Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Patreon news

I have paused my Patreon page. As I feared when I started it, I am not able to keep it up. If you are a Patron of mine you will not be charged for this month. I have it set to resume in June, but as of right now I can't make any promises. My apologies.

If you remove your Patronage, I will completely understand.

Thanks,

Mercy

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Change of Plans. or SNAFU

So, remember the book I started for NaNoWriMo? The one I planned to publish in early January. Then February... then March... meh, haven't finished it in mid April. Dragging out forever and ever and EVER! That book?

I have to regretfully say that it kicked my ass and it still isn't finished. It's sitting at around 80,000 words. And you just don't throw away a 75% finished book. But, it seriously kicked my ass and it's given me fits and I just want to throw it away and pretend it never happened.

DRAMATIC SIGHS!

It's not a bad story. It might even be a great story. I don't know. I can't judge my own work. I hate most all of it. (Little secret, most writer's do)!

The problem is, this story is nothing like anything I've ever written. And I'm world building for a planned four book series. Yes, I know. Me and the series... always a fiasco waiting to happen. And seriously this is completely... not a romance. And there's no sex to speak of. And book two will be all sex. And... it's set a Christmas. Okay it starts in November and goes through January 6th, hence the title, Epiphany. It's sort of a Christmas story. And even if I get those last twenty thousand words finished this month I won't have this story ready to publish until closer to July. So....

I'm setting Epiphany aside for a while. I'm going to publish it in November, with all the other million plus Christmas books. And maybe I'll have book two ready to go in March to coincide with it's planned holiday. Christmas, St. Pat's, Independence, and Halloween. The four seasons series. Or something extra corny. Epiphany, Slainte, Liberty, and Hallowed. I did not plan to end up with a series when I started this book. I didn't plan to world build. I didn't plan to set up a multi character story arch. That shit just happened.

So... what's up next from me?
Fuck if I know. Not Blindsided. I still plan to start writing that in the last half of the year.

I think I want to do a series of shorts stories. Not connected series as in A series. Just a bunch of short stories in a row. Or something. I have short story issues. My first chapters are usually the length of other people's novels.... so.

Eh.

Not good news. But... maybe not bad news either.

I'll keep you updated.

I live in the deep south and have seen snow the sum total of... counts fingers... does that one time sitting at McDonalds where it snowed for five minutes and stopped count? er... less than ten times. And I write a ton of books set in winter. I rarely do summer stories. So... let's do summer stories. Watch it blizzard at the beach in July in one of them.

Because what's a Mercy book without a freak snowstorm. AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I DO THAT! Didn't realize I did until it was pointed out to me.

So... well... yeah... sighs.

Sorry.

Mercy

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Book Spotlight: LAGNIAPPE

Did you know I wrote a sequel to Behind Iron Lace?

I did.

In 2016. I added it to the back of Behind Iron Lace when I self published that book. Hence, the title.

Lagniappe is a Cajun word that means a little something extra. A gift.

I meant it to be a gift.

Of course, I didn't know at the time that was a ToS violation at Amazon. Adding a second complete book that is not listed as part of a bundle. So, once I learned I could potentially have my seller's account stripped I split the two stories apart and had new matching covers made.

Lagniappe, tho, remained Lagniappe, even tho it was no longer a gift. Because, it is a little something extra.
Caleb and Darcy in the PNW at Christmas.

Lagniappe is short, and hot, and maybe a little bittersweet, but it ties Caleb and Darcy up with a nice big red ribbon.

On sale for $1.99. And free on Kindle Unlimited. If you didn't know... now you do. If you lost the sequel when Amazon updated the Behind Iron Lace file, now's your chance to get it cheap.

Cover art by Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art

Available exclusively at Amazon until June 3rd. Also available in paperback. 
Also, in case you didn't know, if you buy the print through amazon you can get the ebook for free on all of my books, except Long Way.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Once more for those in the back! Sensual-Erotic-Erotica-Porn

I have been sick this week. Sinus and cold and unable to focus. So, I kinda missed the whole rank stripping thing over at Amazon in the beginning.

Late yesterday, I noticed that one of my books had been stripped of rank and categorized as Erotica. That's one out of 25. And not one of the MM. One of my three MF books. The erotic one.

But wait, you just said it's erotic? So... what's the problem? And what's the rank stripping thing anyway?

