thatrcooper: (howl and sophie)
Free Short for the Being(s) in Love universe.

(Yes, I know. When I imported all the free reads from my old LJ to here for temporary safekeeping, the tags got messed up. I will fix it when I can.)


Chronologically, this would take place sometime after a Boy and His Dragon, but closer to the events of His Mossy Boy and Treasure for Treasure. As you will see when a certain graphic novel series is mentioned.

All the Futures That Could Be

because writers are seers, darling )
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
Happy Halloween! (When you are on Tumblr, Halloween is at least a month long, maybe longer.)

Anyway, it's my favorite time of year, so STORY.




A powerful witch, Piotr Russell has resigned himself to loneliness, because ordinary humans can’t know what he is, and other witches are intimidated by his abilities. Generations of Russells have lived and died with only their familiars at their side. The presence of a friendly familiar is enough to keep even the loneliest witch sane, and yet Piotr deliberately hasn’t chosen one. He forces himself to keep busy instead, but the emptiness of his house haunts him even more the spirit of Great-Great-Aunt Elysia in the parlor. With Samhain and Halloween approaching, he’ll have much to do, and knowing that, his concerned coven seizes the chance to intervene and sends help to his door in the form of Bartleby Dorchester.

The rarest of rare jewels, Bartleby is a human familiar: a witch with no magic of his own, and a desire to find a strong witch to help and serve. In particular, he desires to help and serve Piotr, and everything in Piotr wants to let him. Bartleby was meant to be his familiar; Piotr knows it as surely as he knows when it will rain or when the apples in his garden will ripen. But what Piotr wants from Bartleby, all he’s ever wanted, is for Bartleby to love him, something he thinks is impossible.

Russells live and die unloved, and he won’t allow Bartleby to feel obligated to spend his life with him as his familiar if he could be happy in love with someone else. But Samhain is a time for change, when walls come down and borders grow thin, and Bartleby isn’t going to waste what might be his last chance to convince Piotr that they were meant to be. He might have no magic, but love is a power all its own.



A Little Familiar --Amazon link

A Little Familiar --Smashwords link (Please be aware I am going to take it down from Smashwords in a week or so, and then go Amazon exclusive for the 90s days and then probably put it back on Smashwords.)


And look at that cover! Kimieye made that for me. It's so awesome!
thatrcooper: (paris by cunningcroft)
I'm at that awkward place where there is what I should be doing... and my brain is saying nuh uh. I finished Tulip, but the beta and I think it might need another scene, and then the way it was constructed means it needs a second half from a different POV. But then I think all the other story ideas I have floating around and I want to do them all and also none of them. Those writer feels. Winter Prince? This vague sex chat/Cinderella ish story? The rake and the lamb?--which involves neither a true rake or a true lamb and miiiight take place in the same universe as the dancer story I was compelled to do a month ago.

Did I tell people about that? I randomly had this MIGHTY NEED to write about a somewhat broken, not as fragile as he seems Chico (that's a Portuguese Chico, not a Spanish one) and a flirty dance teacher. So that happened. And Dreamspinner decided they liked it. So it's working title was Dancing Lessons and it's novella length, and should be coming out next year. January, I think?

Yay! Even if I don't really know where that story came from. (I'll find out later. I always do. The stories are in better touch with my emotions than I am)

In the meantime, The Firebird and Other Stories, the book of Beings shorts is out in September, I believe. Maybe late August, but I don't think so. The editing is done. Waiting on the cover (dying) and the final inspection. I've been debating doing a playlist or something for it, but many of the music/playlist services, um, suck, so I don't know. I just wanna talk about itttt and I can't yet. It's agony I tell you.

And then um, someone asked about Zoe, from Little Wolf. Over on tumblr I get questions sometimes about Charlie and Will, or Wicklow and Rhoades, or Amelia and Pilar (or Louis and Amelia, or Louis and Amelia and Pilar), but not Zoe. And it was funny, because my beta and I were just talking about Zoe meeting her mate. And the resulting discussion on tumblr about the lack of lady werewolves, plus a general agreement that Zoe is adorable, gave me thoughts.

So, since LJ doesn't allow long story posts anymore, I had to go the AO3 route, for now anyway...I wrote a story about Zoe meeting her mate. (It probably needs a thorough edit, but for now I am tired and pleased with myself for finishing it.)

A Mate of One's Own

Behold! There be f/f ahead!

I really do need to make a timeline or something for all the Beings. Because it takes so long for them get published after I write them that I always assume people have all the background on things when you don't. Like, um, there is some debate within the werewolf world that perhaps their commonly held beliefs about matings are incorrect. But I suppose you have to meet Diego for that.

That's a theme in the Beings stories anyway, I suppose. Poor confused babies. I just want all the little stories of them. All the arrogant, unthinking fairies and grumpity dragons and amnesiac werewolves and reluctant seers and trolls so fucking in love with you, Flor, how do you not see how in love with you he is aaahhhhh.

But getting me to focus on any of that right now? Poo.
thatrcooper: (charlie and will)
First of all, congratulations to the giveaway winner, Ben! Hopefully USPS does not let us down.

