I’m not one of those people who objects to Christmas decorations appearing around Halloween, or carols hijacking my favorite radio station on the fourth Friday of November. I say, the more seasonal spirit, the better.
So although Thanksgiving has yet to come and go, I am happy to feast on Season’s Greetings, Kira Snyder’s latest Parish Mail short novel. When I say feast, I do mean it. Kira’s series provides a veritable cornucopia of cute boys to fall in love with—and lucky for us we can choose more than one.
The Parish Mail series begins when Celia Macarty moves to New Orleans, a playground for the weird and wonderful. Celia develops an ability to cavort with the paranormal world, and realizes that not all is what it seems in her new hometown. Celia’s best friend Tilly is a witch with a powerful connection to animals; Celia’s grandfather may or may not be in on a secret involving century-old letters; and who can forget Celia’s hear-me-roar mom, a former punk-band bass player who’s picked up and moved to the Crescent City in hopes of starting over.
But that’s not what keeps me anxiously awaiting the next installments of Kira’s books. It’s trying to decide which of Celia’s three – that’s right, three! – love interests is the boy for her. Depending on how you decide to read the books, one of a trio of handsome helpers may or may not want to deepen their relationship with our fearless, lovable Celia.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Luc lived in the nineteenth century, and now his spirit roams the New Orleans streets with only memories to keep him warm…until he meets Celia who, sensitive to Luc’s kind, can see and hear him. Luc, always the gentleman, helps Celia unravel her otherworldly mysteries–as long as it’s after dark.
Another good choice for crime-solving is Donovan Blake, a detective’s son. Donovan’s handsome in a boy-next-door way, yet there’s more to him than broad shoulders and a cute face. Donovan’s capable. He can talk himself out of trouble, strong-arm unhelpful leads, and install a car windshield. Donovan’s kiss is warm, confident, and well, hot. Added bonus points for him being alive.
But who am I kidding? There’s one kind of guy that can make a ghost boyfriend seem like a safe choice and a street-smart kid seem a little ho-hum. That’s Sloan Carver, the bad boy, rich-kid with an attitude a mile long. Sloan might not be interested in Celia’s after-school activities, but when she needs him, he’s there. Plus his angelic singing leads to un-angelic thoughts, and he isn’t afraid to get a little chippy if somebody’s giving Celia a hard time.
I realize of course that prickly Sloan isn’t for everyone. But that’s what’s so terrific about Kira’s Parish Mail stories. If an old-fashioned romantic turns your insides to goo; if, perhaps, the boy next door with the killer, dimpled smile melts your heart; if you’re like me and just can’t say no to a devilish grin, you’ll find a way to love Season’s Greetings. Because you get to pick which of Celia’s three suitors she turns to for help…and, hopefully, for a little smooching.
And if you’re just a reader who loves a good yarn, then this story’s got what you need. It’s up to Celia to give somebody she loves a holiday filled with happiness, and the only way she can do that is to figure out the cryptic meaning behind an early twentieth-century Christmas card. It’s up to you who she asks for help.
Read it all three ways if you like! And please excuse me while I go order myself a Team Sloan t-shirt.
Instead of regular Halloween costumes this year, I thought it would be fun if we all came to work dressed as characters from our books. With the unbridled glee of a recent college grad, I sent out a cheery email, helpfully including suggested character assignments.
Here’s a sampling of what I got back:
Ummm…we’re old, Kiera
NFW Waynn paints his hair pink
Wait…she really wants us to dress up? That’s adorable.
I retract my superawesome
OK, so no dressing up. But my character suggestions DID spark some extended commentary. Here’s my picks, followed by each person’s analysis.
