Bisexual Character: Why Write One? @barbcaffrey #amediting #author

Or, Why Elaine is a Bisexual Character in Changing Faces by Guest Author Barb Caffrey

When Kayelle Allen and I talked about a guest blog in support of my new LGBT-friendly novel, Changing Faces, I wasn’t sure at first what to write. Then it hit me: Most people I’ve talked to, when they hear about my heroine, Elaine Foster, ask me, “Why must Elaine be bisexual when she’s already gender-fluid at the start of your book?”

There’s actually a good reason for that.

Bisexual Character – for a reason

You see, my premise in Changing Faces is that people should learn to see souls. Not bodies. And that a transgender couple—in this case, one created by angels, ’cause it’s a fantasy—is most likely to learn to do this first. Because who they are on the inside doesn’t necessarily match who they are on the outside.

“But, Barb,” yoBisexual Character: Why Write One? @barbcaffrey #amediting #authoru protest. “You were going to talk about bisexuality. Why aren’t you?”

I’m getting to that. (Honest.)

It seemed to me when I first started writing Changing Faces, that Elaine had to be bisexual. She already could see souls, to a degree. She already knew how to measure the worth of a person beyond his or her face, and had dated both men and women.

That, in a nutshell, is what a bisexual person is.

Now, as to why she still couldn’t accept herself as gender-fluid easily? Well, as a society, we’re only beginning to learn about people who don’t always feel male or female. Sometimes they feel one way, sometimes another, maybe a third time they have a mix of both traits. Gender preference is not the same thing as sexuality; not by a mile.

So, Elaine has dated women and men. She sees the worth of a person and is not automatically attracted only to one sex. In a way, Elaine isn’t attracted by anyone, sexually. She’s only attracted mentally and emotionally, and then, much later, sex comes into the picture. But that’s not that strange, considering she’s a scholarly sort. She can see into a person, and evaluate who that person is, in a way most people don’t. She doesn’t even think to do this because how she views people is part of who she is.

Ultimately, love is love. Who you love is far more important than what gender your love happens to be. Seeing a person’s soul, seeing a person’s heart, seeing a person’s worth, is far more important than whether that person is straight, gay, bisexual, or Martian.

Elaine knows that.

That’s why I wrote Elaine in this particular way. As a bisexual character, she already had all these traits. So, why did I use a bisexual character? I realized that was who Elaine was. I codified the traits she already had, before I realized I could use a label most people would understand: the word “bisexual.”

In other words, the story demanded that Elaine be bisexual. So she is.


Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician who holds two degrees in Music. She has a particular fondness for the clarinet, lived in Nebraska for the better part of three years, and appreciated the ability to combine both her loves with the writing of Changing Faces.

Her other books are An Elfy on the Loose and A Little Elfy in Big Trouble (otherwise known as the Elfy duology), while her short stories have appeared in a number of places (most recently in Realms of Darkover). She’s also the co-writer of the Joey Maverick series of stories (with late husband Michael B. Caffrey), so the next story you might see from her could be military science fiction—or better yet, military science fiction with romance. She lives in Wisconsin.
Where to find Barb Caffrey


(Note from Kayelle: Barb has been my editor for three books now and if she’s willing, many more. FYI – she would probably object to the adverb “many” in the previous sentence. Just saying.)

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Is it right to quit? 10 times it’s ok #author #entrepreneur

The question, “Is it right to quit?” seems to require a “No!” in response. But does it? Not if you are quitting for the right reasons. Here are ten times it’s okay (and perhaps advisable) to quit.

When is it right to quit?

  1. When you realize what you’re doing is wrong. You’ve gone about it the hard way, for example, or you realize your information was incorrect.
  2. When it’s harmful or dangerous to yourself, others, or the environment.
  3. When it’s wasteful and not a good use of resources. Is it right to quit if you can fix the issue? Perhaps not.
  4. When someone else can do it better for less. This is an iffy one — quality and quantity are market related. If you can make a widget for a dollar and someone else has a means to make ten of them for that price and they outperform yours, give serious thought to moving on.Is it right to quit? 10 times it's ok #author #entrepreneur @kayelleallen
  5. When it’s not going in the right direction for your purposes.
  6. When you can’t control what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, this is a good time to step back and reconsider how and why. Is it right to quit if you can’t control the outcome? This is probably one of the best times, depending on what you are trying to do in the first place.
  7. When it’s no longer necessary. At some point, when no one needs this product or service, set it aside and move on.
  8. When it’s time to hand it over to a new person. Perhaps someone you know needs a chance to succeed and this project would be ideal for them. Step back and coach, but let it go. Is it right to quit when it means enabling others? Yes.
  9. When you’ve lost your enthusiasm. Perhaps a different approach to the issue is needed, but if you’ve tried different things and you still don’t care, quit. I know, that flies in the face of contemporary advice, but don’t beat a dead horse. Ride a live one.
  10. When you no longer love it. You might be enthusiastic about the concept or the product, but you’re tired of it. You don’t want to do this anymore. Then by all means, step back and move on.

