Foxfur

Elizabeth Brooks

Because every world needs love...

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] MarsCon!
Foxfur
writerliz
I spent several hours writing up a recap of MarsCon for my personal blog (http://wherelizlives.blogspot.com/2014/01/marscon-2014-report.html) so if you want the general report, that's where to go. This'll be a quick review of the panels/activities for which I was an official guest, plus a little treat at the end. ;-)

But before I dive into that, a little announcement. Last week, Lynn and I submitted the collection of flashfic that we spent most of last year working on, and only a couple of hours later, it was accepted! It looks like Whetting the Appetite is going to be out sometime in March from JMS Books, and if we sell enough copies of the ebook, then it will be scheduled for print publication! Whoohoo!

Anyway, MarsCon:

The number of erotica/romance authors was fairly small this year, so most of us wound up on the same panels over and over together, but that was okay. Sadly, neither Helen Madden nor JM Snyder made it this year, but I got to sit with Kat Lively and Michael O'Brien (Shokolada) again, and my new authorial friend this year was Nobilis Reed, who was a bit at loose ends, not knowing too many people at the Con, so we sort of scooped him up on a few occasions.

Friday night started with the "adult" version of Match Game, which was sort of like Cards Against Humanity, only without the actual cards to keep us in check. A sample: "The Blue Fairy is a dominatrix now. She told Pinocchio to stick his nose in ______ and lie."

We had some pretty raunchy fun with that, oh yes we did.

And when that was done, we had the "adult" version of Fairy Tale Rewrites. Each author chose a story, and then the audience provided some additional bits to work in. We wrote for about twenty minutes while the MC led the audience through a sexy MadLibs game (...I'm so mad at myself that I forgot to get a copy of that! but maybe Lynn kept hers?). Then we read our stories out loud to general amusement. They weren't judged, but I can tell you that I'm pretty sure Michael would've gotten first place, but I think I had a fair shot at second.

I'll post my story for you at the end of this post. (That's the treat.)

Saturday afternoon, I spent about an hour sitting in the signing room, which was mostly a wash, as the only book I sold was a pity sale to a friend, and I could've just as easily have sold that book while wandering the halls. Oh, well.

After that, I sat on a panel to discuss the Hunger Games (book and/or movie). That went very well, actually -- the other panelists were well-prepared and thoughtful and insightful, and the audience was lively and participatory (a couple of them maybe a little too participatory, as they had to be reined in to let the others get a word in edgewise once or twice).

That night was four hours of panels about erotica and romance and writing and publishing. The first couple were pretty simple -- talking about publishing and finding a home for your work; the second was a discussion of why erotic fairy tales are so popular. The third panel on the schedule was "Erotic Role-Play" and we decided that we didn't really want to get too deeply into bedroom roleplay, so instead we talked about introducing sexual situations in roleplaying games. And the last panel was supposed to be about masturbation, but from what I was told, the person who proposed that panel and offered to run it dropped out... so we just talked about whatever we felt like talking about, really, taking audience questions and moderating discussions. It was good. But boy, were we wiped by the end of it!

Sunday, I did another Fairy Tale Rewrites (this time PG); the results of that can be found on my personal blog report (link up at the top). Once again, not judged, though I think the solid winner would have been Danny Birt (and that once again, I'd have been a solid contender for second place).

I think this year went even better than last year, though, and I'm looking forward to next year already, so very much!

And in celebration, I have a coupon code that's good all the way through Friday this week -- enter "MarsCon2014" at checkout at torquerebooks.com or prizmbooks.com and get 20% off your entire purchase!

And now, for your patience... an erotic retelling of The Princess and the Frog.



I chose the fairy tale; the audience selected for me:

A person: a Frenchman
A sexy situation: accidental nudity
A location: Central Park
An object: butter

And keeping in mind that we only had 20 minutes to write (I've fixed typos here, but nothing else), the story:


Agnes sat by the pond in Central Park, weeping.

"Whah are you weeping, ma chere?" said a voice.

Agnes looked up and blinked away her tears, then rubbed at her eyes, not certain she had seen correctly. The man was wearing a ragged coat over a dirty striped shirt, and trousers rolled to his knees, soaking wet to mid-thigh. Despite his unkempt appearance, however, his face was strikingly handsome, with full lips and bright green eyes. A long pole stretched over his shoulder; at the end of it was a tightly-woven net containing a dozen or more frog carcasses.

