Kobo vs. Kindle

Once more the physical retailer Walmart is taking a swing at the online king Amazon. Today Walmart announced a partnership with Kobo in launching Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo, an all-new ebookstore. I poked around and came across several of my titles for sale.

One of them is, The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie, which you can read about in this post here. If you already have a Kobo ereader, then click here to go directly to the new Walmart Kobo website and my book.

The other book is actually an erotic anthology called, Corrupted. My short story contribution is, Ghosting Past Emily. You can purchase by clicking this link.

No matter what type of ereader you have, these books [and more] are available at many online bookstores.

It always pays to take care of your tools

Monday Writing Prompt from Clarian Press.

The constant drip-drip of melting ice filtered through her consciousness; the first day of spring, and snow lay heavy beneath the fragrant pines. The circuit training had payed off as she dragged the wrapped bundle down into a hollow, huffing frosty steam from her panting mouth. It was a moot question now: Would she have fallen so hard if she’d known his secret from the beginning? The razor sharp edge of the shovel bit into the softening ground. By the time some hunter stumbled across the remains next fall, she’d be long gone. Rather sardonically, she addressed her statement to the murder of crows cawing out questions of her. “If I wanted vanilla, I’d have ordered ice cream, instead of a man who thought it was funny — after he fucked me — I actually believed he was a Dom.”

Do you need a prompt to write?

I most frequently write to prompts, at least for blog posts. There is a new prompt, offered by Clarian Press, called:

Based upon a snippet of conversation: “The first prompt is a piece of dialogue that I overheard once when I was in the public library. It was many years ago, but I can still envisage the little old lady who asked the question of one of the librarians!”, the prompt is as follows.

There are many obvious lines that spring to mind.

1. “Why yes, he gives me a pedicure every day.”
2. “He is quite handy. My feet enjoy the massage.”
3. “Shhhh. He has a fetish for toes. His tongue tickles.”

Moving on [or up] from feet, you can take an erotic turn with different genders.

4. “I need his mechanical expertise. The power drill has a dildo attachment.”
5. “That’s why I wear short skirts and go commando. He cleans up my cum.”
6. “I need relief from the stress, and he loves to suck my cock.”

You can also try more societal lines.

7. “Ever since the new computers were installed, IT has been camping out.”
8. “I can never remember which plug goes where. He is handy.”
9. “Nothing like a tool belt slung off a tight pair of jeans.”

Of course, being fixated on spanking, I prefer to utilize discipline with my prompts.

“Do you always keep a man under your desk? How handy!”
“Well, Lorraine, I got sick and tired of people making up excuses for tardy book returns.”
“Oh really? Does he pop out like a harlequin and scare them into complying?”
“No, hardly. He puts the patrons over his knee and gives them a good old-fashioned paddling. One whack per penny due!”
“Goodness gracious! Sounds like my dear departed Elmer. How I miss that man.”
“In that case, Lorraine, this Agatha Christie is overdue by an hour.”
“I see. Rules are rules.”
“Exactly. Glad you agree.”
“Oh my. He is a handsome devil, isn’t he. What else does he do under your desk?”

A “FREE” spanking? Cool.

For a very limited time, a few days only, you can download The Case of the Disciplined Valentine to any ereader device for FREE. If you love vampires, sex, Victorian-era romance, steampunk, spanking and other forms of delicious discipline, then take this opportunity to grab some alone time and read your way to…. err, bliss.

Take a sensual journey on over to Amazon by clicking this link, and be transported to steampunk London, where it is early February in the year 1854 and a certain vampire is about to come face-to-face with a most exasperating and intriguing female. And then he meets his Valentine.

A comedy of Victorian manners mixed with delicious spankings and sexual encounters guaranteed to raise even a vampire’s blood pressure, Byron Cane sets a torrid pace in his historical paranormal erotic novella.

It is 1854 in steampunk London, and Sir Nachton MacRath is warily returning to his home isle after decades abroad. He has good reasons to steer clear of the Royal Family, but is immediately snared by the Queen herself, who anoints him, Her Chastiser of Loose Morals, complete with elevation to the upper reaches of the aristocracy. Rather than a quiet existence as a vampire, he is now a Peer uneasily rubbing shoulders with the most powerful men in the Empire.

