Monthly Archives: March 2013

It’s That Time Again: Beta Begging Time


Hello, gentle viewers! I interrupt our month of Buffyversary posts for purely selfish reasons today. (But at least I’m honest about it, right? Right.)

I’m in the process of finishing the first round of edits on a new novel (working title: Storm in a Teacup), and I’d love to have some eyes on it. Since the last beta begging blog post worked so splendidly in August, I thought I’d try again.

Here’s some basics about the novel in question:

Genre: Adult urban fantasy
Length: 91,400 words (415 pages in MS Word)
Shorty Synopsis: In a world where killing monsters literally restores balance to the cosmos, demon hunter Ayala Storme is asked to investigate a rash of missing women. She instead discovers a new race of half-human hellspawn created by demons to tip the scales against humanity. Ayala banked on these creatures existing only for evil, but when one of them saves her life, she’s confronted with the one thing she never expected from demons: free will. Sworn to defend human life, Ayala faces censure and execution if she decides her vow includes protecting the creatures she’s been ordered to kill.
Squidgy Salutes: This book contains language, gore, violence, sexual situations, and the occasional fart joke. You’ve been warned.
My Style: If you were not one of my little circle of betas back in August, my style of urban fantasy tends to be rather dark, gritty, and quirky. I’m an adherent to Our Sensei Joss Whedon‘s admonition, “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.” 

Here’s the nitty gritty on what YOU would do if interested:

  • Read the book.
  • Write a few paragraphs about your general impressions (and email them to me).
  • Answer no more than five follow-up questions.

That’s it. There is one little however, however. I’ve found that having both parties in accord for this sort of thing helps tremendously. Way back when, I used to send out my early work to whoever was like, “Sure, I’ll read it!” only to never hear from them again. (And, I’ll admit, I’ve done the same a couple of times.) That sort of process is just a teensy bit less than helpful. So here’s what I ask from my beta readers:

  • Respond within two weeks.

That’s all, really. I ask this for a couple reasons. First, I know that if I read a third of a book, put it down for two months, come back to it, read a few chapters, and put it down again, I won’t have a fresh idea of what my overall impressions were. Doing it within a set timeframe keeps those initial thoughts fresh and coherent. Second, I do eventually plan to, you know, incorporate the feedback into my next round of revisions. And to do that, I kind of have to have it.

I plan to have the draft ready to go to betas by Thursday night (that’s 4 April, in case you were wondering). So I would be asking folks to read and respond by 18 April so I can get a nice, polished draft to my agent by the first of May. Sound good?


There IS something for you in all this. If you beta for me, you get:

  • My undying love and devotion.
  • I’ll do a super-special Follow Friday Beta Edition on Twitter.
  • A superstar beta blog post in which I sing your praises, link mashup style.
  • You get an acknowledgement in the book if it sees the light of publication.
  • You get to be some of the first eyes to see this story, which had to wait four years in the back of my head to get on paper!

If you’re interested, send me an email: emmiemears [at] gmail [dot] com! You can express interest in the comments, of course, but please email, or I’ll forget.

PS: If you were one of my betas back in August and want to help me out again, you are more than welcome, for you are awesome. And I still love you. Because my love is undying.

UPDATE: Well, shucks. Y’all are quick. Very, very quick. Due to rather overwhelming response, I’ve somehow found myself swimming in beta readers. I might need to bake you some cookies. Thank you! If you are reading this update and gnashing your teeth because you missed the window, fear not. There shall be more books in the future.

Buffy Episode Cage Match: Hush vs. Once More With Feeling

*Pulls mic down*

Good afternoon, gentle viewers, and welcome to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cooltext973824439

In the blue corner, from season four. This contestant brings darkness. It brings a classically scored soundtrack. It’s got a chilling little singing girl and ambiguous hand gestures! Full of smiling creepers and goons in straitjackets, I give you….





Can’t even shout; can’t even cry.

The Gentlemen are coming by.

They’re tapping on windows; they’re knocking on doors.

They need to take seven, and they might take yours.

Can’t call to Mom; can’t say a word.

You’re gonna die screaming, but you won’t be heard.

How’s THAT for creepy, folks?

Xander thinks the Gentlemen want boobies, Tara’s in danger, and Riley and Buffy get outed. When their voices return, will they be able to break the silence?

*Crowd goes wild!*

Iiiiin the red corner, from season five! This contestant has all the moves — in fact, it can dance till it combusts! It’s got snazzy demons and creepy ventriloquist dolls! Full of songs and merriment, I give you….




I touch the fire, and it freezes me.

I look into it, and it’s black.

Why can’t I feel?

My skin should crack and peel.

I want the fire back.

Did Dawn give birth to a pterodactyl? Is this all really caused by bunnies? Is it a retro-pastiche or more of a book number? WAS that fire hydrant movable, and HOW did they get the mustard out?

Mustard is moot when Sweet comes to town with his snazzy suit and snappy tap shoes, but will Buffy and the gang manage to move forward once they spill their secrets in song?



…goes to HUSH with…….

Giles’ drawings!



Hilarity. Offended Buffy. Ambiguous gestures. This scene has it all, including the above picture. OMWF takes this one on the chin!

But wait. OMWF is on the move, circling for the…




OMWF lands a punch, and that punch just lets it burn.



Ouch. That one’s gotta smart. Hush, you gonna take that?

Whoa! Hush stumbles to the side, and OMWF comes up on the flank to deliver…

cooltext973864294Is it…it is! OMWF has pulled out the big feels!


It’s the Standing reprise! And OMWF isn’t done!



It’s the epic major kiss between Spike and Buffy! Hush stumbles — will it be able to recover?

*Crowd falls silent*

The ring is quiet. Hush is bleeding green goo from the nose. OMWF draws breath to burst into song.

Wait. OMWF has turned its back on Hush, and there’s silver fire in Hush’s eyes.





BOOM. Hush delivers a brutal roundhouse kick to the back of the head!

OMWF is reeling toward the ropes!





Hush smashes at OMWF with Giles’ drawings again!

OMWF is on the ropes!

Hush flicks in for a quick move…





Oh, no. This doesn’t look good for OMWF. It’s on the ropes now, holding onto slippery rubber, trying to stay upright.

But it looks like Hush is going in for the kill.





OMWF explodes in a flurry of pink and blue zoomy glows! That’s it, folks!

*raises Hush’s arm* We have a cage match champion!

Hush takes this cage match!

*Cue theme music…*


Thanks to everyone who voted yesterday in the poll! You’re the ones who chose the winner of today’s cage match. I hope you had fun!




Emmie’s Magical Migration


Sparkler (Photo credit: HatM)


Okay, okay, so it’s not so magical. But I did migrate for the day! You can catch me today over at the Spellbound Scribes writing about magical systems and how to create them!

Click the mystical jewel below to enter the portal to the realm of the Spellbound Scribes….


Diamond-249289 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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