Last week my work was rough, to say the least. By the time I was done with the day, I could hardly think. I barely wrote anything for most of it, and when the weekend hit, I couldn’t bring myself to write at all.
Admittedly, I was a little sick, too. I then became VERY sick by Tuesday because I pushed my body too hard. Again.
Plus, that Diablo IV Beta dropped on the old Xbox and I got a little caught up in it. I’m personally surprised. In fact, part of me is thinking I want to convince my husband to buy it for me in June when it launches. He’s on the fence, but I think it would take only a suggestive wink to swing him to my side. Of course, my dear sweet rogue, Thana, is no more so I’ll have to start over from the beginning. Ah well.
I didn’t want to do a full blog this time around since I’m still recovering from being sick plus mentally exhausted. I’ll be back to my usual charming self on Monday. Until next time, Keep your Mind in the Gutter.
via Amazon (available for $14.99 in eBook, $25.20 hardback)
Enter the dark and sensual realms of the Black Jewels in this sweeping story in the New York Times bestselling fantasy saga of three young women who must navigate life within the powerful SaDiablo family—and come to terms with Witch, the Queen who is still the heart and will of that family.
The Queen’s price is to stand against what you know is wrong. To stand and fight, no matter the cost to your court or to yourself. Especially to yourself.
Zoey, a young Queen-in-training at SaDiablo Hall, is wounded…and vulnerable to taunts and criticism. When an opportunity arises to befriend a stranger seeking sanctuary at the Hall, she puts herself and others in danger by ignoring Daemonar Yaslana’s warning to back off.
Meanwhile, the witch Jillian’s family prepares for her Virgin Night, the rite of passage that assures a woman will retain her power and her Jewels. The trouble is Jillian secretly went through the ceremony already. Now she has to explain the omission of that detail to her powerful and lethal family. And the High Lord of Hell’s daughter, Saetien, travels to Scelt to find out about Jaenelle Angelline’s sister—and perhaps to discover truths about herself.
With some guidance from Witch, these three young women will learn when to yield because it is right—and when to take a stand, even if they must pay the Queen’s price.
And may the Darkness be merciful, a new novel in Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series dropped on 3/7/23. The Queen’s Price is number 12 overall and takes place centuries after The High Lord’s Daughter in Twilight’s Dawn. I’m not sure if it’s officially called this, but The Queen’s Price is the third book in the Queen series. There are four storylines being followed.
Saetian and the Search for Her Truth
As far as teenage characters go, Saetian has been a complete asshole. I know most people are assholes at that point in her life, but damn. At least in this story, she calms down a bit. In order for her to learn more about herself, a broken black widow points her in the direction of Wilhemina Benedict, Jaenelle Angelline’s half-sister. This leads her to Scelt, where she encounters Butler, a demon-dead Warlord who has stories to tell her, though he is reluctant to do so.
Daemon Sadi’s School of Witchcraft and Foolery
Welp, Daemon has already stepped into his father’s role of High Lord, and might as well pick up the mantle of Honorary Uncle to a bunch of teenagers who will come into power. At the end of The Queen’s Weapons, Daemon agrees to take in some youngsters set to become the next rulers of Kaeleer. This, of course, is not without its drama.
Most of the tale focuses on young Queens and Witches who have zero common sense and start a whole lot of problems.
The New Cat in Town
A powerful witch, Grizande from Tigre, shows up on the Hall’s doorstep, seeking sanctuary. Naturally, Daemon and crew take her in and protect her. She instantly has a connection with Daemonar Yaslana, which may the Darkness have mercy on poor Lucivar as he keeps collecting children like Pokemon.
Jillian and the Quest for Booty
Jillian….well….what it says. She’s in love with a young man and wants to be intimate with him. Of course, this means she has to have her Virgin Night to protect her power, which means she has to have the men in her family involved. They have to have a say, of course. Problem is, she already had her Virgin Night…and didn’t tell them. Oy.
Honestly, between The Queen’s Bargain and The Queen’s Weapons, I was sort of falling out of love with the series. I struggled with finding any sort of connection to Saetian since she just annoyed the hell out of me. Plus, I felt like Surreal had to be butchered in order for all this to go down, which I’m not for.
Luckily, The Queen’s Price brought things more into perspective. I feel like I understand some of the characters better. However, the cast is getting way overloaded. There are a lot of new folks I just don’t care about. Especially all the youngsters in Daemon’s School of Witchcraft and Foolery. None of them seem to have real personalities. Even Zoey, who isn’t bad, per se, but she’s just kind of blah. The only new kid I find interesting is Grizande.