LISA = TILLY from Parish Mail
I was torn over my choice…I really wanted to be Nevra from KSW because she’s BASED ON ME (yes Jen, I am riding this one as long as possible). But then I would want to run around recreating her incredibly badass scene all day, and that would be HIGHLY inappropriate…
Then I thought of Lily from Spellspinners, because I understand her Northern California-ness and was lucky enough to run into my own soulmate (xx Doug) at a young age. But the whole iliac crest thing also seems inappropriate…
So I approve of Tilly — I’ve always had an unusual bond with animals and I am pretty quirky. I also need to get dressed quickly in the morning, thanks to my 2-year-old terrorist’s current early morning wake-up time, so the ease of Tilly-fying myself (black clothing + crow) is also a plus. And yes, I do have a spare crow in my attic. What – you don’t?
WAYNN = JONAH from Spellspinners
I love Jonah for 2 reasons: pink hair and hipster coffee. Ever since a miscommunication at SuperCuts caused me to go an entire summer in college looking uncomfortably close to a white supremacist (even though I’m Asian…and not a supremacist), I’ve been curious about other hairstyles and colors. Pink hair would go great with the unofficial Shirt.Woot of Coliloquy in a Christmas-y kind of way. And everyone at the company already knows my affinity for awesome coffee spots, even if I can’t tell the difference between any of the coffees…
JEN = JJ from Getting Dumped
I do dream about one day leaving my desk job to crush garbage with a 150,000 pound machine. And a hard hat, overalls and general grunge construction wear would be so much more comfortable than the corporate clothing shenanigans that Lisa and Waynn insist that we all wear so we look “professional”. As for other ways I’m like JJ…
- I love to cook.
- With the exception of my husbie, I have generally and previously had questionable taste in men (luckily none of them turned out exactly like Daniel).
- I too have drunk weird teas in Chinese restaurants.
- I have used choice points to figure out who to call while in crisis.
The best part about being JJ? Blue Cat!
AIMEE = TARYN from Georgetown Academy
It would be an absolute dream to walk into my closet and come out looking like Brinley or Ellie, however I have to admit that I have absolutely nothing in common with either of these fashionistas, so I’m going to have to pass on being a GTA socialite for the day.
However, I definitely think I could pull off being Taryn. Not only do I love her bohemian style and laid back attitude, I can also relate to her being a California girl & snowboarder! Both of which are near and dear to my heart! There are very few things in this world that I enjoy more than strapping on my snowboard and hitting the slopes.
SHAYAN = JACK from Game. Set. Match.
I’m down with Jack, mostly because I think I already have the costume taken care of. I’ve been trying to play tennis off and on since I was 11, so I’ve collected the tennis balls, racket, wristbands, sunglasses and short shorts to pull it off. As an added bonus, I even went to Harvard *cough* summer school *cough*.
KIERA = BRINLEY from Georgetown Academy
Personality aside, I’d want to go as Brinley and dress up in a fabulous outfit. We get to expense our costumes, right?! I’m also uber competitive, but I’m working on it.
MELANIE = LENORE, Tilly’s raven in Parish Mail
Oh, I like this. I’ll fly in from New Jersey and sit on Lisa’s shoulder. Unless you’ll let me be one of Sloan’s girlfriends from Parish Mail…
Today we celebrate the launch of Holly McDowell’s Sacrificed, the tantalizing third episode of King Solomon’s Wives! Little known fact about this book: one of the new Wives is based on Lisa.
It all started when Lisa very innocently said that she would never survive as a Wife because her tolerance for risk was too high: “I fear that I would be dead already…my comfort with risk is way too high, so I’m pretty sure I would have been doomed centuries ago.” Her comment inspired Holly to create Nevra, the “Lisa” character in King Solomon’s Wives: Sacrificed. Which, of course, pleased Lisa to no end and has made her utterly insufferable for the past few months – though I do have to admit that Nevra has one of the most badass scenes EVER (Note: Lisa made me put this line in).
But now that Nevra is making her official launch day debut, the rest of Coliloquy HQ is ready to audition to be a Wife in a future episode. So I interviewed everyone and asked a few simple questions:
What kind of Wife would you be?
