Lisa Whitefern

Lisa Whitefern writes The HOTTEST Paranormal Romance/ Market News for Writers of Fiction. What are editors and agents looking for?

Archive for the category “digital first imprints”

More calls for fantasy fiction. These places take unsolicited manuscripts

 
The Romance Reviews

Who are some good publishers looking for fantasy, sci fi and speculative fiction right now?

Baen Fiction

http://www.baen.com/submit.asp

Why do I have reason to believe Baen might be a good place to submit? Mainly because of some of the high quality authors that have books with Baen such as

Image

Preferred length: 100,000 – 130,000 words Generally they are uncomfortable with manuscripts under 100,000 words, but if your novel is really wonderful send it along regardless of length.

Due to receiving too much spam Baen now has an online submission form.

Tor—- Tor has a huge name. The problem with TOR is they will only let you submit novel submissions via snail mail which is not something I can see myself doing from New Zealand. However there is no doubt it would be amazing to have a book accepted by TOR and they do accept unagented submissions as long as you send by snail mail.

TOR I suggest  including an online submission form for your novels like so many other publishers are doing now, or you risk possibly missing out on some great manuscripts from places like Australia and New Zealand because the postage costs are prohibitive for people in these countries and others.

TOR is also interested in short fiction! And they DO allow you to submit short stories under 12,000 words via email. Don’t query, just send your story.  http://www.tor.com/page/submissions-guidelines

JournalStone Publishing

I can’t say I know much about this publisher but it does at least make explicit in it’s terms that it is not a subsidy or vanity publisher and puts no costs on the authors and it has a nice professional looking site.

I must say I’m a little more wary since the recent contract drama hit the internet regarding a certain press. With all the competition for good manuscripts out there I suggest to publishers that they put royalty rates and terms up front on their submission guidelines to attract savvy authors.

JournalStone Publishing is looking for fantasy, science fiction and horror

http://journalstone.com/journalstone-publishing/

Do you write fantasy romance or fantasy erotic romance? You might consider http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/7.html

They are looking for all kinds of romance including fantasy romance and fantasy erotic romance but word on the street is very erotic titles such as menage sell best here. They have hit the best seller list at All Romance Ebooks with some of their titles.

 

Omnific Publishing

http://omnificpublishing.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=2

Omnific publishing will consider fantasy with romantic elements althought they would prefer fantasy romance with a strong romance plot. Omnific has had at least one book hit the NYT best seller list.

Link to my erotic paranormal menage romance novel about half-fae  Wicked Wonderland :-)

Specific Calls for Submissions in erotic romance and erotica this week.

This week I’m focusing on Calls for Submissions from well established publishers (mostly digital first). All the publishers I mention currently have a good reputation overall from authors to the best of my knowledge. (As usual all book covers are for illustrative purposes only and don’t indicate the book is published by the publisher mentioned. I often use Samhain covers.)

Loose ID

Loose ID is a digital first publisher with a reputation up there with Ellora’s Cave, Carina, Liquid Silver, Total Ebound and Samhain.  Loose ID unlike some of these publishers appears to focus ONLY on Erotic Romance and does not put all novels into print.

Call for Submissions from Loose ID

I Do…Unless I Don’t

Concept: Weddings and June go together. But does the couple? In this submissions call there has to be a wedding prominently involved in the story and some doubt whether the couple who is planning to marry will actually get married or if they will get married the way they planned. Whether they do or don’t is up to you but there must be a romance, lots of erotic heat and a HEA or HFN. Someone is going to end up with the right guy or girl at the end…and maybe even a wedding.

The bridesmaid might finally become the bride, the groom may run off with his best man, the couple who called it off years ago may change their mind again, the wedding planner may have to entirely switch the theme from over the top to an intimate wedding, the rehearsal dinner might poison the guests, the gold digger bride might end up a suspect in her fiance’s
murder at the eve of the wedding…it’s up to you.

