Friday, August 2, 2013

Incubus Dreams--chapter 63-65 and crowdfunding campaign

Business first, my lovelies. I have an Indigogo campaign. And a video. This is the video:

This is the Indiegogo campaign.

Yeah, initially it was going to be a kickstarter, but let's just say that if you have to jump through that many hoops just to have Amazon Payments tell you "Well you're not in our GPS database so fuck your Kickstarter, fuck your project, and just for the fun of it let's fuck up every aspect of this account ever, sucks to be you" (My city is lazy as fuck so according to everything from the IRS to the local pizza delivery guy, my legal street address does not exist.)

(Seriously. If you're considering a Kickstarter, please realize that if you make a mistake on the Amazon Payments forms, including using an address they cannot immediately verify, they will lock down the Payments account and you probably will not get to make another one. And by "lock down" I mean not only can you not go in to fix whatever it is you fucked up, they won't tell you what it was. And Kickstarter only pays through Amazon Payments. I spent all day researching things trying to fix this. Apparently it cannot be fixed.)

So yeah. And be aware, my dear loyal blog readers, this is for the second part of Dragon Breath. The first part is done and coded and paid for and either in the chute or waiting to be uploaded to the sites that aren't quite that user friendly (AMAZON SMASHWORDS I AM LOOKING AT YOU) (Not you Nook Press. You're beautiful). If you support the campaign, you get part two. I don't see this as "give me money" I see this as "give me preorders so I can eat while we do this editing thing" You donate a dollar, you will get a copy of part two. Because if you pay for the book, you ought to, you know, get the frickin' book. 

So please. Spread the word, donate if you want to (and ONLY if you want to) and point out any little issues...or not so little issues.

(AND YES, Indiegogo is the crowdsourcer that lets you keep the money if you don't make goal. The ick factor of that is the reason I tried Kickstarter first. It ought to be all or nothing, but if I have to fax your company everything short of my long form birth certificate to prove that I am a person and that I exist at the address I exist at on the teeny tiny off chance that you might let me use the service I signed up for, fuck it, I'll deal with the ick factor.)

(I spent all fucking day on the phone before work trying to find a human being who could give me a straight answer and none exist. I am entitled to still feel ROYALLY PISSED twelve hours later.)

Alright. Back to the book.

Anita now has to go apologize to Jessica Arnet...because Zerbowski told her to, otherwise she's off the case too.

I love how she's not empathetic enough to go "Hey, I just royally insulted a co-worker (ish) and I might need to go apologize." No. She needs the big sexist asshole she works with to go politely point this out. I think you'd have to upgrade a few levels for that to qualify as a gender fail. That's just basic "Forgot how to human".

She bumps into a dude named  Smith that she worked with on some other case. She's still trying to find Arnet.

...why do I get the feeling that the book just started? I feel like this is the fourth or fifth chapter. Possibly tenth. Not the sixty third. It's got that aura to it. We're introducing new characters, we've got a new crisis, there's preliminary bickering to set up some whatever conflict later on...this is all stuff you do in the first two thirds of a book. You CAN introduce characters in the last hour like this (God knows I've done it) but it's bad (and I didn't like doing it when I did it) and very hard to pull off. The reader should be focusing on the plot, not trying to remember who Smith is.

Anita goes and sits down next to Arnet--who is outside the apartment complex, sitting on a curb and crying--and we find out what Anita is wearing:

Sitting down on the curb, I was happy that I was wearing jeans, jogging shoes, and a T-shirt. They were perfect curb-sitting clothes.
YAY! WORK APPROPRIATE ATTIRE THAT ISN'T PUTTING HER LIFE IN DANGER. There are no shower-cap shoe booties, but we're going to take what we can get. Good job, Anita and Laurel. Here's some cookies.

That said...this only adds to the feeling like we've just started another book. That one back there? That was the porn movie, where the heroine dresses in titlating clothes and only titling clothes and everything she does is either intended to arouse, or preformed in a manner/involved in a pratfall that is intended to arouse. (And I am SO GLAD the comic is going to burn itself out long before we get to Narcissus in Chains. I could handle the slit-to-the-waist-gun-dress, but I don't want to see either this book's crime scene in a mini skirt, or Kiss the Dead's stiletto heel to the (LIVING!) vampire's chest pratfall) This isn't a procedural cop story, or even a decent mystery (WHAT mystery?) but we're suddenly doing things that are almost sane, and the sitting-on-the-curb stuff feels like it could be...maybe...I'm squinting sideways and it could be character development, let's give it a--

She looked at me sideways again, but this time she held the look. “Do I have to fuck the monsters to be as good at this as you are?” I gave her wide eyes. 
“Please tell me that you are not this pissed just because I’m dating Nathaniel and you don’t get to.”

Sorry, gang, false alarm. The Anita Blake series fails both the Bechdel test and the Sexy Lamp test. (If you can replace a female character with a sexy lamp and it still works...)

Not only that, but Arnet went to Guilty Pleasures to see Nate when Anita wasn't around and she watched the "bad kitty" scene from the audience. And she refuses to believe it was staged.

I'll bet she watches Monday Night RAW and really believes that Vicki Gurerro got fired.

Anita tries to explain that Nathanial is a sub who likes really intense shit and that he was, you know, acting on stage as part of his job, only instead of doing that she does...well, this: 

“Look, Arnet, sometimes Nathaniel flirts without really meaning to. I think it’s like an occupational hazard.”

