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1232950_28690356Title: Contortion

Series: Arcanium

Summary: After having toured with Arcanium for over twenty years, Valorie is considering leaving Arcanium. Her long-time relationship with Bell, the one in charge of the demonic circus, has been invalidated by a lack of deeper love, if not a lack of passion. Her interim lover, another demon, keeps straying with the circus’ mermaid. Valorie’s feeling neglected and unwanted for anything more than her ability to twist herself into knots.

When the heavily cursed fire-eater John shows willingness to do anything for Arcanium and its inhabitants to make up for the crimes he committed against them, Valorie takes the opportunity to exorcize her frustration.

She finds the mutually beneficial arrangement surprisingly satisfying…until her fiancé from twenty years ago stumbles across the circus and discovers where the woman meant to be his wife disappeared to.


It’s definitely the shortest of the Arcanium novels, and I’m predicting some repetition that needs to be edited out. I’m not complaining. :) It also feels like a book apart, not as freaky, not as demonic, not as horrorful. Not sure how to handle that, nor am I sure whether this story will need a complete overhaul. I’ll have to see – although that would really suck, to have wasted three weeks of 2014 writing.

I’m really more of a supernatural/horror writer, and I sometimes have trouble relating to realistic aspects of a story if I can’t temper it with unrealistic things. The fantasy in fiction is what drives me, and it makes real-life problems easier to handle. I’m a sideways kind of person.

I don’t have a ton more to talk about, since I wrote a progress report two days ago. I’m mostly just glad that the story is finished within the first week of December rather than in the middle like the last two. It is, in fact, conceivable that I could finish Call for Blood before the end of 2014.

My December schedule has altered somewhat. I decided to do my baking next-next week instead of the coming week, so I’m going to start Call for Blood on Tuesday. Tomorrow is for outlining Call for Blood, and the rest of Sunday and all of Monday is for work things. That gives me some time off to get my head back on, which I need. Suffice it to say, as much as I love writing, I’m looking forward to editing for a month or so. These last months have been packed, and a girl gets burnt out. I think that’s what the numbness might be. I push through the pain when it comes to productivity, but I think I lose the emotional connection. Whether that translates through the writing is up to the edits to decide.

First Ringmaster in January, then Contortion. I might edit Bloodbound first, though. I’m running into money issues, and self-publishing sooner rather than later could cushion the fall.


Word count: 82,291 words

Projected word count: 80,000 words (Thank goodness I was off by 2k instead of 20k like Fever & Fray, right?)

Days to write: 23 days (Fewer words in more days than Ringmaster, but Ringmaster was more in my wheelhouse with the whole horror and demon thing. Plus it was earlier in my multi-month writing marathon, so I had more umph.)

First line: “Lately, Valorie had been feeling more solo.”

Largest number of sexual participants at once: 3 (But mostly 2.)

Number of sex scenes: 7 (Also the fewest of the Arcanium novels, but I think that’s more a function of it being shorter. I think, sex scenes to word count, it’s about average for me.)