The point of knowing when to quit is knowing what to do afterward. Is it right to quit just because you feel like it? Well, why do you feel like it? Is it because one of the reasons above?

Let me share some things I decided to quit doing recently. I unsubscribed from a few online services I no longer used and from a few newsletters I never read. I stopped wasting time opening email and then filing it and instead, set up a filter in email to automatically file many emails from my target people (friends, family, and businesses). Now I can see the folders have unread mail, read it, and then either delete it or go on to the next thing. It cut down on time filing quite a bit.

I am a graphic designer and love creating fanart, plus book covers, banners, and more. I created a company, The Author’s Secret, for that purpose. However, after five years, I realized I was spending so much time maintaining social media, websites, blog posts, and more for both myself and the company that I had little time left to do what I want to do most. Write. So after a long soul-searching period, I decided to close the company.

Instead, I will offer a few of the same services from my own website. That way, I’m promoting only one site and one set of social media. It’s a win-win.

Is it right to quit? I think so, yes, when the reasons are sound. What do you think? Is it right to quit or should you slug it out no matter what? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear from you, yea or nay.

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Did you know these 10 (spoiler-free) secrets? #scifi #romance

Did you know that At the Mercy of Her Pleasure is a military science fiction romance? In it, professional thief Senth Antonello is hired to retrieve a stolen prototype for which the imperial armada has already killed twice. Here are ten spoiler-free things you might not have known about the book.

Did you know Senth is a virgin?

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure features Senth, an innocent, virginal hero and a slightly older and more worldly heroine. Senth must remain a virgin in order to accomplish his mission, because if he touches her, he will be “at the mercy of her pleasure.” The reversal of roles plus the older woman, younger man themes unfold in an entertaining way that also invites readers to explore gender roles and bias.

Did you know At the Mercy was first, but also third?

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure was the first book I wrote, but it takes place several years after the setting of Wulf, my third book. In Wulf, Senth was a fifteen year-old who thrived on annoying the two heroes, one of which was his adoptive father. It was great fun to watch him push his father’s buttons and drive him crazy. Did I draw on my own experience as the mother of two teenaged boys at the time? I’ll never tell.

Did you know the hero and heroine are opposites?

Senth is a cat burglar who steals for fun. NarrAy is a by-the-book rebel army captain. He delights in creating mischief. She devotes her life to rules and order. He’s half-human and half Kin, a feline humanoid, referred to as a HalfKin renown for their feral nature. She’s a Better, a genetically enhanced human known for intellect, extensive memory, ability to coerce cooperation by use of voice or touch, and the power to induce extreme emotional response via pheromones. Putting the two together is both foolhardy and dangerous. The tagline for the book fits them to a T. “He’s a thief. She’s a soldier. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy!”

Did you know Senth worked for NarrAy?

The prototype that NarrAy hires Senth to retrieve was developed by her scientist parents. Fearing what the Empress of the Tarthian Empire would do with it if the imperial armada gained control of the device, the two scientists planned to turn it over to a rebel faction. The Empress had them killed and confiscated all their belongings. It would be Senth’s job to break into the government facility and liberate the code leading to the device.

Did you know a secret device led to the story?

NarrAy’s parents worked for the Forgotten Technologies Arena, which redeveloped ancient, unused and/or forgotten technologies. Unknown to Senth or NarrAy, access to those technologies was tightly controlled by the Sempervians, a cadre of immortals.

Did you know who did the voiceover?

One of the videos for At the Mercy of Her Pleasure features Markus Watson, a professional voiceover artist with a deep and resonating voice. Remember Michael Clark Duncan, the huge prisoner from The Green Mile? Listen and see if you don’t agree that Marcus sounds just like him. He also voiced one of my other characters, Pietas, from Bringer of Chaos.

Voiceover by Marcus Watson of
Follow him on Twitter
Hire him on Fiverr

Did you know Kin don’t get motion sickness?

Kin, who are feline-humanoids, have no difficulty with space travel or motion sickness. They do not need drugs during hyper jump the way humans do. HalfKin like Senth often do require it due to their more human natures. The more human they are the less Kin abilities they possess.

Did you know Senth’s father was a powerful thief?

