Sunday, January 25, 2009

Insufficient Mating Material finals in Most Humorous category

"Insufficient Mating Material" is a finalist in the Anne-Bonney Readers' Choice awards in the "Most Humorous" category.

I think my favorite funny scene is the canderu-inspired scene where Djetth (hero) overhears two former lovers --one a courtesan, the other a princess-- comparing notes, and he realizes that he has to introduce his penis and his unique tattoo into the conversation, and convince both ladies that all human males have penile decorations and that his isn't unique at all. So he pretends that a fish has bitten him.

I am over the moon about this!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two Can Play.... chess

One of my new year's resolutions --which I probably won't keep-- is to spend less time on e-mail. However, I was diverted this morning when I discovered an email alert that Knight's Fork had been mentioned on a chess blog.

What fun!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Transitions of Power, shotgun Royal Weddings, high stakes duels… other set piece events

I watch inaugurations, state funerals, televised inquisitions, and contentious parliamentary proceedings with predatory interest. They are grist for the mills of my imagination.

My novels deal with self-styled gods, double-dealing World leaders, back stabbing, political intrigue, assassination plots, disastrous matings, and more. In Forced Mate, an heir to the throne of an intergalactic superpower abducts a virtuous young woman whom he hopes will be a suitable breeding mate. Her true-hearted fiancé goes to great lengths to rescue her… and so two Kings race to be the first to make a pawn into their Queen.

Of course, Djinni-vera (meaning "true-jinn") is nobody's pawn.

Insufficient Mating Material took up the story, with forced identity-changing surgery on the loser of the climactic duel between the two "Kings" (speaking in chess metaphors) at the end of Forced Mate, and a shotgun Royal wedding intended to saddle the loser with a political liability wife who would make him forever unelectable.

I'm an incorrigible champion of the underdog, so my sympathies were with the liability wife, especially after she was shot down in her ballgown and marooned on a deserted tropical island with an arrogant and angry survivalist.

My first draft of Knight's Fork began with a state funeral… I had "Four weddings and a funeral" in mind as a theme for my series, which concluded with Knight's Fork.

Four? Yes! There was the prequel, Mating Net, only available as an e-book, but which I will shortly be recording as an audio download. An ambitious princess throws out lures and uses underhand tactics to make sure that the Prince of her dreams goes through with an arranged marriage to her, but she is caught in an Emperor's "mating net".

My editor didn't feel that the State Funeral was sufficiently romantic, so I wound the clock back to the scene of a royal murder. The corpse is still awaiting burial… may never be buried! but it is on ice. As is some very dangerous semen. I like to leave a few explosive ingredients lying around, not because I want to tease my readers, but because a writer –like a lawyer—needs a few loopholes.

A great piece of advice I was given was always to start a story at the moment that life changes for either the hero, heroine, or villain. Most funerals aren't life changing events! Being a party to murder probably is.

An Inauguration might be, but arguably, the real life changer is winning the election. I shall have to think about that, because I do have a hero who might achieve high elected office one day.

This excerpt from Knight's Fork was the result of a burst of research which took me from the protocol for State Visits to the White House (with a few excursions into jokes about Presidents with a common touch, Royal guests, and horse drawn carriages) to the workings of the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace, including the Palace's situations vacant advertisements, and job descriptions for the various open positions.

I love research! I also love clever bad guys with insidious tactics.


Chapter Eight

The Orb Constellation
The Volnoth State Peacemaker
Grand Gala Floor

"First, we are not under attack," the Master of the King's Household told his audience. "We have entered Tigron Imperial space with Crown Prince Tarrant-Arragon's permission. Therefore, whether we see them or not, we are being shadowed and observed by two Imperial war-stars.

"We have received word from His Potency that we must react with appropriate humility, owing to an unfortunate misunderstanding in the An'Koori dodecahedron with one of our expeditionary fleets, which is now missing. Therefore, if Imperial fighting craft ping our Bridge screens or viewports, every individual will turn a grayish shade of pink, retract genitalia, face the viewports, and hold up their palms—so!"

He demonstrated the position that displayed the bareness of hands, and hid flat nipples. "Bodies will then be bent from the midsection. Thus.

"Secondly, the Royal Barges have not yet been sighted, but will both be coming from the direction of the Eurydycean dodecahedron. Either or both of Their Potencies may join us at any time.

"We have just over six orbits of spacetime before His Potency, the King, and Her Imperial Highness, the Queen, are scheduled to convene for an extraordinary mating. As you know, we have not hosted an Orgy of State in non-Volnoth space before. Our solemnities have attracted some unwelcome curiosity and interest."

In view of the high visibility and extreme importance of the mating, he had chosen not to say "less than seven orbits." Negativity might encourage panic and frenzy, rather than the desired sense of calm urgency.

"Crown Prince Tarrant-Arragon has threatened to send an observer."

Just behind the Master, with his skin covered in somber hues and subdued starry effects, stood the Continuum Marshal of Stars, Astronomer Royal. To his side, similarly patterned, were the King's astrologer and the Queen's astrologer.

The more pageantry and rigid, unquestioning adherence to The Way It Is Done, the greater likelihood there was of ridicule and rational skepticism in All The Communicating Worlds, if the mating did not go well.

