MeiLin's blog

For Premium Members: Father Nino answers a question in Ask a Tremontine

  • Posted on: 1 June 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Father Nino has answered a question in the Ask a Tremontine forum available to premium members:

W4069 asks: Some religions go to great lengths to squelch dissenting voices and challenges to religious authority. Other orders are content to let-happen, confident that they're right anyway.

Is Tremontine theology open to interpretation and debate, or does somebody keep a close hand on permissible beliefs? Do commoners have prayer books, or must you go to a priest to get your spiritual fix?

Prayer books? Everyone has the prayers memorized. Why would anyone write them down. The Sagas, on the other hand...well, those who can afford them have copies, of course, and the rest can't read anyway, so why would they?

Enjoy.

Gulch updates

  • Posted on: 1 June 2011
  • By: MeiLin

As you may have seen Scryer's Gulch updated today, for the first time in a couple of months. I've been beating my head against book two, and now that I'm taking a Netta-imposed break I figured I'd fill the hours with a little bit of Gulch. I have one episode in the scheduler for next week, one that should be done for the week after, and then it may--I say *may*--go on hiatus after that again. I want to get as many Gulch eps in the hopper before I go back on a break.

Open Letter to Audible

  • Posted on: 27 May 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Dear Audible.com,

I realize, having managed a tech support department myself, that users are often Lusers. Nevertheless, I am not fantasizing when I say that SOMEONE at Audible.com knows how to authorize a Sansa Clip MP3 player from a Mac--without iTunes. REALLY. Because someone did it before with our last Sansa Clip from a Mac. Which means someone can do it again.

The poor little gal trying to help me tonight did her best--it's not her fault--but I'm very disappointed that Audible.com cares so little about its non-Windows customers. Don't give me that "we can't support all platforms." Macs are not unusual. Non-iPod MP3 players are not unusual. I'm not asking you to authorize a freakin' Otis from a Linux box. (I have an Otis. I've been with Audible that long.) I'm asking for help authorizing the very un-exotic Sansa Clip from a very un-exotic MacBook.

I would love it if someone at Audible could help me with this. The poor little gal took my email address and said you'd write if you discovered something. I'm not optimistic--not because it can't be done, BECAUSE IT CAN. I just doubt the company cares at this point.

Sincerely,
Me

In which I decide to stop pulling out my hair

  • Posted on: 24 May 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Some news:

1. I'm taking a short break from working on book two. I'm at the point where I've lost focus and I'm banging my head against the wall. By "short" I mean a week or two, just long enough for things to settle down and for me to find my way out of the labyrinth and back on the road. I'm a long ways into things. I'm not talking about ditching the whole damn thing, I'm talking about focus.

Part of what I need to UNfocus on is my own expectations for book two. Good reviews are starting to pile up--RAVE reviews--and yesterday I woke up to something astonishing: Someone had gotten the book for free, stayed up all night reading it and went and sent me the $5 the book normally costs even though she legally got the book for free.

This puts pressure on a girl.

2. I'm going to work on some other stuff in the interim as a way to clear my head.

3. One of those things I am pretty sure will be the story of Finnia, which was a bonus story Back In The Day. This will be released as an ebook short as well as put in the Patron area.

4. Speaking of which, I'll be putting up "The Gratification Engine" in the Patron area pretty quick here--today or tomorrow. Should have put it up there to begin with, I apologize, patrons. If any of you want your $$ back, let me know and I'll refund. Happy to do it.

5. One of the other things I'm strongly considering picking up again is the Gulch. Right now it's stopped at the April Fools piece and it's giving people the impression that's the end of the serial. aaaaaaghitsaysaprilfoolsrightonitwtf...

So that's where I am and that's what's going on. Love you all madly.

Two 4-star reviews in one week!