Meanwhile, I asked for prompts for snippets over on my Tumblr. These are all Alternate Universe for existing stories. I did not include the Wicklow's Odyssey high school AU because it's more notes and squealing than a story, and the GODRIC AND BERTIE STAR-CROSSED LOVERS AU MADE ME SAD AND DOES NOT EXIST EXCEPT IN MY HEART.

Anyway. Thanks to everyone who keeps reading my stuff and who cares enough to give me fun prompts for the characters they like.

(Okay and LJ made me cut off one story because LJ sucks-so expect another snippet of Cory and Vincent later.... or remind me to post it.  I may forget. And the Checking Out Love one as well)


(the AU in which Tommy and Tavio from Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek, meet at a party)

Read more... )
thatrcooper: (sleepy holly by holly_ita)
Editing editing editing. This is my life now. (Also prepping to move and staring woefully at apartment listings in my price range, but ah well. Hopefully all that will be settled soon. I like things settled. I am not a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of girl.)

I *think* there might be a galley run through of A Beginner's Guide left, or we might be done, because I saw no errors last time. The cover art is on its way. So... March. Definitely March. Will let you know when I know more. Like the date. :):):) Gentle baker werewolves and insistent, somewhat pushy wizards will be all yours.

Still editing Little Wolf. Round two starts... tonight probably. Or tomorrow after work. Little Wolf is long, so that will take a while.

In other news, to distract myself between edits, I did a short, fluffy bit of silly librarian love story. Well. The working title was "fluffy librarian smut thing" so that should tell you what you need to know.

Here is the actual description:

Jeremy is a grad student with a quick mind and insatiable thirst for knowledge. What he’s currently most curious about is the infamously strict librarian at the small private library attached to his university. He has a weakness for devastatingly clever jerks, so despite his looming thesis, Jeremy decides to pay the famous special collection—and its curator—a visit. But instead of an intimidating beast of a librarian, he finds the librarian’s soft-spoken assistant, Benj.

Quiet, shy, guys with pretty eyes and handmade cardigans are not Jeremy’s type. Jeremy is too smart, and weird, for anyone so sweet. He’d walk all over them, or find them boring after five minutes. Which doesn’t explain why he keeps coming back to the library, despite never once encountering the notoriously protective special collections librarian. Perhaps if he weren’t so distracted by Benj’s surprisingly impressive shoulders and the absolutely charming library he runs, he’d notice there’s more to Benj than knitted sweaters.


Or, as Coffeebuddha says, awkward turtles in like. Yeah there are in some serious like territory. Bordering on smitten. Okay, smitten.

Lots of nerdy, nerdy conversation (mostly one-sided) and longing stares and bending of the rules for the one you just don't want to leave.

Checking Out Love


Now, back to work for me.
thatrcooper: (paris by cunningcroft)
A Very Rhoades Christmas

In which I was going to write a snippet after the events of Wicklow's Odyssey with all kinds of smut in it, and wound up distracted by a jealous Rhoades. But he's so adorable when he's pouting.


(Some slight spoilers for the novel, but nothing too bad I don't think. Also, unedited because this was for Tumblr)

Thank you to everyone who turned up to my Meet The Author chat. You were wonderful! *mwah*


A Very Rhoades Christmas )
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
Audiobook has arrived! The one for A Boy and His Dragon has, I mean. A Boy and His Dragon at Audible (Confession: I get the giggly squeals when I try to listen to my own words being read out loud. I am blushing right now.)

In other news, it occurs to me that those not into the geeky online things might not realize what AUs are. I write a lot of AUs of my own characters, usually in unedited little snippets to amuse the people who follow me on Tumblr. For example, I posted a short Bakery AU of Ray and Cal from Some Kind of Magic for Kristi P for Valentine's Day. An AU is a story set in an alternate universe from the one in which the original story is set. I tend to still consider AUs Original, in a sense, (because change one fact about a character and you change the character) but it's not really a point I'd argue because mostly AUs are supposed to be fun. :) Though to make it even more confusing, sometimes I just label them "crackfic"... which they basically are. A cracky, nutty version of a story you already know.

I mention this now because every once in a while I will read a comment from someone very confused or someone will remind me that not everyone is a giant geek like me and so people don't always speak my language. If anyone ever doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about, feel free to ask me so I convert you to a giant geek too.

Anyway! AUs. I love my characters and I love variations of them because it's interesting to see how a slightly different background can entirely change the way a story would go. I tend to write fuzzy little AUs just to make me smile but if you want to know more about them, may I suggest Wikipedia? (Obvious caveat that Wikipedia is Wikipedia and always open for debate and editing.)

(Oh my though, modern AU of My Man Godric in which Godric is the head of security for a rich, old, noble family and Bertie is the public scapegrace, always in the tabloids, usually caught staring adoringly at Godric. It's really quite embarrassing. And I still think about that AU of Play It Again, Charlie in which Will gets to know Charlie while he's still recovering in the hospital. I think about that one when I need some angst.)

I forgot my point. I guess, just... look at these idiots.

Ray the baking werewolf and Cal the besotted customer


This was originally an unedited Tumblr post. Original notes have been left in.