"I... I dropped my golden ball in the pond," she responded. "I can't find it!"

The man's face lit up. "Ze ball!" he exclaimed. "I have found zis! One of mah frogs had swallowed eet!" But then he paused. "And what are joo giving moi, for your treasure?"

Agnes bit her lip. "Anything," she gasped. "Oh, anything!"

The Frenchman took Agnes' chin. "Anything?" he asked archly. Agnes trembled in his grasp as he leaned in for a kiss.

Startled by her own longing, Agnes stepped back -- and tripped over a branch, falling into the pond. As she fell, Agnes' summer dress, caught on the branch and tore, revealing what she wore underneath -- which is to say, nothing.

She wiped mud from her face and looked up at the Frenchman with wide eyes, lip trembling.

"Ah, ma chere," the Frenchman murmured. "Come, come with me, and we shall see you properly settled."

He helped her from the mud and muck and tucked her arm through his, leading her through the park to a secluded spot covered with cardboard. He lit a fire in a small grate and helped Agnes remove her soaked dress. While she warmed herself, he tossed the frogs into a pot to cook. "Will you dine with me?"

Agnes could not help but grimace. "No, thank you."

"Ah, ma chere," the Frenchman chided, "you must not turn up your nose. In France, we know that enough garlic and butter makes *anysing* delicious." Agnes did not want to be rude to her host, so she tried a bite -- and was soon devouring the delectable frog legs, melted butter running down her chin and over her breasts.

The Frenchman smiled as they finished their feast. "Will you come and lay upon my pillow?" he asked, gesturing to a nest of blankets.

Agnes hesitated again, but before she could refuse, the Frenchman took her hand and led her to the nest. The blankets were amazingly soft, and Agnes forgot all as the Frenchman dipped his head to lick the butter from her breasts. Agnes gasped softly, and forgot all her protests.

The Frenchman roused her to climax once, twice, thrice, before sinking into her to sate his own desires. She fell asleep in his arms.

She woke to the sight of the sun, a golden ball rising to reveal her Frenchman wearing a fancy suit and Gucci loafers that could never have stepped in mud. Behind him was not a cardboard hovel, but a magnificent brownstone. "Joo have freed me," he exclaimed. "I thought I would be trapped as a frog-gigger forever, but for joo! Marry me, ma chere, and joo shall never want for whatever baubles -- or butter -- you desire."

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] Grammar an' Gunk
Foxfur
writerliz
One quick reminder: MarsCon is this weekend -- if you're planning to come, please find a minute to look me up and say hi! (My schedule is at http://everyworldneedslove.blogspot.com/2014/01/happy-new-year-are-we-ready-for-marscon.html if you need it; more info at http://www.marscon.net/).



Let's talk about the use of family words today!

By "family words", I mean exactly what it sounds like: words such as "mom" and "father" and "grandmother" and "cousin".

Paricularly, let's talk about capitalization. I see a lot of these, both of which are wrong:

Bob waved to his Mom across the room.
I handed mom a napkin.
Here's a rule of thumb: Substitute the word "cat" (or "dog", if you prefer) into the sentence for the relative with no other adjustments. If the sentence is grammatically correct (though possibly silly), then the family word should not be capitalized.If it reads awkwardly, then you're using the family word as a name and it should be capitalized. Like so:


Bob waved to his cat from across the room. That seems perfectly reasonable, and therefore, the correct sentence is: Bob waved to his mom from across the room.
I handed cat a napkin. Not only is that silly, but "I handed cat" just doesn't sound right, unless "Cat" is the cat's name. In which case, this is being used as a name and it should be "I handed Mom a napkin."
An exception: If the family name is prepended to a proper name and they're used together as a set (eg, "Uncle Dave", "Grandma Jean", or "Cousin George") then you always capitalize the family name.


Bob waved to his Uncle Dave from across the room.
I handed Cousin George a napkin.
Got it? Leave your questions and special cases and nitpicks in the comments!

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] Ugly History
Foxfur
writerliz
It's a joke I see pretty often, in various incarnations: Friends help you
clean up after a party. Real friends help you clean up after a murder. Best
friends promise to clean up your browser history after you die.



And boy, am I going to need that.

