….and boy, am I nervous. Assassin: The Boundaries ~ Book One is a 27000 word erotic sci-fi-slash-werewolf-slash-paranormal tale that still to this day surprises me. Just how DID I come up with the idea of a sexual assassin, a woman who implants suggestions into the minds of those she brings to orgasm? Suggestions that can not be denied no matter how strong the mind of her unbeknowing target? Just why DID I decide to write a hero who isn’t just the last human in the known universe but is also a throw-back to Arthur Conan Doyle’s werewolf from Hound of the Baskervilles? What on earth was going on in my brain? I can’t answer that but, according to KittyKelly, verocious reader and brutally honest reviewer it’s the “best stuff I’ve read by you 🙂 And it’s crazy freaking hot!!”
The whole self-publishing journey started when I decided to request the rights back to The Boundaries, a series I’d written for Changeling Press back in 2005. I loved this series. I love my brooding, tormented hero and my kick-arse heroine and I especially love the utterly arrogant and ruthless man who comes between them. After its life at Changeling Press, I gave it a make-over (ie, I upped the sexual tension, sent it to KittyKelly to read and gave it the ending I wanted to give it way back in 2005) and decided to investigate the self-publishing route. My husband, who thought the idea was briliant, made me three amazing covers and that was the serious beginning. I couldn’t whimp-out now. Not after he made me these…
Now, as most of you who follow along with me regularly will know, I’m pretty bloody hopeless at doing most of anything in my writer’s career accept the actual writing of words in a story bit (*grin*). The techno know-how of self-publishing just scared me silly. So I called in the brilliance of Heather Boyd. Heather is an erotic Regency romance author who knows everything there is to know about self-publishing on Kindle. I gave her some big puppy-dog eyes and begged her for help. She said yes (cause she is completely wonderful).
But still I hesitated. Why? Because I am always struck by self-doubt. Was I seriously going to do this? Without the safety-net of an editor? A publisher? Sure, I had the books, I had the publishing name (5×5 Publishing came about due to my love of Joss Whedon), I had the covers, but did I really really have the courage?
I didn’t. Not until I went to the Australian Romance Writer’s Melbourne conference this weekend just gone. There, Bob Mayer spoke about self-publishing. He spoke a lot about self-publishing and I listened. And I came home Sunday night and Heather came here Tuesday morning and today Assassin: The Boundaries ~ Book One was released on Kindle.
Eventually I will publish the Boundaries series at other places (iBooks and Nook are my next markets) but for now I’m just enjoying the fact I did it. I DID IT! Holy smokes, I did it!!
I have to say a huge huge HUGE “thank you” to Heather Boyd. Heather, you are amazing. Thank you.
The Rim of the Outer Boundaries
Zeric Arctos folded his arms across his broad chest and bit back a low curse, struggling to control his exasperation. His partner hadn’t been able to take his eyes off the beautiful Raavelian slave-girl since she’d entered the Suck and Blow Inn, and now she was walking right past them. Close enough for Jak’s highly attuned sense of smell to pick up the delicate scent of her perfume. He rolled his eyes, shooting his partner a quick look. Oh no, here we go again.
Jak Thorson was a sucker for Raavelian females. It had something to do, Zeric suspected, with the way they looked, like the gods of sexual torture and pleasure decided to create the perfect woman. Hypnotic violet eyes, smooth tight asses, breasts that filled a man’s hands to perfection, thick wavy hair that shined like spun silk and long, shapely legs that just wouldn’t quit. Zeric moved his gaze to the slave girl walking past them, casting her a slow inspection. This one, well, this one was an excellent example of her species.
A hand slapped at Zeric’s shoulder and he flicked Jak another look, dismayed at what he saw on the Yrathian’s face.
Pure, unadulterated rapture.
This is not going to end well.
“I think I’m in love,” Jak murmured, tracking the Raavelian’s slow progress past them both.
Zeric turned back to the Suck and Blow’s filthy bar, waving down the droid serving behind it. “You fall in love every hour.”
“Yeah, but this one’s different.” Jak leaned away from the bar, watching the barely-dressed slave thread her way through the rowdy crowd.
Zeric nodded at the droid as it placed a whiskey shot in front of him. “They’re all different, Thorson.”
Jak stuck his elbows on the bar and grinned at Zeric, pale grey eyes glinting with what Zeric could only describe as lust. “Didn’t you see that mouth of hers? Those lips? And those eyes? Gods, Zeric, a man could drown in those eyes! I’ve never seen a Raavelian with green eyes before.”