(I bet he makes savory pies and quiches filled with ham and croissants rich with butter. I bet someone else normally makes all the sweet, delicate things, like someone else normally works the counter. But one day Penn, who runs the register and does their books, has to go do some family thing with her mother and since it's a slow day she tells Ray he has to come out to help customers if anyone rings the bell.)

He was right in the middle of preparing the beef for some spicy mini beef pies, done Louisiana style, when someone rang the bell and it didn't put him in the best mood. He only had so much time to get some prepared for their lunch rush. He'd ask Murphy to go deal with the customer but Murphy had a special order of lemon tarts to complete. Someone had ordered them at the last minute. Ray was not fond of people who made huge, demanding orders at the last minute. Penn tried to remind him that business was business, but some customers needed a basic understanding that their bakery was not a McDonald's. Things took time, even with the occasional magical assistance.

In his nose was an irritating mix of lemon and onion which did not improve his mood as he pushed through the bat-wing swinging doors that led to the main room. He knew there was a frown on his face but he couldn't be bothered to care.

What did make him pause was the reaction from the fairy waiting by the counter.

"Oh, a face like that should not be scowling so," the fairy remarked, tilting his head back to study Ray with wide, swirling eyes of brown and purple and green. The colors made Ray think of Mardi Gras, and King's Cake, and frosting.

Ray didn't usually care for frosting but for a moment he licked his lips at the imagined taste of sugar. Then the fairy spoke again. "Then again the frown suits you. You're a were, aren't you? Maybe fierce is exactly how you should look." The fairy was not subtle in looking Ray over, but then they never were.

"Can I help you?" It came out a lot crankier than it should have. Penn would have had something to say about that if she'd heard it. Ray shrugged it off and didn't apologize or explain his frown. The fairy would forget about it in a few minutes anyway once he got some sugar.

He was actually pretty low-key for a fairy, with much smaller wings than usual, as if he was part human. He even had a shirt on, unbuttoned to reveal a bare chest glowing with health and sparkles, but still a shirt.

Ray headed over to the pastry counter after a moment's hesitation. The fairy wasn't going to want anything savory and he probably wouldn't want a whole cake, but a box filled with individual pastries was always a fairy favorite.

"So you're finally out here." The fairy's gaze darted to Ray's apron, coated in flour as well as hints of blood from the meat. "Oh, Ray," he realized out loud and then stopped. He twirled his wrist and looked slightly guilty as he explained. "Penn talks about you."

"She does?" It was not what Ray meant to say at all but he fought off a blush and stared back at his winged admirer as impassively as he could. The fairy--half-fairy, smiled at him. It was possibly the kindest smile Ray had ever seen.

"Penn is wonderful," the fairy offered with that same beaming smile. Ray thought Penn was wonderful too. She had never once scoffed at a werewolf living in a city and working as a baker. He loved Penn. He had no idea why he'd frown harder to hear that the fairy liked her too.

"She thinks the world of you, you know." The fairy leaned forward, putting his slender hands gracefully along the top of the glass case, sending glitter raining down the lace doily underneath the display of cupcakes that Penn kept out to tempt the lunch crowd. Ray realized his hands were also on the glass counter but couldn't remember having moved forward. Yet there he was, the glitter almost close enough to touch him.

He could hear Murphy swearing at his crust in the kitchen but the sound seemed far away, drowned out by his own heart in his eyes and the rapid, hummingbird beat of the fairy's heart right in front of him. He inhaled, noting a new scent, like fresh caramel and cinnamon, overlaid with a desire that somehow surprised him despite the fact that this was a fairy, and fairies were, well, given to showing desire openly and often.

"You talk about me?" Ray could not believe himself. He didn't know what had come over him. If anything he was known for not talking. Now he was asking stupid questions in a hoarse voice and he felt hot, hotter than usual, hotter than the kitchen at its busiest.

The fairy danced from foot to foot as he nodded. "I asked her and she was only too happy to talk about you."

Ray blinked. His head was swimming. His vision seemed to sharpen on the increasingly bright cloud of glitter around the fairy. He thought the fairy's mouth was the most beautiful mouth he'd ever seen. He considered whether, being half-human, the fairy might like one of his pies, or at least a croissant. Ray would fill it with dark chocolate and dip it in cream if the fairy would prefer it that way. Ray would feed it to him himself, anything to keep him smiling and happy.

He shook his head but the scent only got stronger, like crisp meringue and caramelized pears.
"You see," the fairy began again, leaning in and staring at Ray as though Ray was one of the bon bons on the shelves below, "I catch a glimpse of you from time to time, and you and your frowns are the shiniest thing I have ever seen. But you never come out. Not once. Not ever. And then Penn said--"
"Yes?" Ray was growling and too distracted to be embarrassed about it.

"Penn said she'd make you come out. As a favor to me. And to you. She said, 'The wolf needs to indulge his sweet tooth' and grinned and told me to come in today."

"And you remembered?" Ray couldn't keep the surprise out of his tone.

The fairy's smile was only a little saddened by his rudeness. "When it comes to what matters, Ray, fairies remember everything."

"And I matter?" Ray took another long breath. Hope was sweet and light like powdered sugar. He didn't know what that meant.