So far today, I have researched:


Scotch (the drink)
Billy Joel
Bösendorfer pianos
Straightjackets
Which is a weird little list, but not all that terrible, I suppose. But
then earlier this week, I was researching butt plugs, dildos, and cock
cages.

I don't even have a boyfriend.

As might be assumed from the fact that about two weeks ago, I spent a
half-hour or so trying to ascertain a reasonable, ball-park rate for a rent
boy who makes housecalls. (Fact-checking that story also led me into some
research on the gay porn industry and -- bizarrely -- custom-built
refrigerators.)

Also in December: breeds of roses, recipes for red velvet cake, and
military tour/leave policies.

I suppose it could be worse.

I could be editing murder mysteries.

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] Happy New Year! Are We Ready for MarsCon?
Foxfur
writerliz
Holy crap, have I really not blogged since mid-November?

The end of the year just destroys me, it really does.

I hope you all had a great holiday season, then, whatever that entails for you! (For me, it includes my birthday, Thanksgiving, my son's birthday, and Christmas, most of which include multiple gatherings and events. This is why I have not blogged since mid-November!)



I can't recall if I'd posted it here before, but I'm going to be a guest at MarsCon again this year.

Back in late October or early November, the organizer sent around a list of panels and things and asked people to let them know what they were interested in doing.

Last week, they sent me my schedule. Apparently, when I'd marked stuff as "I'd be willing to do this," they'd taken it all as, "I really want to do this!" because I'm booked for nine hours of panels and contests and events across all three days! Plus an optional, additional hour if I want to sit in on the book signing.

So are you coming to MarsCon? Because if you are, chances are good that you'll be seeing me! And just to make sure you can find me if you're looking for me, here's my schedule:

Friday (17 Jan):
10-11 PM - Adult Guest Match
We play TV's old Match Game but with a MarsCon genre twist. Our guests will fill in the blanks, you try to guess what they will say. Match the most guests and take away a MarsBucks prize. This is an adults-only event, so expect raunchy fun.

11 PM - 12:30 AM - Erotic Fairy-Tale Rewrites
The host will give our writers prompts, the audience will give each some naughty element to include, and then keyboards will clatter and pens will fly as the writers race to create the best erotic fairy tales.

Saturday (18 Jan):
2-3 PM - Author Signing (maybe, if I can squeeze it in!)
Get books signed by the MarsCon Guests of Honor and other participating writing guests.

3-4 PM - Hunger Games Roundtable
Did the second movie Catch Fire or fizzle? What's the best thing about the Hunger Games trilogy? Join other fans for a roundtable discussion of The Hunger Games books and films.(Note: This is my only event that's not adults-only!)

Genre erotica publishing block (no descriptions given, but the titles should be pretty self-explanatory):
8-9 PM - Publishing Erotica: Finding and Accessing Markets for Your Work
9-10 PM - Fairy Tail: The Popularity and Practice of Writing Fairy Tale Erotica
10-11 PM - Role Playing Games for the Bedroom
11 PM - 12AM - Hands Solo: The Erotic Possibilities of Self Pleasure

Sunday (19 Jan):
12-1:30 PM - Twice Upon a Time: Fairy Tale Re-Writes Game
The host will gather improvisational prompts from the audience and then our writers are off, building improvisational fairy tales based on your favorites but with new characters, settings, and events thrown in at every step along the way.

As you can see, I'm going to be insanely busy, but to be honest, they all sound like so much fun that I couldn't bring myself to ask the organizer to drop me from anything! (Though if you'd like to drop in to that four-hour block on Saturday night to bring me snacks or water, I'd probably be very grateful!)

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] Guest V. L. Locey - Love of the Hunter
Foxfur
writerliz
We have a guest post today, from the fantastic and lovely VL Locey! I first
encountered her as the author of the hysterical Two Guys Walk Into An
Apocalypse series (the first installment of which is in He Loves Me For My
Brainsss) but she also has some amazing books out focusing on mythology,
and she's here today to tell us a little about her latest!


~ ~ ~

Ever since I was a young girl I was fascinated with mythology. There was
something magical and special about the legends of Heracles, Achilles,
Perseus, and Odysseus. I would spend hours reading books about the Greek
pantheon. I cannot recall how many times I have watched the first Clash of
the Titans movie. More times than a grown woman should, that's for sure. I
am a huge fan of Edith Hamilton, and use her novels as some writers use a
dictionary or a thesaurus. It always struck me as sad that some people
couldn't enjoy mythology as I did, but given how it's presented in
classrooms from elementary school through college, it's no wonder so many
hate Greek mythology.




