Monday, May 27, 2013

Daemonique volume IV The Darkest of Things (Demon BDSM & Futanari Erotica)

Dragged through the denizens and depths of an unholy nest of demonic lust, Sylenna Lightstride's fate now hangs by a thread before the ruler of them all, naked and alone. Chances are she won't last the night under the wicked ministrations of their demonic Queen. Xianesh enjoys the games she plays, and she has many in store for the little elf at her mercy.

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First thing's first, as I make a point of in every synopsis, The Darkest of Things brings an end to the story of Sylenna Lightstride and can be enjoyed both as an independant book or more fully as a continuation of the series. I talked recently (here) about how I ensure it's approachable for everyone, so don't worry about getting completely left out by the volume number.

As said, this release brings an end to Sylenna Lightstride's story so it's really wrapping up a big chapter for me. This is the series I started with, and a series I'd written in a way you'd only barely recognise ages ago. It's come a long way and I'm really happy with what I've made of it.

As such, I've wanted to really make something of this last volume, especially the ending. That's something I ironically can't really share here, but it's one thing I'm really happy with how it shifted and hit home. It gives light to some of the decisions I made when I started this series. 

That said, it's not the end of the series as a whole. I'm kind of hoping no one throws up their hands and claims it's too cliffhanger, unresolved or something, though getting so much emotion from its impact would be neat. This wraps up the current arc and will eventually be released as a single novel, so I put a lot of heart into finishing it as is for those purposes.

One of the things about it I was quite happy with early in is Xianesh's reaction to the revelation of Sylenna's past. Without spoiling so much, Xianesh, this being of darkness and evil sealed away under the ground feels pity for Sylenna and so much as hugs her. Against everything that's happened to Sylenna so far, that seems really weird and uncharacteristic, but there's reason. The desire Xianesh has to conquer is as much to bring those people into accepting a freer, much more honest and sexually rewarding life. Sylenna's unfortunate past in the world above was devoid of lust, passion or pleasure and instead subjugated under show of emotionless power and discrimination against what was seen as a lesser race. So it goes that the demoness sets about showing the elf just what pleasures she could enjoy, free of such restraint.

Xianesh is still very wicked and dominative about it. She's playing games with the elf, bending her just so far before letting her cool off so she can be bent further next time without breaking. Those games include sexual biting, clawing whip-marks down her back, smothering Sylenna between her legs and more. Her plans for the little elf are bigger and broader than little games though, and what becomes of it towards the end is something else entirely. Being the entity of demonic lust she is, her dark magic allows flesh-grafting a cock of her own, adding a little transgender / futa or futanari / shemale action, whichever namesake is most appropriately relatable  to fully and finalistically dominate and draw Sylenna into a world of decadent pleasure.

There's some fun details around that scene that make it all the more powerful and meaningful, but I'll leave you with some opening excerpts in the post below for now.

Daemonique IV The Darkest of Things Excerpts

Extended excerpt from Daemonique IV The Darkest of Things, separated into its own post to make the author feature not so ridiculously long and two-part in one post. Check out that link or the post above this one for some thoughts and comments on the release.

This installment of Daemonique is nicely long and full of just-on-the-edge erotically charged content, so I'm really pleased with it and want to share a little more than usual. This excerpt has also been updated from the previous teaser with editing and proofing passes. If you'd like to skip to the second excerpt, scroll to the centered (Skipping ahead) marker.

These excerpts are relatively light compared to the book as a whole, which includes instances of Bondage, Domination, Sadism & Masochism, sexual biting & scratching, oral sex & smothering, Xianesh gaining (and vividly using) a penis of her own, because it's her show and she has a very good reason to need it.