The fairy danced in front of him again, though wriggled might have been a better word. "You matter so much I put on clothes," he offered, wrinkling his nose in a way that made Ray feel even warmer.

"I wouldn't have asked you to do that," he murmured, only to hitch his shoulders at the fairy's delighted laugh.

"I knew I would like you, Ray." It wasn't something Ray should argue with. Weres also tended to like or dislike others immediately, although based more on scent than any "shininess".

"You don't know me," he argued anyway, inhaling so much want/want/want that he pulled at his apron. He wanted to lean closer so he did, forgetting lemon and onion in order to breathe in blackberry jam and spiced peaches and rosewater. There was a sweat too, human scent, man scent, and the combination made him flush. The fairy smelled like the best things in the world.

"That's easy enough to fix, isn't it?" The fairy stuck out his hand. "I'm Cal.

His hand was warm. His glitter was like being sprinkled with chocolate dust. And he smiled when Ray brought his wrist up to his mouth.

...


Still fierce Ray, but not nearly so, er, dickish about fairies uptight because he isn't a cop and doesn't have all those pressures on him. I imagine they were almost kissing by the end of that encounter and on a date/screwing shortly afterward. Maybe they make it through one date first. Then everyone at the bakery has to deal with Ray, ridiculously in love and Mated. Aw.

To sum up, I am weird. I write weird little things. People can always write me and ask me what the hell I'm doing if it's too weird. :) Also, SHINY NEW AUDIOBOOK!

(Also, apologies if this really is obvious to you. I just noticed several comments from confused people recently and didn't want them to continue being confused.) :):):)
thatrcooper: (stephen by aixsponsa)
I never know what to say in these blog posts. Sure, if you want fannish squeeing and random pictures of food and porn there's always my Tumblr, but an author-y blog posts people are supposed to be more author-y, have things to say about writing or the world in general that aren't just notices about upcoming release dates, all that. Only honestly I know next to nothing about the publishing world, and I feel like everything else comes out in my stories anyway. What does that leave? Just the updates. *sigh* But, you know, they are exciting to me and exciting things are fun to share.

First things first, everyone knows I posted a free short story, right? Well, I did. It features a slightly cracky (a lot cracky) fairy tale version of two characters who have been TORMENTING ME FOR OVER A YEAR NOW.

Ahem. I suppose that is something to talk about. Some stories are like that. You know exactly what is going on and you're compelled to write them as quickly as you can get the words out and you remain obsessed with them even once you are done. Wicklow and Rhoades were like that for me. But other stories are just a big mess. They keep growing and nothing ends up as you originally planned until you finally make yourself finish after many stops and starts and then suddenly it's exactly how you wanted it. But different. Will and Charlie were more like that. Er, Nathaniel and Tim are apparently like that as well. They insisted on writing themselves and that is always a struggle.

And can I tell you how much I regret giving werewolves quick healing powers and a fast refractory period? And how much I regret writing a sexual frustrated, *incredibly* confused young werewolf? Because I have spent hours upon hours upon hours writing porn and I'm not done yet! At least they have kind of reached an understanding, the two of them. Soon Tim might even understand what cuddles are.

(He needs lessons. Wicklow, now, you could give Wickow cuddle lessons and he'd still stare at you like you're crazy... So, I write characters with space and touching issues. So I write characters with issues. Ah well. That isn't news.)

Hmm. Updates. So. Wicklow and Rhoades were accepted (yaaaaaaay!) Preliminary title: Wicklow's Odyssey. That might change. Expect Civil War Steampunk sometime in July or early August.

Meanwhile, I was sent notices that audiobooks are going to happen for both, "A Boy and His Dragon" and "Play It Again, Charlie." I even got to listen to some samples. That was thrilling! And anxiety-inducing. And strange. And fantastic. And I don't generally listen to audiobooks so I hope those turn out okay. I will let you guys know what they are coming out.

I continue to write Tim and Nathaniel (working title(s): Little Wolf. Or The Alpha of Wolf's Paw. Or What Wolves Do. Or... something chess related. Because when you think werewolves, you think, chess.) Getting closer to the end. Woo hoo! I still don't know what to do about my short Beings stories. I want to write a few more and put them all together, but then again I don't know if Dreamspinner would want that. I'm such a weird writer.

And um, oh hey. Conventions and things. Fun? Something people in more than a hang around the comic book booths kind of way? What kind of conventions do people go to where they want to interact with authors? *Do* they want to interact with authors? (Or m/m authors for that matter?) What's that like? I have only ever gone to one convention and it was a very large one and very expensive and well... I did not enjoy it much despite my nerdiness. So I am trying to see the appeal. They aren't something you can explore on a whim when you are on a budget.

Depends on what you want to get out of them I suppose. y/y? y/n?
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
So... I was writing Christmas snippets for people on Tumblr while also editing Little Wolf and someone asked for a fairy tale and what was meant to be a short thing turned into a slightly longer story.

Ah. Me and my weird brain.

Anyway, so, Little Wolf is an unfinished novel about a very confused little werewolf finding his mate and for whatever reason, he reminds me and Selenographics of a cracky fairy tale about a princess locked in a tower. Which is probably how this happened.

