MichaelD38

Friday Fun! The Books are Loose!

I’ve just released all five of my books in Smashwords in time for weekend reading. (Amazon won’t let me move up the release date from Halloween let me move up the release date to Oct. 28). You can find the direct links on my Books page, or just head to my Smashwords author page. As with Goodreads yesterday, I’ve made The Teaser free for download.

Feel free to let me know it all sucks—I deserve it!

We’re Almost at Release Day

The first five novels I’m going to release about just about ready to go. All five are in Amazon, approved, and live. They’re also in Smashwords, with two still waiting final approval. Once everything is ready for prime time, I’ll open the gates.

In the mean time, if you’re wondering what’s taking so long, well, it’s because of shit like what you see in the header image. Still getting the hang of this stuff.

Do You Need Some Erotica That Doesn’t Suck? I Have Some Here (I Hope)

Okay, as of a few minutes ago, the final versions of Immaculate Deception, Vector, The Needle and the Dungeon, The Teaser, and Faith, Hope & Charity have been uploaded to Amazon. As soon as they’re through the review process, I’m going to look into releasing them from pre-order status this week. The Hunt is still not quite done (I still need to write the final, climactic, sex scene), but I’ll release that as soon as it’s ready. We’re almost there.

Immaculate Snippet

Okay, I promised an excerpt from Immaculate Deception earlier today (go check out the awesome cover if you haven’t see it), and since I’m not into the orgasm denial thing, I’m going to deliver.

ID, as I’ve come to think of it, is the story of Matt Richardson, a successful Los Angeles investment banker with a career he no longer cares about and a pretty, responsible girlfriend who bores him to death. One night he meets a mysterious girl in a bar, and his life is never the same. I’ve snipped out their initial meeting here.

“Do you mind if I ask how old you are?”

“Twenty-eight,” he said. “You?”

“I’m only twenty. But I’ve always dated older guys. Sometimes a lot older.”

“Your dad being gone a lot?”

She squirmed for a second.

“I don’t know. I guess.”

“So he was in the Marines?”

“Yeah.”

“What did he do?”

“Just the basics. Whatever it is the Marines do. He retired a few years ago. I miss him. I haven’t seen him since I came out here.”

“It must have been tough with him in the service.”

“It was. Like I said, he was pretty strict. He’s not good at letting me be myself.”

“And who are you?”

That question seemed to startle her slightly, and she glanced away from him.

“I like exploring stuff. Trying new roles, like you said. My dad’s not good at that. He tends to be very regimented.”

“I have the same problem. I like trying things some people think are weird, at least the people I’ve always hung out with. That’s why I end up out alone like this.”

She looked back up at him.

“What kind of stuff?”

Matt paused, pensive for a moment, not sure whether he should really answer that question.

“There’s a club near here. It’s called the Dungeon. It’s a night club, but the theme is heavily S/M, black leather, bondage outfits, latex cat suits, that kind of thing. People go there to find partners and to check each other out. They also have this back room where they put on performances.”

Her eyebrows rose a millimeter or two.

“Performances?”

“Simulated bondage and domination. They’ll strap someone to a big rack and whip them, pretend to torture them somehow, or expose them to the crowd. But it’s not for real. It’s not even the supposed role-playing that goes into that kind of lifestyle. I think half the time they just do it so the customers can celebrate how open-minded they are.”

“You’ve been there?”

“A few times. But this is the really stupid part. I don’t fit in there any more than I do at the place my friends like to frequent. The people at the Dungeon are just as conformist. If you don’t dress the part, play the games, they dismiss you as a dilettante. You have to take on the role for them to accept you.”

“So there’s not much freedom there either.”

“Not really. A lot of them are no different on the inside than anyone else. They just put on their silly outfits to set themselves off from the rest of the world. Which is why they put so much emphasis on the look. They know inside that without all their fancy gear, they can’t be the people they want the world to think they are. My opinion is that you’ve either got it or you don’t. If you can really play the role, be that person, you don’t need the props.”

She had been nodding to all this.

“Yeah, I agree totally. You can be whoever you want, all that matters is who you think you are.”