The excerpts consist more of contortion bondage, fear, teasing strokes, fingering, forced orgasm and scene-setting.
Excerpts follow the pagebreak:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daemonique volume IV teaser

Today I thought I'd share a little something I'm getting back into working on, as it makes a point of why serialised volumes works for everyone without too gravely impeding continuity of the story when you come in half way. It's a unique sort of thing to be able to do, doesn't always work in other media formats like TV series, but erotica is a different sort of sexy beast to deal with. Part of why it works better, like I talked about in Deity of the Desert below this is perhaps the kinks and content don't appeal to everyone throughout the series, so the option to dip in here and there is great for them.

For those that are okay with all the content and want the progressive story along with it, that's there too. With three volumes of an elf's struggle and fall from grace into the depths of darkest depravity, there's a decent amount of backstory to reference now and it's something I wanted to make a concerted effort about for sake of anyone just joining in this fourth volume. While doing so, I tried to keep it tied in to the forward flow of emotion and scene setting, so it doesn't just look like some recap advert. It's taken up a little over 1k words on its own merit already, and I'm generally happy with how it's turning out. As much as recap, I want to really reaffirm and capture the personal and racial reasoning behind Sylenna's rise and fall. The world above and beyond is not so kind to her people.

This is pre-edit and proofing so forgive me if the form and shine is a little off, but felt like I wanted to share this while I work rather than post-production. As much for anticipation of the next volume as grabbing new interest for volumes 1-3.

You can find all previous posts regarding Daemonique with the Daemonique series tag for the blog, including where to find each publication in all the usual stores. Volume 1 and 3 (but not 2) are ADULT filtered on Amazon because they had Ménage in the title, so they're a little harder to find. That's made sales drop off and me wonder if I should devote time to the series, but really the only way to get visibility back in there is to release more and make a point of the filter. Daemonique has essentially been my flagship title and I've no intention to let it drop off. So here we are, with the reminder of a fall from grace into the depths of demonic temptation and lust.

Opening excerpt follows the page break:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Deity of the Desert I: Arrival (Monster Girl Breeding Erotica)

In a world descended from myth and mingling of monstrous races into much more human variants, an unlikely couple - a human male and a hotblooded crossbreed of a woman - is summoned to the desert to investigate the newly discovered sacred ruins. Taking up the opportunity, they answer the summons. First they have to arrive, and once within the safety of the city walls, there's the matter of handling personal business. The crossbred companion, Astrid, has an overwhelming urge to breed with her lover and mate.

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This release was quite fun to write, and went through an interesting process, again. Not such a stark re-write as with Soulflame, my recent sisterly incest publication, but this again was originally a story challenge piece that I wanted to expand and re-edit for publishing. About half way through that process I thought to myself "what if I were to focus more on the first half as its own thing, giving me a quicker release and readers more flexibility on what content they want?"

Most of those principles made it through, but it was no quicker than writing from scratch. What this means for me is I have basically a draft of the second half of this lying around with completely different sexual content that may not be as appealing as the sexy scenes I got into this one. For readers, that means there's a new release out right now, and full of M/F sex with breeding tones and fantasy races.

Yes indeed, I wanted to try and get in on the breeding theme a bit with this one. I think it helps somewhat that Astrid isn't entirely human. For all I understand the kink, it seems a more natural thing to say and feel when at least one - ideally the one receiving! - isn't quite human and can easily run with that sort of animalistic theme. Maybe I'm still thinking into the meaning behind the kink too much but I can't much help it, it's otherwise only used when referring to animals.

As I tried to convey a bit with the cover image, aside from that the tweaks on the eye are so small you can barely see it in smaller resolutions, Astrid is a more interracial / interspecies, bestial crossbreed of a humanoid race. Purpose behind it was to play on some of the implications and less-than-human connotations attached to 'breeding'. As a result, Astrid can have a very sharp temper, an almost wild and feral nature to her actions and above all a devotion to the man she loves. That devotion includes the instinctive need to feel him mate and breed with her like she's a bitch in heat. In her unique diluted monster girl sort of way, she is, but she's still relatable as a mostly human woman with needs and emotions. 

