Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Waiting is the Hardest Part...

Warning: huge, whiney, complainy post ahead...

Ever have one of those days where it just feels like you're waiting and waiting and waiting? For me, that day is today.

Waiting on that first royalty statement to find out how Healer's Touch did in its release month. Will it sell better than Crossing Swords did? I have to assume so, since it actually made the top ten at MBaM for almost a day, yay! Will Crossing Swords experience a surge in sales this month due to Healer's' release?

Waiting on final approval for the cover for Bound by Steel, which is so smokin' hot as is that I can only imagine how scorching it will be if it's undergoing a face-lift.

Waiting for reviewers to do their thing. I only wish they were all as flattering as Madame Butterfly was in her haste to read and lavish praise on Healer's Touch. At the same time, dreading the moment when those reviews go up, on the chance that they are scathing, or worse, tepid.

Waiting for my stepson and his friends to go home so I can have my house back. You have no idea what it's like to have four 21-year-olds, three kids and two adults living in a 1200 square foot, three bedroom, 1 1/2 bath house with no basement.

Waiting for my kids to go back to school so I can actually write.

Waiting for October, when Bound by Steel releases. At the same time, dreading October because I promised my editor I would have Chancellor's Bride finished and in her hot little hand by Hallowe'en.

Waiting for the rain to stop and the sun come back. Please, please come back, summer.

Waiting for customers to walk in the door. I mean, it's the last dang Wednesday of the month (otherwise known as "Welfare Wednesday"), the day everyone's government money comes in: GST rebates and child tax benefits and guaranteed income supplements and welfare cheques and pension cheques and all that, and usually it's so busy in here I can't even check my email. But today, for some reason, I have had two--count 'em--two tables since I came in at 11. It is now 1:30.

Waiting waiting waiting for the other waitress to get here at 5 so I can go home. And wait some more.

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the weather is to blame for my discontent. It's been pouring rain and cold (12C) all week--we even had hail, ffs. I guess we already had our summer on the North Island, and it was all of three and a half weeks long.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

I did a bad, bad thing...

What bad thing did I do, you ask? Well, with Chancellor's Bride hovering near the midpoint and an October deadline looming, I went and started a new project last night.

2000 words in. Planning for 40k. WTF am I thinking??!!

That is all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Permission to Squeeeeeee?

My first review for Healer's Touch--from Madame Butterfly--is in, and I couldn't be more pleased. Here's a snippet or two:

Healer’s Touch is a deliciously arousing and touching story of love and healing. Full of yummy sex and characters who’ll steal your heart, this story sucks you in and doesn’t let go. It will break your heart at times and melt it at others, but by the end you'll be feeling warm and fuzzy all over. Over at Samhain it’s a “red hot,” but for me it was more like experiencing a super nova.

Super nova? Dang!!

Kirsten Saell’s prose, which is very graphic, amusing and raunchy at times, also expresses a very deep intimacy between the characters such that I needed a break here and there while reading it, feeling almost as if I was interfering in something very personal somehow.


There's nothing better than having someone read what you wrote, and just totally "get" every single thing you tried to convey. You can read the whole review over at Madame Butterfly's.

And here I was feeling all anticlamactic with the post-release day blahs. This just made my day!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SamhainCafe Winners!

Well, my random number generator of extreme numerical randomness has chosen two--count 'em, two--cafe denizens to be the proud and hopefully exuberant recipients of one of my lovely, lovely books (Healer's Touch or Crossing Swords). Huzzah! Without further ado, here they are:


Janie Mason!

And because I'm contrary and have questionable arithmetic skills,


Yeah, I know that's three. Wanna make something of it?

Winners, just let me know whatcha want--which book in what format. Email me at kirstensaell AT yahoo DOT com with the info and I shall send forthwith!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bwahahaha! Release Day! And Contest Winners!

It's that day, people.

Healer's Touch goes on sale today!

Now before you all go rushing off to purchase the wonder that is my second book, please read yon excerpt. The set up: Inella, Viera's partner in seduction, needs a job, and she needs it like, NOW! The only dude hiring is Karal, the local Kurgan apothecary who, for reasons which escape him but are glaringly obvious to everyone else, can't seem to keep an assistant for more than a few weeks at a time.

But as Viera will discover, Karal knows things about Aru, mysterious things that ought to make her think twice about her seduction plans.

