Sunday, June 26, 2011

Finding My Sea Legs

I've been offline for awhile. First, it was the whole moving thing. Then, my desktop computer died. I have a netbook, but it's not really meant to handle the stuff I do on a daily basis. And after months of being used by my kid and my old man, the netbook decided it didn't want to download my email when the desktop died. *sigh* When it rains, it pours.

Playing catch up would have been hard enough after the move. Playing catch up on a brand new computer was murder. I'm still not sure I'm caught up, but I'm finally operating almost at the same level as I was before everything went south. I've got a new screaming computer that my DH built. I think I've got just about everything loaded on it that I needed to load. Might be a few stray softwares I need to get. I managed to not lose any of my files from the dead computer by sticking the hard drive into an external drive case (which cost a whopping $21) and accessing the files on through a USB connection.

That might have been a tad technical for you but I probably could teach any tech challenged person to do this. It took me about 4 minutes to take the hard drive out of my old computer (most of that time was taking the side panels off the tower) and about the same amount of time to install it in the external case. It's all about knowing how to use a screwdriver. *wink*

At any rate, now that the new computer is up and running I've discovered that the internet here in the boonies has periodic slow down times. And I mean S-L-O-O-O-O-O-W down times. Like dial up or worse. The periods don't seem to last long but they always seem to occur when I'm in the middle of something really important like downloading images to create a cover. I tried calling the cable company but my cellphone gets spotty out here too and the calls kept dropping. *sigh*

I'm finding my sea legs again. Getting back into my groove. I finished a short story while I was down. Worked on it at lunch at the office and on the netbook. Blood Play will be out the first week of July at Pink Petal Books. I'm also working on some other stuff...a novella for EC's new Skin Deep series, a Christmas short story for MLR Press that takes readers back to the fictional town of Forza, California from my novella Afterburner, and doing a little work on both Primal Urges, an Edwardian paranormal for MLR and Fire Storm, the sequel to my popular M/M dragon paranormal Fire Season.

I have a full plate of writing ahead of me and I'm looking forward to it! The last six months have been rough and my writing wasn't flowing while I was so stressed and feeling displaced. I spent most of my time creating cover art for other authors while yearning to be the one with the new release.

But my downtime is over I think. (Knock on wood, please, everyone knock on wood for me!) I feel like I'm back even though I've not yet gotten back into the promo groove and I'm not really talking on the loops either much. Finding my sea legs is more of a process than I thought it would be. Still, I'm feeling good about getting back into writing and I'm sure this new release will energize and inspire me.

Before I go, I'm going to leave you with a taste of Blood Play which features a secondary character from Breathe Me In, vampire royalty Aiden Swann who is interested in a woman who seems to not be interested in him. The series is new. They're short stories set in the Five Dark Realms and each story centers around a single sexual encounter. I'll talk more about the series and what it's all about another time. For now, here's a taste of Aiden and Cade.

Have a great Sunday!

Blood Play, a Five Dark Realms Encounter
Pink Petal Books
Pre-Order Link

Vampire Aiden Swann has a tough job, infiltrate Paris’s most notorious BDSM club Perdition. While he’s all Alpha, Aiden’s no Dom, yet he finds his time in Perdition no hardship due to a mysterious female vampire. Cadence O’Connor intrigues him and makes him hard as stone. He knows there’s no reason that a pure blood vampire like him couldn’t play with a mixed blood vampire like her, but Cade disagrees. She’s got a chip on her shoulder about her heritage and refuses to see Aiden as a sexual partner. All Aiden needs to do is convince Cade that she’s no abomination and that everything she is, is everything he wants.


“Don’t presume to know me.” Her eyes flashed and her expression grew more icy.

Cat and mouse. Advance and retreat. A game he knew well. Breathing in her intoxicating scent, his body and entire psyche went into hunter mode.

His grin widened. “I could say the same, you know.”

“But you won’t.”

Her chin tilted up just a fraction, and Aiden almost laughed with delight at the defiant way she took his bait. “It’s true. I won’t. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try to get to know you.”

Cade’s eyes darkened and her face tightened into a hard mask. “Many have tried. They have all failed.”

He stepped closer, his nostrils filled with her blackberry scent. “They were not your prince,” he murmured wickedly.

A muscle twitched in her jaw. “I am not full-blooded vampire. Perhaps you are not my prince either,” she rasped, her voice low and hoarse.

“Oh, I am your prince, alright. You are a vampire regardless of your mixed heritage. Your genome is Acerbian not demon.” He stared into her eyes waiting to see how she would react to him knowing exactly what she was.

She jerked back, stepping partially into the shadows again. “How can you know that?” Her voice held a note of disbelief.

He shrugged. “Who and what I am comes with power among our kind. I know you, Cadence.”

“You cannot.”

Aiden noted that her eyes had widened, and he sensed the fear that had begun to edge her demeanor. For a moment, he stared into those beautiful deep blue eyes. What he saw within them sent lust rushing over him instantly. Until this night, he’d not given much conscious thought to the only other vampire in Perdition. But obviously his body had because he wanted her fiercely, the knowledge becoming an immoveable object in his mind.

“You’re the most beautiful Acerbian I’ve ever seen,” he whispered, half to himself.

Cade glared at him and ignored his words. “Don’t you have some other royal Acerbians to play with? Why are you here anyway?”

Most men would have taken her icy words and demeanor at face value. Aiden knew fear fueled her. Normally, she studiously ignored him whenever he came to the club. He’d caught her looking at him a couple of times but always it was with her trademark cold derision. It was a testament to the power of his bloodline that he knew instinctively that she wanted him.

“I’m here because you are, Cade.”

For a split second shock rippled through her expression before she shut it down, closing herself off once more.

“Fuck off.”

©2011 Lex Valentine


  1. Love the cover, Lex, and the excerpt sounds wonderful. Sorry the adjustments have been so hard for you, and about the computer problems too. Glad you're up and running again. You'll be back in the swing of things before you know it.

    This year, so far, hasn't been a great one for me either. Hang in there.

  2. Welcome Back, Lex. You've been missed :)

  3. Glad your absence has been explained.