuse qu’il veut absolument lui faire rencontrer. Phade est un bleu, tout excité et effronté, mais il se débrouille pas mal en combat rapproché. Après un joli coup lors de l’entraînement, Deia accepte de le prendre comme coéquipier. Leur première mission aurait dû être une promenade de santé…

Tome 2 : Marée nouvelle

Parmi les Forces du Zodiaque, Cancer est la branche maritime. Whiplash et Cardinal, deux de leurs soldats basées sur les côtes italiennes, sont à la recherche d’un gang de trafic d’ivoire.

Au lieu d’un stock d’ivoire, elles trouvent un message scellé dans une bouteille. Le SOS a dix ans et la piste est probablement froide, mais Whiplash sait reconnaître une véritable aventure lorsqu’elle en croise une et Cardinal est prête à la suivre. L’histoire n’en devient que plus personnelle lorsqu’elle les conduit aux contrebandiers qu’elles pourchassent.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Zodiac: Inception Part 93

Original photo by jGlidePhotoATL
This flash fiction is part of a series. Follow Alex Drake from the day he joins Zodiac, through the trials of basic training, broken and mended hearts, to the day he becomes Motocross, elite Scorpio sniper. Start at Part One.

Part 93

Alex had never sweat like this in boot camp. The forest, oppressively dense, hindered every move they made. Mako favored speed over stealth and the four of them sounded like an entire troop of elephants crashing around. Alex envied the Pisces' coordination. His face found every whipping branch they avoided.

Lodon stopped abruptly. Alex jerked to avoid mowing him down. Mako held her hand up in a fist at the front. A few feet beyond her the forest just… stopped. Alex could make out the dark, quiet water of Lake Genevieve. He touched the vizor of his helmet and was unsurprised to find the dot representing him precisely on top of Mako's planned location. He cleared the map.

Mako pointed at Lodon and Alex, making a sliding gesture to one side. They both made way for Thresher who didn't appear phased by the extra hundred pounds of diving equipment he hauled. His massive shoulders parted the forest. Mako traded a look with him and sat on a log. Lodon followed her lead, resting where he was. Alex swung his rifle across his knees and knelt. Resting, but ready to move.

Thresher quietly removed his bag and executed a well-practiced series of movements.Wetsuit up, tank on, mask locked in. He checked all of his valves then turned his back to Mako who double-checked. She slapped his shoulder. Thresher slid the straps of his pack around and converted it. He added the bag to his back, threading buckles through his SCUBA gear so nothing would tangle. Cinched down, he made his way to the water with short fins in hand. Alex heard Mako's quiet voice in his headset, "Thresher is in the water."

"Confirmed." Dall said.

Mako gestured forward. Lodon and Alex followed. Mako paced them into a jog and Alex realized she had been moderating their speed to keep Lodon with the group. Carrying an extra person worth of gear could have winded him. Instead, he arrived fresh and ready to go.

Despite their speed, Alex watched the time tick by on his visor while Lodon's dot moved steadily up the lake. He outpaced them on land by two or three times, arriving at the cabin dock well ahead of them.

Then it was Alex's turn to divide from the group. Mako crouched to a stop, pointed at him, and jerked two fingers up a hill. She pointed at her eyes and then in the direction of the cabin. Alex hefted his rifle and headed uphill, seeking a position with good vision and cover. Without Mako picking his line Alex moved more slowly through the forest. He stretched over fallen logs and the higher he climbed, the lower he crouched.

He kept half an eye on the dividing dots of his group. Thresher remained at the dock, still and waiting. Mako and Lodon split to approached the cabin from different directions. On his own, Lodon moved rapidly through the forest. He had the longest distance to cover and Alex couldn't help but be impressed with the speed he maintained through the thick underbrush.

The crest of his hill eased and Alex lowered to his bell, moving with elbows and knees. He remembered his first day of boot camp and couldn't help but realize the differences. Geared up and stronger than ever, the occasional mud and brush were a help to his cover, not a hinderance.

Mako reached her position and Alex saw her dot pause. Lodon continued to move. With assistance from the vizor, Alex oriented himself toward the cabin. He flipped the vizor up and peered through his rifle scope. Alex rested his cheek on the stock of his gun and panned from the dock to the front yard and back.

Dall's level voice caressed his ear. "Scorpio, bring your rifle back down to the southwest corner of the cabin, please. The lean-to."

Alex shifted the rifle down to look, . A wooden angle roof propped up with a cinderblock and scrap two-by-fours sheltered a four-by-four and a dirt bike.

"Eyes in the sky didn't see those. Mako, they're closest to you."

"I see them. I'll take care of it."

Dall made a huff-like sound, possibly an acknowledgement. "Thresher?"

His voice came through the com more clearly than Alex expected, "Both boats are disabled."

"Lodon?"

"I'm in place."

"Mako, play ball."

Nothing moved. Alex's grip on his rifled tensed, no doubt sending his erratic heartbeat back to Dall clear as a bell. But nothing moved. Mako, Thresher, and Lodon all stayed put. It took several tense seconds for Alex to remember the plan. Shift change wasn't due for another hour and a half. He released his breath, chastising himself.

--//--

Read more in this series every Monday at 9am.
Next: Part 94 or All Chapters



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blood In The Water Nomination

Blood In The Water has been nominated for two Member's Choice Awards this year. Best Cover Art and Best Enemies to Lovers (trope). I'm so thrilled to announce this- I ran across my name by accident and it's amazing to think people chose my book (twice!) to vote on.