Phoebe Hayward is a lady of good breeding, but like all her contemporaries, longs for some excitement and romance. Valentine’s Day is only weeks away, when their paths cross with a bump. Despite later discovering the man ordered to discipline her is actually a vampire, she can’t help falling in love. The more encounters with Sir MacRath she makes, the more her body yearns to know what it is to submit to his vampiric touch. When he reluctantly agrees to be her Valentine, thus begins a Domination and discipline the likes she’s never dreamed.

MacRath doesn’t feel he deserves Phoebe’s love, and attempts to push her away by taking her deeper into sexual submission. She surprises him — and herself — by eagerly submitting to his every desire.Together, they explore the sensual heights that a woman and a man — a vampire — can reach. But politics and conflict are never far away, and the Valentine’s Day deadline comes all too soon.

The Case of the Disciplined Valentine
The Case of the Disciplined Valentine

Disclaimer: The Case of the Disciplined Valentine, with minor changes, is the same novella as previously published in the Lust in Lace anthology, as Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine. If you have already purchased the anthology in ebook or audio book, then there is no need to purchase it again… unless you want to financially support me. 🙂

 

The truth about editing

It sucks.

I mean; it really sucks.

You work really hard on a story, send it to someone, and they go; “Meh”.

I write a variety of things; poetry, essays, flash fiction, short stories and long-format novellas and novels. But no matter how meticulous I craft my narrative and characters, there is always room for improvement. The key is finding the right editor.

For me, it’s Ina Morata of Clarian Press. She has a keen intellect and an extensive depth to both grammar and vocabulary [albeit of the English-English language variety, which leads to interesting discussions when Americanisms crop up] along with a historical literary provenance, that creates a template for how a story should read.

The most important lesson I’ve learned from having my work edited by numerous people, is that the only goal an author should have, is to seek the best possible result. If an edit makes for a better book, then make the change and don’t mourn your original efforts.

Nearly as important though as a writer, is to find your ‘voice’; the style in which you are most proficient. That voice needs to be a solid base so that no matter how much editing is done, it is still recognizable as your own. A good editor trims the excess, prunes back the prose so that new growth and grafts make the finished product even more fruitful. Writing is not about word count, it is about making each word important and integral to the story.

I always start my long-format fiction in flash style. I think of it as splashing paint on a canvas. It’s not meant to be perfect, or even coherent. It’s an experiment to see if the characters and plot have potential. The more you write, the more you cast off. There’s nothing wrong with that. Always seeking the perfect first draft is guaranteed to make it impossible to ever finish anything. Imperfection is not only inevitable, but essential to editing.

What I call a first draft is a misnomer. Before I submit a piece of fiction, long or short, the manuscript has normally been ‘edited’ by myself at least a dozen times. I swap chapters, change tenses, substitute narrative for dialog and vice-versa. My style, my voice, has developed into exploring the emotional bonds we create and the consequences of our actions. I don’t fill in the background normally; the physical aspects of the characters, the detailed clothing or places they inhabit. I enjoy reading books that do so, but for me, as a writer, I don’t think in those terms when creating.

A good editor partners with the author by taking that first draft, reading it, then breaking it down into various components. Keep. Change. Discard. While ultimately the decision remains with the author, by explaining the whys, an editor guides the prose into becoming stronger and better. The mantra, “If it makes a better book, any change is good”, is very helpful in taking personality and emotion out of the process. Which leads back to the title of this post.

The truth about editing, is that it is extremely difficult and fraught with feeling: if you allow yourself to believe your first draft is perfect. It’s not. It’s only a starting point. Having other eyes read your work can be intimidating, but the payoff can be a spectacular result.

Happy writing,

Byron Cane

Looking for a quirky Valentine’s gift?

Why not download your own free copy of the first several thousand words of my novella, The Case of the Disciplined Valentine, at this link to Instafreebie? Did I mention it’s free? When you and your sweetheart fall in love with Sir MacRath and his naughty Valentine, Phoebe, you can then purchase the entire novella at Amazon for only .99 cents on or around the 5th of February.

