Wednesday, September 02, 2015

A milestone reached - and passed

One million published words, baby! One million words!

Actually, 1,269,800. That's published in books and stories words. It does not include any blog posts either here or as a guest author on anyone else's blog. It does not include any of my academic writing or letters to friends or posts to Facebook. Nor does it include the dozens upon dozens of stories I've started but not finished.

Nope. That's 1269.8K-- PUBLISHED -- in stories and books since September 2003. That was the month Secret Submission came out as an ebook and launched my career.

And I owe it all to my husband's comment years before that.

I'd been working on a fantasy novel for nearly two decades. I had scraps of it written on all sorts of paper (the back of bank notes, backs of receipts, pieces of cardboard from the paper pads that had run out of paper--whatever was at hand); these all were shoved into a folder in no particular order. In 1991, my daughter was not quite a year old and he looked at our finances (and my mental health) and said, "I don't think you need to get a summer job this year. Why don't you write that book instead?"

I kissed him. Hard. And a lot.

What happened between 1991 and 2003? I learned a lot about writing books. That first novel? The fantasy one (working title: Discoveries)? It's still on my computer at 95K and counting (and no, that number isn't in my one million + figure!). I made a lot of mistakes and to rewrite it would take a great deal of time. Time I'll get too one of these days. :)

I also had another child (who just got married!) and wrote Hardship and Hardtack, a Civil War historical fiction based on the real Lieutenant Richard Bassett and his brother, Erasmus (Rass). That book collected several rejection letters before I self-pubbed it when that option became available (that 68.6K is included in my grand total).

All-in-all, I have written and published 36 titles (short stories, novellas, novels and poems). There are at least 55 stories in my "story starts" file - ranging in length from a few hundred words, to ninety-five thousand. I've written writing workshops and hundreds of blog posts over the years. Maybe someday I'll count all those up, too. Today, however, I'm celebrating!

I broke the one million mark. Here's to the next million!

Play safe,
Diana

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What's next?

"What's next?"

I love that line from The West Wing. President Barlett's phrase to signal it was time to move onto the next item on the agenda.

And what's next on my agenda? I'm so glad you asked! 

A lot of projects got shoved to the side over the past two months as I wrote, edited and published the two HER MASTER’S VOICE books. Now that they’ve been released, those other projects now get their time in the limelight.

First up is the re-release of two books: Diamonds in the Snow and New York Moment. Both of these were published by Ellora’s Cave first, but their contracts ran out. Rather than have them sit on my computer, I’m re-releasing them with new covers.

Diamonds in the Snow has special meaning to me because that’s how I met Ruby Storm and Ruth Kerce, EC was looking to do a 2005 Valentine’s anthology and I applied to be one of the authors. The three of us were chosen and a lifetime friendship was born. Diamond Studs was fun to work on with these two wonderful ladies. We had so much fun, we went on to publish a Christmas anthology - Winter Studs - as well.

At one point we considered a Fourth of July offering, Service Studs, but EC was moving away from anthologies by that point. Both Ruth and I turned those novellas into full-length books. Ruth’s became  Hot on Her Trail and mine is Services Rendered. Ruby! We know you started yours – we’re waiting!!!

Look for Diamonds in the Snow and New York Moment in the next few months.

Next, I plan to get back to a new Port Clef story started before Her Master’s Voice barged in and took over. It doesn’t have a title yet, but is sitting on my computer with 20K+ words in it. In other words, over a third of the way finished. My goal is to have it done and published before Thanksgiving.

Of course, that puts it smack-dab in the middle of NaNoWriMo, and participating in that is a ton of fun. Last year’s story, The Revolution of Clara Simpson is still under consideration by Harlequin (I emailed at the 90-day period to ask about it and was told it is still in consideration. Keeping my fingers crossed that they pick it up). Who knows what this year’s writing challenge will bring?

So that’s where I am right now. Lots of stories in the hopper. Although, to be honest, there’s a scrapbooking table calling my name right now....

Play safe!
Diana



Friday, August 21, 2015

New release, as promised!


I told you this book would be out before the end of the week and I made my self-imposed deadline right on target.  HER MASTER'S VOICE (Book2) is now available on Amazon, Smashwords, and at A1AdultEbooks in all formats (well, except at Amazon where you can still buy only in the Kindle format -- silly Amazon!).

I started these two books on June 30th. Well, I started a book on June 30th. But it got towards the end of July and I realized these two had more story in them than just the one volume. They kept talking, so I kept writing. The result? 99,000+ words between the two volumes of hot sex, intriguing characters and some controversial topics.

Don't forget to leave a review on whatever site you buy the book from. Good, bad, indifferent, reviews drive the numbers, so the more, the merrier!