What really brings the whole thing down is a lack of a concrete villain. In every book, it’s some petty girl causing stupid shit. I need someone powerful and scary and makes me want to throw my book when they pop up in the story. There’s nothing driving me to root for the good guys except my love for some of them.
I must say, I’m intrigued by how the different bloodlines of Jaenelle’s former coven are coming together. I can’t wait to see what it means for Kaeleer’s future.
Our feelings towards the story
I love the BJS so much, I dragged my husband into it. He has also read all the books now and we enjoy talking about the story together. Damn right, baby. That’s how love should work, lol. So this is not a “Royal We” situation! Here are our feelings about this newest addition to the series.
Things we loved: Brenda. She’s a fiery lass from Scelt who brings a lot of fun and humor into the story. I love the friendship blossoming between her and Jillian. I can’t wait to see what happens going forward.
Things we liked: We’re happy that some of the gaps in the story were filled in. It was interesting reading what happened between Jaenelle Angelline and her sister after the fact, something that had been on my mind for YEARS.
Things we didn’t like: Some of the storylines didn’t go anywhere and just felt like they were setting up stuff for other books instead of being self-contained. Which, really, is generally fine, but there were too many this time around. Also, Jillian’s whole thing could have been a part of a collection of stories similar to Dreams Made Flesh and Twilight’s Dawn. It just didn’t fit.
Things we hated: We feel like Wilhelmina’s character was butchered! The end of The Queen of the Darkness gave us no indication bad blood happened. She’d finally gotten a spine and sought out Jaenelle, and then…dumbassery occurs. I found it so frustrating.
Petty: I absolutely hated the use of the word “exercised” for worked up. And it’s said…A LOT.
Want to know more about: Saetan’s Cabinet of Curiosities left for his sons. Come on…tell us.
Ultimate Beale review: The Queen’s Price was an enjoyable read, and much better than the last two books, but it just felt like a filler/flashback episode of a tv show. It will wash the taint of the previous two out of your mouth, but it’s not as good as other books in the series. Despite not being quite as good, We’re definitely looking forward to more.
Have you read the book? Let me know in the comments. Until next time, my friend. Keep your Mind in the Gutter.
I have been on fire lately. I’ve managed to write almost every day for the last month or so, and it’s been absolutely amazing. Honestly, I wish I could devote more of my day to writing, but I do have a day job. Hey, maybe someday I’ll hit the lotto and can just spend my days creating new works.
It would help if I actually played the lottery…
Anyway, here are all the new things I’ve been working on.
It’s been rough finally finding a routine that works for me. It’s not perfect by any means, but giving my all to my stories has been a very fulfilling experience. That being said, don’t forget to check back every Monday for a new blog. Next week, I’ll probably write a review of The Queen’s Price by Anne Bishop. I’m praying it makes me less mad than The Queen’s Weapons!
Until next time, my friends. Keep Your Mind in the Gutter!
I’ve been working on a story off and on for the last few years. For the longest time, I called it “Dragon’s Bond,” but at the advice of someone smarter than I am, I have been trying to think up a better name. I can’t say I’m 100% set on this particular title. It is starting to grow on me.
So, what’s it about?
The kingdoms of Ostea and cKustreiland have been at war for 100 years. Now that both kingdoms are on a decline and each has something the other needs for their society, they’ve called a truce. To solidify the peace, the heir of Ostea is set to marry the princess from Kustreiland. As a show of good faith, the countries bring their courts to a central location for the largest festival ever seen.
Armen is the younger of the two Ostean princes. He, like the rest of the court, is excited about this massive meeting. With him is his own betrothed, Demma. Until his brother is wed, he is not able to join in his own union, much to both of their disappointment.
The royal houses go on a hunt during the festival, where they are ambushed by malicious fairies. During tight, Armen finds a woman unconscious in the woods.
She is a dragini, a dragon cursed into human form. He attempts to save her as well as himself from the rogue pixies, however, he is wounded. The dragini woman comes to quickly enough to protect him, but in the process their blood mingles, bonding them in ways they could never imagine.
It’s an intensely intimate connection neither of them can shake off, causing a great deal of friction in relationships around them.
There’s more. A lot more. But this is the gist of how it gets started.
Tidbits of artwork
I was lucky enough to get to play with Dalle 2. I’m not saying how good AI is getting is scary, but…
Here are some images Dalle and I came up with for important characters.