"As the Astronomer Royal has explained," the Master resumed, in case his audience of pages, ushers, grooms, and bed makers had not paid sufficient attention, "the Astrologer to the King and the Astrologer to the Queen, in consultation with the Apothecary to the Queen, have revealed that the Constellation of Orb has the most propitious cosmic influences for fecundity."

He inclined his upper body respectfully to the star-seers.

"The Apothecary in attendance on Her Imperial Highness, the Queen, has reported that, with absolute correctitude, the Queen will conceive."

With absolute correctitude was a caveat. Even jumble-mumble had to have a back door. Three hundred documented informal matings had not worked. Five Orgies of State had not achieved "absolute correctitude." Thus, Their Majesties' advisors had decided that fertility was a question of "location, location, location."

Either that, or Her free-roving Highness, the Queen, couldn't get back to Volnoth in time—and therefore, the Court, representative Members of the government, the gentlepersons of the news media, His Potency the King, and the Household were obliged to put a very good face on meeting her halfway.

Courtiers would not put a good face on being extraordinarily inconvenienced for very much longer. Fond as His Potency the King was of his Queen, sooner or later he would have to see that an accident to the Queen's Barge would be a relief.

The Master of the Household felt a warm glow of pleasure-coloration begin to spread across the vertical folds of his throat. The concept of an Orgy of State was calculated to put pressure on the King.

"An extra refinement has been added to the performance," he warned, so the courtiers would have plenty of time to get over their shock and disgust before either the King's Stargoer or the Queen's Barge docked with the ponderous Peacemaker of State. "The female orgasm artists will wear false hairy pieces on their heads, so the Queen is better able to identify with them. They have also been selected for their ability to voluntarily color-darken their groins with streaks and swirls to mimic the Queen's alien appearance.

"Questions?" he asked, anticipating none. "No? Excellent!"

He ignored the one young thing who had not yet learned to subdue her signals of dissent and go with the tidalflow. It suited the Queen's enemies to stress her alienness. Fortunately, no one of importance had the poor taste to admit that they'd noticed the Queen's groin recently.


Thank you. I'd love to answer questions about research, my books, my videos, or what I like about Facebook… or anything else.

I'd love more friends on my Facebook pages.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Greetings! Today I welcome Emily Bryan to my blog.

Emily has just received an RT Reviewers Choice Nomination for DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS, but today, she’s celebrating the release of VEXING THE VISCOUNT (Coming February 24th!). Emily’s going to chat with us about changes in publishing which may affect writers and readers alike.

Buy Link

Coming Late to the E-volution!
by Emily Bryan

I've always loved the feel of a book in my hand. The smell, the weight, turning down the corner of the page to mark my place--it's all part of the joy of reading. Before the disastrous events of last October when publishing was hit just as hard as the rest of the economy, I’d have said that ebooks will never replace the tree-killing kind.

But then we had our own little 21st century South Sea Bubble (for those of you who missed that stop on my tour, I blogged about that Georgian financial disaster on my blog). According to industry rumors, more books came back to the publishers in October than went out. Yikes!

So I wasn’t too surprised when I noticed that all my titles were available on Amazon in Kindle format. Now I've discovered that my previous titles, Distracting the Duchess and Pleasuring the Pirate are also available as ebooks. Even my Diana Groe titles can be downloaded electronically.

I can instantly see the charm this holds for my publisher. No returns. A downloaded book is a sold book.

Of course, this raises a whole host of contractual questions. I had my agent check the contracts and this is all legal and above board. In fact, I'll even receive a better rate of royalty on the ebooks after the first 100 sold than I do on my print books. But if my books are available electronically, can they be said never to be out of print and therefore the rights will never revert to me?


So for now, I'll just rejoice that my work is available to a whole new generation of techno-saavy readers. But as usual with technology of any sort, I'm behind the curve. I know there's a big broohaha over which electronic format (Kindle vs just about everything else) is best. And there are several different types of e-readers available. As a condo dweller with limited space and a huge library, I'm beginning to see the charm in ebooks.

Do you read ebooks? Which e-reader do you use? Do you recommend it? Have you had trouble adapting to reading ebooks as opposed to the old-fashioned kind? Is there one with an “itty-bitty book light” built in? (This question is from my DH, who has to put a pillow over his head some nights!) I'd love to have your imput!

Thanks for having me here today, Rowena! I’m delighted to give away a copy of VEXING THE VISCOUNT(sorry—I only have the paper version!) to one lucky commenter, so please do leave a note! And be sure to check back first thing tomorrow to see if YOU are my winner!

Oh! and if your readers want to learn more about my books, Ro, please send them to:

Thanks so much!

Cool video, Emily, and this is a particularly timely blog since our publisher, Dorchester Publishing just announced that they will now be releasing their titles as e-books.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Knight's Fork wins Authors' Choice Award

I am absolutely thrilled that Knight's Fork received enough votes to win the award, and I'd like to thank all the authors who voted for Authors' Choice, and all the Readers who voted for Knight's Fork as Readers' Choice (which I did not win).

Thank you!
Rowena Cherry