I've tried, through my writing, to bring the gods to life. I've gone in and
blown the dust bunnies off Zeus' marble nose and ran my Swiffer over Hera's
peacock feather fan. With Love of the Hunter, my M/M mythological romance,
I've taken things a step further and have rewritten one of the classic
Greek legends. In this book you will see how Apollo, the most Greek of all
the gods, meets and falls in love with Orion, the famed archer. This new
adult romance is a dramatic one, make no mistake. There is a reason they
call these tales Greek tragedies. Love of the Hunter is filled with pain
and suffering, but the sadness is tempered with a love so deep it was
immortalized in the heavens forever.

Here's a small sample from Love of the Hunter:


***

"You are a shameful man!" Orion glowers then gives me another shove. I
fling out an arm to block him lest he strike out again. The man is strong,
and his punches rock me soundly. "What possesses you to speak to your
sister – your twin – in such a reprehensible manner?"

"What is said between her and I is not your concern!" I yell in his face
then stalk past him, my shoulder meeting his. Orion grunts. I do not,
although the contact pained me badly. My cape snaps around my ankles as I
enter my bedchamber. My lover follows me. The wolves leave in the face of
my anger. The door slams shut. I rip my cape from my shoulders and throw it
to the corner. Turning, I come nose to nose with Orion. Undaunted and
brazen my lover is. That is why he stood and fought Helios instead of
begging forgiveness.

"What is said between you and her is my concern for it centers on me!" he
shouts, his green eyes alive with his ire.

"So you defend this sick attraction she has for you? Why?" I demand to
know. "Are you fucking her? Is that why?"

I let him hit me. I see the huge fist coming, and I allow it. The crunch of
my nose breaking is liberating. Golden ichor gushes from my nostrils. I
fall back into the wall, my arms getting caught in the thick teal drapery
that hangs from the posts of the bed. I grasp a post for balance. My tongue
darts out to catch a bit of the godly blood flowing down over my lips and
chin.

I find Orion staring at me as if horrified.

"Apollo," he pants, his meaty fist dangling by his thigh.

"Nay," I cough, swallow, and then grab the curtain up to run it under my
nose. The flow will stop in a moment; I am a god after all. "You did well.
There are times that I require a sound punch to the face."

"I will not hear you speak of Artemis so." Orion steps closer. I hold the
drapery tightly to my face, my eyes watery as I peek over the bloody
material covering my nose and mouth. "She has been a veritable blessing
during the long hours that you are gone. She tends my back, brings me
well-cooked game, sings and laughs with me. She tells me stories and washes
my hair."

"She loves you, Orion." I raise the drapery back to my nose.

He stares at me dully. He blinks at me as if I had just said something
incomprehensible. "Nay," he says, his eyes leaping from me to his feet then
to me again. He shakes his head.

"Aye," I mumble into the material over my face.

"Nay, she is naught but a sister to me," he says.

I drop the teal silk. A small trickle is all that remains of the bloody
nose. "That is how you see her. It is not how see looks upon you," I tell
him gently. I fear a feather landing on him would send him to the floor.

He drops to the end of the bed. The thick mattress compresses under his
massive body. I sit down beside him. We both stare at our feet. I sniffle
occasionally.

"Orion, she has loved you for quite some time. Do you not recall her saying
she had watched you before meeting you? I know her -- she is smitten."

"But she knows I am your lover," he mutters. I sit straighter and glance
over at him.

"Yes, she does." I reach over to take the hands hanging like dead fish over
his knees in mine. "And that I cannot abide. You are mine. I will not share
you with anyone. I will not allow her infatuation with you to grow. I
should have been firmer about it before this, but I worried about leaving
you here sickly and alone."

"You do not need worry for me," he says, bristling at the jab at his
masculinity. I squeeze his hands.

"Orion, you are still pale. Even if you were returned to robust health, I
would worry when you were gone from my side," I tell him, lifting his hands
to my lips. I kiss each scarred knuckle. His jade eyes rise from his feet
to meet mine. "Look upon our hands," I say, rolling his over then showing
him mine. "I have no scars upon me. You do." I press my lips against a
raised white welt that runs across the back of his right hand. "You are
only half god. Your blood is not gold, it is red. Death will come for you
and take you from me. This is unavoidable. So I worry. I will worry each
time I cannot place my sight upon you. It is not a slur against your
manhood or virility, it is simply the knowledge that I cannot die and you
can. I would postpone your demise as long as I possibly can."