“Right. But I shouldn’t be accusing other people of hypocrisy. I’ve never taken any of my investment banker friends to the Dungeon. They’d flip out, probably. It’s like I have this other life, this alter ego I let out of a box every now and then when I get bored.”

Her eyes widened as he spoke, and she didn’t say anything right away.

“I feel the same way, sometimes.”

“Would you believe I have eight tattoos? Hardly anyone I know would guess.”

“Can I see?”

He took off his jacket and pulled up his shirt to show her. She ran the tips of her slim fingers over the chrysalis on his chest. A slight quiver ran down his back.

“This is a monarch chrysalis.”

“I think so. I’m not that into bugs.”

Her eyes came up to his.

“So what’s it mean, then? You have something inside you waiting to get out? Something you want to be someday?”

“Maybe.”

She examined the tattoo again.

“Those shows they put on, at the Dungeon, are they like nude? Sex acts and stuff?”

“Sort of. There is a lot of nudity. But like I said, the sex, what there is of it, is simulated.”

“Do you like it?”

He lowered his shirt and tucked it back into his jeans.

“I think I’d like it more if I didn’t sense the ‘we-all-know-this-is-just-a-game’ attitude that pervades that whole place.”

“You’d like someone who was really into that kind of thing? Mentally, not just as an act?”

Matt’s throat tightened slightly. He had to force out his reply.

“Yeah.”

She smiled slightly.

“I have a confession to make, then.”

“What?”

“I was kind of deceiving you about what I do.”

“Dancing?”

“I am a dancer. But not like that girl you dated.”

Matt was perplexed for a second, and then—

“Oh. You mean— “

“Yeah. Exotic.”

Matt was unable to prevent himself from running his eyes over her body again. She noticed but didn’t seem to care. Certain things about her that had been bothering him suddenly made sense. His dance major girlfriend at USC hadn’t had a chest like this girl did.

“Do you work in a club?”

“No. I work for an entertainment company. Body Elegance is the name of it.” She was looking down at the table, tracing random designs in the condensation from her beer. “It’s all outcall. We go out to fraternities and bachelor parties and dance for them.”

“Nude?”

“Yeah.”

“My fraternity in college did that a few times.”

“So you know what I do, sort of.”

“Does your company do the love acts? The girl-girl shows?”

She nodded. “Some companies simulate the two-girl and three-girl shows, but we don’t. It’s for real.”

“Do you enjoy that?”

A shrug. “I guess. I don’t know. I like the role, like you were saying. I haven’t done it except at work.”

“How long have you been dancing?”

“Since I got out here. Maybe six months. The money is really good. My dad would kill me if he found out about it, though.”

“I bet.”

She finally looked up at him.

“So did I ruin your image of me?”

“Not really. Something told me when we met there was more to you than I saw. And I don’t mean the dancing.”

“No way. What?”

“Your eyes.”

“My eyes?”

He stared at her again, and again she broke the stare after just a couple of seconds.

“That. Right there.”

“What do you mean?”

“Why can’t you meet my gaze for more than a few seconds?”

She wouldn’t look at him at all now.

“I don’t know.”

“When you’re dancing, do you look at the guys watching you?”

“We’re supposed to . . . but I don’t, really.”

“Tell me something.”

“What?”

“Have you ever gotten off while you were doing the love act?”

She blushed.

“Sometimes. I guess I get more into it than I’m supposed to.”

“Sometimes you aren’t really acting, are you?”

Finally she looked back at him.

“No. I guess not.” She smiled a little. “You know, I live just a few blocks from here. Do you want to come back, just for a drink or something?”

As serious as their discussion had gotten, this took Matt by surprise. He had had his share of anonymous one-night encounters during college and business school, but all of that had stopped when he started seeing Jennifer. Yes, over the last few months, he had occasionally gone out like this behind her back, but he had never actually cheated on her, nor was he looking to. He had been playing this game of “chicken” with himself, playing at fooling around, seeing just how close he could get to doing it without actually crossing the line. Picking up random girls in bars was never easy, and it took a certain amount of effort applied in certain specific directions. By falling just short enough of what he had always thought of as the necessary elements for a pick-up, Matt had been able to avoid having to make the decision he was suddenly faced with. But this girl had called his bluff.

