Friday, November 4, 2011

Fabled Fang Girls

She's only evil on the outside...and probably on the inside too.

I coined a phrase for my most recent collection of short stories. I had to. There just wasn't a word befitting the rabid (bloodthirsty even?) female fans of vampires in existence right now. So I made one up. Fang-girl! It's a play on words for "fanboy" which is a description of an obsessive male fan of nerd culture. With all the "Team Edward" nonsense around Twilight, I felt we needed a similar name to reflect our fanaticism. I can just hear my readers now, "But Cassandra, you're a lesbian goddess who has repeatedly pointed out that Robert Pattinson looks like he probably smells really bad" and you're right, I am a lesbian goddess who has said that on many occasions, but just because I'm not into Stephanie Meyer's version of a "vampire" doesn't mean I'm not into vampires. The vampires I'm into don't walk around in the daytime seducing boring high school girls (or play baseball in thunderstorms like doofuses) and they all have breasts--the last part is probably the most important bit.

See what I mean about the breasts part being important?
So in celebration of my newest collection released under the Sapphic Pixie Tales label, I'm going to give you a sneak peak at one of the stories along with the usual rundown from the book jacket. Enjoy!

Fang Girl - noun – a female fan of vampire media who might be a little obsessive in her fandom.
[Derived from modern slang fanboy but always in reference to females. First used by Cassandra Duffy in Fabled Fang Girls]

Cassandra Duffy, an emerging voice in lesbian literature, releases her third short story collection, Fabled Fang Girls in a transparent attempt to satisfy the vampire addiction of her readership. Eight short stories of vampire lust and love revisit characters from Demons of Paradise and introduce new stories of lesbian sex and relationships.

“The Princess of Castle Eclipse” – a beautiful fairytale of doomed love in the tragic tradition of European fables.

“The Witch of Vigil’s Grove” and “Return to Vigil’s Grove” – two pieces of an upcoming novel that offer a chilling introduction to the town of Vigil’s Rest where a vampire haunts the forest, luring young girls to their doom with promises of forbidden love.

“The Last Best Tip” – the critically acclaimed novella finds a new home in this collection. Grifts, swingers, a sassy but irresponsible vampire and her underachieving girlfriend occupy a clever urban fantasy landscape where even eternal children of the night have money problems.

“From Nightshift to Swing Shift” – Vendela and Brooke are back! The vampire fashionista and her Australian girlfriend have hit a lull in their peculiar relationship and turn to a beautiful Persian executive to inject some much-need passion back into the couple’s sex life to keep out the Alaskan cold.

“Lovely Predators” – a brief look at the upcoming Noire style mystery novel of the same name that follows a talented Los Angeles homicide detective as she investigates a series of grisly murders that keep leading her back to the doorstep of her new girlfriend who is keeping a dark secret.

“Undead Housewives of the Other Orange County” – a farcical take on the Real Housewives television shows that interjects vampires and humanity to create a humorous story about what might really take place between bored housewives.

“Chains of Command” – a mixture of Duffy’s remarkable science fiction, paranormal romance, and hardcore erotica. Chains follows a vampire captain of a cutting-edge space warship who must break the will of her new executive officer during a long, deep space raid, but quickly finds the tables turned on her by the fiery and reckless, Commander Crash Langford.

Cassandra Duffy floods this collection with vampires, sex, horror, romance, action, and humor in ways that truly display the depth and range of her remarkable talent. Sapphic Pixie Tales is proud to offer this outstanding collection of vampire fiction from the 21-year-old lesbian author.

What surprised Brooke most about her relationship with Vendela wasn’t the length of it as she had a pretty high threshold for relationship bullshit; she was most astonished by how much she actually cared for Vendela. Her former boss and live-in girlfriend of more than a year was obtuse beyond reason and completely inept at expressing even simple things in a clear way, which pretty much precluded her feelings ever being communicated. The amount of guesswork required of Brooke to simply have a concept of the status of their relationship was profound. Still, for reasons she couldn’t articulate or fathom, she adored the peculiar little vampire fashion designer.

