Middle Hill

So, my next book is coming out next month

Loose Id usually books out about 18 months on their schedule, but my stuff always seems to plug up holes in their catalogue due to missed deadlines. So while I sold Rabbit, the sequel to Changeling in August, the edits weren’t really going to start until the fall.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing over the past couple years, it’s that I haven’t been finishing. My style has been doing a lot of rapid change over the past three years so that every time I finish something, instead of editing it I started to rewrite it. I have about five semi-finished books and countless more stories that are 30-70k in that I started until the flash of a well-turned story heel caught my attention and had me following it.

But I’m going to be continuing the Middlehill series, finishing the Tempest trilogy, hopefully getting the vampire series TNG’ed and then I have Shark Punching that just needs a few more tweaks. Plus I’ve been getting pretty regular editing jobs this whole time on top of my English as a Second Language instructor and all the painting I’ve been doing. I’m really busy these days, but in a good way.

Changeling Cut Scene Thursday #4: the smutty bit

And here is the last Cut Scene Thursday for Changeling!
This scene got caught because it didn’t progress the dead guy in the bathroom plot at all and I was desperate to cut unnecessary weight. Also, Kevin getting fucked by Matt becomes part of the plot in book three. It goes right before they come back and eat yogurt sitting on the floor. There’s also a passing mention of Bea. Don’t worry, you’ll meet her in book two. She’s awesome.

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Changeling Cut Scene Thursday #3: even less about the jeans

It’s Cut Scene Thursday again! We’re still spoilerific around here, so watch for that cut tag.

This is the second version of Matt shopping for jeans in a thrift shop. In the second version, like in the final draft, there’s more going on plot-wise and the thrift store is just the backdrop. A lot of the background and relationships have already been established, so I had to sacrifice some of the details.

Kevin called him Mattie a lot earlier in the final version of the book. The scene is all about Matt stepping away from his old life in a deliberate choice, but it ultimately had to get scaled back and go in a different direction. I still love the banter between them–in all versions.

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Five (other) books about changelings

The whole concept of a changeling has a huge range of possibilities for storytelling. Here are some other people’s takes:

book-blood-ironBlood and Iron: a Novel of the Promethean Age by Elizabeth Bear

“Spellbound by the Faerie Queen, the woman known as Seeker has abducted human children for her mistress’s pleasure for nearly an eternity, unable to free herself from her servitude and reclaim her own humanity.

Seeker’s latest prey is a Merlin. Named after the legendary wizard of Camelot, Merlins are not simply those who wield magic, they are magic. Now, with rival mages also vying for the favor of this being of limitless magic to tip the balance of power, Seeker must persuade the Merlin to join her cause-or else risk losing something even more precious to her than the fate of humankind.”

book-stolen-childThe Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

“The double story of Henry Day begins in 1949, when he is kidnapped at age seven by a band of wild childlike beings who live in an ancient, secret community in the forest. The changelings rename their captive Aniday and he becomes, like them, unaging and stuck in time. They leave one of their own to take his place, an imposter who must try–with varying success–to hide his true identity from the Day family. As the changeling Henry grows up, he is haunted by glimpses of his lost double and by vague memories of his own childhood a century earlier. Narrated in turns by Henry and Aniday, The Stolen Child follows them as their lives converge, driven by their obsessive search for who they were before they changed places in the world.”

book-daughter-houndsDaughter of Hounds by Caitlin R. Kiernan

“Stolen their human parents to be raised by ghouls, the Children of the Cuckoo are changelings who are forbidden any human contact, but now they are coming to reclaim a lost child, Emmie Silvey, a precocious and solitary young girl, who has been raised by her widower father and is haunted by two very different women–one who stalks her and one who haunts her dreams.”

books-hot-leadHot Lead, Cold Iron by Ari Marmell

“Chicago, 1932. Mick Oberon may look like just another private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he’s got pointy ears and he’s packing a wand.

Oberon’s used to solving supernatural crimes, but the latest one’s extra weird. A mobster’s daughter was kidnapped sixteen years ago, replaced with a changeling, and Mick’s been hired to find the real child. The trail’s gone cold, but what there is leads Sideways, to the world of the Fae, where the Seelie Court rules. And Mick’s not really welcome in the Seelie Court any more. He’ll have to wade through Fae politics and mob power struggles to find the kidnapper – and of course it’s the last person he expected.”

book-solstice-woodSolstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip

” Summoned home for her grandfather’s funeral, Sylvia Lynn arrives with the intention of leaving as soon as possible. Once there, however, she feels the treacherous pull of the old house, the shadowy forest around it and the otherworldly beings who live there. Sylvia’s grandmother introduces her to the Fiber Guild, women who meet once a month to sew the magical barriers that protect Lynn Hall from the fay, “a cold, loveless, dangerous people.” But the hall’s protective magic has weakened, leaving Sylvia—both mortal and faery herself—vulnerable as “the bridge across the boundaries” between the two worlds. Can generations of mistrust and long-hoarded secrets yield to a truce, let alone a new understanding and even trust between faery and human?”

book-inked-magicInked magic by Jory Strong

“With the touch of her palms to the skin of a crime victim, San Francisco tattoo artist Etaín can see the faces of the guilty and draw them. Changeling elf but unaware of it, at odds with her police captain father and FBI agent brother, magic and gift have put her in the path of two compelling men.