Winners of my pick-up line contest are announced waaaayyyy down at the bottom of the post!

*Mom, you've got the green light to read on!

“No fucking way.”

Beside Inella, Viera let out a long-suffering sigh. “Karal—”

“By god, I could eat this one for lunch and leave the table hungry,” the huge Kurgan growled, his voice like two rocks sliding against one another. Inella felt all the blood drain from her face at the sight of him leaning back against the counter. Even slouching, his head nearly touched the ceiling beams. Muscled arms folded across his broad tunic-clad chest, he stood and smirked, his gaze raking Inella in disdain.

“Karal—” Viera said again.

“She’s a twig,” the Kurgan went on. “A strong wind would knock her flat.”

“You get a lot of wind in here?” Viera asked with a half-smile. “Perhaps you ought to close your mouth once in a while.”

Karal’s glare narrowed on Viera. From the corner of her eye, Inella saw the other woman smile sweetly. Clearly Viera had gone mad. When faced with an angry bear, one ought not pick up a stick and commence poking it.

Inella shuddered and hugged herself. All morning, her imagination had conjured visions of what the Kurgan might be like, images of a face bordering on demonic, with a cruel, hard mouth, teeth meant to rend flesh and eyes that glowed like coals. Several times she had bit her tongue in the middle of asking Viera to call the whole business off. She’d had to tell herself to calm down, that Viera would never put her in the path of a monster, that the Kurgae’in were no longer the enemy of the Andun at all. But now that she was here and confronted by the reality, this entire proposition seemed insane. How could Viera have imagined Inella would be able to work with this brute? Even with his gaze on the other woman, Inella felt herself shrivel under the weight of his presence, as if the room were too small to contain him.

Karal’s withering glare seemed to be having the opposite effect on Viera. She drew herself up until it almost seemed she was looking down her nose at the much taller man. “You said someone who can read. Inella can read. She’s uneducated, but clever enough. And she’s willing to work with you. You ought to be down on your knees kissing my feet in gratitude.”

Karal’s face split into a wide grin and he looked Viera up and down, his expression completely different now. He chuckled softly. The sound raised gooseflesh all along Inella’s spine. “You know me, Viera. If I get down on my knees for you, it won’t be your feet I kiss.”

A choking noise escaped Inella and she slapped a hand to her mouth. Viera had done…that…with a Kurgan?

Viera stepped gracefully around a stack of crates that teetered in the middle of the floor until she was standing only inches from the Kurgan. She walked two fingers up his chest, making a moue and batting her lashes. “Look at this place, Karal. It’s a mess. You need the help and you know it. Give her a chance, Karal? For me?”

With a growl he snatched her hand and pulled it to his face. His nostrils next to the translucent skin of her wrist, he inhaled deeply. As Inella watched, his eyes darkened. Softened. Good god, she thought. Are they going to do it right here? At the notion a shiver ran through her, not altogether unpleasant.

“Mmm,” the Kurgan murmured. “You don’t come around at night of late, Viera.”

Viera cleared her throat delicately, a flush creeping up her cheeks as Karal straightened, pulling her even closer. “Aru keeps me busy…”

Karal’s carnal grin slipped a notch. “Busy at what?”

Viera smiled pertly. “Are you jealous now?”

“Should a man be jealous because the sun shines on others and not just on him?” Karal said quietly.

“So poetic,” Viera teased, bringing his hand to her mouth and licking his knuckles. Inella’s stomach tightened watching, and she felt a tingling between her legs that signaled a release of wetness, a sensation that was becoming more and more familiar. But Karal wasn’t in the mood for flirting anymore.

“Have you bedded him, Viera?” he asked, all trace of his smile gone.

She frowned, retrieving her hand from his grasp and taking a step back. “Not precisely. Why?”

“I would advise you to tread with care around the Omahru-azhi.”

Viera was scowling now, and Inella stepped forward to stand at her shoulder, silent support. “What are you talking about?”

Karal shrugged. “The walking dead are an odd people. They have odd ways. It would grieve me if you were hurt.”

Viera’s throat worked as she swallowed. “Aru would never hurt me.”

“The snake does not bite out of a desire to cause pain,” Karal said cryptically. “It bites because it has no choice if it wants to survive.”

Inella slid her hand into Viera’s and squeezed it tight. But Viera’s discomfiture was swiftly transforming into irritation. “You think I need to be afraid of him? Is that what you’re saying?”