He struggled for a second before realizing that she was too cute—and he was too chicken—to turn her down right to her face.

“Sure. Why not?”

She smiled and climbed out of the booth. Matt got up, and she took his hand to lead him out of the bar.

Okay, he thought, I can go back there, but we don’t have to do anything. I can have one drink and then leave. I could tell her . . . um . . . what do I tell her?

She stopped at the front of the bar.

“I need to use the ladies’ room real quick, okay? Don’t go away.”

She disappeared into the restrooms. Matt was out the front door before he realized it.

But trust me, she’s not done with him, not by a long shot.

Where We’re At

If you’re following me on Twitter (and if not, why not?), you may have seen the tweet about my Amazon author page going live. Right now, at the moment I’m posting this, you’ll see only The Teaser. I’ve uploaded three more books today—Vector, The Needle and the Dungeon, and Faith, Hope & Charity, and those will show up as soon as Amazon gets done reviewing them. You’ll note that all four are showing a Pre-Order release date of Oct. 31. While the prospect of releasing everything on Halloween appeals to me, I did this mainly because I had to upload something to get a link for my author page that I could then insert into the ebook files. But I didn’t want to publish anything without that link, so I had to upload a pre-release version of The Teaser, wait for that to go live, then get that link and update all of the files.

What all that means is that I’m likely to release the books well before Oct. 31 (to select Pre-Order with a non-final book, Amazon forced me to pick a date two weeks out). What’s left is the cover for Immaculate Deception, which I’m supposed to get tomorrow, the cover for The Wizard’s Daughters, which I hope to get in the next few days, and wrapping up The Hunt, which I need to polish a bit more (the cover is coming shortly). When I’ve got that taken care of, the wraps are off, and I’ll release everything at once.

So, Where Were We?

Just an update for anyone who’s paying attention here.

eBook Files done and ready to post for sale:

  • Vector
  • The Needle and the Dungeon
  • The Teaser

Cover done, need to do ebook file:

  • Faith, Hope & Charity

Books done, waiting on covers-in-progress:

  • Immaculate Deception
  • The Wizard’s Daughters

Book done, need to order cover:

  • Roland: The Choice

Book almost done, really should order cover: Cover ordered!

  • The Hunt

Really need to decide what’s going in it and order a cover:

  • Eye of the Beholder: Stories

I’m contemplating breaking this list in half and posting the first three groups for sale when the covers for Immaculate Deception and The Wizard’s Daughters are done, because I really want to get some stuff up there, and the covers and other stuff for the last three are likely to take a while. Also, I’m really eager to get The Wizard’s Daughters out there to see if anyone else thinks it’s as good as I do.

If all goes well, I should have those covers ready within a week, and I can then (finally) get some stuff up and ready to read.

Another note on The Hunt: This came out even better than I expected, though not quite as long. The final version should be a longish novella/short novel around 38k words. I’ll post another WIP snippet tomorrow. (Also, I am going to continue the Erotica That Sucks series shortly.)

Update: I just started loading some stuff into Amazon to get my author page set up. Assuming nothing is borked, the first three will be available for pre-order shortly.

 

Where Are the Books, Part 2

So, obviously I’ve been quiet the past few days after a flurry of posts last week. This is because, if you read the post below, I’ve been derailed by this new project, The Hunt. It’s looking like it will turn into a 25k-ish word novella, so I should be done shortly (I already know what’s going to happen, I just need to get it down). After that, I’ll get back into the ebook formatting. I’m still holding myself to my promise to get the first batch into Amazon this month.

This Is Why I Don’t Make My Own Covers

I blogged yesterday about why I am relying on professional graphic designers to create covers for my novels when I could probably create passable covers on my own, for free. The reason is that with stuff like this, you tend to get what you pay for.

