Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Incubus Dreams--59-60

So I spent today working on a book trailer/video for a Kickstarter. Kind of the same thing, ya know? I'm going to be killing myself to get this done quickly, but I think (Cautious emphasis on think) it'll rock socks.

Mostly because trailer music is awesome. And if it is cool it will have very little to do with anything I do.

You'll get to see it soon. Ish.

(38 frames.of things to draw. It's not even animation. It's just fucking still images that have kind of sort of something to do with each other when laid in sequence. WHY DO I DO THESE THINGS TO MYSELF?!?)

Also remember: Dragon Breath drops on the fifth. IT WILL BE AWESOME.

Or else you will all hate me. It's kind of that kind of book.

Yes, I am stalling as long as I can. Anita and Richard are about to have sex. Of all the things I thought would happen in this book? That is not one of them. I *thought*, silly me, that the whole point of ending their relationship in Narcissus in Chains was so that Richard would be a side character never to darken Anita's bedroom door again. I *thought* that this would be...well, exactly what it was up until chapter 55. FUCK WAS I WRONG.

The previous chapter ended with the words "Enough with the foreplay, off with the clothes". Despite this, foreplay is still occurring. Also we have MANY POINTED REMINDERS that Richard does not like the idea of having sex with men. Which is pointless because Anita keeps shoving Richard into positions where he has to have physical contact with Jean Claude...unless the entire point of this scene is to do exactly that.

Which would mean we've established a character as a homophobe for the express purpose of forcing him to have sexual contact with men.

I hope I'm reading too much into it, because if I'm not, This is a level of fucked up I can't even analyze. On the one level, homophobia is not okay. On the other hand, forcing someone to do something they are uncomfortable with during sex is also not okay. And instead of these two wrongs cancling each other out in some form of karma, they merely multiply the FUCKING WRONG. This is like the Tesla Earthquake Machine of what the fuck am I reading here.

Anita then deep-throats Richard.

We dwell for a really long time on how very, very much Anita wants to choke.

Reading about psychological methods to supress one's gag reflex is not romantic. On the other hand, knowing those techniques might get me through this book.

Only I could make oral sex into a zen moment.

Oh FUCK YOU, Anita. Seriously. You are not that good at this. know, there's only so many ways you can write "Go in, go out" without having it get really boring.

They take a break and I shit you not, IMMEDIATELY get back in on the "How many other people are you fucking" arguement.

This is why you don't have sex with your ex when you are both seeing other people.

Time to go back to fluffy sex. And it's Anita's turn. End Chapter.

Next chapter.

You know, sex, especially frequent sex, cannot be good for silk sheets. And despite the lack of smell descriptors (Silk has a smell, very pungent and a little on the fishy side. I happen to like it, but mostly because that smell means I'm either playing with a really fun, if temperamental, fiber, or I've just bought the world's most awesome shawl) I really doubt that LKH would have Anita on the fake stuff. I have no idea what frequent biological spills would do to silk sheets, but either Jean Claude has one hell of a dry-cleaner or he goes through sheets the way I do popcorn.

Focusing on the silk part helps me ignore how Anita is getting scared now that Richard is playing with her. Look, I get that pushing limits is good, but this doesn't have that "Let's see how far we can go" play feel. This has more of that "FUCKING WRONG" feel.

And then Jean Claude and Richard start having a fight on top of her because Anita likes to play with Jean Claude's limp manhood, and Richard doesn't like that.

Sex is now the entire point of this novel. STOP INTERRUPTING YOURSELF.

Finally they do make the beast with three backs, and yep, Richard starts in with the "You're so tight" part and...

Okay, I just snorted beer up my nose. Couple sex scenes ago somebody in the comments got the "tight" part and went "BUT IS SHE WET" and...well, I think the book heard ya'll.

“Is she wet?” Jean-Claude asked.

Richard gave him a look, and it wasn’t friendly. “Yes.”

 Richard is still scared of hurting Anita, as established by him hurting Clair offscreen. Well, Anita goes all "Richard I'm not Clair, you won't hurt me," thus establishing her as the glass vagina for Richard's Cinder-penis and proving that his new girlfriend is so very wrong for him.

Hey, how's the sexy dialogue?

“Fuck me,” I said, “fuck me, God, fuck me, just fuck me. Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me, fuck me, please, please, please just fuck me.”

...okay then. 

 Also, Anita confirms that Richard is hitting "that spot" inside her. Up until now I thought that was her g-spot, but apparently that's her cervix.

Also, I did not know this until just now, but if a character goes down on another character, having them wonder what the other guy is doing behind their back is really fucking confusing. I had to read a paragraph three times to understand the logistics, and trust me, I DID NOT WANT TO READ THAT MORE THAN ONCE.

I screamed my orgasm around Jean-Claude’s body still shoved deep in my mouth.

It amazes me that LKH has no problem describing a body that has literally been raped until it was liquified, and yet she cannot bring herself to use the word "penis" in a polyamourous werewolf/vampire/witch sex scene.

Though if she had said "head" this sentence would probably have made the pain a little better.

The chapter closes with everyone collapsing into a, you guessed it, "puppy pile".

If the next chapter doesn't open with a call from Zerbowski I'm going to start flipping computer desks.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 57-58

I don't think I've been as nervious about a book drop before, other than, you know, the first one. Paying for editing should be making me feel better, shouldn't it? Every other book has been kind of "Eh, they'll like it or they'll hate it." This one has been like "THEY WILL HATE IT AND NEVER READ ME AGAIN AND I WILL HAVE DESTROYED MY CAREER" and this time I'm not really sure why. I haven't done anything different. Other than, you know, paying for editing.


It's next Monday.

In other news, LKH has broken her world. Again.

See, Anita is in the shower, and her robe is on the door, which means Jean Claude put it there, which means she is sheilding so hard she can't sense him. Which is a problem, because that's what made Damian go berzerk.

If Anita does not suddenly have to have sex for the sake of Damian, the world is broken. If Anita does suddenly have to sex for the sake of Damian, I'm going to be royally pissed because this is already sex via blackmail, we don't need yet another layer of emotional manipulation just to make Anita get in the sack.

Anita debates about wheither or not she should have her hair up or down.

Second, I had only one boyfriend in the other room, not two. I wasn’t trying to look my best, just help Richard not have a fit about letting Jean-Claude touch him.
If he's not your boyfriend, Anita, what the FUCK is he still doing in the book. You have autonomy. You can tell him "Fuck no" and walk out every time he enters, and be perfectly within your rights no matter what he does. Your previous connection with him has no bearing on what you do for him now.

Though technically I should be saying that to Richard, given that you raped him and he is still coming to save you from your own habitual stupidty. (Anita: Eat. Pick partners you like who like you. Make safety arrangements before you start fucking. Stop raping people. Learn how to tell emotionally toxic people "no". Your problems are now solved. Seriously, every so-called "conflict" in this life is caused either by Anita's inability to set healthy boundaries, or her inability to respect them. Oh, and her inability to realize she might want to eat something.)

 Meanwhile, Jean Claude and Richard are arguing over candles. For romantic atmosphere. Because we want to drill home the whole "Richard is a homophobe" thing, because, you know, we haven't demonized him enough by now.

Oh, and Anita in her bathrobe now has Richard all ready and raring to go.

This is not how you heal from a bad relationship. This is how you maintain them.

Hey, what does Richard look like?

There were tiny folds in his stomach, like there are on real people, unless they have washboard abs, and Richard had better things to do with his time than do that many sit-ups. His stomach was flat and perfect, but perfect doesn’t mean perfectly flat. Lines are flat, people had curves and bumps and places to explore.

Because apparently we're too dumb to understand that flat means "without fat" and not "mathmatically perfect plane". Because it's not like the entirety of English lit uses "flat" to indicate "without fat" when applied to abdomens.

The preliminaries take a while. For example, it takes three paragraphs for Richard to take off his shoes and socks.

“Did you hear all that, Richard? He’s using vamp powers on you.”
 Richard gave me a lazy smile. “I feel calmer, less afraid, less conflicted. I hadn’t realized how bad I was still feeling until now.”
I want to buy every character in this novel bulk membership to a therapy club. Also: slipping somebody the metaphysical version of xanax so you can have sex with them is NOT OKAY.

Anita and Richard spend a minute "discussing" their sex lives together. It works about as well as it does here:

“Sort of, right now Nathaniel and I are estimating I need to feed the ardeur about every six hours, or I start draining Damian’s life energy. Since I can’t feed on the same person everyday, that still leaves me short.”

Why would you think that's a good idea? There's no reason for this. Anita should be having sex because she wants to, not because (la la la la) she'll kill a man if she doesn't. This is not characterization, this is an "Excuse Four Sex Scenes For Free" card that avoids the nasty issue of, you know, fucking consent. You can fuck four times a day and still be a good person. Probably a sore one, but still a good one. Needing an excuse to do what you want to do means you have issues that need to be addressed before they become really big issues.

...and then Richard starts barganing for an appointment to come to Anita's place every three days and have sex.

At this point I don't know who is creepier, Richard or Anita.

What I said out loud was, “It’s not just the sex I miss, Richard. I miss weekend movie marathons. I miss going places with you. I miss you, not just your body, Richard.” I almost kept the next part to myself, but I had to know. It was time. “Do you miss me, Richard, or just my body?” I managed to make it neutral, very neutral. Brownie points for me.

