The Printed Fox: 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hump Day Hook - Devil's Bitch

It's Hump Day again! And that means more Hump Day Hooks!

Once again, I'm featuring my so-close-to-being-finished-I-can-taste-it WIP, Devil's Bitch.


In the makeshift ring, Otheus hefted his spear and shield, and Norelia unsheathed her other xiphos. She didn't spare breath to curse Reoth for knocking away her other one. She was best fighting dual-handed, but she could do with one. She removed a knife from a sheath strapped to her thigh. The kopis was as long as her forearm, single-edged and curved. It would serve as a makeshift shield as long as she was damn careful.

It was just like in the ring with Reoth, in the coliseum. Neither of them moved. They crouched on the balls of their feet and waited for the other to make a move.


Thanks for visiting! Check out more authors' works by visiting the Hump DayHook Group on Facebook, or visit Kerrianne Coombe's website for a full list of participants. Happy Hump Day!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Candy Cane Kink Bloghop and Giveaway

Welcome to the Close Encounters With the Night Kind and Natasha Blackthorne Candy Cane Kink Bloghop!

Who wants some awesomely delicious Christmas Kink? 

Candy Kane Kink 

Christmas is fast approaching, and Yule even faster. We celebrate Yule and Twelfth Night. It's so much fun, giving presents and celebrating with my family for thirteen days instead of just one. I wanted to share a little of that with everyone!

My giveaway for this bloghop is a $10 gift certificate to the Naughty Nights Press e-store! Naughty books galore! All you have to do is leave a comment sharing what it is about the excerpt to my book Of Hallowed Fiends and Darkest Fortune that makes you want to read it! One winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email. I use CommentLuv as my comment system, so leaving an email should be really easy!

The winner will be chosen on Monday December 17 and contacted via email. I'll also announce the winner here, on Facebook, and Twitter.

And don't forget to check out these other great blogs with fantastic and fun, kinky giveaways! 


Gentle hands pushed up her skirts, worked her bloomers down around her knees. Those same gentle hands smoothed across the soft roundness of her buttocks. Not even her doctor had touched her so intimately. Despite what everyone else gossiped, Anya was a virgin. Sneaking out of her bedchambers to gamble and drink barley beer was different than sneaking out for a tumble in the haystacks!

That warm hand continued to caress her smooth skin, and then that voice like seductive sin pierced through her wails. "Now, you know this must be done, my dove. Crying will only delay it, which will displease me. Had you not struggled, I would not have to add to your punishment." He stroked her cheeks and sounded truly sorry.

How his voice could be so gentle when his treatment had been so cruel, Anya could not fathom.

"Your first crime was being insolent in our bedchamber. Then you tried to escape your fate. Thirdly, you struggled and tried to strike at me. And lastly. . ." He tsked sadly. "You should not have bitten me, sweetling. At least," he chuckled darkly, "not without my permission."

The warm hand was replaced with the brush of the cold wooden paddle and the difference in sensation made her go perfectly still. He wouldn't paddle her.

Not really? He couldn't!

"Forty paddles seems fair." He chuckled. "For your first time."

This was madness! Her heart lodged in her throat.

She heard the swish of the paddle fly up through the air --she tensed-- then the Duke brought his arm down and the paddle landed across her buttocks with a solid crack!

Stinging fire blossomed across her cheeks. The sting seemed to grow in the aftermath. Anya wailed and squirmed, trying to escape the fire to no avail.

The Duke sighed, content. "One. . ."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hello again! Happy Hump Day Hook! This excerpt is from my nearly-complete WIP Devil's Bitch. The way I describe this work to people is, "Think Taming of the Shrew meets 300."

The heroine, Norelia, is conversing with her (distant) cousin Valia about the circus the Summer Games have become since announcing her wager with her father, the Emperor, that she will wed the winner if she loses, but can remain unwed if she wins as long as she agrees to at least birth an heir.


"It's a damned pile of horse shit," she muttered. 

"Oh, Noria." Her cousin sighed behind her. "Let them have their fun. The Games come but once a year, and it's a holiday for everyone. You know the capitol is awake for nigh a week during."

Norelia gripped the wide windowsill until her knuckles were white. "That's during the festival, you oblivious ass," she growled. "And that is ten days away! This--" she gestured to the streamers, garlands, and throngs of people choking the streets below, "--is his fault."

Of course, by "him," she meant her father, who sent an Imperial decree announcing their wager as a contest. Men who had never set foot in the capitol before were now flooding its gates. They had erected tents outside the city walls to house them all, and it seemed the great city of Lomyr had very nearly doubled in size. 

"As if I were some godsdamned prize."

Valia laughed. "But you are! You are the prize, Noria." Valia made a delicate vexed sound in response to Norelia's glare, and fluttered into a chaise across the room. "You're a legend in the empire, darling, and the people love you. You stand undefeated. You never married, and it's rumored you have never taken a lover--"

"Because I haven't," she shot, recoiling at the very thought. 

