There are no other options for “Other Options”

When I’m doing a convention, I like to make something freely available on Amazon for people to check out. This year, I was going to do Other Options during Frolicon. It’s a novella about a princess on an island full of magic and sex.

However, in order to make something free on Amazon, you either have to set the price to $0, or you have to be enrolled in KDP Select and set up a promotion.

To be enrolled in KDP Select, you have to charge at least $2.99.

There’s the rub.

Look, I love Other Options. But I don’t think I should be charging $3 for something that short. I think $2 is fair. So, in order to make it free, I’d have to go through the back-end, change the cost to $0, wait for the new cost to take effect (which takes up to 72 hours), promote the free book myself, and then change the cost back to $2 after Frolicon. Whereas, if I use the “promote and advertise” option, I think Amazon does some sort of magic that surfaces the book a little higher in the algorithm, or updates it somehow, or makes it so more people see it. I don’t actually know; Amazon is a giant black box to most writers.

So instead I will ask you: if you have a spare $2, or maybe some credit in your Amazon account, check out Other Options. I think you’ll like it.

Here’s an excerpt:

Master Terrupol, who has studied the sky all his life, said the cool season would come early this year, and while it never gets so cold that we need to cover ourselves, a slight chill is in the air when I wake in the morning. The small fire I lit before bed is still flickering. I blink and rub my face against the bedcover, then sit up.

The place where Zurun had lain down to sleep is empty, the cover rumpled. I smile. We had spoken for a long while about Avanya, about claiming, about our past, until the press of night had become too much and I had offered him a place to sleep.

The smile remains as I step outside to empty myself. But as I walk into the forest, toward the tree against which I usually lean, I catch a glimpse of the back of Zurun’s head near a stand of leafy plants. His left shoulder appears to be… no, he would not…

I am close enough to see his bare skin – no wrap covers his backside, which flexes and shifts, as does his shoulder and arm – when a branch cracks under my foot. Zurun whirls around, cries “Ala!”, and his organ, clasped tightly in his left hand, spurts seed across the ground. Thick ropes of it, far more than I imagine Kivol left within me, spatter against roots and fallen leaves. He releases his organ and it jerks upward, a final spray of seed decorating the forest floor.

After a moment, I stop staring at his still-leaking organ – not as large as Kivol’s, but quite respectable – and catch his eye. His dark face goes ashen and tears roll down his cheeks. He falls to his knees and stares at the ground.

I go to him, as he has gone to me in the past when I have hurt, and gather him in my arms. His body is hot, as Kivol’s had been hot after he had claimed me, as my own body was hot after Vivia or one of the other women brought me to the heavens, and he warms my cool flesh under the thin wrap. “I’m so sorry, Ala,” he whispers. “I’m sorry… I should’ve gone home, I shouldn’t have–”

“Hush now, Brother,” I say, stroking his hair. “I’m not mad. It is…” My lips twist in a small smile. “It is normal to enjoy that. I certainly do.” A tiny lie, but I love him, and I know it will soothe him.

He sniffs. I undo one shoulder of my wrap and place it in his hand, so he can wipe away his tears. “You’re not mad?” he asks, as if he does not believe me.

“I’m not mad, Zurun. And it was certainly quite the show.” I feel a flush of warmth between my thighs. Now that it is over, I remember the arc of his seed, his hand on his organ as he stroked it. I press harder against him, and he turns so I can hold him closer. His cheek is hot on my shoulder, his breath warm on my neck. “Come, Zurun. Think no more of it.” Another lie – I can think of nothing but. “I will see you for the morning meal.”

He hugs me once more, then walks quickly back to my home, undoubtedly to collect his wrap. I stand in the small clearing, looking at the evidence of Zurun’s pleasure, and my hand goes between my thighs.

Now I am free to drop to my knees, which are suddenly weaker than a moment before. I find the place between my thighs that Vivia once suckled and stroke it quickly, frantically, staring at Zurun’s seed until the heat flowing through my body forces my eyes shut. I bring my other hand to my mouth and bite hard on it to keep from crying out as, for the first time in my life, I bring myself to the heavens.

(Just so you know — Zurun isn’t actually Ala’s brother. It’s just how the men and women on this island refer to each other — Brother and Sister.)

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