...WELL THAT TAKES CARE OF THAT BIT OF INDECISION. Also: No. That is not neutral. You both are terrible people and you should be locked up together with Jean Claude, Asher and Micah a la No Exit. It's the only fitting ending for this fluster cluck of a relationship.

Meanwhile Anita and Richard are now declaring their undying love for each other I shit you not. And oh my god is it creepy. And pointless. At this point Richard is so very much akin to John Norman's Strawchick(s) I kind of want to call him Strawwolf and get it over with:

“Because when I’m near you, all I can think about is the smell of your skin, and the way your hair spreads like black foam on my pillows. Because when I’m near you, all I can remember is how your body feels against mine. I have to be a bastard to you, so that I don’t fall down at your feet and beg you to take me back. Tell you that it wasn’t you I hated. It was me, and I’m sorry that I took that out on you. Sorrier than I can say. That you had the courage to make a life that worked for you, regardless of how far that life was from where you wanted it to be. Help me have the courage to do the same, Anita. Help me be who I am.”

Sorry. Real breakups don't work that way. Especially not when the person saying this is the one who initiated the break up.

Because. You know. You raped him. 

The chapter ends with all three of them snuggling.

I'd use the Applebloom pic, but I think she's a little too young for this.

 So the chapter opens with Richard flinching away from Jean Claude. Only now, because he has CONFESSED HIS LOVE it is time to make him a good guy again, so he reveals that he's having flashbacks. Specifically about being in bed with Rania and Gabriel.

And then Rania's ghost gives Anita her memory of what happened to Richard, so basically we get to read about Richard being raped again. And that is all I am posting on the matter because it's that freaking bad. 

Well, that and the fact that the cops in this universe should have a crime unit dedicated to inter were-pack assaults, given how frequent and fucking awful these assaults are. 

If there is any redeeming thing in this section, and by "redeeming" I mean "less bad than the rest of this shit" it is when Jean Claude confesses that he was raped by Rania and Gabriel too, and Richard points out that JC likes men, and JC says this:

“Rape is rape, Richard. Is a woman less raped because she likes men? That’s a question, Richard.”

I'd be more enthusiastic if this book hadn't done "you can't rape the willing" less than two chapters ago.

Then they start flirting again, and say "let's get undressed".

Transitions: We need them. (Actually, we need brain bleach and a pacifier)

The chapter ends AGAIN before they have sex.

I'm going to go find booze and drink myself relatively insensible.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 55-56

So we have survived another Sunday. I hate Sundays. I hate Sunday brunches. Everything about sundays suck.

Alright, guys, remember August 5th is Dragon Breath drop day, and let's get started on this, shall we?

...Anita and Richard are having a conversation.

The relationship is over. The author based Richard on bad people in her life and she wants him gone, Anita feels betrayed by him--and oh yeah, SHE FUCKING RAPED HIM because Total Logic Failure.

His presence is no longer even remotely usable for humor-milking. I have a blind inarticulate rage every time I see his name. It's somewhat like seeing the signs WBC babtist members hold up. It's no longer even disgust at an author thinking anything about Richard's character is okay. I just want him to go away. Go be happy with Clair, or another girl, and let Anita wallow in it. Because this tortured aingst shit--other than being catharsis for a divorcee--is utterly fucking worthless.

People have issues, especially when long term relationships die. I get that. Stop working out your issues in your book. It's getting in the way of, you know, THERE BEING AN ACTUAL BOOK.

(Though at this point it's getting in the way of LKH's actual career. Is it too early to say that Affliction has officially tanked? Because it's been out for a month and it's sold WELL under 30K)

Anita is asking about Richard's fight with Clair.

Let's remove gender issues and just look at what is actually there for a second. A person was emotionally and sexually abusive towards their partner, and the partner ended the relationship for the sake of their own safety (This is not headcannon. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED) Now that person is asking their ex-lover, who they raped, to tell them about the fight they had with their new lover, and that person is getting miffy because the ex-lover doesn't want to get into all the details of their relationship WITH THEIR RAPIST.

I WANT to stop talking about that. I am tired of that. But every other page it's like HELLO WE WERE NOT UNHEALTHY ENOUGH SO HERE'S ANOTHER VIOLATION OF SAFE EMOTIONAL BOUNDERIES. I keep waiting for Anita to go "OH HAI MARK HOW'S YOUR SEX LIFE".

And then Anita tells him that the reason he's having difficulty controling his temper is that he's inherited her rage.

Her abuse victim is being told that his anger is invalid because it is coming from her. She is taking ownership of his emotional state and is telling him that he doesn't really feel anything.

If there is one thing I hate in this universe, it is exactly that. That is the kind of emotional manipulation that both disarms AND re-victimizes. You can't even respond to that, because implicitly any anger, any reaction, any "fuck you", no matter how well and OBVIOUSLY deserved it might be, isn't actually yours. It's theirs, and they'll be happy to take it back. It makes you MORE of their posession and you aren't even allowed to feel angry about it.

And Richard is giving short,  clipped answers and Anita is responding thusly:

“Don’t go all grumpy on me, Richard, I’m trying to make a point here.”
“See, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. That sounds more like me, than you. You’ve been quicker to anger for the last bit, and I’ve been less quick to anger, why? What if you got some of my anger, and I got some of your calmness?”

It can't be because of trauma related to, you know, being in an incredibly shitty relationship AND having to work through one crisis after another, starting with having to eat Marcus. No. It's all Anita's fault that he's angry. It's all about her.

I am mentally wishing violence on Anita, because JESUS CHRIST, NONE OF THAT IS OKAY. 

Finally, though, Richard responds beautifully: 

Anger filled his eyes, like magic. One moment trustworthy brown, the next moment serial killer dark. “Thank you, thank you very much, for reminding me that I don’t mean shit to you anymore.”
It's invalidated immediately but I do not care. The ONLY correct response to this kind of bullshit is an IMMEDIATE "Fuck you" (unless it's not safe to say that) and an equally immediate departure. And then you keep contact to a minimum because somebody willing to do this is an utterly worthless piece of shit.

And then Richard drops the bombshell that his fight with Clair is that she accused him of raping her.

Well, you know...let's play devil's advocate here. Maybe Clair is lying, or manipulating, or--

“I’m glad it makes you feel better, but remember, I saw the beginning of the lovemaking session. You can’t rape the willing, Richard.”

...every single character in this series is officially a piece of crap and I'd like to drop all of them into a fire.

The conversation then goes on to try to define terms, and they talk about how Clair thinks Richard is too rough, and he doesn't know how to "make love, only fuck", and any good feeling I had towards Richard is rapidly going out the window. Oh, he's still a victim of abuse, don't get me wrong. But being a victim in no way migitates continuing the cycle.

...and then Anita tells Richard the problem is he's so "well endowed" it's impossible for him to be anything but rough...and also his first time was Rania, and his next major love was Anita. Yeah, he probably doesn't have that much experiance with gentle. But it's a big jump to go from "rough sex" to "the girl accusing you of rape doesn't know what rape means", which is still the conversation we're having right now.

  • “A lot of women don’t like their cervix bumped during sex.” that even possible? 

 But hey, we get a score here! Anita Blake finally uses the word penis:

 “You’re big enough that you always bump someone’s cervix if you’re in a position that allows all of your  .  .  . penis to go inside her. I can’t be any plainer, Richard, so please make the connection here.”
I did not put the "..." there. Anita pauses before she says penis the way a church-going little old lady pauses before she says "fuck".

WOW. And to top off the cervix-related WTF:

“No. I like having my cervix bumped. I have a whole different kind of orgasm from it, so I don’t mind.”
Great. Some women get the glass slipper. Anita's vagina is apparently the glass condom. Only she can fit the most perfect men in the universe. how big is Richard's schlong?

WAIT. WAIT. NO. HOW BIG IS MICAH'S PENIS? The text implies that Micah is bigger than Richard because both JC and Anita have seen Richard naked, and if Richard is big enough that he bumps Anita's cervix...

Micah must be a tripod.

And then Anita decides--knowing ONLY what Richard has told her--that Clair is being a big meanie meanie pants and is only trying to hurt Richard in the worst possible way. Because rape accusations between consensual adults is, you know, just a ploy in a relationship to hurt somebody else.

There are not enough fires in the fucking universe.

And then Richard starts getting violent with Anita.

I can't make this funny, guys. I can't. I'm just kind of sitting here with my mouth open going "Well, we can't top tha--oh, yes we can."

This turns into a step-by-step safety instruction on BDSM relationships. Because, you know, Anita is the picture of safe, sane and consensual.

No. I did not just type that with a straight face.

...and we've just transitioned into Richard is bi/a homophobe.

It's like Laurel K. Hamilton realized that she'd made it through 55 chapters without bring any focused awfulness to the table and she decided she had to pack it all into one chapter RIGHT NOW.

And now we're talking vampire politics re: Primo. THANK GOD. Much better than Anita and Richard talking about something that a real person might actually listen to.

the chapter ends with Jean Claude coming into the room.

Now, it'd be really hard for me to get even more pissed off at this point. Having to read stuff about the tri-whatever Anita just made upping their power levels AGAIN? Sure, we already got all that, but it's much better than the rape talk a few pages back. In fact, there is exactly one thing that could royally piss me off right now.

I did my best not to look at Richard. “Who did you have in mind?”

“Requiem told me of the amount of blood you lost last night, ma petite. I think it is wiser if you do not donate more quite so soon.”

