Hickey(s) of the Beast Guest Post

The fabulous Tkoeh (@tkoeh, tkoehcreations.blogspot.com) got a wee bit excited about the mere concept of Hickey of the Beast, and went a little overboard on Hallowe’en – she actually created satanic hickeys and wore them to a party!

Yeah, we’re so sending her an ARC of the book for this. Talk about a superfan…and this is months before the serial even starts!

She’s agreed to share photos of her masterwork, and to write a guest post for us. Enjoy!

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A Hickey of the Beast

Another Hickey of the Beast

A third Hickey of the Beast

I sent a few pics of the “satanic hickey” I can show on a non-x-rated blog – I have two on my breasts, two on my butt, and one that I can’t show in public!

My hubby drew them. He still has to add a lot of detail to some of them, but we have a good start! We’re headed to a swingers Halloween party, and the idea is to have guys and gals supply the hickeys – and keep them “fresh” throughout the night! That would make a great book-launch party! I think it also proves that I’ve taken my enthusiasm for the book to new heights — or new lows, I guess, depending upon your perspective. Personally, I think it’s going to be *loads *of fun. My hubby’s joining in too. Guess where he drew a devil face on *his *body:)

The one in the pics I can show you isn’t nearly as detailed as the other ones. He drew it with a Bic “Mark-it” permanent marker and it looks kind of fun and goofy…not nearly as creepy as the others…but I kind of like it for all that. It’s my playful devil! It’s the devil who shows up
cracking jokes and goofing around…the not-so-serious evil fucker before he settles in, gets comfy…and takes you straight to hell.

Oh, and yes, those are real hickeys. If anyone asks me, well…I’m going to tell them that those are genuine Satan-hickeys! The people who kiss the other ones later tonight to keep Satan’s hickeys fresh? They’ll do so at their own risk. They’ll think it’s all fun and games, that it’s all a wacky bit of fun connected to promoting a book from Candlemark & Gleam taken to swinger extremes as per my lifestyle. They’ll laugh! They’ll giggle! They’ll remember tonight forever! Damn right they will…because kissing a satanic hickey means you’ve got trouble coming! Satan then possesses your damned lips and makes you say all sorts of outrageous things to everyone within earshot. Which ruins lives, careers, relationships…and food. Because the evil bastard makes you spit food before you can chew it. Tell me *that *isn’t evil of the worst kind…

Lips so evil, even Chapstick is afraid of them :)

[the post-party report]
The party was a blast! Keeping Satan’s hickeys *fresh *proved to be a highlight of the evening for everybody.

Now I have a gnarly collection of hickeys that look positively evil. Parts of my body look like they were ground zero in a war zone, which is fitting, because that’s exactly what they were: They were the epicenter in a war for souls, and Satan is blissfully happy! At least, he was, until…

Later that night, I asked him if he felt like Christmas had come early this year. His eyes narrowed, his body quaked with rage, and he bellowed an unintelligible noise that shook the walls and didn’t sound like English *at all*. I think it was Aramaic or one of the other ancient tongues he trots out every time he gets all huffy about something. Then he disappeared in a
puff of dark smoke that lingered like the cloud you get after you burn bacon. I had to open several windows! Sheesh! He hasn’t been back since, either. I mean, gosh, what’s his deal?! Was it something I said? Satan’s so damn temperamental. He needs to get over himself real quick or I’m gonna find another dark deity to pledge my body and allegiance to. Oh, what? He thinks I won’t do it? Pfft! Just try me, Mr. Prince of Darkness. N-n-no, I wouldn’t dare? Ha! Try me and see how damn fast I r-r-rearrange that “N” and start worshiping Santa.

Seriously though, I had loads of fun at the party and I’m glad I used my body to promote Hickey of the Beast! It was a memorable experience for all involved, and several men and women said they feel compelled to buy the book when it comes out. A few of them already read e-books regularly. Some of the others told me they’ve never read an e-book, but they’re going to check them out. Who would’ve guessed that a Halloween swingers party could be such a great way to promote an upcoming Candlemark & Gleam book *and* be a potential boon for e-books and the self-publishing industry in general?!

Hah! I guessed it might be, and hopefully my guess proves correct.