  • Posted on: 19 May 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Boy, this has been a week of good reviews. First, Indie Paranormal Reviews gave "Lovers and Beloveds" four stars, and then today Frida Fantastic Indie Speculative Fiction Reviews essentially raved:

If George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series captures the gritty realism of medieval history, Lovers and Beloveds reveals the intimate and personal dynamics of power in aristocracies. It weaves together a rich multi-layered story that explores how sex and power shape history and individual destiny—sharing a perspective that’s beyond the “men, swords, and thrones” (capital "H") history that’s often seen in fantasy. ...

The prose is lush and beautiful, which perfectly reflects the aristocratic steampunk world that Temmin lives in. The setting is fascinating and could be described as a fusion of Victorian England with Classical Greece. The narrative draws you in quickly and immerses you in life in the royal court. ...

Since most of the conflict revolves around Temmin’s personal development, it does follow a spoiled royal heir for over 400 pages, which understandably may not be for everyone. But I found him to be so well characterized and endearing that none of that mattered to me. I find it refreshing to see characters that are such a clear product of their upbringing and personal history. ...

This is an intelligent, insightful, and beautiful fantasy novel. I highly recommend Lovers and Beloveds. The term “fantasy erotica” can’t describe the depth of this work. Even if you don’t think this subgenre is for you, I urge you to read the sample anyway and see if it draws you in. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Yikes! Thanks, Frida!

A Request: Please Tag My Books on Amazon

  • Posted on: 15 May 2011
  • By: MeiLin

It has been brought to my attention at Kindleboards that having your books tagged at Amazon increases your visibility. So I'm askin': Please tag my books! Smile

I especially need "Lovers and Beloveds" tagged with "Jacqueline Carey" and "Kushiel." I've heard "If you love Kushiel, you'll love this!" enough times that I'm starting to believe it. So if you could tag the paperback and the Kindle book I'd be extremely grateful. Sales of all my books have ground to a complete halt, and I need to do everything I can.

Reaching the Kushiel Audience

  • Posted on: 13 May 2011
  • By: MeiLin

I've been told over and over that my work appeals to readers of Jacqueline Carey. I've been told this so many times I'm beginning to believe it, even though I've never read any of her books.

So here's what I'm wondering: If you're a Jacqueline Carey fan, how did you first hear about her? Are there any places JC fans hang out? How do you think I might get word out to her fans about my books? As always, I appreciate you guys more than you'll ever know. You are my "army." Smile

Today from mah witch: Against Idleness and Mischief

  • Posted on: 21 April 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Every few months on BPAL.org we do a "secret Santa"-type gift exchange called Switch Witch. I did it for the first time this round, and my wonderful witch stellans sent me a WHOLE bunch of imps, decants and partial bottles from my wish list.

One of the imps she sent me was from the Mad Tea Party section of the general catalog, a scent I've wanted to try called Against Idleness and Mischief:

Pollen-dusted honey, diligent tonka, steadfast chamomile, and goodly hyssop.

In the imp, I smell honey and pollen and almost nothing else. The slightest hint of chamomile, way in the back a dusky bit of the tonka. As it dries, the honey really intensifies (as usual, I "amp" honey) and stays very pollen-y; it smells like a honey-dipped flower, maybe a honey-dipped daisy. And it stays that way all day. It's been on for eight hours now and it's almost as strong as when applied.

I like it a lot, VA less so. If someone sent me a partial I wouldn't be sad. Smile

Hard writing

  • Posted on: 13 April 2011
  • By: MeiLin

I hope I can talk about this without spoilers or too much conjecture:

I just wrote the pivotal scene in book two. It's a scene that I have dreaded writing since I outlined the book. I thought of every way to avoid it, but after a long talk with Netta I knew it's what had to happen.

I have danced around this scene with an adroitness I didn't know I possessed. I have put it off, distracted myself, written around it. Over time the writing began to circle closer and closer to it, like one of those funnels you drop a coin into. Yesterday morning the coin finally fell. I woke up with the scene in my head. I started crying.