Little Prince
(The Little Wolf Fairy Tale AU)

Summary: Prince Timothy is betrothed to Prince Nathaniel, who is handsome and kind and perfect. It's awful.




Read more... )
thatrcooper: (paris by cunningcroft)
For everyone as broke as me--COUPONS! You get a coupon! And you get a coupon! I'm throwing coupons at you!

They're for stories up on Smashwords, but still, coupons. (And remember, there are free stories up on Smashwords too. FREE! THE BEST THING!)

Treat yo' self! Personally I have a hard time spending money on myself. Sometimes it helps when there is a sale. In this case, 50% off! *sings like Donna and Tom Haverford* Treat Yo Self 2013!

Coupon Code for With Everything I Have is CH88S

Coupon Code for Ideas of Sin (for the brave who are into pirateses and rough sex and 1600s religious debate and things) is LD78Q

Both good until January 6, because I like the sound of Twelfth Night. And don't forget the free ones. Freeeee! Have fun.

Meanwhile, people, so all I seem to want to do is write short stories about Wicklow and Rhoades and that is no fun for anyone since I don't even know if Dreamspinner wants them. (ah the nervewracking wait for a response) What should I do if they don't? Smashwords them? Amazon? Hmm I also kind of want to write a cracky alternate universe story with Tim and Nathaniel where Tim in a prince(ss) trapped in a very tall tower (until he escapes) and Nathaniel is the long suffering knight trying to help him/get laid.

Poor Nathaniel, he never gets laid. At least not by Tim.

I am really failing at short stories for the Christmas season. Hmm... maybe John and Rennet at Christmastime? Oh shit. I don't think anyone knows John and Rennet either. Well boo. I swear I've been writing. Just... I've been working on long things and short stories that don't really have a home. (yet) Sorry. Have an excerpt while I continue to plug away.


A little bit of Kazimir the Firebird.


Read more... )

"That was quite a show," remarked a voice from the shadows, and Kazimir angled his head toward his audience. His head still ached, but he kept his chin up while the man came forward until his toes were on the edge of Kazimir's soft circle of light. His audience was a man of average height, handsome, though part of his face was hidden by an unfashionable growth of beard and a small mustache. Curls of brown fell into his face where they were not tucked behind his ears, and glasses hid his eye color, but his clothes were plain, a shirt and pants, with braces, or suspenders as Americans called them. He was American too, though his French accent was better. Kazimir had the impression of a direct gaze before the man glanced away again. His lips were full and pliant.

"At the theater tonight, or what just took place on my balcony?" Kazimir stared at him, waiting for the man to look at him again, wondering why he would look anywhere else with Kazimir in the room with him.

"That." The emphasis in the word was almost amusing. "What just took place. Though I also thought your performance tonight was incredible. Not everyone gets an opera written for them, not everyone deserves it."

He implied that Kazimir did, which Kazimir already knew. But Kazimir nodded after a moment, and the man took a drink from his own glass. It held something brown, with ice. The man swallowed with evident pleasure and then said nothing, continuing to keep his eyes from Kazimir.

"You should not capture a Firebird," Kazimir addressed the topic at hand, and watched soft lips open on what could have been a silent laugh. His glow was flattering to the man's cheekbones, the light olive tone to his cheeks.

"Should not?" The stranger moved and Kazimir got a hint of dark eyes narrowed in thought. "Was that act for his benefit then?"

"If not his then for the next creature he tries to buy." Kazimir shrugged and sighed loudly at the stillness from the man opposite him. "You have more to say? You think I was cruel? That he did not deserve rejection?"

The man considered him over the wire rim of his glasses, direct and indirect at once. Kazimir knew he was being studied, and yet could not catch the man's gaze. The strange, somewhat insolent human took another drink of his brown booze. "You didn't have much respect for his feelings."

Kazimir surprised himself by letting out a short, icy laugh "He should have had respect for mine."

"Were yours clear?" If possible, the man seemed equally amused, though Kazimir did not understand why he should be, unless he found Kazimir himself funny. The human could have been one of those men who feigned disgust at things like magic or the blended world that magical creatures lived in, where human morals and customs did not apply. He barely looked over thirty, but it was not only old men who regarded fairies and demons with hatred and loathing. Lately many seemed to, as if the problems of the world were to be laid at their door, as if beings of magic had been the ones destroying banks and dividing countries up into arbitrary pieces.

Kazimir drew himself up and curled one hand into a fist, two remaining pearls hard in his palm. "What responsibility is it of mine to make my feelings clear? My feelings are mine." His voice was clear, the little American would not argue. Kazimir kept on. "He was told no. It is not my fault he did not listen."

He let out a puff of air and wished for more vodka. It was a long time before he thought of speaking again, but when the American did not say a word, he chose to answer with silence, and so they stood. Then the American shifted forward again, coming further into Kazimir's light but stopping before Kazimir had to step back. Kazimir wondered if the man had seen him shudder away earlier, or if this human had simply been raised with better manners. He inclined his head, as though granting Kazimir the point, but did not admit his fault aloud.