If you're not currently a member of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group I highly recommend you get on that asap. The moderation is extensive and fantastic, they run great contests, members are very active, and it's generally a central hub for everything M/M.

And if you get in during November you can vote on the Member Choice Awards in December.


Blood In The Water is available for preorder: Direct | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Apple | Txtr | AllRomance

Or you can join the goodreads group and read it today for free: Link


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Introducing my latest WIP

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , No comments
It has finally happened. En Memoriam is out in the world and off my plate. I also have Baited and Blood In The Water up for preorder and it's time to start pushing those two at the review sites as well.

ALL of my writing time has been taken up with the technical aspects of these books. From the insane editing project that En Memoriam became to the cover work and formatting the unparalleled Shelton has provided me with, it's been non-stop focus for months.

For the first time since I quit my job and moved to write and edit full time, I'm finally actually writing something.

NaNoWriMo is upon us and I'm elbow deep in it already. Japan, 789 AD, military conquest of the north eastern tribes. I have characters of color, asexual characters, bisexual characters, gray-romantic characters, trans* characters, an a paranormal plot to rival Blood in the Water.

Over the next few weeks I'll be sketching concept art when I'm not writing. I'll share it all here. On day four of NaNo, I have most of an outline. I know how many scenes I need and I have a great cast of characters to pick from as the story moves. The specifics of each scene are what I need before I really understand the scope of the story and will feel confident about drafting.

Catch me on Twitter if you want regular updates on wordcount: @tamiveldura

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book of the Month!

Stealing Serenity is the Book of the Month over at Bottom Drawer Publishing!

You can grab it right now for only $.99!

GO GET IT!


Excerpt:

Since he walked in the charity's doors two hours ago Daniel couldn't keep his head on straight. He kept finding his thoughts straying to Kearin, derailing the work momentum he'd built up every time.

He spotted Kearin smiling over Justin's shoulder and couldn't look away. His breath left and he couldn't remember how to get it back. A part of him observed the whole thing with impartial judgement. He was going to compromise all of his progress on this heist because he couldn't stop thinking about being tied up, commanded, and used. He wanted-- and then Kearin looked down at something Justin said, breaking that intense contact and suddenly Daniel breathed again. He leaned heavily into his chair and just stared at the black computer screen. It took him a minute to realize he hadn't turned it on yet.

He was getting sloppy. He wasn't in his right head. What had he been thinking last night? Why couldn't he get control of himself?

"Daniel." Kearin's voice was warm. Soothing. Right behind him. The same voice he used every day in the office. Not the dark, rough tones Daniel knew he kept locked down in his chest.

"Yes, Kearin?" Why did the man's name feel awkward on his tongue?

"Did you do as I asked?"

That implication again, that 'asked' wasn't really the right word. More like 'commanded.' Daniel shivered. Arousal burned like a low simmer in his gut which would have been fine up against any other man in any other place on any other day. But the truth was, Daniel had done as Kearin said and the torture of denial excited him.

Kearin bent forward. He slid a manilla folder onto Daniel's desk but it was just cover for his other hand, up against Daniel's throat and jaw, pressing his head back against Kearin's shoulder so he could slip words into his ear. "Speak when I ask you a question." Now it was a command. "Did you obey me?"

Daniel's trousers tented. This was what had come over him-- drowning in Kearin. He couldn't fight it and didn't want to. Daniel whispered, "Yes, sir."


Praise:

"The strength of the book is in the attention to detail that gave a sense of realism to Daniel's activity as a master thief. The references to the small things–such as Daniel being aware of the presence of layers of dust showing no-one was likely to find his hidden devices–and the other information given, gave... insight into Daniel's profession..." Nic, 4 Stars

"Veldura is a good author, she uses language uniquely and well and her characters are memorable and special - this story is anything but ordinary." Julia, 4 Stars

"So, this novella is interesting. There is a killer ton of sexual tension and not an ounce of sex..." Veronica, 4 Stars

"I've never read a BDSM story that only focused on the erotic play of bondage and the genre is not something I read often. The author did a wonderful job in her description of the bondage play... The attraction between Kearin and Daniel was lovely to read, it was enjoyable to see them fight what they both wanted. I was looking forward to the moment they both would give in. The ending was well done. I liked that the author left a little something to the readers imagination. There was a bit of mystery there..." Blub, 4 Stars


Monday, November 3, 2014

On The Subject of Stalking

10:01 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , , , , No comments
Photo by Danielle Helm
If you haven't been on the front line of the reader/reviewer conflict, here's some backstory: A few weeks ago, an author fixated on a reviewer who posted a low-star review of her book on Goodreads. In response, she stalked the reviewer, harassed her by phone, found where she lived, and tried to justify her actions in a long-winded confession posted to an otherwise intelligently curated website.

Just a few hours ago we've learned of an author in London who stalked and accosted a reviewer living in Scotland due to a low-star review on Goodreads. He grabbed a bottle of wine, stalked her from her workplace to a grocery store, and hit her over the head. Stitches, threat of concussion- he could have killed her.

These authors are crazy. Full stop. No excuses. Tracking down a reviewer of your book for ANY REASON WHAT-SO-EVER is completely unacceptable, but apparently the world we live in needs a reminder.