“Brooke,” Vendela said, snapping Brooke out of her dazed state. “Do you see anything that might fit Denise for the…what is she going to?”

“Possibly,” Brooke said, answering the first question first, “and she’s going to the Daytime Emmys.”

Brooke had lost all interest in fashion design after their second trip to Barrow Alaska. It wasn’t the mind-bending sex on the colossal bearskin rug that prevented her from wishing to one day be competition for her girlfriend, it was the fact that at her very best, which Vendela managed to draw from her, she was still miles behind what the petite vampire designer could manage with ease. So she shifted from design to fashion stylist; actresses, models, and singers flocked to her clientele, rightly assuming she would have exclusive access to Vendela’s fashion lines.

“Babe,” Vendela said, “you know how I feel about…television award shows.”

The short, clipped, peculiar way of pronouncing things was something that had once irritated Brooke to no end. Once Vendela started calling her ‘babe’, Brooke found she rather liked the way Vendela spoke.

“I know,” Brooke said. “I normally wouldn’t even ask, but I feel so bad for her. She’s on something like her third divorce.” Brooke selected a possible gown, holding it up to herself out of habit. The slinky, off-white cocktail wasn’t dressy enough for even a Daytime Emmy award show and was probably two sizes too small for Brooke’s personal use. “I swear my ass has doubled in size over the past few months,” she grumbled. Her statement, while an exaggeration at double, wasn’t entirely untrue. She’d lost a lot of her surfer physique by spending too much time working and too little time wave riding.

“I think your ass looks…like an apple,” Vendela said, crossing the cavernous clothing vault in a flash to stand behind Brooke. Her hand caressed down the small of Brooke’s back, onto the curvaceous ass in question, and gave it a playful squeeze.

The vampire trick of moving faster than the human eye could follow used to give Brooke the willies. After a year of Vendela doing that exact thing to her, she wondered if she would ever be able to date a human who couldn’t instantly cross a room to give her a compliment and grope combination.

Brooke replaced the dress on the rack and sighed. She was supposed to be shopping for Denise, but the more she looked at the beautiful clothes in Vendela’s line, the more she wished she could shop for herself or dress up the designer. Her overly elfin girlfriend adored the chunky jewelry, oversized sunglasses, and baggy clothes that made her appear even tinier, while Brooke loved seeing her in more fitted, daring attire. Their little tête-à-têtes usually ended up with Vendela wearing whatever she wanted and somehow Brooke ended up in the tight clothes.

“Award season is coming up,” Brooke said. “Care to be seen on the red carpet with me wearing something like this.” Brooke searched the immediate area as quickly as possible, finally deciding on a taupe straight cut gown that could easily be taken in to find Vendela’s lithe frame.

Vendela smirked, knowing the game well, and came back with a black, bow bodice pencil dress. “And you can wear this…or nothing…babe.”

Brooke stared down an entirely unreadable Vendela. She wasn’t smiling, wasn’t frowning, wasn’t breathing, wasn’t doing anything really aside from holding out the black dress that Brooke knew would flaunt every flaw in the figure she wasn’t particularly happy with anymore. The more she stared at Vendela, the more the latent vampiric power of mind control pushed a fine mist over her mind. She knew Vendela wasn’t doing it on purpose—it was just something that happened when she really wanted something. It had actually been what originally brought Brooke to Barrow, what made her pack her strap-on, and what started their whole tryst. Vendela hadn’t consciously exerted her mental control on Brooke those first few months. In fact, as she would explain later, she thought she was the seduced until Brooke had told her about the mental haze surrounding the majority of their feverish lovemaking. If Vendela’s mind was pushing out to cloud Brooke’s thinking, seeing her in that pencil dress was something the little fashionista desperately wanted, but wasn’t socially equipped enough to ask for.

“Deal,” Brooke said, much to Vendela’s surprise. Brooke took the dress from her to give it a closer look. “It’ll have to be let out quite a bit though.”