"And now they have a chance to touch that. Let them have their dreams of glory, Cousin. You will defeat the greatest of them. You always do." She laughed again, as if at some private joke. "And even if by the grace of the gods you do not, is it really so bad?" She got a disgusting twinkle in her eye. "Marriage has so many perks, after all."

Norelia felt naked in the silks she'd been stuffed into, at her father's orders. "I have only to think of my soldiers and the camp followers, rutting in the dirt at night, whores hopping from man to man with sticky thighs and fistfuls of copper coins." She had to suppress a shudder. "It's disgusting, and messy. And the noises...!"

Valia giggled and clapped her hands. "That's the best part! Oh, the noises..." She somehow managed to invest the word with a quality that made it seem as if she found it delicious. It was the way Norelia would speak of a steak dinner after a good fight. 

She shook her head. "Nothing's better than a hot bath and a good, fresh steak after sticking my enemy general's head on a pike."

Valia just wnked at her. "Well, it's not steak, but it's still a fine cut of meat."

Norelia grimaced. "You're revolting."

Thanks for visiting! Check out more authors' works by visiting the Hump Day Hook Group on Facebook,  or visit Kerrianne Coombe's website for a full list of participants. Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hump Day Hook - Duchess of War (Sequel to "Of Hallowed Fiends")

Hello, everyone! This week's Hump Day Hook is from my WIP of Duchess of War, the sequel to Of Hallowed Fiends and Darkest Fortune. This is unedited, so please, have mercy.


She was awake all at once, but she didn't dare move.

Her eyes were wide open, taking in the unfamiliar surroundings with growing trepidation. She still did not move.

What was wrong here?

The deep red of the velvet bed curtains above her was disconcerting. She was warm and deep in plush softness. Where was the dank cold of her cell? She strained, but there was only a deep silence to hear.

Where was the lonely drip of stale water into a small puddle echoing down the stone corridor?

Her limbs were frozen in place, strewn about her as they had been in sleep. Only now she was awake, and she dared not move.

Where was she?

A sound beside her made her throat clench tight. She held her breath.

It had sounded like a deep sigh. She strained her eyes as far to the side as possible without moving her head. She could barely make out a lump beside her, a little bit away from her. The lump sighed again and shifted.

A slight snore.

Her stomach dropped through the bed and hit the floor.

The Duke!

Her stomach shot back into her body and dislodged her heart thudding frantically in her chest. She felt bile burning in the back of her throat.

Her husband.

In an instant, the previous night came back to her and she shut her eyes against the onslaught of images. It was no use, though. They were even more vivid against the backs of her eyelids, so she opened them wide again.

With the memories came the lingering soreness. She ached from head to toe. Her backside burned. She suddenly could not quite catch her breath but didn't dare so much as gasp.

She didn't want to wake him.

Let him sleep, she thought. Let him sleep and never wake. Like Brennan von Aikken when he slept a hundred years upon the knoll. Let him sleep a hundred years and wake to find me dead.

Fate would not be so kind, she knew. 

Thanks for visiting! Check out more authors' works by visiting the Hump Day Hook Group on Facebook,  or visit Kerrianne Coombe's website for a full list of participants. Happy Hump Day!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

5 Ways to Improve Results with Social Media | What NOT To Do

I used to do a lot of work building followers with SEO, social media, and blog promotion with people gearing their business more toward information marketing and lead generation. With their help, I learned a lot about how to approach people, how to build a big following quickly, which tools were fantastic and which were time sinks. I also learned a lot of do's and don'ts of social media.

Now, having hung up that hat in favor of the work-at-home mom and erotic historical romance author hats, the crowds I interact with online are far different from the business-minded, SEO-techno-lingo-fluent, streamlined and sales-savvy bloggers I dealt with every day.

This is a great thing! These are people who are more my flavor, with goals similar to mine and a language that feels more like my native tongue.

Yet...and I hesitate to say it, but it needs saying. I see a lot of those don'ts I learned from the SEO masters being perpetuated by the authors with whom I spend a lot of my online time. Here are five of the most common I see:

1. Don't Engage Fans and Followers. Twitter these days feels like a stroll up Barker's Row in a carnival. Lots of people shouting about their books, blog posts, and giveaways. Post after post of, "Buy this!" and "Read this!" and "Look what I made!" Not one single post that invites me to interact. So...I don't.

2. Infrequent and Unfocused Blog Posts. A lot of blogs that I see from authors out there have no regular timetable. Some read more like personal blogs, not posts written by a professional focused on the business of writing. I never know when to visit. I never know if I'm approaching a professional writer, or my frazzled neighbor. In my own extremely busy life, I never know if their next post is going to be worth the time I spend reading it, so I don't subscribe to their RSS feed --if they even have one! There are some fantastic bloggers out there. @JSMorbius over at The Crypt is a great example of regular posting, and engaging readers and followers both on his blog and on Twitter. He asks questions and interacts with his readers, which leads me to...