I heard Richard’s sigh from where I was sitting, and he wasn’t sitting that close to me. “I would say it’s always me, but it’s usually not. I know that Anita isn’t your regular feed, but I know she lets you feed.” He put his face against his knees and sighed again. “Fine, but only if Anita is here, too. No just you and me.”

A sex scene with Richard, Jean Claude, and Anita. Aww. And hey, here's the "HOW FUCKED UP CAN YOU GET" Bonus round...they just established Richard as a homophobe so that he would ask for Anita to stay. Because otherwise Richard would have said "NO"


Mercifully, the chapter ends with Anita heading off to take a much needed shower prior to the bloodplay.

And I really have just one reaction to all of this.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Incubus Dreams--53-54

Chapter fifty-three is two kindle pages.

Folks, that is less than a page IRL.

And it is all sex. The bonus round is, the man having sex with Anita is never identified. It's Nate, but I had to back up to make sure. And it's all about how he "brought" her.

Roses? Kittens? Orgasms? We never find out what he "brought" her because LKH is probably a bigger prude than any of her critical fans (It's a penis. We all know it's a penis. Please stop implying that it composes any more of the man in question than about six inches of skin. Please)

Next chapter.

Hey, ever wondered how many words it takes to make my brain dissolve into inarticulate rage?

RICHARD STRODE THROUGH the door, and his energy flung across the room like hot sparks from a fire.
Turns out the answer is about one.


And of course Richard calls Anita and Co. "Sick" for having sex while furry. I would be offended on everyone's behalf if Anita hadn't run the fuck away when Richard needed her.

And also if she hadn't raped him.

I will stop bringing that up when Richard stops appearing in the story.

Richard throws Jason across the room in overly described violence, and then compares Anita and Co. to Gabrial and Rania. Which I would be offended about if it weren't for, you know, the fact that it is Anita.

Anita then jumps into a vision of Richard and Clair having sex.

Because, you know, that's completely relevant to things.

Richard throws a temper-tantrum and the were-rats show up. Things progress until Anita and Richard decide to have a private heart-to-heart chat, and the chapter ends.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Incubus Dreams chapter 51-52

So Anita and Nate are still having sex.

It goes on for pages. Anita gives Nate permission to come, things progress and...then Anita's inner beast goes out of control?

...Because it gives Anita an excuse to make mind-to-mind contact with Richard again. Right.

At this point I should probably start a "Leave Richard Alone" club, because Jesus. This relationship should be dead now. Leave it ALONE.

Richard tells Anita to "give her beast" to either Nate or Jason, or both. This sounds remarkably like saying "Give someone else your charlie horse" but I am not one to judge. And of course it involves sex and feeding the ardeur because apparently the ardeur went unfed during the tooth-play scene.

Either that, or LKH has Dory's memory issues and forgets who screwed whom when every time she closes Microsoft Word.

The chapter ends with Anita surrendering to something, and the next chapter opens with her ripping somebody else to shreds because FUCK IF I KNOW WHY. It turns out to be Jason and he is bleeding. Great. Nice. Wonderful.

Can we trade in the heroines please? This one's broken and her jagged edges are hurting people.

And of course Jason shape-shifts on top of Anita and this time she doesn't freak out.

Our Anita is a fucking hypocrite, people.

Also: I have never asked this question before, but why are the shape-shifters mucus monsters? Why do they have to get ooze everywhere? Is there some greater symbolism here or are we eventually going to say "Fuck it" and go straight for the Great Old Ones?

For the record I would MUCH rather have Anita attempt a sex scene between herself and a Lovecraftian horror than I would have somebody try to explain the greater sexual symbolism of having shapeshifters reinact "Igon, here's your mucus."

The shapeshifters are big and kind of scary and they are pinning Anita down. She's not moving much because, you know, both these species are known for looking at men and thinking "Porkchops!"

But hey, at least it can't get too much wors--

“Then let me go,” I said, and my voice was even, normal, my pulse slowing down. “Not yet,” Nathaniel said, with his face still pressed against my face. Jason looked at him. “Why not?” he asked, before I could. “Because she still needs to feed the ardeur.” I wouldn’t have thought that a wolf face could show that much incredulity, but Jason’s did. “Anita doesn’t do furry.”
Oh, how could I have forgotten LKH's non-con fetish.

(Yeah, I know. I'm going to try REALLY HARD not to read too much shit into Laurel K. Hamilton's personal life, but I've also read fifty-TWO chapters of sex and NONE OF IT was openly consensual. You don't have to be Sherlock to understand this.)

But I am sure that somebody says something that will make all of this oka--

“Let me go, and maybe,” I said.“I like holding you down. I like us both holding you down,” he growled against my skin. “I thought you didn’t like to be in charge,” I said. “I don’t usually, but today I do. Today I love the feel of your body under mine. I love feeling you fight not to struggle, not to panic. I can taste your self-control on my tongue. I want to lick it away.” “Nathaniel,” I said. “Say yes, Anita, just say yes. Feed the ardeur, then you can shower, while we go looking for other things to eat.”
In other words:  They are doing rape-play and Nate is really getting off on it.

Anybody else need tequila? I'm gonna go get some.

Hey, let's revisit Richard, and Anita's abandonment of him, because we haven't smashed THAT nail into the ground hard enough:

Once upon a time I’d begged Richard to show me his beast. But when he did it, I hadn’t been able to deal. It took me a long time to realize that Richard had shown me his beast in the worst light possible, because part of him didn’t want me to be able to accept the beast, because he couldn’t. I’d run from him after seeing him eat Marcus. I’d run from him to Jean-Claude, because the vampire had seemed less the monster that night.

HE TOLD YOU. AND HE BEGGED YOU NOT TO PUSH HIM. And then when you KEPT. FUCKING. PUSHING he begged you to please, oh please, oh please not run because he would really need your support after that night was over. Because he knew he had to eat Marcus if he won.

You ran to his romantic rival and gave him a comfort blow-job because this somehow makes sense.

And hey, you know what? I was going to be the big girl. I wasn't going to bring this up. But you brought it up, so you know what? FUCK YOU. You can't accept Richard shapeshifting on top of you and coating you with goo, but you can deal with Nate and Jason. You couldn't handle Richard eating his enemy--and again, he might not have given you all the details, but "I DON'T WANT TO IT WILL BE REALLY BAD" Coming from somebody who had to camp out at the Circus for Jean Claude's amusement? IT'S GONNA BE BAD--but you can handle having two half-shifted monsters holding you down in bed and demanding sex

You are a fucking hypocrite, and in another two pages you're gonna make that literal, aren't you?

So Anita decides that because she really really loves Nate and Jason, she'll screw them furry.

...and now my search strings are going to be full of variations on a theme of y*ffing, aren't they? (Word censored because seriously, please no.)

The chapter ends with intercourse. And just because this is LKH and the teeth thing wasn't enough, she lets us know in vauge-yet-terrifying detail that the shapeshifting to Leopard did indeed extend to Nathanial's penis.

I'm going to go have more tequila. Dragon's Breath pt. one goes live on Monday, I love you guys, peace out.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

State of the CW

Well, summer sucks. Summer usually sucks. Why people leave parts of the country that are actually, you know, cool, and come down here where it's hot and the nearest culture is in a petri dish, I'll never know. (Seriously. WHY COME TO TEXAS IN THE SUMMER? October and November. It'll be warm but not fuck-me hot, the ocean will still be swimmable and THERE WILL BE NO TOURISTS.)

Oh, and I've put up the Exiles Omnibus. Several days ago. IDK why I didn't announce it. It's over here

Even better news: Starbleached is once again off KDP select and this time I have no intention of putting it back. I know. I said that last time. The Omnibus, however, kind of puts that nail in the coffin. I'm going to come up with a halfway decent alternative. Speaking of which, the omnibus is live over on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble is processing their version.

Dragon's Breath will go live August Fifth. Guys, you know how awkward I am about asking for things. (If you don't know, well, you'll learn soon) I don't go "Buy my shit" all the time because I know most of you don't come here for that. But please. Please please please please please support this book. I invested a lot in this one, it's my move up to the next level. I am REALLY nervous about how well it will do.

Support this book and I will love you forever.

Anyway, I'm doing some of the formatting now, I'll have the site all pretty over the next couple of days.

Alright. Peace out, have a good night, and I'll see you with the next chunk of Incubus

Incubus Dreams--48-50

So anything actually relivant to the book is now over, and Anita heads back to the Circus of the Damned because...uh...dark gothy sleeping place? Oh, and it's morning. Because sleep is for wimps.

Anita wonders how a Master vamp got into the city without Jean Claude and/or the Church of Eternal Life finding out, and then she goes on about how the doors on the Circus lock. Apparently there used to be no way to open the Circus doors from the outside. Some dude would have to see you coming (or get your cell phone call) and open the doors for you. This inconvenienced Anita because the little lookout post was sometimes unmanned (and apparently they let their cell-phones run down) and she would have to actively knock. So Jean Claude, Master of St. Louis, trades a pretty damn good security feature--namely, not being able to open the front door from the outside--for a basically shitty one. Anita has a key, and given that Anita isn't smart enough to pack a clean change of clothes for crime-scene work, that is probably a very bad move.