Play safe!
Diana

PS. If you want to check out Mystic's other books, she has her own page right here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sneak Peek

As you know, I wrote both of the HER MASTER'S VOICE books one right after the other. Originally intended to be a single book of about 55,000 words, the characters had far more to say (and do!) and just kept going. They wanted not one, but two books all to themselves. And, if Emma has her way, she's going to demand another in a couple of months, you watch!

Book 1 of HER MASTER'S VOICE is available in all formats from Smashwords and A1Adultebooks (where it is climbing the bestseller list. A few more sales and it'll reach silver status!!!). It is also available at Amazon, although we'll see how long that lasts. OVER MY ENSLAVED BODY is still banned, although some people seem to find it now and again. I think the page still exists, but you might have to go to Canada to buy it. :)

Book 2 of HMV is also complete as of last night. I'll wait a few days, read it through again for typos and wordsmithing, then publish it at the end of this week. Thought, however, you might enjoy seeing the cover. Obviously Mystic has a style to her covers, making them unmistakably hers. Diana's looking at redoing all her covers so they can be distinguished (branded) as hers as well. One of these days... :)

By the way, Book 2 can be read independent of Book 1, but if you're like me, you'll want to read them in order. It's my OCD coming to the fore. Gotta read from the start of a series straight through to the end. No jumping around for me!

Watch for HER MASTER'S VOICE, Book 2 -- Coming soon!

Play safe,
Diana

Thursday, August 13, 2015

New release!

HER MASTER'S VOICE (Book1) is now available at Smashwords and Amazon. This is a Mystic Shade title and please, be warned! It is not for the faint of heart. While there are elements of romance in it, it is primarily an erotica book, so there is lots and lots of sex. Lots of sex. Did I say it has sex in it? :)

HER MASTER'S VOICE introduces a new Dom into the world of slave traders. Malachi Montgomery works differently his best friend, Jake Kariola, but his goal is the same: to allow women the opportunity to shuck their worldly cares and enter a life of sexual slavery. His current slave-in-progress is Emma, a web designer who's looking for a way to serve her fellow man.

This was a fun story to write. I started writing this book on June 30th and completed it before the end of July. But these two characters had a lot (a LOT) more story to tell, so we kept going. Book 1 of this new series clocks in at 47,000 words and Book 2 currently stands at 49,000 before editing. FOr those of you following me on Facebook, the word counts I've been posting? Were for these two books.

What??? You're not following me on Facebook? Click the link in the top right corner and join the fun!

So, a whole new series of books that are very naughty, very sexy, very erotic. Just remember that Mystic likes to push the envelope and her stories contain BDSM activities taken about as far as they can go. You've been warned!

(NOTE: Jake Kariola, Malachi's best friend, has his own series. Over My Enslaved Body, Traitor Slave, Fully Owned and Training Two are all his.)

Excerpt? You want an excerpt? Oh, okay...What follows is a tame one, since Blogger would blow up if I posted a truly hot part of the book.

HER MASTER'S VOICE (Book 1 excerpt from Chapter 1)
by Mystic Shade
All Rights Reserved