Loose ID would like a complete manuscript in by Feb. 15. Novellas (20,001 words) and up are acceptable.  If you are not previously published with Loose ID then submit to  looseid.submissions @ loose-id.com and add I DO SUB CALL in the heading. (Those who already have a Loose ID editor submit to your editor of course.) Loose Id is particularly interested in I/R, LGBT (something with an unusual setting or scenario would be nice) or stories with a setting that really adds to the romance.

Dreamspinner Press

Dreamspinner Press is a respected publisher of gay male romance in all genres and of all heat levels.

Call for Submissions from Dreamspinner Press

Timeless Dreams

Dreamspinner Press presents Timeless Dreams: stories of M/M romance in historical settings. While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma. You can visit the rough and tumble Old West, travel the ancient kingdoms of desert sheikhs, see the black and red lacquer of the Far East, or dance in dramatic Regency England. No matter where or when, in the romantic worlds of Timeless Dreams, Dreamspinner gay heroes always live happily ever after.

Novels and novellas that fit this description may be submitted to submissions@dreamspinnerpress.com. Follow the general submission guidelines. Please include “Timeless Dreams” in the subject line of your e-mail. There is no deadline for Timeless Dreams Call for Submissions.

Total Ebound

Total-E-Bound Publishing is another royalty paying, full-service ePublisher  with a long term good reputation based in the UK.
Total Ebound Calls for Submissions

Whip It Up – BDSM Anthology

  • 10K to 15K word count per short story.
  • 9½ weeks or more please! Can you write a lush, rich and savoury D/s story of subs and Doms with an appetite for whips and cream, paddles and puddings, canes and cakes? We’re looking for some mouth-watering, tasty short stories to add to our culinary collection of dominating Doms and their subs.
  • We’d like to see M/F or MFM/multiple partners stories
  • Heat Rating: Burning/Melting (see our book rating info)

The Submission deadline is 1st March 2013 for release in September 2013
Submit the full story plus synopsis.
When submitting, please enter “Whip It Up Submission” in the email subject line.

Wanton Witches (Halloween 2013)

    • Give us some ‘wicked’ witches and ‘charming’ warlocks with plenty of sexy sparks, blissful brooms and wonderous wands! Conjure us some Halloween wicca stories – white witches, dark witches, earth witches and more. Divine rods are a must! Enchanting?
  • Send  M/F or ménage stories, 15 – 20,000 words please.
  • Submission deadline is 1st April 2013 for release in October 2013.
  • Submit the full story plus synopsis.

When submitting, please enter “Wanton Witches Submission” in the email subject line.

Elloras Cave Ellora’s Cave needs no introduction and though rumors abound that they aren’t the queen any more they are still among the best.

NEW Line launched January 2012:  EC for Men

Stories written specifically for heterosexual male readers.

EC is accepting submissions for EC for Men

~ 7,000 to 30,000 words

~ May contain relationships, but should focus more on the sex than the romance; Romantica is fine, Exotika is also encouraged

~ Realistic wording and dialogue for male characters (not the language women WISH men spoke); this extends to the male narrative

~ Written from male POV preferred

~ Should be aimed at male sexual fantasies (what men think of when they get off)
~ More of what men want or need from women: sex, love, acceptance, admiration, dirty talk; less of what they don’t need (judgment, drama, expectation of anticipating woman’s needs)

Call For Submissions

Cleis Press (print and digital erotica publisher)

Slave Girls: Erotic Stories of Submission
Editor: D. L. King
Publisher: Cleis Press
Deadline: January 15, 2013
Payment: $50 plus 2 copies of the anthology

D. L. King is looking for Master/Slave erotica that will turn her into a mass of quivering flesh.

DL King warns she is  a dominant woman.  It will take real work to make her go all gooey from stories of female submission, but you can do it.  She knows you can do it because she’s read fem sub stories that have really turned her on.

Stories should be between 2,000 and 3,500 words, double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman. Please indent the first line of each paragraph one-half inch and do not include extra lines between paragraphs.