"Your tongue is gilded and golden, Apollo," he smiles weakly. "How does a
man talk a man who just hit him in the face from his anger? How do you make
me long for nothing aside from being in your arms?"

"I am the god of poetry and rhyme, my love," I counter seeing his gaze
shift from my mouth to my amber eyes. I nod.

He leans in to capture my mouth. We fall back onto the bed, our mouths
moving over each other's slowly. We lay side by side, kissing, exploring,
touching and cupping, stroking and teasing. We strip each other slowly,
kissing each exposure of flesh.


***

You can pick up your copy of Love of the Hunter at the Torquere Press
website:
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=83&products_id=4070

Yours in love and laughter,
VL Locey


I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452
Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey
My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] Chained Mages 101
Foxfur
writerliz
Though Foxfur features sections from the point of view of both of the characters central to the romance (as well as a few interludes from the villain!) this is really Cheng's story -- he's the one who is in the most danger, and the one who undergoes the most growth.

But that means that you really don't get a solid handle on Jin during this book (there's the seed of a sequel germinating in the back of my mind that might drag him further into the spotlight). In particular, though it's not information you need to understand this story, the Chained Mages (of which Jin is one) are left in the dark. So I thought you might like a peek into their workings.

Gaena is a world of magic. Some thousands of years ago, there was a great war -- the Magewar -- that resulted in the corruption of the world's magic. The end result of the corruption is a magnification of the wielder's id and subconscious, a quiet "whisper" in the back of the wielder's mind urging them to simply take whatever they want, to indulge in shows of anger or give rein to fantasies of revenge.

The time following the Magewar was dark, indeed.

Eventually, a fraternity formed of mages who were strong-willed enough to resist those dark whispers. They developed artifacts -- Chains -- that magnify the ego and superego, bolstering willpower against the corruption. So armed, they made it their purpose to rescue and reclaim their fellow mages. Over the centuries, they have learned other techniques and tricks, and they became the Chained Brotherhood, a separate nation whose citizenship depends not on birth or residence, but inborn ability and willingness to submit to an apprenticeship that culminates with the donning of Chains.

Each set of Chains is sealed to its owner with devotion to a particular force or concept: knowledge, or justice, or love, to name only a few. This concept is one that the mage finds particularly useful in suppressing or resisting magic's corrupted call, and the mage's mastery of that concept is enhanced by the innate magic of his or her Chains.

Jin -- the mage in Foxfur -- is bound to the concept of balance.


The lissa lunged forward again, and the world tipped and swayed. Startled, Cheng barely had time to tighten his grip on the cage bars. The lissa growled and cursed as she slipped in the puddle of vomit. She fell sideways and clanged into the cell doors. Jin hadn't moved; he still stood where he had before, not even leaning against the sudden and unnatural angle of the world.

This was Jin's magic, he realized, not petty tricks of fire and illusion, but the manipulation -- the violation -- of the universe's most basic principles. Jin had changed of the direction of down. The world heaved again, and the demon slid closer to Cheng, venomous claws scrabbling for purchase on the rocky floor and iron bars of the cells.




Find out more about Foxfur at Torquere Press:

http://www.torquerebooks.com

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] Worldbuilding
Foxfur
writerliz
I've always delighted in exploring causes and effects, on both small and grand scales. It's a skill I developed in my late teens, when I started building a setting in which to run an AD&D game and found myself becoming obsessed with first its geography ("What if I put mountains here? How would that change the flow of these rivers?") and then by geopolitical factors ("What would be a good site for the capital? Here on the river where it would be a good trade route? Or in this valley where it would be easier to defend from invaders?") and then down the rabbit hole of socioeconomics ("How do the people who live here make their livings? What sort of society does that lead to -- mostly small villages, or cities?")

(If only I'd had the internet available to me at the time, I would have been a walking example of the benefits of self-directed study, but that's a blog post for another day.)