Anita then wanders around the Circus looking for somebody to sleep with. Jean Claude and Asher are in bed together. They're also dead, which is too creepy for Anita, so she moves on to Jason's room. Jason is sharing with Nate. The obvious--that Anita is even more useless than a hooker in a monastary--not occuring to her, she beds down with Nate and Jason.

But not before stripping. We find out that Anita's skirt is uncomfortably stiff with dried blood. She has trouble taking it off. The vampires were too polite to point the blood-soaked fabric out before Anita went to the crime scene. Apparently, so were the cops, which is probably a little out of character for a demographic used to interpreting blood-soaked fabric as "Somebody probably died here".

I do not understand how Anita still has a job. 

She sorts her clothing into three piles. "Clean" (which she promptly puts back on) "We can wash this a few times" and "ew." This takes an entire fucking chapter.

Next chapter, Anita thinks she hears somebody in the hallway outside. Well, that's a really good reason why having a door that can't be opened from outside the joint is a good fucking idea. Oh, but no, it was all just a dream. Anita let herself be hungry and she's drained Damian down again. This would be the point where I'd go on a "TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, ANITA, YOU ARE PUTTING LOVED ONES IN DANGER NOW" Rant, but then we find out that the ardeur's needyness has increased to once every two hours. 

Anita has to have sex once every two hours to keep from killing the people she is tied to. 


 So Anita and Nate decide they're going to have sex to save Damian's life--WHY CAN THIS WOMAN NOT HAVE SEX BECAUSE SHE WANTS IT--and Jason is like "Well, I'm gonna go shower now."

Except he doesn't.

And they talk about how much Nate loves Anita and how much Anita loves Nate and how this is One True Love involving Micah...and finally, in the third chapter, they get down to business.

And this is the reason I decided to do three chapters tonight.

Guys, I am not what you would call experienced sexually, so there is not a lot in these sex scenes I can relate to. But one thing I can relate to is that a penis is rather akward, and putting one in your mouth is even more so. So I find the whole "Anita swallows all of Nate's Junk" part of this scene rather...uh. Yeah. Okay. She says it's because she got good practice on Micah. I was under the impression that Micah had the next best thing to a prehensile elephant schlong in his pants.

And then this happens:

Licking him, rolling him, sucking him, and when he was making enough noise, very lightly, I used teeth.
...I have it on very good authority that you don't use teeth. How does Nate react to this?

“More teeth, please.”
You male blog-readers might want to look away now. Because this ends with Anita biting hard onto Nathanial's penis.

I read this scene, and having no experiance whatsoever I immediately felt my gentitals retreat into my body and begin contemplating a future of polination.

I am not exaggerating at all here:

I went down on him fast and hard, and this time I bit him hard enough that my teeth closed around that thick, meaty flesh.

I need someone to lend me an even, because my "I don't even" account is so deep in the red I need more evens to be able to say that I can't even. That's how bad it is.

Guys, it might just be me, but why. Why would you want somebody to bite your junk. There are a massive number of things you can do. I would think "Biting my junk" would be somewhere on the "Infected Prince Albert" level of "Things to do to a penis". I mean, there are a lot of things that could go severely wrong. What if Anita has sudden onset lockjaw? Or a seizure? Or somebody comes up behind her and pops a bag behind her head? I mean, I know it'll grow back, but fuck me, guys. WHY.

There is not enough tequila in the world to make this okay.

The chapter ends a couple paragraphs later, but not before Nate takes the time to say "you are wet" to Anita.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Incubus Dreams--46-47

So we are FINALLY at the plot, a little past the halfway mark. I do not have high hopes for this to last, but who knows? We might get lucky.

...LKH has a bad habit of losing track of what her sentences are about halfway through.

I actually had to park in the lot of the nearest club, the Jazz Baby, live music, and live entertainment. What could be better?
Yeah, the previous paragraph was about how the real cops took all the parking spaces, so Anita has to park one strip club over. We go from that to an add for the Jazz Baby, which actually sounds like a classy name for a strip club. My vote is for a Great Gatsby themed burlesque joint. Sadly, nothing in this book would even get THAT cool.

Anita then goes off AGAIN on how inappropriate her clothes are, as in they are cold. Also, Her shirt got all bloody so she had to borrow a white one, and her black bra can be seen, and she had to borrow Byron's jacket again. Hey, Anita? you know what would work even better? Dressing professional in the first place. Women should by god be allowed to wear whatever they want to, but if you're wearing heels, a thong and a mini skirt to a crime scene in October, expect no sympathy from me when things start going wrong. And If you're borrowing the male stripper's underwear, is there a reason why you can't also borrow their pants? "Hey, Bryon/Nathanial/Requiem/Asher/Jean Claude/Gregory/Random Male X, I have to go to a crime scene. Since we just fucked do you think I can borrow a pair of black slacks?"

Ooooh, but we get a whole paragraph dedicated to this thong. Jean Claude found it. It's made of T-shirts.

When I got up to the line, the officer closest to me didn’t really look at me. He saw a woman in boots and a short skirt and a leather jacket and said, “Club’s closed for the night, you won’t be working.”

Thank you Captain Obvious. Bonus Points: I think he knows exactly who she is, and he's trying to give her a hint that maybe she should have brought, IDK, PANTS.

Random Cop doesn't believe that Anita is a marshal. She is wearing knee-high boots, thigh-high stockings, A mini skirt, a thong, a leather jacket, and she probably looks like she just had sex and then a hasty shower because, you know, she just did. I know we're supposed to go "Random cop is a prudey prude bad guy" but I do not think Random Cop's perceptions are at fault here.

Seriously. We give freaking Power Girl a hard time for her boob window and we're supposed to take Anita Blake seriously? For not having the forethought to borrow a pair of jeans from Nathanial on her way out the door? She's basically comic nerd fan service. WHY IS SHE NOT WEARING PANTS. 

 Pissing contest, cops come in flavors again, basically Anita's is bigger than yours, Mr. Cop, step aside and let her at that dead body.

Of course, if I’d been a big, strapping guy, he wouldn’t have-had a problem with it.

If you were a big, strapping guy and you were dressed like Nathanial was when he left the house earlier? He'd probably have the same problem. Which is not your gender. It's the fact that you cannot do your job in a thong and a mini. I mean, you do know cops have to bend over and look at evidence a lot, right? They have to kneel in things that you probably don't want to kneel in? They have to climb through thorn bushes and barbed wire and used condoms/needles/razor blades, then handle body parts and blood containing god only knows what kind of disease? You cannot do surgery without rubber gloves, you should not be wandering around a crime scene effectively naked from the knees to the belly button.

Anita has to deal with cat calls. These are not cool and not good and nobody should ever be doing them. They are not her fault. But, you know. PANTS.

Besides, I’d learned the hard way that the more attention you pay to shit like that, the more you have to shovel.

Yep. Uh huh. Yeah. The cops are sexist assholes. You still really should be wearing pants. Sexism on their part does not excuse this. This is not a club, this is not a party, this is not a statement of feminine idealism, this is a murder scene and your skirt is so short you were complaining about getting goosebumps on your labia when you were at your other job. I am sure one of the forensics trucks have a pair of plastic painters pants you can borrow until you're done.

 They go inside the club, and the lead detective finally says what we're all thinking:

“You know, if you don’t want people thinking you’re a stripper, you should dress better, miss.”

You know, the whole "Strippers don't have a uniform" arguement actually makes Anita's clothing worse. See, even this book says that the dancers come in wearing street clothes and leave wearing street clothes. Anita is not dressed like a stripper. She's dressed how an idiot preppie 21 year old clubber  thinks a stripper would dress, ie in catastrophically stupid stereotypical clothing that no human being on earth would ever wear to a crime scene. I am not thinking "Ew what a (insert slur here)" I am thinking "Hepatitis B on broken glass".


Zerbowski ends the pissing contest and drags Anita into the club. The vampires there freak out, and oh, one of them is a deacon in the Church of Eternal Life.

Anita asks to know who they fed on, and this kicks off another pissing contest. Eventually she gets a vamp to tell her who was feeding on whom, and it was basically "All the dancers".

There is something sleezy about a strip club letting vamps feed on the dancers. Just sayin.

And you know, it's been so long since the actual murder I forgot the victim was fed on by a vamp, hence the need to know who fed on whom tonight.

The victim is in the bottom of a large hole in an abandoned construction site. Anita has to climb into the hole full of potentially rusted metal, bits of broken glass, abandoned tools and bent nails. 

I shook my head. “How messy is it down in the hole?” 
“Let’s see, it’s rained, it’s frozen, it’s thawed, and it’s rained some more.”


Anita pokes around the body, and we get an awful, awful lot of "ew this mud is really icky, eww I have to kneel in it, ewwww it's really cold and yucky and my thigh-highs are no protection"


Oh, and Anita's high heeled boots are giving her concern. Because, you know, she's climbing around in the mud in an abandoned construction site with a dead body at the bottom. In knee-high leather boots with (I assume) stiletto heels.

Anita gaurentees that it isn't Jean Claude's people doing this, which would be worth exactly "Jack" and "Shit" if I were Zerbowski, but apparently they're willing to roll with it. Jean Claude is in Anita's head. She tells Zerbowski that she found out from the Church of Eternal Life dudes that the CoEL has stopped doing the blood oath thing that would keep JC's people from doing this shit, and Jean Claude freaks the fuck out inside her head, cussing in french while she tries to keep talking to Zerbowski.

...if Jean Claude is in her head, wouldn't she get the literal meanings of the french word? Merde might look nice, but shit is shit no matter what language you say it in.