Send your story as a .doc (NOT a .docx. You can assure this by saving your story as a Word 97-2003 document.) attachment and include the title, pseudonym (if applicable) and your legal name and mailing address to slaveantho@gmail.com. The subject line should read: Submission: TITLE. Please include a professional bio of 50 words or less. Direct any questions to the same address. Original stories only. (If you are absolutely unable to send a .doc attachment, she will accept an rtf- but she won’t be happy about it.)

Read about D.L. King at:
www.dlkingerotica.com

That’s it for my blog on Calls for Submissions this week.

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Click if you wish to buy Wicked Wonderland my erotic  menage novel about bisexual  half-fae who fly around the world in Santa’s sleigh delivering sex toys while being pursued by an evil force bent on their destruction.  🙂

Agents and Editors Wish Lists

Click if you wish to buy Wicked Wonderland my erotic  menage novel about bisexual  half-fae who fly around the world in Santa’s sleigh delivering sex toys while being pursued by an evil force bent on their destruction.  🙂

Today I’m posting some agents and editors wish lists that I’ve hunted up, but please realize, just because your idea isn’t on an agent or editor’s wish list certainly doesn’t mean the agent or editor might not LOVE to have it.  Agents say they are constantly surprised by what they fall in love with. That being said, reading editors and agents wish lists is pure fun.

They are fun because they give us an idea of the kind of topics that people in the publishing industry think might sell. They also might give any of us ideas for a future book!

Kate Schafer Testerman with KT Literary is looking for
brilliant, funny, original middle grade and young adult fiction.
Both literary and commercial; witty women’s fiction. Quirky is good.

Alicia Condon ekensington‘s Editorial Director  is looking for 60,000-word contemporary romance with Alpha heroes or small town settings and high concept single title contemporary romance. She will also look at paranormal and fantasy romance, romantic suspense, historical romance, young adult paranormal romance of 80,000 – 100,000 words).(Click on her name for guidelines and contact email.) Do not send full manuscript.

Lucia Macro is crying out for contemporary romances of approximately 50-60,000 words. for Avon Impulse both funny novels and intense and dramatic ones. She’d love military men, cowboys, billionaires and other tropes.

Rochelle French of Entangled’s Dead Sexy Romantic Suspense catagory romance line wants to see:

  • A caper with quirky characters and a strong romance
  • A cozy romantic mystery that starts with a bang
  • A small town romantic thriller
  • A category length romantic suspense with a strong winter holiday theme for next winter.
  • Traditional tropes (best friends to lovers, reunion romance, marriage of convenience, intimate strangers), while exploring the depths of the human condition as the suspense and romance build.
  • Plotlines outside the usual realm of category romance, such as amateur sleuth, hard-boiled detective, cozy mystery, medical/science, contemporary gothics, super-sensual thrillers—as long as the story has a strong, committed DEAD SEXY romance

Submissions for the Dead Sexy editors can be sent directly to deadsexy-submissions (at) entangledpublishing (dot) com ATTN: Rochelle. Check out the Dead Sexy submission guidelines for specific instructions!

Who’s looking for YA? (Agents and Editors looking for Young Adult Fiction)

A strange fact of the current publishing market is that teenagers on the whole are considered reluctant to embrace ebooks. Much more reluctant than adults. A number of digital first publishers that tried having a line for teenagers have closed that line and no longer accept young adult fiction. Samhain stopped accepting Young Adult Fiction. The Wild Rose Press closed their “Climbing Rose” young adult line. Harlequin’s Digital first imprint Carina takes almost every kind of romance BUT Young Adult Romance.

(These bookcovers are for illustrative purposes only and do not indicate that the authors are clients of the aforementioned agents.)

So I’ll start with a couple of agents and then look at which digital first lines ARE still open to Young Adult Fiction.