Senth is a Level 19 in the Thieves’ Guild, a powerful organization controlling theft in the Tarthian Empire. His adoptive father, Luc Saint-Cyr, headed the guild prior to adopting Senth. He was an Arcane Master, the highest level in the guild.

Did you know Senth’s brother was a human?

Senth’s half-brother, Khyff, is about three years older and fully human. Neither he nor Senth are aware that their mother had another son. The brother will be introduced in a future book.

Did you know Senth’s mother thought he was dead?

Senth’s birth took place on the Kin homeworld and when the Kin who delivered him saw he was half-human, they ordered him killed. Unbeknownst to his mother, a kindly older Kin saved his life. His mother took Khyff to a daycare at the starport and paid for an hour of care, all she could afford. She then stepped in front of the starport train and killed herself. Khyff eventually became a slave. It was through his slavery on the planet Kelthia that Khyff discovered his brother was still alive. Khyff’s story, For Women Only is the sequel to Mercy. The story of how the brothers meet is told in Bro, the Story Behind the Antonello Brothers, a free book on this website.

There you have it. Ten things you might not have known about At the Mercy of Her Pleasure.

The book is free on Kindle Unlimited. During February, it’s on sale for only 99 cents.
Amazon print
CreateSpace (Print)

The content on this page may use referral links for which I am compensated. The links do not result in a higher price for you. Because of promotions or relationships, these links might provide savings. Read the disclosure policy for more info.

Don't miss a thing

Download a printable list of books and check off stories as you read them. The list also shows the reading order for different series. It's updated with every book and the URL to reprint it is in the footer. When you visit your favorite bookseller, type "kayelle allen" in the search box. Ask for my books at the front desk of your library or on their ordering system.Follow my Amazon Author Page and get one alert when a new story is available. Smashwords will allow you to add me to your favorites.Do you like to read good books? How about free books online? Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and download free books and find out about new books coming soon. You'll get one free book immediately and two more free, full color illustrated books the next day. You can unsubscribe at any time.
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Like #Scifi Books? More than 100 #99cents each (Feb 4-5)

Like #Scifi Books? More than 100 #99cents each (Feb 4-5) @kayelleallen

Welcome to a special weekend sale!
More than 100 SciFi books are only 99 cents each.
My featured book is At the Mercy of Her Pleasure.

More than 100 SciFi Books on sale

More than 100 authors (over 100 #scifi books) are promoting their books Saturday and Sunday (February 4-5, 2017) for 99 cents each. Visit this site and across the bottom of the image (shown above) you’ll see icons for the various booksellers (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc.). Click the one you prefer and the entire list of books is right there, at your fingertips.

My book, At the Mercy of Her Pleasure is a military science fiction romance set in a dystopian world. Its heat level is sweet.
Hired to steal back a prototype taken by the imperial armada, Senth Antonello retrieves it, but his brother is kidnapped to force Senth to surrender the device.
Now he has to rescue his brother, outsmart the armada, and keep the item out of imperial hands. All doable, except for one small problem. He must do it in the company of NarrAy Jorlan, a genetically altered woman whose pheromones could enhance the mission or crumble it into dust with a single siren kiss.
He’s a thief. She’s a soldier. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy!
This book is free on Kindle Unlimited
Amazon print
CreateSpace (Print)
The sequel for this book is For Women Only.

Excerpt from At the Mercy of Her Pleasure

In this scene, Senth and NarrAy have just met. She’s considering whether to hire him to help her steal back the designs for a prototype her murdered parents designed. Because she’s a Better, an enhanced human with addictive pheromones, she’s not permitted to touch anyone skin-to-skin. Because her pheromones attract without emotional attachment, she’s accustomed to being the object of often unwanted attention. Senth puts on gloves and prepares to shake her hand. All her life, she has been isolated from touch, so this moment is important to her.

NarrAy offered her hand. She’d practiced this with her father as a girl. “A gentleman doesn’t try to overpower a lady’s hand, NarrAy. But he isn’t afraid to be firm either.”

She held his gloved hand between both of hers. “I can see you’re a gentleman, Mr. Antonello.”

His cheeks reddened. “Just Senth, ma’am.”

She squeezed his hand. “And I’m NarrAy. Never Ms. Jorlan, nor ma’am. Not on this job. Understood?”

He met her gaze. “Does that mean you want me?” He blushed again and glanced down at their still-joined hands. “For the job, I mean.”

She bit back a laugh. What an innocent. “So long as we’re clear on who’s in charge.”

“When it comes to theft, I am. For everything else, you are, in every way.”