Kazimir felt something, not altogether fear, slide down his back. He frowned and made his smile cold. "Human men in general do not give ground until forced to," he pronounced, bitter and unsurprised, and wondered if a mere glimpse of his neck would be enough to undo this one, or if more would be required.

The American stared to the side for a moment longer, then took another drink. He gave Kazimir a short look, then snorted and spoke in English. "Fucking true enough," he remarked, "we will defend to the last man salients of no value to avoid the appearance of retreat."

It was a confusing statement, one Kazimir was not entirely sure he translated correctly. Before he could ask, the American went on, growing warmer at the subject or from his liquor. "Not to say you have no value, or that you are a piece of land. Merely agreeing with you. It's difficult to let go. It can be difficult." He scowled down at his glass.

"You are drunk." Kazimir was neither amused or shocked, though he was not certain why he bothered commenting. His guests were currently swimming in gin.

"Usually," the American hummed a little, a piece from the opera tonight, "I usually am, when not working. May I ask you something?" He paused. "Did you not like the pearls? The gesture was beautifully executed, and I applauded, but outside of this apartment people are hungry."

"And the inhuman creature throws away pearls while the bread lines grow." Kazimir looked down to straighten his robe and when he raised his eyes, the American was looking right back at him. It took him too long to speak again. "Perhaps I prefer diamonds." He held the man's gaze even with the touch of electricity down his back and the ache in his bones. "Do you have diamonds?" he ducked his head to inhale greedily, and glanced up, an unrivalled courtesan. He swept a look over the American's clothes, noting the lack of starch in the shirt as if it had been worn a few times since its last cleaning. It might be the man's only dress shirt. Kazimir clucked his tongue pityingly and straightened. "I don't think you do," he sighed as if bored and waited. When insulted, some dogs licked your hand, others bit.

This dog tilted his head to one side. "You want diamonds? Common diamonds?" He seemed unwilling to admit the possibility that anyone would see a diamond as anything other than a shiny stone, though he returned the same sweeping look Kazimir had given him.

Kazimir felt himself go still. The human pretended not to see, though he must have.

"No, rubies surely. You must have been offered rubies too," the American went on, then wrinkled his nose and gave Kazimir another of his brief, searching looks. "Forgive me but as much as I can see you in jewels, your own natural beauty would render them redundant. You're handsome, yes, your jaw, your shoulders, your tapered waist and straight nose, but mostly… beautiful. Beautiful is the only word that suits you, or, I should say, it is the only word that comes to mind that wouldn't embarrass me."

"So you offer me no jewels at all?" Kazimir could have played coy, accepted the compliment and whatever money the man did have. He intended to, but the words came escaped him in a lilt, a graceful humming note when there should have been a blast of sound.

"Flowers. Those I would give you, if I had the money to, which I don't." The American nodded and took another drink. Kazimir could not tell if he meant it at all; the man looked at him in the same way as before, direct and then from the side, strangely shy. He was a schoolboy until he spoke.

"Roses?" Kazimir angled his head up and let out a pointed, light yawn. His heart would not slow. "Orchids?"

"Mere weeds!" the American scoffed, serious or playful, Kazimir could not determine, and did not allow himself to react though the American went on, "painted blooms in paper coffins, cut and wrapped and stuffed into a vase for display. No, not those. Not for you."

"What then?" Kazimir leaned back against a wrought-iron stand, velvety fern fronds tickling his bare skin. He put his wrist to his forehead like a film actress. The American's breath seemed to leave him in a rush, and when Kazimir looked, the man was watching him, earnestly now, if he had not been before.

"Wild flowers, the kind I have only ever seen in fields in Belgium. The kinds that grow on this continent no matter what is done to the land. Cascading colors so bright they're obscene. Blooms so beautiful they make you forget that even flowers fight for survival. Wild flowers, hardier than anything grown in a nursery. I'd make you a crown of them."

"Free flowers then?" Kazimir countered, his hand falling to his throat, though the weight of the pearls was long gone. The American threw his head back and laughed. It was too loud from drink, but still a rich, pleased sound that drew attention. A few people stopped at the doorway to peek at them.

"No jewels and no flowers will please you, Monsieur Firebird?" He was charming now suddenly, this American, leaving Kazimir to stare and wonder where his shyness had gone.

"I have never asked for them," he insisted, still with his hand at his throat, and the man dropped his crooked smile before Kazimir had even fully realized it was there.

"So you throw them away as though they are nothing?" He was gruff but quiet, and once again Kazimir could not tell if he was joking. He could not ask any more than he could ask for stories of these fields where wild flowers grew. He had traveled by train many years ago but had never stopped to look out at farmland turned grey with trenches and rain. He took a breath.

"That is no way to talk, Monsieur L'Américain, not if you wish to win a firebird." He was not drunk, but he sang it out, so sweetly it seemed a mockery.

The American frowned. "You said I should not--" he started, but was cut off by the arrival of Michel, who turned on the lights as he strode in. The American shut his eyes for a moment and swore, in the crude manner that seemed his habit. "Fuck."