Francis Collin accepts queries for YA. This agency prefers Young Adult Fiction, literary fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, and travel narratives. They accept email queries as long as there are no attachments. http://www.francescollin.com/

Why would Lisa Whitefern recommend Book Ends Literary Agency? This is another agency with a solid reputation and I  met one of their agents (Jessica Faust)  at a Romance Writers of New Zealand conference and she was extremely professional in every way.

Kim Lionetti has extensive experience in editing as she was formerly  Senior Editor at  Berkley Publishing for eight years before joining bookends

In Digital First Publishing the up and coming digital first publisher Entangled is looking for Young Adult Fiction.

Entangled appears to have a growing reputation among authors interested in digital first publishing. Some of their adult contemporary novels are best sellers on Amazon. While I must be honest and say I have heard some complaints from authors about Entangled (editors quitting suddenly and leaving them in the lurch) many  other authors are  happy and Entangled seems to have developed a surprisingly good reputation in a small amount of time

Entangled Teen is described as a high-concept, engaging line of books geared to the Young Adult audience. Thanks to a more traditional editorial calendar of twelve to eighteen months between acquisition and publication, Entangled Teen will be distributed by Publisher’s Group West, one of the largest print distributors in the world. Emphasis is placed on shelving Entangled Teen titles in brick and mortar stores in an effort to maximize visibility and availability to the target audience.

Royalty rates for Entangled Teen are 20% of cover for digital, and 9% of cover for print.

Entangled Teen is seeking

  • Upper YA (16-21 year old protags) that will appeal to crossover audiences
  • Younger YA/MG (13-15 year old protags) that will appeal to crossover audiences
  • YA novels should be 50k to 100k words in length.

Harlequin Digital First

NEW! Digital First Series from Harlequin

I’ve said before that I am quite unsure  how these new Digital First lines created by the BIG publishers will do in terms of sales but one hopes the Harlequin name might sell ebook Teen Romance to teenage girls.

As far as Young Adult Fiction goes Harlequin is most interested in your Teen Romance but may also take on other good quality fiction geared at Young Adults.

For Harlequin Teen print imprint most people still need an agent.

Harlequin Escape —– Harlequin’s really getting into that Digital First Market

If you’re an Australian or a New Zealander or perhaps even in a country nearby us you might be interested in Harlequin Escape especially if you have a teen romance set in Australia or another country around this part of the globe.

They don’t appear to have a strong focus on YA, but I believe if you sent them a great YA New Zealand or Australian romance they’d be keen since they take all heat levels of romance including sweet, and are really really keen to acquire Australian set romances in particular.

The fact remains that the majority of the top digital first publishers are still rejecting YA however a February Publishers’ Weekly article denies teens are still reluctant to embrace YA so perhaps we will see a change in this soon.
I also found this nice site for writers who love YA.YAtopia

 

 

To read the blurb and an excerpt from my sexy paranormal menage Samhain Publishing click here  http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html

What is HOT right now according to editors and agents?

What’s hot right now according to agents and editors?

The following are some of the genres that Nelson Literary Agency are actively acquiring.

  • Middle grade with a new unusual fantasy or magical element. Not psychics or wizards, but how about inventors or  or dragon tamers?
  • Sara Megibow Associate Literary Agent of Nelson Literary Agency is actively hunting for  Historical romance, especially Regency and Victorian.
  • Creative science fiction that’s heavy on the fiction and lighter on the science.
  • And any  story in any genre for any age reader that deals with best friends and sweet first love.

Why would Lisa Whitefern recommend the Nelson Literary Agency?

This agency appears to have a solid reputation. To quote a little from their about page “Nelson Literary Agency was founded in 2002. In such a short time, the Nelson Agency has sold more than 150 books, landed several film deals, and has contracted foreign rights on behalf of our clients in all the major territories, including Germany, France, Holland, Japan, and even Russia and Indonesia. Nelson Agency authors have become national bestsellers, RITA-award winners, and have appeared on bestseller lists.”

Nelson Literary Agency are also looking for currently HOT genre New Adult Romance.

What else is HOT right now? — New Adult Romance

(Sexting the Limits is an Erotic New Adult Romance available at Ellora’s Cave.)