I wrote the scene yesterday. I spent today editing and expanding it. I've cried off and on throughout. To get this miserable about things I've made up in my head strikes me as a sign that perhaps I really am mad. But there it is.

I'm more than halfway through the book; because of this scene I've been writing out of order, and now that it's finally written I feel that things are falling into place. I just wish they didn't have to fall into place like this. But they do.

The Truth about Cotrill and Bercegeay, Revealed at Last

  • Posted on: 1 April 2011
  • By: MeiLin

For years now, the Internet has wondered about the real story behind Charissa "Char" Cotrill and Erica "Irk" Bercegeay, the enigmatic writing team behind that Internet sensation, The Peacock King. Who are they? Are the rumors true? We've all heard them:

  1. They're simply two women who've been friends, collaborators and sometimes roommates for years now.
  2. Irk is really a man.
  3. Irk is really a man and Char is his wife.
  4. Irk is really a woman and she's gay-married to Char.
  5. They're the really the same person. "Char" is actually a sockpuppet of Irk. Irk may or may not know she has a sockpuppet.
  6. The real person behind both "Char" and "Irk" is a lonely Air Force flunky in Korea with an illegal internet connection.
  7. "Char," "Irk" and the guy in Korea really are three people in a threesome and they're threeway gay-married.

And those are just the most popular allegations.

It's easy to dismiss all but the sixth as crackpot, delusional fantasies. But it turns out that the truth is even more disturbing than Char and Irk simply being friends.

My quest of discovery began with a jolt. We've all seen the pictures of "Char," especially this one:

I needed a cover for my YA paranormal romance urban fantasy Jane Austen mash-up book of vampire love poetry, "How Do I Bite Thee, Let Me Count the Ways (Ah-Ah-Ahhh)." I was searching through iStockphoto when I ran across this:

Needless to say, I was both shocked and intrigued. I also wanted to negotiate down the rights. Damn, they wanted a lot for that thing.

Upon confronting "Char" with this evidence, I was given an address in suburban Portland, Oregon. My completely not fictional life partner warned me not to go, but I wanted to get to the bottom of it--maybe this alleged Air Force guy was really in the Oregon National Air Guard and only pretending to be in Korea. The people deserved to know.

The address led me through a confusing maze of subdivisions and condo developments until I realized MapQuest had given me directions in Portland, Maine. When I finally arrived, the front door was open; I pulled my phone out of my pocket and cautiously entered the condo.

What I saw was more horrible than you can imagine. I had time only to snap this image before fleeing:

That's right, "Char" and "Irk" have been Rosie Grier all along, Rosie Grier still with the severed head of Ray Milland attached to his shoulder, which would explain why Ray Milland is dead but not why he and Rosie want to pretend to be two writers on the Internet. Two women is understandable, especially if they're pretending to be two women in Second Life (everyone else does). Two writers is not.

Does having two heads qualify as gay-married? I totally think it does.

Spreadshirt coupon! Buy that Subtext tee you've been wanting!

  • Posted on: 24 March 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Have you been wanting one of these:

Wait no more! It's $10 off $50 purchase now through 4/4/11 with coupon codes SPRING2011 or CADSPRING2011 (the last for my Canadian buddies). Tees, tanks and more in tons of colors, with other designs available as well. You can see these tees in action here, like these pics of Official Spokesmodel Stormy in her Kraken tee and Applejax in her Warrior tee:

You've got till April 11!

B&N Strips Romance/Vaguely Erotic Indie Titles of Samples

  • Posted on: 3 March 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Barnes and Noble is stripping samples from romance/erotica titles--but only if they're by indie authors. If you publish via their service PubIt!, they're stripping off your sample. Traditional publishers are unaffected. There was no announcement or anything. They just did it.

I verified this: They took down the samples of both "Lovers and Beloveds" and "The Gratification Engine," neither of which were at all off-color. This explains why I sell so few books at B&N. Books without samples don't sell, especially books by indies.

