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Friday Update 10/17/23

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Friday Update 10/17/23

Short update is short because I have to pack for a flight to Florida!

Highlights: I’m 20k into Fated and the two main characters have finally had their meet cute. In the middle of a fight between vampires, werewolves, and a giant demon from the Void. I’m sure everyone will be fine!

I’ve put together a Black Friday deal on my webstore. All my short stories in one purchase delivered via Bookfunnel as individual ebooks for ease of sorting/shelving/tagging. This thing is on very steep discount and only for a short time. Newsletter peeps hear about it next thursday, so if you’re reading this: go check it out early.

Finally, there will not be a Friday Update next week as I’ll be with family for the Turkey Day holiday and probably playing way too much Baldur’s Gate 3.

Have a great two weeks!

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Friday Update 11/3/23

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Friday Update 11/3/23

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. Write 50k in 30 days (and melt into a puddle of goo when you’re done). I’ve wanted to write novels since I was little, but NaNo is what got me into actually attempting to do so before I was picked up by a small publisher. I’ve never actually completed a true NaNo (that is: 50k in 30 days), but I’ve occasionally used the idea to give myself a jumpstart on a new project or to push through one that’s almost done.

This year, writing Fated to the Wolf happens to line up with NaNo, and I’m in a writing group that has decided to give it a shot. We all support each other and hopefully by the end there are 5 new novels in the world. The outline I have so far (about half of the novel) makes me think this is going to be a 70k book! So it won’t be done before December, but it’ll have a substantial bite taken out of it by the time we get there. As of today, I have 10k down, so just the beginnings of things.

Admin work this month is focused on re-formatting my YA fantasy collection Enchanted to prepare for wide release in December. I’m also formatting the next Maj and the Outlaws short story: The Trinorida Dragon for release in January. With any luck, both of those will be on preorder before I travel for Turkey Day mid-November.

In not-writing news, I have a massive harvest of green tomatoes. I’m dehydrating a bunch of them, but do you have a green tomato recipe you love? Share it! I’m drowning XD

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10/27/23 Friday Update

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10/27/23 Friday Update

It’s always odd to have a short update like this one because it doesn’t feel like I’ve done any less work, it’s just much the same as last week.
Words continue on Fated to the Wolf along with some organizing of the world bible. It’s always better to stay on top of that as I go along, rather than try and fill it in after the fact, but I know once I get into the final stretch of drafting, I’ll be so focused on the words that the bible gets put on the back burner until the end.

Ironically, actually drafting the work is not my favorite part of the process. I really love the step before that: the brainstorming and worldbuilding and organizing of the details. Creating the characters and all of their complications before I ever put down a single word that belongs to the draft.

As a result, when I can see the finish line, just a couple more chapters, a few more days of work, I drop everything to get there. Even the laundry XD
We’re not there yet, though. Writing the beginning of a book always goes slower than the rest as I figure out the characters and their world, but writing the beginning of a series is even slower. I know what happens in book 10, and I need to sprinkle the seeds of that now, in the prequel, so I can tease it along the whole time.

I’m having a lot of fun developing this world, though, and I’m so glad I spent those few weeks reading so much Anita Blake all at once. That was a great series to study. I’m also referring to all of my notes I took during the Thriller/Fantasy class back in July. Fingers crossed I can blend all this study together into an exciting series.

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Friday Update 10/20/23

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Friday Update 10/20/23

Short update this week as not a whole lot has changed. I’ve read every Anita Blake book in the series, now, which means it’s time to transition into something else. I’ve picked up two books by Kevin J Anderson, one epic fantasy and one epic scifi, but I’m wondering if I should find another paranormal series to binge and continue my study, there.

This week was full of routine doctor visits, eye exams, and the like, so I haven’t tackled much of the admin to-do list. I’m working on formatting and releasing Enchanted wide. This is a collection of fantasy stories that I wrote at the very start of my career, back when I was only publishing on Amazon. I have a new cover, now it’s just a matter of updating the format.

The website continues to get updates! Several more ebooks were re-added to the store and I’ve started linking the paperback and hardback books from the fairy tales. My print on demand service, BookVault, has a plugin that connects to my store. I just need to make all the links work between the books before they’ll be listed as ‘in stock.’ I’ve also learned all about Child Themes in wordpress, which allows me to make some cosmetic changes to the website that will be retained when the theme updates. All good things.

Finally, words on Fated to the Wolf continue apace.

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Friday Update 10/13/23

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Friday Update 10/13/23

Happy friday the thirteenth during Spooky Season!

It’s supposed to freeze tonight?! I was just dealing with over 100 degree days. Kansas is crazy. I’m working on making hoop covers for my pumpkins and acorn squash before it gets too cold.