The publishing industry seems to be all a buzz about New Adult Fiction and New Adult Romance. What is New Adult Romance? It’s romance with  characters in their college years. The target audience is women age 18 to 25 who are looking for books with heroines they can relate to. Dialogue should be very current and casual, often sarcastic.

Carina Press is actively acquiring  New Adult Romance novels 50,000 words and up. They are most interested in contemporary but will consider paranormal, post apocalyptic, dystopian, etc . These stories must have a strong plot and “very definable protagonists”, 18 and above (or at an age eligible to enter college), in their early to mid-20s. While at least one protagonist should fall in this age range, it is possible the other protagonist may fall in their upper 20s.

Story elements should be targeted to an adult, not teen audience, and should contain adult contemporary themes, frank, modern language, high relationship drama and intense conflict. Characters actions, dress and dialogue should all be age-appropriate. Think of the relationship drama of the college years and run with that!

Other elements that work in this genre (but are not required to be considered for publication) include increased sensuality, love triangles, protagonists with traumatic events in their background.

What is HOT right now? Multicultural Romance for the Digital First Market

Ellora’s Cave has been actively looking to expand their range of Multicultural Erotic Romances.

This line is called FUSION
 
Fusion is about multicultural and interracial relationships. Their readers love African American/Caucasian, but in addition to more of these they want variety. Ellora’s Cave are actively acquiring stories that not only explore the trials and tribulations caused by cultural differences, but that celebrate those differences! They would especially like to see Latin and Arabian lovers in erotic romances with story lengths from 7K to 120K.

What else is HOT right now?–Contemporary Romance

For some reason plain contemporary romance without suspense or paranormal elements is topping all the best seller lists at places like Amazon, and Digital First Publisher’s websites right now.

LUCIA MACRO of Avon Impulse would like to see more contemporary romance featuring very good looking heroes and classic tropes especially bachelors, ranchers, and billionaires.

 What is HOT right now? Gay Werewolf Romance for the Digital First Market

Can you write a super explicit X rated male/male werewolf romance between 18,000 and 39,999 words before December 1st? Ambure Allure is actively acquiring these stories although I’m sure this genre would be just as hot at Loose ID Ellora’s Cave,, Dreamspinner, Carina, Liquid Silver, Resplendence, Samhain  Siren or any other of the best digital first publishers.

All the agents, editors and digital first publishers I have mentioned in this blog currently have good reputations and/or a solid history in the industry.

To read the blurb and an excerpt from my sexy paranormal menage Samhain Publishing click here  http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html

Manic Readers review of Wicked Wonderland
http://www.manicreaders.com/index.cfm?disp=reviews&bookid=31987

 

Please note—-A publisher or agency who has to use Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn’t anyone you’d want to write for.
Please read this for more information on protecting yourself as an author. You should never pay anyone anything to produce your book for you. http://www.thepassivevoice.com/05/2013/the-author-exploitation-business/
Manic Readers review of Wicked Wonderland
http://www.manicreaders.com/index.cfm?disp=reviews&bookid=31987

Fresh Market News for October 26th. This week 3 actively acquiring markets discussed.

What’s different about my blog?  While there are a few other blogs publishing market news for writers of fiction,  I only post markets I believe have something of  a decent reputation behind them.  Of course I can’t guarantee that if you sign a contract with an e-pub or agent I recommend that you will have decent sales or a good experience. However  I  promise I won’t be publishing any news from markets that have no reputation at all.

Three Actively Acquiring Markets Discussed and Recommended this week

Samhain Publishing is actively acquiring horror novels

Black Lace- Erotica and Erotic Romance

Forever Yours Digital First Line

If you’re interested in publishing romance with a digital first publisher an incredibly useful place to do research is the blog of Emily Veinglory.

Emily Veinglory’s blog’s main serious purpose is to provide information about sales figures in digital first publishing. Just coincidentally I believe Emily is a New Zealander like me. Less coincidentally she is also published with Samhain. Emily’s research  led me to choosing Samahin as the best publisher for my novel.