It made her fun and pretty unique to write. Without spoiling much, the second installment will venture more into size play and a (relatively, nothing too over the top macro, as far as can be stretched without breaking) giant counterpart to their fun. That's part of the reason I released this first half here and now, as that second might not be to everyone's tastes, so to bunch it all in on one release would take up a considerable amount more time and likely put some readers off.

Extended excerpt follows the pagebreak:

Monday, May 13, 2013

Amazon ADULT filter update: Exactly what inconsistencies?

I was recently asked about examples of Amazon's inconsistencies in the ADULT filter matter, so along with the recent email correspondence I've published here in the post below this, I'm making a point on explaining the inconsistencies a little, here. The most prudent advice I have on avoiding the filter in the first place would be to not use (parenthesis tags) in your book title, as that seems to get their attention a lot faster. Keyword searches will still bring up the book perfectly fine, but they aren't targetting things tagged by keyword as far as I can tell. It doesn't really make any consistent sense to anyone.

I've talked a lot about this recently and would like to keep posts that aren't more interesting and positive publication releases on the shorter side for browsing ease, so I'll cut the rest of this article behind a pagebreak to not bombard people with my rambling on not at all arrousing topics.

You can always check out my new Library page for recent erotica publications including lesbian BDSM and incest instead.

More about Amazon's filter follows the pagebreak:

Amazon ADULT filter email correspondence.

Email transcript related to ADULT filter follows the pagebreak:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sometimes you have to stop thinking to really think about it.

While working away on the next story challenge (size play), I had a bit of a possibly obvious revelation about Soulflame, my recent sisterly incest release. I was saying and thinking "the next volume might not even have incest, I'm not sure yet". It was as much part of a discussion about serialised volume releases, so I'll take a moment to explain what I'm doing with those too and how it came about to thinking about what I do with Soulflame.

Essentially, volume releases like Daemonique, A Boy's Secret and now Soulflame are episodic, serialised releases. You get a hit of content here and now, get to decide whether you like it, stick with it and get a new hit as soon as it's available on essentially prime releases or come in later and pick it up in bulk for a longer read. When I reach a sense of arc finality, there'll be more options for picking up the title all at once in a single sort of omnibus edition. The charm is knowing that neither way is 'right' for everyone, so being able to provide both is great for readers and myself alike.

Bunny Hole, in retrospect, is essentially episodic, but much more an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Okay, more of a petgirl project of using a story challenge for exposure before, rather than after heavily editing it. I like what I've learned from it, and I'd like to go back to expanding on it soon, but still. Comparatively  my expanded story challenge Shibari Shower hasn't done so well due to getting slammed under Amazon's childish, in no way child-proof filter. If you like bondage, steamy shower sex and lesbians, check that one out. It's a little hard to spot on Amazon because apparently BDSM is a "bad word" now. 

Don't get me started, seriously.

This is what brings me to the thoughts and discussion I was in on about serialised releases, though. Using Soulflame for reference, I said:
"next volume might not have PI in it at all, I'm not sure yet. People that don't mind can enjoy the full development in both books as and when released and people who don't want incest can start in 2 with light understanding of what happened in 1 and just miss some of the impact and character development."
but recently I thought hang on, really... 

I can write as many damn things as I want. What's to stop Soulflame being purely historic incest in varying tones and situations and taking what I have for non-incestuous plot and putting that into a different, new series title? Soulflame has had a pretty positive reception so far, why should I have to just dabble here and there when I can really drive it and cater? Why restrict when...

I can write ALL THE THINGS.

Yeah. Revelations hurt when they walk up and smack you, but the creative freedom of authoring is really something you don't always appreciate straight up. Maybe a bit dauntingly so, but maybe I'm just sleeptalking again since I've been working on putting together another world setting for my next story challenge.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Soulflame volume I: The Spark (Historic Lesbian Incest Erotica)

A tale of the most forbidden love between adoptive sisters in 17th century England, right around the time of King Charles II's return to the throne. What begins as a playful act and a kiss stolen in jest quickly develops to igniting the feelings of love shared between two women whom have grown up together, and will see them end the night in one another's arms. 