This week has been a lot of production work. I’m making daily progress on Fated To The Wolf, which is the prequel story that will feed into both the vampire series and the werewolf series.

I’m continuing to read Anita Blake Vampire Hunter as a focused study of paranormal romance. I started this study with book #16 and I just finished #27, so it’s been a lot of material in a very short amount of time. I’m already seeing great improvements in my writing.

The website is also inching along. Most of the major pages have the new layout, but a lot of the minor pages (like the product pages in the shop or the blog posts) do not yet. I’m continuing to re-upload the books that I lost when I had to roll the site back to March. I’m also making an ongoing list of site edits, so this will continue for a while.

If you get my newsletter you heard all about my latest playstation games: Stray and Control. I recommend both! Stray is short, about 8 hrs, and beautiful. Control I’m still playing, but I’m super impressed with the storytelling in both.

It feels a little odd to not have an urgent deadline. I’m re-learning how my production works when I’m not under that kind of time pressure and I like the results. I’ve always known I work better without a deadline, my recent rash of them is a good reminder.

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Friday Update 9/28/23

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Friday Update 9/28/23

This week has been packed full of paranormal romance research. Years ago I stopped reading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter books by Laurell K Hamilton because life just worked out that way, but now that I’m creating this larger paranormal world for my London penname, I went looking for other PNR books in series to binge. I found the Anita Blake books at my library and realized there are a lot of books I’ve missed in the last several years!

First, I had to figure out where I left off. I knew for sure I’d read The Harlequin, but I read the back cover copy on Blood Noir and didn’t recognize it, so I picked up there. That’s book #16. Turns out I think I have read Blood Noir, but I remembered so little of it, it was like reading it fresh. I plowed through the series and I’m now on book #24 Dead Ice, so I’ve read about 9 books this week, taking a lot of notes along the way about how Hamilton handles her relationship scenes and character introductions.

I’ll finish up the books the library has in the next week and that will put me up to the current release for the series: Smolder, which is #30. Let’s hear it for the library!

At the same time, I’ve been expanding my paranormal world, taking a lot of brainstorming notes I’ll need to sort through later, and letting the outline of my next prequel novella unfold. It always takes longer to create something new coming off the heels of a big study session as I try to incorporate what I’m learning into what I already do well. Thankfully this prequel doesn’t have a deadline until next year so I can take my time.

Aside from writing, I’ve figured out that I’m not really the target audience for the Souls-like games. I’m glad I checked Elden Ring out at the library instead of buying it. I also checked out Demon’s Souls. They are just not my thing. The story and controls are fine, it’s the structure of game play that forces me back to the beginning of a level as soon as I encounter a minor boss that I hate. It takes me a lot of repetition to figure out a new enemy sequence/boss battle. Being forced to play the entire level just to have the boss’ first hit kill me three times in a row isn’t my kind of fun.

I also checked out Like A Dragon! But it has combo sequences of buttons to memorize which is also not my thing. I think I need to pull Horizon Forbidden West out of my collection and continue that instead.

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Friday Update 9/22/23

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Friday Update 9/22/23

A lot of admin work has come to fruition this week! The home page of the website is officially re-made and I think it’s beautiful. The rest of the website is still in ugly-duckling stages, so you’re watching it be reborn in real time. I’ve tested said website on mobile and tablet, but if you see something weird, do let me know. I’ll get it straightened out.

The books available in the store are still from March, but getting the more recent publications up and sellable again is climbing the list quite rapidly.
The other big task I’m working on is worldbuilding and outlining for the larger Aliens world. Red Stars Crossed was released for a short time in the Aliens on Earth anthology. The rights to that story have reverted to me and I’m fleshing out the last sublot I just didn’t have time to include for the anthology deadline. But there are more than just Aliens in this world. There are shifters, demons, witches, vampires, and angels too.

My next project is prequel novella that will start both the werewolf and the vampire branches of this world. I already have a prequel for the alien branch. And who knows what will happen after that.

I’m excited to be working on larger worlds. Longer novels. And series!

Stay tuned for the serialization of Red Stars Crossed (once I get that subplot woven in), and more pages of the website makeover.

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Red Stars Crossed – A Teaser

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Red Stars Crossed is book 1 in the DragonFire Soul Mates series. This is a spicy M/M Alien romance series being published on my penname London Kemaker. The book will be published first in the Aliens on Earth anthology, which you can preorder to support St. Judes. Solo release is scheduled for early 2024.

If you missed the first teaser, you can learn how Gunner and Sav’ge meet HERE.