So Fresh Market News from a publisher recommended by Lisa Whitefern? Samhain is REALLY interested in having a look at you horror novel!

Samhain is actively seeking talented writers who can tell an exciting, dramatic and frightening story, and who are eager to promote their work and build their community of readers.

Samhain is looking for novels—either supernatural or non-supernatural, contemporary or historical—that are original and compelling.  Authors can be previously unpublished or established, agented or un-agented.  Content can range from subtle and unsettling to gory and shocking.  The writing is what counts.

Criteria:

  • Between 12,000 and 200,000 words, for print eligibility length must be a minimum of 50,000 and  a maximum 120,000 words
  • A fresh premise that can be conveyed in a marketing hook of 2 – 3 sentences
  • Believable, three-dimensional characters
  • A gripping, suspenseful style
  • Credible world-building that can make even the strangest creatures believable
  • Within the horror genre, not fantasy or science-fiction, though borders often blur
  • http://www.samhainpublishing.com/submissions/#horror

Interestingly fact about Samhain- Samhain was  the first publisher ever to have a book that was still only available as an ebook hit the NYT Best Seller List. A western erotic romance by Maya Banks.

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More market news. Black Lace the famed UK publisher of erotic books who has been around since 1993 closed its doors to submissions in 2010. Now thanks to the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena they reopened in 2012.

Black Lace are currently holding a short story contest

The winning entry will be published by Black Lace Books as part of a forthcoming eBook collection. Entries must be approximately 4,000 words and submitted by 31 October

Black Lace although reprinting a lot of classic Black Lace novels are also finally open again to general submissions. http://www.blacklace.co.uk/index.php/Contact%20Us

Why does Lisa Whitefern  recommend Black Lace? They’ve been established since 1993. Their novels tend to be almost literary erotica. Very beautifully written (don’t let that put you off they have plenty of story too!) Black Lace is a cut above.

Originally Black Lace novels were all about the woman’s sexual journey. They were erotica as opposed to erotic romance the equivalent of sexual women’s fiction as opposed to a story of one man/one woman. This changed as erotic romance gained in popularity and Black Lace even started printing the words “erotic romance” on the spines of their novels as part of their marketing.

Currently though Black Lace editors say “There is room for both erotic romance and erotica on the list and while every book should have a satisfying ending we don’t insist on a conventionally happy one.”

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Hachette Book Group (including Grand Central Publishing) is one of the Big Six traditional publishers. Mostly you need an agent to submit your romance to Grand Central Publishing. However they have recently opened a Digital First Romance Imprint. Books over 50,000 will have a POD print option.

This imprint is called Forever Yours

Why does Lisa Whitefern recommend Forever Yours? In all honesty I am not sure how these digital first imprints the Big Six are all starting up are going to pan out in terms of sales for individual authors. These lines are too new for there to be any sales data available to the general public. I have a fear that sales could end up being pitiful for SOME authors. Although this can happen with any digital first epub, and depends on many factors.

However the fact is that Forever Yours  is linked to a traditional publisher. Here are the reasons Forever Yours recommends you submit your romance novel to them.

Forever Yours offers a complete publishing package: editing by Forever editors, top-notch cover design from the Forever art team, a dedicated publicist, Netgalley review copies for bloggers/reviewers, social media tools and training, targeted marketing and advertising budget, and an experienced digital sales team with long-standing relationships in the e-marketplace.

What are they looking for?

Genres: Forever Yours is currently accepting romance submissions from all subgenres, including but not limited to: contemporary, romantic comedy, romantic suspense, western, historical, inspirational, paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy, futuristic, urban fantasy, steam-punk, time-travel, and erotica. We are not accepting YA, mystery, general fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

Word count: FY are accepting novella length works (8,000-35,000 words), as well as longer works from 35,000-100,000 words.

Forever Yours offer advances on projects over 35,000 words, 25% net digital royalties, and quarterly royalty accounting.