“No, it won’t…babe,” Vendela said. “It’ll be major, I promise. Trust me, I am an excellent judge of…your figure. I think you might have been Kim Novak in a former life.”

“Kim Novak is still alive,” Brooke said.

“Really? That’s…ba-na-nas.”

“Vendela?” Justin called from the doorway. “There’s a problem with the fit models not quite fitting.”

Vendela rolled her eyes and handed the dress to Brooke. Justin, the assistant that replaced Brooke, was a masterful organizer, a driven personality, an A-list gay in the fashion world, and a stunningly beautiful vampire. Brooke liked everything about him except his personality. There wouldn’t be any chance he would steal Vendela, but he also kept her running at a driven pace leaving little personal time.

Vendela vacated the room to check why what she was calling a size six didn’t fit an industry standard size six model. Justin, perfectly frocked in a vested pinstripe suit, made his way to Brooke to inspect the dress she was holding.

“60’s retro is in ever since all those TV shows decided we should glorify the days of segregation, lung cancer, and alcoholism,” Justin said. “The only positive side is the fashion.” He took the dress from Brooke and gently held it up to her with a far more objective eye than Vendela. “You’ll need to have the top padded. Or you could just get a boob job like everyone else in LA.”

“I’ll consider all the options,” Brooke said. The thing she disliked about Justin was how much of what he said turned out to be double-speak. The comment about a boob job could have been idle conversation, or it could have been something Vendela had said to him and he’d strategically decided to let it slip. Brooke could never tell.

“If you did, you might reignite the old sex life.” Justin hung up the dress. His comments weren’t usually that blunt, and it took Brooke aback a little to hear such candor from the fabulously catty vampire assistant.

“What do you even know?”

“I know she’s not having sex,” Justin said, “and now I know you aren’t either.”

It was true. Combined, their hectic work schedules left little time for intimacy and the time they did spend together had felt a little flat over the past few months. As much as Brooke hated to admit it, she probably needed Justin’s help.

“What do you know about fixing it?” Brooke asked.

“Besides the boob job?” Justin made a dramatic show of looking up while he thought. “You could always swing.”

For some reason Brooke’s mind immediately jumped to a swing-set and only then transitioned to imagining one of those hanging-from-the-ceiling sex swings. Clearly reading her thoughts, Justin intervened before her flawed train of though could evolve further along an incorrect line.

“No, silly, not literally,” Justin said. “I meant going out to another partner and then coming home to be reclaimed by her. You clearly need more sex than she does and it’s a fairly common vampire practice to send our little playthings out to other vampires so we might recapture them. Call it a latent hunter instinct.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Brooke said. Even still, the notion had set a fire in her that she was a little ashamed of, a little intrigued by, yet completely unwilling to verbally admit to.

“Is it?” Justin said, raising a perfectly manscaped eyebrow.

She knew he could read her mind. He knew that she knew that he could read her mind. The fact that they both pretended this wasn’t the case was out of simple human politeness, which made the socially acceptable white lie seem so hollow.

“Would Vendela even be interested in something like that?” Brooke asked.

“Maybe you missed the execu-bitch vice president of operations she hired,” Justin said. “I think she’s been planning it for months but hasn’t worked up the nerve to mention it to you.”

Brooke had indeed noticed the gorgeous Persian vampire Vendela had hired. Shabnam was elegant, officious, and a little like Vendela in that she was difficult to read. Brooke also wondered if she wasn’t a slightly more stereotypical vampire considering she dressed only in black and wore her eyeliner on the heavy side. Still, she was attractive, and some of her comments directed at Brooke could have been mistaken for flirting when fitted to the bizarre Vendela standards. Brooke began to wonder if peculiar, petite, and vampiric was becoming her type.

“How do I go about setting something like this up?” Brooke said.

“Tell Vendela,” Justin said. “She’ll fill you in on the rest.”

...and that's all you get. Of course, if you've read Demons of Paradise, you'll recognize Brooke and Vendela, but you'll have to buy Fang Girls to find out what happens next!

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