You have no idea. She grinned at him. He had never once tried to look at her body. Maybe this dress will be okay after all.

“Come sit.” She gestured toward an adjacent room. “Let’s talk business.”

Be sure to check out more than 100 SciFi books special this weekend! At the Mercy of Her Pleasure is on sale through the end of February. Peek inside the book and download a free chapter on the books’ page on this website.

The content on this page may use referral links for which I am compensated. The links do not result in a higher price for you. Because of promotions or relationships, these links might provide savings. Read the disclosure policy for more info.

Don't miss a thing

Download a printable list of books and check off stories as you read them. The list also shows the reading order for different series. It's updated with every book and the URL to reprint it is in the footer. When you visit your favorite bookseller, type "kayelle allen" in the search box. Ask for my books at the front desk of your library or on their ordering system.Follow my Amazon Author Page and get one alert when a new story is available. Smashwords will allow you to add me to your favorites.Do you like to read good books? How about free books online? Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and download free books and find out about new books coming soon. You'll get one free book immediately and two more free, full color illustrated books the next day. You can unsubscribe at any time.
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10 Memorable Luc Quotes #scifi #bookquote

Here are ten Luc Quotes. These “pearls of wisdom” come from the man referred to by many in the Tarthian Empire as the Harbinger. An alpha among alphas, the immortal Luc commands attention without being vain or flashy and he gains respect by his true concern for others. Cross him however, and there is no place in the universe to hide. Luc Saint-Cyr has been in all my Tarth books and is one of the heroes in my work in progress. I chose a few from each book. Other characters have stated they decided what to do after asking themselves, “What would Luc do?”

The book is listed in which the Luc quotes are found, then the occasion of the quote.

10 Memorable Luc Quotes #scifi #bookquote

Luc Quotes from At the Mercy of Her Pleasure

To Senth about NarrAy

“Listen to me, my young Deshai. Despite the romantic nonsense you’ve heard about Betters being extraordinary lovers, their kisses can poison you. If her saliva mixes with yours, she can control your mind. The touch of her hands will drive you insane. There are ancient myths about sirens, women who used their voices to lure men and then slay them. Betters aren’t mythical. They’re real. If she subjects you to her passion, you’ll be at the mercy of her pleasure forever.”

To Khyff, who had been falsely imprisoned

“Know the law?” The Harbinger stood, and then laughed, obviously enjoying himself. “Son, I’ve been breaking it for so many years, I know it better than any of those high-paid courtside braggarts. Besides, none of the lawyers I contacted had enough clout. I got you a judge who’ll be fair and impartial.”

To Khyff, who had delivered a coded message for him

“I can see why you were so popular at Stalkos’s place, Khyffen. You know when to shut up, and you don’t talk back.” The Harbinger made a wave of dismissal. “Fact is, my young Senthys is ready to take wing. He’s been scratching at the nest for months. Ever since you came into his life. The way he took on the task of seeing to your freedom…” He shook his head. “Senth has been impressed with you since the day you met. So have I.”

Luc Quotes from For Women Only

10 Memorable Luc Quotes #scifi #bookquote

To Khyff upon his refusing to accept a job

Saint-Cyr remained silent. With his all-black eyes, there was no telling where he looked. Finally, he nodded. “It won’t be easy finding another detail-oriented, by-the-book, stringent, weaned-on-pickle-juice hard-ass like you. But I’ll try.”

To Khyff about Senth

Saint-Cyr tossed himself back against the cushions of the car seat. “Do you suppose the woman who ordered him killed at birth knew she was his grandmother?”

To Khyff about two cops who refused to protect Luc’s son, Senth

“They’re ready for you.” Saint-Cyr motioned to him. While they walked, he explained the charges. “They’re holding her on two counts of murder by pheromones, violation of Better Laws, treason, harboring a criminal, and reckless endangerment of public officials. She was protecting Senth. She had to threaten to kill both cops that showed up before they’d call an ambulance for Senth, because he was a HalfKin.” He threw up his hands. “The fact that he’s my son should’ve sent them running for help.” His piercing black eyes narrowed. “They were both killed an hour ago. Line of duty, so they say.”

Luc Quotes from Wulf, Tales of the Chosen

To Wulf about an enemy Wulf tried to frighten off by being seen with Luc

“Four reasons.” He laid a hand next to the shot glass. “First, the concept of scaring off one bad guy with a bigger one rarely works. That brings us to the second, which assumes your agent will fear me. He may not. Although, unless he’s a fool, he should. Third, you didn’t simply ask for my help. Fourth, you assumed I would agree to being used.”