“You need fear him no more than you would any other man,” Karal said stolidly, folding his arms across his chest once more. “But it is always wise to learn the nature of the beast before you assume him tamed and bring him into your house.”

Viera’s pout turned more playful. “What if I’m not looking for something tame?”

He laughed and the dark mood suddenly shattered. “Then you’re liable to get bitten.”

Oh, dear, something awful is bound to happen, I just know it. Will Viera discover the truth about Aru? Will Karal hire Inella? Will Aru finally succumb to Viera's demands?

Um, yeah, there's a pretty good chance, but you won't know for sure unless you read the book!

And now, because I can't reasonably put it off any longer, the winners of my pick-up line contest are:

3rd place: Seeley for "I can haz kok now?" (Although the "hard" thing was also good, despite what I might have said elsewhere *ahem*)

2nd place: Michelle for "Can I help you with your pants?" (Has nothing to do with anything, but still brilliant!)

1st place: Trisha for "Celabisee...Not so grate, akshully." (OMG. Stunning. I am in awe.)

As you may have noticed, I have a special affection for the literary gold that is lolspeak. Winners please contact me at kirstensaell AT yahoo DOT com with your preferance of title and format.

Now I'm off to obsess over whether my book is selling or not. Where's my booze?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another Excerpt!

The seduction is on! Viera isn't going to let something as insignificant as a vow of celibacy stand between her and the man she wants. If that means she needs to call in reinforcements, well, she has the perfect ally.

Poor Aru doesn't stand a chance...

*As you might suspect, what follows is for grown-ups who are over 18 and are also not my mom

Aru looked up and couldn’t believe his eyes. She stood just inside his door, her body sheathed in a thin silk robe, her hair hanging loose to her waist, her lips parted on deep, swift breaths. For a moment, he couldn’t drag his gaze away. To his shame, he felt his cock stir and begin to fill with blood.

"Inella," he whispered, sitting up against his pillows. "What are you doing here?"

And then Viera was standing behind her, her hands coming up to settle lightly on Inella’s shoulders, her face hovering close at the side of the other woman’s neck. As he watched, transfixed, she brushed her lips across Inella’s cheek and slid her hands in a slow caress down her arms.

"I asked her to come."

He shook his head with the frantic denial of a horrified child, even as his member throbbed in his lap. God in Antuine, she would kill him with pleasure. And if she stopped, he might just kill himself.

He opened his mouth to speak, to plead, to scream for her to be gone, but then her hands closed on the fine silk of Inella’s robe, slid it from the woman’s shoulders, and as her beautiful, mortal body was bared to his eyes, the power of speech utterly abandoned him. His heart began to slam against the cage of his chest, an aroused beast that wanted to be let loose. His cock was already salivating like an animal at its first whiff of game.

"Light a candle, Aru. I want to see her too."

With shaking fingers he found flint and struck it, hardly capable of keeping his eyes on his task. Viera’s arms encircled Inella, her hands sliding up the softness of her belly to cup her small breasts. In the candle’s sudden flare, her fingers plucked at the pointed nipples and Aru’s breath wheezed to a stop in his chest. Inella’s eyes fluttered closed, her head falling back on Viera’s shoulder as those pale hands toyed with her breasts, tugging and twirling, until the nipples stood straight out, hard and straining. Inella’s body was no longer perfect—bearing two children had left her skin less than taut and her abdomen was covered with a fine tracery of stretch marks, showing silver where the candlelight struck them. Aru didn’t care. Standing here in his room with Viera’s hands skimming lightly over her, she was beautiful. Soft, half-formed moans issued from her throat, and she reached behind her, holding to Viera’s waist as if her arousal left her too weak to stand. And she was aroused—even in the dark, Aru could see it all. Her skin was flushed a deep rose, her pores were wide open, pouring out sweat and pheromones, her blood thrummed through her veins.

His hand was on his cock, gripping hard. His eyes were on Viera’s pale hands as they danced across Inella’s paler flesh, down her belly to the apex of her thighs. Her fingers brushed against dark blonde curls, teasing him with their hesitancy. Would she really do it? Would she really slide her fingers into that beckoning valley? He remembered a winter night a few short months past, a brief and brilliant vision of two women on a bed, and his cock wept.

Viera’s lips worked at the nape of Inella’s neck, her tongue playing, her teeth nipping and grazing that delicate skin. And as he watched, his hand beginning its own torturous dance up and down his cock, her fingers dipped down through that blonde thatch and into the other woman’s furrow.