Wearing nothing under her long coat but a latex bra and panties accompanied by a set of garters with stockings, and having remembered to put the panties outside the garters this time, Emma knocked on the door to the hotel room, desperately hoping she’d written the number right. She checked the paper in her palm once more. Room 311. Yes. Still, when Master Malachi opened the door, she gave a huge sigh of relief. She’d made it.
Her relief was short-lived, however, as he slid a blindfold over her eyes as she stood in the doorway, but not before she caught a glimpse of movement in the room. He pulled her inside, her high heels making her totter a bit, but she was sure she’d seen another person here with him. That couldn’t be right…he hadn’t said anything about bringing in other partners, although she’d confessed to a guilty fantasy involving multiple partners a few weeks ago…many partners and all of them men who wanted to use her for their own sexual gratification. He’d promised he’d make that dream come true. Someday.
Before Emma could get her bearings, he tugged the coat from her shoulders, effectively trapping her arms. The slip of paper floated to the floor as he spoke softly into her ear and she strained to listen.
“It is eleven o’clock, Saturday morning. Per our agreement, you are mine for the next twenty-four hours. Mine to play with, mine to command, mine to use and abuse.”
She nodded her assent, though nothing he said was phrased as a question. His hand groped her pussy, rubbing the latex into her slit. She moaned, her lips parting…and a ball gag pushed against her lips. Without thinking, she opened her mouth for it before realizing his hands were busy…who was gagging her so tightly? She tried to speak, but only garbled sounds came out around the rubber ball.
“Mine to use, mine to abuse.”
The mind-fuck already worked on her. “Abuse” – she loved that word. It implied so many naughty things he could do to her. They’d negotiated this, talked about it at length. Was it abuse if the action was consensual? She wanted her boundaries pushed—and pushed hard. At his hands she already knew she liked sensory play; a good flogging started her descent into subspace like nothing else. And being bound and helpless. Vulnerable. Open and unable to prevent him from doing whatever he wanted.
She leaned against his strong chest and a soft moan came from the back of her throat as he palmed her covered mound. Two weeks ago he’d asked if she’d ever thought about shaving her pussy and she had admitted to a higher than needed bikini cut, but hadn’t had the courage to go further. As a result, short brown hairs curled under the red latex. He pressed his hand against her mound, the pressure establishing his possession of her body as her mind wheeled. He assailed her senses before she was even four feet into the room. Her breath quickened around the gag when she realized again that another set of hands other than his touched her. She tried counting as fingers caressed her skin, ran over her breasts, her neck, then gathered her hair off her shoulders to twist into a rough ponytail. With her arms still tangled in the coat, she couldn’t stop them. But then again, with such wonderful twinges going off in her pussy, why would she want them to?
Her nipple rose to meet the finger that slipped under the latex to fondle the nub. Another moan, one she couldn’t suppress, filled her throat and her head tipped back. But her mouth was full of saliva she couldn’t swallow—the gag effectively trapped her tongue—and she tipped her head forward again, widening her lips in an effort to release the liquid.
“My slave.” Her Master’s palm on her cheek. She’d recognize that touch anywhere. His thumb ran over her cheekbone, claiming her face as his own. Pressing against his palm, she tried to let him know every part of her belonged to him. He pinched her lip, pulling it away from the gag and letting her drool.
“I own your mouth. You swallow—or don’t—at my whim.”
Emma’s knees felt weak and she gave him her mouth. It no longer belonged to her. It was his to play with, to use in any way he wanted.
Letting go of the self wasn’t something she could easily do. It took practice. A discipline of both mind and body. But over the past six months, she’d gotten better at it, more able to allow that letting go and, therefore, faster at letting it happen. And Master Malachi helped. She loved going into trance as he hypnotized her so he could speak to her subconscious. His words helped her strip away her inhibitions, her shyness, and society’s strictures regarding sexuality.
Still, losing the sense of self and moving into a state where she was no longer the center of her own being, took some time. His words, his actions, everything he did to her and for her, were steps to help her go deep inside, find the self, and release it.

Her face, her mouth—they were gone to her already today. They belonged to her Master and he would use them as he wanted. Two bodies shifted around her. Hands that were not his pressed against her breasts and she felt the rock-hard chest of someone behind her. Someone tall and muscular, similar to her Master, yet not him. Someone who smelled of soap and leather with strong, powerful hands that now slid down along her arms, holding them as her coat fell away and revealed her body to their eyes.

HER MASTER'S VOICE, now available at Amazon and Smashwords!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Not dead...just writing

Sorry I haven't posted here much lately. Been working steadily on a new Mystic Shade title I hope to have out before the end of the week. HER MASTER'S VOICE is currently in edits and my goal is to finish them tomorrow. Then formatting, cover production and uploading!

I started writing this book June 30th and it was done in about three weeks. Well, the first draft, anyway. The characters, however, didn't want to stop talking and I've written another entire book with them since then. One more chapter and I think HER MASTER'S VOICE, Book 2 will be complete. Will have to remember to add Book 1 to the first cover (mock-up is already done).

These are Mystic Shade titles, though, make no mistake. Where Diana Hunter focuses on the romance of a relationship, Mystic is much more brutal. There's a reason her books are "for the shadier sides of our desires." Mystic's stories are dark, dangerous, and skirt the line (sometimes crossing right over it) of sense and propriety. They are dark fantasies, the ones we have that we would never, ever, admit to having. The heroines do not always consent, the heroes are not always nice. The Stockholm Syndrome is often in effect and both parties like it that way.

In fact, that's why I use two different pen names: to help readers differentiate between the two types of books. Not everyone likes dark fantasy. Some don't like happily-ever-after endings and others don't like historical fiction. It's all good. Life would be pretty boring if we all liked the same thing. So I use the different names to help readers know what they're going to get. Diana will always give you a happy ending, Mystic will always make you squirm (and CF Duprey will always write about the Civil War!).

So if you're a Mystic Shade fan, be on the lookout! I'll make an announcement (and post an excerpt) when the first book comes out later this week.

'Til then...Play safe!
Diana/Mystic

Thursday, July 23, 2015