((((((( HUG )))))))
Jess, I'm really enjoying your writing, so far. For what it's worth, I happen to earn really good fees for being a "book doctor"/ "book whisperer" for other writers. Well, my honest opinion is that your writing is engaging, compelling, highly original, and... extremely well-crafted. Hope this doesn't make me sound too cynical as an editor, but not many writers have your combination of:
(i) creative genius and the originality; AND
(ii) the level of craft and skill to express that powerfully and effectively.
As a consultative editor/ "combat editor", I get hammered DAILY by examples of how really talented writers can fail to do justice to their talent because their craft is weak or because they are not aware that writing is a craft not a form of occupational therapy. Not you. So thank you for respecting me, as your reader, by mastering the "craft" side of your writing so well and using it to help your readers "get" your work!
In my humble opinion, you hit the sweet spot between "substance" and "entertainment". The fellow writer in me loves the blithe (but very assured) way in which you control ( absolutely control...) this balancing act, in a genre where it matters so much. Heh, I *love* your way with words ("glass practice weapon of choice" got an air punch from me, and I chuckled over the idea -- also in Oral Fixation -- of a guy thinking casually of jizzing all over his ex-GF's panty/ goodie drawer).
My favourite story so far is the (last) one about Yin and Julian; it's a serious piece but you control the "seriousness" so well that it kind of mugs your reader; I particularly like the you maintain certain level of "breeziness" so that your reader never feels like he/she is being taken hostage by the author's agenda:
"She knew she was safe with Yin. He'd never grope her, teabag her if he found her asleep or passed out with her mouth wide open, exploit her for his own gain."
Okay, I'll "shut up" already! Take care.
-- XP | Reader/Customer Email, 2012 (Asia)
-- Short Version posted on 4:Play page on jessINK