"Ahhh!" Inella hissed, pushing her hips forward to increase the contact. Aru could see Viera’s fingers moving, exploring, delving deep, then retreating. When they emerged, they were shiny with the other woman’s slickness.

"I brought her here for you, Aru," Viera said softly, slanting a wicked glance at him through her lashes. "So you tell me. What shall I do to her?"


Of course, if all y'all had given me more pick-up lines, Viera might not have had to resort to such desperate measures. But don't despair, there's still time to enter your silliest, cheesiest, sexiest, lamest, most poetically alliterative and least coherent pick-up lines in the post just below.


ETA: Waiting for the first lolpick-up: "Iz can haz pik-up line?"

Friday, August 15, 2008


Okay, okay, I promised you a contest and a contest you shall have. It is, as I also promised, pretty much the height of lameness, but oh well. To set the stage:

Viera, a woman of questionable virtue and not inconsiderable sexual appetites walks into a seedy tavern. She spots alone at the bar a man of ambiguous age and appealing face, who appears *ahem* limber enough to sate even a woman such as she. Without delay, she moves in for the kill, only to have a tavern girl take her aside and sympathetically inform her the man, Aru, is nearly 1200 years old, and has been celibate for two thirds of those years, loyal to the wife he can never see again.

Viera shrugs and thanks the girl. But alas, Aru's inconvenient devotion to his wife has only piqued her interest in him. With narrowed eyes and a predator's smile, she sidles up to him, leans close so her lips are right next to his ear, and whispers...

You tell me. What line could she possibly use that will lure Aru to her bed? Do your best. Do your worst. Sexiest, cheesiest, wordiest, whatever. Give me pick-up lines, give me lots of them and give 'em to me by noonish [ETA: deadline extended to midnight pacific] on Monday the 18th. Winners get a free ebook, either Crossing Swords or Healer's Touch, whichever you prefer.

I'll pick my favorites and name the lucky few Monday night.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Week and Counting...

So time, it is passing, and release day for Healer's Touch approacheth with a speed I can hardly credit. Between now and August 19th, I plan to run a contest or two (provided I can think of a contest or two, because how lame am I that my editor had to suggest the Purple Title contest back in May?) and post a few fun snippets.

For those of you not in the know, here is yon blurb:

She’s determined to break his eight centuries of celibacy—at any cost!

Darjhian healer Aru has been in exile for eight hundred years, barred from the Deathless Land and parted from his wife. Now fallen from grace and no longer immortal, he can never return to her.

Yet he cleaves to his marriage vow and holds himself apart from everyone—especially Viera, the former prostitute whose sexual energy provides the power needed for his healing work. She presents a temptation he must constantly hold at bay if he’s to keep to his vow.

Viera isn’t interested in fighting temptation. She wants Aru. He wants her. What could be simpler? After three frustrating months working with him, her need for him has reached the breaking point. He claims he can never touch a woman again, but Viera isn’t the type to take no for an answer.

Over four glorious nights, she shows Aru everything he’s denied himself for eight centuries. But a shadow hangs over their passion. Aru is keeping secrets about the nature of his mortality. And now he faces a terrible choice…

Break Viera’s heart, or risk destroying her with the knowledge of what he truly is.

Warning: This title contains: graphic sex, including anal sex, f/f and m/f/f; bad language; inappropriate use of a kitchen work surface; flagrant tickling of ivory; and a wagon-load of good, old-fashioned voyeurism.

So there you have it. The whore and the 1200-year-old almost-virgin. And now, behold! The first excerpt:

***Warning! Mom, you can just skip this part if you like, because it's...ah...well, just go back and read the warning, won't you?

Aru let himself in and shut the door silently behind him. Creeping through the front hall to the infirmary, he assured himself that Inella was well, and took note of the two children asleep in the second bed. He stood and listened to the snores emerging from the salon.

The mother.

Something brittle inside him cracked and fell away at the thought of what Viera had done, how she had welcomed these people into his home. His eyes burned, his breath coming swift and hard, and he paused, holding his head in his hands until he was once more in control of himself.

His limbs were steady as he crossed to the stairs. He had half-carried Gil back to his own apartment in a state of inebriation bordering on coma, but it took a very great deal to intoxicate a Darjhan—even a fallen one. Aru’s coins had vanished one by one down Aliannet’s bodice until his purse was empty, and still, he was lamentably sober this night.