To read the blurb and an excerpt from my sexy paranormal menage Samhain Publishing click here  http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html

Authors Against Bullying— Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Bullying

Please check weekly for more market news for fiction writers and posts about what editors and agents are looking for.

(Check below my blog and excerpt for the other authors on the Authors Against Bullying Blog Hop.)

Last Christmas a special education professor named Dr. George Giuliani created a bit of a stir online when he accused the 1964 television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” of promoting bullying.

Part of Giuliani’s argument was that the story of Rudolph suggests victims of bullying and people with disabilities must do something extraordinary if they want to expect the bullying to stop.
Well maybe Giuliani does have something of a point, however as a bullied child I found the song and story comforting, exciting and magical.

cute 1960s Rudolph

The way I saw the story- it was telling people who were picked on that they could surprise everyone someday with their achievements. That story of the underdog’s surprising achievements is as traditional and popular as the story of Cinderella, and as contemporary as Harry Potter.

When I wrote Wicked Wonderland Wicked Wonderland small I wanted to write an erotic romance with the magic and excitement of a children’s Christmas movie, and Wicked Wonderland is a re-telling of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the difference being that in my menage romance the heroine gets to fly around the world in Santa’s Sleigh with two very sexy half-fae men.

Here is an excerpt from Wicked Wonderland in which my heroine Lilly Rudolph is bullied.
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The icy December winds whipped around them, stinging Lilly’s face, but the night sky was clear and full of stars. The cold bit through her flimsy costume, and her teeth chattered audibly. Sonya stopped by the trash cans, holding Lilly tightly around the waist from behind. Kandy grabbed hold of the chiffon on the front of her angel costume. Lilly shook and twisted violently to try to break their grasp, and part of her angel costume tore. “Let go of me, you assholes!” She jabbed backward with her elbow, connecting with Sonya’s stomach, and heard the taller stripper gasp with momentary pain, but unfortunately, Sonya didn’t loosen her hold. “Oooooh! Rudolph’ll pay double for that!” Kandy exclaimed.

Lilly didn’t know why she did it. Maybe it was a way of dissociating from a horrible situation, maybe it was because her heart always ached to make music when she was in pain, but she began to hum, the sound starting low in her throat. She closed her eyes and played a flute in her head, filling her mind with a rich and clear melody, which, for a moment, took her right out of her nasty situation. Then a vicious pinch froze the sound in her lungs. Lilly twisted around enough to look up at Sonya. Something frightening had happened to Sonya’s face. It became very still, and the stripper’s eyes narrowed into slits that showed too much amber and almost no pupil, like the eyes of a snake or some other reptile. A sharp chill ran up Lilly’s spine.

“Don’t fucking hum.” Sonya spat out the words.

“Who cares if she hums? She’s just a weirdo,” Bambi interrupted. “I don’t care what she does as long as she doesn’t take our money again.” The words of the other stripper somehow returned everything to relative normality.

I must have been imaging the whole thing. Must have been the cold messing with my brain.

“You steal our tips, Rudolph, and I’ll give you a red nose, all right.” Sonya’s voice seemed inhuman in its rage. Fear swelled around Lilly like a choking fog. The tall stripper swung Lilly around like a toy, then pulled her fist back. Before Lilly could react, the fist connected with her nose. Shooting pain accompanied a sickening crack. Blood ran down her throat, tasting like metal, and all she could see was an ocean of red.

“Enjoy, Dumpster Girl!” Sonya tipped her upside down and slammed her headfirst into an empty trash can.
“Remember, Rudolph, you’ll never fit in anywhere. You’ll always be an outcast left out of all the reindeer games.” The other strippers convulsed with laughter.

(From Wicked Wonderland —you can add Wicked Wonderland to your Samhain wishlist)

Or you can pre-order Wicked Wonderland for your kindle
Official release date for Wicked Wonderland is December 4th.

© 2012 Lisa Whitefern

Authors against bullying

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