Kazimir took a moment to study him in the light, from the shine in his brown curls to the dull scuff of his shoes. His trousers were recently ironed, but frayed, and a tarnished watch was ready to fall from his pocket. His lips were indeed yielding and pink, but held lines at the corners that spoke of pain. He was no schoolboy, but older than thirty, though not much. He was thin, and his skin had a tint of its own, as if good food and sun were all that were needed to make him beautiful, and perhaps a shave. He was not a picture of health. His skin was dotted with sweat despite the chill, like a human, a tipsy human without much money who had not eaten a solid meal in some time.
thatrcooper: (paris by cunningcroft)
I promised better links once I had covers. To what? Some might ask. Well to a pair of steampunk stories I wrote a while ago that didn't know what to do with, so I put them up on Smashwords.

And I Am Happy

My steampunk Alternate Universe story for Will and Charlie from Play It Again, Charlie

Description: Will is a terrible valet. Until he came to the house of war hero and respected MP Charles Howard, he was more of a rich man's convenience than a valet. No one predicts he will keep the position for long but Charles Howard is not at all what Will expects. A reserved, insecure man who hides his pain from the public, Charlie--as Will secretly thinks of him--believes that no one, especially his pretty valet, would want him. Will longs to convince him otherwise but even if Charlie were the type to dally with a servant, Will is a valet, a man, with a scandalous past, and Charlie is a famous figure.

In a late Victorian England where cars exist, if only for the rich, and telephones are a symbol of wealth, a progressive spirit has led to the appearance of acceptance. But though certain laws have been repealed it doesn't mean people's attitudes have changed or that class differences don't still exist. Will is content to serve his gentleman with no expectations of anything more. He only wants his master to be happy. Will makes Charlie smile but master and servant is all they can ever be, or is it?

Price: FREE. Everyone's favorite word! But if you like it and are curious about this Peter and Sebastian that Will mentions, then skip on over to


With Everything I Have


Description: Sebastian has a problem. He's in love with his best friend Peter and has been since their schooldays when they were outcasts together. His pining is so obvious that all of London knows, even his frustrated mother who just wants him to be happy. The only person who doesn't know is Peter. An abusive childhood with a controlling father left Peter emotionally detached and socially anxious and now he mostly hides himself away in his house where he designs the unique, fast cars that are status symbols among the town's elite. People would kill to own a single one of Peter's cars. Sebastian owns four. The meaning in that is obvious to everyone but Peter.

In a late Victorian England where cars exist, even though they aren't exactly comfortable, and computers allow the shy to avoid human contact , a progressive spirit has led to a begrudging acceptance of the sexuality of certain members of society. The sodomy laws have been repealed so that two men might spend the rest of their lives together, but that is no guarantee of happiness. Peter risks his neck driving at dangerous speeds for fun but sees passion as something to be frightened of. Sebastian has been struggling to get Peter to realize his own feelings for years but he is starting to worry that it may never happen. Peter seems to want no part of the future that Sebastian is offering him, on the surface at least. But a future without Sebastian might be something that not even a mind like Peter's can imagine.

Price: $1.99 But um, there's feelings! And smut! And suspenders... which... okay thanks to Selenographics and Wicklow, I have kind of a kink for now. hmmm Peter and Sebastian need some more smut. Maybe I will commentfic that with Selenographics when I get bored.
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
Because sometimes you just need a story about awkward flirting over a coffee counter.

Medium, Sweet, Extra shot of Geek

Well... because sometimes I do, I guess, and I hope other people do as well. Look at that cover though, how sweet is that cover? Tina keeps putting little hearts on there to embarrass Tavio but secretly he likes seeing them I think, or he would say something.



In other news, I am 3/4... slightly over 3/4 actually, done with this current weird steampunk I am writing and then back to fairy tales! Up next after the Firebird, it's Granny and Grumpus, the story of the awkward keeper of a dark garden and the, um, rather crude werewolf who loves him. Or something. If one can trust werewolves with their crazy instincts. Carnivorous plants are so much more trustworthy.

But first! Back to Civil War spying shenanigans! (And dorky dorks flirting in a coffeeshop). I meant to do fairy things first, but Civil War thing took over my brain. Weird how that happens. Nothing and then everything all at once. Why can't I write faster?!! (agony! torment! feelings!)

...Okay yes too much coffee.
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
Some things:

Plainapple doodled some Cal and Ray Ray for me.

Ray is nicely glowering and annoyed. Anyone that sexually frustrated is bound to be.


Also hey, just for funsies (and practice) I wrote a sort of-steampunk/Victorian but historically inaccurate AU for Will and Charlie. Lots of angst and feelings and master/servant vibes. I don't know how long I am going to leave it up, so read soon if the mood strikes you.

And I Am Happy

Gah. I have written three steampunk shorts for myself now, and I don't think any of them really even count as steampunk. One probably needs to be longer. Bah! Humbug! Back to Firebirds!
thatrcooper: (stephen by aixsponsa)
I keep writing all these things and I don't know what to do with them. Weird short story things and alternate universe of existing story things. Just random ideas that don't seem to have a place, no matter how adorable I might think they are.

Short stories in the Beings universe seems to be a place my mind keeps going, though I have no idea if that sort of thing is publishable. Maybe a series of them with a unifying theme. Or no theme, just a series of short stories. (Would that be a thing people would read?) It might include existing characters or it might be all new. I wrote a thing about an imp in love the other day.