My love for these kinds of questions led me to a minor in cultural anthropology, in fact, but I kept coming back and applying my growing knowledge and understanding to this same fictional setting -- Gaena -- causing it to evolve over the years. And not only did it evolve, but it flat-out grew, as well, as the number of stories and cultures I wanted to include in it grew.

While it's true that many of the cultures in Gaena take Earth cultures as their starting points (Shaoda, the setting for Foxfur, is a loose interpretation of feudal China, for example) I felt it was important to take Gaena's unique history into account, and to contemplate the ways each culture would shift and change as events occurred.

I'd graduated from the effects of geography to variables without real-world examples to draw from. What if the gods occasionally -- but provably -- meddled directly in mundane matters? What if magic was real -- and then, what if it suddenly became unequivocally evil?

This is the world my characters inhabit now: a world where the ability to control magic is given to maybe one in ten thousand -- and of those, only a few are able to resist its corrupting influence without assistance. Mages, as a result, are hated and feared, obeyed or avoided -- but never befriended.

And now, another question bubbles up out of the depths of my brain, on a smaller scale, this time: What sort of person would fall in love with one?

Foxfur is one of the answers to that question.





Check it out today at Torquere Press:

http://www.torquerebooks.com

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] Foxfur excerpt
Foxfur
writerliz
You know I wouldn't let a release day go by without an excerpt that isn't available anywhere else, right? Let's just dive right in on Chapter One, then... (Probably NSFW, this scene is m/f.)



Chapter One: The Red-Haired Woman

The red-haired woman woke Cheng with a soft stroke of her fingertips along his spine. He shivered to wakefulness and suppressed a sigh as he glanced at the night-candle. He'd been asleep for less than an hour.

The red-haired woman put a finger over her lips and laid a hand on Cheng's shoulder, aborting his attempt to sit up. "Leave now, I," she whispered in her broken Shaodanai.

Cheng blinked in surprise. "You're leaving now, mistress? But it's after midnight. The Dog Star--"

The red-haired woman smiled with genuine amusement. "Fear not the stars, I. Night travel happy, I." Her soft fingers traced the skin at the base of Cheng's throat, just at the edge of his slave's collar. He closed his eyes and tried not to shiver. Of all the touches he endured as a waystation pleasure-slave, this was the one he found most difficult to accept with grace. "Too long here," the red-haired woman was saying. "Long travel, many nights." The fingers left Cheng's throat, to his relief, trailing down his chest. She leaned closer, her breath puffing softly on his face. "Kiss," she commanded, so he did.

Three nights, the red-haired woman had tarried at the waystation, recovering from the journey across the mountainous border between Shaoda and her home country of Khadya. Each of those nights, she had paid for Cheng's attendance. He had been a pleasure-slave for more than a dozen years, but never had he entertained a woman -- or a man, for that matter -- as insatiable as this flame-haired Khadyan beauty. Each of the three nights he had practiced his art to the utmost, bringing the red-haired woman to shuddering, gasping release again and again. Each time, the sweat had not even dried on her brow before her hands were on him again, demanding. Urging. Arousing.

Cheng had prided himself on his training and his stamina, but at midnight the third night, every trick he had learned from his former mistress, the Courtesan Mihai, had failed him. Aware of his failing but too worn out to dredge up the proper sense of shame, he had collapsed into exhausted slumber. But even now, as he kissed her, his cock stirred to sluggish life. It was raw and oversensitive from too much arousal, too many orgasms, in too brief a span, but it filled slowly, moving toward a hardness that Cheng thought was as likely to make him whimper in pain as sigh with pleasure.

The red-haired woman released him as the kiss ended, though, and stood to draw on her clothes. "Too long," she murmured again. "Leave, I."

Cheng hid his relief, watching her dress from under his lashes. "Will you come back this way, mistress, when you return to Khadya?"

Her violet eyes blazed with sudden fury. "Not return, I! Never!"

Startled, Cheng bowed deeply, letting her unexpected anger rush over him like a river. Most Khadyans did not expect the instant and unquestioning obedience that his Shaodanai clients demanded, but he had found that it was unwise for a slave to show true defiance of any sort. "Forgive this unworthy one his impertinence, mistress."

The red-haired woman frowned at him, perhaps puzzling out the meaning of his words, then smiled slightly and stroked Cheng's hair. "Meet again, we," she promised. "Kovarstvo. Soul tied."