[Amazon|UK][Smashwords][B&N][Kobo][iTunes(Usual delay)]
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I'd like to start this entry by clarifying exactly what this release originates from and what that may or may not mean for the future... of the past. We gotta go back, Marty. We've also gotta talk about Amazon's filter in the post below this. That information is really important if you interact with erotica to any degree on Amazon, so check if out if you don't already know all about the filter. Heck, even Romance titles and things so tame as Ménage are getting filtered now. That put a filter over two of my Daemonique books.

For those following what I've been doing recently, the 17th century premise may have rung a bell. Indeed, Soulflame was originally to be the publicised extension of Cinders of the Soul, my recent short story challenge piece. As seems to always be the way however, my will to push for more and strive for better has seen this take off into becoming its own dedicated volume. Now, as is always the case with altering pre-determined events in history, you cause all sorts of hell and chaos for continuity. So I can't say exactly how much of the prior short story will survive in upcoming volumes.

So enjoy the short story as a gauge of my style and potential to be a little weird, but don't take it entirely as a forewarning of where fate will take us in Soulflame just yet.

That said, I've thoroughly enjoyed the premise behind Soulflame. All the research alone has made it quite enriching a time to work with. It's also quite a difficult and tragic time where life expectancy was around 35 and people were by and large illiterate. Female actors were also illegal. Those were all some of the things I wanted to capture with the theme of this story. We all have our issues in this day and age, discrimination and unfair treatment is a prickly thing under the skin of any workforce. So to travel so far out of that comfort zone and put the reader in a time where the rights of people were so warped from what we expect now, and have it discussed as though the most normal of things really hit as a good opportunity for me.

I love gothic and medieval fantasy as much as the next person, and this isn't far off those eras, but what really hits home is that this was real. Great great distant ancestors lived in this era, world-changing science and art was done in this era. Untold death was visited in this era. Beneath it all, unspoken love was shared in it, too. It's scandal upon scandal for it to have happened at all, not only lesbian emotion but between sisters, too. The heart knows no boundary though, even across all sense of space, time and society. A spark of love will warm the soul into untameable flames. Such was my reasoning behind the title, anyhow.

Currently I'm planning to make this title three volumes of unique content. 'The Spark', 'The Stage' and 'The Cinders', clinching and pulling the original title back in. You'll have to stick with me to see exactly what happens in each of those volumes.

Extended excerpt follows:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Amazon and the ADULT filter

Right, I've hinted at this a few times recently but not really had the time, inclination or energy to make a point about it. Now that I've finished writing my latest release, that I'll talk about later, I want to take a moment to talk about this ADULT filter and how it may affect you. Yes, you, reader or writer.

First of all, to find if you or an author you like has filtered releases, put the author name into Sales Rank Express. Any title with ADULT next to the name has been filtered. Make a habit of checking an author's profile page and searching from 'Kindle Store' instead of All Departments. If you only take one thing away with you from this post or stop reading now, keep those things in mind and try them out, please.

The ADULT filter is something Amazon has been in the process of using at their unspoken discretion for over a year, now. The filter sounds like what it should do is filter adult content, and I've certainly seen enough estranged responses to a similar article posted by the Daily Mail that think it's doing a great and positive thing to protect minors and people that may be offended.

It's not. 

Smashwords has an adult content filter. Google has multiple levels of adult content search result filtering. It's not a difficult concept to implement, and you can generally rest assured that every site and company with the potential for showing some sort of adult content has it behind a warning. Considering everything erotic is posted under the erotica category, it's rather self-sufficient on censoring against minors.

Except it isn't hidden at all. What Amazon has is by no means an actual adult content filter, but an inconsistent mess of what essentially comes down to money-grubbing and abuse. It doesn't make the content any more hidden from minors or people that could be offended by it, and infact for those that browse and buy on a Kindle device, the filter won't affect them in the first place since search will default to 'Kindle Store'. So those unsupervised children with a Kindle and wifi connection will still be directed straight to every adult title.