3. Never Inviting Comments. Your fans have something to say. If they're following you, chances are they love your work because you evoke an emotional response and they want to share it. Blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates that are just statements and give no window for your followers to share something of their own is a recipe for disaster. They'll go elsewhere, to some place where they'll feel their voices are welcome. Ask questions! Make an observation and invite people to share their own. Give an opinion, share a thought or experience, and then invite them to share their own! I promise, they will.

4. Random PMs. Now, I've gotten a few Private Messages or Direct Messages on Facebook and Twitter from my fellow authors who actually wanted to engage in conversation. Sadly, this is not the norm. Usually they go more like this, "Hey! I just Followed you back! Check out my link/buy my book/check out my app via my affiliate link!" Um, how about no? Sending me private messages like a telemarketer phone call does not an endearing follower make. In fact, I just might unfriend/unfollow you, or even worse, BLOCK you. Your fans are not targets. They're fans, and they're people. Social media is just that: to be social! People complain all the time that advertisements have weaseled their way into everything from pop-ups to commercials at the movies, and then turn right around and turn into social media pop-ups of their own, invading their fans' social engaging experience. Not cool.

5. Not Sharing Other People's Interesting Stuff. This one is a doozy. Some people do share other interesting stuff, on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere. But what I commonly see on Twitter is people erasing the "RT @SomeOtherPerson" tag that lets others know it is shared from elsewhere. I realize space is limited, especially on Twitter, but those aren't the tags you want to remove! Trust me. People notice when you RT their stuff, and are usually very happy to repay the courtesy. Lots even mention you in Tweets or posts of their own, with links to your own work, sharing and re-Tweeting your updates, or just to thank you.

Let people know you're in for the conversation, and not just a carnival barker. I promise. He will strain to hear a whisper who refuses to hear a shout. Stop being one of those people whose voice is drowned out amidst all the other shouting going on. Show you actually have something interesting to say.

Then invite others to join in.


What say you? Do you have other social media advice to share? Anecdotes that go along with the 5 Ways here? Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thinkin' about books

So I still have no idea where I want to focus this blog, but that's okay. I'll call The Printed Fox a WIP, thereby allowing myself the freedom to let it go in different directions and see what works.

In the meantime, I'm going to share some books I've been thinking about.

There are so many authors I've been finding through Twitter, either because people re-Tweet something and I go check it out, or it randomly shows up in my feed even though I'm not following certain people. But I love it! I'm always looking for new favorites, especially since I haven't added a favorite author to my list since I stumbled across Loretta Chase and George R. R. Martin about three years ago.

Before that, the last favorite author to be added to my list was back in 2000. Honestly, at that rate, I don't know if I'm extremely picky or just really insular.

The first author I've run across recently is Natasha Blackthorne. I've been considering buying A Measured Risk, Book 1 of her Regency Risks Series. It looks wonderful. My favorite thing about it is one word in that description: Rubenesque.

It's been so long since I've seen anyone else use that word at all --let alone to describe a novel-- that should be enough for me.

The second is Alice's Wonderland, which doesn't come out until next month. But it honestly looks like a story that'll have me grinning at some of the hilarity that promises to ensue.


These days, my reading list is so long and my reading time is limited to a few minutes every day. By the time I'd get around to reading them, I'll have probably forgotten why they appealed so much to me. And if I put them at the top of my list, that shoves off all those books that are still waiting their turn.

I have books on my Kindle list that I swear I don't remember ever buying.

Crazy, huh?


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All moved in

This is awesome!

I'm still here on Blogger, but I happen to love Blogger so I'm happy to stay.

Y'know, I'm still trying to figure out what I really want to do with this blog. There are so many blogs dedicated to the nuts and bolts of writing. I'd like to participate, but there are such better authorities with much more proven expertise out there, such as Randy Ingermanson. And if one was really devoted to the craft, there are Miss Snark's archives to dig through. TONS of treasure there. The Nelson Literary Agency has a newsletter, and @SaraMegibow is amazing to follow on Twitter. Chock full of information and harsh truth. Very useful.

At the same time, I want to keep it light. No reason to visit this blog when there are bigger, more established ones to visit for how-to's and tips for writing.

I don't want to be completely personal on this blog, only talking about my day, my thoughts, my WIPs. Who cares? Well, some people some of the time, but c'mon. This blog is for you.

I suppose I could do the occasional book review, but it's not like they'd be a regular thing since it takes me forever to get through a book these days. Toddler demands, college essays, housework, and WIPs take a lot of my time. But the occasional one? Maybe.

Definitely I want guest posts by my fellow authors over at Naughty Nights Press! Blog hops, Six Sentence Sunday, and a few fun-yet-useful memes would work here, too.

Yet, I don't want to be too diluted. It might make me look unfocused.

Hmm. Gonna have to give this some thought.