Monday, September 7, 2015

Umbral Coil Chronicles III: Moonlit Night

In the mysterious undermountain village of Shejnal, oaths thought lost to time are practiced still. For her hand in fates of the dead men walking, the blood debt is handed down to the centaur charged with caring for what is believed to be the sole survivor of the two men to enter this dark realm.

Hidden away in the deepest reaches of the grand Shejnal Temple, the half-snake lamia divinity's lust for the man she has taken for her own is far from sated.

Yet as all ease into their new lives with those who now accompany them, this sheltered peace may not last for long...

I'd put off doing the author feature for this one a while for a number of reasons that led to forgetting about doing it entirely while instead working on the next project that should show up soon. This series began as what I intended to be an Amazon exclusive serial, as I've mentioned in previous posts, but all these ebook subscription services are quickly discovering that what works for music and movies with a much more finite market does not work for books in the modern day.

So essentially everything has, once again, been on fire, yo. How they handle this stupidly obvious hindsight has been funny in cases. Scribd, I think - it may be Oyster or some other cashgrab startup - just culled most of it's romance genre cause what? People are USING our service? SHUT IT DOWN!

Amazon took a more kind of snide and knowing approach, sugarcoated with bullshit that doesn't add up because they know people at large won't know or care for the difference. Short version is they've changed things to devalue "shorter" works, so rather than actively culling them, they just gave authors of shorter, often erotic works no incentive to stay, benevolently offering a get the fuck opt-out option when the change went live. 

Yes, I'm sure rewarding the authors that put up a 500,000 word book on a system that would horribly undercut the value was a good incentive too, and that's cool, I like that people are supposed to be rewarded appropriately, but it was sure as hell geared to disincentive shorter erotic and serial works so readers don't just think "Isn't Kindle Unlimited just for smut shorts?" cause hell, while sex money is big money, no one wants to be associated with it. They cut it without openly admitting it exists - hands clean again.

So anyway, the point is for this third installation of the Umbral Coil, it's gone global on all the usual storefronts. Dhampyre has also gone global, which I'll be returning to at some point soon. Dhampyre served as one of a few experiments that has since been shifted to the back burner to clear out all the stuff I have in the forefront, but I'm getting there. 

With that said, Umbral Coil will continue at the pace it has been for releases, the lack of its being a subscription experiment doesn't really change matters too much in the end. There may be things I can use Kindle Unlimited for in the future but for now that's a dead avenue. I want to keep the pace running as much because this series is really one of the groundworks for my world at large that all high fantasy stories are set in.

It's also been potentially a bit confusing with how I'm doing things from two separate perspectives after the men from the first book were separated and even renamed. Messing with identity is asking for trouble when it's one of your bigger narrative tools, but the trouble is meant to be reigned and focused inward as a part of the world. There's meant to be deceit and confusion, but not so much caused to the reader, so I always hope I can keep those lines clear.

So beyond that, and more importantly, in addition to its developments, this volume contains more wonderful violet night snake. Mmm, snek. There's some development into her divine lamia being, but behind the constricting force and power, there's a softer underside that really fills this volume with some gentler dominance, coddling the man she all but wrung the life out of back to health with - and I admit I had to look up the term - a tender nursing handjob scene. 

After all, breastfeeding is a fun extension for breast play and proved popular previously, so given his weakened state, it seemed fitting for Najae to mother him a bit this volume. I've always been one to work with progressive plots under lovely erotic scenes, and that melds back and forth in this volume perfectly to set up a big shift coming in the next volume that'll really get into what's been set up. That'll be coming soon, so thank you for reading and all the support that's made this series possible!

Excerpt follows the pagebreak:


“How I feel is one thing, but you… you promised answers and truths, what of those?” It wouldn’t do to leave it for any longer, or to be put behind another bout of her seemingly endless lust where he may forget what was promised. Najae smiled quietly with her dark lips and keen eyes, the tip of her tail curling over his shoulder as it slid behind his neck to raise and support him. Of course, there was never going to be any escaping her touch when she already surrounded him, but he could hope to learn more than limitless pleasure and comfort under her.

“Hmm, so I did… well, perhaps I should introduce myself once again, now that you are more soundly among the living. I am Najae Noc’teria, Guardian of the Great Dark. Embodiment of Lunaris, that which stalks Solei and shrouds all in night. You understand if I prefer a shorter title amongst my adherents, yes?” It was all Victor could do to force out a weak laugh. It was a long title, yes, but more importantly, it pinned the being over him as more than a divine monster, but a manifestation of the world itself. A personified force of nature and the very light in the night sky. More questions than sense flooded through his dazzled mind, and Her Highness but smiled again.

“So many questions, you do not even know where to begin, hm? Ah, I can see them in your soul, but first you should think to indulge in my whims, barter to find your answers.” Spoken in such a sweetly playful tone, it was difficult to imagine the Goddess made flesh and scale as such a thing, but Victor knew her words to be true, he knew whom she was before she had given the title form.

“Barter… but with what? I have no memory of possessions, and my life is already yours.” He had an idea of what she sought, but would not throw himself into such a thing as to test his will to live against her insurmountable hunger once more unprovoked. Najae’s smile flashed fang as she looked down, silken black hair spilling out of place from either side of her head as her impressive hood flexed and fanned intimidatingly.

“Come now, as though I would not see through such wording. To owe life is not to owe freedom absolute, the choice is yours. I mean to barter with this magnificent body of yours. Perhaps, as our bodies speak to one another in actions, you will find a number of your answers within, if you are but as candid as I believe.” That tip of serpentine tail slithered down his body, curling and roaming with the same hunger as her gentle fingers did, the rest of her being sliding into view around the edges of the bed, slowly closing in on him.

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