To that end, I would’ve promoted Hickey of the Beast the way I did even if I wasn’t going to get an advance copy of it:)

In case people don’t know, this whole thing started over a few tweets between us, and grew from there. (Originally, I was going to hit the Halloween party dressed as a steampunk character I’m developing, but one of Kate’s tweets reminded me of Hickey of the Beast, and my brain started playing with ideas for a new costume!) Kate was both kind and promotion-savvy enough to offer me an advance copy of said book, which was written by Isabel Kunkle, and will be published by Candlemark & Gleam in serial format early next year. I’ve told her I’ve been a fan of her company since I spotted its first book — Erekos — on Smashwords.com back in September. Which is true. I honestly have been and will continue to be a fan of Kate’s Candlemark & Gleam, in no small part because of Kate herself.

Kate had no idea that I was going to write any of what I’m saying now, but I want to reiterate that yes, I would’ve promoted the book the way I did even if Kate hadn’t offered me an advance copy to do it. One, it sounded like it would be loads of fun, and it was! Two, I honestly am a fan of Erekos (great book!), Candlemark & Gleam, and of Kate Sullivan.

Have you read about why and how Kate started her company? The woman is freakin’ awesome! Here’s a link to an article she wrote that goes a long way toward proving my point:
http://paperbackdolls.blogspot.com/2010/09/candlemark-gleam-glimpse-into.html

I hope you’ll also take a moment to visit the “About” section at www.candlemarkandgleam.com and read about Kate’s vision of e-books, the independent publishing and writing industries, and the ideas she has about all the truly cool places it can and no doubt will go in the coming years.

Kate’s a visionary, but the best kind: she has a solid image of what she wants her company and its products to be, and she’s smart enough to leave parts of her vision open and unformed in the spirit of future inspiration and interpretation.

That last bit is important in an industry like independent publishing, where the future is being shaped and molded on a daily basis, where the future is creatively uncertain (which I hope independent publishers and creators alike will read as *unfettered* *creative freedom) *and where the future is wed to technological advancements to a certain extent…but is by no means * directed* by them.

At this very moment there are technology-minded folks out there looking for ways to capitalize on the potential of e-readers and similar devices that can help take e-books in directions many of us aren’t necessarily thinking about on a regular basis. Good for them! Fortunes are going to be made! But don’t forget the example of Bill Gates: he saw that the computer industry’s future rested in software, in the ideas and content that would make computers more than just hardware, that would make them useful to almost everyone and give people *reasons *to own and interact with the machinery.

We’re in a similar place — looking a similar set of circumstances square in the face — in the independent publishing and writing industries. At least, we can be. If we open our eyes wide and fully realize the opportunity that we have: the chance to shape the future…to write, create and *make *an entire industry. It’s largely in our hands, if we want it to be.

I believe that Kate’s one of the people who sees the virtually boundless potential of independent publishing, who’s *making it happen *day after day. I also believe that as the days turn into weeks, months and years, Kate and her company — Candlemark & Gleam — will be right there *making it happen, *and enjoying all the success that rightfully comes with it. Have I mentioned that Kate is awesome? She is! I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to be hearing a lot more about her and her company in the coming years.* A lot more. *

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the marker my hubby used to draw Satan’s face around the hickeys he smooched onto my back doesn’t have waterproof ink. (He used fancier waterproof markers to draw on and around my naughty parts, and those faces remain intact to varying degrees.) While the playful one on my back was nowhere near as detailed and evil-looking as the others, it managed to be just as memorable that night. You might say it was even more so. The first time I flopped down on my back to begin accepting hickey-freshenings (we’ll all just pretend that “freshenings” is a word, because it should be!), my back grew sweaty thanks to all the adult fun, and I left a huge red stain on the sheet. I left several of them in several different places that night, including one on a bathroom wall. Yesssss! I left marks all over my friend’s house and bedding in honor of Candlemark & Gleam! My friend didn’t mind. She’s cool like that. And if y’all are still reading this bloated paragraph, I apologize in advance of me telling you that the sole reason I wrote it was so I could work in the gonna-be-a-real-word-one-day *freshenings.*

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And so there you have it. Real-life Hickeys of the Beast, and one hell of a Halloween night…all in the service of independent publishing and indie authors! WOW!

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