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853190_97444239bymapeicTitle: Fever & Fray

Series: Meridian

Summary: Nova Mendez doesn’t understand what is happening. She’s always been popular with boys, but things are starting to get out of control.

Then a black-winged man calling himself Jules swoops in only to tell her that no matter how good she’s tried to be, she’s a succubus on the cusp of her transformation. There’s nothing she can do but hang on for the ride as her desires climb to unimaginable heights.

As an incubus himself, Jules is uniquely qualified to handle the strongest of her emerging power, harness it, and teach her how to use it to feed on the energy of sleeping men who desire her. She tries not to kill them, but accidents are bound to happen to a new succubus.

The trouble with dead bodies, especially when they start to accumulate, is that they start to get the attention of the wrong element–namely the kind that troll the mystical city of Meridian to hunt her kind down. And now Eli Fray, the rugged and relentless demon hunter, is on her trail.

Notes:

This was actually completed on Friday, Nov. 14. I’m just getting to the final progress report today.

As frustrated as I was with how long it took me to finish F&F, I still beat the time it took to write Stone & Chains, and F&F is longer by almost 20k words. Yay? At almost 120k words, F&F is a tad too long. There are a few scenes I can pull the curtain on, but I guess I’ll have to wait until editing time to 1) see whether that’s necessary and 2) decide whether I really want to or whether I should leave it up to my editor whether they should stay or go.

I think I’ve figured out what makes some stories longer than others. It’s the ones with love triangles. That’s why the menage stories that I was trying to write for an anthology kept going over the maximum word count. I have to write a viable romance between the main character and both possibilities, so there are at least two romantic arcs going on, and that means more story. Not all my novels are based around triangles, but the ones that are have tended toward the long side.

Suffice it to say, I’m frustrated by the fact that I finished my October novel halfway through November and am only now starting my November novel. However, I’m overall pleased with F&F as a novel, although I’ll only know whether it worked whenever I get to editing it, which won’t be for a while. I’ve been writing so much lately that I think that while I’ve gained the ability to tell stories, I’ve lost the ability to gauge whether they’re good. I don’t think I’m writing as much next year, because I’ll be editing too much in the first half of it (plus working). Hopefully that will help me give my creative side a well-needed break, although I have plans for March if I can swing it.

I wish I had more to say about F&F, but I’m already mentally in Contortion. A few things:

– I made 50k words for NaNoWriMo on my October novel alone. :D I’m going to try to reach 100k for the month at least. Hopefully 50k words of Contortion (which will equal more than 100k total for the month, since I reached 60k with F&F).

– There were two people who were meant to be throwaway minor characters that clawed their way up to supporting.

– I’m absurdly pleased with some of my characterization in this book, although I think I’ll have to pin it down in a few places, particularly Eli. I’m good writing from his perspective, but it’s harder writing him from Nova’s.

– It’s hot and dark and I’m not sure how it’ll be taken because of the whole succubus=sex and death, but Meridian has always had veins of horror through it. That’s what happens when you bring demons into the mix. Apparently, I’m going to corner the erotic horror romance market. Yay me.

– The next Meridian novel (I’m not sure when it’ll be written, possibly next summer) isn’t a triangle, at least it isn’t in the synopsis. So it shouldn’t be as long. But the synopsis doesn’t have much action plot in it. I’ll have to decide what the actual story is. Lots of time to figure it out.

– I love writing this city.

Stats:

Final word count: 119,742 words (Stone & Chains was 102,529 words)

Projected word count: 100,000 words (Yeah, no.)

Number of chapters: 21 (same as S&C)

First line: She just took her sweater off because she was too warm.

Largest number of sexual participants at once: 4 (although that scene might have to go)

Number of sex scenes: 13 (my highest number of sex scenes yet, but if the one above gets cut, it’ll be the same as S&C)

COMING UP NEXT: Contortion (Arcanium Book 5) for the rest of November and Call for Blood written before the end of the year. I suspect I’ll have Red Queen (short novella) edits as well.