Anita says that it's bad and that she'd rather kill the vamps then endure the danger they put the world in, which makes Jean Claude freak out more because they might have to kill the entire CoEL and hey, there's a typo! Cool.It's "theirs" not "Their's", Laurel.

The chapter closes with Jean Claude deciding to go visit the CoEL, Anita cussing out the universe, and Zerbowski staring directly up Anita's miniskirt.

Incubus Dreams--chapter 44-45

Well, to answer a question posted in the comments, shapeshifting is apparently a major draw for the stripper routines...but we only find this out in an after-the-fact way, because Nate is too exhausted from the "Bad Kitty" scene to shapeshift.

...please somebody tell me how Jean Claude, he of the suave incredible magnificence, can say "bad kitty" to a were-leopard without irony and still maintain any dignity.

 So Anita goes into Jean Claude's office and basically does sexy poses on his desk until he looks happy.


Nope. Instead of having Anita pull a gun and go gangster on some asshole we get to read about her sucking Jean Claude's nipples.

Guys, I expected this book to be bad, but it's been about thirty chapters of sex with nothing in between. Save for one zombie that stole the whole book out from under Anita. Seriously. The terminally dead have more charisma than the main character of this novel.

Anita tells Jean Claude to draw blood. Normally this would result in Erotic Blood Play (TM) but in this book it requires negotiations first, because that is always sexy.


And he takes the blood from her breast. Of course he does.

...and the imagry is actually pretty good. Okay. LKH gets an e-cookie for this one. JUST ONE THOUGH.

 A few minutes later Anita tells Jean Claude to fuck her--well, we've all been saying "Fuck you" to Anita for the last several dozen chapters so it's only fair--and "Wet and tight" shows back up again:

“You are wet, but you are still tight.”

...She's had sex three times today, twice in the last four hours. And there has been no shower or mention of shower. I do not think that wetness is what you think it is, and how the fuck is she still tight?

 Somewhere in the last please, he began to force himself inside me. I was tight, so tight, and so wet.
We get it. You've got quarter inch PVC pipe where the rest of us have panty hose. Yay for you.

...and the blood-related imagry is no longer sexy.

The chapter ends with an orgasm.

Chapter 45 opens with a phone call.



So Zerbowski has another dead stripper, and it is at the Sapphire Club AKA the nice strip club. Anita has issues with that club. Apparently they wanted vampire strippers, Jean Claude has the market cornered on those in his territory, the Church of Eternal Life AKA Vampire Jesus frowns on stripping because it is morally questionable (...vampire Jehovah's Wittnesses. OH. MY. GOD. WHY DO YOU WASTE THESE PLOTS, LAUREL? THEY WRITE THEMSELVES) so they wanted to import and Anita had to talk to them about it. Apparently it didn't go well.

Anita agrees to go down, but first she and Jean Claude have to have this conversation:

I stared at him, and he stared at me. I said what I was thinking, which I’d almost broken myself of. “So what, you take blood from me, then we fuck, and you have a blood donor standing by, and we fuck. We could like, what, have a room full of donors and just screw until we were so sore, or so tired, we couldn’t move?” I was sort of kidding. The look on his face wasn’t. The look on his face, the expression in his eyes, made me blush.
Okay, so to that "vibrator that takes out the trash" dream a lot of women have, let's also add "That isn't a blood sucking dick" to the list.


Blah blah blah stuff involving Belle Morte and fatal blood-letting for the purpose of sex. Not interested. MURDER PLOT.

And then we have another "ooooooh the world is full of moral gray areas" because Jean Claude's regret for killing dudes for sex is supposed to negate the fact that, you know, he killed dudes for sex. I don't give a fuck. MURDER PLOT. NOW.

Then Jean Claude reveals that he hasn't made any more vampires because:

“Because, to make them vampire, I must first take away their mortality, their humanity. Who am I to do that, ma petite? Who am I to decide who will live on, and who will die in their appointed time?”

Oh god there is so much world-breaking stupid in that paragraph I don't even.

First: Jean Claude doesn't have to make more vampires. He's a blood-fountain, or what-the-fuck ever the head of vamp lineage is called, and can control everybody descended from him. He can make his minions make more vampires.

Second: Jean Claude wouldn't give a fuck. as evidenced by--


Seriously. She went from a mostly-sheltered virginal shut-in, albeit a shut-in because her life revolved around killing things and then animating their corpses, to being what we've been enjoying for the last month: Somebody who will break promises, violate boundaries, rape people, spit on the morality of others and put vunurable people at unnecessary risk just because she wants to. At this point it isn't just the unnecessary inhibitions Anita has lost. It's the necessary ones. Like "Thou shalt not fuck in your workplace within earshot of your boss during business hours" and "Don't put that in your vagina, you don't know where it's been".

And then we get this:

“I’m your fail-safe. I’m your judge, your jury, and your executioner if things go wrong.”
WHY. WHY COULD THIS NOT HAVE BEEN A GOOD BOOK. That line would have been so. fucking. kick. ass. That whole concept--that Jean Claude values Anita because she'll keep him from becoming his sire--would have been just...OH GOD. If it were handled differently. If LKH hadn't spent three books shitting on basic morality, if Anita hadn't spent those same three books raping men and rubbing their assault in their faces, and generally ignoring sane limits. It's like walking along a beach covered in raw sewage and finding that one little pearl that would have made the walk worth it if, you know, it had been a beach and not something covered in raw sewage.

Then they quote poetry to each other, alternating on the lines. Gag me.

End of chapter.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 42-43+ ARTWORK HO!

Got the edits for Dragon Breath back today, will spend most of tomorrow going through it and cleaning up.

I've just realized I have a crippling fear of feedback. This is not a good thing.

Oh yeah. Cover art for Dragon's Breath. I've been sitting on this for a week. Here ya'll go:

Yeah, so where were we on this stupid book?

 ...Anita and Graham are still snuggling together in public, because Anita didn't have the forethought to wear pants to her october night-job.

I still have no sympathy. Anyhoo, they switch off with Requiem who starts snuggling because fuck if I know. Do Anitaverse vamps have a decent body temp?

Hey, we haven't had anything particularly rapey in a while.

He snuggled his face against me, an oddly catlike gesture. I’d had enough of the wereleopards rubbing over me to know what I was talking about. “I would do anything that my lady required.” 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, and I was feeling better enough to sound suspicious.
 He laughed and pressed his body against my legs hard enough that my knees moved just a little apart.


 Anita says "Fuck no" to Requiem's insistant knee...and for some reason this makes Damian collapse with magical hypothermia. Apparently Anita's frozen vagina negatively effects the men in her life, and because she isn't letting Requiem warm it up with his penis, Damian is collapsing and dying.

So Anita will now have sex with Requiem to save Damian, right?

...yep. But because Requiem is a stranger Anita can't raise the ardeur, so Requiem has to roll her first. Meanwhile Graham almost has an accident because two people are having sex in a moving car to save the life of a third person several miles away. Although they aren't taking their clothes off first.

Oh, and Anita?

He looked down at me with eyes like drowned flames, and whatever he saw on my face seemed to decide him, because he slid hands on my naked hips, cupped my ass, and angled me up against the front of his pants, so the leather bindings rubbed directly onto the most delicate of places...It was as if he’d spread me wider with the push of his body, peeled back the layers of my most intimate places, until the leather braiding rubbed directly on those spots, that spot.
You just damn near froze your vagina off by wearing a thong and miniskirt in 40 degree weather. You can use the word vagina. 

 They orgasm, Damian gets up and wanders off like "I meant to do that" and Graham is all like "DUDE WHY DIDN'T YOU SHARE?"

...I am now visualizing Anita as a smoke-stained bong in some stoner's back bedroom. Oh, by the way, I've thought up a great idea for an anti-drug ad.

...and because LKH hates me, we get a detailed account of what happens when you rub yourself to orgasm on the other guy's leather pants. "Chafing" doesn't quite cover it, apparently.

End of chapter.

Next chapter, we are back at Guilty Pleasures. Anita catches a doorman letting underage girls through.

That should be an "instant fire" in any other club.

Buzz catches the under-age kids at the door, and Anita takes a minute to think about how wonderful big bad men are...and then another dude shows up and insists on seeing Gregory because he's Gregory's dad.

...yeah. This shit again.

If ya'll remember from last book, Gregory's dad is a pedophile piece of shit who pimped his kids out. Now, in any other book this would be either the start of a good character-growth arc for Gregory and his brother, or the prelude to one of those gray-moral stories where a character who would never kill anyone ever (preferably Gregory) leaves Greg's dad in a ditch somewhere and Never Speaks Of This Again while the audience cheers uncomfortably.

In this book, it's an excuse for Anita to be bad-ass.

Gregory's history of abuse is an excuse for Anita to get to be bad-ass. For about two seconds.

Seeing Greg's eyes in their father's face throws Anita, and the vampires throw him out of their club. Anita asks how often their father tries to get into the club and they say "once or twice a week, whenever the boys are scheduled to preform."

I do not condone violence IRL, because it's WRONG and it drops you down to their level, but I find it very hard to believe in a universe where eating the vanquished alpha is a hallowed tradition, Greg and Stephen don't have a single friend willing to follow Daddie Dearest down the nearest alley with a spiked bat. All the big dangerous man-eating monsters that strip at Guilty Pleasures are sitting on their hands waiting for Anita to come make the stalker-pedo go away.