Earlier today, I updated the teaser for The Needle and the Dungeon with the cover that was just created for it by Deranged Doctor Design. If you didn’t notice it below or never read the earlier post, go scroll down now and check it out.

This is something I could never, ever, have created on my own. Not even close. It’s striking, eye-catching, and memorable. I wrote the damn book, and it still makes me want to click through and read it.

When I commissioned this cover, I had some vague ideas about floating some woman’s face over something futuristic. You can see that this came out more or less in that vein, but what I envisioned was nothing like this, and what I would have created would have come out hollow and pedestrian compared to the cover I got.

That’s what a good graphic designer can do for you: take your ideas and give them real life, take them beyond what you wanted and expected. If you expect readers to pay money for your books, you need to show them you’re taking yourself seriously. You aren’t doing that by grabbing a throwaway stock image, slapping some text on it, and calling it a day.

The Needle and the Snippet

I’ve posted excerpts from two rather mild books. This is an excerpt from something quite a bit different. The Needle and the Dungeon was one of the very first novels I wrote back in 1998, and it spins together near-future science fiction with some rather bizarre BDSM themes. The book is set in San Francisco in the late 21st century and tells the story of a young woman named Ashley MacMillan, who discovers a dark and twisted world of virtual reality sex. Through it, she explores a side of herself she barely understands.

Warning: This one is not for the faint of heart.

As she had the day before, she came to as if she had fainted. She opened her eyes.

She was kneeling, and her arms were held above her. She was in a dark, dungeon-like room of damp, bare stone, lit by burning torches. Chains hung from the walls around her, and a table of unidentifiable instruments stood across the room. An ironbound wooden door was the only visible exit.

She looked down at herself and gasped. She wore a tight leather corset that supported her breasts, thrusting them forward. She had large gold rings through her nipples, and, she realized, her nose, tongue, navel, clitoris, and labia. She was pierced as thoroughly had Tami had been. A gold chain hung from each nipple ring, and ran down to the other rings below. The chains were gathered up and linked to a larger chain that led out away from her, where it was locked to a rough iron eyebolt in the floor. If I tried to stand up I would rip all the rings out, she thought.

Her pubic hair was gone, and it felt as if it had been plucked out hair by hair. She was nearly naked below the waist. Leather garter straps hung down to her thighs, where she wore a lacy pair of silk stockings. She couldn’t see behind her, but she felt tight high-heeled shoes on her feet.

She looked up, and realized for the first time that she wore a leather facemask. Her mouth, eyes, and nose were exposed, but the rest of her head was encased in leather. A thick rubber gag was between her teeth. Her hair felt like it had been gathered into a hole out the back of the mask. She tried to turn her head but couldn’t. She looked down, and saw gold chains leading from her chin to the shoulder straps of the corset. As she moved her head, she felt her hair brushing against the tops of her buttocks. It was much longer than it was normally, even longer than it had been in the mermaid sequence.

She looked up again and saw that her hands had been strapped into leather bracers, holding them together palm-to-palm. A chain was attached to the front, and led up to a hook in the ceiling, then to another hook on the wall.

Her heart thumped in her chest. She whimpered in fear. Harder, she thought. I asked for harder, didn’t I? This is what I get for being greedy.

A loud creak split the air, and the door opened. A huge, muscle-bound man entered the room. He was dressed head to foot in studded black leather. A leather codpiece was the only apparent opening in the suit besides his eyes. Could he be the doctor? No, he said it was an autoerotic sequence. It’s just the program. Somehow that scared her even more.

He walked over and glared at her. She wanted to beg for mercy, but the gag reduced her cries to unintelligible moans.

He slapped her.

“Quiet.”

He bent down and unlocked the chain from her piercings, then pulled down the chain from the ceiling. He jerked the piercing chain, and pain shot through her.

“Up.”

She stumbled to her feet, and almost lost her balance. Her shoes were ridiculous! The heels had to be six inches high. She was almost walking tip-toe.

He turned her around, and she saw a pair of wooden poles behind her. They ran from the floor to the ceiling, and another pole was suspended between them. He led her behind the poles, then faced her back to the front of the room. He adjusted the crossbar until it was about the height of her hips, and pushed her forward.

