The Untitled Novella

I’ve spent the last two weekends proving to myself that I could still write. With the parameters of “dark erotic romance” and 10-15k words for a publishing house that focuses on straight couples (they have an alternative house for alternative sexual orientations), I wrote a short story about a new-era Italian mobster who turned out to be hero instead of a criminal.

One thing I learned? I’m not exceptionally well-suited to dark anything. I want my sexy heroes to heal the bodies and souls of their lovers, not break them.

My new 14,450 word first draft is as yet unedited and untitled. I haven’t decided if I should submit it to publisher or self-pub it and write a bit of a challenging followup. But either way, here’s a brief snippet.

“Fuck you,” Rosalia burst out, giving him the middle finger. “I can’t even storm out and slam the damn door!”

She didn’t know if it was her words or the bird that broke his control, and didn’t care. He came across the room faster than she expected.

Without thinking, she froze. She wouldn’t flinch, would not step back –

His hands landed, one on each jaw.

But his fingers were gentle, cradling her as he tipped her head back. He lowered his head until his lips touched hers. “Gladly,” he returned, his voice husky. “I thought you’d never ask.”

Along with the main characters, there’s a hot secretary named Margot, who is a fashionista and admirably efficient. I picture her as Joan Holloway from Mad Men. I’d really like to write about Margot, which is why I’m considering self-publishing this particular story — Margot does not fall into what might be known as ‘traditional marriage material’, despite her appearance as a doppelganger to the office queen, Joan Holloway. Of course, Joan wasn’t exactly monogamous, was she? I suppose she shouldn’t be counted as a participant in a traditional marital relationship, either.

I miss my vamp hunters. I’d gotten a little lost, a couple of times, on Atlas’s story. I don’t know why I was so ambitious when I planned out the series, particularly on the main novels. But I think I’m ready to go back and finish Keep Her, and I know how to do it. I just have to get the erotic angle back now.

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