An imp! I know! It just happened.

Anyway, I'm still alive, just sort of frazzled. :)

Have an excerpt...


"Someone once told me that you were the enforcer of Mr. Summers' political will, Mr. Rennet. You should consider the source of your information," Campbell the reporter snapped back, sweating but brave. Rennet stared at him, then directed a look over at John. John was calm, even smiling faintly, which could have meant anything, but he wasn't intervening to shut Rennet up, so after a long minute, Rennet arched his eyebrows.

"Just Rennet," he corrected the reporter, in case this was on the record. "Rennet the imp. What kind of idiot would hire an imp for matters of a delicate nature? I'm an embodiment of chaos, asshole. I don't do good or evil. Didn't you learn this in school?"

"Asshole seems harsh, Rennet," John commented, taking his empty cup and setting it next to the coffee machine. Rennet would need at least two cups to feel any effects from the caffeine. John removed his coat and rolled up his sleeves before preparing a second cup, just for Rennet.

"See?" Rennet continued with his mouth dry, trying not to stare at John's forearms. "Sorry about the asshole thing, but you honestly think I take orders from this guy?"

Margery coughed around her sip of coffee.







I don't even know where my brain is anymore, but Rennet will pretty much do anything John wants, little delusional failboat that he is. He is fooling no one.
thatrcooper: (perv by kittie)
Getting back into writing can be difficult, so I tried to do a little something and ended up with two steampunk/not really steampunk stories. One of them is basically an alternate universe Will and Charlie. I'm not sure what to do with them. They aren't very good, at least, not from what I can tell, but I am kind of fond of them. It's very discouraging though, to see all that effort just sitting there in two random, blah stories. But hey, at least they got me kind of excited about werewolves again.

In other story type news, I put Ideas of Sin (oh dear, that old thing) up on Smashwords. If you are hankering for some French corsair with daddy issues captures bookish but fine English piece of ass, then that is where you should go. Also featuring 17th century stuff and religious debate and booty (pirate sex pun!) and very bad things and lots more sex. Six people have bought it so far, which tickles me to no end for some reason. SIX BRAVE SOULS. (I am so sorry. I wrote it years ago. But there's porn!)

Also, to the people who follow me on Tumblr or read these posts on Goodreads, you know I have no idea how I am supposed to act in these spaces, so you get this. You're welcome. ;)

Have some steampunk-ish valet-ness starring a slightly different Will and slightly different Charlie:

Read more... )
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
Hello hello! Let's talk Berties first. Of course reading My Man Godric isn't necessary if you want to read about the new Bertie, it's just a nice option. For anyone who missed it, you can now find My Man Godric on my Free Reads page or downloadable from Smashwords. (You know, I'd put the old Ideas of Sin up there, but that requires so much editing that it's going to take me a while to even get up the energy to look at it.)

New Bertie: I have a release date, January 4. (Still in the year of the dragon even, so yay!) and it's already up as TBR on Goodreads and the Dreamspinner site *with* a cover...

It's also now officially part of a series. Or a set universe I guess. Being(s) in Love. With Some Kind of Magic and the short story Different for Humans. Woo hoo for me being organized for once! Okay, semi-organized. Okay just recognizing the concept of organization if not actually implementing it.

Speaking of, I should do something with my Arthur/Bertie and the Egg thing.

And hey, I meant to share this before, did I? It's not related to Arthur or either Bertie. It's fanart that my friend sinjah drew for the character Isabel in Let There Be Light. Steampunky, costumed goodness! (That's Isabel in the glasses, being cute and fashionable and pretending she isn't a badass) I might have posted it before. Oh well. It's pretty.

The haps:

Aug. 13th, 2012 03:55 pm
thatrcooper: (paris by cunningcroft)
I have a short story out in Dreamspinner's anthology that comes out, oh yeah, oops, *today*. I fail to advertise things. Idk. There's roommates with feeeeelings and kittens with stumpy tails and risotto. Just so you know. I can discuss the other stories in the anthology when I get my copy. :)

I finally got up the courage to reopen the files I was formatting to put up on Smashwords. ("My Man Godric" as a free story and another new short "Under the Bridge" as a cheap experiment in the whole self-publishing thing) only to discover that Word was a dickbag and erased all the formatting. Or hid it, I am not sure. But seeing my hard work gone made me disinclined to continue for the day. I did however, finally email Smashwords about cover artists. Because I want stuff to look as professional as possible even if these are going to be free/cheap downloads. I haven't done anything with this information yet however, because I am poor and I must choose to spend my money wisely, and also this shit is hard, yo.

I see now why only the truly determined would self-publish because I like having people make these kinds of calls for me. Dammit I just need the title on a cover. It doesn't have to be fancy!

Once that is finally, ever?, settled, I can worry about formatting again. And if that goes well, we will see how this goes. (All those people who nicely asked me for ways to download my free stories... well I am trying here. I need an assistant. Why don't I have one? Oh right.)

And hey, in better news, I STARTED WRITING SOMETHING NEW TODAY!!! Woo hoo!!! I hope it continues to inspire me.

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