So fine, B&N, I'll put up my own damn samples. I used the book's description to include (again, no off-color) samples of both. Neener.

News for 2-17-11: Price drop and interview

  • Posted on: 17 February 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Have you been waiting to buy a copy of "Lovers and Beloveds?" It's now $2.99 across the board no matter where you buy it:

Direct (best for me, immediate download, 4 most popular formats: Kindle/mobi, Nook/epub, pdf, Sony/lrf)

Kindle store (downloaded directly to your device in Kindle/mobi format)

Barnes & Noble (Nook/epub)

Smashwords (All of the above formats plus html, Palm/pdb, rtf)

$2.99 is less than a mocha. Think about it.

And! I'm the Kindle Author of the Day. Read the interview, where I say such scintillating things as:

As an independent, it's hard to find people to review my books; the prejudices against self-published writers are still very strong in the review community, no matter how good the book is. I have a psychic friend who told me the book was going to do very, very well, and that I had to stop looking at PR as a mountain to climb, but rather a mountain to go around. Consequently, I've turned to my readers for help, and they've given it to me.

Hard at work on this bonus smut story, featuring Allis, Anda, a young Postulant Scholar, and a prototype Oscillating Apparatus based on a real life one from the turn of the 20th century. It should go up within the next few days at all the usual suspect outlets, priced 99 cents--free in the Patron section here for subscribers.

A Particular Kind of Medical Bill (updated x2)

  • Posted on: 12 February 2011
  • By: MeiLin

[2nd update: The fundraiser is over, for both sorts of medical bills. The fragment is now behind the patron wall, and I'm writing a bonus story that will go up in its place as a fundraiser. I really only wanted the fragment up there for a bit. Thanks to everyone who helped!]

You've probably seen that I'm running an odd little fundraiser to help pay off some medical bills. I have a particular one that has just popped up:

My Hitachi Magic Wand has died.

*Cue organist* It was ten years old, so that's hardly surprising.

So why is this a medical bill? I'm hysterical without one, that's why. (Ask your womenfolk. They would be too.) Plus also, research, people.

So I'm writing a new bonus story that you'll be able to buy separately for 99 cents; it'll be up in the Patrons area, too. I need to sell about 50 of them to pay for the new Hitachi. Stay tuned, it should be both germane and funny.

UPDATE: Apparently the best way to get help for medical bills is to say you need sex toys. Less than three hours after I posted this I had nearly half the funds and we went ahead and hied ourselves off to ye olde locally owned female-centric sex toy shoppe. The rest of the funds--plus--were in Paypal by this morning. That's HILARIOUS! You people crack me up. Smile

The remainder is going to the more boring medical bills. (Can haz universal health care nao plz?) I'm working on the bonus story presently. Thank you!

Rose & Bay Fiction Awards voting is open (update)

  • Posted on: 1 February 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Boy, I'm just full of news these days. The Rose & Bay Awards for crowdfunded projects has opened for voting, and golly, you can vote for me there! I came in second last year to Cecilia Tan's "Daron's Guitar Chronicles," hardly a shameful thing, and the cool thing is it introduced me to her. She's the publisher at Circlet Press, which has bought two stories from me.

So anyway, vote for me! Biggrin

UPDATE: The original link was wrong; if you used it, you have to vote again. Sad

It's Official: "Lovers and Beloveds" Best Erotic Novel 2010 P&E Readers Poll

  • Posted on: 1 February 2011
  • By: MeiLin

Thanks to everyone who voted for "Lovers and Beloveds" in the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll, I won for Best Erotic Novel. I'm kinda surprised, frankly--not because I don't think I've got a decent book, but because LaB falls in such a weird area: not quite fantasy, not quite erotica. I'll take it anyway. It confers nothing but bragging rights (and this handsome graphic), but I'll take those too! Off to update all my various blurbs.

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