“Lean against that.”

She tried, almost losing her balance again. He walked around front and hooked her wrist chain to the ceiling. Then he took the piercing chain and ran it through another eyebolt on the floor. He pulled it taut, stretching out her piercings. The lower chains were pressed against the crossbar, and the pain was the worst there. She cried out, trying to lean forward as far as she could to reduce the tension. When she was as far out as she could get, he locked the chain to the eyebolt.

He walked around behind her.

“Spread your legs.”

She tried, but he slapped her buttocks hard.

“Wider.”

She spread them as far as she could get, and felt him locking her ankles to the poles. He readjusted the crossbar, then unclipped the chains on her clitoris and labia, running them down under the bar. He stretched them out again and attached them to the larger chain.

He walked around behind her, and she heard nothing for a moment or two.

There was a loud crack, and an explosion of pain on her buttocks. She cried out again, whimpering. He struck again, then again, and again. She quickly lost count, and her buttocks seemed to be aflame. He was paddling her with a rough wooden board, and her skin was soon so sensitive that she could feel the grain on the wood with each strike. Her resolve—what remained of it—broke, and she began sobbing out loud, gasping with the intensity of the pain. Tears ran down her cheeks. She thought she had to be bleeding by now, her buttocks were so swollen and inflamed.

Yet, somehow, through the fog of her agony, through the endless paddling of her buttocks, she realized a heat was building inside her. She was getting wet. Aroused. The taut flesh of her piercings was growing hotter each time she pulled back with the rebound from his blows.

Just as suddenly as it had started, it was over. The only sounds were her sobbing and her gasps for breath. He walked around behind her, and stared at her. His eyes were like the Doctor’s. But this man was much larger.

He unhooked the crossbar and let her swing forward, releasing the tension on her piercings. The pain faded, replaced by a dull, hot throbbing. She sagged, hanging from the chain at her wrists, ankles still locked to the poles, and tried to catch her breath. The throbbing increased, and she realized she was about to come. The orgasm pulsed through her, making her oversensitized piercings sting. She hung limply, feeling her body shudder. It wasn’t a big one, like the ones the day before, but it was good enough.

He was pulling at the wrist chain.

“Stand up again.”

She tried to right herself, standing back up between the poles. He unhooked the wrist chain from the ceiling, latching it to another hook directly above her.

“I’m doing to put this inside you. Don’t let it fall, or I will be very upset.”

He held up a rubber dildo. A lead weight hung from the end. He reached down and slid it inside her. Almost immediately, she felt it begin to pulsate and squirm. She tried to tighten herself and hold it.

“David?”

“Yes?”

He looked up from the bot he was working on, and glanced over at Ashley. Her bot was holding her arms high and legs wide. Sweat dripped off her body.

“Kaitlyn Crosby is at the front door. Shall I let her in?”

He looked over at the monitor. Kaitlyn was another street kid like Tami. She was probably nineteen. Five-two, maybe, dressed in a big olive green army jacket. Long chestnut brown hair and a ring through one nostril. Pretty. She had first come to the lab a few months before, and came back every few weeks.

“Yeah. Show her back.”

Kaitlyn entered the lab a minute or two later.

“Hi, Doc.”

“Hello.”

She glanced over at Ashley, and her eyes widened a little.

“Who’s she?”

“Her name’s Ashley. She’s a rich kid. Showed up yesterday. She’s in Dungeon 12. Like to join her?”

The color drained out of Kaitlyn’s face. The levels of the Dungeon ran from one to fifteen. She had never been higher than level nine.

“Twelve? She’s that far up?”

“She asked for hard.”

Kaitlyn bit her lip. She had come here for the Dungeon, actually, but had spent a week psyching herself up for level 10. The idea of jumping to level 12 made her legs weak. But she didn’t want to chicken out in front of him.

“Okay. I guess so.”

“Take the bot in the corner. This one is out of commission.”