"Because he's a stripper?"


Does it get worse? OH yeah.

She looked at me, horrified. “You’re going to blame him? You’re going to blame the victim?” 
This was not going to go well. “Have you ever met someone who’s been blind from birth?...You’re blind, Jessica, how do I explain to you what blue looks like?”

So you expect me to believe that a cop, a cop who works in Saint Louis, a city that houses MULTIPLE BDSM bars, including one run by insane wereheyenas, and a vampire stripper club empire, would not understand that sometimes subs are just that into it if you explained it to them straight. OH AND THAT SOMETIMES THE ACTS IN STRIP CLUBS ARE JUST THAT: ACTS.

All of this, of course, is so that this misunderstanding can continue because FUCK IF I KNOW, it's not my book.

Zerbowski and Smith and someone named Marconi go to get Anita because they're gonna go find the guy that owns the apartment with the dead girl in it. Anita calls Arnet a child right before she gets into the van, and then tells Zerbowski that it "could have gone better" FUCK YES IT COULD HAVE.

She cries all the way to the Church of Eternal Life. Because Arnet could trash her reputation with the force and make her look like a bad girl. Right.

So they get to the Church of Eternal Life and Anita, Zerbowski and a dude named Marconi all go in to see Malcom, the leader of the CoEL. Malcom is not happy to see Anita.He goes down to shake her hand and...

I read this twice to understand what happened, and it sounds like, because Malcom turned every single human in the Church, personally, Anita somehow reaches through Malcom and takes control of every single vampire in the building. As in they are now all her puppies on a leash and she can do whatever she wants with them.

Including compel the murdering ones to tell the truth.

Well, that was easy.

Anita, however, is distracted by thinking about the lives of the vampires here. She looks at a random girl and this happens:

But I saw other things. I saw that once she’d been human here, and she’d knelt and given herself over, but it was a thing of chaste hands on her covered shoulders. No one had ever held her close, gripped her against their bodies, fed so powerfully that her body bucked against them, and sex was a pale thing compared to it.

Yes. Because sex is the be-all-end-all of life. For someone complaining about judgemental behavior you're doing an AWFUL lot of that on your own here.

She calls the guy they came for-a kid named Avery--and Malcom tries to stop her from being a corrupting influience. She says that he's the corrupting influience because the vampire lives in the church suck, no pun intended, and this never gets resolved.

And then we get the opening paragraph of chapter sixty five:

I COULD TASTE their pulses on my tongue. Not just one, but hundreds, as if I’d suddenly had a truckload of candy shoved in my mouth. Candy that was hard and sweet and melted slow across my tongue, but it wasn’t just cherry, or grape, or root beer. It was like a thousand different flavors filled my mouth, so that instead of being delicious, it was overwhelming.

Yes. But is it candy?

So Anita gets overwhelmed by all the candy flavors--apparently the CoEL is a pinata--and can't find the one that she wants to call. Except she already found him. He's Avery, the kid coming up so quick the cops have their guns shoved in his face. They don't shoot because they don't have a warrent, but by the time that is resolved the warrent has come through the door.

Anita can now kill Avery. Just like that. Dead body in a vampire apartment=instant death. Nice to know. Only Anita now has a crisis of conscience, because what if Avery is innocent? Wow, that law is really unfair and highly unrealistic. Maybe they should fix it.

Or maybe the author should come up with realistic and consistant laws instead of making Missouri State Legislation work like a game of Calvinball.

 Fortunately Anita can read Avery's mind and find out if he really did it or not.


You know, you'd think in a universe where you have high-watt psychics and necromancers who can do shit like this, the court system would have them paired up and on payroll. So, you know, warrents of exicution for the innocent don't fucking happen.

Anita touches, realize that she's rolled him the way a master vampire rolls a mortal--no shit, and I don't think this is your first time, darling--and the chapter ends with her wondering if she could talk Avery into killing himself.

YES. We are past the 2/3rds mark and in the home streach I WILL NOT HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK MUCH LONGER.


  1. Every time.

    Every time I'm just left WORDLESS by this shit. Makes me wonder how anyone ever manages comments at a-sporking-rat because oh my god I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN

    1. After about the sixth sex scene I kind of ran out of things to say. The cervix punching helped, but not a lot.

      ...I think the candy's licorice. It is, isn't it?

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  4. Hey -- speaking as a professional editor here, I applaud your decision to go that route. I copy edit every day, all day, and I adore it when people take the trouble and time (and expense) to make sure their books are grammatically correct and that all the words are spelled right. It makes me very happy. I'm not going to contribute today, but I expect to do it on payday (Thursday), though I may do it some other way than IndieGoGo, since I *do* like Paypal. Let me know if that's okay with you, but I definitely want to help out a bit. (BTW, don't feel ashamed. It's true that editing is expensive -- I'm charging my co-writers in my writing group $2 a page as a courtesy, since the going rate around here is more like $5 a page.)

    1. Paypal would work, and you can have the same rewards.

      Like I said elsewhere, it's not that I don't know I need editing. It's that I knew I'd be pretty much here if I tried to do it before my books were paying for themselves.

      I think part of it has to do with how I was raised. I guess I kind of became the family caretaker. I'm supposed to take care of other people. Other people are not supposed to take care of me. And of course, I'm supposed to be perfect in EVERYTHING. I'm working on getting over that.