Why? How? Because what the ADULT filter does is removes the offending content from the All Departments search. That might not seem a big deal in and of itself, but that means more than it may seem. Unless you know of this issue, chances are you just use the All Department search and it certainly brings up some results, including terms that are considered "bad words" and for the most part filtered. It's actually been hard for me to replicate that this filter even existed, sometimes. Since there are some results, people don't think anything is wrong.

Update: Was recently asked about examples, so updating this here, too, but I've also made a newer post clarifying the inconsistencies better, along with e-mail correspondence

The bad words include alot of general kink things. In no particular order; Breeding, Pseudo-Incest (including family words), Gangbang, Creampie, BDSM, Rough, Monster, Ménage and likely more as they go around randomly filtering about half of the results for words they come across and dislike. Even if those words are part of popular mainstream accepted erotica. You'll still find some results in the "All Department" search, but not all results.

To get around that, search in 'Kindle Store' where all these filtered titles will show up as if there was nothing wrong with them. Regardless of whether you're of legal age to view them or even want to view erotica in your search results. The filter isn't there to protect you or anyone.

It also removes books from the "Also Bought/Browsed" section of unfiltered books. So you won't get recommendations or pairings. For customers and authors alike, that hurts visibility and fractures the community regardless of where you search from. Why? Because Amazon doesn't like your cover, or the extraneous information you put in the title, or perhaps the content. But they won't reject it like they say they will, because that would mean rejecting free money. They will, however, hide it off at the back so they can still rake in the royalties from something they think is offensive trash that they don't want to be associated with selling.

There's nothing adult about it. There's nothing protective about it. This is the most pathetic, childish excuse for double-standards and abuse of monopoly I've ever had the misfortune to be insulted by association to. I'll admit I may be a bit brash and hard with the language here but I really can't get behind and respect their methods in any respect. Amazon aren't going to grow a pair and raise the bar on standard of what they accept or keep open dialogue with authors the way others do. That would cost them money they can still make by giving half-service, accepting everything and then deciding whether or not they like it.

I imagine the process looks something like this.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The times of our lives.

For however many years it's been out, it's quaint to think that self-publishing is still kind of in its infancy. I say this after some weird issues with Amazon that have been making news, but more immediately due to a response I got from Kobo Books regarding why Daemonique vol.3 is still "in progress" for near a month now. So bear this in mind if you're publishing with Kobo.

"The reason why your book has not yet been approved for publication might be that you have extraneous information in the title field.

We have recently started insisting that authors remove information that belongs in the synopsis from the author name and title fields. The general rule of thumb is, if you wouldn't put it on the cover, it doesn't belong in these fields."

Now I don't have a problem with that in itself. Kobo's category selection is fairly generous anyway so title tags aren't as necessary as other places where it's all under > Erotica. What did bother me was that book had been "Publishing... Your eBook will be in the Kobo store soon!" since April 19th and they made no attempt to alert me to this change in principle or have any sort of open dialogue. There's nothing on the 'new book' page, no header text asking for exact name, no feedback notes on the dashboard. Just the promise that it'll be done "soon!" Checking in on the process again I found an email address for just this problem and asked about it to get the above response about three days later.

Comparatively, Smashwords' dashboard will show "pending review" and then if it needs amendment will tell you what. It'll still show on their site and be available for purchase, but for premium catalogue and shipping to other channels, it has to fit that criteria. But they do keep that open dialogue with authors, and their dashboard isn't a horrid mess of hiding everything from you, either.

It's just funny how ad-hoc and inconsistent some of these distributors are with this new function of independent publishing. They all want in on the profits and craze of it, oh boy, of course, "ebook sales are the future!" just gloss over who provides the content, but they don't seem to know how to handle it now that content isn't being provided by some stiff publishing company. Ease of access to distribute makes the world a scarier place.