What would be the hardest part about being a Wife?
What would be the best part?
What would you do with your addictive touch?
Here are the results:
My favorite Wife is Dilara. I know she’s an antagonist, but she’s tough and practical, and she has an unselfish reason for [almost] everything she does. Plus? She’s fun to write. I also like that she has a serious vulnerability; every time she sees her secret girlfriend, her strictness melts away.
If I were a Wife, I’d be like Pasha. She’s creative—a musician—and wants to use her talents to engage with the outside world. But Wives aren’t allowed to, of course. They’re not supposed to even keep diaries, much less publish poetry or perform songs they’ve written. Most Wives believe the only way they can endure past death is to give birth to a daughter. Pasha has other ideas.
There are plenty of bad things about being a Wife (the early death, the inability to get close to an outsider, hiding from Hunters). But I would *love* to have my ancestors’ memories. I love studying history so much, I wouldn’t mind that part of the curse.
I would be the quiet but sneaky Wife. Who am I kidding…if I live only to 24, I would delude myself into believing that the man I’d choose would be Bernahu and together we would save the Wives. But in reality, I’d end up choosing someone like Jonah.
And the hardest part of being a Wife? All the rules. No relationships outside of the clan? Sacrifice yourself for your daughter at the age of 24? I wouldn’t last long and would likely run away or be imprisoned. Or run away and THEN be imprisoned. The flashbacks might be tough too, especially if they happen while I’m watching Law & Order.
The best part would be the Sisterhood. Being surrounded by a variety of strong, independent women—I’d see different models on how to be and then I’d choose wisely. Also sharing clothes would be pretty awesome.
I would use my addictive touch to touch all baby animals, and then be sad that my addictive touch doesn’t work on them. And then I might use my touch for good (hey, not like that!) and touch all the depraved people on Earth, have them follow me when I turn 24, lock them in a compound on a deserted island to deal with the withdrawal. Though I’m pretty sure this would backfire on me.
As I’ve already mentioned, I’m pretty sure I would have died a few centuries ago…for good or bad, I’ve always been comfortable managing a higher level of risk than most people. In today’s tech age, that makes me a good entrepreneur, but I doubt historic times would have been so kind.
The best part of being a Wife? I know everyone else is going to say lovey dovey things about community and relationships, but let’s get real: I LOVE candy corn. LOVE it. But I don’t eat it because I know it is bad for me. But if I was going to die at 25? I would eat candy corn every day.
I thought really hard about the kind of Wife I would be because I think how you react depends a lot on the stimulus with which you are faced. In that sense, I would be a combination of all of them. If I were in love, I would act like Sonya or if I had to give my life to protect my own, my inner Sumarra would surface. For the protection of the clan I think I would try to maintain the order and vigilance expected of us sisters, but would also find ways to change the system that keeps down the same members it claims to protect. So, a bit like Dilara then.
The hardest part about being a Wife—Inflicting punishment on my own for simply being human.
And the best part: Having access to the treasure that is the wisdom and experience of my mothers before me. And being motivated enough to think beyond the immediate danger to what we can use this treasure for the betterment of the clan as a whole.
What would I do with addictive touch? I would camp outside Daniel Craig’s home until I could get one solid moment of contact. Or Adam Levine. Maybe both.
Due to severe jet lag, Waynn gave us (Lisa and Jen) full consent to answer on his behalf.
Waynn would be the watcher Wife. He’d know where everyone else was at all times.
The hardest part about being a Wife is twofold for security/location purposes they wouldn’t allow Waynn to: 1. order t-shirts from shirt.woot.com and 2. Waynn couldn’t post photos of all the yummy food he’s eaten (in this life or in his previous ones).
With addictive touch? Waynn would secretly touch people, stroking them gently. Most likely targets: Blue Bottle coffee baristas.
I would create a startup and use my powers of touch to convince/force the best engineers and business minds to join my company and make it wildly successful. If the idea doesn’t work out, I can sue everyone for sexual harassment and collect the insurance money.
