My kid went to school for the first time with a full school day where I’m not spending an hour of my shuttling him back and forth, so I have this extra time, and I have decided that I need to put it back into my writing business in some way besides writing moar books (cause, you know, between my pen names I already write between 16-18 novels a year, and that’s probably, um, good). So, I remembered that before I had a child I used to enjoy blogging, so here we go. Weekly blogs. If you write them, people will come.

Will this continue?

Uh… I mean, I don’t know. But come back next Friday and see, I guess?

I thought I’d write about two books that I’ve read recently that I really effing liked, and that I think you should go and read RIGHT NOW. They are both in KU, and both indie, as far as I know. I’m really excited about that because, being an indie author, I want to like indie authors, but I tend to get into trad books more easily.

I think it’s the comparitis factor. It’s harder to sink into indie books, because it’s all, “Should I write something like this?” or “I wrote something like this, I wonder why mine didn’t take off like this” or whatever. I hate it, and it’s got to be a really special book to turn the voice off.

So, without further ado, the first book is A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor, the Victorian monster erotica RH I didn’t know I wanted. I was utterly flabbergasted to see this in the Top 100 of the Amazon store, because… What is this amazing thing? There are enough other weird women like me who want this?

Later, I found out it was on tiktok or something. I am not on tiktok, as you can ascertain from that sentence. If you’re another indie author, you also get that weird guilty stomach flutter whenever someone says tiktok, because you know it’s that new social media thing you’re supposed to be doing and the fact you’re not is the reason for everything wrong with your career. I’m like, “Oh, tiktok is a thing? I’m going to start a tumblr, because it’s 2010, yes?” Shrug. Hi tumblr! https://valeriec80.tumblr.com/

So, Rooksgrave is the best thing ever. There’s kind of a plot. I wish there wasn’t, to be real. I just skimmed it and went from monster sex scene to monster sex scene. She gets to f*** Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (well, a monster like that, anyway), a vampire, a sphinx with a hooked penis, a man made entirely of marble, an invisible man, and… that might be it. There were other monsters mentioned, and there’s apparently a sequel about another girl, and I’m here for it! I also was meh-ish on the love story where they all end up happily together, but this is because I have so much time suspending my disbelief for that. It’s the entire reason I can’t get into RH.

What I really want, and maybe someone knows about this, is a book that’s RH but where it’s like five guys fighting to the death to f*** you? They all hate each other and they’re very sexily punching each other all the time. Lots of sweaty glistening muscles and bloody noses … like Fight Club? I keep thinking about writing it, but I’m pretty sure it won’t sell. I also don’t know how I would end it?

Moving on. Book two is To Bleed a Crystal Bloom. Holy strawberries, Batman, this book is all the things. So, I saw the cover a couple times and then I clicked to the blurb, and I think all it took was the word ‘toxic’ plus confirming it was actually epic fantasy and not some paranormal, contemporary thing (GAH! Hate that. Over that. No more of those! But don’t listen to me, bc I’m reading dystopian right now, which I’m also over, so I’m a liar, liar, pants-on-fire.)

So, basically it says it’s Rapunzel, but it is NOT. The only thing in common is that she lives in a tower, but she’s there because she wants to be, because she has deep fears about the outside world. And the guy there has been raising her since she was like a girl, which is just the right amount of disturbing, and he also drinks her blood every night, and we never find out why. (It’s the first book in the series)

Also, at one point she goes into heat (!!) like it’s werewolf porn, which I was also very much here for. Bring on the coital tie! And I think it might be RH, too, because it seemed like all the guys kinda wanted to do her, but there was some territorial stuff going on, so it did not hit my disbelief suspendy triggers too much. (I also… OMG… territorial… take my money, book!)

Oh, but there’s no sex, not really. A couple explicit scenes but nothing actually happens, and I also currently ship her with the guy who comes to take her from the tower who is not her toxic-daddy-figure-vampire-emotionally-unavailable-love-interest who I am pretty sure is endgame.

Anyway, it was everything.

I ADORE it.

It’s everything I ever wanted from a dark fantasy romance and more. Where is book two, woman? Hurry up!

Okay, well, that was a lot. I’m done writing now, I think. Maybe see you next Friday? We’ll see, eh?