Prince Armen of Ostea
This isn’t totally accurate as to the way I imagine him, but it’s not bad
He has steel gray eyes
He only has a goatee, not a beard
His hair is a lighter shade and is in braids
Armen is very close to his brother, Heygan. Since he’s the spare, he never had as many responsibilities as his older brother. This led to Armen spending a fair bit of time with Demma growing up. Eentually the pair fell in love.
He is a sensitive soul with a kind heart. And he is very inexperienced with lifie beyond the castle walls.
Lady Demma is Armen’s childhood best friends. Since she is the daughter of the high general, Gloin, she spent a great deal of time with the royal family.
She and Armen are deeply in love with each other and can’t wait to get married.
Since she is the daughter of the best general, she’s pretty good in a fight herself.
The picture is pretty accurate, actually. I was really impressed.
Iserri the Dragini
Half transformed between a human and a dragon, Iserri winds up being magically bonded with Prince Armen. It’s against both of their wills and they both hate being bonded together.
I’ll tell you more about the Dragini at a later date. It’s…involved.
Her look isn’t quite right.
Her hair is more like strips of scaled skin
Green skin coated in soft, shimmery scales
Golden serpent eyes.
Probably doesn’t have horns, but after looking at this picture, she very well might going forward.
Pividi, the Dragon Queen
She’s not actually a main character for the story, but I loved how this image turned out, so I wanted to include it.
Pividi is an ancient dragon queen who crowned the warrior Ostea as the king to lead her people. As you may guess, he is one of Armen’s ancestors.
This comes into play during the story.
Writing it all down
I started this for NaNo 2017. Yeah…I should have finished it y now, but I haven’t. It’s being worked on. Luckily, I have a couple of chapters ready to go. I’ll be posting Armen and Iserri’s meeting next time. After that, we’ll see!
Well, I had this whole thing written up about the next “big” project I would be working on for a few months. But then, I got sidetracked by the world of Crimson. That world is like a weed. Just when I think I have it under control, it just finds a spot in my brain and starts to grow.
I’m going to have to blame the good dark fantasy stuff that has come out recently. Between The Sandman and House of the Dragon, I’ve been in a very happy place. I mean, both have given me a mega creativity boost and I’m loving it. I’m not sure how much my husband has been enjoying it, though! I don’t mean to neglect you, Nate!
(On the note of HotD: I was super worried I wouldn’t be into Matt Smith playing Daemon Targaryen, but dude is just Slay-All-Day! He’s no longer just my beloved 11th Doctor and I ain’t mad about it.)
On top of that, I’ve decided to give Amazon Vella a shot. Something about writing in a series kind of feels good. It’s about the brothel that Dena’s aunt owned. So far three episodes are up and the next one is due to drop on the 8th. Episodes 1-3 are free. Amazon gives you 200 free tokens upfront. You could use them to read the 4th episode when it releases hint hint.
I have to say, Vella writers are really friggin’ nice. I joined up on a couple of Facebook pages and everyone is really quick to share and like links. I went from no reads to almost 20 reads in less than an hour. It warmed my heart. I’ll be getting back to my dragon story eventually. Hey, maybe that could be my next Vella project. We’ll have to see.
In the meantime, I’ll be neck-deep into my Crimson stories. Up next will be Hell-Bent which will feature everyone’s favorite blonde devil, Mammon. I have to say, it’s hard getting in the mind of an asshole. WISH ME LUCK!e
You’d think that basically being in charge of love would be an epic job, right? Wrong. Sure, I can blow some Lust into people’s faces and watch the show, but I can’t actually participate. It gets old, trust me. Same goes for love. I can pass it out like sugar-free lollipops at a dentist’s office, but I can’t get any love for myself. It totally sucks.
I used to consider myself a hopeless romantic, so why wouldn’t I choose to become a cupid? Sounds like a good idea, right? Wrong again. They don’t call us stupid cupids for nothing. I’m stuck in this never-ending afterlife where I’m invisible, lonely, and bitter as hell. And yeah, I’m probably responsible for some terrible matchmaking out there. Sorry, not sorry.
All my bad cupid’ing might be why I was exiled from the human realm. You can only do so much before the cupid bosses get all huffy. Unfortunately, my bitterness carried over into the new realm, and then I attacked a fae prince with Love Arrows. Accidentally. Okay, not accidentally. But hey, he deserved it. What I didn’t expect was for him to retaliate and hit my ass with some crazy magic mojo strong enough to push me into the physical realm. Whoa.
That’s right. This cupid just got a real body. And you know what that means…Now, it’s my turn to get some. Love, I mean. Get your head out of the gutter. Wink, wink bitches.
Author’s Note: This is a medium-burn reverse harem story. It includes explicit language and sexual situations. Intended for audiences 18 years and older. As this is a series, there will be a cliffhanger.