...why do we have to have a stalker-pedo plot line? Why do we need to go there?

Anyway, Anita sits down and watches Nathanial air-fuck the stage. Because it is absolutely appropriate to go from A History of Child Abuse to sexual titillation. I am sure everyone wants to discuss pedophiles abusing their victims and then go watch one of their significant others strip.

This happens:

From the back, with his legs tight together, he looked nude. He laid his head on the floor, and the ponytail of his auburn hair spilled out around him like a cloak.... and I realized that he had it up in a high, tight ponytail. So that the hair bounced and moved with him.

Jean Claude shows her how to feed at a distance, and she doesn't like it much. Then Nathanial drags her on stage because...


Anita and Nathanial realize that Anita has ditched the thong. She is sitting on the stage of a strip club in a blouse, mini-skirt, thigh-high lace stockings and nothing else. 


 And then Jean Claude comes on stage with a whip and starts beating Nate while shouting "bad cat, bad kitty" and the crowd shouts "tie him up, tie him up" and I don't even. I am all out of even. There aren't enough evens in the universe.

Anita now has to beat Nathanial, the perennial submissive, on stage in front of lots of people. Then she really gets into it and starts yanking on Nate's hair. I'd be more comfortable with this if it weren't for the whole "We're doing this on stage" thing.

She bites Nate, which is all that he wanted. And then she kisses Jean Claude because fuck if I even know.

The chapter ends with Anita agreeing to be on the bottom for Jean Claude.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 40-41

We are at Chapter 40 before Anita even comes close to raising a zombie.


Anita has not fired a gun, pulled a gun, polished a gun, or even considered actively using a gun, at all, ever in this book.

I know that violence is bad (...according to other people) but I'd much rather see Anita bashing the heads of vampires in than I would see her have sex on her office floor. Actually, I would rather see her cut her toenails at work than have sex on her office floor, but bashing vampires means she is DOING SOMETHING POSSIBLY PLOT RELATED and that would be rather nice at this point. Like a really cool change for something positive.

 So Anita explains why she HAD to start telling people that raising zombies involves beheading chickens at the gravesite. Now, I'd think that'd be a part of the animator brochure, but apparently not. And there's one little stand out:

She’d turned out to be a vegan. That’s like a rabid fundamentalist vegetarian.
...this was published in 2005. My dad married a vegan in 2006 and I did not need to have this explained to me. (BTW she gave me the best explination ever of what vegans are. If it has eyes and a mommy she doesn't want it hurt. I have used this so many times at work it is unreal).

It also gives me creepy vibes and I'm not sure why. There's an us-vs-them attitude when you introduce "fundamentalist" into a conversation and you don't have it pointed at you. I will gladly introduce myself as a Christian who was raised borderline fundie and who got over it, but I won't introduce my parents as fundamentalist Christians because my mother isn't, and I respect my dad too much to introduce that bullshit into his future relationships.

Also, this is the word "fundamentalist" being used by a woman who has actively campaigned against moral codes for the last three books of her series. I'll bet you money she hates that Anita Blake is Episcopalian and she can't change it.

Well, I'm pretty sure that LKH can't top the vegan stupid in this paragraph. I mean--

I’d been glad later that it hadn’t been cold enough to wear a coat, because leather is the only kind of coat I own.

Oh. Anita. Get down. with your bad self.


And then we get a long, drawn out, melodramatic and utterly fucking stupid paragraph about what happens when you wear a thong and a mini-skirt to a graveyard at night, in St. Louis, in motherfucking October. Her vagina is freezing, and I have absolutely no sympathy because she is wearing thigh-high stockings and a thong and a miniskirt in a city where the average October temperature at night is 41F.

 Anita wishes she had borrowed a taller man's coat. Well, yeah, that would have given her better ass coverage alright, but you know what would really have helped with her labia's lament? Pants.

In fact, why in the name of God would you plan to go to work--to your job, where you will be beheading chickens with a machete--in a miniskirt? Why would you not have a pair of fuck-these-jeans in your back trunk for bloody evenings and/or crime scenes?

Anita re-describes Requiem and Graham because we might have forgotten what they looked like between chapters. She then explains why she's there, and are will-and-testament disputes the only reason why you raise a zombie? If I were rich enough to afford Anita I'd be resurrecting notable scientists and asking them to look over my dissertation for a few hours.

...this series could have had the ressurection and abduction of fucking Tesla. The closest the human race has ever gotten to throwing an honest-to-god comic book mad scientist. The dude that invented a fucking earthquake machine. THINK ABOUT IT.

I’d learned long ago to control it enough so I didn’t raise the dead by accident. There’d been a professor in college that committed suicide. He’d come to my dorm room one night. He wanted to tell his wife he was sorry.

Anita's power decides it has to feel up Requiem instead of raise the zombie.

Again: why are we not reading the Visible Sixth Sense and the Abduction of Zombie Tesla?

And then Anita gets lots of powers through flowery language because having an actual plot is hard work and this is pretty.

Except it isn't because I don't actually care.

The power began to spread outward, began to seek another grave, but some small part of me that was still me, knew better. It wouldn’t be just one more grave. I knew in that instant that I could raise this cemetery. That I could raise them all. No blood sacrifice. No chickens. No goats. Nothing, but the power blowing through me, and the vampire at my back. Because the power wanted to be used. It wanted to help me, help me caress them all from their graves, pull them to the light of stars, and fill them with  .  .  . life. It would feel so good to lift them all up, so good.

...Anita now has the ability to raise the dead without beheading chickens. Rules of magic in this universe? Nah, that just gets in the way of the cool toys.

I reached out to the other third of our triumverate. I reached out to Richard.



So Richard does wolfy things and it gives Anita back her sanity, but it takes a lot of purple prose to get there. Graham is now sitting on the grave because she smells like pack.

The zombie gets raised, and because we're breaking the rules of the universe he looks perfect, but Anita has to let him drink her blood. THANK YOU GOD it is not Erotic blood play. Only the zombie won't stop feeding because he got no blood sacrifices, and WHY IS RICHARD STILL RUNNING AROUND IN THE WOODS? I love non-linear but that's getting really fucking annoying.

...and then he snaps too rather suddenly, and he has no idea that he's dead.

Sadly, though, that doesn't go anywhere. The chapter ends with Anita bandaging her arm back up.

Next chapter, Anita has canceled all of her other clients for the evening.

So basically we've accomplished...exactly nothing in this book. Exactly nothing. That's rather hard to do.

Anita then sits in the car shivering because she wasn't smart enough to wear the rest of her clothes to work today. And yes, I know that's a traditional slut-shaming line, but I don't give a fuck about how provocative Anita's dress is. It's forty degrees outside and she's wearing a miniskirt and thong. YOU'RE GONNA BE FUCKING COLD EXPECT NO SYMPATHY FROM ME.

“Graham under the blanket would double your body heat.” He said it very crisp, no wasted words, it was nice to know he could be concise when he needed to be.
Oh no. No no no no no. We are NOT doing one of these scenes. HELL NO.

Blog-Readers, I read the entire Twilight series. All of it. Because I wanted to. Because it sucked, and I couldn't look away until it was done. And I only felt the urge to throw the book across the room one time. And that was the camping scene. Where Edward wishes out loud that he had a space heater for Bella and Jacob comes in and offers.

In short: I hate this with the passion and fire of ten thousand fucking suns.

And yes. She huddles against Graham for warmth and he talks about how wonderful and tiny and small and pretty she is as if she is not there. She snuggles until she falls asleep. Then they need her to put the zombie away, and she...freaks the fuck out and almost breaks one of Graham's ribs. Okay.

You know, I read a couple people talking about how this was their favorite Anita Blake book. This was.

 Oh, and then we find out that Anita failed at Magic 101

“Yes,” I said, “I got distracted by all that new power and forgot to put up a protective circle. It keeps the zombie in, but it also keeps other things out. A lot of metaphysical shit likes to mess with bodies, if they get the chance. I knew better.”


...she almost makes up for it by having the zombie try to bargain his way into getting to stay alive. Everything about this sequence is good. Not awesome, but good. Again: Kiddnapping of zombie Tesla.

And then Anita bullshits the zombie by first putting the circle where it is supposed to go using an asspull mental visualization, and then makes the zombie try to walk outside of the circle that she just put up for the very first time, and when he can't, she tells him it's because he is bound to his grave.

No. It's because you just put up the wall you were too distracted to put up earlier. You're lying your ass off because this zombie is clearly much smarter than you are. And a much better character.

So Anita negotiates for a blood donor, who naturally turns out to be Graham, so that she can throw blood on the zombie and put it to bed. She sends Requiem off to get a first aid kit while she makes sure that Awesome!zombie is now safely dead again, and not just stuck down there all aware and stuff. She thinks about how she could actually stick an aware zombie in their grave, and the chapter ends.

Also: Zombie Tesla. I am going to make this a thing someday. It is too awesome to let die.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 38-39

Dear Laurel K. Hamilton:




This is the passage that brought that out:

  • His hair looked as if the darkness had been drawn out into some dark thread and formed into curls. The only color was the drowning blue of his eyes and the crimson smear of lipstick across his face. It wasn’t my lipstick, or at least not most of it.
We're still in the fucking club, by the way. But I do like "Drowning blue". That's better than sapphire, husky blue, ocean blue, carribean, or all the other permutations of "I want his eyes to be special". "Drowning" evokes specific imagry without being too frufru. If LKH could just tone it the fuck down for five seconds, these little gems would actually be worth something.