I’m similar to Sonya—not nearly as selfless as Sumarra and not as ambitious as Dilara. I imagine I’d get frustrated by the rules/isolation and would run away.
What would be the hardest part about being a Wife? Living with women all the time! Actually being childless/dying for your child is worse—I don’t know why that didn’t come to mind earlier.
The best part would be going back in time through memories; understanding your ancestors’ emotions and thoughts.
I’d use my addictive touch to start a restaurant! I love to cook and with my addictive touch (I’d allow some of my chemicals to go into the food), I’d beat the awful food industry odds.
I would definitely be a rebellious Wife, like Sumarra, and especially if my leader was a bossypants like Dilara. I fear that I’d end up locked in the prison room with Esme. Or on the run like Sonya. Because following rules made up three thousand years earlier is really, really a bummer when you could be out with your Sisters making memories to pass down to your daughters and their daughters!
The best part? Definitely the travel. And having lived through famous world events. See above about making memories.
I couldn’t think about what to do with my addictive touch, then saw Kaamna’s answer and realized that I’d totally sneak into Daniel Craig’s house before she could get to him.
For those of you who haven’t laid a finger on any of the enthralling King Solomon’s Wives episodes, it’s your lucky day! In addition to the release of King Solomon’s Wives: Sacrificed, we’ve also released Books I-III in a single volume. So go dive into the rich history of these beautifully depicted Wives and let us know what kind of Wife you’d be.
There are moments in the life of an entrepreneur when you feel like “it” is happening — whatever your dream was when you started your company, it’s no longer a future plan or wish, but a real thing happening in the present.
When Waynn and I founded Coliloquy, our whole goal was to create something TOTALLY AWESOME AND FUN. An intangible, all-capitalized expression of extraordinariness. A dash of surprise and happiness. Maybe not exactly how Webster defined it, but I think you get it.
The cause of today’s “it” moment is our release of Tawna Fenske’s THE GREAT PANTY CAPER, a new novella starring JJ, Lori, and everyone’s favorite, Blue Cat.
Everything about THE GREAT PANTY CAPER is “it” for me: The story and writing is Tawna at her absolute best, the cover is the perfect blend of whimsy and sexy, and the “making of” publisher outtakes include two of my favorite email/chat conversations ever:
Colilo-Chat Transcript, 8/22/13
lisa rutherford: hola @waynn! @jen and I have a question
waynn lue: ?
lisa rutherford: we want to ask Tawna to take a photo of Blue Cat with panties on his head. Is it weird to ask her to take a photo of her panties
jen lou: it’s for a book cover concept
waynn lue: oh thank god.
lisa rutherford: lol
waynn lue: just don’t specify that they are HER panties and I think you’re OK.
Emails, 8/23/13 – 8/24/13
from Jen: Tawna! We were wondering if you have, or could take, a photo of Blue Cat with panties on his head — Like “catbra.png” but with panties on the head. Not to be confused with panties on his face (see “catpantyface.png”), we definitely don’t want that.
from Tawna: Surprisingly, I do not currently have any photos of Blue Cat wearing my panties on his head. I do, however, have easy access to panties, Blue Cat, and a professional photographer who happens to share my home and my cats (though not my panties). I’m copying my gentleman friend on this message. It’s partly to see if he might be willing to take a photo, and partly so I have a witness to verify that you’re all insane. I mean that in a spirit of love and admiration.
from Jen: Why, hello Tawna’s gentleman friend, we’re sorry to hear that Tawna does not share her panties with you. Lisa’s directive was “Give him a pair of panties and see what he does with it.” It’s unclear to me if “him” refers to your gentleman friend or Blue Cat.
from Melanie: I am always amazed at the threads waiting for me when I’m gone a few hours.
from Tawna: Blue Cat was not amused. Incidentally, there are phrases you don’t imagine yourself uttering when you first sign a book deal. Things like, “Come here, Blue Cat, the publisher just asked for a photo of you with panties on your head.”