The terror was returning. The pulsating dildo inside her was getting Ashley very hot and wet, and she could feel it slipping out of her, millimeter by millimeter. She tried to tighten herself, but she was too inexperienced, too weak to give it much of a grip. It was going to fall out, and she didn’t want to think what would happen when it did.

The man had been watching her, but suddenly turned and left the room. Ashley tried to draw her legs together, maybe to use her thighs to hold the dildo in, but her feet were locked too widely apart.

The man returned to the room, leading a brown-haired girl on a leash. She looked a little older than Ashley, but was much shorter. The man locked her hands together in a wrist strap like Ashley wore, and pulled her up, locking her to the ceiling. The girl wore a similar face mask, but beyond that wore only a strange harness, a complicated series of leather straps crisscrossing her torso. Like Ashley, she was pierced thoroughly, and the man locked her piercing chain to the floor. She looked over at Ashley for the first time, eyes full of fear at the welts on Ashley’s body, and the obvious trauma she had been through.

Could this be another girl like Tami? No. Jasmine said there was no one else in the building. It must be part of the program, she thought.

The man fetched a narrow wooden strap, and began lashing the girl’s buttocks mercilessly. She could see the angry welts rising on her skin, and soon her buttocks were a swollen mass of flesh, bright red. But the girl seemed to take it better, not crying out although she clearly wanted to. Tears were running down her face now.

Ashley had forgotten the dildo. In terror, she realized it was falling out. She attempted one final squeeze, but it fell to the floor with a clatter.

The man turned to her, enraged.

“Why you miserable little slut! Can’t you hold anything in that worthless cunt without getting so wet that it falls out?”

He threw down the strap he had been thrashing the other girl with, and fetched another dildo from the table. In horror, Ashley could see that this one was at least twice the size of the first one. He opened a black jar on the table, and dipped his fingers into it. The jar contained some clear gelatinous goo, which he spread thickly over the dildo.

“Let’s see if you can hold this one. I didn’t stop to think that that little twat of yours must have so much mileage on it that you can’t hold anything smaller.”

He shoved the dildo up inside her, and pain shot through her groin. Oh God, it was huge! But she could definitely hold it in. It was so big the natural tension of her flesh was enough to keep it in place.

The man returned to tormenting the other girl. He pulled a riding crop off the wall, and began smacking her at different points on her body, her thighs, her breasts, between her legs. The girl whimpered quietly but took it.

Ashley was growing hotter as she watched. Something was burning inside her, and she realized it was the goop he had put on the dildo. It was getting hotter, almost painful now. She twitched, moaning. She was on fire. In a minute or two it was so bad she began shaking herself, trying to eject the dildo. She didn’t care what he would do. Nothing could be worse than this.

The man had stopped strapping the other girl, and had led her over in front of Ashley. He reached down and whipped out the dildo. Some of the pain subsided, leaving only a tremendous heat behind.

He jerked on the girl’s leash, pulling her between Ashley’s legs. She began dutifully licking Ashley’s swollen, supersensitized flesh.

Ashley gasped, throwing her head back. This was too much. Her body had been tormented so thoroughly, every nerve ending screaming in agony, that she felt every tiny movement of the girl’s tongue, could feel the tiny buds on it. The orgasm was rising in her like an impending supernova, twice the size of the one the day before, the one she had thought was impossibly huge.

Pain exploded across her cheek. The man had slapped her.

“You are unbelievable! Do you really think you are allowed to come without my permission?”

Ashley whimpered, gritting her teeth. He had to let her come. He had to!

“Hold yourself off until I say so. If you come before then, you will pay for it.”

She thrashed in her restraints, trying to fight the sensations, but the other girl stayed with her, not breaking her rhythm. She clenched her abdomen, then her buttocks, trying to force the impending climax back down. She couldn’t do it! She just couldn’t. It was going to happen whether she wanted it or not.

“Oh, all right,” he said. “Come if you want.”

She collapsed against her chains, and it burst forth. Her mind went blank, riding the whirlwind inside her.

The cover for The Needle and the Dungeon is in progress and is looking pretty awesome. I’ll release it as soon as it’s ready. [Update: There it is.]