Forget the chocolates, red roses and itchy lingerie. Give the gift of submission and bring some heat to Valentine’s Day this year.

The Case of the Disciplined Valentine
The Case of the Disciplined Valentine

This is a short excerpt, included in the Instafreebie, when Phoebe bumps into — literally — Sir Fang for the first time. He’s not known by that address, you’ll have to read the entire novella to found out when and where he is tagged with the nickname.

As the youngest of four, and the only girl, she readily admitted to being spoiled. However, it wasn’t as if she was going to elope with the local butcher. Phoebe knew her duty and eagerly looked forward to her second Season. If, that is, her father would allow sufficient allowance for what he called ‘fripperies and nonsense’.

Minor gentry, they lived comfortably but hardly aspired to the lofty heights of the truly noble elite. A second or third son of a Viscount would be more than acceptable to a Baronet’s daughter. She had spent the morning circulating the shops, counting pennies to avoid furthering her father’s ire.

Still fuming about the threatened punishment, she didn’t notice the pedestrian in her path. It seemed the last straw.
Clumsy oaf she was set to retort — most unladylike — when she gazed upon her captor and was enraptured by a face whose masculine beauty took her voice.
Pale silver eyes floated above sharp chiseled cheekbones.
Stark black hair slicked back from a high forehead.
Lips glistened the color of full ripe strawberries.
Oh, my. His skin is ethereal. Her hand lifted of its own accord to caress.
The stranger captured her wayward fingers and repeated his inquiry.
“No,” she gushed in blatant admiration. “I am uninjured, sir. Thank you for saving me. I am indebted to you.”
Set to her feet, she could only watch in helpless adoration as the tall, beautiful stranger walked out of her life without a single backward glance.

 

Oh… bite me

A little over a year ago, I had a novella published in the Lust in Lace anthology. My novella in that publication is called, Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine. With only some minor changes [A sidebar, in nearly every book, magazine and newspaper I read, I find typographical and grammatical errors. My story was no exception.] Clarion Press is republishing my novella very soon as a standalone story with both some narrative changes and a brand-new title. Without further ado, may I present the first — hopefully of many — Sir Fang Stories.

“The Case of the Disciplined Valentine”

The Case of the Disciplined Valentine
The Case of the Disciplined Valentine

 

State of Writing

It’s been awhile since I last posted here. Too long, in fact. I could blame the holidays and working full-time, but I won’t. The truth is I got lazy and then decided — in retrospect — that is was a much needed sabbatical.

For me, writing has never been a burning passion. Must. Write. Now. That’s not me. It’s not to say I don’t have ideas and plots whirling around my head, I do, but I prefer to wait until the concepts become clearer; rather than jotting down every scrap that bubbles through the daily chaos. I need serenity in order to create. Calm yields prose.

I have dialed back posting on my other blog, Spank Me Hard… Please?, and am only posting four drabbles a week of The Bumhampton Chronicles and the Wicked Wednesday prompts.

As 2018 gathers steam however, there are several other projects that are in process. The first is a novel, Kismet of Submission, which I have recently finished editing from flash fiction episodes on my blog, into a beta draft as a long-form novel. You can still read the original first two posts by clicking this link, but the other episodes were removed from public viewing. My plan is have a completed draft of 90-100k words by the fall, in order to submit the manuscript for possible publication. If you would like join my group of beta readers, you may comment on this post, or send me an email by using the Contact Form on this blog. I am seeking feedback, comments and critiques on Kismet of Submission and all viewpoints are welcome.

In the meanwhile, the next fiction of mine to be published in ereader format, will be the novella, The Case of the Disciplined Valentine. This has been published before; it was part of the Lust in Lace anthology in January, 2017. In the anthology, the title is Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine, but I have changed the title in order to bring the novella into line with other future works. The Case of the Disciplined Valentine will be published in several weeks by Clarian Press. Stay tuned for the cover reveal, excerpts and ordering information. There is a page on Clarian Press, click here, with extra content. The novella itself, is only slightly different from the anthology, but you can purchase either or both for your collection.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, this is Byron Cane.