We’re also taking advantage of THE GREAT PANTY CAPER’s launch to re-release GETTING DUMPED as a single volume. And just because we love you, we’ve bundled THE GREAT PANTY CAPER in for a limited time only.
So go get some TOTAL AWESOME FUNNESS and enjoy a little vacation from the real world. Between the questionable male neckwear, naming Lori’s new “emergency kit”, and everything Blue Cat-related, I predict you’ll keep your poor sweet husband awake all night (sorry Doug).
It’s launch day at Coliloquy and Melanie Downing, our Executive Editor, tells us why she’s all entwined in Entwined.
Today we celebrate the launch of Revealed, the second volume of our interactive erotica series, Entwined. For the uninitiated, Entwined isn’t your run-of-the-mill work of fiction. It’s what we call “branched” storytelling. We begin with a first chapter and then the story is told in four ways, each written by a different author.
In Revealed, Rachel Carter, intern at New York City’s Museum of Erotic Esoterica, is the recipient a mysterious delivery. But what she finds in this package depends on the reader. You will pick what you read next – there are four choices, and from there the story will unfold as a tale of two women encountering their first-ever BDSM relationship or a romantic interlude involving masks and secret identities. There are also paths involving time-travelling spaceships and back-from-the-dead Egyptian kings.
Sound outlandish? It is, deliciously so. The only limit to our storytelling capability is an author’s imagination, and part of the excitement of publishing this way (and reading this way, too) is that there’s no single answer to the question, “What comes next?”
Editing this project has influenced how I work on all other assignments, erotic or otherwise. Now, inevitably, I read with a loud voice in my head asking, “But what if the character did this instead?” The interactivity of the Entwined series allows writers to reach beyond the first delivery of their imaginings, but it also encourages readers to follow their own desires, too. How often do we pick up books and trudge through a story that doesn’t serve our needs? Coliloquy is trying to do something about that.
The narratives in Revealed are wildly different, not only in genre, but in character and execution and plotting and resolution. Our authors were given the seeds of a story, a suggestion of a heroine, premise and setting. Where they took that prompt is written proof that each writer has their own voice, perspective, and style. Give this first chapter to one hundred different storytellers, and there’d be one hundred different version’s of Rachel’s journey. I’d happily read each one.
And I can! Not only has Coliloquy invited multiple authors to write one book, we’re asking you to join the creativity party, too! Our interactive website, www.entwinederotica.com, allows you to contribute your very own version of the story. If it weren’t for the fact that this was an erotica project, I might say that Entwined was one big love-fest between readers and writers. Oh, wait! I just did? Well, then: Entwined is one big (artistic) love-fest between readers and writers. I can’t wait to see what you think is in Rachel’s delivery, and what happens to her when she opens it.
Unbound and Revealed are available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Android devices. Buy both books together for a discounted price of $12.99!
And because we are such love monkeys today, we are giving away free copies of Revealed as well as Amazon gift cards!
- Do Moms Keep Each Other Down? - Oct 31
- Guest Post from Holly McDowell: Do You Mind the Wait? - Oct 8
- Stop: Ginger Time! - Oct 1
- Why Do Writers Write? - Jun 18
- We’re on Fire, NOOK, and Android! - May 10
- 4.2 Lisa Dies - Apr 2
- Education and Technology - Jan 20
- Seth on Distribution vs. Publishing - Jan 20
- Launch Press Round-Up - Jan 18
- New Authors Announced - Jan 18
- PRESS RELEASE: Coliloquy Launches Active Fiction on Amazon Kindle - Jan 17
- He Said/She Said: Raping Paper - Jan 16
- Happy Pieday! - Jan 13
- How to Get Published by Coliloquy #1 - Jan 6
- Welcome to the official Coliloquy blog! - Jan 3