The bad news: I'm pushing the dragon book back to August 5th or 6th.
The good news: I'm doing that so I can hire an editor and have them polish the book. It's gonna be hella expensive, and it's going to make negotiating releases really REALLY difficult, and I have absolutely no idea if my finances or scheduling can do it, but you guys are right. It's a part of the job, and it's one that I've flown without long enough.
The meh news: it's not going to be the good, deep line edits I probably need. Just polishing. If I fuck up bad she won't help me. But I'm doing that. And eventually I might be able to afford that other thing too.
This is not something I'd recommend self publishers do BTW. I'm doing it because it's summer, I'm making enough money right now to justify spending it on an editor...but from a human, financial, business standpoint I'd be equally served by taking this cash and lighting it on fire. This is not an investment in my future. It is a very, very, incredibly monstrously STUPID thing for me to do, and I'm doing it because I want to do a good job on the books. I will never see this money again. If shit goes wrong this winter I will be very, very, VERY screwed.
This is the second thing I've done as a self-publisher that actively scares me. The first thing was hitting publish in the first place.
So if you're one of my book readers and you like my books? Please support the next one. Please. I am terrified of this next move.
Right. Shitty book.
Anita is hiding in the bedroom, and Micah tries to lure her out with breakfast.
At this point I have no idea what day it is, what time of day it is, if it is the same day as the Damian incident, if it is the same day as the wedding, I don't know! I know there was a murder, I know there was a wedding, I know that there was a lot of sex with burn victim vampires, but the timeline here is so completely screwed...I just don't get it. How hard is it to have one of those "In the past twenty four hours all this shit has happened, in the past thirty six hours all this other shit has happened, AND I STILL HAVE NOT HAD MY (insert commonly beloved habit like coffee, showers or sleep here)" moments? The only time Anita talks about time is when the ardeur has gone unfed for a while.
We get several pages of cuddling. Anita talks about how she likes her booty. Then about how Monogamy means you Love Only One Person forever...and then she bites Micah on the neck because Jean Claude is involved somehow.
How about we settle for Anita having sex without somebody else in her head. That'd be nice.
We get sexist psychic images of Juliana, the woman who facilitated Jean Claude and Asher's not-gay relationship. The one that makes me grit my teeth is the "needlework by the fire" bit. In that era needle work was not a nice womanly hobby unless you were really rich, and even if you were really rich it was more a cost-cutting measure than it was a time-waster. Needlework produced crafts that either brought in good money or saved the household money. Knowing how to spin, knit, and embroider were all skills as necessary to a surviving household as knowing how to plant, plow, cook, harvest, make horseshoes or build a cabinet. Spinning and knitting kept clothes on your back, and needlework made those clothes pretty, which gave the people that wore them a measure of dignity.
And before you laugh think about every t-shirt you own that has something on it, and imagine how much those mass-produced images would have cost you if you or another person had to do them all by hand. Now make them 100% more complicated, throw in lots of tiny knots and things with pointy ends, and take electricity out of the equation completely. Modern tech has utterly devalued a lot of handicraft skills, but just because our perspective is skewed doesn't mean we should dismiss our great-great grandma's spinning wheel or embroidery hoop as worthless.
Anyway, Micah gets a bloody hicky from Anita and says "Nathanial is going to be jealous." which is actually the entire point of this scene, as the next chapter reveals. Micah and Anita are in the kitchen eating biscuts and Nate is throwing things around because Micah got marked and he didn't. That's bad form on Anita for doing that, bad form on Micah for flaunting it, and bad form on Nate for throwing a hissy fit instead of calmly and collectively renting his own apartment and moving out (punching one or both of them is entirely optional, and probably not his best move)
And then Ronnie calls. You know, Anita's best friend. From the wedding. Who hasn't been in this series for about two books.
Yeah, Anita needs to shit on her for a while because she decided not to marry her boyfriend.
Ronnie decides that she's coming over for girl talk. Okay. Anita hangs up and then tries to talk Nate down. Nate does this:
“I can’t live like this. You give me an inch, and then you take it away. Orgasm today, but only because of some metaphysical shit. You’ll find an excuse not to do it again. You always do. He gets intercourse and orgasm, and I get nothing. But you marked me, me. Not him, me!” He was still staring at the cabinet, while he ranted louder and louder. “It was all I had. All I had!” He had to pause to take a breath, and I rushed into that small silence.
I think we can all agree that LKH needs to never write dialogue again, but other than that, it's pretty good. Somebody's calling Anita on her shit. Admittedly this will all get erased soon and there's a lot of creepy dripping off this thing, but somebody is calling Anita on her shit. Let's celebrate what we can, mkay?
So Anita apologizes for hurting Nate, which isn't the same as apologizing for treating him like a third-class citizen in his own house, and promises to mark him after he gets back from stripping at Guilty Pleasures. Gregory makes pointed remarks that are both out of character and unwarrented. None of it is interesting.
He tries to get her to come see the act. She says she has to work.
The chapter ends with Nate wandering off.
And because none of that was funny at all, I had a conversation with one of ya'll the other day (Tiger Gray) in which I said that LKH should let Phantom Menace era George Lucas direct an Anita Blake movie. Just for this scene:
Anita: I held him. I held him the way a mother heron holds a poor abused baby frog that she wants to comfort, knowing that she could eat him in one gulp, his slimy body going down her gullet like the warm caramel sauce in a cup of perfect coffee, but she won't because she loves him. I loved him that way. I loved this alien being from the stars like I loved caramel filling. The warmth in him was like the warmth in me and we were all together.
Jar Jar Binks: Mesa abused as child. Mesa never know warmth or comfort. Mesa very lonely.
(And it WOULD happen, because they'd both bring the script's first drafts INTO THE STUDIO).