Sober and in pain. Even before he reached the top of the stairs, he was achingly hard, as if all it took was being in the same house with her. On the landing, he stood and stared at her door, then deliberately turned and entered his own room.

Gods, it was hot up here. With a muttered curse, he opened the window, jerking at the ties of his shirt. He tugged it off over his head and leaned on the window frame to let the chill spring breeze caress his bare torso. Across the street, a pair of whores plied their trade, calling offers to passers by, flashing their breasts at those who showed interest. There was a time when Aru would have watched their games, but he had no stomach for it anymore. His erection was like a steel rod, but it had nothing to do with any woman outside.

Crossing to the bed, he reached for the buttons of his trousers, but his straining cock reacted with a bolt of pain and a wet surge of fluid.

"Paldir help me," he muttered, flopping facedown on the mattress. He closed his eyes, but she was there waiting for him, her pale skin dotted with freckles, her auburn hair like a river of silk pouring over his white hands, her breasts peaked with the dusky pearls of her nipples. Gods, he had seen her naked in all her glory, had sat beside her, one hand on her belly as she writhed and screamed in the extremity of her arousal. He had seen it. He had caused it! It was but a tiny step further down the road to madness to imagine her breasts filling his hands, her nipples pressed between his lips as he suckled her, his cream-slicked fingers sliding high up inside her heat. He groaned at the thought of that pink tongue of hers lapping at his chest, licking a wet trail across his belly and down to his shaft. Her face, smiling up at him as she took him between her sweet lips and sucked him in, hard and deep, her hair spilling across his torso and between his legs.

Damn. With a start, he realized he was grinding his cock into the mattress. Sitting up, he rubbed his hands up and down his face, hard enough to chafe his skin. He’d never be able to sleep. Downstairs in the kitchen, he had a large cask of mead—the closest thing to hennath he could find in Anduni lands—but he couldn’t fetch himself any without risking waking Inella or her family. And to be honest, he doubted even a river of drink would soften his cock tonight.

Damn, damn, damn. Rising, he tiptoed to the door and peeked across the landing to Viera’s room. Her door stood ajar, a bar of candlelight slanting across the floorboards. She always left one burning next to the bed, in case a patient needed her in the night. Before Aru realized what he was doing, he was standing just outside her door, peeking in.

She slept, her hair like a dark cloud against the stark white of the sheets. She wore no shift—the dusky tip of one breast peeked at him over the edge of the blanket, and one long, curvy leg thrust out from the covers. Her bare toes enthralled him—so mundane, yet so delicate. He thought about taking them in his mouth, one by one. She stirred, shifting so that her other breast emerged from under the blanket, and he felt his shaft thicken in response, hardening until he thought his trouser buttons might end up permanently imprinted along its underside.

Heat flowered from the root of his member to spread its licking fingers all along his limbs. He pressed a hand to it, closing his eyes on a wave of need that left him dizzy. When he opened them, he was somehow standing right beside her bed, looking down on her face.

And she was looking back up at him, confusion etching a delightful crease between her brows. Her eyes flicked down to his crotch, widening as she took in the state of him. Her gaze might as well have been her fingers—his organ leapt in response and he let out a long, shaky breath.

So you can never touch a woman again? Gil’s earlier words resounded in his mind as he stared down at Viera in an agony of longing.

But what if he didn’t touch her? What if he didn’t touch her at all?


His hand pressed against his shaft through the wool of his trousers, stroking upward the way he wanted her to do. He stared into her eyes, willing her to understand what he needed.

As if she read his mind, she drew the blanket slowly down, baring herself for him. Her nipples tightened as his gaze raked them, and she drew her fingertips across them, plucking them gently as her breath quickened and deepened. With shaking fingers, he slipped his buttons loose and his cock fell free. He moved to encircle it with his hand, but she shook her head.

"I want to see it."


So there it is. One stubborn, stubborn man, and one very determined woman. Oh, what on earth will they get up to?

No, really. What?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

OMG! It Moved!!!

For those of you paying attention (and I know you are legion, haha), I just thought I would do a post to reassure everyone that I have not entirely given up writing. If you haven't noticed, my word meter for Chancellor's Bride


has gone up by 2000 words.

*This burst of creativity brought to you by my stepsons' two-day camping trip.