Then we get a passage that made me go wha? ...and then I realized that LKH is trying to show us how Jean Claude's voice effects people he's rolling, and I know showing is good, but it shouldn't make you feel like you just dropped acid.

And of course we get a moment of homophobia when a random dude freaks out over being sexually attracted to Jean Claude. Because, you know, we absolutely had to have this interlude. 

 And then we get a makeout session between Jean Claude and a random female. And I really have to ask this: WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO LET A VAMPIRE RUN A FUCKING STRIP CLUB.

I know. Anit-discrimination and whatnot. But you know what black people and trans people and other sorts of people can't do? They can't fucking roll your mind and erase will and inhibition and make you come WILLINGLY to your death. JEAN CLAUDE JUST VIOLATED EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN HIS CLUB, MULTIPLE TIMES, AND HE WOUND THIS RANDOM WOMAN UP AND IS NOW FEEDING OFF HER PHYSICAL ENERGIES WITHOUT HER CONSENT. He's on the record stating that the whole reason he has the clubs is so he can feed his variation of the ardeur without having to, you know, actually fuck. HE. IS FEEDING. OFF HIS CUSTOMERS. WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.

This would be good if he were an antagonist, but he's supposed to be the good guy. And you would think SOMEBODY in all this would go "Uh...he's going to be regulated by a magic user while he's doing this, right?"

This entire series started when one of Jean Claude's (now dead) minions rolled one of Anita's friends and threatened to kill her if she didn't do what Jean Claude/Nicolaus wanted. This entire series is based on the idea that being in this fucking club is not safe.

And here's Anita, sitting in the middle of it, watching Jean Claude do whatever the fuck he wants.

And hey, because it's entirely possible you might have forgotten about all this, the text is kind enough to remind us:

“Nikolaos knew that he was feeding off the audience without ever touching them, so she forbade him to touch any of the customers.” His gaze went past me to the stage. “I think she had some clue what he could have been, and she did everything she could to make sure he didn’t come into that power.”
OR Nikolaos was smart enough to know that if the general public ever found out what Jean Claude was doing, he, and by extension her, would be staked and beheaded for general fuckery and she told him to knock it off.

Oh, and two paragraphs later we get a time-line on this novel series. It's been about three years since Anita killed Nikolaos.


Anita thinks about how three years ago she would have used this kiss as an excuse to dump Jean Claude's undead ass like a hot rock. Which again, brings up my preffered headcannon for this series, this being that Jean Claude wants Anita's power but couldn't give one blue fuck about her as a person, and he's steadily corrupted her because, hey, now he gets to touch, man.

And then Anita says she's greatful that Jean Claude is feeding off the customers because, as his vampire servant, her job is to feed him, and if he had not started soul-sucking random women she would still be backstage screwing everybody Jean Claude could pitch in her direction.

I really don't know where to start. How about the fact that this? What she just said? It's so textbook codependant and abuse-victim that I want to hold a fucking intervention. OH IT IS OKAY THAT HE IS DOING SOMETHING THAT WOULD NORMALLY HAVE VIOLATED MY MORAL CODE BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE ME DOING SOMETHING MUCH WORSE BECAUSE HE WOULD MAKE ME.

No. The alternative is that YOU. LEAVE. YOU LEAVE. If your SO is placing demands on you that put your life and well-being in danger you fucking leave. And fuck the consequences. Especially when, as in this case, his own stupidity is causing them. Jean Claude just basically held this entire fucking club hostage so that Anita would screw in a back room, and he had Anita screw in a back room so that she would give him permission to take his ardeur feedings to the next level. THIS IS SO MANIPULATIVE AND WRONG AND...

So then we hand-wave where Primo went--cross-wrapped coffin. Anita makes sure it is guarded so either he's breaking out or we're just letting Anita play at being big-chick on campus--and then Antia finally leaves the club.

Anita then gets to keep Requiem for a while, and she goes into more detail about how pretty he is. And I love how whenever she has somebody who isn't all white, LKH doesn't just say "mixed race" or at least identify the race(s) being blended. No, it's not about what the person has, it's about what they don't have:

His face was exotic, in the way that people can be when some ancestor didn’t come from Northern or Southern Europe. The straight black hair, the ever-so-slight uptilt to the edge of his eyes made me bet he’d come from somewhere much farther east.
Oooooh, this is a subtle one, my dear blog-readers, but it's a biggie. She just turned being mixed race into a negative, a void, by saying where the ancestors aren't. And then she doesn't bother to fill that void back up because identifying what the character is not--fully white--is more important than stating what they actually are.

Anita is halfway out the door before Nate pulls a "You promised to mark me tonight and I'll be furry by the time you get home" on her, and she realizes he fully intended for her to be a part of his act tonight. Without telling her.


Eventually she just kisses Nate on the lips and heads off into the night, while Jean Claude continues to feed off women. And I have to say it, the comparison between the massive amount of red lipstick he's taken off his willing victims and blood? Yeah, that's pretty damn good.

Next chapter.

We find out that Anita has gray-outs WHILE SHE IS DRIVING WHAT THE FUCKING HELL.

There was a white car in front of me, like magic, it just appeared. I slammed on the brakes, and Graham squeaked again. My pulse was thudding in my throat. I hadn’t seen that car. I signaled that I was turning right. Right meant I didn’t have to cross any lanes of traffic. The suddenly appearing white car had scared me.
So Anita pulls into the nearest parking lot to get off the road...and there are two men in her car.


But no. Anita has a sudden orgasm flashback, and then starts remembering the time she rescued Richard's family from a torturer. Meanwhile she gives Requiem and Other Random Dude AKA Grahme the orgasm memory too. Because...FUCK IF I KNOW WHY.

Then we get a long conversation about how Belle Morte tortured using pleasure. Because we need to know this.

You know what I want? A nice, non-erotic scene where somebody brushes their teeth. You know. Something normal.

And then we get a "She doesn't know she's beautiful" segment. Gag me.

And then....I'm going to copy and paste this in, and then I'm going to go raid my alcohol supply for something strong:

“You keep saying that, like you’re apologizing, why? Why are you apologizing?” 

I looked at Requiem for help, though I didn’t hold much hope. But he did help. “I believe that Anita sees it as unasked-for sexual contact. A sort of rape, if you will.”
 “Can’t rape the willing,” Graham said, and he stretched himself taller in the seat, settling more into it, and his eyes were bleeding back to human.

Yeah, this book has polished off my supply of Magellen. I have to go buy more tomorrow. LKH sucks.

But there is one thing I kind of like. Requiem tells Graham about how Anita and JC have hit a new power plateau and he's all like "Oh, yeah. That can be scary sometimes," like it's something that happens every fucking day.


"Yeah. I remember my first time. You know, they've got a support group for that."

(OH MY FUCKING GOD how have I run this blog so long without mentioning Zebra Girl? If you like dark/funny Paranormal stuff GO READ ZEBRA GIRL NOW I will be waiting here IT EVEN HAS WEREWOLVES GO GO GO GO)

(and then we can console each other over how the current FUCKING AWESOME story arc has taken THREE FUCKING YEARS and there is still no climax in sight)

Oh, and Anita thinks that Jean Claude is now infected with Damian and Nathanial's neediness. Because that is totally like herpes.

Also, Jean Claude gave Anita Requiem and Graham-Cracker here to Anita because she might need to fuck something between jobs. Or on the job. Or in the middle of the job. Because that is how you portray an empowered female. Someone so sexually charged she literally can go nowhere without a man.


The chapter ends with basically "That's depressing".

Yep, it is.

GOD this book sucks.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 36-37

I have no idea what the fuck is going on in this book anymore.

Oh, I get the minute-to-minute stuff. Anita is bleeding. Jean Claude is forcing Primo to be sexy on stage for people when he wouldn't want to be--this reminds me of that famously oh-so-rapy edition of Superman where one of Kirby's New Gods makes Superman and Big Barda do a porn tape together. It's fucking wrong--and Nate and Bryon--Who?--are dragging Anita off to where the first aid kid is because that is probably an artery Primo nicked. And somehow the new tri-whatever she's created with Nathanial and Damian is fucking things up. Yeah, I can follow that part. What I can't follow is what the hell any of this has to do with anything else of this. 

Why did we have to go to Anita's workplace? Why did Anita have to have sex on the floor of said workplace? WHY DID JEAN CLAUDE JUST MIND RAPE ANOTHER MAN?

I don't know, blog-readers. I do not fucking know. 

 So there is a pissing contest re: who gets to do what with Anita that Anita only wittnesses because Shock. Interesting how she only goes into shock and/or faints when one of the men need to have an object to lug around.

So then there is talk about how Anita has hit a new power plateau, and I have to say even for an LKH male, Bryon is an unlikable POS. But he calls Anita "Duckie" so that wins him some brownie points. Given the rest of the dialogue, though, he reminds me way too much of Fairy Hardcastle from That Hideous Streingth for me to like him at all.

So then Anita realizes that she's got the serious hots for Bryon, and that it is actually Jean Claude trying to feed through her. He demands that Anita have sex with Bryon, a man she has just (?) met so that he will have the power to continue mind-raping Primo.