Available on Amazon (Kindle) for $3.99 or for free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Smut Rating: (Dirty)
Pleasure Score: (5 out of 5)
Have you ever seen The Good Place? Well, if you haven’t, you definitely should. I ask because Tales of Cupidity gives me the same kind of energy as that show. I know that might sound like a weird explanation, but I honestly can’t think of a better way to put it. It’s smart, well thought out, and vibrant. I found myself laughing out loud more than once, but sometimes it tugged at my heartstrings. Just like TGP.
I went into the story thinking it was just going to be all porn and no plot. Don’t get me wrong, that can be a good thing. In this case, though, the author gives a lot of good foreplay. Like REALLY good. And it leaves you wanting more.
The story is about a Cupid. Yes. Wings, bows and arrows, powers of love and lust. All those things. The downside to being a love-wielding being? She’s invisible to everyone. EVEN TO HERSELF. Our girl, Cupid 1050, is a sassy, rambunctious woman, but with no one to experience her wittiness. For decades, she’s been dolling out the love to humans without so much as a thank you.
Then one day, she gets called into the office. Turns out, she is getting a bit of a promotion. No more human world for her. Now she gets to experience the world of the Fae.
Unfortunately, it’s not all it’s hyped up to be.
Without going into too much detail, due to some wayward magic, she is turned into a corporeal being. Hell yeah, girl, time to experience some living! She winds up on an island of hunky males. And, well….you can imagine the rest. In fact, don’t! Give it a read to find out for yourself.
It’s actually a very adorable story about building trust with those around you and how that trust can slowly drift into love with the right bit of magic.
I’m obsessed with this book and I can’t wait to read the next part.
Pros and Cons
Funny–ML is channeling her inner Anna Kendrick the entire time. Okay, that’s just who I hear in my head as I read the character. Your brain may vary.
Smart–The Fae world is interesting and dynamic. Leaves you wanting to know more about the realm and what it holds. Plus the ties that bind the characters together make a lot of sense.
Well-written–That’s it. Just damn good writing. Kept me engaged! It took no time at all to breeze through.
Great characters–All the characters leave you wanting to know more about them. They felt like real people (or as real as Cupids and Fairy-folk can be).
Short–Well, I did say it was a breeze to get through. It left me wanting more. Luckily, it’s part of a whole series. This first book took me about 3 hrs or less to read in all.
Smutless–That’s not to say it’s not erotic. I just was ready for a sex scene or two. That’s ok. I can wait. I’m patient!
I haven’t read a reverse-harem book since my Anita Blake and Merry Gentry days, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a wonderful new series to dive into. I’m definitely a fan! You should check this one out for sure. Total home run.
Did you read this one? Let me know what you thought about it. Did you also hear Anna Kendrick in your head? I can’t be the only one!
I mentioned before I’ve been blogging off-and-on for YEARS now. A lot of it has been forgotten. Some things I almost want to bring back. I used to do this thing where I’d write a Letter to a Hot Guy on Sundays that part of me wouldn’t mind bringing back.
Anyway, while poking around on my OneDrive, I found an archive of some of my old works. I think I’ll post one of those every so often.
And Today is THE DAY
Let me start off by saying I’m a huge Star Trek geek. My one and only tattoo (so far) is of the Starfleet insignia on my upper back. It was part of my whole “might as well have a mid-life crisis” phase. It looks great, though I’m told I overspent on it. Ah well. In these hard times, I’m okay with dishing out a little extra while I have it. People gotta eat.
Anyway, I was beyond excited for the 2009 Star Trek when it came out.
Told you, been blogging for a minute, now. Still, having fun when I do it, so why the hell not?
After the movie, this happened. Remember, this is 2009 Erica, not 2022 Erica. There is Star Trek fanny fiction included. Please forgive the errors!
Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.
–H. L. Mencken
Lt. Margaret “Mags” O’Reilly is always ready for a fight. She’s been on the fields of battle against the other-worldly invaders, the O’okara, for most of her adult life. At her side is Pryce, a human-O’okara hybrid bred in a scientist’s lab, who is also her best friend. Companionship is no stranger to them, but when the pair becomes stuck together in the decontamination chamber, secrets between them are exposed.
Faced with a truth she’s not ready to hear, Mags has to decide if she wants to give in to newfound hungers, risking the chance of losing the only person she has ever trusted. Or will she face the reality that, as a soldier in an unending war, there is no place or time to give your heart?
An erotic novelette set in a post-apocalyptic world feel with death and destruction, yet a light of hope.
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