Cover reveal: Like a Circlet Editor! September 21, 2015Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in excerpt, giveaway, new books, promotions, Release date, upcoming books, upcoming work.
I haven’t been doing anthologies much. I’ve been just too busy with the novel deadlines. But sometimes, there are projects that I have to do. This was one of them.
I got an email out of the blue from Circlet that basically said “Hi! We’re doing this anthology, and we need one more story. Think you could do something for us? We’d really love to have something from you.”
Really, how could I say no?
The anthology is Like a Circlet Editor, and features stories that give a look at the behind the scenes lives of Circlet Editors. Well, sort of. We kind of zhooshed it up a bit. My story in the anthology is entitled Raise the Dead, and I promise you, it bears no resemblance to anyone in the Circlet offices, living or dead.
I think. I’ve never actually been to the Circlet offices. I keep missing out on Porn Camp (aka, the annual Circlet retreat).
The anthology won’t be out until October 8th, but you can see it here, and pre-order it at Smashwords. Or, if you’re the lucky winner of the Rafflecopter drawing, you can win a copy of Like a Circlet Editor and TWENTY-FIVE other Circlet ebooks of your choice!
So, here’s a taste of what you could be winning. Have a look at the cover, and a snippet from Raise the Dead.
Raise the Dead
by Elizabeth Schechter
I hate to contradict one of the great American geniuses, but three moves do not equal one fire. Sorry, Mister Franklin, but you don’t have to unpack after a fire. Granted, this was only one-third of a fire, but still… I’d been in my new place for over a month, unpacked I don’t know how many boxes, and it still looked like the place had been decorated by someone with a weird fetish for kraft paper and cardboard. I flopped back onto the couch, one of the only unoccupied seats in the living room and looked around at the ziggurats of unlabeled boxes.
“Fuck it,” I growled. “I’m done.” I combed my fingers through my hair, wincing as I got caught in the knots, and promised myself once again that I’d head to the barber once I got paid.
Paid. Yeah, if I wanted to go the barber, or go grocery shopping, or pay the next month’s rent on Foster’s Home for Orphaned Cardboard, then maybe I should actually start doing the work I was being paid to do. I looked at the other side of the couch and the pile of printouts sitting there, fighting the urge to stick my tongue out at them. Why had I ever thought editing erotica would be glamorous or sexy? I’d been working as a freelance editor for years, and when the job came up, I jumped at it. After all, I’ve been reading, and occasionally jerking off, to Circlet books since college, and everything I’d ever read from them had been excellent. Funny how I never even considered what their slush pile would look like. There’s something called Sturgeon’s Revelation, named after the science-fiction author who came up with it. He said, “Ninety percent of everything is crap.” Nowhere is that more evident than in smut writing.
As a newly minted Circlet editor, it was my job to wade through that ninety percent of crap looking for the diamonds. Nice work if you can get it. And if you can keep from laughing long enough. I’d been doing this for less than a month, and I’d already seen grammar that would make your eyes bleed, and sex written so badly it would make the Whore of Babylon seriously consider taking up celibacy. Or at the very least, knitting. One entire story had been written solely in text-speak. That may be the way of the future, but it’s not the future of any anthology I’m ever going to put my name on as editor.
I looked at the pile of printouts again, and considered getting up and getting a drink first. No. I’d forgotten my trail of breadcrumbs, and I just might get lost in the great cardboard jungle between the couch and the kitchen. So I grabbed the pile and shuffled it, pulling a manuscript out at random. I skimmed the first page. Let’s see… Contact information, and a name I didn’t know. Word count within the specified range for stories for this anthology. Good. Times New Roman, and those sure looked like one inch margins. Double spaced and first line of the paragraph indented. A very good sign; this one, at least, could read the submission guidelines.
“All right. You pass the first test,” I said. I picked up a green pen—I deplore red pen—and started reading aloud. Since I’d started working as a freelance editor, I found I do my best work when I read my editing work out loud—I can hear the flow better, and it forces me to read every word instead of skimming. It also annoyed the ever living fuck out of my ex. Which was just one of the many reasons he was now my ex. And why everything I owned was interred in cardboard coffins.
I shook my head as I lost my train of thought. No thinking about Eric. What point was there to that? He was an idiot, and I was better off without him. I flipped back to the first page of the manuscript and started reading aloud once more. Whoever this was, they had a nice flow to their writing. A couple of typos that SpellCheck missed, but nothing dire. The setting was vaguely Victorian, which either meant gaslight fantasy or steampunk. No way to tell which yet. On page three, I hit the sex:
He stripped slowly, the way she had taught him, revealing his long, lean body and his already attentive cock, folding his clothes away into the small chest that she kept for just that purpose. The chest locked as he shut the lid —the clothing would not be returned until Lucretia was done with him.
“Move that into the middle of the room,” Lucretia said, pointing to a straightbacked chair. Once Jack had done that, she ordered him to sit, then turned and opened another chest, drawing from it a coil of silken cord. With the ease of long practice, she bound Jack firmly to the chair, then dropped her wrapper to the floor and straddled his lap, easing herself down over his cock. He caught his breath, closing his eyes as she settled against him. When he didn’t open them again immediately, she slapped him.
“Eyes open. Report.”
I giggled. This Jack was obviously some kind of spy for Lady Lucretia. And she was an evil top, too. Making him report while she was riding him? I wondered what would happen if he messed up his report. That might be fun. I kept on reading aloud as he reported on the doings of several people who I hoped would show up later. Lucretia played with him a little, and he came. A little fast, but he was… what, maybe nineteen? I flipped back a page, but the only description was young. When I was that young, I’d have gone off like a Roman candle, too. Especially if someone had me tied up and was playing with me the way Lucretia had Jack. I shifted in my seat, adjusting my jeans and my erection. Mental note— until I had a steady lay again, work in sweatpants. Or naked. Naked would be good. I had lube… in a box, somewhere. I shifted again and started reading once more, grinning as Lucretia threatened Jack with some vague yet dire harm because he’d come first. I didn’t get any further because I was interrupted by moaning.
I most definitely wasn’t the one moaning.
I looked around, startled. The realtor said there weren’t any neighbors… which totally did not explain the guy sitting on the other end of the couch, his hand down his pants. He moaned again, and I wondered how the hell he’d gotten in, and how he’d gotten onto the couch without me seeing or hearing him. Then I realized that I could clearly see the pattern on the couch through his crotch, and that I had bigger problems. I yelped, and papers flew everywhere.