Zeric let out a slow breath, fighting the urge to cast the slave girl one last look before she disappeared in the crowd. Jak was right. He’d never seen a Raavelian with green eyes either and he had to admit, they were damn striking. He hadn’t missed their unusual power, nor had he missed the soft fullness of the woman’s lips. They were the kind of lips made for kissing.
Jezu, Arctos, you’re getting as bad as Jak.
The disgusted thought made him scowl. When it came to women, his cock left well enough alone. It was safer that way. Unfortunately, when it came to women his partner was ruled by his cock. Thank Jezu Jak’s instincts ruled when they were on duty. Boundary Guardians couldn’t afford to be anything but switched on. If they weren’t, they were dead.
A sharp bang to Zeric’s left made him jump. He snapped his stare to Jak, his hand automatically blurring to his right hip.
Jak stood beside him, his palm flat on the bar’s surface, his grin replaced by a serious frown, the elaborate scars on his cheeks marking his Master Pleasurer status bone white. “I’m going after her,” he said.
Zeric gave his partner a hard look, returning his hand to his glass. It wouldn’t do any good for someone to see him reaching for his gun. Not yet, at least. “No you’re not.” He lifted his drink to his lips. “We’ve got a Bliss dealer to catch, remember.”
Jak let out a sharp sigh. “Yeah, you’re right.” He gave one more lingering look at the Raavelian, watching as she slipped with nimble grace between a group of drunken Ornithions. He returned his attention to Zeric, reluctance written all over his face. “But after we nail this bastard I’m coming back here and taking her away from all this shit.”
Zeric cocked an eyebrow. “And take her where? To The Reaper? A Boundary ship isn’t exactly the place for domestic bliss.”
Jak pulled a face, taking a quick gulp of his own drink, a vile Irithian concoction Zeric wondered how anyone could stomach. “Just ‘cause you’ve decided to be a lonely, miserable bastard for the rest of your life doesn’t mean I have. I don’t plan on being a Boundary Guardian forever, y’know.”
Zeric swallowed the sudden and far too unexpected lump in his throat. He looked at his reflection in the bar’s mirrored wall before turning away, the shadow in his eyes too tormenting. Being a Boundary Guardian forever hadn’t been on his list of planned situations either.
Neither had killing your—
“Hey!” Jak’s smooth voice cut over the dark thought, killing it immediately. “Looks like our friend’s just arrived.”
Zeric raised his glass to his mouth, checking out the raucous mob behind him in the bar’s filthy wall mirror. A Xolotlan barged through the crowd, mottled blue skin rippling over his enormous gut, his blunt snout and short tail both twitching nervously.
“Ugly bastard, isn’t he?” Jak said into his own glass.
Zeric unclipped his holster on his hip, freeing his gun for immediate use and straightened from the bar. Focused adrenaline filled his veins. Beside him, Jak seemingly adjusted his jacket, hands flicking briefly over his own weapons. He gave Zeric a slight nod—ready—and they moved into the packed bar, pushing through the unruly drunken patrons as they followed the Xolotlan toward the back rooms.
Zeric’s stomach knotted. It seemed their prey had a taste for the sex-dens. Jezu curse it.
He moved through the dank, narrow corridor, his fingers hovering over the hilt of his weapon, Jak close behind. The low moans and grunts wafting from the dark dens lining the passageway told him business was good for the Suck and Blow. His stomach knotted again, sour contempt in the back of his throat. If he didn’t have a Bliss dealer to shut down, he’d gladly spend the rest of the night fucking up the existence of more than one sex slaver operating from the inn.
A low growl rumbled in his chest and Zeric ground his teeth, locking his stare on the closing doorway through which the Xolotlan had disappeared. He had to keep his anger in check. He couldn’t do to let it get the better of him. Not tonight, not ever, no matter how much he wanted to. It wasn’t—
“Fucker’s locked the door.”
Jak’s mutter jerked Zeric’s stare from the closed entryway to the red light glowing above it.
“Do you think we should knock?”
Zeric cast his partner a quick look, knowing his glare told Jak now wasn’t the time for jokes. “Lyso knows we’re coming. He arranged the location, remember?”
Jak cocked an eyebrow. “Kick the door in then?”
The growl rumbled in Zeric’s chest again, far less human than it should be and he sank his nails into the palms of his hands. “Deactivate the lock, Thorson.”
Jak pulled a face, stepping around Zeric to flip open the door’s control mechanism. “You’re no fun anymore, Arctos.”
His fingers moved over the exposed circuitry with fluid ease before, with a clunk and a whirr, the door slid open.
Assassin ~ The Boundaries Book One is available now from Kindle for .99c
Agent ~ The Boundaries Book Two will be available in two weeks
Animal ~ The Boundaries Book Three will be available two weeks after that 🙂