Well, the rank stripping thing, yeah, I don't know. The book didn't have the line "Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #------ paid in kindle store (see top 100 paid in kindle store)" ... that all books have. It did have categories with ranking in those categories. All erotica. I didn't list the book in any erotica or erotic romance categories. I didn't have any erotica tags on the book. The cover is not naked. It's two people embracing. I have dirtier MM books. I have the ranking line back. But the book is still categorized in all erotica categories.

And if you didn't know, Amazon suppresses erotica categories and has for years. Books in suppressed categories are only searchable by using exact title and author. They will not show up in 'also bought' recommendations. Or in generic searches. And books in suppressed categories are not eligible for any type of Amazon promotion.

Essentially, Amazon isn't saying they don't publish erotica, but they do make it damned hard to find. They put it in the backroom that says private, adults only, and make it hard to find.

And the thing is, Sunny with a Chance isn't even erotica. It is erotic romance. Most of my books are erotic romance. So, why was that one book singled out? There are no girly bits showing. There's nothing on the cover. The blurb is generic. I don't get it. I have fully nude men on two covers in MM. No peen. But still fully nude. Still in the categories I have them listed in.

Did they not include MM this time, because they feared a backlash, like last time they hid all the gay content books. Long time ago. Around the time Paypal decided to drop any service that carried sex books. So, about five years ago-ish.

I've written about the differences in sex content in romance before. Recently too.

So, let's talk about how Romance Writers of America defines sex content in romance novels. One more time.

Traditional, sweet, inspirational: When you see any of these terms in regard to a romance novel, it means there will not be any on page sex. Traditional might have some sexual content, but for the most part it's not graphic. It might be closed door sex. Or off page. If the sex is on page, it's very quick, and not written in a way to make one uncomfortable if sex is not your thing. Think prime time network television love scene. Kissy face. Cut to commercial. Sheets pulled up to neck the morning after, was it good for you. Sweet, is exactly that. It's sweet romance. There's no sex. None. It's a meet cute and a happy ever after running off on the honeymoon and the reader is not invited for the getting it on part. And inspirational... well, it's religious. And covers other things like Amish and... Amish romance is a thing people. I just.... anyway moving on.

Sensual romance: there is sex in sensual romance. On page sex. It can be anything from a basic later than prime time network television love scenes to quite steamy. But it isn't graphic. It's usually short. The sex is not part of the plot. There's no graphic body parts. The prose might drift a bit to purple, or maybe you know, lavender, if not quite purple. But there's no dick sucking or clitoral nibbling or double penetration or... well, it's sex light. No one says cock.

Then we get into erotic romance. Erotic romance is graphic. It runs in degrees from sensual, with more graphic wordage. Cock and pussy might not be the go to words. But they're not innuendoed into non existence. The scenes are longer. Steamier. Messier. Could be full on hard core graphic. The point of erotic romance, that separates it from erotica, is that the sex is between people who are seeking a Happy Ever After. I'd say a couple, but you can have HEAs in poly romances. Sex is not the plot. It's part of the plot. It's not what drives the story, but it is deeply rooted in the story. And in the end the participants will have a happy ever after ending, or happy for now, in the event of a series.

Which brings us to erotica: Erotica is not really romance. It can be. Ellora's Cave copyrighted the term Romantica. Erotica is stories about sex. Sex is the whole purpose of the story. Sex, full graphic detail sex. There is no guarantee of fidelity in erotica. There is no happy ever afters. There is nothing but sex. Not to be confused with porn. There is a romantic element to erotica. Erotica is more empowering than romantic. A couple who wants a third. Someone wants to experiment without commitment. It's your one night stands. Your erotic fantasies. There is no ring at the end. All parties go away satisfied. The words are graphic. The sex is graphic. It's about sex. Only sex.

And then there's porn.

RWA doesn't define porn. Amazon doesn't define porn. Amazon doesn't define much of anything beyond 'they'll know it when they see it', and yes, that is exactly what they say in their TOS under things they don't allow. We'll know it when we see it. And that is a broad definition. One person's porn is another person's comedy. I mean, we call decadent food pictures food porn. Porn is in the eye of the beholder. Romance, plain old regular traditional sweet romance is considered porn by some standards. But, what exactly is porn in the romance world? I would hazard the guess that anything that falls outside of a safe, loving, scene into pure exploitation would be porn. Have I crossed that boundary? Depends on on your definition. I'd say I have. But I haven't published anything, including the twincest, that I would consider porn. Have I written something that I would define as porn? Absolutely.