Cathal Dunne, the son of an Irish mob boss, needs Etaín’s help finding the rapists who left his cousin for dead. Eamon, a powerful elf lord, is determined to make her his consort-wife.

Her gift once made permanence impossible when it came to a lover. Now, as she approaches the transition to fully Elven, her survival depends on keeping two. One of the men is willing to share her. The other isn’t-until the search for a sexual predator turns deadly, and only by paying magic’s price will there be any future at all.”

To celebrate the release of my new book Changeling, I’m going to be posting related links on Tuesdays and cut scenes on Thursdays for the next month. Changeling is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Matt, who sells sex to keep himself and his little brother together. When Matt discovers Kevin, the john he’s rapidly falling for, is a Prince of the Fae, the questions start piling up. But most importantly, why does Kevin keep acting like it’s Matt who will leave, when it’s Matt who’s the broken one?

Changeling Cut Scene Thursday #2: it’s not really about the jeans

It’s Cut Scene Thursday again! There are more spoilers than last week here under the cut tag.

This scene happens in a thrift store where Matt goes shopping for jeans. In the first draft, the scene happened a lot earlier and Matt and Kevin barely know each other, and things unfold differently with Matt needing to get a blood test done. There’s another draft before the final version that I’ll be posting next week.

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Five things about consent culture

I’m very pro-sex, obviously. I write erotica. The one thing I hate is when people ask me what I write, and I say erotica, I could almost say along with them, “like 50 shades of Grey?”

And I want to scream no, nothing like that. I want to celebrate consent culture. Even though Kevin meets Matt while Matt is engaged in sex-work, I’d still like to think that the book is pro-sex and pro-consent culture. After dabbling in fanfic for almost a decade I understand the desire for dubious consent because playing with fire is hot, but not obtaining your partner’s enthusiastic consent before engaging in sexual acts is no grounds to actually build a relationship with.

Abuse does more than just hurt. It can destroy the sense of safety and trust that everyone needs to be able to become a productive member of society, including sex-work if consensual. Abuse can leave a hole in someone’s soul that dangerous habits like drugs, alcohol or dangerous habits can almost, but never completely fill. No foreign substance could ever completely fill that hole. The person has to figure out for themselves that they are worthy of love and can trust on their own, independent of the acts of other people. As much as it is a love story between Matt and Kevin and a platonic love story between Matt and Kevin, there’s also a side story where Matt figures out what he needs, and allows himself to be whole.

Matt learning to trust Kevin is as important as Matt learning to like Kevin. It was love at first sight, but falling in love is the easiest part to a relationship. Relationships take serious work to maintain for both parties.

As bad as the headmaster is to Matt in real life, both of them entered into the relationship with clear expectations as to what would, and wouldn’t happen. It may not be as sexy as smouldering looks, but trying to get a person to do something that is on their ‘hard no’ list. Getting a person to do something they did not want to do from the onset is the very definition of not sexy.

Matt and Kevin do not have penetrative sex until the very end of the book because it takes that long for Matt to trust Kevin. In the Fae language, one of the kinds of love you can have for a person is synonymous with trust.

If you want to know more about consent culture, here are some good places to start, and related links:

Laci Green, Consent 101 – what it says, a Youtube video.

Consent culture from the Pervocracy – what an ideal consent culture would look like.

enthusiastic, willing, unwilling, coerced – different models of consent culture at The Dirty Normal

Elodie Under Glass gust-posts at Captain Awkward on how to romance

consentculture.com for everything and the kitchen sink

 

To celebrate the release of my new book Changeling, I’m going to be posting related links on Tuesdays and cut scenes on Thursdays for the next month. Changeling is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Matt, who sells sex to keep himself and his little brother together. When Matt discovers Kevin, the john he’s rapidly falling for, is a Prince of the Fae, the questions start piling up. But most importantly, why does Kevin keep acting like it’s Matt who will leave, when it’s Matt who’s the broken one?

Changeling Cut Scene Thursday #1: Really good curry

It’s Cut Scene Thursday! I’ve decided that’s going to be a thing for the next four weeks.

It’s not enough to cut bad scenes when you’re editing, you also have to cut scenes that are actually good, but don’t move the plot forward. It hurts when you have to lose bits that you really like, though. The novel was already over 130,000 words and I had to cut out as much as I could.
This originally took place almost at the end of the book, but is relatively light on spoilers. The scene with Matt and Kevin on the floor in the kitchen was one of my favourite ones in the book. But I’d made it clear earlier in the book why Matt needed the deal, putting it here was countersinking the concept.
The Indian restaurant is an amalgamation of two different places, both within walking distance of where we were living first in Edmonton, then in Calgary. They were both excellent, but only the one in Calgary, just off 17th Ave, is still open. It’s about five blocks from the Korean restaurant that I turned into a demon brothel in another series. Oops?

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