She had insisted from their first night that the two of them were linked, though it had taken half a mark's pantomime and stilted conversation before he had haltingly taught her the word for "soul". Cheng had been amused, and obscurely pleased -- it was said that Khadyans tended to the romantic, but those who came through Master Dewei's waystation were mostly traders and couriers, more pragmatic than fanciful.

Dressed, she tied her copper-colored hair back into a tail, then sat again on the edge of the bed. She laid one hand almost gingerly over Cheng's cock, which had gone limp again. "Good service, this," she teased. "Mine now."

Cheng grunted softly at her touch and forced himself not to groan at the combined rush of pain and arousal. "Yours always," he promised, though it was necessarily a lie. Cheng belonged to Dewei Kan, and his cock and skill as a courtesan-trained bedslave belonged to whatever traveler offered Master Dewei the most coin for them.

The red-haired woman donned her shoes and gathered up her pack, then dropped a final kiss on Cheng's forehead. "Dream, I," she said solemnly. "Dream, you. Soul joins."

Cheng had no idea what she meant, but he nodded just as soberly. "Of course, mistress."

Then she was gone. Cheng listened as she padded in near-silence into the hallway and down the stairs. He waited until he was certain she had left the waystation's yard, and then let himself fall back into wearied slumber.




Read more at Torquere Press:

http://www.torquerebooks.com

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] Release Day: Foxfur!
Foxfur
writerliz
Foxfur has arrived! I love this story -- I love its setting, I love its story, I love the characters, and I loved writing it.



Pleasure-slave Cheng takes no particular note of the red-haired woman when she purchases his services. But the morning after her departure, Cheng is taken into custody by the Emperor's own guards and brought before one of the rare and terrifying Chained Mages. Already frightened and confused, things go from bad to worse for Cheng when the mage reveals the demonic nature of the red-haired woman. Now not only Cheng's life, but the lives of everyone around him, depend on their finding the fox-demon as soon as possible.

As a Chained Mage, Jin is at best feared, and at worst, despised. But he can't allow his personal feelings to interfere with his mission, not even when his admiration for the slave deepens. In fact, Jin's love may result in a disaster. The fox-demon has placed a spell in Cheng, a spell designed to turn his sexual energy to a murderous ends, endangering himself and everyone around him. And worst of all, they're not the only hunters on the fox-demon's trail!

I've got some posts queued up for later today about my slightly obsessive worldbuilding and a little bit about how magic works in this world. I'll be bouncing around on a blog tour for much of the next week, as well, so make sure you've "liked" my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/EveryWorldNeedsLove so you can grab those links as I get them!

Foxfur is available now at Torquere Press: http://www.torquerebooks.com

[Elizabeth L. Brooks] The Grand Tour
Foxfur
writerliz
Foxfur comes out in two weeks!

I'm trying, for this release, to get some promotion out, because I'm really proud of this book, and I'd like to see it do well. Primarily, since I'm on a budget and can't afford to pay for ads, I'm going on bit of a blog tour.




If I've got my notes right, there's a preliminary (and slightly steamy!) post over at A. Catherine Noon's blog today, comparing writing and editing to a sub/Dom relationship!

The rest come as a blitz during the week of release:



Leading up to the 13th (release day!) I'll be here, of course, with some talk about worldbuilding and the cultures to be found in Foxfur.
On the 14th, I'll be featured at VL Locey's blog (where I'll talk a little about character development), and hosting Torquere's Livejournal community, where I've got several topics planned, including at least one spicy excerpt.
The 15th sees me over at Lynn's, explaining the value of a great beta reader.
On the 16th, I'll be at Torquere's blog, once again with a variety of topics in mind.
I'm taking the 17th off, but on the 18th, I'll be visiting Mychael Black, where I'll talk about why Foxfur's first draft was entirely unpublishable, and what survived the rewrite process!
And on the 19th, hop over to BA Tortuga's blog for a little chat about kink...

As you can see, it's going to be lots of fun, and there will be plenty of things for you to check out, as I'm fairly certain that none of those posts repeats any others!

But all those blog posts had to be written in advance (or at least the ideas for them sketched out) -- and some pictures dredged up, and my fellow authors begged for the slots, and...

I think I've written so much about Foxfur in the last week or so, in preparation for this publicity blitz, that I'm completely out of topics! Goodness only knows what I'll find to talk about next week. Maybe I'll do another grammar lesson. ;-)

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