Happy Christmas

As usual, a festive pin-up after the cut. Ceri and Lily would like to thank all their readers, especially the ones who like them, and wish everyone a glorious, magical Christmas.

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The Other Side of Hell – Cover Art

The tenth Thaumatology novel, The Other Side of Hell, will be appearing in the shops this weekend. Below is the cover art for it. The full-size render can be seen at my DeviantArt site.

The Other Side of Hell Cover Art

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Cry if I Want to

Actually, I won’t, though my eyes are watering a bit since I just got up. I intend to do nothing much today. I’ve had the lost week off work (more of a question of having too much holiday left than it was my birthday today) so I’ve got a lot of writing done on book 10. It’s coming together nicely. I may even have the bulk writing done before I go back to work if I try hard.

My friend, proofreader, and sanity checker, Ellen has written a little birthday meta-fiction over on her blog. Read it here: http://withthatshewrote.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/birthday/

If I’d known about the story, I’d have done a render of Lily in a cheerleader outfit, but I didn’t. I have, however, done a pin-up of Lily in her new pole-dance outfit, which you can see after the cut.

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Beauty in the Eyes

So, there’s a story behind this render and it got me thinking about beauty. That means you have to sit through the rambling monologue before you get to the good stuff. The good stuff is the render of Lily in a harem outfit, and the story goes like this:

There I was, checking DAZ’s web site, as I usually do, and they had a new clothing model, Katya, which is a nicely designed harem-girl outfit with a veil and head jewellery. Obviously I thought of Lily. Lily would love that outfit. I simply had to render Lily in that outfit (otherwise she would hear about it and hurt me). So, I duely purchased it for her and got her on the photo set and there she is.

However, since she gets rendered slowly, over the course of several hours, from the top and working down a block at a time. (The hair and faces take the longest; more edges to bounce light off, more calculations required.) I went into the little office at the back of the house to check on how she was doing and there they were; her eyes. They were looking out from the screen, deep and dark, from behind her hair and the veil. Awesome. Really, go to my Deviant Art page, click-through to the full size image and look her in the eyes. She’s smiling; you can’t see it because of the veil, but you can see it in her eyes. They’re beautiful.

So, back to the point. Beauty, what is it? Lily’s an attractive woman. I’ve rendered her in next to nothing and there’s a lot of flesh on show there, but really it’s the eyes that make the picture. I guess you’d call them “sultry” or “playful.” There are obviously a lot of other things about Lil that are attractive; I sculpted her that way. Lily was designed to be a little artificial, a collection of features designed to hit man’s built-in sexual triggers. Her hips are wider than average, her breasts larger (using a morph on the Genesis model called “Breasts Implant,” so while she’s all natural, she looks like there’s silicon in there). She’s a half-succubus, evolved to attract sexual partners. Of course, everyone has their preferences and Lily is not to everyone’s tastes.

And beauty is not always physical. Another thing I love about Lily is her personality. She’s a free spirit. She does what she wants and doesn’t care what others think of her. (Partially, I wish I could be the same, but I’m as insecure as the next guy.) An old character of mine in an MMO used to fall in love with people because of their personalities. It was a superhero MMO (City of Heroes) and everyone was attractive, if not stunning. If you just went by looks you’d be falling in love, or at least lust, with just about everyone you saw, so how can you really differentiate? A winning personality, or even just some little difference which seems attractive, can make all the difference. Even in real life that’s true. Relationships can start with looks, but they probably can’t keep on going without something else. Or can they?

Any thoughts, folks? What do you find attractive?

Oh yeah… I said you could have the good bit at the end. Enjoy.