And she literally dives in, demanding to be on top. And okay, brownie points again, that would actually have been sexy and in another book. Then she realizes that the ardeur has grown to the point where she can literally suck/fuck Bryon to death and that she actively wants to. So she fights it off...just long enough for Nate to give Bryon a condom. Let's have safe sex with the undead, children.

And then Bryon's maker shows up during the sex, and they're going to have to do a repeat of what they did for Damian's maker. Because finding an actual plot would be too much fucking work.

 Jean Claude, however, decides that things aren't going fast enough and he sends in another vampire, this one named Requiem. They have negotiations re: who does what while Bryon and Anita are still going at it hard. Bryon tells them to hurry up because he's about to orgasm and make the whole conversation pointless.

...who the fuck would do that?

Anyway they all do eventually climax, apparently so many times that Bryon lost count. After eight.

Because we absolutely needed to know this.

And then Anita and Requiem discuss Belle Morte's court. Apparently the lady likes to watch.

And then we find out how Requiem's master died, which was apparently by not becoming more famous than British Elvis.


 The Master of the City of London had been very old. He’d been one of the first master vamps that Belle Morte made, oh, so long ago. Sometimes the really ancient vampires don’t take well to newfangled ideas. You know, electricity, modern medicine, and the fact that they were supposed to expose themselves to public view in a very modern, rock star sort of way.

Also, the Vampires have rules about who can be Dracula right now, and in which country. You know, I'd think that being "Dracula" would be like being that guy in Halo chat who keeps being 1337 and saying "roxxors" and "pwns" all the time. But apparently not!

And hey, just in case you don't think Jean Claude is a piece of shit, we get this lovely gem:

Jean-Claude had offered the London vamps a home. Not all of them, but many of them. All of them that could trace their lineage to Belle Morte. Who better to be strippers and dancers than the most beautiful and seductive vampires in the world?

I want a Popsicle stick and a mallet. A stake wouldn't be painful enough.

Then we get a long sequence about how one gets up without managing to preserve even a shred of dignity, and Anita Blake manages to do exactly that. Really, girl, if you have issues like this get undressed first.

Finally, because we absolutely need to know this, we find out that they've killed Anita's underwear and she will now be wearing a pair of Bryon's undies for the forseeable future.

God I hope his thongs are clean.

End of chapter.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 34-35

So in Anita Blake world, there are a lot of these college kids all standing around somebody much taller than them. This is Primo, apparently, and he's smacking them around because it makes sense in Anita Blake world, apparently. Buzz tries to defuse the situation by telling Primo to grow the fuck up, but he's apparently having too much fun throwing civilians around to bother.

This is officially the Worst Bodyguard Ever.

Anita pulls her gun because that's what badass people do, nevermind that she could go to jail if she shot someone, and nevermind that there are loads of people at the club stronger than she is. Primo continues to throw people around, and the chapter ends with Anita screaming "No" at Primo.

Well, that was a short one.

Next chapter: Anita makes Primo's arm explode using the powers of her mind.

I've read that paragraph multiple times, looking for what it really says, and I'm pretty confident THAT'S WHAT IT SAYS: Anita Blake explodes a vampire's arm using nothing but her mind.

Because she can do that now, apparently.

Isn't there supposed to be a murder plot eventually? Are we going to get to that soon?

A few paragraphs later it becomes clear she's not exploding his arm, she's cutting it. With the power of her mind. Apparently she's somehow gotten this power through Jean Claude's experimentation? And it works like stickerburs catching on an aura?

Anita continues to flay the skin off of Primo to get him to drop the man he's holding. The guy is dying from something and Anita needs to save him.

Seriously, several people have been beaten up by a vampire and one of them now requires mouth to mouth, and I'm not getting a single "This is a social and political disaster" vibe from any of the participants. Primo is damaging people. 

 Finally they get the dude away from Primo, after Anita has literally cut open every inch of Primo's skin, and the guy starts breathing again. And then Jean Claude says this:

Jean-Claude’s voice whispered in my ear, “If someone dies, I will have much more difficulty convincing them all that nothing bad happened here.”

Yeah, he's going to roll the entire club. That is not a solution. That's bad.

Primo rushes them again, starting with rage, which Anita drinks up somehow, because she has "bottomless rage" of her own. Then he rushes Nate, and Anita gets in the way, and there's a memory sequence, and then when it's over Primo is kneeling before Anita and calling her Master. Because this totally makes sense.

Anita takes a moment to wonder what all this work with the Marks is doing to Richard.

And then Anita realizes that Jean Claude has not fed his ardeur today and he needs to feed if he's going to take care of Primo.

They have a sexy kiss, and then Jean Claude rolls the club, and then mind controls Primo to show the club that everything is alright and okay and nobody was hurt, and that brunette from the alleyway that was jealous of Nathanial? Yeah, the chapter closes with a mind-controlled Primo being forced by Jean Claude to feel her up. Because this is all perfectly alright.

Fuck. This. Book.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 32-33

So I discovered this really nifty dragon breeding game, that totally woke up my formerly buried Pern nesting instincts. In other news, I got fuck-all done today, but I have a really awesome set of dragons.

So how's Anita Blake doing?

Let's see, Nate's still in the office. She's doing that tell-the-truth-so-they'll-assume-you've-lied thing ("He's here in case I need to have sex") and her pride smarts a bit for having sex in the office.

I bet it does.

She leaves to take Nate to Guilty Pleasures, and Nate reminds her to eat because just like the ardeur needs sex, the inner beast needs meat and the inner vampire needs blood, Anita's inner human needs to be taken care of too. That means a burger, or fries, or something that resembles real food.

“It would be interesting if you kept a food diary to see if there was a correlation between starving your human body and the other hungers rising.”
Let me get this straight. Laurel K. Hamilton is writing a story where balance between needs is absolutely key to her main character's well being, and she is going to ignore this in favor of having sex.

Will, in fact, later demonize this idea--that feeding her human body will sate the supernatural stuff too--because it's not hard core enough.

Laurel K. Hamilton has spent the last twenty years writing a novel series about the downward spiral of addiction, and everybody knows it but her.

Nate gives her a very stern talking to and they head off to get a burger for Anita and a salad for Nate. Nate talks about how burgers make him bloat.

And then we take a detour right into psychological fuckery that must be read to be believed.

“Richard always talked about his beast like it was all his baser impulses, you know, lust, sloth, the traditional sins, but to sin implies a knowledge of good and evil. There was no good or evil, there was nothing like normal thought. I hadn’t really understood how all my thoughts are based on things. I’m always thinking about how one thing affects another. The consequences of your actions.”
Okay. The problem with the bolded part is that in this universe, a lycanthrope is not an animal. Being shoved into a situation where your self-control is challengened in no way shape or form removes your responsability to remain in control. A murder committed drunk is the same, morally, as a murder committed sober.Being human usually means you have awareness of your actions and their consequences. This is not something that you can abdicate. You CAN abdicate the reaction to said consequences--ie feeling guilty you killed someone--but you become an utter waste of eggs and sperm in the process.

Richard is a highly moral person, and he is aware that it is much easier for him to cross the line as a wolf than it is as a man. And unlike a drug user, Richard does not get a choice. He has a biological imperitive to place himself in a place that is not safe for himself or the people around him, once a month, every month.

“I stopped thinking about the Browns’ grief, their dead son. It wasn’t that I chose to ignore it. I wasn’t being callous, it just never entered my mind. It was just that they hurt me, and I got mad, but mad translated directly to food. If I killed them and ate them, then they couldn’t hurt me anymore, and I was hungry.”

And then you acted on that feeling by handling Mrs. Brown with unnecessary force, and by turning her son's death into your personal pissing contest. The fact that you lost control, Anita, does not justify the behavior you inflicted on the people around you.

She asks Nate how he avoids ripping into people, and he tells her to channel the animal feelings into sex, which is what they did in her office.

I get the feeling this is like getting heroin addicts onto methadone. It's less harmful but it's a lateral move, and that "less harmful" part is debatable.

Anita and Nate feel each other up while they wait for their salad and hamburger.

Thrilling action, ya'll. Just thrilling.

However, in the next chapter we get this absolutely breathtaking bit of description.

The alley was an alley,


Okay, the sentence goes on to say "cramped, smelly" and other things that are generally back-bar alley-ish, but seriously. This alley, guys, it's an alley. You might have missed all the nuances, so let me say it again. This alley is an alley.

And it is full of Nate's screaming fans. They're shouting his stage name of Brandon, but yeah, Nathanial has screaming fans. Because Anita must have the very best stripper leopard for her harem, ya know? OOOh, and of Nate's fans TWO of them are blondes and one has black hair, but it so obviously came out of a bottle.

The fan-girls get wary of Anita until both Nate and Anita say that she's security. One of them keeps pushing until a security vampire (...okay, that is for-reals, one of the coolest things I've typed all night) makes the girls go away. Anita says that one girl, a brunette, is taking things way too personally.

Then Anita finds out that the guy who should have kept the girls away from the stage door is also taking money to let in undesirables.

The undesirables being, you know, men. Yeah, men are strongly discouraged from going into Guilty Pleasures.

Doesn't that violate more than a couple laws?

Anita and Security Vamp AKA Buzz discuss how Bad Security Vamp Primo is fucking everyone over, and then some of those nasty unwanted men start heckling a dancer and a vamp comes to get Buzz to fix things, because it is "getting ugly". Anita goes along for shits and giggles and the chapter ends.

This book is going NOWHERE, isn't it?