Luc Quotes from Alitus, Tales of the Chosen

To Empress Rheyn Destoiya about Wulf and Alitus sneaking off together

“The security tail I put on Wulf said he gave them the slip at an art gallery. He was seen walking through the place with a Better less than an hour ago. A Better who was accompanied by armed Praetorian. Unless you have Praetorian guarding anyone other than Alitus, that was him. Right now, neither of them is in sight and my goons can’t find him. What am I paying them for if they can’t keep him in sight for five minutes?”

Luc Quotes from Jawk, Tales of the Chosen

To Jawk upon his arrival at Luc’s home

“I’m pleased to finally meet you, Jawk.” The man’s voice had a deep timbre befitting his size. Tall as a Kin, taller than Jawk. Broad shoulders filled out his tux. Wulf had been elegance; Luc was power.

To Jawk who argues that Luc’s ship can’t possibly work

“Do you know what the word shibboleth means? It’s an ancient word to describe the way a culture speaks. ‘Physics laws are immutable’ is a NETway shibboleth. They are only immutable to those who lack the technology to change them.”

Want to know more about Luc, or about these books? You can read sample chapters from each one at the links below. Each opens to a page on this website.

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
For Women Only
Wulf, Tales of the Chosen
Alitus, Tales of the Chosen
Jawk, Tales of the Chosen

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Time and Judgment (for Authors) #MFRWauthor #amwriting

Time and Judgment (for Authors) #MFRWauthor #amwriting @kayelleallenA writer friend told me she needed more of two things: time and judgment. Then she said her life had more ups and downs than a merry-go-round. Who can’t relate to that? Doesn’t it fit the universe itself? Time and judgment go in cycles. Feast or famine, they say. Too much time, not enough time. Careful consideration, jumping to conclusions. No, getting the right balance of time and judgment is not easy.

Time and Judgment

A young woman once asked, “How do you gain good judgment?” Her mentor replied, “Through experience.” The woman considered that a moment and asked, “How do you get experience?” The mentor smiled. “Poor judgment.”

I’m as guilty of having that as the next person, but I try to put my poor judgment to work. Sometimes, experience only helps us recognize the same mistake when we make it again. How we handle it is up to us. My plan is to live, learn, make mistakes, get back up, dust off my hands, and keep going.

Poor judgment can be a bitter lesson, but it doesn’t have to stop us. If we get back up one more time than we fall, we will succeed. It’s as simple — and difficult — as that.

Let me share one of my mistakes in judgment with you, and then you share one of yours. Maybe we’ll learn from each other. Life is too short to make all the mistakes out there. That’s why we have friends and family who advise us how to avoid them and to be good examples. Sometimes, of what should not be done! Remember, the key is balance in time and judgment — not perfection.

When I was in my twenties, I knew I wanted to write. It was something I’d always dreamed of doing. I had my first child at twenty-five, and had little free time to spend on myself. Two more children followed within the next few years. I decided I’d start writing when the kids started school. But then I went back to work. Time was even more precious.

When I had my fiftieth birthday, I was no closer to being published than I had been at twenty-five. I realized my biggest problem was that I was waiting to find time. I stopped doing that, and started making time. I found an organization site online (Get Organized Now) that helped me figure out how to be more efficient. I scheduled television and limited it to a few hours per week. You know what made me realize TV watching had to be limited? There are rarely scenes of people watching TV on TV, because instead, they’re living their lives. I was watching them live it. I needed to go live my own. I planned meals with my local grocery store’s shopping list program and shopped more quickly with lists. I shopped on Amazon using their Prime program instead of in stores for some of the things I needed. It was amazing how much time those simple things freed up for me. I didn’t give up shopping locally — that builds our community. But I do shop online when it’s needed.

Time and Judgment (for Authors) #MFRWauthor #amwriting @kayelleallenI wrote daily, at least fifteen minutes a day without excuse. I read books on writing. I read the kind of books I wanted to write. I subscribed to a few writer newsletters. One, by Daphne Gray-Grant, I still read every week. It offer tips on writing faster and better. I joined a critique group online. I networked. Within four months, I had a contract for my first book.

One of the best things I ever did was create a group called Marketing for Romance Writers. I wanted a place where authors could ask each other for advice on any topic and get an answer. I didn’t want it to be a promo site where everyone shouted, “buy my book!” so I set it up right away as a business-only site. It has flourished over the years. It’s still one of the most efficient sites out there. Peer-mentoring is a great way to learn.

My poor judgment was waiting for time. I had to learn to make it.

What’s your “poor judgment” / “big mistake” and how did you overcome it? I’d love to hear how learning better time and judgment made a difference for you. Please share it in the comments.

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