laylah: close-up of a person's thigh, showing the top of a stocking and strap of a garter belt (sex in spotlights)
This story is for [personal profile] ilyat, who won my services in Piper Vaughn's Hurricane Sandy charity auction. She asked for expansion of a little snippet I'd done at some point featuring a blood magician who used her powers as an illusionist. This is the result: the seedy underbelly of a paranormal setting, complete with strip club.

Risa is used to dealing with shady characters as part of her job at the Second Circle "gentlemen's club." But usually they're less persistent than the vampire who's here tonight to watch her dance, and she's going to wind up spending more blood than she planned on to get out of this one.
Contains bloodletting, blood drinking, and non-con of the hypnosis/mind control variety.
5,000 words.

Available in EPUB, MOBI, PDF, and right here in this post, below the cut:

may never see the light )
laylah: a person's torso; the person wears black and has hands hooked in belt loops. the belt buckle is a silver cross. (every man a liar)
Today is release day for Devil's Bargain, Devil's Kiss! (Link takes you to the publisher's site: you can buy directly from them, or from the third-party sites linked there—the links to each site will go live as the story gets added there.)

The best thing about working on this story, hands down, was getting to write Doctor Nicholas Black. I have a perennial weakness for the charming villain, the fellow who tips his hat and smiles politely while he ruins everything. The fellow who's friendly and well-spoken and only a touch sly, only a touch pointed...until you try to cross him, and it turns out there's an iron fist in that velvet glove. I love that archetype. I love watching them wreak havoc. It's not quite the trickster type—tricksters have more energy, and are more likely to be motivated by curiosity ("What happens to your culture when I pull this sacred cow's tail?")—but it's close. They're cousins, perhaps, the trickster and the gentleman bastard; they'd each tell you the other is the black sheep of the family.

And the good doctor is a chance for me to indulge myself shamelessly in that trope, slathered liberally with old-time Southern politeness (itself often a pretty veneer over the ugly reality of inequality and injustice). Doctor Black's Patented Tonic can fix what ails you, but it's one of those cases where the cure really is worse than the disease. It tastes so sweet, though, and the first dose comes so cheap. Ain't easy to resist a deal like that, not for most folks around here. Never has been for me, anyhow.

You neither, I hope. ♥
laylah: a person's torso; the person wears black and has hands hooked in belt loops. the belt buckle is a silver cross. (every man a liar)
My first solo release! I'm really excited for this one.

Devil's Bargain Devil's Kiss

"Devil's Bargain, Devil's Kiss" is a standalone short story set in the early 20th-century American South: When handsome Doctor Nicholas Black brings his wagon full of patent medicines to Jonah's small town, it seems like the answer to the whole town's prayers. But the good doctor's cures don't come cheap, and for Jonah in particular there might be too high a price to pay. Release slated for August 10!

I'd class it as erotic horror more than straight-up erotica—Southern Gothic in style, not splatterpunky. I had an absolute blast with the voice for this story (you know how much I love doing voices), and I want to thank my editor at FFP, Lon Sarver, for making some great suggestions that I think added a lot of punch to the finished product.

FFP is generally pretty good about labeling content so readers can make informed decisions, but let me highlight one bit of that now: most of the sexual content in this story is coerced. There's no attempt to pass the coercion off as romantic—this is a horror story about the devil holding the high cards—but it is a major theme.

If that's your cup of tea, I hope you'll pick up a copy of the ebook when it goes on sale this Friday! I'm proud of how this story came out and I hope you enjoy it.
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