I don't like rape fantasy. I have an incest kink. I have a forced orgasm kink. I have written underage sex. I don't like bondage, beyond a little light tie me up and spank me. I love light bondage with edging play. Doesn't mean that I practice any of this in my real life. I've explored porn. Written and otherwise. You'll find elements of all of that in my work. Especially edging and forced orgasm.I have written non-con. I'll write non-con again. If it fits the story. I don't write it to titillate. And that right there is how I define porn. What is beyond standard erotica confines, meant to titillate, but is not romantic. It's just fucking for fucking sake.

Hope this helps anyone who doesn't understand the differences.

Mercy

Sunday, March 18, 2018

About Blindsided one more time

I think I've had fifteen questions just today asking when Blindsided is coming.

I've written blog posts and updates and facebook posts and everything I could to let you know when.
I have it on my late 2018 schedule.

If you read the first chapter excerpt at the end of Diva you know that Levi will lose his mother. I killed her. She was already lost to them but she is now officially dead. Blindsided is about loss. It always has been.

I started writing Blindsided in late 2015 and put it aside because I had too much story to tell. I wrote Bootleg Diva and Last Man Standing to fill in the back story that I was not going to be able to fit into the final book.

I had planned to finish the story after Last Man Standing came out in 2016. By the way, if you haven't read that book, you will be lost when Blindsided comes out. Sully is incredibly important to the final story. He is not just a miscellaneous character, and neither is Rafa.

My mother passed away shortly after I published Last Man Standing.
I am still, fifteen months later, struggling with her death, her estate, the family drama that is killing me. I'd love to say that yes, I've grieved. I haven't. I'm still so bitterly angry about so much that grief is not ever going to be possible.

I have not been in a good headspace to write a book about a man who lost his neglectful, alcoholic, victim of his father's abuse--mother. When every part of that character is me dealing with my own neglectful, abusive mother issues.

I'm hoping to finish Epiphany soon. It's not something most of you will buy. Or like. Or care about. Just something I wanted to write. I'd like to write something happy and light and fluffy before I tackle Blindsided. But the last attempt at happy, light, and fluffy was not welcome.

So, really, there was little interest in Bootleg Diva, less interest in Last Man Standing, and no interest at all in Any Given Sunday... is this passive aggressive? Sort of. I do apologize. But I have not been in a hurry to make myself bleed for that story when the last three books in the series combined haven't even sold five thousand copies. Offside Chance has sold twenty-four thousand copies by itself, Six Ways more than that, and Sidelined might one day cross the twenty thousand mark.

So, for the roughly sixteen hundred of you who have read each of the final three books. I'm hoping by the end of the year. If not published by then, at least finished.

Thanks for hanging in there. Sorry for the curtness.

Mercy

Thursday, March 15, 2018

To Share or Not to Share

I made a decision at the end of 2017 to make a major change.

I am still not sure if I am doing the right thing. It's not going to matter much in the grand scheme of things... but it might. I don't know.

It's not life ending drastic or massively earth shattering, this change. But it is probably going to be controversial. I don't know. Perception of others is never predictable.

I decided to change the covers on the four main Southern Scrimmage books.

I have to admit that this has left me feeling guilty, and sad. I actually might not change Six Ways, but... sighs.... I had to reformat Offside Chance. I formatted the print version wrong and it's nearly twice the size it should be. I could have asked the original artist to resize the spine. And I seriously considered doing just that.

Then I read through it and even after two full edits I still found terrible mistakes.

So I sent it for a third round... okay, just an intense proofreading. And there might still be some issues. I'm not changing anything. I haven't rewritten anything, even to fix inconsistencies in the timeline. I left all of that. And yes, there are several inconsistencies in the timelines of the first three books. I did a major retcon of the timeline and set the definitive timelines in Bootleg Diva, for Levi and Jude, and in Any Given Sunday for Bo and Dylan... which matches Levi's timeline. Last Man Standing was written immediately after Diva and has the correct timeline. I have a huge spreadsheet now with everyone's timelines and birth dates and when they played and when they met and when whatever happened. I didn't mean to have timeline discrepancies in the originals, but shit happens. I also didn't intend for this to be a series. But here we are.

So... 

Announcing the complete re-branding of the Southern Scrimmage Series.

Starting in the middle... because reasons. The first one will be the last one. Because... reasons.

Cover artist: Jay Aheer