Given the size of the aliens, Gunner almost expected the inside of the ship to be larger than the outside . Alas, the physics appeared normal. Much like a submarine, every possible interior space was accounted for and utilized. The entryway spilled into several rows of large seating, themselves stationed behind what were clearly a pilot and copilot’s chair at the front with a large, curved window to see out. A hallway in the other direction split into several rooms and was, of course, built to Drakkon sizes. Three people could stand across in the hallway and not touch shoulders.

Gunner moved down the hall, peering into what proved to be storage and electronics rooms. At the end of the hall was a Drakkon-sized barracks, with stacked bunks and trunks at the end of each bed.

It was here Sav’ge found him, shoved him from behind between two bunks so they were out of view of the hall, and pressed him against the wall, all knees and claws.

Gunner spread his hands on the wall, peering over his shoulder at the massive Drakkon behind him. His heart raced with adrenaline and he itched to pull his Hook, but Sav’ge’s dry breath on the back of his neck also made Gunners cock instantly hard. Frankly it was all very confusing.

Sav’ge’s claws pricked through Gunner’s shirt, on the edges of his armored vest.

“Listen to me very carefully,” Sav’ge said with a low growl.

Gunner’s breath hitched.

“You can’t keep us from leaving.” Sav’ge lifted a hand and stroked one black claw down Gunners cheek . “You can’t stop us from doing anything.” Savage shoved his knee between Gunner’s legs to spread them. “We’re bigger. We’re stronger. We have power you can’t imagine.”

Heat flared where Sav’ge’s hands pressed into Gunner.

Gunner tried very hard not to grind against the wall. Did the alien know what he was doing to him? Did he even understand arousal?

Sav’ge hissed and his forked tongue flickered, tasting the air. Then he chuckled deeply.

Oh, he understood.

How good was a Drakkon’s sense of smell?

Sav’g’s pinning hand pressed him harder against the wall. One of the other three gripped Gunner’s thigh and very slowly dragged the claws upward toward his ass.

Gunner couldn’t help but squirm. His cock throbbed in his pants and with a little more attention this was going to get very messy very quickly. “What… do you want?”

One of Savage’s hands tracked down Gunner’s side to his hip. “Do you want me to stop?”

Gunner shook his head and whispered, “Don’t stop.” His knees went a little weak. He’d known from the first glance that Sav’ge could take control. But so soon? It made Gunner’s head spin.

“Answer my questions and I will continue.” Sav’ge leaned closer and Gunner got an eyefull of hooked teeth. They sent shivers down his spine. “Is there land on this planet your government does not control?”

“All… all the land is controlled by someone. If not our government, then another one.” Really? He wanted to talk diplomacy? Now?

Sav’ge moved the claws on Gunner’s thigh up to his ass and squeezed. A reward.

“Where can we go that your government will not bother us?”

Gunner hissed as the gripping hands tightened. “Nowhere. Nowhere.” The squeezing paused. Was Sav’ge going to stop? Gunner’s eyes fluttered closed. He didn’t want it to stop. “You can make it complicated If you land in the middle of a city though.”

Another clawed hand grabbed his other ass cheek and squeezed, grinding Gunner into the wall while the first stayed firmly on his shoulder. Having four hands was absolutely unfair.

“Tell me more. How do we make it complicated? We need time.”

“Ah, ah I don’t know.” The hands on Gunners ass disappeared. Gunner’s head spun. “Wait, wait. If you stay out of sight so the public doesn’t know about you, but you’re still in the middle of a city, that would be weird for the government to deal with. They don’t want to let people know you exist.”

The claws came back. They squeezed Gunner’s reward. The hand on Gunner’s hip inched around toward the front. Gunner panted against the wall, hot as fire and uncaring if Sav’ge knew it. Just a little more to the right…

“Tell me exactly where to land this ship.” Sav’ge flicked his tongue onto Gunner’s neck. He whispered, “Tell me where and I will… ” Sav’ge’s hips shoved into Gunner’s ass and something bulged there Gunner hadn’t seen before. Something very prominent.

Oh fuck.

His entire body throbbed.

No one had ever focused on him like this. It was overwhelming.

“City–City Park. Big open space, probably 100 acres, some of it is forest. But it’s right in the middle of the city which means the military can’t just move in. You guys have antigravity, do you have stealth? Can you go invisible? You can probably hide there for a while.”

“City Park…?” Sav’ges hips rocked into Gunner’s ass, grinding that delicious length the entire way.

Gunner’s cock leaked. He could feel it, trapped between his thigh and the wall, thick and heavy. Ready.
“Yes, Ether City Park.”

God, he was ready.

“Thank you, Gunner.” Sav’ge nipped his razor teeth at Gunner’s ear. Gunner herd the ivory click together.

Then Sav’ge was gone.