Summary: With all her worldly possessions in one bag, Caroline runs away from home to join the circus. Even though she’s far from the oddity or performer that Arcanium is better known for, the fortune teller and owner Bell Madoc grants her wish to become a part of his circus and assigns her to work the carousel. It’s a little repetitive and the quarters are cramped, but Caroline feels it’s a perfect job while she figures out what the hell she’s going to do with her life.
But then some of the creepy carousel mounts – the ones that look like human men, bound and chained and tortured – start coming to life at night. Caroline not only has to come to grips with the shady motivations of her new employers, but with the driven desire inside her for Riley and Colm, two lost souls of Arcanium begging for her to save them, yet also bound to Arcanium and to the carousel to atone for their sins.
Word count: 76,107/100,000
It is most satisfying to have the end in sight. At this point, I’m at the climax and almost at the denouement, which is when everything moves more quickly, for both the narrative and the writing. There are approximately 2.5 scenes left to write, about two more chapters and 15k words at most.
In the first quarter of the book, you think you’ll never reach the end. In the last quarter, you realize how close to the end you are. And in my case, I realize how fast I’ve written this thing, 75k in three weeks, averaging 25k each week, although the line is really more of an upward curve, since I kept getting faster as my health improved.
I’m really happy with my changes to Colm’s character, and I’ve grown to love both men for what they are and what they bring to Caroline’s experience. I like that in spite of the various power imbalances between the three of them, they seem to be more or less on equitable terms. I’m all for drastic power imbalances that lead to dominance and submission scenes and go completely nuts with that in Fortune, but this story just doesn’t inspire that particular kind of conflict. I don’t think I’m going to have another one in Arcanium until Ringmaster, two books from now.
I’m also enjoying the threesome dynamic between Colm, Caroline, and Riley. It’s a purely het arrangement in this case, so it works differently than the Renee, Britt, and Jake relationship. But can you tell my poly preferences are showing? I can’t help it. I’m the opposite of jealous. When I write good characters, I don’t want to keep them contained within a single relationship. Instead, everyone’s like, This girl/guy is really hot. Let’s share! Sure, some people want to hog the chocolate, but other people want to spread the chocolate around so everyone gets a good taste.
My erotica writing philosophy in a nutshell.
At this point, I hope to be finished with the first draft by Sunday night. Then it’s Bloodbound edits (which I look forward to with excitement because I love the story and despair because I doubt a lot of other people will, damn FF dislike) and setting up for writing Aerial, my first MM novel and first novel from a male perspective (which is terrifying in its novelty), although it will have MF as well. I decided I’d rather let both novels settle before editing them one after the other in the fall.
Another bit of small but happy news, I’d been having some plot problems with Call for Blood, the third book in the Sanctuary trilogy. But while plotting Carousel during an evening walk, my mind multitasked and managed to solve the problems. I hope I’m ready for that novel when November comes around. There’s a big gap between each of the Sanctuary novels, takes some time to sink back in.